National Shrine of
Saint Francis of Assisi


Sunday, August 2
Vigil: Saturday, Aug. 1

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Assisi Pardon
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Mass Readings - August 1st
Novena Prayer
Prayer Requests
Vespers - August 2nd

Schedule of Celebration Feast Vigil

Saturday, August 1 From Your Home:

4PM Recitation of the Holy Rosary (Glorious Mysteries). Join the Shrine Rector as he celebrates the feast at the Porziuncola Nuova chapel.

4:30PM Vespers

5PM Holy Mass followed by recitation of the Novena Prayer and Plenary Indulgence prayers for the Pope's intentions

Novena Prayer to
Our Lady of the Angels

O Virgin of the Angels,
who has for centuries established your throne of mercy at the Portiuncula,
hear the prayer of your children, who trust in you.
From this truly holy place and the habitation of the Lord,
so dear to the heart of Saint Francis, you have always invited all men to love.
Your tender eyes assure us of a never failing motherly help
and a promise of divine help to all those who humbly have recourse to your throne,
or who from afar, turn to you to ask for help.

You are, indeed, our sweet Queen and our only hope.
O Lady of the Angels,
obtain for us, through the intercession of blessed Francis,
pardon for our sins,
help us to keep away from sin and indifference,
so that we shall be worthy of calling you our Mother for evermore.

Bless our homes, our toil and our rest,
by giving us that same serenity we experience within the walls of the Portiuncula,
where hate, guilt and tears turn into a song of joy
like that once was sung by the Angels and the seraphic Francis.
Help those who are in need and hungry,
those who are in danger of body and soul,
those who are sad and downhearted,
those who are sick and dying.

Bless us, your most beloved children,
and we pray you, bless also with the same motherly gesture,
all those who are innocent, together with those who are guilty;
those who are faithful, together with those who have gone astray;
those who believe, together with those who are in doubt.

Bless all humanity,
so that all men acknowledging that they are God's children,
would find through love, real Peace and real Good.

If interested, you can view/download/print The Novena Prayer

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VESPERS - August 1st

Come, let us adore Christ the Bridegroom of the Church
as we honor the memory of the Virgin Mary

Introduction: *(Sign of the cross): + O God come to our assistance, Lord make haste to help us: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

Psalmody Ant. 1 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. (Psalm 122)

I rejoiced when I heard them say: "Let us go to God's house." And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel's law it is, thereto praise the Lord's name. There were set the thrones of judgement of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray; "Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, and in your palaces, peace!"

For love of my brethren and friends I say: "Peace upon you!" For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good.

*(Glory be to the ....)

Ant. 1 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

Ant. 2 How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! (Psalm 84)

How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! My soul has a desire and a longing for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

The Sparrow has found her house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

Happy are they who dwell in your house! They will always be praising you. Happy are the people whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.

Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, for the early rains have covered it with pools of water. They will climb from height to height and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.

Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob. Behold our defender, O God; and look upon the face of your anointed.

For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is both sun and shield; he will give grace and glory; no good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity.

O Lord of hosts, happy are they who put their trust in you!

*(Glory be to the...)

Ant. 2 How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts!


"The Porziuncola was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned. Francis had a great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the angels often visited it, so that it used to be called St. Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love of the Mother of Christ. He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here that he began his religious life in a very small way; it was here that he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.

This was the place where St. Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel. This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of Mercy and he brought it to fruition.

He embraced the Mother of our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of Majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars."

+ A period of silent reflection.

Responses: You are all fair, O Mary You are all fair, O Mary,
- And the stain of original sin is not in you.

You are the glory of Jerusalem;
- You are the joy of Israel;

You are the honor of our people;
- You are the advocate of sinners, O Mary.

Virgin most prudent,
- Mother most loving,

Pray for us,
- Intercede for us with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Canticle of Mary

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.


The Lord's Prayer:

(Our Father, who are in heaven...)

Concluding prayer:

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of Francis with a special love for the Mother of your Son, Jesus, and for the Porziuncola. In this hallowed place you nourished his spiritual life and inspired him to found the Order of Friars Minor. Through the intercession of Our Lady of the Angels may we be steadfast in our faith and remain true to our calling. Grant this through your Son, Jesus Christ.

- Amen.

If interested, you can view/download/print Vespers

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Vigil Mass, August 1st 5:00PM

Holy Mass followed by recitation of the Novena Prayer and Plenary Indulgence prayers for the Pope's intentions.

Introductory Rites

You are blessed by your God, for in every nation that shall hear Your name the God of Israel shall be magnified. (See Jdt 15,10)


Father, as we honor the glorious memory of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Angels, we ask that by the help of her prayers we too may come to share the fullness of your grace. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.

See Franciscan Lectionary, no. 40*

READING I: Sir 24, 1-4 16. 22-24 (Vulg.)
A reading from the book of Sirach
He who heeds wisdom shall not be put to shame.

Wisdom sings her own praises, before her own people she proclaims her glory; In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she declares her worth: In the midst of her people, she shall be exalted and shall be revered in the holy assembly. In the multitude of the elect she shall be praised, and among the blest she shall be blest. I spread out my branches like a terebinth, my branches so bright and so graceful. I bud forth delights like the vine, my blossoms become fruit fair and rich. I am the mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge and of holy hope. In me is all grace of way and of truth, in me all hope of life and strength. Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits; You will remember me as sweeter than honey, better to have than the honeycomb. He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for more; He who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24, 5. 5. 9-10. 18-19.

R. (2) I will bless the Lord at all times.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. When the afflicted man called out, the Lord heard, And from all his distress he saved him.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Taste and see how good the Lord is; happy the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for nought is lacking to those who fear him.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

READING II Gal 4, 3-7
A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians
God sent his Son born of a woman.

Brothers, while we were not yet of age we were like slaves subordinated to the elements of the world; but when the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son which cries out "Abba!" ("Father!") You are no longer a slave but a son! And the fact that you are a son makes you an heir, by God's design.

This is the Word of the Lord.

GOSPEL Lk 1, 26-33 Alleluia See Lk 1, 28-42
R. Alleluia. Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. R. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke
You shall conceive and bear a son.

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin bethrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

Upon arriving, the angel said to her: "Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women." She was deeply troubled by his words and wondered what his greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her: "Do not fear Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the names Jesus. Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end."

This is the gospel of the Lord.


Pray, brethren . . . Lord, we bring you our sacrifice of praise at this celebration in honor of Mary, the mother of your Son. May this holy exchange of gifts help us on our way to eternal salvation. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary I (P 56: "as we honor"), pages 484 – 485.

Communion Rite

All generations will call me blessed because God has looked upon his lowly handmaid. (See Lk I, 48)


Let us pray.

Pause for silent prayer, if this has not preceded.

Lord God, May the heavenly banquet nourish us as we venerate the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May we celebrate more worthily Your Son's boundless mercy toward us, and cherish undying love for him, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

If interested, you can view/download/print Mass Readings

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