Religionis Zelus

Religionis zelus 3 July 1528

Translation by Paul Hanbridge

Clement VII granted the Bull "Religionis zelus" at Viterbo, 3 July 1528. The translation here is based on the Italian translation in I Frati Cappuccini, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, 1988, vol. I, nn.1-9, edited by Br. Costanzo Cargnoni of the Capuchin Historical Institute.

 Another English translation, though faulty in parts, may be found in The Round Table of Franciscan Research, 1949 reprint of volume 7(1941-1942) 110-112. The legal character of the document, especially the specialized language in paragraphs 8 and 9, makes the text difficult to interpret.  Another translation can  be found in The Capuchin Reform: Essays in Commemoration of its 450th Anniversary 1528-1978  published in 1983, and also found on  CAPDOX under the  [HISTORY] tab on the menu. Or go download that translation of Religionis zelus here.


 The Bull is granted to Ludovico and Raffaele da Fossombrone, who at that moment were Friars Minor of the Observance. The Bull permits them to lead an eremitical life, observing the Rule of Saint Francis more closely, under the protection of the Conventual Friars. The bull absolves them from all ecclesiastical censure or penalty and permits them to wear the habit with the square cowl (cappuccino quadrato) and the beard; to welcome new members, cleric or lay; to withdraw to hermitages; to beg anywhere; to enjoy in much the same way (aeque principaliter) the privileges, indults and favours granted to the present day or in the future to the Friars Minor and to the Camaldolese hermits.


With the exception of the explanatory note to n.8 and the appendix, the notes to this translation are based on those in I Frati Cappuccini. Download the text here (37 kb).