Name of Church National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi
Address 610 Vallejo Street, San Francisco, CA 94133-3917
Phone number (415) 986-4557
Hours The main church is open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Lady Chapel (La Porziuncola Nuova) a replica of the church St. Francis built 800 years ago, is open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. It contains a rock that tradition says St. Francis handled himself. Mass is held in The Lady Chapel a couple times per year; attend on August 2 and you are eligible to receive an indulgence, under the usual conditions. The gift shop is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday.
Mass Monday – Saturday, 12:15 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m., in the main church.
Confessions Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – noon, and by appointment.
Names of priests Fr. John De La Riva, OFM Cap., Rector. In years past, a group of priests lived at the church. Today, Fr. De La Riva is the only priest regularly there. He often greets pilgrims, and is otherwise around most days.
Special activities Rosary and chaplet in The Lady Chapel, Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. ; Padre Pio prayer group on First Saturdays.
Parking You’re in the heart of the City of San Francisco, so parking is a challenge. The shrine has no parking lot. Look for free street parking, or there are parking garages nearby. You can also take public transportation.
Cry room None, but kids are most welcome.
Additional observations The Shrine is located in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, in the North Beach area, not far from Fisherman’s Wharf (the famous Saints Peter and Paul Church is two blocks away). The church began as St. Francis Parish in 1849, the year before California became a state and San Francisco was incorporated as a city.
The church was first a small wooden shack, and was then replaced by an adobe structure. Bishop of Monterey Joseph Alemany used the church as his cathedral for three years and held California’s first ordination to the priesthood there. The current church building, a Norman Gothic church, was completed in 1860. The church survived the 1906 earthquake, but was severely burned in the subsequent fires.
A new church was rebuilt within the original church walls; it was rededicated in 1919. It was scheduled for closure 20 years ago, but the archdiocese opted instead to make it a shrine. Hence, it is no longer a regular parish church. It is an attractive structure, featuring unique stained glass windows, colorful murals and beautiful statues. It is also home to relics of St. Francis, St. Clare of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua. It welcomes pilgrims and visitors for prayer and meditation.
The church is a California historical landmark, and was named a shrine in 1999. There are indulgences attached associated with visiting the shrine; see the website for information. Also, take a virtual tour on the website. For a glimpse at the shrine’s history and recent renovation, click here.