The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Francis

assisi-01-500 basilica   24th May  Feast

The Franciscan Friary  ( Sacro Convento) and the lower and upper church of Saint Francis were begun immediately after his canonisation in 1228.  Simone di Pucciarello donated the land for the church, a hill at the west side of Assisi, known as the “Hill of Hell” ( here the criminals were put to death) . Today , this hill is called the “Hill of Paradise”. The foundation stone was laid by Pope Gregory IX on 17th July 1228, although construction may have already begun. This impressive Church was designed and supervised by brother Elias Bombardone, one of the first followers of Saint Francis and the former provincial minister of Syria.  The lower Basilica was finished in 1230. On Pentecost 25th May 1230 the body of Saint Francis was brought from its temporary burial place in the Church of Saint George. The construction of the upper Basilica was begun in 1239.  Construction was completed in 1253. Pope Nicholas IV , the former Minister General of the Order of Franciscans, raised the church to the status of papal church in 1288

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