Blessed is that servant who is not more puffed up because of the good the Lord says and works through him than because of that which He says and works through others. A man sins who wishes to receive more from his neighbor than he is himself willing to give to the Lord God. Blessed is the man who bears with his neighbor according to the frailty of his nature as much as he would wish to be borne with by him if he should be in a like case.
Blessed is the servant who does not regard himself as better when he is esteemed and extolled by men than when he is reputed as mean, simple, and despicable: for what a man is in the sight of God, so much he is, and no more. And blessed is that servant who is raised in dignity not by his own will and who always desires to be beneath the feet of others. Blessed is that religious who feels no pleasure or joy save in most holy conversation and the works of the Lord, and who by these means leads men 2 to the love of God in joy and gladness.
And woe to that religious who takes delight in idle and vain words and by this means provokes men to laughter. Woe to that religious who not concealing in his heart the good things which the Lord has disclosed to him and who not manifesting them to others by his work, seeks rather through hope of reward to make them known to men by words: for now he receives his recompense and his hearers bear away little fruit. Blessed is the servant who bears discipline, accusation, and blame from others as patiently as if they came from himself.
Blessed is the servant who, when reproved, mildly submits, modestly obeys, humbly confesses, and willingly satisfies. Blessed is the servant who is not prompt to excuse himself and who humbly bears shame and reproof for sin when he is without fault. Blessed is he 2 who shall be found as humble among his subjects as if he were among his masters. Blessed is the servant who always continues under the rod of correction. Blessed is that brother who would love his brother as much when he is ill and not able to assist him as he loves him when he is well and able to assist him.
Blessed is the brother who would love and fear his brother as much when he is far from him as he would when with him, and who would not say anything about him behind his back that he could not with charity say in his presence. Blessed is the servant of God who exhibits confidence in clerics who live uprightly according to the form of the holy Roman Church. And woe to those who despise them: for even though they [the clerics] may be sinners, nevertheless no one ought to judge them, because the Lord Himself reserves to Himself alone the right of judging them.
For as the administration with which they are charged, to wit, of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others—is greater than all others, even so the sin of those who offend against them is greater than any against all the other men in this world. Where there is charity and wisdom there is neither fear nor ignorance Where there is patience and humility there is neither anger nor worry. Where there is quiet and meditation there is neither solicitude nor dissipation.
Where there is the fear of the Lord to guard the house the enemy cannot find a way to enter. Where there is mercy and discretion there is neither superfluity nor hard-heartedness. Blessed is the servant who treasures up in heaven 2 the good things which the Lord shows him and who does not wish to manifest them to men through the hope of reward, for the Most High will Himself manifest his works to whomsoever He may please.
Blessed is the servant who keeps the secrets of the Lord in his heart. Thomas of Celano, St. This Salutation was also published in the Speculum Vitae B. Francisci et Sociorum Ejus fol. This codex, which is the oldest one containing the Salutation, has been used for the Quaracchi edition, which I have here followed, as well as the Ognissanti MS. Hail, 7 queen wisdom! May the Lord save thee with thy sister holy pure simplicity!
O Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] Lady, holy poverty, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy humility! O Lady, holy charity, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy obedience! O all ye most holy virtues, may the Lord, from whom you proceed and come, save you! There is absolutely no man in the whole world who can possess one among you unless he first die. He who possesses one and does not offend the others, possesses all; and he who offends one, possesses none and offends all; and every one [of them] confounds vices and sins. Holy wisdom confounds Satan and all his wickednesses.
Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh. Holy poverty confounds cupidity and avarice and the cares of this world. Holy humility confounds pride and all the men of this world and all things that are in the world Holy charity confounds all diabolical and fleshly temptations and all fleshly fears.
Francis 1 No. XIII , but the early codices do not give it in an epistolary form, 2 but rather as it is printed here without address or salutation. For the present edition the Assisian codex 3 has Edition: current; Page: [ 23 ] been used as well as the codices of St. The text is as follows. Let us all consider, O clerics, the great sin and ignorance of which some are guilty regarding the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His most holy Name and the written words of consecration. For we know that the Body cannot exist until after these words of consecration.
For we have nothing and we see nothing of the Most High Himself in this world except [His] Body and Blood, names and words by which we have been created and redeemed from death to life. But let all those who administer such most holy mysteries, especially those who do so indifferently, consider among themselves how poor the chalices, corporals, and linens may be where the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is sacrificed. And by many It is left in wretched places and carried by the way disrespectfully, received unworthily and administered to others indiscriminately.
Again His Names and written words are sometimes trampled under foot, for the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of God. Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] Are we unmindful that we must needs fall into His hands? Let us then at once and resolutely correct these faults and others; and wheresoever the most holy Body of our Lord Jesus Christ may be improperly reserved and abandoned, let It be removed thence and let It be put and enclosed in a precious place In like manner wheresoever the Names and written words of the Lord may be found in unclean places they ought to be collected and put away in a decent place.
And we know that we are bound above all to observe all these things by the commandments of the Lord and the constitutions of holy Mother Church And let him who does not act thus know that he shall have to render an account therefor before our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment. And let him who may cause copies of this writing to be made, to the end that it may be the better observed, know that he is blessed by the Lord. The early history of the Seraphic legislation, to wit, the Rules of the Friars Minor, the Poor Ladies and the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, is intricate beyond measure, as those at all conversant with the subject are but too well aware.
Withal, as regards the Rule of the Friars Minor, with which we are now more particularly concerned, St Francis seems, on the whole, to have written it twice. And this Rule. Once more the holy man. Such in briefest outline is the genesis of the first and second Rules written by St. Francis for the Friars Minor. To these two Rules Prof Karl Muller 2 and M Paul Sabatier 3 would fain add a third, written, as they aver, in Their opinion, however, seems to rest upon a misconception, for the Rule which they describe as dating from , is not a new one, but the same that Innocent III approved, not indeed in its original form, which has not come down to us, 4 but rather in the form it had assumed in the course of twelve years, as a consequence of many changes and additions.
Early expositors of the Rule, such as Hugo de Digne 1 and Angelo Clareno, 2 in their works always represent the Rule of which we are now speaking as the first and original one Moreover, none of the thirteenth century writers make mention of any third rule; they speak only of the changes and accretions which the first Rule suffered between and For example Jordan a Giano tells us that St.
All permanent and powerful rules grow, as a recent writer 6 has justly remarked, and it was thuswise that Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] the first Rule of the Friars Minor received constant additions in the form of constitutions enacted at the Chapters held at Portiuncula after or otherwise—it is necessary to insist on this point 1 —during the fourteen years it was in force.
It is not hard therefore to understand why the texts we have of this Rule do not always agree, since these changes and additions did not come to the knowledge of all through the same channel. It remains to say a word about the relation of this first Rule to the second and definitive one approved in In treating of the difference between these two Rules, M. Sabatier errs still more strangely They had little in common, he avers, except the name, the second being the very antithesis of the first, which alone was truly Franciscan.
In so far as the first and second Rules written by St. Francis for the Friars Minor may be said to differ, the difference lies in this that the second Rule is shorter, more precise, and more orderly; 1 but essentially and in substance it is clearly and truly the same as the first Rule. Indeed, the very wording of the second Rule already exists in great part in the first one, as any one must observe who makes an unbiassed comparison of the two So true is this agreement between the two Rules that they are often regarded as one and the same. Francis is not at all consonant with history.
Its truth will be best demonstrated by an examination of the text of both Rules, which now follow:. This is the Edition: current; Page: [ 32 ] life that Brother Francis begged might be conceded to him and confirmed by the Lord Pope Innocent. And he [the Pope] has conceded and confirmed it to him and to his brothers present and future.
Brother Francis, and whoever may be at the head of this religion, promises obedience and reverence to our Lord Pope Innocent and to his successors. And the other brothers shall be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors. If any one, wishing by divine inspiration to embrace this manner of life, comes to our brothers, let him be kindly received by them. And if he be firmly resolved to undertake our life, let the brothers take great care not to meddle with his temporal affairs, but let them present him as soon as possible to their minister.
Let the minister receive him kindly, and encourage him, and diligently explain to him the tenor of our life. This being done, if he be willing and able, with safety of conscience and without impediment, let him sell all his goods and endeavor to distribute them to the poor. But let the brothers and the ministers of the brothers be careful not to interfere in any way in his affairs, and let them not receive any money, either themselves or through any person acting as intermediary; if however they should be in want, the brothers may accept other necessaries for the body, money excepted, by reason of their necessity, like other poor.
And when he [the Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] candidate] shall have returned, let the minister grant him the habit of probation for a year; that is to say, two tunics without a hood and cord and breeches and a chaperon 1 reaching to the girdle. The year of probation being finished, let him be received to obedience. No one shall be received contrary to the form and institution of the holy Church.
But the other brothers who have promised obedience may have one tunic with a hood, and another without a hood, if necessity require it, and a cord and breeches. And let all the brothers be clothed with mean garments, and they may mend them with sackcloth and other pieces, with the blessing of God, for the Lord says in the Gospel: they that are in costly apparel and live delicately and they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. The clerics shall say the Office, and say it for the living and the dead, according to the custom of clerics; but to satisfy for the defect and negligence of the brothers, let them say every day Miserere mei, with the Pater noster; for the deceased brothers let them say De profundis, with Pater noster.
And they may have only the books necessary to perform their Office; and the lay-brothers who know how to read the Psalter may also have one; but the others who do not know how to read may not have a book. The lay-brothers however shall say: Credo in Deum, and twenty-four Paternosters with Gloria Patri for Matins, but for Lauds, five; for Prime, Tierce, Sext, and Nones, for each, seven Paternosters with Gloria Patri; for Vespers, twelve; for Compline, Credo in Deum and seven Paternosters with Gloria Patri; for the dead, seven Paternosters with Requiem aeternam; and for Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] the defect and negligence of the brothers, three Paternosters every day.
And all the brothers shall likewise fast from the feast of All Saints until the Nativity of our Lord, and from Epiphany, when our Lord Jesus Christ began to fast, until Easter; but at other times let them not be bound to fast according to this life except on Fridays. And they may eat of all foods which are placed before them, according to the Gospel. In the Name of the Lord let all the brothers who are appointed ministers and servants of the other brothers place their brothers in the provinces or places where they may be, and let them often visit and spiritually admonish and console them.
And let all my other blessed brothers diligently obey them in those things which look to the salvation of the soul and are not contrary to our life. Nevertheless, let all the brothers who are subject to the ministers and servants consider reasonably and carefully the deeds of the ministers and servants. And if they should see any one of them walking according to the flesh and not according to the spirit, according to the right way of our life, after the third admonition, if he will not amend, let him be reported to the minister and servant of the whole fraternity in the Whitsun Chapter, in spite of any obstacle that may stand in the way.
If however among the brothers, wherever they may be, there should be some brother who desires to live according to the flesh, and not according to the spirit, let the brothers with whom he is admonish, instruct, and correct him humbly and diligently. And if after the third admonition he will not amend, let them as soon as possible send him, or make the matter known to his Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] minister and servant, and let the minister and servant do with him what may seem to him most expedient before God. And let all the brothers, the ministers and servants as well as the others, take care not to be troubled or angered because of the fault or bad example of another, for the devil desires to corrupt many through the sin of one; but let them spiritually help him who has sinned, as best they can; for he that is whole needs not a physician, but he that is sick.
Let not any brother do evil or speak evil to another; let them rather in the spirit of charity willingly serve and obey each other: and this is the true and holy obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ. And let all the brothers as often soever as they may have declined from the commandments of God, and wandered from obedience, know that, as the prophet says, 5 Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] they are cursed out of obedience as long as they continue consciously in such a sin.
And when they persevere in the commandments of the Lord, which they have promised by the holy Gospel and their life, let them know that they abide in true obedience, and are blessed by God. Let the brothers, in whatsoever places they may be, if they cannot observe our life, have recourse as soon as possible to their minister, making this known to him.
But let the minister endeavor to provide for them in such a way as he would wish to be dealt with himself if he were in the like case.
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And let no one be called Prior, but let all in general be called Friars Minor. And let one wash the feet of the other. Let the brothers in whatever places they may be among others to serve or to work, not be chamberlains, nor cellarers, nor overseers in the houses of those whom they serve, and let them not accept any employment which might cause scandal, or be injurious to their soul, 1 but let them be inferior and subject to all who are in the same house.
And if they be in want, let them seek for alms like other brothers. And they may have the tools and implements necessary for their work. Let the brothers take care that wherever they may be, whether in hermitages or in other places, they never appropriate any place to themselves, or maintain it against another. And whoever may come to them, either a friend or a foe, a thief or a robber, let them receive him kindly.
And wherever the brothers are and in whatsoever place they may find themselves, let them spiritually and diligently show reverence Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] and honor toward one another without murmuring. For we ought not to have more use and esteem of money and coin than of stones. And the devil seeks to blind those who desire or value it more than stones. Let us therefore take care lest after having left all things we lose the kingdom of heaven for such a trifle.
And let the brothers in nowise receive money for alms 1 or cause it to be received, seek it or cause it to be sought, or money for other houses or places; nor let them go with any person seeking money or coin for such places. But the brothers may perform all other services which are not contrary to our life, with the blessing of God. The brothers may however for the manifest necessity of the lepers ask alms for them But let them be very wary of money.
But let all the brothers likewise take great heed not to search the world for any filthy lucre. And when it may be necessary, let them go for alms. And when men may treat them with contempt, and refuse to give them an alms, let them give thanks for this to God, because for these shames they shall receive great honor before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And let them know that the injuries shall not be imputed to those who suffer them, but to those who offer them. And alms is an inheritance and a right which is due to the poor, which our Lord Jesus Christ purchased for us. And the brothers who labor in seeking it will have a great recompense, and they will procure and acquire a reward for those who give; for all that men leave in this world shall perish, but for the charity and alms-deeds they have done they will receive a reward from God.
And let one make known clearly his wants to another, in order that he may find and receive what are necessary for him. And let everyone love and nourish his brother as a mother loves and nourishes her son, in so far as God gives them grace. For as a snare shall it come upon all that sit upon the face of the whole earth. If any of the brothers fall into sickness, wherever he may be, let the others not leave him, unless one of the brothers, or more if it be necessary, be appointed to serve him as they would wish to be served themselves; but in urgent necessity they may commit him to some person who will take care of him in his infirmity.
And let all the brothers take care not to calumniate anyone, nor to contend in words; 4 let them indeed study to maintain silence as far as God gives them grace. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Let all the brothers, wherever they are or may go, carefully avoid unbecoming looks, and company of women, and let no one converse with them alone. And let no woman whatsoever be received Edition: current; Page: [ 47 ] to obedience by any brother, 1 but spiritual counsel being given to her let her do penance where she wills.
If any brother by the instigation of the devil should commit fornication, let him be deprived of the habit of the Order which he has lost by his base iniquity and let him put it aside wholly, and let him be altogether expelled from our religion. And let him afterwards do penance for his sins. When the brothers travel through the world, let them carry nothing by the way, neither bag, nor purse, nor bread, nor money, nor a staff. Let them give to everyone that asketh them, and if anyone take away their goods, let them not ask them again. I enjoin all the brothers, both clerics and laics, that when they travel through the world, or reside in places, they in no wise, either with them or with others or in any other way, have any kind of beast of burden.
Nor is it lawful for them to ride on horseback unless they are compelled by infirmity or great necessity. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But let the minister give them leave and not refuse them, if he sees they are fit to be sent; he will be held to render an account to the Lord if in this or in other things he acts indiscreetly. The brothers, however, who go may conduct themselves in two ways spiritually among them. Let none of the brothers preach contrary to the form and institution of the holy Roman Church, and unless this has been conceded to him by his minister.
But let the minister take care that he does not grant this leave indiscreetly to anyone. Nevertheless, let all the brothers preach by their works. And let no minister or preacher appropriate to himself the ministry of brothers or the office of preaching, but let him give up his office without any contradiction at whatever hour it may be enjoined him. Let us keep ourselves from the wisdom of this world, and the prudence of the flesh; for the spirit of the world wishes and cares much for words, but little for work; and it seeks not religion and interior sanctity of spirit, but wishes and desires a religion and sanctity appearing from without to men.
And let us refer all good to the Lord God most High and Supreme; let us acknowledge that all good belongs to Him, and let us give thanks for all to Him from whom all good proceeds And may He, the most High and Supreme, only True God, have, and may there be rendered to Him and may He receive, all honors and reverences, all praises and benedictions, all thanks and all glory, to whom all good belongs, who alone is good.
Each minister may assemble with his brothers every year wherever he may please on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, to treat of those things which belong to God. And let all the ministers who are in parts beyond the sea and beyond the mountains come once in three years, and the other ministers once every year to the chapter on Whit Sunday, at the Church of St.
Mary of the Portiuncula, unless it be otherwise ordered by the minister and servant of the whole brotherhood. Let all the brothers be Catholics, and live and speak in a Catholic manner. But if anyone Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] should err from the Catholic faith and life in word or in deed, and will not amend, let him be altogether expelled from our fraternity.
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And let us hold all clerics and religious as our masters in those things which regard the salvation of souls, if they do not deviate from our religion, and let us reverence their office and order and administration in the Lord. Let my blessed brothers, both clerics and laics, confess their sins to priests of our religion. And if they cannot do this, let them confess to other discreet and Catholic priests, knowing firmly and hoping that from whatever Catholic priests they may receive penance and absolution, they will undoubtedly be absolved from these sins if they take care to observe humbly and faithfully the penance enjoined them.
And this or the like exhortation and praise all my brothers may announce with the blessing of God, whenever it may please them among whatever men they may be: Fear and honor, praise and bless God, give thanks 3 and adore the Lord God Almighty in Trinity and Unity, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, the Creator of all. Woe to those who do not die in penitence, for they shall be the children of the devil, whose works they do, 10 and they shall go into eternal fire Beware and abstain from all evil, and persevere in good until the end.
Therefore all those who unjustly inflict upon us tribulations and anguishes, shames and injuries, sorrows and torments, martyrdom and death, are our friends whom we ought to love much, because we gain eternal life by that which they make us suffer. And let us hate our body with its vices and sins, because by living carnally it wishes to deprive us of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life, and to lose itself with all else in hell; for we by our own fault are corrupt, miserable, and averse to good, but prompt and willing to evil; because, as the Lord says in the Gospel: from the heart of men proceed and come evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, false testimonies, blasphemy, foolishness.
But now, after having renounced the world, we have nothing else to do but to be solicitous, to follow the will of God, and to please Him. Edition: current; Page: [ 56 ] Let us take much care that we be not the wayside, or the stony or thorny ground, according to what the Lord says in the Gospel: The seed is the word of God. And that which fell by the wayside and was trampled under foot are they that hear the word and do not understand, then the devil cometh, and snatcheth that which has been sown in their hearts and taketh the word out of their hearts, lest believing they should be saved.
But that which fell upon the rock are they who, when they hear the word, at once receive it with joy; but when tribulation and persecution arise on account of the word, they are immediately scandalized, and these have no roots in themselves, but are for a while, for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away But that which fell among thorns are they who hear the word of God, and the solicitude and cares of this world, the fallacies of riches, and the desire of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
But that sown on good ground are they who, in a good and best heart, hearing the word understand and keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is made worse than the first.
But I beseech all the brothers, both the ministers and others, in the charity which God is, 2 that, overcoming all obstacles and putting aside all care and solicitude, they strive in the best manner they are able, to serve, love, and honor the Lord God with a clean heart and a pure mind, which He seeks above all.
Neither be ye called masters, for one is your master, who is in heaven, Christ. Let us therefore hold fast the words, the life and doctrine and holy Gospel of Him who deigned for us to ask His Father to manifest to Edition: current; Page: [ 59 ] us His Name, saying: Father, I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou hast given Me because the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them, and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came forth out of Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me, because they are Thine and all My things are Thine.
These things I speak in the world that they may have joy filled in themselves. I have given them Thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from evil.
Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth As Thou hast sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. And for them I do sanctify Myself, that they may be sanctified in truth. Not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in Me, that they may be consummated in one, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast also loved Me.
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Almighty, most Holy, most High and Supreme God, Holy and Just Father, Lord King of heaven and earth, for Thyself we give thanks to Thee because by Thy holy will, and by Thine only Son, Thou hast created all things spiritual and corporal in the Holy Ghost and didst place us made to Thine image and likeness 3 in paradise, whence we fell by our own fault.
And we give Thee thanks because, as by Thy Son Thou didst create us, so by the true and holy love with which Thou hast loved us, 4 Thou didst cause Him, true God and true Man, to be born of the glorious and ever-Virgin, most Blessed holy Mary, and didst will that He should redeem us captives by His Cross and Blood and Death.
And since all we wretches and sinners are not worthy to name Thee, we humbly beseech Thee, that our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, in whom Thou art well pleased, 1 together with the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, may give thanks to Thee as it is pleasing to Thee and Them, for all; He suffices Thee always for all through whom Thou hast done so much for us. And we earnestly beg the glorious Mother, the most Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, Blessed Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and all the choirs of the blessed spirits, seraphim, cherubim, and thrones, dominations, principalities and powers, virtues, angels and archangels, blessed John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Peter, Paul, the blessed patriarchs and prophets, innocents, apostles, evangelists, disciples, martyrs, confessors, virgins, blessed Elias and Enoch, and all the Saints who have been and are, and shall be, for Thy love, that they may, as it is pleasing to Thee, give thanks for these things to the most high, true God, eternal and living, with Thy most dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, for ever and ever.
And all we, brothers minor, useless servants, humbly entreat and beseech all those within the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church wishing to serve God, and all ecclesiastical Orders, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists, lectors, door-keepers, and all clerics; all religious men Edition: current; Page: [ 62 ] and women, all boys and children, poor and needy, kings and princes, laborers, husbandmen, servants and masters, all virgins, continent, and married people, laics, men and women, all infants, youths, young men and old, healthy and sick, all small and great, and all peoples, clans, tribes, and tongues, all nations and all men in all the earth, who are and shall be, that we may persevere in the true faith and in doing penance, for otherwise no one can be saved.
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Let us all love with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength and fortitude, with all our understanding and with all our powers, 1 with our whole might and whole affection, with our innermost parts, our whole desires, and wills, the Lord God, who has given, and gives to us all, the whole body, the whole soul, and our life; who has created and redeemed us, and by His mercy alone will save us; who has done and does all good to us, miserable and wretched, vile, unclean, ungrateful, and evil.
Let us therefore desire nothing else, wish for nothing else, and let nothing please and delight us except our Creator and Redeemer, and Saviour, the only true God, who is full of good, all good, entire good, the true and supreme good, who alone is good, 2 merciful and kind, gentle and sweet, who alone is holy, just, true, and upright, who alone is benign, pure, and clean, from whom, and through whom, and in whom is all mercy, Edition: current; Page: [ 63 ] all grace, all glory of all penitents and of the just, and of all the blessed rejoicing in heaven.
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Let nothing therefore hinder us, let nothing separate us, let nothing come between us. Let us all, everywhere, in every place, at every hour, and at all times, daily and continually believe, truly and humbly, and let us hold in our hearts, and love, honor, adore, serve, praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to the most High and Supreme, Eternal God, in Trinity and Unity, to the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, to the Creator of all, to the Saviour of all who believe and hope in Him, and love Him, who, without beginning or end, is inmutable, invisible, unerring, ineffable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, praiseworthy, glorious, exalted, sublime, most high, sweet, amiable, lovable, and always wholly desirable above all forever and ever.
In the Name of the Lord, I beseech all the brothers that they learn the tenor and sense of those things that are written in this life for the salvation of our souls, and frequently recall them to mind. And I pray God that He who is Almighty, Three in One, may bless all who teach, learn, hold, remember, and fulfil those things as often as they repeat and do what is there written for our salvation. And I entreat all, kissing their feet, to love greatly, keep and treasure up these things. And on the part of Almighty God and of the Lord Pope, and by obedience, I, Brother Francis, strictly command and enjoin Edition: current; Page: [ 64 ] that no one subtract from those things that are written in this life, or add anything written to it over and above, and that the brothers have no other Rule.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. The Rule and life of the Minor Brothers is this, namely, to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without property and in chastity. Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Honorius and to his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church. And let the other brothers be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.
If any wish to embrace this life and come to our brothers, let them send them to their provincial Edition: current; Page: [ 65 ] ministers, to whom alone and not to others is accorded the power of receiving brothers. But let the ministers diligently examine them regarding the Catholic faith and the Sacraments of the Church. And if they believe all these things, and if they will confess them faithfully and observe them firmly to the end, and if they have no wives, or, if they have and their wives have already entered a monastery, or have, with the authority of the diocesan bishop, given them permission after having made a vow of continence, and if the wives be of such an age that no suspicion may arise concerning them, let them [the ministers] say to them the word of the holy Gospel, 1 that they go and sell all their goods and strive to distribute them to the poor.
If they should not be able to do this, their good will suffices. And the brothers and their ministers must take care not to be solicitous about their temporal affairs, that they may freely do with their affairs whatsoever the Lord may inspire them. If, however, counsel should be required, the ministers shall have power of sending them to some God-fearing men by whose advice their goods may be distributed to the poor.
Afterwards, let them give them clothes of probation, to wit, two tunics without a hood and a cord and breeches and a chaperon reaching to the cord, unless at some time the same ministers may decide otherwise according to God. The year of probation being finished, they shall be received Edition: current; Page: [ 66 ] to obedience, promising to observe always this life and rule. And those who are obliged by necessity may wear shoes.
And let all the brothers be clothed in poor garments and they may patch them with pieces of sackcloth and other things, with the blessing of God. I admonish and exhort them not to despise or judge men whom they see clothed in fine and showy garments using dainty meats and drinks, but rather let each one judge and despise himself.
Let the clerics perform the Divine Office according to the order of the holy Roman Church, with the exception of the Psalter; wherefore they may have breviaries. And let them fast from the feast of All Saints until the Nativity of the Lord. But the holy Lent which begins from Epiphany and continues for forty days, which the Lord has consecrated by His holy fast, 1 —may those who keep it voluntarily be blessed by the Lord and those who do not wish may not be constrained.
But they must fast during the other one until the Resurrection of the Lord. At other times, however, they shall not be obliged to fast, except on Fridays. But in time of manifest necessity the brothers shall not be bound to corporal fasting. I indeed counsel, warn, and exhort my brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ that when they go through the world they be not litigious nor contend in words, 2 nor judge others; but that they be gentle, peaceful, and modest, meek and humble, speaking honestly to all as is fitting.
And they must not ride on horseback unless compelled by manifest necessity or infirmity. Into whatsoever house they may enter let them first say: Peace be to this house! And, according to the holy Gospel, it is lawful to eat of all foods which are set before them. I strictly enjoin on all the brothers that in no wise they receive coins or money, either themselves or through an interposed person. Nevertheless, for the necessities of the sick and for clothing the other brothers, let the ministers and custodes alone take watchful care through spiritual friends, according to places and times and cold climates, as they shall see expedient in the necessity, saving always that, as has been said, they shall not receive coins or money.
Let those brothers to whom the Lord has given the grace of working labor faithfully and devoutly, so that in banishing idleness, the enemy of the soul, they do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion, to which all temporal things must be subservient. They may, however, receive as the reward of their labor, the things needful for the body for themselves and their brothers, with the exception of coins or money, and that humbly, as befits the servants of God and the followers of most holy poverty.
The brothers shall appropriate nothing to themselves, neither a house nor place nor anything. Edition: current; Page: [ 69 ] And as pilgrims and strangers 1 in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, let them go confidently in quest of alms, nor ought they to be ashamed, because the Lord made Himself poor for us in this world. This, my dearest brothers, is the height of the most sublime poverty which has made you heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven: poor in goods, but exalted in virtue.
Let that be your portion, for it leads to the land of the living; 2 cleaving to it unreservedly, my best beloved brothers, for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, never desire to possess anything else under heaven. And wheresoever the brothers are and may find themselves, let them mutually show among themselves that they are of one household.
And let one make known his needs with confidence to the other, for, if a mother nourishes and loves her carnal son, how much more earnestly ought one to love and nourish his spiritual brother! And if any of them should fall into illness, the other brothers must serve him as they would wish to be served themselves.
If any of the brothers, at the instigation of the enemy, sin mortally by those sins for which it has been ordained among the brothers that Edition: current; Page: [ 70 ] recourse should be had to the provincial ministers alone, the aforesaid brothers are bound to have recourse to them as soon as possible, without delay. But let the ministers themselves, if they are priests, impose penance on them with mercy; if however they are not priests, let them have it imposed by other priests of the Order, as it may seem to them most expedient, according to God.
All the brothers are bound always to have one of the brothers of this religion as minister general and servant of the whole brotherhood, and they are strictly bound to obey him. At his death the election of a successor must be made by the provincial ministers and custodes in the Whitsun Chapter, in which the provincial ministers are always bound to convene at the same time, wheresoever it may be appointed by the minister general, and that once in three years or at a longer or shorter interval as may be ordained by the said minister And if at any time it should be apparent to the whole of the provincial ministers that the aforesaid minister general is not sufficient for the service and the common welfare of the brothers, let the Edition: current; Page: [ 71 ] aforesaid ministers, to whom the election has been committed, be bound to elect for themselves another as custos in the name of the Lord.
But after the Whitsun Chapter the ministers and custodes may each, if they wish and it seem expedient to them, convoke their brothers to a chapter in their custodies once in the same year. The brothers must not preach in the diocese of any bishop when their doing so may be opposed by him. And let no one of the brothers dare to preach in any way to the people, unless he has been examined and approved by the minister general of this brotherhood, and the office of preaching conceded to him by the latter.
I also warn and exhort the same brothers that in the preaching they do their words be fire-tried and pure 1 for the utility and edification of the people, announcing to them vices and virtues, punishment and glory, with brevity of speech because the Lord made His word short upon earth. Those brothers who are ministers and servants of the other brothers, shall visit and admonish their brothers, and shall humbly and charitably correct them, not commanding them Edition: current; Page: [ 72 ] anything against their souls and our Rule.
The brothers however who are subject must remember that, for God, they have renounced their own will. Wherefore I order them strictly to obey their ministers in all things which they have promised the Lord to observe and are not against their souls and our Rule. And wheresoever there are brothers who see and know that they are not able to observe the rule spiritually, they ought to and can recur to their ministers.
And let the ministers receive them charitably and kindly and show so great familiarity toward them that they [the culprits] may speak and act with them as masters with their servants, for thus it ought to be, since the ministers are the servants of all the brothers. I also warn and exhort the brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ that they beware of all pride, vainglory, envy, covetousness, 1 the cares and solicitudes of this world, of detraction and murmuring. I strictly command all the brothers not to have suspicious intimacy, or conferences with women, and let none enter the monasteries of nuns except those to whom special permission has been granted by the Apostolic See.
And let them not be godfathers of men or women, that 3 scandal may not arise on this account among the brothers or concerning the brothers. Let all of the brothers who by divine inspiration desire to go amongst the Saracens or other infidels, ask leave therefor from their provincial ministers. But the ministers must give permission to go to none except to those whom they see are fitted to be sent.
Moreover, I enjoin on the ministers, by obedience, that they ask of the Lord Pope one of the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church to be governor, protector, and corrector of this Edition: current; Page: [ 74 ] brotherhood, so that being always subject and submissive at the feet of the same holy Church, grounded in the Catholic faith, 1 we may observe poverty and humility and the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we have firmly promised.
Clare herself, in so far as she incorporated them in the sixth chapter of her Rule. Francis and confirmed by Honorius III 3 This Rule, as the Pontiff himself declares, was solemnly professed by Clare and her Sisters and observed by them for many years in a praiseworthy manner. Damian and all others of your Order have laudably observed it from the time of its profession until now. In view of such testimony it is obviously a mistake to assert, as Wadding and some other writers do, that St Clare abandoned this Rule in , and professed another one written by St. It is also erroneous to suppose that St.
Francis ever wrote a Rule for the Poor Ladies. Francis, a little while after his own conversion, I, together with Edition: current; Page: [ 77 ] my sisters, voluntarily promised him obedience. But, seeing that we feared no poverty, toil, sorrow, abasement and contempt of the world, nay rather that we held them in great delight, the blessed father, moved by compassion, wrote us a rule of life 1 in this form.
Both these pieces, which Wadding took for letters 4 addressed to St. Clare, are here translated according to the text of the Rule contained in the original bull of Innocent IV 5 They are as follows. Since, by divine inspiration, you have made yourselves daughters and handmaids of the Most Edition: current; Page: [ 78 ] High Sovereign King, the Heavenly Father, and have espoused yourselves to the Holy Ghost, choosing to live according to the perfection of the holy Gospel, I will, and I promise to have always, by myself and my brothers, a diligent care and special solicitude for you, as for them.
And I beseech you all, my ladies, and counsel you, to live always in this most holy life and poverty. And watch yourselves well that you in no wise depart from it through the teaching or advice of any one. The opuscule which St Francis called his Testament is a precious document of the highest authority. Renan forsooth denied its authenticity, but rashly, for, as M Sabatier rightly remarks, 1 this is not to be questioned. But we are not reduced to internal proofs for its genuinity All the historians, including Thomas of Celano, 3 and St.
Bonaventure, 4 mention it, 5 while Gregory IX cites it textually in his bull Quo elongati of September 28, Francis died. According to M. Sabatier, St. Francis wrote more than one testament. Indeed, the French critic goes so far as to say that at the end of each of his crises the Saint made his will anew, 7 and in support of this assertion cites Chapter 87 of his own edition of the Edition: current; Page: [ 80 ] Speculum Perfectionis, in which we read that during an illness seemingly in April, , St.
Both editions of the Speculum tell in almost the same words of St. The Testament is to be found among St. Floriano, Liegnitz, Paris Nat. Here begins the. The Lord gave to me, Brother Francis, thus to begin to do penance; for when I was in sin it seemed to me very bitter to see lepers, and the Lord Himself led me amongst them and I showed mercy to them 3 And when I left them, that which had seemed to me bitter was changed for me into sweetness of body and soul. And afterwards I remained a little and I left the world.
After that the Lord gave me, and gives me, so much faith in priests who live according to the form of the holy Roman Church, on account of their order, 2 that if they should persecute me, I would have recourse to them. And if I had as much wisdom as Solomon had, and if I should find poor priests of this world, 3 I would not preach against their will in the parishes in which they live.
And I desire to fear, love, and honor them and all others as my masters; and I do not wish to consider sin in them, for in them I see the Son of God and they are my masters. And I do this because in this world, I see nothing corporally of the most high Son of God Himself except His most holy Body and Blood, which they receive and they alone administer to others. And I will that these most holy mysteries be honored and revered above all things and that they be placed in precious places.
Wheresoever I find His most holy Names and written words in unseemly places, I wish to collect them, and I ask that they may be collected and put in a becoming place. And we Edition: current; Page: [ 83 ] ought to honor and venerate all theologians and those who minister to us the most holy Divine Words as those who minister to us spirit and life.
And when the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I ought to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the form of the holy Gospel. And those who came to take this life upon themselves gave to the poor all that they might have and they 3 were content with one tunic, patched within and without, by those who wished, 4 with a cord and breeches, and we wished for no more. We clerics said the Office like other clerics; the laics said the Paternoster, and we remained in the churches 5 willingly enough.
And we were simple and subject to all. And I worked with my hands and I wish to work and I wish firmly that all the other brothers should work at some labor which is compatible with honesty. Let those who know not [how to work] learn, not through desire to receive the price of labor but for the sake of example and to repel idleness. And when the price of labor is not given to us, Edition: current; Page: [ 84 ] let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, begging alms from door to door. I strictly enjoin by obedience 4 on all the brothers that, wherever they may be, they should not dare, either themselves or by means of some interposed person, 5 to ask any letter in the Roman curia either for a church 6 or for any other place, nor under pretext of preaching, nor on account of their bodily persecution; but, wherever they are not received let them flee to another land to do penance, with the blessing of God.
And I wish to obey the minister general of this brotherhood strictly and the guardian whom it may please him to give me. And I wish to be so captive in his hands that I cannot go or act beyond his obedience and his will because he is my master. And although I Edition: current; Page: [ 85 ] am simple and infirm, I desire withal always to have a cleric who will perform the office with me as it is contained in the Rule. And let all the other brothers be bound to obey their guardian and to perform the office according to the Rule.
And those who may be found not performing the office according to the Rule and wishing to change it in some way, or who are not Catholics, let all the brothers wherever they may be, if they find one of these, be bound by obedience to present him to the custos who is nearest to the place where they have found him. And the custos shall be strictly bound, by obedience, to guard him strongly day and night as a prisoner so that he cannot be snatched from his hands until he shall personally place him in the hands of his minister.
And the minister shall be firmly bound by obedience to send him by such brothers as shall watch him day and night like a prisoner until they shall present him to the Lord of Ostia, who is master protector, and corrector of this brotherhood. And let not the brothers say: This is another Rule; for this is a remembrance, a warning, and an exhortation and my Testament which I, little Brother Francis, make for you, my blessed brothers, in order that we may observe in a more Catholic way the Rule which we have promised to the Lord. And let the minister general and all the other ministers and custodes be bound by Edition: current; Page: [ 86 ] obedience not to add to these words or to take from them.
And let them always have this writing with them beside the Rule. And in all the Chapters they hold, when they read the Rule let them read these words also. And I strictly enjoin on all my brothers, clerics and laics, by obedience, not to put glosses on the Rule or on these words saying: Thus they ought to be understood; but as the Lord has given me to speak and to write the Rule and these words simply and purely, so shall you understand them simply and purely 1 and with holy operation observe them until the end.
And whoever shall observe these things 2 may he be filled in heaven with the blessing of the Most High Father and may he be filled on earth with blessing of His Beloved Son together with the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, and all the Powers of heaven and all the saints. And I, Brother Francis, your little one and servant, in so far as I am able, I confirm to you within and without this most holy blessing. We learn from St Bonaventure 1 and the Fioretti 2 that as companions began to flock to St. Francis, the man of God hesitated for a while between adopting a life of prayer or of preaching.
Although, as we know, he finally decided in favor of the apostolate, yet withal he never altogether separated the contemplative from the active life. A precious witness to this fact is found in the Regulation for the brothers during their sojourn in hermitages with which we are now concerned. To understand the scope of this peculiar piece of legislation, it must be borne in mind that at the beginning of the Franciscan movement the friars had no settled domicile. These little solitudes, to which Francis loved to withdraw, may be found wherever the Saint went. And not a little of his spirit still lingers in such of these hermitages as yet remain.
St. Francis of Assisi: Welcome to St. Francis of Assisi Parish!
It was for the government of small loci 2 like these that the present special little Rule was written. Its attribution to St. Francis has not been questioned. The quaint simplicity of its conception proclaims its authenticity, and in none of the codices does it bear the name of any other author than St.
It may have been written about ; its composition certainly belongs to the first decade of the Order. In the ancient collections of St. But in the greater number of the early codices the Admonitions close as in the present translation, and the Edition: current; Page: [ 89 ] opuscule on hermitages is preferably separated from them, as it is in the Assisian codex and that of St. The text which follows is based on the Assisi MS, which has been collated with that of Ognissanti and those at St.
Let those who wish to live religiously in hermitages, be three brothers or four at most. Let two of them be mothers and have two sons, or at least one. Let the two former lead the life of Martha and the other two the life of Mary Magdalene. Let those who lead the life of Mary have one cloister 3 and each his own place, so that they may not live or sleep together. And they must not allow any 3 person to enter into the cloister where they live, or let them eat there.
Let those brothers who are mothers endeavor to keep apart from every person and, by the obedience of their custos, let them guard their sons from every person, so that no one may speak with them. And let these sons not speak with any person except with their mothers and with their custos, when it shall please him to visit them with the blessing of God. Or the seventeen letters attributed to St. In the first category, we must place the familiar letter in which St. Francis gives St. Hence they do not figure in the Quaracchi edition. Neither does the letter Epis.
Francisci et Sociorum ejus. As regards the reclassification of the other letters attributed to St. Francis, but they are not letters; at least, the oldest MSS. Francis for St. Clare; No.
Knights of Columbus
All three are given elsewhere in the present volume in their proper form. The only two letters, then, of St. In a word, as a result of this process of elimination and reclassification, only five of the seventeen letters ascribed to St Francis by Wadding remain to us, namely —. Letter to the General Chapter Ep. To these five letters, the Quaracchi editors have added the undoubtedly authentic letter of St Francis to the Custodes, 1 making six in all Such are the six letters which I have here rendered into English.
Let us now consider each of them in order. The authenticity of this letter has never been called into question. The text itself and the consensus of codices alike bespeak its genuineness. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy. But genuineness will tell.
A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He had no intention of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases.
He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade. During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill.