FOUR POLISH Franciscan Friars have completed a 700 mile walk from Poland to Rome without any money, arriving at the Vatican after 43 days on the road.
Following to the letter the example of St Francis of Assisi, who walked from city to city preaching. the four Friars set out in July for their pilgrimage to Rome in hopes of seeing their countryman. Pope John Paul II.
Vatican radio said the Friars, each 20 years old. travelled from Klodzko. Poland, through Czechoslovakia and Austria, and into Italy. where one of their first stops was the sanctuary dedicated to St Francis. the founder of their Order. in Assisi.
The Friars, named Bernard, Marcin, Sebastian and David, slept in monasteries and church rectories during their trip and lost an average of about 15 pounds each from the walk.
'Our bodies became poorer but we were enriched in spirit,' one of the Friars told Vatican Radio.
The Friars planned to go to the Papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, just south of Rome. to see the Pope deliver his weekly address.