A Letter to the Entire Order - 119 

30I admonish and exhort you in the Lord, therefore, to celebrate only one Mass a day according to the rite of the Holy Church in those places where the brothers dwell. 31But if there is more than one priest there, let the other be content, for the love of charity, at hearing the celebration of the other priest;a 32because our Lord Jesus Christ fills those present and absent who are worthy of Him. 33Although He may seem to be present in many places, nevertheless, He remains, undivided and knows no loss; but One everywhere, He acts as He pleases, with the Lord God the Father and the Holy Spirit the Paraclete for ever and ever. Amen.

34Because whoever belongs to God hears the words of God, Jn 8:47 we who are more especially charged with divine responsibilities must not only listen to and do what the Lord says but also care for the vessels and other liturgical objects that contain His holy words in order to impress on ourselves the sublimity of our Creator and our subjection to Him. 35I, therefore, admonish all my brothers and encourage them in Christ to venerate, as best as they can, the divine written words wherever they find them. 36If they are not well kept or are carelessly thrown around in some place, let them gather them up and preserve them, inasmuch as it concerns them, honoring in the words the Lord Who spoke them. 3 Kgs 2:4 37For many things are made holy by the words of God and the sacrament of the altar is celebrated in the power of the words of Christ. 1 Tm 4:5

38Moreover, I confess all my sins to the Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to the blessed ever Virgin Mary, all the saints in heaven and on earth, to Brother H.,b the Minister of our Order as my venerable lord, to the priests of our Order and all my other blessed brothers. 39I have offended the Lord in many ways bymyserious faults especially in not observing the Rule that I have promised Him and in not saying the Office as the Rule prescribes either out of negligence or by reason of my weakness or because I am ignorant and stupid.

40Therefore, I beg by all means, as best I can, Brother H., the General Minister, my lord, to have the Rule observed inviolably by everyone, 41to have the clerics say the Office with devotion before God not concentrating on the melody of the voice but on the harmony of the mind, that the voice may be in harmony with the mind, the mind truly in harmony with God.

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Epistola toti ordina missa una cum oratione..., Fontes Franciscani, p. 101-102


30Moneo propterea et exhortor in Domino, ut in locis, in quibus fratres morantur, una tantum missa celebretur in die secundum formam sanctae Ecclesiae. 31Si vero plures in loco fuerint sacerdotes, sit per amorem caritatis alter contentus auditu celebrationis alterius sacerdotis; 32quia praesentes et absentes replet, qui eo digni sunt, Dominus Jesus Christus. 33Qui, licet in pluribus locis esse videatur, tamen indivisibilis manet et aliqua detrimenta non novit, sed unus ubique, sicut ei placet, operatur cum Domino Deo Patre et Spiritu Sancto Paraclito in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

34Et, quia qui est ex Deo verba Dei audit, debemus proinde nos, qui specialius divinis sumus officiis deputati, non solum audire et facere, quae dicit Deus, verum etiam ad insinuandam in nobis altitudinem Creatoris nostri et in ipso subiectionem nostram vasa et officialia cetera custodire, quae continent verba sua sancta. 35Propterea moneo fratres meos omnes et in Christo conforto, quatinus, ubicumque invenerint divina verba scripta, sicut possunt, venerentur, 36et, quantum ad eos spectat, si non sunt reposita bene vel inhoneste iacent in loco aliquo dispersa, recolligant et reponant honorantes in sermonibus Dominum, quos locutus est. 37Multa enim sanctificantur per verba Dei, et in virtute verborum Christi altaris conficitur sacramentum.

38Confiteor praeterea Domino Deo Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, beatae Mariae perpetuae Virgini et omnibus sanctis in caelo et in terra, fratri .H. ministro religionis nostrae sicut venerabili domino meo et sacerdotibus ordinis nostri et omnibus aliis fratribus meis benedictis omnia peccata mea. 39In multis offendi mea gravi culpa, specialiter quod regulam, quam Domino promisi, non servavi, nec officium, sicut regula praecipit, dixi sive negligentia sive infirmi- tatis meae ocasione sive quia ignorans sum et idiota.

40Ideoque per omnia oro sicut possum fratrem .H. generalem dominum meum ministrum, ut faciat regulam ab omnibus inviolabiliter observari ; 41et quod clerici dicant officium cum devotione coram Deo non attendentes melodiam vocis, sed consonantiam mentis, ut vox concordet menti, mens vero concordet cum Deo,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 119