I. How the friars should participate in the service.
You who renounce your own will, and the others who serve with you for the salvation of their souls with horses and weapons the Supreme Temporary King, have always endeavoured to listen with a pious and pure mind to the matins and the whole of the complete service according to the canonical prescriptions and the custom of the canons of the Holy City.
Therefore, venerable brothers, it is your greatest duty, because you have promised to hold the light of the present life and the torments of your body in low esteem and to despise the wild world forever out of love for God. Strengthened and sated by the divine food and instructed and consolidated in the commandments of the Lord, after the divine mysteries have been fulfilled, no one should be afraid to go into battle, but rather be ready for the crown.
II. How many ‘Our Father’ the brothers should pray if they cannot attend the service.
By the way, if a brother is travelling in the affairs of Christendom in the Orient, which no doubt happens more often, and therefore cannot attend the service, he should pray thirteen prayers of the Lord (“Our Father”) for Matins and seven for the individual hearings, but nine for Vespers, which we approve and unanimously confirm in a clear voice. But those who are sent out for the mission of salvation and cannot come to the service at the appropriate hour should not, if possible, depart from the obligatory order of the appointed hours.
III. What to do after the death of a friar
If one of the friars should fall victim to death, which spares no one, from which it is impossible to escape, we command the chaplains and clerics who serve with you for a time the highest priest out of love, to solemnly offer the guilty office and Mass to Christ for the soul (of the deceased) of a pure heart. The brethren, on the other hand, who are present (where the body is) and who faithfully persevere the night in prayers for the salvation of the deceased brother, are to perform 100 “Our fathers” for the deceased brother until the seventh day; likewise, from that day when the death of the brother becomes known to them until the aforementioned day, the hundred (the “Our Father”) are to be held in fraternal homage to the intact completion (of the deceased). To this end, however, we ask out of divine and merciful love and command by pastoral authority that as much food and drink as was given or is owed to a living brother for his living needs be given daily to a poor person until the fortieth day. All other offerings, which on the death of brothers and on the feast of Easter and other feasts of the Lord the voluntary poverty of the poor Knights Templar used to offer without distinction, we completely forbid.
IV. Chaplains and clerics receive nothing but maintenance and clothing.
With vigilant care, in union with the General Chapter, we order the return of other offerings and alms of all kinds, which in any way may be given to the chaplains and others (erg. clerics) who are staying with you for a time. The servants of the Church, according to the divine will, should have only food and clothing and desire nothing else to possess, since, if the Master would give them voluntarily out of kindness, they would not have anything else.
V. What to do after the death of a temporary servant
There are knights in the House of God and the Temple of Solomon who out of mercy live with you for a limited period of time, therefore we ask you out of unspeakable mercy, we demand and command you explicitly: if during the time the divine power has led one (erg. Guest Knight) to the last day, out of divine love and brotherly compassion for the soul of the deceased, one poor person shall receive seven days of sustenance and each one shall pray thirty “Our Father”.
VI Friars should not make vows.
We decree, as stated above, that no friar should presume to make any kind of vow, but should remain day and night with a pure heart in his promise, so that he can compare himself to it: “I will raise the cup of salvation” (Ps 116:13), that is, to imitate the death of the Lord in my death, and to lay down his life for the friars as Christ did. This is a fitting vow, this is a living sacrifice pleasing to God.
VII. When to stand or sit at the service.
But it has come to our ears, through extremely credible witnesses, that you are apparently listening to the divine Office standing up, without any rules and without any measure. We have not ordered that this be done in this way; we disapprove of it in the highest degree. We command that after the Psalm “Venite exultemus domine” with the Inivitatorium and the Hymn, all, strong and weak, should sit down to avoid any annoyance. We instruct you that, while you are already seated, at the end of each Psalm, when you recite the “Gloria patri”, you should rise from your seats and turn to the altar for the veneration of the Holy Trinity, here mentioned, while the weak bow. Thus we prescribe standing during the recitation of the Gospel and at the “Te Deum laudamus” and for the entire Lauds up to the “Benedicamus Domino” at the end, and we command that the same Rule be kept in the Matins of St. Mary.
VIII. Of the common meal.
We allow that in a certain palace, or rather in the refectory, you take your meals together, but that you should ask for what you may need, calmly and discreetly, because of the ignorance of the signs.
So at all times whatever is required of you must be requested with all humility and reverent submission, especially at table, as the apostle says: “Eat your bread in silence” (2 Tess 3:12). And the Psalmist should encourage you: “I have set a watch over my mouth” (Ps 39:2), that is, I have taken into consideration “that I may not fail with my tongue”, that is, that I may keep my mouth so as not to speak evil.
IX. At lunch and dinner a sacred reading shall be recited.
A sacred reading should always be read during the main meal and dinner. For if we love the Lord, we must ask for His saving words and instructions with the most attentive ear. The reader of the readings should instruct you to keep silence.
X. From eating meat.
In the week truly, when it is not the Lord’s birthday or Easter or the feast of St. Mary or All Saints, three times the consumption of meat may be sufficient for you, because the ordinary consumption of meat is considered to be an indecent corruption of the body. If, however, such a fasting falls on Tuesday and the eating of meat is omitted, then you shall be amply administered the following day. It seems to us undoubtedly good and proper, but on Sunday, in honour of the Holy Resurrection, to give two portions of meat to all the knights and friars and to the chaplains. But the others, namely the squires and the servants, should be satisfied with one under thanksgiving.
XI. About the order of the meals.
In the absence of bowls, they should generally eat in twos, and one should eagerly care for the other, so that neither raw savoir vivre nor secret abstinence will creep in at the common meal. We consider it fair, however, that each knight and brother should have an equal measure of wine for himself.
XII. On the remaining days 2 or 3 vegetable dishes should be sufficient.
We think that on the other days, namely on Monday and Wednesday as well as on Saturday, two or three dishes of legumes or other foods, or so-called cooked food, are sufficient for everyone; and we determine that it should be so, that he who cannot eat from one dish should eat from the other.
XIII. What is to be eaten on Friday.
We approve of the fact that on Fridays the entire Congregation, apart from the weakness of the sick, can devote a single fasting meal to the Lord’s Passion from the feast of All Saints to Easter, except when Christmas, a feast of St. Mary or the Apostles, falls on a Friday. At other times, however, unless a general fast is observed, it is possible to eat twice.
XIV. After the meal they should say thanks.
We indissolubly order that, after the main meal and after supper in the Church, when it is near, or when it is not, in the same place, thanks be given to Christ, our Supreme Sustainer, with the humble heart that is proper. The remnants of the broken bread should be distributed to the servants and the poor out of brotherly love, and the unbroken bread should be kept.
XV. The tenth part of the bread should always be given to the almsgiver.
Even if the reward of poverty, which is the Kingdom of Heaven, is undoubtedly given to the poor, we command you, who are undoubtedly taught by the Christian faith, to give the tenth part of the bread daily to your almsgiver.
XVI The collation is at the discretion of the master.
When the sun leaves the eastern region and descends to the wintry one, all of you are to go to the Complete, as is the custom in that region. But we wish that a general collation be taken first. We leave this collation to the decision and discretion of the Master, so that it may be taken as water, if he so chooses, and, if he permits out of mercy, as mixed wine. In fact, however, this must not lead to excessive satiation, rather it should be quite frugal, for “wine makes even the wise fall away” (Proverbs 20:1).
XVII. After completion of the complete procedure silence must be maintained.
After completion of the complete treatment, go to bed afterwards. For the brothers leaving the Completion, there is expressly no permission to speak to anyone in public, except when there is a compelling necessity. The one who has something to say to his squire should say it quietly. It may happen that, at this time, a most compelling urgency in the affairs of war or in the existence of your House, because the day seemed insufficient for it, requires of you who come from the Compline that the Master himself or the one to whom the Master has entrusted the regiment of the House, after the Master, confer with some of the brethren.
We command that it should happen, because it is written: “With much talking you will not escape sin” (Prov. 10.19). In every meeting we expressly forbid frivolous jokes, silly and laughable chatter. And you who go to your sleeping places, we give up speaking an “Our Father” in humility and pure surrender when someone has said something foolish.
XVIII. exhausted do not need to get up for matutine.
We unanimously approve of the fact that exhausted knights, however, do not rise for matins, as is obvious to us, but remain lying down with the consent of the Master or of the person to whom the Master has given the office. (erg. In place of the matins), however, they have to sing 13 fixed prayers in such a way that their meaning corresponds to the voice according to the prophet’s word: “Sing to the Lord in wisdom” (Ps 47:8), and that: “In the presence of the angels I will sing to you” (Ps 138:1). However, this must always be placed in the Master’s discretion.
XIX The commonality of the way of life among the friars should be preserved.
In the Scriptures it says: “Everyone was given as much of it as he needed” (Acts 4:35). This is not to say that there should be a prestige of the person, but rather that attention should be given to the sick. But everywhere, those who need less should thank God and not be sad. But the one who needs more should humble himself because of his poverty, and not exalt himself because he is taken into consideration. In this way, all members will remain in peace. We forbid, however, that one should be allowed to indulge in excessive abstinence, but rather that he should hold firm to the common life.
XX. Of soff and type of clothing.
We require that the garments always be of one colour, white or black or dark brown, so to speak. But we permit all professional knights to wear white robes in winter and summer, if possible, so that they may show that those who have left their dark lives behind have been reconciled with their Creator through their pure and light lives. What is the white colour other than pure chastity? Chastity is the safety of the spirit, the health of the body. For if any knight should not remain chaste, he will not be able to attain eternal rest and see God, according to the testimony of the Apostle Paul: “Strive for peace with all and for chastity, without which no one will see God” (Heb 12:14).
But since clothing is to protect from the exaltation of all conceit and excess, we decree that such things are held by all, that the individual may easily dress and undress, and put on and take off shoes. The steward of this office, with vigilant care, should endeavour to avoid giving out garments which are too long or too short, but should rather distribute them to his brethren in proportion to their size. The one who receives new ones should always give back the old ones immediately, to be put aside in the chamber or wherever else, according to the decision of the brother who holds the office, for the squires and servants and sometimes for the poor.
XXI. servants are not allowed to wear white clothes, i.e. coats.
However, we firmly contradict what is in the house of God (= religious house) and his Knights Templar without the decision and resolution of a common chapter (erg. torn down), and we order it to be abolished completely like a peculiar grievance, because servants and squires had white robes, from which came damnable intolerabilities. For in the countries beyond the mountains false brethren, married and others appeared, saying that they were of the temple, though they were of the world. These, of course, brought so much shame and disgrace to the Temple Order, just as some of the servant brethren, in their exuberant pride, caused a great deal of annoyance. They (= the serving brethren) should therefore always have black (erg. clothing), but if they cannot find such, they should wear such as they can find in the province where they live, or what can be obtained more cheaply from one color, namely brown.
XXII. Only knights of an order should have white clothing.
No one is allowed to wear white capes or to wear white coats other than the aforementioned Knights of Christ.
XXIII The old clothes are to be distributed to the squires.
The steward, that is, the issuer of the garments (i.e. the draper), should take great care to always give the old garments to the squires and servants and now and then to the poor in an honest and just manner.
XXIV. only sheepskins shall be used
By common decision we determine that no friar in winter shall have other skins or fur or anything else that is for the good of the body, not even a duvet, except from the skin of lambs or sheep.
XXV. He who desires better shall have the inferior.
If a friar, through guilt or the impulse of arrogance, desires to have something more beautiful and better, he should without doubt deserve the cheapest (erg. to get) because of such presumption.
XXVI: Attention should be paid to the quantity and quality of garments.
It is necessary to pay attention to the number of garments in terms of height and thickness; the draper should be careful in these matters.
XXVII. the drapery should pay attention to the equality of the garments.
The draper should, with fraternal insight, as said above, observe the length of the garments with equal measure, so that no eye of whisperers and slanderers may take notice and humbly give account before God of all that has been said.
XXVIII. From the abundance of hair.
All friars should always have their hair cut in such a way that it can be seen properly and neatly from the front and from behind. This rule should also be observed unalterably with the full and sideburns, so that no wild growth or lack of grace is noticed there. For those who serve the Supreme Creator, inner and outer purity is very necessary, according to the testimony of Himself who says: “Be pure” (Is 1:16), because “I am pure” (Job 33:9).
XXIX. of beak shoes and shoe bows.
Of beak-shoes and shoe-bows it is certain that they are pagan, and that this is recognized by all as inhuman; we forbid and forbid that anyone should possess them; on the contrary, he should abolish them altogether. We do not permit those who serve for a time to have beak shoes and shoe bows and uncut hair and excessively long clothing; we completely contradict this.
XXX. Of the number of horses and squires.
Each of you knights is allowed to have three horses, because the extraordinary poverty of the House of God and the Temple of Solomon (erg. the number of horses) does not allow for any increase in the present time, except with the permission of the Master. For the same reason, we allow the individual knights to have only one armour-bearer (= squire).
XXXI. No one may beat the squire who serves for nothing.
But if a squire serves a knight out of love and for God’s reward, the knight is not allowed to beat him or even to thrash him for any guilt.
XXXII How the guest knights (temporary knights) are to be received.
We faithfully order that all knights who wish to serve Jesus Christ in purity of heart in the same house (= in the Order of the Temple) for a limited period of time, should buy horses, which are usually suitable for such an undertaking, weapons and whatever else is necessary. We then decide to evaluate the horses from both parties equally in terms of value and benefit. The price shall be recorded in writing, lest it be forgotten, and whatever is necessary for the knight and his horses or the squire’s livelihood, even the horseshoes of the horses, shall be donated by the order out of brotherly love. Meanwhile, if a knight loses in this service by any event, the Master, if the Order’s property permits, shall provide him with others. At the end of the period of return, the knight should, out of divine love, cede half of the price (to the Order), the other half he should receive from the brothers’ treasury, if it is convenient for him.
XXXIII. Nobody should go out on their own will.
However, for the knights who consider nothing better than Christ, because of the holy service they have vowed, or because of the supreme bliss or fear of hell, it is preferable to remain in constant obedience to the Master. They are therefore bound that, as soon as anything is ordered anywhere by the Master or by the one to whom the Master has given the commission, they shall know no delay in its execution, as if it were ordered by divine instruction. For of such the (erg. eternal) truth says: “As soon as he heard me, he obeyed me” (Ps 18:45).
Therefore we ask such knights who renounce their own will, and the other temporary servants, and command them urgently that they should not take out to go into the city except by night to the holy tomb and places of worship which are within the holy city, without the permission of the Master or of the one to whom the office is given. Those who go out in this way should not go on their way without a guard, that is, without a knight or a brother, neither by day nor by night. On the procession, however, after having taken quarters, no knight or squire or servant shall enter the tents of other knights out of curiosity or in order to speak to anyone without orders, as said above.
By common decision, we affirm, then, that in this Order established by God, no one fights or rests according to his own will, but rather submits completely to the command of the Master, in order to be able to follow the Word of the Lord which says: “I have not come to do my own will, but that of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38).
XXIV No one should demand what is necessary for himself.
We order to attach this use specifically to the rest and order to observe it with all attention against the advance of the seeking-to-procure. No friar, therefore, may specifically and specifically demand a horse or bridle or weapons. If, then, his weakness or the weakening of his horses or the weight of his armour is evidently so great that it would cause common harm, he should come to the Master or to the one who, after the Master, administers the office, and present the matter to him truthfully and with pure steadfastness. Thereupon the matter shall be placed at the disposal of the Master or, after him, of the steward.
XXXV. Of bridles and spurs.
We absolutely forbid that gold or silver, which denotes wealth, should ever be visible on the bridle or breastplate or on the spurs or saddlecloths, nor is it permitted for any friar to buy it. However, if such old equipment is given as a gift, gold and silver shall be coloured so that the bright colour or decoration does not appear to others to be arrogance. When new ones are given, the master may watch what he does with them.
XXXVI. Coatings on lances and shields shall not exist.
Coatings over shields and spears and ornamentation on lances should not be used, because this does not seem to us all to be beneficial, on the contrary, it is harmful.
XXXVII. From the horses’ feed sacks.
No brother shall presume to make linen and wool feed sacks; he shall therefore have no other than those made of netting yarn.
XXXVIII. By the authority of the Master.
The master is allowed to give the horses or weapons or any item of any kind to anybody. But the one whose things have been forgiven must not become angry because he (erg. his things) thought it safe; therefore, if he should become angry, he will offend against God. This commandment which we have issued is of use to all, so that it will be kept unalterable in the future.
XXXIX. No one shall barter or solicit.
It is now superfluous (erg. still to be commanded) that no one should dare to exchange brother with brother and ask for anything without the permission of the Master, except the brother of the brother, if it is a small thing of little value.
XL. Of requesting and receiving.
But if any brother has indeed been given a thing as a gift without having been asked for it, he should show it to the master or provincial administrator. Otherwise, of course, if his friend or a parent wishes to give it only to him for his own benefit, he should not accept it at all until he has permission from his Master. However, this above rule does not bind the official administrators to whom this service is especially incumbent and to whom it is left.
XLI. From suitcase and riding bag.
Riding bags and suitcases with a clasp are not permitted; it may be shown that they may not be possessed without the permission of the Master or of the person to whom the office of religious affairs is entrusted by the Master. The stewards and those who travel through different provinces are not bound by this chapter, nor, of course, is the Master.
XLII. The sending of letters.
Under no circumstances is a brother allowed to receive or send letters from his parents or from any person or other members of the Order without the permission of the Master or Vicar. After the brother has received permission, the letter should be read out in the presence of the Master, if he wishes. But if anything is sent to him by his parents, he should not presume to accept it without first notifying the Master. This chapter does not concern the Master and office-holder in the Order.
XLIII. About telling your own mistakes.
Although it is generally known that every idle word is sin, what will those who boast of their own guilt say to the stern judge? The Prophet teaches us by saying: “So I will remain silent and still, keeping silent about what is good” (Ps 39:3). If, for the sake of silence, one should sometimes even keep silent about good things, all the more reason to avoid speaking evil because of the penalty of sin.
We therefore forbid and expressly forbid that any brother of the order dare to tell his brother or any other person about the infamous deeds, or rather the foolishness, which he has committed in the worldly knightly service against (chivalrous) norms, as well as the carnal lusts with bad women. And if he hears another tell him such things, let him cause him to be silent, or, if he can do so more easily, let him go away from there with the swift step of obedience, and not lend the ear of the heart to an oil seller.
XLIV. No one should catch a bird with a bird.
We generally decide that it is not up to anyone to catch a bird with another bird. It is not proper for a religious to indulge in worldly pleasures, but rather to listen gladly to the commandments of the Lord, to prostrate himself often in prayer, and to confess his former sins daily in prayer to God with tears and sighs. A person who treats his goshawk or other bird in this way should not be treated by a religious on principle.
XLV. They shall avoid any opportunity for hunting.
Since it is the duty of every religious to walk humbly and soberly without laughter, to say few and thoughtful words and not to make any noise, we place special emphasis on and command every friar not to shoot his bow or crossbow in the woods, nor to go along with anyone who does so, except for the reason of protecting him against the unbelieving heathens. For it is clear that you are specially commissioned and it is your duty to lay down your lives for your brothers and also to destroy from the earth the unbelievers who are always enemies of the Son of the Virgin. Nor must you allow yourselves to give way to your brother, to shout or chatter, nor to stir up your horse out of greed for prey.
XLVI No provision is made for lions.
We do not give a commandment regarding the lion because “he goes about seeking whom he devours” (1.Petr. 5,8), and “his hand is against all, the hands of all against him” (Gen. 16,12).
XLVII. In any claim against you, you shall submit to the judgment.
We know that the persecutors of the Holy Church are innumerable and are in a hurry to constantly and cruelly disturb those who do not love the quarrel. In the opinion of the Council, the following should be considered in clear consideration: If anyone in the regions of the Orient or in any other place has any claim against you, we decree that the judgment be accepted by reliable and truthful judges. Likewise, we order that what has been judged just be fulfilled irrevocably.
XLVIII: The same shall be done for all things taken away from you.
We command that this rule should apply permanently to all goods stolen from you through no fault of your own.
XLIX. Whether they may own estates.
By divine providence, as we believe, the new kind of piety of you in the Holy Land has begun, since you apparently add chivalry to piety, and so the piety armed by chivalry advances and strikes the enemy without guilt.
Rightly, then, since you are called Knights of the Temple, we decide that, because of your outstanding merit and the special gift of bravery, you yourselves can have land and people, possess peasants, and rule them justly; and the appointed levy shall be specially paid to you.
L. By sick knights and other brothers.
Above all, the sick should be given vigilant care, as if Christ were being served in them, as the Gospel says: “I was sick and you came to see me” (Mt 25:36). This should be kept in faithful memory. In fact, the sick must be borne carefully and patiently, because it is in them that the heavenly reward is undoubtedly obtained.
LI. From the nurses.
But we command the nurses, with all respect and vigilant care, to faithfully and diligently provide the sick with everything that is always necessary to bear the various diseases, according to the wealth of the Order, for example, meat and poultry and so on, until their health is restored.
LII. Let no man provoke another to anger.
Obviously, there is no little need to be careful not to take the liberty of making someone else angry, since the greatest peaceableness unites both the poor and the powerful equally through close kinship and the bond of supernatural brotherhood.
LIII. Of Marriage.
We permit you to have married brothers among you in such a way that, when they unanimously ask for the benefit of and share in your fraternity, each one of them may bequeath to the common treasury of the Order after death the portion of his or her property and whatever else they may acquire, and in the meantime live an honorable life and strive to do good to the brothers; but they may not go with the white robe and cloak. Should a married man die, he bequeath his share to the brothers and the wife has the livelihood of the other. For we consider it unjust that such brothers should live in the same house with brothers who have promised chastity to God.
LIV. It’s no longer allowed to have sisters.
It is certainly dangerous to continue to join sisters, since the old enemy has led many away from the right path to paradise through intercourse with women. Therefore, dearest brothers, in the future it is not permitted to maintain this habit, so that the flower of purity may always shine forth among you.
LV. Why it’s not good to associate with excommunicated people.
Dear brethren, you should be very much afraid of this, and beware that none of Christ’s knights should in any way communicate with an excommunicated person in a special and public way, or presume to receive things from him, lest he likewise fall prey to expulsion. If, of course, it is only a person who is subject to the interdict, it will be permitted, through no fault of his own, to have contact with him and to receive things from him out of love.
LVI. How knights are to be received.
If a knight from the crowd of perdition or another worldly man, willing to renounce the world, should choose your common life, he should not be agreed to immediately. Rather, according to the word of the apostle: “Test the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1), he should be granted a trial period.
In his presence the Rule is to be read out, and if the person concerned eagerly wishes to follow the commandments of the declared Rule, then, if it pleases the Master and the brethren to receive him, he should reveal his desire and desire to all the assembled brethren with a pure heart. Then, of course, the duration of the probationary period shall depend wholly on the Master’s discretion and prudence in accordance with the honourable conduct of the applicant.
LVII. When to call all the brothers to the council.
We command that not all the brothers should always be gathered together for the Chapter, but rather those whom the Master has found suitable and prudent in counsel. However, if he wishes to negotiate about more important matters, such as forgiving common land, or discussing religious matters himself, or admitting a brother, then the Master, if he pleases, must call together the whole Congregation; after the heard advice of the common chapter, what the Master considers better and more useful is to be carried out.
LVIII. How the brothers should pray.
We command by common decision that the brothers pray standing or sitting, according to their state of mind or body, but always with the greatest reverence, simple and not shouting, so that one does not disturb the other.
LIX. From the vow of the servants.
We have taken note of the fact that quite a number of people from different countries, both followers and squires, seem to be giving themselves to your Order for their salvation with a burning heart. It is useful, then, to require of them a vow, lest the old enemy, in service to Allah, should steal something from them or whisper indecently to them, in order to dissuade them suddenly from their good intentions.
LX. How boys are received.
Although the Rule of the Holy Fathers would allow for the presence of boys in the religious community, we do not approve of burdening you with such boys henceforth. Therefore, whoever wishes to offer his son or relative to the Order of Knights forever, let him raise them until the years when he can drive out the enemies of Christ from the Holy Land with an armed arm. Then, according to the Rule of St. Benedict, the father or parents should place him among the brothers and reveal his desire to all. For it is better not to take a vow in childhood than to withdraw it later, having become a man, against the Rule.
LXI. How the old shall be honored.
The aged must be borne and attentively honoured in loving consideration of the frailty of the forces; in no way should they be neglected in their demands in what is necessary for the body, while the authority of the Rule remains intact.
LXII. Of the maintenance and clothing of the brothers.
We also believe that it is appropriate and reasonable to grant equal maintenance to all friars, according to the possibilities of the place. For the prestige of the person brings no benefit, but consideration for the needs of the sick does.
LXIII. By the brothers sent through different countries.
Brothers who are sent through different countries, in food and drink and in everything else, should strive to observe the Rule as much as they can, and live blamelessly, so that they “may have a good reputation among outsiders” (1 Tim 3:7), so that they may not defile religious vows either by word or deed, but, above all, give the spice of sound wisdom and good works to all with whom they are in contact, by example. Those with whom they decide to take shelter should be adorned with the best reputation, and if it is possible, the house of their shelter should not be without light at night, so that the dark enemy will not give them the opportunity to do evil, which God would prevent. But when they hear that excommunicated knights are not gathering, we call them, not so much for the benefit of time, but for their eternal salvation, to set out. We praise the fact that those brothers who are sent to the lands beyond the sea with the expectation of supplies, those who wish to join the Order of Knights permanently, welcome according to this custom, that in the presence of the Bishop of that Province they both come together and the Bishop hears the will of the aspirant. After hearing the request, the brother will send him to the Master and to the brothers who are staying at the Temple which is in Jerusalem, and if the life of the person concerned is honourable and worthy of such a vocation, he will be graciously received if it seems good to the Master and to the brothers. But if, in the meantime, he should die of privation and exhaustion, all the beneficence and brotherhood of the Poor Knights shall be granted to him as to one of the brethren.
LXIV. Of the tithe to be received.
For we hold that you have renounced the influx of riches and voluntarily submitted yourselves to poverty. We therefore state that you, who live a common life, are justly entitled to tithe. If the Bishop of a Church to which the tithe is rightly due, wishes to give it to you as a gift of grace, he should give it to you with the approval of his General Chapter of those tithes which are clearly due to the Church. But if any layman has hitherto withheld from his inheritance the tithe due to the Church in a manner which is too disapproving and, thereby lying to himself, wishes to hand it over to you, he may do so with the consent of the Bishop alone, without the approval of the Chapter.
LXV. Of misdemeanors both minor and major.
If any brother, in speech or in chivalry or in any other way, commits a lighter offence, he should confess his fault to the Master of his own accord in order to make amends; if it is one of the lighter offences which have not become a habit with him, he should receive a light penance. But if his guilt, concealed by him, becomes known by any other, he shall be subject to a greater and more plausible discipline and punishment. But if his offense is grave, he should be kept away from the fellowship of the brethren, no longer eating at the same table with them, but eating his meals alone, and submitting himself totally to the grace and judgment of the Master, in order that he may be saved on the day of judgment.
LXVI. Through what fault a brother can no longer be kept in the Order.
Above all, it is to be seen that no brother, whether powerful or not, strong or weak, who wants to exalt himself and gradually become overconfident and defend his guilt, shall go unpunished; but if he does not want to mend his ways, a harsher punishment shall befall him. If, however, in spite of the kind exhortations and prayers made for him, he is not willing to mend his ways, but rather his pride increases, then he should be cast out of the pious flock, according to the apostle’s word: “Take the wicked man out of your midst” (1 Cor 5:13). It is necessary that the mangy sheep be removed from the community of faithful brothers. Moreover, the Master who holds the staff and the rod in his hand, that is, the staff to support the weak forces of others, the rod indeed, to chastise the vices of the guilty in zeal for what is right, should seek to do this with the advice of the Patriarch and with spiritual reflection, so that, like St. Francis, he may be able to do it with the help of his own hands. As St. Maximus says, neither negligent leniency can make it possible to hold on to the wrongdoing, nor can excessive severity prevent the sinner from falling again.
LXVII. At which time the brothers can use linen shirts
Among other things, precisely because of the great heat in the Oriental region, we are considering, out of compassion, that from Easter to the feast of All Saints, a linen shirt should be given to everyone, not out of obligation, but solely out of grace – namely, only to those who want to use it – while at other times everyone should have shirts that are basically wanted.
LXVIII. What bedding they should sleep in.
In a joint decision we affirm that everyone, however, sleeps in his own bed and not otherwise, unless there is a very important reason or necessity. A bed or mattress shall be owned by everyone according to the prudent administration of the Master. We are of the opinion that after the straw mattress, a wedge pillow and a blanket will suffice for everyone. But whoever renounces one of these shall have a sheet, and at all times it will be good to make use of a linen or cloth cover. The brothers shall always sleep with shirt and trousers on. Likewise, the brothers who sleep shall never lack a lamp until the morning.
LXIX. From muttering to be avoided.
We also command by holy admonition to avoid jealousy, envy, murmurings, ear blowing and disparagement and to flee like a plague. Therefore, each one of us must be vigilant in his heart, so that he does not secretly accuse or rebuke his brother, but rather carefully heed the word of the Apostle: “Do not be a slanderer or whisperer among the people” (Lev 19:16). If, however, a brother has reliably learned that another brother is absent, he should rebuke him in private, peaceably and with brotherly kindness, according to the Lord’s commandment. If the latter does not listen to him, he should call another brother. But if the brother to be rebuked rejects both, he shall be publicly admonished before all in the convent. For of great blindness are those who disparage other men, and exceedingly unhappy are those who guard themselves very little against envy, whereby they sink into the old wickedness of the crafty enemy.
LXX. You’re not supposed to look a woman in the face.
We consider that it is dangerous for any religious to look too much at the face of a woman, and therefore none of the brothers takes it upon himself to kiss a widow, a virgin, his mother, his sister, his aunt or any other woman. The knighthood of Christ should therefore flee from the kisses of women, which often put men in danger, so that they may always be able to remain in the presence of God with a clear conscience and in a secure life.
LXXI. Nobody should be godfather for now.
We command all knights of the order and all those in bondage that in future no one should take it upon himself to raise children from baptism; it is no disgrace to him to refuse to be a father or fatheress in this sacrament, since such disgrace contributes more to honour than to sin, and even if it undoubtedly does not win a woman’s kiss, on the contrary it casts out shame.
LXXII. From the regulations.
All the above rules and everything written in this Rule is subject to the Master’s pleasure and will.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.