On January 19-20, 2024, the pre-novices, novices, and all the students of the major seminary at the Belvedere Ashram in Kotagir, India, and the seminary at the Kolbe Franciscan Ashram in Aluva, India, took part in a formation course led by Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI, the General Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS). The course was about the 800th anniversary of St. Francis receiving the stigmata, an event that took place in 1224, on Mount La Verna, Italy.

The formation course was entitled: “His Rule and His Wounds.” Based on this title, several topics were addressed such as the mystery of evil, the spiritual dimensions of the Later Rule, and more.
Among other things, it was said that evil and sin do not have an ontological identity; they cannot exist on their own. Rather, they need human beings to take form. Evil comes from outside and feeds on the energy of human beings, like a parasite. Evil can use what is good in us to do wicked things and to go against the will of God.
The course and its ideas gave us a new understanding of our calling and religious life. They also helped and encouraged us to move forward in religious life, in a positive way, and to imitate St. Francis of Assisi in all our words and actions.

Friar Patrick KANNADAN, Provincial Secretary