Sample Introduction

St. Mary Of The Angels

St Francis & St. Clare

The Three Orders


Sample Text from St Mary of the Angels follows:

The community of St. Mary of the Angels, Portiuncula, is an emerging community of Secular Franciscans serving the San Fernando Valley.  Organized under the auspices of St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity of Los Angeles, we meet monthly for prayer and fellowship.

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St. Mary of the Angels, Portiuncula

St. Mary of the Angels takes its name from one of the first churches St. Francis literally rebuilt stone by stone at the beginning of his ministry, the church that became the center of the new and growing Franciscan movement. It was the site where the Friars gathered for chapter meetings and other activities outside Assisi.  Today this humble church can be seen within the walls of St. Mary of the Angels basilica.

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St. Francis and St. Clare

TN_basilicatest.jpgBoth Francis and Clare came from lives of privilege and both left their comfortable worlds behind to live the gospel more fully.  The authenticity of the lives they led eventually drew others to them despite the extreme poverty they sought to live.  When it became necessary Francis wrote a Rule for his brothers and had it confirmed by the Pope.  He also wrote a Rule of life for lay people.  Clare became the first woman to write a religious Rule of life for women, which was also approved after much struggle.  Both embodied a model of servant leadership rather than the strictly autocratic model more common at the time.

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The Three Orders

Today there are three main branches of the movement that St. Francis began: the First Order is known as the Order of Lesser Brothers or Friars Minor and today includes the OFMs, OFM Conventuals, and OFM Capuchins.

The Second Order founded by St. Clare became known as the Poor Clares includes the Colletines, the Capuchin Poor Clares and the Conceptionist Poor Clares, and while most are cloistered there are some active Poor Clare communities.

Members of the Third Order Regular live in community under vows and observe their own form of the Rule.

The Third Order Secular, or Secular Franciscan Order, was originally known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.  Secular Franciscans do not live in community, but live as a community within the secular world, and include both men and women, married and single, and secular priests.  After a period of formation, members profess promises to live in their secular state according to the Rule of Secular Franciscan Order, to move from  Gospel to life and life to Gospel.   The emerging community of St. Mary of the Angels is part of the Secular Franciscan Order.  Ours is a welcoming community that prays, ministers, shares joys and sadness, studies, and socializes together.

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