FRANCISCAN FRIARS of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Mary’s Army in Blue
A. THE HABIT.
The habit of the FRANCISCAN FRIARS of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY will be worn by Novices and those who have Solemnly Professed Perpetual vow. The habit will be royal blue in honor of our Blessed Mother; Franciscan style in honor of our Seraphic Father St Francis of Assisi and extended to the ankles with the tunic, chapuche and stiff hood. On the center front of the capuche will be the ‘M’ with the Cross on top, from the back of the Miraculous Medal. Will be embroidered in white. A cincture of white with the three (3) traditional knots representing the traditional Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience will be worn by Novices. And a fourth (4th) knot representing the Marian Vow, will be added to the cincture and worn by those in Perpetual Vows. The Marian Vow will be Solemnly Professed when a Friar Makes Perpetual Vows. It will gird the waist of each member of the Community. Each member will wear a fifteen (15) decade Rosary on the left side and attached to the cincture. The Rosary will be made with dark blue beads, each bead will have a white star on it, with the San Damiano Crucifix; centerpiece will be the Miraculous Medal and a smaller medal of St Francis of Assisi between the Crucifix and the center piece. Postulents will wear the royal blue habit with a white tunic. On the white tunic will be the Marian Cross in Royal Blue color. The habit and Tunic will be worn without the Capuche and stiff hood. Plain white cincture with one (1`) knot, representing the Vow of Obedience. They must vow obedience to the Minor General and to those who will be in charge of them and training them. They will also wear the 15 decade Rosary.
B. THE ORDER CROSS
The Order Cross shall be the Cross of San Damiano and will be metal and silver in color. It will have the initials “FFBVM” inscribed on the reverse. It will be three (3) inches in length. All members are to wear the Cross at all times, except when sleeping. When the occasion arises that a member must wear street clothes (i.e. working in a secular job away from the Community), the Cross is still to be worn at all times, but may be worn inside the shirt when it is not feasible to wear it on the outside of the shirt. Members working secular jobs in a Medical facility (ie: Hospital, nursing home, Doctor’s Office) will wear a white Franciscan style habit with a dark blue scapula; blue cincture and a Rosary where permitted by the facility. The Minor General will wear the Cross of San Damiano; Gold in color; three (3) inches in length. Inscribed on the reverse at the top bar will be “FFBVM”. On the center cross bar will the words of St Francis, after Our Lord spoke to him,
Lord, I will repair your house
Just below that in the next area will be:
C. Officiant at the Divine Office.
When members gather to say the Divine Office, the senior member present, usually the MinorGeneral or the Minor Superior of the Friary, if not the Mother House, will either officiate or appoint another member to officiate. The officiant chooses the Lector (s).
D. Last Will and Testament.
A postulant shall deliver a sealed copy of his burial instructions to the Minor General no later than two (2) months before his reception into the Novitiate. No Member of the Order will be permitted to be Cremated. A novice shall deliver a sealed, true copy, of his Last Will Testament to the Minor General or Minor Superior of the Friary, no later than two (2) months before his first (1st) Profession of Vows. All members shall supply the Minor General, or Minor Superior, with a true copy of any alterations within one month after any changes have been made to his Last Will and Testament.
It is hoped and prayed for, that as the Order grows, that the property attached to each Friary is large enough, that each member of the Community, and members living outside the Community (ie: Secular 3rd Order members that wish it), can be buried in a cemetery located on the Community Grounds at either the Motherhouse or at each Friary or Monastery. If this prayer is answered, then requirements noted in the first (1st) paragraph above will not be needed and this section will need to be rewritten and approved.
E. The Form of Address and Initials of the Order.
A Postulant may sign his name, ‘John Smith’, p/FFBVM. He shall not be formally addressed as “Brother”, but by his name.
A Novice may be formally addressed as Brother, and sign his name:
Br. ‘Peter Mary’, n/FFBVM.
A Life Professed Priest’s or Brother’s may sign their name:
Fr./Br. ‘John Paul Mary’, FFBVM.
Religious names are chosen before entering the Novitiate to signify his renunciation of the world.
Provinces may be established as the Order grows and expands out to other Communities and towns. All will be affiliations to the Mother House, located in Augusta, Georgia, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Georgia. At Our Lady of the Rosary Friary.
All Provinces follow the Rule, Constitution and Customary of the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The local Minor Superior is to be obeyed by his authority and appointment. All Minor Superiors will be appointed by the Minor General of the Order. All Minor Superiors are to govern with humility, patients, understanding and brotherly love of Christ in providing examples to the members of his Friary.
All Friaries support themselves by the cooperation of the working members of the Friary.
All local Minor Superiors report to the Mother House on a monthly basis so that no situation or concern is allowed to become insoluble or any vocation, which is a gift from Almighty God, put in jeopardy.
All Friaries are semi-cloistered areas. Only members of the Order and Community are to be in the cloistered areas, A visiting parlor is to be provided for extern work and visitation of nonmembers or family members of members of the Order.
G. Choir Area of the Church/Chapel.
Only males are allowed in the Choir area of the Church or Chapel. Women are not allowed beyond the railing that separates the Choir area from the rest of the Church or Chapel.