November 29th is the special day dedicated to all the Franciscans who are now born into eternal life. Every year our Franciscan Order reserves this special day to honour them and get the courage, once more, to let their holy example bring that much-needed renewal within it as it is also badly needed in any institute of consecrated life.
Bearing in mind what the post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the consecrated life and its mission in the Church and in the World Vita Consecrata says, namely that “the profession of the evangelical counsels indisputably belongs to the life and holiness of the Church, [since] … the consecrated life, present in the Church from the beginning, can never fail to be one of her essential and characteristic elements, for it expresses her very nature” (no.29), we Franciscans feel the responsibility of commemorating the dies natalis of our brothers and sisters in the heavenly glory purposely to affirm our intimate communion with the Church both as institution and mystery.
Thus, this day for us Franciscans is special because we joyously remember when the Rule of Life of St. Francis of Assisi was definitely and permanently approved by Pope Honorius III, thanks to the Bull Solet Annuere, issued precisely on 29 November 1223. On this holy day one needs to ask: What is the Franciscan legacy to the Church and the world? In what Franciscan holiness really consists of?