August 2, 2006


Today is the feast day of the mother church of the Franciscan order. It was at the little church of the Portiuncula, dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, that Franciscan pre-history became the story of a great religious order. The first friars were staying there in 1209 when the so-called primitive rule was said to be verbally approved by Innocent III.

You may be more familiar with Our Lady of the Angels as a title for Mary than you might think: I believe that Santa Maria de Los Angeles is the full name of the city of Los Angeles, California. There's a lot of Franciscan influence out that way, you know.

Nowadays that tiny church of the Portiuncula is located inside a larger church dedicated to Our Lady in the modern city of Assisi. There are some good pictures in the Wikipedia article.

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