A Letter to a Minister - 98 

as these. 12And you may announce this to the guardians, when you can, that, for your part, you are resolved to act in this way.a

13During the Chapter of Pentecost, with the help of God and the advice of our brothers, we shall make one chapter such as this from all the chapters of the Rule that treat of mortal sin:b

14If any one of the brothers, at the instigation of the enemy, shall have sinned mortally, let him be bound by obedience to have recourse to his guardian. 15Let all the brothers who know that he has sinned not bring shame upon him or slander him; let them, instead, show great mercy to him and keep the sin of their brother very secret because those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Mt 9:12 Mk 2:17 Lk 5:31 16In a similar way let them be bound by obedience to send him to his custodian with a companion. 17And let that custodian provide for him with mercy as he would wish to be provided for were he in a similar position. Mt 7:12 Lk 6:31 18If he falls into some venial sin, let him confess to his brother who is a priest. 19If there is no priest there, let him confess to his brother until he has a priest who may canonically absolve him, Jas 5:16 as it has been said. 20And let them not have the power to impose any other penance on them except this: Go and sin no more. Jn 8:11 c

21May you keep this writing with you until Pentecost so that it may be better observed, when you will be with your brothers. 22With the help of the Lord God, you will take care of these and everything else that is not clear in the Rule.




Epistola ad quendam ministrum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 95-96

12Et istud denunties guardianis, quando poteris, quod per te ita firmus es facere.

13De omnibus autem capitulis, quae sunt in regula, quae loquuntur de mortalibus peccatis, Domino adiuvante in capitulo Penteco- stes cum consilio fratrum faciemus istud tale capitulum:

14Si quis fratrum instigante inimico mortaliter peccaverit, per obedientiam teneatur recurrere ad guardianum suum. 15Et omnes fratres, qui scirent eum peccasse, non faciant ei verecundiam neque detractionem, sed magnam misericordiam habeant circa ipsum et teneant multum privatum peccatum fratris sui; quia non est opus sanis medicus, sed male habentibus. 16Similiter per obedientiam teneantur eum mittere custodi suo cum socio. 17Et ipse custos misericorditer provideat ei, sicut ipse vellet provideri sibi, si in consimili casu esset. 18Et si in alio peccato veniali ceciderit, confiteatur fratri suo sacerdoti. 19Et si non fuerit ibi sacerdos, confiteatur fratri suo, donec habebit sacerdotem, qui eum absolvat canonice, sicut dictum est. 20Et isti penitus non habeant potestatem iniungendi aliam poenitentiam nisi istam: Vade et noli amplius peccare.

21Hoc scriptum, ut melius debeat observari, habeas tecum usque ad Pentecosten; ibi eris cum fratribus tuis. 22Et ista et omnia alia, quae minus sunt in regula, Domino Deo adiuvante, procurabitis adimplere.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 98