Dora Visser, Sister of the Third Order of St Francis
The Franciscan Sisters are women of different religious congregations who follow the Rule of St Francis as a Third Order. The Franciscan Sisters develop mostly worldly activities, such as care and education (“active sisters”). In this they differ from the Poor Clares, who lead a contemplative life as a Second Order.
While regular convent orders are governed from a central administration, here and there were “gray” sisters in independent establishments. “Gray” sisters are Third Order because they follow the Third Order of St Francis. (Francis wrote a first Rule in 1209, a second in 1221, the third in 1223).
Third Orders maintain their religious rule without formally making vows. Sometimes they live together with a group of like-minded sisters in community (Regular Third Order); sometimes they live their consecrated lives at home (Secular Third Order). A Third Order member is committed to a certain number of prayer times each day, to works of charity and mercy, the giving of alms and to a simple lifestyle.
One of the eleven prayer cards of Johanna Dorothea Visser. On all the prayer cards is clearly noted:
Johanna Dorothea Visser
Regular Sister of the Third Order of St Francis