The Capuchins trace their origin to St. Francis of Assisi in Italy inthe 12th century. Francis was the son of Bernadone, a textile merchant whohad high ambitions for him. But Francis decided to turn religious. His fatherthreatened to disown him but with the support of his mother Pika,he adapted aSanyaasi life.He went around preaching taht folks of men, women & marriedpeople started following him.
Thus the first order came in for men in which men will be con-templative & active. They lead a common life inside the monastery as well asgo out to preach the Gospel.
The second order headed by St. Clare of Assisi is for women & they lead a life of contemplation only. These sisters adore the Blessed Sacrementnight & day throughout the year.
The third order people do not lead a community life but they lead aChristian life radical manner to set an example of Gospel leaven to thepeople around. The Name CAPUCHIN had its origin from’Scappucini’which means ‘ Friars
wearing caps’. People popularly call the Capuchins belonging to St. Antony, because they wear brown garbs.
CAPUCHIN PRESENCE IN INDIA
After 24 years of death of St. Francis, the franciscans landed in India in the year 1250. They began to stay in India from the 16th century & they started spreading Christianity in Goa. The Capuchins as a distimct branch of the Franciscans came into existence in 1528. Six Capuchins came to Pondicherry in 1632 & served the Catholics. St. Francis of Assisi church in Kurusukuppam & Cappus Kovil in beach road are living memories of the Capuchins’ work at Pondicherry.Later on they moved to Chennai & there they served in St. Andrew’s Church & Luz Church.From there they moved to the North covering Tibet & Bengal.They opened a novitiate at Mussoorie in Uttar Pradesh which was later moved to Sardhana in 1922.
This marked the birth of Indian Capuchin Province. The novitiate was transferred to Mangalore in 1930.As the friars increased in numbers India became a region in 1935 & a full fledged province in 1963 & grew to 4 provinces in 1972. One of the 4 provinces is Tamilnadu which has 19 houses including Malaysia.Our Tamil friars are working as missionaries in Zimbabwe, Burkino Faso, Etuiopia, France, Canada, Gulf & Sri Lanka. There are friars studying in Rome & United States. We have a Social center at Trichy, providing job opportunities, driving licence, running orphanages & tuition centres too. We also offer counsellor training programmes in Dindigul.People all over the world have high esteem for our ministries.