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Illi Qui Volunt Religiose Stare In Eremis: Eremitical Practice In The Life Of The Early Franciscans

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines that eremitical practice in the context of the usually itinerant life of Francis and his brothers, and describes the meaning of that alternacy between itinerancy and retreat. It first surveys the scholarly publications of the last forty years studying the eremitical experience in the early Franciscan movement. The chapter then looks at the places mentioned in the thirteenth-century hagiography of Francis of Assisi. One of the earliest Franciscan documents, the Regula non bullata, mentions only two kinds of settlement: loci and eremi. The chapter studies the document, Illi qui volunt religiose stare in eremis. Whether on the road, in cities, towns or villages, or staying in "hermitages", the brothers always led the same life, one according to the Gospel. Wherever they were, they were on their journey to the reign of God and God's justice through loving brotherliness and caring stewardship.

Keywords: early Franciscan movement; eremitical practice; Francis of Assisi; Regula non bullata; thirteenth-century hagiography



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