From the evening of August 1st until sundown on August 2nd each year, you may take part in the Great Pardon of Assisi. When Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Francis in the year 1216 in the tiny Portuincula (the chapel he built) Jesus asked Francis what he wanted for the salvation of souls. Francis humbly replied that he would like to obtain an indulgence for all those who entered the church, who were truly contrite and had confessed their sins. Jesus granted him this wish but stipulated he should first present his request to the Pope. He obtained approval from Pope Honorius III and this came to be known as the Portuincula Indulgence, or the Pardon of Assisi.
If you happen to be in Assisi today and tomorrow it is a great opportunity; however, you can earn this pardon for yourself or for any departed soul at your local Parish church.
The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi, as it is properly called, are as follows:
1. Sacramental Confession within 8 days either before or after.
2. Participation in Holy Mass and Eucharist.
3. Recitation of the Apostles Creed, Our Father, and a prayer for the Holy Father’s intention.
The Portuincula is now inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels at the foot of the town of Assisi.
Almost all tours stop here either on the way to Assisi or upon leaving. The Basilica is immense and the Portuincula is dwarfed by its surroundings. As you can see here, it is quite small but open to visitors.