Newsletter Highlights 800th Anniversary Celebrations

HNP Communications Franciscan World

ROME — The April issue of Fraternitas, the newsletter of the Order of Friars Minor, reported on a variety of activities taking place around the globe honoring and celebrating 800 years of the Order.

Among the celebrations was a February gathering in Madrid, including General Minister José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, presiding at Solemn Eucharist with more than 50 concelebrants, and an almost one-month long, 800 km pilgrimage by two Slovenian devotees of St. Francis to La Verna, Assisi, Greccio and other significant Franciscan locations in honor of the jubilee year. The newsletter reported Franciscans in France are holding monthly retreats, pilgrimages and other activities to celebrate the anniversary.

Fr. José attended the International Chapter of Mats in Assisi and Rome April 15 through 18, according to the newsletter. Eight friars from Holy Name Province traveled to Italy to attend this gathering, only the second of its kind ever held.

St. Francis is honored in Hungary with a postage stamp that reads: “Saint Francis of Assisi founded the Franciscan Order 800 years ago,” released by the country’s postal service in February. The stamp includes the form of a cross and various Franciscan motifs.

Fraternitas featured a brief Franciscan history of April 16 — the day St. Francis of Assisi professed vows in front of Pope Innocent III — including the Bull of Pope Clement XII and a memory from the 750th anniversary of the Order.

The April issue also included articles about the following:
• Pope Benedict XVI’s nomination of a Franciscan for bishop of Huejutla, Mexico.
• The second Latin American Seminar on Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue was held in Bogota, Colombia, in February with the intention to deepen knowledge of Pentecostalism in Latin America, create room for dialogue according to the Franciscan tradition and organize an exchange network in the Franciscan family.