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Feast of Saint Francis of the Precious Wounds

100 years of Franciscan presence in Canindé, Brazil

05 October 2023

From the 24th September to the 4th October in Canindé, in the City of Ceará, Brazil, the Feast of St Francis of Chagas (St. Francis of the Precious Wounds) was solemnly celebrated, which this year coincided with the 100 years of presence of the Friars Minor in the area. br. César Külkamp the General Definitor of the area was present at the celebrations.

The theme of this year's celebrations was "Saint Francis who teaches us to evangelize in fraternity", chosen to reflect on two cornerstones of Franciscan spirituality: evangelization and fraternity.

The eighth night of the Novena was characterized by the preaching of br. César, who brought into his reflections encouraging words on the work carried out in the parishes. Remembering the words of Pope Francis expressed in Evangelii Gaudium, he underlined the importance of conversion, without which we risk losing the strength of the Gospel, remaining attached to simple sacramentalism, which leaves no room for the Holy Spirit.

At the end of his homily, he addressed the Franciscan Fraternity, bringing the grateful wishes of the Minister General, br. Massimo Fusarelli, and addressing his gratitude to the pilgrims present: "I want to thank all you followers of Saint Francis for all that you do for this Sanctuary. Your presence here enables you to experience a profound encounter with the Risen Lord and with His faithful disciple St. Francis of Assisi, indeed, to experience the certainty and joy of knowing that you have always been loved by God. Return to your homes and communities, carrying in your hearts the joy of the Gospel and of the Fraternity. This is the most precious testimony that our world so desperately needs."

Canindé saw the arrival of the first friars, who came from the Franciscan Province of St. Anthony of Brazil, on the 26th March 1923. In these 100 years of presence, the friars have seen the growth of a faith that moves many hearts. Saint Francis of the Precious Wounds identifies deeply with the wounds of the pilgrims who come to this sanctuary throughout the year.

Written with the contribution of br. Roberto Alves ofm

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