Liturgical Texts Introduction - 315 

stigmata to foster more pastoral and liturgical applications. In this respect, he likely took cues from the hymns earlier composed by Cardinals Thomas of Capua and Ranieri Capocci.

These liturgical texts are highly significant for the religious, cultural, and literary formation of the first generation of brothers after the death of Saint Francis. These texts offer insight into the importance the early brothers of the Order placed on poetry, music and liturgical formation. They offer an important example of medieval liturgy and they provide a foundation for understanding how the symbolic and spiritual role of Saint Francis initially influenced the brothers.

On the feast of Saint Francis and throughout the octave of this feast, The Divine Office of Saint Francis continued to be widely used throughout the Latin Church until the new Breviarium Romanum of Pius V in the sixteenth century, and throughout the Order until the eighteenth century. It served as a model for writing other offices in rhythmic and musical form. Julian of Speyer composed the musical notation that accompanied the office, and throughout the centuries composers have set Julian of Speyer's text to their own music.27 The Divine Office of Saint Francis must be ranked among the very finest literary treasures of the liturgy of the thirteenth century.

Early Franciscan Liturgical Developments: The Mass

The liturgical directives of both Francis's Earlier and Later Rules treat only the Divine Office. There is nothing said about the celebration of the Eucharist. This does not suggest that it did not have an important role in the spiritual lives of the brothers; the Exhortations to the Clergy, the First Admonition and, above all, the Letter to the Entire Order draw attention to the central place the Eucharist held. It is important to recall, however, that the number of priest brothers was small and that the brothers in general frequented parish churches. It was not until the General Chapter of 1230 that a statute concerning the reservation of the Eucharist was enacted. This suggests a new development: the residences of some of the brothers had chapels. With the advent of chapels and more priests among the brothers, the question of missals could hardly be avoided. Thus, together with the Regula breviary, the General Chapter of 1230 approved a Regula missal for the brothers' use. The earliest Franciscan liturgical calendar, which appeared in 1230, indicates three feasts honoring Saint Francis: his feast day, October 4; the commemoration of the translation (transferral) of his body from the Church of Saint George to the newly built basilica, May 25; and the commemoration of his canonization, July 25. In addition, there is the celebration of an octave, eight days of celebration after his feast day.

The manuscripts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries contain three Masses, each identified by the first words of the Introit or entrance antiphon.28 Of these three, the earliest formula, Dilectus Deo [Beloved by God], may have been




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 315