Francis of Assisi’s Rule and Life
David Flood, OFM
238 pages, Paperback edition
Out of the discussions within a small group around Francis of Assisi there resulted in 1209 a piece of writing. When Francis and his brothers showed it to church authorities, they called it their rule. And so it was. Among themselves they called it their vita: it was their way of life. It developed into an emergent manifesto. It even survived a canonical version. Soon, from the 1220s to 1260, it was absorbed and undone into a traditional form of religious life (as Lateran IV, Canon 13, wanted). Rule and Life follows its sad fate through one last argument for its revival. No go. All the same, it’s still there for the living.