Saturday, January 26, 2019
Holy Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary: 9:30AM
Civic Center Plaza Rally: 12:30PM
Walk down Market Street begins: 1:30PM

Please note the Shrine hours on this day:

• Historic church and Porziuncola will be CLOSED until 3:00pm. There will be no regularly scheduled Mass or Confessions.

• There will be the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass at 5:15PM in the historic church.

Since 2005, the mission of the Walk for Life West Coast has been to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Abortion does violence to women and to their children, both physically and emotionally. We all deserve better than abortion. To accomplish this, we have established a new West Coast tradition of celebrating life. We are calling for solidarity among women and all people of good will in affirming human life. Abortion harms women and men. It divides families and society. Women—and all people—deserve better than abortion. We strive to shed light on all issues of life, but particularly to change hearts hurt by the violence of abortion. Life is the best and only good choice.


The Vatican has granted a plenary indulgence and a papal blessing for those who participate in the Walk for Life West Coast, including those who are sick and infirm and praying along with the participants in the Jan. 26 rally and walk along Market Street.

All those present at the Walk for Life rally will receive a papal blessing, conveyed by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, and with that a plenary indulgence, according to a letter from Vatican. Those who participate in "sacred celebrations" associated with the Walk throughout the dioceses of the area will also receive the plenary indulgence.

"The Apostolic Penitentiary...graciously grants to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone ... the faculty to impart the Papal Blessing with the accompanying Plenary Indulgence on the 26th day of January, 2019, the day of the annual event called Walk for Life West Coast, after the Divine Sacrifice has been offered at the Cathedral, to all Christ's faithful who are present, who are truly penitent and compelled by charity, and who participated in the same sacred rites," according to a Dec. 21 letter signed by Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Major Penitentiary, of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and received this week in San Francisco.

A plenary indulgence is the expiation of temporal punishment for sins already forgiven, and can be applied to souls in Purgatory, to oneself, or to another person still living. It is a free gift of God's mercy, and theologically demonstrates the Church as a communion of those living, as well as those in purgatory and the saints and angels in heaven.

S.F. Archdiocese, The Bridge

The New Year's Resolution of a Saint

"During this new year I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know what will happen to me during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to you, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus,
but with Your help I hope and resolve to live a different life,
that is, a life
closer to You."

(Written by St. Gemma on New Year's Eve, 1895-1896)

"Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy..."

Christmas message of Fr. Francesco Patton, OFM - Custos of the Holy Land

We are in Bethlehem at the Shepherds' Field, the place where, during the night in which Jesus was born, the shepherds were keeping watch and guarding their flocks. Luke the evangelist tells us that when Mary gave birth to Jesus, these shepherds were precisely the first persons who received the good news of His birth.

An angel appeared to them, a great light shone around them, and they were afraid. But the messenger of God reassured them: "Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2,10-12).

On that night of the first Christmas, the darkness in which the shepherds and the inhabitants of Bethlehem lived was enlightened by the birth of the Child Jesus. Even today we still need to let ourselves be enlightened by the birth of this Child, Who is the Son of God and our Saviour. How many people, even today, live surrounded by darkness like the shepherds who kept watch in this field two thousand years ago. Our brothers and sisters in Syria and in Yemen, as in many other Countries of the world, have been living for many years in the darkness of bloody conflicts, which transform millions of people into homeless people, into refugees who have been uprooted from their own family and from their own culture, who have been expelled from their own country and often find it impossible to be welcomed in a new land. Many others of our brethren in humanity live in the darkness caused by economical and ecological crises, which force entire populations to their knees often obliging them to emigrate. For them too, the experience of Joseph, Mary and the Child repeats itself: there is no place for them anywhere. At the most, they can find shelter under a tent.

There are those who carry darkness within them, a darkness which is often the fruit of having suffered violence. At other times it is the fruit of having made the wrong choices. Still others are in darkness because they are incapable of accepting some painful experience in life.

Lastly there is the darkness of sin, of being far from God, of wanting to live without Him or to live as if He does not exist. This kind of darkness soon transforms itself into the refusal of brother or sister, of his or her right to exist, of the recognition of his or her dignity as a human person from the very first moment of conception to the last breath that the Creator Himself gives. This is the darkness that is common amongst people living in every corner of the world. This darkness, at least in part, is to be found within each and every one of us.

The Child Jesus has not come only to enlighten in a solemn way the night of those shepherds here in Bethlehem, a town which, two thousand years ago, was located in the periphery of all peripheries. The Child Jesus continues to enlighten the night of each and every one of us and indeed the entire human race.

May the light of the Child of Bethlehem enter into the conscience and existence of each and every one of us, in our families and in our communities; may His light shine upon all people and upon the faithful of every religion who, are desiring to know Him, and are searching for Him even perhaps grasping at such a wish.

May He enlighten the conscience of those who govern the nations and the economy, and may He help them to discover that to govern means to take care of the small, fragile, and those in need of guidance.

May the Child of Bethlehem enlighten the actions of those who work in the fields of culture and communication, so that they may spread the message of goodwill.

A Happy Christmas to all from the Shepherds Field situated here close to Bethlehem.

A Happy Christmas from the place of the first announcement of the Saviour's birth.

A Happy Christmas from the place in which the angels have sung: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth for those He favours."

A Happy Christmas to each and every one of you, to your families and to your communities.

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.