Today I begin the posting of a series of articles regarding the work of social reform called upon by the popes, especially Leo XIII, of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis. Whereas the primary purpose of the Third Order Secular is the sanctification of the individual, to stick only to this purpose would not be fulfilling the mandate that the popes of the late 19th and 20th centuries (prior to Vatican II) imposed upon tertiaries. As Pope Leo XIII had once said, “My plan for social reform is the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis.” The Rule and Constitutions of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis make it clear that tertiaries have a duty to spread the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on this earth.
The first article is entitled “St. Francis’s Ideal of Social Reform”. It is taken from the September 1914 issue of the Franciscan Herald.