3. Brief “Cum sicut nobis” of Paul III



Translation and notes by

I FRATI CAPPUCCINI. Documenti e Testimonianze del Primo Secolo. A cura di COSTANZO CARGNONI. Roma 1982, 75-79.


Rome, 29 April 1536. – The election of Bernardino d’Asti as vicar general of the Order is confirmed, and anyone who is not under the obedience of the aforesaid vicar is forbidden to wear the habit of the Order, under penalty of excommunication “lataesententae ipso facto”.

Source: AGO, QA 221, no. 257, three authentic transcripts dated 6 May 1536, 22 September 1537 and 27 May 1538. CE. AC I, 212-214, 9865; BC 1, 16s. Cf. supra, note 39.

16 Paul II Pope, [to the beloved sons of the Order of minors of Saint Francis, called cappucciati]

Beloved children, health and apostolic blessing.

1. As you recently made us explain, some time ago Clement VII of happy memory, our predecessor, granted with his letters, both in the form of a “brief” and with a lead seal, to the beloved sons of the Order of Friars Minor, Ludovico and Raffaele di Fossombrone, to lead a eremitical life according to the Rule of Blessed Francis, to dress in a habit with a square hood, to admit secular clerics and priests as well as laymen to their community, to wear a beard, to retire to hermitages or in any other place with the consent of the lords of these places, to live there, leading an austere and eremitical life, to beg in any place, and the full and free faculty to use, possess and enjoy aeque principaliter, freely and licitly, all and individual privileges, indults and the graces granted up to now or bestowed in the future, both in general and in species, to the Order of Friars Minor and to the Camaldolese hermitage of the blessed Romualdo and to his hermits, in the same way in which they use, possess and they enjoy it or will enjoy it in the future: Ludovico himself, by virtue of the faculty of these letters, had admitted some secular, religious and lay clerics to his community; and from that moment on, under the government and authority of Ludovico himself as vicar of your congregation, you are committed to offering a grateful service to the Most High.

17 2. Since the aforementioned Ludovico ceased from this office of vicar in the general chapter of your congregation held in Rome in the month of November of the year that has just ended, you, proceeding to elect your new vicar and having elected the beloved vicar of your congregation the beloved son Bernardino d’Asti, professed of your same Order, you have humbly sent us the request to benevolently secure this election, to make it more solid, with the strength of the apostolic confirmation, and to arrange once again for what is stated.

18 3. We therefore, ardently desiring with paternal affection a peaceful condition and a happy success of your aforementioned congregation, in favour of this petition, approve and confirm by apostolic authority, through the present letters, the successful election, as stated, of the aforementioned Bernardino; and we decree that the letters of his predecessor Clemente must be substantiated to the abovementioned Bernardino regarding the exercise of this vicariate, as if they were addressed to him personally.

19 4. We strictly forbid any person of any condition, under penalty of excommunication latae sententiae to be incurred ipso facto, from wearing the habit which you are accustomed to wear, who is not under the obedience and government of Bernardino, your vicar. We establish that anything attempted to the contrary is null and void. We order the general auditor of the curia for the causes of the apostolic chamber who will hold the office at that moment, to guarantee the observance of the provisions contained in these letters, by providing an effective defence, repressing opponents and rebels with censures and ecclesiastical penalties and other suitable remedies, suppressed the possibility of appeal, on the contrary aggravating, even on various occasions, these penalties and censures, resorting, if necessary, to the secular arm.

20 5. Neither the constitution of Boniface VIII, our predecessor, one of the general council and two dietes, nor the other apostolic constitutions, nor privileges of any kind, apostolic indults of any form and content, with any clause or provision, already granted or given in the future; in fact, we establish that all of this has no effect in relation to what has been stated, nor can anything else have it to the contrary.

We provide that the copy of the present letters, signed by the hand of a public notary and bearing the seal of a person constituted in ecclesiastical dignity, be lent, both in the judicial forum and outside it, the same faith as would be lent to the present letters, if they were produced or presented.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the ring of the fisherman, on April 29, 1536, the second year of our pontificate.


Dilecti filii, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem.

1. Cum sicut nobis nuper exponi fecistis, alias, postquam felicis recordationis Clemens papa VII, predecessor noster, dilectis filiis Ludovico et Raphaeli Forosemproniensibus Ordinis fratrum minorum, ut secundum Regulam beati Francisci vitam eremiticam ducere, et habitum cum capucio quadrato gestare, necnon omnes tam clericos saeculares et presbyteros quam laicos ad eorum consortium recipere, et barbam deferre, et ad eremitoria seu loca alia quaecumque, cum consensu dominorum eorundem locorum, se conferre, et in eis habitare, vitamque austeram et eremiticam inibi agere, et in quibuscumque locis mendicare, necnon omnibus et singulis privilegiis, indultis et gratis Ordini fratrum minorum huiusmodi, ac eremo camaldulensi beati Romualdi illiusque eremitis in genere, vel in specie, eatenus concessis et in posterum concedendis, aeque principaliter uti, potiri et gaudere libere et licite valerent, plenam et liberam per suas tam in forma brevis quam sub plumbo litteras, facultatem concesserat: ipseque Ludovicus facultatis litterarum huiusmodi vigore, nonnullos clericos saeculares ac religiosos et laicos ad eius consortium receperat; ac ex tunc vos, sub ipsius Ludovici tamquam congregationis vestrae vicarii cura et superioritate, gratum Altissimo famulatum exhibere studueratis;

2. cum dictus Ludovicus officio vicariatus huiusmodi in capitulo generali ipsius vestrae congregationis in alma Urbe de mense novembris anni proxime praeteriti celebrato cessisset; vos ad electionem novi vicarii vestri procedentes, dilectum filium Bernardinum Astensem, ipsius Ordinis vestri professorem,

in vicarium eiusdem congregationis vestrae elegeritis, nobis humiliter supplicari fecistis ut electioni huiusmodi pro illius subsistentia firmiori, robur apostolicae firmitatis adicere, ac alias in praemissis opportune providere, de benignitate apostolica dignaremur.

3. Nos igitur prosperum et tranquillum statum et felicem successum vestrae congregationis huiusmodi paterno zelantes affectu, huiusmodi supplica-tionibus inclinati, electionem de persona dici Bernardini, ut praefertur, factam, auctoritate apostolica tenore presentium approbamus et confirmamus; necnon litteras Clementis predecessoris huiusmodi praefato Bernardino, quoad exercitium vicariatus huiusmodi, perinde ac si ei directae fuissent, suffragari debere, decernimus.

4. districtius inhibentes quibuscumque personis cuiuscumque conditionis exsistant, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae poena eo ipso incurrenda, ne habitum per vos deferre solitum, nisi sub eiusdem Bernardini vicari obedientia et cura permaneant, gestare quoquomodo praesumant; ac decernentes irritum et inane quicquid secus contigerit attentari; necnon mandantes curiae causarum Camerae Apostolica generali auditori, pro tempore exsistenti, ut vobis in praemissis efficacis defensionis praesidio assistendo faciat, auctoritate nostra, praesentes litteras et in eis contenta firmiter observari; contradictores quoslibet et rebelles per censuras et poenas ecclesiasticas, et alia opportune iuris remedia appellatione postposita, compescendo, ac censuras ac poenas ipsas iteratis vicibus aggravando, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis.

5. Non obstantibus premissis ac piae memoriae Bonifatii papae octavi et predecessoris nostri de una et concilii generalis de duabus dietis et aliis apostolicis constitutionibus necnon quibusvis privileglis et indultis apostolicis sub quibuscumque tenoribus et formis ac cum quibusvis clausulis et decretis concessis et concedendis quae adversus praemissa nullatenus suffragari posse volumus, ceterisque contraris quibuscumque.

Decernentes transumptis presentiarum manu notarii publici subscriptis et sigillo alicuius persone in dignitate ecclesiastica constitutae munitis, eandem prorsus fidem in iudicio et extra adhibendam fore quae ipsis praesentibus adhiberetur, si forent exhibitae vel ostensae.

Datum Romae apud Sanctum Petrum, sub annulo Piscatoris, die XXIX aprilis MDXXXVI, pontificatus nostri anno secundo.

[A tergo:] Dilectis filiis fratribus Ordinis minorum sancti Francisci capuciatorum nuncupatis.