It was St. Francis of Assisi, who followed Christ intimately, who founded the Franciscan Fraternity. The Franciscan III Order is a branch of this Franciscan Fraternity. The Franciscan III Order was established in Kerala towards the end of the 19 century. The Franciscan Clarist Congregation was founded by a group of pious ladies who were members of the III Order.
Franciscan III Order Secular was founded in Kerala by Sri. Thomman Louis Puthenparambil a native of Edathuva under Verapoly Diocese. It was his personal effort that brought the Order all over Kerala. He collected a group of lay men with religious fervour and in 1864 started a life of prayer and penance at the age of 28.Later on, when Mr. Thommachan happened to go through the Constitution of the III Order received from Rev. Fr. Devassia Ottappunnackal, Thottekkadu, he began to live accordingly. In 1868 he received the official habit of III Order from Rev. Fr. Palakkunnel at the Church of Kurumbanadam.
They obtained their Constitution approved from Verapoly Archbishop’s house in 1874.The Order could establish about 50 units in the different parts of the Archdiocese due to the efforts of Mr. Thommachan by 1888. In the year 1889, the feast of St. Francis was celebrated at Punthoppe. Bishop Lavigne was also present there for the occasion. He selected Punthoppe as the centre of 10 units and Mr. Thommachan was elected the general leader of the III Order. Mr. Thommachan left for his eternal reward on 1 November 1909.
Thus the Franciscan III Order which was started in Kerala by Mr. Thomman Louis, Puthenparampil became well - established all over Kerala. The unit which was formed in the parish of Palai in 1875 was one of the flourishing units of the III Order. Some of the ladies of this unit wanted to commit themselves to God leading a full Franciscan life. These pious ladies belonged to very ancient and noble catholic families. They had inherited from Mr. Thommachan the real spirit of poverty, simplicity and a penitential life of prayer and penance. They wished to form themselves into a religious community and live a life of deep spirituality. These pious ladies who had deep faith and strong convictions became the pillars on which F.C.C. was built. The role model for these ladies was Mr. Thommachan who by his example and inspiring words strengthened the first mothers in all their problems. He was a source of support and strength for them. He exhorted them to turn to the Eucharistic Lord in all their problems. They could give great witnessing value through their lives by serving the poor and the neglected and engaging themselves in doing humble, hard physical labour.