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Dr.ssa Assunta Orlando (Journalist/Publicist)
M° Antonio Caruso (Artist and Logo Designer)

The non-profit Foundation, registered with the Canadian government, and known as “San Francesco di Paola nel Mondo”, (St Francis of Paola in the World), was started by the journalist Assunta Orlando. In her research to find the number of immigrants that return each year to visit Italy, their country of birth, she discovered that St. Francesco of Paola is venerated in many countries. We owe this to the Order of Minim Friars, whose presence can be found all over the world, and to the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who in discovering new colonies in the New World also built shrines dedicated to St. Francis.

Wherever they went, immigrants brought their devotion to St. Francis with them, along with their values and traditions. The Italian community abroad in fact, continues to religiously and socially celebrate many feast days of their patron saints. These gatherings result from a need to be together. It also represents an occasion for the building of community that reminds the faithful of the rituals and festivals from their places of birth.

Given the numerous religious celebrations, one that stands out worldwide is those festivities honoring St. Francis. This is especially true because St. Francis, late in life, went to France and died there away from his country of birth.

To mark the fifth century after his death, and to send out a message about the importance of community and brotherhood, it was decided to start the Foundation in his name, and to improve communication among the various groups of Italian origin, with special emphasis on reaching out to young people who are the future of the Italian immigrant community all over the world.

The Foundation’s main initiative is to promote a sense of belonging among all those who are devoted to St. Francis of Paola, both in Italy and abroad. Furthermore, it aims to accomplish this by establishing communication links based on co-operation and on the principle of solidarity both social and ecclesial.

  • To acknowledge and strengthen co-operation among Italian communities in different parts of the world, and thus establishing an international network of solidarity and collaboration.
  • To facilitate the formation of groups whose initiative is to help those in need, as well as promoting cultural and social works.
  • To promote any initiative that proposes to deepen our social, spiritual and cultural understanding of St. Francis of Paola.
  • To create an international network so that communication can take place among the world associations, honoring and celebrating St. Francis at the international level.

Along with implementing the above goals, the Foundation will also promote:

  • Cultural student exchange programs between Canadian universities and other universities in different parts of the world;
  • Programs of research and study to see how best to plan projects of solidarity and aid;
  • To publicize our activities through books, magazines, films, radio, television and the internet;
  • Communication links among the various groups worldwide with the hope of establishing cultural-social exchanges;
  • Communication channels with religious orders both in Italy and elsewhere in the world;
  • The organization and development of programs, workshops, conferences, exhibitions and other events;
  • To establish the “San Francis of Paola in the World” award and facilitate this annual event so that it can be hosted by an association each year, in different parts of the world.
  • The award is to recognize those who have given an exemplary witness in promoting religious celebrations as well as initiatives fostering solidarity to honor and to remember St. Francis of Paola.

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