The Rule of St. Francis is a document written by St. Francis of Assisi, with which he gave the community of friars who followed him, both the spiritual direction of the Franciscan Order, and a series of practical norms designed to regulate their daily life.
There is a first version of it called Propositum, an intermediate version, and a final version or Regatta stamp.
Rule of 1223
I. - In the Name of the Lord begins the life of the Friars Minor
The rule and life of the lesser brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obedience, without property and in chastity.
Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Honorius and his canonically elected successors and the Roman Church. And the other friars are bound to obey Friar Francis and his successors.
II. - Those who want to take this life and how they should be received
If some want to take this life and are our brothers, they send them from their provincial ministers, to which only, and not others are allowed to receive the brothers. The ministers then examine them carefully around the Catholic faith and sacraments of the Church. And if you believe all these things and want to profess and observe faithfully until the end, and have no wife or, if they have, it has already entered a monastery or has given their permission by the authority of the diocesan bishop, after vow of chastity, and the wives are of such age that can not arise any suspicion on them, tell them the word of the Gospel, they go and sell everything they have and strive to give to the poor. If they cannot do it, just them goodwill. And the friars and their ministers to be solicitous of their temporal things, so have the same freely available under the inspiration of the Lord. "However, if you ask their advice, the ministers will send them by God-fearing people because with their help give their goods to the poor." Then grant them the role of proof, that is, two tunics without a cap and the belt and pants and to track if the ministers do not appear otherwise under God "After a year of evidence being received obedience promising to observe always this life and Rule. "And in no way be allowed to leave this religion according to the decree of Mr. Pope, for as the Gospel says, anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back and act to the realm of God those who have already promised obedience have a robe with hood and one without, those who will want. And those who are forced by necessity to bring shoes. And all the brothers are dressed in clothes that can patch up with vile sack and other documents with the blessing of God which admonish and exhort not to despise and not to judge people who see clothes soft and colored clothes and use food and drink delicate, but each judge and despise himself".
III. - Of the Divine Office and of Fasting and How the Friars must go to the World
The clerics recite the Divine Office according to the rite of Holy Roman Church except the Psalter, and therefore may have the breviary. Secularists say twenty-four Pater Noster for the morning, for five awards, first, third, sixth, ninth, for each of these seven, the Eventide twelve, seven for Complied, and pray for the dead. And fast from the Feast of All Saints until the Nativity of the Lord. The holy Lent instead that dall'Epifania begins and lasts continuously for forty days and that the Lord sanctified with his fast, those who voluntarily go into fasting is blessed by the Lord, and those who do not want there to be forced. But the other, until the Resurrection of the Lord and pass fasting. At other times are not obliged to fast, if not Friday. In cases of manifest necessity the friars are not obliged to physical fasting. Council then admonish and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, when they go to the world, not quarrel, and avoid disputes of words, they judge others, but be gentle, peaceful and modest, meek and humble, speaking honestly with everyone, as well as convenient. "It should not ride unless they are compelled by manifest necessity or infirmity. Whatever house you enter first say: Peace to this house." And according to the Holy Gospel can eat all the foods that will be submitted to them "
IV. - That the brothers do not receive money
Standing order to all the brothers that in no way receiving money or pecuniary directly or through intermediaries. However, the needs of the sick and clothe the other monks, ministers and guardians only through spiritual friends, have great care according to the place, circumstances, climate regions, such as the need seems to agree, subject always, as and been told, they receive money in any way or pecuniary.
V. - The way we work
Those monks to whom the Lord has given grace to work, work faithfully and with devotion, so that away idleness, the enemy of the soul, do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which they must serve all other things time. As a reward for working for themselves and their brothers receive the necessary things to the body, except money or money, and it humbly, as befits the servants of God and followers of holy poverty.
VI. - That the Friars nothing appropriating and alms and sick friars
The brothers are not appropriating anything, no home, no place, or any other thing. And as pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, go to the charity with confidence. It must be ashamed, because the Lord made himself poor for us in this world.
And this, my beloved brethren, the excellence of the very poverty that is king and heirs of the kingdom of heaven, making things for poor and rich in virtue. This is your portion, which takes you to the land of the living. And this poverty, dear brothers, totally united, not want to have another in the sky, forever, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And wherever the friars are and will, to foster the family together. And each trust the other posters with their needs, "because if a mother nourishes and loves her carnal son with affection as one must love and nurture her spiritual brother?" And if one falls sick, the other friars to serve as would be served.
VII. - Of Penance to be imposed on Friars who sin
If some monks, at the instigation of the enemy, will sin mortally, for those sins for which has been ordained among the friars to use only provincial ministers, the aforesaid friars are bound to use them as soon as possible can without delay. The ministers, if they are priests, with mercy to them requiring repentance, but if they are not priests, do impose other priests of the Order, as seems most appropriate, according to God need to be careful not to anger them resent sin committed by a monk, since the anger and resentment in themselves and in preventing other charity.
VIII. - The election of the Minister General of this Fraternity and the Chapter of Pentecost All brothers are always bound to have one of the monks of this order as general minister and servant of the entire community and he must firmly obey. At his death, the election of his successor is made by the provincial ministers and guardians in the Chapter of Pentecost, at which provincial ministers are obliged to intervene everywhere always be fixed by the minister general, and this once every three years or more within or less, just as predicted by the minister be ordained. And if sometimes the provincial ministers and guardians seemed unanimous that the Minister was not fit for duty and the common good of monks, guardians and those ministers, who have committed the election are held in the name of the Lord to elect another keeper. After the Pentecost Chapter of the ministers and custodians can, and if they believe it appropriate to gather in the same year, when their brothers in the chapter.
IX. - Of Preachers
The brothers do not preach in the diocese of any bishop if they were not allowed by the bishop. And no brother dare preach to the people before they have been reviewed and approved by the minister general of this fraternity and has received from the same office of preaching. "Admonish and exhort even the same brothers who in their preaching, their words are weighted and castes in utility and edification of the people, proclaiming to the faithful the vices and virtues, punishment and glory with brevity of speech because the Lord said the earth short words.
X. - Dell'Admonition and Correction of Friars
The brothers, who are ministers and servants of the other friars, visit and admonish their brothers and correct them with humility and charity, not ordering them nothing that is against their soul and our Rule. The brothers then who are subjects, remember that God has repudiated his own will. "So firmly ordered to obey their ministers in all those things I promised the Lord to observe and are not contrary to the soul and our Rule. And everywhere there are the monks who knew and knew it could not observe the rule spiritually, should and could have recourse to their ministers. And the ministers receive them charitably and show them kindness and so familiar to those who speak and do as well as speak with them and do masters with their servants, so it must be that the Ministers are servants of all the brothers. then admonish and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, to beware the friars of all pride, vain glory, envy, greed, from the cares and worries of this world, detraction and murmuring. And if they do not know of letters, no trouble to learn them, but wait what must be desired above all things: having the Spirit of the Lord and his works, to pray with a pure heart and always have humility, patience in persecution and infirmity " and love those who persecute and slander us and we take over, because the Lord says: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute and slander you. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And he who endures to the end will be saved.
XI. - That the brothers do not enter the monasteries of Nuns
Standing order to all the brothers had no close or interviews with women such as to generate suspicion, and not to enter monasteries of nuns, except those who have been given a special license from the Apostolic See. It will make godfathers of men and women, that this scandal may not arise between the monks and friars.
XII. - Of those who go on mission to the Saracens and other infidels among the friars who by divine inspiration, want to go among the Saracens and of other infidels, they ask permission from their provincial ministers. The ministers then do not give permission to anyone except to those they deem fit to be sent. Obedience also ordered ministers to ask the Lord Pope one of the cardinals of the Holy Roman Church who is governor, protector and corrector of this fraternity that always subjects and subjects at the foot of the same Holy Church, stable in the Catholic faith, we observe poverty, humility and the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have firmly promised.