The Rule of 1221 – Chapter VII – Works of Mercy

RULE: ARTICLE 22

22. Whenever any brother or sister happens to fall ill, the ministers, if the patient let them know of it, shall in person or through others visit the patient once a week, and remind him of penance; and if they find it expedient, they are to supply him from the common fund with what he may need for the body.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 22

a. When a member falls ill, fellow penitents should visit the person or else send a card or make a phone call to the ailing party, to comfort them and encourage them to pray, receive the Sacraments, and stay close to the Lord. Weekly contact is encouraged.

b. If penitents are able to provide help to ill members, they should lovingly do so.

RULE: ARTICLE 23

23. And if the ailing person depart from this life, it is to be published to the brothers and sisters who may be present in the city or place, so that they may gather for the funeral; and they are not to leave until the Mass has been celebrated and the body consigned to burial. Thereupon each member within eight days of the demise shall say for the soul of the deceased: a Mass, if he is a priest; fifty psalms, if he understands the Psalter,* or if not, then fifty Our Fathers with the Requiem aeternam at the end of each.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 23

a. If a member dies the other members of the Association in the area should gather for the funeral if distance, work and family commitments allow. They are not to leave until the Mass is celebrated and the body consigned to burial. Penitents are encouraged to designate someone they know to notify the BSP Administrators of their death so they can be prayed for.

b. Within eight days of the demise, each member shall say for the soul of the deceased: a Mass, if a priest, otherwise fifty Psalms. If a member cannot read the Psalter, he or she may say fifty Our Father’s with the words “May the souls of the faithful departed through the Mercy of God rest in peace” following each Our Father.

c. Penitents may, if they wish, add the ejaculation, “Lord, have mercy on ________’s soul” or the Glory be, after praying each psalm.

RULE: ARTICLE 24

24. In addition, every year, for the welfare of the brothers and sisters living and dead, each priest is to say three Masses, each member knowing the Psalter is to recite it, and the rest shall say one hundred Our Fathers with the Requiem aeternam at the end of each.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 24

a. In addition, every year, for the welfare of the brothers and sisters living and dead, each priest must say three Masses and the other members are to recite the entire Psalter from the Bible. The Psalter may be recited all at once, in sections throughout the year, or by praying one psalm or section of psalm daily.

b. Those who cannot read shall say one hundred Our Father’s with the words “May the souls of the faithful departed through the Mercy of God rest in peace” after each Our Father. These may be said all at once or throughout the year.

RULE: ARTICLE 25

25. All who have the right are to make their last will and make disposition of their goods within three months after their profession, lest anyone of them die intestate.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 25

a. All are to make their last will and testament within three months of their profession to live the Rule, lest anyone of them die before creating a valid will.

RULE: ARTICLE 26

26. As regards making peace among the brothers and sisters or non-members at odds, let what the ministers find proper be done; even, if it be expedient, upon consultation with the Lord Bishop.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 26

a. All are to make peace with members of the Association and all others, seeking, if necessary, the consultation of the Church.

b. The penitent must daily pray for all those who refuse to make peace with them and must forgive such people all wrongs they have done at least in their heart.

c. The brothers and sisters are always to take the first steps toward reconciliation. Under no circumstances are penitents to hold grudges or wish ill to anyone.

RULE: ARTICLE 27

27. If contrary to their right and privileges trouble is made for the brothers and sisters by the mayors and governors of the places where they live, the ministers of the place shall do what they shall find expedient on the advice of the Lord Bishop.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 27

a. If contrary to their rights and privileges, trouble is made for the brothers and sisters by those in civil authority of the places where they live, the ministers of the place shall do what they shall find expedient on the advice of their chapter’s spiritual assistant, their spiritual director or confessor, or their parish priest.

RULE: ARTICLE 28

28. Let each member accept and faithfully exercise the ministry of other offices imposed on him, although anyone may retire from office after a year.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 28

a. Let each member accept and faithfully exercise the ministry of other offices imposed on him or her, although anyone may retire from office after a year.

b. The penitent should follow the consensus of the electing group in determining whether or not to accept an office. If nominated for a position it is prudent to consider if the nomination be the will of God. This holds true for the election as well.

c. All nominations and elections must be conducted in absolute charity and honesty. Secret ballot elections are the proper way to elect someone from among those nominated. The person getting the most votes is the one elected. Terms of office are one year, unless otherwise agreed to by a majority of those affected. In small groups such assignments may need to be of indefinite length.

d. If a penitent who is nominated for, or elected to, office feels stress over this service, the penitent should prayerfully examine the causes of this stress and discuss these with a spiritual director or confessor, the chapter minister, and the chapter’s spiritual assistant. If these problems persist such persons may ask to be replaced at their discretion.

e. In elections, only professed members shall be eligible to nominate and vote and also eligible for office. If an insufficient number of members are professed, officers shall be appointed, or at least approved, by the BSP Administrators.

RULE: ARTICLE 29

29. When anybody wishes to enter this brotherhood, the ministers shall carefully inquire into his standing and occupation, and they shall explain to him the obligations of the brotherhood, especially that of restoring what belongs to others. And if he is content with it, let him be vested according to the prescribed way, and he must make satisfaction for his debts, paying money according to what pledged provision is given. They are to reconcile them selves with their neighbors and to pay up their tithes.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 29

a. When others wish to enter this Association, the Association Administrators shall carefully inquire into their standing and occupation and should question them thoroughly to ascertain their adherence to the Church’s teaching regarding faith, Church authority, and morals. Only those who hold to the views of the Church’s magisterium, or who change their views to adopt those of the Church, shall be considered for admission to the Association or retain membership.

b. Moreover, the ministers shall explain to all inquirers the obligations of life under the Rule, especially that of restoring what belongs to others. And if those inquiring are content with that, let them begin to follow the rules of formation as set up by the Association.

c. Those living this life must at once begin to pay up their debts, are to reconcile with their neighbors, and begin to tithe if they have not been doing so.

RULE: ARTICLE 30

30. After these particulars are complied with, when the year is up and he seems suitable to them, let him on the advice of some discreet brothers be received on this condition: that he promise he will all the time of his life observe everything here written, or to be written or abated on the advice of the brothers, unless on occasion there be a valid dispensation by the ministers; and that he will, when called upon by the ministers, render satisfaction as the Visitor shall ordain if he has done anything contrary to this condition. And this promise is to be put in writing then and there by a public notary. Even so nobody is to be received otherwise, unless in consideration of the estate and rank of the person it shall seem advisable to the ministers.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 30

a. After these particulars are complied with and the year of postulancy and three years of novice formation have elapsed, if those novices seem suitable to the ministers of their chapter and the Administrators of the Association, let them be received on this condition—that they promise that they will observe everything here written, or to be written or changed on the advice of the ruling body of the Association, unless on occasion there be a valid dispensation by the Association Administrators or Visitors, their own personal spiritual director or confessors, or due to family necessity; and that they will, when called upon by the ministers, render satisfaction as the Visitor or Association Administrators shall ordain if they have done anything contrary to this condition.

b. Penitents may profess to live the Rule for life or for a year. Yearly professions are to be renewed annually for up to three years and may be changed at any time to a lifetime profession.

c. All professions are to be put in writing then and there and signed by the penitent and also by the Association Administrators and the spiritual assistant, or the priest or person who receives the profession. Nobody is to be received otherwise.

RULE: ARTICLE 31

31. No one is to depart from this brotherhood and from what is contained herein, except to enter a religious Order.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 31

a. A penitent who has professed to live this Rule must have the consent of his or her spiritual director or confessor in order to be released from the profession. The penitent should also petition, in writing, the spiritual assistant, Association Administrators and/or Visitor for release and shall give the reasons for the request. The Association Administrators and Visitor may also question the penitent to see if the Association has failed the penitent in some way.

b. Those who wish to depart from this Association to enter a religious Order should receive not only permission but also the blessing of the entire Association. It is the norm of the Church that individuals should always move towards a greater commitment to Christ and His Church when they leave one lifestyle for another.

RULE: ARTICLE 32

32. No heretic or person in bad repute for heresy is to be received. If he is under suspicion of it, he may be admitted if otherwise fit, upon being cleared before the bishop.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 32

a. No person who does not adhere totally to all that the Catholic Church teaches through its hierarchy and magisterium, and no person in bad repute for disputing these teachings, shall be admitted to the BSP. If such persons are under suspicion of this, they may be admitted if otherwise fit, upon being cleared by the bishop, their spiritual director, confessor, or parish priest, or in the absence of these people, the Administrators of the Association or the Visitor.

RULE: ARTICLE 33

33. Married women are not to be received except with the consent and leave of their husbands.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 33

a. Those married are not to be received except with the consent of their spouses, provided they are living with said spouse. If separation, annulment, or divorce has occurred, spousal consent is not required.

RULE: ARTICLE 34

34. Brothers and sisters ejected from the brotherhood as incorrigible are not to be received in it again except it please the saner portion of the brothers.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 34

a. Brothers and sisters ejected from a chapter or the Association as incorrigible are not to be received in it again except it please the majority of those members affected.