11. Brief “Alias felicis recordationis” of Paul V



Translation and notes by

I FRATI CAPPUCCINI. Documenti e Testimonianze del Primo Secolo. A cura di COSTANZO CARGNONI. Roma 1982, 134-138.


Rome, 28 January 1619. – In consideration of the fecund fruits that the Capuchins reap every day in the field of the Lord, they are granted, in addition to absolution from any canonical sentence and penalties concerning the matter, total and perpetual exemption from the burden of requesting confirmation of the elected General Vicar from the General Minister of the Conventuals; on this they are not to be harassed, disturbed or disturbed in any way or by any authority. Derogation clauses follow.

Source: AGO, QA 234, n. 641, original. Cf. AC II, 978s; III, 2835; BC I, 62s; AM XXV, 559 (593). Cf. supra, note 107.

72 Paul V pope, in perpetual memory of the fact.

1. In his time Pope Paul III of happy memory, our predecessor, accepting the petitions of his beloved sons, the brothers of the Order of the Friars Minor of Saint Francis, known as Capuchins, humbly presented to him at that time, established and ordered by apostolic authority and by his certain knowledge, by letters bearing the seal of lead,[1] that from that time the said brothers having ascertained the concurrence of the majority of the electors, to present or cause to be presented, as soon as conveniently possible, the election of the Vicar General of the said Order to the Minister General of the Friars Minor, known as Conventuals, as had been the practice up to that time and until otherwise disposed of by the Apostolic See. The Minister General was then obliged to confirm the elected vicar within three days of the presentation received by him; and after the three days had passed without confirming him, the elected vicar was to be considered confirmed by authority of the Apostolic See, according to certain procedures and forms expressed on that occasion, as is explained exhaustively in the aforementioned letters of our predecessor Paul III, the content of which we wish to consider as sufficiently expressed in the present letters.

73 2. We, fixing our attention on the fecund and sweet fruits which the aforesaid Capuchin Friars, with divine blessing, daily reap in the field of the Lord, desiring to reward the said Friars with special favours and graces, inclined to the entreaties humbly presented to us on their behalf, we absolve and declare their individual persons absolved, solely in order to achieve the effect referred to in the present letters, from any sentence of excommunication, suspension and interdiction or of any other kind from censures and penalties a iure and ab homine issued on any occasion and for any cause whatsoever, should they be affected thereby.

3. By virtue of the present letters we grant and consent by apostolic authority that from now on, in perpetuity in the future, the above-mentioned Capuchin brothers are no longer obliged to submit the election of their general vicar to the aforesaid general minister and to ask the latter for confirmation of such election, nor can they be compelled or forced to do so by any person or authority; by virtue of and in accordance with the present letters we dissolve, totally exempt and free the Capuchin brothers themselves from the burden of presenting such an election and of asking for its confirmation; which brothers are, and must be, totally dissolved and totally exempted and freed from such a burden; and the present letters are to be considered valid, stable, and effective always and in perpetuity, and are to be of perfect benefit to the said brothers in every respect, and they cannot and should not be subjected to any harassment, disturbance, or disquietude of any kind, by anyone or any authority whatsoever in this regard; and they are to be judged and decided in this way, and not otherwise, in every place by any ordinary or delegated judge and by the auditors of the cases of the apostolic palace; it would be invalid and vain to attempt otherwise in this matter by anyone and by any authority, whether knowingly or through ignorance.

74 4. The letters of the aforesaid Paul (our) predecessor, nor constitutions and apostolic ordinations, statutes and customs of the aforesaid Orders, even if they are accompanied by an oath, apostolic confirmation or any other support, be they also privileges, indults, apostolic letters, granted to them to their superiors by whatever name designated, to friars, in whatever form or content, with whatever revocation of derogation, or other clauses, be they even the most unusual, efficacious and invalidating, and other decrees in general and in particular, granted, confirmed and renewed in any way in the past against what is premised.

5. We specifically and expressly waive, especially for this time, each and every one of the foregoing prescriptions, even if special, specific, express and individual word-for-word mention of them and their entire contents is required, and not merely general clauses or any other expressions or forms purposely sought; deeming these letters to be fully and sufficiently expressed as if they referred to the foregoing contents and the same were inserted word-for-word therein, allowing the said prescriptions to remain otherwise in force. We also expressly derogate from everything else that is in any way contrary.

Given at Rome, at S. Maria Maggiore, under the ring of the Fisherman, on the 28th day of January 1619, in the 14th year of our pontificate.


Ad perpetuam rei memoriam.

1. Alias felici recordationis Paulus papa III predecessor noster, supplicationibus dilectorum filiorum fratrum Ordinis minorum sancti Francisci capuccinorum nuncupatorum, sibi humiliter porrectis tunc inclinatus, autoritate apostolica et ex certa scientia sua, per suas sub plumbo expeditas litteras statuit et ordinavit, quod ex tunc deinceps idem fratres electionem vicari generalis dicti Ordinis, si a maiori parte eligentium celebraretur, quam primum commode fieri posset, ministro generali fratrum minorum conventualium nuncupatorum, sicut eatenus servatum fuerat, donec aliud desuper ordinatum a Sede Apostolica fuisset, presentare seu praesentari facerent, ipseque minister generalis intra triduum a praesentatione sibi facta, ipsum electum vicarium confirmare teneretur, et triduo elapso, et electo non confirmato, idem electus pro confirmato, Sedis Apostolicae auctoritate, haberetur, sub certis modo et forma tunc expressis, prout in dictis Pauli predecessoris huiusmodi litteris, quarum tenores praesentibus pro sufficienter expressis haberi volumus, plenius continetur.

2. Nos ad uberes et suaves fructus quos, sicut accepimus, idem fratres capuccini in agro dominico in dies, benedicente Domino, afferunt, nostrae considerationis dirigentes intuitum illosque specialibus favoribus et gratis prosequi volentes et eorum singulares personas a quibusvis excommunicationis, suspensionis et interdicti altisque ecclesiasticis sententiis, censuris et poenis a iure vel ab homine, quavis occasione vel causa latis, si quibus quomodolibet innodatae existunt, ad effectum praesentium dumtaxat consequendum, harum serie absolventes et absolutas fore censentes, supplicationibus eorum nomine nobis humiliter porrectis inclinati;

3. quod de catero perpetuis futuris temporibus, fratres capuccini praefati electionem eorum vicari generalis praefato ministro generali presentare et ab illo confirmationem electionis huiusmodi petere, minime teneantur, nec ad id a quoquam quavis auctoritate cogi, vel compelli possint, apostolica auctoritate, tenore presentium, concedimus et indulgemus, eosdem fratres capuccinos ab onere presentandi electionem huiusmodi et illius confirmationem petendi, auctoritate et tenore presentium omnino absolvimus, et totaliter eximimus et liberamus, illosque ab onere huiusmodi omnino absolutos ac totaliter exemptos et liberatos fore et esse; presentesque litteras semper et perpetuo validas, firmas et efficaces exsistere, dictisque fratribus capuccinis in omnibus et per omnia plenissime suffragari, nec eos desuper a quoquam quavis auctoritate, quomodolibet molestari, perturbari vel inquietari posse aut debere; sicque et non aliter, per quoscumque iudices ordinarios et delegatos et causarum palatii apostolici auditores, ubique iudicari et definiri debere, ac irritum et inane si secus super his a quoquam qua is auctoritate scienter vel ignoranter contigerit attentari, decernimus et declaramus.

4. Non obstantibus litters dicti Pauli predecessoris, ac constitutionibus et ordinationibus apostolicis, necnon ordinum praefatorum, etiam iuramento, confirmatione apostolica, vel quavis firmitate alia roboratis statutis et consutudinibus, privilegis quoque, indultis et litters apostolicis, illis et eorum superioribus, quocumque nomine nuncupatis et fratribus, sub quibuscumque tenoribus et formis, ac cum quibusvis etiam derogatoriarum derogatoris, alisque efficacioribus et insolitis clausulis, irritantibusque et alis decretis in genere, vel in specie, ac alias in contrarium praemissorum quomodolibet concessis, confirmatis et innovatis.

Quibus omnibus et singulis, etiamsi de illis corumque totis tenoribus specialis, specifica, expressa et individua, ac de verbo ad verbum, non autem per clausulas generales, idem importantes mentio, seu quaevis alia expressio habenda, aut aliqua alia exquisita forma ad ho servanda foret, tenores huiusmodi, ac si de verbo ad verbum insererentur, praesentibus pro plene et sufficienter expressis habentes, illis alias in suo robore permansuris, hac vice dumtaxat specialiter et expresse derogamus, ceterisque contraris quibuscumque.

Datum Romae apud Sanctam Mariam Maiorem, sub anulo Piscatoris, die XXVIII ianuarii MDCXIX, pontificatus nostri anno decimo quarto.

  1. The bull Exponi nobis (25 August 1536) of Paul III: Cf. above, doc. 4.