In the late afternoon of Wednesday, June 14, 2023, a book presentation took place for a new book entitled: “The Later Rule of the Friars Minor: Eight Centuries of History, Challenge and Spirituality.” The book was edited by Friar Ştefan ACATRINEI and published by the publishing house of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest (ARCB). The book presentation was conducted in the Petru Albert Hall of the Franciscan Theological Institute in Roman, Romania.
This book is a collection of lectures that were delivered at the international symposium held September 30 to October 1, 2022, at the Franciscan Theological Institute in Roman. The symposium was intended to be a prelude to the ongoing Franciscan Centenary.
Friar Ştefan himself moderated the book presentation and began by briefly highlighting the complementarity of the book’s themes and the cultural diversity of the book’s contributing authors who explored various themes around the Rule of St. Francis. One should mention that this book has fifteen authors. Two are from the United States, two from England, two from Italy and nine from Romania. The authors represent eleven universities. From another angle, two of the authors are Friars Minor, two are Capuchin Franciscan Friars, two are diocesan priests, eight are Conventual Franciscan Friars and one is a layman.
The presentation got underway with a greeting from the Minister Provincial of Romania, Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU. His greeting was read by the Provincial Secretary, Friar Francisc-Lucian GHERVASE. After the greetings, there were reflections and testimonials from the Capuchin Franciscan Custos of Romania, Friar Leon BUDĂU, and the Rector of the Franciscan Theological Institute, Friar Maximilian PAL. Friar Germano SCAGLIONI, Dean of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Seraphicum) in Rome also made some special comments about the book. Besides pointing out the merits of each of the lectures on the Later Rule of St. Francis, Friar Germano also suggested the book could serve as a handbook for the upcoming centenary events that will be celebrated by the entire Franciscan Family, namely, the 800th anniversaries of the Later Rule and the Christmas at Greccio (2023); the Stigmata (2024); the Canticle of the Creatures (2025); and the Easter of Francis of Assisi (2026).
The philological and cultural aspects of the Later Rule were highlighted by Professor Emanuel GROSU, Professor of Philology at the Alexandru Ioan Cusa University in Iași, Romania. The afternoon’s proceedings concluded with a brief overview of the spread of the Franciscan Rule in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic region, and how it survived between the hammer and sickle of the totalitarian communist regime in Romania.
At the end of this Franciscan academic event, Friar Ştefan kindly thanked everyone present—the students, professors and guests—for their participation, as well as the authors for their valuable contribution.
Friar Bernadin DUMA