Papal Documents - 563 

Given at Rieti, the third day of December, in the ninth year of our pontificate (1224).a

F) Vineae Domini of Honorius III (1225)

With this bull,b the Papacy gave its full support to the missionary initiative among Muslims, so dear to Francis’s heart, but by singling out roles that only an ordained brother could perform, Honorius is subtly redefining that mission in a more clerical direction. This bull was followed up by two others which further accentuated this trend. One, to the archbishop of Toledo, empowered him to consecrate one of these brothers as a bishop.c Another dispensed them from some of the prescriptions of the Rule in view of the demands of their mission; they did not have to wear the habit and tonsure and were allowed to use money.d We see that acceptance of a pastoral mission on behalf of the church is beginning to determine the Franciscan way of life.

Honorius, Bishop and Servant of the servants of God, to the brothers, Preachers and Minors, designated by the Apostolic See to go to the Kingdom of the Miramamolin:e greetings and apostolic benediction.

Set up as guardians and cultivators of the vineyard of the Lord, though without any merit of our own, we are bound to send workers into the harvest, distributing tasks to each of them according to their ability, so that all might better fulfill their mission.

We are mindful that, denying your very selves, you wish to surrender your own souls to Christ, in order that you might win over the souls of others for him. Since no sacrifice is ever more pleasing to God than seeking to gain souls, we confer upon you who are going into the Kingdom of the Miramamolin, the authority of the Apostolic See, so that proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ there, insofar as he grants, you might convert the infidels, regain those who have fallen away from the faith, strengthen those who are weak, console the fearful, and encourage the strong.

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Vineae Domini, Bullarium Franciscanum, p. BFr 1, p. 24


Datum Reate III. Nonas Decembris, Pontificatus Nostri Anno Nono.

Vineae Domini of Honorius III (1225)5

Honorius &c. Fratribus Praedicatoribus, & Minoribus, & in Regno Miramolini a Sede Apostolica destinatis Salutem, & Apostolicam Benedictionem.

Vineae Domini Custodes licet immeriti positi, & cultores, necesse habemus in eam mittere operarios, distribuendo singulis ministeria secundum virtutem; juxta quam valeant officiosius operari.

Attendentes igitur, quod abnegantes vos ipsos animas vestras pro Christo ponere cupitis, ut lucri faciatis sibi animas aliorum; eo quod nullum sacrificium Deo constat esse acceptiù, quam lucrum quaerere animarum: vos in Regnum Miramolini Sedis Apostolicae transmittit auctoritas; ut evangelizantes illic Dominum JESUM CHRISTUM, quantum ipse dederit, convertatis incredulos, erigatis lapsos, sustentetis debiles, pusillanimes consolemini, & fortes nihilominus confortetis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 563

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