Eight hundred years ago, on November 29, 1223, Pope Honorius III approved the Rule of the Friars Minor though his Bull Solet annuere, which he addressed to Brother Francis and the other members of his Order. The incipit at the beginning of the Bull declares that the document is a confirmation of what Pope Innocent III had already orally approved during the famous meeting that took place in Rome around 1210. This is how Francis himself remembers it in his Testament: “And after the Lord gave me brothers, no one showed me what I should do, but the Most High himself revealed to me that I had to live according to the pattern of the holy Gospel. And I had this written down simply and in a few words and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me” (Testament 14-15; FF 116).
In 1211, Brother Bernard of Quintavalle brought this so-called propositum vitae to Bologna where it gained its first admirers, as narrated in Chapter 5 of the Little Flowers of St. Francis (FF 1833).
For eight hundred years, the Later Rule, sealed with the “bulla” of Pope Honorius, has been the juridical and charismatic point of reference for the friars of the Franciscan First Order in Bologna, namely:, the Friars Minor at the Basilica of Sant’Antonio and, more recently, the Church of Santo Stefano; the Conventual Franciscan friars at the Basilica of San Francesco (who were declared distinct from the Friars Minor by the “Generalissimo Chapter” of 1517); and the Capuchin Franciscans (founded around 1525) at the Church of San Giuseppe.
Through them, the Later Rule has been going into the city every day for eight hundred years, not in search of admirers of itself, but in search of admirers of what the Rule was founded upon: “the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
However, a question arises: eight hundred years later, what can this text still have to say?
We presented this question to twelve people from Bologna: Davide CONTE, Pietro ZAULI, David COLGAN, Andrea LAPPI, Valentina MARCHESINI, Daniele RAVAGLIA, Luisa LEONI, Mauro FELICORI, Elena UGOLINI, Marco DEL GOVERNATORE, Chiara LOCATELLI and Marina ORLANDI. On Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 8.45 p.m., each of them will speak about one of the twelve chapters of the Later Rule. The event will take place at the San Francesco Basilica and Friary in Bologna.
Reader: Jacopo TREBBI
Music: Adrea GIANESSI
Promoted by: Biblioteca San Francesco Bologna