T.O.R. headerFranciscan Sisters TOR with Franciscan Friars TOR“What does ‘T.O.R.’ mean?” many ask.  These letters stand for “Third Order Regular.”  Within the Franciscan Order there are both religious brothers and religious sisters of various congregations and provinces, who originated from lay men and women (unmarried) who were among the “Third Order Secular” Franciscan order.  Some of these Secular Franciscan men and women desired to remain single and celibate, as a permanent form of life, and so to take religious vows.  In time, the Church approved them as an official religious order within the Franciscan family.  The entire Franciscan family is made up of The First, Second and Third Orders.  Within the First Order is the Order of Friars Minor (OFMs), and the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchins (OFM, Cap.) and the Order of Friars Minor, Conventuals (OFM, Conv.).  The Second Order is entirely made up of Poor Clare Nuns, and the Third Order includes both the Third Order Seculars (lay people) and Third Order Regulars (male and female religious congregations).

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