Our Rule of Life
Understanding that we are called to "live simply" in this world as Jesus, Mary and Francis did, we also understand that does not mean to "simply live".
Believing that Mary is the Queen of ALL Creation, we are called to embrace all of Creation and all Life.
We blend a Franciscan and Marian spirituality because Francis knew that all Creation, all Life, is blessed through Christ's presence in the world.
We retain our first and last names while adding MARY because we are a Marian Order .
We follow the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans as we apply it to our daily lives.
Our Identity - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
1. The form of life of the Sisters is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ ...
2. They wish to live this evangelical conversion of life in a spirit of prayer, of poverty, and of humility. Therefore, let them ... persevere to the end in doing good because God the Son himself will come again in glory and will say to all who acknowledge, adore and serve him in sincere repentance: “Come blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. “ (Mt. 25:34)
3. The sisters promise obedience and reverence to ... those called to be ministers and servants of their own fraternity. And wherever they are, or in whatever situation they are in, they should diligently and fervently show reverence and honor to one another. They should also foster unity and communion with all the members of the Franciscan family.
We take the vow of obedience to observe the Rule and Way of Life. We do not, however, pledge our obedience to the Pope as we are not under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church.
We open our hearts and arms to all who wish to join us... to all who are Called by Mary to follow Her as a Franciscan.
Acceptance Into This Life - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
4. Those who through the Lord’s inspiration come to us desiring to accept this way of life are to be received kindly. At the appropriate time, they are to be presented to the ministers of the fraternity who hold responsibility to admit them.
5. The ministers shall ascertain that the aspirants truly ... have a vocation they are to be initiated into the life of the fraternity.
6. As a sign of their conversion and consecration to gospel life, they are to clothe themselves plainly and to live in simplicity.
7. When their initial formation is completed, they are to be received into obedience promising to observe this life and rule always. Let them put aside all attachment as well as every care and worry. Let them only be concerned to serve, love, adore, and honor the Lord God, as best they can, with singleheartedness and purity of intention.
8. Within themselves, let them always make a dwelling place and home for the Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that, with undivided hearts, they may increase in universal love by continually turning to God and to neighbor. (Jn. 14:23).
We are called to a professed life as a member of this Religious Order. A life that is prayerful and prayer-centered.
The Spirit of Prayer - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
9. Everywhere and in each place, and in every season and each day, the sisters are to have a true and humble faith. From the depths of their inner life let them love, honor, adore, serve, praise, bless and glorify our most high and eternal God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With all that they are, let them adore Him because “We should pray always and not lose heart” (Lk. 18:1): this is what the Father desires. In this same spirit let them also celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours in union with the whole Church....
We are called by Mary and Francis to live in harmony with this earth and all our brothers and sisters, human and non-human.
10. The sisters are to praise the Lord, the king of heaven and earth, (cf. Mt. 11:25) with all his creatures and to give him thanks because, by his own holy will and through his only Son with the Holy Spirit, He has created all things spiritual and material and made us in his own image and likeness. - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
We are called to a daily reading of the Gospels, reception of the Eucharist as often as possible and reparation when we fail to love as Christ and His Mother love.
11. Since the sisters are to be totally conformed to the Gospel, they should reflect and keep in their hearts the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ who is the word of the Father as well as the words of the Holy Spirit which are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63).
12. Let them participate in the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ and receive His Body and Blood with great humility and reverence remembering the words of the Lord: “He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life. (Jn. 6:54) “
13. Whenever they commit sin the sisters, without delay, are to do penance interiorly by sincere sorrow... do worthy deeds that manifest their repentance. They should fast and always strive to be simple and humble, especially before God. They should desire nothing else but our Savior who offered himself in his own Blood as a sacrifice on the altar of the Cross for our sins, giving us example so that we might follow in his footsteps. - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
We take a vow to live a chaste life based on our particular circumstances in life. As we welcome those who are single, married or in committed relationships, the individual vow to the chaste life will be different for each person.
The Life of Chastity for the sake of the Kingdom - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
Professing chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, they are to care for the things of the Lord and they have nothing else to do except to follow the will of the Lord and to please Him. (1 Cor 7:32) In all of their works the love of God and all people should shine forth.
We are called as Franciscans to follow Mary's example.
Let the sisters keep the example of the blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever before their eyes. Let them do this according to the exhortation of St. Francis who held Holy Mary, Lady and Queen, in highest veneration, since she is the virgin made church. Let them also remember that the immaculate Virgin Mary, whose example they are to follow, called herself the handmaid of the Lord. - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
We are called not out of the world and into a closed place but to remain fully in the world. As such, we must work to support ourselves.
The Way to Serve and Work - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
18. As poor people, the sisters to whom the Lord has given the grace of serving or working with their hands, should do so faithfully and conscientiously.... But they should not be so busy that the spirit of holy prayer and devotion, which all earthly goods should foster is extinguished.
19. In exchange for their service or work, they may accept anything necessary for their own temporal needs and for that of their sisters. Let them accept it humbly as is expected of those who are servants of God and seekers of most holy poverty. Whatever they may have over and above their needs, they are to give to the poor. And let them never want to be over others. Instead they should be servants and subjects to every human creature for the Lord’s sake (1 Pet. 2:13).
20. Let the sisters be gentle, peaceful and unassuming, mild and humble, speaking respectfully to all in accord with their vocation. Wherever they are, or wherever they go throughout the world they should not be quarrelsome, contentious, or judgmental towards others. Rather it should be obvious that they are joyful, (cf. Phil. 4:4) good-humored, and happy in the Lord as they ought to be. And in greeting others, let them say, “The Lord give you peace.”
We take a vow of poverty in keeping with our particular circumstances.
The Life of Poverty - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
21. All the sisters zealously follow the poverty and humility of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Though rich beyond measure (2 Cor. 8:9), He emptied Himself for our sake (Phil. 2:7) and with the holy virgin, His mother Mary, He chose poverty in this world. Let them be mindful that they should have only those goods of this world which, as the Apostle says, “Provide enough food and sufficient clothing; with these we are content” (1 Tim. 6:8)....
22. The truly poor in spirit, following the example of the Lord, live in this world as pilgrims and strangers (Mt. 10.27:29). They neither appropriate nor defend anything as their own. So excellent is this most high poverty that it makes us heirs and rulers of the kingdom of heaven. It makes us materially poor, but rich in virtue (Jn. 2:5)....
We do not seek to acquire possessions but live modestly, well aware that there are too many who have no food to eat, no place to live and no bed in which to sleep. We realize that the home in which we live, the work we do and whatever we have is a gift and a blessing. As such, we are to remember that material possessions have no real value or importance other than that which we attach to them.
We are called to see, in the face of every one we meet, the Faces of Jesus, Mary and Francis. We are reminded to seek Jesus and Mary and Francis in those we might consider among "the least". For that is where we know They will be.
We are called to a life of LOVE...
Fraternal Love - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
23. Because God loves us, the sisters should love each other, for the Lord says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”. (Jn. 15:12). Let them manifest their love in deeds (cf. Jn. 8:18).... Let all be careful of self righteousness, which causes anger and annoyance because of another’s sin. These in oneself or in another hinder living lovingly.
We are called to a life of humility and know that defeating our own ego is the often the hardest battle.
Apostolic Life - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans
29. The sisters are to love the Lord with their whole heart, their whole soul and mind and with all their strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Let them glorify the Lord in all they do. For He has sent them into the world so that they might give witness by word and work to His voice and to make known to all the Lord alone is God (cf. Mk.12:30, Mt. 22:30).
30. As they announce peace with their lips, let them be careful to have it even more within their own hearts. No one should be roused to wrath or insult on their account, rather all should be moved to peace, goodwill and mercy because of their gentleness. The sisters are called to heal the wounded, to bind up those who are bruised, and to reclaim the erring....
31. In that love which is God (1 Jn.4:6) all the sisters... should strive to be humble in everything. They should not seek glory, or be self-satisfied, or interiorly proud because of a good work or word God does or speaks in or through them. Rather in every place and circumstance, let them acknowledge that all good belongs to the most high Lord and Ruler of all things. Let them always give thanks to Him from whom we receive all good.
And always we vow to follow Mary's Way by echoing Her "Yes" with courage, faith and love.
EXHORTATION AND BLESSING - from the Rule of the Third Order Regular Franciscans 32. Let the sisters always be mindful that they should desire one thing alone, namely, the Spirit of God at work within them... let them live according to the poverty, the humility and the holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ which they have solemnly promised to observe.
“Whoever will observe these, things shall be filled with the blessings of the Most High Father in Heaven, and on earth with the blessing of His beloved Son, with the Holy Spirit, and with all virtues and with all the saints.
And I, Brother Francis, your little one and servant, in so far as I am able, confirm to you within and without this most Holy Blessing.”