Franciscans ready to celebrate 800th anniversary of order’s founding

to converge on the Umbrian hill town of Assisi, Italy, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of papal approval of the Franciscan rule. For the first time, representatives from the four main Franciscan branches were to meet in Assisi — the birthplace of their founder, St. Francis — to take part in an International Chapter of Mats April 15-18. A Chapter of Mats gets its name from the time in 1221 St. Francis called more than 3,000 friars to the Portiuncula chapel in Assisi for a general meeting or chapter.