The Inter-Franciscan Hermitage Experience is an annual Lenten gathering that brings together members of the entire Franciscan Family in the Philippines to take part in a day of profound spiritual engagement through guided reflections, moments of silence, the sacrament of reconciliation, and heartfelt fraternal encounters.

On March 23, 2024, the Hermitage participants gathered at the San Damiano Spirituality Center in Tagaytay City, Philippines, to contemplate St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata. Although this event happened eight centuries ago, it continues to resonate deeply within the Franciscan tradition. Guided by Friar Eric A. DELA PEÑA, OFM Conv., the participants explored the theme: “Contemplating the Cross through the Stigmata.”
Around three hundred religious and secular Franciscans attended. Most came from Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines.
The day culminated with Mass presided over by the Most Reverend Reynaldo EVANGELISTA, Bishop of Imus, Philippines. It’s worth noting that Bishop EVANGELISTA is also a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS).

Friar Bernard ANUTA, OFM Conv.
Photos: Friar Bernard ANUTA, OFM Conv., and OFS – Philippines