Other Chronicles and References - 602 

have been composed between 1227 and 1235;a the entry for the year 1207 already refers to Francis as “blessed,” so it is hardly contemporary.

Although Alberic was a countryman and admirer of Jacques de Vitry, his references to the new Order are sober, containing none of Jacques’s enthusiasm.b He focuses on the elements of novelty that distinguished the Lesser Brothers from the structures of his own Cistercian life, but says little about their spiritual values. He also intimates that novelty carries with it the risk of aberrant preaching.c

. . . There also began around this time (1207), another order in Tuscany near Assisi; it was the work of a certain religious man by the name of Francis. They are called “Lesser Brothers” because of their humility and their bodily austerities. They have their own rule which was approved by Pope Innocent III, which blessed Francis composed with the help of religious and expert men. As for their custom of reading [Scripture] and chanting the Psalms, he selected the form of the Roman church. They have one superior, whom they call the general minister. . . .

. . . On the fourth of October (1226), blessed Francis, founder of the Order of Lesser Brothers, happily passed on to the Lord; his body was honorably buried in Lombardy in the city of Assisi . . .

. . . In Tuscany, in Assisi, which is near Perugia, the canonization of blessed Francis, the father of the Lesser Brothers, was held (1228). One [brother] of this Order, who publicly preached some heresies in Paris, was seized and imprisoned.d

The Life of Pope Gregory IX (c. 1240)

The biography of Gregory IX, composed about the year 1240, is the work of an anonymous author who was obviously familiar with the Roman court,




Scriptores, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, p. 23: 887-888, 918, 922

Alberic of Trois–Fontaines (c.1227–35)23

Cepit insuper hoc eodem tempore alius ordo novus in Tuscia apud Assisium per quendam virum religiosum, nomine Franciscum, et isti fratres Minores ob humilitatem et abiectionem corporis appellantur. Habent enim propriam regulam et approbatam a papa Innocentio III, quam beatus Franciscus cooperatntibus viris religiosis et peritis edidit, sed et morem legendi et psallendi secundaum ritum ecclesie Romane eis instituit. Superiorem habent, quem ministrum generalem appellant.

Nonas Octobris beatus Franciscus, plantator ordinis fratrum Minorum, feliciter migravit ad Dominum, cuius corpusculum in Lombardia in civitate Assisii honorifice traditur spulture.

In Tuscia apus Assisiam, Perusio proximam, facta est canonisatio beati Francisci confessoris, patris fratrum Minorum. Quidam autem de isto ordine, qui publice quasdam hereses Parisius predicaverat, captus fuit et incarceratus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 602