The Secular Franciscan Order began while Saint Francis was still alive. From the very beginning of his ministry Saint Francis found people who desired to follow his way of life and spirituality while living in the world. Saint Francis’ first response to this was to write to them what is called “The First Letter to all the Faithful”. This letter could have been written as early as 1215. So many people wanted to follow Saint Francis that the Rule of the Secular Franciscans was approved in 1221. One of the earliest Secular Franciscans was Lady Jacoba de Settesoli who was present when Saint Francis died in 1226.