Vår ordens spiritualitet

Franciscan Third 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)

(With Footnotes - the numbers in the text referes to the footnotes)

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 particular expression»'13, 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 Saint Francis.

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 characteristic elements:

1. <<continuous 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 (1982).

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 penance.

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 are interchangeable.23

< 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 14:6).

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 goal.

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 his penitents.28

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 thing.

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.

5. Corollary.

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 1988.

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».