The Portiuncula Chapel was originally the property of the Benedictines of Subasio. It was located on a piece of land known as the Portinuncula and this name became attached to the church. After a long period of abandonment it was restored by St Francis of Assisi. Here he was given a clear understanding of his vocation. This was the place where he, urged by divine inspiration, founded the Order of the Friar of the Minor

At his death St Francis appealed to his sons that they never abandon this place for "here he who prays with a devout heart will obtain what he prays for and he who offends will be punished more severely."

Of the churches that we visited during a six month tour of England, Europe and Scandinavia the Portiuncula Chapel was the place where a sense of spirit pervaded. Stopping to pray, to quietly recite the Prayer of Saint Francis within the tiny chapel, was one of those moments that will be forever etched in my memory.
Heather Blakey




Enter the interior of the Portiuncula Chapel

You are sitting before the altarpiece by the Priest Hilary in the tiny Portiuncula Chapel within the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi. You begin to recite the Pray of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love:
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I many not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Meditate upon the altarpiece, feel the spirit of this divine sanctuary, listen for a soft voice rising from within. Write about giving and pardoning or whatever comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar or spelling. Enjoy the calm, the peace and serenity and write.

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