Ty Mam Duw Poor
Clare Monastery, Wales
Portiuncula and a Parable
is a profound parable in the following description by St. Bonaventure.
It pertains to the Church itself — to Her sons, and to Her daughters.
It is a parable of yesterday and today. Of things abandoned
... and recovered. Of a gathering of Angels, and of a gathering
It was here that St. Clare threw off the raiment of this world
and took the lowly Habit of a Religious ... so unlike the many
today who have thrown off the Habit and taken on the raiment
... and more ... of the world. Read it carefully. It is a sign
not just for our times, but for all times. Yesterday.
“The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother
of God which was abandoned. Francis had 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 was called St. Mary of the Angels, and he decided
to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels
and love for the Mother of Christ.
He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It
was here he began his religious life in a very small way;
it is here 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 his Order 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
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
from the Major Life of St. Francis