The Franciscans and bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino, announced the that pope will make an afternoon visit on Aug. 4 to the Portiuncola inside the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in the Umbrian town.
The reason for Francis’ visit is to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the “Pardon of Assisi.”
What is the Pardon of Assisi? It’s the possibility to receive a plenary indulgence during the first two days of August.
The tradition dates back to 1216. On Aug. 1, Christ, Our Lady, and angels appeared before St. Francis of Assisi in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels. During the appearance, Saint Francis asked God to grant the indulgence to all pilgrims who visit the church dedicated to Our Lady. God granted it.
The next day, St. Francis asked Pope Honorius III for his approval. He agreed.
For centuries, the indulgence could only be received in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels. But it is now possible to receive it in all Franciscan churches, and all the parish churches in Assisi. Of course, the conditions must all be met: Communion, Confession and praying for the Pope’s intentions.