To the General Chapter.
To the Reverend and much-beloved Brethren, the Minister-General, and others of the Order of Friars Minor, Brother Francis, greeting in the Lord.
Since those who are of God hear the words of God, it behoves us, beloved brethren, who have been chosen to fulfill all divine offices, not only to hear and practise what God has commanded, but also to watch most carefully over the sacred vessels, and the holy Office-books in which His words are contained, that we may become penetrated with the greatness of our Creator, and show our submission to Him. Therefore I desire and exhort my brethren to show all possible respect to the Divine Scriptures wherever they see them, and if they should be found in any improper place, or scattered about in a disrespectful manner, let them collect and put them in a becoming place as far as possible, in order to show reverence to the words of the Lord. For many things are sanctified by the Word of God, and the mystery of the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar is accomplished by the power of the words of Jesus Christ.
Moreover, I confess all my sins to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; to the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to all the saints in heaven and on earth, to the Minister-General of the Order, as my venerable Superior, to all the priests of the Order, and to all my beloved brethren. I have sinned in manifold ways and grievously, especially by not observing the Rule as I promised to God, and by not reciting the Office as that Rule prescribes, either through negligence or on account of my infirmities, or because I am an ignorant, simple man.
I therefore earnestly beseech the Minister-General, my lord, to cause the Rule to be strictly observed by all, and to see that the clerics recite the Office devoutly before God, endeavouring to please Him by the concord of their hearts, and not to soothe the ears of the people by the sweetness of their singing; not attending to the melody of the voice, but to the harmony of the mind, so that their voices may be in unison with their hearts, and their hearts with God. As for myself I promise, by the grace of God, to observe these things faithfully, and I will cause them to be observed by those brethren who are with me, both with regard to the Office, and to other regulations. As for those who will not observe them, I do not look upon them as Catholics, nor my brethren ; I will neither see nor speak with them until they have done penance. I say the same of those who wander to and fro, and make no account of the ordinances and precepts of the Rule; for Our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life rather than disobey His Heavenly Father.
I, Brother Francis, a vile man, and unworthy creature of God, command, in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Minister-General, all the Ministers- General who come after him, all the Custodes and Guardians present and to come, to have this writing, to keep it carefully, and to practise what it contains. I implore them to have all that is written therein carefully and diligently observed. May those who are faithful to these things be blessed of the Lord, according to the will of Almighty God, now and in future as long as the world exists. May the Lord be with you for ever. Amen.