Collage of the life of the Little Brothers of Francis
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Sources of Inspiration

 

There are four sources of inspiration for the Little Brothers of Francis. They are:

1     The Gospels

The four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - are central to our spirituality and the main source material for our meditation and prayer life.

2     St Francis

Francis would recall Christ's words and life through persistent meditation on the Gospels, for his deep desire was to love Christ and live a Christ-centred life.

He was a man of prayer and mystic who sought places of solitude and hermitages played a central role in his life.

Significant events, like the initiation of the Christmas Crib tradition, happened at the hermitage at Greccio and, of course, he received the stigmata while he was at the hermitage at Mount la Verna, to mention just a couple.

Though the early brothers embraced a mixed life of prayer and ministry, Francis wanted places of seclusion - hermitages - for the primacy of prayer, in which three or four brothers lived and for which he wrote a rule.

3     St Francis' Rule for Hermitages

In his brief rule for life within the hermitage, Francis avoids a detailed document and sets out the principles that are important:

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Liturgy of the Hours is the focus and sets the rhythm of the daily prayer.

   
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Each hermitage was to have three or, at the most, four Brothers which meant that they would be both "little" and "fraternal".

   
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Within this framework, Brothers could withdraw for periods of solitude.

   
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The hermitages were not to be places or centres of ministry.

The Desert Fathers

4     Desert Fathers

The stories and sayings of the Desert Fathers contain a profound wisdom for any who are serious about the inner spiritual journey.

This is why they have held such prominence in monastic circles in both the East and West down through the centuries and why they are a priority source for us.

5     The Land: our Portiuncula and Bethel

In Francis' love for the place called the Portiuncula and the biblical story of Jacob and his dream at Bethel, we see parallels in both being led to this place, Eremophila, and its spiritual significance.

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