Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany
is an Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right formed by brothers and sisters, both clerics and lay, who consecrate themselves to God through the public vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
This consecration of ours is realized through the charisma of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany, which is expressed in prayer and welcome, distinctive elements of evangelical Bethany (cf. Lk 10:38-42), lived in a profound context of fraternal life typical of the Franciscan experience.
The charisma and spirituality typical of our Institute find their main inspiration in the prayer and reflection that our Founder carried out on the text of a manuscript drafted and received from Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, in 1959.
“Do not be so devoted to the activity of Martha that
you forget the silence of Mary; may the Virgin Mother, who so well reconciles the one and the other role, be to you
a sweet model and inspiration”.
Saint Pio to Father Pancrazio
The Virgin Mary who welcomed the Word of God into her heart and soma is for us the main symbol of true acceptance and guides our whole life so that our “yes” is not too dissimilar from hers.
In order to learn the way of life of the true disciple of Christ, let us imitate the seraphic father St Francis of Assisi and cultivate his spiritual heritage with our life and works.
The Virgin Mary is a model for us so that our welcome, in its different apostolic forms, may generate the experience of an encounter with the love of God. Following the example of St Francis, we wish to meet the spiritual and material needs of those whom God places on our path, with a simple, fraternal, joyful style.
For this reason, our Houses are called to be ‘spiritual oasis‘ where the men and women of today can rediscover a genuine relationship with God and with their brothers and sisters. Those who come to Bethany do not remain spectators because the Fraternity opens its doors to all those who wish to experience our life.
Our spiritual references
We also devote special attention and love to the life and writings of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who is an example to us in his life of prayer, in the heroic exercise of virtues, in his spirit of sacrifice and dedication to the priestly ministry, and in his imitation of the crucified Christ.
Another important reference in the spirituality of the Fraternity is St Joseph. Just as God entrusted his Son Jesus and his Blessed Mother to St Joseph, we entrust him as our patron and protector. He, guardian of the Holy Family, is for us a role model of humility in living our duties.
A special way of living the Gospel in daily life
The history of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany began in the heart of Father Pancrazio Gaudioso, our founder.
After entering the Order of Capuchin Friars in Apulia, Fr Pancrazio was transferred to Loreto in 1946. There, in the silence of the Holy House, he realized that the Lord was calling him to something new.
During this time he met St Pio of Pietrelcina and became his spiritual son. On 20 October 1959, following a precise request from Fr Pancrazio, Fr Pio wrote for him, on the back of a small image of the Nativity, a life programme that illuminated his spiritual life and became a prophecy of the charism of the future Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany.
“Do not be so devoted to the activity of Martha that you forget the silence of Mary. May the Virgin Mother, who so well reconciles the one and the other role, be to you a sweet model and inspiration.”
Brother Pancrazio was ordained a priest and transferred to Civitanova Marche.
Father Pancrazio founds some groups of prayer, within which the need and desire for a stable form of fraternal life is born. He understood that this desire corresponded to the project that God was asking him to realize.
On the day of Pentecost in Terlizzi (BA), with the first small group of sisters he began the experience of common life.
8 december 1998
Through the various ecclesiastical approvals and special events, on December 8, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Association of the faithful “Casa Betania” became an Institute of consecrated life with the name of “Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany“.
14 november 2006
The Jubilee of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany opens to celebrate the 25th year of its foundation, which will close on 10 December 2007. It is a year full of meetings between brothers and sisters from all the Houses, to share moments of prayer, praise and appreciation, and to be enriched by contributions and catechesis. This experience will also be repeated in 2012, on the 30th anniversary of the foundation.
1998 - 2002
On May 30, 1998, the House of San Quirinowas opened, in the province of Pordenone; on May 5, 2002, after a presence in the land of Ticino starting in January 2000, the first House across the border was inaugurated in Rovio (Ticino – Switzerland); in the same year, our presence began in Loreto,with our service at the rectory of the Parish of the Holy House.
In 2004, we opened the Houses of Cella di Noceto (opened on September 19), in the province of Parma, and Rome (opened on December 10); in 2005, we took on the custody and pastoral animation of the Shrine of Our Lady of Libera at Partanna, in the province of Trapani, while on May 2, 2007, after a presence in Tuscany since autumn 2001, we opened the Shrine of Santa Maria delle Vertighe at Monte San Savino, in the province of Arezzo.
In October 2009, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the life program given by Fr. Pio to Fr. Pancrazio, the whole Fraternity experienced a few days of catechesis and prayer in Loreto, on which occasion the missionary mandate was given to the first 5 members of the Fraternity who will go to Würzburg (Germany) for our first settlement on German soil. Since the 14th of April 2013 we are in Aschaffenburg, in a former convent of the Capuchin Friars Minor.
10 October 2012
The missionary mandate is given to the first 10 missionaries of the Fraternity who will go overseas, to Salvador de Bahia, where they will open our house on 12 October of the same year. Then, on 12 October 2014, there was the inauguration of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida kindergarten, adjoining the Fraternity and promoted and directed by it, for poor children, in order to guarantee them an education and instruction that offers the opportunity for healthy growth and a dignified future.
6 October 2013
We inaugurate the taking possession of the Convent known as Barana, in Verona, which previously belonged to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
April 1, 2019
We assumed custody and pastoral care of the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, at Leggiuno, in the province of Varese.
40th anniversary of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany.
Live your vocation
«Have the certainty that if you recognize a call from God and follow it, this will be the thing that gives
fulfillment to your life». (Pope Francis)
«Lord, what do you want me to do for you? Go, Francis, repair my home» (St Francis’ conversation with Jesus)
The Holy Spirit continues to stir up vocations of special consecration to his service and to the Church, in which our Fraternity is inserted and lives.
If you wish to deepen your vocational discernment in our Institute, you can contact us by filling out this form:
“Become the protagonist of that unique and original story, that God wants to write with you”