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800 Years of Franciscan Order

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About 800 Years of Franciscan Order

In 2009, Franciscan Order is celebrating 800 years since its first recognition and papal permission to act as the Order in the bosom of the holy Roman Catholic Church St. Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226). In the spring 1209, the founder of the Order, after first eleven brothers have joined him, went to his way to Rome to seek confirmation of his simply composed Rules from the Pope Innocent III., and to allow him and his brothers to preach the Gospel. “When the blessed Francis saw that the Lord is daily increasing the number of brothers, he wrote to himself and to his brothers, present and future, simply and briefly, the methods and rules of life. He used the words of St. Gospel, because he longed for evangelic perfection.” (Vita Prima, Toma Čelanski). Although at that time the heretic movements of various groups who have despised materially were into force, The Pope approved the Rule and allowed Francis to preach the Gospel. “When he found out what people of God wants and when he judged the thing, he accepted and heard their prayer. Finally, he blessed St. Francis and his brothers, saying: Go, brothers, with the Lord and how the Lord is pleased to inspire you, preach the penance to all.” (Vita prima, Toma Čelanski)

During the life of Francis, Franciscan Order has been spread throughout the world and by the establishment of Bosnian Franciscan Vicariate on 5th October 1339, Franciscan come to our area. In its embrace, Herzegovina records its Franciscan roots. The invasion of Turks destroyed some Franciscan monasteries in Herzegovina: in Konjic (1524), in Mostar and in Ljubuški (1563). By the separation from the parent province Bosnia Argentina (1844.) Franciscan, again, inhabit the Herzegovina building the Monastery in Široki Brijeg (1846.).

In 1852 they established Custody and in 1892 the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, placed in Mostar. With the pastoral care, through all its history, Franciscan in Herzegovina are the main carriers of the entire cultural and educational enrichment. (Friar Ante Maric)