Franciscan order elects 121st successor of St. Francis of Assisi

May the Holy Spirit guard and guide Br. Massimo in the service of the brothers of the Order and of the whole Church,” a press release on the Franciscan order’s website said.

In a telegram to Fusarelli released July 13, Pope Francis said: “Having learned of your election, I congratulate you and assure you of my prayers and blessings, that the Lord may assist and protect you in the performance of your service.”

“May the Seraphic Father St. Francis be an encouragement to you in the guidance of your friars.”

Fusarelli has been provincial minister of the Province of St. Bonaventure, which covers the Italian regions of Lazio and Abruzzo, since July 2020.

Born in Rome, Fusarelli received the Franciscan habit in 1982 at the age of 19. He professed solemn vows in 1989 and was ordained a priest later the same year.

He studied theology at the Pontifical University of St. Anthony, also called the Antonianum, in Rome. He received a licentiate in patristic studies from Rome’s Augustinian Patristic Institute.