Dictated Writings

Noel Muscat ofm

Jacques Cambell introduced the term «dictated writings». In medieval Franciscan literature we sometimes find that Francis is said to have dictated some letters or other writings, whose contents are described, but without the original written form in which they were composed. They are accepted as Writings of Saint Francis, of which we know the existence, but whose content remains lost to us.

Dictated writings (pdf)

The Prayers of St. Francis

Noel Muscat ofm

5.1 Prayer before the Crucifix (1205/06) The Prayer before the Crucifix, composed originally in the Italian dialect of Umbria, is one of the earliest prayers among the Writings of Saint Francis. It was composed at the very beginning of his conversion process, when he would go to the derelict church of San Damiano to pray.

The prayers (pdf)

The Letters of St. Francis

Noel Muscat ofm

4.1 First Version of the Letter to the Faithful (1209-1215)

Paul Sabatier first published the First Version of the Letter to the Faithful in 1900, from the codex of Volterra. He gave it the title Verba vitae et salutis (Words of life and salvation). Franciscan scholars thought that it was a later extract of what is today known as the Second Version of the Letter to the Faithful, but when Kajetan Esser studied the manuscripts containing the letter, he found that the Volterra manuscript was truly unique, and that it merited a study on its own, just as Sabatier had insisted.

The Letters (pdf)

The Rules of St. Francis

Noel Muscat ofm

2.1 Genesis and Formation of the Franciscan Rules In his Testament 14-15, Francis writes: “And after the Lord gave me brothers, no one showed me what I had to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should 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.”

The Rules (pdf)

Introduction to the Writings of St. Francis


1.1 Critical Editions of the Writings The knowledge regarding the life and charism of Saint Francis of Assisi, until thirty years ago, was largely limited to some of the sources of his life, particularly The Little Flowers of Saint Francis and The Major Legend of Saint Francis, the latter by Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. Few persons realized that Francis of Assisi is, in fact, the author of a group of Witings, among which three are autobiographical. Nowadays, we can be thankful to the Franciscan researchers who have unearthed the manuscripts containing the Writings of Saint Francis, and have handed them down to us in critical editions. These Writings provide us with the personality of Saint Francis as it is revealed in the ideals and values he cherished and transmitted to his followers.

Introduction (pdf)

Welcome to Franciscan Studies

In this website you will find many of studies I’ve been working in the past. Hope you will find what you were looking for.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour; of You, Most High, he bears the likeness. st. Francis of Assisi