Franciscans of Mary
ALSO KNOWN AS
Missionaries of Gratitude
NAME IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Spanish: Franciscanos de María. French: Franciscains de Marie. Italian: Francescani di Maria
Franciscans of Mary (FM) was founded in Madrid in 1988 by Father Santiago Martìn, who belongs to the diocesan clergy of Madrid.
The association has its origin in a group of young people who felt called to live a spirituality based on devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and to serve the poor on a voluntary basis. Rapidly, new groups were formed and they were called “Schools of gratitude” because during their meetings they foster a spirituality of gratitude towards God. Since 1991, FM began to spread to other dioceses in Spain. The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Suquìa, approved this new ecclesial association on April 13, 1993. Then the association started to spread throughout the American continents.
On March 25, 2007 the Pontifical Council for the Laity granted pontifical approval of FM as a lay International association of the faithful.
The goal of the association is to live and spread the spirituality of gratitude aiming at helping Catholics to develop their relationship with God basing it on thankfulness and not on interest or fear. To reach this objective, those belonging to the association gather in “school of gratitude” to receive a spiritual formation based on the Sunday Gospel and a concrete commitment to live it out. The participants receive also an apologetic, moral, liturgical and biblical formation to help them to defend their faith and the Catholic church in a society characterized by secularism and sects. Social voluntary work, evangelization though media and parish animation are characteristics of adherents belonging to the association.
FM are organized in various levels.
All members participate in the same vocation: to love and lead others to love “Love”, which is God himself.
The main organ of governance is the General Council, composed by the President, Vice-president, Secretary, Administrator and some members Delegates.
FM are some 11,000 members in 31 countries as follows: Asia (3) Europe (8) America (20).
FM manage a hospital in Bolivia (Santa Cruz), a retirement home in Venezuela (Los Teques), a school for street children in Guatemala. They run an internet television broadcasted in 80 countries (www.magnificat.tv). It has four production centers in three countries, a web page about Church life and apologetics (www.catolicos-on-line.org) and another about spirituality (www.frmaria.org). They have a Family Centre and an Apologetic Forum.
Plaza Juan Antonio Suanzes, 1
28027 Madrid – España
Tel: [+34]913882341, [+34]913881797,