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Rome: Church of San Francesco a Ripa

Located in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Saint Francis. Although built on the foundations of an earlier church, the current structure was begun in 1603.

It was here that Saint Francis stayed when he visited Rome. You can see the cell where he slept, the rock that he used as a pillow (behind a grate).

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It also has one of Bernini’s last pieces: a sculpture over the tomb of the Franciscan Tertiary Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (as shown here). A lifelong resident of Trestevere, she was married off to an unpleasant man and endured 16 years with him. She bore him three children during this time, and he died after 16 years of marriage. After his death, she had to deal with her late husband’s relatives who tried to deprive her three daughters of their inheritance. Once she had succeeded in securing their inheritance, she embraced the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis and spent the rest of her life in the care of the poor.

Bernini sculpted this work of her in ecstacy in a small side chapel in the church.

Tomb of St. Charles of SezzeAlso in the Church you will find the tomb of Saint Charles of Sezze, a humble Franciscan Friar noted for his remarkable spirit of obedience, piety, love and charity towards all.  He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1959.  We celebrate his feast day on January 18.  His body is on display in a glass reliquary…it is not incorrupt, it is his skeleton covered in a wax likeness.

But that is not all….there are several Blessed and Venerables entombed here as well.  You can find the complete list on their website.

The Church and Sanctuary are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m and again from 2:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Weekday Masses are 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday Masses are at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.


Finding the Church of San Francesco a Ripa:

Address:  Piazza di S. Francesco d’Assisi, 88, 00153 Roma, Italy

Tel:  +39 06 581 9020 / + 39 06 580 3509

Click here for the official website of San Francesco a Ripa Grande (in Italian, use Google translate)

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