BY HENRY CHARLES LEA
AUTHOR OF "AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF SACERDOTAL CELIBACY," "SUPERSTITION AND FORCE," "STUDIES IN CHURCH HISTORY."
IN THREE VOLUMES.
NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE.
BOOK III.--SPECIAL FIELDS OF INQUISITORIAL ACTIVITY.
CHAPTER I.--THE SPIRITUAL FRANCISCANS.
Dissensions in the Franciscan Order from Elias to John of Parma.
Joachim of Flora.--His Reputation as a Prophet
His Apocalyptic Speculations as to the Third Era
Adopted by the Spiritual Franciscans
The Everlasting Gospel.--Its Condemnation
The Spirituals Compromised.--John of Parma Removed
Persistence of the Joachites
Increasing Strife over Poverty
Bull Exiit qui seminat
Persecution of Italian Spirituals
The French Spirituals.--Jean Pierre Olivi
Arnaldo de Vilanova
Disputation before Clement V.--Decision of Council of Vienne
Renewed Persecution of the Spirituals
Commencement of Rebellion.--Dissensions among Them
Election of John XXII.--His Character
He Enforces Obedience and Creates a Heresy
Bloody Persecution of the Olivists
They Form a New Church
Their Fanaticism.--Naprous Boneta
Suppression of the Sect.--Its Career in Aragon
Joan de la Rochetaillade.--Remains of Joachitism
CHAPTER II.--GUGLIELMA AND DOLCINO.
Incarnation of Holy Ghost in Guglielma
The Guglielmites Form a New Church
Prosecuted by the Inquisition
Fate of the Sectaries
The Order of Apostles.--Spiritual Tendencies
Gherardo Segarelli.--Burned in 1300
Dolcino Assumes the Leadership
His Open Revolt.--Suppressed after Four Crusades
Continuance and Character of the Heresy
CHAPTER III.--THE FRATICELLI.
Question Raised as to the Poverty of Christ
Reaction against the Holiness of Poverty
Doctrine of the Poverty of Christ Declared a Heresy
It Complicates the Quarrel with Louis of Bavaria
Marsiglio of Padua and William of Ockham
Gradual Estrangement of the Franciscans
Louis Deposes John XXII. as a Heretic
Michele da Cesena Revolts
Utility of the Inquisition.--Submission of the Antipope
Struggle in Germany.--The Franciscans Support Louis
Louis gradually Gains Strength.-His Death
Dissident Franciscans Known as Fraticelli
Sympathy for them under Persecution
Fraticelli in France and Spain
The Observantines Replace and Suppress the Fraticelli
CHAPTER IV.--POLITICAL HERESY UTILIZED BY THE CHURCH.
Denial of Papal Claims Pronounced Heresy
The Stedingers.--Tithes Enforced by Crusades
Crusades to Support Italian Interests of Papacy
Importance of Inquisition as a Political Agency
Advantage of the Charge of Heresy
Manfred of Naples.--The Colonnas.--Ferrara
John XXII. and the Visconti
Cola di Rienzo.--The Maffredi
Use of Inquisition in the Great Schism
Case of Thomas Connecte
CHAPTER V.--POLITICAL HERESY UTILIZED BY THE STATE.
Use of Inquisition by Secular Potentates
The Templars--Growth and Relations of the Order
Causes of its Downfall.--Facilities Furnished by the Inquisition
Papal Complicity Sought.--Use made of Inquisition
Errors Charged against the Templars
The Question of their Guilt
Vacillation of Clement.--The Assembly of Tours
Bargain between King and Pope.--Clement Joins the Prosecution
Prosecution throughout Europe.--Its Methods in France
The Papal Commission.--Its Proceedings
Defence Prevented by Burning those who Retract
Proceedings in England.--The Inquisition Necessary
Action in Lorraine and Germany
In Italy and the East
In Spain and Majorca
Torture in Preparation for the Council of Vienne
Arbitrary Proceedings Required at the Council
Disposition of Property and Persons of the Order
Fate of de Molay
Distribution of the Property of the Order
Case of Doctor Jean Petit
Case of Joan of Are.--Condition of the French Monarchy
Career of Joan up to her Capture
The Inquisition Claims her.--Delivered to the Bishop of Beauvais
Her Condemnation and Execution
Her Imitators and her Rehabilitation
CHAPTER VI.--SORCERY AND OCCULT ARTS.
Satan and the Spirit World
Incubi and Succubi
Human Ministers of Satan.--Sorcerers
Penalties under the Roman Law
Struggle between Pagan and Christian Theurgy
Repression of Sorcery by the Early Church
Magic Practices of the Barbarians
Leniency of Barbarian Legislation
Legislation of Church and State in Carlovingian Period
Practical Toleration in Early Mediæval Period
Indifference of Secular Legislation
The Inquisition Assumes Jurisdiction
All Magic Becomes Heretical
Astrology.--Pietro di Abano.--Cecco d'Ascoli
Divination by Dreams
Comminatory Church Services
The Inquisition Stimulates Sorcery by Persecution
Unfortunate Influence of John XXII
Growth of Sorcery in the Fourteenth Century
Increase in the Fifteenth Century
Case of the Marechal de Rais
Enrique de Villena
Its Origin in the Fifteenth Century
The Sabbat.--Regarded at first as a Diabolic Illusion
Adopted by the Church as a Reality
Power and Malignity of the Witch
The Church Helpless to Counteract her Spells
Belief Stimulated by Persecution
Witches Lose Power when Arrested
Secular and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction over Witchcraft
Inquisitorial Process as Applied to Witchcraft
Case of the Witches of the Canavese
Case of the Vaudois of Arras
Slow Development of the Witchcraft Craze
Stimulated by the Inquisition and the Church
Influence of the Malleus Maleficarum
Opposition to the Inquisition.--France.--Cornelius Agrippa
Opposition of Venice.--The Witches of Brescia
Terrible Development in the Sixteenth Century
CHAPTER VIII.--INTELLECT AND FAITH.
Intellectual Aberrations not Dangerous
Theological Tendencies and Development Roger Bacon
Nominalism and Realism
Rivalry between Philosophy and Theology
Toleration in Italy in the Fifteenth Century
Evolution of Dogma.--The Beatific Vision
The Immaculate Conception
Censorship of the Press
Omissions of the Inquisition.--The Greek Heretics
Quæstuari, or Pardoners
Demoralization of the Church
Morals of the Laity
Materials for the Improvement of Humanity
The Reformation Inevitable
Encouraging Advance of Humanity
APPENDIX OF DOCUMENTS
SPECIAL FIELDS OF INQUISITORIAL ACTIVITY.
THE SPIRITUAL FRANCISCANS.
IN a former chapter we considered the Mendicants as an active agency in the suppression of heresy. One of the Orders, however, by no means restricted itself to this function, and we have now to examine the career of the Franciscans as the subjects of the spirit of persecuting uniformity which they did so much to render dominant.
While the mission of both Orders was to redeem the Church from the depth of degradation into which it had sunk, the Dominicans were more especially trained to take part in the active business of life. They therefore attracted the more restless and aggressive spirits; they accommodated themselves to the world, like the Jesuits of later days, and the worldliness which necessarily came with success awakened little antagonism within the organization. Power and luxury were welcomed and enjoyed. Even Thomas Aquinas, who, as we have seen, eloquently defended, against William of Saint-Amour, the superlative holiness of absolute poverty, subsequently admitted that poverty should be proportioned to the object which an Order was fitted to attain. *
* Th. Aquin. Summ. Sec. Sec. Q. clxxxviii. art. 7. ad 1.
It was otherwise with the Franciscans. Though, as we have seen, the founders determined not to render the Order a simply contemplative one, the salvation of the individual through retreat from the world and its temptations bore a much larger part in their motives than in those of Dominic and his followers. * Absolute poverty and self-abnegation were its primal principles, and it inevitably drew to itself the intellects which sought a refuge from the temptations of life in self-absorbing contemplation, in dreamy speculation, and in the renunciation of all that renders life attractive to average human nature. As the organization grew in wealth and power there were necessarily developed within its bosom antagonisms in two directions. On the one hand, it nourished a spirit of mysticism, which, though recognized in its favorite appellation of the Seraphic Order, sometimes found the trammels of orthodoxy oppressive. On the other, the men who continued to cherish the views of the founders as to the supreme obligation of absolute poverty could not reconcile their consciences to the accumulation of wealth and its display in splendor, and they rejected the ingenious devices which sought to accommodate the possession of riches with the abnegation of all possession.
In fact, the three vows, of poverty, obedience, and chastity, were all equally impossible of absolute observance. The first was irreconcilable with human necessities, the others with human passions. As for chastity, the whole history of the Church shows the impracticability of its enforcement. As for obedience, in the
* Even the great Franciscan preacher, Berthold of Ratisbon (who died in 1272) will concede only qualified merit to those who labor to save the souls of their fellow-creatures, and such labors can easily be carried to excess. The duty which a man owes to his own soul, in prayer and devotion, is of much greater moment. -- Beati Fr. Bertholdi a Ratisbona Sermones ( Monachii, 1882, p. 29). See also his comparison of the contemplative with the active life. The former is Rachael, the latter is Leah, and is most perilous when wholly devoted to good works (Ib. pp. 44-5).
So the great Spiritual Franciscan, Pierre Jean Olivi--"Est igitur totius rationis summa, quod contemplatio est ex suo genere perfectior omni alia actione," though he admits that a lesser portion of time may allowably be devoted to the salvation of fellow-creatures.-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv für Litteratur-und Kirchengeschichte, 1887, p. 503.
sense attached to it of absolute renunciation of the will, its incompatibility with the conduct of human affairs was shown at an early period, when Friar Haymo of Feversham overthrew Gregory, the Provincial of Paris, and, not long afterwards, withstood the general Elias, and procured his deposition. As for poverty, we shall see to what inextricable complications it led, despite the efforts of successive popes, until the imperious will and resolute common-sense of John XXII. brought the Order from its seraphic heights down to the every-day necessities of human life--at the cost, it must be confessed, of a schism. The trouble was increased by the fact that St. Francis, foreseeing the efforts which would be made to evade the spirit of the Rule, had, in his Testament, strictly forbidden all alterations, glosses, and explanations, and had commanded that these instructions should be read in all chapters of the Order. With the growth of the Franciscan legend, moreover, the Rule was held to be a special divine revelation, equal in authority to the gospel, and St. Francis was glorified until he became a being rather divine than human. *
Even before the death of the founder, in 1226, a Franciscan is found in Paris openly teaching heresies--of what nature we are not told, but probably the mystic reveries of an overwrought brain. As yet there was no Inquisition, and, as he was not subject to episcopal jurisdiction, he was brought before the papal legate, where he asserted many things contrary to the orthodox faith, and was imprisoned for life. This foreshadowed much that was to follow, though there is a long interval before we hear again of similar examples. †
The more serious trouble concerning poverty was not long in developing itself. Next to St. Francis himself in the Order stood Elias. Before Francis went on his mission to convert the Soldan he had sent Elias as provincial beyond the sea, and on his return from the adventure he brought Elias home with him. At the first general chapter, held in 1221, Francis being too much en-
* Thom. de Ecceleston de Adventu Minorum Coll. v.-- S. Francis. Testament. (Opp. 1849, p. 48).--Nicolai. PP. III. Bull. Exiit qui seminat (Lib. v. Sexto xii. 3). -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 301, 303.
† Chron. Turonens. ann. 1326 ( D. Bouquet, XVIII. 319). -- Alberic. Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1228.
feebled to preside, Elias acted as spokesman and Francis sat at his feet, pulling his gown when he wanted anything said. In 1223 we hear of Cæsarius, the German provincial, going to Italy "to the blessed Francis or the Friar Elias." When, through infirmity or inability to maintain discipline, Francis retired from the generalate, Elias was vicar-general of the Order, to whom Francis submitted himself as humbly as the meanest brother, and on the death of the saint, in October, 1226, it was Elias who notified the brethren throughout Europe of the event, and informed them of the Stigmata, which the humility of Francis had always concealed. Although in February, 1227, Giovanni Parenti of Florence was elected general, Elias seems practically to have retained control. Parties were rapidly forming themselves in the Order, and the lines between them were ever more sharply drawn. Elias was worldly and ambitious; he had the reputation of being one of the ablest men of affairs in Italy; he could foresee the power attaching to the command of the Order, and he had not much scruple as to the means of attaining it. He undertook the erection of a magnificent church at Assisi to receive the bones of the humble Francis, and he was unsparing in his demands for money to aid in its construction. The very handling of money was an abomination in the eyes of all true brethren, yet all the provinces were called upon to contribute, and a marble coffer was placed in front of the building to receive the gifts of the pious. This was unendurable, and Friar Leo went to Perugia to consult with the blessed Gilio, who had been the third associate to join St. Francis, who said it was contrary to the precepts of the founder. "Shall I break it, then?" inquired Leo. "Yes," replied Gilio, "if you are dead, but if you are alive, let it alone, for you will not be able to endure the persecution of Elias." Notwithstanding this warning, Leo went to Assisi, and with the assistance of some comrades broke the coffer; Elias filled all Assisi with his wrath, and Leo took refuge in a hermitage. *
* Frat. Jordani Chron. c. 9, 14, 17, 31, 50 ( Analecta Franciscana, Quaracchi, 1885, I. 4-6, 11, 16).-- S. Francis.
Testament. (Opp. p. 47); Ejusd. Epistt. vi., vii., viii. (Ib. 10-11).-- Amoni Legenda S. Francisci, p. 106 (Roma, 1880).-- Wadding. ann. 1229, No. 2.-- Chron. Glassberger ann. 1227 ( Analect. Franciscana II. p. 45).
When the edifice was sufficiently advanced, a general chapter was held in 1230 to solemnize the translation of the saintly corpse. Elias sought to utilize the occasion for his own election to the generalate by summoning to it only those brethren on whose support he could reckon, but Giovanni got wind of this and made the summons general. Elias then caused the translation to be effected before the brethren had assembled; his faction endeavored to forestall the action of the chapter by carrying him from his cell, breaking open the doors, and placing him in the general's seat. Giovanni appeared, and after tumultuous proceedings his friends obtained the upper hand; the disturbers were scattered among the provinces, and Elias retreated to a hermitage, where he allowed his hair and beard to grow, and through this show of sanctity obtained reconciliation to the Order. Finally, in the chapter of 1232, his ambition was rewarded. Giovanni was deposed and he was elected general. *
These turbulent intrigues were not the only evidence of the rapid degeneracy of the Order. Before Francis's Testament was five years old his commands against evasions of the Rule by cunning interpretations had been disregarded. The chapter of 1231 had applied to Greogory IX. to know whether the Testament was binding upon them in this respect, and he replied in the negative, for Francis could not bind his successors. They also asked about the prohibition to hold money and property, and Gregory ingeniously suggested that this could be effected through third parties, who could hold money and pay debts for them, arguing that such persons should not be regarded as their agents, but as the agents of those who gave the money or of those to whom it was to be paid. These elusory glosses of the Rule were not accepted without an energetic opposition which threatened a schism, and it is easy to imagine the bitterness with which the sincere members of the Order watched its rapid degeneracy; nor was this bitterness diminished by the use which Elias made of his position. His carnality and cruelty, we are told, convulsed the whole Order. His rule was arbitrary, and for seven years, in defiance of the regulations, he held no general chapter. He levied exactions on all the
* Thomæ de Eccleston Collat. XII.-- Jordani Chron. c. 61 ( Analecta Franc. I. 19).-- Chron. Anon. (Ib. I. 289).
provinces to complete the great structure at Assisi. Those who resisted him were relegated to distant places. Even while yet only vicar he had caused St. Anthony of Padua, who had come to Assisi to worship at the tomb of Francis, to be scourged to the blood, when Anthony only expostulated with, "May the blessed God forgive you, brethren!" Worse was the fate of Cæsarius of Speier, who had been appointed Provincial of Germany in 1221 by St. Francis himself, and had built up the Order to the north of the Alps. He was the leader of the puritan malcontents, who were known as Cæsarians, and he felt the full wrath of Elias. Thrown into prison, he lay there in chains for two years. At length the fetters were removed, and, early in 1239, his jailer having left the door of his cell open, he ventured forth to stretch his cramped limbs in the wintry sun. The jailer returned and thought that he was attempting to escape. Fearing the pitiless anger of Elias, he rushed after the prisoner and dealt him a mortal blow with a cudgel. Cæsarius was the first, but by no means the last, martyr who shed his blood for the strict observance of a Rule breathing nothing but love and charity. *
The cup at last was full to overflowing. In 1237 Elias had sent visitors to the different provinces whose conduct caused general exasperation. The brethren of Saxony appealed to him from their visitor, and, finding this fruitless, they carried their complaint to Gregory. The pope at length was roused to intervene. A general chapter was convened in 1239, when, after a stormy scene in presence of Gregory and nine cardinals, the pope finally announced to Elias that his resignation would be received. Possibly in this there may have been political as well as ascetic motives. Elias was a skilful negotiator, and was looked upon with a friendly eye by Frederic II., who forthwith declared that the dis-
* Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. Quo elongati ( Pet. Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. II. fol. 164-5).-- Rodulphii op. cit. Lib. II. fol. 177.-- Chron. Glassberger, ann. 1230, 1231 ( Analecta II. 50, 56).-- Frat. Jordani Chron. c. 18) 19, 61 ( Analecta I. 7, 8, 19).-- Franz Ehrle ( Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 123).-- Wadding. ann. 1239, No. 5.
The ingenious casuistry with which the Conventuals satisfied themselves that the device of Gregory IX. enabled them to grow rich without transgressing the Rule is seen in their defence before Clement VI., in 1311, as printed by Franz Ehrle ( Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1887, pp. 107-8).
missal was done in his despite, for Elias was at the time engaged in an effort to heal the irremediable breach between the papacy and the empire. Certain it is that Elias at once took refuge with Frederic and became his intimate companion. Gregory made an effort to capture him by inviting him to a conference. Failing in this, a charge was brought against him of visiting poor women at Cortona without permission, and on refusing to obey a summons he was excommunicated. *
Thus already in the Franciscan Order there were established two well-defined parties, which came to be known as the Spirituals and the Conventuals, the one adhering to the strict letter of the Rule, the other willing to find excuses for its relaxation in obedience to the wants of human nature and the demands of worldliness. After the fall of Elias the former had the supremacy during the brief generalates of Alberto of Pisa, and Haymo of Feversham. In 1244 the Conventuals triumphed in the election of Crescenzio Grizzi da Jesi, under whom occurred what the Spirituals reckoned as the "Third Tribulation," for, in accordance with their apocalyptic speculations, they were to undergo seven tribulations before the reign of the Holy Ghost should usher in the Millennium. Crescenzio followed in the footsteps of Elias. Under Haymo, in 1242, there had been an attempt to reconcile with the Rule Gregory's declaration of 1231. Four leading doctors of the Order, with Alexander Hales at their head, had issued the Declaratio Quatuor Magistrorum, but even their logical subtlety had failed. The Order was constantly growing, it was constantly acquiring property,
* Jordani Chron. c. 62, 63 ( Analecta I. 18-19).-- Thomæ de Eccleston Collat. XII.-- Chron. Glassberger, ann. 1239 ( Analecta II. 60-1). -- Huillard-Bréholles, Introd. p. DIII.; Ib. VI. 69-70.
Elias still managed to excite disturbance in the Order; he died excommunicate, and a zealous Franciscan guardian had his remains dug up and cast upon a dunghill. Frà Salimbene gives full details of his evil ways, and the tyrannous maladministration which precipitated his downfall. After his secession to Frederic II. a popular rhyme was current throughout Italy--
"Hor attorna fratt Helya,
Ke pres' ha la mala via."
Salimbene Chronica, Parma, 1857, pp. 401-13.
Affò, however, asserts that he was absolved on his death-bed.-- Vita del Beato Gioanni di Parma , Parma, 1777, p. 31. Cf. Chron. Glassberger ann. 1243-4.
and its needs were constantly increasing. A bull of Gregory IX. in 1239, authorizing the Franciscans of Paris to acquire additional land with which to enlarge their monastery of Saint-Germain-desPrès, is an example of what was going on all over Europe. In 1244, at the chapter which elected Crescenzio, the Englishman, John Kethene, succeeded, against the opposition of nearly the whole body of the assembly, in obtaining the rejection of Gregory's definition, but the triumph of the Puritans was short-lived. Crescenzio sympathized with the laxer party, and applied to Innocent IV. for relief. In 1245 the pope responded with a declaration in which he not only repeated the device of Gregory IX. by authorizing deposits of money with parties who were to be regarded as the agents of donors and creditors, but ingeniously assumed that houses and lands, the ownership of which was forbidden to the Order, should be regarded as belonging to the Holy See, which granted their use to the friars. Even papal authority could not render these transparent subterfuges satisfying to the consciences of the Spirituals, and the growing worldliness of the Order provoked continuous agitation. Crescenzio before taking the vows had been a jurist and physician, and there was further complaint that he encouraged the brethren in acquiring the vain and sterile science of Aristotle rather than in studying divine wisdom. Under Simone da Assisi, Giacopo Manfredo, Matteo da Monte Rubiano, and Lucido, seventy-two earnest brethren, finding Crescenzio deaf to their remonstrances, prepared to appeal to Innocent. He anticipated them, and obtained from the pope in advance a decision under which he scattered the recalcitrants in couples throughout the provinces for punishment. Fortunately his reign was short. Tempted by the bishopric of Jesi, he resigned, and in 1248 was succeeded by Giovanni Borelli, better known as John of Parma, who at the time was professor of theology in the University of Paris. *
* Thomæ de Ecclest. Collat. VIII., XII.-- Wadding. ann. 1242, No. 2; ann. 1245, No. 16.--Potthast No. 10825.-- Angeli Clarinens. Epist. Excusator ( Franz Ehrle , Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1885, p. 535; 1886, pp. 113, 117, 120).-- Hist. Tribulation. (Ib. 1886, pp. 256 sqq.).
The Historia Tribulationum reflects the contempt of the Spirituals for human learning. Adam was led to disobedience by a thirst for knowledge, and returned to grace by faith and not by dialectics, or geometry or astrology. The evil in-
The election of John of Parma marked a reaction in favor of strict observance. The new general was inspired with a holy zeal to realize the ideal of St. Francis. The exiled Spirituals were recalled and allowed to select their own domiciles. During the first three years John visited on foot the whole Order, sometimes with two, and sometimes with only one companion, in the most humble guise, so that he was unrecognized, and could remain in a convent for several days, observing its character, when he would reveal himself and reform its abuses. In the ardor of his zeal he spared the feelings of no one. A lector of the Mark of Ancona, returning home from Rome, described the excessive severity of a sermon preached by him, saying that the brethren of the Mark would never have allowed any one to say such things to them; and when asked why the masters who were present had not interfered, he replied, "How could they? It was a river of fire which flowed from his lips." He suspended the declaration of Innocent IV. until the pontiff, better informed, could be consulted. It was, however, impossible for him to control the tendencies to relaxation of the Rule, which were ever growing stronger, and his efforts to that end only served to strengthen disaffection which finally grew to determined opposition. After consultation between some influential members of the Order it was resolved to bring before Alexander IV. formal accusations against him and the friends who surrounded him. The attitude of the Spirituals, in fact, fairly invited attack. *
To understand the position of the Spirituals at this time, and
dustry of the arts of Aristotle, and the seductive sweetness of Plato's eloquence are Egyptian plagues in the Church (Ib. 264-5). It was an early tradition of the Order that Francis had predicted its ruin through overmuch learning ( Amoni, Legenda S. Fraucisci, App. cap. xi.).
Karl Müller ( Die Anfänge des Minoritenordens, Freiburg, 1885, p. 180) asserts that the election of Crescenzio was a triumph of the Puritans, and that he was known for his flaming zeal for the rigid observance of the Rule. So far from this being the case, on the very night of his election he scolded the zealots ( Th. Eccleston Collat. XII.), and the history of his generalate confirms the view taken of him by the Hist. Tribulationum. Affò ( Vita di Gioanni di Parma, pp. 31-2) assumes that he endeavored to follow a middle course, and ended by persecuting the irreconcilables.
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. 1886, pp. 267-8, 274).-- Affò, pp. 38-9, 54, 97-8.-Waddin. ann. 1256, No. 2.
subsequently, it is necessary to cast a glance at one of the most remarkable spiritual developments of the thirteenth century. Its opening years had witnessed the death of Joachim of Flora, a man who may be regarded as the founder of modern mysticism. Sprung from a rich and noble family, and trained for the life of a courtier under Roger the Norman Duke of Apulia, a sudden desire to see the holy places took him, while yet a youth, to the East, with a retinue of servitors. A pestilence was raging when he reached Constantinople, which so impressed him with the miseries and vanities of life that he dismissed his suite and continued his voyage as an humble pilgrim with a single companion. His legend relates that he fell in the desert overcome with thirst, and had a vision of a man standing by a river of oil, and saying to him, "Drink of this stream," which he did to satiety, and when he awoke, although previously illiterate, he had a knowledge of all Scripture. The following Lent he passed in an old well on Mount Tabor; in the night of the Resurrection a great splendor appeared to him, he was filled with divine light to understand the concordance of the Old and New Laws, and every difficulty and every obscurity vanished. These tales, repeated until the seventeenth century, show the profound and lasting impression which he left upon the minds of men. *
Thenceforth his life was dedicated to the service of God. Returning home, he avoided his father's house, and commenced preaching to the people; but this was not permissible to a layman, so he entered the priesthood and the severe Cistercian Order. Chosen Abbot of Corazzo, he fled, but was brought back and forced to assume the duties of the office, till he visited Rome, in 1181, and obtained from Lucius III. permission to lay it down. Even the severe Cistercian discipline did not satisfy his thirst for austerity, and he retired to a hermitage at Pietralata, where his reputation for sanctity drew disciples around him, and in spite of his yearning for solitude he found himself at the head of a new Order, of which the Rule, anticipating the Mendicants in its urgency of poverty, was approved by Celestin III. in 1196. Already it had spread from the mother-house of San Giovanni in Fiore, and numbered several other monasteries. †
* Tocco, L'Eresia nel Medio Evo, Firenze, 1884, pp. 265-70. -- Profetie dell' Abate Gioachino, Venezia, 1646, p. 8.
† Tocco, op. cit. pp. 271-81.-- Coelestin. PP. III. Epist.279.
Joachim considered himself inspired, and though in 1200 he submitted his works unreservedly to the Holy See, he had no hesitation in speaking of them as divinely revealed. During his lifetime he enjoyed the reputation of a prophet. When Richard of England and Philip Augustus were at Messina, they sent for him to inquire as to the outcome of their crusade, and he is said to have foretold to them that the hour had not yet come for the deliverance of Jerusalem. Others of his fulfilled prophecies are also related, and the mystical character of the apocalyptic speculations which he left behind him served to increase, after his death, his reputation as a seer. His name became one customarily employed for centuries when any dreamer or sharper desired to attract attention, and quite a literature of forgeries grew up which were ascribed to him. Somewhat more than a century after his death we find the Dominican Pipino enumerating a long catalogue of his works with the utmost respect for his predictions. In 1319 Bernard Délicieux places unlimited confidence in a prophetical book of Joachim's in which there were representations of all future popes with inscriptions and symbols under them. Bernard points out the different pontiffs of his own period, predicts the fate of John XXII., and declares that for two hundred years there had been no mortal to whom so much was revealed as to Joachim. Cola di Rienzo found in the pseudo-prophecies of Joachim the encouragement that inspired his second attempt to govern Rome. The Franciscan tract De ultima Ætate Ecclesiæ, written in 1356, and long ascribed to Wickliff, expresses the utmost reverence for Joachim, and frequently cites his prophecies. The Liber Conformitatum, in 1385, quotes repeatedly the prediction ascribed to Joachim as to the foundation of the two Mendicant Orders, symbolized in those of the Dove and of the Crow, and the tribulations to which the former was to be exposed. Not long afterwards the hermit Telesforo da Cosenza drew from the same source prophecies as to the course and termination of the Great Schism, and the line of future popes until the coming of Antichrist--prophecies which attracted sufficient attention to call for a refutation from Henry of Hesse, one of the leading theologians of the day. Cardinal Peter d'Ailly speaks with respect of Joachim's prophecies concerning Antichrist, and couples him with the prophetess St. Hildegarda, while the rationalistic Cornelius Agrippa endeavors
to explain his predictions by the occult powers of numbers. Human credulity preserved his reputation as a prophet to modern times, and until at least as late as the seventeenth century prophecies under his name were published, containing series of popes with symbolical figures, inscriptions, and explanations, apparently similar to the Vaticinia Pontificum which so completely possessed the confidence of Bernard Délicieux. Even in the seventeenth century the Carmelites printed the Oraculum Angelicum of Cyril, with its pseudo-Joachitic commentary, as a proof of the antiquity of their Order. *
Joachim's immense and durable reputation as a prophet was due not so much to his genuine works as to the spurious ones circulated under his name. These were numerous--Prophecies of Cyril, and of the Erythræan Sybil, Commentaries on Jeremiah, the Vaticinia Pontificum, the De Oneribus Ecclesiæ and De Septem Temporibus Ecclesiæ. In some of these, reference to Frederic II. would seem to indicate a period of composition about the year 1250, when the strife between the papacy and empire was at the hottest, and the current prophecies of Merlin were freely drawn upon in framing their exegesis. There can be little doubt that their authors were Franciscans of the Puritan party, and their fearless denunciations of existing evils show how impatient had grown the spirit of dissatisfaction. The apocalyptic prophecies
* Lib. Concordiæ Præf. ( Venet. 1519).--Fr. Francisci Pipini Chron. ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 498-500).-- Rog. Hovedens. ann. 1190.-- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 4270, fol. 260-2.-- Comba, La Riforma in Italia, I. 388.-- Lechler's Wickliffe, Lorimer's Translation, II. 321.-- Lib. Conformitat. Lib. I. Fruct. i. P. 2; Fruct. ix. P. 2 (fol. 12, 91).--Telesphori de magnis Tribulationibus Prœem.-- Henric. de Hassia contra Vaticin. Telesphori c. xi. ( Pez Thesaur. I. II. 521).-- Franz Ehrle ( Archiv für Lit.- u. Kirchengeschiehte, 1886, p. 331).-- P. d'Ailly Concord. Astron. Veritat. c. lix. (August. Vindel. 1490).-- H. Cornel. Agripp. de Occult. Philosoph. Lib. II. c. ii. The Vaticinia Pontificum of the pseudo-Joachim long remained a popular oracle. I have met with editions of Venice issued in 1589, 1600, 1605, and 1646, of Ferrara in 1591, of Frankfort in 1608, of Padua in 1625, and of Naples in 1660, and there are doubtless numerous others.
Dante represents Bonaventura as pointing out the saints--
"Raban è quivi, e lucemi dallato
Il Calavrese abate Giovacchino
Di spirito profetico dotato."
--( Paradiso XII.).
were freely interpreted as referring to the carnal worldliness which pervaded all orders in the Church; all are reprobate, none are elect; Rome is the Whore of Babylon, and the papal curia the most venal and extortionate of all courts; the Roman Church is the barren fig-tree, accursed by Christ, which shall be abandoned to the nations to be stripped. It would be difficult to exaggerate the bitterness of antagonism displayed in these writings, even to the point of recognizing the empire as the instrument of God which is to overthrow the pride of the Church. These outspoken utterances of rebellion excited no little interest, especially within the Order itself. Adam de Marisco, the leading Franciscan of England, sends to his friend Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, some extracts from these works which have been brought to him from Italy. He speaks of Joachim as one justly credited with divine insight into prophetic mysteries; he asks to have the fragments returned to him after copying, and meanwhile commends to the bishop's consideration the impending judgments of Providence which are invited by the abounding wickedness of the time. *
Of Joachim's genuine writings the one which, perhaps, attracted the most attention in his own day was a tract on the nature of the Trinity, attacking the definition of Peter Lombard, and asserting that it attributed a Quaternity to God. The subtleties of theology were dangerous, and in place of proving the Master of Sentences a heretic, Joachim himself narrowly escaped. Thirteen years after his death, the great Council of Lateran, in 1215, thought his speculation sufficiently important to condemn it as erroneous in an elaborate refutation, which was carried into the canon law, and Innocent III. preached a sermon on the subject to the assembled fathers. Fortunately Joachim, in 1200, had expressly submitted all his writings to the judgment of the Holy See and had declared that he held the same faith as that of Rome. The council, therefore, refrained from condemning him personally
* Pseudo-Joachim de Oneribus Ecclesiæ c. iii., xv., xvi., xvii., xx., xxi., xxii., xxiii., xxx.-- Ejusd. super Hieremiam c. i., ii., iii., etc.-- Salimbene p. 107.-- Monumenta Franciscana p. 147 (M. R. Series).
The author of the Commentary on Jeremiah had probably been disciplined for freedom of speech in the pulpit, for (cap. i.) he denounces as bestial a license to preach which restricts the liberty of the spirit, and only permits the preacher to dispute on carnal vices.
and expressed its approbation of his Order of Flora; but notwithstanding this the monks found themselves derided and insulted as the followers of a heretic, until, in 1220, they procured from Honorius III. a bull expressly declaring that he was a good Catholic, and forbidding all detraction of his disciples. *
His most important writings, however, were his expositions of Scripture composed at the request of Lucius III., Urban III., and Clement III. Of these there were three--the Concordia, the Decachordon, or Psalterium decem Cordarum, and the Expositio in Apocalypsin. In these his system of exegesis is to find in every incident under the Old Law the prefiguration of a corresponding fact in chronological order under the New Dispensation, and by an arbitrary parallelism of dates to reach forward and ascertain what is yet to come. He thus determines that mankind is destined to live through three states--the first under the rule of the Father, which ended at the birth of Christ, the second under that of the Son, and the third under the Holy Ghost. The reign of the Son, or of the New Testament, he ascertains by varied apocalyptic speculations is to last through forty-two generations, or 1260 years--for instance, Judith remained in widowhood three years and a half, or forty-two months, which is 1260 days, the great number representing the years through which the New Testament is to endure, so that in the year 1260 the domination of the Holy Ghost is to replace it. In the forty-second generation there will be a purgation which will separate the wheat from the chaff--such tribulations as man has never yet endured: fortunately they will be short, or all flesh would perish utterly. After this, religion will be renewed; man will live in peace and justice and joy, as in the Sabbath which closed the labors of creation; all shall know God, from sea to sea, to the utmost confines of the earth, and the glory of the Holy Ghost shall be perfect. In that final abundance of spiritual grace the observances of religion will be no longer
* Concil. Lateran. IV. c. 2.-- Theiner Monument Slavor. Meridional. I. 63.-Lib. I. Sexto, 1, 2 (Cap. Damnamus). -- Wadding. ann. 1256,. No. 8, 9. -- Salimbene Chron. p. 103.
Nearly half a century later Thomas Aquinas still considered Joachim's speculations on the Trinity worthy of elaborate refutation, and near the close of the fourteenth century Eymerich reproduces the whole controversy.--Direct. Inquisit. pp. 4-6, 15-17.
requisite. As the paschal lamb was superseded by the Eucharist, so the sacrifice of the altar will become superfluous. A new monastic Order is to arise which will convert the world; contemplative monachism is the highest development of humanity, and the world will become, as it were, one vast monastery. *
In this scheme of the future elevation of man, Joachim recognized fully the evils of his time. The Church he describes as thoroughly given over to avarice and greed; wholly abandoned to the lusts of the flesh, it neglects its children, who are carried off by zealous heretics. The Church of the second state, he says, is Hagar, but that of the third state will be Sarah. With endless amplitude he illustrates the progressive character of the relations between God and man in the successive eras. The first state, under God, was of the circumcision; the second, under Christ, is of the crucifixion; the third, under the Holy Ghost, will be of quietude and peace. Under the first was the order of the married; under the second, that of the priesthood; under the third will be that of monachism, which has already had its precursor in St. Benedict. The first was the reign of Saul, the second that of David, the third will be that of Solomon enjoying the plenitude of peace. In the first, man was under the law, in the second under grace, in the third he will be under ampler grace. The people of the first state are symbolized by Zachariah the priest, those of the second by John the Baptist, those of the third by Christ himself. In the first state there was knowledge, in the second piety, in the third will be plenitude of knowledge; the first state was servitude, the second was filial obedience, the third will be liberty; the first state was passed in scourging, the second in action, the third will be in contemplation; the first was in fear, the second in faith, the third will be in love; the first was of slaves, the second of freemen, the third will be of friends; the first was of old men, the second of youths, the third will be of children; the first was starlight, the second dawn, the third will be perfect day; the first was winter, the second opening spring, the third will be summer; the first brought forth nettles, the second roses, the third will bear lilies;
* Joachimi Concordiæ Lib. IV. c. 31, 34, 38; Lib. V. c. 58, 63, 65, 67, 68, 74, 78, 89, 118.
Joachim was held to have predicted the rise of the Mendicants ( V. 43), but his anticipations looked wholly to contemplative monachism.
the first was grass, the second grain in the ear, the third will be the ripened wheat; the first was water, the second wine, the third will be oil. Finally, the first belongs to the Father, creator of all things, the second to the Son, who assumed our mortal clay, the third will belong to the pure Holy Spirit. *
It is a very curious fact that while Joachim's metaphysical subtleties respecting the Trinity were ostentatiously condemned as a dangerous heresy, no one seems at the time to have recognized the far more perilous conclusions to be drawn from these apocalyptic reveries. So far from being burned as heretical, they were prized by popes, and Joachim was honored as a prophet until his audacious imitators and followers developed the revolutionary doctrines to which they necessarily led. To us, for the moment, their chief significance lies in the proof which they afford that the most pious minds confessed that Christianity was practically a failure. Mankind had scarce grown better under the New Law. Vices and passions were as unchecked as they had been before the coming of the Redeemer. The Church itself was worldly and carnal; in place of elevating man it had been dragged down to his level; it had proved false to its trust and was the exemplar of evil rather than the pattern of good. To such men as Joachim it was impossible that crime and misery should be the ultimate and irremediable condition of human life, and yet the Atonement had thus far done little to bring it nearer to the ideal. Christianity, therefore, could not be a finality in man's existence upon earth; it was merely an intermediate condition, to be followed by a further development, in which, under the rule of the Holy Ghost, the law of love, fruitlessly inculcated by the gospel, should at last become the dominant principle, and men, released from carnal passions,
* Joachimi Concordiæ Lib. I. Tract. ii. c. 6; IV. 25, 26, 33; v. 2, 21, 60, 65, 66, 84.
The Commission of Anagni in 1255 by a strained interpretation of a passage in the Concordia (II. i. 7) accused Joachim of having justified the schism of the Greeks ( Denifle, Archiv f. Litt.- u. K. 1885, p. 120). So far was he from this that he never loses an occasion of decrying the Oriental Church, especially for the marriage of its priests (e. g., V. 70, 72). Yet when he asserted that Antichrist was already born in Rome, and it was objected to him that Babylon was assigned as the birthplace, he had no hesitation in saying that Rome was the mystical Babylon.-- Rad. de Coggeshall Chron. ( Bouquet, XVIII. 76).
should realize the glad promises so constantly held out before them and so miserably withheld in the performance. Joachim himself might seek to evade these deductions from his premises, yet others could not fail to make them, and nothing could be more audaciously subversive of the established spiritual and temporal order of the Church.
Yet for a time his speculations attracted little attention and no animadversion. It is possible that the condemnation of his theory of the Trinity may have cast a shadow over his exegetical works and prevented their general dissemination, but they were treasured by kindred spirits, and copies of them were carried into various lands and carefully preserved. Curiously enough, the first response which they elicited was from the bold heretics known as the Amaurians, whose ruthless suppression in Paris, about the year 1210, we have already considered. Among their errors was enumerated that of the three Eras, which was evidently derived from Joachim, with the difference that the third Era had already commenced. The power of the Father only lasted under the Mosaic Law; with the advent of Christ all the sacraments of the Old Testament were superseded. The reign of Christ has lasted till the present time, but now commences the sovereignty of the Holy Ghost; the sacraments of the New Testament--baptism, the Eucharist, penitence, and the rest--are obsolete and to be discarded, and the power of the Holy Ghost will operate through the persons in whom it is incarnated. The Amaurians, as we have seen, promptly disappeared, and the derivative sects--the Ortlibenses, and the Brethren of the Free Spirit--seem to have omitted this feature of the heresy. At all events, we hear nothing more of it in that quarter. *
Gradually, however, the writings of Joachim obtained currency, and with the ascription to him of the false prophecies which appeared towards the middle of the century his name became more widely known and of greater authority. In Provence and Languedoc, especially, his teachings found eager reception. Harried successively by the crusades and the Inquisition, and scarce as yet fairly reunited with the Church, those regions furnished an
* Rigord. de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1210.-- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1210.-- Cæsar. Heisterb. dist. v. c. xxii.
ample harvest of earnest minds which might well seek in the hoped-for speedy realization of Joachim's dreams compensation for the miseries of the present. Nor did those dreams lack an apostle of unquestionable orthodoxy. Hugues de Digne, a hermit of Hyères, had a wide reputation for learning, eloquence, and sanctity. He had been Franciscan Provincial of Provence, but had laid down that dignity to gratify his passion for austerity, and his sister, St. Douceline, lived in a succession of ecstasies in which she was lifted from the ground. Hugues was intimate with the leading men of the Order; Alexander Hales, Adam de Marisco, and the general, John of Parma, are named as among his close friends. With the latter, especially, he had the common bond that both were earnest Joachites. He possessed all the works of Joachim, genuine and spurious, he had the utmost confidence in their proph-v ecies, which he regarded as divine inspiration, and he did much to extend the knowledge of them, which was not difficult, as he himself had the reputation of a prophet. *
The Spiritual section of the Franciscans was rapidly becoming leavened with these ideas. To minds inclined to mysticism, filled with unrest, dissatisfied with the existing unfulfilment of their ideal, and longing earnestly for its realization, there might well be an irresistible fascination in the promises of the Calabrian abbot, of which the term was now so rapidly approaching. If these Joachitic Franciscans developed the ideas of their teacher with greater boldness and definiteness, their ardor had ample excuse. They were living witnesses of the moral failure of an effort from which everything had been expected for the regeneration of humanity. They had seen how the saintly teachings of Francis and the new revelation of which he had been the medium were perverted by worldly men to purposes of ambition and greed; how the Order, which should have been the germ of human redemption, was growing more and more carnal, and how its saints were martyred by their fellows. Unless the universe were a failure, and the promises of God were lies, there must be a term to
* Salimbene Chron. pp. 97-109, 124, 318-20.-- Chron. Glassberger ann. 1286. -- Vie de Douceline ( Meyer, Recueil d'anciens Textes, pp. 142-46).
Salimbene, in enumerating the special intimates of John of Parma, characterizes several of them as "great Joachites."
human wickedness; and as the Gospel of Christ and the Rule of Francis had not accomplished the salvation of mankind, a new gospel was indispensable. Besides, Joachim had predicted that there would arise a new religious Order which would rule the world and the Church in the halcyon age of the Holy Ghost. They could not doubt that this referred to the Franciscans as represented by the Spiritual group, which was striving to uphold in all its strictness the Rule of the venerated founder. *
Such, we may presume, were the ideas which were troubling the hearts of the earnest Spirituals as they pondered over the prophecies of Joachim. In their exaltation many of them were themselves given to ecstasies and visions full of prophetic insight. Prominent members of the Order had openly embraced the Joachitic doctrines, and his prophecies, genuine and spurious, were applied to all events as they occurred. In 1248 Salimbene, the chronicler, who was already a warm believer, met at the Franciscan convent of Provins ( Champagne) two ardent condisciples, Gherardo da Borgo San Donnino and Bartolommeo Ghiscolo of Parma. St. Louis was just setting forth on his ill-starred Egyptian crusade. The Joachites had recourse to the pseudo-Joachim on Jeremiah, and foretold that the expedition would be a failure, that the king would be taken prisoner, and that pestilence would decimate the host. This was not calculated to render them popular; the peace of the good brethren was sadly broken by quarrels, and the Joachites found it advisable to depart. Salimbene went to Auxerre, Ghiscolo to Sens, and Gherardo to Paris, where his learning secured for him admission to the university as the representative of Sicily, and he obtained a chair in theology. Here for four years he pursued his apocalyptic studies. †
* Protocoll. Commiss. Anagniæ ( Denifle, Archiv für Litteratur- und Kirchengeschichte, 1885, pp. 111-12).
† Hist. Tribulat. (ubi sup. pp. 178-9).-- Salimbene, pp. 102, 233. According to the exegesis of the Joachites, Frederic II. was to attain the age of seventy. When he died, in 1250, Salimbene refused to believe it, and remained incredulous until Innocent IV., in his triumphal progress from Lyons, came to Ferrara, nearly ten months afterwards, and exchanged congratulations upon it. Salimbene was present, and Frà Gherardino of Parma turned to him and said, "You know it now; leave your Joachim and apply yourself to wisdom" (Ib. pp. 107, 227).
Suddenly, in 1254, Paris was startled with the appearance of a book under the title of "The Everlasting Gospel "--a name derived from the Apocalypse--" And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" ( Rev. XIV. 6). It consisted of Joachim's three undoubted works, with explanatory glosses, preceded by a long Introduction, in which the hardy author developed the ideas of the prophet audaciously and uncompromisingly. The daring venture had an immediate and immense popular success, which shows how profoundly the conviction which prompted it was shared among all classes. The rhymes of Jean de Meung indicate that the demand for it came from the laity rather than the clergy, and that it was sought by women as well as by men--
"Ung livre de par le grant diable Dit l'Évangile pardurable . . . A Paris n'eust home ne feme Au parvis devant Nostre-Dame Qui lors avoir ne le péust A transcrire, s'il li pléust." *
Nothing more revolutionary in spirit, more subversive of the established order of the Church, can be conceived than the assertions which thus aroused popular sympathy and applause. Joachim's computations were accepted, and it was assumed absolutely that in six years, in 1260, the reign of Christ would end and the reign of the Holy Ghost begin. Already, in 1200, the spirit of life had abandoned the Old and New Testaments in order to give place to the Everlasting Gospel, consisting of the Concordia,
* Renan, Nouvelles Études, p. 296. Joachim had already used the term Everlasting Gospel to designate the spiritual interpretation of the Evangelists, which was henceforth to rule the world. His disciple naturally considered Joachim's commentaries to be this spiritual interpretation, and that they constituted the Everlasting Gospel to which be furnished a Gloss and Introduction. The Franciscans were necessarily the contemplative Order intrusted with its dissemination. (See Denifle, Archiv für Litteratur- etc., 1885, pp. 54-59, 61.) According to Denifle (pp. 67-70) the publication of Gherardo consisted only of the Introduction and the Concordia. The Apocalypse and the Decachordon were to follow, but the venturesome enterprise was cut short.
the Expositio, and the Decachordon--the development and spiritualization of all that had preceded it. Even as Joachim had dwelt on the ascending scale of the three Eras, so the author of the Introduction characterized the progressive methods of the three Scriptures. The Old Testament is the first heaven, the New Testament the second heaven, the Everlasting Gospel the third heaven. The first is like the light of the stars, the second like that of the moon, and the third like that of the sun; the first is the porch, the second the holy place, and the third the Holy of Holies; the first is the rind, the second the nut, the third the kernel; the first is earth, the second water, the third fire; the first is literal, the second spiritual, and the third is the law promised in Jeremiah XXXI. The preaching and dissemination of this supreme and eternal law of God is committed to the barefooted Order (the Franciscans). At the threshold of the Old Law were three men, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: at that of the New Law were three others, Zachariah, John the Baptist, and Christ: and at that of the coming age are three, the man in linen (Joachim), the Angel with the sharp sickle, and the Angel with the sign of the living God (Francis). In the blessed coming reign of the Holy Ghost men will live under the law of love, as in the first Era they lived in fear, and in the second in grace. Joachim had argued against the continuance of the sacraments; Gherardo regarded them as symbols and enigmas, from which man would be liberated in the time to come, for love would replace all the observances founded upon the second Dispensation. This was destructive of the whole sacerdotal system, which was to be swept away and relegated to the limbo of the forgotten past; and scarce less revolutionary was his bold declaration that the Abomination of Desolation would be a pope tainted with simony, who, towards the end of the sixth age, now at hand, would obtain the papacy. *
* Protocol. Commiss. Anaguiæ (H. Denifle Archiv für Litt.- etc., 1885, pp. 99-102, 109, 126, 135-6).
It appears to me that Father Denifle's laborious research has sufficiently proved that the errors commonly ascribed to the Everlasting Gospel ( D'Argentré I. I. 162-5; Eymeric. Direct. Inq. P. II. Q. 9; Hermann. Korneri Chron. ap. Eccard. Corp. Hist. Med. Ævi. II. 849-51) are the strongly partisan accusations sent to Rome by William of St. Amour (ubi sup. pp. 76-86) which have led to
The authorship of this bold challenge to an infallible Church was long attributed to John of Parma himself, but there would seem little doubt that it was the work of Gherardo--the outcome of his studies and reveries during the four years spent in the University of Paris, although John of Parma possibly had a hand in it. Certainly, as Tocco well points out, he at least sympathized with it, for he never punished the author, in spite of the scandal which it brought upon the Order, and Bernard Gui tells us that at the time it was commonly ascribed to him. I have already related with what joy William of Saint Amour seized upon it in the quarrel between the University and the Mendicants, and the advantage it momentarily gave the former. Under existing circumstances it could have no friends or defenders. It was too reckless an onslaught on all existing institutions, temporal and spiritual. The only thing to be done with it was to suppress it as quietly as possible. Consideration for the Franciscan Order demanded this, as well as the prudence which counselled that attention should not be unduly called to it, although hundreds of victims had been burned for heresies far less dangerous. The commission which sat at Anagni in July, 1255, for its condemnation had a task over which there could be no debate, but I have already pointed out the contrast between the reserve with which it was suppressed and the vindictive clamor with which Saint Amour's book against the Mendicants was ordered to be burned. *
exaggerated misconceptions of its rebellious tendencies. Father Denifle, however, proceeds to state that the result of the commission of Anagni ( July, 1255) was merely the condemnation of the views of Gherardo, and that the works of Joachim (except his tract against Peter Lombard) have never been condemned by the Church. Yet even when the exaggerations of William of St. Amour are thrown aside, there is in reality little in principle to distinguish Joachim from Gherardo; and if the former was not condemned it was not the fault of the Commission of Anagni, which classed both together and energetically endeavored to prove Joachim a heretic, even to showing that he never abandoned his heresy on the Trinity (ubi sup. pp. 137-41).
Yet if there was little difference in the letter, there was a marked divergence in spirit between Joachim and his commentator--the former being constructive and the latter destructive as regards the existing Church. See Tocco, Archivio Storico Italiano, 1886.
* Matt. Paris ann. 1256 (Ed. 1644, p. 632).-- Salimbene, p. 102.--Bern. Guidon.
The Spiritual section of the Franciscans was fatally compromised, and the worldly party, which had impatiently borne the strict rule of John of Parma, saw its opportunity of gaining the ascendency. Led by Bernardo da Bessa, the companion of Bonaventura, formal articles of accusation were presented to Alexander IV. against the general. He was accused of listening to no explanations of the Rule and Testament, holding that the privileges and declarations of the popes were of no moment in comparison. It was not hinted that he was implicated in the Everlasting Gospel, but it was alleged that he pretended to enjoy the spirit of prophecy and that he predicted a division of the Order between those who procured papal relaxations and those who adhered to the Rule, the latter of whom would flourish under the dew of heaven and the benediction of God. Moreover, he was not orthodox, but defended the errors of Joachim concerning the Trinity, and his immediate comrades had not hesitated, in sermons and tracts, to praise Joachim immoderately and to assail the leading men of the Order. In this, as in the rest of the proceedings, the studied silence preserved as to the Everlasting Gospel shows how dangerous was the subject, and how even the fierce passions of the strife shrank from compromising the Order by admitting that any of its members were responsible for that incendiary production. *
Vit. Alex. PP. IV. (Muratori S. R. I. III. 1.593). Cf. Amalr. Auger. Vit. Alex. PP. IV. (Ib. III. II. 404).
For the authorship of the Everlasting Gospel, see Tocco, L'Heresia nel Medio Evo, pp. 473-4, and his review of Denifle and Haupt, Archivio Storico Italiano, 1886; Renan, pp. 248, 277; and Denifle, ubi sup. pp. 57-8.
One of the accusations brought against William of Saint Amour was that he complained of the delay in condemning the Everlasting Gospel, to which he replied with an allusion to the influence of those who defended the errors of Joachim.-- Dupin, Bib. des Auteurs Éccles. T. X. ch. vii.
Thomas of Cantimpré assures us that Saint Amour would have won the day against the Mendicant Orders but for the learning and eloquence of Albertus Magnus.--Bonum Universale, Lib. II. c. ix.
* Wadding. ann. 1256, No. 2.--Affò (Lib. II. c. iv.) argues that John of Parma's resignation was wholly spontaneous, that there were no accusations against him, and that both the pope and the Franciscans were with difficulty persuaded to let him retire. He quotes Salimbene ( Chronica p. 137) as to the reluctance of the chapter to accept his resignation, but does not allude to the assertion of the same authority that John was obnoxious to Alexander and to many of the ministers of the Order by reason of his too zealous belief in Joachim (Ib. p. 131).
Alexander was easily persuaded, and a general chapter was held in the Aracoeli, February 2, 1257, over which he personally presided. John of Parma was warned to resign, and did so, pleading age, weariness, and disability. After a decent show of resistance his resignation was accepted and he was asked to nominate a successor. His choice fell upon Bonaventura, then only thirty-four years of age, whose participation in the struggle, with the University of Paris had marked him as the most promising man in the Order, while he was not identified with either faction. He was duly elected, and the leaders of the movement required him to proceed against John and his adherents. Bonaventura for a while hesitated, but at length consented. Gherardo refused to recant, and Bonaventura sent for him to come to Paris. In passing through Modena he met Salimbene, who had cowered before the storm and had renounced Joachitism as a folly. The two friends had a long colloquy, in which Gherardo offered to prove that Antichrist was already at hand in the person of Alonso the Wise of Castile. He was learned, pure-minded, temperate, modest, amiable--in a word, a most admirable and lovable character; but nothing could wean him from his Joachitic convictions, though in his trial discreet silence, as usual, was observed about the Everlasting Gospel, and he was condemned as an upholder of Joachim's Trinitarian speculations. Had he not been a Franciscan he would have been burned. It was a doubtful mercy which consigned him to a dungeon in chains and fed him on bread and water for eighteen years, until his weary life came to an end. He never wavered to the last, and his remains were thrust into a corner of the garden of the convent where he died. The same fate awaited his comrade Leonardo, and also another friar named Piero de' Nubili, who refused to surrender a tract of John of Parma's. *
* Wadding. ann. 1256, No. 3-5.-- Salimbene, pp. 102, 233-6.-- Hist. Tribulat. (Archiv für L. u. K. 1886, p. 285).--Although Salimbene prudently abandoned Joachitism, he never outgrew his belief in Joachim's prophetic powers. Many years later he gives as a reason for suspecting the Segarellists, that if they were of God, Joachim would have predicted them as he did the Mendicants (Ib. 123-4).
The silence of the Historia Tribulationum with respect to the Everlasting Gospel is noteworthy. By common consent that dangerous work seems to be ignored by all parties.
Then John himself was tried by a special court, to preside over which Alexander appointed Cardinal Caietano, afterwards Nicholas III. The accused readily retracted his advocacy of Joachim, but his bearing irritated the judges, and, with Bonaventura's consent, he would have shared the fate of his associates but for the strenuous intercession of Ottoboni, Cardinal of S. Adrian, afterwards Adrian V. Bonaventura gave him the option of selecting a place of retreat, and he chose a little convent near Rieti. There he is said to have lived for thirty-two years the life of an angel, without abandoning his Joachitic beliefs. John XXI., who greatly loved him, thought of making him a cardinal in 1277, but was prevented by death. Nicholas III., who had presided at his trial, a few years later offered him the cardinalate, so as to be able to enjoy his advice, but he quietly answered, "I could give wholesome counsel if there were any one to listen to me, but in the Roman court there is little discussed but wars and triumphs, and not the salvation of souls." In 1289, however, notwithstanding his extreme age, he accepted from Nicholas IV. a mission to the Greek Church, but he died at Camerino soon after setting out. Buried there, he speedily shone in miracles; he became the object of a lasting cult, and in 1777 he was formally beatified, in spite of the opposition arising from his alleged authorship of the Introduction to the Everlasting Gospel. *
The faith of the Joachites was by no means broken by these reverses. William of Saint Amour thought it necessary to return to the charge with another bitter tract directed against them. He shares their belief in the impending change, but declares that in place of being the reign of love under the Holy Ghost, it will be the reign of Antichrist, whom he identifies with the Friars. Persecution, he says, had put an end to the open defence of the pestiferous doctrine of the Everlasting Gospel, but it still had many believers in secret. The south of France was the headquarters of the sect. Florent, Bishop of Acre, had been the official prosecutor before the Commission of Anagni in 1255. He was rewarded with the archbishopric of Arles in 1262, and in 1265 he held a provin-
* Wadding. ann. 1256, No. 6; ann. 1289, No. 26.-- Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. p. 285).-- Salimbene Chron. pp. 131-33, 317.-- Tocco, pp. 476-77.--P. Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. I. fol. 117.-- Affò, Lib. III. c. x.
cial synod with the object of condemning the Joachites, who were still numerous in his province. An elaborate refutation of the errors of the Everlasting Gospel was deemed necessary; it was deplored that many learned men still suffered themselves to be misled by it, and that books containing it were written and eagerly passed from hand to hand. The anathema was decreed against this, but no measures of active persecution seem to have been adopted, nor do we hear of any steps taken by the Inquisition to suppress the heresy. As we shall see hereafter, the leaven long remained in Languedoc and Provence, and gave a decided impress to the Spiritual Franciscanism of those regions. It mattered little that the hoped-for year 1260 came and passed away without the fulfilment of the prophecy. Earnest believers can always find excuses for such errors in computation, and the period of the advent of the Holy Ghost could be put off from time to time, so as always to stimulate hope with the prospect of emancipation in the near future. *
Although the removal of John of Parma from the generalate had been the victory of the Conventuals, the choice of Bonaventura might well seem to give to the Spirituals assurance of continued supremacy. In his controversy with William of Saint Amour he had taken the most advanced ground in denying that Christ and the apostles held property of any kind, and in identifying poverty with perfection. "Deep poverty is laudable; this is true of itself: therefore deeper poverty is more laudable, and the deepest, the most laudable. But this is the poverty of him who neither in private nor in common keeps anything for himself. . . . To renounce all things, in private or in common, is Christian perfection, not only sufficient but abundant: it is the principal counsel of evangelical perfection, its fundamental principle and sublime foundation." Not only this, but he was deeply imbued with mysticism and was the first to give authoritative expression to the Illuminism which subsequently gave the Church so much trouble.
* Lib. de Antichristo P. I. c. x., xiii., xiv. (Martene Ampl. Coll. IX. 1273, 1313, 1325-35).-- Thomæ Aquinat. Opusc. contra Impugn. Relig. c. xxiv. 5, 6.-Concil. Arclatens. ann. 1260 ( 1265) c. 1 ( Harduin. VII. 509-12).-- Fisquet, La France Pontificale, Métropole d'Aix, p. 577.-- Renan, p. 254.
His Mystica Theologia is in sharp contrast to the arid scholastic theology of the day as represented by Thomas Aquinas. The soul is brought face to face with God; its sins are to be repented of in the silent watches of the night, and it is to seek God through its own efforts. It is not to look to others for aid or leadership, but, depending on itself, strive for the vision of the Divine. Through this Path of Purgation it ascends to the Path of Illumination, and is prepared for the reception of the Divine Radiance. Finally it reaches the Third Path, which leads to union with the Godhead and participation in Divine Wisdom. Molinos and Madame Guyon indulged in no more dangerous speculations; and the mystic tendencies of the Spirituals received a powerful stimulus from such teachings. *
It was inevitable that the strife within the Order between property and poverty should grow increasingly bitter. Questions were constantly arising which showed the incompatibility of the vows as laid down by St. Francis with the functions of an organization which had grown to be one of the leading factors of a wealthy and worldly Church. In 1255 we find the sisters of the monastery of St. Elizabeth complaining to Alexander IV. that when property was given or bequeathed to them the ecclesiastical authorities enforced on them the observance of the Rule, by compelling them to part with it within a year by sale or gift, and the pope graciously promised that no such custom should be enforced in future. About the same time John of Parma complained that when his friars were promoted to the episcopate they carried away with them books and other things of which they had properly only the use, being unable to own anything under peril of their souls. Again Alexander graciously replied that friars, on promotion, must deliver to the provincial everything which they had in their hands. Such troubles must have been of almost daily occurrence, and it was inevitable that the increasing friction should result in schism. When the blessed Gilio, the third disciple who joined St. Francis, was taken to Assisi to view the splendid buildings erected in honor of the humble Francis, and was carried through three magnificent churches, connected with a vast refec-
* S. Bonavent. de Paup. Christi Art. I. No. i., ii.--Ejusd. Mystic. Theol. cap. I. Partic. 2; cap. II. Partic. 1, 2; Cap. III. Partic. 1.
tory, a spacious dormitory, and other offices and cloisters, adorned with lofty arches and spacious portals, he kept silent until one of his guides pressed him for an expression of admiration. "Brethren," he then said, "there is nothing lacking except your wives." This seemed somewhat irrelevant, till he explained that the vows of poverty and chastity were equally binding, and now that one was set aside the other might as well follow. Salimbene relates that in the convent of Pisa he met Frà Boncampagno di Prato, who, in place of the two new tunics per year distributed to each of the brethren, would only accept one old one, and who declared that he could scarce satisfy God for taking that one. Such exaggerated conscientious sensitiveness could not but be peculiarly exasperating to the more worldly members. *
The Conventuals had lost no time in securing the results of their victory over John of Parma. Scarce had his resignation been secured, and before Bonaventura could arrive from Paris they obtained from Alexander, February 20, 1257, a repetition of the declaration of Innocent IV. which enabled the Order to handle money and hold property through the transparent device of agents and the Holy See. The disgust of the Puritan party was great, and even the implicit reverence prescribed for the papacy could not prevent ominous mutterings of disobedience, raising questions as to the extent of the papal power to bind and to loose, which in time were to ripen into open rebellion. The Rule had been proclaimed a revelation equal in authority to the gospel, and it might well be asked whether even the successor of St. Peter could set it aside. It was probably about this time that Berthold of Ratisbon, the most celebrated Franciscan preacher of his day, in discoursing to his brethren on the monastic state, boldly declared that the vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity were so binding that even the pope could not dispense for them. This, in fact, was admitted on all sides as a truism. About 1290 the Dominican Provincial of Germany, Hermann of Minden, in an encyclical, alludes to it as a matter of course, but in little more than a quarter of a century we shall see that such utterances were treated as heresy, and were sternly suppressed with the stake. †
* Wadding. Regest. Alex. PP. IV. No. 39-41; Annal. ann. 1262, No. 36.-Salimbene, p. 122.
† Wadding. ann. 1256, No. 4; Regest. Alex. PP. IV. No. 66.-- Bertholdi a Ratispona Sermones
Bonaventura, as we have seen, honestly sought to restrain the growing laxity of the Order. Before leaving Paris he addressed, April 23, 1257, an encyclical letter to the provincials, calling their attention to the prevalent vices of the brethren and the contempt to which they exposed the whole Order. Again, some ten years later, at the instance of Clement IV., he issued another similar epistle, in which he strongly expressed his horror at the neglect of the Rule shown in the shameless greed of so many members, the importunate striving for gain, the ceaseless litigation caused by their grasping after legacies and burials, and the splendor and luxury of their buildings. The provincials were instructed to put an end to these disorders by penance, imprisonment, or expulsion; but however earnest in his zeal Bonaventura may have been, and however self-denying in his own life, he lacked the fiery energy which enabled John of Parma to give effect to his convictions. How utter was the prevailing degeneracy is seen in the complaint presented in 1265 to Clement IV., that in many places the ecclesiastical authorities held that the friars, being dead to the world, were incapable of inheritance. Relief was prayed from this, and Clement issued a bull declaring them competent to inherit and free to hold their inheritances, or to sell them, and to use the property or its price as might to them seem best. *
The question of poverty evidently was one incapable of per-
Ratispona Sermones, Monachii, 1882, p. 68.-- H. Denifle, Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 649.
To the true Franciscan the Rule and the gospel were one and the same. According to Thomas of Celano, "Il perfetto amatore dell' osservanza del santo vangelio c della professione della nostra regola, che non è altro che perfetta osservanza del vangelio, questo [Francesco] ardentissimamente amava, e quelli che sono e saranno veri amatori, donò a essi singular benedizione. Veramente, dicea, questa nostra professione a quelli che la seguitano, esser libro di vita, speranza di salute, arra di gloria, melodia del vangelio, via di croce, stato di perfezione, chiave di paradiso, e patto di eterna pace."-- Amoni, Legenda S. Francisci, App. c. xxix.
* S. Bonavent. Opp. I. 485-6 (Ed. 1584).-- Wadding. ann. 1257, No. 9; Regest. Clem. PP. IV. No. I. Pierre Jean Olivi states that lie himself heard Bonaventura declare in a chapter held in Paris that he would, at any moment, submit to be ground to powder if it would bring the Order back to the condition designed by St. Francis.-Franz Ehrle, Archiv für L. u. K. 1887, p. 517.
manent and satisfactory settlement. Dissension in the Order could not be healed. In vain Gregory X., about 1275, was appealed to, and decided that the injunction of the Rule against the possession of property, individually or in common, was to be strictly observed. The worldly party continued to point out the incompatibility of this with the necessities of human nature; they declared it to be a tempting of God and a suicide of the individual; the quarrel continually grew more bitterly envenomed, and in 1279 Nicholas III. undertook to settle it with a formal declaration which should forever close the mouths of all cavillers. For two months he secretly labored at it in consultation with the two Franciscan cardinals, Palestrina and Albano, the general, Bonagrazia, and some of the provincials. Then it was submitted to a commission in which was Benedetto Caietano, afterwards Boniface VIII. Finally it was read and adopted in full consistory, and it was included, twenty years later, in the additions to the canon law compiled and published by order of Boniface. No utterance of the Holy See could have more careful consideration and more solemn authority than the bull known as Exiit qui seminat, which was thus ushered into the world, and which subsequently became the subject of such deadly controversy. *
It declares the Franciscan Rule to be the inspiration of the Holy Ghost through St. Francis. The renunciation of property, not only individual but in common, is meritorious and holy. Such absolute renunciation of possession had been practised by Christ and the apostles, and had been taught by them to their disciples; it is not only meritorious and perfect, but lawful and possible, for there is a distinction between use, which is permitted, and ownership, which is forbidden. Following the example of Innocent IV. and Alexander IV., the proprietorship of all that the Franciscans use is declared to be vested, now and hereafter, in the Roman Church and pontiff, which concede to the friars the usufruct thereof. The prohibition to receive and handle money is to be enforced, and borrowing is especially deprecated; but, when necessity obliges, this may be effected through third parties, although the brethren must abstain from handling the money or administering or expending it. As for legacies, they must not be left
* Liv. v. Sexto xii. 3.-- Wadding. ann. 1279, No. 11.
directly to the friars, but only for their use; and minute regulations are drawn up for exchanging or selling books and utensils. The bull concludes with instructions that it is to be read and taught in the schools, but no one, under pain of excommunication and loss of office and benefice, shall do anything but expound it literally--it is not to be glossed or commented upon, or discussed, or explained away. All doubts and questions shall be submitted directly to the Holy See, and any one disputing or commenting on the Franciscan Rule or the definitions of the bull shall undergo excommunication, removable only by the pope.
Had the question been capable of permanent settlement in this sense, this solemn utterance would have put an end to further trouble. Unluckily, human nature did not cease to be human nature, with its passions and necessities, on crossing the threshold of a Franciscan convent. Unluckily, papal constitutions were as cobwebs when they sought to control the ineradicable vices and weakness of man. Unluckily, moreover, there were consciences too sensitive to be satisfied with fine-drawn distinctions and subtleties ingeniously devised to evade the truth. Yet the bull Exiit qui seminat for a while relieved the papacy from further discussion, although it could not quiet the intestine dissensions of the Order. There was still a body of recalcitrants, not numerous, it is true, but eminent for the piety and virtue of its members, which could not be reconciled by these subterfuges. These recalcitrants gradually formed themselves into two distinct bodies, one in Italy, and the other in southern France. At first there is little to distinguish them apart, and for a long while they acted in unison, but there gradually arose a divergence between them, which in the end became decisively marked, owing to the greater influence exercised in Languedoc and Provence by the traditions of Joachim and the Everlasting Gospel.
We have seen how the thirst for ascetic poverty, coupled in many cases, doubtless, with the desire to escape from the sordid cares of daily life, led thousands to embrace a career of wandering mendicancy. Sarabites and circumcelliones--vagrant monks, subjected to no rule--had been the curse of the Church ever since the invention of cenobitism; and the exaltation of poverty in the thirteenth century had given a new impulse to the crowds who preferred the idleness of the road or of the hermitage to the restraints and labor of civilized existence. It was in vain that the Lateran Council had prohibited the formation of new and unauthorized Orders. The splendid success of the Mendicants had proved too alluring, and others were formed on the same basis, without the requisite preliminary of the papal approval. The multitudes of holy beggars were becoming a serious nuisance, oppressive to the people and disgraceful to the Church. When Gregory X. summoned the General Council of Lyons, in 1274, this was one of the evils to be remedied. The Lateran canon prohibiting the formation of unauthorized Orders was renewed. Gregory proposed to suppress all the congregations of hermits, but, at the instance of Cardinal Richard, the Carmelites and Augustinians were allowed to exist on sufferance until further order, while the audacity of other associations, not as yet approved, was condemned, especially that of the mendicants, whose multitude was declared to exceed all bounds. Such mendicant Orders as had been confirmed since the Council of Lateran were permitted to continue, but they were instructed to admit no new members, to acquire no new houses, and not to sell what they possessed without special license from the Holy See. Evidently it was felt that the time had come for decisive measures to check the tide of saintly mendicancy. *
Some vague and incorrect rumors of this legislation penetrating to Italy, led to an explosion which started one of the most extraordinary series of persecutions which the history of human perversity affords. On the one hand there is the marvellous constancy which endured lifelong martyrdom for an idea almost unintelligible to the modern mind; on the other there is the seemingly causeless ferocity, which appears to persecute for the mere pleasure of persecution, only to be explained by the bitterness of the feuds existing within the Order, and the savage determination to enforce submission at every cost.
It was reported that the Council of Lyons had decreed that the Mendicants could hold property. Most of the brethren acquiesced readily enough, but those who regarded the Rule as divine revelation, not to be tampered with by any earthly authority, de-
* Concil. Lugdunens. II. c. 23 ( Harduin. VII. 715).-- Salimbene, pp. 110-11.
clared that it would be apostasy, and a thing not to be admitted under any circumstances. Several disputations were held which only confirmed each side in its views. One point which gave rise to peculiar animosity was the refusal of the Spirituals to take their turns in the daily rounds in quest of moneyed alms, which had grown to be the custom in most places; and it is easy to imagine the bitter antagonism to which this disobedience must have led. It shows how strained were the relations between the factions that proceedings for heresy were forthwith commenced against these zealots. The rumor proved false, the excitement died away, and the prosecutions were allowed to slumber for a few years, when they were revived through fear that these extreme opinions, if left unpunished, might win over the majority. Liberato da Macerata, Angelo da Cingoli (il Clareno), Traymondo, Tommaso da Tollentino, and one or two others whose names have not reached us were the obdurate ones who would make no concession, even in theory. Angelo, to whom we owe an account of the matter, declared that they were ready to render implicit obedience, that no offence was proved against them, but that nevertheless they were condemned, as schismatics and heretics, to perpetual imprisonment in chains. The sentence was inhumanly harsh. They were to be deprived of the sacraments, even upon the death-bed, thus killing soul as well as body; during life no one was to speak with them, not even the jailer who brought the daily pittance of bread and water to their cells, and examined their fetters to see that they were attempting no escape. As a warning, moreover, the sentence was ordered to be read weekly in all the chapters, and no one was to presume to criticise it as unjust. This was no idle threat, for when Friar Tommaso da Casteldemilio heard it read and said it was displeasing to God, he was cast into a similar prison, where he rotted to death in a few months. The fierce spirits in control of the Order were evidently determined that at least the vow of obedience should be maintained. *
* Angel. Clarinens. Epist. Excusat. ( Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1885, pp. 523-4).-- Histor. Tribulation. (Ibid. 1886, pp. 302-4) .-- Ubertini Responsio (Ibid. 1887, p. 68) . -- Cf. Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. 11. fol. 180.
For the first time the development and history of the Spiritual Franciscans can now be traced with some accuracy, thanks to Franz Ehrle, S. J., who has
The prisoners seem to have laid in jail until after the election to the generalate of Raymond Gaufridi, at Easter, 1289. Visiting the Mark of Ancona, where they were incarcerated, he investigated the case, blamed severely the perpetrators of the injustice, and set the martyrs free in 1290. The Order had been growing more lax in its observance than ever, in spite of the bull Exiit qui seminat. Matteo d'Acquasparta, who was general from 1287 to 1289, was easy and kindly, well-intentioned but given to self-indulgence, and by no means inclined to the effort requisite to enforce the Rule. Respect for it, indeed, was daily diminishing. Coffers were placed in the churches to receive offerings; bargains were made as to the price of masses and for the absolution of sinners; boys were stationed at the church-doors to sell wax tapers in honor of saints; the Friars habitually begged money in the streets, accompanied by boys to receive and carry it; the sepulture of the rich was eagerly sought for, leading to disgraceful quarrels with the heirs and with the secular clergy. Everywhere there was self-seeking and desire for the enjoyment of an idle and luxurious life. It is true that lapses of the flesh were still rigidly punished, but these cases were sufficiently frequent to show that ample cause for scandal arose from the forbidden familiarity with women which the brethren permitted themselves. So utter was the general demoralization that Nicholas, the Provincial of France, even dared to write a tract calling in question the bull Exiit qui seminat and its exposition of the Rule. As this was in direct contravention of the bull itself, Acquasparta felt compelled to condemn the work and to punish its author and his supporters, but the evil continued to work. In the Mark of Ancona and in some other places the reaction against asceticism was so strong that the Testament of the revered Francis was officially ordered to be burned. It was the main bulwark of the Spirituals against relaxation of the Rule, and in one instance it was actually burned on the head of a friar, N. de Recanate, who presumably had made himself obnoxious by insisting on its authority. *
printed the most important documents relating to this schism in the Order, elucidated with all the resources of exact research. My numerous references to his papers show the extent of my indebtedness to his labors.
* Histor. Tribulat. (loc. cit. 1886, p. 305). -- Ubertini Responsio (Ibid. 1887, pp. 69,77) .-- Articuli Transgressionum (Ibid. 1887, pp. 105-7) .-- Wadding. ann.
Raymond Gaufridi was earnestly desirous of restoring discipline, but the relaxation of the Order had grown past curing. His release of the Spirituals at Ancona caused much murmuring; he was ridiculed as a patron of fantastic and superstitious men, and conspiracies were set on foot which never ceased till his removal was effected in 1295. It was perhaps to conjure these attempts that he sent Liberato, Angelo, Tommaso, and two kindred spirits named Marco and Piero to Armenia, where they induced King Haito II. to enter the Franciscan Order, and won from him the warmest eulogies. Even in the East, however, the hatred of their fellowmissionaries was so earnest and so demonstrative that they were forced to return in 1293. On their arrival in Italy the provincial, Monaldo, refused to receive them or to allow them to remain until they could communicate with Raymond, declaring that he would rather entertain fornicators. *
The unreasoning wrath which insisted on these votaries of poerty violating their convictions received a check when, in 1294, the choice of the exhausted conclave fell by chance on the hermit Pier Morrone, who suddenly found his mountain burrow transformed into the papal palace. Celestin V. preserved in St. Peter's chair the predilection for solitude and maceration which had led him to the life of the anchorite. To him Raymond referred the Spirituals, whom he seemed unable to protect. Celestin listened to them kindly and invited them to enter his special Order--the Celestinian Denedictines--but they explained to him the difference of their vows, and how their brethren detested the observance of the Rule. Then in public audience he ordered them to observe strictly the Rule and Testament of Francis; he released them from obedience to all except himself and to Liberato, whom he made their chief; Cardinal Napoleone Orsini was declared their protector, and the abbot of the Celestinians was ordered to provide
1289, No. 22-3.-- Ubertini Declaratio (Archiv, 1887, pp. 168-9).--Dante contrasts Acquasparta with Ubertino da Casale, of whom we shall see more presently--
"Ma non sia da Casal ne d'Acquasparta La onde vegnon tali alla Scrittura Ch' uno la fugge e l'altro la coarta."--( Paradiso XII.).
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. 1886, pp. 306-8).-- Angel. Clarinens. Epist. (Ibid. 1885, pp. 524-5).-- Wadding. ann. 1292, No. 14.
them with hermitages. Thus they were fairly out of the Order; they were not even to call themselves Minorites or Franciscans, and it might be supposed that their brethren would be as glad to get rid of them and their assumption of superior sanctity as they were to escape from oppression. *
Yet the hatred provoked by the quarrel was too deep and bitter to spare its victims, and the breathing-space which they enjoyed was short. Celestin's pontificate came to an abrupt termination. Utterly unfitted for his position, speedily made the tool of designing men, and growing weary of the load which he felt himself unable to endure, after less than six months he was persuaded to abdicate, in December, 1294, and was promptly thrown into prison by his successor, Boniface VIII., for fear that he might be led to reconsider an abdication the legality of which might be questioned. All of Celestin's acts and grants were forthwith annulled, and so complete was the obliteration of everything that he had done, that even the appointment of a notary is found to require confirmation and a fresh commission. Boniface's contempt for the unworldly enthusiasm of asceticism did not lead him to make any exception in favor of the Spirituals. To him the Franciscan Order was merely an instrument for the furtherance of his ambitious schemes, and its worldliness was rather to be stimulated than repressed. Though he placed in his Sixth Book of Decretals the bull Exiit qui seminat, his practical exposition of its provisions is seen in two bulls issued July 17, 1296, by one of which he assigns to the Franciscans of Paris one thousand marks, to be taken from the legacies for pious uses, and by the other he converts to them a legacy of three hundred livres bequeathed by Ada, lady of Pernes, for the benefit of the Holy Land. Under such auspices the degradation of the Order could not but be rapid. Before his first year was out, Boniface had determined upon the removal of the general, Raymond. October 29, 1295, he offered the latter the bishopric of Pavia, and on his protesting that he had not strength for the burden, Boniface said that he could not be fit for the heavier load of the generalate, of which he relieved him on the spot. We can understand the insolence which led a party of the
* Angel. Clarin. Epist. (op. cit. 1885, p. 526); Hist. Tribulationum (Ib. 1886, pp. 308-9).
Conventual faction to visit Celestin in his prison and taunt and insult him for the favor which he had shown to the Spirituals. A prosecution for heresy which Boniface ordered, in March, 1295, against Frà Pagano di Pietra-Santa was doubtless instigated by the same spirit. *
More than this. To Boniface's worldly, practical mind the hordes of wandering mendicants, subjected to no authority, were an intolerable nuisance, whether it arose from ill-regulated asceticism or idle vagabondage. The decree of the Council of Lyons had failed to suppress the evil, and, in 1496 and 1497, Boniface issued instructions to all bishops to compel such wanderers or hermits, popularly known as Bizoehi, either to lay aside their fictitious religious habits and give up their mode of life, or to betake themselves to some authorized Order. The inquisitors were instructed to denounce to the bishops all suspected persons, and if the prelates were remiss, to report them to the Holy See. One remarkable clause gives special authority to the inquisitors to prosecute such of these Bizochi as may be members of their own Orders, thus showing that there was no heresy involved, as otherwise the inquisitors would have required no additional powers. †
The following year Boniface proceeded to more active measures. He ordered the Franciscan, Matteo da Chieti, Inquisitor of Assisi, to visit personally the mountains of the Abruzzi and Mark of Ancona and to drive from their lurking-places the apostates from various religious Orders and the Bizochi who infested those regions. His previous steps had probably been ineffective, and possibly also he may have been moved to more decisive action by the rebellious attitude of the Spirituals and proscribed mendicants. Not only did they question the papal authority, but they were beginning to argue that the papacy itself was vacant. So far from being content with the bull Exiit qui seminat, they held that its author, Nicholas III., had been deprived by God of the papal functions, and consequently that he had had no legitimate successors. Thereafter there had been no true ordinations of priest and prelate, and the real Church consisted in themselves alone. To rem-
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. 1886, pp. 309-10).-- Faucon et Thomas, Registres de Boniface VIII. No. 37, 1232, 1233, 1292, 1825.-- Wadding. ann. 1295, No. 14.
† Franz Ehrle, Archiv für L. u. K. 1886, pp. 157-8.
edy this, Frèere Matthieu de Bodici came from Provence, bringing with him the books of Pierre Jean Olivi, and in the Church of St. Peter in Rome he was elected pope by five Spirituals and thirteen women. Boniface promptly put the Inquisition on their track, but they fled to Sicily, which, as we shall see, subsequently became the headquarters of the sect. *
Friar Jordan, to whom we are indebted for these details, assumes that Liberato and his associates were concerned in this movement. The dates and order of events are hopelessly confused, but it would rather seem that the section of the Spirituals represented by Liberato kept themselves aloof from all such revolutionary projects. Their sufferings were real and prolonged, but had they been guilty of participating in the election of an antipope they would have had but the choice between perpetual imprisonment and the stake. They were accused of holding that Boniface was not a lawful pope, that the authority of the Church was vested in themselves alone, and that the Greek Church was preferable to the Latin--in other words of Joachitism--but Angelo declares emphatically that all this was untrue, and his constancy of endurance during fifty years of persecution and suffering entitles his assertion to respect. He relates that after their authorization by Celestin V. they lived as hermits in accordance with the papal concession, sojourning as paupers and strangers wherever they could find a place of retreat, and strictly abstaining from preaching and hearing confessions, except when ordered to do so by bishops to whom they owed obedience. Even before the resignation of Celestin, the Franciscan authorities, irritated at the escape of their victims, disregarded the papal authority and endeavored with an armed force to capture them. Celestin himself seems to have given them warning of this, and the zealots, recognizing that there was no peace for them in Italy, resolved to expatriate themselves and seek some remote spot where they could gratify their ascetic longings and worship God without human
* Raynald. ann. 1297, No. 55.-- Jordani Chron. cap. 236, Partic. 3 ( Muratori, Antiq. XI. 766).
So far was Pierre Jean Olivi from participating in these rebellious movements that he wrote a tract to prove the legality of Celestin's abdication and Boniface's succession ( Franz Ehrle, Arehiv f. L. u. K. 1887, p. 525).
interference. They crossed the Adriatic and settled on a desert island off the Achaian coast. Here, lost to view, they for two years enjoyed the only period of peace in their agitated lives; but at length news of their place of retreat reached home, and forthwith letters were despatched to the nobles and bishops of the mainland accusing them of being Cathari, while Boniface was informed that they did not regard him as pope, but held themselves to be the only true Church. In 1299 he commissioned Peter, Patriarch of Constantinople, to try them, when they were condemned without a hearing, and he ordered Charles II. of Naples, who was overlord of the Morea, to have them expelled, an order which Charles transmitted to Isabelle de Villehardouin, Princess of Achaia. Meanwhile the local authorities had recognized the falsity of the accusations, for the refugees celebrated mass daily and prayed for Boniface as pope, and were willing to eat meat, but this did not relieve them from surveillance and annoyance, one of their principal persecutors being a certain Geronimo, who came to them with some books of Olivi's, and whom they were forced to eject for immorality, after which he turned accuser and was rewarded with the episcopate. *
The pressure became too strong, and the little community gradually broke up. An intention to accompany Frà Giovanni da Monte on a mission to Tartary had to be abandoned on account of the excommunication consequent upon the sentence uttered by the Patriarch of Constantinople. Liberato sent two brethren to appeal to Boniface, and then two more, but they were all seized and prevented from reaching him. Then Liberato himself departed secretly and reached Perugia, but the sudden death of Boniface ( October 11, 1303) frustrated his object. The rest returned at various times, Angelo being the last to reach Italy, in 1305. He found his brethren in evil plight. They had been cited by the Dominican inquisitor, Tommaso di Aversa, and had obediently presented themselves. At first the result was favorable. After an examination lasting several days, Tommaso pronounced them
* Angel. Clarin. Epist. ( Arehiv für Litt.-u. Kirchengeschichte, 1885, pp. 522-3, 527-9).-- Hist. Tribulat. (Ibid. 1886, pp. 314-18) .-- Franz Ehrle (Ibid. 1886, p. 335.
Franz Ehrle identifies the refuge of the Spirituals with the island of Trixonia in the Gulf of Corinth ( Ibid. 1886, pp. 313-14 ).
orthodox, and dismissed them, saying publicly, "Frà Liberato, I swear by Him who created me that never the flesh of a poor man could be sold for such a price as I could get for yours. Your brethren would drink your blood if they could." He even conducted them in safety back to their hermitages, and when the rage of the Conventuals was found to be unappeasable he gave them the advice that they should leave the kingdom of Naples that night and travel by hidden ways to the pope; if they could bring letters from the latter, or from a cardinal, he would defend them as long as he held the office. The advice was taken; Liberato left Naples that night, but fell sick on the road and died after a lingering illness of two years. Meanwhile, as we shall see hereafter, the exploits of Doleino in Lombardy were exciting general terror, which rendered all irregular fraternities the object of suspicion and dread. The Conventuals took advantage of this and incited Frà Tommaso to summon before him all who wore unauthorized religious habits. The Spirituals were cited again, to the number of forty-two, and this time they did not escape so easily. They were condemned as heretics, and when Andrea da Segna, under whose protection they had lived, interposed in their favor, Tommaso carried them to Trivento, where they were tortured for five days. This excited the compassion of the bishop and nobles of the town, so they were transferred to Castro Mainardo, a solitary spot, where for five months they were afflicted with the sharpest torments. Two of the younger brethren yielded and accused themselves and their comrades, but revoked when released. Some of them died, and finally the survivors were ordered to be scourged naked through the streets of Naples and were banished the kingdom, although no specific heresy was alleged against them in the sentence. Through all this the resolution of the little band never faltered. Convinced that they alone were on the path of salvation, they would not be forced back into the Order. On the death of Liberato, Angelo was chosen as their leader, and amid persecution and obloquy they formed a congregation in the Mark of Ancona, known as the Clareni, from the surname of their chief, and under the protection of the cardinal, Napoleone Orsini. *
* Angel. Clarin. Epist. (op. cit. 1885, 529-31).-- Hist. Tribulat. (Ib. 1886, 3206).-- Wadding. ann. 1302, No. 8; 1307, No. 2-4.
This group had not been by any means alone in opposing the laxity of the Conventuals, although it was the only one which succeeded in throwing off the yoke of its opponents. The Spirituals were numerous in the Order, but the policy of Boniface VIII. led him to support the efforts of the Conventuals to keep them in subjection. Jacopone da Todi, the author of the Stabat Mater, was perhaps the most prominent of these, and his savage verses directed against the pope did not tend to harmonize the troubles. After the capture of Palestrina, in 1298, Boniface threw him into a foul dungeon, where he solaced his captivity with canticles full of the mystic ardor of divine love. It is related that Boniface once, passing the grating of his cell, jeeringly called to him, "Jacopo, when will you get out?" and was promptly answered, "When you come in." In a sense the prophecy proved true, for one of the first acts of Benedict XI., in December, 1303, was to release Jacopone from both prison and excommunication. *
Frà Carrado da Offida was another prominent member of the Spiritual group. He had been a friend of John of Parma; for fiftyfive years he wore but a single gown, patched and repatched as necessity required, and this with his rope girdle constituted his sole worldly possessions. In the mystic exaltation which characterized the sect he had frequent visions and ecstasies, in which he was lifted from the ground after the fashion of the saints. When Liberato and his companions were in their Achaian refuge he designed joining them with Jacopo de' Monti and others, but the execution of the project was in some way prevented. †
* Cantù, Eretici d' Italia, I. 129.-- Comba. La Riforma in Italia, I. 314.
A specimen of Jacopone's attacks on Boniface will show the temper of the times--
"Ponesti la tua lingua -- O pessima ,avarizia
Contra religione -- Sete induplicata,
A dir blasfemia -- Bever tanta pecunia
Senza niun cagione. -- E non esser saziata!"
( Comba, op. cit. 312.)
There is doubtless foundation for the story related by Savonarola in a sermon, that Jacopone was once brought into the consistory of cardinals and requested to preach, when he solemnly repeated thrice," I wonder that in consequence of your sins the earth does not open and swallow you."--Villari, Frà Savonarola, II. Ed. T. II. p. 3.
† Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. pp. 311-13).
Such men, filled with the profoundest conviction of their holy calling, were not to be controlled by either kindness or severity. It was in vain that the general, Giovanni di Murro, at the chapter of 1302, held in Genoa, issued a precept deploring the abandonment, by the Order, of holy poverty, as shown by the possession of lands and farms and vineyards, and the assumption by friars of duties which involved them in worldly cares and strife and litigation. He ordered the sale of all property, and forbade the members of the Order from appearing in any court. Yet while he was thus rigid as to the ownership of property, he was lax as to its use, and condemned as pernicious the doctrine that the vow of poverty involved restriction in its enjoyment. He was, moreover, resolved on extinguishing the schism in the Order, and his influence with Boniface was one of the impelling causes of the continued persecution of the Spirituals. They stubbornly rejected all attempts at reconciliation, and placed a true estimate on these efforts of reform. Before the year was out Giovanni was created Cardinal Bishop of Porto, and was allowed to govern the Order through a vicar; the reforms were partially enforced in some provinces for a short time; then they fell into desuetude, and matters went on as before. *
In France, where the influence of Joachim and the Everlasting Gospel was much more lasting and pronounced than in Italy, the career of the Spirituals revolves around one of the most remarkable personages of the period--Pierre Jean Olivi. Born in 1247, he was placed in the Franciscan Order at the age of twelve, and was trained in the University of Paris, where he obtained the baccalaureate. His grave demeanor, seasoned with a lively wit, his irreproachable morals, his fervid eloquence, and the extent of his learning won for him universal respect, while his piety, gentleness, humility, and zeal for holy poverty gained for him a reputation for sanctity which assigned to him the gift of prophecy. That such a man should attach himself to the Spirituals was a matter of course, and equally so was the enmity which he excited by unsparing reproof of the laxity of observance into which the Order had declined. In his voluminous writings he taught that absolute
* Wadding. ann. 1302, No. 1-3,7; ann. 1310, No. 9.-- Franz Ehrle (Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1886, p. 385).
poverty is the source of all the virtues and of a saintly life; that the Rule prohibited all proprietorship, whether individual or in common, and that the vow bound the members to the most sparing use of all necessaries, the meanest garments, the absence of shoes, etc., while the pope had no power to dispense or absolve, and much less to order anything contrary to the Rule. The convent of Béziers, to which he belonged, became the centre of the Spiritual sect, and the devotion which he excited was shared by the population at large, as well as by his brethren. The temper of the man was shown when he underwent his first rebuke. In 1278 some writings of his in praise of the Virgin were considered to trench too closely on Mariolatry. The Order had not yet committed itself to this, and complaint was made to the general, Geronimo d'Ascoli, afterwards Nicholas IV., who read the tracts and condemned him to burn them with his own hands. Olivi at once obeyed without any sign of perturbation, and when his wondering brethren asked how he could endure such mortification so tranquilly, he replied that he had performed the sacrifice with a thoroughly placid mind; he had not felt more pleasure in writing the tracts than in burning them at the command of his superior, and the loss was nothing, for if necessary he could easily write them again in better shape. A man so self-centred and imperturbable could not fail to impress his convictions on those who surrounded him. *
What his convictions really were is a problem not easily solved at the present day. The fierce antagonisms which he excited by his fiery onslaughts on individuals as well as on the general laxity of the Order at large, caused his later years to be passed in a series of investigations for heresy. At the general chapter of Strassburg, in 1282, his writings were ordered to be examined. In 1283 Bonagrazia di S. Giovanni, the general, came to France, collected and placed them all in the hands of seven of the leading members of the Order, who found in them propositions which they variously
* Wadding. ann. 1278, No. 27-8.-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv f. L. u. K. 1887, pp. 505-11, 528-9.
When Geronimo d'Ascoli attained the papacy he was urged to prosecute Olivi, but refused, expressing the highest consideration for his talents and piety, and declaring that his rebuke had been merely intended as a warning ( Hist. Trib. loc. cit. 1886, p. 289).
characterized as false, heretical, presumptuous, and dangerous, and ordered the tracts containing them to be surrendered by all possessing them. Olivi subscribed to the judgment in 1284, although he complained that he had not been permitted to appear in person before his judges and explain the censured passages, to which distorted meanings had been applied. With some difficulty he procured copies of his inculpated writings and proceeded to justify himself. Still the circle of his disciples continued to increase; incapable of the self-restraint of their master, and secretly imbued with Joachitic doctrines, they were not content with the quiet propagation of their principles, but excited tumults and seditions. Olivi was held responsible. The chapter held at Milan in 1285 elected as general minister Arlotto di Prato, one of the seven who had condemned him, and issued a decree ordering a strict perquisition and seizure of his writings. The new general, moreover, summoned him to Paris for another inquisition into his faith, of which the promoters were two of the members of the previous commission, Richard Middleton and Giovanni di Murro, the future general. The matter was prolonged until 1286, when Arlotto died, and nothing was done. Matteo d'Acquasparta vouched for his orthodoxy in appointing him teacher in the general school of the Order at Florence. Raymond Gaufridi, who succeeded Matteo d'Acquasparta in 1290, was a friend and admirer of Olivi, but could not prevent fresh proceedings, though he appointed him teacher at Montpellier. Excitement in Languedoc had reached a point which led Nicholas IV., in 1290, to order Raymond to suppress the disturbers of the peace. He commissioned Bertrand de Cigotier, Inquisitor of the Comtat Venaissin, to investigate and report, in order that the matter might be brought before the next general chapter, to be held in Paris. In 1292, accordingly, Olivi appeared before the chapter, professed his acceptance of the bull Exiit qui seminat, asserted that he had never intentionally taught or written otherwise, and revoked and abjured anything that be might inadvertently have said in contradiction of it. He was dismissed in peace, but twenty-nine of his zealous and headstrong followers, whom Bertrand de Cigotier had found guilty, were duly punished. His few remaining years seem to have passed in comparative peace. Two letters written in 1295, one to Corrado da Offida and the other to the sons of Charles II. of Naples, then held as hostages in Catalonia, who had asked him to visit them, show that he was held in high esteem, that he desired to curb the fanatic zeal of the more advanced Spirituals, and that he could not restrain himself from apocalyptic speculation. On his deathbed, in 1298, he uttered a confession of faith in which he professed absolute submission to the Roman Church and to Boniface as its head. He also submitted all his works to the Holy See, and made a declaration of principles as to the matters in dispute within the Order, which contained nothing that Bonaventura would not have signed, or Nicholas III. would have impugned as contrary to the bull Exiit, although it sharply rebuked the money-getting practices and relaxation of the Order. *
He was honorably buried at Narbonne, and then the controversy over his memory became more lively than ever, rendering it almost impossible to determine his responsibility for the opinions which were ascribed to him by both friends and foes. That his bones became the object of assiduous cult, in spite of repeated prohibitions, that innumerable miracles were worked at his tomb, that crowds of pilgrims flocked to it, that his feast-day became one of the great solemnities of the year, and that he was regarded as one of the most efficient saints in the calendar, only shows the popular estimate of his virtues and the zeal of those who regarded
* Wadding. ann. 1282, No. 2; ann. 1283, No. 1; ann. 1285, No. 5; ann. 1290, No. 11; ann. 1292, No. 13; ann. 1297, No. 33-4.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1283.-Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. pp. 294-5).-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv, 1886, pp. 383, 389; 1887, pp. 417-27, 429, 433, 438, 534.-- Raym. de Fronciacho (Archiv, 1887, p. 15).
Olivi's death is commonly assigned to 1297, but the Transitus Sancti Patris, which was one of the books most in vogue among his disciples, states that it occurred on Friday, March 14, 1297 (Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. v.); Friday fell on March 14 in 1298, and the common habit of commencing the year with Easter explains the substitution of 1297 for 1298.
His bones are generally said to have been dug up and burned a few months after interment, by order of the general, Giovanni di Murro ( Tocco, op. cit. p. 503). Wadding, indeed, asserts that they were twice exhumed (ann. 1297, No. 36). Eymerich mentions a tradition that they were carried to Avignon and thrown by night into the Rhone ( Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. 313). The cult of which they were the object shows that this could not have been the case, and Bernard Gui, the best possible authority, in commenting on the Transitus states that they were abstracted in 1318 and hidden no one knows where--doubtless by disciples to prevent the impending profanation of exhumation. themselves as his disciples. Certain it is that the Council of Vienne, in 1312, treated his memory with great gentleness. While it condemned with merciless severity the mystic extravagances of the Brethren of the Free Spirit, it found only four errors to note in the voluminous writings of Olivi--errors of merely speculative interest, such as are frequent among the schoolmen of the period-and these it pointed out without attributing them to him or even mentioning his name. These his immediate followers denied his holding, although eventually one of them, curiously enough, became a sort of shibboleth among the Olivists. It was that Christ was still alive on the cross when pierced by the lance, and was based on the assertion that the relation in Matthew originally differed in this respect from that in John, and had been altered to secure harmony. All other questions relating to the teachings of Olivi the council referred to the Franciscans for settlement, showing that they were deemed of minor importance, after they had been exhaustively debated before it by Bonagrazia da Bergamo in attack and Ubertino da Casale in defence. Thus the council condemned neither his person nor his writings; that the result was held as vindicating his orthodoxy was seen when, in 1313, his feastday was celebrated with unexampled enthusiasm at Narbonne, and was attended by a concourse equal to that which assembled at the anniversary of the Portiuncula. Moreover, after the heat of the controversy had passed away, the subsequent condemnation of his writings by John XXII. was removed by Sixtus IV., towards the end of the fifteenth century. Olivi's teachings may therefore fairly be concluded to have contained no very revolutionary doctrines. In fact, shortly after his death all the Franciscans of Provence were required to sign an abjuration of his errors, among which was enumerated the one respecting the wound of Christ, but nothing was said respecting the graver aberrations subsequently attributed to him. *
* Wadding. ann. 1291, No. 13; 1297, No. 35; 1312, No. 4.--Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 306, 319.--Coll. Doat. XXVII. fol. 7 sqq.--Lib. I. Clement. i. 1.-Tocco, op. cit. pp. 509-10.--MSS. Bib. Nat. No. 4270, fol. 168.-- Franz Ehrle (ubi sup. 1885, p. 544; 1886, pp. 389-98, 402-5; 1887, pp. 449, 491).-- Raymond de Fronciacho (Archiv, 1887, p. 17).
The traditional wrath of the Conventuals was still strong enough in the year 1500 to lead the general chapter held at Terni to forbid, under pain of imprison-
On the other hand he was unquestionably the heresiarch of the Spirituals, both of France and Italy, regarded by them as the direct successor of Joachim and Francis. The Historia Tribulationum finds in the pseudo-Joachitic prophecies a clear account of all the events in his career. Enthusiastic Spirituals, who held the revolutionary doctrines of the Everlasting Gospel, testified before the Inquisition that the third age of the Church had its beginning in Olivi, who thus supplanted St. Francis himself. He was inspired of heaven; his doctrine had been revealed to him in Paris, some said, while he was washing his hands; others that the illumination came to him from Christ while in church, at the third hour of the day. Thus his utterances were of equal authority with those of St. Paul, and were to be obeyed by the Church without the change of a letter. It is no wonder that he was held accountable for the extravagances of those who regarded him with such veneration and recognized him as their leader and teacher. *
When Olivi died, his former prosecutor, Giovanni di Murro, was general of the Order, and, strong as were his own ascetic convictions, he lost no time in completing the work which he had previously failed to accomplish. Olivi's memory was condemned as that of a heretic, and an order was issued for the surrender of all his writings, which was enforced with unsparing rigor, and continued by his successor, Gonsalvo de Balboa. Pons Botugati, a friar eminent for piety and eloquence, refused to surrender for burning some of the prohibited tracts, and was chained closely to the wall in a damp and fetid dungeon, where bread and water were sparingly flung to him, and where he soon rotted to death in filth, so that when his body was hastily thrust into an unconsecrated grave it was found that already the flesh was burrowed through by worms. A number of other recalcitrants were also imprisoned with almost equal harshness, and in the next general chapter the reading of all of Olivi's works was formally prohibited. That much incendiary matter was in circulation, attributed directly or indirectly to him, is shown by a catalogue of Olivist tracts, treating of such dangerous questions as the power of the pope to
ment, any member of the Order from possessing any of Olivi's writings.-- Franz Ehrle (ubi sup. 1887, pp. 457-8).
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. pp. 268-9).--Coll. Doat, XXVII. fol. 7 sqq.--Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 306, 308.--Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. v.
dispense from vows, his right to claim implicit obedience in matters concerning faith and morals, and other similar mutterings of rebellion. *
The work of Olivi which called forth the greatest discussion, and as to which the evidences are peculiarly irreconcilable, was his Postil on the Apocalypse. It was from this that the chief arguments were drawn for his condemnation. In an inquisitorial sentence of 1318 we learn that his writings were then again under examination by order of John XXII.; that they were held to be the source of all the errors which the sectaries were then expiating at the stake, and that principal among them was his work on the Apocalypse, so that, until the papal decision, no one was to hold him as a saint or a Catholic. When the condemnatory report of eight masters of theology came, in 1319, the Spirituals held that the outrage thus committed on the faith deprived of all virtue the sacrament of the altar. No formal judgment was rendered, however, until February 8, 1326, when John XXII. finally condemned the Postil on the Apocalypse after a careful scrutiny in the Consistory, and the general chapter of the Order forbade any one to read or possess it. One of the reports of the experts upon it has reached us. It is impossible to suppose that they deliberately manufactured the extracts on which their conclusions are based, and these extracts are quite sufficient to show that the work was an echo of the most dangerous doctrines of the Everlasting Gospel. The fifth age is drawing to an end, and, under the figure of the mystical Antichrist, there are prophecies about the pseudo-pope, pseudo-Christs, and pseudo-prophets in terms which clearly allude to the existing hierarchy. The pseudo-pope will be known by his heresies concerning the perfection of evangelical poverty (as we shall see was the case with John XXII.), and the pseudo-Joachim's prophecies concerning Frederic II. are quoted to show how prelates and clergy who defend the Rule will be ejected. The carnal church is the Great Whore of Babylon; it makes drunken and
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. pp. 300-1).-- Tocco, pp. 489-91, 503-4.
Wadding (ann. 1297, No. 33-5) identifies Pons Botugati with St. Pons Carbonelli, the illustrious teacher of St. Louis of Toulouse. Franz Ehrle (Archiv, für L. u. K. 1886, p. 300) says he can find no evidence of this, and the author of the Hist. Tribulat., in his detailed account of the affair, would hardly have omitted a fact so serviceable to his cause.
corrupts the nations with its carnalities, and oppresses the few remaining righteous, as under Paganism it did with its idolatries. In forty generations from the harvest of the apostles there will be a new harvest of the Jews and of the whole world, to be garnered by the Evangelical Order, to which all power and authority will be transferred. There are to be a sixth and a seventh age, after which comes the Day of Judgment. The date of this latter cannot be computed, but at the end of the thirteenth century the sixth age is to open. The carnal church, or Babylon, will expire, and the triumph of the spiritual church will commence. *
It has been customary for historians to assume that this resurrection of the Everlasting Gospel was Olivi's work, though it is evident from the closing years of his career that he could not have been guilty of uttering such inflammatory doctrines, and this is confirmed by the silence of the Council of Vienne concerning them, although it condemned his other trifling errors after a thorough debate on the subject by his enemies and friends. In fact, Bonagrazia, in the name of the Conventuals, bitterly attacked his memory and adduced a long list of his errors, including cursorily certain false and fantastic prophecies in the Postil on the Apocalypse and his stigmatizing the Church as the Great Whore. Had such passages as the above existed they would have been set forth at length and defence would have been impossible. Ubertino in reply, however, boldly characterized the assertion as most mendacious and impious; Olivi, he declared, had always spoken most reverently of the Church and Holy See; the Postil itself closed with a submission to the Roman Church as the universal mistress, and in the body of the work the Holy See was repeatedly alluded to as the seat of God and of Christ; the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant are spoken of as the seats of God which will last to the end, while the reprobate are Babylon and the Great Whore. It is impossible that Ubertino can have quoted these passages falsely, for Bonagrazia would have readily overwhelmed him with confusion, and the Council of Vienne would have rendered a far different judgment. We know from undoubted sources that
____________________ * Baluz. et Mansi II. 249-50.--Bern. Guidon. Pract. P. v.--Doat, XXVII. fol. 7 sqq.--Bern. Guidon. Vit. Jobann. PP. XXII. (Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 491).-- Wadding. ann. 1325, No. 4.--Alvar. Pelag. de Planctu Eccles. Lib. II. art. 59.--Baluz. et Mansi II. 266-70.
the revolutionary doctrines commonly attributed to Olivi were entertained by those who considered themselves and were considered to be his disciples, and we can only assume that in their misguided zeal they interpolated his Postil, and gave to their own mystic dreams the authority of his great name. *
After the death of Olivi the Franciscan officials seem to have felt themselves unable to suppress the sect which was spreading and organizing throughout Languedoc. For some reason not apparent, unless it may have been jealousy of the Dominicans, the aid of the Inquisition was not called in, and the inquisitors withheld their hands from offenders of the rival Order. The regular church authorities, however, were appealed to, and in 1299 Gilles, Archbishop of Narbonne, held at Béziers a provincial synod, in which were condemned the Beguines of both sexes who under the lead of learned men of an honorable Order (the Franciscans) engaged in religious exercises not prescribed by the Church, wore vestments distinguishing them from other folk, performed novel penances and abstinences, administered vows of chastity, often not observed, held nocturnal conventicles, frequented heretics, and proclaimed that the end of the world was at hand, and that already the reign of Antichrist had begun. From them many scandals had already arisen, and there was danger of more and greater troubles. The bishops were therefore ordered, in their several dioceses, to investigate these sectaries closely and to suppress them. We see from this that there was rapidly growing up a new heresy based upon the Everlasting Gospel, with the stricter Franciscans as a nucleus, but extending among the people. For this popular propaganda the Tertiary Order afforded peculiar facilities, and we shall find hereafter that the Beguines, as they were generally called, were to a great extent Tertiaries, when not full members of the Order. There was nothing, however, to tempt the cupidity
* Franz Ehrle (Archiv f. L. u. K. 1886, pp. 368-70, 407-9).-- Wadding. ann. 1297, No. 36-47.--Baluz. et Mansi II. 276.
Tocco (Archivio Storico Italiano, T. XVII. No. 2.--Cf. Franz Ehrle, Archiv für L. u. K. 1887, p. 493) has recently found in the Laurentian Library a MS. of Olivi's Postil on the Apocalypse. It contains all the passages cited in the condemnation, showing that the commission which sat in judgment did not invent them, but as it is of the fifteenth century it does not invalidate the suggestion that his followers interpolated his work after his death.
of the episcopal officials to the prosecution of those whose principal belief consisted in the renunciation of all worldly goods, and it is not likely that they showed themselves more diligent in their duties than we have seen them when greater interests were at stake. The action of the council may therefore be safely assumed as wasted, except as justifying persecution within the Order. The lay Beguines doubtless enjoyed practical immunity, while the Spiritual Friars continued to endure the miseries at the hands of their superiors for which monastic life afforded such abundant opportunities. Thus, at Villefranche, when Raymond Auriole and Jean Prime refused to admit that their vows permitted a liberal use of the things of the world, they were imprisoned in chains and starved till Raymond died, deprived of the sacraments as a heretic, and Jean barely escaped with his life. *
Thus passed away the unfortunate thirteenth century--that age of lofty aspirations unfulfilled, of brilliant dreams unsubstantial as visions, of hopes ever looking to fruition and ever disappointed. The human intellect had awakened, but as yet the human conscience slumbered, save in a few rare souls who mostly paid in disgrace or death the penalty of their precocious sensitiveness. That wonderful century passed away and left as its legacy to its successor vast progress, indeed, in intellectual activity, but on the spiritual side of the inheritance a dreary void. All efforts to elevate the ideals of man had miserably failed. Society was harder and coarser, more carnal and more worldly than ever, and it is not too much to say that the Inquisition had done its full share to bring this about by punishing aspirations, and by teaching that the only safety lay in mechanical conformity, regardless of abuses and unmindful of corruption. The results of that hundred years of effort and suffering are well symbolized in the two popes with whom it began and ended--Innocent III. and that pinchbeck Innocent, Boniface VIII., who, in the popular phrase of the time, came in like a fox, ruled like a lion, and died like a dog. In intellect and learning Boniface was superior to his model, in imperious pride his equal, in earnestness, in self-devo-
* Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1299 c. 4 ( Martene Thesaur. IV. 226).--Ubertini Declaratio (Archiv f. Litt.- u. K. 1887, pp. 183-4).
tion, in loftiness of aim, in all that dignifies ambition, immeasurably his inferior. It is no wonder that the apocalyptic speculations of Joachim should acquire fresh hold on the minds of those who could not reconcile the spiritual desert in which they lived with their conception of the merciful providence of God. To such men it seemed impossible that he could permit a continuance of the cruel wickedness which pervaded the Church, and through it infected society at large. This was plainly beyond the power of a few earnest zealots to cure, or even to mitigate, so the divine interposition was requisite to create a new earth, inhabited only by the few virtuous Elect, under a reign of ascetic poverty and all-embracing love.
One of the most energetic and impetuous missionaries of these beliefs was Arnaldo de Vilanova, in some respects, perhaps, the most remarkable man of his time, whom we have only of late learned to know thoroughly, from the researches of Señor Pelayo. As a physician he stood unrivalled. Kings and popes disputed his services, and his voluminous writings on medicine and hygiene were reprinted in collective editions six times during the sixteenth century, besides numerous issues of special treatises. As a chemist he is more doubtfully said to have left his mark in several useful discoveries. As an alchemist he had the repute of producing ingots of gold in the court of Robert of Naples, a great patron of the science, and his treatises on the subject were ineluded in collections of such works printed as lately as the eighteenth century. A student of both Arabic and Hebrew, he translated from Costa ben Luca treatises on incantations, ligatures, and other magic devices. He wrote on astronomy and on oneiromancy, for he was an expert expounder of dreams, and also on surveying and wine-making. He draughted laws for Frederic of Trinacria which that enlightened monarch promulgated and enforced, and his advice to Frederic and his brother Jayme II. of Aragon on their duties as monarchs stamps him as a conscientious statesman. When Jayme applied to him for the explanation of a mysterious dream he not only satisfied the king with his exposition, but proceeded to warn him that his chief duty lay in administering justice, first to the poor, and then to the rich. When asked how often he gave audience to the poor, Jayme answered, once a week, and also when he rode out for pleasure. Arnaldo sternly reproved him; he was earning damnation; the rich had access to him every day, morning, noon, and night, the poor but seldom; he made of God the hog of St. Anthony, which received only the refuse rejected by all. If he wished to earn salvation he must devote himself to the welfare of the poor, without which, in spite of the teachings of the Church, neither psalms, nor masses, nor fasting, nor even alms would suffice. To Jayme he was not only physician but counsellor, venerable and much beloved, and he was repeatedly employed on diplomatic missions by the kings of both Aragon and Sicily. *
Multifarious as were these occupations, they consumed but a portion of his restless activity. In dedicating to Robert of Naples his treatise on surveying, he describes himself--
"Yeu, Arnaut de Vilanova . . .
Doctor en leys et en decrets,
Et en siensa de strolomia,
Et en l'art de medicina,
Et en la santa teulogia"
and, although a layman, married, and a father, his favorite field of labor was theology, which he had studied with the Dominicans of Montpellier. In 1292 he commenced with a work on the Tetragrammaton, or ineffable name of Jehovah, in which he sought to explain by natural reasons the mystery of the Trinity. Embarked in such speculations he soon became a confirmed Joachite. To a man of his lofty spiritual tendencies and tender compassion for his fellows, the wickedness and cruelty of mankind were appalling, and especially the crimes of the clergy, among whom he reckoned the Mendicants as the worst. Their vices he lashed unsparingly, and he naturally fell in with the speculations of the pseudo-Joachitic writings, anticipating the speedy advent of Antichrist and the Day of Judgment. In numberless works composed in both Latin and the vernacular he commented upon and popularized the Joachitic books, even going so far as to declare that the revelation of Cyril was more precious than all Scripture. Such a man naturally sympathized with the persecuted Spirituals. He boldly undertook their defence in sundry tracts, and when, in 1309, Frederic of Tri-
* Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 450-61, 475, 590-1, 726-7, 772.-- M. Flac. Illyr. Cat. Test. Veritatis, pp. 1732 sqq. (Ed. 1603).
nacria applied to him to expound his dream, he seized the opportunity to invoke the monarch's commiseration for their sufferings, by explaining to him how, when they sought to appeal to the Holy See, their brethren persecuted and slew them, and how evangelical poverty was treated as the gravest of crimes. He used his influence similarly at the court of Naples, thus providing for them, as we shall see, a place of refuge in their necessity. *
With his impulsive temperament it was impossible for him to hold aloof from the bitter strife then raging. Before the thirteenth century was out he addressed letters to the Dominicans and Franciscans of Paris and Montpellier, to the Kings of France and Aragon, and even to the Sacred College, announcing the approaching end of the world; the wicked Catholics, and especially the clergy, were the members of the coming Antichrist. This aroused an active controversy, in which neither party spared the other. After a war of tracts the Catalan Dominicans formally accused him before the Bishop of Girona, and he responded that they had no standing in court, as they were heretics and madmen, dogs and jugglers, and he cited them to appear before the pope by the following Lent. It could only have been the royal favor which preserved him from the fate at the stake of many a less audacious controversialist; and when, in 1300, King Jayme sent him on a mission to Philippe le Bel, he boldly laid his work on the advent of Antichrist before the University of Paris. The theologians looked askance on it, and, in spite of his ambassadorial immunity, on the eve of his return he was arrested without warning by the episcopal Official. The Archbishop of Narbonne interposed in vain, and he was bailed out on security of three thousand livres, furnished by the Viscount of Narbonne and other friends. Brought before the masters of theology, he was forced by threats of imprisonment to recant upon the spot, without being allowed to defend himself, and one can well believe his statement that one of his most eager judges was a Franciscan, whose zeal was doubtless inflamed by the portentous appearance of another Olivi from the prolific South. †
A formal appeal to Boniface was followed by a personal visit
* Pelayo, I. 454, 458, 464-6, 468-9, 730-1, 779.-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv für Litt.und Kirchengeschichte, 1886, 327-8.
† Pelayo, I. 460, 464-8, 739-45.
to the papal court. Received at first with jeers, his obstinacy provoked repression. As a relapsed, he might have been burned, but he was only imprisoned and forced to a second recantation, in spite of which Philippe le Bel, at the assembly of the Louvre in 1303, in his charges of heresy against Boniface asserted that the pope had approved a book of Arnaldo's which had already been burned by himself and by the University of Paris. Boniface, in fact, in releasing him, imposed on him silence on theologic matters, though appreciating his medical skill and appointing him papal physician. For a while he kept his peace, but a call from heaven forced him to renewed activity, and he solemnly warned Boniface of the divine vengeance if he remained insensible to the duty of averting the wrath to come by a thorough reformation of the Church. The catastrophe of Anagni soon followed, and Arnaldo, who had left the papal court, naturally regarded it as a confirmation of his prophecy, and looked upon himself as an envoy of God. With a fierce denunciation of clerical corruptions he repeated the warning to Benedict XI., who responded by imposing a penance on him and seizing all his apocalyptic tracts. In about a month Benedict, too, was dead, and Arnaldo announced that a third message would be sent to his successor, "though when and by whom. has not been revealed to me, but I know that if he heeds it divine power will adorn him with its sublimest gifts; if he rejects it, God will visit him with a judgment so terrible that it will be a wonder to all the earth." *
For some years we know nothing of his movements, although his fertile pen was busily employed with little intermission, and the Church vainly endeavored to suppress his writings. In 1305 Fray Guillermo, Inquisitor of Valencia, excommunicated and ejected from Church Gambaldo de Pilis, a servant of King, Jayme, for possessing and circulating them. The king applied to Guillermo for his reasons, and, on being refused, angrily wrote to Eymerich, the Dominican general. He declared that Arnaldo's writings were
* Pelayo, I. 470-4, 729, 734.-- D'Argentré I. II. 417.-- Du Puy, Histoire du Differend, Pr. 103.
One of the charges against Bernard Délicieux, in 1319, was that of sending to Arnaldo certain magic writings to encompass the death of Benedict. A witness was found to swear that this was the cause of Benedict's death.--MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 4270, fol. 12, 50, 51, 61.
eagerly read by himself, his queen and his children, by archbishops and bishops, by the clergy and the laity. He demanded that the sentence be revoked as uncanonical, else he would punish Fray Guillermo severely and visit with his displeasure all the Dominicans of his dominions. It was probably this royal favor which saved Arnaldo when he came near being burned at Santa Christina, and escaped with no worse infliction than being stigmatized as a necromancer and enchanter, a heretic and a pope of the heretics. *
When the persecution of the Spirituals of Provence was at its height, Arnaldo procured from Charles the Lame of Naples, who was also Count of Provence, a letter to the general, Gerald, which for a time put a stop to it. In 1309 we find him at Avignon, on a mission from Jayme II., well received by Clement V., who prized highly his skill as a physician. He used effectively this position by secretly persuading the pope to send for the leaders of the Spirituals, in order to learn from them orally and in writing of what they complained and what reformation they desired in their Order. With regard to his own affairs he was not so fortunate. At a public hearing before the pope and cardinals, in October, 1309, he predicted the end of the world within the century, and the advent of Antichrist within its first forty years; he dwelt at much length on the depravity of clergy and laity, and complained bitterly of the persecution of those who desired to live in evangelical poverty. All this was to be expected of him, but he added the incredible indiscretion of reading a detailed account of the dreams of Jayme II. and Frederic of Trinacria, their doubts and his explanations and exhortations--matters, all of them, as sacredly confidential as the confession of a penitent. Cardinal Napoleone Orsini, the protector of the Spirituals, wrote to Jayme congratulating him on his piety as revealed by that wise and illuminated man, inflamed with the love of God, Master Arnaldo, but this effort to conjure the tempest was unavailing. The Cardinal of Porto and Ramon Ortiz, Dominican Provincial of Aragon, promptly reported to Jayme that he and his brother had been represented as wavering in the faith and as believers in dreams, and advised him no longer to employ as his envoy such a heretic as Arnaldo. Jayme's pride was deeply wounded. It was in vain the Clement
* Pelayo, I. 481, 772.
assured him that he had paid no attention to Arnaldo's discourse; the king wrote to the pope and cardinals and to his brother denying the story of his dream and treating Arnaldo as an impostor. Frederic was less susceptible : he wrote to Jayme that the story could do them no harm, and that the real infamy would lie in abandoning Arnaldo in his hour of peril. Arnaldo took refuge with him, and not long afterwards was sent by him again to Avignon on a mission, but perished during the voyage. The exact date, of his death is unknown, but it was prior to February, 1311. For selfish reasons Clement mourned his loss, and issued a bull announcing that Arnaldo bad been his physician and had promised him a most useful book which he had written; he had died without doing so, and now Clement summoned any one possessing the precious volume to deliver it to him. *
The interposition of Arnaldo offered to the Spirituals an unexpected prospect of deliverance. From Languedoc to Venice and Florence they were enduring the bitterest persecution from their superiors; they were cast into dungeons where they starved to death, and were exposed to the infinite trials for which monastic life afforded such abundant opportunities, when Arnaldo persuaded Clement to make an energetic effort to heal the schism in the Order and to silence the accusations which the Conventuals brought against their brethren. An occasion was found in an appeal from the citizens of Narbonne setting forth that the books of Olivi had been unjustly condemned, that the Rule of the Order was disregarded, and those who observed it were persecuted, and further praying that a special cult of Olivi's remains might be permitted. A commission of important personages was formed to investigate the faith of Angelo da Clarino and his disciples, who still dwelt in the neighborhood of Rome, and who were pronounced good Catholics. Such leading Spirituals as Raymond Gaufridi, the former general, Ubertino da Casale, the intellectual leader of the sect, Raymond de Giniac, former Provincial of Aragon, Gui de Mirepoix, Bartolommeo Sicardi, and others were summoned to Avignon,
* Hist. Tribulationum (Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1886, I. 129).-- Pelayo, I. 4813, 773, 776.-- Wadding. ann. 1312, No. 7.-- Cf. Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1310; P. Langii Chron. Citicens. ann. 1320.
where they were ordered to draw up in writing the points which they deemed requisite for the reformation of the Order. To enable them to perform this duty in safety they were taken under papal protection by a bull which shows in its minute specifications how real were the perils incurred by those who sought to restore the Order to its primitive purity. Apparently stimulated by these warnings, the general, Gonsalvo, at the Chapter of Padua in 1310, caused the adoption of many regulations to diminish the luxury and remove the abuses which pervaded the Order, but the evil was too deep-seated. He was resolved, moreover, on reducing the Spirituals to obedience, and the hatred between the two parties grew bitterer than ever. *
The articles of complaint, thirty-five in number, which the Spirituals laid before Clement V. in obedience to his commands formed a terrible indictment of the laxity and corruption which had crept into the Order. It was answered but feebly by the Conventuals, partly by denying its allegations, partly by dialectical subtleties to prove that the Rule did not mean what it said, and partly by accusing the Spirituals of heresy. Clement appointed a commission of cardinals and theologians to hear both sides. For two years the contest raged with the utmost fury. During its continuance Raymond Gaufridi, Gui de Mirepoix, and Bartolommeo Sicardi died--poisoned by their adversaries, according to one account, worn out with ill-treatment and insult according to another. Clement had temporarily released the delegates of the Spirituals from the jurisdiction of their enemies, who had the audacity, March 1, 1311, to enter a formal protest against his action, alleging that they were excommunicated heretics under trial, who could not be thus protected. In this prolonged discussion the opposing leaders were Ubertino da Casale and Bonagrazia (Bon-
* Franz Ehrle ( Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1886, pp. 380-1, 384, 386; 1887, p. 36).-Raym. de Fronciacho (Ib. 1887, p. 18).-- Eymerich p. 316.-- Angeli Clarini Litt. Excus. (Archiv, 1885, pp. 531-2),-- Wadding. ann. 1210, No. 6.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. pp. 379 sqq. Romæ, 1887).
At the same time that the general, Gonsalvo, was seeking to repress the acquisitiveness of the friars they were procuring from the Emperor Henry VII. a decree annulling a local statute of Nuremberg which forbade any citizen from giving them more than a single gold piece at a time, or a measure of corn.-Chron. Glassberger ann. 1310.
cortese) da Bergamo. The former, while absorbed in devotion on Mont' Alverno, the scene of St. Francis's transfiguration, had been anointed by Christ and raised to a lofty degree of spiritual insight. His reputation is illustrated by the story that while laboring with much success in Tuscany he had been summoned to Rome by Benedict XI. to answer some accusations brought against him. Soon afterwards the people of Perugia sent a solemn embassy to the pope with two requests--one that Ubertino be restored to them, the other that the pope and cardinals would reside in their city--whereat Benedict smiled and said, "I see you love us but a little, since you prefer Frà Ubertino to us." He was a Joachite, moreover, who did not hesitate to characterize the abdication of Celestin as a horrible innovation, and the accession of Boniface as a usurpation. Bonagrazia was perhaps superior to his opponent in learning and not his inferior in steadfast devotion to what he deemed the truth, though Ubertino characterized him as a lay novice, skilled in the cunning tricks of the law. We shall see hereafter his readiness to endure persecution in defence of his own ideal of poverty; and the antagonism of two such men upon the points at issue between them is the most striking illustration of the impracticable nature of the questions which raised so heated a strife and cost so much blood. *
The Spirituals failed in their efforts to obtain a decree of separation which should enable them, in peace, to live according to their interpretation of the Rule, but in other respects the decision of the commission was wholly in their favor, in spite of the persistent effort of the Conventuals to divert attention from the real questions at issue to the assumed errors of Olivi. Clement accepted the decision, and in full consistory, in presence of both parties, ordered them to live in mutual love and charity, to bury the past in oblivion, and not to insult each other for past differences. Ubertino replied, "Holy Father, they call us heretics and defenders of heresy; there are whole books full of this in your archives and those of the Order. They must either allege these things
* Archiv für L. u. K. 1887, pp. 93 sqq.--Hist. Tribulat. ( Ibid. 1886, pp. 130, 132-4 ).-- Ehrle (Ibid. 1866, pp. 366, 380 ).-- Wadding. ann. 1310, No. 1-5.-- Chron. Glassberger ann. 1310.-- Ubertini de Casali Tract. de septem Statibus Ecclesiæ c. iv.
and let us defend ourselves, or they must recall them. Otherwise there can be no peace between us." To this Clement rejoined, "We declare as pope, that from what has been stated on both sides before us, no one ought to call you heretics and defenders of heresy. What exists to that effect in our archives or elsewhere we wholly erase and pronounce to be of no validity against you." The result was seen in the Council of Vienne ( 1311-12), which adopted the canon known as Exivi de Paradiso, designed to settle forever the controversy which had lasted so long. Angelo da Clarino declares that this was based wholly upon the propositions of Ubertino; that it was the crowning victory of the Spirituals, and his heart overflows with joy when he communicates the good news to his brethren. It determined, he says, eighty questions concerning the interpretation of the Rule; hereafter those who serve the Lord in hermitages and are obedient to their bishops are secured against molestation by any person. The inquisitors, he further stated, were placed under control of the bishops, which he evidently regarded as a matter of special importance, for in Provence and Tuscany the Inquisition was Franciscan, and thus in the hands of the Conventuals. We have seen that Clement delayed issuing the decrees of the council. He was on the point of doing so, after careful revision, when his death, in 1314, followed by a long interregnum, caused a further postponement. John XXII. was elected in August, 1316, but he, too, desired time for further revision, and it was not until November, 1317, that the canons were finally issued. That they underwent change in this process is more than probable, and the canon Exivi de Paradiso was on a subject peculiarly provocative of alteration. As it has reached us it certainly does not justify Angelo's pæan of triumph. It is true that it insists on a more rigid compliance with the Rule. It forbids the placing of coffers in churches for the collection of money; it pronounces the friars incapable of enjoying inheritances; it deprecates the building of magnificent churches, and convents which are rather palaces; it prohibits the acquisition of extensive gardens and great vineyards, and even the storing up of granaries of corn and cellars of wine where the brethren can live from day to day by beggary; it declares that whatever is given to the Order belongs to the Church of Rome, and that the friars have only the use of it, for they can hold noth- ing, either individually or in common. In short, it fully justified the complaints of the Spirituals and interpreted the Rule in accordance with their views, but it did not, as Angelo claimed, allow them to live by themselves in peace, and it subjected them to their superiors. This was to remand them into slavery, as the great majority of the Order were Conventuals, jealous of the assumption of superior sanctity by the Spirituals, and irritated by their defeat and by the threatened enforcement of the Rule in all its rigidity. This spirit was still further inflamed by the action of the general, Gonsalvo, who zealously set to work to carry out the reforms prescribed by the canon Exivi. He traversed the various provinces, pulling down costly buildings and compelling the return of gifts and legacies to donors and heirs. This excited great indignation among the laxer brethren, and his speedy death, in 1313, was attributed to foul play. The election of his successor, Alessandro da Alessandria, one of the most earnest of the Conventuals, showed that the Order at large was not disposed to submit quietly to pope and council. *
As might have been expected, the strife between the parties became bitterer than ever. Clement's leaning in favor of asceticism is shown by his canonization, in 1313, of Celestin V., but when the Spirituals applied to him for protection against their brethren he contented himself with ordering them to return to their convents and commanding them to be kindly treated. These commands were disregarded. Mutual hatreds were too strong for power not to be abused. Clement did his best to force the Conventuals to submission; as early as July, 1311, he had ordered Bonagrazia to betake himself to the convent of Valcabrère in Comminges, and not to leave it without special papal license. At the same time he summoned before him Guiraud Vallette, the Provincial of Provence, and fifteen of the principal officials of the Order throughout the south of France, who were regarded as the leaders in the oppression of the Spirituals. In public consistory
* Ubertini Responsio (Archiv für L. u. K. 1887, p. 87).--Baluz. et Mansi II. 278.-- Franz Ehrle (Archiv für L. u. K. 1885, pp. 541-2, 545; 1886, p. 362).- Hist. Tribulat. (Ibid. 1886, pp. 138-41) .--C. 1, Clement. v. 11.--Wadding. ann. 1312, No. 9; ann. 1313, No. 1.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1312.--Alvar. Pelag. de Planct. Eccles. Lib. II. art. 67.
he repeated his commands, scolded them for disobedience and rebellion, dismissed from office those who had positions, and declared ineligible those who were not officials. Those whom he ejected he replaced with suitable persons whom he strictly commanded to preserve the peace and show favor to the sorely afflicted minority. In spite of this the scandals and complaints continued, until the general, Alessandro, granted to the Spirituals the three convents of Narbonne, Béziers, and Carcassonne, and ordered that the superiors placed over them should be acceptable. The change was not effected without the employment of force, in which the Spirituals had the advantage of popular sympathy, and the convents thus favored became houses of refuge for the discontented brethren elsewhere. Then for a while there seems to have been quiet, but with Clement's death, in 1314, the turmoil commenced afresh. Bonagrazia, under pretext of sickness, hastened to leave his place of confinement, and joined eagerly in the renewed disturbance; the dismissed officials again made their influence felt; the Spirituals complained that they were abused and defamed in private and in public, pelted with mud and stones, deprived of food and even of the sacraments, despoiled of their habits, and scattered to distant places or imprisoned. *
It is possible that Clement might have found some means of dissolving the bonds between these irreconcilable parties, but for the insubordination of the Italian Spirituals. These grew impatient during the long conferences which preceded the Council of Vienne. Subjected to daily afflictions and despairing of rest within the Order, they eagerly listened to the advice of a wise and holy man, Canon Martin of Siena, who assured them that, however few their numbers, they had a right to secede and elect their own general. Under the lead of Giacopo di San Gemignano they did so, and effected an independent organization. This was rank rebellion and greatly prejudiced the case of the Spirituals at Avignon. Clement would not listen to anything that savored of concessions to those who thus threw off their pledged obedience. He promptly sent commissions for their trial, and they were duly ex-
* Jordan. Chron. c. 326 Partic. iii. (Muratori Antiq. XI. 767).-- Hist. Tribulat. (Archiv, 1886, 140-1).-- Franz Ehrle (Ibid. 1886, pp. 158-64; 1887, pp. 33, 40) .-Raym. de Fronciacho (Ib. 1887, p. 27).
communicated as schismatics and rebels, founders of a superstitious sect, and disseminators of false and pestiferous doctrines. Persecution against them raged more furiously than ever. In some places, supported by the laity, they ejected the Conventuals from their houses and defended themselves by force of arms, disregarding the censures of the Church which were lavished on them. Others made the best of their way to Sicily, and others again, shortly before Clement's death, sent letters to him professing submission and obedience, but the friends of the Spirituals feared to compromise themselves by even presenting them. After the accession of John XXII. they made another attempt to reach the pope, but by that time the Conventuals were in full control and threw the envoys into prison as excommunicated heretics. Such of them as were able to do so escaped to Sicily. It is worthy of note that everywhere the virtues and sanctity of these so-called heretics won for them popular favor, and secured them protection more or less efficient, and this was especially the case in Sicily. King Frederic, mindful of the lessons taught him by Arnaldo de Vilanova, received the fugitives graciously and allowed them to establish themselves, in spite of repeated remonstrances on the part of John XXII. There Henry da Ceva, whom we shall meet again, had already sought refuge from the persecution of Boniface VIII. and had prepared the way for those who were to follow. In 1313 there are allusions to a pope named Celestin whom the "Poor Men" in Sicily had elected, with a college of cardinals, who constituted the only true Church and who were entitled to the obedience of the faithful. Insignificant as this movement may have seemed at the time, it subsequently aided the foundation of the sect known as Fraticelli, who so long braved with marvellous constancy the unsparing rigor of the Italian Inquisition. *
Into these dangerous paths of rebellion the original leaders of
* Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. pp. 139-40).-- Lami Antichità Toscane, pp. 596-99. -- Franz Ehrle, Archiv, 1885, pp. 156-8.-- Joann. S. Victor. Chron. ann. 1319 (Muratori S. R. I. III. 11. 479).--Wadding. ann. 1313, No. 4-7.-- D'Argentré I. I. 297.--Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXVII. fol. 7 sqq.).--Raym. de Fronciacho (Archiv, 1887, p. 31).
Frà Francesco del Borgo San Sepolcro, who was tried by the Inquisition at Assisi in 1311 for assuming gifts of prophecy, was probably a Tuscan Joachite who refused submission ( Franz Ehrle, Archiv für L. u. K. 1887, p. 11).
the Italian Spirituals were not obliged to enter, as they were released from subjection to the Conventuals, and could afford to remain in obedience to Rome. Angelo da Clarino writes to his disciples that torment and death were preferable to separation from the Church and its head; the pope was the bishop of bishops, who regulated all ecclesiastical dignities; the power of the keys is from Christ, and submission is due in spite of persecution. Yet, together with these appeals are others which show how impracticable was the position created by the belief in St. Francis as a new evangelist whose Rule was a revelation. If kings or prelates command what is contrary to the faith, then obedience is due to God, and death is to be welcomed. Francis placed in the Rule nothing but what Christ bade him write, and obedience is due to it rather than to prelates. After the persecution under John XXII. he even quotes a prophecy attributed to Francis, to the effect that men would arise who would render the Order odious, and corrupt the whole Church; there would be a pope not canonically elected who would not believe rightly as to Christ and the Rule; there would be a split in the Order, and the wrath of God would visit those who cleaved to error. With clear reference to John, he says that if a pope condemns evangelical truth as an error he is to be left to the judgment of Christ and the doctors; if he excommunicates as heresy the poverty of the Gospel, he is excommunicate of God and is a heretic before Christ. Yet, though his faith and obedience were thus sorely tried, Angelo and his followers never attempted a schism. He died in 1337, worn out with sixty years of tribulation and persecution--a man of the firmest and gentlest spirit, of the most saintly aspirations, who had fallen on evil days and had exhausted himself in the hopeless effort to reconcile the irreconcilable. Though John XXII. had permitted him to assume the habit and Rule of the Celestins, he was obliged to live in hiding, with his abode known only to a few faithful friends and followers, of some of whom we hear as on trial before the Inquisition as Fraticelli, in 1334. It was in the desert hermitage of Santa Maria di Aspro in the Basilicata; but three days before his death a rumor spread that a saint was dying there, and such multitudes assembled that it was necessary to place guards at the entrance of his retreat, and admit the people two by two to gaze on his dying agonies. He shone in miracles, and was finally beatified by the Church, which through the period of two generations had never ceased to trample on him, but his little congregation, though lost to sight in the more aggressive energy of the Fraticelli, continued to exist, even after the tradition of self-abnegation was taken up under more fortunate auspices by the Observantines, until it was finally absorbed into the latter in the reorganization of 1517 under Leo X. *
In Provence, even before the death of Clement V., there were ardent spirits, nursing the reveries of the Everlasting Gospel, who were not satisfied with the victory won at the Council of Vienne. When, in 1311, the Conventuals assailed the memory of Olivi, one of their accusations was that he had given rise to sects who claimed that his doctrine was revealed by Christ, that it was of equal authority with the gospel, that since Nicholas III. the papal supremacy had been transferred to them, and they consequently had elected a pope of their own. This Ubertino did not deny, but only argued that he knew nothing of it; that if it were true Olivi was not responsible, as it was wholly opposed to his teaching, of which not a word could be cited in support of such insanity. Yet, undoubtedly there were sectaries calling themselves disciples of Olivi among whom the revolutionary leaven was working, and they could recognize no virtue or authority in the carnal and worldly Church. In 1313 we hear of a Frère Raymond Jean, who, in a public sermon at Montréal, prophesied that they would suffer persecution for the faith, and when, after the sermon, he was asked what he meant, boldly replied in the presence of several persons, "The enemies of the faith are among ourselves. The Church which governs us is symbolled by the Great Whore of the Apocalypse, who persecutes the poor and the ministers of Christ. You see we do not dare to walk openly before our brethren." He added that the only true pope was Celestin, who had been elected in Sicily, and his organization was the only true Church. †
Thus the Spirituals were by no means a united body. When
* Franz Ehrle (Archiv f. L. u. K. 1885, pp. 534-9, 553-51, 558-9, 561, 563-4, 566-9; 1887, p. 406).--S. Francisci Prophet. XIV., (Opp. Ed. 1849, pp. 270-1).-Chron. Glassberger ann. 1502, 1506, 1517.
† Franz Ehrle (Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1886, pp. 371, 411).--Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXVII. fol. 7 sqq.).
once the trammels of authority had been shaken off, there was among them too much individuality and too ardent a fanaticism for them to reach precisely the same convictions, and they were fractioned into little groups and sects which neutralized what slender ability they might otherwise have had to give serious trouble to the powerful organization of the hierarchy. Yet, whether their doctrines were submissive like those of Angelo, or revolutionary like those of Raymond Jean, they were all guilty of the unpardonable crime of independence, of thinking for themselves where thought was forbidden, and of believing in a higher law than that of papal decretals. Their steadfastness was soon to be put to the test. In 1314 the general, Alessandro, died, and after an interval of twenty months Michele da Cesena was chosen as his successor. To the chapter of Naples which elected him the Spirituals of Narbonne sent a long memorial reciting the wrongs and afflictions which they had endured since the death of Clement had deprived them of papal protection. The nomination of Michele might seem to be a victory over the Conventuals. He was a distinguished theologian, of resolute and unbending temper, and resolved on enforcing the strict observance of the Rule. Within three months of his election he issued a general precept enjoining rigid obedience to it. The vestments to be worn were minutely prescribed, money was not to be accepted except in case of absolute necessity; no fruits of the earth were to be sold; no splendid buildings to be erected; meals were to be plain and frugal; the brethren were never to ride, nor even to wear shoes except under written permission of their convents when exigency required it. The Spirituals might hope that at last they had a general after their own heart, but they had unconsciously drifted away from obedience, and Michele was resolved that the Order should be a unit, and that all wanderers should be driven back into the fold. *
A fortnight before the issuing of this precept the long interregnum of the papacy had been closed by the election of John XXII. There have been few popes who have so completely embodied the ruling tendencies of their time, and few who have exerted so large an influence on the Church, for good or for evil.
* Franz Ehrle (loc. cit. 1886, pp. 160-4).--Wadding. ann. 1316, No. 5.
Sprung from the most humble origin, his abilities and force of character had carried him from one preferment to another, until he reached the chair of St. Peter. He was short in stature but robust in health, choleric and easily moved to wrath, while his enmity once excited was durable, and his rejoicing when his foes came to an evil end savored little of the Christian pastor. Persistent and inflexible, a purpose once undertaken was pursued to the end regardless of opposition from friend or enemy. He was especially proud of his theologic attainments, ardent in disputation, and impatient of opposition. After the fashion of the time he was pious, for he celebrated mass almost every day, and almost every night he arose to recite the Office or to study. Among his good works is enumerated a poetical description of the Passion of Christ, concluding with a prayer, and he gratified his vanity as an author by proclaiming many indulgences as a reward to all who would read it through. His chief characteristics, however, were ambition and avarice. To gratify the former he waged endless wars with the Visconti of Milan, in which, as we are assured by a contemporary, the blood shed would have incarnadined the waters of Lake Constance, and the bodies of the slain would have bridged it from shore to shore. As for the latter, his quenchless greed displayed an exhaustless fertility of resource in converting the treasures of salvation into current coin. He it was who first reduced to a system the "Taxes of the Penitentiary," which offered absolution at fixed prices for every possible form of human wickedness, from five grossi for homicide or incest, to thirty-three grossi for ordination below the canonical age. Before he had been two years in the papacy he arrogated to himself the presentation to all the collegiate benefices in Christendom, under the convenient pretext of repressing simony, and then from their sale we are told that he accumulated an immense treasure. Another still more remunerative device was the practice of not filling a vacant episcopate from the ranks, but establishing a system of promotion from a poorer see to a richer one, and thence to archbishoprics, so that each vacancy gave him the opportunity of making numerous changes and levying tribute on each. Besides these regular sources of unhallowed gains he was fertile in special expedients, as when, in 1326, needing money for his Lombard wars, he applied to Charles le Bel for authority to levy a subsidy on the churches of France, Germany being for the time cut off by his quarrel with Louis of Bavaria. Charles at first refused, but finally agreed to divide the spoils, and granted the power in consideration of a papal grant to him of a tithe for two years--as a contemporary remarks, "et ainsi saincte yglise, quant l'un le tont, l'autre l'escorche." John proceeded to extort a large sum; from some he got a full tithe, from others a half, from others again as much as he could extract, while all who held benefices under papal authority had to pay a full year's revenue. His excuse for this insatiable acquisitiveness was that he designed the money for a crusade, but as he lived to be a nonagenary without executing that design, the contemporary Villani is perhaps justified in the cautious remark--"Possiby he had such intention." Though for the most part parsimonious, he spent immense sums in advancing the fortunes of his nephew--or son--the Cardinal-legate Poyet, who was endeavoring to found a principality in the north of Italy. He lavished money in making Avignon a permanent residence for the papacy, though it was reserved for Benedict XII. to purchase and enlarge the enormous palace-fortress of the popes. Yet after his death, when an inventory of his effects came to be made, there was found in his treasury eighteen millions of gold florins, and jewels and vestments estimated at seven millions more. Even in mercantile Florence, the sum was so incomprehensible that Villani, whose brother was one of the appraisers, feels obliged to explain that each million is a thousand thousands. When we reflect upon the comparative poverty of the period and the scarcity of the precious metals, we can estimate how great an amount of suffering was represented by such an accumulation, wrung as it was, in its ultimate source, from the wretched peasantry, who gleaned at the best an insufficient subsistence from imperfect agriculture. We can, perhaps, moreover, imagine how, in its passage to the papal treasury, it represented so much of simony, so much of justice sold or denied to the wretched litigants in the curia, so much of purgatory remitted, and of pardons for sins to the innumerable applicants for a share of the Church's treasury of salvation. *
* Villani, Chronica, Lib. XI. c. 20.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1334.--Vitodurani Chron. (Eccard. Corp. Hist. Med. Ævi I. 1806-8).--Friedrich, Statut. Synod. Wratislav., Hannoveræ, 1827, pp. 37, 38, 41.--Grandes Chroniques, V. 300.-Guillel. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1326.--The collection of papal briefs relating to
The permanent evil which he wrought by his shameless traffic in benefices, and the reputation which he left behind him, are visible in the bitter complaints which were made at the Council of Siena, a century later, by the deputies of the Gallican nation. They refer to his pontificate as that in which the Holy See reserved all benefices to itself, when graces, expectatives, etc., were publicly sold to the highest bidder, without regard to qualification, so that in France many benefices were utterly ruined by reason of the insupportable burdens laid upon them. It is no wonder, therefore, that when St. Birgitta of Sweden was applied to, in the latter half of the fourteenth century, by some Franciscans to learn whether John's decretals on the subject of the poverty of Christ were correct, and she was vouchsafed two visions of the Virgin to satisfy their scruples, the Virgin reported that his decretals were free from error, but discreetly announced that she was not at liberty to say whether his soul was in heaven or in hell. Such was the man to whom the cruel irony of fate committed the settlement of the delicate scruples which vexed the souls of the Spirituals. *
John had been actively engaged in the proceedings of the Council of Vienne, and was thoroughly familiar with all the details of the question. When, therefore, the general, Michele, shortly after his accession, applied to him to restore unity in the distracted Order, his imperious temper led him to take speedy and vigorous action. King Frederic of Trinacria was ordered to seize the refugees in his dominions, and deliver them to their superiors to be disciplined. Bertrand de la Tour, the Provincial of Aquitaine, was instructed to reduce to obedience the rebels of the convents
Saxony recently printed by Schmidt (Päbstliche Urkunden und Regesten, pp. 87-295) will explain the immense sums raised by John XXII. from the sale of canonries. It is within bounds to say that more than half the letters issued during his pontificate are appointments of this kind.
The accounts of the papal collector for Hungary in 1320 show the thoroughness with which the first-fruits of every petty benefice were looked after, and the enormous proportion consumed in the process. The collector charges himself with 1913 gold florins received, of which only 732 reached the papal treasury. (Theiner, Monumenta Slavor. Meridional. I. 147).
* Jo. de Ragusio Init. et Prosecut. Basil. Concil. (Monument. Concil. Sæc. XV. T. I. p. 32).--Revelat. S. Brigittæ Lib. VII. c. viii
of Béziers, Narbonne, and Carcassonne. Bertrand at first tried persuasion. The outward sign of the Spirituals was the habit. They wore smaller hoods, and gowns shorter, narrower, and coarser than the Conventuals; and, holding this to be in accordance with the precedent set by Francis, it was as much an article of faith with them as the absence of granaries and wine-cellars and the refusal to handle money. When he urged them to abandon these vestments they therefore replied that this was one of the matters in which they could not render obedience. Then he assumed a tone of authority under the papal rescript, and they rejoined by an appeal to the pope better informed, signed by forty-five friars of Narbonne, and fifteen of Béziers. On receipt of the appeal, John peremptorily ordered, April 27, 1317, all the appellants to present themselves before him within ten days, under pain of excommunication. They set forth, seventy-four in number, with Bernard Délicieux at their head, and on reaching Avignon did not venture to lodge in the Franciscan convent, but bivouacked for the night on the public place in front of the papal doors. *
They were regarded as much more dangerous rebels than the Italian Spirituals. The latter had already had a hearing in which Ubertino da Casale confuted the charges brought against them, and he, Goffrido da Cornone, and Philippe de Caux, while expressing sympathy and readiness to defend Olivi and his disciples, had plainly let it be seen that they regarded themselves as not personally concerned with them. John drew the same distinction; and though Angelo da Clarino was for a while imprisoned on the strength of an old condemnation by Boniface VIII., he was soon released and permitted to adopt the Celestin habit and Rule. Ubertino was told that if he would return for a few days to the Franciscan convent proper provision would be made for his future. To this he significantly replied, "After staying with the friars for a single day I will not require any provision in this world from you or any one else," and he was permitted to transfer himself to the Benedictine Order, as were likewise several others of his comrades. He had but a temporary respite, how-
* Wadding. ann. 1317, No. 9-14.-- Hist. Tribulation. (Archiv für L. u. K. 1886, p. 142).-- Joann. S. Victor. Chron. ann. 1311, 1316 (Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 460, 478).
ever, and we shall see hereafter that in 1325 he was obliged to take refuge with Louis of Bavaria. *
The Olivists were not to escape so easily. The day after their arrival they were admitted to audience. Bernard Délicieux argued their case so ably that he could only be answered by accusing him of having impeded the Inquisition, and John ordered his arrest. Then François Sanche took up the argument, and was accused of having vilified the Order publicly, when John delivered him to the Conventuals, who promptly imprisoned him in a cell next to the latrines. Then Guillaume de Saint-Amand assumed the defence, but the friars accused him of dilapidation and of deserting the Convent of Narbonne, and John ordered his arrest. Then Geoffroi attempted it, but John interrupted him, saying, "We wonder greatly that you demand the strict observance of the Rule, and yet you wear five gowns." Geoffroi replied, "Holy Father, you are deceived, for, saving your reverence, it is not true that I wear five gowns." John answered hotly, "Then we lie," and ordered Geoffroi to be seized until it could be determined how many gowns he wore. The terrified brethren, seeing that their case was prejudged, fell on their knees, crying, "Holy Father, justice, justice!" and the pope ordered them all to go to the Franciscan convent, to be guarded till he should determine what to do with them. Bernard, Guillaume, and Geoffroi, and some of their comrades were subjected to harsh imprisonment in chains by order of the pope. Bernard's fate we have already seen. As to the others, an inquisition was held on them, when all but twentyfive submitted, and were rigorously penanced by the triumphant Conventuals. †
The twenty-five recalcitrants were handed over to the Inquisition of Marseilles, under whose jurisdiction they were arrested. The inquisitor was Frère Michel le Moine, one of those who had been degraded and imprisoned by Clement V. on account of their zeal in persecuting the Spirituals. Now he was able to glut his revenge. He had ample warrant for whatever be might please to do, for John bad not waited to hear the Spirituals before condemning them. As early as February 17, he had ordered the inquisi-
* Hist. Tribulat. (ubi sup. pp. 142-44, 151-2).-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv, 1887, p. 546.
† Hist. Tribulat. (Ibid. pp. 145-6).-- Raym. de Fronciacho (Ib. 1887, p. 29) .
tors of Languedoc to denounce as heretics all who styled themselves Fraticelli or Fratres de paupere vita. Then, April 13, he had issued the constitution Quorumdam, in which be had definitely settled the two points which had become the burning questions of the dispute--the character of vestments to be worn, and the legality of laying up stores of provisions in granaries, and cellars of wine and oil. These questions he referred to the general of the Order with absolute power to determine them. Under Michele's instructions, the ministers and guardians were to determine for each convent what amount of provisions it required, what portion might be stored up, and to what extent the friars were to beg for it. Such decisions were to be implicitly followed without thinking or asserting that they derogated from the Rule. The ball wound up with the significant words, "Great is poverty, but greater is blamelessness, and perfect obedience is the greatest good." There was a hard common-sense about this which may seem to us even commonplace, but it decided the case against the Spirituals, and gave them the naked alternative of submission or rebellion. *
This bull was the basis of the inquisitorial process against the twenty-five recalcitrants. The case was perfectly clear under it, and in fact all the proceedings of the Spirituals after its issue had been flagrantly contumacious--their refusal to change their vestments, and their appeal to the pope better informed. Before handing them over to the Inquisition they had been brought before Michele da Cesena, and their statements to him when read before the consistory had been pronounced heretical and the authors subject to the penalty of heresy. Efforts of course had been made to secure their submission, but in vain, and it was not until November 6, 1317, that letters were issued by John and by Michele da Cesena to the Inquisitor Michel, directing him to proceed with the trial. Of the details of the process we have no knowledge, but it is not likely that the accused were spared any of the rigors customary in such cases, when the desire was to break the spirit and induce compliance. This is shown, moreover, in the fact that the proceedings were protracted for exactly six months, the sentence being rendered on May 7, 1318, and by the further fact that
* Coll. Doat, XXIV. 147.--Extrav. Joann. XXII. Tit. XIV. cap. 1.
most of the culprits were brought to repentance and abjuration. Only four of them had the physical and mental endurance to persevere to the last--Jean Barrani, Déodat Michel, Guillem Sainton, and Pons Rocha--and these were handed over the same day to the secular authorities of Marseilles and duly burned. A fifth, Bernard Aspa, who had said in prison that he repented, but who refused to recant and abjure, was mercifully condemned to prison for life, though under all inquisitorial rules he should have shared the fate of his accomplices. The rest were forced to abjure publicly and to accept the penances imposed by the inquisitor, with the warning that if they failed to publish their abjuration wherever they had preached their errors they would be burned as relapsed. *
Although in the sentence the heresy of the victims is said to have been drawn from the poisoned doctrine of Olivi, and though the inquisitor issued letters prohibiting any one from possessing or reading his books, there is no allusion to any Joachite error. It was simply a question of disobedience to the bull Quorumdam. They affirmed that this was contrary to the Gospel of Christ, which forbade them to wear garments of other fashion than that which they had adopted, or to lay up stores of corn and wine. To this the pope had no authority to compel them; they would not obey him, and this they declared they would maintain until the Day of Judgment. Frivolous as the questions at issue undoubtedly were, it was on the one hand a case of conscience from which reason had long since been banished by the bitterness of controversy, and on the other the necessity of authority compelling obedience. If private judgment were allowed to set aside the commands of a papal decretal, the moral power of the papacy was gone, and with it all temporal supremacy. Yet, underlying all this was the old Joachitic leaven which taught that the Church of Rome had no spiritual authority, and thus that its decrees were not binding on the elect. When Bernard Délicieux was sent, in 1319, from Avignon to Castelnaudari for trial, on the road he talked freely with his escort and made no secret of his admiration for Joachim, even going so far as to say that he had erased from his copy of the Decretum the Lateran canon condemning Joachim's Trinitarian
* Baluz. et Mansi II. 248-51.-- Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. p. 147).
error, and that if he were pope he would abrogate it. The influence of the Everlasting Gospel is seen in the fact that of those who recanted at Marseilles and were imprisoned, a number fled to the Infidel, leaving behind them a paper in which they defiantly professed their faith, and prophesied that they would return triumphantly after the death of John XXII. *
Thus John, ere yet his pontificate was a year old, had succeeded in creating a new heresy--that which held it unlawful for Franciscans to wear flowing gowns or to have granaries and cellars. In the multiform development of human perversity there has been perhaps none more deplorably ludicrous than this, that man should burn his fellows on such a question, or that men should be found dauntless enough to brave the flames for such a principle, and to feel that they were martyrs in a high and holy cause. John probably, from the constitution of his mind and his training, could not understand that men could be so enamoured of holy poverty as to sacrifice themselves to it, and he could only regard them as obstinate rebels, to be coerced into submission or to pay the penalty. He had taken his stand in support of Michele da Cesena's authority, and resistance, whether active or passive, only hardened him.
The bull Quorumdam had created no little stir. A defence of it, written by an inquisitor of Carcassonne and Toulouse, probably Jean de Beaune, shows that its novel positions had excited grave doubts in the minds of learned men, who were not convinced of its orthodoxy, though not prepared to risk open dissent. There is also an allusion to a priest who persisted in maintaining the errors which it condemned and who was handed over to the secular arm,
* Raym. de Fronciacho (Archiv f. L. u. K. 1887, p. 31).-- Baluz. et Mansi II. 248-51, 271-2.-- Joann. S. Victor. Chron. ann. 1319 ( Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 478-9).--MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No.4270, fol. 188, 262. Bernard, however, in his examination, denied these allegations as well as Olivi's tenet that Christ was alive when lanced upon the Cross, although he said some MBS. of St. Mark so represented him (fol. 167-8).
Of the remainder of those who were tried at Marseilles the fate is uncertain. From the text it appears that at least some of them were imprisoned. Others were probably let off with lighter penances, for in 1325 Blaise Boerii, a shoemaker of Narbonne, when on trial before the Inquisition of Carcassonne, confessed that be had visited, in houses at Marseilles, three of them at one time and four at another, and had received them in his own house and had conducted them on their way.--Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.
but who recanted ere the fagots were lighted and was received to penance. To silence discussion, John assembled a commission of thirteen prelates and doctors, including Michele da Cesena, who after due consideration solemnly condemned as heretical the propositions that the pope had no authority to issue the bull, and that obedience was not due to prelates who commanded the laying aside of short and narrow vestments and the storing up of corn and wine. All this was rapidly creating a schism, and the bull Sancta Romana, December 30, 1317, and Gloriosam ecclesiam, January 23, 1318, were directed against those who under the names of Fraticelli, Beguines, Bizochi, and Fratres de paupere vita, in Sicily, Italy, and the south of France, were organizing an independent Order under the pretence of observing strictly the Rule of Francis, receiving multitudes into their sect, building or receiving houses in gift, begging in public, and electing superiors. All such are declared excommunicate ipso facto, and all prelates are commanded to see that the sect is speedily extirpated. *
Among the people, the cooler heads argued that if the Franciscan vow rendered all possession sinful it was not a vow of holiness, for in things in which use was consumption, such as bread and cheese, use passed into possession. He who took such a vow, therefore, by the mere fact of living broke that vow, and could not be in a state of grace. The supreme holiness of poverty, however, had been so assiduously preached for a hundred years that a large portion of the population sympathized with the persecuted Spirituals; many laymen, married and unmarried, joined them as Tertiaries, and even priests embraced their doctrines. There speedily grew up a sect, by no means confined to Franciscans, to replace the fast-vanishing Cathari as an object for the energies of the Inquisition. It is the old story over again, of persecuted saints with the familiars ever at their heels, but always finding refuge and hiding-place at the hands of friendly sympathizers. Pierre Trencavel, a priest of Béziers, may be taken as an example. His name recurs frequently in the examinations before the Inquisition as that of one of the principal leaders of the sect. Caught at last, he was thrown into the prison of Carcassonne, but managed to escape,
* Baluz. et Mansi II. 270-1, 274-6.--Extravagant. Joann. XXII. Tit. VII.-Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 193.
when he was condemned in an auto de fé as a convicted heretic. Then a purse was raised among the faithful to send him to the East. After an absence of some years he returned and was as active as ever, wandering in disguise throughout the south of France and assiduously guarded by the devotees. What was his end does not appear, but he probably perished at length at the stake as a relapsed heretic, for in 1327 we find him and his daughter Andrée in the pitiless hands of Michel of Marseilles. Jean du Prat, then Inquisitor of Carcassonne, wanted them, in order to extort from them the names of their disciples and of those who had sheltered them. Apparently Michel refused to surrender them, and a peremptory order from John XXII. was requisite to obtain their transfer. In 1325 Bernard Castillon of Montpellier confesses to harboring a number of Beguines in his house, and then to buying a dwelling for them in which he visited them. Another culprit acknowledges to receiving many fugitives in his house at Montpellier. There was ample sympathy for them and ample occasion for it. *
The burning of the four martyrs of Marseilles was the signal for active inquisitorial work. Throughout all the infected region the Holy Office bent its energies to the suppression of the new heresy; and as previously there had been no necessity for concealing opinions, the suspects were readily laid hold of. There was
The case of Raymond Joan illustrates the life of the persecuted Spirituals. As early as 1312 he had commenced to denounce the Church as the Whore of Babylon, and to prophesy his own fate. In 1317 he was one of the appellants who were summoned to Avignon, where he submitted. Remitted to the obedience of his Order, he was sent by his superior to the convent of Anduse, where he remained until he heard the fate of his stancher companions at Marseilles, when he fled with a comrade. Reaching Béziers, they found refuge in a house where, in company with some female apostates from the Order, they lay hid for three years. After this Raymond led a wandering life, associating for a while with Pierre Trencavel. At one time he went beyond seas; then returning, he adopted the habit of a secular priest and assumed the cure of souls, sometimes in Gascony and again in Rodez or east of the Rhone. Captured at last in 1325 and brought before the Inquisition of Carcassonne, after considerable pressure he was induced to recant. His sentence is not given, but doubtless it was perpetual imprisonment.-- Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.
* Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1317.--Coll. Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq., 170; XXXV. 18.--Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 301, 312, 381.
thus an ample harvest, and the rigor of the inquisition set on foot is shown by the order issued in February, 1322, by John XXII., that all Tertiaries in the suspected districts should be summoned to appear and be closely examined. This caused general terror. In the archives of Florence there are preserved numerous letters to the papal curia, written in February, 1322, by the magistrates and prelates of the Tuscan cities, interceding for the Tertiaries, and begging that they shall not be confounded with the new sect of Beguines. This is doubtless a sample of what was occurring everywhere, and the all-pervading fear was justified by the daily increasing roll of martyrs. The test was simple. It was whether the accused believed that the pope had power to dispense with vows, especially those of poverty and chastity. As we have seen, it was a commonplace of the schools, which Aquinas proved beyond cavil, that he had no such power, and even as recently as 1311 the Conventuals, in arguing before Clement V., had admitted that no Franciscan could hold property or take a wife under command from the pope; but things had changed in the interval, and now those who adhered to the established doctrine had the alternative of recantation or the stake. Of course but a small portion of the culprits had the steadfastness to endure to the end against the persuasive methods which the Inquisition knew so well how to employ, and the number of the victims who perished shows that the sect must have been large. Our information is scanty and fragmentary, but we know that at Narbonne, where the bishops at first endeavored to protect the unfortunates, until frightened by the threats of the inquisitors, there were three burned in 1319, seventeen in Lent, 1321, and several in 1322. At Montpellier, persecution was already active in 1319. At Lunel there were seventeen burned; at Béziers, two at one time and seven at another; at Pézénas, several, with Jean Formayron at their head; in Gironde, a number in 1319; at Toulouse, four in 1322, and others at Cabestaing and Lodève. At Carcassonne there were burnings in 1319, 1320, and 1321, and Henri de Chamay was active there between 1325 and 1330. A portion of his trials are still extant, with very few cases of burning, but Mosheim had a list of one hundred and thirteen persons executed at Carcassonne as Spirituals from 1318 to about 1350. All these cases were under Dominican inquisitors, and the Franciscans were even more zealous, if we may believe Wadding's boast that in 1323 there were one hundred and fourteen burned by Franciscan inquisitors alone. The Inquisition at Marseilles, in fact, which was in Franciscan hands, had the reputation of being excessively severe with the recalcitrant brethren of the Order. In a case occurring in 1329 Frère Guillem de Salvelle, the Guardian of Béziers, states that their treatment there was very harsh and the imprisonment of the most rigorous description. Doubtless Angelo da Clarino has justification for the assertion that the Conventuals improved their triumph over their antagonists like mad dogs and wolves, torturing, slaying, and ransoming without mercy. Trivial as may seem to us the cause of quarrel, we cannot but respect the simple earnestness which led so many zealots to seal their convictions with their blood. Many of them, we are told, courted martyrdom and eagerly sought the flames. Bernard Léon of Montréal was burned for persistently declaring that, as he had vowed poverty and chastity, he would not obey the pope if ordered to take a wife or accept a prebend. *
Ferocious persecution such as this of course only intensified the convictions of the sufferers and their antagonism to the Holy See. So far as regards the ostensible subject of controversy, we learn from Pierre Tort, when he was before the Inquisition of Toulouse in 1322, that it was allowable to lay in stores of corn and wine sufficient for eight or fifteen days, while of salt and oil there might be provision for half a year. As to vestments, Michele da Cesena had exercised the power conferred on him by the bull Quorumdam by issuing, in 1317, a precept requiring the gown to be made of coarse stuff, reaching down to cover only half the foot, while the cord was to be of hemp and not of flax. Although he seems to have left the burning question of the hood untouched, this regulation might have satisfied reasonable scruples, but it was a case of conscience which admitted of no compromise. The Spirituals declared that they were not bound to abandon the still shorter and
____________________ * Raynald ann. 1322, No. 51.-- Archivio di Firenze, Prov. del Convento di Santa Croce, Feb. 1322.-- Th. S. Aquin. Summ. Sec. Sec. Q. LXXXVIII. Art. xi.; Q. CLXXXVI. Art. viii. ad 3.-- Franz Ehrle (Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1887, p. 156).--Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 300, 313, 381-93.--Coll. Doat, XXVII., XXVIII.-- Mosheim de Beghardis pp. 499, 632.-- Vaissette, IV. 182-3.-Wadding. ann. 1317, No. 45.-- Hist. Tribulat. (loc. cit. p. 149).-- Arch. de l' Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXVII. 162).-- Johann. S. Victor. Chron. ann. 1316-19.
more ungainly gowns which their tradition attributed to St. Francis, no matter what might be commanded by pope or general, and so large was the importance attributed to the question that in the popular belief the four martyrs of Marseilles were burned because they wore the mean and tightly-fitting garments which distinguished the Spirituals. *
Technically they were right, for, as we have seen above, it had hitherto been generally admitted that the pope could not dispense for vows; and when Olivi developed this to the further position that he could not order anything contrary to an evangelical vow, it was not reckoned among his errors condemned by the Council of Vienne. While all this, however, had been admitted as a theoretical postulate, when it came to be set up against the commands of such a pope as John XXII. it was rebellious heresy, to be crushed with the sternest measures. At the same time it was impossible that the sufferers could recognize the authority which was condemning them to the stake. Men who willingly offered themselves to be burned because they asserted that the pope had no power to dispense from the observance of vows; who declared that if there were but one woman in the world, and if she had taken a vow of chastity, the pope could give her no valid dispensation, even if it were to prevent the human race from coming to an end; who asserted that John XXII. had sinned against the gospel of Christ when he had attempted to permit the Franciscans to have granaries and cellars; who held that although the pope might have power over other Orders he had none over that of St. Francis, because his Rule was divine revelation, and not a word in it could be altered or erased--such men could only defend themselves against the pope by denying the source of his authority. All the latent Joachitic notions which had been dormant were vivified and became the leading principles of the sect. John XXII., when he issued the bull Quorumdam, became the mystical Antichrist, the forerunner of the true Antichrist. The Roman Church was the carnal Church; the Spirituals would form the new Church, which would fight with Antichrist, and, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, would usher in the new age when man would
* Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 320, 325.--Wadding. ann. 1317, No. 23.-Coll. Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.
be ruled by love and poverty be universal. Some of them placed this in 1325, others in 1330, others again in fourteen years from 1321. Thus the scheme of the Everlasting Gospel was formally adopted and brought to realization. There were two churches-one the carnal Church of Rome, the Whore of Babylon, the Synagogue of Satan, drunk with the blood of the saints, over which John XXII. pretended to preside, although he had forfeited his station and become a heretic of heretics when he consented to the death of the martyrs of Marseilles. The other was the true Church, the Church of the Holy Ghost, which would speedily triumph through the arms of Frederic of Trinacria. St. Francis would be resurrected in the flesh, and then would commence the third age and the seventh and last state of mankind. Meanwhile, the sacraments were already obsolete and no longer requisite for salvation. It is to this period of frenzied exaltation that we may doubtless attribute the interpolations of Olivi's writings. *
This new Church had some sort of organization. In the trial of Naprous Boneta at Carcassonne, in 1325, there is an allusion to a Frère Guillem Giraud, who had been ordained by God as pope in place of John XXII., whose sin had been as great as Adam's, and who had thus been deposed by the divine will. There were not lacking saints and martyrs, besides Francis and Olivi. Fragments of the bodies and bones of those who perished at the stake were treasured up as relics, and even pieces of the stakes at which they suffered. These were set before altars in their houses, or carried about the person as amulets. In this cult, the four martyrs of Marseilles were pre-eminently honored; their suffrages with God were as potent as those of St. Laurence or St. Vincent, and in them Christ had been spiritually crucified on the four arms of the cross. One poor wretch, who was burned at Toulouse in 1322, had inserted in his litany the names of seventy. Spirituals who had suffered; he invoked them among the other saints, attaching equal importance to their intervention; and this was doubtless a customary and recognized form of devotion. Yet this cult was simpler than that of the orthodox Church, for it was held that the
* Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 298-99, 302-6, 316.-- Bern. Guidon. Praclica P. v.--Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.-- Johann. S. Victor. Chron. ann. 1316-19 ( Muratori S. R. I . III. II. 478-9).
saints needed no oblations, and if a man had vowed a candle to one of them or to the Virgin, or a pilgrimage to Compostella, it would be better to give to the poor the money that it would cost. *
The Church composed of these enthusiastic fanatics broke off all relations with the Italian Spirituals, whose more regulated zeal seemed lukewarmness and backsliding. The prisoners who were tried by Bernard Gui in 1322 at Toulouse described the Franciscan Order as divided into three fragments--the Conventuals, who insisted on having granaries and cellars, the Fraticelli under Henry da Ceva in Sicily, and the Spirituals, or Beguines, then under persecution. The two former groups they said did not observe the Rule and would be destroyed, while their own sect would endure to the end of the world. Even the saintly and long - suffering Angelo da Clarino was denounced as an apostate, and there were hot-headed zealots who declared that he would prove to be the mystical Antichrist. Others were disposed to assign this doubtful honor, or even the position of the greater Antichrist, to Felipe of Majorca, brother of that Ferrand whom we have seen offered the sovereignty of Carcassonne. Felipe's thirst for asceticism had led him to abandon his brother's court and become a Tertiary of St. Francis. Angelo alludes to him repeatedly, with great admiration, as worthy to rank with the ancient perfected saints. In the stormy discussions soon after John's accession he had intervened in favor of the Spirituals, petitioning that they be allowed to form a separate Order. After taking the full vows, he renewed this supplication in 1328, but it was refused in full consistory, after which we hear of him wandering over Europe and living on beggary. In 1341, with the support of Robert of Naples, he made a third application, which Benedict XII. rejected for the reason that he was a supporter and defender of the Beguines, whom he had justified after their condemnation by publicly asserting many enormous heretical lies about the Holy See. Such were the men whose self-devotion seemed to these fiery bigots so tepid as to render them objects of detestation. †
____________________ * Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.--Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 305, 307, 310, 383-5.-Bern. Guidon. Practica P. v. † Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 303, 309, 326, 330.--Bern. Guidon. Practica P. v.-- Franz Ehrle (op. cit. 1885, pp, 540, 543, 557),--Raym. de Fronciacho (Ib. III.--6
The heights of exaltation reached in their religious delirium are illustrated by the career of Naprous Boneta, who was reverenced in the sect as an inspired prophetess. As early as 1315 she had fallen into the hands of the Inquisition at Montpellier, and had been thrown into prison, to be subsequently released. She and her sister Alissette were warmly interested in the persecuted Spirituals, and gave refuge to many fugitives in their house. As persecution grew hotter, her exaltation increased. In 1320 she commenced to have visions and ecstasies, in which she was carried to heaven and had interviews with Christ. Finally, on Holy Thursday, 1321, Christ communicated to her the Divine Spirit as completely as it had been given to the Virgin, saying, "The Blessed Virgin Mary was the giver of the Son of God: thou shalt be the giver of the Holy Ghost." Thus the promises of the Everlasting Gospel were on the point of fulfilment, and the Third Age was about to dawn. Elijah, she said, was St. Francis, and Enoch was Olivi; the power granted to Christ lasted until God gave the Holy Spirit to Olivi, and invested him with as much glory as had been granted to the humanity of Christ. The papacy has ceased to exist, the sacraments of the altar and of confession are superseded, but that of matrimony remains. That of penitence, indeed, still exists, but it is purely internal, for heartfelt contrition works forgiveness of sins without sacerdotal intercession or the imposition of penance. One remark, which she casually made when before her judges, is noteworthy as manifesting the boundless love and charity of these poor souls. The Spirituals and lepers, she said, who had been burned were like the innocents massacred by Herod--it was Satan who procured the burning of the Spirituals and lepers. This alludes to the hideous cruelties which, as we have seen, were perpetrated on the lepers in 1321 and 1322, when the whole of France went mad with terror over a rumored poisoning of the wells by these outcasts, and when, it seems, the Spirituals were wise enough and humane enough to sympathize with them and condemn their murder. Naprous, at length, was brought before Henri de Chamay,
1887, p. 29.--Guillel. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1330.--Wadding. ann. 1341, No. 21, 23.
A subdivision of the Italian Franticelli took the name of Brethren of Fray Felipe de Mallorca (Tocco, Archivio Storico Napoletano, 1887, Fasc. 1).
the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, in 1325. Sincere in the belief of her divine mission, she spontaneously and fearlessly related her history and stated her faith, and in her replies to her examiners she was remarkably quick and intelligent. When her confession was read over to her she confirmed it, and to all exhortations to retract she quietly answered that she would live and die in it as the truth. She was accordingly handed over to the secular arm and sealed her convictions with her blood. *
Extravagances of belief such as this were not accompanied with extravagance of conduct. Even Bernard Gui has no fault to find with the heretics' mode of life, except that the school of Satan imitated the school of Christ, as laymen imitate like monkeys the pastors of the Church. They all vowed poverty and led a life of self-denial, some of them laboring with their hands and others begging by the wayside. In the towns and villages they had little dwellings which they called Houses of Poverty, and where they dwelt together. On Sundays and feast-days their friends would assemble and all would listen to readings from the precepts and articles of faith, the lives of the saints, and their own religious books in the vulgar tongue--mostly the writings of Olivi, which they regarded as revelations from God, and the "Transitus Sancti Patris," which was a legendary account of his death. The only external signs by which Bernard says they were to be recognized were that on meeting one another, or entering a house, they would say, "Blessed be Jesus Christ," or "Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." When praying in church or elsewhere they sat with hooded heads and faces turned to the wall, not standing or kneeling, or striking their hands, as was customary with the orthodox. At dinner, after asking a blessing, one of them would kneel and recite Gloria in excelsis, and after supper, Salve Regina. This was all inoffensive enough, but they had one peculiarity to which Bernard as an inquisitor took strong exceptions. When on trial they were ready enough to confess their own faith, but nothing would induce them to betray their associates. In their simplicity they held that this would be a violation of Christian charity to which they could not lawfully be compelled, and the inquisitor wasted infinite pains in the endeavor to show that it is charity to
* Coll. Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq., 95.
one's neighbor, and not an injury, to give him a chance of conversion. *
Evidently these poor folk would have been harmless enough if let alone, and their persecution could only be justified by the duty of the Church to preserve erring souls from perdition. A sect based upon the absolute abnegation of property as its chief principle, and the apocalyptic reveries of the Everlasting Gospel, could never become dangerous, though it might be disagreeable, from its mute--or perhaps vivacious--protest against the luxury and worldliness of the Church. Even if let alone it would probably soon have died out. Springing as it did in a region and at a period in which the Inquisition was thoroughly organized, it had no chance of survival, and it speedily succumbed under the ferocious energy of the proceedings brought to bear against it. Yet we cannot fix with any precision the date of its extinction. The records are imperfect, and those which we possess fail to draw a distinction between the Spirituals and the orthodox Franciscans, who, as we shall see, were driven to rebellion by John XXII. on the question of the poverty of Christ. This latter dogma became one of so much larger importance that the dreams of the Spirituals were speedily lost to view, and in the later cases it is reasonable to assume that the victims were Fraticelli. Still, there are several prosecutions on record at Carcassonne in 1329, which were doubtless of Spirituals. One of them was of Jean Roger, a priest who had stood in high consideration at Béziers; he had been an associate of Pierre Trencavel in his wanderings, and the slight penance imposed on him would seem to indicate that the ardor of persecution was abating, though we learn that the bones of the martyrs of Marseilles were still handed around as relies. John XXII. was not disposed to connive at any relaxation of rigor, and in February, 1331, he reissued his bull Sancta Romana, with a preface addressed to bishops and inquisitors in which he assumes that the sect is flourishing as vigorously as ever, and orders the most active measures taken for its suppression. Doubtless there were subsequent prosecutions, but the sect as a distinctive one faded out of sight. †
During the period of its active existence it had spread across
* Bern. Guidon. Practica P. v.
† Doat, XXVII. 156, 170, 178, 215; XXXII. 147.
the Pyrenees into Aragon. Even before the Council of Béziers, in 1299, took official cognizance of the nascent heresy, the bishops of Aragon, assembled at Tarragona in 1297, instituted repressive measures against the Beguines who were spreading errors throughout the kingdom, and all Franciscan Tertiaries were subjected to supervision. Their books in the vulgar tongue were especially dreaded, and were ordered to be surrendered. These precautions did not avert the evil. As we have seen, Arnaldo de Vilanova became a warm advocate of the Spirituals; his indefatigable pen was at their service, his writings had wide circulation, and his influence with Jayme II. protected them. With his death and that of Clement V. persecution commenced. Immediately after the latter event, in 1314, the Inquisitor Bernardo de Puycerda, one of Arnaldo's special antagonists, undertook their suppression. At their head stood a certain Pedro Oler, of Majorca, and Fray Bonato. They were obstinate, and were handed over to the secular arm, when all were burned except Bonato, who recanted on being scorched by the flames. He was dragged from the burning pile, cured, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment, but after some twenty years he was found to be still secretly a Spiritual, and was burned as a relapsed in 1335. Emboldened by the accession of John XXII., in November, 1316, Juan de Llotger, the inquisitor, and Jofre do Cruilles, provost of the vacant see of Tarragona, called together an assembly of Dominicans, Franciscans, and Cistercians, who condemned the apocalyptic and spiritualistic writings of Arnaldo, which were ordered to be surrendered within ten days under pain of excommunication. The persecution continued. Durán de Baldach was burned as a Spiritual, with a disciple, in 1325. About the same time John XXII. issued several bulls commanding strict inquisition to be made for them throughout Aragon, Valencia, and the Balearic Isles, and subjecting them to the jurisdiction of the bishops and inquisitors in spite of any privileges or immunities which they might claim as Franciscans. The heresy, however, seems never to have obtained any firm foothold on Spanish soil. Yet it penetrated even to Portugal, for Alvaro Pelayo tells us that there were in Lisbon some pseudo-Franciscans who applauded the doctrine that Peter and his successors had not received from Christ the power which he held on earth. *
* Concil. Tarraconens. ann. 1297 c. 1-4 (Martene Ampl. Coll. VII. 305-6).--
A somewhat different development of the Joachitic element is seen in the Franciscan Juan de Pera-Tallada or de Rupescissa, better known perhaps through Froissart as Jean de la Rochetaillade. As a preacher and missionary he stood pre-eminent, and his voice was heard from his native Catalonia to distant Moscow. Somewhat given to occult science, various treatises on alchemy have been attributed to him, among which Pelayo tells us that it is difficult to distinguish the genuine from the doubtful. Not only in this did he follow Arnaldo de Vilanova, but in mercilessly lashing the corruptions of the Church, and in commenting on the prophecies of the pseudo-Joachim. No man of this school seemed able to refrain from indulging in prophecy himself, and Juan gained wide reputation by predictions which were justified by the event, such as the battle of Poitiers and the Great Schism. Perhaps this might have been forgiven had he not also foretold that the Church would be stripped of the superfluities which it had so shockingly abused. One metaphor which he employed was largely quoted. The Church, he said, was a bird born without feathers, to which all other fowls contributed plumage, which they would reclaim in consequence of its pride and tyranny. Like the Spirituals he looked fondly back to the primitive days before Constantine, when in holy poverty the foundations of the faith were laid. He seems to have steered clear of the express heresy as to the poverty of Christ, and when he came to Avignon, in 1349, to proclaim his views, although several attempts to burn him were ineffectual, he was promptly thrown into jail. He was "durement grand clerc," and his accusers were unable to convict him, but he was too dangerous a man to be at large, and he was kept in confinement. When he was finally liberated is not stated, but if Pelayo is correct in saying that he returned home at the age of ninety he must have been released after a long incarceration. *
Eymeric. pp. 265-6.--Raynald. ann. 1325, No. 20.-- Mosheim de Beghardis p. 641.-- Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 777-81, 783.-For the fate of Arnaldo de Vilanova's writings in the Index Expurgatorius, see Reusch, Der Index der verbotenen Bücher, I. 33-4. Two of the tracts condemned in 1316 have been found, translated into Italian, in a MS. of the Magliabecchian Library, by Prof. Tocco, who describes them in the Archivio Storico Italiano, 1886, No. 6, and in the Giornale Storico della Lett. Ital. VIII. 3.
* Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 500-2--.-Jo. de Rupesciss. Vade mecum
The ostensible cause of his punishment was his Joachitic speculation as to Antichrist, though, as Wadding observes, many holy men did the same without animadversion, like St. Vicente Ferrer, who in 1412 not only predicted Antichrist, but asserted that he was already nine years old, and who was canonized, not persecuted. Milicz of Cremsier also, as we have seen, though persecuted, was acquitted. Fray Juan's reveries, however, trenched on the borders of the Everlasting Gospel, although keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy. In his prison, in November, 1349, he wrote out an account of a miraculous vision vouchsafed him in 1345, in return for continued prayer and maceration. Louis of Bavaria was the Antichrist who would subjugate Europe and Africa in 1366, while a similar tyrant would arise in Asia. Then would come a schism with two popes; Antichrist would lord it over the whole earth and many heretical sects would arise. After the death of Antichrist would follow fifty-five years of war; the Jews would be converted, and with the destruction of the kingdom of Antichrist the Millennium would open. Then the converted Jews would possess the world, all would be Tertiaries of St. Francis, and the Franciscans would be models of holiness and poverty. The heretics would take refuge in inaccessible mountains and the islands of the sea, whence they would emerge at the close of the Millennium; the second Antichrist would appear and bring a period of great suffering, until fire would fall from heaven and destroy him and his followers, after which would follow the end of the world and the Day of Judgment. *
Meditation in prison seems to have modified somewhat his prophetic vision, and in 1356 he wrote his Vade mecum in Tribulatione, in which he foretold that the vices of the clergy would lead to the speedy spoliation of the Church; in six years it would be reduced to a state of apostolical poverty, and by 1370 would commence the process of recuperation which would bring all mankind under the domination of Christ and of his earthly representative.
(Fascic. Rer. Expetend. et Fugiend. II. 497).--Froissart, Liv. I. P. ii. ch. 124; Liv. III. ch. 27.--Rolewink Fascic. Temp. ann. 1364.--Mag. Chron. Belgic. (Pistorii III. 336).--Meyeri Annal. Flandr. ann. 1359. -- Henr. Rebdorff. Annal. ann. 1351.--Paul Æmylii de Reb. Gest. Francor. (Ed. 1569, pp. 491-2).--M. Flac. Illyr. Cat. Test. Veritat. Lib. XBIII. p. 1786 (Ed. 1608).
* Wadding. ann. 1357, No. 17.-- Pelayo, op. cit. I. 501-2.
During the interval there would be a succession of the direst calamities. From 1360 to 1365 the worms of the earth would arise and destroy all beasts and birds; tempest and deluge and earthquake, famine and pestilence and war would sweep away the wicked; in 1365 Antichrist would come, and such multitudes would apostatize that but few faithful would be left. His reign would be short, and in 1370 a pope canonically elected would bring mankind to Christianity, after which all cardinals would be chosen from the Greek Church. During these tribulations the Franciscans would be nearly exterminated, in punishment for their relaxation of the Rule, but the survivors would be reformed and the Order would fill the earth, innumerable as the stars of heaven; in fact, two Franciscans of the most abject poverty were to be the Elias and Enoch who would conduct the Church through that disastrous time. Meanwhile he advised that ample store should be made in mountain caves of beans and honey, salt meats, and dried fruits by those who desired to live through the convulsions of nature and society. After the death of Antichrist would come the Millennium; for seven hundred years, or until about A.D. 2000, mankind would be virtuous and happy, but then would come a decline; existing vices, especially among the clergy, would be revived, preparatory to the advent of Gog and Magog, to be followed by the final Antichrist. It shows the sensitiveness of the hierarchy that this harmless nympholepsy was deemed worthy of severe repression. *
The influence of the Everlasting Gospel was not yet wholly exhausted. I have alluded above to Thomas of Apulia, who in 1388 insisted on preaching to the Parisians that the reign of the Holy Ghost had commenced, and that he was the divinely commissioned envoy sent to announce it, when his mission was humanely cut short by confining him as a madman. Singularly identical in all but the result was the career of Nicholas of Buldesdorf, who, about 1445, proclaimed that God had commanded him to announce that the time of the New Testament had passed away, as that of the Old had done; that the Third Era and Seventh Age of the world had come, under the reign of the Holy Ghost, when man would be restored to the state of primal innocence; and that he was the Son of God deputed to spread the glad tidings. To
* Fascic. Rer. Expetend. et Fugiend. II. 494-508.
the council still sitting at Basle he sent various tracts containing these doctrines, and he finally had the audacity to appear before it in person. His writings were promptly consigned to the flames and he was imprisoned. Every effort was made to induce him to recant, but in vain. The Basilian fathers were less considerate of insanity than the Paris doctors, and Nicholas perished at the stake in 1446. *
A last echo of the Everlasting Gospel is heard in the teaching of two brothers, John and Lewin of Würzburg, who in 1466 taught in Eger that all tribulations were caused by the wickedness of the clergy. The pope was Antichrist, and the cardinals and prelates were his members. Indulgences were useless and the ceremonies of the Church were vanities, but the time of deliverance was at hand. A man was already born of a virgin, who was the anointed of Christ and would speedily come with the third Evangel and bring all the faithful into the fold. The heresy was rapidly and secretly spreading among the people, when it was discovered by Bishop Henry of Ratisbon. The measures taken for its suppression are not recorded, and the incident is only of interest as showing how persistently the conviction reappeared that there must be a final and higher revelation to secure the happiness of man in this world and his salvation in the next. †
* Füesslins neue u. unpartheyisehe Kirchen- u. Ketzerhistorie, Frankfurt, 1772, II. 63-66.
† Chron. Glassberger ann. 1466 ( Analecta Franciscana II. 422-6).
GUGLIELMA AND DOLCINO.
THE spiritual exaltation which produced among the Franciscans the developments described in the last chapter was by no means confined to the recognized members of that Order. It manifested itself in even more irregular fashion in the little group of sectaries known as Guglielmites, and in the more formidable demonstration of the Doleinists, or Apostolic Brethren.
About the year 1260 there came to Milan a woman calling herself Guglielma. That she brought with her a son shows that she had lived in the world, and was doubtless tried with its vicissitudes, and as the child makes no further appearance in her history, he probably died young. She had wealth, and was said to be the daughter of Constance, queen and wife of the King of Bohemia. Her royal extraction is questionable, but the matter is scarce worth the discussion which it has provoked. * She was a woman of preeminent piety, who devoted herself to good works, without practising special austerities, and she gradually attracted around her a little band of disciples, to whom such of her utterances as have been recorded show that she gave wholesome ethical instruction.
* Constance, daughter of Bela III. of Hungary, was second wife of Ottokar I. of Bohemia, who died in 1230 at the age of eighty. She died in 1240, leaving three daughters, Agnes, who founded the Franciscan convent of St. Januarius in Prague, which she entered May 18, 1236; Beatrice, who married Otho the Pious, of Brandonburg, and Ludomilla, who married Louis I. of Bavaria. Guglielma can scarce have been either of these ( Art de Ver. les Dates, VIII. 17). Her disciple, Andrea Saramita, testified that after her death he journeyed to Bohemia to obtain reimbursement of certain expenses; he failed in his errand, but verified her relationship to the royal house of Bohemia ( Andrea Ogniben I Guglielmiti del Secolo XIII., Perugia, 1867, pp. 10-11).--On the other hand, a German contemporary chronicler asserts that she came from England ( Annal. Dominican. Colmariens. ann. 1301--Urstisii III. 33).
They adopted the style of plain brown garment which she habitually wore, and seem to have formed a kind of unorganized congregation, bound together only by common devotion to her. *
At that period it was not easy to set bounds to veneration; the spiritual world was felt to be in the closest relation with the material, and the development of Joachitism shows how readily received were suggestions that a great change was impending, and a new era about to open for mankind. Guglielma's devotees came to regard her as a saint, gifted with thaumaturgic power. Some of her disciples claimed to be miraculously cured by her--Dr. Giacobbe da Ferno of an ophthalmic trouble, and Albertono de' Novati of a fistula. Then it was said that she had received the supereminent honor of the Stigmata, and although those who prepared her body for the grave could not see them, this was held to be owing to their unworthiness. It was confidently predicted that she would convert the Jews and Saracens, and bring all mankind into unity of faith. At last, about 1276, some of the more enthusiastic disciples began to whisper that she was the incarnation of the Holy Ghost, in female form--the Third Person of the Trinity, as Christ was of the Second, in the shape of a man. She was very God and very man; it was not alone the body of Christ which suffered in the Passion, but also that of the Holy Ghost, so that her flesh was the same as that of Christ. The originators of this strange belief seem to have been Andrea Saramita, a man of standing in Milan, and Suor Maifreda di Pirovano, an Umiliata of the ancient convent of Biassono, and a cousin of Matteo Visconti. There is no probability that Guglielma countenanced these absurd stories. Andrea Saramita was the only witness who asserted that he had them from her direct, and he had a few days before testified to the contrary. The other immediate disciples of Guglielma stated that she made no pretensions to any supernatural character. When people would ask her to cure them or relieve them of trouble she would say, "Go, I am not God." When told of the strange beliefs entertained of her she strenuously asserted that she was only a miserable woman and a vile worm. Marchisio Secco, a monk of Chiaravalle, testified that he had had a dispute with Andrea on the subject, and they agreed to refer it to her, when she indig-
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 56, 73-5, 103-4.
nantly replied that she was flesh and bone, that she had brought a son with her to Milan, and that if they did not do penance for uttering such words they would be condemned to hell. Yet, to minds familiar with the promises of the Everlasting Gospel, it might well seem that the era of the Holy Ghost would be ushered in with such an incarnation. *
Guglielma died August 24, 1381, leaving her property to the great Cistercian house of Chiaravalle, near Milan, where she desired to be buried. There was war at the time between Milan and Lodi; the roads were not safe, and she was temporarily interred in the city, while Andrea and Dionisio Cotta went to the Marquis of Montferrat to ask for an escort of troops to accompany the coytége. The translation of the body took place in October, and was conducted with great splendor. The Cistercians welcomed the opportunity to add to the attractions and revenues of their establishment. At that period the business of exploiting new saints was exceedingly profitable, and was prosecuted with corresponding energy. Salimbene complains bitterly of it in referring to a speculation made in 1279, at Cremona, out of the remains of a drunken vintner named Alberto, whose cult brought crowds of devotees with offerings, to the no small gain of all concerned. Such things, as we have seen in the case of Armanno Pongilupo and others, were constantly occurring, though Salimbene declares that the canons forbade the veneration of any one, or picturing him as a saint, until the Roman Church had authoritatively passed upon his claims. In this Salimbene was mistaken. Zanghino Ugolini, a much better authority, assures us that the worship of uncanonized saints was not heretical, if it were believed that their miracles were worked by God at their intercession, but if it were believed that they were worked by the relies without the assent of God, then the Inquisition could intervene and punish; but so long as a saint was uncanonized his cult was at the discretion of the bishop, who could at any time command its cessation, and the
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 12, 20-1, 35-7, 69, 70, 74, 76, 82, 84-6, 101, 104-6, 116. Dr. Andrea Ogniben, to whom we are indebted for the publication of the fragmentary remains of the trial of the Guglielmites, thinks that Maifreda di Pirovano was a cousin of Matteo Visconti, through his mother, Anastasia di Pirovano (op. cit. p. 23). The Continuation of Nangis calls her his half-sister (Guillel. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1317).
mere fact that miracles were performed was no evidence, as they are frequently the work of demons to deceive the faithful. *
In this case the Archbishop of Milan offered no interference, and the worship of Guglielma was soon firmly established. A month after the translation Andrea had the body exhumed and carried into the church, where he washed it with wine and water and arrayed it in a splendid embroidered robe. The washings were carefully preserved, to be used as a chrism for the sick; they were placed on the altar of the nunnery of Biassono, and Maifreda employed them in anointing the affected parts of those who came to be healed. Presently a chapel with an altar arose over her tomb, and tradition still points out at Chiaravalle the little oratory where she is said to have lain, and a portrait on the wall over the vacant tomb is asserted to be hers. It represents her as kneeling before the Virgin, to whom she is presented by St. Bernard, the patron of the abbey; a crowd of other figures is around her, and the whole indicates that those who dedicated it to her represented her as merely a saint, and not as an incarnation of the Godhead. Another picture of her was placed by Dionisio Cotta in the Church of St. Maria fuori di Porta Nuova, and two lamps were kept burning before it to obtain her suffrage for the soul of his brother interred there. Other pictures were hung in the Church of S. Eufemia and in the nunnery of Biassono. In all this the good monks of Chiaravalle were not remiss. They kept lighted lamps before her altar. Two feast-days were assigned to her--the anniversaries of her death and of her translation--when; the devotees would assemble at the abbey, and the monks would furnish a simple banquet, outside of the walls--for the Cistercian rules forbade the profanation of a woman's presence within the sacred enclosure--and some of the monks would discourse eloquently upon the saintliness of Guglielma, comparing her to other saints and to the moon and stars, and receiving such oblations as the piety of the worshippers would offer. Nor was this the only gain to the abbey. Giacobbe de' Novati, one of the believers, belonged to one of the noblest families. of Milan, and at his castle the; Guglielmites
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 30, 44, 115.--Salimbene Chronica, pp. 274-6.-- Chron. Parmens. ann. 1279 ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 791-2).--Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. xxii.
were wont to assemble. When he died he instituted the abbey as his heir, and the inheritance could not have been inconsiderable. There were, doubtless, other instances of similar liberality of which the evidences have not reached us. *
All this was innocent enough, but within the circle of those who worshipped Guglielma there was a little band of initiated who believed in her as the incarnation of the Holy Ghost. The history of the Joachites has shown us the readiness which existed to look upon Christianity as a temporary phase of religion, to be shortly succeeded by the reign of the Holy Ghost, when the Church of Rome would give place to a new and higher organization. It was not difficult, therefore, for the Guglielmites to persuade themselves that they had enjoyed the society of the Paraclete, who was shortly to appear, when the Holy Spirit would be received in tongues of flame by the disciples, the heathen and the Jew would be converted, and there would be a new church ushering in the era of love and blessedness, for which man had been sighing through the weary centuries. Of this doctrine Andrea was chief apostle. He claimed to be the first and only spiritual son of Guglielma, from whom he had received the revelation, and he embroidered it to suit the credulity of the disciples. The Archangel Raphael had announced to the blessed Constance the incarnation in her of the Holy Ghost; a year afterwards, Guglielma, was born on the holy day of Pentecost; she had chosen the form of a woman, for if she had come as man she would have died like Christ, and the whole world would have perished. On one occasion, in her chamber, she had changed a chair into an ox, and had told him to hold it if he could, but when he attempted to do so it disappeared. The same indulgences were obtainable by visiting her tomb at Chiaravalle as by a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre. Wafers which had been consecrated by laying them on the tomb were eagerly partaken of by the disciples, as a new form of communion. Besides the two regular feast-days, there was a third for the initiated, significantly held on Pentecost, the day when she was expected to reappear. Meanwhile, the devotion of the faithful was stimulated by stories of her being in communication with
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 20-1, 25-6, 31, 36, 49-50, 56-7, 61, 72-3, 74, 93-4, 104, 116.-- Tamburini, Storia dell' Inquisizione, II. 17-18.
her representatives, both in her own form and in that of a dove. How slight was the evidence required for believers was seen in an incident which gave them great comfort in 1293. At a banquet in the house of Giacobbe da Ferno, a warm discussion arose between those who doubted and those whose convictions were decided. Carabella, wife of Amizzone Toseano, one of the earnest believers, was sitting on her mantle, and when she arose she found three knots in the cords which had not been there before. This was at once pronounced a great miracle, and was evidently regarded as a full confirmation of the truth. *
If it were not for the tragedy which followed there would be nothing to render Guglielmitism other than a jest, for the Church which was to replace the massive structure of Latin Christianity was as ludicrous in its conception as these details of its faith. The Gospels were to be replaced by sacred writings produced by Andrea, of which he had already prepared several, in the names of some of the initiated--"The Epistle of Sibilia to the Novaresi," "The Prophecy of Carmeo the Prophet to all Cities and Nations," and an account of Guglielma's teachings commencing, "In that time the Holy Ghost said to his disciples." Maifreda also composed litanies of the Holy Ghost and prayers for the use of the Church. When, on the second advent of Guglielma, the papacy was to pass away, Maifreda was to become pope, the vicar of the Holy Ghost, with the keys of heaven and hell, and baptize the Jew and the Saracen. A new college of cardinals was to be formed, of whom only one appears to have been selected--a girl named Taria, who, to judge from her answers when before the Inquisition, and the terms of contempt in which she is alluded to by some of the sect, was a worthy representative of the whole absurd scheme. While awaiting her exaltation to the papacy Maifreda was the object of special veneration. The disciples kissed her hands and feet, and she gave them her blessing. It was probably the spiritual excitement caused by the jubilee proclaimed by Boniface VIII., attracting pilgrims to Rome by the hundred thousand to gain the proffered indulgences, which led the Guglielmites to name the Pentecost of 1300 for the advent of the Holy Ghost. With a curious manifestation of materialism, the worshippers pre-
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 21, 25, 30, 36, 55, 70, 72, 96, 101.
pared splendid garments for the adornment of the expected God-a purple mantle with a silver clasp costing thirty pounds of terzioli, gold-embroidered silks and gilt slippers--while Pietra de' Alzate contributed forty-two dozen pearls, and Catella de' Giorgi gave an ounce of pearls. In preparation for her new and holy functions, Maifreda undertook to celebrate the mysteries of the mass. During the solemnities of Easter, in sacerdotal vestments, she consecrated the host, while Andrea in a dalmatic read the Gospel, and she administered communion to those present. When should come the resurrection of Guglielma, she was to repeat the ceremony in S. Maria Maggiore, and the sacred vessels were already prepared for this, on an extravagant scale, costing more than two hundred lite. *
The sums thus lavished show that the devotees belonged to the wealthy class. What is most noteworthy, in fact, in the whole story, is that a belief so absurd should have found acceptance among men of culture and intelligence, showing the spirit of unrest that was abroad, and the readiness to accept any promise, however wild, of relief from existing evils. There were few more prominent families in Milan than the Garbagnati, who were Ghibellines and closely allied with the Visconti. Gasparo Garbagnate filled many positions of importance, and though his name does not appear among the sectaries, his wife Denvenuta was one of them, as well as his two sons, Ottorino and Francesco, and Bella, the wife of Giacobbe. Francesco was a man of mark as a diplomat and a lawyer. Sent by Matteo Visconti in 1309 on a mission to the Emperor Henry VII., he won high favor at the imperial court and obtained the objects for which he had been despatched. He ended his career as a professor of jurisprudence in the renowned University of Padua. Yet this man, presumably learned and coolheaded, was an ardent disciple, who purchased gold-embroidered silks for the resurrection of Guglielma, and composed prayers in her honor. One of the crimes for which Matteo was condemned in 1323 by the Inquisition was retaining in his service this Francesco Garbagnate, who had been sentenced to wear crosses for his participation in the Guglielmite heresy; and when John XXII., in
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 17, 20, 22, 23, 30, 34, 37, 40, 42, 47, 54, 62, 72, 80, 90, 94, 96.
1324, confirmed the sentence, he added that Matteo had terrorized the inquisitors to save his son Galeazzo, who was also a Guglielmite. *
When the heresy became known popular rumor of course attributed to it the customary practices of indiscriminate sexual indulgence which were ascribed to all deviations from the faith. In the legend which was handed down by tradition there appears the same story as to its discovery which we have seen told at Cologne about the Brethren of the Free Spirit--of the husband tracking his wife to the nocturnal rendezvous, and thus learning the obscene practices of the sect. In this case the hero of the tale is Corrado Coppa, whose wife Giacobba was an earnest believer. † It is sufficient to say that the official reports of the trial, in so far as they have reached us, contain no allusions whatever to any licentious doctrines or practices. The inquisitors wasted no time on inquiries in that direction, showing that they knew there was nothing of the kind to reward investigation.
Numerically speaking, the sect was insignificant. It is mentioned that on one occasion, at a banquet in honor of Guglielma, given by the monks of Chiaravalle, there were one hundred and twenty-nine persons present, but these doubtless included many who only reverenced her as a saint. The inner circle of the initiated was apparently much smaller. The names of those inculpated in the confessions before the Inquisition amount only to about thirty, and it is fair to assume that the number of the sectaries at no time exceeded thirty-five or forty. ‡
It is not to be supposed that this could go on for nearly twenty years and wholly escape the vigilance of the Milanese inquisitors. In 1284, but a few years after Guglielma's death, two of the disciples, Allegranza and Carabella, incautiously revealed the mysteries of their faith to Belfiore, mother of Frà Enrico di Nova, who at once conveyed it to the inquisitor, Frà Manfredo di Donavia. Andrea was forthwith summoned, with his wife Riccadona, his sister, Migliore, and his daughter, Fiordebellina; also Maifreda,
* Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 65-7, 83-4, 90-1, 110.-- Ughelli T. IV. pp. 286-93 (Ed. 1652).--Raynald. ann. 1324, No. 7-11.
† Philip. Bergomat. Supplem. Chron. ann. 1298.-- Bern. Corio Hist. Milanes. ann. 1300.
‡ Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 1, 2, 34, 74, 110.-- Tamburini, op. cit. II. 67-8.
Bellacara de' Carentani, Giacobba dei Bassani, and possibly some others. They readily abjured and were treated with exceptional mildness, for Frà Manfredo absolved them by striking them over the shoulders with a stick, as a symbol of the scourging which as penitents they had incurred. He seems to have attached little importance to the matter, and not to have compelled them to reveal their accomplices. Again, in 1295 and 1296, there was an investigation made by the Inquisitor Frà Tommaso di Como, of which no details have reached us, but which evidently left the leaders unharmed. *
We do not know what called the attention of the Inquisition to the sect in the spying of 1300, but we may conjecture that the expected resurrection of Guglielma at the coming Pentecost, and the preparations made for that event, caused an agitation among the disciples leading possibly to incautious revelations. About Easter (April 10) the inquisitors summoned and examined Maifreda, Giacobba dei Bassani, and possibly some others, but without result. Apparently, however, they were watched, secret information. was gathered, and in July the Holy Office was ready to strike effectively. On July 18 a certain Frà Ghirardo presented himself to Lanfranco de' Amizzoni and revealed the whole affair, with the names of the principal disciples. Andrea sought him out and endeavored to learn what he had said, but was merely told to look to himself, for the inquisitors were making many threats. On the 20th Andrea was summoned; his assurances that he had never heard that Guglielma was regarded as more than an ordinary saint were apparently accepted, and he was dismissed with orders to return the next day and meanwhile to preserve absolute secrecy. †
Andrea and Maifreda were thoroughly frightened; they begged the disciples, if called before the inquisitors, to preserve silence with regard to them, as otherwise they could not escape death. It is a peculiar illustration of the recognized hostility between the two Mendicant Orders that the first impulse was to seek assistance from the Franciscans. No sooner were the citations issued than Andrea, with the Doctor Beltramo da Ferno, one of the ear-
* Ogniben, pp. 14, 23, 33, 36, 39, 60, 72, 101, 110, 114.
† Ibid. pp. 13, 30-33, 39.
nest believers, went to the Franciscan convent, where they learned from Frà Daniele da Ferno that Frà Guidone de Cocchenato and the rest of the inquisitors had no power to act, as their commissions had been annulled by the pope, and that Frà Pagano di Pietra Santa had a bull to that effect. Some intrigue would seem to be behind this, which it would be interesting to disentangle, for we meet here with old acquaintances. Frà Guidone is doubtless the same inquisitor whom we have seen in 1279 participating in the punishment of Corrado da Venosta, and Frà Pagano has come before us as the subject of a prosecution for heresy in 1295. Possibly it was this which now stimulated his zeal against the inquisitors, for when the Guglielmites called upon him the next day he produced the bull and urged them to appear, and thus afford him evidence that the inquisitors were discharging their functions-evidence for which he said that he would willingly give twentyfive lire. It is a striking proof of the impenetrable secrecy in which the operations of the Inquisition were veiled that he had been anxiously and vainly seeking to obtain testimony as to who were really discharging the duties of the tribunal; when, latterly, a heretic had been burned at Balsemo he had sent thither to find out who had rendered the sentence, but was unable to do so. Then the Guglielmites applied to the Abbot of Chiaravalle and to one of his monks, Marchisio di Veddano, himself suspected of Guglielmitism. These asked to have a copy of the bull, and one was duly made by a notary and given to them, which they took to the Archbishop of Milan at Cassano, and asked him to place the investigation of the matter in their hands. He promised to intervene, but if he did so he was probably met with the information, which had been speedily elicited from the culprits, that they held Boniface VIII. not to be pope, and consequently that the archbishop whom he had created was not archbishop. Either in this or in some other way the prelate's zeal was refrigerated, and he offered no opposition to the proceedings. *
* Ogniben, pp. 21, 40, 42, 78-9. Dionese de' Novati deposed (p. 93) that Maifreda was in the habit of saying that Boniface was not truly pope, and that another pontiff had been created. We have seen that the Spiritual Franciscans had gone through the form of electing a new pope. There was not much in common between them and the Guglielmites, and yet this would point to some relations as existing.
The Inquisition was well manned, for, besides Frà Guidone, whose age and experience seem to have rendered him the leading actor in the tragedy, and Lanfranco, who took little part in it, we meet with a third inquisitor, Rainerio di Pirovano, and in their absence they are replaced with deputies, Niccolò di Como, Niccolò di Varenna, and Leonardo da Bergamo. They pushed the matter with relentless energy. That torture was freely used there can be no doubt. No conclusion to the contrary can be drawn from the absence of allusion to it in the depositions of the accused, for this is customary. Not only do the historians of the affair speak without reserve of its employment, but the character of the successive examinations of the leading culprits indicates it unerringly--the confident asseverations at first of ignorance and innocence, followed, after a greater or less interval, with unreserved confession. This is especially notable in the cases of those who had abjured in 1284, such as Andrea, Maifreda, and Giacobba, who, as relapsed, knew that by admitting their persistent heresy they were condemning themselves to the flames without hope of mercy, and who therefore had nothing to gain by confession, except exemption from repetition of torment. *
The documents are too imperfect for us to reconstruct the process and ascertain the fate of all of those implicated. In Languedoc, after all the evidence had been taken, there would have been an assembly held in which their sentences would have been determined, and at a solemn Sermo these would have been promulgated, and the stake would have received its victims. Much less formal were the proceedings at Milan. The only sentence of which we have a record was rendered August 23 in an assembly where the archbishop sat with the inquisitors and Matteo Visconti appears among the assessors; and in this the only judgment was on Suor Giacobba dei Bassani, who, as a relapsed, was necessarily handed over to the secular arm for burning. It would seem that
* Compare Andrea's first examination, July 20 ( Ogniben, op. cit. pp. 8-13), and his second, Aug. 10 (pp. 56-7), with his defiant assertion of his belief, Aug. 13 (pp. 68-72). So, Maifreda's first interrogatory, July 31 (pp. 23-6), with her confession, Aug. 6, and revelation of the names of her worshippers (pp. 33-5). Also, Giacobba dei Bassani's denial, Aug. 3, and confession, Aug. 11 (p. 39). It is the same with those not relapsed. See Suor Agnese dei Montanari's flat denial, Aug. 3, and her confession, Aug. 11 (pp. 37-8).
even before this Ser Mirano di Garbagnate, a priest deeply implicated, had been burned. Andrea was executed probably between September 1 and 9, and Maifreda about the same time--but we know nothing about the date of the other executions, or of the exhumation and cremation of Guglielma's bones--while the examinations of other disciples continued until the middle of October. Another remarkable peculiarity is that for the minor penalties the inquisitors called in no experts and did not even consult the archbishop, but acted wholly at their own discretion, a single frate absolving or penancing each individual as he saw fit. The Lombard Inquisition apparently had little deference for the episcopate, even of the Ambrosian Church. *
Yet the action of the Inquisition was remarkable for its mildness, especially when we consider the revolutionary character of the heresy. The number of those absolutely burned cannot be definitely stated, but it probably did not exceed four or five. These were the survivors of those who had abjured in 1284, for whom, as relapsed and obstinate heretics, there could be no mecey The rest were allowed to escape with penalties remarkably light. Thus Sibilia Malcolzati had been one of the most zealous of the sect; in her early examinations she had resolutely perjured herself, and it had cost no little trouble to make her confess, yet when, on October 6, she appeared before Frà Rainerio and begged to be relieved from the excommunication which she had incurred, he was moved by her prayers and assented, on the ordinary conditions that she would stand to the orders of the Church and Inquisition, and perform the obligations laid upon her. Still more remarkable is the leniency with which two sisters, Catella and Pietra Oldegardi, were treated, for Frà Guidone absolved them on their abjuring their heresy, contenting himself with simply referring them to their confessors for the penance which they were to perform. The severest punishment recorded for any except the relapsed was the wearing of crosses, and these, imposed in September and October, were commuted in December for a fine of twenty-five lire, payable in February--showing that confiscation was not a part of the penalty. Even Taria, the expectant cardinal of the New Dispensation, was thus penanced and relieved. Im-
* Ogniben, pp. 19-20, 77, 91.
mediately after Andrea's execution an examination of his wife Riccadona, as to the furniture in her house and the wine in her cellar, shows that the Inquisition was prompt in looking after the confiscations of those condemned to death; and the fragment of an interrogatory, February 12, 1302, of Marchisio Secco, a monk of Chiaravalle, indicates that it was involved in a struggle with the abbey to compel the refunding of the bequest of Guglielma, as the heresy for which she had been condemned, of course, rendered void all dispositions of her property. How this resulted we have no means of knowing, but we may feel assured that the abbey was forced to submit; indeed, the complicity of the monks with the heretics was so clearly indicated that we may wonder none of their names appear in the lists of those condemned. *
Thus ended this little episode of heresy, of no importance in its origin or results, but curious from the glimpse which it affords into the spiritual aberrations of the time, and the procedure of the Lombard Inquisition, and noteworthy as a rare instance of inquisitorial clemency. †
* Ogniben, pp. 42-4, 63, 67-8, 81-2, 91-2, 95-6, 97, 100, 110, 113, 115-16.
† spiritual eccentricities, such as those of the Guglielmites, are not to be regarded as peculiar to any age or any condition of civilization. The story of Joanna Southcote is well known, and the Southcottian Church maintained its existence in London until the middle of the present century. In July, 1886, the American journals reported the discovery, in Cincinnati, of a sect even more closely approximating to the Guglielmites, and about as numerous, calling themselves Perfectionists, and believing in two married sisters--a Mrs. Martin as an incarnation of God, and a Mrs. Brooke as that of Christ. Like their predecessors in Milan the sect is by no means confined to the illiterate, but comprises people of intelligence and culture who have abandoned all worldly occupation in the expectation of the approaching Millennium
--the final era of the Everlasting Gospel. The exposure for a time broke up the sect, of which some members departed, while others, with the two sisters, joined a Methodist church. Their faith was not shaken, however, and in June, 1887, the church expelled them after an investigation. One of the charges against them was that they held the Church of the present day to be Babylon and the abomination of the earth. England has also recently had a similar experience in a peasant woman of not particularly moral life who for some fifteen years, until her death, September 18, 1886, was regarded by her followers as a new incarnation of Christ. Her own definition of herself was, "I am the second appearing and incarnation of Jesus, the Christ of God, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, the God-Mother and Saviour, Life from Heaven," etc., etc. She signed herself "Jesus, First and
About the time when Guglielma settled in Milan, Parma witnessed the commencement of another abnormal development of the great Franciscan movement. The stimulus which monachism had received from the success of the Mendicant Orders, the exaltation of poverty into the greatest of virtues, the recognition of beggary as the holiest mode of life, render it difficult to apportion between yearnings for spiritual perfection and the attractions of idleness and vagabondage in a temperate climate the responsibility for the numerous associations which arose in imitation of the Mendicants. The prohibition of unauthorized religious orders by the Lateran Council was found impossible of enforcement. Men would herd together with more or less of organization in caves and hermitages, in the streets of cities, and in abandoned dwellings and churches by the roadsides. The Carmelites and Augustinian hermits won recognition after a long struggle, and became established Orders, forming, with the Franciscans and Dominicans, the four Mendicant religions. Others, less reputable, or more independent in spirit, were condemned, and when they refused to disband they were treated as rebels and heretics. In the tension of the spiritual atmosphere, any man who would devise and put in practice a method of life assimilating him most nearly to the brutes would not fail to find admirers and followers; and, if he possessed capacity for command and organization, he could readily mould them into a confraternity and become an object of veneration, with an abundant supply of offerings from the pious.
The year 1260 was that in which, according to Abbot Joachim, the era of the Holy Ghost was to open. The spiritual excitement which pervaded the population was seen in the outbreak of the Flagellants, which filled northern Italy with processions of penitents scourging themselves, and in the mutual forgiveness of injuries, which brought an interval of peace to a distracted land. In such a condition of public feeling, gregarious enthusiasm is easily directed to whatever responds to the impulse of the moment, and
Last, Mary Ann Girling." At one time her sect numbered a hundred and seventy-five members, some of them rich enough to make it considerable donations, but under the petty persecution of the populace it dwindled latterly to a few, and finally dispersed. Aberrations of this nature belong to no special stage of intellectual development. The only advance made in modern times is in the method of dealing with them.
the self-mortification of a youth of Parma, called Gherardo Segarelli, found abundant imitators. Of low extraction, uncultured and stupid, he had vainly applied for admission into the Franciscan Order. Denied this, he passed his days vacantly musing in the Franciscan church. The beatitude of ecstatic abstraction, carried to the point of the annihilation of consciousness, has not been confined to the Tapas and Samadhi of the Brahman and Buddhist. The monks of Mt. Athos, known as Umbilicani from their pious contemplation of their navels, knew it well, and Jacopone da Todi shows that its dangerous raptures were familiar to the zealots of the time. * Segarelli, however, was not so lost to external impressions but that he remarked in the scriptural pictures which adorned the walls the representations of the apostles in the habits which art has assigned to them. The conception grew upon him that the apostolic life and vestment would form the ideal religious existence, superior even to that of the Franciscans which had been denied to him. As a preliminary, he sold his little property; then, mounting the tribune in the Piazza, he scattered the proceeds among the idlers sunning themselves there, who forthwith gambled it away with ample floods of blasphemy. Imitating literally the career of Christ, he had himself circumcised; then, enveloped in swaddling clothes, he was rocked in a cradle and suckled by a woman. His apprenticeship thus completed, he embarked on the career of an apostle, letting hair and beard grow, enveloped in a white mantle, with the Franciscan cord around his waist, and sandals on his feet. Thus accoutred he wandered through the streets of Parma crying at intervals "Penitenzagite," which was his ignorant rendering of "Penitentiam agite!"--the customary call to repentance. †
For a while he had no imitators. In search of disciples he wandered to the neighboring village of Collechio, where, standing at the roadside, he shouted "Enter my vineyard!" The passers-by who knew his crazy ways paid no attention to him, but strangers took his call to be an invitation to help themselves from the
* "O glorioso stare Annichilarsi bene In nihil quietato! Non è potere humano Lo' intelletto posato Anzi è virtù divina!" E l'affetto dormire!
( Comba, La Riforma in Italia, I. 310.)
† Salimbene, pp. 112-13.
ripening grapes of an adjacent vineyard, which they accordingly stripped. At length he was joined by a certain Robert, a servant of the Franciscans, who, as Salimbene informs us, was a liar and a thief, too lazy to work, who flourished for a while in the sect as Frà Glutto, and who finally apostatized and married a female hermit. Gherardo and Glutto wandered through the streets of Parma in their white mantles and sandals, calling the people to repentance. They gathered associates, and the number rapidly grew to three hundred. They obtained a house in which to eat and sleep, and lacked for nothing, for alms came pouring in upon them more liberally than on the regular Mendicants. These latter wondered greatly, for the self-styled Apostles gave nothing in return--they could not preach, or hear confessions, or celebrate mass, and did not even pray for their benefactors. They were mostly ignorant peasants, swineherds and cowherds, attracted by an idle life which was rewarded with ample victuals and popular veneration. When gathered together in their assemblies they would gaze vacantly on Segarelli and repeat at intervals in honor of him, "Father! Father! Father!" *
When the Council of Lyons, in 1274, endeavored to control the pest of these unauthorized mendicant associations, it did not disperse them, but contented itself with prohibiting the reception of future members, in the expectation that they would thus gradually become extinguished. This was easily eluded by the Apostles, who, when a neophyte desired to join them, would lay before him a habit and say, "We do not dare to receive you, as this is prohibited to us, but it is not prohibited to you; do as you think fit." Thus, in spite of papal commands, the Order increased and multiplied, as we are told, beyond computation. In 1284 we hear of seventy-two postulants in a body passing through Modena and Reggio to Parma to be adopted by Segarelli, and a few days afterwards twelve young girls came on the same errand, wrapped in their mantles and styling themselves Apostolesses. Imitating Dominic and Francis, Segarelli sent his followers throughout Europe and beyond seas to evangelize the world. They penetrated far, for already in 1287 we find the Council of Würzburg stigmatizing the wandering Apostles as tramps, and forbidding any one
* Salimbene, pp. 114-16.
to give them food on account of their religious aspect and unusual dress. Pedro de Lugo ( Galicia), who abjured before the Inquisition of Toulouse in 1322, testified that he had been inducted in the sect twenty years previous by Richard, an Apostle from Alessandria in Lombardy, who was busily spreading the heresy beyond Compostella. *
Notwithstanding the veneration felt by the brethren for Segarelli he steadily refused to assume the headship of the Order, saying that each must bear his own burden. Had he been an active organizer, with the material at his disposition, he might have given the Church much trouble, but he was inert and indisposed to abandon his contemplative self-indulgence. He seems to have hesitated somewhat as to the form which the association should assume, and consulted Alberto of Parma, one of the seven notaries of the curia, whether they should select a superior. Alberto referred him to the Cistercian Abbot of Fontanaviva, who advised that they should not found houses, but should continue to wander over the land wrapped in their mantles, and they would not fail of shelter by the charitable. Segarelli was nothing loath to follow his counsel, but a more energetic spirit was found in Guidone Putagi, brother of the Podestà of Bologna, who entered the Order with his sister Tripia. Finding that Segarelli would not govern, he seized command and for many years conducted affairs, but he gave offence by abandoning the poverty which was the essence of the association. He lived splendidly, we are told, with many horses, lavishing money like a cardinal or papal legate, till the brethren grew tired and elected Matteo of Ancona as his successor. This led to a split. Guidone retained possession of the person of Segarelli, and carried him to Faenza. Matteo's followers came there and endeavored to seize Segarelli by force; the two parties came to blows and the Anconitans were defeated. Guidone, however, was so much alarmed for his safety that he left the Apostles and joined the Templars. †
Bishop Opizo of Parma, a nephew of Innocent IV., had a liking
* Concil. Lugdun. ann. 1274 c. 23.-- Salimbene, pp. 117, 119, 329-30.--Concil. Herbipolens. ann. 1287 ( Harduin. VII. 1141).-- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. p. 360.
† Salimbene, pp. 114-16.
for Segarelli, and for his sake protected the Apostles, which serves to account for their uninterrupted growth. In 1286, however, three of the brethren misbehaved flagrantly at Bologna, and were summarily hanged by the podestà. This seems to have drawn attention to the sectaries, for about the same time Honorius IV. issued a bull especially directed against them. They were commanded to abandon their peculiar vestments and enter some recognized order; prelates were required to enforce obedience by imprisonment, with recourse, if necessary, to the secular arm, and the faithful at large were ordered not to give them alms or hospitality. The Order was thus formally proscribed. Bishop Opizo hastened to obey. He banished the brethren from his diocese and imprisoned Segarelli in chains, but subsequently relenting kept him in his palace as a jester, for when filled with wine the Apostle could be amusing. *
For some years we hear little of Segarelli and his disciples. The papal condemnation discouraged them, but it received scant. obedience. Their numbers may have diminished, and public charity may have been to some extent withdrawn, but they were still numerous, they continued to wear the white mantle, and to be supported in their wandering life. The best evidence that the bull of Honorius failed in its purpose is the fact that in 1291 Nicholas IV. deemed its reissue necessary. They were now in open antagonism to the Holy See--rebels and schismatics, rapidly ripening into heretics, and fair subjects of persecution. Accordingly, in 1494, we hear of four of them--two men and two women--burned at Parma, and of Segarelli's condemnation to perpetual imprisonment by Bishop Opizo. There is also an allusion to an earnest missionary of the sect, named Stephen, dangerous on account of the eloquence of his preaching, who was burned by the Inquisition. Segarelli had saved his life by abjuration; possibly after a few years he may have been released, but he did not abandon his errors; the Inquisitor of Parma, Frà Manfredo, convicted him as a relapsed heretic, and he was burned in Parma in 1300. An active persecution followed of his disciples. Many were apprehended by the Inquisition
* Salimbene, pp. 117, 371.-- Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 158.--At the same time Honorius approved the Orders of the Carmelites and of St. William of the Desert (Raynald. ann. 1286, No. 36, 37).
and subjected to various punishments, until Parma congratulated itself that the heresy was fairly stamped out. *
Persecution, as usual, had the immediate effect of scattering the heretics, of confirming them in the faith, and of developing the heresy into a more decided antagonism towards the Church. Segarelli's disciples were not all ignorant peasants. In Tuscany a Franciscan of high reputation for sanctity and learning was in secret an active missionary, and endeavored even to win over Ubertino da Casale. Ubertino led him on and then betrayed him, and when we are told that he was forced to reveal his followers, we may assume that he was subjected to the customary inquisitorial processes. This points to relationship between the Apostles and the disaffected Franciscans, and the indication is strengthened by the anxiety of the Spirituals to disclaim all connection. The Apostles were deeply tinged with Joachitism, and the Spirituals endeavor to hide the fact by attributing their errors to Joachim's detested heretic imitator, the forgotten Amaury. The Conventuals, in fact, did not omit this damaging method of attack, and in the contest before Clement V. the Spirituals were obliged to disavow all connection with Dolcinism. †
We know nothing of any peculiar tenets taught by Segarelli. From his character it is not likely that he indulged in any recondite speculations, while the toleration which he enjoyed until near the end of his career probably prevented him from formulating any revolutionary doctrines. To wear the habit of the association, to live in absolute poverty, without labor and depending on daily charity, to take no thought of the morrow, to wander without a home, calling upon the people to repent, to preserve the strictest chastity, was the sum of his teaching, so far as we know, and this remained to the last the exterior observance of the Apostles. It was rigidly enforced. Even the austerity of the Franciscans allowed the friar two gowns, as a concession to health and comfort, but the Apostle could have but one, and if he desired it washed he
____________________ * Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 158.-- Chron. Parmens. ann. 1294 ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 826).-- Hist. Tribulat. ( Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 130).-Addit. ad Hist. Frat. Dulcini ( Muratori IX. 450). † Hist. Tribulat. (ubi sup.).-- Ubertini Responsio ( Archiv f. L. u. K. 1887, p. 51).
had to remain covered in bed until it was dried. Like the Waldenses and Cathari, the Apostles seem to have considered the use of the oath as unlawful. They were accused, as usual, of inculcating promiscuous intercourse, and this charge seemed substantiated by the mingling of the sexes in their wandering life, and by the crucial test of continence to which they habitually exposed themselves, in imitation of the early Christians, of lying together naked; but the statement of their errors drawn up by the inquisitors who knew them, for the instruction of their colleagues, shows that license formed no part of their creed, though it would not be safe to say that men and women of evil life may not have been attracted to join them by the idleness and freedom from care of their wandering existence. *
By the time of Gherardo's death, however, persecution had been sufficiently sharp and long-continued to drive the Apostles into denying the authority of the Holy See and formulating doctrines of pronounced hostility to the Church. An epistle written by Frà Dolcino, about a month after Segarelli's execution, shows that minds more powerful than that of the founder had been at work framing a body of principles suited to zealots chafing under the domination of a corrupt church, and eagerly yearning for a higher theory of life than it could furnish. Joachim had promised that the era of the Holy Ghost should open with the year 1260. That prophecy had been fulfilled by the appearance of Segarelli, whose mission had then commenced. Tacitly accepting this coincidence, Dolcino proceeds to describe four successive states of the Church. The first extends from the Creation to the time of Christ; the second from Christ to Silvester and Constantine, during which the Church was holy and poor; the third from Silvester to Segarelli, during which the Church declined, in spite of the reforms introduced by Benedict, Dominic, and Francis, until it had wholly lost
* Salimbene, pp. 113, 117, 121.-- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 360-1.-- Muratori S. R. I. IX. 455-7.--Bern. Guidon. Practica P. v. --Eymeric. P. II. Q. 11.
The test of continence was regarded with horror by the inquisitors, and yet when practised by St. Aldhelm it was considered as proof of supereminent sanctity (Girald. Cambrens. Gemm. Eccles. Dist. II. c. XV.). The coincidence, in fact, is remarkable between the perilous follies of the Apostles and those of the Christian zealots of the third century, as described and condemned by Cyprian (Epist. IV. ad Pompon.).
the charity of God. The fourth state was commenced by Segarelli, and will last till the Day of Judgment. Then follow prophecies which seem to be based on those of the Pseudo- Joachim Commentaries on Jeremiah. The Church now is honored, rich, and wicked, and will so remain until all clerks, monks, and friars are cut off with a cruel death, which will happen within three years. Frederic, King of Trinacria, who had not yet made his peace with the Holy See, was regarded as the coming avenger, in consequence, doubtless, of his relations with the Spirituals and his tendencies in their favor. The epistle concludes with a mass of Apocalyptical prophecies respecting the approaching advent of Antichrist, the triumph of the saints, and the reign of holy poverty and love, which is to follow under a saintly pope. The seven angels of the churches are declared to be Benedict, of Ephesus; Silvester, of Pergamus; Francis, of Sardis; Dominic, of Laodicea; Segarelli, of Smyrna; Dolcino himself, of Thyatira; and the holy pope to come, of Philadelphia. Dolcino announces himself as the special envoy of God, sent to elucidate Scripture and the prophecies, while the clergy and the friars are the ministers of Satan, who persecute now, but who will shortly be consumed, when he and his followers, with those who join them, will prevail till the end. *
Segarelli had perished at the stake, July 18, and already in August here was a man assuming with easy assurance the dangerous position of heresiarch, proclaiming himself the mouthpiece of God, and promising his followers speedy triumph in reward for what they might endure under his leadership. Whether or not he believed his own prophecies, whether he was a wild fanatic or a skilful charlatan, can never be absolutely determined, but the balance of probability lies in his truthfulness. With all his gifts as a born leader of men, it is safe to assert that if he had not believed in his mission he could not have inspired his followers with the devotion which led them to stand by him through sufferings unendurable to ordinary human nature; while the cool sagacity which he displayed under the most pressing emergencies must
* Muratori IX. 449-53.--Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1306.-- R. Fran. Pipini Chron. cap. XV. ( Muratori, IX. 599).--Cf. Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. p. 360.-Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 720.
have been inflamed by apocalyptic visions ere he could have embarked in an enterprise in which the means were so wholly inadequate to the end--ere he could have endeavored single-handed to overthrow the whole majestic structure of the theocratic church and organized feudalism. Dante recognized the greatness of Dolcino when he represents him as the only living man to whom Mahomet from the depths of hell deigns to send a message, as to a kindred spirit. The good Spiritual Franciscans, who endured endless persecution without resistance, could only explain his career by a revelation made to a servant of God beyond the seas, that he was possessed by a malignant angel named Furcio. *
The paternity of Dolcino is variously attributed to Giulio, a priest of Trontano in the 'Val d'Ossola, and to Giulio, a hermit of Prato in the Valsesia, near Novara. Brought as a child to Vercelli, he was bred in the church of St. Agnes by a priest named Agosto, who had him carefully trained. Gifted with a brilliant intellect, he soon became an excellent scholar, and, though small of stature, he was pleasant to look upon and won the affection of all. In after-times it was said that his eloquence and persuasiveness were such that no one who once listened to him could ever throw off the spell. His connection with Vercelli came to a sudden end. The priest lost a sum of money and suspected his servant Patras. The man took the boy and by torturing him forced him to confess the theft--rightly or wrongly. The priest interfered to prevent the matter from becoming public, but shame and terror caused Dolcino to depart in secret, and we lose sight of him until we hear of him in Trent, at the head of a band of Apostles. He had joined the sect in 1291; he must early have taken a prominent position in it, for he admitted in his final confession that he had thrice been in the hands of the Inquisition, and had thrice abjured. This he could do without forfeiting his position, for it was one of the principles of the sect, which greatly angered the inquisitors, that deceit was lawful when before the Inquisition; that
* Hist. Tribulat. (ubi sup.).
Or dì a Frà Dolcin dunque che s' armi,
Tu che forse vedrai il sole in breve,
S' egli non vuol quì tosto seguitarmi;
Sì di vivanda, che stretta di neve
Non rechi la vittoria la Noarese,
Ch' altrimenti acquistar non saria lieve.
-- INFERNO, XXVIII.
oaths could then be taken with the lips and not with the heart; but that if death could not be escaped, then it was to be endured cheerfully and patiently, without betraying accomplices. *
For three years after his epistle of August, 1300, we know nothing of Dolcino's movements, except that he is heard of in Milan, Brescia, Bergamo, and Como, but they were busy years of propagandism and organization. The time of promised liberation came and passed, and the Church was neither shattered nor amended. Yet the capture of Boniface VIII. at Anagni, in September, 1303, followed by his death, might well seem to be the beginning of the end, and the fulfilment of the prophecy. In December, 1303, therefore, Dolcino issued a second epistle, in which he announced as a revelation from God that the first year of the tribulations of the Church had begun in the fall of Boniface. In 1304 Frederic of Trinacria would become emperor, and would destroy the cardinals, with the new evil pope whom they had just elected; in 1305 he would carry desolation through the ranks of all prelates and ecclesiastics, whose wickedness was daily increasing. Until that time the faithful must lie hid to escape persecution, but then they would come forth, they would be joined by the Spirituals of the other orders, they would receive the grace of the Holy Ghost, and would form the new Church which would endure to the end. Meanwhile he announced himself as the ruler of the Apostolic Congregation, consisting of four thousand souls, living without external obedience, but in the obedience of the Spirit. About a hundred, of either sex, were organized in control of the brethren, and he had four principal lieutenants, Longino Cattaneo da Bergamo, Federigo da Novara, Alberto da Otranto, and Valderigo da Brescia. Superior to these was his dearly-loved sister in Christ, Margherita. Margherita di Trank is described to us as a woman of noble birth, considerable fortune, and surpassing beauty, who had been educated in the convent of St. Catharine at Trent. Dolcino had been the agent of the convent, and had thus made her acquaintance. Infatuated with him, she fled with him, and remained constant to the last. He always maintained that their relations
* Benvenuto da Imola ( Muratori Antiq. III. 457-9).--Bescapè, La Novara Sacra, Novara, 1878, p. 157.-- Baggiolini, Dolcino e i Patarini, Novara, 1838, pp. 35-6.-Hist. Dulcin. Hæresiarch. ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 436-7).-- Addit. ad Hist. (Ibid. 457, 460) .
were purely spiritual, but this was naturally doubted, and the churchmen asserted that she bore him a child whose birth was represented to the faithful as the operation of the Holy Ghost. *
Although in this letter of December, 1303, Dolcino recognizes the necessity of concealment, perhaps the expected approaching fruition of his hopes may have encouraged him to relax his precautions. Returning in 1304 to the home of his youth with a few sectaries clad in the white tunics and sandals of the Order, he commenced making converts in the neighborhood of Gattinara and Serravalle, two villages of the Valsesia, a few leagues above Vercelli. The Inquisition was soon upon the track, and, failing to catch him, made the people of Serravalle pay dearly for the favor which they had shown him. Deep-seated discontent, both with the Church and their feudal lords, can alone explain the assistance which Dolcino received from the hardy population of the foot-hills of the Alps, when he was forced to raise openly the standard of revolt. A short distance above Serravalle, on the left bank of the Sesia, a stream fed by the glaciers of Monte Rosa, lay Borgo di Sesia, in the diocese of Novara. Thither a rich husbandman, much esteemed by his neighbors, named Milano Sola, invited Dolcino, and for several months he remained there undisturbed, making converts and receiving his disciples, whom he seems to have summoned from distant parts, as though resolved to make a stand and take advantage of the development of his apocalyptic prophecies. Preparations made to dislodge him, however, convinced him that safety was only to be found in the Alps, and under the guidance of Milano Sola the Apostles moved up towards the head-waters of the Sesia, and established themselves on a mountain crest, difficult of access, where they built huts. Thus passed the year 1304. Their numbers were not inconsiderable--some fourteen hundred of both sexes --inflamed with religious zeal, regarding Dolcino as a prophet whose lightest word was law. Thus contumaciously assembled in defiance of the summons of the Inquisition, they were in open rebellion
* Corio, Hist. Milanesi, ann. 1307.--Benv. da Imola, loc. cit.--Additamentum ( Muratori IX. 454-55, 459).-- Baggiolini, pp. 36-7.
Dolcino's two epistles were formally condemned by the Bishop of Parma and Frà Manfredo, the inquisitor, and must therefore have been circulated outside of the sect (Eymeric. Direct. Inq. P. 11. Q. 29).
against the Church. The State also soon became their enemy, for as the year 1305 opened, their slender stock of provisions was exhausted and they replenished their stores by raids upon the lower valleys. *
The Church could not afford to brook this open defiance, to say nothing of the complaints of rapine and sacrilege which filled the land, yet it shows the dread which Dolcino already inspired that recourse was had to the pope, under whose auspices a formal crusade was preached, in order to raise a force deemed sufficient to exterminate the heretics. One of the early acts of Clement V. after his election, June 5, 1305, was to issue bulls for this purpose, and the next step was to hold an assembly, August 24, where a league was formed and an agreement signed pledging the assembled nobles to shed the last drop of their blood to destroy the Gazzari, who had been driven out of Sesia and Biandrate, but had not ceased to trouble the land. Armed with the papal commissions, Rainerio, Bishop of Vercelli, and the inquisitors raised a considerable force and advanced to the mountain refuge of the Apostles. Dolcino, seeing the futility of resistance, decamped by night and established his little community on an almost inaccessible mountain, and the crusaders, apparently thinking them dispersed, withdrew. Dolcino was now fairly at bay; the only hope of safety lay in resistance, and since the Church was resolved on war, he and his followers would at least sell their lives as dearly as they could. His new retreat was on the Parete Calvo--the Bare Wall--whose name sufficiently describes its character, a mountain overlooking the village of Campertogno. On this stronghold the Apostles fortified themselves and constructed such habitations as they could, and from it they ravaged the neighboring valleys for subsistence. The Podestà of Varallo assembled the men of the Valsesia to dislodge them, but Dolcino laid an ambush for him, attacked him with stones and such other weapons as the Apostles chanced to have, and took him prisoner with most of his men, obtaining ransoms which enabled the sectaries to support life for a while longer. Their depredations continued till all the land within striking distance was reduced to a desert, the churches despoiled, and the inhabitants driven off. †
* Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 428-9).--Bescapè, loc. cit.
† Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 430-1).--Bescapè. loc. cit.
The winter of 1305-6 put to the test the endurance of the heretics on their bare mountain-top. As Lent came on they were reduced to eating mice and other vermin, and hay cooked in grease. The position became untenable, and on the night of March 10, compelled by stern necessity to abandon their weaker companions, they left the Parete Calvo, and, building paths which seemed impossible over high mountains and through deep snows, they established themselves on Monte Rubello, overlooking the village of Triverio, in the diocese of Vercelli. By this time, through want and exhaustion, their numbers were reduced to about a thousand, and the sole provisions which they brought with them were a few scraps of meat. With such secrecy and expedition had the move been executed that the first intimation that the people of Triverio had of the neighborhood of the dreaded heretics was a foray by night, in which their town was ravaged. We do not hear that any of the unresisting inhabitants were slain, but we are told that thirty-four of the Apostles were cut off in their retreat and put to death. The whole region was now alarmed, and the Bishop of Vercelli raised a second force of crusaders, who bravely advanced to Monte Rubello. Dolcino was rapidly learning the art of war; he made a sally from his stronghold, though again we learn that some of his combatants were armed only with stones, and the bishop's troops were beaten back with the loss of many prisoners who were exchanged for food. *
The heretic encampment was now organized for permanent occupation. Fortifications were thrown up, houses built, and a well dug. Thus rendered inexpugnable, the hunted Apostles were in safety from external attack, and on their Alpine crag, with all mankind for enemies, they calmly awaited in their isolation the fulfilment of Dolcino's prophecies. Their immediate danger was starvation. The mountain-tops furnished no food, and the remains of the episcopal army stationed at Mosso maintained a strict blockade. To relieve himself, early in May, Dolcino by a clever stratagem lured them to an attack, set upon them from an ambush, and dispersed them, capturing many prisoners, who, as before, were exchanged for provisions. The bishop's resources were exhausted. Again he appealed to Clement V., who graciously
* Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 430-2).
anathematized the heretics, and offered plenary indulgence to all who would serve in the army of the Lord for thirty days against them, or pay a recruit for such service. The papal letters were published far and wide, the Vercellese ardently supported their aged bishop, who personally accompanied the crusade; a large force was raised, neighboring heights were seized and machines erected which threw stones into the heretic encampment and demolished their huts. A desperate struggle took place for the possession of one commanding eminence, where mutual slaughter so deeply tinged the waters of the Riccio that its name became changed to that of Rio Carnaschio, and so strong was the impression made upon the popular mind that within the last century it would have fared ill with any sceptical traveller who should aver within hearing of a mountaineer of the district that its color was the same as that of the neighboring torrents. *
This third crusade was as fruitless as its predecessors. The assailants were repulsed and fell back to Mosso, Triverio, and Crevacore, while Dolcino, profiting by experience, fortified and garrisoned six of the neighboring heights, from which he harried the surrounding country and kept his people supplied with food. To restrain them the crusaders built two forts and maintained a heavy force within them, but to little purpose. Mosso, Triverio, Cassato, Flecchia, and other towns were burned, and the accounts of the wanton spoliation and desecration of the churches show how thoroughly antisacerdotal the sect had become. Driven to desperation, the ancient loving-kindness of their creed gave place to the cruelty which they learned from their assailants. To deprive them of resources it was forbidden to exchange food with them for prisoners, and their captives were mercilessly put to death. According to the contemporary inquisitor to whom we are indebted for these details, since the days of Adam there had never been a sect so execrable, so abominable, so horrible, or which in a time so short accomplished so much evil. The worst of it was that Dolcino infused into his followers his own unconquerable spirit. In male attire the women accompanied the men in their expeditions. Fanaticism rendered them invincible, and so great was the terror which they inspired that the faithful fled from the
* Hist. Dulcin ( Muratori IX. 432-4.)-- Baggiolini, p. 131.
faces of these dogs, of whom we are told a few would put to flight a host and utterly destroy them. The land was abandoned by the inhabitants, and in December, seized with a sudden panic, the crusaders evacuated one of the forts, and the garrison of the other, amounting to seven hundred men, was rescued with difficulty. *
Dolcino's fanaticism and military skill had thus triumphed in the field, but the fatal weakness of his position lay in his inability to support his followers. This was clearly apprehended by the Bishop of Vercelli, who built five new forts around the heretic position; and when we are told that all the roads and passes were strictly guarded so that no help should reach them, we may infer that, in spite of the devastation to which they had been driven, they still had friends among the population. This policy was successful. During the winter of 1306-7 the sufferings of the Apostles on their snowy mountain-top were frightful. Hunger and cold did their work. Many perished from exhaustion. Others barely maintained life on grass and leaves, when they were fortunate enough to find them. Cannibalism was resorted to; the bodies of their enemies who fell in successful sorties were devoured, and even those of their comrades who succumbed to starvation. The pious chronicler informs us that this misery was brought upon them by the prayers and vows of the good bishop and his flock. † To this there could be but one ending, and even the fervid genius of Dolcino could not indefinitely postpone the inevitable. As the dreary Alpine winter drew to an end, towards the close of March, the bishop organized a fourth crusade. A large army was raised to deal with the gaunt and haggard survivors; hot fighting occurred during Passion Week, and on Holy Thursday ( March 23, 1307) the last entrenchments were carried. The resistance had been stubborn, and again the Rio Carnaschio ran red with blood. No quarter was given. "On that day more than a thousand of the heretics perished in the flames, or in the river, or by the sword, in the cruellest of deaths. Thus they who made sport of God the Eternal Father and of the Catholic faith came, on the day of the Last Supper, through hunger, steel, fire, pestilence, and all wretchedness, to shame and disgraceful death, as they deserved."
* Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 434, 437-8).
† Hist. Dulcin. (Ib. 439-40).
Strict orders had been given by the bishop to capture alive Dolcino and his two chief subordinates, Margherita and Longino Cattaneo, and great were the rejoicings when they were brought to him on Saturday, at the castle of Biella. *
No case could be clearer than theirs, and yet the bishop deemed it necessary to consult Pope Clement--a perfectly superfluous ceremony, explicable perhaps, as Gallenga suggests, by the opportunity which it afforded of begging assistance for his ruined diocese and exhausted treasury. Clement's avarice responded in a niggardly fashion, though the extravagant pæan of triumph in which the pope hastened to announce the glad tidings to Philippe le Bel on the same evening in which he received them shows how deep was the anxiety caused by the audacious revolt of the handful of Dolcinists. The Bishops of Vercelli, Novara, and Pavia, and the Abbot of Lucedio were granted the first fruits of all benefices becoming vacant during the next three years in their respective territories, and the former, in addition, was exempted during life from the exactions of papal legates, with some other privileges. While awaiting this response the prisoners were kept, chained hand and foot and neck, in the dungeon of the Inquisition at Vercelli, with numerous guards posted to prevent a rescue, indicating a knowledge that there existed deep popular sympathy for the rebels against State and Church. The customary efforts were made to procure confession and abjuration, but while the prisoners boldly affirmed their faith they were deaf to all offers of reconciliation. Dolcino even persisted in his prophecies that Antichrist would appear in three years and a half, when he and his followers would be translated to Paradise; that after the death of Antichrist he would return to the earth to be the holy pope of the new church, when all the infidels would be converted. About two months passed away before Clement's orders were received, that they should be tried and punished at the scene of their crimes. The customary assembly of experts was convened in Vercelli; there could be no doubt as to their guilt, and they were abandoned to
* Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 439).
Ptolemy of Lucca, who is good contemporaneous authority, puts the number of those captured with Dolcino at one hundred and fifty, and of those who perished through exposure and by the sword at only about three hundred. -- Hist. Eccles. Lib. XXIV. ( Muratori XI. 1227).
the secular arm. For the superfluous cruelty which followed the Church was not responsible; it was the expression of the terror of the secular authorities, leading them to repress by an awful example the ever-present danger of a peasant revolt. On June 1, 1307, the prisoners were brought forth. Margherita's beauty moved all hearts to compassion, and this, coupled with the reports of her wealth, led many nobles to offer her marriage and pardon if she would abjure, but, constant to her faith and to Dolcino, she preferred the stake. She was slowly burned to death before his eyes, and then commenced his more prolonged torture. Mounted on a cart, provided with braziers to keep the instruments of torment heated, he was slowly driven along the roads through that long summer day and torn gradually to pieces with red-hot pincers. The marvellous constancy of the man was shown by his enduring it without rewarding his torturers with a single change of feature. Only when his nose was wrenched off was observed a slight shiver in the shoulders, and when a yet crueller pang was inflicted, a single sigh escaped him. While he was thus dying in lingering torture Longino Cattaneo, at Biella, was similarly utilized to afford a salutary warning to the people. Thus the enthusiasts expiated their dreams of the regeneration of mankind. *
Complete as was Dolcino's failure, his character and his fate left an ineffaceable impression on the population. The Parete Calvo, his first mountain refuge, was considered to be haunted by evil spirits, whom he had left to guard a treasure buried in a cave, and who excited such tempests when any one invaded their domain that the people of Triverio were forced to maintain guards to warn off persistent treasure-seekers. Still stronger was the
* Mariotti (A. Galenga), Frà Dolcino and his Times, London, 1853, pp. 28788.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. II. pp. 79-82, 88 (Ed. Benedictina, Romæ, 1886). -- Mosheims Ketzergeschichte I. 395.--Ughelli, Italia Sacra Ed. 1652, IV. 11048.-- Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 436, 440).--Benv. da Imola ( Muratori Antiq. III. 460).--Bernard. Guidon. Vit. Clement. PP. V. ( Muratori III. I. 674).--Bescapè, loc. cit.
The punishment inflicted on Dolcino and Longino was not exceptional. By a Milanese statute of 1393 all secret attempts upon the life of any member of a family with whom the criminal lived were subject to a penalty precisely the same in all details, except that it ended by attaching the offender to a wheel and leaving him to perish in prolonged agony.--Antiqua Ducum Mediolani Decreta, p. 187 (Mediolani, 1654).
influence which he exerted upon his fastness on Monte Rubello. It became known as the Monte dei Gazzari, and to it, as to an accursed spot, priests grew into the habit of consigning demons whom they exorcised on account of hail-storms. The result of this was that the congregated spirits caused such fearful tempests that the neighboring lands were ruined, the harvests were yearly destroyed, and the people reduced to beggary. Finally, as a cure, the inhabitants of Triverio vowed to God and to St. Bernard that if they were relieved they would build on the top of the mountain a chapel to St. Bernard. This was done, and the mountain thus acquired its modern name of Monte San Bernardo. Every year on June 15, the feast of St. Bernard, one man from every hearth in the surrounding parishes marched with their priests in solemn procession, bearing crosses and banners, and celebrating solemn services, in the presence of crowds assembled to gain the pardons granted by the pope, and to share in a distribution of bread provided by a special levy made on the parishes of Triverio and Portola. This custom lasted till the French invasion under Napoleon. Renewed in 1815, it was discontinued on account of the disorders which attended it. Again resumed in 1839, it was accompanied with a hurricane which is still in the Valsesia attributed to the heresiarch, and even to the present day the mountaineers see on the mountain-crest a procession of Dolcinists during the night before its celebration. Dolcino's name is still remembered in the valleys as that of a great man who perished in the effort to free the populations from temporal and spiritual tyranny. *
Dolcino and his immediate band of followers were thus exterminated, but there remained the thousands of Apostles, scattered throughout the land, who cherished their belief in secret. Under the skilful hand of the Inquisition, the harmless eccentricities of Segarelli were hardened and converted into a strongly antisacerdotal heresy, antagonistic to Rome, precisely as we have seen the same result with the exaggerated asceticism of the Olivists. There was much in common between the sects, for both drew their inspiration from the Everlasting Gospel. Like the Olivists, the Apostles held that Christ had withdrawn his authority from the
* A. Artiaco ( Rivista Cristiana, 1877, 145-51).-- Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 441-2).-- Baggiolini, pp. 165-71.
Church of Rome on account of its wickedness; it was the Whore of Babylon, and all spiritual power was transferred to the Spiritual Congregation, or Order of Apostles, as they styled themselves. As time passed on without the fulfilment of the apocalyptic promises, as Frederic of Trinacria did not develop into a deliverer, and as Antichrist delayed his appearance, they seem to have abandoned these hopes, or at least to have repressed their expression, but they continued to cherish the belief that they had attained spiritual perfection, releasing them from all obedience to man, and that there was no salvation outside of their community. Antisacerdotalism was thus developed to the fullest extent. There seems to have been no organization in the Order. Reception was performed by the simplest of ceremonies, either in church before the altar or in any other place. The postulant stripped himself of all his garments, in sign of renunciation of all property and of entering into the perfect state of evangelical poverty; he uttered no vows, but in his heart he promised to live henceforth in poverty. After this he was never to receive or carry money, but was to live on alms spontaneously offered to him, and was never to reserve anything for the morrow. He made no promise of obedience to mortal man, but only to God, to whom alone he was subject, as were the apostles to Christ. Thus all the externals of religion were brushed aside. Churches were useless; a man could better worship Christ in the woods, and prayer to God was as effective in a pigsty as in a consecrated building. Priests and prelates and monks were a detriment to the faith. Tithes should only be given to those whose voluntary poverty rendered it superfluous. Though the sacrament of penitence was not expressly abrogated, yet the power of the keys was virtually annulled by the principle that no pope could absolve for sin unless he were as holy as St. Peter, living in perfect poverty and humility, abstaining from war and persecution, and permitting every one to dwell in liberty; and, as all prelates, from the time of Silvester, had been seducers and prevaricators, excepting only Frà Pier di Morrone ( Celestin V.), it followed that the indulgences and pardons so freely hawked around Christendom were worthless. One error they shared with the Waldenses--the prohibition of oaths, even in a court of justice. *
* Addit. ad Hist. Dulcin. ( Muratori IX. 455-7).--Bern. Guidon. Pract. P. v.
The description which Bernard Gui gives of the Apostles, in order to guide his brother inquisitors in their detection, shows how fully they carried into practice the precepts of their simple creed. They wore a special habit, closely approaching a conventual garb --probably the white mantle and cord adopted by Segarelli. They presented all the exterior signs of saintliness. As they wandered along the roads and through the streets they sang hymns, or uttered prayers and exhortations to repentance. Whatever was spontaneously set before them they ate with thankfulness, and when appetite was satisfied they left what might remain and carried nothing with them. In their humble fashion they seem to have imitated the apostles as best they could, and to have carried poverty to a pitch which Angelo da Clarino himself might have envied. Bernard Gui, in addition, deplores their intractable obstinacy, and adduces a case in which he had kept one of them in prison for two years, subjecting him to frequent examination, before he was brought to confession and repentance--by what gentle persuasives we may readily guess. *
All this may seem to us the most harmless of heresies, and yet the impression produced by the exploits of Dolcino caused it to be regarded as one of the most formidable; and the earnestness of the sectaries in making converts was rendered dangerous by their drawing their chief arguments from the evil lives of the clergy. When the Brethren of the Free Spirit were condemned in the Clementines, Bernard Gui wrote earnestly to John XXII., urging that a clause should be inserted including the Apostles, whom he described as growing like weeds and spreading from Italy to Languedoc and Spain. This is probably one of the exaggerations customary in such matters, but about this time a Dolcinist named Jacopo da Querio was discovered and burned in Avignon. In 1316 Bernard Gui found others within his own district, when his energetic proceedings soon drove the poor wretches across the Pyrenees, and he addressed urgent letters to all the prelates of Spain, describing them and calling for their prompt extermination, which resulted, as mentioned in a former chapter, in the apprehension of five of the heretics at far-off Compostella, doubtless the remnants of the disciples of the Apostle Richard. Possibly
* Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. v.
this may have driven some of them back to France for safety, for in the auto of September, 1322, at Toulouse, there figures the Galician already referred to named Pedro de Lugo, who had been strenuously labored with for a year in prison, and on his abjuration was incarcerated for life on bread and water. In the same auto there was another culprit whose fate illustrates the horror and terror inspired by the doctrines of the Dolcinists. Guillem Ruffi had been previously forced to abjuration as a Beguine, and subsequently had betrayed two of his former associates, one of whom had been burned and the other imprisoned. This would seem to be sufficient proof of his zeal for orthodoxy, and yet, when he happened to state that in Italy there were Fraticelli who held that no one was perfect who could not endure the test of continence above alluded to, adding that he had tried the experiment himself with success, and had taught it to more than one woman, this was considered sufficient, and without anything further against him he was incontinently burned as a relapsed heretic. *
In spite of Bernard Gui's exaggerated apprehensions, the sect, although it continued to exist for some time, gave no further serious trouble. The Council of Cologne in 1306 and that of Trèves in 1310 allude to the Apostles, showing that they were not unknown in Germany. Yet about 1335 so well-informed a writer as Alvar Pelayo speaks of Dolcino as a Beghard, showing how soon the memory of the distinctive characteristics of the sect had faded away. At this very time, however, a certain Zoppio was secretly spreading the heresy at Rieti, where it seems to have found numerous converts, especially among the women. Attention being called to it, Frà Simone Filippi, inquisitor of the Roman province, hastened thither, seized Zoppio, and after examining him delivered him to the authorities for safe-keeping. When he desired to proceed with the trial the magistrates refused to surrender the prisoner, and abused the inquisitor. Benedict XII. was appealed to, who scolded roundly the recalcitrant officials for defending a heresy so horrible that decency forbids his describing it; he threat-
* Addit. ad Hist. Dulein. ( Muratori IX. 458).--Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. v. --Bernard. Guidon. Gravam. ( Doat, XXX. 120-4).--Raym. de Fronciacho ( Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1887, p. 10.-- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 360-3, 381.
ened them with exemplary punishment for continued contumacy, and promised that, if they were afraid of damage to the reputation of their women, the latter should be mildly treated and spared humiliating penance on giving information as to their associates. *
After a long interval we hear of the Apostles again in Languedoc, where, in 1368, the Council of Lavaur calls attention to them as wandering through the land in spite of the condemnation of the Holy See, and disseminating errors under an appearance of external piety, wherefore they are ordered to be arrested and punished by the episcopal courts. In 1374 the Council of Narbonne deemed it necessary to repeat this injunction; and we have seen that in 1402 and 1403 the zeal of the Inquisitor Eylard was rewarded in Lubec and Wismar by the capture and burning of two Apostles. This is the last authentic record of a sect which a hundred years before had for a brief space inspired so wide a terror. †
Closely allied with the Dolcinists, and forming a link between them and the German Brethren of the Free Spirit, were some Italian heretics known as followers of the Spirit of Liberty, of whom a few scattered notices have reached us. They seem to have avoided the pantheism of the Germans, and did not teach the return of the soul to its Creator, but they adopted the dangerous tenet of the perfectibility of man, who in this life can become as holy as Christ. This can be accomplished by sins as well as by virtues, for both are the same in the eye of God, who directs all things and allows no human free-will. The soul is purified by sin, and the greater the pleasure in carnal indulgences the more nearly they represent God. There is no eternal punishment, but
* Concil. Coloniens. ann. 1306 c. 1, 2 ( Hartzheim IV. 100, 102).--Concil. Trevirens. ann. 1310 c. 50 ( Martene Thesaur. IV. 250).--Alvar. Pelag. de Planctu Eccles. Lib. II. art. lii. (fol. 166, 172, Ed. 1517).-- Wadding. ann. 1335, No. 8-9.-- Raynald . ann. 1335, No. 62.
† Concil. Vaurens. ann. 1368 c. 24; Concil, Narbonn. ann. 1374 c. 5 ( Harduin. VII. 1818, 1880).--Herman. Corneri Chron. ann. 1260, 1402 ( Eccard. Corp. Hist. Med. Ævi II. 906, 1185).
I have already referred (Vol. II. p. 429) to the persecution at Prague, in 1315, of some heretics whom Dubravius qualifies as Dolcinists, but who probably were Waldenses and Luciferans.
souls not sufficiently purified in this life undergo purgation until admitted to heaven. *
We first hear of these sectaries as appearing among the Franciscans of Assisi, where, under active proceedings, seven of the friars confessed, abjured, and were sentenced to perpetual prison. When, in 1309, Clement V. sought to settle the points in dispute between the Spirituals and Conventuals, the first of the four preliminary questions which he put to the contending factions related to the connection between the Order and this heresy, of which both sides promptly sought to clear themselves. The next reference to them is in April, 1311, when they were said to be multiplying rapidly in Spoleto, among both ecclesiastics and laymen, and Clement sent thither Raimundo, Bishop of Cremona, to stamp out the new heresy. The effort was unavailing, for in 1327, at Florence, Donna Lapina, belonging to the sect "of the Spirit" whose members believed themselves impeccable, was condemned by Frà Accursio, the inquisitor, to confiscation and wearing crosses; and in 1329 Frà Bartolino da Perugia, in announcing a general inquisition to be made of the province of Assisi, enumerates the new heresy of the Spirit of Liberty among those which he proposes to suppress. More important was the case of Domenico Savi of Ascoli, who was regarded as a man of the most exemplary piety. In 1337 he abandoned wife and children for a hermit's life, and the bishop built for him a cell and oratory. This gave him still greater repute, and his influence was such that when he began to disseminate the doctrines of the Spirit of Liberty, which he undertook by means of circulating written tracts, the number of his followers is reckoned at ten thousand. It was not long before this attracted the attention of the Inquisition. He was tried, and recanted, while his writings were ordered to be burned. His convictions, however, were too strong to allow him to remain orthodox. He relapsed, was tried a second time, appealed to the pope, and was finally condemned by the Holy See in 1344, when he was handed over to the secular arm and burned at Ascoli. As nothing is said
* MS. Bibl. Casanatense A. IV. 49.--I owe the communication of this document to the kindness of M. Charles Molinier. See also Amati, Archivio Storico Italiano, No. 38, p. 14.
For the connection between these heretics and the Dolcinists, compare Archiv für Lit.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 131, with 1887, pp. 123-4.
about the fate of his disciples it may be assumed that they escaped by abjuration. He is usually classed with the Fraticelli, but the errors attributed to him bear no resemblance to those of that sect, and are evidently exaggerations of the doctrines of the Spirit of Liberty. *
Before dismissing the career of Dolcino, it may be worth while to cast a passing glance at that of a modern prophet which, like the cases of the modern Guglielmites, teaches us that such spiritual phenomena are common to all ages, and that even in our colder and more rationalistic time the mysteries of human nature are the same as in the thirteenth century.
Dolcino merely organized a movement which had been in progress for nearly half a century, and which was the expression of a widely diffused sentiment. David Lazzaretti of Arcidosso was both founder and martyr. A wagoner in the mountains of southern Tuscany, his herculean strength and ready speech made him widely known throughout his native region, when a somewhat wild and dissipated youth was suddenly converted into an ascetic of the severest type, dwelling in a hermitage on Monte Labbro, and honored with revelations from God. His austerities, his visions, and his prophecies soon brought him disciples, many of whom adopted his mode of life, and the peasants of Arcidosso revered him as a prophet. He claimed that, as early as 1848, he had been called to the task of regenerating the world, and that his sudden conversion was caused by a vision of St. Peter, who imprinted on his forehead a mark (O + C) in attestation of his mission. He was by no means consistent in his successive stages of development. A patriot volunteer in 1860, he subsequently upheld the cause of the Church against the assaults of heretic Germany, but in 1876 his book, "My Struggle with God," reveals his aspirations towards the headship of a new faith, and describes him as carried to heaven and discoursing with God, though he still professed himself faithful to Rome and to the papacy. The Church disdained his aid and condemned his errors, and he became a heresi-
* Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1887, pp. 51, 144-5,--Raynald. ann. 1311, No. 66-70; ann. 1318, No. 44.--Archiv. di Firenze, Prov. S. Maria Novella, 1327, Ott. 31.-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv für Lit.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1885, p. 160. -- D'Argentré I. I. 336-7.-- Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 133.
arch. In the spring of 1878 he urged the adoption of sacerdotal marriage, he disregarded fast-days, administered communion to his disciples in a rite of his own, and composed for them a creed of which the twenty-fourth article was, "I believe that our founder, David Lazzaretti, the anointed of the Lord, judged and condemned by the Roman curia, is really Christ, the leader and the judge." That the people accepted him is seen in the fact that for three successive Sundays the priest of Arcidosso found his church without a worshipper. David founded a "Society of the Holy League, or Christian Brotherhood," and proclaimed the coming Republic or Kingdom of God, when all property should be equally divided. Even this communism did not frighten off the small proprietors who constituted the greater portion of his following. There was general discontent, owing to a succession of unfortunate harvests and the increasing pressure of taxation, and when, on August 14, 1878, he announced that he would set out with his disciples peacefully to inaugurate his theocratic republic, the whole population gathered on Monte Labbro. After four days spent in religious exercises the extraordinary crusade set forth, consisting of all ages and both sexes, arrayed in a fantastic uniform of red and blue, and bearing banners and garlands of flowers with which to revolutionize society. Its triumphal march was short. At the village of Arcidosso its progress was disputed by a squad of nine carabineers, who poured volleys into the defenceless crowd. Thirtyfour of the Lazzarettists fell, killed and wounded, and among them David himself, with a bullet in his brain. * Whether be was enthusiast or impostor may remain an open question. Travel and study had brought him training; he was no longer a rude muon-
* Barzellotti, David Lazzaretti di Arcidosso detto il Santo. Bologna, 1885.
Somewhat similar is the career of an ex-sergeant of the Italian army named Gabriele Donnici, who has founded in the Calabrian highlands a sect dignifying itself with the title of the Saints. Gabriele is a prophet announcing the advent of a new Messiah, who is to come not as a lamb, but as a lion breathing vengeance and armed with bloody scourges. He and his brother Abele were tried for the murder of the wife of the latter, Grazia Funaro, who refused to submit to the sexual abominations taught in the sect. They were condemned to hard labor and imprisonment, but were discharged on appeal to the Superior Court of Cosenza. Other misdeeds of the sectaries are at present occupying the attention of the Italian tribunals.-- Rivista Cristiana, 1887, p. 57.
tain peasant, but could estimate the social forces against which he raised the standard of revolt, and could recognize that they were insuperable save to an envoy of God. Possibly on the slopes of Monte Amiata his memory may linger like that of Dolcino in the Valsesia; certain it is that many of his disciples long expected his resurrection.
WE have seen how John XXII. created and exterminated the heresy of the Spiritual Franciscans, and how Michele da Cesena enforced obedience within the Order as to the question of granaries and cellars and the wearing of short and narrow gowns. The settlement of the question, however, on so illogical a basis as this was impossible, especially in view of the restless theological dogmatism of the pope and his inflexible determination to crush all dissidence of opinion. Having once undertaken to silence the discussions over the rule of poverty which had caused so much trouble for nearly a century, his logical intellect led him to carry to their legitimate conclusions the principles involved in his bulls Quorumdam, Sancta Romana, and Gloriosam Ecclesiam, while his thorough worldliness rendered him incapable of anticipating the storm which he would provoke. A character such as his was unable to comprehend the honest inconsistency of men like Michele and Bonagrazia, who could burn their brethren for refusing to have granaries and cellars, and who, at the same time, were ready to endure the stake in vindication of the absolute poverty of Christ and the apostles, which had so long been a fundamental belief of the Order, and had been proclaimed as irrefragable truth in the bull Exiit qui seminat.
In fact, under a pope of the temperament of John, the orthodox Franciscans had a narrow and dangerous path to tread. The Spirituals were burned as heretics because they insisted on following their own conception of the Rule of Francis, and the distinction between this and the official recognition of the obligation of poverty was shadowy in the extreme. The Dominicans were not slow to recognize the dubious position of their rivals, nor averse to take advantage of it. If they could bring the received doctrines of the Franciscan Order within the definition of the new heresy they would win a triumph that might prove permanent. The situation was so artificial and so untenable that a catastrophe was inevitable, and it might be precipitated by the veriest trifle.
In 1321, when the persecution of the Spirituals was at its height, the Dominican inquisitor, Jean de Beaune, whom we have seen as the colleague of Bernard Gui and the jailer of Bernard Délicieux, was engaged at Narbonne in the trial of one of the proscribed sect. To pass judgment he summoned an assembly of experts, among whom was the Franciscan Berenger Talon, teacher in the convent of Narbonne. One of the errors which he represented the culprit as entertaining was that Christ and the apostles, following the way of perfection, had held no possessions, individually or in common. As this was the universal Franciscan doctrine, we can only regard it as a challenge when he summoned Frère Berenger to give his opinion respecting it. Berenger thereupon replied that it was not heretical, having been defined as orthodox in the decretal Exiit, when the inquisitor hotly demanded that he should recant on the spot. The position was critical, and Berenger, to save himself from prosecution, interjected an appeal to the pope. He hastened to Avignon, but found that Jean de Beaune had been before him. He was arrested; the Dominicans everywhere took up the question, and the pope allowed it to be clearly seen that his sympathies were with them. Yet the subject was a dangerous one for disputants, as the bull Exiit had anathematized all who should attempt to gloss or discuss its decisions; and, as a preliminary to reopening the question, John was obliged, March 26, 1322, to issue a special bull, Quia nonnunquam, wherein he suspended, during his pleasure, the censures pronounced in Exiit qui seminat. Having thus intimated that the Church had erred in its former definition, he proceeded to lay before his prelates and doctors the significant question whether the pertinacious assertion that Christ and the apostles possessed nothing individually or in common was a heresy. *
The extravagances of the Spirituals had borne their fruit, and there was a reaction against the absurd laudation of poverty which had grown to be a fetich. This bore hard on those who had been
* Nicholaus Minorita (Baluz. et Mansi III. 207).--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1321.--Wadding. ann. 1321, No. 16-19; ann. 1322, No. 49-50.
conscientiously trained in the belief that the abnegation of property was the surest path to salvation; but the follies of the ascetics had become uncomfortable, if not dangerous, and it was necessary for the Church to go behind its teachings since the days of Antony and Hilarion and Simeon Stylites, to recur to the common-sense of the gospel, and to admit that, like the Sabbath, religion was made for man and not man for religion. In a work written some ten years after this time, Alvar Pelayo, papal penitentiary and himself a Franciscan, treats the subject at considerable length, and doubtless represents the views which found favor with John. The anchorite should be wholly dead to the world and should never leave his hermitage; memorable is the abbot who refused to open his door to his mother for fear his eye should rest upon her, and not less so the monk who, when his brother asked him to come a little way and help him with a foundered ox, replied, "Why dost thou not ask thy brother who is yet in the world?""But he has been dead these fifteen years!""And I have been dead to the world these twenty years!" Short of this complete renunciation, all men should earn their living by honest labor. In spite of the illustrious example of the sleepless monks of Dios, the apostolic command "Pray without ceasing" ( Thessal. v. 17) is not to be taken literally. The apostles had money and bought food ( John IV. 8), and Judas carried the purse of the Lord ( John XII. 6). Better than a life of beggary is one blessed by honest labor, as a swineherd, a shepherd, a cowherd, a mason, a blacksmith, or a charcoal-burner, for a man is thus fulfilling the purpose of his creation. It is a sin for the able-bodied to live on charity, and thus usurp the alms due to the sick, the infirm, and the aged. All this is a lucid interval of common-sense, but what would Aquinas or Bonaventura have said to it, for it sounds like the echo of their great antagonist, William of Saint-Amour? *
* Alvar. Pelag. de Planctu Ecclesiæ Lib. I. Art. 51. fol. 165-9.
In fact, the advocates of poverty did not miss the easy opportunity of stigmatizing their antagonists as followers of William of Saint-Amour. See Tocco, "Un Codice della Marciana," Venezia, 1887, pp. 12, 39 ( Ateneo Veneto, 18861887).
The MS. of which Professor Tocco has here printed the most important portions, with elucidatory notes, is a collection of the responses made to the question submitted for discussion by John XXII. as to the poverty of Christ and the
It was inevitable that the replies to the question submitted by John should be adverse to the poverty of Christ and the apostles. The bishops were universally assumed to be the representatives of the latter, and could not be expected to relish the assertion that their prototypes had been commanded by Christ to own no property. The Spirituals bad made a point of this. Olivi had proved not only that Franciscans promoted to the episcopate were even more bound than their brethren to observe the Rule in all its strictures, but that bishops in general were under obligation to live in deeper poverty than the members of the most perfect Order. Now that there was a chance of justifying their worldliness and luxury, it was not likely to be lost. Yet John himself for a while held his own opinion suspended. In a debate before the consistory, Ubertino da Casale, the former leader of the orthodox Spirituals, was summoned to present the Franciscan view of the poverty of Christ, in answer to the Dominicans, and we are told that John was greatly pleased with his argument. Unluckily, at the General Chapter held at Perugia, May 30, 1322, the Franciscans appealed to Christendom at large by a definition addressed to all the faithful, in which they proved that the absolute poverty of Christ was the accepted doctrine of the Church, as set forth in the bulls Exiit and Exivi de Paradiso, and that John himself had approved of these in his bull Quorumdam. Another and more comprehensive utterance to the same effect received the signatures of all the Franciscan masters and bachelors of theology in France and England. With a disputant such as John this was an act of
apostles. They are significant of the general reaction against the previously prevailing dogma, and of the eagerness with which, as soon as the free expression of opinion was safe, the prelates repudiated a doctrine condemnatory of the temporalities so industriously accumulated by all classes of ecclesiastics. There were but eight replies affirming the poverty of Christ, and these were all from Franciscans--the Cardinals of Albano and San Vitale, the Archbishop of Salerno, the Bishops of Caffa, Lisbon, Riga, and Badajoz, and an unknown master of the Order. On the other side there were fourteen cardinals, including even Napoleone Orsini, the protector of the Spirituals, and a large number of archbishops, bishops, abbots, and doctors of theology. It is doubtless true, however, that the fear of offending the pope was a factor in producing this virtual unanimity--a fear not unreasonable, as was shown by the disgrace and persecution of those who maintained the poverty of Christ.--( Tocco, ubi sup. p. 35).
more zeal than discretion. His passions were fairly aroused, and he proceeded to treat the Franciscans as antagonists. In December of the same year he dealt them a heavy blow in the bull Ad conditorem, wherein with remorseless logic he pointed out the fallacy of the device of Innocent IV. for eluding the provisions of the Rule by vesting the ownership of property in the Holy See and its use in the Friars. It had not made them less eager in acquisitiveness, while it had led them to a senseless pride in their own asserted superiority of poverty. He showed that use and consumption as conceded to them were tantamount to ownership, and that pretended ownership subject to such usufruct was illusory, while it was absurd to speak of Rome as owning an egg or a piece of cheese given to a friar to be consumed on the spot. Moreover, it was humiliating to the Roman Church to appear as plaintiff or defendant in the countless litigations in which the Order was involved, and the procurators who thus appeared in its name were said to abuse their position to the injury of many who were defrauded of their rights. For these reasons he annulled the provisions of Nicholas III., and declared that henceforth no ownership in the possessions of the Order should inhere in the Roman Church and no procurator act in its name. *
The blow was shrewdly dealt, for though the question of the poverty of Christ was not alluded to, the Order was deprived of its subterfuge, and was forced to admit practically that ownership of property was a necessary condition of its existence. Its members, however, had too long nursed the delusion to recognize its fallacy now, and in January, 1323, Bonagrazia, as procurator specially commissioned for the purpose, presented to the pope in full consistory a written protest against his action. If Bonagrazia had not arguments to adduce he had at least ample precedents to cite in the long line of popes since Gregory IX., including John himself. He wound up by audaciously appealing to the pope, to
* Franz Ehrle, Arechiv für Litt.- u. K. 1887, pp. 511-12.--Baluz et Mansi II. 279-80.-- Nicholaus Minorita (Ibid. III. 208-13) .
Curiously enough, in this John did exactly what his special antagonists, the Spirituals, had desired. Olivi had long before pointed out the scandal of an Order vowed to poverty litigating eagerly for property and using the transparent cover of papal procurators (Hist. Tribulat. ap. Archiv für Litt.- u. K. 1886, p. 298).
Holy Mother Church, and to the apostles, and though he concluded by submitting himself to the decisions of the Church, he could not escape the wrath which he had provoked. It was not many years since Clement V. had confined him for resisting too bitterly the extravagance of the Spirituals: he still consistently occupied the same position, and now John cast him into a foul and dismal dungeon because he had not moved with the world, while the only answer to his protest was taking down from the Church doors the bull Ad conditorem and replacing it with a revised edition, more decided and argumentative than its predecessor. *
All this did not conduce to a favorable decision of the question as to the poverty of Christ. John was now fairly enlisted against the Franciscans, and their enemies lost no opportunity of inflaming his passions. He would listen to no defence of the decision of the Chapter of Perugia. In consistory a Franciscan cardinal and some bishops timidly ventured to suggest that possibly there might be some truth in it, when he angrily silenced them--"You are talking heresy "--and forced them to recant on the spot. When he heard that the greatest Franciscan schoolman of the day, William of Ockham, had preached that it was heretical to affirm that Christ and the apostles owned property, he promptly wrote to the Bishops of Bologna and Ferrara to investigate the truth of the report, and if it was correct to cite Ockham to appear before him at Avignon within a month. Ockham obeyed, and we shall hereafter see what came of it. †
The papal decision on the momentous question was at last put forth, November 12, 1323, in the bull Cum inter nonnullos. In this there was no wavering or hesitation. The assertion that Christ and the apostles possessed no property was flatly declared to be a perversion of Scripture; it was denounced for the future as erroneous and heretical, and its obstinate assertion by the Franciscan chapter was formally condemned. To the believers in the supereminent holiness of poverty, it was stunning to find themselves cast out as heretics for holding a doctrine which for generations had passed as an incontrovertible truth, and had repeatedly received the sanction of the Holy See in its most solemn form
* Nicholaus Minorita (Bal. et Mansi III. 213-24).
† Wadding. ann. 1323, No. 3, 15.
of ratification. Yet there was no help for it, and unless they were prepared to shift their belief with the pope, they could only expect to be delivered in this world to the Inquisition and in the next to Satan. *
Suddenly there appeared a new factor in the quarrel, which speedily gave it importance as a political question of the first magnitude. The sempiternal antagonism between the papacy and the empire had been recently assuming a more virulent aspect than usual under the imperious management of John XXII. Henry VII. had died in 1313, and in October, 1314, there had been a disputed election. Louis of Bavaria and Frederic of Austria both claimed the kaisership. Since Leo III., in the year 800, had renewed the line of Roman emperors by crowning Charlemagne, the ministration of the pope in an imperial coronation had been held essential, and had gradually enabled the Holy See to put forward undefined claims of a right to confirm the vote of the German electors. For the enforcement of such claims a disputed election gave abundant opportunity, nor were there lacking other elements to complicate the position. The Angevine papalist King of Naples, Robert the Good, had dreams of founding a great Italian Guelf monarchy, to which John XXII. lent a not unfavorable car; especially as his quarrel with the Ghibelline Visconti of Lombardy was becoming unappeasable. The traditional enmity between France and Germany, moreover, rendered the former eager in everything that could cripple the empire, and French influence was necessarily dominant in Avignon. It would be foreign to our purpose to penetrate into the labyrinth of diplomatic intrigue which speedily formed itself around these momentous questions. An alliance between Robert and Frederic, with the assent of the pope, seemed to give the latter assurance of recognition, when the battle of Mühldorf, September 28, 1322, decided the question. Frederic was a prisoner in the hands of his rival, and there could be no further doubt as to which of them should reign in Germany. It did not follow, however, that John would consent to place the imperial crown on the head of Louis. †
* Nicholaus Minorita (Bal. et Mansi III. 224).
† Carl Mülller, Der Kampf Ludwigs des Baiern mit der römischen Curie, § 4.
-- Felten, Die Bulle Ne pretereat, Trier, 1885.-- Preger, Die Politik des Pabstes Johann XXII., München, 1885, pp. 44-6.
So far was he from contemplating any such action that he still insisted on deciding between the claims of the competitors. Louis contemptuously left his pretensions unanswered and proceeded to settle matters by concluding a treaty with his prisoner and setting him free. Moreover, he intervened effectually in the affairs of Lombardy, rescued the Visconti from the Guelf league which was about to overwhelm them, and ruined the plans of the cardinal legate, Bertrand de Poyet, John's nephew or son, who was carving out a principality for himself. It would have required less than this to awaken the implacable hostility of such a man as John, whose only hope for the success of his Italian policy now lay in dethroning Louis and replacing him with the French king, Charles le Bel. He rushed precipitately to the conflict and proclaimed no quarter. October 8, 1323, in the presence of a vast multitude, a bull was read and affixed to the portal of the cathedral of Avignon, which declared not only that no one could act as King of the Romans until his person had been approved by the pope, but repeated a claim, already made in 1317, that until such approval the empire was vacant, and its government during the interregnum belonged to the Holy See. All of Louis's acts were pronounced null and void; he was summoned within three months to lay down his power and submit his person to the pope for approval, under pain of the punishments which he had incurred by his rebellious pretence of being emperor; all oaths of allegiance taken to him were declared annulled; all prelates were threatened with suspension, and all cities and states with excommunication and interdict if they should continue to obey him. Louis at first received this portentous missive with singular humility. November 12 he sent to Avignon envoys, who did not arrive until January 2, 1324, to ask whether the reports which he had heard of the papal action were true, and if so to request a delay of six months in which to prove his innocence. To this John, on January 7, gave answer extending the term only two months from that day. Meanwhile Louis had taken heart, possibly encouraged by the outbreak of the quarrel between John and the Franciscans, for the date of the credentials of the envoys, November 12, was the same as that of the bull Cum inter nonnullos. On December 18, he issued the Nuremberg Protest, a spirited vindication of the rights of the German nation and empire against the new preten- sions of the papacy; he demanded the assembling of a general council before which he would make good his claims; it was his duty, as the head of the empire, to maintain the purity of the faith against a pope who was a fautor of heretics. It shows how little he yet understood about the questions at issue that to sustain this last charge he accused John of unduly protecting the Franciscans against universal complaints that they habitually violated the secrecy of the confessional, this being apparently his version of the papal condemnation of John of Poilly's thesis that confession to a Mendicant friar was insufficient. *
If Louis at first thought to gain strength by thus utilizing the jealousy and dislike felt by the secular clergy towards the Mendicants, he soon realized that a surer source of support was to be found in espousing the side of the Franciscans in the quarrel forced upon them by John. The two months' delay granted by John expired March 7 without Louis making an appearance, and on March 25 the pope promulgated against him a sentence of excommunication, with a threat that be should be deprived of all rights if he did not submit within three months. To this Louis speedily rejoined in a document known as the Protest of Sachsenhausen, which shows that since December he had put himself in communication with the disaffected Franciscans, had entered into alliance with them, and had recognized how great was the advantage of posing as the defender of the faith and assailing the pope with the charge of heresy. After paying due attention to John's assaults on the rights of the empire, the Protest takes up the question of his recent bulls respecting poverty and argues them in much detail. John had declared before Franciscans of high standing that for forty years he had regarded the Rule of Francis as fantastic and impossible. As the Rule was revealed by Christ, this alone proves him to be a heretic. Moreover, as the Church is infallible in its definitions of faith, and as it has repeatedly, through Honorius III., Innocent IV., Alexander IV., Innocent V., Nicholas III., and Nicholas IV., pronounced in favor of the poverty of Christ and the apostles, Johns' condemnation of this tenet abundantly shows him
* Carl Müller, op. cit. § 5.-- Preger, Politik des Pabstes Johann XXII. ( München, 1885, pp. 7, 54). -- Martene Thesaur. II. 644-51. -- Raynald. ann. 1323, No. 34-5.
to be a heretic. His two constitutions, Ad conditorem and Cum inter nonnullos, therefore, have cut him off from the Church as a manifest heretic teaching a condemned heresy, and have disabled him from the papacy; all of which Louis swore to prove before a general council to be assembled in some place of safety. *
John proceeded with his prosecution of Louis by a further declaration, issued July 11, in which, without deigning to notice the Protest of Sachsenhausen, be pronounced Louis to have forfeited by his contumacy all claim to the empire; further obstinacy would deprive him of his ancestral dukedom of Bavaria and other possessions, and he was summoned to appear October 1, to receive final sentence. Yet John could not leave unanswered the assault upon his doctrinal position, and on November 10 he issued the bull Quia quorumdam, in which he argued that he had exercised no undue power in contradicting the decisions of his predecessors: he declared it a condemned heresy to assert that Christ and the apostles had only simple usufruct, without legal possession, in the things which Scripture declared them to have possessed, for if this were true it would follow that Christ was unjust, which is blasphemy. All who utter, write, or teach such doctrines fall into condemned heresy, and are to be avoided as heretics. †
Thus the poverty of Christ was fairly launched upon the world as a European question. It is a significant illustration of the intellectual condition of the fourteenth century that in the subsequent
* Martene Thesaur. II. 652-9.--Nich. Minorita (Bal. et Mansi III. 224-33).
The date of the Protest of Sachsenhausen is not positively known, but it was probably issued in April or May, 1324 ( Müller, op. cit. I. 357-8). Its authorship is ascribed by Preger to Franz von Lautern, and Ehrle has shown that much of its argumentation is copied literally from the writings of Olivi (Archiv für Litt.u. Kirchengeschichte, 1887, 540). When there were negotiations for a settlement in 1336, Louis signed a declaration prepared by Benedict XII., in which he was made to say that the portions concerning the poverty of Christ were inserted without his knowledge by his notary, Ulric der Wilde for the purpose of injuring him (Raynald ann. 1336, No. 31-5); but he accompanied this self-abasing statement with secret instructions of a very different character ( Preger, Kirchenpolitische Kampf, p. 12).
† Martene Thesaur. II. 660-71.--Nich. Minorita (Bal. et Mansi III. 233-6).
Even in far-off Ireland the bull of July 11, depriving Louis of the empire, was read in all the churches in English and Irish.--Theiner, Monument. Hibern. et Scotor. No. 456, p. 230.
stages of the quarrel between the papacy and the empire, involving the most momentous principles of public law, those principles, in the manifestoes of either side, assume quite a subordinate position. The shrewd and able men who conducted the controversy evidently felt that public opinion was much more readily influenced by accusations of heresy, even upon a point so trivial and unsubstantial, than by appeals to reason upon the conflicting jurisdictions of Church and State. * Yet, as the quarrel widened and deepened, and as the stronger intellects antagonistic to papal pretensions gathered around Louis, they were able, in unwonted liberty of thought and speech, to investigate the theory of government and the claims of the papacy with unheard-of boldness. Unquestionably they aided Louis in his struggle, but the spirit of the age was against them. Spiritual authority was still too awful for successful rebellion, and when Louis passed away affairs returned to the old routine, and the labors of the men who had waged his battle in the hope of elevating humanity disappeared, leaving but a doubtful trace upon the modes of thought of the time.
The most audacious of these champions was Marsiglio of Padua. Interpenetrated with the principles of the imperial jurisprudence, in which the State was supreme and the Church wholly subordinated, he had seen in France how the influence of the Roman law was emancipating the civil power from servitude, and perhaps in the University of Paris had heard the echoes of the theories of Henry of Ghent, the celebrated Doctor Solemnis, who had taught the sovereignty of the people over their princes. He framed a conception of a political organization which should reproduce that of Rome under the Christian emperors, with a recognition of the people as the ultimate source of all civil authority. Aided by Jean de Jandun he developed these ideas with great hardihood and skill in his "Defensor Pacis," and in 1326, when the strife between John and Louis was at its hottest, the two authors left Paris to lay the result of their labors before the emperor. In a brief tract, moreover, "De translatione imperii," Marsiglio subse-
* See the documents in the second prosecution of Louis by John, where the accusations against him constantly commence with his pertinacious heresy in maintaining the condemned doctrine of the poverty of Christ.--Martene Thesaur. II. 682 sqq. Cf. Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1328.
quently sketched the manner in which the Holy Roman Empire had arisen, showing the ancient subjection of the Holy See to the imperial power, and the baselessness of the papal claims to confirm the election of the emperors. John XXII. had no hesitation in condemning the daring authors as heretics, and the protection which Louis afforded them added another count to the indictment against him for heresy. Unable to wreak vengeance upon them, all who could be supposed to be their accomplices were sternly dealt with. A certain Francesco of Venice, who had been a student with Marsiglio at Paris, was seized and carried to Avignon on a charge of having aided in the preparation of the wicked book, and of having supplied the heresiarch with money. Tried before the Apostolic Chamber, he stoutly maintained that he was ignorant of the contents of the "Defensor Pacis," that he had deposited money with Marsiglio, as was customary with scholars, and that Marsiglio had left Paris owing him thirteen sols parisis. Jean de Jandun died in 1328, and Marsiglio not later than 1343, thus mercifully spared the disappointment of the failure of their theories. In so far as purely intellectual conceptions had weight in the conflict they were powerful allies for Louis. In the "Defensor Pacis" the power of the keys is argued away in the clearest dialectics. God alone has power to judge, to absolve, to condemn. The pope is no more than any other priest, and a priestly sentence may be the result of hatred, favor, or injustice, of no weight with God. Excommunication, to be effective, must not proceed from the judgment of a single priest, but must be the sentence of the whole community, with full knowledge of all the facts. It is no wonder that when, in 1376, a French translation of the work appeared in Paris it created a profound sensation. A prolonged inquest was held, lasting from September to December, in which all the learned men in the city were made to swear before a notary as to their ignorance of the translator. *
* Altmayer, Les Précurseurs de la Réforme aux Pays-Bas, Bruxelles, 1886, I. 38. -- Guillel. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1326. -- Fasciculus Rer. Expetendarum et Fugiend. II. 55, Ed. 1690.-- D'Argentré, I. 1. 304-11, 397-400.-- Baluz. et Mansi II. 280-1. -- Martene Thesaur. II. 704-16. -- Preger, Kirchenpolitische Kampf, pp. 34, 65.-- Defensor. Pacis II. 6.
The manner in which Fritsche Closener, a contemporary priest of Strassburg, speaks of the Defensor Pacis shows what an impression it made, and that even
More vehement and more fluent as a controversialist was the great schoolman, William of Ockham. When the final breach came between the papacy and the rigid Franciscans he was already under inquisitorial trial for his utterances. Escaping from Avignon with his general, Michele, he found refuge, like the rest, with Louis, whose cause he strengthened by skilfully linking the question of Christ's poverty with that of German independence. Those who refused to accept a papal definition on a point of faith could only justify themselves by proving that popes were fallible and their power not unlimited. Thus the strife over the narrow Franciscan dogmatism on poverty broadened until it embraced the great questions which had disturbed the peace of Europe since the time of Hildebrand, nearly three centuries before. In 1324 Ockham boasted that he had set his face like flint against the errors of the pseudo-pope, and that so long as he possessed hand, paper, pens, and ink, no abuse or lies or persecution or persuasion would induce him to desist from attacking them. He kept his promise literally, and for twenty years he poured forth a series of controversial works in defence of the cause to which he had devoted his life. Without embracing the radical doctrines of Marsiglio on the popular foundation of political institutions, he practically reached the same outcome. While admitting the primacy of the pope, he argued that a pope can fall into heresy, and so, indeed, can a general council, and even all Christendom. The influence of the Holy Ghost did not deprive man of free-will and prevent him from succumbing to error, no matter what might be his station. There was nothing sure but Scripture; the poorest and meanest peasant might adhere to Catholic truth revealed to him by God, while popes and councils erred. Above the pope is the general council representing the whole Church. A pope refusing to entertain an appeal to a general council, declining to assemble it, or arrogating its authority to himself is a manifest heretic, whom it is the duty of the bishops to depose, or, if the bishops refuse, then that of the emperor, who is supreme over the earth. But it was not only by the enunciation of general princi-
aportion of the clergy was not averse to its conclusions.--Closeners Chronik ( Chroniken der deutschen Städte VIII. 70.--Cf. Chron. des Jacob von Königshofen, Ib. p. 473).
ples that he carried on the war; merciless were his assaults on the errors and inconsistencies of John XXII., who was proved guilty of seventy specific heresies. Thus to the bitter end his dauntless spirit kept up the strife; one by one his colleagues died and submitted, and he was left alone, but he continued to shower ridicule on the curia and its creatures in his matchless dialectics. Even the death of Louis and the hopeless defeat of his cause did not stop his fearless pen. Church historians claim that in 1349 he at last made his peace and was reconciled, but this is more than doubtful, for Giacomo della Marca classes him with Michele and Bonagrazia as the three unrepentant heretics who died under excommunication. It is not easy to determine with accuracy what influence was exercised by the powerful intellects which England, France, and Italy thus contributed to the defence of German independence. Possibly they may have stimulated Wickliff to question the foundation of papal power and the supremacy of the Church over the State, leading to Hussite insubordination. Possibly, too, they may have contributed to the movement which in various development emboldened the Councils.of Constance and Basle to claim superiority over the Holy See, the Gallican Church to assert its liberties, and England to frame the hostile legislation of the Statutes of Provisors and Præmunire. If this be so, the hopeless entanglements of German politics caused them to effect less in their own chosen battle-field than in lands far removed from the immediate scene of conflict. *
This rapid glance at the larger aspects of the strife has been necessary to enable us to follow intelligently the vicissitudes of the discussion over the poverty of Christ, which occupied in the struggle a position ludicrously disproportionate to its importance. For some time after the issue of the bulls Cum inter nonnullos and Quia quorumdam there was a sort of armed neutrality between John and the heads of the Franciscan Order. Each seemed to be afraid of taking a step which should precipitate a conflict, doubt-
* Martene Thesaur. II. 749-52.-- Tocco, L'Eresia nel Medio Evo, pp. 532-555. -- Preger, Der Kirchenpolitische Kampf, pp. 8-9.-- Carl Müller, op. cit. II. 2512.-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1323.--Raynald. ann. 1349, No. 16-17.--Jac. de Marchia Dial. ( Bal. et Mansi II. 600).
less secretly felt by both sides to be inevitable. Still there was a little skirmishing for position. In 1325 Michele had summoned the general chapter to assemble at Paris, but he feared that an effort would be made to annul the declarations of Perugia, and that John would exercise a pressure by means of King Charles le Bel, whose influence was great through the number of benefices at his disposal. Suddenly, therefore, he transferred the call to Lyons, where considerable trouble was experienced through the efforts of Gerard Odo, a creature of the pope, and subsequently the successor of Michele, to obtain relaxations of the Rule as regarded poverty. Still the brethren stood firm, and these attempts were defeated, while a constitution threatening with imprisonment all who should speak indiscreetly and disrespectfully of John XXII. and his decretals indicates the passions which were seething under the surface. Not long after this we hear of a prosecution suddenly commenced against our old acquaintance Ubertino da Casale, in spite of his Benedictine habit and his quiet residence in Italy. He seems to have been suspected of having furnished the arguments on the subject of the poverty of Christ in the Protest of Sachsenhausen, and, September 16, 1325, an order was sent for his arrest, but he got wind of it and escaped to Germany--the first of the illustrious band of refugees who gathered around Louis of Bavaria, though he appears to have made his peace in 1330. John seems to have at last grown restive at the tacit insubordination of the Franciscans, who did not openly deny his definitions as to the poverty of Christ, but whom he knew to be secretly cherishing in their hearts the condemned doctrine. In 1326 Michele issued decrees subjecting to a strict censorship all writings by the brethren and enforcing one of the rules which prohibited the discussion of doubtful opinions, thus muzzling the Order in the hope of averting dissension; but it was not in John's nature to rest satisfied with silence which covered opposition, and in August, 1327, he advanced to the attack. In the bull Quia nonnunquam, addressed to archbishops and inquisitors, he declared that many still believed in the poverty of Christ in spite of his having pronounced such belief a heresy, and that those who entertained it should be treated as heretics. He therefore now orders the prelates and inquisitors to prosecute them vigorously, and though the Franciscans are not specially named, the clause which deprives the accused of all papal privileges and subjects them to the ordinary jurisdictions sufficiently shows that they were the object of the assault. It is quite possible that this was provoked by some movement among the remains of the moderate Spirituals of Italy--men who came to be known as Fraticelli--who had never indulged in the dangerous enthusiasms of the Olivists, but who were ready to suffer martyrdom in defence of the sacred principles of poverty. Such men could not but have been at once excited by the papal denial of Christ's poverty, and encouraged by finding the Order at large driven into antagonism with the Holy See. Sicily had long been a refuge for the more zealous when forced to flee from Italy. At this time we hear of their crossing back to Calabria, and of John writing to Niccolò da Reggio, the Minister of Calabria, savage instructions to destroy them utterly. Lists are to be made out and sent to him of all who show them favor, and King Robert is appealed to for aid in the good work. Robert, in spite of his close alliance with the pope, and the necessity of the papal favor for his ambitious plans, was sincerely on the side of the Franciscans. He seems never to have forgotten the teachings of Arnaldo de Vilanova, and as his father, Charles the Lame, had interfered to protect the Spirituals of Provence, so now both he and his queen did what they could with the angry pope to moderate his wrath, and at the same time he urged the Order to stand firm in defence of the Rule. In the protection which he afforded he did not discriminate closely between the organized resistance of the Order under its general, and the irregular mutiny of the Fraticelli. His dominions, as well as Sicily, served as a refuge for the latter. With the troubles provoked by John their numbers naturally grew. Earnest spirits, dissatisfied with Michele's apparent acquiescence in John's new heresy, would naturally join them. They ranged themselves under Henry da Ceva, who had fled to Sicily from persecution under Boniface VIII.; they elected him their general minister and formed a complete independent organization, which, when John triumphed over the Order, gathered in its recalcitrant fragments and constituted a sect whose strange persistence under the fiercest persecution we shall have to follow for a century and a half. *
* Wadding. ann. 1317, No. 9; ann. 1318, No. 8; ann. 1323, No. 16; ann. 1325. No. 6; ann. 1331, No. 3.-- Chron. Glassberger ann. 1325, 1326, 1330.--Raynald. ann.
On the persecution of these insubordinate brethren Michele da Cesena could afford to look with complacency, and he evidently desired to regard the bull of August, 1327, as directed against them. He maintained his attitude of submission. In June the pope had summoned him from Rome to Avignon, and he had excused himself on the ground of sickness. His messengers with his apologies were graciously received, and it was not until December 2 that he presented himself before John. The pope subsequently declared that he had been summoned to answer for secretly encouraging, rebels and heretics, and doubtless the object was to be assured of his person, but he was courteously welcomed, and the ostensible reason given for sending for him was certain troubles in the provinces of Assisi and Aragon, in which Michele obediently changed the ministers. Until April, 1328, he remained in the papal court, apparently on the best of terms with John. *
Meanwhile the quarrel between the empire and the papacy had been developing apace. In the spring of 1326 Louis suddenly and without due preparation undertook an expedition to Italy, at the invitation of the Ghibellines, for his imperial coronation. When he reached Milan in April to receive the iron crown John sternly forbade his further progress, and on this being disregarded, proceeded to excommunicate him afresh. Thus commenced another prolonged series of citations and sentences for heresy, including the preaching of a crusade with Holy Land indulgences against the impenitent sinner. Unmoved by this, Louis slowly made his way to Rome, which he entered January 7, 1327, and where he was crowned on the 17th, in contemptuous defiance of papal prerogative, by four syndies elected by the people, after which, according to usage, he exchanged the title of King of the Romans for that of Emperor. As the defender of the faith he proceeded to try the pope on the charge of heresy, based upon his denial of the poverty of Christ. April 14 he promulgated a law authorizing the prosecution and sentence in absentia of those notoriously defamed for treason or heresy, thus imitating the papal injustice of
1325, No. 20, 27.-- Franz Ehrle (Archiv für L. n. K. 1886, p. 151).--Martene Thesaur. II. 752-3.--Vitoduran. Chron. ( Eccard. Corp. Hist. I. 1799).-- D'Argentre , I. I. 297.-- Eymeric. pp. 291-4.
* Martene Thesaur. II. 749.-- Baluz. et Mansi III. 315-16.-- Nicholaus Minorita ( Baluz. et Mansi III. 238-40).
which he himself complained bitterly; and, on the 17th, sentence of deposition was solemnly read to the assembled people before the basilica of St. Peter. It recited that it was rendered at the request of the clergy and people of Rome; it recapitulated the crimes of the pope, whom it stigmatized as Antichrist; it pronounced him a heretic on account of his denying the poverty of Christ, deposed him from the papacy, and threatened confiscation on all who should render him support and assistance. *
As a pope was necessary to the Church, and as the college of cardinals were under excommunication as fautors of heresy, recourse was had to the primitive method of selection: some form of election by the people and clergy of Rome was gone through on May 12, and a new Bishop of Rome was presented to the Christian world in the person of Pier di Corbario, an aged Franciscan of high repute for austerity and eloquence. He was Minister of the province of the Abruzzi and papal penitentiary. He had been married, his wife was still living, and he was said to have entered the Order without her consent, which rendered him "irregular" and led to an absurd complication, for the woman, who had never before complained of his leaving her, now came forward and put in her claims to be bought off. He assumed the name of Nicholas V., a college of cardinals was readily created for him, he appointed nuncios and legates and proceeded to degrade the Guelfic bishops and replace them with Ghibellines. In the confusion attendant upon these revolutionary proceedings it can be readily imagined that the Fraticelli emerged from their hiding-places and indulged in glowing anticipations of the future which they fondly deemed their own.†
Although the Franciscan prefect of the Roman province assembled a chapter at Anagni which pronounced against Pier di Corbario, and ordered him to lay aside his usurped dignity, it was impossible that the Order should escape responsibility for the rebellion, nor is it likely that Michele da Cesena was not privy to the whole proceeding. He had remained quietly at Avignon, and
* Chron. Sanens. ( Muratori S. R. I. XV. 77, 79).--Martene Thesaur. II. 684723.-- Nicholaus Minorita ( Bal. et Mansi III. 240-3).
† Nicholaus Minorita ( Bal. et Mansi III. 243).-- Ptolomæi Lucensis Hist. Eccles. cap. 41 ( Muratori S. R. I. XI. 1210).--Chron. Sanens. ( Muratori XV. 80). -- Wadding. ann. 1328, No. 2-4, 8-11.
John had manifested no abatement of cordiality until April 9, when, on being summoned to an audience, the pope attacked him on the subject of the Chapter of Perugia, which six years before had asserted the poverty of Christ and the apostles. Michele stoutly defended the utterances of the chapter, saying that if they were heretical then Nicholas IV. and the other popes who had affirmed the doctrine were heretics. Then the papal wrath exploded. Michele was a headstrong fool, a fautor of heretics, a serpent nourished in the bosom of the Church; and when the stream of invective had exhausted itself he was placed under constructive arrest, and ordered not to leave Avignon without permission, under pain of excommunication, of forfeiture of office, and of future disability. A few days later, on April 14, in the secrecy of the Franciscan convent, he relieved his feelings by executing a solemn notarial protest, in the presence of William of Ockham, Bonagrazia, and other trusty adherents, in which he recited the circumstances, argued that the pope either was a heretic or no pope, for either his present utterances were erroneous or else Nicholas IV. had been a heretic; in the latter case Boniface VIII. and Clement V., who had approved the Bull Exiit qui seminat, were likewise heretics, their nominations of cardinals were void, and the conclave which elected John was illegal. He protested against whatever might be done in derogation of the rights of the Order, that he was in durance and in just fear, and that what he might be forced to do would be null and void. The whole document is a melancholy illustration of the subterfuges rendered necessary by an age of violence. *
Michele was detained in Avignon while the general chapter of the Order was held at Bologna, to which John sent Bertrand, Bishop of Ostia, with instructions to have another general chosen. The Order, however, was stubborn. It sent a somewhat defiant message to the pope and re-elected Michele, requesting him moreover to indicate Paris as the next place of assemblage, to be held, according to rule, in three years, to which he assented. In view of the drama which was developing in Rome he might reasonably fear for liberty or life. Preparations were made for his escape. A galley, furnished, according to John, by the Emperor Louis, but according to other and more trustworthy accounts, by Genoese
* Nicholaus Minorita ( Bal. et Mansi III. 238-40.)
refugees, was sent to Aigues-mortes. Thither he fled, May 26, accompanied by Ockham and Bonagrazia. The Bishop of Porto, sent by John in hot haste after him, had an interview with him on the deck of his galley, but failed to induce him to return. He reached Pisa on June 9, and there ensued a war of manifestoes of unconscionable length, in which Michele was pronounced excommunicate and deposed, and John was proved to be a heretic who had rightfully forfeited the papacy. Michele could only carry on a wordy conflict, while John could act. Bertrand de la Tour, Cardinal of San Vitale, was appointed Vicar-general of the Order, another general chapter was ordered to assemble in Paris, June, 1329, and preparations were made for it by removing all provincials favorable to Michele, and appointing in their places men who could be relied on. Out of thirty-four who had met in Bologna only fourteen were seen in Paris; Michele was deposed and Gerard Odo was elected in his place; but even under this pressure no declaration condemning the poverty of Christ could be obtained from the chapter. The mass of the Order, reduced to silence, remained faithful to the principles represented by its deposed general, until forced to acquiescence by the arbitrary measures so freely employed by the pope and the examples made of those who dared to express opposition. Still John was not disposed to relax the Franciscan discipline, and when, in 1332, Gerard Odo, in the hope of gaining a cardinal's hat, persuaded fourteen provincial ministers to join him in submitting a gloss which would have virtually annulled the obligation of poverty, his only reward was the ridicule of the pope and sacred college. *
* Nicholaus Minorita ( Baluz, et Mansi III. 243-349).-- Jac. de Marchia Dial. (Ibid. II. 5 98)) .--Chron. Sanens. ( Muratori S. R. I. XV. 81).--Vitodurani Chron. ( Eccard. Corp. Hist. I. 1799- 1800).--Martene Thesaur. II. 757-60.-- Alvar. Pelag. De Planctu Eccles. Lib. II. art. 67.
The career of Cardinal Bertrand de la Tour illustrates the pliability of conscience requisite to those who served John XXII. He was a Franciscan of high standing. As Provincial of Aquitaine he had persecuted the Spirituals. Elevated to the cardinalate, when John called for opinions on the question of the poverty of Christ he had argued in the affirmative. In conjunction with Vitale du Four, Cardinal of Albano, he had secretly drawn up the declaration of the Chapter of Perugia which so angered the pope, but when the latter made up his mind that Christ had owned property, the cardinal promptly changed his
The settlement of the question depended much more upon political than upon religious considerations. Louis had abandoned Rome and established himself in Pisa with his pope, his cardinals, and his Franciscans, but the Italians were becoming tired of their kaiser. It mattered little that in January, 1329, he indulged in the childish triumph of solemnly burning John XXII. in effigy; he was obliged soon after to leave the city, and towards the end of the year he returned to Germany, carrying with him the men who were to defend his cause with all the learning of the schools, and abandoning to their fate those of his partisans who were unable to follow him. * The proceedings which ensued at Todi will serve to show how promptly the Inquisition tracked his retreating footsteps, and how useful it was as a political agency in reducing rebellious communities to submission.
The Todini were Ghibelline. In 1327, when John XXII. had ordered Francisco Damiani, Inquisitor of Spoleto, to proceed vigorously against Mucio Canistrario of Todi as a rebel against the Church, and Mucio had accordingly been imprisoned, the people had risen in insurrection and liberated the captive, while the inquisitor had been forced to fly for his life. In August, 1328, they had welcomed Louis as emperor and Pier di Corbario as pope, and had ordered their notaries to use the regnal years of the latter in their instruments; they had, moreover, attacked and taken the Guelf city of Orvieto and, like all the cities which adhered to Louis, they had expelled the Dominicans. In August, 1329, abandoned by Louis, proceedings were commenced against them by the Franciscan, Frà Bartolino da Perugia, the inquisitor, who announced his intention of making a thorough inquest of the whole district of Assisi against all Patarins and heretics, against those. who assert things not to be sins which the Church teaches to be sins, or are minor sins which the Church holds to be greater, against those who understand the Scriptures in a sense different from what the Holy Spirit demands, against those who talk against the state and observance of the Roman Church and its
convictions, and was now engaged in persecuting those who adhered to the belief which he had prescribed for them.-- Tocco, Un Codice della Marciana, pp. 40, 43, 45.
* Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet (Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 187).-- Villani, Lib. x. c. 126, 144.
teachings, and against those who have detracted from the dignity and person of the pope and his constitutions. Under this searching examinations were made as to the acts of the citizens during the visit of Louis, any sign of respect paid to him being regarded as a crime, and two sets of prosecutions were commenced--one against the Ghibellines of the city and the other against the "rebellious" Franciscans. These latter were summoned to reply to five articles--1, If they believed in, favored, or adhered to the Bavarian and the intrusive antipope; 2, If they had marched with a cross to meet these heretics on their entrance into Todi; 3, If they had obeyed or done reverence to the Bavarian as emperor or to P. di Corbario as pope; 4, If they had taught or preached that the constitutions of John were heretical or himself a heretic; 5, If, after Michele da Cesena was condemned and deposed for heresy, they had adhered to him and his errors. These interrogations show how conveniently the religious and political questions were mingled together, and how thorough was the investigation rendered possible by the machinery of the Inquisition. The proceedings dragged on, and, July 1, 1330, John condemned the whole community as heretics and fautors of heresy. July 7 he sent this sentence to the legate, Cardinal Orsini, with instructions to cite the citizens peremptorily and to try them, according to the inquisitorial formula, "summarie et de plano et sine strepitu et figura." Under this the Todini finally made sub-mission, the cardinal sent Frà Bartolino and his colleague thither, and the city was reconciled, subject to the papal approval. They had been obliged to make a gift of ten thousand florins to Louis, and now a fine of equal amount was levied upon them, besides one hundred lire imposed on each of one hundred and thirty-four citizens. Apparently the terms exacted were not satisfactory to John, for a papal brief of July 20, 1331, declared the submission of the citizens deceitful, and ordered the interdict renewed. The last document which we have in the case is one of June 1, 1332, in which the legate sends to the Bishop of Todi a list of one hundred and ninety-seven persons, including Franciscans, parish priests, heads of religious houses, nobles, and citizens, who are ordered to appear before him at Orvieto on June 15, to stand trial on the inquisitions which have been found against them. That the proceedings were pushed to the bitter end there can be no doubt, for when in this year the
General Gerard Odo proposed to revoke the commission of Frà Bartolino, John intervened and extended it for the purpose of enabling him to continue the prosecutions to a definite sentence. This is doubtless a fair specimen of the minute persecution which was going on wherever the Ghibellines were not strong enough to defend themselves by force of arms. *
As for the unhappy antipope, his fate was even more deplorable. Confided at Pisa by Louis to the care of Count Fazio da Doneratico, the leading noble of the city, he was concealed for a while in a castle in Maremma. June 18, 1329, the Pisans rose and drove out the imperialist garrison, and in the following January they were reconciled to the Church. A part of the bargain was the surrender of Pier di Corbario, to whom John promised to show himself a kind father and benevolent friend, besides enriching Fazio for the betrayal of his trust. After making public abjuration of his heresies in Pisa, Pier was sent, guarded by two state galleys, to Nice, where he was delivered to the papal agents. In every town on the road to Avignon he was required publicly to repeat his abjuration and humiliation. August 25, 1330, with a halter around his neck, he was brought before the pope in public consistory. Exhausted and broken with shame and suffering, he flung himself at his rival's feet and begged for mercy, abjuring and anathematizing his heresies, and especially that of the poverty of Christ. Then, in a private consistory, he was made again to confess a long catalogue of crimes, and to accept such penance as might be awarded him. No humiliation was spared him, and nothing was omitted to make his abject recantation complete. Having thus rendered him an object of contempt and deprived him of all further power of harm, John mercifully spared him bodily torment. He was confined in an apartment in the papal palace, fed from the papal table, and allowed the use of books, but no one was admitted to see him without a special papal order. His wretched life soon came to an end, and when he died, in 1333, he was buried in the Franciscan habit. Considering the ferocity of the age, his treatment is one of the least discreditable acts in the career of John XXII. It was hardly to be expected, after the
* Franz Ehrle (Archiv für L. u K. 1885, pp. 159-64; 1886, pp. 653-69).-Archivio Storico Italiano, 1 Ott. 1865, pp. 10-21.--Ripoll II. 180.--Wadding. ann. 1326, No. 9; 1327, No. 3-4; 1331, No. 4; 1332, No. 5.
savage vindictiveness of the Ernulphine curse which he had published, April 20, 1329, on his already fallen rival--"May he in this life feel the wrath of Peter and Paul, whose church he has sought to confound! May his dwelling-place be deserted, and may there be none to live under his roof! May his children be orphans, and his wife a widow! May they be driven forth from their hearth-stones to beggary! May the usurer devour their substance, and strangers seize the work of their hands! May the whole earth fight against him, may the elements be his enemies, may the merits of all the saints at rest confound him and wreak vengeance on him through life!" *
During the progress of this contest public opinion was by no means unanimous in favor of John, and the Inquisition was an efficient instrumentality in repressing all expression of adverse sentiments. In 1328, at Carcassonne, a certain Germain Frevier was tried before it for blaspheming against John, and stigmatizing his election as simoniacal because he had promised never to set foot in stirrup till he should set out for Rome. Germain, moreover, had declared that the Franciscan pope was the true pope, and that if he had money he would go there and join him and the Bavarian. Germain was not disposed to martyrdom; at first he denied, then, after being left to his reflections in prison for five months, he pleaded that he had been drunk and knew not what he was saying; a further delay showed him that he was helpless, he confessed his offences and begged for mercy. †
Another case, in 1329, shows us what were the secret feelings of a large portion of the Franciscan Order, and the means required to keep it in subordination. Before the Inquisition of Careassonne, Frère Barthelémi Bruguière confessed that in saying mass and coming to the prayer for the pope he had hesitated which of the two popes to pray for, and had finally desired his prayer to be for whichever was rightfully the head of the Church. Many of his brethren, he said, were in the habit of wishing that God would give John XXII. so much to do that he would forget the
* Villani, Lib. x. c. 131, 142, 160.--Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1330.--Wadding. ann. 1330, No. 9.--Martene Thesaur. II. 736-70; 806-15.--Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1330 (Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 194-8).
† Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne ( Doat, XXVII. 7 sqq.).
Franciscans, for it seemed to them that his whole business was to afflict them. It was generally believed among them that their general, Michele, had been unjustly deposed and excommunicated. In a large assembly of friars he had said, "I wish that antipope was a Dominican, or of some other Order," when another rejoined, "I rejoice still more that the antipope is of our Order, for if he was of another we should have no friend, and now at least we have the Italian," whereat all present applauded. For awhile Frère Barthelémi held out, but imprisonment with threats of chains and fasting broke down his resolution, and he threw himself upon the mercy of the inquisitor, Henri de Chamay. That mercy consisted in a sentence of harsh prison for life, with chains on hands and feet and bread and water for food. Possibly the Dominican inquisitor may have felt pleasure in exhibiting a Franciscan prisoner, for he allowed Barthelémi to retain his habit; and it shows the minute care of John's vindictiveness that a year later he wrote expressly to Henri de Chamay reciting that, as the delinquent had been expelled from the Order, the habit must be stripped from him and be delivered to the Franciscan authorities. *
In Germany the Franciscans for the most part remained faithful to Michele and Louis, and were of the utmost assistance to the latter in the struggle. The test was the observance of the interdict which for so many years suspended divine service throughout the empire, and was a sore trial to the faithful. To a great extent this was disregarded by the Franciscans. It was to little purpose that, in January, 1331, John issued a special bull directed against them, deprived of all privileges and immunities those who recognized Louis as emperor and celebrated services in interdicted places, and ordered all prelates and inquisitors to prosecute them. On the other hand, Louis was not behindhand in enforcing obedience by persecution wherever he had the power. An imperial brief of June, 1330, addressed to the magistrates of Aix, directs them to assist and protect those teachers of the truth, the Franciscans Siegelbert of Landsberg and John of Royda, and to imprison all their brethren whom they may designate as rebels to the empire and to the Order until the general, Michele, shall decide what is to be done with them. This shows that even in Ger-
* Doat, XXVII. 202-3, 229; XXXV. 87.
many the Order was not unanimous, but doubtless the honest Franciscan, John of Winterthur, reflects the feelings of the great body when he says that the reader will be struck with horror and stupor on learning the deeds with which the pope convulsed the Church. Inflamed by some madness, he sought to argue against the poverty of Christ, and when the Franciscans resisted him he persecuted them without measure. The Dominicans encouraged him, and he largely rewarded them. The traditional enmity between the Orders found ample gratification. The Dominicans, to excite contempt for the Franciscans, exhibited paintings of Christ with a purse, putting in his hand to take out money; nay, to the horror of the faithful, on the walls of their monasteries, in the most frequented places, they pictured Christ hanging on the cross with one hand nailed fast, and with the other putting money in a pouch suspended from his girdle. Yet rancor and religious zeal did not wholly extinguish patriotism among the Dominicans; they were, moreover, aggrieved by the sentence of heresy passed upon Master Eckart, which may perhaps explain the fact that Tauler supported Louis, as also did Margaret Ebner, one of the Friends of God, and the most eminent Dominican sister of the day. It is true that many Dominican convents were closed for years, and their inmates scattered and exiled for persistently refusing to celebrate, but others complied unwillingly with the papal mandates. At Landshut they had ceased public service, but when the emperor came there they secretly arranged with the Duke of Teck to assail their house with torches and threaten to burn it down, so that they might have the excuse of constraint for resuming public worship, and the comedy was successfully carried out. In fact, the General Chapter of 1328 complained that in Germany the brethren in many places were notably negligent in publishing the papal bulls about Louis. *
All this, however, was but an episode in the political struggle, which was to be decided by the rivalries between the houses of Wittelsbach, Hapsburg, and Luxemburg, and the intrigues of France. Louis gradually succeeded in arousing and centring
* Martene Thesaur. II. 826-8.-- Carl Müller, op. cit. I. 239.--Vitodurani Chron. (Eccard. Corp. Hist. I. 1798, 1800, 1844-5, 1871).-- Andreas Ratisponens. Chron. ann. 1336 (Ibid. I. 2103-4) .-- Preger, Der Kirchenpolitische Kampf, pp. 42-5.-Denifle, Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 624.
upon himself the national spirit, aided therein by the arrogant disdain with which John XXII. and his successors received his repeated offers of qualified submission. When, in 1330, Louis had temporarily secured the support of John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia, and the Duke of Austria, and they offered themselves as sureties that he would fulfil what might be required of him, provided the independence of the empire was recognized, John retorted that Louis was a heretic and thus incapacitated; he was a thief and a robber, a wicked man who consorted with Michele, Ockham, Bonagrazia, and Marsiglio; not only had he no title to the empire, but the state of Christendom would be inconceivably deplorable if he were recognized. After the death of John in December, 1334, another attempt was made, but it suited the policy of France and of Bohemia to prolong the strife, and Benedict XII. was as firm as his predecessor. Louis was at all times ready to sacrifice his Franciscan allies, but the papacy demanded the right practically to dictate who should be emperor, and by a skilful use of appeals to the national pride Louis gradually won the support of an increasing number of states and cities. In 1338 the convention of Rhense and the Reichstag of Frankfort formally proclaimed as a part of the law of the empire that the choice of the electors was final, and that the papacy had no confirmatory power. The interdict was ordered not to be observed, and in all the states adhering to Louis ecclesiastics were given the option of resuming public worship within eight days or of undergoing a ten years' exile. It was some relief to them in this dilemma that the Roman curia sold absolutions in such cases for a florin. *
In the strife between Louis and the papacy the little colony of Franciscan refugees at Munich was of the utmost service to the imperial cause, but their time was drawing to an end. Michele da Cesena died November 29, 1342, his latest work being a long manifesto proving that John had died an unrepentant heretic, and that his successors in defending his errors were likewise heretics; if but one man in Christendom holds the true faith, that man in
* Martene Thesaur. II. 800-6.--Raynald. ann. 1336, No. 31-5.--Vitoduran. Chron. (Eccard. Corp. Hist. I. 1842-5, 1910).-- Preger, Der Kirchenpolitische Kampf, p. 13.--Hartzheim IV. 323-32.--H. Mutii Germ. Chron. ann. 1338 (Pistorii Germ. Scriptt. II. 878-81).
himself is the Church. The dithyrambic palinode which passes as his death-bed recantation is clearly a forgery, and there can be no doubt that Michele persisted to the end. When dying he handed the seal of the Order over to William of Ockham, who used it as Vicar-general; he had already, in April, 1342, appointed two citizens of Munich, John Schito and Grimold Treslo, as syndics and procurators of the Order, the latter of whom subsequently assumed the generalate. Bonagrazia died in June, 1347, declaring with the last breath of his indomitable soul that the cause of Louis was righteous. The date of William of Ockham's death is uncertain, but it occurred between 1347 and 1350. *
Thus dropped off, one by one, the men who had so gallantly defended the doctrine of the poverty of Christ. As regards the political conceptions which were the special province of Marsiglio and Ockham, their work was done, and they could exercise no further influence over the uncontrollable march of events. With the death of Benedict XII., in 1342, Louis made renewed efforts for pacification, but John of Bohemia was intriguing to secure the succession for his house, and they were fruitless, except to strengthen Louis by demonstrating the impossibility of securing terms tolerable to the empire. Still the intrigue went on, and in July, 1346, the three ecclesiastical electors, Mainz, Trèves, and Cologne, with Rodolph of Saxony, and John of Bohemia, assembled at Rhense under the impulsion of Clement VI. and elected the son of John, Charles Margrave of Moravia, as a rival king of the Romans. The movement, however, had no basis of popular support, and when Louis hastened to the Rhinelands all the cities and nearly all the princes and nobles adhered to him. Had the election been postponed for a few weeks it would never have taken place, for the next month occurred the battle of Crécy, where the gallant knight, John of Bohemia, died a chivalrous death, Charles, the newly-elected king, saved his life by flight, and French influence was temporarily eclipsed. Thus unauspiciously commenced, the reign of Charles IV. had little promise of duration, when, in Octo-
* Vitoduran Chron. (Eccard. I. 1844).-- Sächsische Weltchronik, dritte bairisch Fortsetzung No. 9 (Pertz II. 346).--Baluz. et Mansi III. 349-55.--Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 513-27.--Jac. de Marchia Dial. (Bal. et Mansi II. 600).-- Preger, op. cit. pp. 35-6.-- Carl Müller, op. cit. I. 370-2.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1342, 1347.
ber, 1347, Louis, while indulging in his favorite pastime of hunting, was struck with apoplexy and fell dead from his horse. The hand of God might well be traced in the removal of all the enemies of the Holy See, and Charles had no further organized opposition to dread. *
Desirous of obtaining the fullest advantage from this unlookedfor good-fortune, Clement VI. commissioned the Archbishop of Prague and the Bishop of Bamberg to reconcile all communities and individuals who had incurred excommunication by supporting the Bavarian, with a formula of absolution by which they were obliged to swear that they held it heresy for an emperor to depose a pope, and that they would never obey an emperor until he had been approved by the pope. This excited intense disgust, and in many places it could not be enforced. The teachings of Marsiglio and Ockham had at least borne fruit in so far that the papal pretensions to virtually controlling the empire were disdainfully rejected. The German spirit thus aroused is well exemplified by what occurred at Basle, a city which had observed the interdict and was eager for its removal. When Charles and the Bishop of Bamberg appeared before the gates they were received by the magistrates and a great crowd of citizens. Conrad of Barenfels, the burgomaster, addressed the bishop: "My Lord of Bamberg, you must know that we do not believe, nor will we confess, that our late lord, the Emperor Louis, ever was a heretic. Whomsoever the electors or a majority of them shall choose as King of the Romans we will hold as such, whether he applies to the pope or not, nor will we do anything else that is contrary to the rights of the empire. But if you have power from the pope and are willing to remit all our sins, so be it." Then, turning to the people, he called out, Do you give to me and to Conrad Münch power to ask for the absolution of your sins?" The crowd shouted assent; the two Conrads took an oath in accordance with this; divine services were resumed, and the king and bishop entered the town. †
* Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunden und Regesten, p. 362. -- Henr. Rebdorff. Annal. ann. 1346-7 (Freher et Struv. I. 626-8).
† Henr. Rebdorff. Annal. ann. 1347 (Freher et Struv. I. 628).--Matthiæ Neuburg. (Albert. Argentinens.) Chron. ann. 1348 (Urstisii II. 142-3).-- Preger, Der Kirchenpolitische Kampf, pp. 56-60.
Yet the question as to the poverty of Christ, which had been put forward by John and Louis as the ostensible cause of quarrel, and which had been so warmly embraced by a portion at least of the German Franciscans, sank completely out of sight north of the Alps with the death of Louis and the extinction of the Munich colony of refugees. Germany had her own hordes of mendicants, regular and irregular, in the Beguines and Beghards, who seem to have troubled themselves but little about points so purely speculative; and though we occasionally hear of Fraticelli in those regions, it is rather as a convenient name employed by monkish chroniclers than as really representing a distinctive sect.
It was otherwise in the South, and especially in Italy, the native home of Franciscanism and of the peculiar influences which moulded the special ascetic development of the Order. There the impulses which had led the earlier Spirituals to endure the extremity of persecution in vindication of the holiness of absolute poverty were still as strong as ever. Under Boniface and Clement and during the earlier years of John its professors had lain in hiding or had sought the friendly refuge of Sicily. In the confusion of the Franciscan schism they had emerged and multiplied. With the downfall of the antipope and the triumph of John they were once more proscribed. In the quarrel over the poverty of Christ, that tenet had naturally become the distinguishing mark of the sectaries, and its condemnation by John necessarily entailed the consequence of denying the papal authority and asserting the heresy of the Holy See. Yet there can be no doubt that among the austerer members of the orthodox Order who accepted the definitions of the papacy there was much sympathy felt for the rebellious dissidents. Resistance to the imperious will of John XXII. having failed, there were abundant stories of visions and miracles circulated from convent to convent, as to the wrath of God and of St. Francis visited upon those who infringed upon the holy vow of poverty. The Liber Conformitatum is manifestly the expression of the aspirations of those who wished to enforce the Rule in all its strictness as the direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. Such men felt that the position of their proscribed brethren was logically correct, and they were unable to reconcile the decrees of Nicholas III. with those of John XXII. One of these, described as a man much beloved of God, applied to St. Birgitta to resolve his doubts, where- upon she had two visions in which the Virgin sent him her commands to say to all who believed that the pope was no pope, and that priests do not truly consecrate the host in the mass, that they were heretics filled with diabolical iniquity. All this points to a strong secret sympathy with the Fraticelli which extended not only among the people, but among the friars and occasionally even among the prelates, explaining the ability of the sectaries to maintain their existence from generation to generation in spite of almost unremitting persecution by the Inquisition. *
In 1335, one of the earliest cares of Benedict XII. after his accession was the repression of these Fratres de paupere Vita, as they styled themselves. They still in many places publicly displayed their contumacy by wearing the short and narrow gowns of the Spirituals. They still held Michele to be their general, insulted the memory of John XXII., and were earnestly and successfully engaged in proselytism. Moreover, they were openly protected by men of rank and power. All the inquisitors, from Treviso and Lombardy to Sicily, were commanded to free the Church from these impious hypocrites by vigorous action, and directions were sent to the prelates to lend efficient assistance. There were some, at least, of the latter who did not respond, for in 1336 Francesco, Bishop of Camerino, and Giacopo, Bishop of Firmo, were summoned to answer for favoring the sectaries and permitting them to live in their dioceses. The whole Order, in fact, was still infected with these dangerous doctrines, and could not be brought to view the dissidents with proper abhorrence. Benedict complained that in the kingdom of Naples many Franciscan convents gave shelter to these perverse brethren, and in a bull regulating the Order issued this same year he alludes to those among them who wear peculiar vestments and, under a pretended exterior of sanctity, maintain heresies condemned by the Church of Rome; all such, together with those who protect them, are to be imprisoned until they submit. It was not always easy to enforce obedience to these mandates. The Bishop of Camerino was stubborn, and the next year, 1337, Frà Giovanni di Borgo, the inquisitor of
* Wadding. ann. 1330, No. 14-15.--Alvar. Pelag. de Planet. Eccles. Lib. 11. art. 51 (fol. 169 a).--Lib. Conformitatum Lib. I. Fruct. ix. p. ii.--Revel. S. Brigittæ Lib. VII. c. 8.
the Mark of Ancona, was instructed to proceed severely against him and other fautors of these heretics. By his active operations Frà Giovanni incurred the ill-will of the nobles of his district, who had sufficient influence with the general, Gerard Odo, to procure his replacement by his associate Giacomo and subsequently by Simone da Ancona, but the Cardinal Legate Bertrand intervened, and Benedict restored him with high encomiums on his efficiency. Although persecution was thus active, it is probable that few of the sectaries had the spirit of martyrdom, and that they recanted under pressure, but there was no hesitation in inflicting the full punishment of heresy on those who were persistent. June 3, 1337, at Venice, Frà Francesco da Pistoia was burned for pertinaciously asserting the poverty of Christ in contempt of the definitions of John XXII., nor was he the only victim. *
The test of heresy, as I have said, was the assertion that Christ and the apostles held no property. This appears from the abjuration of Frà Francesco d' Ascoli in 1344, who recants that belief and declares that in accordance with the bulls of John XXII. he holds it to be heretical. That such continued to be the customary formula appears from Eymerich, who instructs his inquisitor to make the penitent declare under oath, "I swear that I believe in my heart and profess that our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles while in this mortal life held in common the things which Scripture declares them to have had, and that they had the right of giving, selling, and alienating them." †
The heresy was thus so purely an artificial one, created by the Holy See, that perhaps it is not difficult to understand the sympathy excited by these poor and self-denying ascetics, who bore all the external marks of what the Church had for ages taught to be exceeding holiness. Camerino continued to be a place of refuge. In 1343 Clement VI. ordered the Bishops of Ancona and Osimo to cite before him within three months Gentile, Lord of Camerino, for various offences, among which was protecting the Fraticelli, impeding the inquisitors in the prosecution of their duties, and de-
* Wadding. ann. 1335, No. 10-11, ann. 1336, No. 1; ann. 1337, No. 1; ann. 1339, No. 1.--Raynald. ann. 1335, No. 63; ann. 1336, No. 63, 64, 66-7; ann. 1337, No. 30; ann. 1375, No. 64.-- Comba, La Riforma in Italia, I. 328.--Vit. Prima Benedicti XII. ann. 1337 (Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 531).
† D'Argentré I. I. 345.--Eymeric. p. 486.
spising for several years the excommunication which they had pronounced against him. Even the inquisitors themselves, especially in Franciscan districts, were not always earnest in the work, possibly because there was little prospect of profitable confiscations to be procured from those who regarded the possession of property as a sin, and in 1346 Clement found himself obliged to reprove them sharply for their tepidity. In such districts the Fraticelli showed themselves with little concealment. When, in 1348, Cola di Rienzo fled from Rome after his first tribuneship, he betook himself to the Fraticelli of Monte Maiella; he was charmed with their holiness and poverty, entered the Order as a Tertiary, and deplored that men so exemplary should be persecuted by the pope and the Inquisition. Tuscany was full of them. It was in vain that about this period Florence adopted severe laws for their repression, placing them under the ban, empowering any one to capture them and deliver them to the Inquisition, and imposing a fine of five hundred lire on any official declining, when summoned by the inquisitors, to assist in their arrest. The very necessity of enacting such laws shows how difficult it was to stimulate the people to join the persecution. Even this appears to have been ineffectual. There is extant a letter from Giovanni delle Celle of Vallombrosa to Tommaso di Neri, a Fraticello of Florence, in which the former attacks the fatuity of the latter in making an idol of poverty; the letter was answered and led to a controversy which seems to have been conducted openly. *
Yet, trivial as was apparently the point at issue, it was impossible that men could remain contentedly under the ban of the Church without being forced to adopt principles destructive of the whole ecclesiastical organization. They could only justify themselves by holding that they were the true Church, that the papacy was heretical and had forfeited its claim of obedience, and could no longer guide the faithful to salvation. It is an interesting proof of the state of public opinion in Italy, that in spite of the thoroughly organized machinery of persecution, men who held these doctrines were able to disseminate them almost publicly and
* Werunsky Excerptt. ex Registt. Clem. PP. VI. pp. 23-4.--Raynald, ann. 1346, No. 70.-- Comba, La Riforma, I. 326-7, 387.-- Lami Antichità. Toscane, pp. 528, 595.
to make numerous proselytes. About the middle of the century they circulated throughout Italy a document written in the vernacular, "so that it can be understood by every one," giving their reasons for separating themselves from pope and prelate. It is singularly temperate in tone and logical in structure. The argument is drawn strictly from Scripture and from the utterances of the Church itself, and from even the standpoint of a canonist it is unanswerable. There are no apocalytic hysterics, no looking forward to Antichrist or to new ages of the world, no mysticism. There is not even any reference to St. Francis, nor any claim that his Rule is inspired and inviolable. Yet none the less the whole body of the Church is declared to be heretic, and all the faithful are summoned to cut loose from it.
The reasons alleged for this are three--First, heresy; second, simony; third, fornication. As to the first, John XXII. is proved to be a heretic by the bulls pronouncing heretical the doctrine that Christ and the apostles possessed nothing. This is easily done by reason of the definitions of the previous popes confirmed by the Council of Vienne. The corollary of course follows that all his successors and their cardinals are heretics. As regards simony, the canons of the Decretum and the utterances of the doctors are quoted to show that it is heresy. As regards fornication, it was easy to cite the canons embodying the Hildebrandine doctrine that the sacraments of fornicating priests are not to be received. It is true that there are many priests who are not fornicators, but there are none who are not simonists--who have not given or received money for the sacraments. Even if he could be found who is innocent on all these heads, it would be necessary for him to separate himself from the rest, for, as Raymond of Pennaforte shows in the Summa, those are guilty of mortal sin and idolatry who receive the sacraments of heretics. The Fraticelli, therefore, have been obliged to withdraw from a heretical church, and they issue this manifesto to justify their course. If in any way it is erroneous, they ask to have the error pointed out; and if it is correct, the faithful are bound to join them, because, after the facts are known, association with prelates and clergy thus heretical and excommunicate will involve in heresy all who are guilty of it. *
* Comba, La Riforma, I. 568-71.
All the Fraticelli, however, were not uniformly agreed upon all points. In the above document a leading argument is drawn from. the assumed vitiation of the sacraments in polluted hands--a dangerous tenet, constantly recurring to plague the successors of Hildebrand--which we do not find in other utterances of the sectaries. In fact, we find them, in 1362, divided into two branches, one of which recognized as its leader Tommaso, ex-Bishop of Aquino, and held that as John XXII. and his successors were heretics, the sacrament of ordination derived from them was void, and reordination was required of all ecclesiastics entering the sect. The other, which took its name from Felipe of Majorca, was regularly organized under a general minister, and, while equally regarding the popes as heretics, recognized the ordinations of the establishment. All branches of the sect, however, drew ample store of reasons from the venality and corruption of the Church, which was doubtless their most convincing argument with the people. There is extant a letter in the vulgar tongue from a frate to two female devotees, arguing, like the more formal manifesto, that they are bound to withdraw from the communion of the heretical church. This is the beast with seven horns, which are: 1, supreme pride; 2, supreme cruelty; 3, supreme folly or wrath; 4, supreme deceit and inimitable falsehood; 5, supreme carnality or lust; 6, supreme cupidity or avarice; 7, supreme hatred of truth, or malice. The ministers of this heretic church have no shame in publicly keeping concubines, and in selling Christ for money in the sacraments. This letter further indicates the legitimate descent of the Fraticelli from the Spirituals by a quotation from Joachim to show that St. Francis is Noah, and the faithful few of his children are those who are saved with him in the Ark. *
A still closer connection may be inferred from a bull of Urban V., issued about 1365, instructing inquisitors to be active in exterminating heretics, and describing for their information the different heresies. The Fraticelli are represented as indulging in gluttony and lasciviousness under the cover of strict external sanctity, pretending to be Franciscan Tertiaries, and begging publicly or living in their own houses. It is possible, however, that his de-
* Tocco, Archivio Storico Napoletano, 1887, Fase. 1.-- Comba, La Riforma, I. 321-4.
scription of their holding assemblies in which they read Olivi "Postil on the Apocalypse" and his other works, but chiefly the account of his death, is rather borrowed from Bernard Gui's account of the Spirituals of Languedoc, than a correct statement of the customs of the Fraticelli of his time. *
Of the final shape which the heresy assumed we have an authoritative account from its ruthless exterminator, the Inquisitor Giacomo della Marea. In his "Dialogue with a Fraticello," written about 1450, there is no word about the follies of the Spirituals, or any extraneous dogmas. The question turns wholly on the poverty of Christ and the heresy of John's definitions of the doctrine. The Fraticelli stigmatize the orthodox as Joannistæ, and in turn are called Michaelistæ, showing that by this time the extravagances of the Spirituals had been forgotten, and that the heretics were the direct descendants of the schismatic Franciscans who followed Michele da Cesena. The disorders and immorality of the clergy still afforded them their most effective arguments in their active missionary work. Giacomo complains that they abused the minds of the simple by representing the priests as simonists and concubinarians, and that the people, imbued with this poison, lost faith in the clergy, refused to confess to them, to attend their masses, to receive their sacraments, and to pay their tithes, thus becoming heretics and pagans and children of the devil, while fancying themselves children of God. †
The Fraticelli thus formed one or more separate organizations, each of which asserted itself to be the only true Church. In the scanty information which we possess, it is impossible to trace in detail the history of the fragmentary parts into which they split, and we can only say in general terms that the sect did not consist simply of anchorites and friars, but had its regular clergy and laity, its bishops and their supreme head or pope, known as the Bishop of Philadelphia, that being the name assigned to the community. In 1357 this position was filled by Tommaso, the exBishop of Aquino; chance led to the discovery of such a pope in Perugia in 1374; in 1429 we happen to know that a certain Rainaldo filled the position, and shortly after a frate named Gabriel.
* Martini Append. ad Mosheim de Beghardis p. 505.
† Jac. de Marchia Dial. (Baluz. et Mansi II. 595 sqq.).
There is even talk of a chief of the laity who styled himself Emperor of the Christians. *
It was in vain that successive popes ordered the Inquisition to take the most active measures for the suppression of the sect, and that occasional holocausts rewarded their exertions, as when, under Urban V. nine were burned at Viterbo, and in 1389 Frà Michele Berti de Calci suffered the same fate at Florence. This last case reveals in its details the popular sympathy which favored the labors of the Fraticelli. Frà Michele had been sent to Florence as a missionary by a congregation of the sect which met in a cavern in the Mark of Ancona. He preached in Florence and made many converts, and was about leaving the city, April 19, when he was betrayed by five female zealots, who sent for him pretending to seek conversion. His trial was short. A colleague saved his life by recantation, but Michele was firm. When brought up in judgment to be degraded from the priesthood he refused to kneel before the bishop, saying that heretics are not to be knelt to. In walking to the place of execution many of the crowd exchanged words of cheer with him, leading to considerable disturbance, and when tied to a stake in a sort of cabin which was to be set on fire, a number put their heads inside to beg him to recant. The place was several times filled with smoke to frighten him, but be was unyielding, and after his ineremation there were many people, we are told, who regarded him as a saint. †
Proceedings such as this were not likely to diminish the favor with which the Fraticelli were popularly regarded. The two Sicilies continued to be thoroughly interpenetrated with the heresy. When, in 1362, Luigi di Durazzo made his abortive attempt at rebellion, he regarded the popularity of the Fraticelli as an ele-
* Raynald. ann. 1344, No. 8; 1357, No. 12; 1374, No. 14.--Jac de Marchia Dial. (l. c. 599, 608-9).
It may surprise a modern infallibilist to learn that so thoroughly orthodox and learned an inquisitor as the blessed Giacomo della Marca admits that there have been heretic popes--popes who persisted and died in their heresy. He comforts himself, however, with the reflection that they have always been succeeded by Catholic pontiffs ( l. c. p. 599).
† Werunsky, Excerptt. ex Registt. Clem. VI. et Innoc. VI. p. 91.--Raynald. ann. 1354, No. 31; ann. 1368, No. 16.--Wadding. ann. 1354, No. 6-7; 1368, No. 4-6.-- Comba, La Riforma, I. 327, 329-37.-- Cantù, Eretici d' Italia, I. 133-4.-Eymeric. p. 328.
ment of sufficient importance for him to publicly proclaim sympathy with them, to collect them around him, and have Tommaso of Aquino celebrate mass for him. Francesco Marchisio, Archdeacon of Salerno, was a Fraticello, in spite of which he was elevated to the see of Trivento in 1362, and occupied it till his death about twenty years later. In 1372 Gregory XI. was shocked to learn that in Sicily the bones of Fraticelli were venerated as the relies of saints, that chapels and churches were built in their honor, and that on their anniversaries the populace flocked thither with candles to worship them; but it is not likely that his instructions to the inquisitors to put an end to these unseemly manifestations of mistaken piety were successful. At Perugia, in 1368, the magistrates were induced to throw many of the Fraticelli into prison, but to so little purpose that the people persisted in regarding them as the true children of St. Francis and in giving them shelter, while the Franciscans were despised on account of the laxity of their observance, the luxury of their houses, the costliness of their vestments, and the profusion of their table. They were ridiculed and insulted in the streets until they scarce dared to venture in public; if one chanced to let the collar of his shirt show above his gown, some one would pull up the linen and ask the jeering crowd if this was the austerity of St. Francis. As a last resort, in 1374, they sent for Paoluccio of Foligno and a public disputation was arranged with the Fraticelli. Paoluccio turned the tide of popular favor by proving that obedience to the pope was of greater moment than obedience to the Rule, and the Fraticelli were driven from the town. Even then the Inquisition seems not to have dared to prosecute them. *
The proselyting efforts of the Fraticelli were by no means confined to Italy. Believing themselves the only true Church, it was their duty to carry salvation throughout the world, and there were
* Tocco, Archivio Storico Napoletano, 1887, Fase. 1.--Raynald. ann. 1368, No. 16; ann. 1372, No. 36.--Wadding. ann. 1374, No. 19-23.--Pet. Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. II. fol. 154 a.
Perugia at this period was a centre of religious excitement. A certain Piero Garigh, who seems to have been in some way connected with the Fraticelli, gave himself out as the Son of God, and dignified his disciples with the names of apostles. In the brief allusion which we have to him he is said to have obtained ten of those and to be in search of an eleventh. His fate is not recorded.-- Processus contra Valdenses (Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, No. 39, p. 50).
earnest spirits among them who were ready to dare as much as the orthodox among the infidels and barbarians. Already, in 1344, Clement VI. found himself obliged to address the archbishops, bishops, and all the faithful throughout Armenia, Persia, and the East, warning them against these emissaries of Satan, who were seeking, to scatter among them the seeds of error and schism. He had no inquisitors to call upon in those regions, but he ordered the prelates to inquire after them and to punish them, authorizing them, with a singular lack of perception, to invoke, if necessary, the aid of the secular arm. The Fraticelli made at least one convert of importance, for in 1346 Clement felt himself obliged to cite for appearance within four months no less a personage than the Archbishop of Seleucia, who, infected with pseudo-minorite errors, had written in Armenian and was circulating throughout Asia a postil on St. John in which he asserted the forbidden doctrine of the poverty of Christ. In 1354 Innocent VI. heard of Fraticellian missionaries laboring among the Chazars of the Crimea, and he forthwith ordered the Bishop of Caffa to repress them with inquisitorial methods. In 1375 Gregory XI. learned that they were active in Egypt, Syria, and Asia, and he promptly ordered the Franciscan provincial of those regions to enforce on them the severity of the laws. One, named Lorenzo Carbonello, had ventured to Tunis, to infect with his heresy the Christians of that kingdom, whereupon Gregory commanded Giacomo Patani and Guillen de Ripoll, the captains of the Christian troops in the service of the Bey of Tunis, to seize him and send him in chains to the Archbishop of Naples or of Pisa. Doubtless, if the command was obeyed, it led the unthinking Moslem to thank Allah that they were not Christians. *
In Languedoc and. Provence the rigorous severity with which the Spirituals had been exterminated seems to have exercised a wholesome influence in repressing the Fraticelli, but nevertheless a few cases on record shows the existence of the sect. In 1336 we hear of a number confined in the papal dungeons of Avignon-among them a papal chaplain--and that Guillaume Lombard, the judge of ecclesiastical causes, was ordered to exert against them
* Raynald. ann. 1344, No. 8; ann. 1346, No. 70; ann. 1354, No. 31; ann. 1375, No. 27.
the full severity of the laws. In 1354 two Tuscan Fraticelli, Giovanni da Castiglione and Francesco d' Arquata, were arrested at Montpellier for holding that John XXII. had forfeited his authority by altering the definitions of the bull Exiit, and that his successors were not the true Church. Innocent VI. caused them to be brought before him, but all efforts to make them recant were vain; the went tranquilly to the stake, singing Gloria in excelsis, and were reverenced as martyrs by a large number of their brethren. Two others, named Jean de Narbonne and Maurice had not long before met the same fate at Avignon. In northern France we hear little of the heresy. The only recorded case seems to be that of Denis Soulechat, a professor of the University of Paris, who taught in 1363 that the law of divine love does away with property, and that Christ and the apostles held none. Summoned by the Inquisitor Guillaume Rochin, he abjured before the Faculty and then appealed to the pope. At Avignon, when he endeavored to purge himself before an assembly of theologians, he only added new errors to his old ones, and was sent back to the Cardinal of Beauvais and the Sorbonne with orders to make him recant, and to punish him properly with the advice of the inquisitor. In 1368 he was forced to a public abjuration. *
In Spain a few cases show that the heresy extended across the Pyrenees. In Valencia, Fray Jayme Justi and the Tertiaries Guillermo Gelabert and Marti Petri, when arrested by R. de Masqueta, commissioner of the Inquisitor Leonardo de Puycerda, appealed to Clement VI., who ordered the Bishop of Valencia to release them on their giving bail not to leave the city until their case should be decided at Avignon. They'must have had wealthy disciples, for security was furnished in the heavy sum of thirty thousand sols, and they were discharged from prison. The papal court was in no hurry with the case--probably it was forgotten-when, in 1353, Clement learned that the two Tertiaries were dead, and that Justi was in the habit of leaving the city and spreading his pestiferous doctrines among the people. He therefore ordered
* Raynald. ann. 1336, No. 64; ann. 1351, No. 31; ann. 1368, No. 16-7.-- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcass. ( Doat, XXXV. 130).-- Mosheims Ketzergeschichte I, 387.--Henr. Rebdorff Annal. ann. 1353 (Freher et Struv. I. 632).--Eymeric. p. 358.--D'Argentré, I. I. 383-6.
Hugo, Bishop of Valencia, and the Inquisitor Nicolas Roselli to prosecute the case forthwith. Justi must have recanted, for he was merely imprisoned for life, while the bones of the two Tertiaries were dug up and burned. Even more obdurate was Fray Arnaldo Mutaner, who for nineteen years infected Puycerda and Urgel with the same heresy. He was contumacious and refused to appear when summoned to abjure. After consultation with Gregory XI., Berenger Darili, Bishop of Urgel, condemned him, and so did Eymerich. Pursuit apparently grew hot, and he fled to the East. The last we hear of him is in 1373, when Gregory ordered his vicar, the Franciscan Arnaud, to seize him and send him in chains to the papal court, but whether the effort was successful we have no means of knowing. A bull of Martin V. in 1426 shows the continued existence of Fraticelli in Aragon and Catalonia, and the necessity of active measures for their extirpation. *
It was probably a heresy of the same nature which, in 1442, was discovered in Durango, Biscay. The heresiarch was the Franciscan Alonso de Mella, brother of Juan, Cardinal-bishop of Zamora, and the sectaries were known as Cerceras. The story that Alonso taught indiscriminate sexual intercourse is doubtless one of the customary exaggerations. King Juan II., in the absence of the Inquisition, sent the Franciscan, Francisco de Soria, and Juan Alonso Cherino, Abbot of Alcalá la Real, to investigate the matter, with two alguazils and a sufficient force. The heretics were seized and carried, some to Valladolid and some to Santo Domingo de la Calçada, where torture was used to extract confession, and the obstinate ones were burned in considerable numbers. Fray Alonso de Mella, however, managed to escape and fled to Granada, it is said, with some of his girls; but he did not avert his fate, for he was acañavereado by the Moors--that is, put to a lingering death with pointed sticks. The affair must have made a profound impression on the popular mind, for even until modern times the people of Durango were reproached by their neighbors with the "autos de Fray Alonso," and in 1828 an overzealous alcalde, to obliterate all record of the matter, burned the
* Ripoll II. 245.--Eymeric. pp. 266-7.--Raynald. ann. 1373, No. 19; ann. 1426, No. 18.--Wadding. ann. 1371, No. 26-30.
original documents of the process, which till then had reposed quietly among the records of the parish church. *
The violent measures of John XXII., followed up by his successors, for a while effectually repressed the spiritual asceticism of the Franciscans. Yet it was impossible that impulses which were so marked a characteristic of the age should be wholly obliterated in an Order in which they had become traditional. We see this in the kindness manifested by the Franciscans to the Fraticelli when it could be done without too much risk, and we cannot doubt that there were many who aspired to imitate the founder without daring to overleap the bounds of obedience. Such men could not but look with alarm and disgust at the growing worldliness of the Order under the new dispensation of John. When the Provincial of Tuscany could lay aside five hundred florins out of the alms given to his brethren, and then lend this sum to the Hospital of S. Maria of Siena at ten per cent. per annum, although so flagrant a violation of his vows and of the canons against usury brought upon him the penalty of degradation, it required a divine visitation to impress his sin upon the minds of his fellows, and he died in 1373 in great agony and without the sacraments. Various other manfestations about the same time indicate the magnitude of the evil and the impossibility of suppressing it by human means. Under Boniface IX., Franciscans, we are told, were in the habit of seeking dispensations to enable them to hold benefices and even pluralities; and the pope decreed that any Mendicant desiring to be transferred to a non-Mendicant Order should, as a preliminary, pay a hundred gold florins to the papal camera. Under such a system there could be scarce a pretence of maintaining the holy poverty which had been the ideal of Francis and his followers. †
Yet the ardent thirst of poverty and the belief that in it lay the only assured path to salvation were too widely diffused to be repressed. Giovanni Colombini, a rich and ambitious citizen
* Garibay, Comp. Historial de España, Lib. XVI. c. 31.-- La Puente, Epit. de la Cronica de Juan II., Lib. IV. c. i.-- Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I.546-7.-Mariana, Lib. XXI. c. 18.-- Rodrigo, Inquisicion, II.11-12.-- Paramo, p. 131.
† Wadding. ann. 1383, No. 2.--Gobelinæ Personæ Cosmodrom. Æt. V. c. 84 ( Meibom. Rer. German. I.317).
of Siena had his thoughts accidentally directed to heaven. His career strikingly resembles that of Peter Waldo, save that the Church, grown wiser, utilized his zeal instead of antagonizing him. The Order of Jesuats which he founded was approved by Urban V. in 1367. It was an order of lay brethren under the Augustinian Rule, vowed to poverty and devoted to the care of the sick, not unlike that of the Cellites or Alexians of the Rhinelands. *
It was inevitable that there should be dissatisfaction among the more ascetic Franciscans, and that the more zealous of these should seek some remedy short of heresy. In 1350 Gentile of Spoleto obtained from Clement VI. authorization for some houses of stricter observance. Immediately the experience of Angelo and Liberato was repeated. The wrath of the Conventuals was excited. The innovators were accused of adopting the short and narrow gowns which had been the distinguishing mark of the dreaded Olivists. In the General Chapter of 1353, the General Farignano was urged to exterminate them by the measures which had proved so effective in Languedoc. To this he did not assent, but he set spies to work to obtain evidence against them, and soon was able to accuse them of receiving Fraticelli. They admitted the fact, but argued that this had been in the hope of converting the heretics, and when they proved obstinate they bad been expelled--but the had not been reported to the Inquisition as duty required. Armed with this, Farignano represented to Innocent VI. the grave dangers of the innovation, and obtained a revocation of the papal authorization. The brethren were dispersed, Gentile and two companions were thrown into prison at Orvieto; his coadjutor, Frà Martino, a most exemplary man, who shone in miracles after death, died the next year, and the rest were reduced to obedience. After prolonged captivity Gentile was released, and died in 1362, worn out with fruitless labors to restore the discipline of the Order. †
More fortunate was his disciple, Paoluccio da Trinci, of Foligno, a simple and unlearned friar, who had obtained from his kinsman,
* Baluz. et Mansi IV. 566 sqq. In 1606 Paul V. allowed the Jesuats to take orders.
† Wadding. ann. 1350, No. 15; ann. 1354, No. 1, 2; ann. 1362, No. 4.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1352, 1354, 1355.
Ugolino, Lord of Foligno, a dungeon in which to gratify his thirst for asceticism. Though he had permission for this from his superiors, he suffered much from the hostility of the laxer brethren, but his austerities gained him great popular reverence and many disciples. In 1368 the General Farignano chanced to attend a provincial chapter at Foligno, and was persuaded to ask of Ugolino a spot called Brulliano, in the mountains between Foligno and Camerino, as a hermitage for Paoluccio and his followers. After his request was granted he dreaded a schism in the Order and wished to recall it, but Ugolino held him to his purpose. The place was wild, rocky, marshy, unwholesome, infested with serpents, and almost uninhabited. Thither Paoluccio led his brethren, and they were forced to adopt the sabots or wooden shoes, which became the distinguishing foot-gear of their Order. Their reputation spread apace; converts flocked to them; their buildings required enlargement; associate houses were founded in many places, and thus arose the Observantines, or Franciscans of strict observance--an event in the history of the Church only second in importance to the original foundation of the Mendicant Orders. *
When Paoluccio died, in 1390, he was already reckoned as a provincial within the Order. After an interval he was succeeded by his coadjutor, Giovanni Stronconi. In 1405 began the marvellous career of St. Bernardino of Siena, who counts as the formal founder of the Observantines. They had merely been called the Brethren of the Hermitages until the Council of Constance established them as an organization virtually independent of the Conventuals, when they took the name by which they have since been known. Everywhere their institution spread. New houses arose, or those of the Conventuals were reformed and given over to them. Thus in 1426 they were introduced into the province of Strassburg through the intervention of Matilda of Savoy, wife of the Palsgrave Louis the Bearded. Familiar in her youth with their virtues, she took occasion at Heidelberg to point out to her husband the Franciscans in their convent garden below them, amusing themselves with military exercises. It resulted in the reform of all the houses in his dominions and the introduction of the Observantine discipline, not without serious trouble. In 1453
* Wadding. ann. 1368, No. 10-13.
Nicholas of Cusa, as legate, forced all the houses in the diocese of Bamberg to adopt the Observantine discipline, under threat of forfeiting their privileges. In 1431 the holy house on Mt. Alverno, the Franciscan Mecca, was made over to them, and in 1434 the guardianship of the Holy Places in Jerusalem. In 1460 we hear of their penetrating to distant Ireland. It is not to be supposed that the Conventuals submitted quietly to the encroachments and triumphs of the hated ascetics whom for a century and a half they had successfully baffled and persecuted. Quarrels, sharper and bitterer even than those with the Dominicans, were of constant occurrence, and were beyond the power of the popes to allay. A promising effort at reunion attempted by Capistrano in 1430, under the auspices of Martin V., was defeated by the incurable laxity of the Conventuals, and there was nothing left for both sides but to continue the war. In 1435 the strife rose to such a pitch in France that Charles VII. was obliged to appeal to the Council of Basle, which responded with a decree in favor of the Observantines. The struggle was hopeless. The corruption of the Conventuals was so universally recognized that even Pius II. does not hesitate to say that, though they generally excel as theologians, virtue is the last thing about which most of them concern themselves. In contrast with this the holiness of the new organization won for it the veneration of the people, while the unflagging zeal with which it served the Holy See secured for it the favor of the popes precisely as the Mendicant Orders had done in the thirteenth century. At first merely a branch of the Franciscans, then placed under a virtually independent vicar-general, at length Leo X., after vainly striving to heal the differences, gave the Observantines a general minister and reduced the Conventuals to a subordinate position under a general master. *
* Wadding. ann. 1375, No. 44; ann. 1390, No. 1-10; ann. 1403, No. 1; ann. 1405, No. 3; ann. 1415, No. 6-7; ann. 1431, No. 8; ann. 1434, No. 7; ann. 1435, No. 12-13; ann. 1453, No. 18-26; ann. 1454, No. 22-3; ann. 1455, No. 43-7; ann. 1456, No. 129; ann. 1498, No. 7-8; ann. 1499, No. 18-20.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1426, 1430, 1501, 1517.--Theiner Monument. Hibern. et Scotor. No. 801, p. 425, No. 844, p. 460.--Æn. Sylvii Opp. inedd. (Atti della Accademia dei Lincei, 1883, p. 546).--Chron. Anon. (Analecta Franciscana I. 291-2).
The bitterness of the strife between the two branches of the Order is illustrated by the fact that the Franciscan Church of Palma, in Majorca, when struck
A religious revival such as this brought into service a class of men who were worthy representatives of the Peter Martyrs and Guillem Arnauds of the early Inquisition. Under their ruthless energy the Fraticelli were doomed to extinction. The troubles of the Great Schism had allowed the heretics to flourish almost unnoticed and unmolested, but after the Church had healed its dissensions at Constance and had entered upon a new and vigorous life, it set to work in earnest to eradicate them. Hardly had Martin V. returned to Italy from Constance when he issued from Mantua, November 14, 1418, a bull in which he deplores the increase of the abominable sect in many parts, and especially in the Roman province. Fortified with the protection of the temporal lords, they abuse and threaten the bishops and inquisitors who attempt to repress them. The bishops and inquisitors are therefore instructed to proceed against them vigorously, without regard to limits of jurisdiction, and to prosecute their protectors, even if the latter are of episcopal or regal dignity, which sufficiently indicates that the Fraticelli had found favor with those of highest rank in both Church and State. This accomplished little, for in a subsequent bull of 1421 Martin alludes to the continued increase of the heresy, and tries the expedient of appointing the
by lightning and partially ruined in 1480, remained on this account urepaired for nearly a hundred years, until the Observantines got the better of their rivals and obtained possession of it.-- Dameto, Pro y Bover, Hist. de Mallorca, II.1064-5 ( Palma, 1841). It is related that when Sixtus IV., who had been a Conventual, proposed in 1477 to subject the Observantines to their rivals, the blessed Giacomo della Marea threatened him with an evil death, and he desisted.--(Chron. Glassberger ann. 1477).
The exceeding laxity prevailing among the Conventuals is indicated by letters granted in 1421 by the Franciscan general, Antonius de Perreto, to Friar Liebbardt Forschammer, permitting him to deposit with a faithful friend all alms given to him, and to expend them on his own wants or for the benefit of the Order, at his discretion; he was also required to confess only four times a year.--(Chron. Glassberger ann. 1416). The General Chapter held at Forli in 1421 was obliged to prohibit the brethren from trading and lending money on usury, under pain of imprisonment and confiscation.--(Ib. ann. 1421). From the Chapter of Ueberlingen, held in 1426, we learn that there was a custom by which, for a sum of money paid down, Franciscan convents would enter into obligations to pay definite stipends to individual friars.--(Ib. ann. 1426). In fact, the efforts of reform at this period, stimulated by the rivalry of the Observantines, reveal how utterly oblivious the Order had become of all the prescriptions of the Rule.
Cardinals of Albano and Porto as special commissioners for its suppression. The cardinals proved as inefficient as their predecessors. In 1423 the General Council of Siena was greatly scandalized at finding that at Peniscolla there was a heretic pope with his college of cardinals, apparently flourishing without an attempt at concealment, and the Gallican nation made several ineffectual efforts to induce the council to take active measures against the secular authorities under whose favor these scandals were allowed to exist. How utterly the machinery of persecution had broken down is illustrated by the case of three Fraticelli who had at this period been detected in Florence--Bartolommeo di Matteo, Giovanni di Marino of Lucca, and Bartolommeo di Pietro of Pisa. Evidently distrusting the Florentine Inquisition, which was Franciscan, Martin V. specially intrusted the matter to his legates then presiding over the Council of Siena. On the sudden dissolution of the council the legates returned to Rome, except the Dominican General, Leonardo of Florence, who went to Florence. To him, therefore, Martin wrote, April 24, 1424, empowering him to terminate the case himself, and expressly forbidding the Inquisitor of Florence from taking any part in it. In September of the same year Martin instructed Piero, Abbot of Rosacio, his rector of the Mark of Ancona, to extirpate the Fraticelli existing there, and the difficulty of the undertaking was recognized in the unwonted clemency which authorized Piero to reconcile even those who had been guilty of repeated relapses. *
Some new motive force was evidently required. There were laws in abundance for the extermination of heresy, and an elaborate organization for their enforcement, but a paralysis seemed to have fallen upon it, and all the efforts of the Holy See to make it do its duty was in vain. The problem was solved when, in 1426, Martin boldly overslaughed the Inquisition and appointed two Observantines as inquisitors, without limitation of districts and with power to appoint deputies, thus rendering them supreme over the whole of Italy. These were the men whom we have so often met before where heresy was to be combated--San Giovanni da
* Raynald. ann. 1418, No. 11; ann. 1421, No. 4; ann. 1424, No. 7.--Jo. de Ragusio de Init. Basil. Concil. (Mon. Conc. Gen. Sæc. XV. T. I. pp. 30-1, 40, 55).-Ripoll II. 645.
Capistrano, and the blessed Giacomo da Montebrandano, generally known as della Marca--both full of zeal and energy, who richly earned their respective canonization and beatification by lifelong devotion and by services which can scarce be overestimated. It is true that Giacomo was commissioned only as a missionary, to preach to the heretics and reconcile them, but the difference was practically undiscoverable, and when, a quarter of a century later, he fondly looked back over the exploits of his youth, he related with pride how the heretics fled from before his face, abandoned their strongholds, and left their flocks to his mercy. Their headquarters seem to have been in the Mark of Ancona, and chiefly in the dioceses of Fabriano and Jesi. There the new inquisitors boldly attacked them. There was no resistance. Such of the teachers as could do so sought safety in flight, and the fate of the rest may be guessed from the instructions of Martin in 1428 to Astorgio, Bishop of Ancona, his lieutenant in the Mark, with respect to the village of Magnalata. As it had been a receptacle of heretics, it is to be levelled with the earth, never to be rebuilt. Stubborn heretics are to be dealt with according to the law--that is, of course, to be burned, as Giacomo della Marca tells us was the case with many of them. Those who repent may be reconciled, but their leaders are to be imprisoned for life, and are to be tortured, if necessary, to force them to reveal the names of their fellows elsewhere. The simple folk who have been misled are to be scattered around in the vicinage where they can cultivate their lands, and are to be recompensed by dividing among them the property confiscated from the rest. The children of heretic parents are to be taken away and sent to a distance, where they can be brought up in the faith. Heretic books are to be diligently searched for throughout the province; and all magistrates and communities are to be warned that any favor or protection shown to heretics will be visited with forfeiture of municipal rights. *
Such measures ought to have been effective, as well as the device of Capistrano, who, after driving the Fraticelli out of Massacio and Palestrina, founded Observantine houses there to serve as citadels of the faith, but the heretics were stubborn and enduring.
* Wadding. ann. 1426, No. 1-4.--Raynald. ann. 1428, No. 7.--Jac. de Marchia Dial. (Baluz. et Mansi II. 597, 609).
When Eugenius IV. succeeded to the papacy he renewed Capistrano's commission in 1432 as a general inquisitor against the Fraticelli. We have no details of his activity during this period, but he was doubtless busily employed, though he was deprived of the assistance of Giacomo, who until 1440 was, as we have seen, at work among the Cathari of Bosnia and the Hussites of Hungary. The Fraticelli of Ancona were still troublesome, for, on his return from Asia in 1441, Giacomo was sent thither as special inquisitor for their suppression. When, in 1447, Nicholas V. ascended the papal throne, he made haste to renew Capistrano's commission, and in 1449 a combined attack was made on the heretics of the Mark, possibly stimulated by the capture, in his own court, of a bishop of the Fraticelli named Matteo, disguised in a Franciscan habit. Nicholas himself went to Fabriano, while Capistrano and Giacomo scoured the country. Magnalata had been rebuilt in spite of the prohibition, and it, with Migliorotta, Poggio, and Merulo, was brought back to the faith, by what means we can well guess. Giacomo boasts that the heretics gave five hundred ducats to a bravo to slay Capistrano, and on one occasion two hundred and on another one hundred and fifty to procure his own death, but the assassins in each case were touched with compunction and came in and made confession--doubtless a profitable revelation for sharpers to make, for no one acquainted with Italian society at that period can imagine that such sums would not have effected their object. The inquisitors, however, were specially protected by Heaven. Capistrano's legend relates that on one occasion the heretics waited for him in ambush. His companions passed in safety, and when he followed alone, absorbed in meditation and prayer, a sudden whirlwind, with torrents of rain, kept his assailants in their lair, and he escaped. Giacomo was similarly divinely guarded. At Matelica a heretic concealed himself in a chapel of the Virgin to assail the inquisitor as he passed, but the Virgin appeared to him with threats so terrible that he fell to the ground and lay there till the neighbors carried him to a hospital, and it was three months before he was able to seek Giacomo at Fermo and abjure. *
* Wadding. ann. 1426, No. 15-16; Regest. Mart. V. No. 162; ann. 1432, No. 8-9; ann. 1441, No. 37-8; ann. 1447, No. 10; ann. 1456, No. 108; ann. 1476,
The unlucky captives were brought before Nicholas at Fabriano and burned. Giacomo tells us that the stench lasted for three days and extended as far as the convent in which he was staying. He exerted himself to save the souls of those whose bodies were forfeit by reason of relapse, and succeeded in all cases but one. This hardened heretic was the treasurer of the sect, named Chiuso. He refused to recant, and would not call upon God or the Virgin or the saints for aid, but simply said "Fire will not burn me.'' His endurance was tested to the utmost. For three days he was burned piecemeal at intervals, but his resolution never gave way, and at last he expired impenitent, in spite of the kindly efforts to torture him to heaven. *
After this we hear little of the Fraticelli, although the sect still continued to exist for a while in secret. In 1467 Paul II. converted a number of them who were brought from Poli to Rome. Eight men and six women, with paper mitres on their heads, were exposed to the jeers of the populace on a high scaffold at the Aracœli, while the papal vicar and five bishops preached for their conversion. Their penance consisted in imprisonment in the Campidoglio, and in wearing a long robe bearing a white cross on breast and back. It was probably on this occasion that Rodrigo Sanchez, a favorite of Paul's, and subsequently Bishop of Palencia, wrote a treatise on the poverty of Christ, in which he proved that ecclesiastics led apostolic lives in the midst of their possessions. In 1471 Frà Tommaso di Scarlino was sent to Piombino and the maritime parts of Tuscany to drive out some Fraticelli who had been discovered there. This is the last allusion to them that I have met with, and thereafter they may be considered as virtually extinct. That they soon passed completely out of notice may be inferred from the fact that in 1487, when the Spanish Inquisition persecuted some Observantines, Innocent VIII. issued a general order that any Franciscans imprisoned by Dominican inquisitors should be handed over for trial to their own superiors, and that no such prosecutions should be thereafter undertaken. †
No. 24-5.--Raynald. ann. 1432, No. 24.--Jac. de Marchia Dial. (Baluz. et Mansi II. 610).
* Jac. de Marchia l. c.
† Steph. Infessuræ Diar. Urb. Rom. ann. 1467 (Eccard. Corp. Hist. II. 1893).--
The Observantine movement may be credited with the destruction of the Fraticelli, not so much by furnishing the men and the zeal required for their violent suppression as by supplying an organization in which ascetic longings could be safely gratified, and by attracting to themselves the popular veneration which had so long served as a safeguard to the heretics. When we read of Capistrano's reputation among his countrymen--how in Vicenza, in 1451, the authorities had to shut the city gates to keep out the influx of surging crowds, and when he walked the streets he had to be accompanied by a guard of Frati to keep off the people seeking to touch him with sticks or to secure a fragment of his garment as a relic; how in Florence, in 1456, an armed guard was requisite to prevent his suffocation--we can realize the tremendous influence exercised by him and his fellows in diverting the current of public opinion to the Church which they represented. Like the Mendicants of the thirteenth century, they restored to it much of the reverence which it had forfeited, in spite of the relaxation and self-indulgence to which, if Poggio is to be believed, many of them speedily degenerated. *
Not less effective was the refuge which the Observantines afforded to those whose morbid tendencies led them to seek superhuman austerity. The Church having at last recognized the necessity of furnishing an outlet for these tendencies, as the old Fraticelli died or were burned there were none to take their place, and the sect disappears from view without leaving a trace behind it. Ascetic zeal must indeed have been intense when it could not be satiated by such a life as that of Lorenzo da Fermo, who died in 1481 at the age of one hundred and ten, after passing ninety years with the Observantines. For forty of these years he lived on Mont Alverno, wearing neither cowl nor sandals--bareheaded and barefooted in the severest weather, and with the thinnest garments. If there were natures which craved more than this, the Church had learned either to utilize or to control them. Thus was organized the Order of the Strict Observance, better known as the
Platinæ Vit. Pauli II. (Ed. 1574, p. 308).--Rod. Santii Hist. Hispan. P. III. c.40 (R. Beli Rer. Hisp. Scriptt. I. 433).--Wadding. ann. 1371, No.14.--Ripoll IV. 22.
* Barbarano de' Mironi, Hist. di Vicenza, II.164-5.--Poggii Bracciol. Dial. contra Hypocrisim.
Recollects. The Conde de Sotomayor, of the noblest blood of Spain, had entered the Franciscan Order, and, becoming dissatisfied with its laxity, obtained from Innocent VIII., in 1487, authority to found a reformed branch, which he established in the wilds of the Sierra Morena. In spite of the angry opposition of both Conventuals and Observantines, it proved successful and spread permanently through France and Italy. An irregular and unfortunate effort in the same direction was made not long after by Matteo da Tivoli, a Franciscan whose thirst for supreme asceticism had led him to adopt the life of a hermit, with about eighty followers, in the Roman province. They threw off all obedience to the Order, under the influence of Satan, who appeared to Matteo in the guise of Christ. He was seized and imprisoned, and commenced to doubt the reality of his mission, when another vision confirmed him. He succeeded in escaping with a comrade, and lived in caves among the mountains with numerous disciples, illuminated by God and gifted with miraculous power. He organized his followers into an independent Order, with general, provincials, and guardians, but the Church succeeded in breaking it up in 1495, Matteo finally returning to the Conventuals, while most of his disciples entered the Observantines. *
In reviewing this history of the morbid aberrations of lofty impulses, it is impossible not to recognize how much the Church lost in vitality, and how much causeless suffering was inflicted by the theological arrogance and obstinate perversity of John XXII. With tact and discretion the zeal of the Fraticelli could have been utilized, as was subsequently that of the Observantines. The ceaseless quarrels of the Conventuals with the latter explain the persecutions endured by the Spirituals and the Fraticelli. Paoluccio was fortunate in finding men high in station who were wise enough to protect his infant organization until it had demonstrated its usefulness and was able to defend itself, but there never was a time, even when it was the most useful weapon in the hands of the Holy See, when the Conventuals would not, had they been able, have treated it as inhumanly as they had treated the followers of Angelo and Olivi and Michele da Cesena.
* Wadding. ann. 1481, No. 9; ann. 1487, No. 3-5; ann. 1495, No. 12.--Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dictionary, s. v. Recollects.
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