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"IT PROMISES CONVERSION OF LIFE AND CHANGE OF YOUR WAY OF ACTING." Rule of the 3rd Order

The Third Order of Minims (T.O.M) is an association of lay people who plan to live the Gospel according to the model of St. Francis of Paola. It is the secular branch of the Order of Minims, with whom has in common the penitential charism. Its founding is placed in the year 1501, and is due to the initiative of the saint himself. Complying with the insistent request of living the Minim spirituality in one's own family environment, he dictated some "norms of life" to follow. Initially the Tertiaries lived their ideal in a community form; later, instead, a charismatic form of life prevailed, lived singularly by anyone in his/her own family, reserving some moments for community encounters.

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This charismatic lay movement presents itself today to all with a double goal:

1. To fulfill oneself, through a Christian life coherent with the requirements of one's own baptism and in fidelty to the penitential charism proper of the Minims. Thus the Tertiary builds up a spirituality that expresses God's primacy through greater dedication to prayer and penance, and the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal to show the world the way of conversation and of liberation from sin.

2. To revitalize the social reality in which one lives through the testimony of one's own faith and the exercise of a function of being a stimulus and a critique in the light of evangelical values. Many are the social realizations which arose through the centuries thanks to the initiative of the Tertiaries: hospitals, schools, rest-homes. Thus the Third Order of Minims carries out an essential aspect of the penitential charism, that is charity towards the brethren with an active commitment. The instruments which the Minim Tertiary uses to reach such goals are:

a. An intense spiritual life, stressed by the Rule, that is founded on the virtues of penance, humility, charity, on an assiduous sacramental practice, and on constant prayer. He commits himself to building a sober and moderate style of life, shunning the consumerism and competitive spirit of the world, in which he chooses to live as an alien and pilgrim.

b. The apostolate exercised in places of daily life and in parish communities of which the Tertiary is an active member, as a single person or together with a fraternity (of the 3rd Order), in full harmony with other church groups. Following the welcoming style of the Founder and his compassion toward the least ones, the Tertiary will concern himself with the poor, the sick, the elderly, the marginated, and will strive to achieve an integral human-Christian development of all those he reaches in humility and brotherly charity.

c. A permanent and particular formation expressed in personal study, conventions, encounters, assemblies and the press, and the monthly magazine Charitas.

The person and message of penance, humility and charity of St. Francis of Paola shall stimulate the tertiaries to give their constant and valid contribution for the formation of a new civilization in which the promotion of the human person, joint responsibility and fraternal charity can be a living and working reality.



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Last Update: 11/23/97 by

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Web Author: Tony Parra
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