| Franciscan Chronology Third Order Regular
About the middle of the 13th century there appeared throughout Europe the first
confederations and foundations from which would spring the male and female Congregations
of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis.
(Latin mendicare,"to beg") are members of religious orders in the Roman Catholic
church, who take a vow of poverty by which they renounce all personal and communal
They live chiefly by
charity. After overcoming the initial opposition of the established clergy, the chief
societies were authorized in the 13th century.
1. In 1209, St. Francis and his first
companions constituted the primitive community of "Penitents of Assisi".
2. In 1211, a popular movement began among
those "Brothers and Sisters of Penance" who wanted to follow Francis (TOF)
3. By 1215 there existed numerous examples
of community life (in hospitals, hospices, hermitages, etc.
4. About the middle of the 13th century
there appeared throughout Europe the first confederations and foundations from which would
spring the male and female Congregations of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis.
5. From the start of the Franciscan era the
Third Order (known as the Franciscan Order of Penance) was formed as a institution
distinct and different from the First and Second Orders. It has always been characterized
by the presence of men and women, namely of "brothers and sisters".
6. In 1289 Nicholas IV approved the
Franciscan "Third Order" (TOF in fact already delineated by two important
orientations TOS and TOR).
7. In 1323 John XXII formally approved a
community or "regular" life in the Franciscan Third Order (Bull: "Altissimo
in divinis" of November 18th).
8. In 1397, the first approval is granted to
a Congregation of TOR Nuns (the Religious Institute founded by Bl. Angeline of Marsciano).
9. Other male and female Congregations,
obtained their approval at different times, in different nations and were independent of
In the course of centuries many Congregations have disappeared and many more have come
Present statistics list:
58 Cloistered Monasteries
22 Male Congregations
382 Female Congregations
OFM Conventual (OFM Conv)
OFM - ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR
OFM Observant (OFM)
OFM Capuchin (OFM Cap)
OSC - Order of St. Clare of Assisi or "Clares"
TOF - THIRD ORDER FRANCISCAN
SFO -Secular Franciscan
(Third Order Secular or TOS, until 1978).
TOR Third Order Regular (friars and sisters), in different.
Congregations with proper initials. (ex: OSF).