During the night between the 3rd and the 4th of October 1226, Francis of Assis leaves his earthly life to join the embrace of Jesus, to whom he dedicated the last 20 years of his life. On July of the year 1228, also pressured by the people's voice, Pope Gregory IX elects him to Sainthood, and the 4th of October becomes the day of his Feast and Celebration. The 18th of July 1939, Pope Pius XII proclaims him Patron of Italy, stating "the most italian of saints and the holier of italians".
The 4th of October, therefore, is a particular day for the Catholic Church and for Italy. Even more particular for the sites located in Umbria, Tuscany, Marche and Lazio. For these sites, it's a feast with solemn celebrations. La Verna, after Assisi, is the most representative site for Saint Francis, because here he obtained the Stigmas, the 17th of September 1224. Because of this big event, La Verna became, during the centuries, the Franciscan Sanctuary known worldwide. This place connects not only a religious vibe, but also art, architecture and nature. Everything on and around the "crudo sasso intra Tevero e Arno" (the raw rock between Tevero and Arno; Dante, Divina Commedia, Paradiso, canto XI) creates a miraculous and incredible place.
Normally, the 4th of October, Saint Francis holiday, is a day like the others at la Verna, with the usual Mass at 11 and the usual Ora IX Procession between 15 and 15:30. At the same time, however, is a particular day for the huge amount of people that reach the place with cars, autobus, and by feet, walking for some or many kilometers. Particular also for the presence of many civil and religious authorities. Everything in this day is amplified, even the figure of the Poor Man of Assisi, which wants and must stay synonymous of poverty and humbleness, becomes big.
The pages of this web section show the Saint Francis of Verna Feast (4th October 2015) into two principal moments of devotion and people affluence: the solemn Mass at 11, celebrated by the Bishop of Arezzo, and the Ora IX Procession, between the Basilica and the Stigma's Chapel, and vice versa between 15 and 15:30. The people also reach the Sanctuary the day before, and there stay until the night of the 4th, in order to celebrate other religious functions e to enjoy the day under the blessing of Saint Francis.