We trace our origins back to the 13th
Century when our Lord Jesus Christ revealed himself to a young man by the name Francis in a small Italian town, called Assisi. One day, in a small village Church of san Damiano outside Assisi where he was praying, Francis got a mystical vision of Jesus who spoke to him from the cross commissioning him to “GO AND REBUILD MY CHURCH, WHICH AS YOU CAN SEE IS IN RUINS.” Immediately, Francis begun the work of renovating that church which was falling apart. Because he had no money of his own, he sold clothes from his father’s shop but when the priest who ministered in the San Damiano church could not accept the ill-gotten money, Francis threw the money on the floor.
Later on, his father would report him to the bishop of Assisi before whom Francis renounced his father and his inheritance from him. It is said that the young man in order to prove his resolve, stripped naked in front of the bishop, his father and the towns-people declaring that from now onwards, he only recognized God as his father.
Francis then started living as a poor man begging stones to continue rebuilding the churches around Assisi. It was later on that he gathered around himself eleven men who were attracted by his simple lifestyle and manner of preaching. Because Francis and his brothers had no license to preach, in 1209, they set out to go to Rome where he received verbal authority (Regula non-Bullata) from Pope Innocent III and this marked the beginning of the Franciscan Order.
In Kenya: Conventual Franciscan Friars, first landed in Kenya in 1984 where they established the first community of Friars (Friary) in Ruiri, Meru. Friars from the Immaculate Conception Province based in Warsaw, Poland came under the invitation of the then bishop of Meru (late Rt. Rev. bishop Silas Njiru). Since then, the mission has grown from delegation to Provincial custody and now a Province.