On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the faithful gathered at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, to honor the beloved Italian saint and celebrate the 800th anniversary of the approval of the Rule of St. Francis (1223) and the creation of the Nativity scene in Greccio.
Franciscan Friar Marco Moroni welcomed the crowd made up of religious people, representatives of the Italian government, civil and military authorities, and pilgrims from the Aosta Valley, a region in Italy that was chosen to donate the oil for the lamp burning before the tomb of St. Francis this year.
“St. Francis, who loved to call himself ‘little one,’ allows us to welcome you all here in the basilica, and that gives me great pleasure indeed,” Friar Marco said.
Friar Marco also shared a message from Pope Francis for the occasion. The Holy Father sent his warm regards to all those gathered in Assisi and asked for their prayers.
“I send warm greetings to you and to the gathered friars and to the faithful and administrators of the Aosta Valley gathered in Assisi. I pray for you; please do it for me. May the Lord bless you and may Our Lady keep you,” the Holy Father wrote.