San Francesco greeted the townspeople with “Pax et bonum” (“peace and goodwill”) as he wandered the labyrinthine Assisi backstreets preaching in the early 13th- century.
His greeting lives on in the town.
As you stroll Assisi today, walk bi-focally, so to speak: one eye down so as not to lose your footing and one eye up to catch all the details on the walls and on the rooftops (the chimneys!).
Over the Gothic pointed arches of many an Assisi entryway, you’ll see a colorful maiolica “pax et bonus” plaque.
A “pax et bonus” greeting flanks many a window or doorway – or the greeting might be in Italian, rather than Latin, “pace e bene.”
You might see a plaque above a family crest, near an image of San Francesco – and many a store displays an array of plaques in rainbow colors.
The first “pax et bonum” plaques appeared in 1926 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the beloved patron saint of Italy, Francesco.
The Saint’s greeting lives on in Assisi, “la citta’ della pace.”
Click here for more on “pax et bonus” – and the new Pope!