SAO PAOLO, Brazil — The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception in Brazil commemorated 333 years of existence this year. It was founded in July 1675 by Pope Clement X.
This event was described in the current issue of Fraternitas, which said that the first group of Franciscans reached Brazil in 1500 with the discoverer of the county’s Portuguese Pedo Alavres Cabral. Traces of the ancient presence of the Franciscans can be seen in the baroque convents along the Brazilian coast.
The Oct. 2008 issue of the monthly publication of the Order of Friars Minor said, “The history of the Franciscans is so linked to Brazilian history that it can be said, with the great Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freire, that there is no event or glory of the Franciscan that is not an event or glory of Brazil.”
With more than 400 friars, the IC province is the second largest province in the Franciscan order, next to the Jalisco Province in Mexico.