The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order

There is an updated translation of the OFS Rule, Constitution and Ritual.

by Jan Parker, OFS

Does this mean there is a new Rule?

No.  The Rule itself has not changed, meaning that the update did not affect the articles of the Rule.  The General Constitutions and the Ritual have also not changed.

Then why the “update”?

What is different now in the Rule and Constitution?

The updates were made taking into consideration the new English translation of the Early Sources found in the three-volume series, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents (FA:ED), edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., and William J Short, OFM, published between 1999-2001.  Incorporating the new translation only affected the Prologue of the Rule and the footnotes.   The Prologue is from the new translation, and is slightly different from how it was previously written.  The footnotes now reference the three-volume series of FA:ED, which is very helpful.  The Constitutions also incorporate new footnotes referencing FA:ED.

Remember that St. Pope John Paul II encouraged us to “Study, love, live the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order!”   A list of wonderful  ongoing formation resources on the Rule  can be found on our website: (

This is also a good opportunity to remind you that all the early source writings can be accessed online courtesy of the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition (CFIT).  

Here is the  Franciscan Intellectual Tradition

Here you can find everything written by Francis, Clare, Celano, Bonaventure and more.  The website gives an instructional video on how to search for a particular passage.