Mariahilferkirche, Graz, Austria 2

Mariahilferkirche, Graz, Austria 2

Minorites (a.k.a. Friars Minor Conventual) are heirs to St. Francis of Assisi and disciples such as St. Anthony of Padua. Both of these men are honored in statues beside the door of the Mariahilferkirche.

St. Francis is one of my favorite Catholics – a pleasure-seeker and a soldier who renounced his life of luxury (his father was a silk merchant) to help the poor. He nursed lepers, preached to birds, and called all men and women equal. To Francis, the natural world was a divine thing, and men were responsible for protecting God’s creation.

Those who follow the Rule of St. Francis agree to live in poverty, obedience, and chastity:

“I counsel, warn, and exhort my brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ that when they go out into the world they shall not be quarrelsome or contentious, nor judge others. But they shall be gentle, peaceable, and kind, mild and humble, and virtuous in speech, as is becoming to all.”

Today, all 3 branches of the Order of the Friars Minor – Minorites, Capuchins, and Francisan Friars – live by the motto Pax et bonum (“Peace and good”).