Rovinj represented an exception among the cities on the west coast by the lack of a Franciscan monastery during the first period of the existence of the order. Only at the end of the fifteenth century, the Diocese of San Geronimo decided to build one on the island of St. Andrew (Red Island) near Rovinj, upon the site of the Benedictine hospice and the church from the sixth century. According to tradition, the monastery was founded by St. John of Capistrano, a famous missionary engaged in the fight against the Turks. His body is kept in the Franciscan monastery of Ilok, in eastern Croatia.
In 1807, after nearly four centuries after its foundation, the monastery of Saint Andrew was closed by Napoleonic authorities.
In the early eighteenth century, the St. Anthony's Franciscan reformers built a new monastery in the north, in the continental part of the city, which was not yet connected to the mainland.
In 1696 the City Council invited the Franciscans to come to Rovinj to erect a new hospice. The approval of the Doge Alvise Mocenigo arrived in 1700 and two years later, in 1702 the construction of the church and hospice began. On that occasion, for the first time explosive was used in Rovinj to derive rock tanks for rainwater.