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Tomb of St. Francis of Assisi to reopen after renovations

April 08, 2011

The tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, located under the altar of the basilica in that town, will reopen on April 9, after several weeks of renovations.

The bronze coffin and the surrounding stone have been polished for the first time since the remains of St. Francis were interred there in 1818. (St. Francis had originally been buried in a simple stone sarcophagus; his body was moved into a more elaborate tomb almost 6 centuries later.) The renovations had begun in February and completed quickly by crews working day and night shifts.

The tomb will be opened in time for a meeting of Franciscan leaders from around the world. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, will preside at Mass in the basilica.


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