Complete English Translations of Early Franciscan Sources now Online

On August 31, 2020, the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT) announced the full incorporation onto its website of the classic three-volume series on the life and mission of St. Francis, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, as well as a companion volume, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents.

The original print compilation of the primary sources on the Franciscan movement, published between 1999 and 2001, was the work of Franciscan scholars Regis J. Armstrong, OFM. Cap., J. A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., and William J. Short, OFM. A separate volume, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., was published in 2006. In addition to these translations, for the benefit of researchers and students this online version also incorporates the original Latin texts.

The multi-year task of bringing the several thousand pages of primary sources, translations, annotations, introductions and footnotes to the web was the painstaking work of Dr. Daniel T. Michaels, an expert in educational technology and digital humanities at the National Institute for Newman Studies in Pittsburgh (USA).

This new web version of the writings of Sts. Francis and Clare and the early Franciscan witnesses will make the original Latin documents and English-language translations instantly accessible to a new generation of scholars, students and lovers of il Poverello across the globe. This version is optimized for the users of mobile devices.

Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM, chair of CFIT and overseer of this six-year project made note of the significance of this web version: “Our goal was to bring our foundational Franciscan sources to the widest possible audience, especially to people in countries around the world who do not have ready access to the print volumes. CFIT is very grateful to the Academy of American Franciscan History for several grants which enabled us to bring this long project to fruition.”

Now containing the complete writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi and the early witnesses to their lives, ministry, and canonization, the website can be accessed by students, researchers, and lovers of things Franciscan by going to the CFIT website at: