Today is a Franciscan feast that I haven't been able to figure out: In inventione S. P. N. Francisci conf. I suppose it's the "Finding of our holy father Francis, confessor." The observance does not appear in the current Franciscan calendar nor in the 1962 M R-S, and so is no longer observed in any form of the Roman rite.
I'm guessing that it has something to do with the translation of the remains of the saint, but I can't guess exactly how. Anybody know?
Update: a clue! Opening my mail today, I read the newsletter of the local fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order of which I am Spiritual Assistant. The little Franciscan calendar box lists tomorrow as the feast of the "Finding of the Body of St. Francis." I must speak with Sister Editrix!
Update 2: From the very good website of a Florida region of SFO fraternities:
The church which was built at Assisi in honor of St. Francis soon after his death (1228-1230) was a double church, and the body of the saint was buried deep under the lower church. In the course of time the exact location of the tomb was forgotten, and with the permission of the Holy See, excavations were made in 1818 for the purpose of finding the relics. After 52 nights of hard work, the stone coffin containing the bones and ashes of St. Francis was found. A third underground church was then hewn out of solid rock upon which the church had been built; and there the relics of St. Francis are venerated today. Pope Leo XII instituted a special feast to commemorate the finding of the body of St. Francis. It is observed by the Franciscan Order on Dec 12, except in the Americas where it is kept on the following day.
So that also solves the question of the divergent days. Presumably In inventione was celebrated a day late here in the Americas because of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. So that leads to the next question: When did her day become universal in the Americas? Benedict XIV granted her day to "New Spain" in 1754, but was she celebrated everywhere before being declared the Patroness of the Americas by Pius XII in 1946?
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!