Three years after his first visit to the places where St. Francis lived, Pope Bergoglio will come back to Assisi. More precisely, to the Portiuncula, where he is going to pray in the afternoon of 4 August. This opportunity is offered by the VIII Centenary of the Pardon of Assisi, which falls, providentially, in the Year of the extraordinary Holy Mercy. The Pontiff – reads Portiuncula site – “will make a simple, private pilgrimage to the papal Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where he is going to pray and offer the gift of his word.” The news, which has been spread today, has been announced by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, Msgr. Rino Fisichella. The particular Church of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino and all the Franciscans rejoice and thank Pope Francis, asking the Lord to bless this event.
Last December, while the bishop of Assisi was presenting the diocesan initiatives for the Jubilee in a press conference, Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino said: “We have invited the Holy Father to Assisi and we hope he will be back on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy”. Back then, people talked about two dates for the Pope’s return to the seraphic city, which were not confirmed by the bishop: August 2 or September 20.
It was 1216 when Christ and the Virgin appeared to St. Francis during a prayer. They were surrounded by a multitude of Angels. The monk addresses them with a supplication: “let all those who have repented, confessed, and come to visit this church, obtain full and generous forgiveness, with a complete remission of all their sins.” The prayer was granted and Pope Honorius III gave him indulgence. Francis, together with Umbrian Bishops, announced it on August 2.