The Order of Friar Servants of Mary, commonly known as the Servites, was founded in Florence at the beginning of the thirteenth century. In 1233 a small group of seven merchants (prosperous business men) reflected the penitential spirit of the times by meeting regularly as members of a lay society dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
Gradually, the seven drew further and further away from the predominating values of the day – the thirst for wealth, status and prestige. One by one the seven companions formed a group of penitents responsible for the running of a hospice dedicated to the care of the sick, the poor and pilgrims.
They finally left their comfortable homes, put aside their fine clothes and went to live together in a hermitage on the summit of a nearby mountain, Monte Senario. The holiness and lifestyle of the seven quickly attracted others who wished to join them in their newly found joy of fraternal living for the sake of the Gospel dream. Thus there sprung up in the Church a new Religious family known as the Friar Servants of Mary.
Commitment and Lifestyle:
Like Mary, a Servite friar, priest or brother, is called to the same life of total commitment in his search for God and service and ministry to people whatever their need. This commitment is lived out in community. Fraternal communion characterises the Servite way of witnessing the Gospel. It directs our life, our work and our prayer.
You have many questions –
How do I know if I have a vocation to the Servite way of life? Have I left it too late? When asked: “What kind of work do you do? Do you teach? Do you work in parishes? Do you give retreats? Do you have chaplaincy to schools, to universities, to hospitals, to prisons? Do you have overseas missions?” The simple answer is “Yes, we serve in all these ways and in many other ways too.”
Fr. Gabriel Bannon, OSM
Contact details: , 10 Main Street, Benburn, Co Tyrone BT 71 71Z