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MISSIONARY CALLING

The missionary calling of the Order of Friars Minor reveals from its origins. Around 1209, while Francesco d’Assisi was to the Porziuncola for the Mass, the priest commented the Gospel of Matteo 10 and Francesco, hearing that the disciples of Christ must not posses neither gold nor silver nor money, they must not bring haversack nor cane but they only have to preach Kingdom of God and penitence; Francesco jubilant of Holy Spirit said: “that’s we want, that’s I ask. That’s I crave to do with all my heart” (1Cel.22)
  
As soon as Francesco had some Friars with him, he formulated the program of the Evangelical life and sent to the world the Friars, two by two, to announce the Lord died and rose again. Francesco said: Dear brothers, consider our calling. God, in His mercy, called us not only for our salvation but for the one of many others. So let’s go to the world exhorting everybody, with example more than words, to do penance of their sins and to remember the Commandments of God. (3 Comp.36)

Francesco is the first founder to insert,  into the Rule, a chapter on missions. “All those friars that, for divine inspiration, want to go among the Saracens and others faithful….”(Rb 107).

To go among the Saracens and others unfaithful. Friars are, even today, among “Saracens” (and not beside or upon), not to make a crusade or a conquest, but with a peaceful and non-violent spirit, with the desire to share life and work of everybody, as a presence of fraternal solidarity to build together the real peace. Today the “Saracens” are simply “the others”, of any culture or religion.

The mission of a friar Minor is to go to meet the Other.