Pace e Bene

When Suzanna and I were visiting the town of Assisi on our recent trip to Italy, we kept seeing the words “pace e bene” crop up in many places. I knew it meant peace and good, but wasn’t sure of the significance of the words until I did a little research. I discovered that “pace e bene” (pronounced “pah-chay bay-nay”) harks back to the time of Saints Francis. 

A ceramic tile that followed us home from Italy

Pace e Bene is also the name of a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by the Franciscan Friars of California used to promote nonviolence and peacemaking. According to the website:

Pace e Bene’s name derives from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi who used this phrase in their own time as a form of greeting, which translated from the Italian means “Peace and all good!” So much was expressed by this little phrase: May you have the fullness of well-being, may you be secure and happy; may you not want; may your dignity be respected; may the goodness in your inmost being flourish; may the world in which we live know this deep peace. It was a blessing, a hope, and a way of acknowledging the sacredness of those whom they encountered.

What a wonderful phrase! If you are interested in learning more about the “pace e bene” nonviolence movement, check out their website at

Working together, we can help take care of our common home.  

Paul Litwin

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