Brother”? St. Francis of Assisi never intended to be the founder of a
religious Order. But he soon found himself surrounded by men and women who were
fascinated by the good news of the Gospel and wanted, like him, to live as
Jesus and the apostles had done. He wrote in his Testament:
Lord gave me brothers, no-one showed me what I should do, but the Most High
himself showed me that I should live the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ”. And he also said: “I want my Order to be called the Order of
Little Brothers”. You may be familiar with the name “Friars Minor”, which
refers to members of the Franciscan Order today. ‘Friar’ means brother and
‘Minor’ means little or lowly. So, two little words, “little brother”, sum up
the vision of St Francis of Assisi.
did Francis get this idea from? He got it by treasuring the words of the Gospel
and pondering them day and night in his heart. He was overwhelmed by the fact
that the almighty God, creator of everything that is, should make himself small
enough to come among us as a baby in the manger. That he, “the lord and
master”, should humble himself to wash the feet of his disciples; that he gave
his life and poured out his blood on the cross, and made that moment present
for all time by giving himself to them in a humble piece of bread and a simple
cup of wine; that he told his followers to call no-one on earth father because
they were all children of their Father in heaven.
a spiritual genius who went right to the heart of the gospel. He saw that the
basic relationship among all Christians, whatever their nationality or race or
caste or language, was that they were brothers and sisters of each other,
equally loved and cherished by their heavenly Father. And he insisted that his
brothers would not hold any power over any another person – least of all among
themselves – because they were to be like Jesus, who washed his disciples’
feet. “Among the pagans, their great men make their authority felt… It must not
be so among you. No, whoever wants to be the first among you, must be the
servant of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and
to give his life as a ransom for all”
This is why
Franciscans have no titles, but simply call each other “brother”. Francis saw
that every created thing, the earth itself and all its wonderful variety, comes
from the hand of the same loving Father. And so he even referred to all
creatures as “brother sun, sister moon, brother wolf….”. This is why Blessed
Pope John Paul II named him as the patron of all those who care for and protect
blog?: With all my Franciscan brothers and sisters throughout the
world, I have been blessed to see something of the wonder that Francis saw in
the gospel of Jesus. I hope to share it with you through this site. Here you
can click on the various headings and discover more about the Church and the
Franciscan world, with articles, thoughts and prayers which I hope you will
find of interest. And I hope very much you will want to contribute too, by
sharing thoughts and ideas that mean something to you.
As there are
plenty of sites available in English for catholic reflections, my main writings
will be here in Telugu.
little brother:Born on 1
May 1978 at Rampuram, Warangal District of the southern state of Andhra
Pradesh, India. Baptized as Gopu Arogya Chinnappa Reddy, and called as Gopu
School at Fathima School, Manugonda parish in Warangal diocese, Andhra Pradesh,
India. Upper Primary at Sacred Heart School, Kanchanapalli parish,
Warangal diocese, Andhra Pradesh, India. High School St. Alphonse High
School, Karimnagar, Warangal diocese, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Call to Religious Life:I received the call to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins when Fr.
Avito Pottukulam OFM Cap. came to the boarding where I was doing my 10th class.
He narrated the life of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Order.
Inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi, decided to join the Friars.
Religious Formation:*Pre-Postulancy (1993-1996) at Enikepadu, Vijayawada, Andhra
Pradesh. *Postulancy (1996-1997) and Novitiate (1997-1998) at Kattappana, and
Muvattupuzha in KERALA respectively. *Philosophical course (1998-2001) in
Vijnananilayam Degree College, Janampet, Eluru diocese, Andhra Pradesh.
*Regency (2001-2002) at Assisi Ashram, Pre-Postulancy, Vijayawada Diocese,
Andhra Pradesh. *Theological studies (2002-2006) in Vijnananilayam, institute
of Religion at Janampet, Eluru diocese, Andhra Pradesh.
Important Moments:*First Profession on 15 May 1998. *Perpetual Profession on 15 May
2004. *Ordained priest on 8 January 2006.
Priestly Ministry:*Assistant Parish Priest at Br. Joseph Thamby Ashram,
Pedavutapalli, Vijayawada diocese from February to April 2006. *Provincial
Secretary from 1 May 2006 to May 2009. *Service in Capuchin Generalate in Rome from July 2009 - September 2013. Licentiate in Biblical Theology in Angelicum University, Rome from October 2013 to June 2015. Vice Rector of Brindisi Bhavan, Janampet, from October 2015 to April 2016.
Inspiration: My Great Grand Mother - Late Gopu Chinnamma:I am most happy to present to you all My Great Grandmother, who is
my inspiration. She is now nearing 100 years old and still strong enough to go
for long. She is so holy and prayerful. We call her 'the Prayer House of the
Gopu family'. Indeed, she is the source of inspiration for all of us especially
to all the young ones in our family. She has been great power and model for all
of us. Personally, to be a strong and committed religious, she has been my
role-model and source of inspiration. I learned a lot from her life and still
have much to learn. May her soul rest in peace!
At Present: Brindisi
Bhavan, Janampet, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.
and my sister: May the Lord give you Peace, and all that is good!
Fr. Praveen Kumar Gopu, OFM Cap. M.A. Psychology, Licentiate in Biblical Theology
St. Francis College (Theology Formation House)
Janampet, Vijayarai, Eluru - 534 475, A.P., INDIA Professor of Theology