A group of Franciscan monks in Rome is turning to Kickstarter to finance the restoration of the tiny cell where St. Francis is said to have stayed when visiting Rome between 1209 and 1223. The cell is located inside the complex of the Church of San Francesco a Ripa, in the heart of Trastevere.
$125,000 would be required to restore the walls, the ceiling, the old wooden floor, the frescoes, Francis’ portrait dating back to the 13th century and the stone St. Francis used as a cushion. The restoration would also include new electrical and ventilation systems.
The deadline to raise the funds is April 11; at the moment, the monks have pledged almost $95,000.
If all goes as planned, the restoration work is expected to be completed in September, with the inauguration on October 4, the feast of St. Francis, patron saint of Italy.
Besides gratitude, donors will be rewarded with a series of gadgets, from a keychain with the inscription “Pace e bene” (Pax et bonum) to t-shirts and mouse pads with the image of St. Francis. They will also have their names inscribed on a panel located at the entrance of the cell.
If you want to contribute, you can access the Kickstarter page here, where you will also find detailed information about the cell and the project.