History of the Order

We are founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1209. Inspired by his ideals of fraternity and minority, we soon began to live in larger communities or “convents” from which the word “Conventual” derives. This was added to the name of our Order to characterize the friars of the community, who dedicated themselves to apostolic work, promoted centers of studies and did not participate the reform movements within the Franciscan Order. However, the official name of the Order is Order of Friars Minor Conventuals, abbreviated as OFM Conv. It can also be referred as Conventual Franciscan Friars. We are present in more than sixty countries throughout the world and are called by the spirit to serve the Church and humanity in various forms of ministries by living our Franciscan Charism with its characteristics of Fraternity, Minority and Conventuality.

We are the custodians of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, where our father and founder St. Francis is buried along with his first companions. Among the other early Franciscan churches in which we still minister today is the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, where the tomb of the Saint is located. Our permanent presence in India began in 1980.