Papal Documents - 558 

Papal Documents

A) Cum dilecti of Honorius III (1219)

This brief letter is the first known official document of the Papal court concerning Francis’s brotherhood.a It is essentially a “letter of introduction” assuring bishops and pastors that members of this highly untraditional group did in fact belong to an approved religious community. Such letters were especially necessary in light of the fact that the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) had taken strong measures against unauthorized wandering preachers.b

Honorius, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to our venerable brothers, the archbishops and bishops; and to our beloved sons, the abbots, deans, archdeacons, and other prelates of churches: health and apostolic benediction.

Our beloved sons, Brother Francis and his companions of the life and religion of the Lesser Brothers have rejected the vanities of this world and have chosen a way of life deservedly approved by the Roman Church;c after the example of the Apostles they go throughout different regions sowing the seed of the word of God.

We therefore beseech and exhort all of you in the Lord, and by these apostolic letters command you, when members of the aforesaid brotherhood present themselves to you bearing these letters, to receive them as [true] Catholic faithful, showing yourselves favorable and kind to them out of reverence for God and us.

Given at Rieti, the eleventh of June, in the third year of our pontificate (1219).d




Cum dilecti, Bullarium Franciscanum, p. 2

Cum dilecti of Honorius III (1219)1

Honorius &. Venerabilibus Fratribus, Archiepiscopis, & Episcopis, ac Dilectis Filiis, Abbatibus, Decanis, Archidiaconis, & aliss Ecclesiarum Praelatis Salutem, & Apostolicam Benedictionem.

Cum dilecti filii Frater Franciscus, & socii ejus de vita, & religione Minorum Fratrum, abjectis vanitatibus hujus Mundi, elegerint vitae viam a Romana Ecclesia meritò approbatam; ac ferenda semina Verbi Dei Apostolica exemplo diversas circumeant mansiones;

Universitatem vestram rogamus, & hortamur in Domino, per Apostolica Vobis scripta mandantes, quatenùs latores praesentium de praedictorum Fratrum Collegio existentes, cum ad vos duxerint declinandum, ipsos recipiatis, sicut Catholicos, & Fideles; aliàs eis ob reverentiam divinam, & nostram exhibentes vos favorabiles, & benignos.

Datum III. Judus Junii; Pontificatus Nostri Anno Tertio.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 558