Historic Exhibition of St. Francis of Assisi
Manuscripts At Brooklyn Borough Hall
First Public Display In The United States
BROOKLYN, NY, December 10, 2014: Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced a historic exhibition at Brooklyn Borough Hall of numerous 12th and 13th-century manuscripts from St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most significant figures in the history of organized religion; Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit New York City next year, took his papal name in honor of his commitment to the poor. This is the first time these artifacts have left Italy in 700 years, and it is currently the only scheduled opportunity for the public to view these documents in the United States; they have been on private display at the United Nations since mid-November. Interest in viewing the exhibition has come from across the country as well as abroad, with many planning special visits to Brooklyn to take advantage of this unique cultural opportunity.
In photo: Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announces a historic exhibition at Brooklyn Borough Hall of numerous 12th- and 13th-century manuscripts from St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most significant figures in the history of organized religion; he is joined by (from left to right) Antonella Villa of the Associazione Culturale Antiqua, Brother William Boslet, superior general of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, and Joe Chirico of Marco Polo Ristorante. Photo Credit: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP’s Office
“Brooklyn is well-versed in making history, and history is certainly being made with our first-ever public display in the United States of the manuscripts of St. Francis of Assisi, a figure universally known and appreciated regardless of the borders drawn among our various affiliations,” said Borough President Adams. “On this occasion, the first time these artifacts have left Italy in 700 years, we have an opportunity to celebrate their cultural significance and reflect upon the messages in these texts, including empathy for all creatures and a love for the poor and needy in our society. These values are the values of One Brooklyn, which we work to embody in our diverse and dynamic communities.”
Borough President Adams thanked all involved in making the exhibition possible, including the Office of the Mayor, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the New York City Police Department, the Associazione Culturale Antiqua, which is organizing the display, Joe Chirico of Marco Polo Ristorante, who helped bring the exhibit to Brooklyn, as well as supportive local organizations like the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn.
“For us, organizing the exhibition was an emotional experience, as well as a real challenge,” said Antonella Villa of the Associazione Culturale Antiqua. “Working on original St. Francis pieces was like a dream. It’s exciting; it’s history in your hands. We thought we needed a place for the people, because Francis was the man of the people, so [there is no] better place than Brooklyn Borough Hall to let the people come here for free.”
“We thank [Borough President Adams] for what he does for Brooklyn, thank you for hosting this exhibition,” said Chirico. “I’m very proud that this happened, and I’m very proud to do it in Brooklyn.”
“Needless to say, we are thrilled to have this exhibit here in Brooklyn,” said Brother William Boslet, superior general of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn. “Many of the values of St. Francis are very appropriate in this day and age. We are thrilled that the Borough President and the borough of Brooklyn are highlighting and exhibiting these manuscripts with the hope of spreading these values to the people of Brooklyn and beyond.”
Photo: A poster showcasing the hours of operations for a historic exhibition at Brooklyn Borough Hall of numerous 12th and 13th-century manuscripts from St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most significant figures in the history of organized religion, is pictured at an announcement of the exhibition by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, whose likeness is also featured on the poster. Photo Credit: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP’s Office
The exhibition is scheduled to run from Wednesday, December 17th until Wednesday, January 14th, and it is free to the general public. Hours of operation can be found on www.brooklyn-usa.org. Groups of ten or more should contact Brooklyn Borough Hall to arrange a tour, either by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (718) 802-4042. Photography or videography will not be permitted for this exhibition.
The exhibition includes 19 manuscripts and papal documents dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, on the Saint of Assisi, from the Old Fund of the Public Library in the Library of the Sacred Convent of St. Francis in Assisi. Among the artifacts are unique and rare pieces of art, including the oldest copy of the writings of the Saint, Codex 338, which in addition to containing the text of the Rule of the Friars Minor collects the original draft of The Canticle of the Creatures.
Press office of the President of the Borough of Brooklyn, Eric L. Adams