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Images of St. Francis' World - Hermitages

St Francis' Vision and Rule for Hermitages (1217-1221)
Little Brothers of Francis ”

• Not more than three, or at the most four Brothers should go together to a hermitage to lead a religious life there.

• Two of these should act as mothers, with the other two, or the other one, as their sons.

• The mothers are to lead a life of Martha; the other two, or one, the life of Mary.

• Those who live the life of Mary are to have a separate enclosure and each should have a place to himself in which he may pray and sleep.

• Immediately after sunset they should say Compline of the day. They must be careful to keep silence and say their Office, rising for Matins.

• Their first care should be to strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Mtt. 6:33)

• Prime and Terce should be said at the proper time, and after Terce the silence ends and they can speak and go to their mothers.

• If they wish, they may beg alms from them for love of the Lord God, like any other ordinary poor people.

• Afterwards, they should say Sext and None, with Vespers at the proper time.

• They are forbidden to allow anyone to enter the enclosure where they live, and they must take their meals there alone.

• The Brothers who are mothers must be careful to stay away from outsiders and in obedience to their custos keep their sons away from them, so that no one can speak to them.

• The Brothers who are sons are not to speak to anyone except their mother or their custos, when he chooses to visit them, with God’s blessing.

• The sons, however, may periodically assure the role of the mothers, taking turns for a time as they have mutually decided. Let them strive to observe conscientiously and eagerly everything mentioned above.

Franciscan Sacred Places - Tuscany & Umbria