The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi

October 4, 2012

Dear Friends of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi,

On October 4, we will commemorate the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of this National Shrine, namesake of the City and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, co-patron of Italy, and the heavenly intercessor for ecology. People all over the world love Francis-for his simplicity, his humility, his devotion to the poor, his holiness, his love for all of creation, but most of all, for his Christ-like life.

I invite you to participate in the Novena of Masses we will celebrate in The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi beginning on October 4 and extending for an octave, concluding on October 12. All of your intentions will be placed on the altar for the Holy Sacrifice each day, and for the special Novena Prayers we will offer, invoking the intercession of The Little Poor Man of Assisi.

This year, we are working on getting an elevator in the church and installing handicapped-equipped restrooms so that we can make the Shrine more accessible to people with various disabilities. Additionally, we have the ordinary expenses of keeping the Shrine open each day so that pilgrims can come to pray in this holy place.

If you could help to support this ministry of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars here at The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, we would be most grateful. And even if you cannot send a gift at this time, we still would like you to participate in the Novena so that we can pray for you and with you. Please fill out and mail back the enclosed form placing your intentions in the hands of the Poverello.

Thanks to you and your generosity, we have been able to make the Shrine available for concerts of sacred music and drama, such as our special program honoring the eighth centenary of the consecration of St. Clare; to have pilgrimages come from all over the world; and to host ecumenical and interfaith events such as "The Francis Gathering" where people share stories of how they came to be "crazy about Jesus" the way St. Francis was, and the Convocation for Peace, paralleling the Pilgrimage for Peace to Assisi undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the world's religions.

I am edified and grateful when I witness the great devotion people have to this special church and its Lady Chapel, La Nuova Porziuncola. You help to make it the special place of holiness and peace it has become.

Asking God to bless you and your family, and with prayers of appreciation, I am

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Fr. Gregory Coiro, O.F.M.Cap.
Rector

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