Mangaluru: The Titular Feast of the Portiuncula Our Lady of Angels was celebrated with great grandeur at St Anne’s Friary, Jail Road at 6 pm on August 2, 2015.
Fr Wilson D’souza, the parish priest of Bejai, was the main celebrant. He highlighted the importance of mother Mary’s intercession in our life and Fr Stany Pinto, the Assistant Parish Priest of Bejai, spoke about Mary and our relationship, and Mary and our Prayer life in his homily.
Simon Pais conducted the choir and the melodious voice of Ivy D’Souza was admired and appreciated by everyone. Nearly fifty priests concelebrated the mass. Eighty religious sisters and more than four hundred faithful attended the mass. Fr Cyprian D’Souza, Superior of the Friary, thanked everyone for their presence and co-operation.
History of the Feast:
St Francis of Assisi had a very special love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and this was reflected in the solicitude he always cherished for the Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, located 5 km beyond Assisi’s town walls. The small piece of land on which the Chapel stood was also known as Portiuncula, the “Little Portion” or Porziuncula in Italian, ceded to him by the Benedictine monks of the Monte Subasio. Tradition has it that Francis personally restored this chapel and later took up residence here with his friars. It was here on the Palm Sunday of 1211 that Francis received St Clare into religious life. During the lifetime of Francis, the nascent Minorite Order used to hold its General Chapter here. It was again here that at the sunset of October 3,1226 Francis concluded his earthly course. The holy Founder obtained for this chapel from Pope Honorius III the well –known indulgence which the Supreme Pontiffs successively confirmed and extended to numerous other churches.
Importance of the Place:
It is here the order of Lesser ones had its beginning. Saint Francis loved this place more than any other because of the growth of the order and he believed that divine grace was given to God’s chosen ones in every place but in this place in a very special way full of grace and filled with visits of heavenly spirits. This place was known for humility and simplicity. So often he told the brothers “see to it my sons that you never abandon this place. If you are driven out from one side, go back in from the other, for this is truly a holy place and dwelling place of God. Here the Most High increased our numbers when we were only a few; here he enlightened the hearts of his poor ones with the light of his wisdom; here all who pray wholeheartedly will receive what they ask”.