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[A DECLARATION OF THE 3. RULE OF St. FRANCIS AS it is Ordered for Religious Women. The first part.: depiction of a Franciscan friar kneeling at prayer before a female figure and receiving the holy spirit, above a group of nuns

THE RVLE OF PENANCE OF THE SERAPHICALL FATHER S. FRANCIS. Approued and confirmed by Leo the X. for Religious Perſons of the 3. Order of S. Francis. Together with a Declaration of each point of the Rule, profitable not only to the Religious of this Or­der, but alſo to all Religious wo­men.




TO THE RIGHT R. FATHER Br. IOHN GENNINGS FIRST PROVINCIALL AND RESTORER Of the English Prouince of Friar Minours: and now actuall Prouinciall of the ſame.


Sithence the com­mon practiſe of writers hath now ſo prevailed, that each one almoſt, either, for patro­nage of their workes, or to ma­nifeſt their reſpects, Dutie, and Gratitude, is accuſtomed, to preſent them, vnder the shelter of ſuch perſons, who by their acceptance may equaliſe their labours and paines; I hope it will not ſeeme ſtrange to your R. Paternitie, or to any other; that I haue made choiſe to pre­ſent my poore induſtries, to you; who in all reſpects may challen­ge, vnder God, the vtmoſt of my endeavours; Nay I should offend, if I should attribute the Patronage of this little worke to any, but to you R. Father, who firſt deſired it, and by whoſe commands I haue vn­dertaken it.

Beſides if vertuous actions may allure me: I know not where, within your ranke and qualitie, to paralell your he­roique deeds: for to omit your progenie; which may adde à pro­babilite of à vertuous minde: as Ariſtotle ſaith. 3. Pol: Ve­riſimile eſt praeſtantiores ac meliores eſſe eos, qui ex me­lioribus. and to ſpeake no­thing of the happineſſe you enioy, by being Brother to ſo Glorious à Martyr M. Edmōd Gennings: as alſo of your mi­raculous conuerſion, of your continuall labours, for many yeares in Gods vineyard, for the converſion of ſoules: your praiſe and merit, both before God and man, hath taken no ſmall degree, in your erecting or rather reſtoring againe, that ſometimes famous Province of the English Friar Minours; wherein haue bene in all ſcien­ces, ſome of the moſt renowned and learned men of Chriſten­dome. Of this Province was Alexander Hales, who was called Doctor Doctorum and was the firſt that euer did write Summe of Divinitie. of this Province was Scotus, whoſe fame is ſpread thorough the whole world, both for his ſub­lime ſubtilitie, and more than vulgar devotion to our B. La­dy: what shall I reckon vp, Oc­cham, Bachont, Midleon with infinite others, who haue embelished Gods Church with their Doctrine: and ſtrenuous­ly defended it againſt hereſies: to which we may adde; that of three ſchooles from whence all others almoſt, deriue their do­ctrine, to wit, of Thomiſts, Scotiſts, and Nominaliſts: two of them haue had their begi­ming from men of this Provin­ce. Is it not R. Father à great glorie to you, that notwithſtanding the violent impetuoſitie of theſe our times; God should vſe you as an inſtrument, to make this renowned Province to reviue againe, in our order? but I am confident, greater is your ioy, to ſee and heare the fruicts of your labours; for we may well ſay of this ſeeming shrubbe, which you haue plan­ted: that it is tanquam li­gnum, quod plantatum eſt ſecus decurſus aquarum: quod fructum ſuum dabit in tempore ſuo. It is like vnto à Tree planted by the water ſide whith bringeth forth fruict in due ſeaſon: for this your tree, was no ſooner planted: but it beganne to ſprout forth leaues of rare examples; Its root was ſcarſe ſetled in the ground, but its branches loaded with pietie, deuotion and learning did extend themſelues to the gayning of ſoules: as ſoone as the waters of grace had wate­red it, the heavens did receiue its fruict: I meane amongst o­thers, thoſe glorious Martyrs who for Gods honour, and for his Church, haue lately giuen their liues in ſacrifice; of whom according to the breuitie of an Epistle: I will ſpeake a word or two.

Father Thomas Bullaker vpon his arriuall into England being taken and empriſoned, cōtracted ſuch diſeaſes, through miſerie and want, which he ſuf­fered in priſon; that he neuer had his health after: yet: the zeale of ſoules, which brought him vnto his country; forced him with vndaunted courage to come to london, in the greateſt rage of Perſecution, to helpe the poore diſtreſſed Catho­liques: which he did both ſpiri­tually and temporally; vntill ſuch time, that being taken at Maſſe, whilſt he was ſaying Gloria in Excelſis: he was empriſoned againe, condemned, hanged, drawne and quartered, when his ſoule did aſcend to ſing eternally a canticle of Ioy in heauen.

Father Paule of S. Magda­len alias Henry Heath, twiſe Guardian of your Convent at Douay, and once Commiſſarie Provinciall in theſe parts, and long ſince Reader of Diuinitie: after hauing well profited in his ſtudies in Cambridge; by reading of the holy Fathers, and diſputing with others; he was the occaſion of the converſion of many, wherof ſome became Religious: and after God touching his heart, he did reconcile himſelfe vnto the Catholicke church and comming beyond ſeas to Douay he entred into the order of our holy Father S. Francis: and therein liued with ſo great au­steritie, that indeede it was more to be admired than imi­tated: for to omit his blou­dy diſciplines, wherewith moſt parts of the houſe are marked; his lying on the ground con­tinually; his haire-cloaths of of ſeuerall ſorts; his chaines, girdells, and bracelets of Iron: his life was in a manner, à con­tinuall faſt; for long time to­gether, vntill Obedience com­manded the cōtrary, he did take nothing but bread and ſmall drinke; vnleſſe it were once or twiſe à weeke; and then in ſuch manner, that if he could, he would put ashes or duſt into it: but aboue all; it is to be ad­mired, how piouſly he ſpent his time; for you should neuer find him, but either at his study, or elſe in vocall or mentall prayer; and to talke with him of other matters, was out of his ele­ment: and notwithſtanding that alwayes he was imployed in exteriour offices of the houſe; Reading both Diuinitie, and Philoſophie, hearing confeſ­ſsions; viſiting the ſicke, eſpe­cially the poore: ſometimes till 10. 11. or 12. à clocke at night: yet ſcarce would he be abſent from the Quire at midnight; or àny other office of the Quire at any time: In fine none can better expreſſe his great deſi­re of gaining ſoules, and obtay­ning martyrdome; than he himſelfe who felt the burning fire of his zeale, which he hath manifeſted in his owne wri­tings; which in time conve­nient shalbe put to the preſſe: briefly, he was ſingular in his auſteritie; rare in his pietie, exceſsiue in his zeale, moſt humble in his owne conceit: yet as learned in the eies of all that knew him. I cannot let paſſe the laſt paſſage, which I and many more did marke in him: that although he was much retired, and ſeldome diſ­courſed of any thing, vnleſſe he were vrged, for that he tooke no content in company: yet at the time when he had gotten leaue to goe into Eng­land; he was ſo much alte­red, and changed, as if he had bene another man, or as one who was not able to cōtaine his ioy, but in actions, voice ad countenāce one might iudge what his heart poſſeſſed: and ſo after a moſt austere, peniten­tiall, and humble life; much admired, eſteemed and honou­red of all: he did offer vp a vo­luntarie ſacrifice of his life for Gods cauſe; that he might reape an eternall crowne in heauen; which as we piouſly belieue, and may gather out of his owne writings; he ob­tained by the mediation of our B. Lady: to whom he was ſin­gularly devoted, and from whom he had receiued many favours.

Of Father Francis Bell (who was formerly Confeſſour to your Religious women of the third Order, Guardian of your Convent aforeſaid, and Pro­vinciall of Scotland: and a little before his death againe elected Guardian of your ſaid Convent of Douay) I neede ſay no more than, what each one that knew him would ſay, that he was a true Franciſcan, or child of our holy Father S. Francis, & that conſequētly he was fitting fuell, to ſatisfie the burning rage of Gods enemies: and to make a pleaſant holo­cauſt to God, by ſacrificing his life for his ſake. Here I may apply the example of that famous Captaine Epimanon-das, who did not ſo much glo­ry in his great victories, as that his parents, from whom he had his being, did take plea­ſure and content therein: as Plutarch reporteth. I for my part (and I belieue ſuch is the opinion of all your children whom you haue begotten in Chriſt Ieſus) doe not ſo much rejoice for the great glorie that redounds to our Province here­by; as that you the Father of vs all, with pleaſure and con­tent haue ſeene the fruict of your labours,

If Dutie may challenge it, ſure it muſt be yours by all right: for whatſoeuer we doe, is yours: you R. Father being our firſt Father, and vnder God the ſole beginner and worker of our being in this happy ſtate of Religion: for if Vliſſes was iudged to haue right to the Armour of Achilles, becauſe he was the occaſion of his com­ming to the wars of Troy, ſure­ly you may challenge whatſoe­uer act praiſe-worthy may be performed by any of vs: and therfore if any haue deſerved praiſe, in labouring for the con­verſion of ſoules, in teaching & inſtructing others, in writ­ing, in vertuous examples or any other heroicke acts, they are yours; and are but ſo many additions to your Glo­rie.

If gratitude for benefits re­ceiued may moue me: who can better deſerue it, than your R. Paternitie? who by your la­bour haue ſuſtained, maintai­ned, and conſerued vs for di­uers yeares: truly if we proue vngratfull, euen the very wals of your two erected Convents will crie shame on vs, and giue teſtimonie of our ingratitude. Now although each of vs haue this generall obligation: yet in a more particular manner, muſt I acknowledge it; and therfore most willingly doe I xoffer this, and all my labours as yours by all right and duty: wherfore it reſteth, only that you vouchſafe R. F. to pa­tronize and accept of this ex­poſition of the Rule (which Pope Leo the tenth hath ac­comated for Religious perſons of the third Order of our holy Father S. Francis) which I haue made and compoſed for your Religious daughters of that Order, now reſiding at Neuport: whoſe Religious Sim­plicitie, prompt Obediēce, peace full Amitie, and regular Ob­ſervance, may crowne your old age with joy and content; which I pray, may alwayes continue both in this life and in the world to come Thus he wiſheth who alwayes remaineth.

Your poore Beadſman and vnworthy Child. Br. ANGELVS FRANCIS.

To the Reader.

I Haue thought good to adver­tiſe thee, that in the beginning, I intended to haue ioyned both parts of this booke in one volumne: but finding the latter part, to grow greater than I expected; I was forced to divide them into two boo­kes, and becauſe the firſt part was ſome what diſpro­portionable to the other, by adviſe of ſome of my Friends, I haue differred hi­therto the ſetting forth of this firſt part, and added ſome other things: which although they concerne not the ſubiect I was to handle, I meane the expo­ſition of the Rule; yet they conduce to the practiſe therof, as alſo may ſupply the want of the formes and manner of cloathing, Profeſſing, annealing of the Religious, ſo that hereby vniformitie may be obſer­ved, and the Confeſſours find moſt things that are neceſſary in this kind: I hope all will take it in good part, and excuſe the litte­ral errours committed in the print, which among ſtran­gers can hardly be avoided.


F. Georgius à S. Gulielmo Provin­ciae Angliae in ordine FF. Mino­rum Prouincialis:
R. P. F. Angelo à S. Franciſco meo Commiſſario in partibus Belgicis, & S. Th. Lectori.

CVm ad inſtantiam R. admo­dum Patris F. Ioannis Gennings Provinciae noſtrae Pa­tris: & Monialium noſtrarum Tertij Ordinis S. P. N. Franciſci Neoporti reſidentium lucubra­tiones aliquas ad pleniorem Regulae ipſarum Declarationem mediteris: in merito S. Obedientiae tibi iniungo, & his praeſentibus Li­centiam do: quatenus prius obſer­vatisijs, quae in Concilio Triden­tino circa impreſſionem librorum ordinantur: eas quantocius prae­lo commendas.

LEgi librum, cuius titulus eſt, The third Rule Off. S. Francis, as it is accommodated for Religious Perſons. Ab admodum Reueren­do patre, Fr. Angelo à S. Fran­ciſco, S. Thologiae Lectore, & Recollectorum Ordinis eiuſdem S. Franciſci, Pouinciae Anglicanae Commiſſario compoſitum; in quo, nihil inueni, fidei Catho­licae, vel bonis moribus contra­rium; ſed plurima, cum magna eruditione tradita, quae illis, pro quibus ſcriptus eſt, in bonum ce­dent.

F. BVDES INDVS BARIO S. Theologiae Doctor, & Profeſſor in Collegio Vedaſtino Duaceno.

R. Admodum P. F. Angelus à S. Franciſco S. T. Lector, & Re­cellectorum Provinciae Anglicanae Commiſſarius, qui iam pridem de Tertia regula S. Franciſci alio volumi­ne bene meruit, novas elucubrationes in eandem regulam, vt iuſtis ſuorum deſiderijs ſatisfaciat, patrio idiomate praelo offert: quas cum diligenter evo­luiſſem, iudicavi non modo per omnia ſanē fidei & bonis moribus conſonas, ſed inſuper viſae mihi ſunt vbique re­dolere ſpiritum S. Franciſci verè pium, multaque inſignia, mira perspicuitate, complecti, quae magno cum fidelium commodo, eorum praeſertim qui ſub auſpicijs Tertiae regulae deo ſunt mi­litaturi, in lucem emitterentur.

GVILIELMVS HYDAVS S. T. Profeſſor & Collegij Anglo Duaceni Vice-praeſes

VIſis approbationibus Viro­rum eximiorum ac doctiſſi­morum Sacrae Theologiae Pro­feſſorum, ſuper libello anglicè ſcripto: cui titulus The third &c. Ego infra ſcriptus calculum addo, eundemque iudico dignum qui typis vulgetur, in bonum eorum quorum manibus teretur.

VALENTINVS RANDOVR S. Theol. Doctor & eiuſdem regius ordina­riuſque Duaci Profeſ­ſor.


  • THE Preface. 1
  • Chap. I. What a Ru­le is. 15
  • Chap. II. Whence there are ſo many Rules. 19
  • Chap. III. Of the begin­ning of Religious Or­ders. 24
  • Chap. IV. Of Religious Orders ſince the Apoſtles time. 30
  • Chap. V. Of Religious Women ſince Chriſts time. 37
  • Chap. VI. What the third Order is. 42
  • Chap. VII. Who was the Author of this Rule. 45
  • Chap. VIII. Of the ſeue­rall branches of this Or­der. 56
  • Chap. IX. Of the progreſ­ſe of this Order. 57
  • Chap. X. Whether the third Order be a Reli­gious ſtate. 65
  • Chap. XI. What Priui­ledges this Order en­ioyeth. 72
  • Chap. XII. To whom this Order is ſubiect. 76
  • Chap. XIII. What were the Popes motiues to giue thoſe priuiledges. 86
  • Chap. XIV. Of the ſan­ctitie of this Order. 90
  • Chap. XV. The life of S. Elizabeth of Hunga­tie. 96
  • Chap. XVI. The life of S. Lewes king of Fran­ce. 131
  • Chap. XVII. The life of S. Iuo Patron of the Lawyers. 139
  • Chap. XVIII. The liues of ſome beatified Saincts of this Order. 144
  • Chap. XIX. A Catalogue of holy Perſons that were of this Order. 151
  • Chap. XX. How Pope Leo accommodated this Rule. 171
  • Chap. XXI. How it is a Rule of Pennance. 177
  • Chap. XXII. A declara­tion of the ſtate of Inno­cency. 187
  • Chap. XXIII. Of Mans fall from the ſaid ſtate. 193.
  • Chap. XXIV. How we may reduce our ſelues to that ſtate. 199
  • Chap. XXV. Whether this Order be a ſtate of Per­fection. 207
  • Chap. XXVI. Whether it be actiue or contempla­tiue. 213
  • Chap. XXVIII. Whether it be lawfull to diuert any one from Religion. 227.
  • Chap. XXIX, Of Voca­tions. 242
  • The forme of cloathing the Siſters. 259
  • The forme of Profeſſing them. 272
  • Inſtructions for Nouices. 289.
  • Rules againſt temptations. 295.
  • Certaine prayers in the time of their cloathing. 311
  • Prayers after Profeſſion, 319.
  • Inſtructions for thoſe who are profeſſed. 325
  • An extraction of ſome Per­fections of our holy Fa­ther. 334
  • Inctructions for the con­ſervation of mutuall cha­ritie. 343
  • The manner of giving ex­treame vnction. 353


THe glorious A­poſtle S. Paule writing to the Epheſians cap. 4. would haue them to be carefull ſeruare vnitatem ſpiritus in vinculo pacis to keepe vnitie of ſpirit, that is, mutuall charitie which proceeds frō the holy Ghoſt,2 in the bond of peace; which, makes vs to be one body, and all members of one head Chriſt Ieſus, by whom we become one ſpirit, each one liuing by one and the ſelfe ſame ſpirit which giueth to each ſpirituall life and mo­tion, as we are called in one hope of our vocation to ſal­uation, immortalitie and celestiall glorie. For to all there is vnus Dominus, vnafides, vnum baptiſ­ma one lord, one faith, one baptiſme: wherein all Ca­tholickes3 doe agree, and make vp that Church whe­rein alone is ſaluation, and which is one in three reſ­pects as Aluarus Pelagius in his book of the Churches cōplaint de planctu Eccl. l. 1. c. 63. well noteth. Firſt the Church is one, ſaith he vnitate totalitatis, by v­nitie of totalitie becauſe it is a whole body compacted of diuers parts which are the faithfull: ſecondly vnitate conformitatis by vnitie of conformity, becauſe in each4 part there is a kind of ſimi­litude and cōformitie, to wit in the gifts of grace, as in faith, hope, charitie, and good workes proceeding frō thē: thirdly vnitate attri­butionis by vnitie of attri­bution, for all the faith full haue a reference to the ſame end, which is ſaluation and eternall bliſſe, by a certaine attribution to Chriſt, who is the head of all thoſe that are to be ſaued.

Theſe three vnities are aptly repreſented in the aforeſaid words. Vnum corpus one body ſhewes the integritie of Gods church; vnus ſpiritus one ſpirit the thing wherein all the faith­full haue an aſsimilation and conformitie; and vnus Dominus one lord the principall and chiefe of all, whereto all haue attribu­tion or reſpect. So that in the Catholicke church, and amongſt all Catholicke be­lieuers there is one Faith, becauſe one doctrine, from whence none without errour6 may ſwarue; one Hope, be­cauſe all haue the ſame end; one Charitie, which wor­keth in all; and conforma­bly the ſelfe ſame precepts, ſacraments, and ſuch like without any difference or diſcord.

Now although ſuch be the vnitie or vnion of the Catholicke Church, yet we may find in it a three fold pleaſing diuerſitie, which the foreſaid Aluarus alſo noted, The firſt is diuerſitie of degrees, ſome ſuperiour,7 ſome inferiour, which much conduceth to its dignitie and beauty; for as S. Bernard ſaith, Diſcretio virtuti or­dinem ponit, ordo mo­dum tribuit, & decorem. & perpetuitatem. Diffe­rence giues order to vertue, order giues meaſure, beauty and perpetuitie. The ſecond is diuerſitie of offices, accor­ding to the diuerſe actions and functions of each one in the Church; And this the Apoſtle mentioneth Rom. 812. habentes donatio­nes ſecundum gratiam quae data eſt nobis diffe­rentes, hauing different gifts according to the grace that is giuen vs. The third is diuerſitie of ſtates, as ſome are more perfect than o­thers, ſtella differt à ſtel­la in claritate Cor. 15. one starre differs from another in glory; ſome being inci­pients or beginners, ſome proficients, who haue made progreſſe in vertue, and o­thers9 perfect, ſome in one thing, ſome in another, all which maketh for the grea­ter embellishment of Gods Church. So that we may well ſay with the Pſalmiſt Pſal. 44. Aſtitit Regina à dextris tuis in veſti­tu deaurato, circundata varietate. The Queene on thy right hand in golden rayment, compaſſed with varietie; that is, the Catho­lique Church ſtādeth on the right hand of God who will10 alwayes by his mightie hand protect it, firme in faith, purified by tribulations and perſecutions, as gold by fire; with variety of ſtars, as clergy, laity, and diuers ſort of Religious orders.

Who although they be in the vnion of Gods Church, all of them being true members therof, ha­uing alſo conformitie with other members of the ſame in precepts, ſacraments, and ſuch like neceſſarie meanes11 of ſaluation, as faith, hope, and charitie; yet by à ſpiri­tuall emulation 1. Cor. 12. they purſue the better gifts, and deſire more perfectly to follow our ſauiour Christ Ieſus, according to the Rules which God hath ordayned for the greater beauty of his Church, which by diuer­ſitie of Rules and inſtitutiōs giues food for each palate, all tending to one and the ſelfe ſame end of making ſoules more perfect and plea­ſing12 to God. Amongst the reſt our holy Father S. Francis by the inſpiration of God hath ordayned three Rules. The two firſt haue bene explicated, de­clared, and expounded by very many: the third, as it was ordayned by our holy Father, hath not wanted expoſitors, but as it is ap­propriated to religious per­ſons, hath beene very little touched or handled. Wher­fore for the greater ſatisfa­ction13 of thoſe who do pro­feſſe, or hereafter may pro­feſſe this Rule, I haue en­deauoured to explicate and expound it, aſwell by she­wing its dignitie, as alſo by ſetting downe the ſpiri­tuall ſenſe, profit, and vſe that our Religious may make of their Rule: which taske I haue deuided into two parts; In the first I ſet downe ſome particular que­ſtions for the better explica­tion of the title and other14 things that are to be ſuppo­ſed in the expoſition: In the ſecond I endeauour to lay open the true ſenſe and meaning of the Rule.


THE FIRST PART Wherein are made ſeueral diſ­courſes and queſtions touching the Rule and profeſſours thereof, occa­ſion'd by the Preface which Pope Leo prefixt before this third Rule of S. Francis.

THE FIRST CHAPTER. What a Rule is.

THis queſtion shall firſt be declared aſwell for ſatisfaction of the curious Reader, as alſo for to lay a better foun­dation of the reſt that fol­loweth. 16Wherfore to beginne with the name, omitting the ma­ny ſenſes wherein this word Rule may be vſed; A Rule is an inſtru­ment, whereby one drawes a line in due meaſure and proportion, and by tranſlation or Metaphore is taken for Breuis rerum praeceptio à briefe precept of things to be done; in generall defined norma viuendi, à forme or method of li­uing. So Hugo à sācto Victore ſaith that Regula eſt quae normam recte viuendi praebet, a Rule is, that showeth the manner of liuing vprightly: à Regēdo ſaith Ven. Be­de, of ruling, or gouerning, be­cauſe it gouernes vs by teaching what we ought to shunne and a­uoid, as alſo what we ought to do, and practiſe. But more neare to our purpoſe, a Rule, which for diſtinction ſake we call à Reli­gious Rule, is Norma ſeu inſtitutio17 bene viuendi, & iuxta illius prae­cepta inſeruiendi Deo propter vitam aeternam, a forme or inſtitution of liuing well, and ſeruing God ac­cording to the precepts therof, for life eternall; or a forme of Re­ligious life taken out of the Gho­ſpell, and contayning Euangeli­call counſels with approbation of the See Apoſtolicke.

Our ſeraphicall Doctour ſaith, that Rules are as lawes frō which the profeſſours thereof according to their ſeuerall inſtitutions may not ſwarue, and therefore an­ciently they were called Cannons or poſitiue lawes, whereby they were to be gouerned and dire­cted. The fruit whereof is not ſmall, for by ſuch Rules deuout ſoules, as little infants doe learne to write, not with paper and inke, but in their hearts by inſpiration and inſtinct of the holy Ghoſt,18 who impreſſeth thoſe heauenly characters of perfection, drawing a bond of eternall life, neuer to be cancelled or altered: by them as apprentiſes they learne the art of arts, to enrich their ſoules with celeſtiall treaſures, and to nauigate or paſſe ſecurely through the dangerous paſſage of this worlds miſerie; to conclude, it ſerues them as a looking glaſſe, wherein they may ſee and behold how to adorne and decke their ſoules. For each Religious per­ſon ought to attend nothing more than to embellysh and enrich his ſoule with heroicall acts, and Euangelicall vertues propounded in his Rule. I would to God each one did as often caſt their eie vpon the cleare glaſſe of their Rule (not compoſed of ashes, but of the marrow and principal ſubſtance of the Goſ­pell,19 with approbation of the Church) as our worldly gallants and ladyes behold their moſt fre­quently-deceiuing mirrours.

THE SECOND CHAPTER. Whence commeth it that there are ſo many Rules, ſince all be to ob­ſerue the Euangelicall Counſels.

ALthough it be moſt cer­taine that thoſe would be moſt perfect that could obſerue all and ſeuerall the Euangelicall counſells, yet conſidering our hu­maine frailty, non omnia poſſumus omnes, all cannot doe all things, nec omnis fert omnia tellus one country yeelds one thing, another ſome other, none bleſſed with20 all: therefore hath God chalckt out vnto vs ſo many ſeuerall wayes, whereby we should tend to perfectiō, ſufficiēt, and poſſible for this mortall life. Neither doth God require at our hands, that we should obſerue to fulfill all things that he hath propounded vnto vs in the Goſpell, vnleſſe it be in a ready and prompt mind, to doe whatſoeuer shall be agreable to his holy will and pleaſure (which no ſtate of perfection can iuſtly exclude) but to ſome he giueth fiue talents, to ſome two, and to ſome one, deuiding his graces as he pleaſes, to each one meanes to traffique withall, & to make the good merchandiſe of life & glory celeſtiall: as it may be ſeene in all ages. For in the old law he gaue different rules or lawes to the leuites, and to the other tribes; In the new law he21 preſcribes ſeuerall formes of life to men and woemen, to Bishops and prieſts, perfect and imper­fect, rich and poore, king and ſouldier; and yet all tend to the ſame end. And what wonder thē, if according to the inſtinct of the holy Ghoſt ſome take one way, ſome another. The Euangeli­call doctrine is a patterne for all, it is a garden full of various odoriferant flowers where each one may ſatisfie their deſires, a table richly ſpred wherein is foode for all ſorts. And in this appeares the immenſe good­neſſe of our lord. Thomas walden. doth handle this point well and amongſt other things produces the Exāples of our Sauiour, and S. Iohn Baptiſt, both of differēt liues, and both tending to an eminent perfection; and concludes ſaying, he that to his owne praiſe and22 for the beauty of the celeſtiall kingdome created the angelicall ſpirits in nine diſtinct orders or quires, according to their ſpeci­ficall diuerſitie and diſtance of offices, hath adorned his mili­tant Church with many and di­ſtinct offices according to the diuerſe profeſſions, and merits of thoſe that liue therein. S. Ber­nard maketh another compari­ſon ſaying, as in one heauen there are many manſions, ſo in one Church there are many orders; and as there be in one houſe di­ſtinctions of glory, ſo in the ſame ſpirit there are diuiſions and di­ſtinctions of graces. Finally as in a commonweale you may find all ſort of trades, aſwell for com­moditie as for the greater con­tent of this temporall life, ſo in like maner in the Church there are to be found diuerſitie of23 Rules; which brings great ſpiri­tuall profit, and giues there to a beautifull adorning by the varie­ty of ſo many ſpirituall exer­ciſes, which they practiſe, ſome in the actiue life, ſome in the con­templatiue, ſome one, ſome ano­ther. Which diuerſitie brings with it ſelfe another benefit, for that by this varietie and multitude of Rules, orders, and inſtitutes each one according to their in­clination, diſpoſition, and abilitie may find the way of perfection more facile and pleaſing; for thoſe that are not proper for this ſpirituall excerciſe of contem­plation or action, may be capable of another, as experience dayly teacheth.


THE THIRD CHAPTER. Of the originall or beginning of Re­ligious orders.

THis followes next in order to be declared. Concerning which, if we may belieue Ioſephus the Iew l. 2. de bello Iud. c. 7. we find that Enos grandchild to A­dam did begin this ſtate of a reli­gious life, and that he gaue cer­taine rules which his diſciples were to follow, thereby inſti­tuting à peculiar and more ſu­blime manner of worshipping God. Whence Gen. 4. it is ſaid, this man began to inuocate the name of our lord; which muſt needs be vnderſtood of ſome pe­culiar manner different from the25 reſt, for without all doubt Adam, Abel, Heth and the reſt did inuo­cate our lord, but not after that ſpeciall ſort as Enos did, who was to giue a beginning to the mona­ſticall or religious life: and the­refore Gen. 6. they were called the ſonnes of God. For they liued in mutuall loue and charitie ha­uing all things common, alſo in great pouertie and auſteritie, and they did weare a white habit for diſtinctiō ſake. Philo the Iew hath the ſame, ſaying that they were poore without any inheritance, mony, or commerce with any, they had no care or thought of any thing but of the ſeruice of God, they were chaſt all their liues, liuing in continuall mortifi­cation, obedient to thoſe that had care of them without contradi­ction, being readier to die than to faile therein. In all which, and26 much more, which thoſe two an­cient writers haue ſet downe we may ſee a true platforme of a Religious ſtate and monaſticall life.

But in after ages this inſtitute decaying, God raiſed another cō­pany, which were called Naza­rites, that is ſeparated or conſe­crated to God, to whom Num. 6. he gaue certaine rules to be by them obſerued: which according to the expoſitors of that place re­preſent the true ſtate of Religion. The like may be ſaid of the Re­chabites Ier. 35. who had their beginning from Rechab, from whom they receiued a Rule which they moſt religiouſly ob­ſerued, in ſo much that S. Hie­rome calles them fathers of the monkes and religious perſons.

If we come to the new law Chriſt himſelfe gaue rules to all27 Religious perſons. Mat. 19. If thou will be perfect goe ſell all &c. The like is ſaid Mar. 10. vpon which words S. Bernard excla­meth ſaying. Theſe are the words that haue perſuaded the cōtempt of the world through the whole world, and voluntary pouertie to all men, theſe are they that haue filled cloyſters with monkes, and deſarts with Anchorites. For in that chapter Chriſt propoundeth vnto vs the three eſſētiall vowes of Religiō, the vow of chaſtitie in thoſe words ſunt Eunuchi qui ſeip­ſos caſtrauerunt propter regnum cae­lorum, there are Eunuches which haue gelded themſelues for the kingdome of heauen: the vow of pouerty, in thoſe words goe and ſell &c. the vow of obedience veni ſequere me come follow me: whereof who deſireth more may read the expoſitors of that place. 28So that iuſtly we may ſay, that the firſt founder of our Religious and monaſticall life was Chriſt hm­ſelfe, and all thoſe who ſince that time haue begun that courſe of life haue drawne their Rules from him: for he hauing ga­thered together the twelue A­poſtles gaue them a Rule to ob­ſerue, admonishing them that if any one would be his diſciple, he ought to reſolue to abandon the world, and all that is in it, and which is more important, their owne proper will, ſaying that in this that they followed him, they should be knowne to be his true diſciples. He shewed them the perfect forme of obediēce, taught them humilitie, and exhorted them to patience, and willingly to endure tribulations and perſecu­tions, he earneſtly and continual­ly commended vnto them po­uerty29 of ſpirit, meekeneſſe, mercy, iuſtice, peace, cleanneſſe of heart, and ſufferance for the kingdome of heauen, and finally left them his holy Goſpell to obſerue, yea and his owne life and practiſe for a patterne.

Frō this Rule of rules all the an­ciēt Fathers haue drawen the be­ginning of their Religious orders, and founded their three eſſentiall vowes. For this holy colledge of the diſciples was a little conuent, becauſe after they were receiued into his company, they went vp and downe with him, eat, and ſlept which him, calling him their lord and maſter, obeying him in all things, which manner of li­uing the Apoſtles haue left to ſucceeding ages, as shall more clearely appeare in the chapter following.


THE FOVRTH CHAPTER. The Rules and Religious orders that haue ſprung vp ſince the A­poſtles times.

THat the Apoſtles did exactly obſerue this Rule of theirs may be gathered out of the ſame place Mat. 19. by the words of S. Peter in the name of the reſt Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, & ſequuti ſu­mus te, Behold we haue left all things, and haue followed thee. Which S. Hierom. epiſt. 8. ad De­met. will haue to be a thing pro­per to the Apoſtles, and deriued frō them. S. Gregory Nazianzē and S. Chriſoſtome with others affirme vpon good grounds that S. Iohn Baptiſt was the firſt31 monke. S. Dioniſe ſaith, that the Apoſtles were called Monkes, ſer­uants of God, and declares their forme of monaſticall profeſſion l. de cael. Hier. c. 6. which muſt needs be to ſome Rule. S. Hierome is of opinion that S. Marke was the head and founder of monaſticall life; which alſo affirmed Philo the Iew according to Euſebius l. 2. hist. c. 16. who hauing bene at Rome to conſult with S. Peter deſcribed the life and manner of the monkes in Egipt. Alſo Peter Damian and Caſsian doe ſay that the monaſticall order or life hath beene from the Apo­ſtles times. S. Athanaſius in the life of S. Antony makes mention of monkes before him; And S. Dioniſe Pope, as witneſſeth Ba­ronius, was a monke; notwith ſtanding S. Antony is ſaid to be father of the monkes of Aegipt,32 becauſe he brought the monkes that were diſperſed vnto an vni­formitie, giuing them a certaine forme or Rule of life. Pachomius after him gaue them a Rule which an Angel dictated vnto him, where with he made ſuch happy progreſſe, that in short time he aſſembled together 7000. mōkes. In the ſame time liued the holy Abbot Simphoranus, who built a Monaſtery without the towne of Millan, whither he retired with many diſciples, to whom he gaue a Rule. The like alſo many others haue done, but the holy Church hath only admitted of foure prin­cipall whereon depend all other Rules, as on the foure cardinal vertues all other inferiour vertues do depend. Or we may ſay that there are but foure Rules, be­cauſe there be but foure princi­pall33 Patriarkes of Religious per­ſons.

The firſt is the Rule of S. Baſil, who was the firſt that obli­ged the monkes to make a vow after the yeare of probation or tryall, to remaine in their Mo­naſteries, and promiſe entire o­bedience to their ſuperiours, vowing alſo chaſtitie, and po­uertie, and in this reſpect it is ſaid to be the firſt Rule of all others, becauſe he firſt brought the Re­ligious to make a ſolemne pro­feſſion; he builded in Armenia a very great Monaſterie, wherein there remained more than 3000. Mōkes. This order doth flourish as yet in ſome parts of Greece, and Italy; all the regulars of the Eaſterne parts doe liue vnder this Rule, as alſo the Carmelites, with others.

The ſecond is that of. S Au­guſtine34 vnder which•…ue all the Cannon Regulars, Dominicans, Auguſtins, Brigittins, Hieroni­mites, Scopetines, thoſe of S. Iohn of Hieruſalem, and of the hoſpitals of S. Antony, and the Crouciers, although there be ſome difference in their conſtitu­tions and habits.

The third is that of S. Benedict, who hauing gathered together all the ſcattered monkes in Italie, and brought them to the moun­taine called Caſſin, the chiefe place of this Order, gaue them a Rule which they and their ſucceſſours were to obſerue, vn­der which Rule doe militate all the blacke monkes to the great benefit of Gods Church, and conuerſion of many Countries, and in particular of our poore Country of England, which with iuſt reaſon ought to acknow­ledge35 them for its Patrons and Apoſtles. To this Rule, or ra­ther to this Order, according to ſome, we may reduce that holy order of Charter Monkes, who obſerue a moſt ſtrict and auſtere life, according to the preſcription of their ſtatutes. The like may be ſaid of the Ieſuits, who liuing by certaine ſtatutes appropriated for their manner of liuing, may be put vnder this holy Patriarke, vnleſſe you will range them vn­der the ſtanderd of S. Auguſtine oppoſite enemie to Heretickes, as they are.

The fourth and laſt is that of S. Francis, who beeing one day amongſt others in S. Damians Church, kneeling before a Crucifix, heard a voice that ſaid vnto him Franciſce repara domum meam, Francis goe repaire my houſe, which thou ſeeſt ready36 to fall to ruine, conforming pre­ſently his will to the will of God, and his life to the life of our Sa­uiour, put on a courſe habit, gir­ded himſelfe with a cord, going barefoot; and together with others that came to him made profeſſion of pouertie, and holy beggery; and hauing made a Rule by the inſpiration of God, it was confirmed and approued by the Popes, Innocent the third, and Honorius the third. So that S. Francis may truly be called patriarke of the Mendicants. He would haue his children called Minors, in teſtimonie of their great humilitie, the progreſſe of whoſe order all the whole world admires. Haueing briefely ſpoken of the Rules that haue beene made for Religious men, the nature of our ſubiect requires37 that we doe as much for Religious woemen.

THE FIFT CHAPTER. How that in all ages ince Christ there haue bene religious woemen, aſwell as men.

ALthough in the old law we may ſee a kind of shadow of religiō in ſome woemen, eſpe­cially in that holy woman Iudith, of whom it is written that in the higher part of her houſe shee made her a ſecret chamber, whe­rein shee abode shut vp with her maides, and hauing cloath of haire vpon her loynes she faſted all the dayes of her life, excepting ſome few feſtiuall dayes. Yet this is38 not ſuch a profeſſion by ſolemne vow as now our religious woe­men doe make, to the great embellishment of Gods Church, admitting into their cōpany thoſe of another family, yea & another nation too, which Iudith did not. And as in all ages and times there haue beene religious men, ſo haue there beene Religious and holy woemen: for if you find a Marke to begin the monkes in E­gipt, there will not be wanting a Martha to begin the Nunnes at Marſiles: and S. Dioniſe cā as well shew the forme of conſecrating virgins, as declare the profeſſion of religious men. If S. Pachomius did giue a Rule to his monkes, his ſiſter with other deuout woemen muſt haue another, in all things almoſt like to that of his monkes. S. Baſile had no ſooner begunne to gather his monkes to a good39 vniformitie, but ſome deuout woemen came to receiue the be­nefit thereof by vndergoing ſuch a courſe of lfe as he should pre­ſcribe vnto thē, as may be gathe­red out of his words, and exhorta­tions to them for the conſerua­tion of their virginitie. S. Augu­ſtine had not ſatisfied the world, if he had not left thoſe religious companies of Cannoneſſes who militate vnder the name of S. Mo­nica. As there was a Benedict to enflame the whole world, ſo there was a Scholaſtica who began the Benedictine Dames.

And, not tediouſly to proſecute all things, as our holy Father S. Francis did beginne the profeſſion of ſtrict pouerty, ſo there were many deuout woemen that would imitate his example, amongſt whome the firſt was the bleſſed virgin S. Clare from whom comes40 the auſtere and perfect order of the poore Clares, who as they acknowledge B. S. Francis for their Father, ſo they eſteeme Bleſſed S. Clare for their Mother. What shall I ſay of S. Brigit, S. Tereſa, S. Elizabeth, S. Collet, with many others that haue beene famous in this kind, no way in­feriour, if not exceeding men. Wherfore not without myſterie ſayth the holy Euangeliſt. Mat. 24. erant ibi mulieres multae à lon­ge, quae ſecutae erant Ieſum à Galilaea miniſtrantes. There were there many woemen a farre of, which had followed Ieſus from Gallile miniſtring vnto him. Many men and woemen followed Chriſt to his paſſion, but alas! the men fled a way, only the woemen ſtay: Vi­de conuerſum ordinem, ſaith Euthe­mius, Diſcipuli ſiquidem fugerant, diſcipulae vero aſsiſtentes permane­bant. 41Behold a contrarie order; for the diſciples who ought to giue ſtrength to others, and in words are ready to dye with Chriſt, doe fly, but the woemen, although weaker by their ſex, yet ſtronger by their faith, doe re­maine by him in all his afflictions aſſiſting him; and as they ſtayd laſt, ſo they deſerued firſt before all others to enioy the ſight of Chriſt riſing, by whom they were ſent to the Apoſtles, being made as S. Chryſoſtome ſaith Apoſtles to the Apoſtles.

Thus then briefely hauing de­clared what a Rule is, and the di­uerſitie of Rules in men and woemen, it is now time to show what this Rule is. And for that in the title it is called the Rule of the third order, it is neceſſarie firſt to show what the third order is.


THE SIXT CHAPTER. What the third order, and their Rule is.

THe holy Church ſingeth in the office of S. Francis. Tres ordines hic ordinat, primumque fra­trum nominat Minorum, pauperum­que fit dominarum medius, ſed pae­nitentium tertius ſexum capit v­trumque That is to ſay, This Sainct by diuine inſpiration ordayned three orders, the firſt he named the order of Friar Minours, the ſecond or middle is of the poore ladies or poore Clares, but the third of penitents doth compre­hend both ſexes. For When this holy Father had made a Rule for his brothers, and obtayned43 a confirmation thereof, he made a ſecond Rule which he gaue to Saint Clare in moſt things con­formable to the firſt Rule; but afterward hauing authoritie frō the Pope to preach pennance, the Friars being then called Prea­chers of penance, and hauing a particular reuelation from God, that it was his will he should labour for the conuerſion of ſin­ners, he went forth with ſuch feruour to put Gods will in exe­cution, that whole villages and townes were almoſt void of in­habitants, all of them deſiring to forſake the world, and doe pen­nance for their ſinnes: where­vpon he was forced to giue them ſome ſatisfaction by preſcribing vnto them a certaine Rule, forme, or manner of life, which Rule is commonly called the third Ru­le, becauſe it is the third di­ſtinct44 Rule he made: or the Rule of the third order, becauſe it is a third diſtinct order from the other two, called alſo the order of Penitentes, becauſe the pro­feſſours thereof are to doe pen­nance for their ſinnes And this admits all ſorts and ſexes; for as pennance is the common way for all to goe to heauen, ſo this Rule or order is common to all, admitting both clergy and laitie, virgin and married of both ſex: the fruite whereof the chapters following will shew.

From hence comes that gene­rall cuſtome almoſt in all other orders, as in that of S. Dominicke as S. Antonine teacheth, the Au­guſtines, Carmelits, and others, to inſtitute and ordayne Rules of the third order, who commonly are called brothers and ſiſters of pennance, the declaration whe­reof45 I omit as not concerning my purpoſe. It ſuffices that I haue briefely ſet downe how it began in our order, if any one deſire to ſee it more at large, let him read the Chronicles of the Friar Mi­nors, and S. Bonauenture in the life of S. Francis.

THE SEAVENTH CHAPTER. who was the Author of this Rule.

ALthough we haue ſaid be­fore that S. Francis was the firſt author and beginner of this Rule, yet becauſe ſome ſeeme to make a doubt hereof, attributing it to Pope Nicholas the fourth, I could not paſſe on, vntill I had remoued this ſcruple. True it is46 that Pope Nicholas did make it more publicke, and more au­thenticall by inſerting it in his bull giuen in the yeare 1289. ſome threeſcore and eight yeares after S. Francis had begun it, but that was onely to confirme not to inſtitute the Rule. The teſti­monie of S. Bonauenture may ſuf­fice herein, vho in the 4. chapter of the life of S. Francis ſaith, that many of both ſexes enflamed by the feruour of his preachings did ſerue God in coniugall chaſtitie, according to the Rule which the man of God had giuen them. The ancient forme of profeſſion infinuates as much, I Brother N. doe vow &c. to obſerue the Commandements of God all the time of my life, and conueniently to ſatiſfie for the tranſgreſsions or faults, which I shall commit againſt this Rule and manner of liuing of47 the third Order of Pennance, inſtitu­ted by S. Francis and confirmed by Pope Nicholas &c. This forme is taken out of the booke called firmamentū trium ordinum, whence Bernardinus de Buſtis a famous preacher had good reaſon to ſay, that the Inuentors of this Rule were not Friar minors, nor any Bishop, nor Doctor nor any Con­gregation, but the ſeraphicall Father S. Francis, the holy ghoſt teaching him, hath ordayned it. Which alſo is confirmed by the words of the ſaid Pope Nicholas, who writing to the bishop of Florence in the yeare 1291. for­bids any one to moleſt, or trouble the Brothers of the third order of pennance, to whom, ſaith he, we haue giuen a forme of liuing, as it hath bene giuen by S. Francis, cauſing it to be noted by our Bull, to the end that the Brothers re­maine48 not doubtfull, and incon­ſtant in the obſeruance of their life. Leo the 10. hath almoſt the ſame. Pope Clement the 7. in his bull Ad vberes fructus in the yeare 1526. hath it more plainely; his words are theſe. And although the Rule of pennance inſtituted by S. Francis and approued by Nicholas our predeceſſour &c.

Moreouer it ſeemes very vnli­kely, that this order ſo much cele­brated, & multiplied through the whole world, wherein there haue beene euen in the very beginning Emperours, and Empreſſes, kings and queenes, Bishops and prieſts, Doctours and illuſtrious perſons of all ſorts, should not haue a Rule, whereby they might direct their life. To this we may adde, what is recorded in the life of B. Lucheſius one of the firſt of this order, namely that he demanded49 a Rule of the holy Father S. Francis, who granted him his requeſt, and gaue him the habit. Alſo in the life of S. Viridane we read that our holy Father gaue her the habit, and inſtructing her left her a Rule to liue by in her ſolitude, wherein she liued many yeares. And who can doubt, but Bleſſed S. Elizabeth of Hungary had ſome certaine Rule whereof she made profeſſion. Wherfore it being certaine, that our holy Father inſtituted this Rule, it ſeemes neceſſarie to enquire of the diuerſitie of the Profeſſours thereof; as alſo how it hath made that progreſſe to perfection as now we ſee it is come vnto.


THE EIGHTH CHAPTER. Of the ſeuerall branches in this Order.

THe feruent ſpirit of our holy Father S. Francis by his preaching of pēnance tooke ſuch effect, that it ſeemed he had ſet the whole world on fire with the in­flaming loue of God, which did not ſtay only in thoſe parts where he preached, but alſo did extend it ſelfe ouer the whole vniuerſe. There is no place, coun­try, citie, towne or village where this fire hath not taken hold, there is no degree, qualitie, or ſex that hath not felt it, but in ſeuerall manner according to the ſubiect it lighted vpon.


In ſome it had not that effect to make thē leaue their families, and goods, but enioying their tēporall eſtates they would ſerue God vnder this Rule and Order, amongſt which their haue bene Bishops who haue not eſteemed it to derogate frō their perfectiō to weare the habit and cord of Bleſſed S. Francis, yea ſome Popes, cardinals, and eccleſiaſticall men of all ſorts. For confirmation whereof I will produce the words of the renowned and moſt eminent Cardinall Treio in his deuout and learned Epiſtle to the R. Fa. Luke Wadding (whoſe fame is diuulged through the whole world by his learned Annals which he hath made of our Order) who hath inſerted it in his deuout commentaries, which he hath made on the workes of our Holy Father,52 wherein the ſaid Cardinall hath many things in the praiſe of our ſeraphicall Order, and comming to this third Order thus expo­ſtulateth.

Doe you admire and deſire to celebrate my praiſe, for that after the purple of Cardinall dignitie I haue put on the habit of the third Order, and profeſſed the third Rule of our Fa. S. Francis! but how can I, who profeſſe my life and all I haue to be of S. Francis, exhibite any ſigne of deuotion, vnleſſe I conſecrate or deuote my ſelf to his Religion. What is the girdle of S. Francis vnbeſee­ming to girt the regal purple? Le­wis king of France, and Elizabeth princeſſe of Hungary now num­bred amongſt the Saints were girt with it, empreſſes, kings, quee­nes, and other princes whoſe number this yeare at the time of53 his death by moſt deuoutly receiuing the habit Philip the 3. king of Spaine did encreaſe, as alſo Elizabeth queene of Spaine wife to Philip the 4. and the prin­ceſſe Marie ſiſter of the ſame Philip the 4. gaue their names to this Religion. Perhaps the cilice doth not become the Roy­all dignitie? certainely it doth, and in the time of Elizeus the prophet, the ſacred hiſtorie doth tell that the king of Iſrael did vſe it. Wherefore then doe you admire, that a Cardinall should put vpon his purple a cinericious habit, and gird himſelfe with a cord. You ſay it is a habit too humble for ſuch a dignitie. But I anſwere, therefore it is to be taken in this time &c. What therfore should I doe, when I am eleuated to ſo ſupreme a di­gnitie in the Church, but defend54 my ſelfe with the humility of S. Francis whereby I may more ſecurely beare the labours and burthen of my enioyned charge. But what more? is not the cine­ricious or ashy coloured habit of S. Francis truly purple, where­with Royall and Cardinall di­gnitie may be adorned? it is truely purple, which the bloud of Chriſt hath coloured and the faith of his paſſion ſigned, and which in Chriſts place S. Francis hath made redde with his proper bloud flowing from his ſtigmats. Is the humilitie of Chriſt a ſeruitude? that is not ſeruile which doth nobilitate the Royall purple. If any one should contemne, or ab­horre this habit, let him conſider that it is not gray but purple; for humilitie vnder taken for Chriſt doth carry with it a Royall di­gnitie. What therefore haue I55 done? I haue couered purple with purple, and that of a Cardinall with a kingly one. It is ſo farre from humbling me, that I may doubt whether I am become prouder thereby. Thus farre the foreſaid Cardinall. Whence we may gather that this Order is ſutable to Popes and Cardinals, kings and princes, and other of what condition ſoeuer they be, and this day in Spaine nothing more frequent, almoſt whole townes being of this Order.

There are other ſorts of the third order, both mē and woemen who are taken either in the Con­uents of Friar Minors, or Mona­ſteries of S. Clare, or 'of other Re­ligions that liue vnder the go­uernement of the Friar Minors; in other Orders they are called Donats, becauſe they giue them­ſelues to the ſeruice of ſuch a56 houſe, and Oblates becauſe offe­red vp to ſuch an end: theſe make only ſimple vowes. There are others, whom the fire of diuine loue hath cauſed to leaue the world, and liue in communitie vnder ſolemne vowes of obe­diēce, pouertie, and chaſtitie, pro­feſſing this Rule of the 3. Order, not barely as it was made by the ſeraphicall Father S. Francis, but as it is accomodated to their ſtate by ſeuerall Popes as we shall shew hereafter. Some of theſe doe addict themſelues to the keeping of Hoſpitals, teaching of children, ſeruing the ſicke, and ſuch like.

Finally there be ſome, that to make a compleat religious ſtate, haue ioyned certaine ſtatutes to their Rule, for the better at­taining to perfection, and doe adde the fourth vow of Encloſure. Of57 theſe in this our treatiſe we mea­ne to ſpeake, explicating the Rule conformably to their eſtate. This diuerſitie may perhaps ſeeme ſtrange to the Reader, and ther­fore it shall not be amiſſe to shew how it was brought in, by she­wing what progreſſe in perfection this holy Order hath made.

THE NINTH CHAPTER. Of the great progreſſe that the pro­feſſors of this Rule haue made in the way of perfe­ction.

PLutarch in his apothegmes ſaith, that there be more who adore the ſunne riſing than the ſunne ſetting; and that in ſome occaſions with iuſt reaſon, for58 ſuch is the frailtie of creatures that all things are ſubiect to decay, and euen man by nature growes worſe and worſe, being as Ariſtotle ſaith, the example of imbecillitie, ſpoyle of time, play of fortune, and image of incon­ſtancy. Whence it is that almoſt all orders haue decayed, and fallen from their firſt feruour and zeale, which can neuer be repaired, but by caſting our eies vpon the ri­ſing ſunne of that ſpirit which firſt began ſuch and ſuch an Or­der, ſetting before vs the heroicall vertues of our progenitors, en­deauouring with new force and vigor to imitate their examples. Let vs not looke vpon the ſunne ſetting, that is on the tepide and cold ſtate, that the corruption of nature hath brought vs to, but as the Prophet Iſay ſaith, Attend tohe rocke, that is, the firſt founder59 whence we were hewen out; for in Chriſt they haue begotten vs, and to the caue of the lake, to the Profeſſion of our Rule from whence wee are cut out, that is, hacked and hewed, and made fitting for the celeſtiall Hieruſalē. There is no better way to reduce vs to perfection than by returning to the begining. Whence in all orders almoſt there haue bene continuall reformations, which not withſtanding doe ſoone de­cay;

I pray God that the like doe not happen to this third Order, which hitherto contrary to the ordinary courſe hath dayly more and more encreaſed, not only in number but alſo in perfection, and from a low shrubbe is become a faire and beautifull tree, from the loweſt ſtate in Gods Church to be equall in a manner with the60 higheſt. I can ſee nothing here, but what the prophet Ezechiel denounceth c. 37. God made a league of peace to them, and an euerlaſting couenant shalbe to them; he hath founded them, and will multiplie them, and giue them his ſanctification in the midſt of them for euer. The con­tinuāce in the ſame ſtate is much, conſidering our frailtie, but to en­creaſe dayly more and more in perfection is the hand of the al­mightie, which particularly is to be ſeene in this Order; for in the beginning it was but a certaine deuout courſe of life, which our ſeraphicall Father did preſcribe for all ſorts, as is ſaid before, but not long after the inſtitution therof, it became a ſett Order and ſtate of life, for within ſix or ſea­uen yeares after the Bleſſed and glorious Saint S. Elizabeth of61 hungary (as Iodocus Chlictouaeus reporteth) made a formall pro­feſſion of this Rule, and did take a gray poore patched habit, and girt her ſelfe with a rude cord, going alwayes barefoot, ſpending the reſt of her dayes in a moſt auſtere manner with ſome of her ladies cloathed in the ſame habit, and profeſſed in the ſame Order. Which, as it ſeemes, was the firſt communitie that mi­litated vnder this Rule. After this the moſt pious Angela coun­teſſe of Ciuitella, hauing gathe­red together many noble virgins at Fulginea (which is a towne ſome twelue miles diſtant from Aſſiſium) did build a couent vnder the title of S. Anne, wherein entring with her companions, and making the three vowes of cha­ſtitie, obedience, and pouertie, she perſeuered ingreat ſanctitie to her62 death, as is to be ſeene hereafter in her life. After her example very many virgins gathering their meanes together cauſed to be builded and erected in short time 8. monaſteries in diuerſe parts of Italie, wherein they did liue vn­der the habit and Rule of the third Order of S. Francis. Gon­zaga ſaith that this B. woman was the firſt who did make theſe ſo­lemne vowes in this third Or­der. But in this there ſeemes to be a great miſtake, for this Sainct liued in the yeare 1309. whereas in the yeare 1295. Pope Bonifa­cius the 8. doth affirme that many monaſteries were begunne in Germany wher to he gaue many priuiledges which belong only to religious orders, as chapples and oratories, as is to be ſeene in F. Luke Wadding in the 2. tome of his Annales, who alſo in the63 yeare 1282. n. 11. telates that B. Duleinae contemning the world did offer her ſelfe to God vnder the habit and rule of pennance, very many yong virgins and graue matrons running in the o­dour of her ſanctitie did doe the ſame. And before this in the yeare 1252. num. 7. he deſcribes the life of B. Sainct Roſe of Viterbia, who by the commandement of our lady tooke the habit of the third Order in a Monaſterie neare there about; and this was with­in 31. yeares after the beginning of this Order. Nay before this neare Florence there were many communities wherto our holy Father gaue a Rule, it is very likely that ſome of theſe did make the ſolemne vowes, but whether they did or no makes not much to our purpoſe: at leaſt it shewes how this Order hath64 ſtill augmented in perfection. Let vs now ſee what it hath done from S. Angelaes time.

And we shall find it alwayes to be abbettered, for Sixtus. 4. in the yeare 1480. in his Breue, Ad Chriſti Vicarij, hath theſe words. Truely long agoe we haue vn­derſtood that ſome brethen and ſiſters of the 3. order of S. Francis by ſpeciall grant of me and my predeceſſours liuing collegially after the yeare of probation, doe vow and promiſe in the hands of their ſuperiours canonically ele­cted by their colledge, chaſtitie, obedience and pouertie. Whereto Pope Innocent the 8. in the yeare 1487. added the vow of enclo­ſure, which made Pope Leo the 10. to accomodate the Rule that was ordained by S. Francis ap­proued and confirmed by Nicho­las the 4. to a Religious ſtate. And65 Clement the 7. in his Bull Ad vbe­res fructus an 1526. and Pius 5. in his Bull ea est officij nostri an. 1568. haue more amply declared it. So that now it is become more perfect and compleat, conuenient for a Religious ſtate, whereof be­cauſe ſome without any iuſt rea­ſon haue made doubt, I will en­deauour to make it cleare by the ſucceeding chapter.

THE TENTH CHAPTER. Whether the third Order be a Reli­gious ſtate.

THis queſtion may ſeeme ſu­perfluous, after what hath beene ſaid in in the precedēt cha­pter, neuertheleſſe to ſtoppe the mouthes of ſome, whoſe rash and66 temerarious iudgments doe shew their tongues to runne before their wits, and who imprudently, I will not ſay malitiouſly ſeeme to derogate from the honour and eſteeme of this holy order, I will adde a word or two. But firſt we muſt diſtinguish this order into two claſſes, to wit of them that liue in their houſes out of com­munitie, and of them that liue conuentually together.

Certaine it is that the firſt are not truly and properly religious becauſe they doe not make pro­feſſion of the three eſſentiall vowes, notwithſtanding their in-inſtitution, as Hieronimus Roderi­cus, and Portell verb. Tertiarij doe well note, may be called an order or a certaine forme of life approued by the Church; for order doth extend it ſelfe further than a Religious ſtate which re­quires67 the three vowes, which order doth not, but only ſignifies direction or ordination which ſuch haue by their Rule.

Thoſe that liue in communitie or in collegiall or conuentuall manner, are truely and properly Religious. For to Religious ſtate there are required four things, to wit, a permanency in that ſtate, a particular rule, ſolemne vowes, and the approbation of the Church.

The firſt is required, becauſe Religion is ſaid to haue an immo­ueable condition of life, and to carrie with it a ſtable perfection, which made S. Thomas 2. 2. q. 184. ar. 8. to preferre it before all o­ther degrees inferiour to Bishops, giuing this reaſon, becauſe Reli­gion is a permanent and vnchan­geable ſtate, whence Religion is called Ciuitas Dei the city of God. 68Holocauſtum medullatum a fatt ho­locauſt, Manſio ſolitudinis a man­ſion of ſolitude, Mons & via Syon the Mountaine and way of Syon, Petra refugij the rocke of refuge, requies ſanctificata ſanctified reſt, Stadium currentium the liſt of thē that runne, vigiliae ſolemnitatis perpetuae the vigils of perpetuall ſolemnitie &c.

The ſecond is required, not that the eſſence of Religion can­not ſtand without it, but becauſe the Church doth not ordinarily approue of any Religious order without ſome particular Rule, and from hence it is called Domus ſapientiae the houſe of wiſdome, Exerciti•…m diſciplinae the exerciſe of diſcipline, fluuius Orationum riuer of prayers, iter rectum right way, the golden way, the feeld of corne, with many ſuch like.

The third, to wit, the ſolemne69 vowes of chaſtitie, pouertie, and obedience are eſſentially requi­red, for by Religion one doth conſecrate and dedicate himſelfe wholy to God, which is perfectly done by thoſe three vowes. And frō hence Religion is called ano­ther Baptiſme, the bath of ſoules, cella aromatum, argenti & auri, & odoramentorum, & vnguenti opti­mi. I ſay 39. ſtorehouſe of aroma­ticall ſpices, and of ſiluer, and of ſweet odours, and of the beſt oint­ment. Ciuitas in monte poſita Mat. 5. a cittie placed on a mountaine, the warfar of our Lord the furnace of the holy Ghoſt, flight of the world, ſweet yoake of Chriſt, ſchoole of Chriſt, lād of pouertie, with many ſuch like.

The laſt is requiſite to make it a ſecure, certaine, and ſpirituall ſtate. Neither was euer any Re­ligious Order inſtituted without70 the approbation of the Church, not that the Popes haue alwayes done it, for in ancient time it was ſufficiēt that they were approued by Bishops, but in the Laterane generall Councell it was forbid­den vnder paine of excommu­nication that any new Religion should beginne without expreſſe approbation of the Pope, to whō alone, as by many other councells it hath beene decreed, belongs the approbation, confirmation, and de­claration of Rules or Religious orders, ſo that now it is abſolu­tely neceſſarie, that the Pope doe giue his approbation, otherwiſe it would not be eſteemed a Reli­gious ſtate.

Now theſe foure are to be found in the profeſſours of this third Order, and therfore none can doubt but that they are truely71 and properly Religious; for firſt their ſtate is permanent and ſta­ble, no way allowing any one to goe backe againe to the world. Secondly they haue a particular Rule, as hath beene manifeſted before. Thirdly they make the ſolēne vowes of obedience, cha­ſtitie, and pouertie, as may be ſeene in their forme of Profeſſion. And laſtly their Rule, ſtate, and Profeſſion is approued by the Church. For ſome twenty Po­pes haue confirmed and appro­ued the Rule, and Sixtus 4. in the yeare 1480. Ad Chriſti Vicarij de­clares their vowes to be ſolemne, and to haue all the effects that o­ther ſolemne vowes haue, as that none can leaue the Order, and that matrimonie made by them is of no force, and that they are ſuf­ficient to diſſolue matrimonie that72 is not conſummated. Innocentius the 8. hath confirmed the ſame, and ſo hath Leo the 10. Clement the 7. and Pius 5. which two haue made more ample declara­tion of the Rule. So that no man can doubt but that the profeſ­ſours of this Rule are truely Reli­gious, and that they enioy all pri­uiledges that other Religious per­ſons haue. Of this in the next chapter.

THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER. What Priuiledges this Third order enioyeth.

VVE muſt ſtill vſe the for­mer diſtinction, for thoſe that are of this Order and liue in their houſes out of commu­nitie73 doe only enioy thoſe priui­ledges that are granted to the Friarminors, and are purely ſpiri­tuall, as indulgences abſolutions and ſuch like. And ſo all thoſe that doe not make the three vowes.

But thoſe that liue in commu­nitie, and are ſubiect to the Ordi­naries, making the three vowes, doe enioy all, and ſingular, the pri­uiledges, that haue bene giuen pe­culiarly to the third Order which indeed are very many; whereas thoſe that are ſubiect to the Friar minors, are participāt of all the pri­uiledges, Indults, and graces, that haue or shalbe giuen to the Friar Minors or poore Clares. For to omitt other Popes Leo the thēth in Bulla Dudū faelicis cōmunicates vnto the Religions of this third Order, all and whatſoeuer priui­ledges74 that had beene granted to the poore Clares: and before, in his Bull, Ea per quae, he commu­nicated vnto them that had beene granted to the Friar minors. Cle­ment the 7. in his bull. Dum vbe­res fructus, doth put all three Or­ders together, and communicates to them, all three, all the priui­ledges, graces, and grants, that haue beene giuē to any Religious mēdicants or not mēdicants, Iulius the 3. confirmes the ſame. Pau­lus the 4. more amply, as alſo Pius the 4. The ſame hath bene done but with limitation to the Coun­cell of Trent by Greg. 13. Sixtus 5. and Celment 8.

Whence it appeares, that as theſe three Orders came forth from one rocke that is from the holy and ſeraphicall Father S. Francis, as hath bene declared be­fore75 ſo the ſoueraigne Paſtours of Gods Church haue imparted e­quall graces, and fauours, which shewes the great eſteeme that they had of this Rule, and profeſ­ſion.

I omit here to ſet downe the particular Priuiledges that here­by haue beene grāted to this Or­der as being very many, and ob­uious in the authors that haue ſpoken of the Priuiledges of our Order as Hieronymus Roderi­quez, Portell, and others: in the meane time there ariſeth a que­ſtion concerning their ſubiection to the Friar minors which re­quires another chapter.


THE TWELFTH CHAPTER. To whom the religious of this order are ſubiect.

IT being certaine that euery true Religions man by force and nature of his ſtate is ſubiect to ſome higher power, which not only conſiſts in gouerning and ruling their ſubiects, but alſo in iuriſdiction, for no man can be truly Religious, vnleſſe He be lawfully receiued in the name of the Church, which requires a ſpirituall iuriſdiction in the re­ceiuer, who may admit of them punish them, and ſuch like. The queſtion therfore is, in whom remaines this ſuperiour power to77 doe the fore ſaid things.

Moreouer it is certaine that ſetting aſide exemptions, all Re­ligious are ſubiect to the gouerne­ment of the Bishops, in whoſe territorie or dioceſſe their houſes are, for the Bishop is Paſtour of the whole flocke reſiding in his dioceſſe. So that the exemptions, which now all Religious enioy, be nothing elfe but a freedome from the power and iuriſdiction, whereto formerly by nature of their ſtate and law of the Church they were ſubiect, which can be done by none but by the ſu­preame Paſtour of the Churh, who alone can limite and ſtreigh­ten the power and iuriſdiction of Bishops For although the power and authority of Bishops be ordi­nary and as they ſay, of the diuine law, yet it is extended to their ſub­iects78 dependently vpon S. Peter and his ſucceſſours, from whom iuriſdiction ouer ſuch and ſuch ſubiects is deriued: ſo that the Pope without all queſtion can modifie, mitigate, limite, or ex­tend their power, as he shall iudge conuenient, and requiſite for the good of Gods Church. And from him alone, Haue beene granted to religious, their ex­emptions, partly out of the great loue and deuotion, that many Popes haue borne to Re­ligion, and partly to take, away many iniurious abuſes that by the continuall iarres of the cler­gie did creepe into the Church, but principally for foure reaſons, to wit for the greater vniformi­tie of Religion, neceſſitie of their ſtate, alleuiation or eaſing of the bishops burden, and the more exact gouernement of Religious79 perſons.

Nothing is more neceſſarie in Religion than vniformitie, which vnder the ordinaries could hardly be obſerued; for each Dioceſſe hath its ſeuerall cuſtomes and lawes, and theſe Religious orders being diſperſed through whole kingdomes in all places of the world, should haue thereby a ſeuerall manner of liuing. Whe­refore Popes haue thought it more reaſonable, that they should be ſubiect to ſuperiours who with as much vniformitie as may be might gouerne them in all parts of the world, that ſo there may be no confuſion amongſt them.

As for the neceſſity of there ſtate ſince no Bishop hath power out of his Dioceſſe to ſend forth any, for to preach, it is neceſſary that thoſe orders that haue care and charge of preaching and80 teaching for the conuerſion of indfidels and heretickes, should haue ſome power to put this in execution, and to ſend thoſe that are ſitting for ſuch imployments without dependence of the or­dinaries, whoſe authoritie doth not extend it ſelfe ſo farre. Per­haps ſome will ſay, that this au­thoritie might be giuē to Bishops, I admit it, but they doe not con­ſider the great inconuenience that would come thereby, for ſuppoſing the bishop of this Dio­ceſſe ſend ſome one or two, the bishop of the next Dioceſſe one or two more to the ſame place, and ſo the like of others; either theſe muſt liue as ſtrangers one to another, which is contrary to their inſtitution, or elſe they muſt liue in communitie toge­ther, and then who shall be ſu­periour81 to gouerne them. Any one that hath the leaſt experience in matters of Religion, may iudge what inconuenience may come thereby.

Few perhaps doe conſider the third reaſon, vntill they feele the burden; How ſoeuer all will ſay, that the ordinaties are hereby freed from many troubles and difficulties of conſcience, for it were a thing morally impoſſible that the Bishop could by himſelfe attend to all Religious perſons, or viſite all Religious houſes, and therfore he muſt neceſſarily com­mitt the charge to others who perhaps careleſsly, or not ſo v­prightly would performe that charge, and ſome times not vn­derſtanding the ſtate of ſuch Re­ligious perſons they were to viſit or gouerne, would cauſe many relaxations.


Wherfore for the better and more ſecure gouernement, it hath beene ordayned that each order should be gouerned by ſuperiours of their owne order, who know­ing the true ſtate and manner of liuing might keepe them in a v­niforme manner of life, and or­daine lawes fitting for ſuch a ſtate. For practicall experience more auaileth for the aduancement of any good gouernement, than ſpeculatiue knowledge drawen from bookes without practiſe, and yet this is the moſt that or­dinarily thoſe that are not of the ſame order haue. For this reaſon no doubt, Bleſſed S. Ignatius founder of the holy Societie of Ieſus not lauing begunne any order of woemen, becauſe his in­ſtitution was principally to preach and teach, did particularly or­daine, that none of his should83 take charge and care of Nunnes, well knowing that diuerſitie of ſpirits might cauſe diuerſity of inſtructions, and conſequently as many if not more confuſions and ſo he would that euery one should looke to his owne charge and the sheepe be left to their owne paſtours.

For ſuch and many other rea­ſons haue Popes exempted moſt Religious orders from the go­uernement and iuriſdiction of Bishops. As in particular they haue donde to our order, for Ho­norius 3. who approued our Rule did exempt both the Franciſcans and Dominicans from epiſcopall iuriſdiction, Innocentius 4. did it more amply, with many other. And that this third order is alſo exempted, is manifeſt by what hath beene ſaid in the precedent84 chapter; for if it enioyeth all the priuiledges of the firſt order, it muſt neceſſarily alſo enioy this exemption which is an eſpeciall priuiledge, much tending to the good of their order. Beſides di­uerſe Popes haue wholy ſubmit­ted it, and the order of the poore clares to the gouernement of the Friar Minors, as may be ſeene in the Bulles of Pope Martin the 5. Sixtus. 4. Leo 10. Clement. 7. with many others, as is to be ſeene in the Bullarie of Roderiques. Yea Clement the 7. doth extend this grace to their houſes, monaſte­ries, Churches Prelats, ſeruants, men, and woemen, benefactors, perſons, ſubſtance, and goods whatſoeuer granting them to vſe and enioy all and ſingular the exemptions, priuiledges, immu­nities, prerogatiues, indulgences,85 indults, fauours, conſeruatories graces, which the Friar Minors and Preachers and ſiſters of S. Clare, or any other whatſoeuer mendicant orders doe enioy, or shall enioy in future times, not only like vnto them or by way of Communication, but equally and principally without any dif­ference, the Popes following as is ſaid before, ſtill giuing them the like exemptions. And Pius 5. ex­preſſely commands them to ſub­mit themſelues to the order of the Friars, in all things to be gouer­ned, directed, viſited, and ſerued by the Friar Minors to whō al­ſo they haue committed the care, and charge ouer them.


THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER. What were the motiues that drew Popes to grant theſe priui­ledges and graces to this third order.

I Know not who can better decide this queſtion, than the Popes themſelues who haue beene ſo liberall to this ſacred or­der; and therfore I will produce their owne words moſt making to our purpoſe, omitting many others that might be ſet downe and are to be ſeene in their Bulles more at large. And to beginne with Pope Gregorie the. 9. who liued in the very beginning of this order, he in his Bull cum dilecti87 filij ſaith of the religious of this order that they had left the world to pleaſe our lord in the tower of contemplation, and therfore he frees them from receiuing and executing publicke offices in the world. Alexander the 4. doth the ſame, becauſe they hauing left the vanities of this world, being as yet corporally on earth dili­gently labour in ſpirit and mind to dwell in celeſtialls, and for God to deny ſecular deſires. Caeleſtinus in his Bulla Dignum eſſe credimus giues the ſame, be­cauſe that being mind full of their laſt end, and forſaking the vani­ties of this world they deſire with a contrite heart and humble ſpirit to doe pennance.

Leo the tenth in his Bull Du­dum faelicis communicates vnto them all the Priuiledges of the88 poore clares, becauſe they liue in the ſpirit of pouerty in the lillie of Chaſtitie, and other odours of good fame.

Clement the. 7. goes farther, and communicates vnto them all the priuiledges of all mendicant orders in his Bull ad vberes fru­ctus. giuing this reaſon, dire­cting the eie of our conſideration vnto the plentifull fruit, which the ſacred order of Pennance (which the truely ſeraphicall fiſ­her of men B. S. Francis illumi­nated by the holy Ghoſt, hath ordayned that he might gaine all ſoules to their creatour) hath brought hitherto into the ſtore­houſe of our lord, and euery day ceaſes not to bring in with a more fertile hand; and reuoluing in the ſecrets of our minde, that this order not only by thoſe that89 are married of both ſex, but alſo by the brethren and ſiſters liuing in community and making the three ſolemne vowes, hath long agoe begun to flourish and euery day doth more and more flou­rish, &c.

I will omit many ſuch like, and conclude that as the religious of this third order are participant with all other orders in their eſ­ſentiall vowes, religious obſer­uances, faſts, mortifications, au­ſterities, prayers, meditation, cō­templation, and other labours night and day in the quire, with ought elſe that belongs to a reli­gious ſtate, they ought in all rea­ſon to participate of the ſame gra­ces and fauours.

But I feare I haue beene ſome what tedious in this ſubiect, yet I hope it wilbe pleaſing to ſome90 who are not only deſireous to ſa­tisfie their curioſitie, but alſo to know the truth. Wherfore I now proceed to my intended pur­poſe, and as I haue ſet downe the priuiledges that haue beene gran­ted to this order by the Church, ſo I haue thought good briefe­ly to shew the great graces and gifts that God hath imparted to this order, to witt ſanctitie and perfection, both which the Popes holyneſſe hath mentioned in the Prologue.

THE FOVRTEENTH CHAPTER. Of the ſanctitie of this order.

AS the Church triumphant is peopled with ſaints, who91 haue made profeſſion of the three Rules that S. Francis hath left to his children, ſo the Church mili­tant hath beene and is adorned & embellished with many ſaints, and holy perſons whoſe liues and deaths haue beene miraculouſly confirmed by God, and approued by the ſaid Church. For we find that there hath beene in S. Fran­cis order 27. canonized ſaints, 606. beatified, of whom the di­uine office is celebrated either ge­nerally in the whole order, or particularly in ſome kingdomes, Dioceſſes, or townes, and 920. martyrs: beſides infinite others which are not knowne as yet, 1650. Confeſſours notable for Sanctitie of life and miracles: 6. beatified ſaints whoſe canoni­zation is dayly expected, 4. whoſe beatification is in hand all things being finished therto re­quired:92 14. who by command of the Pope haue their proceſſe for the next generall beatificatiō: 133. whoſe life and miracles are now in the laſt examine, for to proceed for their beatification; 19. whoſe proceſſe is before the ordinaries, the number of which encreaſeth dayly.

Of all which ſaints this third order hath had no little share. For in it we may find 5. canonized ſaints, whereto we may adde S. Roch as approued by the practiſe of the whole Church; 9. beatified 21. knowue martyrs. So that we may well ſay that of Num. cap. 24. O quam pulchra tabernacula tua Iacob, How beautifull are thy ta­bernacles ô Iacob, and thy tents ô Iſraell: as wooddie vallies as wa­tered gardens beſides the Riuers, as tabernacles which our lord hath pitched, as cedars by the93 waterſide. O how beautifull are the ſeuerall congregations milita­ting vnder the tents or Rules of the ſeraphicall Father S. Francis, they are like to wooddy vallies extending themſelues through the whole world, which like ſtrong bulwarkes are to with­ſtand the treacheries and deceits of the Diuell: for as he euery day vſeth new inuentions to deceiue and deuoure ſoules, ſo theſe or­ders yeeld new ſouldiours day ly to vanquish and tread him vnder foot; no ſoouer doth one troupe begin to faile but another riſes vp. And therfore they may well be compared to watered gardēs beſides the Riuers, alwayes florishing, and in due time gi­uing copious fruicts, amongſt whome by a pious kinde of emu­lation the true worship of God94 and religious pietie dayly encrea­ſeth. And according as they en­creaſe ſo they are more and more ſtrengthned, being alſo as taber­nacles which our lord hath pit­ched, that is ſolide and firme, as being erected and eſtablished by God, who hath adorned each member and branche of them with ſeuerall giſts and graces, conformable to their capacity. This camot chooſe but be a great ornament and ſplendour to the Church, proceeding from the va­rietie of theſe cedars by the water ſide who being watered with the water of grace doe bring forth fruit in abundance.

Truly it is a thing worthy to be noted, that in the ſole order of S. Francis there is meat for all pa­lats, none can excuſe themſelues, of weakeneſſe none can preſume95 of their ſtrength. For amongſt the profeſſours of this order or chil­dren of S. Francis ſome liue as ſtrictly and with as much auſte­ritie as in any order of Gods Church as be thoſe of the firſt and ſecond order, but in the third order, as it is now be of all forts, ſome liuing in a very ſtrict man­ner, no way inferiour to the pro­feſſours of the firſt and ſecond or­der, ſome obſeruing a meane ac­comodating themſelues accor­ding to the diſpoſition and nature of the country where they liue, others liuing in a deuout manner in their houſes. And out of each of them haue ſprung forth many ſaints, which is an argument that this Rule is holy. And leaſt that any one should thinke I ſpeake without ground I will compen­diouſly ſet downe here the liues of96 ſome of them, firſt beginning with the canonized Saints.

THE FISTEENTH CHAPTER. The life of Bleſſed S. Elizabeth Queene of Hungary compendiously extracted out of the An­nalls of our Order.

I Haue made choiſe to begin with this glorious ſaint as being the firſt canonized ſaint and (as it ſeemes to me) firſt that liued a clauſtral life in this order, and therfore worthely ac­knowledged as patroneſſe the­reof. Her life is very amply ſet forth in latin by the R. F. Sedu­lius, and now is tranſlated out of french into English by S. Thomas. H. whoſe ſweet and elegant ſtile,97 will ſoone shew a blemish in my harsh and vnpollished phraſe: who likes not one may read the other, and pardon my deſires to honour ſo great a Sainct, whoſe heroicall and pious acts require a Seraphs penne. If the reuerence I beare to the holy woman make me ouerbold, the fault is pardo­nable, or at leaſt to be mended by others: howſoeuer I intend not to make a compleat worke, but a rude delineation and briefe ex­tract of her life, diuiding it into fiue parts, the firſt shall be of her life vntill she was married, the ſecond of what she did in mar­riage, the third what she did af­ter her husbands death, the fourth how she finished her life in a religious courſe, and laſtly of her tranſlation.


What this ſainct did vntill ſuch time as she was married. §. 1.

OMitting the deſcription of her noble race (for she was daughter to the king of Hun­gary) and the prophecy reported to haue beene made before the world enioyed ſo rare a piece, of her birth, name, wit, miracles, and many, ſuch like things worthy enough of recording; I will be­ginne at the 7. yeare of her age, when she begins to shew forth the luſtre of her future ſanctitie. For euen now before she well knowes what vertue is, she is become the mirrour and patterne, of vertue, eſpecially of patience and charitie. For although her infancy principally in the more tender ſex might excuſe her griefe99 for her mothers death, yet she then aboue her age and ſex, tooke it with a conſtant patience, and with a patient charity, not any waies ſeeking to reuenge her deare mother, but ſweetly pray­eing for thē who had iniuriouſely takē away her life. And frō thēce forward you should find the little child alwayes in the Church, be­fore ſome Altar or other, now proſtrating her ſelfe in a moſt pious manner, now kneeling for a long ſpace together, with eies and hands lifted vp to heauen, and if she could not get into the Church, ſweetly kneeling at the doore, kiſſeing the threshold, doores and walles of that holy place.

As she encreased in yeares ſo she encreaſed in pietie, making a happy progreſſe in all vertues,100 and begins now to lay ſolide grounds of a ſpirituall life. For at the 9. yeare of her age, she begins to haue God alwayes before her eies, and for his ſake to deſpiſe, contemne, and caſt of ſuperflui­tie of apparell, the pleaſures of the flesh, and vanity of the world. Now she preſcribes to her ſelfe certaine prayers which she reſolued dayly to make, and if she chanced in the day time to be hindred (as ſeldome she was, becauſe true deuotion will al­wayes find occaſion) that her defect would she ſupply in the night. Aboue all other ſaints next to our Bleſſed lady she made choiſe of S. Iohn Euangeliſt for her patron, hauing firſt made her prayer to God, that she might chooſe one who should moſt ad­uance her pious deſires: him she loued, and reuerenced ſo101 much, that she would neuer deny any thing that was demanded for his ſake.

Shee moſt religiouſly obſerued the ſolemnities of feaſts and holy dayes, and whereas according to the vanitie of the world others adorne and decke themſelues with gay apparell, shee on thoſe dayes would take away ſome thing of her ordinary attire, well knowing that it was more plea­ſing to God to haue the minde adorned with vertues, than the body with rich apparell, and that a ſoule addicted to the ſtudie of religious pietie is more acceptable to him, than the corporall ſub­ſtance shining with purple, gold, ſiluer, iewels or pretious ſtones, which are but as the droſſe of the earth.

Although she were but yet a102 child, yet tooke she no delight in childish toyes, and playes, and if by chance she were compelled to daunce, she vſed ſuch tempe­rance therein, that she rather did manifeſt her ciuility in cōplieing to their deſires, than any content she had in the recreation. She carried her ſelfe indifferent in all ſuch things, and ſo by a quoti­dian and dayly excerciſe reſiſted her naturall inclinations, and mortified her appetite alwayes declining from the libertie of a looſe life, she did raiſe vp her ſelfe to greater meanes of perfe­ction. Entring into the Church she would alwayes lay aſide her crowne, vntill ſuch time as all being done she were admonished to returne, for that she thought it a great impietie that her head should there be adorned with the103 proude pompe of a glittering crowne, where was repreſented vnto her the head of our ſauiour crowned with pricking thornes. Who could expect ſuch deuotiō, ſuch high vertues in ſo tender yeares. It ſeemed to many (and not without reaſon) that she was more fitting to liue amongſt reli­gious woemen, than in the court; you would iudge that she had beene ſome Angel in humaine na­ture, eſpecially where as ſo many occaſions of wordly ſenſuality were preſented vnto her, as all knowe the courts of Princes be ſubiect to.

What she did in the time of her Marriage. § 2.

IN the fourteenth yeare of her age she is forced by the obe­dience104 she owed to her Father to marry, and thereby perhaps muſt mitigate ſomewhat of this great feruour. But nothing leſſe; for her heart was firme and ſtable in thoſe graces that God had giuen her, more and more sheweing forth her feruour of ſpirit, dayly en­creaſing in the ſtudy of vertuous actions, feeding her minde with the contemplation of celeſtiall things, and excerciſeing her body in watchings, prayers, and faſts, oftentimes cautiouſly riſeing frō her huſbands ſide in the night to pray. And when she could get op­portunity, she would lie on the bare ground, and to preuent all rebellion of the flesh, she chaſti­ſed her tender body euery fryday with diſciplines, & in the lent of­tener. Vnder her ſilkes and ſattins she ware continually a haireshirt,105 yea many times permitted her maides to diſcipline and chaſtiſe her when she could think that she had done ought amiſſe. A rare par­terne in ſo great a princeſſe.

To all this we may adde her great charitie, wherein she ſpent the greater part of her time, now labouring by word and workes to draw others to amendment of life, by reaſon whereof many la­dies forſooke the vanitie of the world, ſome by her counſell ma­keing vowes of chaſtitie, others entering into religiō, others who had not receiued the faith by her good counſell and inſtruction brought to be baptized, she her ſelfe going to be their God-mo­ther at the font. Other whiles going forth to viſit poore ſicke woemen, comforting and cheri­shing them with all things neceſ­ſarie, which she alwayes brought106 with her. And indeed she was al­wayes-mercifull to the poore, not diſdaining ſecretly to dreſſe their fores and botches, yea their ſcald-heads and ſcurfes, where of being ſometimes reprehended she ioy­fully anſwered, that she had ra­ther pleaſe Chriſt than mē. And to auoid idleneſſe the mother of all miſchiefe, being vacant from the aforeſaid works of piety she vſed with her maydes to ſpinne, and therewithall she cloathed the poore. And that her charitie might neuer ceaſe, she cauſed a faire hoſpitall to be built, wherein she gaue order that all things ne­ceſſarie should be prouided for the poore that were weake and ſick, which hoſpitall (although it were on a high mountaine ſome­what painfull to aſcend) she did ordinarily viſit euery day, going with great humilitie to each one107 that was there, enquiring whe­ther they wanted any thing, or what they deſired, and with her owne hands did feed thoſe that were not able to helpe them­ſelues, taking them out of their beds, bearing thē in her armes, and compoſeing their beds for them. Moſt louingly would she embrace the poore little chil­dren, carrieing them in her armes, and shewing her tender affection to them, as if she had beene their mother: ſo that ordinarily she was called the Mother of the poore. She neuer regarded their defor­mitie, diſeaſes, ſcabs or filth, but louingly receiued all as if they had beene her owne. In this hoſ­pitall she had alwayes 28 perſons for whom she prouided, although she were forced ſometimes for their ſakes to ſubſtract neceſſa­ries108 from her ſelfe. Beſides there were 900. beggars daily nouriſ­hed by her almes; but aboue all she tooke ſpeciall care for the fu­neralls and burials of ſuch poore people as were not able to pro­uide for themſelues.

Theſe acts of ſo notable cha­rity God almighty shewed both to be gratefull to himſelfe, and alſo not preiudiciall to her huſ­bands ſtate; as the following ex­amples will shew. For once being much importuned by ſome poore people for almes, and hauing not any other thing to giue, she gaue them her mantell which was very rich, which the Prince miſſeing asked for it, the Sainct confidently anſwered that it hung thereby, as expe­rience did verify. At another time the prince being in great anxietie109 of mind, for that she had not ap­parell beſeeming her qualitie, eſpecially in ſuch a time as there came vnto him an Embaſſadour from the king her Father, she willed him not to be troubled, for that she did neuer care for ſuch vanities; But the time being come, that she muſt deſcend to the Embaſſadour, loe she appeares in very rich apparell, adorned with ſuch beauty that euery one was ſtrucke into admiration, eſpecially the prince, to whom demāding the reaſon she ſmiling ſaid, our lord doth know how to prepare ſuch things when he pleaſeth. About the yeare 1225. there fell a great dearth through the whole country, when her husband being abroade she ga­thers all the corne she could get, and moſt bountifully imparts it110 to the poore, ſo that she emptied all the princes barnes, and ſtore­houſes, which notwith ſtanding were found to be as they were before.

It is too hard to expreſſe her great deuotion at Maſſe and other diuine offices, her feruent and pious aſpirations, her pietie in the time of communion, whe­rein she was many times ſeene to shine with a great light and bri­ghtneſſe. And although she ſpent her whole time very religiouſ­ly, yet more particularly she obſerued the lent with faſtings, almes, and prayers, adding fre­quent diſciplines; and on maundy thirſday poorely clad she viſi­ted the churches, washing with great deuotion the feet of twelue poore woemen, and after ward gaue them liberall almes. Shee111 oftentiues went the proceſſions barefoot.

The fame of theſe and ſuch like vertues came to the eares of our ſeraphicall S. Francis, who for her comfort by the comman­dement of the Cardinall prote­ctour ſent her his cloake, which she moſt deuoutly receiued. It ſeemes to me that this cloake was a miſticall ſigne of what she was to be, to wit, not only one of his children, but a mother and pa­troneſſe of this third order, which the holy Father by this ſigne doth commend vnto her.

What she did after her huſbands death. §. 3.

NEwes cōming to her of the princes death she with a conſtant reſolution ſaid (teares112 ſweetly flowing from her eyes) If my Brother (ſo she called her huſband) be dead, hence forward the world shall die to me who am dead to the world. What she ſaid in words, she fullfild in deeds, for at that time the ouerſeers of her young ſonne (vnable as yet to ſucceed in his Fathers dominions) caſt her out of all, and banished her the court, not permitting her to come neare the Prince her ſonne; this confuſiō she willingly embraces, and no way either de­ſireing reuenge, or murmuring againſt it, she reioyced much, and with the Apoſtles gloried in tri­bulation. Wherein as we may be hold her glorious humility, pa­tience, and other vertues, ſo alſo the fickle eſtate of fortune. Shee who heretofore had beene wont to liue in princely pallaces, is now113 glad to creep into ſome poore cottage; she that had beene e­ſteemed, honoured, obeyed, and loued as one of the greateſt prin­ceſſes of the world, is now deſpi­ſed, contemned, and derided of all, yea of thoſe whom formerly shee had relieued; she that was, wont to be clad in rich attires of gold, ſiluer, and pretious iewels, now walks in poore ragges, and cloathes embroadered perhaps with mire: she that accuſtomed to beſtow her almes ſo liberally on the poore, is now glad to begge her owne bread. Who would not take compaſſion of her!

After she had paſſed the win­ter in theſe ſufferances, lent com­ming on she redoubled her de­uotions, wherein she found won­derfull ſweetneſſe, which she114 was no way able to expreſſe, and therein had many reuelations a­ſwell of our Sauiour, as of our B. lady. I will only ſet downe one or two. Once being in an extaſie our lord appeared to her, & ſaid, Doſt thou deſire to be with me, and I will be with thee. Whereto she anſwered, Let it be ſo my lord, as thou doſt wouchſafe to be with me, ſo alſo I will remaine with thee, and be neuer ſeparated from thee. Our B. lady appeared vnto her very frequently, and did inſtruct her how God doth im­part benefits to his beloued by many tribulations, and how by his grace which he giueth them he maketh their ſoules more ca­pable of greater grace, whilſt they out of a holy humlitie doe as it were become diffident of re­ceiueing ſuch and ſo great bene­fits,115 which he dayly more and more beſtoweth on them. And thereupon she counſelled her to committ her ſelfe to the diuine will and goodneſſe, and attribute more to the power of God, than to her owne indignitie. The ſame was alſo manifeſted to the ſaint by a very rare miracle, for being one day walking with her gho­ſtly Father called Br. Roderingus, they fell into a ſerious diſcourſe of the ſpirituall progreſſe that a ſoule might make in perfection; amongſt other things the holy woman ſaid, Reuerend Father amongſt all my troubles and dif­ficulties of minde, there is none ſo nerely touches me, as that I am doubt full of the beneuolence and goodneſſe of my creatour towards me, not that I doe not know him to be the ſoueraigne116 good, and liberall in his loue to­wards vs, but that I find my deme­rits to be ſuch, that I shall and ought to bee reiected, although I burne with his loue. Whereto the Father anſwered, you haue no reaſon to feare, for ſo great is the diuine goodneſſe, that without all doubt he loues againe much more than he is loued by any, But she replied; how then doth he ſuffer me to be drawne away from him by afflictions and ſick­neſſe at any time or any mo­ment, whereas I would alwaies and in all places adhere to him. Br Roderingus anſwered, Thoſe are rather ſignes of one that is beloued of God, than of one for­ſaken by him: for he doth permit them to encreaſe your loue to him as alſo your merit. And in ſigne hereof, the more to confirme117 you herein, in the vertue of his name, whome you loue, I com­mand that tree which is on the other ſide of the riuer, to come to this ſide where we are: which was preſently done. Whereupon the ſaint fell at the Fathers feet craue­ing pardon for her offence.

The while theſe things were done ſome of her friēds were thin­king to helpe her, and to allow her ſome honourable meanes, and alſo prouide for her ſome noble marriage. But she, not againſt her will as they thought, but volūta­rily both poore and ſolitary, mā­fully refuſed all, ſaying, I am cōfi­dent in the diuine protection, that what I haue vowed whilſt my huſband liued, I shall not looſe now that he is dead, what ſoeuer authoritie preſſe me, or friend­ship flatter me, I will not ſuffer118 that to be taken from me by men which I haue begunne for God alone, neither doe I feare any violence, for it is alwayes free to me with my will to diſſent from it, and to make my face more de­formed, or euen to cut of my noſe, O heroicall reſolution, rather she wil looſe her life than leaue the promiſe she had made to God.

How the holy woman tooke vpon her a religious courſe of life. §. 4.

ALthings neuertheleſſe being well compoſed, and ſuffi­nent meanes giuen her to main­taine her ſelfe, she was nothing altered thereby from her former reſolution, to liue after a poore manner, in ſo much that her no­bilitie condemned her, eſteeming119 her as a foole or ſuperſtitious idiot. She was indeed to the wic­ked a deriſion and mocking-ſtocke, but to the godly and iuſt she was in great veneration. Whence Pope Gregorie the 9. hea­ring the fame of her vertues, writ to her, takeing her as his daughter vnder the protection of the Apo­ſtolicall See, and commending her to Conradus (a Friar as ſome will haue it) a very holy man, that he should inſtruct her what she was to doe, where with the Saint was much ſtrengthened and con­firmed, moſt willingly ſubmit­ting her ſelfe to his direction. Conradus then perſuaded her to the contempt of the world, and the following of Chriſt, which she very willing to doe, to the end she might execute it in ſome ſure and conſtant courſe of life,120 she made choiſe of this order of S. Francis, to liue accordingly in holy and euangelicall pouertie, which not without ſeeming re­luctation her ghoſtly Father ap­proued, eſpecially ſeeing her ſo earneſtly & with teares to beg it. And vpon a good Friday before the altar in the Friar minors Church, by a ſolemne profeſſion she renounced parents, children, pompes, and vanities of the world, and her proper will, to follow our Lord, but being about to giue away all her meanes Con­radus would not permit it.

Not long after for the loue of her ghoſtly Father, that she might better enioy his good inſtructiōs she went to Marburge, where she began an hoſpitall, which by commandement of Pope Gregory the 9. she dedicated to S. Francis. 121The Pope at that time ſent her ſome of the bloud, that flowed frō the ſide of the ſaid ſaint when he was marked with the holy ſtigmats.

In this hoſpitall she aſpires to a higher kind of life, and with a ſpirituall emulation endeauours to imitate the Friar Minors in a noble contempt of all things, takeing their ſtate of life and ha­bit as much as she could; as ſaith S. Bonauenture in a ſermon of this ſaint. She made profeſſion of the third order of S. Francis, as appeares in the Bull of her cano­nization, and renouncing the world had her haire cut of, and thence forward went barefoot, girding her ſelfe with a cord: the habit that she with two or three more did take, was gray, hum­ble and poore, whereby she122 embraced perfect continency, and voluntarie pouertie. The R. Fa­ther Pelbartus in one of his ſer­mons vpon this ſaint, ſaith that she contemned the world and entred into the third order of S. Francis to liue in chaſtitie, obe­dience, and ſo ſtrict pouertie, that she did alwayes we are gray, and patched garmēts. Her father hea­ring she was come to ſo great po­nertie ſent for her by an earle, who when he ſaw her cried out Is this the king of Hungaries daugh­ter? We may wel ſay, no: for she is now the beloued daughter of S. Francis, whoſe pouertie she imi­tates.

I muſt here, to auoid prolixity, omit her great charitie towards the poore in this place, her fami­liarity, and benigne comport­ment towards her inferiours, as123 alſo her miracles. It is admirable to conſider her poore life, her pietie towards the ſicke, as alſo towards leapers (in whoſe forme Chriſt appeared once vnto her) which was not vnrewarded by almighty God, who by her prayers did heale very many of all manner of diſeaſes, aſwell cor­porall as ſpirituall. With ſuch and ſo great ſignes of vertue this ſaint was adorned that it is impoſſible to declare all. As she faithfully exerciſed the office of Martha, ſo ſhe omitted not the quiet reſt of Marie, when workes of pietie and domeſticall charge did ceaſe, then her ſpirit was moſt at worke, for then she goes to ſome ſe­cret place, and lifting vp her eies, hands, and heart to God, powers forth her prayer with feruent intention, and that with124 teares of compunction, wherein she had a ſingular grace. Neither was she vnexperienc't in con­templation, for oftentimes she was rapt in extaſie for many houres together, wherein her face did appeare shining with admirable ſweetneſſe and luſtre, and at ſuch times not only en­ioyed the colloquie of Angels, but alſo of Chriſt Ieſus himſelfe, compaſſed about with an innu­merable company of ſaints, after which time being ſufficiently refreshed with ſpirituall food, she would taſt no corporall food for many dayes together.

But now the time drawing on, wherein she muſt poſſeſſe him eternally, he ioyfully appeared vnto her ſaying, veni electa mea, & caelesti thalamo, quem tibi ab a­terno destinaui, potire. Come my125 elected ſpouſe, and enioy the ce­leſtial bed chamber, which I haue prepared for thee from all eter­nitie. Being much reioyced at this viſion she went to Conradus, and recounted vnto him what had happened, and within foure dayes afterell ſicke. Drawing neere to her death, she would ſometimes ſwanlike ſing moſt melodiouſly, being aſſiſted there­to by angels: ſometimes againe ſends forth all thoſe that were about her, that (as she ſaid) she might remember her iudge, and the terrible cenſure, that shortly she was to heare: ſometimes a­gaine she would beginne ſome pious diſcourſe of the life or mi­racles of ouSauiour, and at other times she would vtter ſuch infla­ming and penetrating words, that they forc't all the hearers into126 teares. God permitted the Ene­mie to appeare to her, but she with a conſtant minde cryed out, Fly ô miſerable that thou art, fly vnhappy one, thou haſt nothing to doe in me. And being in her laſt agonie she ſaid; This is the houre of the virginall and im­maculate birth of our Sauiour (for it was about midnight) admonishing her aſſiſtents to ſpeake ſomething of the moſt beautifill child Ieſus. How he was borne in winters night, and in anothers houſe, ſwadled in cloathes, placed in a manger, found of the sheapheards, decla­red by the ſtarre, and laſtly ado­red by the Chaldeans. Theſe, ſayd she, are the venerable miſteries, moſt rich benefits, and beautifull ornaments of our ſaluation. In theſe our hope taketh force, our127 faith doth profit vs, and our cha­ritie enflame vs. Of theſe I pray diſcourſe and ſweetly conferre. In which words she gaue vp the ghoſt.

What miracles God hath wrought by her, both paſt and future ages will teſtifie, what is ſayd may ſuffice for our purpoſe, Thoſe authors who with more eloquence haue deſcribed her life, can manifeſt at more lea­ſure her innumerable miracles. Only I will note here that she left foure Images of our B. Lady with her daugher Sophia, which be all miraculous, eſpecially that of our lady of Hall neare Bruſſelles, and that of Vilford neare Bruſ­ſelles alſo, commonly called our lady of comfort.


The tranſlation of S. Eli­zabeth §. 5.

AFter her Canonization which was in the yeare 1235. by Gregorie the 9. her fame was diuulged through all Ger­many. So that Siffridus arch­bishop of Ments in the yeare following, ordained the firſt day of May with great ioy of the people to take vp the moſt holy body out of the graue where it was. It is incredible to belieue how great a multitude of all ſorts of people were gathered toge­ther at Marburg; the like was hardly euer ſeene in thoſe parts; ſome doe report they came to twelue hundred thouſand per­ſons. The offerings that were there preſented were not to be129 valued. The Emperour Frede­ricke the ſecond was preſent, (and dedicated a crowne of gold to the holy reliques) with many o­ther princes, archbishops, Ab­bots, and ſuch like. And before them all the tombe was opened, from whence came forth a moſt gratefull odour, which did make all thoſe that felt it very ioyfull, the body taken vp was put into a faire shrine, and carried with great pompe to the great ioy and content of all the people. But which is more to be admired, there came forth out of her body a certaine oyle, which cured all manner of diſeaſes, inſomuch that, as Alberinus, who hath writ­ten the chronicles of Germany, ſaith, there came almoſt as many to her shrine, as to S. Iames of Compoſtella.


Thus I haue briefely runne ouer the life of this glorious ſaint, that in part I might shew, with what good reaſon the religious and o­ther profeſſours of this order haue taken her for their Patroneſſe, as one that was a perfect diſciple of S. Francis, and the firſt canoniſed ſaint of this order, yea except S. Antony of Padua the firſt child S. Francis had, that was enroled in the number of ſaints, and the firſt that made the three eſſentiall vowes of religion. From her this holy order began to take its happy progreſſe to the glory of God, and honour of this ſaint. And in ſigne that she was pa­troneſſe of this order, the reli­gious of this order were wont to celebrate her feaſt with an o­ctaue, as may be gathered out of the Bull of Pope Leo the io. Cum131 alias. Wherein he grants leaue to celebrate Maſſe, and the diuine office euen in the time of inter­diction through the whole o­ctaue of S. Elizabeth, in the ſame manner, as the order did celebrate the feaſts, and octaues of S. Clare, which is not ordinarily granted, vnleſſe they were patrons or pa­troneſſes.

THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER. Of the life and death of Bleſſed S. Lewis king of France.

THis glorious ſaint was borne of bleſſed parents, to wit, of Lewis the 8. king of France, and Blancha queene of Caſtile, both holy perſons, in the yeare 1215.132 being obtained of almightie God by the interceſſion of our B. lady. For his deuout mother (who alſo was of this third order) grieuing that she had no children to ſuc­ceed in the kingdome, was per­ſuaded by S. Dominicke to implore the aide and helpe of the B. vir­gin, and to that end inſtructed her the manner of