Historia Occidentalis - 583 

gait towards what is ahead, flying like clouds, and like doves to their windows, Phil 3:13 on guard with all diligence and caution lest death enter in.

6 The Lord Pope confirmed their Rule and gave them authority to preach at any church they came to, although out of reverence having first obtained the consent of the local prelates. They are sent two by two Is 60:8 to preach as if before the face of the Lord and before his Second Coming.

7 These poor men of Christ carry on their journey neither purse nor pouch nor bread, nor money in their belts; they possess neither gold nor silver, nor do they have shoes on their feet. Indeed, no brother of this Order is allowed to possess anything; they have no monasteries or churches, no fields nor vineyards, no animals, no houses, nor any other possessions, and they have no place to lay their heads. They do not use garments made from linen or pelts, but only woolen tunics with a hood. They use neither capes, nor cloaks, nor hats, nor any other such clothing. Mt 8:20

8 If anyone invites them to dinner, they eat and drink what is set before them. If anyone out of kindness should donate something to them, they do not hold on to it for future use. Lk 10:7

9 Once or twice a year, at a predetermined time and place, they gather together to celebrate a general chapter, except those who are a long distance away or are across the sea. After the chapter, they are sent again in twos or more by their superior to various regions, provinces and cities.

10 Not only by their preaching, but also by their example of a holy life and perfect conversion, they invite many men, not only of lower station but also high-born nobles, to a contempt of the world, to leave behind their estates, their castles and their very ample possessions, and in a blessed exchange to trade their temporal wealth for spiritual treasure. These take the habit of the Lesser Brothers, that is, a cheap tunic with which they are clothed and a piece of rope by which they are girt.

11 They have so multiplied in such a short time that there is not a province of Christendom which does not have some of these brothers, who exhibit in themselves to the eyes of all who see them, as in a most clear mirror, the contempt of worldly vanity. Their growth is due especially to the fact that they refuse no one entry into their Order, except those bound to marriage or to another Order. Such men they do not wish to nor should they accept, as is right, without the consent of their wives or religious superiors. But the more confidently they receive

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Historia Occidentalis, Historia occidentalis, p. 158-163


posteriorum obliti in anteriora semper et passibus continuis extenduntur, uolantes ut nubes, et sicut columbe ad fenestras suas, ne mors per ipsas intrare ualeat, cum omni diligentia et cautela prouidentes.

Regulam autem ipsorum dominus papa confirmauit et eis auctoritatem predicandi ad quascumque uenerint ecclesias concessit, prelatorum tamen loci ob reuerentiam requisito consensu. Mittuntur autem bini ad predicandum tamquam ante faciem domini et ante secundum eius aduentum.

Ipsi autem Christi pauperes neque sacculum in uia portant, neque peram, neque panem, neque es sine pecuniam aliquam in zonis suis, non possidentes aurum, neque argentum, nec calciamenta in pedibus suis habentes, nulli enim huius ordinis fratri licet aliquid possidere. Non habent monasteria uel ecclesias, non agros uel uineas uel animalia, non domos uel alias possessiones, neque ubi caput reclinent. Non utuntur pellibus neque lineis sed tantummodo tunicis laneis caputiatis, non capis uel palliis uel cucullis neque aliis prorsus induuntur uestimentis.

Si quis eos ad prandium uocauerit, manducant et bibunt que apud eos sunt. Si quis eis aliquid misericorditer contulerit, non reseruant in posterum.

Semel autem uel bis in anno tempore certo ad locum determinatum generale capitulum celebraturi conueniunt, exceptis hiis qui nimio tractu terrarum uel mari interposito separantur. Post capitulum iterum ad diuersas regiones et prouincias et ciuitates duo uel plures pariter a superiori suo mittuntur.

Non solum autem predicatione sed exemplo uite sancte et conuersationis perfecte, multos non solum inferioris ordinis homines sed generosos et nobiles ad mundi contemptum inuitant, qui, relictis oppidis et casalibus et amplis possessionibus, temporales diuitias in spirituales felici commercio commutantes, habitum fratrem minorum, id est, tunicam uilis pretii qua induuntur et funem quo accinguntur, assumpserunt.

Tempore enim modico adeo multiplicati sunt, quod non est aliqua christianorum prouincia in qua aliquos de fratribus suis non habeant, qui in seipsis uelut in speculo mundissimo mundane uanitatis contemptum oculis inspicientium representant, presertim cum nulli ad religionem suam transeundi gremium claudant, nisi forte matrimonio uel aliqua alla religione fuerit obligatus. Tales enim sine licencia uxorum uel prepositorum suorum, sicut ratio exigit, nec uolunt nec debent recipere. Alios autem omnes in amplitudine religionis sue tanto confidentius absque ulla contradictionis molestia suscipiunt,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 583

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