[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:11, topic:215052"]
The Third Order Regular's ARE most definitely a Franciscan order.
I seriously considered entering this community after I was discharged from the Army back in 1969. I was especially attracted to their "Worker Priest" movement.
The Third Order Regular is the religious arm of the Secular Franciscan Order. Together, they form the Brothers and Sisters of Penance founded by St. Francis.
Medic is correct, they are sons and daughters of St. Francis. Therefore, they are Franciscan.
We have to understand that Franciscan means a son or daughter of St. Francis. Franciscans come under many names, because Francis founded a family and never named it. Like all families, we have a family name, that of our father, Franciscan. We also have specific names: Capuchin, Conventual, Clares, Peace, Penance, Life, Immaculate, Renewal, Little Brothers, etc.
There were several groups pulled together by Pope Leo XII. They had different names. Since no one could come up with a good name for the new unified group, Pope Leo simply referred to them as The Franciscans. That's how they go their name.
What makes us Franciscans is the uninterrupted line of succession back to our Holy Father Francis. One Franciscan founds a new commiunity. Another one comes out of that new community and founds another and so forth. Each community has a name of its own, but all can trace their line of succession to Francis and all follow one of Francis' four rules. He wrote four rules, not one: Rule for Minors, Rule for poor nuns, Rule of penance, and Rule for hermits.
Br. JR, OSF :)