Francis of Assisi is a saint of great appeal to many people. Although his own world was that of the Catholic Church of central Italy in the middle ages, many people have been inspired by him down the ages. Within the Anglican Church, as part of the 19th century revival of religious orders, Francis inspired people by his simple Christ-likeness. Later, in the early 20th century, his works of loving presence, and sharing the conditions of the poor, were the inspiration for the Society of St Francis. We cannot claim to be founded by him, but we certainly are inspired and challenged by his uncompromising devotion to poverty, fraternity, his seeing of God in all creation, and his simple joy.
The Society of St Francis consists of three Orders. The Province of the Divine Compassion is the grouping of brothers in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Most of us live together in community with each other. Outside our province there are brothers in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, the United States, and the United Kingdom. As well as First Order Brothers there are First Order Sisters (Community of St Francis), a community of Poor Clare Sisters (Community of St Clare), and many Tertiaries (brothers and sisters of the Third Order) who live in ordinary family or single life.
The Principles, Day Three