Franciscan Corner

by Alexander Pierre | Aug 27, 2014

By Sr. Jean Marie Cleveland, OSF ’64, Vice President for Mission Effectiveness

This is one of the most exciting times of the year in the Franciscan calendar. We celebrate the feast days of our founders and remember two of the holiest places in our history.

August 2 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels. This small chapel, often called the Portiuncula or Little Portion, is called the “cradle of Franciscanism.” It is the third chapel Saint Francis repaired after he heard the call “Francis, go repair My house for it is falling into ruin.” Here he began to understand his service to God. Here he greeted Clare and accepted her into a life of following the Gospel. Here he died!

August 11 is the Feast of Saint Clare, the young noble woman who heard Francis preach and left her home to respond to the call she heard. Clare lived at San Damiano with other women who wanted to follow the Gospel and live lives of dedication to Jesus.

September 17 is the Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis which celebrates his receiving the wounds of Christ in his hands, feet, and side. This happened on Mount LaVerna—a rugged mountain in Italy.

October 3 is the anniversary of the death of Saint Francis. It is celebrated with a Transitus service—a service to remember his passing from life to death. Franciscans world-wide celebrate this solemn event the evening of October 3.

October 4 is the Feast of Saint Francis. As a young man, he wanted to become a knight in the Crusades. He and his group of knights were captured and imprisoned. Later he left for the Crusades again but decided that was not what he should do with his life. Gradually, he realized that he was called to follow the Gospel. His new life caught the attention of other young men who joined him. Today he has followers in three orders: The First Order is priests and brothers; The Second Order is Poor Clares, women who follow Clare; The Third Order is made up of priests, brothers, and sisters in the “Regular” Order and men and women from every branch of life in the “Secular” Order.

We Franciscans consider ourselves follower of Francis and Clare who followed Christ in His mission of love and service.

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