Original Franciscan "Third Order" -- Confraternity of Penitents
Make Every Day a Path to Holiness
Mission of the Confraternity of Penitents
"Go and repair My House which, as you can see, is falling into ruin." (The message given to St. Francis in a voice from the San Damiano Crucifix. This scene is pictured to the right in the painting by Giotto.) We believe that, in order to bring God's love to the world, we must first be surrendered to God ourselves. Our Rule and Constitutions enable us to give ourselves more completely to our Lord and Savior so that we can follow His Will, not our own, in our lives.
Surrender occurs when we focus, not on ourselves, but on God and on others. Then the Lord will begin to open our spiritual eyes to the needs of the world.
Saint Francis prayed before the San Damiano Crucifix, "Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sens, and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command."
During one of these intense prayer times, God replied from the crucifix, "Francis, go and repair My House which, as you can see, is falling into ruin."
Each penitent takes this call as his or her own. Everywhere in the world, beginning in one's own family and community, the Kingdom of God is obscured by indifference, self will, self absorption, and sins of every kind which exalt the human mind and will above the Divine. Yet only in God are our souls at rest. By living lives of love and faith, of self sacrifice and prayer, penitents can and are changing their corner of the world for the better. Perhaps God is calling you to do the same.