August 4 Pope Francis Makes Pilgrimage to Portiuncula
Thursday, August 4, 2016 Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to the Portiuncula, the small church where eight hundred years ago received the Pardon of Assisi.
The event took place two days the VIII Centenary of the Pardon of Assisi, August 2 and within the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by the Holy Father.
Pope Francis visited the Portiuncula on the afternoon of 4 August for a brief visit.
At his arrival by helicopter he was met by:
His Excellency Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop-Bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino
Hon. Catiuscia Marini, President of the Umbria Region
Dr. Raffaele Cannizzaro, Prefect of Perugia
Dr. Stefania Proietti, Mayor of Assisi
At 4:00 pm the Holy Father arrived by car at the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels.
At the Basilica the Holy Father was met by the 3 Ministers General of the Order of Friars Minor:
Fr. Michael Perry, O.F.M.
Fr. Marco Tasca, O.F.M.Conv.
Fr. Mauro Jöhri, O.F.M.Cap.
After the reading of Gospel of St. Matthew 18:21-35 and a brief catechesis by Pope Francis there was a period of prayer while the Holy Father celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a number of the faithful.
The Holy Father underlined in his catechesis: “Perhaps St. Francis, when he asked Pope Honorius III the gift of the indulgence for those who visit the Portiuncula, had in mind the words of Jesus to his disciples: "In my Father's house are many mansions. If not, would I have said: "I go to prepare a place"? If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may also be." (Jn 14:2-3).
“That forgiveness is certainly the road to follow to reach a place in Paradise. It is difficult to forgive! to forgive others! Here at the Portiuncula everything speaks of forgiveness! What a great gift the Lord has made teaching us to forgive - or, at least, to have the will to forgive - to let us touch the mercy of the Father! We listened to the parable in which Jesus teaches us to forgive (cf. Mt 18:21-35).
“Why should we forgive someone who has hurt us? Because we ourselves have been forgiven, and infinitely more. There is no one among us here who has not been forgiven.Every person ... let us think in silence of the many bad things we have done and how the Lord has forgiven us. The parable tells us just that: as God forgives us, so must we forgive those who hurt us. The forgiving heart caresses. …. Just as in the prayer that Jesus taught us, the Our Father, when we say ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors’ (Mt 6:12). Debts are our sins before God, and our debtors are those whom we also must forgive.
The Pope visited the sick and greeted the faithful outside the Basilica before returning to Rome by helicopter.