Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

On May 25th we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Francis, the church of the Order of Friars Minor. It was 17 July 1228, the day after the canonization of St. Francis, that Pope Gregory IX laid the foundation stone for the basilica. The construction was directed by Friar Elias of Cortona.

The Basilica is made up of two churches that sit on the top of a hill in Assisi, the “Basilica Superior” (Upper Church) and the “Basilica Inferiore” (Lower Church). In 1230, the remains of Saint Francis were transferred to the Lower Church for permanent burial. His body is encased in a stone crypt.  

Pope Innocent IV solemnly consecrated the church on 25th May 1253.

On May 24, 2022, on the Solemnity of the Dedication, Friar Giovanni Voltan, Assistant General for the FIMP  (Belgium, France, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey), said in his homily:

"I believe this is the gratia loci of Assisi, the particular grace of this basilica, to show the good, beautiful and blessed life of Francis who, through his friars, welcomes every pilgrim, every believer, and every person who climbs this hill in search of peace, forgiveness and God."

Saint Francis' tomb