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August 2 in history
July 30, 2020 8:51 AM

August 2, 2020 marks the 90th anniversary of Perpetual Adoration here at St. Francis Convent and the 804th anniversary of the Feast of the Portiuncula and the Portiuncula Indulgence.

The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis began the tradition of Perpetual Adoration on August 2, 1930, when Bishop Henry Althoff of Belleville, Illinois, formally exposed the Blessed Sacrament in the St. Francis Convent Chapel (in what was then known as Ave Maria Hall). The current St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel was dedicated on October 4, 1935.


August 2 marks the dedication of the Portiuncula (Little Portion), a one room chapel (about 180 square feet) in lower Assisi, Italy that was built circa 352-366 AD. St. Francis of Assisi visited this chapel in 1208 and it was given to him by local Benedictine monks in 1211 on the condition of making it the Motherhouse of Francis’ growing family of Brothers. The chapel has been repaired, partially rebuilt, and enhanced over the years. The chapel has been enshrined within Our Lady of the Angels Basilica, Assisi, since 1684.

The Portiuncula Indulgence (a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins) begins each year at sunset on the evening of August 1 and extends until sunset of August 2. It is a lifetime indulgence that was granted by Pope Honorius III in 1216 and it clears all punishment for sins during a person’s lifetime. Francis insisted it was not he, but Jesus Christ Himself who was asking for the plenary Portiuncula Indulgence. To acquire any plenary indulgence requires taking action regarding the work to which the indulgence is attached – in this case, it began with pilgrimage to the Portiuncula. It also means fulfilling three more conditions: the person must (1) make a sacramental confession, (2) receive Holy Communion, and (3) pray for the intentions of the pope. In addition to the sacramental requirements, its plenary indulgence may be received by visiting any Franciscan church and that the person has the Portiuncula in mind.

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