History

The Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany  (Fraternità Francescana di Betania) is an  Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right. It is formed by brothers, both clerics and lay, and by sisters who consecrate themselves to God through public wows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
 

P. Pancrazio was born in Bari as Nicola Gaudioso, the last of six children, on 15th November 1926.
After the untimely death of his father, Domenico, his family was supported uniquely by the work, as a dressmaker, of his mother Giovanna, who was an exemplary educator and model of self-denial and prayer, not only for her children, but for the women of their surroundings.
 

Our founder has met Saint Pio on various occasions; he considers three encounters especially formative in view of the distinctive charism of the Fraternity.

The year of foundation of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany is 1982, but “all started in the silence of the Holy House of Loreto”, where, for more than thirty years (from 1946 to1967) Padre Pancrazio performed his duties of Capuchin friar entrusted with the care of the Holy House.

In 1983 was constituted the Private Association of Faithful ‘Casa Betania’, that in 1985 was approved by the Provincial Minister of the Friar Minor Capuchins of Apulia and, after a few days, was also recognized as ecclesiastical association, ex can 299 § 3 C.I.C., by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Servant of God Mons. Antonio Bello, who encouraged its development.

Since 1984, when the first sisters started the experience of ‘Casa Betania’ with P. Pancrazio, the first temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience were pronounced in private forms in the Bishop’s hands. The adventure was turning into a new form of consecrated life in the Church.

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