National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi

The NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI bears witness to Christ within the beautiful city named for the poor troubadour of God. The contemporary ministry of the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi invites pilgrims, visitors, and all people of faith to encounter God's love in its sanctuary of quiet and prayer.

Moreover, the Shrine offers a rich experience of the sacramental life of the Church for the Catholic faithful who come seeking spirituality, faith, and grace.

Operating as usual

Photos from Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition's post 04/24/2021

St. Fidelis, Pray for us.


"If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the Cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints." - St. Clare of Assisi

"If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the Cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints." - St. Clare of Assisi

Photos from Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition's post 03/05/2021

St. John Joseph of the Cross, Pray for us.

Timeline Photos 03/04/2021

“Through thick & thin” support our dedicated men and women of Law Enforcement.


“Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In Him-- in His suffering and death, His resurrection and triumph, we find our truest joy.” (Bread and Wine: Devotional Readings for Lent and Easter)

“Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In Him-- in His suffering and death, His resurrection and triumph, we find our truest joy.” (Bread and Wine: Devotional Readings for Lent and Easter)

Photos from Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition's post 02/06/2021

St. Peter Baptiste and companions, Pray for us.

Photos from Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition's post 02/04/2021

Pray for us.

Photos from Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition's post 01/23/2021

St. Marianne Cope, Pray for us.


Holy Franciscan Martyrs, Pray for us.

On January 16, Franciscans celebrate the feast of St. Berard and four friar companions, the first martyrs of the Order, who were beheaded in Morocco on this date in 1220.

At the general chapter of the Friars Minor in 1219, the decision was made to send brothers to preach the Gospel in Muslim lands—this at a time when the Church had launched a new Crusade. Francis himself and a dozen other friars went east to the Holy Land, and Brother Giles and some companions, south, to Tunis. Berard and six other friars, Peter, Otho, Vitalis, Accursius, and Adjutus, were sent west, to territories ruled by the Almohad caliphate in Southern Spain and Morocco.

Little is known about the previous background of these friars; Berard, a native of Umbria, was the only one who knew Arabic. When they reached Aragon, Vitalis, the leader of the expedition, fell ill; he begged the other friars to continue without him under Berard's guidance. After visiting Portugal, they crossed into Muslim territory and headed for Seville. There Berard and his companions took a bold, confrontational approach in their preaching, calling their hearers to convert, even though any attempt on the part of Christians to evangelize in a Muslim county was considered blasphemy, carrying a penalty of death.

Both the Muslim rulers and local Christians in Seville thought the friars' approach was insane and tried to dissuade them from preaching in this fashion. After admonishing them, however, the ruler of Seville, seeing they were still convinced of their mission, let them go on to Morocco. There too the friars continued to characterize Mohammed as a false prophet; finally, in Marrakesh the caliph Yusuf II had them tortured; afterward, he tried to induce them to embrace Islam, but the friars remained steadfast. Enraged, the young caliph personally beheaded them with a scimitar. The bodies of the martyrs were ransomed and brought to Coimbra, Portugal; the ceremonies around this event inspired a young Portuguese religious to join the Franciscans. He would become famous as Anthony of Padua.

Following his own experience of going among Muslims, Francis in 1221 included the following prescription in the earlier version of the Rule of the Friars Minor, encouraging his brothers when they lived among people of other religions, to first take a path of humble presence, and to preach openly only when they saw it was opportune (chapter 16):

"As for the brothers who go, they can live spiritually among the Saracens and nonbelievers in two ways. One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake (Ti 3:2 2 Tm 2:14) and to acknowledge that they are Christians (1 Pt 2:13). The other way is to announce the Word of God, when they see it pleases the Lord, in order that [unbelievers] may believe in almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, and be baptized and become Christians because no one can enter the kingdom of God without being reborn of water and the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:5). . . ."

"And wherever they may be, let all my brothers remember that they have given themselves and abandoned their bodies to the Lord Jesus Christ. For love of Him, they must make themselves vulnerable to their enemies, both visible and invisible, because the Lord says: Whoever loses his life because of me will save it in eternal life. (Lk 9:24 Mt 25:46)."

There is a video of these martyrs available at:

#saintberardandcompanions #firstfranciscanmartyrs


Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition

On December 12, Catholics in the Americas celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Franciscans were there at the beginning of this story.

As the late Dr. Gary Francisco Keller, Director of the Hispanic Research Center of Arizona State University says, “The Franciscans and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe go together hand in hand. Franciscans were the first missionaries to come to Nueva España, beginning with Pedro de Gante in 1523 and, in 1524, the Twelve Franciscan Apostles of New Spain . . The work of these Franciscans marked the beginning of the systematic evangelization of the indigenous peoples of Mexico."

Dr. Keller’s Center has available on its website an important source document: the "Nican Mopohua," which narrates the apparitions of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (“Talking Eagle”), on December 9, 10, and the culminating day, December 12, 1531. As Dr. Keller continued: “The Franciscan order was the one on watch during those days. Bishop-designate, and subsequently the first bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumárraga, OFM (1468 – 1548), after a couple of days of hesitation, accepted the authenticity of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the humble, devout 'macehualtzin,' Juan Diego, who had agonized about going to the bishop: “Because I am really (just) a man from the country, I am a (porter's) rope, I am a back-frame, a tail, a wing, a man of no importance: I myself need to be led, carried on someone's back; that place you are sending me to is a place where I'm not used to going to or spending any time in, my little Virgin, my Youngest Daughter, my Lady, Beloved Maiden.”

As Dr. Keller concludes: “Juan Diego doubted his ability to carry it off with the bishop but placed his faith in the Holy Mother, ‘my little Virgin,’ and Juan de Zumárraga at first was doubtful and skeptical. Ultimately, they both succeeded. The rest is history.”

To read this fascinating source for yourself- the "Nican Mopohua" - in four languages - Náhuatl (mexicano), and Spanish, English, and Italian translations - go to this website:çoltica-and-nican-mopohua

For a beautiful reflection by Pope Francis three years ago on the significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, see (Spanish text first, then English translation):


Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition

On November 26, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., Franciscans around the world also honor the memory of St. Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751), famous preacher of parish missions.

Leonard was born in the town of Porto Maurizio on the Italian Riviera, then in the Republic of Genoa, where his father was a ship captain. At the age of 13, he was sent to live with an uncle in Rome where he attended the Jesuit college and the Gregorian University to prepare himself for a career in medicine. However, he discerned a religious vocation instead and entered the Reformed Friars Minor of the Strict Observance in Rome in 1697. When he was ordained in 1703, he hoped to spend his life preaching the Gospel in China, but was refused due to his frail health. Instead, he devoted his life to the ministry of evangelization in his homeland.

For 40 years Leonard tirelessly preached parish missions, Lenten sermons, and retreats throughout Italy to draw people to a life of true conversion. For the first decades of his ministry, he was based in Florence, preaching throughout Tuscany, but after 1736 he was stationed in Rome, although he branched out from there for tours in other regions. Enormous crowds would turn out to hear him, leading St. Alphonsus Liguori to call him "the great missionary of the the (18th) century."

Throughout his preaching, he promoted devotion to the Way of the Cross; he erected over 500 sets of "Stations" throughout Italy, most famously in the Roman Coliseum. Exhausted by his long labors, he died in the friary where he had entered the Order, San Bonaventura on the Palatine Hill in Rome, in 1751.
Leonard left many writings: sermons, letters, and devotional treatise. He was beatified in 1796 and was canonized in 1867. Pius XI declared him the patron of all those preaching parish missions. Since 1996, his remains are in the cathedral of his home town, Porto Maurizio.

"In a hundred places in Holy Scripture, God tells us that it is truly his desire to save all people. 'Is it my will that a sinner should die, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?... I live, says the Lord God. I desire not the death of the sinner. Be converted and live.' When someone wants something very much, it is said that he is dying with desire; this is a hyperbole. But God has wanted and still wants our salvation so much that he died of desire: he suffered death to give us life. This will to save all people is therefore not an affected and superficial will in God; it is a real, effective, and beneficial will; for God provides each of us with all the means most proper for us to be saved."

"What salutary insights will continuous meditation on the bitter passion of the Son of God stir up in the soul! Daily experience has taught me that by the devout prayer of the Way of the Cross people's lives are quickly changed for the better. . . "

"If the Lord at the moment of my death reproves me for being too kind to sinners, I will answer, 'My dear Jesus, if it is a fault to be too kind to sinners, it is a fault I learned from you, for you never scolded anyone who came to you seeking mercy."

St. Leonard of Port Maurice


A “lesser brother” with a red hat

Fray Raniero Cantalamessa OFMCap, le pidió al Papa Francisco que dispensa de la ordenación episcopal en vista del Cardinalato que recibirá. Al menos 3 motivaciones importantes le presentó al Papa: ′′ el obispo debe ser ' pastor ' y ' pescador '. Yo a los 86 años, difícilmente podré ser pastor. En cuanto a ser pescador puedo seguir siendo a través del anuncio de la Palabra de Dios. Y por fin tengo el deseo de morir con mi hábito franciscano, cosa que sería difícil si fuera obispo ".
Qué hermoso testimonio de un hombre de Dios!


Holy martyrs of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, pray for us.

Happy Feast Day of Bl. Andres of Palazuelo, the first of 32 Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War!

Blessed Andrea of Palazuelo, who was known as Miquel González Gonzáles before entering the Capuchins friars, was born on the 8th May 1883 and baptized on the same day. At sixteen years of age, he entered the novitiate of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor and was invested in the habit in the friary at Bilbao. It was the 31 July 1899, a significant date because it was on the same day, he was killed in 1936 for reason of hatred of the faith. At the end of his novitiate, he made his temporary vows, and on the 2nd August 1903, he professed his perpetual vows. On the 19th September 1908 he was ordained to the priesthood and was sent as to teach in the house of studies of the Capuchin friars at El Prado in Madrid. He was then transferred to Leon and then to Bilbao, always as a teacher. In 1920 he was sent again to Madrid as the Provincial Archivist and Chronicler. He remained with this responsibility, except for a brief stay in Gijón, until his death. He was carrying out the tasks of being a Provincial Definitor, writer and spiritual director, when during the tragic period of the Popular Front in Spain, on 20th July 1936 he was forced to leave the friary of Madrid and live, along with other priests and religious, in a care facility for elderly priests. He maintained his habitual serenity, and despite having done no harm to anyone, was arrested on 30 July 1936 and taken from the residence. Without any juridical process, and for the only reason that he was a priest and religious, on the same night between the 30th and 31st July 1936, he was beaten to death. On the same morning his body was found in the park of San Isidro. It was taken to the cemetery of Almudena and buried in a place where it was not possible to individually identify.

Bl. Andres and companions, pray for us! 🙏

#feastday #saints #capuchinsaints #ofmcap #beacapuchin


Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition

On November 9, Franciscans, along with the rest of the Catholic Church, celebrate the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The Pope's cathedral as Bishop of Rome, the Lateran played an important role in early Franciscan history, as it was the seat of government of the Church at that time. There Francis and his first brothers went in 1209 to seek the approval of Pope Innocent III for their way of life.

A story was told in Franciscan circles about Francis's visit to a hesitant Pope Innocent: "On hearing [Francis's response to his questions], the pope was greatly amazed, especially since, before blessed Francis's arrival, he had seen in a vision the church of St. John Lateran threatening to collapse, and a religious, small and of shabby appearance, supporting it on his own shoulders. . . A few days later, blessed Francis came to him, made known his proposal, and asked him to confirm the rule he has written in simple words, using the words of the holy Gospel, for whose perfection he fully longed. As he was reflecting on how enthusiastic blessed Francis was in God's service, and comparing his vision with that shown to the man of God, he began to say to himself: 'This is indeed that holy and religious man through whom the church of God will be sustained and supported.' So he embraced him and approved the rule he had written." (Legend of the Three Companions, 51).

Several years later, in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council was held in the church, which would profoundly affect the Franciscan movement. Some believe that Francis was present at the Council. Soon the Lesser Brothers were moving into the ministries of popular preaching and the hearing of confessions which were emphasized by the Council. Today, the Friars Minor serve as the official confessors at the Lateran basilica.

On this feast, Franciscans reflect and celebrate the providential union of their Gospel way of life with the wider mission of the Church!



Food for thought:

Some people want to abolish the Electoral College. Here's why they're wrong.


St. Peter, Pray for us.

On October 22, Franciscans in the USA celebrate the memory of St Peter of Alcántara, a famous reformer of Franciscan life (in most of the rest of world, his feast is observed on Oct 19).

Peter was born in 1499 in the town of Alcántara in the Extremadura region of Spain. He was sent to the University of Salamanca to study law, but at the age of 16, he decided to join a strict branch of the Franciscans. He was ordained in 1524, and even as a young friar became gained the reputation of being an effective preacher and spiritual leader.

Elected provincial minister in 1538, the reforms he proposed were viewed as too strict by the majority of friars, so he gathered some followers to form new fraternities. These achieved a large measure of autonomy within the Order in 1554 as the Discalced or “Barefoot” Reform. Their life was extremely austere: as their name implies, the friars went about barefoot when possible; their friaries were small and the bedrooms tiny; meat and dairy products were permitted only for the sick, scourging and other penitential observances were regular practices.

Peter was especially noted for his severe way of life: fasting, sleep deprivation, and intense prayer, but he also continued to devote himself to preaching, at which he was very effective. His treatise on prayer remains a classic. Peter proved a strong support to St. Teresa of Avila in her reform efforts among the Carmelites; she said he “was so extremely thin that he seemed to be made of nothing more than some gnarled roots . . . but he was very kind, though he spoke little, unless asked a question. However, his responses were exquisite because of his deep understanding. . From the beginning I saw that he understood me, which is all that I needed. That holy man shed light on everything for me.” He died at his hermitage in Arenas in 1562 and was canonized in 1669. He is the patron saint of Brazil.

A saying of Peter:
“Truly, matters in this world are in a bad state. . . . but the remedy is simple. You and I must first be what we ought to be; then we shall have cured what concerns ourselves. Let each one do the same and all will be well. The trouble is that we all talk of reforming others without ever reforming ourselves.”

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610 Vallejo St
San Francisco, CA

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