Franciscans and Macau
The term Franciscan is commonly used to refer to members of Catholic religious orders that follow a body of regulations known as “The rule of St. Francis”, or a member of one of these orders. There are also small Old Catholic and Anglican Franciscan communities.
The best known group following “The rule of St. Francis of Assisi” is the Order of Friars Minor (commonly called simply the “Franciscans”). The Order of Friars Minor is a mendicant religious order of men tracing their origin to Francis of Assisi.
2. Three Separate Branches
The official Latin name of the Orders of Friars Minor is the Ordo Fratrum Minorum (literally, “Order of Lesser Brothers”). St. Francis thus referred to his followers as “Fraticelli”, meaning “Little Brothers”. Franciscan brothers are informally called friars or the Minorites. The branch of the order arriving in England in 1224 became known as the greyfriars(灰衣修士). The modern organization of the Friars Minor now comprises three separate branches: the ‘Friars Minor’ (OFM，守规派); the ‘Friars Minor Conventuals’ (OFM Conv，住院派), and the ‘Friars Minor Capuchins’ (OFM Cap，嘉布遣派).
3. Three Orders
Anglican Franciscan First Order (monks) are known as the Society of St Francis (SSF), Second Order (nuns) as the Order of St Clare (OSC), and Third Order (comprised of ordained and lay members, both male and female, married and single, that pursue “ordinary” lives under a monastic commitment) are known as the Third Order Society of St Francis (TSSF).
4. Order of Poor Ladies/Clares(嘉兰会) and Macau
The Order of Poor Ladies was the second Franciscan order to be established, founded by Saints Clare of Assisi and Francis of Assisi in 1212.
In 1580, Franciscans had been established friary in Macau, but were forbidden by Portugal government. The first Clares group arrived in Macau November 5, 1634, invested by Isabel de la Rocha(依撒伯爾羅加) and her husband Bartolomaeusde la Rocha (巴爾多祿茂). People in Macau welc
omed them and many young girls wanted to be a member of the Clares. The Clares were abolished by the local law in Sept.12, 1835. One of that great convent became圣罗撒女子中学.
，visited on 9/29/2008.
, visited on 9/29/2008.