The Admonitions - 128 

The Undated Writings

The Admonitions

A medieval admonition was more than a warning or a calling to mind; it had more of a religious sense in which a biblical passage or image was presented and, in light of it, a practical application was made. Thus these twenty-eight teachings of Francis offer insights into his biblical thought and the ways in which he translated them into the ordinary experiences of daily life. Although some of these pieces offer clues as to their composition or deliverance, they are difficult to date. The five manuscript collections of the thirteenth century contain only one consistent document: the following twenty-eight pieces or admonitions. This attests to their importance in the early Franciscan tradition and to their place as Francis’s “Canticle of Minority.”

[I. The Body of Christ]

1The Lord Jesus says to his disciples: I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. 2If you knew me, you would also know my Father; and from now on, you do know him and have seen him. 3Philip says to him: Lord, show us the Father and it will be enough for us. 4Jesus says to him: Have I been with you for so long a time and you have not known me? Philip, whoever sees me sees my Father as well. Jn 14:6-9

5The Father dwells in inaccessible light, 1 Tm 6:16 and God is spirit, Jn 4:24 and no one has ever seen God. Jn 1:18 6Therefore He cannot be seen except in the Spirit because it is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh has nothing to offer. Jn 6:63 7But because He is equal to the Father, the Son is not seen by anyone other than the Father or other than the Holy Spirit.

8All those who saw the Lord Jesus according to the humanity, therefore, and did not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Divinity that He is the true Son of God were condemned. 9Now in the same way, all those who see the sacrament sanctified by the words of the Lord upon the altar at the hands of the priest in the form of bread and wine, and who do not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Divinity that it is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, are condemned.10[This] is affirmed by the Most High Himself Who says:




Admonitiones, Fontes Franciscani, p. 25


[Caput I - De corpore Domini]

1Dicit Dominus Jesus discipulis suis: Ego sum via, veritas et vita; nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me. 2Si cognosceretis me, et Patrem meum utique cognosceretis; et amodo cognoscetis eum et vidistis eum. 3Dicit ei Philippus: Domine, ostende nobis Patrem, et sufficit nobis. 4Dicit ei Jesus: Tanto tempore vobiscum sum et non cognovistis me? Philippe, qui videt me, videt et Patrem meum.

5Pater lucem habitat inaccessibilem, et spiritus est Deus, et Deum nemo vidit umquam. 6Ideo nonnisi in spiritu videri potest, quia spiritus est qui vivificat; caro non prodest quidquam. 7Sed nec Filius in eo, quod aequalis est Patri, videtur ab aliquo aliter quam Pater, aliter quam Spiritus Sanctus.

8Unde omnes qui viderunt Dominum Jesum secundum humanitatem et non viderunt et crediderunt secundum spiritum et divinitatem, ipsum esse verum Filium Dei, damnati sunt; 9ita et modo omnes qui vident sacramentum, quod sanctificatur per verba Domini super altare per manum sacerdotis in forma panis et vini, et non vident et credunt secundum spiritum et divinitatem, quod sit veraciter sanctissimum corpus et sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi, damnati sunt, 10ipso altissimo attestante, qui ait:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 128