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.


Innocent III, Diego, and Dominic in 1206

WHEN account is taken of the preponderant place held by Pope Innocent III in regard to everything concerning the end, method, and recruiting of the Cistercian Praedicatio, and when it is evident further that Diego and Dominic upon their arrival in Rome were enlisted at once for the work of the company, that the Bishop of Osma became one of its leaders, and that the apostolic way of life followed under his direction was but the logical expression of the method prescribed in Innocent's recommendations, we may conclude that such coincidences were not the outcome of mere chance.

The thesis suggesting that there was a preliminary agreement between Diego and Innocent about affairs in Languedoc flows directly from this evidence. True, it gives rise to a real difficulty: that is why, for some years, historians who have maintained it, notably Luchaire (1) and Mandonnet, have met with keen opposition. It seems, however, that the possibility has been too lightly set aside, and that if the objectors had penetrated the apostolic enterprises of Innocent III as thoroughly as these two historians, they would not have spoken as they did. We will try to grasp the problem in its foundations, employing the sources and a critical scrutiny of them.


Our knowledge of the origin of the apostolate of Diego and Dominic in Languedoc in 1206 is based primarily on two records, that of Peter of Vaux-de-Cernai(2) and that of Jordan of Saxony;(3) they run parallel, but in their perspective they are vastly different. An anecdote of Stephen of Bourbon contributes another elemental note.(4)

First of all, this is what Cernai wrote, Diego went to the Curia; he wished to be relieved of his episcopal duties that he might preach to the pagans; but the Pope did not accede to his request and ordered him to return to his diocese. At Montpellier the Bishop met the legates, who were completely discouraged because, when they tried to preach, the heretics continually taunted them for the deplorable habits of the clergy. Diego then urged them to redouble their fervor for preaching by abandoning every other care and, in order to close the mouth of the heretics, to confront them with the spectacle of absolute apostolic poverty, by journeying on foot without money. The legates did not have the courage to adopt a practice totally foreign to them; but Diego offered to take the lead. The Praedicatio was stimulated to new vigor in this way and, full of zeal, the Abbot of Citeaux left to seek new recruits at the general chapter of his Order. Soon twelve abbots and other monks arrived; the territory was divided among the preachers. Then Diego returned to Spain to set his affairs in order and to gather funds for the missioners, intending to return as soon as possible.

In his account Jordan mentions a journey to Cîteaux immediately after the visit to Rome. According to him the meeting with the papal preachers occurred at Montpellier at a council where there were assembled all the prelates of the Province of Narbonne, the twelve abbots, and a legate who presided; the discussion turned to the best apostolic method. Diego was asked to give his advice; be showed concern over the attitude of the heretics and then spoke of the luxurious retinue of the abbots and prelates. "It is impossible," he said, "under these conditions to edify men who care more for example than for words; such a display exercises only a destructive influence. The poverty of Christ is what you need." He then advised them to do as he would; he dispatched his baggage to Osma and declared he would remain in the country to preach the gospel. The Praedicatio began. After two full years Diego returned to his diocese in order not to be accused of negligence. His intention was to return, after a short campaign, with men and subsidies.

Stephen of Bourbon states be learned from the first disciples of St. Dominic that one day when Diego and his companion, in all the pomp of prelates, wished to preach to the heretics, the latter made of this luxury their best argument against the Bishop's discourse. Realizing this, the Bishop began to preach in poverty. That was the initial step in the institution of the Order. Stephen recounts also, on the testimony of the first friars of Provence, the same unpleasant experience as having happened to the thirteen Cistercian abbots, on whom it bad a contrary effect; they decided to abandon their apostolate.(5) The details in these texts will be examined.


The first question about the accounts of Peter and of Jordan concerns their relation. The first part of the Historia dates from 1216 at the latest;(6) the Libellus from 1233-34. If a literary dependence is not evident in the two texts, are there not at least some parallels? A close comparison of the two narratives shows that the problem is not chimerical.

First, an introductory remark is in order. The general structure and the main facts about the Praedicatio in Narbonne are the same in both accounts. In the one as well as in the other, through texts constantly parallel runs a little cycle which we have called the cycle of the mission, because it comprises a complete exposition, with prologue and conclusion, of the whole history of the Praedicatio of 1206-8. It begins with Diego's visit to the Pope, his request that he be permitted to resign, the Pope's reply; the meeting at Montpellier, the conference with the Cistercians, the sending away of the baggage; the twelve abbots, the apostolate, the disputes, and, in detail, the miracle of the book of St. Dominic, three times rejected by the fire; the departure of Diego, his plan to return; his death; the withdrawal of the twelve abbots; the beginning of the crusade. So thoroughly parallel is the cycle in the two authors, that if the texts are arranged, the one opposite the other in two columns, a continual correspondence is notable in spite of editorial variation or difference of detail.(7)

Cernai records a certain number of disputes(8) in which St. Dominic was not a participant; these are not in Jordan. Jordan, in the main, adds to Cernai only the note on the journey to Citeaux(9) and certain information about Prouille.(10)

The parallelism in the accounts will be attributed perhaps to this, that both writers drew on the same history, the facts alone serving as a common source. But that explanation would be too simple. Two thoroughly independent narratives present no such agreement. This can be verified by reference to other documents dealing with the Sancta Praedicatio, this time quite independent of Cernai: Robert of Auxerre,(11) William of Puylaurens,(12) Stephen of Bourbon,(13) William of Tudela.(14) In the two accounts we see what a difference and what variation in points of view and arrangement can mark the work of two authors so close to the scene of events as were Robert and Cernai (Robert wrote about 1211, five years before Cernai), whose information is equally valuable. The same is true in the case of Puylaurens, whose details happily supplement those of Cernai and are not at all a repetition.

One feature emphasizes the significance of the parallelism of the Libellus and the Historia. The cycle of the mission (15) holds an important place in the Libellus: sixteen paragraphs, nearly half of the text that Jordan devotes to the life of Dominic up to the time of the Lateran Council. The matter of that cycle dispatched, apparently Jordan found nothing to be treated in greater proportion; only four paragraphs(16) are given the eight years after the death of Diego, two to the institution of the preachers of Toulouse,(17) five to the founding of the Order of Preachers.(18) If we consider the sources open for Jordan's investigation, the contrary might be expected. For the Languedoc period of St. Dominic's life, the principal informants would be the sisters at Prouille and the first companions of St. Dominic,(19) neither of whom were on the scene of events before 1207. Thus they were witnesses for the year following the years of the Praedicatio. Normally speaking, Jordan should, therefore, have had little information about the beginning of the mission in Narbonne, very much less than about the foundation of the Preachers. Therefore the length of the mission cycle in the Libellus brings into singular relief the parallelism between this account and that of Cernai.

In the face of these facts, what should we conclude? First, it might be suggested that a single source furnished the matter of the mission to Cernai as well as to Jordan. The Cistercian, we know, was not an eyewitness of the events be recounted; he did not arrive in Languedoc, it seems, until 1212.(20) But his work was, for the most part, composed on the basis of what be bad gathered from the reports of direct or associated witnesses. He heard the story of the miracle of fire, for example, from the very lips of St. Dominic.(21) Consequently what forms the mission cycle did not exist prior to the Historia Albigensis. It is, therefore, an extract from it.


We cannot say, however, that Jordan himself borrowed the excerpt. The structure of this passage in the Libellus manifests no decisive trace of literary dependence. What is more, the incidents at Montpellier and the miracle of fire, among others, show that they were greatly modified before their inclusion in Jordan's text. For instance, Jordan has the twelve abbots assembled at Montpellier, and their meeting is called a council. Such an error, which seriously distorts the history of the mission, would not have been possible bad Cernai's text been accessible for his use. Moreover, the clear probity of the Preacher forbids our supposing that he would have permitted himself such a departure from his source. If it were a question of finding traces of his own style in the narrative, certain spiritual notes reveal it slipping in here and there.(22) A delicate amplification by way of comment or analysis characterized the writing of Jordan who was a psychologist (very rare among writers of the epoch; see the beautiful story of the soul of Brother Henry).(23) This touch affected the details about the conference at Montpellier, where the recital runs freely and unfolds with much psychological finesse. In short, it was rather in improving the logic of a narrative or perhaps in obviating some contradiction, that Jordan did his particular work. Undoubtedly in this way he did the best he could with the cycle of the mission as he received it. We do not think he composed it, making the selection himself from the Historia. Who, then, were responsible for the passage borrowed, and who transmitted it to him?

Perhaps they were certain Preachers of Provence or sisters at Prouille.(24) Indeed it seems highly improbable that one or other of these first friars should not have been acquainted with the Historia Albigensis and the person accountable for the parallelism noted. Prouille was born among Cistercians. Until 1215 the apostolate of the first companions of St. Dominic was not distinct from that carried on by the sons of St. Bernard then working among the Albigenses. Peter of Vaux-de-Cernai was one of these Cistercians. For twelve years, from 1212 to 1223,(25) he lived only a few miles from Prouille, at Carcassonne where his uncle, Guy de Cernai, had become Bishop. It was probably there, in 1213, when St. Dominic was exercising the duties of vicar-general at the request of Bishop Guy, that Peter of Cernai knew the Preacher. There he composed the Historia, to which Humbert(26) also gave the title: Geste de Simon de Montfort. Would there have been no one among the first Preachers, with the friars and sisters of Prouille bound by so many ties to the Bishop of Carcassonne and Count Simon, who would have read the work of the Bishop's secretary, to add to or to constitute the prologue to the early history of their own Order, much of which was unknown to them? We do not wish to advance anything on this particular point. But let us reread Cernai's text. Evidently a Preacher, intent on finding, in the book written by the Cistercian, points relative to St. Dominic, would center his interest on the little passage dealing with the mission cycle. Spread and popularized among the sons of St. Dominic, that story would have progressively developed up to the year 1233-34, when Jordan would have made it his own and used it in the best way possible.


That it seems, is the probable and almost certain explanation of the indirect dependence of Jordan in reference to Cernai. We shall not insist further on the comparison of the mission cycle in the Libellus and the Historia. We shall not attempt here to analyze which of the divergences or novelties in Jordan rose from changes in the legend as it evolved, or from original and characteristic notes contributed by the Master of the Preachers. It is sufficient to have traced in the measure possible, within the limits of method, that all of Jordan's information cannot be regarded a priori as absolutely independent of that of Cernai, and when similar to it, as capable of contributing some new viewpoint.

Our interest now narrows to only a part of the cycle, its preamble and its conclusion, which constitute the basic elements in the problem of our study: the origin of the apostolate of Diego and Dominic in Languedoc. We shall pause for an examination of the two texts of Peter and of Jordan.
No. 20. In the year of the Incarnate Word, 1206, the Bishop of Osma, Diego by name, a man great and renowned, came to the Roman Curia, desiring with great desire to resign his episcopal see, No. 17. Moreover, coming to Innocent, the Lord Pope, he at once begged, if possible, the favor of resignation, alleging again and again his own insufficiency and the immense dignity of the office as beyond his strength.
that he might be able more freely to devote himself to the cause of preaching the Gospel of Christ to the pagans. He revealed also to the Supreme Pontiff, that it was the desire of his heart to spend himself in the work of converting the Cumans (Saracens) if his resignation were acceptable.
But Innocent, the Lord Pope, was unwilling to grant the desire of the holy man; The Pope did not at once accede to the demand,
rather he commanded him that he should return to his own see but neither did he wish to offer an indulgence to him who sought (or to enjoin it unto the remission of sins) to go as a bishop to preach in the country of the Cumans (Saracens), the will of God being hidden, who provided the labors of so great a man to bear rich fruit for the salvation of others.

No. 28. Diego tarried two years in the exercise of preaching, and after that,

No. 48. Moreover, the Bishop of Osma wished to return to his diocese that he might attend to business at home (domui) fearing lest he might be charged with negligence in regard to his domestica ecclesia at Osma, if he were to prolong his stay further, he decided to return to Spain, proposing, after he had visited his church,
and that be might provide necessary funds from his own possessions for the preachers of the word of God in the Province of Narbonne. to collect money for the completion of the monastery for women, and to return;
After this the bishop of Osma set out for his episcopal see, firmly resolved to return as quickly as possible to propagate the faith in the Province of Narbonne. then, at last, with the permission of the Lord Pope to select certain men suitable for preaching in those places, whose duty it would be to war always against the errors of heretics and never to fail the faith, in the zeal for truth.

First, it is remarkable how easily these texts fall into corresponding columns. That is a proof of the parallelism spoken of; here it is shown phrase by phrase. The curious expression, domesticam ecclesiam, employed by Jordan to designate the bishopric of Diego seems to be explained only by the word domui in Cernai. At first sight the text of Jordan apparently contains scarcely anything more than is found in the text of Cernai, unless it is that the pagans are there called Saracens (or Cumans) and that in the mention of the financial interests of the Bishop and his plans to return, the sisters at Prouille take the place of the preachers of Narbonne. Yet certain little differences give to each of the texts a very different perspective.

The Pope's refusal of the Bishop's request in 1206 was accompanied, according to Cernai, by a formal order to return to Osma. As will appear later, this order has greatly embarrassed historians. For in fact, it is in brutal contradiction to all the later conduct of Diego as depicted in detail by Cernai. Not only did Diego decide to stop among the Albigenses.(27) but he even stayed on there. He remained for eighteen months without any anxiety. Further, when he decided at the end of that time to return to Osma, it was only to set his affairs (his domus) in order, to collect money for the missioners, and to come back as soon as possible.

In Jordan's text this contradiction does not occur. Of the four passages that have been juxtaposed with the corresponding passages in Cernai, three are absolutely identical except for one spiritual note. The fourth so formulates the Pope's final response that the apostolate in Languedoc is not in contradiction to it. According to the variant added in a second edition of the Libellus,(28) it might even be thought that the Pope was satisfied simply to refuse Diego the classic indulgence granted to missioners (in remissionem peccatorum iniungere). And when Diego decided at Montpellier to remain among the heretics, it was by an inspiration of the Holy Spirit.(29) He was anxious about his diocese, fearful that he might be accused of negligence, and it was to visit his domestica ecclesia (and no longer his domus) that he returned to Osma. Finally, his plans to return and institute the preachers were expressly dependent on the permission of the Pope: cum assensu domini papae ("with the consent of the Lord Pope")


Jordan's version is undeniably more logical: this does not mean that it is more historical than Cernai's. Which should be accepted? Did Innocent III, as a result of the interview in Rome, command Diego to return to Osma, or did he merely refuse to let him go to labor among the pagans? If, in the matter of documents, we were guided only by the strength of probability, a selection would be made in favor of Jordan. But history has other criteria.

A careful consideration of Jordan's text on the definite and precise point at issue makes it difficult to think that he had recourse to any information independent of the mission cycle in Cernai's book (except what relates to Prouille). The name given to the pagans, as the object of the apostolic desires of Diego and Dominic, would not suppose a new document: in the interval between the two editions of the Libellus, Jordan did not come to a decision for the Cumans or for the Saracens. Evidently both were a priori equally possible: for Jordan knew that the two missioners were Castilians, neighbors of the Saracens, and also that, at least at the close of his life, Dominic was perpetually concerned about the Cumans.(30) As for the new form of the last reply of the Pope on which the two editions of the Libellus are not in complete accord, might not its origin be accounted for in a desire to attenuate the difficulty raised by the papal reply as recorded by Cernai? It seems difficult to admit such an explanation. Moreover, Jordan is not necessarily responsible for this change. Perhaps it was embodied in the story of the mission cycle as he received it. On this point we shall see how the hagiographers subsequent to Jordan have continued to modify this answer, and the process still goes on.

Considering things as they are in this problem, we do not think Jordan can be preferred to Cernai regarding the precise point on which they are at variance, nor that we can accept his word as a confirmation on points where they agree. Ultimately it is on Cernai's text that, even though it may be necessary to criticize it, conclusions must be almost exclusively based.


The great value of the details recounted by Cernai must be acknowledged. Although it seems that the Cistercian chronicler did not arrive in Languedoc until 1212,(31) he minutely investigated all the episodes that he relates with great precision, and it has been possible to verify the details with exactitude. His interpretations alone require caution, for the Cistercian monk was inclined to be somewhat narrow when he was not impassioned and partial.

We shall, then, accept as a whole the body of facts recounted by Cernai: the Bishop's journey to Rome; his return (to which we shall append the visit to Citeaux as inserted by Jordan); his meeting the legates at Montpellier; the sending away of the baggage.


Diego's discourse and his presentation of the apostolic method became a tradition which passed on among the preachers of the pontifical mission.(32) It was in this roundabout way that Peter arrived in obliquo at his knowledge of the apostolic intention which took the Bishop to Rome, of his hope of resigning his see, and of the answer of the Pope. Since the expression employed by Cernai to state the Pope's reply opens many questions, it will be interesting to note to what extent Cernai's information was indirect. No one of the Cistercians interrogated by the chronicler was present for the interview in Rome. His principal informant, Guy of Cernai, was not even at Montpellier,(33) and of course Peter was not. Under these conditions and in face of the difficulties raised by the short sentence, Immo precepit ei ut ad sedem suam propriam remearet ("He commanded him that he should return to his own see"), should the text be rigidly adhered to, or may we see in it an erroneous personal interpretation of the chronicler, or even simply unskillful wording? It is indeed evident that Innocent did not accept Diego's resignation in 1206; but did he terminate the audience with a peremptory command to Diego to return to his diocese? Was it truly chance alone that brought about the apostolate of the Bishop in the papal mission?

It has been noted that in Jordan's account there is no mention of this alleged command of the Pope, which is in open contradiction to the later conduct of the Bishop of Osma. Biographers of Diego and Dominic have not always been satisfied to abide by the position of the Libellus. In the seventeenth century, for instance, the Acts of Diego, published by J. Tamayo,(34) declared that, after the conference of Montpellier, "the legates having urged it, apostolic permission was given him." Jean de Réchac,(35) having recounted the Pope's rejection of the Bishop's first proposal, states: "The favor they obtained was to labor for two years for the conversion of the Albigenses in the region of Toulouse and Languedoc." In our own day, Scheeben, who wrongly reduced the apostolate of Diego to some seven months,(36) would make the sojourn simply part of a return voyage to Spain, taken slowly. But this solution was not at all satisfactory to Grundmann,(37) who persisted in finding a serious contradiction in the text of Cernai; he was inclined to disregard the chronicler's unfortunate affirmation to suppose, like Luchaire and Mandonnet, that the Pope had commissioned the Bishop to carry certain instructions to his legates in Languedoc.

What shall we say? The modern critic should be more scrupulous than Jean de Réchac and exact definite evidence before changing anything in the testimony available in the unique source of this history. But it seems that he possesses such evidence. If the declaration made by Cernai is viewed in the concrete circumstances of the time and place, at Rome, or at Montpellier, the order pure and simple to return to Osma seems improbable. The situation itself, in fact, seems to require another solution.

In that hour Innocent's hope was centered in the Praedicatio of Narbonne. He wished to have many workers. Two years before, he had called for men from Citeaux, but, though his appeal was urgent, only his three legates were as yet laboring in the field. He knew that for a year Peter of Castelnau was on the verge of abandoning his post. In May, 1206, he had to reprimand the legates and order them to desist from their attempts to correct the Archbishop of Narbonne, a case in which they had gone too far. Then it was that Diego appeared to offer his services; to place at the command of the Pope not only an apostolic soul rarely found among the bishops of the age, but experience rich in the knowledge of conditions attending the preaching of the gospel in southern France, and perhaps also, if Stephen of Bourbon can be relied upon, a method of preaching by a life of evangelical poverty in "imitation of the apostles," a plan which simply carried out fully and precisely the apologetic designs of the Pope.

Some days later, unmindful of his fatigue after his long journey in the Scandinavian countries, Diego, instead of proceeding to Spain, went up into Burgundy, to Citeaux, the center from which the great mission of abbots started forth. Near Montpellier be joined Arnold, Raoul, and Peter. Himself a simple prelate, he induced the papal legates to reverse their habits and to live by begging, whatever their legitimate repugnance in the face of it;(38) he set things in motion once again. Arnold, who for two years had temporized in complying with the desires of the Pope, suddenly decided to seek helpers at Citeaux. Diego was then made bead of the Praedicatio in Languedoc; he established himself there and helped the preachers to organize their program. In the following year, when he left the mission temporarily, the plan be proposed was to settle his affairs in Osma and return as soon as possible with subsidies for the support of the apostles in Narbonne.


Considering these things, it does not seem likely:

  1. That the Pope entertained no idea or desire of employing the zeal and learning of Diego for the Praedicatio in Narbonne, at that time critically affected by discouragement. The temporary mission of a bishop in a neighboring diocese was then a normal procedure;(39) Diego had himself been entrusted by the Pope with a mission in the diocese of Astorga on January 12, 1204.(40)

  2. That the harmony in the apostolic methods of the Pope and those of Diego was a pure coincidence. As has already been observed several times, this accord extends even to the words, as may be noted in a parallel view:
    Diego (Cernai)
    Further . . . against those who . . . resist every correction of the legates . . . since the infamy of their lives is both a scandal to the faithful and the strongest argument used by the derisive heretics, No. 20. As often as they attempted to preach to the heretics, the latter upbraided them with the wicked life of the clergy, and thus, if they expected to correct the life of the clergy, it would be necessary to refrain from preaching.
    we advise and direct, that, pursuing more fervently the business enjoined upon you, you should not investigate matters against those who might hinder the progress of the task committed to you, lest a work of inevitable necessity meet an impediment through your concern over what is tolerable.

    (Dec. 6, 1204; Potthast, no. 2337; Villemagne, pp. 62 f.; 62-63; PL, CCXV, 474).

    No. 21. Moreover, the illustrious Bishop gave sound advice in their perplexity, advising and counseling them to forget about other things in order to devote themselves more ardently to preaching;
    Therefore, we will and advise you to proceed so that your modesty may be known to all, that it may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, and that in word or deed there may appear nothing in your conduct to which even a heretic might take exception.

    (May 31, 1204; Potthast, no. 2229; Villemagne, p. 57; PL, CCXV, 360).

    and that they might give the lie to wicked tongues, they were to proceed to their work in humility,
    We command you to seek out unto the remission of sins, men approved . . . who, imitating the poverty of the poor Christ, with modest bearing and ardent spirit, fear not to approach the outcast. . . .

    (Nov. 17, 1206; Potthast, no. 2912; Villemagne, p. 70; PL, CCXV, 1025).

    doing and teaching according to the example of their holy Master, going about on foot, without gold or silver, in imitation of the apostles.

  3. That the unexpected stop at Cîteaux was, as Jordan maintained,(41) a pilgrimage of devotion and that the Cistercians who accompanied him to Montpellier as a result of the visit, were intended, again according to Jordan, to introduce into the see of Diego the Cistercian form of life, which was already perfectly established there.(42) Here we may recall the journey of Foulques de Neuilly to Citeaux some years earlier, when he was commissioned by Innocent to recruit preachers.

  4. That Diego would have taken it upon himself to speak as he did to the papal legates if he were in the position supposed by Cernai, and that he could have made them decide to adopt a program which was so foreign to ecclesiastical and regular customs; that he could have reversed their psychology of defeat, and induced the Abbot of Citeaux to provide the preachers up to that time withheld.

  5. That in such circumstances Diego would have been installed as head of the papal Praedicatio, equal in rank with Raoul of Fontfroide,(43) official legate of the Holy See.

  6. That he would have settled so calmly in Languedoc if the Pope had formally ordered him to return to his diocese.

In an earlier study, attention was called to the way Innocent employed his personal authority in directing the Praedicatio of Narbonne, and notably in selecting the preachers and outlining their method. How, then, can we suppose that the principal episode, that which changed the fortune of this institution, was an affair of pure chance, as well as an act of disobedience to the command of this same Pontiff?

True it is that Cernai is not aware of the false position in which he places the Bishop and thinks the affair one of chance. It is precisely in that regard that his perspective reveals itself as shortsighted and erroneous. Because he only half knew what happened in Rome and looked only at the outward aspects of the events in Montpellier in the new method and changed psychology which was effected there, he thought the conference only a chance meeting and concluded that Diego was on the way toward Spain according to the order of Innocent. It is understandable that a chronicler too near events, in perceiving only one aspect of them, may posit a false historical sequence, which perspective alone can re-establish, and he may consider as a coincidence of fortune what history can reveal as owing to a more profound and more necessary cause.


It is not in our province to declare that the Pope conferred on Diego an official mission comparable to that of Arnold, Peter, and Raoul. Although William of Tudela,(44) who judged only from appearances, maintained that the Sovereign Pontiff made Diego a legate, it seems certain that he did not do so. But it also seems almost beyond question that the Pope discussed with him the serious question of the apostolate in Languedoc; that he agreed with him on the necessity of endowing the preachers in Narbonne with the power of conquest conferred by "imitation of the apostles," a program known well to both in its concrete detail and its contemporary success; that the Pope officially commissioned the Bishop to explain this method to his legates, to renew their courage, and, in case of need, to give them the difficult example of voluntary poverty, and finally to animate Arnold to provide the required recruits. Diego went first toward Citeaux, perhaps because he thought he might find Arnold there, and might at once engage some preachers. At Montpellier, the meeting with the Cistercians gave him the opportunity to fulfill his mission. With these guiding thoughts in mind, a review of the table outlining the events of the summer of 1206, and particularly of Cernai's accounts and even of Jordan's, will throw new light on the whole question.

Such is the hypothesis that would appear quite probable on this point. Further, the full agreement between Diego and Innocent III is a matter for hypothesis, only in regard to the moment at which the Bishop of Osma first entered the papal Praedicatio (May-June, 1206). Their complete accord is, on the contrary, a matter of absolute certitude from November 17, 1206, the date of the letter in which the Pope officially consecrated the apostolic method developed by Diego with the legates at Montpellier. We have already spoken of this letter: it does not concern the Bishop, but it imposes on certain religious who participate in the papal Praedicatio the practice of evangelical poverty as the official method of the company. The Pope considers as definitively adopted the tactics proposed some months earlier by the Spanish Bishop. It manifests his unqualified accord.


1 Luchaire, pp. 90 f.

2 Cernai, nos. 20-27, 47-54.

3 Jordan, nos. 16-32.

4 Bourbon, no. 83.

5 Bourbon, no. 251.

6 As the dedicatory letter to Innocent III shows.

7 Cernai, nos. 20 f., 26 (which should be combined with 54), 48 f. Jordan, nos. 17-32.

8 Nos. 22-25.

9 No. 18 which probably belongs to the Castilian cycle of the journey of Diego and derives from it.

10 Nos. 27-29.

11 Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores, XXVI, 271.

12 Puylaurens, nos. 8-10.

13 Bourbon, nos. 83, 251.

14 Tudela, III and IV.

15 Nos. 17-32.

16 Nos. 34-37.

17 Nos. 38 f.

18 Nos. 40-44.

19 The sources for his early history of the order are accounted for by Jordan thus, long investigated and gathered to ether by these same (primitive) brothers, who lived in the founding period, and who saw and heard the venerable servant of Christ. . . . It seemed to me that I should commit to writing the things which I personally saw and heard, and which I learned from the first brethren, and from certain other persons also, concerning the life and miracles of St. Dominic, as the occasion arose to store such things in my memory" (nos. 2 f.).
It seems that Dominic himself had said nothing about past events. He did not relish talking about himself. That explains why the few details known about his youth are attributed to other witnesses.

20 Cernai, no. 300.

21 No. 54.

22 Nos. 17 f., 21, 25.

23 Nos. 67-85.

24 Before Jordan undertook his work, an effort was made among the first brethren to collect some documents.

25 That is what seems likely from the date of the death of his uncle, the Bishop of Carcassonne. Cf. Cams, p. 528; Eubel, p. 166.

26 No. 17.

27 Cernai, no. 21.

28 Cf. Scheeben's introduction to the edition of the Libellus (Monumenta Ordinis, XVI, 15 f.).

29 Jordan, no. 20.

30 Processus (Bologna), no. 43; cf. no. 12.

31 Cernai, no. 300.

32 Cernai, no. 47.

33 Ibid., no. 51.

34 Tamayo-Salazar, Anamnesis sive commemoratio omn. sanct. Hisp., I, 67.

35 La vie du glorieux patriarche S. Dominique, p. 183.

36 Scheeben, p. 51. Elsewhere (p. 68) Scheeben surmises a letter of the Pope granting Diego the permission which he had refused some months previous. That is the explanation given by Tamayo.

37 Grundmann, p. 103.

38 Canivez, Statuta cap, gen. O. Cisterc., I, 340, 385: prohibition of begging in the Order in 1207 and 1211. Mansi, XXII, 828: prohibition of begging for religious in northern France, at the Council of Paris in 1212.

39 Zimmermann, Die päpstliche Legation in der ersten Halfte des XIII. Jahrh., pp. 219-22.

40 Potthast, no. 2087.

41 Jordan, no. 18.

42 Balme, II, 19.

43 Cernai, no. 67.

44 Stanza II, verses 17 f.