2016-08-04 16:00:00

Pope Francis makes pilgrimage to town of Assisi

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was making a private pilgrimage to the Italian hill town of Assisi on Thursday afternoon to visit the Porziuncola chapel there to mark the 800th anniversary of the "Pardon of Assisi." 

The Porziuncola is a small chapel housed inside the town’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels which St. Francis of Assisi restored and where he founded the Franciscan order at the start of the 13th century.

Pope Francis previously visited Assisi on the feast day of the Italian saint, his namesake, on October the 4th, 2013.

His visit this year coincides with the 800th anniversary of the “Pardon of Assisi” which is the possibility to receive a plenary indulgence during the first two days of August. The tradition began after the saint received a divine vision and asked God to grant an indulgence to all repentent pilgrims who visit the church.

The Pope arrived by helicopter in Assisi for his three hour visit just after 3.40 pm and was driven to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels where he prayed for around 10 minutes inside the Porziuncola chapel.  Afterwards he offered a reflection on forgiveness taken from the Gospel of Matthew to those gathered inside the basilica. 

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