Saint Francis of Assisi: Solet Annuere and letters (Collection)

Saint Francis of Assisi: Solet Annuere and letters (Collection)

Italy — 1223-1226

A collection of documents giving precious insight into the life and works of the founder of the Franciscan Order

  1. Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/2-1226) is one of the most influential figures of medieval monasticism

  2. This collection includes the Franciscan Rule and other documents related to Saint Francis

  3. The two personal letters included here are the only surviving documents from Francis’ hand

Saint Francis of Assisi: Solet Annuere and letters (Collection)

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Saint Francis of Assisi: Solet Annuere and letters (Collection)

Saint Francis of Assisi is famous for his works, miracles, and for being the founder of the Franciscan Order. This collection of documents includes a letter from Pope Honorius III confirming the Rule of the Franciscan Order as well as the only two surviving letters written by the hand of the saint. These are some of the most important documents concerning the founding of this influential order and the life of its founder, one of the most charismatic monastics of the Middle Ages.

Saint Francis of Assisi: Solet Annuere and Letters (Collection)

This collection of documents yields fascinating insights from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/2-1226). The first document is the Regula Bullata, a parchment dated 1223 that consists of a letter from Pope Honorius III (1150-1227), which solemnly confirmed the Rule (the Later Rule) written by Francis for his order. It is called bullata because the papal seal, or bull, is affixed to it. The twelve chapters that make up the Later Rule, which still governs the life of the whole Franciscan community, are transcribed in the letter. The other two documents are the only surviving letters written by St. Francis in his own hand. One is a small and badly worn piece of parchment known as the Assisi chartula: on the flesh side Francis wrote his Laudes Dei Altissimi, on the other the “Blessing for Brother Leo”. The other autograph document, which is preserved in the Cathedral of Spoleto and in much better condition, is an affectionate letter likewise written by Francis to his friend and confessor brother Leo.

Who was Francis of Assisi?

Numerous legends exist about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, the veracity of which is not always verifiable. According to these legends, Francis lead a dissolute life in his youth, with his father’s money he treated his peers at feasts and often was the focus of these celebrations. In November of 1202, Francis is supposed to have gone off with soldiers from his hometown of Assisi to war against the neighboring city of Perugia, where Assisi was defeated. Francis and his fellow soldiers were taken into captivity as prisoners of war in Perugia. His came to question his reckless life through the experience of the war. He was sick and shaken to the core when he was released. Francis increasingly withdrew from his circle of friends in this period and sought solitude.

God’s Call

He undertook a pilgrimage to Rome in 1205 and 1206, on which he, according to legend, traded clothes with a beggar in order to “try out” life in complete poverty. He began to live as a hermit. He went begging house to house for food. His referred to his voluntary poverty – in reference to chivalric ideas and courtly love songs – as his “mistress”. Francis lived according to the word of the Gospels, not only in a metaphorical sense. He understood the biblical texts as a call to thus live and act as did the twelve young men sent out by Jesus, the Apostles, namely to live in poverty and proclaim the Gospels. Based on the Gospels, Francis clothed himself from then on in a simple habit, which is held with a rope, strictly rejected possessions and even contact with money, and went barefoot when possible. His lifestyle came across scorn and mockery, but on the other hand, acted as a stimulus for numerous others of like mind. From the growing number of his followers arose the Order of the Friars Minor.


Alternative Titles
Franz von Assisi: Solet Annuere und Briefe (Sammlung)
"Solet Annuere" (Papal Bull of Pope Honorius III confirming the Franciscan Rule, 1223); Letter of St. Francis containing the "Laudes a Dei altissimi" and the "Benedictio fratris Leonis" (1224); "Lettera Spoletina" (Letter of St. Francis to Brother Leo, 12

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Solet Annuere e Autografi di san Francesco

Scrinium – Venice

Publisher: Scrinium – Venice
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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