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Feast of Our Lady of the Angels: The Plenary Indulgence

In his early days of conversion, St. Francis of Assisi rebuilt a few churches in the vicinity of Assisi. One such Church is called the Portiuncula or the Little Portion which is dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels. It is in this church that St. Clare of Assisi received her habit from St. Francis and she together with other sisters began her Order which is today known as Order of Poor Clares. This Church has a special place in the life of St. Francis. He used to say to his friars, “See to it, my sons, that you never leave this place. If you are driven out by one door return by the other for this is truly a holy place and God’s dwelling.” Today the Church of Portiuncula is situated inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels roughly 5 km from Assisi, Italy.

In the days of St. Francis, the faithful could avail a plenary indulgence by visiting one of the three Churches: Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem), St. Peter’s (Rome) or Santiago de Compostela (Spain). It is inspiring to know how the Church of Our Lady of the Angels – Portiuncula became another Church to obtain the plenary indulgence.

The tradition has it that while St. Francis was in his little room mourning over his sins and the sins of the humanity, an angel appeared before him and led him to the Church of Our Lady of the Angels where our Lord Jesus appeared in the company of His mother Virgin Mary and a host of Angels who had all descended into the little Church. St. Francis prostrated before the Lord and adored Him. Lord Jesus in turn asked St. Francis to request for any favour. Mustering all the courage, St. Francis pleaded with the Lord that every sinner who visited this church with a sincere contrition of the heart and confession of sins should receive complete mercy and pardon. Lord Jesus granted the privilege that St. Francis so humbly requested.

Without a delay, St. Francis proceeded to Pope Honorius III. Upon meeting the Pope, St. Francis narrated the vision and beseeched the Pope to proclaim that all who visited the Church of Our Lady of the Angels confessing their sins with the contrite heart would obtain the complete pardon from the Lord Jesus. Pope Honorius who was initially surprised by what St. Francis asked, became convinced by the truth of St. Francis’ words granted the petition. Pope then declared the solemn consecration of the Little Church and the plenary indulgence for 2nd August.

A plenary indulgence is the remission, through the merits of Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven. The plenary of indulgence or the Pardon of Assisi could be obtained from noon on August 1st to midnight August 2nd. This privilege continued to be granted even to this day. This plenary indulgence is now extended to the churches where the friars live and minister and one’s own parish church.

To gain the indulgence, the person must visit the church with a genuine intention to gain the indulgence.

1. Receive sacramental confession (8 days before or after)
2. Receive the Holy Eucharist at Holy Mass on August 2nd
3. Enter the parish church and, with a contrite heart, pray the Our Father, Apostles’ Creed, and Pray for the intentions of the Pope (prayerfully saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary will suffice although other prayers may be said).

This is a significant feast day for all Franciscans and is commemorated in all the Franciscan churches throughout the world. We shall avail this Portuincula indulgence which is a great grace and obtain God’s pardon and mercy and renew our lives.

Br. John Sekar OFM

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS

ST. FRANCIS

FRIARS' BIRTHDAY (September)

Date

Name of the Friars

Events

Year

02

+ Matthew Walsh

Jayaseelan P.R.

Home

Ordination

1969

2001

04

+ Kentigern Stuart

Home

1995

08

Arokiam John

Tom John

Arockiasamy P.

Niranjan Toppo

Birth

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Birth

1976

1999

1999

1993

09

Salun Kispotta

Birth

1995

10

Athanasius Xaxa

Birth

1959

11

+ Paulinus van Halderen

Home

1999

13

Bangalore Friary

+ Vincent Roy

John Sekar

Blessing

Home

Birth

1952

1959

1982

14

Anthony Pushparaj

Birth

1976

15

+ Fidelis Magee

Home

1979

17

Stigmata of Francis

Varghese Sebastian

Richard D’ Silva

Assisi Illam Dindigul

Feast

Birth

Solemn Vows

Blessing


1947

1956

2010

18

Joseph of Cupertino

Feast


19

Mesia Elias Moses M.

Birth

1973

20

Tom John

Birth

1961

23

Padre Pio

+ John Forest Hogan

A.J.Mathew Joseph

Feast

Home

Birth


1962

1989

24

Shalom Friary –Hyderabad

Blessing

1995

25

Sagaya Soosairaj

Birth

1968

26

+ Fabian D’ Souza

Home

2010

27

+ Conrad Gomes

Home

1993

28

Nicholas D’ Souza

Lourdu Augustine

Pradeep Anthony L.

Birth

Birth

Birth

1945

1976

1992

29

Sushil Beck

Salim Baxla

Birth

Birth

1973

1974