Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Francis

Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Francis

On May 25, we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Francis. Pope Gregory IX laid the cornerstone for the Basilica on 17 July 1228, the day after Francis’ canonization. The Basilica is built into the side of a hill in Assisi and is comprised of two churches the Basilica Superior (Upper Church) and the Basilica Inferiore (Lower Church).

The Lower Basilica was finished in 1230 and on May 25 of that year Saint Francis’ body was transferred from San Giorgio to this new church constructed in his honor.

Saint Francis' tomb in the Lower Basilica

On May 24, 2022, the Solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica, Friar Giovanni Voltan invited us to look at St. Francis as our model to follow Jesus.

Indicating the surroundings of the basilica, Friar Giovanni said that there was “a desire to commemorate Francis by placing his personal story within the sacred narrative of salvation. This was done to show how Francis’ story, and our own story, when it intersects with Jesus, becomes an unprecedented, unique and unrepeatable story that completes the Gospel of Christ. It becomes like a fifth Gospel. It is a sacred story—the closer and more like Jesus the story is, the more attractive it becomes. Jesus asks you in this basilica: ‘Do you want to see me? Look at Francis. Do you want to see how a Christian lives? Look at Francis. Do you want to be a fulfilled person? Look at Francis, his dreams, his mistakes, his falls, his conversion and how he became a happy man.’ This basilica is meant to be a legend in the original sense of the Latin word: it is meant to be read…

You can read more on our Order’s website – ofmconv.net