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Feast of the Dedication of the Papal Basilica of San Francesco


Thursday, May 24, 2018 celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, home of the entire Franciscan family.
The program of the celebrations begins Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:00 PM with First Vespers of the Feast in the Lower Church, preceded by the rite of lighting.


On Thursday, May 24th at 7:30 AM there will be a welcome in the Lower Square of the Basilica and procession to the Upper Church for the celebration of the Eucharist in the Upper Church at 8:00 AM.
At 7:30 PM Solemn Vespers will be celebrated in the Lower Church. On this occasion the figure of Brother Elias, companion of St. Francis and his successor will be presented. The second centenary of the discovery of the mortal remains of St. Francis (1818 -2018) will also be commemorated.
Brother Elias, companion, confidant, vicar of Francis and Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, was responsible between 1228 and 1230 for the construction of the sepulchral Basilica which houses the body of Saint Francis in the Lower Church and between 1232 and 1239, the completion of the Upper Basilica.


At 5:45 PM in the Papal Hall of the Sacred Convent a Round Table entitled: Friar Elia: From Companion to Heir of Francis; will be held. Leading experts of Franciscanism will lead the discussion: the Bishop of Benevento, His Excellency, Felice Accrocca, former professor of History of the Medieval Church at the Pontifical Gregorian University and of Franciscanism at the Theological Institute of Assisi; Professor Giovanni Grado Merlo, Director of the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Milan and President of the International Society of Franciscan Studies based in Assisi; Fr. Luigi Pelligrini, O.F.M.Cap., Professor of Medieval History at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Chieti and of the History of Franciscanism at the Theological Institute of Assisi; Fr. Pietro Messa, O.F.M., Professor of History of Franciscanism and Dean of the Franciscan School of Studies of the Pontifical University Antonianum; Fr. Felice Autieri, O.F.M.Conv., Professor of Church History at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Naples and of the History of Franciscanism at the Theological Institute of Assisi.
The day will end at 8:45 PM in the Papal Hall of the Sacred Convent with the presentation and screening of the docu-fiction Saint Francis and Brother Elias – His Friar Minister. This is the fourth episode realized by the Cultural Association Laurus, within the series The Birth of Franciscanism, a project born in 2008 to recount the story of Saint Francis through the eyes, life and works of his first companions. The production of the docu-fiction, written and directed by Fabrizio Benincampi (who has produced DVD’s, respectively on Friar Bernardo, Friar Leone and Saint Clare), was made possible thanks to the testimony of some of the leading exponents and scholars of Franciscanism.


The Custos of the Sacred Convent will participate at the Round Table and in the presentation and projection of the documentary-fiction, Fr. Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M.Conv., the Bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, His Excellency Domenico Sorrentino, the Mayor of Assisi, Stefania Proietti, and the Mayor of Cortona, Francesca Basanieri.

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