Religious Congregation



The congregation of Order of Minor Capuchin-OFM.Cap was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in Italy. He was born in 1182. Francis was the son of Pietro di Bernardone, a cloth merchant, and the lady Pica, who may have come from France. At Francis’s birth, his father was away on a business trip to France, and his mother had him baptized Giovanni. On his return, however, Pietro changed the infant’s name to Francesco because of either his interest in France or his wife’s background.

In 1202 he took part in a war between Assisi and Perugia. He was held prisoner for almost a year and on his release, he fell seriously ill. After his recovery, he attempted to join the papal forces under Count Gentile against the emperor Frederick II in Apulia in late 1205. On his journey, however, he had a vision or dream that bade him return to Assisi and await the call to a new kind of knighthood. On his return, he dedicated himself to solitude and prayer so that he might know God’s will for him.

It was probably in 1207 that Francis felt the call to a life of preaching, penance and total poverty.

He was soon joined by his first followers, to whom he gave a short and simple rule of life. In 1209 he and 11 of his followers journeyed to Rome where Francis received approval of his rule from Pope Innocent III. Under this rule, Franciscan Friars could own no possessions of any kind, either individually or communally (i.e., as the property of the Order as a whole). The Friars wandered and preached among the people, helping the poor and the sick. They supported themselves by working and by begging food, but they were forbidden to accept money either as payment for work or as alms. The Franciscans worked at first in Umbria and then in the rest of Italy and abroad. The impact of these street preachers and especially of their founder was immense, so that within 10 years they numbered 5,000.

Saint Francis of Assisi founded the congregation of Order of Minor Capuchin-OFM.Cap in the 13th Century. Members of the Order strive to cultivate the ideals of the Order’s founder.

He died at the age of 46 and was canonised (named saint) two years later.

In Malawi, the Order of Minor Capuchin-OFM.Cap congregation is found in five places as follows; St. Francis Mikoke Parish-Dedza Diocese, Gulliver Regional House-Archdiocese of Lilongwe, Lusangazi Parish-Mzuzu Diocese and St. Anthony Formation House-Zomba Diocese.

We are therefore calling upon baptised and confirmed Catholic boys who hear the call to Franciscan priesthood to join us. In terms of academic eligibility, they must possess a Malawi School Certificate of Education with at least 27 points and below. However, the issue of points is negotiable. If you really hear the call to Franciscan priesthood and have more than 27 points, you can still come and discuss with us.

If you want to join us, show your interest through your small Christian Community, your parish priest or visit the above mentioned places where we are found.