In the 1990s, the Inter-Franciscan Federation of Spain (an assembly of Ministers Provincial, Superiors of Women’s Franciscan Institutes and the Secular Franciscan Order) launched the Higher Institute of Franciscan Studies (ESEF).

The annual ESEF Franciscan Studies course is held at the Capuchin retreat house in El Pardo, Spain. The location is about fifteen minutes from Madrid and is easily accessible via reliable and frequent public transportation.
The objective of the ESEF is to deepen knowledge about the history of Franciscanism and Franciscan spirituality. The course includes a six-month experience of living with the Capuchin fraternity in El Pardo, as well as a guided tour of Franciscan places in Italy. The course ends with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Due to the current pandemic, last year’s courses were conducted online. The next course being offered will deal with Medieval Franciscan theology for beginners. It will begin on April 16, 2021, and is entitled: “A Fruitful Encounter with Early Franciscan Thinkers.”

To learn more about this course, go to:

To register for any of the activities offered by ESEF, email:

Friar Joaquín Ángel AGESTA CUEVAS