Vol. 5, Chapter VIII (Cont’d) – The Mendicant Orders For literature

68.  see §§ 69, 72. A powerful impulse was imported into monasticism and the life of the medieval Church by the two great mendicant orders, 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. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” 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.” 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” 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. 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. 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. In 1257 Alexander IV. could congratulate all parties that tranquillity had been established. 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. These were Francis and Dominic, and the facts of history justified the invention. They helped the pope to establish his authority over the bishops. 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. 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 churches and a year later repeated the privilege conceded by Honorius granting them the right of celebrating mass in all their oratories and churches. 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. 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,” 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. 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. 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.