National Shrine of
Saint Francis of Assisi


Sunday, October 4th
Vigil: Saturday, October 3rd

Feast Day Links

Assisi Pardon
Light a Candle
Vigil: Evening Prayer - October 3, 2020
Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi - October 3, 2020
Mass Readings - October 4, 2020
Novena Prayer
Prayer Requests

Schedule of Celebration of Vigil and Feast

HISTORIC CHURCH — outside front steps


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4 — Feast day
HISTORIC CHURCH — outside front steps

Pet medals available.

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Novena Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi

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

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

(Mention your request here.)

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. Amen

- St. Francis, Pray for us.

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VIGIL: Evening Prayer, October 3

Ant. "Come let us adore Christ the King who exalts the humble."


Ant. 1 Francis a thoroughly Catholic and apostolic man was sent to prepare the way for the Gospel of peace.

I thank the Lord with all my heart
In the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
To be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work,
His justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders.
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him;
Keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people
By giving them the land of the nations.

His works are justice and truth:
His precepts are all of them sure,
Standing firm for ever and ever:
They are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people
And established his covenant forever.
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom;
All who do so prove themselves wise.
His praise shall last forever!

Ant. 2 During his life time he supported the house of God and in his days he strengthened the temple.

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
Zion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
He has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders,
He feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth
And swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool,
He scatters hoar-frost like ashes.

He hurls hailstones like crumbs.
The waters are frozen at his touch;
He sends forth his word and it melts them:
At the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob,
To Israel his laws and decrees.
He has dealt thus with other nations;
He has not taught them his decrees.

Ant. 3 Lead fourth my soul from prison; the just wait for me until you reward me.

With all my voice I cry to the Lord,
With all my voice I entreat the Lord.
I pour out my trouble before him;
I tell him all my distress
While my spirit faints within me.
But you , O Lord, know my path.

On the way where I shall walk
They have hidden a snare to entrap me.
Look on my right and see:
There is not one who takes my part.
I have no means of escape,
Not one who cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord.
I have said: "You are my refuge,
All I have left in the land of the living."
Listen then to my cry
For I am in the depths of distress.

Rescue me from those who pursue me
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of this prison
And then I shall praise your name.
Around me the just will assemble
Because of your goodness to me.


If Christ is in you the body is dead because of sin, while the spirit lives because of justice. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will bring your mortal bodies to life also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.


Francis poor and humble
Enters heaven rich in merit.

He is honored with hymns in heaven.
He enters heaven rich in merit.

Glory to the Father...

Francis poor and humble enters heaven rich in merit.


ANT. By his complete submission to his Creator Francis gained command over creatures and made use of them to praise the Creator.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has fill the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to the Father... Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER: Our Father ...


Father, you helped our seraphic father Francis reflect the image of Christ through a life of poverty and humility. May we follow your Son by walking in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi and by imitating his joyful love.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Transitus of St. Francis
October 3

Introductory Reading from the Testament of St. Francis

"The Lord gave to me, Brother Francis, thus to begin doing penance in this way: when I was in sin, it seemed too bitter to me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I showed mercy to them. And when I left them what had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body…

"And the Lord gave such faith in churches, that I would pray with simplicity…and afterward the Lord gave me, and gives me still, such faith in the priests who live according the rite of the Holy Roman Church…because in this world I see nothing corporally of the Son of God except His most holy Body and Blood…"

"And we must honor all theologians and those who minister the most holy, divine words and respect them as those who minister to us spirit and life…"

"And after the Lord gave me some brothers…the Most High revealed to me that I should live according to the pattern of the Holy Gospel…and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me."

"And I worked with my hands, and I still desire to work."

"...As the Lord has given me to speak and write the Rule and these words simply and plainly, may you understand them simply and without gloss and observe them with a holy activity to the end."

Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King

All Creatures of our God and King, Lift up your
Voices, let us sing: Alleluia! Alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam, O silver moon
that softly gleams:
O Praise Him, O Praise Him, Alleluia, Alleluia,

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hus our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord, the way hath trod.
O praise Him, O Praise Him, Alleluia, Alleluia,

First Reading from the Second Life by Thomas of Celano

As Francis was wasted by that grave illness which ended all his sufferings, he had himself placed naked on the naked ground…Placed on the ground and stripped of his sackcloth garment, he lifted up his face to heaven as usual…and said to his brothers, "I have done what is mine; may Christ teach you what is yours." He spent his time praising God, teaching his beloved companions how to praise Christ with him. As best he could, he broke out in the psalm "With my voice I cried to the Lord; with my voice I beseeched the Lord."

Psalm 142

With a loud voice I cry to the Lord!
With a loud voice I beseech the Lord,
My complaint I pour out before him.
Before him I lay my distress.

When my spirit is faint within me
You, O Lord know my path.
In the way I shall walk they have hidden snares
I have no means of escape
There is no one who cares for my life.

I cry to You, O Lord, and say
"you are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living."
Attend to my cry, for I am indeed brought low.

Rescue me from those who pursue me,
For they are stronger than I.
Lead me forth from this prison
That I may give thanks to Your name.
The just shall gather around me
Because of your goodness to me.

Glory be...

Second Reading from the Legenda Major of St. Bonaventure

In all things, Francis wished without hesitation to be conformed to Christ crucified, who hung on the cross poor, suffering, and naked. When the hour of his passing was approaching, he had all the brothers in the place called to him, and comforting them about his death with words of consolation, he exhorted them to divine love with fatherly affection. He stretched out his hands over them, crossing his arms in the form of a cross, for he always loved that sign, and he blessed all the brothers, both present and absent, in the name of the crucified. Then the beloved man of God ordered the book of the Gospels to be brought to him, and asked that the Gospel of John be read to him, from that place that begins: "Before the feast of the Passover."


Gospel Reading: John 11

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed* has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger*greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.

Third Reading from the Legenda Major of St. Bonaventure

At last, when all the mysteries were fulfilled in him and that most holy soul was released from the flesh and absorbed into the abyss of divine light, the blessed Francis fell asleep in the Lord. One his brothers saw that blessed soul under the appearance of a radiant star, carried up on a shining cloud, to enter the place of light and peace where he rests with Christ forever. Francis, the servant and friend of the Most High, the founder and leader of the Order of the Lesser Brothers, the practitioner of poverty, the model of penance, the herald of truth, the mirror of holiness, and the exemplar of Gospel perfection, the Lord made incomparably more brilliant in death, who He had made marvelously bright in life.

Veneration of the Relics

Blessing of St. Francis with the Relics

O St. Francis, our brother and our father, true lamp of the world, shining more brilliantly that the sun in the Church of Christ, in your glorious goodness and great renown do not put aside care for your children.

O truly merciful and most holy Father, intercede for us together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. John the Baptist and all the saints, that we may know the blessings of God's grace and, inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we always follow in the footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May the Lord bless you and keep you! Amen.

May He show His face to you and be merciful to you! Amen.

May He turn His countenance toward you and give you peace! Amen.

And may Almighty God bless you, THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

All depart in silence

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October 4
Founder of the three Orders

READING I: Sirach 50:1,3-4,6-7

A reading from the book of Sirach

Francis, resplendent like the sun, shines forth in the temple of God

Behold him in whose time the house of God was renovated, in whose days the temple was reinforced. In his time the reservoir was dug, the pool with a vastness like the sea’s. He protected his people against brigands and strengthened his city against the enemy. Like a star shining among the clouds, like the full moon at the holyday season; Like the sun shining upon the temple, like the rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Responsorial: Psalm Ps 16, 1-2. 5. 7-8/ 11

R: You, Lord are my allotted portion.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you."
O lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.

R: You, Lord are my allotted portion.

I bless the Lord who counsels me;
Even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the Lord ever before me;
With him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R: You, Lord are my allotted portion.

You will show me the path to life,
Fullness of joys in your presence,
The delights at your right hand forever.

R: You, Lord are my allotted portion.

READING II: Galatians 6:14-18

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians

The world is crucified to me and I to the world.

Brothers may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers.

This is the Word of the Lord.


The Sequence is optional. It may be said entirely, or in part beginning with the words: "We pray you, by the cross’s sign marked on your flesh."

(Omit in votive Masses)

Lo, new signs of sanctity,
Deserving praise in high degree,
Wonderful and fair to see,
In Francis now behold?

To the newly gathered band
Francis gives the King’s command,
And guided by his right hand,
The New Law does unfold.

Before the world’s astonished view
Arise the life and Order new
Whose holy rules again renew
The evangelic state.

Francis to Christ’s law conforms,
The life monastic he reforms
And all the apostolic norms
He keeps inviolate.

Scant the measure of his food;
0Scant his raiment, course and rude;
A cord his girdle plain and rude;
He goes with feet unshod.

GOSPEL: Mt. 11, 25-30


R. Alleluia. Francis poor and lowly enters heaven rich in virtue, greeted with celestial hymn.

R. Alleluia.

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew

You have hidden from the learned what you have revealed to the merest children.

Matthew: 11:25-30

At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. ?Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

This is the gospel of the Lord.

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