The Third Letter to Agnes of Prague - 50 

The Third Letter to Agnes of Prague
(1238)

1To the lady most respected in Christ and the sister to be loved before all mortals, Agnes, sister of the illustrious King of Bohemia, but now the sister and spouse of the Most High King of heaven,a 2Clare, the most lowly and unworthy handmaid of Christ and servant of the Poor Ladies [wishes] the joys of redemption in the Author of salvation and whatever better thing can be desired.

3I am filled with such joy at your well-being, happiness, and marvelous progress through which, I understand, you have advanced in the path you have undertaken to win aheavenly prize. 4And I sigh with so much more exultation in the Lord as I have known and believe that you supply most wonderfully what is lacking both in me and in the othersisters in following the foot- prints of the poor and humble Jesus Christ.

5Truly I can rejoice, and no one can rob me of such joy, 6since, having at lastwhat under heaven I have desired,b I see that, helped by a special gift of wisdom from themouth of God Himself and in an awe-inspiring and unexpected way, you have brought to ruin the subtleties of our crafty enemy, the pride that destroys human nature, and the vanity that infatuates human hearts; 7that by humility, the virtue of faith, and the arms of poverty, you have taken hold of that incomparable treasure hidden in the field of the world and of the human heart, with which you have purchased that by Whom all things have been made from nothing.c 8And, to use the words of the Apostle himself in their proper sense, I judge you to be a co-worker of God Himself and a support for the weak members of His ineffable Body.

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Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2276


Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III

1In Christo sibi reverendissimae dominae ac prae cunctis mortalibus diligendae sorori Agneti, illustris regis Bohemiae germanae, sed iam summo caelorum Regi sorori et sponsae, 2Clara humillima et indigna Christi ancilla et domina(rum) pauperum serva, salutis gaudia in auctore salutis et quidquid melius desiderari potest.

3De sospitate tua, felici statu et successibus prosperis quibus te in incepto cursu ad obtinendum caeleste bravium vigere intelligo tanto repleor gaudio, 4tantaque in Domino exsultatione respiro, quanto te novi et arbitror vestigiorum pauperis et humilis Iesu Christi tam in me quam in aliis ceteris sororibus imitationibus mirifice supplere defectum.

5Vere gaudere possum, nec me aliquis posset a tanto gaudio facere alienam, 6cum, quod sub caelo concupivi iam tenens, callidi hostis astutias et perditricem humanae naturae superbiam et vanitatem humana corda infatuantem te quadam mirabili ipsius Dei oris sapientiae praerogativa suffultam terribiliter ac inopinabiliter videam supplantare, 7absconsumque in agro mundi et cordium humanorum thesaurum incomparabilem, quo illud emitur a quo cuncta de nihilo facta sunt, humilitate, virtute fidei ac paupertatis brachiis amplexari; 8et, ut proprie ipsius apostoli verbis utar, ipsius Dei te iudico adiutricem et ineffabilis corporis eius cadentium membrorum sublevatricem.

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 50

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