A special impulse led St Francis on a certain night to go to the chapel. There he saw our Lord and His holy Mother surrounded by a great host of angels. Filled with astonishment and reverence, the saint prostrated himself upon the ground and adored the Divine Majesty. Then he heard the voice of our Lord urging him with ineffable tenderness to ask some special favor.
Nothing was so near to the heart of Francis as the salvation of souls, and so, after a few moments of reflection, he asked for the grace of a full pardon for all who, being contrite and having confessed their sins, would visit this little sanctuary. Mary cast herself upon her knees before her Divine Son, and repeated the petition of her faithful servant.
Thereupon the Lord said to Francis: “It is a great favor that you request, nevertheless it shall be granted to you. Go to my Vicar on earth, to whom I have given the power to bind and to loose, and ask him in My name to grant this indulgence.”
(The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM)
“Francis loved this spot more than any other in the world….It was here that he made such extraordinary progress”
— St. Bonaventure
The Portiuncula – Fr. Michael Cusato, O.F.M.
Thomas Merton and the Feast of the Portiuncula (Fr. Dan Horan, O.F.M. – Dating God)