Holy Mass at the Tomb of Saint Francis

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The high point of my pilgrimage to Assisi with Leonard and Mark was the privilege of celebrating Holy Mass at the tomb of Saint Francis on Tuesday morning. On Monday afternoon I inquired if it might be possible to celebrate Holy Mass at the tomb the following morning. The gentleman in charge of scheduling Masses told me that he doubted there would be an opening; priests come from all over the world to celebrate Mass at the tomb of Saint Francis, some reserving a time months in advance. Then he checked his register and said, "There is an opening tomorrow morning at 8:00."

Tuesday morning I arrived at the tomb at about 7:40. A few minutes later a kind friar opened the sacristy and prepared everything for Mass. He even helped me to vest. The Mass celebrated at the tomb is always that of Saint Francis. I celebrated in Latin from the Seraphic Missal with the readings in Italian. Besides Leonard and Mark, there were a few other pilgrims in attendance. Among them were two religious brothers dressed in what appeared to be the habit of the Hieronymites.

Before and during Holy Mass I prayed for all the Franciscans who have touched my life in one way or another, and especially for my beloved Poor Clares of Barhamsville. I asked for graces of reconciliation and healing where they are most needed. I fully expect to experience the fruits of Saint Francis' intercession.


Dom Mark: The opportunity to celebrate the Sacred Synaxis at the tomb of Saint Francis is indeed a blessing. I can remember with distinct emotion the first time walking on the hallowed ground of Assisi and praying at the tomb of Francis (and later at Clare's tomb). What the Lord has given us in the persons of Saints Francis and Clare is such a great gift of awe, holiness, and service to the Word made Flesh. My prayer is that those who claim these saints as patrons actually take up the example of Francis and Clare in their lives, both private and communal. The Franciscans of the Renewal is a great beginning.

Assise... Quel lieu magnifique où il nous semble pouvoir croiser Claire ou François au coin d'une rue ! Ma première visite à Assise date de 1990. Depuis j'y retourne de temps en temps, mais pas assez souvent à mon goût. J'ai été séduit par le lieu, par la spiritualité simple, pauvre et calme que François a donné, un retour à l'Evangile.

J'espère que vous allez bien.

+Our dear Father in Christ,

I received word last week about this special pilgrimage of yours and the Mass offered at the tomb of our Holy Father Francis, but I was not able to visit your blog and post a comment until now. We are so grateful to you! Your tender solicitude and fatherly care give strength to the soul and rejoice the heart. May God reward you and may He bestow many blessings upon you. Indeed, the graces of healing are already being poured out. This week is full of promise in that regard...No small coincidence that this week holds the feast of St. Mark. I'm sure our Holy Father Francis had arranged that the 8:00 hour was open and available just for you that day, to offer the Holy Sacrifice at his tomb.
We thank you! Spring has come in its fullness to Barhamsville. Wish you could also enjoy it.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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