Capuchin Franciscans are brothers devoted to follow St. Francis in a genuine spirit of prayer and apostolic work. We live in Gospel brotherhood, in joy, simplicity, humility and availability, faithful to Holy Mother Church and in the service of the local Church as far as we can.
The Filipino Capuchin Franciscans.
The Capuchins form the youngest branch of the Order of Friars Minor and dates back to 1525, when some Franciscans were inspired to live a stricter life of prayer and poverty which was closer to the original intentions of St. Francis of Assisi. The reform received early recognition and grew fast first in Italy then all aover Europe since 1574. The Order now serves in 101 countries, counting around 11,000 brothers living in more than 1,800 fraternities. Simplicity, closeness to the people, and a fraternal spirit in their apostolate are clear visible signs that mark their lifestyle while emphasizing the importance of prayer and conversion.
They live in fraternity, pray personally and in community, share meals together, help each other to grow just like in a family. The communities, called fraternities, are joyful and hospitable places.
Jesus with His Gospel is their guide towards a simple and humble life among people. The life of Christ, Holy Scriptures, St. Francis and his writings give them inspiration.
They were sent by the Lord to preach, first by example of their lives, then by many practical ways: prayer and contemplation, parish work and renewal, education, retreat-giving, spiritual direction, mission activities, social services, etc. Open to the myriad charisms the Holy Spirit implants in each person, they nurture whatever gift God has given and place them to good use in His vineyard.
The Capuchins first came to the Philippine Islands in 1886 just when other missionaries were leaving because of the growing Philippine revolution. Their real destination was not even the Philippines but the Carolines and Palaos in the Pacific. Six of those first eleven eventually continued their journey but the other five remained in the Philippines. The first Capuchin missionaries really destined to work in the Philippines arrived in Manila in 1901 only. After over 100 years, this small Spanish seed has grown to bear 100 Filipino brothers in 14 fraternities all over the country some of whom are themselves missionaries in Mindanao, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
One of their most important gifts, service, and witness to the people of God is their fraternal life. They seek to grow, live, and relate to every living creature as brothers. This fraternal attitude helps them to effectively proclaim God’s message to those they meet or minister either by word or deed. Within the Order, despite their different backgrounds, cultures, skills and achievements, they nonetheless aspire to live as true brothers to each other according to the Gospel.
This is the cornerstone of all their other values as Franciscans: minority leads them to a life of simplicity and austerity, of availability and selflessness in work, and of willingness to engage in what may seem difficult or inconvenient missions, apostolate, or situations. By striving to be lesser brothers, they seek to follow St. Francis of Assisi’s example of humility and joyfulness in the service and obedience to the Church.
A very basic and vital part of their identity is nurturing an authentic spiritual life. Prayer and contemplation occupy a crucial and indispensible place in their daily activities because in it is a deep and focused life of prayer that they find the zeal with which they accomplish their apostolic work. This is the lifeblood that strengthens their bond as brothers to each other and to all creation.