The Testament - 63 

[body and soul],a I commend all my sisters, both those present and those to come, to holy Mother the Roman Church, to the supreme Pontiff, and, especially, to the Lord Cardinal who has been appointed for the religion of the Lesser Brothers and for us. 45Out of love for the God Who placed poor in the crib, lived poor as in the world, and remained naked on the cross, 46may [the Lord Cardi- nal] always have his little flock, which the Lord Father has begot- ten in His holy Church by the word and example of our blessed father Francis by following the poverty and humility of His beloved Son and His glorious Virgin Mother, 47observe the holy poverty that we have promised to God and our most blessed father Saint Francis. And may he always encourage and support them in these things.

48And as the Lord gave us our most blessed father Francis as a founder, planter, and helper in the service of Christ and in those things we have promised to God and to our blessed father, 49who while he was living was always solicitous in word and in deed to cherish and care for us, his plant, 50so do I commend and leave my sisters, both those present and those to come, to the successor of our blessed father Francis and to the entire religion, 51that they may always help us to progress in better serving God and, above all, in better observing most holy poverty.

52If it should happen at any time that these sisters leave this place and go elsewhere, let them be bound, wherever they may be after my death, to observe that form of poverty that we have promised God and our most blessed father Francis.b

53Let the sister who shall be in office,c however, as well as the other sisters, be attentive and farsighted that they do not acquire or receive more land about the place than strict necessity requires for a garden for raising vegetables. 54But if it becomes necessary for the integrity and privacy of the monastery to have more land beyond the limits of a garden, let no more be acquired or even

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Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2315-2316


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, 45ut amore illius Dei, qui pauper positus est in praesaepio pauper vixit in saeculo et nudus remansit in patibulo, 46semper gregi suo pusillo, quem Dominus Pater genuit in Ecclesia sua sancta verbo et exemplo beatissimi patris nostri Francisci, insequendo paupertatem et humilitatem dilecti Filii sui et gloriosae virginis Matris suae, 47sanctam paupertatem, quam Domino et beatissimo patri nostro Francisco promisimus, faciat observari, et in ipsa dignetur favere ipsas semper et conservare.

48Et sicut Dominus dedit nobis beatissimum patrem nostrum Franciscum in fundatorem, plantatorem et adiutorem nostrum in servitio Christi et in his quae Domino et beato patri nostro promisimus, 49qui etiam dum vixit sollicitus fuit verbo et opere semper excolere et fovere nos plantulam suam; 50sic recommendo et relinquo sorores meas, quae sunt et quae venturae sunt, successori beatissimi patris nostri Francisci et toti religioni, 51ut sint nobis in adiutorium proficiendi semper in melius ad serviendum Deo et observandam praecipue melius sanctissimam paupertatem.

52Si vero contigerit aliquo tempore dictas sorores locum dictum relinquere et ad alium se transferre, praedictam formam paupertatis, quam Domino et beatissimo patri nostro Francisco promisimus, post mortem meam ubicumque fuerint, observare nihilominus teneantur.

53Sit tamen sollicita et providens, tam illa quae erit in officio quam aliae sorores, ne circa supradictum locum de terra acquirant vel recipiant, nisi quantum extrema necessitas pro horto ad excolenda olera poposcit. 54Si autem ab aliqua parte pro honestate et remotione monasterii extra saepta horti oportet plus haberi de terra, non permittant plus acquiri vel etiam recipiant, nisi quantum extrema necessitas poscit;

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 63

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