From Fra Cecilio to the present.

The story of Opera San Francesco and its founding in Milan is also the story of Fra Cecilio Cortinovis (1885-1984), the porter of the convent in viale Piave who dedicated his life to the poor.

In fact, it is said that particularly during times of war he would knock on every door asking for bread for the poor, donating his word and his prayers in exchange. For years he would give out soup from the door of the convent to those who had nothing, representing a source of comfort and dependable support for the poor at times of great difficulty.

Thanks to him and the generosity and farsightedness of industrialist Emilio Grignani, the first structure by the name of Opera San Francesco per i Poveri was opened on 20 December 1959.

This organised and efficient canteen was able to offer dignified hospitality for those that needed somewhere to enjoy a hot meal.

Cecilio passed away in 1984, just before his 100th birthday. Since then, his brothers, the Friars Capuchin, with the precious and irreplaceable contribution of volunteers and the support of donors, have continued his work according to the Franciscan values of hospitality also reaffirmed in the Articles of Association.

For over 60 years, Opera San Francesco has been committed to offering the best possible services to people on the breadline and continues to improve and expand its support to meet the growing needs of the community in which it operates. To see the most recent OSF figures, check out the Social Report.

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