Honor the Feast of Pardon with Mercy
Tomorrow, August 2, the Franciscan family will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Pardon of Assisi, the Portiuncula Indulgence. St. Francis requested that anyone who came to his favorite spot, the Little Portion, St. Mary of the Angels, would receive the liberating gift of complete forgiveness. He wanted that privilege year round, but Pope Honorius III granted it only for the feast of the Dedication of the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels. This grace has now been shared with any Franciscan church.
Pope Francis will remember this anniversary by visiting and praying at the Portiuncula chapel next week. It is a happy coincidence that this anniversary happens during the Year of Mercy. St. Francis and Pope Francis desire the mercy of God to be proclaimed and shared freely. Maybe we can honor this feast and anniversary by random acts of kindness and mercy, being "merciful like the Father," for after all, "this is our vocation: to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost." (Anonymous of Perugia, 38)
–Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM