San Francisco, California, USA
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s historic North Beach district, Saint Francis of Assisi Church today continues to build upon its historical mission. No longer a parish, the church has become the NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI and as such bears witness to Christ within the beautiful city named for the poor troubadour of God.
The contemporary ministry of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi invites pilgrims, visitors, and all people of faith to encounter God’s love in its sanctuary of quiet and prayer. Moreover, the Shrine offers a rich experience of the sacramental life of the Church for the Catholic faithful who come seeking spirituality, faith, and grace.
The Shrine Church, a place of sanctity, beauty, and quiet, rejoices in its beautiful architecture, colorful murals and stained-glass windows, and holy relics of the Franciscan saints Francis and Clare of Assisi and Anthony of Padua. Please watch the following video OLD SHRINE to hear about the recent renovation and history of the church.
The church itself is open from 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM every day, during which time the Capuchin Franciscan rector is present to welcome pilgrims and visitors.
Along the aisles the prayerful pilgrim will find individual saints and images: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, San Damiano Cross, Christ the King, The Pieta, St. Rita, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Anne, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of the Angels, and St. Clare.
At the front of the church, and surrounding the altar of repose, exquisite murals executed by the Italian fin-de-siècle painter and illustrator Luigi Brusatori vividly portray the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Throughout the length of the church radiant stained-glass windows depict Gospel events.
The church also rejoices in its acclaimed pipe organ, installed in 1926 by the Schoenstein Organ Company of San Francisco. This magnificent instrument was recently enlarged in 1993 and is a regular voice in all of the National Shrine’s liturgical celebrations.
On 1 October 1972, the California Historical Society dedicated the church as an historical landmark.
Throughout its history as a parish, nineteen priests served as pastors of Saint Francis of Assisi Church.
Through the Archbishop of San Francisco’s continued interest and intervention, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops granted to this church the title of the NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI in September of 1999.
The Conventual Franciscan Friars of Saint Joseph of Cupertino Province assumed the apostolic and sacramental ministry of the National Shrine until 2005. After several years under the care of Archdiocesan clergy, the care of the Shrine was entrusted to the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Provice of the Our Lady of Angels of the Porziuncola. Father Gregory Coiro, O.F.M.Cap., was appointed the first Capuchin rector by Archbishop George H. Niederauer on July 1, 2010.