Other Chronicles and References - 603 

possibly one “John of Campania, subdeacon and our notary,” whom Gregory referred to in a letter of 1240. This might well be the same “John, notary of the Apostolic See,” who according to Bernard of Besse, composed a life of Francis, Quasi stella matutina, now lost.a

The author clearly exaggerates the role of his patron in the foundation of the
Franciscan movement, as is evident from the writings of Gregory IX himself.

1 At the time of his office [as bishop of Ostia] he [Pope Gregory] established and brought to completion the new orders of the Brothers [and Sisters] of Penance and of the Cloistered Ladies. He also gave form to the yet unorganized Order of Minors, which in its early stages was wandering about without definite bounds, by providing them with a new Rule and by designating Francis as their rector and minister. Under his leadership those limits were increased, so that by God’s power there is hardly a hamlet throughout the whole world that now may be found without their venerable brotherhood.

2 Besides the many things, to be noted with great admiration, which he with dutiful liberality contributed for the necessities of these brothers, for the above-mentioned [Cloistered] Ladies he had constructed through the resources of his office and at incalculable expense a monastery in Rome, that of Saint Cosmas, and [others] in Lombardy and in Tuscany, afterwards providing for the necessities of each one. These are the Ladies who, divinely inspired by the zeal of his preaching to leave parents and homeland and not dissuaded by the tears of their own children, had exchanged the pride of the world and temporal wealth for the rigors of extreme poverty, and the weave of their costly garments for the smarting prickle of rough wool. After he ascended the throne of the Supreme Pontiff he gathered them together as daughters, venerated them as mothers, and helped their indigence with more abundant aid. . . .

3 . . . At that time blessed Francis shone in the city of Assisi like a new star in the firmament of the Church because of the splendor of his miracles. After these miracles were verified by means of a diligent, thorough examination of the truthful reports of witnesses, the most holy Pope Gregory on the advice of his brothers (the cardinals) went to Assisi with a prestigious group of venerable cardinals and prelates. There on the fourth of October, in the second year of his pontificate

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Testimonia minora, Testimonia minora, p. 12-13


The Life of Pope Gregory IX (c. 1240)24

Cuius officii tempore Poenitentium fratrum et Dominarum inclusarum novos instituit ordines et ad summum usque provexit. Minorum etiam ordinem intra initia sub limite incerto vagantem novae regulae traditione direxit et informavit informem, beatum Franciscum eis ministrum praeficiens et rectorem, quorum eodem rigante ad eos limites incrementa venerunt, ut praebente divina potentia per singulos orbis terminos eorum venerando consortio vix viculus reperiatur immunis.

Praeter illa quidem mira existimatione notanda, quae fratrum necessitatibus pia liberalitate concessit, domnabus eisdem in Urbe monasterium unum, scilicet monasterium sancti Cosmae, in Lombardia, in Tuscia, expensis innumeris et ministerii sui subventione eonstruxit, providendo postmodum necessitatibus singulorum; eas etiam, quae suae praedicationis studio divinitus inspirante, parentibus dimissis et patria, nec lacrymis emollitae natorum, mundi superbiam et temporales divitias commutaverant in paupertatis extrema et in asperae lanae mordentes aculeos vestis pretiosae contextum, post summi pontificii solium colligebat ut filias, venerabatur ut matres, ipsarum indigentiam uberioribus auxiliis prosecutus.

Tunc autem beatus Franciscus in civitate Asisii quasi novum sidus in Ecclesiae firmamento miraculorum claritate fulgebat; quibus per diligentem inquisitionis indaginem ex veridica testium relatione probatis sanctissimus papa Gregorius de fratrum consilio perrexit Asisium, ubi IV nonas octobris anno sui praesulatus secundo cum venerabilium cardinalium et praelatorum diverso collegio pretiosis ornatus cum palmis et cereis de mundi partibus multitudine populi congregata post sermonis profundi decursum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 603