A historical coincidence

June 17, 2016-Reading time: < 1 minutes

Eight hundred years ago St. Francis of Assisi requested an indulgence for those who went to the Portiuncula: a clear precedent for what Pope Francis desires in the Jubilee of Mercy.

Just on August 2, 2016, in the middle of the Holy Year of Mercy, it will be the 800th anniversary of the Porziuncola, the place for which St. Francis of Assisi asked Pope Honorius III, at that time in Perugia, to grant a plenary indulgence for all those who would frequent this place and go to confession. It would be the first time that an indulgence would have been given outside Rome, Santiago, St. Michael of Gargano and Jerusalem. Above all, forgiveness of everything would have been granted free of charge. As the Diploma Theobald, after some hesitation, the Pope agreed, but immediately a cardinal in his entourage urged him to limit the terms of the indulgence: "Bear in mind, sir, that if you grant this man such indulgence, you would destroy those overseas."

Perhaps if the request of St. Francis of Assisi had been accepted, there would have been no occasion for the reform that Luther had brought about by the abuse of the question of alms and indulgences. Although restricted, St. Francis obtained something and was able to announce it: "My brothers and sisters, I want to take you all to paradise!". Eight hundred years in advance he had obtained what is now normal, that is, to obtain complete remission of guilt simply by repenting, confessing and going to church.

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