Dora Visser, Sister of the Third Order of St Francis

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