Are you interested in becoming a Secular Franciscan? Please read on.
Over 800 years ago, in the Italian town of Assisi, a young man named Francis fell totally in love with God and decided to take God at his word by living out completely the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Francis was not intending anyone to notice him; he did not intend to attract followers; and it was surely not his intention to start a movement. All he wanted was to give himself completely to God, and to love people, and to help them to love God.
God had Other Plans
God had other plans, however, and pretty soon people began to notice Francis and how he was living. Then they too, began to want to live the Gospel completely. Finding guidance through the Holy Spirit and the Church, Francis’ Rule or Way of Life essentially is to live the Gospel in fraternity. He called his brothers, the “lesser brothers,” or “Friars Minor”.
Women Also Joined
Women also wanted to join this way of life. St. Clare of Assisi, Francis’ first woman follower was the first woman to write a Rule of Life for women. Today, they are known as the Poor Clares. They too are Gospel based and have chosen the privilege of poverty.
Gospel Living...Together in Fraternity
Women and men of the Church, married and single, young and old, rich and poor – also came to Francis to learn how they could live the Gospel in their own circumstances. These ordinary men and women wanted to share in that holy charism and spirit that Francis and Clare had received as a gift from God. The Secular Franciscan Order is the continued presence of those early men and women who sought to live the gospel more fully, and conform their lives to Christ in their secular state.
'After the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I had to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the pattern of the Holy Gospel'. [St. Francis - The Testament]
We live according to the gospel; together with sisters and brothers in fraternity.