The initiators of the Franciscans of the Immaculate were two priests from the Order of Friars Minor, Conventual, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli and Fr. Gabriele Maria Pellettieri. Fr. Stefano was privileged to be a spiritual son of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who encouraged him to initiate this new branch of their order. On August 2, 1970, the Feast of St. Mary of the Angles, this new branch of the order had its start in the Friary and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Counsel at Frigento, Italy. On January 1, 1998, the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Bl. Pope John Paul II elevated the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to an Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right, and the following November 8th, the Feast of Bl. John Duns Scotus, he did the same for the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. Although I have consecrated myself to the Immaculate through the Militia Immaculatæ as a Knights at the Foot of the Cross, I am beginning the process of renewing my consecration with the intention of becoming an associate member of the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix. The highest degree of membership in the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix is the Tertiary or Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, which has the same relationship as the Secular Franciscan Order, of which I am a member, with the Order of Friars Minor. Since I'd have to fly over the boarder and across the continent to attend the required monthly meetings for full membership, I plan to become an associate member, which is the Franciscans of the Immaculate's version of the Militia Immaculatæ. The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the United States launched their Air Maria website on March 25, 2007, the Feast of the Annunciation, in addition to their YouTube channel. If you haven't noticed, I've been reposting many of the videos from these sites and have crated a few play lists of them on my YouTube channel.
Ave Maria! See the improvements of the AirMaria Studio made in time for the sixth anniversary of the start of Airmaria. We mentioned the arrival of this video on our AirMaria site on March 25th, the Annunciation, which is the anniversary of AirMaria, but could not get it produced until now. But we did get it produced before the Annunciation is celebrated since it is being deferred until after Easter, having fallen on Holy Week this year. So .... we claim success. :) We will be improving the production process in future efforts.