The Testimonium Viae Francisci is the religious document certifying the completed pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Francis in Assisi. Its origins can be traced to the penitential and judicial pilgrimages of the Middle Ages, which were long journeys – dangerous and expensive – undertaken to serve a sentence delivered by a judge or as an act of penitence by a confessor; the certificate served as proof that the pilgrim had arrived at the destination and could receive absolution or remission of the legal or religious sentence. Today it no longer has this use (though
Spain, Belgium, and Italy are experimenting with “judicial pilgrimages”), but is instead a personal memento of the completed journey. The Testimonium can be framed and hung in clear view once home as a constant reminder of the pilgrimage, and of the values discovered and emotions experienced along the way.
The certificate can be issued only upon completing the final 75 km on foot (150 km by bike) before reaching the tomb of the saint in Assisi. (The Cammino di Santiago and the Via Francigena require 100 km on foot and 200 km by bike). The stamps and dates on the Credentials serve as proof of having completed this requirement. The Testimonium Viae Francisci is issued by the religious authorities in Assisi – Bishop, Custos of the Sacred Convent, and Guardian of the Porziuncola Convent – and printed in collaboration with the Region of Umbria.
How do I obtain the Testimonium?
Obviously, the Testimonium can be issued only in Assisi – the Way’s final destination – and only in person. There are three offices where pilgrims present their Credentials, are registered, and receive the Testimonium:
Basilica Papale di San Francesco d’Assisi e Sacro Convento
Information Office, piazza Inferiore di San Francesco, 2 – 06081 Assisi (PG) – Tel. 075.819001
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola
Information Office, piazza Porziuncola, 1 – 06088 Santa Maria degli Angeli (PG) – Tel. 075.8051430 – Fax 075.8051418
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. Mon to Sat
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. Sun and Holidays (at the Museum)
Diocesi di Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino
Segreteria della Curia Vescovile, piazza Vescovado, 3 – 06081 Assisi (PG) – Tel. 075.812483 – Fax 075.8198805
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to noon Mon to Fri