Key points of Capuchin spirituality

by Costanzo Cargnoni OFM Cap

Translated by Gary Devery OFM Cap

Christmas 2016

Even if he professes the same Rule and renewed Constitutions, the photograph of a Capuchin and his specific spiritual characteristics is not easy to pinpoint today, especially with the introduction of the principle of pluriformity. His image takes on various filters and quickly changes. He needs to integrate himself to the various cultural and social pressures and to adapt to the various stresses and strains of irresistible change of today’s world. Also, traditional Capuchin language no longer finds the same strong interior resonance. In order to delineate authoritatively the more prominent, profound and irreplaceable characteristics of the Capuchin life certain values must be reaffirmed and some modern preoccupations and concerns need to be disavowed. The Capuchin charism cannot change so as to assume other faces and other perspectives that change its very nature. The Capuchin spirit is like a flower with its own particular scent, form, colour and garden bed. If this flower loses its form, scent and colour so as to assume other forms, other colours and other scents in other garden beds in the garden of the Church, it can no longer be called Capuchin.

What is needed, therefor, is an actuality of fidelity that remains constant amidst cultural changes, because the spirit of Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The experience of history teaches us this. We cannot forget it nor cancel it. The Capuchin charism is a Word of the Spirit that does not change with the changing seasons of culture. The Spirit scrutinises everything and revitalises with hope and actuality the gift received. It reveals to us how to incarnate the charism with the same ancient vigour into the complex structure of modernity that will still amaze us.

It is also obvious that to delineate the fundamental elements of Capuchin spirituality it is also necessary to keep in mind the historical development of the Franciscan reform. Tracing the dynamic evolution of the reform from its initial radical and polemical impact through to its seeking a tranquil and peacefully balanced equilibrium on the legislative and institutional level has allowed for the underscoring of the more substantial, seminal and perennial elements of the Capuchin charism.[1]

These substantial elements clearly specified in the first Constitutions of 1536 and unanimously used with intention by the ascetical and mystical Capuchin writers manifest, above all, in the Capuchin saints. They reflect like a clear mirror the authentic spirituality of the Order.[2] From the primitive legislation of the Order (Albacina 1529, Constitutions of Roma-S. Eufemia 1536 and the letter of Bernardino d’Asti 1548) some essential elements of this spirituality have been revealed: the reforming spirit of the Franciscan tradition, the centrality of interior and mental prayer, conformity to Christ crucified after the example of Saint Francis, the essential value and inspiration of the mysteries of Christ and the Virgin, poverty, especially in its interior aspect, and the love of God and of neighbour, overflowing into apostolic itinerancy and going forth as missionaries.[3]

The spirit of reform in the Franciscan tradition that established the Capuchin Order as one of the significant “reforms”, was expressed by the radicalness of the primitive eremitical option and in the literal observance of the Franciscan rule. The esteeming of highest poverty was expressed by the strict use of things, such as in small buildings, poor clothing, parsimonious use of food, bare feet and plain sandals, the use of one habit, questing and the non-accumulation of goods, frequent fasting by way of bread and water, all of which was to concede nothing to pleasures and comfortability. The austere and harsh lifestyle was a germane aspect of this spirit of reform and was very attentive to the corporeal and external practices. It was noteworthy the tenacity the Capuchins gave towards safeguarding the external forms, such as in their religious habit as being a sign of the reform in that it was held to be taken from the true religious habit of Saint Francis.

Corporeal mortification was always a strong aspect of the Capuchin experience and its practice was particularly inculcated and exercised in the formation of novices by various and multiple accentuated practices, as according to the longstanding Franciscan practice. There are numerous testimonies from which to gather the past pedagogical tradition of the Capuchins. The austerity aspect of the Order in poverty and humility paid much attention to external practices of penance. They were inculcated by way of an evangelical “spiritual violence” of exercises in the practice of the virtues. This had a very strong impact during the novitiate stage. The Capuchin method of asceticism puts robust emphasis on the repetition of the exercises of prayer, penance, obedience, humility, and so forth. At the same time, it insists still more strongly on the interior operations of the soul to produce many and forceful acts of the will. This was a necessary practice by which to instil virtuous habits. These practical aspects were important to the Capuchins in acquiring virtue. It was in the concrete exercising of these habits that the interior renewal of the will passed from a theoretical doctrine to fact, in the conviction that the most wonderful thoughts without works are nothing.[4] The recent Constitutions have preferred to accentuate more the penitential aspect as evangelical conversion, without insisting too much on the bodily forms and practices of penance.[5]

The centrality of interior and mental prayer is the second aspect that qualifies the Capuchin spirit.[6] The synthesis of these elements of union with God is expressed clearly in the 1536 Constitutions. The text is important and requires it to be quoted in its entirety:

Given that God is our final end to whom everyone should tend and long to see himself transformed in Him, we exhort all the friars to direct all their thoughts to this aim. With every possible impulse of love let us focus all our intentions and longing to unite ourselves to our supremely good Father with all our heart, mind and soul, with our strength and virtue, with actual, continuous, intense and pure love (n. 63).[7]

This finality of union in love is arrived at by means of contemplative prayer and highest poverty, which is the appropriate path of the lesser brother. Prayer in its various degrees, so to speak, envelopes all the legislation of the Order, all the chronicles, and becomes the primary argument in the literary output of the Capuchin spiritual writers. It is in the mysteries of Christ and of the Virgin that they find the practical ways of devotion and of a deep interiority, which they transmit to the faithful.[8] Here can also be noted the particular historical influence of the mysticism of Henry van Herp and, also in part, the “devotio moderna”.[9] The practical principle that serves to acquire all the virtues, according to the sayings of the Capuchin spiritual masters, is to live “in continual and frequent acts of love”. Blessed Tommaso da Olera explains it as such: “If you long for and desire to quickly acquire together the virtues and perfection, I counsel you to turn yourself inside out, put what is outside, inside, and bring what is inside, out. What I want to say is to totally disregard yourself and your self-interests, searching only for God in all of your life… being always attentive to see inside of yourself that which God wants from you… searching to purify your intentions, forming in yourself the purest acts of love that you can”.[10]

Therefore, interior penance has a much greater significance and is the finality of every external and corporeal penance. For this reason, the early Capuchins gave a privileged place to Henry van Herp’s teaching on the twelve mortifications that gave greater value to this interior element than the simple fact of exterior penance. The aim was to arrive at the total abnegation of the will so as to purify it from every affection that was not purely according to God.[11]

The other great means of arriving at unitive love was poverty. Not solely and simply in its external aspect but, above all, by way of interiority and the spiritual aspect, that is, by way of detachment from oneself and one’s own will, and perfect adherence to the will of God and, according to Francesco Ripanti da Jesi, by “not have affections for anything other than for God”. According to the French and Flemish Capuchin writers, to arrive at this aspect of “perfect nakedness of spirit” one had to penetrate into the mystical significance of poverty by contemplating the love of Christ crucified. In this way, poverty becomes true spiritual wisdom, “mother of all the virtues”, especially of humility and simplicity, mortification and penance, chastity, obedience, charity and the love of God. At the same time, contemplation – the goal of religious life – grows on the foundation of poverty. These elements had already begun to repeatedly emerge in the early chronicles of the Order. They express the convergence of the conviction of the friars and find their complete reality in the person of Christ, God-Man. The gazes of the heart were continually directed towards him so as to completely follow him according to “the living spirit of Christ” and to be transformed in him by the impulse of love, that consequent to this “excess of love”, pushes the friars to announce the Gospel in the world.[12]

The love of God and neighbour, overflowing from apostolic and missionary itinerancy, is another aspect of the Capuchin spirit. The height of Capuchin eloquence emanated from union with Christ by which the preacher would speak from the excess of love and help the faithful also to participate in a living experience of faith. Here, from this union with Christ, rather than by means of his books, the Capuchin would draw nourishment for holy eloquence, such that, his norm and rule were the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the New Testament and above all, the Gospel.[13]

The figure of the preacher is already well outlined in the first Capuchin constitutions. The Capuchin preacher needs to be “seen to lead a holy and exemplary life, to have clear and mature judgement, and to have a strong and ardent will”. After the example of the apostle Paul, they need to live what the preach, that is, “to imprint Blessed Christ upon their hearts and to give themselves into His serene possession so that through the superabundance of love He may be the one who speaks in them, not only with words but especially through their deeds”.[14]

In fact, the contemplative mystical yearning realised by way of radical poverty pours forth into a rich apostolic life, above all, characterised by preaching, by the announcement of the good news, by evangelisation, to the point that the Capuchin preacher (“evangelical preacher”), as described in the 1536 Constitutions, seems to assume the essential elements of the “Capuchin charism”. As such did Pope John Paul II define the “typical identity of the Capuchin”, which is: “the primacy of an evangelical fraternal life, lived out by way of a strong contemplative experience, lived in radical poverty, austerity, simplicity, joyful penance, and in the full availability of service to all”.[15]

The whole Capuchin life was imbued with devotion and devout practices that became popular instruments of evangelisation. In fact, Capuchins, by their proven popularity, carried out important works of increasing the religious faith of the people by way of many different forms of devotion. These devotions were adapted in such a way as to become suitable means of assimilating the mysteries of Christ (the Holy Child, the Crucified, the Eucharist) and of spreading love for our Lady and the saints. These were the preferred forms of devotion and of cult lived and spread by the Capuchins, in the wake of Franciscan piety and after the example of saint Francis.[16]

Notwithstanding the above, the primary Franciscan and Capuchin devotion was that of the Passion of Christ. The divine Crucified is also the image that the Capuchins hold in greatest honour and make it their daily and continual meditation. On this they modelled their own lives of penance by means of devotions such as the Crowns of the Passion and other spiritual manuals and in the practice of the Way of the Cross.[17]

The practice of the 40 Hours was a specific practice that developed a popular Christological spirituality. It was initially based on the 40 hours that Christ passed in the sepulchre; to this was added an aim of universal appeasement. The centrality of the Crucified – which Bernardino Ochino put more in focus in his preaching and in the 40 hours than the Eucharist – then became in adoration a true school of mental prayer for conversion of self and for the reform of the Church. The faithful learnt to read and meditate on the various episodes of the Passion of Christ so as to arrive at confession of their sins, acts of penance and the imitation of the Crucified.[18]

The Eucharist cult among the Capuchins was delineated with growing intensity from the Constitutions, to the chronicles, the ceremonials of the Order, the spiritual writers and preachers, and it is particularly obvious in the lives of the saints of the Order. From these texts it is possible to gather together all the more significant aspects of the love for the Eucharist lived by the Capuchins. Today, after Vatican Council II, it is by way of the Eucharist that the Franciscan-Capuchin charism of minority and fraternity is nourished, and the liturgy is renewed. It continues to call for the witness that the truth of the Eucharist needs to remain at the centre of the community and of its mission.

The Virgin Mary is another of the primary devotions amongst the Capuchins. The ancient chronicles are a constellation of Marian devotion to the point that the birth of the Capuchin reform was put under the mantle of Mary. Here also many forms were used: love and consecration to the Immaculate Virgin, made Patron of the Order in 1712, solemn coronations of her images, contemplation of the mysteries of the rosary, and so forth. This was accompanied by devotional literature and rich pastoral experience that manifested that ardent and sweet corporeal and spiritual mercy that, above all, in the culture of the past characterised the physiognomy of the Capuchin. This created in the minds of the people a conception of the Capuchins as truly “popular”. They were always ready to serve, as has been demonstrated in the history of the apostolate carried out during the plagues or cholera epidemics, and which continued in the service in the hospitals, with the particular gift of compassion and consolation, and in the practice of works of corporeal and spiritual mercy. In the tradition of the Capuchins, keeping in mind and meditating on purgatory, other than just the commitment to “pray for the dead”, nourished a vibrant devotion to the holy souls in purgatory. This tradition of devotion, prayer and sacrifice for the souls in purgatory has been a part of the spirituality of the Capuchins up to the present day. It is enough to note the mystical experience of saint Pio of Pietrelcina and the general witness of the preaching of the friars. All of this shone forth in the lives of the Capuchin saints as secure pointers so as to form a true description of the specific spirituality of the Order, that finds at its centre the exercise of love experienced by way of praying, in continually carrying out acts of perfect love, and in the passionate apostolate of preaching.

These three essential elements of the Capuchin charism, that is, the primacy of the life of prayer and devotion, highest evangelical and seraphic poverty, and the apostolate as an “excess of love”, culminate in the Capuchin spirituality proposed by Bernardino d’Asti in his circular letter of 1548 which reads: “be very concerned about humble and devout prayer, begging the Lord from your hearts to bestow and increase and advance these holy virtues, especially most holy charity and poverty which, along with prayer, are most necessary and precious ornaments of the true lesser brother. Without them no Capuchin brother can be pleasing to God, or hope to enter the eternal marriage to the divine and heavenly spouse.”[19]

However, today, after the frequent revision of the Constitutions (three times within fifty years), these spiritual marks are a little less obvious. The Minister General Br Mauro Jöhri wrote,[20] “The most evident change after the Council was the shift from a strongly penitential understanding of our form of life to one that highlights the priority of fraternal life.” This turning point “has its roots in a rereading of the Franciscan sources. There we clearly see how, by deliberately choosing to describe the movement he began as a “fraternitas”, Francis of Assisi valued the gift of each individual brother”. To be and live as brothers is an irreplaceable condition of the evangelical and Christian life.

In a postmodern secularised society, marked by divisions of individualism and materialistic consumerism, this emphasis on fraternity is needed. However, the “traditional” elements of Capuchin spirituality – prayer, poverty, minority, apostolic and missionary service – need to be valued even more. The primacy of charity is the primacy of evangelical love and, consequently, the primacy of contemplation and of interior poverty.[21]

The first Constitutions of 1536 always remain the text of fundamental inspiration of the Capuchin reform. They are founded upon the evangelical Rule and example of Saint Francis. The continually reassert that the practice of prayer and poverty cannot be incarnated in the daily life of the fraternity if the fraternity is treated solely as an apparatus of social communication, rather than a communion of love. This is marvellously expressed in chapter XII: “To be true disciples of Christ himself let [the friars] love one another from the heart, bearing one another’s faults always. Exerting themselves in divine love and fraternal charity let them strive to give the best example to each other and to every person, even by doing continuous violence to their own passions and depraved inclinations. For as our Saviour says, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent plunder it, that is, those who vigorously do violence to themselves.”[22]

This impetus of charity motivates and sustains the yearning for pastoral and missionary activity. The spirituality of the Capuchins is also the history of their pastoral activity that is derived from a contemplated love, out of which flows an excess of love. It is historically characterised by two typical ecclesial expressions: witness and service, or, more technically speaking, martyrion and diaconia. Under “witness” can be included the various forms of gospel announcement, such as preaching, as it is appropriately named, in the mission to non-believers, the apostolate of the sacrament of confession, catechesis, especially to people of more humble residential dwelling and in the countryside, in the creation of various lay associations and of various religious groups both male and female, and so forth. Under “service” or diakonia can be included assistance in the hospitals and leprosariums, often crowned with the sacrifice of one’s life, the care of the poor at the door of the friaries, the defence of the weak against the powerful, institutions of various forms of social assistance, and all the works of mercy.[23]

Moreover, from the beginning of their history the Capuchins placed their experience with lepers as the basis of their newness of life. Realising that Francis’s remembrance of the lepers was the first of the exhortations he gave to his friars, the Capuchins made that testament of the lepers as the interpretive key to their vocation. That desire for penance united with mercy in the service of lepers was the first unmistakable characteristic and outstanding image of the Poverello. It was this that the Capuchins desired to reproduce and imitate in their commitment to reform. Therefore, drawing on this Franciscan inspiration, the Capuchins, from their beginnings, exercised this ministry of mercy, both to the sick friars inside the friary, managing to create well organised infirmaries that expressed fraternal charity, and outside the friaries amongst the laity, in their houses, in hospitals and in leprosariums. It can certainly be affirmed that the sick, the incurables and the plague stricken, as well as the poor, suffering and burdened, are woven into the history of our Order, and continued to be, being for the friars their primary pastoral activity after that of itinerant preaching.[24]

Being more numerous, the lay friars and also the simplex priests (those who were not approved to preach) were more popular with the people, and their spiritual influence on them was noteworthy. In fact, they carried out an effective Franciscan witness because they carried out the more ‘delicate’ work in the friary, from which the people derived their esteem for the friars: the porter and the questor. The idea of the Capuchin friar among the people was that of the “tout court” friar. What is documented, above all, is the simplicity and humility of the brother porter and questor, rather than preachers, especially because the preachers, according to the principle of the Constitutions, were to be “few in number”.[25]

The centuries-old history of the Order results in a great variety of various shades of spirituality being refracted upon us. Today, therefore, it is necessary to return to our tradition[26] when “our own times seems to be taken as the absolute present. The great long-term projects of the past have been abolished, we are annulling history and with it our links to the past. It is because of this that Tradition is indispensable for each society and a return to it is needed so as to re-establish the fundamental network of the relationships that bind the fathers to their children.”[27] A fruitful spirituality cannot flower without a renewed interior formation. In fact, there is a great need “to transmit by way of formation the authentic spiritual values and pastoral works of the Institute, with a renewed sense of identity open to communion, but with the well-defined aim of advancing clear, not vague, specificity, a charismatic identification with the person of the Founder and with the founder’s family, its history, and its concrete present reality, capable of resisting the indifferentism and superficiality that risk weakening vocations. If the great charismatic values of spirituality and mission are not transmitted, we risk filling our houses with individuals without identifying with or love for their own family, with an incapacity to resist the trials and so very many temptations that today are offered by a society of weak mind and fragile identity”.[28]

In conclusion, as I have already written elsewhere, a few proposals:

1. Renew our own charismatic spirituality by way of the two paths suggested by the Council and by the Pope: the foundational charism and the spiritual heritage.[29]

2. Return to apostolic itinerancy in preaching and missionary evangelisation: the “ministerium Verbi” needs to return and be put at first place in the formation process and in studies.[30]

3. Return to the contemplative dimension and to the silence of the spiritual retreat and a fraternal community Eucharist.[31]

4. Return to fraternity lived in active poverty and charitable obedience, as opposed to individualism and present-day activism.[32]

5. Return to the study of wisdom, the lectio divina of the Word, lectio storica of our life as a purification of the memory for the interior reacquisition of the vision and certainty and the joy of being Capuchin friars minor.[33]

6. Return to the spirituality of “service”. The many testimonies of sanctity in the Order looked for and loved by the people, put in evidence that the Capuchin friar is popular and contemporary by way of a law of antithesis: “It is precisely in this distance (from the world) that brings these good brothers closer”, said Paul VI. Our accentuated closeness of today, according to the spirit of the world (mass-media and consumerism), is it not perhaps the reason that places us distant from our traditions, that we are not joyously attuned with them, that we are no longer evangelically significant, no longer so popular and attractive, with the consequences of the decrease in vocation and other significant disadvantages?[34]

  1. Cf. I frati cappuccini. Documenti e testimonianze del primo secolo. A cura di C. Cargnoni. Vol. I: Ispirazione e istituzione. Vol. II: Storia e cronaca. Vol. III/1-2: Santità e apostolato. Vol. IV: Espansione e inculturazione. Vol. V: Indici. Perugia-Roma 1988/1988/1991/1991/1993 (Sigla: FC); L. Lehmann, Valori fondamentali del nostro carisma francescano-cappuccino. Il contenuto spirituale prioritario nel programma della nostra Formazione Permanente, in L’Italia Francescana 66 (1993) 27-36; Salvatore Vacca, Momenti e figure della spiritualità dei cappuccini in Italia, Roma 2007; Id., I Cappuccini tra storia e spiritualità, in Laurentianum 48 (2007) 53-112; Metodio da Nembro, La spiritualità cappuccina, in Id., Quattrocento scrittori spirituali, Milano 1972, 1-27.
  2. C. Cargnoni, Santi e santità nell’ordine cappuccino, in Sulle orme dei Santi. Il Santorale cappuccino: Santi, Beati, Venerabili, Servi di Dio, San Giovanni Rotondo 2012, 9-56.
  3. Lázaro Iriarte, Fisonomia espiritual de los capuchinos. Rasgos fundamentales de su espiritualidad, in Estudios Franc. 79 (1978) 267-292; Lorenzo da Fara, Il cuore dei poveri scalzarelli. Note di spiritualità francescano-cappuccina, Venezia-Mestre 1999; Massimo Petrocchi, Storia della spiritualità italiana 2: Il Cinquecento e il Seicento, Roma 1978; C. Cargnoni, Barnabiti e Cappuccini: due spiritualità a confronto, in “Guardatemi il cuore: io ve lo mostro aperto”. Settimana di studio e spiritualità zaccariana (Lodi, 26-30 agosto 2002). A cura del padre Giovanni Scalese. (Quaderni di vita barnabitica, 13). Roma 2003, 185-240.
  4. Vedi su questi aspetti il vol. I de I frati Cappuccini. Documenti e testimonianze del primo secolo, Roma-Perugia 1988, 1277-1591 (= Tradizioni e pratiche di province e di noviziato – Consuetudini ascetiche e devozionali negli antichi libretti della Regola).
  5. Francesco Polliani, Le nuove costituzioni dei Frati Minori Cappuccini. Analisi e commento (Centro Studi Cappuccini Lombardi, n.s. 3). Milano 2015, 233-251.
  6. C. Cargnoni, I primi lineamenti di una “scuola cappuccina di devozione”, in Italia Franc. 59 (1984) 111-140; id., Fonti, tendenze e sviluppi della letteratura spirituale cappuccina primitiva, in Collectanea Franciscana 48 (1978) 311-398; id., Letteratura spirituale ascetico-mistica (1535-1628), in FC III/1, 23-1729.
  7. Cf. FC I, 336.
  8. O. Schmucki, La preghiera come elemento essenziale nella formazione alla vita Francescano-cappuccina, in Analecta O.F.M.Cap. 91 (1975) 225-236; id., Preghiera e vita contemplativa nella legislazione e vita dei primi frati minori cappuccini (I Frati Cappuccini. Sussidi per la lettura dei documenti e testimonianze del I secolo, 3), Roma 1989.
  9. Jesús-Lucas Rodríguez García, La «Devotio moderna» y la espiritualidad capuchina tradicional, in Estudios Franciscanos 97 (1996) 121.
  10. FC III, 1464.
  11. Cf. Le XII mortificazioni di Herp, metodo ascetico dei cappuccini, in FC I, 1505-1519.
  12. C. Cargnoni, L’apostolato dei cappuccini come “redundantia di amore”, in Italia Franc. 53 (1978) 559-593; e, a parte, in: La vita dei frati cappuccini ripensata nel 450° anniversario della loro riforma. Conferenze tenute al convegno nazionale (Roma, 25-30 sett. 1978). Roma, L’Italia Francescana – CISPCap., 1978, 51-85.
  13. Cf. C. Cargnoni, La predicazione dei frati cappuccini nell’opera di riforma promossa dal concilio di Trento, in Metodologia dell’annuncio. Atti del Convegno, Milano 27-29 sett. 1983. (Strumenti per l’evangelizzazione, 1). Milano, Ed. Cammino, [1984], 49-86; e a parte, a cura della CISPCap. (Sussidi Formazione Permanente – Nuova Serie, 6), Roma 1984; Id., Trattati, manuali e metodi di predicazione dei cappuccini del ‘600, in La predicazione cappuccina nel Seicento, a cura di Gabriele Ingegneri. Roma, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1997, 113-174.
  14. Cf. FC I, 407, 411.
  15. Cf. C. Cargnoni, La tradizione cappuccina ieri e oggi, in Italia Francescana 83 (2008) 88-93.
  16. C. Cargnoni, Spiritualità, santità e devozioni, in I Cappuccini in Emilia-Romagna. Storia di una presenza. Bologna 2002, 116-197; Francesco Saverio Toppi, Spiritualità cristocentrica e serafica nelle prime costituzioni cappuccine, Roma 1990.
  17. Cf. per es. La spiritualità passiocentrica e i cappuccini di Napoli, Napoli 2003.
  18. C. Cargnoni, Le quarantore ieri e oggi. Viaggio nella storia della predicazione cattolica, della devozione popolare e della spiritualità cappuccina, in Italia Franc. 61 (1986) 325-460; e a parte: Le Quarantore ieri e oggi. (Sussidi di formazione permanente – Nuova Serie, 10), CispCap., Roma 1986.
  19. Cf. FC II, 833.
  20. Cf. Lettera circolare Identità e appartenenza dei frati minori cappuccini, n. 1.2 (Roma, 4 ott. 2014).
  21. C. Cargnoni, Le radici della fraternità, in Le relazioni fraterne. Corso di formazione permanente 1993. Firenze, Provincia Toscana dei Frati Minori Cappuccini – Tipografia “San Francesco”, [1994], 33-4; Id., La fraternità nella storia dell’Ordine, in Le relazioni fraterne, 27-32; Id., La fraternità nelle ultime costituzioni, ibid., 43-52.
  22. Cf. FC I, 445s.
  23. Id., I frati cappuccini tra lavoro e devozione, in Italia Francescana 82 (2007) 313-328.
  24. Id., La storia cappuccina della misericordia, in Italia Franc. 86 (2011) 421-450.
  25. Id., La spiritualità del religioso fratello cappuccino, in Spiritualità e cultura nell’età della riforma della Chiesa. L’Ordine dei Cappuccini e la figura di san Serafino da Montegranaro, a cura di G. Avarucci. Roma 2006, 137-146¸ Mariano d’Alatri, Uomini di Dio al seguito di Francesco. Una spiritualità vissuta, Roma 1995; Giancarlo Giannasso, Linee essenziali della spiritualità del Fratello Cappuccino, Roma – Milano 1978.
  26. C. Cargnoni, La tradizione cappuccina ieri e oggi, in Italia Francescana 83 (2008) 59-103.
  27. M. Veneziani, Di padre in figlio. Elogio della Tradizione. [I Robinson/Letture). Roma-Bari, Laterza 2001. XI-215 p.
  28. Opuscolo della CISM, Spiritualità e missione. Il “proprium” della Vita Religiosa alla luce della Esortazione Postsinodale “Vita Consecrata”, Roma 1997, 48.
  29. Cf. i volumi de I frati Cappuccini. Documenti e testimonianze del primo secolo, 5 voll. Roma-Perugia 1988-1993; C. Cargnoni, L’immagine di san Francesco nella formazione dell’Ordine cappuccino, in L’immagine di Francesco nella storiografia dall’umanesimo all’Ottocento. Atti del IX Convegno internazionale. Assisi, 15-16-17 ottobre 1981. Assisi 1983, 109-168; anche in Anal.O.F.M. Cap. 99 (1983) 242-262; Id., L’immagine di S. Francesco nella riforma cappuccina, in Francesco d’Assisi nella storia: Secoli XVI-XIX. Atti del secondo convegno di studi per l’VIII Centenario della nascita di S. Francesco (1182-1982), Assisi, 14-16 sett. 1982. A cura di S. Gieben. Roma 1983, 25-53.
  30. Id., La predicazione apostolica di Girolamo da Narni, in Girolamo Mautini da Narni e l’Ordine dei Cappuccini fra ‘500 e ‘600. A cura di V. Criscuolo. (Bibliotheca Seraphico-Capuccina, 56). Roma, istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1998, 331-421; Id., La predicazione popolare e riformistica di Giacinto Natta da Casale Monferrato († 1622), in Fede e libertà. Scritti in onore di p. Giacomo Martina S.J. A cura di Maurilio Guasco – Alberto Monticone – Pietro Stella. Brescia. Morcelliana, 1998, 21-57; Id., L’apostolato della predicazione: Bernardino Ferraris da Balvano, in I frati minori cappuccini in Basilicata e nel Salernitano fra ’500 e ’600. (Bibl. Seraph.-Cap., 57). A cura di V. Criscuolo. Roma, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1999, 361-408.
  31. C. Cargnoni, Preghiera: IV. I Francescani, in Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione VII, Roma 1983, 628-651; e a parte: Esperienze e vita di preghiera nella storia dell’Ordine francescano (Sussidi formazione permanente, 13). Roma, C.I.S.P.Cap., [1980]; Id., Riflessioni sulla vita contemplativa nell’esortazione apostolica “Vita consecrata”, in Religiosi in Italia (Roma) n.s. 2 (1997) n. 303, 194*-206*; Id., Dimensione con- templativa della nostra vita francescana, in Boll. Uff. per i Frati Min. Capp. della Prov. Serafica. Anno L, N. 1 (Numero speciale 1984): Capitolo Straordinario, Assisi 2-7, 23 gennaio 1984. [S. Maria degli Angeli-Assisi, Tip. Porziuncola], 1984, 101-120.
  32. Id., Fraternitá e itineranza nelle fonti francescane per una integritá del carisma, in Il Vangelo cammina con il Vangelo. Atti del convegno-ritiro del 1 febb.-4 febb. 1999 ad Assisi. Bologna, Grafiche Dehoniane – Segretariato Nazionale per l’evangelizzazione OFMCap., 1999, 13-39; Id., Modi della comunicazione della ‘parola’ nella tradizione francescano-cappuccina: valori per il presente, ibid., 44-73.
  33. C. Cargnoni, Cultura bonaventuriana nei cappuccini tra ’500 e ’600, in Bartolomeo Barbieri da Castelvetro (1615-1697), un cappuccino alla scuola di san Bonaventura nell’Emilia del ’600. A cura di A. Maggioli e P. Maranesi. (Bibliotheca Seraphico-Capuccina, 55). Roma, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1998, 81-122; Id., “Libri devoti” e spiritualità, in Tra biblioteca e pulpito. Itinerari culturali dei frati minori cappuccini. (Città e territorio, 5). Messina, Biblioteca Provinciale dei Cappuccini, 1997, 101-129.
  34. Cf. Sulle orme dei santi. Il Santorale cappuccino: Santi, Beati. Venerabili- Servi di Dio. Roma 2000, IX-XXIV; Id., Le vocazioni all’Ordine cappuccino dagli inizi al 1619, in Le vocazioni all’Ordine francescano dalle origini ad oggi. (Studi scelti di francescanesimo, 8). Napoli, Tipografia Laurenziana, 1983, 89-122; id., Rinnovamento dell’Ordine cappuccino. Tensioni, prospettive, confronti di attualità, in Italia Francescana 55 (1980) 419-436; Id., Rinnovamento della vita cappuccina tra ambiguità spiritualistiche, tradizione e profezia, in Italia Franc. 61 (1986) 41-68.