“It’s times like these when God is going to call great saints to come forth, and beyond any doubt, you were called to be one,” says Brother Angelo in the new vocations video for the Knights of the Holy Eucharist.
The Franciscan Brothers of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist were founded by Mother Angelica in 1998. They have built their order on four pillars: absolute love for our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, complete and devotional love for Mother Mary, undying fidelity to the Chair of St. Peter, and commitment to living in constant pursuit of the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.
The Eucharistic-centered community helps establish Eucharistic adoration in parishes, gives talks to schools and churches, trains altar servers, manages eucharistic and Marian processions, and assists with youth retreats and summer camps, helping to provide a solid foundation for young people striving for purity and holiness.
The title “knights” corresponds to their code of chivalry that lays out their duties to countrymen, fellow Christians, women and God. In living out that modern-day chivalry, the order is forming its own culture that includes customs connected to the spirituality of St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, Eucharistic evangelization, and the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The friary they call home also fosters a sense of orderliness, personal responsibility, asceticism, hospitality, spiritual zeal, and wholesome fun.
During a time when the world looks to discourage holiness by any means, the lifestyle of the Brother Knights is counter-cultural. It is a robust commitment to sanctify the world by sanctifying themselves, as they constantly explore how they can grow in holiness. The Brothers must take one day for a personal retreat each month, and they are only allowed two weeks vacation each year, when they can visit relatives or make pilgrimages to holy sites. In all of his commitments and wherever he goes, a Knight of the Holy Eucharist is expected to live the apostolic life of a knight, keeping all the vows and customs of the community.
The Brothers form each other in virtue by living in community, enduring each other’s words and deeds even when they don’t want to. By encouraging each other to grow in holiness, they grow in holiness themselves. Their rigorous daily schedule helps provide the framework for a holy life.
The Brother Knights rise at 5:15 a.m. to prepare for Morning Prayer and Exposition at 6 a.m. They then have Mass at 8:15 a.m. followed by the Rosary. Afterwards they break for breakfast and prepare for their workday, which runs from 9:45 in the morning to 4 p.m. After work they have adoration, Evening Prayer with the community, and then dinner. Once they finish the dishes, they enjoy recreation time together until Night Prayer at 9:15 p.m. followed by lights out at 10 p.m.
The Brothers follow the rule of the Third Order Regular of Franciscans (TOR). The form of life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis is “to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, in poverty and in chastity,” the Rule reads.
The Knights of the Holy Eucharist are a part of a wider community of 34 Franciscan Houses for men in the United States, including both provinces and independent communities.
The Brother Knights invite you to visit their fraternal family in Christ at their Franciscan friary in Lincoln, Nebraska. Their lives are a journey with Christ that’s all about growing in their relationship with God, and they would love to share that journey with you more.
They ask that you simply pray for your vocation if you don’t know it already, to be open to what the Holy Spirit has in store for your life, and if you can’t make it to Lincoln, take a much shorter visit to their website, knights.org.
Most importantly, pray for the brothers and all vocations, whether current or not yet discerned.
As Brother Angelo shares in the vocations video, “We are all called to be great saints. Don’t miss the opportunity.”
Editor’s note: This article was first published February 11, 2021 on Vocation Blog.