Jesus' Crown of thorns, symbol of penitential lifestyle. We are committed to living the Franciscan Rule of 1221. We aren't a Third Order but a Lay Catholic Association. ...weaving a crown of thorns,
they placed it on Him. (Mk 15:17)

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The Franciscan Association of The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St.Francis (BSP) has a butterfly as its symbol. The Butterfly means the transforming union that we wish to attain, through a life of prayer, simplicity and self-denial. The BSP mottos are: 'Deny yourself, take your cross and follow me' and 'In the world, but not of it, for Christ'

         St. Francis

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May God bless you and lead you ever more deeply into His Love!


... in the world, but NOT of it, for Christ!

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A Penitential
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Introducing the Formation program of The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis

St. Francis portrait, author Bonaventura Berlinghieri
St. Francis portrait
Bonaventura Berlinghieri, 1235
Church of St. Francis
Pescia (Italy)

Dear Member in Formation,

The entire intent of the formation program is to give those interested in the lifestyle time to learn to live the Rule before making a pledge to the Lord to live it for the rest of their lives. St. Francis knew that a formation period was essential for anyone coming into His Orders. For that reason, it was the advice of our first Visitor, Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M., that everyone go through formation before pledging. So, that is our recommendation. Also, formation is a time of discernment.

However, individuals are welcome to live the Rule in whole or in part even as they go through formation. There never exists an 'obligation' to live the Rule that one does not put on themselves. It is entirely voluntary. So, no one should ever feel in the slightest bit guilty because they don't live aspects of the Rule until they have pledged (promised) to live the Rule in a formal way. In fact, even then, the Rule does not obligate under the pain of sin. Ours is a pledge to live the Rule not a vow, made to Jesus, Our Lord and friend, through the way St. Francis gave us himself. To live a life of penance for the forgiveness of our sins and the sins of others. In this way we hope to live the Gospel more perfectly, recalling always the words Our Lord said: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. " (Mt. 16:24)

As you do lessons you are studying the subject at hand. The entire intent of the lesson is for you to internalize the subject and consider it's relevence in your journey to God. The lesson asks that you share your response to the subject of the lesson in your own words with your formation person or in your Chapter. What you chose to say about the lesson is up to you. Therefore, in answering any lesson, you may use any one of the following options: simply reply to the lesson in your own words; copy the questions included within the lesson and reply to them; or copy the following quesiton (IN CAPS) to the forum or your email to your formation person and answer it, or a similar one of your own making, in regard to any lesson you are reviewing. That is all that is necessary. Please keep your response simple, to the point, and in as few words as possible. The important thing is what goes on in your heart.


God bless you in your journey.

The BSP Communication Center


The Butterfly is symbol of transforming union of the soul to God. God will give this grace to those faithful to walk the path of prayer and self-denial

65774 County Road 31 Northome, Minnesota 56661

Phone: 218-897-5974   


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The Butterfly is symbol of transforming union of the soul to God. God will give this grace to those faithful to walk the path of prayer and self-denial