19 Sep “Be inflamed by the fire of God’s love”: The Feast of the Stigmata 2017
Centuries of tradition continue in the holy place of La Verna as the friars celebrated with great solemnity the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis. The celebration began on the 16th of September, the vigil of the Solemnity, with Vespers in the Basilica presided by the Minister General, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, OFM. Later in the evening, Br. Michael celebrated the Mass as pilgrims were welcomed, many of them the youth who were on retreat at the town below and arrived at the Shrine on foot.
The Solemn Mass was celebrated by the Minister General on the day of the Feast, the 17th of September. In his homily, Br. Michael invited the faithful to look at the Stigmata of St. Francis and to allow themselves “to be inflamed by the fire of God’s love as He did with St. Francis… in order that Christ’s Resurrection may continue to transform the world through us.”
Following an ancient tradition, the Feast was rendered more solemn with the procession to the Chapel of the Stigmata, with a long line of friars, the faithful and civil authorities. At the end of the procession the Provincial Minister of the Tuscan Province, Br. Guido Fineschi, blessed, with the relic of the blood of the stigmata, the City of Florence.