About the Capuchins

The Capuchin Order began in 1520 when Matteo de Bascio, an Observant Franciscan friar to the Italian region of the Marches was inspired by God to return to the primitive way of life of solitude and penance as practiced by St. Francis of Assisi the founder of the Franciscan Order.

In 1528 Friar Matteo obtained the approval of Pope Clement VII for himself and others who wanted to join his reform to live as hermits and preach to the poor. At their first General Chapter in 1529 the hermitical idea was abandoned but the life was to be one of simplicity and poverty. They were to wear the brown habit with a large hood extending to a white waist cord with 3 knots for vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. By the end of 16th century the Capuchins spread throughout Europe and eventually to Asia, Africa and to America in 1882.

The United States has 6 Capuchin Provinces throughout the country. In 1925 Friars came from the Tuscany region of Italy to minister to Italian immigrants. They began the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis and ministered to multilingual parishes and people in territory that extends from New York to Florida on the East Coast.

Notable Capuchins

P-pioSt. Padre Pio – the modern mystic and stigmatist

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley – Archbishop of Boston

Archbishop Charles Chaput – Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Venerable Solanus Casey – First U.S. born man declared venerable by the Church


Raniero Contalamessa – Author, speaker and preacher to the Papal household