St. Francis of Assisi: A saint for our times

St Francis lived as one of the poorest and lowest in society, and worked as a day labourer. This was hard, menial, low-paid work, yet he never passed a collection plate when he preached, nor asked the public for money.

His life and message were uncompromising and simple: greed causes suffering for both the victims and the perpetrators.

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St. Padre Pio: “When I leave, she will be your consolation.”

The Incredible Story of Maria Esperanza

During these younger years Esperanza made the acquaintance of Padre  Pio, the most famous mystic since Francis of Assisi, who had told  people he expected to be visited by an extraordinary woman.

“There is  a young woman who is going to come from South America,” Pio  said. “When I leave, she will be your consolation.”

When finally they  met, Maria would hear his “call” even though she was far away near  Rome and she would head for his monastery at San Giovanni Rotundo on  the barren east side of Italy – where despite throngs waiting to see  him the aged priest called out, “Esperanza!”

On September 23, 1968, Maria had a vision of Padre Pio. “Esperanza,”  he said in the vision, “I have come to say good-bye. My time has  come. It is your turn.” As this was happening Geo watched with  amazement as his wife’s face transfigured into that of the Italian  priest. The next day they saw in the newspaper that Pio (whose  funeral would be attended by more than a million) had died.

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI AND THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI AND THE GREAT PARDON
KNOWN AS THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE
                        

by Susan Tassone

The Portiuncula (small portion) refers to the land in Assisi, Italy, that belonged to the Benedictines.  On this land  was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God but abandoned. 

The great St. Francis had great devotion to the queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly and repair it.  He heard that the angels often visited it, so that it was called St. Mary of the Angels. 

The Benedictines wanted to give Francis the church but in order to remain faithful to Lady Poverty, Francis rented it from them with the annual compensation of a basket of fish from the Tescio river. 

Here is where Francis began his service to Christ and His Church.

Here Francis founded his Order, received Clare as his spiritual daughter, and where he died commending this spot above all others to the friars. 

St. Francis had great love and compassion for everyone.

On a night of July, 1216, Francis was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula devoured by love for God and a thirst to save souls. He prayed for the forgiveness of sins of mankind.

Suddenly a brilliant light shone all around. In great splendor Jesus and Mary appeared in the midst of a dazzling cloud surrounded by a multitude of radiant angels. 

Out of fear and reverence, St. Francis adored Our Lord prostrate upon the ground.

Then Jesus said to him: Francis you are very zealous for the good of souls. Ask me what you want for their salvation. St. Francis was rapt in ecstasy before Jesus.

When he regained his courage he said: 

“Lord, I a miserable sinner beg You to concede an indulgence to all those who enter this church, who are truly contrite and have confessed their sins. And I beg Blessed Mary, your Mother, intercessor of man, that she intercede on behalf of this grace.”

Our Lady at once began to beseech her son on behalf of Francis. Jesus answered:

“It is a very great thing that which you ask Me; but you are worthy of even greater things, Friar Francis, and greater things you will have. So I accept your request, but I want you to go to my Vicar, to whom I have given the power to bind and loose in Heaven and on earth, to ask him on my behalf for this indulgence.”

With one of his companions, Francis hastened to Pope Honorius III and prostrate implored him to proclaim that every one visiting the church and confessing their sins with a contrite heart would be as pure from all
sin and punishments as he was immediately after baptism. The Pope granted this petition. This indulgence has been extended to all parish churches throughout the world.

The date was set from vespers of the first of August until sundown on the second of August, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels. It is said that St. Francis was given this day by Our Lord because the Feast of the
Chains of St. Peter celebrated on August first is the day Peter was released from prison and his chains removed.

This is an extraordinary demonstration of God?s mercy in removing the chains of sin from those who
devoutly and faithfully seek to gain the indulgence by completing its requirements. 

The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi is (for oneself or for a departed soul) as follows:

The Portiuncula Indulgence is a grace not to miss not only for yourself but for the many suffering souls in Purgatory.

—    Sacramental Confession to be in God?s grace (during eight days before or after.)

—    Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist

—    Recitation of The Apostles Creed, Our Father and a prayer for the Pope’s Intention.

Mark your calendar for the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels beginning on the First of August to August 2.

Tell everyone of the magnitude of this gift. Once again, we see the unfathomable Divine Mercy of God.

In the words of St. Francis: O my Brothers and Sisters, I want you all to go to Heaven!

Links – http://www.spiritdaily.com/portiunculaindulkgence.htm

http://www.franciscanfriarstor.com/stfrancis/stf_devotions_to_mary.htm

Submitted by Doria2