The Feast of the Portiuncula and Our Own “Little Portion”
Dear brothers and sisters,
May the Lord give you peace. As we approach another significant Franciscan day, may you each be blessed in the love of God. On August 2, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula (or Little Portion). Note the full name of the feast day: we – like St. Francis – celebrate not just a place, but a person. It is good to remember that the big city to the north of us is not “LA” or even “the City of Angels.” Its original name was "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula" ("the town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciúncula."
The friars who named that area may have been remembering the story from their brother, Thomas of Celano:
Why do you think Francis, the man who clung to nothing, felt so strongly about this place, this “little portion”? According to Thomas of Celano, St. Francis said it was because: Here, when we were but a few, the Most High gave us increase; here He enlightened the hearts of His poor ones by the light of His wisdom; here He set our wills afire with the fire of His love.
Do you feel San Luis Rey Fraternity could be your own Portiuncula? Will you keep coming back, as Francis exhorted his brothers to do? Can you help others to feel their hearts enlightened by God’s wisdom and their wills afire with His love? In this month that brings us feasts of the Portiuncula, St. Clare, the Assumption, and St. Louis, may our fraternity grow in holiness to truly become “a dwelling place of God.”
Our Lady Queen of Angels, St. Francis, St. Clare and St. Louis – pray for us!
Donna, OFS, Minister
Image of Our Lady by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The Virgin with Angels
Secular Franciscan Order
Old Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92057
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