Welcome to the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and the namesake of our city, San Francisco. The National Shrine is the property of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and it consists of our historic Church built in 1849 and our beautiful Chapel (La Porziuncola Nuova, or Little Portion) built in 2008.
The National Shrine is not only located in the heart of San Francisco where Italian North Beach and Chinatown meet, it is "The Heart of San Francisco" in a singular way where Heaven and Earth meet like no other place in our city.
One of the reasons this Shrine is unique is its very urban location in the second most densely populated city in the country. But in the midst of an often rowdy, noisy, bawdy, and chaotic neighborhood (a bronze marker in the sidewalk reminds us that this was once "The Barbary Coast"), the Shrine's Church and the Porziuncola offer an oasis of peace, quiet, serenity, and refreshment to the thirsty spirit.
Saint Francis was very aware that all of God's creation is holy and that it reflects his beauty, truth, and goodness. But Francis appreciated churches, especially, because he knew that in these sacred spaces people could find and recognize the presence of God's spirit more easily than "in the world." That is why the Little Poor Man of Assisi dedicated a good portion of his life to rebuilding old abandoned churches, like San Damiano (where he had heard the voice of Jesus Christ) and Saint Mary of the Angels Porziuncola (or Little Portion).
We hope during your online visit to The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi you will experience something of the reverence, tranquility, and blessings people find when they enter our actual doors. Thus, we invite you to take the virtual tours, light a candle, ask for our prayers, and to return to this site as often as you like, while allowing "The Heart of San Francisco" to become a place where your own heart can find a haven of rest. Yes, leave your heart in San Francisco!
We also invite you to take the opportunity to participate in the mission of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi by sharing with us your financial support, either by making a donation or by shopping at our online store. But even if you're unable to give anything at this time, please know that you are always welcome to visit us and to support our work with your prayers. We sincerely appreciate and thank you for your generosity of spirit.
The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, as with The Archdiocese of San Francisco, has a mission that is rooted in the Gospels and the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Central to that teaching is the inherent dignity and sacredness of each human being.
We educate and advocate on this dignity in relation to the unborn child, the prisoner on death row, the homeless and hungry person on our streets, the elderly, the ill and disabled faced with the threat of assisted suicide, the stranger in our midst, and the poor and marginalized in our society and throughout the world. We are neither right nor left, Republican nor Democrat, but we formulate our agenda by the standard of human dignity that is reflected in our faith tradition.
- It is the purpose of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi to provide more abundant means of salvation, through the rich liturgical and devotional life of the Roman Catholic Church for the Christian faithful, including those who come as pilgrims from around the world to the City of San Francisco and the greater San Francisco Bay Area, who seek to encounter the living God through religious worship and special devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints.
- It is the further purpose of the National Shrine to welcome, share and extend this same spiritual experience and devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints to pilgrims and visitors of all faiths, religions, denominations, and nationalities.
- The Capuchin Franciscan Friars (OFM Cap.) and Staff of the National Shrine, therefore, provide a pastoral (i.e., welcoming and prayerful) environment with the hope that in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, spiritual nourishment healing and reconciliation will be found by all who visit the Shrine.
ADDITIONAL PAPAL VISIT TO ASSISI
ROME- Pope Francis will head back to the Italian town of Assisi on Sept. 20 to participate in the closing of a World Day of Prayer for Peace, called "Thirst for peace. Religions and culture in dialogue," and organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio.
The visit will be the second pilgrimage by the pope to the birthplace of St. Francis in less than two months, as he was also there on August 4, when he paid an afternoon visit to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, home of the Portiuncola, a small chapel restored by the legendary medieval saint in the 1200s.
The Vatican confirmed the pope's decision to participate through a short statement released on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 18. The Franciscan family in Assisi had first shared the pontiff's intention to come earlier in the week, and confirmed it through a post on their website hours before the Holy See.
"It's a great joy for the Franciscan family," said Father Mauro Gambetti, custodian of the Assisi friary. Among the 400 delegates expected to participate in the Sant'Egidio event will be religious, political and social leaders from a variety of backgrounds, together with representatives from the world of culture. The VIP list includes Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The "Thirst for Peace" encounter will run on Sept. 18-20, and it marks the 30th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II's invitation to the world's religious leaders to join him in a prayer for peace back in 1986. This year's edition is being organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio together with the Diocese of Assisi and the Franciscan Family.
HOLY FATHER'S PRAYER INTENTIONS
Please remember Pope Francis' intentions in prayer through the month of September:
- Universal: Centrality of the Human Person
That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
- Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize
That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.