National Shrine of
Saint Francis of Assisi



"For this place is truly holy and is the dwelling place of God."

Porziuncola Chapel

The very ancient chapel, venerated for an apparition of angels within it, was originally property of the Benedictines of Subasio. It was located on a piece of land known as the Porziuncola; this name became attached to the chapel.

After a long period of abandonment, it was restored by St. Francis. Here he was given a clear understanding of his vocation. He founded here the Order of Friars Minor (1209), establishing here his home, St. Bonaventure tells us, "because of his reverence for the angels, and of his great love of the Mother of Christ" to whom the little church is dedicated. He obtained the use of the land and the chapel from the Benedictines and made this place the center of his new religious family. On March 28, 1211, (St.) Clare, daughter of Favarone di Offreduccio, received here, from the hands of St. Francis, the religious habit, and thus began the Order of Poor Clares. In 1216, in a vision, St. Francis, obtained from Jesus Christ the indulgence called the Pardon of Assisi. It was ratified by Pope Honorius III. At this center and heart of the Franciscan Order, St. Francis yearly assembled all the Friars in Chapter to discuss the Rule, and renew their dedication to the Gospel life. The Chapter of Mats (1221) was attended by more than 5000 friars.

"See to it, my sons, that you never abandon this place. If you are driven out from one side, go back in at the other. For this place is truly holy and is the dwelling place of God. Here, when we were but a few, the Most High gave us increase; here he enlightened the hearts of his poor ones by the light of his wisdom; here he set our wills on afire with the flame of his love. Here he who prays with a devout heart will obtain what he prays for and he who offends will be punished more severely. Wherefore, my sons, consider this dwelling place of God to be worthy of all honour, and with all your, with voice of joy, and praise, give glory to the Lord in this place."

(Words of the dying St. Francis, Celano 1, n. 106)

Historic St. Francis Church
& Porziuncola Nuova Chapel

  1. On October 4th of each year, the Solemnity of Saint Francis of Assisi, principal co-patron of the Archdiocese of San Francisco,

  2. On August 2nd, each year, the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Angels *(within the Porziuncola Nuova itself)

  3. and once a year, on a day chosen by the Christian faithful,

  4. and as often as they assist in a group pilgrimage visiting the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi itself.

Plenary Indulgence

(for oneself or for a departed soul)

  • Sacramental Confession to be in God's sanctifying grace *(to be received within eight days before or after initiate "appeal" for the Plenary Indulgence);

  • *Participation in the Holy Mass with reception of the Holy Eucharist.

  • Visit to a Catholic Church, followed by the Profession of FAITH (Nicene Creed or Apostles Creed),

  • Recite the OUR FATHER, in order to reaffirm and give witness to one's Christian dignity, as a child of God, that one received in Baptism;

  • Pray for the Pope's intentions: as Vicar of Christ, Shepherd of the Universal Church, and visible sign of unity among the Faithful

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven; Hallowed be thy Name; Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at thee hour of our death. Amen.

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers for the Holy Father

Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope N. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him to be blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Recite the Our Father and Hail Mary. Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, N., our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving-kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

What is an indulgence?
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Chirst and the saints."81

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."82 Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.

The punishments of sin
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin,even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of comm union with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."84

The Communion of Saints
1474 The Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the help of God's grace is not alone. "The life of each of God's children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person."85

1475 In the communion of saints, a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things."86 In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.

1476 We also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church's treasury, which is "not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated during the course of the centuries. On the contrary the 'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their effficacy."87

1477 "This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission the Father entrusted to them. In this way they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body."88

Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church

1478 An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.89

1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.

The Pardon of Assisi remains a manifestation of God' infinite mercy and a sign of Francis' apostolic passion.
Francis continues to receive consolations for those that have lost all hope,
Light for those that wander in the darkness of sin.
From his holy place of the Porziuncola there is a constant flowing of grace in our sin-filled world.
The Porziuncola remains for everyone that comes to this place of mercy,
A luminous sign of God's infinite love and mercy.