Three novices of the Custody of the Holy Land made their first profession (temporary vows) in the hands of the Custos of the Holy Land, fra Francesco Patton. They are fra Butrus Muallem, fra Deyvis Padilla Cervantes and fra José Luís Guaimas. The ceremony, presided over by the Father Custos took place on Saturday 2 September in La Verna (Italy). Four other novices – from the Tuscany and Lithuania Provinces of the Order of Friars Minor – publicly manifested their commitment with them in the hands of their respective provincial ministers.
A gift of love
In his homily, the Custos spoke of the vocation for the religious life as a call to love and a commitment to give love: “The vocation, i.e. the call from God, all lies in this exaggerated love that God has for us. The profession of consecrated life is the personal answer that we give to this love, freely and forever.” It is a commitment not only to love God back but also “the need to love one another.” Fra Patton encouraged the young neo-professed not to be afraid and to commit themselves to this Love: “What happened in the life of Francis will happen in your life, you will be transformed by love.”
I promise you eternal life
After the homily, each novice knelt down in front of his provincial, and in his hands recited the words of the temporary profession, promising to “live for one year in obedience, without anything of his own and in chastity” according to the Rule of St Francis and the General Constitutions of the Order of the Friars Minor.
The promise pronounced by the Provincial corresponds to this commitment: “And I, in the name of the Church and of our Fraternity, receive your vows, and on behalf of God almighty, if you observe these things, I promise you eternal life.”
The temporary profession of the Evangelical Councils takes place at the end of the year of the novitiate. With this ceremony, the novices promise publicly to live according to the Rule of St Francis, in obedience, poverty and chastity. Every year they will have to renew their promise, until they are admitted to the perpetual profession. The path of the novices of the Custody will now continue in the Franciscan community in the Holy Land, where they will learn more about philosophy and theology, but also the Franciscan life.
On Sunday 3 September, in Montefalco (Italy), where there is the house for the postulants of the Custody of the Holy Land, four young men put on the Franciscan habit, the moment that marks the start of the year of the novitiate, for the first time. They will shortly be moving to La Verna, for a year of in-depth study of the Franciscan Rule and religious life.
Nine other young men started the year of postulancy in Montefalco. In this phase, those who aspire to enter the Franciscan Order are able to get to know Franciscan life directly, living in the fraternity but remaining laymen.