Franciscan East Asia
Custody of
St. Francis of Assisi 
In December 25, 1948, the Custody of St. Francis set up. In 1949, when new China was founded, foreign missionaries were forced to leave. In 1966, the Cultural Revolution began in China and all the Chinese friars were put in prison. In 1980, China started a new policy of opening up. By then, some Chinese friars had died in prison and only four old friars survived.
In 1985, while Friar Michael Hou, one of the surviving friars, was doing pastoral work, he recruited some new followers and became the new batch of novices. In 1988, St. Anthony Friary in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province was set up as formation house.

There are now three Friaries and three missionary areas in the Custody. The friars in the Custody are also in charge of one primary school at the border of Myanmar and China and an elderly home.

"No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves."
                                                                                         -St. Francis of Assisi