Pope Innocent IV (1243-1253). - 373 

sisters from unlawful attachments and to strengthen their zeal for religious life. And the phrase the Rule of Blessed Benedict is added so that your religious life may be authentic, since this is the greatest of all those approved for religious. This is clear from the fact that Our aforementioned predecessor, in the presence and in the hearing of Our venerable brother, the bishops of Ostia, declared that the rule does not oblige the sisters to anything else but to obedience, the renunciation of property, and perpetual chastity, which form part of all religious rules, and constitute the means of attaining eternal happiness.

And so, Our peaceful dove and virtuous daughter, be at peace, and put an end to your anxieties, so that in the future you may not feel the need to repeat similar questions. May you and these same sisters be led to the rewards of eternal life. May you observe this one rule, with the aid of apostolic dispensations, for the glory of God, relying on the remedy of humble confessions should any one of you commit some fault through human frailty against the rule or any of the directions given you by the Apostolic See.

Given at the Lateran on the Ides of November in the first year of Our pontificate.

Cum universitate vestrae, August 21a

Innocent, Servant of the servants of God, to all My beloved daughters in Christ, the Abbesses and the Cloistered Nuns of the Order of St. Damian, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

As We are aware, your community has been enjoined by virtue of obedience to observe faithfully the rule of religious life prescribed for you, and We have learned that you sometimes suffer mental anguish and concern about a phrase which occurs in the introduction to the same rule, namely, We have given you the Rule of Blessed Benedict to observe, especially since in your humility you feel that you commit mortal sin if you do anything




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 373