UMF (Inglês)

The "União Missionária Franciscana" is a group of believers that has as its aim helping the Christians to discover and fulfil their missionary vocation, prompting them into living in communion with the needy, particularly with those living in the so-called «countries of Mission».

Under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, Saint Francis has found in the Gospel the missionary dimension of his Order, having been the first among the founders of the Orders to incorporate in the mIe the missionary ministry among non-Christians. He was aIs o the first herald among the founders to take the faith beyond Europe´s borders sending his brothers all over the world.

The Friars Minors following the doctrine and the footsteps of their "Seraphic Founder" went out to encounter several peoples through the centuries announcing the Gospel and building for them a church, often with the help of benefactors of any state and condition even at times non-Christians.

Since the XIX century, the zeal for missions has acquired a new increment and several associations were bom in different places especialIy from the year 1907 mainly in HolIand, France and Germany to support with prayers and deeds the work of the Friars Minors.

Of these associations the "União Missionária Franciscana" (UMF) appeared in Portugal. UMF bom in the Netherlands at the end of the XIX century, given indulgences and blessed by Pius X in 1907 and in 1922 by Pius XI, the year in which was introduced in Portugal and willingly accepted by the Portuguese episcopate, in the hope that the UMF would spread in their dioceses. Introduced in Portugal by Father José Alves Pereira, it became the work of aid to the oldest missions in Portugal.

It is a movement of universal scope, implanted in various Franciscan communities in order to radiate in the world outside the missionary spirit acquired in Saint Francis of Assisi. As the first among the founders of religious orders he included in his mIe a chapter with practical guidelines for those who wished to go to the missions. But it is also considered as an ecclesial movement with the purpose of helping to know and love the aposto late of the Franciscan Missionaries and helping its action especially by prayer, routing Franciscan missionary vocation to life and the sharing of material goods. As a vital means of the Franciscan Order, it appears as a tool and aid to those who share the dedication and missionary work of evangelization.

Inspired by Saint Francis, a "Catholic and apostolic man," and under the sponsorship of Saint Anthony of Lisbon, the men of "peace and welI" are increasing in number and spreading alI over the Church the "odoriferous words of the Lord."

UMF (Inglês)