Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels
The Porziuncola is the place where Franciscanism
developed, and where Saint Francis lived and died .
Shrine of the Porziuncola
The Porziuncola is situated now inside the Basilica of Saint
Mary of the Angels in the town of the same name around 5 km from Assisi.
(Click on thumbnail
The chapel, of antique construction and venerated for the apparition
of Angels within it, belonged to the Benedictine monks of Subasio. It was on a piece of
land called "Portiuncula" and later, the name of the land passed to the little
It was abandoned for a long time and was restored by Saint Francis.
It was here that he understood his vocation clearly and here that he founded the Order of
the Friars Minor (1209) "establishing here his home", St. Bonaventure tells us,
"because of his reverence for the angels, and of his great love of the Mother of
Christ" to whom the little church was dedicated. The land and the Chapel were gifted
to him by the Benedictines for making it the centre of his new religious family.
On 28 March, 1211 Clare, daughter of Favarone di Offreduccio
received her religious habit here from the hands of Saint Francis and so initiated the
Order of the Poor Clares.
In 1216, in a vision, St Francis obtained from Jesus himself the
Indulgence of the Pardon of Assisi that was approved by Pope Honorius III. This plenary
indulgence may ordinarily be gained on August 2 and 15; pilgrims may gain it once a year
on any day of the year.
At the Porziuncola, that was and is the centre of the Franciscan
Order, St Francis assembled all the Friars in the Chapter every year to discuss the Rule
and to renew their dedication to the Gospel Life. The Chapter of Mats (Stuoie) in 1221 was
attended by more than 5000 friars.
The Porziuncola is situated now inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of
the Angels in the town of the same name around 5 km from Assisi.
Here he began and grew in his religious life; here he founded the Franciscan Order; here
he manifested his love and great devotion to the Mother of God. When Francis knew he was
dying, he requested to be brought to the Portiuncula to end his earthly life.
As we honor Our Lady of the
Angels, may we find inspiration for our own growth and development in the Gospel way of
life that Saint Francis embraced and lived so completly.
From the Franciscan
Book of Prayer
(The following is
an excerpt from:
the Major Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure.)
" The Portiuncula was an
old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned . 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 in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it,
so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently
out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ.
He loved this spot more than
any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is
here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to
the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.
This was the place where Saint
Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him
to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel.
This meant that he progressed
from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order,
and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.
As he was living there by the
church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and
truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted
the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it
He embraced the Mother of Our
Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of
majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in
her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars."
THE BASILICA OF
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
Shrine of the Porziuncola
The Porziuncola is situated now inside the
Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels.
|The Basilica was built at the express
will of St. Pius V between 1569 and 1679, on the plan designed by G.G. Alessi, a Perugian
architect. It ranks among Christianity's most majestic basilicas.
In 1909 St. Pius X elevated it to the rank
of Patriarchal Basilica with Papal Chapel, likewise confirming its title of Head and
Mother of the Whole Order of Friars Minor.
The portico of the fašade was designed
by Poletti and G. Bazzani (1924-1930); the bronze statue o! the Madonna at the summit is
the work of G. Colasanti. The vast tree-lined esplanade leading to the Basilica was
designed by the architect G. Nicolosi and recalls the forest which once surrounded the Portiuncula.
The interior with its three ample,
harmoniously proportioned naves, in Doric style, was in large part reconstructed by L.
Poletti (1836-40) after a major section collapsed during an earthquake in 1832. The dome
and the Portiuncula were providentially spared.
On the curved structures supporting the dome there are four
frescoes by E Appiani (1757): The Clothing of St. Clare, The Donation of the Portiuncula
to St. Francis, St. Francis Hearing the Gospel of Perfect Renunciation in the Portiuncula,
and St. Bonaventure Composing the Life o! St. Francis.
Important archeological remains have recently been brought to light: the origina1 choir
behind the Portiuncula (visible below the pavement); paved floors probably in the first
friary built in masonry at the Portiuncula (enclosed in the new crypt).
The new presbitery is the work of the architect B. Apolloni-Ghetti; the giltbronze statues
at the altar are by E. Manfrini; the bas-reliefs of the amboes are by T. Fiedler. The
Blessed Sacrament Chapel with its entrance to the left of the Portiuncula is reserved for
prayer and reflection.
The 17th cent. decorations and paintings in the side
chapels are by Pomarancio, the Assisi artists Sermei and Giorgetti, by Salimbeni, Appiani,
Maggesi, and the Zuccari brothers.
The Choir of the Basilica and the pulpit (opposite side
from Transitus chapel) are finely carved works done by Franciscans of the l7th century.
Our Lady Queen of Angels
By: William Adolphe Bougereau
to Our Lady of the Angels
are fair, O Mary,
And the stain of original sin is not in you.
You are the glory of Jerusalem;
You are the joy of Israel;
You are the honor of our people;
You are the advocate of sinners, O Mary
Lady of the Angels,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother Most loving,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with Jesus Christ our Lord.
(mention your request)
for Faith, Grace and the Intercession
of Our Lady of the Angels
Father, you filled the heart
of St. Francis with a special love
for the Mother of Your Son, Jesus,
and for the Portiuncula.
this hallowed place you nourished
his spiritual life and inspired him
to found the Franciscan Order.
the intercession of Our Lady
of the Angels may we be steadfast
in our faith and remain true to You.
us the faith and grace always to do Your will.
Grant this through Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Of The Blessed Virgin
by Saint Francis of Assisi )
Holy Lady most holy Queen,
Mary Mother of God.
Chosen by the Father in heaven
consecrated by Him.
With His most beloved Son and
Holy Spirit comforter,
On you descended and still remains
fullness of grace
And every good.
His palace and His robe,
Mary Mother of God.
Hail His handmaid lowely and pure,
Loving servant of the Lord.
Hail holy virtues given by God
to all the faithful in the world,
So that no longer we faithless be,
And may become the
servants of the Lord. - AMEN
We Turn To You For Protection
turn to you for protection,
holy Mother of God.
to our prayers
and help us in our needs.
( mention your special request )
Save us from every danger,
glorious and blessed Virgin.
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