The Form of Life of Saint Clare - 108 

The Form of Life of Clare of Assisi

1Innocent, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to his beloved daughters in Christ, Clare, Abbess, and the other sisters of the monastery of San Damiano in Assisi, health and apostolic blessing.

The Apostolic See is accustomed to accede to the pious requests and to be favorably disposed to grant the praiseworthy desires of its petitioners.a Thus, We have before Us your humble request that We confirm by Our Apostolic authority the form of life that Blessed Francis gave you and which you have freely accepted. According to [this form of life] you should live together in unity of spirits and in the profession of the highest poverty.b Our venerable brother, the Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, has seen fit to approve this way of life, as the Bishop’s own letters on this matter define more fully, and We have taken care to strengthen it with Our Apostolic protection. Attentive, therefore, to your devout prayers, We approve and ratify what the Bishop has done in this matter and confirm it in virtue of Our Apostolic authority and support it in this document.c To this end We include herein the text of the Bishop, word for word, which is the following:

2Rainaldo, by divine mercy Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, to his most dear mother and daughter in Christ, the Lady Clare, Abbess of San Damiano in Assisi, and to her sisters, both present and to come, greetings and a fatherly blessing.

Beloved daughters in Christ, we approve your holy proposal in the Lord and we desire with fatherly affection to impart our kind favor upon your wishes and holy desires, because you have rejected the splendors and pleasures of the world and, following the footprints of Christ Himself and His most holy Mother, you have chosen to live bodily enclosed and to serve the Lord in the

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Regula [Clarae], Fontes Franciscani, p. 2291-2292


Regula

1Innocentius Episcopus, servus servorum Dei. 2Dilectis in Christo filiabus Clarae abbatissae, aliisque sororibus monasterii Sancti Damiani Asisinatis, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem.

3Solet annuere Sedes apostolica piis votis et honestis petentium precibus favorem benevolum impertiri. 4Ex parte siquidem vestra nobis exstitit humiliter supplicatum, ut cum vitae formulam, iuxta quam communiter in spirituum unitate ac voto altissimae paupertatis vivere debetis, 5vobis a beato Francisco traditam et a vobis sponte susceptam, 6venerabilis frater noster Ostiensis et Velletrensis episcopus duxerit approbandam, secundum quod in ipsius episcopi litteris confectis exinde plenius continetur, 7nos id curaremus apostolico munimine roborari. 8Devotionis igitur vestrae precibus inclinati, quod ab eodem episcopo super hoc factum est ratum habentes et gratum, illud auctoritate apostolica confirmamus et praesentis scripti patrocinio communhnus, 9tenorem litterarum ipsarum de verbo ad verbum praesentibus inseri facientes, qui talis est:

10Raynaldus, miseratione divina Ostiensis et Velletrensis episco pus, carissimae sibi in Christo matri et filiae dominae Clarae, abbatissae Sancti Damiani Asisinatis, 11eiusque sororibus, tam praesentibus quam futuris, salutem et benedictionem paternam.

12Quia vos, dilectae in Christo filiae, mundi pompas et delicias contempsistis, 13et ipsius Christi et eius sanctissimae matris sequentes vestigia, elegistis habitare incluso corpore, et in paupertate summa Domino deservire, ut mente libera possitis Domino famulari:

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 108

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