The west panel of the Giotto cross vault over the principal altar of the Lower Basilica depicts Saint Francis in the glory of heaven.

It's the panel that the faces the faithful as they approach the altar from the nave: It is the holiness of Francis that attracts and guides them, centrally located as he is and seated on a finely adorned throne. He is richly dressed in a golden tunic: he, who made himself poor on earth for love of Jesus -- his feet are still bare under his royal robe -- so now enjoys all the eternal richness of God, symbolized by the gold color that dominates the entire vault. His face is serene, his large eyes gaze upwards in contemplation of God; his mouth is slightly open, as he sings God's praises accompanied by angels. Francis holds the book of the Gospels in his hand, while close by his stigmata also shine in golden light.

The standard of the Cross, which enlightened his whole life, rests on him. Overhead there is an inscription proclaiming him "Gloriosus Franciscus". Angels surround him, giving glory to God for his great holiness, some with trumpets and flutes.

To browse the brochure about the effort to conserve the frescoes on the vault over the presbytery of the Lower Basilica, please go to:
You may also contribute according to your means at:;
or at:

Thank you.