All the Popes, Pius IX (Papacy 1846-1878); Leo XIII (1978-1903); Pius X (1903-1914); Benedict XV (1914-1922); Pius XI (1922-1939); Pius XII (1939-1958) to Saint John XXIII (1958-1963), belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Beginning with Pope Leo XIII the Franciscans and especially the Secular Franciscan Order was seen as the best way to contribute to the transformation of the world by teaching Saint Francis’ vision of universal brotherhood and peace. This was particularly so in a world full of conflicting ideologies bent on violence to achieve their aims. Tragically during this period we had World War I and the World War II. It is however not by accident that the so called “Peace Prayer of St Francis” was written in France during the First World War.

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