The Testament - 62 

31where, in a little while, the Lord, through His mercy and grace, made our number increase so that what the Lord had foretold through His saint would be fulfilled. 32In fact, before this we had stayed in another place, but only for a little while.a

33Afterwards he wrote a form of life for us, especially that we would always persevere in holy poverty. 34While he was living he was not content to encourage us with many words and examples to the love of holy poverty and its observance, but he gave us many writings that, after his death, we would in no way turn away from it, 35as the Son of God never wished to turn away from this holy poverty while He lived in the world. 36And, while he lived, our most blessed father Francis, having imitated His footprints,b never either in example or in teaching turned away from this holy poverty that he had chosen for himself and his brothers.

37Therefore, I, Clare, a handmaid of Christ and of the poor sisters of the Monastery of San Damiano, although unworthy, and the little plant of the holy father, reflect together with my sisters on so lofty a profession and the command of such a father. 38[We are aware] in others of the frailty that we feared in ourselves after the passing of our holy father Francis, who was our pillar, [our] only consolation after God, and [our] support. 39Time and again we willingly bound ourselves to our Lady, most holy Poverty, that after my death, the sisters, those present and those to come, would never in any way turn away from her.

40And as I have always been most zealous and solicitous to observe and to have the others observe the holy poverty that we have promised to the Lord and our holy father Francis, 41so let the others who will succeed me in office always be bound to observe it and have it observed by the other sisters. 42Moreover, for greater security, I took care to have our profession of the most holy pov- erty that we promised our father strengthened with privileges by the Lord Pope Innocent, in whose time we had our beginning, and by his other successors, 43that we would never in any way turn away from her.

44For this reason, on bended knees and bowing low with both

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Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2314-2315


31ubi Dominus in brevi tempore per misericordiam suam et gratiam nos multiplicavit, ut impleretur quod Dominus praedixerat per Sanctum suum; 32nam antea steteramus,in loco alio, licet parum.

33Postea scripsit, nobis formam vivendi et maxime ut in sancta paupertate semper perseveraremus. 34Nec fuit contentus in vita sua nos hortari multis sermonibus et exemplis ad amorem sanctissimae paupertatis et observantiam eiusdem, sed plura scripta nobis tradidit, ne post mortem suam ullatenus declinaremus ab ipsa, 35sicut et Dei Filius, dum vixit in mundo, ab ipsa sancta paupertate numquam voluit declinare. 36Et beatissimus pater noster Ftanciscus, eius vestigiai imitatus, sanctam paupertatem suam, quam elegit per se et per suos fratres, exemplo suo et doctrina dum vixit ab ipsa nullatenus declinavit.

37Considerans igitur ego Clara, Christi et sororum pauperum monasterii Sancti Damiani ancilla, licet indigna, et plantula sancti patris cum aliis meis sororibus tam altissimam professibnem nostram et tanti patris mandatum, 38fragilitatem quoque aliarum quam timebamus in nobis post obitum sancti patris nostri Francisci, qui erat columna nostra et unica consolatio nostra post Deum et firmamentum 39iterum atque iterum voluntarie nos obligavimus dominae nostrae sanctissimae paupertati, ne post mortem meam sorores quae sunt et quae venturae sunt ab ipsa valeant ullatenus declinare.

40Et sicut ego studiosa et sollicita semper fui sanctam paupertatem, quam Domino et patri nostro beato Francisco promisimus, observare et ab aliis facere observari, 41sic teneantur usque in finem illae quae mihi succedent in officio, sanctam paupertatem cum Dei auxilio observare et, facere observari. 42Immo etiam ad maiorem cautelam sollicita fui a domino papa Innocentio, sub cuius tempore coepimus, et ab aliis successoribus suis nostram professionem sanctissimae paupertatis, quam Domino et beato patri nostro promisimus, eorum privilegiis facere roborari, 43ne aliquo tempore ab ipsa declinaremus ullatenus. 44Quapropter flexis genibus et utroque homine inclinato, sanctae matri Ecclesiae Romanae, summo Pontifici et praecipue domino cardinali, qui religioni fratrum minorum et nobis fuerit t deputatus, recommendo omnes sorores meas, quae sunt et quae venturae sunt,

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 62

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