Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rule for Hermitages of Saint Francis

Those who want to remain in hermitages to lead a religious life should be three brothers, or four at most; of these, let two be 'mothers' and have two 'sons,' or one at least.

The two that are 'mothers' should maintain the life of Martha and the two 'sons' the life of Mary, and have a single enclosure, in which each may have his cell to pray and sleep in.

And they are always to say Compline of the day immediately after sunset. And they should make sure to keep the silence. And they are to recite their Hours. And they are to get up for Matins. And let the first thing they seek be the kingdom of God and his justice.

And let them say Prime at the appropriate hour and, after Terce, conclude the silence so that they can speak and go to their 'mothers;' from whom, when they want to, they can beg an alms, like little paupers, for love of the Lord God.

And afterwards, they are to recite Sext and None and, at the appropriate hour, Vespers.

And as to the enclosure where they stay, they may not allow any person either to enter or to eat there.

Those brothers who are the 'mothers' are to make sure they keep their distance from people and, on account of the obedience due their minister, shield their 'sons' from people, so that nobody can get to speak with them.
And those 'sons' are not to speak with any person other than their 'mothers' and their minister and custodian, when he wishes to visit them with the blessing of the Lord God.

The 'sons,' nonetheless, should now and then take over the duty of the 'mothers', according to what arrangement they have come to about taking turns at intervals.

As for everything above-mentioned, let them earnestly and carefully endeavour to observe it.

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