In many countries where we are present, there are lay fraternities of brothers and sisters who wish to live better the Gospel in the world in the manner of St. Francis and Blessed Mary of the Passion. Under the name of associates, friends or spiritual family, etc., these fraternities share the source and a common spirit with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. This spiritual adventure, in which religious and lay people journey together while maintaining their own lifestyle, is a new gift of the Holy Spirit who invites the baptized to collaborate in the mission of the Church in solidarity, complementarity and communion.
The associates embark on a journey in which they commit themselves through promises in order to deepen the charism they share with the FMM. From then on, they meet periodically to consolidate their fraternity, share their experiences, and deepen their spiritual life. In a missionary spirit, they are generally engaged in pastoral or social activities in their parishes or communities of life. The FMM sisters, in close proximity, accompany the fraternity of the associates in their journey. (Some examples of groups of associates throughout the world: Canada, Italy, Korea, Burkina Faso, Peru…)
From the very beginning of the foundation of the Institute, Mary of the Passion thought of welcoming into her religious family FMM lay people of good will, eager to participate in the missionary work of the Institute. In 1896, Mary of the Passion wrote to her community: “It would be worthwhile for the cause of the Church that Mary also have her missionaries in the world. Little by little, it will come.”