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poorer and richer Tertiaries would be tightened, and a spirit of mutual love and charity would be engendered; while to the Tertiaries themselves the benefit would be incalculable. Bound by a higher though secret law than the world around them, they would insensibly leaven the whole family in which they might each be placed, and by setting an example of charity, patience, self-abnegation, and humility, would win souls for Christ, and induce others to follow in their steps. For it is impossible for anyone to follow the Rule conscientiously, and to be imbued with its spirit, without growing in piety towards God, and in zeal for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their neighbours. The monthly meetings would keep alive these feelings in their hearts, and inspire them with a holy emulation in all welldoing.

That this little Manual may awaken the secular Tertiaries in England to a full sense of their high vocation and its consequent obligations, and induce a larger number courageously to enroll themselves in the Order, and perseveringly to fulfil its duties, is the earnest prayer of their faithful servant and brother in Jesus Christ,


Commissary-General of the Capuchin Order in England and Ireland.


THIS Manual has been compiled in order to supply a want in England which is the more felt now that so many fresh persons have enrolled themselves under St. Francis's banner, and are following, to the best of their knowledge and ability, the spirit and precepts of his Rule. Especially is it intended for a Community of Secular Tertiaries lately established in the East of London, who have undertaken the works most dear to the heart of our Seraphic Father,-tending the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the sad and weary, instructing the ignorant, going from house to house in the courts and streets of this vast city, and "compelling them to come in" to the one true Fold by the sheer force of charity and example.

If it be true that the Church has lost its hold of the masses of the people, it is to women and to works such as these that we must look for their regeneration. And in order to strengthen their hands and obtain a greater number of coöperators in their labours, it will be needful to organise that mass of hitherto unemployed or misdirected energy which exists in every mission in

our great towns, and bring it into practical working order. Good, loving, self-denying, charitable women exist in every class; but to utilise them for a great purpose, we need a machinery such as the Third Order ―a Rule and a discipline which, while not interfering with their home-duties, will give them a definite aim; will subject them to a certain control, and will raise the whole tone of their minds; so that their works may be impregnated with a real Catholic religious spirit. For this purpose it is earnestly desired to increase the number of Secular Tertiaries living in the world, who may join those enrolled in communities, and share, as far as their home-duties will allow, in all their religious offices and works of charity.

It is no new thing that is proposed, but simply a revival of the old Rule of St. Francis, which in his time worked such wonders throughout Europe. One of the most essential conditions to the maintenance of this spirit would be the renewal of the monthly assemblies, which have fallen so completely into disuse in England, but which are regularly held in Germany and in Italy, and do more than anything else to consolidate this body of workers, and fill them with the zeal of their great Founder for the salvation of souls.

In illustration of our meaning, we will quote the words of an article in the Dublin Review of July 1868, which has been lately reprinted in a separate form: There is an immense apostolate for women in EngThere is a work before them which men cannot do, and if they could, few have the devotedness and



long-suffering needed for it, and fewer still have the time. We believe that there is no more effectual means of removing the mass of prejudice against the Catholic Church which exists among our middle and lower classes than by the instrumentality and zeal of women who consecrate themselves to God for this purpose. At present, the work of our Sisters lies much more in the schools than among the people. One of our great losses is among our children after they leave school. They drop into the ocean of life around them and are often lost to us for years. No power would be more effectual to keep them faithful and steady than that of Sisters who should be as busy amongst the people as they are habitually in the schools.

"But numbers are wanting. Our Sisters are as hardworked as they can be. It is not every devout person who has a vocation to a religious life. Now this brings us to another suggestion. There are in every large mission a certain number of devout ladies whose time is, to a certain extent, their own. They occupy themselves in many works of charity; but for want of being collected together under a Rule and an organisation, the fruit they produce is comparatively small. Without thinking of new congregations, there are the old organisations of Secular Tertiaries, instituted by Saints, which might be brought into activity amongst us. They have a Rule, a spirit, and a distinctive habit of their own; they consecrate themselves to the service of God and of their neighbours, without binding themselves by vows of religion; they have in

some respects a freer organisation than religious, which allows them to pursue with greater freedom a variety of useful works of charity, and admits the services of persons who have no vocation to the religious life. They have a distinctive habit which, as a robe of charity, protects them from evil, and as a spiritual uniform reminds them of the conduct due to the sanctity of their state.

"In Belgium and parts of Germany, many Tertiaries, wearing their habit, live even in their own families. Elsewhere they live together under the same roof and combine in the same duties of charity. . .

"We believe we cannot better provide for the exigences of our country than by considering the example of Catholic France, and weighing well the truth contained in the words of that astute general and legislator, the first Napoleon, France is saved by her


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To attain this wished-for result, therefore, two things are necessary:

1. To increase the number of Secular Tertiaries, whether living in community or detained by their duties in the world.

2. To give them a Manual which shall make them understand the nature and full weight of their obligations; and to encourage them in a careful study of the Rule, statutes, and spirit of their Order, so that their religious profession may be to them a reality. We would urge especially the revival of the monthly assemblies, making them as far as possible incumbent on

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