55. The Clothing and Footwear of the Brothers

The brothers should have clothes according to the condition and climate of the place where they live, for in cold regions they will need more, but less in warmer regions. Consequently, the abbot has the power to determine this.

Nevertheless, we believe that it would be enough for each monk in a temperate climate to have a cuculla and a tunic, a heavy tunic in winter, and in summer one that is light or well worn; he should also have a scapular for work, and to cover the feet, footwraps and footwear.

The monks should not make an issue of the color or quality of these things, but they should be the kind which can be found in the region where they live, or which can be bought rather cheaply.

The abbot, however, should see to the size, so that these clothes are not too short but fit those who wear them.

Those getting new clothes should always return the old ones at once to the vestry for the sake of the poor, 10 for it is enough for a monk to have two tunics and two cucullas for nights and for washing. 11 Anything more than that is superfluous and ought to be taken away. 12 Also, the footwraps, and whatever else is old, should be returned when they receive something new.

13 Those sent on a journey should get leggings from the vestry, and on their return they should put them back in their place, washed. 14 Also, cucullas and tunics should be somewhat better than what they usually have; those going out on a journey should get them from the vestry and put them back on their return.

15 Now for bedding, a mat, a light blanket, a wool blanket, and a pillow should be enough. 16 However, the beds ought to be inspected frequently by the abbot so that no private possession may be found there, 17 and if anyone is found to have something that he has not received from the abbot, let him be subject to an extremely severe discipline. 18 And so that this vice of having one’s own things may be cut off at the root, the abbot should provide all that is necessary: 19 that is, cuculla, tunic, footwraps, footwear, belt, knife, pen, needle, handkerchief, and tablets, so that every excuse for necessity may be taken away.

20 Still, let the abbot always consider that passage in the Acts of the Apostles:

To each and every one was given just what each one needed. (Acts 4:35)

21 Therefore, the abbot should take into account the weaknesses of those in need, but not the bad will of the envious. 22 At the same time, he should in all his decisions think about the judgment of God.



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