Friday, October 3, 2014

the feast day of our city's saint

It has been six years since La Porziuncola Nuova, a scaled replica of the Porziuncola in Assisi, Italy, was dedicated at the National Shrine of Saint Francis here in San Francisco. (Porziuncola, by the way, means "small portion of land" and refers to the chapel that Blessed Francis restored when he was a young man). The church on Vallejo Street is an inspiring structure, but the Porziuncola which is housed there is simply breath-taking. Visiting it is quite a spiritual event.

I mention this because tomorrow is the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron of this city. There will be animal blessings around town over the weekend and I imagine there will be some sort of celebration in all of the number of churches that bear his name. There are also Franciscan religious orders here in San Francisco.
You can find out about the Capuchin Roman Catholic Franciscan Friars HERE.  You can find out about the Anglican brothers HERE and the Anglican sisters HERE.  Information about secular Franciscans can be found HERE.  If you don't happen to be Roman Catholic or Anglican, you might be interested in an ecumenical group.  Click HERE for information about them.  That is only a tiny bit of the many links you might explore.  Saint Francis has many who follow in his way in a variety of religious communities and in secular life.

Here in the city of Saint Francis it isn't surprising to see such a large Franciscan presence.  A visit to many of these treasures should definitely be on your to-do list.  There's even a lovely gift shop which has a new home (that I haven't even visited yet myself).  It's Francesco Rocks at 1318 Grant Avenue and I'm told there are many lovely items featured from Assisi as well as things appropriate for baptisms, confirmations, and all kinds of gift-giving.

More on the National Shrine on Vallejo Street can be found at including more details about the Porziuncola.  Also, click HERE to find out about the Knights of Saint Francis.  His life of poverty and preaching on the streets and his enormous love of all creation have made Saint Francis one of the most venerated religious figures in all of history.  Happy Saint Francis Day!

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