Custody (Franciscan Order)

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A Custody is in the Franciscan Order , a regional organizational unit beneath a province of the order . You are headed by a custodian .

The name goes back to the beginnings of the order. As early as 1220, during the lifetime of the founder Francis of Assisi , the unexpected rapid expansion of the order in Europe required binding rules. In the by Pope Honorius III. The rule of the order approved on November 29, 1223, the Regula bullata , are named ministri (from Latin minister "servant") and custodes (Latin custos "guardian") as superior (Chapters 4 and 8). Francis himself expressly rejected the designation prior (from Latin prior "front, preferred") , which is common in other orders , in favor of the service character of the superior office.

The subdivision of the order's provinces into custodia, which is headed by a custodian, was soon practiced throughout the order and is still in force today. When the order was divided, it was also adopted by the Capuchins and Minorites . The Saxon Franciscan Province formed two custodies 1230, the Custody Thuringia and the Custody axes at its foundation; due to the strong expansion of the order in the 13th century, there were already 12 custodians around 1300. One of the custodians of the Upper German province of Argentina (Strasbourg) was the Bavarian custody from around 1239 .

The function of a custody and its internal processes are not well documented for the beginning of the Franciscan order. In the custody, the custodian exercised “the caring and disciplinary function of the provincial superior ”. He owed obedience to the provincial minister and could expect the obedience of all brothers belonging to the custody. Custodians appeared as witnesses in legal transactions and as mediators in conflicts between convents and non-members of the order; for this they had their own seal. The custodian was assisted by a custodian chapter , to which all the custodian convents sent representatives, called Discreti . It met from time to time to discuss current problems of the convents and to prepare the provincial chapters.

According to current religious law, a custody can be dependent on a province, but also directly on the general minister of the order. The only Franciscan custody in the German-speaking area today is the Custody of Christ the King of the Franciscans in Switzerland, which is part of the Austrian Franciscan Province ( Austria ) .

A special case is the custody of the Holy Land . Their mother province Oltre Mare (Italian: "Beyond the Sea") became extinct in the 16th century. In the course of the following centuries this custody developed into an independent order province, which, however, retained the title custody, since it reflects her mandate as “guardian of the holy places”.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Suso Frank : Franciscans. I. Idea and basic structure . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 4 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1995, Sp. 30th f ., Bulleted Rule (German text)
  2. Regula non bullata 6, on this: Alfred Dollmann: Bruder und Diener. The apostolate with Francis and in the early days of his order. Dietrich-Coelde-Verlag, Werl 1968, p. 128.
  3. ^ Lothar Hardick OFM: The Franciscan understanding of ministry (Testament No. 12). In: Spiritual Legacy VI. Study day of the Franciscan Working Group 1979. Werl 1980 (Wandlung in Treue Vol. 22), pp. 46–59, now also in: Dieter Berg (Ed.): Spiritualität und Geschichte. Ceremony for Lothar Hardick OFM on his 80th birthday. , Werl 1993, ISBN 3-87163-195-7 , pp. 91-102, here p. 94.
  4. ^ Karl Suso Frank: Custody . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 6 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1997, Sp. 547 .
  5. Bernd Schmies: Structure and organization of the Saxon Franciscan Province and its Thuringian Custody from the beginnings to the Reformation. In: Thomas T. Müller, Bernd Schmies, Christian Loefke (Eds.): For God and the World. Franciscans in Thuringia. Paderborn u. a. 2008, pp. 38–49, here p. 45ff.
    Bernd Schmies, Volker Honemann : The Franciscan Province of Saxonia from its beginnings to 1517: basic features and lines of development. In: Volker Honemann (Ed.): From the beginnings to the Reformation. (= History of the Saxon Franciscan Province from its founding to the beginning of the 21st century , vol. 1) Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2015, ISBN 978-3-506-76989-3 , pp. 21-44, here p. 38.
  6. Heinrich Fürst, Gregor Geiger: In the Land of the Lord: A Franciscan pilgrim and travel guide for the Holy Land. Bonifatiusverlag, Paderborn 2015, p. 40.