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).