2 August: Portiuncula Indulgence

To Midnight 2 August,  you can gain the "Portinuncula" Indulgence.

Catholic Encyclopedia

St. Francis, as you know, repaired three chapels. The third was popularly called the Portiuncula or the Little Portion, dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels.  It is now enclosed in a sanctuary at Assisi.

The friars came to live at the Little Portion in early 1211.  It became the “motherhouse” of the Franciscans. This is where St. Clare came to the friars to make her vows during the night following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Sister Death came to Francis on 3 October 1226.

Because of the favors from God obtained at the Portiuncula, St. Francis requested the Pope to grant remission of sins to all who came there.  The privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula to others churches, especially held by Franciscans, throughout the world.

A plenary indulgence is a mighty tool for works of mercy and weapon in our ongoing spiritual warfare.  A plenary indulgence is the remission, through the merits of Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan sanctuary, or one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels.  Then perform the work of reciting the Creed and Our Father and pray for the Pope’s designated intentions.  You should be free, at least intentionally, of attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Make your sacramental confession 8 days before or after.  Participate at assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after. 

BTW… the faithful can gain a plenary indulgence on a day of the year he designates (cf. Ench. Indul. 33 1.2.d).  You might choose the anniversary of your baptism or of another sacrament or name day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geoffrey says:

    “…the faithful can gain a plenary indulgence on a day of the year he designates…”

    I knew about the anniversary of baptism, but other days as well? I will have to check out the Enchiridion when I have a chance!

  2. FrCharles says:

    Thanks for the post on this feast of the mother church of my Order! Queen of the Seraphic Order, pray for us!

  3. doanli says:

    Hearing a lot about this on EWTN and all over the Web. First I’ve ever heard of it!

    I cannot receive the Sacraments right now, but will do the best I can.

  4. doanli says:

    Would also like to be a Third Order Franciscan. (Is there such a thing)

    As soon as I get things right in the eyes of Holy Mother Church of course.

  5. irishgirl says:

    I’ve been to Assisi on all four of my Italy trips (1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983), so I was very familiar with the Portiuncula Chapel at Santa Maria degli Angeli. Would soooo love to go back….

    Just watched the Daily Mass on EWTN via my computer-today three of the MFVA friars renewed their vows for one year, and two postulants received the Franciscan habit. It was wonderful to see-had to keep from crying for joy in the library! I sent EWTN an email saying how much I enjoyed watching the two ceremonies!

  6. Tradster says:


    One point about the 8 days you mentioned for confession. As documented at
    the actual period is now 20 days before and after…

    The following was received by EWTN in response to a question directed to the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Roman dicastery responsible for the administration of Indulgences. The question asked was whether the norm enunciated in the Jubilee document Gift of the Indulgence, which allowed about 20 days before or after doing an indulgenced work to make one’s confession, applied only to the Jubilee Year or continues in force. The traditional norm, still cited by many Catholic sources, is 8 days before or after (counting the day of the work).

    As the response notes, the norm of about 20 days was given under “General remarks on indulgences” in Gift, and so remains in effect. Remaining in effect also, therefore, would be the entirety of the “General remarks” in Gift, as a reflection of the mind of the Holy See.


    Official Response


    Prot. N. 39/05/I

    APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY to a doubt proposed on 16 February 2005, by the beloved in Christ Fr. (sic.) Colin B. Donovan, STL: <>, it is responded: Negative as far as the first part, Affirmative as far as the second (for this was not written under “Specific Aspects of the Jubilee Year”, but in “General remarks on indulgences”).

    Given in Rome, from the offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 18 February 2005.


    Ioannes Maria Gervais
    Assisting in Studies

  7. Gwen says:

    Fr Z’s post said: “BTW… the faithful can gain a plenary indulgence on a day of the year he designates (cf. Ench. Indul. 33 1.2.d). You might choose the anniversary of your baptism or of another sacrament or name day.”

    In my Manual of Indulgences (USCCB 2006), this “once a year, on a day chosen by the Christian faithful” is under the para “a minor basilica.” IOW, it reads, 33.1.2.d.: A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit, and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed (1), a minor basilica (2), once a year, on a day chosen by the Christian faithful (d).

    So, does the visit have to be to a minor basilica, to choose the day?
    Ahem, and what is a “minor basilica?”

    I’m a bit disappointed. Our cathedral parish is run by Conventual Fransciscans, and the priest didn’t mention this at Mass this morning. Wish I’d known. Maybe he didn’t. I need all the chances at indulgences I can get :)

  8. Jamus says:

    “Little Portion” eh?
    Sure am glad the grand over-Arch-ing Diocesan monstrosity in L.A. isn’t Franciscan: it’s bad enough that the full name of L.A.(and therefore of aforementioned monstrosity) is “Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles de Porcuncola”.

  9. Girgadis says:

    Thanks for this post and for the photo, Father. In an effort to combine the need to go to an early morning Mass with my daily long walk, I chose to go to a Franciscan-run church this morning, where of course, the Portiuncula was mentioned prominently. The priest explained that the chapel was so small, St. Francis used chalk to mark the divisions that represented each friar’s cell. He then went on to explain that probably 8 of the chapels would have fit into the church where we were having Mass. I see from the photo he wasn’t exagerating.

  10. irishgirl says:

    Girgadis-err, the ‘chalk marking’ of each friar’s place by St. Francis wasn’t done at the Portiuncula, but at Rivo Torto, a few miles away from Assisi. Rivo Torto had a crude shelter where Francis and his first friars lived-until they were ‘evicted’ by a man and his stubborn donkey! It was after this happened that everyone went back to the Portiuncula.

    Just so the info is straight….

  11. skellmeyer says:

    Ummm… the anniversary of your baptism is ALREADY enriched with a plenary indulgence.
    Simply recite your baptismal vows on that day and fulfill the usual conditions to obtain it.
    This particular indulgence is an extension of the Easter Vigil indulgence, the other day of the year during which the repetition of baptismal vows will win you a plenary indulgence.

    Maybe the day chosen by the faithful would be better honored on the anniversary of taking religious vows or marriage vows, something along that line….?

    BTW, if you want more information on all the plenary indulgences of the Church, Bridegroom Press (my company) produces the Beauty of Grace Calendar of Indulgences, which highlights EVERY indulgenced day and every indulgenced act the Church offers, telling you how and when to do each.

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