Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Primitive Life.

The Porziuncola.

Francis' favorite place...

For there had also been built in that place a church of the Virgin Mother who merited by Her singular humility to be, after Her son, the head of all the saints. In this church the Order of Friars Minor had its beginning, there, as on a firm foundation, when their number had grown, the noble fabric of the order arose. The holy man loved this place above all others; this place he commanded his brothers to venerate with a special reverence; this place he willed to be preserved as a model of humility and highest poverty for their order, reserving the ownership of it to others, and keeping only the use of it for himself and his brothers. - Thomas of Celano

I love it too.  I would like to die there - even more than in Rome, maybe.

If the primitive life was still observed.

A few days ago I asked if there were any traditional Jesuits.  What I meant was are there Jesuits who live like the first Fathers?  Is there a sainted lay-brother door-keeper like St. Alphonsus Rodriguez?  I wasn't being critical of modern Jesuits.

Teresa of Avila looked to the example of Clare of Assisi when 'reforming' Carmel - she so desired poverty and humble monasteries, which wouldn't make a big noise when the collapsed at the end of the world.

I was at the Porziuncola  - Our Lady of the Angels.  I sat within the chapel, I stood far away gazing at it.  Imagining how lovely it must have been when Francis first restored it.  When all the friars gathered there with him for the first Chapter of Mats.  So poor, so simple.

The Great Pardon...

As is well known, St. Francis obtained from Our Lady what is known as the Porziuncola Indulgence - or Great Pardon of Assisi - which can be gained by any of the faithful on The 2nd of August from Midnight to Midnight. For information on the plenary indulgence, go here.

It is extended to the Universal Church on this day - you can go to your own parish.  It is like a Holy Year indulgence.

Francis obtained it through Our Lady, Mediatrix of all graces.  He so much desired that all men be saved - that sinners have the means to repent and be absolved of all their sins - that Love would be loved.  He was so full of pardon and peace himself ...  I would like to die where he died ...

the little portion
for little friars
of our little
father francis...
a little portion
of heaven
on earth...
a little place
in my heart -
in a great basilica
of the immaculate heart
of the blessed
vrgin mary,
queen of angels
friars minor.
Hail Mary full of grace, pray for us sinners, 
now and at the hour of our death. Amen 

St. Francis loved this place above all others.

Me too.  The loneliest and littlest chapel in the entire plain of Assisi.  So poor, so humble.  Yesterday and today I unite my prayer to all who go there and place myself among them.  I imagine I am there when Francis restored the chapel, and join him in praising Our Lady of the Place:

Hail, O Lady, Holy Queen,
Mary, holy Mother of God:
you are the Virgin made Church
chosen by the most Holy Father in heaven
whom He consecrated with His most holy beloved Son
and with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,
in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good.

Hail His Palace!
Hail His Tabernacle!
Hail His Dwelling!
Hail His Robe!
Hail His Servant!
Hail His Mother!

And hail all you holy virtues
Which are poured into the hearts of the faithful
through the grace and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,
that from being unbelievers,
you may make them faithful to God. Amen.

Holy Father St. Francis, pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

+ + +

+Please pray for my friend who died on June 28, 2015, Br. James Curran, l.b.s.f. of Boston.  He too loved the little portion more than any other place.

Song for Br. Jim here.


  1. I knew Brother James by reputation and sight and conversed with him several times. He was a good guy with an upbeat spirit. He shared with us once that he was walking near Mission Hill when a neighborhood kid, perplexed by Brother James' brown robe, stopped him with the question, "Are you from Star Wars?" RIP.

    1. That's funny. he was a good holy man - very kind and generous, and non-judgmental. Very faithful and simple.

    2. When you were in Boston, did you attend the Cenacle prayer group in Brighton? The Little Brothers used to come to the prayer meetings there quite often.

    3. I did. Were you there? One evening a woman speaking in tongues sounded rather demonic - can't recall what happened.

    4. My wife and I attended the Cenacle prayer group from around 1979 - 1982. Father Tom DiLorenzo would run a lot of the meetings. Jim Cowen, who would go on to attain some fame in Christian music circles, was the worship leader until the summer of '81 when he moved to Steubenville to join the covenant community there. My wife and I would later move to a covenant community in Providence. While covenant communities were good on paper, they didn't really work out -- too rigid.


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