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Assisi, Italy: Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare


About the Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare:

Mass at the tomb of Saint Francis
Mass at the tomb of Saint Francis

We list these two Basilicas together because Saint Francis and Saint Clare were so close spiritually.

This Basilica of Saint Francis is on two levels: the lower Basilica houses the tomb of Saint Francis…often pilgrimage groups can celebrate Mass here. The upper Basilica will allow you to marvel at the famous magnificent frescoes that line the walls.


Finding the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi:

Address:  Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
Tel:  +39 075 819001

Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.



The Basilica of Saint Clare:

Then a short walk takes you to the Basilica of St. Clare.  His soul mate, St. Clare was one of his most devoted followers. Clare was also from a wealthy family, and encountered much opposition because of choosing to follow Francis instead of the lifestyle planned for her in marriage. Saint Francis himself cut off Clare’s long and beautiful hair as she renounced the world. Only then did her family realize they could never win her back. Because she was the first woman to follow Francis and there was no place for her to stay, Francis directed her to live with a group of Benedictine Sisters so that she could learn about convent life and living in community.

Eventually she founded the Order of Poor Ladies, for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life……the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares.

Eventually, Clare’s sisters and mother entered the convent with her. She was canonized within two years of her death in 1253 and her feast day is celebrated August 11th.

St. Clare’s incorrupt body, now covered in wax can be seen in the crypt of the basilica named after her.  In addition to her body, this Basilica also contains the original crucifix which spoke to St. Francis at San Damiano, some of their clothing, and her hair in a glass reliquary.

Pope Pius XII  proclaimed Saint Clare of Assisi Patron Saint of Television in 1957.  Ever wonder why, since she lived hundreds of years before TV was invented?  Here is the story:

As she grew old, she was too ill to attend Mass, and one day the images and sounds of the entire Mass appeared in full on the wall of her room.  At this time television had grown in popularity and Pope Pius XII realized the importance of this new medium.  He is quoted as saying prophetically:   “ Television is a wonderful instrument… which can be the source of very great wealth, but also of deep troubles“.

Finding the Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi:

Address:  Piazza S. Chiara, 1 – 06081 Assisi (PG)

Tel: 075 81 22 16 (comunità frati minori)

E-mail: basilicasantachiara@gmail.com

Click here for the official website of Saint Clare in Assisi.


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