The places of Basilica

The tomb of St. Francis, a destination every year for millions of pilgrims from all over the world, is a simple stone sarcophagus enclosed within a stone pillar, located under the main altar of the Lower Church of the Basilica. The body of the saint was transferred into the Basilica constructed in his honor on May 25, 1230.

The crypt chapel itself where you may now visit St. Francis' tomb was excavated from solid rock and made ready for visitation by 1820. Around Francis' tomb can be found niches in which are placed the remains of four disciples of the Saint: Leo, Masseo, Rufino and Angelo. Between the two sets of stairs that descend into the crypt chapel can be found the remains of Jacopa de' Settesoli, a Roman benefactor and dear friend of the saint, whom Francis called Brother Jacopa.

In front of the Tomb of the Saint at the foot of the stairwell burns a votive lamp kept lit by oil donated every year on October 4th, the Feast of Saint Francis, by the faithful of different alternating regions of Italy. On October 4, 2019, the oil was donated by the Region of Tuscany. On the lamp itself can be found a verse from Dante, taken from the XXVI song of Paradise: "Of his light this is but a ray".