WORKS THE SERAPHIC FATHER ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI,

TRANSLATED BY A RELIGIOUS OF THE ORDER.

INTRODUCTION.

The following translation has been made from the edition of the ’Works of St. Francis ‘ published at Cologne in the year 1848. As the work is intended to be a practical and devotional one, no critical notes have been introduced, nor references to the authors from whom Wadding made his collection.

In these pages there will be found neither deep learning nor sublime eloquence, but only the expression of the exquisite simplicity, humility, and charity which filled the heart of the Seraphic Patriarch; and above all, his ardent love for that Poverty which he looked upon as the queen of virtues, because in the perfect renunciation of self, and detachment from the things of this world, he saw the surest means for the soul to attain to the possession of the Supreme Good and the eternal riches of the heavenly wedlock.

And yet under these simple words are concealed treasures of profound wisdom; for although, as St. Bonaventure says, ‘St. Francis possessed not the knowledge acquired by study, nevertheless, being illuminated by the rays of the Divine light, he pennetrated with marvelous clearness the hidden mysteries of Holy Scripture;’ for ‘where the learning of the doctor stands without, the affection of the loving soul finds entrance.’ And being thus illuminated and transformed into the image of his Divine Master, the Saint taught to others, both by word and example, the knowledge and love of Christ Crucified, which is indeed foolishness to the world, but ever has been, and ever will be to those who believe and love, ‘the power of God and the wisdom, of God.’

 

CONTENTS.

PART I.

LETTERS OF ST. FRANCIS.

LETTERS PAGE

I To all the Faithful of Christ

II  To all the Faithful of Christ

III To St. Antony of Padua

IV To the Blessed Virgin Clare, and her Sisters at St. Damian’s

V.  To the same

VI.  To Brother Elias, Vicar-General of the whole Order

VII. To the same

VIII. To the Minister- General of the Friars Minor

IX. To the Provincial Ministers of the Order of Friars Minor

X. To the Second General Chapter

XI. To the General Chapter

XII. To the Priests of the whole Order

XIII. To all Clerics

XIV. To all the Custodes of the Friars Minor

XV. To the Rulers of the People

XVI. To Brother Leo

XVII. To the Lady Jacoba of Settisoli

PART II.

THE FIRST RULE WHICH THE SERAPHIC PATRIARCH WROTE FOR THE FRIARS MINOR

CHAPTER

I. That the Brethren ought to live in Obedience, without Property, and in Chastity

II. Of the Reception and Clothing of the Brethren

III. Of the Divine Office, and of the Fast

IV. Of the Order of the Ministers, and other Brethren

V. Of the Correction of thee Brethren who offend

VI. Of the Recourse the Brethren should have to their Ministers, and that no Brother may be called Prior

VII. Of the Manner of Serving and Working

VIII. That the Brethren may not receive Money

IX. Of the Manner of Asking Alms

X. Of the Sick Brethren

XI. That the Brethren ought not to be Calumniators nor Detractors, but ought to love one another

XII. That the Brethren must avoid the Sight and Company of Women

XIII. Of the Punishment of Fornication

XIV. In what Manner the Brethren are to go through the World

XV. That the Brethren may not keep Horses nor ride

XVI: Of the Brethren who may go among the Saracens and other Infidels

XVII: Of the Preachers

XVIII: How the Ministers are to Meet together

XIX: That all the Brethren must be true Catholics

XX: Of the Confession of the Brethren and of the Reception of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

XXI: Of Praising God, and of the Exhortation which all the Brethren may make

XXII: Of the Admonition of the Brethren

XXIII: Prayer and Thanksgiving to God

THE SECOND RULE, WHICH THE BLESSED FATHER ST. FRANCIS INSTITUTED FOR THE FRIARS MINOR*

* On the return of the Brethren from the missions on which they had been sent after the General Chapter of 12 19, the holy Patriarch, desiring above all things to provide for the stability of his Order by having it more solemnly approved by the Holy See, and understanding it to be the Will of God that the Rule should be abridged, retired to Mount Columbo, near Rieti, where, observing a rigorous fast for forty days, he received by express revelation from Our Lord Himself the following Rule, which was confirmed by Pope Honorius III, and has ever since been observed by the Friars Minor.

Rule I

Rule II

Rule III: Of the Divine Office and of Fasting

Rule IV: That the Brethren may not receive Money

Rule V: Of the Manner of Working

Rule VI: That the Brethren shall appropriate nothing to themselves

Rule VII: Of Penance to be imposed on the Brethren

Rule VIII: Of the Election of the Minister General of this Fraternity

Rule IX: Of the Preachers

Rule X: Of the Admonition and Correction of the Brethren

Rule XI: That the Brethren may not enter the Convents of Nuns

Rule XII: Of those who go among the Saracens, and other Infidels

Which the Holy Father St. Francis made on the Second Rule of the Friars Minor

RULE WHICH THE HOLY FATHER ST. FRANCIS WROTE OR THE RELIGIOUS OF ST. CLARE

RULE OF THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE THIRD ORDER OF ST. FRANCIS, CALLED THE ORDER OF PENANCE

ADMONITIONS OF THE BLESSED FATHER ST. FRANCIS TO HIS BRETHREN

The Praises of Wisdom, Simplicity, Poverty, Humility, Charity and Obedience

MONASTIC CONFERENCES OF THE HOLY FATHER ST FRANCIS

MAXIMS OF THE HOLY FATHER ST. FRANCIS

FAVOURITE SENTENCES OF THE HOLY FATHER ST. FRANCIS

CANTICLES OF THE HOLY FATHER ST. FRANCIS

1- THE CANTICLE OF THE SUN

2- CANTICLE II: Love sets me all on fire

3- CANTICLE III: Amor de Caritate

 

PRAYERS

Praises of the Most High

Prayer to be said before the Divine Office

Prayer of the Holy Father at the Beginning of his Conversion

Prayer to obtain Divine Love

Prayer the Saint was accustomed to say at the Elevation of the Most Holy Body of Christ

Prayer in Time of Sickness

Prayer when the Saint resigned the Generalship

Prayer the Holy Father said Daily

Salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer to Our Blessed Lady

Paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer of the Blessed Father to obtain Poverty

Testatment of the Blessed Father St Francis

 

PART III

Sayings of the Holy Father St. Francis

FAMILIAR COLLOQUIES OF THE BLESSED FATHER ST. FRANCIS

I. That Meekness and Patience will Soften the hardest Hearts

II. The Friars Minor ought not to Reserve for themselves any of the Goods of the Novices

III. That the Friars Minor should not Erect superfluous Buildings

IV. That the Praise of all that is Good is to be Referred to God

V. Those who are Fools for Christ’s Sake are Stronger than the Wise of this World

VI. The Poor of Christ should prefer Living on Alms to Feasting with the Rich

VII. The Friars Minor should remain in their Humble Vocation

VIII. That it is not becoming for Superiors to indulge their Appetite, or make use of Delicate Meats

IX. The Rule of the Friars Minor was not Composed by St. Francis, but given him by God

X. It is a great Advantage to the Church that various Religious Orders should Flourish therein

XI. The more Humble the Servants of God are, the more Holy they are

XII. All the Virtues of the Saints come from God, and are to be Referred to Him

XIII. The Saint Complains that certain Superiors of the Order follow other Ways instead of his

XIV. The Religious should Win the Minds of the People by Humility, etc.

XV. What they ought to be who Devote themselves to Study

XVI. How the Convents of the Friars Minor should be Founded

XVII. Some Things must be Borne with on account of Circumstances

XVIII. He who Enters Religion from a wrong Motive Lies to the Holy Ghost

XIX. Favors and Graces will be Granted to those . who are Zealous for the Rule

XX. The Afflicted and Tempted are to be Consoled, etc.

XXI. How great should be the Patience of the Friars Minor under Afflictions

XXII. A Religious should never Shake off the Yoke of Holy Obedience

XXIII. That we should gratefully Remember the Benefits of God

XXIV. Religious should not Frequent the Palaces of the Great

XXV. In the Poor we are to Consider the Poverty of Christ and His Mother

XXVI. In Religion we must Follow not our own Judgment, but that of our Superior

XXVII. The Demons are Grieved when we are Joyful

XXVIII. Temptations are Allowed for our Greater Profit

XXIX. The Lord’s Prayer is the most Salutary of all Prayers

XXX. The Devils are easily Put to Flight

XXXI. How the Devil Hardens the Hearts of Men

XXXII. Idleness is to be Shunned, and Labour Encouraged

XXXIII. We must Bear a little in this World, to Enjoy the Glory of the Next

XXXIV. Murmuring and Discontent are to be Conquered by Meekness

XXXV. Disobedience comes from the Devil

XXXVI. Against Lying and giving Scandal to the Brethren

XXXVII. Those who Cherish the Friars Minor are Pleasing to God, etc.

XXXVIII. The Bread obtained by Begging for the Love of God is the Bread of Angels

XXXIX. Religious and Learned Men ought to Preach to the People by the Example of a Holy Life

XL. True Obedience is like Death

XLI. What a Precious Treasure is Poverty

Some Prophecies of the Holy Father St. Francis

Parables and Similitudes of the Holy Father St. Francis

Blessings of the Holy Father St. Francis

APPENDIX.

DOUBTFUL WORKS OF ST. FRANCIS,

Seven Short Sermons

Six Principal Reasons why Almighty God granted the Order of Friars Minor to His Church

The Ten Perfections of a True Religious and Perfect Christian

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