Presentation of the Third Franciscan Order in Medjugorje: “To imitate love of St. Francis towards God and men”

date: 30.01.2015.

The Third Franciscan Order has been active in Medjugorje in the parish of St. James for many years now. The spiritual assistant Fr. Ivan Landeka Jr., together with the members of Fraternity: Jure Cilic, Marija Vasilj and Sanja Ivankovic, presented the activities of the Third Order in the programme of our radio station. The Third Order has a long tradition, since the charisma of St. Francis thrilled parishioners and inspired them to imitate principles and the spirit of St. Francis in their families. There are 35 members of our Fraternity and they are meeting every Tuesday. Fr. Ivan said that the Third Order is the part of big Franciscan family that can be divided in three parts: “The first part consists of Franciscans, the second is of nuns of St. Clare, and all other religious nuns and the third order is all those lay people living in the families, with ordinary, family life and want to be inspired by the life of St. Francis, to imitate his love towards God and people and to be involved in that way in the Franciscan Order. The task of the Third Order would be task of every Christian – to live Gospel”, said Fr. Ivan and invited all those who would like to join the Fraternity to come to their meetings on Tuesday night after the evening Holy Mass. “We could perhaps explain how formation process looks like. The first degree is called period of sympathising and it lasts for at least six months. We are trying in that period to study on life and letters of St. Francis, to get to know his work and ideas. After that, one goes to the second degree called novitiate, and it lasts for one year. In that period, our candidates get to know rules and constitution of the Third Order and finally give their temporary of solemn vows. That is the initial formation of one member of the Third Order and later on it is developed through the permanent formation.” The members of the Third Order from Medjugorje said that by following and imitating St. Francis, they are following Christ and added that their meetings are to be at least once a month, but in their fraternity they insist on meeting every week. Those meetings are opportunities for socialising and every meeting begins with the prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, followed by lectures and discussions.