a work of

from I Frati Cappuccini, a work of Costanzo Cargnoni, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, 1991, I, pages 178-225.

English version prepared by Gary Devery OFM Cap

Translation note: Translation by Isidore Mausolf in Round Table of Franciscan Research 7-8(1941-1942) 116-126. He prefaces the translation (p.116, note1): “This translation is made from the Latin as found in the AOC, vol. V (1889), pp.13-21, with constant consultation of the Italian version published by the General Curia at Rome in 1913 under title of Le Prime Constituzioni (read Costituzioni) dei Frati Minori Cappuccini di San Francesco. Even a cursory glance will reveal great discrepancies between the two. The translator chose the Latin version because it was published as the authentic version at the command of the Most Reverend Father Bernard of Andermatt, General of the Order. At the same time, the translator has made use of the Italian to clarify the meaning of the Latin text at times, but in no instance has he abandoned the Latin for the Italian version.” The Italian text was not published by Edouard d’Alençon. In Liber Memorialis, 339, note 1 he says: “Nota bene. Haec impressio pluries nobis adscripta fuit, sed absque fundamento. Partem quidem habuimus in illa paranda, monumenta Archivi generalis deferendo Prooemii scriptori: sed nil amplius. Tacere non possumus quod novam partitione, in articulos improbavimus, quum serranda fuisset Boveriana divisio. Cuique suum. Nacta occasione publice haec voluimus declamare. F.Ed.Al.” As he indicates, the Latin version in the Analecta OFMCap is from Boverio’s “faithful” Latin translation of the Italian and follows his numbering [Boverius I (1932) 117-125]. With Melchiorre da Pobladura’s publication of the Origo et progressus ordinis fratrum minorum capuccinorum by Paolo da Foligno [MHOMC VII, 1955] there appeared an earlier Italian transcription of the Statutes of Albacina (pp. 58-73) with its own numbering. Except for some slight variations Paolo’s version corresponds with that published in Italian by Mattia da Salò, Historia Cappuccina, pars prima, [MHOMC V, 1946] 158-172, the earliest found version to date. Mattia’s manuscript text is the version of the Statutes of Albacina that appear in Constitutiones ordinis fratrum minorum capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae, Vol. I, Constitutiones Antiquae (1529-1643), Editio anastatica, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1980, pages 18-31.

CapDox editior note: The paragraphs have been arranged and numbered to coincide with those found in I Frati Cappuccini, a work of Costanzo Cargnoni, Vol. I, pages 178-225.

(Access digital version of Italian text in Frati cappuccini here)

(Access digital version of Latin text in Frati cappuccini here)



81 [Prologue] – The constitutions that were made in Alvacina are found under the name of Brother Lodovico da Fossombrone, because with them he organised the Capuchin congregation all the time that he governed it, and it may be that he sometimes added some things to them, in accordance as to what he saw as necessary to its progress.[1]

[Serving the Lord]

82 1. First of all, we beg and exhort in the Lord all the friars of our congregation,[2] and especially the superiors, who hold the position of Vicar of God,[3] that with all earnestness they attend to the observance of these Constitutions and guard the beautiful concord instituted by the Lord for this Order. For if those things which lack sense and reason observe the order set up for them by God, certainly those who are endowed with reason ought to do so much more; and more especially they ought to be known for this, who like the angels stand before God and serve Him, who like a most clear mirror and like the flashing luminaries of the world are to lead others to God, the ultimate aim and end of all, by the holy words and the more holy example of their lives, and by whose example the other friars shall strive carefully to observe with uniformity[4] those things which are contained in these Constitutions.

We do not change the ancient manner of life, nor even to lay the snare of mortal sin for any friars, if at times it should happen that they act contrary to these statutes: but kissing the feet[5] of all, we exhort in the Lord first of all the superiors, and then the other friars, that they take care to observe these Constitutions purely and simply and without gloss,[6] until the Lord designs to set up something else through other servants of His, more enlightened than we are.

Although we publish these Constitutions at this time when this small and as yet tender Congregation does not need many statutes in which to contain the norms for the perfect observance of the Rule, with the passage of time many things will be added, when the Order has branched out into more Provinces and subordinates friaries; nevertheless, we desire that these Constitutions, which common prayer, the Spirit of God, and religious simplicity have brought forth, shall always remain fixed and unchanged; which however we submit to the judgment and decision of the Holy Roman Church.

These are the things therefore, that, it seems opportune to us to set up now for the good of the whole Congregation.

[Liturgy and contemplation]

83 2. First of all in regard to the Canonical Hours: we exhort all and we decree that they shall be said by all in choir devoutly, with proper pauses, without any modulation of the voice, or variation or chant. According to the ancient custom of the Order, Matins shall always be said at night; the rest of the hours at the proper times, Sext and None excepted, which may be recited according to established custom.[7]

84 3. Moreover, we decree: No other Office shall be added in choir, except the Office of the Blessed Virgin. However, if any of the friars out of special devotion desires to recite the Seven Penitential Psalms, the Office of the Dead or any other vocal prayers, he may do so alone or with a companion outside of choir, so long as the Office is not being said in choir; but not in choir or in the church, lest their voices should disturb those who are occupied in mental prayer. This is decreed first, in order that the friars gathering together, with greater devotion, shall duly recite the Canonical Hours, prescribed by the Rule and the Church; then also that they may find more leisure to give to private and mental prayers, which are often more useful and excellent than mere vocal prayers.[8]


85 4. We also decree that in towns and cities where there are several churches, seculars may join the friars to hear the Divine Office.[9] During the Sacred Triduum in Holy Week, Matins shall be said, not in the evening hours, but at midnight according to our custom, for this was the custom of our oldest fathers.

86 5. Again we decree that the friars shall by no means attend the funerals of the dead, nor carry out the obsequies[10], except in case of necessity. Nor shall they join processions, except those which are held on Corpus Christi and the Rogation days, and in public necessities. From all others, however, they shall abstain as far as they can[11], so long as they avoid scandal, in order that they may apply themselves the more to peace and solitude.[12]

[Fraternal communion and poverty]

87 6. Again we decree moreover that only one Mass shall be celebrated in the friary each day, at which all the other priests shall assist, according to the ancient custom of the Order,[13] especially since this was the mind and admonition of our holy Father Francis.[14] Wherefore the superior shall not force any of the other priests to celebrate, except on great feast days or in time of necessity. And they shall take care with great diligence not to accept Gregorian Masses or any other number of Masses, lest they impose the necessity of celebrating on the priests. Moreover, the superiors shall by all means take care lest, led on by base cupidity, they induce the people to come to our hermitages or monasteries for the celebration of Mass, that they may receive alms from them.[15]

Finally we decree and ordain that they shall by no means bind themselves to celebrate Masses for seculars. However, if anyone asks us to celebrate Mass for him, they can prudently answer that we will pray for him in our Masses: then in the Mass a collect shall be added for him, in order to satisfy his devotion. But if it happens that a Mass is celebrated for anyone out of charity, we absolutely forbid the friars to receive a stipend or alms for it, or for any prayers said by them for anyone at all. But if anyone brings them bread or wine or something else necessary for food, they shall not be received unless it is done as though no prayer had been said for him. For the Mass and prayer ought to be offered to God purely and simply from charity.[16]

[Discrete austerity]

88 7. We decree, besides, that the customary discipline shall be taken every day after Matins except in winter in colder places: then it can be transferred to the evening hours.[17]

[Prayer, silence, sensible hospitality]

We also decree that the established hours and times of mental prayer shall be observed every day. The times set aside for prayer are: a full hour before Tierce in the morning and another after Vespers, which may never be omitted for any reason whatsoever, except by those who are sick for whom one hour suffices, or those who on account of some grave necessity are excused by the superior, whom they must obey by all means.[18]

Let them remember, however, that these hours are set aside for right order and the common good of the Order, especially for those friars who are of a colder and more negligent spirit: that by the positive prescription of these hours, they may be compelled to pray, which is so necessary for religious men. For the fervent and devout friars will not be satisfied with these two hours at all, but they will spend in prayer and meditation all the time that is left to them after their works of obedience, and like real men of prayer, they shall pray everywhere and adore the Father in spirit and in truth.[19] To this earnestness for prayer we urgently exhort all the friars, especially because this is the end and aim of all: that we should adhere to God in perfect charity.[20]

90 9. We decree, moreover, that silence shall be observed inviolably by all from the first signal for Compline until the Conventual Mass has been celebrated, which law we wish to be perpetual. And besides, from Easter until the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the signal for silence shall be given every day after the morning reflection and the washing of the cooking utensils, and silence shall be observed by all until the hour of Vespers.[21]

But if any friar shall violate the time of silence, he shall accuse himself of it publicly and shall take the discipline for a penance.

91 10. We also decree that if, during these times of silence, any seculars or anyone else come to the monastery, the porter, for which office only a prudent, devout and obedient man can be chosen, shall inform the superior or another friar appointed to this office, who shall take care of him and edify him by spiritual conversation. But the others to whom that office has not been confided, shall abstain from talking and conversing with seculars, except for a gravely urgent cause.[22]

[Nourishing the body and above all the spirit]

92 11. We decree that Guardians and local superiors shall take care that some spiritual book always be read in the refectory while the friars take their meals, which all shall listen to devoutly, as is the ancient custom of the Order and is laid down in the Decretals: that reading shall take place at the table of religious.[23]

93 11. No seculars shall be admitted to the common table of the friars unless a most grave cause demands it. When they are admitted, the table shall not be covered with a tablecloth, but the customary napkin shall be given both to the seculars and to the friars.[24]

94 13. We decree that at table only one kind of food or soup shall be served. But at the time of fasts, a salad, cooked or raw, can be added. But if fish, meat or some other food unbecoming to the friars shall be given them as alms, they may eat it, at the proper time, with the blessing of God, so long as only two kinds of food are served at table, from those things which are available to the cook.[25]

95 14. We decree that if any of the friars wishes to abstain from meat and wine, which we exhort all to do in the Lord, the superior shall not stop them, unless he sees that such friars are acting indiscreetly, or that such abstinence will obviously lead to their ruin. Wherefore the superiors shall exhort their subjects to this abstinence only with prudence and discretion. And the subjects shall not act obstinately or stubbornly in these things, but obey their prelates. At table only wine well diluted with water shall be used.[26]

96 15. In the same way if any of the friars wishes to fast more than usual, or to keep some lent[27] not mentioned in the Rule he shall not be hindered by the superior as long as he will suffer no harm by it, as said above, and uses the common food at the common table with others.

[Poverty in everything]

97 16. The furniture of our houses shall be cheap and simple, as becomes the poor, and as we were taught by our holy fathers, that in all things which pertain to the use of the house, scarcity, cheapness and poverty shall shine forth most of all.[28]

98 17. We decree that meat, eggs and cheese shall not be begged for purposely. But if they are offered freely as alms by the faithful, they may be accepted so long as the virtue of holy poverty is observed and shines forth in all things.

And if it happens that these things are sent to the friary by the benefactors, the superior and the other friars shall take great care that they do not abundantly supply for the needs of the monastery, nor allow themselves to be overcome by any avarice or cupidity, by relying less on Divine Providence, so that to increase their means of subsistence, they receive more abundant alms, and keep for the future a provision of sumptuous food; but instead, considering their state[29] of most high poverty which they have promised to God, they shall refuse them. This is that poverty which, as our Seraphic Father Saint Francis teaches, makes us dearest brothers, heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven; which makes us poor in earthly things, but exalts us in virtues. Let this be your portion which will lead you into the land of the living.[30] But when they do receive such alms, let them attend both to the quantity and to the quality, so that they do not violate the poverty of our Rule.

18. We further decree that the superiors shall be so cautious and prudent in begging alms that they avoid a long, future provision of things; but they shall beg the necessary things either every day or for a period of three days and at the most they shall set aside enough for the space of one week, having always fixed in their mind, and showing in deed their state of most high poverty, which we have promised God in the Rule.[31]

100 19. Again we decree that no superior nor any of the other friars shall dare to keep in the friary a large cask or keg of wine for the use of the friars, but they shall use only a flask or flagon to hold their wine. They shall use only as many as are necessary for the family of friars.[32]

[Austerity in clothing]

101 20. We decree besides that if any friar wishes to be content with the habit alone, that is permitted to him with the blessing of God and of our Blessed Father Francis; this the Rule[33] grants to him. But those who need more in order to bear the cold shall have a coarse and poor tunic which shall not extend any farther than to the middle of the legs. But if there are some sick or weak or aged friars who on account of necessity ask for more clothing, the superior may grant them a cloak or mantle,[34] which shall reach to the fingertips. The cords, however, with which the friars are girdled, shall be coarse and plain and tied by simple knots, without any singularity.[35]

102 21. The superiors shall provide for the clothing of the friars according to their present, not their future, needs, placing all their hope and trust in the Lord who clothes the lilies of the field.

103 22. Let the superiors as well as the friars be careful that the width of the habit does not exceed eleven common palms. For those who are more corpulent one more palm at most may be added. The tunics shall be seven palms long. The sleeves both of the habits and of the tunics shall be so narrow and poor that they suffice only for passing the arms in and out.[36]

[Footwear for apostolate]

104 23. We also decree that those who cannot go barefoot, after they have made a few days’ trial, may wear sandals, as we read that the Apostles and our first fathers wore. However they shall be poor, sewn with simple thread as becomes the poor, and by no means shall they use shoes.[37]

[The grace of preaching]

105 24. We decree, besides, that preachers of the Word of God, when they make a journey to preach the Divine Word, shall take with them not more than two or three books, which they judge the most necessary for themselves.[38]

The superiors shall not allow those preachers to be idle whom they know have been endowed by God with greater preaching ability, but they shall send them into the Lord’s vineyard that they may labour in it not only during Lent but also at other times of the year. Those who are deputed to that office must remember that the most important part of preaching is the life and good morals of the preacher himself. Wherefore, caring less for ornate verbiage and subtle speculations, they shall attend more to the utility of the hearers, and preach the holy Gospel of our Lord simply and purely. The other priests and clerics, who are not preachers, shall be granted, besides the Breviary, one spiritual book either manuscript or printed, and with that they shall be content.[39]

[Using without possessing]

106 25. We decree moreover that none of the friars shall take for himself what has been granted to another friar for his use, without the consent of the friar and permission from the superior. Those who do otherwise shall accuse themselves of it in the refectory before the superior who, having severely admonished him, shall order him to fast once on bread and water, lest he fall into the same vices again. Those to whose use something has been granted shall put some kind of mark on it, so that it can be distinguished from others.[40]

[Simplicity without curiosity]

We also decree that all the friars shall wear coarse garments as is commanded in the Rule;[41] they shall make them from the coarser and poorer cloth which can be obtained easily in the place where they are.

108 27. No one shall take a flask, a satchel or hat with him on a journey; but those who need them shall have only two pairs of drawers and a pair of handkerchiefs. They shall be careful that there is no singularity about their breviaries or the markers in them, or the rosaries which they use; nor shall they take anything with them which is more redolent of feminine levity than of religious gravity and contempt of all things.[42]

[Study and devotion]

109 28. We decree, furthermore, that no one shall presume to engage in literary studies, but the friars shall read only the Sacred Scriptures and some devout authors who will teach them how to love God and embrace the Cross of Christ.[43]

[Pastoral work and solitude]

110 29. Besides, no confessor shall be appointed to hear the confessions of others, who has not reached at least his fortieth year; and he shall be of tried life, devout, and adorned with virtues, and of such learning that he can distinguish between the various sins. No one is allowed to hear the confessions of seculars, unless a most urgent and absolutely necessary cause demands it, which is left to the judgment of the superior. For every rule suffers exception.[44]

111 30. We decree moreover that the care of nuns of any Order whatsoever shall not be accepted by our friars, except with the express permission of the General Chapter.[45]

[Possessing nothing]

112 31. We also decree that all books shall be put in some common room,[46] except those which are granted to the special use of some friar. If another of the friars asks to exchange a book with him, he may never refuse, so long as he is not actually using it. But that shall be done with the consent of the superior lest they commit the crime of proprietorship. This applies to other things also, no matter how valueless they may be.[47]

113 32. Again, no friar shall give any gift to anyone inside or outside the Order without permission from his superior.[48]

114 33. No one shall write letters to his relatives or strangers, or send those he has written, or receive any, unless he has obtained permission from his superior.[49]

[Vocation ministry and formation]

115 34. We also decree that those who are to be received into our Order and way of life shall first be tried in some friary for a period of fifteen days, retaining secular clothes. The superiors shall simply observe this point of the Rule: that they go and sell all they have and take care to give it to the poor. Then they shall fulfill what follows: afterwards they shall grant him the clothes of probation, so that they distribute their things to the poor before they receive the habit.[50]

116 35. No one shall be received into the Order who has not completed his fifteenth year of age, and not even then if he has too boyish a face. For such ought by no means to be received. The major superiors shall take care lest they receive anyone contrary to this decree.[51]

117 36. The novices during the time of probation shall learn the Rule word for word and commit it to memory; this obligation rests on the master of novices.[52]

118 37. Besides, we decree that the newly professed clerics and lay-brothers shall be given a master to whom they shall be subject for four years, and be perfectly instructed by him in the way of the spirit and of perfection.[53]

119 38. None of the professed shall dare to presume to enter the cell of any novice without the permission of the master or the Guardian. And none of the novices shall enter the cell of another friar without the permission of his master or Guardian. Those who do otherwise shall fast a full day on bread and water and publicly accuse themselves of it before the superior.[54]

[More on poverty and austerity]

120 39. The friars shall not have razors, except perhaps one in case some urgent necessity arises, or, to use in drawing blood from the sick. The tonsure of the friars shall be cut every twenty days with scissors.[55]

121 40. Moreover, we decree that when the friars wish to erect new hermitages or monasteries, they take for themselves only as much land as seems congruous with our state of poverty.[56]

122 41. Furthermore, we wish that there be no mention of any procurator or syndic among us. Instead it shall be a perpetual and inviolable rule with us that we shall have no procurator or syndic except Christ our Lord; our procuratrix and protectress shall be the Most Blessed Virgin Mother of God; our substitute the Blessed Father Francis. All other procurators we absolutely reject. We wish this to be observed inviolably.[57]

123 42. We decree, besides, that no beast of burden, neither ass nor mule nor horse, shall be provided for in our monasteries, but our prelates shall travel on foot. But if on account of sickness or some other legitimate cause, it is necessary for someone to ride, let him use an ass, after the example of Christ who sat upon an ass and of the Blessed Father Francis, who when he suffered extreme need, was borne by an ass; nor do we read of any other kind of beast being used by them. Nevertheless, from the Rule they can learn at what times, for what causes, and to whom it is permitted to ride horseback.[58]

124 43. We decree, moreover, that the friars shall not in any way wear birettas or hats either inside or outside the monastery.[59]

125 44. Cases which are reserved in the Order are understood to be reserved to the superiors. From these no-one except the superiors can absolve.[60]

126 45. Again, on Wednesdays all shall abstain from meat.[61]

127 46. Again, no one shall lock his cell or anything else with a key, but the cells shall always be kept open so that those who wish may enter.[62]

[Concerning the eremitical life]

128 47. In all our monasteries where it can be done conveniently one or two little cells shall be built in some solitary place, a little distance from the dwelling of the friars, so that if any of the friars, inflamed by the Spirit of God to more perfect things, wishes by divine inspiration to lead an eremitical life in silence, and if that seems good to the superior, he may withdraw to it with the blessing of God and his superior and live a solitary life.

Wherefore, we exhort all the superiors that if they find any friars suited for this life, they shall never deny them this solitude. But those who have withdrawn into solitude shall observe silence. Without the permission of their superior they shall speak with no one except their superiors and their spiritual father. Nor shall any friar approach them for the sake of conversation. Everyday the friars shall bring them the food necessary for their sustenance from the monastery in silence and without any noise, so that they may peacefully give themselves to God and to prayer, by which they will be more perfectly united to God.[63]

[Superiors for service]

129 48. Furthermore, we decree that both the Vicars General and Provincial as well as the Guardians may be re-elected to their offices in the chapter, as long as they have conducted themselves well in these offices, and have been conscientious in guarding the observance of regular life.[64]

But if the superiors, either major or minor, even the Vicars General and provincial, have not exercised their offices properly, but their administration has been dangerous for the confraternity, we wish that the discreets and vocals depose them in the chapter, and appoint others in their place. But Guardians who show themselves unworthy of their office may be removed by the Vicar Provincial with the consent of the Definitory.[65]

The re-election of the other Vicars General shall take place every three years, of Provincials, however, every year, and the same for Guardians. But above all, we admonish them that all elections are to be carried out purely and simply, for the glory of God and the common good of the fraternity, having this alone before the eyes of their mind: that regular discipline flourish more day by day. In the elections all shall avoid as worse than a snake, any striving for honours, campaigning or canvassing for votes. Let those who do such things know that they are cursed by the Most High God and the Blessed Father Francis.[66]

[Small and poor habitations of the friars]

131 50. We decree, moreover, that outside the chapter no place shall be received for a dwelling without the authorization and permission of the father Vicar General. The places which are to be built shall be chosen outside the cities or towns. They shall be at least a mile away from the towns. And they shall always be subject to the power of the city or the owners who granted them to the friars.[67] On this condition shall they be accepted by the friars: that they may leave them whenever the Rule cannot be observed there purely, or whenever the owner of the place wishes them to leave. Then without any delay or contradiction the friars shall depart from those places and go to another place, to which they were appointed by their superior, to do penance there with the blessing of God.[68]

132 51. Again we decree that the monasteries which are to be built shall be built as humbly as possible, from mud and twigs, or from rock and clay where twigs cannot be had easily. The churches are excepted, for they must be built decently, but they shall be small because of our state of poverty. The cells shall be so poor, humble and narrow that they seem to be graves of the living and a prison for penitents rather than places where one dwells comfortably.[69]

133 52. And the friars shall not have vain or precious pictures in their cells; but they shall be content with some small and poor images of Christ our Crucified Lord, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, or wooden crosses decorated with the symbols of the Passion of the Lord, like the lance, the sponge or the reed, and other things like that.[70]

134 53. We decree, besides, that if any already constructed monasteries are offered to us, they shall on no account be accepted unless they are humble and most poor, and both the church and the house are so cheaply made that they are in accord with holy poverty, according to the intention and wish of our holy Father Francis, as he himself admonished saying: The friars shall have small and poor churches and dwellings, and they shall on no account accept what is built for them unless they are built according to that holy poverty which we have firmly promised in the Rule. There they shall dwell like strangers and pilgrims.[71] When such places are to be accepted, the superiors shall seek and follow the counsel of the older friars and those who are zealous for poverty.

[More on discrete austerity]

135 54. We decree, moreover, that the friars who suffer from no sickness or infirmity of body shall sleep either on bare boards or on boards covered with a rough mat or straw, but without a straw mattress. Those who wish may use a pillow of straw for their head.[72]

[To avoid distractions]

136 55. The friars shall beware lest on any account they allow women to enter our houses or hermitages. They shall prudently forbid them to enter. As Augustine said: For they cannot easily overcome the world and women except by fleeing from them.[73]

137 56. We further decree that no bodies, except those of our deceased friars, shall be buried in our churches, unless by chance it would be that of some poor person who has been denied burial by the pastor on account of his poverty.[74] If such bodies are brought to our hermitages or houses, they shall be received and given burial, for that is a work of piety. Nor shall they accept anything for the burial, but they shall pray God for his soul out of charity.[75]

138 57. We decree, moreover, that the friars shall not take food outside of the established times for eating; they shall be careful lest while walking through the garden, they take, after the manner of boys, some fruit or anything else to eat without the permission of their superior;[76] for such a thing is very unbecoming in a religious.

But when they are on a journey and need food, before they eat, they shall ask the blessing of the major or senior friar; and this they shall do even when they go to another monastery, so that they eat nothing at all without the permission of the superior.[77]

[First and foremost brothers]

139 58. Besides, we decree that when the necessity of talking arises during the times of silence or at any other time, either inside or outside the monastery, the friars shall accustom themselves always to speak in a subdued and humble voice; for that is very becoming to a religious. Anticipating one another in showing honour and reverence, like servants of God and humble disciples of the Crucified, they shall abstain from every act of pride or contentious animosity.[78]

[Concerning obedience]

140 59. We decree, moreover, that no friar, under pain of excommunication and privation of all offices, shall transfer from one Province to another without permission of the Father Vicar General,[79]

141 60. nor wander from one place to another without an obedience from the superior. When an obedience is given to a friar a companion shall be assigned to him when it can be done conveniently.[80]

[Small fraternity]

142 61. We further decree that the family of each friary shall not exceed the number of seven or eight friars except in the large cities, where about ten or twelve can conveniently dwell. In the rest of the cities or towns not more than seven or eight friars shall dwell,[81] for this purpose especially, that the Rule and holy poverty may be observed more perfectly and without any impediment. For that was the wish of the holy Father Francis as we read in the Chronicle of the Order: that only a few friars shall dwell in our houses.[82]

[Fidelity to the norm of life]

143 62. Moreover, we decree that the superiors shall by all means have these Constitutions read publicly once a week, so that the friars may bear them in mind more carefully and observe them more perfectly. Those who are negligent in this shall be punished at the will of the Vicar Provincial. And if he has not amended after being admonished by the Vicar three times, he shall be removed from office.[83]

144 63. The Vicars themselves, if they show themselves less zealous in promoting the observance of these Constitutions either in their own lives, or in those of others, or do not cause them to be read publicly, or do not inflict due penalties on delinquents, which nevertheless is left to their good judgment, and if they do not amend once they have been admonished, shall incur the penalty of deposition from office.[84]

[Requirements of simplicity]

145 64. We decree, furthermore, that in our churches many altar cloths or priestly vestments shall not be had; but two or three shall suffice, one for ferial days and another for festivals. Nor shall vestments and altar cloths made of velvet, silk or gold be used, especially not chasubles, albs and palls which have fringes and crosses woven into them. And they shall abstain from all other vanities.[85]

146 65. We also decree that the altar palls shall be simple, made from cloth alone, without any singularity. Nor shall they have more than two silver chalices, that absolutely all vanity, superfluity and precious things of gold, silver, silk or velvet shall be banished from our churches, considering especially that God does not regard vessels or vestments but the heart, if it is pure and cleansed from every stain of sin, and desirous and zealous for holy poverty, which as our holy Father Francis says, makes us heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven. It makes us poor in earthly things but exalts us in virtue.[86]

147 66. We further decree that the old and worn habits of the friars shall be placed in a common room. An overseer shall be appointed for the community, who shall take diligent care of these habits, repair them, wash them when necessary, and store them away when they are cleaned. When any friar wishes to have his habit washed, he shall receive another from the overseer of the community, who shall return his own habit to him clean, not after two or three months,[87] but after three of four days.

[Following Christ Crucified]

148 67. But if it seems difficult to any of the friars to observe all these things, let them remember that our Lord Jesus Christ appeared humble and poor in this world, and proposed his whole life to us as an example and a mirror, that in it we should contemplate and imitate humility and poverty. Let them recall that our most holy Father Francis, and all the servants of God taught the same thing; that from them we may learn that the beginning, the course, and the end of our whole life and conduct is this, that we may embrace the Cross of Christ the Lord and glory in it alone.[88]

Those who contemplate the actions and deeds of the saints will easily see that the whole life of religious men ought to be a continuous round of penances. For when the Blessed Martin, Bishop of Tours, was near death, he was urgently begged by his disciples to allow them to lay him on at least a little poor straw, and he answered: It is not becoming, sons, for a Christian to die but in sackcloth and ashes: and if I would leave you any other example, I could not be excused from fault.[89]

We read the same of the Blessed Jerome, that he would scarcely allow his bones to rest on the bare ground. When he spoke of food and drink, he remembered that the ancient monks abstained so much, that even when they were faint, they used only cold water. To eat any cooked food would approach the vice of luxuriousness.[90]

Wherefore, dearest brothers, following the customs, example and doctrine of the saints, let us beware of the leaven of those who since they are enemies of the Cross of Christ, strive to draw us from it, in which we ought to glory and to be his disciples even unto death.[91]

Farewell in the Lord for ever, and remember me, dearest brothers, in your prayers.

149 These express the ordinances of the Friars minor of the eremitical life governed by reverend father Ludovico Fossombrone, vicar general.[92]

  1. The name ‘constitutions’, although it appears in the original title reported by Bellintani and in numbers 1, 62 and 63, is not appropriate to this legislative document. More precise is the juridical term “ordinations”, as it is expressly used in the final Latin prologue and as, moreover, as the continuous repetition of the verb “ordain” in the forms: “si ordina”, “ordiniamo” suggests. The text of Albacina is reproduced here bearing in mind the editions by Melchiorre da Pobladura (MHOC V, 158-172), by G. Santarelli (IF 62 [1987] 7-21) and that of the ms. apograph (Constitutiones antiquae, 18-31). Boverio’s Latin translation is taken from AC I, 117-125 (nn. 15-73), re-edited in AO 5 (1889) 13-21. For the various critical and bibliographical problems see the careful study by F. Elizondo, Las constituciones capuchinas de 1529, in Laurent. 20 (1979) 389-440; for the sources cf. O. Schmucki, La figura di san Francesco, in Le origini, 121-157; C. Cargnoni, La tradizione, in CF 52 (1982) 88-90 (= synoptic table of Franciscan sources in the ordinations of Albacina).
  2. Note the stamp of “fraternity” that marks these early ordinations, but also a certain relationship with reforms of lay confraternities.
  3. Cf. Spec. perf. 46 and 80: “The subject must consider his superior not as a man, but as God, for whose sake he has submitted to him… And I would like him, as the vicar of Christ, to be honoured by all with devotion and respect…”. (FF n. 1734 and 1775). The concept is also present in Leg. per. 11 and other Franciscan sources discussed in their context by R. Manselli, Nos qui cum eo fuimus. Contributo alla questione francescana, Rome 1980, 62-77.
  4. The concept of “uniformity” is deduced from the Franciscan legislation systematically ordered for the first time by Saint Bonaventure in the Narbonensi constitutions of 1260.
  5. Characteristic expression of Saint Francis: Rnb 23: “I pray to everyone, kissing their feet”; Letter to the faithful 86: “I beg you and I beg you in the charity that is God, and with the desire to kiss your feet”; Letter to the general chapter and to all the friars 13: “Therefore I adjure all of you, brothers, by kissing your feet” (FF nn. 72, 206, 217). “Bascio” (= kiss) is a dialect form of Umbria-Marche.
  6. Reminiscence of the Testament of Saint Francis: “But, as the Lord has given me to say and write the Rule and these words simply and purely, so you, simply and without gloss, understand them and with holy activity observe them to the end” (Test. 47: FF nn. 130). See also Spec. perf. 1, 70, 80 (FF nn. 1678, 1763, 1776): “I want it [the Rule] to be observed to the letter…, without comment”; “in the pure observance of the Gospel which they are obliged to follow in purity and simplicity”; “giving to all with purity and simplicity, in themselves, an example and norm of the observance of the Gospel, according to the ideal presented in the Rule”.
  7. Cf. St Francis, Letter to the whole Order: “Let the clerics recite the office with devotion before God, not aiming at the melody of the voice, but at the consonance of the mind, so that the voice may be in harmony with the mind and the mind with God, so that they may propitiate God with purity of heart, rather than delight the ears of the people with the seduction of the voice” (FF n. 227); Spec. disciplinae, pars prima, XV, 6; pars secunda I, 7 (S. Bonaventure, Op. omnia, VII, 596f, 616a); Statuti degli Scalzi (1501), no. 7: “That the divine office was to be said day and night, pausing at the end and in the middle of the verse; without sitting, but all standing, with reverence and devotion; and that it was to be sung not a punto, but in a low, flat tone”. (AIA 22 [1962] 537); see also: Statuti degli Scalzi di Giovanni de la Puebla: ” That no plainchant be sung, much less organ chant; but that it be sung in tune with the voice somewhat lowered, and all equal; so that a humble, mortified and devout chant be sounded.” (Andrés de Guadalupe, Historia de la santa provincia de los Angeles, Madrid, 1662, libro V, сар. 4, р. 143a).
  8. Cf. Leg. maior 4, 3: “They were continually intent on praying to God, applying themselves to the exercise of prayer and devotion more with the mind than with the voice” (FF n. 1067). But one sees in this statute an application of St Francis’ regulation for hermitages (FF n. 136-138) and for those who stayed at the Portiuncula (cf. Spec. perf. 55: FF n. 1745). – “Officio di gracia” means optional, while “officio di debito” means obligatory. The seven penitential psalms were a devotion to the souls in purgatory (“officio dei morti”) were much appreciated in the Order. Benedicta is an ancient traditional Marian prayer formula in the Franciscan Order, on which cf. D.-M. Montagna, Cinquecento devoto minore. L’ufficio della “Benedetta” ed altre preci in un opuscolo di origine francescana circa 1525 (Milano, Trivulziana M 87), in Studi Storici O.S.M. 23 (1973) 266-275; cf. also E. Clop, Office de la Benedicta, in EF 30 (1913) 482-492; compare also this statute with a passage from the constitutions of St John of Capistrano: “Let them also (the superiors at the time of the visitation) inquire carefully about those who are negligent and slow to pray the divine services and solemnities of the Masses; of fasting, of the discipline three times a week; concerning the Offices di gracia, of the dead, Benedicta, and the penitential psalms according to the good customs of the Order” (Spec. Minorum, pars III, f. 226); see also the Statuti della recollezione (1523), ch. 2 (AIA 5 [1928] 266).
  9. By “tenebre/Divine Office” is intended the Office of Holy Saturday.
  10. Funerals.
  11. CapDox editor: this footnote is in regard to the Italian translation of the Latin in Frati cappuccini (FC): ‘ponno’ is the ancient form of ‘possono’.
  12. “Si ne stiamo” for “cene stiamo” [Capdox editor – regarding Italian translation]. The fear of scandal and the safeguarding of ‘quiet’ (= contemplation, retreat, silence) are a constant concern of St Francis. Cf. e.g., Spec. perf. 2 and 11: “He greatly feared scandal, in himself and in others”; “he greatly feared scandal” (FF n. 1680 and 1694).
  13. Regarding this ancient custom of celebrating a Mass cf. Octave d’Angers, La messe publique et privée dans le pieté de saint François, in EF 49 (1937) 475-486; Hugo Dausend, Die Brüder dürfen in ibren Niederlassungen täglich nur eine hl. Messe lesen. Eine Weisung des hl. Franziskus nach deutschen Erklärung, in FS 13 (1926) 207-212.
  14. Cf. Letter to the Entire Order, 38-40: “I admonish, therefore, and exhort in the Lord that, in the places where the brothers dwell, only one Mass a day be celebrated, according to the rite of holy Church. If there should be more than one priest in the place, for the sake of charity, let one be content to listen to the celebration of the other priest, since the Lord Jesus Christ fills with Himself those present and absent who are worthy of Him” (FF n. 222-223).
  15. Celebrating without receiving alms is a common norm in the statutes of the Scalzi and the houses of recollection (cf. some quotations in F. Elizondo, Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536, in Estud. Franc. 83 (1982) 193 note 1). Undoubtedly, in the minds of the first Capuchin legislators were also present many passages that can be read in Spec. perf. 18 and 22: “Offer, to those who ask charity, the love of God in return, saying: – For the love of the Lord God, give us charity! -And compared to this love, heaven and earth are nothing’; ‘The servant of God, in asking alms, offers God’s love in return to those whom he addresses’ (FF nos. 1701 and 1706).
  16. Cf. Letter to the Entire Order 15-17: “I then pray in the Lord that all my brothers, who are and will be and wish to be priests of the Most High, may, whenever they wish to celebrate Mass, do so with purity and reverence, offering the true sacrifice of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that they do so with holy and pure intention, not for any earthly thing, nor for fear or love of any man, as if they wished to please men” (FF n. 218). 218); see also the Statuti delle case di Recollezione (1526), n. 4: ” If, however, under strict condition it pleases God, they may say Masses for certain persons […]. And then they are to be said out of mere charity, without any promise of recompense” (cf. AIA 21 [1961] 469).
  17. Cf. le costituzioni del 1508, c. 7: “And because in many provinces and places of regular observance after the other established statutes of the Order the brethren are accustomed to receive instruction in common after the completion of matins three times in the week in memory of Christ’s passion… (cf. Firmamentum trium Ord., Parisiis 1512, h. 28ra).
  18. About the times of prayer among the Franciscans cf. C. Cargnoni, Esperienze e vita di preghiera nella storia dell’Ordine francescano, Roma 1980, 25s, and also in AO 97 (1981) 124s e in DIP VII, Roma 1983,628-651 (v. Preghiera: IV. I Francescani); citazions of the statutes in Estud. Franc. 83 (1982) 197 note 3.
  19. Jn 4:24. There are also many allusions to texts of St Francis, such as: Rnb 22, 26; 23, 32 (FF nos. 60 and 71); Admoniz. 16 (FF n. 165); Lett. to the Faithful 19-20: “Let us therefore love God and worship him with a pure heart, for he, desiring this above all things, said: – True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For all who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth” (FF n. 187). For the verbs “to pray, meditate and contemplate” that allude to Bonaventurian expressions and, probably, to L. Barbo’s Forma orationis et meditationis, cf. C. Cargnoni, I primi lineamenti, in IF 59 (1984) 131f.
  20. The primacy of the contemplative life is a conviction that our first Capuchins derived from the spiritual observance of the Rule. “Prayer is the aim of the Rule”, they said (cf. МНОС III, 80, 263, 367; VI, 21, 124 etc.). On this paragraph of the Albacina ordinances cf. the commentary by Remigio da Alosto, De oratione mentali in Ordine fratrum minorum capuccinorum, in CF 3 (1933) 40-49.
  21. Cf. Const. Narb. c.4, n. 11: “Similarly, silence is observed in the hours of sleep from Easter until the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross” (in AFH 34 [1941] 57); Statuti Recollezione (1526), c. 1, n. 10-11: Secondly [silence is observed] in the following hours, namely: from the sign of the angelic greeting in the evening until the first stroke of the first hour of the following day… Similarly, the hour of sleep from the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord until the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross every day, after an hour has passed after the meal, the bell of the refectory is rung, and from that time there is silence until nine o’clock” (cf. AIA 21 [1961] 467). This emphasis on silence seems to be a clear reference to St Francis’ rule for hermitages: “Let them strive to observe silence… and after third hour break the silence…” (FF n. 137), and above all to the constitutio silenti of the model-place of the Portiuncula, as we read in Spec. perf. 55: “Our ancient fathers… encouraged that character of holiness with continuous prayers and silence day and night” (FF n. 1745), a rule that those who went out into the world should also model: “Go with humility and modesty, observing silence from morning until the third hour” (ibid. 65: FF n. 1757). See other quotations from ancient and contemporary legislative texts in Le prime Costituzioni, 110-112, notes 27-28.
  22. This prescription also seems to be inspired by the Regula pro eremitoris data and the regulation for the Portiuncula of Saint Francis already cited.
  23. Cf. Decretum Gratiani, pars prima, dist. 44, c. 8 e 1, in CIC I, col. 158s; Cost. 1336 («Benedictinae»), c. 4, n. 2:“At table a lesson is to be had” (in AFH 30 [1937] 339); Cost. 1500, c. 3: “And always, while the brethren take their ordinary repast, a lesson should be kept at the table, so that while the body is nourished with its bread, the soul is also nourished with the bread of the angels” (in CHL I, Neapoli 1650, 1546-155a); Cost. 1508, c. 3: We also wish that the iutum ecclesiasticas sanctiones and generalem usum Ordinis be continuously read at the community meal” (cf. Firmamentum trium Ordinum beatissimi patris nostri Francisci, Parisiis 1512, pars III, h. 7va); vedi anche De lectione ad mensam [in Ordine franciscali), in Acta O.F.M. 31 (1944) 182-84.
  24. It is probably an allusion to the notable episode of Saint Francis against curiosity and superfluity, that can be read in Spec. perf. 20 e anche in 2 Cel. 61 (FF n. 1703 e 647). For the legislative precedents cf. Statuti recollezione 1523, c. 4: “they do not use tablecloths in the refectory; but have handkerchiefs” (AIA 5 [1928] 270); nella versione latina: «Non habebunt mappas in refectorio, sed tantum parva manutergia» (AM XVI, 196).
  25. Cf. Const. Narb. c.4, n. 7: Likewise, against the superfluity of food, we decreed that the brothers […] should be satisfied with only one plate for food. And let them be especially careful of expensive food” (AFH 34 [1941] (56); Lope de Salinas, Memorial, c. 20: The foods that we usually eat the most are bread, vegetables or legumes, fruits, grapes, and in winter fennel boiled in water. And when God sends it we eat sardines, giving each friar a sardine, or two, if there are enough, and if there is no fish” (AIA 17 [1957] 741).
  26. In the ms. there was: adacquato, later corrected with: temperato. This ordinance, with the following, which concerns abstinence and fasting and mortification in food, refers indirectly to many episodes that can be read e.g. in Spec. perf. 27, 61 and 97 (poor food and discretion in abstinence) or in 2Cel. 22. Cf. O. Schmucki, La figura di san Francesco, in Le origini, 139 and footnote 69. Note, in particular, these phrases: ‘We must shun exaggerated fasting, for the Lord wants mercy and not sacrifice (Mt 12:7) … I want and command each brother to give his body what is necessary to measure our poverty …” (Spec. perf. 27: FF n. 1712); or this other: “The servant of God, in eating, drinking, sleeping and meeting other bodily needs, must discreetly provide for his own body, so that his brother body may not complain …” (ibid. 97: FF n. 1712). (ibid. 97: FF n. 1796). Cf. also Statuti recollezione 1526, c. 3, n. 3: “Likewise, that the brethren of these congregations may carry the cross behind Christ in humility and austerity, if any of them chooses to abstain from meat or wine, or undergo other penances, provided they are seasoned with the salt of discretion, the prelates are permitted to allow such things; but the prelates themselves, who, as spiritual men, ought to judge all things, may sometimes remit the fervour of their children, when according to God they see fit” (AIA 21 [1961] 473).
  27. It says “any Lent”, because in addition to the two Lents prescribed by the Rule and the optional one of the “benedetta”, there were other Lents that St Francis used to make, such as those of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption, St Michael the Archangel and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (cf. Conf. V, 190). See also Statuti recollezione 1523, c. 4: “Let them be admonished to fast the Lent of the blessed, and that of the Holy Spirit; and let them not leave them without cause, that they may obtain the ‘benedición’ of our Most Holy Father” (AIA 5 [1928] 270).
  28. Cf. S. Bonav., Expositio super Regulam, c. 4, n. 15 (Op. omnia VIII, 422). But it is a sentence steeped in reminiscences of Spec. perf. 5: “And he not only hated comfortable houses but detested abundant and refined utensils. He did not like that in the tables and furnishings there should be any whiff of worldliness, so that everything should smell of poverty…” (FF n. 1685); “I want to be content with meagre and poor food, and to use everything else according to poverty, abstaining from everything that is costly and refined” (ibid. 27: FF n. 1713); “He absolutely did not want the brothers to go beyond the limits of poverty in their houses or churches, vegetable gardens or other things for their use… This was his ideal from the beginning of his conversion until the end: that in everything poverty should be observed in totality” (ibid. 10: FF n. 1691); “All the brothers with vibrant fervour and zeal observed holy poverty in everything, in narrow buildings and modest utensils” (ibid. 71: FF n. 1764).
  29. Cf. MHOC V, 281, 343s, and other references in: Le prime Costituzioni, 116 note 49, and 133 note 19. This continuous reference to “the state of holy poverty”, “our state” and “very high poverty” etc. (see also further on in Statute 18 where it speaks of “our poor state”) is language taken from the Speculum perfectionis status fratris minoris.
  30. “Which [poverty] has constituted us, dearly beloved brethren, heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven, has made us poor in things and sublime in virtues. Let this be your portion, which leads to the land of the living” (Rb 6: FF n. 90). Note how the text switches from the first to the second person plural.
  31. Lo Spec. perf. 19 is more radical: “And for a long time many brothers in many places observed this, especially in the city, not wanting to collect or receive more alms than were indispensable for a single day” (FF n. 1702). Note the wonderful phrase: “having in heart and in execution of works”, which underlines the tension towards the ideal of poverty and its continuous concretisation.
  32. Cf. Statuti recollezione 1526, c. 2, a. 10: “For this reason, I do not want, at the time of grape harvesting, that these brothers should ask for wine to be stored in the future, nor grain, nor oil, nor the like, unless they were absolutely certain that abstaining from these gatherings they could not have the necessaries of life” (AIA 21 [1961] 471).
  33. Cf. Rb 2: Let them have a tunic with a hood and, those who wish to have it, another without the hood” (FF n. 81); see also Test. 20: “And they were content with a tunic patched inside and out with a girdle and breeches” (FF n. 117); Leg. 3 Soc. 40: “The servants of God […] according to the evangelical ideal, wore only one tunic” (FF n. 1444).
  34. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, n. 5: “No brother should have an under tunic but only the habit, plain or patched” (AFH 34 [1941] 43); Statuti degli Scalzi 1501, n. 6: “That the permission given by the Rule to wear a tunic in addition to the habit, they voluntarily renounced and were content with the mantle for shelter, which had to be without folds or pleatss nor longer than to cover (with the arms extended) the extremities of the fingers on the hand” (AIA 22 [1962] 536). Here is a clear allusion to the saying of A. Clareno: “The length of the sleeves up to the tip of the fingers, so that it covered the hands and did not exceed the length of the hands” (Hist. 7 trib., ed. A. Ghinato, p. 221), citation probably coming via Conf. V. 104.
  35. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, n. 10: “The girdle shall be a common cord, and nothing shall be carried attached to the cord” (AFH 34 [1941] 44; Statuti Lionesi (1518); The girdle is to be considered a common and crude cord, and all curiosity is completely removed from it” (in SF 72 [1972] 59). The “capuccia” is the mantle.
  36. It is again a passage from Clareno: “The width of them would be such that the hand could freely go in and out” (Hist. 7 trib., cit., 221). For the measure of the ‘palm’ cf. cf. Eduardus Alenconiensis, Primigeniae..., in Liber memorialis, 422; and the anastatic edition of the Const. antiquae, 206, 284, 636; see also F. Elizondo, in Estud. Franc. 83 (1982) 187 note 2.
  37. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, n. 8: “Since it has been customary since the institution of our Order to walk without shoes, and the Rule does not grant shoes except to those ‘who are compelled by necessity’, we order that no brother should walk in customary shoes, unless the obvious necessity of this is made known to the brothers…”; no. 9: “Also, those who need shoes, do not wear boots, but shoes that are laced and fastened at the front” (AFH 34 [1941] 43s); Statuti degli Scalzi 1501, n. 6: That everyone had to walk without shoes, barefeet on the ground, except the needy, who were allowed to wear clogs or open espadrilles [a light shoe having an upper made of fabric and a sole of rope] or sandals, without heels” (AIA 22 [1962] 536); other citations of the statutes in F. Elizondo, Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536, in Estud. Franc. 83 (1982) 189 nota 3. – The exclusion of the zoccoli was a sign of their distance from the Observants.
  38. These “three books” were probably the sermon notes, an Interrogatorio for confessors and the breviary (with the Rule). Cf. Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo de la salute (emendato), further on, in notes 316-317 (cf. n. 613). But, perhaps, there is also a reminiscence of Leg. 3 Soc. 59: “They went about the world as pilgrims and foreigners, taking nothing with them on their journey except the books that were indispensable for reciting the liturgical hours” (FF no. 1471), with the underlying explanation of Spec. perf. 3 (FF no. 1681-82).
  39. This whole statute concerning the characteristics of the preacher and the way of preaching is influenced by many texts in the writings of St Francis and the Spec. perf. e.g. Rnb 17 (FF n. 46-47); Spec. perf. 4 with the example of Francis responding to the question of whether the friar minor can have books, saying among other things: “A man is as wise as his works, as is the religious a good preacher to the extent that he puts it into practice” (FF n. 1684); ibid. 10: “… always aiming … always having in view … the good example that we are obliged to give in everything” (n. 1691); ibid. 63: “The servant of God must so blaze and shine with life and holiness in himself, that he reprimands all the wicked with the brightness of example and with the tongue of holy behaviour” (n. 1742); ibid. 80: “… He cultivated virtues in himself and in others, practising them continually and inciting others to them by example rather than by words” (n. 1775); ibid. 73: “As he wished and taught that prelates and preachers should practise prayer and works of humility” (n. 1768). Many of these quotations can be read in Conf. IV, 615-619. – A brief commentary on this statute in C. Cargnoni, La predicazione dei frati cappuccini nell’opera di riforma promossa dal Concilio di Trento, Rome 1984, 13f.
  40. “Cappello” [referring to the Italian text] means to lecture, correction. The frequent emphasis on the need for the “superior’s permission” or the penance of fasting on bread and water is drawn from reminiscences of Franciscan texts, as well as from the ordinary practice of the Order’s tradition, e.g. in the Const. Narb. where it is often said “without the permission of the prelates” or “he only fasts on bread and water”. The objects belonging to the friars, especially books, were in ancient times marked with the stereotype: “A semplice uso di” [simply the use of].
  41. Cf. Rb 2, 17; Rnb 2, 14 (FF n. 81 e 8); See also many passages in Spec. perf. 15: “How to avoid clothes that are too delicate and abundant and how patience should be used in scarcity” (FF n. 1698); Spec. perf. 112: “let me have some ash-coloured monk’s cloth” (n. 1812); ibid. 113: “The dress of the lark, that is, its plumage, has the colour of the earth: thus it offers religious the example of not having elegant clothes and beautiful colours, but of modest worth and colour resembling the earth, which is the humblest element” (n. 1813). There is also a resonance of the text in Ugo di Digne, Expositio, 112: All must use cheap things without distinction… This cheapness must be attended to in price and color and according to the estimation of the people of the region in which the brothers reside [cf. Quat. Mag., 136] maintained nevertheless with honesty”, also the Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, n. 1: When the Rule says that ‘all the brothers should be clothed in cheap clothes’, we decide that the cheapness of the clothes should be taken into account in price as well as in color”; no. 12: “in all that pertains to the behaviour of the brothers, in imitation of our fathers, let austerity, lowliness and poverty always shine forth” » (AFI 34 [1941] 42 e 44); the same are repeated in Cost. Del 1354, del 1430 e 1508 (cf. F. Elizondo, in Estud. Franc. 83 [1982] 186, note 2).
  42. See, further on, Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo de la salute (emendato), in correspondence with footnote 318 (cf. n. 613) and annotation by E. d’Alençcon, Primigeniae legislationis, in Liber memorialis 429f, note 140, 2; cf. also Spec. perf. 2 and 2Cel. 62: “Here is my first intention and last will and heaven willing that I had succeeded in convincing them! – that is, that no friar should have anything but the habit that the Rule authorises, with the cord and breeches”; “He taught to seek in books the witness of the Lord (Ps 18:8), not material value; edification not beauty” (FF n. 1679 and 648).
  43. The inspiration for this order can be found, among other things, in Spec. perf. 69: “He did not say this because he disliked the reading of Sacred Scripture, but to distract everyone from the superfluous preoccupation with learning” (FF n. 1762); ibid. 70: he contrasts those who trust “in their own wisdom and knowledge” with the pre-eminent importance of exercising themselves “in virtuous works, in the way of the cross and penance” (FF n. 1763); or the example of the perfect friar minor who, like Br. Juniper, nourishes “an ardent desire to imitate Christ by following the way of the cross” (Spec. perf. 85) and above all those sorrowful words of the first companions addressed to Francis who in the course of his illness had undergone a serious crisis and seemed doomed: “Where is the fiery soul, who directs us in the way of the cross and strengthens us in evangelical perfection? … your words [were for us] fiery and incendiary torches to live the cross, evangelical perfection, love and imitation of the sweet Crucified” (Spec. perf. 87: FF n. 1784). Through Conf. V, 381-384, which explains the whole life of St Francis in the light of the cross, in 32 episodes, there is also the influence of the Leg. maior, e.g. 4, 3 (FF n. 1067)g and the Actus-Fioretti.
  44. This prescription, which has remained in the letter of Capuchin legislation for a long time, may be inspired by Spec. perf. 50: “And if you keep away from all greed, and have persuaded the people to fulfil their duties towards the churches, the bishops will ask you to hear the confessions of their people, although you need not worry about this, since if they are truly converted, they will easily find confessors” (FF n. 1738). For the quotation of the canon cf. Ius canon. univ., vol. VII, de Regulis iuris, pars 2, n. 12. Cf. Le prime Costituzioni, 135f, note 1.
  45. It is a prescription, reiterated even more strongly in the Cost. 1536, n. 135 (cf. n. 404).
  46. Cf. Spec. perf. 5: “And he wanted them to keep a few books and in common, at the disposal of the brethren who needed them” (FF No. 1685); Leg. 3 Soc. 43: “Nothing they held as private property, but books and other things were made available to all, according to the directive handed down and observed by the apostles (cf. Acts 4:32)” (FF No. 1450); cf. Conf. IV, 192 and 397; V, 110.
  47. Cf. 2Cel. 180: ‘I want my brothers to show themselves to be sons of the same mother, and to lend each other generously the habit, the cord or whatever one may have asked of the other. Let them put books and everything else in common that may be pleasing to them, and even, I would say, force them to accept them’ (FF n. 766).
  48. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 3, n. 4: “nor shall they give or receive anything or exchange anything by their own authority, without the permission of their superiors” (AFH 34 [1941] 45); Cost. 1336, c. 7: “Let them be careful not to give or offer gifts and gifts to persons outside their Order” (Venantius, Monumenta, 305); Cost 1443, c. 6: “and let no one dare to dispense anything, or to give anything, neither within the Order, nor outside the Order, except with the permission of his superior, that is, the vicar or guardian” (CHL I, Neapoli 1650, 105b).
  49. This prescription is taken up in Const. 1536, n. 132, but only for young brothers (cf. n. 398).
  50. Cf. Rb 2, 1.7; Rnb 2, 1-2.4.7 (FF n. 117); Spec. perf. 57: “Brother, if you want to be part of our life and society, you must dispossess yourself of all the things you honestly possess and give them to the poor, according to the prescription of the Gospel. All my brothers have done the same thing” (FF n. 1747); cf. Conf. V, 112 e 277; e anche Const. Narb. 1260, c. 1, n. 1: We decreed in the beginning that no one should be admitted to the Order unless he had been completely expropriated, since according to the truth of the Gospel and the profession of our Rule, poverty is the primary foundation of the whole spiritual edifice” (AFH 35 [1941] 38s).
  51. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 1, n. 2: “We also order that no one be admitted before the age of 18, unless by strength of body or energy of the senses, or by an excellent constitution from the age of 15 and above, the age is supplied according to the judgment of the wise” AFH 34 [1941] 39); nelle Cost. Farin. 1354, c. 1, n. 1: “to be accepted… he must be… at the age of 14 years, not less, unless he has been offered by his parents” (AFH 35 [1942] 83); the age oscillates between 14 and 18 years in other costitutions (cf. Lope de Salinas, Constituciones, c. 6: AIA 17 [1957] 760, 762; Cost. 1500, c. 2: CHL I, 149b-150a; Cost. 1508, c. 2: Firmamenta trium ordinum, Parisiis 1512, h. 2vb-3ra; «Statuti Lionesi», in SF 72 [1975] 55); cf. anche Cost. 1536, n. 12, 4 (n. 162).
  52. Cf. further on, Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo de la salute (amended), in correspondence to footnote 242 (cf. n. 590).
  53. Note how the novitiate means learning to live spiritually, to walk the new, perfect way of the spirit: hence the centrality of asceticism and mysticism.
  54. Cf. Cost. 1500: “They are not permited to wander outside te friary in which they are without a companion, or to enter the cells of the brothers…” (Venantius, Monuments, 78); Cost 1508, c. 2: “even during the novitiate, the novices may not speak with any secular or religious person of another religion without the permission of their guardian or teacher…” (Firm. trium ord. cit., h. 3vb).
  55. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 4, no. 20-21: “The brothers are shaved 15 times a year, at the usual times.” And the shaving should not be moderate, as befits the religious, so that there are not more than three fingers between it and the ears. Both clerics and laymen should try to be shaved above the ears, and it should be done at the appropriate times” (AFH 34 [1941] 58); Cost 1508, c. 2: “Brothers shall not grow hair or beards, but shall endeavor to be shaved above the ears: and for the fortnight they shall be shaved in common, either sooner [or] somewhat more longer according to the custom of the regions and the discretion of the prelates” (Firm. trium Ord. cit. h. 4vab).
  56. Synthetic phrase (“our poor living”) already well emphasised (cf. above, footnote 29), which re-examines Spec. perf. 10 concerning the way of choosing places (“capiendi loca”), in which we read: “always aiming at poverty and good example … because he absolutely did not want … the brothers to go beyond the limits of poverty …”. (FF n. 1691); cf. also Conf. V, 105.
  57. It seems reminiscent of the words of St Francis to Honorius III in the account of the Portiuncula indulgence: “Of this I want no other instrument, but let the letter be the Blessed Virgin, the notary be Christ, the witnesses be the Angels” (cf. Conf. IV, 584; V, 33); see also Lope de Salinas, Memorial, c. 2: “we decree, for the better and surer guarding of this poverty, because we know that without it we can neither find any benefit in the spiritual life nor reach the perfect observance of the Rule, nor the gratuitous virtues, as the general chapter and Bonaventure say in their constitutions, we are accustomed not to have any syndic, economic procurator, which some laxer declarations and constitutions grant to the Order to receive the pecuniary payments, not judging or condemning those who use it” (AIA 17 [1957] 716); see ahead le Cost. 1536, n. 57 (n. 239).
  58. For reference to the example of Jesus Christ cf. Jn 12:14 – See Rb 3, 13 (FF n. 85); Conf. IV, 399: “For Christ and the apostles went on foot, and he did not ride, but saddled a donkey to preach throughout the world (Mt 28:19), he did not go on horseback, but on foot; following the example of these, the younger brothers should walk in this way”; 1Cel. 98: “No longer having the strength to walk, he went about the world riding on a donkey” (FF n. 490); Leg. maior 7, 12: “Since he was or infirm, he asked a poor man to carry him on his donkey” (FF n. 1132); Spec. perf. 35: “When he went about the world to preach, he walked on foot, or rode on a donkey when he was infirm, or even mounted on a horse when it was strictly necessary (since otherwise he did not allow himself to ride, and made an exception only shortly before his death) …” (FF n. 1721). (FF no. 1721); for various quotations from ancient constitutions cf. Const. Narb. c. 3, n. 23 (AFH 34 [1941] 49); Lope de Salinas, Memorial, c. 18 (AIA 17 [1957] 739); Statuti recollezione 1502, n. 9 (AIA 21 [1961] 30); Stat. recollez. 1523, c. 3 (AIA [1928] 269); Statuti Lionesi 1518, c. 5 (SF 72 [1975] 64).
  59. Already mentioned in No 27 of these ordinances; cf. also Const. 1500, c. 2: “A black beret, or one sewn with a needle, should not be worn except by teachers in theology in the act of a solemn discussion, or in the act of teaching” (CHL I, 152b).
  60. Reference is made to the reserved cases explicitly established in the Franciscan Order: cf. e.g. Const. 1354, c. 7, n. 2 (AFH 35 [1942] 178); Const. 1508, c. 7 (Firm. trium Ord., h. 22 vab). The 14 reserved cases, according to the ‘Family’ (= the Observants), in Brendulino, Expositione, 159rv; E. d’Alençon, Primigeniae legislationis, in Liber memorialis 427, note 94.
  61. Cf. Const. Narb., c. 4, no. 4: “In the places of the brothers, they should not eat meat at any time, except for the weak and infirm” (AFH 34 [1941] 55); Lope de Salinas, Memorial, c. 12: “First, we areaccustomed to the continuous abstinence from the meat, excepting those who are sick” (AIA 17 [1957] 735); Statuti degli Scalzi of Giovanni de la Puebla: “We decree that on Mondays and Wednesdays no meat is eaten; and on these days let the meals be such as the habit and profession require” (Andrés de Guadalupe, Hist. de la santa Prov. de los Angeles, Madrid 1662, 142b). Here the early Capuchins were more moderate.
  62. Cf. Cost. 1443, c. 6: “And no one presumes to retain anything under any kind of closure, neither in the place of our Order nor outside the Order” (CHL 1, 105b).
  63. Cf. S. Francesco, Regolamento per i romitori (FF n. 136-138); Spec. perf. 55, where we read the regulations of St Francis for the place of the Portiuncula, among which it says: “I also want no person and no brother to enter this place, except the general minister and the brothers who serve them and with the minister when he visits them … And I especially want no one to enter this place so that the brothers who live there may better preserve their purity and holiness” (FF n. 1745). 1745); see also Conf. IV, 624; V, 329f; in the supplication of Pietro da Villacreces to Martin V, with the Pope’s favourable reply, dated 28 April 1418, we read: “Also that as brothers they may reside in the aforesaid hermitages in greater peace and silence, according to the intention of blessed Francis, as we read in his ancient accounts; the brothers, who have been granted permission by the prelates of the aforesaid places, may reside in a separate cell below the perimeter of the hermitage, and no religious brother, even of our Order, or even seculars, may enter the cloisters and their closed environment; only the general or provincial minister should be able to enter” » (AIA 17 [1957] 657); Lope de Salinas, Constituciones, c. 2 e 5; id., Memorial, c. 13 e 14; id., Testamento, n. 15 (ibid., 570s e 755, 736, 919s); Statuti Giovanni de la Puebla: “we decree, near each convent some oratories or hermitages are to be founded in a places so that, in imitation of those in Santa Maria de los Angeles, the religious can gather in greater seclusion” Andrés de Guadalupe, Historia cit. 1442); observations and comments differing from this statute can be found in various studies: cf. Le prime Costituzioni, 131 nota 13.
  64. Therefore a superior who is virtuous and holy in the observance and spiritually animates the observance can always be re-elected!
  65. Cf. Rnb 5, 4-6 (FF n. 16); Rb 8, 5 (n. 97).
  66. See Const. Narb., c. 11, n. 1 (AFH 34 [1941] 309); also c. 10 n. 1 (ibid. 301). The same in Const. 1354, c. 10, n. 1 and in Const. 1500, c. 8 (cf. F. Elizondo, in Estud. Franc. 83 [1982] 229 note 2); see also Rnb 18 and Rb 8, 2-4.6 (AFH 50 and 96-97).
  67. Cf. lo statuto n. 40. – It is a literal imitation of the norms dictated by St Francis: Spec. perf. 10 and 55: “…to attest that the brothers did not own any place and did not intend to dwell in any place that was not under the dominion of others, and therefore did not have the faculty to alienate it” (FF n. 1744); see also Leg. per. 14-16 and Conf. V, 105f, 107, 291, 246, 196; Lope de Salinas, Constituciones c. 3: “The owners must, always from the beginning, reserve within themselves the right of lordship and ownership of the buildings and orchards, before the public and witnesses, in themselves and in their successors forever, as is our custom” (AIA 17 [1957] 753); in the Regola della vita eremitica of b. Paolo Giustiniani (1520) reads: «Let hermits, if they want to be what they call themselves, be very studious and lovers of solitude; they do not have nor can they take any place to appoint brothers to live in that is not two or at least one mile away from each city” (P. Lugano, La Congr. Camaldolese, 160). The mile, in Italy, was measured differently: 1,410 km in Rome; 1,855 in Naples. Cf. Enc. Ital., Roma 1934, see Miglio.
  68. Cf. Test. 32: “Where they will not be received, let them flee to another land to do penance with God’s blessing” (FF n. 123). The distance of the places outside the city, this accentuated solitude, reflects more the thought of the Spirituals and the influence of the Camaldolese. Cf. A. Clareno, Hist. 7 trib., I trib., 43,13-15: “When you see them abandon the poor, vile and small places and places far from the world and, under the pretext of preaching and its usefulness, they change those places and buy others in the towns and villages…” (FF n. 2164); ibid. 15, 17-31: “The places in which the brothers will dwell as pilgrims and strangers to adore and praise me, will be vile, poor, built of wood and mud, far from the tumults and vanities of the world, the property and right of others, they will accept them after having obtained the obedience, licence and approval of the bishops and clergy. .. abiding in them as long as it pleases the masters of those places and is granted by the bishops, always prepared to depart willingly and with thanksgiving when an invitation is given to leave by those who had received them” (FF n. 2126).
  69. It is almost a literal translation of Spec. perf. 10: “Let them then build poor houses of mud and wood, and some cells where the brothers can pray and work…. Let them also erect small churches … the cells and the small humble churches will themselves be a sermon” (FF n. 1692); ibid. 11: “Francis had established that the churches of the brothers should be small and their dwellings made only of wood and mud, as a sign of holy poverty and humility” (n. 1693). But it seems that here the legislator of Albacina reflected the objection of some on the fact that “in some regions wood was more expensive than stone, and they did not think it wise to provide dwellings of wood and mud” (ibid.), and therefore added: “And for this we intend etc.”; see also ibid. 55: “to have a poor little house, built of mud and wicker” (n. 1685). 1685); ibid. 7: “they had but a small dwelling covered with straw, with walls of wicker and mud” (n 1687); ibid. 9: “And close to death he had it written in his Testament that the cells and dwellings of the friars should be of wood and mud only, to better preserve poverty and humility” (n 1690); cf. II, 423-29 and, later, the description of the place of Colmenzone in AO 24 (1908) 22-24 (here, nos. 2444.46); the image and simile of the tomb is already in the Desert Fathers and in monastic spirituality: St Basil, in De laudibus erem. writes: “The burial cell of those buried in the Lord is almost a rival, as it receives the dead in sin, and after the breath of the Holy Spirit of God causes them to revive.”
  70. Cf. Spec. perf. 9: “Because blessed Francis did not want to stay in a comfortable cell (cella curiosa)” (FF n. 1689); ibid. 5: “And not only did he hate comfortable houses, but he detested abundant and refined utensils” (FF n. 1685).
  71. Cf. Test. 28-29 (FF n. 122) and above, Alb. n. 51 and note 69. Regarding Alb. nos. 51 and 53 note the double distinction: 1) “the places they are to build”; 2) “the places already build”. This distinction is already present, e.g. in the reading of the Testament according to cod. St. Isidore 1/25: “in the dwellings and churches in which we must stay, whether they are built or to be built” and is an addition to Test. 28-29: so this distinction is an application of the Test. here called “will of the our Father Saint Francis”; see also Conf. V, 359-61: it is a commentary on the Testament!
  72. “Félici’ means ferns. ‘schiavina’ designates a blanket of rough, coarse cloth. For some references from Franciscan sources cf. 2 Cel. 63 (FF n. 649); Spec. perf. 5: “So abundant was poverty in the beds and bedsteads that if anyone could spread a few rags on the straw, he considered it a nuptial chamber” (n. 1685); ibid. 21, where Card. Ugolino’s visit to the friars of the Portiuncula: “Observing that the friars were lying on the ground and had nothing underneath them, except for a bit of straw and some miserable blankets, almost all in tatters and no pillow, he began to cry in front of everyone…”. (n. 1704); Leg. maior 5, 1 ( = Conf. V, 193): “The bed for his weary body was, for the most part, the bare earth; very often he slept seated, with a wood or a stone under his head” (FF n. 1087). -For some legislative texts cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, no. 11: “Healthy brothers don’t use quilts and cushions in places where they stay” (AFH 34 [1941] 44); cost. 1354, c. 2, n. 15: “Also, healthy brothers in the dormitory do not use linen quilts and cushions of feathers” (AFH 35 [1942] 89); Lope de Salinas, Memorial, c. 28: “Our custom is that the beds, for the healthy, are made of straw only, with two blankets on top of the straw, and a head of sackcloth full of straw, and on top the necessary clothing, so long as it is not feathered, except for fleece or sackcloth” (AIA 17 [1957] 743); Statuti Recollezione 1502, n. 8: “When sleeping, do not have mattresses in the bedroom except for the sick and very skinny” (AIA 17 [1957] 743). 8: “As for sleeping, do not have mattresses in the bedroom except for the sick and very weak. And only have straw and blankets” (AIA 21 [1961] 30); Statuti Recollez. 1523, c. 3: “Do not have mattresses in the bedroom, nor headboards, except for some older or needy ones, and the pillows must be covered with rough or poor cloth” (AIA 5 [1928] 269). – In the text, where it says “without big sacks”, it is to avoid conforming to a custom of the observants who, as Giovanni da Fano states, used “big bags of straw” (cf. Dialogo de la salute [amended], in correspondence with footnote 289 [n. 603].
  73. It is the “constitutio” of the cloister that we read in Spec. perf. 55 (cf. above at note 63) and 112: “… by the will of Francis it was decided [in ancient times, adds the Spec.-Lemmens] that in that place, in order to preserve its decorum and recollection, no women should enter” (FF n. 1812); cf. also Statuti Recollezione 1523, c. 4: “Never let a woman enter the interior of the house, unless she is a Royal person or a lady of the land, even if she has a permission from the Prelate it would be outside obedience” (AIA 21 [1961] 271).
  74. This is a beautiful example of ‘spiritual observance’ that overrides canonical laws with the charism of mercy and gratuitous service to the poor. The Const. Narb, c. 3 no. 22 prescribed: “Likewise, burial is strictly observed in the places of the brethren, that they may not admit any that they have been able to decline without a significant scandal” (AFH 34 [1941] 48); Lope de salinas, Memorial, c. 1: “In order to attain this poverty of spirit and body, we do not use any earthly goods, nor do we curate ourselves with temporal benefits, nor of the gifts of particular deceased, nor of wills” (AIA 17 [1957] 717).
  75. From the time of the Spirituals, one of the motives of reform was the abuse of “accepting burials for the benefit of the temporal benefit, otherwise there would be little or no interest to receive them” (A Clareno, Hist.7 trib., ed. A. Ghinato, 145).
  76. Note the insistence on the relationship of dependence and obedience of the brother who does nothing “without the licence and blessing of the superior”, to observe what Saint Francis said in the Test. 34: “And so I want to be such a slave in his hands that I cannot go and do anything beyond obedience and his will, since he is my lord” (FF n. 124). This statute will pass almost ad litteram into the Const. 1536, n. 129 and more in n. 48 (nos. 396 and 223).
  77. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 5, n. 8: “When the brothers are on their journey, and arrive at the time of eating or lodging, let them come to the brethren, unless manifest necessity is hindered “(AFH 34 [1941] 63); cost. 1354, c. 5, n. 10: “When the brothers are on their journey, if they come to places where the brethren stay, at the time of eating or lodging, they come to the brothers to eat and lodge with them, or at least to excuse themselves reasonably to them, unless they have been hindered by an obvious need” (AFH 35 [1942] 105).
  78. Many quotations from Franciscan sources could be cited, e.g. Rnb 5, 12-17: “All the brothers should have no power or dominion in this, especially among themselves … out of charity of spirit they should willingly serve and obey one another” (FF n. 19-20); see also ibid. 7, 16-17 and the whole of c. 11 (FF n. 26-27 and 36-37), especially the first expressions: “All the brothers … should try to keep silent, if God gives them this grace. And let them not quarrel among themselves or with others, but let them try to answer with humility, saying: I am a useless servant…’. Many other allusions to the sayings of St Francis are found in the terms “reverence” and “humility”, as opposed to “pride” and “superiority”, e.g. RegNB 17, 10.12: “All of us brothers are on our guard against all pride and vainglory… The spirit of the flesh, in fact, wants and tempts us to speak much, but to do little” (FF n. 48); Rb 3, 11: “Let them not quarrel or dispute or judge others, but let them be meek, peaceful, modest, gentle and humble, speaking honestly to all, as is fitting” (n. 85); see also Spec. perf. 50: “I want to convert the prelates first by means of holy humility and reverence… to show respect to all” (n. 1738); ibid. 65: “In the name of God, go two by two, humbly and modestly, observing silence… your behaviour should be humble and dignified as if you were in a hermitage or in a cell” (n. 1757); also Leg. 3 Soc. 42-43 etc. (n. 1757). It is, in short, one of those texts pregnant with the Franciscan spirit assimilated powerfully and expressed with creative and fresh synthesis. – For references to legislative texts cf. Const. 1508, c. 3: “However, it is permissible for the brothers if it is necessary to speak briefly and submissively” (Firm. Trium Ord., h. Gvb); Statuti Recollez. 1526, c. 1, no. 12: “However, in these times and places, if it is necessary for the brothers to speak, let it be brief and gracious” (AIA 21 [1961] 467).
  79. Cf. Statute 1411: “Likewise, it is ordained the reverend father general remind the general chapter that no minister in his own province should receive or retain any brother from another province unless the said brother has permission of his minister, or the reverend father general, obtained in writing” (AF 2 [1887] 241); (AF 2 [1887] 241); Statuti del 1504 e 1520 (CHL I, 210b, 237b).
  80. “No brother should travel by riding a horse nor without a brother companion” (AFH 34 [1941] 63); Cost 1500, c. 3: “But by no means should they go alone, but in twos, unless a clear necessity impels them” (CHL 1, 155b).
  81. Le Cost. Narb. 1260, c. 9, n. 20 stabilised a minimum of 13 friars per friary: “we decree that a minimum of 13 friars or more are to be continuously housed in a friary” (AFH 34 [1941] 295). It therefore appears, in the intention of the first Capuchins, to exclude convents, but to opt for “non-conventual places”, i.e. hermitages, poor places, which is then the option of every Franciscan reform, such as that of Peter of Villacreces who in his petition to Martin V in 1418 asks permission to build places, “in which any of our brothers of the Order may be placed up to a number of twelve” (AIA 17 [1957] 656). Among the Spanish Scalzi for much of the time they speak of from 6 up to 8 religious per friary (cf. Fidel de Lejaarza, Origenes de la decalcez franciscana, in AIA 22 (1962] 38, 52, 84); anche Statuti recollezione 1523, c. 1 (AIA 21 (19611 265).
  82. Beyond the probable influence of the Regula pro eremitoris data, there is clear influence from Conf. V, 105 (to which the text alludes with the term “Chronicles of the Order”), the reference to Spec. perf. 10: “He wanted the brothers not to gather in large communities, since it seemed to him difficult that in too large a group poverty could be observed” (FF n. 1691)g; a thought taken up by the Villacrezians: Lope de Salinas, Testament, n. 18: “Never exceed or surpass the number of dwellers that I have ordered in each house, because of the confusion that arises, and because probity, as St. Francis says, cannot be kept as well in the multitude as in the few” (AIA 17 [1957] 922; id., Constituciones, c. 3 and 24: ibid. 752 and 773).
  83. See various quotations from ancient constitutions in F. Elizondo (Estud. Franc. 83 (1982) 248 note 4).
  84. Cf. Cost 1461, c. 12: “Sixth: All brothers, both superiors and subordinates, are commanded to observe these constitutions completely and inviolably. Likewise, that the prelates should cause them to be observed inviolably. Those who, if they have been negligent in the aforesaid, shall automatically be deprived of their duties” (CHL 1, 135b).
  85. Cf. Leg. Per. 18; Spec. perf. 56: “that they be solicitous in keeping the churches and all the furnishings used to celebrate the divine mysteries clean” (FF n. 1746); Const. Narb. 1260, c. 3, no. 18a: “Item, it is ordered that in the house of thirty friars there should be three chalices of silver, plain, not curious, and thus more or less respectable. And that the vestments of the sacristy be neither superfluous nor curious, nor be of gold, nor silk, nor of other rich cloth; and, even if they are given, they should not receive them, unless they are of wool of different colours, because they are durable, and very similar, and of little price. And crosses or thiribles are to be in any way procured …. And, therefore, it is ordered that, as far as possible, the vestments should not be of gold, nor of silver, nor of silk, except, as is said, of coloured wool and clean linen….” (AIA 16 [1957] 773; also ibid. c. 3 and 4: p. 753-54; id., Memorial, c. 1: p. 718). The statutes of the Scalzi of 1501 and of the houses of recollection of 1523 and 1526 repeat more or less the same things: cf. the different texts in F. Elizondo, (Estud. Franc. 83 [1982] 247 note 1).
  86. Cf. Rb 6, 5-6 (FF n. 90) quoted somewhat loosely. Certainly one notices here, to be exact, more the influence of Clement V’s bull Exiv de Paradiso of 6 May 1312 (cf. Seraph. legisl. textus originales, Quaracchi 1897, 254f, art. 16; or BC VI, 83) and the Franciscan reformist legislation (cf. above, footnote 85) than of St Francis who repeatedly said that “they should hold as precious chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar and everything that pertains to the sacrifice” (Lett. to the Custodians, 6: FF n. 241).
  87. Cf. Const. Narb. 1260, c. 2, no. 7: “And the tunics which the brethren do not use in common for necessity, shall for the time being be kept in common” (AFH [1941] 43).
  88. It is the ‘mysticism of the cross” that marks out the Capuchin reform.
  89. “Let him at least allow himself to lie under vile blankets”, “it is not convenient,” he said, “O sons, for the Christian to die except in ashes and in the hairshirt; I, if I left you a different example, I would be guilty” (cf. Sulpicius Severus, Epist. III, in CSEL I, Vindobonae 1866, 149).
  90. S. Girolamo, Epist. 22 ad Eustochium (PL 22, 398, n. 7).
  91. It is a reaction to the worldliness of the Renaissance.
  92. Although here the ordinances are attributed to Ludovico da Fossombrone, they are the result of a collaboration, as Colpetrazzo well explains. Cf. MHOC II, 148f.