The Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany (Fraternità Francescana di Betania) is an Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right. It is formed by brothers, both clerics and lay, and by sisters who consecrate themselves to God through public wows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
The Fraternity’s distinctive charism manifests itself in prayer and hospitality – distinctive features of Bethany in the Gospels – that we live in the context of a deeply brotherly life. The Blessed Virgin Mary, who embodied hospitality and prayer in perfect harmony, is the model at which we look.
The Founder of the Fraternity, Padre Pancrazio Gaudioso, after entering the order of the Capuchin Friars, in Apulia, was moved to Loreto, in 1946 where he had intimations of the Lord’s call to something new.
Of utmost importance were, in that period, his encounters with St. Pio of Petralcina.
In 1973 P. Pancrazio was ordained priest and moved to Civitanova Marche.
From 1975 he started to found prayer groups. Within the group in Civitanova Marche originated the need and desire of a permanent form of brotherly, communal life: this was the sign, for P. Pancrazio, that the call that he had been feeling in his heart really was the project that God was asking him to realize. This project of a community, born in the silence of the Holy House in Loreto, was realized on the solemnity of the 1982 Pentecost in Terlizzi, in the province of Bari. Through a progress confirmed by several ecclesiastical approvals, and marked by momentous events, in 1998 the initial adventure turned into an Institute of Consecrated Life.