Homily by Fr. Colin Mary Edwards, OFM Conv., a friar of our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody (aka The Greyfriars), serving at The Catholic National Shrine & Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham (aka England’s Nazareth).
Franciscans hold great reverence for the saints. We customarily celebrate the Epiphany as a feast for promoting personal holiness. During the para-liturgical ceremony of the Extractions, each friar draws the name of a saint (who becomes his patron for the year) and a short spiritual exhortation (as a focus for spiritual refinement). During Epiphany the community also renews the sanctity of our homes (friaries) by processing to bless each room. Early in Franciscan history, this tradition developed for our friars. In our province, traditionally, friars from local friaries in one area would join together for this fraternal celebration. As we are practicing safe social distancing, concessions had to be made. Friars of a singular friary either celebrated in their own residence, or with several friaries virtually gathered using today’s technological resources.
The insert at left is from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary (Baltimore, MD), as they celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany with the Extraction of Patron Saints. It shows the Blessing of the friary with the signing of the entrance door by the friary Guardian.
Below is a screenshot of the ZOOM Celebration with our four friaries in North Carolina: Blessed Sacrament Friary ~ Burlington, St. Anthony of Padua Friary ~ Durham, Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary ~Pittsboro, and Our Lady of the Angels Friary ~ Winston-Salem.