New Assisi shrine is reminder to shed attachment to money, pope says

(CNS) Like St. Francis of Assisi did, the Catholic Church and individual Christians must follow Christ by imitating his willingness to give up everything for the sake of others, Pope Francis said.

“Unfortunately, 2,000 years after the proclamation of the Gospel and eight centuries after the witness of Francis, we face a phenomenon of global inequity and an economy that kills,” the pope said in an April 16 letter to the archbishop of Assisi, Italy.

The pope’s letter offered his blessings and support for the decision of the Diocese of Assisi to establish a shrine in memory of the “divestiture” of St. Francis.

The shrine, which will be inaugurated May 20, will be housed in the town’s Church of St. Mary Major, but also will include public access to the “Sala della Spogliazione,” literally the Room of the Divesting. The room in the bishop’s residence is where a young St. Francis – in the presence of his father and of the bishop – stripped naked and renounced all wealth. [More]