A New Translation in English
Translation by Paul Hanbridge OFM Cap
(2007; revised 2009)
(CapDox editor: Due to the difficulty of transposing into a webpage format what is found in I Frati Cappuccini, a work of Costanzo Cargnoni, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, 1991, I, 249-464, with the redactional variation from 1552 to 1643 and the particular way the footnotes are numbered, the translation of Paul Hanbridge is substituted below.)
Table of Contents
|AF (n)||Analecta Franciscana(n=vol. year)|
|AFH||Archivum Franciscanum Historicum|
|AIA||Archivo ibero-americano AIA2– segunda época|
|Albacina||Le Prime Costituzioni dei Frati Minori Cappuccini di San Francesco, (Rome, Curia Generalizia,1913)|
|AM(n)||Annales Minorum, Lucas Waddingus (n=vol. number)|
|AOC||Analecta Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum|
|BC(n)||Bullarium Ordinis FF. Minorum S.F. Francisci Capuccinorum, seu, Collectio bullarum, brevium, decretorum, rescriptorum, oracularum etc. quae a Sede Apostolica pro Ordine Capucino emanarunt, elucubrata a P.F. Petro Damiani a Munster, Oeniponte, Typis Wagnerianiis, (n= volume number)|
|BF(n)||Bullarium Franciscanum Romanorum Pontificium constitutiones, epistolas, ac diplomata (n= volume number)|
|Bov||Zacharia Boverius Saluti, Annalium seu Sacrarum Historiarum Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci qui Capucini nuncupantur, Lugdini, Claudio Landry, tomus 1° 1632, tomus 2° 1639|
|CC(n)||Capuchin Constitutions (n=year)|
|CCAnt||Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae, Vol. I: Constitutiones Antiquae (1529-1643), Editio anastatica, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap. 1980|
|CCRec||Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae, Vol. II: Constitutiones Recentiores (1909-1925), Editio anastatica, Accedunt Constitutiones an. 1896, Bibliographia et Indices, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1986|
|CFD||I Cappuccini. Fonti documentarie e narrative del primo secolo (1525-1619), edited by Vincenzo Criuscuolo, Curia Generale dei Cappuccini, Rome, 1994|
|CHL||Michael Angelus a Neapoli, Chronologia Historico-Legalis Seraphici Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Sancti Patris Francisci. Tomus Primus: Capitulorum omnium, & Congregationum Generalium a primo eiusdem Ordinis esordio usque ad annum mdcxxxiii, Neapoli, ex typographia Camilli Cavalli, Anno Jubilaei, mdcl.|
|CIC1||Corpus Iuris Canonici editio Lipsiensis secunda post Aemilii Ludouici Richteri¸ pars prima, Decretum Magisteri Gratiani, ex officina Bernhardi Tauchnitz, Lipsiae, mdccclxxix|
|CIC2||Corpus Iuris Canonici editio Lipsiensis secunda post Aemilii Ludouici Richteri¸ pars seconda, Decretalium Collectiones, ex officina Bernhardi Tauchnitz, Lipsiae, mdccclxxxi.|
|Clareno||Angelo Clareno, A Chronicle or History of the Seven Tribulations of the Order of Brothers Minor, translated from the Latin by David Burr and E. Randolf Daniel, Franciscan Institute Publications, Saint Bonaventure, N.Y. 2005|
|Clementina||Clementinarumlibri in CIC2. (coll. 1133-1200)|
|Compilatio||“Compilatio Assisiensis” dagli Scritti di fra Leone e Compagno su S. Francesco d’Assisi. Dal Ms. 1046 di Perugina.Synoptic edition with Latin text and Italian translation in parallel, noting variants, edited by Marino Bigaroni, Pubblicazioni della Biblioteca Francescana Chiesa Nuova – Assisi n.2, Porziuncola, 1992|
|Conform.||De Conformitate vitae beati Francisci ad vitam Domini Iesu autore Fr. Bartholomaeo de Pisa in Analecta Franciscana sive Cronica aliaque varia Documenta ad historiam fratrum Minorumedita a Patribus Collegii S. Bonaventurae, tomi IV, V, Ad Claras Aquas (Quaracchi) prope Florentium, ex Typographia Collegii S. Bonaventurae, 1906, 1912|
|De Perf.||“De Perfectione vitae ad Sorores” in Doctoris Seraphici S. Bonaventurae S.R.E. Episcopi Cardinalis Opera Omnia, edited by Aloysius Lauer, Quaracchi, 1898, vol. VIII, pp. 107-127|
|De Sex||“De Sex Alis Seraphim” in Doctoris Seraphici S. Bonaventurae S.R.E. Episcopi Cardinalis Opera Omnia, edited by Aloysius Lauer, Quaracchi, 1898, vol. VIII, pp. 131-157|
|DecAssisi||“Decrees Issued by the Chapter of Assisi (1269)” in Dominic Monti(introduction and translation), St. Bonaventure’s Writings Concerning The Franciscan Order, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure Univ., New York, 1994, 239-244|
|DecrLyon||“Decrees Issued by the Chapter of Lyons (1274)” in Dominic Monti(introduction and translation), St. Bonaventure’s Writings Concerning The Franciscan Order, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure Univ., New York, 1994, 255-260|
|Dialogo(1527)||Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo de la salute tra el frate stimulato et el frate rationabile circa la regula de li Frati Minori et sue dechiaratione per stimulati, edited by Bernardino da Lapedona, extract from L’Italia Francescana7(1932), Isola del Liri, 1933|
|Dialogo(1536)||Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo de la salute tra il frate Stimolato e il frate Razionabile circa la Regola delli frati minori e sue dichiarazioni, con molte necessarie addizioni, di nuovo ricomposto e ristampato, edited by Bernardino da Lapedona, extract from L’Italia Francescana10(1935), Isola del Liri, 1935; also found in IFCI: 587-719|
|Ef||Fidel Elizondo, “Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536” in Estudios Franciscanos,83(1982)143-252|
|ExpRegBon||“Expositio super Regulam Fratrum Minorum” in Doctoris Seraphici S. Bonaventurae S.R.E. Episcopi Cardinalis Opera Omnia, edited by Aloysius Lauer, Quaracchi, 1898, vol. VIII, pp. 391 – 437|
|Farineriana||Michael Bihl(ed.), “Statuta generalia ordinis edita in capitulo generali an. 1354 Assisii celebrato communiter farineriana appellata” in AFH 35(1942) 35-112, 177-253|
|Ff||Fontes Franciscaniedited by Enrico Menestò, Stefano Brufaniet al., Edizioni Porziuncola, Assisi, 1995|
|[FN]||Indicates where a footnote in the hardcopy has now been transposed by the CapDox editor into the overall footnotes that combine both footnotes and endnotes due to the limitation of the webpage formatting. For an explanation look under Method.|
|IFC n||Costanzo Cargnoni (ed)., I Frati Cappuccini documenti et testimonianze del primo secolo,Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, 1988 -1993, n= vol. I, II, IIIi, IIIii, IV, V: followed by page number(s) unless otherwise indicated.|
|Lib.Chron.||Angelo Clareno, Liber Chronicarum sive tribulationum ordinis minorum di Frate Angelo Clareno, edited by Giovanni Boccali, with introduction by Felice Accrocca and synoptic Italian translation by Marino Bigaroni, Pubblicazioni della Biblioteca Francescana Chiesa Nuova, Assisi – 8, Edizioni Porziuncola, 1999.|
|LMem||Eduardus Alenconiensis, “Primigeniae legislationis ordinis fratrum minorum capuccinorum” in Liber Memorialis,Roma, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1928|
|MHOMC(n)||Monumenta Historica Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum, (n = vol.)|
|Narbonae||Michael Bihl(ed.), “Statuta generalia ordinis edita in capitulis generalibus celebratis Narbonae an. 1260, Assisii an. 1279 atque Parisiis an. 1292” in AFH 34(1941) 13-94, 284-358|
|Pc||Franco Catalano, Costanzo Cargnoni, and Giuseppe Santarelli (eds).,Le prime costituzionidei frati minori Cappuccini, Roma – S. Eufemia 1536, Roma, L’Italia Francescana, 1982.|
|PL (n)||Patrologia Latina(volume number)|
|SF1||Regis Armstrong(ed.), Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol.1: The Saint, New City Press, New York, 1999|
|SF2||Regis Armstrong(ed.), Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol.2: The Founder, New City Press, New York, 2000|
|SF3||Regis Armstrong(ed.), Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol.3: The Prophet, New City Press, New York, 2001|
|SpecPerf.||Speculum Perfectionis in Ff, 1849-2053|
|St||Mark Stier, “First Capuchin Constitutions – 1536” in Round Table of Franciscan Research7(1942)3, 245+.|
|VitaPov||Vita del povero et umile servo de Dio Francesco dal ms. Capponiano – Vaticano 207, edited by Marino Bigaroni, introduction by Alfonso Marini, Pubblicazioni della Biblioteca Francescana Chiesa Nuova, Assisi n.4, Edizioni Porziuncola, 1985|
My main intention here is to offer an English translation of the Capuchin Constitutions of 1536. The reader will not find here a theological nor a historical commentary, as useful as those would be. Others more competent have already undertaken such tasks.
As part of this introduction, I wish to suggest a complementary approach to reading CC1536 and the history of the first two decades of the Capuchin Reform. Usually and legitimately, the emergence of this new fraternity of friars is described within ‘Franciscan history,’ that is, against the background of the history of the Franciscan Order and its various attempts at reform. By suggesting a complementary approach, I would not intend to substitute or supplant this kind of Franciscan history. Instead the first years of the Capuchin reform may also be interpreted within the broader context of reform in Italy, which had a dramatic character and momentum at the time these Constitutions were composed in 1536. The friars’ reform developed within that climate. An understanding of that setting can shed further light upon the character of the new Franciscan community, a character naturally expressed in the explicit articulation of its own identity in these Constitutions. To what extent do the Constitutions reflect the nature of that Italian reform, and by corollary, to what extent does that reform reflect the character of the Capuchin reform? The Constitutions of 1536 are not only a Capuchin document, but also a document of pre-Trent Italian reform.
According to the first official written accounts of the beginnings of the Capuchin fraternity, these Constitutions were composed by a small group of friars appointed after the re-convened Capuchin General Chapter held in the friary of St. Euphemia, Rome, in 1536. The commission composed the Constitutions under the authority of the Chapter, pending approval by the Holy See. While the redaction of the Constitutions dates to the period after the Chapter, the process of formulating them may have begun much earlier, perhaps around or even before the time of the 1535 Chapter when the friars sought to clarify, articulate and confirm the direction of the Fraternity. The statutes of Albacina were no longer adequate. Already sensing that a Chapter would, in his view, substantially alter the configuration of the reform – while he himself was beginning to reconsider the independence of the new community from ‘the body of the Religion,’ Ludovico da Fossombrone was reluctant to convene a General Chapter. Nor could he later accept the elections. To attribute Ludovico’s behaviour to ambition (as the first Capuchin Chroniclers generally do) is probably part of a motivated simplification of a story that was to become even more complex and compromising over the next few years of the Capuchin reform.
Despite indications to the existence of Capuchin Constitutions predating those of 1552, the CC1536 had been lost until 1927. Edouard d’Alençon OFM Cap then transcribed and published them in 1928 under the title Primigeniae Legislationis OFM Capuccinorum Textus originales sue constitutiones anno 1536 ordinatae et anno 1552 recognitae cum historica introductione copiosisque adnotationibus. There he compares the 1536 and 1552 Constitutions synoptically, footnoting passages from the Statutes of Albacina relative to CC1536. His endnotes, on the other hand, refer to other Franciscan texts, such as the Liber Conformitatis and Saint Bonaventure’s Legenda Maior. Most of his footnotes and endnotes have been included in this translation. Where I could, I have supplied references to English translations of the Franciscan texts. Further explanation of the footnotes and endnotes is included at the conclusion of this introduction.
Two studies of the CC1536 appeared in 1982, one a translation in Castellan and the other a version corrected into modern Italian, along with a critical edition. These editions, richly useful for their comments and observations, seek to present the CC1536 within the historical context of their source material in the Franciscan legislative and spiritual tradition. This English translation, with its few additional notes, makes no attempt to supplant the contribution of these two studies. Any serious exegete of these Constitutions will be well served by them.
Mark Stier OFM Cap published an English translation of D’Alençon’s 1928 text in The Messenger of the Province of St. Joseph between the years 1930-1933. The editor noted at the time, “The work itself is a direct translation from the Italian text published by Edward d’Alençon, O.F.M. Cap.: ‘Primigeniae Legislationis Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum textus originales seu Constitutiones, anno 1536 ordinatae, et anno 1552 recognitae’ in Liber Memorialis OFM Cap., Romae, Curia Generalis, 1928, pp. 333-430. Only the first Constitutions, those of 1536, are published here.” In the Reprint of volume VII of Round Table of Franciscan Research made in 1949, the translation appeared again. This version received a new lease of life when John C. Olin republished it in 1969. I know of no other English translation of these Constitutions in general circulation.
While the style of Fr. Stier’s translation is very readable, and his language clear, the translation is flawed occasionally by the introduction of some translation errors. His text omits some words or phrases and in one place at least includes a passage not found in the Constitutions at all. While Fr. Stier’s translation is quite serviceable, another English translation may be worthwhile, if not overdue.
Constitutions have a long history in the Franciscan Order, dating back, it is thought, to a time much earlier than the Constitutions of Narbonne promulgated by Saint Bonaventure. The Franciscan Family, usually either its General Ministers or General Chapters, has always composed Statutes, Ordinances and Constitutions. The extensive record of Statutes and Constitutions illustrate that the Rule, as a law for the Friars, is not complete. The ongoing revision of such texts demonstrates the impossibility of defining and applying once and for all a universally adequate and ‘literal’ reading of elements of Saint Francis’ Rule. Nor is any particular edition of Constitutions the ‘final word’ on the identity of the community. Often elaborated in twelve chapters corresponding to those of the Rule, Constitutions and Statutes have been attempts to establish an authentic reading of the Rule within the changing circumstances of the Friars.
Such an extensive body and tradition of Franciscan legislation may seem paradoxical, given Francis’ prohibition against glosses on the Rule. However vestiges of individual ‘constitutions’ or statutes may be identified within the earliest Franciscan Chronicles, and some directives date to the time of Francis himself. Saint Bonaventure systematised the various earlier constitutions into a body of legislation at the General Chapter of Narbonne (1260), with their Statutes (1260) and Explanation (1266). Thus he established the status of Franciscan Constitutions as a “hedge” to defend, promote and interpret regular observance, that is, the observance of the Rule according to the evolving conditions of the Franciscan Order. The authors of the CC1536 were familiar with these Franciscan legislative institutions.
While the Capuchin Constitutions of 1536 are a mile-stone in the growth, development and transformation of the Capuchin Order, they were preceded by the Statutes or Ordinances of Albacina (1529), the first deliberate articulation of Capuchin life written by Friars themselves. The Capuchin ‘chroniclers’ insisted upon a quintessential continuity between the CC1536 and the statutes of Albacina, whose the substance is to be found in the ‘new’ Constitutions of 1536. However, the promulgation of a set of Capuchin Constitutions indicated a certain individuation of the Capuchins within the “body of the Religion,” a coming of age for them as a religious community.
While the Constitutions attempted to articulate the essential elements of Capuchin life and define certain practices within the Fraternity, they are not entirely a harmoniously integrated and cohesive package. There are some repetitions and different emphases. Were these the result of haste alone, or may they also point to a variety of views among the authors? Diversity of opinion would only be natural and representative of a pluralism of thought and approach among the compilers and their enthusiastic embrace of reform – a pluralism, if not ambiguity, so emblematic of stirrings within the Church in Italy on the eve of the Council of Trent.
While not denying the seminal influence of the Franciscan spirituali upon the Capuchin charism, a study of the Constitutions of 1536, and therefore on the development of the identity of the new Franciscan fraternity, may also consider them within the context of broader contemporary trends in theology and spirituality. The part played by the Capuchins on that scene in Italy was not insignificant. Today there is a general acceptance of the existence of “Catholic reform” which was contemporary with and even antecedent to Martin Luther. Efforts at the restoration of regular observance among the older religious families are regarded as part of that reform movement also and the beginnings of the Capuchin fraternity are within that broader ambit of reform. A question then emerges: To what extent was the Capuchin reform in its first two decades (1525-1545) illustrative, perhaps even paradigmatic, of the broader impulse of reform in pre-Trent Italy? If it was so, the significance of the Capuchin reform is much broader than its place within the history of the Franciscan family. 
In other words, are all the elements of the Capuchin reform identified in these Constitutions reducible only to the background of Franciscan spirituality? Can other contemporary theological, spiritual and pastoral influences be detected within the Constitutions? Perhaps the relationship between the nascent Capuchin reform and broader Italian reform can be further studied and delineated.
My impression has been that Capuchin historiographies about the first years of the reform have often tended to be narratives of a Franciscan spiritual ideal, a kind of history of ideas. While important, such narratives can tend towards a roseate interpretation of events inherited from the first official Capuchin ‘chroniclers.’ Naturally, such narratives can appear to be a kind of ‘family history,’ a scrutiny of events that risks being somewhat introverted. Reforms within the Franciscan family, including that of the Capuchins, did not occur within a vacuum, in isolation from a corresponding social-ecclesial context. And in recent years, further sources of information have become available with the publication of critical editions and studies of archival material that may allow closer scrutiny of some of the protagonists, as well as promoters and supporters, of the Capuchin reform, in the complex matrix of Italian reform in that period – a subject that continues to provoke broad interest and study.
In their partial descriptions of the genesis of the Capuchins, Mario da Mercato Saraceno and Bernardino da Colpetrazzo present a few selected events in an apologetic key. The shape and tone of their simplified narratives is determined largely by the stories’ function as edifying apologia. On the one hand, these authors felt obliged to defend the reform against the various accusations made from within the Franciscan Order. On the other, they explicitly attempt to rectify the widely held view that Bernardino Ochino da Siena, the famous apostate and Capuchin Vicar General, was the founder of their fraternity. The need for such a remedy was still keenly felt fourty years after the earthquake scandal of Ochino’s flight from Italy (1542). An interpretation of earlier events (as well as documents) based upon knowledge of later consequences can lead to distortion in the narrative. Such ‘hindsight’ has obviously conditioned the explanations of key events made by Mario da Mercato Saraceno and Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, especially Ochino’s flight. Their hindsight is far from impartial when they ascribe motives to Ochino’s actions. At the request of the Cardinal Protector of the Capuchins (and principal in the Holy Office of the Roman Inquisition) and for the benefit of many others,  Mario da Mercato Saraceno (in his second and third accounts) and Bernardino da Colpetrazzo explicitly set out to demonstrate how Ochino was not the Capuchins’ founder. Obviously Ochino’s apostasy and heresy were a perplexing problem for the Capuchins. Questions had to be answered and dilemmas, if not contradictions, resolved. When did Ochino become a heretic, before he became a Capuchin or afterwards? If he was a heretic before he became a Capuchin, how was it that the Capuchins elected a heretic three times to their general leadership, twice as Vicar-General? If he became a heretic after becoming a Capuchin, what does that say about the Capuchin congregation, its formation and theology.
In these perspectives, these chroniclers vindicate the Capuchin fraternity, rendering an idealised portrait of the ‘perfect and ultimate reform,’ a natural and necessary continuity of the Franciscan impulse to regenerate itself. The Capuchins are portrayed as being of one mind and one spirit, unanimous in their faith and holiness, unambiguously orthodox in their doctrine. Consequently a certain circumspection is required when appraising the success of these chroniclers to write only the ‘truth.’
Within the hagiographic account of this retrospective by Mario da Mercato Saraceno and Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, these Constitutions appear ‘more heavenly than human.’ Such a perspective can easily interpret the text of CC1536 as an idealised picture-portrait or “still-life” of the life of the Friars in 1536, a life of ‘holy uniformity’ in direct descent from, or in radical and exclusive continuity with the perfect ideal of the perceived life led by Francis and his companions. Editors of modern presentations of CC1536 have, for example, spoken of “the urgency to return to the values of the origins of our ‘fair and holy reform’ on the eighth centenary of the birth of our father Saint Francis”  They assert that these Constitutions are “the synthesis of all Capuchin Franciscan spirituality” and are surely one of its more authoritative sources or witnesses. None of the later editions of the Capuchin Constitutions can be compared to the legal and spiritual importance of those promulgated in 1536. All this when Capuchin identity was not yet, I propose, as singled minded or clearly well-defined as one may be led to believe.
It is said that the large influx of frairs to the Capuchins (who arrived mostly from the Observance in 1534-1535) wanted to return to the pristine values of Francis and his first companions expressed in the Rule. If so, why? Furthermore, did all those friars have in mind and pursue the very same kind of reform ideal? Were they unanimous about how to recover and re-incarnate the gospel life of Francis and his companions? Or did some of them recognise in the new fraternity an opportunity for adapation to the actual situation and needs of the Order and the Church, an adaptation no longer possible within the schemes, structures or mentalities they considered atrophied within ‘the body of the Religion?’ Were the first Capuchins completely of one mind about what constituted an authentic Franciscan reform? Factions among the friars were present at the General Chapter in 1535. There was an alignment for or against some aspects of Ludovico Fossombrone’s concept of reform. In the reconvened chapter of 1536, that faction was also present, with tragic results. The issue of Ludovico’s relationship with the reform is prominent in the chroniclers’ accounts of the Chapter in 1535 and 1536. And yet, I suspect, this would not have been the only momentous difference of opinion. We cannot exclude the possible presence of other strong differences of opinion among the friars regarding the nature and direction of the new reform – differences that would be overlooked in an account striving to demonstrate an ideal uniformity and unanimity of the Friars precisely at the time of Bernardino Ochino’s ascendency. And quite possibly the Constitutions produced under the auspices of this Chapter may reflect differences among the friars, the authors of these Constitutions.
A caricature of the original Capuchin fraternity as being innocent of internal turmoil, living in a glorious golden period (despite the tragedies), in conformity and continuity with ‘the’ perfect, pristine Franciscan ideal seems to overlook any parallel and symbiotic relationship of the Capuchins with the contemporary mood and undercurrents of Italian reform, with all its ambiguity and tension. The Counter-Reformation, in full swing when these two chronicles were composed, not only attempted to eradicate the presence of “lutheran” ideas in Italy, but also erase the memory of such influences. Nonetheless, the question remains concerning the influence of the ecclesial, theological, social ambience in shaping the character of the Capuchin reform. In 1536 Capuchin identity was still a work in progress. That identity would assume further definition within the Counter-Reformation under the leadership of Bernardino d’Asti and his successors.
The CC1536 are a spiritual and legal document, but also an historical text reflecting a context. The mood of reform in pre-Tridentine Italy is complex. That complexity or ambiguity was reflected in the makeup of the communities of stricter observance, as well as their supporters, not to mention other echelons of church and society. Reform was not simply in the theological air. Reform was a social force. Ecclesial structures of the later Middle Ages were challenged by fundamental shifts in worldview or mentality. For some decades reform was deemed necessary, yet its radical and socially transforming tendencies appeared to threaten the tranquil cohesion of society and Church, the respublica Christiana of empire and church. The social instability or insecurity induced by such tendencies provoked strong reactions. Hostility towards the Capuchins at that time was not only fired by the divisiveness of their separation from the Observance, but also by the ‘lutheran’ character of their preaching.
Bernardino Ochino, as elected Vicar General, exemplies a diversity of viewpoints among the Friars regarding the nature of reform, within the Order and within the People of God. Ochino was paradigmatic of that broader reform movement of spirituali alive in Italy in the 1530’s, vigorous until 1542 and called “evangelismo” in recent times.
Modern historiography qualifies the broad and varied sector of the catholic world in the first half of the sixteenth century with the label of “evangelism.” This is a complex and controversial concept, embracing such diverse positions, even tending to trespass beyond limits to positions outside catholic obedience. These were shared positions, along the lines of Erasmus, and were against scholastic subtleties, with a desire to return to the Gospels and to the Fathers (first of all to Paul and Augustine) and an urgency to face broad issues that had become most pressing: questions about the destiny of man, about sin and about grace. Beyond institutional structures, and calling for pious moral conduct modelled upon the gospel, evangelism aspired to a reform of the Church from within, though without wanting to arrive at inflexible, opposing views or subversive positions. It aimed with irenicism, on the basis of a common Christian substratum, towards an open conversation and or rather an agreement with the Lutherans.
As Vicar General of the new Congregation, Bernardino Ochino represented the Capuchin as their Superior. However, his disquiet was probably shared by other Capuchins. Some contemporaries were unsettled by his preaching, and by that of his ‘followers’ among the friars, some of whom would also flee Italy. Some regarded the Capuchins with suspicion as a sect.
“Those who oppose the Capuchins have said many things which will be resolved by keeping before us Christ and Saint Francis. First, the Capuchins appear to be Lutherans because they preach freedom of the spirit, that they are subject to local ordinaries, that they have no written authority, that they do not obey the General, that they wear a different habit, and that they accept Friars from the Observance. The answer to the first point is that if Saint Francis was a heretic, his imitators are Lutherans. And if preaching freedom on the spirit over vices, though subject to every directive of Holy Church is called an error, it would also be an error to observe the Gospel, which says in many places: “It is the Spirit who gives life, etc.” Furthermore, those who say this show clearly that they have not heard them preach, because if they had heard them and spent a little time with them they would understand their humility, obedience, poverty, life, example, customs and charity. They would be so devoted to the Capuchins that they would weep for having compelled them to come four hundred miles without any need, and having burdened them each day to present themselves before judges just to be able to observe their poverty in peace.”
This extract from her defence of the Capuchins in 1535 to cardinal Gasparo Contarini and the Commission of Cardinals convened to decide the fate of the fledgeling fraternity reflects Vittoria Colonna’s own experience, particularly in regard to Capuchin preaching, especially that of Bernardino Ochino at the time. Preaching was a very important part of Church life at the time. During the liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent, Italian cities strove to find the best preachers available to conduct the seasonal course of sermons. The Capuchins regarded the ministry of preaching very highly, an integral part of their apostolic life from the beginning with Matteo di Bascio. However, preaching was changing in its style and content. The learned and scholastic homilies did not attract the crowds as did the new style preaching of which Ochino was an outstanding example. “He was (regarded) a master of the new preaching of the Sacred Scriptures.” This ‘new’ preaching was accessible to simple folk also and met a need or hunger.
The Capuchin high regard for preaching is manifest in the CC1536. Preaching is a natural and necessary aspect of an evangelical life. Preaching is a vehicle of expression of the Friars evangelical spirituality, but deemed by some contemporaries as “lutheran” because of its emphasis upon evangelical freedom or the primacy of grace, an accusation levelled against the Italian spirituali. By the mid 1530’s, reactions to such preaching, like this kind of preaching itself, were not rare. The insights of these ‘spirituali’ were disseminated not only by texts and reading, but especially by a kind of preaching that found a ready and enthusiastic hearing, an acceptance that was not due to eloquence as much as its fevour. It resonated at a deeper level with people at all social levels. Elements of these Constitutions reflect a sympathy with the spirituali, promoting and urging this evanglical style of preaching (45, 5-15). While also expressing fidelity to the Church of Rome, the CC1536 stress the personal dimensions of fraternal life, and attempt to reconcile the law and the spirit, to harmonise speech with the heart, deeds with preaching and preaching with personal experience of one’s relationship with the Jesus Christ. Significantly they stress evangelical preaching after the example of Saint Paul, emphasising a return to the sources in the Scriptures and the Fathers, interior conversion and life lived within the dimension of the spirit. Thus the Constitutions present a spiritual and evangelical life many considered radical (or even extreme) at the time.
Changes in Capuchin leadership – Matteo di Bascio, Ludovico Fossombrone, Bernardino Ochino and Bernardino d’Asti – may be seen to correspond with an evolution in the identity of the Capuchin fraternity. This evolution resulted not only from the numerical growth of the Order, but also from the different perspectives of the friars, and in response to their social and ecclesial environment. The Capuchin charism or identity was not fixed from the beginning in an immutable, uniform, and universal shape proposed by those who inspired and guided the reform in its initial decades. Through the painful crises of those years, Capuchin identity evolved precariously. However that capacity to adapt reflectively to the requirements imposed from within the Fraternity and from within the Church are a fundamental part of that identity. In other words, those friars were not isolated from their ecclesial and social environment. Rather, they were participants and often proponents of such movements within the Church. The reform impetus of the spirituali was evident among the friars and the Church – such as Ochino and his ‘disciples’ – as a whole, but not necessarily in the same way. Some embraced it, others reacted against it, and the consequent tension would be ‘resolved’ within the context of the Counter-Reformation, where along with Catholic identity, Capuchin identity will receive a more distinct and defined physiognomy not yet possible in 1536.
Irrespective of their theological or spiritual persuasions and differences, the friars sought to realise their reform within the context of the mission of the Church, but disagreed as to how this would be realised. The Capuchin reform was not an inward looking project of personal perfection. Indeed, the first Capuchins resisted such an introverted tendency. There was also an impetus among the Friars to identify themselves in relation to the ‘signs of the times,’ knowing that their destiny was connected to that of the people, as ‘friars of the people.’ In other words, the direction for the reform of the Fraternity lay not only in the past, but was gradually shaped in obedience (listening) to the Church and her mission.
The CC1536 articulate the general inspiration the friars believed to be essential for their evangelical life: Jesus and his Apostles in the Gospel, the holy doctors (or Church Fathers) as saintly interpreters of the Scriptures, and Saint Francis and his Companions as authentic imitators, whose imitation is delineated in the Rule, a kind of interpretative key regarding their life with each other and in the poor and crucified Jesus. These three elements constitute a kind of indispensable ‘depositum’ in the Capuchin ‘return to the sources.’ However, that depositum is not exhaustive. The textual sources for the life and spirit of Francis and his companions are more extensive today than those available to the Friars in 1536.
While the Constitutions are exhortative and contain directives, they are not a legal code. They are characterised by a spiritual quality celebrated through the later versions of Capuchin Constitutions. In themselves they are a document of spiritual wisdom with the capacity to inspire the fundamental values of the vowed consecrated life of poverty, chastity and obedience, of virtue and of prayer. Void of casuistry and legal subtleties, the CC1536 do not highly esteem subtle moral-legal distinctions (37, 6-10). Instead they emphasise personal and affective dimensions of religious life with its devout sentiments of fervour, ardour and heartfelt love; integrity of word and deed; preaching by word and example from experience – an evangelical preaching nourished by prayer and reading of the Gospels, in order to form an evangelical people. This “new preaching” is modelled upon the apostle Paul. It may be said that the Constitutions attempt an idealised portrait of a “true spiritual friar” and a spiritual Capuchin Fraternity. Capuchin life is radical in its poverty but also in its life of the spirit – a gospel life of the heart lived in conformity with, or after the example of Christ himself, Saint Francis and his companions, and the saints. Poverty, the bride of Christ and of the Seraphic Father Saint Francis is the Mother of the Capuchins and of all virtue. Prominent too is the emphasis upon prayer, the spiritual teacher of the friars. Private mental prayer is deemed to be more fruitful than vocal prayer, and there ought to be harmony between heart and voice, as well as word and deed, a unity of hearts reflected and fostered in a unity of voices. The spirit of prayer is nourished in personal and communal silence and solitude. The uniformity of voice and spirit is part of the valued “holy uniformity” of the friars.
Pc has identified the language of the contemplative life and affective meditation in the text: “occhio della mente,” “occhio puro, semplice,” “cuore puro e mondo,” “angelica mente,” “sincera fede,” “occhio aperto a Dio,” “intenzione semplice,” “illuminati nella via di Dio,” “illuminare la mente,” “infiammarsi nell’amore,” “parlare a Dio col cuore,” “parlare sempre di Dio,” “per contemplare Dio in ogni creatura,” “per fortificarsi nello spirito,” “rilassarsi nella bontà di Dio,” “per elevarsi in Dio,” “raccogliersi in Cristo,” “pregare sempre,” “considerare,” “ruminare,” “imprimere nella mente,” “esaminare se stessi,” “anelare alle cose eterne,” “correre alla celeste patria.” The Pc editors (also on p.10) underline these aspects as essential to the life described within CC1536: an intense life and spirit of prayer; the radical practice, internal and external, individual and communal of the renunciation of ownership and the exercise of poverty; the desire to preach in evangelical humility and simplicity; a concrete charity ready to serve the brothers, especially those in need; an ecclesial spirit, including submission to Pope and pastors in a spirit of service to the broader Church. All these things are seen to derive from the desire of the Capuchins to observe spiritually, i.e. purely, faithfully and in a Catholic manner, the Franciscan Rule in the light of the Testament of Saint Francis, his writings, words, works, as well as the life of his first companions.
On a sociological level, the corporate spirit of a community may be described as a common attitude towards a shared hierarchical set of values deemed to be specific and definitive of that community, that is, characteristic of its identity. These are the values and their behavioural expression that characterise the visage of the fraternity, that define and distinguish it from similar communities. The community is the sede of this spirit. An individual shows he shares that spirit by his attachment to and identification with the religious orientation, mentality, identity and unifying foundational intention and original inspiring motive or impulse, or religious culture of the community to which he belongs. The expression of the spirit of the community however varies in response to its circumstances and is not fixed. As observed earlier, there is an ongoing tension between charism and context and the consequent need to express the identity of the community within that context, as evidenced in the ongoing formulation of Constitutions by the fraternity. The Constitutions contextually and authoritatively interpret, safeguard, promote and transmit the identity, charism or spirit of the community.
The range of meanings of the term “spirit” is extensive. The Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (UTET, vol. xix) dedicates seven three column pages to the entry for “spirito.” Basically “spirit” has four distinct, though interconnected levels of meaning in CC1536, including significant distinctions not always recognised in translations of this text. Clear and explicit reference to the Holy Spirit occurs only four times towards the conclusion of the text. Following the gospel of John, the Holy Spirit teaches (55,15) and will teach the Friars all things (56,17-19). The Holy Spirit bore witness to the divine identity to the Jesus (60,1o).
Echoing Pauline doctrine, the spirit is also that most intimate dimension of the person, perhaps comparable with some notions of “heart.”[] However, the Congregation claims its own spirit. The friars’ calling is to ‘live in the spirit’ (23,32) and be united in spirit (12,9-10), to have the spirit of Christ (48,12; see 1,11; 2,24.) The friars are called to live spiritually, and not carnally, implying opposition between the docile spirit and the rebellious flesh (21,18) that may be vanquished by mortification (19,13; 23,32; etc) in the use of food and clothing, the self-administration of “discipline,” and the practice of all the virtues. However, we could also say that to live spiritually means to live reflectively, alert to the status of one’s own spirit or heart engaged in the process of ongoing conversion.
The CC1536 speak of the friars defending themselves against “all the enemies of the vivo spirito of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Constitutions are to be a defensive hedge to protect the observance of the Rule, their Gospel way of life. On the other hand, the motivating impulse or authentic spirit of the friars is also a grace or gift, something conceived (that is, received) in them, and is safeguarded by silence. The spirit can grow or grow cold, diminish or become lax, or even be extinguished, if not actively fostered and nurtured. The spirit is received as a gift and is not a spontaneously natural or innate capacity of a friar or community. Observance of the Rule and the Constitutions, the imitation of Christ and Saint Francis, life in voluntary poverty, sound reading, prayer and conducive solitude – all nourish the spirit. The spirit may also be nurtured by humble study.
The Constitutions were composed so that the “Congregation, as the vineyard of the Son of God, persevere in the spiritual observance of the evangelical and seraphic Rule”. Obedience to the Constitutions fulfilled the observance of the Rule: “The friars must inviolably observe the laws, sanctions and statutes of the Order so that grace be added to their head and they merit divine mercy by means of their compliance in these things and are conformed to the Son of God”. In this way they also “maintain the sublime state of the Order”. In turn the observance of the Rule fulfilled the observance of the Gospel: “The observance of these constitutions will help to fulfil not only the complete observance of the promised Rule but also the divine law and evangelical counsels”. “In fact his Rule is nothing other than the marrow of the Gospel. Hence (Saint Francis) says in his Testament that it had been revealed to him that he should live according to the form of the holy Gospel. Therefore, the Rule serves to keep before the mind’s eye of the friars the teaching and life of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Rule is regarded as “a mirror reflecting evangelical perfection.” These Constitutions also affirm: “It was not only the will of our Father Saint Francis but also that of Christ our redeemer for the Rule to be observed simply, to the letter and without gloss just as our first Seraphic Fathers observed it. Since our Rule is very clear, and so that it may be observed more purely, spiritually and in a holy manner, all glosses and fleshly, useless and compromising explanations are rejected. These uproot the Rule from the pious, just and holy mind of our Lord Christ who spoke in Saint Francis. We accept the declarations by the supreme pontiffs as well as the most holy life, teaching and example of our Father Saint Francis as the only valid commentary on our Rule”.
The authors of these Constitutions identify some ‘sources.’[] The inspiration for Capuchin life derives from the example of Christ and his teaching (Gospel); Francis, the imitator of Christ and his companions; Saint Paul, his doctrine and his preaching, John the Baptist; Jerome; Church Fathers including Saint Augustine and Saint Bernard; and Jacopone da Todi. Vain and useless books, so harmful to the “spirit,” are prohibited. Christ is the book of life. The brothers could carry with them one small spiritual book. In community they read the Gospels, the Rule and Testament, the Sacred Scriptures and commentary of holy doctors, the life of Francis and his companions [] described in the Conformities, the Legend of the Three Companions and the Fioretti. The teaching of Saint Bonaventure and the ordinances of the early friars also were to be read, as were these Constitutions. LMem notes references to the Liber Conformitatis as well as Bonaventure’s Legenda Maior.
The translation below is based on the text published in the anastatic facsimile edition Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae, vol. I: Constitutiones Antiquae (1529-1643). The footnotes [Note by webpage editor: from the hardcopy original the footnotes have now been combined with the endnotes where the endnote begins with FN into one overall footnotes in the webpage format which combines both footnotes and endnotes, with FN distinguishing one from the other] have two purposes. First of all, they include LMem’s references to the Statutes of Albacina, and to the Constitutions themselves. At times the footnotes also comment on the translation of the text. Since any translation is conditioned by the times, background and ability of the translator, I have often included passages in the original language of the CC along with the translation made by St and Pc. Italicised words, phrases or passages in the footnotes come from the anastatic edition. Stier’s wording is noted also to complement the present translation, or to indicate discrepancies in Stier’s translation, though not in every case. Hopefully such notes may allow the reader to compare and evaluate both translations. The initials St: identify wording from Fr. Stier’s text. In difficult passages I also refer to the modern Italian language rendition (Pc:) in Le prime costituzioni dei frati minori cappuccini. Roma – S. Eufemia 1536. When help was needed to decipher the anastatic version of the text I have consulted d’Alençon transcription in Liber memorialis (LMem:). Another modern translation is that of Fidel Elizondo (Ef:), “Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536.”
The endnotes [FN] are offered as an exegetical tool and elaborate something of the historical/theological provenance of some passages of the text. The editors quoted in the endnotes (LMem, Pc, Ef) believed these texts resonated with the Constitutions, illustrating parallels within the Franciscan tradition. With a few exceptions, these notes in this translation come mostly from LMem, with few references to Pc and Ef, and occasionally with further elaboration by this translator. Where simple differentiation between these contributions is possible I have tried to acknowledge these.
The bibliography is based upon the references in the endnotes and is basic and suffice as a starting point for further study.
At times the references made by the editors of these texts appear to be burdened with arbitrary inferences, nonetheless these may help to contextualise these Constitutions by identifying elements of the spiritual and legislative background known to the authors of the Constitutions. The historical observations largely depend upon those made by Catalano, Cargnoni and Santarelli in Le prime costituzioni dei frati minori cappuccini as well as Fidel Elizondo in “Las constituciones capuchinas,” both works published in 1982. However, only a comparatively small number of their observations have been included with the present translation. In their respective annotations, Pc emphasises the history of ideas or spirituality, Ef the background history of Franciscan legislation with its statutes, ordinances and constitutions, including those of the Recollects in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (UTET) is the primary lexical reference for the translation of these Constitutions. When a term or expression in the text has multiple senses, to select an appropriate one, my first recourse is to later editions of the Constitutions where the particular passage may have been rephrased or elaborated, thus providing an authoritative interpretation. The selected meaning of a term should not go contrary to the context. That some expressions remain general imply that the Constitutions are an expression or articulation of a living practice, that is, a tradition.
Constitutions are exhortative documents, setting before the Friars principles, values, standards, behaviours and practices. As a result, the CC use the imperative mood frequently, but with different strengths. In most cases, the verbs communicate the strength of the imperative: si ordina, si determina, si exhorta (which are neutral constructions), as well as devono, and verbs in the congiuntivo mood, translated in English by the subjunctive mood, e.g. sforzino (let them strive), preghino (let them pray) etc. In this translation I have avoided translating the third person reflexive form of the imperative. That grammatical structure sounds somewhat distant in English, e.g. si ordina becomes it is ordered. Instead I have translated such verbs as we order, we determine, or we exhort. I am not entirely satisfied that this is an ideal way (if such a thing exists) to translate the imperative. When the constitutions actually use the first person plural (ordiniamo, determiniamo, exhortiamo) I note this in the footnotes. While using an active voice (we order, etc) instead of a passive voice (it is ordered) seems more personal, the consequent tone of the directive in English becomes much stronger, perhaps too strong, rendering the text with a harsh tone. I have used different imperative structures, as well as verbs, to nuance the strength of imperatives in English in order to avoid repetition that would make the language more tedious and the tone the CC more onerous, more like a legislative document rather than the spiritual one it also is.
I have not used paragraph numbering, since such numbering is arbitrary. [Web editor note: paragraph numbering has been included below. To read as Paul intended in the printed edition, without paragraph numbering go here.] Line numbers instead are a more precise reference tool. [Web editor note: to see line numbers download pdf version here.] As in the original edition, the beginning of each chapter is indicated with a ‘dropped capital.’ The text in this edition is not as compressed as the first edition. I have inserted new paragraphs where the original text has used the ¶. This symbol does not seem to be used as a logic marker for the division of the text according to the ideas expressed.
In the translation the reader will notice differing and incorrect uses of upper and lower case lettering. In many instances, the correct English usage is obvious. In others, a change in case would be theologically significant, and possibly prejudicial against a correct (even if uncertain) reading of the text, as in the case of the word ‘spirit,’ as already described above. Therefore I have attempted to consistently follow the lettering in the anastatic copy of the original published version, sharing the resulting difficulties with the reader.
“Given that God is our final end to whom everyone should tend and long to see himself transformed in Him, we exhort all the friars to direct all their thoughts to this aim. With every possible impulse of love let us focus all our intentions and longing to unite ourselves to our supremely good Father with all our heart, mind and soul, with our strength and virtue, with actual, continuous, intense and pure love. (24,21-28)”
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The Constitutions of 1536
So that our Congregation, as the vineyard of the Son of God, persevere in the spiritual observance of the evangelical and seraphic Rule, our General Chapter celebrated in the City of Rome at our place in Saint Euphemia in the year of the Lord 1536 believed it should set down some statutes as a hedge for that Rule. Like the impregnable Tower of David it should have its fortifications with which we may defend ourselves from all the enemies of the living spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and from all the compromises against the most fervent and seraphic zeal of our Father Saint Francis. The statutes are these.
1. First of all, regarding the first chapter of the Rule where it is set forth that the most fair Son of God brought us the totally pure, heavenly, supremely perfect and divine Evangelical teaching, which He promulgated and taught by both deed and word, and it alone teaches and shows us the straight way to go to God. Moreover His eternal Father approved and authenticated this teaching in the river Jordan and on Mount Tabor when He said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am pleased, listen to Him.” Hence all men are obliged to observe this teaching, especially Christians who have promised it in sacred Baptism. And we friars have an even greater obligation because Saint Francis was explicit at the beginning and end of this Rule about the observance of the holy Gospel. In fact his Rule is nothing other than the marrow of the Gospel. Hence he says in his Testament that it had been revealed to him that he should live according to the form of the holy Gospel. Therefore, so that the Friars may always keep before their mind’s eye the teaching and life of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and after the example of the virgin Cecilia always carry the sacred Gospel in their heart of hearts, we direct that in each place the four Evangelists, in reverence to the Most High Trinity, be read three times a year, that is, one each month.
2. Since the Rule of Saint Francis is like a little mirror reflecting evangelical perfection, we order that every Friday in each place the Rule be read clearly and with due reverence and devotion. So that the Rule, impressed upon our mind, may be better observed, let some devout reading be also read to the friars, exhorting them to follow Christ crucified.
3. The friars should also always try to speak about God as this may truly help them to be kindled in His love and so that the Gospel teaching may bear fruit in our hearts. To uproot any Darnel that might suffocate this, we direct that none of our places should have, for any reason at all, fatuous or vain books, so harmful to the spirit of Christ our Lord and God.
4. Because the flames of divine love originate from the light of divine things, we order that there be some reading of the Sacred Scriptures, explaining them with the holy and devout Doctors. Even though Divine Wisdom may be unfathomable and lofty, nonetheless it has lowered itself so much in Christ Our Saviour that without any other means the simple and unlearned can grasp it with the pure, dovelike and fresh gaze of faith. Therefore all the friars are forbidden to dare to teach or study unfitting and irrelevant sciences, but only the Sacred Scriptures, indeed the most holy Jesus Christ himself, in whom according to Paul are all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.
5. It was not only the will of our Father Saint Francis but also that of Christ our redeemer for the Rule to be observed simply, to the letter and without gloss just as our first seraphic Fathers observed it. Since our Rule is very clear, and so that it may be observed more purely, spiritually and in a holy manner, all glosses and fleshly, useless and compromising explanations are rejected. These uproot the Rule from the pious, just and holy mind of our Lord Christ who spoke in Saint Francis. We accept the declarations by the supreme pontiffs as well as the most holy life, teaching and example of our Father Saint Francis as the only valid commentary on our Rule.
6. As true and legitimate sons of Christ, our Father and Lord, born again by Him in Saint Francis, we share in his inheritance. We instruct all (the friars) to observe the Testament our Father Saint Francis himself set down when close to death, marked with the sacred stigmata. Full of fervour and holy spirit he longed for our salvation. And we accept this (the Testament) as a spiritual gloss and exposition of our Rule since it was written so that the promised Rule be observed in a better and more catholic way. We are sons of the Seraphic Father and imitate his life and teaching. And our saviour said to the Hebrews, “If you are sons of Abraham, do the works of Abraham.” If we are sons of Saint Francis then let us do the works of Saint Francis. Therefore we direct that each friar strive to imitate our Father given us as rule, norm and example, or rather, our Lord Jesus Christ in him, not only in the Rule and Testament but in all his ardent words and loving deeds. Therefore let his life and that of his companions be read often.
7. Our completely saintly Father contemplated God in every creature, especially in man and particularly in the Christian, but above all in priests, most especially in the supreme Pontiff. On earth he is the Vicar of Christ our Lord and the head of the whole Church militant. Therefore, according to the apostolic teaching, and for the sake of the love of Him who emptied himself for love of us, Francis wanted all his friars to be subject to God in every creature. Because of this he called them lesser brothers and see themselves to be profoundly inferior to everyone in the church militant invited to the marriage feast of the most holy spouse, Jesus Christ.
8. Let them seek to be in the last place according to his counsel and example, while considering that the freedom had in privileges and exemptions so as not to be subject to the Ordinaries, is not only close to pride, but also the enemy of that humble and minoritic subjection. This (kind of freedom) often disturbs the peace and gives birth to scandal in the Church of God. The humble Christ crucified came to serve us and became obedient even to the bitter death of the cross. Although He was not subject to the law He wanted to submit to it and pay the tax and tribute while being free. Hence to better conform ourselves to Him and to avoid scandal, the General Chapter renounces the privileges of being free and exempt from Ordinaries. With the Seraphic Father we accept being subject to everyone as the highest privilege.
9. We direct all the Vicars in their provinces to go to their Diocesan and ordinary prelates, who are members humbly subject to the supreme Roman pontiff and who is head and superior of all. For themselves and for all their friars they are to humbly offer them obedience and reverence in all things divine and canonical, foregoing every Privilege that would go to the contrary. Furthermore, just as it was our Father’s will, we exhort every friar to always bear due reverence for all priests. We also exhort the friars to always obey, with all possible reverence, the supreme pontiff, the Father of all Christians, and (to obey) all prelates – indeed every creature who would show us the way of God; knowing that the lowlier the person may be whom they obey for the love of Lord Jesus Christ, the more glorious and pleasing to God that obedience is.
10. We also instruct the friars to be subject not only to their Vicars, custodes and guardians; but we also determine that when our Father Vicar General is elected, he is to humbly present himself or notify the Reverend Father General of the Conventuals by whom he must be confirmed.
11. To avoid similar privileges our Father Saint Francis commands the friars in his Testament not to ask for any letter from the Roman court because of persecution to their bodies. Therefore the General Chapter renounces all privileges which relax the Rule and conform with sensuality and thus slacken the way of the spirit.
12. We desire that our congregation grow much more in virtue, perfection and spirit rather than in numbers and we know that as the infallible truth said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” And the Seraphic Father said when close to death, “Nothing harms the pure observance of the Rule as much as a multitude of useless, carnal and brutish friars.” Hence we instruct the Vicars to diligently examine their circumstances and quality and not receive those who do not demonstrate that they have the best intention and a most fervent will. Furthermore, so as to not attract attention and to avoid all scandal we forbid the reception of those who have not completed their sixteenth year, or who still have a child-like face if they have passed the sixteenth year, so that they know from experience what they are promising.
13. We also direct that no one be received as a cleric unless he be suitably proficient in letters so that he not offend when carrying out the divine praises. Instead, understanding what he is saying, he may be nourished by it.
14. We also direct that those to be received to this life, before they are clothed, are to experience for some days in our places all those things that the friars must observe. In this way their good will may be observed and they can assume such an undertaking with greater light, maturity and deliberation. This is also intended for Religious who wish to come to our life. To better observe these things, we direct the Vicars not to receive (anyone) without the counsel and consent of the majority of the friars who are in that place where he is.
15. Christ, the most wise master, imposed on the young man who demonstrated his wish to be saved, that if he wished to be His Disciple, he should first sell all he had and give to the poor and then follow Him. And Francis, the imitator of Christ, not only observed this but also taught it with his own example and with those he received. Consequently he also imposed it in the Rule. To conform ourselves to Christ our Saviour and to the will of the Seraphic Father, we therefore direct that no one be clothed unless first (if he can) he has distributed everything of his to the poor, as if fitting for one who willingly chooses the mendicant life. In doing this his fervent or tepid spirit can be partially evident, and then he will be able to serve God steadfastly and with greater serenity. Since they have no occasion to involve themselves in his affairs, the friars will remain impartial in their holy peace.
16. We also direct that the clothes of the novices who come from the world are to be kept until the day of profession and those of Religious for some days. As for seculars who persevere, let them give their clothes to the poor. The clothes of Religious should be distributed by the Vicars Provincial directly or via some spiritual person.
17. So that what the most holy Christ said to the scribes and Pharisees not be addressed to us, “Woe to you who go around sea and land to make one single proselyte and then you make him into a son of Gehenna, much worse than you,” we determine that the novices in each province be put in one or two places conducive to the spirit and assigned for this by the Chapter. Let them be given masters from among those who are more mature, self-disciplined and enlightened about the way of God. Let these take diligent care to teach them not only the ceremonies but also the things of the spirit, things necessary to perfectly imitate Christ our light, way, truth and life. With example and words they should show the novices what makes up the life of the Christian and of the friar minor. One should not be accepted for profession unless first he does perfectly what he must profess and observe.
18. So that they be strengthened in the spirit in quiet and peace, we direct that no one speak to them at length except the Father Guardian and their master. Also, let no one enter their cells nor the cells of others without special permission.
19. So that the novices learn better to carry the yoke of the Lord, we direct that they remain under the discipline of their master for at least three years after profession so that they do not easily lose the newly acquired spirit. Instead, while always consolidating this, let them continue to establish and ground themselves more in the love of Christ, our Lord and God.
20. According to some doctors, when novices make their profession in the proper way they are restored to baptismal innocence. We instruct that before their profession the said novices should prepare themselves with great diligence, with confession, communion and much prayer, having made a general confession on entry to the Order so as to clothe themselves in the new man. The practices and ceremonies used and approved in our Order are to be observed when receiving the said novices both into the Order as well as to profession.
21. It was not without reason that Jesus commended the austerity of Saint John the Baptist’s clothing when He said that those who dress in fine clothes are in the houses of Kings. Therefore we instruct the friars, who have chosen to be abject in the house of God, to dress in the poorest, roughest, most abject, austere and worthless cloth readily found in the provinces where they are. Let the friars remember that the sackcloth in which Saint Francis wanted them to be patched and the cords we gird ourselves with should not suit the rich of the world.
22. The General Chapter also exhorts all the friars to be content with just one habit (when possible), just as Saint Francis specified in his Testament for himself and his friars when he said, “And we were content with one tunic, patched inside and out.” Nevertheless, if the friars are weak in body or spirit, a second tunic is allowed them according to the Rule. The second tunic and the mantle ought not be granted the friars unless necessary and then not without the permission of a friar’s superior, knowing that a healthy friar using three pieces of clothing is an evident sign of an extinguished spirit. 
23. So that poverty – so beloved to the Son of God and given us by the Seraphic Father as our mother – may shine forth in everything we use, we direct that the mantles not reach beyond the extremities of the hands nor have a cowl except on a journey.  These should not be worn except when necessary. The habit length should not go below the ankle and be eleven palms wide, twelve for the corpulent. The sleeves should be no wider than is necessary to allow the arm to go in and out. They should be long enough to reach half way down the hand, or a little further. The tunics should be lowly and coarse, eight or nine palms wide and at least half a palm shorter than the habit. The cowl shall be square like that of Saint Francis and his companions as we see in the relics that still remain. This cowl is also obvious in the ancient pictures. In the Conformities too it is written how our habit ought to be in the form of a cross so that we see ourselves crucified to the world and the world to us. Let the friars’ cord be of the poorest quality rope, coarse and unrefined, with very simple knots. Then, despised by the world, we have the opportunity to mortify ourselves more. Let the friars not wear birettas, hats or two of anything nor any superfluous things.
24. In each of our places there should also be a small room where the clothing of the community is kept by a friar assigned to this. He shall keep these clean and patched according to the need of the poor friars, who will use these clothes according to their need and return them clean with thanksgiving.
25. So that our beds be similar to the one on which died the One who said, “Foxes have their dens and the birds of the sky have their nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head;” and to be even more vigilant at the usual prayers and more conformed to our Father Saint Francis, whose bed was the bare earth, and to Christ, the Holy of holies, especially in the desert, we direct the friars, unless already infirm or very weak, not to sleep on anything except bare boards, mats, broom, ferns or on a little straw or hay. Let them not sleep on blankets.
26. After the example of Christ, we instruct the young friars, and those who can, to go barefoot as a sign of humility and a witness to poverty, and as a mortification of sensuality and a good example to (their) neighbour. If they cannot do this, let them wear sandals with the permission of the superior, according to gospel teaching and in order to imitate our early fathers. These sandals should be simple or lowly and natural, without any novelty.
27. So that the friars may rise to the epitome of most high Poverty, the queen and mother of all the virtues, the spouse of Christ our Lord and that of our Seraphic Father, and our mother also, we exhort all the friars not to have any earthly affection, but let their love always be in heaven. Almost as if under duress, let them use these lowly things as sparingly as human frailty allows. Considering themselves enriched by their Poverty, let the friars be happy with one small spiritual book, indeed one about Christ crucified, as well as two handkerchiefs and with two drawers. May they always remember that according to the Seraphic Father the friar minor should be none other than a mirror of every virtue, especially poverty.
28. So that we may run more promptly along the way of the divine precepts, we direct that there be no beasts in any of our places. Nor should the friars ride horses. In case of necessity, however, according to the example of Christ and Francis His imitator, one may go on a donkey, so that our life may always preach the humble Christ.
29. Every twenty days or once a month let the tonsure be done with scissors. Let there be no basins and just one razor for blood-letting. After the example of Christ most holy and all our early saints, let the beard be worn because it is something manly and natural, rough, worthless and austere.  
30. Our Seraphic Father, wholly catholic, apostolic and divine, always had a special reverence for the Roman church as judge and mother of all the other churches. In the Rule he directed the clerics to do the office according to the order of the holy Roman church, and in his Testament he prohibited altering this in any way. Therefore we determine that the friars, united in spirit under the same standard and called to one purpose in the divine praises, observe the same rites as much as possible regarding the Missal, the Breviary and the calendar that the holy Roman church observes and uses. Let both cleric and lay friars do the five offices for the dead according to what is in the calendar. 
31. The less literate clerics and priests are to prepare what they have to read publicly in the Mass and divine office so as not to disconcert those listening by offending divine things nor provoke against themselves the holy angels who are present at the divine praises. In both the Masses and the divine office nothing is said except what is in the Missals and Breviaries and with the due ceremonies.
32. Furthermore we exhort the priest friars, when they are celebrating, not to have the eye of their intention focus on human favour and glory or anything temporal. With a simple, pure and clean heart let them consider the divine honour, celebrating for the sake of charity alone and with all humble reverence, faith and devotion. Let them prepare themselves as much as human frailty allows because the one who does the works of God carelessly is cursed. Since that action is divine above all others, it is supremely displeasing if done irreverently.
33. They should not want to receive on earth an earthly reward for celebrating, but follow the example of Christ the high priest who, without any reward of His own, offered himself on the cross for us. Instead they ought to know that because of this their obligation to God is increased. We exhort the other friars, who will be present with the priests celebrating the divine mysteries, to assist with supreme reverence and an angelic mind in the presence of God. Let them celebrate spiritually and receive Communion, offering to God that most pleasing Sacrifice.
34. Celebrating is something of supreme importance. Therefore we determine that no cleric be ordained priest if he has not passed the age of twenty four years, as the canonical sanctions require. The ordained should abstain from celebrating until they have reached that age. We also direct that no cleric be promoted to the priesthood if he, apart from a good spirit, does not have average intelligence to be able to know how to pronounce and understand well the words he says when he celebrates. At all their Masses and prayers let them remember the benefactors, praying God to reward them abundantly in this life and the life to come.
35. We direct the clerics and priests who are not legitimately impeded to assemble as quickly as they can in the choir at the first sound of the bell in order to prepare their hearts for the Lord. There, with devotion, recollection, mortification, quiet and silence, let them bear in mind that they are before God where they should take up the angelic office of rendering the divine praises.
36. We also instruct that the office  be said with due devotion, attention, maturity, uniformity of voice and in harmony with the spirit, without frills or distractedly, and with the voice neither too high nor too low, but in between. The friars should strive to sing psalms to God more with the heart than with the mouth so that what our fair Saviour said of the Hebrews may not be said of us: “These people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”
37. We direct that the lay friars assemble at the beginning of matins, vespers and compline, and at the Te Deum laudamus. After making their preparation in common, they may withdraw somewhere according to their devotion as the office is beginning and say the Our Fathers as the Rule imposes on them. We also direct those the lay friars and clerics not impeded for a just reason to come together for vespers and for all the Masses they can on all the feastdays.
38. To avoid those things that may offend most high poverty, spiritual quiet and tranquil humility; and to preserve peace with the other clerics and priests, and to avoid all impurity, which with time could stain our congregation, we also direct that the dead not be received into our places, unless there be someone who, because of his poverty, would have no one to bury him. In such a case the depths of charity should be opened.
39. Furthermore, burials for seculars and even for our friars are prohibited in our places. Indeed we do not want these in our churches, which should be completely spotless because of the presence of the most unsullied Christ. However let the dead be buried in a fitting place near the church, or even in the cloister. When the friars are visiting the sick, they ought to be on guard against persuading them to be buried in our places. Should the sick want this, the friars are not to consent in any way at all. Because this is something new, and so that it not be an occasion of scandal to those who do not know the sound reasons for it, the sick should be informed of the reasons and helped to understand.
40. When one of our friars dies the others shall strive to commend his soul to God with the pious affection of charity. Each priest in that province where the friar died should say one Mass for him. The clerics are to say the vigil of nine readings, and the lay friars one hundred Our Fathers. Also let each priest say one Mass each week for our deceased friars.
41. As prayer is the spiritual teacher of the friars, and so that the spirit of devotion not grow cold in the friars but burn continuously and ever more intensely on the altar of their heart, and indeed just as the Seraphic Father desired that the true spiritual friar to pray always  – we no less direct that two special times be assigned for prayer for the sake of the tepid. One is to be after compline throughout the year. From Easter until the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the other time is assigned immediately after None except on fast days, or after Matins between the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter.
42. Let the Friars remember that prayer is nothing other than to speak to God with the heart. Therefore the one who speaks to God only with his mouth is not praying. Hence each should strive to do mental prayer and according to the teaching of Christ, the best teacher, adore the Father in spirit and in truth. Each friar should take diligent care to enlighten his mind and inflame his affection more than to form words. Prior to the prayer after None or Matins – or on fast days, after Sext – the litanies should be said, invoking all the saints to pray to God with us and for us. No other office may be added in choir except that of Our Lady so that the friars have more time to spend at private mental prayers, which are far more fruitful than vocal prayers. 
43. Since our Father wanted there to be special reverence for the supreme pontiff as the Vicar of Christ our God, and similarly for all prelates and priests, we instruct each friar, apart from the prayers in common but in his private prayer also, to pray to the Divine Goodness for the happy state of the church militant so that the grace be given them to know clearly, will effectively and work powerfully all those things which are to the honour and glory of His Divine Majesty, the health of the Christian people, and the conversion of the infidels. Similarly for all the Reverend Cardinals, bishops and prelates subject to that supreme Pontiff, for the Most Serene Emperor, for all Christian Kings and Princes, and for all persons, especially for those to whom we are obliged. We also direct that the five offices for Benefactors be said as found in the calendar, as has been said above.
44. Silence is the guardian of the acquired spirit.  According to Saint James, the religion of one who does not check his tongue is futile. Therefore we order that evangelical silence be observed, in as much as our human frailty may bear it, aware that Jesus Christ the infallible truth said that we will have to account for every idle word. Such is the outpouring of divine things that it is no small error for a friar dedicated to divine worship to speak about the things of the world with (his) consecrated mouth.
45. As for regular silence,  let it be continuous in the church, in the cloister and in the dormitory. In the refectory, however, from the first sign at the table until the thanksgiving, and everywhere else once Compline has been said until the bell for Prime. And from Easter until the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, let the signal be given for silence after Sext until the prayer is finished after None. Let anyone who breaks the silence say five Our Fathers and five Hails Marys in the refectory with his arms extended in the form of the cross. The friars should always and everywhere strive to speak of God with a subdued and humble voice, with modesty and charity.
46. Furthermore we direct the friars not to go about alone but with their companion, according to the example of the holy disciples of the most holy Saviour. If one does not amend himself when evangelical correction has been observed, the friars are to report one another’s defects to their superiors. Nor may they go about without written obedience from their superior and sealed with the seal of the Father Vicar or the seal of the place. Therefore we order that each place have its own seal according to the ancient practice of Religious. Along the journey, the friars should not separate from each other or argue together. With all humility and charity, after the example of blessed Christ, each one is to strive to spiritually obey and serve his companion, regarding each other as brothers in Christ.
47. In his Testament Saint Francis says this was revealed to him by the Lord, that when greeting persons we must say, “May the Lord give you peace.” Therefore we instruct the friars to use this evangelical greeting always.
48. Because true friars with living faith should depend upon their kind, supremely good and heavenly Father, we direct them not to carry flasks, meat, eggs, nor delicate or fine foods along the way. In this way they abandon all their cares upon God who feeds not only the animals but even those who always offend Him. Unless there is great need, the friars are not to stop to sleep or eat in the towns or castelli near our places.
49. Since one who likes the festivities of the world is easily defiled, we instruct the friars not to attend such festivities unless to preach the word of God, after the example of Christ, our one and only Master. When invited to the feast He did not want to accept, but He went there later to preach. Remembering that according to the apostle Paul they have become a spectacle before God, the angels and the men of the world, the friars should strive to give the kind of example whereby God may be glorified and not blasphemed.
50. Because abstinence, austerity and strictness are highly praised in the saints; and since we have chosen to live a harsh life according to the example of Christ our Lord and of Saint Francis, we therefore exhort the friars to make the holy Lents that Saint Francis usually made, although the penitent friar always fasts. The friars should not take either excessive or superfluous, nor even ordinary meals. Meat is not to be eaten on Wednesdays. 
51. To put an end to the insatiability of the stomach, there should be only one kind of minestra served at table. During times of fast a cooked or uncooked dish ought to be added. Let the friars remember that a small amount is enough to satisfy necessity and that nothing satisfies sensuality.
52. So that our hearts may not be weighed down by gluttony and drunkenness, according to the teaching of our most holy Saviour, and so that our minds be attuned and the senses mortified, we instruct that no wine be put on the table without first being well watered down. Moreover this should be regarded as a sensual delight given that, according to the seraphic Saint Bonaventure, our Father Saint Francis dared not drink sufficient cold water to mitigate the ardour of (his) thirst.  Saint Francis was accustomed to say that it is difficult to satisfy necessity without obeying self-indulgence.  This will be pleasant for the friars if they remember that Christ was denied water on the Cross and He was given wine with myrrh or vinegar with gall. In his time Saint Jerome writes that it was regarded as depravity even for the infirm monks to drink cold water or eat something cooked. 
53. So then we direct that no special dish be made for anyone except for the infirm, for travellers, or for the old or very weak, just as charity requires and demands. If any friar wants to abstain from wine, meat, eggs and other foods, or to fast more often, the superior may not prevent him if he sees that the friar will not be harmed by too much fasting. Rather let the superior encourage him to continue, provided that the friar eats together with the others. As a sign of poverty, tablecloths shall not be used on the tables except a plain serviette per friar.  So that not only may the body be fed, but the spirit much more, we direct that a spiritual reading to always be read at table. 
54. We direct the friars to neither ask for nor receive delicacies, things unbecoming our state. Also, spice may not be used except when needed for the infirm. All possible charity should be shown them just as the Rule and every just law command, and according to the example of our Seraphic Father who was not be ashamed to quest meat publicly for the infirm. If some superfluous food has been brought let the friars refuse it while humbly thanking the donors. Or with their consent, let the friars distribute it among the poor.
55. And because some of the ancient patriarchs by their hospitality merited to receive angels, we direct that in each place a friar be assigned to take diligent care in receiving guests with all possible charity. Also, according to the example of the humble Son of God, these friars will wash the feet of the quests while all the friars assemble for that act of charity. During the washing of the feet, the friars will say some devout hymn or psalm. While always regarding ourselves to be useless servants, nevertheless let us do everything that is possible for us.
56. So that our bodies do not defy the spirit but be completely obedient to it, and in memory of the most cruel passion of our most fair Saviour, especially the agony of His scourging, we direct that the customary disciplines, namely those on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, never be omitted, even on great solemnities. They are to be done after Matins. When it is very cold however they are to be done in the evening. During Holy Week let them done every night. While disciplining themselves, with a devout heart let the friars think of their fair Christ, the Son of God, tied to the column. May they strive to feel a small part of His acute pain. After the Salve Regina five devout prayers are to be said.
57. Our Father Saint Francis knew that, according to the teaching of the apostles, cupidity is the root of all evil. Wanting to eradicate this from the hearts of his sons he commanded the friars in the Rule not receive coin or money in any way, either themselves or through an intermediary. Moreover he repeats this three times in the Rule to better impress upon the minds of the friars that this is something very close to his heart. And Christ our Lord said, “Be on guard against all avarice.” Therefore, wanting to wholly and fully satisfy the pious intention and mind of our Father inspired by the Holy Spirit, we direct the friars not to have any kind of agent, procurator or any person on earth -whatever title that person may be given – who might keep or receive money or coins for the friars themselves; neither at their insistence, request, or petition, nor in their name, nor because of any deference towards them, not for any reason at all. Rather, may Jesus Christ our God be our procurator and advocate and may His fair Mother be our representative and advocate. May all the angels and saints be our spiritual friends.
58. Because most high poverty was the beloved spouse of Christ, the Son of God, and of our Father Saint Francis, His humble servant, the friars should keep in mind that it cannot be violated without displeasing God extremely. One who offends poverty offends the apple of His eye. The Seraphic Father was accustomed to say that his true friars should not value money and coin more than dust. They should flee from it instead and regard it with terror as they would a venomous snake. When he saw in the spirit how many friars were to become lax by receiving legacies, inheritances and superfluous alms and abandoning this evangelical pearl, that pious and zealous Father often wept because of their damnation. He would say that the friar who had higher regard for money than for mud was near to perdition.
59. Experience can demonstrate this to anyone. As soon as a friar chases poverty away from himself, he falls into every other kind of enormous vice. Therefore after the example of the Saviour of the world and His beloved Mother the friars should strive to be poor in the things of the world so that they may be rich in divine grace, in the holy virtues and in heavenly riches. Above all, when visiting someone sick, the friars must be on guard not to encourage the sick directly or indirectly to leave us any temporal thing. Rather, when the infirm want to do this, the friars should not agree, but refuse as justly as they can, keeping in mind that riches and poverty cannot be possessed together. Legacies may not be accepted.
60. Thus to possess the precious treasure of poverty more securely, we order that there be no recourse to spiritual friends even for necessary things, when it is possible to have them opportunely in an another way permitted in the Rule. And so that we may be less of a burden to our friends, no friar may have anything of noteworthy price purchased or paid for without the permission of the Father Vicar Provincial. Recourse to friends is permitted however for things truly necessary and which cannot be had in any other way, but always with the permission of the superiors, so that in each request there always be real need and permission.
61. Since we have been called to this life to live in the spirit by mortifying this external man of ours, we exhort the friars to accustom themselves to suffer the lack of worldly things after the example of Christ who, while being Lord of all, chose to be poor and to suffer for us.
62. Let the friars be on guard against the noonday devil who changes himself into an angel of light. This happens when the world is devoted to us, applauds us, celebrates to honour us and gives us its riches which have often been the cause of many evils in the Religion. The friars should not want to be those false poor about whom Saint Bernard speaks. There are some poor who wish to be poor in such a way that they want for nothing.
63. Given that God is our final end to whom everyone should tend and long to see himself transformed in Him, we exhort all the friars to direct all their thoughts to this aim. With every possible impulse of love let us focus all our intentions and longing to unite ourselves to our supremely good Father with all our heart, mind and soul, with our strength and virtue, with actual, continuous, intense and pure love.
64. Since an end is not reached without a means, each should strive therefore to put aside all the harmful and pernicious things that hold us back from God or block the way to Him. While not worrying about extraneous things, let the friars choose those that are useful or necessary to go towards God and choose from them those that are more useful, such as most high poverty, pure chastity and humble obedience, as well as the other gospel virtues taught us by the Son of God by word and example, in Himself and in His saints.
65. However, it is a difficult thing for man to remain always uplifted in God, and to avoid idleness, the root of all evil, and to give good example to our neighbour and be less of a burden on the world, after the example of the apostle Paul who worked while preaching, as well as other saints. Furthermore, in order to observe the admonition given in the Rule by our Father Saint Francis and to conform ourselves in this with his will expressed in his Testament, it is decided that when the friars are not occupied in spiritual exercises, they should work manually in some fitting activity. They should not fail however, in so far as human frailty permits, to occupy themselves during that time with the mind in some spiritual meditation. Therefore we instruct that while work is being done, the friars always speak of God or some devout book be read.
66. And let the friars be on guard against making work their end, nor to allocate their affection to that work nor be taken up in it so that they extinguish, diminish or retard the spirit, which all things must serve. However, while always their eyes open to God, let them walk along the highest and shortest way. Thus the work given to man by God, accepted and commended by the saints in order to maintain the devotion of the spirit, may not be for them the occasion of distraction or of neglect.
67. On the other hand, let each friar keep in mind that Evangelical Poverty consists in not having affection for any earthly thing; in using these things of the world sparingly, as if compelled by necessity to do so and for the glory of God, whom must be acknowledged for everything; and in giving to the poor what we have left over for the glory of poverty. Let the friars also remember that we are in an inn and eat the sins of the people. However we will have to give an account of everything.
68. As the devout Saint Bernard says, “Nothing is more precious than time, and nothing today is considered so worthless”, the same Saint Bernard also says that God will examine us carefully on how we have spent all the time granted us. Therefore we exhort all our brothers to never be idle nor spend their time in things of little or no use, nor in vain or useless words. Let them always remember the terrible judgement of the infallible truth: on the day of judgement we will have to give reason for every idle word. Instead, let them spend the whole time in praiseworthy, fitting, and useful spiritual or physical activities for the honour and glory of the divine majesty and for the good example and edification of our neighbours as well as our brothers, both religious and secular.
69. Our Seraphic Father Saint Francis pondered the most high poverty of Christ, the king of heaven and earth. When He was born He did not have even a small place in the inn for His dwelling, and He lived as a pilgrim, staying in the houses of others. And when He was dying He had no place to rest His head. Ruminating on how He was most poor in everything else and to imitate Him, Saint Francis commanded his friars in the Rule that they not have anything of their own. Thus unencumbered, like pilgrims on the earth and citizens of heaven, with fervent spirit, they might run along the way of God. Therefore we, wanting in such a noble example to truly imitate Christ and really observe the seraphic precept of heavenly Poverty, and to show in effect that we do not have any jurisdiction, dominion, ownership, juridical possession, usufruct or juridical use of anything, even those things that we use by necessity,
70. it is determined that an inventory be kept in each place. In the inventory all the things of notable value lent us by their owners for our need and simple use shall written down. And within the octave of the Seraphic Father, let each Guardian go first of all to the owner of the place. Thanking him for the place lent to the friars in the previous year, let them humbly ask him that he may deign to lend it to the friars again for another year. When he consents to this, they may dwell there with a secure conscience. However, when the owner might not want this let them leave without any show of sadness but rather with a joyful heart. Accompanied by divine poverty, let them recognise themselves indebted and not offended for the time that the place was lent them. If the place is his, he is not bound to lend it again. Let them do the same with all the other things of notable value, even bringing them to the owners when they can do so opportunely, things such as chalices and the like; or at least let them promise to bring them when the owners non longer wish to lend them. When it is no longer fitting to use things, let them be returned as they are to their owners or let permission be sought to give those things to the poor.
71. We also direct that when the friars wish to take up some new place, according to the teaching of the humble Francis, let them go first of all to the Bishop or his Vicar and ask permission to be able to take up the place in his Diocese. Once permission is obtained, let them go the Town Council or lord and ask them that they might to lend them a small place.
72. Let the friars be careful not to take up any place with an obligation to keep it. Instead, if this be imposed on them, let them not accept without the express protest to be able to leave the place any time it seems appropriate for the pure observance of the Rule, so that if may be necessary to leave the place, no scandal may be given. 
73. Like pilgrims, after the example of the ancient Patriarchs, we will have to live in little huts, hovels and hermitages. Therefore we exhort the friars to remember the words of the Seraphic Father in his Testament where he forbids the friars from receiving in any way churches or dwellings built for them if these are not according to the form of most high poverty. Because of this it is understood that it is much less permissible for them to consent to build or have built sumptuous buildings. The friars must not displease God, violate the Rule, scandalize their neighbour and offend the promised evangelical poverty just to please the lords of this world. There must be a great difference between the grand palaces of the rich and the small huts of the mendicant poor, pilgrims and penitents. Therefore we direct that places may not be received, whether made by us or by others, much less ought they be built, nor may the friars allow such to be built for them, if the places are not in accord with the most holy poverty that we have promised.
74. For this purpose, then, a small model has been made according to which building may be done. The cells, in their length and breath, shall not exceed nine palms, nor the height ten palms. The doors shall be no higher than ten palms and no wider than two and a half. The windows shall be no more than two and a half palms high and one palm wide. The corridor of the dormitory may not exceed six palms in width. Thus let all the rooms be small, humble, poor, abject and low so that everything may preach humility, poverty and contempt for the world. The churches should also be small, poor and fitting. Nor should the friars want these to be big in order to be able preach. As Saint Francis said, better example is given by preaching in the churches of others than in our own, especially if preaching in ours offends holy poverty.
75. To avoid all those things that could offend poverty, we direct that friars in no way get involved in construction except to show and insist on the poor shape of the model to those to whom the task is committed, and to be a manual help to them. As much as possible, let the friars also strive to do what can be done in wicker, and mud, reeds, unfired bricks and lowly materials, after the example of our Father, as a sign of humility and poverty. And let the friars have as their mirror the little houses of the poor, and not modern dwellings.
76. To avoid any irregularity it is determined that no place be taken up, abandoned, built or demolished without the permission of the Provincial Chapter and of the Father Vicar General. No guardian may either build or demolish except according to what his Vicar Provincial has ordered who, along with some friars suited for this, shall go to indicate the design of the said construction.
77. So that seculars may make use of us in spiritual matters, and we of them in temporal things, we order that our places not be taken up too far from the towns or villages, nor be so close so that we suffer detriment from them by too many visits. It is enough that the places normally be a mile and a half away, or thereabouts, always rather nearer solitary deserts rather than city delights, (after the example of the holy fathers and especially our Father.)
78. It is also determined that in our places (when possible) there be a small room with a fireplace to receive pilgrims and visitors when necessary, as charity requires and as our poverty abides.
79. In each place where this can be done opportunely, in the woods or the site granted the friars, we also order that there be one or two solitary cells remote from the common dwelling of the friars. Then if any friar (judged suitable for this by his superior) may wish to lead the anchoritic life, he can give himself quietly to God with an angelic life in solitude, following the impulse of the holy spirit. During that time, so that he may enjoy God in quiet, we instruct that no one speak with him except his spiritual father, who will be like a mother in providing for him, according to the pious intention of our Seraphic Father, as is found in the Conformities.
80. We also order that if there are vines or superfluous trees in the places that are taken up, they may not be cut down. With the consent of the owners however, let the fruit be given to the poor, and the vines dug up, if they render fruit, in order to be planted in other places or be given to the poor. 
81. According to the teaching of the gospel, Christians, especially the poor friars of Saint Francis who have undertaken to follow Christ the supreme emperor and spotless mirror along the way of most high poverty, must keep in mind that their heavenly Father knows how to provide for them. He can do so and wants to do so. Hence He takes special care of them. Therefore, unlike the gentiles who do not believe in divine providence, we must not strive after these things of world with worry and unnecessary concern. The most high God grants these things generously even to dumb animals. However as children of the eternal Father, having put aside all carnal concern, we should depend completely on that divine generosity and rest in His infinite goodness. Therefore we order that in our places no storage be made for more than two or three days, or a week at most, according to seasons and places, of any human food, albeit necessary, especially of those things that may be begged daily. Fruit may not be stored except for a short time, according to the judgement of the Provincial.
82. To close the way to superfluous human supplies we order that there be no casks nor barrels in our places, but only some poor gourds or flasks. Wood can be stored, especially during winter, for two or three months.
83. So that the begging of the friars not be rich and delicate, neediness in name and not in fact, we order that no meat, eggs, cheese nor fish, nor other precious foods be sought, foods unfitting to our poor state, not even during carnevale. These foods may be accepted for the infirm, however, but they should be given without the friars asking for them and without offending poverty.
84. Above all, the friars should be careful lest with an abundance of alms due to the support of the distinguished persons, the faith of the people and devotion of the world, that they do not abandon their most holy Mother poverty like inauthentic sons of Saint Francis. They should remember those beautiful words of their Father who was accustomed to say with the most ardent affection of love: “I thank God, that through His goodness I have always kept faith with my beloved bride, poverty. I was never a thief of alms since I have always taken less then what I needed so that the other poor would not be cheated of their share; for to do the contrary is theft before God.”
85. We also order that in times of famine questing be done by friars assigned to this by their superiors in order to provide for the needs of the poor, according to the example of our most pious Father who had great compassion for the poor. If he was given something for the love of God, he did not want it without an agreement to be able to give it to the poor when he found someone poorer than himself. As we read in many places, so as not to be without the gospel wedding garment of charity, he stripped off his own clothes and gave them to the poor. Or rather, he was stripped by the violent impulse of divine love. 
86. Voluntary poverty has nothing and is rich in everything, and happy. It neither fears nor desires anything; nor can it lose anything, having placed its treasure in a secure place. Therefore, to really and truly remove the occasion of all ownership, we direct that no friar have keys to his cell, chests, foot-lockers or other things, except the officials, in order to keep those things which they have to dispense to the community of friars, as is just and reasonable.
87. And because we possess nothing in this world, it is not permitted for any friar to give anything to seculars without the permission of his guardian. Even the guardians may not dispense the friars or give permission to anyone else without the permission of their Vicars-Provincial, except for trifling or valueless things
88. To satisfy the needs of the infirm, as reason dictates and the Rule commands and fraternal charity requires, we direct the Fr. Guardian, when any friar becomes infirm, to appoint a suitable friar immediately to serve that friar in all his needs. When it is appropriate for the friar to change places, let this be provided for immediately. Each friar should think about what he would want if the same thing happened to him. No mother is as tender and sensitive, so bound to her only child, as much as each friar is, as our kind Father expressed in our Rule.
89. Since for those who have no love upon the earth it is a sweet, fair and fitting thing to die for the one who died for us on the Cross, we instruct the friars to serve the sick during the times of plague, according to what their Vicars decide, who will strive in such cases to keep prudent charity in mind.
90. First of all,  to avoid danger to subjects and prelates we direct that no friar hear the confessions of seculars without permission from the Chapter or from the Father Vicar General. Since such an office requires more than a good conscience and ability, but also fitting experience, it may not be exercised by those who are unsuitable. Generally those appointed as confessors should not hear confessions except only when charity obliges in special cases. This is to avoid every danger and distraction of mind, so that unimpeded, focused and recollected in Christ, the friars may run more surely to their heavenly homeland.
91. We also instruct the friars to go to confession at least twice a week and receive communion every 15 days, or more often when they want, and when their superior judges this to be more advantageous for the friars. In Advent and Lent, however, they are to receive Holy Communion every Sunday. And according to the Apostolic exhortation, the friars should first carefully examine themselves, their nothingness and their unworthiness very well on the one hand, and on the other, the noble gift of God given with such charity, so as not to receive it to the judgement of their souls, but instead to the increase of light, graces and virtue. And this most high and divine sacrament where our most fair Saviour deigns to dwell continuously with us should be kept in all our churches in a very clean place. It should be held in the highest reverence by all those who stay in front it and let them pray as if they were in their heavenly homeland with all the holy angels.
92. It is granted to the friars to confess to other priests when they are away from our places and in case of need.
93. Just as our Father exhorts us in the first Rule, in order to nurture charity, the mother of every virtue, we instruct the friars to welcome with all possible Christian humanity those persons who come to our places, especially religious, as persons more specifically deputed for divine service.
94. In reserved cases we also direct offenders to humbly have recourse, as quickly and opportunely as they can, to their Vicars to whom they can and should entrust themselves, without this being made known. If the superiors see them truly contrite and humbled, with a firm resolve to amend themselves and ready for a fitting penitence, they should receive them with gentleness according to the example of Christ our true Father and shepherd in the same way the prodigal son was received by his very kind Father. With Christ they should strive to joyfully carry on their own shoulders the lost sheep of the angelic sheepfold.
95. Let them also remember what our Father Saint Francis used to say. If we want to lift up again one who has fallen, it is necessary to bend down in kindness, just as the most kind saviour Christ did when presented with the adulterous woman, and not to act with rigid justice and cruelty toward the one brought before them. Indeed Christ, the Son of God, descended from heaven to the Cross to save us and showed all possible gentleness to humbled sinners. The friars should also keep in mind that if God were to judge us with rigid justice, few or none of us would be saved. And when imposing a penance they always ought to keep an open eye toward saving the soul and not losing it, as well as the reputation of the poor friar. No friar should be scandalized or ashamed of him, nor avoid him or hold him in disdain. Rather, they must be compassionate towards him and love him all the more, something for which he has greater need, knowing what our Father Saint Francis said, “Each of us would be much worse if God did not sustain us with His grace.” Indeed when leaving him as universal shepherd in His place, Christ told Peter that he should even to forgive the sinner who sins seventy times seven. Therefore in one of his letters Saint Francis said he wanted that if a friar has sinned as much as possible, having seen the eyes of his superior, he should not depart without mercy when he seeks it humbly. If the friar does not seek it, Francis wanted the superior to offer it to him. Then if the friar came before him a thousand times, Francis wanted anger never to be shown to the friar nor that his sins be recalled. To draw the friar to Christ our most kind Lord, let the superior love him truly from the heart instead; knowing that while heartfelt repentance with a firm purpose to not sin again and to practise virtuous actions is enough before God, when Christ gave penance however he was accustomed to say, “Go in peace and do not seek to sin again.”
96. On the other hand, the superiors should consider that in not punishing the one who sins means to open a door for the wrongdoers to every vice and to invite them to similar errors. Therefore, the superiors should impose a suitable penance, with mercy, according to the Rule. Hence, so that this good possession of the Lord be preserved by means of a sound hedge, we order that subtlety of law and juridical machinations are not to be observed  in our matters, especially in the correction and punishment of friars.
97. Instead, according to the concessions of Boniface VIII of happy memory, as well as Innocent and Clement, no friar is permitted to appeal against his superiors outside our congregation under pain of excommunication latae sententiae and imprisonment. For we have not come to the religion to dispute but to weep for our sins, to amend our life, to obey, and to carry the cross of penance following Christ. So that future wrongdoers will not be an impediment to the good friars, the superiors should punish wrongdoers mercifully.
98. All Christians, especially we friars of Saint Francis, must always keep the integral and pure apostolic faith of the holy Roman church, and firmly hold and sincerely preach that faith. We should be prepared to shed our blood, even unto death, for its defence. Therefore we instruct that if any friar, because of diabolical temptation, find himself (quod absit) tainted by some error against the catholic faith, he should be placed in perpetual imprisonment. To punish these or other similar wrongdoers, there ought to be strong but humane jails in some of our places.
99. So that any of our friars, hating our solitude and quiet, not return to the fleshpots of Egypt after having been freed from the furnace of Babylon: those who apostatize from our congregation are to be excommunicated by our Father Vicar General and the whole Chapter and let them be denounced as excommunicated by this constitution, leaving to the said Vicar General and the Provincials the kind and quantity of punishments they will have to use to punish the said apostates and all the other wrongdoers. The Vicars should punish them according to the nature of the excesses, the humility of the penitents and charitable discretion according the ancient constitutions and praiseworthy customs of our Order in such matters. As the illustrious doctor Augustine says, either punishment or forgiveness should always be done with the aim of correcting the life of the man. Thus justice ought to be always tempered with mercy and while the rigor of discipline should not be overlooked, it should not be excessive to the point of cruelty. Rather, let the weak person be cured by a punishment in which mercy and truth are encountered together. Because of this mature and discrete friars of knowledge, understanding and experience should be chosen as our superiors and they should proceed in all matters with the counsel of the elder brothers.
100. So that the punishments we impose in good zeal not be impeded or misjudged, and so that there be greater freedom in proceeding against transgressors, we forbid the revelation of the secrets of the Order. Instead we must preserve the reputation of everyone as much as possible, while always pursuing those things which are for the praise and glory of God, the foundation of peace, and for the edification and salvation of all our neighbours.
101. According to the teaching of Christ our humble Lord, Christian superiors should not be like the gentile princes who aggrandize themselves with their rank. Instead let them abase themselves according to the greater burden they carry. They should also bear in mind that where the other friars must obey their superiors, the superiors have to obey all the friars. For the Chapter that elected them imposed on them under obedience to serve and minister to the friars in all their needs, especially their spiritual needs, according to the example of Christ who came to serve and minister to us and to lay down His own life for us. Therefore we exhort all superiors to be ministers and servants of all their friars. They will do this if, according to the teaching of the Seraphic Father, they minister to those subject to them spirit and life by teaching and example.
102. Every election should proceed purely, simply, in a holy manner and canonically. According to the teaching of Christ our kind Lord, and as persons invited to His wedding feast, the friars should strive to be in the last place with Him rather than in the first place with Lucifer, knowing that the first will be the last and the last first. With Christ let the friars shun status and not accept rank unless, like Aaron, God calls them under holy obedience.
103. Regarding the General Chapter we direct that it be done every three years on the feast of Pentecost, the most suitable time for such an undertaking and stipulated by our Seraphic Father. The Provincial Chapters are to be done on the second or third Friday after Easter each year.
104. As a sign of humility and to demonstrate their sincere intention to be remote from any kind of ambition, the Vicar General in the General Chapter and the Provincials in the Provincial Chapters will freely resign their offices and renounce all authority into the hands of the definitors elected by the Chapter. As testimony to perfect resignation they will put the seals into the hands of the aforesaid definitors.
105. And if it should happen that the Father Vicar General die in his triennium, it is decided in such a case that the first definitor of the previous Chapter be the Commissary General. If he has died, then the second definitor and so on. And he is bound as soon as possible to convoke the Chapter for Pentecost, or thereabouts, or in September, at a place already decided or where, with the counsel of the other definitors, it will seem expedient to him and when it can be held conveniently. 
106. To also provide a certain, sure and easy way to be able to depose the General when he is not suitable, as Saint Francis lays down in his Rule, we direct that the first three Definitors of the previous Chapter can and should convoke the friars to the General Chapter when and where it will seem expedient to them, given probable and sufficient information concerning his incapacity. It must be discussed there whether or not he deserves to be deposed. If the General attempts to block such a convocation of the Chapter, ipso facto we want him deprived of office. In the case where the General Chapter judges that he does not deserve to be deposed and that the aforesaid definitors have caused such a commotion in the congregation without grounds, let them be punished severely according to the judgement of the Chapter for having proceeded so carelessly.
107. It is also determined that all the friars present in the place of the Chapter have passive voice in the election of definitors. In such an election the Vicars have active voice, the General at the General Chapter and the Provincials at the Provincial Chapters. It is also determined that in the General Chapter six definitors be elected, no more than two of whom may be from those elected at the previous Chapter. Similarly in the Provincial Chapters four definitors may be elected, of whom only two at most may be elected from among those of the previous year.
108. We direct also that the Provincials cease from office for at least one year after their triennium, unless for a reasonable cause it should appear otherwise to the Father Vicar General.
109. During the celebration of the General Chapter all the friars of our congregation should pray continuously and fervently, and at the time of the Provincial Chapter all the friars should beg the divine mercy to deign to dispose all our matters according to His good pleasure, to the praise and glory of His Name and for the good of all His holy Church.
110. According to the example of Christ, the teacher of life, the proclamation of the word of God is among the worthiest, most useful, exalted and divine offices in the church of God upon which the salvation of the world mainly depends. Therefore we direct that no one preach unless this be granted him, after being examined first and approved by the General Chapter or by the Father Vicar General as the Rule requires. Nor should such an office be bestowed upon them unless they are seen to lead a holy and exemplary life, to have clear and mature judgement, and to have a strong and ardent will. For knowledge and eloquence without charity do not build up. Often, rather, they destroy. When bestowing such an office the superiors should take diligent care to be impartial, moved neither by friendship nor human favour but simply for the honour of God. The superiors should prefer there to be a few, good preachers rather than many unsuitable ones, following the example of Christ, the supreme wisdom, who from the great throng of Hebrews only chose twelve apostles and seventy-two disciples after having prayed at length.
111. We direct preachers too not to preach idle chatter, flights of fancy, invented stories or other vain, superfluous, novel, useless or even pernicious notions. Rather, after the example of Paul the apostle, they should preach Christ crucified in whom are all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. This is that divine wisdom that Saint Paul preached among the perfect after he became a Christian man. But when he was a Hebrew and childish, he thought, understood and spoke as a little child about the shadows and figures of the Old Testament. The preachers should quote none other than Christ (whose authority prevails over all persons and the reasoning of the world) and the holy Doctors.
112. Refined, embroidered and pretentious words do not go with the naked and humble Crucified, as do plain, simple, humble and lowly words instead, which are divine and ardent words full of love after the example of Paul, the vessel of election, who did not preach with sublime expressions and human eloquence, but in the power of the Spirit. Therefore we exhort the preachers to imprint Blessed Christ upon their hearts and to give themselves into His serene possession so that through the superabundance of love He may be the one who speaks in them, not only with words but especially through their deeds after the example of Paul, the teacher of the nations. He did not dare preach anything to others unless Christ had first worked it in him. Christ too, the most perfect teacher, taught us not only with doctrine but with works. Great in the kingdom of heaven are those who do first and then teach and preach to others.
113. Let the preachers not think they do much if they only preach Lent or Advent. Rather they should strive to preach assiduously at least on all the feastdays, after the example of Christ, the mirror of all perfection, who went through Judea, Samaria and Galilee preaching in the towns and villages, and sometimes to just one woman like the Samaritan woman we read about.
114. And when they feel the spirit diminish in them because of their dealings with seculars, let the preachers return to solitude and remain there until filled with God the impulse moves them to spread divine grace in the world. Acting in this way in a mixed life, like both Martha and Mary, they will follow Christ who having prayed on the mountain went down to the temple to preach. Indeed, He came down from heaven to earth to save souls.
115. Preachers are forbidden to receive meals, but let them live as poor men and beggars just as they have promised for the love of Christ. Above all let them be on guard against any kind of avarice so that in preaching Christ freely and sincerely they may gather fruit in greater abundance. Therefore when preaching they are forbidden to quest either for themselves or for the friars so that, following the teaching of the apostle, everyone may know that the preachers are not seeking their own interests but those of Jesus Christ.
116. Anyone who does not know how to read Christ, the book of life, has no doctrine he can preach. Therefore, so that the preachers study Him, they are forbidden to carry many books, since everything is found in Christ.
117. This holy office of preaching is excellent and most acceptable to Christ our God. He himself has demonstrated it when, with that great fervour of His divine charity for the salvation of our souls, He wished to practise it, administering to us that most wholesome evangelical teaching. Therefore to be able to better impress upon the hearts of the preachers the norm and method they should observe in order to announce Christ crucified himself more worthily, and to preach the kingdom of God and bring about fervently the conversion and salvation of souls, by replicating it as it were and in a certain way instilling it, we enjoin and stipulate that in their preaching the preachers use the Sacred Scriptures, the New Testament in particular, and most especially the Holy Gospel, so that being evangelical preachers ourselves we may also make the peoples evangelical. 
118. Let them leave aside all vain and useless questions and opinions, the wanton songs, and the subtleties few understand. Rather, after the example of the most holy precursor John the Baptist, and of the most holy Apostles and the other holy preachers afire with divine love, and even after the example of our most gentle Saviour himself, let them preach: Do penance, the kingdom of God is indeed drawing near. And according to what our Seraphic Father admonishes us in the Rule, they should announce vices and virtues, punishment and glory, with brevity in words. They should neither desire nor seek anything other than the glory of God and the salvation of souls redeemed with the most precious blood of the spotless lamb, Christ Jesus.
119. Their language should be well considered and chaste. They ought not focus their discourse on any particular person, because as the glorious Saint Jerome says: General discourse offends no one, while certainly reproaching vices, but honouring in the creature too the image of its creator. As the Seraphic Father exhorts us in his Testament let them strive to fear, love and honour venerable priests, Reverend Bishops, Reverend Cardinals and above all the holy and supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, the universal head, Father and pastor of all Christians and of the entire Church Militant, and all others in the ecclesiastical state, who live according to the order of the holy Roman Church and are humbly subject to our head, Father and lord, that is, to the supreme Pontiff. And just as our Father teaches us in the same Testament, we must honour and love all preachers who minister to us the most holy divine words as those who minister to us spirit and life.
120. So that while preaching to others they do not become condemned, let the preachers sometimes leave behind the crowds of people and go up the mountain of prayer and contemplation with the most gentle Saviour. They should strive to be inflamed with divine love like seraphim so that being rekindled themselves they may enkindle others.
121. As has been said already, they ought not carry many books so that they may read the most excellent book of the Cross more assiduously. Since it was always the intention of our kind Father that the books needed by the friars be held in common and not individually so as to better observe poverty and remove from the friars particularity  and all affection for things, we direct that each of our places have a small room where the Sacred Scripture and some of the holy doctors be kept. The useless books of gentiles, however, which sooner make a man pagan rather than Christian, (as has been said in the first chapter) shall not be kept in our places. However if it should happen that there is such a book, let it be given to the poor, according to the disposition of the Vicars General or the Provincials.
122. Apart from a religious and proven life, some knowledge of the sacred scriptures is necessary for one who should preach worthily and with due order. Naturally this knowledge cannot be had except via some understanding of literary study. So that such a noble and fruitful practice as preaching not diminish in our Congregation at great cost to the poor souls of seculars, we direct that there be some devout and holy studies, rich in charity and humility, both in positive grammar and in sacred letters. Those friars who are, according to the judgement of the Vicar Provincial and definitors, of fervent charity, praiseworthy manners and humble and holy conversation, may be promoted to such study. Secondarily, let them likewise be suitable for learning so that by their lives and teaching they may then be useful and fruitful in the house of the Lord.
123. Let the students not seek that knowledge which puffs up, but rather the enlightening and enkindling charity of Christ that edifies the soul. Nor must they immerse themselves in literary study to the point where they have to neglect the study done by prayer. In this they would be clearly contrary to the intention of the Seraphic Father who never wanted holy prayer to be set aside for any such literary study. To be better able to have the spirit of Christ both professors and students should strive to give greater emphasis to spiritual rather than literary study. In this way they will find that they make greater progress in study the more they work on the spirit rather than the letter, for without the spirit the true meaning is not acquired and the letter alone blinds and kills.
124. They should strive to never leave the royal path that leads to paradise, holy poverty together with holy humility, and often call to mind the saying of Jacapone that acquired knowledge bestows a mortal blow if it is not clothed in a humble heart. They will also have reason to humble themselves if they recognise that they have an increased obligation before God for having been promoted to study and made worthy to be introduced to the true and fine understanding of the sacred texts beneath whose meaning lay hidden the one whose spirit is sweeter than honey for anyone who tastes it.
125. Each time they go to a lesson we exhort the friars to remember to raise their minds to God and say in a spirit of humility and with a contrite heart: “O Lord, your lowly servant, unworthy of any good, wants to enter and see your treasures. May it please you to allow entry to this most unworthy person. In the holy words of this holy lesson grant that he may love you as much as he knows you, since I do not want to know you except in order to love you, Lord God, my creator. Amen.”
126. We direct the minister General during his triennium to strive to personally visit all the friaries and friars of our Order, and that the Vicars Provincial always go visiting their brothers. Both they and the Guardians should not cease to charitably exhort their friars to the perfect observance of the divine and evangelical precepts and counsels: of the Rule they have promised, of these constitutions and especially of most high poverty, the solid foundation of all regular observance. With all charity they should correct offenders, always mixing the wine of strict justice with the oil of gentle mercy.
127. The subject friars should humbly obey their superiors in every thing which, without any doubt, they do not see the divine offended. Let them bear their superiors due reverence as Vicars of Saint Francis and indeed of Christ our God. When they are reprimanded or corrected by their superiors, according to the praiseworthy custom of our humble first fathers and brothers, let them humbly kneel and patiently endure every reprimand and correction. They should not answer proudly. Nor should they in any way dare answer the superior, especially in the Chapter or even in the refectory, without asking first and receiving permission. On acting to the contrary let them do penance before the friars for the length of one Miserere. With all care all the friars should strive to amend their faults and by frequent virtuous acts acquire the heavenly virtues and overcome bad ways with good ones. And the superiors should watch against entangling the souls of their subjects with precepts binding under obedience unless they are compelled to do so by divine piety or when charity requires it.
128. We also instruct that visiting friars be received with all fraternal charity. As true sons of the eternal Father they should first visit His church and after having done some act of reverence and prayer, let them present themselves to the superior, showing him their obedience, without which no friar is permitted to go outside our places. Even when friars of the same place go to carry out some service, let them first ask the blessing of their superior, and the same when they return.
129. So that everything may be done with the merit of holy obedience and due devotion, no friar may presume to eat either inside or outside our places without the permission and blessing of his superior or of the eldest father or brother.
130. All the friars should strive to avoid unnecessary and vain talk. They ought not worry about going to other churches for indulgences since the Supreme Pontiffs have granted the greatest abundance of these to our churches.
131. We also direct that no friar who is a fugitive from his own province be accepted in another without the written permission of the Father Vicar General. To do otherwise will nullify his reception and the one receiving him will be severely punished according to the will of the Father Vicar General.
133. Following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our Seraphic Father, all the friars should always desire to be subjects and to obey, rather than be superiors and command others. However those upon whom prelacy is imposed by obedience should not be obstinate in refusing it. Instead let them fulfil the ministry commissioned to them with all humility and solicitude.
134. According to the admonition of our Father in the tenth chapter of the Rule, we also exhort the friars to watch against all pride and vainglory, envy and avarice, all care and solicitude about this world; and against all detraction and murmuring, especially against church prelates, the clergy and religious, especially those of our Order. Rather let us bear reverence to each according to his rank, regarding them all as our fathers and elders in Christ Jesus our Saviour.
135. According to the view of the holy Doctors, especially St. Jerome, servants of God should avoid and with holy prudence flee from familiarity even with holy women. Therefore with the greatest maturity, counsel and deliberation, the entire General Chapter makes this present ordinance, which the entire congregation must observe inviolably: In no way, either under the pretext of good virtue or holiness or because of the petitions of either people or princes, shall our friars accept the care of monasteries or confraternities, nor of any congregation of men or of women. Nor shall they be confessors or accept any care over them. In this they should give credence to the life-giving example of Christ our Saviour and the wholesome teachings of the saints rather than to human persuasion. 
136. It pertains to true religious and servants of Christ to flee not only from obvious wrongdoing and sins but also from everything that can be a pretext for any kind of wrongdoing. Therefore we want the friars not to enter any Monastery or any other house where religious women may be in congregation without the permission of the Vicar Provincial, who will be vigilant and most circumspective and not grant this permission except to proven friars and in cases of necessity or great devotion. For our Father St. Francis said that God has taken wives from us and the devil has given us nuns. 
137. So that by being pure of heart we may see God with the eye of sincere faith and become more suited for heavenly things, the friars should not have any suspicious associations with women, nor useless and lengthy conversations or unnecessary talk. When obliged by necessity to speak with women, in order to give good example to the world, the friars should be in an open place to be seen by their companions. So that they may be an aromatic fragrance to Jesus Christ, when conversing in each place with purity, discretion and appropriateness, the friars should recall that memorable example of the holy friar about whom we read in our chronicles. While burning some straw he said, “What the straw gains from fire, so does the religious servant of God gain from women.”  At his canonization Pope John XX said of our friar, the bishop Saint Louis, that the love of chastity had been so well established in his heart since childhood. As its faithful guardian, Louis fled association with women at all costs to the extent that he never spoke one to one with a woman except his mother or sisters. He had known woman to be more bitter than death.  Saint Bernard says that there are two things that defile and ruin Friars: familiarity with women and fussiness about foods.
138. We do not want women to enter our places except for serious necessity or when, because of extraordinary devotion, this denial may result in scandal. When they enter they must be in the fitting company of men and women. However, before they are admitted, the consent of the Friars of that place should be had. Two mature and holy Friars should be appointed to accompany them, with appropriateness and devotion, giving the best example, speaking always of edifying matters in Christ our Lord, and about the salvation of one’s soul. Our conversation with women, but also with secular men, is to be rare since too much familiarity with them is harmful to us.
139. So that the purity of the Rule be better observed with due order in divine matters, along with most high poverty, we order that there be no less than six and no more twelve Friars in our places.  Assembled in the fair name of the gentle Jesus, let them be of one heart and one mind, striving always to tend towards greater perfection. To be true disciples of Christ himself let them love one another from the heart, bearing one another’s faults always. Exerting themselves in divine love and fraternal charity let them strive to give the best example to each other and to every person, even by doing continuous violence to their own passions and depraved inclinations. For as our Saviour says, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent plunder it, that is, those who vigorously do violence to themselves.
140. We order that our Churches have only one small bell of about one hundred and fifty small pounds. In our places there shall be no other Sacristy than a locked closet or just a trunk. A professed Friar is to carry the key with him always. Everything necessary for divine worship shall be kept in that cupboard or chest. There should be two small Chalices, one of pewter and the other with just the cup made from silver. Let there be no more than three poor vestments without gold, silver, velvet or silk, or any else precious or unusual. However, these must be very clean. The palls on the Altars are to be of ordinary cloth, the candle-sticks of wood. Missals and Breviaries and all the others books too should be bound simply and without fancy embellishments  so that all the things for our poor use may radiate most high poverty and set us on fire for the precious riches of the heaven where are our treasure, delight and glory.
141. It is impossible to put in place laws and statutes for particular cases that may arise, since those things are countless. Therefore in the charity of Christ we exhort all our brothers, in everything they do, to keep before their eyes the Holy Gospel, the Rule we have promised to God, as well as the holy and praiseworthy customs and holy examples of the Saints. As they direct their every thought, word and deed to the honour and glory of God and the salvation of their neighbour, the Holy Spirit will teach them all things.
142. For the sake of ritual uniformity both in the choir as elsewhere, the teaching of Saint Bonaventure and the ordinances of our early fathers should be read. And to better know the mind of our Seraphic Father in everything, his Fioretti and the Conformities should be read, as well as other books that speak of him.
143. The conversion of the infidels was very close to the heart of our Seraphic Father. Therefore, for the glory of God and their salvation, we direct that if some Friars, who by divine inspiration and who are perfectly enkindled in the love of blessed Christ and in zeal for His Catholic faith, want to go to preach that faith among the infidels, let them have recourse to their Vicar Provincials or the Father Vicar General according to the Rule. On being judged by these as suitable, let them go to such an arduous undertaking with their permission and blessing. However the subjects should not presumptuously judge themselves as suitable for such a difficult and dangerous undertaking. Instead, with all fear and humility let them commit their desire to the judgement of their superiors. A distinction can also be made between those quite meek and malleable infidels, disposed to easily receive the Christian faith, such as those recently discovered by the Spanish and Portuguese in the Indies, and the Turks and Arabs who uphold and defend their cursed sect only with arms and torture. The superiors ought not consider the lack of Friars nor be sad because of the departure of good friars. Instead let them cast all their solicitude and concern upon the One who cares for us continually. Let them do all these things as the Holy Spirit teaches and carry out everything with that charity which does nothing badly.
144. So that poverty, the holy bride of Christ our Lord and of beloved of our Father, may remain among us always, the Friars must be careful in all things pertinent to divine worship, in our buildings and in the furnishings we use so that there be nothing extraordinary, superfluous or precious, knowing that God wants from us our promised obedience in holy poverty rather than sacrifices. As Clement says in his declaration, God delights more in a pure heart and holy works rather than in precious and very ornate things. Nonetheless our poverty should radiate cleanliness entirely.
145. Since our Saviour began first by doing and then by teaching others, all our superiors should be the first to observe these constitutions. Then all the subjects should strive with holy and effective courage to observe them inviolably. If at first some things seem to be somewhat difficult, holy custom will make them easy and delightful. So that these Constitutions be better impressed upon the minds of the Friars and they observe them, all the Guardians should have them read at table once a month. Although we do not intend to oblige the friars with these constitutions with any sin, nonetheless we wish and order transgressors of these constitutions to be severely punished. If the Guardians are negligent in observing and punishing miscreants, let them be severely punished by their Fathers Vicar Provincial and these by the Father Vicar General.
146. Because the present Constitutions have been composed with the greatest diligence and mature deliberation, and approved by our entire General Chapter and even by the Apostolic See, they may not be changed without the consent of the General Chapter. Similarly we exhort all our Fathers and Brothers, now and in the future, not to change the present constitutions even in General Chapters. For as we have seen from experience great detriment to the Order comes from such changes to the constitutions. Nor must there be Provincial constitutions. However, if other particular cases arise let provision be made and we direct such matters be tabled at General Chapters. Let these constitutions be left intact, according to which our entire congregation has to live and be regulated with holy uniformity.
147. At the moment of his death our Seraphic Father left the generous blessing of the most Holy Trinity for the zealous and true observers of the Rule. He even added his own paternal blessing. Therefore we should understand carefully and observe effectively and lovingly the perfection shown and taught us in the Rule itself and in our Order, and avoid all negligence.
148. Service with no other intention than to avoid punishment belongs only to servile and mercenary spirits. However it pertains to the true sons of God to work for the love of God and to do something pleasing to His Majesty, for divine grace and glory, and to give good example to our neighbour, and for many similar reasons. Therefore the Friars should be supremely careful not to transgress these constitutions as if they were not obligatory without any guilt. However while recognising to whose spirit we belong, the friars must inviolably observe the laws, sanctions and statutes of the Order so that grace be added to their head and they merit divine mercy by means of their compliance in these things and are conformed to the Son of God. He was not obliged by the laws he made but wanted to observe them for the salvation of everyone. Therefore let the Friars maintain the sublime state of the Order and be the cause of much good in their neighbours. Certainly it pertains to good servants not only to fulfil those things their masters or lords command by threatening them, but also in wanting to please their masters in many ways.
149. Carrying out these things, therefore, let us direct our eyes to our redeemer so that having known his divine good-pleasure let us strive to please Him: not only by not despising these constitutions (although such a contempt would be a grave sin), but not to be negligent in observing them, for the sake of His love. The observance of these constitutions will help to fulfil not only the complete observance of the promised Rule but also the divine law and evangelical counsels. And through Jesus Christ the grace of God will free us from all danger. In all our efforts too, our consolation will abound through Jesus Christ. We will be capable of everything in the Him who comforts us, namely, Christ the Almighty. In everything He will give understanding, He who is the power and wisdom of God and our Saviour, who gives abundantly to each one and does not take back, will give understanding in everything. He will furnish the strength, He who is power and the word that contains all.
150. Beloved fathers and brothers let us often recall that holy and memorable theme upon which our Seraphic Father gave a very solemn sermon to more than five thousand friars: We have promised great things to God, but God has promised greater things to us. Therefore let us observe the things that we have promised. With ardent desire let us long to come to those good things that have been promised us. The pleasures of this world are brief, however the infernal punishment acquired by pursuing those delights is everlasting. The suffering that we endure for the love of Christ and the penance that we do for Him will last a little while. However the glory that God will give through Christ will be infinite. Many are called to the kingdom of eternal life, but few are chosen, because very few persons follow Christ in the truth of their heart. However on the last day God will reward everyone according to their works: glory for the good and Gehenna for the wicked.
151. Although the things we have promised may be great, nonetheless they are nothing in comparison to that eternal reward that God wants to give us if we will observe these things faithfully. Therefore let us act as men and not trust our strength. The good Father who created us and has given us evangelical perfection to observe and who knows the clay of which we were made, will give us the strength with His help. Moreover He will give His heavenly gifts in such profusion and abundance so that once all the obstacles are overcome, we will not only be able to obey His most fair Son but also follow and imitate Him with great joyfulness and simplicity of heart, perfectly despising visible and temporal things and always yearning after those that are heavenly and eternal.
152. In Christ are our merits, examples of life, helps, favours and rewards. He is God and man, true light, the splendour or glory and radiance of eternal light, the flawless mirror and image of God, whom the eternal Father has made judge, lawgiver and the salvation of men to whom the Holy Spirit has given testimony. Therefore our meditation and imitation should be of Him in whom all things are fair, easy, light, sweet, wise, holy and perfect. He is the light and expectation of the nations, the end point of the law and salvation from God, the Father of the world to come, and finally our hope. He has become for us God’s wisdom, justice, holiness and redemption. Consubstantial and coequal with the Father and co-eternal Holy Spirit, one God who lives and reigns, to whom be eternal praise, honour, majesty and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- Cf. I refer to Fidel Elizondo, “Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536” in Estudios Franciscanos, 83(1982)143-252; and to Catalano F, Cargnoni C., and Santarelli G (ed)., Le prime costituzioni dei frati minori Cappuccini, Roma – S. Eufemia 1536, Roma, L’Italia Francescana, 1982. ↑
- E.g. John C. Olin, The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola. Reform in the Church 1495-1540, Harper and Row, N.Y. 1969, pp. 149-181; Elisabeth G. Gleason, “The Capuchin Order in the Sixteenth Century” in Richard L. DeMolen (ed.), Religious Orders of the Catholic Reformation. In honour of John C. Olin on his seventy-fifth birthday, Fordham University Press, N.Y.1994, pp. 30-57 ↑
- “The Congregation could be reckoned as blessed during the time of his (Bernardino d’Asti) government, and we can state that was the time when the Congregation began to assume the shape it had later, making it clearly recognisable as an Order. For up until then it was a company of strays, fugitives and frightened, insignificant friars. In the days of Father Asti it assumed the proper shape which well organised Orders have. At the time (of the Chapter in 1536) the friars were divided into provinces. When the Chapter finished, some good, prudent and learned Fathers stayed on with the Father General and the Father Definitors and made our Constitutions, which still stand, and with God’s help, will continue to stand.” MHOMC I, 246, lines 8+. Bernardino da Colpetrazzo (MHOMC II, 249, lines 3-6) says that these Constitutions derive essentially from the Statutes of Albacina, and were composed in the Chapter held in Rome in 1536. Bernardino Palli d’Asti (c.1485-1557) was Vicar General, and the Definitors were Bernardino Ochino da Siena (c.1487-1564), Giovanni Pili da Fano (†1539), Antonio da Monteciccardo (†1550), Eusebio Cardini d’Ancona (c.1490-1569), Bernardino da Monte Olmo (†1565), Francesco Ripanti d’Iesi (c.1469-1549), Simone da Sant’Angelo in Vado and Girolamo Paganucci da Montepulciano. LC(1951), 315. Attempts to identify some specific contributions to the various members of the commission are interesting, e.g. Costanzo Cargnoni, “Fonti, tendenze e sviluppi dela letteratura spirituale cappuccina primitiva” in CF 48(1978) 311-398, and see IFC I:227. ↑
- See p.57: 16-19 ↑
- A school of thought proposes Bernardino d’Asti as the author of the so called Statutes of Albacina in 1535. Theophil Graf, Zur Entstehung des Kapuzinerordens. Quellenkritische Studien, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1940. See Giuseppe Bartolozzi, “Le origini dei cappuccini: una rilettura delle fonti” in Collectanea Franciscanae 76(2006)523-552, here pp. 541-542: “Il Graf ha affermato che il testo denominato dai cronisti cappuccini come Costituzioni di Albacina fu elaborato dal Capitolo del novembre 1535 (Graf, p.111); questo è possibile, ma le espressioni alla prima persona singolare presenti nelle Costituzioni (nn.1,2,8,14,47,49,61,63,67) inducono a pensare che il testo fu redatto dal vicario generale Bernardino d’Asti.” A harsh and unfavourable review of Graf’s doctoral thesis: Melchior a Pobladura in Collectanea Franciscana 10(1940)418-427: “Conclusiones A. saepe saepius sunt propriae et singulares, attamen non enatae ex novis documentis ab eo detectis, sed sunt fructus quos protulit interpretatio privata fontium historicorum iam cognitorum et quos ipse diurna nocturnaque versavit manu. Fas esto conculsionem, quam ipsi ex examine dissertationis eruimus, his verbis enuntiare: tentamen A. origines Fr. Capuccinorum suo personali modo describendi fere irritum evasit…Plura nobis essent dicenda quae limites recensionis excederent; quapropter quaestione positive non pertratamus, ac tantummodo aliqua ex his quae minus recte vel falso scripta nobis videntur, in medium proferre intendimus” p.418 (in eight pages of fine print!). “Praeterea A. alia congessit argumenta, ut ostenderet statuta Albacinae a tempore Congregationis Fratrum vitae eremticae (1528-1535) provenire non posse… repugnat ut Fratres Reformati, qui ad Ludovicum venerant, illa admitterent, immo perficerent. Qualis si thuis argumenti valor lector ipse iudicet.” (p.426). The text of the Statutes imply the existence of a number of established Capuchin communities, indeed provinces (n.xlix) beyond the small number of friars and friaries in 1529. If Bernardino d’Asti were the author of these Constitutions, new questions arise. Would Ludovico have opposed the convocation of the Chapter if these statutes reflected the mind of the new leadership prior to the Chapter in 1535? If d’Asti were the author of the Statutes of Albacina, these would appear to have been written after the 1535 Chapter and before the composition of the Constitutions of the Chapter of 1536. ↑
- At the request of the new leadership taking shape in the Fraternity, and represented by Bernardino Ochino, Vittoria Colonna intervened directly with Ludovico. Her concern was that Ludovico was beginning to waver under the influence of the Cardinal Protector, Francisco Quiñones. Plausibly, as they pondered the identity and future shape of the fraternity, the new leadership may have already begun to give serious thought to the composition of Constitutions, as suggested in the previous note. ↑
- Venantius de Lisle-en-Rigault, Monumenta ad Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum pertinentia, Romae, Curia Generalia, 1916. p. 16: “Hoc anno 1552 nostrae Constitutiones prima vice Venetiis impressae sunt. Huic editioni referendum est illustre testimonium S. Pii V qui, cum omnium Regularium Constitutiones sibi afferri jussisset, et ex eis quod in Religiosis quibusdam reformandis utilius videretur deceperet, cum primum Capuccinorum Constitutiones perlegit, mox ivi eam vocem erupit, ‘En Constitutiones a Spirito Sancto dictatas, quasi quis perfecte observarerit inter Sanctos referti potest.’ (Bov I, 117, n.14). Huius editionis exemplaria desiderantur et hucusque nullibi inveniri potuerunt.”In quoting Boverius, the editor follows Venantius a Taurini, Ordinationes et Decisiones Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis FF. Min. SS. Francisci, Romae, A.G. Bertinelli, 1851, p.92, note 2. In this paragraph, Boverius depends upon the Chronicle of Paolo da Foligno (MHOMC VII, pp.56, line 32-p.57, line12, translated here:Translated: “These are the Constitutions which, like many other oracles, must be recognised as coming from God – so much so that Brother Evangelist of Cannobio, our General, and other great fathers asserted that the Holy Spirit was seen present in the shape of a dove while they were being written. Pope Pius V, since he was involved with reform, asked for the constitutions of different orders. After reading those of the Capuchins, he exclaimed: ‘Truly, these are dictated by the Holy Spirit, and whoever observes them can be canonized!’ It is not incredible that he should say this, since Saint Vincent, the Dominican, had said the same thing previously about the observers of the minorite Rule. Carlos da Persignano, canon of Gerona, famous in Spain for his holiness, says that Christ had told him that He himself had composed the Constitutions of the Capuchins.” See also MHOMC, VII, 57, lines 3-8, though the context here suggests that Paolo da Foligno does not distinguish the Capuchin Constitutions from the Statutes of Albacina. ↑
- Francesco da Vicenza, “Scoperta del primo esemplare a stampa delle Costituzioni dei Minori Cappuccini” in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) 251-254, an edition published in Venice in 1552 and found in the Capuchin archives in Assisi. A copy of the original edition may be found in the Archive of the Capuchin Province of Rome (Via Veneto). Another copy was found in the Capuchin Archives at Lugano in 1983.A publisher note follows the conclusion of the text of the Constitutions: “Stampata in Neapoli per Ioanne Sultzbach / Alemano. M:D:XXXVII.” The Capuchin Constitutions are not listed, however, in the Annali di Giovanni Sultzbach (Napoli, 1529-1544 – Capua, 1547), Firenze, 1970. ↑
- Also in Liber memorialis Ordinis fratrum minorum s. Francisci capuccinorum: quarto iam pleno seculo ab Ordine condito (1528-1928), Romae, apud Curiam Generale, 1928, 333-430. ↑
- Fidel Elizondo, “Las constituciones capuchinas de 1536” in Estudios Franciscanos 83(1982) 143-252 herein identified as Ef. ↑
- Franco Catalano, Costanzo Cargnoni, Giuseppe Santarelli (eds)., Le prime costituzioni dei frati minori cappuccini, Roma, S. Eufemia 1536. In lingua moderna con note storiche ed edizione critica, Conferenza Italiana dei superiori provinciali cappuccini per l’VIII centenario della nascita di San Francesco, Roma, L’Italia Francescana, 1982. The appended critical edition was prepared by Giuseppe Santarelli. Herein identified as Pc. ↑
- Mark Stier, “First Capuchin Constitutions – 1536” in Round Table of Franciscan Research 7(1942) 245+ and in the reprint of volume VII of 1949. ↑
- John C. Olin, The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola. Reform in the Church 1495-1540, pp. 149-181 ↑
- For example, in Chapter Two, St has: “The habit … shall be ten feet wide, twelve feet for the corpulent Friars … The tunics shall be eight or nine feet wide, and at least half a foot shorter than the habit.” Or again, in the first lines of Chapter Three, Fr. Stier has rendered el nostro seraphyco padre tutto catholico: apostolico & divino… as “Our Seraphic Father, thoroughly Catholic, Apostolic and enlightened by the Holy Spirit…” I have preferred to translate some passages with a different, and I hope, more accurate emphasis. The length of a half-palm was later published in a plate as part of the CC1575 and CC1608, in Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum – I: Constitutiones Antiquae (1529-1643), Editio anastatica. Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1980, pages 206 and 284 respectively. The length of a palm varies slightly between the two editions. In CC1575 a palm is 128mm, in CC1608, 122mm – both approximately ten inches. See above, p.9, footnote (iii). ↑
- Also in the text of chapter two St has included one of Edouard d’Alençon’s footnote references to the ordinances of Albacina, see Liber Memorialis, 364: “Albacina 32 (read 36): Item che li novitij chierici habbino ad imparar la Regola a mente nel tempo del novitiatio, et a questo i loro Maestri siano soleciti.” (MHOMC V, 165-166; MHOMC CII, 66) “The cleric novices have to learn the Rule by heart during the novitiate and their Masters should be solicitous about this.” The CC(1575) introduce this regulation: Et però i Maestri usino diligenza di farli imparare in quell’anno, che saranno Novitij tutta la Regola alla mente, & quali siano i commandamenti di essa Regola, & i consigli, & ammonitioni, che il nostro Serafico Padre ci dà in quella.. CCAnt p.158: “Therefore in that year the (Novice) Masters must be diligent to have the Novices learn the Rule by heart, as well as the commands, counsels and admonitions gave us in that Rule.” In the later editions of the Consitutions, “by heart” was omitted, while the rest of the regulation remained a constant in Chapter 2 until CC(1925) when it was omitted. See CC(1608), CCAnt p.230; CC(1638), CCAnt p.325; CC(1643), CCAnt p.576; CC(1896) n.14, noting the Latin terminology: praecepta, consilia et admonitiones; CCRec p.475; CC(1909) n.18, CCRec p.57 and 213. ↑
- Ef has offered the following list of texts of pre-Capuchin Franciscan Constitutions, Ordinances and Statutes in Estudios Franciscanos 83(1982) 143-252:Michael Bihl (ed,), “Statuta generalia ordinis edita in capitulis generalibus celebratis Narbonae an. 1260, Assisii an. 1279 atque Parisiis an. 1292” in AFH 34(1941) 13-94, 284-358; Michael Bihl (ed)., “Ordinationes a Benedicto XII pro fratribus minoribus promulgatae per bullam 28 novembris 1336” in AFH 30(1937) 309-330; Michael Bihl (ed.), “Statuta generalia ordinis edita in capitulo generali an. 1354 Assisii celebrato communiter farineriana appellata” in AFH 35(1942) 35-112, 177-253; Arcangel Barrado, “San Pedro de Alcántara en las provincias de San Gabriel, La Arrábida y San José” in AIA2 22(1962) 423-561.Fidel de Leharza and Angel Uribe (eds.), “Constituciones de la custodia de santa María de los menores” in Escritos villacrecianos in AIA2 17(1957) 747-774; “Memorial de la vida y rito de la custodia de santa María de los meores” in Escritos villacrecianos in AIA2 17(1957) 714-746; “Memoriale religionis o breve memorial de los oficios activos y contemplativos de la religíon de los frailes menores” in Escritos villacrecianos in AIA2 17(1957) 687-713; “Testamento de fr. Lope de Salinas, primer custodio desta custodia de sancta María de los menores” in Escritos villacrecianos in AIA2 17(1957) 897-925.Luis Carrion, “Casas de recollección de la provincia de la Inmaculada Concepión y estatutos per que se regían” in AIA2 5(1928) 264-272; Andrés de Guadalupe, OFM Obs, Historia del la santa provincia de los Angeles, Madrid, 1662 (edición de los estatutos: libro v, cap. 4, pp. 141-144; Juan Meseguer, “Programma de gobierno del P. Francisco de Quiñones, ministro general O.F.M. (1523-1528)” in AIA2 21(1961) 5-51; “Constituciones recoletas para Portugal, 1524 e Italia, 1526” in AIA2 21(1961) 459-489.See also Michael Angelus a Neapoli, Cronologia Historico-Legalis Seraphici Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Sancti Patris Francisci. Tomus primis: Capitulorum omnium & Congregationum Generalium primo eiusdem Ordinis esordio usque ad annum mdcxxxiii, Neapoli, ex typographia Cavilli Cavalli, Anno Jubilaei, mdcl.In English, see “Statutes Issued by the Chapter of Narbonne (1260)” in Monti, 137-144; “Statutes Issued by the Chapter of Pisa (1263)” 177-188; “Statutes Issued by the Chapter of Paris (1266)” 199-204; “Decrees Issued by the Chapter of Assisi (1269)” 239-244; “Statutes issued by the Chapter of Lyons (1272), 249-252; Decrees Issued by the Chapter of Lyons (1274)” 255-260. ↑
- Cesare Cenci (ed.), De Fratrum Minorum Constitutionibus Praenarbonensibus in AFH 83(1990) 50-95. ↑
- For an historical-juridical overview of the Pontifical Declarations and Decrees, General Constitutions and Statutes regarding the life of the Friars Minor according to the Rule, see: Marinus a Neukirchen, “Constitutiones Generales Primi Ordinis Seraphici” in Collectanea Franciscana 12(1942) 377-396; Elmar Wagner, Historia Constitutionum Generalium Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, Rome, 1954. See also Priamo Etzi, Iuridica franciscana. Percorsi monografici di storia della legislazione dei tre Ordini francescani, Padova, Edizioni Messaggero, 2005, especially pp. 181-184. ↑
- See Cesare Cenci, De Fratrum Minorum Constitutionibus Praenarbonensibus in AFH 83(1990) 50-52. e.g. Around 17 May 1220: « n.11 Beatus autem Franciscus cum beato Petro Cathanie, iuris perito et domino legum, mare transiens reliquit duos vicarios, fratrem Matheum de Narnio et fratrem Gregorium de Neapoli, Matheum vero instituit ad sanctam Mariam de Porciuncula, ut ibi manens recipiendos ad ordinem reciperet, Gregorium autem, ut circuiendo Ytaliam fratres consolaretur. Et quia secundum primam regulam fratres feria quarta et VI et per licentiam beati Francisci feria secunda et sabato ieiunabant et omni carnali feria carnes comedebant, isti vicarii cum quibusdam fratribus senioribus Ytalie unum capitulum celebrarunt, in quo statuerunt, ut fratres diebus carnalibus carnibus procuratis non uterentur, se [tantum] sponte a fidelibus oblatas manducarent. Et insuper statuerunt, ut feriam secundam ieiunarent cum aliis duobus diebus, et ut feria secunda et sabato sibi lacticinia non procurarent, se ab eis abstinerent, nisi forte a devotis fidelibus offerentur. n.12. Super quibus constitucionibus, eo quod presumpserant aliquid addere regule sancti patris, quidam frater laycus indignatus assumptis secum illis consticionibus sine licentia vicariorum transfretavit. Et ad beatum Franciscum veniens in primis culpam suam coram ipso dixit veniam petens super eo, quod ad ipsum sinbe licentia accessisset hac necessitate inductus, quod vicarii, quos reliquerat, insuper adiciens, quod ordo per totam Ytaliam turbaretur tam per vicarios quam per alios fratres nova presumentes.» (pp. 10-12) Chronica fratris Jordani, ed. Heinrich Boehmer in Collectio d’Études et de Documents sur l’Histoire Religieuse et Littéraire du Moyen Age VI, Paris, 1908, 9-13.“11. Blessed Francis, when he had set out to cross the sea with Blessed Peter of Catania, a doctor of laws, left behind two vicars, Brother Matthew of Narni and Brother Gregory of Naples. Matthew he put at St. Mary of the Portiuncula, so that remaining there he could receive those who were to be received into the Order; but Gregory he appoitned to travel about Italy to strenghten the brothers. And because according to the first Rule the brothers fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays and, with the permission of Blessed Francis, also on Mondays and Saturdays, and ate meat on other days when eating meat was lawful, these vicars celebrated a chapter along with certain older brothers of Italy, in which they ordained that the brothers were not to eat meat that had been procured for them on days on which meat was permitted, but only such meat as might be offered them by the faithful of their own accord. And in addition, they ordained that they were to fast on Mondays and two other days, and that on Mondays and Saturdays they were not to procure for themselves milk products, but were to abstain from these, unless perhaps they were offered to them by the devoted faithful. 12. A certain lay brother became very angry over these constitutions, in as much as these vicars had presumed to add something to the Rule of the holy Father, and, taking with the him these constitutions, he set out to cross the sea without the permission of the vicars. And coming to Blessed Francis, he first confessed his fault and asked forgiveness in that he had come to him without permission, impelled by this necessity that the vicars who, Francis had left in his place had presumed to add new laws to the Rule; and he added that the Order throughout Italy was disturbed over these vicars and over the other brothers how had presumed to legislate new things.” Placid Hermann, XIIIth Century Chronicles. Jordan of Giano, Thomas of Eccleston, Salimbene degli Adami, Chicago, Franciscan Herald Press, 1961, 26-28.In September 1224, the first Friars Minor arrived in England: «Primitias autem Spiritus habentes fratres illius temporis, non humanis constitutionibus, sed liberis suae devotionis affectionibus, regula tantum contenti et paucissimis aliis statutis, quae post confirmationem regulae eodem anno primitus emanaverant, Domino serviebant. Haec autem fuit prima constitutio quam sanctus Franciscus fecit post regulam bullatam, sicut dixit bonae memoriae frater Albertus, scilicet quod fratres inter saeculares non comederent, nisi tres bolos carnis propter observantiam sancti evangelii, quia venerat ad eum rumor, quod fratres avide comedebant. Fratres igitur silentium usque ad tertiam tenere consuerverunt et in oratione tam assidui esse, ut vix esset aliqua hora per totam noctem, in qua non essent aliqui fratres in oratione in oratorio.» Andrew George Little (ed.), Fratris thomae vulgo dicti de Eccleston. Tractatus de Adventu fratrum Minorum in Angliam, Manchester University Press, 1951, p. 25. “The brothers of that time, having the first-fruits of the Holy Spirit, served the Lord not by means of constitutions made by men, but by the free affections of their devotion, being satisfied with the Rule alone and the very few statutes that had been first published within the year after the confirmation of the Rule. This was the first constitution that St. Francis made after the Rule confirmed by papal Bull, as Brother Albert of blessed memory said, namely, that the brothers should not eat among seculars, except for three morsels of meat for the sake of observance of the Gospel, because the rumour had come to him that the brothers were eating avidly. The brothers were accustomed to keeping silence until tierce and to being so assiduous in prayer that there was hardly an hour during the whole night in which there were not some brothers in prayer in the oratory.” Placid Hermann, XIIIth Century Chronicles, 117.Then in the Chapter celebrated in Assisi in May 1227, Giovanni Parenti of Florence «corpus Domini summa cum reverentia in argentea vel eburnea pixide infra bene seratam capsellam teneri mandavit, cum nihil esset in coelo vel in terra simili veneratione colendum… Hic statuit nullum fratrem magistrum vel dominum sed omnes communiter fraters vocari; et apostatam non resumi si de fide suspectus et in fornicationem lapsus publicam, si litigiosus vel statutorum ordinis contumax violator fuisset nec se, sufficienter toleratus et monitus, correxisset. Ipse praecepit ut nullus novitius saecularium vel religiosorum confessionem audieret, sed neque professus absque licentia sui provincialis ministri.» Chronicon XIV vel XV generalium ministrorum in AF III, 694+ and cf. p.211.Cesare Cenci, in “De Fratrum Minorum Constitutionibus Praenarbonensibus” in AFH 83(1990) 67-95 has published the text of a fragmentary document of statutes pre-dating those promulgated by St. Bonaventure and the General Chapter of Narbonne. The prologue of these Constitutions makes explicit “Bonaventure’s decision to re-organize various (pre-existing) provisions around topical quotations from the Rule … as a systematic application of the values of the Order’s foundational document in concrete terms for their current situation.” Monti, 73-74: «Quia vero confusio est tam intelligentiae quam memoriae inimica, expedit ut Constitutionum varietas ad certos titulos reducatur.» “Since confusion is opposed to the intelligence as well as to the memory, it has seemed advisable to arrange the various constitutions according to specific topics.” Monti, 75. ↑
- The Constitutions of the General Chapter of Narbonne, with its Statutes and Explanation, have been translated to English in Monti. ↑
- A tendency to view the CC1535 as archetypal of the Capuchin charism may be historically naïve. Capuchin identity emerged with time as the new fraternity adapted. Within the first two decades of its existence, the new community passed through various phases in the development of its identity, of its self-definition. Each new phase was critical, involving a change in leadership and a significant change in direction (i.e. the articulation and adaptation of ideals) within the community. Matteo da Bascio left the fraternity since its shape, as expressed in the Statutes of Albacina, was other than what he had in mind for himself. Ludovico Fossombrone was reluctant to convoke a General Chapter since he did not agree with the direction in which the emergent, new leadership in the fraternity wanted to take the community. Ludovico, the canonical founder of the Capuchins, was expelled from the community. The new leadership orchestrated the convocation of the Chapter of 1535 and published these Constitutions after the Chapter was re-convened in 1536. As I have suggested in this introduction, we ought ask how these developments may also reflect a reform ambience and spirituality broader than the Franciscan Order. It is from this stage of the Order’s development (1535-1542) that many contemporaries, and not only Protestants, would identify Bernardino Ochino as the founder of the Capuchins. The period was significant not only for the embryonic Capuchin reform, but was also critical for reform in the Church in Italy. The CC1536 are part of that broader history. With the subsidence of Italian evangelism after the death of Juan de Valdés (1541) and Cardinal Contarini (August 1542), the flight of Bernardino Ochino (August 1542) and others (including a number of Capuchins), the foundation of the Roman Inquisition and the ascendancy of the so-called intransigenti, even within the new Fraternity, as well as the convocation of the first assembly of the Council of Trent, the Capuchin Order would experience further change and definition within the context of the Counter-Reformation. These first years the Capuchins were not necessarily days of fervent and enlightened simplicity. Serious problems existedwithin the Order. The fraternity was not a halcyon and idyllic utopia of perfect fraternal harmony. Instead, a certain pluriformity and tension existed within the first generation of Capuchins. Even the notion of reform among the friars would not have been a unanimous one. Plausibly ideas on the nature of reform would have been a point of divergence among the friars, as among other ecclesiastics of the time. Some Capuchins saw reform as a restoration of the pristine past, an attempt at continuity with the original ideal of Francis and his Companions or Jesus and the Apostles. Others would have emphasised ‘reasonable and necessary adaptation’ to the perceived challenges and actual needs of the friars and the Church, probable reasons for the convocation of the General Chapter in 1535. To imagine that all the friars were of one mind and one heart at the Chapter celebrated in Sant’Eufemia in 1535 (and then re-convened in 1536!) is, perhaps, idealistic. ↑
- The statutes of Albacina have been translated by Isidore Mausolf in Round Table of Franciscan Research 7-8(1941-1942) 116-126. He prefaces the translation (p.116, note1): “This translation is made from the Latin as found in the AOC, vol. V (1889), pp.13-21, with constant consultation of the Italian version published by the General Curia at Rome in 1913 under title of Le Prime Constituzioni (read Costituzioni) dei Frati Minori Cappuccini di San Francesco. Even a cursory glance will reveal great discrepancies between the two. That translator chose the Latin text because it was published as the authentic version at the command of the Most Reverend Father Bernard of Andermatt, General of the Order. At the same time, the translator has made use of the Italian to clarify the meaning of the Latin text at times, but in no instance has he abandoned the Latin for the Italian version.” Bernard of Andermatt was Capuchin Minister General 1884 – 1908.Edouard d’Alençon did not publish this edition of the statutes, as he was at pains to point out in LMem, 339, note 1: “Nota bene. Haec impressio pluries nobis adscripta fuit, sed absque fundamento. Partem quidem habuimus in illa paranda, monumenta Archivi generalis deferendo Proemii scriptori: sed nil amplius. Tacere non possumus quod novam partitionem, in articulos improbavimus, quum serranda fuisset Boveriana divisio. Cuique suum. Nacta occasione publice haec voluimus declamare. F.Ed.Al.” As he indicates, the Latin version in the Analecta OFMCap is from Boverio’s “faithful” Latin translation from Italian [Bov I (1632) 117-125].An Italian transcription of the earliest surviving version of the Statutes of Albacina, appeared with Melchiorre da Pobladura’s 1946 publication of Historia Cappuccina by Mattia Bellintani da Salò (1535-1611), MHOMC V (158-172). An anastatic reproduction of Bellintani’s manuscript version has been reproduced in CCAnt pages 18-31. With slight variations, Paolo Vitelleschi da Foligno (†1638) included the Statutes of Albacina in his account of the Origo et progressus ordinis fratrum minorum capuccinorum published in 1955 in MHOMC VII, (pp. 58-73).The Latin and Italian versions are published in IFC I:179-225, and later in synoptic format by Fiorenzo Ferdinando Mastroianni, Albacina: la prima legislazione capuccina, “Quaderni storici dei cappuccini di Napoli” n.2, Napoli, Edizioni, T.D.C., 1999. ↑
- Both Pc and Ef may appear somewhat dismissive of the importance of the statutes or ordinances of Albacina in articulating definitive aspects of Capuchin spirituality and therefore Capuchin identity. Pc 9: These (Constitutions) of 1536 can be considered the first true Constitutions of our Order, since the Constitutioni delli Frati Minori detti della vita heremitca, or Ordinationi di Albacina were dictated for the “Confraternity of Capuchin Hermits” at the beginning of the reform.” Ef 147: “The statutes of Albacina must be considered only as a mere legislative intention. This is normal. In 1529, the new reformers made up a small group of men, full of good will, though uncertain about putting into practice their general ideals about the total imitation of Saint Francis and the integral observance of the Rule. The Constitutions of 1536, on the other hand, form the substantial nucleus recognised down through the centuries until our day. In effect, from 1536 until 1968 the constitutions promulgated by the Order (1552, 1575, 1608, 1643, 1909, and 1925) derive their Franciscan spirit and practice from those of 1536.” ↑
- Writing about the chapter at Albacina, Mario da Mercato Saraceno has this in his third account: “Anyone who may want to see the all the goodness, the beauty and the whole of those Ordinances can read our present Constitutions because in these he will see the essence of those ordinances. For the best that was put in the Constitutions made in the first General Chapter in Rome is taken from those first Ordinances themselves. The same has happened in their later reprinting. Little by little some small things have been added as needed because of time and the increase in the number of friars. However, that which is important and essential is taken from those first Ordinances.” (MHOMC I, 246, lines 6-14). “E però non è meraviglia, se fecero Ordini così giudiciosi, così ben pensati e così santi; in ogni cosa erano ben fatti e posti in buona lingua Latina dal Padre Fra Paolo da Chioggia. Et io nell’anno del 40, trovandomi nel luogo di Camerino, gli hebbi in mano e con mio gran contento li lessi più volte tutti. Torno a dire che ogni cosa era ben posta et ordinata” (MHOMC I, 245 lines 20-25). Bernardino da Colpetrazzo also wrote: “The four Definitors and the Father General and other older friars stayed back and made the Constitutions that are more heavenly than human. The Constitutions made in 1536 in the Chapter in Rome take their origin from these. In substance they are they same, but more expanded.” (MHOMC II, 248 line 39 – 249 line 6). Mattia da Salò, following Mario and Colpetrazzo in part, has: “They discussed and decided the way of life they had to lead. The substance of those Ordinances, later arranged in Latin by Paolo da Chioggia, has been the seed-bed of our Capuchin Constitutions which have preserved the substance of those first decrees, with additions shown to be opportune according to the times and the growth of the Congregation.” (MHOMC V, 154 lines 20-26.) ↑
- See MHOMC I, 414-418: “In the days of Father Asti (the Congregation) assumed the proper shape that well-organised Orders have.” In recent times he has been called the praeceptor vitae of the Capuchins (Mariano D’Alatri (ed.), Santi e Santità nell’Ordine Cappuccino. I:Il Cinque e il Seicento, Roma, Postulazione Generale dei Cappuccini, 1980, p.24). D’Alatri quotes Melchiorre da Pobladura who compared Bernardino’s reform accomplishments among the Capuchins to that of St. Bonaventure and the Franciscan Order and Bernardino da Siena and Giovanni Capistrano among the Observants. D’Asti «qui tempore undosae procellae navim reformationis sapientissime moderatus est, quique in novo Ordine instaurando easdem meretur laudes, quas seraphicus doctor Bonavnetura pro universo Ordine franciscali, et sancti Bernardinus Senensisi et Joannes de Capistrano in famiglia de Observantia nacti sunt» (p.30) In its biographical sketch of Bernardino d’Asti, the LC(1951) 200 has: «Nostram Congregationem tam maxime fovit, defendit ac miris Constitutionibus, munivit ut veluti Capuccinorum institutor considerari etiam potest» (emphasis mine.) ↑
- Cf. Costanzo Cargnoni, “Fonti, tendenze e sviluppi della letteratura spiritualie cappuccina primitiva” in CF 48(1978) 311-398, especially pages 321-325; IFC I: 228. ↑
- E.g. see, Fredegando d’Anversa, “Le idee francescane spirituali nei FF.MM. Cappuccini del secolo XVI” in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) 113-130; Felice Accrocca, “L’influsso degli spirituali sulle costituzioni di Albacina” in Ludovico da Fossombrone e l’Ordine dei Cappuccini a cura di Vincenzo Criscuolo, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, Roma 1994, 271-306. ↑
- The identification of Catholic reform movements prior to the Council of Trent, and even instances prior to 1517, was championed by Hubert Jedin in 1946. (See Hubert Jedin, Riforma Cattolica o Controriforma? Editrice Morcelliana, Brescia 1957, 5o ed., 1995. Original title: Katholische Reformation oder Gegenreformation? Ein Versuch zur Klärung der Begriffe nebst einer Jubiläumsbetrachtung über das Trienter Konzil, Luzern 1946. An English translation has been published as Catholic Reformation or Counter-Reformation, (trans. of Katholische Reformation oder Gegenreformation? ) in David M. Luebke (ed.), The Counter-Reformation. The Essential Readings, Blackwell, Oxford, 1999, 19-45.) The Author’s thesis departed from the view that identified Reform more or less exclusively with the (Protestant) Reformation, and which mainly saw the Council of Trent as a re-action to Protestantism. Instead Jedin writes of pre-Tridentine Catholic Reform, at times ambiguous as in Italy in the period of the beginning of the Capuchins, which anticipated and resulted in the Council of Trent, the convergence of many small streams or initiatives into one great river or impulse of reform. ↑
- The idea of contexutalising the Capuchin reform within a bigger picture is not novel. For example, Cuthbert of Brighton in his preface to The Capuchins, A Contribution to the History of the Counter Reformation, 2 vols. Sheed & Ward, London, 1928, pp. 9-10, observes:“This book can pretend to be nothing more than a first introduction to a neglected chapter in the history of the Catholic Reformation, commonly misnamed the Counter-Reformation. The word “Counter-Reformation” suggests that the internal reform of the Catholic Church was a counterblast to the Protestant Reformation. To some extant it was; but not radically or essentially. The internal reform of the Catholic Church began independently of the menace of Protestantism and undoubtedly would have developed and transformed the Catholic peoples even though Luther and Calvin had upheld the Papacy and Catholic Tradition instead of raising a revolution against both; though as undoubtedly the Catholic reform movement would have progressed on more normal and, shall we say, more immediately progressive lines. One interesting point about the Capuchin Reform of the Franciscan Order is that it illustrates and indicates to those who have eyes to see, in one department of thought and conduct, something of what the normal development of the Catholic reform movement might have been if the menace of the Protestant revolt had not turned the Catholic Church into an armed defensive camp. The Protestant revolt indeed affected the development of the Capuchin congregation, as it affected the whole world; but essentially the life and thought of the Capuchins is derived not from the necessity of defending the Catholic Faith against heresy, but from the original Catholic reform movement itself in its revolt against the secularism and conventionalism which overwhelmed the declining medieval system. The early history of the Capuchins is a microcosm of the world-conflict within the Catholic Church in the first half of the sixteenth century, when the spiritual element was in revolt against the secularist element. Later in the intellectual development amongst the Capuchins we gain an insight into the strong Catholic humanist movement with which the earlier reform movement within the Church was so intimately allied. An adequate definitive history of the Capuchin Reform will necessarily concern itself much with these wider problems in the history of the Catholic Reformation. But the definitive history of the Capuchins has yet to be written; nor can it be written until the large mass of documentary evidence pigeon-holed in the archives and libraries of Europe has been adequately studied; nor until the Capuchin writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have been given adequate attention.“I will not attempt to discuss the reason why modern historians have failed to deal in any way adequately with the part played by the Capuchins in the religious life of the Reformation period. They just have not studied it, despite the constant witness of contemporary writers to the powerful influence of the Capuchins in shaping the course of the Catholic Reformation.” Cuthbert comments later: “But the Capuchins are a rare instance of an old institution reborn into a new time, and becoming one spiritually and mentally with the time. Little as they knew it, those first Capuchins who assembled in Chapter in the mountainous retreat of Albacina were an embodiment of the spirit which was to revivify the Catholic people and recover for the Catholic Church its spiritual dominion over at least its professed subjects. Not without reason were the most convinced fiends and upholders of the nascent Reform found amongst the devout humanists of the time. It was in fact the imperious religious instinct of the Catholic humanist movement which moulded and gave character to the Capuchin Reform from the days of Vittoria Colonna till the time of Yves de Paris. That is the outstanding feature in their history; and for that the history of the Capuchins deserves more attention than has hitherto been given it in the study of the Catholic Reformation.” vol. II, p.429-430. (Emphasis mine, though Cuthbert’s interpretation is not.) More recently, in her succinct account of the beginnings of the Capuchins, Elizabeth Gleason also comments:“The Capuchins began as an Italian order, and their origins and early history must be studied in the context of sixteenth-century Italian religious history. But since the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century, the split between the so-called lay culture and Catholic scholarship has relegated the study of religious orders definitely to the latter. Every movement of criticism and dissent and every heretic about whom anything is known has received serious scholarly attention from lay historians. But the history of Catholic orders has remained a family affair, as it were, cultivated within the various institutes established by the orders and staffed by their members, learned and thoughtful articles reach a limited readership since they are too frequently published in periodicals that are in the nature of house organs. It is as if a whole side of religious life barely existed – yet the new orders of the sixteenth century must be integrated into the history of the Church as well as of Italian culture and thought in their entirety. That task is yet to be done. In the case of the Capuchins, a number of questions remain unanswered. Among them is the problem of reform thought: Why was the Franciscan ideal in all its austerity so attractive precisely at a time when Protestant ideas were spread throughout the peninsula? Were there possible connections between what we might call Franciscan fundamentalism and Protestant calls for purification of the church and a return biblical theology? What were the connections between sixteenth-century Italian evangelism and the thought of the first generation of Capuchins? Who were the first capuchins – what was their social and educational background? Why did their preaching find such a resounding echo in Italian society? And why did the Capuchins play such an important role in European diplomacy…?” Elisabeth G. Gleason, “The Capuchin Order in the Sixteenth Century” in Religious Orders of the Catholic Reformation. In honour of John C. Olin on his sevent-fifth birthday. ed. R.L. DeMolen, Fordham University Press, New York, 1994 (30-57), pp. 48-49. ↑
- Naturally, this field of research, encouraged to some extent by the freer access to the Secret Vatican Archives since 1881, now has a vast bibliography. By way of introduction see, for example, John Tedeschi (ed.), The Italian Reformation of the Sixteenth Century and the Diffusion of Renaissance Culture: A Bibliography of the Secondary Literature (ca. 1750-1997), compiled in association with James M. Lattis, with an Historical Introduction by Massimo Firpo, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Modena, 2000; Susanna Peyronel (ed.), Cinquant’Anni di storiografia italiana sulla riforma e i movimenti ereticali in Italia 1950-2000, xl Convegno di studi sulla Riforma e sui movimenti religiosi in Italia (Torre Pellice, 2-3 settembre 2000), Torino, Claudiana Editrice, 2002. ↑
- Mario da Mercato Saraceno, in his second account, MHOMC I, p.23, n.1: “I had already written quite a long letter to Padre Frate Onorio da Montegranaro at his request, and where I described the beginning of our Congregation, as requested by the Most Serene Grand Duke of Tuscany at the time, Cosimo di Medici, of happy memory, who wanted to know about the beginnings. Nonetheless, moved by the words of the Most Illustrious and Reverend Cardinal Santa Severina, our vice-Protector and ever loving Father of our Congregation, I have set out again to put to paper the beginnings of our Company and say how the wearing of this habit began…” Later in this account: “… tornando al preposito di quello ch’io dicevo, lo sventurato Bernardino Occhino non punto ci nocque, né esso fu principio d’una tale Congregatione. Nemeno ella hebbe principio da Fra Ludovico da Fossambrone, perciò che egli (come già si è detto) venne a pigliare questo habito l’anno seguente, che fu nel 1526, che il Papa concesse il capuccio et questa forma de habito al Padre Fra Matteo da Basci. Non Fra Ludovico, dunque, ma Fra Matteo fu il primo Capuccino et diede principio per bontà de Dio all’essere nostro. Del quale Fra Matteo altro non si può dire che santità de vita.” (MHOMC I, 84-85). In his third account Mario has: “Sì che, tornando al proposito nostro di quello ch’io diceva, lo sventurato Fra Bernardino non punto ci nocque, da noi partendosi. E quantunque egli fusse generale, non per questo il nostro capo (come disse alcuno) fu eretico, intendendo che disse e dice tal cosa, ch’egli come capo nostro desser il principio a questa nostra Congregatione. Se vogliamo intender capo, cioè Generale, questo è vero, perché, come s’è dette, Generale egli era nella sua partenza. Se vogliamo intender capo, cioè principiante della Religion nostra, questo è falso, come già si è dimostro. Né anco questa Congregatione hebbe principio da Fra Lodovico…” (MHOMC I, pp. 458) In his introduction Bernardino da Colpetrazzo is more explicit (MHOMC II, p.6, n.4, and the italics are mine): “Although the Congregation had already grown considerably by the grace of God, our Lord God was pleased that many prelates of Holy Church as well as secular Lords, nobility and people, firmly held the opinion that Bernardino Ochino of Siena began the Congregation. This label and opinion greatly saddened our Protector, the most Illustrious Monsignor, the Cardinal of Santa Severina. To rid the Congregation of this reputation, he spoke with the Very Rev. Padre Girolamo da Montefiore, our General at the time. The Cardinal convinced him about the value of a written work to bring to light the origins of our Congregation. Such a work would be useful everywhere, and make known the more noteworthy things that our Lord God did in the Congregation for the Friars to have the opportunity to imitate the example of the first Fathers. The Reverend Father General and our other Fathers liked the idea very much. He wrote immediately to the older friars throughout the Provinces to have them put to paper all the more important things they remembered that happened in our Congregation.” Importantly, according to Colpetrazzo, not only Protestants held the opinion that Ochino was the founder of the Capuchins, an opinion still held when Colpetrazzo composed his account.The identity of the Cardinal Protector of the Capuchins at the time of the compositions by Mario and Bernardino is significant and must have helped shape the apologetic motive and tone of these early chronicles. This Cardinal Protector was Giulio Antonio Santori, who as a principal (sommo inquisitore) of the Holy Office of the Roman Inquisition, as one biographer-hagiographer has stated, “mosse all’eresia colla voce e cogli scritti implacabile Guerra.” (Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica, 1853, vol. lxi, p.80). After a legal career, Santori’s ecclesiastical life began in service as vicar General to Alfonso Carafa, Archbishop of Naples and nephew of Paul IV, Gian Pietro Carafa. After his exoneration from involvement in a plot to assassinate Pius IV, Santori was presented to Pius IV by Charles Borromeo (Pius IV’s nephew). Pius V (17 Jan 1566 – 1 May 1572) made him papal chamberlain and consultor to the Holy Office (of the Inquisition) and appointed him Archbishop of Santa Severnina in 1566. While en route to assume his episcopal duties he was called back to Rome by Borromeo where he was created cardinal priest of Santa Barbara on 17 May 1570, thus becoming il cardinal di s. Severina. Pius V entrusted to him the more important and delicate cases before the Roman Inquisition, and also made him protector of the Basilians, the Servites and the Capuchins. He continued to direct the Holy Office during the papacies of Gregory xiii (25 May 1572 – 10 April 1585), Sixtus v (1 May 1585 – 27 August 1590), Urban vii (15 Sep 1590 – 16 Oct 1591), Innocent ix (3 Nov 91 – 30 Dec 1591) and Clement viii (9 Feb 1592 – 3 March 1605) whom he hoped to succeed. Giulio Antonio Santori was Protector of the Capuchin from 1578 until his death in 1602. He had been vice-Protector since 1570. Saverio Ricci, Il sommo inquisitore. Giulio Antonio Santori tra autobiografia e storia (1532-1602), Salerno Editrice, Roma, 2002; Massimo Firpo and Dario Mercato, (eds), Il processo inquisitoriale del Cardinale Giovanni Morone. Edizione critica, 5 voll. Istituto Storico Italiano, Roma, 1981-1989, vol. I, introduction and Compendio (Summary by Santori of first inquisitorial trial of Cardinal Morone, where one may note the opinions of the author, at that time at least, regarding Caternina Cybo and Vittoria Colonna); Massimo Firpo, Inquisizione romana e Controriforma. Studi sul cardinal Giovanni Morone (1509-1580) e il suo processo d’eresia, nuova edizione, riveduta e ampliata, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2005; Giuseppe Cugnoni (ed.), “Vita del card. Giulio Antonio Santori detto il cardinal di Santa Severina composta e scritta da lui medesimo” in Archivio delle Reale Società di Storia Patria, 12(1889) 329-373; 13(1890) 151-205. ↑
- MHOMC I, 22-475 ↑
- About the ordinances of Albacina Colpetrazzo says (MHOMC II, n.227, p.249): “They (the Statutes of Albacina) were more heavenly than human.” This is an expression favoured by Bernardino da Colpetrazzo in his hagiography, describing friars who were “more angelic than human.” Renditions of the phrase are found fourteen times in MHOMC III. ↑
- la nostra “bella e santa riforma”, a description of the Capuchin reform Bernardino da Colpetrazzo uses in his third book (MHOMC IV, 7 line 1). Melchiorre da Pobladura has taken up the expression in the title of his assembly of descriptive passages he deemed representative of Capuchin life at that time, texts derived from his critical editions of the ‘histories’ composed by Mario da Mercato Saraceno, Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, Mattia da Salò and Paolo da Foligno (MHOMC I-VII). Melchiorre da Pobladura, La Bella e Santa Riforma dei Frati Minori Cappuccini, Istituto Storico Cappuccino, Roma, 2a ed., 1963. This volume has been translated to English, The Capuchin Reform, A Franciscan Renaissance. A portrait of sixteenth century Capuchin life, translated by Paul Hanbridge, Delhi, Media House, 2003. ↑
- Pc 9: ‘In questo ottavo centenario della nascita del nostro santo Fondatore è tutto un fervere di opere tendenti a mettere in risalto l’originalità e la ricchezza del messaggio del serafico Padre e l’urgenza di un ritorno ai valori delle origini della nostra “bella e santa riforma.”’ ↑
- Pc 9. ↑
- Pc 9. ↑
- “L’Ordine cappuccino per ritrovare se stesso deve semplicemente confrontarsi con questo modello.” (To find itself, the Capuchin Order must simply compare itself with this model.) IFC I:230 The empahsis is mine. ↑
- Ef 146. ↑
- Bernardino da Colpetrazzo blames Ludovico da Fossombrone that friars left the fraternity “to withdraw again to the solitary life or to other Orders.” He also names some of Ludovico’s followers who joined him in his departure from the Order at the Chapter in 1536. (MHOMC II, 386 lines 5-22):“Fu non di piccola importanza alla povera Congregatione che Sua Santità facesse di nuovo congregare il Capitolo Generale. E questo perché la Congregatione era molto tenera e poco assodata, e per esser il primo Capitolo che tutti speravano che del tutto nel detto Capitolo la Congregatione si dovesse fermare. E vedendo che più che mai stava in pericolo per causa del P. Frate Lodovico, e molti poverini, dubbitando che l’andasse a traverso la nostra barchetta, si ritirorno chi alla vita solitaria e chi in altre Religioni, si come io ne conobbi molti, come fu il P. Frate Gioseffe da Macerata, il P. Frate Bernardo dal Borgo S. Sepolcro; e quel Santo huomo Frate Antonio Corso con molti altri si ritirorno col P. Frate Lodovico e presero in Roma un luogo che si chiama S. Tomaso, e quivi se ne stavano Frate Agostino da Bassanello e molti altri col P. Frate Lodovico. Talmente che diede un gran terrore che la Congregatione non dovesse del tutto rovinare, e molto raffreddò i Padre del desiderio di mandar più inanti la Congregatione, dubitando che Sua Santità che non ci privasse del capuccio e ci sottomettese ai Padri Zoccolanti.” ↑
- Bernardino Ochino da Siena was already preaching as a Capuchin during the Lent of 1535 in Rome, in the Church of San Lorenzo in Damaso, see Alessandro Luzio, “Vittoria Colonna” in Rivista storica Mantovana 1(1884)1-54, here p. 26; Edouard d’Alençon, Tribulationes Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum primis annis Pontificatus Pauli III (1534-1541). Haec Brevis Illustratio Monumentorum, editorum vel ineditorum, quae ad dicti Ordinis historiam spectant, correcta et ampliata secundo prodit, Romae, apud Curiam Generalitiam O.M.Cap., 1914, chapter 2, number 2. In 1536 he preached the Lent in Naples and the Advent in Perugia. Then in early 1537, Vittoria Colonna believed it necessary to defend him from the calumny and ‘diverse insidie’ of those jealous of the populairity of his preaching. These were accusing him of seeking greatness. On 22 April 1537, prior to Ochino’s coming to Rome to set the record straight, Vittoria wrote to Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga to seek his help in defending Ochino in Rome. A few weeks later (7 May 1537) Vittoria’s brother Ascanio, to become an enduring friend of Bernardino, even after his flight in 1542, wrote to the papal secretary, Ambrogio Recalcati to recommend Ochino’s orthodoxy and piety. By mid 1537, vehement reaction to the preaching of latent ‘lutherans,’ that is, the very popular evangelical preachers, was already in evidence also elsewhere in Italy. For e.g. the Benedictine monk Marco da Cremona, also known as a man of holy life and sound doctrine, held public lectures on Saint Paul in the monastery of Santa Giustina in Padova. The consequent disturbance aroused by those who had plenty of ‘zeal for God and little knowledge’ caused the sober Cardinal Contarini to intervene. In a letter to Gian Matteo Giberti, bishop of Verona and friend of Bernardino Ochino, he wrote on 12 June 1537, upbrading the monk’s angry denigrators – “li quali, perché Lutero ha detto cose diverse de gratia Dei et libero arbitrio, si hanno posto contra ogniuno il quale predica et insegna la grandezza della gratia et la infirmità humana; et credendo questi tali contradire a Lutero contradicono a santo Augustino, Ambrosio, Bernardo, san Thomaso; et breviter, mossi da buon zelo ma cum qualche vehementia et ardore di animo non se ne acorgendo, in queste contradictioni loro deviano dalla verità catholica et si acostano alla heresia pellagiana e pongono tumulti nel populo.” (Aldo Stella, “La lettera del Cardinale Contarini sulla predestinazione” in Rivista della Storia della Chiesa in Italia, 15(1961) 411-441, p. 412. Numbered among those ‘intransigenti’ re-acting to this unfamiliar manner of preaching was the Capuchin Giovanni da Fano, who had become a Capuchin in 1534. In September 1532 Giovanni had published a vehement polemic against “Lutheran” thought under the title: Opera utilissima vulgare contre le pernitiosissime heresie Lutherane per li simplici. Opera utilissima volgare chimata incendio delle zizanie Lutherane, cioe contra la pernitiosissima heresia di Martin Luthero, (Giovan Battista Phaello bolognese in Bolgna Impresse. L’anno del Signore M.D.XXXII del mese di Settembre.) [BCC:172.B.7] He denounced to Rome the 1537 Lenten preaching of Agostino Museo da Treviso, an ‘eremitano.’ The result was the Brief of Paul III (18 April 1537) that imposed upon the nuncio of Venice to have this filium iniquitatis imprisoned. See Aldo Stella, “La lettera del Cardinale Contarini sulla predestinazione,” p. 423, note 8; and Ugo Rozzo, “Vicende Inquisitoriali dell’Eremitano Ambrogio Cavalli (1537-1545)” in Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa 16(1980) 223-256, p. 223. Giovanni da Fano, elected to the first Capuchin general definitory, would not have been alone among the friars in his concern about ‘lutheran’ or evangelical preaching that announced the “greatness of grace and human infirmity.” One may wonder how he viewed Bernardino Ochino and this evangelical preaching, as expressed in these Constitutions (45, 5-16, etc) and the explicit emphasis upon the preaching and doctrine of Saint Paul (3,3; 19,3; 24,28-25,1; 42,26; 43,2,11,17; 44,20).In her letter of 1536 to Cardinal Contarini (and the other Cardinals commissioned to investigate the question about the legitimacy of the Capuchins), Vittoria Colonna refers to their ‘Lutheran’ reputation based upon their evangelical preaching: “che paiono Luterani, perchè praedicano la libertà del spirito.” She replies to this accusation, that “si San Francesco fu haeretico, li soi imitatori son Lutherani. Et si praedicar la libertà del spirito sopra li vitij, ma subgietto ad ogni ordinatione della Sancta Chiesa, se chiama errore, sarria anchora errore observare lo Evangelio, che dice in tanti lochi: Spiritus est qui vivificat, etc. Oltra che apertamente dimostrano che non li han inteso praedicare questi che lo dicano.” Translated: “…if Francis was heretic, his imitators are Lutherans. If preaching freedom of the spirit over the vices, but subject to every regulation of the Holy Church, is called an error, it would also be an error to observe the Gospel that says in many places: It is the Spirit who gives life, etc. Furthermore those who say this clearly show that they have not heard them (the Capuchins) preach.” (This letter has been published several times, including IFC II:216-227.) Writing to Mons. Recalati from Ferrara 3 December 1537 Vittoria Colonna urged his discernment regarding “le altrui malignità, che non valse pasar la obedienzia che avevan fatta quei simplici frati capucini al padre fra Bernardino, dandoli quella iniqua bronta de non so chi” (IFC II: 235-236, n. 2037.) While she does not identify Ochino’s detractor, the mention of the obedience of the simple Capuchin Friars to Ochino may be significant. (Ochino is not yet Vicar General and is himself under obedience to Bernardino d’Asti.) Then in 1542, prior to his departure from Verona for Rome, Ochino expressed to Gian Matteo Giberti his concern about heresy accusations from some of the Capuchins themselves: “il pareva che la chiamata non fusse discreta essendo già stato divulgato per tutto due mesi prima che era Lutherano et che per tale era chiamato a Roma, dove si intese che erano capitati alcuni Cappuccini a dir mal di lui in queste materie.” (Letter of Gian Matteo Giberti to the Marchese del Vasto, from Verona, 11 September 1542 in Karl Benrath, Bernardino Ochino von Siena, 1892, pp. 283-286.)↑
- The Consititutions will emphasise the importance of a “holy uniformity” in matters liturgical (12,3; 56,13), but also in regard to the observance of the Rule (12,13-15) and the regulation of the life of the friars (59,2). ↑
- One may note the irony of another passage: “All Christians, especially we friars of Saint Francis, must always keep the integral and pure apostolic faith of the holy Roman church, and firmly hold and sincerely preach that faith. We should be prepared to shed our blood, even unto death, for its defence. Therefore we instruct that if any friar, because of diabolical temptation, find himself (quod absit) tainted by some error against the catholic faith, he should be placed in perpetual imprisonment. To punish these or other similar wrongdoers, there ought to be strong but humane jails in some of our places. (37, 18-25) ↑
- Hubert Jedin, in 1937, adopted the term from Pierre Imbart de la Tour and elaborated it further, but within the Italian context, Hubert Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, translated from the German by Dom Ernest Graf, Thomas Nelson and Son, London, 1957, vol. I: The struggle for the Council, p. 364, note 4.“All over Europe during the fifteen-thirties theologians and laymen threw themselves into the study of Holy Writ and the Fathers – especially St Paul and St Augustine – and experienced in themselves the meaning of sin and grace, redemption in Christ and justfication by faith in Him. Their heart’s desire was to hear the words: “I am thy salvation”; passionately they wrestled with the greatest problem of the age. The German schism had roused men’s minds. People searched the Bible and the Fathers for an answer to the questions that stirred their souls to the depths. Some book of the innovators may have come into the hands of this or that individiual – may be a Biblical commentary. Actually there was no need for this to happen; questioning was in the air, or rather in men’s hearts, allo these searchers of the gospels had this in common; everything else – the answers to their queries and the influences that determined them – differs, so much so indeed that it seems almost rash to try to fast a common label to such a riot of individualism.” On the problematic notion of evangelism in Sixteenth Century Italy: Eva Maria Jung, “On the Nature of Evangelism in Sixteenth Century Italy” in Journal of the History of Ideas 14(1953) 511-527; Elisabeth G. Gleason, “On the Nature of Sixteenth Century Evangelism” in The Sixteenth Century Journal 9(1978) 3-23; Susanna Peyronel Rambaldi, “Ancora sull’evangelismo italiano: categoria o invenzione storiografica” in Società e storia 5(1982) 935-967. See also, among others, Manfred Welti, Breve Storia della Riforma Italiana, Italian edition with foreword by Adriano Prosperi, Marietti 1820, Genova, 1985; Salvatore Caponetto, The Protestant Reformation in Sixteenth – Century Italy, translated by Anne C. Tedeschi and John Tedeschi, Vol. xlii Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, Truman State University, 1999; Massimo Zaggia, Tra Mantova e la Sicilia nel Cinquecento, Firenze, Leo S. Olschki, 2003, vol. I, p. 104, note 81. On the term “evangelism” as an difficult historiographical category, see Massimo Firpo, Tra Alumbrados e “Spirituali” Studi su Juan de Valdes e il Valdesianesimo nella crisi religiosa del ‘500 Italiano, Firenze, Leo S. Olschki, 1990, p.150-151:“Inutilmente si è finora cercato di attribuire al termine stesso di evangelismo un significato univoco e complesso, tale da valere per il Flamino e per il Bembo … et tanti altri, vale a dire per personaggi i cui orientamenti e, in qualche caso, i cui esiti religiosi furono assai diversi, nonostante vicende umane, esperienze intellettuali, indirizzi politici a volte comuni, e che conobbero evoluzioni, mutamenti e anche svolte tutt’altro che trascurabili. Fin tanto che si userà il concetto di evangelismo per realtà così diverse come la Verona del Giberti e la Viterbo di Pole, finché non si coglieranno con chiarezza le profonde differenze che dividono gli anni trenta dalgi anni quaranta, finché si continuerà a porre al centro dell’attenzione la inconsistene questione dell’ortodossia o meno del cardinal d’Inghilterra, del Valdés, del Flaminio, della loro appartenenza alla Riforma protestante o a quella cattolica, sarà difficile affrontare adequatamente i molti e complessi problemi della storia religiosa cinquecentesca che ancora attendono una risposta convincente. Se quinidi si vorrà continuare ad usare il termine di evangelismo, dando ad esso il valore di una categoria storiografica, sarà opportuno precisare e tener conto delle scansioni e degli sviluppi che danno ad esso un senso pregnante e consentono quindi di cogliere distinzioni e mutamenti. In base a tali premesse, ritengo che non si possa parlare di evangelismo prima della creazione cardinalizia del Contarini e dell’istituzione della commissione da cui scarutì il Concilium de emendanda ecclesia, che offrì alle sparse e per molti aspetti diverse istanze di rinnovamente religioso maturate all’indomani del sacco di Roma un effettivo sbocco istituzionale, trasferendole dalla periferia al centro. ↑
- Massimo Zaggia, Tra Mantova e la Sicila, I, 104. ↑
- The Chroniclers speak of a period of “purification” of the Order when like minded Capuchins followed Bernardino Ochino’s departure. ↑
- E.g. the emperor Charles V expressed his concern about a ‘cierta secta’ in his letter to from Naples to Paul III in 4 December 1535 and Cardinal Campeggi, 17 May 1536. Very likely the Cardinal Protector of the Friars Minor, Cardinal Francisco Quiñones, former OFM Minister General, shared the same sentiments. See Melchior de Pobladura, “El Empèrador Carols V contra los Capuchinos. Texto y comentario de una carta inedita: Napoles, 17 enero 1536” in CF 34(1964) 373-390. ↑
- “Molte cose m’han dicto che l’oppongano, che, ponendosi Cristo e San Francesco dinante, saranno resolute. Prima che paiono Luterani, perchè praedicano la libertà del spirito, che se son subiugati alli ordinarij delle terre, che non han scripture, che non obediscano al Generlissimo, che portano differente l’habito, et che acceptano li frati de la Observantia. Circa al primo se risponde che si San Francesco fu haeretico, li soi imitatori son Lutherani. Et si praedicar la libertà del spirito sopra li vitij, ma subgietto ad ogni ordinatione della Sancta Chiesa, se chiama errore, sarria anchora errore observare lo Evangelio, che dice in tanti lochi: Spiritus est qui vivificat, etc. Oltra che apertamente dimostrano che non li han inteso praedicare questi che lo dicano; chè si li intendessino, practicassero un poco con loro, intendessino la loro humiltà, obedientia, povertà, vita, exemplij, costumi e charità; li sarriano tanto devoti che piangeriano d’haverli fatti venire quattro cento miglia senza nisciuna necessità, et farli andare ogni giorno per tribunali fatigando, solo per posser in pace observare la loro povertà.” Vittoria Colonna to Cardinal Contarini and the Commission of Cardinals, 1536, first published by Bartolommeo Fontana, “Vittoria Colonna. Documenti Vaticani di Vittoria Colonna Marchesa di Pescara per la difesa dei Cappuccini” in Rivista Società Romana di storia patria, 9(1886) 345-371. The letter was published again by Ermanno Ferrero and Giuseppe Müller, Carteggio: Vittoria Colonna, marchesa di Pescara, second editino with supplement by Domenico Tordi, Torino, Loescher, 1892, pp. 110-122; Pietro Tacchi Venturi, “Vittoria Colonna, fautrice della Riforma Cattolica” in Studi e documenti dei storia e diritto, 22(1901) 149-179 and “Vittoria Colonna e la riforma cappuccina” in Collectanea Franciscana 1(1931) 28-58; and more recently in IFC II:216-227. ↑
- MHOMC II, 383. The popularity of the preaching of Ochino and others is not fully explained by their eloquence. There appears to have been a real thirst for their preaching, though not just any kind. Ochino’s preaching resonated with the theological and spiritual aspirations of his hearers. ↑
- For example, as indicated in an earlier note, Cardinal Gasparo Contarini, a friend of Bernardino, felt obliged to defend the evangelical teaching of the Benedictine monk Marco da Cremona in Padua. In a letter to Gianmatteo Giberti, Bishop of Verona on 12 June 1537, Contarini criticized the over-reaction of the monk’s angry detractors “who,” he says, “because Luther said different things about the grace of God and free will, have taken up a position against anyone who preaches and teaches the greatness of grace as well as human infirmity. Believing that they are contradicting Luther, they are contradicting Saint Augustine, Saint Ambrose, Saint Bernard, Saint Thomas. In short, moved by strong zeal with hostility and ardor of spirit, they are not aware that in these contradictions they are deviating from Catholic truth and nearing the Pelagian heresy, and sowing tumult among the people.” In Aldo Stella, “La lettera del Cardinale Contarini sulla Predestinazione” in Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia 15(1961)411-441, page 412. After Lent in Venice in 1542 Ochino, according to Paolo da Foligno, celebrated the Provincial Chapter and then went to Verona: “Fra tanto il maligno (Ochino) havendo fatto capitolo in quella provincia havea raccolto in Verona il fiore della gioventù, havea chiamato alquanti altri delle provincie circoncivine, e fra essi alcuni gà dichiarati predicatori; e fatta scusa in capitolo che la provincia havessero alquanto di patienza, se ne stava scommodata non si distribuendo per li luoghi tanti frati secondo il bisogno et consueto, perchè li teneva congregati vi per leggerli con modo breve e sostantioso, talmente che nella seguente quaresima potessero spargersi a predicare; al che si risolveva considerando il gran bisogno delle anime, il gran desiderio de popoli di haver Capuccini, e ‘l frutto che in essi veramente facevano, e la confidenza che li davano i belli ingegni che havea trovati. Così si pose a legger loro l’epistole di S. Paolo conforme all’interpretatione che gli havevano insegnato i demoni, come s’è detto.” (MHOMC VII,276; see Davide Maria da Portogruaro, Storia dei Cappuccini Veneti I. Gli inizi 1525-1560, Venezia-Mestre,Curia Provinciale dei Ff.Mm. Cappuccini, 1941, pp. 201-220.) Ochino was ‘reading’ Saint Paul to young Capuchin preachers in Verona, according to Poalo da Folgino, in the diocese of his friend and reforming bishop Giamatteo Giberti, when Paul III asked him to come to Rome urgently. ↑
- Historians have identified a vibrant, if not clandestine, movement called spirituali by some, evanglici and evangelismo by others. While not necessarily formally protestant, similarities in thought and practice caused some alarm. A systematic, official response to the spread and acceptance of ‘lutheran’ ideas took shape in the establishment of the Roman Inquisition in July 1542, under the direction of Gianpietro Carafa, later Paul IV. The term ‘spirituali’ in this context must not be confused with the phenomenon with the same name Franciscan history. ↑
- 45,18-47,10 ↑
- E.g. Colpetrazzo writes of Bernardino Ochino as “a master of the new preaching of the Sacred Scriptures” (MHOMC II, n.383.) ↑
- The CC refer explicitly to Paul elsewhere in the CC: 3,3; 19,14; 25,12; 43,13,16; 44, 4,10; 45,12. These do not include other instances in the CC where reference is made to Paul’s letters. ↑
- 16,1. The expression “true spiritual friar,” omitted from CC1552 in favour of il buon frate divoto, was restored to use in CC1575. ↑
- The term spirit, and to a much lesser extent its derivatives (spiritual and spiritually) occurs more than fourty times in the text. One example of the radical expression of Capuchin spiritual life: “Many are called to the kingdom of eternal life, but few are chosen, because very few persons follow Christ in the truth of their heart. However on the last day God will reward everyone according to their works: glory for the good and Gehenna for the wicked” (59, 11-14). Some elements of CC1536 may have been more radical and original than we might give them credit for. Another example: “They should strive to never leave the royal path that leads to paradise, holy poverty together with holy humility, and often call to mind the saying of Jacopone that acquired knowledge bestows a mortal blow if it is not clothed in a humble heart. They will also have reason to humble themselves if they recognise that they have an increased obligation before God for having been promoted to study and made worthy to be introduced to the true and fine understanding of the sacred texts beneath whose meaning lay hidden the one whose spirit is sweeter than honey for anyone who tastes it” (48,13-21).↑
- The term heart is used 28 times in these Constitutions. ↑
- 8,9; 11,10; 33,2. ↑
- 16,16. ↑
- 13,30 ↑
- 58,2. ↑
- Pc p.10. ↑
- Elsewhere the “heart” has been usefully described as “the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place ‘to which I withdraw.’ The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2563. ↑
- In his ratio vivendi fratrum, Bernardino da Colpetrazzo has: “So with great care the Capuchins began to study the declarations of the Supreme Pontiffs, the Chronicles of the Order, the Legend of the Three Companions and the Conformities. From these books they understood the way of life the Order led in the beginning. It lasted for many years that they read little else at table except things of Father Saint Francis.” MHOMC IV, 171-172.Moreover, “They removed from their presence all the obstacles against which transgressors had stumbled. With good regulations and holy constitutions they tried to warn those who would come to the holy Congregation after them. For their teaching they took up the experience and instructions of the Seraphic Father which have been written for general use in the books of our Order. These are in the Conformities, the Chronicles of the Order, the Legends of Saint Bonaventure and that which was written by the Three Companions of the Seraphic Father Saint Francis: Brother Leo, Brother Angelo and Brother Rufino. This was the reason they had such a high regard for these books. And at table, after the reading of the Holy Scriptures, little of anything else was read than of Saint Francis and the Order. From these they derived the shape and way of life and how our Father Saint Francis wanted the habits, houses and other things that his Friars had to use out of necessity. In the early Constitutions those Fathers wrote that the Friars should carefully read and consider all these things. MHOMC IV, 4.”Regarding the Chronicles of the Order, the editor of MHOMC IV notes (p.4, note 2) that from the end of the 16th century the Chronicorum referred to the Chronicles written by Mark of Lisbon. Prior to that the title referred to the Chronica XXIV Generalium. However Bernardino da Colpetrazzo refers to Historiam septem tribulationum of Angelo Clareno. In his History (MHOMC II) Colpetrazzo refers to this work of Angelo Clareno as a prophetic apologia for the Capuchin Reform. His references to it suggest that his contemporary readership was familiar with the work or its contents. Its mention here in this context suggests it enjoyed a privileged place of authority among the early Capuchin Friars. Colpetrazzo also admits here that these works had a special significance in inspiring various Franciscan reforms and forming the Capuchin interpretation of the forma vitae of Saint Francis and his companions, and therefore in the shaping of the Capuchin way of life in the beginning. The influence of such interpretations on the shaping of Capuchin life at that time, and again in our own day with the rediscovery of the Sources in an attempt to reform our life in response to a refreshed perspective on the Franciscan charism is worthy of deeper appreciation. Then as now, apart from these texts, many other influences came to bear upon the fluid and evolving shape their Reform, for example, the rapid increase in the number of Friars and jurisdictions, the changing requirements of Church legislation, not to mention the impact of vast social changes. An English translation of the Introduction, Prologue and First Tribulation is found in The Book of Chronicles or of the Tribulations of the Order of Lesser Ones in Francis of Assisi – The Prophet. Early Documents Vol. III, New City Press, N.Y. 2001. pp. 375 –426. A complete translation has been published by David Burr and E. Randolf Daniel, Angelo Clareno. A Chronicle or History of the Seven Tribulations of the Order of Brothers Minor, Franciscan Institute, New York, 2006. ↑
- Pc notes (p.91, n.25): “Beyond juridical interpretations, the lived experience of Francis and the fratres antiqui is considered normative, even to the point of acquiring a juridical weight and meaning. Hugh of Digne wrote (and after him Pietro Giovanni Olivi, Angelo Clareno and Ubertino da Casale): “Sancta praecedentium partum vita nobis est vitae forma, inter loquendum de regula de ipsorum quoque moribus secundum regulam instituentis aliquid aestimo inserendum.” (Expositio regulae, 92). ↑
- Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1980, pp. 35- 74. ↑
- Le prime costituzioni dei frati minori cappuccino. Roma – S. Eufemia 1536. In lingua moderna con note storiche ed edizione critica edited by F. A. Catalano, C. Cagnoni and G. Santarelli, Conferenza Italiana dei superiori provinciali cappuccino per l’VIII centenario della nascita di San Francesco, Roma, L’Italia Francescana, 1982. ↑
- In Estudios Franciscanos 83(1982) 143-252 ↑
- [FN] See the parable of the vineyard Mt 21:33-43. The image of the hedge was also used the CC of Narbonne (Narb.) 1260, Assisi 1292, Lyons 1351 and Assisi 1354. Ef, p.175, n.1. ↑
- [FN] Pc observes (p.83, n.1) that the term spiritual observance recalls a long history of Franciscan reform. See below p.2, ln 30+. ↑
- [FN] Pc (p.84, n.2): These two aspects of the Franciscan Rule recall a rich literary and spiritual tradition of the Order beginning with the Spirituals and with Saint Bonaventure. ↑
- [FN] Loco (i.e. luogo) ‘place’ meaning “friary.” ↑
- Concerning the Friary at Santa Eufemia, Edouardo d’Alençon wrote the following in De Primordiis Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum. Commentarium Historicum, Apud Curiam Generalitiam O.M. Cap, Romae 1921 Chapt xi, part 3 (translation Paul Hanbridge):“May the Reader allow me to mention some things about the place where took place things of great and decisive importance concerning our history. This monastery stood at the foot of the Esquiline Hill, in the ancient Vicus Patritius, almost facing the church of Santa Prudentia and attached to the old Basilica of Santa Eufemia, Virgin and Martyr. It seems that she is not the Chalcedonean Martyr as Boverius would like. Early writers wrote that the site of the church had been the theatre of the martyrdom of this Virigin who had been thrown into a pit filled with snakes and scorpions and from which, by the grace of Christ, she emerged unharmed. The mosaic in the vault of the church favoured this tradition. The mosaic depicted the Saint with her arms outstretched between two snakes.“Therefore the titular Saint of the church is uncertain, as is the date of the construction of the church. However it is named on one occasion in a certain septiform Litany proclaimed by Saint Gregory the Great on 29 August 590 to ask for liberation from a contagious plague which was depopulating the city of Rome. Later Pope Sergius (687-701) ‘re-roofed and renovated the Basilica of Santa Eufemia which had been without a roof for a long time.’ Then Leo III (795-816) ‘made a vestment with interwoven crosses in the Basilica of blessed Eufemia” and then “made a silver canister for the monastery of Saint Eufemia and the Holy Angels, which is near the church of Pudentia.’ All the writers of that period say that the monastery was inhabited by nuns. However they do not identify which Order. The presence of the nuns is confirmed right up until the year 1511. They left recently, say the chroniclers, because of the unhealthy air, and the monastery was given instead to the Capuchins.“They had already transferred to the new friary built for them when Paul III applied the revenues and proceeds from the old church to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Pius IV increased the dignity of the old building when he established it as a presbyteral cardinal titular church and on 8 February 1566 created Guido Ferreri as cardinal of Santa Eufemia. Nonetheless Sixtus V did not hesitate to knock down just a part of it when he opened the road which runs from Trajan’s forum to Saint Mary Major. The monastery was also levelled then. Nonetheless, certain vestiges of “a spacious cloister circumscribed by columns” had survived into the early years of the seventeenth century, as can be seen among the writers of that time. Today these have been completely removed and the monastery dedicated to the Infant Jesus, del Bambin Gesù, occupies the site.” ↑
- See also page 37:7. The CC are a hedge to protect and ascertain regular observance, that is, the observance of the Rule and its precepts and counsels, as well as the Gospel. “The observance of these Constitutions will help to fulfil not only the complete observance of the promised Rule but also the divine law and evangelical counsels” (see, p. 58:28-30.)Narbonae, 37: “Quondam, ut ait Sapiens,* ubi non est saepes, diripietur possessio, necessarium est volentibus caelestis regni possessionem praeclaram, in quam per spiritum paupertatis intratur, custodire illaesam, saepem illi circumdare disciplinae. Nequaquam igitur superfluunt morum observantiae regulares, quia non solum ad spiritualis vitae concordiam, decorum et custodiam suffragantur, verum etiam, ut in pluribus, intra perfectionis et puritatis Regulae promissae substantiam includuntur. Et has potissime explicare oportet, ne per caliginem ignorantiae in transgressionis foveam incidatur.” (*Sir 36,30); Narbone, 74-75: “Since the Wise One tells us that where there is no fence, the property will be plundered, all those who are intent on preserving unharmed that precious possession of the heavenly kingdom, which is entered through the spirit of poverty, must surround it by a fence of discipline. Therefore, regulations pertaining to the observance of our way of life are by no means superfluous, not simply because they support the harmony, propriety, and welfare of the spiritual life, but also because in large measure they encompass the very substance of the perfection and purity of the Rule we have vowed to keep. Furthermore, it is of the utmost importance to make these [regulations] clear, lest walking in the darkness of ignorance we fall into the pit of transgression.”The CC1536 echo the content and also the “spiritual” tenor of the primitive Franciscan Constitutions in this introduction, which was preserved in the OFM Constitutions of 1279 (Assisi), 1292 (Paris), 1351(Lyon) and 1354(Assisi).Pc states that the first Capuchins knew by heart the Prologue of the the Constitutions of Narbonne. The editors then cite comments by Bernardino da Colpetrazzo. I believe Colpetrazzo may have adopted themes from the CC to shape his description of the Capuchins in the origin of the Fraternity (MHOMC II) and in his hagiography (MHOMCIII), and his description of the ratio vivendi fratrum (MHOMC IV).Colpetrazzo attributes these words to Matteo da Bascio regarding the ‘Constitutions,’ presumably those of Albacina. “We have made our Constitutions. Observe them not through fear of punishment but the for the love of God. These will be like a hedge that so that you may never enter to ruin the vine of the Rule you have promised. In so far as you wrap yourselves in this hedge, you will always be innocent of having offended the Rule” (MHOMC II, chap. xli, n.231).In MHOMC IV (Appendix II, n.2) Colpetrazzo recalls the purpose of CC1536: “So with great care the Capuchins began to study the declarations of the Supreme Pontiffs, the Chronicles of the Order, the Legend of the Three Companions and the Conformities. From these books they understood the way of life the Order led in the beginning. It lasted for many years that they read little else at table except things of Father Saint Francis. They understood the reason that in this the Order had become lax. They recognised that by accepting the care of monasteries, taking up the confession of seculars, receiving bequests and legacies, taking up the study of vain sciences, and other things as well had done them a lot of harm. Therefore with those beautiful Constitutions which they made they thought to bring these things to the Congregation: that the Congregation would not accept the care of Nuns at any time; it would never accept the hearing the confessions of seculars and that it would not take up the care of confraternities. Those Venerable Fathers said, ‘While the Congregation observes these Constitutions they will always observe the Rule perfectly’ – therefore they arranged them a hedge in order to preserve the vineyard of the Lord – ‘however should the hedge of the Constitutions be breached, the infernal enemy will easily devour the vine.’” ↑
- [FN] Song of Songs 4:4. ↑
- Pc: L’espressione “spirito di Cristo,” da collegarsi all’“osservanza spirituale” della regola, è molto frequente negli Spirituali, come pure, ma con diversa connotazione, negli “Spirituali” del ‘500, legati all’evangelismo, paulinismo e spiritualismo valdesiano e d’oltralpe.” (p.84, note 5.) See Barry Collett, A Long and Troubled Pilgrimage. The Correspondence of Margherite d’Angoulême and Vittoria Colonna 1540-1545, Princeton Theolgoical Seminary, 2000. In this work, the Author transcends the categorisation of pre-Tridentine Italian reformers as ‘intransigenti’ and ‘spirituali’ which contrasts presumed divergent approaches of tolerance and repression. Collett identifies a common ground between the intransigneti and spirituali in a theological-pastoral emphasis on the Holy Spirit, an emphasis he finds exemplified in the correspondence between Vittoria Colonna and Marguerite d’Angoulême. I include an observation of his here for the light it may shed upon the role of the Holy Spirit described in the ascetic regime expressed in these Constitutions. “The stimulus given by the Council of Florence and Ferrara to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the recurrent though unsuccessful efforts of the head and members institutional reform, and the Neoplatonist ideas of personal development through ambitious asceticism, all combined to transform the role of the Spirit during the later years of the fifteenth century. The Spirit became a more pragmatic kind of illumination of the faithful, giving understanding of the practical skills of piety and how to live the religious life. This was a cast of mind that emphasized rationality, analysis of sin and its problems, and intelligence strengthened by the Spirit, all giving skills to the work of renewal. This new cast of mind used its own vocabulary of ‘reformacion’ with exhortations to human effort which often gave it the appearance of being semi-Pelagian. Yet it was not semi-Pelagian in the sense of earning salvation by the acquisition of merit. On the contrary, its economy of salvation was frequently Pauline and Augustinian. It was rather a piety orientated toward a sense of method and efficientcy in the human work of improvements, employing the Spirit rationality and skills thorugh which deficiencies were analyzed and reformacion was conceived, planned,and effected.” (p.38) On the inadequacy of the contrasting distinction between spirituali and intransigenti see Paul V. Murphy, “Between spirituali and instransigenti: Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga and Patrician Reform in Sixteenth- Century Italy” in The Catholic Historical Review 88(2002) 446-469. ↑
- [FN] si ordina ↑
- In prima circa al primo capitulo de la regula si ordina che ex quo la Evangelica doctrina tutta pura celeste fommamente perfecta:& divina a noi dal celo portata dal dulcissimo figliol di dio:& da lui medisimo cum opere& parolle promulgata& insegnata:imo etiam dal suo eterno padre nel fiume Iordane:& nel móte Thabor approbata& authenticata:quando disse.Questo e il mio figliolo dilecto:nel quale mi so compiaciuto:esso udite:sola c’insegna& monstra la dritta via per andare a dio. St: Chapter One: In the doctrine of the Gospel, wholly pure, heavenly, supremely perfect and divine, brought down to us from heaven by the most sweet Son of God, and promulgated and preached by Him in word and deed, approved and authenticated by His heavenly Father in the river Jordan and on Mount Thabor, when he declared that “This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him,” alone teaches and points out the straight path of going to God. Pc: Per prima cosa, riguardo al primo capitolo della regola, si dichiara che, essendo stata portata a noi dal cielo, dal dolcissimo Figliolo di Dio, la dottrina evangelica, tutta pura, soprannaturale, perfettissima e divina, etc. ↑
- [FN] In prima circa al primo capitulo de la regula si ordina che ex quo la Evangelica doctrina tutta pura celeste fommamente perfecta:& divina a noi dal celo portata dal dulcissimo figliol di dio:& da lui medisimo cum opere& parolle promulgata& insegnata:imo etiam dal suo eterno padre nel fiume Iordane:& nel monte Thabor approbata& authenticata:quando disse. Questo e il mio figliolo dilecto:nel quale mi so compiaciuto:esso udite:sola c’insegna& monstra la dritta via per andare a dio. St: Chapter One: In the doctrine of the Gospel, wholly pure, heavenly, supremely perfect and divine, brought down to us from heaven by the most sweet Son of God, and promulgated and preached by Him in word and deed, approved and authenticated by His heavenly Father in the river Jordan and on Mount Thabor, when he declared that “This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him,” alone teaches and points out the straight path of going to God. Pc: Per prima cosa, riguardo al primo capitolo della regola, si dichiara che, essendo stata portata a noi dal cielo, dal dolcissimo Figliolo di Dio, la dottrina evangelica, tutta pura, soprannaturale, perfettissima e divina, etc. ↑
- [FN] Mt 3:17; 17:5. ↑
- Pc, 86, n.7: It seems that this listing may have been suggested by a passage of Bartolomeo di Brendola (called Brendulino or Brandolino) in his Expositione de la Regula di Frati Menori, f.6r. “… e benché questa charità debia essere tra tutti gli homini, et maximamente tra i Christiani, li quali hanno la legge de charità, nientedemancho singolarmente debbe essere tra frati, et religiosi, et singularissimamente tra noi frati minori, perché siam in più arto stato delli altri Christiani, et conseguentemente più obligati alla perfettione.” The editors of Pc observe earlier (p.83, n.1) that “at the time of the Capuchins an influential exposition of the Rule appeared under the authorship of Brendulino, a reformed friar minor of the Veneto province. This Expositione de la Regula di Frati Menori was widely read by the first Capuchins and was written in the vernacular for the “frati semplici.” It spoke very clearly about the ‘spiritual observance’ of the Rule” (Pc). A biographer has stated: “Bartolomeo da Bréndola, from a town in the vicinity of Vicenza, a reformed friar of the Venetian Province of St. Anthony. He took the habit of the Observant Friars and became an established theologian and famous moralist. He was also very skilled in Church law and was particularly diligent in regard to the Rule. He was one of the principal promoters of Reform in that Province. He spent most of his life in the friaries of Asolo and Valdagno, which were assigned to the Reform. He practised the holy works prescribed by the seraphic Rule, as well as prayer and meditation on the divine mysteries, and in directing the souls of his neighbours to heaven. He finished the course of his life in 1580 in the friary at Valdagno as is believed. He wrote an Exposition on the Franciscan Rule. As learned as it is pious, the Exposition is named the Brendolina after him. Padre Francesco d’Arezzo, minister of the province of Tuscany, had it printed in Florence in 1594 and ordered it to be read by the communities of friars at least once a year.” Sigismondo da Venezia, Biografia Serafica degli uomini illustri che fiorirono nel francescano istituto per santità, dottrina e dignità fino a’ nostri giorni, Venezia, G.B. Merlo, 1846, p.417.A bibliographical note. The BCC has three copies of Brandolino’s Espositione dela Regola, in probable chronological order of publication: [α] 172.B.9; [β] 57.B.3; [γ] 57.C.7.I believe that the dedicatory letter of Francesco d’Arezzo at the beginning of [γ] is of interest. Therefore, may I transcribe that letter here:“Alli molto venerandi Padri e figliuoli nel Signore, i Padri Guardiani e Frati della Provincia di Firenze. Considerando bene spesso con infinito nostro dolore l’infelice caduta che ha fatta questa nostra Congregazione dell’Osservanza, & in particolare questa nostra Provincia di Firenze della pura osservanza della regola nostra; E con pietoso affetto ricercandone tra noi stessi una certa cagione, acciò che levatala via, quanto à noi fosse poßibile si venisse insieme à torre effetto cosi scelerato. Tra molte cose che discorrendo c’è parso che habbino introdotto tra lassazione cosi grande. La principale habbiamo giudicato che sia una crassa, anzi affettata ignoranza e della regola, e del vero senso di quella. Che à dirne il vero e chi non sa, che l’ignoranza d’una legge cagiona l’inosservanza di quella? E com’è possibile che s’esseguisca il precetto del legislatore, se non si sà quello che egli intenda comandare con la legge? Dannosa ignoranza di quanti mali sei cagione? che abusi non ha introdotti? che prevaricazioni non hai cagionate? qual santo modo di vivere non hai corrotto? Ditelo voi fratelli, e figliuoli miei; Poiche chi ha tolto in noi l’ardentißimo zelo del o’obbedienza? Chi il desiderio vehemente dell’evangelica povertà? Chi la diligente custodia dell’Angelica castità? Se non questa mal nata gramigna dell’ignoranza, quale quasi in tutti và serpendo. Questa dunque è quella cagione, che habbiamo giudicato, che sij necessario torre; acciò soddisfacendo in parte al debito del l’usizio nostro, poßiamo (che sa Iddio quanto lo bramiamo con tutto il core) se non ridurre questa provincia, la quale havete commesso alla nostra cura à quella osservanza de i nostri Padri antichi, ce gli poteßimo avvicinare almeno. E per ciò habbiamo fatto ristampare la dichiarazione della regola nostra, raccolta dalle dichiarazioni de i Sommi Pontefici, di San Buonaventura: de quattro Maestri, & altri nostri Padri: dal devoto e zelante religioso F. Bartolom. detto il Brandolino: Acciò che leggendosi almeno una volta l’anno per seconda lezione in refettorio, come per questa nostra vi ordiniamo, & espressamente vi comandiamo, non sij l’ignoranza a piu cagione di tante trasgressioni, quante veggiano, che sono andate serpendo per fino ad hora. Piaccia à Dio nostro Signore che ne segua conforme all’affetto: del che ne pregherete instantemente sua Divina Maestà, & in particolare per me vostro indegno servo. Acciò m’indrizzi l’opere conforme à pensieri; che ad altro non aspirano, che alla salvezza nostra. State sani. Di Firenze alli 15. d’Agosto 1594. Di VV. Paternità molto venerando. Affezzionatiss. nel Signore. F. Francesco d’Arezzo vostro indegno Ministro, e servo.” ↑
- “Regula et vita Minorum Fratrum haec est, scilicet Domini nostri Jesu Christi sanctum Evangelium observare vivendo in obedientia, sine proprio et in castitate.” [Ff, 171-172.] “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.” [SF1, 100] ↑
- “… ut sempre subditi et subiecti pedibus eiusdem sanctae Ecclesiae stabiles in fide catholic paupertatem et humilitatem et sanctum evangelium Domini nostri Jesu Christi, quod firmiter promisimus, observemus.” [Ff, 181]. “… so that, being always submissive and subject at the feet of the same Holy Church and steadfast in the Catholic Faith, we may observe poverty, humility, and the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as we have firmly promised.” [SF1, 106] ↑
- “Se qualis sit regula fratrum Minorum ipse beatus Franciscus declarabat, dicendo ipsam esse librum vitae, spem salutis, arrham gloriae, medullam evangelii, viam perfectionis, viam crucis, statum perfectionis, clavem paradisi et pactum aeterni foederis.” Conform. in AF(IV), 427 taken from 2Cel, 208 [Ff, 623]. “He burned with great zeal for the common profession and Rule, and endowed those who were zealots about it with a special blessing. He called it their Book of Life, the hope of salvation, the marrow of the Gospel, the way of perfection, the key of Paradise, the pact of an eternal covenant.” [SF2, 380] On the relationship between the Gospel and the Rule see Fabio Ciardi, “Historicity and continuity of the Founder’s Charism” in Laurentianum 38(1997) 401-421. ↑
- “Et postquam Dominus dedit mihi de fratribus, nemo ostendebat mihi, quid deberem facere, sed ipse Altissimus revelavit mihi, quod deberem vivere secundum formam sancti Evangelii.” Ff, 228. “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.” [SF1, 125] ↑
- “Virgo gloriosa sempre evangelium Christi gerebat in pectore, et non diebus neque noctibus vacabat a colloquiis diviniis et oratione.” Brevarium Romanum novissime impressum, Taurini, 1519, fol. 330v-331r, from the response to the third reading of the first nocturne on the feast of Saint Cecilia, 22 November (LMem, Ef and Pc). The antiphon has become the Magnificat antiphon of the same feast: The virgin Cecilia always kept Christ’s Gospel close to her heart; neither during the day nor during the night would she cease praying and speaking to God. (Benedictine Daily Prayer A Short Breviary, compiled and edited by Maxwell E. Johnson and the Monks of Saint John’s Abbey, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 2005, p. 2236. Less literally, “Cecilia the virgin always bore the gospel of Christ in her heart: day or night she never ceased from prayer and converse with God.” (Roman Breviary). ↑
- [FN] loco or friary ↑
- “The Rule is a direct way that leads us to our homeland, an object to which we must turn our gaze; a mirror in which we must look at ourselves each day; a law that we must obey; a dowry contract of our souls; a stable foundation established upon a firm rock, that is, the gospel law.” Brandolino, Expositione, f.5r. (Pc 87, n.11). Recall the image of the “mirror” within the Franciscan tradition, beginning with the Testament and Letters of Saint Clare, especially the fourth (see Giovanni Boccali, Concordantiae verbales opusculorum S. Francisci et S. Clarae Assisiensium, ed. Portiunculae, S. Mariae Angelorum, Assisii, 1976: “speculum” pp.741-742); the Speculum perfectionis; the Speculum disciplinae attributed to Bonaventure (Opera omnia, vol. VIII, Ad Claras Aquas, 1988, pp. 583-622); the Speculum vite beati Francisci et sociorum eius (Venice 1504); the Speculum minorum (Rouen 1509) and the Speculum minorum seu Firmamentum trium ordinum (Venice 1513). (Ef, 176, n.1) ↑
- [FN] disutile ↑
- [FN] mondo ↑
- [FN] lochio ↑
- [FN] impertinente e vane ↑
- [FN] Col 2:3. See also 42, ln.29 – 43,15. ↑
- Recalling the scene at Fonte Colombo when Christ spoke to Francis when the Ministers protested the difficulty of the Rule. “Tunc audierunt omnes vocem Christi respondentis in acre: ‘Francisce, nihil est in regula de tuo, sed totum est meum, quidquid est ibi. Et volo, quod regula sic servetur ad litteram, ad litteram, ad litteram, sine glossa, sine glossa, sine glossa.’ Et addidit Christus: ‘Ego scio, quantum potest humana fragilitas, et quantum volo eos iuvare; qui ergo nolunt eam servare, exeant de ordine.’” Conform. in AF (IV) 372, lines 15-21. and the SpecPerf. chapter 1 and other works of the Spirituals. e.g. ExRegClareni, 1,90; 2,13; 6,51; 8,50; 10,66; 10,81-82. LibChron. 1, 452-456: “Ex mandatis igitur et verbis ipsius sancti, patet quod regulam et testamentum a Christo per revelationem habuit; et quod propria vera, pura et fidelis ac spiritualis regulae observantia et intelligentia est observantia litteralis. Declarationes vero ceterae, piae condescensiones sunt infirmis a piis medicis factae, et dispensations utiles et necessariae saluti animarum non valentium vel nolentium obligari ad arduam et prefectam illam regulae observantium, quam fundator docuit et implevit et a Christo Iesu immediate suscepit.” “From the commands and words of the saint himself it is clear that he received the Rule and Testament by revelation from Christ, and that the proper, true, pure, faithful and spiritual observance and understanding of the Rule is literal observance. Other declarations indeed are pious concessions to the ailing made by pious physicians, and are useful dispensations necessary to the salvation of souls unable or unwilling to be obligated to that arduous and perfect observance of the rule, which the founder taught and fulfilled and had received directly from Christ Jesus.” Clareno, p. 61 ↑
- [FN] tutte le glose et expositione carnale, inutile, noxie et relaxative. LMem: Namely the declarations of Nicholas III, exiit, 14 August 1279; Clement V, Exivi, 6 March 1312 (in BC(6) 56, 83). From the Bull Bernardino d’Asti obtained, In suprema, 17 November 1532, we see what they sought: “Regulam ipsam beati Francisci pure et pene iuxta eius litteram et declarationem Nicolai III et Clementis V, firmiter observare.” Wadding, Annales Minorum, tom. XVI, an. 1532, xxii, 379-382. ↑
- [FN] St: we renounce all privileges and explanations that relax (the Rule). ↑
- [FN] John 8:39 ↑
- [FN] perchel nostro padre tutto divino ↑
- [FN] frati minori ↑
- [FN] 1 Pet 2:13; Luke 14:10. ↑
- [FN] Phil 2:8; Mt 17:23-25. ↑
- Regarding Francis’ intention concerning privileges, we recall his reply to those Friars who asked him to petition the Supreme Pontiff for the privilege of preaching without impediment. “Vos, Fratres Minores, non cognoscitis voluntatem Dei, et non permittitis me convertere totum mundum, sicut Deus vult. Nam ego volo per humilitatem et reveretniam primo convertere prelatos, et cum ipsi viderint sanctam vitam vestram et reverentiam ad eos, ipsi rogabunt vos, quod predicetis et convertatis populum. Et ipsum vocavunt vobis melius, quam privilegia, que vultis, que vos ducent ad superbiam. Compilatio, 20:3-5, p.60; SpecPerf. Chap. 50, 3-4 [Ff, 1921]; ExRegClareni, 6:64, p.448; Conform. in AF (IV) 471, lines 10-15. “You, Lesser Brothers, you do not know the will of God, and will not allow me to convert the whole world as God wills. For I want to convert the prelates first by humility and recerence. Then, when they see your holy life and your recerence 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.” (SF2, 134) ↑
- John of Fano says, “Onde al presente havemo terminato e rinuntiato a tutti li privilegij relassativi della regolar osservantia et volemo essere subditi ad ogni humana creatura per amor di Dio, come dice l’Apostolo, non solo alli Prelati nostri, et al Sommo Pontefice, come a Vicario di Cristo e Capo di tutta la militante Chiesa, ma etiam a tutti li Ordinarij, come veri Apostolici membri et a quelli particolarmente ne representamo” (f.121). ↑
- In 2Cel 151 [Ff, 578]: Dixit (Franciscus) autem quidam vice sociis suis, “Inter alia quae dignanter pietas mihi divina concessit, hanc gratiam contulit, quod ita diligenter novitio unius horae obedirem, si mihi guardianus daretur, sicut antiquissimo vel discretissimo cuiquam. Subditus,” inquit, “praelatum suum non nomine, considerare debet, sed illum pro cuius est amore subiectus. Quanto autem contemptibilior praesidet, tanto obedientis humilitas magis placet.” “At one time (Francis) said to his companions: ‘Among the many things which God’s mercy has granted me, he has given me this grace, that I would readily obey a novice of one hour, if he were given to me as my guardian, as carefully as I would obey the oldest and most discerning. For a subject should not consider his prelate a human being, but rather the One for love of whom he is subject. And the more contemptibly he presides, the more pleasing is the humility of the one who obeys.’” [SF2, 344-345] Also LegMaj. VI, 4 [Ff, 825-826]; Conform. in AF (IV) 605, lines 11-16. ↑
- Testament [Ff, 231, vv. 38-39]: “Et omnibus fratribus meis clericis et laicis praecipio firmiter per obedientiam, ut non mittant glossas in regula neque in istis verbis dicendo: Ita volunt intelligi. Se sicut dedit mihi Dominus simpliciter et pure dicere et scribere regulam et ista verba, ita simpliciter et sine glossa intelligatis et cum sancta operatione observatis usque in finem.” “And I strictly command all my cleric and lay brothers, through obedience, not to place any gloss upon the Rule or upon the words saying, ‘They should be understood in this way.’ But as the Lord has given me to speak and write the Rule and these words simply and purely, may you understand them simply and without gloss and observe them with a holy activity until the end.’” [SF1, 127] ↑
- [FN] sensualita is related to the term senso. The text does not refer to sexuality as such, one contemporary connotation for us, but may refer to physical gratification in general. ↑
- [FN] St: And since to avoid similar privileges our Father St Francis in his Testament commands his Friars that they shall not dare to ask letters from the Roman Court on account of bodily persecution, the General Chapter renounces all privileges which relax the Rule and, enervating the way of the spirit, lay the foundation of a sensual life. ↑
- [FN] Mt 22:14 ↑
- LMem: These words are not to be found anywhere on the lips of Saint Francis. However we can say that they reflect his mind, as it may be known from a number of places, e.g. 2Cel 162 [Ff, 587] Lamentum ad eum de otiosis et gulosis, “A complaint to him about the idle and gluttons” [SF2, 351]; VitaPov 75, 250-251; 76, 253. ↑
- [FN] nissuna cosa e per nuocere tanto a la pura observantia de la Regula:quanto la moltitudine de li frati inutili carnali:& animali St: a multitude of useless, worldly and self-indulgent Friars. Pc: la moltitudine dei frati inutile, sensuali e istintivi. Albacina 32: Item non sia ricevuto all’Ordine alcuno che non habbia passati quindici anni, et con questo anchor non si habbia apparenza puerile, altamente non sia ricevuto; et a questo li Prelati siano avertiti che a nessun modo li ricevino. ↑
- [FN] i.e. the circumstances of those seeking admission to the fraternity. ↑
- [FN] per evitare etiam ogni admiratione & scandalo ↑
- [FN] Albacina 31: Item quando alcuno volesse ricevere questa nostra vita et venir nell’Ordine, sia tenuto per quindici giorni nel luoco. ↑
- [FN] Before they receive the habit. ↑
- [FN] Master, as teacher, rather than person in charge of slaves! Several times in this Chapter the term also refers to the Novice Master, the teacher and guide of the Novices. In Chapter III, prayer is called la spiritual maestra. ↑
- [FN] sinceri ↑
- [FN] Albacina 31: Item quando alcuno volesse ricevere questa nostra vita et venir nell’Ordine, sia tenuto per quindici giorni nel luogo; et li frati puramente osservino quel passo nella Regola: Quod vadano et vendant omnia sua et ea student pauperibus erogare. Et seguita: Postea concedant eis pannos probationis. Si che prima debbano dare li suoi beni a poveri, avanti che siano vestiti. ↑
- [FN] Teachers, for whom the novices will be “discepoli” or disciples. ↑
- [FN] morigerati ↑
- [FN] St includes here in his text a translation of Edouard d’Alençon’s footnote reference to the ordinances of Albacina, see Liber Memorialis, 364: “Albacina 32:. Item che li novitij chierici habbino ad imparar la Regola a mente nel tempo del novitiatio, et a questo i loro Maestri siano soleciti.” – “The cleric novices have to learn the Rule by heart during the novitiate and their Masters should be solicitous about this.” However, the practice is in CC(1608), in CCA, p.230: “saranno Novitij tutta la Regola alla mente.” CC(1638) and CC(1643) omit it. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 33: Item che niun professo ardisca, overo presuma entrar in cella d’ i chierici, senza licenza de suoi Maestri, o Guardiani; et niun chierico ardisca entrar in cella d’alcun altro frate senza licenza del suo Maestro o Guardiano, et chi contrafarà mangiarà un giorno pane et acqua, dicendo la sua colpa coram fratribus. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 33: Item che li chierici et laici giovani se gli dia il Maestro per quattro anni dalli Prelati; et siano in detto tempo ammaestrati nella via perfetta dello spirito. ↑
- [FN] Doctors of the Church ↑
- [FN] con li debiti modi; See next verse, stipulating that novices make profession using ‘li modi & cerimonie usitate & apportate nel ordine nostro.” Alternatively, “with due intentions” (St: proper dispositions.) ↑
- LMem notes that it would take too long to give all such references. He then proceeds to give an impressive short list of ‘doctors’, LMem number 20, note 1, p.421. ↑
- [FN] religione ↑
- [FN] modi ↑
- [FN] In the early accounts of their reform, the Capuchins called this cloth arbagio, bigio, arbascio or lane schiave – cloth made from untreated wool, a mixture of black and white wools – a coarse, brown-grey cloth. “Hodden grey” cloth is an English equivalent. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 24: Item ordiniamo che li Fratelli si vestino tutti di panni vili, come dice la Regola, et delli piu vili che si ritroveranno in quelli paesi, et delli piu abietti, et sprezzati, et mortificati di colore, che si troveranno. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 19: Item ordiniamo che se alcuno delli Fratelli non vorrà portare altro che un abito, le sia concesso, perche gliel concede la Regola; et a quello che non gli basto l’habito, habbia una tunica povera et corta, che passi li ginocchio quattro dita; et se vi fosse alcuno di molto fredda complessione, che avesse fatto esperientia di se non poter resistere con un abito, et una tunica, come sono Fratelli vecchi, debili di spirito, se gli conceda una capuccia tanta longa, che estendendo li bracci, cuopra l’estremita delle mani, et che non sia eccedente ma eguale alla detta estremita, overo pochissimo più. Et le corde siano grosse et sprezzate, et con semplice nudo, non lavorate a posta.↑
- [FN] e manifesto segno del extincto spirito: St: a manifest sign of a lax spirit.↑
- “Execrabatur Beatus Franciscus vestitos triplicibus et qui praeter necessitatem mollibus vestiebantur in ordine. Necessitatem vero, quam non ratio postulat, sed voluptas ostentat, signum extincti spiritus asserebat.” 2Cel 69 [Ff, 507]; “He detested those in the Order who dressed in three layers of clothing or who wore soft clothes without necessity. As for ‘necessity’ not based on reason but on pleasure, he declared that it was a sign of a spirit that was extinguished.” [SF2, 293] Also SpecPerf. n.15 [Ff, 1872]; Conform. in AF (V) 104, line 16. Bernardino d’Asti refers to this in his De minoritani pallii usu (Bov.I, 1550, iv-xii, 426-428). The use of the mantle with two tunics had been discussed at length in the Order and in various expositions of the Rule.-LMem: Because of the importance of the matter, Boverius includes a translated and edited extract of Bernardino’s text: quam propterea hoc loco propriis verbis exarandum duci. Instead see IFC I:747-751. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 20: Item avertano li Superiori et li Fratelli che la larghezza delli habiti non sia più di undeci palmi communi, overo alli corpulenti dodeci. Et la tunica sette palmi. Et avertino che le maniche siano strette, et poverelle, tanto che il braccio possi entrare libero et uscire. ↑
- LMem refers to the “Capucium pluvium” or wet-weather cowl, an old custom for which he found only one witness (LMem 421, note 23.1). ↑
- [FN] St: “The habit … shall be ten feet wide, twelve feet for the corpulent Friars … The tunics shall be eight or nine feet wide, and at least half a foot shorter than the habit.” However, a palmo or palm was a unit of linear measurement, varying in size according to region, on average around 25cm. According to GDLI XII (1995), 431: e avente valore variablile a seconda dei luoghi e dei tempi, in media intorno a 25cm (e a Calgiari valeva 22.2cm, a Roma 22.3, a Genova e in Sardegna 24.8, in Sicilia 25.8, a Napoli 26.4.) The use of the term here suggests a smaller measurement. Measurement in classical times also distinguished between large and small palms. The CC(1575) and CC(1608) published a template of a half palm (cf. CCA, pp. 206, 284) that the Capuchins used 25.6 (CC1575) and 24.4 (1608), the equivalent of 10 inches or a little less. ↑
- [FN] el cappuccio sia quadrato ↑
- Lmem (p.422, note 3): “There has been much quibbling about the explanation of this prescription of the Constitutions about the shape of the cowl taken from Conform. describing the Friars’ habit according to the mind of St. Francis. «Tunica tantae longitudinis, quod succincta, absque omni colligatione supra cingulum, terram non tangeret; longitude manicarum usque ad extremitatem digitorum, ita quod manus operirent, et longitudinem manuum non excederent; latitude manicarum esset tanta, quod manus libere intrare et exire possent. Caputium quadrum et tantae longitudinis quod habitus cruces formam praesentaret et omnia humanae gloriae et ornatus contemptum sua vilitate praedicaret et Fratrem Minorem mundo crucifixum et mortuum ostenderet.» Conform. in AF (V) 104, line 16, apparently based upon LibChron. 758-761, vv.66-77:Voluit autem sanctus Franciscus a Cristo doctus et habitum suum exteriorem cruciformem ad litteram esse. Unde mensuram sui habitus latitudinem, longitudem, qualitatem, quoad vilitatem et colorem docuit verbo et exemplo, testibus fratre Leone, Bernardo, Aegidio et Massaeo et aliis sociis suis, qui se ab eo formam habitus accepisse dicebant, et opere testabantur. Quoad materiam docuit quod esset de panno vili et coloris cincericii vel pallidi, corporis Christi mortificationem repraesentantis; et talis grossitiei quod corpus foveret et posset fratri sano una tunica sufficere, intus et foris repetiata; tantae longitudinis quod succincta absque omni collectione supra cingulum terram non tangeret. Longitudo manicarum usque ad extremitates digitorum, ita quod manus operiret et longitudinem manuum non excederet; latitudo earum esset tanta quod manus libere exire posset et intrare. Caputium quadrum et tantae longitudinis quod faciem operiret, ita quod habitus crucis formam repraesentaret et omnis mundanae gloriae et ornatus contemptum sua vilitate praedicaret, et fratrem minorem mundo crucifixum et mortuum ostenderet, et esset nuditatis operimentum et necessitates amatorum paupertatis fomentum, et professorum humilitatis signum, et portationis improperii cruces Christi verum indicium.Saint Francis, taught by Christ, wished his habit to be literally cruciform. Thus, by word and example he taught what the length, width, quality, vileness and color of his habit should be, according to the testimony of Brothers Leo, Bernard, Giles, Masseo, and others of his companions, who said they had taken the form of their habits from him and provided visible witness as to what it was like. As for material, he taught that it should be made of vile cloth, ashen or pale in color, representing the mortification of Christ’s body. It should be of sufficient size to warm the body, and for a healthy brother one tunic should suffice, patched inside and out, of such length that when it is cinched without any excess material above the belt it will not touch the ground. The sleeves should extend to the ends of the fingers, so that it covers the hands but does not extend beyond them. Their width should be such that the hands can easily enter and be withdrawn from them. The hood should be squared and long enough to cover the face, so that the habit should represent the form of the cross and but its vileness should preach contempt for all worldly glory and ornamentation. It should show that the brothers are crucified to the world and dead to it. It should cover one’s nudity while serving as an incitement to the poverty necessary to those who live it, and as a sign of the those who profess humility, and as a true mark of those who bear the opprobrium of Christ’s cross. Clareno, 218.The translators’ notes, also for this passage, are very succinct: “The habit tooks its place alongside barns and cellars as a symbol of the controversy between the Spirituals and their leaders. Documents from the pope and cardinals constantly spoke of it, as did inquisitorial processes. The leaders’ attempt to impose a uniform clothing code became emblematic of the entire struggle, with the duty of obedience pitted against the duty to respect Francis’ original intention.” (n.22). “As Ubertino of Casale makes clear in his writings during the 1309-1312 debate, the patches were conceived as insulation from the cold, not simply repair work.” (n.24).LMem continues: “In his Dialogo(1536) John of Fano ascribes these words to “Frate Razionabile” which show that the first Capuchins did not make a subtle distinction between the square cowl and the pointed cowl: «E che S. Francesco e tutto l’Ordine in quelli tempi portasse questo cappuccino, l’havemo prima nelle Conformità, fructu 16, dove si dice che S. Francesco havea il cappuccino quadro, cioè con Quattro faccie, come questo che noi portiamo. 2° Tutte le imagini di S. Francesco e delli altri Frati (parlo delle antiche) hanno questo cappuccino aguzzo, come si vede qui per tutto nelle chiese antiche. 3° Perche si trovano molti cappuccini di panno in la detta forma et io ho visto il cappuccini di Frato Ruffino in Sta Chiara d’Asisio, e l’habito tutto del B. Raynerio con il cappuccino nel Borgo San Sepolcro, e quello del Beato Filippo Longo in S. Francesco di Monte Elcino, e quello del Beato Simone in Spoleto. In San Simone un cappuccino di S. Francesco e in Roma in Santo Apostolo, uno in San Marcello (Roma), doi nel Vescovato di Riete e nel loco dell’Averna, e in molti lochi ne sono.» IFC I:665 where the editor also states (notes 285 – 286) that the terminology of the square cowl, or capucinum quadrum is from Angelo Clareno, LibChron. 760-761, v.74, (see previous note) later taken up by Conform. in AF (V) 104, lines 4-19. The Capuchins referred to the testimony of early depictions of Francis and his companions, as well as their habits still extent in their apologia for the cowl. The shape of the habit for them was essential as an external sign of their reform. See also Edouard d’Alençon, “Del cappuccino dei frati minori” in Miscellanea Franciscana 24(1924) 185-187. LMem refers to Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 19(1926) containing many plates depicting Francis with the pointed cowl. More recently there is an illustrated history of the Franciscan habit by Servus Gieben, “Per la storia dell’abito Francescano” in Collectanea Franciscana 66(1996) 431-478. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 38: Item che li Frati si guardino che a niun modo portino berette overo capelli. ↑
- [FN] Non portino birette ne capelli ne cose doppie: over superflue. St: “Neither birettas, hats, or anything ornamental or superfluous shall be worn.” However, in “Cose doppie over superflue,” the adjectives “doppie” and “superflue” appear synonymous. Nor am I aware of “doppie” meaning “ornamented,” except, perhaps, to suggest a possible intention for wearing two of the same item of clothing. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 58: Item ordiniamo che tutti li abiti vecchi dei luochi si pongano in comunità, et si faccia un communitiero che n’habbia diligente cura, a racconciarli e lavarli; et quando alcun Frate vorrà lavar il suo abito, habbia da mutarsi et che lo communitiero sia solecito, et che non se ne scordi poi dell’habito che havera imprestato, che lo lascia tener due ò tre mesi, et poi lo renda lordo e rotto, come è solito de Frati; et però si ordina che chi pigliarà detti abiti s’espedisca di lavar et racconciar il suo, accio che non habbia da tener l’habito della communita più di tre o quattro giorni. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 48: Item che li Frati, che non sono deboli, usino sotto nel dormire, tavole, overo stuore, o paglia, o felici, senza saccone, con una schiavina o capezzal di paglia chi lo vorrà. ↑
- [FN] Mt 8:20; Luke 9:58. ↑
- “Nuda humus, ut frequentius, lectus erat lassato corpuscolo, et saepius sedens, ligno vel lapide ad caput posito, dormiebat; unica paupere contectus tunicula, in nuditate Domino serviebat et frigore.” LMaj. 5,1 [Ff, 814]; “More often than not, the naked ground was a bed for his weary body; and he would often sleep sitting up, with a piece of wood or a stone positioned for his head. Clothed in a single poor little tunic, he served the Lord in cold and nakedness.” (SF2, 561). Also Conform. in AF (V) 192, line 19. 4Cel (Legenda ad usum chori) 6,5 [Ff, 431]: nuda humus lectus eius, saepius sedendo quam iacendo dormitat. “… the bare round served as his bed an dhe slept more often sitting up than lying down2 (SF1, 321). Cf. 1Cel 52,2 [Ff, 326]. In his Dialogo (1536) [f. 71v] Giovanni da Fano wrote, “Questi poverelli Cappuccini dormono alcuni sopra le tavole semplici, alcuni sopra le tavole tengono una stora, alcuni tra la tavola e stora tengono un poco di paglia, o fieno, o felce.” IFC I:666, n.603. ↑
- [FN] store = stuoie ↑
- [FN] St: omits “genestre:felici”, (felice = felce) that is, “broom, ferns.” ↑
- [FN] Schiavine in GDLI XVII,997: “Mantello di tessuto grossolano e fornito di maniche e di cappuccio usato specialmente nel Medievo da viaggiatori, pellegrini, ecc. per ripararsi dalle intemperie e dal freddo.” For example, Savonarola, “Servi a Cristo e stari quieto e dormirai con riposo, como fanno e’ buoni frati sotto la sua schiavinetta, il quali dormono quelli dolci sonni senza pensieri.” (Prediche italiane ai fiorentini, III, ed. Roberto Palmarecchi, Firenze, 1033, p.23). On the etymology of the word, see PC p.100, note 29. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 21: Item ordiniamo che chi non può andare scalzo, avendo prima provato, se non può resistere, porti li sandali, come portavano gli Apostoli, et li antichi Padri, poveramente quanto più si può, come richiede il nostro stato, et che non si porti li zoccoli. ↑
- [FN] Mark 6, 9 and parallels ↑
- [FN] semplice, pure, vile & povere, senza alchuna curiosita. St: “simple, plain and poor, without any ornamentation.” Curiosità: a thing that is ostentatious, unusual, attracting attention. ↑
- [FN] curiosità ↑
- [FN] celsitudine ↑
- [FN] non vogliono havere alcuno affecto in terra. St: not to have any attachment on earth; Pc: non avere in terra nessun affetto. ↑
- [FN] Underwear. Albacina 24: Item ordiniamo che niuno porti fiasco, tasca, o capello, ma solo due para di mutande et due poveri mocechini, chi n’havera bisogno. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 37: Item che no tenghino bestie, ne muli, ne cavalli, ne asini per li luochi, et li Prelati vadino a piedi. Et se pur alcun fosse debile et fosse necessario il cavalcare, vada con un asinello, perche ci andò Cristo nostro Signore, et il nostro P.S. Francesco in sua estrema necessita; ne trovo che altri animali usassero nelle loro necessita. Et se accadesse in caso molto necessario, la Regola è scritta. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 34: Item che i Frati non habbiano rasori, eccetto uno per luoco per alcuna necessità occorrente, et per cavar sangue alli infermi. Ma si facciano le chierica ogni vinti giorni, con la forfesetta. ↑
- [FN] St does not translate: Ne si tenghi baccini ma uno solo rasoio per le ventose. ↑
- [FN] imperho che è cosa virile & naturale, rigida, dispecta & austere. St: since it is something manly, natural, severe, despised and austere. ↑
- Regarding the beard, these Constitutions say: “portisi la barba a exemplo di christo sanctissimo & di tutti li nostri antiqui sancti impeho che e cosa virile & naturale rigida dispecta & austera.” Constitutiones antiquae, 44. Similarly the following Constitutions of 1552: “e si porti la barba per essempio di christo santissimo, e de tutti gli antichi padri nostri santi, essendo cosa virile, naturale, rigida, & dispetta.” Constitutiones antiquae, 90. The Constitutions of 1575: “Et portsi la barba ad esempio di Christo Santissimo, d’altri Santi, & di tutti nostri Antichi Padri, essendo cosa virile e naturale, rigida, disprezzata, & austera, non però la nutriscano, si come dice il Canone.” Constitutiones antiquae,161. The Constitutions of 1608 repeat the admonition verbatim, though with a slight change in order of the adjectives. The admonition is not found at the end of chapter two as previously, given the introduction to these Constitutions of several regulations concerning apostates. Constitutiones antiquae, 233. The Constitutions of 1638: “e si porti la barba come l’ha portata Christo nostro Salvatore, i suoi Santi Apostoli, & il P.S. Francesco.” Constitutiones antiquae, 333, or in the Latin “Barba deferatur quemadmodum & Christum sanctissimum, & Apostolos, & Patrem nostrum S. Franciscum detulisse legimus.” Constitutiones antiquae, 456. The Constitutions of 1643 revert to: “e si porti la Barba ad essempio di Christo Santissimo, d’altri Santi, e di tutti nostri Antichi Padri, essendo cosa virile, e naturale, austera, rigida, e Disprezzata. Non però la nutriscano, come dice il Canone.” Constitutiones antiquae, 580. The 1896 revision of the Constitutions were the most austere regarding the beard, “Et deferatur barba ad exemplum Christi sanctissimi et Patrum nostrorum antiquorum, non tamen nutriatur” in Constitiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae (1909-1925) editio anastatica, vol. II, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1986, 482. In the approved edition of 1909, however, we read, “e si porti la barba ad esempio di Cristo santissimo, del Serafico padre S. Francesco, di altri Santi e di tutti i nostri antichi Padri: né la nutriscano, come dice il Canone, avvertendo però di spuntarla sufficientemente con forbici nel labbro superiore, per riverenza del Santissimo Sacramento” in the Italian text, Constitutiones recentiores, 64; and in Latin, “et ad exemplum Christi Sanctissimi, Seraphici Patris Francisci, aliorum Sanctorum et priscorum Patrum nostrorum deferatur barba, cum sit virilis, naturalis et austera; neque eam, iuxta Canonem, nutriant; in labio autem superiori superfluitates eius, ob reverentiam SS. Sacramento debitam, forficulis sufficienter resecent” in Constitutiones recentiores, 219-220 the Constitutions of 1925: “et ad exemplum Christi, seraphici Patris Francisci, aliorum Sanctorum et priscorum Patrum nostrorum deferatur barba, quum sit res virilis, naturalis et austera. Neque ea, saecularium more, nutriatur” in Constitutiones recentiores, 376. After 1968 (including 1970, 1974, 1982): “Eadem pluriformitatis norma etiam quoad consuetudinem barbam deferendi valet”. (The current constitutions differ slightly due to grammatical changes 1990: “Pluriformitatis norma quoad consuetudinem barbam deferendi valet.”) ↑
- [FN] el nostro seraphyco padre tutto catholico: apostolico & divino. St: Our Seraphic Father, thoroughly Catholic, Apostolic and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. ↑
- [FN] LMem – The times in the calendar for the recitation of the Office of the Dead had been established from antiquity, “proxima die ante festum beatae Mariae Magdalenae, et proxima die ante festum beati Michaelis, et feria secunda post dominicam Septuagesimae.” These were for the deceased Friars and benefactors. The Office for the deceased parents of the Friars was said the last day before Advent (Constitutiones Narbonnae 1260, Rubr. XII in AFH 34(1941). Later a fifth time was added for those who gave hospitality to the Friars on their journeys. ↑
- Narbonne ( pp.134, 6-7): “6. The office for our deceased brothers and benefactors shall be celebrated three times a year, namely the day before the feast of St. Mary Magdalene [July 23], the day before the feast of St. Michael [28 September], and the Monday after Septuagesima Sunday; the clerics shall sing Vespers, Matins with nine lessons, and Mass; the lay brothers shall say one hundred Our Fathers. 7. A similar office shall be celebrated for the deceased fathers and mothers of all the brothers the lay day before Advent.” ↑
- [FN] Albacina 6: Ordiniamo che li Frati sacerdoti, eccetto se non fussero tirati per lor devotione, non siano costretti dalli Prelati à dir messa, eccetto nelle solennità o necessità; et a questo ancora li Prelati habbino diligenza et somma cura di non pigliare satisfatione da secolari, e di non ricevere Trigesimi, ne altre messe, acciò per questo gli sacerdoti non fussero costretti a dir messa per necessità. E quardinsi gli Prelati al tutto da questa cupidità di tirare li popoli alli eremi et luochi dove abitano, con dir messe et officij, acciò li populi portino elemosine et altre cose. Il caso è questo, che vogliamo et ordiniamo, che non si ricevano messe in qualunque modo. ↑
- [FN] non habino lochio de la intenzione aperto al favore o gloria humana o vero a cosa alcuna temporale. ↑
- [FN] Jer 48: 10 ↑
- Clementina liber I, titulus vi, cap. iii, in CIC2 (1881) II col. 1140: “Generalem ecclesiae observantium volentes antiquis iuribus in hac parte praefferi, discernimus, ut, alio non ostante impedimento canonico, possit quis libere in decimo octavo ad subdiaconatus, in vigesimo ad diaconatus, et in vigesimo quinto aetatis suae anno ad presbyteratus ordines promoveri.” ↑
- Ordinationes Chap. 1 in AFH (1937) p. 334: “Ante missarum et horarum principia fratress, quos causa rationabilis non excusat ad chorum convenient, praeparaturi Domino corda sua; ibique sine discursu, murmure, risu, vagis et vanis aspectibus, sub silentio, in pace et cum debita gravitate permaneant, cantent et orent, et usque in finem unanimiter perseverent.” Constitutiones Benedicti xii, cap. 1 in Spec.Min. pars 3, f.201. “Fratres excitabuntur ad Matutinum et Vesperas per quartellum unius horae ante principium officii, ut valeant devotius sua corda Domino Deo suo preparare” Statutes of the Spanish Recollects, Valladolid (1523) chap. 2, in AM (XVI), an. 1523, xxvii, p.192. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 2: Circa l’officio divino, essorto et ordino, che si dica devotamente, con le pause, senza coda ò biscanti, et voce feminile. ↑
- Statutes(1523) in AM (XVI) an.1523, xxvii, p. 192: “Primum, quod in istis supradictis domibus officium Divinum non cantetur, sed dicatur in mediocri tono, ita ut omnes possint officium persolvere; et hora secunda officium Matutinale finiatur, ut tempus reliquum maneat orationi et devotioni dedicandum.” ↑
- [FN] senza code o biscanto, St: neither protracted nor disjoined. Biscanto (GDLI II, 249) – Various meanings as an old verb biscantare, (syn. canterellare, canticchiare, biscanterellare) to hum or sing to oneself, or to sing with an affected voice. As a noun, biscanto (syn. cantilena) may refer to a lullaby or monotonous melody. Cantellerellare: to sing to oneself, to sing softly or without conviction, distractedly or indifferently. Canticchiare: to sing distractedly, with a soft voice, with frequent pauses. Pc, 35 opts for ‘code e cantilena.’ ‘Coda,’ a musical addition concluding a phrase or passage of music, or a decorative cadence. ↑
- [FN] cum voce non tropo alta o bassa ma mediocre: may also mean “with a voice not to loud or too soft, but in between.” St: “high or low.” ↑
- [FN] Albacina 50: Item ordiniamo che non si recevano morti, eccetto qualche poverello, che lo portassimo sino al luoco, senza che li Frati vi andassero, et che altri non l’havessero voluto sepelire, perché era povero, e non li pagava. Questi tali, quando saranno portati alli luochi et eremi dove noi stiamo, possino essere sepeliti. Quia est opus pietatis et misericordiae. Et non ricevino cosa alcuna, eccetto che preghino per charità et per amor di Dio per l’anima sua. ↑
- [FN] in tal caso li deba aprire le viscere de la charita. ↑
- The practice of reciting one hundred Our Fathers in suffrage for the Dead is quite ancient in the Order and was prescribed for the lay friars already in the Constitutions of Narbonne, Rubric XII. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 8: Item ordiniamo che l’oratione si faccia alli tempi ordinati dall’Ordine, et se alcuno si trovasse mal disposto in quell’hora, ordiniamo che un’hora d’oratione non lasci. Ma statuimo dui altri tempi à detta oratione, l’uno dopo il Vespro, l’altro avanti Terza, non però oratione publica o con suono di campana, ma secreta, Et per questo non intendiamo che se saranno occupati per alcuna necessita da suoi Superiori, non habbiano ad obbedire, ma similmente obbediscano; et notate che questa hora è cosi deputata dalla Religione, et ordinata per un buon ordine, et una cerimonia, et anchora per molti delli Fratelli tepidi et pigri, acciochè non manchino da quell’hora. Ma li Fratelli devoti et ferventi non si contentano di una, ne di due, o tre hore, ma tutto il tempo loro spendono in orare, meditare et contemplare; et come veri contemplatori adorano il Padre in spirito et verita. Et a questo studio essorti li Fratelli, perche questo è il fine per il quale sono fatti Religiosi. ↑
- [FN] Et perche la oratione e la spiritual maestra de frati: accio lo spirito de la devozione non si tepidisca ne frati: ma ardendo continuamente nel altare del core sempre piu s’accenda. St: Since holy prayer is our spiritual mistress, in order that the spirit of devotion may not decrease in the Friars, but, continually burning on the sacred altar of our heart, may be kindled more and more. Pc: E perché l’orazione è la maestra spirituale dei frati, aciocché lo spirito della devozione non s’intiepidisca nei frati, ma al contrario ardendo continuamente del cuore, si accenda sempre più. ↑
- Regarding the sentence: “that the spirit of devotion not grow cold in the friars but burn continuously and ever more intensely on the altar of their heart” one can note another Bonaventurian echo, where in a number of places he refers to Levitucus 6:12-16. I believe the texts deserve to be quoted. (The page numbers are those in Opera Omnia viii:“Quoniam devotionis fervor per frequentem Christi passionis memoriam nutritur et conservatur in homine, ideo necesse est, ut frequenter, ut semper oculis cordis sui Christum in cruce tanquam morientem videat qui devotionem in se vult inexstinguibilem conservare. Propter hoc Dominus dicit in Levitico: Ignis in altari meo semper ardebit, quem nutriet sacerdos subiiciens ligna per singulos dies. Audi, mater devotissima: Altare Dei est cor tuum; in hoc altari debet semper ardere ignis fervidae devotionis, quem singulis diebus debes nutrire per ligna crucis Christi et memoriam passionis ipsius. Et hoc est quod dicit Isaias propheta: Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris; ac si diceret: quicumque desiderat a Deo aquas gratiarum, aquas devotionis, aquas lacrymarum, ille hauriat de fontibus Salvatoris, id est de quinque vulneribus Iesu Christi.” De Perfectione Vitae ad Sorores, cap. vi, n.1 (Opera omnia viii, 120)“Deinde cavenda est perturbatio studii devotionis, ex qua fulcitur omnis vera Religio, et omne virtutis exercitium impinguatur. Arida est omnis Religio, quae non oleo isto saginatur; instabilis est bonorum operum structura, quae devotae orationis frequentia non compaginatur, sicut paries lapidum sine caemento. In omni Religione, ubi devotionis fervor tepuerit, etiam aliarum virtutum machina incipit deficere et propinquare ruinae. Lampades fatuarum virginum sine oleo exstinguuntur, Matthaei vegesimo quinto.” De Sex Alis Seraphim, cap. ii, 10 (Opera omnia viii, 134-135)“Tertio, ut nosmetipsos sic assidue ad devotionem excitemus et ignem amoris Dei per hoc nobis, ne per desidiam seu alias occupationes tepescat, continue reaccendamus, Levitici sexto: Ignis est iste perpetuus, qui nunquam deficiet, quem nutriet sacerdos in altari, subiiciens ligna mane per singulos dies. Ignis est devotionis fervor, qui semper in altari cordis ardere debet, quem sacerdos devotus semper subiiciendo ligna divinae laudis debet nutrire, ne quando exstinguatur; Psalmus: Benedicam Dominum in omi tempore,etc.” De Sex Alis Seraphim, cap. vii, 7 (Opera omnia viii, 149). ↑
- (webpage editor note: endnote blank in original printed text; left in so as not to disturb numbering)↑
- [FN] etiam chel vero spiritual frate minore sempre ori. The CC1552 have: “quantunche il buon frate divoto da ogni tempo interiormente ori.” This word change suggests that the previous wording was in disfavour, perhaps because of some idea-association of heresy with spirituali or evangelicals (‘Luterani’) at the time. The CC1575 restore the words with: Ancor che’l vero, & spiritual Frate minor in ogni tempo interiormente ori. The expression was later omitted from the Capuchin Constitutions again in 1909. Ef: el hermano menor verderamente spiritual ore siempre; St: the true spiritual friar; Pc, on the other hand, has opted to use the wording of CC1552: il vero devoto frate minore. ↑
- RB X, 8-9 [Ff, 179] “… attendant, quod super omnia desiderare debent habere Spiritum Domini et sanctam eius operatione, orare sempre ad eum puro corde et habere humilitatem …” “Let them pursue what they must desire above all things: to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working, to pray always to Him with a pure heart and to have humility… “Francis and Clare. The Complete Works,” translation and introduction Regis J. Armstrong and Ignatius C. Brady, (The Classics of Western Spirituality), Paulist Press, New York, 1982, p. 144. Or SF1 (105) … “let them pay attention to what they must desire above all else: to have the Spirit of the Lord and Its holy activity, to pray always to Him with a pure heart, to have humility…”Regarding this passage of the Rule, Bonaventure comments (ExpRegBon, 434):“Pro sexta parte subdit: Sed attendant, quod super omnia desiderare debent habere spiritum Domini, quem supra dixit spiritum sanctae devotionis.* Ista “devotio est pius et humilis affectus in Deum,” qui ex compunctione generatur, Et sanctam eius operationem. Oratio enim dicit Spiritus operationem, quia dicitur ad Romanos octavo (v.26): Spiritus postulat pro nobis gemitibus inenarrabilibus. – Orare semper ad Deum puro corde; Lucae decimo octavo (v.1): Oportet semper orare et non deficere; et primae ad Thessalonicenses quinto (v.17): Sine intermissione orate. Hoc autem triplicem habet sensum, quorum duo tanguntur in Glossa Lucae decimo octavo: “Quia semper orare est canonicas horas quotidie debito modo dicere. Item, semper orat qui semper bene agit.”** Tertio modo, semper orare est spiritum devotionis semper inviolabiliter observare, quae habita inter quascumque occupationes solet gemitibus et suspiriis inenarrabilibus Christi clementiam implorare imperceptibiliter. Et ad hoc hic Regula, ut existimo, manuducit. Fratres igitur semper orantes accidiam a se excludunt et per ieiunium gaudii omne carnale solatium procul pellunt, ubi cavenda est haeresis Massalianorum, quae habetur in libro de Haeresibus.”* The editors of the Opera omnia note here: “Devotionis definitio est ex libro de Spirito et anima (inter oper August.), c.50: Compunctio est, quando ex consideratione malorum suorum cor interno dolore tangitur. Devotio est pius et humilis affectus in Deum: humilis ex conscientia infirmitatis propriae, pius ex consideratione divinae clementiae. Oratio est mentis devotio, id est conversatio in Deum per pium et humilem affectum. Affectus est spontanea quaedam ac duclis ipsius animi ad Deum inclinatio.”** As a matter or interest, Mattia da Salò, and following him, Paolo da Folgino, place these words upon the lips of Bernardino Ochino in reply to the accusation that he no longer prayed. (MHOMC VI, p.40 and VII, p. 264.). On Bede’s commentary on Luke, see next paragraph.Commenting elsewhere on Luke 18, 1+ (Commentarium in Evangelium Lucae in Opera Omnia VII (Quaracchi, 1895), 448-449:Introducit ergo hanc parabolam (the judge and the widow) ad persuadendam orationis instantiam; propter quod addit: Quoniam oportet orare semper et non deficere; quod debet intelligi, ut semper non distribuat pro omni parte temporis, sed pro horis statutis, iuxta quod secundum institutionem propheticam dicitur in Psalmo: «Septies in die laudem dixi.»[Psalm 119(118), 164: Septies in die laudem dixi tibi super iudicia iustitiae tuae. Nova vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum editio, editio typica altera, 1986.]Et hunc modum observat Ecclesia; unde Glossa: «Semper, canonicis horis quotidie secundum morem Ecclesiae.» – Vel semper orare hic intilligitur, ut oratio semper vel sit in ore per postulationem, vel sit in corde per desiderium, vel sit in opere per praeparationem. Qui enim bona agit ad hoc se disponit, ut eius oratio debeat audiri; et secundum hoc dicitur primae ad Thessalonicenses quinto: «Sine intermissione orate»; ibi Glossa†: «Semper orat qui semper bene agit; ipsum enim desiderium bonum oratio est; et si continuum est desiderium, continua et oratio.» Et hoc est quod hic dicit Beda in Glossa: «Semper orat qui semper agit bona, nec desinit orare, nisi cum desinit iustus esse»; ideo Ecclesiatici decimo octavo: «Non impediaris orare semper, et non veteris usque ad mortem iustificari»; et vigesimo nono: «Conclude eleemosynam in sinu pauperis, et ipsa orabit pro te», etc. Hoc autem intelligitur de opportunitate necessitatis. Si autem intelligatur de opportunitate congruitatis, tunce oportet semper orare, id est frequentissime et instantissime ad oratione, recurrere. Unde Hieronymus: «Frequens oratio vitiorum impugnationem exstinguit»; instans vero oratio impetrat veniam de peccatis, secundum illud Ecclesiatici tertio: «Qui diligit Deum exorabit pro peccatis et in oratione dierum exaudietur.»† “We should say that he is always praying, and faints not, who never fails to pray at the canonical hours. Or all the things which the righteous man does and says towards God, are to be counted as praying.” Thomas Aquinas, Catena aurea, translated by John Henry Card. Newman, The Saint Austin Press, London, 1841, 1999, vol. III, St. Luke, p.600. ↑
- “Habeatur omni die totius anni una hora orationis post Completorium, et dimidia post Tertiam. Item, a festo Exaltationis sanctae Crucis, usque ad Resurrectionem Domini habeatur una hora orationis post Matutinale officium; a Resurrectione vero usque ad festum sanctae Crucis dimidia post Nonam. Diebus autem ieiunii teneartur haec oratio ante prandium, quando Guardiano videbitur, et fiat signum pro dicta oratione campana magna.” Statutes (1523) in AM(XVI) an.1523, xxvii, p.193 ↑
- [FN] John 4:23 ↑
- The practice of reciting the Office of the BVM was introduced as a custom in the choir. According to many it acquired the force of law prior to the Bull of Pius V, Quod a nobis (9 July 1568). Nonetheless the Statutes of Albacina appear to allow the recitation of this Office rather than prescribe it, since the Statutes contrast that Office as “de gratia” with the Office “de debito” prescribed by the Rule. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 3: Ancora ordiniamo che non si aggiunga altro officio di gratia in choro, eccetto quello della Madonna. Et se ad alcuno delli Frati piacesse et li rendesse piu devozione dire i Sette Salmi, l’Officio dei morti, Benedicta, ò oltre orazioni vocali, si contentera dirle da per se, ò vero con un altro compagno, fuora di choro, a tempo che non si dice l’ufficio in choro, acciò non dia molestia ad alcun Frate, che stesse in chiesa, ò vero in choro, ad esercitarsi in oratione secreta ò vero mentale. Et questo si ordina accioche li Fratelli tutti insieme dicano più devotamente et con le debite pause l’officio di debito, commandato dalla Regola, et accioche li Fratelli habbiano piu tempo di esercitarsi in oratione secrete et mentali, molto piu fruttuose che le vocali. ↑
- Albacina 3 refers to the recitation of the Benedicta. According to the Rule (ch.3) the Friars are bound to fast 1) from the feast of all Saints until Christmas; 2) from Ash Wednesday until Easter; 3) and every Friday throughout the year. “For the holy forty days which begin at Epiphany…. the Friars who voluntarily fast during it, may they be blessed (sint benedicti) by the Lord.” Hence the common name for this forty days quadragesima Benedicta, the blessed forty days. In LC(1951), see Ieiunium et Abstinentia. e.g. MHOMC II, n.208. However, on the Office Albacina calls the “Benedicta” LMem notes that it was an early prayer used in the Order of Friars Minor, which appears to have been instituted by John of Parma. It began with Antiphon I of the night Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Benedicta tu (hence the name), with the three psalms of the same office to which other antiphons and prayers were added. AM (II) an.1247, V; P. Eusèbe Clop, “Office de la Benedicta” in Etudes Franciscaines 30(1913) 483; Montagna David M. (ed.), “Cinquecento devoto minore. L’Ufficio della ‘Benedetta’ ed altre preci in un opuscolo di origine freancescana attorno 1525 (Milano, Triovulziana, M 87)” in Studi storici dell’ordine dei Servi di Maria 23(1973)266-275. ↑
- [FN] Et perche el silentio e custodia del concepto spirito. St: ‘religious spirit; Pc: ‘spirito interiore.’ The 1552 Constitutions have a slight variation: Oltra di ciò conoscendo, che il silentio è fidel guardia del conceputo spirito… The same expression is found in the CC1575 and 1608. The equivalent expression is in CC1638, 1643, 1896 and 1909. The word concetto/concepito in the early CC comes from the Latin verb concipio, concepi, conceptum. A cognitive sense of “concepito” referring to something thought up, understood or imagined, does not fit this context. The biological sense of “conceived” would also appear to be out of place. The basic Latin meaning of concipio is to take hold of something, or to receive it. Short and Lewis, A Latin Dictionary, give this meaning: to receive in one’s self, adopt, harbour any disposition of mind, emotion, passion, etc. to give place to, to foster, to take in, to receive. Therefore I believe that concepito spirito, while it is a religious and an interior spirit (if that is not tautological), is a received spirit (cf. above, page 7, 19). In other words, the provenance of this spirit is from outside the person. Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, in a clear reference to the Constitutions, uses the term acquired spirit (MHOMC III,365), a usage which lends support to this interpretation and translation. ↑
- LMaj. V, 6: “Evangelicum siquidem volebat a fratribus observari silentium, ut videlicet ab omni otioso verbo omni tempore abstinerent sollicite, tanquam reddituri in die iudicii de huiusmodi ratnionem (Mt 12:36). Se et si quem invenisset fratrum verbis assuetum inanibus, acriter arguebat; taciternitatem modestam et puri cordis affimans custodiam et non modicum esse virtutem, pro eo quod mors et vita fore dicuntur in manibus linguae (Prov 18:12), non tam ratione gustus quam ratione loquelae.” “He strongly wanted the brothers to observe the silence recommended by Gospel, so that they particularly abstain at all times from every idle word since they would have to render an account on the day of judgement. But if he found a borther accustomed to shallow talk, he would reprimand him bitterly, affirming that a modest silence was the guardian of a pure heart and no small virtue itself, in view of the fact that death and life are said to be in the hands of the tongue, not so much by reason of taste as by reason of speech.” [SF3, 564]. See also LMaj X:1-4, with the author’s heading: De studio et virtute orationis, or ‘On the study and virtue of prayer.’In the context of the study of prayer and the importance of silence, see Bonaventure’s admonition in his Letter on the Imitation of Christ. The passage begins: ‘Study to be the friend of prayer’:14: “Et studeas, quod sis amicus orationis. Oratio enim te faciet esse humilem, patientem et obedientem; oratio te faciet habere omnia bona; oratio, inquam, te faciet habere Deum in hac vita et in vita aeterna. Dicebat enim sanctus Franciscus, quod impossibile sibi videbatur, quod aliquis posset proficere in servitio Dei, nisi esset amicus orationis.15: “Si vis, carissime, habere orationem, oportet, quod habeas silentium; et se vis habere silentium, oportet, quod habeas solitudinem. Invenitur in Vitis Patrum de quodam sancto Patre, qui veniens ad mortem, monachi dixerunt ei, quod diceret eis aliquod verbum salutis; et ipse dixit: «Fratres, nil melius video quam tacere.» In hoc ergo sit studium tuum, carissime, scilicet quod, quandus est tempus servitiorum, opereris quantum potes et cum silentio. Completo vero servitio, statim fugias ad solitudinem. Et caveas, ne in solitudinem sis otiosus, quia otium in solitudine est valde periculosum. – Quid petivit a quodam sancto Patre, quomodo posset placere Deo et hominibus. Cui respondit Pater sanctus: «Loquere pauca et operare multa.»“Invenitur in Vitis Patrum, quod «abbas Arsenius, cum adhuc in palatio esset, oravit ad Dominum, dicens: Domine, dirige me ad salutem. Et venit ei vox dicens: Arseni, fuge homines et salvus eris. Idem, descendens ad monachalem vitam, rursum oravit, eundem sermonem dicens: Domine, dirige me ad salutem. Audivitque vocem dicentem sibi: Arseni, fuge, tace et quiesce. Haec enim sunt radices non peccandi, haec sunt principia salutis.» S. Bonaventura, “Epistola de Imitatione Christi” in Opera Omnia vol. VIII, 499-503, (here p. 502-503).14: “Carefull apply yourself to become the friend of prayer. Prayer makes you humble, patient and obedient. Prayer brings you to have every good thing. Indeed, it allows you to have God, in this life and in eternal life. Saint Francis used to say that it seem to him impossible that one might progress in the service of God unless he were the friend of prayer.15: Beloved, if you want to have prayer it is necessary that you have silence. And if you want to have silence you must have solitude. There is a certain man in the Lives of the Fathers. As he was dying the monks asked him for a word of salvation. He said, ‘Brothers, I see nothing better than being silent.” Apply yourself to this then, beloved, namely, when it is time for chores, work in silence as much as you can. Once you have finished your works, flee straight away into solitude. Be careful not to be idle in solitude, since idleness in solitude is quite dangerous. Someone once asked a holy father how he might please God and men. The holy father answered him, ‘Speak little and do much.’“In the Lives of the Fathers there is a story about how «Abba Arsenio prayed to God when he was still in the royal court. He said, ‘Lord, lead me to salvation.’ A voice came to him, saying, “Arsenio, flee from men and you will be saved? Then when he descended to monastic life he prayed again, saying the same thing, ‘Lord, lead me to salvation.’ And he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Flee, Arsenio, keep silent and be still.’ Indeed these things are the very fundamentals of not sinning. They are the beginning of salvation.»” ↑
- [FN] James 1:26 ↑
- [FN] Mt 12:36 ↑
- [FN] St: does not translate the words con la sacrata bocca. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 9: Item ordiniamo che il silentio si osservi inviolabilmente, dal primo segno di Competta fin detta la Messa conventuale et ordinaria, et questo sempre. Et da Pascha fin’a mezo il mese d’agosto, si faccia il segno del silentio lavate le scuotelle, e tengasi fin al tocco di Vespro. Et se alcuno delli Fratelli in questo mancasse, ne dirà la colpa e faccia la disciplina coram Fratribus.Albacina 52: Item si ordina, come cosa congrua et religiosa, che quando accade alli Fratelli alcuna necessita di parlar, o in tempo di silentio, o fuora in altra hora, parlino sempre summisse et con ogni piacevolezza et umiltà, et con ogni riverenza l’un all’altro, non usando atto alcuno di superbia o di maggioritade; così conviene alli devoti et umili servi del Crocefisso. ↑
- LMem refers here to Albacina 9 in his footnote, and then adds: The Statutes (1523) chapter 4 prescribed the practice of washing the plates after lunch, a practice which the Statutes of Albacina note in passing and is still customary in many of the provinces of our Order. They all knew the tradition which says that Saint Bonaventure, as Wadding describes: Ex consueta humilitate cum ceteris Fratribus pro huius Sodalitii more a prandio lavabat, tergabat culinae utensilia in supradicto Coenobio [Mugello], quando Legati Pontificii advenerunt insigne deferentes Cardinalitium. Ille nequaquam propter hoc commotus, legationem plene admittere pruis noluit, quam coeptum abluendi munus explesset; immo ad id usque tempus oblatum galerum ex adversae arbores, corni dictae, ramuscolo appendere jussit. Plene autem functus humilitatis officio, inquit ad Fratres: Postquam Fratris minoris explevimus munia, experiamur ista gravioria; salutaria haec et salubria, mihi credite, Fratres, illo vero magnarum dignitatum ponderosa et pericolosa. Et accedens ad praefatum cornulum, inde galerum assumpsit, et Papae Nuncios comiter et honorifice, ut decuit, excepit. AM (IV), an. 1273, xiii, 428. ↑
- “In oratorio vero, refectorio et dormitorio, continuum sempre silentium observetur, in plaustro quoque certis horis et locis, secundum antiquam consuetudinem monasterii laudabiliter observatam, sed amodo laudabilius observandam. In refectorio vero nullus amnino carne vescatur.” (Decr. Greg. IX, Lib. iii, tit. 35, Cap. 6, in CIC2 col. 599). The Constitutions of Narbone, rubric iv, n.10: “Item, cum dicatur in Regula, quod ‘Fratres desiderare debent habere spiritum Domini et sanctam eius operationem, orare simper ad Deum puro corde;’ ne devotionis fervor per inquietudinem multiloqui exstinguatur, ordinamus, quod silentium a dicto Completorio usque post Pretiosa servetur… (n.11) Sileatur etiam in claustro, dormitorio, choro, studio et refectorio, dum coneditur; et hoc tam a forensibus quam a residentibus observetur.” [The italicised part is from PraeNarb. Fragment, nn. 51-52 in Cesare Cenci, “De Fratrum Minorum Constitutionibus Praenarbonensibus” in AFH 83(1990) 67-95, p. 83]. “10. The Rule states that ‘the brothers should desire to possess the Spirit of the Lord and his holy manner of working, to pray always to him with a pure heart. Therefore, lest the fervour of devotion be quenched by the disturbance of excessive talking, we ordain that silence be observed from the end of Compline until after the Pretiosa… 11. Silence is also to be observed in the cloister, the dormitory, the choir, the study, and during meals, in the refectory. This silence shall be kept both by outsiders and residents.” Narbonne, p.91. Monti notes: “The antiphon Pretiosa in conspectus Domini concluded the reading of the martyrology after the office of Prime, marking the transition to the daily chapter and workday” (Cesare Cenci “De Fratrum Minorum Constitutionibus Praenarbonensibus”p. 84, n. 51, note 88) a statute that probably dates from the chapter of 1239 held in Rome. (See Rosalind B. Brooke, Early Franciscan Government. Elias to Bonaventure, Cambridge University Press, 1959, p.234.) ↑
- [FN] St: Grace after meals ↑
- [FN] In ogni loco da che sara dicto completorio infin che si soni a prima. St: In like manner, silence shall be observed everywhere after Compline until Prime… ↑
- [FN] St: tone. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 53: Item che niuno delli nostri Fratelli vada senza l’obedienza, quando camina da luoco a luoco, ò di Provincia in Provincia, et sempre con il compagno, se commodamente si può fare. ↑
- [FN] Mark 6:7; Mt 10:1; Luke 9:1. ↑
- When Francis, the imitator of Christ, sent his brothers to preach he said to them,“In nomine Domini ite bini et bini per viam humiliter et honeste, et maxime cum stricto silentio a mane usque ad post tertiam orantes Deum in cordibus vestris, et verba otiosa et inutilia non nominentur in vobis; licet enim ambuletis, tamen conversatio vestra sit ita humilis et onesta sicut in eremitorio aut cella essetis. Na, ubicumque sumus et ambulamus, habemus sempter cellam nobiscu: fratrum enim corpus est cella nostra, et enima est eremite, qui moratur intus in cella ad orandum Dominum et meditandum de ipso; unde, si anima non manserit in quiete in cella sua, parum prodest religioso cella manufacta.” Conform. in AF (IV) 498 line 36 – 499 line 4.“Go in the name of the Lord, two by two along the way, humbly and decently, in strict silence from dawn until after terce, praying to the Lord in your hearts. And let no idle or useless words be mentioned among you, Although you are traveling, nevertheless, let your behavior be as humble and as decent as if you were staying in a hermitage or a cell because wherever we are or wherever we travel, we always have a cell with us. Brother Body is our cell, and the soul is the hermit who remains inside the cell to pray to God and meditate on Him. So if the soul does not remain in quiet in its cell, a cell made by hands does little good to a religious.” SpecPerf. Ch. 65 [SF3, 309]. ↑
- [FN] Mt 10:12-13; Luke 10:5 ↑
- [FN] Albacina 24: Item ordiniamo che niuno porti fiasco, tasca. ↑
- [FN] St: delicate or rich food. ↑
- [FN] Mt 6:25+ Luke 12:22+ also Mt 5:45 ↑
- [FN] John 7:8-10 ↑
- [FN]1Cor 4:9 ↑
- [FN] rigidità: severe, strict. St: mortification ↑
- [FN] sante quadragesime ↑
- Apart from the customary Forty Days (Lent), Saint Francis also fasted at other times, namely, “illam S. Martini: illam ab Epiphania usque quadraginta dies continuous: illam Spiritus Sancti, ab octava Paschae usque ad festum S. Ioannis Baptistae: illam ab octava Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, quam dicebat B. Mariae V., videlicet Assumptionis eiusdem uasque ad festum S. Michaelis.” Spec.vitae, f.225v; cf. Conform. in AF (V) 190, line 19. Yves Magister narrates how, around 1569 when passing through Siena he was received by the Capuchins who “all the Friars there observe the forty-day fast of St. Michael observed by our Father before he received the stigmata.” Ocularia et manipulus Fratrum Minorum, in AOC 29(1923) 230 and IFC II:118. ↑
- [FN] St: but rather ordinary ones. Pc: Non si facciano provviste esagerate o superflue, anzi neppure ordinarie. The Pc translation is, I believe, a more correct rendering of Ne si faciano excessive colatione o superflue: imo ne ordinarie. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 40: Item il mercore a niun modo s’habbia a mangiar carne. ↑
- Abstinence from meat on Wednesday, as introduced by the Statutes of Albacina and maintained by the Capuchins, was not practised by the Community. Giovanni da Fano places it among the voluntary penances which Frate Razionabile recommends to Frate Stimulato. “El Mercordi non mangiare carne.” Dialogo (1527) p.58. ↑
- [FN] ingluuie: ingluvie, avidità, voracità, ingordigia, i.e. greed, voracity. ↑
- [FN] insalata, St: salad. However ‘insalata’ does not correspond with the English idea of ‘salad’ as “a dish consisting of a mixture of raw vegetables or other cold ingredients, typically served with a dressing.” (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th edition.) ↑
- [FN] Luke 21:34 ↑
- [FN] sincere. St: clear ↑
- [FN] Albacina 13: Et che il vino che si pone alla mensa sia ben temperato. ↑
- [FN] il che li deba etiam essere per sensuale delicie:atteso che secundo el seraphyco santo Bonaventura … St: even then it ought to appear a luxury when we recall that according to the Seraphic St Bonaventure; Pc: E questo ci deve sembrare addirittura delizia sensuale, dato che, secondo il serafico san Bonaventura. ↑
- [FN] l’ardore de la sete: i.e. a burning thirst. ↑
- “De potu vini quid dicam, cum et de aqua, dum sitis aestuaret ardore, vix ad sufficientiam biberet.” LMaj. chap. 5, n.1, v.5 [Ff, 813-814]. “What shall I say about wine, when he would scarcely drink even enough water while he was burning with a fiere thirst.” [SF2, 561] ↑
- [FN] senza obedire al senso St: without yielding to sensualità; Pc: senza obbedire al piacere dei sensi. Senso: bodily cravings. ↑
- “Impossibile namque fore aiebat satisfacere necessitati et volutati non obedire.” 1Cel 51, (Chap 19), v.5 [Ff, 325]; “He said it was impossible to satisfy necessity without bowing to pleasure” [SF1, 227]. “Difficile namquam fore dicebat necessitati corporis satisfacere, et pronitati sensuum non parere” LMaj., chap.5, n.1, v.3 [Ff, 813]; “He used to say that it would be difficult to satisfy the necessity of the body without giving in to the earthbound inclinations of the senses” [SF2, 560-561]. Regarding “senso” see Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana XVIII, 638: “9. L’insieme degl’impulsi fisici dell’uomo considerati nella loro urgenza, nella forza con cui chiedono di essere soddisfatti, nel piacere che deriva dalla loro soddisfazione, inclinazione ai piaceri sensuali, appetito sensuale, sensualità (e il godimento fisico che ne deriva.” ↑
- [FN] Albacina 59: E del glorioso Hieronimo che si legge? Hor non dice lui di se medesimo: Quod nudo humo vix ossa haerentia collidebat, et quod de cibis et potu tacet, cum etiam languentes monachi acqua frigida uterentur. Et coctum aliquod accepisse, luxuriae esset. ↑
- [FN] luxuria ↑
- “De cibis vero et potu taceo, quum etiam languentes monachi aqua frigida, cum etiam languentes monachi aqua frigida utantur et coctum aliquid accepisse luxuria sit.” Epistola 22 ad Eustochium, Paulae filiam, PL (22), col. 398. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 13: Item ordiniamo che se alcuno delli Fratelli non vorrà mangiar carne, ne bever vino, alla qual cosa li essorto se possono astenersi, non si possino dalli Prelati sforzare a mangiare le predette cose, eccetto se li Prelati conosceranno alcuno non sapersi regere, né haver discrezione, et vedessero principio di alcuna infirmità, per causa di detta astinenza; li Prelati a questo l’essortino discretamente, timoratamente e devotamente, in quanto conosceranno che la necessità et discrezione ricerchi. Et essorto anchora li Fratelli nel Signore, che siano discreti et non siano di dura cervice.Albacina 14: Item se alcuno delli Fratelli volesse digiunare, o fare alcuna quadragesima, non sia impedito, sempre intendendo ut supra, et se sara necessario siali concesso una sorte di cucina solamente. ↑
- [FN] dúmó = dummodo ↑
- [FN] Albacina 11: Et che non s’apparecchi non tovaglie, ma si ponga un tovaglino per Frate et poverino. ↑
- “Fratres resplendeant paupertate, asperitate, oratione et paucis contententur, superflua evitantes. Quapropter non habebunt mappas in refectorio, sed tantum parva manetergia, et nusquam coenabunt vespere carnes; cum aliquot vero antiquo et debili valde poterit dispensari.” Statutes of the Spanish Recollects in AM (XVI) an. 1523, n.xxix, 196. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 11: Item ordiniamo et vogliamo che li Guardiani habbino solecita cura di far sempre legere alcuni libri spirituali e divoti, come è usanza dell’Ordine; et questo è registrato nella Decretale: Quod in mensa Religiosorum habeatur lectio. ↑
- Frustra prolationem Decretalium quae in Const. Alb. legitur investigamus. Quis magis accedit textus est ille Decr. Grat., distinction 44, chap.8, in CIC1 col. 158: “Quando autem convenient presbyteri ad aliquod convivium … aliquis de illorum clericis aliquid de S. Scriptura legat.” Nisi forsan sub nomine Decretalium citare voluerit Regulam S. Benedicti, “Mensis fratrum edentium lectio deesse non debet.” PL (66), col. 601 textus, 603 commentarius. ↑
- [FN] Si ordina ét che li frati non domandino ne ricevino cibi preciosi: al nostro stato povero non convenienti. St: We further ordain that the Friars, in accordance with out our poor state, shall no task for, or receive, dainty food. Pc: Si ordina pure che i frati non chiedano né ricevano cibi ricercati, non convenienti al nostro stato di poveri. ↑
- Non verecundabatur beatus Franciscus per loca publica civitatum pro fratre infirmo carnes acquifere. SpecPerf. chap. 42, [Ff, 1911]; “Blessed Francis was not embarrassed to go through the city’s public places to find some meat for a sick brother” (SF3, 288) Cf. 2Cel 175,4 [Ff, 598; SF2, 359]. ↑
- [FN] Gen 18:2+ ↑
- [FN] John 13:5 ↑
- [FN] Luke 17:10 ↑
- [FN] Albacina 10: Item ordiniamo che in questo tempo (di silentio) ed in tutti li altri, li Prelati habbino diligente cura, che venendo alcun secolare o Religioso alli eremi dove habitamo, il portinaio, il quale sia eletto per il più discreto, divoto et di buon esempio, chiami il Guardiano overo alcuno altro che per esso sarà ordinato, a parlare et accompagnare essi forestieri; et li altri alli quali non è imposta questa cura, s’astenghino di parlare con persone che vengono al luoco nostro, senza gran necessita. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 7: Item ordiniamo che la disciplina si faccia dopo il Matutino, eccetto in luochi molto freddi, dover l’inverno si possi far la sera. ↑
- The discipline three times a week is prescribed in the Constitutions of Alexandria (1501) chap.5, and the prayers to be recited were the same as those which we say. See CC(1926), n.68: “… e dicano in quell mentre il Misere, il De profundis,l’antiphona Christus factus est pro nobis obediens con l’orazione Respice, di poi la Salve Regina col versetto, cinque divoti orazioni, il Pater Noster e l’Ave Maria.” The Statutes of the Spanish Recollects, chapter 4, order more frequent discipline, AM (XVI) an. 1523, xxix, p.196 “Fiat disciplina in communitate omnibus majoris Quadragesimae, Dominicis diebus, as festis duplicibus exceptis. Alio vero tempore totius anni ter in hebdomada fiat in Communitate disciplina, diebus videlicet Lunae, Mercurii et Veneris, excepto quando die sequenti fuerit duplex festum: disciplina vero die Veneris nullo modo omittatur, nisi fuerit festum valde principale.” ↑
- [FN] 1Tim 6:10 ↑
- [FN] Luke 12:15 ↑
- [FN] ordiniamo ↑
- [FN] syndico: St: omits; Pc: rappresentante; Albacina 36: Item delli Procuratori et Sindici non ne facciamo mentione, perche si osserva inviolabilmente, et pero ordiniamo che non s’habbita altro Procuratore et altro Sindico che Cristo benedetto, et la nostra Procuratrice et Protectrice sia la Madonna Madre de Dio, et lo nostro Sostituto sia il nostro Padre san Francesco. Et inviolabilmente volemo che non s’habbia stare alla protettione et cura d’altri. ↑
- Statutes of the Spanish Recollects in AM (XVI) an. 1523, xxviii, p. 195: “Item, nullo modo habeant personam aliquam, pecuniam pro ipsis recipientem, nec pro ipsis recipiatur; et si aliquando aliqua pecuniaria eleemosyna eis fuerit oblate, illam penitus non recipient; nec permittanti alicui pro ipsorum necessitatibus dari, sed omnino illam renuncient, et nec per se nec per alium, quovis modo ipsam recipiant.” ↑
- [FN] & la madre sua dolcissima sia la nostra sustituta & avocata, St: omits ↑
- In Chap. 8 of RnB of 1221 St Francis has said, “Non debemus maiorem utilitatem habere et reputare in pecunia et denariis quam in lapidibus … Et si in aliquo loco invenerimus denarios, de his non curemus, tanquam de pulvere quem pedibus calcamus.” [Ff, 193 vv.3, 6]; “… we should not think of coin or money having any greater usefulness than stones … And if we find coins anywhere, let us pay no more attention to them than to the dust we trample underfoot” [SF1, 69-70]. Then in LMaj. chap.7 n.5, v.10: “Pecunia servis Dei, o frater, nihil aliud est quam diabolus et col uber venenosus” [Ff, 836]; “To God’s ervants, brother, money is nothing but a devil and a poisonous snake” [SF2, 580].“Dicebat etiam beatus Franciscus ‘coram domino Ostiensi et multis Fratribus et etiam populo frequentius praedicavit, quod fratres sui, malignis spiritibus procurantibus, a via sanctae simplicitatis et altissimae paupertatis recederent et pecuniam et testamenta et quaecumque eis legata reciperent… Et quod sibi ipsis laqueum foderent, in quem finaliter caderent.” Conform. in AF (V) 167, lines 26-29, 36-37. ↑
- [FN] St: reasonably ↑
- [FN] exhortiamo ↑
- [FN] 2Cor 8:9 ↑
- [FN] 2Cor 11:14 ↑
- “Videmus autem pauperes aliquos, qui si veram haberent paupertatem non adeo pusillanimes inveniremus et tristes, utpote reges et reges coeli. Sed hi sunt qui pauperes esse colunt, eo tamen pacto, ut nihil eis desit, et sic diligunt pauperpatem ut nullam inopiam patiantur,” Sermo V, de Adventu, PL (183), col.50. ↑
- [FN] exhortiamo ↑
- [FN] segno ↑
- [FN] Deut 6:9 ↑
- [FN] Sir 33:28 ↑
- [FN] Acts 18:3; 20:34 ↑
- [FN] Ma sempre havendo apperto lochio a Dio caminino per la piu alta& breve via:accioche lo exercitio dato a lhomo da Dio& da sancti acceptato& commendato per conservare la devotione del spirito non li sia occasione di distractione:o di indevotione. St: With their eyes fixed always on God, let them take the highest and shortest road, so that labour imposed on many by God and accepted and commended by the Saints as a means of preserving interior recollection, may not become an occasion of distraction and laxity. Pc: Ma, avendo sempre l’occhio aperto a Dio, camminino per la via più alta e breve, acciocché l’esercizio corporale comandato all’uomo da Dio e dai santi accettato e raccomandato per conservare la devozione dello spirito, non sia per essi occasione di distrazione o di mancanza di devozione. ↑
- [FN] Hos 4:8 ↑
- “Nihil pretiosius tempore, sed heu! Nihil hodie vilius eastimatur.” Gaudfridi, Declamat. Ex .S. Bernardi sermonibus, xliv, PL (184), col.465. “Tertius inutiliter tempus, et ex hoc pateris detrimentum, cum de eo redditurus sis Deo in die novissimo rationem; cum omne tempus tibi impensum exigetur a te in die iudicii.” Opuscul. In verba: Ad quid venisti, chap. xxiii, PL (184), c.1198. ↑
- [FN] Mt 12:36-37 ↑
- [FN] Luke 2:7 ↑
- [FN] Mt 8:20; Luke 9:58 ↑
- In his life of Francesco da Cannobio, Bernardino da Colpetrazzo tells how Francesco had continued to observe this prescription: “Tanto fu stimolato di essa poverta, che dove stava faceva l’inventorio del luogo, di chi fusse, et di tutte le cose mobili, come paramenti dell’altare, calici, tovaglie, et simili; et le cose che erano nel luogo, caldai, ferramenti, schiavine et simili cose piu notabili; scrivendo in esso inventario di chi le fusseno. Et ogni anno rassegnava al padrone il detto luogo, et quando i ferramenti si logoravano, che non erano piu buoni da operarsi, gli riportava al proprio padrone. Et questo faceva per fuggire la proprietà et dominio.” MHOMC III, 375. The CC1552 omit this prescription.However he was a very zealous observer of most holy poverty more than every other virtue. He was the one who composed that little treatise about holy poverty and was so enthusiastic about that poverty that where he staid he made an house inventory of what was were there and of all the furnishings such as altar cloths, chalices, tablecloths and similar things. He wrote in the inventory the things in the house such as cauldrons, tools, blankets and similar more notable things that were there. Every year he gave back the friary to the owner. When the tools were worn out so that they were no longer any good for use, he returned them to the proper owner. He did this in order to avoid ownership and control.” ↑
- Blessed Francis said, “Vis ut dicam tibi quomodo loca fratrum debent aedificari? … Fratres debent considerare quanta terra sufficit eis… Considerata ergo terra deberent ire fratres ad episcopum illius civitatis et dicere ei: Domine, talis homo vult nobis dare tantam terram propter Amorem Dei et salutem animae suae, ut possimus ibi locum edificare. Unde ad vos recurrimus primo, quia estis pater et dominus animarum totius gregis vobis commissi, et nostrarum et omnium fratrum wqui in hoc loco morabuntur. Volumus ergo benedictione Dei et vestra ibi habitare.” Conform. in AF (V) 105, 28-29, 30, 38- 106, 4. Therefore in various civil archives one finds discussions and decisions made in regard to our early Fathers. These archives provide solid testimony concerning the foundation date of friaries and other related matters. If only researchers of our history would draw more often from these sources. (LMem, 425, n.71, note 1) ↑
- [FN] con la sua benedictione vadino ala communita o ver signore:& preghino:che li vogliano prestare un pocho di loro.. St: and with his benediction, they shall go to the civic authorities, or to the benefactors, and ask them for a site. Pc: con la sua benedizione vadano al Comune o dal primo cittadino e preghino che gli condeano in restito un po’ di terreno. ↑
- [FN] imo se li impone: che non li acceptino fenza expreso protesto di poter lassarlo ogni volta ci paresse expediente per la pura observantia de la regula – Pc: Al contrario si stabilisce che l’accettino a condizione i poterla lasciare quando sembrasse conveniente per l’esatta osservanza della regola. St: Should this be demanded, they shall not accept the place without the express protest that they are free to leave whenever this should prove expedient for the pure observance of the Rule. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 44: Che detti luochi che s’hanno a pigliare et fabricare stijno sempre sotto il dominio delli padroni, overo delle Città, et siano sempre presi con questa conditione, che ogni volt ache li si trovasse impedimento alla vita nostra, li Fratelli liberamente si possino partire. Et quando alli padroni non piacesse che li Fratelli abitassero in detto luogo, senza alcuna contradittione, s’habbiano a partire, et andar in altro luoco a far penitentia con la benedittione del Signore, dove saranno posti dalli suoi Superiori. ↑
- The words of Saint Francis: “Melius est ut Fratres faciant parva et pauperula aedificia… Nam si Fratres aliquando dimitterent loca paupercula, occasione honestatis loci, minus scandalum inde esset.” Conform. in AF (V) 106, 30, 32-33; SpecPerf.10 “It is, therefore, better that the brothers have small and poor places built… For, if the brothers leave their poor little places for the sake of a more decent place, there would be less scandal.” [SF3, 264] ↑
- [FN] Albacina 47: Item ordiniamo che li luochi fatti, quali ne fossero offerti, a niun modo si piglino, se non saranno picciolini et poverini di chiesa et habitatione, secondo che è la volunta del N.P.S. Francesco, qual dice: ‘Quod Fratres habeant ecclesias et habitacula paupercula, et quae pro ipsis construuntur omnino non recipiant, nisi fuerint secundum sanctam paupertatem, quam in Regula firmiter promisimus, ibi habitantes sicut peregrini et advenae.’ Et quando si piglieranno tali luochi, si stia al consiglio delli detti Frati da bene, spirituali, devoti et stimolati. ↑
- [FN] St: poor mendicants; Pc: poveri mendicanti ↑
- [FN] Perho si ordina che non si recevino lochi o che sianno facti per noi o per altri:& molto meno si fabrichino: ne li frati promettino: che per loro sianno fabricati: se non faranno secundo la sanctissima povertate. St: It is therefore ordained, that no place built by us or by others shall be accepted, nor shall the Friars build, or permit to be built, any House, unless it be in keeping with most holy poverty. Pc: Perciò si ordina che non si accetino case, o che sian fatte per noi o per altri, e tanto meno si costruiscano. Né permettano i frati che siano fabbricate per loro, se non corrisponderanno esattamente allo spirito di quella santissima povertà. ↑
- [FN] Perho o questo fine se e facto uno piccolo modello: Secundo el quale si frabicara. “Model”, i.e. a standard of style, materials and specifications as the pattern for the construction of friaries. St: In order to proceed more securely, the Friars shall agree on a small model building according to which they shall build. ↑
- The words of Saint Francis: “Ecclesias etiam parvas faciant fieri. Non enim debent facere fieri magnas ecclesias gratia praedicandi populo, nec alia occasione, quoniam maior humilitas et maius exemplum est cum vadunt ad alias ecclesias ad praedicandum.” Conform. in AF (V) 106, lines 19-22; SpecPerf.10: “Let them also have small churches made. The brothers, however, must not have large churches built in order to preach to the people or for any other reason, for there is greater humility and better example when they go to other churches to preach.” [SF3, 264] Descriptions of the first Capuchin friaries that come down to us from this period clearly show how faithful our early Fathers were in observing poverty and humility in buildings. We refer to the description of the friary of Colmenzone as it appeared towards the end of the 16th century. This may be found in AOC 24(1908) 22-24. Similarly we refer the curious reader to the excerpt from the work by Yves Magister, Ocularia et manipulus Fratrum minorum, Parisiis, 1583, found in AOC 39(1923) 225+ (LMem 426, n.74, note 1). ↑
- The words of Saint Francis: “Postea fieri facient domos pauperculas ex luto et lignis et aliquas cellulas, in quibus Fratres possint aliquando orare et laborare, pro maiori honestate et vitanda otiositate.” Conform. in AF (V) 106, lines 17-19; SpecPerf.10: “Afterwards they may have poor huts made of mud and wood, and some little cells where the brothers can sometimes pray and work for greater benefit and also to avoid idleness.” [SF3, 264] ↑
- [FN] Albacina 45: Item che li luochi che s’hanno a fabbricare si fabbrichino più umilmente che sia possibile, di vimini et luto, overo pietre e terra, eccetto la chiesa, la quale si faccia picciola; et questo intendemo quando si trovano vimini, et luto, et buona terra da fabbricare. Et che le celle appareno et siano picciole et povere, in modo che habbiano più tosto similitudine de sepulcri che di celle. Et dette celle siano umili et basse. ↑
- [FN] disordine ↑
- [FN] Albacina 44: Item che non si ricevino luochi fuori del Capitoli, eccetto che alcuno avesse particolar auttorita et licentia dal Vicario generale. Et che li luochi tutti siano presi fuori delle citta, distanti per un miglio, o poco manco. ↑
- [FN] modo ↑
- [FN] accio per la troppo frequentia loro:non patiamo detrimento. St: lest we suffer from too frequent intercourse with seculars. Pc: perché non si abbia a ricevere danno dalle frequenti visite. ↑
- The Regula Vitae eremiticae that Blessed Paolo Giustiniani gave to his disciples stipulates: “Siano gli eremiti, se vogliono quello esser che si chiamano, molto studiosi et amatori della solitudine; non habbiano nè possino prender alcuno loco per deputarvi conventualmente li fratelli che non sia doi, o uno almeno miglio lontano da ciascaduna città.” Placido Tommaso Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese degli Eremiti di Montecorona, Fascati, Sacro Eremo Tuscolano, 2 edit. 1908, p.160. Ph: Since one detects a clear resonance at least in this part of the CC1536 and chapter 8 of Giustiniani’s Rule of the Eremetical Life. Therefore I include a larger extract than that offered by LMem. From the Rule of the Eremetic Life, Camaldolese Extraordinary. The Life, Doctrine, and Rule of Blessed Paul Giustiniani by Jean Leclerq and Blessed Paul Giustiniani, edited by the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona, Bloomingdale (Ohio), 2003, pp.407-483. First published in Italian translation by Eremo di Monte Rua in 1984. Second revised edition, Abbey of Saint Benedict, Seregno, 1996:“8. Solitude and the Site of the Hermitage. After the perpetual observance of poverty, chastity, and obedience, required by common profession of hermits as of all religious, nothing more properly befits those who are zealous for the eremitic life than to strive for solitude in preference to everything. For indeed, the names ‘solitary’ and ‘hermit’ are derived from ‘solitude’ and ‘desert.’ Hence those are falsely called hermits who do not love and assiduously pursue solitude.For this reason, those who take up this kind of life may on no account and under no circumstance, however reasonable it may appear, establish their dwelling place in or near cities, towns, villages, or even coenobitical monasteries, which we read was done at times by all monastic institutes. Nor may they inhabit a spot near frequented public roads or bordering on cultivated fields. But let them have separate cells, at least two or three miles away from cities and as far as possible from all the other crowded dwellings of men. When wishing to construct eremitic cells, they should always choose sites that are wild, rough, solitary, deserted, hard to reach, on steep mountain tops, in hidden recesses of the woods, in unknown caves and caverns of the earth, or in solitudes with vast horizons.Let them take care not to draw a multitude of men to those places for any reason, whether under pretext of devotion or of spiritual utility. For where access is permitted to women or where a throng of men is tolerated, it is not possible to keep uprightly the institution of the eremitic life” 439-440. ↑
- [FN] approximandoci sempre piu presto (a exemplo de sancti patri:& precipue del no‚ro) alli solitarii deserti che alle delisiose citade. St: … always preferring after the example our venerable Fathers and especially our own Holy Father, to dwell in solitary and unfrequented places, rather than in pleasurable cities. Pc: avvicinandoci di più (sull’esempio dei santi Padri, specialmente del nostro) alle zone solitarie e depresse che alle città del benessere. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 42: Item si ordina che in ogni luoco, dove si potrà, si faccia una celluccia, over due, alquanto discoste dal luoco in solitudine, accioche se alcuno avesse gratia dal Signore viver con silentio, anachoritamente, e giudicato per li Superiori esser idoneo, li si a data commodita, con ogni carità che si ricerca. Et a questo essorto li Superiori et Prelati, che trovando alcuni atti non gli neghino questa carità. Et stando detto Fratello in solitudine tanga silentio e niuno vada a dagli impaccio, et non habbi a parlare eccetto col suo Padre spirituale; ne ad alcuno altro parli senza licenza del suo Superiore. Et li sia portato il suo povero vivere sino alla celluccia, con silentio et senza strepito, accioche sia sempre unti col suo amoroso Gesu Cristo, sposo dell’anima sua. ↑
- [FN] Si ordina:etiam:che in ogni loco dove commodamente si potra ne la selva o sito concesso a frati sia una o due cellete remote de la commune habitatione de frati:& solitarie:accio se alchun frate volesse tener vita anachoritica (dal suo prelato a questo iudicato idoneo) possi quietamente in solitudine con vita angelica darsi a Dio:secundo lo instincto del spirito sancto. St: It is also prescribed that wherever convenient there shall be one or two modest cells in the woods or other places consigned to the Friars. The cells shall be somewhat removed from the common dwelling of the Friars and in a solitary place, so that if any Friar desire to lead an eremitic life, when judged fit by his Prelate, he may in peaceful seclusion, and like the angels, surrender himself entirely to God, as the Spirit of God may inspire him. Pc: Si ordina pure che in ogni luogo dove comodamente si potrà, nella zona boscosa concessa ai frati, vi siano una o due cellette, staccato dalla comune abitazione dei frati e solitarie, per consentire al frate che volesse menar vita da anacoreta (se giudicato a ciò idoneo da suo superiore) di potersi dare tutto a Dio, tranquillamente, in solitudine, con vita angelica, secondo l’istinto dello Spirito Santo. ↑
- Conform. “De religiosa habitatione in eremitoriis” in AF (IV) chap.30, p. 623, the so called “Rule for Hermitages.” [Ff, 215-216 and in various English translations.] According to the tradition of the place in the forest of Camerino there are some grottoes to be found where the Friars once sought to lead this solitary life. Cf. Edouard d’Alençon, Les premiers couvents des Fr. Min. Capucins, Paris, 1912, p.13. ↑
- [FN] Si ordina etiam:che se ne li lochi:quali si pigliaranno: saranno vite o arbori superflui: non si taglino: ma col consenso de patroni si diano li fructi a poveri:& le vite si cavino:& se li rendino per piantarsi in altri lochi o per darsi a poveri. St: It is further ordained that if in the places the Friars have accepted, there be vines or superfluous trees they shall not be cut down. With the consent of the owners let them give the fruit to the poor. The vines shall be cultivated, and if they bear fruit, they shall be planted in other places, or given to the poor. Pc: Si ordina ancora di non tagliare le viti o gli alberi superflui che si trovano nei luoghi scelti a dimora dei frati. Semmai, con il consenso del proprietario, i frutti si diano ai poveri. Si tolgano pure le viti, ma si congegnino perché siano piantate in altri luoghi o siano date ai poveri. “if they render fruit” is uncertain. ↑
- When our early Fathers obtained the friary of St. Luke in Montemelone (Pollenza) around the year 1529, they cut down a vineyard that was planted there. They said to themselves that it is not permissible to have vineyards and fields. “Tagliorno una bella vigna che vi era, dicendo che loro non possedevano vigne, nè campi” in ‘Relazione del luogo di Commenzone e di fr. Bernardo da Offida’ in AOC 24(1908)22. ↑
- [FN] Mt 6:25; Luke 12:30. ↑
- [FN] St: omits this sentence. ↑
- [FN] bruti animali ↑
- [FN] relaxarci ne la infinita sua bontade. St: and abandon themselves to His Infinite Goodness. Pc: e abbandonarci alla sua infinita bontà. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 17: Item ordiniamo che li Superiori siano molto avertiti nel cercare l’elemosine, che non s’abbi a far longhe provisioni, ma quotidianamente, per due, o tre giorni, overo al più per una settimana, secondo l’essigentia dei luochi, e lor distantia, sempre avendo in cuore et in essecutione d’opere, quanto è possibile, il nostro povero stato. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 18: Item ordiniamo che niun Prelato ne altro delli Fratelli ardisca di riponere bote di vino ne’i luoghi, ne boticelli, ne barili, ma habbiano alcuni fiaschi o fiaschetti, quanto si richiedera alla povera essigentia delli Frati. ↑
- [FN] zuche. St: a few small vessels. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 16: Item ordiniamo che non si cerchi per cerca ordinaria, ne carne, ne ovi, ne caseo, ma quando si cercare l’elemosina se alcuna persona, ispirata dal Signore, la proferirà, si possi pigliare, sempre intendo che in ogni cosa s’osservi et riluca lo stato della santa poverta. Et se fosse mandato delle predette cose alli luochi dove noi abitammo, avertano li Superiori et li altri Fratelli che non siano vinti dalla poca fede, o dell’avaritia, o da cupidità. Che se saranno di queste cose nel luoco, si contentino e non ne piglino più; considerando lo stato nostro et la poverta altissima che havemo promessa. Quae nos, carissimos Fratres meos, heredes et reges regni coelorum instituit; pauperes rebus fecit, virtutibus sublimavit. Haec sit portio vestra, quae perducit in terram viventium. Et ricevendole in tal modo s’attenda la qualità et quantità, che sia secondo la Regola nostra. ↑
- [FN] Et accio la mendicita de frati non sia richa& delicata in nome:& non in facti. St: And lest our mendicant state be rich and delicate, lest it be poverty in name and not in deed…; Pc: Perché la mendicità dei frati non sia causa di ricchezza e di cibi delicate e non sia tale di nome e non di fatto… ↑
- [FN] non legitimi figlioli de san francesco. St: illegitimate sons of St Francis…; Pc: illegittimi figli di san Francesco. ↑
- [FN] ma si ricordino di quelle belle parole del suo padre ↑
- “Gaudet ex hoc vir sanctus et iubilat prae laetitia cordis, quoniam fidem tenuisse dominae paupertati usque in fine se vidit” LMaj. chap 14, n.4 [Ff, 902]; “At this the holy man rejoiced and was delighted in the gladness of his heart, because he saw that he had kept faith until the end with Lady Poverty” [SF2, 642]. “Non fui latro de eleemoysynis acquisendo eas vel eis utendo ultra necessitatem; sempre minus accepti accepi quam me contingeret, ne alii pauperes defraudarentur portione sua, quia contrarium facere furtum est.” Conform. in AF (V) 116 lines 9-11, 190 line 38-191 line2. (NB LMem mistakenly cites IV fructus 12, p.650); SpecPerf. 12: “I have never been a thief, that is, in regard to alms, acquiring or using them beyond necessity. I always took less than I needed, so that other poor people would not be cheated of their portion. To act otherwise would be theft.” [SF3, 265] ↑
- [FN] anzi che fu spogliato dal violento impeto del divino amore. St: rather than be deprived of the ardent flame of divine love. Pc: Fu in verità spogliato dal violento impeto del divino amore. ↑
- “De ombinus quae sibi dabantur ad necessitatem corporis relevandam, solitus erat a dantibus licentiam petere, ut licite possit, si magis egenus occurreret, erogare. Nulli prorsus rei parcebat, nec mantellis, nec tunicis.” LMaj. chap 8, n.5, 14-15 [Ff, 846]; “Therefore of all that was given him to relieve the needs of his body, he was accustomed to as the permission of the donors so that he could give it away” [SF2, 590]. Conform. in AF (V) 110: “Ego nolo esse fur; nam pro furto nobis imputaretur, si non daremus ipsum magis egenti.” (LMaj., chap 8, n.5, 13.); “The great Almsgiver will accuse me of theft if I do not give what I have to someone in greater need” [SF2, 589]. ↑
- [FN] 2 Cor 6:10; Luke 12:33-34 ↑
- [FN] Albacina 41: Item ordiniamo che nium Frate tenga chiave, ne lucchetto in cella, et in altro luoco, et che le celle stiano aperte senza chiave. ↑
- [FN] Those assigned to the office. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 29: Item ordiniamo che niun Frate doni cosa alcuna, ne dentro, ne fuora dell’Ordine, senza licenza de suoi Superiori. ↑
- [FN] Change from one friary to another. ↑
- [FN] tenera e sensuale. St: tender and devoted. Pc: naturale e affettuosa. ↑
- [FN] Non e alchuna matre tenera& sensuale tanto tenuta al suo unico figlio:quanto e ciaschuno fratello si come expresse el pio nostro patre nela nostra regula. St: No mother, as our affectionate Father expresses it in the Rule, is so tender and devoted to her only son as each one of (word ommitted) ought to be to our spiritual brother. Pc: Nessuna madre naturale e affettuosa è tanto legata al suo unico figlio, quanto è ciascun fratello, come affermò nella nostra regola il pio nostro Padre. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 26: Item che non si ordini confessori se non haveranno almanco quaranta anni, et che siano di buona vita, discreti et di buon esempio, et alquanto ben istrutti. Et che non si pigli per consuetudine di confessar, eccetto in alcuni casi urgenti, e spedienti, e sommamente necessarij, et questo giudicato per li Prelati. Quia omnis regula patitur exceptionem. ↑
- Regarding the “Quia omnis regular patitur exceptionem” in Albacina 26. Reiffenstuel distinguished between authentic and non-authentic Rules of law, doctrinal at best, and commonly called Brocardicas. He says, “Communiter receptum est illud Brocardicum: Nulla regula sine exceptione. Anacletus Reiffenstuel, Jus canonicum universum complectens Tractam de regulis juris… acurante R.D. Clodovaeo Bolard, Parisiis, Apud Ludovicum Vivès, 1864-1870, vol. vii, “De Regulis iuris,” p.2, n.12. ↑
- The faculty to hear the confessions of seculars was strictly limited. Later they obtained from Gregory xiv the complete prohibition of the administration of the Sacrament of Penance by the Friars, Decet Seraphicam 1 June 1591 in BC I(1883), 44-45. Little by little it became necessary to have this rigorous proscription mitigated. See De Confessione saecularium in Ordine nostro in AOC 19(1903) 251-255, 279-284,370-373; 20(1904) 27-30, 125-128, 150-152.Isadoro Agudo da Villapadierna, “Documenti pontifici 1526-1619” in CFD p.113, n.125 says that during his tenure as Vicar general (1587-1593) Girolamo da Polizzi Generosa, a stern and austere man, managed to obtain the provision from Gregory xiv. With the motu proprio “Decet Seraphicum religionem,” issued with perpetual validity, the Pope absolutely forbad the Capuchins from hearing the confessions of lay people and secular clergy and abrogated any previous concessions to the contrary. ↑
- [FN] expediente ↑
- iudicio: St: injury; Pc: condanna ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 11:28 ↑
- Later approvals did not renew this concession and published prohibitions against hearing confessions outside the Order. Benedict XIV, Quod communi 30 March 1742 restored the old practice. BC vii, 353; viii, 42 (LMem p.426, n.92, note 1). ↑
- “Et quicumque ad eos venerint, amicus vel adversarius, fur vel latro, benigne recipiant” RnB 1221, chap. 7 v.14 [Ff, 192]; “Whoever comes to them, friend or foe, thief or robber, let him be received with kindness” [SF1, 69]. ↑
- The Statutes of Albacina expressly stipulate that cases regarding our Friars are reserved to the Fraternity. Out of the silence of the Constitutions of 1536 and 1552, which simply refer to reserved cases without fuller specification, it is credible that there were such cases and that would have been fourteen in number. We will describe them from the work Expositione della Regula di Frati Menori by the Observant Friar Minor, Bartolomeo da Bréndola (or Brendulino), Venetia, 1533, p. 159v-159r:Lo primo caso aduncha è questo cioe inobedientia contumace, la qual se intende quando uno frate premissa la terza admonitione, et fati li debiti intervalli perseverara inobediente per uno giorno naturale.Lo 2° è la detenzione proprietaria de qualunche cosa.Lo 3° è lo lapso de la carne.Lo 4° è el furto de cosa notabile, o frequentemente iterato.Lo 5° è iniectione violenta de mane in qualunque persona.Lo 6° è falso testimonio fatto in sudicio.Lo 7° è composizione ò proiectione ò publicatione de libello famoso.Lo 8° è falsificatione de sigillo de qualunque persona notabile.Lo 9° è falsa criminatione ò accusatione in infamia de qualunque persona.Lo 10° è tacto impudico et enorme.Lo 11° è incitatione ò sollecitatione al peccato de la carne fatta scientemente.Lo 12° è quando li accusati cercano scientemente deli nomi deli accusanti, excepto quando lo accusato de peccato domanda a lo prelato esserli rivelati li nomi deli accusanti.Lo 13 è quando alcuno Frate depone dinanzi alcuno prelato ò visitatore falsamente et scientemente de alcuno peccato contra alcuno frate, over induce alcuna altra persona a fare questo, overo revoca falsamente, ò induce a revocare quello che veramente era deposto.Lo 14° è la revelatione deli nomi deli accusanti ali accusati, overo ad altri che non lo sapevano fatto secretamente.Already in Narbonne, rubric 7,1 (Monti translation, p. 105+) friars were to have recourse to their Provincial minister “for the sins of fornication, contumacious disobedience, receiving money, either personally or through an intermediary contrary to the Rule, serious theft, and for laying hands upon another brother.” Thus Bartolomeo summarises the familiar prexisting list of matters to be corrected or punished by the superiors. ↑
- [FN] Luke 15 ↑
- [FN] Et li prelati se li vederanno veramente contriti& humiliati cum fermo proposito di emendarsi& apparechiati alla condegna penitentia con dolcezza a exemplo di christo nostro vero padre& pastore li recevino nel modo fu receputo dal piissimo padre el prodigo figlio. St: If the superiors see that they are really contrite and humble, have a firm purpose to amend, and are ready to submit to a suitable penance, then they shall receive the offenders with tenderness, after the example of Christ, our true Father and Shepherd, even as the prodigal son was receive by his most compassionate father…; Pc: E i ministri, se li vedranno veramente contriti e umiliati con il fermo proposito di emendarsi e preparati alla penitenza adeguata, li ricevano con dolcezza, sull’esempio di Cristo, nostro vero Padre e Pastore, come fu ricevuto il figlio prodigo dal piissimo padre.. ↑
- [FN] ne langelico ovile. St: evangelical sheepfold. LMem: “alternatively nell’evangelico ovile, as in CC1552.” In his version, however, LMem leaves the word angelico since CC1575 took up the word again. Pc: nell’angelico ovile. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 39: Item che li casi che sono riservati nella Famiglia, si riservano anchor qui alli suoi Superiori; et che nissuno si possa assolvere. ↑
- LMem: Until this moment we have not found any text with these words put into the mouth of Francis. ↑
- [FN] John 8:1-11 ↑
- [FN] non star con rigida iusticia & crudeltà in dul tirato ↑
- [FN] bisogna inclinarci per pieta:si come fece christo piissimo salvatore quando li fu presentata ladultera& non star con rigida iusticia& crudelta in sul tirato. St: as Christ our most merciful Saviour did when the adulteress was brought before Him, and non treat the accused with rigid justice and cruelty; Pc: come fece Cristo, piissimo Salvatore, quando gli fu presentata l’adultera, e non stare impettiti con rigida giustizia e severità. Here I read ‘tirato’ (participle: drawn along or drawn out, dragged along or pulled) as a reference to the adulterous woman in the cited story of the adulterous woman. The verb tirare occurs in the next paragraph, with a slightly different connotation. ↑
- [FN] Mt 18:21-22 ↑
- Here LMem indicates the Letter to a Minister (Epistola ad quendam Ministrum), of which there are numerous renditions, and refers the reader to Conform. “De compassione habenda ad delinquentes” in AF (IV) chap. 25, p. 619. (The version in Conform. is an extract, corresponding with vv. 9-12, 14, 17, 20 [cf. Ff, 95-96]. The central part of this version is altered somewhat by omissions. The author of Conform. then notes: “Nota, quod hic, ut in regula, custodem beatus Franciscus accipit per ministro.” ↑
- [FN] che sel frate peccasse quanto era possibile ueduti li ochi del prelato non si partisse senza misericordia:quando humilmente la cercasse. St: that when a Friar, no matter how great a sinner he had been, appeared before his Superior and humbly asked for mercy, he should not depart unpardoned. Pc: che il frate, per quanto avesse peccato, veduti gli occhi del ministro non se andasse senza misericordia quando umilmente la cercasse. ↑
- [FN] voler ↑
- [FN] John 8:11 ↑
- [FN] tristi ↑
- [FN] Or barrier, wall: bene siepi. Cf. above, page 1, 9. ↑
- [FN] ordiniamo used here instead of si ordina. ↑
- [FN] ordinamo:che ne le cose nostre& specialmente ne le correctione& punitione de frati non se observi la subtilita de le lege o uero le iudiciarie tele. St: we ordain that in our affairs, particularly in the correction and the punishment of the Friars, discipline be observed without recourse to excessive severity or juridical artifices. Pc: ordiniamo che nelle cose nostre, e specialmente nella correzione e punizione dei frati, non ci si attenga alle sottigliezze della legge né a condanne giudiziarie. ↑
- LMem: Boniface VIII, Ad augmentum, 12 November 1295, Boniface VIII was indulgent towards the Superiors of the Order, so that in regard to the correction and punishment of wrong-doers, in things great or small, they were able to act freely, according to the approved customs: “nec volumus, addebat, esidem licere Fratribus ab esidem correctionibus et punitionibus aliquatenus appellare.” BF(4), 371; Speculum Minorum pars 2, tr. 1, fol. 29b. ↑
- LMem: We have not been able to find the concessions of Innocent and Clement referred to here. ↑
- In Narbonne, rubric 7, “De correctione delinquentium” there already was: “Appelatio in nostro Ordine sub interminatione anathematis nulla fiat, cum non venerimus contendere, sed delicata potius emendare.” Monti translation p. 107,11: “There shall be no appeal [from any sentence imposed by a Superior] permitted without our Order under penalty of excommunication, since we did not enter it to engage in disputes, but rather to amend our faults.” The editor observes in n.146: “Taken almost verbatim from the earlier Dominican constitutions [A.H. Thomas (ed.), De oudste constituties van de Dominicanen (1217-1237), Louvain, 1965, 2.8.] ↑
- [FN] St: which God forbid; Pc: Dio non voglia!. Lit. “let this be absent,” in other words, may this not happen. ↑
- Testamentum, 31-32: “Et qui inventi essent, quod non facerent officium secundum regulam, et vellent alio modo variare, aut non essent cattolici, omnes fratres, ubicumque sunt, per obedientiam teneantur, quod ubicumque invenerint aliquem ipsorum, proximiori custodi illius loci, ubi ipsum invenerint, debeant repraesentare. Et custos firmiter teneatur per obedientiam ipsum fortiter custodire, sicuti hominem in vinculis die noctuque, ita quod non posit eripi de minibus suis, donec propria sua persona ipsum repraesentet in minibus sui ministri” [Ff, 230-231]; “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. And 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” [SF1, 126-127]. ↑
- In Farineriana (1354) ch.7: “Habeantur autem boni carceres, fortes et multiplices sed humani.” Spec.Min. pars 3, f.216v, see CHL, p.74; AFH 35(1942) 181, n.17. ↑
- [FN] apostatanti. The idea of ‘apostate’ here does not refer to doctrinal ‘heretic’ but one who absents himself from the religious community without the obedience of his superior, essentially to live outside obedience. The problem of apostates or girovagi religious, including friars, was not rare at this time. At the very beginning of the Capuchin reform, Ludovico and Raffaele Fossombrone were correctly considered to be absent from the Fraternity and outside obedience. Therefore Giovanni da Fano was obliged to pursue them as apostates. ↑
- Farineriana, c.7 “De correctione delinquentium”; Spec.Min. f.216r-219r; CHL p. 72-78; AFH 35(1942) 177-195. ↑
- [FN] secundo la antique constitucione& laudabile consuetudine del ordine nostro St: the ancient practices and laudable customs of our Order. ↑
- [FN] ma sia curato linfermo de punitione. St: Thus the transgressors will be reformed. ↑
- LMem: In vain have we searched carefully for this reference from Augustine. It may have been taken from one those collections from the works of Augustine called Flores or Fructus. Commentary on Psalm 84 quoted at length in later editions corresponds with the text cited. ↑
- [FN] per la qual cosa si elegano li prelati nostri maturi discreti che habiano scientia conscientia‐&‐experientia. St: For this reason, the Superiors shall be chosen from among the friars who are most distinguished for mature judgement, prudence, wisdom, and experience. Pc: A questo scopo si scelgano come nostri superiori persone mature e piene di discrezione, ricche di scienza, coscienza ed esperienza. ↑
- [FN] imo la fama de tutti quanto ne sara possibile debiamo conservare seguitando sempre quelle cose lequale sono ad laude& gloria de dio cagione di pace hedificatione & salute de tutti nostri proximi – St: Let the friars strive to uphold the good name of all, feeling always those things that are to the praise and glory of God, and the to peace and edification of our neighbours. Pc: Dobbiamo conservare, per quanto è possibile, la fama di tutti, attendendo sempre a quelle cose che sono a lode e Gloria di Dio, cause di pace, edificazione e salvezza del nostro prossimo. ↑
- [FN] Mt 20:25 – 27 ↑
- [FN] Mt 20:28 ↑
- [FN] See pp. 52,19 – 53,4. ↑
- [FN] sforzandosi secundo la dottrina di christo piatoso signor nostro che invitati alle sue noze di stare nel ultimo loco con lui&non con lucifero nel primo. St: Let them endeavour, according to the counsel of Christ, Our gracious Lord, when invited to His marriage feast, to take the lowest place with Him, rather than seek the first place with Lucifer. Pc: Seguendo l’esempio di Cristo, pietoso nostro Signore, quando siamo invitati alle sue nozze sforziamoci di stare all’ultimo posto con lui, e non con Lucifero al primo posto. ↑
- [FN] Luke 14:10 ↑
- [FN] Isaiah 14:9-15 ↑
- [FN] Mt 20:16; John 6:15 ↑
- [FN] Heb 5:4 ↑
- [FN] liberamente. St: spontaneously, Pc: spontaneamente. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 44: Et la confirmatione del Vicario [generale] sia fatta di tre anni in tre anni; delli Provinciali ogni anno. ↑
- [FN] Et sia tenuto quanto piu presto sara possibile convocare el capitulo per la pentecoste o circa o di septembre:dove gia sara determinato‐o‐li parira espediente col conseglio de li altri diffinitori: quando potrano commodamente haversi. A difficult passage. St: And he shall be bound to convoke the Charter as soon as possible whenever it can be conveniently held, about the feast of Pentecost, or in September, where it shall have been determined or prove expedient, with the advice of the other Definitors. Pc: Il commissario sarà tenuto nel più breve tempo possibile a convocare il capitolo per la festa di Pentecoste, o all’incirca, o a settembre, nel luogo già stabilito o che gli sembrerà conveniente, ascoltato il parere degli altri definitori, quando li potrà comodamente reperire. ↑
- LMem: If the Vicar General died in office, the things to be done by the first Definitor concerning the convocation of the Chapter were changed by a Bull of Paul III, 25 August 1536. The Bull commits these matters to the Vicar Provincial where the Vicar General died. The Constititions of 1552 omit this statute, while those of 1575 reinstate it. ↑
- [FN] vogliamo ↑
- [FN] Se determina etiam:che ne la electione de diffinitori habino voce passiua tutti li frati:che si trovarano nel loco del capitulo. St: We also ordain that in the election of the Definitors all the vocals of the Chapter shall have a passive vote. Pc: Si stabilisce anche che tutti i frati presenti nel luogo del capitolo abbiano voce passive nella elezione dei definitori. ↑
- [FN] St: We also ordain that in the election of the Definitors all the vocals of the Chapter shall have a passive vote. In this election the Vicar General in the General Chapter and the Vicar Provincial in the Provincial Chapter shall have only an active voice. Pc: Si stabilisce anche che tutti i frati presenti nel luogo del Capitolo abbiano voce attiva. Così il ministro generale al capitolo generale e i ministri Provinciali nei capitoli Provinciali. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 43: Item li Superiori, Vicari et Guardiani, possino esser confirmati nelli loro officij tanto quanto saranno rieletti, et che si portaranno bene, et manteneranno il vivere regolare. Item ordiniamo che se i prelati maggiori et minori, cioè Vicarij et Guardiani, non si portaranno bene, et fosse il lor stare pericoloso et rovinoso della Confraternità, volemo che li Discreti et li Vocali che hanno eletti li Superiori maggiori, li possano cassare et farne un altro. Et li Guardiani che non si portaranno bene, li Vicarij, di consiglio delli Diffinitori del Capitolo, li possino deponere et farne un altro, Et la confirmatione del Vicario [generale] sia fatta di tre anni in tre anni, delli Provinciali ogni anno; il simile delli Guardiani: Avertendo sempre d’andar puramente et semplicemente, ad attendere all’honor et gloria del Signore, et alla conservatione del viver regolare, senza alcuna ambitione, pratiche o conventiculi, le quali cose chi fa, creddo sia dall’eterno Dio et dal Padre S. Francesco maledetto. ↑
- [FN] Alternatively: Knowledge and eloquence without charity are not edifying, but often destructive. ↑
- [FN] diligentemente attendino li prelati nel imponere tale officio St: Let Superiors take diligent care that in granting faculties… Pc: Stiano molto attenti i superiori, nell’affidare un tale compito ↑
- [FN] ‘Good’ in the moral sense. ↑
- [FN] Luke 6:12-13 ↑
- Among his Constitutions for the Clergy of Verona, Gian Matteo Giberti, a friend of Ochino, includes the following in 1542. Note also his reference to the reforms of the Fifth Lateran Council: “Inoltre preghiamo, per amore del Signore nostro Gesù Cristo, tutti i religiosi, una volta ammessi alla predicazione nella nostra città e diocesi, di predicare e annunciare al popolo il suo Vangelo con franchezza, di seguire le orme di Colui che ordinava algi apostoli: Predicate il Vangelo ad ogni creatura, e ancora: Insegnate a tutte le genti a osservare tutto ciò che vi ho comandato, di fondarsi sulle interpretazioni dei santi e antichi Dottori della Chiesa.“Come è stato stabilito nel concilio Lateranense sotto pena di scomunica, spariscano in quei santi discorsi le citazioni delle leggi profane per niente necessarie, le superflue citazioni dei poeti, i vani rinvii ad acure e generalmente futili disquisizioni.“Sempre ricordino che, a cloui che ammaestra e istruisce le anime ignoranti, conviene comportarsi in modo take da sapere adattare se stesso al livello intellettuale di coloro che apprendono, e regolare il suo discorso in base alle capacità di intendere dell’ascoltare.” (Luigi Mezzadri and Filippo Lovison (eds), Storia della Chiesa tra medievo ed epoca moderna. V: Fonti e approfondimenti (1492-1563),CLV Edizioni, 2003, p.66. ↑
- [FN] Si impone etiam alli predicatori: che non predichino frasche: ne novelle: poesie historie o altre vane superflue: curiose inutile: imo perniciose scientie. St: In addition it is ordained that the preachers refrain from introducing into their sermons trifles, foolish stories, useless questions, curious and far-fetched opinions… Pc: Si impone ai predicatori di non raccontare favole nelle loro prediche, né novella, poesie, storielle o alter dottrine vane, superflue, curiose, inutile, anzi dannose … ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 1:23 ↑
- [FN] Col 2:3 ↑
- The example of Paul is cited several times in these Consititutions, most of all in this section about preaching. (3,4; 20,7; 26,1; 44,9-14; 45,2,8; 46,9.) ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 13:11 ↑
- [FN] Albacina 22: Et siano di tal qualità quelli che saranno ordinati al detto officio, che la prima predica sia la sua buona vita, et il suo buon esempio, non curioso di ornate parlare, ne anchora sotile speculatione, ma pura, et semplicemente predichino l’Evangelio del Signore. ↑
- [FN] terse phallerate: & fucate parole. St: difficult and affected phrases. Pc: parole accurate, ricercate e affettate. Phallerate a derivative of the Latin word phalero – phalerare: to adorn, decorate. ↑
- [FN] St: Their language shall be plain, pure, simple and humble, withal holy, full of charity and aflame with zeal, after the example of St Paul. ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 2:4 ↑
- [FN] christo benedetto: St: Jesus ↑
- [FN] Col 1:27-28 ↑
- [FN] maestro ↑
- [FN] Mt 5:19 ↑
- [FN] Albacina 22 Si ordina ancora alli Prelati, che li predicatori, alli quali il Signore darà la gratia, non lascino star otiosi, ma li faccino essercitar la vigna del Signore in predicare non solamente la Quaresima, ma infra l’anno anchora nelle feste occorrenti et altri giorni espediente. ↑
- [FN] Luke 17:11 ↑
- [FN] John 4:7+ ↑
- [FN] li stiano tanto che repieni di dio limpeto li mova a sparger al mundo le gratie divine. St: … and there let them remain, till once again, full of God, the impulse of the Holy Spirit may move them to go forth to spread divine grace over the world. Pc: … e ivi se ne stiano tanto che, ripieni di Dio, l’impeto dello Spirito Santo di nuovo li muova a spargere le grazie divine al mondo. The explicit reference to the Holy Spirit moving the preachers to go out again is not found in this edition of the Constitutions, but appears in the next edition of 1552: allhora si ritraggano alla solitudine et quieto, tanto che ripieni di Dio, l’impeto del Spirito Santo un’altra volta gli mova al predicare. ↑
- [FN] Luke 10:38-42 ↑
- [FN] John 8:1-2 ↑
- [FN] Phil 2:21 ↑
- [FN] perho accio lo studiino si prohibisse a li predicatori: che non portino molti libri. St: Since he who does not know how to read and imitate Christ, the Book of Life, cannot have the learning necessary for preaching, preachers are forbidden to carry with them many books, so that they find all things in Christ. Pc: Chi non sa leggere Cristo, libro della vita, non ha dottrina da poter predicare. Perciò si proibisce ai predicatori di portare con sé molti libri, poiché in Cristo si trova ogni cosa. Albacina 22: Item ordiniamo che li Predicatori, ch’hanno a predicare il Verbo del Signore, quando vanno per viaggio, et di luoco in luoco, non portino se non tre libri, che il loro officio richiedera. ↑
- [FN] evangelizare ↑
- It was said of Bernardino Ochino, “I will not say much about his preaching because in his time he was regarded by word of mouth and fame as the best preacher in Christianity. They said he was a master of the new preaching of the Sacred Scriptures. Anyone who could imitate him more was regarded a better preacher. He preached in all the main cities if Italy. Ordinarily he never went to preach unless by a Brief from His Holiness. Sometimes different cities sought other Briefs in order to have him. However it was up to His Holiness then to judge whom he wanted it to be. So as not to be unfair to anyone, he wanted the Brief be obtained first.” Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, MHOMC II, n.383 (Italics are mine.) The “new preaching” was not the exclusive domain of Capuchins, and its popularity was not only limited to farmers and rural workers, but to all levels of Church and society. Its popular acceptance, indicated by the acclaim and demand for preachers like Ochino and other Capuchins, as well as other preachers, was not only in its ‘simplicty’ but also its spirit. The renewal of preaching was of primary importance to Church reform prior to the Council of Trent. While the focus of this preaching was upon Christ and His gospel, especially the existential dimensions of salvation and a personal faith based upon the freedom of the Gospel of grace, the “Beneficio di Cristo” (Benefit of Christ). The “new preaching” was under suspicion in some important quarters, especially in its more radical forms. It is important to note that the ideas about reform in the Church were not the exclusive domain of “Lutherans,” though such ideas found among other Catholics in Italy were often considered to be and called “Lutheran.” Nor can we say with certainty that all Capuchins shared the same ideal of reform or that the Capuchins were free of ambiguity in those first decades of their existence. Indeed, the Friars Minor (as well as other religious Orders) and the Capuchins – themselves an explicit reform – must have experienced and been representative of the theological/social tensions that existed within the Church in Italy at the time. The question arises about just how much was Bernardino Ochino representative of the body of Capuchin Friars in his preaching. He certainly was not alone among the Capuchins as an exponent of the “new preaching” and his election to the General leadership of the new Fraterntiy throughout his time as a Capuchin, twice elected as their general superior (even reluctantly) demonstrates his acceptance among the Capuchins. ↑
- [FN] Et per essere questo benedetto offitio dil predicare tanto excellente& acceptissimo a christo dio nostro el quale ne lha demonstrato:quando che lui medesimo:con tanto fervore di quella sua divina charita: per la salute de le anime nostre lha voluto exercitare propinandoci la saluberrima doctrina Evangelica:per potere adoncha meglio imprimere nel core di predicatori la norma& modo haranno a tenere: accio piu degnamente habino a evangelizare esso Christo crucifixo predicare lo regno di Dio:& ferventemente operare la conuersione&salute de le anime:quasi replicando & quodammodo inculcando subiungemo& imponemo: che ne loro predicatione usino la sacra la sacra scriptura:& precipue il novo testamento sed maxime il sacro Evangelio:accio che essendo noi evangelici predicatori facciamo etiam li populi evangelici.St: In order that the sacred office of preaching, so precious and most pleasing to Christ, our God, Who has proved it by preaching the most salutary evangelical doctrine with so much ardour of divine charity for the welfare of our souls; in order also the better to impress on the hearts of preachers the norm and method they are to follow in the worthy exercise of preaching Christ Crucified and the kingdom of heaven, in effectively procuring the conversion and spiritual welfare of the faithful, by reproducing, as it were, and implanting Christ in their souls, we counsel and command them to use the Sacred Scriptures, especially the New Testament and in particular the Gospels, so that being evangelical preachers, we may fashion an evangelical people.Pc: Questo benedetto ministero della predicazione è molto eccellente e assai accetto a Cristo Dio nostro. Egli lo ha ben dimostrato quando di persona ha voluto esercitarlo con tanto fervore di quella sua divina carità per la salvezza delle nostre anime, dispensandoci la salutare dottrina evangelica. Per poter dunque meglio imprimere nel cuore dei predicatori la regola e il modo da seguire per annunciare più degnamente il Cristo crocifisso, predicare il Regno di Dio e operare con fervore la conversione e la salvezza delle anime, quasi replicando e in un certo modo inculcando, aggiungiamo e imponiamo che nella loro predicazione usino la Sacra Scrittura e specialmente il Nuovo Testamento, ma soprattutto il santo Vangelo, affinché, essendo noi predicatori evangelici, rendiamo evangelici anche i popoli. ↑
- I refer the reader to what has been said about Italian evangelism in the introduction. ↑
- Bernardino da Colpetrazzo also in MHOMC IV, 159-161; also La bella e santa riforma (1963), n.813: «In those times the Capuchins preached the commandments of God, the Gospel and the Sacred Scriptures. They condemned vices very severely and exalted and magnified the holy virtues. This greatly amazed all Christianity, because it was a new kind of preaching. They did it with so much fervour that they inflamed everyone. For at that time nothing was preached except the theological questions of Scotus and Saint Thomas. Preachers always started by talking about dreams. They said things such as: “Last night there appeared to me…etc.” They preached about philosophy and the fables of Aesop, and always concluded by singing some verses of Petrarch or Ariosto. The Gospel or the Sacred Scripture were never mentioned. It was happening like this when the Capuchins came along.» The Capuchin Reform. A Franciscan Renaissance, Delhi, Media House, 2003, translation by Paul Hanbridge of Melchiorre da Pobladura (ed), La bella e santa riforma dei frati minori cappuccini. Testi scelti e ordinati da p. Melchiorre da Pobladura, second edition, Roma, Istituto Storico Cappuccino, 1963. ↑
- [FN] Et lassino da canto tutte le uane& inutile questioni& opinione:li prurienti canti:le subtilita da pochi intelligibile. St: Let them refrain from profane and useless questions and opinions, and such theories and subtleties as few understand. Pc: Mettano da parte tutte le vane e inutile questioni e opinioni, le declamazioni che sollecitano l’orecchio, le sottigliezze da pochi comprensibili. ↑
- [FN] Mt 3:2 ↑
- LMem: I have searched in vain to locate where Jerome said this. ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 9:27 ↑
- [FN] Mt 14:23. See also Mt 45:18-21 above. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 28: Item che li libri stiano tutti in un luoco in comune, eccetto quelli che sono concessi per divotione ad alcun Frate per uso suo. Et che quando li fosse dimandato imprestito da alcuno, lo dia con licenza del Prelato, altrimenti saria proprietario; et cosi di qual si voglia ogn’altra cosa picciola. ↑
- «Libros in comuni voluit beatus Franciscus Fratres habere» Conform. in AF (V) 110, line 6. “Francis wanted books to held in common.” «Voluit quod libri quoad usum in communi haberentur, et non in speciali, prout decebat frater Leo fuisse de intentione beati Francisci.» Conform. in AF (IV) 397, line 30-32. cf. 2Cel xxxii, n.62 [Ff, 500]; “He taught that in books the testimony of the Lord, not value, should be sought, and edification rather than elegance. Nevertheless, he wanted few books kept, and these were to be available to the brothers who needed them.” SF2, 288]; SpecPerf. ch.5 [Ff, 1857-1858]; “The most blessed father used to teach the brothers that in books the testimony of the Lord, not value, should be sought, edification rahter than elegance. He wanted few books kept and in common, and these should be available to the brothers who need them.” SF2, 259] ↑
- [FN] ogni affetto& particularita St: all feeling of attachment; Pc: ogni affetto e particolarità. ↑
- Particularità has a negative connotation, a term that seems to indicate an attitude of one who seeks to be as obviously different, unique or sui generis as possible in relation to the community, or who seeks special or preferential treatment, attention or favouritism. Today this kind of assertiveness might belong to the notion of individualism. Today this kind of assertiveness might belong to the notion of individualism. The satirical observation Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469-1536) made upon ‘religious’ and ‘monks’ of his time may evidence such particularity among religious on the eve of the Capuchin reform.“But nothing could be more amusing than their practice of doing everything to rule, as if they were following mathematical calculations which it would be a sin to ignore. They work out the number of knots for a shoe string, the colour and number of variations of a single habit, the material and width to a hair’s breadth of a girdle, the shape and capacity (in sacksful) of a cowl, the length (in fingers) of a haircut, the number of hours prescribed for sleep. But this equality applied to such a diversity of persons and temperaments will only result in inequality, as anyone can see. Even so, these trivialities not only make them feel superior to other men but also contemptuous of each other, and these professors of apostolic charity will create extraordinary scenes and disturbances on account of a habit with a different girdle or one which is rather too dark in colour. Some you’ll see are so strict in their observances that they will wear an outer garment which has to be made of Cilician goat’s hair and one of Milesian wool next to the skin, while others have linen on top and wool underneath. There are others again who shrink from the touch of money as if it were deadly poison, but are less restrained when it comes to wine or contact with women. In short, they all take remarkable pains to be different in their rules of life. They aren’t interested in being like Christ but in being unlike each other.” Erasmus of Rotterdam, Praise of Folly and Letter to Maarten van Dorp 1515, translated by Betty Radice, Penguin Books, London, 1971, pp.96-97. ↑
- [FN] St: But books that are really useless and make a man worldly rather than Christian. ↑
- [FN] la gramatica positiva. St: the humanities; Pc: nel campo grammaticale. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 25: Item che niuno presuma ponere studio, eccetto leggere alcuna lectione delle Sacre Scritture, et qualche libretto divoto et spirituale, che tirino all’amor di Cristo et ad abbracciar la sua Croce. ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 8:2 ↑
- “Et studeas, quod sis amicus orationis. Oratio te faciet esse humilem, patientem et obedientem; oratio te faciet habere omnia bona; oratio, inquam, te faciet habere Deum in hac vita et in vita eterna. Dicebat enim sanctus Franciscus, quod impossibile sibi videbatur, quod aliquis posset proficere in servitio Dei, nisi esset amicus orationis.” S. Bonaventura, “Epistola de Imitatione Christi” in Opera Omnia vol. VIII, 502. “Study” may be translated as ‘be diligent.’ Therefore, “Be diligent so that you may be the friend of prayer. Prayer makes you humble, patient and obedient. Prayer lets you have everything good, or rather, prayer lets you have God in this life and in eternal life. Saint Francis used to say that it seemed impossible to him for anyone to make progress in the service of God unless he were the friend of prayer.”Furthermore, see LMaj X:1-4, De studio et virtute orationis (Ff, 862-865; SF2: Zeal for Prayer and the power of prayer, 605-608). ↑
- [FN] Et non cerchino li studenti ad acquistare la inflativa scientia ma la illuminativi :& infiammante charita de christo la quale edifica l’anima. Ne mai se immergino tanto nel studio letterale: che per esso habiamo pretermittere el studio sacro de la oratione. St: Let the students not seek to attain that knowledge which only puffs up, but let them endeavour to acuire the illuminating and enkindling charity of Christ, which quickens the soul. They should not be so absorbed in literary pursuits as to neglect the study of holy prayer. Pc: Gli studenti non cerchino di acquistare la scienza che gonfia, ma la illuminativa e infiammante carità di Cristo, la quale edifice l’anima. Né mai s’immergano tanto nello studio delle lettere da tralasciare lo studo sacro dell’orazione. ↑
- See also Saint Bonaventure, Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, chapter vii, n.6:Si autem quaeras, quomodo haec fiant, interroga gratiam, non doctrinam; desiderium, non intellectum; gemitum orationis, non studium lectionis; sponsum, non magistrum; Deum, non hominem; caliginem, non claritatem; non lucem, sed ignem totaliter inflammantem et in Deum excessivis unctionibus et ardentissimis affectionibus transferentem. Qui quidem ignis Deus est, et huius caminus est in Ierusalem (Is 31,9), et Christus hunc accendit in fervore suae ardentissimae passionis, quem solus ille vere percipit, qui dicit: Suspendium elegit anima mea, et mortem ossa mea (Job 7:15). Quam mortem qui diligit videre potest Deum, quia indubitanter verum est: Non videbit me homo et vivet (Ex 33:20). Moriamur igitur et ingrediamur in caliginem, imponamus silentium sollicitudinibus, concupiscentiis et phantasmatibus; transeamus cum Cristo crucifixo ex hoc mundo ad Patrem, ut, ostento nobis Patre, dicamus cum Philippo: Sufficit nobis (Jn 13:1; 14:8); audiamus cum Paulo: Sifficit tibi gratia mea (2Cor 12:9); exasultemus cum David dicentes: Deficit caro mea et cor meum, Deus cordis mei et pars mea Deus in aeternum, et dicet omnis populus: Fiat, fiat. Amen (Ps 72:26; 105:48).”This passage is well known from the Office of Readings for the feastday of Saint Bonaventure (July 21) and merits inclusion of a translation here: “If you wish to know how these things may come about, ask grace, not learning; desire, not the understanding; the groaning of prayer, not diligence in reading; the Bridegroom, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness, not clarity; not light, but the fire that wholly inflames and carries one into God through transporting unctions unctions and consuming affections. God Himself is this fire, and His furnace is in Jerusalem; and it is Christi who kindles it in the white flame of His most burning Passion. This fire he alone truly perceives who says: My sould chooseth hanging, and my bones, death. He loves this death can see God, for it is absolutely true that Man shall not see me and live. Let us, then, die and enter into this darkenss. Let us silence our care, our desires, and our imaginings. With Christ crucified, let us pass out of this world to the Father, so that, when the Father is shown to us, we may say with Philip: It is enough for us. Let us hear with Paul: My grace is sufficient for thee, and rejoice with David, saying: My flesh and my heart have fainted away: thou are the God of my heart, and the god that is my portion forever. Blessed be the Lord forever, and let all the people say: so be it, so be it. Amen.” Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, with introduction and commentary by Philotheus Boehner, The Works of Saint Bonaventure II, The Franciscan Institute, Saint Bonaventure University, New York, 1956, pp. 100-101. See also Boehner’s note on Bonaventures docta ignorantia in the same volume, pp.131-132, note 3. ↑
- [FN] 2Cor 3:6 ↑
- “Scienza acquisita, mortal si da ferita, s’ella non è vestita, de core umiliato.” Jacopone da Todi, The Lauds, translated by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes, Paulist Press, New York, 1982, p.236: “If it is not lodged in a humble heart, the knowledge that we can acquire ourselves is nothing but a mortal wound.”↑
- [FN] Sir 24:20 (27) ↑
- [FN] St: At the beginning, and in a spirit of humility and with a contrite heart to say: etc Pc: Quando andranno a lezione, li esortiamo a ricordarsi di innalzare la loro mente a Dio, e in atteggiamento umile, con animo contrito, dicano… ↑
- “Domine, iste vilissimus servus tuus et omni bono indignus, vult ingredi ad videndum thesaurus tuos. Placeat tibi ut ipsum indignissimum introducas, et des sibi in his verbis et sancta lectione tantum te diligere quantum te cognoscere, quia nolo to cognoscere nisi ut te diligam, Domino Deus Creator meus. Amen.”Pc (151, n.28): This Latin text is closer to the version in the Vita Fratris Rogerii in the Chronica XXIV Generalium Ordinis Minorum, AF (3), 386 than in Conform fructus 8, AF(4) 319, which is more verbose and flowery.AF(4): «Brother Roger of the province of Provence answered Brother Raymond, his confessor: “When you wish to read, before you open the book, you should direct your heart to God and say…”» «Et cum interrogaret idem frater (Raymundus), quomodo fieri debebat ista mentis elevatio, et ordinatio ad Deum, respondit: ‘Quando tu vis legere, antequam librum aperias, debes cor tuum ad Deum dirigere et dicere: Domine, iste vilissimus servus tuus, indignus omni bono tou, vult ingredi ad videndum thesaurus tuos; placet tibi, ut te eum introducas et des ei in his verbis sanctissimis te conoscere, ut te diligat, et tantum des ei dirigere, quantum dabis ei conoscere, nec des sibi amplius conoscere, quam diligere, quia non vult te cognoscere, nisi ut te diligat;’ talis, inquit, mens in prima libri apertione statim invenit Deum suum.”»Conform. in AF (4) 319, lines 35-42 has: «Domine, iste vilissimus servus tuus, omni bono indignus, vult ingredi ad videndum thesauros tuos. Placeat tibi, ut ipsum indignissumum introducas et des sibi in verbis istis sanctissimis tantum te diligere, quantum te cognoscere, quod nolo te cognoscere, nisi ut te diligam, Domine Deus meus!»The prayer remained in the Constitutions until 1968: “Domine, ego vilissimus servus tuus, et omni bono indignus, volo ingredi ad videndum thesauros tuos; placeat Tibi ut me indignissimum introducas et des mihi in his verbis et sancta lectione, tantum Te diligere quantum Te congoscere, quia non Te cognoscere, nisi ut Te diligam, Domine Deus, Creator meus. Amen.” ↑
- [FN] Luke 10:34 ↑
- [FN] St: All the friars who are subjects shall obey their Superiors with all humility in all things which they know are not sinful. Pc: I frati obbediscano umilmente ai loro ministri in ogni cose nella quale senza alcun dubbio non vedranno offesa al Signore. ↑
- [FN] St: And let all the Friars strive diligently to correct their faults; and by virtuous acts to acquire heavenly virtues, and by good habits to overcome evil inclinations. ↑
- [FN] laqueare: illaqueare – to wind round with a strap or lace; to snare or bind.↑
- [FN] St: Let the Superiors be aware of binding the souls of their subjects by precepts of obedience. ↑
- “Dicebat beatus Franciscus raro per obedientiam esse praecipiendum, nec primo fulminandum esse iaculum, quod debet esse extremum.” Conform. in AF (IV) 605, lines 33-34 and AF (V) 142, lines 1-2. See 2Cel 141 [SF2, 340]; 151 [SF2, 344]; SpecPerf. 46 [SF3, 292]; Compilatio Assis. 11 [SF2, 125-126] ↑
- [FN] debita religiosita ↑
- [FN] Albacina 51: Item si ordina che li Frati non presumano di pigliar alcuna refectione fuora della mensa et luoco ordinato, et si guardino come cosa inconveniente et irregolare andar pigliando alcuna cosa per l’horto, ne mangiar frutti, ne alcun’altra cosa senza licentia et benedittione de’ suoi Superiori. Et quando vanno fuora del luoco s’assuefaccino sempre, quando occorrerà alcuna necessità di pigliar refettione, che la pigliano se n’hanno bisogno, con licentia et benedittione del più antico Fratello; et quando arriveranno ad altri monasteri et luochi, non piglino niente senza licentia et benedittione dei Superiori di detto luoco. ↑
- Pc gives entitles this paragraph: “Evitare discorsi vani e il turismo devozionale” ↑
- LMem: By way of summary of the concessions, the second part of the Spec.Min. begins with the note and declaration “magnum indulgentiarum et gratiarum spiritualium quae ecclesiis et locis ac benefactoribus fratrum minorum a multis et diversis pontificibus.” The list occupies ff. 1-10 of this second part. In the Table of contents found at the beginning of the book, there is an incomplete “Summa” (total) of these Indulgences granted on certain Feastdays, which “secundum aliquos est annorum 548 et dierum 260. Et in diebus Quadragesimae annorum 3850, dies 207.” ↑
- [FN] ordiniamo ↑
- [FN] Albacina 53: Item ordiniamo sotto pena della scomunica e privatione d’officio, che niun Frate, che è stato nella nostra Confraternità, si riceva da una Provincia in un’altra, senza la obbedienza del Vicario generale. ↑
- [FN] Et per euitare li possibili inconuenienti. St: difficulties; Pc: inconvenienti.↑
- [FN] Albacina 30: Item che scrivano lettere, ne a se ne ad altri, ne anche ne mandino, o ricevino, senza licenza de suoi Superiori. ↑
- [FN] Mt 22:28; Mark 10:45 ↑
- [FN] See above 39, 8-16. ↑
- [FN] exhortiamo ↑
- [FN] In the text: choro, in recent editions transcribed clero (Pc: p.198, n.89; d’Alençon, p.410, n.134). ↑
- [FN] St: Superiors ↑
- “Nunnunquam eventi ut primum a nobis in virginem, sive in quamlibet feminam sit sancta dilectio: et cum molliota mens fuerit in affectus, paulatim sanitas charitatis languore pallescat, et infirmari incipiat, et ad extremem mortem diligentem ferat.” Commentarium in Epistolam ad Titum, chp. II, ver. 2 (PL 26, col. 614). Cf Epist. lii ad Nepotianum, PL (22), c.531. ↑
- [FN] che da li nostri frati per nesciuno modo ne sotto qualunque specie di bene:uirtu o sanctita St: The Friars shall in no way nor under any pretext of doing good or promising the sanctification of souls … ↑
- [FN] la persuasione humane. St: the teaching og the world; Pc: le certezze humane. Albacina 27: Item ordiniamo che a niun modo si pigli cura de monasteri de monache, senza licenza del Capitolo generale. Albacina 49: Item si avertisca con gran diligentia che non si lascino facilmente entrare donne nelli luochi et eremi dove noi habitammo, et se con buon modo si può fare, che in niun modo ce n’entri alcuna, facciasi. Quia mundus et mulier non facile aliter quam fuggendo vincuntur, ut ait Augustinus. ↑
- The first exception took place in 1538 with the issue of Paul III’s Apostolic Letter Cum monasterium, 10 December. The Capuchins were to take up the care of the monastery of the Capuchin nuns of Our Lady in Jerusalem in Naples. See BC(3), 9-10 and IFC IV:1798-1801. In a letter to their Cardinal Protector, 23 April 1543 in IFC IV: 1804-1805, these Poor Clare nuns express their concern regarding an uncertain outcome of the coming General Chapter of the Capuchins. They write: La santa memoria de la suora Maria Longa, fundatrice di questo nostro monasterio († 12 Dec 1542), dal principio elesse per confessori e visitatori questi reverendi patri dell’Ordine di santo Francesco detti cappuccini, e così fin oggi se è osservato, benché ce siano state alcune controversie, pur al Signore Dio ha piaciuto che così in santa osservanza se sia fin qua governato…” Maria Longo received formal permission to choose a confessor in “Alias nos” 20 July 1536, from Paul III. Similarly Gregory xiii, in the Letter Pastoralis officii of November 1576 committed to the friars the care of Capuchin nuns in Rome, BC(2) 17-19; IFC IV:1827-1832. The land for the monastery on the Quirinale was donated by Giovanna d’Aragona, and the monastery under the title of Corpus Christi was built by the Roman Archconfraternity of the Holy Crucified.Gradually from the initial rigor they remained unwilling, especially in the ultramontane provinces where the Friars themselves petitioned Paul V and obtained from him the Letter Sacri Apostolatus, 11 August 1618 which strictly prohibited them from accepting the care of any nuns or any monastery in the future, BC(1) 60 and IFC IV:1852-1854. ↑
- [FN] perche diceva el nostro padre.s.Francesco che dio ci haveva tolte le moglie:& il demonio ci haveva procurato le monache. St: … because, as our Father St Francis used to say, God delivered us from a wife and the devil has provided us with the nuns. Pc: … perché il nostro Padre san Francesco diceva che Dio aveva tolto ai frati la moglie, e il demonio aveva loro procurato le monache. ↑
- LMem: Among the things that Fra Tomaso da Papia, who was Minister of the Province of Tuscany, said he heard form Fra Stefano, the companion of Saint Francis, we read, «Dicebat quod beatus Franciscus nulli mulieri familiaris esse volebat … ad solam beatam Claram videbatur affectum habere … Cum intellexisset quod muliers congregatae in dictis (pauperum dominarum) monasteries dicebantur sorores, vehementer turbatus, fertur dixisse: Mominus a nobis uxores abstulit, diabolus autem nobis procurat sorores.» in AFH 12(1919) 383. Our Fathers take this saying of Francis from another Chronicle or from a Legenda antiqua published by S. Minocchi, Leggenda antica, Firenze, 1905, p.99 from the Capponiano-Vaticano 207 manuscript. There one reads, “Et conciossiacosachè alquante dompne, che stavano nellj monasterij, le quale erano alla cura del sancto Patre, le quale se facevano chiamare ‘Sore Minorj’, et odendo questo sancto Francesco, se ne dolse supra modo amaramente dicendo: ‘Deus a nobis astulit uxores, et diabolus procuravit sorores,’ cioè ad dire: ‘El Signore Dio ha ad noy tolte le moglie, et lo diavolo ci à procurate le sore.’ More recently Marino Bigaroni (ed), Vita del povero et umile servo de Dio Francesco dal ms. Capponiao-Vaticano 207, Edizioni Porziuncola, 1985, chap. 51, p.147. Wadding also takes the saying from the Chronicle of Marianus, AM(I) an.1219, xlv, 345-346.Recently one author (2005) has cited this paragraph as evidence of “mysogynisitc attitudes toward female culpability … in such fifteenth-century tracts as Heinrich Krämer and Jacob Sprenger’s notorious witch-hunting manual The Malleus Maleficarum (1486). In the first half of the sixteenth century, we find echoes of these attitudes in the broadly conceived general instructions to members found in the Capuchins’ ‘Constitutions’ of 1536… Indeed, the Jesuits did permit more extensive interactions with female laity and religious than their mendicant counterparts advised, but as we shall see, they might well have echoes St Francis’ galling sentiments.” (Jennifer D. Selwyn, A Paradise Inhabited by Devils. The Jesuits’ Civilizing Mission in Early Modern Naples, Ashgate, Institutm Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2005, p. 170. cf. CF 75(2005)748-749). ↑
- [FN] St: the Friars shall not have any suspicious intercourse or dealings with women. ↑
- [FN] 2Cor 2:15 ↑
- [FN] I have translated this verse while keeping in mind the notion of luoco as friary: acio siano a Iefu christo bono odore in ogni loco. St: and everywhere be a sweet odour to Jesus Christ. Pc: e diffondono il buon profumo di Gesù Cristo in ogni luogo. ↑
- [FN] quel guadagno che fa la paglia col foco: quel tanto fa il religioso servo de Dio con le Donne. St: What straw gains by the fire, the some doth the religious servant of God gain by conversing with women. Pc: Quel quadagno che fa la paglia col fuoco, fa il religioso servo di Dio conversando con donne.”↑
- «Ibi (in Alanquerio) tunc eadem domina Sancia (sister of King Alphonsus of Portugal) iuvante, fuit fatrum aedificatus conventus, in quo inter alios fratres missos a beato Francisco erat unus devotissimus, orationi vacans assidue et valde fugiens consortia mulierum. Ad quem domicella quaedam, Maria Garciae nomine, ex devozione frequenter accedebat. Ipse vero frater nec ipsam volebat respicere nec sibi loqui, sed ab ipsa celeriter fugiebat. Quodam vero die illi importune ad ipsum accedenti respondit: ‘Porta mihi ignem et palesa, et dicam quare tibi non loquor.? Quae cum portasset palesa, ad verbum fra tris succendit. Et tunc dixit illi vir Dei: ‘Quantum istae palese lucrantur cum igne, tantum sarvus Dei lucratur loquendo cum muliebre.’ Illa vero rubore perfusa recessit.» Cronica XXIV Generalium Ordinis Minorum in AF (III) 11 lines 11-20. ↑
- [FN] Sic, but read John XXII. ↑
- [FN] This passage would seem to vindicate the observation made in endnote 151 concerning the place of women in these Constitutions. However, in these passages possible harm to the friar is not formally attributed to women per se, but to friars’ unguarded dealings with the opposite sex. Although the language is strong and colourful, the text contains a simple recognition of the strength of concupiscence and sexual attraction and the friars’ need for vigilance over himself. Furthermore, the pastoral care of monasteries was considered a distraction to friars from regular observance. (Was not preaching also?) While perhaps understandable, allegations of misogyny would seem to be superficial if not anachronistic. The radical and perhaps exaggerated caution expressed here would suggest the opposite to misogyny: imperho che lui haveva cognosciuto la donna esser più amara che la morte. St: understanding that woman is more bitter than death. Pc: aveva conosciuto che la donna è più amara della morte. Rather than an indictment against women, a quite plausible meaning is that he would have preferred death rather than compromise celibate love. The clear importance of such women as Caterina Cybo, Vittoria Colonna and Giovanna d’Aragona, to mention a few, in the foundation and survival of the Capuchin reform in the early years would belie the rather severe accusation of Capuchins as stern misogynists. ↑
- «Castitatis autem amor a puero affecerat eius mentem adeo, quod ob ipsius fidam custodiam, mulierum consortia fugiebat omnino, in tantum, quod nisi forsan cum matre et sororibus, solus cum sola nullo unquam tempore loquebatur: mulierum namque amariorem noverat esse morte.» In Sol oriens mundo, 7 April 1317 in BF(5)112 and AM(6) an.1317, xlvii, 328. ↑
- Bernard of Clairvaux, De praecepto et dispensatione, chap. xv, n.42; In Canticum sermon xxx, nn. 11-12. ↑
- Before the Constitution Circa Pastoralis of Pius V, 20 May 1566, the laws regarding women entering the Enclosure were not so prohibitive. (LMem: 429, n.138, note 1) ↑
- [FN] St: Not only with women, but even with laymen, our intercourse should be infrequent, since undue familiarity with them is injurious to us. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 54: Item che per li eremi il numero delli Frati non passi sette, o otto, eccetto se non fosse città grossa, dove comodamente vi potessero stare, et con ogni facilita, dieci o dodici Fratelli vel circa. Et questo accio più comodamente et facilmente si osservi la nostra Regola et poverta, secondo la voluta del nostro Padre, del quale si legge nelle Croniche dell’Ordine, che questa era la sua voluntà, cioè che stessero puochi Frati per li luoghi. ↑
- «Volebat (beatus Franciscus) ut Fratres non in magna quantitate in locis collocarentur, quia difficile videbatur sibi in multitudine paupertatem observari” Conform. in AF(V) 105, lines 35-36. “He did not want a great number of friars located in the friaries because to him it seemed difficult for poverty to be observed where there are large numbers (of friars).” ↑
- [FN] Mt 11:12 ↑
- [FN] cioe quelli che fanno forza& violentia cioe a se stessi ↑
- [FN] In weight, libre piccole. ↑
- Regarding the frairy at Colmenzone we read, “Nel choro vi è una fenestrella, che si chiude con una tavola a molletta, dove tenevano alcuni pochi paramenti, calice, impolline, che è molto piccola e angusta.” AOC 24(1908) 24. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 56. Item che in chiesa non si habbiano più di due paramenti, overo tre, uno festivo et due feriali, senza veluto, seta, o oro, et ogn’altra curiosita, eccetti in alcuni luochi dove si trovassero fatti, et massime le simbrie et croci, si di pianete, come de camisi et pallij. ↑
- [FN] o altra preciosita ouero curiosita. St: or anything costly or superfluous. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 57: Item che li nanti altari, over pallij, siano puri, semplice et di panno. E nelli luochi non siano più di due calici, se si potranno avere di peltro, s’habbiano; et a questo si faccia diligentia d’haverli di peltro, accioche dalli luochi dove noi habitamo sia esclusa ogni curiosita et superfluita, et pretiosita di oro, argento, seta et veluto, et riluca in essi ogni poverta et austerità; considerando che il Signore non resguarda alle mani e talli vasi, ma alli nostri cuori, che siano puri et netti da ogni sozzura, et pieni di affetti desiderij di poverta, la quale, secondo dice il nostro Padre S. Francesco: Heredes et reges nos regni coelorum instituit, pauperes rebus fecit, virtutibus sublimavit. Haec sit portio vestra, Fratres carissimi, si vere divites esse cupitis et beati. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 24: Et guardinsi che li breviarij et altri libri non siano curiosi; ne habbino ancora curiosi segnacoli. ↑
- [FN] poueramente ligati& senza signaculi curiosi. St: plainly bound and without any ornate bookmarks. Pc: poveramente legati e senza alcun fregio e ornamento. ↑
- This proscription against embellishments remained in all the revised Constitutions. It recalls a certain use or abuse current at the time and which those friars zealous for seraphic poverty reprimanded. While he was still among the Observants and was Provincial, Giovanni da Fano condemned this abuse in his Dialogo de la Salute, an exposition on the Rule. While discussing books allowed for personal use, namely the Breviary and the Rule to simple priests, the Interrogatorium for confessors, one or two homily books for preachers, he says: “Però fanno contra conscientia, et contra la volunta del B. Francesco quelli che tengono li libri, et a li altri non solo non vogliono prestarli, ma neppure mostrarli. Non so que dire de quelli che tengono le casse piene de libri, a spuerfluità et curiosità, con tanta spesa a ligarli, comprarli, coperte signaculi, etc.” Dialogo (1527) 57. In his unpublished amended edition, made when he had become a Capuchin, he said this: “Non so come siano securi quelli che hanno le some de libri superflui, curiosi in ligature, segnali, coperte e simile, per la qual cose communiter si ricorre alla pecunia, contra la Regula e non vogliono prestarli ad altri, onde mostrano havere proprietà nell’uso.” Dialogo (1536) 94 or IFC I:672-673, n. 613. A clearer reference to signaculis is found elsewhere: “Il sacerdote semplice e il chierico hanno il brevario vile con li segnacoli di carta,senza seta, oro o altra curiosita.” Dialogo (1536) 65 [LMem:429, n.140, note 2]; See IFC I:649, n. 582. ↑
- [FN] exhortiamo ↑
- [FN] John 16:13 ↑
- [FN] li Turchi & Agareni. St: Turks and Hagarenes, Pc: i Turchi e Agareni. The Hagarenes, as the sons of Hagar. See Pc 161, note 10. ↑
- [FN] Ps 54:23 ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 13:4; in tutte le cose faciano secondo ditta el spirito de Dio:& con la charita che niuna cosa fa male:&disponghino il tutto St: let them act in all things as the Spirit of God will inspire them, and arrange all with charity, which does all things well. Pc: in tutte le cose facciano come consiglia lo spirito di Dio e tutto dispongano con la carità che non fa male nessuna cosa.↑
- [FN] Albacina 15: Item che tutte le massariccie siano puoche et sprezzate, talchè in omni re ad nostrum usum, resplenda la paucità, la povertà et austerità. ↑
- [FN] Pope Clement V’s declaration on the Rule of Saint Francis. ↑
- “Quamvis etiam paramenta et vasa ecclesiastica ad honorem divini Nominis ordinentur, propter quem omnia fecit ipse Deus, tamen qui absconditorum est cognitor, ad animum sibi ministrantium respicit principaliter, non ad manum, nec per illas sibi vult serviri, quae suorum servitorum conditioni et statui dissonarent.” Exivi BF(VI) 83. ↑
- [FN] Albacina 59: Et se ad alcuno delli Frati paresse difficile alcune di queste cose predette, si ricordino del N.S. Gesu Cristo, che apparse et nacque al mondo povero et umile, et tutta la sua vita è stata a noi specchio et esempio d’humilità et povertà. ↑
- [FN] intendiamo ↑
- [FN] Albacina 1: … ne ancora intendo di obligare alcuno dei Fratelli al peccato mortale, contravvenendo alle cose infrascritte. ↑
- [FN] volemo & ordinamo ↑
- [FN] Albacina 55:Item ordiniamo, accioche le presenti Constitutioni meglio si osservino, che li Prelati le facciano leggere una volta la settimana, e se in questo saranno negligenti, siano puniti ad orditoio de loro Vicarij; et ammoniti che saranno dalli loro Superiori per tre volte, et non s’emendaranno, siano deposti dalli loro officij. Item se li Superiori maggiori sranno negligenti a far osservare le predette Constitutioni, et leggerle second si ordina, et penitentiar li defettuosi, qual penitentia lascio in suo arbitrio, ammoniti che saranno, se non s’emendaranno, siano deposti dall’officio. ↑
- No trace of this Apostolic approval has been found, and the CC(1552) say nothing of it. Was such merely their wish at the time? [LMem: 430, n.146, note 1] ↑
- [FN] exhortamo ↑
- While the Constitutions can be changed with the consent of the General Chapter, these Constitutions exhort the Friars not to change them at all, even in General Chapters. If not contradictory, the next Constitutions published under the authority of the General Chapter of 1552 address the question of the asserted immutability of the CC: Si come parve a tutto il nostro capitolo generale celebrato in Roma nell’anno del Signore 1536 ordinar alcuni statuti per siepe di quella, in modo tale che come davitica torre inespugnabile hauesse propugnacoli da difendersi contra i nemici del viuo spirito del Signor nostro Giesu Christo, & ogni rilassation contraria al buon zelo del padre nostro.s.Francesco. Cosi anchora è parso al general Capitolo celebrato in Roma nell’anno 1552. Quelli medisimi statuti rivedere, correggere, &compire, a fine che rinovati & ristampati de tutta la nostra congregatione, fieno intesi & osservati. “It seemed to all our General Chatper celebrated in Rome in the year of the Lord 1536 to put in place some statutes as a hedge for the Rule, so that that like the unassailable tower of David, it would have battlements to defend itself against the enemies of the living spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ and against every relaxation contrary to the good zeal of our father Saint Francis. So it has also seemed to the General Chapter celebrated in Rome in 1552 to review, correct and complete the same statutes, so that renewed and reprinted, our whole Congregation may understand and observe them.”It may have been with some nostalgia or remorse that Bernardino da Colpetrazzo made this observation concerning 1552 Chapter and Constitutions: “And as the Congregation has been growing, the Friars have begun to accept the declarations of the Supreme Pontiffs: «In the General Chapter celebrated in Rome when Father Eusebius of Ancona was elected, some Fathers felt in certain cases that the Constitutions were too strict and so they added some things and changed others. The venerable Father Bernardine of Asti said, ‘Now we have gone as far as we can. Every little thing that goes even further might go against the Rule in certain cases. Until now we have had a great hedge and the Rule was never touched. Now we do just what the Rule allows us where before we did more that what the Rule commands.’» MHOMC IV, part I, n.7 ↑
- [FN] ma accadendo altri casi particulari si proveda& ordini ne le tavole de li capituli generali. St: but if particular cases arise they shall be provided for by General Chapters. Pc: ma, capitando altri casi particolari, si proveda e si diano nelle riunioni dei capitoli generali ↑
- «Hora denique sui transitus propinquante, fecit omnes fratres exsistentes in loco ad se vocari, et eos consolatoriis verbis pro sua morte demulcens, paterno affectu ad divinum est hortatus amorem… Circumsedentibus vero omnibus fratribus, extendit super eos manus in modum cruces brachiis cancellatis, pro eo quod hos signum semper amabat, et omnibus Fratribus, tam praesentibus quam absentibus, in Crucifixi virtute ac nomine benedixit.» LMaj. ch. xiv, n.5, vv.1, 3 [Ff, 902-903]; “When the hour of his passing was approaching, he had all the brothers staying in the place called to him and, comforting them about his death with words of consolation, he exhorted them to divine love with fatherly affection … As all the brothers sat round him, he stretched his hand over them, crossing his arms in the form of a cross, for he always loved this sign. And he blessed all the brothers, both present and absent, in the name and power of the Crucified.” [SF2, 643]. In Conform. we read that when Francis was near to death he had Fra Benedetto da Piratro called. He said to him, “Scribe qualiter benedico omnibus Fratribus meis, qui sunt in religione et qui venturi sunt usque ad finem saeculi: et quoniam propter infirmitatem loqui non valeo, in tribus verbis patefacio breviter voluntatem et intentionem meam cunctis Fratribus praesentibus et futuris, videlicet ut in signum memoriae meae benedictionis et testamenti semper diligent et observant meam dominam paupertatem et semper prelates et clericis sanctae matris ecclesiae fideles et subiecti existent.” In AF, V, 359, lines 22-27. SpecPerf 87: “Write that I bless all my brothers, those who are and who will be in the religion until the end of the world. And, since I cannot speak much because of weakness and the pain of my illness, I am showing my will and intention to all my brothers present and future. As a sign of my remembrance, blessing and testament, may they always love one another as I have loved and love them; may they always love and observer our Lady Poverty; and may they always remain faithful and subject to the prelates and all the clerics of holy Mother Church.” [SF3, 335-336] ↑
- [FN] Prov 1:9 ↑
- [FN] 2Cor 1:5 ↑
- [FN] Phil 4:13 ↑
- [FN] 2Tim 2:7 ↑
- [FN] James 1:5 ↑
- [FN] Heb 1:3. sumministrara ét le forze quello:el quale e virtu e verbo che porta ogni cosa. St: He who upholds all things by His powerful word will supply the strength. Pc: Ci somministerà anche le forze Colui che sostiene tutto con la potenza della sua parola. ↑
- [FN] thema. St: text. Pc: argomento ↑
- [FN] solemnissima: St: most impressive. Pc: famosissima. ↑
- [FN] perche pochissime persone seguitano cristo in verita di core. St: because very few follow Christ in sincerità of heart. Pc: perché pochissime persone seguono Cristo in verità di cuore. ↑
- “Magna promisimus, maiora promissa sunt nobis. Servemus haec, aspiremus ad ill, brevis voluptas, perpetua poena, modica passio, gloria infinita.” in Conform. AF IV, 473, lines 17-19; V, 279, lines 9-11. 2Cel adds “Multorum vocatio, paucorum electio, omnium retributio.” 2Cel, chap. cxliv, 191, v. 9 [Ff 611]; “Many are called; few are chosen, all are repaid.” The context: «(Francis) once presented a moral parable, containing no little instruction. ‘Imagine,’ he said, ‘a general chapter of all the religious in the Church. Because the literate are present along with those who are unlettered, the learned, as well as those who, without learning, have learned how to please God, a sermon is assigned to one of the wise and another to one of the simple. The wise man, because he is wise, thinks to himself:’ This is not the place to show off my learning, since it is full of understanding scholars. And it would not be proper to make myself stand out for originality, making subtle points to men who are even more subtle. Speaking simply would be more fruitful.’ The appointed day dawns, the gathering of the saints gathers as one, thirsting to hear this sermon. The learned man comes forward dressed in sackcloth, with head sprinkled with ashes, and to the amazement of all, he spoke briefly, preaching more by his action. ‘Great things have been promised us; let us observe the former and yearn for the latter. Pleasure is short and punishment is eternal; suffering is slight and glory infinite. Many are called; few are chosen, all are repaid.’» [SF2, 370] ↑
- [FN] Ps 103:14. el quale cognosce el figmento nostro. St: knowing our condition. Pc: sa di che siamo plasmati. ↑
- [FN] John 1:9 ↑
- [FN] Heb 1:3 ↑
- [FN] Wis 7:26 ↑
- [FN] Acts 10:42 ↑
- [FN] John 1:32 ↑
- [FN] Gen 39:10 ↑
- [FN] Rom 10:4 ↑
- [FN] Luke 3:6 ↑
- [FN] Isaiah 9:6 ↑
- [FN] 1Cor 1:20 ↑