A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 64 

preacher. He was urged to become a member of the Curia and, just as he was illustrious for his life and teaching before in the Order, so now he was so excellent in guidance that he was considered a model for prelates.

140The Second Order founded by blessed Francis is that of virgins and continent married women, whose proposal is to serve God in the enclosure, in perpetual silence, and in mortifying the flesh.a The first member of this Order was the blessed Clare, a most devout disciple of blessed Francis. Seeing them living in a most holy way according to his teaching under the profession of the most exalted poverty, he promised her and the other women professing poverty in a similar way of life his counsel and assistance and that of the other brothers. Blessed Clare and her monastery have always observed this same proposal of poverty up to the present day.

144The Third Order is of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, shared by clerics, laity, virgins, widows, and married couples. Their purpose is to live uprightly in their own homes, to devote their attention to works of piety, and to flee the world's allurements.b Therefore, you might see among them nobles, and even knights, and other people great in the world's estimation, dressed in proper cloaks of black fur,c humble in both their clothing and mounts, so modestly associating with the indigent, that you would not doubt they are truly God-fearing. From the beginning a brother was assigned to them as a minister, but now, in each region, they are released to their ministers, but who, as confreres begotten by the same father, are still encouraged by the brothers with counsel and assistance.d




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1283-1284

famosissimus praedicator. 139Qui tractus et coactus ad Curiam, vita et doctrina ut prius in Ordine sic excellenter in regimine fulsit, ut forma Praesulum censeretur.

140Secundus a beato Francisco institutus Ordo est virginum et continentium matronarum, cuius propositum est Deo sub clausura perpetuo in silentio et carnis maceratione servire. 141Prima fuit beata Clara, devotissima beati Francisci discipula. 142Quas videns ipse iuxta doctrinam suam sanctissime conversantes sub professione altissimae paupertatis, ei et aliis in simili conversatione profitentibus paupertatem suum et fratrum consilium auxiliumque promisit. 143Idem paupertatis propositum beata Clara semper eiusque usque hodie monasterium tenuit.

144Tertius Ordo est fratrum et sororum de poenitentia, elericis, laicis, virginibus, viduis et coniugatis communis, cuius propositum est in domibus propriis honeste vivere, operibus pietatis intendere, pompam saeculi fugere. 145Unde videas inter eos nobiles aliquando milites vel alios magnos secundum saeculum viros cum mantellis honestis nigris pellibus involutos, in humili tam veste quam equitatura cum indigentibus sic conversari modeste, ut eos vere Deum timentes non dubites. 146Istis a principio frater assignabatur Minister, sed nunc suis in terra dimittuntur Ministris, ut tamen a fratribus tamquam confratres et eodem patre geniti consiliis et auxiliis foveantur.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 64