Franciscans Observe Centenary Celebrations 1223-2023

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By Father Christopher Panagoplos, TOR

Franciscans around the world are celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Confirmation of the Rule and the Christmas Gift at Greccio: friars of the 1st Order—Minors, Capuchins, Conventuals; Poor Clare nuns of the 2nd Order; men and women of the 3rd Order—Regular and Secular.

On 29 November 1223, Pope Honorius III, at the Lateran Basilica of St John in Rome, confirmed the Rule presented to him by Saint Francis of Assisi and returned it to him and his brothers as a mandate from the Church. Steadfast in faith, “we observe poverty, humility, and the Holy Gospel as we have firmly promised” (Rule 12: 4). We renew the profession of our Rule and participate in the synodal journey undertaking in our local parishes, valuing the variety of gifts and charisms that the Holy Spirit arouses to benefit the entire human family.

As the Franciscan Family celebrating the centenary of the Christmas at Greccio, we are invited to pause before the mystery of the Incarnation in order to contemplate the depth of God’s love for humanity. Let us raise our awareness of daily life, with all its joys and difficulties, as a privileged place of encounter with the Lord.

From the Franciscans ministering in our Diocese: “May the Lord give you peace.”

Father Christopher Panagoplos, TOR, is the Delegate of the Provincial to the Secular Franciscan Order