7. Brief “Cum dilectus filius” of Pius V



Translation and notes by

I FRATI CAPPUCCINI. Documenti e Testimonianze del Primo Secolo. A cura di COSTANZO CARGNONI. Roma 1982, 98-112.


Rome, 10 March 1571. – Father Anselmo da Pietramolara, guardian of the Capuchins assigned to the service of the papal fleet ready for the battle of Lepanto against the Turks, is granted, to him and his associates, extensive faculties and privileges to carry out the sacred ministry for the benefit of the combatants, as well as privileges and graces to each and every one of the faithful of the fleet; the aforesaid religious are authorised to collect alms for the service of the sick, to be administered by an auditor or procurator; the same brothers are recommended to observe the Rule and obey their vicar general in everything.

Source: Edited in AC I, 711-713; BC I, 335 and III, 155. Cf. supra, note 69.

53 Pope Pius V, in perpetual memory of the fact.

1. The beloved son Vicar General of the friars of the Order of Saint Francis, known as Capuchins, has designated, by our commission, (the beloved son) Anselmo da Pietramolara and some friars of the same Order, to be assigned to the fleet of Christians that is being prepared against the infidels, to provide for the administration of the sacraments, to care for the sick, to kindle in everyone, by example and exhortation, the love and fear of God, to animate the soldiers to fight courageously for the faith of Christ; and has assigned Anselm himself to the above-mentioned brothers as guardian, with the faculty of choosing, from among the Capuchin brothers themselves, a substitute and other members.

54 2. We, deeming it necessary that the privileges and faculties listed below be granted in order that the same Anselm and his friars may better fulfil and implement the task for which they are destined, grant and allow, motu proprio and by our own authority in virtue of the present letters, to the aforesaid Anselm, guardian, to his successors, and to the aforesaid friars, entrusted to him now and hereafter to hear the confessions of all the individual members of the aforesaid fleet, whether at sea or in any other place; to absolve them, in the internal forum only and assign a salutary penance, from all sins and ecclesiastical censures, including those contained in the bull usually read “in Coena Domini”; to commute their vows in other works of piety, with the exception of the vows of chastity, and to embrace the religious state; to administer the sacraments of the most holy Eucharist and the anointing of the sick to each and every one of the faithful of the aforesaid Christian fleet, or rather of the military forces and army about to fight against the Turks and infidels, and likewise to celebrate holy Mass with reverence and decorum over the portable altar, in a closed room protected from the winds, on dry land.

55 (We grant) then to each and all of the faithful of the fleet and military forces aforesaid, to choose either one of the said friars, or another approved priest, to hear their confessions and absolve them from all sins, transgressions, crimes, censures and ecclesiastical punishments, even if, as stated above, reserved. We also grant to the said friars, if it is necessary for the needs of the sick, so that they may better help the sick, to ask for alms both in the army and elsewhere; receiving them, however, at the hands of an auditor and procurator, whom the apostolic commissioner shall designate and assign; and to be used for the needs of the sick; so that the said friars shall not receive such alms, nor administer them except as their Rule permits and will be ordered or granted to them through such procurator.

56 By virtue of the present letters we further grant to each of the said brothers the faculty and power, each one in his own trireme, naval squadron, or array assigned to him, whenever they come to arms against the infidels both at sea and on land, to impart by apostolic authority in our name the blessing to the faithful combatants.

57 We further authorise the aforesaid brothers to announce and declare on our behalf, to each and every one of the faithful of the aforesaid fleet and army, the first time that, when they have confessed and are contrite, they have received the most holy Eucharist, the granting of plenary indulgence and the remission of all their sins if they serve gratuitously; of ten years and as many as forty years if they are stipendiary; to all then, stipendiary and non-salaried, and to the other persons of such a fleet, confessed at other times, repentant and communicated, the indulgence of five years and as many forty years; to those who pay in articulo mortis and to those who die in said expedition, combat or battle, if repentant, also the plenary indulgence.

58 Finally, to all those who devoutly attend Mass, sermons and discourses given by the aforesaid friars, and prayers both morning and evening, as they shall determine, we, present through the same (friars), grant and bestow the indulgence of forty days, through the mercy of Almighty God and trusting in the authority of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul.

3. In order that these brothers, while endeavouring to benefit others, may not suffer harm themselves and consequently benefit others less, we command them to observe their own Rule in all things, and to be submissive and humbly obey the vicar general in all and every disposition which shall be imposed and ordained by him.

4. No constitutions or apostolic ordinations, nor any other provision to the contrary, shall be an impediment.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the ring of the Fisherman, on 10 March 1571, the sixth year of our pontificate.


Ad futuram rei memoriam.

1. Cum dilectus filius, vicarius generalis fratrum Ordinis sancti Francisci capuccinorum nuncupatorum, mandato nostro, dilectum etiam filium Anselmum de Petramolaria, et aliquos alios ex fratribus eiusdem Ordinis elegerit, mittendos ad classem christianorum quae contra infideles paratur, ut ibi sacra ministrare, aegrotantium curam gerere, omnes monitis et exemplis ad Dei timorem et amorem accendere, militesque ad viriliter pro Christi fide dimicandum animare studeant: et eundem Anselmum dictis fratribus in guardianum praefecerit, cum potestate alium sibi substituendi et alios ex ipsis fratribus capuccinis socios secum assumendi seu deligendi.

2. Nos, ut ipse Anselmus et fratres, ea ad que mittuntur, melius exsequi et adimplere possint, speciales et infrascriptas facultates et privilegia eis impertienda esse censentes, motu proprio et ex certa nostra scientia eidem Anselmo guardiano eiusque sucessoribus, ac sociis assignatis et assignandis praefatis:

quod omnium et singulorum de classe praefata, tam un mari quam alibi constitutorum, confessiones audire, eosque ab omnibus peccatis et censuris ecclesiasticis et casibus quomodolibet reservatis, etiam in bulla, in die Cenae Domini legi consueta, contentis, in foro conscientiae tantum, iniucta salutari paenitentia absolvere; necnon eorum vota quaecumque, castitatis et religionis votis dumtaxat exceptis, in alia pietatis opera commutare, ac omnibus et singulis christifidelibus de praefata classe christiana seu de copiis et exercitu contra Turcas et infideles pugnaturis, sanctissimae Eucaristiae et Extrema Unctionis sacramenta ministrare; necnon missas super altare portatili in loco clauso et a ventis tuto, in terra cum reverentia et honore celebrare;

omnibus vero et singulis fidelibus de classe et copiis praefatis, ut sibi aliquem tam ex dictis fratribus, quam alium sacerdotem approbatum eligere, qui possit eorum confessiones audire eosque ab omnibus peccatis, excessibus, delictis, censuris et poenis ecclesiasticis, etiam, ut praemittitur, reservatis absolvere; praeterea, ut plenius agrotantibus fratres praefati satisfacere possint, ut ipsi fratres (si opus fuerit, pro ipsorum agrotantium necessitatibus) in classe et alibi elee-mosynas petere, per syndicum tamen seu procuratorem aliquem, a commissario apostolico assignandum seu deputandum recipiendas, et in infirmorum necessitatibus expendendas; ita quod ipsi fratres nec elemosynas huiusmodi recipiant nec administrent, nisi quatenus eorum Regula permittit et per procuratorem praefatum fuerit eis mandatum sive concessum.

Quodque fratres praefati, quandocumque ventum fuerit ad arma contra infideles, sive in mari, sive in terra, quilibet eorum in ea triremi, vel in acie seu agmine, cui assignatus fuerit, fidelibus et pugnantibus nomine nostro, benedic tionem impendere respective possint et valeant, auctoritate apostolica, tenore praesentium facultate concedimus et potestatem.

Insuper omnibus et singulis fidelibus de classe et copiis praedictis, videlicet qui gratis militaverint, pro prima vice, qua confessi et contriti sanctissimam Eucharistiam sumpserint, plenariam omnium et singulorum peccatorum indulgentiam et remissionem; qui vero stipendiati fuerint et eandem sacratissimam Eucharistiam (ut praefertur) prima vice sumpserit, decem annorum et totidem quadragenarum indulgentiam; omnibus autem et singulis stipendiatis et non stipendiatis, et aliis personis dictae classis, aliis vocibus confessis et contritis, ac communicatis, quinque annorum et totidem quadragenarum indulgentiam, et in articulo mortis constitutis atque in praefata expeditione vel pugna seu praeliis morientibus, contritis tamen, plenariam quoque indulgentiam, quam idem fratres a nobis concessam esse, pronunciare et predicare possint.

Item omnibus qui missae vel sermonibus seu concionibus praefatorum fratrum aut orationibus matutinis ac vespertinis horis habendis, prout a praefatis fratribus fuerit ordinatum, devote interfuerint, indulgentiam quadraginta die rum de omnipotentis Dei misericordia ac beatorum Petri e Pauli apostolorum eius auctoritate confisi, per easdem presentes concedimus et elargimur.

3. Ne autem fratres praedicti, dum alis preesse student, sibi detrimentum faciant, aliisque minus prosint, eis mandamus ut in omnibus propriam Regulam observent, necnon vicario generali in omnibus et singulis quae ab eo illis ordinata et praecepta fuerint, pareant et humiliter oboediant.

4. Non obstantibus constitutionibus et ordinationibus apostolicis ceterisque contrariis quibuscumque.

Datum Romae apud Sanctum Petrum, sub annulo Piscatoris, die X marti MDLXXI, pontificatus nostri anno sexto.