On the vigil of St. Francis Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Franciscan Friars and friends gathered at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis, a service recalling the death of our Father Francis’ death. St. Clare of Assisi and her Poor Clare Sisters (our Novices and Postulants) recalled the events leading to those final moments.
Mother Clare: “Dear brothers and sisters, we keep Francis’ vision as we hold onto love. On this eve of our Father Francis’ death, I remember that night. Francis and I were both ill and he could not come here to San Damiano. He sent a message with one of the brothers saying, “’Go and tell Lady Clare that she and her Sisters must put aside all sorrow and sadness on account of not seeing me. They will see me after my death and that will console them.’ Dear holy ones, Francis kept his word.”
Friars of the Order of Friars Minor serving at Holy Family Convent, Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc, and Franciscans Downtown, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, as well as those in fraternal service in a nearby friary in Manitowoc, reenacted the funeral procession from Assisi’s St. Mary of the Angels to San Damiano. Other men serving in our sponsored institution also joined the procession.
Clare’s words were also a source of strength in the closing minutes of the evening: “Go forth joyfully in peace to Him Who made you, sanctified you, Who has always loved and watched over you; go forth with Him Who will guide you.”