Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with joy in my heart that I wish to send you my best wishes on such an important occasion for the entire Franciscan Family, whose prayerful presence and filial closeness I have felt since the beginning of the Petrine Ministry. The eighth centenary of the confirmation of the Rule of the Friars Minor by Pope Honorius III which took place at the Lateran on November 29, 1223, is an auspicious occasion not only because it commemorates an historical event, but above all because it revives in you the same spirit that inspired Francis of Assisi to strip himself of everything, and give rise to a unique and fascinating form of life since it is rooted in the Gospel and lived sine glossa. May this jubilee be for each of you a time of inner rebirth, of a renewed missionary mandate for the Church which calls you to go out to meet the world where many brothers and sisters are waiting to be consoled, loved and cared for.
Therefore, moved by these sentiments, I am here to deliver you some exhortations that arise precisely from the words of the Poverello of Assisi, who advises his friars to “[…] observe poverty and humility and the holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ […]” (Regola bollata XII:4).