University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


"On his return from Europe in May Father Sorin found the new chapel of the Brothers' Novitiate almost finished. Begun in the previous fall, it had been modeled on the true chapel of St. Francis of Assisi, 40' X 20'. Father Sorin had obtained for the new sanctuary all the indulgences of the Portiuncula in perpetuity. It was blessed by the Bishop of Fort Wayne on May 29. Had a daily privileged altar. Soon after Pope Pius, responding to a request, declared it a place of regular pilgrimage.

"Here Father Sorin had dug for himself and for Brother Vincent, his first companion, a burial vault, where both are to rest in expectation of a glorious resurrection. The vault is under the floor in the center of the nave. In this spot is to be erected a little monument in the shape of a kneeling desk to receive the right hand of the Very Rev. Father Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The hand will be raise in the attitude of blessing. All this was explained, in writing, to the Very Rev. Father himself in 1861, and he approved the design which is not altogether devoid of sense, as can be seen by a little reflection. There is where people will pray and meditate. The right hand of the venerable founder and the body of the pious patriarch will be two of the most precious relics possessed by the Congregation. Portiuncula is already the resort of all those that are anxious to pray and to obtain favors."

-- Sorin Chronicles.

"The second of August, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels, is among the greatest days of the year at Notre Dame, by reason of the little Chapel of the Portiuncula, which is connected with the Professed House of the Community, and enjoys the extraordinary spiritual privilege attached to the chapel of Our Lady at Assisi, after which it is modeled... that is, a plenary indulgence is attached to each visit made to the church or chapel from the first Vespers of the first of August until sunset of the Second...."

-- Ave Maria, 27:139-40.

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›