Peace & Justice

St Francis and St Clare were born into a volatile and violent environment with numerous conflicts working themselves out on the battle field. In Francis’ case he could easily have become a man of violence (having aspired to become a knight).

Ultimately, however, he turned away from violence and embraced the radical way of peace shown him by his Lord. Francis was scorned and vilified as a result, but he remained resolute in his commitment to peace and acknowledging that all people are made in the image and likeness of God and are therefore worthy of unlimited reverence whether in agreement or not.

As Franciscan Brothers and Sisters we seek to follow his example by promoting peace, justice and reconciliation in the world and in the church. Although St Francis almost certainly did not write the prayer attributed to him we affirm our wish to be ‘Channels of God’s Peace.’

Working on the Margins

Both Francis and Clare prioritised the poor, the weak, the marginalised and the ostracised. In them they saw most clearly the Divine Image which all human beings carry. As Franciscan Brothers and Sisters we seek to follow their example by reaching out to all people but especially to those who find themselves on ‘the margins’ of society.

We do not minister to them or seek to speak for them; instead we place ourselves with them and join our voices, our labour and our lives with theirs in the hope that all people will come to know the love of Christ and experience the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God’ (Rom 8.21)

Dialogue Between People of Faith

As Francis discovered in his meeting with the Sultan of Egypt at the time of the Crusades (1219), we find that we can share common ground with those who are faithful to God in religious traditions other than Christianity. We work for peace and generous understanding between different faith communities. Being rooted and grounded in love, we encounter others as our brothers and sisters and seek to recognise the presence of Christ in all whom we meet.

Instruments of Peace

Life in community of any kind provides the challenge to make room for others and to bear with differences of background, personality and outlook. Peace and justice is first lived among us as we learn humility, and as we share and receive Christ’s gift of forgiveness – not least through the sacrament of reconciliation which is available to all who come to us.

Franciscans International                                       

Franciscans International is a non-profit, international non-governmental human rights organisation established in 1989. Its staff consists of professionals of diverse backgrounds working to translate grassroots voices in human rights advocacy action at the United Nations level. Franciscans International seeks to promote and protect human rights and environmental justice. The Board of Directors consists of both Anglican and Catholic Franciscans.