as approved by the papal bull "Solet Annuere" of Honorius III of the 29th November 1223
Honorius, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to our beloved sons, Friar Francis
and the other friars of the Order of the Friars Minor,
greetings and apostolic Benediction.
The Apostolic See is accustomed
to grant the pious wishes and the upright desires of those petitioning
to share in her benevolent favor. Wherefore, beloved sons in the Lord,
having yielded to your pious entreaties, We confirm by Our apostolic authority
the Rule of your Order, approved by Our precedessor, Pope Innocent, of
good memory, quoted herein, and We thoroughly fortify with the partronage
of this present writing that, which is as follows:
In the name of the Lord begins the life of the Friars Minor.
The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without anything of one's own, and in chastity.
Friar Francis promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope Honorius
and his canonically elected successors, and to the Roman Church; and the
other friars are bound to obey Friar Francis and his successors.
Concerning those who wish to adopt this life,
and how they should be received
If any would desire to adopt this life and would come to our brothers,
let them send them to their Ministers provincial, to whom alone, and not
to others, is the permission to receive friars conceded. Let the ministers
indeed examine them diligently concerning the Catholic Faith and the sacraments
of the Church.
And if they believe these things and want to observe them faithfully
and firmly unto the end, and they have no wives or, if they do, their wives
have already entered a monastery, or having taken a vow of continence,
permission [to enter one] has been granted to them by authority of the
bishop of the diocese, and the wives are of such an age that suspicion
cannot arise concerning them, let them say unto these the word of the Holy
Gospel (cf Mt 19:21), that they should go and sell all that is their own
and strive to give it to the poor. But if they cannot do this, a good will
suffices for them.
And let the friars and their ministers beware, lest they be sollicitous
concering their temporal things, so that they may freely do with their
own things, whatever the Lord will have inspired them. If however counsel
is required, let the ministers have permission to send them to other God
fearing men, by whose counsel their goods may be spent [erogentur] on the
poor. Afterwards let them grant them the clothes of probation, that is,
two tunics without a capuche, a cord [cingulum] , breeches, and a caparone
[extending] to the cord, unless it seems to the same ministers [that it
should be] otherwise according to God. Having truly finished the year of
probation, let them be received to obedience, promising to observe always
this life and Rule.
And in no manner will it be licit for them to go forth from this religious
institute [de ista religione exire], according to the command of the Lord
Pope, because according to the Holy Gospel"No one putting hand
to the plow and turning back is fit for the Kingdom of God." (Lk
And let those who have already promised obedience have a tunic with
a capuche, and if they wish to have it, another without a capuche. And
let those who are driven by necessity be able to wear footwear. And let
all the friars wear cheep clothing and be able to patch these with sack-cloth
and other pieces with the blessing of God. I warn and exhort them, not
to despise nor judge men, whom they see clothed with soft and colored clothes,
using danty food and drink, but rather let each one judge and despise his
Concerning the divine office and fasting; and in what manner
the brothers ought to go through the world.
Clerics are to perform the divine office according to the
Ordo of the Roman Church, except for the psalter, for which they can have
Let the laymen indeed say twenty-four "Our Fathers" for matins;
for lauds five ; for prime, terce, sext and none, for each of these seven,
for vespers, however, twelve; for compline seven; and let them pray for
And let them fast from the Feast of All saints until Christmas. Indeed
may those who voluntaritly fast the holy lent, which begins at Ephiphany
and for the forty days that follow, which the Lord consecrated with His
own holy fast, be blessed by the Lord, and let those who do not wish [to
do so] not be constrained. But let them fast the other [lent] until the
[day of the] Resurrection of the Lord.
At other times however they are not bound to fast, except on fridays.
Indeed in time of manifest necessity the friars are not bound to the corporal
Indeed, I counsel, warn and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ,
that when they go about through the world, they are not to quarrel nor
contend in words (cf 2 Tim 2:14), nor are they to judge others, but they
are to be meek, peacible and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly
to all, as is fitting. And they should not ride horseback, unless they
are driven [to do so] by manifest necessity or infirmity.
Into whatever house they may enter, first let them say: "Peace
to this house." (cf Lk 10:5) And according to the Holy Gospel
it is lawful to eat of any of the foods, which are placed before them.
(cf Lk 10:8)
That the brothers should not receive money
I firmly command all the friars, that in no manner are they to receive
coins or money through themselves or through an interposed person. However
for the necessities of the infirm and for the clothing of the other friars,
only the ministers and the custodes are to conduct a sollicitous care,
by means of spiritual friends, according to places and seasons and cold
regions, as they see expedites necessity; with this always preserved, that,
as has been said, they do not receive coins nor money.
On the manner of working
Let those friars, to whom the Lord gives the grace to work, work faithfully
and devotedly, in such a way that, having excluded idleness, the enemy
of the soul, they do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion,
which all other temporal things should serve zealously [deservire]. Indeed
concerning the wages of labor, let them receive for themselves and for
their friars what is for the necessity of the body, except coins or money,
and this [they should do] humbly, as befits the servants of God and the
followers of most holy poverty.
That the Friars are to appropriate nothing for themselves,
and concerning the begging of alms and sick friars.
Let the Friars appropriate nothing for themselves, neither house nor
place, nor any thing. And as pilgrims and exiles (cf 1 Pt 2:11) in this
age let them go about for alms confidently, as ones serving the Lord in
poverty and humility, nor is it proper that they be ashamed [to do so],
since the Lord made Himself poor in this world (cf 2 Cor 8:9) for us. This
is that loftiness of most high poverty, which has established you, my most
dear Friars, as heirs and kings of the Kingdom of Heaven, making you poor
in things, it has raised you high in virtues (cf Jm 2:5). Let this be your
"portion", which leads you "into the land of the
living" (cfr Ps 141,6). Cleaving totally to this, most beloved
Friars, may you want to have nothing other under heaven in perpetuity,
for the sake of the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, wherever the friars are and find themselves, let them mutually
show themselves to be among their family members. And let them without
fear manifest to one another their own need, since, if a mother nourishes
and loves her own son (cf 1 Th 2:7) according to the flesh, how much more
diligently should he love and nourish his own spiritual brother?
And, if any of them should fall into infirmity, the other friars should
care for him, as they would want to be cared for themselves.
On the penance to be imposed on Friars who are sinning.
If any of the friars, at the instigation of the enemy, should sin mortally,
for those sins, concerning which it has be ordained among the friars, that
one have recourse to the Ministers provincial alone, the aforesaid friars
are bound to have recourse to them as soon as they can, without delay.
Indeed let the Ministers themselves, if they are priests, with mercy enjoin
upon them a penance; if indeed they are not priests, let them have it enjoined
by other priests of the order, as it will seem to them to better expedite
[the matter] according to God. And they should beware, not to grow angry
and be distressed on account of the sin of another, since anger and distress
impede charity in themselves and in others.
On the election of the Minister general of this fraternity;
and on the Chapter at Pentecost.
All the friars are bound to have always one of the friars of this very
same religion as Minister general and servant of the whole fraternity and
they are bound firmly to obey him. When he dies, let an election of a successor
be made by the Ministers provincials and the custodes in the Pentecost
Chapter, in which the ministers provincial are bound to convene at once
wherever it will have been determined by
the minister general; and this once every three years or at another interval
greater or less, as it will have been ordained by the aforesaid minister.
And if at any time it may appear to all the Ministers provincial and
to the custodes, that the aforesaid minister is not sufficient for the
service and common utility of the friars, the aforesaid friars, to whom
the electing has been given, are bound in the Name of the Lord to choose
another another as their guard [in custodem]. Indeed, after the Pentecost
Chapter, let the ministers and custodes each be able, if they want and
if it will seem to be expedient for them, once in the same year to call
their friars together in chapter in their own custodies.
Let the friars not preach in the diocese of any bishop, when he has spoken
against their preaching. And let no friar at all dare preach
to the people, unless he will have been examined by the minister general
of this fraternity and approved, and there be conceded to him by the same
the office of preaching.
I also warn and exhort these same friars, that in preaching, that they
do, their expressions be considered and chaste (cf
Ps 11:7; 17:21), for [sake of] the utility and edification of the people,
by announcing to them vices and virtues, punishment and glory with brevity
of speech; since a brief word did the Lord speak upon the earth.
(cf Rom 9:28)
On the admonition and correction of the friars.
Let the friars, who are ministers and servants of the other friars,
visit and warn their friars and humbly and charitably correct them, not
commanding them anything which is contrary to their soul and our Rule.
Indeed let the friars, who are subjects, remember, that for the sake of
God they have renounced their own wills. Whence I firmly command them,
to obey thier ministers in all things which they have promised the Lord
to observe and which are not contrary to their soul or to our Rule. And
wherever the friars are, who know and understand, that they themselves
are not able to observe the rule spiritually, they should and can have
recourse to their ministers. Indeed let the ministers receive them charitably
and kindly and be so familiar with them, that they can speak to them and
act as lords with their servants; for so it should be, because the ministers
are the servants of all the friars.
Indeed I warn and exhort the friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they
beware of all pride, vain glory, envy, avarice (cf Lk 12:15),
care and sollicitude for this age, detraction and murmuring, and that those
who are ignorant of letters not care to learn letters; but let them strive,
so that above all things they should desire to have the Spirit of the Lord
and His holy operation, to pray always to Him with a pure heart and to
have humility, [and] patience in persecution and in infirmity, and to love
those who persecute and correct and accuse us, because the Lord says,
(Mt. 5:44). (Mt. 5:10)."He
who has persevered until the end, however, will be saved" (Mt.
That the brothers should not enter the monasteries of nuns.
I frimly command all the brothers not to have suspicious company or
conversation with women, and not to enter the monasteries of nuns, except
those [friars] to whom special permission has been conceded by the Apostolic
See; neither are they to be godfathers of men or women [so that] scandal
may not arise on this account among the friars nor concerning them.
going among the Saracens and other infidels.
Let whoever of the friars who by divine inspiration wants to go among
the saracens and other infidels seek permission for that reason from thier
minister provincial. Indeed the ministers are to grant permission to go
to none, except those whom seems to be fit to be sent.
For which sake I enjoin the ministers by obedience, to seek from the
Lord Pope one of the cardinals of the Roman Church, who is to be the govenor,
protector, and corrector of this fraternity, so that always subject and
prostrate at the feet of this same Holy Church, stable in the Catholic
Faith (cf Col 1:23) we may observe, what we have firmly promised: the poverty
and humility and the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Confirmation of the Rule
Let it not be in any way licit to anyone among
men to infringe this page of our confirmation, or to contravene it with
rash daring. If anyone however would presume to attempt this, let him know himself to have incurred the indignation of the Omnipotent God and of Blessed Peter and Paul, His Apostles.
Given at the Lateran, on the third day of the
Kalens of December, in the eight year of Our Pontificate.