Secular Franciscan Order

HISTORY

FRANCIS, the saint known and loved the world over, was born at Assisi, central Italy, in the year 1181, the son of a wealthy merchant.  He died there in 1226 after a life in Christ that earned him the title “Paverello” (little poor man).

As a youth, like many young people today, Francis “discovered” Jesus.  He found Him in the Gospel, poor and suffering.  Francis made up his mind to identify himself with his crucified Lord.  In the words of Pope Pius XI, “...So life-like  and strikingly did the image of Jesus Christ and the Gospel manner of life shine forth in Francis, that he appeared to his contemporaries almost as though he were the risen Christ.”  Saint Francis attained this marvelous ideal by making the holy Gospel, in every detail, the rule and standard of his life.

Others wanted to live as Francis lived, men and women, married and single.  Eventually, his followers were gathered into three district Orders of the Church.  The First Order was for men (brothers and priests, called friars); the Second Order was for cloistered nuns (Poor Clares); and the Third Order was for lay men and women, married or single, and the secular clergy.

TODAY

This same Order, now called the Secular Franciscan Order, is still very much alive today as it strives to renew itself according to the mind of the Church following the Second Vatican Council.  Although membership has declined during the renewal, it’s actually much stronger internally, and still numbers in the millions worldwide.

SECULAR FRANCISCANS, in local fraternities, continue to assemble each month as true spiritual families in order to share their commitment to the apostolate possible to them.

Through the Franciscan way of life, we are joined with Jesus and joyfully walk with Him in peace on the path of salvation.

SUMMARY

¨ The Order of Secular Franciscans is a way of life, approved by the Church, for men and women, married or single, who are called to take an active part in the mission of Christ to bring the “Good News of Salvation” to the world!

¨ Secular Franciscans commit themselves to a life in Christ calling for a positive effort to promote Gospel attitudes among their contemporaries.

¨ They are united with each other in communities, through which they develop a sense of direction according to the Gospel spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi.     

For information contact Patti Giangrande at (248) 514-1747.