How to Get Rid of Nuisance Demons

The frescoed lunettes, painted by Domenico Manfredi from Camaiore, and decorating the cloister of the ex-monastery of San Francesco at Borgo a Mozzano are an utter delight with their naïve but felt devotion. Each lunette represents an episode in the life of Saint Francis who, like the present Pope his namesake, is a quite revolutionary figure in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

For example, Saint Francis entered into dialogue with other world religions. Here he is having a chat with the Muslim Sultan of Egypt.


What a conversation it must have been! Again, the example is today for all of us to follow: dialogue is the only way forwards whether it be in politics, religion or day-to-day social relationships. Without it nothing is possible and lack of dialogue can only lead to confrontation and worse…

When I took a look at the cloister yesterday a restorer of the frescoes was busy at work. For over two years now the lunettes are being brought back to their original bright colours and any damage to them is being conservatively repaired.

Here is a lunette before restoration:

11282015 037

And here it is after restoration:

11282015 035

An artistic cataract operation, in fact!

One lunette has revealed a miraculous banquet – miraculous because Francis performed a later version of the gospel loaves and  fishes when he found the monastery larder was empty:

11282015 027

I bet the cat in the middle of the refectory floor must have been glad that the fish suddenly multiplied. He certainly looks it!

11282015 029

Francis seems to have had an extraordinary propensity for wide-ranging dialogue. He also, as is well-known, preached to the birds and also had to encounter animals of a very different appearance. Here is a lunette showing Francis in the middle of a horde of diabolical creatures. The caption reads that Francis was faced with these unattractive figures sent by the devil, but with the sign of the cross managed to send them packing. How great it would be for us to be able to do the same with all those tedious people we have to deal with!

11282015 034

However, if you want to get rid of any blue devils there’s no better place to do so than at Ponte a Moriano tomorrow, for from 11 am tomorrow there’s a blues festival happening there. Can’t miss that!


The friars departed in 1983 but if you wish to live in the monastery you’ll have to be of a certain age: the place is now an old folks’ home…


1 thought on “How to Get Rid of Nuisance Demons

  1. Well I see it is the Croce Verde of Ponte a Moriano the very ones that saved your bilbo elbow when you touched the tarmac had not even realised that somehow you had achieved a nasty 1 inch deep gash that needed stiches it all took a long healing process and it was all thanks to this Volutary Service Croce Verde that we did not even know existed how lucky we are that so many good people offer their time for useful services in our society. I love the frescoes of St Francis especially the cat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s