What we do
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The rule and life of the friars minor is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obedience, without property and in chastity. (The “Regula Bullata” of S. Francis of Assisi, 1223)
Our way of life can be defined as: a community life of prayer, poverty, and penance, in the spirit of the vow of unlimited consecration to the Immaculate, so that she may transform us, like St. Francis, into Jesus Crucified, and make us her instruments in the conquest of all souls to God.
Our friaries or convents are commonly called Marian Houses, for the friars, and Houses of the Immaculate, for the sisters. From the example given to us by St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, larger communities are called Cities of the Immaculate; larger complexes where fairly important works of apostolate take place.
Like Jesus did with His apostles, the life of contemplation and the works of apostolate are harmoniously balanced, according to the authentic spirit of the franciscan tradition .
Those who desire a more contemplative way of life can, with permission of the superiors, live in the hermitages called Marian Retreat, for the friars, and "Colombaio dell’Immacolata" for the sisters.
Zeal for the salvation of souls drives us, in virtue of the Marian vow, to missionary work, Ad Gentes, in countries which have not yet fully received the Gospel. Like Mary, we yearn to bring Christ to the world.
From the figure of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, we inherited the utilization of mass-media for evangelization; we are active on radio, TV, movie, editorial and on the web.Far conoscere ed amare Maria è la nostra missione principale.
Our main task is to make Mary known and loved, using any licit means at our disposal – always relying on Divine Providence – to fulfill such a high mission. For this reason, we organize studies on Her Mysteries, in relation to Christ and the Church, by means of scientific research, academic publications and spiritual assistance.
We are currently present in various Marian Sanctuaries around the world, where we offer to numerous pilgrims: the sacraments, preaching and spiritual assistance.
"A Day with Mary" is one of the means with which we promote the mystery of Mary to the faithful of the various parishes and sanctuaries located within the vicinities of our friaries and convents around the world. It is a day of prayer and devotion with popular Marian meditations, specifically focusing on the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
Where needed, we also accept invitations on the part of diocesan bishops to run parishes – even if we prefer to offer only external help – in disposing ourselves to the needs of local parish pastors, always in the spirit of service and Franciscan humility.
Those who want to enter into our religious community undertake their first years of religious experience in our houses of formation, beginning with: postulancy and novitiate; receiving a solid basis for a mature and conscious decision to live a consecrated life for God inside a religious family and in the service of Holy Mother Church.
Our primary vocation is that of being religious. Nevertheless, those who are called to the priesthood receive their formation at our “Theological Seminary of the Immaculate Mediatrix” (S.T.I.M.) at Sassoferrato (AN), Italy.
According to the juridical procedure laid out by the Code of Canon Law, at the end of the seminarian's philosophical and theological studies, they can request for Holy Orders, first the diaconate and then the priesthood.
As a Church project and in response to the challenges of the New Evangelization, some of our sisters, and friars, the latter after ordination, specialize in different branches of learning at the Pontifical Universities: Dogmatic Theology, Morality, Bioethics, Philosophy, Code of Canon Law, Social Communications, etc.; receiving magisterial doctorates and bachelors which even render them capable of being university professors.
Before perpetual vows, a year of missionary training is offered to the friars and sisters, accompanied by the learning of a foreign language and specialization in technical fields of activity, with preference for the mass-media.
The sisters share the same foundational charism of the friars and the same activity in their vocation and testimony of consecrated women at the service of the Church.
The way of life for the Franciscans of the Immaculate, both friars and sisters, is contained in the "Book of Sanctification." This legislative text fundamentally consists in the Rule of St. Francis (“Regula Bullata”), the "Traccia Mariana"(the Marian form of Franciscan Life), written by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, and the Constitutions of the Institute.