St. Maximilian Kolbe
Life and Mission Reborn
Traccia of the Franciscans of the Immaculate…
“A community life of Prayer, of Poverty, of Penance, in the spirit of the vow of total consecration to the Immaculate Virgin, so that She may transform us, like St. Francis, into Jesus Crucified, and make us Her instruments for the conquest of all souls for God.”
– Traccia Mariana
The religious institute, known as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, begun at Casa Mariana (Frigento, Italy) along the lines and in accordance with the counsels of St. Maximilian, was established by His Holiness Pope John Paul II as a religious institute of diocesan rite in 1990. On that occasion the Holy Father explained that it was for the preservation and propagation of the life and mission of St. Maximilian Kolbe in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate began with about 30 friars and one house in 1990 have already grown to over 200 friars in 14 houses on 5 continents. Three of these friars came to America in the winter of 1991. Today the community in the USA continues to grow. Those who study for the Priesthood conduct their studies faithfully according to the mind of the Sacred Magisterium of the Church so that they may be holy and God-fearing sons of Holy Mother Church.
“Behold, our precious ideal: The Immaculate.”
– St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
What characterizes the life of a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate is as follows:
The Life of Prayer
Common prayer in a Marian House is especially necessary if the life of the community is to be well observed according to the norm. Holy Mass, the Divine Office and the Holy Rosary are said in common every day. Silence and recollection are safeguarded by cloister and the exclusion of all that may introduce the noise and distraction of the world.
The Life of Poverty:
Poverty of spirit should be evident even in externals and is to be lived in economic insecurity, without any fixed income nor what is merely luxury or convenience. Such poverty is animated by unlimited confidence in Divine Providence and the maternal assistance of Our Lady.
The Life of Penance
Penance, in addition to the interior, has an exterior aspect, tangible and strong like that of the Seraphic Father and of his first sons: the penance of common life, the penance of duty carried out to perfection, the penance of fasting, of the discipline, of wearing the habit always, of sandals on bare feet, of short hair, of no vacation nor other comforts.
The Life of the Apostolate
The work of the apostolate is without limit of field nor exclusion of means, after the example of St. Maximilian who knew how to make use of every means great or small (social media, publications, radio, television, art, study, Miraculous Medal) to promote the Kingdom of God everywhere.
The Marian Life
The Marian character of our life is the singular feature of this community. It underlies our observance of the Rule and Vows. The Marian heritage of the Franciscan Order is the spiritual heritage of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, and the reason for the primary vow of unlimited consecration to the Immaculate taken by every Franciscan of the Immaculate. By this vow each Franciscan of the Immaculate makes himself the possession and property of the Immaculate, Her docile instrument to be used by Her in life and in death, as She did with the confessor and martyr St. Maximilian, for the conversion and sanctification of souls.