Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis

The Secular Franciscan Order, formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis, was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in response to a request from the laity to provide a way in which they could live the Franciscan charism without leaving their homes and jobs.

Secular Franciscans, as part of a worldwide order, strive to bring the Gospel to life in their everyday lives. They are active in a range of missions — from prayer and meditation to volunteering in parish ministries to tackling issues of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

Secular Franciscans gather in fraternity, regarding one another as brothers and sisters in a family that supports, spurs and inspires. The basic organic unit is the local fraternity. There are other levels of fraternity at the regional, national and international levels.

The Secular Franciscan Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis) is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as an integral part of the Franciscan family — which includes the First Orders (OFM, OFM Conv., OFM Cap.), the Third Order Regular (TOR), and the Second Order (Poor Clares) . After undergoing several phases of formation, Secular Franciscans make a permanent profession to live their Franciscan Rule and bring the Gospel to life and life to the Gospel.


Participants in the 2017 General Chapter in Rome take a moment to pose for the camera. Delegates represented some 70 national fraternities. Photos by R. Stronach.

Fresco of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi
Francis visited the Benedictine monks at the monastery at Subiaco (south of Rome). The monks were so impressed by Francis that they painted this fresco of him in a small lower-level side chapel.