The Second Letter to the Custodians (1220) - 60 

The Second Letter to the Custodians
(1220)a

The contents to this simple letter echo those of the other writings of this period; in fact, we can find references to the Exhortation of the Clergy and the Letter to the Rulers of the People. Of these letters written after Francis’s visit to the Middle East, the reference to “the other letter” suggests that Francis wrote this letter last.


1Brother Francis, the least of the servants of God, sends greetings and holy peace in the Lord to all the custodians of the Friars Minor whom this letter reaches.

2Know that there are certain very lofty and sublime things in the sight of God that people sometimes think of as worthless and contemptible; 3there are others that are esteemed and remarkable to people that God considers extremely worthless and contemptible.

4In the sight of our Lord God, I beg you, as much as I can, to give to bishops and other members of the clergy those letters treating of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord; 5and to keep in mind what we have recommended to you about these things.

6Make many copies of the other letter I am sending you, in which it is written that the praises of God be proclaimed among the peoples and in the piazzas, to give to mayors, consuls and rulers, 7and distribute them with great zeal to those to whom they should be given.b

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Epistola ad custodes II, Fontes Franciscani, p. 69


Epistola ad custodes II

1Universis custodibus Fratrum Minorum, ad quos istae litterae pervenerint, frater Franciscus, minimus servorum Dei, salutem et sanctam pacem in Domino.

2Scitote, quod in conspectu Dei sunt quaedam res nimis altae et sublimes, quae aliquando reputantur inter homines pro vilibus et abiectis; 3et aliae sunt carae et spectabiles inter homines, quae coram Deo tenentur pro vilissimis et abiectis .

4Rogo vos coram Domino Deo nostro, quantum possum, quod litteras illas, quae tractant de sanctissimo corpore et sanguine Domini nostri, detis episcopis et aliis clericis; 5et memoria retineatis, quae super his vobis commendavimus .

6Aliarum litterarum, quas vobis mitto, ut eas detis potestatibus, consulibus et rectoribus, et in quibus continetur, ut publicentur per populos et plateas Dei laudes, facite statim multa exemplaria, 7et cum magna diligentia eas porrigite illis, quibus debeant dari.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 60