CHRONICLE OF THE ORDER
Blessed Dominic, a Spaniard full of the knowledge of God, sincere in life and known as a religious man, travelled with Bishop Diego of Osma to Toulouse. That very day, with God's help, he converted his heretical host to the true faith. After going to the Duchy of Denmark on business of the Spanish king, the bishop visited the court of Toulouse twice, and stayed two years preaching in the region of Toulouse.
After Bishop Diego returned to his diocese Blessed Dominic remained alone for ten years in various parts of the province of Narbonne, especially around Carcasonne and Fanjeaux, with only a few companions who had no bond of profession. There he refuted heretics and confirmed the Catholic faith, proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ by word and example. Dedicated to the salvation of souls, he was totally occupied with the office of preaching. In doing so, he gladly endured many deprivations, humiliations and hardships for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At that time he also founded the house of the sisters at Prouille before the Order was confirmed.
Also at that time the Count of Montfort was fighting in that area against the heretics with a material sword and Blessed Dominic with the sword of the word of God. They became such good friends that the Count wanted Blessed Dominic to bless at Carcasonne the marriage of his son with the daughter of the Dauphin of Vienne, and Dominic agreed. (159) He also asked him to baptize a daughter of his; she is still living today and is prioress of the monastery of Saint Anthony at Paris, where she is highly esteemed for her religious observance and holy life. The Count also gave Blessed Dominic the revenues of a castle (160) to support him and his followers in their work of preaching. Up to today the family of the Count is very devoted to our Order; his daughter, Lady Amicia of Joigny, a prominent and holy woman, often stated that she would like her only highly talented son to enter the Order if the brothers wished. As he was dying in Cyprus, where he was serving in the French army, he received the habit and became a brother. She herself, saying that since she was not a man and could not be a brother, at least wanted to become a sister; so she constructed a house for sisters at Montargis and gave it a good endowment. Fifty sisters lived there, and were known throughout France for their holiness and religious observance; the lady was eventually buried there. The woman was so dedicated and determined to establish this house that, even when many brothers opposed the project and she could not get authorization from the Order to build it, she made many trips to the Papal court and got documents allowing her to do all she wanted to carry out her project.
At the time that Church prelates were getting ready to go to the Lateran Council, an important man of Toulouse, named Peter Selhan, offered himself and the fine houses he had near the castle of that city to Blessed Dominic. That was the place in Toulouse where Dominic and his followers first lived and where they began to carry on a regular religious life.
Bishop Fulk of Toulouse, who was holy and zealous for the faith, gave them, with the consent of his cathedral chapter, one sixth of the church tithes, together with books and other things they needed, in the hope of having them as faithful fighters to uproot heresy.
Blessed Dominic accompanied Bishop Fulk of Toulouse to Rome for the General Council. There he petitioned Pope Innocent III to confirm his Order, which would be in name and in fact the Order of Preachers. (161)
As Blessed Dominic was spending the night in prayer, as was his custom, he saw the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. Peter was holding the keys of the kingdom of heaven in his right hand and a staff in his left. Paul was holding in his left hand the sword with which he was beheaded, and in his right hand the Gospel. He gave this to Dominic and said, "Go and preach, because you have been chosen by the Lord." When he complained about the fewness of his companions, he suddenly saw brothers going two by two throughout the world, preaching the name of the Lord.
The Lord made Pope Innocent favourable to Blessed Dominic's petition by another vision. He saw the Lateran church about to collapse, when Brother Dominic went and held up the falling building with his shoulders. Amazed at such an unusual vision, but wisely understanding its meaning, the Pastor of the Church granted the petition of the man of God, but advised him to go back to his brothers at Toulouse and consult with them about their rule and other matters; he should then come back, and anything he asked would be granted.
When Blessed Dominic returned to Rome, Pope Innocent was dead and Honorius had succeeded him. This pope confirmed the Order of Preachers.
The same year the brothers were given the first church that the Order ever had, that of Saint Romanus in Toulouse, where they constructed a cloister and cells; at this time the brothers numbered sixteen.
From Toulouse the brothers were sent out two by two throughout Spain, France and Lombardy. Later they spread throughout the whole world. Blessed be God in all things, who visited his people in this way. Amen.
Since the Toulouse people were preparing to revolt against the Count of Montfort, Blessed Dominic dispersed the brothers, after they first elected Brother Matthew as abbot. He sent some of them to Spain and some to Paris, while he himself went to Rome. At that time he founded the house of Saint Sixtus for the sisters.
Near the beginning of this year Blessed Dominic sent brothers (162) from Rome to Bologna. The same year, at the Papal court, he got to hear of Brother Reginald, who came to Bologna on 19 December. (163)
Also that year Blessed Dominic went back to Spain and established two houses there. (164)
Also that year the brothers at Paris, who had been staying in a house between the bishop's house and the House of God, were given the house of Saint Jacques by Master John, Dean of Saint Quentin, and the University of Paris. Brother Peter Cellani was sent there from the convent at Lemoges, the first convent in France after Paris, but was the Lemoges convent was later transferred to Lyons by the provincials. In later years brothers were sent to Rheims and Orléans.
Blessed Dominic sent brothers from Rome to Bologna, which he later visited.
From Spain Blessed Dominic went to Paris and found a solid group of thirty brothers there. After a short stay there, he went to Bologna, (165) where there was already a large number of brother gathered under Brother Reginald at Saint Nicholas; before they were in another place (166) and were few in number. They received him with immense joy.
Dominic then sent Brother Reginald, once anointed by the Queen of heaven, to Paris. At Paris he preached Jesus Christ and him crucified by word as well as example. Shortly afterwards he slept in Christ and was buried in the church of Saint Mary of the Fields, because the brothers did not yet have the right of burying in their own place. While he was at Paris, Brother Reginald received our Blessed Brother Jordan, who became the Master of this Order after Blessed Dominic. He also received Brother Henry, who was a virgin of God, a most pleasing preacher and the first prior at Cologne.
The first General Chapter was celebrated at Bologna under Blessed Dominic. Brother Jordan was present, having been sent there from Paris where he had entered the Order during the preceding Lent. At this chapter, among other things, it was decided that from then on the Order would not accept any possessions or revenues, and that they would consign to others the revenues that they had in the region of Toulouse. They also decided that the celebration of the General chapter would be alternated each year between Paris and Bologna, although the second chapter would be held at Bologna. This rule was observed for a long time, (167) but was later changed.
The second General Chapter was celebrated at Bologna, also under Blessed Dominic, and it sent brothers to England. It also appointed Brother Jordan, who was not present, as prior provincial of Lombardy.
Brother Jordan left Paris accompanied by Brother Everard, (168) once archdeacon of Langres, a man of great authority, who, by his example, stirred many at Paris to enter the Order. He wanted to see Blessed Dominic and was drawn by love of Brother Jordan, but on the way he died at Lausanne, where he once had been elected to be bishop.
In the meantime, the same year Blessed Dominic died on 6 August, and was honourably buried inside the church of the brothers.
After the death of Blessed Dominic, Brother Jordan continued his journey to Bologna and there found a brother named Bernard, who was possessed by a demon and greatly disturbed the brothers. This disturbance was one of the reasons for which the brothers at Bologna decided to sing the Salve Regina after Compline; the custom then spread throughout the Order. (169)
The third General Chapter was celebrated at Paris. There Brother Jordan was elected Master, even though he had spent less than two and a half years in the Order.
Jordan was a German from a town in Saxony called Bortege (170) in the diocese of Mainz. When he was a student at Paris and had become a bachelor in theology, he thought of joining an Order such as ours, but had not heard that such a one existed. So, when Brother Reginald came to Paris and was preaching so well, he made a private vow to enter that Order. With him was Brother Henry, an angelic youth, pleasing in every way, and later the first prior of Cologne, who stirred the whole University of Paris by his preaching, as Jordan describes in his book. Jordan tried to bring him with him into the Order, and the two made a vow in the hands of Brother Reginald that they would enter; they in fact did enter on Ash Wednesday and received the habit, while the brothers sang the entrance antiphon Immutemur habitu.
In the time of his mastership the Order grew greatly in provinces, convents and numbers of brothers; many men outstanding in nobility, wealth or education entered the Order.
Under him the first brothers were licensed to lecture at the University of Paris; (171) they also had two schools there. The English Brother John of Saint Giles, who already was a master in theology in Paris, entered the Order after hearing Jordan's sermon. (172) From that time there were many well talented and learned brothers, as even today their writings and reputation testify.
Jordan also introduced the custom of holding public lectures for the students of the University of Paris. He was responsible for introducing the singing of the Salve Regina after Compline. Under him there were held two most general chapters, (173) the last of which made a statute that silence should be kept at table.
Also during his time four young provinces were given the same rights as the existing eight, (174) in voting on definitions and in the election of the Master, which they did not have before.
He also introduced the custom of the Master of the Order of sending letters on behalf the general chapter. He also wrote many kind consoling and encouraging letters to brothers that he could not meet; other letters he wrote to the whole Order, or to particular provinces, convents or brothers.
The body of Blessed Dominic was transferred by the Archbishop of Ravenna, six bishops, Master Jordan, the prior provincials and more than three hundred other brothers who had gathered for the general chapter; also present was the ruler of Bologna with his nobles. When the grave was opened everyone was so filled with such a sweet scent that it seemed as if the storeroom of heavenly spices were opened. Many were spiritually touched, while others were healed of different illnesses.
As many more miracles were being worked, that same year at Rieti Pope Gregory IX, who know him well and devoutly buried him, inscribed Blessed Dominic in the catalogue of holy confessors.
At that time the brothers in Lombardy and elsewhere were so gifted with the grace of preaching and of miracles, as brothers coming from there attest, that everyone was full of amazement.
Master Jordan was a very familiar friend to Pope Gregory and the officials of his court; he also had good relations everywhere with civil authorities, religious, clergy and the university world, so that they could never hear enough of the gracious words that came from his mouth, whether in sermons or in the religious talks he gave. When he was at Paris he was obliged to take all the sermons were scheduled to give. If anyone else was preaching and the students knew that he was present, they would not go away at the end unless he said some words after the other speakers.
His first concern was to expand the Order for the benefit of souls; that is why he put all his energy into attracting good persons to the Order, and he spent most of his time in places where there were students, especially at Paris, except for when he had to go to the Papal court. When he was at Paris he had the custom, every day that there was not a public sermon, of giving a talk to the novices; many senior brothers also attended these talks because of the great consolation and instruction they derived from them.
Master Jordan sailed to the Holy Land to visit the holy places and the brothers there. He then boarded a ship heading for Naples, so that he could preach to the students there, but he died on 13 February, when a storm wrecked the ship near the sea of Satalia. The brothers of Acre went there, collected his body and buried it honourably in their church at Acre.
Many other things are written about him in Part 3 of this book, but not enough, because no writer could adequately describe his praiseworthy life of grace. (175)
Raymond, of the province of Spain, was elected Master at Bologna. He was from the Catalonian town of Peñafort, in the diocese of Barcelona. He was an excellent doctor of Canon Law, in which he held a chair at Bologna. When he entered the Order, (176) Lord John of Abbaville, Cardinal Legate to Spain, took him as an assistant and brought him to the Papal court. (177) There Raymond became very close to Pope Gregory IX, being his private counsellor as well as his chaplain, penitentiary and advocate of the petitions of the poor. At the Pope's command he compiled the Decretals in one volume, which is in use today, whereas previously the material was spread over four volumes. (178) He conducted himself with such holiness and prudence in the court, and such humble propriety and decency to all, that nearly there was hardly a court official or anyone who went in or out of the court who did not sing his praises and regard him as a very holy man. When the Pope wanted to force him to accept an archbishopric in his native land, he put up such a stiff resistance and holy rebellion that the Pope took note of Raymond's contrary will and backed down from forcing him. Although with difficulty, Raymond got permission from the Pope to leave his court for health reasons. (179) His bad health is thought to be the result of his overwork, vigils and austere life.
When he was elected Master, he was staying at Barcelona. The chapter sent to him many prior provincials, including Hugh, who was then prior of France, and other prominent brothers (180) to persuade him to accept the office. He was unwilling, but finally agreed, afraid of what the Order might suffer if he refused. He was a man of the greatest perfection and a most zealous promoter of poverty, humility and every kind of goodness; he took the greatest care to see that the requirements of the Order were observed in the smallest things.
He was also the author of a Summa of moral cases, very necessary for advising people throughout the whole Church. He also saw to it that our Constitutions were edited in proper form, arranged under various headings and titles as they are today, whereas before they were in a state of great confusion.
After ruling the Order for about two years, and realizing that his strength was far from adequate for this office, he insisted so strongly on his resignation at the general chapter at Bologna that the diffinitors accepted it. Such a controversy over this case arose in that chapter and spread throughout the Order, that later it was decided that diffinitors cannot accept the resignation of a Master except for stipulated reasons.
Afterwards he chose to live in the convent at Barcelona. Although sick and very weak, he is still living; he is a man of holy life, a mirror of religious observance, an exemplar of virtuous life, a consolation to the province, a promoter of spreading the faith among the Muslims, a man of great influence with civil authorities, a counsellor of the region, and the good odour of life that all may have life. (181)
Brother John was elected Master at Paris. He was a German from the town of Wildeshauen in Saxony in the diocese of Osnabrück of the ecclesiastical province of Cologne. He was received in the early days of the Order, (182) and was an outstanding preacher in many languages: German, Italian, French and Latin, and his preaching produced good results everywhere he went. Therefore he was taken as assistant to many cardinals and acted as penitentiary in various Papal missions. While he was prior provincial of Hungary, he was made bishop of Bosnia. (183) Later, after much insistence, he got Pope Gregory to accept his resignation. (184) Without retaining any episcopal revenue, he returned to the humility of common life and lived as one of the brothers. Later he was elected prior provincial of Lombardy. (185) From that office he was elected Master. He was present at the chapter and, to escape the office, claimed his right as a bishop to refuse. When the Pope heard of this, he sent a letter stating that, since he was relieved of the governance of a diocese, he was now back under the authority of the Order and had to obey the Order when it came to accepting offices. This letter forced him to accept the office of prior general.
Before the election, a religious brother who was praying slept a bit and saw Brother John being carried through the cloister in a fiery chariot. When he woke up, he said to his companion, "That one will be the Master."
John of Wildeshauen was well known in the Papal court and also that of Lord Frederick. During his tenure the Order was much helped and strengthened by many different privileges given by the Papal curia.
During his time Hugh of Saint Theodore, of the diocese of Vienne, was promoted to the rank of Cardinal Priest with the title of Santa Sabina. He was once master of theology at Paris, then prior provincial of France, and did much good for the Order and the whole Church of God.
Likewise, Brother William of Peiraut, a devoted man of truth of the same diocese, wrote a very useful Summa on the virtues and vices, as well as sermons for Sundays and the feasts of saints.
At this time also Brother Peter of Verona, prior of Como, a man full of virtues and grace, was martyred by the heretics and the next year canonized by Pope Innocent IV. (186)
Many brothers in different places were made bishops, to the great displeasure of Master John and the brothers concerned, who really loved the Order. Brother Peter of Rheims, prior provincial of France, became bishop of Agen, (187) and Brother Guy de La Tour-du-Pin, who was received at Paris at the age of fifteen, became the bishop of Clermont at the age of twenty-seven. (188) Brother Raymond, the bishop of Grasse, after his see was moved from Antibes, first took up residence in Grasse. (189) Brother Humbert became bishop of Sisteron, (190) but later resigned of his own accord.
At this time also the Order tried hard in the Papal court to be freed from having to look after the sisters. Although good letters were promised in this regard, all that could be obtained was that the communities that were already under the care of the Order should remain so, but new ones would not be accepted.
At that time, when the Papal court was at Lyons, (191) Otto, Cardinal Bishop of Porto, (192) who was a special friend of Master John, died and was buried in the brothers' church. Pope Innocent III then wanted to leave Lyons and go back to Rome, and told the cardinals to get ready to move to Genoa. William, formerly bishop of Modena and later Cardinal Bishop of Sabina, (193) who greatly loved the Order and Blessed Dominic since he first got to know him in the Papal court, while sleeping that night was wondering where he would stay in Genoa. Then Cardinal Otto, who was his good friend, appeared to him and said, "Brother do not worry where you will stay at Genoa, because you will stay here with me in Lyons." He told this story to the Pope and the cardinals, and after a few days became ill and died; he was buried next to the first in the church of the brothers, next to the cross at the left. Forty days before this, when Pope Innocent was consecrating the brothers' church and Cardinal William was going around the church with the Pope, he came to that cross and, while anointing it according to the ritual, he said by mistake, as if foreseeing the future: "Let this tomb be consecrated." Then, corrected by the assistant chaplain, he said, "Let this temple be consecrated."
Cardinal Raynier, who was there, also chose a burial place in the church of the brothers, but the Benedictines, at whose monastery he happened to die opposed this and he was buried at Citeaux.
From the time of Master Jordan, of holy memory, to the year 1258 the following brothers of the Order of Preachers were masters licensed by the chancellor of the University of Paris and actually lectured in the Sacred Page to our brothers and the University students: (194) Roland of Cremona, Hugh of Vienne (later a cardinal), John of Saint Giles (of England), Guerric of Flanders, Godfrey of Blevello, of Burgandy, Albert of Germany, (195) Lawrence of Brittany, Stephen of Auxerre, William of Etampes, John Pungens Asinum of Paris, Bonus of Brittany, Elias of Provence, Florent of France, Thomas Aquinas of Apulia, Hugh of Metz, Peter of Tarantasia, Bartholomew of Tours, William of Alton (England), Balduin of France, Hannibald of Rome, later Cardinal Priest of the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles. All these lectured two at a time in the house of Saint Jacques of the Order of Preachers at Paris, and conducted disputations in the schools before the University students, religious and many prelates of churches. They were pleasing to God and men and produced much fruit in the Church of God by their teaching and writing.
From the time of St. Dominic to 1258 there were the following cardinals and bishops from the Order of Preachers: Brother William of Sabina, Brother Hugh of Saint Theodore, Brother Hannibald, Brother Peter of Rheimes, bishop of Agen, Brother Guy de La Tour-de-Pin, bishop of Grasse in Clermont, Brother Humbert, bishop of Sisteron, Brother Raymond of Miromont, bishop of Toulouse, (196) Brother Henry the German, (197) and Brother John of Columna, bishop of Messina.
After many long labours in the Order, that blessed man, completely clean and innocent of life, zealous for the good and persecutor of the evil, migrated to the Lord in a most holy way at Strassburg, where he had stayed long and did much good, in 1252; (198) there he was buried honourably in the church of the brothers.
The elective general chapter was held in Budapest, which had been chosen as the site of the next chapter by Master John, out of devotion to the king and queen of Hungary. There Brother Humbert was elected Master. He was from the town of Romans in Burgundy, in the diocese of Vienne. He was sent as a youth to study at Paris, where he became a regent master in Arts. Having studied Canon Law for a while, he entered the Order around 1225, together with Hugh, his master and later a cardinal. (199) After returning to Burgundy, he then became lecturer and prior at Lyons. Then he became prior provincial of Rome, (200) and then of France. He was a man of wide expertise, although he suffered from ill health. A sister of the Order at Strassburg in Germany, where Master John died and was buried, had a dream that he would be elected. She saw Master John with his scapular on standing at the gate of the sisters and saying, "I am going to a faraway place and will not come back here again. But the sisters should not be sad about my departure, because the prior provincial of France will become Master after me, and will do much good." The next day Master John had a happy death, and in the next chapter the prior of France was unanimously elected as Master.
In that chapter at Budapest, the high chief of the Cumans was baptized with his wife and army, after the brothers had worked many years for their conversion. His daughter, a woman of good character, was married by Stephen, the elder son of the king of Hungary who had already been crowned as king and was very devoted to our Order. (201)
By the efforts of Master Humbert and the help of Pope Alexander IV and Louis the most Christian King of France, the dissension that had arisen between the masters and our brothers at Paris was settled, to the honour of God and of the Order.
Also, a decree which Pope Innocent IV had issued against the Order was revoked by Pope Alexander IV a few days after the death of the former Pope. That is because Master Humbert turned most devoutly to the Blessed Virgin, the patron of our Order, and she quickly effected what seemed impossible to men. (202)
Also during Humbert's tenure Brother John of Columna, (203) prior provincial of the Roman province, became archbishop of Messina. Nicholas of Giovinazzo, a religious and learned man and pleasing preacher, succeeded him as prior provincial. (204) But very soon he migrated to Christ and was succeeded by Brother John of Lentini, an outstanding preacher. (205)
From 1217 to 1258 the prior provincials of Provence were: Brother Bertrand of Garrigues, appointed by Blessed Dominic, Brother Raymond Vasco, appointed by the general chapter, Brother William Vasco of Sissac, Raymond of Miromont, later bishop of Toulouse, Brother Romeo of Catalonia, Brother Pontius of Lespara, of the diocese of Bordeaux, Brother Stephen of Auxerre, Gerald of Frachet, Brother Pontius of Saint Giles, and Brother Peter of Valencia.
159. In 1214 the son of Count Simon of Montfort, Amauri I, married Beatrice, daughter of Andrew of Burgundy; on her mother's side she was a descendant of Sabran of Vienna.
160. At Cassanel.
161. The "earlier" account says that Innocent was reluctant to confirm the Order. This is not in the "later" account or the version of Peter of Arenys, and is considered an unwarranted later supposition. See J:40-42, and Simon Tugwell, "Notes on the life of St. Dominic."
162. John of Navarre and a Brother Bertrand; later on he sent Brother Chrisanus and a lay brother.
163. See 1.5.1.
164. One at Madrid, which now belongs to the nuns, another at Segovia.
165. Around August.
166. At St. Maria Mascarella.
167. Until 1245.
168. See 4.2.
169. The Chronicle cites as its source Brother Jordan's book Filiis gracie et coheredibus glorie, which describes the beginning of the Order.
170. Its modern equivalent is not certain.
171. Roland of Cremona was the first to occupy a chair of theology, in 1229.
172. In 1230.
173. I*n 1228 and 1236.
174. At the most general chapter of 1228 at Paris. The eight old ones were Spain, Provence, France, Lombardy, Rome, Hungary, Germany and England. The four new ones were Poland, Denmark, Greece and the Holy Land.
175. Version A contains the letter describing the shipwreck, which Frachet puts in the Lives, 3.40.
176. In 1228 or 1229.
177. In 1230.
178. In September of 1234 Gregory IX promulgated this work and commanded that no other text of Canon Law be used in judging cases or teaching in schools.
179. In 1235.
180. Including Pontius of Sparra, provincial of Provence, Philip, former prior of Syria, and Stephen, former prior of Lombardy.
181. He died on Epiphany 1275 and was canonized by Clement VIII on 29 April 1601.
182. In 1220 or 1221.
183. around 1232.
184. In 1237.
185. In 1238.
186. See 5.3.
187. In 1245; cf. Gams, p. 479.
188. Around 1250; cf. Gams, p. 538; Mortier, pp. 391-2.
189. In 1244; cf. Gams, p. 555.
190. In 1251; cf. Gams, p. 631.
191. From 2 December 1244 to 19 April 1251; the Pope had fled there to escape Frederick II.
192. Porto, near Rome; he was bishop from 1244; cf. Gams, p. ix.
193. Bishop of Modena in 1222, moved to Sabina in 1244; cf. Gams, pp. 758 & xiii.
194. On these men see the work of Stephen of Salanhac and Bernard Gui, MOFPH, 22 (1949), p. 124. ff.
195. "the Great".
196. In 1232; cf. Gams, p. 638.
197. Bishop of Chiemsee in 1252; cf. Gams, p. 267.
198. On 5 November.
199. See 4.10.2.
200. From 1240 to 1242.
201. See 6.5.
202. See 1.22.6.
203. See 1.3.
204. See 1.1.2.
205. In 1255.
206. C = Chronicle; J = Jordan's Libellus. The latter, published separately, is indexed here for convenience.