“TOR Franciscans” or see us in black and not brown Franciscan habits, not many understand who we are or where we came from. The Third Order Regular Franciscans developed in the early 13th century from the convergence of groups of penitents who where inspired by the life of Saint Francis. The penitents were lay women and men whose focus was agere poenitentiam or doing penance. In contemporary language we would say that these were persons who deliberately wanted to live a vibrant Christian life.
The general idea of lay people affiliated to religious orders, as seen in the Benedictine Oblates or confraters (Taunton, "Black Monks of St. Benedict", London, 1897, I, 60-63; for Norbertines cf. Hurter, "Papst Innocenz III", Schaffhausen, 1845, IV, 148), is too natural for there to be any need to seek its origin. Founders and benefactors of monasteries were received in life into spiritual fellowship, and were clothed in death in some religious habit. So too the Templars had a whole system whereby layfolk could partake in some sort in their privileges and in the material administration of their affairs (English Hist. Rev., London, April, 1910, 227). But the essential nature of the tertiary is really an innovation of the thirteenth century. At that date many of the laity, impatient of the indolent and sometimes scandalous lives of the clergy in lower Europe, were seized with the idea of reforming Christendom by preaching. This admirable intention caused the rise of the Vaudois under Valdez of Lyons ("Anecdotes Historiques tirés du Recueil inédit d'Etienne de Bourbon, O.P.", ed. by Lecoq de La Manche, Paris, 1878, 290-314), and under somewhat more curious conditions the Fratres Humiliati.
The Vaudois were at first welcomed by the pope, Alexander III, who authorized their preaching, but as they were unacquainted with theological teaching and had pursued no clerical studies, their sermons were not seldom dogmatically inaccurate and eventually defiantly heretical. The Humiliati also soon became suspect and were forbidden by Lucius III to preach, till in 1207 Innocent III gave a section of them permission to resume their work, provided that they limited themselves to moral questions and did not venture on doctrinal subjects ("De articulis fidei et sacramentis ecclesiae", cf. Denifle, O.P., "Archiv für Litteratur und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters", I, 419). Moreover some became priests, were gathered into a cloister, and took up religious life. The others remained outside, yet spiritually dependent on the clerical portion, and now for the first time in history called a Third Order, Tertius Ordo (Mandonnet, "Les Origines de l'Ordo de Pœnetentia"; the Bull is to be found in Tiraboschi, "Vetera Humiliatorum monumenta", II, Milan, 1766-68, 139).
DivisionThe Third Orders can each be divided into (a) regulars, i.e. living in convents, and (b) seculars, i.e. living in the world. Of these the first take vows, the latter can only make a solemn promise (except that Carmelite Tertiaries apparently take some sort of vows of obedience and chastity, cf. Angelus a S.S. Corde, O.C.D., "Manuale juris communis Regularium", Ghent, 1899, q. 1067), which, however, distinguishes them from members of mere confraternities and constitutes them legally a religious order (Constitution of Leo XIII, "Misericors Dei Filius").
Any Catholic may join a Third Order, but may not at once belong to more than one, nor may he without grave cause leave one for another. The laying aside of the distinctive sign or prayers for any space of time does not in itself put an end to membership with a Third Order, but the deliberate wish to dissociate oneself from it is sufficient to produce that effect (S. Cong. Indulg., 31 Jan., 1893).
The Regular Third Order participates in all the indulgences granted to the First and Second Orders (S. Cong. Indulg., 28 Aug., 1903), but not in those granted to the Secular Third Order (ibid.). This latter no longer participates in any privileges save those directly granted to itself (S. Cong. Indulg., 31 Jan., 1893; S. Cong. Indulg., 18 July, 1902; S. Cong. Indulg., 28 Aug., 1903).
Third order of Our Lady of Mount CarmelSoon after the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was established in Europe in the thirteenth century, lay persons, not bound by religious vows, seem to have attached themselves to it more or less closely. There is evidence of the existence of a "Confrairie N.-D. du Mont-Carmel" at Toulouse in 1273, and of a "Compagnia di Santa Maria del Carmino" at Bologna in 1280, but the exact nature of these bodies is uncertain owing to a lack of documents. Somewhat later mention is frequently made of trade-guilds having their seat in churches of the order, members of which acted as their chaplains. Thus the master-bakers, innkeepers and pastry-cooks at Nîmes, the barbers and surgeons of the same town, who were also connected with the Dominicans, the goldsmiths at Avignon. Benefactors of the order received letters of fraternity with the right of participation in the privileges and good works of the friars. Others, under the name of bizzoche and mantellatoe, wore the habit and observed the rule, e.g. "M. Phicola nostra Pinzochera" at Florence in 1308. Others again became recluses in the anchorages attached to Carmelite churches, and made profession under the form: "Ego frater N. a Spiritu Sancto ad anachoreticam vitam vocatus offero me, coram Deo, Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, et promitto me in servitio Dei secundum Scripturam sacram Novi et Veteris Testamenti more anchoreticae vitae usque ad mortem permansurum." Among the tertiaries not living in community must be mentioned Blessed Louis Morbioli of Bologna (d. 1495).
The canonical institution of the third order dates from the middle of the fifteenth century, when a community of Beguines at Guelders sought affiliation to the order, and Blessed John Soreth, General of the Carmelites, obtained a Bull (7 Oct., 1452) granting the superiors of his order the faculties enjoyed by the Hermits of St. Augustine and the Dominicans of canonically establishing convents of "virgins, widows, beguines and mantellatae". Further legislation took place in 1476 by the Bull "Mare magnum privilegiorum", and under Benedict XIII and his successors. The rule observed by the tertiaries, whether living in the world or gathered into communities, was originally that of the friars with modifications as required by their status. Theodor Stratius, General of the Calced Carmelites, composed in 1635 a new rule, revised in 1678, which is still observed among the tertiaries of the Calced and the Discalced Carmelites. It prescribes the recitation of the canonical office, or else of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, or, in its place, of the Pater noster and Ave Maria to be said thirty-five times a day, five times in lieu of each of the canonical hours; also half an hour's meditation every morning and evening; fasting on all Fridays and also on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 14 September till Easter, abstinence during Advent and Lent, and various works of mortification, devotion, and charity. Superiors may in their discretion dispense from some of these obligations.
It is impossible to estimate even approximately the number of tertiaries living in the world. Besides these there are numerous corporations of tertiaries established in different countries, viz. two communities of tertiary brothers in Ireland (Drumcondra and Clondalkin near Dublin) in charge of an asylum for the blind and of a high-school for boys; eighteen communities of native priests in British India belonging partly to the Latin and partly to the Syro-Malabar rites; four houses of Brothers of Christian Education in Spain. Far more numerous are the communities of nuns, namely twenty-three in India (Latin and Syro-Malabar rites) for the education of native girls, and four convents in Syria in connection with the missions of the Order; two congregations of tertiaries in Spain with nineteen and forty-eight establishments respectively, and one unattached, for educational work. In Spain there are also tertiary nuns called "Carmelitas de la caridad" engaged in works of charity with 150 establishments. The Austrian congregation of nuns numbers twenty-seven houses, while the most recent branch, the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Sacred Heart, founded at Berlin towards the end of the last century for the care and education of orphans and neglected children, have spread rapidly through Germany, Holland, England, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Hungary, and have twenty houses. In Italy there are three different congregations with thirty-two convents. There are smaller branches of the tertiaries in South America with two houses at Santiago, Chile, in Switzerland with four convents, and in England with one.
The Third Order Secular of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Third Order Secular of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has been introduced into the United States. There are at present two congregations, with 125 members.
Third Order of St. Dominic
This was one of the earliest developments of St. Francis's Ordo de Poenitentia. It was not indeed the primal organism from which the Friars Preachers evolved, but rather represents that portion of the Order of Penance which came under Dominican influence. At first vaguely constituted and living without system or form, its members gradually grew more and more dependent on their spiritual guides. The climax was reached, and the work of St. Francis received its final perfection, when Muñon de Zamora, the seventh master-general of the Friars Preachers, formulated a definite rule in 1285. By this the Ordo de Poenitentia was to be ruled in each local centre by a Dominican priest (Federici, "Istoria de cavalieri Gaudenti", Venice, 1787, Codex Diplomaticus, II, 35) and was to be subject to the obedience of the Dominican provincials and master-generals. No longer were there to be any of those vague transitions and extravagant vagaries (ibid., 28) which disfigured in history these Orders of Penance. Henceforward this branch was linked to the fortunes of the Friars Preachers, wore their habits of black and white (with few minor differences varying according to time and country), and was to participate in all their good works. They were not called a third order indeed until after the thirteenth century (Mandonnet, "Les règles et le gouvernement de l'ordo de Poenitentia", Paris, 1902, p. 207) but continued to be known as "Brothers and Sisters of Penance" with the addition "of St. Dominic", that is "The Brothers and Sisters of the Penance of St. Dominic".
Simultaneously with them there came into being another and very different institution which, however, subsequently amalgamated with the Ordo de Poenitentia to form the Dominican Third Order. This was a military order, called the Militia Jesu Christi (soldiery of Jesus Christ) created for the defence of the Church against the Albigenses. It owed its origin to Bishop Foulques of Toulouse, Simon de Montfort (Federici, "Istoria de cavalieri Gaudenti", Codex Diplomaticus, I), and not improbably to St. Dominic, then a canon of St. Augustine. This connection with the founder of the Friars Preachers is first definitely propounded by Bl. Raymund of Capua, who became a Dominican about 1350. But the truth of this assertion is borne out by several other indications. As early as 1235, Gregory IX confided the Militia to the care of Bl. Jordan of Saxony, second master-general, by a Bull of 18 May (Federici, op. cit., 10); and in the same year he decreed for the knights a habit of black and white (op. cit., 14). Further, when the Militia was brought across the Alps and established in Italy it is found to be always connected with some Dominican church (op. cit., I, 13). Lastly, it was very largely influenced by a famous Dominican, Fra Bartolomeo of Braganza, or of Vicenza, as he is sometimes called (op. cit., I, 12, 42, etc.). Originally working side by side and independent of each other, owing to the fact that both received the same spiritual administration of the Friars Preachers, they appear to have been merged together at the close of the thirteenth century. This is what Raymond of Capua implies as the result of his researches. So too their ultimate coincidence is hinted at by Honorius III in 1221 when he designates the Militia "nomine poenitentiae" (Federici, Codex Diplomaticus), and a comparison also of the rules of the two institutions: that of Gregory IX for the Militia in 1235 (op. cit., 12-16) and that of Muñon de Zamora for the Order of Penance of St. Dominic in 1285 (op. cit., 28-36) would lead one to the same conclusion. The only considerable difference that could be cited against this identify is that Muñon de Zamora expressly forbids the carrying of arms. But this is in reality but a further proof of their approximation, for he allows for the one exception which could possibly apply to the Militia, viz. in defence of the Church (ibid., 32). This amalgamation is admitted by the Bollandists to have become general in the fourteenth century (Acta Sanctorum, Aug., I, 418-422). From this double movement therefore, i.e. from the Ordo de Poenitentia S. Dominici and the Militia Jesu Christi, was born the modern Third Order of St. Dominic. Though its source is therefore anterior to the First Order, its full perfection as an organized society, with a distinctive habit, a definite rule, and a declared ethos or spirit, is due to the genius of the children of St. Dominic. They took up the work of St. Francis, and, with their characteristic love of order and systematic arrangement, brought it into something compact and symmetrical. From them this idea of subjection to a First Order was taken up by the Franciscans and has been adopted by all subsequent Third Orders.
SpiritPrimarily the work of the Third Order and its definite spirit may be summed up by saying that it was established first to help in reform of church discipline. Its initial purpose was the preaching of penance; but under Dominican influences it rather leaned to the intellectual aspect of the Faith and based its message to the world on the exposition of the Creed; it was to reform church discipline by the more wide-spread knowledge of the mysteries of faith. Secondly, to defend the Church. Originally this was a military necessity, demanding physical force with which to restrain equally material opposition. Thirdly, to develop the communion of prayer. The medieval ideal of Christ's Mystical Body which has captivated all spiritual-minded people implies a harmony of prayer. To achieve this end the contemplative and monastic orders were begun; and the Third Order of St. Dominic endeavours to link pious souls to this great throng of religious (Proctor, "The Dominican Tertiary's Daily Manual", London, 1900, 15-20).
Only for one period in its history was there any real fear of suppression. Many held that the condemnation passed on the Beguines and Beghards at the Council of Vienna in 1312 applied no less to the Orders of Penance. In consequence the master-general petitioned Pope John XXII in 1326 to settle definitely the difficulty. As a result he answered by a Bull of 1 June, 1326 (Cum de Mulieribus), which is a long eulogium on the work of the Dominican Third Order. After the plague of 1348, a great deal of laxity and disorganization crept into the Third Order, but a wonderful throng of saints soon caused its rejuvenation. The influence of St. Catherine of Siena gave a powerful impetus to the movement in Italy and her work was carried on by Bl. Clara Gambacorta (d. 1419) and Bl. Maria Mancini (d. 1431). This new spiritual vigour reached across the Alps to the sisterhoods of Germany, where the effect was almost abnormal (Heimbucher, "Die Orden und Kongregationen der katholischen Kirche", Paderborn, 1907, II, 169-177). But there has never been any reform in the sense of a separate organization with a change of rule or habit. As in the First Order, there has been a peculiar gift of unity which has enabled it to last undivided for seven hundred years.
The Third Order as it exists today can be divided into two categories: regular, i.e. comprising Tertiaries, whether men or women, who live in community and wear the habit externally; and secular, i.e. whether married or single, cleric or lay, who live their lives like others of their profession, but who privately take up practices of austerity, recite some liturgical Office, and wear some symbol of the Dominican habit. The origin of the conventual women Tertiaries has never been very clearly worked out. It is usual to trace them back to Bl. Emily Bicchieri, about the year 1255 ("Manual of Third Order of St. Dominic", London, 1871, 9). But if the view taken above of the origin of the Third Order in the Ordo de Poenitentia be correct, we are forced to the conclusion that the communities of women established by St. Dominic at Prouille, S. Sisto, etc. were really of this Third Order. Their constitutions, approved first for S. Sisto, though previously observed at Prouille, expressly speak of the nuns as "de Poenitentia S. Mariae Magdalenae" ("Analecta Ord. Praed.", Rome, 1898, 628 sqq.). It would seem then that the Ordo de Poenitentia did not exclude convents of enclosed nuns from its ranks, and this was due probably to St. Dominic himself. Very much later came a conventual order of men, originated by the genius of Père Lacordaire. He considered that the democratic spirit of the Dominican Order fitted it especially for the task of training the youth. But he knew how impossible it was for his preaching associates to tie themselves down to schoolwork among boys; as a consequence, he began, in 1852, a Third Order of men, wearing the habit, living in community yet without the burdens of monastic life. The rule was approved provisionally in 1853 and definitely in 1868 (for the rule cf. "Acta Capituli Generalis Ord. Praed.", Rome, 1904, 106 sqq.). But by far the greatest portion of the Third Order consists of secular Tertiaries. These are of every rank of society, and represent the old Ordo de Poenitentia and the old Militia. In certain countries they are grouped into chapters, having a lay prior and sub-prior or prioress and sub-prioress, and hold monthly meetings. Since the Rule of Muñon de Zamora (1285), they have always been subject to a Dominican priest appointed by the Dominican provincial. For the actual reception of the habit, the master-general can give faculties to any priest. The full habit is the same as that of the members of the First and Second Orders, but without the scapular (granted, however, to communities since 1667). Though the habit is not worn during life many procure it so that they may be buried in the recognized dress of St. Dominic's children.
It is practically impossible to obtain, even in a vague way, the number of the secular Dominican Tertiaries. No general register is kept, and the records of each priory would have to be searched. From the time of St. Louis — who wished to join the Dominican and Franciscan Orders (Acta Sanctorum, August, V, 545), and is represented in old illuminations, sometimes in the habit of one, sometimes in the habit of the other (Chapotin, "Histoire de dominicains de la provincede France", Rouen, 1898, p. 497), but probably never joined either—to our own time, it can be stated only that with the rise and fall of the First Order's greatness rose and fell the number of the Tertiaries. In England during the thirteenth century very many are said to have become Tertiaries. But of this nothing for certain can be specified. At the time of St. Catharine of Siena and the Mantellate (women secular Tertiaries) made difficulties about receiving her to the habit as they included at the date only widows (Gardner, "St. Catherine of Siena", London, 1907, II), and there were no men at all in the Third Order in Italy at that date (Acta Sanctorum, April, III, 1881). Under Bl. Raymund of Capua, her confessor and, after her death, twenty-third master general, attempts were made to re-establish the order and no doubt much was done (Mortier, "Maîtres généraux", III, 605-606). But by the time of St. Antoninus (d. 1450) the numbers had again dwindled down to insignificance ("Summa Moralis", Verona, 1750, III, 23, 5, 5, pp. 1291-2). Just previous to the Reformation there are a few isolated notices; thus Bl. Adrian Fortescue, the martyr, notes in his diary: "Given to the Black Friars of Oxford to be in their fraternity 12d" ("Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII", London, 1883, Rolls Series, VII, 101). But these give us no ground at all for any surmise as to statistics. In America the first canonized saint (St. Rose of Lima, d. 1617) and the first beatified negro (Bl. Martin Porres, d. 1639) were both Dominican Tertiaries, and later in France were men like M. Olier and Bl. Grignon de Montfort.
Then came the influence of Lacordaire, from whose time there dates a new enthusiasm in the Third Order ("Année Dominicaine", Paris, 1910, 149-65). Of the regular Tertiaries it is easier to speak more definitely. The numbers of all the sixteen approved congregations existing in 1902 are given, and they amount to some 7000 nuns ("Analecta Ord. Praed.", Rome, 1902, 389). To these must be added another 7000 of congregations not yet definitively authorized by Rome. But every year fresh convents are opened and the numbers continually increase. In England they began under Mother Margaret Hallahan (d. 1868) in 1842, and now in all the separate groupings there are 22 convents with some 500 sisters; in the United States their success has been remarkable. Founded in 1846 by Mother Amalie Barth (d. 1895), the congregation in 1902 included 34 convents and over 2000 nuns. In 1876 they passed into California, where they are rapidly increasing. In Ireland they have many establishments, especially for educational purposes, for their work is as varied as the needs of humanity require. Some are enclosed, others teach, visit the sick, nurse the lepers, look after old people, take care of penitent girls, work among the poor in the slums, etc. As for the congregation of teaching men, they have been greatly disorganized since their expulsion from France. At present they comprise but a half-dozen colleges in Fribourg, San Sebastian, and South America, and do not amount to more than 100 members in all. Finally, a citation from Faber's "Blessed Sacrament" (2nd ed., p. 565) may be made: "Those who are conversant with, indeed who find the strength and consolation of their lives in, the Acts of the Saints well know that there is not a nook in the mystical Paradise of our heavenly spouse where the flowers grow thicker or smell more fragrantly than this order of multitudinous child-like saints. Nowhere in the Church does the Incarnate Word show His delight at being with the children of men in more touching simplicity, with more unearthly sweetness, or more spouse-like familiarity than in this, the youngest family of S. Dominic."
Third Order Regular of St. Dominic, in the United States
Congregations of women
A. Sisters of St. Dominic
(1) Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, with mother-house at St. Catherine of Siena Convent, Springfield, Kentucky. Founded in 1822 by Rev. Thomas Wilson, O.P. Sisters, 300; novices, 30; postulants, 7; academies, 6; schools, 13; pupils, 5000. By this congregation were founded: (a) Congregation of Dominican Tertiaries of the Blessed Virgin, with mother-house at St. Mary's of the Springs, Sheppard, Ohio, in 1830. Sisters, 195; novices, 28; academies, 3; schools, 12; pupils, 4493. From this congregation were founded (i) Congregation with mother-house at Sacred Heart Convent, Galveston, Texas. Sisters and novices, 81; postulants, 3; schools, 6; pupils, 1130. (b) Congregation with mother-house at the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, West Springfield, Illinois, in 1873. Sisters, 120; schools, 19; pupils, 4000, academy, 1.
(2) Congregation with mother-house at St. Cecilia's Convent, Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1860 by sisters from St. Mary's, Somerset, Ohio. Sisters, 98; novices, 15; academy, 1; orphan asylum, 1; institute for young ladies, 1; schools, 6; pupils, 1042.
(3) Congregation of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, with mother-house at San Rafael, California. Founded in 1850 by Most Rev. Joseph Alemany, O.P., Archbishop of San Francisco, at Benicia, California. Sisters, 135; academies, 3; schools, 6.
(4) Congregation of the Holy Rosary, with mother-house at St. Clara's Convent, Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. Founded in 1847 by Rev. Samuel Ch. Mazzuchelli, O.P. Sisters, 650; college, 1; academies, 9; schools, 46; pupils, 14,800.
(5) Congregation of the Holy Cross, with mother-house at Holy Cross Convent, Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 1853 by 4 sisters from Holy Cross Convent, Ratisbon, Bavaria. Sisters, 518; novices, 25; postulants, 17; training school, 1; academies, 3; schools, 33; hospitals, 2; sanatorium, 1; infirmary, 1; orphan asylums, 6. From this congregation were founded: (a) Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary with mother-house at Mission San José, California, in 1876. Sisters, 193; novices, 20; postulants, 16; academy, 1; orphan asylum, 1; schools, 9; pupils, 2926. (b) Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, with mother-house at Great Bend, Kansas, in 1902. Sisters, 17; novice, 1; postulant, 1; hospital, 1; school, 1; pupils, 194.
(6) Congregation with mother-house at Holy Rosary Convent, Second Street, New York City. Founded in 1859 by sisters from Holy Cross Convent, Ratisbon, Bavaria. Sisters, 600; academies, 8; hospitals, 2; schools, 60; pupils, 25,000. From this congregation were founded (a) Congregation with mother-house at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1877. Sisters, 187; novices, 50; postulants, 15; high school, 1; academies, 2; orphan asylum, 1; schools 32; pupils, 5000. (b) Congregation with mother-house at St. Dominic's Convent, Blauvelt, New York. Sisters, 139; novices, 11; postulants, 3; schools, 8; asylum, 1. (c) Congregation with mother-house at St. Dominic's Academy, Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1882. Sisters, 215; academies, 3; schools, 21; pupils, 4427. From this congregation was founded: (i) Congregation with mother-house at St. Thomas Aquinas Convent, Tacoma, Washington, in 1888. Sisters, 52; schools, 3; pupils, 300.
(7) Congregations with mother-house at St. Joseph's Convent, Adrian, Michigan. Sisters, 180; novices, 28; academies, 3; schools, 29.
(8) Congregations with mother-house at St. Catherine of Siena's Convent, Racine, Wisconsin. Founded in 1862 by Mother Benedicta Bauer and Sister Thomasina Gincker from Holy Cross Convent, Ratisbon, Bavaria. Sisters, 286; postulants, 24; academies, 2; home for ladies, 1; schools, 38; pupils, 6307.
(9) Congregation with mother-house at St. Mary's Convent, New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1860 by sisters from Cabra, Dublin, Ireland. Sisters, 57; academies, 2; schools, 2; pupils, 565.
(10) Congregation with mother-house at Reno, Nevada; founded by sisters from New Orleans, Louisiana. Sisters, 4.
(11) Congregation with mother-house at St. Catherine of Siena Convent, Fall River, Massachusetts. Founded in 1891 by sisters from Carrollton, Missouri. Sisters, 52.
B. Dominican Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic
Congregation with mother-house at the Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary, 63rd Street, New York City. Founded in 1867 by Father Rochford, O.P. Sisters, 160; novices, 10; postulants, 5; academy, 1; orphan asylums, 2; schools, 11; pupils, 4000.
C. Third Order Secular of St. Dominic
Introduced into the United States by the early Dominican missionaries. There are at present congregations of Dominican Tertiaries in almost all the churches in charge of Dominican Fathers, numbering from 100-600 members, and many hundred tertiaries throughout the country not belonging to any congregation.
Third Order of St. Francis (regular and secular; male and female)
A branch of the great Franciscan family. We deal here: A. with the secular Third Order; B. with the regular.
Origin, development, and present state of the secular Third Order
It has been believed for some time that the Third Order of St. Francis was the oldest of all Third Orders, but historical evidence is against such an opinion. For, besides similar institutions in some monastic orders in the twelfth century, we find, before the foundation of St. Francis, a Third Order, properly so called, among the Humiliati, confirmed together with its rule by Innocent III in 1201 (see text in Tiraboschi, "Vetera Humiliatorum monumenta", II, Milan, 1767, 128). But if the Third Order of St. Francis was not the first of its kind, it was, and still is, undoubtedly the best known and most widely distributed and has the greatest influence. About its origin there are two opposite opinions. According to Karl Müller, Mandonnet, and others, the Secular Third Order is a survival of the original ideal of St. Francis, viz. a lay-confraternity of penitents, from which, through the influence of the Church, the First and Second Orders of the Friars Minor and the Poor Clares have been detached. According to others, St. Francis merely lent his name to pre-existing penitential lay-confraternities, without having any special connection with or influence on them. The two opinions are equally at variance with the best texts we have on the subject, such as Thomas of Celano, "Vita prima", I, 15; Julian of Spires, "Office of St. Francis: Third Antiphon at Lauds"; Gregory IX, Bull of 7 June, 1230 (Bull. Franc., I, 65); St. Bonaventure, "Leg. Maior", IV, 6; Bernard of Besse, in "Anal. Franc.", III, 686. According to these sources, St. Francis really founded a Third Order and gave it a Rule. If we complete these notices with some early papal Bulls bearing on the penitential movement and with the account given by Mariano of Florence (end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century) we can state what follows:
The preaching of St. Francis, as well as his own living example and that of his first disciples, exercised such a powerful attraction on the people that many married men and women wanted to join the First or the Second Order. This being incompatible with their state of life, St. Francis found a middle way: he gave them a rule animated by the Franciscan spirit. In the composition of this rule St. Francis was assisted by his friend Cardinal Ugolino, later Gregory IX. As to the place where the Third Order was first introduced nothing certain is known. Of late however the preponderance of opinion is for Florence, chiefly on the authority of Mariano of Florence, or Faenza, for which the first papal Bull (Potthast, "Regesta Pontificum", 6736) known on the subject is given, whilst the "Fioretti" (ch. xvi), though not regarded as an historical authority, assigns Cannara, a small town two hours' walk from Portiuncula, as the birthplace of the Third Order. Mariano and the Bull for Faenza (16 Dec., 1221) point to 1221 as the earliest date of the institution of the Third Order, and in fact, besides these and other sources, the oldest preserved rule bears this date at its head. This rule was published by P. Sabatier and H. Boehmer (see bibliography), and contained originally twelve chapters, to which at the time of Gregory IX (1227) a thirteenth was added. It prescribes simplicity in dress (1), considerable fasting and abstinence (2-3), the canonical office or other prayers instead (4-5), confession and communion thrice a year, and forbids carrying arms or taking solemn oaths without necessity (6); every month the brothers and sisters have to assemble in a church designated by the ministers, and a religious has to give them an instruction (7); they also exercise the works of charity with their brothers (8); whenever a member dies the whole confraternity has to be present at the funeral and to pray for the departed (9); everyone has to make his last will three months after his reception; dissensions among brothers and sisters or other persons are to be settled peaceably; if any troubles arise with local authorities the ministers ought to act with the counsel of the bishop (10). No heretic or anyone suspected of heresy can be received, and women only with the consent of their husbands (11); the ministers have to denounce shortcomings to the visitor, who will punish the culprits; every year two new ministers and a treasurer are to be elected; no point of the rule obliges under pain of sin (12). On account of the prohibition of arms and unnecessary oaths, the followers of this rule came into conflict with local authorities, a fact of which we have evidence in many papal Bulls all through the thirteenth century, issued to safeguard the privileges of the Tertiaries (see list of these Bulls in Mandonnet, "Les Règles", 146-47).
Wadding ("Annales Min." ad a. 1321, n. 13) gives another longer redaction of the rule, which is almost identical with the one solemnly confirmed by Nicholas IV through the Bull "Supra montem", 17 Aug., 1289. This last form has for long been considered as the work of St. Francis, whilst Karl Müller denied any connection of St. Francis with it. If we compare the rule published and approved by Nicholas IV with the oldest text of 1221, we see that they substantially agree, slight modifications and different dispositions of chapters (here 20 in number) excepted. Through a most interesting text published by Golubovich (Arch. Franc. Hist., II, 1909, 20) we know now that this Rule of Nicholas IV was approved on the petition of some Italian Tertiaries. Another recent publication by Guerrini (Arch. Franc. Hist., I, 1908, 544 sq.) proves that there existed in the thirteenth century Third Order Confraternities with quite different rules. On the whole, it can safely be affirmed that until Nicholas IV there was no Rule of the Third Order generally observed, but besides the one quoted above, and probably the most widely spread, there were others of more local character. The same might be said as to the government of the confraternities. Besides their own officials, they had to have a visitor, who seems to have been usually appointed by the bishop. In 1247 Innocent IV ordered that the Friars Minor were to assume the direction of the Tertiaries in Italy and Sicily (Bull Franc., I, 464), but about twenty years later when St. Bonaventure wrote his question: "Why do not the Friars Minor promote the Order of 'Penitents'?" (Op. om., VIII, 368) the contrary had practically prevailed. Nicholas IV introduced unity of rule and of direction into the Third Order, which henceforward was entrusted to the care of the Friars Minor.
If we except a few points, bearing especially on fasts and abstinence, mitigated by Clement VII in 1526 and Paul III in 1547, the Rule as given by Nicholas IV remained in vigour till 1883, when Leo XIII, himself a tertiary, through the Apostolic Constitution "Misericors Dei Filius", modified the text, adapting it more to the modern state and needs of the society. All substantial points, however, remained; only the daily vocal prayers were reduced, as also the fasts and abstinences, whilst the former statute of confession and communion thrice a year was changed into monthly communion. Other points of the modified Rule of Leo XIII are of great social and religious importance, such as the prohibition of pomp in dressing, of frequenting theatres of doubtful character, and keeping and reading papers and books at variance with faith and morals. The direction is entrusted to the three branches of the First Order: Friars Minor, Conventuals, Capuchins, and to the Regular Third Order. By delegation, confraternities can be established and directed by any parish priest. Those who for serious reasons cannot join a confraternity may be received as single tertiaries. Finally, great spiritual privileges are granted to all members of the Third Order.
The beneficent influence of the secular Third Order of St. Francis cannot be highly enough appreciated. Through the prohibition against carrying arms a deadly blow was given to the feudal system and to the ever-fighting factions of Italian municipalities; through the admission of poor and rich, nobles and common people, the social classes were brought nearer each other. How far the religious ideal of St. Francis was carried out by the secular Third Order we may judge from the great number (about 75) of saints and blessed of every condition it produced. It may suffice to mention: St. Elizabeth of Hungary; St. Louis, King of France; St. Ferdinand, King of Castile; St. Elizabeth of Portugal; St. Rosa of Viterbo; St. Margaret of Cortona; Bl. Umiliana Cerchi; Bl. Angela of Foligno; Bl. Raymond Lullus; Bl. Luchesius of Poggibonsi, who passes as the first tertiary received by St. Francis; St. Ivo; and in our times, Bl. Jean-Baptiste Vianney, the curé of Ars; of names celebrated in history for literature, arts, politics, inventions, etc., Dante, Giotto, Petrarch, Cola di Rienzo, Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Thomas More, Galvani, Volta, García Moreno, Liszt, and, finally, Lady Georgiana Fullerton. Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII were members of the Third Order, as also is Pope Pius X. Since the adaptation of the rugby Leo XIII the Third Order has grown more active than ever. At present the total number of members is esteemed about two and a half millions, spread all over the world. National and local congresses have been held in different countries: seven in the period from 1894 to 1908 in France, others in Belgium, some in Italy, the first general congress in Assisi (1895), many local ones from 1909 to 1911; others have been held in Spain, the last one at Santiago in 1909; in Argentina the last one at Buenos Aires in 1906; in India, Canada, and in Germany and Austria, in the last two instances in connection with general congresses of Catholics. There exist almost in all civilized languages numerous monthly periodicals which, whilst keeping up the union amongst the different confraternities, serve also for the instruction and edification of its members. The "Acta Ordinis Frat. Min.", XXVI, Quaracchi, 1907, 255-58, gives the names of 122 such periodicals. French periodicals are indicated by P. B. Ginnet, O.F.M., "Le Tiers Ordre et le Prêtre", Vanves, 1911, p. 51 sq.; German periodicals by Moll, O.M. Cap., "Wegweiser in die Literatur des Dritten Ordens", Ratisbon, 1911. In Italy even a regular newspaper was founded, "Rinascita Francescana", Bologna, 1910; another in Germany, "Allgemeine deutsche Tertiaren-Zeitung", Wiesbaden, 1911.—We may mention also the special organs for directors of the Third Order, e.g. "Der Ordensdirektor", published at Innsbruck by the Tyrolese Franciscans, "Revue sacerdotale du Tiers-Ordre de Saint François", published by French Capuchins. Both reviews appear once every two months.
Third Order Regular (male and female)
(1) Its origin and general development till Leo X
The origin of the Regular Third Order, both male and female, can be traced back to the second half of the thirteenth century, but no precise date can be indicated. It was organized, in different forms, in the Netherlands, in the south of France, in Germany, and in Italy. Probably some secular tertiaries, who in many cases had their house of meeting, gradually withdrew entirely from the world and so formed religious communities, but without the three substantial vows of religious orders. Other religious associations such as the Beguines (women) and Beghards (men) in the Netherlands, sometimes passed over to the Third Order, as has been clearly shown from recent study. Towards the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century some suspicion of heretical opinions fell on some of these free religious unions of the Third Order (bizocchi), as we can infer from the Bull of John XXII "Sancta Romana", Dec., 1317 (Bull. Franc., V, 134). More than a century later St. John of Capistran (1456) had to defend the Tertiaries in a special treatise: "Defensorium tertii ordinis d. Francisci", printed with other minor works of the saint at Venice in 1580. Throughout the fourteenth century the regular tertiaries of both sexes had in the most cases no common organization; only in the following century we can observe single well-ordered religious communities with solemn vows and a common head. Martin V submitted in 1428 all tertiaries, regular and secular, to the direction of the Minister-General of the Friars Minor (Bull. Franc., VII, 715), but this disposition was soon revoked by his successor Eugene IV. We meet thus in the same fifteenth century with numerous independent male congregations of regular tertiaries with the three vows in Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, and in the Netherlands. Contemporaneously there existed sister congregations of the Third Order with solemn vows, for instance, the Grey sisters of the Third Order, serving in hospitals, spread in France and the Netherlands, whose remarkable statutes of 1483 have recently been published by H. Lemartre in "Arch. Franc. Hist." IV, 1911, 713-31, and the congregation still existing founded at Foligno in 1397 by Blessed Angelina of Marsciano (1435). Leo X, in order to introduce uniformity into the numerous congregations, gave in 1521 a new form to the rule, now in ten chapters, retaining of the rule as published by Nicholas IV all that could serve the purpose, adding new points, especially the three solemn vows, and insisting on subjection to the First Order of St. Francis. For this last disposition the Rule of Leo X met with resistance, and never was accepted by some congregations, whilst it serves till the present day as the basis of the constitutions of many later congregations, especially of numerous communities of sisters.
(2) Single congregations after Leo X, of women
The two Italian congregations, the Lombardic and Sicilian, which had constituted themselves in the course of the fifteenth century, were united by Paul III, and since Sixtus V enjoyed entire independence from the First Order. It had then already 11 provinces. In the seventeenth century the congregations of Dalmatia and the Netherlands (of Zeppern) were united with the Italian family. In 1734 Clement XIII confirmed their statutes. Whilst the French Revolution swept away all similar congregations, the Italian survived with four provinces, of which one was in Dalmatia. In 1906 a small congregation of Tertiary lay brothers in the Balearic Islands and a little later two convents with colleges in the United States joined the same congregation, which in 1908 numbered about 360 members. The dress is that of the Conventuals, from whom they can hardly be distinguished. The residence of the minister-general is at Rome, near the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian. After the time of Leo X the Spanish congregation often had troubles on the question of its submission to the First Order. After Pius V (1568) had put the whole Third Order again under the care of the Minister-General of the Friars Minor, the superiors of the three provinces constituted in Spain could, after 1625, partake at the General Chapters of the Friars Minor and since 1670 they have had even a definitor-general to represent them. The French congregation, named from their house at Paris "of Picpus", was reformed by V. Mussart (d. 1637), and maintained close ties with the First Order till its extinction in the French Revolution. A well-known member of this congregation is Hyppolit Hélyot, the author of an important history of the religious orders. In 1768 it had four provinces with 61 convents and 494 religious. Other congregations of Tertiaries existed after the fifteenth century in Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Ireland, and England. They perished either at the time of the Reformation or in the French Revolution. We may mention also the Obregonians, the "Bons-Fils" in northern France founded in 1615, and the "Penitents gris" at Paris after the sixteenth century, all now extinct. In the nineteenth century some new congregations arose, e.g. the Poor Brothers of St. Francis, the Brothers of St. Francis at Waldbreitbach (Rhine) after 1860, the "Frati bigi", founded in 1884 at Naples by Ludovic of Casoria, O.F.M. The most of these modern tertiary communities consist only of lay brothers and depend on their diocesan bishop.
(3) Congregation of Sisters
Whilst Leo X in the reform of the rule had left it free to the congregations to adopt papal enclosure or not, Pius V (1568) prescribed it to all convents of tertiary sisters with solemn vows. Still this order was not carried out everywhere. In this regard the custom prevailed that the Friars Minor refused to take the direction of those convents which had only episcopal enclosure. Besides those already mentioned above, we may add the different offshoots of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and France (there, under the name of Soeurs du Refuge, some of them still exist). The first Ursulines, also, founded by St. Angela Merici (1540), belonged to the Third Order.
In the nineteenth century many of the new congregations adopted the Rule of the Third Order, but most of them have no further connection with the First Order. Many of them have widely varying names; a good many are of mere local character, others again are of international importance. As to their activities, almost all dedicate themselves to works of charity, either in hospitals, homes, or ateliers; others work in schools, not a few are in foreign missions. We can give here scarcely more than a list of the names, with the dates of the foundation. In Germany there are the Poor Sisters of St. Francis, founded 1845 (1851) by M. Schervier at Aachen, with some houses in America; the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family, founded in 1857 at Eupen, Diocese of Cologne; the Franciscan Sisters, at Münster, Westphalia, founded in 1850; the Poor Franciscan Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration, at Olpe, Diocese of Paderborn (1857); the Poor Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, at Salzkotten, near Paderborn (1863); the Sisters of Mercy of the Third Order, at Thuine, Diocese of Osnabrück (1869); the Sisters of Mercy of St. Francis, at Waldbreitbach, Diocese of Trier (1863); the Franciscan Sisters at Nonnenwerth, an island on the Rhine, founded in 1872 at Heythuizen in Holland; Franciscan Sisters of Maria-Stern, at Augsburg, whose first foundation can be followed back to the thirteenth century; Franciscan Sisters at Dillingen, Diocese of Augsburg, founded in the fourteenth century; the Poor Franciscan Sisters, at Mallersdorf, Diocese of Ratisbon (1855); the Congregation of Ursperg (1897); the Franciscan Sisters of Kaufbeuren, Diocese of Augsburg, founded in the fifteenth century, to which had belonged Blessed Crescentia Hess (1744). In the Diocese of Rottenburg, in Wurtemberg, we note the communities of Bonlanden near Erolzheim (1855); of Heiligenbronn (1857); of the Sisters of Christian Charity, at Reute, founded 1849 at the same place where in the fifteenth century Blessed Elizabeth of Reute, called also the "good Beta" (d. 1420), had professed the Third Order; the Franciscan Sisters of Sussen (1853). In Baden is noteworthy the Congregation of Gengenbach (1867), since 1876 also in the United States Joliet, Illinois. At Mainz there is the Convent of Perpetual Adoration (1860).
In Austria-Hungary the School Sisters of the Third Order (1723), with mother-houses at Hallein, Diocese of Salzburg, at Vienna (III), and at Judenau, Diocese of St. Polten; the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at Vienna (V), (1857); the Poor School Sisters at Voklabruck, Diocese of Linz (1850); the Sisters of Mercy of the Third Order of St. Francis at Troppau, Diocese of Olmütz (1853); Congregation of School Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, at Mahrisch-Trubau, Diocese of Olmütz (1851); the School Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at Marburg on the Drau, Diocese of Lavant (1864); the Grey Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, at Prague (I), 1856; and three small communities in Tyrol. In Luxemburg there is the Congregation of Pfaffental; the Sisters of Mercy of St. Francis with the mother-house in the town of Luxemburg, and communities in Sweden and the Carolines. In Holland there are the Congregations of Rosendaal, of Breda, of Heythuizen, all of which have communities in foreign missions; lastly the Congregation of Heerlen. In Belgium there exist, besides the old congregation of the Grey Sisters of Hospitals (see above) at Antwerp, Léau, Tirlemont, Hasselt, and Tongres, the more recent communities of Ghent (founded 1701), of Hérines, Diocese of Malines, of Macon-lez-Chimay, of Opwyk, Diocese of Malines (1845). In Switzerland there once existed many congregations of the Third Order, and even now there are several convents of strict enclosure. Of the active congregations the most noteworthy are the two founded by the Capuchin Theodosius Florentini, viz. the Sisters of the Holy Cross for schools, with mother-house at Menzingen (1844), with numerous convents outside Switzerland, and the Sisters of the Holy Cross for hospital work (1852), with mother-house at Ingenbohl.
In France, before the last suppression of convents, there were about fifty communities of the Third Order; the most important was that of the Missionaries of Mary, founded by Mother de Chapotin de Neuville (d.1904) in India, with actual mother-house at Rome, with communities spread all over the world. In Italy there are the Stigmatins, founded near Florence by Mother Lapini (d. 1860); the Sisters of Egypt, for missionary work, with mother-house at Rome; the Sisters of Gemona; finally, the Sisters of the Child Jesus, with mother-house at Assisi. On the whole, the sisters professing the Rule of the Third Order amount at least to 50,000.
The Regular Third Order produced one saint, Hyacintha of Mariscotti, and five Blessed: Lucia of Callagirone, Elizabeth of Reute, Angelina of Marsciomo, Jeremias Lambertenghi and Crescentia Hoss of Kaufbeuren.
Third Order of St. Francis, in Canada
The Third Order of St. Francis was established by the Friars Minor Recollects at Quebec in 1671, and some years later at Three Rivers and Montreal. Considering the population of the country, it was in a flourishing condition. In 1681 a Recollect notes that "many pious people of Quebec belong to the Third Order". After the cession of Canada to England the Third Order, deprived of its directors, the Recollects, seemed to have disappeared gradually, only to flourish anew thirty years after the death at Montreal, 1813, of the last Recollect priest. The Third Order was re-established about 1840 by Mgr Ignatius Bourget, Bishop of Montreal. Fervent fellow-labourers helped the holy prelate to spread the Third Order in Montreal, notably Canon J.A. Paré and the Sulpicians C. E. Gilbert and A. Giband. Mgr Bourget established a fraternity of women, 6 May, 1863, and one of men, 13 June, 1866; both were directed by the Sulpicians till 1874, by Canon P. E. Dufresne from 1874 till 1881, by the Jesuits from 1881 till 1888, and by the Sulpicians from 1888 till 1890; since then by the Friars Minor. Mgr Fabre, successor to Bishop Bourget, in a letter (3 Sept., 1882) to the priests and faithful of his diocese, says: "We have in our midst the tertiaries of St. Francis, who are known to you all by the edification they give, and by the good odour of all the virtues which they practise in the world." The Third Order was reintroduced at Quebec almost at the same time as at Montreal. On 19 Nov., 1859, Father Flavian Durocher, O.M.I., received the profession of two women, after a year's novitiate. These were joined by others, until in 1876 Quebec possessed over 2000 tertiaries, while in the Province of Quebec several parishes had groups of tertiaries. Among priests zealous for the spread of the Third Order at this epoch we must name, besides the above-mentioned Montreal priests: Father Durocher, St. Sauveur, Quebec; L. N. Begin, now Archbishop of Quebec; James Sexton, Quebec; Oliver Caron, Vicar-General of Three Rivers; E. H. Guilbert, L. Provancher, and G. Fraser, all three of the Quebec diocese. Father Provancher was one of the most zealous. In 1866, having received faculties from the General of the Friars Minor, he established a very fervent fraternity in his parish of Portneuf. He propagated the Third Order by his writings. For two years he edited a review, in which he published nearly every month an article on the Third Order, or answered questions appertaining thereto. At that epoch (1876) the brothers' fraternity at Montreal counted 137 members; the sisters, a still greater number. At Three Rivers the tertiaries were less numerous—enough, however, to form a fraternity a little later. Quebec with its 200 tertiaries did not have a fraternity till 1882.
In 1881 the arrival in Canada of Father Frederic of Ghyvelde gave new spirit to the Third Order. He spent eight months in Canada, and worked actively for the Third Order. He began at Quebec, where he held the Holy Visit prescribed by the rule and admitted 100 new members. At Three Rivers he found "a numerous and fervent fraternity". His visit to the fraternities of Montreal was followed by a notable increase in membership. Shortly afterwards Leo XIII published his Encyclicals on the Third Order. The Canadian bishops, in obedience to the pope's wishes, recommended the Third Order to their clergy and faithful. But the Friars of the First Order alone could give the Third a fitting development; hence, when Father Frederic returned in 1888, several bishops, among them Bishop Laflèche of Three Rivers and Archbishop Taschereau, welcomed him as its promoter. The foundation of a convent of Friars Minor at Montreal in 1890 inaugurated a new era of prosperity for the Third Order. The Franciscans took over the direction of the Third Order at Montreal. The fraternities of other districts were visited regularly, and new ones were formed. The Third Order has since spread rapidly. Today the Third Order in Canada numbers nearly 200 fraternities with over 50,000 members, under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor. The Capuchins have a small number of fraternities. The Friars Minor have also the direction of 20 fraternities with 5000 members in the Franco-Canadian centres of the United States. All these large numbers of isolated tertiaries give a total of nearly 60,000. These tertiaries are mostly French Canadians. There are very few fraternities for English-speaking tertiaries; of these there are two very flourishing ones at Montreal. It is in the Province of Quebec that the Third Order is most flourishing. Three monthly reviews, treating specially of the Third Order, are published in Canada: (1) "La Revue du Tiers Ordre", founded in 1884 by the tertiaries of Montreal, and directed since 1891 by the Friars Minor of that city; (2) "The Franciscan Review and St. Anthony's Record", founded in 1905 by the Friars Minor of Montreal; (3) "L'Echo de St. François", published since 1911 by the Capuchins of Ottawa. The principal social works of the Third Order in Canada are: three houses of the Third Order in Montreal and one in Quebec, directed by lady tertiaries; a lodging-house and an industrial school at Montreal, directed also by lady tertiaries; several work-rooms for the benefit of the poor; and public libraries, one in Quebec and two in Montreal.
The Third Order Regular is represented in Canada by three flourishing institutions: A. Little Franciscan Sisters of Mary, founded at Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1889 and transferred to Baie-St-Paul, Canada, in 1891; their constitutions were approved in 1903. They follow the Rule of the Third Order Regular. Their habit comprises a brown tunic and scapular, a white hood and wimple, and a white woollen cord; they wear a silver crucifix. Work.—Assistance of the sick, the poor, the aged, of orphans and instruction of the young—in a word, all the works of mercy. Development.—This congregation possesses 8 houses, nearly all in the United States. The mother house is at Baie-St-Paul, Province of Quebec, Canada. The institution numbers 150 professed sisters, 7 novices, 30 postulants, and 8 associates.
B. Franciscan missionaries of Mary, founded in India, and following the Rule of the Third Order Regular. They have six houses in Canada: (1) Quebec, founded 1892; novitiate, perpetual adoration, printing, embroidery, workshop, house of probation for aspirants, patronage, visiting the sick. (2) St. Anne of Beaupré (1894); patronage, workshop, hospitality for pilgrims, visiting the sick. (3) St. Lawrence, Manitoba (1897); boarding-school, parochial schools, dispensary, visiting the sick. (4) Pine Creek, Manitoba (1899); school, model farm, dispensary, visiting the sick. (5) St. Malo, Quebec (1902); day nursery, primary schools, school of domestic economy, dispensary, pharmacy, visiting the sick. (6) Winnipeg (1909); day nursery, embroidery, patronage, visiting the poor and the hospitals. These houses possess 150 sisters, novices included. Since its establishment in Canada, the congregation has had 290 Canadian members, many of whom are now engaged in mission work in China, Japan, India, Ceylon, Congo, Zululand, Natal, Mozambique, Madagascar, and South America. The mother-house of Quebec has founded six others in the United States: Woonsocket in 1904; New York and New Bedford in 1906; Boston in 1907; Providence in 1909; Fall River in 1910.
C. Religious of St. Francis of Assisi, founded at Lyons, France, in 1838. Their object is the care of the sick and of orphans and the education of the young. They were introduced into Canada in 1904, and have at present 5 houses, comprising a hospital, a boarding-school for girls, and model and elementary schools.
Third Order of St. Francis in Great Britain and Ireland
In Great Britain
The Third Order Secular comprises ninety-six congregations of which forty are under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor of the Leonine Union and fifty-four under that of the Friars Minor Capuchin, and about 12,000 members, amongst whom are several diocesan bishops, a number of the clergy, and laity of all ranks. In their organization the British tertiary congregations follow the common rule, but many of them add some corporal works of mercy, reclaiming negligent Catholics, and so forth. All the tertiaries are governed by a commissary-provincial appointed by the minister-provincial of the first order. His duty is to grant the necessary faculties to directors of congregations, to hold visitations, and generally supervise the affairs of the Third Order under his jurisdiction. A national conference of British tertiaries with a view to strengthening and consolidating the order, was held in 1898 at Liverpool in the hall attached to the Jesuit church, and was presided over by the bishop of the diocese. The opening address was delivered by the Archbishop of Paris. A second national conference was held at Leeds. Since the institution of the English national Catholic congress, in 1910, the tertiaries have taken part in these and have had their sectional meeting in the congress.
Of the Third Order in Great Britain in pre-Reformation days little is known. It is, however, certain that there existed in Scotland several houses of Sisters of the Third Order Regular. Blessed Thomas More is frequently spoken of as a tertiary of St. Francis, but there seems to be no historical evidence to support this statement. The Third Order, however, was known in England in the penal days. Fr. William Staney, the first commissary of the order in England after the Dissolution, wrote "A Treatise of the Third Order of St. Francis" (Douai, 1617). An interesting fact in connection with the Third Order in England is the appointment in 1857, as commissary-general, of Dr. (afterwards Cardinal) Manning, by a letter patent, dated 10 April, 1857, given by the minister-general of the Capuchin Friars Minor, empowering him to act as "Superior, visitor and Our Commissary of each and all the brothers and sisters of the Third Order Secular dwelling in England". Amongst notable English tertiaries of modern times, besides Cardinal Manning, may be mentioned Cardinal Vaughan, Lady Herbert of Lea, the late Earl of Denbigh, and the poet Coventry Patmore. The Third Order Regular is represented in England by nineteen convents of sisters and in Scotland by six convents. There are no communities of brothers. These convents belong to various congregations, most of which are of English institution. They devote themselves either to education or to parochial works of mercy or to the foreign missions. Most notable historically amongst these congregations are the convents at Taunton and Woodchester, which represent the English convent of the Third Order established at Brussels, Belgium, in 1621. Their founder was Father Gennings, the brother of the martyr Edmund Gennings. This was, in fact, the first convent of the Third Order Regular, enclosed, founded for English women. The community later on migrated to Bruges where it remained until 1794, when, owing to the troubles caused by the French Revolution, it crossed over into England and, after eleven years' residence at Winchester, settled finally at Taunton in Somerset. The congregation was under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor until 1837 when, owing to the dissolution of the Recollect province, it came under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop. In 1860 a second foundation was made at Woodchester.
The congregations of the Third Order Secular in Ireland are almost exclusively attached to churches of the First Order. Under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor of the Leonine Union are fourteen congregations with 9741 members, and subject to the Capuchin Friars Minor are four congregations with 5100 members. The Third Order Regular comprises two houses of brothers at Clara and Farragher, and eleven in the Archdiocese of Tuam, all devoted to educational work. At Drumshambo the sisters of the order have a convent where perpetual adoration is maintained day and night. There is also one convent of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary.
Third Order Regular of St. Francis, in the United States
Congregations of men
(1) Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of the Fathers of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. In 1847 Bishop O'Connor of Pittsburgh obtained from the Irish congregation six brothers, who founded a monastery and college at Loretto, Pennsylvania. Pius IX, by a Rescript of 12 Nov., 1847, erected this foundation into an independent congregation under the obedience of the Bishop of Pittsburgh. This congregation in 1908 joined the Italian congregation, and together with the community at Spalding, Nebraska, which in 1906 had joined the Italian congregation, was erected into a province, 24 Sept., 1910. Houses, 4; colleges, 2; religious, 62; novices, 5. (See below.)
(2) Congregations of the Franciscan Brothers, of Brooklyn, New York. Founded 31 May, 1858, by 2 brothers from the Irish congregation, Pius IX, by a Rescript of 15 Dec., 1859, erected it into an independent congregation. The ordinary of the Diocese of Brooklyn is the superior-general, and governs the congregation through a provincial superior with an assistant and ten consultors, chosen by the brothers from among themselves for a term of three years. Brothers, 67; novices, 8; academy, 1; college, 1; schools, 14; pupils, 9875. (See below.)
(3) Congregations of the Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis Seraphicus. Founded 25 Dec., 1857, at Aachen by John Hoever for the protection and education of poor, homeless boys, it was introduced into the United States in 1866. Brothers, 43; novices, 5; postulants, 3; candidates, 13; homes for boys, 2.
Congregations of women
(1) Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis:—(a) Congregation with mother-house at Oldenburg, Indiana. Founded in 1851 by Rev. F. J. Rudolf, its rules and constitutions were approved by the Holy See. Sisters, 536; novices, 41; postulants, 7; schools, 67; pupils, 12,273. (b) Congregation with mother-house at Mt. St. Clare, Clinton, Iowa. Founded in 1867 by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lavialle of Louisville, Kentucky. Sisters, 130; novices and postulants, 40; hospital, 1; schools, 16; pupils, 2590.
(2) Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis:—(a) Congregation with mother-house at Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania. Founded by the Ven. John Nepomucene Neumann, C.SS.R., Bishop of Philadelphia, who on 9 April, 1855, invested three devout women, Marianne Bachmann (Mother M. Francis), Barbara Boll (Sister M. Margaret), and Anna Dorn (Sister M. Bernardina), with the habit of St. Francis. In 1896 the mother-house was transferred from Philadelphia to Glen Riddle. This congregation is divided into three provinces. Houses, 80; sisters, 818; novices, 48; postulants, 15; academies, 4; seminaries, 2; orphan asylums, 9; hospitals, 12; schools, 42; schools for Indians and negroes, 8. By and from this congregation were established (i) Congregation with mother-house at 337 Pine Street, Buffalo, New York in 1861. Sisters, 277; novices, 30; postulants, 16; asylums for aged, 3; schools, 30; pupils, 6540; orphan asylum, 1; hospitals, 2. From this congregation were founded A. Congregation with mother-house at Mt. Alvernia, Millvale Station, Pennsylvania, in 1868. Sisters, 210; novices, 17; postulants, 13; schools, 14; pupils, 6429; orphan asylum, 1; hospital, 1; home for ladies, 1. B. Congregation with mother-house at Mt. Hope, Westchester Co., New York, 1893. Legal title: Sisters of St. Francis, Conventuals of the Third Order of the M.I.V. Sisters, 182; novices, 19; postulants, 9; academy, 1; schools, 6; (ii) Congregation with mother-house at St. Anthony's Convent, Syracuse, New York, 1862. Sisters, 173; novices, 9; candidates, 6; schools, 17; pupils, 4500; hospitals, 3; home for aged, 1; home for children, 1; convents at Hawaiian Islands, 4. (b) Congregation with mother-house at St. Francis's Hospital, Peoria, Illinois; founded in 1867 by Rt. Rev. John L. Spalding, Bishop of Peoria, and sisters from the House of Bethlehem, Herford, Germany. Sisters, 163; novices, 38; postulants, 26; hospitals, 10; patients, 5320. (c) Congregation with mother-house at Tiffin, Ohio. Founded in 1867 by Rev. J. L. Bihn. Sisters, 56; novices, 9; postulants, 4; hospital, 1; orphan asylums, 2; homes for aged, 2; schools, 13. (d) Congregation with provincial house at Peekskill, New York. Founded by Mother M. Gertrude and two sisters from the general mother-house, Gemona, Italy, who, at the request of Rev. Andrew Feifer, O.F.M., came to this country in 1865. Sisters, 284; novices, 18; postulants, 15; academy, 1; schools, 18; day nurseries, 3; institution for destitute children, 1; home for working girls, 1; children in charge of sisters, 7768. (e) Congregation with mother-house at Bay Settlement, Wisconsin, founded 6 Dec., 1867. Sisters, 35.
(3) Sisters of St. Francis:—(a) Congregation with mother-house at St. Elizabeth's Convent, Allegany, New York. Founded in 1857 by Very Rev. Pamfilo di Magliano, O.F.M. Sisters, 300; novices, 25; postulants, 12; schools, 11; hospitals, 2; homes, 4. (b) Congregation with mother-house at St. Francis's Convent, Dubuque, Iowa. Founded in 1876 by Mother Xaveria Termehr and sisters from the house of Bethlehem, Herford, Germany, who on account of the infamous "May laws", were compelled to leave Germany. Sisters, 399; novices, 34; postulants, 20; orphan asylums, 2; industrial school, 1; academy, 1; home for aged, 1; schools, 43; pupils, 6829. (c) Congregation with mother-house at St. Joseph's Hospital, Maryville, Missouri. Founded with the approbation of Rt. Rev. M. F. Burke, Bishop of St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1894. Sisters, 45; novices, 7; postulants, 1; hospitals, 6.
(4) Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity:—Congregation with mother-house at Stella Niagara, near Lewiston, New York. Established in 1874 by Mother M. Aloysia and three sisters from Nonnenwerth, near Rolandseck, Rhenish Prussia, Germany. Sisters 253; academies, 5; schools, 18; pupils, 6348; orphan asylum, 1; Indian schools, 2; pupils, 577; foundling-house, 1.
(5) Franciscan Sisters:—(a) Congregation with mother-house, Grand Avenue and Chippewa Street, St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1872 by sisters from the general mother-house at Salzkotten, Germany. Sisters, 224; hospitals, 6, schools, 1; orphan asylums, 2; house of providence, 1; convent, 1; (b) Congregation with mother-house at Mill Hill, London, England, for coloured missions. Introduced into the United States in 1881. Sisters, 58; industrial school, 1; parochial schools, 4; pupils, 765.
(6) Sisters of St. Francis of the Sacred Heart:—Congregation with mother-house at Mercy Hospital, Burlington, Iowa. Sisters, 22; hospital, 1.
(7) Franciscan Sisters, Minor Conventuals:— Congregation with mother-house at St. Joseph's Convent, Buffalo, New York. Sisters, 58; novices, 16; postulants, 21.
(8) Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi, M.C.:—Congregation with mother-house at St. Francis, Wisconsin. Founded in 1849 by sisters from Bavaria. Its rules and constitutions were compiled by Rev. M. Heiss in 1852, and approved by Rt. Rev. J. M. Henni, Bishop of Milwaukee. In June, 1873, this congregation was affiliated to the Order of Minor Conventuals, and Pius X on 6 Dec., 1911, gave it its definite approbation. Sisters, 303; novices, 22; postulants, 30; academy, 1; orphanage, 1; institute for deaf mutes, 1; for feeble minded, 1; schools, 36; pupils, 4500.
(9) School Sisters of St. Francis:—Congregation with mother-house, Greenfield and Twenty-Second Avenues, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The sisters conduct schools in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon. There are two branch-houses of this congregation in Europe, one in Luxemburg, and other at Erlenbad, Baden. Sisters, 814.
(10) Franciscan Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration:—Congregation with mother-house at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Founded by six sisters from Bavaria, and rules compiled in 1853 by Most Rev. M. Heiss, Archbishop of Milwaukee. The Perpetual Adoration was introduced in 1878. Sisters, 420; novices, 42; postulants, 40; schools, 63; pupils, 8448; orphan asylums, 2; Indian school, 1; domestic science schools, 2.
(11) Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity:—Congregation with mother-house at Holy Family Convent, Alverno, Wisconsin. Founded in 1869 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by Rev. Joseph Fessler, it was affiliated to the Order of Friars Minor Conventual 19 March, 1900. Sisters, 303; novices, 40; postulants, 10; hospitals, 2; home for aged, 1; schools, 53; pupils, 8500.
(12) Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart:—Congregation with mother-house at St. Joseph's Hospital, Joliet, Illinois. Founded in 1867 at Avila, Indiana, by sisters from Germany. Sisters, 325; novices, 40; postulants, 12; hospitals, 10; home for aged, 1; orphan asylum, 1; schools, 9.
(13) Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration:—Congregation with mother-house at St. Francis's Convent, Nevada, Missouri. Established in 1893 by Sister M. John Hau and sisters from the mother-house at Grimmenstein, Switzerland. Sisters, 25; orphan asylum, 1.
(14) Hospital Sisters of St. Francis:—Congregation with provincial house at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Illinois. Founded in 1875 by sisters from the general mother-house, Münster, Germany. Sisters, 299; novices, 29; postulants, 11; hospitals, 12.
(15) The Poor Sisters of St. Francis Seraph of the Perpetual Adoration:—Congregation with provincial house at St. Francis Convent, Lafayette, Indiana. Introduced into this country in 1875 by sisters from the general mother-house at Olpe, Germany. Sisters, 613; novices, 35; postulants, 21; academies, 3; orphan asylum, 1; home for aged, 1; schools, 36; hospitals, 18; high schools, 2.
(16) Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis.
(17) Franciscan Sisters of St. Kunegunda (Polish):—(a) Congregation with mother-house at Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1896. Sisters, 107; novices, 22; postulants, 18; orphan asylum, 1; home for aged and crippled, 1; day-nursery, 1; schools, 11; pupils, 2070. (b) Congregation with mother-house at Chicago Heights, Illinois. Foundation of English-speaking Franciscan Sisters. Sisters, 17.
(18) Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception:—Congregation with mother-house at Peoria, Illinois. Founded in 1890. Sisters, 47; novices, 20; postulants, 17; schools, 6; homes, 2; asylum, 1.
(19) Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception:—Congregation with mother-house, Rome, Italy. The sisters conduct establishments in the Archdioceses of New York and Boston, the Diocese of Newark, Pittsburgh, and Savannah.
(20) Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception:—(a) Congregation with mother-house at Little Falls, Minnesota. Sisters, 60; postulants, 3; orphan asylum, 1; hospitals, 3. (b) Congregation with mother-house at St. Anthony's Hospital, Rock Island, Illinois. Sisters, 18; novices, 6.
(21) Polish Franciscan School Sisters:—Congregation with mother-house, 3419 Gasconde Street, St. Louis, Missouri. Founded 29 May, 1901, by Most Rev. John J. Kain, Archbishop of St. Louis. Sisters 63; schools, 9; pupils, 700.
(22) Felician Sisters, O.S.F.,:—Congregation with general mother-house, Cracow, Austria. Founded in 1855 by Sophia Truszkowska at Warsaw, Russia. Introduced into the United States in 1874. (a) Western Province of the Presentation B.V.M. Mother-house, Detroit, Michigan. Sisters, 273; novices, 30; postulants, 55; candidates in preparatory course, 65; schools, 33; pupils, 12,500; orphan asylum, 1. (b) Eastern Province. Mother-house at Buffalo, New York, established 20 Aug., 1900. Choir Sisters, 278; novices, 32; postulants, 93; lay sisters, 66; novices, 6; postulants, 21; candidates in preparatory course, 73; schools, 55; pupils, 21,556; orphan asylums, 2; home for aged, 1; emigrant home, 1; working-girls' home, 1; day nursery, 1. (c) North-western Province of the Presentation B. V. M. Mother-house, St. Joseph's Orphanage, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, established 1910. Sisters, 170; novices, 17; postulants, 27; schools, 24; pupils, 6482; orphan asylums, 3.
(23) Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mother-house, Rochester, Minnesota. Established 1877 by sisters of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois. Sisters, 336; novices, 9; postulants, 16; academies, 5; normal school, 1; schools, 20; pupils, 5767; hospitals, 1; nurses' training school, 1.
Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Prior to 1906 several communities of the Third Order existed in the United States all lay institutes dedicated to teaching and other works of charity. Amongst these were three branches of Franciscan Brothers: at Brooklyn, New York; at Loretto, Pennsylvania; and at Spalding, Nebraska. The communities at Loretto and Brooklyn were founded more than half a century ago from Mount Bellew Monastery, Archdiocese of Tuam, Ireland; Spalding Institute was a branch of the Brooklyn community. In 1905 Brother Linus Lynch, then superior of the institute, asked the ordinary of the diocese for permission to have some of his subjects ordained priests. This request the bishop refused, as the community had been introduced into the diocese for the care of parish schools, and he feared that in the event of its members becoming priests this work would suffer. A petition was then sent to the minister-general, Rt. Rev. Angelus de Mattia, asking for union with the third Order Regular; as this union could not be effected, some of the community determined to ask for a dispensation from their vows in order to enter the institute. In 1907 fifteen were dispensed; these, together with eleven novices, went to Spalding, Nebraska, where a small community of brothers had been united to the order in 1906. They were received by Very Rev. Dr. Stanislaus Dujmoric, commissary-general, and by dispensation of Pius X from the ordinary year of probation they made the vows of the order. A college was then opened at Spalding, giving the order its first house in the United States.
In 1908 the diocesan community of Franciscan Brothers at Loretto, Pennsylvania, were admitted to solemn profession, and eight young men were received into the novitiate.
In 1910-11 Rt. Rev. Eugene A. Garvey, D.D., Bishop of Altoona, requested the fathers to take charge of the Italian Church of St. Anthony of Padua at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Altoona, Pennsylvania. The four houses in the United States were erected into a province, 24 Sept., 1910, Very Rev. Dr. Jerome Zazzara being elected provincial. The Archbishop of Chicago has since given the fathers charge of Sts. Peter and Paul's Slavic Church in that city, and a new college is to be opened at Sioux City, Iowa, in 1912. The provincial mother-house is at St. Francis's College, Loretto, Pennsylvania. The American Province has now five convents, two colleges, sixty-five professed members, and twenty novices and postulants.
The Third Order Secular of St. Francis
Established in the United States by the early Franciscan missionaries for the white settlers and soldiers and Indian converts, especially in the Southern States. A confraternity existed at Santa Fe long before 1680. Another confraternity existed in New Mexico almost from the time of the reconquest (1692-1695). The document stating this fact is a report of the Father custos, José Bernal, dated Santa Fe, 17 Sept., 1794. There is no documentary evidence of the existence of a Third Order for lay people as a regularly organized confraternity anywhere else, though we learn from documents that single individuals were termed tertiaries among the Indians. It is most probable, however, that a confraternity existed at St. Augustine, Florida, before the close of the sixteenth century, and at San Antonio, Texas, before the middle of the eighteenth century. The establishment of provinces of the order of Friars Minor brought about the establishment of many confraternities. There are at present 186 confraternities of Franciscan Tertiaries in this country, with a membership of 35,605. Of these, 142 congregations with 27,805 members are under the direction of the Friars Minor, 32 with 6800 members under the direction of the Friars Minor Capuchin, and 12 congregations with 1000 members under the direction of the Friars Minor Conventual. Besides these, there are many hundreds of tertiaries throughout the country not belonging to any congregation.
The Third Order Secular of the Servites
Established in the United States in 1893. There are at present 2 congregations, with membership of 400.
The Third Order Regular of Servites
SeeSERVANTS OF MARY.