Saturday, February 19, 2005

Order of Friar Servants of Mary

While reading the Feb. 17th entry of "365 Saints"book, I came across the story of "Order of Friar Servants of Mary".

Here's an excerpt of their history:

Before the Servites ever existed as an official religious Order, seven prosperous men came together in the city of Florence, Italy. As a reflection of the penitential spirit of the times, it had been the custom of these men to meet regularly as members of a religious society established in honor of Mary, the Mother of God. Eventually, the seven left their comfortable homes, put aside their finery and went to live together in a ramshackle building. The holiness and penitential lifestyle of the seven quickly attracted visitors and others who wished to join them in their newly found joy of fraternal living for the sake of the Gospel. The entire group moved to more peaceful surroundings, and established a hermitage on the summit of a nearby mountain, Monte Senario, sometimes known as the "sounding mountain."

Coming to be known as the "Friar Servants of Mary," others joined the first seven on Monte Senario, and as the group continued to grow, the seeds of the new religious Order took root. The Friar Servants of Mary were approved as a religious Order by the bishop of Florence sometime between the years 1240 and 1247. In the year 1304, the Order of Friar Servants of Mary received definitive approval as a religious Order in the Church by the Holy See.


The author of 365 Saintswrites:

While the Servites acknowledge their need to serve by their very name, we are all called to be servants. We are placed on earth, not to amass wealth and prestige, but to care for and minister to our fellow human beings. Although most of us wouldn't want to leave our homes and families to join a religious community as the founders of Servites did, we can always find ways to serve others in our everyday lives. Even when it's as simple as thanking the clerk checking out our groceries or holding open the door for someone with a package, we can always find a way to serve.

That's very true.

365 Saints

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