Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
Our International Community bears the name: Congregation of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis.
The origin of the name "Third Order Regular" goes back to the beginnings of the various Franciscan communities, as the graphic shows.
The so-called "first order" is that of the Friars Minor. Their community life is based on the Rule confirmed by Pope Honorius III during the lifetime of St. Francis. Since the 16th century, this group of Friars Minor has been structured in three different communities which together make up the "First Order of St. Francis": the Conventuals (Minorites, black Franciscans), the Franciscans (Observants, brown Franciscans), and the Capuchins.
Clare was the first woman to joint St. Francis' movement; the largest woman's order, the "Poor Clares", is named after her. This "Second Order of St. Francis" includes the Poor Clares and the Capuchin nuns.
The "Third Order of St. Francis" includes Franciscan lay communities of men and women, married and single, who live in the "world" according to a rule composed largely from the writings of St. Francis.
...is made up of congregations of men and of women who also live according to the rule of the Third Order but profess in addition to live according to the Rule of St. Francis in monastic community. As the diagram shows, this Order developed from the lay community. The Rule was "regulated" accordingly. It is to this branch of the Franciscan family that we belong, the Franciscans of Münster St. Mauritz.