An early life of Francis tells us that, 'in olden days, there had been built in this little portion a church in honour of the Virgin Mother, who, by her unique humility was worthy to become the highest of all the Saints after her Son. In this place, the Order of Friars Minor began and here, as on a firm foundation, arose their noble structure in its vast array.' The Chapel is still regarded as the Mother House of all Franciscan Orders, and is also the site of Francis' Transitus, or passing.
by the message of the Archangel Gabriel
Mary received your word
and by her willing obedience
brought forth him who is the world's redemption:
may we, like her, share the good news of his coming
and with Angels and Archangels
give praise and glory to you for ever;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever, Amen.