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Our Rule and Life

One of the great strengths of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis down through the centuries has been its amazing diversity. In every age and in varied lands and cultures, new congregations embracing the Third Order Rule of Saint Francis have been founded to meet the needs of the people or the Church of that time and place. This vitality flowing from the ideals of Saint Francis is still evident. Today there are more than 430 Institutes of contemplative or evangelical life following "The Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular". The witness of some 200,000 Franciscan men and women is surely a tremendous sign of Christ's love for His Church.

 On December 8, 1982 Pope John Paul II confirmed the revised Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis. He then authorized the promulgation of the Rule with the letter Franciscanum Vitae Propositum, "The Franciscan Form of Life." In this letter the Pontiff indicates the unique nature of this Rule which was inspired through the discernment of members of the Order and achieved by a massive collaborative effort involving the more than four hundred congregations that comprise it.

 
The opening words of the Rule are the following:
The form and life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis is this:
to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obendience, in poverty and in chastity.
Following Jesus Christ after the example of Blessed Francis
let them recognize that they are called to make greater efforts
in the observance of the precepts and counsels of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 To read more about the Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis - Click here