It’s a biggie for all Franciscans because the Church of Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula is the little abandoned chapel that Francis rebuilt stone by stone. Later he founded the Franciscan order there and all Franciscan work began there, and this is where he asked to be placed when he was dying. A large church was built around the little chapel.
In the Mirror of Perfection, Francis wrote:
“Holy of Holies is this Place of Places,
Meetly held worthy of surpassing honor!
Happy thereof of the surname, of the Angels.
Happier yet the name, Blessed Mary.
Now a true omen the third name conferreth,
The Little Portion on the Little Brethren:
Here where by night a presence oft of Angels
Singing sweet hymns illumineth the watches.
Here was the old world’s broad highway made narrow,
Here the way made broader for the Chosen People;
Here grew the rule, here Poverty, here Our Lady,
Smiting back pride, called back the Cross amongst us.”
(Mirror of Perfection #84)
O Virgin of the Angels, who has for centuries established your throne of mercy at the
hear the prayer of your children,
who trust in you.
From this truly holy place and the habitation of the Lord,
so dear to the heart of saint Francis,
you have always invited all men to love.
Your tender eyes assure us of a never failing motherly help
and a promise of divine help to all those who humbly have recourse to your throne,
or who from afar, turn to you to ask for help.
You are, indeed, our sweet Queen and our only hope.
O Lady of the Angels, obtain for us,
through the intercession of blessed Francis,
pardon for our sins, help us to keep away from sin and indifference,
so that we shall be worthy of calling you our Mother for evermore.
Bless our homes, our toil and our rest,
by giving us that same serenity we experience within the walls of the Porziuncula, where hate, guilt and tears turn into a song of joy
like that once was sung by the Angels and the seraphic Francis.
Help those who are in need and hungry,
those who are in danger of body and soul,
those who are sad and downhearted,
those who are sick and dying.
Bless us, your most beloved children, and, we pray you,
bless also with the same motherly gesture,
all those who are innocent, together with those are guilty;
those who are faithful, together with those who have gone astray;
those who believe, together with those who are in doubt.
Bless all humanity, so that all men acknowledging that they are God’s children,
would find through love, real Peace and real Good.