Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Register of Pope Honorius II

[1222‑1224] From Vatican Records

Parchment, volume, 352x280mm, ff. 213 (a foliation, in Roman numerals that has ff. CCXI), bound in dark red leather. On the back of the book, inside some borders made of golden ornaments between the bands, there is coat of arms Innocent XII and above: HONOR. III. BULLAR. AN. VII. VIII. TOM. IV.
ASV, Reg. Vat., 12, f. 156r (ol. CLVr)

The code, which belongs to the series of the Registra Vaticana, perhaps externally less accurate than the previous ones, groups the record of Honorius III’s selected correspondence between 1222 and 1224, divided in books, each one corresponding to his years of pontificate. The single recorded passages have a continuous and independent numbering (in the margin and in Roman numerals) for each book in the record. On folios 155r-156v there is a letter by Honorius III to St. Francis of Assisi, where the pope confirms the Minorites rule, already orally approved by Innocent III. The long passage, addresed to fratri Francisco et aliis fratibus de ordine fratrum minorum (sixth line) and dated Lateran, 29th November 1223, includes the Franciscan rule, as it was received by the Holy See and then certainly modified for the pope’s approval. The franciscan historians usually call this passage “Regola Bollata” (at the beginning of the Rule, on line 9: In nomine Domini incipit vita minorum fratrum. Regula et vita minorum fratrum hec est, scilicet domini nostri Iesu Christi sanctumevangelium observare, vivendo in obedientia, sine proprio, et in castitate. Frater Franciscus promittit obedientiam et reverentiam domino pape Honorio ac successoribus eius canonice intrantibus et ecclesie Romane). The famous verses of Dante refer to Honorius III’s approval of the Rule: «di seconda corona redimita / fu per Onorio da l’Etterno Spiro / la santa voglia d’esto archimandrita» (Par., XI, 97‑99).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saint Clare

Clare’s father was a count, her mother the countess Blessed Orsolana. Her father died when the girl was very young. After hearing Saint Francis of Assisi preach in the streets, Clare confided to him her desire to live for God, and the two became close friends. On Palm Sunday in 1212, her bishop presented Clare with a palm, which she apparently took as a sign. With her cousin Pacifica, Clare ran away from her mother’s palace during the night to enter religious life. She eventually took the veil from Saint Francis at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi, Italy.
Clare founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) at San Damiano, and led it for 40 years. Everywhere the Franciscans established themselves throughout Europe, there also went the Poor Clares, depending solely on alms, forced to have complete faith on God to provide through people; this lack of land-based revenues was a new idea at the time. Clare’s mother and sisters later joined the order, and there are still thousands of members living lives of silence and prayer.
Clare loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, chivalrous, and every day she meditated on the Passion of Jesus. She would get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who’d kicked off their blankets. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morrocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tau – Franciscan Cross

The Tau

A Franciscan Cross

By Ken Norian, TSSF
The first recorded reference to the TAU is from Ezekiel 9:4, “Go through the city of Jerusalem and put a TAU on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” The TAU is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and looks very much like the letter “T”.
At the Fourth Lateran Council, on November 11, 1215, Pope Innocent made reference to the TAU and quoted the above verse in reference to the profaning of the Holy Places by the Saracens. It is widely accepted that St. Francis was present at the Fourth Lateran Council and that he heard the words of Pope Innocent III when he said, “The TAU has exactly the same form as the Cross on which our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and only those will be marked with this sign and will obtain mercy who have mortified their flesh and conformed their life to that of the Crucified Savior. From then on, the TAU became Francis’ own coat of arms.