St. Francis Portiuncula Indulgence


The medieval town of Assisi sits on the top of a hill in Umbria, Italy. In the town square, young St. Francis removed his rich garments and embraced his life of Christ-like poverty.

On the plain at the bottom of the hill sits an ancient chapel. It honors Our Lady of the Angels. Was originally dedicated on August 2, shortly before Assumption Day. It was eight hundred years old at the time of St. Francis, eight hundred years ago.

The chapel languished in disrepair then. The Lord inspired St. Francis: “Repair My house!” So Francis and his companions renovated the little chapel and made it their home.

stfrancisAnyone been there? My dear mom, my late aunt, and I visited on November 16, 2008, along with a group of pilgrims. That was my third visit.

The Portiuncula now sits inside a large basilica. And they built replica portiunculas at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, and in downtown San Francisco, CA.

The Lord promised St. Francis that anyone who wants to honor Our Lady of the Angels and visits the Portiuncula—or visits any parish church, on the anniversary of the dedication of the Portiuncula—can gain a plenary indulgence.

You just have to recite the Creed, pray the Our Father, pray for the pope’s intentions, renounce all attachment to sin, and confess and receive Holy Communion sometime within the same fortnight.

A plenary indulgence helps a soul get to heaven. Either my own soul, or a soul in purgatory.

As Luther pointed out, selling indulgences involves the grave sin of simony. But obtaining an indulgence by praying and renouncing sin? Good to do.

2 thoughts on “St. Francis Portiuncula Indulgence

  1. This question has been plaguing me for years. Why would I ever be so selfish to pray for an indulgence for myself? Isn’t that presumptuous?

  2. Being Christ was given to us by the Father & He the Son accepted His Journey to this earth to go to His death for us & then in His earthly extremity asked his Father if the cup he was given could be taken away but did accept His Fathers will – so to do I have a True Faith that the Trinity knows our heart and knows that we pray in all types of ways for – His forgiveness, His acceptance of our poor selves, and He continues to give us graces to over come all sorts of temptations – the hope that we’ve striven enough in Faith to be received by Him after purification I can see no presumption of self indulgence since all of these wonderful gifts were given to the faithful to use to get to our final goal – Home with Him. Well anyway that’s the simplistic way I look at it and all the while I’ll not stop praying for others and a world of conversion to Him.

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