Commentary on the Rule of the Lesser Brothers by Angelo Clareno

Expositio super Regulam

Commentary on the Rule of the Lesser Brothers

by Angelo Clareno

Translated and edited by Campion Murray OFM

(2014 edition)

Introduction by Felice Accrocca

Table of Contents


By Felice Accrocca

The present work has been written and intended for a public that includes not only specialists but also a more numerous number of students who need, as a matter of urgency, texts presented in modern editions, exact but easily usable.

For this reason, the work has been given a clear and systematic structure, like a manual, reworking the material on the life of Clareno and on all his writings. This will facilitate the reading for one who for the first time meets a person so rich and fascinating, but also complex and not always easy to understand.

Together with Ubertino of Casale, Angelo Clareno was ‘the principal exponent of the Franciscan Spirituals of the XIIIth and XIVth centuries’. Loved and persecuted in life, he is a person who does not cease to provoke discussion and on whom up till now sufficient light has not been shone. And in reality, history has not always been accurate since it has been guided ‘by an intention to judge more than to understand’.

This is perhaps the reason why so often interpretation has started from a priori positions with the aim of protecting either the orthodoxy or holiness of Clareno, or, on the contrary, preoccupied with demonstrating his heterodoxy and fanaticism.

Above all if we want to confirm and underline what will lead to sure conclusions (as far as this is possible), solidly documented, it is most important to submit the writings of Clareno to an analytical and minute study, something that, for the most part, has not yet been done.

1. The Life

First years.

While it is certain that Peter of Fossombrone and Angelo Clareno are the same person, we do not yet know when he was born. While the date proposed by Sabatier is surely untenable, namely, that the year of his birth was around 1240, the hypotheses of Sabatier, von Auw and Beradini are yet to be tested.

Beradini has put forward rather precise positions: ‘Angelo Clareno was born in 1245; his entry into the Order was in 1257/58; his religious profession in 1260/63’. This hypothesis is based on a double reference in Chronicon, where Clareno affirms that he knew personally Brother Angelo Tancredi, a companion of St Francis, and who died in 1258. On the other hand, according to Oliger, Clareno took the Franciscan habit in 1270, and this is based on what Clareno himself says in Letter 43, addressed to Robert of Mileto. In this opinion the year of birth would be at least ten years later. This is based on two points: the ‘almost sixty years’ and the biblical reference to the birth of Benjamin. For Oliger, who says the letter dates from 1330, the birth of Benjamin represents Clareno’s entry into the Order, while for Beradini, who ascribes the letter to 1323-25, ‘the birth of Benjamin is the reorganisation of the Fraticelli after the Pontifical condemnation of the years 1317-18, the same time as the death of the mother, that is, at the storm that destroyed the unity of the Order, with the controversies over the poverty of Christ (1323) that finished with the scandalous revolt of Michael of Cesena’.

But in reality, both the opinion of Oliger and even more that of Beradini, have no solid basis. In fact, the letter to Robert of Mileto carries no date, and if Oliger dates it in 1330 and Beradini in 1323-25, von Auw puts it later in 1334-37. The date proposed by Beradini is impossible because, on the sole basis of the fragment edited by Ehrle, it takes no account of what Clareno affirms in the letter: ‘For I am old and I have lost my appetite for all food and I wait to be freed at an hour from the body of this death’ [Rom 7:24]. In our opinion, this same statement makes it impossible to hold the date proposed by Oliger, because if already in 1330 several letters mention precarious conditions of health, it is difficult to reconcile that date with the strong expressions contained in Lettera 43. We then opt for the date proposed by von Auw, the last years of the life of Clareno (1336-37), because Clareno affirms he had nothing to write for him; it is difficult to put this statement in the time at Subiaco.

Another weakness in the opinions of Oliger and Beradini is the interpretation of the biblical event of the birth of Benjamin; even here we are in an area of hypothesis. If Oliger is wrong in seeing in it the entry of Clareno into the Order, because Clareno himself speaks of such an event as something that is ahead of him – ‘I look at’ -, Beradini is at fault because the date he suggests for the letter, a date that necessarily affects also he interpretation of the text, is not completely tenable.

In fact, I claim that by putting off the date of the writing of the letter to the last years of the life of Clareno (1336-37), one is able to refer with more surely not only to the first point, the birth of Clareno, but also to his first imprisonment dated around 1279-80.

Taking the words ‘almost sixty years’ to refer to his first imprisonment, the identification of the second element becomes more difficult. Here also, I hold we should be guided by the dating of the writing: the birth of Benjamin could in fact be seen as a rebirth of the evangelical life after the death of the mother, the Franciscan Order, after it was overcome by the storm released on it in the time of John XXII. The reference to Olivi could instead be seen as a reference to this death, an hypothesis more probable, perhaps, when not wanting to fix a precise moment in the life of Olivi, but as one element in his likeness to Francis.

So, what date should be given for the birth of Clareno? I favour the date given by Oliger for reasons different from his, and I think the birth of the Spiritual of the Marches can be put in 1255 and his entry into the Order around 1270.

Above all, because it would seem improbable that if Clareno was born in 1245 he drew attention to himself only in 1279-80, that is, at an age of about thirty five years, when, even as a youth, he had been attached to the ideals of the Franciscan Spirituals.

Secondly, and this is only a suggestion but put forward with good reason, Clareno, according to the date proposed by Beradini, would have lived for ninety two years: at the age of eighty nine he would have had to flee to the kingdom of Naples, and this after a difficult life, after imprisonments, hardships, and persecutions! Further, at the age of eighty five he would have written his Apologia. To me this is excessive. I repeat that this is only a suggestion but how can it be ignored?

First imprisonment and mission in Armenia.

In any case, he, together with his companions, had to endure ten long years of imprisonment and severe privations: we believe, with von Auw, that the events related by Clareno in Lettera 14 refer to the years he had to spend in prison before being released by order of Raymond Gaufredi in 1289-80. The imprisonment was caused by the disturbance produced among the brothers of the Marches following the spread of the news about the changes in the structure of the Order decided on in the Second Council of Lyons (1274).

The same Raymond Gaufredi, then, thinking that it would be insecure for them to remain in the same places where they had been imprisoned, accepted the request of King Ayton, and sent Clareno and his companions on mission to Armenia of Cilicia.

They were satisfactorily accepted by the King and justified their acceptance by giving a witness of an exemplary life that greatly impressed him, and also his misters, the clerics and religious. The same king sent to Raymond, the Minister General, a letter full of praise for the brothers; the letter was read in Paris during the General Chapter of 1292, and confirmed by the evidence of two barons and other honourable men, ‘perfectly fluent In the French language’.

The brothers of the province of Syria, however, sent defamatory letters about them: the King summoned and questioned them; after listening to them his esteem for them was even higher. But, seeing that the enmity of the brothers towards them did not cease, they decided to return home, some going to their provinces, some to the Minister General.

The ‘Poor Hermits of Pope Celestine’.

On returning to their province, Peter of Fossombrone and Peter of Macerate, found a most unfavourable welcome, due mainly to the work of Brother Monaldo, Vicar of that same province. On the advice of the Minister General, they went to Pope Celestine V who was then still in Aquila. They presented their situation to the Pope and, after listening to them, he drew up the constitutions of a new Order of Poor Hermits. Directly subject to the Pope and in dressed in a monastic habit they would have been able to observe the Rule and the Testament of Francis, according to the intention of the Founder. As I noted on another occasion:

We find ourselves faced here with a fact perhaps unique in the history of the Middle Ages. These Franciscans on two occasions made their vows as Lesser Brothers, wearing two different habits, the first before their religious superior and then before the Pope.

Once they heard of the decision made by Pope Celestine V, the reaction of the brothers of the Community was violent. Recruiting assassins, they attempted, ‘armed with weapons’, to capture Clareno and his companions while the Pope was still in Aquila. After the renunciation of Celestine V, Clareno and his companions decided the best thing would be ‘to withdraw to remote and desert places’, so as to serve the Lord freely ‘without causing disturbance and scandal to people’. These facts, recorded in the Chronicon, are fully in accord with the Epistola Excusatoria. The incident reveals the immediate effect on the brothers of the Community and the importance they attached to the decision made by Pope Celestine V; they were unafraid to violate it without delay – ‘consciously, in contempt of any reverence due to a command of the Pope, and far from any feeling of divine fear, love and honesty’ as Clareno said – and to act with no approval simply to prevent such a decision being realized.

In Greece.

This, then, reopened for them the way of exile, this time in Greece, in Achaia, near the island of Thessaly. I leave aside a description of these events of which we possess conflicting data, and I go back to what has been written by others. The importance of this time in Greece remains basic for the writings of Clareno; he gained, in fact, an expert knowledge of Greek as is clearly evident in his words such as the Expositio, the Apologia and in some letters.

Instead, I regard it as important to say a word on the witness given by Ubertino in his Arbor Vitae. Ubertino says that Brothers Liberato, Clareno and their companions, during their exile in Greece, had identified Boniface VIII with the mystical antichrist, symbolised in the image of the beast in the book of Revelation, and his statement has often been quoted.

While Oliger quotes this text to prove how well Clareno knew Greek, Frugoni, von Auw and Damiata seem to regard all it says as true. There can be no doubt that Clareno and his companions had little sympathy for Boniface VIII. Nevertheless, we cannot find the least indication in his writings that would confirm such an identification of Boniface VIII with the beast of the Apocalypse. And perhaps it is not wrong to suppose that Ubertino was forced to find support for his thesis. Not even against John XXII, the Pope who with the Bull Cum inter nonnullos had declared heretical the thesis on the poverty of Christ and his apostles, did Clareno make such an identification. Therefore, we hold that one has to very cautious in accepting that evidence of Ubertino.

Again in Italy.

We know little of the years spent in Italy prior to the transfer to Avignon in 1311. A group of brothers, together with Brother Liberatus, went to settle in the region of Molisana (?) at the invitation of Andrew of Isernia. It would seem that the intervention of Thomas of Aversa, a Dominican Inquisitor of the province of Naples, happened at this time. This Dominican had previously counselled and favoured the flight of Brother Liberatus, who, acting on his advice tried to reach the Curia in Avignon, had to stay in Viterbo, seriously ill; after two years of suffering, in the hermitage of St Angelus of Vena, ‘he was called to another curia’, and the ‘angelic man died’. Later, however, Thomas of Aversa, acting in an underhand way, succeeded in arresting forty two brothers, against whom he was cruel and implacable, accusing them of belonging to the sect of Dolcino.

Meanwhile, Angelo, on returning to Italy, met with Cardinal Napoleon Orsini in Perugia, by whom he was kindly welcomed. Clareno relates that ‘he wanted to take me with him but, weakened by sickness, I was not able to follow him. Hence, I remained in the area of Rome’. We do not know whether he lived in a hermitage or travelled in the regions of central Italy, between Umbria, the Marche of Ancona and the Roman Province; the second hypothesis is more probable because Angelo, with Liberatus now dead, had become the point of reference of the group and his direction was needed at that time; this could not have happened unless he travelled to keep constant contact.

The Epistola Excusatoria, in a shorter form, and the Apologia, give us information of a process that he had to undergo in Rome, where fifteen accusations had been made against him by Martin of Casalbore. However, he succeeded in avoiding the accusation of heresy and he went to the Curia in Avignon where Isnardo Tacconi, who had been named bishop of Antioch in 1311, presented his position to Pope Clement V.

The stay in Avignon.

Meanwhile, he developed a connection of respect and friendship with Cardinal James Colonna and remained n Rome until 1309 when he transferred to the Curia in Avignon, from where a few years before he had been forced to become the guide of the group after the death of Brother Liberatus. During his time in Avignon, that lasted longer than he had expected – Clareno says in the Epistola Excusatoria that this was due to a divine disposition – he remained in the house of the Cardinal, enjoying his protection. This was a situation of security that later Clareno, perhaps precisely because it was too secure and comfortable and so different from his companions who were refugees and vagabonds, and as if wanting to deny any possible accusation of comfortable flight, he will define as ‘most bitter’, stating that he detested it ‘more than any punishment that up till now I have experienced in this world’.

He attended the Council of Vienna (1311-12) and in the following years more than on one occasion seemed to be optimistic about the cause he had discussed in the Curia. He writes in this vein in a letter of 1312 and it is from this letter we know he was sick. In Lettera 43, written in the spring of the following year, he reported the canonisation of Celestine V, the publication of the constitutions of the Council of Vienna (published only one year later) and the judgment of the pope on the adversaries of Olivi. On this last point, he was able to state the great devotion of the people of Provence for him and the large gathering of people who, at Narbonne, came to his tomb on the anniversary of his death.

Through James Colonna, he made contact with the son of the King of Majorca, Philip, with whom he developed a strong friendship. On several occasions, he showed the great admiration he had for this young man of royal blood. He proposed him as an example to the Italian brothers, affirming that in spite of the education he had received at court, he was not unworthy to live the full integrity of the Rule.

To be situated in this period of waiting, in fact, at a time when he hoped that the question might be resolved in a better way, is the downright denial of the Spirituals of Toscana, who, at the end of the spring of 1313, rebelled against the hierarchy of the Order and elected their own General; they had to take refuge in Sicily under the protection of Frederick III of Aragon.

Nevertheless, the Spirituals did not succeed in obtaining as much as they had received from Celestine V for the reason that Clement V did not allow them to separate themselves from the Order and live in a group apart under another obedience. A passage from some years later shows how clearly Clareno understood the problem when he stated strongly:

Under the one rule of Saint Benedict many Orders serve Christ. And just as each of the rules mentioned had reformers, so the one rule of Saint Francis, with the permission of the Church and the Supreme Pontiff, could have reformers who would observe the rule more perfectly than the Order was then observing it. This unity does not come from inviolable statutes comparable to the unity of the Church and Gospel, because if Supreme Pontiff so wished he could give one general to the ultramontanes and another for the Italians; and he could allow brothers who wanted to observe the Rule according to the intention of the Founder to have both he name of Lesser Brothers and the Rule. From this no harm would come to the Order or to the Rule.

At least twice in this passage he affirms the undisputed authority of the Pontiff who alone could give such a privilege. Also in the Apologia, Clareno mentions ‘the most perfect and most holy life of Christ and his most divine and supreme authority that resides in the Church and in the Vicar of Christ, and without which no Order can be begun or renewed’. This is a balanced position, chosen by many before him in the monastic tradition and practised by so many others after him, even in the Franciscan body. There comes immediately to an historian the question already asked by Fr Doucet: ‘If in past centuries separations were made correctly or permission was given in an Order itself for living in separate places or in hermitages, why was it not equally right and useful in this case?’ Not even Philip of Majorca, who requested it often with insistence, succeeded in obtaining such a solution.

After James Colonna, Clareno lived in various places; Montpellier, Avignon, Carpentras, Valenza sul Rodano. After the death of Clemnt V, 13 April 1314, there were more than two years with no Pope. In a letter written from Valenza, most probably in the autumn of 1314, Angelo criticised the divisions reached in Carpentras within the Sacred College, and used quite severe words in confronting the conduct of the cardinals.

On 7 August 1316, the more than seventy years old James Duèse was elected with the name of John XXII. The old man, not yet a combative Pontiff, who knew well the tensions that disturbed the Franciscan Order, called to the Curia, in the spring of 1317, the Spirituals present in Provence.

Clareno, with much detail, reported the interrogation to which Ubertino, Godfried of Cornone and himself were subjected. The Pope, at the moment when Angelo tried to show the calumnies levelled by the brothers at the time of Boniface VIII, did not allow him to speak and imposed silence on him. He then turned to the Pontiff with courage and frankness: ‘Holy Father, you have heard the lies of the brothers but you do not have the courage to listen to the truth that I tell you’. The pontiff had him put in prison. We have only the statement in the Chronicon, and in this matter, even if the tone of the Pontiff fits reasonably well with his personality, and to the choices each of them made, we do not have such truly sure and convincing data to be able to accept it with total certainty.

In prison, he wrote the Epistola Excusatoria, addressed to the Pontiff, and it remains a most important document for the reconstruction of some aspects of his life. Among the details that he relates there is a substantial concordance with what he says in the Chronicon, and is an indication of no small importance, that the two writings, while written by the same person, have between them a character much different from a chronology written some years afterwards. His request was granted and he was set free. In a letter written on 29 June 1317 and addressed to Gentile of Foligno on behalf of Francis of Norcia, the release of Brother Angelo was announced, as happening ‘on the vigil of Saint John the Baptist’ (23 June).

The Pontiff, nevertheless, gave him a choice, namely, to return to the Order or to enter another Order approved by the Church. Angelo took the habit of Celestine. It is difficult to say anything about the state of soul of the already old brother because for a person of the Middle Ages the habit was the proof of one’s status. To change his habit, after more than forty years of wearing the Franciscan habit, must have cost him dearly. He then came under the obedience of Bartholomew who shortly afterwards became the Abbot of Subiaco.

At Subiaco. Flight and death.

Meanwhile, events rushed ahead. On 17 March 1318, four Spirituals were condemned to the stake at Marseilles. Angelo remained in Avignon until the death of James Colonna in the first half of August 1318. Having lost his protector, he did nothing more in the Curia. He returned to Italy and settled in Subiaco where Bartholomew had been elected Abbot a few months before.

At Subiaco, he was present, at a distance, for the unfolding of turbulent events. Already with Sancta Romana of 30 December 1317, the Pope had condemned the Spirituals; on 7 March 1318, as has been said, four spirituals were condemned to the stake at Marseilles; still in 1318, the bones of Olivi were dug up and burnt, and the ashes scattered; the years 1322-24 were the years of the great dispute about the poverty of Christ and the apostles that culminated in the publication of Cum inter nonnullos, of 12 November 1323, and that caused the rebellion of Michael of Cesena, Minister General of the Order, and the consequent involvements with the imperial faction of Louis the Bavarian, the removal by the imperial forces of John XXII, and the election of an antipope in the person of the Franciscan Peter Ranallucci of Corbara, who took the name of Nicholas V. Meanwhile in 1326 the Pope had condemned the Lectura super Apocalipsim of Olivi.

In this troubled period, Clareno found himself somewhat apart in Subiaco. From Subiaco he continued to address letters to his friends and at Subiaco he wrote his major works: the Expositio Regulae (1321-23); the Chronicon (circa 1326) and the Apologia (1330).

With his presence, Subiaco became a centre for the spreading of a rigorous Franciscanism. He continued to encourage, support and counsel his companions. John XXII, for a second time, in 1331, had refused a petition put forward in 1329 by Philip of Majorca, asking the Pope to allow him and a group of which Clareno was appointed head, general of the ‘Fraticelli of the poor life’, to live apart, cut off from the Order. From 1331, the Inquisition, urged on by the more than eighty years old Pontiff, intensified its enquiries. In 1334, Angelo, also eighty years old, felt insecure; he left Subiaco and found himself once again on the road towards the Kingdom of Naples where he expected to have followers – from 1329 Philip of Majorca, who had renounced his benefices, moved to be near his sister Sancia – and where he ended his days in solitude. He died in Lucania, near the hermitage of S. Maria dell’Aspro on 15 June 1337.

After a patient reading of the texts, a work already done but that is still to be finished in part, something not possible where I am, one can reconstruct the spiritual journey of this man, who seems at times to swing from one position to its opposite and who was often accused of ambiguity by his enemies.

In fact, what he wanted was to remain faithful to the intention of Francis, to observe the Rule as the Saint had observed it and in the way he wanted his followers to observe it. To remain faithful to such a programme, he wanted to remain within the Roman Church, avoiding, as far as possible, any schism or division and conscious that such a choice of life would necessarily be accompanied with suffering that came to be for him a sign of divine election. Spurred on by this double demand, that certainly he tried to keep bound together in a synthesis of outlook that often can seem truly contradictory and that deep down hides the drama of a man destined to move between his closest aspirations and the demands and necessity of the Order, Clareno lived his own religious experience, often desirous of a solitude where, far from disturbances, he would have been more easily able to observe the Rule in its integrity and with more effectiveness flee from persecutions.

Often troubled by sickness, the result of an itinerant existence, and more often finding himself in strife, and on the losing side, he longed for solitude, also for the sake of a close relationship with Christ. His missionary desire that pushed him to Armenia and Greece, cannot be justified solely as a tactical move, consequent on flight, but certainly the missionary experience of Francis and his command expressed In the Rule (RnBu 16,1-3; ReBu 12,1-3) for a mission among the Saracens other non-believers had a role in this decision. From this multiplicity of attitudes and inspirations, fruit of a complex mind never given to simplification, the style in which he expresses himself, especially in the Epistolario, is proof of this:

There grows in Clareno the singular position of a tranquil rebel. This is a position that could be regarded as ambiguous, did it not come from a conscience in which trouble, persecution, and suffering are placed in a context and logic that has its inevitable justification in the providential plan of God. Therefore, unlike others, Clareno did not become a leader of rebels, but rather he tried to live in a Franciscan way, how and where he could, often playing on the equivocal, always realizing in life what was his ideal of Franciscanism. (Manselli, 1976)

2. The writings

All the great writings of the Spiritual from the Marche were written during his stay in Subiaco. We will speak at more length in a separate section about his Commentary on the Rule.


Or The History of the seven Tribulations of the Order of Lesser Brothers.

It is difficult to date precisely this best known work of Clareno. Stanislaus of Campagnola places it ‘between 1323/25’; L von Auw notes that it reports his arrest in 1325 and so the date of writing of this work cannot be put before that date; R. Manselli, together with E. Pasztor who prepared the critical edition not yet been published, dates it around 1326.

The work is presented as a rereading from a spiritual point of view of the first century of the story of the Order. From the first tribulation, arising from the unbelief and disobedience of brothers who did not believe it possible to realize the evangelical life and the Rule as Christ had wished through Francis, until the last, arising in the twenty ninth year because of the election of Celestine V, the story follows the salient phases in the life of the Franciscan family: the generalate of Brother Elias (1232-39, the second tribulation); that of Cresentius of Iesi, supporter of science and of honour to the detriment of humility and evangelical poverty (1244-57, third tribulation) – this tendency was opposed in the generalate of John of Parma; the generalate of St Bonaventure to whom Clareno complained of the rough treatment reserved for John of Parma (1257-74, fourth tribulation); the persecution of Olivi, already in the generalate of Jerome of Ascoli (1274-79) and the rebellion of the brothers of the Marche at the news of some decisions made at the Second Council of Lyons, the pontificate of Celestine V, the death of Olivi, the persecution of the brothers of Provence and of the Marche until the death of Brother Liberatus (fifth tribulation). From the beginning of the pontificate of Celestine V, the sixth tribulation lasted for twenty eight years (and so for some time coexists with the fifth); to the twenty ninth year from the election of Celestine V, the seventh tribulation begins in which the final struggle will occur but Clareno does not speak of this. Therefore, the tribulations are to end because Satan will be conquered. The Chronicles finish, in fact, with a cry of hope:

They will shun the darkness of the last night, and in the midday of charity they will build tents. Satan will not prevail against them, but will be crushed under their feet and the Lord will be heir God, and Christ Jesus and his Spirit their teacher, to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Thanks be to God.

The work enjoyed a wide distribution as is evident from the fact that more manuscripts written in a vernacular language has come down to us than copies of the original Latin. Many historians are rather negative about the witness of Clareno, judging it to be suspect and partisan. We have said already on another occasion that:

We are inclined to hold that Clareno does use his sources in a ‘creative’ way (that is, inventing news and facts), but selectively (putting more emphasis on what corresponds in a more suitable way to his purpose). This is something that, to a greater or lesser degree, happens in every history. (F. Accrocca, 1988)

Perhaps, we can also add that many facts are voluntarily omitted, nevertheless every item has to be evaluated critically, as far as possible, avoiding at the same time enthusiastic non critical affirmations and unworthy criticisms based on prejudice.

The ‘Apology for his Life’.

Preserved in only one codex – ms 2094 of the Library of the Univesity of Padua, connected with Bernardine of Feltre – discovered by Fr Doucet who made it known in 1935, and who edited the work in 1946 (but the publication did not appear until 1948). Until now the work of Doucet remains the best edition of the works of Clareno and it has a good and balanced introduction. More than twenty years after Doucet’s publication, V. Meneghin discovered, in a manuscript of the same Library (ms. 596), and published twenty four letters of Alvarus Delagius, two of which, Letters 10 and 11, contained accusations against Angelo Clareno. It was in reply to these accusations that Clareno wrote the Epistola responsiva … conra fr. Alvarum Pelagium de regula Fratrum Minorum observanda, addressing it to Alvarus, Gentile of Foligno, an Augustinian and correspondent with Angelo, and Brother Oddone, also a correspondent with Angelo, to whom Alvarus had addressed the two letters in which the accusations against the Spiritual from the Marche were contained. It is preserved also in ms. Magliabecchiano XXXIX, 75, in the Bibliotheca Nazionale of Florence, that contains the Epistolario of Clareno, the letter addressed to Gentile of Foligno, to which Clareno joined the text of his Apology, written already two years earlier, but that he had kept with him:

Because I expected o be able to satisfy him, exchange letters with him and give them to him to be corrected or destroyed in case the style of the reply seemed burdensome and insupportable to him, especially should it fall into other hands. (Claeno)

Among the sources used by Clareno, studied effectively by Doucet, Basil and Gregory Nazianzus among the Greek Fathers stand out, then the writings of Saint Francis, the Leonine writings, the pontifical declarations, the commentaries on the Rule, and some writings of Bonaventure concerning the Order. He also made much use of, without quoting him, long texts of Ubertino from his Sanctias vestra, redacted during the Council of Vienna, and of Peter John Olivi from his questions De perfecione evangelica.

The text has two large sections. In the first, Angelo defends himself against the accusations of Alvarus, explaining and presenting the genuine and serious reasons for his choices and rejecting as untrue many things said about him; the text brings to light some episodes and moments in the life of Angelo and of some of his relations with friends. The second part contains reflections of Angelo on poverty and obedience; he said to Gentile of Foligno that these are the sections that could be sent to Alvarus, after the same Gentile had revised and corrected them.

A comparison between the texts of Clareno and the Letters of Alvarus, found by Menehin but then unknown to Doucet, a work much desired by Menehin, was done by Potestà.

The Epistolario.

Ms. Magliabecchiano XXXIX, 75, of the fifteenth century, contains the record in Latin of a body of Letters of Clareno. We owe some Augustinian hermits, spiritually close to Clareno, the merit that such letters reached us. Simon Fidati of Cascia, in fact, wanting to preserve the memory of a man venerated by him as a maser, entrusted to his fellow brother, John of Salerno, the task of gathering in a volume all the letters of Clareno that he could succeed in finding.

Discovered by Papebroch in the library of Strozzi (for its continuance in Italy – 160/62 – it entered into negotiations with Carlo Strozzi), it was then studied by Flaminius Annibale of Latera and, finally about a century later, was evaluated by Ehrle.

In recent years there have been two editions of the Epistolario, one by L. von Auw, the fruit of a half century of research, and one by R.G. Musto, prepared as a thesis for a doctorate and presented in Columbiar University. The edition of Musto has had a limited circulation in that it has not been published; the edition of L. von Auw, on the other hand, appeared in one of the oldest and most prestigious Collections. G.L. Potestà nevertheless, has examined both texts and has shown that ‘the edition of Musto has been done in a manner more attentive to philology and seems to offer, based on the limited number of passages examine, a more reliable text’.

L. von Auw, in effect, pays the least attention to the differences in the manuscript, even when it would be necessary to do so and while, on the other hand, he rarely corrects the text, when he does so it is in an arbitrary manner. As a result, different problems arise, for example, the double numbering of the Letters, an effective numbering of them, and some problems of dating. On such points, Musto and von Auw often present different opinions. In some of our studies, we have shown some defects in the edition of von Auw, particularly in what concerns the biblical references and the Franciscan sources.

Besides the Latin text, there is a group of thirty five Letters in Italian, contained in ms. 1942 of the Bibliotheca Oliveriana of Pesaro, of which G. Abate was the first to point out the importance; for the most part they are a translation of the Latin Letters in ms. Magliabecchino. Of these letters numbers 14, 23 and 24 have been recently published by L. von Auw.

The Letters cove a broad sweep of the life of Clareno, from 1312 to almost the last years of his life and represent a source of primary importance for the reconstruction of his literary and spiritual journey. For their final evaluation:

It will be necessary to succeed in placing them in chronological order, as far as possible. This task is certainly not entirely possible. Some letters resist any attempt to place them in a time scale, either because they lack any elements for determing the date or because they contain expressions and convictions expressed by Clareno over a rather long span of time. Nevertheless, this task has to be pursued tenaciously, because the possibility of throwing new light on the literary and doctrinal journey of Clareno depends, in terms directly proportionate, on the degree to which the letters can be related to one another. … The Letters can help in the rethinking of the position of Clareno before the Church and the Order in a strictly historically critical way, in so far as the Letters will allow one to retrace times of permanence or discontinuity in his journey, beginning with how he sees it and interprets it in the course of time (and this clearly does not imply that in an historical study one must adopt his perception of events nor his doctrinal logic). (Potestà)

Before these demands of the texts, Potestà has already given a first and valid response in his monograph on Clareno that concentrates precisely on the reconstruction of the literary, doctrinal and spiritual journey of the Brother from the Marche, such as this emerges from an analysis of the Epistolario.

Other works.

The Breviloquium super doctrina salutis ad parvulos Christi is known from the Ms. Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, III, 107, fol. 82r-88r. Some passages were published by F. Tocco, and then the whole work was published by N. Mattioli and published again by Ciro of Pesaro.

It is a small treatise composed for people ‘of both sexes’ who:

Are not married or bound by the cares of a family, nor who are members of monasteries under the special rules of the holy fathers, but who have a strong desire to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ perfectly in the state to which they have been called by him.

These same people had asked Clareno to give to them and their state some special documents for salvation’.

The text is made up of five parts, namely, the content of the Catholic faith; prayer; the best way to acquire holy virtues; conformity to Christ ‘in exterior actions’; an exposition of the Pauline doctrine on the certainty that a person is not saved by works, but by faith and by a pure gift of God. It has proved impossible to determine the date of the work.

The Preparantia Christ Iesu habitationem is contained both in Ms. Magliabecchiano XXXIX, 75, fol. 28r-29v, inserted at the end of Letter 9 – and was edited in this form by von Auw – and in a codex of the Marciana as a treatise on its own, and it was edited in his way by Mattioli and then again by Ciro of Pesaro. Recently, Musto prepared a critical edition and published it as a treatise standing on its own. Musto did not know of Codex Ms. 1/144 of the Convent of St Isidore of the Irish in Rome, of which L. von Auw provided information.

Clarno lists a series of actions that prepare the coming of Christ in a soul and help to make it permanent, in the first place ‘according to the actions of the exterior person’ and then ‘according to the actions of the inner person’. Musto identifies three central inspirations for this writing of Clareno, namely, the Rule of St Benedict, the ascetical texts of St Basil, in particular The Discourse on the monastic habit, and the writings of St Francis. With regard to the reference to Basil, G.L Potestà asks that this indication be proven.

L. von Auw regards this text as an integral part of Letter 9; Musto regards it as an independent treatise. We tend toward the thesis of Musto, taking into consideration the manuscript tradition and the fact that the text, put after Letter 9 in the Magliabecchiano, does not seem to be in harmony with the rest of the letter.

The translations from Greek.

After the data offered in the first half of the century by L. Oliger (1912) and V. Doucet (1946) in the course of the editions prepared by them of the Commentary and the Apology, to which one has to join a brief contribution of H. Dausend, published in 1915, results of undeniable value have come from the labours of J. Gribomont and R.G. Musto. A further contribution has been given by G.L. Potestà with the complete description of Ms. Subiaco, S. Scolastica, 227 (= S), and also the synthesis of the results reached up till now in the inventory of the translations done by Clareno.

Also, if the translation of the Scala Paradisi of John Climacus was widely known, and from which then came the popularisation made by Gentile of Foligno, Clareno drew particular inspiration from the works of Basil. This is a conclusion drawn from the studies of Potestà and Gribomont who already in 1953 arrived at results ‘definitive in identifying the Greek model used by Clareno for his Latin translation’. S, which contains a group of translations from the works of Basil, is commonly thought, based on Gribomont, to be a text hand written by Clareno himself.

Besides Basil and John Climacus, Clareno translated Pseudo Macarius:

S has simply in summary form the titles of 150 Kephalaia in which is divided up the material of the so called Opuscoli ascetici II-VII. We know, on the other hand, that Clareno translated them completely (to his work as a translator of Macarius he makes explicit mention of 13 lines in the Preface with which S begins, f. 1r). Evidently, he had the use of at least one other codex, since lost, containing among other material the full text of Macarius. (Potestà)

Moreover, further light comes from Ms. Urb. Lat. 521, that groups in the first part:

Other translations that are certainly from Clareno: Ps. Anfilochio, Compendium on the life of S. Basil; John Chrysostom, Praises of the Apostle Paul and Letter 125 to Ciriacus; Climacus, the Ladder of Paradise (with the Sermon to a shepherd and The Praise of Climacus by John of Raithu); Ps. Macarius, Liber (firstly, the complete text of the 150 Kephalaia = Opuscola ascetica II-VII ‘titles’) and Epistula magna; Athanasius, Letter to Marcellinus or Preface to the Book of Psalms.

In fact, we do not yet know the full number of Clareno’s ranslations, either because he certainly translated Gregory Nazianzus, the scholia of an anonymous Greek author on the Ladder of Paradise, and at least in some small part, Dionysius, or because his works display a wider knowledge of writings and authors that he perhaps did not translate but that he certainly read, annotated and wisely used: the Apoftegmi, Epiphanius, Theodorus, Diadocus, Ephraem, Barlaam et Joasaph …’ (Potestà)

3. The Debate on the Rule of the Franciscan Order

In his Testament, written some months before his death, Francis had expressly warned his brothers, commanding them under obedience not to ask for any letter from the Roman Church for churches, other places, for reasons of preaching nor for the persecution of their bodies.

In the same Testament, with extreme clarity, Francis commanded all the brothers, cleric and lay, not to add explanations to the Rule and Testament, but simply and without any comment, they were to understand the words and observe them to the end in holiness. As is well known:

Very soon after the death of the Saint, this very prohibition against asking for privileges was the first that, under various pretexts, was broken, probably because they did not understand its deep significance. There began then a story of requests and concessions that had many reasons, not all, in truth, an offence to the norm of Francis, in so far as concessions were necessary for the systemisation and insertion of the Order in the life of the Church. (Pasztor 1986)

The first papal declaration to interpret the Rule was the Bull Quo elongati of Gregory IX, in 1230. The Pope declared that the Lesser Brothers were obliged to the observance only of the evangelical ‘precepts’ and not also to the observance of the ‘counsels’. The Testament of Francis had no validity as a norm affecting the life of the brothers; the brothers were able to use money in some cases and through other people.

It is necessary to remember, following the pattern seen in the story of the first century of Franciscanism by Gratien of Paris (1982), that the Order, after an initial phase in which it completed its process of development, and which, according to the author, lasted from the death of Francis (1226) to 1244, the beginning of the generalate of Crescenius of Iesi, it had to experience a phase of systemisation and organisation that brought many changes in the life of the brothers – marked also by a distancing from the style of the original life – and which lasted until 1257 with the beginning of the generalate of St Bonaventure.

Asking himself the question how this evolution was accepted in the Order, Gratien of Paris notes the emergence of two tendencies, the ‘enthusiasts’ and the ‘dissidents’, in conflict with one another. The fundamental problem the brothers had to face was essentially one, namely, how to continue the progressive development of the Order without distancing itself from the original spirit of the institution? Around this problem the replies will differ from and confront one another, and this for some will be progress, for others regression.

On 14 November 1245, Innocent IV issued the bull Ordinem vestrum, with which, besides confirming that they were obliged to observe only the precepts, the Pope specified how a cultural preparation was an indispensable element for anyone who wanted to enter the Order. Innocent IV, besides, confirmed the possibility for the brothers to receive money, always through the mediation of interposed persons, made modifications to almost all the chapters of the Rule, while, in the matter of the right to ownership, he confirmed the prohibition ‘with the distinction that the ownership of goods belongs to the Roman Church, without bringing any modification to its use’.

The need to accept candidates on the basis of their cultural preparation, was a fact that in itself favoured the transformation of the first brotherhood into a learned Order and, consequently, clericalised. From a predominantly lay brotherhood, then, its members, according to the word of Francis were ‘simple and subject to all’, it grew within a few decades from the death of Francis, to a late Order, always more open to culture and clericalisation. A clericalisation that was to become complete during the generalate of St Bonaventure (1257-1274).

A significant transformation, then, occurred after only fifty ears from the death of Francis; a transformation that changed in a radical way the face of the original group that presented itself before Innocent III. This was a transformation that cannot be quickly and simplistically settled as a betrayal of Francis. In fact:

While here was undoubtedly a transformation, it (the progressive change in Fanciscanism in the thirteenth century) shows, with much openness how, in varied ways but tenaciously the evangelical tension that the Saint of Assisi had inserted into the life of the Church remained alive. (Pasztor)

In 1279, Nicholas II, the Orsini Pope, already Protector of the Order and uncle of that Matthew Rosso Orsini and who, as Protector of the Order, took over the succession and held it for a long time; he interpreted the Rule with the Bull Exiit qui seminat. This was an intervention that the Pope was moved to make and justified from frequent meetings between himself and the companions of Francis, who knew well the true intention of Francis concerning the Rule.

It is very important that it was the Pope who went back to the witness of the companions, because before long the competence of these last to establish the intention of the Saint will be contrasted rigidly with the inteprpretion given by the Popes. The Bull Exiit shows, nevertheless, that it is treating with problems already in the air in 1279. (Pasztor)

At the end of the great libellous polemic set alight by the council of Vienna, Clement V published the Bull Exivi de Paradiso (1312), which, Clareno says, ‘among other things is most like an eagle flying to the intention of the Founder’. It is certain that the Spirituals saw in this Bull of Clement V, that incorporated many of the requests put forward by Ubertino against the abuses arising in the Order, an affirmation and recognition of the points held by them. Nevertheless, Gratien of Paris, already more that sixty years ago, noted that Exivi, by not taking up their full opinion on the poor use and on the observance of the evangelical counsels, ‘is not a complete triumph for anyone’. (Gratien 1982)

In reaction to the changes introduced into the life of the Order by the papal interventions on the Rule, the Spirituals referred to the ‘first and final intention’ of Francis and to his intimate and privileged inner experience. They insisted: it was from Christ that Francis had learnt that he had to live ‘according to the form of the holy Gospel’; it was Christ who had given him the Rule; one could not then go beyond the intention of Francis without, precisely for this reason, putting oneself against Christ and the Gospel. This was a firm point for the Italian Spirituals, namely, to expound and comment on the Rule meant for them to bring to light the intention of Francis:

It is to underline that the polemic on the Rule, on the point that the observance of the Gospel is obligatory for Franciscans does not arise from a comparison with other Rules but in the context of the Christian experience of Francis. It is not an accident, even if in the history of the spirituals it has not always been adequately taken into account, that in their situation the problems about the Rule were seen with such sensitivity as to give rise to three commentaries. In fact, to the commentary of Hugh of Digne, of Peter John Olivi and of Angelo Clareno, there can be added from some points of view another text, namely, that of Ubertino of Casale in his Articuli accepti de Regula, compiled in the course of the libellous polemic stirred up by the Council of Vienna, that outlines an exposition of the Rule ‘in a nut shell’. (Pasztor).

The beginning of the pontificate of John XXII signalled the start of the oveturning of the positions fixed in Exiit and in Exivi of Nicholas III and Clement V. As A. Tabarroni, has well shown, the Pope, from the beginning of his first pronouncements with Quia nonnuquam, intended to overturn some fundamental positions sanctioned by Exiit.

The situation reached its final point of maturity and collapse in 1323 with the Bull Cum inter nonnullos, I which John XXII declared that the basis and foundation of Franciscan spirituality, namely, the thesis of the poverty of Christ and the apostles was heretical.

It is precisely in this period, between 1318, the year in which the bones of Olivi were dug up and burned, a fact known to us from Clareno, and the publication of Cum inter nonnullos (1323), of which there is no mention in the Commentary, in a climate of fear and apprehension generated by the first pronouncements of John XXII that the Commentary on the Rule of the Lesser Brothers began.

4. The Commentary on the Rule of the Lesser Brothers

Written between the years 1321-22, the text contains twelve chapters, of unequal length, commenting on the twelve chapters of the Later Rule, preceded by a Preface, and ending with an Epilogue. It is addressed to an otherwise unknown Brother Thomas[1] and in the Commentary Clareno wants to bring to light the true intention that Francis had in writing the Rule.[2]

For his edition, Fr Oliger used five manuscripts, four are in Rome and one in Monaco. It does not seem that the text enjoyed a wide circulation in circles with little education, especially in view of the fact that we do not have a vernacular version of it. Fr Melchor of Pobladura, gave notice of an Italian translation, and he was followed by L. von Auw, but, on an examination of the manuscript such information has been found to be without foundation. Only some sections of the writing, and these seem to be compilations, are a translation of the text of Clareno. However, Melchor has proven its acceptance by a section of the first Capuchin writers.

The text show Clareno’s vast knowledge of patristic and Franciscan sources; it reveals also a good knowledge of the texts of papal origin.

Patristic sources.

It is known how Clareno, during his exile in Greece, had attained a knowledge of Greek ‘perhaps without equal in the medieval West’. (Potestà) After the pages dedicated by Fr Oliger in his Introduction, contributions of great value are added from J. Gribomont, R.G.Musto, and G.L Potestà.

Above all, an essay by Gribomont in 1981 reveals how important his knowledge of Greek is in identifying the patristic sources present in the Commentary on the Rule. Beginning with the data already provided by Fr Oliger, he re-examines the text analytically, chapter by chapter, reaching conclusions that can be taken as definitive. We can do no more than go back to this work done with precision and accuracy.

From the study of Gribomont, it is clear that Clareno was inspired in a particular way by Basil, in whom he finds a great affinity with the evangelical experience of Francis. And effectively, following Gribomont, we also, as Potestà before us, see in the same reason the motive for his wide use of the Greek Fathers. This is confirmed also by what Gribomont affirms from the study he did on the patristic sources present in the Commentary and the Apology. In this last writing:

Destined for a theologian of the pontifical court, the Latin Fathers are mentioned more often than in the Commentary, and often from Franciscan theologians, or from the Decree of Gratien (himself used by a second hand? The work of a second hand is characteristic of an argument from tradition in the Scholastics. (Gribomont)

Franciscan sources.

Clareno knows well the writings of Francis. He quotes the Later Rule, the Earlier Rule, the Testament, the Admonitions and the Salutation of Virtues. He knows the works of Thomas of Celano and St Bonaventure, whom he often quotes; sometimes he indicates the source, other times he quotes literally without indicating the source, at other times he recalls, but not in a literal way, events contained in these sources. He knew also the material sent by the companions to Crescentius of Iesi and that then, following a path that is far from being retraced and a story still not well known, he came to the text of the Assisi Compilation, The Mirror of Pefection, the Little Manuscript, the Mirror of Perfection, Smaller Version. Finally he knew the works of Brother Leo from whom he quotes many passages. On one occasion we find a literal quotation from John of Celano.

We never find a mention or quote in our text, and this seems to be a very important element, of The Legend of the Three Companions, nor The Anonymous of Perugia. Regarding other sources, he knew Hugo of Digne (Declaratio in Regulam and De finibus paupertatis) and the commentaries on the Rule by the Four Masters and of Olivi, also, as has been proven, the only commentary he had constantly before him was that of Olivi.

Since we were able to show elsewhere, Clareno, when quoting texts attributed to Brother Leo, does not use other compilations already prepared and in forms that have reached us, as for example, The Assisi Compilation, Ms. Isidoriano 1/73, the Legenda Vetus and the Verba Conradi. He uses his own sources, giving at times a structure different from texts that originally would have been preserved in single passages or pages.

Besides, according to what has already been discovered, the Commentary preserves texts on the Saint and the first brothers that are unknown to the primitive Franciscan sources. It is difficult to decide precisely on the sources he used. Certainly, he had use of written sources (often he introduces texts by saying: ‘he writes’) and some other texts, in all probability, can came from such written sources, while others can very well find their origin in an oral source.

In the structure of the Commentary, the Earlier Rule plays an important role and is quoted at length by Clareno. As we have already written:

He compares the texts of the two Rules, to affirm that the Later Rule should always bear in mind that the Earlier Rule, for Clareno always closer perhaps to the true personality of Francis, who in writing it expressed himself at greater length, and, precisely for this reason, also with more spontaneity and freedom. The Earlier Rule, besides, to the eye of Clareno, corresponds to the forma vitae approved by Innocent III and hence relates directly to the life of the primitive brotherhood.

And, what is more, the particular place assigned by Clareno to the Earlier Rule results also from a comparison, done in his time, with the commentaries on the Rule by Hugo of Digne and Olivi. Olivi, to whom Clareno makes constant reference never quotes the Earlier Rule.

The Rule as the Gospel

And the life of the brothers an imitation of that of Christ

The Rule was divinely inspired to Francis by the same Christ. Right from the first lines of the Commentary, Clareno expresses this conviction that re-emerges in many passages throughout the whole text; just in the Preface alone the affirmation of the divine origin of the Rule is found a good three times. The conclusion to be drawn immediately from this claim is that neither glosses nor changes can be made to the text of the Rule. As we have shown, we find ourselves before a polemic that, while expressed in a pleasing form, is none the less incisive. It is evident that Clareno dissents from the papal interventions that in the course of the thirteenth century had come to modify, often in significant terms, the content of the Rule.

This Rule, in fact, ‘is fully and completely in accord with the customs and examples of the life of Christ, his Mother, the apostles and all the perfect saints’.[3] It cannot then be reduced to a juridical text to which changes can be made in favour of additions and changes, but, as the example of Christ is a model always valid and untouchable, so the Rule itself and the intention that inspires it are equally valid and untouchable.

The Rule and the Gospel, in fact, come to be identified: ‘… Saint Francis, commanded in a revelation to observe the Gospel of Christ, designates the Gospel as his life and rule; he said that everything he put in the Rule, he has accepted from Christ, as leading to a Catholic and lawful understanding of evangelical perfection and life, and as suitable for a sincere and pure imitation of his holiness, way of life and full following of him.’[4]

Now, if the Rule comes to be identified with the Gospel, it cannot be reduced to a juridical text, but, as Potestà also has shown, it presupposes a most strict link with life. Explaining the word life, present in the first chapter of the Rule, Clareno says that its meaning is, according to what is written in the Rule itself ‘and in the stories of all the saints’[5], the way of life and the perfect living of the virtues (here is noticeable the affinity of Francis with the Greek Fathers, something already referred to).

The life of the brothers, then, is nothing other than a following of Christ, an imitation of Christ.[6] In their lives they must relive the life of Christ, and their whole existence must be nothing other than a representation of the perfection of Christ.[7] This also is not an idea that appears in isolation but is one of the themes frequently treated in the whole Commentary, as shown but the very many times it is mentioned.

On this point, Clareno argues, pleasantly but not really in a hidden way, with what the papal declarations on the Rule have stated, that is, the obligation to observe only the precepts and not also the evangelical counsels. In the Rule that Francis presented to Innocent III, Clareno says, the counsels and the evangelical prohibitions were contained,[8] and, always according to his clear statements, the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ is ‘contained in a vow’.[9]

Francis ‘an imitator of the life of Christ’ (1,274) ‘informed beforehand of future troubles’ (2,22).

From the first pages, Clareno presents Francis as elect and called by God to renew and represent the rule and evangelical perfection of the life of Christ;[10] such an image re-emerges in many parts of the Commentary.[11] Different from the image left by Bonaventure in the Major Legend, Francis, whom Clareno also identifies as the angel of the sixth seal,[12] is presented as one who, clothed in a poor habit, crucified to the world for the sake of Christ, who appeared to him as crucified, preached that it is necessary to flee and tread under foot the vanity of the world with its gestures, clothing and words.[13] Francis, then, as a follower of Christ, is seen by him essentially in the radical nature of the experience of humiliation and of the cross.

And it is against this image of Francis, persecuted also by his companions, who in the last years of his life wished to impose on the religious family a style of life different from the choice of the Saint. Clareno rereads the experience of himself and his companions, persecuted by the rest of the Order, seeing himself and his companions as the true sons of the promise, sons of the spirit and not of the flesh, because through the Spirit of Christ they receive the gift and the grace of the same perfection that he received gratuitously from Christ.

Nevertheless, Francis is also presented by Clareno as one who, filled with the spirit of prophecy, had foreseen the inevitable sufferings and divisions to which the Order would be subjected.[14] From the very first lines, one notes that Francis ‘illuminated by a prophetic spirit, made clear in the fullest and perfect manner’[15] nd by means of this inner enlightenment was ‘informed beforehand of future troubles’ (2,22), a statement that recurs constantly throughout the whole Commentary.

Also of interest on this point is the vision of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, the nucleus of which was already in circulation before 1246, as is shown by its inclusion in 2C 82. The use of such an image in the Franciscan story enjoyed a wide diffusion in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, so mush so that Clareno alone reports it twice, in the Commentary[16] and then in the Chronicle. While St Francis was at prayer near St Mary of the Angels, there appeared to him an angel of the Lord: Its head was gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly was bronze, the legs of iron, the feet of iron and clay, the shoulders covered with poor and rough sackcloth. To the Saint, amazed at this vision, the statue of many metals seemed to him to signify ‘the beginning, development and end’ of his religious family ‘until the time of its birth and the reformation of the life of Christ and of the ecclesiastical state’.[17] Every metal, from the most valuable down to the poorest, corresponded to an age of Franciscanism that with the passing of time always lost more of its original purity. Such deterioration is presented as a progressive distancing of the brothers from the example of Christ, especially from the example of Christ crucified in so far as they looked for honour and fame.

This expresses a condemnation of the process of evolution in the Order that followed a different course from that desired by Francis, and an idealised combining of the experience of Francis and the first companions with that followed by Clareno and his friends.

‘They separated his holy Testament from the Rule’.[18]

In the Epilogue of his Commentary, Angelo Clareno makes a significant statement, namely, that by separating the Rule from the Testament, they do not understand the Testament because without it the Rule is stripped of all value, like a crown of stars without the head of the woman and without being clothed with the sun, like the loaves of proposition away from the holy table, like a good work without a right intention ….[19] In brief, Clareno seems to say that ‘both stand together or fall together’. But who are the ones who do not understand? In the first place they are the sons of the flesh, first of all, as a result of the preceding contest; but one cannot exclude those Popes, from Gregory IX onwards, who sanctioned with solemn declarations such a state of things. Already Cclareeno had affirmed this double direction. In the tenth chapter he affirms that the ‘sons of blessed Francis’ flesh did not want to obey his command, neither on account of signs … nor his command nor observe the Testament’.[20] Moreover, in this same chapter, he says that the express prohibition of Francis against putting glosses on the Rule does not mean that that one cannot explain in a better way the true and spiritual meaning of the Rule and of the Testament, by using the examples and writings of the saints, but that it strongly forbidden to introduce imperfections, impurities and a relaxed style, by twisting the sense of these words. Francis, ‘moved by the Spirit of Christ forbids’ all such actions.[21] Therefore, a certain type of commentary is allowable and justified, as for example the Commentaries of Clareno and Olivi from which Clareno constantly draws inspiration. While such a position, put in this way, provides a justification for the work he is doing, Clareno is careful to avoid texts of the Rule and Testament that could be judged by the same standard and so distort its meaning; from this point of view, we think, that Clareno took care not to apply the same standard to the pontifical pronouncements, that restricted observance to the precepts and not also to the evangelical counsels and took from the Testament all juridical validity. In this way, the Popes, consenting to the requests of the brothers, have put themselves against Christ himself, because Francis, moved by the Spirit of Christ, had expressed a prohibition against this.[22] The Testament, in fact, is not something different, different from the Rule, but is simply an explanation of the Rule itself that Christ had revealed to Francis.[23] In the Testament is expressed and made clear the pure understanding and final intention of the Rule.[24]

On the other hand, the particular attention that Clareno gives to Francis’ Testament originates in an interpolation that he makes by quoting texts found in the Legenda Vetus2-3. In the first text there is a reference to the attempt made by Honorius III to have Francis take from the Rule a passage contained in chapter ten, where he says that the brothers who feel they cannot observe the Rule purely and simply to the letter, can and should have recourse to their ministers, and if these do not come to meet them, the brothers have the freedom to observe the Rule literally, because all the brothers, both ministers and subjects, should be subject to the Rule.[25] The second text carries the reply given by Francis to a master of theology who asked him to be able to keep himself faithful to the observance of the Rule, even if he were to see fulfilled all the prophecies of the Saint on the future relaxations of the brothers.[26] Between these two texts, Clareno inserts the following: ‘Obviously, all the commands in his final Testament given to all his brothers, namely, that they are not to ask for letters from the Roman Church and that they are to observe the Rule simply and to the letter, clearly manifest and prove this’.[27] The express command in the Testament becomes for the observance of the Rule and, according to Clareno, it cannot be passed over by appealing to papal authority.

‘To carry the cross with Christ and the Apostles’.[28]

The perspective that Clareno puts before his friends must necessarily move to the cross. The fact is certainly significant that he rereads the story of the Order as a History of Tribulations. This title, that will assume a quite special significance in the Chronicle, appears often in the Commentary.[29]Besides, he

uses a valuable addition to an idea already widespread in monastic circles, coming originally from St Jerome, concerning the necessity to follow naked the naked Christ. Clareno inserts into this the element of suffering’. (Pasztor)

‘Naked as they follow Christ they bear the naked cross of Christ.’[30] On more than one occasion, then, without quoting the saying in a literal form, he speaks of the nudity of the cross.[31] To want to remain faithful to the ideal of Francis and to the pure observance of the Rule, one will be lead to face suffering from those who have tried, and try, to make one take a path different from that chosen and desired by the Founder. In this way he recalls that at the time when Francis ‘crossed the sea’, many attempted to introduce ‘not a few customs out of harmony with and contrary to the traditions of the founder’; meanwhile the faithful brothers had to undergo strong retaliations: ‘On brothers who opposed them, brothers zealous for the pure observance of the Rule, they began to inflict bitter persecutions and injuries’.[32] This idea, that will assume its full significance in the Chronicle, is not an isolated occurrence in the Commentary.[33]

The suffering, in its final form, began with the persecutions undergone within and outside the Order, whether it be, in a more general way from the adversity of the world, the expected dimension of a disciple, the way of divine election by which God calls him to share and be conformed to the experience of Christ crucified. The objective is to conform oneself to Christ, the head and leader of the afflicted: ‘united and conformed to Christ the head and the first of the afflicted’.[34] It is always necessary to remember that true disciples of Christ are those who ‘crucified to the world, carry the Crucified in their body and soul, and transformed into Christ in their senses, memory, mind and affections, they seek and savour only what is heavenly, not the things that are upon the earth.[35]

A Joachite text?

We refer here to what we have already written at greater length on this point. As we have noted, there is no agreement among historians about the problem of the supposed Joachite thinking of Clareno.

Nevertheless, in the wide array of ‘authorities’, Joachim is quoted only once, and that in a context that, in every way, does not indicate an enthusiastic acceptance of his prophecies.[36] The perspective of Clareno is more dramatic, and, besides, he does not incline in any way to a new age of the Spirit, the central point in Joachite reflection, but he speaks of ‘a renewal of the life of Christ’.

In those texts, already quoted, where Clareno identifies Francis with the Angel of the sixth seal, he does not say that it will begin the age of the Spirit, nor carry a new Eternal Gospel, but that he will be an imitator and renewer of the life and perfection of Christ. Nor, as we have already written, do we find any refereence to Joachim and to the Joachite terminology in the division of the three states of life – religious, ecclesiastical, married – to which Clareno refers. Such a division does not necessarily demand a reference to Joachim himself.

In the Commentary, then, there is no reference to the three ages of history, nor to the age of the Spirit. When he speaks of the Spirit, Clareno always follows data that came to him from traditional theology. So, in the definition he gives, namely, ‘the binding love of the Father and the Son’ we should refer to the great authors of the Latin tradition, and in a particular way to Richard of St Victor.[37] The sending of the Spirit is a work of Christ. In fact, imitating the parenthetic Greek alphabet, Clareno puts the twenty four Our Fathers of which the Later Rule[38] speaks in parallel, first, with the twenty four elders of whom Revelation[39] speaks, and then with the twenty four sacred works of Christ to which he reduces all the other works.[40] In another passage, he affirms that Christ, after his resurrection, poured the Holy Spirit[41] on his disciples, while in yet another passage he says that Christ teaches all truth[42] by the working of the Spirit.[43]

The few Trinitarian formulas present in the Commentary are in a context of a doxology or refer to an indwelling of the Trinity in a Christian as a principle working in charity, but never lead us to identify a period of history bound to the Trinitrian dimension by a certain preference given to the person, or to the age, of the Spirit, a basic element in Joachite thinking.[44] The same has to be said when there is question of the Person of the Holy Spirit, who comes to be seen as the One who guides the minds of the faithful to the truth of Christ, inspires the journey of the Church, sustains the disciples of Christ in their difficulties, and suggests to them the will of God.[45]

Quite often, the expression ‘Spirit of Christ’ is found and while it does not always expressly refer to the Person of the Holy Spirit, nevertheless, makes us understand the centrality given to the role of the Person of the Son of God in the spiritual life of true disciples. Francis is full of the Spirit of Christ.[46]

The Commentary leads us back to a christocentric vision of history, in which there does not seem to be place for an inspiration of Joachite origin.

Before the Church.

What image of the Church emerges from the statements that occur, here and there, in the Commentary?

The Church is the mystical body of Christ, that includes within it also the dead, for whom we must incessantly pray for them so that they might reach salvation as soon as possible.[47] In prayer, it is necessary to follow the customs of the Roman Church, mother, lady and mistress of all the Churches, towards which Francis would have his brothers always subject and obedient.[48] The Church regenerates with its sacraments that reunite the faithful into the one body of Christ.[49]

Often he makes statements that recall the obedience due to the Church. For example, he recalls the veneration that Francis had for the Roman Church, its prelates and for all priests[50] and how he wanted to remain always united to the Church, in obedience to the Pope and to prelates, because to disobey the Vicar of Christ would signify to put oneself outside the Church community and the same Catholic faith.[51] In fact, the full and supreme authority of Christ resides in the Church and in the Pope.[52] He affirms in strong expressions that such obedience is an inexhaustible source of holiness and a bond of unity[53] and he finds the same source for it, namely, in Christ,[54] so much so that to have it and to practise it produces ‘well-being, salvation and life’, while to abandon it causes only ‘error, death and bitter damnation’.[55]

However, this authority and obedience have a limit; one cannot command what is evil and the other cannot do evil. Since both subjects and prelates have to obey Christ,[56] one can never do anything that contradicts his will.

At the beginning of the Commentary on chapter ten of the Later Rule, after quoting from the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the Earlier Rule, he recalls how from these words of Francis – note well, taken from the Earlier Rule[57] – his intention is clear, ‘to define for those who preside what are the boundaries and limits of the Gospel of Christ and his obedience’.[58] One must not, in fact, counsel, suggest, or command in the slightest way anything against the Rule and the good of the soul, nor that might lead one to do any other thing that would be contrary to a vow and to regular observance. And should there be any ready to obey commands that compromise the pure and simple observance of the Rule, such would in reality be disobedient to the Gospel, to the Rule, to the Pope, to St Francis and to the Church, by obeying men rather than God. By basing himself, then on the Earlier rule, Clareno leaves an opening for his action, arguing in this way not for disobedience, but what we will be able to define as obedience of conscience, implicitly bringing us back to the words of St Peter expressed in Acts 5:29.[59]

If the limits of obedience come to be defined in such a way, limits are then placed on authority, because every authority and power of the Church and of all prelates should be subject to proper laws and statutes, and cannot extend itself ‘to what is beyond or against Christ’. To believe that one should obey in what is contrary to the will of Christ is not wisdom but ‘the greatest stupidity and blindness of mind’.[60] In doing what is right it is necessary to obey to the limit and never commit any sin by obeying men, even under the terror of suffering or death itself.[61] Perhaps, in the light of these statements, one can understand better the practical choice of Clareno to hold himself often apart. From the texts in their entirety, there emerges the character of a man who wants to avoid disputes and divisions as much as possible and who, nevertheless, when these become inevitable, knows how to bear them right to the end, with a tenacity that seems to be unexpected. He knows, also, what consequences would follow from a dispute rising about the idea of obedience and who searches in ever way to keep himself apart.

‘Holy father Peter John’ (6,498).

The Commentary on the Rule constitutes, finally, a sign of his admiration for Olivi and the proof to what an extent his teaching had penetrated Clareno. In this matter, new contributions have been brought forward by G.L Potestà who has been able to prove that, among the preceding commentaries on the Rule, only Clareno ‘seems to have before him constantly that of Olivi, inasmuch as the texts quoted from the so called Four Masters are all taken from Olivi, with the exception of one short and not literal reference’. (Potestà)

The dependence of Clareno on the thinking of Olivi is broader that appears at first sight and than the same editor thought. Clareno names Olivi explicitly three times in presenting long and important quotations taken from his writing. In many other cases, only some of which are noted by Oliger, you can detect in the Commentary the influence of the Master from Provence, from whom come quotations or to whom expressions or simply single words hark back. (Potestà)

With an interpretation rich in meaning, Clareno, quoting Jn 1:11, affirms that Olivi was not accepted by his own.[62] Clareno applies the same biblical verse also to the person of Francis.[63] If the Master from Provence becomes in this way the just person unjustly persecuted, his persecutors become the ideal followers of those who at one time persecuted Jesus and now continue to persecute him in the person of Olivi.[64]

He comes to be defined as a man of holiness, outstanding in great virtue, of enlightened knowledge; inspired by Christ, he ‘wrote many treatises’ and taught many things through his writings ‘in a pious and Catholic way that stand out as a divine light against every blindness of ignorance and the various opinions of many’.[65] Using and deepening these expressions in the Epilogue of his Commentary, Clareno recalls again that Olivi was a most humble man, full of many virtues; all of which was made still more evident by the numerous miracles shown after his death.[66] He had a great love for the Order – ‘he loved and commended his Order’ –and was on his part loved by Christ who enlightened him with his wisdom.[67]

Olivi is presented with the attributes of a saint, namely, fullness of virtue, great humility, a typically Franciscan feature, but above all the sign of miracles is intended to make clear this same holiness. In fact, Olivi truly acquired fame as a saint especially among the Beghards of Provence.

But for the very reason of the holiness of Olivi, everyone who fears God knows the work of the devastating enemy. The brothers, in fact, paid him back evil for good and hatred instead of love; and not only him but also to all those who truly love him. They dug up and burnt his bones, persecuted his friends and, against the decisions of the Church and of the General Council of Vienna, which examined some of his teachings and accurately avoided naming him, they continually condemned him in General Chapters, moved by ‘envy and satanic evil’.[68]

The accusation is precise and hard and leaves no possibility of equivocation; by persecuting Olivi, a large section of the Order, moved by envy became an instrument of the devil.

The Commentary confirms data already arrived at in the course of other research. Olivi remains for him a constant point of reference, especially Olivi in his Commentary and in his Questions on evangelical perfection. At the present stage of research, it does not seem that Clareno used in any of his works the Lecture on the Apocalypse, used on the other hand abundantly by Ubertino of Casale in his writing of the fifth book of the Tree of Life.

Moe than Ubertino, Clareno seems to concentrate on some basic teachings of the Master of Provence, whether it be the tragedy of the events that he subjected to continual rethinking and reworking and which became his choices in life: the acceptance of suffering as a sign of divine election, full observance of the Rule, perseverance, even with suffering, within the Church.


To the companions who were insistent in asking him for clarifications on the true intention of Francis, Clareno replies with an invitation to turn to Francis himself and to the experience of the first brotherhood: only in this dimension can one see in an authentic way what in reality Francis wanted for himself and for his followers.

He wanted to live according to the form of the Gospel, and in observing the Gospel lies the essence of his Rule: a Rule of life, rather than a juridical text, that must have a strong link with life, in so far as it is observed integrally and spiritually according to the same intention that Francis had in writing it. For all that it is intangible, for the same reasons that make the Gospel intangible.

And in the heart of the Christian and cruciform experience of Francis, the faithful following of those who are his sons according to the Spirit finds its explanation, namely, the suffering that they will inevitably have to endure in keeping themselves faithful to the Rule and to the Testament. The Saint had prophesied this suffering that revives the authentic spirit and most genuine inheritance of Francis.

On this principle, the exceptional figure of Peter John Olivi stands out for he, like Christ and Francis, was rejected by his own.

Clareno invites his followers to turn to the source in a search for the most authentic roots of the Franciscan option, and in their restatement of this, difficult but necessary, stands the secret to overcome the difficulties of the present moment and, interiorly strengthened, to wait for – if possible far from the troubles – the final results of the apocalyptical beast and the glorious future of the Lord.

He is sustained by a certainty, he same that, some years later, he will write to Philip of Majorca: ‘The property and inheritance of the true and perfect disciples of Christ is not in the prison of this world’.[69]

Felice Accrocca







Translation made from: EXPOSITIO SUPER REGULAM FRATRUM MNORUM di Fratre Angelo Clareno, Pubblicazioni della Biblotheca Francescana, Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola, 1994. The footnotes in the following translation have been taken from the Italian translation.

Campion Murray OFM




1Brother Thomas, most dear brother in the Lord, you have often asked me, and many times reminded me quite insistently through others, that under no circumstances should I neglect to write down for you what was the pure, simple and final intention of Francis, the seraphic man, in the Rule divinely inspired in him by Christ.[70] 2For many reasons I have put off doing this, firstly, because of my ignorance and, secondly, because of the obvious answer to what you have requested. 3The Saint himself, illuminated by a prophetic spirit, has stated and made clear in the fullest and perfect manner his pure understanding and final intention in writing the Rule as he accepted it from Christ. His understanding and intention are found in the Testament, in the Admonitions, in his Letters and in his other Words, above all in the replies that the holy man, Brother Leo, wrote for his companions when they questioned him about what happened towards the end. 4What he taught in words he did in deeds and Christ abundantly confirmed it by innumerable signs, wonders and miracles worked through him. [71] 5The Church of God, unable to err, entered him into the list of saints and approved his life and Rule.

6Lest, contrary to the obedience of fraternal love, I seem to ignore the entreaty of your request or seem in an arrogant way to write some kind of novelty, I have decided to write down for you the contents of the whole Rule as they appear in the deeds, words, advice, exhortations and commands of our most holy father Francis. I will include nothing other than what the Saint himself, with much reliance on prayers, was sure he had received in mercy from Christ for the help of the present and future brothers until the end of the world.[72]

7I add some things from the Rules and instructions and equally from the life and doctrine of the saints who lived an apostolic life. From these things it will be clear to those who love the Rule and to those who think differently that he accepted the Rule and its meaning immediately from Christ.[73] The Rule is fully and completely in accord with the customs and examples of the life of Christ, his Mother, the apostles and all the perfect saints who preceded him; this Rule has been strengthened by the authority also of the Roman Church and of all the Popes who have been up till today.

8Honorius, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, etc.[74]

9Saint Francis was chosen, called, most adequately taught and illuminated by the Father of mercies for the imitation and renewal of the evangelical perfection and rule of the life of Christ so as to show and preach it to the world by words and example. At the command of Christ who appeared to him personally, he went with his twelve companions to the Vicar of Christ, Lord Innocent III of happy memory.[75]

10As far as I remember the following are the names of the twelve companions of Saint Francis:

Brother Bernard Quintavalle, the first lesser brother after blessed Francis;

Brother Peter was the second;

Brother Giles, the third;

Brother Morico the Short, the fourth;

Brother Sabbatino, the fifth;

Brother Barbaro, the sixth;

Brother John of San Costanzo, the seventh;

Brother Angelo Tancredi, the eighth;

Brother Phillip the Tall, the ninth;

Brother Illuminato, the tenth;

Brother Morico of Bernard Iudante, the eleventh ;

Brother John of Capella, the twelfth, who secretly took away the balm prepared for the burial of the body of blessed Francis and who then went and hanged himself with a halter.[76]

11With these twelve first brothers, twelve imitating Christ, he presented to the same holy Pontiff the Rule he had written in a simple form as the Saviour himself had taught him. The Rule contained the highest perfections of Christ’s counsels of obedience, poverty, chastity, humility, patience and charity, as well as the evangelical prohibitions according to the form of life given by the Lord to the apostles and the disciples who were sent out to preach. 12The most wise Pontiff, advised by God beforehand in a vision, granted most generously what Francis and his companions had requested and ‘promised to give more in the future. 13He approved the Rule, gave them permission to preach penance and had them wear small tonsures so that they could preach the word of God freely’.[77]

14Later, during a General Council celebrated by him in Rome in 1215, he announced to all the prelates that he had given permission for the life and evangelical rule to Saint Francis and to all who followed him willingly.[78]

15 The Lord Pope Honorius, immediate successor to the aforementioned Pope, in his Bull of approval of the Rule, substantially the same as the first, referred to the permission and approval granted by Pope Innocent III and Honorius, at the request of Saint Francis, and again approved and confirmed the Rule:

16 Honorius, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to his beloved sons, Brother Francis and the other brothers of the Order of the Lesser Brothers, health and apostolic benediction. 17The Apostolic See is accustomed to grant the pious requests and favourably to accede to the laudable desires of its petitioners. 18Therefore, beloved sons in the Lord, attentive to your pious prayers, We confirm with Our Apostolic Authority, and by these words ratify, the Rule of your Order, herein outlined and approved by Our predecessor, Pope Innocent of happy memory, etc.[79]

19In the thirteenth year of his conversion to Christ, fully enkindled with a desire for martyrdom, he crossed the sea to preach the Christian faith to the Muslims.[80] 20While Saint Francis was overseas, some ministers, with certain brothers who had little confidence in the knowledge and prudence of Francis, presumed to withdraw some things from the Rule and to introduce not a few customs out of harmony with and contrary to the traditions of the founder. 21On brothers who opposed them, brothers zealous for the pure observance of the Rule, they began to inflict bitter persecutions and injuries; the more they trusted in their own ability, the more secure they felt in despising the simplicity and uprightness of these opponents.

22For the rest they did not expect Saint Francis to return to Italy but thought, in view of his having set his soul on the palm of martyrdom and conscious of how strong was this desire, that he would soon go to Christ. 23But God by a gentle arrangement and in a wonderful manner saw to it that he could in no way find the death he sought with all his strength for the sake of Christ and as a testimony of his faith. 24This happened so that he might not lack the desired martyrdom and that he might with an abundance of merits give necessary support to his flock, be conformed to Christ and show to his followers in a fuller manner the way and open the door to the perfect transformation into Christ.[81] 25To his servant working faithfully for the glory of his name, Christ deigned to reveal the dangers facing his flock and warned him to take steps to return quickly to Italy, ordering him to come to the assistance and provide leadership as soon as possible to those departing from the life-giving Rule of perfection.

26In what he wrote about Saint Francis, Brother Leo says:

Although the Ministers knew that, according to the Rule of the brothers they were bound to observe the holy Gospel, they nevertheless had that chapter of the Rule where it says ‘Take nothing for your journey, etc.’ removed, believing, despite it, that they were not obliged to observance of the perfection of the holy Gospel.[82] 27Knowing this through the light of the Holy Spirit, blessed Francis said in the presence of some brothers: ‘The brother ministers think they can deceive God and me’.

28Francis said further:

‘Indeed, that all the brothers may know that they are bound to observe the perfection of the holy Gospel, I want it written at the beginning and at the end of the Rule that the brothers are bound to observe firmly the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.[83] 29And that the brothers may always be without an excuse before God, I want to show with these deeds and always observe, with God’s help, what God has placed in my mouth for the welfare and usefulness of my soul and those of my brothers.’[84] 30Therefore, he observed the holy Gospel to the letter from the day he began to have brothers until the day of his death.[85]

31And he adds:

We who were with him when he wrote the Rule and almost all his other writings bear witness that he had many things written in the Rule and in his other writings, to which certain brothers were opposed, but now, after his death, they would be very useful to the whole religion.[86]

32Therefore, Francis, after his return from overseas, warned by a revelation from Christ and troubled by the presumption of certain brothers who wanted to rule over others according to the judgment of their own understanding while caring little to live according to the form of life revealed to him by Christ, wrote the second Rule inspired by God.[87] 33The disobedient brothers referred to above were so much at variance with this father that they stole, or to put it more kindly, they took this Rule secretly from the brother minding it, lest he present it to the Supreme Pontiff. 34But the holy man, given strength and illumination by the Holy Spirit, went again to the same place, Fonte Colombo, and wonderfully restored the Rule the same as the first; like Christ he spent forty days fasting and praying as he heard the miracle of the testimony of Christ saying and insisting three times that the Rule is to be observed literally, something heard by those opposing him. He then presented this Rule to the Supreme Pontiff Honorius, who from the beginning had been the governor and protector of Francis himself and of the brotherhood, and as he had desired he obtained its confirmation in the eighth year of his pontificate.[88]

35In the Bull given to Saint Francis and the other brothers in confirmation of the Rule, he stated that the Rule of the Lesser Brothers produced by Saint Francis was first approved by his predecessor, Pope Innocent of happy memory.[89] 36And that the approval and confirmation of the said Rule was requested in a pious wish by Saint Francis and his other brothers; their holy and pious petition was now authenticated, approved and confirmed by him as it had been by his predecessor, as apostolic and evangelical because of its most high perfection and as ratified by the papal words.

37For the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son, fills, binds and unites people by an unbreakable band of love to God, to the Church, to one another and to neighbours, be they friendly or inimical.[90] 38Because the law of the Gospel is a law of grace, truth and love, anyone professing and renewing this Gospel rule is filled with the fruits of the Spirit, is seen as one marked by the effects and affections of love and so both he and his own will stand immovably and deeply firm in the rule of love. Taught by Christ, he will bind himself by a perfect vow and the highest perfection to the Father of the Roman Church and of Christians, the Supreme Pontiff, so that it may be well with them, that they may be long-lived upon the earth of the living saints of the Church, that they may increase in a fruitful old age, and enduring strongly might evangelize because the word of the Lord is right and all his works are done with faithfulness.[91]

39He understood through the Spirit of Christ that to be united in an unbreakable bond to the Church, and to obey until death the Vicar of Christ and the bishops was the way of life and of eternal salvation.[92] 40He understood that not to be subject to the Vicar of Christ was to be outside the Church and outside the life-giving unity of the Catholic faith.[93] 41 So as a wise architect he set his religion on the firm rock of the Church in which it shone with the highest perfections of the love of Christ, of obedience, of poverty, chastity, humility and peace.[94] 42For [his religion] is the pure and full observance of the Gospel life, the perfect exercise of love and truth and a full possession of peace and the wisdom of Christ.

43But when those who, out of a love of truth, profess the rule of love and the perfection of the Gospel of Christ but fail to maintain a pure observance of the Rule, they will be persecuted in themselves and in others. 44Then, on the witness of the Apostle and of Francis, the observer and author of this Rule, God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying, that all may be judged to have not believed the truth, but have consented to the iniquity of violating and denying the rule of the love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ;[95] 45meanwhile, a small marked number of three, the remnant of lovers in the habit of humility will then be saved mercifully as if by fire.[96]



1, 1The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity. 2Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to our Lord Pope Honorius and his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church. 3Let the other brothers be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.[97]

4The Earlier Rule said:

This is the life of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Brother Francis petitioned the Lord Pope to grant and confirm for him; and he did grant and confirm it for him and his brothers present and to come. 5Brother Francis – and whoever is head of this religion – promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Innocent and his successors. 6Let all the brothers be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.[98]

7For a sound and Catholic understanding of the Rule in its pure and simple intention as inspired by Jesus Christ in Saint Francis, it is of much value to have an exact knowledge of the history of its beginning and to be aware of the situation in which it was written. 8Saint Francis, after the divine and wonderful apparition that occurred while he was praying totally absorbed in God, saw Jesus Christ as if fixed to a cross quoting to him the text of the holy Gospel: If you want to come after me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.[99] 9He was so totally enkindled with love and so closely transformed into Christ that he went forward wounded from being nailed to the cross with Christ and would long for nothing other than to follow Christ perfectly.[100]

10From Christ living within him, clothed with the Spirit of evangelical poverty, a sense of humility, an affection of piety, love of truth, carrying Christ in his heart and mouth and relying solely on divine guidance, he went with his twelve simple brothers to Lord Innocent III, then Supreme Pontiff.[101] 11Accordingly, brought into the presence of the Supreme Pontiff, he humbly and devoutly explained, tenaciously and effectively pleaded for the proposal divinely inspired to him, namely, to live according to the perfection of the rule and Gospel life that Christ with his disciples had held and taught. He offered to the Pope a life and Rule written in simple words and humbly asked that he and his brothers be given approval.[102]

12The Supreme Pontiff, a person of discretion,

brilliant with wisdom, admiring in the man of God remarkable virtue, the purity of a simple person, firmness of purpose, and fiery ardour of will, was disposed in his heart to give his assent to the pious request. 13Yet he hesitated to do what the messenger of Christ asked because his request seemed to some of the cardinals to be too difficult and almost impossible. 14Then the lord John of St Paul, Bishop of Sabina, a lover of all holiness, and a pious helper of Christ’s poor, inspired by the divine Spirit said to the Supreme Pontiff and to his brother cardinals: 15We must apply the utmost attention and careful reflection lest in rejecting the request of this poor man as difficult, impossible and novel we offend the Gospel of Christ; he asks nothing of us other than to be allowed and confirmed in living the life and rule of the Gospel of Christ. 16For if anyone says that in vowing the Gospel of Christ and observing its perfection there is contained therein something novel or irrational or impossible to observe, he would be guilty of blasphemy against Christ, the author of the Gospel.

17At this observation, the Supreme Pontiff said to Saint Francis: My son, pray to Christ that through your petition he may show us his will, so that once we know it we can approve your desires.[103]

18Francis, at the command of the Vicar of Christ,

giving himself totally to prayer, obtained through his devout prayers both what he should say outwardly and what the Pope should hear inwardly about the things he had requested.

19 On returning into the presence of the Supreme Pontiff and the college of his brothers, he told a parable about a rich king who agreed to live in a desert with a beautiful but poor woman who bore him children bearing the image and likeness of the king. 20Later, when the king again journeyed to this place, he recognized his own image in the children and ordered that the mother and her offspring were to be cared for from his own resources. 21He related the parable as he had received it from God and added his own interpretation: The sons and heirs of the eternal king should not fear that they will die of hunger. They have been born of a poor mother by the power of the Holy Spirit in the image of Christ the King, and they will be begotten by the spirit of poverty in our poor religion.[104] 22For if Christ, the King of glory, promises and gives to his followers the kingdom of heaven, how much more will he supply them with those things that he gives both to good and bad alike?[105]

23Then the most wise Pontiff reflected more carefully on the parable put to him and recognized without a doubt that Christ had spoken in this man. He accepted also, as the Divine Spirit indicated, that a vision he had recently received from heaven was to be fulfilled in this servant of Christ. Because of this he bowed to the request in everything and kindly granted the requests; with great generosity he [Francis] promised for the future that whatever God suggested to him as useful for himself and his brothers he would grant.[106]

24From this it is clearly seen that the Supreme Pontiff, a most wise man, understood exactly that Saint Francis requested as a rule the perfection and life of the Gospel of Christ, in so far as the Gospel of Christ can be contained in a vow; this Rule was written in few words according to the intention of Francis and the Pope granted and confirmed his wish.[107] 25Now the Spirit of Christ at the beginning of the Rule confirmed by Honorius definitively states and decides that: The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.[108]

26Rule, that is the canonical Gospel making a command holy, the law of grace, of justice and of the humility of Christ, and a form of life according to the model of the poverty and cross of Christ Jesus. 27Rule, that leads correctly and teaches without error how to live rightly. 28What our grammarians refer to as to decline the declinable parts of speech, the Greeks call to regulate and canonize.

29Life by the Greeks is called zoe and is applied to vegetative and animal life; but bios is used by them only for the virtuous way of life of the saints. 30And so now, in the Rule and in the stories of all the saints, the word life refers to a holy way of life and a perfect practice of the virtues.

31It says the Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers, that is, in the habit, vow, work, speech and disposition of the humble. 32In Christ and for Christ in an inseparable and humble union of brotherly love, they desire to be united to one another, and aim in all their desires to be configured, united and conformed to Christ the head and the first of the afflicted.

33Saint Francis filled with the Spirit of Christ, as Brother Leo testifies, said:

34The religion and life of the Lesser Brothers is a little flock, which the Son of God in this very last hour asked, saying: ‘Father, I want you to make and give me a new and humble people in this very last hour, who would be unlike all others who preceded them by their humility and poverty, and be content to have me alone.’[109] 35And the Father said to his beloved Son: ‘My Son, your request has been fulfilled.’ 36That is why blessed Francis would say: ‘Therefore the Lord has willed that they be called Lesser Brothers, because they are the people whom the Son of God asked of the Father. 37They are the ones of whom the Son of God speaks in the Gospel: What you did to one of these Lesser Brothers you did to me.[110] 38For although the Lord may be understood to be speaking of all the spiritually poor, in a special way he was predicting the religion of the Lesser Brothers that was to come in his Church’. 39Therefore, as it was revealed to blessed Francis that it was to be called the Religion of the Lesser Brothers, he had it so written in the first Rule, when he brought it before the Lord Pope Innocent, and he approved and granted it, and later announced it to all in the Council.[111]

40This is taken from Brother Leo.

41Christ describes himself as lesser in the kingdom of heaven, calls his Apostles a little flock, and calls poor those to whom the Father has given a kingdom.[112] 42Hence, Saint Francis used to say that God wanted them to be called Lesser Brothers because in everything by humility of heart, mouth, deeds and external clothing they should show themselves to be inferior, humbler and poorer and never presume to become greater in the Church, but always to seek and long for the depth of greater humility.[113]

43So they are people who are lesser by the humility and poverty that Christ, who dwells in the hearts of his disciples, infuses and teaches; to such people can be applied the words of Augustine in De verbis Domini:

44The least are those who have left everything, followed Christ and distributed whatever they had to the poor, so that, free of any worldly shackle, they serve the Lord promptly, and freed from everything of the world fly upward as if with wings on their shoulders.[114]

45And Ambrose, on I Corinthians:

Some brothers are despised for their want and clothing but they are not without grace because they are members of the body of Christ.[115] 46They are accustomed to walk straight ahead by a short route on bare feet. 47While they are thought to be contemptible they are more honourable because they are accustomed to live a cleaner life. 48What seems despicable to humans is usually judged by God to be pleasing.[116]

49And Saint Basil said to Gregory of Nazianzus:

It is impossible for a human mind, occupied and distracted by an infinite number of cares of the world, to look openly and effectively on truth. The mind should be separated from every worldly care not to live bodily outside the world but so that the soul takes away every sympathy for the body; the body is then left without citizenship, home, personal goods, friendship of friends, possessions, means, work or duties, and it becomes unalterable, not teachable, unable to be disciplined in earthly and human patterns but ready in heart to draw holy knowledge from divine Scripture. 50The preparation of a heart is the wiping away of the influences that had held it back by a bad habit.[117]

51And Gregory of Nazianzus says of some religious of his day:

I longed to see that holy choir chanting, the choir that lives before all others according to the example and admonition of the higher life as silent preachers of the law of God and the Gospel of Christ. 52 In these the habit displays badges of virtue, dishevelled head, with hair uncombed and rough, like the Apostles with bare feet, condemning the arrogance and pride of the world by the meanness of their clothing.[118]

53Therefore, from the beginning there have been in the Church religious persons who professed and followed Gospel perfection, people who on the evidence of Dionysius and Philo of the Jews, a most eloquent person, Eusebius, Gregory Nazianzus, Jerome and Basil were described as suppliants or people of prayer or as servants, monks, saints or brothers of the Lord. Their life always flowered in the Church and through Saint Francis this life, until now promised, has most recently been renewed but is followed by few.[119] 54Always in the threshing there is a superabundance of chaff from the grain. For many are called but few chosen.[120] 55They were called ‘suppliants or people of prayer’ because of their divine worship, angelic contemplation and life, unceasing prayer, divine hymns and praises and continual thanksgiving. 56They were called ‘servants of the Lord’ because of the evangelical poverty, perfection, deep humility and meekness they professed and showed in word and deed. 57They were called ‘monks and saints’ from the purity of virginity and the chaste life they observed and held in their hearts, bodies and tongues. 58After distributing to the poor all they had, they carried the cross of penance and mortification of vices and the flesh; outside the towns and castles they lived an angelic rather than a human life.

59Regarding their name Augustine says: ‘“Monos” means only one. 60Who, therefore, live in this way so as to form one person, so that they may be in fact, as it is written, but one heart and one soul, are rightly called monos, that is, one.’[121] 61According to this interpretation the name of monks is most fitting for the Lesser Brothers.

62Saint Basil calls his religion a ‘fraternity’ that promises and observes the perfection of the Gospel of Christ.[122] 63So those wanting to join this life were ordered, in accord with the Gospel, to distribute all their goods to the poor.[123] 64After profession they received nothing in the form of a gift, legacy or will from secular people. 65But living from the work of their hands, their bodies covered by one tunic and a cloak, sustaining life with water and poor food, they gave themselves to prayer, meditation, and the reading of the divine Scriptures. This is how he defines a life of evangelical perfection.[124]

66St Jerome in his Rule, that the Geeks join to his life in the full histories of the saints, says that he with his brothers observed and kept evangelical perfection. 67And he declares that he had neither possessions nor money.[125] 68Nor did he allow them to prepare any cooked food while in their cells. 69But to be clothed with sackcloth, that is, rough and poor cloth, and to refresh the body in the evening with bread, water, raw vegetables or fruits, and he directed monks dedicated to divine worship to be content with such a diet.[126] 70He states that such a monastic life is evangelical.

71Everyone who has carefully examined the Rule of Saint Francis according to the mind and intention of the Saint himself and of Christ speaking in him, and has observed it purely and devoutly, will recognize with certainty both how much it differs from the two Rules that hold the first place in the Roman Church, namely, the Rules of Saints Augustine and Benedict, and also what difficulty compared to them it contains in its brevity.

72First, it differs from the Rule of the canons and monks in its definition and vow because that Rule and life, when the year (of probation) has come to an end, directs that what is defined as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ must be observed.[127]

73Second, it differs in the manner of receiving brothers, because it commands those entering the religion to give everything to the poor in accord with the word of the holy Gospel.[128] 74It differs also in forbidding the brothers and ministers from involving themselves in any way with the goods belonging to those entering, or to receive anything for a place or any future needs, lest they take wickedly against the vow what belongs to the poor.[129]

75Third, it differs in the singular form and lack of design in clothing, namely, one tunic patched inside and out or two for those who may want to use a second. In order that the second tunic may be regarded as a cloak it is made according to the normal form of ordinary clothing.[130]

76Fourth, it differs because it professes bare feet, and outside of clear necessity shoes are not to be used, just as Christ commanded his disciples when they were sent to preach.[131]

77Fifth, it differs because they should not ride horseback, nor carry provisions, except in an obvious need or an infirmity.[132]

78Sixth, it differs because in no way are they to receive coins or money, fields or vineyards, animals or any legacies or wills, either personally or through intermediaries.[133] 79So those who have promised evangelical perfection are to have nothing of their own ‘neither individually nor in common’.[134]

80Seventh, it differs because they are not able to sell or buy nor enter into litigation for any reason, be it just or unjust.[135]

81Eighth, it differs because neither for themselves nor for their brothers should they or can they receive, as a price or wage for the work of their hands, any coins or money for food and bodily or spiritual necessity, present or imminent, but only what is necessary for food and clothing, and this with great humility; whatever they receive is to be accepted as if they had begged for an alms.[136] 82However, to those not wanting to give something, they should not show in word, deed or by any other sign that they are offended, nor by litigation nor any questions can they nor should they force people to give by litigation or argument.[137]

83Ninth, it differs in obedience because their obedience extends simply and perfectly in all things and to all things, not looking for a return, nor deciding on where to live, and it excludes nothing, apart from sin, from those who profess it.[138]

84Tenth, it differs because everything they use in food, clothing, divine worship or oratories, books, vestments, in places, gardens or in anything else, they ought to use as things belonging to others and to a lord; and they are to be so mean, poor and almost of no value that, because of their meanness, they would not rightly be able nor ought they be regarded as having value. 85They are to show no violence or resistance over these things to anyone who would steal and take them from them; they are to leave those poor places whenever told to do so by the owners to whom the places belong, showing in work and affection that they live here as strangers and pilgrims.[139]

86Eleventh, it differs because they should not accept, nor, as strangers and pilgrims, live in places, churches or dwellings unless they conform to the poverty professed as contained in the Rule.[140]

87Twelfth, it differs because without special permission granted by the Apostolic See they should not nor can they enter the monasteries of nuns.[141]

88Thirteenth, it differs because the Rule gives authority to the ministers provincial to grant permission and obedience to brothers moved by divine inspiration to go among the Saracens and other non-believers, in accord with what Christ at the Ascension said to his disciples: Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature, and this is the only Rule to make mention of this.[142]

89Fourteenth, it differs because according to the final command of the Founder in his Testament, that he says is not another or different rule, but simply an explanation of the intention of the Rule revealed by Christ, they are not able nor should they

ask any letter from the Roman Curia, either personally or through an intermediary, whether for a church or another place or under the pretext of preaching or the persecution of their bodies,

and much less is it fitting for them according to the perfection promised to ask for such letters from kings or secular princes.[143]

90Fifteenth, it differs because they are not to put either on the Rule or on the words of his Testament glosses that contain or expound things contrary to the correct and true intention that the Lord gave to Saint Francis.[144]

91From these fifteen points not only is the difference between the two previously mentioned Rules and the Rule of Saint Francis clearly illustrated, but also the height of evangelical perfection and the poverty of Christ as well as the nakedness of the cross are clearly shown. 92Moreover, it is indisputably demonstrated that the will of Christ when inspiring the Rule in him, and the main intention, the final and first will of the founder renewing evangelical life, was that the Religion of the Lesser Brothers would have neither in common nor individually anything of its own. 93But they are to meet the demands of the law of nature and grace by using a provision of food and garments suitable for divine worship; they are to do this as obedient servants of God, as disciples of Christ and sons of the Church, stripped of all ownership, obedient solely to the heavenly king, whose kingdom is not of this world and respecting the observance of the law full of grace and truth, so that living in the flesh they do not war according to the flesh.[145]

94Understanding this, blessed Francis says in the Rule about evangelical poverty: Let this be your portion which leads into the land of the living. Giving yourselves totally to this, beloved brothers, never seek anything else under heaven for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.[146]

95And the holy man, Hugh of Digne, says in the booklet he wrote entitled De finibus paupertatis:

Therefore, summarizing into a compendium all that we have examined here and there, we conclude finally that the Order of Lesser Brothers, as lesser, equally as a group and individually, can have as the only thing proper to them that they can have nothing as their own of the things that pass. 96Nothing is more improper to them than ownership. 97And nothing is more proper to them than that there is nothing that they may possess as their own now and for ever. Amen.[147]

98And since genuine disciples of Christ have clung by decision and vow to the imitation of the heavenly life, are dead to the flesh, to the world and to all its concupiscence, and their life is hid with Christ in God,[148] so, relieved of the weight of earthly and visible things, like a light runner and unloaded ship, they finish their journey. 99For this reason pleasures, delights of the world, riches and allurements are unpleasant, bitterness, thorns and annoyances to them; dignities, advancements and honours are dishonour, degradation and an imposition of slavery to them. 100Those who are lesser savour with Christ what is humble and feel that what is regarded as high by people is horrible to God; hating that animal life, they want to be dissolved and to be with Christ.[149] 101Crucified to the world, they carry the Crucified in their body and soul, and transformed into Christ in their senses, memory, mind and affections, they seek and savour only what is heavenly, not the things that are upon the earth.[150]

102Naked as they follow Christ they bear the naked cross of Christ and cling to no earthly concerns. But as strangers and pilgrims in this world they serve the Lord in poverty, nor caring about tomorrow.[151] 103Without house or place, they live without ownership of anything; they do not have cellars, granaries or storerooms of anything. 104They hate all gold, silver and money and spit it out as poison.

105They flee from quarrels over cases; they have and proclaim peace and aspire to that peace that surpasses all understanding.[152] 106Living in small houses that belong to others, in places remote from disturbance, suitable for times of prayer and penance, with constancy in prayer and devout supplication, they dispose God to have mercy on sinners. 107Clothed poorly, refusing double clothing, walking with bare feet or open sandals, they receive with humility what is needed for daily food, acquiring it by their hands or by begging. 108So they have no need of wills or legacies, nor do they buy or sell or store treasures; they do not amass or build up supplies for times and seasons but they are and promise to remain strangers, both individually and in common, from every right to own inheritances, to possess, to alienate, to make claims, to contract debts, to impose obligations, to rent, to demand, to borrow, to acquire for one or for all who are and who promise to be strangers and pilgrims.

109As dead to the world, living for Christ alone and for his kingdom, they work with their hands so that in an apostolic and virtuous manner, avoiding idleness, they may live. When the necessities for life are not given to them for their work, because they can in no way receive coins or money, they have recourse to the table of the Lord, begging alms from door to door to the glory of Christ and for the edification and well-being of the donors.[153] 110Regarding need in poverty as true riches, and lowliness in begging as a high rank of honour of Christ the King, they delight in what they lack in poverty as if in true riches.

111They may not ride on horseback, nor according to the Rule should they ride on horseback when they are healthy or unless some other clear necessity presses on them.[154] 112And without special permission of the Apostolic See they may not enter the monasteries of nuns, and, as lovers of chastity, they flee from seeing, being familiar with and having suspicious dealings with women.[155] 113And because it is forbidden in the Rule for them to be godfathers to men or women, perform marriages or do anything of this kind, they, as people dead to the world, should not under any pretext be involved as executors in wills or payment of debts.[156] 114But by the example of their life and holy works they are to announce the kingdom of God, and preach to people vices and virtues, punishment and glory and bring forth fruits worthy of penance with brevity of speech not in wisdom of speech lest the cross of Christ should be made void.[157] 115And according to the Rule they can do this not only among Christians but also among the Saracens and other non-believers.[158]

116And so that they do not fall from the perfection of the most high poverty and humility of Christ, they are not to use as a legal right any papal privilege, any royal privilege or privilege from any other person, ‘whether for a church or a place or under the pretext of preaching or the persecution of their bodies,’ so as to observe the last command of their father, to carry the cross with Christ and the Apostles and to possess the heavenly freedom of exemption and immunity from the slavery of sin in fellowship with the sufferings of Christ.[159] 117By the grace of this blessedness, they desire to be subject to all and happily love to be regarded as baser and lesser than others; they spontaneously serve lepers, love to be despised by people, rejoice in weakness, sorrow and works of penance, desire the presence of Christ, rejoice when they come close to death and are absent from the prison of the body.[160] 118To rise more perfectly to a hidden union with Christ and a taste of his love and wisdom, they seek out solitary places after the example of Christ and their founder, so that separated from the disturbances of the world they may be enlightened with eternal and divine brightness.

119That the Doctor of the Gentiles, after the example of the earlier fathers, Moses and Elijah the forerunner and of the Lord and master Himself, from time to time devoted himself to contemplation and prayer is evidenced and proclaimed by the cave dedicated to his name, somewhat inaccessible and not a short distance from Tarsus of Cilicia, and another near Corinth that are held in much reverence by the inhabitants and by all the faithful to this day.[161] 120Many disciples of Christ and of the Apostles, such as Eutropius, Frontorius, Memius, and Archippus, are known to have done this from time to time.

121There was no error in this because the Rule and life of Saint Francis fully and perfectly includes and reaches in action and contemplation the heights and aims of the highest perfection, and has a genuine likeness and identity with Jesus Christ, the author of life, and with his disciples.

122Professed brothers, according to the decree of the holy Gospel itself and of the Vicar of Christ, cannot lawfully leave this Order nor, for the sake of a more perfect life, transfer to another order, because no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.[162] 123Accepted according to the intention, tradition, example and command of the Founder, in whom Christ spoke and his Spirit dwelt, this Rule and life is to be understood simply, happily loved, observed faithfully and purely for the unutterable possession of Christlike virtues; likewise it introduces its lovers and followers to the enjoyment of his graces. 124But any who twist its meaning and interpretation are shown to be wrong and, abandoned to the fantasies of their wickedness, are tormented by seven spirits of evil who repossess the empty house, swept clean and garnished, and their last state by a just judgment of God is made worse than the first.[163]

125From what has been treated briefly, the difference and agreement, equality and singularity, superiority and inferiority, difficulty and concession of the three main Rules, the principal Rules observed and approved by the Church to which other rules and statutes of whatever Order are reduced, can be evident enough to any intelligent person reflecting on them with care and Christian attention. 126Moreover, from the context, exhortations, counsels, prohibitions and commands of these rules, it is most evident that to canons and monks many concessions are made and are lawful according to the perfect observance of their rules that the evangelical rule forbids and prohibits to those professing it.

127Although all perfection of the Christian religion consists in faith in the one Jesus Christ, perfect love of Him now is by grace, and in the future by glory in an open vision of His deity in tension and enjoyment. Nevertheless, to understand the distances and differences of the states existing in the Church between monks of the first and now the modern age, 128we must distinguish separately and discern clearly the conditions in which we now are and those in which they were, lest we accept imperfect for perfect and equate imperfect with perfect. 129In this it must be remembered that the Apostles named those who choose to promise and observe the poverty and virginity of the Gospel of Christ, the order of the perfect, or the suppliants or the servants of God;[164] 130nor did they allow anyone to join this order and use its symbols, unless they had tested that the person was a true lover of evangelical poverty, chastity and of all the counsels of Christ, and had seen evident proof that the person was ready and faithful in observance. 131So it is that all the first fathers understood under the name of monk or an order of monks the perfection of all religious life both active and contemplative.

132When an Abbot was asked by the Emperor how many monks he had in his monastery, he answered: Three. 133And the Emperor said to him: We had heard that you have seventy monks in your monastery. 134The Abbot said to him: I have three true monks each of whom can raise the dead.[165] 135And Saint Macarius, whom Jerome calls an apostle of his time, in comparison with the two monks whom he found naked in the desert, said in sorrow that he was not a monk but had seen monks.[166] 136Saint Basil, moved by a divine revelation, asked the father of a large monastery whether he had any monks; the father answered that he had only one monk. 137After testing his obedience Saint Basil said to the Abbot: He is indeed a monk.[167]

138Saint Pafnuntius, reflecting on the scarcity of good monks, said to Saint John Cassian: We are afraid today that there are so few who reach the perfection of monastic denial, but we read that of the children of Israel who came out of Egypt only a few entered the land of the promise.[168] 139Isaiah says: You have multiplied the nation but have not increased the joy;[169] 140and the Saviour says: Many are called but few chosen.[170]

141What proves the sterility of the present time in which not only have hardly any works of perfection remained, but even faith in the perfection of the Christian religion has weakened almost in everyone so that the statement of Truth, namely, when the Son of man comes shall he find faith on earth,[171] seems to be almost fully realized.

142In fact, to which monks and canons, Lesser Brothers and Preachers is the definition given by the fathers applicable? With what difficulty can one find, in the time of this hardening, anyone who possesses fully the reality of virtue and the fruit of works, and who possesses the truth of the matter defined. Now let the definition itself speak, and let all who read understand.[172]

143Saint Nilus: ‘A monk is a person who neither has nor owns anything under heaven’. 144The same author: ‘A monk is a person who is free of any matter belonging to the world and who crucifies himself against temptations of the flesh and satan; and against contests in the world’.[173] 145Saint Macarius said to Abbot Theodore, that ‘the greatest thing of all is to own nothing’.[174]

146Abbot Pastor: ‘A monk is a person who has mortified every desire of the flesh, abhors rest for the body, hates the praises of others and mourns unceasingly’.[175] 147He also says: ‘A person who is quarrelsome and disparages his brother, renders evil for evil, and one who is angry, haughty or full of words, is not a monk’.[176] 148‘Whoever is a true monk, is always humble, quiet, full of charity, always has the fear of God before his eyes and guards it in his heart.’[177]

149John Climacus:

A monk has an order and firmness of what is incorporeal in a material and poor body. 150A monk does, thinks and speaks only of things pertaining to God, is united with Christ in every place, time and occupation. 151A monk is unceasing in doing violence to nature and tireless in guarding the senses. 152A monk is holy in body, purified in speech and enlightened in mind. 153A monk laments and is sorrowful in soul, disciplines himself, whether awake or asleep, with an unceasing remembrance of death. 154The withdrawal of a monk from the world and his renouncing of it, is a voluntary hatred of something highly esteemed and a renouncing of nature for the sake of a choice of those things that are above nature.[178]

155In truth, a monk is not haughty in his own eyes, has a humble outlook of soul and an unmoved appreciation of the body. 156A monk summons those who attack him like beasts and provokes them when they run from him. 157A monk’s mind is incessantly fixed on God and has sadness in life. 158A monk has unfailing light in the eye of the heart, an abyss of humility, completely overturning and snuffing out every contrary spirit.[179]

160Whatever has been treated in these definitions indicates the active and contemplative sanctification of the religious state, without which those who serve God are like trees that bear flowers and leaves but do not produce fruit. 161In their description all and each religious can examine and know clearly to what degree he is far from or close to the chosen goal of the perfection promised in actions, affections and virtue. 162They describe most clearly an evangelical person in virtue, affections and actions, and they open up the religious way of life that those professing the Gospel of Christ are obliged to walk; 163and they show how significant is what Saint Francis said in his Testament, since this most clearly points out that ‘the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the pattern of the Holy Gospel.’[180] 164He says much the same at the beginning of his rule, that the Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ[181] 165and he adds at the end that we may observe poverty, humility, and the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as we have firmly promised.[182]

166And to a minister wanting to have permission to keep the books he had, Francis replied that he neither should nor could, for the sake of his books, go against his conscience and the Gospel he had promised,[183] 167and, with the minister saddened by his reply, ‘Francis said to him with intensity of spirit, intending this for all the brothers: You, Lesser Brothers, want to be seen as and called observers of the holy Gospel, but in your deeds you want to have money bags’.[184] 168No life is superior to an evangelical and apostolic life.

169It is no small fault for one who has promised to live the highest way of life to live in an indifferent way and to follow it imperfectly after taking the vow. 170But there is no doubt that from the words and writings of Saint Francis it is clear that he received not from human beings nor through a human being but through a revelation of Jesus Christ, who often appeared to him and marked him with his stigmata, that he should take the Gospel as his rule, promise it, in so far as the Gospel falls under a vow, and that he would ask that this be granted to him by the Church.[185]

171Hence, Saint Francis said that he had promised to observe as a rule the Gospel and life of Christ and that this is what he asked for and petitioned from the Supreme Pontiffs. 172The Gospel contains the most perfect and holy life of Christ and his most divine and supreme authority, now residing in the Church and the Vicar of Christ, without which a religion cannot be founded or started.[186] 173Therefore, the holiness and perfection of the life of Christ, taught and preached in the Gospel, is and ought to be observed and understood as a rule by which one promises to live beyond the demands of duty, to observe the Gospel in imitation of and like the life of Christ as handed down and read in the Gospels and imposed by Christ on the Apostles, but only under obedience to and in unity with the Church.

174This is one of the reasons why the Rule confirmed by Honorius does not contain as many authorities and counsels of the Gospel as are included in the Rule confirmed by Innocent. 175From the definition found in the beginning of the Rule confirmed by Honorius and the repetition of the same sentence at the end of the rule, everything scattered throughout the first is understood. 176And the Apostle writing To the Galatians called the Gospel revealed to him a rule saying: And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them and mercy.[187] 177In the same way Saint Francis, commanded in a revelation to observe the Gospel of Christ, designates the Gospel as his life and rule; he said that everything he put in the Rule, he has accepted from Christ, as leading to a Catholic and lawful understanding of evangelical perfection and life, and as suitable for a sincere and pure imitation of his holiness, way of life and full following of him.

178For the Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity.[188]

179All the counsels of the Gospel of Christ are reduced to three, namely, obedience, poverty and chastity, and in these consists every foundation of religious life. 180Therefore, every order in a different way, that is, to a greater or lesser degree of perfection, promises the aforementioned counsels that contain the perfection of the life and teaching of Christ according to the different grades and the various inspirations of the Holy Spirit, allowing for the conditions of time and the structure of the building that is the Church. 181Every state and rule is so much more perfect the more it is like the example shown to Moses on the mountain, namely, Jesus Christ who has been shown to us internally and externally, spiritually and bodily, actively and in contemplation, that is, in his behaviour and affections. [189]

182There are in the Gospel twelve principal counsels to which the others are reduced, like nine to three.

183The first counsel is poverty, the second obedience, the third chastity and these three are the foundation of every order. 184These are against the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, the three roots of all vices just as poverty, obedience and chastity are the foundations of all the counsels.[190]

185The fourth counsel is charity, namely, love of enemies; this is a counsel concerning love of what is done and a precept concerning love of friendship and affection.

186The fifth is meekness as in the text: If one strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.[191]

187The sixth is mercy and almsgiving as in the text: Give to everyone who asks of you etc. To give what is superfluous is necessary, but to give what we need is the counsel. [192]

188The seventh is simplicity in speech: Let your speech be yes, yes, no, no, because if a yes or no is in the mouth it should also be in the heart. [193]

189The eighth is to avoid occasions of sin. So it is said: If your eye scandalize you etc. in that occasions of sin, be they temporal or spiritual, are to be completely avoided. [194]

190The ninth is the correctness of one’s efforts and the intention of these efforts, as in: Take heed that you do not your justice before men etc.[195]

191The tenth is a harmony between work and teaching as in: Cast out first the beam out of your own eye etc. and further: They bind heavy and insupportable burdens etc.[196]

192The eleventh is to avoid worry as in: Be not solicitous for our life etc. where excessive care in collecting temporal goods is forbidden. [197]

193The twelfth is fraternal correction as in: If your brother sins against you etc.; this is a counsel when a brother with love and shame is corrected for venial faults, but it is a precept when the faults are mortal. [198]

194Saint Basil, writing in Ad Amphylochium, defines all these counsels as belonging to the substance of the perfection of evangelical life and suited to all who profess this life.[199]

195In truth, it is no small struggle to pursue what is demanded of one who confesses those things belonging to profession. 196Indeed, to choose first of all the way of life that is according to the Gospel, that is, to observe it all even in its smallest detail, and to put aside or despise nothing of what is written therein; as far as it has come to our notice, this is done by very few.

197Therefore, according to the Gospel, one should use a disciplined tongue and an eye trained by discipline, hands for work in accord with a purpose pleasing to God, feet for movement, each member as our Creator determined from the beginning, and what is necessary for life without superfluity in adornment for clothing, restraint in speech and sufficiency in food. 198All this indeed seems to be trivial when stated simply but we have found it to be true that to control them demands a strong struggle.

199For which reason, a strong struggle is needed if one is to possess humbly what is perfect, not keep a memory of a proud lineage, of some trick of nature, of anything that may be superfluous in us either in body or soul, and not to extol this or any conditions surrounding us that give rise to suspicions of superiority and nature. 200An evangelical life has the following qualities, namely, a firm practice of abstinence, love of the work of prayer, compassion from charity to sickness, sharing with the needy, prudence, humble and lowly, sound in faith and contrition. 201An evangelical life is simple and gentle when in sadness, never abandons meditation and effort from the thought of the terrible and unavoidable judgment to which all of us are going. 202The struggles of the ending are kept in mind by only very few,[200] however, to the many living, and to those who ought to be directed by scholars but are removed at present from us, I have thought to say briefly as a reminder the things indicated in the divine Scriptures, and as I have learnt from these divine Scriptures.

203Firstly, a Christian should savour the worthy heavenly vocation and in a worthy way be familiar with the Gospel of Christ; nor should he feel superior, be drawn away by anything from the thought of God but by acts of justice in accord with the law, keep these things in mind. 204A Christian should not swear, lie, blaspheme, injure, fight, be vengeful, render evil for evil or be angry.[201]

205A Christian should be long-suffering no matter what happens, patient, censuring when opportune a person causing harm, but in no way taking vengeance in personal revenge while moved by passion, but should desire to direct a brother according to the command of the Lord.

206A Christian should not say anything against an absent brother with the intention of disparaging him even if what is said is true because this is detraction, but a Christian ought to avoid what disparages a brother. 207A Christian must be careful to avoid speaking scurrilously, laughing, and is not to tolerate those who laugh and mock. 208A Christian should not utter worthless things, anything not useful to those who listen, but only what is allowed to us by the Lord as a necessary usefulness.

209As much as possible workers should hasten the work peacefully and those who preside over works should encourage those entrusted to them with apt words and with due reflection dispense an encouraging word so that the Holy Spirit is not grieved.[202] 210Nor should those in positions of power or office approach or speak to any brother before, being clear in what serves good order, they test in everything what is pleasing to God, what is to be done and what is suitable for the community. 211Also he should not be given to wine nor act wrongly in the use of meat, or in general be a lover of any food or drink.[203] 212For he who strives for the mastery refrains himself from all things.[204] 213But from the things given for the use of each person, nothing is to be held or kept as one’s own.

214Whoever has been put in a position of management, should take care of everything as though it belonged to the Lord, not throwing anything away, being careless, or treating it with indifference. 215Nor should he regard anything as his own but rather as given by God for the service of the brothers who, from being of one mind, know and act in everything in a proper order.

216He is not to murmur in a time of want and scarcity of what is necessary, nor in the burden of the work, when those in charge form a judgment about individual things. 217There should be no shouting or any other image or action by which anger or elation are represented, conscious that God is present or that we are in the presence of God. 218It is necessary to adjust the voice to what is necessary, not be afraid to reply to anyone or do anything, but in everything show to all what is kind and honourable. 219And in no way should the eye or any other action or movement of a limb be used with deceit that may sadden a brother or imply disrespect.

220It is necessary to avoid wearing ornate clothing or shoes as this is to act unlawfully, but poor clothes are to be used in everything necessary for the body. 221One is not, indeed it is to be avoided, to consume anything in abundance and to satiety beyond what is needed, for this is an abuse. One is not to look for honour or to take the first place, for that is pride; each person should honour first all others before oneself, setting no value on oneself but being subject and obedient. 222Also a lazy person should not eat while having the health for work, but one, set a task from the range of jobs, must do violence to oneself in applying oneself and carrying out the work according to one’s ability. 223But each, with the scrutiny of those in charge, does everything with surety and reason even to eating and drinking for the glory of God.[205]

224It is not right to change from one job to another without informing those who should be informed of such works unless somewhere one has been called suddenly to help another in need in an unavoidable necessity. 225Because each one should remain in the work to which he had been appointed, and not, by going beyond due measure, change to things not approved for him, unless perhaps those in charge have given approval to help someone in need; 226it is not fitting to find in the skill of the work of another some reason, arising from contempt and a quarrel, to do something against another.

227One should not envy another’s competence nor be pleased over the failures of anyone, but rather be saddened and upset over the failings of a brother. 228Also, one ought not remain indifferent to sinners, remaining silent or keeping quiet with them, but rather, when one censures, it must be with compassion and fear of God, aimed at bringing the sinner to conversion. 229The one who is censured or accused should accept it promptly, knowing it is intended for his betterment.

230When an innocent person is accused by someone, he should not contradict the accuser to his face nor before others, but if perhaps at some time the accusation will have seemed to be irrational, he should speak with the accuser apart from others, to be exonerated or to explain the situation. 231One should be concerned, as much as possible, when another has something against him. 232Nor is it fitting to keep in mind the malice of a person who has sinned, acknowledged the sin and done penance, but rather it must be dismissed from one’s heart. 233Likewise, when someone says he will do penance for a sin, he must not only be repentant of the sin committed but also bring forth fruits worthy of penance.[206]

234When he has been corrected over his first failings and has become worthy of pardon, should he sin again he should ready himself to receive a judgment of anger worse than the first. 235He who persists in his sin after a first and second correction must be pointed out to the superior, and perhaps he may feel shame when accused by many. 236But if he is not corrected even by this, he is to be cut off from the others as a scandalous person, and be regarded as a heathen and publican, for the strengthening, assurance and the furthering of obedience among the workers, according to the saying: As the wicked fall, the just feel fear.[207] 237He should be mourned as over a limb cut off from a body.

238Nor should the sun set over anger lest the night, coming between the two, becomes a day of judgment and the inevitable judgment follows.[208] 239Also in no way should he put off the time for doing what he is charged with doing, because there is no certainty about tomorrow, for many weighing many things have not experienced the next day. 240One should not be seduced by a full stomach that gives rise to dreams at night. 241One should not be busy with endless work, nor exceed the limits of what is needed according to the Apostle who says: But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.[209] 242Avarice has an element of idolatry.

243It is not fitting to be a lover of money or to treasure what is useless. 244Because one progressing toward God must follow poverty and own nothing, keep oneself safe in all things and be pierced through with the fear of God according to the text: Pierce my flesh with your fear for I am afraid of your judgments.[210]

245Saint Basil teaches that all the preceding has to be accepted by those who progress in the service of the Lord, so that in cooperation with God they may produce worthy and opportune fruits of their vocation, and what has been decided by Christ is imposed on those wanting to live religiously so as not to incur a sentence of future judgment but inherit the glory of eternal happiness. 246All the above are counsels of the Gospel, elements of an evangelical life and rule. All are implicit in it, and all are graces of freedom, loosing one from faults and sins; they are necessary and opportune for those wanting to live religiously, and all are reduced to those three fundamental counsels stated at the beginning of the Rule where it is said: The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity.[211]

248Whoever for the whole course of life remains hateful of one’s own will, remains in love with poverty, grows and thinks, searches and asks with keen desire and continuous sighs to be found truly obedient, poor and chaste in body and soul and pure before God, would choose first for the honour of God every punishment and death rather than consent to abandon the love and struggle of obedience, poverty and chastity.

249Blessed Francis says:

That person who offers himself totally to obedience in the hands of his prelate leaves all that he possesses and loses his body. Whatever he says or does that he knows is not contrary to the will of his prelate has true obedience, provided that what he does is good. [212]

250And he says further on obedience:

Holy Obedience confounds every corporal and carnal wish, binds its mortified body to obedience of the Spirit and obedience to one’s brother, 251so that it is subject and truly submissive to everyone in the world, not only to people but to every beast and wild animal as well that they may do whatever they want with it insofar as it has been given to them from above by the Lord.[213]

252No one can be obedient unless he has first died to all vices and desires, like the monk who lived in the desert on the bank of the Jordan. When he had reached perfect obedience, he wanted to show the monks the way to learn obedience; sometimes he took vipers, carried them in his hand and killed them in front of the brothers and said to them: 253Brothers, run from the praises of people and flee vanity, cut it out of your hearts and the poison of vipers will not harm you. 254And he did this with all the poisonous animals and the young of the wild animals.

255He taught the monks to flee and hate any vices and sins noticeable in themselves so that they might try to reach the opposites of those vices and sins, namely, the obedience of Christian charity that has and enjoys full freedom from the deadly poison of infidelity, love of one’s own will and the feral rage of cruelty.[214] 256That great old man said of this:

Obedience is the salvation of all the faithful; obedience is the mother of all the virtues; obedience is the discoverer of the kingdom of heaven. 257Obedience opens heaven and lifts people from the earth; obedience lives with the angels; obedience is the food of all the saints. 258They were weaned to this and by it came to perfection.[215]

259Saint Francis said about poverty: ‘Holy Poverty confounds the desire for riches, greed, and the cares of this world.’[216] 260And further: ‘That servant of God who does not become angry or disturbed at anyone lives correctly without anything of his own; blessed is he because nothing remains for him other than to return to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.[217] 261And further: ‘Someone who is truly poor in spirit hates himself and loves those who strike him on the cheek.’[218]

262Chastity or virginity is the first sign of virtue; it is close to God, like to the angels, source of life, friend of holiness, humble teacher of confidence, lady of joy, leader in virtue, alleviating pain, support of faith and hope and protection of charity. 263Chastity is the joyful and lovable temple and dwelling of Jesus Christ, a supernatural denial of nature, an effect of the sanctification of the Incarnate Word and the incorruptible fruit of his death and resurrection. 264Christ, the Word and Wisdom of the Father, dwells in a chaste soul, pours the sight of his joy into it and shows, as in a mirror, the glory of his vision. 265Whatever someone who serves him has, be it wisdom, knowledge, eloquence, prophecy, miracles and the grace of healings it is nothing without chastity.[219]

266A soul that is not chaste cannot please God.[220] 267A chaste person is clean from any filth of flesh and spirit. 268Whoever desires to live with Christ, the Wisdom of God, must turn every desire completely toward a love of chastity; the Creator, giver and preserver of chastity, Jesus, will meet him, and what he does not have from nature, he will give by grace; 269being made chaste he will also make him wise, because without chastity it is impossible for a person to be wise with the wisdom that is above for wisdom will not live in a body subject to sins.[221]

270Indeed, because every virtue, truth and holiness of grace is held for ever in the love and tension of obedience, poverty and chastity, he says: living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity.[222] 271For he who separates himself from the love, observance and practice of obedience, poverty and chastity, the Lamb of God treads under foot and esteems the blood of the testament unclean, offering an affront to the Spirit of grace; he hands himself over to the concupiscence of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life, deprives himself of eternal goods and puts himself under the most bitter sufferings of hell.[223]

272Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to our Lord Pope Honorius and his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church. Let the other brothers be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.[224]

273Since in accord with the greatness of faith and the perfection of charity, in every person, situation and order, there is needed a truth of submission, integrity of obedience and unity of an inseparable clinging to Christ, to his vicar and to the Catholic Church. 274So filled with the highest faith and seraphic charity, Francis, the imitator of the life of Christ, promises for himself and for his brothers immediate obedience and reverence in the most perfect and highest way to the Lord Pope Honorius and his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church. 275He not only promises obedience in the way necessary for the salvation of every believer, but as fundamental to, promoting and perfecting the promise of the evangelical rule and life; every order is more perfect, the closer and more intimately it is united with the Church, and the more reverently and humbly it serves as a subject in obedience the Vicar of Christ, and the sacred Roman College.

276Well-being, salvation and life are in the fulness of such obedience, while error, death and bitter damnation are in abandoning it and holding it in contempt.[225] 277For this reason he says explicitly that he promises obedience and reverence to our Lord Pope Honorius and his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church; by these words it is understood that he made this promise then to Pope Honorius, to the Pontiffs of his time and to the Church.

278Moroever,as his companions used to relate and Brother Leo writes[226]:

he understood through the Holy Spirit that times of future troubles were drawing near, times in which temporal and spiritual confusions and divisions would abound and the charity of many would grow cold and iniquity abound, the power of the demons would be freer than usual and the purity of his Order and of others would be deformed by stains, and the promised dissension and apostasy of the one empire from the other would be completed in so far that very few would obey out of a love of truth the Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Church. 279And that one not canonically elected and infected with heretical irregularity, at the very time of this trouble, when raised to the papacy would endeavour shrewdly to bring the death of his error to many. 280And that then scandals would be multiplied and his Religion would be divided with many breaking away from others because they would not contradict error or consent to it; and there would be opinions and so many great schisms among people, religious and the clergy that unless those days had been shortened, according to the word of the Gospel, if possible even the elect would be led into error, unless in the midst of such turmoil, by the great mercy of God, the errors were controlled.[227]

281He wanted, therefore, in accord with what he had accepted in the revelation in those words necessary for the truly humble and poor, to those who love to cling faithfully and inseparably to Christ and to his Church, according to the vow of the promise of evangelical life, to give a knowledge of discretion and to announce beforehand the danger of the scandal about to come in the Church and to give a remedy. 282Namely, that then they should proceed cautiously and strengthen themselves and come together more strongly and more perfectly in the observance of the promised life and Rule, when they see someone, not canonically elected, usurp the papacy in a tyrannical manner or when one infected with heretical irregularity perversely holds on to it. 283Then, as he used to say, happy those who persevere in what they began and freely promised the Lord to observe.

284Saint Francis used to say and frequently preached before the Lord of Ostia, many brothers and also to the people, that his brothers, influenced by evil spirits, would stray from the way of holy simplicity and of most high poverty,[228] 285and that they would receive for themselves money, wills and other legacies and, leaving poor and solitary places, they would build rich and great places in castles and towns, giving no witness to a poor state but following the fashion of the world for lords and princes. 286And that, with much shrewdness, human prudence and insistence, they would obtain and request privileges from the Church and the Supreme Pontiffs, not only relaxing the promised Rule and the life revealed to him by Christ, but destroying its purity; armed with these they would proudly presume to enter into litigation and inflict injuries not only on seculars but also on other religious and clergy; 287and that they were digging a pit into which they themselves would finally fall and would sow seeds from which many scandals would be reaped.

288And Christ would rightly send to them, as they deserve, not a pastor but an exterminator who according to their works and efforts would render them their reward.[229] 289He would bring war and a strong trial, just as they merited to bring upon themselves, so that tied up and ensnared in the greed of their desires and punished by a just decree of God, they may humbly return to the state of their vocation, or by a saving, healthy way of living, that before God they have sworn with a firm promise to keep until the end, they may be completely torn out.

290For truth then will be covered in silence by preachers or it will be denied as something contemptible, and holiness of life will be held in derision by those who profess it. 291But those fervent in spirit who will cling to piety and truth out of love, will endure innumerable persecutions as if they were disobedient and schismatics.

292Saint Francis preached, as his companions, namely, Brothers Bernard, Angelo, Masseo, Leo and others of his companions testified after his death, that

there will be such insults and disturbance from demons and wicked people against those walking simply and humbly that, abandoned by all, they will be forced to seek out desert and solitary places, or to go to the unbelievers, or be dispersed, wearing secular dress, leading the life of a pilgrim, or hiding among some faithful, enduring punishments and death from innumerable calumnies and quarrels.[230] 293And he used to say that he is blessed who in that whirlwind will be able to find a faithful companion. 294For those who persecute them, stirred up by evil spirits, will say it is a service to God to kill and wipe off the earth such noxious people.[231]

295Nor will they understand because demons will turn all their force and fury against holiness of life, poverty and the truth of evangelical humility, and, if they were allowed, kill them in their shoots and destroy them even to their roots, that mercifully Christ had renewed by two great lights of heaven, namely, Dominic and Francis.[232] 296Then the wicked will act wickedly and not understand; their eyes will be blinded lest they see with their eyes and their hearts will be hardened and their back bent down always; from blindness, their intention will be subject to evil and, provoking God, they will lose the life of grace and incur eternal damnation, unless penitent they will be converted to Christ, see the ways of life and cease from a persecution of the innocent and humble poor by hatred and oppression.[233] 297The Lord will be a refuge for the afflicted, will save them, take them away from sinners and will free them because they hoped in him. 298For when antichrist and his followers wickedly put themselves above Christ, then the poor and faithful servants of Christ, so as to be conformed to their head, will act faithfully and, with no fear at all, will choose to trade death for eternal life, to obey God rather than men,[234] and to die rather than consent to what is false and perfidious.

299The first chapter of the Rule approved by Pope Innocent was this:

300The rule and life of these brothers is this, namely: ‘to live in obedience, in chastity, and without anything of their own,’ and to follow the teaching and footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ, who says[235]: 301If you wish to be perfect, go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.[236] 302And: If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.[237] 303Again: If anyone wishes to come to me and does not hate father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.[238] 304And: Everyone who has left father or mother, brother or sisters, wife or children, houses or lands because of me, will receive a hundredfold and will possess eternal life.[239]

305This is the first chapter of The Earlier Rule. The second chapter of this Rule is about the reception and clothing of the brothers:

306If anyone, wishing by divine inspiration to accept this life, comes to our brothers, let him be received by them with kindness. 307If he is determined to accept our life, let the brothers be very careful not to become involved in his temporal affairs but present him to their minister as quickly as possible. 308On his part, let the minister receive him with kindness, encourage him and diligently explain the tenor of our life to him. 309When this has been done, let the above-mentioned person – if he wishes and is capable of doing so spiritually without any difficulty – sell all his belongings and be conscientious in giving everything to the poor.[240]

310Let the brothers and the minister of the brothers be careful not to interfere in any way in his temporal affairs, 311nor to accept money either by themselves or through an intermediary. 312Nevertheless, if the brothers are in need, they can accept, like other poor people, whatever is needed for the body excepting money.[241]

313When he has returned, the minister may give him the clothes of probation for a year, that is, two tunics without a hood, a cord, trousers, and a small cape reaching to the cord. 314When the year and term of probation has ended, he may be received into obedience. 315After this it will be unlawful for him to join another Order or to ‘wander outside obedience’ according to the decree of the Lord Pope and the Gospel, for no one putting his hand to the plow and looking to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.[242] 316However, if anyone comes who cannot give away his belongings without difficulty but has the spiritual will to do so, let him leave them behind, and it will suffice for him. 317No one may be received contrary to the rite and practice of the Holy Church.[243]

318All the other brothers who have already promised obedience may have one tunic with a hood and, if it is necessary, another without a hood and trousers. 319Let all the brothers wear poor clothes and, with the blessing of God, they can patch them with sackcloth and other pieces, for the Lord says in the Gospel: Those who wear expensive clothing and live in luxury and who dress in fine garments are in the houses of kings.[244] 320Even though they may be called hypocrites, let them nevertheless not cease doing good nor seek expensive clothing in this world, so that they may have a garment in the kingdom of heaven.[245]




2, 1If there are any who wish to accept this life and come to our brothers, etc.[246]

2Saint Francis replied to his brothers who asked him to encourage a young man of upright behaviour to enter the Religion: 3Brothers, it is not for me nor for you to influence someone to enter our life, rather we must preach penance by our works and in all our sermons, and attract all to the love of and obedience to Christ and to hate and despise the world. 4It is for the Lord, who alone knows what is best for people, to choose and call to this life those whom he might make suitable and to whom he has given the grace to take it on and observe it. 5Hence, the Lord who planted the Religion, desires that we leave its government, increase and preservation entirely to him.

6One of the ways in which the demons will attack this Religion will be by wrongful and imprudent reception.[247] 7Evil spirits will lead some perverse people to enter the Religion; they will stir the mind of the ministers to receive many and in those whom they receive they will not have seen evidence of firmness of purpose, right intention and the fervour of a holy will; rather they will look for nobility of birth, riches, or diligence in learning or art, and fame among people.[248] 8When such people have been received they will understand the Rule according to their own interpretation and that of others and will think little of observing the purity of the holy Rule in a way pleasing to Christ. 9Against the cunning of the demons and for the correct increase and preservation of the Religion, Christ desires that only the ministers receive [brothers], and that only brothers be appointed as ministers who have Christ and his Spirit within them, and who seek and know the things that are Jesus Christ’s. By such ministers may the whole Religion always persevere in purity and holiness of life, complete uprightness of behaviour and perfection of virtues.[249]

10Hence, Pope Gregory in his Declaratio, written on the Rule at the request and insistence of the brothers, says that provincial Ministers cannot delegate this power to their Vicars ‘because the Ministers themselves are not allowed to do this, unless a special permission has been given to them by the Minister general’.[250] 11At the time of Saint Francis it was common in the areas of Italy for all who wanted to join the Religion to be sent to him, both because those to be received were anxious to see him on account of his holiness, and also because by the merit of his prayers those received and clothed by him, rejoiced to have received the grace of his blessing and they never doubted that they had received an increase of spiritual virtue.

12In former times, perfect religious were wary of those who came to join them; they were received only after much difficulty, a testing of their obedience and after they had first put aside every earthly desire, as is most evident in the Lives, the Instituta Patrum, the Collationes, and the Rule of Saint Basil, and in the deeds and writings of other holy people who dealt with this matter.[251] 13However, Saint Francis spoke more abundantly of his mind and declared in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the brothers present and those to come until the end of the world, by his word, deeds and writing, that it was not his intention, nor was it pleasing to nor the will of Christ, who in mercy appeared to him and revealed the Rule, that the brothers would expound or put glosses on it other than according to its literal meaning faithfully understood.[252] 14And that in no way were they to presume to ask letters from the Roman Curia, neither for hearing confessions, for permission to preach, for buildings, places or churches, nor for the persecution of their bodies,[253] 15because if they persevere in a pure and simple observance and understanding of the Rule and Testament, just as he had accepted the Rule and Testament simply and purely from Christ, such an understanding and observance, before God in a holy, spiritual and correct way, without error and impediment, would lead them to eternal life.

16The four Masters of the Order of Lesser Brothers, namely ‘Brothers Alexander of Hales, John of Capella, Robert of Bascia, and Rigaldus’, together with Brother Gaufredi, then Custos of Paris, explained the Rule at the command of a General Chapter and sent it to Brother Haymo then Minister general, stating that because of ‘a privilege received later the Ministers were not only given permission to receive brothers but also the power to delegate it to others’,[254] 17that:

it does not seem to be without danger if some brothers draw back by privileges from the intention of the Rule they vowed, and especially because in a similar way they may fear that later the truth of the Rule will be corrupted. 18Because just as in this case a privilege of dispensation was asked for on the basis of clear usefulness, so, because of what some brother will regard as a clear necessity, they will be able to ask for a privilege against other articles of the Rule.[255]

19Likewise, Pope Gregory says in his Declaratio on this article of the Rule, namely: And let none of the brothers dare to preach in any way to the people unless he has been examined and approved by the general minister of this fraternity and the office of preaching has been conferred upon him, ‘that a Minister general cannot grant this to an absent person’.[256] 20The above mentioned Masters add:

Because this was relaxed by a privilege asked for, many are afraid that, by other privileges asked for, the whole perfection of the Rule could later be relaxed.[257] 21That is why it is not without danger to draw back from the Rule they have vowed for the sake of requesting some privileges.

The above mentioned Masters say this.

22Saint Francis, informed beforehand by the Spirit of Christ of future troubles that would be stirred up in the end of days by demons and men, troubles contrary to the perfection of the life inspired in him by Christ, warned the brothers not to depart, under pretext of any utility, any necessity or any kind of spiritual edification, from a pure and holy understanding, an observance of the promised Rule from a love of poverty and humility, if they wanted to please God truly and gain victory over their visible and invisible enemies.[258] 23In the future, by privileges, the working of human prudence, the esteem for and complacency in their own judgment, the brothers will so abandon a sincerity and truth in the observance of their life and Rule that they will not only leave the love and observance of what they have promised, but they will want to be righteous when they hate and destroy in others the very things they had promised.

24Being ignorant of the cunning of the demons and not guarding against the bias of their own affections toward evil, they will say confidently that it is not against the purity of the Rule to ask for privileges from the Supreme Pontiff to hear confessions, to be able to preach more freely, to build churches, to increase the number of brothers, to help the infirm, to bury devout people, to increase study and the number of books and for other reasons that they claim are for the utility, solidity and spiritual state of the whole Religion.[259] 25They will say that everything having an appearance of evident value or spiritual progress and convenience favours the pure and true observance of the Rule, in that spiritual powers and their increase, according to the demands of times and spiritual utilities, can cause no harm to perfection and to the final intention of the Rule.

26And they will not reflect that a person honours God badly who thinks to honour God by disobedience. 27One saves the souls of others poorly when one damns his own soul. 28It is useless to build a church from stones when one has withdrawn from the promised observance of poverty and humility. 29It is vain to increase the number of companions when one does not keep company with those who love virtue. 30It is stupid to provide for the needs of sick bodies when one gives the opposite to the sicknesses of one’s own soul. 31When a brother neglects whatever is necessary for the promised imitation of Christ, on the excuse of burying the dead, he makes himself unsuitable for the kingdom of heaven. 32And one is seduced who sweats to increase the number of books but does not increase the exercise of virtue. 33In error and deceived, he works in vain who takes the fantasies of his heart and the suggestions of the demons as an action of the Spirit, and who thinks that he himself is building up the state of his spiritual condition when he is confusing and destroying it.

34Nor have they discovered from the prudence of human understanding and wisdom an argument of evident utility and spiritual progress, nor are they for the observance of the Rule, as they claim; 35but rather, all that contradicts and blocks the faithful and pure observance of the commands and counsels of Christ nourishes and fosters the secret, evil work of destroying spiritual utility and progress, and disobedience against papal authority and the jurisdiction of the Church, and it causes and brings about prejudice.

36For as Brother Leo wrote, Saint Francis:

often said to his companions: ‘Here lies my pain and grief: those things which I received from God by His mercy with great effort of prayer and meditation for the present and future good of the Religion, and which are, as he assures me, in accordance with his will, 37some of the brothers on the subtlety and prudence of their sciences nullify and oppose me saying: “These things must be kept and observed; but not those!”’[260]


He often repeated this saying: ‘Woe to those brothers who are opposed to what I know to be the will of God and for the greatest good of the religion, and say “These things must be kept and observed; but not those!”’[261]

39Therefore, it was the will of blessed Francis that the Minister general, as the Rule says, could grant permission to receive brothers only to the provincial Ministers.

40For according to the height of the heaven above the earth,[262] so great is the distance between the understanding and knowledge of the brothers and the understanding and knowledge that Saint Francis accepted as he was taught immediately by Christ and his Spirit, for the benefit and perpetual solidity of the whole Religion. 41But many brothers, following their own understanding, chose to go away and broaden the straight way of the Rule that leads to life; this is against the Testament and commands of their Father, for by their actions they reject the honour of the Father, obedience of faith, regular perfection and purity, while holding on to them in words.[263]

42So that the danger of admitting unfaithful people and those erring in their faith be avoided, Francis wants the ministers to examine those coming to the Order on the faith, that is on the articles of faith to be believed, and on the sacraments of the Church, by which we are reborn, put on and confess Christ, and by which we become subjects and obedient to the unity of the Church.[264] 43The purity and sincerity of their faith is to be proven, and a more diligent examination is to be made concerning their freedom from every bond and reasonable impediment by which many are unsuitable and unable to enter into the Religion, especially if they have no wives or they have already entered a monastery or have given their permission, etc.[265] 44By the law of the Gospel, divorce after a consummated marriage can be allowed in order to enter a Religion after solemnly taking a vow of chastity before the bishop; this was not introduced by a human person but by Christ who is true God, because such a divorce is totally of divine law. For this reason he makes special mention of this bond.[266]

45However, he does not mention other impediments because he wants the others to be understood in this one and, with vigilant care and discreet reflection, they are to be examined by the Ministers who will receive only those who, according to the counsel of Christ, want to give away their possessions and enter, lawfully and correctly, through the door to the perfection of evangelical life and the Rule. 46The Ministers are bound to show this door to those wanting to come to the Religion and to introduce all whom they receive through it to the life and rule of Christ so that by entering through it their entrance may be holy and their beginning pure, a means of a good life and their end a finish in harmony with the beginning.

47For Christ showed this door to the young man who had kept the commandments from his youth, saying: If you will be perfect, go sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.[267] 48And the Rule commands the Ministers to say to all who come to the Religion the words of the holy Gospel that they go and sell all they have and take care to give it to the poor.[268]

49The Ministers of the evangelical rule, by reason of their office, are to announce the word of the perfection of the Gospel to those whom they receive into this evangelical life, who then should carefully and faithfully with the utmost joy and fervour carry out the command of Christ before their entry into the Religion. 50And, so that they might show the signs and works of the disciples, walking naked after Christ in the trust of faith by throwing away the weight of earthly things, especially their own will, they will carry the naked cross until the end seeking and minding only what is heavenly and eternal.[269]

51Saint Francis replied as follows to one person asking to join the Order:

‘If you want to join God’s poor, first distribute what you have to the poor of the world.’ 52He distributed his goods to his relatives and not to the poor, and Francis said to him again: ‘Go, Brother Fly. You began with flesh, and laid down a crumbling foundation for a spiritual building. You are not worthy of the holy poor.’[270]

53Blessed Basil wrote to an Abbot who had received a senator who had not stripped himself completely of his possessions: ‘You have lost a senator and not made a monk’.[271]

54Saint Anthony said to a youth who wanted to become a monk but held back for himself a few possessions:

If you want to become a monk go into the village and buy meats, put them on your naked body and come to me. 55Having done what he was told, he came to him with his body wounded from the claws and bites of birds and the stings of flies. 56And he said: Those who renounce the world and still want to own money, are attacked in this way by demons and torn to pieces.[272]

57Because the first foundation of all evangelical perfection is a spirit of poverty, to which by right of the promise of Christ the kingdom of heaven is due, he who holds on to some portion of his possessions, or distributes them to relatives, does not enter by the door to evangelical life, nor lay a foundation on the rock, namely, Christ, since to enter into religion without any impediment he must, if he is able, give what he possesses to the poor.[273] 58Further he ‘used to say, that poverty is the foundation of his Order, on which primary substratum the structure of religion rests, so that it is strengthened by its strength, and is destroyed when overturned from its foundation’.[274]

59To his vicar who asked whether, for the needs of the novices, it was allowed to keep something from the possessions of the novices that were to be given to the poor, he replied: 60‘I prefer that you strip the altar of the glorious Virgin, when necessity requires it, than to use something or even a little that is contrary to the vow of poverty and the observance of the Gospel’.[275]

61Therefore, in order to have the treasure in heaven that Christ promised to those who give all their possessions to the poor, they must, if they can, when coming to the life and discipleship of Christ, give promptly to the poor what they possess.[276] 62If they cannot do this, their good will may suffice.[277] 63But when distance of places, threats of parents, divisive contempt or other serious impediments prevent those wanting to serve God from selling their goods and giving them to the poor according to the counsel of Christ, then their good will is to be regarded as though they had done this, according to the text of Jerome ‘Ad Paulinum: 64‘If you have possessions, sell them, if you do not have any, renounce them’. ‘No one about to renounce the world can want things he has despised so as to sell them.’[278] 65No one putting a hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God, is what Christ said to the person who stated: I will follow you, Lord, but let me first take my leave of them that are in my house.[279] 66Often, such an entanglement overwhelms the mind and many times thorns growing up choke the word for us.[280]

67Let the brothers and the minister be careful not to interfere with their temporal goods that they may dispose of their belongings as the Lord inspires them.[281]

68He wanted all the brothers to be as foreigners and strangers to any involvement and concern in the disposing of the goods of those coming to the religion, and from giving advice in the distribution and accepting of such goods. 69For, according to what Saint Basil explains in his Rule, much that is unsuitable can be caused by the distribution or receiving of such goods, and it can be the occasion of much harm in both those receiving and in the things received. 70And he says that the distribution and giving away of such things to the poor ought and can be more fittingly done by stewards of the Church who have the care of the poor and know their condition so that the brothers receive absolutely nothing from such things.[282] 71Saint Francis, taught by the Spirit of Christ, teaches almost the same things in his Rule. 72For he says: If, however, counsel is sought, the minister may send them to some God-fearing persons according to whose advice their goods may be distributed to the poor. [283]

73He orders all the brothers and ministers to keep themselves away from giving advice or caring about the distribution of such goods, so that, following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who said: Sell all you have and give to the poor, they themselves and the whole Religion can be kept completely away from the dangers, scandals and defilement, both internal and external, that can so easily be incurred from this.[284] 74By saying this he teaches that nothing is to be kept back so as to give it to the community, to the rich or to relatives. 75Because, otherwise, it is difficult to escape wounds from the thorns of the world that make bloody, hold back and recall one hastening toward God. 76As is read of one such in the Vitae Patrum, who was held back by the demons throwing much dust at him lest he go to the desert; but he, stripping off his clothes, ran naked into the desert.[285] 77An angel said of him to one of the saints: Get up and run, athlete of Christ.

78Andrew, that great servant of the Lord, pretending to be a fool, remained naked while serving Christ who hung naked for us on the cross, covering only his sexual organs with a small piece of poor cloth; when a demon argued with him and wanted to stop him from continuing on his way, he threw the cloth in his face saying: ‘Go away from me and see that what I own in the world is now yours’. Confused, the demon immediately left him and disappeared.[286]

79The human race stripped naked by sin of its innocence, life of grace and hope of glory was clothed by Christ with grace and holiness. Christ did this when he was born naked, lived as a poor person and taught the poverty that he consecrated and made his bride on the cross, consecrated and sealed it in death, made it bright in the resurrection and when he ascended into heaven raised it on a throne so that by it he might restore the human race to its lost innocence, give it back a life of grace, enrich it, now reconciled to God, with virtues and recall it to the kingdom of glory.[287]

80Then they may be given the clothes of probation, namely, two tunics without a hood, a cord, short trousers, and a little cape reaching to the cord.[288]

81When they have become poor out of love for Christ, when they ask for, desire and are strongly afire with a love of poverty, when they think little of themselves, the [ministers] may give what they desire and ask for, namely, a cheap and poor habit. 82From the law and teaching of the holy Fathers, and from the traditions and rules inspired in them by the Holy Spirit, the distinction between the habit for beginners and professed is shown for the information of those wanting to serve Christ perfectly and religiously. 83This is done so that during the time of their probation they may show a hatred of their own understanding and will, a displeasure with the vanities of the world, with pride of life, with a familiarity with delicacies and concupiscence of the flesh, and that they may show a fixed, unvarying and unchangeable stability in their resolve for a holy style of life, an imitation of the life of Christ, and a humble, poor and perpetual slavery to him.[289]

84Some of the saints used to give three years of probation to novices on the basis of the Gospel story of the fig-tree that was to be cut down after three years if it remained barren after being fertilized.[290] 85Others gave seven so that after seven years of service and probation, as if they had reached a certain grace of first resurrection, they might put on the habit of profession in the eighth year.[291] 86However, in some monasteries, as blessed John Climacus relates, novices were on probation for thirty years so that in a sincere and solid way they might reach the monastic perfection indicated in the thirty years of the fulness of the perfect age of Christ and by the sacrament of his baptism.[292] 87For in the thirty steps of the ascent in virtues, his book, that he called A Ladder or A Flight of Steps, begins with a perfect renunciation of possessions, way of life and affections, this being a sign of the most perfect love that drives out fear and never falls away, and finishes in the thirtieth step.[293]

88When a novice has been humbly established in the vineyard of the Lord and is producing fruit, then he is received to obedience, offering and fully renouncing himself with a firm and immoveable promise to the Lord who with tears and a strong cry offered himself to the Father on the cross so that with fear and humility we might do the same by persevering to the end on the cross of penance and a life of holiness.[294] 89He distinguishes the habit of novices from the habit of the professed by the little cape, called by the ancients hangings and it is given as a sign that their stability is to be examined and proven.

90By the tunic with a hood, that the monks call a cowl, the brothers a habit, the ancient fathers understood a small cowl because it was a small hood covering the head with pieces hanging before and behind joined to the scapular on the body, and was a sign of humility and of that innocence and purity of the children of which the Lord said: Unless you be converted and become like little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.[295] 91Therefore, it is vain and harmful to modify the habit, to lengthen it and to make it of fine and soft cloth so that it might please the eyes of the worldly and serve vanity; by such signs, those things, by which innocence and humility are to be fostered, shown and preached, preach vanity while secular pomp and effeminate softness are shown. 92The ministers are left free not to give the habit of novices, because it would not be fitting to give signs of probation to men who are serious, mature, learned in Sacred Scripture, endowed with the priestly dignity and holiness of life.[296]

93Blessed Basil wanted the ones to be received to remain in secular clothing and for their probation to be under a senior and in a separate house until they had given clear evidence of their constancy and good will. In accordance with the Gospel, he wanted the habit of all of them to be a tunic and cloak and he directed that the change of clothing and the profession of obedience were to take place at the same time.[297] 94For these reasons, the Rule says: Unless, at times, it seems good to these same ministers, before God, to act otherwise.[298]

95When the year of probation has come to an end, they may be received to obedience promising always to observe this rule and life. 96On no account shall it be lawful for them to leave this Order, according to the decree of our Lord the Pope, for, according to the Gospel: no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.[299]

97When the year of probation has come to an end, those who are well tested, exercised in virtues and are fervent in love of God, neighbour, poverty, humility and chastity may be received to obedience, because, in the evangelical obedience they promise, the perfection of all the virtues is contained. 98For this reason, he refers to the promise of evangelical life and rule as a reception to obedience because by the obedience of Christ we are redeemed, saved and called to a life of grace and glory.

99By the mortification of our whole will, obedience is the salvation of souls, life of the faithful, mother of virtues, discoverer of the kingdom of heaven, key to wisdom, guardian of secrets, a sweet yoke taking people upward, a work of angels, crown and support of perfect saints, fruit of the cross, door and most safe way leading to unspeakable rest in the peace of Christ and a taste of heavenly wisdom itself, by which one is joined in an unbreakable way to others, to the religion, to superiors, to the Church and to Christ the head of all.[300]

100Just as, according to the Rule, permission is given to the ministers alone to receive brothers, so it is the same ministers who receive to obedience those who are to be received. 101Because if they alone should receive those coming to the Religion, it is left to them alone to receive the vows of profession because it is more serious to receive brothers to obedience than to probation.[301] 102They promise the evangelical life and rule observed by Christ, His Mother and the Apostles, because Christ gave himself to be imitated and as an example to us when He said: 103Come to me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you.. 104Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.[302] 105According to what the Apostles and Evangelists themselves taught and passed on, it [evangelical life] is contained in the vow and is to be observed.[303] 106Because such perfect and religious observance of the evangelical life had been weakened at the time of Francis, it was found in few; God wanted through him, under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, to bring about a reformation in the Church.

107And since nothing is more perfect than the evangelical life and rule of Christ, he states, for all who promise it, that on no account shall it be lawful for them after the promise to leave this Order,[304] 108because they already have in the highest and best form the uprightness, justice and holiness determined and imposed by the evangelical life. It has this highest form in action and contemplation, permanence and unending firmness, and so those who promise it are not allowed to promise another because this would not be going higher by a vow but going lower; to draw back from it for any reason in mind, good will or serious work is to be deficient; 109it would be a retreat by disobedience from the commandment of Christ, of the Supreme Pontiff and of Saint Francis, and a turning back and apostasy from the accepted and promised perfection, and consequently would show they are unworthy and unsuitable for the kingdom of heaven.[305]

110Those who have already promised obedience may have one tunic with a hood and another, if they wish, without a hood.[306]

111Since the evangelical rule and life allows for a habit and an inner tunic for those wanting to have it, namely, a habit and an inner tunic in place of a cloak; this corresponds to the practice of the holy fathers, who with a small hood covered the head, the body with sackcloth or a sleeveless tunic and a belt [belt ?] and the feet with sandals, conforming themselves to the habit of Christ and the Apostles;[307] 112this is in harmony with the command of Christ who wanted his disciples to be content with one tunic and a cloak when sent out to preach.[308]

113Because Christ by the Holy Spirit taught the Apostles and fathers all truth necessary for salvation and gave them the manner and form for living perfectly, blessed Francis, filled with the same Spirit, conforms himself in habit and spiritual perfection to Christ and the fathers, and he says in his Testament that the first brothers ‘were content with one tunic, patched inside and out’.[309] 114He says:

And those who came to receive this life, sold and gave to the poor all they could have and were content with one tunic, patched inside and out, with a cord and short trousers. We desired nothing more.[310]

115They used a poor and short mantle of sackcloth or of other poor cloth but, after the departure of Saint Francis from this life, Brother Elias forbade that it be carried outside; this was when he inflicted by papal authority a rather severe persecution on Brother Bernard Quintavalle, Brother Caeser, Brother Simon of Comitissa and their companions who were content with one small tunic as a habit and in other matters kept to the intention and ways of the Founder.[311] 116Because they would not agree with his relaxations, he gave a bad report of them and accused them of many things before the Supreme Pontiff. They were bitterly persecuted because of their continuing conformity to the Saint, they used one, poor, old and patched tunic and a short mantle, and observed the Rule simply and to the letter, just as the Saint had commanded at the end; as a greater reproach he gave them and all who joined them the name of the sect of the Mantled.[312]

117Francis gave witness to the will of God as he had learnt and accepted it from Christ; he exhorted and encouraged all the brothers, by his preaching and by the example of his actions, to love and observe it, namely, that no brother should have any clothing other than what the Rule allows, together with a cord, underwear, and shoes in a time of clear necessity and sickness. 118And as Brother Leo writes and as others of the Saint’s companions who lived on for many years after his transitus from this life testified, he taught his brothers that in the desert of this world they should have no clothing other than what is despised and poor.[313] 119As pilgrims long for the fatherland and those held in prison and chains desire freedom, so they, but even more so the poor of Christ and all who have again sworn enmity for the sake of Christ and his kingdom, are bound to desire the pilgrimage from the prison of this world and the flesh.

120To Brother Riccerio, Brother Masseo, the minister wanting his permission to keep the books he had, and to the novice asking for his consent to have a psalter for spiritual comfort, he replied with much animation of spirit, in accord with what he had received from God, that ‘as the Rule says, whoever wants to be a Lesser Brother and observe the Gospel he has promised purely must have nothing but the tunic, a cord, and short trousers and shoes’ in clear sickness.[314] 121And for as long as he lived and at the moment of death he gave this reply to all who asked him about the pure observance and understanding of the rule; and both living and dying he confirmed the teaching by the example of his actions. 122For while living, no matter how sick he was, he had nothing other than the one poor and rough tunic with which he covered his small mortified body; he took this off as he lay prostrate on the ground at the hour of his death and remained naked in the eyes of the brothers standing there, to whom he said: 123‘I have done what is mine; may Christ teach you yours’, confirming by action and word what he taught, and so to the end he had no habit other than one given to him under obedience by another.[315]

124Brother John of Celano says of blessed Francis: ‘He expressed horror at those who wore three layers of clothing and those who without necessity used soft clothes in the Order’, for he stated that to warm the body with three layers of soft clothing is a sign that the spirit in the soul is dead.[316] 125And Brother Bonaventure says:

Once when he was asked how he could protect himself against the bite of the winter’s frost with such poor and thin clothing, he answered with a burning spirit: ‘If we were touched within by the flame of devotion for our heavenly home, we could easily endure that exterior cold’.[317]

126Covered with one poor tunic he served the Lord in cold and nakedness.[318]

127If he felt the softness of a tunic that had been given to him, he used to sew pieces of cord on the inside because he used to say, according to the word of Truth itself, that we should look for soft clothes not in the huts of the poor but in the palaces of princes.[319]

128It is clear enough from his life and from his writings in the Rule and Testament that it is the intention of the Rule and evangelical model to have a habit and one tunic made of poor cloth and not more. 129However, to have more is for sickness or regular dispensation, made by the authority of a papal condescension, that he commits to the ministers and custodians alone for the care of providing for the brothers in the matter of clothes according to places, seasons and cold climates.[320]

130Saint Jerome writes about this manner of condescension in Ad Hebidiam:

What if the cold of Scythia and the snows of the Alps come, cold that is not kept out by two or three tunics and hardly even by the skins of cattle? 131Therefore, whatever is sufficient for the body and supports human weakness, this is to be called one tunic, and whatever in the present circumstance is necessary for food, this is called the food for one day.[321]

132And Rabbanus says the same thing Ad Matthaeum:

It seems to me that two tunics indicate a double clothing; not that in places of Scythia and places frozen with icy snow a person should be content with one tunic, but that by tunic we understand clothing, that is, another garment, we keep for ourselves from fear of the future.[322]

133But be careful as you read of various opinions on perfection. The saints out of condescension say some things suitable to the sick and to beginners, a condescension that goes with the perfection human weakness can attain when exercised faithfully; sometimes they say more difficult things to the proficient, to those who act manfully against themselves and who fight the evils of the demons. 134What is heavy and intolerable to the sick and to beginners, is light and slight to the saints in that they always aspire to higher things. 135Some things are said and handed on about the most perfect people, as about the Apostles and other disciples of Christ, great martyrs, anchorites and the perfect, holy founders of Orders, who filled with the Holy Spirit did supernatural works possible to no one by nature; in the perfection they had attained they were as nothing in their own eyes, because understanding themselves perfectly and weeping in the prison of their dwelling, they desired to be dissolved and to be with Christ.[323]

136However, lesser people who look on them and try to rise with holy desires to their perfection, in so far as they understand how distant they are from their divine and heavenly way of life, are more deeply humiliated and think poorly of themselves. 137Some of the most perfect saints, having a foretaste of impassibility from the weaknesses of soul and body, and given by divine power as an example to those wanting to follow Christ, have proven in an undeniable way, by signs, virtues and gifts received from the Holy Spirit, that Christian perfection does not come from human strength either for the faithful or for unbelievers. 138The Rules of the saints, Rules accepted and approved by the Church, lead beginners to perfection is such a way that they strengthen, inform, lead and commend to the proficient the completion of all supernatural perfection.

139Although Saint Basil in his Rule teaches that his brothers who wish to live in a Gospel way should be content with only one tunic, with water for drink, with bread and suitable poor foods for nourishment, and these gained by the work of their hands. While staying outside the world in a solitary place with his brothers and being already attentive only to God, he said, nevertheless, about himself in Ad Gregorium Nazazenum:

140Before you may learn something, as you have asked, about the way and manner of life, it was necessary for you to think this out well for your soul, namely, that from all the things that are here none is to be regarded as the happiness set aside for us in the promises. 141But I indeed, by the end of a night and day, am confused to write about what I do. 142For leaving behind the delays and duties in the city, as occasions of innumerable evils, I have not yet been able to leave myself.[324]

143He adds many other statements of his own humility and abasement that would be long to write here. 144In fact, he did what he taught others to do, and the greater the things he did, the more he knew himself to be far away from that highest perfection to which he aspired.

145In a letter Ad Anphilochium he writes that he received from and was taught by a certain bishop, a doctor in divine matters and an enlightener of souls, what pertains to the teaching and form of the perfection of evangelical life.[325] 146And, after writing much about renunciation, poverty, obedience and humility, he adds how it was confirmed by the evidence of the Scriptures, of Christ, the Apostles and by the lives and examples of the preceding saints, namely, that those who desire to imitate and observe the life and rule of evangelical perfection should cover the body by a single tunic and not several, and he exhorted them to go to the aforementioned saint to be more fully informed on all this.

147Saint Maximus, a monk in fact and name, in a book on certain questions on the Old and New Testaments, replying to the holy priest Thalasius, states that the text of the Gospel of Saint John: The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, and they made four parts, to every soldier a part and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam etc., proves that Christ had only one tunic and a cloak called an ‘imation’, in plural clothes, and the text says that the cloak was divided into four parts.[326] 148He explains that the Apostles and Evangelists, following the example of Christ, wore only one tunic with a cloak. 149And the holy doctors Basil, Anphilochius, Gregory Nazianzus and Nisenus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Epiphanius and Chrysostom, Symeon Metafrastes and John Damascene, Ambrose and Jerome are in agreement on this and all write the same way.

150In clear necessity and bodily weakness, although needing a dispensation according to the rule of charity and piety, nevertheless, holy men, even when weak and sick in body, by reason of obedience, patience, humility and a fervent desire for perfect works to which they always aspire, are not deprived of the merit and reward of perfection.

151Saint Francis from the beginning of his conversion wanted, naked, to serve Christ in some desert place, but he received a reply from the Lord that he was called and sent ‘not to live for himself alone’ but that by action and preaching he might give examples of holiness and penance to others.[327] 152This is why he adopted an inferior, poor and short habit in the shape of a cross, so that crucified to the world for Christ who came to him as one crucified, he might preach by actions, words and habit that the vanity of the world is to be left behind and trampled on.[328]

153Saint Symeon Metafrastes writes about Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus, Archbishop of Neocesarea, an apostolic man in his life, wisdom and miracles, that, afire from childhood with zeal for the imitation of the life and poverty of Christ, and even after his consecration as an archbishop, went covered with only a tunic and a poor and cheap cloak even in the northern regions of Pontus. 154And that in his own archiepiscopate he refused to have a cell as a place of rest for the body or a grave at the end, so that in all things, as far as possible for him, he might be conformed to his Lord and master, who did not have a place to rest his head, but suffered outside the gate, so that those who imitate him might know they do not have here a lasting city, but with all their energy and fiery desires they seek for one that is to come, that is, a heavenly city.[329]

155Let all the brothers wear poor clothes and they may mend them with pieces of sackcloth or other material with the blessing of God.[330]

156Brother Bonaventure says: ‘In the matter of clothes, he had a horror of softness and loved coarseness, claiming that John the Baptist had been praised by the Lord for this’.[331] 157‘For his own experience had taught him that demons were terrified by harshness, but were inspired to tempt one more strongly by what is pleasant and soft.’[332]

158For, by the testimony of Saint Jerome and the other saints who wrote the Vitae of the holy Fathers, that great Anthony and the two Macarii, Pambo, Isidorus Pilusiotes, Amonius, Isidorus Scithyotis, Mutius, Elenus and all those first fathers, divine men and earthly angels, normally used poor, old and rough clothing, patched from many pieces.[333] 159Jerome writes of Saint Paphnutius that at the age of eighty years he covered his limbs with only one rough and poor tunic.[334] 160And they taught that it was in conflict with religious life to use soft and costly clothes and foods.[335] 161But the holy anchorites who had already become to some degree immune to suffering, for the most part served the Lord naked, aspiring with ardent affections for the naked vision of the glory of God, and desired to be dissolved and to be with Christ.[336]

162In our own regions, Fulgentius, distinguished in wisdom and holiness of life as a doctor and preacher of the kingdom of God, wore only one most poor tunic in both winter and summer, he walked barefoot, at times agreeing to wear sandals within the monastery.[337] 163We read that the saints of God, namely, Vallaricus, Rogatianus, Leofredus, Eligius, Norimbertus, John Plusanenses, Ioheles, Daniel and Iordanus and innumerable others also did this in imitation of the life of Christ and in observing the Gospel.[338]

164In times of clear necessity, he allowed shoes that Christ forbade the disciples to wear, and he did this lest in this case by the spirit of the fervent brothers, excessively zealous for the pure observance of the Rule, the Rule might be restricted more than was right.[339] 165He laid down that it is not lawful to wear shoes unless clear and evident necessity demands it. 166In such necessity or weakness, shoes may be worn as is proper for those who profess the highest poverty.[340] 167Nor is such necessity to be determined or believed on the judgment and conscience of those who live in a lax manner, or of those who are uncertain that divine power and providence piously assist in the efforts and pains of penance, austerity and mortification in meat, regularly undertaken by his faithful servants, and who are uncertain that it wonderfully works, guards and directs the bodies and minds of those who, for the glory of Christ, mortify their limbs, crucifying them with their vices and concupiscences;[341] 168rather it is to be determined by the judgment of those who from what they have suffered, have learnt in a holy and discreet way to identify the weaknesses and need that necessitate the wearing of shoes.

169Even though, for example, Saint Francis was almost always sick he went barefoot and wore only an old and poor tunic patched with sackcloth until his death so as to show by deeds what he taught. 170He wished that the brothers everywhere use such cloth that by its value and colour was regarded commonly as poor and contemptible by the people of the region in which the brothers lived and from whom they begged food. 171Nor are they to be ashamed to patch the clothes with sackcloth and other material, because, filled with the Holy Spirit, the fathers with old and patched sackcloth covered their limbs so that they might conform themselves to the poverty and humility of Christ, his Precursor and the great saints who wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted, of whom the world was not worthy.[342]

172Our Redeemer took on the likeness of sinful flesh to wipe out the works of sin by the reality of his holiness and mortality and, as one clothed with an old garment, so that the white stole of his newness might clothe those who despise and humiliate his servants, and might teach them that what the world regards as precious, poor and contemptible, and what are regarded highly and are exalted by men are weak and abominable to God.[343] 173So some remained naked, some covered their limbs with old and rough sackcloth, others with the leaves of palms, others with a single tunic, so that they might fully conform themselves to the poverty and life of Christ, as far as was possible for them, conscious that full likeness to Him is the most blessed goal of every perfection of grace and glory.[344]

174Likewise, blessed Francis saw beforehand how in later days they would say it is not only lawful and useful for the brothers to leave aside the lowly state of poverty, signs of contempt and humility in ways of acting and in habit under the excuse of honesty, uniformity and a higher state of the Religion, but they would preach it is right to hinder and block such things in others. 175Frequently and in many ways he was assured by the Lord about the things that would happen after him in the Religion, but on one of these days, while he was praying in Saint Mary of the Angels, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a wonderful form and appearance.[345] 176Its head was gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly was bronze, the legs of iron, the feet of iron and clay, the shoulders covered with poor and rough sackcloth.[346] 177The angel pretended to be somewhat ashamed to be wearing such poor sackcloth.

178The one watching was amazed.

179The angel said to him: Why are you astonished and amazed? The form that you see in me represents the beginning, development and end that your Religion will experience until the time of its birth and the reformation of the life of Christ and of the ecclesiastical state. 180You, with all your companions who are filled with the love of God, who carry Christ and his death in body and heart, who pray unceasingly day and night for the salvation of yourself and of all, weeping over your sins and the sins of others and wanting to have nothing under heaven for love of him: you are the head of gold.[347]

181Those who will come after you, setting aside prayer, will concern themselves with knowledge that puffs up, the study of the written word, the building up of a large number of books, will set aside a love and zeal for poverty, all under the pretext of the salvation of souls and the edification of others.[348] 182And because they put words before virtues, knowledge before holiness, they will not prosper but will remain inwardly cold and empty of love, having exchanged gold for cold, porous silver.

183And because they will speak much and do little, they will begin to trample on the firmness of humility and their basic nature, namely, the reality of poverty, and by taking on instead cares, worries and distractions they will change silver into iron.[349]

184They will not be concerned to return to the first goods of perfection, namely, devout prayer and the fervour of love, but will display exteriorly ways of acting that are religious, humble and of great holiness; however, interiorly they will foster relaxations and will long for praise and honour, not being better and holier than all others but wanting to be thought of and appear as such. 185And so, doing much harm like incompetent traders, they will do their work and change the silver of eloquence and knowledge into a bronze and hypocritical image so as to win human praise and temporal gain.

186But because their pretence and hypocrisy will not remain hidden for a long time, they will become worthless in the eyes of their admirers. 187When they realize this, they will become indignant and angry against those whom they tried to please and from impatience they will more carefully seek out occasions to persecute and afflict those who have ceased to show them reverence and approval; so they will change the noisy and reddish bronze into hard and rough iron.

188Changed into an iron-like nature, they will be ready and bold not only to excuse themselves of the injuries they have caused, but also to inflict harm on the innocent and to tolerate injuries they inflict on the timid, weak and impatient. 189And as you see the iron mixed with clay in my feet, so finally there will be brothers swift and hard as iron in inflicting harm on those who disagree with them, but weak and impatient as clay in endurance.

190In this way those who in the beginning were clothed with the most pure gold of the love of Christ, will be regarded as earthen vessels in the final days when the Religion founded by you will come to birth.[350]

191This rough, poor and short sackcloth with which I cover my shoulders, and of which I seem to be ashamed, is the poorness and austerity of poverty that the brothers of the Lord promised to wear with pride and joy. 192But having abandoned the first love by which they were united to God when they held and observed the lowliness of humility and poverty in all things and experienced the pledge of heavenly honour and the assurance of eternal glory, 193they ran from bearing the demands and the want involved in poverty; they relaxed their spirit so as to find and possess pleasures and abundance of goods; they did not fear to introduce, for the good standing of the Order, vast excesses in clothing and in all their actions because, overcome by human shame and tepidity of spirit, they felt they were being dishonoured by the cheapness and meanness of their goods and habit. 194And because they rejoiced vainly among people in the name and reputation of poverty, while in their actions and life style they were ashamed of it, persecuting and bitterly attacking it in themselves and in others, therefore, I show shame in wearing this sackcloth.

195One of the reasons why he says explicitly in the Rule that all the brothers are to wear poor clothes and they may mend them with pieces of sackcloth or other material with the blessing of God is so that the brothers who do not want to do this and forbid others to do it, would have no excuse in their own consciences nor before God.[351] 196From the works of the Saint, by an explicit precept and vow of the Rule and by the gift of his blessing, they would be most fully informed about this, both about the will of Christ in revealing the Rule to him, and of the intention and final will of the founder himself. 197Those who devoutly did this would merit to have the holy blessing of God and of their Father.

198I admonish and exhort them not to look down upon or judge those whom they see dressed in soft and fine clothes and enjoying the choicest food and drink, but rather let everyone judge and look down upon himself.[352]

199Since the Lesser Brothers are obliged by the instruction of the Rule, the life they have professed and the excellence of their vocation, to wear rough and contemptible clothing and to use cheap, common and poor food and drink, he exhorts and warns them that, from the humble condition of such a life and from regular rigidity and austerity, they are to turn towards the highest and necessary peak of the perfection of all the servants of God with their whole heart, their whole mind and their whole strength, that is, so that everyone judge and look down upon himself.[353]

200The Abbot of the mountain of Nitria gave this reply to Theophilus when asked by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria: ‘What more have you found about this way? He answered, nothing better than to blame and censure myself unceasingly. 201And the bishop said to him: No way is to be followed other than this’.[354]

202And Abbot Pastor said: ‘This is the only justice for a man, for a servant of God should censure and despise himself, and then he is just when he condemns his faults. 203He says, do not want to judge and you shall not be judged’ etc.[355] 204Whoever is humble and less than all others, as he has promised, feels, knows and admits he is the greatest of all sinners, and always examines his own wrongdoing but turns his face from the failures and faults of others for whom he asks mercy from God, praying for all; 205the more he thinks poorly of himself, so much the more does he think of the memory of a neighbour, no matter how great a sinner, as clean and to be revered. 206While humility wants and loves to be far away from pride, it shows affection equally toward all and, offering itself to the rightness of justice in truth, while it earnestly longs to confess its own worthlessness and sin, it turns its thoughts away from every judgment that is rash, arrogant, suspicious and presumptuous.

207Those freely chosen and called by the poor and humble Lord and master should reflect unceasingly on learning poverty and humility, on loving and holding on to the highest perfection and to the heavenly and divine dignity, and on how much they are obliged, because of the gift accepted, to increase always in hatred of the root of all evil, namely, avarice and to abhor and abominate pride, the enemy of God and contrary to His name.[356] 208Poor in spirit, with heart purified from the defilement of pride and the error of a lie, they hate, judge and despise themselves, but love, bless and honour every secular person, every cleric and religious. 209They do not remember hurts that they have suffered from others, but accept everything with thanks from the hand of God. 210Mindful of the death of Christ, the justice of God and their own sins, they confess and understand that they alone are responsible for their sins, and know for certain they cannot receive in this life what is deserved by their sins. 211This is why they do not have a argument or quarrel with anyone, even if, to those who are jealous, they seem to have one, since the Spirit of Christ speaks in them in truth from love for the praise and glory of God and the benefit of those persecuting them; nor in their speech and actions do they seek the things that are their own but the things that are Jesus Christ’s.[357]

212The poor in spirit are truly humble, genuinely less than all and, even against their own name, they practice perfectly the reality of humility, so that, if they are hurt or injured, in love and with a purified heart and controlled mind, they are the first not to oppose the ones offending and inflicting injury on them.

213For I said, now have I begun to base myself on the firmness of humility, this is the change of the right hand of the Most High, by which one moves from the left to the right,[358] 214so that by the power given from the cross of Christ and by the vital working of His death received in the heart, genuinely made lesser by humility, by a great and amazing miracle silencing antichristian pride, it happens that being despised becomes true praise, the need of poverty becomes unending and true riches, reproaches and abuses become dignities and lasting honours worthy of heaven, while thirst and hunger become like incorruptible delicacies and everlasting feasts. 215Indeed, he who is lesser by the truth of humility, never dies because he rightly believes and piously worships God; he is not exalted, nor does he invent anything deceitful against his brother, nor does he fall into the passions of uncleanness, nor follow the errors and stupidities of the demons; 216he turns all his study, affections and energy to the truth of humility, with which he always scrutinizes his sins and reads these things in himself and in the book of the cross; he accepts in humility the virtue from Christ to persevere and understand and reprehend himself while despising and judging no one, as he continues with an inextinguishable desire to reprehend and correct himself. 217In this way, the sixth angel, Francis, lived, grew and remained until the end, the least of all, an imitator and innovator of the perfection and life of Christ, marked as a sign of the ruin and resurrection of man.[359]



3, 1Let the clerical [brothers] recite the Divine Office, etc.[360]

2After giving, in the first chapter, the teaching and definition of the substance of the life and Rule of the Lesser Bothers and their obedience to the Church, the Roman Pontiff, to Francis and his successors and, in the second chapter, having stated and fixed the manner for receiving brothers into the same evangelical life, Rule and habit of humility, he now, in the third chapter, gives directions briefly but fully on works, especially works of holiness. 3And firstly he gives information on divine worship and reverence.

4On this it was written as follows in the Earlier Rule:

The Lord says in the Gospel: This kind of devil cannot come out except through fasting and prayer; 5and again: When you fast do not become gloomy like the hypocrites.[361] 6And: Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. 7And: When you pray, say: Our Father, etc.[362]

8For this reason let all the brothers, whether clerical or lay, recite the Divine Office, the praises and prayers, as is required of them. 9Let the clerical brothers recite the Divine Office and say it for the living and the dead according to the custom of clerics of the Roman Church. 10Every day let them say Have mercy on me, O God with the Our Father for the failings and negligence of the brothers;[363] 11and let them say Out of the depths with the Our Father for the deceased brothers.[364] 12They may have only the books necessary to fulfil their office. 13The lay brothers who know how to read the Psalter may have one. 14Those who do not know how to read, however, may not be permitted to have any book.[365]

15Let the lay brothers say the Creed and twenty-four Our Fathers for Matins; for Lauds, let them say five; for Prime, the Creed and seven Our Fathers with the Glory be to the Father; 16for each of the hours, Terce, Sext and None, seven; for Vespers, twelve; for Compline, the Creed and seven Our Fathers with the Glory be to the Father. 17For the deceased, seven Our Fathers with the Eternal rest.[366] 18And for the failings and negligence of the brothers three Our Fathers each day.[367]

19Similarly, let all the brothers fast from the feast of All Saints until the Nativity, 20and from the Epiphany, when our Lord Jesus Christ began to fast, until Easter. 21However, at other times, according to this life, let them not be bound to fast except on Fridays. 22In accordance with the Gospel, it may be lawful for them to eat of all the food that is placed before them.[368]

23This was written in the Earlier Rule on fasting and divine worship. 24This divine worship in every Religion should have the utmost importance since everything should be ordered towards it and for it and it should be done by servants of God because everything depends on divine worship as its final most perfect end. 25For the Father seeks such, Christ said to the Samaritan woman, who adore him. 26For God is a spirit and those who adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth.[369] 27To worship God is to adore him and pray to him faithfully, reverently, humbly, wisely, with love, thanksgiving and praise.

28Our mind united to the mind of Christ offers continually to the Father in the Holy Spirit a sacrifice of praise, confession and honour with heart, mouth and actions grateful to God. 29For without Christ dwelling within us it is impossible for any person whatsoever to be correct in thoughts and affectionate desires, to possess holiness and the inseparable unity necessary for salvation towards God, oneself, and one’s neighbour. 30But those who do not have Christ genuinely remaining within them will not experience the love of enemies, unshakeable peace in troubles and injuries and joy of spirit.

31Each Order and Regular Institute is begun and founded through the Spirit of Christ, first of all for divine worship and for the unbreakable bond of obedient and submissive love; hence, the natural law, the writings and grace of Christ and the Gospel teach, preach and command divine worship with the perfect love of God and neighbour. 32In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand, the word placed in, given and inspired in us by God; they are to keep it in mind, without forgetting, in spite of and in everything, to hold it strongly and irresistibly, prudently and wisely understand it, and sincerely, strongly and with perseverance love, praise, glorify and adore it.[370]

33The divine praises, especially the canonical Hours, were set up by apostolic man for praising and worshipping God; they continue in the mind and affections the perpetual sacrifice and sacred offering of the pleasing odour and incense to the Lord in an odour of sweetness.[371] 34This is why those who vowed the Rule, if they wish to please God, are obliged to offer to Christ, after the example of the Founder, the prayers of the Hours carefully, devoutly and with the utmost reverence, setting aside all other cares and worries, so as to offer to the Father through Christ a ministry of the sacred Hours with full intention and affection as a holocaust full of marrow.[372] 35For these praises they should follow the custom of the holy Roman Church, the mother, lady and teacher of all the churches of God. 36He wants all the brothers individually to take care to follow this Church in its holy perfections and divine teachings and always be reverently subject and obedient to it

37He says: for which reason they may have breviaries.[373] 38When they did not have breviaries they celebrated the Office according to the custom of the churches or clerics among whom they happened to be. 39He wanted the brothers to have breviaries for their use but without the individual brothers having any ownership. Like the bread begged for and received as a regular occurrence for the daily and necessary support of the body, without any ownership of those receiving it, 40so, he wanted the brothers to use the books necessary for divine worship, or offered by the faithful, as books dedicated to the Lord and this out of obedience to and from a command of the evangelical rule, without any owning or personal possession by those using them.

41In the time of Saint Francis, up to five thousand brothers came together in Assisi for a general chapter. They placed the breviaries they were using in a chest or wooden container and no one took back the breviary he had put here but took the first one he touched, each rejoicing particularly when it was inferior and poorer and so more in conformity with the promised poverty.[374]

42They understood, taught by the Spirit of Christ and by Francis, the lover of poverty, how wonderful is the dignity and how high an eminence it would be to leave completely all things for Christ and for the observance of the Gospel, to move one’s affection away from the love of all visible objects, 43always to thirst for, to desire more strongly and love more ardently with all one’s strength only what endures and is eternal, to long with flaming desires and to be joined and cling to God alone out of perfect love. 44Christ says this is eternal life, that by the freely given infused wisdom of love they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.[375] 45He who, to teach us to love the heavenly and most high perfection of poverty that holds the rights to the kingdom, was born from a poor Mother, who, on the evidence of Chrysostom, hardly covered him with a cheap small tunic, not as an adornment but to cover the body, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, laid him in a manger, because he had no room in the inn.[376] 46He fasted with beasts in the desert, preached and worked the whole night, keeping watch alone in prayer to God; he had no lodging, roof or bed, he hung naked on the cross between two thieves, and left the world commending himself into the hands of the Father with tears and a strong cry;[377] 47and taken down from the cross he was wrapped in the fine linen given by Joseph, enclosed in another’s tomb, so that he could confirm for the poor, by an unbreakable testament through his cross, death and blood, the glories of the kingdom of God and the promises to them of an eternal and inherited possession.[378]

48Because he was certain from a sure revelation that the brothers would increase in number throughout the whole world and the Roman Psalter was in use only in the areas of Rome, he excepted the Psalter, so that in the Psalms they might be in conformity with other churches and use the version with which the Greeks and Latins are in agreement and sing in the churches.

49The lay [brothers], however, may say twenty-four Our Fathers for Matins, and five for Lauds; seven for each of the Hours of Prime, Terce, Sext, and None, twelve for Vespers, and seven for Compline. Let them pray for the dead.[379]

50As the great John Climacus teaches in his book entitled Scala, chapter twenty-six, in which he treats of ‘the discernment of thought, of vices and virtues’:

For all beginning to serve God, the alphabet contains twenty-four elements. 51They are obedience, fasting, hair shirt, ashes, tears, confession, silence, humility, vigils, courage; enduring cold cheerfully, nakedness, hunger, thirst, work, sorrow, weakness and misfortune; contempt, contrition, not repaying evil for evil but forgetting malice, love of the brotherhood, meekness, simple and firm faith without a curiosity in questioning, putting aside the cares of the age, of worldly worry and care of the flesh, hatred without hatred of one’s family, one’s own region and treasured places, not to be attached in a wrong way to oneself, to companions, or to anything else, simplicity with innocence, mortification of the will, spontaneous contempt of oneself.[380]

52But the law and alphabet for perfect spirits and bodies in the flesh is an indomitable heart, perfect love, a fount of humility, journey of the mind to God, coming to and putting on Jesus Christ, unfailing in light and prayer, a transcending superabundance of illumination of God, desire and longing for death, hatred of life, flight of the body, a disturber of and intercessor for the world, contending with God, a fellow minister with angels, an abyss of knowledge, a home for mysteries, in control and king of the body and mind, a protector of nature, a pilgrim from sin, master of impassibility, an imitator of the Lord with the help of the Lord.[381]

53For, old age among religious applies to love and the perfection of the perfect, just as youth and strength apply to progress in virtues among clerics, the trust of hope applies to the proficient and those fighting on, and youth, by a certain appropriation, is said to apply to the state and firmness of faith in seculars, married people or beginners.

54These twenty-four spiritual elements of beginners and proficient are regularly imposed on the lay [brothers] in the twenty-four Our Fathers for the main Hour. They have a harmony, as in certain typical arrangements sung in praise of the Lamb seated on the throne with the twenty-four ancients carrying harps and golden vials full of odours in procession before the Lamb singing a new canticle of the perfect before him.[382]

55These twenty-four Our Fathers can also signify the twenty-four sacred works of Christ to which all other works are reduced.

56Namely, to predestination, А, alpha;

prefiguring, В, life, beta;

prophecy, Г, gamma;

57promise, Δ, delta;

being offered in the Annunciation and in the consent of the Virgin, or the Incarnation, Ε, epsilon;

58birth and revelation of the one born, shown to the shepherds with the glory given by the angels, Ζ, zita;

circumcision, H, eta;

59appearance of the star to the kings in the East, their search, discovery, adoration, offering and the angel’s warning, Θ, theta;

60offering in the temple and the meeting with holy Simeon, his taking of the boy Jesus, the canticle, blessing, prophecy, confession and the words of Anna, the prophetess, I, iota;

61flight into Egypt, the stay there and return, the angel’s warning to Joseph and the home in Nazareth, K, kappa;

62absence from his parents in Jerusalem, search in sorrow, finding after three days in the midst of the doctors, wonder, words of the mother, reply, going down with them to Nazareth and the hidden way of life subject to his parents, Λ, lambda;

63baptism and the prayer at the baptism, sanctifying of the waters, opening of heaven, the voice and witness of the Father, descent of the Holy Spirit upon him and being led into the desert, M, mu;

64forty days of fasting, prayers, vigils, hunger, temptation, triple victory and ministry of angels, N, nu;

65preaching, choice of disciples, life and way of life, sacraments, miracles, commands, counsels, examples, Ξ, xi;

66passion, cross, death and burial for three days, O, omicron, small o;

67descent into hell, breaking of the gates of the underworld, freeing of the saints and leading them into limbo, Π, pi;

68resurrection and awakening of the witnesses of his resurrection, appearances for forty days, enlightenment and confirmation of the disciples, Ρ, rho;

69ascencion into heaven, his throne and sitting at right hand of the Father, Σ, sigma;

70sending of the Holy Spirit and gifts of charismata, Τ, tau;

71founding, expansion and government of the Church, Υ, upsilon;

72coming of antichrist, trouble, killing and stamping out of his kingdom and the final, heavenly state of the Church, Φ, phi;

73his coming to judge the world from the seat and glory of his majesty, in a flame of fire, with the angels of his power, Χ, chi;

74resurrection of the dead at the last trumpet, in the voice of his power, presence of all before his tribunal, discussion of merits, separation, cursing of the reprobate and the sentence of eternal damnation, Ψ, psi;

75blessing of the holy elect, their assumption and bodily quality, union, conformity, likeness, assimilation, glorification, ineffable and eternal beatitude, Ω, omega.[383]

76And these are the elements, like twenty-four aspects of the eternal priesthood of Christ, for those who offer themselves to God in a priestly manner as a holocaust and as spiritual hosts given in mercy by the Father of mercies so that morning prayers may go up in an odour of sweetness before the throne of his grace.[384]

77Five, however, for Lauds, so that with the senses of the body and soul sanctified by the power and experience of the five wounds of Christ and by the correcting of faith, patience, humility, trust, hope and his love, raised up by Christ and conformed to his death, made like the Master of humility, they may seek in hope for what is heavenly and share in the truth of love, namely, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, giving praise without end.[385]

78For Vespers twelve and for the other Hours seven, so that they may strive to have the holiness of the works of virtue of Christ as represented in the number seven and, filled with the fruits of the Spirit represented in the number twelve, they may be transformed into Christ by the affections associated with crucifixion, and be enlightened by the splendour found in the face of his brightness.[386]

79Let them pray for the dead.[387] 80Since there is but one mystical body of Christ, and we are bound to pray for one another that we may be saved, or that in accord with the custom of the Roman Church and the traditions of the Apostles and saints given through the Holy Spirit, who made decisions from the beginning on public and private prayers, we should be mindful, in Masses and in the canonical hours, of those suffering in purgatory and pray that they be loosed from their sins;[388] 81together with disciplines, other penances and works of piety, prayer is to be made to God earnestly and daily to obtain their swift release and salvation.[389] 82For this reason he commands that they pray always for the dead and that, from an affection of charity, continual and efficacious prayers be offered to God.

83The masters mentioned above do not regard it as safe that the brothers have already four times shortened the Office and changed it, even though they may have asked for permission to do this from the Roman Curia.[390] 84The Rule binds the brothers to recite the Office according to the custom of the holy Roman Church, from which it follows that in the future the brothers are bound by the Rule to recite the Office according to the changes and form decided on by the Church.[391] It is not in accord with the purity of the Rule to ask the Church with unsuitable petitions to shorten or change the Office even if the Church allows this.

86For when the brothers asked for this privilege from Pope Gregory who greatly loved the Order, he tried with pious exhortations for the edification of them and of others to persuade them to keep the Office of the Church intact, saying to them: 87Brothers, if you want to recite the Office of the Church in its entirety, I will command all religious who are in the Church, with the exception of Canons Regular and the monks of Saint Benedict, to use your Office. 88The brothers did not want to consent to this, but with unsuitable requests they asked for the privilege of omitting the Intercession of the Saints in Matins and Vespers, both on feast and ferial days, Have mercy on me, O God in Matins on ferial days and the Gradual Canticle in the Advent of the Lord and to shorten the Litanies.[392] 89Until today, the Office is found in the directories of the Roman Church, arranged without any shortening.

90I was present when the Lesser Brothers, when speaking about this before some eminent people and one older Cardinal who was in the Curia, affirmed that the Roman Church had accepted their directory.[393] 91The aforementioned Cardinal showed them that they were deceived; he had a directory brought, one that had been used by all the Popes of his time, and proved to them that the Church had not changed its breviary in any way, but clerics either out of ignorance or tepidity of spirit had accepted such a shortening. 92And then, what I had believed to be sure became doubtful, namely, that such an abbreviation had been made, accepted and approved by the Church, even though almost all commonly used and enjoyed such an abbreviation.

93Let them fast from the feast of All Saints until the Lord’s Nativity, etc.[394]

94Since those who live religiously should show their bodies as living, holy hosts pleasing to God, so, secondarily, he commands the cult of divine service by works of penance with a close connection to divine worship, namely by devout and reasonable fasting, especially in those times when solemn celebrations were held by the Fathers and apostolic men, for the reverence and pious memory of the incarnation, birth, lent, passion and resurrection of Christ.[395] 95In this and in other matters, he decreed that it was more than sufficient to follow the example of Christ by following the perfection of his life, for he imposed little fasting on his disciples, other than what was laid down by the law and the prophets. 96For he said the children of the bridegroom are not able to fast and keep the heavy fasts of my Precursor, as long as the bridegroom is with them. 97 The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away and then, filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, they will fast and be free of suffering.[396]

98At other times they may not be bound to fast except on Fridays, that is, because of a precept and authority.[397] 99However, he did not want to impose the lent of Epiphany as a precept, but gave it as a reward of greater merit and a remedy necessary for the consciences, weaknesses and needs of the brothers who have nothing, carry nothing in the varied and wearisome journeys of their pilgrimages undertaken out of zeal for evangelical poverty under the patronage of a divine blessing; he left it piously to the will and freedom of the devout, of minds consecrated to Christ, because in such a way, living not for themselves but for Christ, they may be all the more drawn and more keenly aspire to that fasting.[398] 100And those who because of various conditions of weakness, sickness, need or work were not able to fast, are not to be troubled by any worry, disquiet of sadness, needless hesitation or from the prompting of an excessively tender conscience.

101Often, the consciences of the fervent are found to keep watch with a needless spirit and excessively rigid keeping of commands and, while they fight strongly against themselves with evangelical hate, from indiscretion and excessive austerity they are afraid to make use of what is given piously and justly for their need. 102Therefore, he says: during a time of obvious need, however, the brothers may not be bound by corporal fast.[399] 103Because insufficient nourishment of nature from a scarcity of supplies, effort of travel, excessive weakness and serious sickness are necessities often forcing the setting aside of imposed fasts, and because it is safer when in doubt to observe the precepts, he says, rather than have them exceed the measure of discretion by excessive rigidity or introduce an unnecessary relaxation: During a time of obvious need, however, the brothers may not be bound by corporal fast.[400]

104After the death of Saint Francis, there were some brothers who thought they were not bound to fast during ember days and on other fast days laid down by the Church,[401] 105and there were some who thought that from the passage of the Rule: let them eat of whatever food is set before them, on days of fasting according to the Rule it is lawful for them to eat non Lenten foods that they have not obtained but that have been put before them when they go through the world.[402] 106To these, Brother John of Parma answered that their opinion had no basis in truth because the fasts of the Rule are to be observed with Lenten food on the basis of both reason and the authorities of Scripture, the Roman Church, of the Founder himself, of the whole Order and by the customs and regulations of all the saints; and by a general statute he ordered it to be so observed under precept throughout the whole Order always and by all.

107The Four Masters and Brother Haymo, then General, declared and laid it down that without any doubt all the brothers in so far as they are bound by vow to be more perfect than other Christians, so much the more are they bound to observe unconditionally all the fasts the Church has commanded to be observed by all Christians without distinction.[403] 108Before them, Saint Francis and the whole Order had observed all the ecclesiastical fasts with great devotion and reverence.

109I counsel, etc.[404]

110Thirdly, he teaches modest, meek, humble and gentle speech and a spotless and virtuous life without which every word of the preachers is insipid and all their knowledge, no matter how singular and great, is obscure and offensive. 111For, preaching the Word of God and caring for the salvation of souls, the main reason why the brothers should go about in the world, require in those who proclaim it the highest perfections and the holiest of lives with divine knowledge, since this is the most basic work of piety and mercy.[405] 112Therefore, he does not command but counsels, advises and exhorts them not to quarrel or argue or judge others because those who preach the life of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world should be similar to Christ of whom they are servants and messengers.[406] 113Who sends them like lambs in the midst of wolves, so that when injured they do not injure, when struck they do not strike back, cursed they do not curse, judged they do not judge, but as simple people they do not think, speak or do any evil.[407]

114Meek, not resisting assaults, but by mildness of customs, words and affections they show the innocence of Christian piety so that they draw the wicked, as much as they can, to Christ, the master of uprightness.[408] 115Peaceful, holding on to peace in the heart, in word and deed, and aspiring to that peace that exceeds every understanding.[409] 116Modest, holding on to the way of Christian perfection, the modesty that the virtue and the knowledge of the cross of Christ teaches in what is to be done, said and loved. 117Gentle, strongly restraining any movement of fury and anger, be it involuntary or incited, by pursuing and destroying it in memory of the death of Christ, and driving it away from oneself and from others by actions and words. 118Humble, they despise their own pleasure and status, they act against and think poorly of themselves, and with all the affection of their mind they always thirst more to displease and look down on themselves. 119Speaking courteously to everyone, as is becoming, that is, with reverence, humility and with a love of truth for the benefit and edification of those to whom they speak, not seeking nor wanting anything earthly for themselves but desiring to please God alone, they thirst for the honour and glory of Christ with all their strength and they abhor and spurn the vain praises and pleasures of people.

120They should not ride horseback unless they are compelled by an obvious need or an infirmity.[410]

121He commands this from the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles who, being wearied with his journey sat thus on the well and who went about the villages and towns preaching the gospel of the kingdom, sent his disciples without shoes, without money, two coats, purse and staff saying[411]: 122Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves, etc;[412] 123and further: Go and peach the gospel to every creature: poor and humble they would go to preach.[413] 124We never read in the Gospel that Christ or his disciples rode horseback, but that only once was he seated on an ass and this more to serve a mystery than for bodily ease.

125For the amazement, example and instruction of believers, and a just judgment and condemnation on non believers, he sat fastened to the cross by a nail, that he might draw all things to himself and with a strong cry on the cross in death, he completes the work of his infinite love, of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and leaves it as an example containing all good things of grace and glory that are accessible and inaccessible.[414]

126Since those who profess evangelical perfection are bound to be like Christ in his life and customs, so not every but only obvious need and sickness, when such are just, useful, edifying, in urgent necessity and evident and clear sickness, are cases in which they are allowed to ride horseback in poverty and humility, and not with human pomp and abundance of possessions.

127Into whatever house they enter, let them first say: ‘Peace be to this house!’[415]

128He adapted himself in everything to the form of evangelical life, for he says this in his Testament: ‘The Lord revealed a greeting to me that we should say: “May the Lord give your peace”’.[416] 129Christ gave this to his disciples when he rose from the dead, so that he might show and teach the supreme excellence of his peace, the affection of peace in sign and action that we are bound to show to all.

130Christ is our peace who has made both one, the sharing of his peace surpasses all understanding and is the sure guard of hearts and holy understandings of the holy perfect; it is the supreme perfection of the beatitudes, it is to be loved with the whole heart and sought with all our strength and keen desires, conforming our will to the divine will in everything, and preaching and seeking his glory, praise, justice and kingdom in works and life,[417] 131because much peace to those who love God and who delight in the abundance of peace to men of good will in the Church of the saints.[418]

132Let them eat of whatever food is set before them.[419]

133So that, by encouragement and an example of sobriety and moderation, the evangelizers and messengers of this peace may draw their audience to Christ, the Lord and master of peace, he wants them to be content with what is put before them and to rejoice in what is small and poor.

134So Chrysostom in the last Homily in Super Matthaeum says:

Note how he gave everything to those who strip themselves of all things, allowing them to stay in the homes of those they taught and to enter their homes while having nothing. 135In this way, they were rescued from worry and they persuaded them that they had come only for their salvation, and this by having nothing and by expecting from them nothing more than necessities.[420]

136And Jerome in the Epistola ad Titum says: ‘A bishop who wants to imitate the apostles, should be content with these, namely, having food and clothing’.[421]

137To preachers of peace who look for nothing superfluous, carry nothing or wish for nothing, who cast their care upon the Lord and who seek first the kingdom of God, will have all these things added and offered to them freely by the faithful.[422] 138But for those who look for what is superfluous and are not content with what is set before them, it is fitting that even what is necessary be taken from them. 139Permission for a relaxation is not being given here to apostolic men, but rather a humble and attractive encouragement to virtue for those receiving them, and a freedom to share with sobriety in what is put before them as people who have nothing and who carry nothing with thanksgiving, not as if to people but as if to God who everywhere and always takes diligent care of his disciples.



4, 1I strictly command all my brothers not to receive coins or money in any form either personally or through intermediaries.[423]

2Whoever undertakes to be a disciple of Christ must have faith and confess justice and salvation with the firmness of the magnificent and praiseworthy humility of God, so that by a trust of deepest faith his way of life may be in heaven and he may savour, thirst for and seek only those things that are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.[424] 3For this reason he defines in the first chapter what is the Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers, namely, to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.[425] 4In the second chapter he determines the way and form for entering this life, namely, the genuine and verbal confession and promise. 5In the third chapter he declares in a wonderful way how humble and devout praise is to be given to God.

6In this fourth chapter, and in the fifth and sixth chapters, he lays down the way and form of a heavenly life, conformed to the cross, a way of life in heaven that savours and seeks only such things as are of Christ; he surrounds and protects it by obedience and a statute of the strongest command.[426] 7He does this so that he might drive far away from it, destroy and ruin it by utterly eradicating the desire for and love of gold, silver and all money, the root of all evil, as something that is to God most unclean and an abominable worship of idols.[427]

8When Christ crucified appeared to Francis, he taught him to follow and promise the nakedness of his cross and life, and he imposed this on his disciples, namely, not to own gold, silver, nor to carry money in a money-belt. Francis ordered the same under precept to those professing his Rule,[428] 9so that with Peter and John they would be able to glory, not vainly, in their promise and observance of the evangelical vow, by saying to a poor person who asks them for an alms: We do not have silver and gold because we keep the precept of our Master, but, for nothing, receive health by the power he has given us.[429]

10Nothing so guides the steps to eternal life and opens up a bloodless path through the thorns of riches as does the love and observance of evangelical poverty. 11It cures the dropsy of greed, quenches the insatiable thirst of avarice, takes from the Master of truth a guarantee and a right to the kingdom of heaven and, by a trust of faith, has a dwelling in heaven with the angels. 12It is always present with Christ, the saint of saints and king of kings, as an inseparable companion, born with him while on a journey, lying in a manger, fasting in the desert, preaching and without a house spending the night in prayer to God;[430] 13like a spouse, it clings to him hanging naked on the cross between two thieves and commending his spirit into the hands of the Father with tears and a strong cry;[431] 14it is there to be buried with him, going down to hell with him, rising, ascending into heaven and sitting on a throne at the right hand of the Father, and born with him from the beginning, before all time, it will reign with him in heaven forever.[432]

15Because the kingdom of Christ and his evangelical poverty is not of this world, those who imitate Christ despise gold, silver and money, in which lovers of the world trust, since it will be difficult for those who trust in riches and money to enter the kingdom of heaven.[433] 16Christ himself said: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.[434] 17For it is not possible to serve God and mammon, because riches are thorns that hinder the service of God more than anything else.[435] 18So it is written: Nothing is more wicked than the covetous man and there is not a more wicked thing than to love money.[436] 19Blessed, however, is the man that is found without blemish, and that has not gone after gold nor put his trust in money and treasures.

20Who is he other than an imitator of the poor Christ, a person who has totally removed avarice, a service of idols, by a love for and by a promise of evangelical poverty;[437] 21a person who desires and longs for nothing visible, nothing earthly, who is not anxious for nor thinks to acquire them, who does not build up treasure for tomorrow, who does not worry over guarding what has been acquired or gathered, nor is forced to manage or defend it.

22Such a person was the innovator, Francis, made so by Christ’s gift of poverty and evangelical humility, and who, in the Rule, firmly forbade any use, ownership or receiving of coins and money as highly seductive and dangerous. 23For he knew by the Holy Spirit that, to true followers of the poverty of Christ, the ownership and accepting of money is an incitement and deceit of satanic evil, an incurable poison and complete wiping out of trust, hope and the life of charity. 24For they that will become rich and gather treasures of gold, silver and money fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.[438]

25Certainly, Achan, seduced by gold and a precious garment took what was under a ban and for this reason was stoned by all the people as a violator of a divine command and a cause of ruin to the army of the Lord.[439] Judas sold Christ to the Jews for thirty pieces of coin and, unable to bear the burden of the sin he had committed, went and hanged himself with a halter.[440] 27Gehazi, against the wish of Elisha, received money and garments from Naaman the Syrian as the value of the divine gift and he and his descendents incurred the leprosy of Naaman.[441]

28Simon wanted to buy with money from the prince of the apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit, for which reason he was cut off from grace and the gifts of the Spirit, not only as one who spreads the heresy of simony, but, filled with the gall of bitterness and iniquity, he handed himself over totally and most wickedly to the service of the prince of darkness.

29But the leaders and sacred models of the perfect saints, namely, Elijah the prophet whose word burnt as a torch, and John, the precursor of the Lord, a burning and shining light, were workers and forerunners in their works and words; they teach, give witness and, as two candlesticks and witnesses and two Cherubim, proclaim the most divine and perfect evangelical life of Christ.[442] 30Not only are contempt, giving away, hatred and a crucifix-like nakedness of all that is earthly and visible, suitable for perfect disciples of Christ, 31but they bear in a pure and holy way the image and likeness of the heavenly man, the habit and fruits of the perfect virtues of Christ, the sure possession of the spirit when they set aside the clothing of confusion, greed for what is earthly, and for all things of the world; such clothing does not inherit heavenly and eternal goods.[443] 32It is right that the door to the perfection of Christ and his highest poverty is closed to the tepid and greedy, to lovers of what is visible and temporal, but is opened to the poor and humble by his strong cry and tears and by the merit of his prayers and death.[444]

33For Christ is the faithful and true witness, the beginning and end of nature, law, grace and glory, to whom Moses, Elijah and John the Precursor give witness, so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand, because the kingdom of Christ is not of this world.[445] 34Filled with the virtue and wisdom of Christ, with the very Saint of saints, the faithful and true witness, they testify and proclaim together in actions and word, because the evil works of the world are seated in wickedness;[446] 35so they are regarded with hatred by the world that runs, afire with an infernal fire, totally headlong after the concupiscence of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life, because they were faithful and true witnesses of eternal light and incorruptible life that the death of sin and the darkness of error cannot comprehend.[447]

36The sun of evangelical life, the Rule and teaching, with an unbreakable firmness of its precepts, makes those who profess and observe it to be crucified with Christ and totally dead to the world; it indicates those corrupted by Jewish unfaithfulness and impiety, recognized opponents of truth, abusive of grace, who assume it fictitously and hypocritically and under the habit and profession of holiness, while living according to their own desires and wills and not for Christ, are made opponents of the vow and can glory only in the name of the foolish virgins.[448]

37However, so that the greed and hypocritical evil of the world, proven by the testimony of truth to be bound and beholden to a sevenfold woe, might not affect and corrupt those who profess the evangelical rule, Christ, the master of poverty and truth, revealed to Francis, the innovator of his life, to command strictly all the brothers not to receive coins or money in any form, either personally or through intermediaries,[449] 38because all dangers and occasions of the evils inherent in riches, are more abundant in a love of money and treasure. 39He predicted that, as the coming of the son of perdition came closer, Satan would enkindle in the brothers a fire of greed and avarice, would influence the Order to accept coins and money, and would stir up in the very ones who professed the life of Christ a hatred of evangelical poverty and of the brothers wanting to observe it. They would persecute in obstinacy of mind and from a bitter zeal true lovers of the pure and faithful, regular observance,[450] 40defame them as heretics, beset them with subtleties of words, defame secretly those so beset, publicly condemn them and preach that it is a service to God to hand them over to death.[451] 41They would try with all their strength, officially, with authority, privileges and wrong processes, to put the name of justice, holiness and observance of the promised perfection and life on their statements, statutes and works of equivocation. They would take care with all their strength, in many ways and with cunning, to darken the brightness of sunlight and of the purest clarity revealed to him divinely, and to impose silence by quarrels and edicts.[452]

42So Christ wished that he would command by a triple precept from the Rule not to receive coins or money in any form, either personally or through intermediaries, so that they might have no excuse whatever in their own consciences nor before God for a equivocation of the vow nor for persecution of those wanting to observe the command in a regular way.[453] 43He used to say that were the foundation of highest poverty to be taken away from the Order, the whole Religion would collapse and, burdened with innumerable evils, would be reduced to few in number.[454]

44Hence, in the Rule granted and approved for him by Pope Innocent, who announced to all in the Lateran Council that he had himself approved and granted it to the Saint and his brothers, was written[455]:

45The Lord teaches in the Gospel: Watch, beware of all malice and greed. 46And: Guard yourselves against the anxieties of this world and the cares of this life.

47Let none of the brothers, therefore, wherever he may be or go, carry, receive, or get in any way coin or money, whether for clothing, books, or payment for some work – indeed not for any reason, because we should not think of coin or money as having any greater usefulness than stones. 48The devil wants to blind those who desire or consider it better than stones. 49May we who have left all things, then, be careful of not losing the kingdom of heaven for so little.

50If we find coins anywhere, let us pay no more attention to them than to the dust that we trample underfoot, for vanity of vanities and all is vanity.[456] 51If by chance, may it not happen, it does happen that some brother is collecting or holding coin or money, unless it be for the needs of the sick, let all the brothers consider him a deceptive brother, an apostate, a thief, a robber, and as the one who held the money bag, unless he has sincerely repented.[457]

52Let the brothers in no way receive, arrange to receive, seek, or plan to seek money for leper colonies or coins for any house or place; and let them not accompany anyone begging money or coins for such places. 53However, the brothers can perform for those places other services not contrary to our life with the blessing of God. 54Nevertheless, the brothers can beg alms for a manifest need of the lepers. 55But let them beware of money. 56Similarly, let all the brothers be careful of going throughout the world for filthy gain.[458]

57He strictly commands the brothers that they cannot receive coins or money in any form, either personally or through intermediaries; he did not want his brothers to receive or obtain anything for the purpose of selling, laying up treasure, storing in granaries or store rooms for grain, wine and such things.[459] 58But they are to receive, from the work of their hands or from what was offered or humbly begged for the love of God, only the provisions needed for a present or imminent necessity.[460] 59Money is not only cash but everything ordinarily used by people when they need to buy something at a price, or whatever is received to be sold, or whatever is given or received for cash.[461] 60However, the exchange of one thing for another is called barter.

61Those who have promised to live for Christ in the evangelical observance of the life and rule of Christ, receive and obtain everything used for divine worship as well as necessary food and clothing, from obedience, from the command of Christ himself and from his Gospel. This is true obedience to Christ, his Gospel, grace, the working and fulfilling of charity, and a heavenly way of life in accord with the book of heavenly law, for those who are not of this world. It is a decree, a rule of peace and of the truth of piety, divinely given out of great love and kindness by the Father of mercies through Christ and the Paraclete.[462] 62Through this they lay up nothing from the world as treasure, defend nothing, quarrel with no one, share these things with the needy and deprive themselves of what is necessary so that they might give back to Christ what belongs to Christ; truly poor and stripped of all ownership, they are judged worthy of the kingdom of heaven by the Teacher of truth.

63Nevertheless, the ministers and custodians alone may take special care through their spiritual friends to provide for the needs of the sick and the clothing of the others according to places, seasons and cold climates, as they judge necessary, saving always that, as stated above, they do not receive coins or money.[463]

64He mentions only these two necessities as being more in accord with piety for which he directs the ministers and custodians, like pious fathers for their children, to take special care through spiritual friends, but in such a way that they do not receive money.[464] 65Therefore, those who, according to the vow of the Rule of perfection are subjects and dead to the world and to their affections and who for God’s sake have renounced their own wills, are not to be anxious nor to care for the necessities of their body; rather it is the duty of the prelates with all diligence and watchfulness to care for their subjects, as for sons and joint heirs with Christ.[465] 66Doing these things they are following Christ who laid down his life for the sheep, and they fulfil his precept, who, to love and provide for subjects and to lay down his life for them should the need arise, gave an example to all prelates and confirmed the example with a precept of charity.[466]

67Hence, ministers, custodians and guardians, who in the Rule are understood and included under this name just as in it ministers are included under the name custodian, are bound to provide personally and by other brothers, through spiritual and devout persons, carefully and from the command of the Rule with full observance of that precept, but for these pious needs they are not to receive coins or money either personally or through intermediaries. 68Christ imposed this on Francis, so that by such regular observance they might show to the world that they desire nothing worldly and want nothing earthly on earth other than to seek and love the things that are above for themselves and for others not in pretence but in truth.[467] 69The whole life and behaviour of the brothers should be a living and effective representation of the perfection of Christ and a preaching of contempt for the world.

70He used to say that ‘to God’s servants money is nothing but a snare of the devil and a poisonous snake’.[468] 70For this reason he wanted his brothers to keep away from any acceptance or touching of it; he expelled from the Order those who acted against this, or severely punished them when they confessed with genuine contrition, as is clear in the penance he gave to the brother who put aside the money offered on the altar of Saint Mary of the Angels, unbeknown to the brothers, so as to give it the first poor person to come.[469] 72And in the penance he gave to Brother Augustine, while he was still a novice, because he gave in to the unsuitable requests of a certain merchant to carry money on a journey on a road thought to be a place for robbers.[470] 73And in the command he gave to the brother who suggested to him, under the guise of piety, to take from the road the money-bag that appeared, by the deception of the devil, to be full of money but from which the devil in the form of a snake visibly came out, suddenly vanished and, forced by the virtue of the holy man, showed what he intended to do.[471] 74This is how all the disciples of Christ were taught to despise in their words and actions all that is visible and to seek and love only what is heavenly.

75Saint Ambrose, commenting on the text of the Gospel: Take nothing for your journey, says:

If we are forbidden to own gold and carry anything, the Apostle Peter, the first to carry out the command of the Lord, shows that the commands given by the Lord are not in vain. When a poor man asked him to give him something he said to him: silver and gold I have none.[472] 76However, Peter did not glory in not having silver and gold, but in keeping the command of the Lord who laid down: Do not possess gold, that is to say: ‘You see me a disciple of Christ and yet you ask me for gold?’[473]

77And Augustine: ‘In excusing almsgiving and the profession of poverty, he says to the paralytic: get up and walk, so observing the precept of the Master who said: Do not possess gold or silver’.[474]

78So the Apostle Thomas said to the king offering him valuable clothing: ‘Do you not know that those who desire to have power in heaven, carry nothing carnal nor earthly?’[475]

79And John the Evangelist said to the two disciples who turned back: Our Lord fixed the struggle of souls in this, namely, that they may believe they will have eternal riches who do not want to have temporal as their name.[476]

80And then, when King Abagarus ordered that gold and silver be given to the Apostle Thaddeus, he refused saying: ‘We who have left what belongs to us, how can we receive what belongs to others?’[477]

81Saint Bartholomew, the Apostle, said to King Polimius who had laden camels with gold, silver and precious stones to give to the Apostle: ‘Why have you looked for me everyday with gold, silver and precious stones? These gifts are accepted by those who need what is earthly, but I desire nothing earthly, nothing carnal’.[478]

82Those who genuinely seek what is heavenly, despise what is earthly. 83Athanasius writes of Saint Anthony that, when he found a large treasure and true gold, he fled from the place where he found the treasure as he would from the face of a dragon.[479] 84And the great monk, Saint Cariton, on finding a treasure in the desert, named it death.[480] 85And the holy Libyan priest Postunianus replied to someone offering him gold that he did not need gold and that the Church of God is not built with gold but destroyed by it.[481] In a similar way, Barlaam Iosaphath made a reply with many arguments to a person offering what was suitable for food and clothing for himself and his brothers.[482] 87And we find that all the disciples of Christ and those who follow and profess the apostolic life gave similar replies to any who offered them money, earthly wealth and possessions.

88In this way Saint Francis, taught by Christ, clung to the footprints of the perfect saints and, living in an apostolic way, vowed and observed evangelical poverty and commanded his brothers to vow and observe it. 89And then he foresaw that his way of life would be corrupted by a deadly poison and leprosy when, inflamed by the greed of avarice and having relaxed the guidance of regular obedience, it would be turned to receiving money and coins in diverse and cunning ways.

90Saint Macarius, denouncing his disciple John who was prophesying, said: John, I know that you have to be tempted by the devil, so that, under the guise of piety and discretion, you might draw back from the perfection of the poverty you promised; if you consent to this, you will incur an incurable leprosy called elephantiasis and so you will die. 91But if you persevere to the end in the nakedness of poverty, you will have health of body and soul. 92After the death of the master, he opened his hand to receive and, according to the word of the Saint, was struck by leprosy until the last day of his life and was an example to the other monks.[483] 93The same thing happened to Adrian, a disciple of Saint Hilarius, because of the same sin.[484]

94For, already many years ago, blessed Francis, appearing in a wonderful way to the most holy man Brother James of Osimo, showed to his mind that this very thing had happened in the Order in the section of the Relaxed.[485]

95Brother Leo writes: Saint Francis always encouraged by word and example and persuaded his brothers to a love for the highest poverty; he sharply condemned in them everything that deviated from its pure observance.

96Brother Francis often said these words to the brothers: ‘I have never been a thief, that is, in regard to alms, which are the inheritance of the poor. I always took less than I needed, so that other poor people would not be cheated of their share. To act otherwise would be theft’.[486]

97He wanted all his brothers to be as joyful in what they lacked in poverty as in true pleasures, that they would try to rejoice in necessity and need, and that they would make every effort to decline from accepting or obtaining anything superfluous as if it were theft and robbery.



5, 1Those brothers to whom the Lord has given the grace of working may work faithfully and devotedly so that, while avoiding idleness, the enemy of the soul, they do not extinguish the Spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which all temporal things must contribute.[487]

2In this chapter of the Rule, Saint Francis is shown to have had fully the spirit, knowledge and teaching of the holy apostles and religious fathers. 3There were many sects in the Church, for example, the sects of the Euchites, Oratori, Circumcellions or Vagabonds, those who had their origin in Messeldio and Adelfio, and those calling themselves Angelici and Apostolici; 4these sects preached that the way to sanctity and justice is to abstain and remain aloof from works of piety and the exercise of virtues and to display leisure and rest for the body.[488]

5Against such as these, the Doctor of the Gentiles and, after him, the doctors and holy fathers given by Christ to the Church wrote much, all of which blessed Francis included briefly in this chapter. 6For he says: Those brothers to whom the Lord has given the grace of working et cetera. 7When he says those brothers he leaves out no one for all have the grace, that is, the skill, ability and knowledge of working.[489] 8For this reason he says in his Testament: ‘Let those who do not know how to work learn’.[490]

9He therefore instructed the brothers, the ministers as well as preachers, about work, telling them, because of the office of ministry or of their zeal for preaching, that they should not abandon holy and devout prayer, going for alms, and working with their hands like the other brothers, for the sake of good example and for the benefit of their souls as well as of others.[491]

10‘He said: The brothers who are subject will be very edified when their ministers and preachers devote themselves freely to prayer, bow down, and humble themselves’ and they are fellow helpers in the work and labour of the other brothers as he says in his Testament:[492]

11And I worked with my hands, and I still desire to work; and I earnestly desire all brothers to give themselves to honest work. Let those who do not know how to work learn, not from a desire to receive wages, but for example and to avoid idleness,

for to resist idleness is to acquire virtue.[493]

12When, however, he says faithfully and devotedly, he is teaching the way to work that the angel gave to Saint Anthony when he was troubled with sloth.[494] 13All the saints taught this to their disciples, because works done faithfully and devotedly for Christ and the fulfilment of his law, produce genuine contemplation with a perfection of virtues, repel temptations of the devil, overcome wickedness, protect from sluggishness and negligence, nourish an affection of spiritual devotion, fervour in the love of God and neighbour and make one persevere in pleasing and serving God. 14However, idleness, the enemy of the soul, and bodily rest are defined by the fathers as an abomination to God; by them the soul is caught in sluggishness, lives forgetful of God, neglecting to do good, empty of virtues and the gifts of grace; held back in unfaithfulness it does not resist suggestions, and so day by day it delays and does not take to itself the words of salvation.[495] 15It lays itself open to fantasies and suggestions of the demons, not paying attention to the inner battle, and so is blind to its own reputation that does not allow it to notice weaknesses and its own evils.

16The idle person does not calculate the loss of time spent in idleness, bodily quiet, drowsiness, wanderings of the inner and exterior person but, busy with gossip, vain thoughts and tasks, brings on a hatred of profession, holy behaviour and regular instruction. 17Corrupted by his own stupidity, he challenges God in his heart, often turns his mind to examining the secrets and judgments of God and becomes faint-hearted; abandoning the pursuit of virtuous exercises, he attributes the cause of his damnation and negligence to predestination and the divine will. 18He blesses the wisdom, pleasures and honours of the world, and regards it as of no significance to depart in affection and action from the way of penance and divine service. 19So it is written: Idleness has taught much evil. In a servant, sloth conditions him or her to death and, when joined to idleness, loses and scatters all the riches of virtues.[496]

20In The Earlier Rule, Saint Francis says about the manner of serving and working:

21None of the brothers may be treasurers or overseers in any of those places where they are staying to serve or work among others. They may not be in charge in the houses in which they serve nor accept any office which would cause scandal or be harmful to their souls; let them instead be the lesser ones and be subject to all in the same house.[497] 22Let the brothers who know how to work do so and exercise that trade they have learned, provided it is not contrary to the good of their souls and can be performed honestly. 23For the prophet says: You shall eat the fruit of your labours; you are blessed and it shall be well for you.[498] 24The Apostle says: Whoever does not wish to work shall not eat.[499] 25And: Let everyone remain in that trade and office in which he has been called.[500] 26And for their work they can receive whatever is necessary excepting money. 27And when it is necessary, they may seek alms like other poor people. 28And it is lawful for them to have the tools and instruments suitable for their trades.[501]

29Let all the brothers always strive to exert themselves in doing good works, for it is written: ‘Always do something good that the devil may find you occupied’.[502] 30And again: ‘Idleness is an enemy of the soul’.[503] 31Servants of God, therefore, must always apply themselves to prayer or some good work.[504]


32In his Rule Saint Basil gives in fullest detail how necessary it is for the servants of God to work, to pray without ceasing day and night, to give thanks to God,[505] 33and how they should not neglect work because of prayers and the psalmody:

for Christ the Lord says: not just everyone is worthy of his food, but, as is important, a worker is worthy, as the Apostle preaches: to labour and work with our own hands that we may have something to give to him who has need.[506] 34Hence, it is clear that a servant of God should work carefully, not regarding the priority of piety as an opportunity for idleness nor a flight from work, but more as an underpinning of patience and a superabundant struggle of works, so that we also may say: 35In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst not only to punish the body, even though such practices are beneficial to us, but for the sake of charity toward a neighbour,[507] 36so that through us God may give what is sufficient for the sick brothers, according to the form given to us by the Apostle in Acts when he says: I have shown you all things because by so labouring you ought to support the weak.[508] 37And so we will be made worthy to hear: Come, you blessed of my Father, occupy the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 38For I was hungry and you gave me to eat,[509]etc.

39He quotes many authorities of the Old and New Testaments to show ‘how evil is idleness and how necessary is work’ for gaining holiness and justice. 40And how it is said in praise of the Church: She has not eaten her bread idle; ‘And how the Lord linked idleness with malice when he said: Malicious and slothful servant’.[510]

41This is why we ought to fear lest when he who gave us the ability to work brings against us on the day of judgment the demand for work done in proportion to the ability given, namely, that, as is read in the Gospel, by him to whom much is committed, yet more will be demanded of him.[511]

42In the heart we should praise God in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles and in work we should satisfy prayer, giving thanks to him who gave both power to the hands for work and wisdom to the mind to understand knowledge, to him who gave what is needed for tools and what is needed for the skills, the things we select for work.[512] 43We should pray, therefore, that the works of our hands be directed to a purpose pleasing to God.[513]

44Working in this way they drive out idleness, the enemy of the soul, so as not to extinguish the Spirit of prayer and devotion.[514] 45Evident and notable loss of devotion and prayer is brought on by work that binds and involves workers in vanity, greed, earthly affluence, choking cares and disturbing distractions. 46All who work for gain, to collect and use in a carnal way what is not needed, put up luxurious buildings, involve themselves in secular business, or pursue quarrels, extinguish the Spirit of devotion and prayer and in the work of their hands they are not concerned with what is spiritual and virtuous but carnal and faulty.[515]

47St Jerome writes that Saint John, the Anchorite, on Sundays received only the Eucharist for spiritual food and to sustain his bodily life; for this Christ gave him a superabundant knowledge in word and knowledge, namely, a spirit of prophecy, a grace of healing and powers against the demons; while he did not need bodily food, he still worked with his hands making harnesses for beasts.[516]

48The same thing is written about Paul of Thebes, who living in that vast solitude got his food and clothing from the fruits and leaves of the palm trees, but worked with his hands and offered this work annually to the Lord as a sacrifice in fire.[517] 49All those monks in Egypt who came down during the summer to reap, had all the wages for this work, holding nothing back, given to the monks of Libya and to the poor.[518] 50It did not seem to them to be living as perfect monks if they were negligent in using their work out of charity to benefit the poor and sick.

51In payment for their work they may receive whatever is necessary for the bodily support of themselves and their brothers, excepting coin or money.[519]

52Since it is just and pious to obtain by work whatever is necessary for the body and for his brothers, he clearly places an interdict on the servants of God to prevent them obtaining whatever exceeds the measure of necessity. We read that Saint Francis and his companions frequently held back even what was necessary for their own support in order to give it to other poor people. They were glad to be bound to do this by the example of Christ and by the precept of charity itself.[520]

53However, he forbade them to receive money or coin in payment for their work so as to be truly conformed to the disciples of Christ who were sent to preach the Gospel without money, gold or silver.[521] 54He teaches how, in harmony with and because of the evangelical state, they are to receive from their work the necessities for the body, namely, not as those who sell, are bound by contract, or hire themselves, often with quarrelling and demanding wages for work; 55but humbly and without any right, contentious demands or claim to ownership, so that in receiving they show themselves evidently and truly to be faithful and devout lovers and followers of the poverty and humility of Christ and of the Gospel.[522]

56The first brothers did their work with material belonging to others, or worked with poor and common material of almost no worth or value, like the holy fathers who made baskets, wicker containers, mats, fruit containers from rushes, twigs or the leaves of palm trees, because such materials are cheap, common and no one regards them as valuable.[523] 57And they offered these works to the Lord always, not as human business but as sacrifices in praise of him and to attain the perfection of the love of God and neighbour.[524]

58According to what Saint Basil teaches elegantly in his Rule, they worked in obedience to the command of the Lord and in conformity to the life of Christ, his Mother, his putative father, the disciples of our Lord and the holy fathers who all by keeping the commands of the Lord pleased God in diverse ways.

59They did works that are in harmony with their state and vocation and are free from all trading, extravagance, long lasting occupations or done for unseemly profit. 60Some work could be done while we remained under our own roof so that the work might be finished and calm be guarded.[525]

61It is necessary to know this because whoever works should work not to meet their own advantage by the work but to fulfil the command of the Lord who said: I was hungry and you gave me to eat, and what follows.[526]

62To be concerned for himself in everything and for everything is forbidden by the Lord who said: Do not be solicitous for your life, what shall you eat, nor for your body, what shall you put on, and added: All these things the heathens seek.[527] 63Each person’s aim in work should be to use what is gained as a service for the poor and not for one’s own advantage. 64In this way he avoids the crime of self love and shall receive from the Lord the blessing for brotherly love: As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.[528]

65No one should think that the Apostle is contrary to what we state when he says: Workers should eat their own bread.[529] 66This text is directed towards the disordered and idle as though they think it is better to reflect on life when one is idle. 67This also applies to anyone who serves himself and does not take on a burden for others. 68For we have heard, he says, there are some among you who walk disorderly, working not at all, but curiously meddling. We charge them that are such, and beseech them that working with quiet they would eat their own bread.[530]

69It behoves one who is hastening to perfection to work night and day so as to have something to give to one in need.[531]

70He who presides over the brotherhood must not give them tools for trade or work to be used in whatever way they wish, for example, for them to sell, exchange, to give in any other way or acquire other things beyond what they have. 71He who once judged that he was not master even of his own hands, but allowed another to direct his work, how shall such a one act rightly by being master of his work or tools of trade and exercising the dignity of a master over them?[532]

72He acts against the perfection promised who puts his trust in himself, in him who accepts the care of his needs, in his own work or that of a companion, thinking this is sufficient for his living. 73Because to the extent that one relies on another there is a danger of falling under the curse that states: Cursed be the man who puts his hope in man and affirms that flesh is his arm and whose heart departs from the Lord; this is forbidden in the text. 74Whoever puts his hope in a man, that is, to hope in him, and affirms that flesh is his arm, that is, to hope in oneself, both of which are called apostasy by the Lord who brings both to their end, 75because he shall be like tamarisk in the desert and shall not see when good shall come.[533] This text shows that to place one’s hope in oneself or in any other is to apostatize from the Lord.[534]

From Basil.

76Saint Augustine wrote in his book De opere Monachorum against certain monks who were given up to idleness, acted as vagabonds and in error covered their idleness and depravity with a wrong understanding of the words of Christ.[535] 77They tried to find proofs in texts such as: Be not solicitous, etc; and: Behold the birds of the air; and: Do not desire to labour for the meat that perishes, but for that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you.[536] 78Now they seduce many by the same error, namely that they do not have to do bodily work to provide by work what is necessary for themselves or for others, and Augustine writes as follows[537]:

What do they do, they who do not work? I would like to know for what purpose they are idle. 79They answer, we are idle for prayers, reading and for the Word of God. 80Clearly such is a holy life, praiseworthy with the sweetness of Christ but, if we are not called away from these duties, then we can say it is not necessary to eat nor to prepare food daily. 81If, however, necessity forces us to eat at certain periods of time, because of weakness, why do we not set aside some spaces of time for observing the apostolic precepts? 82One prayer of an obedient person is heard more quickly than ten thousand from those who scorn obedience. 83Manual workers can easily also sing the divine canticles and be consoled in their work as by the divine director. 84Therefore, what prevents a servant of God who works with his hands from meditating on the law of the Lord and singing to the Lord, in such a way indeed that he set aside times for committing to memory what has to be said. 85To this end, those good works of the faithful should not be insufficient as a means for providing what is necessary, so that at the times when they are free to teach the mind and those bodily works cannot be done, they may not be oppressed with need. 86But those who say they apply themselves to reading, should they not find there what the Apostle ordered? 87Therefore, what is this perversity, namely, to be unwilling to submit to reading while wanting to have leisure for it and, while reading daily what is good, to be unwilling to do what is read?[538]

88But if when a sermon has to be prepared and this takes such time that no time is left for manual work, would all in the monastery be able to do this, namely, expound the divine readings to the brothers or discuss in a wholesome way on some questions? 89Therefore, when all are not able to do this, why, on the basis of this pretext, do all want to be exempt from manual work? 90Although, if all were able, they ought to take turns, not only so that others will not be taken from necessary works, but also because it is sufficient for one to speak to many listeners?[539]

91And he adds: ‘If they do not want nor are able to obey the words of the Apostle, at least they should acknowledge that those who are willing are better and those who able are more fortunate’.[540] 92And further: ‘We weep over those who idly and verbosely say things they should not say against the Apostle,’[541]

93not only by not imitating the obedience of the saints who work quietly in the most wholesome discipline of the other monasteries and in accord with the apostolic norm of life, but they also insult those who are better, namely, those working, and they preach that laziness is an observance of the Gospel.[542]

94Therefore, the Apostle Paul worked more for his livelihood than the other Apostles, and got his daily living from his work.[543] 95And towards the end of the book he says: ‘Those who do not work should not doubt that those who do work are to be preferred’.[544]

96Also, Saint Basil in his Rule advises: ‘Just as daily provisions and food are necessary for each person, so also it is necessary to work according to one’s ability’.[545] 97In this part of his Rule he writes to Saint Gregory Nazianzus saying:

98Christ, during the life he spent in the flesh, gave a pattern and example to everyone who wants to live piously, so that when others see these qualities of his life, they might put on a similar figure and image, in no way deviating from the imitation of the archetype. 99Why has the Saviour given his own life as the rule for the perfect way of life for all who want to obey him? 100Listen to his clear teaching: If anyone minister to me, let him follow me.[546]

101Having shown how the life and behaviour of Christ is a perfect and most divine model of innocence, long-suffering, kindness, honour, purity, courtesy, humility, prudence and discretion, in these and in many other aspects, he adds the following:


102An example is introduced by which one can see what are the qualities and quantities of a body. 103According to the first age, one is subject to parents and all work and bodily tiredness are borne calmly and in good obedience; there are indeed just and pious people who are poor and lack ability in what is necessary. 104A witness to this is the crib, the cradle of an honourable and precious birth. 105Fittingly, they talk about unceasing bodily works, as they search out for themselves a necessary need. 106However, as Scripture says, Jesus was subject to them, and from this he endured fully work and tiredness while showing subjection and good obedience.[547] 107As he moved on, stripping himself of his lordly and divine qualities, choosing disciples, planning how to preach the heavenly kingdom, not remaining in a corner nor shut up in his own body, he received from others what was needed for his ministry; 108now wearied with his journey yet continuing to walk, he continually at the same time served his disciples, as he said: I am in the midst of you, as he that serves.[548] 109And since the Son of man has not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, at one time washing the feet of the disciples, at another insisting on teaching at length, moving from place to place, without idleness, he persevered for our salvation.[549] 110However, on one occasion he seemed to use a beast but this was only for a time and not to rest his body but to seal a prophecy by his actions.[550] 111But what of the Apostles, did they not imitate the Lord, did they not speak of unceasing works? 112Look at Paul, the Apostle, working without let up, journeying with courage, sailing, in perils, tossed by the waves, persecuted, flogged, stoned, able to meet all the trials with readiness of soul and virtue of body.[551] 113But if a lack of moderation had weakened the power of his body, he would not have been crowned for this.

114Therefore, it is good to imitate the life of the Lord, of his Apostles and disciples both by spiritual virtues and by bodily exercises, working to make the body ready for service by virtuous actions. 115The soul has to select the good things that are perfected with the cooperation of the body, and the body has to do what the soul selects. 116When the body is weakened for work, the ability to direct in the hidden choice of the will is imperfect, as when a shoot withers in distant parts of the earth without coming to be used by those for whom it grew.[552]

117But someone says: The Lord undertook an extended fast without food, as did Moses and no less the prophet Elijah. 118But reflect on this because our Lord did this once only, as also did Moses and Elijah; at all other times they governed the body in a proper way, engaged it in work, always addressing work and tiredness, so that the virtues of the soul they declare with the cooperation of the body, making the active life a seal and perfection of spiritual behaviour. 119Moses did this, as did Elijah and also John who by a secret directive remained for a long time in the desert; after this dispensation had ceased he came to a region of the world where he preached and baptized, actions that are work, and where he undertook with confidence a struggle against Herod. 120Every list of saints and Jesus himself did this, so that it would be clear everywhere from the laws of nature, from the teaching of Sacred Scripture, from the actions of all the saints, from the behaviour of our Saviour, and the model of the lives of those who lived piously in Christ, that it is better and more fitting to be weak of body than to be remiss in work; it is better to show this by good actions than voluntarily to become idle.[553]

121From Basil.

122When this is understood in a pious and Catholic manner, the multiple questions and hesitations commonly held and moved by many in this are removed, and the multiple diversity and dignity of work are stated, 123among which the first place is held by the work of the exercise of holy prayer and devotion from which and in which other things are to be regulated, and to which and because of which other works are reduced and become virtuous and meritorious.[554]



6, 1Let the brothers not make anything their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all etc.[555]

2In this sixth chapter of his Rule, Saint Francis, by the fundamental and radical perfection of the deepest evangelical poverty of the Order of Lesser Brothers and his own, destroys and radically tears out the root cause of all evils in those who profess and follow his way; in an abundant and comprehensive way he taught and spelt out a sincere display of mutual love in which consists the fullness of every observance of the divine law.[556]

3There was already a sufficiently clear and open explanation of this in the Earlier Rule in which he says:

4The rule and life of these brothers is this, namely: ‘to live in obedience, in chastity, and without anything of their own,’ and to follow the teaching and footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ, who says:[557] 5If you wish to be perfect, go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.[558] 6And: If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.[559] 7Again: If anyone wishes to come to me and does not hate father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.[560] 8And: Everyone who has left father or mother, brother or sister, wife or children, houses or lands because of me, will receive a hundredfold and will possess eternal life.[561]

9And in his Testament he says:

And after the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I had to do, but the Most High himself revealed to me that I should live according to the pattern of the Holy Gospel.[562] 10And I had this written down simply and in a few words and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me. 11And those who came to receive this life gave whatever they had to the poor and were content with one tunic, patched inside and out, with a cord and short trousers. We desired nothing more.[563]

12Hence, the first and final intention of blessed Francis was that the brothers would have nothing of their own, neither personally nor in common.[564] 13He used to say to all that Christ revealed to him that whoever wishes to be a Lesser Brother should have nothing other than a tunic, cord and short trousers, as the Rule allows, and those forced by necessity may have shoes.[565]

14In the Earlier Rule is written:

Wherever the brothers may be, either in hermitages or other places, let them be careful not to make any place their own or contend with anyone for it.[566] 15Whoever comes to them, friend or foe, thief or robber let him be received with kindness.


Let all the brothers strive to follow the humility and poverty of our Lord Jesus Christ and let them remember that we should have nothing else in the whole world except, as the Apostle says: having food and clothing, we are content with these.[567] 17They must rejoice when they live among people considered of little value and looked down upon, among the poor and the powerless, the sick and the lepers, and the beggars by the wayside. 18When it is necessary they may go for alms. 19Let them not be ashamed and remember, moreover, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the all powerful living God, set his face like flint and was not ashamed.[568] 20He was poor and a stranger and lived on alms – he, the blessed Virgin, and his disciples.

21When people revile them and refuse to give them alms, let them thank God for this because they will receive great honour before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ for such insults.[569] 22Let them realize that a reproach is imputed not to those who suffer it but to those who caused it. Alms are a legacy and a justice due to the poor that our Lord Jesus Christ acquired for us. 23The brothers who work at acquiring them will receive a great reward and enable those who give them to gain and acquire one; for all that people leave behind in the world will perish, but they will have reward from the Lord for the charity and almsgiving they have done.

24Let each one confidently make known his need to another that the other might discover what is needed and minister to him.[570] 25Let each one love and care for his brother as a mother loves and cares for her son, in those matters in which God has given him the grace. 26Let the one who does not eat not judge the one who does.[571]

27Whenever a need arises, all the brothers, wherever they may be, are permitted to consume whatever food people can eat, as the Lord says of David who ate the loaves of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat.[572] 28Let them remember what the Lord says: Be careful that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that the day catches you by surprise; 29for that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth like a trap.[573]

30Similarly, in time of an obvious need, all the brothers may do as the Lord has given them the grace to satisfy their needs, because necessity has no law.[574]

31When the brothers go through the world, let them take nothing for the journey, neither knapsack, nor purse, nor bread, nor money, nor walking stick.[575]


Whatever house they enter, let them first say: Peace to this house.[576] 33And: They may eat and drink what is placed before them for as long as they stay in that house.[577] 34Let them not resist anyone evil, but whoever strikes them on one cheek, let them offer them the other as well. 35Whoever takes their cloak, let them not withhold their tunic. Let them give to all who ask of them and whoever takes what is theirs, let them not seek to take it back.[578]

36And in his Testament he says:

Let the brothers be careful not to receive in any way churches or poor dwellings or anything else built for them unless they are according to the holy poverty we have promised in the Rule. As pilgrims and strangers, let them always be guests there.[579]

37I strictly command all the brothers through obedience, wherever they may be, not to dare to ask any letter from the Roman Curia, either personally or through an intermediary, whether for a church or another place or under the pretext of preaching or the persecution of their bodies. But wherever they have not been received, let them flee into another country to do penance with the blessing of God.[580]

38As Brother Leo writes, Saint Francis wanted the brothers to avoid most carefully receiving or asking for anything that might exceed the limits of the poverty they had promised. 39So he says:

Brother Francis often said these words to the brothers: ‘I have never been a thief, that is, in regard to alms, which are the inheritance of the poor. I always took less than I needed, so that other poor people would not be cheated of their share. To act otherwise would be theft’.[581]

40And he adds:

When the brother ministers urged him to allow the brothers to have something at least in common, so that such a great number would have some resources, Saint Francis called upon Christ in prayer and consulted him about this. 41Christ immediately responded that he would take away everything held individually or in common, saying that this is his family for whom he was always ready to provide, no matter how much it might grow, and he would always cherish it as long as it would put its hope in him.[582]

42And he adds:

When blessed Francis was on a mountain with Brother Leo of Assisi and Brother Bonizo of Bologna to make the Rule, – because the first, which he had written at Christ’s instruction, was lost – a great many ministers gathered around Brother Elias, who was the vicar of blessed Francis.[583] 43‘We heard that Brother Francis is making a new rule’, they told him, ‘and we fear that he will make it so harsh that we will not be able to observe it. 44We want you to go to him and tell him that we refuse to be bound to that Rule. Let him make it for himself and not for us.

45Brother Elias replied to them that he did not want to go because he feared the rebuke of Brother Francis. 46When they insisted that he go, he said that he refused to go without them; so they all went.[584]

47When Brother Elias, with those ministers, was near the place where blessed Francis was staying, he called him. 48Blessed Francis responded and, seeing those ministers, he said: ‘What do these brothers want?’[585] 49‘They are ministers,’ Brother Elias answered ‘who heard that you are making a new rule. They fear that you are making it very harsh, and they say, and say publicly, that they refuse to be bound by it. Make it for yourself and not for them.’

50Then Brother Francis turned his face to heaven and spoke to Christ in this way: ‘Lord! Didn’t I tell you they wouldn’t believe you?’ 51The voice of Christ was then heard in the air, saying: ‘Francis, nothing of yours is in the Rule: whatever is there is all mine. And I want the Rule observed in this way: to the letter, to the letter, to the letter, and without a gloss, without a gloss, without a gloss.’[586] 52And he added: ‘I know of how much human weakness is capable, and how much I want to help them. Those who refuse to observe it should leave the Order.’ 53Then blessed Francis turned to the brothers and said: ‘Did you hear? Did you hear? Do you want me to have you told again?’ 54Then the ministers, confused and blaming themselves, departed.[587]

55And he added:

When blessed Francis was at the General Chapter called the Chapter of Mats, held at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, there were five thousand brothers present. Many wise and learned brothers told the Lord Cardinal, who later became Pope Gregory, who was present at the Chapter,[588] 56that he should persuade blessed Francis to follow the advice of these same wise brothers and allow himself to be guided by them for the time being. They cited the Rule of blessed Benedict, of blessed Augustine, and of blessed Bernard, which teach how to live in a well ordered way. 57Then blessed Francis, on hearing the cardinal’s advice about this, took him by the hand and led him to the brothers assembled in chapter, and spoke to the brothers in this way: 58‘My brothers! My brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and showed me the way of simplicity. I do not want you to mention to me any Rule, whether of Saint Augustine, or of Saint Benedict, or of Saint Bernard. 59And the Lord told me what he wanted: he wanted me to be a new fool in the world. God did not wish to lead us by any way other than this knowledge, but God will confound you by your knowledge and wisdom. 60But I trust in the Lord’s police that through them he will punish you, and you will return to your state, like it or not.

61And he added:

Some of the brothers told blessed Francis: ‘Father, don’t you see that sometimes bishops do not permit us to preach, allowing us to remain idle in an area for many days before we can preach to the people?[589] 62It would be better if you arranged to get a privilege from the Lord Pope; it would be the salvation of souls’.[590] He answered them with a stern rebuke, telling them: ‘You, Lesser Brothers, you do not know the will of God, and will not allow me to convert and build up the whole world since it is the will of God and what I want, namely, that by humility, patience, good works and reverence we might build up the people and convert the prelates. 64Then, when they see your holy life and your reverence for them, they will ask you to preach and convert the people. These will attract the people to you far better than the privileges you want, which would lead you to pride. 65And if you are free of all avarice, and lead the people to give the churches their due, they will ask you to hear the confessions of their people. Although you should not be concerned about this, for if they are converted, they will easily find confessors.[591]

66For my part, I want only this privilege from the Lord: not to have any privilege from any human being, except to be subject and to show reverence to all, and, by the obedience of the holy Rule, to convert everyone more by example than by word.’

67Saint Hilary, writing in Liber conciliorum, says:

Whoever has denied Christ as preached by the apostles is antichrist.[592] 68The name of antichrist means to be contrary to Christ. 69I ask you bishops, you who work to safeguard the Church of Christ from secular ambition, what do you believe this to be, what means have you used to preach the Gospel, with what powers have you been helped in preaching Christ, etc?

70And he adds:

I believe that those who by manual work provide for themselves and assemble together within secret dining rooms, and who wander through villages, castles, and almost all peoples by earth and sea contrary to the decrees of the senate and the edicts of the kings, did not have the keys of the kingdom of heaven, nor did clear strength reach out its help against human hatred, when the more Christ was preached, so much the more were they hindered from preaching.[593] 71But, alas, human support protects divine faith and, while ambition is linked to his name, Christ is stripped of his power, attacked and relies on the reputation of those speaking, consecrated by the dread of those persecuting; priests flee, and the dread spreads when the priests flee. 72If to be loved is to be glorified by the world, then this cannot be of Christ unless first one is hated by the world.[594]

73And further:

One thing I advise, namely, beware of antichrist, wrongly have you formed a love for walls, wrongly do we honour the Church of God under roofs and in buildings, wrongly do you invoke the name of peace beneath these; is it unlikely that antichrist is located in these? 74Safer for me are mountains, islands, lakes, prisons and caves. 75The prophets prophesied while living or hidden in these.[595]

76Saint Francis fully wanted the Religion of the Lesser Brothers, vowing to possess nothing in accord with the example of Christ and the Apostles, to be freed and distant through complete dispossession, through having nothing that belongs to the world and from every right coming from privileges, so that freed and unencumbered by any impediment of what is visible and of any cares and concerns, it would follow Christ more humbly and perfectly and cling more closely to his way of life. 77He foresaw that by such privileges they would fall more quickly from the truth of evangelical poverty and the firmness of the most holy humility of Christ, they would be infected with the poison of avarice and would not fear to think highly of themselves in pride.

78Saint Francis used to say that every disciple should look on Christ and his cross, and, strengthened in spirit, run after him through the narrow gate and the straight way.[596] 79Not only should he be far from a love and ownership of all things that are under heaven, but he should become perfectly forgetful of them, so that he may enter into the inheritance of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who humbled and emptied himself being made for us obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.[597] 80Hence, we who have promised to follow Christ and are called Lesser Brothers, are bound, in likeness to the Son of God, to be humiliated before all people, to embrace the foolishness and nakedness of his cross, to love to be regarded as people of no honour and to share in the taunts and sorrows of his cross, who did not turn away his face from the shame of those spitting upon him.[598]

81The Son of God rests and lives in us, when, out of love for him, we hate all that the world loves, and when we exult and rejoice to be cast aside, reproached and despised for the name of him who became poor and needy for us and who, even though he was God, did not want to have in this world anywhere to lay his head.[599] 82The Lesser Brothers are called to this so that they might show in works and speech that they are disciples of him whose kingdom is not of this world.[600]

83Christ commanded them both individually and together:

Let the brothers not make anything their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all. As pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, let them go seeking alms with confidence,[601] 84and they should not be ashamed because, for our sakes, our Lord made himself poor in this world. 85This is that sublime height of most exalted poverty which has made you, my most beloved brothers, heirs and kings of the Kingdom of Heaven, poor in temporal things but exalted in virtue.[602] 86Let this be your portion which leads into the land of the living.[603] 87Giving yourselves totally to this, beloved brothers, never seek anything else under heaven for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

88It is most evident from what Saint Francis did and taught in his Rule, Testament and in his other Words, revealed to him by Christ and approved by the Church as his Rule, that his first and final intention and will, as stated in writing, was that his Religion should not own anything in common or individually.[604] 89That Saint Francis received this directly in a revelation from Christ was accepted as true by the three Popes, namely, Innocent, Honorius and Gregory, who saw him and heard it from his mouth. All subsequent Popes, the whole Order until today, 90and the multitude of all the faithful, who are the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, accepted this as certain, approved, preached, supported and strengthened it with its authority.[605]

91The common, apostolic and evangelical life that Christ wanted his apostles and disciples to observe, the life he had taught by his example, was to be guarded and imposed as a precept on those sent out to preach and it is based on the highest poverty that from its very foundation excludes any ownership by any individuals and by the whole community who profess it. 92Hence, if what is offered for their use and livelihood or acquired by the work of their hands, is taken from them, they, as people dead to the world and to all things belonging to the world, are neither to defend or demand a judgment in this.

93Saint Francis, taught by the Spirit of Christ, understood that the Son of God coming into the world and redeeming and reconciling us to the Father by his death, made all who believe in him one, so that as he is one with the Father, we, by virtue of his body and flesh that we eat, are one with one another and in him.[606] 94For by the flesh and blood of Christ we are made to be in Christ and Christ in us.[607] 95Thus, we are all one, because the Father is in Christ and Christ is in us, so that we live for him and not for ourselves, because he died for us.[608]

96Just as we have carried the image of the earthly father, so, as people descended from him, we are born children of wrath; we were separated from God and from one another, seeking what are ours and not what are of God.[609] 97But now, born from God, we carry the image of the heavenly man, Christ, seeking the things that are above and not the things that are upon the earth.[610] 98For the first man of earth who was wise lost his innocence and incurred death of soul and body, the second man preaching hatred of the world and love of what is heavenly, restored innocence and promised glory to all who loved him; to those who love the perfection of evangelical poverty and observe it with a pure heart he said: If you will be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give to the poor, and come and follow me, and you will have treasure in heaven.[611] 99And further: Every one of you who does not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be my disciple.[612] 100And opening his mouth he taught them saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.[613] 101And the text: Do not possess gold or silver or money in your purses, and similar things contained in the sacred Gospels.[614] 102The apostles, the disciples of Christ and other faithful, filled with theHoly Spirit and imitators of his life, pondered this and, conformed to the life of Christ, made every effort, as far as was possible for them, to throw away all their possessions and observe the common life that Christ had taught and lived with his apostles.[615]

103About this, Philo, the most learned of the Hebrews, as Eusebius testifies, wrote many things in praise of his people and of that common apostolic life, as Saint Isidore states in Liber canonum et conciliorum, and Pope Clement in his Quarta epistola says:

Clement, bishop, sends greetings to our most dear brothers and fellow disciples living in Jerusalem, with our most dear brother and fellow bishop, James.[616] 104A common life is necessary for everyone, especially for those who desire to serve God in a blameless way and want to imitate the life of the apostles and their disciples. 105Everyone should observe a common use of all things in the world, but by sin one says this is his, another claims that and so there arises a division among mortals.[617] 106Then, one of the wisest Greeks, knowing that all things should be common, said that all should be common among friends.[618] 107And just as the air and the brightness of the sun cannot be divided, neither can all other things given to people for their use, be divided but are all to be held in common. 108Hence, the Lord said through the prophet: Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to live together in unity.[619] 109By retaining this custom the apostles and their disciples led a common life in the same way as we and you do.

110As you know well, none of them or of us says that anything is our own but all things are common to them and to us.[620] 111He adds that Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles over this and so, before all standing nearby and the apostles, both were carried out dead.[621]

112Blessed Pope Clement says the same when he teaches that there was one, uniform community among the apostles of Christ and among other believers who promised and chose to observe the most perfect divine life of the Lord and Saviour. 113There was such community in the group that nothing was owned and no one said something was his own, rather it was like the community that existed in the state of innocence among all peoples and as it would have been between all peoples, were it not for the corruption and sickness of original and actual sin.[622] 114Such is a community in which the air and sun are common to all and in which ownership, dominion, and the desire for dominion and ownership of any object are completely given up with a pure heart and perfect charity and, in complete obedience to the law of the spirit, life, grace and truth of Christ, they use daily in a suitable way what has been offered for the necessities of nature,[623] 115following the example of the Doctor of the Gentiles and of the holy fathers who lived in an apostolic and evangelical way from the work of their hands, and were provided for with a fuller increase and merit of virtues and love.[624] 116So he orders that all things are to be sold and given to the poor, and a hundredfold is promised to those who leave everything for the sake of his honour, his love and the observance of the Gospel, while in this life there will be persecutions because of being made like him, but then eternal life, enthroned with him.[625]

117Pope Damasus, in his Expositio secundae epistolae ad Corinthios, commenting on the verse: He has given to the poor, says about such an apostolic community and life:[626]

118Here, he calls justice a generosity with temporal things or a recompense for distributing such goods.[627] 119Such generosity is aptly called justice, because it is right that just as the earth has been given by God to all people to own in common and just as the heat of the sun and the moisture of rain are given equally to all by God, 120so also what comes from the earth by the gift of God, they should give away equally and use in common; this is justice because since God gives these for nothing, one should give back from it what another lacks.

121And in his Lettera ai Colossesi on the verse: Mortify your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols, he says:[628]

122because he serves the devil who takes the worship and the cult of the omnipotent God, things fitting for God alone, and also the singular name to be used only for God, and as far as he can gives them to the devil. 123He also serves the devil who wrongly usurps for his own use the common gifts of the omnipotent God, gifts given in common to all people. 124For this reason, avarice is compared to idolatry so as to show that there is nothing worse.[629] 125Avarice is the root of all evil.[630]

126And in his Lettera agli Ebrei on the verse: He has prepared for them a city, he says:

It is certain that the fathers were pilgrims in that they did not even have a place to bury their dead.[631] 127Therefore, the first virtue is be a pilgrim and guest in this world having nothing in common with the kings of this world but distancing oneself from them as a pilgrim should. 128Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called the God of those for whom he has prepared a city.[632] 129So, they believed in God and took nothing of the world as their own as if they would put their hope in such things. 130For this reason God is not ashamed to be called the God of those for whom he has prepared a city, namely, the heavenly Jerusalem. 131And so he did not give them an inheritance in the present world.

132And in his Ai Corinzi on the verse: As having nothing, yet possessing all things, he says: ‘The apostles were as having nothing, because they had neither homes, gold, silver, male nor female servants, and all these things they possessed in those who owned them’, people whom they converted to Christ.[633] 133He states, we can say this because in this world the apostles were as having nothing, but in their head, Christ, they possessed all things.[634] 134And he adds: ‘No one has more than someone who needs nothing, but while the rich have much they need more because they want to have more than they already have.[635] 135But a person who looks for nothing other than food and clothing needs nothing.’

136He says the same on the verse in the words of the Apostle: For the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that he gave to us etc.:[636]

137All the good things that have been given to the human race are a grace from God. 138Since, when he was rich, possessing everything with the Father according to his divinity, he became so poor for us and for all believers that he did not have even what the foxes have, so that through his poverty you might be rich in heaven.[637] 139And he became man to make us gods according to what the Psalmist says: I said, you are gods.[638] 140And I give my advice in this, that you are to imitate his poverty.[639]

141What Saint Francis laid down in this sixth chapter of his Rule concerning the evangelical life and poverty of Christ, blessed Basil writes in the Prologue of his Rule for religious living apostolically and evangelically in communities.[640] 142Such a community is to have nothing of its own, just as Christ with his apostles had nothing; the first man in the state of innocence would have had nothing had he not sinned, and the angels and the blessed in heaven do not claim anything as their own.

143For he says:

However, since many of those striving in communities stimulate one another, being unable to forget to spur one another on, to encourage their prudence with the addition of directions and encouragement that moves them in the spirit to do good, we have thought it right to give them a word of consolation.[641] 144It is necessary for them to know first of all into how great and what kind of good they have been transformed, and so exhort them in this matter that they might display a prompt and worthy readiness for the development of virtue. 145For they are, first of all, to return to the good that is in accord with nature, preserving the communion and table of one life. 146I call communion that most perfect life in which the ownership of any possession is banished, opposition of will or judgment is put aside, and disturbances and quarrels are cast outside. 147To have everything in common applies to the soul, the will, judgments, the body and whatever nourishes and develops the body. 148God is common to all, common also is what pertains to piety, to salvation, struggles, labours and crowns. 149Many are one and the one is not alone but with many.

150What is comparable to this way of life, what more blessed, what more attentive than this coming together and union, what more prompt and gracious than this assembly?[642] 151Men inspired from whatever races and regions, joined together in so great a care of their identity, that in many bodies one soul is seen and many bodies are shown to be instruments of one will and judgment. 152Anyone sick in body has nearby many affectionate helpers. 153When one is sick and dispirited he has many who care for him and comfort him. They are equally servants to one another, lords in freedom to one another, that is, without any disharmony they show a most caring service to one another, not induced violently by necessity from an imminent danger, thereby bringing much shame on its captives, but based with joy on a spontaneous judgment as charity puts these free people in service to one another with the will guarding spontaneously what is free. 154They restore from the origins the ancient good of the first parent, Adam, who hid his sin. 155When sin had not weakened nature, there was no division, discord nor quarrelling among people. 156These were diligent imitators of the Saviour and lived in accord with how he lived in the flesh.

157As the Saviour in setting up the choir of disciples gave himself and all things to the apostles to be in common, just so do those who are obedient to the leader, who guard fully the rule of life of the apostles, imitate with care the way of life of the Lord. 158Such have striven to copy the life of the angels, that is, to contend with one another by zealously serving him. 159Among the angels there is no litigation, no contempt, no hesitation, but each one has what belongs to all and all keep intact among themselves all the goods. 160The riches of the angels are not something limited that should be divided by being distributed to many, but they are an immaterial possession, riches of mind and thought.[643]

161For this reason the goods remain intact with each one so that all are equally rich with these and they work without hesitation and give their own possessions without quarrels. 162The treasure of the angels is the contemplation of supreme good, the clearest understanding of virtue, things for which it is lawful for all to see and for each to accept a full knowledge and possession. 163Such are those who act in accord with truth, are not embroiled in earthly matters but think on what is heavenly, and who by imperceptible arrangements hold these things intact as a treasure among all and each singly. 164For the possession of virtue and the riches of right orientation are a praiseworthy avarice, not a lamentable and insatiable theft; they earn a crown and whoever does not strive for this with violence, is guilty. 165For all such thieves and no other, Jesus our peace, rejoices divinely. 166These are they who steal the goods of the promised kingdom, showing their virtuous, holy life and sharing, their careful imitation of their way of life and constitution and that they have loved perfectly to possess nothing, having nothing of their own but holding all things with one another.

167The gain of such goods was given to us when the Saviour became man. Clearly, these have shown in the life of people their disrupted nature, broken into an infinite number of pieces, so that, as much as they could, they would lead it back again to itself and to God. 168For this is the primary intention of the Saviour in his flesh, namely, to bring back human nature to itself and to him, releasing it from its evil division and call it back to the former union, just as a perfect medical doctor with healing medicines restores a body cut into many parts.[644]

169I have not reviewed these things for the sake of gaining honour and praising in words the virtue of those living in common, for my words do not have such force that they would attract more than flattery; on the contrary, I lament rather over the weakness of my report, but I will go on as much as possible and show the height and greatness of this life style. 170Where is there something equal that can be compared to this good?

171While there is only one father, many children have imitated the supreme Father, anxious among themselves to surpass the teacher with good intentions. 172They are in agreement with one another and graciously accept the father by virtuous actions, not defining the true cause of union, but relying on a word more strongly than on nature as the author and guard of union. 173What image of things on earth would they use to show the nature of virtue when there is nothing on earth able to do this? They have left this to him alone who is from above. 174The Father above is impassable without any defect and he uses a word to provide leadership in everything. 175The children from this Father above are without corruption. 176Not being corrupt has made them one. 177Charity joins what is above and charity has joined them to one another. 178Indeed, the devil himself was held back, not facing such a force and such great fighters so ready and uniformly united to fight against him and united among themselves with such charity and so underpinned in spirit that they give not even the smallest opening to these aggressors.[645]

179Reflect with me on the shared struggle of the seven Maccabees and you will find in them a more fervent harmony.[646] 180David the prophet called out in Canticles saying: Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.[647] 181From what is good one proves what belongs to life, and one sees from the delight the joy of agreement and union. 182It seems to me that those who follow this life with diligence are reaching for the highest virtue.

183Gregory Nazianzus, in an exhortatory sermon sent to a certain prince, a man learned in all subjects, in answer to his questions, spoke as follows about what Saint Basil had written in this Rule and in his other treatises:

184Above all if you love eternal salvation and the wisdom descending from above then I say to you follow Basil, the holy religious head, with reverence and care, taking careful note of his words and most religious writings.[648] 185They are not human but what he teaches and writes comes from the throne of God and the Lamb, and by the divine kindness he piously passes them on to us.

186From the words of these two doctors who professed and observed the evangelical perfection of Christ and the apostles and who, inspired by God, handed down to posterity in writing what they thought about it, anyone who wishes to study their words humbly will gain knowledge without error.[649] 187For a clearer statement of the truth of the holy doctors, authorities may be brought forward who did not take on by vow the rule of the perfection of evangelical and apostolic life. This is done so that it may be clear to a reader how the one Spirit of Christ spoke through different saints of the vocation and state of the highest life of Christ and his disciples and of the poverty that is not its contrary but its harmonious accompaniment.

188Saint Ambrose says in Homilia X super Genesim:

Let us listen to what Christ, our Lord, commanded his priests and disciples, namely, everyone who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple.[650] 189Saying this I tremble. 190I say that I am firstly my own accuser, l am my first accuser, I utter my condemnations. 190Christ denies that a person is his disciple when seen to possess something and who has not renounced all that he possesses. 191What shall we do? How can we read this or expound it to people, we who not only have not renounced what we possess but want to acquire what we have never had before we came to Christ? 192Are we able to hide what is written because conscience troubles us? I do not want to be guilty of the crime of duplicity. 193I confess openly before the people that I have written these things even though I know that I have not acted on them.

194The same saint on the text of Matthew: No one can serve two masters.[651]

195For if divine providence unceasingly provides food for the birds of the sky that have no need for cultivation nor does one of them benefit from an abundant harvest, it is seen to be true that the cause of our need is avarice. [652]196For them the provision of food comes without work, and they do not think to resell on the basis of some special ownership the food given to them in common for their nourishment. 197We lose common ownership when we sell what is ours. 198For something is not personal where nothing is lasting, nor is there a sure abundance where the outcome is uncertain. 199Why do you esteem riches when the Lord wanted us to hold provisions in common with other living persons? 200The birds of the sky do not sell anything for themselves, and so do not experience a lack of nourishment because they do not know how to envy others.

201Consider the lilies, how they grow etc.[653] 202If God clothes in this manner the grass that is today in the field and tomorrow is cast into the oven.[654] 203It is a good and moral speech prompting us to have faith in the divine mercy; in a literal sense we can add nothing without the favour of God to the stature of our body, or in a spiritual sense to anything beyond the measure of our stature. The Lord’s word has provoked us to compare ourselves to the flowers and grass.[655] 204What else is such a moral persuasion than when you see even irrational creatures so clothed by the foresight of God that none of them lack grace or adornment? 205Much more should you believe that a rational creature, putting all his need in God, not giving up the effort to admire the faith, can never be in need from the fact that by right he has relied on divine favour.

206And on the text of Luke: Take nothing for your journey, he says:

What sort of person he should be who preaches the kingdom of God is made clear in the evangelical precepts, namely, a person without a staff, without shoes, without bread, that is, not needing the supports of temporal or secular assistance, and who thinks in faith that the less he needs these things, the more will they be provided for him.[656]

207And on the same text he says:

If we are forbidden to possess gold or to take anything, the Apostle Peter, the first to carry out the command of the Lord, shows that the commands of the Lord are not spoken in vain, for when asked by a poor man to give him some money, he said: Silver and gold I have none.[657] 208But Peter gloried not so much in not having silver and gold, but rather in observing the command of the Lord who laid down: Do not possess gold or silver, etc.[658]

209And on the letter Ad Corinthios he says of the apostles:

As far as the present life is concerned they seemed to be poor, needy on earth, rich in heaven having nothing yet possessing all things.[659] 210This was glorious in the apostles that without worry they could possess without a deed of possession not only the things they possessed but also their owners.[660]

211And on the text: All these things shall be added unto you, he says: ‘He shows that grace will be lacking neither now nor in the future should those who now desire what is divine not look for what is earthly’.[661]

212The same saint says Ad ecclesiam Vercellensem: ‘Do not refuse a poor person because Christ made himself poor for you.[662] 213Do not extol yourself like a rich person for Christ sent the Apostles out without money’. 214‘Finally, the first of them said: Silver and gold I have none, as if glorying in poverty as a refuge from contamination.[663] 215He says silver and gold, not gold and silver because one does not know the order who is not familiar with the use’.[664]

216And later he wrote in Prima Petri: ‘Silver I have not but I do not need it; gold I do not have nor do I desire it’.[665] 217And he adds: ‘Then you will be rich in all things if you were poor in spirit, since possessions do not make one rich; that is done by the soul’.[666] 218And further: ‘When you pursue an increase of riches as almost a necessity, there is nothing necessary other than to know what is not necessary’.[667]

219The same saint in De conflictu viltiorum says:

The Lord says: Be not solicitous saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek.[668] 220Seek you first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be added unto you.[669] 221What a blessed statement, how secure, how much to be embraced. 222No one in this life is as secure as he who possesses nothing other than the embrace of Christ, for he proves that in this agreement he has all that is necessary, 223just as Paul, that most learned poor man, said: As having nothing, and possessing all things, namely, not what is superfluous but what is necessary, as he himself confirms when he says: Having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.[670]

224The same saint, on the text of the Gospel: The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits, says:

those who are carried away by a frenzy of the mind do not see things themselves but the fantasies of their passion, just as the mind of an avaricious person, once it is bound by the bonds of greed, always sees silver, always calculates the profit, and thinks it more pleasant to gaze on gold than on the sun.[671] 225The prayer and petition to God of such a person is always asking for gold.[672]

226And a little further on: ‘Sometimes gold is produced from gold by the most wicked skill of usury, but it is never enough nor will there be an end to greed’.[673]

227And further on:

But someone says: How is it unjust if I look after my own possessions more carefully without intruding on what belongs to others?[674] 228Imprudent person, you say your own possessions, then tell me which things, from those you have hoarded, did you bring into this world, when you entered into this light, when you came out of the womb of your mother, with what riches, I ask, with what resources surrounding you did you enter?

229And a little further on: ‘Do not claim as your own what is common, for to have more than is sufficient is to claim something taken with violence’.[675] 230And further:

Is God unjust, not distributing equally to us what is needed for life, so that you indeed might be affluent and have an abundance, while others might have too little and be in need?[676] 231Or is it because God wanted rather to confer on you experiences of his kindness and to crown another for the virtue of patience? 232But do you, after accepting the gifts of God and holding them close to you, think there is nothing wrong that you alone might have what would support the life of so many? 233Who is more unjust and greedy than a person who uses the provisions of many not for personal use but to build up an abundance and take pleasure in it? 234Nor is it less a crime to take what someone has than to deny to the needy what you could give and you have the resources to give them. 235The bread of the hungry that you hold, the clothes of the naked that you lock up, are the redemption of the suffering and the absolution you bury in the ground. 236Therefore, you know that you plunder the goods of many while you, being able to do so, are unwilling to help them.

237Saint Augustine in Super Ioannem:

By what right do you defend the buildings of the church, by divine or human law?[677] 238We have divine law in the Scriptures, human law in the laws of kings, so from which does a person have a right to ownership? Is it from human law? 239For by divine law the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.[678] 240The Lord formed both poor and rich from the same earth and the same earth supports both poor and rich. 241But human law says: this is my residence, this is my home, this is my servant. Human rights are the rights of emperors’ etc.

242And in Distinctio prima:

The natural law is what is found in law and in the Gospel; by this law it is forbidden to do to others what one would not want done to oneself, and one is bound to do to others what one wants done to oneself.[679]

243For by natural law all things are common to all, something it is believed was observed among them for we read of them: the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul, and it is found to have been handed down from earlier times by the philosophers.[680] 244For example, in Plato there is a description of a city ordered in a most just way in which each person ignores personal desires.

245Further: ‘The natural law overrides custom and constitutions. 246Anything found in ways of conduct or in the Scriptures, if they are contrary to natural law, are to be regarded as vain and invalid’. This is from the Decretum.[681]

247Saint Basil, speaking in his Rule of charity towards God and neighbour, shows that the seeds of all the commandments of Christ were scattered by the Creator.[682] 248For he says:

Concerning the charity due to God from us, we say first that we have received strength beforehand for all the commands given to us by God so that we are not faced as it were with something new to be sought out, nor are we proud as if we are doing more than obeying a command. 249And indeed by this strength, working correctly and as is fitting we fulfil piously a life in accord with the strength; but when we abuse this strength we fall into malice. 250And this is the nature of the malice: Malice is an evil use, against a command of Christ, of things given to us by God to be used for a good purpose.

251Similarly Saint Athanasius said about this when writing to monks:

I ask you, do not be wary of the word virtue as something impossible, nor think of this study that depends on our judgment as a pilgrim or as something located far away, for the nature of this work is placed within us awaiting only our will.[683] 252The Greeks pursue studies overseas and while remaining in a foreign land they look for masters of vain learning, while no necessity presses us to travel and cross the sea. 253The kingdom of heaven is found in every region of the world, for the Lord says: The kingdom of heaven is within you, the virtue within you needing only a human mind.[684] 254Who doubts that the natural purity of a soul, provided it is not soiled within in any way, is a spring and source of virtues?

255Here is the statement on poverty of Saint Gregory Nazianzus in Sermo suus:

Nothing is more splendid in Christ than his love for poverty.[685] 256How can one who is naked be held back? Any opulence can be overcome more easily than the nakedness of a Christian who loves the wisdom of Christ.

257The wild ass is sent out in the desert, is free, scorns the multitude of the city, and does not hear the scolding and voice of the driver.[686] 258And should it be excluded by all on earth, then it adapts wings for itself like an eagle and goes back to the home of its Maker, that is, to God. 259I will add something briefly. There are two things in heaven that cannot be bound, namely, God and an angel. But there is a third on earth, namely, a Christian philosopher who like an incorporeal being living in the flesh, is heavenly even when confined within the body. 260He gives way in everything, is conquered in everything except in the freedom of his soul and he conquers more in that he gives to those wanting to take from him all he has.

261And he adds:

But they will reproach poverty and need, yet these are my riches for they have made me not only glorious but also proud.[687] 262I seem to hear from enemies that I am walking in the footprints of him who was made poor for us; would that I were able to free myself of these clothes by which I seem to be surrounded, so that naked I might avoid the thorns of the world, that hold and call back anyone hastening to God.[688]

263The same Saint in his Sermo contra Iulianum, the apostate, after a foretaste of the great proclamations about Christ, the apostles and the martyrs, says:[689]

264You see these without life, without complaint, almost without flesh and blood, and in this way coming close to God; they are below but above the things below, they are among men and above human things, in chains but free, imprisoned and unable to be so held, having nothing in the world but all things that are above the world; they have a double way of living, namely, a contempt for what is clearly visible and a hurrying towards the other as if they are immortal from mortification, joined to God from being free, beyond desire, and with a divine love without passion.[690]

265And he says of himself in Sermo apologeticus:

I did not preach to these lovers of God and brothers that I might have a life and love of wisdom without curiosity, in solitary quiet, leaving all things to whoever wants them; rather I speak to myself and to the Spirit as I thought of the Carmel of Elijah and the desert of John and so I judged the love of wisdom to be above what is earthly and above the present turmoil.[691] 266And I have searched for some stone, a bank or a wall under which I might shelter.

267And a little further on:

They find riches in poverty, ownership in a dwelling, glory in disgrace, strength in weakness, in virginity the multiplication of beautiful children much better than children coming from the flesh, a progeny from God; they do not sit down with those who feast on delicacies, they are humble above the heavens, they want nothing in the world or above the world, outside the flesh or in the flesh, their lot is the Lord and they are poor for the sake of the kingdom and they reign through poverty.[692]

268Likewise, Saint John Chrysostom in Super Matthaeum, when speaking of John the Baptist, says:

Elijah worked in towns and homes, but John lived all the time in the desert using pieces of materials, needing neither roof, nor room, nor any such thing, so that he might learn to be away from humans and have nothing in common with the earth, but to go back to the first nobility in which humans were before needing clothes.[693]

269And in the last Homily in Super Matthaeum he says: ‘What kind of resources did the apostles have when they could say: Silver and gold we have not? Did they not go round clothed in one tunic and without shoes and yet they overcame all?’[694]

270And he adds:

Why throw gold away and if I will throw it away do I possess the virtue of Peter?[695] 271Tell me what made Peter blessed. Was it because he made a lame man stand up? No, but while he did not have this power, it was given by heaven. 272For he said two things: Silver and gold I have not and in the name of Jesus arise and walk.[696] 273What made him famous and blessed, healing a cripple or throwing money away? 274He learnt this from Christ who did not say to the rich man anxious for eternal life: Heal cripples, but: Sell what you have and give to the poor.[697] 275Nor did Peter say: Behold we have cast out demons in your name, but: Behold we have left all things and followed you.[698] 276Nor did Christ answer him: If anyone has healed a cripple, but: Whoever has left house, lands, wives, sons or daughters for my sake shall receive a hundred fold, etc.[699]

277Note how they stripped themselves of everything and gave all to those under instruction; these were people who allowed them to enter and to remain in their homes without bringing anything with them.[700] 278In this way they were rescued from worry, and they persuaded their hosts that they had come only for their salvation, and while they had nothing they asked for nothing other than necessities. 279Nor did they want them to appear splendid only by signs, but also to be splendid by their own virtue before any signs. 280Nothing so points to a love of wisdom as not using what is superfluous and, as far as possible, to need nothing. 281The pseudo-apostles knew this. 282For this reason Paul said: That in what they glory they may be found as we.[701] 283And if while living in a foreign land and going to unknown peoples, nothing more is to be asked for, then much more does this apply while they remain at home.

284And humiliating himself before the people he adds:

I have not suffered differently on your behalf as I have not had a long journey, nor have I come in clothing like theirs and bereft of possessions; for this we first of all accuse ourselves, namely, we are not without shoes and a second tunic and perhaps this is the reason why you omit what is your duty.[702] 285However, this is not sufficient for excusing yourselves, but for us indeed is a greater judgment, namely, that this does not guarantee forgiveness for you.

286He says the same in his praise of the monks of Egypt:

Rather, we all, rich and poor, are ashamed because while they had nothing at all, other than a body and their hands, they would strive and argue to find money for the needy here; but we, after holding back twelve thousand for ourselves, hardly even touch what is superfluous.[703]

287Saint Jerome in Ad Heliodorum: ‘A perfect servant of Christ has nothing other than Christ, or if he has anything other than Christ he is not perfect’.[704] 288Whoever possesses Christ is most correct and secure for he waits for the morrow without worry. 289For he says: O God, you have provided for your poor.[705]

290The same Jerome in Ad Demetriadem: ‘If you wish to be perfect, Christ said to the rich young man, sell not a part of your possessions, but everything, and give to the poor, not the rich, not to relatives, not for luxury, but to meet a necessity’.[706] 291And he adds: ‘In the Acts of the Apostles, when the blood of Christ was still warm, and the new faith was fervent in the believers, they sold all their possessions and laid the price of them at the feet of the apostles, to show that money is to be trod underfoot’.[707]

292And he says in his Epistola ad Titum:

A bishop who wants to imitate the apostles should be content with having only food and clothing.[708] 293They that serve the altar, he says, live from the altar, not becoming rich.[709] 294Hence, our money is derived from the cincture, we are clothed with a single tunic and we do not worry over the next day. 29 5It is a yearning for filthy lucre to plan beyond the present’.

296And in Contra Rufinum he says of himself and his brothers: ‘We neither have nor want money, but we are content with having food and clothing’.[710]

297Pope Gregory in his book Dialogues praises Isaac as a perfect monk, because he did not want to receive possessions and money to be used by the monastery and he held to his firm opinion by which he used to say: ‘A monk who looks for possessions on earth, is not a monk’, yet while he approves this opinion he states that he has not observed it in his own monastery.[711] 298And he says in Super Ezechielem: ‘Those who give help to the needy from their possessions, offer sacrifice in the good they do because they offer something to God and keep something for themselves; but those who keep nothing offer a holocaust’.[712] 299And on the text in Job: He gives judgment to the poor he says:

What the rich young man heard, namely, go and sell all that you have and give to the poor is a special command to the poor and more perfect followers of the Gospel, not a command in general to all.[713] 300For had he bound all by a general counsel under this precept it would be a fault for us to own anything of this world. 301But there is a difference in sacred Scripture between what is commanded to all in general and what is more particularly laid down for the more perfect.

302So that we might understand from these few quotes of the doctors what they taught in their many treatises about the heavenly and most divine life of Christ and his highest evangelical poverty, and what all the saints have equally and universally made clear and declared for the Church by their life and teaching, it is enough to have touched on these texts.[714] 303So that we may retain more firmly in our memory what has been said, some examples and opinions of the holy fathers are added to what has already been said; these are taken from the uniform witness of their lives, teaching, example and by the most powerful miracles that support and proclaim the first and final holy perfection of the life of Christ.

304Saint Clement relates that once when he offered his services to Saint Peter, Peter gave him this reply:[715]

305O Clement in what role will you serve me? In preparing the food or a room or bed coverings? My food is bread, water and olives, and rarely vegetables, my clothing is a tunic and cloak and, being content with these, I need nothing else, because my mind looks not to the present but only to those things that are eternal.


306Saint John the Evangelist said to the two brothers who, struck by an arrow of the devil, were sad that they had given everything away to the poor:[716]

307Go, after changing sticks into gold and rocks into precious stones and redeem the lands you sold, buy clothes of silk for yourselves that for a time you may be as resplendent as a rose that flowers displaying both its perfume and colour then suddenly withers.[717] 308You wanted to be like your servants and now that you have become poor you lament. 309Be in flower so as to wither; be rich for a while so that you may beg forever. 310Is the hand of the Lord not able to make servants of those who abound with riches? 311But he planned a struggle for souls, namely, to believe that they will have eternal riches who, for the sake of his name, have not wanted temporal wealth.

312He gives the example of that rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and who, after his death, was buried in hell, and of the poor man Lazarus whose soul the angels carried into Abraham’s bosom.[718] 313He also gives the example of a human birth for a person is born naked and at death takes nothing from the world.

314He quotes also the example of creatures on which the sun, moon, stars, air, fire, water and rain are distributed to all of them as gifts in common, and so among humans all should be in common. 315An avaricious and rich person becomes, he says, a servant of riches and of the devil, because he does not own the riches but is owned by the riches, since no one can serve God and mammon, etc.[719]

316When the apostle, Saint Bartholomew, cured King Polimius’ daughter, who was insane and unable to be cured by any medical skill, the king, wanting to pay the apostle, had camels laden with gold, silver and precious stones and launched a diligent search for him.[720] 317In no way could the Saint be found, but suddenly on the following day he came before the king and said to him: 318‘Why have you wanted to come to me with gold and silver and searched for me the whole of yesterday? 319Such gifts are necessary for all who seek earthly goods, but I preach heavenly and eternal goods, desiring nothing earthly and nothing carnal’.

320The apostle, Saint Thomas, when he had raised Gath, the brother of Giundoforus, King of the Indians, from the dead, was put in prison in Abane by the King because the riches given to him by the same King for the construction of an imperial palace, that the apostle had described to him, had been given away to the poor.[721] 321Gath, after his return to life and having related what he had seen, ran to the prison where the apostle of Christ was held locked up; he threw himself at his feet and asked him to have mercy on his brother the King who had ordered him to be put in prison; he undid his bonds and asked him to accept some precious clothing. 322The apostle said to him: Are you unaware that they who long for nothing carnal and nothing earthly, desire to have an inheritance and power in heaven.[722]

323When the apostle, Thaddeus, sent to heal Abagarus, King of Edessa, according to the promise of the Saviour Lord, wrote a most holy letter in reply to the King and healed him by the touch of the sacred letter from an incurable illness by which he was constrained, the king offered many gifts to the same apostle.[723] 324Saint Thaddeus refused to accept them and said to the king: ‘We who have left all our goods for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, how shall we accept what belongs to others?[724] 325But what you offer me, have it given away to the poor so that you may have a treasure in heaven that fails not.[725]

326You will find similar things written about all the apostles, the disciples of Christ and the apostles and especially about the coenobites who lived from the time of the apostles to the time of Saint Benedict and the Emperor Justinian. 327These observed and professed the apostolic life as is most clear from their histories, lives and the words of the doctors and fathers, 328but especially from the words and Rule of Saint Basil who was the first to treat most fully of the faith and sacraments and the difference between the secular and religious state; in doing this he teaches clearly the difference between, on the one hand, the apostles and a disciple of Christ and, on the other, a monk, a servant of the Lord.

329On this topic Gregory Nazianzus, Saint Jerome his disciple, Saint Diadochus bishop, Epiphanius, Saint Maximus monk, Saint Ephrem of Syria and John Spartiata have left many writings in the Greek language.[726]

330Also John Cassian, who wrote in Greek and Latin the Collationes he had learnt from the fathers, while other doctors have left much on this topic in Greek and Latin, but our weakness does not allow us to examine them,[727] 331even thinking of them as almost impossible. We have sweated in vain as we try to condescend even to dogmas of the philosophers that excite the ears as we turn back to an ardent desire to speak with skill and eloquence, abandoning the works and affections of penance, humility and charity. 332Whoever, with an affection and intention of imitating in proportion to the grace given to the person, would read and keep in mind the histories, life and teaching of the saints who founded the Church, would understand how the kingdom of God is not in human wisdom and speech, but in a love of truth, the virtue of humility and the working of charity.

333Not only does the Roman Church venerate and hold these things about the disciples of the apostle Peter, but if they were accepted and observed faithfully with due reverence they would suffice for the conversion, obedience of faith and holiness of life of the whole world.[728]

334His disciple, Saint Lucius, was sent to preach Christ by his evangelical and truly angelic life; he wore only one cheap tunic and cloak, for forty years ate fresh vegetables twice a week and in Belvacus after the conversion of many to Christ was crowned with martyrdom.[729]

335Saint Ionius, a disciple of the same apostle, wished for none of the things on earth, refreshed his small body only with vegetables, preached Christ by his heavenly way of life and his words were confirmed by God with signs and wonders; while preaching at Castrensis he was crowned with martyrdom.[730]

336Sent also by the same Peter, Saint Apollinaris, completely apostolic in his life, miracles and teaching, like the two previous saints suffered martyrdom in the province of Ravenna.[731]

337Cornelius a centurion in Caesarea, Mark an evangelist in Alexandria, Eutropius, son of the King of Babylon, in Aquitania and Sanctonis;[732] 338Julian in Britain and Cenomanno, Martialis in Limoges, and Austragesillus in Bourges, Titianus in Touraine, another Eutropius in Autasica, Saturninus in Tholosa, Savinianus, Potentianus, Altinus and Serotinus in Senonis, Clement Flavius in Gaul and in the town of Metz, Frontonius in Le Périgord, where with seventy servants or monks of God, his disciples, he led an apostolic life and served the Lord Christ by preaching.[733] 339Eucharius in Treviris, Anicius in Le Soissonais, Gregory in Beauvais, Nemius in the town of Châlons-sur-Marne in which he was the first bishop and who with a thread of the clothing of St Peter raised the deacon Domitianus from the dead.[734] 340He chose to live in a cave named Bustaria, from where, leading with his disciples an apostolic life, he converted them to the faith of Christ by the example of his angelic way of life together with his prayers and words. 341Marcellus, Justus and Calimerus preached by their lives, virtues and words in Milan and in the region of Liguri.

342All these, disciples of St Peter, sent by him to preach the kingdom of God by their actions, words and by the power of prodigies, counted all things but as dung that they might gain Christ, and to love what is heavenly and to despise what is earthly, and to rejoice in the evangelical and most divine life of Christ and in poverty,[735] 343and that they might instruct those to whom they preached to seek the eternal and to savour the things that are above and not the things that are upon the earth.[736] 344For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh, but they, however, that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit. 345For the prudence of the flesh is death, but the prudence of the spirit is life and grace. 346Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. 347For they who are in the flesh cannot please God.[737]

348In his book De vitiis et virtutibus, Saint Nilus says:

The love of money or avarice is the root of all evil and nourishes the other passions as most evil branches.[738] 349A monk owning nothing is an unburdened traveller who finds lodging in every place. 350A monk owning nothing is like an eagle flying to the heights, coming down for food when compelled by necessity. 351He is above all the temptations of this world, laughs at present reality and is raised up, lifted to what is of the future, withdraws from what is earthly and lives with what is above, and because he has light wings he is not weighed down by any worries. 352He overcomes adversity, and leaves a place without sadness, as death approaches he goes promptly and eagerly. 353No earthly bonds bind his soul, and the monk owning nothing will be enriched with the crowns of a more reformed life. 354One greedy for money fills the store-room with gold, but one who owns nothing builds up treasure in heaven.[739]

355Saint Paphnutius in the deserts of Emilia and Thebaid lived an angelic life for eighty years, covered his small body with only one tunic made from cheap material and at one time never read the holy Scriptures but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit had a complete knowledge of the divine Scriptures.[740]

356John Cassian writes in his Collationes of the fathers, that he taught him what follows about the triple renunciation:

The first renunciation is that by which we despise bodily all riches and goods of the world.[741] 357The second is that by which we reject habits and vices, the former affections of the soul and flesh. 358The third is that by which we recall our mind from all that is present and visible, we contemplate only what is future and we desire those things that are invisible.

359And he adds:

In this it will be of no benefit to us to have undertaken with the utmost devotion of faith the first renunciation, if we do not undertake the second with the same attention and zeal.[742] 360And in this way, when we will be adept at this, we will be able to move to the third by which we left the home of our former father, whom we remember was a father to us from the moment of our birth according to our old self when we were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest, and we turn the whole attention of our mind to what is heavenly.[743]

361And further:

For everyone who after the renunciation of this world returns to the old interests and is called back to former desires, proclaims by deed and intent with those who said: It was well with me in Egypt.[744] 362I fear for these lest such a large number be found as we read happened with the large crowds who rebelled under Moses. 363For, of the six hundred thousand armed men who came out of Egypt, not more than two entered the promised land.

364He says further:

Leaving the visible riches of the world, we are throwing away not what is ours but what are the goods of others, in as much as we glory in them either as acquired by our own work or as left to us in an inheritance from our parents.[745] 365For, as I have said, nothing is ours except what is held in our heart and what clings to our soul no one can take away. 366Christ reproves those who retain visible riches as their own and do not want to share them with the needy. 367If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is not your own?[746] 368Clearly, that these riches belong to others is taught not only by daily experience but is also affirmed and stated by the word of the Lord.

369And he adds:

Therefore, what we called the first is the renunciation of what belongs to others. 370By itself alone this does not bring the perfection of renunciation unless it reaches the second by which we genuinely renounce what belongs to us.[747] 371When we have reached this by removing all vices, we will go on to the trials of the third renunciation, 372by which, transcendent in spirit and mind, we despise as subject to vanity and soon to pass away not only everything contained in this world, or owned personally by people, but also the fullness of all the elements thought to be magnificent; instead we look as is proper, according to the Apostle, not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen. 373For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.[748]

374Of the perfection of the common and apostolic life, owning nothing in common, Saint Piamon says in his Collatio:[749]

375The discipline of the coenobites had its origin from the time of the preaching of the apostles.[750] 376For that whole multitude of believers, described in the Acts of the Apostles, lived in such a way: 377And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul, neither did anyone say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, but all things were common unto them, and as many as were owners of houses and what follows.[751] 378Then the whole Church was like this whereas now it is difficult to find even a few in monasteries.

379And he adds:

Therefore, this was the oldest form of monasticism, first not only in time but also in grace, and it endured intact for many years until the time of Abbot Paul and of Anthony. [752] 380Even now we can see traces of them in smaller monasteries.

381Having related the origin of the Sarabaites and the difference between them and monks, he says: They, namely, the Sarabaites

do not accept the evangelical demands not to be preoccupied over daily provisions, nor to be caught up in family concerns.[753] 382This is something carried out without any unfaithful hesitation by those who, freed form all the goods of this world, so submit themselves to the prescriptions of the monasteries that they do not claim even to be masters of themselves.

383And he adds: The Sarabaites work

not to place the results of their work at the disposition of the one charged with distributing but to earn money that they hoard. 384Note how great is the difference between them: They, that is the monks, thinking nothing of the morrow, offer to God the most pleasing fruits of their labour. 385The others, however, that is the Sarabaites, maintain an unfaithful worry not only for the following day but also for a span of many years, or believe God to be untruthful or powerless for God is either not able or not willing to give the promised daily provisions or clothing. 386The whole aim of the monks is that, stripped of all things, they might possess perpetual poverty, while the others pursue an affluence in everything. 387The monks plan the daily duties so as to rise above the struggle, so that whatever comes for the holy use of the monastery may be distributed according to the judgment of the abbot for the cells, the guest house, the hospital or the needy. 388The others hoard whatever is left over each day to provide more lavish pleasure or for the vice of avarice.

389And he adds:

The patience and restraint, by which the monks devoutly persevere in the profession they once made, make them living martyrs never doing their own will and being crucified daily to this world; the others sink into hell alive from the lukewarm quality of their judgment.

390In the Collatio of Abbot John:

The aim of a monk is to mortify and crucify his own will and not to think of the morrow according to the salutary command of evangelical perfection.[754] 391Isaiah the prophet blesses and praises such a person describing him as: If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own will in my holy day, and glorify him, while you do not do your own ways, and your own will is not found so that you do not speak a word. 392Then shall you be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift you up above the high places of the earth, and will feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.[755]

393He says in the twenty-third Collatio on the perfection of a true monk:

By the loss of what family possession will a person who is glorious in perfect nakedness be crucified, a person who voluntarily rejects for Christ all the goods of this world, and who regards all desires for them in general as dung so that he might gain Christ?[756] 394Of what privation will a person be saddened who makes no personal claim to anything that could be taken by others but says with unconquered force: We brought nothing into this world, and certainly we can carry nothing out?[757] 395The force of such need will for sure be overcome in a person who knew not to have a sack for the journey, money in the belt, clothes for seasons, but with the Apostle glories in many fastings, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, etc.[758]

396St Ephrem, in his work, Liber exhortationum ad Monachos, says: [759]

397Old and young, wise and simple, healthy and sick, those serving the Lord in monasteries and in solitude, we should beware of satan who as a roaring lion, our adversary, goes about seeking to call back from the goal of perfection those who have left everything and are as people dead to the world, who, inspired by the grace of God, have committed themselves to live for Christ alone and to seek only what is heavenly.[760] 398He does not cease from attacking and tempting them secretly and openly to see if in any way, be it in the beginning, the middle, or at the end, he may be able to bring them to a care for the body and a love of what is visible, and so strip them of the trust of faith. 399So that he might weaken and destroy in them the constancy of faith, the firm pursuit of holiness and the love of perfection, he reminds them of the length of time and of life, the rigour of work and the pain in penance, the austerity in bearing nakedness and cold, the perpetual lack of all the things that nourish the body, the fragility of nature, the troubles of sickness, the desolation in not having the support of homage, and many similar things; in this way they become timid and, racked with tiredness and fear they look back and are found unworthy of the kingdom of heaven.[761]

400But God is faithful in his promises and says: I will not leave you, nor forsake you.[762] 401The Lord commanded his disciples: Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on, but seek you first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.[763] 402But if we do not believe that God takes care of his servants, providing for the needs of their temporal bodies and for what is useful for acquiring virtue, those servants who for love of him have denied themselves, left everything, and suffer in forgetting everything that happens, 403how can we believe that bodies will be raised up from the dust and the bowels of the elements, as he promised, and taken up to the vision of his glory? 404If we are unfaithful to him now in the least things, much more in that terrible and tremendous judgment will we be found to have been unbelieving and unfaithful to the promise of ineffable goods that he has prepared and promised to give us in eternity.

405Concerning the highest poverty of the monks, brothers and friends of Barlaam, in the Historia Barlaam is written:[764] 406Josaphat said to Barlaam:

You will complete what remains from your baptism, and you will receive from me inheritances, clothes for food and for the protection of yourself and your friends, as you hasten to the place of your way of life, enjoying the peace of God,

and what follows.[765]

407Barlaam says: There is nothing that hinders the acceptance of the sign of Christ.[766] 408For the rest prepare yourself and, with the help of God, you will complete your vow. 409About what you said to me concerning giving furnishings to my friends, how can you give alms to the rich when you are poor? 410The rich always give away alms to the needy but the needy do not give to the rich. 411The least of my friends is richer than you, and incomparably more set up as a lord. 412But I trust in the mercy of God, and, as much as you do not have now, God will make you richer, and in the end you will be the best of benefactors.

413Josaphat said to him: Explain your words to me, namely, how the least of my friends exceeds me in wealth when we see them living in great need, distressed by total penury? 414How can you say that now I am poor but I will be rich, and how can you say I will become a good benefactor when you now see me to be an excellent benefactor?

415Barlaam replied: It is not poverty in which they now seem to be abased, but indestructible riches with which they are adorned. 416For to add inheritances to what is already owned and not to restrain the urge of owning but to desire riches insatiably is the end of poverty. 417But those who despise what is present, seek with desire for what is forever and judge what is present to be rubbish. So that they might put on only Christ, they cast away worry over all food and clothing, rely on the Lord for these, are joyful in their need, not like any of the others who love the world and who rejoice in riches and passing things; they possess the riches of virtue and delight in what are immortal goods, and so I rightly call them richer than you and every earthly king.

418With God enriching you, you will receive an abundance of such spiritual substance, that by keeping it intact and always desiring to be more just, you will not want to be deprived of these at any time since they are true riches. 419For whoever has contemplated the abundance of spiritual riches will have more with which to be useful to his friends. 420Rightly then have I spoken of these least friends who indeed love heavenly goods, have denied themselves what is earthly and transitory and have fled from these as one flees from a snake. 421If my companions and fellow soldiers had killed a friend and trod him underfoot, and I were to receive him from you alive once again, I will say to them that I will become a cause of war and evil, I will always be an evil angel to you; may it not happen that I would do this.

422You should think the same way about clothing. 423Stripping away of the old corruption, as much as is in them, denying themselves, putting on Christ as the garment of salvation and putting on the stole of joy, how can they want me to be covered with clothes of skins?[767] 424And how can those who have put aside the clothing of confusion, want to be soiled by clothes offered to them? 425No one among such people is my friend. 426For I know that the things that are in the desert and the teaching on the pursuit of virtues are sufficient to meet their needs and they regard this as most true. 427The goods and clothing, that you say you want to give them, looking on them as needy, put aside for yourself as an inexhaustible treasure in the future and, by their prayers, make God your support, etc.

428Josaphat said to Barlaam

Since you did not want to accept anything for your fellow soldiers who are with you in the desert, accept for yourself a small gift of food, covering and clothing for your body.[768] 429Who said to him: If I have not accepted anything from you for my brothers, for they have no need to accept anything from the elements of this world from which they have voluntarily distanced themselves, how can I allow myself what they refused? 430However, if it is good to possess these goods, then perhaps I would have got them for myself before this. 431But since I regard the possession of these things to be a loss, neither they nor I submit to such snares.

432As one unable to believe such words, Josaphat made a second request of Barlaam, namely, that he would give him his torn clothing and cheap cloak in memory of their informative study and at the same time, for his protection against every diabolical seduction, he would accept for himself something in exchange, as if it were given by me, he said, and so when I see it, in my memory I will recall your humility.

433The old man said to him: To give my old and torn clothing to you and receive new clothing is not allowed, for I would not want to be condemned for accepting a payment for my slight work. 434However, not to destroy your trust, let us make an exchange so that you give me give me very old clothes no different from the clothes I have. 435When the son of the king heard this, he looked for coarse and old hair cloth and gave them to the old man, accepting with joy what had been his, and he regarded them as incomparably better than every ornament and precious regal purple.


436You will find from their life and teaching that all the perfect and earliest saints held and taught the same understanding and behaviour in despising and hating the world. 437And if at times they condescended out of charity to the weakness and imperfection of sick subjects, in this following the example of Christ of whom we read that he had money for the poor and infirm, they themselves, dead to the world and alive to Christ, mourning, sorry and lamenting, as an exercise of virtue used cheap goods suitable for food and clothing but without any ownership.[769] 438We read in the life of Saint Bessarion that, when he was eating after a week without food, he was filled with such ecstasy of mind and fervour of spirit that, as he said, he set aside the food of beasts and most rarely felt inclined to eat; with an incredible flow of tears he covered his limbs with torn and the cheapest cloth, for the sake of the common life of the brothers.[770]

439Abbot Dulas, his disciple, as recorded in the Vitae patrum, said of him:[771]

440Once when I went to the cell of Abbot Bessarion I found him praying with hands extended towards heaven and he remained in this position for fourteen days. 441After this he called me and said: Follow me.

442Walking by the sea I said: Abbot, I am quite thirsty. He prayed and said to me: Go and drink from the sea, and the water had become as sweet as honey.[772] 443When I had drunk I drew off a little into a flask and the old man said to me: Why have you done that? And I said to him: Father, allow me in case I get thirsty again. 444And the old man said: The God who did this is here and everywhere. 445When we reached the wide river Crisorona, he prayed and crossed walking on the water with dry feet.[773] 446When he went to visit another old person, the sun was setting and he said: May the sun stand still until I reach your servant; and so it happened.[774]

447On leaving and walking through a desert, I said to him when I was very thirsty, Father, I am thirsty.[775] 448He took a sheepskin and walked away from me, about a stone’s throw away and, after praying, brought it back to me full of water.[776]

449The same Abbot Dulas said to the monks:

When I was in the desert with my Abbot Bessarion, a servant came to him and reported to him saying:[777] 450That secular who served us in the desert has left this life in a very holy way and has left all his possessions to the monastery. 451On hearing this, Abbot Bessarion was saddened and cried out loudly: Woe to him because he has put my soul in danger of damnation. 452The brother said to him: Pardon me, Father, what are you saying? The old man replied and said to him: I, for a similar reason was in danger of losing my soul.

453And he told us: While I was in the world and, in accord with the counsel of Christ I was going to sell all my possessions and give them to the poor, I thought in my heart to give the estate of great value I owned to a monastery of virginal nuns in Alexandria, in which three hundred virgins served the Lord while owning nothing, that they might live without worry, and pray without ceasing to God for me and for all the faithful.[778] 454I spoke with Isidore of Alexandria about what I was thinking and planning to do. 455He said to me: Be careful because what you want to do is neither expedient nor lawful. 456Those who have professed the poverty of Christ cannot accept an estate; sell the estate and from the price see how you can with all diligence help their present needs, and what is over, as with your other possessions, give also to the poor.[779] 457I was not happy with this wise advice, but I went to the Archbishop and discussed with him the good thing I was planning to do. 458With the consent and authority of the imperial authorities, with documents drawn up, I left the estate to the monastery of nuns and I became a monk in Scytus.

459When I had been serving the Lord for five months under the discipline and teaching of the monks, in the sixth month, while I was praying towards the middle of the night, behold the roof of the oratory was opened and light shone in the oratory like a midday brightness; with the light many angels came down and placed thirteen thrones, and they put a fourteenth one large and bright in the middle of the seats. 460Immediately afterwards a lady, resplendent in inexpressible glory and splendour, with thirteen attendants, shining with a great elegance of brightness, came from heaven and sat on the thrones. 461The one seated on the right of the lady of glory, angrily turned his eyes towards me and gave orders to the angels standing nearby, saying: Go and throw out that antichrist. 462When they were about to carry out the order, the lady called them back to her saying: Do not throw him out, but bring him to me.

463As I trembled, not daring to look at the glory of her face, she questioned me saying: Do you know who I am and who is the one who ordered you to be cast out of the oratory as someone contrary to Christ? And I said: I do not know. 464I, she said, am she who gave birth to the Creator and Redeemer of the world and the one always seated on my right in glory is his Precursor, John the Baptist, to whom the care, protection and correction of all religious has been given by God; all religious are to look on him, and they should imitate his holiness and poverty.[780] 465Because you have not listened to the advice of my servant Isidore you have offended Christ, myself and him, by giving riches to the handmaids of Christ who follow the nakedness of the poverty of Christ, of myself and of his Precursor. 466Christ was able to give riches to me and to his disciples, he who by a single word is able to change stones and wood into precious stones and gold, and water into balsam or anything valuable.

467But the servants and handmaids of God trade with the sorrows of penance and the inconveniences of life for invisible, eternal goods that surpass all understanding, and are freed in this way from the snares of the demons and defilement from concupiscence of the flesh and the world.[781] 468For he taught them by action and word to run after him with joy and exultation imitating him in poverty and tribulation and to spend the whole of life as partakers of his sufferings now, that they might share for eternity in the consolations of his kingdom.[782]

469Therefore, hurry to Alexandria and, taking Isidore my servant with you, get back the estate from the handmaids of Christ and sell it and give to the poor. 470I will be with you so that without hindrance you will carry out what I order you to do. 471Turning to the Precursor, she said: John, trace a sign of the cross on his chest and forehead so that he will know for certain that this is a vision from God.

472When this was done, the vision disappeared.

473Early in the morning I journeyed to Alexandria and reported to Saint Isidore what I had seen. 474When he had heard all, we went to Saint Theophilus, the Patriarch, who was well disposed to us after hearing the matter. 475Going to the monastery of nuns, we found the Abbess and all the sisters unanimous and anxious to give back the estate they had accepted. 476I sold it to the imperial authorities and the gold I received for it, I gave to the poor. 477Having done this, I said to Saint Isidore: I do not think it would be good to give alms to the nuns. He said to me: To give and offer estates and possessions to those who have professed to observe the poverty of Christ so that they might have riches and the right of ownership, is a sin for those giving and receiving. 478No alms is more pleasing to God, than to provide what is necessary for virgins, for the sick and needy, according to what their present necessity requires. 479Also to give alms to lepers so that they might be able to live and cover their sick bodies, is greatly pleasing and acceptable to God.

480And he added: This, brother, is the reason why I said that whoever leaves his possessions to a monastery has put his soul in danger of damnation. 481Because those receiving act against their own soul and those giving to them offend God equally.

482That great old man answered a brother who asked: What am I to do so that I may be saved?[783] 483Taking off his clothes, he covered his loins and stretched out his hands towards the sky and said: A monk should be naked of anything of the world and crucify himself against the temptations and struggles of the world. 484For voluntary poverty is the treasure of monks, by which they build up an inestimable treasure in heaven for themselves so that they might rest in glory with the angels and saints forever. 485For this reason the servants and handmaids of the Lord leave everything in the world so as to merit to serve eternal goods. 486They have no need of payments, money nor gold and they want to own nothing lest they be cheated of the heavenly kingdom.

487On the evidence of Saint Jerome, in the desert in the town of the Thebaid in which Joseph with Mary and the child Jesus lived when they fled, Saint Apollonius at the command of angels built a monastery in which there were five hundred monks of the highest perfection, owning nothing and not wanting to have anything except Christ.[784] 488He, by his life and the apostolic signs he worked, converted part of Egypt from the worship of idols and those who lived in the same town served the Lord in the desert, leading a life that was more angelic than human.

489He writes of Saint John the anchorite that for three years he always remained standing as he prayed within a cave of rock and he received the Eucharist only on Sundays both for spiritual food and for the nourishment of his bodily life.[785] 490An angel of the Lord appeared to him after three years, touched him, healed his body, and said to him: The Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit give you an abundance in word and knowledge. 491Rise and edify the brothers by your life and teaching. 492Through the Holy Spirit, his way of life, his power against demons, his grace of healing and the spirit of prophecy that shone in him in a singular way, were known to all the brothers even to those who were absent. 493And while he did not need bodily food, he made harnesses for beasts with his hands.[786]

494You will find similar things written about the most holy man Mark, an anchorite.[787] 495When he was a boy he was crossing one of the most barren islands of the Cyclades in which there was no water and for eighteen years he lived with nothing more than grass, the leaves of trees and sea water; afterwards, for two years without let up he bore innumerable torments from the evil spirits, but later an angel of the Lord appeared to him, healed him of the wounds and blows inflicted on him by the demons, and for a further eighteen years he was nourished by heavenly bread. 496Saint Serapion, named Syndonius, was sent by a divine miracle to bury him; after discoursing in the forum of the Athenians on the parable of the three debtors, to whom his father had left him obliged, with a holy angel teaching and directing him, he found him alive, wrote his life and glorious death and made it known to the fathers for the edification of future readers.

497Genuine monks and perfect anchorites, made holy and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, had nothing in common with the world, but while living in the flesh they did not live according to the flesh but, endowed with heavenly virtue, they savoured only what is heavenly.

498On these matters, the holy father Peter John,[788] a man of great holiness, virtue and remarkable learning, whose own received him not, wrote many treatises. In his writings, moved by Christ, he argued in a masterly fashion, as will be clear in the end as God magnifies him, that to those who understand them in a pious and Catholic way they stand out as a divine light against every blindness of ignorance and the various opinions of many.[789]

499On the sixth chapter of the Rule he says:[790]

500Let the brothers not make anything their own, etc., he says that it is clear that were the brothers in the whole Order, or in any province or convent to make something their own, then already they falsify in part what is said, namely, Let the brothers not make anything their own.[791]

501Secondly, what follows immediately, neither house, nor place, that is, nor any piece of land. 502For it is clear that in religions of this kind it is not the practice nor are they able to own in an honest way except by owning in common as a group.

503Thirdly, it also adds, that they are to be as pilgrims and strangers in this world. 504It is clear that it is contrary to the idea of a pilgrimage to own land as is implied in being and in being called a pilgrim. 505The Rule wants us to be pilgrims, not only concerning this or that thing or land but in general concerning the whole world. 506It was not enough for him to say pilgrims but he added strangers, so that it applies not only to the present and to the future but also to the past and in this way he instructs and teaches us to have nothing in common with the world. 507For a stranger is foreign, coming from elsewhere and knows that the land to which he has come is not his home region, and so he knows that he is a stranger. 508But a pilgrim, as one distant from his own home, longs for it now and in the future and knows that the land in which he is travelling is strange or foreign to him both now and in the future.

509In this, the Rule is following the lead of the Psalm that says: For I am a stranger with you, and a sojourner as all my fathers were.[792] 510Although in the circumstances of that time virginity and poverty were not prescribed, they did have them in practice, as is shown elsewhere. For this reason here and in another psalm, the psalmist claims that neither in heaven nor on earth does he seek or have a share in or any portion other than God; he says: For what have I in heaven and besides you what do I desire upon earth, as if to say nothing other than you.[793] 511And so he adds: God is my portion forever.[794]

512There follows the text of blessed Peter in his First Letter, chapter 2, where he says: I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul etc.[795] 513Towards the end of the last book of his Contra Iovinianum, Jerome agrees with this when he says: ‘All those I see who are handsome, with hair curled, with hair fashioned, with ruddy cheeks, belong to your herd, rather they grunt among your swine, they are from your flock.[796] 514Those who are sad, pale, dirty and are like pilgrims of this world, even though at first they are silent, they do proclaim by their habit and their actions: Woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged’. [797]

So Jerome.

515Fourthly, because he adds let them go seeking alms with confidence it is neither proper nor fitting to hold in common what is necessary.[798]

516Fifthly, lest a shame of such poverty, need and having to beg might disturb the spirits of the brothers, he adds an example of poverty and need when he says: and they should not be ashamed etc.[799] 517Nothing of this would have been said were it not known without any doubt that Christ himself observed the poverty of a pilgrim and the need of a mendicant.

518Sixthly, from the excellent praise of poverty immediately following, he presents it to the eye as something singular and distinctly admirable, saying: This is that sublime height etc.[800] 519Such a singular praise and demonstration would be ridiculous unless he openly presumed that poverty was prescribed, that it was most excellent and high, and he not only praises it especially for the superlative height and holiness of its form, calling it sublime, and above in chapter five most holy, but also for its superlative efficacy and effect, namely, by ascribing three notable effects to it:[801] 520The first concerns the reward, or the heavenly kingdom of which they are not only heirs, nor only kings, but at the same time kings and heirs.[802] 521Not every heir is a king, even though he is the heir of a king, according to a text of the Apostle: As long as the heir is a child, etc; nor is every king an heir of a kingdom because sometimes he is not king forever but only for a time.[803] 522The second concerns the things of this world, for the further we are from them the more are we free of every stain, snare and danger of temptation; he notes this by saying: Poor in temporal things.[804] 523The third concerns the virtues and charisms of the Holy Spirit, not introduced as something inferior or mediocre but rather in a grade of sublime perfection; and so he adds: Exalted in virtue.[805]

524Seventhly, because like a testator he gives us this only as an inherited portion, he adds: Let this be your portion, where he shows the fourth effect that is caused by the three preceding by adding: Which leads into the land of the living.[806] 525In this way he teaches that poverty is closest and ultimately joined to the final end, namely, eternal life. 526Many testators commonly say, when drawing up something in a special way, I want them to be content and at peace with this. He does this when he adds may the brothers giving themselves totally to this, that is, with complete affection in word and action, never seek anything else under heaven other that this alone. Note how in this passage more than elsewhere he calls them most beloved brothers and beloved brothers.[807] 527He uses an oath here in a singular way by saying: For the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.[808] 528He uses here also words from the psalm he sang at his transitus to express that as he died at the end he was most fully joined to eternal life.[809] 529We read there: O Lord, I said, you are my hope, my portion in the land of the living.[810]

Words of Olivi.

530Concerning the article on expropriation, the aforementioned Masters ask whether the brothers can buy, sell, change, borrow, lease what they produce, and mortgage or give away the things that are for their use.[811] 531They answer negatively except for cases that contain no element of dominion, rights or ownership. 532They are not able to buy when buying involves paying a price in money except when the price of what is to be bought, with no obligation involved, is the same as the payment obtained for the thing bought. 533They are not able to sell when selling involves transferring something they own into the ownership of others, and they receive a price for it as if it were something of their own. 354But they can sell when it involves leaving something entirely to another, and to receive for a simple use something else instead without any dominion or right; and they explain other cases in similar ways. 535They explore also what it means to appropriate, and they say it is the same as to make something your own or to transfer it into your dominion. 536Something is one’s own when it comes under one’s own power of decision, so that one may do with it what one wants by using, exchanging, giving away or mortgaging it.

537Concerning the words, as pilgrims and strangers, the aforementioned Masters ask whether the poverty to which the brothers are bound forbids them from being able to have some fixed income for their support, in the way that some persons wanted to arrange a fixed income by which the brothers in some place would be supported but without ownership existing among them.[812] 538They ask also whether it forbids them from having lands, so that just as they have gardens for vegetables and fruits they might also have vineyards and fields, in which, by their skill and work, they might produce what is necessary for their sustenance, in such a way, however, that the ownership remains with another person.

539In reply to these questions they say:

It seems to us that there is a double necessity of evangelical poverty, as the saints say, one that is imperfect, namely, poverty of spirit that retains nothing temporal that is superfluous, but does retain whatever is necessary;[813] 540the other is perfect poverty that with poverty of spirit retains with ownership neither what is superfluous nor necessary but depends on the providence of God and this is the poverty of mendicancy. 541The poverty here described is the poverty of the Lesser Brothers. 542This is shown in two things: one is that they may not receive anything fixed such as a wage and this is because they are as pilgrims and strangers serving the Lord in poverty.[814] 543The other is that they should be poor in the use of things so that they may be both poor and beggars for which reason there is added let them go seeking alms with confidence.[815]


544The end of the Quatuor Magistri.

545Wherever the brothers may be and meet one another, etc.[816]

546Evangelical poverty and a total abdication and expropriation of all things, as it removes one from the love of all that is visible and makes the one who professes and observes it a stranger, shows that its secrets, by divine working, are to be a humble pilgrim in the world, conformed to the way of life and desires of Christ and perfectly united in the love of God and neighbour; 547it makes one, always and everywhere in word and deed, close to and at home with all, because it loves, reveres and accepts Christ, to whose worship one is consecrated, in his brothers. 548And since the love of Christ exceeds and surpasses all natural love, therefore, more completely and sincerely than a mother loves and cares for her son according to the flesh does a poor and humble disciple of Christ love his fellow servants and brothers, and shows his affection in times of health and sickness by the practice of his love.[817] 549So the rule of the love and grace of Christ wants all who belong to the same Religion and life to show one another that they are close and members of the same family, as disciples of Christ and faithful observers of his holy life and charity,[818] 550and as members of the one house living together they may trustfully and confidently make known their spiritual and bodily need to the other, and they will most faithfully provide what is necessary, and reverently and devoutly care for and serve one another with more love than a mother for her son.[819]

551And when they are sick, one is to serve another in the way they would wish to be served themselves, that is, according to the law of mutual charity taught by Christ when he said:[820] 552All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them.553For this is the law and the prophets.[821]

554In the Earlier Rule was written:

If any of the brothers falls sick, wherever he may be, let the other brothers not leave him behind unless one of the brothers, or even several of them, if necessary, is designated to serve him as they would want to be served themselves.[822] 555In case of the greatest need, however, they can entrust him to someone who should do what needs to be done for his sickness.

556I beg the sick brother to thank God for everything and to desire to be whatever the Lord wills, whether sick or well, because God teaches all those he has destined for eternal life by the torments of punishments, sicknesses, and the spirit of sorrow, as the Lord says: Those whom I love, I correct and chastise.[823] 557If anyone is disturbed or angry at either God or his brothers, or perhaps anxiously and forcefully seeks medicine with too much of a desire to free the flesh that is soon to die and is an enemy of the soul, this comes to him from the Evil One and is carnal. He does not seem to be one of the brothers because he loves his body more than his soul.



7, IIf any brother, at the instigation of the enemy, sins morally etc.[824]

2The foregoing six chapters on regular perfection, dealt primarily with the fundamental state in which the first concern before any others was the ordered discipline and governing of the Religion. Due to our weakness and great necessity, the seventh chapter on sacramental penance, as the medicine and discipline of those who sin mortally, is placed, 3so that through the mercy of Christ and by the remedy of penance, we might rise again to life from death of the soul, from a slavery to sin and a return to the freedom of grace.

4The kindness and grace of our Redeemer shine and are illustrious in all the works of our rising again.[825] 5The impenetrable and immense abyss of the mercies of God in the resurrection from mortal sins after the rebirth of baptism is opened up to all in the sacrament of penance; and its remedy is graciously granted by the unspeakable kindness of God in virtue of and by the merits of the death of Christ. 6By it we are brought down by humility and are consoled lest we despair; by the gift of penance we open our eyes to a knowledge of the riches of God’s kindness, forbearance, suffering and patience, so that whiter than snow in a second life in union with Christ, whom we have treated with contempt, we are raised up and reunited by grace alone.[826]

7Despising and judging ourselves, we are careful and vigilant against the snares of the enemy. We invoke divine help without ceasing, cleansing our conscience by works that are the opposites of offences and sins, we are raised up through penance by a trust of hope, and we give thanks unceasingly for God’s inexplicable kindness in our reconciliation.[827] 8By this kindness we are freed from the deadly poison of self love that through pride gives birth in us to a hatred and contempt for God. 9By evangelical hatred, it makes us enemies of our wills, the vanities of the world and the concupiscence of the flesh, and it makes us humble lovers with thanksgiving of sorrows, sufferings and reproaches for the name of Christ.[828]

10And because such great good and such an exalted and singular remedy is given to us by God in the sacrament of penance, 11so Christ instructs and graciously commands us through his servant Francis that in regard to those mortal sins concerning which it has been decreed among the brothers to have recourse only to the provincial ministers, let him have recourse as quickly as possible and without delay.[829]

12It was the intention of Saint Francis that this way of recourse to the ministers was to be observed in cases of evident mortal sins, and brothers who sinned in this way, that is, the sins were evident and known to many, are ordered to have recourse only to the ministers; 13such sins would be receiving money, a sin of fornication or other evident acts of impurity, any heretical deviance, evident and notable theft of goods and alms given to the brothers to be used for the necessities of life and for the divine liturgy, for threats with arrogance and blows inflicted on brothers or any other persons, and for all other public mortal sins for which it is laid down by the brothers themselves in general chapters.[830] 14This can also be applied and understood of some other secret mortal sins concerning which it has been decreed among the brothers that recourse must be made in secret only to the ministers for absolution, or to others to whom the ministers have appointed to act as their representatives in this.[831]

15That Saint Francis referred principally to the sins listed above can be satisfactorily deduced from the situations of his time and from what he wrote in the Earlier Rule. 16For he says in it about receiving money:

If, by chance, which God forbid, it happens that some brother is collecting or holding coin or money, let all the brothers consider him a deceptive brother, an apostate, a thief, a robber, and as the one who held the money bag, unless he has sincerely repented.[832]

17He lists theft, robbery, the receiving of money and the collection of coins as serious matters and lays down that pardon with penance is not to be given lightly nor indifferently nor by any priest, should such sins occur, but only by the ministers, and then to brothers truly contrite of their sin who seek to undertake and carry out every penance.

18Similarly, he stated in the same Earlier Rule about fornication or other evident impurity and lapses of the flesh:

19If, at the instigation of the devil, any brother commits fornication, let him be deprived of the habit he has lost by his wickedness, put it aside completely, and be altogether expelled from our Order. Afterwards he may do penance.[833]

20According to the Rule, such a rebuke and separation is to be imposed only by the ministers.

21In his Testament he writes as follows about heretical deviance:

And if some might have been found who are not reciting the Office according to the Rule and want to change it in some way, or who are not Catholics, let all the brothers, wherever they may have found one of them, be bound through obedience to bring him before the custodian of that place nearest to where they found him.[834] 22And let the custodian be strictly bound through obedience to keep him securely day and night as a man in chains, so that he cannot be taken from his hands until he can personally deliver him into the hands of his minister. 23And let the minister be bound through obedience to send him with such brothers who would guard him as a prisoner until they deliver him to the Lord of Ostia, who is the Lord, the Protector and the Corrector of this fraternity.

24In the Earlier Rule he says:

Let all the brothers be, live, and speak as Catholics.[835] 25If someone has strayed in word or in deed from Catholic faith and life and has not amended his ways, let him be expelled from our brotherhood.

26From these words it is sufficiently clear that one of the more serious sins and evils he wanted to stamp out of his Religion, lest it be utterly and totally destroyed, was an error in behaviour and in faith. 27So he wished that a brother found to be infected with such a disorder in word or deed, even though it be a small matter, and if, after examining himself truly and prudently over his words and actions, he asks for penance, he is to have recourse only to the ministers.[836]

28He wanted this to apply to anyone striking his brothers or other persons outside the Religion. 29The serious actions of such sins bring a bad name on the Religion and so, moved by Christ in the power of the spirit, he stated with much bitterness of heart that they are to be denounced for having incurred a curse from God.[837]

30He gives to the ministers the manner and form for absolving those held by such bonds of sins or, if they are not priests, the authority to depute others to give them absolution and penance. 31However, this is to be done discreetly, usefully, mercifully and with tranquillity, following the example of the Samaritan who poured wine and oil into the wounds to cure them and as a stricter reproof;[838] 32so that others might fear similar situations, while they were shocked and scandalized by their offences, they are now cheered by the deserved satisfaction, humble acknowledgment, suffering and amendment. 33Quite justly, he laid down that absolution from such sins is to given only by priests of the Order because listening to grave sins of this kind, committed by brothers whom a confessor reverences and esteems, can sadden and scandalize him.[839] 34Moreover, it is worthwhile to wound with the dart of suspicion and to insist strongly lest others become involved in similar sins.

35In the Earlier Rule he wrote that when the brothers have no priests they should confess to secular priests. 36For he says:

Let us consider all clerics and religious as our masters in all that pertains to the salvation of our soul and does not deviate from our religion, and let us respect their life and administration in the Lord.[840] 37Let all my religious brothers, both clerics and lay, confess their sins to priests of our religion. If they cannot, let them confess to other discerning and Catholic priests, knowing with certainty that, when they have received penance and absolution from any Catholic priest, they are without doubt absolved from their sins, provided they have humbly and faithfully fulfilled the penance imposed on them.[841]

39If they have not been able to find a priest, however, let them confess to their brother, as the Apostle James says: Confess your sins to one another. [842] 40Nevertheless, because of this, let them not fail to have recourse to a priest because the power of binding and loosing is granted only to priests.[843] 41Contrite and having confessed in this way, let them receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and respect remembering what the Lord says: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.[844] 42And: Do this in memory of me.[845]

43But he warns the ministers and brothers, they must be careful not to be angry or disturbed at the sin of another, for anger and disturbance impede charity in themselves and in others.[846]

44We should be sorry and upset over the sins of others just as we are sorry and upset over our own sins when we have a genuine and actual spirit of contrition like our Lord who was upset and shed tears, and seeing the city he wept over it.[847] 45Anger and disturbance are always bad when they are without kindness and the modesty of discretion; they want the force of their severity to be thought of as a zeal for divine justice and, while they are merciless and cruel to others even in the smallest detail, they are mild and kind on themselves even in the gravest matters.[848]

46The ministers who are the servants of the others are then bound to correct their brothers and reproach wrongdoers out of good will and with much leniency, so that before God they might be virtuous, cleansed of sin and defects, and not neglect anything pertinent and useful for their correction and salvation.[849] 47In no way is it suitable to say or do anything out of arrogance, a passion of anger or fury, but out of a heartfelt and paternal love and with an intention of a spiritual benefit and hope of betterment, 48so that the effort and attention to the spiritual salvation of their subjects, something demanded of those who are servants, may bring forth the fruit of the inheritance promised to the saints in the kingdom of heaven.



8, 1Let all the brothers always be bound to have one of the brothers of this Order etc.[850]

2In the eighth chapter is found useful information about the election of the general minister, the government in general, and a suitable way of electing the general minister, the servant of those who profess the evangelical life.[851] 3The general miniser, according to the kind and humble way of life of Christ serving his disciples, is elected in a general chapter to the overall government, and he should be, in accord with the significance of his name, in the midst of his brothers as he that serves, a mirror and form of humility, poverty, and of all perfect virtues.[852]

4Both the one in charge and those who obey are bound to be conformed to Christ and imitate his life, as Saint Basil teaches in his Rule:[853]

5It is certain that the one in charge, who within reason is not present to a brother, brings on himself a grave and inevitable anger. 6For his blood will be required from his hand, and he is to direct an obedient subject in such a way that no command, even the most difficult, causes sadness because the reward for him is great in heaven.[854] 7Therefore, may the hope of glory rejoice the obedient so that the work of God is done in all joy and patience.

8Let not the dignity make the one in charge proud so that he is cut off from blessed humility, or puffed up lest he falls into the snare of the devil, but let him know with the utmost certainty that the care of many is a service of many.[855] 9Acordingly, he who serves many wounded, wipes away the discharge of an injury, and provides help suitable for the trouble of a subject, ought not to regard his service as an occasion for pride but rather of humility and anxiety; he is deputed much more to heal the weaknesses of the fraternity, he is the servant of all, and has to render an account for all in meditation and anxiety. 10In this way he is moving in the direction laid down by the Lord who said: If any of you desire to be the first, he shall be the last of all and the minister of all.[856]

11The one in charge of the brotherhood should conform himself to Christ the good shepherd in everything and for all things, and he must take watchful care in everything he does and says, knowing that all look on him as an exemplary model and what he says and does they regard as definitive and a law.[857] 12Love distinguishes a genuine pastor. 13Christ, the good shepherd, was crucified for love and if this love fills the heart of a pastor it will guard him from all pride and human fear.[858] 14Filled with a holy fear of the Lord, he will be patient and experience joy in all his work; strengthened by a trust of hope he will long for what is heavenly and despise what is lesser, counting it as dung.[859] 15In this way he will show he is diligent on earth for the evangelical life, as Saint Macarius in his Prima epistola, when questioned about perfection, wrote to the coenobites.[860] 16He says:

Desiring to walk in the footsteps of the Lord, he is to withdraw totally from all carnal delights, and show to the brotherhood that he offers himself, having left, in accord with the Gospel, father and mother and children and sisters, family connections, riches, glory, nobility, and coming to the fraternity he must give up also his soul.[861] 17What is giving up the soul other than for someone to give totally to the brotherhood the perfect offering of himself; he does not follow in any way his own will, but devotes himself through the prelate to the words of God, always adorns his soul in the pure intentions of the commands and thinks of them as his own; he does not have anything at all under his personal control, not even the clothing he wears to cover himself, so that he is always able to be without care or worry. 18When all the brothers among themselves obey those in charge joyfully, then in simplicity, purity, unanimity, and innocence of heart with all humility, the brothers rightly and pleasantly come together as one, as the Lord said: If any of you desire to be the first, he shall be the last of all and the minister of all.[862]

19And Saint Basil in another chapter of his Rule describes what kind of person the one who serves and is in charge should be:[863]

20You who have gained honour before Christ by giving up all earthly possessions must, with much care and searching of mind, 21find someone who is above all not thinking of deviating from your way of life, is very perceptive and expert in leading and directing those journeying to God, is adorned with virtues, whose own works bear testimony of his love for God, has a perfection and knowledge of the divine Scriptures, is not preoccupied with the cares of life, without love of money, without troubles and curiosity, 22is tranquil, a friend of God, a lover of the poor and poverty, not irascible, not remembering malice, much concerned for the edification of those near him, without vain glory, without pride, not a flatterer nor fawning admirer, joyful not changing and honours nothing more than God.

Words of Basil.

23On this there is written in the Prima Legenda: A certain brother said to blessed Francis: ‘Father you will pass on, and the family of your followers will be left behind in this vale of tears’.[864]

24Saint Francis with many sighs replied: ‘Son, I find no one adequate to be the leader of such a varied army, or the shepherd of such a widespread flock. But I would like to paint one for you, or make one by hand, as the phrase goes, to show clearly what kind of person the father of this family should be. 25He must be a very dignified person, of great discernment, and of praiseworthy reputation. He must be without personal favourites, lest by loving some more than others, he create scandal for all. He must be a committed friend of holy prayer, who can distribute some hours for his soul and others for the flock entrusted to him. Early in the morning, he must put first the sacrament of the Mass, and with prolonged devotion commend himself and his flock to divine protection.[865]

27‘After prayer, he must make himself available for all to pick at him, and he should respond to all and provide for all with meekness. He must be someone who does not create sordid favouritism toward persons, but will take as much care of the lesser and simple brothers as of the learned and greater ones.[866] 28Even if he should be allowed to excel in gifts of learning, he should all the more bear in his behaviour the image of holy simplicity, and love and nourish the virtue of lady poverty. 29He should loathe money, the principal corrupter of our profession and perfection, and not adopt the abuse of using a money pouch; he must offer himself to all as an example of holiness and regular observance.[867] 30For himself a habit and a little book should be enough, and for the brothers’ needs he should have a pen case and a seal.

31‘He should not be a book collector, or too intent on reading, so that what he gives to study may not take away from his holiness and office. Let him be someone who comforts the tempted and the afflicted, is a refuge for the troubled, a doctor who offers with kindness health-giving remedies to the sick, by his meekness and gentleness teaching the impudent and proud to savour what is lowly, not to seek what is theirs, that he might gain souls for Christ.[868] 32He is to show heartfelt kindness to sinners and apostates, so that as a good shepherd he might lead back to the fold the sheep that were lost, conscious that the temptations are strong that can lead to such a situation.[869]

33‘I want all to honour him as standing in Christ’s place, and I wish that all his needs be provided for with every kindness.[870] 34He should not enjoy honours, or delight in approval more than insults. 35If he should need more substantial food when he is sick or tired, he should not eat it in secret but in a public place, so that others may be freed from embarrassment at having to provide for their weak bodies. 36It especially pertains to him to discern what is hidden in consciences and to draw out the truth from its hidden veins, not lending an ear to gossips; he should be anxious to hear the counsels of those who love justice and holiness. 37He must be one who would never allow the desire for preserving honour to weaken the strong figure of justice, and he must feel such a great office more a burden than an honour. 38And yet, excessive meekness should not give birth to slackness in the subjects, nor loose indulgence to a breaking down of discipline, so that, loved by all, he is feared, nonetheless, by those who work evil.[871]

39‘I would like him to have companions endowed with honesty, who, like him, show themselves an example of all good works: stern against pleasures, strong against difficulties, and yet friendly in the right way, so that they receive all who come to them with holy cheerfulness.[872]

40‘There,’ he concluded, ‘that is the kind of person the general minister of the Order should be.’[873]

41And whoever is great in this way always teaches and announces by deed and word the will of Christ the Lord who dwells in him, and so they are strictly bound to obey him as a dispenser and minister of God.[874] 42For he that hears him hears Christ, and he who despises him despises Christ.

43When he dies, let the election of his successor be made by the provincial ministers and custodians in the Chapter of Pentecost, at which all the provincial ministers etc.[875]

44The brothers are bound to have one general and servant of the whole fraternity whose election must be made by the provincial ministers and custodians, nor are they able to elect one who is not a professed brother of the Order, whom, without wavering, all must strictly obey.[876] 45Just as all the faithful are bound to show the highest obedience and reverence to the Supreme Pontiff, so all the brothers are bound to obey their general.[877] 46And just as the election of the Supreme Pontiff pertains to the cardinals, so from the Rule the election of the general pertains to the ministers and custodians alone. 47But should the cardinals be killed by some tyrant or impeded in some other way from holding an election, the bishops, other Christian princes and all the clerics must effectively, as far as they can, see to it that an election is held and the Church not left without a pastor. 48Similarly, when, because of some stumbling-block, the ministers and custodians are not able to hold an election, the brothers are bound to make every effort to get a general.

49That only one custodian from each province goes to the general chapter is due to the authority of a privilege asked for from the Church for the sake of some compromises and apparent spiritual advantages.[878] 50Christ told Saint Francis that he wanted the Rule, revealed to him by Christ, to be observed to the letter, to the letter, to the letter, and without gloss, that is, faithfully, truly, and for a love for the glory of God. So in his Testament he forbade the asking of letters from the Church and he commanded that the Rule be observed ‘simply and without gloss’.[879] 51We should not then doubt that it would have been better, more useful, more pleasing and meritorious before God to observe the Rule on this point and in others simply and literally, rather than under the pretext of spiritual advantage to obtain such dispensations against the intention of the founder and the prohibition in his Testament. 52For frequently there are many custodians in a province, who in discretion, prudence and virtue of spirit are not only equal to the ministers but sometimes exceed them and whose understanding of conditions in the Order is no less. 53If the ministers and custodians would gather together for that time and did bring with them other obsequious companions, the number of brothers would not be excessively increased in the general chapter.[880] 54At the time of Saint Francis five thousand brothers came together in Assisi for a general chapter.[881] 55From a rightful joining of the custodians in a chapter of Pentecost, since many provinces have three custodians and others have four, thirty ministers together with custodians would not exceed four hundred brothers and then, with greater value and merit from the work, the Rule would be observed simply in what it lays down.

56The intention of the Rule is that a General Chapter is to be celebrated.[882]

57It is the task of the chapter to order whatever can guard more perfectly the purity and holiness of the Religion. 58What can be expressed in such a general decision is to be observed and accepted by all superiors and subjects, 59This is even more applicable to superiors who are under a heavier obligation, by the gifts received from God and by carrying out the office of God’s providence, to bring forth multiple fruit of good works and to enlighten their subjects by a virtuous example.

60The authority to set the place and time for the celebration of a General Chapter resides in the minister general, but the power to elect a successor or another, should the one in charge not be suitable for the service and common welfare of the brothers, resides within a General Chapter, that is, in the ministers and custodians.[883] 61Hence, they can and are bound to elect another as custodian in the name of the Lord, when a general has contracted an incurable sickness or when he himself indicates other reasons why it is impossible for him to serve the brothers, or when they know of other just and fitting reasons why it would be better for the minister and the Order for him to give up the office.[884]

62The Rule speaks of a custodian as a minister and servant, because the titles of humility harmonize with the works and teaching of Christ and are known to be lovable.[885]

63In the Earlier Rule was written: ‘Let no one be called “prior”, but let everyone in general be called a lesser brother. Let one wash the feet of the other’.[886]

64Just as Saint Francis wanted his brothers to be called Lesser Brothers in imitation of and reverence for the humility of Christ, so too he took humble names for all the permanent carers and offices, such as guardians, custodian, minister and servant, 65so that each single brother might know and understand that all arrogance, pre-eminence, elation, bragging, and ambition are contrary to pride in the truth of the name and the highest promise of life. 66He did not want the brothers to look on all the offices of the brothers as dignities and prelacies, but they are to be accepted as signs of lowliness, humility and service, so that while they carried them out they would seem unworthy to themselves and be more deeply humiliated.[887]



9, 1The brothers may not preach in the diocese of any bishop etc.[888]

2Saint Francis shows in this chapter that Christ taught him the authority of the Church is to be held in highest veneration and reverence, as are all prelates and priests. 3So those who hold the office of preaching in his Religion, the wiser they are than other brothers, the more fully and effectively they are to show, with humility and all honour, subjection to the prelates and to all priests no matter how simple.

4He says of this in his Testament: Since

the Lord gave me, and gives me still, such faith in priests who live according to the rite of the holy Roman Church because of their orders that, were they to persecute me, I would still want to have recourse to them.[889] 5And if I had as much wisdom as Solomon and found impoverished priests of this world, I would not preach in their parishes against their will.[890] 6And I desire to respect, love and honour them and all others as my lords.

7By reason of their office and from their continual care, competence and knowledge, bishops and rectors of churches should know better than any stranger when, how and by whom their subjects are to be admonished; nor should anyone put a sickle into another’s harvest.[891]

8Hence he says in the Earlier Rule:

Let no brother preach contrary to the rite and practice of the Church or without the permission of his minister.[892] 9Let the minister be careful of granting it without discernment to anyone. 10Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds. 11No minister or preacher may make a ministry of the brothers or the office of preaching his own, but, when he is told, let him set it aside without objection. 12In the love that is God, therefore, I beg all my brothers – those who preach, pray, or work, cleric or lay – to strive to humble themselves in everything, not to boast or delight in themselves or inwardly exalt themselves because of good works and deeds or, for that matter, because of any good that God sometimes says or does or works in and through them,[893] 13in keeping with what the Lord says: Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you.[894]

14We may know with certainty that nothing belongs to us except our vices and sins.[895] 15We must rejoice, instead, when we fall into various trials and, in this world, suffer every kind of anguish or distress of soul and body for the sake of eternal life.[896]

16Therefore, let all the brothers, beware of all pride and vainglory. Let us guard ourselves against the wisdom of this world and the prudence of the flesh.[897] 17The spirit of the flesh very much desires and strives to have the words but cares little for the activity; it does not seek a religion and holiness in an interior spirit, but wants and desires to have a religion and a holiness outwardly apparent to people. 18They are the ones of whom the Lord says: Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.[898] 19The Spirit of the Lord, however, wants the flesh to be mortified and looked down upon, considered of little worth and rejected. It strives for humility and patience, the pure, simple and true peace of the spirit. 20Above all, it desires divine fear, divine wisdom and divine love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[899]

21Let us refer all good to the Lord, God Almighty and Most High, acknowledge that every good is his, and thank him, from whom all good comes, for everything.[900] 22May he, the Almighty and Most High, the only true God, have, be given, and receive all honour and respect, all praise and blessing, thanks and glory, to whom all good belongs, he who alone is good.[901]

23When we see or hear evil spoken or done or God blasphemed, let us speak well and do well and praise God who is blessed forever.[902]

24Saint Francis wrote this in the Earlier Rule.

25Foreseeeing future events, he used to say: ‘There are many, still in the Religion, who would willingly climb to the heights of knowledge but that person will be blessed who makes himself barren for the love of God’.[903] 26And again: ‘Those brothers of mine who are led by curiosity for knowledge will find themselves empty-handed on the day of reckoning’.[904]

27When they have preached and learn that some have been edified or converted to penance, they become puffed up or congratulate themselves for someone else’s gain. For those whom they think they have edified and converted to penance by their words, the Lord edified and converted by the prayers of holy brothers, although they are ignorant of it. This is the will of God so that they do not take notice of it and become proud.[905]

28I wish they would grow stronger in virtue, so that when the times of tribulation arrive they may have the Lord with them in their distress.[906] 29For a tribulation is approaching, when books, useful for nothing, shall be thrown into cupboards and into closets.

30He foresaw in the future that receiving money, sumptuous buildings, pride in knowledge, privileges, familiarity with nuns and pride would be destructive and fatal plagues in his Religion, and he wanted all his brothers not only to be far from these but completely alien to them. 31So in no way did he want any of his brothers, no matter how expert in knowledge, to preach to the people unless he has been first examined and approved by the minister who then gives him the office of preaching.[907]

32Gregory Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, and in short all the doctors, have written at length to show the innumerable evils that took root in the Church from an ambition to teach before being willing to learn, and to sanctify and enlighten others before being enlightened and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ’s anointing that teaches everything concerning a perfection of the virtues. 33But brothers moved by other reasons from the force of a privilege requested, take the examination for preachers in their provincial chapters and receive the office of preaching by an authority they say was kindly granted to all provincial ministers by papal authority for the spiritual gain of souls.[908] 34Without an anointing of the spirit and a perfect possession of virtues, preaching is not able to be chaste and cleansed from every stain of error, pure from all vanity, from longing for gathering alms, from filthy lucre and bodily impurity, and unless it is circumspect, discreet, prepared with fitting foresight, useful, fruitful for wiping out vices and planting virtues in the hearts of listeners.[909] 35For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?[910]

36He exhorts those who lawfully accept the office of preaching that their language be well-considered and chaste for the benefit and edification of the people, containing nothing vain or curious, false or doubtful, superfluous or useless.[911] 37This happens when they announce to their hearers vices and virtues, so that they are cleansed from vices, reconciled and justified by the virtues without which salvation is not possible and which are necessary for salvation in every believer.[912] 38The depraved, weighed down by sin, go down in a moment to the eternal distress of the infernal punishments due to them.[913] 39This is why it is first of all necessary to be purged of all filth of flesh and spirit, and then, secondarily to put on and be adorned with holy virtues, namely, faith, humility, obedience, charity, truth and peace so that clothed in a wedding garment we are not excluded from the kingdom.[914]

40This form of preaching that he commends and teaches by exhortation was prophesied by Isaiah and taken up by the apostles in the Letter to the Romans; he puts it forward as useful and necessary, for in it are contained in brief all the works of faith, truth, hope, grace and the good will of charity as well as all causes of damnation and salvation, of punishments and reward:[915] 41Our Lord when on earth kept his word brief.[916] 42Christ was made man and offered on the cross for us, swallowed up by death, rose, and gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples and made them certain of the glory of the eternal kingdom which they preached and promised to those who believed and loved Christ. 43Whoever keeps the commandment has life eternal: This is the commandment that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he has given commandment to us.[917] 44Christ Jesus for us is resurrection through faith and the life of grace and glory through charity. 45And this is the brief word that the Lord gave on earth.[918]



10, 1Let the brothers who are the ministers and servants of the others etc.[919]

2On the visitation, correction and government of the brothers, on the necessary and spiritual care of the prelates over the brothers, on how frequently they are to visit them, carefully watch over their behaviour, consult, correct and kindly and charitably warn them, and help them by word and example to rise to the perfection that is above, not commanding them anything that is against their soul and the Rule they have professed, Francis speaks as follows in the Earlier Rule:[920]

3In the name of the Lord! Let all the brothers who have been designated the ministers and servants of the other brothers assign their brothers in the provinces and places where they may be, and let them frequently visit, admonish and encourage them spiritually.[921] 4Let all my other brothers diligently obey them in those matters concerning the well-being of their soul and which are not contrary to our life. 5Let them behave among themselves according to what the Lord says: Do to others what you would have them do to you;[922] 6and: Do not do to another what you do not want to be done to you,.[923]

7Let the ministers and servants remember what the Lord says: I have not come to be served, but to serve;[924] 8and because the care of the brothers’ souls has been entrusted to them, if anyone is lost on account of their fault or bad example, they will have to render an account before the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment.[925]

9Keep watch over your souls, therefore, and those of your brothers, because it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.[926] 10If anyone of the ministers commands one of the brothers something contrary to our life and to his soul, he is not bound to obey him because obedience is not something in which a fault or sin is committed.

11On the other hand, let all the brothers who are under the ministers and servants consider the deeds of the ministers and servants reasonably and attentively. 12If they see any of them walking according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit in keeping with the integrity of our life, if he does not improve after a third admonition, let them inform the minister and servant of the whole fraternity at the Chapter of Pentecost regardless of what objection deters them.

13Moreover, if, anywhere among the brothers, there is a brother who wishes to live according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, let the brothers with whom he is living admonish, instruct and correct him humbly and attentively.[927] 14If, however, after the third admonition he refuses to improve, let them send or report him to their minister and servant as soon as they can; 15and let the minister and servant deal with him as he considers best before God.

16Let all the brothers, both the ministers and servants as well as the others, be careful not to be disturbed or angered at another’s sin or evil because the devil wishes to destroy many because of another’s fault.[928] 17But let them spiritually help the one who has sinned as best they can, because those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.[929]

18Likewise, let all the brothers not have power or control, especially among themselves;[930] 19for, as the Lord says in the Gospel: The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and the great ones make their authority over them felt; it shall not be so among the brothers.[931] 20but let whoever wishes to be greater among you be their minister and servant, and the greater among you be as the junior.

22Let no brother say or do anything evil to another; on the contrary, through the charity of the Spirit, let them serve and obey one another voluntarily.[932] 23This is the true and holy obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24As often as they have turned away from the commands of the Lord let all the brothers know they are outside obedience until they depart from such sin.[933] 25When they have persevered in the Lord’s commands, as they have promised by the Holy Gospel and their life, let them know they have remained in true obedience and are blessed by the Lord.

26If the brothers, wherever they may be, cannot observe our life in those places let them have recourse to their minister as soon as they can, making this known to him.[934] 27Let the minister, on his part, endeavour to provide for them as he would wish to be provided for were he in a similar position. 28Let no one be called prior, but let everyone in general be called a lesser brother. Let one wash the feet of the other.[935]

29The intention of Saint Francis, as received from Christ on the highest and most perfect form of obedience, is explained in these words of the Earlier Rule with the support of the Gospel. He commands that it is to be strictly observed by all the brothers, prelates and subjects, so as to drive away all blindness from the consciences of subjects and prelates and to define for those who preside what are the boundaries and limits of the Gospel of Christ and his obedience: 30never to advise, suggest or command anything contrary to the Rule and a soul, anything wrong or sinful, anything inciting or likely to lead one to do what is contrary to a vow and regular observance. 31Hence, not only are they forbidden to place on their subjects anything contrary to the Rule, but even what might impede and corrupt its simple and pure observance; were they to obey such commands they would be disobedient to the Gospel of Christ, the Rule, the Supreme Pontiff, Saint Francis and the Church, and they would put obedience to men before obedience to God.[936]

32In all other things, no matter how difficult, he commands his subjects to be obedient promptly, humbly and with an unfeigned faith, not regarding anything as difficult or impossible provided it lacks any harm or occasion of sin and is conducive to a full observance of the promised perfection.[937] 33This matter has been treated most clearly and fully in divine Scripture, the rules of the fathers, the teaching of the saints, and especially in Saint Basil in his Rule and Saint Bernard.

34Saint Basil in his Rule says:

If indeed a command of a prelate is in accord with a command of the Lord or is directed towards a precept, even if it contains a threat of death, it must be obeyed.[938] 35But if something is beyond or against a command, or does harm to a command, even though an angel from heaven or one of the apostles commands it, and even if it contains a promise of life or even a threat of death, it must never be obeyed, as the Apostle says:[939] 36Even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach a Gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.[940]

37The Lord says: My sheep know my voice and follow me, but a stranger they do not follow, but fly from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.[941]

38The authority of prelates and the subjection and obedience of subjects have their source in Christ who is the head of the Church and the beginning and end of the goods of grace and glory.[942] 39For this reason all authority and power in the Church and in all prelates is subject to his laws and statutes, nor may it extend itself to what is beyond or against Christ, and so it is the greatest stupidity and blindness of mind to believe that obedience exists where there is antichristian perversity.[943] 40The limit of obedience, as Saint Basil says, is death, after the example of Christ who became for us obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross, by which he destroyed the works of the devil and of sin.[944] 41The first limit or measure of perfect obedience is to observe obedience in what is good until death, and for the honour of Christ joyfully to bear death, no matter how bitter, for the sake of obedience; 42and, for fear of punishments or death, in no way to turn against a command of Christ for the sake of obedience to a precept of any person and so commit a clear and manifest sin.

43So Saint Bernard in his Epistola ad Adam monachum, speaking against those who are obedient to their abbot in what is evil, says:

The general sentence on such people is, such as turn aside into bonds, the Lord shall lead out with the workers of iniquity.[945] 44Should anyone strive to be free of the curse of obeying an abbot in what is evil, hear another and clearer text: The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, nor the father the son’s.[946] 45From this it is clear that those who command what is evil are not to be obeyed, especially when, in conforming to evil orders, you are seen to be obedient to a man, but to God, who forbids every wrong that is done, you show yourself clearly to be disobedient. 46It is extremely perverse to profess obedience to a person whom you know sets aside a higher for a lesser obedience, that is, a divine for a human. 47What indeed does it imply when a man commands but God forbids and I listen to the man but am deaf to God? 48This is not what the apostles cried out when they said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.[947]

49Hence, the Lord rebuked the Pharisees, saying: Why do you transgress the commandment of God for your tradition?[948] 50And through Isaiah: In vain do they worship me when obeying the commandments of men.[949] 51And further to the first man: Because you have obeyed the voice of your wife rather than me, cursed is the earth in your work.[950] 52Therefore, it is clear that to do evil by obeying any prelate is not obedience but disobedience.

53Saint Bernard says this to show that obedience is not to what is evil but to what is good, and sins are not to be committed but destroyed by obedience.

56And he adds in the same Epistola:

Some things are completely good, others completely evil in which no obedience is to be given to men, because neither good is to be avoided when forbidden nor evil committed when commanded.[951] 55Between these, some things, because of proper limits, place, time or the person, can be evil or good, and for these a law of obedience is laid down as in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.[952]

56And further on he says:

Therefore, how can a command of an abbot or a permission of a pope be made licit when it is completely evil, as is proven without a doubt, when above it has been asserted that complete evil is never commanded lawfully, so it cannot be obeyed lawfully?[953]

57But while a subject has a reasonable doubt as to whether what is ordered is a sin, he must obey.

58Wherever the brothers may be who know and feel they cannot observe the Rule, etc.[954]

59When brothers have learnt from experience and are certain that, in the places where they are and live, they are not able to observe the Rule according to its pure intention and true value, as laid down in it, because of bad customs, associated conditions, various unavoidable occasions leading to violations of the Rule and the promised life,[955] 60and these can be many from, on the one hand, the places and persons who own the places, or, on the other hand, from the brothers in charge who live carnally, not feeling it against their conscience to introduce customs contrary to a vow, order their subjects to obey them in matters forbidden in the Rule, and are manifestly contrary to their state, 61the brothers, from a precept and the authority of the Rule, must and can have recourse to the ministers and superiors. 62The ministers, or custodians or the general himself, who can all be understood under the title of ministers, are bound from a command of the Rule, to receive them charitably and kindly so as to hear them familiarly and reverently, to act faithfully, as they are obliged by the debt of obedience promised in the Rule to the Church, to the Supreme Pontiff and to Saint Francis, as debtors are servants of their masters, and to carry out this command from the heart and with good will.[956] 63For so it must be that the ministers are the servants of all the brothers.[957]

64On the evidence of Brother Leo, who with Brother Bonizo was present when Saint Francis, at the command of Christ, presented this second Rule to the lord Pope Honorius for confirmation, and, when the Supreme Pontiff had studied more carefully everything contained in the Rule, he said to Saint Francis:[958] 65Blessed is he who, strengthened by the grace of God, faithfully and devoutly observes this Rule until the end, since everything written in it is holy, Catholic and perfect. 66The words of chapter ten state that wherever the brothers may be who know and feel they cannot observe the Rule purely and simply to the letter and without gloss, can and should have recourse to their ministers,[959] 67and the ministers, moreover, are bound under obedience to grant charitably and liberally to these brothers what they request. 68If they are unwilling to do this, the brothers have the freedom and obedience to observe the Rule literally, because all the brothers, both ministers and subjects, should be subject to the Rule, and they may be an occasion of ruin and a source of division and scandal in the Religion to any brothers not fully founded in the love of virtue; 69for this reason I wish these words to be changed in this way so that all dangers and occasion of division are taken away from the brothers and from the Religion.

70Saint Francis replied to him: I did not put these words in the Rule, but Christ, who knew better everything useful and necessary for the salvation of the souls of the brothers and for the good condition and preserving of the Religion, and to whom everything, that would happen in the Church and in the Religion, is evident and present; nor should I, nor am I able to change the words of Christ. 71For in the future, ministers and those over others in the Religion, will make many bitter troubles for those who want to observe the Rule literally and faithfully; 72because, as it is the will and obedience of Christ that the Rule and this life, which is his, be understood and observed literally, so it should be your will and obedience that it be understood and observed as it is written in Rule.

73Then the Supreme Pontiff said to him: Brother Francis, I will act in such a way that, preserving the sense of the words fully, I will so moderate the letter of the Rule in this passage, that the ministers may understand they are obliged to do what Christ wants and the Rule lays down, and understand that the brothers have the freedom to observe the Rule purely and simply, and no ground will be given now or later as an occasion to those seeking to offend under the pretext of observing the Rule.

74The Supreme Pontiff changed the words of this clause by saying: Wherever the brothers, etc.[960]

75Obviously, all the commands in his final Testament given to all his brothers, namely, that they are not to ask for letters from the Roman Church and that they are to observe the Rule simply and to the letter, clearly manifest and prove this.[961]

76It is proved also by the reply given in Saint Mary of the Angels to the brother from Germany, a master in theology, who said to Saint Francis with much reverence:[962] 77My firm intention is to observe simply and faithfully, with the help of his grace until the end, the Gospel and Rule I have promised according to its pure intention that Christ clearly spoke through you. 78But I ask one grace from you, namely, that if in my days the brothers depart so much from a pure observance of the Rule, as much as you through the Holy Spirit have said they will depart, that with your obedience I alone or with some other brothers wishing to observe it purely, may be able to withdraw from those not observing it and observe it perfectly. 79On hearing this, blessed Francis was deeply pleased and blessed him saying: Know that what you have requested is given to you by Christ and by me. 80He placed his right hand on his head and said to him: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,[963] 81showing that all the promises Christ gave him about his Religion would be fulfilled in those who strove with all their strength, with joy and love, to observe the Rule simply and to the letter without gloss.

82When Saint Francis forbids putting glosses on the Rule, he did not mean that reasons, examples and the authorities of saints declaring the spiritual and true meaning of the Rule and Testament, should not be put forward, written and made;[964] 83but, moved by the Spirit of Christ, he forbids it to be distorted to a contrary meaning and imperfection, or that in any way impurities and relaxations be allowed in.

84However, because he foresaw by the Spirit of Christ the one who, out of pride, would seek to induce his bothers finally to pride, vainglory, envy and greed, of care and solicitude for the things of this world, of detraction and murmuring, he had to turn all his attention to this.[965] 85So, after having given expressly to the ministers and servants of the brothers the style of visitation, correction, and admonition, namely, charitably and kindly, he exhorts all in charge and the subjects, and touches on and explains the things about which they ought to be particularly careful because in these they would be tempted by malign spirits at the time of the approaching trouble.[966]

86And in so far as they are exalted by pride and inflated from vanity, they go around to appear superior to all in works and word; to show this they are not ashamed to preach, so that having lost the joy of charity, they display that it is a zeal of justice both to envy their betters, and to extinguish and persecute cunningly the Spirit of God in his brothers and in others outside. 87For those who lose the life of charity, fall from the solid base of humility, and while by pride they put themselves before others, or want to be regarded as better than others, they serve a lie through vanity and deny the truth.

88From this, agitated with envy, deprived of the joy of charity, they involve themselves insolubly in the worries and cares of life out of avarice and a love for what is visible, they incur wickedly out of greed a hatred of poverty and the poor, and from a shameless and foolish mind they turn their tongues bitterly to detraction and murmuring that are hateful to God.[967] For this reason he warns and exhorts all without exception and says: I admonish and exhort the brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ to beware of all pride, etc.[968]

90In the Earlier Rule there was written on this: ‘The clerical brothers may have only the books necessary to fulfill their office’.[969] 91Blessed Francis wanted all the brothers not to be anxious about learning and books and that those who are illiterate not be anxious to learn,[970] 92but that both clerics and lay pay attention to what they are bound to have and must desire above all else, namely, what makes them pleasing to God when they have it and, full of grace and truth, leads them without hindrance to the kingdom of glory,[971] 93namely, to have the Spirit of the Lord and its holy activity, to pray always to the Lord with a pure heart, to have humility and patience in persecution and infirmity, and to love those who persecute, rebuke and find fault with us, etc.[972]

94Blessed Francis foresaw that by the seduction of the ancient serpent his
Religion would be corrupted, like Eve with the excuse of knowing good and evil and to have the perfection of the gods, that is, of the exalted doctors of the Church and of the wise masters,[973] 95and that at the end it would be far from the innocence of simplicity for which it was singularly created and founded and that was to be held and loved as the form and likeness of its fullness and integrity; instead it would be left exposed to innumerable troubles and many hardships, having lost its own dignity. 96For this reason, he protested for as long as he was alive, by denouncing in chapters, before prelates of the Church and the brothers, the evils and dangers about to come on the Religion from the envy of demons and the infidelity, impatience and disobedience of the brothers.

97Brother Leo says:

But, foreseeing the future, he knew through the Holy Spirit and even repeated it many times to the brothers, that many brothers, under the pretext of edifying others, would abandon their vocation, that is, pure and holy simplicity, holy prayer, and our Lady Poverty.[974] 98And it will happen that, because they will afterwards believe themselves to be more imbued with devotion and enflamed with the love of God because of an understanding of the Scriptures, they will occasionally remain inwardly cold and almost empty. And so, they will be unable to return to their first vocation, 99especially since they have wasted the time for living according to their calling; and I fear that even what they seem to possess will be taken away from them, because they have lost their vocation.[975]

100When the brothers, who had suggested to lord Hugolino, bishop of Ostia, to persuade him to follow the advice of so many wise brothers, whom God had given him, in what he does and lays down for the Religion, he took the hand of the lord Cardinal and replied before all saying:[976]

101My brothers! My brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and showed me the way of simplicity. And the Lord told me what he wants: He wants me to be a new fool in the world. God did not wish to lead you by any way other than this knowledge, but God will confound you by your knowledge and wisdom.[977]

102While Brother Crescentius was minister general he condemned with great injustice those holy brothers who worked for a pure observance of the Rule.[978] 103The study of secular sciences introduced in the Religion, ‘the evil arts of Aristotle, like the evil plagues of Egypt’, according to Gregory Nazianzus, the corruptions of the excellent ecclesiastical state claimed for themselves the place of honour and dignity, and in that they began to fulfill what had been foretold by the Founder.[979] 104And the gold of wisdom and seraphic love has become dim in the brothers who in disobedience enjoyed the tree of forbidden fruit and lost the taste for Christian wisdom and charity, for which reason if a man should give all the substance of his house, in comparison with the good found he will know he has given nothing.[980] 105And the finest colour of humility and a love of evangelical poverty is changed; withdrawing from a pursuit of holiness, they are distracted and choked with innumerable worries and cares, they are dispersed in the beginning of the watches, divided by the weight of causes, involvements, affections, and human and secular works.[981]

106From this, there comes to all sanctified in the womb of the holy Roman Church, who possess the spirit of Jeremiah, a cause of sorrow, distress, lamentation, exile and death. 107For Jeremiah himself was taken and moved from his home to Egypt, a place with a different way of life and because of his witness to the truth he was subjected to stoning. The judgment and punishment on those stoning him are reserved for the suitable time, when the Lord will have completed by the little ones what was prophesied by him, whom, whether the world wants or does not want it, the Spirit of Jesus Christ will raise up.[982]

108The reason already touched on is why, among other important reasons, Christ wanted him to put in the Rule that those who are illiterate not be anxious to learn, but let them pay attention to what they must desire above all else: to have the Spirit of the Lord and what follows.[983] 109And he adds the most blessed end and unspeakable reward of all good and of all perfection promised by Christ to his disciples who persevere in the promises: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.[984]

110Blessed Francis said:

They will set up a shelter for the great harlot and they will bring their sons to her and they will live voluptuously from her wages,[985] 111and the simplicity they promised will be contemptible and despised in their eyes, they will become bold and presumptuous, they will glory in the praise of man, in a reputation for knowledge and will trust in the work of their prudence; 112then, for the upright of heart, most bitter and intolerable will their way of life be, even to the extent that ‘the religion loved by God will have such a bad reputation because of bad example that it will be embarrassing to go out in public’.[986]

113Saint Gregory Nazianzus, in his Sermo on Saint Athanasius, notes with sorrow that in the Church of God in his lifetime a similar thing happened and for the same reason;[987] 114he says:

At times things went well in our quiet when this overflow of dialectic activity and a talkative and artificial work of theology had neither access nor entry in the divine halls. 115But it was the same as a move to deceive sight by the speed of moves made in a hidden way, or an appearance of change, or to leap and to be bent into every shape before the eyes of men and women; it was similarly curious to speak or hear about God. 116However, whatever existed as simple and very generous was thought to be a piety. 117But the Sexti and Pirones are corrupted by an opposing language of objections, like some hard and malignant languor that they have introduced in our churches, when verbosity is considered to be teaching or method, similar to what the book of Acts says about the Athenians: they employed themselves in nothing else, but to say or hear something even newer.[988] 118O, who may sing the lamentation of Jeremiah over our confusion and darkness other than one who knows how to match the lamentation to the sufferings!

119He says the same in his Sermo XVII that begins: ‘Since you have come together promptly and in large numbers’ etc.[989] He says:

120What is this envy of a laudable ascent and who does not regard such a case as something to be extolled with joy and who does not know the weakness of human progress, and how far one remains from the true height that is above all?[990]

121Such a person is small in mind, poor in language, does not know the subtleties of words, the speech and enigmas of the wise, the vehemence of Pirone, the solutions to the syllogisms of Crisippus, the evil skill of the arts of Aristotle, or the seduction of the sweet eloquence of Plato, all of which, like the plagues of Egypt, have been wrongly and corruptly introduced into our Church.[991] 122How can one be saved from these and with what words? 123You should not ascend into heaven to bring Christ down, nor descend into the deep to bring him up from there, nor should you enquire with curiosity into the first nature or the final dispensation; the word is near to you, the mind has this treasure and a tongue believing these and confessing those.[992] 125What is easier than these divine statements? What is easier with the one utterance than to confess Jesus Christ and to believe that because he rose from the dead you will be saved?[993] 126Indeed, it is justice to believe on its own; but to confess and add confidence to the confession is perfect salvation. 127However, you search for something greater than salvation and the glory and the brightness associated with it; for me nothing is greater than to be saved and also to avoid torment there. 128You travel on an inaccessible and uncertain path, but I have a sure path on which he has saved many.

129A person who is poor in speech and knowledge but trusts in the simple words is saved by these, as on a small yacht, unlike the perverse person who is foolish with his lips and while trusting in verbal proofs, thinking a word is better because of the power in words, is in reality making void the cross of Christ.[994] 130Where a proof is weak, truth is diminished. 131How can you think of flying to heaven with your feet still walking on the earth? 132Why do you build a tower when you do not have what is needed to complete it, etc.[995]

133Words of Gregory.

134Athanasius writes in a similar way in his Epistola ad monachos, Saint Jerome in Super Epistolam ad Colossenses, and Saint Basil in his Epistola ad Gregorium Nazianzenum already mentioned, and in Amphiletium.[996]

135Saint Francis foresaw and foretold that a strong temptation for his brothers, like a violent wind from the side of the desert, was sure to arise from a love of learning to shake the four corners, overturn the foundations of the house of his first followers, and oppress all his sons and daughters.[997] 136And that the danger of such ruin be avoided, like another Rechab, he ordered his sons to lead a pilgrim life, not to build palaces, nor live in the middle of the cities, not to plant vines of diverse studies, nor drink the wine of secular knowledge and worldly philosophy,[998] 137and, moved by the life giving warmth of the Holy Spirit, he imposed on his sons the law of the most perfect life of Christ.[999]

138But between the sign of Rechab in the Old Testament and Francis, the one prefigured in the New, there is a difference, namely, that he has a direct connection and harmony with Christ whose wounds he bears. 139The sons of Rechab kept his command against the command of the Lord, but the sons of blessed Francis’ flesh did not want to obey his command, neither on account of signs, nor for the honour or reverence due to their father, nor from a desire to inherit a paternal blessing, nor for the love of Christ and the glory of his Spirit living in him, nor did they want to obey his command or observe the Testament. 140This happened so that by a just judgment of God the inheritance might pass to the ones who are reproached, cursed and persecuted; the faces of those persecuting will be filled with shame, and the remnant shall be saved. When the inflicted trouble has given understanding to what is said, over the humble and contrite the blessing of God will rest.[1000]

141Whoever will have the Spirit of the Lord, the source and origin of all virtues, gifts and light, and its holy activity through union with God and the service of divine worship, the effect and affection of sincere love for neighbour and for those cursing and persecuting, patience and joy of spirit in infirmity and various temptations that come from the corruption of one’s flesh and soul, from the envy of demons and the malice of perverse people,[1001] 142and whoever humbly and with perseverance will carry Christ the Saviour in their body and soul conformed to him, will obtain happily the blessed joys of eternal salvation, promised to whoever perseveres to the end.[1002]



11, 1I strictly command all the brothers not to have any suspicious dealings or conversations with women, and they may not enter the monasteries of nuns, etc.[1003]

2Saint Francis, aware through the Holy Spirit of the fragility and weakness of his body and soul and accepting from above the clearest knowledge of human corruptibility, fortified his brothers from every side by the example of his life, of continuous exercises of a humble and rigid penance, and protected them by the strictest precept of obedience lest they allow the brightness of unstained purity to be in any way dirtied or defiled. 3Nothing overcomes the spirit of fornication more than perfect obedience, genuine and deep humility, a real and verbal acknowledgment and confession of one’s weakness and fragility, the mind and flesh crucified with Christ by sorrowful acts of penance, acts necessary for everyone through the whole of life for salvation. 4A spirit of uncleanness cannot remain in a truly humble mind or in a body mortified and configured to the death of Christ; it is burnt by the force of its wickedness and while it looks at the Christ like affections of the saints and sees in their mortal flesh a life consecrated to sharing in the passion of Christ, they experience by virtue of the cross the destruction of their own wickedness.

5He knew that our first parent, with the help of Eve, was seduced, he in whom shone the image of the one and triune God;[1004] 6he knew that the wonderful prophet, already destined by a promise to be the father of Christ, he who brought down Goliath, was laid low and overcome by desire for a woman;[1005] 7and he knew that the most wise Solomon even after the awesome falls of Adam, Samson, who was so strong and a Nazarene from the womb, and of his own most loved father, was darkened and ensnared from desire for a woman.[1006]

8Moreover, in the eleventh chapter, lest they incur the curse and fault of an excessive transgression such as caused the fall and corruption of holiness, innocence, fortitude, patience, the original world, five towns and so many fathers, he places a firm and salutary command, 9namely, that their way of life before God and men be holy, pure and clean and far from every stain of flesh and spirit. 10And he wants them by a careful custody to be cautious and to be protected by a sure mortification in speech, senses and actions, lest they be ensnared and submerged in the snare and abyss of such evil, where innumerable people have run and perished, even holy, strong, outstanding and most wise men. 11This is why Saint Francis, so that his brothers might take an example from him, said when dying that from his conversion to Christ and his renunciation of the world, he looked on the face of no woman other than the faces of his mother and Saint Clare.[1007]

12There are innumerable examples in the Saints, such as Saints Nicholas, Basil, Anthony, Sysonis, Pachomius, Benedict, Augustine, Bernard and all the others who founded orders, who teach and direct us, servants of God, to avoid the sight, familiarity and suspicious conversations with women and not to enter the monasteries of nuns.[1008] 13It is most sure that the statutes, traditions, and rules of all the holy fathers, the sacred canons of the Councils, and the Catholic doctors agree on this. 14The sacred canons decree that no cleric should approach or enter the place of nuns, excepting only those whom the bishops have proven suitable for their necessary visitation and those who are ordered to go by an obedience of bishops to instruct them.[1009]

15On this the Earlier Rule reads:

Wherever they may be or may go, let all the brothers avoid evil glances and association with women. No one may counsel them, travel alone with them or eat out of the same dish with them.[1010] 16When giving penance or some spiritual advice, let priests speak with them in a becoming way. 17Absolutely no woman may be received to obedience by any brother, but after spiritual advice has been given to her, let her do penance wherever she wants.

18Let us all keep close watch over ourselves and keep all our members clean, for the Lord says: Whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.[1011] 19And the Apostle: Do you not know that your members are a temple of the Holy Spirit.[1012] 20Therefore, whoever violates God’s temple, God will destroy.[1013]

21Suspicious dealings and conversations mean, as Saint Jerome writes Ad Nepotianum when instructing him on this:

Avoid all suspicion and whatever can with probability be so represented; avoid it before it is so represented.[1014] 22Holy love does not send frequent small presents, press ribbons and clothes to the mouth, offer foods already tasted, or use flattering and friendly letters. 23All the charms and graces, things worthy of ridicule, elegance and other follies of lovers, things we are ashamed of in the comedies and that we detest in men of the world, how much less should they be in clerics and monks!

24In a particular way he forbids entry and approach to monasteries, especially of the sisters of Saint Clare, lest under the pretext of divine love, a secret carnal love, coming from a subtle working of demons, binds the unwary indissolubly.[1015] 25Once seduced, they would be taken and overcome from accepting illusions and spiritual affections that display a false likeness to holiness, from boldness in new things and in an abyss of error, just as happened in his time to Almaricus Parisius and the followers of both sexes of his wickedness.

26He foresaw and preached that, as the final trouble drew near, the gravest evils would be stirred up, especially in religious, when the spirits of wickedness, set free, would be allowed to attack viciously the holiness of the life of Christ. 27Hence, they will be truly blessed who are found to be remote in action and heart from carnal affections and sensual dealings and conversations with women, especially with nuns, lest they be caught in the nets of the evil spirits;[1016] 28wisely and cautiously, they will be on guard against the iron shackles of sensual affections, and they will abhor and reject the delights of life by a love for the pains of penitence and the harshness of poverty.

29He forbade them, also, to be godfathers to men or women, a relationship arising in two sacraments, namely in baptism and confirmation, and this both in giving and receiving the sacrament.[1017] 30He forbids them from being godfathers of men to avoid this leading to familiarities with women. 31Likewise, the fathers forbade religious men from becoming godfathers, and for this reason, wary of the cunning of the enemy, of occasions of scandals that come from jealousy, they are to avoid dishonour, scandals and many disturbances that can arise from this. 32Just as most perfect charity resides in a heart of most perfect chastity, so most perfect chastity rests in a heart and body of most perfect charity. 33And just as perfect charity excludes all hate and all discontent from a heart genuinely loving Christ, so perfect charity includes always and everywhere complete modesty of the senses, thoughts, speech and actions in a person who is completely pure.[1018] 34Hence, the pure and simple understanding of the Rule is that all the brothers are to abstain completely from entering monasteries, from looking, speaking, watching and having suspicious familiarity with women and from being godfathers,[1019] 35and that only those may enter and go to the monasteries of nuns to whom special permission has been granted by the Apostolic See.[1020]

36Saint Basil says:

For if it happens that you go away from your cell for some reason, clad in the armour of the fear of God and with the love of Christ clasped in your hand, you will fight with full abstinence against the assaults of pleasures,[1021] 37and, with the work completed, return, do not delay, using a swift wing for the return, like some innocent dove returning to the ark from which it was sent, with the mercies of God in its mouth, and so convince your inner thoughts that saving rest is inaccessible in any place other than in the ark.[1022]

38There is nothing more important than to guard the soul, for which Christ died, from the death of sin.[1023] 39Do not believe anyone being deceitful by suggesting to you that such glances and conversations can be without scandal, and by so doing he makes it clear that it is a scandal. 40Let the broad experience of those who fell teach you, so that you do not have to endure the same struggle. 41Therefore, with all watchfulness keep your heart.[1024] 42As thieves search for gold without ceasing day and night, but it is stolen unexpectedly, when you are unaware,

so the demons unceasingly and deceitfully try to plunder the treasure of purity and chastity from the servants of God.

43The words of Saint Basil.



12, 1Let those brothers who wish by divine inspiration to go among the Saracens or other non-believers ask permission, etc.[1025]

2Those who have attained, as a gift from God, true purity of heart and body by observance of evangelical poverty, humility and obedience, 3look with opened eyes from every angle on the breadth, the height, the sublimity, and depth of the infinite love of the Father, the immolated Word and the Holy Spirit, revealed and put before the faithful for their imitation in the cross to be adored and in the most sacred death of Christ, by the power and merit of which is given to the human race to be able to rise from the death of sin and hell to a life of grace and glory.[1026] 4The pure in heart turn their eyes and raise them to reflect on this fiery, inextinguishable and insuperable sending; they are filled with the fire of a most ardent desire of affection, and, with fiery desires and insatiably, they long for and are made worthy to be partakers of the sufferings of their Redeemer.[1027]

5Sant Francis, enkindled with this charity that casts out fear and that many waters cannot quench nor floods drown, made a chapter on perfect charity the end of his rule.[1028] 6Just as he, on fire with the perfect charity of Christ, wanted most strongly with his whole heart and with all his strength to offer himself as a living sacrifice to the Lord by the flame of martyrdom, that he might merit to become a companion and partaker in the life but also in the death of his Lord and Master,[1029] 7so he put this before his brothers for them to choose and imitate as the completion of all perfection, so that he might inspire them to share in the death of Christ who had called them to profess and live out his life.

8For he understood, as Christ taught him, that, when the perfect love of Christ had inspired his brothers to die for Christ, then the fruits, the correct way of life and grace of the life and Rule revealed to him would be multiplied in the world. 9He would move them with desires and draw them irresistibly with strong convictions to go among the Saracens or other non-believers, so that, by their lives, actions and the witness of their blood to Jesus Christ, they might call back to true life those held by the death of sin and subject to everlasting damnation.[1030]

10In the Earlier Rule, confirmed for him by Pope Innocent, there is written on this point:

11The Lord says: Behold I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be prudent as serpents and simple as doves.[1031] 12Let any brother, then, who desires to go among the Saracens and other non-believers, go with the permission of his minister and servant. 13If he sees they are fit to be sent, the minister may give them permission and not oppose them, 14for he will be bound to render an accounting to the Lord if he has proceeded without discernment in this and other matters.[1032]

15As for the bothers who go, they can live spiritually among the Saracens and non-believers in two ways.[1033] 16One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake and to acknowledge that they are Christians.[1034] 17The other way is to announce the Word of God, when they see it pleases the Lord, in order that [unbelievers] may believe in almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, the Son, the Redeemer and Saviour, and be baptized and become Christians[1035] 18because no one can enter the kingdom of God without being reborn of water and the Holy Spirit.[1036]

19They can say to them and the others these and other things which please God because the Lord says in the Gospel:[1037] 20Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.[1038] 21And: Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the saints and angels.[1039]

22Wherever they may be, let all my brothers remember that they have given themselves and abandoned their bodies to the Lord Jesus Christ.[1040] 23For love of him, they must make themselves vulnerable to their enemies, both visible and invisible, because the Lord says: Whoever loses his life because of me will save it in eternal life.[1041] 24Blessed are they who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.[1042] 25And if they have persecuted you, they will be persecuting me.[1043] 26If they persecute you in one town, flee to another.[1044] 27Blessed are you when people hate you, speak evil of you, persecute, expel, and abuse you, denounce your name as evil and utter every kind of slander against you because of me.[1045] 28Rejoice and be glad in that day because your reward is great in heaven. 29I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of them and do not fear those who kill the body and afterwards have nothing more to do.[1046] 30See that you are not alarmed.[1047] 31For by your patience, you will possess your souls.[1048] 32Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.[1049]

33He teaches those who profess and imitate the perfection of the life of Christ following his example out of perfect charity, to be on fire, more than all others, with zeal for the salvation of souls and by prayers, an example of holiness of life, by a word of preaching, and a ready acceptance of death, when necessary, to aspire with all their strength, not only for the faithful but also for non-believers, so that they may be converted to Christ. 34For their conversion and salvation they should be open to and offer themselves for travelling, works, difficulties and persecutions and martyrdom. 35But this is not for everyone, but only for those who are moved to this by an inspiration of the Spirit of Christ, who work with fervour and have accepted from heaven the ability for and gift of such a ministry. 36The ministers, therefore, without whose obedience it is not lawful for anyone to go to such arduous work, must examine and weigh the request with all diligence, lest the desire of those wanting to go arises from levity or some human will and does not come from divine inspiration.[1050] 37Only divine inspiration and election make a person suitable and capable and give him the endurance and perfection for such an office. 38And just as no one is to go unless sent by authority, so the ministers are bound first of all to make sure that the person to be sent is suitable, because if they hold back those to be sent and who are so inspired, or give permission to go to any who ask without reason, they incur the displeasure and judgment of God on both counts.

39The holy man, Brother Peter John, says on this:

I judge that this is not put here only as a concession, but also deliberatively or for encouragement, or even prophetically, because just as the apostles were first sent to faithful Jews, among whom they were born, and after the death of Christ when the Jews to some degree had been attracted to Christ, they were sent to the Gentile nations of non-believers.[1051] 40So, in my judgment, the Order, after preaching to the Latin faithful, is to be sent to nations of non-believers so that as through the person of Christ suffering in his assumed flesh, about the beginning and middle time of the Church, the world was converted, so through the life and rule of Christ that will be endured in his members the fulness of the Gentiles should come in and all Israel should be saved,[1052] 41as is expressly foretold in Revelation at the opening of the sixth seal and with the sixth angel sounding the trumpet.[1053] 42Hence, Francis, the angel of the sixth seal, having in himself the sign and stigmata of the living God, decided, in the theme of this mystery in the sixth year of his conversion, to go to the Saracens,.[1054]

43Perhaps, because this will begin to be fulfilled in the thirteenth centenary of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, in accord with his appearance to the Magi in the thirteenth day of his life, and his sending Barnabas and Paul to the Gentiles in the thirteenth year after his passion,[1055] 44so Francis, in this mystery, in the thirteenth year of his conversion went again to the Saracens, where he suffered much and finally was presented to the Sultan and was much honoured by him.[1056]

Words of Peter John.

45Truly, according to the exposition of Joachim on the opening of the sixth seal in Revelation, the angel having the sign of the living God will be a Supreme Pontiff who will renew all things, like Ezra after the destruction of the city and temple.[1057] 46The opinion quoted above will have a different effect than the words imply because he will choose people from the states of Christ.[1058] 47The renewal of the life of Christ concerns the ones through whom the conversion of the ones signed will occur. 48The name of the Order will deceive many and will cause darkness by a Jewish carnal expectation, so that they will not recognize in the elect the spirit of the Founder, and while venerating the name and habit, they abandon the fruit and virtual perfection of the habit and name, to be converted to what they will regard as a dishonour and abuse of their state. 49Hence, to the angel of Philadelphia is said: Behold, I come quickly, hold fast what you have, lest another take your crown;[1059] truth is not changed by human understanding and diverse opinions. 50But the promises made to Saint Francis are not void when they are not fulfilled as we expect. 51However, those who have the same Spirit from a gift of divine grace receive the fulfilment in a higher way according to the purpose of God.

52For according to the Apostle not all are Israelites that are of Israel, neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children,[1060] 53but in Isaac shall your seed be called, that is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God, but they that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. 54The children of the promise are all who, through the Spirit of Christ, accept the gift and grace of the same perfection that he received gratis from Christ and did not stop cooperating faithfully and humbly until the end with the grace received. 55However, this is the judgment because he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now.[1061] 56But what does Scripture say? Cast out the bond woman and her son, for the son of the bond woman will not be heir with the son of the free, etc.

57In addition to these points, I command the ministers through obedience to petition from our Lord the Pope for one of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, etc.[1062]

58The beginning of this Rule is in accord with its ending. 59In the beginning of the Rule Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to our Lord Pope Honorius and his successors canonically elected and to the Roman Church and all present and future, like limbs of him who is the head, are understood to be bound to do this with him and under him,[1063] 60so now at the end, he, to whom all and every one of the brothers from papal and ecclesial authority were obliged to obey, commands the ministers through obedience, that they petition from our Lord the Pope for one of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, who would be the governor, protector and corrector of this fraternity,[1064] 61so that always submissive and subject at the feet of the same Holy Church, etc.

62He wants to have one of the Cardinals as a moderator between the Order and the Supreme Pontiff since the Order is not sufficient for its own government and the Supreme Pontiff is always too preoccupied with the care and governing of all the churches.[1065] 63This Lord Cardinal is to bring to the Supreme Pontiff the business of the Order, and by his authority, whenever the general and the Order have need of his help and favour for its development and good state, 64or when it is notably at fault, especially concerning the three things already mentioned, namely, if it were not submissive and subject to the Holy Roman Church and to its feet, that is, to the bishops and clerics, and because of this less than steadfast, or from some other particular or universal reason and cause is found or appears to have gone astray in any way from the Catholic Faith, or if it has drifted away from the humility and poverty they have professed and from the pure and faithful observance of the Gospel:[1066] 65then he must take the greatest care that such evils are plucked out and quickly destroyed from the Order; he is bound to carry this out with an intention and a swift and effective action of governing, protecting and correcting, as the father, lord and master after the Supreme Pontiff, because of the office he has accepted and that has been imposed on him; he is bound to do this with diligent care and the utmost vigilance, 66in such a way that he punishes and corrects with a rigid and severe discipline in so far as there is a deviance and discord in the Religion from the true and holy observance of the poverty, humility and the Gospel it has professed.

67Strongly protecting those under his care with a shield of good will and authority lest they be infected with any error in actions or faith, but by the example of life and by preaching the truth he corrects and leads back those in error and who go astray,[1067] 68and under his leadership and direction they, more than all others, will persevere till the last day obedient and subject at the feet of the Holy Roman Church.[1068]


1By the gift of God, the wise man, Peter John, at the end of the words he wrote On the Rule said the following:[1069]

2Note that just as this Rule like a true sphere does not touch the surface of the ground other than at the point of simple and necessary use, and the whole of it revolves in circular motion around Christ and his Gospel, as around its inner centre, so like a circle its starting point is also its finishing. 3As it began with the Gospel and obedience to the Apostolic See, it finishes in the same way.

4These twelve chapters of the evangelical Rule are the twelve stars on the head of the woman, that is, the evangelical Religion adorned with the brightness and solar warmth of Christ.[1070] 5In these lie the twelve lights of our study.

6They are also twelve loaves laid out for us on the table of the Lord, because in these is the solid nourishment of our life.[1071] 7There are also twelve apostolic foundations of the new Jerusalem because in these is the basic reality of our Order, even though the seraphic government is distinct in a wonderful way by having as it were two seraphs each having six wings.[1072]


8On this, so that something may clarify this briefly for you, note that the first six chapters correspond in a mystical sense with the works of the first six days.[1073] 9In the first chapter the light of the definition of the Rule appears.[1074] 10In the second, the firmament of the most firm profession and the division of the lower waters, that is, the giving up and casting away of all that is temporal, having retained for oneself only what is spiritual and above. 11In the third, having rejected the waters of carnal moisture by a fast of mortification, our earth becomes a paradise of divine worship. 12In the fourth, from a total rejection of money, there appears sunlight in the sky. 13In the fifth, by a work of hands, fish swim in the sea, in such a way, however, that by preferring the spirit of prayer and devotion they fly like birds in the sky.[1075] 14In the sixth there is made a man, poor, a stranger and humble in the image of the mendicant and poor man Christ, our God.

15They are in harmony also with the seven ages of the world and the six ecclesiastical times. 16For just as in the first time of the Church the evangelical law began, a law that has to be explained until the end, so it is in the first chapter of the Rule. 17Also in the second, the martyrs reject the life of the body for an eternal life, so in the second chapter a secular life is rejected for a religious life. 18Just as in the third, ecclesiastical worship flowered under Constantine, so in the third chapter of the Rule statutes for divine praises, fasting, and the evangelical life are given and flower. 19As in the fourth, the anchorites left all, so in the fourth chapter money, cursed by the Apostle Peter on account of Simon, is left completely.[1076] 20And in the fifth, there began the monks engaged in work with their hands, so too in the fifth chapter. 21In the sixth, the mendicancy of Christ enters the world under Francis.

22In the last six chapters the kingdom of the Church of God is represented mystically. 23Just as, firstly, the Church was washed from its sins by the passion of Christ and its sacramental application, however, with the penitential satisfaction of the martyrs imposed on it until the times of Pope Sylvester. 24From then, General and provincial Councils were solemnly celebrated in the Church of Christ, the primacy of the Supreme Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic See shining forth. 25Then chaste cloisters of enclosed people began to shine more fully. 26And, finally, at the end after a fuller opening of the sixth seal we look for the conversion of non-believing nations and also of the Jews with the renewal of solemn martyrs. 27And by the angel of the sixth seal the twelve tribes of Israel were marked with the sign of Tau and an innumerable crowd of the nations will be brought forward and placed beside the throne of the Lamb, which is the same thing as his ecclesiastical and Apostolic See.[1077] 28In this way the last six chapters of the Rule contain an order you can easily understand.

29This has been written by the man who more than all others of his times loved, commended and defended his Order, and whom Christ loved and made to shine in a singular way by his wisdom.[1078] 30He was the humblest of men, full of virtue, and shone after his death with many miracles. 31But everyone who fears God and loves God should think diligently and pay attention to what things the enemy has done wickedly in the sanctuary.[1079] 32Because his brothers and his Order repaid him and all who loved him evil for good and hatred for love, piercing his soul during his life, and digging up his bones after his death, and burnt him, as it is said, with the fire of infamy and with material fire.[1080] 33And they treated badly whoever followed him with Christian devotion, stripping him of the name Catholic against the sentence of the Church and of a General Council, they cast him into an old pit, and, acting out of envy and satanic evil, condemned him three times as a heretic in their General Chapters.[1081]

35From its beginning Satan desired to sift this Religion and to disturb it with a sevenfold temptation similar to the first;[1082] 35and they turned away through disbelief, irreverence and hardness of heart from the pure intention and faithful obedience of the Founder and provoked him with their inventions.[1083] 36And they congratulated one another on their prudence. 37There were few in number who stayed with him while he was a pilgrim and poor traveler. 38After his departure from this world to Christ, whom he loved and whom he carried in a crucified form pierced in body and soul, they praised him with their lips but in describing his deeds they lied about him. 39And they separated his holy Testament from the Rule, not understanding that the Rule without the Testament is like a crown of stars without the head of the woman and without being clothed with the sun, like the loaves of proposition away from the holy table, like a good work without a right intention, like writing without a Catholic and faithful interpretation, like a bride without her own adornment and her lawful husband, and like an heir making himself unworthy by disobedience for a paternal blessing and inheritance.[1084]

40Just as evil, when it is not quickly checked, increases greatly, so disbelief and disobedience grew into presumption and impatience, and so they afflicted the firstborn and beloved child of the father. 41The killing, with lying defamation, of the just and innocent man who was walking rightly and faithfully, increased the sin of the successor and his companions.[1085] 42But the end did not come in the second tribulation, for Brother Crescentius, as implied in his name, increased the evils of Brother Elias into detraction and hatred of the saints, and he defamed, scattered and condemned Catholics as heretics.[1086] 43It was a day of bitterness and sorrow, not worthy of praise, when they despised the father and governor given to them from above, covered his sunny rays with black clouds and thick darkness, and embittered those enlightened by him.[1087] 44They did not stop censuring him until he came to rest in a room of the King and was made famous by Christ, the King of glory, with apostolic miracles that blocked the mouths of his detractors.[1088]

45Alas, after this there increased in Italy, in Provenza and in other places tyrannical battles against those striving to observe the innocence and purity of the professed life, and they cried out under the altar of God once, twice and three times:[1089] 46You who sit on the throne of judgment, how long do you not judge and revenge our blood that is poured out?[1090] 47In sure hope, they were told to rest in the first robe and to wait until the number of their fellow-servants and brothers reached the perfection of their state.[1091] 48After these things, after a dispute of opinions against those rebelling against the light and disbelieving the truth, there arose a terrible division.[1092] 49And darkness covered heaven and earth, and here and there many were ensnared, captured and perished.[1093]

50The very force of the rule of Christ and the apostolic life is holy and tolerates with difficulty the use of its name by those who do not follow its way of life. 51The name of divine virtue is the Gospel of Christ and a way of life promised in accord with its perfection, and those who vow and observe it, fight strongly against Satan, the world and the flesh. 53To such people everything under heaven is vile and torments are light, because, in hope and love, they are already there where there are sure and eternal goods that Christ has prepared for them from the beginning of the world, he who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.[1094]

53He appeared to Saint Francis and said to him Follow me and keep to my footsteps; walk in my paths that all my apostles have trodden, they who were true lovers of my life and perfection.[1095]

54He who was a humble and most ardent imitator of Christ, says, towards the end of the Earlier Rule, of the praise and exhortation that all the brothers can use:[1096] 55‘All my brothers can announce this or similar exhortation and praise’ etc. until the end.[1097]

56Later, at the end of the Earlier Rule, he says of the admonition of the brothers: ‘All my brothers: let us pay attention to what the Lord says: Love your enemies’ etc and what comes after this until the end of the Earlier Rule.[1098] 57It ends: ‘Glory to the Father and let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen.’[1099]

  1. See Commentary, Preface, 1. (Hereinafter references to the commentary will be by the chapter number or Preface or Epilogue followed by the number in the text, e.g 6,23 = chapter six n. 23).
  2. Preface, 1.
  3. Preface 7.
  4. 1,177.
  5. 1,30.
  6. 2,31.
  7. 4,69.
  8. Preface, 11.
  9. 1,24.
  10. Preface, 9.
  11. 1,274; 2,217; 4,22; 4,37; Epilogue, 54.
  12. 2,217; 12,39-44.
  13. 2,152.
  14. 1,278-298.
  15. Preface, 3.
  16. 2,175-194.
  17. 2,179.
  18. Epilogue, 39.
  19. Epilogue, 39.
  20. 10,139.
  21. 10,82-83.
  22. 8,50-51.
  23. 1,89.
  24. Preface, 3.
  25. 10,64-74.
  26. 10,76-81.
  27. 10,75.
  28. 1,16.
  29. 9,29.
  30. 1,102.
  31. 1,91; 6,80; 2,78; 3,46; 4,13.
  32. Preface, 20-21.
  33. 4,39-41; Epilogue, 40-47.
  34. 1,32.
  35. 1,101.
  36. 12,45-50.
  37. Preface, 37.
  38. LR 3, 3.
  39. Rv 5:8-9; 14:3 quoted in the Commentary 3,54.
  40. 3,55.
  41. Jn 16:3.
  42. 9,42.
  43. 2,113.
  44. 3,28.80-81.125; 3,61.
  45. 1,21.180.278; 2,137.171; 3,80.97; 4,23.28; 6,102.355; 10,78.107.137; 11,2.
  46. 1,25.33.123; 2,; 3,31.42; 6,93; 9,32; 12,35.54.
  47. LR 3,4; Commentary, 3,80-81.
  48. 3,35-36.
  49. 2,42.
  50. 9,2-3
  51. Preface, 39-40.
  52. 1,172.
  53. 2,99.
  54. 10,38.
  55. 1,275-276.
  56. 10,38-42.
  57. It is important to verify the change being made in the passage from the Earlier Rule to the Later Rule, in so far as the problem of obedience is concerned. In the Later Rule it says that the brothers must obey their ministers in all that they have promised the Lord o observe and that are not contrary to their soul and to their Rule (10,4); in the Earlier Rule, instead, it was said explicitly to the brothers not to obey when commanded to do something contrary to their life and their soul, because such a case would no longer be a matter of obedience, but the committing of a sin or fault.
  58. 10,29.
  59. 10,29-31.
  60. 10,39.
  61. 10,38-42.
  62. 6,498.
  63. Letter, 63.
  64. Letter, 63.
  65. 6,498.
  66. Letter, 34 of April 1313.
  67. Epilogue, 29-30.
  68. Epilogue, 31-33.
  69. Letter 29 of 29 December 1330.
  70. In the letters of Clareno there are brothers listed with the name of Brother Thomas (Clareni Epistolae, 5.34.62). It is not easy to know if the reference is to one or to more persons; for the rest he is unknown; see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 1, note 1. The Later Rule is given and retained as ‘divinely inspired’, but this is a mistake because only the word of God, Sacred Scripture, is ‘divinely inspired’ (2 Tm 3:16; 2 Pt 1:21). Nevertheless, Clareno and the Spirituals retain it as such and for its sake defend, live and fight for it (see Preface 7.32; 1, 177.286; etc.).
  71. See Mk 16:20; Acts 8:13.
  72. See 10,82; AC 101 (FA:ED II 205); Int. Regulae 4 (DAF I, Pasztor, p. 656); IMP 2 (FA:ED III 255); Lk 1:3.4
  73. See 1 Cor 11:23.
  74. LR Prol. (FA:ED I 99).
  75. See 2 Cor 1:3.
  76. See Mt 10:2; Clareni Epistolae 24 (pp. 115,20-116,14); BPr 1,5-11 (FA:ED III 33-34). We have no exact knowledge of the name, order of arrival, or the number of the first companions of Saint Francis: there is at the beginning an anonymous brother (Peter Cattanii?): 1C 1,10,24; 1,10,25 (FA:ED I 203; 204); L3C 12,52 (FA:ED II 98); AP 2-3,10-17 (FA:ED II 37-39). There is a Brother Bernard: 1C 1,10,24 (FA:ED I 203); 2C 75,109 (FA:ED II 319); LMj 3,3 (FA:ED II 543-544); L3C 8,27 (FA:ED II 85); Brother Giles: 1C 9,25 (FA:ED I 204); LMj 3,4 (FA:ED II 544); L3C 9,32 (FA:ED II 87); Brother Sylvester: 2C 75,109 (FA:ED II 319); LMj 3,5 (FA:ED II 544); L3C 9,30 (FA:ED II 86); three others: Brothers Sabbatino, Morico, and John of Capella: L3C 9,35 (FA:ED II 88); Brother Phillip the Tall: 1C 10,25 (FA:ED I 204); another anonymous brother: 1C 12,29 (FA:ED I 207); LMj 3,7 (FA:ED II 546); another four anonymous: 1C 12,31 (FA:ED I 209); LMj 3,7 (FA:ED II 546); L3C 12,46 tit. (FA:ED II 95). In all there should be twelve: sometimes including and sometimes not including Francis: L3C 12,46 (FA:ED II 95). On this question see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, note 2, pp. 3-5; O. Englebert, Saint Francis of Assisi, Chicago 1965, II ed., pp. 427-440: Appendix VII; E. Grau, Die ersten Brüder des hl. Franziskus, in ‘Franziskanische Studien’ 40 (1958) 132-144; see Mt 27:5.
  77. See 2C 1,11,17 (FA:ED II 255-256); LMj 3,10 (FA:ED II 548); LJS 4,21 (FA:ED I 384); L3C 12,51 (FA:ED II 98).
  78. See 1,39; 4,44. See AC 101 (FA:ED II 205) in consilio; Int. Regulae 3 (DAF I, p. 85 in concilio; Pasztor, p. 656 in concilio); L3C 12,51 (FA:ED II 98) in consistorio; IMP 12,26 (FA:ED III 276) in concistorio; Chronica XXIV Generalium, AF III, p. 9,14-16 in concilio.
  79. The Bull Solet annuere of 29 November 1223 of Honorius III (BF I, n. 14, p. 15); LR Prol. (FA:ED I 99).
  80. See 12,44. This is the third attempt at a journey and it was partially successful on the part of Francis with the Saracens: 1C 1,12,57 (FA:ED I 231); LMj 9,7 (FA:ED II 602); HTrb 1,1 (FA:ED 399).
  81. See Rom 8:29.
  82. See Lk 9:3.
  83. See LR 1,1 and 12,4 (FA:ED I 100 and 106).
  84. See Rom 1:20.
  85. AC 102 (FA:ED II 206-207); Int. Regulae 6 (DAF I, p. 88; Pasztor, p. 657); 2MP 1,3 (FA:ED III 257); see also Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 8, note 1.
  86. AC 106 (FA:ED II 212); Int. Regulae 16 (DAF I, pp. 98-99; Pasztor, p. 661); 2MP 1,11 (FA:ED III 265); HTrb 12 (FA:ED III 399-400). See 2 Pt 1:18; Jn 21:24.
  87. See 2 Tm 3:16. See AC 17 (FA:ED II 132); Verba 4 (DAF I, p. 101-102; Pasztor, p. 662); LMj 4,11 (FA:ED II 558); 2MP 1 (FA:ED III 254).
  88. For 32-34: This is contained at length in Chronicon, Trib. 1,11-13 (pp. 57,1-64,8). See 10,64; Mt 4:2. If the statement that Pope Honorius III was the Protector of Saint Francis and the Order is understood in a strict sense, it is not true.
  89. See LR Prol. (FA:ED I 99).
  90. See Hos 11:4.
  91. See Eph 6:3; Ex 20:12; Ps 91:16; 33:4.
  92. Clareni Epistolae 25 (p. 24,3-5)
  93. This idea and concepts depend on Olivi Expositio 1 (p. 116,28-29).
  94. See 1 Cor 3:10; Mt 7:24.25.
  95. 2 Thes 2:10-11.
  96. See Dt 17:6; Mt 18:16; 1 Cor 3:15.
  97. LR 1,1-3 (FA:ED I 100).
  98. ER Prol. 2-4 (FA:ED I 63).
  99. If the incident was in San Damiano see 2C 10,15 (FA:ED II 254); 3Cel 2,2 (FA:ED II 401); LMj 2,1 (FA:ED II 536); L3C 5,13 (FA:ED II 76); HTrb Prol. 61 (FA:ED III 383). For the biblical texts see Mt 16:24; Lk 9:23; Mk 8:34.
  100. Gal 2:19.
  101. See HTrb Prol. 243 (FA:ED III 390).
  102. See 2 Tm 3:16.
  103. For 12-17: Clareno follows here almost literally LMj 3,9 (FA:ED II 547-548); see 2C 1,16-17 (FA:ED II 254-256); L3C 12,49-51 (FA:ED II 96-98).
  104. See Rom 8:17.29.
  105. See Mt 5:45.
  106. For 18-23: LMj 3,10 (FA:ED II 548); see 2C 1,11,16 (FA:ED II 255); 1,11,17 (FA:ED II 255-256); L3C 12,18 (FA:ED II 97-98).
  107. Contained under vow: see Chronicon, Trib. 6,12 (p. 211,25-30) but that is a mistake; see 2,105.
  108. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  109. See Lk 12:32; Jn 2:18.
  110. Mt 25:40.
  111. For 34-39: AC 101 (FA:ED II 204-205); Int. Regulae 2-3 (DAF I, pp. 84-85; Pasztor, pp. 655-656); 2MP 26 (FA:ED III 276). Clareno omits the quotation of Lk 12:32: Do not fear little flock that is found after the reference to Mt 25,40. See the note to the Preface 14 and 4,44; AC 101 (FA:ED II 205); Int. Regulae 3 (DAF I p. 85; Pasztor, p. 656); L3C 51 (FA:ED II 97-98); 2MP 26 (FA:ED III 276). See also Oliger, Clareni Expositio note 3 on pp. 16-17.
  112. Lk 12:32.
  113. See ER 6,3; 7,3 (FA:ED I 68); LR 1,2 (FA:ED I 100); 1C 1,16,38 (FA:ED I 217); 2C 109,148 (FA:ED II 342); LMj 6,5 (FA:ED II 572); AC 58 (FA:ED II 160); HTrb Prol. 85 (FA:ED III 384). There are yet other texts in which the brothers are called by Francis ‘Lesser’: see AC 9; 49; 97 (FA:ED II 123; 148; 200); 1MP 2; 12 (FA:ED III 216; 223); 2MP 10; 43; 44 (FA:ED III 263; 289; 290).
  114. Sermons 113,1,1 (PL 38,648).
  115. See 1 Cor 6:15; Eph 5:30.
  116. Not Ambrose but the so called Ambrosiaster, Commentarium in Epistolam ad 1 Cor 12:23 (PL 17,262AB: ed. 1879).
  117. St Basil the Great, Epistolae, classis I,2,2 (PG 32,223C.226AB) with some omissions by Clareno and in his own translation.
  118. St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 6,2: De pace ob monachorum reconciliationem (PG 35,723A) according to the translation of Rufino d’Aquileia (see CSEL 36,210-211, Vindobonae 1910). The passage is quoted by St Bonaventure in Apologia Pauperum 10,8 (Op. omn. 8,307); in Expositio 2,17 (Op. omn. 8,403) and in Epistola de sandaliis Apostolorum 4 (Op. omn. 8,387) See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 18 note 2.
  119. Pseudo-Dionysius, De ecclesiastica Hierarchia 6,3 (PG 3,531C), a quotation from a second hand during the time of the Scholastics. Philo of Alexandria, De vita contemplativa, quoted and interpreted by Eusebius of Caesarea in Historia Ecclesiastica 2,16-18 (PG 20,173B-188B, in particular 175A) according to the translation of Rufino d’Aquileia. For Saint Gregory Nazianzus it is difficult to know which work is being quoted. St Jerome, De viris illustribus 11 (PL 23,658B). It is also difficult to know which work of Saint Basil is being quoted.
  120. See Mt 20:16.
  121. St Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos 132:6 (PL 37,1733; CCL 40, 1931, 32-36). Acts 4:32.
  122. Fraternity in Greek is adelphótes; see St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 14; 15,1; 27; 31; 32; 34,1; 36; 41,1 etc. (PG 31,949C; 952C; 988A; 993B; 996A; 1000C; 1009A; 1026C; etc.); also in Regulae brevius tractatae, Interrog. 18; 72; 74 (PG 31,1094C; 1133A.C); Constitutiones monasticae 21,1 (PG 31,1394D); Epistolae, classis II,223,5 (PG 32,829).
  123. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 8,1-3 (PG 31,934D-942A).
  124. St Basil the Great, Constitutiones monasticae 4,2 (PG 31,1350B); Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,1 (PG 31, 1010C); Regulae brevius tractatae, Resp. 304 (PG 31,1299AB); Sermo asceticus 3 (PG 31, 875C). ‘Evangelical life’: See St Basil the Great, Epistolae II,173, to the canon Theodora (PG 32,647C.650A).
  125. For 66-67: St Jerome, Regula Monachorum, chapter IV: On poverty (PL 30,330B-335A).
  126. For 68-69: St Jerome, Epistolae, XXII to Eustochius 35 (PL 22,420); Regulae Monachorum 2 (PL 30,325A).
  127. See LR 2,11; 1,2 (FA:ED I 10; 100).
  128. See LR 2,5 (FA:ED I 100); Mt 19:21.
  129. See ER 2,5 (FA:ED I 64); LR 2,7 (FA:ED I 100).
  130. See ER 2,13 (FA:ED I 65); LR 2,14 (FA:ED I 101); Test 16 (FA:ED I 125).
  131. See LR 2,15 (FA:ED I 101); Mt 10:10; Lk 10:4; 20:35.
  132. See ER 15,2 (FA:ED I 73); LR 3,12 (FA:ED I 102).
  133. See ER 8,3; 8,8 (FA:ED I 69; 70); LR 4,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  134. See the Bull Quo elongati of 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, n. 56, p. 69A.E); Exivi de Paradiso of 6 May 1312 of Clement V (BF V, n. 195, p. 83b) see Seraphicae legislationis, art. 9,1: on not accepting inheritances (p. 249).
  135. Bull Exivi de Paradiso of 6 May 1312 of Clement V (BF V, n. 195, p. 84a); Seraphicae legislatrionis, art. 11: On curias and lawsuits (pp. 250-251).
  136. See 1 Cor 4:12.
  137. For 81-82: ER 7,7-8; 8,2-3 (FA:ED I 69); LR 5,3-4 (FA:ED I 102-103); Test 20-22 (FA:ED I 125-126).
  138. See LR 10,2-3 (FA:ED I 105); Test 27-28 (FA:ED I 127).
  139. For 84-85: LR 6,1-2 (FA:ED I 103); Test 24 (FA:ED I 126); 1Pt 2:11;
  140. See Test 24 (FA:ED I 126).
  141. See LR 11,2 (FA:ED I 106).
  142. Mk 16:15. See LR 12,1-2 (FA:ED I 106); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 23, note 2.
  143. Test 25-26 (FA:ED I 126); see 1,116.
  144. See Test 38-39 (FA:ED I 127); Clareni Epistolae 67 (p. 304,10-13).
  145. Jn 18:36; 1:14; 2 Cor 10:3.
  146. LR 6,5-6 (FA:ED I 103); see Ps 142:6.
  147. Hugh of Digne, De finibus paupertatis, text published by Cl. Florovski in AFH 5 (1912) 290.
  148. See 1 Jn 2:16; Col 3:3.
  149. Phil 1:23.
  150. See Gal 6:14.17; Col 3:2.
  151. For the nakedness of Christ: See 1,91; 2,50.78; 3,46; 4,13; St Clare, Testament 45 in Regis Armstrong, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, rev. ed., New York: Franciscan Institute Publications 1993, p. 59; LMj 14, 4 (FA:ED II 642-643); L3C 7,22 (FA:ED II 83); Clareni Epistolae 43 (p. 205,8-9); 50 (p. 254,33-155 [255 ?], 1); 57 (p. 275,13); 82 (p. 345,26); Chronicon, Trib 4, 1 (p. 108,6-7). Biblical text: 1 Pt 2:11; LR 6,3 (FA:ED I 103).
  152. See Phil 4:7.
  153. See 1 Cor 4:12; LR 5,3-4 (FA:ED I 102-103); Test 22 (FA:ED I 125).
  154. See ER 15,2 (FA:ED I 73); LR 3,12 (FA:ED I 102).
  155. See LR 11,2 (FA:ED I 106).
  156. See LR 11,3 (FA:ED I 106).
  157. Lk 3:8; 1 Cor 1:17; see LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105); ER 21,3 (FA:ED I 78).
  158. See LR 12,1-2 (FA:ED I 106).
  159. 2 Cor 8:2; Mk 8:34; Phil 3:10; Test 25-26 (FA I 126).
  160. See 2 Cor 5:8.
  161. These places of St Paul, probably visited by Clareno, are mentioned also in Clareni Apologia 137,1-4, in AFH 39 (1946) 157.
  162. See LR 2,12-13 (FA:ED I 101); Lk 9:62; Bull Cum secundum consilium of 22 September 1220 of Honorius III (BF I, num. 5, p. 6); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 28, note 1.
  163. See Mt 12:44-45.
  164. See Pseudo-Dionysius, De Ecclesiastica Hierarchia 6,1,3; 6,3,3-5 (PG 3,532-536).
  165. For 132-134: J. Gribomont, L’‘Expositio’ d’Ange Clareno sur la Règle des Frères Mineurs et la tradition monastique primitive, in ‘Lettura delle Fonti Francescane: il 1400’, Rome 1981, (p. 404), suggests to search in Cassian, Collationes (49,481-1328), or in John Climacus, Scala Paradisi (PG 88,632-1164). They are not found in either the Greek or Latin texts of Verba Seniorum.
  166. See St Macarius of Egypt, Apophthegmata Patrum, Macarius 2 (81) (PG 65,259B and 262A) taken from a Latin translation of the sixth century attributed to John Pelagius; Vitae Patrum, Verba Seniorum 3, 3 (PL 73,1006D-1007AB).
  167. Something similar is related in Apophthegmata Patrum, Basil 1 (73) (PG 65,137B). Clareno is translating directly from Greek.
  168. John Cassian, Collationes 3,7 (PL 49,568CD).
  169. Is 9:3.
  170. See Mt 20:16.
  171. See Lk 18:8.
  172. See Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14.
  173. For 143-144: This quote attributed to St Nilus has not been found.
  174. S. Macarius, Vitae Patrum, 5,6,6 (PL 73,889B); Apophthegmata Patrum, Theodore di Ferme 1 (57) (PG 65,187A), taken from a collection of sayings translated in the sixth century by John Pelagius.
  175. The quotation from Pastor or Poemen has not been found. See 2,202-203.
  176. Apophthegmata Patrum, Poemen 91 (47) (PG 65,343BC); Vitae Patrum 5,10,54 (PL 73,922A), in the translation of John Pelagius. See 1,204; Rom 12:17; 1 Pt 3:9.
  177. Aegyptiorum Patrum Sententiae 82 (PL 74,391C) in the Latin translation of Martin di Dumio.
  178. For 149-154: St John Climacus, Scala Paradisi, grad. 1 (PG 88,634CD) in Clareno’s own translation.
  179. For 155-159: Ibid., grad. 23 (PG 88,970AB).
  180. Test 14 (FA:ED I 125).
  181. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  182. LR 12,4 (FA:ED I 106); see Olivi Expositio 1,I,B,4 (p. 119,28-33).
  183. See 2C 32,62 (FA:ED II 288).
  184. See AC 102 (FA:ED II 206); Int. Regulae 5 (DAF I, p. 87; Pasztor, p. 657); 2MP 1,3 (FA:ED III 256); HTrb 1,153 (FA:ED III 406). See Mt 23:5.7; Jn 12:6.
  185. See 1,24; 2,105; Gal 1,1; Clareni Apologia 46,2 in AFH 39 (1946) 110.
  186. See Preface 40.
  187. Gal 6:16.
  188. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  189. See Heb 8:5.
  190. See 1Jn 2:16.
  191. See Mt 5:39.
  192. See Lk 6:30.
  193. Mt 5:37.
  194. Mt 18:9; see Mt 5:29; Mk 9:46.
  195. Mt 6:1.
  196. See Mt 7:5; Lk 6:42; Mt 23:4.
  197. Lk 12:22; see Mt 6:25.
  198. Lk 17:3; see Mt 18:15.
  199. For 194-202: St Basil, Epistolae, classis I,173 (PG 32,647C-650B). The translation is that of Clareno and the quotation finishes with the words ‘very few’. See J. Gribomont, Les Règles épistolaires de St. Basile: Lettres 173 et 22, in ‘Antonianum’ 54 (1979) 255-287.
  200. Clareno’s Latin is rather obscure. The Italian translation is taken in part from Migne.
  201. See 1,147; Rom 12:17; 1 Thes 5:15; 1 Pt 3:9. For 202-224: St Basil the Great, Epistolae, classis I, 22,1-3 (PG 32,287B-294B). The passage begins with the words ‘however to the many living’. The translation, often obscure, is from Clareno himself.
  202. See Eph 4:30.
  203. See Ti 2:3.
  204. See 1Cor 9:25.
  205. See 1Cor 10:31.
  206. Lk 3:8; see Mt 3:8.
  207. Mt 18:17.
  208. See Eph 4:26.
  209. See 1Tm 6:8.
  210. Ps 119:120.
  211. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  212. Adm 3,3-4 (FA:ED I 130).
  213. For 250-251: SalV 14 (FA:ED I 165); see Jn 19:11.
  214. The monk must be Paul of Thebes – see Apophthegmata Patrum, Paul of Thebes 1 (21) (PG 65,379D-382A) – according to the translation of John Pelagius, and the Pratum Spirituale 18 of John Mosco (PG 87/3,2866A): but there the reference is to two small lions, captured near the Jordan.
  215. The old person is Pseudo-Bernard, De Statu virtutum 2,26 (PL 184,805A); see J. Leclercq, Recueil d’études sur S. Bernard et ses écrits, II, Rome 1966, pp. 51-67 (in ‘Storia e Letteratura’ 104). For the ‘great old man’ see 6,482.
  216. SalV11 (FA:ED I 165); see Lk 21:34; Mt 13:22.
  217. Adm 11,2-3 (FA:ED I 133); see Mt 22:21.
  218. Adm 14,4 (FA:ED I 133-134); see Lk 14:26; Mt 5:39.
  219. See 1Cor 12:28; 13:2.
  220. See Rom 8:8.
  221. See Wis 1:4.
  222. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  223. See Heb 10:29; 1 Jn 2:16.
  224. LR 1,2-3 (FA:ED I 100).
  225. See Preface 40; 1,172.
  226. For 278-298: The long quotation of verses 278-298 is found in the so called Ms. Little 39 (f. 77v-78v), (now: Oxford, Bodleian Library, cod. lat. Theol. d. 23); in Verba fratris Conradi 12,4-22 published by P. Sabatier in OCH 1 (1903) 386-390; they are found also in AFH 20 (1927) 283-285) in another context. The review MF has a similar text: MF 7 (1898) 135b-136b. The Legenda vetus of Sabatier has a small quotation from it in Chapter 1,1-11 in OCH 1 (1902) 87-90, corresponding to verses 284-294. For an opinion on the question see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, note 2 on pp. 44-45 and note 1, p. 46. The texts quoted above refer to the situation of struggle in the Order and in the Church in the years 1321-1322. See Mt 24:12.
  227. See Mt 24:22.24.
  228. See 2 Cor 8:2.
  229. See Ps 28:4; Jer 32:19.
  230. This is found also in Clareni Epistolae 25 (p. 127,17-27); 35 (p. 180,1-5).
  231. For 284-294: See Leg. Vetus of Sabatier 1,1-11, in OCH 1 (1902) 87-90. For 291-294: See 4,31-41; Jn 16:2.
  232. See Gen 1:16; Ps 136:7.
  233. See Is 6:10; Mt 13:15; Ps 69:24.
  234. See Acts 5:29.
  235. See 1 Pt 2:21.
  236. Lk 18:22; Mt 19:21.
  237. Mt 16:24; see Lk 9:23.
  238. See Lk 14:26.
  239. See Mt 19:29; Mk 10:29; Lk 18:2. For 300-304: See ER 1,1-5 (FA:ED I 63-64).
  240. For 305-309: See ER 2,1-4 (FA:ED I 64); see Mt 19:21.
  241. For 310-312: See ER 2,5-7 (FA:ED I 64).
  242. See Lk 9:62.
  243. For 313-317: See ER 2,8-12 (FA:ED I 64-65).
  244. See Lk 7:25; Mt 11:8.
  245. For 318-320: See ER 2,14-20 (FA:ED I 65).
  246. LR 2,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  247. See Chronicon, Trib. 1,9 (p. 53,15-32).
  248. For 6-7: A similar idea is found in Clareni Epistolae 14 (p. 75,9-11).
  249. See Phil 2:21.
  250. Bull Quo elongatii of 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 56, p. 70A), and Gloriantibus vobis of 19 June 1241 of Gregory IX (BF I, num 344, p. 298). See Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 2,23-39 (pp. 128-129).
  251. John Cassian, De Coenobiorum Institutis 4,3 (PL 49,154A-155A); idem, Collationes 1,1-2 (PL 49,477C-485A); St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 10,1-2 (PG 31,943C-947A); see St Benedict, Rule 73,5.
  252. See Test 38-39 (FA:ED I 127); AC 17 (FA:ED II 131-132); Verba 4 (DAF I, pp. 101-103; Pasztor, p. 662); 2MP 1,1 (FA:ED III 253-254).
  253. See Test 25 (FA:ED I 126).
  254. Taken from Quatuor Magistri Expositio, preface 4-9 and 2,36-38 (pp. 123 and 129) dependent on Olivi Expositio 2,I,B,1a (p. 123,18-22). See Bull Gloriantibus vobis of 19 June 1241 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 344, p. 298AB).
  255. In 16-18 Clareno is quoting from Olivi Expositio 2,I,B,1a (pp. 123,29-124,1). For 17-18: Quatuor Magistri Expositio 2,53-61 (p. 130). Clareno is summarizing a little and leaves out some sections.
  256. LR 9,2 (FA:ED I 104-105). See Bull Quo elongati of 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 56, p. 69E).
  257. For 19-20: Also from the Quatuor Magistri Expositio 9,4-5 and 9,11-16 (pp. 163 and 163-164), dependent on Olivi Expositio 2,I,B,1a (p. 124,4-6, more 9-12). For 20: See Clareni Apologia 76,3-5, in AFH 39 (1946) 126. See also the Bull Prohibente Regula of 12 December 1240 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 325, p. 287).
  258. See 1,278ff.; and Clareni Epistolae 14 (p. 74,20-24).
  259. See 1,292ff.
  260. AC 106 (FA:ED II 212-213); Int. Regulae 16 (DAF I, p. 99; Pasztor, p. 661); 2MP 1,11 (FA:ED III 265).
  261. AC 106 (FA:ED II 212); Int. Regulae 16 (ibidem); 2MP 1,11(FA:ED III 265).
  262. See Ps 103:11; Is 55:9.
  263. See Mt 7:14; Rom 16:26.
  264. LR 2,2 (FA:ED I 100).
  265. LR 2,4 (FA:ED I 100).
  266. This information comes from Olivi Expositio 2,I,B,2 (pp. 126,24-28).
  267. See Mt 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22.
  268. LR 2,5 (FA:ED I 100); see Mt 19:21.
  269. Naked – naked cross: See note to 1,102. Col 3:1.2.
  270. 2C 2,49,81 (FA:ED II 300); see LMj 7,2 (FA:ED II 578); AC 62 (FA:ED II 165).
  271. Related by John Cassian, De Coenobiorum Institutis 7,19 (PL 49,312B).
  272. For 54-56: See Apophthegmata Patrum, Anthony 20 (35) (PG 65,82C); St Anthony Abbot, Dicta quaedam (PG 40,1099BC); Vitae Patrum 5,6,1 (PL 73,888BC).
  273. See Jn 10:9; Lk 6:48.
  274. See LMj 7,2 (FA:ED II 578); Clareni Apologia 129,16-19, in AFH 39 (1946) 154.
  275. LMj 7,4 (FA:ED II 579); 2C 2,37,67 (FA:ED II 291-292).
  276. See Mt 19:21.
  277. LR 2,6 (FA:ED I 100).
  278. See St Jerome Epistolae 53,10, ad Paulinum (PL 22,549). Clareno quotes the two passages in inverse order.
  279. Lk 9:61.62.
  280. See Mt 13:7.22.
  281. LR 2,7 (FA:ED I 100).
  282. For 69-70: see St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 8,1-3 and 9,1-2 (PG 31,934D-943B); Regulae brevius tractatae, Resp. 304 (PG 31,1299AB); Epistolae II,150,3 (PG 32,606AB).
  283. LR 2,8 (FA:ED I 100).
  284. From Olivi Expositio 2,I,B,4 (p. 129,15-16); see Mt 19:21.
  285. Vitae Patrum, Verba Seniorum 7,2,1 (PL 73,1028D-1029A). This is a saying about Pascasius; see also 3,67 (PL 73,772B).
  286. Apocryphal acts of the Apostle Andrew that have not been found.
  287. Ideas expressed in ScEx 19 (FA:ED I 535).
  288. LR 2,9 (FA:ED I 101).
  289. See 1 Jn 2:16.
  290. See Lk 13:7.8.
  291. See Gn 29:18.20.
  292. Lk 3:21.23.
  293. See Jn 4:18; Is 3:7; Mt 21:40; 1 Cor 13:8. For 86-87: St John Climacus, Scala Paradisi, Grad. 4 (PG 88,695A).
  294. See Heb 5:7.
  295. See LR 2,14 (FA:ED I 101); Mt 18:3; John Cassian, De Coenobiorum Institutis 1,4; 1,6 (PL 49,68 and 71).
  296. For 91-92: For Clareno’s description of the habit see Chronicon, Trib. 7,3 (pp. 221,18-222,10).
  297. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 15,1 (PG 31,951BC).
  298. LR 2,10 (FA:ED I 101).
  299. LR 2,11-12 (FA:ED I 101). Bull Cum secundum consilium of 22 September 1220 of Honorius III (BF I, num. 5, p. 6D); see Lk 9:62.
  300. A similar text is found in 1,256-257 from Pseudo-Bernard, De Statu virtutum 2,26 (PL 184,805A).
  301. There is a hint of this meaning in Olivi Expositio 2,II,1b (p. 130,23-27); Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 2,103-110 (p. 132).
  302. For 103-104: Mt 11:28-30.
  303. See 1,24: ‘contained in the vow’, but this is an error (see Chronicon, Trib. 6,12: p. 211,25-30, and is contrary to what had been pointed out by Pope Gregory IX in the Bull Quo elongati of 28 September 1230 (BF I, num. 56, p. 68DE); Innocent IV in the Bull Ordinem vestrum of 14 November 1245 (BF I, num. 114, p. 400C); Nicholas III in the Bull Exiit qui seminat of 14 August 1279 (BF III, num. 127, p. 406B-407C); and Clement V in the Bull Exivi de Paradiso of 6 May 1312 (BF V, num. 195, p. 81).
  304. See 1,22; LR 2,12 (FA:ED I 101); LR 2,12-13 (FA:ED I 101)
  305. See Lk 9:62; Bull Cum secundum consilium of 22 September 1220 of Honorius III (BF I, num. 5, p. 6D).
  306. LR 2,14 (FA:ED I 101).
  307. See John Cassian, De Coenobiorum Institutis 1,3-10 (PL 49,64-78); St Dorotheus, Doctrina 1,12-13 (PG 88,1631C-1634A); Rufinus of Aquileia, Historia Monachorum 3 (PL 21,407C); St Pachomius, Regula 81-105 (PL 23,77A-79A), Vitae Patrum 4,15 (PL 73,825BD).
  308. See Lk 9:2.3.
  309. See Jn 16:13; Test 16 (FA:ED I 125).
  310. Test 16 (FA:ED I 125); Tb 1:3; Mt 19:21.
  311. See Chronicon, Trib. 2, 6 (pp. 83,11-84,16).
  312. For 115-116: See Chronica XXIV Generalium, Tempora fratris Crescentii, AF III, p. 263,1-5.
  313. See AC 101; 102 (FA:ED II 204; 206); Int. Regulae 1 and 5 (DAF I, p. 84 and 87; Pasztor, pp. 655 and 656); 2MP 2 (FA:ED III 255).
  314. AC 105 (FA:ED II 210); Int. Regulae 12 (DAF I, p. 94; Pasztor, p. 659); 2MP 4 (FA:ED III 258).
  315. LMj 14,3 (FA:ED II 642); 2C 2,162,214 (FA:ED II 386); see 1 Kgs 19:20; Eph 4:21.
  316. 2C 2,39,69 (FA:ED II 293); Mt 11:8. We do not have the Legend of Brother John of Celano.
  317. LMj 5,1 (FA:ED II 561).
  318. LMj 5,2 (FA:ED II 561); see 2 Cor 11:27.
  319. LMj 5,2 (FA:ED II 561). See Mt 11:8; Lk 7:25.
  320. LR 4,2 (FA:ED I 102).
  321. For 130-131: St Jerome, Epistolae 120,1, Ad Hebidiam (PL 22,985), with a short omission made by Clareno.
  322. Rabbanus Maurus, In Matthaeum 3, 10 (PL 107, 873AB).
  323. See Acts 2:4; 4:8.13; 13:9; Phil 1:23.
  324. For 140-142: See St Basil the Great, Epistolae, classis I,2,1, to Gregory (PG 32,223A). See 1 Cor 4:12. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 16,1 (PG 31,958AB); Resp. 20-22 (PG 31,970-982); see also Resp. 19,2 (PG 31,970A). Quoted in Clareni Apologia 106,10-11, in AFH 39 (1946) 142..
  325. St Basil the Great, Epistolae, classis II,150,3-4, to Amphilochius (PG 32,603C-606C); see the quotations in Clareni Apologia 76,7-10 and 106,7-9, in AFH 39 (1946) 125 and 142.
  326. St Maximus, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, Quaest. 4 (PG 90,275CD; CCG 7,61). See Jn 19:23. See the quotation in Clareni Apologia 76,8-10, in AFH 29 (1946) 126.
  327. See LMj 12,1-2 (FA:ED II 622-623); Acts 16,8.12; Officium S. Francisci, at Lauds, 18, Ant. 1,4 (in AF X, p. 383); 1C 1,14,35 (FA:ED I 214); LJS 4,23 (FA:ED I 384-385); see nudus in LMj 14,4 (FA:ED II 642-643). See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 69, note 2.
  328. See Gal 6:14.
  329. For 153-154: Simon Metafrastes, that is Vita S. Gregorii Thaumaturgi, but the author is St Gregory of Nyssa (PG 46,955A). See Clareni Apologia 104,30-36, in AF 39 (1946) 141. See Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58; Heb 13:12.14.
  330. LR 2, 16 (FA:ED I 101).
  331. LMj 5, 2 (FA:ED II 561). See Mt 11:7.8.
  332. LMj 5, 2 (FA:ED II 561).
  333. St Jerome, De viris illustribus, Abbot Anthony 88 (PL 23,731B); see Rufinus Historia Monachorum, Macarius, the old Egyptian 28 (PL 21,449C-452C); Macarius, the Alexandrian youth 29 (PL 21,452C-455C). Pambo is quoted in Clareni Epistole 70 (p. 318,1) together with St Anthony Abbot, and others. The sayings of Pambo are found in Apophthegmata Patrum, Pambo 1-14 (PG 65, 367B-371B). Elenus is found in Historia Monachorum 11 of Rufinus (PL 21,429B-432A).
  334. See 6,355; I do not know where it occurs in St Jerome. But Paphnutius is spoken of in the abovementioned Kefala, that can be seen in the Historia Lausiaca 91, of Palladius (PG 34,1198C); in the edition of C. Butler, The Lausiac History of Palladius, II, Cambridge 1904, pp. 137,8-9 and 138,2-9. This is not the better known Paphnutius described for us by Palladius in Historia Lausiaca 62-65 (PG 34,1166B-1173A), or in Historia Monachorum 16 of Rufinus (PL 21,435B-438B).
  335. See Lk 7:25.
  336. See 2,151; Phil 1:23; 2 Cor 8,:2.
  337. Vita S. Fulgentii Ruspensis 18,37 (PL 65,136A). See 2 Sm 15:30; 16:13.
  338. I do not know from where Clareno has taken this.
  339. See LR 2,15 (FA:ED I 101).
  340. See 2 Cor 8:2.
  341. See Gal 5:24.
  342. See LR 2,16 (FA:ED I 101); Acts 2:4; Heb 11:37-38.
  343. See Rom 8:3; 1 Cor 1:25.28; 2LtCus 2-3 (FA:ED I 60).
  344. See 2,151; St Jerome, Vita S. Pauli primi Eremitae 12 (PL 23,26C: ed. 1883).
  345. For 175-194: The vision of the statue, borrowed from Dan 2:31-43 is repeated many times in Franciscan documents: see 2C 2,50,82 (FA:ED II 301); HTrb Prol. 330 (FA:ED III 395); M. Bigaroni, Vita del povero et humile Servo de Dio Francesco, Assisi 1985, ch. 10, pp. 39-44; MF 9 (1901) 97-98; Chronica XXIV Generalium (AF III, p. 231,5-10); Bartholomew of Pisa, De conformitate vitae beati Francisci ad vitam Domini Iesu (AF V, 163,10-165,20). Actus 25 (ed. J. Campbell, Assisi 1988, pp. 298-310). See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 73, note 2.
  346. See Dan 2:32-33.
  347. See 2 Cor 4:10; Gal 6:17.
  348. See 1 Cor 8:1.
  349. See Dicta beati Aegidii, Ad Claras Aquas 1905, p. 91: ‘Bo, bo, I preach much and do little’; see AF III,86,14.
  350. For 188-190: See Actus 64,9.
  351. LR 2,16 (FA:ED I 101).
  352. LR 2,17 (FA:ED I 101).
  353. See Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; LR 2,17 (FA:ED I 101).
  354. In Apophthegmata Patrum, Theophilus of Alexandria 1 (78) (PG 65,198CD); Vitae Patrum, Verba Seniorum 5,15,19 (PL 73,957C).
  355. For 202-203: For Pastor, or Poemen, Abbot see 1,146-147. In Apophthegmata Patrum, Poemen 95 and 98 (PG 65,346A and C) according to the collection arranged by Pelagius Giovanni. Lk 6:37; see Mt 7:1.
  356. See 1 Tm 6:10.
  357. Phil 2:21.
  358. See Ps 77:11.
  359. See Lk 2:3; Eph 3:8; Rv 9:13; LMj Prol. 1; 13, 9 (FA:ED II 527; 637).
  360. LR 3,1 (FA:ED I 101).
  361. ER 3,1-2 (FA:ED I 65); see Mk 9:28; Mt 17:20; 6:16.
  362. Two verses from chapter three of the Earlier Rule found in some codices: see H. Boehmer, Analekten zur Geschichte des Franciscus von Assisi, Tübingen 1904, ed. III 1961, p. 2,29-30. See Mt 26:41; Mk 14:38; Lk 11:2; Mt 6:9.
  363. See Ps 51:3-21; Mt 6:9-13.
  364. See Ps 130:1-8.
  365. For 8-14: ER 3,3-9 (FA:ED I 65-66).
  366. See 4 Esdras 2:34.
  367. For 15-18: ER 3,10 (FA:ED I 66).
  368. For 19-22: ER 3,11-13 (FA:ED I 66); see Lk 10:8.
  369. For 25-26: Jn 4:23-24.
  370. See Dt 19:15; 18:16.
  371. Ex 29:41.
  372. See Rom 8:8; Ps 66:15.
  373. LR 3,2 (FA:ED I 101).
  374. See 2C 2,32,62 (FA II 288); L3C 11,43 (FA:ED II 94); 2MP 3,68 (FA:ED III 313); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 82, note 1.
  375. See Jn 17:3.
  376. See Lk 2:7. St John Chrysostom, Homilia in illud: ‘exiit edictum’ 3 (Lk 2:1), (PG 50,799-800); see also Homilia in diem Natalem 3 (PG 49,354), where there is but little material.
  377. See Mk 1:13; Lk 6:12; Heb 5:7; Lk 23:46.
  378. See 2,79; 4,12; ScEx 21 (FA:ED I 536); Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53.
  379. LR 3,3-4 (FA:ED I 101).
  380. For 50-51: St John Climacus, Scala Paradisi, Grad. 26 (PG 88,1014A; 1018AB), The translation has been made by Clareno. See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 83, note 6. See Rom 12:17.
  381. St John Climacus, Scala Paradisi, Grad. 26 (PG 88,1018D in Latin, C in Greek).
  382. See Rv 5:8.9; 14:3.
  383. For 56-75: On a parenthetic use of the Alphabet, see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 85, note 3.
  384. See 2 Cor 1:3; Ex 29:41.
  385. LR 3,3 (FA:ED I 101); Jn 1:29.
  386. LR 3,3 (FA:ED I 101).
  387. LR 3,4 (FA:ED I 101).
  388. See 1 Cor 10:16; 12:12.27; Jas 5:16; 2 Mc 12:46.
  389. See 2 Mc 12:46.
  390. Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 3,11-12 (pp. 137-138).
  391. LR 3,1 (FA:ED I 101).
  392. Bull Pio vestro Collegio of 7 June 1241 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 342, p. 296); and of 20 June 1244 of Innocent IV (BF I, num. 50, p. 344). See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 88, note 5; p. 89, note 1; E. Clop. Saint François et la liturgie de la Chapelle papale, in AFH 19 (1926) 753-802.
  393. Older Cardinals: either John Colonna (1278-1318), or Napoleon Orsini (1288-1342).
  394. LR 3,5 (FA:ED I 101).
  395. See Rom 12:1.
  396. For 96-97: See Mt 9:15-16; Mk 2:19-20.
  397. LR 3,8 (FA:ED I 101-102).
  398. See Rom 14:7.8.
  399. LR 3,9 (FA:ED I 102).
  400. LR 3,9 (FA:ED I 102).
  401. See Olivi Expositio 3,II,2 (p. 138,13-15).
  402. LR 3,14 (FA:ED I 102); Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 3,24-29 (pp. 138-139).
  403. See preceding note.
  404. LR 3,10 (FA:ED I 102).
  405. LR, Chapter 3, Heading (FA:ED I 101).
  406. LR 3,10 (FA:ED I 102); see Jn 1:29.
  407. See Mt 10:16; Lk 10:3.
  408. For 114-119: The admonition of Saint Francis, with its echoes of the beatitudes is in LR 3,11 (FA:ED I 102).
  409. See Phil 4:7.
  410. LR 3,12 (FA:ED I 102).
  411. See Jn 4:6; Mt 9:35; 10:9.10.
  412. Mt 10:16; Lk 10:3.
  413. See Mk 16:15.
  414. See Jn 12:32; Heb 5:7.
  415. LR 3,13 (FA:ED I 102).
  416. Test 23 (FA:ED I 126) see Nm 6:26.
  417. See Eph 2:14; Phil 4:7; Lk 10:27.
  418. Ps 119:165; see Lk 2:14.
  419. LR 3,14 (FA:ED I 102).
  420. For 134-135: St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum Evangelistam Homilila 32 (33), 5 (PG 57,383-384). Probably a Latin translation of Borgundio of Pisa, thirteenth century, made in Constatinople and on whom Clareno relies.
  421. St Jerome, Commentarium in Epistolam ad Titum 1,7 (PL 26,602B: ed. 1884); see 1 Tm 6:8.
  422. See Ps 55:23; Lk 12:31.
  423. LR 4,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  424. See Rom 10:10; Phil 3:20; Col 3:1-2.
  425. LR 1,1 (FA:ED I 100).
  426. See Phil 3:20.
  427. See 1 Tm 6:10.
  428. See Mt 10:9.
  429. See Acts 3:6.
  430. See 2,79; 3,47; ScEx 19 (FA:ED I 535); Testament of Saint Clare 45 in Regis Armstrong, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, rev. ed., New York: Franciscan Institute Publications 1993, p. 59; L3C 7,22 (FA:ED II 81). See Lk 2:12.16; 6:12.
  431. See Heb 5:7; Lk 23:46.
  432. See Eph 4:10; Rv 5:7.
  433. See Jn 18:36; Mk 10:24; Mt 19:23.
  434. Mk 10:25; Mt 19:24.
  435. See Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13.
  436. Sir 10:9-10.
  437. For 19-20: Sir 31:8-9; see Eph 5:5.
  438. See 1 Tm 6:9.
  439. See Jos 7:1.
  440. See Mt 27:3.5.
  441. See 2 Kgs 5:26-27.
  442. See Sir 48:1; Jn 5:35; Rv 11:3.4.
  443. See 1 Cor 15:47.49.
  444. Heb 5:7.
  445. See Rv 1:5; 3:14; Jn 1:8; Mt 18:16; Dt 19:15; Jn 18:36.
  446. See Rv 3:14; 1 Jn 5:19.
  447. See 1 Jn 2:16; Jn 1:5; Rv 3:14.
  448. See Mt 25:1.2.
  449. LR 4,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  450. Jas 3:14.
  451. See 1,294; Jn 16:2.
  452. For 39-41: See 1,292-294; Chronicon, Trib. Proemio 4 (p. 21,18-34; FF 2136).
  453. LR 4,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  454. See 2 Cor 8:2.
  455. See ER Prol 2 (FA:ED I 63). See note for Preface 14 and 1,39.
  456. Eccl 1:2; 12:8.
  457. See 2 Cor 11:26; Gal 2:4; Jn 12:6.
  458. For 45-56: ER 8,1-12 (FA:ED I 69-70).
  459. LR 4,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  460. See 1Cor 4:12.
  461. The ownership and use, or less, of money are one of the most important aspects of poverty, argued and struggled over right from the beginning of the Order. On the definition of ‘money’ see Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 4,7-12; 4,35-53 (pp. 141-143); Clareni Apologia 84,6-8, in AFH 39 (1946) 129; Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 103, note 1; Bonaventure Expositio 4,2 (Op. omn. 8,412); Olivi Expositio 4,I,1 (pp. 141,30-142,10); De Digne Expositio 4, 1 (pp. 122,30-124,6).
  462. See 2 Cor 1:3.
  463. LR 4,2-3 (FA:ED I 102).
  464. Taken from Olivi Expositio 4,II,1 (p. 142,18-19). LR 4,2-3 (FA:ED I 102).
  465. LR 10,2 (FA:ED I 105); see Rom 8:17.
  466. See ER 22,27 (FA:ED I80); 2LtF 54 (FA:ED I 49); Jn 10:15.
  467. See Col 3:1.
  468. See 2C 38,68 (FA:ED II 292); LMj 7,5 (FA:ED II 580).
  469. See 2C 35,65 (FA:ED II 290); 2MP 14 (FA:ED III 266).
  470. A brother named Augustine: see 2C 144,218 (FA:ED II 389); 3C 14,116 (FA:ED II 448); LMj 14,6 (FA:ED II 644); LMn 7,1 (FA:ED II 671); LMj 7,1 (FA:ED II 670)..
  471. See 2C 38,68 (FA:ED II 292); LMj 7,5 (FA:ED II 579-560).
  472. Lk 9:3; Acts 3:6.
  473. For 75-76: See 6,207-208; St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 7,54-55 (PL 15,1800C-1801A; ed. 1887; CCL 14,231,532-232,549). Clareno quotes with some omissions. Mt 10:9.
  474. Passage from De mirabilibus sacrae Scripturae 3,16 (PL 35,2201), an Irish work attributed to St Augustine. Acts 3:6; see Mt 10:9.
  475. See 6,320-322. The quotations from the apocryphal books, as this present quote of Thomas, cannot all be identified, neither in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha of M. Bonnet, Hildesheim 1959 (facsimile edition), nor in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha of Pseudo-Abdia of J.A. Fabricius, Codex Apocyrphus Novi Testamenti, II, Hamburg 1719, translated into Italian by M. Erbetta, Gli Apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento, II, Atti e Leggende, Turin 1966, pp. 378-379 (book IX of Pseudo-Abdia); and by L. Moraldi, Apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento, II, UTET, Turin 1975, pp. 1582-1593. It is found in James de Voragine (Varazze), ed. of Th. Graesse, facsimile edition, Osnabrück 1969, p. 36.
  476. See 6,306-311; Jn 1:37-38. The story and the words are found in the Apocyrphal Acts of the Apostles by Pseudo-Abdia 5,15-16, in M. Erbetta, II, Atti et Leggende, pp. 121b,47; 122a,15-18; 122b,18-21; in L. Moraldi, II, Memorie apostoliche di Abdia, p. 1522. See Clareni Apologia 159,1-4, in AFH 39 (1946) 168; also in Simon Metafraste, Vita S. Ioannis Evangelistae 5 (PG 116, 698AB); Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiastica 3,23 (PG 20, 262C-263A).
  477. See 6,323-325. In the Acts of Thaddeus there is the story of King Abagarus, but without the words of the Apostle: see M. Erbetta, II: Atti di Taddeo 2-4 (p. 577); in the Memorie apostoliche di Abdia 6,12, translated by L. Moraldi, there are similar expressions about the refusal of riches (II, p. 1543). The words are in Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiastica 1,13 (PG 20,130A). Clareno quotes this also in his Apologia 159,4-6, in AFH 39 (1946) 168-169.
  478. See 6,316-319. For Bartholomew see Memorie apostoliche di Abdia 8,3-4, in the translation of L. Moraldi, II, p. 1570; and in Erbetta, II: Atti e Leggende, p. 584a,46-584b,8; both are translations of the work of J.A. Fabricius, Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti, II, Hamburg 1719. See M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum apocryphya, II,1, p. 134,4-12, (in the Greek p. 134,20-31).
  479. St Athanasius of Alexdandria, Vita S. Antonii, ch. 12 in the Greek (PG 26,862A), ch. 11 in the Latin (PL 73,133B).
  480. I do not know Clareno’s source for Cariton.
  481. Postunianus, Postumianus, see Sulpicius Severus, Diaologi 1,5 (PL 20,187D; ed. Halm, p. 157,20). See also Clareni Epistolae 44 (p. 217,3-7).
  482. See 6,606ff. Vitae Patrum lib. I: Vita Sanctorum Barlaam et Josaphat (PL 73,443-606), especially 1,18 (PL 73,513CD).
  483. For 90-92: Vitae Patrum, lib. VIII: Palladiius, Histora Lausiaca 8,19 (PL 73,1109D; PG 34,1145CD); probably the translation was done by Clareno; Eraclide, Paradisus 6 (PL 74,267D-268A).
  484. St Jerome, Vita S. Hilarionis Eremltae 34 (PL 23,48BC, ed. 1883).
  485. Chronicon, Trib. 4,4 (p. 117,10-118,12).
  486. See 6,39; AC 15 (FA:ED II 130); Verba 1 (DAF I, p. 100; Pasztor, p. 662); 2MP 12 (FA:ED III 223).
  487. LR 5,1-2 (FA:ED I 102); see 1 Thes 5:19.
  488. For the Euchites see St Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses 3,2,80,1 (PG 52,755B). For the Circumcellions see St Augustine, Contra Gaudentium 1,28 (PL 43,725D); Contra Cresconium Donatistam 3,42 (PL 43,521A); Optatus Milevitanus, De Schismate Donastistarum 3,4 (PL 11,1007A-1008B). For the Vagabonds see Regula S. Benedicti 1,10-12 (PL 66,246B). For Messeldio and Adelfio Messalians see A. Vööbus, The Messalians, in CorpuSCO 197, Subsidia 17: ‘History of Asceticism in the Syrian Orient’, Louvain 1960, pp. 127-140. See Cassiodorus, Historia Ecclesiastica tripartita 7,11,6-13 (PL 69,1077C-1078C), translation of the work Historia Ecclesiastica by Theodoret (4,10: PG 82,1142D-1146B); or see Theodoret, Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium 4,11 (PG 83,430B-431C). For the Angelici see St. Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses 2,1,60 (PG 41,1038D-1039B). For the Apostolici see St Epiphanius, Adversus Haeseses 2,1,61 (PG 41,1039C-1051A).
  489. For 6-7: LR 5,1 (FA:ED I 102).
  490. Test 21 (FAS:ED I 125).
  491. AC 103 (FA:ED II 208); Int. Regulae 9 (DAF I, p. 91; Pasztor, p. 658); 1MP 7 (FA:ED III 219); 2MP 73 (FA:ED III 321). See 1 Thes 4:11; Eph 4:28.
  492. AC 103 (FA:ED II 208); 1 MP 7 (FA:ED III 219-220); 2MP 73 (FA:ED III 321).
  493. Test 20-21 (FA:ED I 125); see Acts 20:34; 1 Cor 4:12.
  494. LR 5,1 (FA:ED I 102). For St Anthony Abbot, see Vitae Patrum, Verba Seniorum 5,7,1 (PL 73,893AB); Palladius, Apophthegmata Patrum Anthony 1 (10) (PG 65,75AB).
  495. LR 5,2 (FA:ED I 102).
  496. See Sir 33:28.
  497. See Mk 8:36.
  498. See Ps 128:2.
  499. See 2 Thes 3:10.
  500. See 1 Cor 7:20.24.
  501. For 21-28: ER 7,1-12 (FA:ED I 68-69).
  502. For ‘to exert themselves in doing good works’ see St Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangelia 1,13,1 (PL 76,1123D). For ‘Always do etc.’ see St Jerome, Epistolae 125,11, Ad Rusticum monacum (PL 22,1078; CSEL 56,130).
  503. St Benedict, Regula 48,1; Giona Aurelianense, Institutio laicalis 3,6 (PL 106,245D). There is something similar in St Anselm, Epistolae 3,49 (PL 159,81A), but nothing in the Bible.
  504. For 29-31: ER 7,1-12 (FA:ED I 69).
  505. See 1 Thes 5:17.18.
  506. See Mt 10:10; Lk 10:7; Eph 4:28.
  507. See 2 Cor 11:27.
  508. Acts 20:35.
  509. For 33-38: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,1 (PG 31,1010C-1011A). See Mt 25:34-35.
  510. Prv 31:27; Mt 25:26. For 39-40: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,2 (PG 31,1011A).
  511. See Lk 12:48. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,2 (PG 31,1011B).
  512. See Col 3:16.
  513. For 42-43: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,2 (PG 31,1011CD).LR 5,2 (FA:ED I 102); see 1 Thes 5:19.
  514. LR 5,2 (FA:ED I 102); see 1 Thes 5:9.
  515. Rather Rufinus d’Aquileia, Historia Monachorum 15 (PL 21,433D-434A), attributed to St Jerome. See 1 Cor 12:9-10; Rv 19:10; 1 Thes 4:11; Eph 4:28.
  516. John Cassian, De Coenobiorum Institutis 10,24 (PL 49,394A-396A). See 1 Thes 4:11; Eph 4:28; Lv 23:8.
  517. Idem, 10,22 (PL 21,388A-393A).
  518. LR 5,3 (FA:ED I 102-103).
  519. For Brother Giles see L3C 11,44 (FA:ED II 94); AP 28,1-6 (FF 1520); AC 92 (FA:ED II 195); 2MP 36 (FA:ED III 284-285).
  520. LR 5,3 (FA:ED I 102-103); Mt 10:9.
  521. LR 5,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  522. Palladius, Historia Lausiaca I and 5 (PL 74,354A and 350C); Sozomeno, Historia Ecclesiastica 6,29 (PG 67,1374C).
  523. See Lv 23:8.
  524. For 58-60: See Constitutiones monasticae 5 (PG 31,1359B), attributed to St Basil and Clareno has made his own translation.
  525. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 42,1 (PG 31,1023D-1026A); Mt 25:35.
  526. See Mt 6:25.32.
  527. For 62-64: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 42,1 (PG 31,1026A). Mt 25:40.
  528. 2 Thes 3:12.
  529. For 65-68: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 42,1 (PG 31,1026AB). See 2 Thes 3:11-12.
  530. See St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 42,1 (PG 31,1026B). 2 Thes 3:8; Eph 4:28.
  531. For 70-71: Idem, Resp. 41,2 (PG 31,1023CD).
  532. See Jer 17:6.
  533. For 72-75: Idem, Resp. 42,2 (PG 31, 1026C-1027A). See Jer 17:5-6.
  534. St Augustine, De opere Monachorum (PL 40,547-582).
  535. See Mt 6:31; 6:26; Jn 6:27.
  536. For 76-78: A passage quoted according to its meaning and based on Olivi Expositio 5,III,B,4, d (p. 155,21-23).
  537. For 78-87: St Augustine, De opere Monachorum 17,20 (PL 40,564-565; CSEL 41,564-565).
  538. For 88-90: St Augustine, De opere Monachorum 18,21 (PL 40,565; CSEL 41,565).
  539. Idem, 19,22 (PL 40,566; CSEL 41,568).
  540. Idem, 22,26 (PL 40,568; CSEL 41,572).
  541. Idem, 22,26 (PL 40,569; CSEL 41,572).
  542. Idem, 20,23 (PL 40,567; CSEL 41,569).
  543. Idem, 30,38 (PL 40,577; CSEL 41,589). For 78-95: This passage comes from Olivi Expositio 5,III,A,2-3 (p. 149,16-150,15).
  544. St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 37,2 (PG 31,1011A).
  545. Jn 12:26. For 98-100: Constituiones monasticae 4,4 (PG 31,1351D-1354A), attributed to St Basil, probably a translation by Clareno.
  546. See Lk 2:51.
  547. See Jn 4:6; Lk 22:27.
  548. See Mt 20:28; Jn 13:5.
  549. For 102-110: Constitutiones monasticae 4,6 (PG 31,1355C-13358B).See 2 Cor 11:25-26.
  550. For 111-116: Constitutiones monasticae 4,6 (PG 31,1358BC).
  551. For 117-120: Idem, 4,7 (PG 31,1358C-1359B). See 2 Tm 3:12.
  552. See LR 5,2 (FA:ED I 102).
  553. LR 6,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  554. See 1 Pt 2:21.
  555. For 4-8: ER 1,1-5 (FA:ED I 63-64).
  556. See Mt 19:21; Lk 18:22.
  557. Mt 16:24.
  558. See Lk 14:26.
  559. See Mt 19:29; Mk 10:29; Lk 18:29.
  560. For 9-10: Reference in Clareni Epistolae 41 (p. 199,7-10).
  561. For 9-11: Test 14-17 (FA:ED I 125). See Tb 1:3.
  562. See 6,41-42.88; AC 16 (FA:ED II 131); Verba 2 (DAF I, p. 101; Pasztor, p. 662); 2MP 13 (FA:ED III 266). Bull Quo elongati, 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 56, p. 69E).
  563. AC 101 (FA:ED II 204); Int. Regulae I (DAF I, p. 84; Pasztor, p. 655); 2MP 1,2 (FA:ED III 255).
  564. For 14-15: ER 7,13-14 (FA:ED I 69).
  565. See 1 Tm 6:8. For 16-20: ER 9,1-5 (FA:ED I 70).
  566. See Jn 11:27; Is 50:7.
  567. See Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10. For 21-23: ER 9,6-9 (FA:ED I 70-71).
  568. For 24-26: ER 9,10-12 (FA:ED I 71).
  569. See Rom 14:3.
  570. See Mt 12:4; Mk 2:26. For 27-29: ER 9,13-15 (FA:ED I 71).
  571. See Lk 21:34-35.
  572. ER 9,16 (FA:ED I 71).
  573. See Lk 9:3; 10:4. For 31-35: ER 14,1-5 (FA:ED I 73).
  574. See Lk 10:5.
  575. See Lk 10:7.
  576. See Lk 6:29-30.
  577. See 1 Pt 2:11; Ps 39:13. For 36-37: Test 24-26 (FA:ED I 126).
  578. See Mt 10:23.
  579. See 4,96; AC 15 (FA:ED II 130); Verba 1 (DAF I, p. 100; Pasztor, p. 662); 2MP 12 (FA:ED III 265).
  580. For 40-41: See 6,12; AC 16 (FA:ED II 131); Verba 2 (DAF I, p. 101; Pasztor, p. 662); 2MP 13 (FA:ED III 266).
  581. See 10,64.
  582. For 42-46: Verba 4 (DAF I, pp. 101-102; Pasztor, p. 662).
  583. For 47-54: Verba 4 (DAF I, pp. 102-103; Pasztor p. 662).
  584. See 8,50.
  585. For 42-54: AC 17 (FA:ED II 131-132); 2MP Introduction (FA:ED III 253-254); LMj 4,11 (FA:ED II 557-558); HTrb 1,391 (FA:ED III 417); Verba fr. Conradi 1,1-14 (OCH I [1903] 370-373; and MF 7 [1899] 132); see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 127, note 1.
  586. For 55-60: See 10,100-101; AC 18 (FA:ED II 132-133); Verba 5 (DAF I, pp. 103-104; Pasztor, pp. 662-663); 2MP 68 (FA:ED III 313-314); HTrb 1,42 (FA:ED III 402); see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 128, note 1.
  587. For 61-66: AC 20 (FA:ED II 134); Verba 6 (DAF I, pp. 105-106); 1MP 44 (FA:ED III 251-252); 2MP 50 (FA:ED III 294); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 129, note 2.
  588. See 1 Pt 1:9.
  589. See Lk 12:15.
  590. See 1 Jn 2:22; 4:3. For 67-69: It is St Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Arianos 2-3 (PL 10,610C-611A) but Clareno refers to it as Liber Conciliorum and omits some phrases. The passage is used also in Clareni Apologia 158,4-26, in AFH 39 (1946) 168.
  591. For 70-72: St Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Arianos 3-4 (PL 10,611AB). See Mt 16:19.
  592. See Jn 15:18.
  593. For 73-75: St Hilary of Poitiers, Contra Arianos 3-4 (PL 10,616BC).
  594. See Mt 7:14; Sg 1:3.
  595. See Jb 41:2; Phil 2:7-8.
  596. See 1 Cor 1:18; Is 50:6.
  597. See Acts 5:41; 2 Cor 8:9; Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58.
  598. See Jn 18:36.
  599. See 1 Pt 2:11; Ps 39:13. For 83-87: LR 6,1-6 (FA:ED I 103).
  600. See 2 Cor 8:2.
  601. See Ps 142:6.
  602. See note on 6,12.
  603. 1 Tm 3:15.
  604. See Rom 5:10; 1 Cor 10:16.17; Jn 6:55; 17:21.
  605. See Jn 6:57.
  606. See Jn 17:21; Rom 5:9; 2 Cor 5:15.
  607. ! Cor 15:49; see Eph 2:3; Phil 2:21.
  608. See Jn 1:13; 1 Cor 15:49; Col 3:1.2.
  609. See 1 Cor 15:47; Mt 19:21.
  610. Lk 14:33.
  611. Mt 5:2-3.
  612. Mt 10:9.
  613. See Acts 4:8.31.
  614. See 1,53. Eusebius of Caesaria, Historia Ecclesiastica 2,16-18 (PG 20,173B-188B) who quotes from Philo of Alexandria, a Hebrew, De vita contemplativa (PG 20,176A-177D). Pseudo-Isidore (Isidore Mercatore), Decretalium Collectio 5 (PL 130,57CD); Pseudo-Clement, Epistolae 5 (PG 1,505D-507A; PL 130,57CD) Clareno refers to it as the Quarta epistola. For 103-109: Pseudo-Clement, Epistolae 5 (PG 1,505D-507A; PL 130,57CD).
  615. Quotation made by Clareno also in his Epistolae 44 (p. 219,23-26).
  616. For 106-107: The reference is to Plato in De Republica, words put into the mouth of Socrates, in the Libri Recognitionum 10,5 of Pseudo-Clement (PG 1,1422CD).
  617. Ps 133:1.
  618. See Acts 4:32.
  619. For 110-111: Pseudo-Clement, Epistolae 5 (PG 1,507AB; PL 130,57D-58C). See Acts 5:1.4.
  620. Acts 4:32.
  621. See 1 Tm 1:5; 1 Jn 4:17.18.
  622. See 1 Cor 4:12.
  623. See Mt 19:21; Mk 10:29.30.
  624. There are no commentaries by Pope Saint Damasus; the reference is rather to Aimone di Auxerre (Autissidorensis), Carolingian. 2 Cor 9:9; Ps 112:9.
  625. For 118-120: Aimone d’ Auxerre, Expositio in Epistolam II Ad Cor. 9 (PL 117,646D-647A).
  626. For 121-125: Aimone d’ Auxerre, Expositio in Epistolam ad Col. 3 (PL 117,759D-760A). The passage is quoted by Clareno in his Epistolae, attributing it always to St Damasus (Epistolae 44, p. 223,14-22). See Col 3:5.
  627. For 124-125: Ambrosiaster, Commentarium in Epistolan ad Col. 3:5 (PL 17,459AQ, ed. 1879).
  628. See 1 Tm 6:10.
  629. See Heb 11:16. For 126-131: Aimone d’ Auxerre, Expositio in Epistolam ad Heb. 11 (PL 117,906BD). This passage also is taken from Clareno, Epistolae 44 (p. 223,23-31). Some phrases have been omitted.
  630. See Heb 11:16.
  631. 2 Cor 6:10. Aimone d’ Auxerre, Expositio in Epistolam II Ad Cor. 6 (PL 117,637D-638A).
  632. See 2 Cor 6:10.
  633. See 2 Cor 8:9. For 136-140: Expositio in Epistolam II Ad Cor. 8 (PL 117,643BC). The passage has been quoted from Clareno in his Epistolae 44 (p. 216,14-22), as always attributed to Pope St Damasus. See Commentarium in Epistolam II ad Cor. 8:9-10 of Ambrosiaster (PL 17,326CD, ed.
  634. See 2 Cor 8:9.
  635. Mt 8:20.
  636. Ps 82:6.
  637. See 2 Cor 8:10.
  638. The Rule attributed to Basil is actually the Constitutiones monasticae 18 (PG 31,1382-1387).
  639. For 143-149: Idem, 18,1 (PG 31,1382BC).
  640. For 150-160: Idem, 18,2 (PG 31,1382D-1383C).
  641. For 161-168: Idem, 18,3 (PG 31,1383C-1386A).
  642. For 169-178: Idem, 18,4 (PG 31,1386AC).
  643. For 179-182: Idem, 18,4 (PG 31,1386D-1387A).
  644. 2 Macc 7.
  645. Ps 133:1.
  646. For 184-185: St Gregory Nazianzus, in a text not identified.
  647. For 186-187: See 6,302-303. See also Clareni Epistolae 29 (p. 144,21-30). For the poverty of Christ and the Apostles and the poverty of the Rule of Saint Francis see Oliger Expositio, note 3, p. 141-142.
  648. See Lk 14:33. For 188-193: This is not from St Ambrose but from Origen in the translation of
    Rufinus, In Gensim Homiliae 16,5 (PG 12,251AB).
  649. Mt 6:24. The reference is not to the Homily on Matthew but to the exposition on Luke.
  650. For 195-200: St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 7,124 (PL 15,1819CD, ed. 1887; CCL 14,256,1292-1304).
  651. Lk 12:27. For 201-205: St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 7,125 (PL 15,1819D-1820A, ed. 1887; CCL 14,256,1304-1317).
  652. See Lk 12:28.
  653. See Mt 6:27; Lk 12:25.
  654. See 4,75; Mt 10:10; Lk 9:3; St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 6,65 (PL 15,1771C, ed. 1887; CCL 14,196,648-652).
  655. Acts 3:6. For 207-208: See 4,75-76; St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 7,54-55 (PL 15,1800C-1801A, ed. 1887; CCL 14, 231,532-253, 584) with omissions made by Clareno.
  656. Mt 10:9.
  657. See 2 Cor 6:10. For 209-210: Ambrosiaster, Commentarium in Epistolam II ad Cor. 6,10 (PL 17,318B, ed. 1879).
  658. Not Ambrose but Ambrosiaster, Commentarium in epistolam II ad Cor: 6:10 (PL 17:318B).
  659. See Lk 12:31; St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam 7,130 (PL 15,1821C, ed. 1887; CCL 14, 258, 1374-1377).
  660. For 212-215: St Ambrose, Epistolae 1,63,87-88 (PL 16,1265B, ed. 1880).
  661. See Acts 3:6.
  662. See Acts 3:6.
  663. St Ambrose, Epistolae 1,63,88 (PL 16, 1265C, ed. 1880). See 1 Pt 1:18.
  664. Idem, ib. 89 (PL 16, 1265C).
  665. Idem, ib. 91 (PL 16, 1266A).
  666. See Mt 6:31-32. For 219-223: This is not from St Ambrose but from Ambrosius Autpertus, Benedictine monk (+ 778), De conflictu vitiorum 16 (PL 17,1161C-1162A, ed. 1879).
  667. See Mt 6:33. See also Clareni Apologia 142,15-16, in AFH 39 (1946) 160.
  668. See 6, 296; 2 Cor 6:10; 1 Tm 6:8.
  669. See Lk 12:16. This is a homily of St Basil the Great, quoted from the translation of Rufinus d’Aquileia: Homilia in Lucam 12:26, Homilia 3,1 tit. (PG 31,1744C). For 224-225: St Basil the Great, Homilia in Lucam 12:26, Homilia 3,4 (PG 31,1749B).
  670. For 224-225: St Basil the Great, Homilia in Lucam 12:26, Homilia 3,4 (PG 31,1749B).
  671. Idem, ib. (PG 31,1749BC).
  672. For 227-228: Idem, 3,7 (PG 31,1751D-1752A).
  673. Idem, ib. (PG 31,1572A).
  674. For 230-236: Idem, ib. (PG 31,1752BC).
  675. For 237-241: Quotation from St Augustine, In Ioannis Evangelium Tractatus 6,25 (PL 35,1436-1437; CCL 36,66,14-22), taken from the Decretum Gratiani, Dist. 8,1: ‘Quo iure’.
  676. Ps 24:1.
  677. Decretum Gratiani, Dist. 1, Introductio.
  678. For 243-244: Decretum Gratiani, Dist. 8, Introductio. See Acts 4:32.
  679. For 245-246: Decretum Gratiani, Introductio ad can. 2: ‘que contra’.
  680. For 247-250: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 2,1 (PG 31,910AB), according to Clareno’s translation.
  681. For 251-254: See 10,134. St Athanasius of Alexandria, Vita S. Antonii ad Monachos 20 (PG 26,871C-874A), quoted from the version of Evagrius of Antioch.
  682. See Lk 17:21.
  683. For 255-260: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes, In seipsum, 26,13, in the version of Rufinus d’Aquileia (CSEL 36,182-183); see AFH 8 (1915) 321. In Migne (PG 35,1246AB) there is very little.
  684. See Job 39:5.7.
  685. For 261-262: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes, In seipsum, 26,14, in the version of Rufinus (CSEL 36,183-184).
  686. See 2 Cor 8:9.
  687. For 263-264: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 4,71, Adversus Iulianum Apostatam 1 (PG 35,594AB). Clareno is translating directly from the Greek and quotes this passage also in his Epistolae 44 (p. 216,4-13).
  688. See 2 Cor 6:10.
  689. For 265-266: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 10,1 (PG 35,827AB), in the translation made by Clareno from the Greek and which he quotes in his Apologia 164,1-7, in AFH 39 (1946) 170-171.
  690. Idem, Orationes 6,2 (PG 35,723BC), quoted by Clareno in his Apologia 164,9-14, in AFH 39 (1946) 171
  691. St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum Evangelistam, Homilia 10,4 (PG 57,188). Perhaps the translation comes from Burgundius of Pisa, a passage synthesised by Clareno and quoted in his Apologia 106,12 and 145,1-5, in AFH 39 (1946) 142 and 162.
  692. Idem, Homilia 90 (91), 3 (PG 58,790). See Acts 3:6. It is found in St Bonaventure, Apologia Pauperum 10,6 (Op. omn. 8,306a), and in his Epistola de Sandaliis Apostolorum 2 (Op. omn. 8,386a).
  693. For 270-276: St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum Evangelistam, Homilia 90 (91), 4 (PG 58,792).
  694. See Acts 3:6.
  695. Mt 19:21; see Lk 18:22.
  696. Mt 19:27; see Lk 18:28.
  697. See Mt 19:29. omilia 90 (91), 4 (PG 58, 7892).
  698. See Lk 10:7. For 277-283: St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum Evangelistam, Homilia 32 (33), 5 (PG 57,383-384); see St Bonaventure, Apologia Pauperum 7,9 (Op. omn. 8,275a).
  699. See 2 Cor 11:12.
  700. For 284-285: St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum Evangelistam, Homilia 32 (33), 6 (PG 57,386).
  701. Idem, Homilia 8, 5 (PG 57,88); see St Bonaventure, Apologia Pauperum 7,17 (Op. omn. 8,278a).
  702. St Jerome, Epistolae 14,6 (PL 22,351).
  703. Ps 68:11.
  704. See Mt 19:21. St Jerome Epistolae 130,14 (PL 22,1118).
  705. See Acts 4:34.35. St Jerome Epistolae 130,14 (PL 22,1118).
  706. See 1 Tm 6:8. For 292-295: St Jerome, Commentarium in Epistolam ad Titum 1,7 (PL 26,602B, ed. 1884).
  707. See 1 Cor 9:13.
  708. See 6,223; 1 Tm 6:8; St Jerome, Apologia contra Rufinum 1,32 (PL 23,444C, ed. 1883; CCL 79,33,21-23).
  709. St Gregory the Great, Dialogorum libri 3,14 (PL 77,245A), a passage quoted in Clareni Apologia 140,8-11, in AFH 39 (1946) 159.
  710. St Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Ezechielem 2,8,16 (PL 76,1037CD; CCL 142,348,461-468). A text rearranged and synthesized by Clareno.
  711. Jb 36:6; see Mt 19:21. For 299-301: St Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob 26,27,51 (PL 76,380B; CCL 143B,1306,80-88). A text partially rearranged by Clareno.
  712. See 2 Cor 8:2. For 302-303: See 6,186-187.
  713. About St Peter, see Clareni Apologia 106,5 in AFH 39 (1946) 142. For 304-305: Pseudo-Clement, Homiliae 12,6 (PG 2,306BC), in the translation of Rufinus and synthesized by Clareno.
  714. See 4,79; J.A. Fabricius, Codex apocryphus Novi Testamenti, II, Hamburg 1719, pp. 561-562, translated into Italian by M. Erbetta, Gli apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento, II: Atti e Leggende. Il libro dello Ps-Abdia, Turin 1966, Pseudo-Abdia, 5,15 (p. 122a,9-10 and 18), and by L. Moraldi, Apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento, II: Memorie apostoliche di Abdia primo vescovo di Babilonia, Turin 1975 (pp. 1521-1522).
  715. For 307-311: Pseudo-Abdia 5,16, in M. Erbetta, II, p. 122b,2-21; in L. Moraldi, II, p. 1522. The Acts of John reproduce the Passion of John of Pseudo-Melita, reproduced by Fabricius, II, pp. 604ff. in book V of Pseudo-Abdia, of the sixth century.
  716. See Lk 16:19.22. For 312-315: Pseudo-Abdia 5,16, in M. Erbetta, II, p. 122b,22-123b,11; and in L. Moraldi, II, pp. 1522-1523; the passage in Clareno is much abbreviated when compared to the source.
  717. See Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13.
  718. For 316-319: See 4,18; Pseudo-Abdia 8,3-4, in M. Erbetta, II, p. 584a,10-548b,8; in L. Moraldi, II, p. 1570; and in M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum apocrypha, II, 1: Passio S. Barthomolaei Apostoli 3-4, pp. 133-134.
  719. For 320-321: Acta S. Thomae 17-24, in M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum apocrypha, II,2, p. 124-139, in Italian, M. Erbetta, II, pp. 319-321; Pseudo-Abdia 9,6, in Erbetta, II, pp. 378b-379b; in L. Moraldi, II, pp. 1582-1583.
  720. The words reported by Clareno have not been found in the apocryphal writings quoted above.
  721. For 323-325: See 4,80. Acta Thaddaei Apostoli 2-4, in R.A. Lipsius, Acta Apostolorum apocrypha, I, Leipzig 1891, Hildesheim 1959, pp. 273-275; in M. Erbetta, II: Atti di Taddeo 2-4, p. 577; in L. Moraldi, II, p. 1647, and in this case also the words quoted by Clareno do not correspond to the source; they agree in part with Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiastica 1,13 (PG 20,130A).
  722. See Lk 19:29. See Clareni Apologia 159,4-6, in AFH 39 (1946) 168-169.
  723. See Lk 12:33.
  724. The persons quoted were known to Clareno even if they are seldom quoted by him: Diadochus, bishop of Fotice (PG 65,1167-1212) is never quoted; St Maximus monk is quoted once (2, 147); the deacon, St Ephrem of Syria, twice (6,396); John Sparciata is perhaps John Carpazio (see PG 85,1837-1860). For Diadochus see Clareni Apologia 213,3, in AFH 39 (1946) 188, also for John Spartiata.
  725. John Cassian, Collationes (PL 49,477-1328). Clareno speaks of Cassian as Eastern and quote and numbers him among the Greek writers.
  726. See Clareni Apologia 158,1-3, in AFH 39 (1946) 168. For the disciples of St Peter in hagiography see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 155, note 3.
  727. Lucius was sent to Beauvais. He is mentioned by Clareno also in Apologia 157,2-5, in AFH 39 (1946) 158, and in his Epistolae 30 (p. 163, 10-13).
  728. Giunio at Castres in Languedoc; quoted also by Clareno in his Apologia 157,5-7, in AFH 39 (1946) 168, and in his Epistolae 30 (p. 163, 13).
  729. St Apollinaris in Ravenna.
  730. Eutropius in Aquitania and Saintes.
  731. Julian in Britain and Le Mans, Martialis in Limoges, Austragesillus in Bourges, Titianus in Tours, a second Eutropius in Orange, Saturninus in Toulouse, Savinianus, Potenzianus, Altinus and Serotinus in Sens, Clement Flavius in Gaul and in Metz, Frononius at Le Périgord.
  732. Eucharius in Trier (Treviris), Anicius in Soissonnais, Gregory in Beauvais, Memius in Châlons-sur-Marne. I do not know from where Clareno drew this information and legends.
  733. See Phil 3:8; Gal 6:14.
  734. See Col 3:1-2.
  735. For 344-347: See Rom 8:5-8.
  736. See 1 Tm 6:10. For 348-353: St Nilus, the name of whose work is De octo spiritibus Maliltiae 7: de Avaritia (PG 79,1151BD). Clareno omits some passages. An old Latin translation is being used.
  737. St Nilus, De octo spiritibus Malitiae 7 (PG 79,1154B).
  738. See 2,159. Paphnutius, Historia Lausiaca 91, from an old Latin version (PL 73,1186C). It has the superscription Kefala (PG 34,1196BC).
  739. For 356-358: John Cassian, Collationes 3,6 (PL 49,564C).
  740. For 359-360:Idem, 3,7 (PL 49,566B-567A).
  741. Eph 2:3.
  742. See Nm 11:18. For 361-363: John Cassian, Collationes 3,7 (PL 49,568C-569A).
  743. For 364-368: John Cassian, Collationes 3,10 (PL 49,572C-573A).
  744. See Lk 16:12.
  745. For 369-373: John Cassian, Collationes 3,10 (PL 49,573B-574A).
  746. See 2 Cor 4:18.
  747. John Cassian, Collationes 18 (PL 49,1089ff.).
  748. For 375-378: John Cassian, Collationes 18,5 (PL 49,1094B-1095A).
  749. Acts 4:32.34.
  750. For 379-380: John Cassian, Collationes 18,5 (PL 49,1099A-1100A).
  751. For 381-389: Idem, 18,7 (PL 49,1105A-1106B).
  752. See Mt 6:34. For 390-392: John Cassian, Collationes 19,8 (PL 49,1138C).
  753. For 391-392: See Is 58:13-14.
  754. See Phil 3:8. For 393-395: John Cassian, Collationes 24,23 (PL 49,1316AB).
  755. See 1 Tm 6:7.
  756. See Mt 10:10; Mk 6:8; 2 Cor 11:27.
  757. St Ephrem of Syria, deacon, Liber exhortationum ad Monachos, comes perhaps from a Greek manuscript known to Clareno, see J. Gribomont, L’ ‘Expositio’ d’Ange Clareno sur la Règle des Frères Mineurs et la tradition monastique primitive, in ‘Lettura delle Fonti Francescane: il 1400’, ed. Antonianum, Rome 1981, p. 412.
  758. See 1 Pt 5:8. For 397-404: St Ephrem of Syria, Liber exhortationum ad Monachos.
  759. See Lk 9:62.
  760. 1 Cor 10:13; Heb 13:5.
  761. See Mt 6:25; Lk 12:22; see Mt 6:33; Lk 12:31.
  762. Vita Sanctorum Barlaam et Ioasaph (PG 96,857-1240). H. Mattingly, St John Damascene, Barlaam et Joasaph, Cambridge Mass. 1967, p. See 2 Cor 8:2.
  763. See 4,86. Vita Sanctorum Barlaam et Iosaphat 1,18 (PL 73,513C). The Latin text used by Clareno differs from that of Migne.
  764. For 407-427: Idem, 1,18 (PG 73,513C-514D).
  765. See Is 61:10.
  766. For 428-435: Vita Sanctorum Barlaam et Iosaphat 1,21 (PL 73,525AC).
  767. See Jn 12:6.
  768. The incident here mentioned is in the Vitae Patrum 8,116: Palladius, Historia Lausiaca 116 (PL 73,1197D-1198D). The incidents are from the life of Bessarion, recorded in the Apophthegmata Patrum in the version of Pelagius Ioannes.
  769. For 439-441: Apophthegmata Patrum, Abbot Bessarion 4 (77) (PG 65,139AB); see also Vitae Patrum 5,12,3 (PL 73,941B).
  770. For 442-444: Apophthegmata Patrum, Abbot Bessarion 1 (74) (PG 65,138C-139A); Vitae Patrum 6,2,1 (PL 73,1000C).
  771. For 445-446: Apophthegmata Patrum, Abbot Bessarion 2 and 3 (75 and 76) (PG 65,139A); Vitae Patrum 6,2,2-3 (PL 73,1000CD).
  772. See Jos 10:13.
  773. For 447-448: Apophthegmata Patrum, Abbot Bessarion 4 (77) (PG 65,139B); Vitae Patrum 5,12,3 (PL 73,941BC).
  774. Lk 22:41.
  775. For 449-481: I do not know from what source Clareno has drawn this story. Is it, perhaps, his own creation?
  776. See Mt 19:21.
  777. See Lk 11:41.
  778. Quoted also in Clareni Apologia 145,5-9, in AFH 39 (1946) 162. See Ps 110:1.
  779. See Phil 4:7; 1 Jn 2:16.
  780. 2 Cor 1:7.
  781. The great old man of 1,256 is Pseudo-Bernard. Here the reference must be to an anonymous person with an apophthegm in an old Latin version of Pelagius.
  782. For 487-488: This is not St Jerome, but Rufinus d’Aquileia, Historia Monachorum 7 (PL 21,410BC); see also Vitae Patrum 8,52: Palladius, Historia Lausiaca 52 (PL 73,1155A; PG 34,1135AB;1142D-1143A).
  783. For 489-493: Rufinus, Historia Monachorum 15 (PL 21,433D-434C); see Vitae Patrum 8,61: Palladius, Historia Lausiaca 61 (PL 73,1169BD; PG 34,1165BD).
  784. See 1 Cor 4:12.
  785. For 494-496: The story of the anchorite Mark comes perhaps from a story of Serapion Syndonius, where he speaks of three creditors, in Historia Lausiaca 83 (PG 34,1183D-1184A; PL 73,1179C-1180A), but in Palludius, Historia Lausiaca 21 (PL 73,1119BD), where there is a reference to a Mark there is nothing; nor is there anything in Sozomeno, Historia Ecclesiastica 6,29 (PG 67,1375D-1378B).
  786. Peter John Olivi, see Epilogue 29ff.; see Jn 1:11.
  787. LR 6,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  788. LR 6,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  789. LR 6,2 (FA:ED I I03); 1 Pt 2:11; Ps 39:13.
  790. Ps 39:13.
  791. In Quaestiones de Perfectione evangelica, question 6,4, published by A. Emmen in ‘Studi Francescani’ 64 (1967) no. 4, p. 31. See Ps 73:25.
  792. Ps 73:26.
  793. 1 Pt 2:11.
  794. For 513-514: St. Jerome, Adversus Iovinianum 2,36 (PL 23, 348AB, ed. 1883). The fat are from the flock of Epicurus, the humble pilgrims are from the flock of the disciples. In St Jerome in fact the text is: ‘Those of us who are sad’ etc. Olivi quoted this text.
  795. Ps 120:5.
  796. LR 6,2 (FA:ED I 103).
  797. LR 6,3 (FA:ED I 103).
  798. LR 6,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  799. LR 6,4 (FA:ED I 103); 5,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  800. LR 6,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  801. Gal 4:1.
  802. LR 6,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  803. LR 6,4 (FA:ED I 103).
  804. LR 6,5 (FA:ED I 103); see Ps 142: 6.
  805. LR 6,4 and 5 (FA:ED I 103).
  806. LR 6,6 (FA:ED I 103).
  807. See 2C 163,217 (FA:ED II 387); LMj 14,5 (FA:ED II 643).
  808. See Ps 142:6. Here ends the long quotation from Olivi that began at v. 500.
  809. For 530-538: Clareno quotes the Quatuor Magistri, but in fact he is using Olivi Expositio 6,I,A,2a-d (p. 162, 7-32); see Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 6,16-98 (pp. 152-157).
  810. LR 6,2 (FA:ED I 103). See 1 Pt 2:11; Ps 39:13.
  811. For 539-543: Quatuor Magisrorum Expositio 6,99-112 (pp. 157-158). For 539-544: Clareno quotes the Quatuor Magistri but from Olivi as can be seen in v. 544 that is not present in the Quatuor Magistri: Olivi Expositio 6,I,A,2d (pp. 162,32-163, 6).
  812. LR 6,2 (FA:ED I 103). See 1 Pt 2:11; Ps 39:13.
  813. LR 6,2 (FA:ED I 103).
  814. LR 6,7 (FA:ED I 103).
  815. LR 6,8 (FA:ED I 103); see 1 Thes 2:7.
  816. LR 6,7 (FA:ED I 103).
  817. LR 6,8 (FA:ED I 103).
  818. LR 6,9 (FA:ED I 103). For 551-553: See Olivi Expositio 6,II,A,3 (p. 174,28-32).
  819. For 552-553: Mt 7:12.
  820. For 554-555: ER 10,1-2 (FA:ED I 71).
  821. See 1 Thes 5:18; Acts 13:48; Rom 11:8; Rv 3:19. For 556-557: ER 10,3-4 (FA:ED I 71-72).
  822. LR 7,1 (FA:ED I 103). For 1-2: See Olivi Expositio (p. 175, 14-18).
  823. See Ti 3:4.
  824. See Rom 2:4; Ps 51:9.
  825. Heb 9:14.
  826. See 1 Jn 2:16; Heb 11:26.
  827. LR 7,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  828. Chronologia Historico-legalis Seraphici Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, I, Naples 1650, ch. VII, p. 129b; G. Boccali, Il “libricto” del Beato Antonio conservato a San Damiano, in “Il beato Antonio da Strancone”, Porziuncola 1993, p. 114.
  829. LR 7,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  830. ER 8,7 (FA:ED I 70); see 2 Cor 11:26; Gal 2:4; Jn 12:6.
  831. ER 13,1-2 (FA:ED I 73).
  832. For 21-23: Test 31-33 (FA:ED I 126-127).
  833. For 24-25: ER 19,1-2 (FA:ED I 77).
  834. LR 7,1 (FA:ED I 103).
  835. For the curse of Francis see 2C 106,156 (FA:ED II 348); LMj 8,3 (FA:ED II 588); AC 59 (FA:ED II 162); 2MP 5, 87 (FA:ED III 336).
  836. See Lk 10:34.
  837. LR 7,2 (FA:ED I 104).
  838. ER 19,3 (FA:ED I 77).
  839. For 37-38: ER 20,1-2 (FA:ED I 77).
  840. For 39-42: ER 20,3-6 (FA:ED I 77-78). See Jas 5:16.
  841. See Mt 16:19; 18:18.
  842. See Jn 6:54 (55).
  843. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.
  844. LR 7,3 (FA:ED I 104).
  845. See Jn 11:35; Lk 19:41.
  846. LR 7,3 (FA:ED I 104).
  847. LR 10,1 (FA:ED I 105).
  848. LR 8,1 (FA:ED I 104).
  849. For 2-3: See Olivi Expositio 8,III,1 (p. 182,5-9).
  850. See Lk 22:27.
  851. For 4-7: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 29 (PG 31,991C) according to Clareno’s own translation.
  852. See Ez 3:18; Lk 6:23; Mt 5:12.
  853. For 8-10: St Basil the Great, Regulae fusius tractatae, Resp. 30 (PG 31,991C-994A) according to Clareno’s own translation. See 1 Tm 3:6.
  854. See Mk 9:34.
  855. See Jn 10:11.14.
  856. Jn 10:11.14.
  857. See Phil 3:8.
  858. For 15-18: This is Macarius of Egypt, Epistola Magna, (ed. W. Jaeger, Leiden 1954, pp. 256,13-257,13); see also Epistolae 2 (PG 34,422D-423A); De perfectione in Spiritu 8,11 (PG 34,847A-850B) according to Clareno’s own translation.
  859. See Mt 19:29; Mk 10:29; Lk 14:26.
  860. See Mk 9:34.
  861. For 19-22: St Basil the Great, Sermo asceticus de renuntiatione saeculi 2 (PG 31,631B) according to Clareno’s own translation.
  862. See Ps 84:7. For 23-26: The Prima Legenda refers to the legend of Thomas of Celano in relation to the Major Legend of St Bonaventure that is regarded as the second: 2C 139,184 (FA:ED II 364-365); AC 42 (FA:ED II 144); 2MP 4,80 (FA:ED III 324-326).
  863. See Form of Life of Clare of Assisi 4,10 in R. Armstrong, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, rev. ed., New York: Franciscan Institute Publications 1993, p. 69.
  864. See 1 Pt 1:17. For 27-30: 2C 139,185 (FA:ED II 365); AC 42 (FA:ED II 144); 2MP 80 (FA:ED III 324-325).
  865. See Ti 2:7.
  866. See Ps 32:7; 46:2; Rom 12:16; 1 Cor 13:5; Phil 3:8; Form of Life of Clare of Assisi 4,12 in R. Armstrong, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, rev. ed., New York: Franciscan Institute Publications 1993, p. 69. For 31-32: 2C 139,185 (FA:ED II 365); AC 43 (FA:ED II 145); 2MP 80 (FA:ED III 325).
  867. See Jn 10:11; Lk 15:6; Mt 10:6.
  868. For 33-38: 2C 139,186 (FA:ED II 365-66); AC 43 (FA:ED II 145); 2MP 80 (FA:ED III 326).
  869. See Prv 10:29.
  870. 2C 139,186 (FA:ED II 365); AC 43 (FA:ED II 145); 2MP 80 (FA:ED III 326). See Ti 2:7.
  871. 2C 139,186 (FA:ED II 366); AC 43 (FA:ED II 145); 2MP 80 (FA:ED III 326).
  872. See 1 Cor 4:1; LR 8, 1 (FA:ED I 104).
  873. LR 8,2 (FA:ED I 104).
  874. See LR 8,1-2 (FA:ED I 104).
  875. See LR 8,1 (FA:ED I 104).
  876. Bull Quo elongati of 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 56, p. 70CD).
  877. See 6,51; 10,75; Test 25 and 39 (FA:ED I 126-127). For the Rule ‘revealed’ to Francis and its literal observance, see Verba 4 (DAF I, p. 102; Pasztor, p. 662). AC 17 (FA:ED II 132); 2MP Introduction 1 (FA:ED III 254); see the note to v.1 of the Preface.
  878. This gives some norms for the brothers who are able and must go to a general chapter: see Oliger, Clareni Expositio p. 190, note 2.
  879. Lmj 4,10 (FA:ED II 557); AC 18 (FA:ED II 132); 2MP 68 (FA:ED III 313). On the number of brothers at the Chapter of Mats see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 190, note 2.
  880. For 56-57: Quatuor Magistrorum Expositio 8,13-15 (p. 160); Olivi Expositio 8,I,D,2b (p. 180,16-18).
  881. See LR 8,4 (FA:ED I 104).
  882. LR 8,4 (FA:ED I 104).
  883. See 4,67; LR 8,1 (FA:ED I 104). For the title ‘custodian’ as applied to various superiors, see De Digne Expositio 8, 1 (pp. 174,23-175,5); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 191, note 2.
  884. ER 6,3-4 (FA:ED I 68); Jn 13:14.
  885. For the superiors as ‘servants’ of their fellow brothers see LR 10,6 (FA:ED I 105); Oliger, Clareni Expositio 8,III,1 (p. 182,5-7).
  886. LR 9,1 (FA:ED I 104).
  887. For 4-6: Test 6-9 (FA:ED I 125).
  888. See 1 Kgs 4:30.31.
  889. See 6,63-65; Rv 14:15.
  890. For 8-13: ER 17,1-6 (FA:ED I 75).
  891. See 1 Jn 4:8.16.
  892. Lk 10:20.
  893. For 14-15: ER 17,7-8 (FA:ED I 75).
  894. See Jas 1:2.
  895. For 16-20: ER 17,9-16 (FA:ED I 75-76); see Rom 8:6-7.
  896. Mt 6:2.5.16.
  897. See Mt 28:19.
  898. For 21-22: ER 17,17-18 (FA:ED I 76).
  899. See Lk 18:19.
  900. ER 17,19 (FA:ED I 76); see Rom 1:25; 9:5.
  901. AC 104 (FA:ED II 209); 2MP 1,4 (FA:ED III 258).
  902. 2C 147,195 (FA:ED II 372); AC 47 (FA:ED II 147); 2MP 69 (FA:ED III 114).
  903. AC 103 (FA:ED II 208); Int. Regulae 8 (DAF I, p. 90; Pasztor, pp. 657-658); 2MP 3,72 (FA:ED II 319).
  904. For 28-29: 2C 195 (FA:ED II 372); AC 47 (FA:ED II 147); 2MP 69 (FA:ED III 314); see Ps 37:39; 2 Chr 15:4.
  905. See LR 9,2 (FA:ED I 104-105).
  906. Bull Prohibente Regula vestra of 12 December 1240 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 325, p. 287DA); Quatuor Mgistrorum Expositio 9,11-12 (pp. 163-164). See LR 9,2 (FA:ED I 104-105).
  907. See Ti 1:11; 1 Pt 5:2; LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105).
  908. See Mt 16:26.
  909. LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105); Ps 12:7; 18:31
  910. See LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105); Rom 1:16.
  911. See Jb 21:13.
  912. See Mt 22:11.
  913. See Rom 5:2.
  914. LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105); Rom 9:28.
  915. See Mt 19:17; 1 Jn 3:23.
  916. LR 9,3 (FA:ED I 105); Rom 9:28.
  917. LR 10,1 (FA:ED I 105).
  918. See Olivi Expositio 10,A (p. 185, 16-22); LR 10,1 (FA:ED I 105).
  919. For 3-6: ER 4,1-5 (FA:ED I 66); see Col 3:17.
  920. See Mt 7:12.
  921. See Tb 4:16.
  922. For 7-8: ER 4,6 (FA:ED I 66-67); see Mt 20:28.
  923. See Mt 12:36; 2 Cor 5:10.
  924. For 9-12: ER 5,1-4 (FA:ED I 67); Heb 10:31.
  925. For 13-15: ER 5,5-6 (FA:ED I 67).
  926. For 16-17: ER 5,7-8 (FA:ED I 67).
  927. See Mt 9:12; Mk 2:17.
  928. For 18-21: ER 5,9-12 (FA:ED I 67); for 18-25: see Clareni Epitolae 25 (p. 129, 15-28).
  929. For 19-21: See Mt 20:25-27; Lk 22:26.
  930. For 22-25: ER 5,13-17 (FA:ED I 67-68); see Gal 5:13.
  931. See Ps 119:21.
  932. For 26-28: ER 6,1-3 (FA:D I 68).
  933. See Jn 13:14.
  934. See Acts 5:29.
  935. 1 Tm 1:5.
  936. For 34-36: St Basil the Great, Regulae brevius tractatae, Resp. 303 (PG 31, 1298C); see Resp. 114 (PG 31, 1159BC). For 34-37: See Clareni Apologia 210,1-10, in AFH 39 (1946) 187.
  937. Gal 1:8.
  938. See Gal 1:8.
  939. See Jn 10:3-5; St Basil the Great, Regulae brevius tractatae, Resp. 303 (PG 31, 1298B).
  940. Rv 22:13.
  941. Obedience to Christ is correct, but to put the rule as an inspired writing alongside the Gospel, so that one must obey the rule as one obeys the Gospel and not the Church, is mistaken. See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 201, note 5.
  942. St Basil the Great, Regulae brevius tractatae, Resp. 116 (PG 31, 1162B); Resp. 119 (PG 31, 1162D-1163A). For 40-42: See Clareni Apologia 224,1-8, in AFH 39 (1946) 194; see Phil 2:8.
  943. For 40-48: S Bernard, Epistolae 7 (76), 3 (PL 182, 95AB). See Clareni Apologia 224,8-21, in AFH 39 (1946) 194-195. Ps 125:5.
  944. See Ez 18:20.
  945. Acts 5:29.
  946. For 49-52: St Bernard, Epistolae 7 (76), 3 (PL 182, 95BC). See Clareni Apologia 224,22-27, in AFH 39 (1946) 195. See Mt 15:3.
  947. See Is 29:13.
  948. See Gn 3:17.
  949. For 54-55: St Bernard, Epistolae 7 (76), 4 (PL 182, 95CD). See Clareni Apologia 226,1-7, in AFH 39 (1946) 195.
  950. See Gn 2:9.17.
  951. St Bernard, Epistolae 7 (76), 8 (PL 182, 98A). See Clareni Apologia 226,7-10, in AFH 39 (1946) 195-196.
  952. LR 10, 4 (FA:ED I 105). See Clareni Epistolae 14 (p. 73,17-20).
  953. For 59-74: Leg. Vetus (of Sabatier) 2,1-11, in OCH 1 (1902) 90-95.
  954. See 8,62; LR 10, 5 (FA:ED I 105).
  955. LR 10,6 (FA:ED I 105).
  956. For the successive story of the redaction of the Rule, written at Fonte Colombo under the command of Christ and with the opposition of certain ministers see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, note 2 to pp. 204-205; Prologue 34; 6,42; AC 17 (FA:ED II 131-132); 2MP Introduction, 1 (FA:ED III 253-254). For 64-74: Also in Chronicon, Trib. 1, 13 (p. 62,13-63,20: FF 2182-2183).
  957. For 66-67: LR 10,4-5 (FA:ED I 105).
  958. See LR 10,4 (FA:ED I 105).
  959. See 8, 50; Test 25 and 38 (FA:ED I 126-127).
  960. For 76-81: Leg. Vetus (of Sabatier) 3,1-5, in OCH 1 (1902) 96-97; Chronicon, Trib. 1,8 (pp. 49,18-50,15; FF 2173).
  961. Ps 110:4.
  962. See Preface 6.
  963. See LR 10,5 (FA:ED I 105); Lk 12:15.
  964. See LR 10,1 (FA:ED I 105).
  965. See Sir 32:6; 10:7; LR 10,7 (FA:ED I 105).
  966. LR 10,7 (FA:ED I 105).
  967. ER 3,7 (FA:ED I 65).
  968. See LR 10,7 (FA:ED I 105).
  969. See LR 10,8 (FA:ED I 105); Col 1:10; Jn 1:14.
  970. LR 10,8-10 (FA:ED I 105).
  971. See Gn 3:5; 2 Cor 11:3.
  972. For 97-99: AC 103 (FA:ED II 207); Int. Regulae 7 (DAF I, pp. 89-90; Pasztor, p. 657); 2MP 72 (FA:ED III 319).
  973. See Mt 25:29.
  974. See 6,55-57; AC 18 (FA:ED II 132); Verba 5 (DAF I, p. 104; Pasztor, pp. 662-663); 2MP 68 (FA:ED III 132).
  975. See 6,58-59; AC 18 (FA:ED II 132-133); Verba 5 (DAF I, p. 104; Pasztor, p. 663); 2MP 68 (FA:ED III 314).
  976. See Epilogue 42; Chronicon, Trib. 3,2 (pp. 93,1-94,12).
  977. See v. 121. St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 32,25, on moderation when disputing (PG 36, 202C); see Chronicon, Trib 3,1 (p. 90, 29).
  978. See Lam 4:1; Sg 8:7.
  979. See Lam 4:1; Lk 8:14; Lam 2:19.
  980. See Jer 43:6.7.
  981. See LR 10,7-8 (FA:ED I 105).
  982. See Ps 119:96; Mt 10:22; LR 10,12 (FA:ED I 105).
  983. For 110-112: Leg. Vetus (of Sabatier) 4,4-5, in OCH 1 (1902) 98; see Rv 17:1; 19:2.
  984. 2C 116,157 (FA:ED II 349); AC 2 (FA:ED II 118); 2MP 70 (FA:ED III 315).
  985. For 113-118: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 21,12 (PG 35, 1094C-1095A), probably in Clareno’s own translation.
  986. See Acts 17:21.
  987. St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 32,1, on moderation in disputes (PG 36, 174A), probably in Clareno’s own translation.
  988. Idem, ibid. 32,24 (PG 36, 202C).
  989. See v. 103. For 121-128: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 32,25 (PG 36, 202C-203A).
  990. See Rom 10:6.7; 10:8.
  991. See Rom 10:9.
  992. For 129-132: St Gregory Nazianzus, Orationes 32,26-27, on moderation in disputes (PG 36, 203CD). See 1 Cor 1:17.
  993. See Lk 14:28.
  994. See 6,251; St Athanasius of Alexandria, not the Epistla ad Monachos, but the Vita S. Antonii scripta ad Monachos 20 (PG 26, 871C-874A), For St Jerome see Commentarius in Epistolam ad Colossenses 2-3 (PL 30, 855-858), attributed to St Jerome but it is rather a writing by Pelagius, English, or one of his revisions. For St Basil the Great the reference is to Epistolae 2 and 173 and 22 (see 1,194-244) (PG 32, 223-234; 647-650; 287-294).
  995. For 135-137: Leg. Vetus (of Sabatier) 4,1-3, in OCH 1 (1902) 97-98. See Jb 1:19.
  996. See Jer 35:6-7. See Clareni Apologia 104,8-12; 221,1, in AFH 39 (1946) 140 and 192.
  997. For 137-139: See Clareni Apologia 221,2-10, in AFH 39 (1946) 193-194.
  998. See Rom 9:27.
  999. LR 10,9 (FA:ED I 105).
  1000. See Mt 10:22.
  1001. LR 11,1-2 (LR I 106).
  1002. See Gn 3:11-12; 1:26-27.
  1003. David: see 1 Sm 17:49-50; 2 Sm 11, 2-4.
  1004. Solomon: see 1Kgs 11:1-3; Samson: see Jgs 16:4-21.
  1005. 2C 78,112 (FA:ED II 322); LMj 5,5 (FA:ED II 563), but these texts do not say that the women were the mother of Francis and St Clare. See Clareno Epistolae 26 (p. 136, 17-20).
  1006. See LR 11,1-2 (FA:ED I 106). For St Basil the Great the reference is to the work Constitutiones monasticae 3,1-2 (PG 31, 1343B-1346C) or the passage quoted in 11,36-40.
  1007. Decretum Gratiani, Causa 18, quaest. 2, can. 20 and 24.
  1008. For 15-17: ER 12,1-3 (FA:ED I 72-73).
  1009. For 18-20: ER 12,5-6 (FA:ED I 73). Mt 5:28.
  1010. See 1 Cor 6:19.
  1011. See 1 Cor 3:17.
  1012. For 21-23: St Jerome, Epistolae 52,5 ad Nepotianum 5 (PL 22, 532; CSEL 54, 424); Olivi Expositio 11,B,1 (p. 191, 18-24). See LR 11,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1013. This passage comes from Olivi Expositio 11,B,2 (p. 191,25-27). See LR 11,2 (FA:ED I 106); De Digne Expositio 11,II (p. 189, 9-15); see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 219, note 1.
  1014. See LR 11,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1015. LR 11,3 (FA:ED I 106). For 29-31: See Olivi Expositio 11,B,3 (p. 192, 1-6).
  1016. See 1 Jn 4:17.18.
  1017. See LR 11,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1018. LR 11,2 (FA:ED I 106).
  1019. For 36-37: St Basil the Great, Sermo asceticus de renuntiatione saeculi et de perfectione spirituali 5 (PG 31, 638AB). See also Constitutiones monasticae 3,1-2 (PG 31, 1343B-1346C).
  1020. See Gn 8:10.
  1021. For 38-40: St Basil the Great, Sermo asceticus de renuntiatione saeculi 5-6 (PG 31, 638C-639A).
  1022. See Prv 4:23. For 41-42: St Basil the Great, Sermo asceticus de renuntiatione saeculi 6 (PG 31, 639A).
  1023. LR 12,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1024. See Eph 3:18.
  1025. See Mt 5:8; 2 Cor 1:7.
  1026. See 1 Jn 4:18; Sg 8:7. For 5-6: See LMj 9,5 (FA:ED II 600).
  1027. See 1 Jn 4:17.18; Rom 12:1; Lk 10:27.
  1028. See LR 12,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1029. For 11-14: ER 16,4 (FA:ED I 74). Mt 10:16
  1030. See Lk 16:2; Heb 13:17.
  1031. For 15-18: ER 16,5-7 (FA:ED I 74).
  1032. See 1 Pt 2:13.
  1033. See Mt 28:19.
  1034. See Jn 3:5.
  1035. For 19-21: ER 16,8-9 (FA:ED I 74).
  1036. Mt 10:32.
  1037. See Lk 9:26.
  1038. For 22-32: ER 16,10-21 (FA:ED I 74-75).
  1039. See Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24.
  1040. Mt 5:10.
  1041. See Jn 15:20.
  1042. Mt 10:23.
  1043. For 27-28: See Lk 6:22-23; Mt 5:11-12.
  1044. See Lk 12:4; Mt 10:28.
  1045. Mt 24:6.
  1046. See Lk 21:19.
  1047. Mt 10:22.
  1048. See LR 12,1 (FA:ED I 106).
  1049. For 39-42: Olivi Expositio 12,A,4 (p. 193, 5-18).
  1050. See Rom 11:25-26.
  1051. See Rv 6:12; 9:13.
  1052. See 2,217; Rv 7:2.
  1053. See Mt 2:1; Acts 13:2; 15:22. For 43-44: Olivi Expositio 12,A,4 (p. 193, 19-25).
  1054. See Prologue 19.
  1055. For 45-51: This is a passage from Joachim of Fiore, quoted by Clareno from Olivi, Expositio magni prophetae Abbatis Ioachim in Apocalypsim, Venice 1527, f. 120vb, (quoted from Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 227, note 1). These would be from the promises-prophecies made to St Francis, the angel of the sixth seal: LMj, Prologue 1 (FA II 526). See Rv 7:2.
  1056. An opinion of Olivi.
  1057. See Rv 3:11.
  1058. For 52-53: See Rom 9:6-8; Chronicon, Trib. Prologue 6 (p. 28, 8-11). See Oliger, Clareni Expositio, pp. 227-228, note 6.
  1059. For 55-56: Gal 4:29-30; see Gn 21:10; Clareni Apologia 50,11-13, in AFH 39 (1946) 112.
  1060. LR 12,3 (FA:ED I 106).
  1061. LR 1,2 (FA:ED I 100).
  1062. For 60-61: LR 12,3-4 (FA:ED I 106).
  1063. See LR 12,3 (FA:ED I 106); 2 Cor 11:28. The idea comes from Olivi Expositio 2,B,1 (p. 193,32-34).
  1064. See LR 12,4 (FA:ED I 106); Col 1:23; Olivi Expositio 12,B,2 (p. 194,5-13).
  1065. See Ps 5:13.
  1066. See LR 12,5 (FA:ED I 106).
  1067. For 1-3: Clareno takes this from Olivi Expositio 12,B,2 (p. 194, 15-20).
  1068. For 4-28: Another long passage from Olivi Expositio, conclusion, A-B,1-2 (pp. 194,21-195,33). See Rv 12:1.
  1069. For further mystical reflections on the number twelve of the chapters of the Rule, see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. LXXIX and 231, note 5; St Bonaventure, Expositio 1,1 (Op. omn. 8, 393); J. Pecham, Canticum Pauperis, ed. Ad Claras Aquas 1905, p. 204; Ubertino da Casale, Arbor Vitae V. 5. See Lv 24:5-6.
  1070. See Is 6:2; Rv 21:14 and 2.
  1071. See Gn 2:2.
  1072. For 9-14: See Gn 1:
  1073. See LR 5,2 (FA:ED I 102).
  1074. See Acts 8:18-20.
  1075. See Rv 7:4.7.
  1076. For 29-30: See 6,498.
  1077. Ps 74:3.
  1078. See Ps 109:5; 35:12; Chronicon, Trib. 6,12 (pp. 211,21-26 and 212,4-5).
  1079. See Gn 37:24. For the bloody persecution see Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 234, notes 1 and 3.
  1080. See Lk 22:31.
  1081. See Ps 106:29; Chronicon, Trib. 1,1 (p. 36,17-31).
  1082. See Lk 1:72; Bull Quo elongati of 28 September 1230 of Gregory IX (BF I, num. 56, p. 68B) in which is stated that the brothers are not bound to the observance of the Testament. See Rv 12:1; Ex 25:30; Lv 24:5.6.
  1083. Chronicon, Trib. 2,6 (p. 83,16-20).
  1084. See 10,102; Chronicon, Trib. 3,2 (pp. 93,1-94,12).
  1085. See Chronicon, Trib. 4,8 (pp. 126,24-127,30).
  1086. An allusion to the place of the death of John of Parma who died at Camerino (19/20 March 1289). See Chronicon, Trib. 4,9 (p. 129,3-16); Oliger, Clareni Expositio, p. 235, note 6.
  1087. Chronicon, Trib. 5,1 (p. 131,8ff.).
  1088. See Rv 6:10.
  1089. See Rv 6:11.
  1090. See Chronicon, Trib. 6-7.
  1091. See Is 60:2.
  1092. See Rv 22:13.
  1093. See Jn 21:19; Mt 8:22; Lk 18:22; Is 2:3.
  1094. ER 21,1 (FA:ED I 79).
  1095. See ER 21,1-9 (FA:ED I 78).
  1096. See ER 22,1ff. (FA:ED I 79).
  1097. See ER 24,5 (FA:ED I 81).