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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· Introduction
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· Location of Members
· FAQ about the BSP
· The BSP Rule in a short snapshot

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In the Catholic Church
· BSP History
· The Catholic Church's blessings to the Association
· Franciscan connection
·  On the Rules of Saint Francis
·  St.Francis Letter to All the Faithful
· The Rule of 1221

Monthly Newsletter
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The BSP Roots
· Stella Matutina Blog
· Index of the poems
 Selected pages:
· Wing Song
· Stella Matutina Intro
· Our First Visitor
· Cover of Morning Star
· Morning Star Intro

Printable brochures
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· Reading Room
· Prayers and Poems
· Members'blogs/sites
· Prayers of the Rule
·  The three little hours of the Office


The Private Association of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, the BSP, was born from the original Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis as contained in the Omnibus of Sources of Saint Francis and the resultant Stella Matutina movement in the Secular Franciscan Order in Minnesota in the 1980's with the guidance of the late Father Valerius Messerich O.F.M.. It was formally founded in 1996 in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis with the blessing, encouragement and support of Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, and is in the National Catholic Directory. The present Archbishop of our diocese, the Most Reverend John Nienstedt, has also granted his approval of the BSP as has Archbishop Roger Schwietz of Alaska, who helped us create the Association formally in 1995.

The strength of the Church, and the state of our world, rests in the people of God living their Faith to the full. Those who live committed to Christ transform the world through the Savior's actions in and through them. This means treating God as a "loved one." As we spend time with those we love, they change and add meaning to our lives. If we do not live a committed Christian life now for the love of God, we will probably never live it.

The Rule of 1221 is the foundation Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance. Both ancient and holy, its tenets were the basis of many medieval penitential groups and Third Orders and the life-path of many Saints and Blessed within the Church. It stands forever as a call to lay people to follow fearlessly the path of the Lord and His Saints. Its lifestyle is timeless and holy, completely authentic in its call to personal conversion.

The Rule clearly can be memorized and lived, always challenging one to greater holiness and opening the door to experience God in numerous ways that lead to "spiritual maturity" or knowledge of that which we cannot otherwise know, that which the "...eye has not seen, nor has it entered into the mind of man...". (1 Cor. 2:6-10). The Rule embraces the Gospel and, when lived, draws one towards union with God, the hope of all Christians and the state of the blessed in heaven. Indeed, there are "...stages of prayer which no one ever teaches...", and they are only reached here on earth by a committed, prayerful, and penitential life, a secret the Saints knew only too well.

The Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, with a touch of updating to fit the modern age as reflected in its Statutes, energizes the Christ-centered life well. Living this Rule transforms us in, with, and for, the Love of God so that we, in humble ways, begin to transform our world. A penitential life resounds a constant invitation to prayer and self-mastery called for in Scripture (Rom. 12:12). Increasingly indifferent to worldly things, the penitent begins to live in a spirit of poverty, simplicity, humility and purity. Every aspect of daily life is impacted through prayer, fasting, abstinence, temperance, and a solid, family-based Christian response to others.

May all those who seek to follow this way forever experience the blessing of the Lord and comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit. The Association, and all who enter into this life of penance, are consecrated to Jesus through the heart of Mary, His Mother and our advocate, for the tenets of the Rule embody Mary's messages to our fallen world. May she who is our Morning Star allow us to grow and shine in the world for the greater honor and glory of God.

Please enjoy reading these Web pages and invite others to read them as well. If we may be of assistance to you on your spiritual journey to heaven, let us know.

May God inflame each of us with His love, His joy, and His peace!

Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis!

And please pray for us!

Mary enthroned with the Child, four Angels and St. Francis.
Author: Cimabue
Date: about 1285
Location: Assisi (Italy), Basilic of St. Francis.

A detail of St. Francis face,
from the same picture.

The most famous image of St. Francis.


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