With the shock announcment of the resignation of Pope Benedict, the Minister General of the Order, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, has written a letter thanking the Pope for his Petrine ministry and recalling what a blessing his pontificate has been for the whole Church and for the Order.

He writes: “On many other occasions Benedict XVI has shown his love for the Franciscans and knowledge of our tradition. During these years, he left us with many texts that deserve to be reread and meditated upon carefully.

Besides numerous references he made several times to our way of life, he left us with his catechesis on St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, Blessed John Duns Scotus and others of the Franciscan School. For all this Franciscan teachings we say, “thank you, Your Holiness.

The last time I met him was the 2nd of this month on the occasion of the World Day of Consecrated Life. After concelebrating with him, I had the pleasure of greeting him personally. As soon as he saw me he recognized me and said, the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor! He then added, St. Francis, what a great saint he is and how timely he and his charism are!”

Full Letter..