Will be recited September 26 - October 4, 2018 after the daily Masses.

O beloved Saint Francis, gentle and poor,
your obedience to God and your
simple, deep love for all of God's
creatures led you to the heights of
heavenly perfection and turned many
hearts to follow God's will.

Now in our day, pray also for us,
in our ministry to
the many who come searching for peace
and intercede for us as we come before the Lord with our special requests.

(Mention your special intention in silence.)

O blessed Saint of God,
from your throne among the hosts of heaven
present our petitions before our faithful Lord.

May your prayers on our behalf be heard
and may God grant us the
grace to lead good and faithful lives.


Saint Francis-Pray for us.

First Annual Feasting with Francis

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Improvised speech given in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City, September 14, 2018

"There is a prepared speech here, but it is too formal to share with you Capuchins; it will be delivered to Father General ... This is the official thing, but I prefer to speak to you like this, from the heart.

To you [addressed to the newly-elected Minister General Fray Roberto Genuin] I wish you the best: You are the fourth general I know. Earlier I met Flavio Carraro, with whom we have been partners in the Synod of '94; then, to John Corriveau, who has stolen a good Capuchin from Argentina to make him a Counselor, but then I got revenge and made him a Bishop [laughs, they laugh]. Then Mauro [Johri], a good Swiss, who has taken things forward with common sense - good sense - with a sense of the concrete, of reality; and, like all those who know how to speak different languages but also the dialect, he is one who gets into the details of life. And now you, the fourth. I wish the best [to you and the new Councilors].

This morning I was thinking about you Capuchins. There is a word that you have said in your speech: first of all the Capuchins are "the friars of the people". It is a characteristic of you: closeness to people.

Be close to the people of God, neighbors. And closeness gives us the science of being concrete, wisdom - it's more than science: it's a wisdom. Closeness to everyone, but especially to the smallest, the most discarded, the most desperate. And also to those who have fallen away. I think of Fray Cristoforo (personage of "Promessi sposi" of Manzoni), to "your" Fray Cristoforo. Closeness: this word I would like to remain in you, as a program. Closeness to the people. Because the people have a great respect for the Franciscan habit. Once Cardinal Quarracino (his predecessor as archbishop of Buenos Aires) told me that, in Argentina, sometimes some "mangiaprete" (anticlerical) says some vulgar word to a priest, but never, never a Franciscan habit was insulted, because it is a grace. And you, Capuchins, have this closeness: keep it. Stay always close to the people.

Recently, in Ireland [in Dublin], I have seen your work with the most discarded and I was moved. The Superior of that house, the old founder, said something beautiful: "We, here, do not ask where you come from, who you are: you are a Child of God". This is one of your characteristics. You understand people well, intuitively, without conditions. Come in ... we'll talk later. And it is a charisma of yours, this closeness, keep it.

Then, another thing typical of the Capuchins: you are men capable of resolving conflicts, of making peace, with that wisdom that comes precisely from closeness; and above all, to make peace in consciences. That "here we don't ask questions, here we listen", that I said of that Irish Capuchin, you exercise it in the sacrament of Confession and penance. You are men of reconciliation. I remember your Church in Buenos Aires: so many people, from all over the city, were going to confession there. Why? Because the Capuchins listen to you, they smile at you, they do not ask you things and they forgive you. And this does not mean being "widesleeved", no, this is the wisdom of reconciliation. Keep the apostolate of confession, of forgiveness: it is one of the most beautiful things you have, to reconcile people. Both in the sacrament, and in families: to reconcile, to reconcile. And patience is required for this, not words. Few words, but closeness and patience.

And then, another thing that I have seen in your life: simple prayer. You are men of prayer, but simple. A prayer of one on one with the Lord, with the Virgin, with the saints ... keep this simplicity of prayer. Pray much, but with this simplicity. Men of peace, simple prayer, men of the people, men of reconciliation. This is the way the Church wants you to be: keep this. And with that freedom and simplicity that is proper to your charism.

I thank you for everything you do for the Church, I thank you very much. Continue like this, continue like this ... "a la Capuchina" ... [laughter]

Welcome to the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and the namesake of our city, San Francisco. The National Shrine is the property of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and it consists of our historic Church built in 1849 and our beautiful Chapel (La Porziuncola Nuova, or Little Portion) built in 2008.

The National Shrine is not only located in the heart of San Francisco where Italian North Beach and Chinatown meet, it is "The Heart of San Francisco" in a singular way where Heaven and Earth meet like no other place in our city.

One of the reasons this Shrine is unique is its very urban location in the second most densely populated city in the country. But in the midst of an often rowdy, noisy, bawdy, and chaotic neighborhood (a bronze marker in the sidewalk reminds us that this was once "The Barbary Coast"), the Shrine's Church and the Porziuncola offer an oasis of peace, quiet, serenity, and refreshment to the thirsty spirit.

Saint Francis was very aware that all of God's creation is holy and that it reflects his beauty, truth, and goodness. But Francis appreciated churches, especially, because he knew that in these sacred spaces people could find and recognize the presence of God's spirit more easily than "in the world." That is why the Little Poor Man of Assisi dedicated a good portion of his life to rebuilding old abandoned churches, like San Damiano (where he had heard the voice of Jesus Christ) and Saint Mary of the Angels Porziuncola (or Little Portion).

We hope during your online visit to The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi you will experience something of the reverence, tranquility, and blessings people find when they enter our actual doors. Thus, we invite you to take the virtual tours, light a candle, ask for our prayers, and to return to this site as often as you like, while allowing "The Heart of San Francisco" to become a place where your own heart can find a haven of rest. Yes, leave your heart in San Francisco!

We also invite you to take the opportunity to participate in the mission of The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi by sharing with us your financial support, either by making a donation or by shopping at our online store. But even if you're unable to give anything at this time, please know that you are always welcome to visit us and to support our work with your prayers. We sincerely appreciate and thank you for your generosity of spirit.

St. Francis of Assisi Mission

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, as with The Archdiocese of San Francisco, has a mission that is rooted in the Gospels and the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Central to that teaching is the inherent dignity and sacredness of each human being.

We educate and advocate on this dignity in relation to the unborn child, the prisoner on death row, the homeless and hungry person on our streets, the elderly, the ill and disabled faced with the threat of assisted suicide, the stranger in our midst, and the poor and marginalized in our society and throughout the world. We are neither right nor left, Republican nor Democrat, but we formulate our agenda by the standard of human dignity that is reflected in our faith tradition.

  1. It is the purpose of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi to provide more abundant means of salvation, through the rich liturgical and devotional life of the Roman Catholic Church for the Christian faithful, including those who come as pilgrims from around the world to the City of San Francisco and the greater San Francisco Bay Area, who seek to encounter the living God through religious worship and special devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints.
  2. It is the further purpose of the National Shrine to welcome, share and extend this same spiritual experience and devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan saints to pilgrims and visitors of all faiths, religions, denominations, and nationalities.
  3. The Capuchin Franciscan Friars (OFM Cap.) and Staff of the National Shrine, therefore, provide a pastoral (i.e., welcoming and prayerful) environment with the hope that in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, spiritual nourishment healing and reconciliation will be found by all who visit the Shrine.