According to tradition, St. Francis of Assisi founded the Convento of Scarzuola in 1218, near Montegiove, and he made a miracle. A fountain rose from the place where he had planted a rose and a laurel. The name of the convent derives from the "scarza", a marsh plant with which the saint built his hut.
Francis of Assisi, who is particularly worshipped in Umbria but who is known worldwide for his work, is one of the main figures of the medieval Christianity. He was the founder of one of the most orthodox monastic orders, which is also one of the most faithful to the Church.
He was born in 1182 by a very rich family, but he soon abandoned everything to live in poverty and pray. His biography reads that the crucifix in the Church of San Damiano talked to him and led him to the way of sanctity. Since then, Francis started a series of Pilgrimages around Umbria.
Among the most famous episodes of his life, there is the one of Gubbio, when he tamed a wolf and convinced him to abandon the town. This and more deeds soon earned him some followers.
In 1210, the Church formally recognized his order. In 1224 he received the stigmata, symbol of holiness. He died two years later. The importance of this figure in the Italian history lies not only on his incredible life and on the memory he left in Christianity, but also on the fact that he was one of the first who wrote in the "vulgar" tongue and whose works are known. In effect, he is the author of the "Cantico delle Creature", written in the last years of his life, that glorifies the perfection of the creation in all his aspects. No wonder, therefore, if his presence in any place of Umbria, even if ephemeral, is exalted and remembered with authentic devotion.
In 1282, in order to celebrate the legendary arrival of St. Francis of Assisi, the nobleman Nerio di Bulgaruccio, belonging to the Counts of Montegiove, ordered the construction of a church with an oratory, just where St. Francis's hut was raised. The Frati Minori were entrusted this construction and worked to embellish it and dedicated it to St. Annunziata. Therefore, the convent of the Scarzuola was built near the church. The friars abandoned it at the end of the XVIII century. The marquises Misciattelli from Orvieto took it, while in 1956 the architect Tommaso Buzzi bought the complex and built the Città Buzziana near it. The apse of the church was discovered in 1996 as well as a fresco of the first half of the XIII century.
The historians of art consider it one the first portraits of St. Francis while he is in a state of levitation.