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The Secular Franciscan Order (Latin: Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, postnominal abbreviation O.F.S.) is the third branch of the
Franciscan Family. Secular Franciscans make a public profession and are consecrated, they are not bound by public vows as are
religious living in community.
The Third Order of Saint Francis, is a third order in the Franciscan order. The preaching of Francis of Assisi, as well as his example,
exercised such an attraction on people that many married men and women wanted to join the First Order (friars) or the Second Order (nuns),
but this being incompatible with their state of life, Francis found a middle way and in 1221 gave them a rule according to the Franciscan
charism. Those following this rule became members of the Franciscan Third Order, sometimes called tertiaries. It includes religious
congregations of men and women, known as Third Order Regulars; and fraternities of men and women, Third Order Seculars. The latter
do not wear a religious habit, take vows, or live in community. However, they do gather together in community on a regular basis. "They
make profession to live out the Gospel life and commit themselves to that living out the Gospel according to the example of Francis."
In 1978, the Third Order of Saint Francis was reorganised and given a new Rule of Life by Pope Paul VI. With the new rule, the name used by
the Third Order Secular was changed to the Secular Franciscan Order.
Third Order of St. Francis in Canada
The Third Order of St. Francis was established by the Recollects at Quebec in 1671 and later at Three Rivers and Montreal. In 1681 a
Recollect notes that "many pious people of Quebec belong to the Third Order". After the cession of Canada to England in 1763
following the French defeat in the Seven Years' War, the Third Order, deprived of its directors, gradually disappeared but was revived
In the 1840s.
The 1840 revival was led by Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal. Noted naturalist Léon Abel Provancher was particularly active. In 1866,
having received faculties from the General of the Friars Minor, Provancher established a fraternity in his parish at Portneuf Quebec,
and promoted the Third Order in his writings. For two years he edited a monthly review he published on the Third Order.
On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Provancher met Frédéric Janssoone and the two became friends. In 1881 Janssoone went to Canada,
where he gave new spirit to the Third Order, inaugurating and visiting fraternities. On one occasion, he preached a four-hour sermon
on the Stations of the Cross in the church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, to a women's Third Order group from
Montreal, several bishops, among them Bishop Louis-François Richer Laflèche of Trois-Rivières and Archbishop Taschereau,
welcomed him as its promoter.
The foundation of a community of Friars Minor at Montreal in 1890 inaugurated a new era of growth for the Third Order.
As of 2016 there were over 5,000 active members in approximately 200 fraternities
Franciscan spirituality in Protestantism refers to spirituality in Protestantism inspired by the Catholic friar Saint Francis of Assisi. Emerging since
the 19th century, there are several Protestant adherent and groups, sometimes organised as religious orders, which strive to adhere to the teachings
and spiritual disciplines of Saint Francis of Assisi.
The 20th century High Church Movement gave birth to Franciscan inspired orders among revival of religious orders in Protestant Christianity.
One of the results of the Oxford Movement in the Anglican Church during the 19th century was the re-establishment of religious orders, including
some of Franciscan inspiration. The principal Anglican communities in the Franciscan tradition are the Community of St. Francis (women, founded
1905), the Poor Clares of Reparation (P.C.R.), the Society of Saint Francis (men, founded 1934), and the Community of St. Clare (women, enclosed).
There is also a Third Order known as the Third Order Society of St Francis (T.S.S.F.).
There are three other U.S.-founded orders within the Anglican Communion - the Seattle-founded Second Order of The Little Sisters of St. Clare (LSSC)
in the Diocese of Olympia, the dispersed First Order, Order of Saint Francis (OSF) founded in 2003, and the Community of Francis and Clare (CFC)
which is a dispersed, open, inclusive, and contemporary expression of Anglican/ Episcopal Franciscan life open to men and women.
There are also some small Franciscan communities within European Protestantism and the Old Catholic Church. There are some Franciscan orders
in Lutheran Churches, including the Order of Lutheran Franciscans, the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, and the Evangelische Kanaan Franziskus-
Bruderschaft (Kanaan Franciscan Brothers). In addition, there are associations of Franciscan inspiration not connected with a mainstream Christian
tradition and describing themselves as ecumenical or dispersed.
Both the Anglicans and also the Lutheran Church has third orders in emulation of the Catholic ones. The Anglicans has a "Third Order of Saint Francis
(TSSF)", with the same name as the Catholic third order, the Third Order of Saint Francis, and the Lutherans has an Order of Lutheran Franciscans.
We are an associations of Franciscan inspiration not connected with a mainstream Christian tradition and describing ourselves as ecumenical or dispersed.
We are similar to The Free Episcopal Church in the USA sponsors the Order of Servant Franciscans, whose members are committed to "the process of
becoming" ministers of Christ's message of reconciliation and love, as demonstrated by the holy lives of Saints Francis and Clare.
The Mission Episcopate of Saints Francis and Clare, "an autocephalous (self-governing) ecclesial jurisdiction", sponsors the Order of Lesser Sisters and
Brothers, open to Christians male or female, married, partnered or single, clergy or lay. The Australian Ecumenical Franciscan Order is now an independent
community in which most members live their everyday life in the world. They may be male or female, married, partnered or single, clergy or lay. They may
belong to any Christian tradition. There is no discrimination of any sort, save as to minimum age.
The Companions of Jesus, founded in the United Kingdom in 2004, is "a Franciscan Community of Reconciliation".
The United States Order of Ecumenical Franciscans adopted its Rule on 22 November 1983. The Order of Lesser Sisters and Brothers is a dispersed
ecumenical Franciscan community similar to the older Third Order model under which most members live their everyday life in the world. They may be male
or female, married, partnered or single, clergy or lay. There is no discrimination of any sort, save as to minimum age.
The Ecumenical Franciscan Society from Eastern Europe has Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and free Protestant members