Translated from the Latin Critical Edition by Fr. K. Esser, O.F.M.
[Die opuskula des hl. Franziskus von Assisi. Neue textkritische Edition. Editiones Collegii S. Bonaventurae ad Claras aquas, Grottaferrata (Romae) 1976.]
N.B. The division of parts in this edition of English Translation is not found in the original Latin critical edition, but has been added the translator.
1. On the Body of the Lord
The Lord Jesus says to His disciples: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well; in a litte while will know Him and see Him." Phillip says to Him: "Lord, show us the Father, and that will suffice for us." Jesus says to him: "For so long a time I am with you, and you do not know Me? Phillip, he who sees Me, sees even My Father" (John 14:6-9).
The Father dwells in light inaccessible (cf. 1 Timothy 6:16), and God is spirit (John 4:24), and no one has ever seen God (John 1:18). Therefore He can be seen only in spirit, since it is the spirit which vivifies, the flesh brings forth nothing (John 6:64). But neither is the Son, because He is equal to the Father, seen in Him otherwise than the Father, otherwise than the Holy Spirit. Whence all who saw the Lord Jesus acccording to the Humanity and both did not see and believe according to the spirit the Divinity also, that He Himself is the true Son of God, have been damned; so even now all who see the Sacrament, which is sanctified by the words of the Lord upon the Altar by the hand of the Priest in the form of bread and wine, and does not see and believe according to the spirit the Divinity also, that this is truly the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, have been damned, since the Most High Himself testifies, who said: "This is My Body and My Blood of the new testament (which is poured forth for the many" (Mt. 14:22,24); and "He who eats My Flesh and drinks the Blood of the Lord." All Others, who do not have according to this same spirit and presume to receive Him, eat and drink judgement upon themselves (cf. 1 Cor. 11:29). Whence: "Sons of men, how long with a heavy heart?" (Ps 4:3) So that you may know the truth and believe in the Son of God (cf. John 9:35))
Behold, every day He humbles Himself (cf. Phil 2:8), just as when from royal thrones (Wis. 18:15) He entered into the womb of the Virgin; every day He comes to us presenting Himself humbly; everyday He descends from the bosom of His Father to the Altar into the hands of the Priest. And just as to the holy Apostles in true flesh, so even now He shows Himself to us in the Sacred Bread. And just as when they gazed at his very own fleah they saw only His flesh, but contemplating with their spiritual eyes believed Him to be God, so even we seeing bread and wine with our bodily eyes, may see and firmly believe them even to be His Most Holy Body and Blood, living and true. And in such a manner the Lord is always His faithful ones, just as He says: "Behold I am with you even to the comsumation of the age" (cf. Mt. 28:20)
2. On the wickedness of one's own wilfulness
The Lord said to Adam: "Of every tree eat, however of the tree of good and evil you shall not eat" (cf. Gen 2:16.17). Of every tree of paradise he could have eaten, since while he did not go against obedience, he did not sin. For he eats of the tree of the knowledge of good, who appropriates his own will to himself and exalts himself on account of the good things, which the Lord says and works in him; and so by means of the suggestion of the devil and the transgression of the command it is made the fruit of the knowledge of evil. Whence it is fitting, that he should undergo punishment.
3. On perfect obedience
The Lord says in the Gospel: "He who will not renounce all that he posseses, cannot be My disciple" (Lk 13:33); and: "He who would save his soul, loses it" (Lk 9:24). That man relinquishes all that he posseses, and loses his own body, who entirely offers his very own self to obedience in the hands of his prelate. And whatever he does and says, that he himself knows, which is not contrary to the will of the latter, as long as what he does be good, is true obedience. And if when the subject may see better and more useful things for his own soul than those which the prelate may command him, may he not fail to fulfill them. For this is loving obedience (cf. 1Pet 1:22), since it satisfies God and neighbor. If truly the prelate would command anything against his own soul, it is licit for him not to obey, however he should not abandon him. And if for that reason he will endure persecution by others, let him love them more for God's sake. For he who endures persecution rather that wishing to be separated from his brothers, truly remains in perfect obedience, since he lays down his own soul (cf. John 15:13) on behalf of his brothers. There are many religious, who under the appearance of seening better things than those which their prelates command, look back (cf. Lk 9:62) and return to the vomit of thier own willfulness (cf. Prov. 26:11; 2 Pet 2:22); these are murderers and on account of thier wicked examples cause many souls to perish.
4. That no one should appropriate to himself the office of superior
"He did not come to be ministered unto, but to minister" (cf. Mt 20:28), says the Lord. Let those, who are set up over others, glory as much on account of that office of superior, as if they were appointed to the duty of washing the feet of the brothers. And in as much as they are so greatly disturbed on account of the loss of their office of superior than the duty regarding feet, they assemble purses for themselves to the danger of their souls (cf. John 12:6).
5. So that no one may be proud, let him glory in the Cross of the Lord
Be attentive, oh man, in you the Lord God has placed so many excellent things, since He created and formed you to the image of His own beloved Son according to the body and to His likness according to the spirit (cf. Gen. 1:26). And all creatures, which are under heaven, after you serve, know and obey the Creator better than you. And even the demons did not crucify Him, but you with them have crucified Him and even now you crucifiy Him by delighting in vices and sins. Therefore how can you glory? For if you were so subtle and wise that you had all science and knew to interpret every kind of tounge (cf. 1 Cor 12:28) and to search subtly after celestial things, in all these things you cannot glory; since one demon knew of celestial things and now knows of earthly things more than all men, eventhough there be one, who received from the Lord a special understanding of the highest wisdom. Similarly even if you be more handsome and wealthy than all and even if you were to work miracles, as would put to flight demons, all those things would be injurious to you and none of them would pertain to you nor could you glory in them. But in this we can glory, in our infirmities (cf. 2 Cor 12:5) and in bearing each day the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 14:27).
6. On the imitation of the Lord
Let us be attentive, all friars, to the Good Shepherd, who endured the passion of the Cross to save His won sheep. The sheep of the Lord have followed Him in tribulation and persecution, shame and hunger, in infirmity and temptation and other things; and on account of these they have received from the Lord everlasting life. Whence we should be greatly ashamed as servants of God, because they did holy deeds but we by reciting them wish to receive glory and honor.
7. That good work should follow science
The Apostle says: "The letter kills, the spirit however vivifies" (2 Cor 3:6). Those are dead by the letter who desire to know only the words, so as to be held as wiser men among others and be able to acquire great riches to be given to relatives and friends. And those religious are dead by the letter, who do not know how to follow the spirit of the divine letter, but only desire to know great words and to explain them to others. And those have been vivified by the divine letter, who do not attribute every letter, which they know and desire to know, to the body, but in word and example return them to the Most High Lord God, of whom is every good thing.
8. On avoiding the sin of envy
The Apostle says: "No one can say, "Lord Jesus," except in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3);" and "There is no one who does good, not even to one" (Rm 3:12). Whoever therefore would envy his own brother on account of the good, that the Lord says and works in him, would tend towards the sin of blasphemy, since he would be envying the Most High Himself (cf. Mt 20:15), who says and works every good thing.
9. On loving
The Lord says: "Love your enemies [do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who are persecuting and calumniating you] (Mt 5:44). For he truly loves his enemy, who does not grieve over the injury, which has been done to himself, but for the sake of the love of God burns on account of the sin against his own soul. And mansfiests love for such a one in deeds.
10. On the chastisement of the body
There are many, who while they sin or receive injury, often blame their enemy or neighbor. But such is not the case: since each one has under his own power the enemy, namely the body, through which he sins. Whence blessed is that servant (Mt. 24:46), who has surrendered such an enemy into his own power; since, as long as he does this, no other enemy visible or invisible can harm him.
11. So that no one may be corrupted by the evil of another
No thing ought to displease the servant of God except sin. And in whatsoever manner another person should sin, even on account of this the servant of God for the sake of charity should not be upset or grow angry, hoarding up fault for himself (cf. Rom 2:5). That servant of God, who does not grow angry nor disturbes himself on account of another, lives rightly without anything of his own. And blessed is he, who does not let anything remain behind for himself, returning those things which are Caesar's to Caesar, and those which are God's to God (Mt. 22:21)
12. On recognizing the spirit of God
Thus can the servant of God be known, if he has the spirit of the Lord: when the Lord works through him anything good, if his flesh for that reason does not exalt itself, since it is always contrary to every good, but if rather he holds himself up before his own eyes as more vile and esteemes himself less that all men.
13. On patience
Blessed are the peacemakers, since they shall be called sons of God (Mt. 5:9). The servant of God cannot know how much patience and humility he has in himself, so long as is self satisfied. However when there comes the time, which those who ought to satisfy him, do the contrary to him, as much patience and humility as is there, that much he has and not more.
14. On poverty of spirit
Blessed are the poor in spirit, since their is the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 5:3). There are many, who persisting in prayers and offices practice many abstinences and make afflict their own bodies, but on account of a single word, which seems to be injurious of their bodies or on account of anything, which is brought against them are, like the scandalized, continually disturbed. These are not poor in spirit; since he who truly is poor in spirit, hates himself and loves those who beat him in the face (cf. Mt 5:39)
15. On peace
Blessed are the peacemakers, since they shall be called sons of God (Mt. 5:9). Those are true peacemakers, who concering all those in things, which they suffer in this age, preserve peace in soul and body for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
16. On cleanliness of heart
Blessed are clean of heart, since they themelves shall see God (Mt. 5:8). Truly are they clean in heart who despise earthly things, seek heavenly ones and always withdraw from adoring and beholding Our Lord, living and true, with a clean heart and soul.
17. On the humble servant of God
Blessed is that servant (Mt 24:46), who does not exalt himself more on account of the good, which the Lord says and works through him, than that which He says and works through another. A man sins, who desires rather to receive from his neighbor, what he, of himself, does not want to give to the Lord God.
18. On compassion for one's neighbor
Blessed is the man, who supports his neighbor on account of his frailty, to the extent that he would want to be supported by him, if he were to fall into a similiar situation. Blessed is the servant who returns all his good to the Lord God, since he who retains anything conceals within himself the money of the Lord his God (Mt 25:18) and what he thought he had will be born away from him (Lk 8:18).
19. On the humble servant of God
Blessed is the servant, who does not consider himself better, when he is magnified and exalted by men, than when he is considered to be vile, simple, and despised, since as much as he is good before God, that he is and nothing more. Woe to that religious, who hase been placed by others on high and does not wish to descend on his own will. And blessed is that servant (Mt. 24:46), who is not placed on high on account of his own will and always desires to be beneath the feet of others.
20. On the good and the vain religious
Blessed is that religious, who has not pleasure nor joy except in the Lord's most holy discourses and works, and with these leads men forth to the love of God with gladness and joy (cf. Ps. 50:10). Woe to that religious, who delights himself in idle and vain words and with these leads men forth to laugh.
21. On the inane and loquacious religious
Blessed is the servant, who when he speaks, does not manifest all his learning for the sake of reward and is not swift to speak (cf. Prov. 29:20), but wisely provides, what he should speak and answer. Woe to that religious, who does not retain in his heart (Lk 2:19.51) the good things, which the Lord displays to himself, and does not display them to others in deed, but for the sake of reward desires to display them rather in words to men. He himself has received his reward (cf. Mt. 6:2; 6:16) and his hearers bring back little fruit.
22. On correction
Blessed is the servant who would endure discipline, accusation and rebuke as patiently from another as from himself. Blessed is the servant, who having been rebuked, acquiesces kindly, submits meekly, confesses humbly and makes satisfaction freely. Blessed is the servant, who is not swift to excuse himself and humbly endures shame and rebuke on account of sin, where he has not commited any fault.
23. On humility
Blessed is the servant, who is found to be as humble among his own subjects, as when he is among his own superiors. Blessed is the servant, who remains under the rod of correction. A faithful and prudent servant is he (cf. Mt. 24:45), who does not delay to punish all his own offenses interiorly by contrition and exteriorly by confession and works of satisfaction.
24. On true love
Blessed is the servant, who would so love his own brother, when he is infirm and cannot repay him, as when he is healthy and can repay him.
25. Likewise regarding others
Blessed is the servant, who would so love and fear his own brother, when he is far from him, as when he is with him, and would not say anything behind him, which he could not with charity say before him.
26. That the servants of God should honor the clergy
Blessed is the servant, who puts faith in the clergy who live rightly according to the manner of the Roman Church. And woe to those who dispise them; for though they may be sinners, no one however should judge them, since God Himself alone reserves to Himself their judgement. For as much as their task is greater, as they care for the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, because they themselves receive and they themselves alone minister Him to the other men of this world.
27. On the virtue of fleeing vice
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is fear and not ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither wrath nor disturbance. Where there is poverty with happines, there is neither cupidity nor avarice. Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the entrance hall (cf. Lk 11:21), there the enemy can have no way for entering. Where there is mercy and discretion, there is neither superfluity nor hardness.
28. On concealing good lest it be lost
Blessed is the servant, who stores up in Heaven (Mt. 6:20) the good thing, which the Lord shows to him and does not desire to manifest them to men for the sake of reward, since the Most High Himself will manifest his works to whosoever He pleases. Blessed is the servant, who attends to the secrets of the Lord in his heart (cf. Lk 2:19.51).
To Friar Anthony, my bishop, Francis (sends) greetings. It pleases me that you would teach sacred theology to the friars, so long as in the study of this you do not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion, just as it says in the Rule.
N.B. The Bold Faced phrase is that which distinguishes the first and second recesions, other then paragraphs.
(First Recension) [EpCler I]
1. Let us attend, all clerics, to the great sin and ignorance, which certain men have concerning the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most holy Names and His written words, which sanctify the Body.
2. We know, since there cannot be a Body, unless first it is sanctified by the word. For we have and see nothing corporally of the Most High Himself, in this age, except the Body and Blood, Names and words, through which we have been made and redeemed from death and life (1 Jn 3:14). However all those who minister such holy mysteries, should consider within themselves, most of all those who minister illicitly, how vile are the chalices, corporals, and altar linenes, where the His very Body and Blood are sacrificed. And by many in vile places He is placed and abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and consumed unworthily and ministered to others indiscretely. Even His Names and writted words are sometimes tred under foot; since the bestial man does not perceive the things that are of God (1 Cor 2:14). Is not our piety stirred concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and consume Him each day with our mouth? Or are we ignorant that we must (one day) fall into His Hand? Therefore let us correct quickly all these things and the others; and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and let them be placed in an honorable place. All these things all the clerics are bound to observe above everything even to the end of the universe. And those who will not have done this, let them know that they must render an account before the Lord on the day of judgement (cf. Mt 12:36). This has been written so that it may better be observed; let them know themselves to be blessed by the Lord God, who would have it copied.
(Later recension) [EpCler II]
Let us attend, all clerics, to the great sin and ignorance, which certain men have concerning the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most holy Names and His written words, which sanctify the Body. We know, since there cannot be a Body, unless first it is sanctified by the word. For we have and see nothing corporally of the Most High Himself, in this age, except the Body and Blood, Names and words, through which we have been made and redeemed from death and life (1 Jn 3:14). However all those who minister such holy mysteries, should consider within themselves, most of all those who minister illicitly, how vile are the chalices, corporals, and altar linens, where the His very Body and Blood are sacrificed. And by many in vile places He is placed and abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and consumed unworthily and ministered to others indiscretely. Even His Names and writted words are sometimes tred under foot; since the bestial man does not perceive the things that are of God (1 Cor 2:14). Is not our piety stirred concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and consume Him each day with our mouth? Or are we ignorant that we must (one day) fall into His Hand? Therefore let us correct quickly all these things and the others; and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and let them be placed in an honorable place. All these things all the clerics together are bound to observe according to the precepts of the Lord and the constitutions of Holy Mother Church. And those who will not have done this, let them know that they must render an account before the Lord on the day of judgement (cf. Mt 12:36). This has been written so that it may better be observed; let them know themselves to be blessed by the Lord God, who would have it copied.
First Variant [EpCust I]
To the custodes of the whole of the Friars Minor, to whom these letters will have come in the Lord God, your servant and little man, (sends) greetings with new signs in Heaven and on earth, which are great and most excellent before God and reputed least by many religious and other men. I beg you more than on my own account, in so far as when it is fitting and when you see that it is expedient, that you clerics should humbly request that the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the His Holy Names and written words, which sanctify the Body, should be venerated above all things. Chalices, corporals, the ornaments of the altar and all things which pertain to the sacrifice, should be held precious. And if in any place the Most Holy Body of the Lord will have been very poorly placed, according to the mandate of the Church let Him be put in a precious place by them and let Him be sealed up and with great veneration borne about and with discretion ministered unto others. Even the Names and written words of the Lord, wherever they be found in unclean places, let them be gathered, and they should be placed in a honorable place. And in every sermon, which you make, you should warn the people about punishment, and that no one can be saved, except him who receives the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord (cf. Jn 6:54), and, when He is sacrificed by a priest upon the Altar and borne about in any part, let all the nations upon bended kneed render praise, glory and honor to the Lord God living and true. And on account of His praise in all (parts) of the countryside always by the whole people, let praise and thankss echo through all the earth to God Almighty. And, to whomsoever of my friar custodes this writing should come, both let them copy it and keep (a copy) for themselves and for the friars, who have the office of preaching and the custody of the friars, let them make copies and preach all the things, which are contained in this writing, even until the end; let them know that they have the blessing of the Lord God and of myself. And this is (to be) for them a true and holy (command) of obedience. Amen.
Second Variant [EpCust II]
To all the custodes of the Friars Minor, to whom these letters might come, friar Francis, the least of the servants of God, (sends) greetings and holy peace in the Lord. Know, that in the sight of god there are certain things exceedingly high and sublime, which are sometimes reputed among men as vile and abject things; and there are others dear and notable among men, which in the presence of God are held as the most vile and abject. I beg you in the presend of the Lord Our God, as much as I can, that you give those those letters, which treated of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord, to bishops and other clerics; and that you retain in your memory, those things which I have recommended to you concerning these. Of the other letters, which I am sending you, that you give them to rulers, consuls, and rectors, and regarding those things which it contains, so that the Praises of God may be published among the peoples and in the streets, immediately make many copies, and with great diligence distribute these, which should be given away.
(Former recension) [EpFid I]
(An Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance)
In the Name of the Lord!
On those who do penance
All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their virtute (cf. Mk 12:30) and love their neighbors as they do themselves (cf. Mt 22:39), and hold thier bodies in hatred with its vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance: O how blessed and blest are those men and women, while they do such things and persevere in them, since upon them rests the Spirit of the Lord (cf. Jn 14:23), and they are sons of their Heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are spouses, fathers and mothers of Our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50). We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is joined with Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are His brothers, when we do the will of the Father who is in Heaven (Mt. 12:50). Mothers, when we carry Him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) by divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to Him by holy work, which should shine upon others as an example (cf. Mt 5:16). O how glorious it is, holy and great, to have a Father in Heaven! O how holy, to have such a Paraclete, beautiful and admirable, as a Spouse! O how holy and how beloved, very pleasing, humble, peacable, sweet, lovable and desirable above all things to have such a Brother and such a Son: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who layed down His soul for His sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to His Father saying: "Holy Father, guard them in Thy Name" (Jn 17:11) and "For them I sanctify Myself" (Jn 17:19). Not for them only do I pray, but for those who will believe in Me through their words" (Jn 17:20), "so that all may be sanctified in one" (cf. Jn 17:23) even as We are" (Jn 17:11). And "I wish, Father, that where I am they also may be with Me, so that they may see My Brightness" (Jn 17:24) "in Thy Kingdom" (Mt. 20:21). Amen.
On those who do not do penance
However all those men and women, who are not in penance, and do not receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and work vices and sins and who walk after wicked concupiscence and after the wicked desires of their flesh, and who do not observe, what they have promised the Lord, and are slaves to the world in their bodies by carnal desires and by the anxieties of the world and by the cares of this life: (these) ones held back by the devil, whose sons they are and whose works they do (cf. Jn 8:41), are blind, since they do not see the True Light Our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not have spiritual wisdom, since they do not have the Son of God who is the True Wisdom of the Father, concerning whom it is said: "Accursed are those who turn away from Thy commands" (Ps. 118:21). They see and do not understand, they know and work wicked things and they themselves knowingly loose their souls. See, blind ones, deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; since it is sweet to the body to work sin and bitter to work to serve God; since all vices and sins come forth and proceed from the heart of man, just as the Lord says in the Gospel (cf. Mk 7:21). And you will have nothing in this age nor in the one to come. And you think you will posses the vanities of this age for a long time, but you are deceived, since there will come the day and hour, of which you do not think, know or pay attention; the body weakens, death approches and so one dies a bitter death. And wheresoever, whensoever, howsoever a man dies in culpable sin without penance and satisfaction, if he can make satisfaction and does not, the devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and tribulation, that no one can know it, except him who experiences it. And all talents and power and knowledge and wisdom (2 Chron 1:12), which they thought they had, and he bears it away from them (cf. Lk 8:18; Mk 4:25). And they forsake neighbors and friends and these bear off and divide his substance, having said: "Cursed be his soul, since he could have given us more and acquired what he did not acquire." Worms eat their body, and so they perish body and soul in this short age and they will go into Hell, where they will be tortured without end. All those to whom these letters might have come, we beg in the Love which God is (cf. 1 Jn 4:16), that they receive kindly those abovesaid sweet-smelling words of Our Lord Jesus Christ with divine love. And (for) those who do not know how to read, let them have them read often; and let them keep (these letters) for themselves with holy work even to the end, since these are spirit and life (Jn 6:64). And he who would not do this, will be held accountable on the day of judgement (cf. Mt 12:36) before the tribunal of Our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rm 14:10).
(Later Rececnsion) [EpFid II]
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spriit. Amen. To all christian religious, clerics and lay people, men and women, to all who dwell in the whole world, friar Francis, their servant and subject, (offers) submission with reverence, the true peace from heaven and sincere charity in the Lord. Since I am the servant of all, I am bound to serve all and administer the sweet-smelling words of my Lord. Whence considering in mind, that since personally on account of the infirmity and debility of my body I cannot visit each of you, I have proposed by these present letters and announcements to repeat to you the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Word of the Father, and the words of the Holy Spirit, which are spirit and life (Jn 6:64). This Word of the Father—so worthy, so holy and glorious—the Father of heaven has announced by Saint Gabriel His angel in the womb of the holy and glorious Virgin Mary, from whose womb He received the true flesh of humanity and of our fragility. He whom, although you say is (2 Cor 8:9) above all things, willed in the world with the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, to chose poverty. And near His passion He celebrated the passover with His disciples and taking bread He gave thanks and He blessed it and broke it saying: "Take and eat, this is My Body." (Mt 26:26) And taking the chalice He said: "This is My Blood of the new testament, which for you and for the many will be poured out in remission of sins." (Mt 26:27) Then He prayed to the Father saying: "Father, if it can be done, let this chalice pass from me." And His sweat became as drops of blood flowing down upon the earth (Lk 22:44). However, he layed down his own will for the will of the Father, saying: "Father, Thy will be done" (Mt 26:42); "not as I will, but as Thou" (Mt. 26:39). Of whose Father such was the will, that His Son, blest and glorious, whom He gave to us and who was born for us, would offer his very self through His own Blood as a Sacrifice and Victim upon the altar, not for His own sake, through whom all things were made (cf. Jn 1:3), but for the sake of our sins, leaving us an example, so that we may follow in his footsteps (cf 1 Pet 2:21). And He willed that all might be saved through Him and that we might receive Him with a pure heart and our own chaste body. But there are few, who want to receive Him and be saved by Him, though His yoke is sweet and His burden light (cf. Mt: 11:30). Those who do not want to taste how sweet the Lord is (cf. Ps 33:9) and love shadows more than the Light (Jn 3:19) not wanting to fulfill the commands of God, are cursed; concerning whom it is said through the prophet: "Cursed are they who turn away from Thy commands." (Ps 118:21). But, o how blessed and blest are those who love God and who do as the Lord himself says in the Gospel: "Love the Lord thy God with your whole heart and with your whole mind and your neighbor as your very self (Mt 22:37.39). Let us therefore love God and adore Him with a pure heart and a pure mind, since He Himself seeking above all has said: "True adorers will adore the Father in spirit and truth." (Jn 4:23) For it is proper that all, who adore Him, adore Him in the spirit of truth (cf. Jn 4:24). And let us offer (lit."speak to") Him praises and prayer day and night (Ps 31:4) saying: "Our Father who art in Heaven" (Mt 6:9), since it is propter that we always pray and not fail to do what we might (Lk 18:1). If indeed we should confess all our sins to a priest, let us also receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ from him. He who does not eat His Flesh and does not drink His Blood (cf. Jn 6:55.57), cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:5). However let him eat and drink worthily, since he who receives unworthily eats and drinks judgement for himself, and he does not dejudicate the Body of the Lord (1 Cor 11:29), that is he does not discern it. In addition let us bring forth fruits worthy of penance (Lk 3:8). And let us love our neighbors as our very selves (cf. Mt 22:39). And if one does not want to love them as his very self, at least he does not charge them with wicked things, but does good (to them). Moreover let those who have received the power of judging others exercise it with mercy, just as they themselves wish to obtain mercy from the Lord. For there will be judgment without mercy for those who have not shown mercy (James 2:13). And so let us have charity and humility; and let us give alms, since this washes souls from the filth of their sins (cf. Tob 4:11; 12:9). For men lose everything, which they leave in this world; however they carry with them the wages of charity and the alms, which they gave, for which they will have from the Lord a gift and worthy recompense. We should also fast and abstain from vices and sins (cf Sir 3:32) and from a superfluity of food and drink and we shold be catholics. We should also frequently visit churches and venerate the clerics and revere them, not only for their own sake, if they be sinners, but for the sake of their office and administration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which they sanctify upon the altar and receive and administer to others. And let us all know firmly, since no one can be saved, except through the words and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the clerics speak, announce and minister. And only they should minister and not others. Moreover the religious especially, who have renounced the world, are bound to do more and greater things, but not to give up these (cf. Lk 11:42). We should hold our bodies, with their vices and sins, in hatred, since the Lord says in the Gospel: "All wicked things, vices an sins, come forth from the heart." (Mt 15:18-19) We should love our enemies and do good to them, who hold us in hatred (cf. Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27). We should also deny ourselves (cf. Mt 16:24) and place our bodies under the yoke of servitude and holy obedience, just as each one has promised the Lord. And no man is bound out of obedience to obey anyone in that, where crime or sin is committed. However to him whom obedience has been committed and whom is held to be greater, let him be as the lesser (Lk 22:26) and the servant of the other friars. And let him show and have mercy for each one of his brothers, as he would want done to himself, if he were in a similar case. Nor let him grow angry with a brother on account of the crime of a brother, but with all patience and humility let him kindly admonish and support him. We should not be wise and prudent according to the flesh, but rather we should be simple, humble and pure. And let us hold our bodies in opprobrium and contempt, since on account of our own fault we are all wretched and putrid, fetid and worms, just as the Lord say through the prophet: "I am a worm and no man, the opprobium of men and the abject of the people." (Ps 21:7) Let us never desire to be above others, but rather we should desire that upon all men and women, so long as they will have done these things and persevered even to the end, the Spirit of the Lord might rest (Is 11:2) and fashion in them His little dwelling and mansion (cf. Jn 14:23). And they will be the Heavenly Father's (cf Mt 5:45), whose works they do. And they are spouses, brothers and mothers of Our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:5). We are spouses, when the faithful soul is joined by the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ. For we are brothers, when we do the will of His Father, who is in heaven (cf. Mt 12:50); mothers when we bear Him in our heart and body (1 Cor 6:20) by love and by a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to Him through holy work, which should shine upon others as an example (cf Mt 5:16). O how glorious and holy and great to have in Heaven a Father! O how holy, to have a Paraclete, beautiful and admirable, as a spouse! O how holy and how beloved, pleasing, humble, peaceable, sweet and lovable and above all things desirable to have such a Brother and Son, who layed down his life for His sheep in the world, "they were Thine and Thou has given them to Me." (Jn 17:6) "And the words, which Thou has given to me, I have given to them; And they have received these and know truly, that I have gone forth from Thee and they have believed, that Thou has sent Me" (Jn 17:8); "I beg for them and not for the world" (cf Jn 17:9); "Bless and sanctify them." (Jn 17:17). And "for them I sanctify My very self, so that they may be sanctified in" one (cf. Jn 17:19) "just as we" are (cf. Jn 17:6). And "I wish, Father, that where I am they also may be with Me, so that they may see My brightness" (Jn 17:24) "in Thy Kingdom" (Mt 20:21). For Him, moreover, who endured so many thing for us, conferred all good things and who will confer them in the future, let every creature, which is in Heaven, on earth and in the abyss return praise, glory, honor, and blessing to God (cf Apoc 5:13), since He Himself is our virtue and strength, who is the only Good, the only Most High, the only Almighty, admirable, glorious and who alone is holy, worthy of praise and blest throughout the infinite ages of ages. Amen. Moreover all those, who are in penance and do not receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and work vices and ins, and who walk after wicked concupiscence and wicked desires, and who do not observe, what they have promised, and serve the world bodily with carnal desires, cares and the anxieties of this age and the cares of this live, having been deceived by the devil, whose sons they are and whose works they do (cf Jn 8:41), are blind, since they do not see the True Light, Our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not have spiritual wisdom, who do not have the Son of God in themselves, He who is the True Wisdom of the Father; concerning these it is said: "Their wisdom has been swallowed up." (Ps 106:27) They see, they do not acknowledge, they know and they do wicked things; and they knowingly lookse thier souls. See, blind ones, deceived by our enemies, namely, by the flesh, by the world, and by the devil, since sweet to the body is the working of sin and bitter the serving of God, since all wicked things, vices and sins come forth and proceed from the heart of men (cf. Mk 7:21.23), just as the Lord says in the Gospel. And you will have nothing in this age nor in the one to come. You think you will posses the vanities of this age for a long time, but you are deceived, since there will come the day and hour, of which you do not think or know or pay attention. The body weakens, death approches, there comes neighbors and friends saying: "Dispose of your things." Behold his wife and his sons and neighbors and friends feign weeping. And looking back he sees them weeping, he is moved by a wicked emotion; thinking within himself he says: "Behold my soul and body and all my things I place in your hands." Truly, this man is cursed, who confides and casts his soul and body and all his things into such hands; whence the Lord through the prophet: "Cursed the man who confides in man." (Jer 17:5) And immediately they make the priest come; the priest says to him: "Do you want to receive a penance on account of all your sins?" He answers: "I do wish it." "Do you wish to satisfy on account of the sins you committed and those things of which you have defrauded and deceived men, as you are able from your substance?" He answers: "No." And the priest says; "Why not?" "Since I have disposed of everthing into the hands of my neighbors and friends." And he begins to loose speech and so than man dies a wretch. But let all know, that wheresoever and howsoever a man die in culpable sin without satisfaction and he can make satisfaction and he does not make satisfaction, the devil tears his souls from his body with such anguish and tribulation, that no one can know how much, except he who experiences it. And all the talents and power and knowledge, which he used to think he had (cf. Lk 8:18), is born away from him (Mk 4:25). And he leaves neighbors and friends, and they bear off and divide his substance and say afterwards: "Cursed be his soul, since he could have given us more and acquired what he did not acquire." Worms eat the body; and so perishes body and soul in this brief age and he will go into Hell, where he will be tortured without end. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I friar Francis, your lesser servant, beg and entreat you in the charity, which God is (cf 1 Jn 4:16), and willingly kissing your feet, that you should receive and put into practice and observe these words and the others of Our Lord Jesus Christ with humily and charity. And all those men and women, who kindly receive these, understand them and send others copies, and if they persevere in these even to the end (Mt. 24:13), may them the Father and Son and Holy Spirit bless. Amen.
Friar Leo, friar Francis (sends) greetings and peace. I say to you thus, my son, as a mother: since all the words which we have said on the road, I arrange briefly in this words (sic) and counsel, and if afterwards counsel is fitting (for you ?) (regarding) coming to me, since as counsel (I say) to you thus: "In whatever manner it seems better to you to please the Lord God and to follow His footstep (sic) and poverty, do with the blessing of the Lord God and my obedience. And, if it is a neccessity to you that your soul on account of anything (have) its consolation, and you want to, Leo, come to me, come."
(The number of) those, who wish to remain religiously in hermitages may be three or as much as four; let two of these be the mothers and let them have two sons or at least one. These two are mothers, they shoulobserve the life of Martha and the two sons should observe the life of Mary (cf. Lk 10:38-42) and should have one cloister, in which each one has his own cell, in which he might pray and sleep. And let them always say the Compline of the day immediately after sunset; and let them strive to keep silence; and let them say their Hours; and let them rise for Matins and seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice (Mt. 6:33). And let them say Prime in the hour it occurs and after terce they are absolved from silence; and they can speak and go to their mothers. And, when it may please (them), they may seek from these alms just as poor children do for the love of the Lord God. And afterwards let them say Sext and Nones; and let them say Vespers in the hour it occurs. And in the cloister, where they are staying, they should not permit any person to enter nor eat there. Those friars, who are mothers, let them strive to remain far from every person; and in obedience to their minister let them guard their sons from every person, so that no one may speak with them. And the sons should not speak with any person except their mothers and with the minister and their custode, which it might please them to visit with the blessing of the Lord God. Truly let the sons, whenever they assume the office of the mothers, as alternatively for them for a time it will have seemed to have been arranged, strive to observe it sollicitiously and studiously according to all the abovesaid things.
Thou art the Holy Lord, the Only God, who works miracles (Ps. 76:15) Thou art strong, Thou art great (cf. Ps 85:10), Thou are the Most Hight, Thou art King Eternal, Thou Holy Father (cf. Jn 17:11) King of Heaven and earth. (Mt 11:25)
Thou art three in one Lord, God of gods (cf Ps 135:2), Thou art Good, all good, Highest Good, Lord God living and true. (cf. 1 Thes 1:9).
Thou art Love, Charity; Thou art Wisdom, Thou art humility, Thou art patience (Ps 70:5), Thou art Beauty, Thou art gentleness; Thou art secutiry, Thou art quiet, Thou art joy; Thou art our Hope and Joy, Thou art justice, Thou art temperance, Thou art all our riches unto sufficiency.
Thou art Beauty, Thou art gentleness, Thou art Protector (Ps 30:5), Thou art our guard and defender, Thou art fortitude (cf. Ps 42:2), Thou art refreshment.
Thou art our Hope, Thou art our Charity, Thou art our Sweetness, Thou art our eternal Life: Great and admirable Lord, God Omnipotent, merciful Savior.
May the Lord bless thee and keep thee; may He show His faice to thee and be merciful to thee. May He turn His countenance to thee and give thee peace (cf. Num 6:24-26). May the Lord bless, friar Leo, Thee. (cf. Num 6:27b)
Fear the Lord and give Him honor (Apoc. 14:7).
Worthy is the Lord to receive praise and honor (cf. Apoc 4:11)
All who fear the Lord, praise Him (cf. Ps 21:24)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. (Lk 21:24)
Praise Him Heaven and earth. (cf. Ps 68:35)
Praise the Lord all you rivers. (cf. Dan 3:78)
Bless the Lord you sons of God (cf. Dan 3:82)
This is the day which the Lord has made, let us exult and rejoice in it. (Ps. 117:24)
Alleluia, Alleuia, Alleluia! King of Israel! (John 12:13)
Every spirit praise the Lord. (Ps. 150:6)
Prasie the Lord, since He is Good. (Ps. 146:1)
All you who read this, bless the Lord. (Ps. 102:21)
All you creatures bless the Lord. (cf. Ps. 102:22)
All you birds of heaven praise the Lord. (Dan 3:90; cf. Ps 148:7-10)
All you children praise the Lord. (cf Ps 112:1)
You youths and virgins praise God (cf. Ps 148:12)
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive praise, glory and honor (cf. Apoc 5:12).
Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity.
St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle.
O Most Holy Our Father: Creator, Redeemer, Consolor and Our Savior.
Who art in Heaven: in the Angels and in the Saints; enlightening them unto knowlege, since Thou, Lord, art Light; inflaming them unto love, since Thou, Lord, art Love; indwelling and filling them unto blessedness, since Thou, Lord, art the Highest, the Eternal Good, from whom is all good, without whom nothing is good.
Hallowed be Thy Name: may the knowledge of Thee in us be made bright, so that we may know, what is the breadth (cf. Ep 3:18) of Thy kindnesses, the length of Thy promises, the sublimity of Thy Majesty and the depth of Thy judgements.
Thy Kingdom come: so that Thou may reignest in us by grace and makes us come unto Thy Kingdom, where vision of Thee is made manifest, love of Thee made perfect, company with Thee blessed, enjoyment of Thee everlasting.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven: so that we may love Thee with our whole heart (cf. Lk 10:27) thinking of Thee always, with our whole soul desiring Thee always, with our whole mind directing unto Thee all our intentions, seeking Thy honor in all things and with all our strength expending our every strength and sense of soul and body in submission to Thy love and nothing else; and may we love our neighbors as ourselves drawing all to Thy love to the extent of our abilities, rejoicing over the good things of others just as over our own and compassionating them in evils and giving offense to no one (cf. 2 Cor 6:3).
Give us this day, Thy beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, our daily bread: to remember and understand and reverence the love—which He had for us— and those things, which He did, said or endured for us.
And forgive us our debts: by Thy ineffable mercy, through the virtue of the Passion of Thy beloved Son and by the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin and all Thy elect.
As we forgive our debtors: and what we do not fully forgive, may Thou, Lord, make us, fully forgive, so that we may truly love our enemies for the sake of Thee and intercede devoutly for them with Thee, returning to none evil for evil (cf. 1 Thes 5:15) and striving to advance all unto Thee.
And lead us not into temptation: hidden or manifest, suddent or importune.
But deliver us from evil: past, present, and future.
Glory to the Father, ....
Most High, glorious God, enlighten the shadows of my heart, and grant unto me a right faith, a certain hope and perfect charity, sense and understanding, Lord, so that I may accomplish Thy holy and true command.
Hail Lady, Holy Queen, Holy Mary Theotokos,1 who art the Virgin made church and the One elect by the Most Holy Father of Heaven, whom He consecrated with His Most Holy beloved Son and with the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete; Thou in whom was and is all fulness of grace and every good.
Hail His Palace;
Hail His Tabernacle;
Hail His Home.
Hail His Vestment;
Hail His Handmaid;
Hail His Mother
And hail all you holy virtues, which through the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit are infused into the hearts of the faithful, so that from those unfaithful you make them faithful to God.
1 While St. Francis uses the phrase "Dei genitrix" here, which is usually translated as "Mother of God" in English, "Theotokos" has been chosen instead since this is an exact and familiar equivalent of the latin phrase, and in fact is the term of which the latin is itself the translation.
Hail Queen Wisdom, the Lord salute thee with thy sister Holy-Pure Simplicity.
Lady Holy Poverty, the Lord salute thee with thy sister Holy Humility.
Lady Holy Charity, the Lord salute thee with thy sister Holy Obedience.
Most holy virtues, the Lord salute all of you, He from whom you come
There is scarcely a man in all the world, who can have one of you, before he dies.
He who has one and offends not the others, has all.
And he who offends one, has none and offends all. (cf. Jm 2:10)
And any whatsoever confounds vices and sins.
Holy Wisdom confounds satan and all his wickednesses.
Pure Holy Simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world (cf. 1 Cor. 2:6) and the wisdom of the body.
Holy Poverty confounds cupidity and avarice and the cares of this world.
Holy Humility confounds pride and all the men, who are in the world, and likewise all the things, which are in the world.
Holy Charity confounds all the diabolic and carnal temptations and all carnal fears.
Holy Obedience confounds all things corporal both carnal and one's own willings and holds the body mortified in obedience to the spirit and in obedience to one's brother and is subject and submissive to all the men, who are in the world and not only to men, but even to all the beasts and wildlife, so that they might do with him, whatever they will, as much as it will have been given them from above by the Lord (cf. Jn 19:11).
May the Lord bless you, Friar N. minister (cf. Num 6:24a). I tell you, as I can, for the state of your soul, that those things which impede you to love the Lord God, and whatever else would be an impediment for you or the other friars, even if they whip you, all these you ought to hold on to for the sake of grace. And want it so and not something else. And let this be for you by a true obedience from the Lord God and from myself, because I know firmly, that such is a true obedience. And love them who do these things to you. And do not desire anything from them, except as much as the Lord will give you [to desire it]. And in this love them; and do not wand that they be better christians. And lest that be more to you than a hermitage. And in this I want you to know, if you love the Lord and myself, His servant and yours, that if you do that, namely that there be no friar in the world, who will have sinned, as much as one can sin, who, after he has seen your eyes, will never leave without your mercy, if he seeks mercy. And if he does not seek mercy, you are to ask from him, if he wants mercy. And if he would sin a thousand times before your eyes, love him more than me for this, that you draw him to the Lord; and you will always pity such ones. And you will announce this to the guardians, when you can, that you are firmly decided to do such yourself.
Moreover out of all the chapters, which are in the Rule, which speak of mortal sins, with the Lord helping, we will make such a chapter with the counsel of the friars in the Pentecost Chapter:
If any of the friars at the instigation of the enemy will have sinned mortally, he is bound by obedience to have recourse to his own guardian. And all the friars, who know him to have sinned, are not to shame him nor utter detraction against him, but let them have great mercy upon him and keep very private the sin of their brother; "because a doctor is not needed" by the healthy, "but by those who are sick." (Mt 9:12) Similarly they are bound by obedience to absolve him canonically, just as has been said. And these are to have entirely no power of enjoining any other penance except this: "Go and sin no more." (cf. John 8:11)
This was written, so that you should observe it better; keep it with you until Pentecost; be there with your friars. And this and all other things, which are lesser in the rule, with the Lord God helping, you will take care to fulfill.
In the Name of the highest Trinity and Holy Unity of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
To all the reverend and much beloved friars, to friar N., Minister General of the religion of the Friars Minor, their lord, and to the others, who will be Ministers General after him, and to all the ministers and custodes and humble priests in Christ of the same fraternity and to all the simple and obedient friars, first and last, Friar Francis, vile and fallen, your tiny little servant, sends greetings in Him who redeemed and washed us in His most precious Blood (cf. Apoc 1:5), upon hearing whose Name, you are to adore Him with fear and reverence "prostrate upon the ground" (cf. 2 Esdr 8:6), the Lord Jesus Christ, "Son of the Most High" is His Name (cf. Lk 1:32), "who is blessed throughout the ages." (Rom 1,25)
Listen, sons of the Lord and brothers mine, "and turn your ears to my words" (Acts 2:14). "Incline the ear" (Is 55:3) of your heart and obey the voice of the Son of God. Keep with all your heart His mandates and fulfill His counsels with a pure mind. "Confess" Him "since He is good" (Ps 135:1), and "exalt" Him "in your works" (Tob 13:6); "since for that reason" He sent you (cf Tob 13:4) into the whole world, so that by word and work you may give testimony to His voice and make all know, that "there is no Omnipotent besides Him" (cf Tob 13:4). "In discipline" and holy obedience "persevere" (Heb 12:7) and fulfill what you have promised Him with a good and firm resolution. May the Lord "God" offer us "as sons" to Himself. (cf Heb 12:7)
And so I entreat all of you friars with a kiss upon your feet and with that charity, of which I am able, to exhibit every reverence and every honor, as much as you can, to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom everything in the heavens and everything on earth are, are pacified and are reconciled to the omnipotent God (cf Col 1:20)
I beg also in the Lord that all your my friar priests, who are or will be or desire to be priests of the Most High, that whensoever you may want to celebrare Mass, you do so pure and faultlessly with reverence to the true sacrifice of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with a holy and clean intention, not for any earthly thing for out of fear of love for any human, as pleasers of men do (cf Eph 6:6; Col 3:22); but let every will, as much as grace helps it, be directed to God, desiring for that reason to please solely the Highest Lord Himself, because He alone is at work there, as it pleases Him; since just as He himself says "Do this in My memory" (Lk 22,19; 1 Cor 11,24), if anyone would do otherwise, he would become the traitor, Judas, and be "answerable for the Body and Blood of the Lord " (cf 1 Cor 11:27).
Remember my friar priests, what is written in the law of Moses, how one transgressing in corporals things died without any pity by the sentance of the Lord (cf Heb 10:28). "How much" more and "worse" does one merit to suffer "torments, who tramples underfoot the Son of God and reckons the Blood of the Testament, in which he was sanctified, to be defiled, and insults the Spirit of grace" (Heb 10:29). For a man despises, defiles, and tramples underfoot the Lamb of God, when, as the Apostles says, "not recognizing" (1 Cor 11:29) nor discerning the Christ's sacred Bread from other foods or works, or eating unworthily or even, if he is worthy, eating vainly and as one unworthy, since the Lord says through the Prophet: "Cursed be" the man, "who" does the work of God "fraudulently" (cf Jer 48:10). And the priests, who do not want to keep this at heart, He in truth condemns saying: "I will curse your blessings" (Mal 2:2).
Listen, my friars: if the blessed Virgin is so honored, as is right, because She carried Him in Her most holy womb; if the blessed Baptist tremebled and did not dare to touch the crown of the head [sanctum verticem] of God; if the sepulcher, in which He layed for some time is so venerated, how holy, just and worthy ought he to be, who holds in his hands and receives in the mouth and offers to others to be received Him who will die no more, but who will forever conquer and be glorified, upon whom "the angels long to gaze" (1 Pt 1:12)?
"See your" dignity, "friar" (cf 1 Cor 1:26) priests, and be holy, because He himself is Holy (cf Lv 19:2). And just as beyond all others on account of this ministery the Lord God has honored you, so even you are to love, revere, and honor Him beyond all others. Great miseries and miserable infirmity, when you hold Him so near and you care for anything else in the whole world. Let the entire man tremble with fear, let the whole world begin to tremble, and let heaven exult, when there is upon the Altar in the hand of the priest "Christ, the Son of the living God" (Jn 11:27)! O admirable height and stupendous esteem! O lofty humility! O humble loftiness, which the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself; that for our salvation under the limited, little form of bread, hides Himself! See, friars, the humility of God and "pour out your hearts before Him" (Ps 61:9); humble even youselves, so that you may be exalted by Him (cf 1 Pt 5:6; Jm 4:10). Therefore keep nothing of yourselves for yourselves, so that He may receive you whole, because He manifests Himself wholely to you.
I warn you therefore and exhort you in the Lord, that in the places, in which the friars are staying, only one Mass be celebrated during the day according to the manner [formam] of Holy Church. If in fact there are very many priests in the place, let each be content by means of the love of charity to hear the celebration of the other priest; because Jesus Christ fulfills [replet] those present and absent, who are worthy of Him. Who, though He seems to be in very many places, remains however indivisible and knows no loss, but Himself one everywhere, as may please Him, works with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
And, because "he who is" from God "hears the words of God" (cf John 8:47), we, who have been more especially charged with the divine services, should not only hear and do, what the Lord says, but also take care to instill in ourselves the height of Our Creator and in our subjection to Him to guard the vessels and other appurtenances, which contain in His holy words. On that account I warn all my friars and in Christ I urge them, to this extent, that wheresoever they might find the divine words written, let them venerate them, as they are able, and, in as much as it pertains to them, if they be not stored well or if they lay dishonorably scattered in some place, they are to gather them together and store them once again, honoring in their speech the Lord, "who spoke these things" (3 Kg 2:4). For many things are sanctified by the words of God (cf 1 Tm 4:5), and in virtue of the words of Christ the Sacrament of the Altar is confected.
Furthermore I confess all my sins to the Lord God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, to the Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin and to all the saints in Heaven and on earth, to friar N. the Minister of our religion, as to my venerable lord, and to the priests of our Order and to all my other blest friars. In many things I have offended out of my own grave fault, in particular that I have not kept the Rule, which I have promised the Lord, nor have I said the office, as the Rule commands, whether out of negligence or the occasion of my infirmity or because I am ignorant and an idiot. And therefore by all means I pray, as I am able, that friar N. my lord Minister General, have the Rule inviolably observed by all; and have the clerics say the office with devotion in the presence of God [coram Deo], not attending to melody of voice, but to the consonance of mind, so that voice agrees with mind, and mind indeed agrees with God, so that they might be able by purity of heart to please God and not with playfulness [lascivitate] of voice to tickle [demulcere] the ears of the people. For I promise to keep these things firmly, as the Lord might give me the grace; and that I will teach the friars, who are with me, that these things are to be observed in the office and in the other things established by the Rule. Whosoever of the friars, however, might not want to observe these things, I do not consider catholic nor my friars; I do not want even to see them nor speak with them, until they have done penance. I say this too concerning all others, who go about wandering, foregoing the discipline of the Rule; since Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His own life, rather than squander His obedience to His Most Holy Father (cf Phil 2:8).
I, friar Francis, a useless and unworthy creature of the Lord God, by means of Our Lord Jesus Christ tell friar N., the Minister of our entire religion and all the Ministers General, who will be after him, and all the custodes and guardians of the friars, who are and will be, to keep this writing with them, to read it and to studiously copy it. And I prevail upon them [exoro ipsos] to sollicitiously keep and diligently to have those things, which are written in it, observed according to the good pleasure of the Omnipotent God, now and always, so long as this world shall be.
He blesses you by the Lord (Ps 113,13), who made it and may the Lord be with you forever. Amen.
Omnipotent, Eternal, just and merciful God, grant to us wretches that doing for Thy sake, what we know Thou wants, and always wanting, what pleases Thee, as ones interiorly cleansed, interiorly illumined and inflamed with the fire of the Holy Spirit, we might follow the footsteps of Thy Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and attain to Thee, Most High, by Thy grace alone, who in perfect Trinity and simple Unity lives and reigns and is glorified as the Omnipotent God, for all the ages of ages. Amen.
To all the authorities and consuls, judges and rulers of whatever lands and to all others, to whom these letters may come, Friar Francis, your tiny and despised servant in the Lord God, chooses to send greetings and peace to you all.
Consider and see, that the day of death approaches (cf Gen 47:29). I beg you therefore with reverance, as I am able, on account of the cares and sollicitudes of this age not to surrender the Lord to forgetfulness nor to turn away from His mandates, because all those, "who" surrender Him to forgetfulness and "turn away from" His "mandates" have been "cursed" (cf Ps 118:21) and by Him "they will be surrendered to forgetfulness" (Ez 33:13). And since the day of death wil come, everything, which they think they have, will be borne away from them (cf Lk 8:18). And, in as much as they were wiser and more powerful in this world, so much greater will be the torments they will endure in Hell (cf Ws 6:7).
Whence I firmly counsel you, my lords, to consider of less account all care and sollicitude and to kindly receive the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ during His holy commemoration [i.e. the Sacrifice of the Mass]. And to confer upon the people committed to you by the Lord such an honor, that on whatever evening there be announced by a messanger or by another sign, by which praises and thanks are to be given to the omnipotent Lord God by all the people. And, if you will not do this, know that you must render "an account on the day of judgement" in the presence of your Lord Jesus Christ (cf Mt 12:36).
This has been written so that they who will have kept it with them and observed it, may know themselves blessed by the Lord God.
Because you have by divine inspiration made yourselves daughters and handmaids of the Most High and Highest King, the Heavenly Father, and have espoused yourselves to the Holy Spirit by choosing to live according to the perfection of the Holy Gospel: I want and promise that I and my Friars will always exercise a diligent care and special sollicitude concerning yourselves just as for them.
YET TO BE PUBLISHED
YET TO BE PUBLISHED
Here begin the praises which our most blessed Father Francis ordained and himself said at every hour of the day and night and before the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, beginning thus: Most Holy, Our Father who art in heaven, etc.. with the Glory be. Then the praises are to be said:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, who is and who was and who is to come (cf Apoc 4:8) :
And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Worthy are Thee, Our Lord God, to accept praise, glory and honor, and blessing (cf Apoc 4:11) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain to accept virtue and riches1 and wisdom and fortitude and honor and glory and blessing (Apoc 5:12) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Let us bless the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
All you works of the Lord bless the Lord (Dan 3:57) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Recite praise to Our God all you His servants and you who fear God, tiny and great (cf Apoc 19:5) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Praise Him the Glorious One you heavens and earth (cf Ps 68:35; Ps Rom) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
And every creature, which is in Heaven and on the earth and which is beneath the earth and the sea and those which are in it (cf Apoc 5:13) : And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the
Holy Spirit : And let us praise and exalt
Him above all throughout the ages.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be always and unto the ages of ages. Amen
And let us praise and exalt Him above all throughout the ages.
Omnipotent, Most Holy, Most High, and Highest God, all good, highest Good, wholely good, who alone is good (cf Lk 18:19), to Thee do we render all praise, all glory, all thanks, all honor, all blessing and all goods. So be it. So be it. Amen.
YET TO BE PUBLISHED
Click here for the entire English text of Pope Honorius III's Bull "Solet Annuere."
In the name of the Lord begins the life of the Friars Minor.
The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without anything of one's own, and in chastity.
Friar Francis promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Honorius and his canonically elected successors, and to the Roman Church; and the other friars are bound to obey Friar Francis and his successors.
Concerning those who wish to adopt this life, and how they should be received.
If any would desire to adopt this life and would come to our brothers, let them send them to their Ministers provincial, to whom alone, and not to others, is the permission to receive friars conceded. Let the ministers indeed examine them diligently concerning the Catholic Faith and the sacraments of the Church.
And if they believe these things and want to observe them faithfully and firmly unto the end, and they have no wives or, if they do, their wives have already entered a monastery, or having taken a vow of continence, permission [to enter one] has been granted to them by authority of the bishop of the diocese, and the wives are of such an age that suspicion cannot arise concerning them, let them say unto these the word of the Holy Gospel (cf Mt 19:21), that they should go and sell all that is their own and strive to give it to the poor. But if they cannot do this, a good will suffices for them.
And let the friars and their ministers beware, lest they be sollicitous concering their temporal things, so that they may freely do with their own things, whatever the Lord will have inspired them. If however counsel is required, let the ministers have permission to send them to other God fearing men, by whose counsel their goods may be spent [erogentur] on the poor. Afterwards let them grant them the clothes of probation, that is, two tunics without a capuche, a cord [cingulum] , breeches, and a caparone [extending] to the cord, unless it seems to the same ministers [that it should be] otherwise according to God. Having truly finished the year of probation, let them be received to obedience, promising to observe always this life and Rule.
And in no manner will it be licit for them to go forth from this religious institute [de ista religione exire], according to the command of the Lord Pope, because according to the Holy Gospel "No one putting hand to the plow and turning back is fit for the Kingdom of God." (Lk 9:62)
And let those who have already promised obedience have a tunic with a capuche, and if they wish to have it, another without a capuche. And let those who are driven by necessity be able to wear footwear. And let all the friars wear cheep clothing and be able to patch these with sack-cloth and other pieces with the blessing of God. I warn and exhort them, not to despise nor judge men, whom they see clothed with soft and colored clothes, using danty food and drink, but rather let each one judge and despise his very self.
Concerning the divine office and fasting; and in what manner the brothers ought to go through the world.
Clerics are to perform [faciant] the divine office according to the Ordo of the Roman Church, except for the psalter, for which they can have beviaries.
Let the laymen indeed say twenty-four "Our Fathers" for matins; for lauds five ; for prime, terce, sext and none, for each of these seven, for vespers, however, twelve; for compline seven; and let them pray for the dead.
And let them fast from the Feast of All saints until Christmas. Indeed may those who voluntaritly fast the holy lent, which begins at Ephiphany and for the forty days that follow, which the Lord consecrated with His own holy fast, be blessed by the Lord, and let those who do not wish [to do so] not be constrained. But let them fast the other [lent] until the [day of the] Resurrection of the Lord.
At other times however they are not bound to fast, except on fridays. Indeed in time of manifest necessity the friars are not bound to the corporal fast.
Indeed, I counsel, warn and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that when they go about through the world, they are not to quarrel nor contend in words (cf 2 Tim 2:14), nor are they to judge others, but they are to be meek, peacible and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly to all, as is fitting. And they should not ride horseback, unless they are driven [to do so] by manifest necessity or infirmity.
Into whatever house they may enter, first let them say: "Peace to this house." (cf Lk 10:5) And according to the Holy Gospel it is lawful to eat of any of the foods, which are placed before them. (cf Lk 10:8)
That the brothers should not receive money.
I firmly command all the friars, that in no manner are they to receive coins or money through themselves or through an interposed person. However for the necessities of the infirm and for the clothing of the other friars, only the ministers and the custodes are to conduct a sollicitous care, by means of spiritual friends, according to places and seasons and cold regions, as they see expedites necessity; with this always preserved, that, as has been said, they do not receive coins nor money.
On the manner of working.
Let those friars, to whom the Lord gives the grace to work, work faithfully and devotedly, in such a way that, having excluded idleness, the enemy of the soul, they do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion, which all other temporal things should serve zealously [deservire]. Indeed concerning the wages of labor, let them receive for themselves and for their friars what is for the necessity of the body, except coins or money, and this [they should do] humbly, as befits the servants of God and the followers of most holy poverty.
That the Friars are to appropriate nothing for themselves, and concerning the begging of alms and sick friars.
Let the Friars appropriate nothing for themselves, neither house nor place, nor any thing. And as pilgrims and exiles (cf 1 Pt 2:11) in this age let them go about for alms confidently, as ones serving the Lord in poverty and humility, nor is it proper that they be ashamed [to do so], since the Lord made Himself poor in this world (cf 2 Cor 8:9) for us. This is that loftiness of most high poverty, which has established you, my most dear Friars, as heirs and kings of the Kingdom of Heaven, making you poor in things, it has raised you high in virtues (cf Jm 2:5). Let this be your "portion", which leads you "into the land of the living" (cfr Ps 141,6). Cleaving totally to this, most beloved Friars, may you want to have nothing other under heaven in perpetuity, for the [sake of] the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, wherever the friars are and find themselves, let them mutually show themselves to be among their family members. And let them without fear manifest to one another their own need, since, if a mother nourishes and loves her own son (cf 1 Th 2:7) according to the flesh, how much more diligently should he love and nourish his own spiritual brother?
And, if any of them should fall into infirmity, the other friars should care for him, as they would want to be cared for themselves.
On the penance to be imposed on Friars who are sinning.
If any of the friars, at the instigation of the enemy, should sin mortally, for those sins, concerning which it has be ordained among the friars, that one have recourse to the Ministers provincial alone, the aforesaid friars are bound to have recourse to them as soon as they can, without delay. Indeed let the Ministers themselves, if they are priests, with mercy enjoin upon them a penance; if indeed they are not priests, let them have it enjoined by other priests of the order, as it will seem to them to better expedite [the matter] according to God. And they should beware, not to grow angry and be distressed on account of the sin of another, since anger and distress impede charity in themselves and in others.
On the election of the Minister general of this fraternity; and on the Chapter at Pentecost.
All the friars are bound to have always one of the friars of this very same religion as Minister general and servant of the whole fraternity and they are bound firmly to obey him. When he dies, let an election of a successor be made by the Ministers provincials and the custodes in the Pentecost Chapter, in which the ministers provincial are bound to convene at once [or at the same time], wherever it will have been determined by the minister general; and this once every three years or at another interval greater or less, as it will have been ordained by the aforesaid minister.
And if at any time it may appear to all the Ministers provincial and to the custodes, that the aforesaid minister is not sufficient for the service and common utility of the friars, the aforesaid friars, to whom the electing has been given, are bound in the Name of the Lord to choose another another as their guard [in custodem]. Indeed, after the Pentecost Chapter, let the ministers and custodes each be able, if they want and if it will seem to be expedient for them, once in the same year to call their friars together in chapter in their own custodies.
Le the friars not preach in the diocese of any bishop, when he has spoken against their [preaching]. And let no friar at all [penitus] dare preach to the people, unless he will have been examined by the minister general of this fraternity and approved, and there be conceded to him by the same the office of preaching.
I also warn and exhort these same friars, that in preaching, that they do, their expressions be considered and chaste (cf Ps 11:7; 17:21), for [sake of] the utility and edification of the people, by announcing to them vices and virtues, punishment and glory with brevity of speech; since a brief word did the Lord speak upon the earth. (cf Rom 9:28)
On the admonition and correction of the friars.
Let the friars, who are ministers and servants of the other friars, visit and warn their friars and humbly and charitably correct them, not commanding them anything which is contrary to their soul and our Rule. Indeed let the friars, who are subjects, remember, that for the sake of God they have renounced their own wills. Whence I firmly command them, to obey thier ministers in all things which they have promised the Lord to observe and which are not contrary to their soul or to our Rule. And wherever the friars are, who know and understand, that they themselves are not able to observe the rule spiritually, they should and can have recourse to their ministers. Indeed let the ministers receive them charitably and kindly and be so familiar with them, that they can speak to them and act as lords with their servants; for so it should be, because the ministers are the servants of all the friars.
Indeed I warn and exhort the friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they beware of all pride, vain glory, envy, avarice (cf Lk 12:15), care and sollicitude for this age, detraction and murmuring, and that those who are ignorant of letters not care to learn letters; but let them strive, so that above all things they should desire to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy operation, to pray always to Him with a pure heart and to have humility, [and] patience in persecution and in infirmity, and to love those who persecute and correct and accuse us, because the Lord says, "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute and calumniate you" (Mt. 5:44). "Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 5:10). "He who has persevered until the end, however, will be saved" (Mt. 10:22).
That the brothers should not enter the monasteries of nuns.
I frimly command all the brothers not to have suspicious company or conversation with women, and not to enter the monasteries of nuns, except those [friars] to whom special permission has been conceded by the Apostolic See; neither are they to be godfathers of men or women [so that] scandal may not arise on this account among the friars nor concerning them.
Concerning those going among the Saracens and other infidels.
Let whoever of the friars who by divine inspiration wants to go among the saracens and other infidels seek permission for that reason from thier minister provincial. Indeed the ministers are to grant permission to go to none, except those whom seems to be fit to be sent.
For which sake I enjoin the ministers by obedience, to seek from the Lord Pope one of the cardinals of the Roman Church, who is to be the govenor, protector, and corrector of this fraternity, so that always subject and prostrate at the feet of this same Holy Church, stable in the Catholic Faith (cf Col 1:23) we may observe, what we have firmly promised: the poverty and humility and the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Click here for the entire English text of the Regula non-Bullata.
Thus did the Lord grant to me, friar Francis, to begin to do penance: who when I was exceedingly in my sins, to see lepers seemed a bitter thing to me. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I worked mercy among them. And when I was fleeing from them, because it seemed to be a bitter thing, it was changed for me in to sweetness of soul and body; and I remained for a little while afterward and [then] I went forth from the world [de saeculo]. And the Lord granted me such faith in churches, that I would pray simply and say: "We adore Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, and for1 all Thy churches, which are in the whole world [mundo], we also bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has redeemed the world [mundum]." Afterwards the Lord granted me and grants so much faith in priests, who live according to the form of the Holy Roman Church on account of their state in life [propter ordinem], that if they would stir up a persecution against me, I want (sic) to have recourse to these. And if I would have as much wisdom, as Solomon had, and I would come upon the little poor priests of this age, in the parishes, where they stay, I do not wish to preach beyond their will [to do so]. And they and all other [priests] I want to fear, love, and honor, as my lords. And I do not want to consider sin in them, because I discern in them the Son of God, and they are my lords. And I do that on account of this, because I see nothing corporally in this age of the Most High Son of God Himself, except His Most Holy Body and Most Holy Blood, which they receive and which they alone minister to others. And these most holy Mysteries I want above all things to honor, to venerate and to place in precious places. Wherever I find written the most holy Names and His words in unlawful places, I want to gather them together and I pray, that they are gathered together and placed together in an honorable place. And all theologians and those, who minister the most sacred divine words, we should honor and venerate, as those who minister to us spirit and life (cf Jn 6:64).
And after the Lord made me a grant of friars [dedit de fratribus], no one showed me, what I ought to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me, that I ought to live according the the form of the Holy Gospel. And I with a few words and simply had it written and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me. And those who were coming to receive life, used to give "all that they possibly had" (Tob 1,3) to the poor; and they used to be content with one tunic, patched [repeciata] inside and out, with a cincture [cingulo] and with breeches. And we did not use to want to have more. We clerics used to say the office according to [or "along with"] the other clergy, the lay brothers used to say the Our Father; and we used to stay quite freely in the churches. And we used to be idiots and subject to all. And I used to work with my hands, and I want to work; and all the other brothers I firmly want, that they should work at their job, because this pertains to honesty. Those who do not know how, let them learn, not on account of the cupidity to receive a price for work, but on account of the example it gives to repell idleness. And when the price for the work is not given to us, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, by asking for alms from door to door. The Lord revealed to me a greeting, that we should say: "The Lord grant you peace!" Let all the friars beware of themselves, so that the churches, the little poor, little dwellings and everthing, which are constructed for them, they do not inwardly receive, unless they be, as befits the holy poverty, which we have promised in the Rule, always dwelling there as strangers and pilgrims (cf 1 Pet 2, 11). I firmly command all the friars by obedience, that wherever they are, they do not dare to seek any letter in the Roman Curia, by means of themselves nor by an interposed person, nor on behalf of a church nor on behalf of another place nor under the appearance of preaching nor because of a persecution of their bodies; but wheresoever they have not been received, let them flee into another land to do penance with the blessing of God.
And I firmly want to obey the Minister General of this fraternity and any guardian, whom it would please him to give me. And I want to be so captive in his hands, that I would not be able to go or do beyond obedience and his will, because he is my lord. And although I am simple and infirm, nevertheless I want to always have a cleric, who will recite [faciat] the office for me, as is contained in the Rule. And all the other friars are bound to likewise obey their guardians and recite [facere] the office according to the rule. And those, who are found, which (sic) would not recite [facerent] the office according to the Rule, and want to vary it in another manner, or are not catholics, all the friars, wheresoever they might find any of these, ought to present them before the nearest custos of that place, where they found him. And the custos is firmly bound by obedience to guard him strongly, just like a man in chains day and night, so that he is not able to be snatched from their hands, until he in person presents him into the hands of his Minister. And the minister is firmly bound by obedience to send him by means of such friars, that day and night they may guard him as a man in chains, until they present him before the lord of Ostia, who is the lord, protector and corrector of the whole fraternity. And the firars are not to say: "This is another Rule," because this is a remembrance, an admonition, an exhortation and my testament, that I friar Francis, the tiny one, make for you, my blessed friars, for the sake of this, that we might observe the Rule, which we have promised the Lord, in a more catholic way [melius catholice].
And the Minister General and all the other Ministers and custodes are bound by obedience, not to add to these words nor take away. And they are to have this writing with them always, next to the Rule. And in all the chapters that are convened, when they read the Rule, let them read these words also. And all my friars, clerics and lay, I firmly command by obedience, that they are not to place glosses upon the Rule, not even by saying in these words: "Thus they are to be understood." But as the Lord granted me simply and purely to say and write the Rule and these words, so you should understand them simply and without gloss and observe them with holy work until the end. And whosoever will have observed these, may he be filled in heaven with the blessing of the Most High Father and on earth with the blessing of His beloved Son with the Most Holy Spirit and all the powers of Heaven and all the saints. And I friar Francis, your tiny servant, in as much as I am able, confirm for you, inside and out, this Most Holy Blessing.
1 The Latin here is "ad," which has various meanings, the others being "facing" or "at". Thus the sentance could be read "We adore Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, [here] and at all Thy churches., which are in the whole world, and we bless Thee ..." or again, "We adore Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, and facing all Thy churches, which are in the world, we also bless Thee, ..."; likewise the use of the "and ...and" construction could render the sentance "We adore Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, both facing all Thy churches . . . and blessing Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has redeemed the world." The first of this other readings, given in this note, is the traditional translation used among the Friars Minor even today. The rich meaning of this prayer is thus very fruitful for devotion.
I, Friar Francis, the tiny one [parvulus], want to follow the life and poverty of Our Most High Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Holy Mother and to persevere in this even to the end; and I beg you, my ladies, and I give you counsel, that you live in this most holy life and povery always. And guard yourselves very much, lest by the doctrine or counsel of anyone you retreat from this in any manner forever.
Write this way: I bless all my friars, who are in religion and who will come even until the end of the age . . .Since on account of my weakness and the pain of my sickness I cannot manage to speak, in these three words I am briefly making clear my will to my friars, that is: that, in remembrance of my blessing and my testament, they love one another, that they always love and observe our lady, holy poverty, and that they be [existant] faithful and subject to the prelates and all the clergy of Holy Mother Church.
The same friar (brother Leonard) recalled there that one day blessed Francis, while at St. Mary's [of the Angels], called friar Leo and said: "Friar Leo, write." Who responded: "Behold I am ready." "Write—he said—what is perfect joy?" A messanger comes and says that all the masters of Paris have entered the Order, write, "not true joy." Likewise that all the prelates beyond the Alps, archbishops and bishops; likewise that the King of France and the King of England: write, "not true joy." Likewise, that my friars went among the infidels and converted them all to the faith; likewise that I have from God this grace, that I make the sick healthy and work many miracles: I say to you that in all these things there is not true joy. But what is true joy? I return from Perugia and in the dead of night I come here and it is winter time, muddy and what is more, so frigid, that icicles have congealed at the edge of my tunic and they always pierce my shins, and blood comes forth from such wounds. And entirely [covered] with mud and in the cold and ice, I come to the gate, and after I knock for a long time and call, there comes a friar and he asks: "Who is it? I respond: "Friar Francis." And he says: "Go away; it is not a decent hour for going about; you will not enter." And again he would respond to my insistance: "Go away; you are a simpleton and an idiot; you do not measure up to us; we are so many and such men, that we are not in need of you!" And I stand again at the gate and I say: "For the love of God take me in this night." And he would respond: "I will not! Go away to the place of Crosiers and ask there." I say to you that if I will have had patience and will not have been moved, that in this is true joy and true virtue and soundness of soul.
Translated from the latin text keyed in by Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM