Franciscan formation is based upon a personal encounter with the Lord and begins with the call of God and the individual’s decision to walk with Saint Francis in the footsteps of the poor and crucified Christ as His disciple under the action of the Holy Spirit.
If someone should wish to adopt this life and should come to our brothers, they must send them to their provincial ministers to whom alone is granted the right to receive brothers. (RB, II)
To follow more closely in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and faithfully observe the holy Gospel, the Friars Minor live the covenant with God by consecrating themselves totally to Him in the Church through their religious profession, for the good of all men and women (cf. GGCC 5 §§1-2).
The Friar Minor is called to observe the holy Gospel “living in obedience, with nothing of his own and in chastity” (Rb 1, 1), sustained by the grace of the Lord and by the vigour of fraternal love according to the spirit of St. Francis.
The life of following Christ of the Friars Minor is sustained by an experience of faith, nourished by the Word of God and by a personal encounter with the mystery of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the footsteps of the poor, humble and crucified Christ, who collected the disciples around him and washed their feet, the friars live in brotherhood, in service and in mutual giving (cf. GGCC 38). The Friar Minor progresses in knowledge and acceptance of himself and others, intensively cultivating a family spirit (cf. Rb 6, 7) so that the entire fraternity becomes a privileged place of the encounter with God (cf. GGCC 39. 40).
To conform themselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, “who humbled himself, making himself obedient unto death” (Phil 2: 8), the Friars Minor hold minority as an essential element of their specific vocation and live it faithfully in poverty, humility and meekness among the least of people, without power or privilege (cf. GGCC 64; 66 §1; 85).
The Friar Minor cultivates his faith in God within the Church. He lives in communion with the people of God (cf. GGCC 4 §1) and in obedience to and reverence for its Pastors (cf. GGCC 4 §2) and so fulfils the words of the Crucifix of San Damiano addressed to St. Francis: “Go, repair my house” (2Cel 10).