The Incredible Story of the Relics of St Francis of Assisi
As you know, Catholic reliquaries contain the relics of biblical figures, saints, and martyrs. Today, there is a host of religious artifacts stores selling sacred items, including relics of the most revered saints. One of such holy objects is the relics of St Francis of Assisi.
Saint Francis (Xavier of Assisi) was an outstanding saint, monk, missionary, and founder of the Franciscan Order named after him. His life and work marked a significant turning point in the formation of the ascetic ideal, which was one of the most critical stages in the development of Western monasticism. The saint is also considered the founder of particular mystical practices. Among other things, it is believed that the bleeding wounds known as stigmata appeared on the saint’s hands and feet during the highest religious tension. His wounds matched the wounds of the crucified Jesus Christ.
The procedure of the Saint Francis of Assisi relics’ examination was carried out several times, starting with the early 19th century. At the time when the remains of the venerated Catholic saint were kept in the Sacro Convento Monastery, this ritual was organized four times.
The first stage of the relics’ identification took place in 1818. Then, by order of Pope Pius VII, the remains of St Francis buried in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi were exhumed.
One of the excavation’s purposes was to examine the integrity of the relics of St Francis of Assisi. It is believed that in the 13th century, the saint’s remains were hidden by the architect Brother Elijah who built the temple in Assisi. He did that to prevent his holy companion’s relics scattering throughout medieval Europe. At the beginning of the 1800s, the remains were found intact and placed in a crypt under the main altar of the Lower Basilica where they are kept to this day.
In the late 1900s, the St Francis relics were re-examined and placed in an organic glass ark. These storage conditions remain unchanged until today. The next examination took place in the late 20th century when the laboratory analysis of the remains was carried out, confirming their excellent preservation. The last examination of the relics of St Francis of Assisi was conducted in the crypt of the Lower Church of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in March 2015.
St Francis is a widely revered Catholic saint, so it is no wonder that the relics of St Francis of Assisi are highly popular among believers. They can be found in the product range of the most credible relics stores, including The Russian Store in Boston.