Welcome to the website of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and its beautiful Lady Chapel, La 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 Lady Chapel 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 always welcome to visit us and to support our work with your prayers. We thank you for your generosity of spirit.
From our "Heart" to yours and wishing you Pax et Bonum, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Gregory Coiro, O.F.M.Cap., Rector
A Quiet Place ~ In San Francisco, among the cafes and restaurants of North Beach, there is a special spiritual refuge. The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, which welcomes all people, provides a place of beauty, peace and reflection in a hectic city. For an additional Video about the the shrine, visit our "Pilgrimage Page".
It is the purpose of the community of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi:
- To offer spiritual nourishment, reconciliation and an encounter with God's love to all people who enter;
- To provide a rich experience of the sacramental life of the Church for the faithful who come seeking grace;
- To reach out to communities of faith and social organizations throughout the nation by bringing them the insights of Franciscan theology, Franciscan spirituality and perspective on peace.