St. Francis's tomb, 780 years later

Assisi at sunset

The tomb of the patron saint of animals and ecology has been restored and is being reopened for visitors. As reported by ASNA news,

St. Francis, Italy's patron saint, was buried in a rough-hewn stone sarcophagus in 1230 and lay there until the Catholic Church decided to move his body to an elaborate bronze urn, complete with the seal of the Holy See, in 1818.

This was placed in a newly enlarged crypt under the main altar of the Basilica Inferiore in the saint's home town.

The stone of the crypt and the metal of the urn have been scrubbed and burnished in record time since they were closed for the start of the restoration on February 25.

"This work of extraordinary maintenance was carried out through the night too, to keep the time of closure as short as possible," said church press officer Father Enzo Fortunato

Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226, remains one of the most influential Catholics in our faith's history, and the order he began has done immense good since its founding. We're fortunate to have Franciscans in Providence, where they run a parish that serves many of the poor and marginalized.

May God bless the Franciscan Order, and may their work in the Holy Land, and in every land, be equally blessed.

To learn a little more about St. Francis, visit the American Catholic website.


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Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.