the Stella Matutina Movement
The Stella Matutina movement was conceived in the late 1980ís when a married couple, professed as Secular Franciscans, became aware of the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, Memoriale Propositi, the Rule of 1221. They wanted to promote it within the Secular Franciscan Order as one way to live the new rule of the SFO, the Pauline Rule, which had been approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978. With approval of the Pauline Rule by Pope Paul VI all previous rules of the Secular Franciscan Order, including the Rule of 1221, were abrogated. The Pauline Rule is the current rule of the SFO.
The national leadership of the Secular Franciscan Order went on record in opposition of any Secular Franciscan promoting or sharing the Rule of 1221 within the SFO in 1991. This event was incredibly traumatic for those who loved the Rule of 1221, and was the seedbed of the Stella Matutina movement. The vision of the Stella Matutina movement is that living according to the Rule of 1221 is a viable response to profession to live the Pauline Rule.
Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M. was spiritual guide to the creation of the Stella Matutina movement, and never once criticized its direction or intensity until it became apparent that the SFO did not support it. Then he asked its creators to withdraw from the SFO and the Stella Matutina movement, and live the rule of 1221 quietly on their own, which they did without resigning from the SFO. Heaven had another plan. The Lord made his will known to both of the originators of the movement in a mystical way and the Stella Matutina movement became the cornerstone of what has grown to become the present-day Private Association of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (BSP) of St. Francis.
The vision of the Stella Matutina movement is now the driving force behind the BSP. To welcome everyone in the entire world to live a penitential lifestyle inspired by the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221.
What follows are documents from that Movement that are now part of the founding history of the BSP. In 1996 the BSP became a bona fide Private Association in Minnesota with the blessing of the Church.
PRAISED BE JESUS FOREVER!
WELCOME TO THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS
FRUIT OF THE STELLA MATUTINA MOVEMENT