Pope Gregory IX - 362 

to be arrayed. Nor should you be fearful because you have obliged yourself to the observance of the aforementioned Rule. This fear could arise from the fact that you are, as it were, ignorant of what We have proclaimed about the granting of that Rule. You are in no way held to that Rule since it has not been approved by the Apostolic See. It is not observed by the oft-mentioned Clare, her Sisters, or by others. What more can be said? One does not seem to violate a vow who changes it into something better. We absolve you and your Sisters from the observance of the formula according to the fullness of power conferred upon Us by the Lord.

We wish and command that you accept with filial reverence that Rule which was given to you by Our decree, to be observed in your monastery for all future time together with those articles which We, overcome by that love which induced the King of heaven to have compassion on the weakness of human frailty, thought should be mitigated.

You will note that whatever can be done in the Lord for the salvation of souls, is favorably at hand. It is contained in the Apostolic letters which were sent to you through the Prior concerning the petitions which you sincerely presented. Have a firm confidence that if at any time We shall have been asked by you or by the Sisters of the monastery to temper the rigor of some aspects of the Rule or if We are asked about other things, We will, with paternal affection, give Our consent to your and their petitions according to God.

Given at the Lateran on the fifth day before the Ides of May in the 12th year of Our Pontificate.

Ex Parte carissime, December 18a

Gregory, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to the beloved daughters in Christ, the Abbess, and nuns of the Order of Saint Damian of the convent of Saint Francis in Prague: health and apostolic blessing.

We have received from Our beloved daughter in Christ, Agnes, a sister of your community, and from yourselves, a request that, since for the glory of the Redeemer you have taken the religious




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 362