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Sanctuary of La Foresta

The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Foresta, located five kilometers from Rieti, stands majestically in the center of a picturesque valley, surrounded by lush chestnut and oak forests. This sacred place took on special significance when, in the summer of 1225, St. Francis of Assisi arrived there seeking refuge and medical care for his ailing eyes. Welcomed by the priest who guarded the small church of St. Fabian, the saint was fervently welcomed by the people of the region, who flocked to see him, touch him and receive his blessings. The priest’s generosity, offering them grapes from his vineyard, did not go unnoticed, even though he feared losing the harvest due to the excessive presence of visitors. According to the stories, thanks to Francis’ intercession, the harvest was abundant, allowing the priest to produce wine of excellent quality.

In this place, where faith is intertwined with the beauty of creation, St. Francis is said to have found the inspiration to express his deep love for all creatures in his “Canticle of the Creatures,” a poetic ode to the divine harmony present in every living being and in every element of nature. The presence of Lorenzo Ferri’s marble monument, which depicts the saint raising his hands to heaven in a gesture of gratitude and praise, evokes the ongoing reverence for creation that permeated the spirit of St. Francis, reminding us of the importance of preserving and honoring the sacred bond between man and the natural world.


  • Address
    Via Foresta 30, Rieti, Italy
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    Everyday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 18:30
  • What to see
    Sculpture of st Francis

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