Next week, our friars will participate in the 1st Session of the Second Ordinary Chapter of Our Lady of the Angels Province. All over the world, we Franciscan Friars Conventual gather for Chapters, as fraternal meetings open to the friars of a region or province. Our province holds Ordinary Chapters every four years. Since our province was established in 2014, through the union of Immaculate Conception Province and St. Anthony of Padua Province, this will only be the second Ordinary Chapter for Our Lady of the Angels Province. This First Ordinary Chapter was attended by all of the friars of our entire province, who were healthy enough to attend. This year, Delegate Friars were elected to represent the needs of the rest of the friars of our province.
We ask for your prayers as they begin the 1st Session of this process.
Our Lady of the Angels Province takes its name from the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, home to St. Francis’ Porziuncola. In North America, we call it the Portiuncula, but the translation is “little portion,” in reference to the small parcel of land on which the original chapel stood. That small chapel is now enclosed, in its entirety, under the dome of the vast Basilica. The Portiuncula (as seen reflected in our province logo above) is dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels. It and the parcel of land on which it stood,and on which now stands the Basilica, were gifted to St. Francis of Assisi by the Benedictine monks. He made it the center of his new Franciscan Fraternity. This is the chapel in which St. Francis first was called by God, in prayer before the Crocifisso di San Damiano (San Damiano Cross), to “go rebuild My house.” It was there that St. Francis first really began to understand his own vocation by letting himself really “hear” Living Word in the Gospels. Through this history, our entire Order is entrusted under the patronage of Our Lady.
It was at the Portiuncula that St. Francis first began gatherings of the friars, known as Chapters, to provide them with the opportunity to discuss the Rule, to rediscover their strength in brotherhood and to lean what was needed to proclaim the Gospel in the whole world.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Angels
You are fair, O Mary,
And the stain of original sin is not in you.
You are the glory of Jerusalem;
You are the joy of Israel;
You are the honor of our people;
You are the advocate of sinners,
O Mary Our Lady of the Angels,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother Most loving,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with Jesus Christ our Lord.
(mention your request) Amen.