Chronicles - The Prophet - 824 

Brothers, blessed Anthony of the Order of Lesser Brothers, and blessed Elizabeth, the widow of the illustrious prince Louis, Landgrave of Thuringiaa . . . This same Pope, when he was the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, supported Saint Francis from the early days of his Order, just as a mother hen cares for her chicks; he was set up as Protector of the Order by Pope Honorius III . . . This same Gregory IX confirmed two orders, which Saint Francis had founded, the one of the Poor Consecrated Ladies, the other of the Penitents. The latter includes people of both sexes: clerics, married folk, virgins, and continent people.b

 

List of the General Ministers (c. 1261-64)

The following brief entry survives in only one German manuscript.c Its erroneous title, The List of Masters General of the Order of Lesser Brothers, probably betrays a non-Franciscan provenance. It is the earliest known such catalog of the general ministers of the Lesser Brothers.d It was drawn up sometime in the generalate of Bonaventure, as he is stated as currently serving in that capacity.e

In the year 1201,f the blessed Francis, putting aside his secular dress, began to walk in God's way. He wore shoes and a leather belt and carried a staff in his hands, and was searching here and there for the way, which he should follow. Then, in the year 1206, hearing one day that the Lord told his disciples that they were to go forth without staff, or traveling bag, or shoes, he immediately cast aside his staff, shoes, and belt, and began to go through the world girded only with a cord, imitating the rule of the Gospels and the life of the apostles. Thus, six years after his conversion, he began the Rule and life of the Lesser Brothers, and he governed them as a loving father for twenty years. In the year of the Lord 1226, finishing the course of his life rich

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 824

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