From: St. Dominic and His Work, by Pierre Mandonnet, O.P.,
Translated by Sister Mary Benedicta Larkin, O.P., B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis/London, 1948.
The Project of the Rule
THE PROTOTYPE OF THE ORDERS OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY
THE year 1215 forged the bond of a central articulation in the history of religious orders. Up to that time the monastic and canonical orders of St. Benedict or of St. Augustine dominated the foreground of the scene. The twelfth century saw the ascendancy and influence of the Order of Cîteaux over most of the other forms of regular life. Early in the thirteenth century this pre-eminence was even confirmed by canon 12 of the Lateran Council, which, on an essential point of legislation regarding annual general or provincial chapters, imposed imitation of the Cistercians on all monks and canons.(1) At the same time, canon 13, by forbidding new foundations of a non-existent type, seemed to favor an arresting of the evolution and a confining of the regular movement within the mold perfected in the twelfth century.(2)
Yet, by an irony of history, it was the very same hour that brought forth the two great mendicant Orders of the Minors and the Preachers. Within just a few months of the Lateran Council, the Order of St. Dominic received a definitive confirmation, in fulfillment of a promise previously made. With the rise of this institution, the face and figure of the regular movement was considerably transformed. New problems and original solutions, fresh forces of evolution and characteristic types, worked themselves out. The age of the mendicant orders had begun. The ancient orders did not disappear, nor could they even be said to have been neglected; yet they no longer S, represented the principal and vivifying flow of the regular movement; in their turn, they were modified by the current of the new apostolic orders.
Undoubtedly the most remarkable phenomenon in this history of the orders of the thirteenth century was the decisive part taken by the papacy. The intervention of the Sovereign Pontiffs in the genesis of the new institutes, the echo of their more and more intimate influence in the life of Christendom, was already forecast, beginning in the growing success of Cluny in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and that of Cîteaux in the twelfth century. Before the thirteenth century, however, the work of the popes consisted mainly in supporting a privileged Order by great favors and exemptions, by frequent and glorious appeals for the service of the religious. The popes had approved of their enterprises, had fostered them. Never had they called them into being.
INTERVENTION OF THE POPES
In the case of the mendicant orders, on the other hand, the intervention of the popes was of a decidedly essential and vital character. Although it is true that the popes could not have created the spiritual current of lay piety and the apostolic life which kindled the initial spark in all the orders of the thirteenth century, at least they recognized its power and value and conceived the desire of giving it permanence in Catholic life. Their design directed the progressive accession of fraternities of spontaneous origin into forms of conventual and clerical life, and ultimately into the mixed and apostolic life in which the orders of the thirteenth century found their equilibrium and their very essence.
In this very formal sense the popes were the true "institutors," with few exceptions, of the orders of the thirteenth century, in a way in which they were not for those of the preceding period. Sensing the tempo of this evolution, the Church attentively encouraged the tendencies which she found infused into the heart of these fraternities by a few individuals. Where she did not find them, she challenged them to come forth. She imposed her own command upon them. Thus the popes of the thirteenth century succeeded in achieving a plan for regular institutions with a continuity that would eventually be perfectly clear, even as Innocent III at the beginning of the century had to a certain degree foreseen. A careful study of the origin of the Humiliati, the Preachers, the Minors, the Servites, the Carmelites, the Augustinians, to name only the principal ones, leaves no doubt on this point.
From this intervention on the part of the popes arose some of the very elemental features in the history of the orders of the thirteenth century: the part played in their creation by cardinals or papal legates, an Ugolino, a Hugh of St. Cher, a Richard Annibaldi;(3) the role of the cardinal protector, to whose government, protection, and correction the new order was bound by direct obedience;(4) the profession made by all the members of each order to a single head, who was himself required to take an oath to the Sovereign Pontiff and petition him for his confirmation,(5) the frequent establishment of a major house near the Roman Curia.(6) Unprecedented as they were, such elements would in themselves testify to the authoritative intervention of the popes in the foundations of the thirteenth century and their intention to keep a directing hand in the formation and development of the new religious companies.
CONSTITUTION OF A TYPE ORDER
This era in the history of religious orders began in 1215 with the inauguration of the Preachers. More than one characteristic trait of the future institutes and their genesis could be recognized even then. Was not the Order of St. Dominic the first of the mendicant orders? Yet because of the many special features that marked its origin, attention should be focused, not on its being the initiator of the characteristic foundations of the thirteenth century, but rather on its being the creator of their prototype, an exemplary society which in its turn became an essential motor-power in the history of future orders.
This new religious society presented to the papacy a different aspect from that presented by the other companies or fraternities of lay origin out of which the other orders of the thirteenth century emerged. When in 1215 Innocent III and Dominic laid the foundation for the Canons-Preachers of Toulouse, they could at once assign to them the very program for preaching and teaching doctrine, which canon 11 of the Lateran Council had attempted in vain to impose on the dioceses, a program which later all the mendicant orders would assume, at times only after long aberrations.
Dominic placed at the service of the Church a community of clerics, capable of receiving immediately by commission the office of doctrinal preaching, which they had already exercised fruitfully in southern France, a good field for the experiment. Moreover, when these priests assumed the essential responsibilities of the apostolic life, they took upon themselves the regular common life according to the classic form of the canonical institution. Finally, through his antecedents, his experiences, and his particular genius as an organizer, Dominic enjoyed the full confidence of Rome. No protector, no legate was given to him; Honorius III took the young foundation "under his own government";(7) all power was concentrated in the hands of the Founder(8) and the capitular assembly of his brethren. Given the impetus and support of the pope, four years later the friars of St. Dominic had spread through the universal Church, and the first community of Canons-Preachers found itself transformed into a great Order. When it had drawn up its first Constitution in the general chapter of 1220, all the elements recommended and projected by the Sovereign Pontiffs as desirable in future foundations to provide for the urgent needs of souls and of the Church, took form in the Order of Preachers and reached stabilization in a strong Rule.
All the elements were assured: a clerical life, a program of doctrinal preaching and pastoral work, a discipline and provision for regular life, a flexible centralization at once personal and collective, a contemplation and a radiation in "apostolic life." This young and vigorous society with its perfectly balanced Rule inspired such a confidence on the part of the papacy that from 1220 on there was no longer any question of government by the pope or of intervention or of the oath or confirmation of the master general. Both for its life and for its legislation, the Order was left in its own hands, entrusted Z7) to the guidance of its chapters and its masters. It came into its majority at the age of four. If, as early as 1215, Innocent III saw growing before his vision the prototype of diocesan companies of regular priest-preachers whom he could call upon for all Christendom, in 1220 Honorius III and the new societies in process of evolution found ready for their imitation the exemplary type and the Rule of an ordo praedicatorum,(9) so that by the end of the thirteenth century all the mendicant orders had in some way felt the impress of its nature.
CHANCELLOR OF THE EMPIRE
The ideals and hopes then conceived at Rome and in official circles in regard to the Order of Preachers are evidenced in a precious document from the pen of an illustrious contemporary. In November, 1220, the coronation of his master, Emperor Frederick II, brought Conrad of Scharfeneck, bishop of Metz and chancellor of the Empire, into relations with the Pope and Cardinal Ugolino in Rome. Upon his return to Germany he wrote this letter:Conrad, by the grace of God, Bishop of Metz and Legate of the Imperial Palace, to all who read these letters, salvation in the Lord.The work of the Pope in the institution and development of the Preachers, the admiration and hope which their apostolate inspired, their learning, their poverty of life, and their sound organization, all this accounts for the early and the brilliant power of the Order of Preachers. It also explains the dominant influence it would exercise on religious congregations of the thirteenth century.
Since, according to the Blessed Gregory, the greatest gift which this life can give is zeal for souls, and since we believe with a great number of worthy men that by the zeal and under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit the Order of Preachers has been constituted by the Lord Pope and confirmed by him, an Order worthy of praise, which seeks through preaching for no gain but souls, we announce to you that we have received the brothers of this Order in grace and favor under our guidance and devoted protection.
Furthermore, knowing that if this Order possessed a house in the city of Metz their community could render great services not only to the laity through their preaching, but also to the clerics through their lectures in sacred science, and that this would be following, the example of many archbishops and bishops and of the Lord Pope who has given them a house in Rome, we advise you, with salutary exhortation, to give aid and counsel to these friars.(10)
Though the Constitutions of the Preachers contributed only one part of that influence, it was a choice part, because legislation, the cornerstone of stability in a regular institution, raised the most delicate problem in the genesis of the thirteenth-century apostolic orders, the needs of which were almost contradictory. That influence, and even that alone, would be worth the difficulty entailed in describing and analyzing it; it is extremely significant.
Further, as a type of Augustinian legislation, the Rule of St. Dominic, by the inherent force of events, replaced the Disciplina monasterii, that is, the primitive Rule of St. Augustine, which might be regarded as the legislation par excellence on the "apostolic life." The new Rule and its influence spanned without any break the history of the legislation of St. Augustine. Essentially and universally the Rule of the Preachers was the heir of the apostolic law of Augustine in the thirteenth century. In this study, therefore, a section on the influence of the Dominican law should run in normal sequence to the history of the Rule of the Bishop of Hippo.
INFLUENCE OF THE DOMINICAN CONSTITUTIONS
In the course of the thirteenth century the rules of a large number of religious societies were modeled in various ways and often in great measure on that of the Preachers. The reason is now known. If, as it was constituted, the Order of Preachers was to be the prototype of religious foundations of the thirteenth century, its religious Rule should naturally have a share in its influence.
First, the radiation of its influence was spontaneous. Here something fundamental should be recalled, namely, that the Preachers from the first quarter of the century had a superior and typical organization, created in view of the specific needs of the age and animated by its particular spirit; in virtue of this it possessed a directive and attractive power that would draw contemporary foundations within its orbit.
Moreover, with a personnel of educated men, superior to the ecclesiastical rank and file of their time, the Order of Preachers was certain to exert influence through this intermediary. In fact, in the beginnings of many orders which borrowed much from the Dominican Constitutions, certain celebrated Preachers appear: Blessed Jordan of Saxony, friend of Aymon of Faversham, with the Franciscans;(11) St. Raymond of Peñafort, counselor of St. Peter Nolasco, for the Mercedarians;(12) St. Peter Martyr, guide of the Servites; Hugh of St. Cher, reformer of the Carmelites, and so on. Nor was this legislative influence of the sons of Dominic confined within the domain, vast though it was, of religious life. It was St. Raymond of Peñafort who compiled the book of the Decretals, at the command of Gregory IX; about the year 1233, Dominicans reformed the laws of a large number of communes of the Marches and Lombardy.(13)
The features we have emphasized as fundamental would suffice in themselves to explain the general phenomenon whereby the new orders of the thirteenth century evolved in their organization toward the form created by the Preachers. But the trend was so universal and concentrated that an understanding of it would require an appeal to another agency already taken into account: the Holy See itself had approved and promoted in the Order of Preachers a type perfectly conformed to the ideals of the Church and to the needs of the time. Its action, discreet yet lawful, might be regarded as the power behind the great success of the Constitutions of this Order. However it was, we shall briefly review the evidence attending this remarkable permeation of Dominican influence.
INFLUENCE ON MENDICANT RULES
That the mendicant rules should have been affected by the legislation of St. Dominic was, in the first place, natural. All of them bear its mark. Although the changed form in which they have come down to us only imperfectly reveals their form at the time of the first borrowings, it is not difficult to find in them texts from the Rule of the Preachers. From one end to the other, the Constitutions of the Minors (1260) included numerous sentences, paragraphs, summaries, or transpositions of chapters: these texts are but the evidence of a progressive attempt to parallel the legislation of the Minors in line with that of the Preachers. This was achieved gradually in the years 1220, 1221, 1223, and particularly in 1239. The Constitution of the Saccati except for a few passages, purely and simply reproduced those of the Preachers (before 1241). That of the Carmelites, which also runs constantly parallel, was traced on their model, perhaps in 1250. That of the Augustinians (1284-90) still retains at the base of later developments and along with them numerous Dominican articles that likewise stand as evidence of a complete legislative concordance. This influence had been at work, even before the founding of the Order of the Augustinians, on some one of the branches that constituted it; doubtless the Bonites or Brothers of Brittino (between 1239 and 1251).
Identical in form with those adopted by the mendicant orders, the Constitutions of the Servites (1256-57?) were fashioned almost word for word on the pattern of that of the Preachers.(14) After the secession of the lay element prompted the pope's command to make their government clerical (beginning of the fourteenth century), the Order of Mercy recast its Constitutions on the model of the Preachers. About the same time the Humiliati of Lombardy revised their legislation in accord with the Dominican Constitutions.(15) A short time later the "United Friars of Armenia" adopted the Constitutions of the Preachers.(16)
In quite another category, certain canons regular and even some canonical orders likewise sought the legislation of the Preachers. Though not at all surprising, it is splendid testimony to the wide power of radiation inherent in the Dominican law. Using Dominican texts as an exclusive model, the Crosiers of Belgium built the Rule of a powerful congregation (1248).(17)
The Regular Chapter of Belley, reformed by Hugh of St. Cher (1248), compiled their Rule on the same pattern.(18) This would happen more than once in connection with the many reforms entrusted to the Preachers in the course of the thirteenth century.
It is more surprising to find the part played by Dominican law as the prototype of a whole series of statutes (after 1249) for Hôtels-Dieu, the offshoots of which are to be found at Lille, Pontoise, Vernon.(19) This impress is, in fact, much more significant than it might at first appear. The hospitaller foundations that arose in great numbers in the twelfth century changed in the thirteenth century, under the strong pressure of the Church, from their life as seculars without vows to a life as a religious community. The statutes of the Institute of St. John of Jerusalem contributed almost all the regulations for hospital activity, but the great regular laws, and the law of the Preachers in particular, inspired what constituted the common observance.
Lastly, it would be interesting to compare with the prescriptions fundamental for the scholastic life of the Preachers the different educational statutes which the ancient monastic or canonical orders elaborated or developed when, drawn into the movement inaugurated by the sons of St. Dominic, they ardently devoted themselves to the work of study and appeared in the Studium Parisiense.
ORDERS OF WOMEN
Paralleling the radiation of the Constitutions of the Preachers in the legislation of the orders of men, another of no less importance spread through the orders of women. The two great Rules for religious women in the twelfth century -- originated by Prémontré and by Cîteaux -- were in the thirteenth century (the one before 1198, the other in 1228) found inadequate to the urgent task of regulating the new currents of feminine devotion. The Rule of St. Sixtus provided what was required, especially in Germany.(20) But this was none other than the Dominican Rule of Prouille, the oldest part of which was like a sketch of the first Custom of the Order. Moreover, evidently it was revised after the compilation of these Customs and was completed by statutes drawn from the first Constitutions of the Preachers. Later, after the Rule of St. Sixtus, the Preachers wrote and elaborated another Rule for their sisters, which followed the development of their own Constitutions. Finally, in England, an important Rule for women, called the "Ancren Riwle," seems to have been inspired by prescriptions in the law of the Preachers.(21) Nor does that represent fully the extent of influence exercised by the Dominican law. If the Rule of the Order of Penance of St. Dominic, in consequence of the circumstances attending its institution, had no relation to it, other forms of semi-regular life were affected by it, doubtless through the apostolic activity of the friars. As a curious example of this, we mention the two recluses of Bischofsheim who, in 1293, adopted the Rule and the Constitutions of the Preachers.(22) In some instances the effect was limited to the adoption of the Office, as was the case with the Teutonic Order.(23) Finally, the use of the Dominican habit, a tendency which called forth a papal pronouncement, had its own particular sidelight: the desire of unorganized groups to use the fame of the Preachers to procure their own advantage, particularly to collect alms. Yet it might be also the sign of a legislative influence.
ORDERS OF MEN
In this varied influence the most significant phase was the action exerted by the law of the Preachers on the communities of men formed in the thirteenth century. Minors, Carmelites, Augustinians, Poor Catholics,(24) Saccati, Servites, Mercedarians, Humiliati, all the foundations of any importance, showed its penetrating influence. In every case the process was clearly the same.
Those who came within the orbit of this influence were caught up in a "movement" of lay origin, drawn by a powerful attraction for spiritual perfection, for a life of prayer and penance. They longed to practice literally the Gospel teaching of detachment, and their aspirations toward a more simple life breathed a naive disregard of rules with a scorn for set forms, as fostering a routine way of life. The incomparable spirit of St. Francis comes to mind at once. A similar evangelical trend, though less purely Catholic, ran into the current of the Waldensian movement, became the source of the Humiliati, and doubtless also of the Saccati, all of whom rose out of the Albigensian soil in Provence.
The first seven Servites, while still married, longed for a life of prayer and solitude, away from urban conventions, according to the ideal of the Gospel. The Carmelites, Bonites, Friars of Brittino, Tuscan anchorites, all were hermits, devout laymen. From the outset they developed more or less completely their life of prayer and poverty, outside the walls of the cloistered and classic common life of monasteries with their assured economy and Latin liturgy. This desire for solitary prayer also accompanied the inclination to various evangelical labors, such as the care of lepers, and the exercise of the apostolate in a simple and spontaneous way. In the religious unrest of the masses in that age, there was no spiritually-minded person who did not attract others, no ascetic who did not feel himself an apostle. The thirteenth century saw the development of the aspirations of the twelfth century toward the apostolic life, the life of the primitive Church.(25) The Franciscan movement summarized and surpassed all the others, not only in the lofty holiness of its Founder and his ardent obedience to the Church, but also in the personality of the friars whom Francis attracted, many of them clerics and men of learning whose contribution was notable in the rapid evolution of the movement. Moreover, it was the most advanced of these Catholic movements in the understanding of its apostolate as one of "penitential exhortation."
The influence of the Dominican Constitutions on these rudimentary associations accompanied or supplemented a first attempt on the part of the Church to transform these fraternities of spontaneous growth into orders properly so called, to direct them into a conventual and regular life as well as to a minimum of organization, and finally to make them clerical to some extent. Indeed, such a program was indispensable. Picture, for example, the Franciscan bands before 1220: animated by an earnest spirit, increased to the point of extension in a great number of provinces and of meeting in annual assemblies of several thousand men, yet without a regulated common life, lodged in poor cabins, without novitiate, without profession, without local authority, with nothing to give shape to this inorganic mass but the great Pentecostal gathering and the spiritual direction of Francis and the provincial ministers.(26) The effort of the Church to give a clerical and conventual form to those masses is evidenced by the bull of institution of the novitiate with the Minors (1220) and the revision of the Rule of St. Francis (1221, 1223),(27) by the correction of the Rule of the Carmelites (1247 ),(28) and even more simply still by the grant to the Servites (1240) and the various pre-Augustinian groups (1228, 1231, 1243) of the Rule of the Bishop of Hippo which completed the great privilege of foundation (1244, 1253,1255).
At this stage the influence of the life of the Preachers, if not of their statutes, was already felt.(29) The privilege that gradually stabilized the various groups that would form the future Order of Augustinians was particularly remarkable.(30) It was none other than the classic privilege for the foundation of canons given to the Preachers, December 22, 1216. There was absolutely no precedent for constituting eremitical groups of lay origin into an ordo canonicus. Were not canons by very definition clerics? If it was necessary to affiliate these hermits at least legally to one of the approved forms of religious life, would it not be the normal thing to introduce them to the contemplative life and in the lay division of an ordo monasticus? (31) Real anomaly as this is, it will be understood better if we recall that under the influence of Innocent III the first evangelical Order of the Humiliati was likewise constituted as a canonical order and that the clerical Order of Preachers was the pattern on which all these new foundations would be gradually and completely remodeled. The Commentary of St. Augustine was exercising its own weight in the trend of this assimilation.
In this light the nature of the rules taken from the Constitutions of the Preachers is explicable. The new religious companies first of all took a certain number of rules for common life and ascetic practices, as well as for canonical and clerical observance; liturgy and cere monies, fast and abstinence, housing, novitiate, profession, shaving, chapter of faults, and lists of faults. In the case of the Saccati and the Servites (and the Crosier Canons), the proportion of the Rule adopted was ponderous; it was notable with the Augustinians, and evident with the Minors. It filled a basic need. A common life, a novitiate, and liturgical observance could not be improvised all at once; besides, the Commentary of St. Augustine, if not the Rules of St. Francis and St. Albert, required this indispensable complement of regular customs. The orders of the thirteenth century could, no doubt, have searched out statutes directly from the rules of the monks and canons; as a matter of fact, the text of the Preachers holds the trace of a certain number of prescriptions taken from Prémontré and even from Cîteaux. Nevertheless the new groups looked neither to Prémontré nor Cîteaux, but to the Preachers.
In the Rule of the Preachers they found observances, already selected, adapted, and completed in accord with exigencies of the apostolic life, notably of mendicant poverty. From this point of view what was borrowed had a distinctly formal character. It was not a question of assuming merely any set of observances, but the observances of the Preachers. Further, even in the case of the Crosiers, where the transcribed texts were carefully limited to canonical prescriptions, these texts carried with them the stamp of something proper to the life of the Preachers; an orientation toward study and the apostolate much more pronounced than with the ancient canons.
Therein lay a noteworthy feature of the influence of the Rule of St. Dominic.(32)
Study and the apostolate, however, did not constitute the chief feature in this sphere of influence. The orders of the thirteenth century were indebted to the Preachers particularly for their social organization: prior general and priors provincial, general and provincial chapters, elections, definitors, visitations, itinerants, measures of protection from internal disorder and narrowness, and so on, all the institutional legislation of the Preachers carried over into the orders of contemporary or later origin, most often in substance, but sometimes even verbatim.
The Preachers invented neither the obedience of a whole group to a chief who takes an oath of submission to the pope, nor the periodic meeting of the whole society in general assembly. This mode of organization, which was characteristic of the mendicant orders, existed from the beginning in the Franciscan fraternity (1210) and developed in all the later foundations. It was perfected by the designation of responsible subordinate heads and the meeting of general assemblies in the various regions (provinces) to which the movement spread. But in the face of these unwieldy masses and in the absence of any legislation to determine exactly the form, the functions assigned, and the legal relations of these various elements, the organization remained rudimentary and inadequate. This condition was evidenced by the grave crises which the Minors and the Augustinians experienced about the middle of the century. But it was quite otherwise in the Order of Preachers. The centralizing impulse from the Holy See at work in a canonical form of life already established and embraced by educated men, often lawyers by profession, had long since resulted in an organic constitution admirably balanced and precise. This instrument could not fail to exercise a regulative action.
In 1239, after the serious difficulties in the government of Brother Elias, Aymon of Faversham borrowed a major part of the text of the Preachers for the writing of the first constitutional rule of the Friars Minor, based on the Narbonne Constitutions. It is possible that about the same time (1247?) the Carmelites, under the direction of Hugh of St. Cher and of William d'Anthérade, their Dominican correctors, modeled on the legislative type of the Preachers a rule which they have since retained. In 1248, the Crosiers, using the constitutional texts of the Preachers, succeeded in establishing a congregation in which the federative form, classic among canons, was notably enriched with elements of personal centralization.(33) In 1253, the great difficulties of the Order of John Buoni caused the Pope to create a new organization of the Augustinian hermits, who were established on the centralized type of the Order of the Preachers; that was the last step preliminary to the great amalgamation of 1256,(34) In that year the Servites obtained the right to elect a prior general and also became independent of the Augustinian Order. This change apparently afforded them the occasion to make the Constitutions of the Preachers the foundation of their own.(35) In all these cases the influence of the Dominican legislation gave to the orders of the thirteenth century a vigorous and definite structure, thoroughly modern in its lines.
One last aspect calls for mention, the influence of the Dominican Constitutions in rearing thirteenth century orders into apostolic societies. Here the examination of documents discloses only a limited influence.
The Saccati, who took their whole first legislation from the Preachers, also adopted their formal texts on study and preaching. The Constitution of the Minors also retains traces of the Dominican prescriptions. But, except for these two instances, apparently the influence of the Dominican text itself was relatively slight in the evolution which, by the end of the thirteenth century, carried the life of mendicant orders a little closer to the scholarly and preaching life of the sons of St. Dominic. Not any of the societies that took the Prologue of St. Dominic accepted the aim of the Preachers, as it was precisely defined therein: As "our Order was especially instituted from the beginning for preaching and the salvation of souls, our study ought to be directed principally, ardently, and supremely to the end that we may be useful to the souls of our neighbor."
Evidently this difference was owing to the fact that not any of the orders of the thirteenth century was in a position to formulate such a summary of its early history. Among them only the Friars of St. Francis, and perhaps also the Saccati of Provence, were from the outset authorized to engage in a certain form of evangelization. Even so, study and doctrinal preaching were outside the range of the program and the rules of St. Francis. The trend toward the apostolate and study as carried on by the Preachers found only a marginal entry in the primitive texts of the Franciscans, and this was effected, to a certain extent, in spite of them.(36) What is more, at the particular period when the Constitutions of the Preachers were used to shape the various communities of hermits, there was still no thought of drawing these companies into the apostolate of learned preaching, but only of getting them established, bringing them into dependence upon the Holy See, and little by little making them clerical. The scholarly and apostolic expansion was felt only later, in the last quarter of the century.(37) Probably this change was precipitated by canon 23 of the Second Council of Lyons. This canon, since in principle it suppressed all the orders given to begging, threatened the future state of the Carmelites and Augustinians. It is worded as follows:
"The Order of Carmel and the Hermits of St. Augustine, whose foundations antedate the aforesaid council, we permit to continue in suo statu till we ordain otherwise. Decision will not have been taken in their regard . . . For we intend to provide f or these . . . such measures as we may deem expedient for the salvation of souls and for their own welfare."(38)
Since this statement directly followed a reference to the Preachers and the Friars Minor "whose eminent usefulness to the universal Church is apparent," the implication was clear; there was nothing for the other orders to do but to place themselves at the immediate service of the Church and to strive for a fruitful apostolate, according to the practice of the Preachers and the Friars Minor. The Carmelites and the Augustinians understood and responded. They had at that date already attained such a development that they could compose their own academic legislation. No longer did the influence of the Preachers have to flow through the medium of its legislative text.
THE CRITICAL PERIOD (1215-74)
Two canons of ecumenical councils thus place in perspective the history of the influence of the Preachers. In 1215 there was a decree which would deal the death blow to all new orders before their birth. In 1274 another decree renewed the fifty-year-old pronouncement, but, for all its rigor, it exempted the four mendicant orders. The years between the two canonical decrees saw a surge of spiritual forces, an intense germination of fraternities or religious companies, and efforts on the part of the Church to discipline and mold these masses to fit the shape of her own needs. Crises ensued. Certain excesses in the new movements aroused strong opposition on the part of bishops, the secular clergy, and the old orders. Between these two critical dates when the universal Church made pronouncements regarding the foundation of new orders in the thirteenth century, the institution of the Preachers formed the wedge that opened the way to a final acceptance of the four mendicant orders. In this achievement the influence of the statutes of the Preachers was of no little importance.
Their action was not felt steadily during the half-century span. Almost all the dates cited in this connection fall within the second third of the thirteenth century, under the pontificates of Innocent IV and Alexander IV. It was an era of great activity for the Sovereign Pontiffs and their legates (Richard Annibaldi and Hugh of St. Cher), who sought to normalize the movements of lay piety. The same era saw the outbreak in Paris of the violent quarrel over the mendicant orders. There was nothing fortuitous in what occurred. In his Defensio fratrum mendicantium, written at this time, the Friar Minor, John Peckham, has left us the suggestive recriminations of an enemy of the mendicants, as follows:
"Look at these canons, see these regulars, behold the men or Grandmont, think of the Templars and certain other very popular groups, laymen in their lack of learning, seculars in their way of life.
"So it is that the bearded Hermits, the magpied Friars (Carmelites), the Saccati, the Baptists, the Crucifers, the Williamites, while in the act of becoming, are already on the verge of ruin; they have a sorry reputation; their yesterdays are upon them.
"Like to them, the Cordeliers and the Jacobins, although far removed from this form, although of holy life, and although firmly grafted on the vine of Christ, will in their turn end by following the beaten path."(39) The Latin of the original is not always intelligible, and it is difficult to identify some of the references; the meaning, however, is clear. In the wake of the Cordeliers and the Jacobins, and without the semblance of regularity, there circled a large, unlettered multitude of laymen living a quasi-secular life. In the procession are Carmelites, Saceati, Crucifers, Williamites, and a vast number of unclassified hermits, preceded by the earlier Order of Grandmont, the order of endless reincarnations. These masses in full decline seemed destined for inglorious ruin, and about to sweep to a like fate the Preachers and the Friars Minor, (40) notwithstanding their hitherto irreproachable life.
Such circumstances made it imperative for the Church to be more vigorous than ever in dealing with this mixed throng that was compromising the modern foundation of the two great mendicant orders. The final fusion of the various branches of the Augustinians and Poor Catholics, the organization of the Servites, the Williamites, and the Hermits of the White Mantle(41) -- this achievement of Alexander IV in realizing the projects of his predecessors is seen when viewed in perspective as the generous intervention of the Pope in favor of the mendicants (1255-56).
In fact, the two influences, that of the Church and that of the Order of Preachers, were closely connected. In the year 1255, everything in the history of the mendicant orders came suddenly to an issue: crises, opposition to the mendicants, the program of the popes, formation of new institutions, the influence of the law of the Preachers. It was the turning point in their history. And then the moment struck for the most significant move in this evolution: the commission of Alexander IV in 1255 to Hugh of St. Cher to compose a Rule of the Friars Preachers. This happened some months before the Augustinian amalgamation. The import of this design may be conjectured.
THE PROJECT OF FUSION
From the time they were formulated, the Customs of the Preachers had the force of a rule; that is, a basic and balanced law designed to organize legally a religious society and direct it toward its supernatural and social end. It was drawn up in accordance with Augustinian legal tradition, it fulfilled in conjunction with the Commentary the actual purpose of a rule. Nor were the Friars Preachers unmindful of this fact. We have already noted that St. Dominic himself employed the term "rule" to designate his Constitutions, and the witnesses for the process of canonization displayed an almost challenging insistence in their systematic reference to the Rule of St. Dominic, the Rule of the Friars Preachers.
Because of its juridical character, it was a rule; it was one likewise by its novelty. Truly, in writing it, St. Dominic had achieved the work of an innovator or, in the terminology of the thirteenth century, an institutor. Thereby he shared that auctoritas which made of St. Augustine and St. Benedict the great and acknowledged masters of religious life in the Middle Ages, founders of rules. No one sensed this originality more fully than Jordan of Saxony when he thus answered someone's query: "The Rule of the Friars Preachers? Behold their Rule: 'to live in perfection, to learn, and to teach.'"(42) No statement could have more justly defined the characteristic legislative work of St. Dominic in his Constitutions. Last of all, it was a rule by virtue of its widespread influence, comparable in the thirteenth century to what the influence of the great monastic or canonical laws had been in the past.
Indeed, it was not without a feeling of chagrin that the Friars Preachers saw the little formula vitae of St. Francis of Assisi, many times revised, elevated to the dignity of a religious rule of equal rank with the patristic rules, while the law of St. Dominic, notwithstanding its power and beauty, was relegated to a secondary rank as an adjunct of the mutilated Commentary of the Bishop of Hippo. Anyone who has leafed one or more of the pamphlets that picture the religious of the thirteenth century contending over the respective excellence of details in their way of life, will appreciate how this little circumstance could be a source of vexation.
Moreover, had they not, in a very real manner, recognized the true character of the Commentary of St. Augustine? It would be reckless to state categorically that they knew how the mutilation had been effected in the preceding century, but it is not impossible. Was not Humbert of Romans aware of the two editions of the pseudo-rule, and did he not recognize as authentic the Disciplina monasterii to which he referred in explaining the Commentary? The Friars were, at any rate, under no illusions as to the limited legislative value of this traditional text. They were not blind to the legal artifice whereby the Commentary of St. Augustine was made applicable in the life of the Augustinian foundations of the thirteenth century. Had it not been necessary to abide by a conciliar canon on religious rules, a decree which circumstances rendered inopportune? Whatever the cause, the Friars at the middle of the thirteenth century bad little regard for this venerable text, and among themselves they even spoke of it with enough scorn to disquiet their general, the good Humbert of Romans. Soon their attitude would be bolstered by a more serious justification. The form in which the legislation of the Preachers was cast caused concern among the Friars for reasons much deeper than those suggested by considerations of pride or terminology.
ORIGIN OF THE PROJECT
Included in an extensive spiritual discourse, the few precepts retained in the Commentary of St. Augustine were indefinite and strikingly lacking in the precision characteristic of the Constitutions. The latter, placed in sequence to the Commentary, seemed to be only secondary, and thus the weight of their authority might be questioned by the religious. Apprehension was voiced especially in view of the fact that, as an adjunct to the approved and immutable Rule, the Constitutions formed the variable part of the law, liable to perpetual correction by general chapters. Left to the temper of men and the demands of changing times, their precious and original spirit might be exposed to a disintegration or a diminution. The Prologue sounded this note of warning: "lest we fall away little by little." The adversary of the Jacobins, in Peckham's poem, cleverly created the specter of the inevitable decline: they "will in their turn end by following the beaten path."
It would have been possible, no doubt, for the Preachers to have the basic elements of their Constitutions consecrated with finality by the authority of the Holy See. The general chapter of 1228 had viewed this as an eventuality,(43) but the plan had been given up for fear of another complication. To propose the intervention of the Holy See in the Constitutions would be voluntarily to tic their own hands in a domain in which more than in any other the Preachers were proud and jealous of their independence. Moreover, irrevocably to fix this part of the legislation would have meant losing the benefit of the remarkable flexibility which the periodic constituent assemblies assured to the law of the Preachers.
HUGH OF ST. CHER
Another and better solution would be to assemble the fundamental texts of the Dominican law into a rule, properly so called, which would henceforth be unchangeable and could be confirmed, while reserving to certain variable constitutions the possibility of adaptation. This, too, would afford the best method of reducing the whole to order and of finally assuring to the Preachers the advantages and influence of an integral rule. Such, in effect, was the purpose of the altogether unexpected powers which Alexander IV conferred on Hugh of St. Cher at his own instigation, February 3, 1255:Alexander, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to our dear son, Hugh . . . Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina, health and apostolic benediction.The text of the letter has no ambiguity. A project of fusion is proposed whereby the Rule of St. Augustine, reduced to its useful precepts, would be combined with the actual substance of the Constitutions and practices of the Preachers. A unique text would be produced, a Rule. Therefore the papal document concerns not a correction in the Constitutions of the "very salutary and illustrious" Order or a change in them, but actually the substitution, in the name of the Holy See and by its authority, of the Rule of the Preachers for the Rule of St. Augustine.(45)
It is manifest that the Lord of all virtues has from your earliest years made you remarkable for holy desires, right counsels, and just works, and it is evident that the love of a holy and religious life increases in your heart each day. A very striking instance reveals this in the present hour: I mean the humble and suppliant petitions you have made that we should deign to watch, with the solicitude of the Apostolic See, lest in the very salutary and illustrious Order of our dear sons, the Friars Preachers-although it is now devoted with fervor to the cultivation of the virtues and is constantly exercised in the rigor of discipline-the strength of regular observance be weakened through a certain carelessness, or negligence, or weakness of some one of its members in the future. Therefore, fully approving your laudable and worthy proposal, by our authority we grant you in these present letters the right, aided by the counsel of the Master and some discreet friars of the same Order, whom your judgment will deem it good to choose, to examine with diligence their Rule, their Constitutions, and their Customs, and to choose from these texts what is most important and useful, and to reduce all of this to one single rule, or to dispose of it in some other way, according as it will appear good to you for the inviolable preservation of this Order and its perpetual stability.
Given at Naples on the third day of February, the first year of our pontificate.(44)
A few words will focus this project in its proper light.
QUESTION OF THE RULE
Scarcely nine months had elapsed since the harsh change of Innocent IV in his attitude toward the mendicants (May, 1254). It was but two months since the bull Etsi animarum(46) threw the Preachers and their friends into dismay by suddenly ruining the prospect of their apostolate. Then Innocent died. Alexander IV immediately suspended the formidable decree;(47) the Preachers began to breathe freely. The Pope was ready for another step. Had not the time come to consolidate the position of the Friars by inviolably and finally stabilizing their law in its present perfection?
The project did not originate with the Preachers. To be certain of that, we need only note the enormous power which the Cardinal of Santa Sabina arrogated to himself. The right of altering the Constitutions belonged to the capitular fathers alone, and they would not have entertained the idea of surrendering their prerogatives and abandoning their law to the discretion of one who was an outsider as far as they were concerned -- Had he not, in accepting the purple, left the Order? -- and of a commission entirely of his own selection. They would not have entrusted such a commission even to their master general without reserving a control or exercising a surveillance over his possible encroachments.(48) Moreover, they themselves were concerned about the strength of their legislation and had recourse to other measures: the chapter of Buda (1254) had just commissioned Humbert of Romans to correct the "letter" of the Rule of St. Augustine in view of its final edition in the great collection of the liturgical books.(49)They had no mind, therefore, to cause the disappearance of the Rule by any project of fusion.
The import of the papal bull shows the character of the projected work, which was being undertaken by Hugh of St. Cher. Hugh enjoyed the cordial esteem of the new Pope, who supported him by his authority. As an undertaking independent of any initiative on the part of the governing body of the Preachers,(50) this plan might be characterized as a kind of official interference in their legislative work. Indeed, that fact accounts for its failure.
That, too, from one point of view, holds the key to its importance. It ran in the general current whereby the interests of the Pope and his cardinals inclined them to a direct intervention in the way of life of the religious associations and especially of the mendicants. If the gravity of the threat made against the Friars Preachers suffices to explain the move of the Cardinal of Santa Sabina and the authorization of it by the Pope, it should not obscure all the successive efforts of Alexander IV in reference to the various branches of the Augustinians, the Servites, the Poor Catholics, and the Williamites, all of which help to throw into perspective the purpose of the first undertaking. Neither should we forget that Hugh of St. Cher was, in the name of the Pope and by his authority, a great reformer of religious, and that more than once he used the Constitutions of the Order to which he had belonged to regularize companies assigned to his direction. These two considerations lead us to conjecture that in requesting or in according the powers to constitute a new religious rule, the Cardinal of Santa Sabina and the Pope envisaged not only the particular needs of the Preachers but anticipated something still more universal. Perhaps it was their plan to utilize this new rule in constituting future foundations. The bull is silent on this detail. We dare not affirm it. But why should the bull have to state it?
It is certain in any case, that the foundations of apostolic orders, which canon 13 of the Lateran Council had rendered difficult without making them less opportune, would have been helped considerably by the appearance of the rule. When the evolution of the orders of the thirteenth century began, if a rule of the Preachers, composed of essential provisions from St. Dominic's legislation, had been available for the new religious societies in the character of a law approved by the Church, nothing would have been changed in their inner organization. What they would have found in their rule, they did, in effect, progressively adopt into their own constitutions from those of the Preachers. In the end, the result would have been the same, but the evolution, easier and more rapid, would have avoided the subterfuge of recourse to the Commentary of St. Augustine, the roundabout procedure in the correction of the modern rules, and the slow but successive infiltrations from the Dominican statutes.
Hence we believe that, if the project of Hugh of St. Cher and Alexander IV had been carried out, it would have made manifest in a more striking and fruitful way the real influence of the Rule of St. Dominic, while effecting its substitution in place of the Rule of St. Augustine. The act of February 3, 1255, by affixing to it an authoritative signature, would have illuminated in all its truth the evolution which these pages have attempted to describe. But the project was not realized. We have shown the reason. Never would the Friars have tolerated the interference of the Cardinal of Santa Sabina, Preacher though he might have been. There and then the matter was dropped.
Yet the true function of the Commentary of St. Augustine appeared once more in an unfavorable light. There was murmuring among the friars.(51) More than one felt a lessening of his reverence for the first part of his law. Humbert of Romans was exceedingly distressed about the situation because he venerated this traditional text. In an outline for a sermon, he wrote: "Shame on all who lose a taste for the pasture which so good a shepherd provides for them in the Rule!" Upon reflection, he chose an antidote more salutary than chiding would be. In praise of the Rule, he composed a commentary on the Commentary. Therein he included minute applications of the discourse of Augustine to the life of the Preachers, and in a prologue enumerated six reasons why a son of St. Dominic should be devoted to it.(52)
The impossibility of rejecting a living law that was accomplishing its purpose did the rest. The friars continued to pronounce their vows "secundum Regulam beati Augustini et Institutiones fratrum Praedicatorum." Today, as they hear the old spiritual text read each week, they may not know that many centuries ago it was almost absorbed by the Constitutions of St. Dominic, which had in reality supplanted it.
1 Hefele-Leclercq, V. 1342.
2 Ibid., 1344.
3 Honorius III concerned himself directly with the organization of the Preachers; but Cardinal Ugolino, though much interested in it, did not have a great influence upon it.
During half a century especially from the pontificate of Innocent III, the cardinals exercised a more and in~re important role in the correction of rules and new orders.
4 Some, in order to reserve to the regula bullata of St. Francis (1223) the distinction of being the first to provide for a cardinal protector, would hold that the Rule of the Order of the Holy Spirit (1213), which several times mentions cardinal protectors (PL, CCXVII, 1143, 1148 f., 1152), is an interpolated document. Can this be proved? It seems quite normal that Innocent III should have assigned a cardinal protector to direct the work of an Order which he had himself established at Santa Maria in Sassia at Rome, after it was completely reorganized and brought by its Master under his immediate jurisdiction.
Furthermore, in the Order of St. Francis the Cardinal Protector had a new and special significance. St. Francis says: "I enjoin upon the ministers in obedience that the edition the Lord Pope for one of the cardinals of the holy Roman Church who will be a governor, protector, and corrector of this brotherhood, so that they may always be governed by and subject to the same Holy Church" (Boehmer, p. 24).
5 In 1210 the oath of St. Francis to the pope was inscribed in the beginning of the Regula Ia (Grundmann, p. 133). On October 4, 1254, Pope Innocent IV, allowed the general of the Minors to enter upon his office without waiting for the confirmation of the Holy See; but he did not suppress the necessity of this confirmation. The general of the Saccati was confirmed by the pope after his election. The prior general of the Bonites followed the same procedure as did the general of the Servites, of the Augustinians until 1398, and of the Order of the Trinity also. The Master of the Preachers alone was always exempt from this confirmation by the Holy See; he received his power by force of election (Denifle, Archiv, I, 216). On January 17, 1244, Innocent expressly recognized this original privilege: "according to the custom hitherto observed in this Order and tolerated by the Apostolic See" (Bullarium O.F., I, 129). The last words indicate the exact sentiments of the Pope toward this independence, which, however, he did not wish to deny to an Order which merited it; further, it was only the common law until the beginning of the thirteenth century.
The new mode of papal control had grown up during the course of the thirteenth century, imposed by the very nature of the contemporary religious foundations. It proceeded, we believe, from the oath pronounced frequently in the course of the twelfth century by the itinerant preachers. There is a relationship between the oath of St. Francis in 1210 and the oath pronounced by Durandus of Huesca or Bernard Prim in the name of the Poor Catholics (1208-1210) (PL, CCXV, 1512; CCXVI, 291).
6 Between 1220 and 1222, Honorius III established the Preachers on the site of his own family palace, at Santa Sabina (Bullarium O.P., I, 15). In 1248-50, by command of Innocent IV, the Minors were given possession of the Convent of Ara Coeli, which was taken from the Benedictines (Gratien, p. 163). The Convent of Santa Maria del Popolo, which evidently the Minors had just left (Archivum Franciscanum, XVIII , 293-95), was then granted by the Cardinal of Sant' Angelo to the Augustinians; from then on he played a fundamental part in their organization.
In 1204, when establishing it at Santa Maria in Sassia at Rome, Innocent III reorganized the Order of the Holy Spirit, whose center previous to that time had been in Montpellier (Potthast, no. 2248; PL, CCXIV, 377 ff.). In 1220-21, in organizing the monastery of St. Sixtus, Honorius III made it the center of an important reform for nuns, the influence of which extended into Germany and southern France, so that even the Prouille convent, which had itself provided the Rule, was in 1236 considered as being sub regula monialium S. Sixti de Urbe (Guiraud, Cart., I, 7).
The long absences of the popes from Rome, the incessant journeys of the generals (the first Masters of the Preachers had no fixed residence; they went from chapter to chapter), the existence of other houses of first importance (studia of Paris and Bologna, with the Preachers; convent of Assisi, with the Minors): all this forbids our calling the convents in Rome the center of the Order; such houses came into that title only later. But in their very origin those convents were oriented toward that importance. Already there was sketched the plan of a system which has prevailed, wherebv the general houses are centered in Rome. To the degree in which this system was consciously promoted by the Curia, the thirteenth century was nearer to the twentieth than it was to the twelfth. That was the age of Cluny, Cîteaux, and Prémontré.
7 Bull Nos attendentes; Laurent, no. 75.
8 "At this time (before 1220), the Blessed Brother Dominic, in dependence only on the Pope, had plenary power, all right to manage, organize and correct the whole Order of the Friars Preachers." Ventura of Verona at the process of canonization; Processus (Bologna), no. 2.
9 The term ordo praedicatorum was in common use in the early thirteenth century. Thus, in his description of the companions of St. Francis in his Historia occidentalis, Jacques de Vitry says: "This is the true religion of the poor and of the crucified, an ordo praedicatorum, which we call Friars Minor" (Boehmer, Analekten zur Geschichte des Franciscus von Assisi, p. 69).
10 Laurent, no. 136. Attention should not be given merely to the second part of this letter, which introduces the Preachers to Metz. The first and more important part, being a general letter of protection from the Chancellor of the Empire, recalls the privilege of papal protection, December 22, 1216. If account is taken of the great difficulties experienced by the first Minors in Germany, the protection of the Chancellor of the Empire will be estimated as of no little significance. This letter of protection was included in the political religious measures agreed on by the imperial Chancellor on the occasion of the coronation in Rome.
What Burchard of Ursberg wrote about the same time (before 1225) seconds, as it were, the pronouncement of Conrad. "Since . . . the Order of Preachers was established and confirmed by the Lord Pope . . . "Desiring to correct these (the preaching excesses of the Humiliati), the Lord Pope instituted and confirmed the Order of Preachers" (Chronicon, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores, XXIII, 377). These statements have a parallel in the following: "Devoting themselves truly to the study and the reading of Sacred Scripture, they accomplished much in writing books, and so very diligently followed the teachings of their own masters that with bow and arrows and all the armor of strong men they went forth to stand in defense of our holy mother the Church." Thus he enumerates the work of the Preachers: to strengthen, to instruct, to teach, to praise, to refute, and to correct. He adds: "They are obedient to the Apostolic See, from which they have special authority."
11 On the relations of Jordan and Aymon, who was instrumental in having the Minors in 1239 adopt a number of Constitutions inspired by the Preachers, see Gratien, pp. 151-55; Eccleston (ed. Brewer), pp. 11, 19, 22.
12 This point has aroused vigorous polemics for many years. The contention of Vacas Galindo (San Raimondo de Peñafort, fundador de la Orden de la Merced, 1919), based on the belated account of Nicholas Aymerich (fourteenth century), seemed exaggerated and called forth a lively rejoinder from Faustino D. Gazulla, (Refutación un libro titulado San Raimundo, etc., 1919). But the view of the latter in his La Orden de Nuestra Sehora de la Merced, 1934, based on records of the sixteenth century, does not appear unassailable, especially, his systematic exclusion of St. Raymond. Besides, St. Raymond did not intervene directly in the Constitutions of the Order of Mercy, which yielded to the Dominican influence only in the fourteenth century.
13 "And almost all the cities of Lombardy and the Marches placed their deeds and their statutes into their hands to be arranged and changed at the will of the brethren, so that they were free to omit, add, shorten, or change them according as it would seem expedient." Brother Stephen, Processus (Bologna, no. 39).
14 Soulier, I, 28-54. The editor has noted the borrowings, chapter by chapter. According to the evidence of the text, the borrowing seems to be from 1256. Chapter 21 has a sentence from the law of the Preachers which dates from that year. There is none of later origin. The date also coincides with that of the organization of the Servites as a centralized and autonomous order, a status which permitted their breaking away from the great congregation of the Augustinians.
15 Tiraboschi, III, 99-146.
16 M. A. van den Oudenrijn, Das officium des heiligen Dominicus des Bekenners im Brevier der "Fratres Unitores" von Ostarmenien (1935), pp. 32, 34. The Rule was adopted before 1350.
17 The Constitutions and office of the Preachers were granted to them by Innocent IV, October 23, 1248, with the condition that they should not take their habit. Hermans, Annales canonicorum reg. S. Aug. Ord. S. Crucis, II, 64-68. Text of the Constitutions, Ibid., II, 30-59.
18 Hugh had been commissioned by Innocent IV to reform the Church of Belley, April 15 and 16, 1244 (Potthast, nos. 11333 f.). He gave to the canons constitutions modeled to a great extent on those of the Preachers and dated February 21, 1248. Sassen, Hugo von S. Cher (1908), p. 12. Constitutions in the Cartulaire de 1'abbaye de Saint-Sulpice(1884).
19 L. Le Grand, Statuts d'Hôtels-Dieu et de Léproseries (1907).
20 Grundmann, 175, 205, 233-37.
21 V. McNabb, 'The Authorship of the Ancren Riwle" in Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum (1934), pp. 49-74. Text in The Ancren Riwle, ed. by James Morton (1853). See also B. du Moustier, "Carthusian Inspiration in the Ancren Riwle" in Pax, XXV (1935), 37-41; "The Ancren Riwle and the Contemplative Prayer"(ibid., pp. 59-62).
22 Fina Heilwic and Katerina, "Recluse in Bischovesheim," declare: "To the honor of God, with simplicity and pure devotion, we accept the Rule of St. Augustine, binding ourselves to the same with solemn vow, for fasts, conduct, food, clothing, according to the way of observance of the Friars Preachers." They promise obedience to the prior of the Preachers at Strasbourg, giving him the right of dispensation, and they agree not to receive anyone who may not wish to abide by all these statutes. March 8, 1293. Bibl. nat. Paris, MS. lat. 10897, f. 336.
23 On February 27, 1257, Alexander IV granted: "To the Master and Convent of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutonic Knights of Jerusalem, that they might observe the Divine Office according to the Order of Friars Preachers in their own Order in a certain form harmoniously adapted to their type of religious life." Potthast, no. 10754. Strehlke, Tabulae Ord. Theuton (1869), pp. 357, 878.
24 Established in the Order of St. Augustine in 1256. Cf. Pierron, pp. 168-70.
25 For the Saccati, see the opinion of Eccleston (De adventu fratrum Minorum in Angliam, p. 71).
26 Note the concern of Jacques de Vitry as he surveyed the situation (March, 1220): "Nevertheless, this company seems dangerous to us, because not only the perfect but even the young and the imperfect, who ought to be subjected for some time to training and proved by conventual discipline, are dispersed two by two through the wide world" (Boehmer). In contrast, we may recall what Dominic wrote in 1216 on the Master of novices: "[he should instruct the novices] as to how zealous they must be in preaching tempore opportuno." I Const. A 13; Denifle, Archiv, I, 201.
27 Bull Cum secundum consilium (Sept. 22, 1220). It was given during the sojourn of Francis in Palestine or just after his return. "By this necessary institution of the novitiate, the Order of Minors took an immense step toward imitation of the ancient monastic rules" (Gratien, Histoire . . . de 1'Ordre des frères Mineurs, p. 72). Upon that followed, as a matter of course, profession the regime of authority, stability in the Order, the common life. On the relations with the Preachers, cf. Gratien, pp. 70 f. The Rule of 1221 embodied each of these "novelties."
28 If a comparison is made between the primitive Rule of St. Albert (Analecta Ord. Carm., 1914, III, 213-18) and the text of Hugh of St. Cher, it will be remarked that by a few changes in expression there were established or emphasized: common life, liturgical life, the possibility of dwelling in inhabited localities, a certain study (Holy Scripture).
29 The Servites in 1240 received from their Bishop Arding the Rule of St, Augustine, confirmed in 1251 by Cardinal Raniero, and by the Pope in 1256. Cf. Soulier, I, 8; Potthast, no. 16302.
30 Empoli, pp. 166, 181.
31 One division of the Williamites, which had been included by the Pope in the grand association of 1256, succeeded with much effort in finally withdrawing and retaining the Rule of St. Benedict. Henriques, Regula, Const. et Privilegia O. Cisterc. (1630), p. 458; Bull of August 22 (Potthast, no. 16528); cf. the bull of Innocent IV, September 3, 1248 (Henriques, p. 456). In 1235, Gregory IX had granted the Rule of St. Benedict to the Hermits of Antioch (Potthast, no. 9892).
32 See especially Hermans, II, 43f., 56-58. That is the reason why, although a certain number of regular prescriptions from the Preachers, thus popularized, were, in the first instance borrowed from Prémontré, Cîteaux, and Cluny, the influence of the observances of the Preachers constitutes something totally original, which was more than a result of the influence of the observances of Prémontré, Cîteaux, and Cluny.
33 As in the congregations of the thirteenth century, the head of the Order was the prior of the Central Abbey (Huy). But be was elected according to the method established for the master of the Preachers, the religious promising obedience to him directly.
34 The crisis was induced by the progressive accession of a group of houses to a centralized Order, an evolution not provided for by legislative texts. The secession which followed as a result was serious.
35 Soulier, Monumenta Ordinis Servorum S. Mariae, I, 19.
36 Gratien, pp. 81-96, 102 ff., 125 ff.
37 The Augustinians and Carmelites were established at Paris about 1260, but in a convent distant from the schools (Denifle, Chart. universit. paris., I, 405, 469); the first Studens parisiensis of the Augustinians appeared only in 1278, and the first university post in 1279, Van Moe in Rev. des quest. hist., CXVII (1932), 292; with the Carmelites, the first master was the Prior General, Gerard of Bologna, 1297-1317 (Zimmerman, Monumenta historica carmelitana, pp. 225, 232, 250, 377). The Williamites established at Montrouge, in 1256, were also distant from the schools. In 1298 they obtained from the Pope and Philip the Fair for their students in theology the Convent of the White Mantles (suppressed at the Council of Lyons), situated on the right bank of the river, north of the cathedral. Cf. Felibien, Histoire de la Ville de Paris(1725), III, 238. It was not until about 1309 that the Servites had some students in Paris. Cf. Soulier, I, 159.
38 Hefele-Leclercq, VI, 201 f.; Schroeder, Councils, p. 351.
Respice canonicos, vide regulares
Vide grandimanicos, attende templares
Atque status aliquos multum populares
Sensu quasi laycos, victu seculares.
Itaque barbiferi, picati, saccini,
Baptiste, cruciferi, atque Guillelmini
Modo sunt in fieri, nunc merguntur fini.
Reputantur miseri, propinquant herini.
Cordati similiter, atque iacobite
Quamquam distant iugiter, quamquam bone vite,
Et inserti firmiter sint in Christo vite
Tenebunt finaliter modum vie trite.
Iam venere noviter ordines diversi
Multiformi turpiter colore respersi
Turbant rairabiliter vultum universi
Utinam totaliter fuerant submersi.--
Now various orders newly furled,
In multiform fashion basely spread,
Wonderfully o'erturn the face of the world.
Would that, submerged, they all were dead.
De paupertate, ed. by C. L. Kingsford [British Society of Franciscan Studies II] 1910, p. 173; see also p. 168.
40 The editor places this little work between 1255 and 1270, at Paris where Peckham was teaching. The mention of the Williamites, who were incorporated with the Augustinians in 1256, might indicate that it was written before that date, or at any rate shortly after. It is certain, moreover, that one division of these religious obtained their autonomy in France and in Germany. In fact, they were established in Paris in 1256. It seems, indeed, that none of the terms in the enumeration applies to the Augustinians: a thing easily explicable if the poem was composed before 1260, the date when these religious were established in Paris. Therefore we place the work between 1256 and 1260.
This presents a picture of the mendicant lay movements of the Ile de France; that is why it does not include the various groups of Augustinians, Servites, Humiliati, Poor Catholics, movements in Italy, Provence, or Spain. But everywhere the same impression was created.
41 Williamites, the Order of the White Mantle or Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, of Marseilles, received from their bishop in 1257 the Rule of St. Augustine at the command of Alexander IV. Cf. Soulier, I, 153; Felibien, op. cit., III, 234.
42 Frachet, p. 138.
43 "Indeed, as it seems to me, the Constitutions contain nothing of so grave a nature that it may not be dispensed with according to the necessity of persons, place, and time, with the exception of those three articles which were so firmly established in the last chapter that they may not be revoked; nor do they admit of dispensation, and we even then wished them to be confirmed for you through the Curia" (Jordan, in the summer of 1229; Epist., 50).
The confirmation was never asked, and the Order remained free. No restriction was laid on the power of modifying a general statute or a custom of the Order, provided it was submitted to three successive general chapters (Acta capitutorum, 1240, I, 14). Furthermore, Pierre de la Palud, consulted by the General, wrote: "Since nothing is more natural than that any law should be revocable in the way in which it was rendered binding, so the Order in a chapter generalissimum has decided finally that revenues and possessions should not be received, and that flesh meat should not be eaten; so through the same kind of chapter generalissimum either law may be revoked, if such action is judged expedient, just as the Constitution may be changed through the action of three general chapters" (Florence, Bibl. Naz. J. X., 51 [conventi soppressi]; Mortier, III, 131).
Only one statute was approved, or rather the absence of a statute: the Order's independence of the Holy See In the installation and deposition of the Master. The liturgical Office was also confirmed in 1267 (Bullarium O.P., I, 480; Echard, I, 145; Potthast, no. 20069). Nevertheless, on October 1, 1285, the Order obtained from Honorius IV the power to correct its liturgy in its own way, by the intervention of three consecutive chapters (Potthast, no. 22299; Bullarium O.P., II, 8).
44 Bullarium O.P., I, 271, no. 9; Potthast, no. 15669.
45 It is a monstrous error to read into this document the order to correct the letter of the rule which was given to Humbert of Romans in the chapter of 1254. See Analecta O.P., II (1896), 615; XVII (1926), 815. There was no question at all of change or of correction, but of taking prescriptions as they were and grouping them into a new rule, This power itself was wholly unexpected. See also Sassen, op. cit., p. 152.
46 November 21, 1254; Potthast, no. 15562.
47 Innocent died December 7; Alexander IV was elected December 21; the bull Nec insolitum was published the next day.
48 In the preceding chapter, the capitular fathers had just imposed on the Master a supplementary ceremonial of humiliation on the occasio of the "correction of his faults." He was to prostrate himself humbly, ask pardon, accuse himself, and listen to the accusations. The pre-eminence of the deliberative assembly was thus emphasized. Acta capitulorum (1254), I, 66.
49 Ibid., p. 68.
50 Mortier, Histoire des mattres généraux, I, 478.
51 "Since I am aware of the charge made by some of the brethren concerning the Rule of St. Augustine, and since I fear lest talk of this kind should weaken the evotion of others in regard to the Rule, I have composed part of a study which I intend to pursue further when there is time for consideration on these things" (Humbert, op. cit., I, 43).
52 The work was begun between 1254 and 1263, but we may judge, from what followed the prologue, that it was completed only after 1263 and then sent to the capitular fathers. Cf. Heintke, Humbert von Romans, pp. 86-88.