HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH*
THE MONASTIC ORDERS.
§ 61. The Revival of Monasticism.
Literature.—The Letters of Anselm, Bernard, Peter the Venerable, William of Thierry, Hildegard, etc.—Abaelard: Hist. calamitatum, his autobiography, Migne, 178.—Honorius of Autun: De vita claustrali, Migne, 172, 1247 sqq.—Bernard: De conversione ad clericos sermo, in Migne, 182, 853–59, and De praecepto et dispensatione, 851–953.—The Treatments of Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, etc., in their Summas.—Petrus Venerablis: De miraculis, in Migne, 189. Caesar of Heisterbach (ab. 1240): Dialogus Miraculorum, ed. by J. Strange, 2 vols. Col. 1851. Excerpts in German trans. by A. Kaufmann, 2 parts, Col. 1888 sq.—Thos. à Chantimpré (d. about 1270): Bonum universale de apibus, a comparison of a convent to a beehive. Excerpts in German by A. Kaufmann, Col. 1899; Annales monastici, ed. by Luard, 5 vols. London, 1865–69.—Jacobus de Voragine: Legenda aurea, English by W. Caxton (about 1470), Temple classics ed. 7 vols. London, 1890. — William of St. Amour (d. 1272): De periculis novissorum temporum in Denifle Chartularium Univ., Paris, vol. 1.
The Lives of Anselm, Bernard, William of Thierry, Francis, Dominic, Norbert, etc.—H. Helyot (Franciscan, d. 1716): Hist. des ordres monastiques, religieux et militaires et des congrégations séculières de l’une et de l’autre sexe qui ont été établies jusqu’ àprésent, 8 vols. Paris, 1714–19; Germ. trans., 8 vols. Leip. 1753–56. He gives a long list of the older authorities.—Mrs. Jamieson: Legends of the Monastic Orders, London, 1850.—A. Butler: Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, 12 vols. Dublin, 1868 sqq.—Sir William Dugdale: Monasticon anglicanum, ed. by J. Caley, etc., 8 vols. London, 1846. Based on the ed. of 1817.—T. D. Fosbroke: Brit. Monasticism, or Manners and Customs of the Monks and Nuns of England, London, 1803, 3d ed. 1845.—Montalembert: Les moins d’occident depuis St. Benoit jusqu’ à St. Bernard, Paris, 1860–77; EngI. trans., 7 vols. London, 1861 sqq.—O. T. Hill: Engl. Monasticism, Its Rise and Influence, London, 1867.—S. R. Maitland: The Dark Ages, ed. by Fred. Stokes, 5th ed., London, 1890.—Wishart: Short Hist. of Monks and Monasticism, Trenton, 1900.—E. L. Taunton: The Engl. Black Monks of St. Benedict, 2 vols. London, 1897.—A. Gasquet: Engl. Monastic Life, London, 1904, and since.—Hurter: Innocent III., vol. IV. 84–311.—J. C. Robertson: View of Europe during the Middle Ages, in introd. to his Life of Chas. V.—H. Von Eicken: Gesch. und System der mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung, Stuttgart, 1887.—A. Jessopp: The Coming of the Friars, London, no date, 7th ed., chap. Daily Life in a Med. Monastery, 113–166.—Harnack: Monasticism, Giessen, 1882, 5th ed. 1901, trans. by C. R. Gillett, N. Y., 1895.—Stephens: Hist. of the Engl. Church, chap. XIV. (Monastic Orders).—Hauck, III. 441–516, IV. 311–409.—Littledale: Monachism, ’in Enc. Brit.—Denifle: Luther und Lutherthum, Mainz, 1904 sq., draws in his treatment of monasticism, upon his great resources of mediaeval scholarship.
The glorious period of monasticism fell in the Middle Ages, and more especially in the period that is engaging our attention. The convent was the chief centre of true religion as well as of dark superstition. With all the imposing movements of the age, the absolute papacy, the Crusades, the universities, the cathedrals and scholasticism, the monk was efficiently associated. He was, with the popes, the chief promoter of the Crusades. He was among the great builders. He furnished the chief teachers to the universities and numbered in his order the profoundest of the Schoolmen. The mediaeval monks were the Puritans, the Pietists, the Methodists, the Evangelicals of their age.536 All these classes of Christians have this in common, that they make earnest with their religion, and put it into zealous practice.
If it be compared with the monachism of the earlier period of the Church, the mediaeval institution will be found to equal it in the number of its great monks and to exceed it in useful activity. Among the distinguished Fathers of the Post-Nicene period who advocated monasticism were St. Anthony of Egypt, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Benedict of Nursia. In the Middle Ages the list is certainly as imposing. There we have Anselm, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventura, Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus among the Schoolmen, St. Bernard and Hugo de St. Victor, Eckart, and Tauler among the mystics, Hildegard and Joachim of Flore among the seers, the authors of the Dies irae and Stabat mater and Adam de St. Victor among the hymnists, Anthony of Padua, Bernardino of Siena, Berthold of Regensburg and Savonarola among the preachers, and in a class by himself, Francis d’Assisi.
Of the five epochs in the history of monasticism two belong to the Middle Ages proper.537 The appearance of the hermit and the development of the eremite mode of life belong to the fourth century. Benedict of Nursia of the sixth century, and his well-systematized rule, mark the second epoch. The development of the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century marks the last epoch. The two between are represented by the monastic revival, starting from the convent of Cluny as a centre in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and the rise and spread of the mendicant orders in the thirteenth century. Cluny was for a century almost the only reforming force in Western Europe till the appearance of Hildebrand on the stage, and he himself was probably trained in the mother convent. Through its offshoots and allied orders Cluny continued to be a burning centre of religious zeal for a century longer. Then, at a time of monastic declension, the mendicant orders, brought into existence by St. Francis d’Assisi and Dominic of Spain, became the chief promoters of one of the most notable religious revivals that has ever swept over Europe.
The work done by men like William of Hirschau, Bruno and Norbert in Germany, Bernard and Peter the Venerable in France, and St. Francis in Italy, cannot be ignored in any true account of the onward progress of mankind. However much we may decline to believe that monasticism is a higher form of Christian life, we must give due credit to these men, or deny to a series of centuries all progress and good whatsoever.
The times were favorable for the development of monastic communities. If our own is the age of the laic, the mediaeval period was the age of the monk. Society was unsettled and turbulent. The convent offered an asylum of rest and of meditation. Bernard calls his monks "the order of the Peaceful." Feud and war ruled without. Every baronial residence was a fortress. The convent was the scene of brotherhood and co-operation. It furnished to the age the ideal of a religious household on earth. The epitaphs of monks betray the feeling of the time, pacificus, "the peaceful"; tranquilla pace serenus, "in quiet and undisturbed repose"; fraternae pacis amicus, "friend of brotherly peace."
The circumstances are presented by Caesar of Heisterbach under which a number of monks abandoned the world, and were "converted"—that is, determined to enter a convent. Now the decision was made at a burial.538 Now it was due to the impression made by the relation of the wonderful things which occurred in convents. This was the case with a young knight, Gerlach,539 who listened to an abbot who was then visiting a castle, as he told his experiences within cloistral walls. Gerlach went to Paris to study, but could not get rid of the seed which had been sown in his heart, and entered upon the monastic novitiate. Sometimes the decision was made in consequence of a sermon.540 Caesar of Heisterbach himself was "converted" by a description given by Gerard of Walberberg, abbot of Heisterbach, while they were on the way to Cologne during the troublous times of Philip of Swabia and Otto IV. Gerard described the appearance of the Virgin, her mother Anna, and St. Mary Magdalene, who descended from the mountain and revealed themselves to the monks of Clairvaux while they were engaged in the harvest, dried the perspiration from their foreheads, and cooled them by fanning. Within three months Caesar entered the convent of Heisterbach.541
There were in reality only two careers in the Middle Ages, the career of the knight and the career of the monk. It would be difficult to say which held out the most attractions and rewards, even for the present life. The monk himself was a soldier. The well-ordered convent offered a daily drill, exercise following exercise with the regularity of clockwork; and though the enemy was not drawn up in visible array on open field, he was a constant reality.542 Barons, counts, princes joined the colonies of the spiritual militia, hoping thereby to work out more efficiently the problem of their salvation and fight their conflict with the devil. The Third Lateran, 1179, bears witness to the popularity of the conventual life among the higher classes, and the tendency to restrict it to them, when it forbade the practice of receiving motley as a price of admission to the vow.543 The monk proved to be stronger than the knight and the institution of chivalry decayed before the institution of monasticism which still survives.
By drawing to themselves the best spirits of the time, the convents became in their good days, from the tenth well into the thirteenth century, hearthstones of piety, and the chief centres of missionary and civilizing agencies. When there was little preaching, the monastic community preached the most powerful sermon, calling men’s thoughts away from riot and bloodshed to the state of brotherhood and religious reflection.544 The motto aratro et cruce, "by the cross and the plough," stood in their case for a reality. The monk was a pioneer in the cultivation of the ground, and, after the most scientific fashion then known, taught agriculture, the culture of the vine and fish, the breeding of cattle, and the culture of wool. He built roads and the best buildings. In intellectual and artistic concerns the convent was the chief school of the times. It trained architects, painters, and sculptors. There the deep problems of theology and philosophy were studied; there manuscripts were copied, and when the universities arose, the convent furnished them with their first and their most renowned teachers. In northeastern Germany and other parts of Europe and in Asia it was the outer citadel of church profession and church activity.
So popular was the monastic life that religion seemed to be in danger of running out into monkery and society of being transformed into an aggregation of convents. The Fourth Lateran sought to counteract this tendency by forbidding the establishment of new orders.545 But no council was ever more ignorant of the immediate future. Innocent III. was scarcely in his grave before the Dominicans and Franciscans received full papal sanction.
During the eleventh and twelfth centuries the important change was accomplished whereby all monks received priestly ordination. Before that time it was the exception for a monk to be a priest. Extreme unction and absolution had been administered in the convent by unordained monks.546 With the development of the strict theory of sacerdotalism, these functions were forbidden to them, as by the ninth oecumenical council, 1123. The synod of Nismes, thirty years earlier, 1096, thought it answered objections to the new custom sufficiently by pointing to Gregory the Great, Gregory of Tours, and Augustine as cases of monks who had priestly ordination. On the other hand the active movement within the convents to take a larger part in the affairs of society was resisted by oecumenical councils, as, for example, the Second Lateran, 1139, which forbade monks practising as physicians or lawyers.
The monastic life was praised as the highest form of earthly existence. The convent was compared to Canaan547 and treated as the shortest and surest road to heaven. The secular life, even the life of the secular priest, was compared to Egypt. The passage to the cloister was called conversion, and the monks converts, conversi, or the religious.548 They reached the Christian ideal. Renouncing the vow was pronounced turning to the company of the lost, to the lion’s mouth, and to the realm of blackness and death.549
Bishop Otto of Freising speaks of the monks as, spending their lives like angels in heavenly purity and holiness. They live together one in heart and soul, give themselves at one signal to sleep, lift up as by one impulse their lips in prayer and their voices in reading.... They go so far, that while they are refreshing the body at table, they listen to the reading of the Scriptures.... They give up their own wills, their earthly possessions, and their parents, and, following the command of the Gospel and Christ, constantly bear their cross by mortifying the flesh, being all the while full of heavenly homesickness."550
The enthusiastic advocacy of the monastic life can only be explained by a desire to get relief from the turbulence of the social world and a sincere search after holiness. There is scarcely a letter of Anselm in which he does not advocate its superior advantages. It was not essential to become a monk to reach salvation, but who, he writes, "can attain to it in a safer or nobler way, he who seeks to love God alone or he who joins the love of the world with the love of God?"551 He loses no opportunity to urge laymen to take the vow. He appeals to his kinsmen according to the flesh to become his kinsmen in the Spirit.552
Bernard was not at peace till he had all his brothers and his married sister within cloistral walls.
Honorius of Autun, in his tract on the cloistral life,553 after declaring that it was instituted by the Lord himself, calls the convent a shore for those tired on the sea, a refuge for the traveller from the cold and anxieties of the world, a bed for the weary to rest on, an asylum for those fleeing from the turmoils of the state, a school for infants learning the rule of Christ, a gymnasium for those who would fight against vices, a prison career for the criminal from the broad way till he goes into the wide hall of heaven, a paradise with different trees full of fruits and the delights of Scripture.
The monastic life was the angelic life. "Are ye not already like the angels of God, having abstained from marriage," exclaimed St. Bernard, in preaching to his monks,554 and this was the almost universal representation of the age.
Kings and princes desired to be clad in the monastic habit as they passed into the untried scenes of the future. So Frederick II., foe of the temporal claims of the papacy as he was, is said to have died in the garb of the Cistercians. So did Roger II. of Sicily, 1163, and Roger III., 1265. William of Nevers was clad in the garb of the Carthusian order before he expired. Louis VI. of France passed away stretched on ashes sprinkled in the form of a cross. So did Henry, son of Henry II. of England, expire, laid on a bed of ashes, 1184. William the Conqueror died in a priory with a bishop and abbot standing by.555
It was the custom in some convents, if not in all, to lay out the monks about to die on the floor, which was sometimes covered with matting. First they rapped on the death table. Waiting the approach of death, the dying often had wonderful visions of Christ, the Virgin, and the saints. The imagination at such times was very vivid, and the reports which the dying gave on returning for a moment to consciousness seem to have been generally accepted.556
The miraculous belonged to the monk’s daily food. He was surrounded by spirits. Visions and revelations occurred by day and by night.557 Single devils and devils in bands were roaming about at all hours in the cloistral spaces, in the air and on foot, to deceive the unwary and to shake the faith of the vigilant. The most elaborate and respectable accounts of monks, so beset, are given by Peter the Venerable in his work on Miracles, by Caesar of Heisterbach, and Jacobus de Voragine. Caesar’s Dialogue of Miracles and Voragine’s Golden Legend are among the most entertaining storybooks ever written. They teem with legends which are accepted as true. They simply reflect the feeling of the age, which did not for a moment doubt the constant manifestation of the supernatural, especially the pranks and misdemeanors of the evil one and his emissaries.
Peter the Venerable gives a graphic picture of how these restless foes pulled the bedclothes off from sleeping monks and, chuckling, carried them to a distance, how they impudently stood by, making fun while the modest monastic attended to the necessities of nature,558 and how they threw the faithful to the ground, as at night they went about through convent precincts making "holy thefts of prayer."559 Peter tells a good story of a poor monk who suddenly saw before him an immense demon standing at his bedside, who with difficulty bore his weight with his wings. Two others appeared at once and exclaimed to the first, "What are you doing here?" "I can do nothing," was the reply, "on account of the protection which is given by the cross and the holy water and the singing of psalms. I have labored all night and can do nothing." The two replied, "We have come from forcing a certain Gaufrid to commit adultery and the head of a monastery to fornicate with a boy, and you, idle rogue, do something, too, and cut off the foot of this monk which is hanging outside his bed." Seizing a pickaxe which was lying under the bed, the demon struck with all his might, but the monk with equal celerity drew in his foot and turned to the back side of the bed and so escaped the blow. Thereupon the demons took their departure.560
It is fair to suppose that many of these experiences were mere fancies of the brain growing out of attacks of indigestion or of headache, which was a common malady of convents.561
The assaults of the devil were especially directed to induce the monk to abandon his sacred vow. Writing to a certain Helinand, Anselm mentions the four kinds of assault he was wont to make. The first was the assault through lust of the pleasures of the world, when the novice, having recently entered the convent, began to feel the monotony of its retired life. In the second, he pushed the question why the monk had chosen that form of life rather than the life of the parish priest. In the third, he pestered him with the question why he had not put off till late in life the assumption of the vow, in the meantime having a good time, and yet in the end getting all the benefits and the reward of monkery. And last of all, the devil argued why the monk had bound himself at all by a vow, seeing it was possible to serve God just as acceptably without a vow. Anselm answered the last objection by quoting Ps. 76:11, and declaring the vow to be in itself well pleasing to God.562
It is unfair to any institution to base our judgment of its merits and utility upon its perversions. The ideal Benedictine and Franciscan monk, we should be glad to believe, was a man who divided his time between religious exercises and some useful work, whether it was manual labor or teaching or practical toil of some other kind. There were, no doubt, multitudes of worthy men who corresponded to this ideal. But there was another ideal, and that ideal was one from which this modern age turns away with unalloyed repugnance. The pages of Voragine and the other retailers of the conventual life are full of repulsive descriptions which were believed in their day, and presented not only a morbid view of life but a view utterly repulsive to sound morality and to the ideal. A single instance will suffice. In the curious legend of St. Brandon the Irish saint, whose wanderings on the ocean have been connected with America, we have it reported that he found an island whereon was an abbey in which twenty-four monks lived. They had come from Ireland and had been living on the island eighty years when they welcomed St. Brandon and his twelve companions. In all this time they had been served from above every week day with twelve loaves of bread, and on Sabbaths with double that number, and they had the same monotonous fare each day, bread and herbs. None of them had ever been sick. They had royal copes of cloth of gold and went in processions. They celebrated mass with lighted tapers, and they said evensong. And in all those eighty years they had never spoken to one another a single word! What an ideal that was to set up for a mortal man! Saying mass, keeping silence, going in processions with golden copes day in and day out for eighty long years, every proper instinct of nature thus buried, the gifts of God despised, and life turned into an indolent, selfish seclusion! And yet Voragine, himself an archbishop, relates that "Brandon wept for joy of their holy conversation."563
Gifts of lands to monastic institutions were common, especially during the Crusades. He who built a convent was looked upon as setting up a ladder to heaven.564 Battle Abbey, or the Abbey of St. Martin of the Place of Battle, as the full name is, was built by William the Conqueror on the battle-field of Hastings and finally dedicated by Anselm, 1094. The Vale Royal in Cheshire, the last Cistercian home founded in England, was established by Edward I. in fulfilment of a vow made in time of danger by sea on his return from Palestine. He laid the first stone, 1277, and presented the home with a fragment of the true cross and other relics.
Most of the monastic houses which became famous, began with humble beginnings and a severe discipline, as Clairvaux, Citeaux, Hirschau, and the Chartreuse. The colonies were planted for the most part in lonely regions, places difficult of access, in valley or on mountain or in swamp. The Franciscans and Dominicans set a different example by going into the cities and to the haunts of population, howbeit also choosing the worst quarters. The beautiful names often assumed show the change which was expected to take place in the surroundings, such as Bright Valley or Clairvaux, Good Place or Bon Lieu, the Delights or Les Delices (near Bourges), Happy Meadow or Felix Pré, Crown of Heaven or Himmelskrone, Path to Heaven or Voie du Ciel.565 Walter Map, writing in the last part of the twelfth century, lingers on the fair names of the Cistercian convents, which, he says, "contain in themselves a divine and prophetic element, such as House of God, Gate of Salvation," etc.566
With wealth came the great abbeys of stone, exhibiting the highest architecture of the day. The establishments of Citeaux, Cluny, the Grande Chartreuse, and the great houses of Great Britain were on an elaborate scale. No pains or money were spared in their erection and equipment. Stained glass, sculpture, embroidery, rich vestments, were freely used.567 A well-ordered house had many parts,—chapel, refectory, calefactory, scriptorium for writing, locutorium for conversation, dormitory, infirmary, hospital.568 Not a single structure, but an aggregation of buildings, was required by the larger establishments. Cluny, in 1245, was able to accommodate, at the same time, the pope, the king of France, and the emperor of Constantinople, together with their retinues. Matthew Paris says Dunfermline Abbey, Scotland, was ample enough to entertain, at the same time, three sovereigns without inconvenience the one to the other. The latest conveniences were introduced into these houses, the latest news there retailed. A convent was, upon the whole, a pretty good place to be in, from the standpoint of worldly well-being. What the modern club house is to the city, that the mediaeval convent was apt to be, so far as material appointments went. In its vaults the rich deposited their valuables. To its protection the oppressed fled for refuge. There, as at Westminster, St. Denis, and Dunfermline, kings and princes chose to be buried. And there, while living, they were often glad to sojourn, as the most notable place of comfort and ease they could find on their journeys.
The conventual establishment was intended to be a self-sufficient corporation, a sort of socialistic community doing all its own work and supplying all its own stuffs and food.569 The altruistic principle was supposed to rule. They had their orchards and fields, and owned their own cattle. Some of them gathered honey from their own hives, had the fattest fish ponds, sheared and spun their own wool, made their own wine, and brewed their own beer. In their best days the monks set a good example of thrift. The list of minor officials in a convent was complete, from the cellarer to look after the cooking and the chamberlain to look after the dress of the brethren, to the cantor to direct the singing and the sacristan to care for the church ornaments. In the eleventh century the custom was introduced of associating lay brethren with the monasteries, so that in all particulars these institutions might be completely independent. Nor was the convent always indifferent to the poor.570 But the tendency was for it to centre attention upon itself, rather than to seek the regeneration and prosperity of those outside its walls.
Like many other earthly ideals, the ideal of peace, virtue, and happy contentment aimed at by the convent was not reached, or, if approached in the first moments of overflowing ardor, was soon forfeited. For the method of monasticism is radically wrong. Here and there the cloister was the "audience chamber of God." But it was well understood that convent walls did not of themselves make holy. As, before, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine had borne testimony to that effect, so now also did different voices. Ivo of Chartres (d. 1116) condemns the monks who were filled with the leaven of pride and boast of their ascetic practices and refers to such passages as 1 Tim. 4:8 and Rom. 14:17. The solitudes of the mountains and forests, he says, will not make men holy, who do not carry with them rest of soul, the Sabbath of the heart, and elevation of mind. Peter of Cluny wrote to a hermit that his separation from the world would not profit unless he built a strong wall against evil in his own heart, and that wall was Christ the Saviour. Without this protection, retirement to solitude, mortifications of the body, and journeyings in distant lands, instead of availing, would bring temptations yet more violent. Every mode of life, lay and clerical, monastic and eremitic, has its own temptations.
But prosperity was invariably followed by rivalry, arrogance, idleness, and low morals. If Otto of Freising gives unstinted praise to the cloistral communities, his contemporary, Anselm of Havelberg,571 condemns the laziness and gossip of the monks within and without the convent walls. Elizabeth of Schoenau and Hildegard of Bingen, while they looked upon the monastic life as the highest form of earthly existence, saw much that was far from ideal in the lives of monks and nuns.572 There is a chronique scandaleuse of the convents as dark and repulsive as the chronique scandaleuse of the papacy during the pornocracy, and under the last popes of the Middle Ages. In a letter to Alexander III., asking him to dissolve the abbey of Grestian, the bishop of the diocese, Arnulf, spoke of all kinds of abuses, avarice, quarrelling, murder, profligacy. William of Malmesbury,573 writing in 1125, gives a bad picture of the monks of Canterbury. The convent of Brittany, of which Abaelard was abbot, revealed, as he reports in his autobiography, a rude and shocking state of affairs. Things got rapidly worse after the first fervor of the orders of St. Francis and Dominic was cooled. Teachers at the universities, like William of St. Amour of Paris (d. 1270), had scathing words for the monkish insolence and profligacy of his day, as will appear when we consider the mendicant orders. Did not a bishop during the Avignon captivity of the papacy declare that from personal examination he knew a convent where all the nuns had carnal intercourse with demons? The revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1375), approved at the councils of Constance and Basel, reveal the same low condition of monastic virtue. Nicolas of Clemanges (d. 1440) wrote vigorous protests against the decay of the orders, and describes in darkest colors their waste, gluttony, idleness, and profligacy. He says a girl going into a convent might as well be regarded as an abandoned woman at once. It was true, as Caesar of Heisterbach had said in a homily several centuries before, "Religion brought riches and riches destroyed religion."574
The institution of monasticism, which had included the warmest piety and the highest intelligence of the Middle Ages in their period of glory, came to be, in the period of their decline, the synonym for superstition and the irreconcilable foe of human progress. And this was because there is something pernicious in the monastic method of attempting to secure holiness, and something false in its ideal of holiness. The monks crushed out the heretical sects and resented the Renaissance. Their example in the period of early fervor, adapted to encourage thrift, later promoted laziness and insolence. Once praiseworthy as educators, they became champions of obscurantism and ignorance. Chaucer’s prior, who went on the pilgrimage to the tomb of Thomas à Becket, is a familiar illustration of the popular opinion of the monks in England in the fourteenth century: —
"He was a lord full fat and in good point;
His eyen stepe and rolling in his head
That stemed as a fornice of a led;
His botes souple, his hors in gret estat,
Now certainly he was a sayre prelat.
He was not pale as a forpined gost;
A fat swan loved he best of any rost;
His palfrey was as broune as is a bery."
And yet it would be most unjust to forget the services which the monastery performed at certain periods in the history of mediaeval Europe, or to deny the holy purpose of their founders. The hymns, the rituals, and the manuscripts prepared by mediaeval monks continue to make contribution to our body of literature and our Church services. An age like our own may congratulate itself upon its methods of Church activity, and yet acknowledge the utility of the different methods practised by the Church in another age. We study the movements of the past, not to find fault with methods which the best men of their time advocated and which are not our own, but to learn, and become, if possible, better fitted for grappling with the problems of our own time.
§ 62. Monasticism and the Papacy.
Monasticism and the papacy, representing the opposite extremes of abandonment of the world and lordship over the world, strange to say, entered into the closest alliance. The monks came to be the standing army of the popes, and were their obedient and valorous champions in the battles the popes waged with secular rulers. Some of the best popes were monastic in their training, or their habits, or both. Gregory VII. was trained in the Benedictine convent on the Aventine, Victor III. proceeded from Monte Cassino, Urban II. and Pascal II. from Cluny, Adrian IV. from St. Albans. Eugenius III., the pupil of St. Bernard, continued after he was made pope to wear the shirt of the monks of Citeaux next to his body. Innocent III. wrote the ascetic work, Contempt of the World.575
One monastic order after the other was founded from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The organizing instinct and a pious impulse dotted Christendom with new convents or rebuilt old ones from Mt. Carmel to northern Scotland.576 Innocent III., after the manner in which the modern Protestant justifies the denominational distinctions of Protestantism, likened these various orders to troops clad in different kinds of armor and belonging to the same army. "Such variety, " he said, "does not imply any division of allegiance to Christ, but rather one mind under a diversity of form."577 So Peter of Blois writing to the abbot of Eversham said, that as out of the various strings of the harp, harmony comes forth, so out of the variety of religious orders comes unity of service. One should no less expect to find unity among a number of orders than among the angels or heavenly bodies. A vineyard bears grapes both black and white. A Christian is described in Holy Writ as a cedar, a cypress, a rose, an olive tree, a palm, a terebinth, yet they form one group in the Lord’s garden.578
It was the shrewd wisdom of the popes to encourage the orders, and to use them to further the centralization of ecclesiastical power in Rome. Each order had its own monastic code, its own distinctive customs. These codes, as well as the orders, were authorized and confirmed by the pope, and made, immediately or more loosely, subject to his sovereign jurisdiction. The mendicant orders of Sts. Francis and Dominic were directly amenable to the Holy See. The Fourth Lateran, in forbidding the creation of new orders, was moved to do so by the desire to avoid confusion in the Church by the multiplication of different rules. It commanded all who wished to be monks to join one of the orders already existing. The orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic, founded in the face of this rule, became the most faithful adherents the papacy ever had, until the Society of Jesus arose three centuries later.
The papal favor, shown to the monastic orders, tended to weaken the authority of the bishops, and to make the papacy independent of the episcopal system. Duns Scotus went so far as to declare that, as faith is more necessary for the world than sacramental ablution in water, so the body of monks is more important than the order of prelates. The monks constitute the heart, the substance of the Church. By preaching they start new life, and they preach without money and without price. The prelates are paid.579
Papal privileges and exemptions were freely poured out upon the orders, especially upon the Mendicants. They were the pets of the popes. They were practically given freedom to preach and dispense the sacrament in all places and at all times, irrespective of the bishops and their jurisdiction. The constant complaints and clashing which resulted, led to endless appeals of monasteries against the decisions of bishops, which flowed in a constant stream to Rome, and gave the members of the curia a rare chance to ply their trade.580 The convents, by their organization and wealth, and by the number of their constituents, who were free to go to Rome and spend an indefinite time there, were able to harass and to wear out the patience of their opponents, the bishops, or prolong the cases till their death.581
The riches, luxury,582 and power of the great convents became proverbial. In Lorraine and other parts of Europe they were the leading influence.583 Abbots often took precedence of bishops, just as the general chapters of the orders,584 made up of representatives from the farthest East to the Atlantic, were more imposing than the diocesan and even the provincial councils.
A little earlier than our period the abbot of Weissenburg was able to muster as many men as his diocesan bishop of Spires, and the three abbots of Reichenau, St. Gall, and Kempten, three times as many as the bishop of the extensive diocese of Constance.585 In the twelfth century the abbot of Fulda claimed precedence over the great archbishop of Cologne. Beginning with John XVIII. (1004–1009) the abbots were not seldom vested with the insignia of the episcopal office. The English abbots of St. Albans, Bardney, Westminster, and the heads of other English abbeys were mitred.586 They were great personages; they sat in oecumenical councils; the bells were rung as they passed; they engaged in the hunt, had their horses and armed retinues, and entertained on an elaborate scale. The abbot of St. Albans ate from a silver plate, and even ladies of rank were invited to share the pleasures of repasts at English abbeys.
Thus, by wealth and organization and by papal favor, the monastic orders were in a position to overshadow the episcopate. Backed by the pope they bade defiance to bishops, and in turn they enabled the papacy most effectually to exercise lordship over the episcopate.
In the struggle with the heretical sects the orders were the uncompromising champions of orthodoxy, and rendered the most effective assistance to the popes in carrying out their policy of repression. In the Inquisition they were the chief agents which the papacy had. They preached crusades against the Albigenses and were prominent in the ranks of the crusaders. In the work of bloody destruction, they were often in the lead, as was Arnold of Citeaux. Everywhere from Germany to Spain the leading Inquisitors were monks.
Again, in the relentless struggle of the papacy with princes and kings, they were always to be relied upon. Here they did valiant service for the papacy, as notably in the struggle against the emperor, Frederick II., when they sowed sedition and organized revolt in Germany and other parts of his empire.
Once more, as agents to fill the papal treasury, they did efficient and welcome service to the Holy See. In this interest they were active all over Europe. The pages of English chroniclers are filled with protests against them on the score of their exactions from the people.587 The pope treated the orders well, and in turn was well served by them. They received high favors, and they had the rare grace of showing gratitude.
The orders of this period may be grouped in five main families: the family which followed the Benedictine rule, the family which followed the so-called Augustinian rule, the Carmelites, the hermit orders of which the Carthusians were the chief, and the original mendicant orders,588 the Franciscans and Dominicans.
§ 63. The Monks of Cluny.
Literature.—See Lit. vol. IV, pp. 367 and 861; Mabillon: Ann. ord. S. Bened., III.-V., Paris, 1706–1708; Statuta Cluniacensia, Migne, 189, 1023–47.—Bernard et Bruel: Recueil des chartes de l’abbaye de Cluni, to 1300, 6 vols. Paris, 1876–93; Consuetudines monasticae, vol. I.; Consuet. Farfenses, ed. by Albers, Stuttgart, 1900. The consuetudines are statutes and customs which convents adopted supplementary to the Rules of their orders. These of Farfa, a convent in Italy, were taken down from Odilo of Cluny and enforced at Farfa.
The Lives of St. Bernard.—C. A. Wilkens: Petrus der Ehrwürdige, Leipzig, 1857, 277 pp.—M. Kerker; Wilhelm der Selige, Abt zu Hirschau, Tübingen, 1863.—Witten: Der Selige Wilhelm, Abt von Hirschau, Bonn, 1890.—Champly: Hist. de l’abbaye de Cluny, Mâcon, 1866.—L’Huillier: Vie de Hugo, Solesmes, 1887.—K. Sackur: Die Cluniacenser bis zur Mitte des 11ten Jahrhunderts, 2 vols. Halle, 1892–94.—H. Kutter: Wilhelm von St. Thierry, ein Representant der mittelalterlichen Frömmigkeit, Giessen, 1898.—Maitland: The Dark Ages, 1890, pp. 350–491.—Hauck, vol. III.—Art. Hirschau, in Herzog, VIII. 138 sqq.
The convent of Cluny,589 located twelve miles northwest of Mâcon, France, stood at the height of its influence in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Founded in 910 by Duke William of Aquitaine, and directed by a succession of wise abbots, it gained an eminence, second only to that of Monte Cassino among the monasteries of the West, and became the nursery of a monastic revival which spread over Europe from the Adriatic to Scotland.
No religious locality in the Latin church enjoyed a purer fame than Cluny. Four of its abbots, Odo, Majolus, Odilo, and Hugh, attained the dignity of canonized saints. Three popes were among its monks, Gregory VII.,590 Urban II. , and Pascal II., and the antipope Anacletus II. Gelasius II., driven from Rome, 1118, took refuge within its walls and died there lying on ashes and there was buried. The cardinals who elected Calixtus II., his successor, met at Cluny. Kings joined with popes in doing it honor.
The Cluniacs re-enforced the rule of St. Benedict in the direction of greater austerity. In Lorraine and Germany the Cluny influence began to be felt after the monastic reform, led by such men as Abbot Gerhard of Brogne in the tenth century, had run its course.591 Such monastic leaders as William, abbot of St. Benignus at Dijon, Poppo, abbot of Stablo and Limburg, and William of Hirschau represented the Benedictine rule and were in full sympathy with Cluny. Hirschau in the Black Forest became a centre of Cluniac influence in Southern Germany and one of the chief centres of intelligence of the age.592 Its abbot William, 1069–91, a vigorous disciplinarian and reformer, had received a thorough scholastic training at the convent of St. Emmeram, Regensburg. He was in correspondence with Anselm and visited Gregory VII. in Rome about the year 1075. The convent became a Gregorian stronghold in the controversy over the right of investiture. With the rule of Cluny before him William, in 1077, drew up a similar code for Hirschau, known as the Constitutiones Hirsaugienses, and introduced the white dress of the Cluniacs which gave rise to the sneer that the monks were cleansing their garments instead of their hearts.593 Under William the Conqueror the Cluniacs established themselves in England at Barnstaple. William thought so well of them that he offered to one of their number, Hugh, the supervision of the religious affairs of the realm. The second house in England was the important establishment, St. Pancras at Lewes, set up by Gundrada and the Earl of Warren, the Conqueror’s son-in-law, 1077.594 Bermondsey, Wenlock, and Thetford were other important houses. The Cluniac houses in England were called priories and their heads priors or deans.595 Hugo, who held the position of abbot of Cluny for sixty years, 1048–1109, was the friend of Gregory VII. and during his administration Cluny was visited by Urban II., one of Hugo’s disciples, after the adjournment of the synod of Clermont. Hugo began the erection of the great basilica in 1089, which was dedicated by Innocent II. in 1131. It was the next greatest church after St. Peter’s in the West.
Under Pontius, the seventh abbot, 1109–22, the current of decay ran deep and strong. The convent had become rich in lands and goods. The plain furnishings had been discarded for rich appointments, and austerity of habits gave way to self-indulgence. Papal favors were heaped upon Pontius, and Pascal, his godfather, sent him the dalmatic.596 Calixtus II. put his own ring on Pontius’ finger, gave him the right to exercise the prerogatives of cardinal, and the monks of Cluny the right to celebrate service with closed doors, while the interdict was in force in the diocese.
Pontius gave way completely to worldly ambition, and assumed the title of archabbot, which was the exclusive prerogative of the head of the convent of Monte Cassino. Charges were made against him by the bishop of Macon and, forced to resign, he set his face towards Jerusalem as a pilgrim. The pilgrimage did not arouse any feelings of submission, and on his return the deposed abbot made an effort to seize his former charge. He forced the convent gates and compelled the monks to swear him fealty. The sacred vessels of gold and silver were melted down and divided among the wild intruders. The devastation was then carried beyond the convent walls to the neighboring estates. The anathema was laid upon Pontius by Honorius II., and, summoned to Rome, he was thrown into prison, where he died, impenitent, 1126. This was one of the most notorious cases of monastic malversation of office in the Middle Ages.
Peter the Venerable had been elected abbot of Cluny during Pontius’ absence in the East and filled the office for nearly forty years, 1122–57. He was the friend of St. Bernard, one of the most eminent of the mediaeval monks and one of the most attractive ecclesiastical personages of his age. Born in Auvergne and trained in a Cistercian convent, he was only twenty-eight when he was made abbot. Under his administration Cluny regained its renown. In addition to the study of the Bible, Peter also encouraged the study of the classics, a course which drew upon him bitter attacks. He visited the Cluniac houses abroad in England and Spain.
On the tenth anniversary of his official primacy, Peter welcomed two hundred priors and twelve hundred and twelve members of the order at Cluny. Four hundred and sixty monks constituted the family of the mother house. No less than two thousand convents are said to have acknowledged the Cluniac rule, two of which were at Jerusalem and Mt. Tabor. In 1246 Peter introduced through a General Chapter seventy six new rules, re-enforcing and elaborating the Benedictine code already in force. 597 The use of meat was entirely forbidden except to the weak and infirm, and also the use of all confections made with honey, spices, and wine.
To the labors of abbot Peter added the activity of an author. He wrote famous tracts to persuade the Jews and Mohammedans, and against the heretic Peter de Bruys. His last work was on miracles,598in which many most incredible stories of the supernatural are told as having occurred in convents.
It was while this mild and wise man held office, that Abaelard knocked at Cluny for admission and by his hearty permission spent within its walls the last weary hours of his life.
During Peter’s incumbency St. Bernard made his famous attack against the self-indulgence of the Cluniacs. Robert, a young kinsman of Bernard, had transferred his allegiance from the Cistercian order to Cluny. Bernard’s request that he be given up Pontius declined to grant. What his predecessor had declined to do, Peter did. Perhaps it was not without feeling over the memory of Pontius’ action that Bernard wrote, comparing599 the simple life at Citeaux with the laxity and luxury prevailing at Cluny.
This tract, famous in the annals of monastic controversial literature, Bernard opened by condemning the lack of spirituality among his own brethren, the Cistercians. "How can we," he exclaims, "with our bellies full of beans and our minds full of pride, condemn those who are full of meat, as if it were not better to eat on occasion a little fat, than be gorged even to belching with windy vegetables!" He then passed to an arraignment of the Cluniacs for self-indulgence in diet, small talk, and jocularity. At meals, he said, dish was added to dish and eggs were served, cooked in many forms, and more than one kind of wine was drunk at a sitting. The monks preferred to look on marble rather than to read the Scriptures. Candelabra and altar cloths were elaborate. The art and architecture were excessive. The outward ornamentations were the proof of avarice and love of show, not of a contrite and penitent heart. He had seen one of them followed by a retinue of sixty horsemen and having none of the appearance of a pastor of souls. He charged them with taking gifts of castles, villas, peasants, and slaves, and holding them against just complainants.600 In spite of these sharp criticisms Peter remained on terms of intimacy with Bernard. He replied without recrimination, and called Bernard the shining pillar of the Church. A modification of the rule of St. Benedict, when it was prompted by love, he pronounced proper. But he and Bernard, he wrote, belonged to one Master, were the soldiers of one King, confessors of one faith. As different paths lead to the same land, so different customs and costumes, with one inspiring love, lead to the Jerusalem above, the mother of us all. Cluniacs and Cistercians should admonish one another if they discerned errors one in the other, for they were pursuing after one inheritance and following one command. He called upon himself and Bernard to remember the fine words of Augustine, "have charity, and then do what you will, "habe charitatem et fac quicquid vis.601 What could be more admirable? Where shall we go for a finer example of Christian polemics?
After Peter’s death the glory of Cluny declined.602 Six hundred years later, 1790, the order was dissolved by the French Government. The Hotel de Cluny, the Cluniac house in Paris, once occupied by the abbot, now serves as a museum of Mediaeval Art and Industry under the charge of the French government.603
The piety of Western Christendom owes a lasting debt to Cluny for the hymn "Jerusalem the Golden," taken from the de contemptu mundi written by Bernard of Cluny, a contemporary of Peter the Venerable and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.604
Jerusalem the Golden,
With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation
Sink heart and voice opprest.
I know not, oh, I know not
What social joys are there,
What radiancy of glory,
What light beyond compare.
§ 64. The Cistercians.
Literature.—Exordium parvum ordinis Cisterciensiae, Migne, 166. Exordium magnum ord. Cisterc., by Conrad of Eberbach, d. 1220; Migne, 185.—Manriquez: Ann. ord. Cisterc., 4 vols. Lyons, 1642.—Mabillon: Ann. ord. St. Benedict, Paris, 1706–1708.—P. Guignard: Les monuments primitifs de la règle Cistercienne, publiés d’après les manuscripts de l’abbaye de Citeaux, Dijon, 1878, pp. cxii. 656.—Pierre le Nain: Essai de l’hist. de l’ordre de Citeaux, Paris, 1696.—J. H. Newman: The Cistercian Saints of England, London, 1844.—Franz Winter: Die Cistercienser des nord-östlichen Deutschlands bis zum Auftreten der Bettelorden, 3 vols. Gotha, 1868–1871.—L. Janauschek: Origines Cisterciensium, Vienna, 1877.—B. Albers: Untersuchungen zu den ältesten Mönchsgewohnheiten. Ein Beitrag zur Benedictinerordensregel der X-XIIten Jahrhunderte, Munich, 1905.—Sharpe: Architecture of the Cisterc., London, 1874.—Cisterc. Abbeys of Yorkshire, in "Fraser’s Mag.," September, 1876.—Dean Hodges: Fountains Abbey, The Story of a Mediaeval Monastery, London, 1904.—Deutsch: art. Cistercienser, in Herzog, IV. 116–127; art. Harding, in "Dict. Natl. Biogr.," XXIV. 333–335; the Biographies of St. Bernard. For extended Lit. see the work of Janauschek.
With the Cluniac monks the Cistercians divide the distinction of being the most numerous and most useful monastic order of the Middle Ages,605 until the Mendicant Friars arose and distanced them both. They are Benedictines and claim the great name of St. Bernard, and for that reason are often called Bernardins in France. Two popes, Eugenius III. and Benedict XII., proceeded from the order. Europe owes it a large debt for its service among the half-barbarian peasants of Eastern France, Southern Germany, and especially in the provinces of Northeastern Germany. Its convents set an example of skilled industry in field and garden, in the training of the vine, the culture of fish, the cultivation of orchards, and in the care of cattle.606
The founder, Robert Molêsme, was born in Champagne, 1024, and after attempting in vain to introduce a more rigorous discipline in several Benedictine convents, retired to the woods of Molêsme and in 1098 settled with twenty companions on some swampy ground near Citeaux,607 twelve miles from Dijon. Here Eudes, duke of Burgundy,608 erected a building, which went at first by the name of the New Monastery, novum monasterium.
Alberic, Robert’s successor, received for the new establishment the sanction of Pascal II., and placed it under the special care of the Virgin. She is said to have appeared to him in the white dress of the order.609
Under the third abbot, Stephen Harding, an Englishman, known as St. Stephen, who filled the office twenty-five years (1110–1134),610 the period of prosperity set in. In 1113 Bernard with thirty companions entered the convent, and the foundation of four houses followed, 1113–1115,—La Ferté, Potigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond,—which continued to have a rank above all the other Cistercian houses subsequently founded.
New houses followed rapidly. In 1130 there were 30 Cistercian convents, in 1168, 288. A rule was framed forbidding the erection of new establishments, but without avail, and their number in the fourteenth century had risen to 738.611 The order, though never the recipient of such privileges as were dispensed to Cluny, was highly honored by some of the popes. Innocent III. showed them special favor, and promised them the precedence in audiences at Rome.612
The carta charitatis, the Rule of Love, the code of the Cistercians, dates from Harding’s administration and was confirmed by Calixtus II.—1119. It commanded the strict observance of the Benedictine Rule, but introduced a new method of organization for the whole body. In contrast to the relaxed habits of the Cluniacs, the mode of life was made austerely simple. The rule of silence was emphasized and flesh forbidden, except in the case of severe illness. The conventual menu was confined to two dishes. All unnecessary adornment of the churches was avoided, so that nothing should remain in the house of God which savored of pride or superfluity. The crosses were of wood till the statutes of 1157 allowed them to be of gold. Emphasis was placed upon manual labor as an essential part of monastic life. A novice at Clairvaux writes enthusiastically of the employment of the monks, whom he found with hoes in the gardens, forks and rakes in the meadows, sickles in the fields, and axes in the forest.613 In some parts they became large landowners and crowded out the owners of small plats.614 At a later period they gave themselves to copying manuscripts.615 Their schools in Paris, Montpellier (1252), Toulouse (1281), Oxford (1282), Metz, and other places were noted, but with the exception of Bernard they developed no distinguished Schoolmen or writers as did the mendicant orders.616 They were not given to the practice of preaching or other spiritual service among the people.617 The general chapter, 1191, forbade preaching in the parish churches and also the administration of baptism. The order became zealous servants of the pope and foes of heresy. The abbot Arnold was a fierce leader of the Crusades against the Albigenses.
Following the practice introduced at the convent of Hirschau, the Cistercians constituted an adjunct body of laymen, or conversi.618 They were denied the tonsure and were debarred from ever becoming monks. The Cistercian dress was at first brown and then white, whence the name Gray Monks, grisei. The brethren slept on straw in cowl and their usual day dress.
The administration of the Cistercians was an oligarchy as compared with that of the Cluniacs. The abbot of Cluny was supreme in his order, and the subordinate houses received their priors by his appointment. Among the Cistercians each convent chose its own head. At the same time the community of all the houses was insured by the observance of the Rule of 1119, and by yearly chapters, which were the ultimate arbiters of questions in dispute. The five earliest houses exercised the right of annual visitation, which was performed by their abbots over five respective groups. A General Council of twenty-five consisted of these five abbots and of four others from each of the five groups. The General Chapters were held yearly and were attended by all the abbots within a certain district. Those at remote distances attended less frequently: the abbots from Spain, every two years; from Sweden and Norway, every three years; from Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, and Greece, every four years; and from the Orient, every seven years. It became a proverb that "The gray monks were always on their feet."
The Cistercians spread over all Western Europe. The Spanish orders of Alcantara and Calatrava adopted their rule. The first Cistercian house in Italy was founded 1120 at Tiglieto, Liguria, and in Germany at Altenkamp about 1123.619 In England the order got a foothold in 1128, when William Gifford, bishop of Winchester, founded the house of Waverley in Surrey.620 Among the prominent English houses were, Netley near Southampton, founded by Henry III., Rivaulx, and Fountains,621 the greatest abbey in Northern England. In 1152 there were fifty Cistercian houses in England.622 Melrose Abbey, Scotland, also belonged to this order.
Of all the Cistercian convents, Port Royal has the most romantic history. Founded in 1204 by Mathilda de Garlande in commemoration of the safe return of her husband from the Fourth Crusade, it became in the seventeenth century a famous centre of piety and scholarship. Its association with the tenets of the Jansenists, and the attacks of Pascal upon the Jesuits, brought on its tragic downfall. The famous hospice, among the snows of St. Gotthard, is under the care of St. Bernard monks.
In the thirteenth century the power of the Cistercians yielded to the energy of the orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic. It was not a rare thing for them to pass over to the newer monastic organizations.623 In 1335 Benedict XIII. enacted regulations in the interest of a severe discipline, and in 1444 Eugenius IV. felt called upon to summon the General Chapter to institute a rigid reform. With the Reformation many of the houses were lost to the order in England and Germany. The Trappists started a new movement towards severity within the order. The French Revolution suppressed the venerable organization in 1790. The buildings at Citeaux, presided over by a succession of sixty-two abbots, are now used as a reformatory institution.
§ 65. St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
Virtus in pace acquiritur, in pressura probatur, approbatur in victoria, St. Bernard.624
Literature.—The Works of St. Bernard, ed. by Mabillon, 2 vols. Paris, 1667, reprinted with additions in Migne, 182–185, Engl. trans. by Saml. J. Eales, London, 1889, 2 vols.—Xenia Bernardina, a Memorial ed. by Cistercian convents of Austro-Hungary, 6 vols. Vienna, 1891. Leop. Janauschek: Bibliographia Bernardina, Vienna, 1891. The tract De consideratione, trans. by Bp. J. H. Reinkens, Münster, 1870.
Biographies.—Contemporary, in Migne, vol. 185: I. the so-called Vita prima, in six parts, by William of Thierry (while Bernard was still living), Gaufrid of Clairvaux, and Ernald, abbot of Bona Vallis; II. the Vita secunda, by Alanus of Auxerre; III. Fragments collected by Gaufrid; IV.—a Life, by John The Hermit, full of legendary materials.—Modern, by Neander, Berlin, 1813, 1848, 1868, new ed. with Introd. and Notes, by * S. M. Deutsch, 2 vols. Gotha, 1889. Engl. trans. London, 1843.—Ellendorf, Essen, 1837.—Abbé T. Ratisbonne, 2 vols. Paris, 1841, etc. Full of enthusiasm for Bernard as a saint.—* J. C. Morison, London, 1863; rev. ed. 1868, 1884. Cool and impartial.—Capefigue, Paris, 1866.—Chevallier, 2 vols. Lille, 1888.—Hofmeister, Berlin, 1891.—Eales (Rom. Cath.), London, 1891.—*Richard S. Storrs, 1892, stimulating and eloquent.—*L’Abbé E. Vacandard, 2 vols. Paris, 1895, 2d ed. 1897. A thorough study following a number of previous presentations in magazines and brochures.—J. Lagardère, Besançon, 1900.—Deutsch, art. Bernhard, in Herzog, II. 623–639. Also H. Kutter: Wilhelm von St. Thierry, ein Representant der mittelalterlichen Frömmigkeit, Giessen, 1898. For other literature see chapters, Mystical Theology and Hymns.
St. Bernard, 1090–1153, founder and abbot of the convent of Clairvaux, was the model monk of the Middle Ages, the most imposing figure of his time, and one of the best men of all the Christian centuries. He possessed a magnetic personality, a lively imagination, a rich culture, and a heart glowing with love for God and man. Although not free from what might now be called ecclesiastical rigor, he was not equalled by any of his contemporaries in services for the Church and man. "In his countenance," according to the contemporary biographer who knew him well, "there shone forth a pureness not of earth but of heaven, and his eyes had the clearness of an angel’s and the mildness of a dove’s eyes."625 There is no spotless saint in this world, and Bernard was furthest from claiming perfection, but he came as near the mediaeval ideal of ascetic holiness as any man of his century.626
In the twelfth century there were at least two other ecclesiastics of the first order of genius, Anselm and Innocent III. The former passed away a few years after the century opened. Innocent began his papal reign two years before it went out. Anselm has pre-eminence as a profound theological thinker and dialectician. Innocent ruled the world, as pope never ruled it before or since. Between the two fall the intellectual genius and activity of Bernard, combining some of the qualities of Anselm and Innocent. As a mystical theologian he is allied to Anselm, whose Meditations give him a high place in the annals of devotional literature. And Bernard was also a statesman, although he did not attain the eminence of Innocent and shrank from participation in public affairs which were so much to the taste of the great pope. Contemporary with himself was Peter Abaelard, whose brilliant mind won for him enviable fame as a teacher and thinker. But Abaelard never won the confidence of his own age, and is not to be compared with Bernard in moral dignity.
By preference a monk, Bernard figured, with almost equal prominence, in the history of the papacy, the Crusades, mysticism, monasticism, and hymnology. In the annals of monasticism, the pulpit, and devotional literature he easily occupies a place in the front rank. He was called the "honey-flowing doctor," doctor mellifluus. Twenty years after his death he was canonized by Alexander III. as "shining preeminently in his own person by virtue of sanctity and religion, and in the whole Church by the light of his doctrine and faith."627 Pius VIII., in 1830, admitted him to the select company of the doctors of the Church. Both Calvin and Luther, who ridiculed the Schoolmen as a body, held him in high regard.628
Bernard was descended from a noble family of Burgundy, and was born at Fontaines near Dijon. He was one of seven children, six of whom were sons. His mother, Aletha, like Nonna and Monica, was a deeply pious woman and planted in the son the seeds of religious faith.629 Carried away for a time with enthusiasm for scholastic learning, the son was overwhelmed, while on a lonely journey, with religious impressions, and, entering a chapel, resolved to dedicate himself wholly to God. He entered the convent of Citeaux, two of his brothers following him at once, and the rest later into the monastic life.
This was in 1113 that Bernard cast in his lot with the Cistercians, and the event proved to be an epoch in the history of that new community. His diet was bread and milk or a decoction of herbs.630 He devoted himself to the severest asceticism till he was reduced almost to a shadow, and his feet became so swollen from standing at devotions as almost to refuse to sustain his body. In after years, Bernard reproached himself for this intemperate self-mortification which unfitted his body for the proper service of the Lord. But his spirit triumphed over his physical infirmities.631 While he was engaged in work in the fields, it soared aloft to heavenly things. He studied the Scriptures and the Fathers. His writings betray acquaintance with the classics and he quotes Seneca, Ovid, Horace, and other classical writers. The works of nature also furnished him with lessons, and he seems to have approached the modern estimate of nature as an aid to spiritual attainment. "Thou wilt find," he wrote,632 "something greater in the woods than in books. The trees and rocks will teach thee what thou canst not hear from human teachers. And dost thou not think thou canst suck honey from the rocks and oil from the hardest stones!" This seems to lose its weight in view of what one of Bernard’s biographers relates. Bernard travelled the whole day alongside the Lake of Geneva, and was so oblivious to the scenery that in the evening, at Lausanne, he was obliged to inquire what they had seen on the journey. We are probably justified in this case in ascribing an ascetic purpose to the monkish writer.633
In 1115, in company with twelve companions, Bernard founded Clairvaux—Claravallis, Clear Valley—in a locality which before had been called Wormwood, and been the seat of robbers. William of St. Thierry, Bernard’s close friend and biographer, is in doubt whether the name vallis absinthialis came from the amount of wormwood which grew there or from the bitter sufferings sustained by the victims of the robbers.634 But he does not fail to draw the contrast between the acts of violence for which the place was once notorious, and the peace which reigned in it after Bernard and his companions set up their simple house. Then he says, "the hills began to distil sweetness, and fields, before sterile, blossomed and became fat under the divine benediction."635
In this new cloistral retreat Bernard preached, wrought miracles, wrote innumerable letters,636 received princes and high ecclesiastics. From there he went forth on errands of high import to his age. The convent soon had wide fame, and sent off many shoots.637
William of St. Thierry638 draws an attractive picture of Clairvaux, which at this long distance compels a feeling of rest. William says: —
I tarried with him a few days, unworthy though I was, and whichever way I turned my eyes, I marvelled and thought I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and also the old pathways of the Egyptian monks, our fathers, marked with the recent footsteps of the men of our time left in them. The golden ages seemed to have returned and revisited the world there at Clairvaux.... At the first glance, as you entered, after descending the hill, you could feel that God was in the place; and the silent valley bespoke, in the simplicity of its buildings, the genuine humility of the poor of Christ dwelling there. The silence of the noon was as the silence of the midnight, broken only by the chants of the choral service, and the sound of garden and field implements. No one was idle. In the hours not devoted to sleep or prayer, the brethren kept busy with hoe, scythe, and axe, taming the wild land and clearing the forest. And although there was such a number in the valley, yet each seemed to be a solitary.639
Here is another description by the novice, Peter de Roya, writing from Clairvaux:640 —
"Its monks have found a Jacob’s ladder with angels upon it, descending to provide help to the bodies of the monks that they fail not in the way, and also ascending, and so controlling the monks’ minds that their bodies may be glorified. Their song seems to be little less than angelic, but much more than human.... It seems to me I am hardly looking upon men when I see them in the gardens with hoe, in the fields with forks and rakes and sickles, in the woods with axe, clad in disordered garments—but that I am looking on a race of fools without speech and sense, the reproach of mankind. However, my reason assures me that their life is with Christ in the heavens."
Bernard, to whom monastic seclusion was the highest ideal of the Christian life, bent his energies to induce his friends to take the vow. Its vigils and mortifications were the best means for developing the two cardinal virtues of love and humility.641 His persistent effort to persuade his sister Humblina shocks our sense of what is due to the sacred ties of nature, but was fully justified by the examples of St. Anthony and Benedict of Nursia. Humblina was married to a husband of rank and had a family. When she appeared one day at Clairvaux, Bernard refused to go down to see her, for he had insisted before on her taking the veil and she had declined. Now she finally communicated to him the bitter cry, "If my brother despises my body, let not the servant of God despise my soul."642 Bernard then heeded and again called upon her to renounce the vanities of the world and lay aside the luxuries of dress and ornaments. Returning to her household, Humblina, after two years, and with her husband’s consent, retired to the convent of Juilly, where she spent the remainder of her days.
Bernard’s attack upon the conventual establishment of Cluny was born of mistaken zeal. If of the two men Peter the Venerable appears to much better advantage in that controversy, it was different when it came to the treatment of the Jews. Here Peter seems to have completely laid aside his mild spirit, while Bernard displays a spirit of humaneness and Christian charity far beyond his age. In the controversy with Abaelard, a subject which belongs to another chapter, the abbot of Clairvaux stands forth as the churchman who saw only evil in views which did not conform strictly to the doctrinal system of the Church.
Bernard was a man of his age as well as a monastic. He fully shared the feelings of his time about the Crusades. In 1128, at the Synod of Troyes, his voice secured recognition for the Knight Templars, "the new soldiery." The ignoble failure of the Second Crusade, which he had preached with such warmth, 1146, called forth from him a passionate lament over the sins of the Crusaders, and he has given us a glimpse into the keen pangs he felt over the detractions that undertaking called forth.643 The ill issue was not his fault. He himself was like Moses, who led the people towards the Holy Land and not into it. The Hebrews were stiff-necked. Were not the Crusaders stiff-necked also and unbelieving, who in their hearts looked back and hankered after Europe? Is it any wonder that those who were equally guilty should suffer a like punishment with the Israelites? To the taunt that he had falsely represented himself as having delivered a message from God in preaching the Crusade, he declared the testimony of his conscience was his best reply. Eugenius, too, could answer that taunt by what he had seen and heard. But, after all was said, it was a great honor to have the same lot with Christ and suffer being unjustly condemned (Ps. 69:9).
When, at a later time, Bernard was chosen at Chartres to lead another Crusade, the choice was confirmed by the pope, but the Cistercians refused to give their consent.644
In the reigns of Innocent II. and Eugenius III. Bernard stood very near the papacy. He did more than any other single individual to secure the general recognition of Innocent II. as the rightful pope over his rival, Anacletus II. He induced the king of France to pronounce in favor of Innocent. Bent on the same mission, he had interviews with Henry I. of England at Chartres, and the German emperor at Liége. He entertained Innocent at Clairvaux, and accompanied him to Italy. It was on this journey that so profound were the impressions of Bernard’s personality and miracles that the people of Milan fell at his feet and would fain have compelled him to ascend the chair of St. Ambrose. On his third journey to Rome, in 1138,645 Bernard witnessed the termination of the papal schism. In a famous debate with Peter of Pisa, the representative of Anacletus, he used with skill the figure of the ark for the Church, in which Innocent, all the religious orders, and all Europe were found except Anacletus and his two supporters, Roger of Sicily and Peter of Pisa. But an attempt, he said, was being made to build another ark by Peter of Pisa. If the ark of Innocent was not the true ark, it would be lost and all in it. Then would the Church of the East and the Church of the West perish. France and Germany would perish, the Spaniards and the English would perish, for they were with Innocent. Then Roger, alone of all the princes of the earth, would be saved and no other.646
Eugenius III. had been an inmate of Clairvaux and one of Bernard’s special wards. The tract de consideratione647 which, at this pope’s request, Bernard prepared on the papal office and functions is unique in literature, and, upon the whole, one of the most interesting treatises of the Middle Ages. Vacandard calls it "an examination, as it were, of the pope’s conscience."648 Here Bernard exhorts his spiritual son, whom he must address as "most holy father," and whom he loves so warmly, that he would follow him into the heavens or to the depths, whom he received in poverty and now beholds surrounded with pomp and riches. Here he pours out his concern for the welfare of Eugenius’s soul and the welfare of the Church under his administration. He adduces the distractions of the papal court, its endless din of business and legal arbitrament, and calls upon Eugenius to remember that prayer, meditation, and the edification of the Church are the important matters for him to devote himself to. Was not Gregory piously writing upon Ezekiel while Rome was exposed to siege from the barbarians! Teacher never had opportunity to impress lessons upon a scholar more elevated in dignity, and Bernard approached it with a high sense of his responsibility.649
As a preacher, Bernard excels in the glow of his imagination and the fervor of his passion. Luther said, "Bernard is superior to all the doctors in his sermons, even to Augustine himself, because he preaches Christ most excellently."650 In common with his other writings, his sermons abound in quotations from the Scriptures.651 They are not pieces of careful logical statement nor are they keen analyses of the states of conscience, but appeals to the highest impulses of the religious nature. His discourse on the death of his brother Gerard is a model of tender treatment652 as his address before Konrad was of impassioned fervor.653 The sermons on the Canticles preached within convent walls abound in tropical allegory, but also in burning love to the Saviour. One of the most brilliant of modern pulpit orators has said, "the constant shadow of things eternal is over all Bernard’s sermons."654 His discourses, so speaks his biographer Gaufrid, were congruous to the conditions of his hearers. To rustic people he preached as though he had always been living in the country and to all other classes as though he were most carefully studying their occupations. To the erudite he was scholarly; to the uneducated, simple. To the spiritually minded he was rich in wise counsels. He adapted himself to all, desiring to bring to all the light of Christ.655
The miraculous power of Bernard is so well attested by contemporary accounts that it is not easy to deny it except on the assumption that all the miraculous of the Middle Ages is to be ascribed to mediaeval credulity. Miracles meet us in almost every religious biographer of the Middle Ages. The biographer of Boniface, the apostle of Germany, found it necessary to apologize for not having miracles to relate of him. But the miracles of Bernard seem to be vouched for as are no other mediaeval works of power. The cases given are very numerous. They occurred on Bernard’s journeys in Toulouse and Italy, nearer home in France, and along the Rhine from Basel northward. William of St. Thierry, Gaufrid, and other contemporaries relate them in detail. His brothers, the monks Gerard and Guido, agree that he had more than human power. Walter Map, the Englishman who flourished in the latter years of Bernard’s life and later, speaks in the same breath of Bernard’s miracles and his eloquence.656 But what, to say the least, is equally important, Bernard himself makes reference to them and marvelled at his power. Miracles, he said, had been wrought of old by saintly men and also by deceivers, but he was conscious neither of saintliness nor of fraud.657 He is reported as recognizing his power, but as being reluctant to speak of it.658 In a letter to the Toulousans, after his visit in their city, he reminded them that the truth had been made manifest in their midst through him, not only in speech but in power.659 And appealing to the signs which had accompanied his preaching the Second Crusade, he speaks of his religious shrinking which forbade his describing them.660
These miracles were performed at different periods of Bernard’s life and, as has been said, in different localities. The bishop of Langres, a near relative, says that the first miracle he saw Bernard perform was upon a boy with an ulcer on his foot. In answer to the boy’s appeal, Bernard made the sign of the cross and the child was healed. A mother met him carrying her child which had a withered hand and crooked arm. The useless members were restored and the child embraced its mother before the bystanders.661 A boy in Charletre, ten years old, unable to move his head and carried on a pillow, was healed and shown to Bernard four years afterwards.
Sometimes Bernard placed his hand upon the patient, sometimes made the sign of the cross, sometimes offered prayer, sometimes used the consecrated wafer or holy water.662 In Milan many persons possessed with evil spirits were healed.663 As for the miracles performed on his tour along the Rhine from Constance and Basel to Cologne, when he was engaged in preaching the Second Crusade, Hermann, bishop of Constance, with nine others kept a record of them, declaring the very stones would cry out if they were not recorded.664 After a sermon at Basel, says Gaufrid, a woman, who was mute, approached Bernard and after he had uttered a prayer, she spoke. A lame man walked and a blind man received his sight.665 Thirty men, moved by the sight of Bernard’s healing power, accompanied him back from Germany to France to take the monastic vow.666
Abaelard and his pupil, Berengar, were exceptions to their age in expressing doubts about the genuineness of contemporary miracles, but they do not charge Bernard by name with being self-deceived or deceiving others. Morison, a writer of little enthusiasm, no credulity, and a large amount of cool, critical common sense, says that Bernard’s "miracles are neither to be accepted with credulity nor denied with fury."667 Neander recognized the superior excellence of the testimony,668 refused to pronounce a sentence denying their genuineness, and seeks to explain them by the conditions of the age and the imposing personality of Bernard as in the case of those possessed with evil spirits.669 A presumption against the miracles of Bernard, which can hardly be put aside, is the commonness of miracles in the mediaeval convent and in the lives of eminent men like Norbert, not to speak of the miracles wrought at shrines, as at the shrine of Thomas à Becket and by contact with relics. On the other hand, there are few mortal men whom miracles would so befit as Bernard.
Bernard’s activity was marked, all through, by a practical consideration for the needs of life, and his writings are full of useful suggestions adapted to help and ameliorate human conditions. He was a student by preference, but there were men in his day of more scholastic attainments than he. And yet in the department of speculative and controversial theology his writings also have their value. In his work on the Freedom of the Will670 he advocated the position that the power to do good was lost by sin, and prevenient grace is required to incline the will to holiness. In his controversy with Abaelard he developed his views on the Trinity and the atonement. In some of his positions he was out of accord with the theology and practice of the Roman Communion. He denied the immaculate conception of Mary671 and accepted foot washing as one of the sacraments. In his views on baptism he was as liberal as the most liberal of his age in declaring that baptism was not indispensable to salvation when the opportunity is not afforded.672
Severe at times as Bernard, the Churchman, from the standpoint of this tolerant age seems to be, the testimonies to his exalted moral eminence are too weighty to be set aside. Bernard’s own writings give the final and abundant proof of his ethical quality. It shines through his works on personal religion, all those treatises and sermons which give him a place in the front rank of the mystics of all ages.673
William of St. Thierry, himself no mean theological writer, felt that in visiting Bernard’s cell he had been "at the very altar of God."674 Joachim of Flore praised him in enthusiastic language and evidently regarded him as the model monk.675 The impression upon Hildegard, the prophetess of the Rhine, was the same.676 In his Memoir of St. Malachy, Bernard, as has been said, put, an image of his own beautiful and ardent soul."677 No one but a deeply religious character could have written such a life. Malachy, the Irish archbishop, visited Clairvaux twice and on the second visit he remained to die, 1148. Bernard wrote:—
"Though he came from the West, he was truly the dayspring on high to us. With psalms and hymns and spiritual songs we followed our friend on his heavenward journey. He was taken by angels out of our hands. Truly he fell asleep. All eyes were fixed upon him, yet none could say when the spirit took its flight. When he was dead, we thought him to be alive; while yet alive, we thought him to be dead.678 The same brightness and serenity were ever visible. Sorrow was changed into joy, faith had triumphed. He has entered into the joy of the Lord, and who am I to make lamentation over him? We pray, O Lord, that he who was our guest may be our leader, that we may reign with Thee and him for evermore. Amen."
Bernard’s sense of personal unworthiness was a controlling element in his religious experience. In this regard he forms a striking contrast to the self-confidence and swagger of Abaelard. He relied with childlike trust upon the divine grace. In one of his very last letters he begged his friend the abbot of Bonneval to be solicitous in prayer to the Saviour of sinners in his behalf. His last days were not without sorrow. His trusted secretary was found to have betrayed his confidence, and used his seal for his own purposes. William of St. Thierry and other friends had been passing away. Bernard’s last journey was to Metz to compose a dispute between bishop Stephen and the duke of Lorraine. Deutsch, perhaps the chief living authority on Bernard, says: "Religious warmth, Genialitaet, is the chief thing in his character and among his gifts."679 Harnack pays this tribute to him, that "he was the religious genius of the twelfth century, the leader of his age in religion."680 "Bernard," said Luther,—and he was not easily deceived by monkish pretension,—"Bernard loved Jesus as much as any one can."681 Ray Palmer has imparted to his version of Bernard’s hymn its original religious fervor,
Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss
which earth imparts
We turn unfilled to Thee again."
The encomium of Bernard’s early biographer Alanus is high praise, but probably no man since the Apostles has deserved it more: "The majesty of his name was surpassed by his lowliness of heart,"682
vincebat tamen sublimitatem nominis humilitas cordis.
§ 66. The Augustinians, Carthusians, Carmelites, and other Orders.
Among the greater orders which came into existence before 1200 are the Augustinians, the Premonstrants, the Carthusians, and the Carmelites.
1. The Augustinians were a distinct family from the Benedictines, followed the so-called rule of St. Augustine, and were divided into the canons regular of St. Augustine and the mendicant friars of St. Augustine.
The bodies of canons regular were numerous, but their organization was not compact like that of the stricter monastic orders.683 They were originally communities of secular clerics, and not conventual associations. They occupied a position between the strict monastic existence and an independent clerical life. Their origin can be assigned to no exact date. As early as the eleventh century a rule, ascribed to St. Augustine, appeared in several forms. It was professed by the clerical groups forming the cathedral chapters, and by bodies of priests associated with other churches of prominence.684 The various church services, as, for example, the service of song, and the enforced rule of celibacy, encouraged or demanded a plurality of clergymen for a church.
Moved by the strong impulse in the direction of conventual communities, these groups inclined to the communal life and sought some common rule of discipline. For it they looked back to Augustine of Hippo, and took his household as their model. We know that Augustine had living with him a group of clerics. We also know that he commended his sister for associating herself with other women and withdrawing from the world, and gave her some advice. But so far as is known Augustine prescribed no definite code such as Benedict afterwards drew up, either for his own household or for any other community.
About 750 Chrodegang, bishop of Metz, drew up a code for his cathedral chapter, whom he enjoined to live together in common,685 and here and there in Germany isolated communities of this kind were formed.
In the twelfth century we find many groups of clerics who adopted what began to be known as the rule of St. Augustine.686 Under Innocent III. organizations were formed by William Langlois of the Paris University, and others under the name canons regular to live distinctly under this code. Innocent IV.687 and Alexander IV., 1256, definitely recognized the rule.
The Augustinian rule established a community of goods. Even gifts went into the common fund. The clerics ate together and slept in one dormitory. They wore a common dress, and no one on returning his suit to the clothing room retained any peculiar right to it. The papal attempts to unite these groups into a close organization proved to be in vain.688 In England the Augustinian canons had charge of Carlisle cathedral.
The Augustinian hermits, or Austin friars, as they were called in England, were monastics in the true sense. They arose after the canons regular,689 adopted the rule of St. Augustine, and were mendicants. In the closing period of the Middle Ages they were addicted to preaching. To this order John of Staupitz and Luther belonged.690
The rule of St. Augustine was also adopted with modification by the Premonstrants, the Gilbertines of England,691 and other orders, and was made the basis by Dominic of his first rule.
2. The Premonstrants adopted the Augustinian rule, were called from their dress White Canons, and grew with great rapidity.692 They had houses from Livland to Palestine, and from Great Britain to Spain. Their founder, Norbert, born about 1080 in Xantes, on the Lower Rhine, was a great preacher and one of the most influential men of his age. Thrown from his horse during a storm, he determined to devote himself in earnest to religion. He gave up his position in the Cologne Cathedral and entered the Benedictine Convent of Sigeberg. Norbert then travelled about in Germany and France as a preacher of repentance,693 calling the people together by a sheep’s bell. With others like-minded with himself he settled, 1119, in the woods at Coucy, near Laon, France, giving the spot the name of Praemonstratum, or Prémontré, the designated field,694 with reference to his having been directed to it by a higher power. The order secured papal sanction 1126, and received, like other orders, special papal privileges. Innocent III. bespoke the special intercession of the Premonstrants as he did that of the Cistercians. The first rule forbade meat and eggs, cheese and milk. As in the case of the Cistercians, their meals were limited to two dishes. At a later date the rule against meat was modified. Lay brethren were introduced and expected to do the work of the kitchen and other manual services. The theological instruction was confined to a few prayers, and the members were not allowed to read books.695
Norbert in 1126 was made archbishop of Magdeburg and welcomed the opportunity to introduce the order in Northeastern Germany. He joined Bernard in supporting Innocent II. against the antipope Anacletus II. He died 1134, at Magdeburg, and was canonized in 1582. Peter the Venerable and Bernard of Clairvaux praised the order and Norbert himself as a man who stood near to God.696 Miracles were ascribed to him, but Abaelard ridiculed the claim.
The almost incredible number of one thousand houses is claimed for this order in its flourishing period. There was also an order of Premonstrant nuns, which is said to have numbered ten thousand women during Norbert’s lifetime.697 Their earliest settlement in England was at Newhouse, Lincolnshire, 1143. Norbert and Bruno, the Carthusian, were the only Germans who established monastic orders in this period.698
3. More original and strict were the Carthusians,699 who got their name from the seat of their first convent, Chartreuse, Cartusium, fourteen miles from Grenoble, southeast of Lyons. They were hermits, and practised an asceticism excelling in severity any of the other orders of the time.700 The founder, St. Bruno, was born in Cologne, and became chancellor of the cathedral of Rheims. Disgusted with the vanities of the world,701 he retired with some of his pupils to a solitary place, Saisse Fontaine, in the diocese of Langres, which he subsequently exchanged for Chartreuse.702 The location was a wild spot in the mountains, difficult of access, and for a large part of the year buried in snow. Bruno was called by Urban II. to Rome, and after acting as papal adviser, retired to the Calabrian Mountains and established a house. There he died, 1101. He was canonized 1514. In 1151 the number of Carthusian houses was fourteen, and they gradually increased to one hundred and sixty-eight. The order was formally recognized by Alexander III., 1170.
The first Carthusian statutes were committed to writing by the fifth prior Guigo, d. 1137. The rule now in force was fixed in 1578, and reconfirmed by Innocent XI., 1682.703 The monks lived in cells around a central church, at first two and two, and then singly.704 They divided their time between prayer, silence, and work, which originally consisted chiefly in copying books. The services celebrated in common in the church were confined to vespers and matins. The other devotions were performed by each in seclusion. The prayers were made in a whisper so as to avoid interfering with others. They sought to imitate the Thebaid anchorites in rigid self-mortification. Peter the Venerable has left a description of their severe austerities. Their dress was thin and coarse above the dress of all other monks.705 Meat, fat, and oil were forbidden; wine allowed, but diluted with water. They ate only bean-bread. They flagellated themselves once each day during the fifty days before Easter, and the thirty days before Christmas. When one of their number died, each of the survivors said two psalms, and the whole community met and took two meals together to console one another for the loss.706 No woman was allowed to cross the threshold. For hygienic purposes, the monks bled themselves five times a year, and were shaved six times a year.707 They avoided adornment in their churches and church dignities.708 They borrowed books from Cluny and other convents for the purpose of copying them.709 The heads of the Carthusian convents are called priors, not abbots. In its earlier history the order received highest praise from Innocent III. and Peter the Venerable, Bernard, and Peter of Celle. Bernard shrank from interrupting their holy quiet by letters, and lauded their devotion to God. So at a later time Petrarch, after a visit to their convent in Paris, penned a panegyric of the order.
In England the Carthusians were not popular.710 They never had more than eleven houses. The first establishment was founded by Henry II., at Witham, 1180. The famous Charterhouse in London (a corruption of the French Chartreuse), founded in 1371, was turned into a public school, 1611. In Italy the more elaborate houses of the order were the Certosa di San Casciano near Florence, the Certosa at Pisa, and the Certosa Maria degli Angeli in Rome.711
In recent times the monks of the Chartreuse became famous for the Chartreuse liqueur which they distilled. In its preparation the young buds of pine trees were used.
4. The Carmelites, or the Order of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Mt. Carmel, had their origin during the Crusades, 1156.712 The legend carries their origin back to Elijah, whose first disciples were Jonah, Micah, and Obadiah. Obadiah’s wife became the first abbess of the female community. Their history has been marked by much division within the order and bitter controversies with other orders.
Our first trustworthy notice is derived from Phocas, a Greek monk, who visited Mt. Carmel in 1185. Berthold of Calabria, a Crusader, made a vow under the walls of Antioch that in case the Christians were victorious over Zenki, he would devote himself to the monastic life. The prayer was answered, and Berthold with ten companions established himself on Mt. Carmel.713 The origin of the order became the subject of a violent dispute between the Carmelites and the Jesuits. The Jesuit Papebroch precipitated it in 1668 by declaring that Berthold was the founder. He was answered by the Carmelite Daniel714 and others who carried the origin back to Elijah. Appeal was made to Innocent XII., who, in 1698, in the bull redemptoris, commanded the two orders to maintain silence till the papal chair should render a decision. This has not yet been done.715
The community received its rule about 1208 from Albert, afterwards patriarch of Constantinople. It was confirmed by Honorius III., 1226. Its original sixteen articles gave the usual regulations against eating meat, enjoined daily silence, from vespers to tierce (6 P. M. to 9 A. M.), and provided that the monks live the hermit’s life in cells like the Carthusians. The dress was at first a striped garment, white and black, which was afterwards changed for brown.
With the Christian losses in Palestine, the Carmelites began to migrate westwards. In 1238 they were in Cyprus, and before the middle of the thirteenth century they were settled in far Western Europe. The first English house was at Alnwick, and a general chapter was held at Aylesford, 1246.
From the general of the order, Simon Stock, an Englishman (1245–65), dates the veneration of the scapulary,716 a jacket which he received from the Virgin Mary. It exempts, so the story runs, those who die with it on, from the fires of purgatory. Mary promised to go down to purgatory every Saturday, and release those who have worn it. The story is included in the Breviary,717 and was pronounced true and to be believed by all, by Benedict XIV. In 1322 John XXII., in obedience to a vision, issued the famous bull Sabbatina, which promised to all entering the order, deliverance from purgatory by Mary, the first Saturday after their decease.718
After the success of the Franciscans and Dominicans, the Carmelites, with the sanction of Innocent IV., adopted the practice of mendicancy, 1245, and the coenobite life was substituted for life in solitary cells. The rules concerning clothing and food were relaxed to meet the climatic conditions of Europe.
A division took place in the order in 1378. The wing, holding to the stricter rule as confirmed by Innocent IV., is known as the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance. Both wings have their respective generals. The Carmelite name most famous in the annals of piety is that of St. Theresa, the Spanish saint who joined herself to the Carmelites, 1533. She aided in founding seventeen convents for women and fourteen for monks. This new branch, the Barefoot Carmelites, spread to different parts of Europe, Mt. Carmel, Africa, Mexico, and other countries. The monks wear leathern sandals, and the nuns a light shoe.719
Of the other numerous monastic orders, the following may be mentioned. The Antonites, or Brothers of the Hospital of St. Antonius720 are named after the Egyptian hermit, St. Anthony. The founder, Gaston, prayed to St. Anthony for the deliverance of his son from a disease, then widely prevalent, and called St. Anthony’s fire, morbus sacer. The prayer was answered, and the father and his son devoted themselves to a religious life. The order was sanctioned by Urban II., 1095, and was intended to care for the sick and poor. In 1118 it received from Calixtus II. the church of St. Didier de Mothe, containing St. Anthony’s bones. In 1218 Honorius III. gave the members permission to take monastic vows, and in 1296 Boniface VIII. imposed on them the Augustinian rule. They had houses in France, Germany, Hungary, and Italy. It used to be the custom on St. Anthony’s day to lead horses and cattle in front of their convent in Rome to receive a form of blessing. 721
The Trinitarians, ordo sanctissima Trinitatis de redemptione captivorum, had for their mission the redemption of Christian captives out of the hands of the Saracens and Moors. Their founder was John of Matha (1160–1213). The order was also called the ordo asinorum, Order of the Asses, from the fact that its members rode on asses and never on horseback.722The order of Font Evraud (Fontis Ebraldi in Poitiers) had the peculiarity that monks and nuns were conjoined in associated cloisters, and that the monks were under the supervision of an abbess. The abbess was regarded as the representative of the Virgin Mary, and the arrangement as in conformity with the word of Christ, placing John under the care of Mary. A church built between the male and female cloisters was used in common. The order was founded by Robert d’ Abrissel (d. 1117), whom Urban II. heard preach, and commissioned as a preacher, 1096. Robert was born in Brittany, and founded, 1095, a convent at Craon. He was a preacher of great popular power. The nuns devoted themselves especially to the reclamation of fallen women.723 A special rule forbade the nuns to care for their hair, and another rule commanded them to shave their heads three times a year.724
The Order of Grammont, founded by Stephen of Auvergne, deserves mention for the high rank it once held in France. It enjoyed the special patronage of Louis VII. and other French sovereigns, and had sixty houses in France. It was an order of hermits. Arrested while on a pilgrimage, by sickness, Stephen was led by the example of the hermits of Calabria to devote himself to the hermit life. These monks went as far in denying themselves the necessities of life as it is possible to do and yet survive,725 but monks and nuns became notorious for licentiousness and prostitution.726
The Brothers of the Sack727 wore a dress of rough material cut in the shape of a bag. They had convents in different countries, including England, where they continued to have houses till the suppression of the monasteries. They abstained entirely from meat, and drunk only water. The Franciscans derisively called them Bushmen (Boscarioli). They were indefatigable beggars. The Franciscan chronicler, Salimbene,728 is sure Gregory X. was divinely inspired in abolishing the order, for "Christian folk were wearied and burdened with the multitude of beggars."
§ 67. Monastic Prophets.
St. Hildegard and Joachim of Flore.
Literature.—Hildegard’s works in Migne, vol. 197, and some not there given in Pitra: Analecta sacra. For a list see Preger: Geschichte der deutschen Mystik, I. 13–36.—Lives by Godefrid and Theodorich, contemporaries in Migne.—Dahl, Mainz, 1832.—Clarius, with translation of Hildegard’s letters, 2 vols. Regensburg, 1854.—Richaud, Aix, 1876.—J. P. Schmelzeis, Freiburg, 1897.—P. Franche, Paris, 1903.—Benrath, in Herzog, VIII. 71 sq.—Hildegard’s Causae et curae, ed. by Kaiser, Leipzig, 1903, is a sort of mediaeval manual of medicine.
Joachim’s published works, Liber concordiae novi et veteris Testamenti, Venice, 1519; Expositio in Apocalypsin and Psalterium decem chordarum, Venice, 1527. The errors of Joachim are given in Mansi, xxii. 981 and Denifle: Chartularium Univ., Par I. 272–275.—Salimbene: Chronicon, Parma, 1857; Coulton’s trans., London, 1906.—Luna Consentinus, d. 1224, perhaps an amanuensis: Synopsis virtutum b. Joach. in Ughelli, Italia sacra, IX. 205 sqq.—Gervaise: Hist. de l’abbé Joachim, 2 vols. Paris, 1745.—Reuter: Gesch. der Aufklärung, 1877, pp. 191–218.—Renan in Nouvelles études d’hist. rel., Paris, 1884, pp. 217–323.—*Denifle: Das Evangelium aeternum und die Commission zu Anagni, in Archiv für Lit.- und Kirchengesch., 1885, pp. 49–142. *Döllinger: Die Papstfabeln des Mittelalters, 2d ed. by J. Friedrich, Stuttgart, 1890; Engl. trans. of 1st ed. by H. B. Smith, N. Y., 1872, pp. 364–391.—*Artt: Joachim, in Wetzer-Welte by Ehrle, VI. 1471–1480, and in Herzog by Deutsch, IX. 227–232.—*E. Schott: Die Gedanken Joachims in Brieger’s Zeitschrift, 1902, pp. 157–187.
The monasteries also had their prophets. Men’s minds, stirred by the disasters in Palestine, and by the spread of heresy in Europe, here and there saw beyond the prevailing ritual of church and convent to a new era in which, however, neither hierarchy nor convent would be given up. In the twelfth century the spirit of prophecy broke out almost simultaneously in convents on the Rhine and in Southern Italy. Its chief exponents were Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth of Schoenau, and Joachim, the abbot of Flore.729 They rebuked the clerical corruption of their time, saw visions, and Joachim was the seer of a new age.
Hildegard (1098–1179), abbess of the Benedictine convent of Disebodenberg, near Bingen on the Rhine, was the most prominent woman in the church of her day.730 What Bernard of Clairvaux was to France, that, though in a lesser degree, she was to Germany. She received letters from four popes, Eugenius, Anastasius, Adrian, and Alexander III., from the emperors Konrad III. and Frederick Barbarossa, from Bernard and many ecclesiastics in high office as well as from persons of humble position. Her intercessions were invoked by Frederick, by Konrad for his son,731 and by Bernard. Persons from afar were moved to seek her aid, as for example the patriarch of Jerusalem who had heard that a "divine force operated in and through her."732 Her convent was moved from Disebodenberg to Rupertsberg and she finally became abbess of the convent of Eibingen.
Infirm of body, Hildegard was, by her own statement, the recipient of visions from her childhood. As she wrote to St. Bernard, she saw them "not with the external eye of sense but with the inner eye." The deeper meanings of Scripture touched her breast and burnt into her soul like a flame."733 Again she said that, when she was forty-two years old, a fiery light of great brightness, coming from the open heavens, transfused her brain and inflamed her whole heart and breast like a flame, as the sun lightens everything upon which his rays fall.734 What she saw, she saw not in dreams nor in sleep nor in a frenzied state nor in hidden places but while she was awake and in pure consciousness, using the eyes and ears of her inner man according to the will of God.735 Eugenius III., on a visit to Treves, 1148, investigated her revelations, recognized the genuineness of her miracles, and encouraged her to continue in her course.736 Bernard spoke of her fame of making known heavenly secrets through the illumination of the Holy Ghost.
It is reported by contemporaries of this godly woman that scarcely a sick person came to her without being healed.737 Her power was exerted in the convent and outside of it and upon persons of both sexes. People from localities as distant as Sweden sought her healing power. Sometimes the medium used was a prayer, sometimes a simple word of command, sometimes water which, as in one case, healed paralysis of the tongue.
As a censor of the Church, Hildegard lamented the low condition of the clergy, announced that the Cathari would be used to stir up Christendom to self-purification, called attention to the Scriptures and the Catholic faith as the supreme fonts of authority, and bade men look for salvation not to priests but to Christ.
She was also an enthusiastic student of nature. Her treatises on herbs, trees, and fishes are among the most elaborate on natural objects of the Middle Ages. She gives the properties of no less than two hundred and thirteen herbs or their products, and regarded heat and cold as very important qualities of plant life. They are treated with an eye to their medicinal virtue. Butter, she says, is good for persons in ill health and suffering from feverish blood and the butter of cows is more wholesome than the butter of sheep and goats. Licorice,738 which is mildly heating, gives a clear voice and a suave mind, clarifies the eyes, and prepares the stomach for the process of digestion. The "basilisca," which is cold, if placed under the tongue, restores the power of speech to the palsied and, when cooked in wine with honey added, will cure fevers provided it is drunk frequently during the night.739
A kindred spirit to Hildegard was Elizabeth of Schoenau, who died 1165 at the age of thirty-six.740 She was an inmate of the convent of Schoenau, not far from Bingen, and also had visions which were connected with epileptic conditions. In her visions she saw Stephen, Laurentius, and many of the other saints. In the midst of them usually stood "the virgin of virgins, the most glorious mother of God, Mary."741 When she saw St. Benedict, he was in the midst of his monkish host, monachalis turba. Elizabeth represented herself as being "rapt out of the body into an ecstasy."742 In the interest of purity of life she did not shrink from rebuking even the archbishop of Treves and from pronouncing the Apostolic chair possessed with pride and filled with iniquity and impiety. On one occasion she saw Christ sitting at the judgment with Pilate, Judas, and those who crucified him on his left hand and also, alas! a great company of men and women whom she recognized as being of her order.743 Hildegard and Elizabeth have a place in the annals of German mysticism.
Joachim of Flore,744 d. 1202, the monastic prophet of Southern Europe, exercised a wide influence by his writings, especially through the adoption of his views by the Spiritual wing of the Franciscan order. He was first abbot of the Cistercian convent of Corazza in Calabria, and then became the founder and abbot of St. John in Flore. Into this convent he introduced a stricter rule than the rule of the Cistercians. It became the centre of a new order which was sanctioned by Coelestin III., 1196.
Joachim enjoyed the reputation of a prophet during his lifetime.745 He had the esteem of Henry VI., and was encouraged in his exegetical studies by Lucius III. and other popes. After his death his views became the subject of conciliar and papal examination. The Fourth Lateran condemned his treatment of the Trinity as defined by Peter the Lombard. Peter had declared that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a certain supreme essence, quaedam summa res, and this, according to Joachim, involved a substitution of a quaternity for the Trinity. Those who adopted Joachim’s view were condemned as heretics, but Joachim and the convent of Flore were distinctly excepted from condemnation.746
Joachim’s views on the doctrine of the Trinity are of slight importance. The abbot has a place in history by his theory of historical development and his eschatology. His opinions are set forth in three writings of whose genuineness there is no question, an exposition of the Psalms, an exposition of the Apocalypse, and a Concord of the Old and New Testaments.747
Interwoven with his prophecies is Joachim’s theory of historical development. There are three ages in history. The Old Testament age has its time of beginning and bloom. So has that of the New Testament. But a third age is to follow. The basis for this theory of three periods is found in a comparison of the Old and New Testaments, a comparison which reveals a parallelism between the leading periods of the history of Israel and the periods of Christian history. This parallelism was disclosed to Joachim on an Easter night, and made as clear as day.
The first of the three ages was the age of the Father, the second the age of the Son, of the Gospel, and the sacraments, the third, the age of the Holy Spirit which was yet to come. The three were represented by Peter, Paul, and John. The first was an age of law, the second of grace, the third of more grace. The first was characterized by fear, the second by faith, the third was to be marked by charity. The first was the age of servants, the second of freedmen, the third of friends. The first brought forth water, the second wine, the third was to bring forth oil. The first was as the light of the stars, the second of the dawn, the third of the perfect day. The first was the age of the married, and corresponded to the flesh; the second of priests, with the elements of the flesh and the Spirit mixed; the third of monks, and was to be wholly spiritual. Each of these ages had a beginning, a maturity, and an end.748 The first began with Adam, and entered upon its maturity with Abraham. The second began in the days of Elijah, and entered upon its maturity with Christ. The third began in the days of St. Benedict in the sixth century. Its maturity had already begun in the days of Joachim himself. The consummation was to begin in 1260.
The Gospel of the letter is temporal not eternal, and gives way in the third period to the Eternal Gospel, Rev. 14:6. Then the spiritual meaning of the Gospel will be fully known. Joachim did not mean to deny the permanent authority of the two Testaments, when he put into his third period the full understanding of them, in the spiritual sense, and the complete embodiment of their teachings in life and conduct. The Eternal Gospel he described, not as a newly written revelation, but as the spiritual and permanent message of Christ’s Gospel, which is hidden under the surface of the letter. This Gospel he also called the Spiritual Gospel, and the Gospel of the Kingdom.749 It was to be preached in the whole earth and the Jews, Greeks, and the larger part of mankind, were to be converted. A spiritual Church would result,750 by which was meant, not a church separate from the papacy, but a church purified. The Eternal Gospel was to be proclaimed by a new order, the "little ones of Christ."751 In his Apocalypse, Joachim speaks of two prophets of this new order.752 This prediction was subsequently applied to Francis and Dominic.
It was in the conception of the maturition of the periods as much as in the succession of the periods that the theory of development is brought out.753 In the development of the parallels between the history of Israel and the Christian Church, Joachim discovered a time in each to correspond to the seven seals of the Apocalypse. The first seal is indicated in the Old Testament by the deliverance from Egypt, in the New by the resurrection of Christ; the second seal respectively by the experiences in the wilderness and the persecutions of the ante-Nicene Church; the third by the wars against the Canaanites and the conflict with heresy from Constantine to Justinian; the fourth by the peril from the Assyrians and the age lasting to Gregory III., d. 741 the fifth by the Babylonian oppression and the troubles under the German emperors; and the sixth by the exile, and the twelfth Christian century with all the miseries of that age, including the violence of the Saracens, and the rise of heretics. The opening of the seventh seal was near at hand, and was to be followed by the Sabbatic rest.
Joachim was no sectary. He was not even a reformer. Like many of his contemporaries he was severe upon the vices of the clergy of his day. "Where is quarrelling," he exclaims, "where fraud, except among the sons of Juda, except among the clergy of the Lord? Where is crime, where ambition, except among the clergy of the Lord?"754 His only remedy was the dawning of the third age which he announced. He waged no polemic against the papacy,755 submitted himself and his writings dutifully to the Church,756 and called the church of Peter the throne of Christ. He was a mystical seer who made patient biblical studies,757 and saw in the future a more perfect realization of the spiritual Church, founded by Christ, exempt from empty formalism and bitter disputes.
An ecclesiastical judgment upon Joachim’s views was precipitated by the Franciscan Gerardus of Borgo San Donnino, who wrote a tract called the Introduction to the Eternal Gospel,758 expounding what he considered to be Joachim’s teachings. He declared that Joachim’s writings were themselves the written code of the Eternal Gospel,759 which was to be authoritative for the third age, as the Old and New Testaments were authoritative for the ages of the Father and the Son. Of this last age the abbot of Flore was the evangelist.
When Gerard’s work appeared, in 1254, it created a great stir and was condemned by professors at Paris, the enemies of the Franciscans, William of St. Amour among the number. The strict wing of the Franciscans, the Spirituals, adopted some of Joachim’s views and looked upon him as the prophet of their order. Articles of accusation were brought before Innocent IV. His successor, Alexander IV., in 1255 condemned Gerardo and his book without, however, passing judgment upon Joachim.760 Gerardo and other Spirituals were thrown into prison, where Gerardo died eighteen years after. John of Parma was deposed from his office as head of the Franciscans for his Joachimism. The Franciscan chronicler Salimbene was also for a while a disciple of Joachim, and reports that the prophet predicted that the order of the Friars Minor should endure to the end while the order of Preachers should pass away.761 In 1263 a synod of Arles condemned the writings of Joachim. A century after Joachim’s death, the Franciscan Spirituals, John Peter Olivi and Ubertino da Casale, were identified with his views. The traces of Joachimism are found throughout the Middle Ages to their close. Joachim was the millenarian prophet of the Middle Ages.
§ 68. The Mendicant Orders.
For literature, see §§ 69, 72.
A powerful impulse was imported into monasticism and the life of the mediaeval Church by the two great mendicant orders,762 the Dominicans and the Franciscans, who received papal sanction respectively in 1216 and 1223. In their first period they gained equally the esteem of scholars, princes, and popes, and also the regard of the masses, though not without a struggle.763 Dante praised them; great ecclesiastics like Grosseteste welcomed their coming to England as the dawn of a new era. Louis IX. would have divided his body between them. But it has been questioned whether the good services which they rendered in the first years of their career are not more than counterbalanced by their evil activity in later periods when their convents became a synonym for idleness, insolence, and ignorance.
The appearance of these two organizations was without question one of the most momentous events of the Middle Ages,764 and marks one of the notable revivals in the history of the Christian Church. They were the Salvation Army of the thirteenth century, and continue to be powerful organizations to this day. At the time when the spirit of the Crusades was waning and heresies were threatening to sweep away the authority, if not the very existence of the hierarchy, Francis d’Assisi and Dominic de Guzman, an Italian and a Spaniard, united in reviving the religious energies and strengthening the religious organization of the Western Church. As is usually the case in human affairs, the personalities of these great leaders were more powerful than solemnly enacted codes of rules. They started monasticism on a new career. They embodied Christian philanthropy so that it had a novel aspect. They were the sociological reformers of their age. They supplied the universities and scholastic theology with some of their most brilliant lights. The prophecies of Joachim of Flore were regarded as fulfilled in Francis and Dominic, who were the two trumpets of Moses to arouse the world from its slumber, the two pillars appointed to support the Church. The two orders received papal recognition in the face of the recent decree of the Fourth Lateran against new monastic orders.
Two temperaments could scarcely have differed more widely than the temperaments of Francis and Dominic. Dante has described Francis as an Ardor, inflaming the world with love; Dominic as a Brightness, filling it with light.
The one was all seraphical in Ardor,
The other by his wisdom upon earth
A Splendor was of light cherubical.765
Neither touched life on so many sides as did Bernard. They were not involved in the external policies of states. They were not called upon to heal papal schisms, nor were they brought into a position to influence the papal policy. But each excelled the monk of Clairvaux as the fathers of well-disciplined and permanent organizations.
Francis is the most unpretentious, gentle, and lovable of all monastic saints.766 Dominic was cold, systematic, austere. Francis is greater than his order, and moves through his personality. Dominic was a master disciplinarian, and has exerted his influence through the rules of his order. Francis has more the elements of a Christian apostle, Dominic of an ecclesiastical statesman. Francis we can only think of as mingling with the people and breathing the free air of the fields; Dominic we think of easily as lingering in courts and serving in the papal household. Francis’ lifework was to save the souls of men; Dominic’s lifework was to increase the power of the Church. The one sought to carry the ministries of the Gospel to the masses; the other to perpetuate the integrity of Catholic doctrine. Francis has been celebrated for the humbleness of his mind and walk; Dominic was called the hammer of the heretics.
It is probable that on at least three occasions the two leaders met.767 In 1217 they were both at Rome, and the curia proposed the union of the two brotherhoods in one organization. Dominic asked Francis for his cord, and bound himself with it, saying he desired the two orders to be one. Again, 1218, they met at the Portiuncula, Francis’ beloved church in Assisi, and on the basis of what he saw, Dominic decided to embrace mendicancy, which his order adopted in 1220. Again in 1221 they met at Rome, when Cardinal Ugolino sought to manipulate the orders in the interest of the hierarchy. This Francis resented, but in vain,
It was the purpose neither of Francis nor Dominic to reform existing orders, or to revive the rigor of rules half-obeyed. It may be doubted whether Francis, at the outset, had any intention of founding an organization. His object was rather to start a movement to transform the world as with leaven. They both sought to revive Apostolic practice.
The Franciscan and Dominican orders differed from the older orders in five important particulars.
The first characteristic feature was absolute poverty. Mendicancy was a primal principle of their platforms. The rules of both orders, the Franciscans leading the way, forbade the possession of property. The corporation, as well as the individual monk, was pledged to poverty. The intention of Francis was to prohibit forever the holding of corporate property as well as individual property among his followers.768
The practice of absolute poverty had been emphasized by preachers and sects in the century before Francis and Dominic began their careers, and sects, such as the Humiliati, the Poor Men of Lombardy, and the Poor Men of Lyons, were advocating it in their time. Robert d’Abrissel, d. 1117, had for his ideal to follow "the bare Christ on the cross, without any goods of his own."769 One of the biographers of Bernard of Thiron, d. 1117, calls him "Christ’s poor man," pauper Christi, and says that this "man, poor in spirit, followed unto death the Poor Lord."770 Likewise the followers of Norbert, the founder of the Premonstrant order, were called the "poor men of Christ," pauperes Christi. Of another itinerant preacher, Vitalis of Savigny, who lived about the same time, his biographer said that he decided to bear Christ’s light yoke by walking in the steps of the Apostles.771 The minds of select men and classes of men were deeply moved in the thirteenth century to follow closely the example of the Apostles, and they regarded Christ as having taught and practised absolute poverty. Arnold of Brescia’s mind worked in the same direction, as did also the heretical sects of Southern France and Northern Italy. The imitation of Christ lay near to their hearts, and it remained for Francis of Assisi to realize most fully this pious ideal of the thirteenth century.772
The second feature was their devotion to practical activities in society. The monk had fled into solitude from the day when St. Anthony retired to the Thebaid desert. The Black and Gray Friars, as the Dominicans and Franciscans were called from the colors of their dress, threw themselves into the currents of the busy world. To lonely contemplation they joined itinerancy in the marts and on the thoroughfares.773 They were not satisfied with warring against their own flesh. They made open warfare upon the world. They preached to the common people. They relieved poverty. They listened to the complaints of the oppressed.774
A third characteristic of the orders was the lay brotherhoods which they developed, the third order, called Tertiaries, or the penitential brothers, fratres de poenitentia.775 Convents, like Hirschau, had before initiated laymen into monastic service. But the third order of the Franciscans and Dominicans were lay folk who, while continuing at their usual avocations, were bound by oath to practise the chief virtues of the Gospel. There was thus opened to laymen the opportunity of realizing some of that higher merit belonging theretofore only to the monastic profession. Religion was given back to common life.
A fourth feature was their activity as teachers in the universities. They recognized that these new centres of education were centres of powerful influence, and they adapted themselves to the situation. Twenty years had scarcely elapsed before the Franciscans and Dominicans entered upon a career of great distinction at these universities. Francis, it is true, had set his face against learning, and said that demons had more knowledge of the stars than men could have. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. To a novice he said, "If you have a psaltery, you will want a breviary; and if you have a breviary, you will sit on a high chair like a prelate, and say to your brother, ’Bring me a breviary.’ " To another he said, "The time of tribulation will come when books will be useless and be thrown away."776 But from Alexander IV. and his successors the Franciscans received special privileges for establishing schools, and, in spite of vigorous opposition, both orders gained entrance to the University of Paris. The Dominicans led the way, and established themselves very early at the seats of the two great continental universities, Paris and Bologna.777 Their convent at Paris, St. Jacques, established in 1217, they turned into a theological school. Carrying letters of recommendation from Honorius III., they were at first well received by the authorities of the university. The Franciscans established their convent in Paris, 1230. Both orders received from the chancellor of Paris license to confer degrees, but their arrogance and refusal to submit to the university regulations soon brought on bitter opposition. The popes took their part, and Alexander IV.778 commanded the authorities to receive them to the faculty. Compliance with this bull was exceedingly distasteful, for the friars acknowledged the supreme authority of a foreign body. The populace of Paris and the students hooted them on the streets and pelted them with missiles. It seemed to Humbert, the general of the Dominicans, as if Satan, Leviathan, and Belial had broken loose and agreed to beset the friars round about and destroy, if possible, the fruitful olive which Dominic, of most glorious memory, had planted in the field of the Church.779 In 1257 Alexander IV. could congratulate all parties that tranquillity had been established.780
At Paris and Oxford, Cologne, and other universities, they furnished the greatest of the Schoolmen. Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, Durandus, were Dominicans; John of St. Giles, Alexander Hales, Adam Marsh, Bonaventura, Duns Scotus, Ockham, and Roger Bacon were of the order of St. Francis. Among other distinguished Franciscans of the Middle Ages were the exegete Nicolas of Lyra, the preachers Anthony of Padua, David of Augsburg, Bernardino of Siena, and Bertholdt of Regensburg (d. 1272); the missionaries, Rubruquis and John of Monte Corvino; the hymn-writers, Thomas of Celano and Jacopone da Todi. Among Dominicans were the mystics, Eckhart and Tauler, Las Casas, the missionary of Mexico, and Savonarola.
The fifth notable feature was the immediate subjection of the two orders to the Apostolic see. The Franciscans and Dominicans were the first monastic bodies to vow allegiance directly to the pope. No bishop, abbot, or general chapter intervened between them and him. The two orders became his bodyguard and proved themselves to be the bulwark of the papacy. Such organized support the papacy had never had before. The legend represents Innocent III. as having seen in a vision the structure of the Lateran supported by two monks.781 These were Francis and Dominic, and the facts of history justified the invention. They helped the pope to establish his authority over the bishops.782 And wherever they went, and they were omnipresent in Europe, they made it their business to propound the principle of the supremacy of the Holy See over princes and nations and were active in strengthening this supremacy. In the struggle of the empire with the papacy, they became the persistent enemies of Frederick II. who, as early as 1229, banished the Franciscans from Naples. When Gregory IX. excommunicated Frederick in 1239, he confided to the Franciscans the duty of publishing the decree amidst the ringing of bells on every Sunday and festival day. And when, in 1245, Innocent IV. issued his decree against Frederick, its announcement to the public ear was confided to the Dominicans.
Favor followed favor from the Roman court. In 1222 Honorius III. granted, first to the Dominicans and then to the Franciscans, the notable privilege of conducting services in their churches in localities where the interdict was in force.783 Francis’ will, exhorting his followers not to seek favors from the pope, was set aside. In 1227 Gregory IX. granted his order the right of general burial in their churches784 and a year later repeated the privilege conceded by Honorius785 granting them the right of celebrating mass in all their oratories and churches.786 They were exempted from episcopal authority and might hear confessions at any place. The powerful Gregory IX. from the very beginning of his pontificate, showed the orders great favor.787
Orthodoxy had no more zealous champions than the Franciscans and Dominicans. They excelled all other orders as promoters of religious persecution and hunters of heretics. In Southern France they wiped out the stain of heresy with the streams of blood which flowed from the victims of their crusading fanaticism. They were the leading instruments of the Inquisition. Torquemada was a Dominican, and so was Konrad of Marburg. As early as 1232 Gregory IX. confided the execution of the Inquisition to the Dominicans, but the order of Francis demanded and secured a share in the gruesome work. Under the lead of Duns Scotus the Franciscans became the unflagging champions of the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary which was pronounced a dogma in 1854, as later the Jesuits became the unflagging champions of the dogma of papal infallibility.
The rapid growth of the two orders in number and influence was accompanied by bitter rivalry. The disputes between them were so violent that in 1255 their respective generals had to call upon their monks to avoid strife. The papal privileges were a bone of contention, one order being constantly suspicious lest the other should enjoy more favor at the hand of the pope than itself.
Their abuse of power called forth papal briefs restricting their privileges. Innocent IV. in 1254, in what is known among the orders as the "terrible bull,"788 revoked the permission allowing them to admit others than members of the orders to their services on festivals and Sundays and also the privilege of hearing confession except as the parochial priest gave his consent. Innocent, however, was no sooner in his grave than his successor, Alexander IV., announced himself as the friend of the orders, and the old privileges were renewed.
The pretensions of the mendicant friars soon became unbearable to the church at large. They intruded themselves into every parish and incurred the bitter hostility of the secular clergy whose rights they usurped, exercising with free hand the privilege of hearing confessions and granting absolution. It was not praise that Chaucer intended when he said of the Franciscan in his Canterbury Tales,—He was an easy man to give penance.
These monks also delayed a thorough reformation of the Church. They were at first reformers themselves and offered an offset to the Cathari and the Poor Men of Lyons by their Apostolic self-denial and popular sympathies. But they degenerated into obstinate obstructors of progress in theology and civilization. From being the advocates of learning, they became the props of popular ignorance. The virtue of poverty was made the cloak for vulgar idleness and mendicancy for insolence.
These changes set in long before the century closed in which the two orders had their birth. Bishops opposed them. The secular clergy complained of them. The universities ridiculed and denounced them for their mock piety and vices. William of St. Amour took the lead in the opposition in Paris. His sharp pen compared the mendicants to the Pharisees and Scribes and declared that Christ and his Apostles did not go around begging. To work was more scriptural than to beg.789 They were hypocrites and it remained for the bishops to purge their dioceses of them. Again and again, in after years, did clergy, bishops, and princes appeal to the popes against their intrusive insolence, but, as a rule, the popes were on their side.
The time came in the early part of the fifteenth century when the great teacher Gerson, in a public sermon, enumerated as the four persecutors of the Church, tyrants, heretics, antichrist, and the Mendicants.790
§ 69. Franciscan Literature.
I. St. Francis: Works in Latin text, ed. by Wadding, Antwerp, 1623, by de la Haye, Paris, 1841, Col., 1849, Paris, 1880-Quaracchi, 1904.—Bernardo da Fivizzano: Oposcoli di S. Fr. d’Assise, Florence, 1880. Gives the Latin text and Ital. trans., the Rule of 1223, St. Francis’ will, letters, etc.—French trans. by Ed. d’Alencon: Les Opuscules de S. François, Paris, 1905.—H. Böhmer: Analekten zur Gesch. des Franc. von Assisi, Francisci opuscula, regula poenitentium, etc., mit einer Einleittung, Tübingen, 1904.—Writings of St. Francis of Assisi, trans. by Father Paschal Robinson, Phil., 1906.
Lives.—1. Thomas of Celano: Vita prima, written 1228 at the command of Gregory IX., to justify the canonization of Francis, Rome, 1880.—2. Th. of Celano: Vita secunda, written about 1247 and revealing the struggles within the Franciscan order, ed. by Fivizzano, Rome, 1880. Both lives ed. by H. G. Rosedale: Thomas de Celano, St. F. d’Assisi with a crit. Introd. containing a description with every extant version in the original Latin, N. Y., 1904. Also Ed. d’Alençon: Th. a Celano, S. Franc. Assisiensis vita et miracula, etc., pp. lxxxvii, 481, Rome, 1906.—Fr. of Assisi according to Th. of Celano. His descriptions of the Seraphic Father, 1229–1257, Introd. by H. G. Rosedale, Lond., 1904.—3. Legenda trium sociorum, the Legend of the Three Companions, Leo, Angelo, and Rufino, intimate associates of Francis. Written in 1246 and first publ. in full by the Bollandists as an appendix to Celano’s Lives, Louvaine, 1768, Rome, 1880. It has been preserved in a mutilated condition. The disputes within the order account for the expurgation of parts to suit the lax or papal wing.—4. Speculum perfectionis seu S. Francesci Assisiensis legenda antiquissima, auctore fratre Leone, nunc primum edidit, Paul Sabatier, Paris, 1898; also ed. by Ed. Lemmens, Quaracchi, 1901. Sabatier dates it 1227. Eng. trans. by Constance, Countess de la Warr, Lond., 1902. See note below.—5. Legenda major, or Aurea legenda major, by Bonaventura, in Peltier’s ed., and Quaracchi, 1898, Engl. trans., Douai, 1610, and by Miss Lockhart with Pref. by Card. Manning, Lond., 3d ed., 1889. Written in obedience to the order of the Franciscan Chapter and approved by it at Pisa, 1263. Here the legendary element is greatly enlarged. Once treated as the chief authority, it is now relegated to a subordinate place, as it suppresses the distinctive element represented by Francis’ will.—6. Liber conformitatum, by Bartholomew Albericus of Pisa, d. 1401. Institutes forty comparisons between Francis and Christ. Luther called it der Barfussmönche Eulenspiegel und Alkoran, The owls’ looking-glass and Koran of the Barefoot monks.—7. Actus B. Francesci et sociorum ejus, ed. Sabatier, Paris, 1902. A collection of sayings and acts of Francis, handed down from eye-witnesses and others, hitherto unpubl. and to be dated not later than 1328.—8. Legenda of Julian of Spires. About 1230.—9. Legenda of Bernard of Bess, publ. in the Analecta Franciscana III., Quaracchi, near Florence. A compilation.—10. Francisci beati sacrum commercium cum domina paupertate, with an Ital. trans. by Ed. d’Alençon, Rome, 1900. Engl. trans., The Lady Poverty, by Montgomery Carmichael, N. Y., 1902. Goes back, at least, to the 13th century, as Ubertino da Casale was acquainted with it.—11. The Fioretti, or Little Flowers of St. Francis, first publ., 1476, ed. Sabatier, Paris, 1902, pp. xvi., 250. Engl. trans. by Abby L. Alger, Boston, 1887, and Woodroffe, London, 1905. Belongs to the 14th century. A collection of legends very popular in Italy. Sabatier says none of them are genuine, but that they perfectly reveal the soul of St. Francis,—12. Fratris Fr. Bartholi de Assisio Tractatus de indulgentia S. Mariae de Portiuncula, ed. Sabatier, Paris, 1900. Belongs to the 14th century. See Lit.-zeitung, 1901, 110 sqq.—13. Regula antiqua fratrum et sororum de poenitentia seu tertii ordinis S. Francisci, nunc primum ed., Sabatier, Paris, 1901. See S. Minocchi: La Leggenda antica. Nuova fonte biogr. di S. Francesco d’Assisi tratto da un codice Vaticana, Florence, 1905, pp. 184. Unfavorably noticed by Lempp, in Lit.-zeitung, 1906, p. 509, who says that the contents of the MS. were for the most part drawn from the Speculum perfectionis.
Modern Biographies.—By Chavin De Malan, Paris, 1841, 2d ed., 1845.—K. Hase, Leip. 1856, 2d ed., 1892. First crit. biog.—Mrs. Oliphant, Lond., 1870.—Magliano, 2 vols., Rome, 1874, Eng. trans., N. Y., 1887.—L. de Chérancé, Paris, 1892, Engl. trans., 1901.—Henry Thode, Berlin, 1885, 1904.—*Paul Sabatier, a Protestant pastor: Vie de S. François d’Assise, Paris, 1894. 33d ed., 1906. Crowned by the French Academy. Engl. trans. by L. S. Houghton, N. Y., 1894. I use the 27th ed.—W. J. Knox-Little, Lond., 1896.—P. Doreau, Paris, 1903, p. 648.—A. Barine: S. Fr. d’Assisi et le légende des trois Compagnons, Paris, 1901.—J. Herkless: Francis and Dominic, N. Y., 1904.—H. v. Redern, Schwerin, 1905.—*G. Schnürer: Franz von Assisi. Die Vertiefung des religiösen Lebens im Abendlande zur Zeit der Kreuzzüge, Munich, 1905.—Nino Tamassia: S. Francesco d’Assisi e la sua leggenda, Padua, 1906, p. 216.—F. Van Ortroy: Julien de Spire, biographe de St. François, Brussels, 1890.—J. E. Weis: Julian von Speier, d. 1285, Munich, 1900.—Ed. Lempp: Frère Elie de Cortona, Paris, 1901.—H. Tilemann: Speculum perfectionis und Legenda trium sociorum, Ein Beitrag zur Quellenkritik der Gesch. des hl. Franz. von Assisi, Leip. 1902.—Potthast: Bibl. Hist., II. 1319 sqq. gives a list of ninety biographies. For further Lit. see Zöckler in Herzog, VI. 197–222, and "Engl. Hist. Rev." 1903, 165 sqq., for a list and critical estimate of the lit., W. Goetz: Die Quellen zur Gesch. des hl. Franz von Assisi, Gotha, 1904. First published in Brieger’s Zeitschrift and reviewed in Lit.-zeitung, 1905, pp. 8–10.
II. The Franciscans: Earliest Chronicles.—Jordanus Da Giano: de primitivorum fratrum in Teutoniam missorum conversatione et vita memorabilia, for the years 1207–1238, in Analecta Franciscana, pp. 1–19.—Thomas of Eccleston, a Franciscan: de adventu Minorum in Angliam, 1224–1250 in the Analecta Franciscana and best in Monumenta Franciscana, ed. by J. S. Brewer, with valuable Preface, London, 1858, Engl. trans. by Cuthbert, London, 1903. The volume also contains the Letters of Adam de Marisco, etc.; vol. II., ed. by Richard Howlett, with Preface, contains fragments of Eccleston and other English documents bearing on the Franciscans.—Analecta Franciscana sive chronica aliaque documenta ad historiam Minorum spectantia, Quaracchi, 1885.—Bullarium Franciscanum sive Romanorum pontificum constitutiones, epistolae, diplomata, etc., vols. I.-IV., Rome, 1759, ed. by J. H. Sbaraglea and Rossi, vols. V., VII., Rome, 1898–1904, ed. by Conrad Eubel; the collection extends to 1378.—Seraphicae legationis textus originales, Quaracchi, 1897, containing the Rule of 1223 and other documents. Luke Wadding: Annales Minorum, 7 vols., Lyons, 1625–1648, the most valuable history of the order.—Denifle and Ehrle give valuable materials and criticisms in Archiv für Lit. und Kirchengeschichte d. Mittelalters, vol. I. 145 sqq.; 509–569, III. 553 sqq.; VI. 1I sqq., Berlin, 1885–1891.—Karl Müller: Die Anfänge des Minoriten-ordens und der Bussbruderschaften, Freib., 1885.—A. G. Little: The Grey-friars in Oxford, Oxford, 1891.—Eubel: Die avignonesische Obedienz der Mendikanten-Orden, etc., zur Zeit des grossen Schismas beleuchtet durch die von Clement VII. und Benedict XIII. an dieselben gerichteten Schreiben, Paderborn, 1900.—Pierre Madonnet: Les origines de l’ordre de poenitentia, Freib., 1898; also Les règles et le gouvernement de l’ordre de poenitentia am XIIIe siècle (1212–1234), Paris, 1902.—F. X. Seppelt: Der Kampf der Bettelorden an der Universität Paris in der Mitte des 13ten Jahrh. Heiligenstadt, 1892.—F. Glaser: Die franziskanische Bewegung. Ein Beitrag zur Gesch. sozialer Reformideen im Mittelalter, Stuttg., 1903.—H. Felder: Gesch. der wissenschaftlichen Studien im Franziskanerorden bis c. 1250, Freib., 1904, pp. 557. Ricard St. Clara: St. Claire d’Assise, Paris, 1895.—E. Wauer: Entstehung und Ausbreitung des Klarissenordens besonders in deutschen Minoritenprovinzen, Leip., 1906.—E. Knoth: Ubertino da Casale, Marburg, 19 Bibliothek zu Breslau befindlichen handschrift-lichen Aufzeichnungen von Reden und Tractaten Capistrans, etc., 2 Parts, Breslau, 1903–1905.—L. de Chérancé: St. Antoine de Padoue, Paris, 1906.—Helyot: Relig. Orders, VII. 1–421.—Lea. Hist. of the Inquisition, I. 242–304.—M. Creighton: The Coming of the Friars, in Lectures and Addresses, pp. 69–84.—A. Jessopp: The Coming of the Friars.—Stevenson: Life of Grosseteste, London, 1899, pp. 59–87.—Hauck, IV. 366–483.
Note on the recent literature on St. Francis. A phenomenal impulse was given to the study of the life of St. Francis by the publication of Sabatier’s biography in 1804. This biography, Karl Müller placed "at the summit of modern historical workmanship.," Lit.-zeitung, 1895, pp. 179–186. It showed a mastery of the literature before unknown and a profound sympathy with the spirit of the Italian saint. It has revolutionized the opinion of Protestants in regard to him, and has given to the world a correct picture of the real Francis. Strange that a Protestant pastor should have proved himself the leading modern student of Francis and one of his most devoted admirers! Sabatier has followed up his first work with tireless investigations into the early literature and history of St. Francis and the Franciscans, giving up his pastorate, making tour after tour to Italy, and spending much time in Assisi, where he is held in high esteem, and is pointed out as one of the chief sights of the place. He has been fortunate in his discoveries of documents and, as an editor, he has created a new Franciscan literature. His enthusiasm and labors have stimulated a number of scholars in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland to make a specialty of the early Franciscan literature such as Minocchi, Madonnet, Müller, Lempp, and Schnürer. His Life of St. Francis has been put on the Index because it is said to misrepresent Catholic customs.
While Sabatier’s presentation of Francis’ career and character may be said to have gained general acceptance, except among Franciscans, there is a large difference of opinion in regard to the dates of the early documents and their original contents. This literary aspect of the subject has become greatly complicated by the publication of manuscripts which differ widely from one another and the divergent criticisms of scholars. This confusion has been likened by Müller, Lit.-zeitung, 1902, p. 593, and Lempp, Lit. zeitung, 1906, p. 509, to a thicket through which it is almost impossible to see a path. The confusion grows out of the determined policy of Gregory IX. and the conventual wing of the early Franciscans to destroy all materials which show that Francis was opposed to a strict discipline within the order and insisted upon the rule of absolute poverty. The Franciscan chapter of 1264 ordered all biographies of Francis, written up to that time, destroyed, except the biography by Bonaventura. St. Francis’ insistence upon the rule of absolute poverty, the original Rule, and his will, were to be utterly effaced. The new study, introduced by the clear eye of Sabatier, has gone back of this date, 1264, and rescued the portrait of the real Francis.
The attention of scholars is chiefly concentrated on the Speculum perfectionis published by Sabatier, 1898, and the original Rule of the Franciscan Tertiaries. The Speculum perfectionis is a life of Francis and, according to Sabatier (Introd. li.), is the first biography, dating back to 1227. The discovery of the document is one of the most interesting and remarkable of recent historical discoveries. The way it came to be found was this:—
Materials for the Life of Francis are contained in a volume entitled Speculum vitae St. Francisci et sociorum ejus, published first at Venice, 1504, and next at Paris, 1509. In studying the Paris edition of 1509, Sabatier discovered 118 chapters ascribed to no author and differing in spirit and style from the other parts. He used the document in the construction of his biography and was inclined to ascribe it to the three companions of Francis,—Leo, Angelo, and Rufino. See Vie de S. François, pp. lxxii. sq. At a later time he found that in several MSS. these chapters were marked as a distinct document. In the MS. in the Mazarin library he found 124 distinctive chapters. In these are included the 16 of the Paris edition of 1509. These chapters Sabatier regards as a distinct volume, the Speculum perfectionis, written by Leo, the primary composition bearing on Francis’ career and teachings. The date for its composition is derived from the Mazarin MS. which gives the date as MCCXXVIII. This date Sabatier finds confirmed by indications in the document itself, p. xxii. etc.
This sympathetic, lucid, and frank narrative puts Francis in a new light, as a martyr to the ambitious designs of Gregory IX. who set aside the rule of absolute poverty which was most dear to Francis’ heart and placed over him a representative of his own papal views. Leo, so Sabatier contends (Introd. p. li.), wrote his work immediately after the announcement by Elias of Cortona of the intention to erect an imposing cathedral over the "Little Poor Man." Leo was unable to suppress his indignation and so uttered his protest against the violent manipulation of Francis’ plan and memory.
Serious objection has been raised to Sabatier’s date of the Speculum perfectionis. In agreement with Minocchi,—Tilemann, Goetz, and others have adopted the date given in the Ognissanti (a convent in Florence) MS. namely MCCCXVII, and by a careful study of the other lives of Francis conclude that the Speculum is a compilation. Some of its contents, however, they agree, antedate Thomas a Celano’s Vita secunda or second Life of Francis or are still older. Müller, Lit.-zeitung, 1899, 49–52, 1902, p. 598, and Lempp, while not accepting the early date of 1227, place the document in the first half of the 13th century and regard it as an authority of the first rank, eine Quelle ersten Ranges. It shows a deep penetration into the real mind and soul of Francis, says Lempp, Lit.-zeitung, 1905, pp. 9 sq. Tilemann also ascribes to the document the highest value. For the numerous articles in Reviews, by Minocchi, van Ortroy, etc., see Tilemann, Speculum perfectionis, p. 4.
If Sabatier has given us the real Francis of history, as there is reason to believe he has, then the spectacle of Francis’ loss of authority by the skilled hand of Cardinal Ugolino, Gregory IX., is one of the most pathetic spectacles in history and Francis stands out as one of the most unselfish and pure-minded men of the Christian centuries.
§ 70. St. Francis d’Assisi.
"Not long the
period from his glorious birth,
When, with extraordinary virtue blest,
This wondrous sun began to comfort earth,
Bearing, while yet a
child, his father’s ire,
For sake of her whom all as death detest,
And banish from the gate of their desire,
Before the court of
His father, too, he took her for his own;
From day to day, then loved her more and more,
Twelve hundred years
had she remained, deprived
Of her first spouse, deserted and unknown,
And unsolicited till he arrived.
But lest my language
be not clearly seen,
Know, that in speaking of these lovers twain,
Francis and Poverty henceforth, I mean."
—Dante, Paradiso XI., Wright’s trans.
High up in the list of hagiography stands the name of Francis of Assisi, the founder of the order of the Franciscans. Of all the Italian saints, he is the most popular in Italy and beyond it.791
Francesco,—Francis,—Bernardone, 1182–1226, was born and died in Assisi. His baptismal name was Giovanni, John, and the name Francis seems to have been given him by his father, Pietro Bernardone, a rich dealer in textile fabrics, with reference to France, to which he made business journeys. Francis studied Latin and was imperfectly acquainted with the art of writing. He had money to spend, and spent it in gayeties. In a war between Assisi and Perugia he joined the ranks, and was taken prisoner. When released, he was twenty-two. During an illness which ensued, his religious nature began to be stirred. He arose from his bed disgusted with himself and unsatisfied with the world. Again he enlisted, and, starting to join Walter of Brienne in Southern Italy, he proceeded as far as Spoleto. But he was destined for another than a soldier’s career. Turning back, and moved by serious convictions, he retired to a grotto near Assisi for seclusion. He made a pilgrimage to Rome, whether to do penance or not, is not known. His sympathies began to go out to the poor. He met a leper and shrank back in horror at first, but, turning about, kissed the leper’s hand, and left in it all the money he had. He frequented the chapels in the suburbs of his native city, but lingered most at St. Damian, an humble chapel, rudely furnished, and served by a single priest. This became to his soul a Bethel. At the rude altar he seemed to hear the voice of Christ. In his zeal he took goods from his father and gave them to the priest. So far as we know, Francis never felt called upon to repent of this act. Here we have an instance of a different moral standard from our own. How different, for example, was the feeling of Dr. Samuel Johnson, when, for an act of disobedience to his father, he stood, as a full-grown man, a penitent in the rain in the open square of Litchfield, his head uncovered!
The change which had overcome the gay votary of pleasure brought upon Francis the ridicule of the city and his father’s relentless indignation. He was cast out of his father’s house. Without any of those expressions of regret which we would expect from a son under similar circumstances, he renounced his filial obligation in public in these words: "Up to this time I have called Pietro Bernardone father, but now I desire to serve God and to say nothing else than ’Our Father which art in heaven.’ " Henceforth Francis was devoted to the religious life. He dressed scantily, took up his abode among the lepers, washing their sores, and restored St. Damian, begging the stones on the squares and streets of the city. This was in 1208.
Francis now received from the Benedictine abbot of Mt. Subasio the gift of the little chapel, Santa Maria degli Angeli.792 Under the name of the Portiuncula—Little Portion—it became the favorite shrine of the saint and his early companions. There Francis had most of his visions, and there he died.793 In later years he secured from Honorius III. the remarkable concession of plenary indulgence for every one visiting the chapel between vespers of Aug. 1 to vespers of Aug. 2 each year. This made the Portiuncula a shrine of the first rank.
In 1209 Francis heard the words, "Preach, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. Provide neither silver nor gold, nor brass in your purses." Throwing away his staff, purse, and, shoes, he made these Apostolic injunctions the rule of his life. He preached repentance and gathered about him Bernardo di Quintavallo, Egidio, and other companions. The three passages commanding poverty and taking up the cross, Matt. xvi:24–26; xix:21; Luke ix:1–6, were made their Rule.794 The Rule meant nothing less than full obedience to the Gospel. The Lesser Brethren, fratres minores, for such came to be their name, begged from door to door, where they could not earn their bread, went barefoot795 and slept in hay lofts, leper hospitals, and wherever else they could find lodgment.
They were to preach, but especially were they to exemplify the precepts of the Gospel in their lives. Living was the most important concern, more important than sermons and than learning. Learning, Francis feared, would destroy humility. To a woman who came to him for alms he gave a copy of the New Testament, which they read at matins, the only book in the convent at the time. The convent did not even possess a breviary.796 A life of good works and sympathies was what Francis was seeking to emphasize. In his will, Francis calls himself an illiterate, idiota. Thomas à Celano also speaks of him in the same way. The word seems to have had the double sense of a man without education and a man with little more than a primary education. It was also used of laymen in contrast to clerics. Francis’ education was confined to elemental studies, and his biographers are persistent in emphasizing that he was taught directly of God.797 Two writings in Francis’ handwriting are in existence, one in Assisi and one in Spoleto.798
In 1210 Francis and some of his companions went to Rome, and were received by Innocent III.799 The English chronicler reports that the pope, in order to test his sincerity, said, "Go, brother, go to the pigs, to whom you are more fit to be compared than to men, and roll with them, and to them preach the rules you have so ably set forth." Francis obeyed, and returning said, "My Lord, I have done so."800 The pope then gave his blessing to the brotherhood and informally sanctioned their rule, granted them the tonsure, and bade them go and preach repentance.
The brotherhood increased rapidly. The members were expected to work. In his will Francis urged the brethren to work at some trade as he had done. He compared an idle monk to a drone.801 The brethren visited the sick, especially lepers, preached in ever extending circles, and went abroad on missionary journeys. Francis was ready to sell the very ornaments of the altar rather than refuse an appeal for aid. He felt ashamed when he saw any one poorer than himself.802 At this time occurred one of the most remarkable episodes of Francis’ career. He entered into marriage with Poverty. He called Poverty his bride, mother, sister, and remained devoted to her with the devotion of a knight.803 The story runs thus. Francis, with some companions, went out in search of Poverty. Two old men pointed out her abode on a high mountain. There Poverty, seated "on the throne of her neediness," received them and Francis praised her as the inseparable companion of the Lord, and "the mistress and queen of the virtues." Poverty replied that she had been with Adam in paradise, but had become a homeless wanderer after the fall until the Lord came and made her over to his elect. By her agency the number of believers was greatly increased, but after a while her sister Lady Persecution withdrew from her. Believers lost their fortitude. Then monks came and joined her, but her enemy Avarice, under the name of Discretion, made the monks rich. Finally monasticism yielded completely to worldliness, and Poverty removed wholly from it. Francis now joined himself to Poverty, who gave him and his companions the kiss of peace and descended the mountain with them. A new era was begun. Henceforth the pillow of the friends was a stone, their diet bread and water, and their convent the world.804
In 1212 Clara of Sciffi entered into the horizon of Francis’ life. She was twelve years his junior and sixteen when she first heard him preach at the Cathedral of Assisi. The sermon entered her soul. With Francis’ aid she escaped from her father’s house, and was admitted to vows by him.805 He conducted her to a house of Benedictine nuns. A younger sister, Agnes, followed Clara. The Chapel of St. Damian was set apart for them, and there the order of Clarisses was inaugurated. Clara outlived Francis, and in 1253 expired in the presence of brothers Leo, Angelo, and Ginefro.
In 1217 Francis was presented to Honorius III. and the curia. At the advice of Cardinal Ugolino, later Gregory IX., he prepared himself and memorized the sermon. Arrived in the pontiff’s presence, he forgot what he had prepared and delivered an impromptu discourse, which won the assembly.
Francis made evangelistic tours through Italy which were extended to Egypt and Syria 1219. Returning from the East the little Poor Man, il poverello, found a new element had been introduced into the brotherhood through the influence of the stern disciplinarian Ugolino. This violent change made the rest of the years a time of bitter, though scarcely expressed, sorrow for him. Passing through Bologna in 1220, he was pained to the depths at seeing a house being erected for the brothers. Cardinal Ugolino had determined to manipulate the society in the interest of the curia. He had offered Francis his help, and Francis had accepted the offer. Under the cardinal’s influence, a new code was adopted in 1221, and still a third in 1223 in which Francis’ distinctive wishes were set aside. The original Rule of poverty was modified, the old ideas of monastic discipline introduced, and a new element of absolute submission to the pope added. The mind of Francis was too simple and unsophisticated for the shrewd rulers of the church. The policy of the ecclesiastic henceforth had control of the order.806 Francis was set aside and a minister-general, Pietro di Catana, a doctor of laws and a member of the nobility was put at the head of the society. This was the condition of affairs Francis found on his return from Syria. He accepted it and said to his brethren, "From henceforth I am dead for you. Here is brother Peter di Catana whom you and I will obey," and prostrating himself, he promised the man who had superseded him obedience and submission.807
This forced self-subordination of Francis offers one of the most touching spectacles of mediaeval biography. Francis had withheld himself from papal privileges. He had favored freedom of movement. The skilled hand of Ugolino substituted strict monastic obedience. Organization was to take the place of spontaneous devotion. Ugolino was, no doubt, Francis’ real as well as professed friend. He laid the foundation of the cathedral in Assisi to his honor, and canonized him two years after his death. But Francis’ spirit he did not appreciate. Francis was henceforth helpless to carry out his original ideas,808 and yet, without making any outward sign of insubordination, he held tenaciously to them to the end.
These ideas are reaffirmed in Francis’ famous will. This document is one of the most affecting pieces in Christian literature. Here Francis calls himself "little brother," frater parvulus. All he had to leave the brothers was his benediction, the memory of the early days of the brotherhood, and counsels to abide by the first Rule. This Rule he had received from no human teacher. The Almighty God himself had revealed it unto him, that he ought to live according to the mode of the Holy Gospel. He reminded them how the first members loved to live in poor and abandoned churches. He bade them not accept churches or houses, except as it might be in accordance with the rule of holy poverty they had professed. He forbade their receiving bulls from the papal court, even for their personal protection. At the same time, he pledged his obedience to the minister-general and expressed his purpose to go nowhere and do nothing against his will "for he is my lord." Through the whole of the document there runs a chord of anguish.809
Francis’ heart was broken. Never strong, his last years were full of infirmities. Change of locality brought only temporary relief. The remedial measures of the physician, such as the age knew, were employed. An iron, heated to white heat, was applied to Francis’ forehead. Francis shrank at first, but submitted to the treatment, saying, "Brother Fire, you are beautiful above all creatures, be favorable to me in this hour." He jocosely called his body, Brother Ass.810 The devotion of the people went beyond all bounds. They fought for fragments of his clothing, hairs from his head, and even the parings of his nails.
Two years before his death Francis composed the Canticle to the Sun, which Renan has called the most perfect expression of modern religious feeling.811 It was written at a time when he was beset by temptations, and blindness had begun to set in. The hymn is a pious outburst of passionate love for nature. It soars above any other pastorals of the Middle Ages. Indeed Francis’ love for nature is rare in the records of his age, and puts him into companionship with that large modern company who see poems in the clouds and hear symphonies in flowers. He loved the trees, the stones, birds, and the plants of the field. Above all things he loved the sun, created to illuminate our eyes by day, and the fire which gives us light in the night time, for "God has illuminated our eyes by these two, our brothers."
Francis had a message for the brute creation and preached to the birds. "Brother birds," he said on one occasion, "you ought to love and praise your Creator very much. He has given you feathers for clothing, wings for flying, and all things that can be of use to you. You have neither to sow, nor to reap, and yet He takes care of you." And the birds curved their necks and looked at him as if to thank him. He would have had the emperor make a special law against killing or doing any injury to, our sisters, the birds."812 Later tradition narrated very wonderful things about his power over nature,813 as for example the taming of the fierce wolf of Gubbio. He was the terror of the neighborhood. He ran at Francis with open mouth, but laid himself down at Francis’ feet like a lamb at his words, "Brother Wolf, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to do no evil to me or to any man." Francis promised him forgiveness for all past offences on condition of his never doing harm again to human being. The beast assented to the compact by lowering his head and kneeling before him. He became the pet of Gubbio.
The last week of his life, the saint had repeated to him again and again the 142d Psalm, beginning with the words, "I cry with my voice unto Jehovah," and also his Canticle to the Sun. He called in brothers Angelo and Leo to sing to him about sister Death.814 Elias of Cortona, who had aided the Roman curia in setting aside Francis’ original Rule, remonstrated on the plea that the people would regard such hilarity in the hour of death as inconsistent with saintship. But Francis replied that he had been thinking of death for two years, and now he was so united with the Lord, that he might well be joyful in Him.815 And so, as Thomas à Celano says, "he met death singing."816 At his request they carried him to the Portiuncula chapel. On his way he asked that his bed be turned so that once more his face might be towards Assisi. He could no longer see, but he could pray, and so he made a supplication to heaven for the city.817 At the church he broke bread with the brethren, performing the priestly service with his own lips. On Oct. 3, 1226, to use Brother Leo’s words, he "migrated to the Lord Jesus Christ whom he had loved with his whole heart, and followed most perfectly."
Before the coffin was closed, great honors began to be heaped upon the saintly man. The citizens of Assisi took possession of the body, and Francis’ name has become the chief attraction of the picturesque and somnolent old town. He was canonized two years later.818 The services were held in Assisi, July 26, 1228, Gregory IX. being present. The following day, the pontiff laid the corner stone of the new cathedral to Francis’ memory. It was dedicated by Innocent IV. in 1243, and Francis’ body was laid under the main altar.819 The art of Cimabue and Giotto has adorned the sanctuary within. The statuary of the modern sculptor, Dupré, in front, represents the great mendicant in the garb of his order with arms crossed over his chest, and his head bowed. Francis was scarcely dead when Elias of Cortona made the astounding announcement of the stigmata. These were the marks which Francis is reported to have borne on his body, corresponding to the five wounds on Christ’s crucified body. In Francis’ case they were fleshy, but not bloody excrescences. The account is as follows. During a period of fasting and the most absorbed devotion, Christ appeared to Francis on the morning of the festival of the Holy Cross, in the rising sun in the form of a seraph with outstretched wings, nailed to the cross. The vision gone, Francis felt pains in his hands and side. He had received the stigmata. This occurred in 1224 on the Verna,820 a mountain on the Upper Arno three thousand feet above the sea.
The historical evidence for the reality of these marks is as follows. It was the day after Francis’ death that Elias of Cortona, as vicar of the order, sent letters in all directions to the Franciscans, announcing the fact that he had seen the stigmata on Francis’ body. His letter contained these words: "Never has the world seen such a sign except on the Son of God. For a long time before his death, our brother had in his body five wounds which were truly the stigmata of Christ, for his hands and feet have marks as of nails, without and within, a kind of scars, while from his side, as if pierced by a lance, a little blood oozed." The Speculum Perfectionis, perhaps the first biography of Francis, refers to them incidentally, but distinctly, in the course of a description of the severe temptations by which Francis was beset.821 Thomas à Celano, not later than 1230, describes them more at length, and declares that a few saw them while Francis was still alive. Gregory IX. in 1237 called upon the whole Church to accept them, and condemned the Dominicans for calling their reality in question.822 The first portrait of Francis, dating from 1236, exhibits the marks.
On the other hand, a very strong argument against their genuineness is the omission of all reference to them by Gregory IX. in his bull canonizing Francis, 1228. Francis’ claim to saintship, we would think, could have had no better authentication, and the omission is inexplicable.823
Three explanations have been given of the stigmata on the supposition that Francis’ body really bore the scars. 1. They were due to supernatural miracle. This is the Catholic view. In 1304 Benedict XI. established a festival of the stigmata. 2. They were the product of a highly wrought mental state proceeding from the contemplation of Christ on the cross. This is the view of Sabatier.824 3. The third explanation treats them as a pious fraud practised by Francis himself, who from a desire to feel all the pains Christ felt, picked the marks with his own fingers.825 Such a course seems incredible. In the absence of a sufficient moral reason for the impression of the stigmata, it is difficult for the critical mind to accept them. On the other hand, the historical attestation is such that an effort is required to deny them. So far as we know, Francis never used the stigmata to attest his mission.826
The study of the career of Francis d’Assisi, as told by his contemporaries, and as his spirit is revealed in his own last testament, makes the impression of purity of purpose and humility of spirit,—of genuine saintliness. He sought not positions of honor nor a place with the great. With simple mind, he sought to serve his fellow-men by republishing the precepts of the Gospel, and living them out in his own example. He sought once more to give the Gospel to the common people, and the common people heard him gladly. He may not have possessed great strength of intellect. He lacked the gifts of the ecclesiastical diplomat, but he certainly possessed glowing fervor of heart and a magnetic personality, due to consuming love for men. He was not a theological thinker, but he was a man of practical religious sympathies to which his deeds corresponded. He spoke and acted as one who feels full confidence in his divinely appointed mission.827 He spoke to the Church as no one after him did till Luther came.
Few men of history have made so profound an impression as did Francis. His personality shed light far and near in his own time. But his mission extends to all the centuries. He was not a foreigner in his own age by any protest in matters of ritual or dogma, but he is at home in all ages by reason of his Apostolic simplicity and his artless gentleness. Our admiration for him turns not to devotion as for a perfect model of the ideal life. Francis’ piety, after all, has a mediaeval glow. But, so far as we can know, he stands well among those of all time who have discerned the meaning of Christ’s words and breathed His spirit. So Harnack can call him the "wonderful saint of Assisi," and Sabatier utter the lofty praise, that it was given to him to divine the superiority of the spiritual priesthood."828
The Canticle of The Sun
O most high, almighty, good Lord God, to Thee belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures, and specially our brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light; fair is he and shines with a very great splendor: O Lord he signifies to us Thee!
Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the which He has set clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind and for air and cloud, calms and all weather by the which Thou upholdest life in all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us and humble and precious and clean.
Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom Thou givest us light in the darkness; and he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.
Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, the which doth sustain us and keep us, and bringeth forth divers fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for His love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation; blessed are they who peaceably shall endure, for Thou, O most Highest, shalt give them a crown.
Praised be my Lord for our sister, the death of the body, from which no man escapeth. Woe to him who dieth in mortal sin! Blessed are they who are found walking by the most holy will, for the second death shall have no power to do them harm.
Praise ye and bless the Lord, and give thanks unto Him and serve Him with great humility.829
§ 71. The Franciscans.
"Sweet Francis of Assisi, would that he were here again!"
The Brethren Minor—fratres minores, or Minorites, the official title of the Franciscans—got their name from the democratic faction in Assisi, the Minores, whom Francis at a time of feud reconciled to the party of the aristocrats. Before the curia at Rome, Francis insisted upon the application of the name as a warning to the members not to aspire after positions of distinction.830 They spread rapidly in Italy and beyond; but before the generation had passed away to which Francis belonged, the order was torn by internal strife, growing out of the attempt to conserve the principles originally laid down by Francis. The history of no other order has anything to show like this protracted conflict within its own membership over a question of principle. The protracted dispute has an almost unique place in the polemic theology of the Middle Ages.
According to the Rule of 1210 and Francis’ last will they were to be a free brotherhood devoted to evangelical poverty and Apostolic practice, rather than a close organization bound by precise rules.831 Innocent III. counselled him to take for his model the rule of the older orders, but Francis declined and went his own path. He builded upon a few texts of Scripture. From 1216, when Cardinal Ugolino became associated with the order as patron and counsellor, a new influence was felt, and rigid discipline was substituted for the freer organization of Francis.
At the chapter of 1217, the decision was made to send missionaries beyond the confines of Italy. Elias of Cortona, once a mattress-maker in Assisi and destined to be notorious for setting aside Francis’ original plan, led a band of missionaries to Syria. Others went to Germany, Hungary, France, Spain and England. As foreign missionaries, the Franciscans showed dauntless enterprise, going south to Morocco and east as far as Pekin. They enjoy the distinction of having accompanied Columbus on his second journey to the New World and were subsequently most active in the early American missions from Florida to California and from Quebec along the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes and southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Rule of 1221, by its lack of unity and decision, betrays two influences at work, one proceeding from Ugolino and one from Francis. There are signs of the struggle which had already begun several years before. The Rule placed a general at the head of the order and a governing body was constituted, consisting of the heads of the different houses. Poverty, however, is still enjoined and the duty of labor is emphasized that the members might be saved from becoming idlers. The sale of the products of their labor was forbidden except as it might benefit the sick.
The Rule of 1223, which is briefer and consists of twelve chapters, repeats the preceding code and was solemnly approved by the pope November 29 of the same year. This code goes still further in setting aside the distinguished will of Francis. The mendicant character of the order is strongly emphasized. But obedience to the pope is introduced and a cardinal is made its protector and guardian. The Roman Breviary is ordered to be used as the book of daily worship. Monastic discipline has taken the place of biblical liberty. The strong hand of the hierarchy is evident. The freedom of the Rule of 1210 has disappeared.832 Peter di Catana was made superior of the order, who, a few months later, was followed by Elias of Cortona. Francis’ appeal in his last testament to the original freedom of his brotherhood and against the new order of things, the papal party did all in its power to suppress altogether.
The Clarisses, the Minorite nuns, getting their name from Clara of Sciffi who was canonized in 1255, were also called Sisters of St. Damian from the Church of St. Damian. Francis wrote a Rule for them which enforced poverty833 and made a will for Clara which is lost. The sisters seem at first to have supported themselves by the toil of their hands, but, by Francis’ advice soon came to depend upon alms.834 The rule was modified in 1219 and the order was afterwards compelled to adopt the Benedictine rule.835
The Tertiaries, or Brothers and Sisters of Penitence,836 were the third order of St. Francis, the Clarisses being reckoned as the second, and received papal recognition for the first time in the bull of Nicolas IV., 1289.837 It is doubtful whether Francis ever prescribed for them a definite rule. Of the existence of the Tertiaries during his life there is no doubt. They are called by Gregory IX. in 1228 the Brothers of the Third Order of St. Francis.838 The Rule of 1289 is made for a lay corporation, and also for a conventual association from which latter, married persons are excluded. The purpose of Francis included all classes of laics, men and women, married and unmarried. His object was to put within the reach of laymen the higher practice of virtue and order of merit associated with the monastic life. It is quite probable that Francis took his idea from the Humiliati, known as the Poor Men of Lombardy, Pauperes Lombardici, or perhaps from the Waldenses, known as the Poor Men of Lyons and also well known in Northern Italy in Francis’ day. The Humiliati had groups of laymen in the twelfth century living according to semi-conventual rules. In 1184 they were condemned by Lucius III. There seem to have been three grades, the lay Humiliati, who in the ordinary avenues of life observed specific ascetic practices; second, those who were living in convents as monks or nuns; and third, canons, who were priests and lived together in common. These three grades were sanctioned by Innocent III. in 1201 and were protected by later popes, as for example Innocent IV.839
It is possible that Francis’ first plan was for an organization of laymen, and that the idea of an organization of monks developed later in his mind. The division of the Franciscans into three grades was permanently established by the chapter of 1221.840 The earliest rule of the Tertiaries in thirteen chapters sets forth the required style of dress, the asceticisms they were to practise, and the other regulations they were to observe. They were to abstain from all oaths except in exceptional cases, provided for by the pope, to make confession three times a year, have if possible the advice of the diocesan in making their wills, receive to their number no one accused of heresy, and were neither to use deadly weapons nor to carry them.841 Women, if married, were not to be admitted without the consent of their husbands, and all who had families were enjoined to care for them as a part of the service of God (VI. 6).842 The Tertiaries still exist in the Roman Catholic Church.
To follow the history of the Franciscans from 1223, the stricter party, who sought to carry out Francis’ practice of strict Apostolic poverty and his views as set forth in his last will, were known as the Observants, or Spirituals, or Zealots. The party, favoring a relaxation of Francis’ Rule and supported by Gregory IX., were often called the Conventuals from occupying convents of their own, especially more pretentious buildings in cities.843 Now the one party, now the other was in the ascendant. The popes were against the Observants. The inward discord lasted throughout the thirteenth century and far into the fourteenth844 and was suppressed, rather than allayed, for the first time by Leo X., who separated the Franciscans into two orders. In the meantime Observants continued to agitate the scheme of St. Francis, and some of them laid down their lives as martyrs for their principles.
The matter in dispute among the Franciscans was the right of the order as a corporation to hold property in fee simple. The papal decisions in favor of such tenure began with the bull of Gregory IX., 1230. It allowed the order to collect money through "faithful men" appointed for districts, these monies to be applied to the rearing of conventual buildings, to missions, and other objects, and to be held in trust for the givers. This privilege was elaborated by Innocent IV., 1245, and was made to include the possession of books, tools, houses, and lands. Innocent made the clear distinction between tenure in fee simple and tenure for use and granted the right of tenure for use. By this was meant that the order might receive gifts and bequests and hold them indefinitely as for the donors. This was equivalent to perpetual ownership, and might be compared to modern thousand-year leases. Innocent also made the tenure of all property within the order subject to the immediate supervision of the pope.
Determined resistance was offered by the Observants to these papal decrees, and they were persecuted by Elias of Cortona, who vigorously pushed the papal policy. But they were strong and Elias was deposed from the headship of the order by the chapter of 1227. He was reinstated in 1232, but again deposed in 1239. He espoused the cause of Frederick II., and died 1253.
One of the leading men of the wing true to Francis was Brother Leo, the author of what is probably the first biography of Francis, the Speculum Perfectionis, the Mirror of Perfection. When the project was bruited of erecting the great church at Assisi over Francis’ remains and Elias placed a marble vessel on the site to receive contributions, Leo, who regarded the project as a profanation of the memory of the saint, dashed the vessel to pieces. For this act he was banished, amidst tumult, from Assisi.845
It seemed for a while doubtful which party would gain the upper hand. The Observants were in power under John of Parma, general of the order for ten years, 1247–1257, when he was obliged to resign and retire into strict monastic seclusion. John was followed by Bonaventura, 1257–1274, the great Schoolman, who, in the main, cast his influence on the side of the Conventuals. The Observants became identified with the dreams of Joachim of Flore and applied his prophecy of a new religious order to themselves. These views became a new source of discord and strife lasting for more than a century. Bonaventura pronounced against the adoption of Joachim’s views by condemning Gerardo Borgo’s Introduction to Joachim’s writings. The Life of St. Francis, written by Bonaventura at the mandate of the General Chapter of Narbonne, 1260, and declared the authoritative biography of the saint by the Chapter of 1263, suppressed Francis’ will and other materials favorable to the contention of the Observants, and emphasized the churchly and disciplinary elements of the order. The Observants, from this time on, fought a brave but hopeless battle. They could not successfully wage war against the policy pushed by the papal court.
The report that Gregory X., through the acts of the council of Lyons, 1274, intended to force the order to hold property, stirred opposition into a flame and a number of the Observants were thrown into prison, including Angelo Clareno, an influential author. Nicholas III., in the bull Exiit qui seminat,846 1279, again made a clear distinction between owning property in fee simple and its tenure for use, and confirmed the latter right. He insisted upon the principle that the pope is the ultimate owner of the property of the order. The bull expressly annulled St. Francis’ prohibition forbidding the order to seek privileges from the pope. The Franciscan general, Bonagratia, and his two successors, accepted the bull, but Peter Olivi, d. 1298, who had acquired wide influence through his writings, violently opposed it. Coelestin V. sought to heal the division by inviting the Observants to join the order of the Coelestin hermits which he had founded, and Angelo Clareno, who had been released from prison, took this course. It was opposed by Olivi and the Observant preacher Ubertino da Casale,847 d. after 1330, who remained through much persecution true to the original principles of Francis.
And so the century in which Francis was born went out with the controversy still going on with unabated warmth. A somewhat new aspect was given to the controversy in the fourteenth century. The dogmatic question was then put into the foreground, whether Christ and his Apostles practised absolute poverty or not. In 1323 John XXII. sought to put a final stop to the dissension by giving papal authority to the statement that they did not practise absolute poverty. Thus the underlying foundation of the strict Franciscan Rule was taken away.
In another respect the Franciscans departed from the mind of their founder. Francis disparaged learning. In 1220 he reprimanded and then cursed Pietro Staccia, a doctor of laws, for establishing a Franciscan school at Bologna. On hearing of a famous doctor, who had entered the order, he is reported to have said, "I am afraid such doctors will be the destruction of my vineyard. True doctors are they who with the meekness of wisdom exhibit good works for the betterment of their neighbors." To Anthony of Padua, Francis wrote—and the genuineness of the letter is not disputed—"I am agreed that you continue reading lectures on theology to the brethren provided that kind of study does not extinguish in them the spirit of humility and prayer."848 But Francis’ followers departed from his teachings and adapted themselves to the current of that wonderful thirteenth century, established schools in their convents and were well settled, before the century was half gone, at the chief centres of university culture. In 1255 an order called upon Franciscans, going out as missionaries, to study Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, and other languages.
The order spread rapidly from Palestine to Ireland.849 It was introduced into France by Pacifico and Guichard of Beaujolais, a brother-in-law of the French king. The first successful attempt to establish branches in Germany was made, 1221, by Caesar of Spires, who had been converted by Elias of Cortona on his journey to Syria. He was accompanied by twelve priests and thirteen laymen, among them, Thomas of Celano and Jordan of Giano upon whose account we depend for the facts. The company separated at Trent, met again at Augsburg, and then separated once more, carrying their propaganda along the Rhine and to other parts of the country. Houses were established at Mainz, Worms, Spires, and Cologne which in 1522 were united into a custody. The year following four German custodies were added.850 Caesar of Spires, the flaming apostle of the order in Germany, belonged to the Observant wing, and had to suffer severe persecution and was put to death in prison.
As for England, nine Franciscans, four of them clerics, only one of whom was in priest’s orders, landed at Dover, 1224, and went to Canterbury, and then to London. The account of their early labors on English soil, by Thomas of Eccleston, a contemporary,851 is one of the freshest and most absorbing relations of English affairs in the Middle Ages. At Canterbury they were entertained by the monks of Feskamp, and at London by the Black Friars. At Oxford they received a warm welcome. Grosseteste announced their advent with a sermon from the words, "They that sat in darkness have seen a great light." It was as if the door to a new religious era had been opened. Of their settlement in St. Ebbe’s parish, Oxford, it was said that "there was sown a grain of mustard seed which grew to be greater than all the trees." They were quickly settled at Cambridge, Norwich, Northampton, Yarmouth, and other centres. They were the first popular preachers that England had seen, and the first to embody a practical philanthropy.852 The condition of English villages and towns at that day was very wretched. Skin diseases were fearfully prevalent, including leprosy. Destructive epidemics spread with great rapidity. Sanitary precautions were unknown. Stagnant pools and piles of refuse abounded.853
Partly from necessity and partly from pure choice these ardent religionists made choice of quarters in the poorest and most neglected parts of the towns. In Norwich they settled in a swamp through which the city sewerage passed. At Newgate, now a part of London, they betook themselves to Stinking Lane. At Cambridge they occupied the decayed gaol.
No wonder that such zeal received recognition. The people soon learned to respect the new apostles. Adam Marsh joined them, and he and Grosseteste, the most influential English ecclesiastic of his day, lectured in the Franciscan school at Oxford. The burgesses of London and other towns gave them lands, as did also the king, at Shrewsbury. In 1256 the number of English friars had increased to 1242, settled in forty-nine different localities.854 The Franciscans also gave an impetus to learning; they set up schools, as at Oxford, where Robert Grosseteste delivered lectures for them. Most of the great English Schoolmen belonged to the Franciscan order. Eccleston describes the godly lives of the early English Franciscans, their abstinence, and their lightheartedness.855 Less than fifty years after their advent, one of their number, Robert Kilwarby, was sitting in the archepiscopal chair of Canterbury; to another Franciscan, Bonaventura, was offered the see of York, which he declined.
In time, the history of the Franciscans followed the usual course of human prosperity.856 They fell from their first estate. With honors and lands came demoralization. They gained an unsavory reputation as collectors of papal revenues. Matthew Paris’ rebukes of their arrogance date back as far as 1235, and he said that Innocent IV. turned them from fishers of men into fishers of pennies. At the sequestration of the religious houses by Henry VIII., the Franciscan convent of Christ’s Church, London, was the first to fall, 1532.857
§ 72. St. Dominic and the Dominicans.
Literature.—The earliest Life by Jordanus, Dominic’s successor as head of the order: de principiis ordinis praedicatorum in Quétif-Echard, who gives five other early biographies (Bartholomew of Trent, 1244–1251, Humbert de Romanis, 1250, etc.), and ed. by J. J. Berthier, Freib., i. Schw., 1892.—H. D. Lacordaire, d. 1861: Vie de S. Dominique, Paris, 1840, 8th ed. 1882. Also Hist. Studies of the Order of S. Dom. 1170-1221, Engl. trans., N. Y., 1869.—E. Caro: S. Dom. et les Dominicains, Paris, 1853.—A. T. Drane: Hist. of St. Dom., Founder of the Friar Preachers, London, 1891.—Balme et Lelaidier: Cartulaire ou hist. diplomatique de S. Dom., Paris, 1892.—J. Guiraud: S. Dom., Paris, 2d ed., 1899.—For titles of about thirty lives, see Potthast, II. 1272.—Quétif-Echard: Script. ord. Praedicatorum, 2 vols. Paris, 1719–1721.—Ripoll and Bermond: Bullarium ord. Praed., 8 vols. Rome, 1737 sqq.—Mamachi: Annal. ord. Praed., Rome, 1756.—Monumenta ord. fratrum Praed. hist., ed. by B. M. Reichert, Louvaine and Rome, 10 vols., 1897–1901. Vol. III. gives the acts of the general chapters of the order, 1220–1308.—A. Danzas: Etudes sur les temps primitifs de l’ordre de S. Dom., Paris, 1873–1885.—*Denifle: Die Constitutionen des Predigerordens vom Jahre 1228, and Die Constitutionen des Raymunds von Peñaforte 1238–1241 in Archiv für Lit. und Kirchengesch., 1885, pp. 165–227 and 1889, 530–565.—Helyot: Bel. Orders.—Lea: Hist. of Inquisition, I. 242–304, etc. Wetzer-Welte, art. Dominicus, III. 1931–1945.—W. Lescher: St. Dominic and the Rosary, London, 1902.—H. Holzapfel: S. Dom. und der Rosenkranz, Munich, 1903.
The Spaniard, Dominic, founder of the order of preachers, usually called the Dominicans,858 lacks the genial personal element of the saint of Assisi, and his career has little to correspond to the romantic features of his contemporary’s career. Dominic was of resolute purpose, zealous for propagating the orthodox faith, and devoted to the Church and hierarchy. His influence has been through the organization he created, and not through his personal experiences and contact with the people of his age. This accounts for the small number of biographies of him as compared with the large number of Francis.
Domingo, or Dominic, was born 1170 at Calaroga, Spain, and died Aug. 6, 1121, in Bologna.859 His mother, Juana of Aza, is worshipped as a saint in the Dominican ritual. At seven the son passed under the priestly instruction of an uncle. Ten years were subsequently spent at Palencia in the study of philosophy and theology, and he is said to have excelled as a student. About 1195, he was made canon at Osma, which gives its name to the episcopal diocese, within whose bounds he was born. In 1203 he accompanied his bishop, Diego d’Azeveda, to France860 on a mission to secure a bride for the son of Alfonzo VIII. of Castile. This and subsequent journeys across the Pyrenees brought him into contact with the Albigenses and the legates despatched by Innocent III. to take measures to suppress heresy in Southern France. Dominic threw himself into the movement for suppressing heresy and started upon a tour of preaching. At Prouille in the diocese of Toulouse, he erected an asylum for girls to offset the schools established by the Albigenses, for the training of the daughters of impoverished noblemen. He was on intimate terms with Simon de Montfort, but, so far as is known, he took no active part in the Albigensian crusade except as a spiritual adviser.861 His attempt to establish a mission for the conversion of heretics received the support of Fulke, bishop of Toulouse, who in 1215 granted him one-sixth of the tithes of his diocese. Among the first to ally themselves to Dominic was Peter Cellani, a citizen of Toulouse, who gave him a house.
An epoch in Dominic’s career was his visit in Rome during the sessions of the Fourth Lateran Council, when he received encouragement from Innocent III. who declined to assent to the proposal of a new order and bade him adopt one of the existing monastic constitutions.862 Dominic chose the rule of the canons regular of St. Augustine,863 adopted the black dress of the Augustinians, and built the convent of St. Romanus at Toulouse. He was again in Rome from September, 1216, to Easter, 1217. Honorius II. in 1216 approved the organization, and confirmed it in the possession of goods and houses. An unreliable tradition states that Honorius also conferred upon Dominic the important office of Master of the Palace, magister palatii. The office cannot be traced far beyond Gregory IX.864
The legendary accounts of his life represent the saint at this time as engaged in endless scourgings and other most rigorous asceticisms. Miracles, even to the raising of the dead, were ascribed to him.
In 1217 Dominic sent out monks to start colonies. The order took quick root in large cities,—Paris, Bologna, and Rome,—the famous professor of canon law at Paris, Reginald, taking its vows. Dominic himself in 1218 established two convents in Spain, one for women in Madrid and one for men at Seville. The first Dominican house in Paris, the convent of St. Jacques, gave the name Jacobins to the Dominicans in France and Jacobites to the party in the French Revolution which held its meetings there. In 1224 St. Jacques had one hundred and twenty inmates. The order had a strong French element and included in its prayers a prayer for the French king. From France, the Dominicans went into Germany. Jordanus and other inmates of St. Jacques were Germans. They quickly established themselves, in spite of episcopal prohibitions and opposition from other orders, in Cologne, Worms, Strassburg, Basel, and other German cities.865 In 1221 the order was introduced into England, and at once settled in Oxford.866 The Blackfriars Bridge, London, carries in its name the memory of their great friary in that city.
The first General Chapter was held 1220 in Bologna. Dominic preached with much zeal in Northern Italy. He died, lying on ashes, at Bologna, Aug. 6, 1221, and lies buried there in the convent of St. Nicholas, which has been adorned by the art of Nicholas of Pisa and Michael Angelo. As compared with the speedy papal recognition of Francis and Anthony of Padua, the canonization of the Spanish saint followed tardily, thirteen years after his death, July 13, 1234.867
At the time of Dominic’s death, the preaching friars had sixty convents scattered in the provinces of Provence, Northern France, Spain, Lombardy, Italy, England, Germany, and Hungary, each of which held its own chapter yearly. To these eight provinces, by 1228, four others had been added, Poland, Denmark, Greece, and Jerusalem.868 Combined they made up the General Chapter. Each of the provinces was presided over by a provincial or provincial prior, and the convents by a prior or sub prior. The title and dignity of abbot were not assumed. At the head of the whole body stands a grand-master.869 Privilege after privilege was conferred by the Holy See, including the important right to preach anywhere and everywhere.870 The constitutions of 1228 are the earliest we possess, but they are not the oldest. They were revised under Raymund de Peñaforte, the third general.871
Mendicancy was made the rule of the order at the first General Chapter, 1220.872 The example of St. Francis was followed, and the order, as well as the individual monk, renounced all right to possess property. The mendicant feature was, however, never emphasized as among the Franciscans. It was not a matter of conscience with the Dominicans, and the order was never involved in divisions over the question of holding property. The obligation of corporate poverty was wholly removed by Sixtus IV., 1477. Dominic’s last exhortation to his followers was that, they should have love, do humble service, and live in voluntary poverty."873 But the precept never seems to have been taken much to heart by them.
Unlike the man of Assisi, Dominic did not combine manual labor with the other employments of his monks. For work with their hands he substituted study and preaching. The Dominicans were the first monastics to adopt definite rules of study. When Dominic founded St. Jacques in Paris, and sent seventeen of his order to man that convent, he instructed them to "study and preach." Cells were constructed at Toulouse for study.874 A theological course of four years in philosophy and theology was required before a license was given to preach,875 and three years more of theological study followed it.
Preaching and the saving of souls were defined as the chief aim of the order.876 Humbert de Romanis, its fifth general, declared that the end of the order was not study, but that study was most necessary for preaching and the salvation of souls. Study, said another, is ordained for preaching, and preaching for the salvation of men, and this is the final end.877 No one was permitted to preach outside the cloister until he was twenty-five.878 And for preaching they were not to receive money or other gifts, except food. As Vincent Ferrer and Savonarola were the most renowned of the Dominican preachers of the Middle Ages, so Lacordaire was their most renowned orator in the nineteenth century. The mission of the Dominicans was predominantly with the upper classes. They represented the patrician element among the orders.
The annals of the Inquisition give to the Dominican order large space. The Dominicans were the most prominent and zealous, "inquisitors of heretical depravity." Dante had this in mind when he characterized Dominic as "Good to his friends, dreadful, to his enemies," "Benigno ai suoi ed ai nimici crudo."879
In 1232 the conduct of the Inquisition was largely committed to their care. Northern France, Spain, and Germany fell to their lot.880 The stern Torquemada was a Dominican, and the atrocious measures which were afterwards employed to spy out and punish ecclesiastical dissent, have left an indelible blot upon the name of the order. The student of history must regard those efforts to maintain the orthodox faith as heartless, even though it may not have occurred to the participants to so consider them. The order’s device, given by Honorius, was a dog bearing a lighted torch in his mouth, the dog to watch, the torch to illuminate the world. The picture in their convent S. Maria Novella, at Florence, represents the place the order came to occupy as hunters of heretics. It portrays dogs dressed in the Dominican colors, black and white, chasing away foxes, which stand for heretics, while pope and emperor, enthroned and surrounded by counsellors, look on with satisfaction at the scene. It was in connection with his effort to exterminate heresy that Dominic founded, in 1220, the "soldiery of Christ," composed of men and women, married and unmarried. Later, the order called itself the Brothers and Sisters of Penitence, or the Third Order, or Tertiaries of St. Dominic. As was the case with the Franciscan Tertiaries, some of them lived a conventual life.
The rosary also had a prominent place in the history of the Dominicans. An untrustworthy tradition assigns to Dominic its first use. During the crusades against the Albigenses, Mary, so the story runs, appeared to Dominic, and bade him use the rosary as a means for the conversion of the heretics. It consists of fifteen pater nosters and one hundred and fifty ave Marias, told off in beads. The Dominicans early became devotees of the rosary, but soon had rivals in the Carmelites for the honor of being the first to introduce it. The notorious Dominican inquisitor and hunter of witches, Jacob Sprenger, founded the first confraternity of the rosary. Pius V. ascribed the victory of Lepanto, 157l, to its use. In recent times Pius IX. and Leo XIII. have been ardent devotees of the rosary. Leo, in his encyclical of Sept. 1, 1883, ascribed its introduction to the great Dominic, as a balm for the wounds of his contemporaries." This encyclical represents Mary as "placed on the highest summit of power and glory in heaven … who is to be besought that, by her intercession, her devout Son may be appeased and softened as to the evils which afflict us."881
Leo XIII. paid highest honor to the Dominicans when he pronounced Thomas Aquinas the authoritative teacher of Catholic theology and morals, and the patron of Catholic schools.
* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. The material has been carefully compared and corrected according to the Eerdmans reproduction of the 1907 edition by Charles Scribner's sons, with emendations by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.
536 Thomas Aquinas, Summa, II. (2), 188, 6 sqq., Migne, III. 1372 sqq., combines the active and contemplative features of the monastic life, as did Benedict of Nursia, but laying more stress than the latter upon the active feature. It must be remembered that Thomas was a Dominican, and had had full experience of the practical activity of the two great mendicant orders.
537 This is the classification of Harnack, Monasticism, 44 sqq. Denifle, Luther und Lutherthum, I. 199 sqq., who fiercely combats Harnack, says "it is the height of misunderstanding, Unverstand, to speak of Jesuitism as monastic."
538 Dial., I. 21; Strange ed. I. 28.
539 Dial., I. 18.
540 Dial., I. 24.
541 Dial., I. 17; Strange ed. I. 24.
542 See Church, Life of St. Anselm, chap. III., The Discipline of a Norman Monastery.
543 In England the gentry class was especially drawn upon. See Jessopp, p 161. At Morimond, Otto son of the margrave of Austria stopped overnight with fifteen young nobles. The sound of the bells and the devotions of the monks made such an impression that they prayed to be received into the brotherhood. Henry, son of Louis VI., was so moved by what he saw on a visit to Clairvaux that he determined to take the vow. See Morison, Life of St. Bernard, p. 195.
544 Montalembert lays stress upon intercessory prayer as the chief service rendered by the monastery of the West. "They prayed much, they prayed always for those whose prayers were evil or who prayed not at all."Monks of the West, Engl. trans., I. 42 sq.
545 Canon 13.
546 This has been sufficiently shown by Lea, Absolution Formula of the Templars, in Papers of Am. Soc. of Ch. Hist., vol. V.; also Hefele, V. 381. As late, however, as the thirteenth century there were monks in England who had not received priestly ordination. See Stevenson, Life of Grosseteste, 158.In the fifth century the consecration of the monk was treated in some quarters as a distinct sacrament.
547 It would be difficult to find more attractive pictures of earthly happiness than are given in the descriptions of mediaeval convents by eye-witnesses, as of the convent of Clairvaux by William of St. Thierry, Migne, 185, 248, and Peter de Roya, Migne, 182, 710.
548 It was even compared to the conversion of St. Paul. See Eicken, 324. Caesar of Heisterbach devotes a chapter of his Dialogus to conversion, that is, the assumption of the monastic vow. Canon 13 of the Fourth Lateran, Mansi, XXII. 1002, speaks of monastics as "the religious," of the orders as "religions," and of entering a convent as "being converted to religion." So Martin V. at the Council of Constance, 1418, charges Wyclif with declaring that "all religions owe their origin to the devil," that is, all orders. Mirbt, Quellen, 158.
549 St. Bernard, Ep.; 112; Migne, 182, 255 sq.
550 Chronicle, VII. 35, where he passes a lengthy panegyric upon monks. For another pleasing description of a convent and its appointments, see the account which Ingulph, abbot of Croyland, gives of the burning of his abbey in 1091. He does not forget to mention that "the very casks full of beer in the cellar were destroyed." See Maitland, 286-292.
551 Ep., II. 29; Migne, 158, 1182.
552 Ep., II. 28; Migne, 1180, conspirituales as well as consanguinei. A similar exhortation he directs to his two uncles. Ep., I. 45. See Hasse, Life of Anselm, I. 93 sqq. Anselm, however, knew how to make, an exception where a layman was devoting himself entirely to religious works. Visiting the Countess Matilda, shortly before her death, he recommended her not to take the veil, as she was doing more good in administering her estates than she might be able to do behind convent walls. Nevertheless he recommended her to have a nun’s dress within reach so that she might put it on when dying.
553 De vita claustrali, Migne, 172, 1247.
554 Sermo de diversis 37, quomodo non jam nunc estis sicut angeli Dei in caelo, a nuptiis penitus abstinentes, etc. Migne, 183, 641. Comp. 184, 703 sq.
555 Ordericus Vitalis, VII. 14. For the case of Hugh of Grantmesnil, see Order. Vit., VII. 28.
556 See Caesar of Heisterbach, Dial., XI. 6, 19, etc.; pulsata est tabula defunctorum pro eo. Strange ed. II. 274, also Hodges, Fountains Abbey, p. 115.
557 Guido said of his brother St. Bernard, "One thing I know and am assured of by experience that many things have been revealed to him in prayer." Migne, 185, 262.
558 Eos sibi derisiorie astitisse.
559 Praeterea quosdam nocturnis horis, aliis quiescentibus sancta orationum furta quaerentes et eadem causa claustrum et ecclesiam peragrantes, multis aliquando terroribus appetebant ita ut in eorum aliquos visibiliter, irruerent et ad terram verberando prosternerent. De miraculis, I. 17; Migne, 189, 883.
560 De mirac., I. 14; Migne, 189, 877.
561 Caesar of Heisterbach, Dial., IV. 30, VII. 24. See Kaufmaun’s ed., II. 87, note.
562 Ep., II. 12; Migne, 158, 1161 sqq.
563 Temple Classics ed., vol. VII.
564 Qui claustra construit vel delapsa reparat coelum ascensurus scalam sibi facie, quoted by Hurter, IV. 450. The Norman convent Les deux Amoureux got its name and foundation from the disappointed love of a poor knight and a young lady whose father refused her to the lover except on condition of his carrying her to the top of a distant hill. The knight made the attempt and fell dead on accomplishing the task, she quickly following him.
565 See Montalembert, I. 66.
566 Casa Dei, House of God; Vallis Domini, the Lord’s Valley, Portus Salutis, Gate of Salvation; Ascende Coelum, Ascent of Heaven; Lucerna; Claravallis, etc. Map, I. 24; Wright’s ed., p. 40.
567 The luxury and pomp of Cluny called forth the well-known protest of St. Bernard.
568 See art. Abbey, in "Enc. Brit.," by Dr. Venable, and also Jessopp, and especially Gasquet, pp. 13-37.
569 The term "convent" primarily means a society of persons. In legal instruments the usual form in England in the Middle Ages was "the prior and convent of." See Jessopp, p. 119, who calls attention to the endless bickerings and lawsuits in which the mediaeval convents of England were engaged. For the monk in his monastery, see Taunton, I. 65-96.
570 At one time Cluny cared for 17,000 poor. In the famine of 1117 the convent of Heisterbach, near Cologne, fed 1500 a day. In a time of scarcity Bernard supported 2000 peasants till the time of harvest
571 Hauck, IV. 312.
572 Hauck, IV. 401 sqq., says that there were not many abbesses in Germany like Hildegard and Elizabeth of Schönau. The complaints of corrupt monks and nuns came from Saxony, Swabia, Lorraine, the Rhine land, and Switzerland. See quotations in Hauck.
573 Gesta pontificum, Rolls Series, p. 70, as quoted by Taunton, I. 22. William says, "The monks of Canterbury, like all then in England, amused themselves with hunting, falconry, and horse racing. They loved the rattle of dice, drink, and fine clothes, and had such a retinue of servants that they were more like seculars than monks."
574 Religio peperit divitias, divitiae, religionem destruxerunt, Hom. III. 96. Jessopp, Coming of the Friars, says that in England the monks of the thirteenth century were better than their age, which is not difficult of belief.
575 Monks, were declared by the synod of Nismes, 1096, to be better qualified for ruling than the secular clergy. Hefele, V. 244.
576 For lists, see Helyot and Dr. Littledale’s art. Monachism, "Enc. Brit."
577 Ep., III. 38; Migne, 214, 921.
578 Ep., 97; Migne, 207, 304 sq. Speaking of the variety of expression which Christ allows, he says in a way worthy of a modern advocate of the Evangelical Alliance, ipsa varietas est uniformitatis causa.
579 See the remarkable passage quoted by Seeberg, Duns Scotus, 478 sq.
580 Matthew Paris gives one case after the other, as do the other English chroniclers. Jessopp, Coming of the Friars, says that the history of mediaeval English monasticism is made up of stories of everlasting litigation. The convents were always in trouble with their bishops.
581 Bishop Stubbs, Const. Hist., III. 329, says of the English monasteries that they were the stronghold of papal influence which the pope supported as a counterpoise to that of the diocesan bishops. For this reason the popes never made appointments of English abbots, and seldom, if ever, interfered with the elections by the monks
582 Dr. Jessopp, p. 155, says of the English monks: "After all, it must be confessed that the greatest of all delights to the thirteenth-century monks was eating and drinking. The dinner in a great abbey was clearly a very important event of the day. It must strike any one who knows much of the literature of this age, that the weak point in the monastic life of the thirteenth century was the gormandizing." He says, however, that little is heard of drunkenness. The ale brewed in the convents was an important item in the year’s menu. Richard of Marisco, bishop of Durham, gave the Abbey of St. Albans the tithes of Eglingham, Northumberland, to help the monks make a better ale, "taking compassion upon the weakness of the convent’s drink."
583 See Hauck, III. 493. "Das Mönchthum," he says, "war in Lothringen die führende Macht."
584 The Fourth Lateran instructed them to meet every three years.
585 Hauck, III. 442.
586 So also were the abbots of Bury St. Edmunds, St. Augustine at Canterbury, Croyland, Peterborough, Evesham, Glastonbury, and Gloucester; but the abbot of Glastonbury had the precedence, till Adrian IV. gave it to the abbot of St. Albans.
587 M. Paris and other English chroniclers are continually damning these Mendicant tax gatherers for their extortion. They were raising money for the pope in England as early as 1234.
588 Hurter, Innocent III., IV. 238. Gasquet gives an elaborate list of the monastic houses of England, pp. 251-318, and an account of the religious orders represented in England, together with instructive engravings, 211 sqq. According to Gasquet’s list there were more than fifteen hundred conventual houses in England alone.
589 The town now has four thousand inhabitants.
590 Hauck, III. 596, thinks there is no doubt Gregory was a Cluniac.
591 Hauck, III. 345 sqq.
592 A list of the German convents adopting the rule of Cluny, or a modified form of it, is given by Hauck, III. 863.
593 William erected new buildings at Hirschau to accommodate the large accessions of monks and founded a scriptorum and a library. Among his writings was a work on music, de musica et tonis. Hirschau was turned into a Protestant school by Duke Christoph, 1556. Its buildings were destroyed by the army of Louis XIV. The ruins are among the most venerable monuments of Württemberg.
594 Gundrada had visited Cluny. On her tombstone was placed the inscription Intulit ecclesiis Anglorum balsama morum, "she brought the balm of good manners to the churches of England." See Stephens, p. 254.
595 When the monasteries were repressed by Henry VIII., there were thirty-two Cluniac houses in England. Gasquet, 218. Taunton, I. 27, speaks of thirty-eight houses and three hospitals in London belonging to the Cluniacs.
596 The wide-sleeved over-garment stretching to the feet. The mitre, the distinctive cap of the bishop, was also frequently sent to abbots. One of the first instances was its presentation by Alexander II. to the abbot of St. Augustine of Canterbury. The abbot of Fulda received it and also the ring from Innocent II., 1137.
597 See Migne, 189, 1026 sqq. The volume contains Peter’s works.
598 Liber duo illustrium miraculorum. A translation of the Koran was made under Peter’s patronage. A revised edition by Bibliander was published at Basel, 1543. These works are contained in Migne, vol. 189, 507-903, which also prints Peter’s letters and sermons, and the hymns which are ascribed to him.
599 Apologia ad Guillelmum. Migne, 182, 895-918.
600 To this charge Peter replied that such property was much better in the hands of the monks than of wild laymen.
601 Ep., I. 28; Migne, 189, 156. A number of Peter’s letters to Bernard are preserved, all of them laying stress upon the exercise of brotherly affection. In strange contrast to his usual gentleness, stands his sharp arraignment of the Jews. See § 77 on Missions to the Jews.
602 The election of the abbot was taken out of the hands of the monks. During the Avignon captivity the popes, and later the French king, claimed the right to appoint that official. The Guises had the patronage of the abbey for nearly a hundred years. In 1627 Richelieu was appointed abbot.
603 The Hotel de Cluny was a stopping place for distinguished people. There Mary, sister of Henry VIII. of England, resided during her widowhood and there James V. of Scotland was married, 1537, to Madeleine, daughter of Francis I. The municipality of Cluny purchased the abbey buildings and in part dismantled them.
604 See Schaff, Christ in Song, and Julian, Hymnology.
605 Cardinal Hergenröther says, "The Cistercians reached a much higher distinction than the order of Cluny." Kirchengesch., II. 351.
606 In England they were careful breeders of horses (Giraldus Cambrensis, Speculum ecclesiae, IV. 130, and Brewer’s Preface, IV. 24) and were noted for their sheep and wool. Their wool was a popular article of royal taxation. John seized a year’s product to meet the payment of Richard’s ransom. M. Paris, Luard’s ed., II. 399. Henry III. forbade the monks to sell their wool. Henry II., 1257, taxed it heavily, etc. M. Paris, IV. 324, V. 610. See Stubbs, Const. Hist., I.541, II. 181, 200.
607 The name comes from the stagnant pools in the neighborhood.
608 He died on a Crusade. At his request his bones were taken back and buried at Citeaux, which became the burial place of his successors.
609 See Helyot, V. 404. According to Hauck, IV. 337, the Cistercians were the first to introduce into Germany the exaggerated cult of the Virgin.
610 He was a man of much administrative ability. William of Malmesbury, IV. 1, speaks of Stephen as "the original contriver of the whole scheme, the especial and celebrated ornament of our times." It is related that on a journey to Rome, and before entering Citeaux, he repeated the whole Psalter. Basil had enjoined the memorizing of the Psalter. According to the biographer of abbot Odo of Cluny, the monks of Cluny daily repeated 138 Psalms. Maitland, p. 375.
611 Janauschek has shown that 1800, the number formerly given, is an exaggeration.
612 Hurter, IV. 184 sqq.
613 Peter de Roya, Ep. St. Bernard, 492; Migne, 182, 711.
614 Hauck, IV. 336.
615 One of the regulations of the chapter of 1134 enjoined silence in the scriptorium. In omnibus scriptoriis ubicunque ex consuetudine monachi scribunt silentium teneatur sicut in claustro. Maitland, p. 450.
616 The Cistercians are said to have produced the first Swedish translation of the Bible. Hurter, IV. 180.
617 St. Bernard declared that the office of the monk is not to preach, but to be an ascetic, and that the town should be to him as a prison, and solitude as paradise, quod monachus non habet docentis sed plangentis officium, quippe cui oppidum carcer esse debet et solitudo paradisus. A monk who goes out into the world, he said, turns things round and makes his solitude a prison and the town paradise. Ep., 365; Migne, 182, 570.
618 Called at Hirschau also barbati, the bearded.
619 See Hauck, IV. 326 sqq., for the names of the German houses.
620 Shortly after Harding’s death, William of Malmesbury, IV. I, Rolls ed., II. 385, describes the order "as a model for all monks, a mirror to the studious, and a goad to the slothful." Gasquet, p. 221, says that three-fourths of the hundred Cistercian houses suppressed by Henry VIII. were founded in the 12th century.
621 The ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire is described by Motley (correspondence, I. 359) as "most picturesque, and the most exquisite, and by far the most impressive ruins I have ever seen, and much more beautiful than Melrose Abbey." For the ground plan, see Dr. Venables, art. Abbey, in Enc. Brit.," I. 19, and photographs of the walls (as they are). Hodges.
622 Stephens, Hist. of Engl. Church, p. 201.
623 As early as 1223 such Cistercians are called fugitives by the General Chapter. Contrasting the Cistercians with the Dominicans, Matthew Paris, an. 1255, Luard’s ed., V. 529, says of them, "They do not wander through the cities and towns, but they remain quietly shut up within the walls of their domiciles, obeying their superior."
624 Ep., 126; Migne, 182, 271.
625 Vita prima, III. 1; Migne, 185, 303. Gaufrid, the biographer, presents an elaborate description of his qualities. He says, Bernard was magnanimus in fide, longanimis in spe, profusus in charitate, summur in humilitate, praecipuus in pietate. Alanus in Vita secunda, XVII. 47, Migne, 185, 497, gives this high praise, humanissimus in affectione, magis tamen forte in fide.
626 This was the judgment of Philip Schaff, Literature and Poetry, p. 282. Bernard not seldom used in his letters such expressions as this, Nonne ego puer parvulus, Am I not as a little child? Ep., 365; Migne, 182, 570.
627 The document is given in Migne, 185, 622 sq.
628 Calvin says, Inst. IV. 2, 11, "in his de consideratione Bernard speaks as though the very truth itself were speaking." Luther, directed to Bernard by Staupitz, studied his works, and often appealed to his words. Köstlin, Life of Luther, I. 81. He praised Bernard for not having depended upon his monk’s vow, but upon the free grace of Christ for salvation. Denifle, Luther und Lutherthum, I. 56-64, tries to make out that Luther falsified when he represented Bernard as putting aside, as it were, his monastic profession as a thing meritorious. Luther, in an animated passage, declared that at the close of his life Bernard had exclaimed, tempus meum perdidi quia perdite vixi, "I have lost my time because I have lived badly, but there is one thing that consoles me, a contrite and broken heart Thou dost not despise." You see, said Luther, how Bernard hung his cowl on the hook and returned to Christ. It seems, according to Denifle, that the two clauses were not uttered at the same time by Bernard. The exclamation, "I have lost my life," was made in a sermon on the Canticles, Migne, 183, 867, and the other part was said by Bernard in a time of severe sickness. This is not the place to take up Denifle’s charge that Luther was playing fast and loose with Bernard’s ut-terances to make out a case, but it is sufficient to say that Luther was inten-ding to emphasize that Bernard depended solely upon grace for salvation, and this position is justified by expressions enough in Bernard’s writings.
629 Her piety is greatly praised by contemporaries. The abbot of St. Benignus at Dijon begged her body for his convent. William of St. Thierry said of her that "she ruled her household in the fear of God, was urgent in works of mercy, and brought up her sons in all obedience," enutriens filios in omni disciplina. Vita prima, I. 1.
630 Migne, 185, 260.
631 Virtus vehementius in infirmitate ejus refulgens, etc. Vita prima, VIII. 41; Migne, 185, 251.
632 To an Englishman, Henry Murdoch, Ep., 106; Migne, 182, 242. Aliquid amplius invenies in silvis quam in libris. Ligna et lapides docebunt te, quod a magistris audire non possis. An non putas posse te sugere mel de petra oleumque de saxo durissimo? etc. The words remind us of Shakespeare’s oft-quoted lines:
books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
633 Vita prima, III. 2; Migne, 185, 306. A mediaeval description of the beauties of nature is a rare thing. The Canticle of the Sun, by Francis d’Assisi, is an exception. Otto of Freising accompanied Frederick Barbarossa on his journey to Rome to receive the imperial crown, and speaks with much enthusiasm about the military display of the Germans, but had not a word to say about the glories of Rome or its monuments. See Fisher, Med. Empire, II. 229.
634 Vita prima, I. 5.
635 Apud vallem quae prius dicebatur vallis absinthialis et amara, coeperunt montes stillare dulcedinem, etc. Vita prima, XIII. 61; Migne, 185, 260. See also Alanus, Vita secunda, VI. 18.
636 His letters include long compositions abounding in allegory and moralizations and brief pithy statements, which approach the subject in hand with modern directness. Alanus gives a list of churchmen high in position going forth from Clairvaux. Vita secunda, XX. 54; Migne, 185, 154
637 Vacandard, vol. II., Appendix, gives a list of sixty-eight convents founded by Bernard.
638 William was born at Liège about 1085, and died about 1149. In 1119 he was made abbot of the Cistercian convent of Thierry near Rheims. We meet him frequently in the company of Bernard, and in the controversies over Abaelard and Gilbert of Poitiers.
639 Vita prima, I. 7; Migne, 182, 268.
640 The genuineness of the letter is questionable. Ep., 492; Migne, 182, 706-713.
641 Ep., 142; Migne, 182, 297.
642 Si despicit frater meus carnem meam, ne despiciat servus Dei animam meam. Veniat, proecipiat, quicquid praecperit, facere parata sum. Vita secunda, VII. 22; Migne, 185, 482. Was ever sister’s appeal more tender?
643 De consideratione, II. 1; Migne, 182, 743.
644 Bernard refers to this election in a letter to Eugenius, Ep., 256. "Who am I," he writes, "to establish camps and march at the head of armed men?"
645 It was on this journey that St. Bernard performed the miracle which has a humorous side. While he was crossing the Alps, the devil broke one of his carriage wheels. Bernard repaired the damage by commanding the devil to take the place of the broken wheel, which he did, and the wagon moved on again to the traveller’s comfort.
646 Vita prima, II. 7, 45; Migne, 185, 294 sq.
647 Migne, 182, 727-808.
648 "Une sorte d’examen de conscience d’un pape." Vie de S. Bernard, II. 454.
649 Bernard’s view of the functions of the papacy is given in the chapter on the Papacy.
650 Bindseil, Colloquia, III. 134.
651 Deutsch, Herzog, II. 634, says Er besass eine Bibelerkenntniss wie wenige.
652 For translation see Morison, p. 227 sqq., who calls it, "among funeral sermons assuredly one of the most remarkable on record."
653 See Dr. Storrs’s description, p. 461 sqq.
654 Storrs, p. 388.
655 Vita prima, III. 13; Migne, 185, 306,
656 I. 24, Wright’s ed., p. 20.
657 Ego mihi nec perfectionis conscius sum nec fictionis. Vita prima, III. 7; Migne, 185, 314 sq
658 Vita prima, I. 13; Migne, 185, 262.
659 Ep., 242; Migne, 182, 436.
660 Verecundia, de consid. II. 1; Migne, 185, 744. The word used here is signa. See also Vita prima, I. 9; Migne, 185, 252.
661 William of St. Thierry, in Vita prima, I. 9; Migne, 186, 253.
662 Febricitantibus multis sanctus manus imponens et aquam benedictam porrigens ad bibendum, sanitatem o btinuit, etc., Migne, 185, 278.
663 The only case I have found which was not a case of healing in Bernard’s miracles occurred at the dedication of the church of Foigny, where the congregation was pestered by swarms of flies. Bernard pronounced the words of excommunication against them and the next morning they were found dead and people shovelled them out with spades.
664 Vita prima, VI.; Migne, 185, 374 sqq.
665 Vita prima, IV. 5 sqq.; Migne, 185, 338-359. See Morison’s remarks, 372 sqq.
666 A strange story is told of Bernard’s throwing dice with a gambler. The stake was Bernard’s horse or the gambler’s soul. Bernard entered into the proposition heartily and won. The gambler is said to have led a saintly life thereafter. Gesta Romanorum, Engl. trans. by Swan, p. 317.
667 Life of Bernard, p. 66. Dr. Morison died 1905.
668 Der Heilige Bernhard, I. 135-141; II. 92-95. See also Neander’s Ch. Hist, Engl. trans. IV. 256 sq.
669 "When such works," Neander says in his history, "appear in connection with a governing Christian temper actuated by the spirit of love, they may perhaps be properly regarded as solitary workings of that higher power of life which Christ introduced into human nature." These words are adopted by Dr. Storrs, who says "it cannot be doubted that a most extraordinary force operated through Bernard on those who sought his assistance." Life of Bernard, p. 199 sq.
670 De gratia et libero arbitrio.
671 Ep., 174; Migne, 182, 332.
672 De baptismo aliisque questionibus.
673 See chapter on Mysticism.
674 Domus ipsa incutiebat reverentiam sui ac si ingrederer ad altare Dei, Vita prima, VII. 33; Migne, 185, 246.
675 Concordia, V. 38. See Schott, Die Gedanken des Abtes Joachim, Brieger’s Zeitschrift, 1902, 171.
676 Hildegard’s Works, Ep., 29; Migne, 197, 189.
677 Morison, p. 242.
678 Mortuus vivere et vivens mortuus putabatur, Vita St. Malachy, XXXI. 74; Migne, 185, 1116. Tender as he is to his Irish friend, Bernard described the Irish people as utter barbarians in that age.
679 Herzog, II. 634.
680 Dogmengeschichte, III. 301.
681 Bindseil, Colloquia, III. 152. Bernhardus hat den Jesus so lieb als einer sein mag.
682 Vita secunda, XVII.; Migne, 185, 498.
683 See art. Augustiner, in Herzog, II. 254 sqq., and in Wetzer-Welte, I. 1655 sqq. Theod. Kolde, D. deutsche Augustiner Congregation und Joh. von Staupitz, Gotha, 1879.
684 At Campell, near Paris, there were not less than fifty priests, whose number was reduced by Innocent III. to twenty-two. See Hurter, III. 375. The terms canonicus saecularis and regularis do not occur before the twelfth century. Up to that time they were known as clerici religiosi, clerici regulares, clerici professi, clerici communiter viventes, etc. So Denifle, Archiv für Lit. und Kirchengeschichte for 1886, p. 174. He quotes Amort, Vetus disciplina canonicorum regul et saecul., Venice, 1747, I. 333.
685 Chrodegana provided a common table for the clergy of his chapter, and a common dormitory. The Roman synods of 1059, 1063, recommended priests to have their revenues in common.
686 The tradition runs that this rule was prescribed by Innocent II., 1139, for all canons regular. Helyot, II. 21.
687 In a bull, Dec. 16, 1243, Innocent speaks of the regula S. Augustini et ordo. See Potthast, p. 954. The most distinguished convent of regular canons in France was the convent of St. Victor.
688 The cathedral of Bristol is built up from the old abbey of St. Augustine. The Augustinian, or Austin, canons were also called the Black Canons in England. They were very popular there. St. Botolph’s, Colchester, their first English house, was established about 1100. At the suppression of the monasteries there were one hundred and seventy houses in England, and a much larger number in Ireland. Gasquet, p. 225. See W. G. D. Fletcher, The Blackfriars in Oxford.
689 See Hurter, III. 238.
690 In England they had thirty-two friaries at the time of the dissolution. Gasquet, 241.
691 The Gilbertines, founded by St. Gilbert, rector of Sandringham, about 1140, were confined to England. There were twenty-six houses at the time of the suppression of the monasteries. The convents for men and women used a common church.
692 Norbert’s Works and Life are given in Migne, vol. 170, and his Life in Mon. Ger. XII., 670 sqq.; Germ. trans. by Hertel, in Geschichtschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit, Leipzig, 1881. See also Hauck, IV. 350-66; J. von Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs, vol. II. Leipzig, 1906, pp. 119-129, and the art. Praemonstratenser, X. 267 sqq., and Norbert, IX. 448 sqq., in Wetzer-Welte, and Praemonstratenser, in Herzog, XV. 606 sqq., and the literature there given; and Gasquet, The Engl. Praemonstratensians, in transactions of the Royal Hist. Soc., vol. XVII. London, 1903.
693 Walter puts Norbert in the group of the itinerant preachers of the age.
694 Pratum monstratum.
695 Hurter, IV. 206.
696 Bernard, Sermon, XXII.; Ep., 56
697 See Hurter, IV. 208.
698 In England there were more than thirty Premonstrant convents at the suppression of the monasteries. Bayham and Easley are their best preserved abbeys.
699 Consuetudines Carthusienses, printed among Bruno’s Works in Migne, 153, 651-759. Peter Dorland, Chronicon Carthusianae, Col. 1608. For literature see Wetzer-Welte, art. Karthäuser, VII. 203, and the art. Bruno, vol. II. 1356-63. Bruno’s Works in Migne, 152, 153. In his Com. on the Romans he anticipates Luther by inserting sola, "alone" in Rom. 3:28, "a man is justified by faith alone, without the works of the law." See Dr. Fr. Duesterdieck, Studien u. Kritiken, 1903, p. 506.
700 The device of the order is a globe surmounted by a lion with the motto Stat crux dum volvitur orbis, "The cross stands while the globe turns."
701 The following legend was invented to account for Bruno’s decision. In 1082 he was present at the mortuary services over Raymond, canon of Notre Dame, Paris. When the words were said, "Quantas habes iniquitates et peccata?""how many sins and iniquities hast thou?" the dead man rose up and replied, "justo dei judicio accusatus sum," "I am accused by the just judgment of God." The next day at the repetition of the words, the dead rose again and exclaimed, "justo dei judicio judicatus sum," "I am judged by the just judgment of God." The third day the dead man rose for the third time and cried out, "justo dei judicio condemnatus sum," "I am condemned by the just judgment of God." This incident was inserted into the Roman Breviary, but removed by order of Urban VIII., 1631. Hergenröther says the legend is still defended by the Carthusians. Kirchengesch., II. 353.
702 Peter the Venerable says of a visit to Chartreuse, Ep., VI. 24, inaccessibiles pene nivibus et glacie altissimas rupes non abhorrui, "I shrank not back from the high rocks made inaccessible by snow and ice." Hurter’s description, IV. 150, makes the location attractive.
703 Nova collectio statutorum Ord. Carthusiensis, Paris, 1682.
704 For the plan of a Carthusian monastery, see Dr. Venables’ art. Abbey, in "Enc. Brit.," I. 20 sq.
705 Vestes vilissimas ac super omne religionis propositum abjectissimas ipsoque visu horrendas assumpserunt. Pet. Ven., De miraculis, II. 28.
706 A movement among the Carthusians to pass over into other orders, where the discipline was less rigid, was severely rebuked by Innocent III. Hurter, IV. 161.
707 Medicinis, excepto cauterio et sanguinis minutione perraro utimur, quoted by Hurter, IV. 154, from the Constitutions of Guigo. Bleeding for medicinal purposes seems to have been common in convents. It was practised in the convent of Heisterbach, Caesar of Heisterbach, Dial., XI. 2. According to the life of Bernard of Thiron, it was the custom in some convents for monks suffering from headache or other physical ailments to have the abbot place his hands on their bodies, trusting to his miraculous power for healing. See Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs, Leipzig, 1906, II. p. 50.
708 And yet they have furnished at least four cardinals, seventy archbishops and bishops, and have had rich churches noted for their works of art like the one in Naples, or the church at Pavia, where lapis lazuli is freely used. See Hurter, IV. 158.
709 Pet. Ven., Epp., I. 24, IV. 38. Peter gives a list of the books he sent.
710 "The discipline was too rigid, the loneliness too dreadful for our tastes and climate." Jessopp, The Coming of the Friars, p. 125.
711 The order was suppressed in France at the time of the Revolution. The monks, however, were permitted to return to Grand Chartreuse in 1816, paying a rental of 3000 francs to the government. The mother convent has again been broken up by the Associations Law of 1903. There were at that time one hundred and fifty monks in the house. Some of them went to Piedmont, and others to Tarragona, Spain, where they have set up a distillery for their precious liqueur.
712 Ordo B. M. V. de Monte Carmelo is the name given by Innocent IV. The brethren are called fratres eremiti de monte Carmelo, by Honorius III., in his sanction of the order, 1226. The art. Carmelite, in Wetzer-Welte, II. 1966-1976, and Karmeliter, in Herzog, X. 84-88, give a good account and contain lists of literature. Potthast, I. No. 7524.
713 The convent on Mt. Carmel is a conspicuous object as you approach the coast from the Mediterranean, and from the hills round about Nazareth. The present building was erected in 1828, and is an hour’s walk from Haifa. Napoleon used the former buildings for a hospital during his Syrian campaign.
714 Speculum Carmelitarum seu historia Eliani ordinis, 4 vols. Antwerp, 1680.
715 Benedict XIII., in 1725, gave quasi-sanction to the order’s claim by permitting it to erect a statue to Elijah in St. Peter’s. It bears the inscription Universus ordo Carmelitarum fundatori suo St. Eliae prophetae erexit.
716 The Carmelites are often called the Brotherhood of the Scapulary. The scapulary is a sleeveless jacket covering the breast and back, and was originally worn over the other garments when the monk was at work. The garment has been the frequent subject of papal decree down to Leo XIII., 1892. July 16 has been set apart since 1587 as a special festival of the scapulary, and is one of the feasts of the Virgin. A work has been written on the proper use of the scapulary, by Brocard: Recueil des instructions sur la devotion au St. Scapulaire de Notre Dame de Monte Carmelo, Gand, 4th ed. 1875. Simon Stock was one hundred when he died.
717 Hergenröther-Kirsch, Kirchengesch., II. 362, says it is introduced as a matter of "pious opinion," fromme Meinung.
718 The original bull has not been found, and its authenticity has been a subject of warm dispute, in the Catholic church. The pertinent words of Mary are Ego mater gratiose descendam sabbato post eorum mortem et, quot inveniam in purgatorio, liberabo. "I, mother, will graciously descend on the Sabbath after their death, and whomever I find in purgatory I will free." One ground for doubting the authenticity of the bull is that Mary promises to forgive sins. Paul V., in 1613, decreed that this "pious faith" should be preached. See art. Sabbatina, in Wetzer-Welte, X. 1444-1447
719 By the decision of Clement VIII., 1593, the Barefoot monks became an independent order, and elect their own general superior. Hurter, IV. 213, concludes his short account of the Carmelites by saying, that among other things which they used to exaggerate to a ridiculous extent was the number of their houses, which they gave at 7500, and of their monks, which they gave as 180,000.
720 Falco, Antonianae Hist. compendium, Lyons, 1534. Uhlhorn, D. christl. Liebesthätigkeit d. Mittelalters, Stuttg. 1884, 178-186, 343 sqq.
721 The Antonites regarded St. Anthony as the patron of stable animals, a view popularly held in Italy. An example of this belief is given in the Life of Philip Schaff, 56 sq.
722 The Trinitarians were also called Maturines, from their house in Paris near St. Mathurine’s chapel. They had a few houses in England. A Spanish order with the same design, the Ordo B. V. M. de Mercede redemptionis captivorum, was founded by Peter Nolasco and Raymond of Pennaforte. See Hurter, IV. 219.
723 The last abbess died 1799. Since 1804 the abbey of Font Evraud has been used as a house for the detention of convicts. Henry II. of England and Richard Coeur de Lion were buried at Font Evraud. For the literature of the order, see Herzog, VI. 125, and J. von Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs, Studien zur Gesch. des Mönchthums, Robert von Abrissel, I. Leipzig, 1903.
724 Ut capillos non nutriant suos. Walter, Wanderprediger, II. 112.
725 Hurter, IV. 140. See art. Grammont, in Wetzer-Welte, VI. 990 sqq.
726 Walter, II. 143.
727 Fratres saccati, fratres de sacco, saccophori, etc. See art. Sackbrüder, in Herzog, XVII. 327. Gasquet, 241 sq.
728 See Coulton, p. 301.
729 Among others who were expecting the millennium soon to dawn, was Norbert, who wrote to St. Bernard that the age in which he lived was the age of antichrist. Bernard, Ep., 56; Migne, 182, 50, wrote back taking a contrary view.
730 The name of Héloïse was perhaps as widely known, but it was for her connection with Abelard, not for her works in the Church. The Latin form of Hildegard is Hildegardis. M. Paris, Luard’s Ed., V. 195, in his summary of the events of 1200-1250, mentions Hildegard and Elizabeth of Thuringia as the prominent religious female characters of the period, but Hildegard died 1177.
731 Ep., XXVI. sq.; Migne, 197, 185 sq.
732 Ep., XXII. On the other hand, Hildegard asked Bernard to pray for her.
733 animam meam sicut flammam comburens, Migne, 197, 190. St. Bernard, writing to Hildegard, spoke of the "sweetness of her holy love," and Hildegard compares the abbot of Clairvaux to the eagle and addresses him as the most mild of fathers, mitissime pater.
734 non visiones in somnis, nec dormiens, nec in phrenesi, nec corporeis oculis aut auribus exterioris, nec in abditis locis percepi, sed eas vigilans, circumspiciens in pura mente oculis et auribus interioris hominis, etc. Scivias, I. Praefatio, Migne, 197, 384.
735 Scivias. See Migne, 197, 93. This is the chief collection of her visions. Migne, 197, 383-739.
736 Ep., I.; Migne, 197, 146.
737 Migne, 197, 117.
738 de plantis, Migne, 197, 1139.
739 Migne, 197, 1210.
740 Her writings are given in Migne, 195, 119-196. First complete edition by F. W. C. Roth: Die Visionen der heiligen Elizabeth, Brünn, 1884. See Preger: Gesch. d. deutschen Mystik, 1, 37-43.
741 Migne, 195, 146.
742 acorpore rapta sum in exstasim, p. 135, oreram in exstasi et vidi, p. 145.
743 Migne, 195, 146.
744 After the convent St. Johannes in Flore, which he founded. The members of Joachim’s order are called in the papal bull, Florentii fratres, Potthast, No. 2092, vol. I. 182.
745 When Richard Coeur de Lion was in Sicily on his way to Palestine in 1190, he was moved by Joachim’s fame to send for him. The abbot interpreted to him John’s prophecy of anti-christ, whom he declared was already born, and would in time be elevated to the Apostolic chair and strive against everything called of God. De Hoveden, Engl. trans., II. pp. 177 sqq.
746 Joachim had set forth his views against the Lombard in a tract to which the council referred. See Mansi, xxii., and Hefele-Knöpfler, V. 880 sq.
747 Joachim, in a list, 1200, gives these three writings and also mentions works against the Jews and on the articles of the Christian faith. Schott, p. 170, counts twenty-four works, genuine and ungenuine, which are ascribed to him. Among those pronounced ungenuine are the commentaries on Jeremiah and Isaiah which were much used by the Franciscans from the middle of the thirteenth century on. They call Rome, Babylon and show a bitter hostility to the pope, representations which are in conflict with Joachim’s genuine writings. They also abound in detailed prophecies of events which actually occur-red. "If these books were genuine," says Döllinger, p. 369, "the exact fulfilment of the many predictions would present the most wonderful phenomenon in the history of prophecy."
748 principium, fructificatio, finis.
749 See Denifle, pp. 53 sqq.
750 spiritualis ecclesia, also called ecclesia contemplativa, Denifle, pp. 56 sqq.
751 Parvuli Christi or parvuli de latina ecclesia, a name for monks.
752 In some passages Joachim also speaks of two orders. See Döllinger, 376.
753 So Schott, p. 180, Die Fructification ist nichts anders als ein neuer Ausdruck für den Entwicklungsgedanken.
754 See Schott, 175.
755 Döllinger, 379; Schott, 178, etc.
756 The Fourth Lateran Council, Canon II.
757 He also quotes freely from Jerome, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, and other Fathers.
758 Introductorius in Evangelium aeternum.
759 Or the "Gospel of the Holy Spirit." See Denifle, p. 60.
760 The practical English monk, M. Paris, speaks of Joachim’s doctrines as "new and absurd." III. p. 206.
761 Coulton’s Reproduction, pp. 105, 163.
762 Ordines mendicantium..
763 The practice of mendicancy was subsequently adopted by the Carmelites, 1245, the Augustinian friars, 1256, and several other orders. In 1274 Gregory X. abolished all mendicant orders except the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinian friars, and Carmelites.
764 Wilhelm Kothe: Kirchliche Zustände Strassburgs im 14ten Jahrhundert, Freib. im Br., 1903, says the mendicant monks were distrusted in Strassburg from the beginning and the Dominicans had to remain outside of the walls till 1250, and their attempt at that time to build a chapel stirred up a warm conflict.
765 Paradiso, canto XI. Longfellow’s trans.
766 Harnack says: "If ever man practised what he preached, that man was Francis." Monachism, p. 68.
767 Karl Müller accepts the evidence which Sabatier gives. See Literatur-Zeitung, 1895, p. 181.
768 This does not mean that the Franciscans in their early period were idlers. They were expected to work. Sabatier, S. François, VIII. p. 138.
769 nudus nudum Christum in cruce sequi, Walter, Wanderprediger.
770 Pauperem dominum ad mortem pauper spiritu pauper sequebatur, Walter, II. 44.
771 Leve jugum Christi per apostolorum vestigia ferre decrevit, Walter, II. 83.
772 Walter, Wanderprediger Frankreichs, p. 168, has brought this out well.
773 Hergenröther says, "Chivalry reappeared in them in a new form. In happy unison were blended peace and battle, contemplation and active life, faith and love, prudent moderation and flaming enthusiasm." Kirchengeschichte, II. 369.
774 "Of one thing," says Trevelyan, "the friar was never accused. He is never taunted with living at home in his cloister and allowing souls to perish for want of food." England in the Age of Wycliffe, p. 144.
775 So called in the bull of Gregory IX., 1228; Potthast, I. p. 703.
776 See the quotations from the Speculum andVita secunda of Celano, in Seppelt, pp. 234 sqq. Also Sabatier, S. François, ch. XVI.
777 For the relations of the mendicant orders with the University of Paris, see Denifle, Chartularium Univ. Parisiensis, I.; Seppelt, Der Kampf der Bettelorden an der Univ. Paris in der Mitte des 13ten Jahrh.; Felder, Gesch. der wissenschaftlichen Studien im Franciskanerorden bis c. 1250.
778 Chartul., I. 285.
779 Chartul., I. 309-313, gives Humbert’s long letter.
780 Chartul., I. 381. See chapter on Universities.
781 Villani, V. 25, says, "This vision was true, for it was evident the Church of God was falling through licentiousness and many errors, not fearing God."
782 Bishop Creighton, Hist. Lectures, p., 112, says, "The friars were far more destructive to ecclesiastical jurisdiction than any Nonconformist body could be, at the present day, to the influence of any sensible clergyman." He is speaking of the Anglican Church.
783 The bulls are dated March 7 and 29. See Potthast, I. 590. The same privilege was conceded to the Carmelites, April 9, 1229.
784 Potthast, I. 697, 721.
785 Potthast, I. 701, 706.
786 June 10, 1228, Potthast, I. 707.
787 See Potthast, Nos. 6508, 6542, 6654, etc.
788 Potthast, II. 1280. Innocent died a few weeks after issuing this bull and, as is said, in answer to the prayers of the mendicants. Hence came the saying, "from the prayers of the Preachers, good Lord, deliver us." A litanis praedicatorum libera nos, Domine.
789 In his treatise de periculis novissorum temporum, "The Perils of the Last Times," Basel, 1555, William has been held up as a precursor of Rabelais and Pascal on account of his keen satire. He was answered by Bonaventura and by Thomas Aquinas in hiscontra impugnantes religionem. Alexander IV. ordered William’s treatise burnt, and in the bull, dated Oct. 5, 1256, declared it to be "most dangerous and detestable," valde perniciosum et detestabilem. See Potthast, II. 1357. When an edition of Williaim’s treatise appeared at Paris, 1632, the Mendicants secured an order from Louis XIII. suppressing it. William was inhibited from preaching and teaching and retired to Franche-Comte, where he died. See Chartularium Univ. Parisiensis, I. Nos. 295, 296, 314, 318, 321, 332, 339, 343, 315, etc.
790 Matthew Paris in his résumé of the chief events of 1200-1250 has this to say of the decay of the orders, "These Preachers and Minorites at first led the life of poverty and greatest sanctity and devoted themselves assiduously to preaching, confessions, divine duties in the church, reading and study, and abandoned many revenues, embracing voluntary poverty in the service of God and reserving nothing in the way of food for themselves for the morrow, but within a few years, they got themselves into excellent condition and constructed most costly houses, etc." Luard’s ed., V. 194.
791 The former unfavorable view of most Protestant historians concerning Francis is no longer held. Hallam, Middle Ages, II. 197, called him "a harmless enthusiast, pious and sincere, but hardly of sane mind." Lea, representing the present tendency, goes far, when he says. "No human creature since Christ has more fully incarnated the ideal of Christianity than Francis." Hist. of Inquis., I. 260. Harnack says, "If ever a man practised what he preached, it was St. Francis." An anonymous writer, reviewing some of the Franciscan literature in the Independent, 1901, p. 2044, seriously pronounced the judgment that "Since the Apostles, Francis received into his being the love of Christ toward men and the lower creatures more fully than any other man, and his appearance has been an epoch of spiritual history only less significant than that of the original Good Tidings." More judicious is Sabatier’s verdict, Vie de S. Franc., p. viii., "that Francis is pre-eminently the saint of the Middle Ages. Owing nothing to the Church, he was truly theodidact."
792 The Speculum perfectionis, pp. 94 sqq., leaves no room for doubting the gift of the church to Francis. The gift was made on condition that the chapel should always remain the centre of the brotherhood.
793 That is, in the cell a few yards from Portiuncula. Both Portiuncula and the cell, which has been turned into a chapel, are now under the roof of the basilica.
794 Sabatier limits the Rule to these passages of Scripture. Thomas of Celano, Vita sec., II. 10, says that Francis "used chiefly the words of the Holy Gospel" but says further that "he added a few other things which were necessary for a holy life pauca tamen inseruit alia."
795 In case of necessity the wearing of sandals was permitted. Speculum, p. 8.
796 Speculum, 38; 2 Cel. 3, 35. The woman was expected to sell the book.
797 On the meaning of idiota, see Felder, p. 61, and Böhmer, p. xi. Felder, pp. 59 sqq., makes an effort to parry the charges that Francis lacked education and disparaged education for his order. Celano calls him vir idiota and says nullis fuit scientiae studiis innutritus. He also speaks of him as singing in French as he walked through a forest. See the notes in Felder.
798 See Böhmer, pp. xiii. sq., 69 sq.
799 Giotto has made the meeting with Innocent seated on his throne the subject of one of his frescoes. A splendid contrast indeed, the sovereign of kings and potentates and yet the successor of Peter, recognizing the humble devotee, whose fame was destined to equal his own! The date usually given is 1209. Sabatier gives reasons for the change to 1210. St. François, p. 100.
800 M. Paris, Luard’s ed., III. 132. Sabatier remarks that the incident has a real Franciscan color and is to be regarded as having some historic basis.
801 Spectulum, p. 49. See also Cel. 10; 2 Cel. 97. Sabatier insists that Francis had "no intention of creating a mendicant order, but a working order." S. François, p.138. Denifle also called attention to this feature, Archiv, 1885, p. 482.
802 Speculum, xvii.
803 Celano in his first Life speaks of the sacred intercourse between Francis and holy Poverty, commercium cum sancta paupertate. The work entitled Sacrum commercium, etc., relates in full the story accounting for Francis’ espousal of Poverty.
804 Jacopone da Todi took up the idea and represented Poverty going through the earth and knocking at the door of convent after convent, and being turned away. Hase, with reference to Francis’ apotheosis of Poverty, says, that Diogenes was called a mad Socrates, and so Francis was a mad Christ, ein verrückter Christus. KirchenGesch. II. 382. In its opening chapter the Commercium explains the beatitude, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," to refer to the renunciation of worldly goods, and puts into the hands of Poverty the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
805 Francis was a deacon and never a priest. According to Thomas à Celano, Francis was austere in his relations to women, and knew only two women by sight. Sabatier, pp. 169 sq., pronounces this portraiture false and speaks of "the love of St. Francis and St. Clara." Here, as in other places, the biographer allows himself the license of the idealist. Francis’ last message to Clara is given in the Speculum Perfectionis, pp. 180 sqq. The Franciscan Rule of 1223 forbids, suspicious conferences with women, "but allows the friars to enter monastaries of nuns by permission of the Holy See. See Robinson, p. 73.
806 According to the Speculum, pp. 1-4, 76, Francis made three Rules. Sabatier defines them as the Rule of 1210, confirmed by Innocent III., the Rule of 1221, confirmed by Honorius III., which in part misrepresented Francis’ views. The Rule of 1223 went further in this direction and completely overthrew Francis’ original intention. The first clause of the Rule of 1228 runs, "Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to the lord pope, Honorius, and his successors." This rule is still in force in the first Franciscan order. Madonnet substantially agrees with Sabatier as does Karl Müller. Father Robinson, himself a Franciscan friar, pp. 25-31, 182, following the Quaracchi editors, who are Franciscans also, denies the genuineness of the Rule of 1221, and holds that there were only two Rules, and that there is no conflict between them. This conclusion is in the face of Francis’ will and the plain statement of Leo’s Legenda which, however, Robinson pays little attention to.
807 See Sabatier, S. François, p. 23. Peter of Catana died March 10, 1221, a year after his elevation.
808 Almost everything done in the order after 1221 was done either "without Francis’ knowledge or against his, will and mind," are the words of Sabatier. S. François, p. 316.
809 For the Latin text of this remarkable writing see Speculum, 309-313. Sabatier gives a French trans., in his S. Francois, 389 sqq.
810 This designation was not original with Francis. In the fourth century Hilarion called his body the ass which ought to have chaff and not barley. Schaff, Ch. Hist. III., 190.
811 Nouvelles Etudes d’hist. rel., 2d ed., Paris, 1844, pp. 333-35l. No reasonable doubt is possible that Francis was the author of the Canticle, now that the Speculum has been published (pp. 234 sqq., and Sabatier’s remarks, 278-288).
812 Speculum, 223-226. See Longfellow’s poem, The Sermon of St. Francis.
813 Little Flowers of Francis, 93-99. Anthony of Padua, also a Franciscan, according to the same authority, pp. 166 sqq., preached to the fishes at Rimini and called upon them to praise God, seeing they had been preserved in the flood and saved Jonah. The fishes ascended above the water and opened their mouths and bowed their heads. The people of the city were attracted and Anthony used the occasion to preach a powerful sermon. In the legend of St. Brandon, it is narrated that when St. Brandon sang, the fishes lay as though they slept. Aurea Legenda, Temple Classics, vol. V.
814 Speculum, p. 241.
815 Quoniam, gratia Spiritus sancti cooperante, ita sum unitus et conjunctus cum Domino meo quod per misericordiam suam bene possum In ipso altissimo jocundari. Speculum, p. 237.
816 Mortem cantando suscepit. 2 Cel., 3, 139.
817 Speculum, 244 sq.
818 Potthast, 8236, 8240, vol. I. 709-710.
819 There, after much searching, it is said to have been found, 1818. Plus VII., in 1822, declared it to be the genuine body of Francis.
820 Sabatier gives a charming description of the region, showing his own intense sympathy with nature.
821 p. 194. It is at first sight striking that the author does not give a detailed description of this wonderful event. From another standpoint the passing reference may be regarded as a stronger testimony to its reality. See Sabatier’s observations, Speculum, pp. lxvi. sqq. It will be remembered that Sabatier places this document in 1227, only seven months after Francis’ death.
822 In three bulls, Potthast, 10307, 10308, 10309, vol. I. 875.
823 The evidence for the genuineness is accepted by Sabatier, S. François, 401 sqq. Among other testimonies he adduces a Benediction upon Leo ostensibly written by Francis’ own hand, and found among the archives of Assisi. See Speculum, p. lxvii. sq. On the margin of this document Leo has written his authentication. He vouches for the scene on the Verna and the stigmata. If this document be genuine, as Sabatier insists, it is the most weighty of all the testimonies. Hase stated, as strongly as it can be stated, the view that the whole tale was a fraud, invented by Elias, Francis of Assisi, 143-202, and Kirchengeschichte, II. 385 sqq. Elias was the only eye-witness, and it is contrary to all laws that he should have denied the people the privilege of looking at the marks, after the saint was dead, if they had really been there. On the contrary, he hurried the body to the grave. Hase makes a strong case, but it must be remembered that he wrote without having before him the later evidence brought to light by Sabatier
824 S. François, 401 sqq. Sabatier does not regard them as miraculous but as unusual, as, for example, are the mathematical powers and musical genius of youthful prodigies. According to Hase, this was also Tholuck’s explanation. See art. Stigmatization, in Herzog, XIV. 728-734, which takes the same view and compares the scars to the effects of parental states before childbirth.
825 So Hausrath. The first Franciscan chronicler, Salimbene, d. 1287, no doubt expressed the feeling of his age when he said, "Never man on earth but Francis has had the five wounds of Christ." The Dominicans claimed the stigmata for St. Catherine of Siena, but Sixtus IV., in 1475, prohibited her being represented with them.
826 Bonaventura’s legendary Life makes Francis a witness to the stigmata, but he evidently is seeking to establish the fact against doubts.
827 In his will he refers again and again to his divine appointment Deus mihi dedit, "God has given to me."
828 Monasticism, Engl. trans., p. 67, and S. François, p. viii.
829 The version of Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism, 1st series. A recent translation is given in Robinson; the Writings of St. Francis, pp. 150 sqq., by the Franciscan, Stephen Donovan. Böhmer, p. 65, gives the Latin text.
830 Speculum, p. 76. Domine, said Francis, minores ideo vocati sunt fratres mei ut majores fieri non proesumant.
831 See Sabatier, S. François, pp. 80 sqq. Also Madonnet, Les Origines de l’ordo de Poenitentia, pp. 4, 21 sq. etc., who presents this feature of Francis’ society in its early days in a clear light.
832 See Sabatier, Vie de S. François, pp. 273 sqq.
833 This Rule has only recently been found and published in the Seraphicae legislationis textus originales, Quaracchi, 1897. See Robinson, pp. 76sqq.
834 See Speculum, p. 181 and note.
835 Finally by Urban IV., 1263. See Potthast, II. 1515. Affiliated houses were erected at Burgos, Spain, 1219; Rheims, France, 1220; Prague, 1235, etc.
836 Frates et sorores de poenitentia.
837 See Potthast, II. 1856.
838 Potthast, I. 703. Nicolas IV., however, speaks of a rule given by Francis.
839 See the art. Humiliaten in Herzog, VIII. 447-449, by Zöckler who quotes H. Tiraboschi, Memorie degli Humiliati, 3 vols. Modena, 1766. Sabatier, Regula antique, p. 15, upon the basis of Jacques de Vitry and other authorities, says the Humiliati were at the height of their zeal and activity in 1220. He confesses that the Tertiary Rule, the Regula Antiqua, is probably in part a copy of the Rule of the Humiliati sanctioned by Innocent III. and says, "Perhaps we have heretofore ascribed an undue originality to the Franciscan movement."
840 See Walter Goetz, Die Regel des Tertiarierordens, in Brieger’s Zeitschrift, 1902, pp. 97 sqq.
841 VI. 3, arma mortalia contra quempiam non recipiant vel secum ferant. This most interesting statement was changed by Nicolas IV. in 1289 so that it read, "The brethren shall not carry arms of attack except for the defence of the Roman Church, the Christian faith, or their country, or unless they have authority from their superiors." The Humiliati received papal exemption from Honorius III. against going to war. See Sabatier, Regula antiq., p. 22, Note.
842 The development of the Tertiary order is a matter of dispute. Sabatier has recently made known two rules of the Tertiary order; the first, found in Florence, the second which he himself discovered in the convent of Capistrano in the Abruzzi. To compare them with the Rule contained in Nicolas IV.’s bull, supra montem, 1289, the Rule of Nicolas has 20 chapters, the Florentine 19, that of Capistrano 13. See the table given by Walter Goetz, p. 100. Sabatier in his edition of the Capistrano Rule, Regula Antiqua, p. 12, puts it very close to the death of Francis, between 1228 and 1234. Les Règles, etc., p. 153, goes further and puts it back to 1221, thus making it the second Rule of St. Francis. At any rate, it must for the present be regarded as the oldest form of the Rule. Goetz, p. 105, while dating the Regula Antiqua much earlier than 1289, is inclined to regard it as a compilation. In 1517 Leo X. perfected the regulations concerning Tertiary orders and divided the members into two classes, those taking no vows and living in the ordinary walks of life and those who live in convents. The best general treatment of the subject is furnished by Karl Müller, Die Anf1nge des Minoritenordens., pp. 115-171, and Madonnet who gives a convenient list of the papal utterances on the Tertiaries, Les Règles, etc., pp. 146 sq.
843 The Observants looked to Portiuncula as the centre of the order, the Conventuals to the cathedral of Assisi.
844 Ubertino da Casale’s interpretation of Francis’ purpose is given by Knoth, pp. 99 sq.
845 Sabatier, Speculum, pp. li sq.
846 Potthast, II. 1746.
847 Ubertino, during seven days of rigid seclusion on the Verna, wrote the ascetic workArbor vitae crucifixae. See Knoth, 9-14.
848 2 Lempp, Anthony of Padua, p. 439.
849 The Franciscans became guardians of the holy places in Palestine. In answer to my question put to a Franciscan in Nazareth, whether the Church of the Annunciation there was the veritable place where Mary had received the message of the angel, he replied, "Most certainly! We Franciscans have been in this land 600 years and have thoroughly investigated all these matters."
850 See Hauck, IV. pp. 378 sq.
851 All that we know about his life is gotten from his account of the Franciscans in England. He died about 1260. Eccleston gives the names of the nine first missionaries. Mon. Franc., pp. 5 sqq. Agnellus of Pisa stood at their head. Three of the clerics were Englishmen.
852 Creighton, p. 107.
853 See the descriptions of Jessopp, Coming of the Friars, pp. 21 sqq., and Brewer’s Mon. Franc., pp. xv. sq.
854 Mon. Franc., p. xli.
855 He tells a comic story of William de Madeley, at Oxford, who, finding a pair of shoes, put them on and went to matins. Going to sleep be dreamt he was attacked by thieves, and thrust out his feet to show that he was a friar. But lo! the shoes were still on, and starting up he flung them out of the window. Another poor friar, Gilbert de Vyz, so he relates, was badly treated by the devil. It happened at Cornhill. The devil at his final visit exclaimed, "Sir, do you think you have escaped me?" De Vyz picked up a handful of lice and threw it at the devil, and he vanished. p. 13.
856 John L’Estrange says that, at the time they were falling out of favor, one English will out of every three conveyed property to the Franciscans. Quoted by Howlett in his Preface to Mon. Franc., II. p. xxvii.
857 According to Gasquet, p. 237, there were sixty-six Franciscan houses. Addis and Scannell’s Catholic Dict., p.388, gives a list of sixty-four. The first house of the Franciscan nuns, or Poor Clares, was founded outside of Aldgate, London, 1293, and was known as "the Minories," a name the locality still retains. At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries they had three houses in England.
858 Ordo praedicatorum, fratres praedicatores, or simply praedicatores, as in the papal bulls and the constitutions of the order.
859 His descent from the noble family of Guzman has been disputed by the Bollandists.
860 Jordanus says, they went ad Marchias, which probably refers to the domain of Hugo of Lusignan, Count de la Marche, and not to Denmark, as often represented.
861 The bull canonizing Dominic says, haereticos caritative ad poenitentiam et conversionem fidei hortabatur, he affectionately exhorted heretics to return to the faith.
862 Potthast, I. 436.
863 See Denifle, Archiv, 1885, p. 169, who says that Dominic took as the basis of his rule the rule of the Premonstrants and insists that his followers were canons regular. Denifle was a Dominican, and in his able article gives too much credit to Dominic for originality.
864 This important office according to Echard at first gave to the incumbent the right to fix the meaning of Scripture at the Pontifical court. It has since come to have the duty of comparing all matters with the catholic doctrine before they are presented to the pope, selecting preachers for certain occasions, conferring the doctors’degree, etc. Wetzer-Welte avoids giving offence to the Dominicans by making the ambiguous statement, III. 1934, that Dominicgewissermassen der erste Mag. palatii wurde.
865 Hauck, IV. 391-394.
866 At the suppression of the monasteries under Henry VIII., the Dominicans had 68 houses in England (Gasquet, p. 237), or 57 according to Addis and Scannell, Dict., p. 301.
867 Potthast, I. 810.
868 See the Constitution of 1228, Denifle, pp. 212, 215.
869 Magister generalis. In 1862 Pius IX. limited his tenure of office to twelve years. Since 1272 he has lived at St. Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.
870 May 16, 1227. See Potthast, I. 684. Denifle makes much of this point, pp. 176-180.
871 Denifle gives the best edition in Archiv for 1885, pp. 193-227.
872 Denifle, pp. 181 sqq., states that the idea of poverty was in Dominic’s mind before Honorius sanctioned the order, and that it was thoroughly as original with him as it was with Francis. This view seems to be contradicted by the bull of Honorius, 1216, which confirms Dominic and his followers in the possession of goods. Jordanus, c. 27, states that the principle of poverty was adopted that the preachers might be freed from the care of earthly goods, ne predicationis impediretur officium sollicitudine terrenorum. Francis adopted this principle as a means of personal sanctification; Dominic, in order that he and his followers might give themselves up unreservedly to the work of saving souls.
873 Caritatem habete, humilitatem servite, pauperitatem voluntariam possidete.
874 Denifle, pp. 185 sqq.
875 Nullus fiat publicus doctor, nisi per 4 annos ad minus theologiam audierit. Const., 1228, II. 30.
876 Ordo noster specialiter ob praedicationem et animarum salutem ab initio institutus. Prol. to Constitution of 1228.
877 Quoted by Denifle, p. 190.
878 Const. II. 31-33.
879 Paradiso, XII.
880 See Potthast, II. 9386, 9388 (Gregory IX., 1284), etc. The Franciscans were made inquisitors in Italy and Southern France. See chapter on the Inquisition.
881 Leo commended the rosary in repeated encyclicals, Aug. 30, 1884, 1891, etc., coupling plenary indulgence for sin with its use. He also ordered the title regina sanctissimi rosarii, "queen of the most holy rosary," inserted into the liturgy of Loreto. On the history of the rosary, see Lea, Hist. of Auric. Conf., III. 484 sqq., and especially the dissertation St. Dominikus und der Rosenkranz, by the Franciscan, Heribert Holzapfel. This writer declares, point blank, that the rosary was not invented nor propagated by Dominic. There is no reference to it in the original Constitution of 1228, which contains detailed prescriptions concerning prayer and the worship of the Virgin, nor in any of the eighteen biographical notices of the thirteenth century. Holzapfel makes the statement, p. 12, that the entire thirteenth and fourteenth centuries know nothing of any association whatsoever of St. Dominic with the rosary. Sixtus IV., 1478, was the first pope to commend the rosary; but Sixtus does not associate it with the name of Dominic. Such association began with Leo X. What has become of the author of this bold denial of the distinct statement of Leo XIII. in his encyclical of ten years before, September, 1883, I do not know. Holzapfel distinctly asserts his opposition to the papal deliverances on the rosary, when he says, p. 37, "High as the regard is in which the Catholic holds the authority of Peter’s successors in religious things, he must be equally on his guard against extending that authority to every possible question." Perhaps Father Holzapfel’s pamphlet points to the existence of a remainder of the hot feeling which used to exist between the Thomists and Scotists.