Welcome to the website of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and its beautiful Porziuncola Nuova. This complex is not only located in the heart of San Francisco, where Chinatown and North Beach meet, it is "The Heart of San Francisco" where, in a very real way, Heaven and Earth meet like no other place in The 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 it all 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." This 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 heard the voice of Jesus Christ, and St. Mary of the Angels of the Little Portion-the Porziuncola.
I hope that, through your online visit to The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, you will experience something of the reverence and tranquility and blessings that people find here when they enter our doors. I invite you to take the virtual tours, light a candle, ask for our prayers, and to return to this site often. Allow "The Heart of San Francisco" to become someplace where your own heart can find a haven of rest. Yes, leave your heart in San Francisco!
I 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. But even if you cannot give anything at this time, know that you are always welcome to visit us and to support our work with your prayers. We thank you for your generosity of spirit.
October Shrine Re-Opening Events
Friday, October 3rd
Daily Mass in the Chapel at 12:15
The Transitus in the Chapel at 7:00pm
What is the Transitus?
Each year on the third evening of October, we ritually remember the passing of Francis of Assisi from this life into God, through devotional prayer that is familiar to all Franciscans and which has survived the test of the last three decades. The Transitus has become a significant and even a necessary annual event to ritually re-visit the story of Francis's passing, which most consider vital since it specifies the living memory of Francis and intensifies our commitment to follow Christ in the ways of our poor man of Assisi.
Saturday, October 4th
First Saturday Re-opening of the Church and Rededication Mass with Archbishop Cordileone at 11:00am. Please join us in celebration at a Mass offered on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 11:00am, on the Feast of Saint Francis, when Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will re-dedicate the National Shrine of Saint Francis for its continued purpose as a sacred place of pilgrimage for the people of San Francisco and the World.
As we enter the next phase of a long and sacred life as the oldest existing Archdiocesan church in San Francisco, which was built in 1849 as the first parish church in California after the original missions; rebuilt in 1859 to accommodate enormous population growth due to the gold and silver rush; reconstructed with its mighty surviving walls after being gutted in the earthquake and fires of 1906; and now beautifully renovated with a granite floor due to the generous contribution of an anonymous benevolent donor, it becomes easy to understand why the National Shrine Church of Saint Francis is known as the "Heart of San Francisco."
We graciously welcome you, and God bless.
Sunday, October 5th
First Sunday Mass in our Re-opened National Shrine of Saint Francis Church at 11:00am
Friday, October 31st.
Relic Tour Mass at 12:15 in the Church
Relic Tour Mass at 7:00pm in the Church
The National Shrine of Saint Francis, in conjunction with both the Friars from the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua and the Anthonian Association of the USA and Canada, is proud to offer everyone the memorable and perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this wonderful Relic of Saint Anthony of Padua.
This wonderful Relic Tour occurs only at the National Shrine on the eve of All Saints' and All Souls’ Days. Please join us in welcoming Saint Anthony's worldwide traveling companion, Friar Mario Conte, Executive Editor of The Messenger of Saint Anthony in Padua, with Anna Marziliano of the Toronto office and Tom Muscatello of the New York office.
Church Renovation Project
Our Hall is under renovation again and this current phase should be finished by October 4th. Please, if you know anyone who would like to have a baby grand piano, please have them contact the rectory at 415 986-4557.
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 St. 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.