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The General Curia Gains Use of St. Isidore’s College

ROME – The General Curia has taken over the use St. Isidore’s College here for the next 29 years.

The General Minister, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, and the Provincial Minister of Ireland, Caoimhín Ó Laoide, OFM, signed an agreement by which the General Curia takes over the use of St. Isidore’s College, along with its library and archives, while the Irish province retains ownership.

The ceremony was held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, in the Aula Magna of the college, richly decorated with frescos of great Franciscan figures.

The General Vicar, Francesco Bravi, OFM, and the members of the General Council, as well as the General Secretary for Formation and Studies, Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, participated in the ceremony on behalf of the Order. Representing the province of Ireland were the secretary of the province, the friars of the fraternity of St. Isidore’s and some Irish friars who had come expressly from Ireland and Rome for the ceremony.

Spanish Discalced Franciscans founded the friary and church of St. Isidore’s in 1621. In 1625, it passed to the Irish Franciscans, who changed it into a college for the formation of students fleeing from the persecutions in Ireland. Wadding wrote the constitutions of the college, and it was there that he finished writing the Annalles Minorum, which he had begun in the friary of S. Pietro in Montorio (Rome) and were the origin of the precious archives.

Among the saints who lived in the college are St. Charles Meehan, martyr, St. Humilis of Bisignano and St. Bonaventure of Barcelona.

The college promoted both sanctity and studies. The studies were mainly in the area of Franciscanism and Scotus.

Some necessary work on the building, financed by the Province of Ireland, will begin soon in order to permit the transfer of the College of St. Bonaventure of Grottaferrata to the College of St. Isidore, as was decided at the meeting of the General Council on March 16. The building of Grottaferrata will be rented out, as suggested by the International Commission established by the General Chapter of 2003.