July 15, 2009

Furta Sacra for the Feast of St. Bonaventure

One of the perks of making it through the Capuchin formation program is a pilgrimage to Assisi, Rome, and various other Franciscan holy places. Taking place around the time of perpetual vows, the trip is meant to encourage and inflame the hearts of the brothers as they prepare for or begin to live their permanent gift of self to the fraternity.

When I went two summers ago, one of the places we visited was the Franciscan hermitage at Monte Casale. There we were shown a little cell where St. Bonaventure had stayed when he was doing some writing. Later on I returned to the cell by myself to pray for the intercession of the Seraphic Doctor and for the courage to follow his example. In a little act of sacra furta--I think forgivable--I took a little splinter of St. Bonaventure's cell as a relic for my own devotion. I brought it home and put it in a little reliquary with the label, ex cella S. Bonaventurae Montis Casalis.


My little relic of St. Bonaventure sits at the center of the images of the Lord and his saints I have in my "cell":




Clockwise from the top: Christ crucified (from my trip to the holy land in 1994), the Virgin of the Sign (from a retreat at Graymoor in 1995), John of the Cross, Paschal Baylon (gift of a confrere), Francis (gift from a ministry supervisor), the Transfiguration (gift from academic adviser).

10 comments:

Br. Tom Forde OFMCap said...

If you were on the program in 2007 was that the group that ran into some Irish Caps? If it was I was one of those Caps. We were doing our own pilgrimage that year Rome-Assisi-Padua-Venice (only for a few hours). We may have met already!

GrandmaK said...

You have beautiful icons. Cathy

Brother Charles said...

Wow, Brother. I remember running into the Irish Caps at one of the bus stops, perhaps around the feast of the Portiuncula, and then hanging out briefly outside the basilica. So we've met! Small (Franciscan) world! One of you blessed a rosary for me--that much I remember very clearly and I still have it.

Br. Tom Forde OFMCap said...

Yeah that was us. I can't remember who blessed the rosary. it was either Richard (little guy, dark hair and beard) or me (big guy, reddish - white beard). It is indeed a small world. Pace e bene!

Brother Charles said...

Cool! I looked it up in the journal I kept of the trip and there it is in an entry for 8.2.07, a list of people I met at the Portiuncula:

1. Some Irish Caps
2. A nun from New Jersey
3. A Sudanese OFM, the tallest friar I've ever seen.

Julia said...

Very cool. Both the stolen relic and the discovery of you two having met. :)

pennyante said...

Actually, didn't the sliver only become a relic when you splintered it off the wall? Before that, it was simply the wall of a cell that the Saint happened to have lived in.

Hmmmm, someone else might have called it a souvenir. :)

BTW, what was the other little circular frame?

Brother Charles said...

The other little relic is of Paschal Baylon.

Qualis Rex said...

NICE collection there! My compliments! I'd like to hear about your experiences in the Holy Land circa 1997 sometime if you care to write about them. I was there in 2002. It was an experience that both changed my life spiritually and politically unfortunately.

Dymphna said...

I love your icon corner! I used to have a hanging candle, given to me by a now-deceased Episcopal priest who later converted to orthodoxy. I no longer have it and I really need to get another one for my icon corner.