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The Holy Life: From Writings by Saint Francis of Assisi (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2023-03-22
Език:English
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Today, we will present excerpts of the “Rules for the Friars Minor” from the book, “The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi,” where the blessed Saint lays down the directives for His faithful friars to follow.

“The rule and life of the Minor Brothers is this, namely, to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity.”

“If any wish to embrace this life and come to our brothers, let them send them to their provincial ministers, to whom alone and not to others is accorded the power of receiving brothers. But let the ministers diligently examine them regarding the Catholic faith and the Sacraments of the Church. And if they believe all these things, and if they will confess them faithfully and observe them firmly to the end, and if they have no wives, or, if they have and their wives have already entered a monastery, or have, with the authority of the diocesan bishop, given them permission after having made a vow of continence, and if the wives be of such an age that no suspicion may arise concerning them, let them [the ministers] say to them the word of the holy Gospel, that they go and sell all their goods and strive to distribute them to the poor. If they should not be able to do this, their goodwill suffices.

And the brothers and their ministers must take care not to be solicitous about their temporal affairs, that they may freely do with their affairs whatsoever the Lord may inspire them. If, however, counsel should be required, the ministers shall have the power of sending them to some God-worshipping men by whose advice their goods may be distributed to the poor.”

“And let all the brothers be clothed in poor garments, and they may patch them with pieces of sackcloth and other things, with the blessing of God. I admonish and exhort them not to despise or judge men whom they see clothed in fine and showy garments, but rather let each one judge and reflect on himself.”

“I indeed counsel, warn, and exhort my brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ that when they go through the world, they be not litigious nor contend in words, nor judge others; but that they be gentle, peaceful, and modest, meek and humble, speaking honestly to all as is fitting. And they must not ride on horseback. Into whatsoever house they may enter, let them first say: Peace be to this house!”

“Let those brothers to whom the Lord has given the grace of working labor faithfully and devoutly, so that in banishing idleness, the enemy of the soul, they do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion, to which all temporal things must be subservient. They may, however, receive as the reward of their labor the things needful for the body for themselves and their brothers, with the exception of coins or money, and that humbly, as befits the servants of God and the followers of most holy poverty.”
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