“When Saint Francis was in Rieti, he was a guest in the home of Tebaldo Saraceno for a few days for the cure of his eyes…”
Legend of Perugia, 24. Fonti Francescane. Editio Minor, Assisi, Movimento Francescano, 1986.
Sources narrate that Saint Francis stayed in the city of Rieti many times starting from 1219. During his sojourn in the city, he was in close contact with the Curia of Honorius III. At a crucial moment during the development of his Order, Saint Francis sought the consensus of the Pope and his court in Rieti.
The sacred sites that testify to Saint Francis’ presence in Rieti are the imposing Papal Palace and, according to local tradition, an oratory at the Santa Croce hospital. The grandiose Church of Saint Francis was built over the oratory. Work began on the church in 1245 and it was finished by 1253.
The city played backdrop to numerous episodes and miracles that prove Saint Francis’ profound love of art and all creatures. The miracle of the cither, a tribute to spirituality and music, took place in the Papal Palace. The episode of the gift of the cloak to the women who was poor and blind occurred at the oratory, further testimony of the poor Saint who loved the poor.