A rendi központ hírei - olasz nyelven

A recognition to the parish priest of Aleppo

Friar Ibrahim Alsabagh, of the Holy Land Custody and parish priest in Aleppo (Syria), received the “Jan Karski” award on June 26, 2017.

Despite the war, not a day goes by without Br. Ibrahim Alsabagh going out to ensure that people are helped. That is why he was awarded the “Jan Karski” prize in Cracow (Poland).

This award is given to persons that are outstanding in “humanitarian service.” So, the Franciscan Friar Ibrahim was honored for having given “hope in a hopeless world and for taking hope to a forgotten people.”

Published by “Edizioni Terra Santa” in Milan and translated into several languages, in his book, An Instant Before Dawn. Syria. Chronicles of War and Hope from Aleppo (cf. Fraternitas, April 2017; ACTA Ordinis, # 1/2017, the Franciscan Friar, shares his testimony as an authentic Chronicle, written day by day.

At the reception of the “Karski” prize Br. Ibrahim Alsabagh said that the award was “an encouragement” to continue his mission of bringing “help, consolation and hope to people” who live in a martyred town.

For more information (in Italian): www.terrasanctablog.org


Responding to Jesus who says “follow me” | Concluding Homily of the Continental Congress in Jakarta

The first Continental Congress for Formators of the two Conferences in Asia (EAC and SAOOC) concluded on Friday evening, July 7, 2017.   After a week of intense work, the brothers have produced a short document (Statement) entitled, “Accompaniment in Fraternal Life”.  It is divided into three sections: the first part presents Our Vision for Accompaniment in our Franciscan fraternity. This vision has guided the deliberations and will enliven the endeavours as the brothers seek to deepen the understanding of the significance of accompaniment to Franciscan life.  Section two will present an understanding of Our Present Reality as it has unfolded in the conversations during the fraternal gathering. Section three will outline The Journey to a New Vision and a New Reality which will present some methods on moving  towards the renewed vision and new reality of Franciscan Accompaniment.  This document will be available online shortly.

At the concluding Mass of the meeting, Br. Cesare Vaiani, General Secretary for Formation and Studies, reflected on the ongoing invitation of Jesus to follow Him.  Here’s an excerpt of the concluding homily:

The decision to follow Jesus needs to be renewed every day. These days we have talked a lot about ongoing formation. We said that it is necessary to assume an attitude available to change something in our lives every day. Ongoing formation is about our ordinary life, rather than extraordinary initiatives. Even Matthew, sitting at the customs post, was doing his ordinary job. In his ordinary life Jesus came in, with authority and gentleness: “Follow Me”.

The word “follow me” indicates a path, a movement. We can’t follow someone standing still. We can’t follow someone without getting into the game, without changing what we are doing. We have to be careful to give the right answer for each moment. Jesus’ call to follow him asks that we are available for a permanent change. Permanent or ongoing formation is this permanent change, which wants to answer the word of Jesus: “Follow me”.


In the following part of Francis’s life we also find many vocations. We can remember his call to go East, among the Saracens and other non-believers: for three times he tries to realize this project, and only the third time he can meet the Sultan. We find the difficult call of the fraternal relationship, which challenges Francis with the arrival of many brothers proposing important changes. We encounter the tough call that came to him from the ongoing changes in the Order, to which he replied with his resignation from Minister General. Another call of God reaches Francis at La Verna, which once again indicates to follow Jesus on the way of the cross. In the last two years of his life we can recognize another call, to which he responds in the Canticle of Creatures, expressing a new look on creation and his own life. And finally, we can mention the last and supreme call of “our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape”.

All Francis’ life is marked by his will to respond again to the challenging calls of the Lord. Like Francis, we too want to welcome the call of the Lord that today repeats “follow me”.

St. Bonaventure: “Reason that is open to mystery; Faith that is reasonable”


Because it occurs during the eight centenary of his birth in 1217, the feast day of St. Bonaventure will be celebrated with greater solemnity this year in his native Bagnoregio (Lazio). Fr. Pietro Messa ofm, spoke to the readers of ZENIT about the celebrations taking place on Friday and Saturday,14-15th July.   

Pietro Messa, a Friar Minor, is professor of Franciscan History at the Pontifical University, Antonianum. Since 2005 he has served as the head of the School of Medieval and Franciscan Higher Studies at the Antonianum. Amongst his many publications is Francis of Assisi and Mercy, which he co-wrote with Msgr. Paolo Martinelli (Bologna 2015).


ZENIT: Fr Messa, St. Bonaventure is being celebrated: How? and Why? 

Fr. Pietro Messa, ofm: Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, a Franciscan, died at Lyon on 15th July, where he had gone to participate in the Council summoned by Pope Gregory X. When Pope Sixtus IV canonized him in 1482, following the tradition of the Church, Bonaventure’s liturgical feast day was fixed as his dies natalis, the day when he was born to eternal life, on the 15th July. The celebration was made even more solemn when Pope Sixtus V declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1588. This year, 2017, marks the eighth centenary of his birth in 1217.


A statue of this saint watches over St. Peter’s Square: what does that mean for the Church?

Fr Pietro Messa, ofm: It is very significant that the series of saints that adorns Bernini’s colonnade begins with St. Bonaventure on the right-hand side of St. Peter’s Basilica, and with St. Thomas Aquinas on the left. This is an important reminder that these two theologians (both declared Doctors of the Church) are an important point of reference for an understanding of faith and culture — so much so, that the year of both their deaths, 1274, has been seen by some as a change of epoch, indicating the end of the Middle Ages.

Their position in St. Peter’s is a sign that they are two central pillars of an approach that sees reason as open to mystery, and faith that is reasonable. This approach is necessary in order to resist any temptation towards fundamentalism and fideism — whose devastating effects can still be seen today.


What does this great Franciscan hand on to us from St. Francis?  

Fr Pietro Messa, ofm: First of all, in his Life of St. Francis, Bonaventure does not present a chronological history of Francis of Assisi, but instead gives a theological reading of his life in the manner of a hagiography. This work, like any hagiography, is a theological reading of history — but this does not mean that it eliminates history. If we do not keep this in mind, we can easily begin talking in terms of myths, and start negating history, as has happened recently.

According to Bonaventure, one of the characteristic features of the spiritual life of Francis of Assisi is that his wisdom grew from his humility. It is precisely that which made him open to the action of the Holy Spirit, and in this way, he became so conformed to Jesus that he was a living memorial of Christ in his time and for his time.


For the complete text (in Italian): https://it.zenit.org/articles/s-bonaventura-per-una-ragione-aperta-al-mistero-e-una-fede-ragionevole/

Appointment of Under Secretaries at the Dicastery for Integral Human Development

The Holy Father has appointed three Under Secretaries at the Dicastery for Integral Human Development: Rev. Mons. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, former Under Secretary at the Pontifical Council, Cor Unum; Br. Nicola Riccardi, OFM (Samnito-Hirpina S. Mariae Gratiarum Prov., Benevento, IT), Professor at the Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome, and Chair in Justice and Peace at the PUA Faculty of Theology; and Dr. Flaminia Giovanelli, formerly Under Secretary at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Venerables Louis Kosiba, Paula of Jesus Gil Cano, Maria Elisabetta Mazza

Promulgation of the Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 7 July 2017, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the following decrees:

  • the heroic virtues of Servant of God, Alojz Kosiba, religious of the Order of Friars Minor, born on June 29, 1855 in Libusza (Poland) and died on January 4, 1939 in Wieliczka (Poland).
  • the heroic virtues of Servant of God Paula of Jesus Gil Cano, foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Purish Conception, born February 2, 1849 in Vera (Spain) and died on January 18, 1913 in Murcia (Spain).
  • the heroic virtues of Servant of God Maria Elisabetta Mazza, foundress of the Institute of Little Apostle of the Christian School, born January 21, 1886 in Martinengo (Italy) and died August 29, 1950 in Bergamo (Italy).


Venerable Louis Kosiba

Louis was born on June 29, 1855 in Libusza, diocese of Tarnów (Poland). His admirable and fervent christian farmer parents were economically poor. After learning the shoemaker’s trade, in 1878 Louis entered the Friars Minor at Jaroslaw. He traveled to the novitiate in Wieliczka, to the present Province of Saint Mary of the angels in Poland. Louis spent all his life in the humble work of shoemaker, horticulturist, nurse and nurturing the poor. Louis brought into being his sanctity above all by the humble service of begging alms. Bother Louis visited the neighbors’ homes bringing to them his Franciscan joy and humility. He shared the Word of God and the content of the Faith. He distributed good writings. Brother Louis gave encouragement to the sick and enjoyment to the children. Louis died on January 4, 1939, at the age of 84, returning from his last begging for alms. He had the fame of being a saint. The cause for his canonization initiated in 1963.


Venerable Paula of Jesus Gil Cano

Francisca Paula founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception in Murcia in 1880. She was born in Vera (Spain) in 1849. Paula was a modest person, poor in human resources, weak in health and strong in spirit and abundant in extraordinary charity. She communicated to her spiritual daughters the passion for Christ-poor through the foundation of numerous works of charity. Prayer was her support. She was serene, mild, prudent, anchored in God. She called herself a “poor and humble daughter of Saint Francis of Assisi“. Paula called her Institute a “little Franciscan flock”.

Francisca Paula was destitute of the government of the Institute in 1912. They marginalized Paula for being ill and for some misunderstandings. Francisca Paula forgave everything heroically. She died at the house of Murcia on 18 January 1913. The process for her Canonization started in 1995.


Venerable Maria Elisabetta Mazza

Maria Elizabetta was born in Martinengo, diocese of Bergamo (Italy) in 1886. She joined the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi in 1904. She was an elementary teacher in public school from 1911 on. She spread the word of God and the principles of Catholic morality in the field of child education and of relationship with their families. To this purpose, she founded a new religious institution that he called the Little Apostles of the Christian School, whose members practice the work of mercy of teaching, as a vocation, but incorporated into the activity of the public school.

The Servant of God cared intensely for the students of the poorest families, those in need of support, and those with psychophysical difficulties. Maria Elisabetta Mazza passed away in Bergamo on August 29, 1950. The Cause of Beatification was entrusted to Fr. Antonio Cairoli, OFM; General postulant of the Order, in 1987.



Continental Congress for Formators in Jakarta

The first Continental Congress for formators of the Six-Year 2015-2021 started in Jakarta (Indonesia), at Casa Monte Rosa, in Puncak. On Sunday evening (July 2nd), all the 48 formators of the two Asian Conferences (EAC and SAOOC) gathered.

This congress began on Monday morning  with the Holy Mass presided by the Provincial Minister of the Province of St. Michael Archangel in Indonesia, Br. Adrianus Sunarko, a few days ago  appointed bishop of a diocese in the Sumatra archipelago.

After Holy Mass and breakfast, Br. Sinisa, moderator of the day, greeted the participants wishing everyone a profitable congress. After the initial greeting, Br. Adrianus wished the participants a good and fruitful work. Br. Cesare Vaiani introduced the Congress. Br. Ireneo Tactac (EAC) and Br. Peter Moghal (SAOOC) presented the two Conferences.

The second part of the morning Br. Cesare spoke about “Mutual accompaniment in fraternal life”. After the report and clarifications on some points, the participants continued their work in groups. At the end of each day, each group presented a summary of its work with the most important points. These points will be work by the Steering Committee in a near future.

The day ended with an evening of traditional songs offered by an ethnic group from the neighborhood.

A deep relationship with God is our opportunity for life | Minister General’s Homily, Amatrice

Abraham is our father in faith. He is a model, an example of trust in the Lord – an example that is repeatedly put before us. I don’t know whether you heard during today’s scripture reading that Abraham cried out with a loud cry to the Lord? His suffering made him almost scream: “Lord God, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?”

And Abraham is not satisfied with saying this alone. He quickly repeats his cry: “Abram continued, ‘Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir’.” But despite his pain, shouted out directly to the Lord, Abraham still continues to believe and trust in God. The outcome is disappointing: he has no direct descendants.

Faced with this crisis in Abraham’s life, and faced with the crises, the difficulties, the grief, and the sufferings that are part of each of our lives too, God always renews his promise of a relationship to both Abraham and to us. “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield.”  What matters is not so much what God will give to Abraham but who He will be – in fact, who He already is for Abraham.

This is the heart of the promise: being in relationship. What matters is not so much what God gives us, but who He is. Indeed, God is not just for us, but he is also with us, and above all in us. This intense and deep relationship with God is our opportunity for life.

By being rooted in this relationship, we can trust and continue to believe, and in spite of appearances to the contrary, we can live. It is from this relationship that our lives will bring forth goodness, will be able to endure, and will produce good fruits.

Today we remember the witness of faith of St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, who said: “The glory of God is the human person fully alive; and the vision of God is life for the human person.”

The sole true possibility of life for us consists in this: seeing God (without necessarily having visions), and discovering His presence in our lives by seeing and perceiving his action in us, with us, for us, and around us – experiencing his tangible love, his real mercy, and his tireless fidelity,.

Lord, may we protect our relationship with you and grow in it.

Support our trust in your presence at work in our midst

And grant that, rooted in love, we may bring forth good fruit.




Amatrice, Italy, June 28, 2017



JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (04-06.2017)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Spirit of the Lord!

Here we present you the June issue of our quarterly JPIC bulletin «CONTACT». In this issue we wish to elaborate on the theme of mining extraction and its negative impacts on many communities. We are sharing the work being done in El Salvador, Brazil, Indonesia, and Australia on this problem. In addition, we include the activities of the Rome Office on the Order’s animation service. We are pleased that a more systematic work has begun in the JPIC Office of the Custody of Morocco and of the Custody of the Holy Land as well.

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

You are invited to read and share our «CONTACT» Newsletter, which allows us to be connected and to know the various initiatives around JPIC values within the Order’s entities.

Peace and all Good.


Jaime Campos F. & Rufino Lim

Acta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum 2017/01

The latest edition of ACTA is now available for download. N. 1 – AN. CXXXVI – IANUARII-APRILIS 2017 (pdf) Pictures (pdf)


Important Notice

In response to the call to avoid wastage and to conserve resources, both financial and ecological, the editors of ACTA ORDINIS FRATRUM MINORUM have decided to reduce the number of printed copies starting with this edition of ACTA. This will greatly lessen both the cost of printing and the amount of energy consumed in paper production and book distribution. It is our hope that, since the ACTA is available online (www.ofm.org), our readers will be encouraged to consult this website instead.

We are aware that some entities require a printed copy for their archives, and for this reason we will be mailing two copies to each Franciscan Province or Custody to be kept in their Curia and their library or archive. Should you require more copies, we request that you send us a letter requesting this – either via email (acta@ofm.org) or by mail to the General Curia. The contribution per annum, which will cover printing and mailing, is €30 (thirty euros; CC/P 75 36 2004, Account: CASA GENERALIZIA ORDINE FRATI MINORI). If, on the other hand, you feel you would prefer to receive only one copy – or none at all – please let us know. We trust that you will understand the necessity for these changes, which are overdue, and we wish you peace and every good.