Order Regular Spirituality
|To be able to identify that spirituality of
the Third Order, it is first of all necessary to be clear about the nature of this order.
Author: Fr. Raffaele Pazzelli, TOR
(One of the most recognized and well
respected Franciscan scholars in the Order)
|The Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of
the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis was approved by Pope John Paul II and intended
for the entire movement of the Third Order Regular, male and female. Besides representing
and expressing the basic unity of this Franciscan family, the Rule contains the
fundamental elements of the spirituality of the Order 12
One can immediately ask: <<Does there exist a
spirituality of the Third Order Regular that is different or distinct from that of the
other Franciscan Orders?» Instead of giving a categorical response, we believe it is
useful to give some distinctions and some enlightenment on the question.
«ln the sphere of Franciscan spirituality one can identify three main currents
that all refer to Saint Francis, but each is distinguished by its own orientation and
this is to say, each one distinguishes itself by the emphasis it puts on one or the other
of the various elements of Franciscan spirituality. And this emphasis becomes a
characterization. The three currents are practically identified with the three Orders of
Starting from a different point of view, one is able to affirm with greater detail
that each of the three Franciscan Orders, besides receiving <<the dominant ideas of
Franciscan Spirituality>> which are «the common patrimony, has its own set of
spiritual elements that characterize each one in the sphere of Franciscan tradition». 14 Whether this is sufficient
for us to speak of a distinct spirituality is a question for discussion. It is certain,
however, that there does exist a spiritual characteristic proper to each of the three
Franciscan Orders. We call it a spirituality. To be able to identify that spirituality of
the Third Order, it is first of all necessary to be clear about the nature of this order.
Today we know with certainty that the Third Order is the continuation, with new
contributions, of the penitential movement which existed before the time of Saint Francis;
a movement which was known to Saint Francis; a movement which he followed. < In 1206,
Francis before Bishop Guido renounced his father Peter Bemadone, changed his clothing to
that worn by the penitents (exivi de saeculo) and officially entered the penitential
state>>15. In that penitential
movement there were some constant elements of spirituality which formed its charism.
The Third Order of Saint Francis: <<thus takes its life from the convergence
of two spiritual streams: the one, the gospel witness of Francis, the other, the
penitential movement>> 16
We can thus assert that the elements of penitential spirituality were made an integral
part of the spiritual endowment belonging to the Saint of Assisi: he assimilated these
elements into his own charism. In the Third Order which had its beginning with Saint
Francis, there are some new elements which were not present in the earlier penitential
movement 17; there are
also elements coming from penitential spirituality. This double category of these elements
establishes the standard that characterizes the Third Order of Saint Francis.
1. The main components of penitential spirituality
Perhaps few other religious orders today can benefit, as can the Third Order, from
so many high level studies done in the last twenty years that bring to light both
spiritual and historical aspects of the Third Order. For reasons readily recognizable, a
group of scholarly Franciscans under the initiative of Father Leon Bedrune, O.F.M.,
representing the four families 18,
towards the end of the 1960's, wanted to get into the middle of an investigation that had
begun decades earlier in the scientific field. The area of this investigation was the
«famous Franciscan movement which included even married people>>19, <<the Penitential movement>>.
This investigation was begun especially because a new opinion had been proposed by the
assertions of scholars, including persons outside Franciscanism, concerning the
<<penitential origins> of Francis of Assisi
20. Furthermore, the Second Vatican Council had urged religious institutes to
<<return to the sources>>, that is, to return to their true beginnings in the
areas of spirit and history. Now the <<penitential movement> had followed Saint
Francis in his spirituality and the directives received from him. Later on, towards the
end of the thirteenth century, this <<penitential movement> began to call itself
or was called <<the Third Order of Saint Francis>>.
The group of ardent scholars engaged in the project increased in number and has
continued to the present time to promote Study Meetings, in different cities of Italy, and
has published the Acts of these Meetings in several volumes.21
Limiting our considerations here to the theme in which we are interested, we note that the
above mentioned studies furnish full evidence that < Penance» as it developed in the
penitential-Franciscan charism is composed of and explained by the two principal
conversion>> in the biblical sense of < metanoia», that is, a redirecting of
oneself toward God, as a constant tending toward Him which implies leaving behind
instinctual life which centers on self, and the undertaking of a life in which God is the
center of activity and aspiration;
- active and effective charity, on behalf of the brothers and sisters in Christ, an active
charity extended to those who have greater need of it, a dedicating of oneself in many
ways to the < works of mercy», both spiritual and corporal.
2. Explanation of these concepts
Since the two elements mentioned above are so essential to the make-up of this
movement as to constitute its characteristics, it seems fitting and necessary to insist
again in detail on their meaning, both
2. I Frati Penitenti di san Francesco nella societa del Due a Trecento, Acts of the
second Meeting for Franciscan Studies held in Rome, October 12-14, 1976. Edited by Mariano
d'Alatri, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, Roma. 1977.
3. ll Movimento Francescano della Penitenza nella societa medioevale, Acts of the
third Meeting for Franciscan Studies held at Padua. September 25-27, 1979. Edited by
Mariano D'Alatri, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, Roma. 1980.
4. Prime manifestazioni di vita comunitaria, maschile a femminile, nel movimento
francescano della Penitenza (1215-1447), Acts of the fourth Meeting for Franciscan
Studies, held in Assisi, June 30 to July 2, 1981. Edited by R. Pazzelli-L. Temperini,
International Historical Commission of the T.O.R., Roma- 1982 and in the ANALECTA TOR, XV
5. La Supra Montem di Niccolo IV (1289): genesi a diffussione di una Regola. Acts
of the fifth Meeting for Franciscan Studies held in Ascoli Piceno, October 26-27, 1987.
Edited by R. Pazzelli-L. Temperini and the ANALECTA TOR, Rome, 1988.
theoretical and practical, so that each of our readers may have a clear and complete
understanding of them.
a) The life of penance
We note first of all, that the term «penance> does not primarily have here the
common meaning which has been retained in modem languages, but the biblical meaning of
It is well known that in modern languages the word <<penance>> most
often means actions of external mortification, such as fasting, abstinence from a
particular kind of food or from other pleasurable things and even causing bodily pain by
some physical means such as a hair shirt or the < discipline> 22
This is not the principal meaning of the word penance in the biblical context or meaning.
It is only a secondary or derived meaning. The first meaning of penance in the biblical
sense is conversion of the heart, return to God, change of outlook, that is, a resolution
for the future to follow the will of God.
Penance, in this sense, corresponds to the biblical meaning of the word <
metanoia>, which was in its turn translated into the Latin <conversio> . Thus the
three words: metanoia, penance and conversion in this context have the same meaning and
< So Franciscan penance>>, writes Lino Temperini, <<indicates
above all an interior psychological - spiritual attitude that turns the primary interests
of the soul and the impulse of the heart incessantly toward God, subordinating all the
rest to this fundamental option of the human being.
<<Penance>> expresses, therefore, a type of relationship with the Lord,
a way of seeing the world as a turning toward God-Love, a particular way of achieving
evangelical perfection. These are spiritual moments of a more intense conversion to God by
means of conformity to Christ who is the only way to draw near to the Father. (See John
Penance is like a fulcrum on which rests the entire organism of the supernatural
life, it is a concept that confers a characteristic tonality and a special dynamism to the
development of the spirit. It shapes and draws to itself the principles and means of
Christian perfection, nourishing a continuous turning toward God who is seen as love and
sought out of love.
This profound orientation, that arises from a definite decision to seek God,
guarantees the basic idea of the Primacy of the Spirit: it animates progress in the
spiritual life and stimulates its dynamism, it constantly keeps awake enthusiasm,
nourishes commitment and influences all the moments of existence that involve the body,
the psyche, the mind, and the will. Consequently, the penitential life does not originate
in the fear of divine punishment, nor is it motivated by the will to expiate faults or
even principally to obtain eternal blessedness, but by its attraction towards God who is
presented as the highest Good and the mystery of love.
The external forms of penance, fasts, sacrifices, mortifications, prayer, vigils, are none
other than partial and secondary expressions of an intimate conversion of the heart which
implies the supremacy of the spirit, tending toward God, and the consequent avoidance of
every form of evil.
Following the penitential spirituality, the Friars and Sisters of the Third Order
of Saint Francis, called for centuries <<the Franciscan Order of Penance», have
their own style of life, their own way of evaluating things, or of reacting to happy or
sorrowful events, and of defining their human life. They have their own way of
putting themselves before the eternal, of specifying their hopes. In other words, they
have their own view of earthly things which they look upon with admiration and detachment;
they are optimistic and happy in the Lord, generously involved in giving testimony to the
love that God has for His creatures; they are available to their brothers and sisters,
full of faith in Providence.
From this style of spiritual life, centered on penance, flow all the elements of
sanctification as so many corollaries that orbit around the vital and impelling idea: an
unceasing conversion to the living God (Acts 14,14) 24.
b) The life of active charity
From the above statements there is enough evidence to show that charity and
availability to the brothers and sisters are corollaries or natural consequences of an
interior conversion deeply lived. A life of active charity is the life of penance
achieved: <<Remain in my love>> (John 15:9). Scripture says clearly: <
Whoever does not love the brother or sister whom he can see, cannot love God whom he has
not seen>> (I John 4:20) . <<Penance that is born of a more intense love of
God», Temperini continues,
< projects itself in daily reality and embraces all the necessities of our brothers and
sisters, be they spiritual or material.
In the spirit of Saint Francis, the brothers and sisters of penance have renewed
that fraternal love which characterized the first Christians. They have always been
dedicated to works of charity and thus at all times the poor, the sick, the elderly, the
orphans, the handicapped, the emarginated, the illiterate in missionary countries, the
afflicted or those suffering in body or spirit have always been the ones beloved by the
Friars and Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis.
Together with the penitential spirituality, charitable service (of the works of mercy) is
to be considered a characteristic of the life of the Tertiary Regulars. A life full of
God, in a continuous state of conversion to Him, cannot help but overflow in active love
for those in need. The concrete sign of conversion in Saint Francis was his embrace of the
leper, his attention to the poor, the humble, the suffering, to men without God, and to
those thirsting for truth and peace>>25
3. The voice of history
The life of penance
Here we would like to take a look-a bird's eye view, of course-at those centuries that
went before Francis of Assisi and those centuries which followed his life to show that the
primary element, < conversion>, is clearly present from the beginning of the
penitential movement. Before the fourth century in the East there were the forerunners of
that way of life which would later be called the penitential movement. They were called
apotaktikoi, a word which Cassian translated into Latin as «abrenuntiantes», those who
renounce the < world». In the West these people were called < conversb : they were
those who had decided upon a conversion, a more or less radical breaking with the kind of
life experienced in the past, called <<the world», and the making of a commitment,
often public, to live < penance> , a new kind of life in which God is the center of
one's existence. This life of penance began by entering in a practical way into one of the
many forms of the life of penance which had developed in many different ways according to
circumstances from the time of the fourth century and later.
The very concept of < conversion» tells us that the purpose of such a decision
was to make God the reference point and the aim of one's own life: a highly spiritual
Theologically, conversion was considered a gift of God and also a response on the
part of a human being in the presence of divine initiative. This idea was clearly
presented as early as Dionysius of Alexandria (+264 AD) and we again find the idea
unchanged in a spiritual treatise of the twelfth century, the Book of Penance by the
Anonymous Benedictine of the Twelfth Century. <<When there is the return to God
(poenitentia), there is also pardon. The grace of conversion (poenitentia) comes to the
sinner from God, from whom also comes pardon. Thus each time God grants the grace of
conversion, He also gives pardon.26
In the seventh century, Saint Isidore of Seville, Bishop of that city from 601 to
636, speaking of penance and the meaning of < conversion of the heart», emphasizes and
explains the interior dimension which should make of penance a Christian <<way of
life». Saint Isidore clearly teaches that penance is not only an act or a rite; nor is it
a temporary internal disposition. It is and should remain a constant disposition of the
religious spirit, a permanent consecration to a new style of life, interior as well as
exterior, but most of all interior. < One could say», writes Bartolomeo Pastor Oliver,
who has the merit of having brought to light this text, that Saint Isidore presents a
complete psychology and a pastoral outline of conversion. The noblest aspect of this is
the penitent's intention to uproot from the soul that type of complacency which could
invade it after repentance .... He, therefore, insists upon those constructive and
mystical aspects of perfect sorrow which focus one's entire interior attention upon the
contemplation of God and sighs with desire for eternal life in Him 27.
This lofty teaching should represent the age-old inspiration of those who
voluntarily consecrated themselves to the penitential life.
This element of deep interiority, neglected or perhaps even forgotten in the movement
itself, forgotten in the Order of Penance at the time of Saint Francis, was <
rediscovered» and lived and taught by Saint Francis insistently and in great detail to
b) The works of mercy or active charity
The other essential element of the charism of penance is active charity. It grows,
in a systematic way very slowly through the centuries, at least according to our present
knowledge of penitential documentation. It follows the development of society in its
practical manifestations. In this growth, there were always in the past as there are now
in the present, those who suffer or have need of assistance: it is indeed to these
practical needs of mankind that the penitential movement has always sought to bring succor
by following the teachings of the great masters of the ages.
The most complete text concerning penitential teaching on this subject which has
come down to us is from the tenth century. But this is not to say that it is the most
ancient. It comes to us from Ratherius, Bishop of Verona, a remarkable personality of the
high middle ages who lived exactly in that most tortured century in the two thousand year
history of the Church which is rightly called the <<dark century. Ratherius lived
from 887 to 974. A monk of the Abbey of Lobbes, a disciple of the great teacher Ilduin,
Ratherius was elected Bishop of Verona in 926. A strong personality with ideas of reform,
he was not capable of compromises and he was impatient for the realization of his plans.
Soon he lost favor with Hugh of Provenza, the first king of Italy. Hugh imprisoned
Ratherius in a tower in Pavia. There Ratherius composed his most important work, the
Praeloguiorum libri sex. In this work he gives spiritual counsel to people of every state
in life, and among them the penitents.
It will be helpful to read again his words written a thousand years ago: < Are
you a penitent or do you desire to become one? Remember above all the rule of penance
given by the Baptizer of the Lord: `Produce fruits worthy of penance'. The penitent must
put this into practice with generosity if he desires to obtain the mercy of the Lord&.
Ratherius, thereupon, gave the spiritual motive for each of the corporal and spiritual
works of mercy to which the penitent should dedicate himself' 29. Thus, practically for Ratherius, < to do
penance> means <<to perform worthy fruits of penance>>, that is, perform
the works of charity for one's neighbor. Ratherius' teaching regarding perseverance in the
< life of penance> is interesting and significant:
< The way of penance and perseverance in it is a difficult
Who can pretend to remain there by his strength alone? Invoke, then, divine help every day
or rather every moment; whether in silence or in whatsoever thing you do, ask for it
seriously of the Lord: O God, create in me a pure heart! And if you see that because of
bad habits of the past it is difficult for you to remain in such a life, I beseech you, do
not abandon it>>.
Later on, continuing with the same line of thought, Ratherius says: < It is
difficult to carry a large stone uphill; it is easier to go down hill with it. Equally so,
no one can be perfect from the beginning .... Attach yourself to Christ and exclaim: `Draw
me after thee' (Cant. 1:4)>. Ratherius of Verona, who died a thousand years ago, bears
witness that the two elements of the penitential life, perseverance in the way of penance
or continuous conversion and the works of active charity, were already considered
essential in his day.
4. The two elements in the Rules
These two elements, the life of penance and the works of active
charity, will form the cornerstones of the life and spirituality of the
penitents and the spirituality of those penitents who followed Francis
of Assisi. The first <<Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance»,
called the Memoriale propositi, was edited in 1221 as is well known,
through the collaboration of Saint Francis with Cardinal Ugolino. In n.
21 it speaks of the religious man who will instruct the brothers and
sisters at their monthly meetings. The document says: he must < exhort
and strengthen them to persevere in their penance and to put into
practice the works of mercy».30
This admonition will be repeated almost literally in the Rule of Nicholas IV in
1289, where it says: < They shall take care to have a religious man ... who will exhort
them with zeal, encourage and persuade them to live a life of penance and to put into
practice the works of mercy»31.
This text of the Rule of Nicholas IV remained legally in force also for those
female associations of Franciscan inspiration whose sisters began to live a community life
and more correctly the religious life, at least until 1521 when Pope Leo X desired to give
these new entities their own Rule, one more suitable for the religious life. Even the Rule
of Leo X preserved those essential elements repeating almost the same expressions: <
They are to have a religious man who on certain days shall proclaim the Word of God and
lead them to penance and the practice of virtue>>32
All this has been confirmed by an eminent Franciscan scholar: < These two elements,
continuous penance and mercy or active charity, represent and summarize, it seems to us,
the whole specific purpose of the Order of Penitents, establishing its reason for
existence in the ecclesial community>>33
|These elements establishing the charism of the
Third Order have remained intact through the centuries and have been automatically
inserted into the many congregations of Franciscan sisters which have arisen from the time
of the fifteenth century to the present. All these congregations, at times without knowing
it, have been marked by the presence of the two essential elements of the charism and
spirituality of the penitents who followed Saint Francis, those elements of continuous or
on-going conversion and mercy or active charity, to meet both the spiritual and material
needs of our neighbor, especially the most needy or abandoned, following the spirit of the
Saint of Assisi. We see down through the centuries the manner of practically meeting these
needs has been as vast and varied as the horizon under which this activity develops. But
the substance is always the same, based on Christian charity which knows how to respond to
the needs of our brothers and sisters.
The new Rule of 1982 includes the same realities, though in different terminologies: <
Led by the Lord, let them begin a life of penance». (Art. 6); <<They wish to live
this evangelical conversion of life in a spirit of prayer, poverty and humility». (Art.
2); <<The brothers and sisters are called to heal the wounded, to bind up those who
are bruised, and to reclaim the erring>> (Art. 30). The way of
putting this into practice is subject to change but the principles remain the same.
How penance became the characteristic of the
<<Brothers and Sisters of the Penance>
If you would like to look into the historical question of how, when and why
penance-conversion, as we have just described it with its constituent elements, became the
principal characteristic of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, that is of the Third
Order of Saint Francis, the clarifications and precise details of the latest historical
studies furnish an adequate and satisfying response.
We begin with the four principal elements which all agree go back to the constitutive
nucleus of Franciscanism to which some other elements can be added: poverty, minority,
penance-conversion, and prayer-contemplation.
As we have already noted, today it is beyond
all dispute that the beginnings of Francis' conversion were penitential. It is likewise
equally certain that right after the beginning of itinerant preaching by Francis and his
companions, following the oral approval of the new fraternity by Innocent III, there must
have been verified a change of emphasis in the rapidly growing group regarding the
characteristics by which the group presented itself to the people. In the primitive
preaching before going to Rome, to those who asked them <<where do you come
from?>> they «responded simply that they were penitents originally from the city of
Assisi>34. Soon (we do not know
exactly when) they began to call themselves <<Friars Minor>>. Burchard of
Ursberg, as early as 1210, referred to the Penitentes de Assisio as Pauperes Minores 35. James de Vitry, in his letter from
Genova in October 1216, clearly states that the «Pauperes de Assisio> were commonly
called Frati minori and the followers of Saint Clare the Sorelle minori 36.
The Rule of 1221 says: < and whoever is the greater among them should become
like the lesser>>. 37 Schmucki
notes that < this passage bears all the signs of relative antiquity. Most probably it
was added very early to enrich the biblical and disciplinary elements of the ProtoRule> 38. From Celano's remark in the Vita
prima it seems that Francis was struck by the expression < they are to be minors> as
soon as it was suggested and wanted it to become the actual name of his fraternity 39 .
Although Francis' understanding of <<minors>> is doubtlessly the
evangelical one 40, it cannot be
denied that the social-political situation in Assisi, the home of the first friars had
some influence on Francis, causing him to decide that his followers should be called and
really be <minores> by choice. Even without any association with the minori of the
city, Francis knew the maggiori and minori competed for control and were in constant
conflict with the one another. The novelty was quite evident: even. those who were
<anaggiori> in the world voluntarily became <aninori> like Francis, wanting to
compete with no one. < Minority> will also be the characteristic of the spirituality
of the Friars Minor.
Another element characteristic of the new fraternity immediately developed, -
poverty -, chosen for the love of God and <<to follow in the footsteps of His
Son>>. 41 From the moment he
heard the gospel passage on the <<mission of the apostles>>, which practically
marked the beginning of the fraternity of itinerant preachers, Francis understood that the
vita evangelica included life in poverty. Not that Francis had not practiced poverty since
the first days of his conversion
(the decision made at San Damiano and the formal renunciation of his patrimony before
Bishop Guido) but now poverty became an essential element of his evangelical vocation 42. The gospel passage showed Francis how
and why he should practice poverty from then on. This very same desire to accept and put
into practice the invitation and the challenge of the gospel text is equally evident in
the story of the conversion of Bernard of Quintavalle, his first companion. Heeding the
advice of Francis, Bernard « hurried to sell all he had and distributed it to the poor,
not to his relatives. Grasping the title of a more perfect way, he fulfilled the counsel
of the holy gospel: 'If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all you own, and give to the
poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me>>43
Then follows the important remark that « his conversion to God stood out as a model for
those being converted in the way he sold his possessions and distributed them to the
poor> 44 Others who would come after him, should sell their patrimony and distribute
the money to the poor.
Even the short allegorical work, the Sacrum Commercium 45 considered as <<the testimony of
the spirituality that the Franciscan community was developing right after the death of St.
Francis» 46 tells us that poverty
was, from that time on, considered as a fundamental characteristic of the spirituality of
the Order of Friars Minor. From the prologue on, in fact, <<it affirms categorically
that poverty is the most important among the various virtues that prepare the heart of man
to receive God» 47.
These two elements-minority and sublime poverty also became the two basic points
for the spirituality of the Second Order, the Poor Clares; to these elements was added,
mostly because of the ecclesiastical disciplines in force at that time, the total
exclusion from the world, with a strict cloister and without any external apostolic
activity; in this way the order was also characterized by the contemplative life.
Consequently, it was <<penance>> that remained the primary
characteristic of only the Order of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.
For centuries these characteristics and particular traits of the three Franciscan
Orders have been practically forgotten. In our own time they have gradually been
rediscovered, explained again and placed in a proper perspective so that there might be
fuller understanding of Franciscan spirituality. It is fitting and proper that each order
have its own features well defined.
These are reflections on that unique, mysterious light that was the man and Saint,
Francis of Assisi, as Raoul Manselli, well-known lover of all that is Franciscan, loved to
repeat again and again.
12 We say fundamental because a Rule, by its nature, does
not have the obligation of containing all the spirituality of a religious order which
follows that Rule. The spirituality will instead be completely expressed in the
Constitutions which are proper to each order or religious congregation.
13 Lino Temperini, < La spirituality penitenziale nelle
Fonti Francescaneo, in
ANALECTA TOR XIV (1980), p. 522.
14 Lino Temperini, <La tradizione spirituale», in R.
Pazzelli-L. Temperini, La tradizione storica a spirituale del nostro movimento, ed.
CSI-TOR, Roma, 1980,
15 Lino Temperini, < Il Terzo ordine regolare di San
Francesco nell'ambito del francescanesimo». Pro manuscripto», p. 1.
16 lbid. p. 4.
17 Saint Bonaventure almost certainly alludes to these
elements when, describing the Order of Penance of Saint Francis, he wrote: <<Set on
fire by the fervor of his preaching, a great number of people bound themselves by new laws
of penance according to the rule which they received from the man of God,LM, IV, n. 6,
in The Life of St. Francis, translated by Ewert Cousins, p. 210.
18 That is, the Friars Minor, the Conventuals, the
Capuchins and the Regular Tertiaries.
19 Leon Bedrune, O.F.M., «Presentation», in L'Ordine
della Penitenza, Roma 1973, p. 5.
20 See Meerssernan, Dossier, op. cit., p. 1 and following.
21 L'Ordine della Penitenza di san Francesco d'Assisi nei
secolo X111. Atti del primo Convegno di Studi Francescani (held in Assisi, July 3-5,
1972). Edited by O. Schmucki, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, Rorna, 1973, Republished in
22 By the term the <<discipline>> in the
context of bodily mortification is understood a traditional <<implement of penance
ordinarily consisting in a complex of cords or chains, small or large, plain or ending
with little pellets or bars of hard substances (wood or metal), used to chastise the body
with scourging> A. Lanz, «Disciplina>, in Enciclopedia Cattolica, IV, col. 1743.
23 For the biblical and Franciscan meaning of
<<penance>>, see further details in R. Pazzelli, Saint Francis and the Third
Order, op. cit., pp. 1-4.
24 Lino Temperini, < La tradizione spirituale», in R.
Pazzelli-L. Temperini, La tradizione storica a spirituale del nostro movimento, CSI-TOR,
Roma. 1980, pp. 22-23.
25 Ibid. p. 24.
26 See Pazzelli, Saint Francis and the Third Order, op.
cit., p. 37.
27 Pazzelli, op. cit., p. 18; algunas expresiones
indicating reference to original article by Bartolome Pastor Oliver, TOR, Consideraciones
historico-espirituates sobre de Penitencia voluntaria y de KconversioH-HabrenuntiatioH
monastica hasta el siglo XIII, Vienna, 1981, manuscript, p. 52.
28 On this question see the detailed treatment we have
given in St. Francis and the Third Order, op. cit.; pp. 65, 120-122.
29 See Pazzelli, op. cit., p. 170, note 99.
30 «Eos moneat et confortet ad poenitentiae perseverantiam
et opera Misericordiae facienda» cf. Meersseman, Dossier, p. 103.
31 «Qui eos ad poenitentiam et nusericordiae opera
exercenda hortetur sollicite, moneat et inducat» See Seraphicae legislationis textus
originales; 1897, p. 89.
32 «Habeat virum religiosum qui illis verbum Dei certis
diebus proponat et eos ad poenitentiam et virtutes inducat»: ibid., pp. 287-297. Bordoni,
Archivium, p. 382.
33 Atanasio Matanic, «I penitenti francescani dal 1221
(memoriale) al 1289 (Regola bollata) principalmente attraverso i loro Statuti a le
Regole», in L'Ordine della Penitenza, op. cit., p. 56.
34 See L3C 37. Francis ofAssisi. Early Documents. New City
Press, vol. 11, p. 90.
35 Cf. Lemmens, Testimonia minora, p. 17; OMN, p. 1605.
36 Testimonia minora, p. 79; OMN, p. 1608.
37 RNB, Francis and Clare, p. 114.
38 Schmucki, O., «Linee fondamentali della `Forma vitae'
nell'esperienza di san Francesco>>, in Lettura biblico-teologica delle Fonti
Francescane, by G. CardaropoliJ.M. Conti, Ed., Antonianum, Roma, 1979, p. 211.
39 <<For when it was written in the rule, `Let them
be lesser.. _ > , at the uttering of this statement, at the same moment he said: `I
want this fraternity to be called the Order of Lesser Brothers». 1C
38, Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 217..
40 It is evident that the expression of the Rule of 1221 is
a paraphrase of Mt. 20:25-26 and Lk. 22:26.
41 Cf. <<Letter to the entire Order>>, v. 51,
Francis and Clare, p. 61.
42 D.V. Lapsanski, Evangelical Perfection, an historical
examination of the concept in the early Franciscan sources. The Franciscan Institute, St.
Bonaventure University, N.Y., 1977, p. 100.
43 1C 24, Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 203.
44 1C. 24, Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 204.
45 Sacrum Commercium Sancti Francisci cum domina
Paupertate, FlorenceQuaracchi, 1929. By an unknown author and uncertain date of origin;
many scholars propose accepting 1227 as the year of its composition. Concerning this work,
C. Esser noted that, < unfortunately, this precious record, which bears such eloquent
witness to the spirituality of the order, still in its infancy, later underwent certain
misinterpretations which earned it the mistrust of historians, mainly in regard to the
time of its origin. Today, this work may be seen as a very faithful interpretation of the
mind and intention of St. Francis. As such it must be carefully considered next to the
sources of the early life of the order already familiar to us. In certain critical points
it can even correct them>>. Origins of the Franciscan Order, Franciscan Herald
Press, Chicago, 1977, p. 8.
46 Lapsanski, Evangelical Perfection, pp. 77-78.
47 Lapsanski, p. 78. Poverty, in the meaning of the
anonymous author of the Sacrum Commercium, requires as its first constructive element
<freely renouncing earthly goods>> The second element is the inclination toward
spiritual goods and the third < the desire for eternal goods».