The Congregation of the Regular Franciscan Tertiary Sisters had a very simple origin: We know that one of the primitive fraternity of the Third Order Secular since the time of Francis was the one in the Florence, in Italy. St. Francis, in fact, wrote the "Propositum Vitae" for Third Order during his stay at Florence in 1221, by the advice of Hugolino, then Cardinal guard of the Order.
With the passing of time the number of the Tertiaries increased and in 1711, Elizabeth Corsini, a noble and rich woman, who belonged to the parish of "Ognissanti" (All Sanits), bought and offered a house for 12 Tertiaries of the Order for having them an atmosphere of silence and prayer. Most of them were maidens, widows and poor.
For many years the life of the 12 Tertiary women was in prayer and silence. They were living in their own freedom and only on certain occasions like the solemnity of St. Francis, the Feast of St. Elizabeth Hungary, Christmas, and Easter they gathered together for meals.
On 2nd June 1796, they celebrated a Chapter in which they decided together to open one apostolate creating one school only for the "girl Children".
The number of the Tertiaries was increasing and in 1878 they opened the second house in Mercatale (Tuscany). The activity was the same: free schooling and domestic formation for the young girls.
We know that the Apostolic Constitution "Conditae a Christo", of 1900, constitutes the First Pontifical Document to give juridical value to the congregations of simple vows, reserving to the Bishop of that place for the approval, firstly.
In 1906, the Regular Franciscan Tertiary Sisters had their Rule, which was substantially the same as the one which was approved by Pope Leo XIII for the Regular Third Order. And they had the new Constitution given by Fr. Razzoli, Provincial Minister and approved by the General Minister Fr. Dionisio Shuler OFM, besides the approval of the Bishop.
Following this important event, the Institute The Institute opened communities in many parts of Tuscany with different apostolate.
To the first form of apostolate of education of the youth, were added the assistance to the sick and aged and the Pastoral activity including assisting the Parish priests. The sisters did all their work in the spirit of dedication and detachment which was proper to the Franciscans.
This obtained the decree of appreciation from the Holy See on 17th May 1938 and the approval of the new text of the Constitutions (III) "Ad Experimentum". In this text it was included the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis approved by His Holiness Pius XI in 1927.
On 14th June 1948 the Church definitively approved the Constitution and sanctioned the name "Institute of the Regular Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of Ognissanti." With this our Institute became Pontifical, with the possibility of expanding till the ends of the earth.
After the II Vatican Council, the life and apostolate of the Institute were renewed, specially, when the Institute opened it's first mission in India.
The first group of 8 candidates reached to Italy in 1967. Few more batches followed them. After their formation in Italy, they went back to India in 1976 and opened communities, initiating the first ones in Kerala, in the Diocese of Vijjayapuram (Kottayam). From there it expanded to other states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Orissa.
In 1991, the Institute expanded her mission to the land of Brazil. The first two communities opened at Candeias and at Salvador, in the state of Bahia. Now there are 7 houses with 22 sisters among Indians and Brazilians, being the delegate house at Salvador- Bahia.
Our activities continue in that American continent also among the poor children, youth and family. The sisters dedicate in schools, parish works, house visiting and many other forms of evangelization according to the necessity of that place.
In November 2010 our Institute lighted a lamp in the dark continent Africa, Tanzania, offering five sisters. They are dedicating their time to the rehabilitation Center for children with phisical problems, with the collaboration of some italian voluntier youth, beyond other activities like taeching and parish works.
The charisma of the Sisters of the Third Order Regular Franciscan continues to expand, even in this distant land, in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, according to the needs of the place, for the greater glory of God and the spread of His Kingdom.