As everyone focuses on that “small portion” which, on 28 June, Pope Francis called “the beating heart of the order” of the Friars Minor, on 4 August the Pope will make this short pilgrimage, of less than three hours, to the Porziuncula. The small church is the site where, in 1209, St Francis of Assisi founded the Franciscan Order, and where, in 1216, the Saint obtained the approved indulgence of Pope Honorius III in a vision.
The Pope will arrive on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the Pardon of Assisi, which will be open two days before the solemn mass is celebrated by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia – Città della Pieve. The Pope’s visit will encompass three moments: the personal prayer in the Porziuncula, a meditation offered to all present, and finally a meeting with guest friars at the sanctuary’s provincial infirmary.
The Pope is scheduled to arrive by helicopter at approximately 3:40 pm in the Migaghelli sports field at Santa Maria degli Angeli, where Pope Francis will be welcomed by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi - Nocera Umbra - Gualdo Tadino, and by civil authorities. He will then be driven to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola. Here the Pope will be welcomed by Fr Michael Anthony Perry, Minister General of the Friars Minor, Father Claudio Durighetto, Provincial of Umbria, and Fr Rosario Gugliotta, custodian of the Porziuncula.
Inside the church there will be a moment of silent prayer, after which the Pope will give a meditation on a passage from the Gospel of Matthew dedicated to the theme of forgiveness (18:21-35). At the end, the Pope will greet the bishops and superiors of the Franciscan Order who are present. He will then visit the infirmary, where 15 guests will be waiting for him, including a diocesan priest, the personal assistant, and three friars. Pope Francis will then go to the Square to greet the faithful. At around 6 pm a car will transport him to the sports field, where he will depart by helicopter for the Vatican.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 20, 2018
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