St Francis Relics: Life and Deeds of the Legendary Catholic Saint
St Francis relics are sacred objects related to Saint Francis of Assisi (birth name – Giovanni Francesco di Pietro Bernardone). He is one of the most revered religious figures in the history of Christianity. Despite being a Roman Catholic saint, Saint Francis is also highly worshipped by many Orthodox believers who purchase his wonderworking relics at numerous relics stores. Among the most remarkable accomplishments of this saint is the foundation of the mendicant order that still exists today – the Franciscans. Besides, Saint Francis founded such monastic orders as the Order of Saint Clare and the Third Order.
Saint Francis of Assisi was born in the late 12th century in Assisi, Italy, in the family of a prosperous merchant Pietro Bernardone. Legend has it that his mother, Pica, came from a noble French family de Bourlemont.
After taking part in the war between Assisi and Perugia in 1202 and getting into captivity, Saint Francis decided to follow the path of serving the Lord. A few years after his release, he initiated the reconstruction of the St. Damian Catholic Church. To achieve this goal, the saint secretly sold goods from his father’s shop, which eventually got him into conflict with his family. In response, Francis of Assisi left the home of his parents and publicly renounced the inheritance. Thus began his journey as a righteous man, which would make St Francis relics some of the most desired holy items in the world centuries later.
In the early 13th century, the revered saint attended a service in the church where the Gospels were read. Under the influence of those miraculous words, Francis decided to turn into a dedicated follower of the Messiah. Francis of Assisi devoted himself to the preaching of holy poverty. He wore a tunic made of a rough cloth, belted with a rope with three knots – according to the number of vows taken by the saint – poverty, obedience, and chastity. He ate scraps and gave his clothes to beggars and lepers.
In 1224, Francis witnessed an incredible vision – Jesus Christ Himself appeared as a Seraphim to him. After that, the stigmata appeared on the saint’s body, mimicking the wounds of the crucified Savior. This marvelous legend is also the reason why Saint Francis of Assisi relics are so popular these days.
Soon after the appearance of the stigmata, Francis’ chronic diseases acquired during his pilgrimage worsened, and the founder of the Franciscan order became unable to preach. He died near one of the temples in Porciúncula. The saint was buried in the St. George’s Church, and after a while, the particles of St Francis relics became the property of numerous Italian cathedrals.
In the late 1220s, Pope Gregory IX beatified this pious man as a Saint of the Catholic Church. A couple of years later, the body of the Roman Catholic saint was moved to a basilica in the Sacro Convento monastery explicitly built in his honor. The exact burial place was concealed. In the late 1810s, St Francis relics were found intact and placed in the crypt under the main altar of the Basilica, where they still are to this day.