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
Rule of Life
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In the Catholic Church
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Saint Francis and the Penitents

St. Francis of Assisi founded three Orders. His First Order was that for men to become friars. The Second Order was for women, as nuns, under the leadership of St. Clare. The Third Order was for the laity, and its Rule of 1221 is the Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis.

As the influence of Francis and his friars spread, many lay people began to hunger for a deeper union with God and ask St. Francis for guidance into a holy lifestyle. St. Francis wrote them letters on leading a holy life, but when they persisted in asking for more guidance he gave them a religious Rule of Life, Memoriale Propositi, or the Rule of 1221. This Rule was drafted at Francis's request by his friend, Cardinal Hugolino dei Conti dei Segni, the future Pope Gregory IX.

The Franciscan Third Order

Soon after Francis's death, this family in the Church became an Order and became known as the Third Order of Saint Francis. Today this Order is called the Secular Franciscan Order.

In 1289, Pope Nicholas IV made the 1221 Rule more uniform by removing from it many local statutes that had been appended. For all practical purposes, however, the codified 1289 Rule was the same as the primitive 1221 Rule even to the point of having almost exactly the same wording. The major difference was that the 1289 Rule placed the penitents directly under the Friars Minor.

The 1289 Rule was in effect for all Third Order Franciscans until Pope Leo XIII radically modified the Rule in 1883. Pope Leo XIII believed that every Catholic would do well to become a Franciscan, and he foresaw vast spiritual growth if they did. His intent in relaxing and changing the original Rule was to make it more livable for masses of people. Indeed, within years after the Leonine Rule's promulgation, many did join the Third Order of Saint Francis.

After Vatican II, all the Orders within the Catholic Church were asked to reexamine their Rules and return to their original intent. Members of the Third Order of Saint Francis, using the 1883 Rule as a basis, rewrote the Rule in 1978, and then had the Rule ratified by Pope Paul IV. This Pauline Rule is the current Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. When the Pauline Rule went into effect it canceled all previous Rules for the Third Order of St. Francis, including the Rule of 1221. Secular Franciscans now profess to live the Rule of 1978, the Pauline Rule.

In this Association, it is our goal to promote and live the original Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, albeit outside the Franciscan Order, because we love this rule that St. Francis himself gave us. For purposes of all we write, the Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, which is the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, will simply be called the Rule of 1221. By means of statutes we are able to adapt the Rule to these modern times. Our Rule and Statutes are located elsewhere on this Web site. Come and join us in this very committed and demanding Gospel way of life, for the love of God.

Our Lady, Saint Francis and Saint Dominic

Mary enthroned, with the Child, two Angels, St. Francis, and St. Dominic
Author: Cimabue
Date between 1280 and 1305
Location: Florence (Italy),
Palazzo Pitti Museum

St. Francis and St. Dominic were the leaders of the spiritual renewal of the Church in 13th century.


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