"With wonderful love Saint Francis always carried about and kept in his heart Christ Jesus and Him crucified" and offered a sacrifice of all his members, and receiving the Lamb that was slain would immolate his spirit with the fire that always burned upon the altar of his heart. He therefore begs us, his brothers: "to show the greatest possible reverence and honor for the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom everything in heaven and on earth is propitiated and reconciled to Almighty God."
Heavenly Father, because none of us, wretches and sinners, is worthy to mention your name, we humbly beg You that our Lord Jesus Christ together with the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, will give you thanks on behalf of all: In the same Christ Jesus, then, we should render the Divine Praises with the same ardor of soul with which blessed Francis "recited the psalms with such attention of mind and spirit as if he were in God's visible presence."
Blessed Francis always contemplated and honored Mary, the Mother of God, whom our heavenly Father "consecrated with His most holy beloved Son and the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete; Mary, in whom there was and is all the fullness of grace and every good." In union, therefore, with the Immaculate Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the world, and Mediatrix of all graces and, venerating the memory of the saints, we hope to enjoy their company, and, "we await the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear, and we, too, will appear with Him in glory." Enlightened by a new light, blessed Francis undertook his heart's conversion to Almighty God with great joy and he proposed "to begin to do penance" and from that time to give more heed to "the Good Shepherd who underwent the suffering of the cross to save His sheep." For this reason "... we should hate our body with its vices and sins, because the devil wants to deprive us of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and of eternal life by having us live according to the flesh." And let us always take care "... in all our offenses ... to punish them interiorly through contrition and exteriorly through confession and works of atonement ... " remembering that "... the sheep of the Lord have followed Him in tribulation and persecution, disgrace and poverty, in weakness and temptation and other such situations. Because of these they received everlasting life from the Lord."
Living this way we manifestly fulfill in our works the exhortation of the Apostle: "Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus." Likewise, we imitate the spirit and works of faith, hope, and charity of Blessed Francis, who in accord with his principle, "... my God and my all," lived in full communion with the triune God through Jesus Christ.
Throughout their life and work the Brothers should continually persevere in the spirit of prayer and devotion after the example of our Seraphic Father who rather than one praying seemed to have been transformed into prayer. The Brothers should always endeavor to have the spirit of the Lord and His holy behavior and intimately connecting with work, to foster throughout their entire life a deep communion with their heavenly Father by sharing in the mysteries of Christ. Since the Brothers must maintain in their life and conduct what they have received by sharing the mysteries of Christ in the spirit, each one, after communing more intensely with God in prayer, should diligently preserve that union with God the Father in his daily life and perfect it through the practice of virtue.
The Brothers should endeavor to discern all things in the light of faith, to overcome difficulties on the strength of hope while awaiting the future glory and to become more and more united to God in the love of Christ, so that in all their actions they may glorify the Father.
Following the example of the Seraphic Patriarch we have chosen to live in a special way with Christ Crucified. They should, therefore, participate daily in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, learn to offer themselves in union with the Divine Victim, be nourished at the table of the Lord's Body, and through Christ the Mediator, be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and each other so that, finally, God may be all in all.
In each convent all the Brothers not otherwise legitimately impeded shall celebrate the The Little Office of the Blessed Vergin and in common daily.
All the Brothers should fervently venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Immaculate Conception as the special Protectress of our Community and its Queen. They should celebrate this feast of hers everywhere and with the greatest solemnity possible by also renewing the Consecration of the Congregation to her. Likewise, according to their ability they should encourage and spread devotion to the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. The Annunciation of the Lord, March 25, is to be celebrated as the titular feast of the Congregation with great solemnity. In all that pertains to the performance of sacred actions and popular devotions, the prescriptions of the Church are to be duly observed; popular devotions and private prayers, however, should be imbued with the spirit of the liturgy.
Thereafter, the first Order itself, like a luxuriant tree, brought forth the various families of Friars Minor. Hence it is most fitting that all who consider Francis their Seraphic Father constantly cultivate fraternal communion so that always and everywhere the fullness of the charism may flourish.