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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The Rule of 1221 is the Rule St. Francis himself gave us, and through St. Francis we joyfully acknowledge it as a gift form the Lord to us laity. Many Orders are changing their Rules in these days by committee and consensus. We embrace this Rule as coming from Christ, and this ancient story from the Mirror of Perfection, written as a compilation of extracts from already existing writings, and for the most part, well dates ones, makes it apparent we should.

"Once, when St. Francis was in the process of drafting one of his Rules of life his brothers wished to challenge him not to be so stern in what he would ask them to do. So they went to Brother Elias, who was Vicar of blessed Francis, and they said: 'We hear that Brother Francis is drawing up a new Rule, and we fear that he will make it so harsh that it will be impossible for us to keep it. So we would like you to go to him and tell him we will not be bound by this Rule. Let him make it for himself, and not for us.' But brother Elias feared a rebuke from the holy Father Francis, and refused to go. And when they all pressed him, he said, he would not go without them, so they all went together.

When Brother Elias approached where Francis was, and seeing all the brothers with Elias, he called out 'What do these brothers want?'. Brother Elias said 'They are Ministers, who hear that you are drawing up a new Rule, and they fear that you intend to make it too harsh. They refuse to be bound by it, and ask you to make if for yourself, and not for them.'

At this the Blessed Francis raised his face to heaven and spoke to Christ, saying, 'Lord, was I not right when I said that they would not believe me?' And all present heard the voice of Christ answer from heaven, 'Francis, nothing in this Rule is yours; for all is Mine. I wish the Rule to be obeyed to the letter, to the letter, without a gloss, without a gloss. I know what the frailty of man can achieve, and I know how much I intend to help them. So let those who are not willing to obey the Rule leave the Order.'

Then blessed Francis turned to the friars and said, 'You have heard! You have heard! Do you want this to be repeated?' And the Ministers confessed their fault and went away confused and terrified."

Mirror of Perfection

We, in the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, feel called to embrace the First and Original Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, 1221, which St. Francis himself gave us after having it drafted by Cardinal Hugolino de Segni. Our statutes define how we live the Rule in its fullness, and it has always been proper that each person bound by the Rule would decide how they were going to live it with guidance from the spiritual directors.
If individual members feel a need to live the Rule a different way they retain the right to work this out with their spiritual directors. Individual plans for living the Rule can vary from person to person, but should always reflect the fullness of the Rule as guided by a spiritual director. Questions on the can be directed to the Visitor or minister of the Association.

The Lord bless you and keep you; may He show His face to you and have mercy; may He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

(The Blessing of St. Francis of Assisi to Brother Leo)

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


Confirmation of the Rule of St Francis by Pope Honorius III, Giotto

Confirmation of the Rule of St Francis by Pope Honorius III
Author: Giotto
Date: about 1319-1328
Location: Florence (Italy)
Santa Croce Church
Bardi Chapel

Confirmation of the Rule of St Francis by Pope Honorius III, Domenico Ghirlandaio

Confirmation of the Rule of St Francis by Pope Honorius III
Author: Domenico Ghirlandaio
Date: about 1480-1485
Location: Florence (Italy)
St Trinity Church
Sassetti Chapel

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

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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