Assisi's magical Christmas gift

I spent my younger years in Assisi, where St. Francis founded the Franciscan order devoted to austerity, contrasting our approach to the Christmas holidays today.

Yet Assisi delivered a most generous gift one Christmas Eve. Wandering the village, visiting the live nativity scene and attending midnight mass at the Basilica of St. Francis, I felt a little sad that night, missing my family back home in the snow-blanketed state of Wisconsin, celebrating our traditional Christmas Eve together.

Then something magical happened. As I walked home alone through the narrow streets of Assisi, light snow began falling. The next morning, the entire town awoke to several inches of snow — a weather event that hadn’t happened in Assisi for more than 30 years.

I couldn’t help but think that though I was thousands of miles from my family, a little part of home came to me that Christmas morning.

I wish you that same magic this holiday season. Buone Feste!