Pope Gregory IX - 361 

Blessed Francis gave them, as new-born children, not solid food but rather a milk drink, a formula of life, which seemed to be suited for them. This formula of life was presented to Us in writing some time ago, by Our beloved Son, the Prior of Saint Francis Hospice in Prague, a man who is at all times discerning and concerned about your goal. With humble supplication he asked Us to see to it that the form of life, presented to Us by him under your seal and constructed from the existing formula of life plus certain chapters which are contained in the Rule of the Order of Saint Damian, be confirmed by Apostolic authority.

Having recourse to prudent deliberation We did not for various reasons deem it expedient to give it the full stamp of approval: first, because Clare and her Sisters had the privilege of exemption which was given to them by Pope Honorius at our request, and they solemnly professed that Rule which was composed with careful zeal and accepted by St. Francis, and afterwards confirmed by the same Pope Honorius, Our predecessor of happy memory; secondly, because Clare and her Sisters put aside the formula and have been observing the same Rule in a laudable manner from the time of their profession until the present; and, thirdly, because it has been determined that this Rule be uniformly observed everywhere by all who profess it, and because grave and insupportable scandal could arise by assuming what is contrary to it. This is especially so since other Sisters of this Order put aside the formula and have been observing the same Rule, seeing the integrity of the Rule violated, may with disturbed hearts waver in its observance. God forbid!

Therefore, We ask you devout obedience in the Lord Jesus Christ as We enjoin you to the remission of your sins in that you consider in fruitful meditation what you promised, and prudently observe that whatever zealous action may perhaps be suggested to you by someone not having sufficient knowledge, the most important consideration should be whether it is pleasing to God, acceptable to Us and salutary for you and your community. At the same time, with the forbearance of the Redeemer on your side, you should shun every pretext, and diligently observe the Rule. You should also see to it that it is observed by your Sisters. Set before yourself the ineffable hope that by doing this your soul will by the mercy of God merit to be adorned with the beauty of those jewels with which the throne of the heavenly palace is said




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 361