Spirit+Life 144 (April – June 2023)

On 22 February 2023 the Maltese OFM Province celebrated a half-day seminar on the occasion of the 800 years of the confirmation of the Regula bullata in 1223. For the occasion Br. Cesare Vaiani ofm, General Definitor and Franciscan scholar, was invited to give a talk to the brothers on the historical aspects of the Rule and its relevance in the life of us, Friars Minor, today. In this issue of our cultural review we are offering an English translation of the paper presented by Br. Cesare. The theme of the Rule is also continued in the paper regarding Saint Francis and the Cardinal Ugo di Ostia, who was cardinal protector of the Order and who helped the saint in the drafting of the text of the same Rule. The year 1223 also marks the moment in which Saint Anthony of Padua became the first lector of theology of the Order in the studium of the friars in Bologna. Two short papers will deal with Anthony of Padua. The first one is dedicated to a rather obscure shrine on Capo Milazzo in Sicily, where Anthony was shipwrecked in 1221, when on his return from Morocco to Spain his ship was blown off course. This event marked the beginning of his journey to Assisi for the general chapter of 1221 and then on to Monte Paolo, from where he eventually moved to go to Bologna to teach theology. The second paper is dedicated to this ministry of lector and its approval by Saint Francis through a short note that forms part of the Writings of Francis, the Letter to brother Anthony.