We are religious. The consecrated life is a charisma that provides for the baptized the opportunity of a more intimate experience of God. In this perspective the religious person follows very closely Christ and allows himself/herself to be led by the holy Gospel as rule-of-life.
We are Franciscans. For us St. Francis of Assisi is a master and a model. Illuminated by the Gospel in 1208, Francis begins the apostolic wandering and evangelizes the Christian people, encouraging all to follow faithfully the Church’s teachings. Many people, touched by the real testimony and the fervent Francis’s word, want to follow him and live like him the full loyalty to Christ.
Origins. Francis accepts all as God’s gift. Many men and women are inspired by Francis remaining with their families and continuing their own activities. Thus was born the Third Order of St. Francis, also known as «Order of St. Francis of Penance». This happened on autumn 1211.
Third Order Regular. Since the beginning, some Tertiaries express their wish of greater responsibility to Christian perfection and charitable activities. They begin to live in community, both in hermitage in order to focus on prayer and contemplation and in “domus” in order to manage works of mercy: hospitals for sick and elderly people, free lodgings for pilgrims, orphans and foundling shelters. They look after centres for children’s and young’s education, they animate pastoral services: preaching, confession, teaching, parish apostolate, banns. Later the missionary work will come true. The main apostolate is to live wholeheartedly the gift of the consecrated life in fraternity in accordance with the lifestyle of the little poor man of Assisi. Prayer articulates the rhythms of the day.
Foundation. When and who did establish the Third Order Regular? To this question, few people are wondering, now we can clearly answer: like the other ancient Franciscan Families, also the Third Order Regular (TOR) originates from St. Francis of Assisi since 1211 and it develops in accordance with multiple historical circumstances, in relation to the Penance movement that arise behind the itinerant preaching of St. Francis of Assisi, with the official date in 1211 and first rule in 1221 (Memoriale propositi). It was the centralization of the many friaries in 1447 (seal Pastoralis officii by Niccolò V, on 20 July). This date marks the juridical beginning of the Corporation.
Spirituality. The traditional spirituality of the Tertiary Regulars could be summarize in this theoretical and practical binomial: to realize, with courage and faith, a way of growing conversion to the living God, fullness of good; to do works of mercy with creativity according to the appeal of the times and the places. The complete love of God in Christ encourages us to embrace today’s lepers, to serve the poor people, to alleviate human suffering.
We always and everywhere praise to the Lord God Almighty,
from whom every good originates.