Update Feast Day St Francis of Assisi October 4th 2013 and Pope Francis Visit

 Pax et Bonum to all with a Franciscan heart for this great feast day of St Francis of Assisi and as Pope Francis is scheduled to make his first visit to the birthplace of his namesake in the central Italian hilltown of Assisi, I'll be updating this post as the day develops.

 To read more about the inspiration behind this wonderful sculpture by Joel Hass click here : St Francis of Assisi From Scrap.

Image source
 Click here for useful article from Catholic News Service.

and their neat video on Francis the Saint and Pope below

 Full details of the Pope's programme via Vatican radio site- click here are posted below.

 The official liturgical booklet hasn’t been posted yet, but if it is, I'll add it asap.

  Click here for the link to the Vatican Video player which will give live coverage during the day.

 Times are European Italian time

7.45 The Pope arrives in Assisi by helicopter.

8.00 The Pope visits the Serafico Institute, a religious charitable institution that cares for sick and disabled children . He will meet the children in the institute’s church and deliver a short address. 

Update - Live Videos below 

Not much commentary on this first one but his words late on are in Italian  I'll post English text translations as and when they arrive.

This link by Joshua McElwee of NCR is a useful one that has some translations of the events as the day develops and some photos to capture the atmosphere in Assisi.

and also Catholic News Service- Click here for running blog during the day with excerpts from his prepared written texts.

8.45 The Pope makes a private visit to the Shrine of San Damiano where St. Francis had his conversion after hearing the voice of Jesus. 

9.20 The Pope arrives at the Archbishop of Assisi’s residence where he will visit the famous room where St. Francis stripped off his clothes and gave them back to his father and from then on lived a life of poverty dedicated to Christ. In this room, the Pope will meet poor people who are assisted by Caritas and deliver a speech. 

10.00 The Pope arrives at the church of St. Mary Major for a private visit.

12.20 The Pope arrives by car at the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis and proceeds to the Crypt where he venerates the tomb of the saint. 

Update Sorry folks- the powers that be have now decided to make some of the two videos that were available earlier today private so I've had to remove the feed. 
Very annoying ! and I'll see if if I can get something later but there are some text highlights from Vatican News site here.

Update- Click here for a link to a live webcam on the tomb of St Francis 
where you can send your prayer at the tomb of St.Francis on the email address latuapreghiera@sanfrancesco.organd the Franciscan friars of the Sacro Convento will entrust your prayer to Saint Francis.

 Back to the Pope's schedule...

 11.00 The Pope celebrates Mass in Piazza San Francesco (St. Francis Square). 


13.00 The Pope visits the Caritas Reception Centre at St. Mary of the Angels where he will lunch alongside the poor people who are being assisted at the Centre. 

14.30 The Pope visits the Hermitage of the Prisons where he will pray in St. Francis’ cell. 

15.15 The Pope visits the San Rufino Cathedral for a meeting with clergy, consecrated persons and members of the diocesan pastoral council and will deliver a speech.

16.15 The Pope visits the Basilica of Saint Clare where he will venerate the tomb of the saint, pray before the Crucifix of Saint Damian and greet the cloistered nuns. 

17.30 The Pope pays a private visit to the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and prays there.

17.45 The Pope meets young people in the square outside the Basilica and delivers a speech.

18.45 The Pope arrives at the Shrine of RivoTorto and visits St Francis’ hovel.

19.15 The Pope takes his leave after greeting the authorities and flies back to the Vatican.

20.00 The Pope arrives back at the Vatican.  

The following is taken from the Vatican Radio website under the title: Francis: What's In A Name ?

"During his one-day pilgrimage to the city where St. Francis was born, the Pope will follow in his footsteps stopping to pray in Churches, Chapels and other places that were meaningful in the life and conversion of the beloved Saint. 

 Amongst these is the Sanctuary of St. Damiano where Francis heard God asking him to go out and rebuild his Church, the magnificent upper Basilica of St. Francis with Giotto’s paintings of his life, the tiny “tugurio” - or hut - where Francis and his companions lived in total poverty, the “Eremo delle Carceri” where Francis prayed and made penance in close contact with nature, the tiny Portiuncula Chapel where Francis began his journey of faith and where he died on October 3 1226, his place of burial in the lower Basilica of St. Francis. 

The Pope will also meet with the poor, the disabled and the sick, and he will lunch at the Caritas soup kitchen with dozens of poor people who go there every day for assistance and care.

Assisi of course is home to a large Franciscan family, all of whom all looking with joy and with expectation to Pope Francis’s visit to the city of St. Francis. 

Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni chatted to Franciscan friar Joseph Rozansky, International Director of the Franciscan office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. She began by asking him what his reaction was when the newly nominated Cardinal Bergoglio announced he had chosen Francis as his name.

Click here to listen to the interview or on the blue mp3 link that follows…

Fr. Rozansky recalls the episode that saw Cardinal Hummes turning to Bergoglio during the conclave and saying: “remember the poor when you are Pope”. But regardless of that – Fr. Rozanky points out – “his way, his manner, during his first public statements, showed why he chose the name”. And he points out: “Francis is very popular because of the way he always “grabs the bull by the horn” in many ways; he was always very willing to say what the truth of the matter was”. So for me – says Fr Rozansky – “from the beginning that was part of the reason he chose the name. Little by little the other details are coming out like the issue of how we treat poor people, of what’s happening in their lives – or people in general for that matter – the whole pastoral approach of who we are and what we do, the whole ecological issue - environmental justice”. 

Fr. Rozansky points out that next year is the 35th anniversary of Francis being named patron of ecology “so what we are trying to do is prepare a reading of what that means for today, because obviously Francis wasn’t an ecologist or an environmentalist, but at the same time he loved creation because that spoke of God’s hand, and it seems to me that is the approach that Pope Francis is taking”. Father Rozansky also speaks of his happiness with the way the Pope “is living up to the name, getting people involved and working on a lot of the issues that for us, Franciscans, are important, and were important to him when he was in Argentina”.

How are Franciscans looking forward to the visit?

“Obviously for us Assisi and its environs are important. But for many different reasons: many people see Assisi as a place of pilgrimage and it depends a lot on how we understand pilgrimage. I’m hoping – just as he did not long ago when he went to visit a center for refugees in Rome, he had some very pointed things to say to religious in general, he asked “what are you doing with your empty convents” he said “you shouldn’t be turning them into hotels” – for me that was great because we had just been doing a reflection on the ethical use of resources.

 So I think, getting back to Assisi, he could really throw a challenge to us, I hope he does…(…) because it could be for nostalgic reasons that you want to go places like the “carcere” or walk in the steps of St. Francis, but it seems to me we need to retrieve the meaning of those places, what they meant for Francis and what they meant for his life. So for me: when I see the Pope going to Assisi, I hope he will be like his namesake, what he does will challenge us to think more about the gospel, the gospel values and what we are called to do… you need to see and you need to act…”.

“For me, looking to Assisi and to what the Pope will be doing there, I would really like this to be a moment for us to step back and say: “how well are we living the values that we proclaim, our vows, etc., because they are really a call to know the world that we live in and take up the challenges that we see around us today”.

And Father Rozansky continues: “What is it about Francis that after 800 years he is still so popular?” Speaking of a reflection on the subject he was asked to do a while ago, Father Rozansky reveals “I came up with the three “P”s: that he was Polite, he was Persistent and he was Practical. Polite – you could use courteous too; persistence: Francis didn’t give up on things; most of all he was practical: concrete – when God told him “you have to change your life, Francis left his house, left his city and embraced the lepers, literally! 

When he was praying before the crucifix of St. Damiano and he heard God tell him to rebuild his Church, Francis went out and got building materials and began by repairing the Portiuncula Chapel. And again, in his testament he talks about the Lord telling him to use the greeting of peace: “May the peace of the Lord be with you”. He does and he tells his brothers to do the same thing. 

And he really goes out, talks to people about the need for peace: Francis address the issue in concrete ways. (…) He was saying: “I know the conflict that you face in your life, we have it in all levels of our society and I challenge you to change that, to live in a different way so that you can find ways to be peaceful”.

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