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St. Bonaventure University

SBU’s Franciscan Institute publishes a new book on St. Francis’ Earlier Rule

Oct 13, 2023

Franciscan Institute Publications of St. Bonaventure University has published a new study of St. Francis of Assisi’s rule of 1221. Edited by Thomas A. Piolata, O.F.M. Cap., and David B. Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., “The Earlier Rule of 1221: History, Theology, and Visionprovides the latest scholarship on a rule of life that expresses the original passion and spirituality of the founder of the Franciscan Movement.

The book is a result of a conference held at St. Bonaventure University in the summer of 2022 that brought together friars from the Capuchin, Conventual and Order of Friars Minor provinces of the United States, Italy, Canada, and Australia. Launching off from a major new study of “The Earlier Ruledeveloped by Dr. Jay Hammond of St. Louis University, nine other Franciscan scholars weighed in on the significance of this foundational document not only for the life and spirit of the early friars around St. Francis, but also for friars serving in more than 100 countries in the world today.

Among the scholars whose work appears in this book are Dominic Monti, O.F.M., and Couturier of St. Bonaventure.

In presenting the significance of this book, Monti quotes the Ministers General of the three First Order congregation of friars who reminded us that this rule is not “some legislative text written at a desk, but something that was born in dialogue with life.”

Couturier, in his opening chapter, said that the “Rule of 1221 draws us into the drama of the earliest Franciscan friars with all their primitive aspirations, lofty ideals, agonizing challenges, petty (and sometimes quite volatile) squabbles, and torturous questions.”

Copies of this book can be purchased online at

For more information about the Franciscan Institute, visit


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