Franciscan Secular Order – A Valid Order in the Church

Dominik Janez Herle

Frančiškov svetni red – veljavni red znotraj Cerkve


Key words: Christianity, St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan Secular Order (OFS), ecclesiastical movement, laity

The Franciscan Secular Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis – OFS) is a valid order within the Catholic Church since it is a form of a consecrated life. The Franciscan Secular Order is therefore an independent public institution in the Church, and because of the same spirituality, it is joined to the First Order of Saint Francis of Assisi in a special way. Deciding to enter the Franciscan Secular Order has to do with responding to God’s call, since each member should live the Gospel according to the example of St. Francis and with the help of the Rule, which was confirmed by the Church. Activities which characterize the Franciscan Secular Order are prayer and an inclination to help people (charity). The method of comparison enables a better understanding of the difference in the number of OFS fraternities’ members in the past and today. The Franciscan Secular Order has Jesus Christ as its cornerstone; members try to witness for Christ through the works of charity and mercy. After the Second Vatican Council, the Church experienced a revitalization of the community. Besides, there emerged new forms of life in the communities. Among these, two are especially important. The first one is related to parish life; parishes are called upon to motivate meetings of smaller groups, within which there should be an element of the community. The second form is related to the phenomenon of new Church movements, associations, and communities.


Franciscan Secular Order – A Valid Order in the Church