Like all important pilgrim routes, Saint Francis’ Way offers Pilgrims’ Credentials and an official Certificate of Completion.
The Pilgrims’ Credentials is a religious travel document which each pilgrim carries for the length of their journey to attest to their identity, condition, and intentions. Throughout history, pilgrims departing on a journey of faith traveled with a letter composed in Latin from their parish priest, Bishop, or Rector of their religious fraternity to prove they were traveling for religious reasons and request lodgings at convents, hospitales, or other rooming houses run by religious communities or pious lay people along their route.
Today, the Credentials is a document issued by a religious authority which assumes responsability for the contents, and for this reason must be used responsibly and properly. This document distinguishes the true pilgrim from other travelers, and is necessary to take advantage of the Pilgrim Hospitality exclusive to pilgrims along the Way.
Many other accommodations offer special discounts to pilgrims who travel with Credentials. The Credentials can be stamped at the end of each leg or at the sites along the Way and presented in Assisi to receive the “Testimonium Viae Francisci” – the official Certificate of Completion of the Way – as is done in Santiago de Compostela for the Camino de Santiago or in Rome for the Via Francigena. The Pilgrims’ Credentials is not a legal identification document. As with other pilgrim routes, there are various Credentials in circulation. The official Pilgrims’ Credentials for Saint Francis’ Way, as depicted here, has been approved by the Umbrian Episcopal Conference and the main Franciscan Orders and is printed and circulated by the Region of Umbria.
How do I obtain the Credentials?
It is preferable to request and be issued the Credentials in person, taking advantage of the opportunity to discuss the reasons for your pilgrimage and the most beneficial way to undertake the journey. The Credentials can be requested:
- directly, from a number of convents and parishes along Saint Francis’ Way and across Italy by completing the provided form and meeting with the responsible religious authority.
- in those cases in which it is impossibile to request the Credentials in person, by downloading the form from the websites above and sending it, completed, by email to any of the Pilgrims’ Offices in Assisi or Perugia listed below. The Credentials will be sent by post.