The Solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi has been the feast day of the General Custody of the Sacred Convent for some time now. This year, it took on a special significance as it marked the 800th anniversary of the Later Rule.
On May 23, 2023, an exhibition on the Rule was inaugurated inside the Basilica. The inauguration was followed by the recitation of Evening Prayer I and a dinner to which all the Franciscan friars of the various obediences present in Assisi were invited. The large refectory of the Sacred Convent was thus filled with the different-colored habits and fraternal presence of about 150 friars. During the dinner, the Custos, Friar Marco MORONI, mindful of the teaching of St. Francis, who urged the friars to keep the rule “always before their eyes as a reminder of the life they should lead and, what is more, that they should die with it” (2Cel 208 FF 797-798), gave each of those present a pocket edition of the Later Rule, which had been specially printed for the occasion.
On the morning of the solemnity, there was a procession from the lower square to the Upper Basilica. During the procession, the Custos and the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor Province of Umbria-Sardinia, Italy, Friar Francesco PILONI, carried the original Rule with them. The Rule was then put on display for the veneration of everyone in the Upper Basilica. It will remain there until the end of the year.
After the procession, Mass was celebrated, presided over by the newly elected Capuchin Franciscan Minister Provincial of Umbria-Abruzzo-Lazio, Italy, Friar Simone CALVARESE. All of the men and women religious in the city received a special invitation to attend this event and were later offered breakfast in the refectory.
The event was a true family celebration, which gathered together those who recognize that the Rule contains the marrow of the Gospel and who are inspired by it in their daily lives.
The friars of the Sacred Convent