Vatican City, Jul 5, 2016 / 05:10 am
On Monday, it was announced that Pope Francis will make a private pilgrimage to Assisi early next month to celebrate the eighth centenary of the dedication of the Portiuncula chapel, the site where the Franciscan order began.
On Aug. 4, the Pope will visit the small chapel, which is located within the larger Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, according to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. The visit was announced July 4 by Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi and representatives of the Franciscan order.
The papal pilgrimage will come two days after the 800th anniversary of the "Pardon of Assisi," a Franciscan feast which commemorates St. Francis persuading Pope Honorius III to allow pilgrims to receive a plenary indulgence at the Portiuncula.
Last week, Pope Francis remembered the Portiuncula – translated as the "little portion" – during celebrations of the 65th anniversary of Benedict XVI's priestly ordination. In his June 28 address, the Pope the described the site as "a hidden corner near the Mother of the Church, near Mary whom, because of her steadfast faith and a life entirely lived for the love of the Lord and in His love, all generations will call blessed."