The Earlier Rule - 63 

The Earlier Rule

(The Rule Without a Papal Seal)a

This document has its origins in the simple form of life which Francis brought to Pope Innocent III for his approval in 1209 or 1210. During the following years it developed in light of the experiences of the brothers, the teaching of the Church, especially the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council, and the teachings of Francis himself. The final stage of its composition occurred at the Chapter of 1221, the last Pentecost Chapter at which all the brothers gathered together.


1In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

2This is the life of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Brother Francis petitioned the Lord Pope to grant and confirm for him; and he did grant and confirm it for him and his brothers present and to come.

3Brother Francis—and whoever is head of this religion—promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Innocent and his successors.b 4Let all the brothers be bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.

[Chapter I: The Brothers must live without anything of their own and in chastity and in obedience]

1The rule and life of these brothers is this, namely: “to live in obedience, in chastity, and without anything of their own,”c and to follow the teaching and footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ, ...




Regula non bullata, Fontes Franciscani, p. 185

Regula non bullata


1In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti!

2Haec est vita evangelii Jesu Christi, quam frater Franciscus petiit a domino papa concedi et confirmari sibi. Et ille concessit et confirmavit sibi et suis fratribus habitis et futuris.

3Frater Franciscus et quicumque erit caput istius religionis promittat obedientiam domino Innocentio papae et reverentiam et suis successoribus . 4Et omnes alii fratres teneantur obedire fratri Francisco et eius successoribus.

Caput I - Quod fratres debent vivere sine proprio et in castitate et obedientia

1Regula et vita istorum fratrum haec est, scilicet vivere in obedientia, in castitate et sine proprio, et Domini nostri Jesu Christi doctrinam et vestigia sequi, ...

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 63