Friday, July 16, 2010

Monastero Santa Chiara

La comunità delle clarisse era presente a Nocera presumibilmente, già intorno al 1283.
L’antico Monastero, aderiva alla costa della collina di S. Pantaleone. Travolto da una corrente paurosa di acqua e fango, andò completamente distrutto con tutte le suore. Se ne salvarono soltanto due che, nel buio della notte, con la terra che franava, approdarono all’ospizio dei Frati Minori, una chiesetta con pochi locali. I frati cedettero subito l’ospizio alle clarisse e si trasferirono, nel 1287, presso l’attuale convento S. Antonio di Nocera Inferiore. L’oratorio ceduto dai frati, a più riprese, fu ampliato e circondato da una cinta di mura risalente al 1400 per proteggere la clausura delle monache. Fu costruita, in seguito, un’ala nuova del Monastero detta “quarto nuovo” terminata nel 1796 su disegno di Domenico Vaccaro. Con le leggi eversive del 1861 le monache che amministravano i loro beni con l’assistenza del procuratore furono espropriate dei beni che furono incamerati dallo stato liberal-massone. Il governo, per compensare le religiose per l’ingiusta usurpazione dei loro beni, decise di assegnare un sussidio con il quale si concesse una pensione vitalizia a ciascuna religiosa. Il monastero, per il quale in passato erano state spese somme ingenti per la costruzione e manutenzione, era diventato di proprietà dell’Amministrazione del Fondo per il Culto, che lo cedette poi al Comune di Nocera. Nel 1905, le religiose riuscirono a riscattarlo per la somma di Lire 24.000 mettendo fine a quella disagiata posizione giuridica. il 16 novembre 1928 la comunità passava dalla Regola di Urbano 4° alla Regola di S. Chiara d’Assisi approvata da Innocenzo 4° il 9 agosto 1253.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

(OFM) Conv

(OFM) Conventual

(SFO) Secular

In 1205, Francis of Assisi was called by God to rebuild the Church. Early in his ministry, Francis recognized the need to include people from all walks of life within his movement of reform and renewal. The work of following Christ in humility, love and joy, which is the vocation of all Christians, could not be restricted to the traditional life of the Friars and Sisters. This was true in the thirteenth century and it remains so today.
We are...
* Women and Men
* Single and Married
* Ordained and Lay
* Wage-earning or Retired
* Young and Old
Leading ordinary lives...In city, town, and countryside

Called to follow Francis by...
* Making Christ known and loved everywhere
* Spreading the spirit of love and unity in the whole world
* Living simply


TAU symbol - The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order - USA


Today, there are estimated to be over a half-million Franciscans worldwide in the various denominations of the Christian family. Anglican Franciscans are divided among five provinces worldwide. The Province of the Americas stretches from Canada to Chile to the Caribbean. It currently includes the First Order Brothers and Sisters - who live a celibate life in their respective communities - and the Third Order. The Third Order consists of men and women, single or in committed relationships, who, though following ordinary professions, are called to a dedicated life of service to our Lord through prayer, study, and work. Like the First Order, Tertiaries make a lifetime commitment to live a Rule of Life in company with the sisters and brothers in their Order.

Secular Franciscans TV - You can view these videos at this site.
The Secular Franciscan Identity. In the course of the second half of the twentieth century the Franciscan Family experienced deep transformations. On June 24, 1978 the tertiaries received the new Rule, approved by Pope Paul VI. First, there was the Second Vatican Council with its new focus. The Council documents strongly influenced the writers of the Pauline Rule. We entered into a period of study and of assimilation of the new Rule. It became a fundamental point of reference in the search for "identity". The attitude of the brothers and of the sisters was changing into a new way to be Franciscan, identical in its essentials, but different in how it manifested itself. The Franciscan Third Order had assumed the new Franciscan name of “The Secular Franciscan Order”, exactly because it wanted to underscore the presence of Franciscan laity in the world; it wanted to distinguish itself in its "secular" state, the most significant feature of the Third Order. In Article 2, Secular Franciscans are men and women who, "led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of Saint Francis by means of this rule approved by the Church." The updated legislation of the SFO (Rule and General Constitutions) states that the identity of the Secular Franciscan is expressed in a triple dimension: personal (the inner life), fraternal (co-responsibility) and universal (the mission). READ MORE



Constitution [ DOC ]

FIOFS Statutes [ PDF ]

Spiritual Assistants Statutes [PDF] [ DOC ]

Ritual [ PDF DOC ]

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bonaventura da Potenza

Bonaventura da Potenza, al secolo Carlo Antonio Gerardo Lavanca (Potenza, 1651 – Ravello, 26 ottobre 1711), è stato un presbitero e religioso italiano dell’Ordine dei Frati Minori Conventuali: è stato proclamato beato da papa Pio VI nel 1775. Figlio di “povera gente ma ornata di singolare onestà di costumi e d’insigne cristiana pietà”, entrò, all’età di 15 anni, come novizio nei Minori Conventuali di Nocera Inferiore. Trascorso il periodo di preparazione tra Aversa, Maddaloni e l’Irpinia, nel 1675 infine, ad Amalfi, sotto la guida di padre Domenico Girardelli, venne ordinato sacerdote.
Fu quindi inviato in vari conventi, tra i quali quelli di Napoli, Ravello, Ischia, Sorrento e Nocera Inferiore, dove divenne responsabile dei novizi. Morì nel 1711, nel convento di Ravello, per i postumi di un’operazione per l’asportazione di una cancrena alla gamba. Viene proclamato beato il 26 novembre 1775 da Papa Pio VI in San Pietro.

The Franciscan Archive

St. Francis of Assisi

baptized    Giovanni di Bernadone
b. 1182 -- d. 1226 A. D.
Il Poverello


Troubadour of the Great King
The Internet Guide to St. Francis of Assisi contains all significant links about St. Francis of Assisi on the Internet, and is updated regularly by The Franciscan Archive.

The Marian Dedication of St. Francis of Assisi

The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi

tr. by Father Pascal Robinson


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poor Clares

The Second Order of St. Francis. The subject will be treated here under the following heads:
  • I. Beginnings at San Damiano;
  • II. Rule of Ugolino;
  • III. Definitive Rule of St. Clare;
  • IV Spread of the Order;
  • V. Colettine Reform;
  • VI. In England and America;
  • VII. Mode of Life;
  • VIII. Saints and Blessed of the Order;
  • IX. Present Status.

Third Orders

When people hear the phrase “TOR Franciscans” or see us in black and not brown Franciscan habits, not many understand who we are or where we came from. The Third Order Regular Franciscans developed in the early 13th century from the convergence of groups of penitents who where inspired by the life of Saint Francis. The penitents were lay women and men whose focus was agere poenitentiam or doing penance. In contemporary language we would say that these were persons who deliberately wanted to live a vibrant Christian life.

The general idea of lay people affiliated to religious orders, as seen in the Benedictine Oblates or confraters (Taunton, "Black Monks of St. Benedict", London, 1897, I, 60-63; for Norbertines cf. Hurter, "Papst Innocenz III", Schaffhausen, 1845, IV, 148), is too natural for there to be any need to seek its origin. Founders and benefactors of monasteries were received in life into spiritual fellowship, and were clothed in death in some religious habit. So too the Templars had a whole system whereby layfolk could partake in some sort in their privileges and in the material administration of their affairs (English Hist. Rev., London, April, 1910, 227). But the essential nature of the tertiary is really an innovation of the thirteenth century. At that date many of the laity, impatient of the indolent and sometimes scandalous lives of the clergy in lower Europe, were seized with the idea of reforming Christendom by preaching. This admirable intention caused the rise of the Vaudois under Valdez of Lyons ("Anecdotes Historiques tirés du Recueil inédit d'Etienne de Bourbon, O.P.", ed. by Lecoq de La Manche, Paris, 1878, 290-314), and under somewhat more curious conditions the Fratres Humiliati.

Capuchin (OFM) - History

An autonomous branch of the first Franciscan Order, the other branches being the Friars Minor simply so called (but until lately usually known as Observants or Recollects), and the Conventual Friars Minor. This division of the first Franciscan Order has come about by reason of various reforms; thus the Observants were a reform which separated from the Conventuals, and the Capuchins are a reform of the Observants.

Genesis and development

The Capuchin Reform dates from 1525. It had its origin in the Marches, the Italian province where, after Umbria, the Franciscan spirit seems to have found its most congenial dwelling-place. Cut off by the mountains from the great highways of Italy, the inhabitants of the Marches have to this day retained a delightful simplicity of character and blend a mystical tendency with a practical bent of mind. They may be said to possess the anima naturaliter Franciscana, and it is easy to understand the quick response of the people of this province to the Franciscan teaching, and the tenacity with which the friars of the Marches clung to the primitive simplicity of the order. We have a monument of the enduring vigour of the Franciscan spirit in the Marches in the "Fioretti di San Francesco", wherein the first freshness of the Franciscan spirit seems to have been caught up and enshrined. From the Marches, too, we get another book, of a very different character, but which in its own way bears eloquent witness to the zeal of the brethren of this province for poverty, the "Historia VII Tribulationum" of Angelo Clareno. And at Camerino, on the borders of the province, are preserved the relics of Blessed John of Parma, another of the leaders of the "Spiritual" Friars. The Marches were, in fact, from the earliest days of the order, a centre of resistance to the secularizing tendency which found an entrance amongst the friars even in the days of St. Francis, of which tendency the famous Brother Elias is the historic type.

Friars Minor - History

Order of Friars Minor

I. General History of the Order;
A. First Period (1209-1517);
B. Second Period (1517-1909);
II. The Reform Parties;
A. First Period (1226-1517);
B. Second Period (1517-1897);
(1) The Discalced;
(2) The Reformanti;
(3) The Recollects, including a survey of the history of the Franciscans in the North, especially in Great Britain and Ireland (America is treated in a separate article);
III. Statistics of the Order (1260-1909);
IV. The Various Names of the Friars Minor;
V. The Habit;
VI. The Constitution of the Order;
VII. General Sphere of the Order's Activity;
VIII. The Preaching Activity of the Order;
IX. Influence of the Order on the Liturgy and Religious Devotions;
X. Franciscan Missions;
XI. Cultivation of the Sciences;
XII. Saints and Beati of the Order.

Friars and Monks


General Information Friar (Latin frater,"brother") is a term applied to members of certain religious orders who practice the principles of monastic life and devote themselves to the service of humanity in the secular world. Originally, their regulations forbade the holding either of community or personal property, and the resulting dependence of friars on voluntary contributions in order to live caused them to be known as mendicant orders. The founders of the orders used the term friar to designate members; Saint Francis of Assisi called his followers Friars Minor, and Saint Dominic used the name Friars Preachers. The larger orders were given popular names, derived usually from the color or other distinguishing marks of their habits, such as Black Friars (Dominicans), Gray Friars (Franciscans), and White Friars (Carmelites). Friars differed from monks in that the monk was attached to a specific community within which he led a cloistered life, having no direct contact with the secular world. The friar, on the other hand, belonged to no particular monastic house but to a general order, and worked as an individual in the secular world. Thus, friar and monk are not synonymous terms, even though in popular usage monk is often used as a generic term for all members of religious orders.

Franciscan Institute

Founded in 1939 by Fr. Thomas Plassmann, O.F.M., President of St. Bonaventure College, and led by its first Director, Fr. Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M., the Franciscan Institute stands as the preeminent center in North America of teaching, research and publication on the history, spirituality and intellectual life of the Franciscan movement.
Thanks in large measure to its magnificent library of medieval and modern sources, the Institute first gained international prominence through its research on the great intellectual figures of the Franciscan tradition, resulting in the publication of the critical editions of their works which was heralded the world over as demonstrating the very highest standards of scholarly research and publication.

St. Francis

Saint Francis of Assisi - (Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was a Catholic deacon and preacher. He also was the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and one of the two patrons of Italy (with Catherine of Siena), and it is customary for Catholic churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. The term Franciscan is most commonly used to refer to members of Catholic religious orders, founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. As well as Roman Catholic there are also small Old Catholic and Anglican Franciscan communities. It can also be applied to ideals he inspired in many movements in the modern age.

Thomas of Celano (Tommaso da Celano; c. 1200 – c. 1260-1270) was an Italian friar of the Franciscans (Order of Friars Minor), a poet, and the author of three hagiographies about Saint Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi: A Biographical Sketch

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968), also known as Saint Padre Pio, or simply Padre Pio, was a Capuchin priest from Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pio when he joined the Capuchins; he was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood. He became famous for his stigmata. On 16 June 2002, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II.

Francesco Forgione was born to Orazio Mario Forgione (1860–1946) and Maria Giuseppa de Nunzio Forgione (1859–1929) on 25 May 1887, in Pietrelcina, a farming town in the southern Italian region of Campania.[1] His parents made a living as peasant farmers.[2] He was baptized in the nearby Santa Anna Chapel, which stands upon the walls of a castle.[3] He later served as an altar boy in this same chapel. Restoration work on this chapel was later undertaken by the Padre Pio Foundation of America based in Cromwell, Connecticut.[4] His siblings were an older brother, Michele, and three younger sisters, Felicita, Pellegrina, and Grazia (who was later to become a Bridgettine nun).[2] His parents had two other children who died in infancy.[1] When he was baptised, he was given the name Francesco, which was the name of one of these two.[3] He claimed that by the time he was five years old he had already taken the decision to dedicate his entire life to God.[1][3] He is also said to have begun inflicting penances on himself and to have been chided on one occasion by his mother for using a stone as a pillow and sleeping on the stone floor.[5] He worked on the land up to the age of 10, looking after the small flock of sheep the family owned.[6] This delayed his education to some extent.Pietrelcina was a highly religious town (feast days of saints were celebrated throughout the year), and religion had a profound influence on the Forgione family. The members of the family attended daily Mass, prayed the Rosary nightly, and abstained from meat three days a week in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.[3] Although Francesco's parents and grandparents were illiterate, they memorised the Scriptures and narrated Bible stories to their children. It is claimed by his mother that Francesco was able to see and speak with Jesus, the Virgin Mary and his guardian angel, and that as a child, he assumed that all people could do so. As a youth Pio claimed to have experienced heavenly visions and ecstasies.[1] In 1897, after he had completed three years at the public school, Francesco was drawn to the life of a friar after listening to a young Capuchin friar who was, at that time, seeking donations in the countryside. When he expressed his desire to his parents, they made a trip to Morcone, a community 13 miles (21 km) north of Pietrelcina, to find out if their son was eligible to enter the Capuchin Order. The monks there informed them that they were interested in accepting Francesco into their community, but he needed more education qualifications.[3]

Francesco's father went to the United States in search of work to pay for private tutoring for his son Francesco, so that he might meet the academic requirements to enter the Capuchin Order.[1][6] It was in this period that Francesco received the sacrament of Confirmation on 27 September 1899.[3] He underwent private tutoring and passed the stipulated academic requirements. On 6 January 1903, at the age of 15, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at Morcone where, on 22 January, he took the Franciscan habit and the name of Fra (Brother) Pio in honor of Pope Saint Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcina.[3] He took the simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.[1]

To commence his six-year study for priesthood and to grow in community life, he travelled to the friary of St. Francis of Assisi by oxcart.[3] Three years later on 27 January 1907, he made his solemn profession. In 1910, Brother Pio was ordained a priest by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. Four days later, he offered his first Mass at the parish church of Our Lady of the Angels. His health being precarious, he was permitted to remain with his family until early 1916 while still retaining the Capuchin habit.[5]

On 4 September 1916, Padre Pio was ordered to return to his community life. Thus he was moved to an agricultural community, Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary, located in the Gargano Mountains in San Giovanni Rotondo. Along with Padre Pio, the community had seven friars. He stayed at San Giovanni Rotondo until his death, except for his military service.

When World War I started, four friars from this community were selected for military service.[9] At that time, Padre Pio was a teacher at the seminary and a spiritual director.[9] When one more friar was called into service, Padre Pio was put in charge of the community.[9] Then, in the month of August 1917 Padre Pio was also called to military service.[9] Although not in good health, he was assigned to the 4th Platoon of the 100th Company of the Italian Medical Corps.[9] Although hospitalized by mid-October, he was not discharged until March 1918, whereupon he returned to San Giovanni Rotondo and was assigned to work at Santa Maria degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels) in Pietrelcina.[9] Later, in response to his growing reputation as a worker of miracles, his superiors assigned him to the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo.[9] In all, his military service lasted 182 days.[9]

Padre Pio then became a spiritual director, guiding many spiritually, considering them his spiritual daughters and sons. He had five rules for spiritual growth, namely, weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience.[9]

He compared weekly confession to dusting a room weekly, and recommended the performance of meditation and self-examination twice daily: once in the morning, as preparation to face the day, and once again in the evening, as retrospection. His advice on the practical application of theology he often summed up in his now famous quote, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry". He directed Christians to recognize God in all things and to desire above all things to do the will of God.[9]


The summons of the entrance antiphon captures well the joy of so many of the faithful who have long awaited the beatification of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. By his life given wholly to prayer and to listening to his brothers and sisters, this humble Capuchin friar astonished the world. Countless people came to meet him in the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo and, since his death, the flow of pilgrims has not ceased. When I was a student here in Rome, I myself had the chance to meet him personally, and I thank God for allowing me today to enter Padre Pio's name in the book of the blessed. Guided by the texts of this Fifth Sunday of Easter, which provides the context for the beatification, let us this morning trace the main features of his spiritual experience.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God and believe also in me” (Jn 14:1). In the Gospel just proclaimed, we heard these words of Jesus to his disciples who were in need of encouragement. In fact, his allusion to his imminent departure had thrown them into turmoil. They were afraid of being abandoned, of being alone, and the Lord consoled them with a very specific promise: “I am going to prepare a place for you”, and then, “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (Jn 14:2-3). Through Thomas, the Apostles reply to this reassurance: “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5). The remark is apt, and Jesus does not avoid the question which it implies. The answer he gives will remain for ever a light shining for generations still to come: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me” (Jn 14:6). The “place” that Jesus goes to prepare is in “the house of the Father”; there the disciple will be able to be with the Master for all eternity and share in his joy. Yet there is only one path that leads there: Christ, to whom the disciple must be conformed more and more. Holiness consists precisely in this: that it is no longer the Christian who lives, but Christ himself who lives in him (cf. Gal 2:20). An exhilarating goal, accompanied by a promise which is no less consoling: “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than I will they do, because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12). We hear these words of Christ and think of the humble friar of Gargano. How clearly were they fulfilled in Bl. Pio of Pietrelcina! “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe ...”. What was the life of this humble son of St Francis if not a constant act of faith, strengthened by the hope of heaven, where he could be with Christ?

“I am going to prepare a place for you ... that where I am you may be also”. What other purpose was there for the demanding ascetical practices which Padre Pio undertook from his early youth, if not gradually to identify himself with the Divine Master, so that he could be “where he was”?
Those who went to San Giovanni Rotondo to attend his Mass, to seek his counsel or to confess to him, saw in him a living image of Christ suffering and risen. The face of Padre Pio reflected the light of the Resurrection. His body, marked by the “stigmata”, showed forth the intimate bond between death and resurrection which characterizes the paschal mystery. Bl. Pio of Pietrelcina shared in the Passion with a special intensity: the unique gifts which were given to him, and the interior and mystical sufferings which accompanied them, allowed him constantly to participate in the Lord's agonies, never wavering in his sense that “Calvary is the hill of the saints”. No less painful, and perhaps even more distressing from a human point of view, were the trials which he had to endure as a result, it might be said, of his incomparable charisms. It happens at times in the history of holiness that, by God's special permission, the one chosen is misunderstood. In that case, obedience becomes for him a crucible of purification, a path of gradual assimilation to Christ, a strengthening of true holiness. In this regard, Bl. Pio wrote to one of his superiors: “I strive only to obey you, the good God having made known to me the one thing most acceptable to him and the one way for me to hope for salvation and to sing of victory” (Letter I, p. 807). When the “storm” broke upon him, he took as his rule of life the exhortation of the First Letter of Peter, that we have just heard: Come to Christ, a living stone (cf. 1 Pt 2:4). He himself thus became a “living stone” for the building of that spiritual house which is the Church. For this we today give thanks to the Lord.

“You too are living stones, built into a spiritual house” (1 Pt 2:5). How fitting are these words if we apply them to the extraordinary ecclesial experience which grew up around the new blessed! So many people, meeting him directly or indirectly, rediscovered their faith; inspired by his example, “prayer groups” sprang up in every corner of the world. To all who flocked to him he held up the ideal of holiness, repeating to them: “It seems that Jesus has no interest outside of sanctifying your soul” (Letter II, p. 155). If God's Providence willed that he should be active without ever leaving his convent, as though he were “planted” at the foot of the Cross, this is not without significance. One day the Divine Master had to console him, at a moment of particular trial, by telling him that “it is under the Cross that one learns to love” (Letter I, p. 339). The Cross of Christ is truly the outstanding school of love; indeed, the very “well-spring” of love. Purified by suffering, the love of this faithful disciple drew hearts to Christ and to his demanding Gospel of salvation. At the same time, his charity was poured out like balm on the weaknesses and the sufferings of his brothers and sisters. Padre Pio thus united zeal for souls with a concern for human suffering, working to build at San Giovanni Rotondo a hospital complex which he called the “House for the Relief of Suffering”. He wanted it to be a first-class hospital, but above all he was concerned that the medicine practised there would be truly “human”, treating patients with warm concern and sincere attention. He was quite aware that people who are ill and suffering need not only competent therapeutic care but also, and more importantly, a human and spiritual climate to help them rediscover themselves in an encounter with the love of God and with the kindness of their brothers and sisters. With the “House for the Relief of Suffering”, he wished to show that God's “ordinary miracles” take place in and through our charity. We need to be open to compassion and to the generous service of our brothers and sisters, using every resource of medical science and technology at our disposal. The echo stirred by this beatification in Italy and throughout the world shows that the fame of Padre Pio, a son of Italy and of Francis of Assisi, has gone forth to embrace all the continents. And I gladly greet those who have gathered here — in the first place the Italian authorities who have chosen to be present: the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate, the Prime Minister, who leads the official delegation, and the many other ministers and distinguished guests. Italy is represented most worthily! But also the many faithful from other nations have gathered here to pay homage to Padre Pio.
My affectionate greeting goes to all who have come from near and far, with a special thought for the Capuchin Fathers. To everyone I offer heartfelt thanks. Let me conclude with the words of the Gospel of this Mass: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God”. There is a reference to this exhortation of Christ in the advice which the new blessed never tired of giving to the faithful: “Abandon yourselves fully to the divine heart of Jesus, like a child in the arms of his mother”. May these words of encouragement fill our hearts too and become a source of peace, serenity and joy. Why should we fear, if Christ for us is the Way, and the Truth and the Life? Why should we not trust in God who is the Father, our Father? May “Our Lady of Graces”, whom the humble Capuchin of Pietrelcina invoked with constant and tender devotion, help us to keep our gaze fixed on God. May she take us by the hand and lead us to seek wholeheartedly that supernatural charity flowing forth from the wounded side of the Crucified One. And you, Bl. Padre Pio, look down from heaven upon us assembled in this square and upon all gathered in prayer before the Basilica of St John Lateran and in San Giovanni Rotondo. Intercede for all those who, in every part of the world, are spiritually united with this event and raise their prayers to you. Come to the help of everyone; give peace and consolation to every heart. Amen! 









The crypt is located just under Santa Maria della Concezione, a church commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The pope's brother, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was of the Capuchin order, in 1631 ordered the remains of thousands of Capuchin friars exhumed and transferred from the friary Via dei Lucchesi to the crypt. The bones were arranged along the walls, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night. The crypt, or ossuary, now contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500-1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The crypt walls are decorated with the remains in elaborate fashion, making this crypt a macabre work of art. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits, but for the most part, individual bones are used to create elaborate ornamental designs.


LINKS TO WEBSITES: -- Shrine of Padre Pio -- Padre Pio Devotions --


Anthony of Padova

Fernando Martins de Bulhões, venerated as Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon, (c. 1195 [1] – 13 June 1231) is a Portuguese Catholic saint who was born in Lisbon, Portugal where he lived most of his life, to a wealthy family and who died in Padua, Italy.Fernando Martins de Bulhões, who later, upon admission into the Franciscan Order, would take up the name António (Anthony), was born in Lisbon to Martim Vicente de Bulhões and Teresa Pais Taveira (brother of Pedro Martins de Bulhões, ancestor of the Bulhão or Bulhões family), in a very rich family of the nobility who wanted him to become educated; however, these were not his wishes. His family arranged sound education for him at the local cathedral school. Against the wishes of his family, he entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon. The Canons Regular of St. Augustine, of which he was a member, were famous for their dedication to scholarly pursuits. Anthony studied Scripture and the Latin classics.

Welcome to the Basilica of our Saint here in Padua.
The friars of Saint Anthony’s shrine have decided to establish a site where news and information is made available to all those who would like to know more about the place where the body of the Saint which the world loves has been guarded for almost 8 centuries.
I am sure you will appreciate the contents of this site, especially if you are about to organize a pilgrimage to our Basilica. It is possible to check timetables and reserve the celebration of a Mass for your group. Choirs desiring to sing during Mass on week days or holidays will find an application form.
I am sure you will appreciate the «virtual tour » offered in this site. It’s not the real thing, you will say, and we agree with you. It is for this reason that we hope to see you personally here in Padua.

The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua (Italian: Sant'Antonio di Padova) is a church in Padua, northern Italy. Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Duomo. The basilica is known locally as "il Santo".
Construction of the Basilica probably began around 1235, nineteen years after the death of St. Anthony. It was completed in 1301 although several structural modifications (including the falling of the ambulatory and the construction of a new choir screen) took place between the end of the 14th and the mid 15th century. The Saint, according to his will, had been buried in the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, probably dating from the late 12th century and near which a convent was founded by him in 1229. This church was incorporated into the present basilica as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna).

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI)

 The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) is a Roman Catholic Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right established by Pope John Paul II on 1 January 1998[1]. The FFI was founded by two Franciscan Conventual priests and is a reformed Franciscan Conventual Religious Institute living the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi, the Regula Bullata, according to the Traccia Mariana[2]. The FFI is the male branch of the Franciscan family of the Immaculate. The female branch are the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. And the last branch of the family is the Franciscan Tertiaries of the Immaculate composed mainly of lay people. An offshoot of the Tertiaries are the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.

Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli was born in the city of Fiume/Rijeka on May 1, 1933. He is the sixth of twenty-one children born to the Servants of God Settimio Manelli and Licia Gualandris, whose causes of beatification are now pending in Rome. At an early age, he moved together with his family to the area surrounding San Giovanni Rotondo, where the celebrated Capuchin priest, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, lived. It is impossible to speak of Fr. Stefano’s youth without mentioning the decisive role played by the Saint, who became his confessor, catechist and spiritual director. Little Stefano received his First Holy Communion from the stigmatized hand of Padre Pio in 1938, and in the succeeding years he served the priest’s Mass hundreds of times. Following Padre Pio’s counsel, he entered the Minor Seminary of the Conventual Franciscans at Copertino on December 8, 1945, at the age of twelve.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe (8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941), was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland. He was canonized on 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, amateur radio and the pro-life movement. Pope John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century". In Italian he is known as "San Massimiliano Maria Kolbe"; his given name in Polish is "Maksymilian", in French, "Maximilien". READ MORE

Convento San Francesco - Ravello

Brief History of St. Francis