The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi Immaculate was established in 1254, 26 years after its namesake was canonized. This bronze statue was erected in 1963. The Catholic friar significantly influenced the life of Saint Francis of Paola. He was born in 1416 to elderly parents because they prayed to the Italian saint. After living in a cave for several years, he founded the Hermits of Saint Francis of Assisi and established several monasteries. Among his miracles occurred in 1464 when he crossed the Strait of Messina while standing on his robe. Saint Francis of Paola is a patron saint of sailors.