Franciscan Conventuals fix their eyes on Blessed Virgin Mary as their own mother, patroness, model and mediatrix. ‘Militia of Mary Immaculate’ has become an important part in the life of its members since it was a great endeavor taken by St. Maximilian Kolbe who dreamt to establish Indian Nepokalanow in 1932. Being true sons and daughters of Mary we are trying to establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men and women. And this is the greatest glory and honor that we can give to Mary, to take her Son Jesus to others and make him known to other as the redeemer and savior of all. With her strong protection its members are trying to establish a Kolbean Era through Franciscan spirituality.
Marian Life in our Fraternities
All the Indian Conventual Friars are well aware of the importance of the veneration to Blessed Virgin Mary. This veneration is expressed personally through daily consecration to Mary. And in every Friary we have either daily common rosary or personal rosary and solemn rosary in the month of October as part of our common devotion to Mary. And in all our fraternities we celebrate the important feasts of Blessed Virgin Mary, and we commemorate the feast of Immaculate Conception most solemnly.
Marian Life among the student-friars
M.I. group in the major seminary is to co-ordinate the whole student-friars to foster Marian devotion in the seminary life. Besides the daily consecration and the recitation of the daily rosary, they have special programme for every year. They publish a magazine named Marian Voice once in every three months. The M.I. group has translated the English prayer of consecration to Mary into Malayalam for the convenience of the people to recite it every day during the Mass. They also animate solemn rosary in every monthly retreat and feast days of BVM. The student-friars every day after evening angelus recite the prayer of salutation to BVM. M.I. group also has published small booklet of M.I. intentions to be recited during rosary. They take initiative to conduct Marian seminar every year.
Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe
In all our friaries especially at Kolbe Franciscan Ashram we celebrate the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the founder of M.I. with most solemnity. We have nine days of preparation with special novena to the Saint. We also celebrate a Para-liturgy in honor of St. Maximilian Kolbe. People from neighboring places, seminarians and religious and our well-wishers are specially invited for the feast.
Marian life among the lay people under the leadership of our friars
Assisi Shanthi Kendra is the only unit of M.I. for the lay people. This unit is so active and alive under the leadership of friars who regularly watch and lead the group to its goal and purposes. This group is very active with their Marian programme. This ordinary people put their petitions and problems to Jesus and find relief through BVM. They have Novena in honor of the BVM on every Wednesdays. Once in every three months they spend a day in prayer. Every month they recite rosary in the houses of a chosen member followed by special prayers including the intentions of M.I. They come together once in every month with their spiritual director for sharing their day-to-day life and spend time in adoration and prayer. And on those days one of the priests will take class on BVM and other related subjects which enable them to lead a Marian-Franciscan life. They also find time to have regular Marian pilgrimage to different Marian centers.
In spite of their busy family life, they find some days to visit poor people by rendering their helping hand. They visit old-age homes and orphanages and spend time with these abandoned people. Besides they collect a reasonable amount from the fund to share it with the poor every year.