The Congregation of the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception was established in Goa in 1886 and spread from there to various parts of the country, having its headquarters currently at Mount Mary Convent, Bandra.
A Franciscan Hospitaller Sister is a person consecrated and dedicated to follow Jesus Christ and serves her brethren, especially the more needy. She commits herself to witness Hospitality, the specific charism of the Congregation, which is reflected in multiple forms of service.
As Franciscans, we follow the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi whose ideal was to live according to the Gospel. These few simple words are his Rule: “When the Lord gave me brethren, no one taught me what I should do, but the Lord Himself revealed to me, that we should live according to the Holy Gospel” (Testament of St. Francis 16 & 17). Being born and formed by the Gospel, the Franciscan vocation is open to all categories of persons and to all forms of apostolic activity.
The coat of arms of our Congregation serves as the “Arms of faith” and the seal of our Congregation has the form of a diamond shaped shield, belonging to “Ladies”.
In the upper part of the shield are depicted the five bleeding wounds of Christ.
To the left in the white portion the legendary star, with one of its points directed upwards and coinciding with the vertical plane, symbolizes Mary, as does the crown above the star.
To the right, the burning lamp signifies the oil that soothes pain and wounds, and simultaneously, feeds the flame that gives light and warmth.
Below is the cross of Christ. At the base of the shield and outside it, is an interpretation of its meaning in the motto:
“LUCERE ET FOVERE”
LUCERE means to illuminate, enlighten, and teach the doctrine by the example of one’s life.
FOVERE means to warm, to bear with, to stimulate, to encourage, fondle, soothe, and care for. For the Franciscan Sister, two ideas united in one, are represented by the burning lamp, for Christ said “Keep your loins girded and your lamps burning”. (Lk 12:35)