September 19, 2017

Shrine of Renunciation

The other day, thanks to one of the friars, there arrived in my hands the English version of the pastoral letter of Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino for the recent opening of the Santuario della Spogliazione in Assisi, which recalls the moment when St. Francis, having been brought to trial by his father for the squandering of his goods, divested himself of his rights as an heir and what property he had, including the clothes he was wearing.

I'm glad it didn't fall to me to decide on the English for Santuario della Spogliazione, but this translator has made a fine choice with The Shrine of Renunciation.

The letter is really quite beautiful, and whoever made the translation did a very nice job.
The nakedness of Francis reminds us of Eden. It is not just penance and renunciation. It is a longing for original purity. It speaks something of the beauty planted by God in the body of man and woman before innocence was disordered by sin. It is nudity that is projected towards the splendor of the risen body, when the power of Christ will give new life to our mortal bodies. It is in nudity that we find the taste of truth and beauty, simplicity and sobriety, the serene awareness of our own creatureliness. Francis incarnates the wisdom of Job: “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again” (Job 1:21). (4)
The Shrine includes the church of St. Mary Major, which is in Capuchin care. Coincidentally, or not, it is right across the little Piazza del Vescovado from where I stayed the first time I visited Assisi, way back in 1993, at the Casa del Terziario.

Read the whole letter here.