Introduction

THE CONSTITUTIONS (1608)
OF THE CAPUCHIN FRIARS MINOR

IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, here begin the Constitutions
of the Friars Minor, called Capuchins:

So that our Order, as the Vineyard of the Most High Son of God, may be
confirmed in the spiritual observance of the Seraphic Rule, the General
Chapter held at our friary of Santa Euphemia in Rome in the year 1536 saw fit
to draw up certain statutes which might serve as a fence to protect the said
Rule, so that like the invincible tower of David it might protect itself against all
that is hostile to the living spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and keep out all
relaxations opposed to the fervent zeal of our Father Saint Francis.

But since the sacred Council of Trent and the Supreme Pontiffs have issued
Decrees which it was necessary to insert into these Ordinances of ours, the
Reverend Father General and Definitors have thought fit, with the consent of
the whole Chapter, held in Rome in the year 1575, to reprint the same Statutes
with the additions required by the aforesaid Decrees. For the same reason, that
is, to insert a number of other recent Decrees, it has seemed good to the
General Chapter held in the same place in the year 1609, to have them once
more reprinted. They are as follows:

IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST:

Here begin the Constitutions of the Capuchin Friars Minor of St Francis.