The Brothers of the Tuscany Province in audience with the Pope

On the centenary of the Stigmata of St. Francis

08 April 2024

On Friday, April 5, Pope Francis received in audience, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Friars Minor of the Tuscan Province [St Francis Stigmatized], on the occasion of the Centenary of the Stigmata of St. Francis.  Also present was the bishop of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Bishop Andrea Migliavacca.

In the discourse addressed to the brothers, Pope Francis emphasized the meaning of the stigmata in the life of the Christian and in the life of the Franciscan. The Stigmata “remember the pain suffered for our love and for our salvation by Jesus in his flesh; they are also a sign of the Paschal victory”.  The Christian “is called to address in a special way the stigmatized one encounters: those marked by life, who carry the scars of suffering and injustices undergone or of mistakes made”.

Pope Francis highlighted the poverty of spirit of the Poverello of Assisi, inviting the brothers to do likewise, thus becoming witnesses of the aggrieved Christ. The Pope then recalled the role of friar priests as confessors and apostles of God’s mercy, inviting them to pardon all and to pardon always: “The intimacy with Christ always makes you more humble, more united, more joyful, and more essential, lovers of the Cross and attentive to the poor, witnesses of peace and prophets of hope”.

Pope Francis also stressed the sign of the Franciscan habit, which is respected because “it makes you think of St. Francis and of the grace received”.  The discourse was ended with a new prayer to St. Francis Stigmatized, which the Pope delivered, and with blessing of the major relic of the blood of St. Francis, brought especially from La Verna. 

The Minister Provincial, Br Livio Crisci, gave the Pope a reproduction of the bas-relief of the Stigmata, together with other gifts brought by the brothers from La Verna.

After the audience the brothers visited the Basilica of St. Peter and celebrated the Eucharist at the Altar of the Chair, presided by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti.

Read Pope Francis’ discourse


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