Beginnings of the Capuchin Friars Minor 1525-1534

by Edoardo d’Alençon OFM Cap

Beginnings of the Capuchin Friars Minor 1525-1534 An historical commentary[1]


Translated by Paul Hanbridge OFM Cap

Table of Contents

  • I. A necessary observation about our Chroniclers
  • II. On certain other writers
  • III. The first published works narrating the beginning of the Order
  • Chapter I
    • (1517-1525) 1. The need for reform among the Friars Minor of the Observance at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century. 2.The spirit of reform did not fail, but was thwarted by Superiors.
  • Chapter II
    • (1525) 1. The zeal of Matteo da Bascio to follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis. 2.He asks Rome for permission to embrace the way of life shown him. 3. With whom did the Capuchin family begin? 4. The marvels he told about which happened to him in Rome. 5. Back home he is captured, put in prison and then freed.
  • Chapter III
    • (1526) 1. Ludovico da Fossombrone, together with this brother Raffaele, flee the friary. 2. The Minister General and Supreme Pontiff declare them heretics, and the Pontif orders their capture. 3. They take refuge among the Camaldolese.
  • Chapter IV
    • (1526) 1. How difficult it is to distinguish truth from fiction in the accounts of our writers. 2. Ludovico obtains permission from the Sacred Penitentiary to lead the eremitical life. 3. Examination of the Bull he obtained.
  • Chapter V
    • (1526-1527) 1. The Friars Minor of the Observance celebrate the General Chapter. Giovanni da Fano is present. 2. Ludovico returns from Rome, but his actions are not well know, nor those of Paolo da Chioggia. 3. Giovanni da Fano writes the small work against our first fathers.
  • Chapter VI
    • (1527-1528) 1. Ludovico transfers to the Conventuals with his brother Raffaele. 2. He petitions Viterbo so that matters concerning the future Congregation may be dealt with by the Roman Curia. 3. He obtains the Bull of institution of the Order.
  • Chapter VII
    • (1528) 1. A discussion about certain things in the Bull highlighted by Boverius. 2. On wearing the beard. 3. Where did the name of the Capuchins come from? 4. Who really was the founder of the Capuchins?
  • Chapter VIII
    • (1528) 1. The reception of the first friars. 2. A description of the places or friaries.
  • Chapter IX
    • (1529) 1. The Chapter assembled at Albacina. 2. The Constitutions composed then. 3. Matteo abdicates the office of Vicar General and Ludovico takes it up. 4. The first friary in Rome.
  • Chapter X
    • (1518-1529) Capuchin origins in Calabria. 1. The sources for the history. 2. The beginnings of the Recollect reform. 3: These join the Order of Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life.
  • Chapter XI
    • (1529-1530) 1. The General of the Observance harshly persecutes the Reform. 2. The Capuchins are involved in the ministry of the sick in the Ospedale di San Giacomo. 3. New friaries in Rome. 4. They establish a residence in Naples.
  • Chapter XII
    • 1. (1531) The holy death of some of the friars. 2. The Duchess prepares are new place for the Capuchins in Camerino. 3.The General of the Observance persecutes our friars again.
  • Chapter XIII
    • (1532) 1. The Recollects of Calabria join with the Capuchins. 2. New persecutions by the Observant Minister General. 3. The Procurator General of the same Order has recourse to the Pontiff. 4. Two Cardinals are assigned to the matter. 5. The establishment of the friary at Montepulciano.
  • Chapter XIV
    • (1532-1533) 1. New dangers threaten the Capuchins. 2.The Bull of the Reform is published 3. Its execution is suspended.
  • Chapter XV
    • 1. Ruin threatens the Capuchins. 2. They leave Rome. 3. The sentence of exile is revoked. 4. The passage of Giovanni da Fano to the Capuchins. 5. The conclusion of the present Commentary.
  • Appendix: Two letters by the Duchess of Camerino in support of the Capuchins

Greetings to the kind reader

When I have been speaking about the history of our Order, the Friars have asked me many times to compose a dissertation on the Order’s beginnings. The difficulties of the task deterred me because one ought not have absolute faith in the authors of our Chronicles – unless what they say, and they do not always agree with each other, may be authenticated by other documents or external witnesses, especially those who cannot be suspect of partiality. For this very reason, for years and years I have been carefully examining the codices and documents kept in our Archives and comparing documents in other places also, collecting material. Thus prepared, given the opportunity, I might write a genuine history of the beginnings of our Order.

Today, then, I undertake this work, ceding to the request of the Rev. Father Pacifico da Seggiano, General Minister.[2] I intend to briefly summarise the origins of the Capuchin Order and its changes within the first years.

I say “briefly” because to my mind it is more valuable to present a series of facts than to explain them subtly. On the other hand, many details extensively described by some writers seem false to me, or at least without a satisfactory, sound foundation. I leave out the miracles, visions, revelations – not that I refute the supernatural, but we should not demand special divine intervention to explain the causes of human events. Providence, which rules and governs the world and men, is sufficient. At work throughout the entire world, Providence disposes each thing wisely for its preordained purpose.

On the other hand, why have recourse to uncertain miracles when there may be a quite evident and (I’d say) palpable miracle that also far surpasses the others. That miracle is the founding of this new family and its establishment. If this dissertation that I am about to expound is not too tedious, the reader may come to the same conclusion as I: The Order of Capuchin Friars Minor could not have survived without special divine help, and if brought about by the causes we consider, it is necessary to exclaim, Digitus Dei est hic![3]

I wrote these things at the outset of the year 1912. Then, informed by new documents and weighing up again what I had put to paper to correct them, to present them more adequately, not that I was thinking to put them in the public domain. Again, indeed, at the insistence from many, I deliberated for some time about whether I might finally submit to print my study on the beginnings or our Order. Since there is no special reason for me to hold back, I can no longer delay in carrying out the wish of so many inquirers.

However I ask and implore only one thing of those who, when they turn these pages, find new or previously unheard of things. May they not condemn me as a slayer of cherished paternal traditions. May they remember that my intention is to outline a genuine and sincere history. Therefore I have always had in mind the words of Cicero, where he says, “Who doesn’t know the first law of history: that one not dare to say what is false, and then dare not say what is true? Should there be any suspicion of favouritism or resentment when writing? Obviously everyone knows therefore that these rules are fundamental.”[4]

Br. Edouard d’Alençon

Paris, 26 November 1916

I. A necessary observation about our Chroniclers

I. The first to write specifically about the origin of our Order was Mario da Mercato Saraceno, who joined the new congregation in 1536.[5] As a boy he knew Matteo da Bascio who often stayed in his father’s house. Later, in 1543, from the mouth of Matteo himself, he heard the story of the events about the beginning of our family.[6] In the year 1565, in order to fulfil the wish of the Duke of Tuscany, he sent a short account to P . Onorio da Montegranaro, the vicar of his province.[7] Not long after, in about the year 1578, he wrote a new and more extensive account, at the request of the Vice-Protector, Card. Giulio Antonio da Santa Severina.[8] Finally he composed the third and even longer account around 1580 in order to refute a small work[9] that had recently come out in print and to satisfy the wish of the friars. In the following year he was taken from among the living and the Chapter celebrated in May 1584 gave the task of revising his writings to P. Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, so that these might be printed.[10]

II. Bernardino himself had also been one of the first friars of our Congregation. As he testified himself, he was born in 1514, on the 25 November, the feast of St. Catherine. He joined the Observant Friars and received the habit on 13 April 1532 in the friary at Gubbio. He was professed the following year in Assisi, in Our Lady of the Angels. He only remained among the Observant Friars a very short time for in 1534, on the Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany, he left to join the Capuchins. At the orders of P. Girolamo da Montefiore, the Vicar General elected in 1575, he submitted to writing the historical details and virtues of the old friars of the Order.[11] The Vicar General asked him, in 1580, to faithfully describe the things he knew about the early days, referring particularly to the lives of holy friars, since P. Mario da Mercato Saraceno intended narrate the general history of the Order.[12]

P. Bernardino died 7 February 1594, but he had already been relieved of the task of writing the history of the Order for some years, when the task had been assigned to Mattia da Salò.

III. Many things should be said about P. Mattia, an outstanding man in our Order, but this is not the place for such;[13] as I am only to consider him as an Annalist. I have not found the date when the composition of the Chronicles was assigned to him.

On 2 September 1592, Colpetrazzo wrote that this task had been assigned to P. Mattia, certainly to one wiser and more expert, when already he himself had nearly completed the work. My conjecture is that this happened at the time of the general Chapter in 1587. Bellintani was certainly worthy of such an office, since he had already published many works which redounded to the praise of the author, and not only among the friars.

Dionisio da Genova, whom others have followed, attributed the Historia Religionis Capuccinorum quam complexus est usque ad annum 1597 to Mattia.[14] Boverius, moreover, will write that Mattia traced this history to the year 1576, although he cites his testimony up to 1587.[15] Two manuscript volumes are preserved in archives in Rome. These contain many corrections and notes done in Mattia’s own hand. Boverius used these manuscripts.[16]

There the last general Chapter recalled is the one celebrated in 1584. He speaks about famous friars and other matters up until the year 1588. Apart from the early times, he does not tell about the history of the Order. Rather, he only talks about the more outstanding men. In those things relating to the origin of the Order he is not always in agreement with those who wrote prior to him. Hence Boverius should not be judged who, having left aside the earlier writers, seems to have given greater credence to Mattia. Mattia was born in 1534 and entered the Order in 1552. Therefore he was only able to tell the history of the beginnings from accounts given by others. Therefore, in my view, he does not deserve complete trust in those places where he differs from the earlier writers.

IV. Distracted by various other concerns Bellintani left the work unfinished, and perhaps before he died he gave part of the task himself to P. Giacomo da Salò, who was, as a writer, involved in the composition of the Annals, as is indicated in a particular codex in our archives in Bologna.[17] P. Giacomo da Salò is found performing the same office of writer with Michelangelo da Arminio, the procurator general (1608-1613.) Some letters have already been published in the Analecta which show him free to attend tirelessly to historical studies.[18] From then on he lived in Foligno where he showed his work to P. Paolo Vitelleschi who had been entrusted also with the task of completing the Annals of the Order.[19]

In the above mentioned codices there are more notes written in the hand of Giacomo da Salò, even with his name along side them. Other notes of his seem to be found in the codex of Chronicles which Boverius often cites as Salod. Others, however, attribute it to P. Paolo Vitelleschi da Foligno. Giacomo died in 1621, while he was returning to his Province.

V. P. Paolo, when Mattia had died, was probably chosen at the time of the general Chapter in the year 1613 to bring the Annals to a completion. We know that he was released from the task in 1627, since he had not done the work for many years.[20] Dionisio da Genova and others said of Paolo. “He wrote in Latin the Chronica Fr. Minorum ab anno 1525 usque ad annum 1626, form which Zacharias Boverius collected many things and included them in his Annals.”[21] So many words, so many errors. Paolo did not write in Latin but Italian. The Chronicles which survive under his name in our Archives do not include anything of the history of our Order beyond the middle of the sixteenth century. Rather, they only narrate the deeds of holy friars who died later.[22] Even if Boverius took many things from these Chronicles he pretended not to have known Paolo da Foligno and always cites our codex as Salod.,, that is, Giacomo da Salò. Perhaps something should be said about the role of each of them since Giacomo was the study companion of Paolo.

As if they made an effort here and there with the early documents yet often, without reason, they kept their distance from the early writers and sometimes erred from the truth. Paolo died in his home town in the month of February 1638.[23]

VI. The Assembly of general Definitors celebrated on the feast of Pentecost 1627 assigned the composition of the Annals of the Order to P. Zacharia Boverio da Saluzzo, deciding that they be written in the Latin idiom, since it was the more common language among the countries where the Order had been established. Boverius began the work without delay and by 1629 he already had the first tome of the Annalium seu sacrarum historiarum Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci qui Capucini nuncupantur[24] ready for print. He published it in Lyon in 1632. I do not intend to offer an opinion about this heavy work. I have tried to write this history without it. Rarely will I attempt to refute it, nor might I need its testimony, except when I find myself without any other. Indeed, overlooking the purer sources, namely the writings of those early friars who were close to the facts which they narrate, or who knew about these things from the mouths of the protagonists themselves, he drew abundantly from more recent authors and had greater trust in what was acceptable to them.

II. On certain other writers

Among the authors whom Boverius used he names P. Girolamo da Montefiore, “who preserved from oblivion only some illustrious deeds of the early Fathers.” I use Girolamo’s work very much, though on the other hand I omit that which might have dealt with the beginnings.”[25]

In the same way I pass over Giovanni Romeo da Terranova, although I have already published his Chronicle.[26] The things he wrote about the origin of the Order he took from Marius, discussed above. Nonetheless the important material of his Chronicle concerns what took place in Calabria.[27]

Two other writers are listed among the those who wrote about the origins of the Order: Giuseppe da Collamato and Francesco da Cannobio. To the first one, namely Giuseppe da Collamato, (also called ‘da Fabriano’), Dionisio da Genova attributed the Historiam de Origine et progressu Reformationis Capuccinorum in provincial Marchiae. If in fact he wrote something, I have not yet found it. However, he had a part to play along with P. Eusebio d’Ancona, in the first work of Marius, who testified that he had both of them with him when he wrote in 1565 about the origins of the family. Hence I accept this attribution.

About the second author, namely Francesco da Cannobio, Dionisio da Genova says, “ He wrote in Italian and left for posterity the Volumen Chronographicum, in quo fidelissime exaravit res restas ab initio, ac Religionis nostrae primordiis a Viris illustribus, usque ad annum 1570, from which Zacharias Boverius partly drew his history of the Capuchin Annals.” Boverius in no way cites from this work, which was unknown to everyone. Nevertheless we know that Francesco, according to the testimony of Mattia da Salò, was very diligent in collecting the old records and much of this he furnished to the celebrated Marco da Lisbona, who published his well-known Chronica of the Order of Saint Francis.[28]

III. The first published works narrating the beginning of the Order

I. The first work to go to press which deals with the early Fathers of the Capuchins came out in 1527. Its author was P. Giovanni da Fano, the minister provincial of the Observance in the Marches. As I will later describe, at the beginning he opposed all the men of that embryonic family. For this purpose he published his Dialogo de la salute tra el frate stimulato et el frate rationabile circa la regula de li frati Minroi et sue dechiarationi per stimulati.[29] In this work he harshly inveighed against the first fathers of the Capuchins, who did not yet go by that name, and he inserted a few essential things that had to be said necessarily about the history of the beginnings. I will discuss the Dialogue and the time of its composition. A few years later (1534), when Saul had become Paul, he transferred to the Capuchins and he occupied himself in correcting the Dialogue published against the Capuchins and he asked the Vicar General to have it printed, in reparation for the scandal given by the other edition.[30] His pleas however were not heard and the corrected Dialogue remained unpublished. However, many manuscript copies exist. I use the Cingoli Codex described above.[31]

II. Before 1569 no new work is published which expressly narrates the beginnings of our Order. In this year, Fr. Paolo Morigia, a member of the order of Saint Jerome[32], had a volume printed in Venice entitled: Historia dell’origine di tutte le Religioni, in which he treats Della congregatione de’Capuccini di San Francesco in chapter xlviii (ff. 124-126). This narrative of Morigia simply selects from the cited Letter of P. Mario da Mercato Saraceno to P. Onorio da Montegranaro, and which he replicates briefly.[33]

III. If the work written by the Gesuato came out first, part three of the Chronica Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci had already been prepared for the for the press and probably had been consigned to the printers. Its author dated his dedicatory letter to the Most Serene Infante of Portugal from Salamanca on 20 April 1568.[34] Mark of Lisbon[35], the writer of these Chronicles, before he composed this third part, travelled through Spain, Italy and part of France so that he might collect for himself the material necessary to complete this work. In Italy he saw the Capuchins and soberly, though fully described our reform with praise. Chapter XV of the ninth book of this third part has the title: Como se començo la reformaçion de los frayles Menores Capuchinos en Italia. He briefly outlines the origin and names a number of friars who were conspicuous for the holiness of their lives, namely, Bernardino d’Asti, Antonio da Monteciccardo, Giovanni da Fano and Francesco Titelmans. After these things and some intervening chapters, he goes on to narrate the deeds of Titelmans, the martyrdom of Giovanni Zuaze and then finally the life and death of Matteo da Bascio, and dedicates a few pages to his praise.[36]

The Italian version of this third part of the Chronicles came out in Venice in 1591, translated by Oratio Diola.[37] Although that Italian edition faithfully produces the brief narration of the origins of the Capuchins (chapter xv), it later extensively narrates in many chapters (xvi-xxvii) the life, origin, development and growth of our Order, omitting later the brief chapter that Marco da Lisbona wrote about Matteo. Wadding, to his merit, disapproves the false chapters and shows indeed how Lisbona has nothing of this at all.[38] This modification is taken from the main work of Mario da Mercato Saraceno, whose words it often quotes. It seems however that the original Lisbona did not even know the earlier Relatio (of Marius), written, as we have said above, in September 1565, and which he probably added to his understanding of a few things only when he was in Italy later.[39]

IV. In the year 1579 Giuseppe Zarlino, master of the chapel of the Serenissima Repubblica, published a small work called Informatione intorno la Origine della Congregatione de i Reverendi Frati Capuccini,[40] in order to prove that the origin of the Capuchins was not as Mario related in his letter. He does not outline the origins of the Order in this small work, but declares that it had a different forerunner. I shall say later what I think about this controversy. Mario wrote his third and major relatio against this, asserting that everything he himself had narrated concurred perfectly with the truth.[41] Giuseppe Zarlino published his Informatione again in the fourth volume of his works, adding some things to underline his opinion.[42] I refer to this amended edition.

V. In 1586 Pietro Ridolfi da Tossignano, a Conventual Friar, published a work in Venice entitled Historiam Seraphicae Religionis libri tres,[43] where on folio 158 he writes a few things De Capuccinis, et de eorum origine, et auctore.[44] He follows this chapter immediately with another under this heading: Refelluntur qui capuccinorum institutorem alium faciunt a B. Matthaeo, cujus vitae disciplina narratur.[45] It begins: “Quidam doctrina viri hac nostra aetate conspicui dicunt B. Matthaeum non fuisse auctorem, sed quemdam fr. Paulum Clodiensem: quorum dictum non probo.[46] In fact in the margin he also indicates the cited Giuseppe Zarlino, who “is of this opinion, to which I make reference.”[47]

VI.In Rome the following year, 1587, the Minister General of the Observants, Francesco Gonzaga, produced the most extraordinary work, De origine Seraphicae Religionis.[48] On page 61 the author discusses De Franciscani Ordinis perfectione, patrumque Capuccinorum origine ac discrimine inter eos, Observantes, atque patres Conventuales Minoritas.[49] He briefly refers to the short chapter xv of Mark of Lisbona.

The beginnings of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin

Chapter I

1. The need for reform among the Friars Minor of the Observance at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century. 2.The spirit of reform did not fail, but was thwarted by Superiors.

1. “That perfection of the Franciscan Institute,” wrote the celebrated Francesco Gonzaga,[50] “would far surpass all the other Orders (far from boasting at all). The reason for this: with the cooling of that first enthusiasm and human nature’s inclination to weakness, (the Order) becomes lax from time to time. However there are also the goodness and mercy of God, so that the more the Order goes into decline and deflects from the right path, it may in time spring up more robust. And so, when the Order has fallen into ruin, the hard work of some of its zealous friars will restore its splendour. In this way the unshakable divine promise made to the blessed Father Francis remains unchanged, namely, that the Order will never be without friars who lead their life according to Evangelical poverty and who observe the Rule he put forward.”

The family of the Regular Observance was not exempt from this common destiny of the Franciscan institutes, whatever certain writers may say carelessly. By the time the various Reforms were united into one body by Leo X (1517), their earlier fervour had chilled. Gradually and unintentionally their pristine rigour had softened. The very spread of the admirable Observance itself was the reason. The humble friaries[51] where the first followers of Paoluccio Trinci and the disciples of S. Bernardino da Siena were content, were no longer adequate for the needs of the increased number of friars. Called by the devotion of the people from the solitary places to the towns and great cities, it was often necessary to live in the larger houses of the Conventuals and to build new houses. With the passage of time, they did not refuse to accept annual returns generally given them. They cultivated fields, vineyards and woodlands from which they provided for themselves or sold their fruit. They put casks or boxes in the churches to receive money for the sustenance of the friars. Indeed these things did not happen everywhere, but abuses were sufficiently common for the General Chapter to prohibit all these things in 1526.[52]

2. Already for some time the spirit of reform had touched the hearts of many. On 20 May 1517 the union of the Families of Reformed Friars was enacted, as we have said, under the regime of the Minister General of the Friars Minor of the Regular Observance and Padre Cristoforo Numai da Forli had been elected to that office. A short time later he was created Cardinal and the Chapter was celebrated in the following year. This Chapter called upon Padre Francesco Lichetto da Brescia to guide the helm of the Order. Under his regime, “as Frate Macro da Lisbona, Padre Mariano da Firenze and others relate, the Observant Friars Minor, because of the increased number and luxury of friaries which they obtained from the Conventual Friars, no longer appeared to remain within that moderation under which the Observance began. Moreover, the number of Friars, for which Convents would have to be provided, increased beyond measure. Those numerous zealous Friars of the Observance, in order to relinquish familiarity with the world and adhere to God more properly, accepted for themselves friaries which they considered more solitary and harsh.”[53] At first it seemed that Lichetto supported them. During the first days of January 1519, in Rome, during the celebration of the Provincial chapter, “Padre Fra Stefano Molina, from Spain but a Father of the Roman Province, and one dedicated to purity, wished to receive a friary from among those founded by our holy father Saint Francis. He obtained from the Minister General that the friary of Saint Francis at Fontecolombo be given to him, together with Fra Bernardino d’Asti and other friars who shared his desire.[54] This took place on 6 January 1519.” After this the General went from Rome to Naples and celebrated the Chapter there. “At the occasion of this Chapter, Padre Fra Nicola Tomacello, of illustrious lineage and outstanding for his noteworthy ways, in order to imitate the aforesaid Padre Stefano Molina in the way of perfection, similarly obtained two friaries from the Father General on 2 February of the same year, 1519. These were San Giovanni da Palco of Lauri and Santa Maria at Avigliano in Campana, where he and a good number of other like-minded friars[55] came together for holy mortification and the practice of prayer.”[56] “The Father General was away” carrying out the visitations “in the Province of the Marches, where on the 10 June in the same year he held the Chapter. At the insistence of some spiritual friars he granted them some small, isolated friaries where they practised every kind of mortification.”[57]

Lichetto then arrived in the Seraphic Province and had the Chapter in the friary of the Porziuncola in the same month of June. It seems that he then turned against the Reform, having begun so happily. “So that the beginning of the Reform might not set in motion some division in the Order, with the advice of more serious Fathers, the (Minister General) felt moved to take appropriate action. First of all he declared that no other further friaries be built, or if built already, be received, without his written permission. Secondly, so that others might benefit from their examples, he removed the aforesaid zealous friars from the more remote friaries and replaced them with friars who were in the cities.”[58]

Wadding, who does not recount the beginning of that Reform, strongly inveighs against the Minister General. The famous Annalist writes, “He was a very learned and religious man, but inexperienced in government, nor was he acceptable to the majority. He acted impatiently, because, led by a spirit of a more perfect Observance and a stricter life, abandoning the large friaries and more ample dwellings received from the Conventuals, many friars sought out humbler and harsher places to live in. And they asked a remedy from the Ministers for some abuses that had been introduced by the frequent admixture of other, not exactly reformed, Congregations. They again contrived a certain reform.

“Because of this they were usually called stubborn and factious agitators and nonconformists[59] and he treated them as such, perhaps out of zeal, so that the Religion not split again into Congregations. In Mantua in the same year (1529) a certain venerable and pious Father rebuked him because of these things, saying that his office is to cultivate and encourage friars zealous in Regular Observance, and not the contrary, to attack and persecute them. Moreover, in the future those who would embrace a stricter life and a greater reform will be led outside the obedience of the Observants, and they will not do so inappropriately, since in this matter he will have sinned. In fact they apply this prediction,” Wadding concludes, “to those who went over from the Observant obedience to the authority of the Conventuals, and which followed shortly after the death of Lichetto.”[60]

However not everyone saw in Lichetto this hostile attitude against the friars wanting to live in a reformed way: indeed certain ones would have it that the beginning of Reform, happily initiated under his regime and approved by him, was destroyed by his successor Paolo da Soncino and by the Procurator General, Ilario Sacchetti “at least in their connivances, or rather in their cooperation,” since “nearly the whole community of spiritual friars of the Regular Observance feared and was intensely saddened by the separation growing more each day to its detriment.”[61]

I will leave a divisive controversy of this kind to others. However, just from what was said, it is clear that at the time in various Italian Provinces, about which I will speak elsewhere, a certain sufficiently vigorous movement was present that urged the hearts of many to undertake Reform. It is also clear that the movement was repressed by those who ought to have prudently encouraged and moderated it. Moreover that vibrant and ardent desire was not quelled but increased by difficulty, stimulated by opposition, not broken. Because of this those zealous friars greeted with heartfelt joy the election of Francesco de Angelis Quiñones as minister general (1523). Indeed they had heard of the things that he had already done in Spain to promote Reform. Nevertheless it was necessary for them to wait a whole two years before his arrival in Italy. Meanwhile they knew that there was no hope of anything being done for them by the Cismontane Commissary General, Ilario Sacchetti.

In this short space of time, just as a spark spreading through tinder kindles a fire, a certain poor little friar was the cause of the Reform that had to be done.

Chapter II

1. The zeal of Matteo da Bascio to follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis. 2.He asks Rome for permission to embrace the way of life shown him. 3. With whom did the Capuchin family begin? 4. The marvels he told about which happened to him in Rome. 5. Back home he is captured, put in prison and then freed.

1. Bascio is a castello on a ridge of Monte Carpegna in the diocese of Montefeltro, which at the end of the fifteenth century was under the authority of the Counts of Carpegna. There, around 1495, a boy was born to rural parents.[62] Fated with a good heart, he began to fear God from an early age and to serve Him faithfully. At fifteen, or a little older, he went off to the friary of the Observant Friars Minor at Montefiorentino and wanted to be admitted to the sons of Saint Francis, and in the Order he was called Fra Matteo. When he had studied grammar he was numbered among the clerics and later initiated to the priesthood. He cared little about advancing in the sacred sciences. His main study was to embrace the ways of the Seraphic Father and progress in the virtues. He said later that Saint Francis had appeared to him many times dressed in a shaggy and inadequate habit sewn with the pointed cowl, in the same fashion he had seen it depicted many times and he had heard that this was the form of dress in the early times of the Order. He implored Saint Francis, whom he longed to imitate perfectly, to show him the habit he should adopt and how he might better observe the Rule he had professed. He turned these things over in his mind for a long time while he waited for some indication of divine approval.

2. At the beginning of 1525, when he was in the friary of his Order at Montefalcone, on a certain day in the month of January, he went out to a funeral with the other friars. While they were returning from the town to the friary about a mile away Matteo, according to his custom, was following the rest of the friars from a distance so that he might give himself more attentively to God. He was going alone along the way when, at a distance, he saw a poor man lying on the snow and whom all his companions by-passed. As Matteo himself drew near, the poor wretch, with a mournful voice and doubling his pleas, implored him for something to wear. Moved by compassion the good friar, having nothing else to offer him, removed the two patches that he wore beneath his tunic to defend himself against the cold and gave these to the poor man. Once the poor man had accepted this alms he disappeared from Matteo’s sight.

From that moment onwards Matteo always saw the image of this poor man in his mind’s eye and this stung his conscience. He regarded himself a rich man who lacked nothing necessary. A deep anguish grew within him, for he believed that he did not observe the Rule. Nor did it seem to him that he was a legitimate son of the poor Francis. Therefore he multiplied his prayers and austerities and protracted his vigils if only he might merit to be enlightened by God. He felt himself compelled so that, dressed in the poor habit in which he believed he saw the Seraphic Father, he might go around poor and wretched, announcing to all men vice and virtue, punishment and glory, as found in the Rule and in keeping with his ability. To be sure that this was the will of God for him, he considered going to Rome so that this might be confirmed for him by the Lord Pope. Meanwhile he begged God more intensely to not allow him to be deceived by the devil. Finally the day came when he was sure he should hesitate no longer. He had already sewn a pointed cowl to the poorest tunic he could find. Clothed in this, he secretly left the friary that very night, unbeknown to all the others.[63]

3. As Matteo is making his way, a question comes up that needs to be resolved. It is this: Was he the first one to restore the lost shape of he Franciscan cowl as our early writers allege? Many writers have written many things about the true shape of the habit of Saint Francis and the Sacred Congregation of the Index prudently imposed silence on everyone.[64] Consequently the shape of the habit and cowl of the seraphic Father is not to be discussed. To be investigated instead is whether Matteo might have been the first to don the habit that the Capuchins now use, or did he have a precursor?

In the work[65] that I spoke about, Giuseppe Zarlino intends to prove that the forerunner of the Capuchins was not Matteo, but a certain Paolo da Chioggia. This Paola da Chioggia was born into a humble family circa 1480, his father Dante (a barber in that town)[66] and his mother Peregrina Sambi. At his baptism he received the name Giovanni and as a youth applied himself to the study of letters. Since he excelled in these he carried out the office of public notary, as “Notarius Venetus” in his home town already by mid 1504.[67] He had also been ordained a priest and in 1508 “the priest Giovanni, formerly of Lord Dante de Barberiis, public notary” was exercising the office of Chancellor in the episcopal curia of Chioggia.[68] Hence it is concluded that by then his father had already been taken from the land of the living.

Towards the end of 1512[69] he decided to say farewell to the world and entered the Order of the friars minor of the Observance in his home town, and he was called Paolo. He remained in the said religion a short time indeed, either because his mother, deprived of his financial support, was in poverty without the means of her son, or because, as others prefer, he did not find the strict life in the friary as he had hoped.[70] We do not know how long he spent among the Observant friars, nor can we be sure that he made religious profession. Having returned to the world and reassumed his first name, he is called “Prete Giovanni.” Living a solitary life he kept to himself so that scarcely anyone considered him of sound mind. Later, the time is uncertain, he provided himself with a habit just like the one in which he saw Saint Francis clothed in a picture kept then in the Cathedral church. Dressed in the tunic fashioned that way, with August drawing near, he took up the journey towards Assisi so that he might take advantage of the Porziuncola indulgence, also taken by the idea of instituting a new Congregation. Then from there, having visited the city of Perugia, he turned his steps towards the Marches. Crossing Montefiascone, he continued onto Camerino and Montefeltro. He was well received in those parts and, carrying out his intention, he clothed many others in a habit like his. Consequently, with such a start undertaken in the Lord, he decided to petition Rome before returning to his home. What he might have done in Rome, and which way he returned, the author does not say. He only states that Paolo da Chioggia returned with his companion, where as a young boy he often saw him.[71]

Our author contends that all these things happened before Matteo petitioned Rome and before 1524. What then? Did Paolo da Chioggia in fact begin the Capuchin Order? Absolutely not! Clichéd is the proverb: The habit does not make the monk. To wear a pointed, square or pyramid shaped cowl does not constitute a Capuchin. We call Matteo the author of our Order not because he assumed this kind of cowl first, but because he was regarded as such since from the beginning and by the first friars, themselves his companions, whose testimony we have already from 1536. At that time, the illustrious Vittoria Colonna, who was closely associated with those early friars, and by whom she was well informed about the origin of our Congregation, declared, “The Capuchin Congregation began with Fra Matteo, still alive among us.”[72] Therefore we will not investigate the assertions of this good man who attempts to make someone else the author, because he cannot sustain his thesis with real proof.

If I weigh up the authority of the witnesses I make much more of the narration of Mario regarding the beginning of the Order than the explanations of Zarlino. Some say, “Zarlino narrates the things that he saw.” I make a distinction. Zarlino, still a boy,[73] saw Paolo dressed in the Capuchin habit and what Paolo did in his homeland before Zarlino’s own eyes is worth inspection. This I grant. That he knew other things by sight I deny.

Did he hear from Paolo’s own mouth about the things he did in his various journeys? He only heard the things that his father and grandfather said about Paolo and it is beyond discussion that he would have inquired about the sequence of events. Mario came to know about the actions of Matteo from Matteo himself. Not content with his own knowledge as he wrote his first narration, he wanted to have with him two friars who were the companions of Matteo and Paolo, namely, Eusebio d’Ancona and Giuseppe da Collamato, about whom I spoke above.

Strange to say, Zarlino has attempted to refute the authority of Marius’s narration – certainly without knowing the testimony that Mario presents. In the complete edition of his works he has inserted the letter sent him by his friend Vincenzo Lori who knew Giuseppe da Collamato. He writes, “… A certain Fra Giuseppe da Collamato … who not long ago died a Capuchin, and whom I knew. I understand that the General Chapter had been celebrated in Rome some years past, and certain appointed Cardinals sent for the said Fra Giuseppe. From him they wanted to understand what had been the beginning of this Religion. He gave them an excellent account of everything…”[74] The good man is mistaken when he says Giuseppe was sought out by the Cardinals, since he had been called by P. Marius. Marius’s account deserves trust, based on the testimony of Giuseppe da Collamato who is endorsed by Zarlino himself.

Let us return to Matteo.

4. A fugitive and avoiding being seen by men as much as he could, he was afraid of being recognised and brought back to the friary. Finally he arrived in Rome. Reporting the series of events to P. Mario later he tells how, as he was climbing the stairs to the Basilica of the Prince of Apostles, he came across a young man who promised to take Matteo to the feet of the Pontiff the following day.[75]

Joyful and restored to hope, the good friar went to the Palace at the said time, searching for the young man. Not finding him, Matteo went on up the stairs. Almost as if he were invisible, he passed in front of the guards and servants unobserved, and further where he came across an open door, which unwittingly led him into the presence of the Pontiff. The Pope was amazed at seeing the poor friar at his feet so unexpectedly and who bravely presented himself by name to Clement. He kindly asked Matteo what he wanted from him and willingly granted his requests.

Just as he had entered, Matteo left unobserved and took himself straight away to the Tomb of the Apostles to give thanks to God. He spent the rest of the day and the whole night absorbed in prayer. He only slept a few short hours on a certain platform.[76] When awoken by the first light of day, he felt himself burning with an intense fever and all his limbs shuddered. In this turmoil he felt shaken by an invisible hand and he heard a voice, like the voice of a man. It was telling him to set out without the pontifical document that the Pope promised him and think nothing of the human objections to follow from this, and that the pronouncement he had received orally from the Vicar of Christ is enough so that with his conscience reassured, he might safely follow the way shown him.

Before we follow the departing Matteo, we should examine the things that he was concerned to ask from the Supreme Pontiff and that were granted him. Marius, whose account I follow, reports that Matteo asked these things: 1° that he might be allowed to wear the lowly and loathsome habit, in that proper shape in which he was dressed; 2° that he might be able to go alone or with a companion to go preaching anywhere; 3° finally, that before all else he might be able to observe the Rule literally, especially the most high poverty that he had promised to God.

Colpetrazzo is in full agreement with Marius, although he does not speak about a companion. Later writers add that Matteo also sought permission to lead an eremitical life. They are not aware that such a desire is in conflict with another one already expressed, namely, to be free to go about in the world. They add that he sought the faculty to receive into his company others who might want to lead this life. In this, however, they contradict themselves. In fact they recount how Matteo, who never considered instituting any Reform, replied to those who came to him later that he had no authority to keep others with him. He admonished that they needed to have recourse to the Roman Pontiff. Matteo dedicated himself to his own affairs and never thought about erecting a new Congregation. He did not seek out companions. He asked for himself the way to follow shown him by God. For himself alone did he obtain confirmation of this life from the Lord Pope.

Since Matteo did not get this confirmation verified by an authentic document, you will look in vain for an instrument of this kind among the historians. However, regarding his second request, namely, to be free to go about the world preaching with a companion, we do have confirmation in the letter of obedience which he obtained when he went back to the Observants. It begins, “Since you assert that you have received permission from the Supreme Pontiff to go about ad libitum announcing the divine Word in whatever provinces you wish, henceforth this is what I want too, wishing that our approval help such a holy work and your desire to gain souls for Christ. In the tenor of the present letter, I grant you with the merit of salutary obedience wherever the spirit of Jesus may lead you and your companion, fra Giovanni da Forlì, a devout cleric of the Province of Bologna, to go and be effective, provided that everywhere you sincerely observe the Rule that you have promised to God, to benefit that office of preaching and to achieve the greatest example and edification of the faithful.”[77]

Leaving the Basilica of St. Peter he was completely free of the fever and took up the journey towards his home mountains, passing through Perugia, Città di Castello and Sansepolcro. Abandoning the walking stave, he went walking with the cross in his hand. To those whom he met he preached a simple and unprepared sermon, threatening the punishments of hell to sinners.[78] He often stayed in forests and caves, or in isolated churches. In fact, to hide more easily, he had chosen the region he knew. Indeed he was always afraid of being caught by the friars and taken back to the friary.[79]

5. Nevertheless the day came when he could hide no longer, for when Clement VII granted Matteo the petitions referred to above, he added this condition: that at Chapter time he present himself each year to the minister of the province where he would be living, less he wander about free from obedience. He knew that the Chapter would be celebrated in Assisi in 1525, after the feast of Easter (15 April).[80] Therefore he turned his steps towards there.[81] At that time P. Giovanni da Fano was leading the province for the second time. He was a “learned and religious man, very astute in his writing and speaking, and very zealous towards his Institute and its observance.”[82] He did not agree with Matteo’s flight, nor could he approve of it. He found Matteo obstinate and decided to apply to him the punishment for apostates and subdue him in prison.

Do not be surprised, oh excellent reader! A few days before (11-12 March) Clement VII reinforced by affirmation the Constitution of his predecessor Leo X against friars outside the Order, who were wandering about without the permission of the superiors. He sent this to the superiors so that they might bring back such religious, even with force, and put them in prison, etiamsi haberent litteras apostolicas,[83] a clause in fact to compel those who lacked the permission of the superiors of the Order.[84] Therefore there is no question whether Giovanni carried out these parts of his office, even if unpleasant. Matteo could in no way legitimise his flight, much less prove the permission of the Pontiff. The visions and revelations, which he was convinced had instructed him, could calm his conscience to a certain point. The superior must not take these into consideration unless their truth be confirmed by some other sign. If not, the matter was to be settled by canonical discipline. I would not dare to condemn Matteo, a holy man whose miracles during his life and after his death make him outstanding. Nonetheless, nor would I dare recommend his way of doing things. Giovanni must not be blamed.

He was never opposed to carrying out reform in the order and I can easily believe that he would have promoted this reform. In fact, in the Dialologo he wrote a little later, and as will be amply described, he proposed overall moderation for himself.[85] Later he showed clearly that such was his intention, for when the Constitution of Clement VII was published concerning the erection of friaries of recollection, he was elected the first custos of the Reformed friars of the Marches.[86] In fact, at that time, with the union of the families of the regular Observance only just realised, he feared that a new division would happen in the Order. The divine will was not yet evident to him, as he himself would testify later.[87]

Going to Iesi, Giovanni da Fano ordered Matteo transferred to the isolated friary at Forano to be detained in custody. He had already been secluded there for many months when the news reached the ears of the Duchess of Camerino, Caterina Cybo, the niece of Clement VII, the daughter of his sister. The Duchess held in high regard the humble friar who had extended great charity in helping the sick two years earlier (1522-1523), when the duchy was struck by plague.[88] When Caterina heard these things, she immediately sent a letter to the minister provincial, telling him to free Matteo if he did not want to incur her indignation. Therefore towards the end of July, he went free and headed to Camerino.

On 2 August, very early in the morning, he arrived at the friary of San Giacomo near Matélica.[89] That friary, I believe, was on of those places granted to those friars wishing to lead a stricter life. There at the time, together with a Tertiary, fra Pacifico da Fano, lived a certain good, old man, P. Francesco da Cartoceto, who was praying ardently for reform. He welcomed Matteo with joy. Listening to the series of events from Matteo’s own mouth, he wanted the shape of cowl changed on his habit immediately. Not long after, clothed in the Capuchin habit, the venerable old man died.

Boverius, giving greater credence to later writers than to the earlier writers, says that Matteo had already gone to see Francesco da Cartoceto earlier, when on his way to Rome after fleeing the friary at Montefalcone. However, Mario leaves out this visit completely. In fact he writes that Francesco had heard nothing earlier about Matteo, nor his departure, nor his change to the habit.[90] Furthermore, it is very likely that he would not have prolonged his journey in this way, since, as has been said, he was afraid of being caught and having his proposal obstructed.

With a certain heavy heart, not wanting to rouse the anger of the powerful Duchess, Giovanni da Fano would permit Matteo, in a provisory way, to live according to his wish, unless he saw other friars enter the same life.

Chapter III

1. Ludovico da Fossombrone, together with this brother Raffaele, flee the friary. 2. The Minister General and Supreme Pontiff declare them heretics, and the Pontif orders their capture. 3. They take refuge among the Camaldolese.

1. In the friary at Fossombrone at that time lived a certain friar, P. Ludovico Tenaglia, who came from that region. As a young man he was a soldier, then he changed the belt for the Franciscan cord. Accepted among the Observant friars, he always bore a bold spirit in his breast beneath the religious habit. Our writers say many things about him, including immoderate things, many things which do not agree with reliable and authentic documents. The rest arouse suspicion in me. I have not refused to believe the stories of the holy man Matteo since, to this point, I have no document to the contrary. However, it is clear that Ludovico often told tales in broad daylight. Therefore I shall briefly relate his facts.

Ludovico, they say, longing for a stricter life, humbly asked his superiors many times to assign a house for him to live a reformed life with his companion who shared the same desire. Did a secret ambition to govern the reformed friars increase such a desire? If we must believe our writers, the zealous friars themselves in some way made Ludovico their leader.[91] Hence the opponents, knowing that his stubborn and iron will was not easily broken, were afraid less such a task taken up might cause many disturbances within the province. Pleas were useless. The experienced Ludovico more freely revealed his desires and announced his plan to go and join Matteo, unless the superiors satisfied him. Finally – (leaving out the many things they narrate) – he left the friary clandestinely, and easily took with him his twin brother, fra Raffaele, said in the Order to be a good and simple lay friar.

While these things were being happening, the Minister General, Francisco de Angelis, who had reached Rome on 31 July, having put the necessary things in order in Rome, prepared himself to visit the Italian provinces. Having first travelled through the southern provinces he came to the Marches at the end of the month of November. On the 23rd of the same month he celebrated the assembly at Recanati and proscribed many things that did not conform with seraphic poverty and simplicity.[92] Certainly in that province, as in all the others, according to Wadding, he did not fail to recommend “those things which could have in any way concerned the ordering of discipline and the reform of customs.” Moreover, according to the testimony of the same writer, the Recollection – or the assignment of houses of recollection for friars wanting to live in them and observe the Rule more strictly – numbered among those things for which “he established rigorous laws.”[93]

2. I do not have to inquire about what happened in the province of the Marches regarding reform, but I shall continue to narrate the things regarding our fugitives. Therefore when the Minister General heard of the flight of Matteo and how Ludovico and Raffaele had imitated him, he declared them all excommunicated, just as we read in the Dialogo[94] of Giovanni da Fano and in the Apostolic Letter of Clement VII issued against them a little later.

I think that these things happened before the end of 1525, given that Mario declares that Matteo remained alone that year; for on leaving the Marches Francisco de Angelis, went to the northern provinces. If we can follow the major Superior, we know absolutely nothing about the passage of the two fugitives. We only know that they went around to different places at first, looking for Matteo, who did not have a fixed abode; although it seems that the belief was that he had not left the Duchy of Camerino. Finally in the region of Cingoli, they were welcomed in the friary of the Conventuals who offered them asylum in the hermitage of Sant’Angelo. The following deliberation of the Riformanze of the Comune, under the 26 February 1526, seems to regard their sojourn in that hermitage.

It is asked: “Sixth item: If it seems appropriate to afford protection to some poor fathers and religious living in the hermitage of Sant’Angelo, and who are greatly persecuted by the Observant Friars of the Order of Minors, especially because of their exemplary life and because of the recommendation made by the Reverend Father preacher.

Hence it was decreed: “To the religious staying at Sant’Angelo, because of their exemplary life and because of what the venerable Father preacher has said in their favour, that every help be given and used with writing and by impeding whatever violence may be directed towards them in the territory of Cingoli. Put to the vote, the proposal was approved with 67 favourable votes and only one to the contrary.”[95]

Giovanni, whom very probably the Minister General commanded to proceed against these excommunicated friars according to the tenor of the Constitution of Leo X and renewed by Clement VII, asked for a special mandate against them from the Roman Curia for all force to break whatever protection they had. Therefore on 8 March 1526, the following letter was sent in the form of a Brief. It constitutes the first authentic document regarding the first Capuchins. I am writing a history, not an apologia. Therefore it is not permissible to pass over it in silence. On the other hand, the letter shows how many obstacles had to be overcome from the beginning.

Clemens Papa VII

Universis et singulis legatis, vicelegatis et eorum locatentibus, necnon venerabilium fratrum archiepiscoporum et episcoporum vicariis generalibus salutem etc…

Cum nuper ad nostra aures, fide dignorum relatione pervenit quod Ludocivus et Raphael de Forosempronio ac Matthaeus de Bascio, fratres professi ordinis Minorum regularis Observantiae, Dei timore postposito et superiorum suorum obedientia, absque eorum licentia, consensus, et professione sua quam servare sunt astricti, penitus derelictis ac spretis, apostasiam incurrendo, ex quo per Ministrum generalem ut apostatae excommunicati fuerunt, per diversa loca jurisdictionis vestrae, extra domos suas hujusmodi, vagando et saecularibus scandalum praebendo, in domo Sancti Francisci terrae nostrae Cinguli, ordinis eorundem minorum Conventualium, se receperunt ac ibidem resident, contra bullam et ordinationes unionis inter fratres ipsius regularis Observantiae et Conventuales editas, in maximum eorundem fratrum regularis Observantiae ac Christifidelium scandalum et plurimorum pernitiosum exemplum. Quare volentes, quantum cum Deo possumus, his futuris scandalis occurri, ac ut concordia hujusmodi inter ipsos fratres regularis Observantiae et Conventuales omnino observetur, nec aliquid inter ipsos innovetur, sed ut magis in dicta unione confoveantur et fratribus professi locus et occasio delinquendi non detur, poenaque delinquentium si meta aliis ne posthac delinquant, sed in obedientia superiorum suorum persistant, providere: vobis omnibus et singulis, in virtute sanctae obedientiae ac indignationis nostrae poena, per praesentes committimus et districte praecipiendo mandamus quatenus cum per quoscumque ex fratribus dicti ordinis regularis Observantiae, pro parte ministry provinciae Marchiae, requisiti seu quemlibet vestrum requisitus fuerit, visis praesentibus, omni mora et excusatione semotis, praedictos Ludovicum, Raphaelem et Matthaeum, fratres apostatas, inobedientes et excommunicatos, ut praemittitur, ubicumque locorum jurisdictionis vestrae, eosdem esse, morari, stare et pernoctare contigerit, auctoritate nostra, quam vobis et cuilibet vestrum harum serie amplam liberam concedimus et impartimur, arrestatis et capiatis, seu arrestari et capi faciatis, ac sub fida custodia, expensis eorundem fratrum capturam quaerentium, praedicto Ministro provinciae hujusmodi ipsos sic captos, ut contra eosdem apostatas et inobedientes, prout demerita eorundem exposcunt, per dictum Ministrum poenitentia convenienti et prout constitutiones ac statuta dicti ordinis requirunt injuncta, animadverti possit, consignetis seu consignare faciatis. Contradictores quoslibet et renitentes ac forsan capturam hujusmodi impedientes, censuris ecclesiasticis at aliis juris remediis opportunis ac pecuniariis poenis vestro arbitrio imponendis et Camerae Apostolicae applicandis, appellatione quavis postposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis, non obstantibus Constitutionibus et Ordinationibus Apostolicis, necnon privilegiis et indultis, etiam mare magnum nuncupatis, eisdem fratribus ordinis Minorum Conventualium per quoscumque, etiam Romanos Pontifices, etiam forsan Nos, concessis et confirmatis, quibus illis alias in suo robore permansuris, hac vice dumtaxat specialiter et expresse derogamus et derogatum omnino esse volumus. Contrariis quibuscumque, aut si aliquibus communiter vel divisim ab Apostolica Sede sit indultum, quod interdici, suspendi, vel excommunicari non possint, per Litteras Apostolicas non facientes plenam et expressam ac de verbo ad verbum ad Indulto hujusmodi mentione. Datum Romae, etc. die viii martii 1526 (Pontificatus Nostri) anno tertio.[96]

3. Furnished with such a letter, the Minister provincial prepared himself to capture the named friars without delay. However, as it is to be believed, warned in good time, Ludovico and Raffaele left their refuge and fled to the forests and mountains of the region. It was very likely then that the epic-comic siege took place. For Ludovico, alone with his brother, spent a particular night in an abandoned hut. With military strategy, he inspired great fear in Giovanni da Fano and the others who had come to take them.[97]

However on the 24th of the same month of March, the Saturday before Palm Sunday our friars arrived for Compline at the hermitage of the Camaldolese in the Grottoes of Massaccio in search of safe refuge.[98] Blessed Paolo Giustiniani, the founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona was staying there himself at the time and kindly received the two Fossombrone brothers. When he asked who they were, wearing a rough eremitical habit, they answered that they were Observant Minors, but by virtue of a certain permission of the Supreme Pontiff they had left the friary of their Order in order to lead a more austere and solitary life and observe the rule of Saint Francis more perfectly. They added that they had come intentionally to get his opinion, to which they would conform completely. He recognised that they were truly tormented by the Observant Minors and that the permission, which they claimed, had been withdrawn by Apostolic Letter, and moreover, seeing their fervour, he advised them to join his or another Congregation.

Blessed Paolo, however, wanted to act properly in the matter and not do something against the will of their superiors He sought the advice of the guardian of the friary at Massaccio. He answered that he in no way opposed his keeping them and that such would restore peace to them and to the Order, although when the Minister provincial arrived he might give a definitive judgement.

We can believe that the guardian did not rest with this information, but immediately advised the Provincial who, in virtue of the Apostolic Letter, requested the governor of Iesi to have the fugitives captured and handed over to him. While these things were set in motion, Palm Sunday and the Monday after passed tranquilly. That Monday night, however, at the twenty third hour Blessed Paolo was speaking with the two friars in his cell, when with unsheathed swords in their hands and with insolence, the Captain of Massaccio and the guards as well as many Friars of the Observance stormed in. The superior informed them in vain of the exemptions and privileges of his congregation. They laid violent hands on the two friars and turned to take them to the friary until the Massari or Magistrates[99] of Massaccio arrived. Blessed Paolo prevailed to have Ludovico and Raffaele consigned to the Massari. When everyone had gone he went to the Massari seeking the freedom of the prisoners. This was granted him, on the condition that this be seen to be done seriously. By the following day Ludovico and Raffaele had been sent back to the Grottoes.

On Wednesday Giovanni da Fano also arrived, along with the Captain and a large mob of friars who seemed “succinti non in praeparatione evangelii pacis,”[100] and he presented himself. Blessed Paolo indicated that he would not consign to two friars to him. As these were leaving, to provide for the tranquillity of the Hermitage, he advised Ludovico and Raffaele that they could not stay any longer. Afraid lest they fall into the hands of Giovanni as they leave, they asked Giustiniani if he would clothe them in the Camaldolese habit and send them on their way dressed like that. The pious man agreed and sent them dressed this way with many companions to the other hermitage of Saint Jerome near Pascelupo.[101] He advised the prior of this place to hold them there until the Chapter without which he could not admit novices. The Chapter would decide their acceptance. Meanwhile, he chose the Governor of Loreto as protector to uphold the privileges and exemptions of his Order.[102]

The Chapter assembled in the Grottoes on 25 April and the following day discussed those to be accepted into the Congregation, among them Ludovico and Raffaele. With everything weighed up, pro bono respectu, they were not accepted. Nevertheless, after a few intervening days, before the Chapter was dismissed, it decided on 30 April that the Major of the Congregation, together with the Visitators, could accept the two friars and their other companions if it seemed good to them.[103]

I suspect that Ludovico heard this first decision with a calm spirit, and in fact I image him accusing himself of laziness, because faced with the first crisis he would lose heart so easily. I believe he relented his abdication of his profession because of a desire for tranquillity, when only a few days earlier, aflame with fervour, he undertook to renew the pristine fervour of that same profession. Therefore he used this quiet time to consider better the way of life that had to be embraced, for it is certain that his sojourn with the Camaldolese Hermits had a great impact on his plans. One can believe that he opened his mind to Blessed Paolo about the reformation that he intended to establish in the Order, that is, leading the eremitical life under the Rule of Saint Francis.

Perhaps Blessed Paolo, who himself renewed the eremitical life in the Camaldolese Order, had confirmed him in his zeal and at the same time they sought his advice about the way to achieve this end. Before everything else, he urged them to be absolved from the excommunication brought against them and also free themselves from the risk of capture. Because of this he prudently advised them to go to Rome. He had many friends in Rome, among them were Cardinal Pucci, the chief Penitentiary, the Protector in the Curia of the new congregation of Hermits, as well as St. Cajetan of Thiene, who, with Gian Pietro Carafa, had recently begun the congregation of Clerics Regular.[104] Therefore he was able to commend Ludovico by letter, which could make easier the things that had to be worked out.

All these other things, I admit, are mere conjecture. However I linger on these things since it is beneficial to see Ludovico use the advice of such a great man in the affairs of this moment.

Chapter IV

1. How difficult it is to distinguish truth from fiction in the accounts of our writers. 2. Ludovico obtains permission from the Sacred Penitentiary to lead the eremitical life. 3. Examination of the Bull he obtained.

1. Our early writers who, at that time, had known the historical facts only by tradition still did not know the original documents mentioned and they mixed error with truth, errors which weave through the narrative, and they altered the sequence of facts. Therefore it is extremely difficult to narrate everything in order. Nonetheless many things are certain, e.g. the stay of Ludovico and Raffaele, and perhaps Matteo, in Cingoli before the month of March 1526, expressed in the Apostolic Letter. Their exile among the Camaldolese of Massaccio, on 24 March, and from there to the hermitage at Pascelupo. Later we find Ludovico in Rome in the month of May. Other doubts remain.

Mario da Mercato Saraceno states that Ludovico, having left the friary at Fossombrone with Raffaele, went off to Matteo near Fabriano and asked if he would receive them to be with him. That holy man answered that he did not have the authority to clothe others in a habit like his own, or to keep them in his company. Consequently he advised the two brothers that they should go to Rome and seek the same grace from the Supreme Pontiff. Nevertheless, so that the way ahead of him might be smoothened and his petitioning be more effective, he took them to the Duchess at Camerino, sure to obtain from her a letter of commendation for her uncle, Clement VII. Truly equipped with the letter, Ludovico petitioned Rome. So says Mario.

It is very likely that the two brothers went to Matteo. The other things however lack credibility. Given that they might have gone to Camerino for the reason that they might petition Rome, which is situated to the west, would they set out in the opposite direction towards Cingoli in the east? Did they know that they would be sought and they might have put themselves in obvious danger? Who will accept that Ludovico, whom they depict for us as a cautious man, would go about so carelessly? It is more credible that he did not go from the hermitage at Pascelupo before the end of the month of April in order to wait for the decision of the Camaldolese chapter. Once this was received, it seems almost certain that he made his way to Rome and arrived in Rome in the days of the month of May.

What he did in Rome is equally obscure, although the good Bernardino da Colpetrazzo will have narrated many added things later on. Since we do not have any other guide, his narrative comes to be examined.

Colpetrazzo says that he spent many days visiting churches. He did not know which way to proceed and therefore he revealed the reason for his arrival to a few men whom he believed could believe him. One particular day he, by chance, had an encounter with a priest to whom he put his issues. As could be conjectured later, from the clues given by Ludovico, that man was Francesco Vannucci, the Pope’s almsgiver.[105]

Continuing on. Vannucci, who showed goodwill to the Capuchins later, could have seen Ludovico at that time. He was almsgiver of Paul III and Paul III’s successor, however he did not carry out that office with Clement VII. In the records of this time he is simply called, “Clericus Romanus et canonicus Sanctae Mariae in Transtiberium.”[106]

The Annalist continues. That priest had been bound by sacred covenant with Gian Pietro Carafa, who a little earlier, having abdicated the episcopacy of Chieti (Theatina) and renounced that distinction in Brindisi, had founded the congregation of Clerics Regular with Cajetan Thiene. Their principle intention was to dedicate themselves more effectively to the reform of the clergy. This friendship can be ascertained and verified from contemporary records.

Vannucci, on hearing Ludovico talking about reform, Colpetrazzo adds, advised him to take advantage of the counsel of Carafa. He obeyed and went to a small house where the first Clerics Regular received him. He successfully disclosed his intention in such a way that he immediately found in him a protector and someone to introduce him to the Pope.[107]

Let it be said without offending anyone, these things seem to me to be inventions. Ludovico had come to the Roman Curia to prepare his, Matteo’s and Raffaele’s case. He did not come to occupy himself with the reform. The Bull that he obtained from the Sacred Penitentiary had nothing to do with this task.[108] Nor was it necessary for him to go to the Supreme Pontiff, since the aforesaid tribunal would have had the authority for the desired faculties. Furthermore, the part which they attribute to Carafa in obtaining the Bull does not reconcile with his character, given what he will denounce a few years later, lamenting how easy it is to get indults from the Sacred Penitentiary. He was apparently accusing the weak will of Cardinal Lorenzo Pucci, who had the responsibility for that Office at the time and to whom it pertained “facultatem concedere religiosis extra claustra manendi.”[109]

I have just said that it was not necessary for Ludovico to go to the Supreme Pontiff to get a Bull from the Sacred Penitentiary and that getting a Bull from the Sacred Penitentiary was easy. Furthermore it is far more likely that he never saw the Pope at all to take up his cause with him himself. It is known that Clement VII’s practice was never to intervene in matters of this kind; rather, he wanted these matters to be managed by the Sacred Penitentiary.[110]

Add also that the Pope himself later declared to the bishop of Camerino that he had never heard of such a Bull, and that it was never his intention to grant concessions of such kind.[111] Therefore the matter appears to be settled.

With these things dealt with and doubts raised, I now turn to certainties.

2. Whatever the situation was or whatever were his means, it is certain that Ludovico obtained a Bull or letter from the Sacred Penitentiary, dated 18 May 1526. Although has been published many times, I will present it here.[112]

Laurentius Miseratione divina Episcopus Praenestinus Dilectis in Christo Ludovico et Raphaeli de Forosempronio, ac Matthaeo de Bassio de Monte Feltro, Ordinis Fratrum Minorum de Observanitae Professoribus, salutem in Domino.

Ex parte vestra fuit propositum coram nobis, quod vos, pro majore animi vestri quiete et ob melioris vitae frugem, cum nonnullis de causis ulterius in ejusdem Ordinis domibus cum sana conscientia morari et remanere non speratis, cuperetis propterea extra domos et conventus dicti Ordinis de cetero stare, et in aliquo honesto loco a caetu hominum remoto, habitu vestro semper retento, vitam heremiticam ducendo, morari, et quoad vixeritis permanere: quod tamen licite facere, aut vobis permitti dubitatis, Sede Apostolica desuper inconsulta, supplicari fecistis vobis super his per Sedem ipsam de opportuno remedio juris provideri.

Nos igitur, auctoritate Domini Papae, cujus Poenitentiariae curam gerimus, et de ejus speciali mandato, super hoc vivae vocis oraculo nobis facto, vobis, ut Superiorum vestrorum licentia per vos, vel alium seu alios nomine vestro, petita, licet non obtenta, extra domos et loca regularia dicti Ordinis, in aliquo heremitorio loco, ut praefetur, permanendo, habitu vestro semper retento, et Regula, in quantum humana patitur fragilitas, sevata, sub obedientiae et correctione Ordinarii, in cujus diocesi vos residere contigerit, vivendo: vitam heremiticam quoad viseritis ducere: necnon eleemosinas vobis a quibusvis Christifidelibus pie elargiendas recipere, illasque in vestros usus licitos et honestos convertere: et interim omnibus et singulis privilegiis, gratiis et indultis uti et gaudere, libere et licite possitis et valeatis, indulgemus plenamque et liberam concedimus facultatem:

Non obstantibus constitutionibus et ordinationibus Apostolicis, ac statutis et consuetudinibus domorum et Ordinis praedictorum, etiam juramento, confirmatione apostolica, vel quavis firmitate alia robore permansuris, specialiter et expresse derogamus, ceterisque contrariis quibuscumque.

Quocirca Venerabili in Christo Patri, Dei gratia Episcopo Camerinensi, vel ejus Vicario in spiritualibus, auctoritate et mandato praedictis, committimus et mandamus quatenus vobis in praemissis, efficacis defensionis praesidio, per se vel alium seu alios assistentes, non permittant vos, per quoscumque Ordinis praedicti superiores, praelatos et fratres, aut judice et personas alias tam ecclesiasticas quam saeculares, quavis auctoritate etiam Apostolica fungentes, in personis rebusque vestris, quovis quaesito colore vel ingenio, molestari, perturbari, seu alias quomodolibet et rebelles per censuram ecclesiasticam et alia opportuna juris remedia, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilium brachii saecularis, compescendo.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, sub sigillo officii Poenitentiariae, xv Calendas Junii, Pontificatus Domini Clementis Papae vii anno tertio.[113]

3. This is the Bull that our early writers celebrate in a certain sense as a difficult victory magnificently accomplished by Ludovico and they do not hesitate to calculate the creation of our Order by it.[114] Boverius judged correctly. He advises, ““This Pontifical diploma only includes these three. Furthermore it makes no mention about others to be received into the bosom of the Reform. Nor was Ludovico thinking at this point about the propagation of the Reform. Not until 1528 when Clement VII issued the Bull of approval of the Capuchin Order is anything considered about its propagation and how the Capuchin shoot was to spread.”[115]

However the Bull was very important because it freed Ludovico and his companions from the persecution of the minister provincial. Then the task could be easier, a task which was the preserve of Providence to complete.

There are many things in this letter that deserve observation.

a) The letter is addressed: Dilectis in Christo Ludovico et Raphaeli ac Matthaeo. (To Ludovico, Raffaele and Matteo, beloved in Christ.) It is amazing that Ludovico is named in the first place and Matteo in the last, as if he already wanted to seek out the first place.[116]

No wonder, really. They are named in the same order in the Bull and the Brief brought against them as a revocation of this Bull. Nonetheless it occurs to no one that Ludovico might have sought this. As I have already noted, perhaps Matteo could have lived freely, except for the risk the two Fossombrone brothers brought by fleeing to him. In fact Mario relates that Giovanni da Fano himself promised the Duchess not to bother him at all when she had placed him under her tutelage. Indeed, from then on Matteo led the quiet life he had chosen for himself. We believe this since Matteo himself would have told Mario these things.[117]

b) Nos auctoritate Domini Papae cujus Poennitentiariae curam gerimus, et de ejus speciali mandato, super hoc vivae vocis oraculo nobis facto… At first glance these words seem to carry some special Papal mandate, by personal announcement, to the Cardinal to do something in particular about the petition of Ludovico and the others. However according to the style of the Penitentiary then is use, these words show the contrary. When a grace was granted in virtue of an express, singular or particular rescript pertinent to the case presented, then this clause was included in the letter: de expresso mandato. However the Penitentiary used the clause de speciali mandato to indicate a permission to be given in virtue of the faculties granted it in an ordinary and general way.[118] Even today one reads in many rescripts of the Sacred Congregations: Vigore facultatum specialium a nostro concessarum, which is then followed by the particular case put to the Supreme Pontiff. In such cases ex audentia is included.

Therefore the conclusion made above is valid. Ludovico did not go to the Supreme Pontiff, nor did the Pope order an Apostolic document written about which he later declared that he knew absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, if someone doubts that this conclusion is correct, he may go to the Regestum bullarum that Boverius added to his work.[119] There he will find another similar Bull given to five friars of the Observance, where the same faculty to live the eremitical life is granted in the same words, without anyone ever saying that they went to the Pope to obtain it. In fact, when the Bull was issued on 11 September 1528, the Pope was in Viterbo.

c) Permission to lead the eremitical life was quite commonly requested by religious who, for one reason or another, did not have the ability to continue in their Order. Apart from the example just given of those five friars of the Observance, this is shown from the Taxis Poenitentiariae sub Clemente VII. In the chapter De licentiis pro Fratribus, that is, the chapter about permissions granted to the usual friars, the faculty is cited “of leading the eremitical life, namely, in some place remote from the tumult of men.” The fee for such is “12 Turonenses.”[120]

d) While these words are clear, they should be considered carefully: habitu vestro semper retento. Whatever our annalists say, the words clearly show that Ludovico was not granted permission to change the habit of his Order, of the Observance, for another habit. In fact, he was obliged to keep it. Matteo, however, can be excluded from this since he received special permission from the Supreme Pontiff.

Up to the time of Paul III this clause habitu vestro semper retento was commonly included in letters where the Sacred Penitentiary granted permission to live the eremitical life. Then this rule was mitigated and the Major Penitentiary ordered “so that such a hermit may be distinguished from the other religious living in monasteries or regular houses, in place of the usual words used until now habitu suo regolari retento, one may put these unum habitum heremiticum decentem portando.[121]

e) Quod licite facere aut vobis permitti dubitatis Sede Apostolica desuper inconsulta. (Since you are concerned about doing this legally and of receiving permission not without the Apostolic See being consulted.) Since I am not speaking about Matteo, given that he had received verbal permission from the Supreme Pontiff – which I do not intend to call into doubt – it follows that the Fossombrone brothers had no previous permission to leave their friary and take up another habit, whatever the Camaldolese Superiors said. Nor was it necessary then for an Apostolic letter to revoke such a permission.[122] Their best acceptable excuse is that in good faith they believed that Matteo had permission to receive others into his company.

f) Superiorum vestrorum licentia petita, licet non obtenta. (Having sought the permission of your superiors, even if you have not obtained it.) According to the tenor of the Constitution of Leo X, In supremae (8 January 1516, cited above) concerning friars living outside the enclosure, it was necessary that a clause such as et de licentia superioris et ea durante be expressed always and without fail, or at least be implied in any letter, sealed either sub annulo Piscatoris, or sub plombo, or via the Penitentiary. Otherwise, a letter without such a clause was considered null and void of any legal efficacy. Therefore it was enjoined on the three friars to ask for permission, either in person or through another. However since they could not succeed in getting such a permission for themselves, the clause was modified and licentia petita, licet non obtenta had been added. It seems that this is the main importance of the letter, given that such a departure from the norm might not have been rare, even if other examples have not been found. Perhaps it was to this derogation that Clement VII referred when he declared to the Bishop of Camerino that it would never have been his intention to grant such a concession against the Religion.[123]

g) This declaration, which Giovanni da Fano says the Pontiff made to the Bishop of Camerino, is not to be marvelled at, since our hermits are placed sub ejus obedientia et correctione[124] and the faithful execution of the said letter is entrusted to him and his Vicar. Giovanni Giacomo Bongiovanni then held the See of Camerino. He was well known to Clement VII and under him had the office of Magister Aulae. As to whether he might have fulfilled this office in those times I have searched in vain.[125]

Apart from the open letter with a pendant seal, which I have examined, perhaps Ludovico obtained other closed letters to absolve the excommunication which bound them, as we read in the Brief of Clement VII. He could have done this while in Rome, at least for himself, his brother Raffaele and for Matteo.

Since litterae clausae[126] pertain to the internal forum, they were consigned to the fire once they were put into effect. Therefore they could not come down to us today.

Chapter V

1. The Friars Minor of the Observance celebrate the General Chapter. Giovanni da Fano is present. 2. Ludovico returns from Rome, but his actions are not well know, nor those of Paolo da Chioggia. 3. Giovanni da Fano writes the small work against our first fathers.

1. While these things were happening in Rome, Giovanni da Fano of the Province of the Marches was away to take part in the General chapter in Assisi. Convened after the feast of Pentecost, it was celebrated in the Porziuncola on 26 May 1526. In these meetings, among the many things seriously and laudably decreed, were certain things “concerning the general purging of things that appeared opposed to the poverty prescribed by the Rule.”[127] However Wadding reports no decision about the establishment of houses of recollection.

Nevertheless the Minister General, Francisco de Angelis, for whom the work of reform was very dear, apart from the statutes issued by the Chapter, “regarding a reformed way of life, published other things by way of a letter which was sent to the Cismontane provinces.” The things which the Annalist has told us about, he writes about elsewhere while discussing the same Chapter: “The Father General publicly admonished all the Provinces about the obligation enjoined on them to encourage all the Friars zealous for the purity of the Rule. He had read publicly a letter given under the date of 28th of the same month, in which he prescribed a reformed way of life. Towards the end of the third chapter of this letter he ordered all the Provincials, where the number of friars living a reformed life has grown, to provide in the next Provincial chapters further friaries sufficient for the reformed friars, to which only proven and exemplary friars may be assigned: anyone attempting the contrary will have his faculty withdrawn to someone inferior to himself.”[128]

Apparently it is certain that the minister of the Province of the Marches told the Father General the things he had done about the friars that he had already excommunicated, and his vain attempts to lead them back. Francisco de Angelis wanted a certain reform for all the men in the Order, not division. With the exception of certain abuses, he believed the state of the Observance to be good, and that the friars living in it, according to the way prescribed by the holy fathers Giovanni da Capistrano and Bernardino da Siena, could be tranquil with the sound hope of attaining their salvation.[129] Therefore I do not doubt that he would have praised Giovanni’s zeal to preserve unity and exhorted him to work for general reform and to truly and sincerely favour those who were reformed.

However Francisco de Angelis was unable to supervise the observance of the ordinances that he had issued, since the Pontiff called him back to Rome to deal with some serious matters. Thus the care of the Order was entrusted to the Cismontane Commissary elected in the Assisi Chapter. The Commissary was Paolo Pisotti da Parma, whose intention was on quite a different track.[130] Therefore under his government the letters of the General became ineffective. And moreover, as I have already said, where the superiors were reluctant, as they said, not to promote new sects.

Consequently, with the permission of God, it happened that they themselves brought about the very things they feared, for the history which I am describing demonstrates as clear as day that the origin and foundation of the Capuchins is not only to be attributed to the initiators, but also to the desire for reform which stirred in so many friars. Matteo and Ludovico opened the door and they rushed to join them because they could not achieve reform in the Order.[131]

And so what blessed Battista Varano, the sister of the Duke of Camerino, told Giovanni da Fano actually happened: “If this design is from men, the undertaking will fail. If indeed it is from God, you will not be able to disband it.”[132]

That servant of God, the Abbess of the monastery of Poor Clares at the new Saint Mary’s, had a high regard for Giovanni da Fano. We have a very clear testimony to her esteem in the letter she wrote to him in 1521, when “ignorant stone-throwers and persecutors placed on his head a crown of precious stone: while believing to rob him of honour, dignity and glory, they have woven for him the immortal tunic of honour and glorious fame in this life; after which for three years he directed the province of the Marches with great probity and virtue, and in his angelic and most prudent governance, he governed the friars and sisters in peace and holiness.”[133]

Misled by Boverius, the author of the life of blessed Battista Varano says many things that are obviously false. However it is possible that the Provincial spoke to her about Matteo and about the flight of the two brothers from Fossombrone who joined him, and about his intervention to ask her brother the Duke, as well as the Duchess, not to protect them. When, in fact, Giovanni returned to the province from the Assisi Chapter, Blessed Battista had gone to heaven on 31 May 1526, on the feast of Corpus Christi.[134]

2. At about the same time it is believed that Ludovico returned from Rome, but what our hermits did is completely unknown to us. We cannot lend faith, in fact, to our annalists, since they say things happened at that time which, from the authentic documents presented above, certainly happened earlier, such as the Brief that the Provincial sought against them and their sojourn with the Camaldolese. Likewise I consider much of what they say about Paolo da Chioggia and his coming to us as mere invention. It is necessary to examine these matters carefully, consider more fully the relevant things.

Our annalists say that this friar had joined our hermits by this time. The writer of his life, who agrees with them, says that Paolo da Chioggia had come down from Chioggia to the Marches a second time. Anything more than that lacks probability. Marius, the forerunner of the others, writes that Paolo came to Matteo whom he asked to receive him into his company. Matteo answered him just as he did the others: that he could in no way accept him. However he added that Ludovico petitioned Rome to obtain this faculty, and that he was awaiting Ludovico’s return before long. If we may admit the first part of the reply, we must reject the second part. As has been said, Ludovico took up the Rome journey for quite a different reason. He was not yet concerned with receiving others, since he had enough to do in providing for his own safety.

Without tarrying, Paolo continued on to Rome in order to obtain the same grace. However, since he might not have had a commendatory letter, he could not go to the Pontiff, until one day he found Clement VII coming towards him and he presented him his petitions in the middle of the road. The Pope kindly answered that the permission he sought was no longer necessary since only a few days earlier he had granted the faculty to Ludovico to receive others. I will not repeat the things I have already said about letters of the Sacred Penitentiary obtained by Ludovico without the Pope knowing. However, I may add that the reasons for Paolo’s journey to Rome escape me.[135] They have him in the earlier years legally return to the world from the Observants. If he made religious profession among them, as they imply, he had permission from the Sacred Penitentiary, and probably in the same form as Ludovico, namely, to lead an eremitical life, which at the time was more common. In no way was it necessary for him to go into solitude. It was enough that the place be fitting and remote from the crowd of men. Furthermore, his historian[136] testifies that such had been Paolo’s way of life. The historian says Paolo was living segregated even from other priests, that he rarely left his home and then only to celebrate Mass or for some other serious need.[137] When his mother had died, he took himself to another place, even further remote from the tumult of men, to a solitary church where, from then on, he used to sleep under a certain bench or podium. With alms freely offered or begged he kept voluntary poverty, in that same way we saw had been granted to Ludovico.[138] Therefore he did not need any new permission to lead the eremitical life.

Perhaps you may say that at least he needed permission to keep the habit he had adopted. If such were the case, he took up the journey in vain, since our annalists say that the Pope referred him to Ludovico, who had to retain the habit of his Order, that is, of the Observance. Nor did he have any permission to clothe others.

Therefore we should not pay too much attention to the account by our annalists. Nor can we give too much credence to what Zarlino has said. It is appropriate nonetheless to examine his thesis more closely. He contends that the origin of the Capuchins should be ascribed to the aforesaid Paolo since he was the first of them to go around clothed in that habit. He came into the province of the Marches and there gathered some disciples, whom he clothed in a similar tunic. However when he did these things he had no authority, since he continued alone later to Rome. What he did in Rome no one thus far has been able to know. Leaving Rome he went back again to Chioggia to care for his disciples. Zarlino narrates that all these things happened many years before 1524.

Given, though not conceded, that things were this way, it does not follow though that Paolo played even the slightest part in the events which I have been narrating. He was not there when Matteo left the friary in January 1525 and when Ludovico and his brother Raffaele left towards the end of the same year. Their exit was certainly recent when the Minister General Francisco de Angelis declared them excommunicated, whom we see at Recanati on 23 November and when the command for their capture was issued on 8 March 1526. Giovanni da Fano was not one who might have let this kind of scandal go unpunished for such a long time.

Therefore Zarlino is completely mistaken when he writes that Paolo laid the foundations of the Capuchin Congregation in the Marches many years before 1524. Perhaps he formed disciples, but there was no connection between them and our first fathers. Indeed, calculating from Zarlini’s Informatione, these things happened between the years 1515 and 1520.[139]

Similarly the assertion of the same writer should be excluded, that Paolo was himself the first one who had permission from Clement VII to freely clothe and receive whoever came to him, and not be impeded by anyone.[140] The Roman curia did not usually grant such faculties, which would have completely overturned regular life, and those impediments which Ludovico later had to overcome show this assertion to be without foundation.

I can agree with Zarlino that before Matteo, Paolo had taken up the hermit habit, like the one used by the Capuchins. Without special faculty he even could have had one or other secular with him who wanted to lead the eremitical life without impediment. No canonical law prohibited seculars from dressing or living in this way. I absolutely deny that he could have legitimately or canonically received regulars, especially friars minor. Permission for this kind of faculty was unheard of and without precedent. An affirmation, even if almost an oath,[141] is not enough confirmation. It must be proven by authentic documentation. Therefore until there is doubtless proof, I have no hesitation to assert that no credence be given the words of Zarlino, just as I maintain, against our annalists, that Ludovico had no such faculty before the Bull of 1528. I do not question the good faith of Zarlino, nor that of Mario and the others. The errors that they told they believed to be true. To err is human.

But let us return now to Ludovico. He was obliged to show the letter to the Minister provincial and ask from him permission to lead the eremitical life. However, since he could do this himself or through another, whatever Colpetrazzo may say, I believe that he was too prudent and experienced to present himself to Giovanni. The response was certain, however, and was not in his interests to receive a refusal. There was a provision in the letter itself: licentia petita, licet non obtenta. He did not overlook showing the Bull also to the bishop of Camerino under whose obedience and protection the Bull placed them. Not without reason had Ludovico requested him as protector. They could be in no safer place than under the shadow of the walls of the ducal fortress.

Before moving on to other things, it should be asked whether Ludovico received companions, even if without the necessary authority. Our annalists, who believe he received that faculty with the aforesaid letter of the Sacred Penitentiary, list the friars he received from that time. Rightly indeed Boverius does not follow them, since receptions of this kind, canonically speaking, risk nullity. However he could have aggregated secular men. As I observed above regarding Paolo, no canon law prohibited seculars from joining him. He could have even kept with him the aforementioned Paolo, since he had legally left the Observants and since the superiors of the province of the Marches did not have him in their care, he was unknown to them.

Apart from them did he accept rashly even Observant minors? Giovanni da Fano seems to insinuate that in his Dialogo. In fact he speaks about certain friars who, having been deceived, had taken refuge with them. Then after having discovered their error, they returned to the flock. These things seem to refer to Ludovico and his companions.[142]

I come to this Dialogo. Since the facts which happened after the departure of Ludovico, in the last six months of 1526 and the first months of the following year, are completely unknown.

3. With the Letter of the Sacred Penitentiary, the capture order issued against Ludovico and his companions was weak, and therefore the Minister Provincial was unable to proceed further. On account of this, Giovanni, ceasing to pursue them with arms, decided however to have recourse to persuasion so that others might not be attracted to them. With this plan he wrote a small work, which has been mentioned many times, namely, the Dialogue on salvation between the concerned friar and the reasonable friar about the rule of the friars Minor and its clarifications for the zealous.[143]

He devises a simple friar who wants to serve God faithfully and observe the promised Rule inviolably. However, he is pressed with anguish when he sees many in the Religion walking different ways. Some are following a certain broad road. Others indeed choose a narrow, difficult and almost dangerous road, having abandoned the way which the holy promoters of regular Observance had followed.

Troubled by concerns such as these, he goes to a venerable father, mature of age and praiseworthy for his knowledge, whom he asks about how to observe the Rule. Their conversation makes up the Dialogue which he copies down for the peace and tranquillity of the Observance, so that it might meet the scandals and evils coming from a range of sects, whose origin is to be sought in irrational promptings of knowledge. Meanwhile any friar can observe the Rule perfectly in the Observance, remaining in the place assigned him by the superiors, without thinking about any new sect or of promoting division.[144]

That work offers a commentary[145] on the Seraphic Rule divided into twelve chapters according to the twelve chapters of the Rule itself. It includes the declarations of the Supreme Pontiffs and doctors of the Order. The Dialogo was written, the author advises, in the common language so that the simple and uneducated friars might use it more easily.[146] This exposition shows Giovanni not only zealous for regular observance, but even for a stricter observance of the Rule. So then, at the conclusion he can say with merit that his small work is useful for general reform and for leading a moderated life in regular Observance.[147] Little wonder therefore if later, after he has entered the Capuchin family, that he should want to publish this Dialogo again, after having removed the many places where he sharply inveighed against Ludovico and our first fathers, and having made some other corrections.[148]

It seems that this exposition was compiled in the final months of 1526 and the first months of the subsequent year, since he offered it to the Fathers and Brothers of the Observance of Saint Francis assembled in chapter.[149] Since the edition would have been completed by 5 June 1527, I conclude that the provincial chapter would have been celebrated around the feast of Pentecost, which that year occurred on 9 June.[150]

Those meetings were held in the place at Massaccio and Giovanni, with his three years of administration elapsed, finished his provincialate, and P. Paolo da San Severino is nominated to replace him.

Although I might have published many things a little at a time, as the opportunity presented itself, I consider it useful for history to present together the pages written against our first fathers. May Giovanni forgive me. He retracted this small work “which he regarded as a famous booklet which he later regretted very much, as he was often accustomed to say. Unless he could publicly repeat the retraction of the booklet, he would even come to deeply doubt his salvation, or of ever making restitution for himself before God, unless he consecrated himself soul and body to the same Capuchin reform, and in his total surrender, redress so many pages of impiety.”[151]

Having listed many sects born in the Order and united by Leo X into one body of the regular Observance, Frater Rationabilis continues: “That poison has spread right up until our own times since today certain ones have arisen who are doing new things. They change the habit and leave the Order, with scandal to the Religion. Frate Stimulatus: I have known some of these. What do you think of them? Frater Rationabilis: I think that they are rash, ignorant about the Rule and forgetful of their profession. They are vagabonds, proud, ambitious and like being acclaimed as reformers of the Order. They place their perfection in external things and care little about the inner things. They are impatient, hard headed and in bad conscience since they murmur against the Religion, and defame it even in front of seculars. They are without spirit and devotion. The judgement of Pope John XXII given above[152] holds against them. In particular, at present, the judgement of the Reverend Father Minister General, that is, Francisco de Angelis, is against them. He excommunicated them. There is also the authentic Brief of Pope Clement VII who excommunicates them, some of them even by name. The same Supreme Pontiff declared himself to the Bishop of Camerino to be unaware of any Bull they obtained from the Penitentiary, and that he has never had the intention to grant indults of this kind against the Religion. Should they want to, they can observe the Rule spiritually in the Order. Even Leo X, in the Bull of the union, in virtue of holy obedience, ordered that no new sects be made, but that all live either with friars of the Family or with the Conventuals.[153] Nonetheless those rash friars are so deceived and blinded by the devil, that they go sometimes alone and sometimes with companions; sometimes barefoot, sometimes only with sandals; one minute in a shack, the next somewhere else: they spend much time in curias and on journeys. They often also disagree among themselves. They appoint guardians on their own authority, whom they do not want to obey; and they do other inappropriate and foolish things which seem like childish pranks at carnival time,[154] just as those say, who were once deceived by them and joined them, but on becoming aware of the mistake, returned to the flock. Indeed, those wretches deceive themselves when they read about certain things Saint Francis did at the beginning of his conversion. Because they are few they go about alone and stay in deserted places or lodge in the homes of seculars, and they wear different habits. However since Saint Francis obtained confirmation of the Rule, he wanted the friars to live together; to go about two by two, and in the Order he instituted an appropriate decorum that is not the one that they imagine. They are deceived like many ancients and also many moderns. These are diabolical delusions.[155]

Perhaps not all these things happened among our fathers, but Giovanni testifies himself in the Dialogo that he directed the main points against them when writing. Frater Stimulatus asks: “In the other Dialogue you sharply criticise those Capuchins and heaped up accusations and reproaches against them. Now with words and (your) change of habit you seem effectively to commend them. Frater Rationabilis: At the time I was saying these things for many reasons and I impeded them in various ways, guided especially by the customary practice of the Community in such occurrences. The Community has always had a dislike for these divisions. Nor did I know the will of God. Nor did I believe that He would like this reform. Now abandoning that judgement I say this. I assert that they are not flippant, proud or of bad intention, as I vehemently proclaimed against them in the other Dialogue. To the contrary, they are to be commended supremely, since I am certain they have regained the true intention of father Saint Francis about the observance of the rule.”[156]

In another place where he speaks about the lowliness of the habit, Frater Stimulatus asks: Can we then follow the Community with a sure conscience?” Frater Rationablis: We can and should, though it is not permissible for us to put on a habit altered in colour, harshness and age. It is one thing to be a friar minor who should observe decent, appropriate poverty in harmony with reason and in conformity with the Community. It is another thing to be good-for-nothing or hermit. Hence Martin VI ordered that poverty and harshness shine forth in our clothing, but not in such a way that onlookers are horrified or provoked to laughter. In this case there is also the judgement of Pope John XXII as above.[157] In keeping these things we are sure, things which our blessed fathers, saints and doctors observed. Therefore do not allow yourself to be led astray by their misshapen habit or cowl.[158]

Chapter VI

1. Ludovico transfers to the Conventuals with his brother Raffaele. 2. He petitions Viterbo so that matters concerning the future Congregation may be dealt with by the Roman Curia. 3. He obtains the Bull of institution of the Order.

1. As I have noted above, the things concerning our hermits after obtaining the letter of the Sacred Penitentiary 18 May 1526 are shrouded in darkness. As yet no authentic historical record has been discovered to shed light on this darkness. Perhaps those times coincide with the long sojourn of Matteo, together with Paolo da Chioggia, in the church of Saint Martin next to the field in Cerreto, which is mentioned in the letter (cited above) of Vincenzo Lori of Fabriano to the chapel master of the Serenissima Reppublica, Giuseppe Zarlino. He says that when he came to Cerreto[159] in 1582, on the occasion of the gathering of the harvest, he heard from the farmers of this place that Paolo da Chioggia, with Matteo and a certain fra Prospero,[160] spent a long time in that church. They received what was necessary for life from the inhabitants, and in exchange they gave them spiritual nourishment by preaching and celebrating the Mass. While Paolo remained there constantly, Matteo was often away, his custom being to go around the nearby castles. Other friars came to them there and were living the same life.[161]

If Matteo, happy with the life he had chosen, did not crave another, Ludovico could not find such tranquillity. Our annalists tell plausibly that there had been many friars of the Observance who, wishing to be his companions, came to him to be received. However, he was without the necessary authority and no one who was serious and mature thought it licit to follow them. Therefore they dedicated themselves to carry through the undertaking and to find a way that they could walk safely.

From the Dialogo of Giovanni da Fano it is clear that such friars were not lacking. He composed the work not only to censure our first fathers but also to deter others who were stirred by a concern for a more perfect life from such a course of action. He would not have insisted on proving, in his small work, that one could observe the rule spiritually while remaining in the Order if he had not perceived that desire for reform in so many friars.

Although he mixes many things together, we can follow Colpetrazzo[162] when he shows us Ludovico in conversation many times with Matteo. The first one was saying that he is to get for them from the Roman Curia a broader dispensation so that they may live more freely and also receive the others who wish to join them. The other answered that he had freely taken up this life beset with tribulations and that he did not want to ask for other letters from the Pope by which he would be exempted from carrying the cross. Furthermore he added that he had never in any way thought of founding a reform, and he did not feel called by God to such a task, for which he felt absolutely unsuited. However Ludovico insisted, asserting that it would not be fitting for him to live on his own. He is to account for himself before God also for the other means that had been put in his hands, so that the desires of many friars might be realised. Failing that, Ludovico was prepared to take up the task himself, with the help of God. Finally, one particular day, giving in to Ludovico’s pleas, Matteo and he went to the Duchess of Camerino, asking her to help them with her support with her uncle, the Supreme Pontiff, Clement VII, so as to get the Bull needed to establish the reform. Caterina willingly promised her protection, saying to them, “Prepare everything, and at the opportune time I will present your plea.”

Consequently Ludovico thought to himself about the things which he still had to do and he did not overlook seeking the advice of prudent men with whom he could entrust his proposal. Among those to whom Ludovico opened his mind Colpetrazzo names P. Girolamo da Sessa, one of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani’s first companions.[163] “It is necessary for you,” he told him, “to establish the reform completely separated from the body of the Religion and obtain a Bull by which you it may be licit for you to observe the Rule of Saint Francis under the title of hermits, just as we live under the Rule of Saint Benedict, not with the name of monks, but as hermits. On the other hand, you have already chosen the eremitical life.”

He easily perceived that all the effort to promote reform in the Order of friars minor would be in vain as long as he remained outside its bosom. Although Giovanni da Fano would finish his provincialate in the Chapter of June 1527, Ludovico could not hope for the support of Giovanni’s successor, and he was quite afraid of opposition from the major superiors of the Observance. With the Conventuals, on the other hand, he had experienced kindness. They had offered them refuge in the first months after their exit from the friary. Therefore he decided that the first step to be made was his transfer to the obedience of the Conventuals. The circumstances and time fixed for this transfer and where it happened are unknown to us. The only thing clear to us (from the Bull Religionis zelus) is that he had transferred with his brother Raffaele to the Conventuals.[164]

If the words of this Bull, on the surface, are to be accepted, this transfer was made “in conformity with the Apostolic letter concerning the actions[165] to be taken regarding the union and concord between the Observants and the Conventuals” in which it was decreed “that none of the other reformed friars (or from the Observance) may be sent[166] by any superior, even the minister General, to a non-reformed (or Conventual) friary; unless it seems less harmful to the provincial chapter to send a friar to friaries not yet reformed rather than keep him with the reformed. In such a case the superiors may send a reformed friar or friars to friaries not yet reformed.”[167] Therefore it should be concluded that the required permission was given at the time of the provincial Chapter in June 1527, as a lesser harm, so to speak. However that seems hardly likely to me. It would be easier to believe that the Minister provincial of Marches gave this permission to Ludovico by virtue of the declaration of the above mentioned General Chapter celebrated at the Porziuncola in 1526. That Chapter enlarged the faculties of the Provincials in such cases and decreed “by apostolic authority, with the knowledge of the other Fathers of the province, that Ministers provincial give permission to their friars to go across to the Conventuals.”[168]

The time of this transfer is also uncertain. It is clear from the Dialogo of Giovanni da Fano, published in June 1527, that this had not happened while he presided over the province, because he reprimands them, since they lived neither among the Observants nor among the Conventuals, against the order of Leo X in the oft cited Bull of union.[169]

Afterwards, when asked in the presence of the Cardinal Protector by P. Onorio Caiani, the Procurator General of the Observance, Ludovico confessed “that he, with a natural brother of his, had asked permission from the Minister provincial of the Marches, to go to the Conventual friars; and the Minister of that province, as with hard-headed, self-willed and incorrigible friars, gave them permission to go to the Conventual friars.”[170] From that confession of Ludovico it follows and shows that Matteo was not party to these things.

Indeed it was not in order to live quietly among them that Ludovico transferred to the Conventuals. His idea was that with their permission and support to be able to follow his goal more freely. However, adverse times were raging and a hurricane was shaking the barque itself of Peter.

Everyone knows how, at the beginning of May 1527, Rome was occupied and shamefully sacked by a Germanic army led by Charles Bourbon. In this whirlwind of war the Pope withdrew to Hadrian’s fortress and remained captive in that citadel until, when things settled, he left the city by night just like a refugee (6/7 December.)

Also in the Duchy of Camerino things were not going well. With the return of the summer heat the plague, which had depopulated regions of Italy, occupied this province and began to spread there so cruelly that within a space of three days it had carried off one hundred victims in the city.[171] The Duke, Giovanni Maria, refused to fail his citizens in their affliction and while showing humanity to the gardener of his house, he was taken from the land of the living on the night of Saint Laurence (10 August).[172]

It is a constant tradition that Matteo with Paolo, Ludovico and Raffaele placed themselves at the service of the sick, and did not fail to carry out the works of mercy among the suffering, placing their lives in extreme danger.

After the death of the Duke, who left just one daughter as heir, and whose protection he had entrusted to his wife, the administration of the state fell to Caterina. However there was no shortage of those who desired this province and vied to snatch it easily from her unwarlike feminine hands. Hence the region, not yet free from the plague, was devastated by military defeat and the Duchess was kept captive in the citadel for three months. Finally Caterina was freed in the month of November. However the Duchy did not enjoy perfect calm. Distracted with grave concerns and intensely pre-occupied with public affairs, Caterina was unable to take care of matters concerning our hermits. Then by mid 1528, with matters settled in the Duchy, she decided to visit the Pontiff to discuss with him matters concerning the family and the public good. She advised Ludovico of her plan and he, not wanting to forgo this opportunity offered him, got a letter from the provincial Master of the Conventual friars minor of the Marches which gave him and his brother permission “to approach the Roman Curia and the Apostolic See to ask and plead for whatever they saw opportune for the salvation of their souls and the glory of God.”[173] Furnished with this document, he went straight away to Viterbo where the Curia was located at that time. Perhaps he joined the company of the Duchess who left Camerino on 25 June.[174]

2. Caterina did not fail to offer the help which she had promised and under that protection Ludovico was able to achieve his goal. From the report of P. Onorio Caiani already cited, it is clear that the intervention of the Duchess was very worthwhile with the Cardinal Protector, whose consent was required in the case. From the confession of Ludovico the Procurator general wrote this: “While the Curia was in Viterbo, they (that is, Ludovico and Raffaele) requested the lord Protector to give his consent for a certain brief which they wished to seek from your Holiness, so that they might be able to continue in the eremitical life. However, the Duchess of Camerino was in Viterbo at the time, and she petitioned that favour from the lord Protector about obtaining such a brief. He did not want to consent. Finally the lady Duchess said, ‘I ask your lordship not to impede it.’ He agreed to this. Therefore they obtained the brief to be able to live the eremitical life.”[175]

It is to be believed that the Protector softened his resistance, since o the Bull which Ludovico obtained one may read that he had prepared “litteras patentes” (a letter of petition) to grant this permission.

There is an early copy in our general archives of the first letter of request which Ludovico tended to the Pontiff. It is useful to transcribe it here, and also the response that he received, observing the differences between the two.[176]

Beatissime Pater,

Alias cum devoti oratores vestri, Ludovicus et Raphael, civitatis Fori Sempronii, fratres germani, devotione ducti, Ordinem fratrum minorum de Observantia nuncupatorum ingressi fuissent, et in eo per certum tempus permansissent, et deinde licentia, a superiore fratrum Ordinis de Observantia hujusmodi provinciae Marchiae, se de dicto Ordine et illius domo in qua tunc degebant ad Ordinem fratrum minourm Conventualium nuncupatorum, juxta modum et formam litterarum apostolarum super unione et concordia inter fratres de Observantia et Conventuales nuncupatos editarum, transferendi, obtenta, se ad dictum Ordinem fratrum Conventualium transtulissent, et ad Ordinem ipsum Conventualium per ministrum ipsius Ordinis fratrum Conventualium dictae Marchiae benigne recepti, et aliorum fratrum Ordinis Conventualium hujusmodi numero et consortio aggregati fuissent, dictus Minister eisdem oratoribus ad Urbem se conferendi, et quodcumque vellent pro animarum suarum salute, ac etiam devota creatura vestra Andreas tituli Sanctae Priscae presbiter cardinalis, ejusdem Ordinis conventualium Protector, oratoribus ipsis similiter quaecumque vellent, et quae Sanctitas Vestra petendi et impetrandi, salvo quod ipsi fratres, pro se et aliis fratribus sociis suis, singulis annis Capitulo seu Ministro dicti Ordinis Minorum qui, seu deputandus ab eo, semel in anno et non ultra, in ipsos fratres et socios potestatem haberet, et si eos Regulam sancti Francisci servantes inveniret, illos in pace et quiete dimitteret, ac nichil aliud ab eis petere deberet, (se) praesentare tenerentur, licentiam concesserunt, prout in litteris Cardinalis Procteroris necnon Ministri et fratrum praedictorum desuper confectis plenius continetur.

Cum autem, Pater Sancte, dicti oratores ut in contemplationis suavitate liberius quiescere valeant, vitam in remotis a frequenti hominum conversatione agere, et in solitudine, Altissimo famulatum exhibere summo opere cupiant, supplicant humiliter Sanctitate Vestrae dicti oratores quatenus eorum pio voto in praemissis favorabiliter annuentes, ipsosque opportunis favoribus et gratiis prosequentes, eisdem oratoribus et aliis similem vitam solitariam ducere volentibus,

– ut habitum mendicum et heremitarium cum pauperculo capuccetto quadrato,

– necnon tam clerici quam laici barbam longam gestare et deferre,

– et aliqua loca heremitoria et solitaria in montibus et silvis, de licentia et consensu dominorum montium et silvarum hujusmodi recipere et acceptare, ac inibi tanquam peregrini et advenae, sub protectione fratrum Conventualium[177] habitare, ac orationibus insistere,

– necnon unum superiorem et custode, qui in eos similem auctoritatem habeat quam Ministri provinciales dicti Ordinis (in) fratres provinciarum suarum habent, eligere.

– necnon omnibus et singulis, tam clericis, etiam Ordinum quorumcumque religiosis, superiorum suorum licentia petita, obtenta,[178] quam laicis qui, divina inspiratione ducti, similem et austeram vitam ducere voluerint, ut ad illam commorari, seu transire et eam agere, et in illa per dictos fratres et socios recipi[179] libere et lecite valeant,

– nec per quoscumque loci Ordinarios aut alios quavis auctoritate fungentes desuper impediri, molestari, amoveri, inquietari, vel perturbari quoquo modo possint,

– perpetuo concedere et indulgere, ac irritum etc. decernere dignemini, de gratia speciali: non obstantibus praemissis ac quibusvis constitutionibus et ordinationisbus apostolicis, statutis etc. ceterisque contraris quibuscumque, cum clausulis opportunis.

Et cum absolutione a censuris ad effectum, et cum concessione, indulto et decreto de et pro omnibus et singulis supradictis, latissime extendendo, perpetuo, in forma gratiosa, et cum deputatione executorum opportuna, etiam sub censuris et poenis ecclesiasticis: cum potestate aggravandi, reaggravandi etc., invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis. Et quod licterae sub plumbo, aut si magis videbitur oratoribus praedictis per breve Sanctitatis Vestrae, attento quod pro pauperibus religiosis eremitis, et quod internis ecclesiae (?) cum praemissorum omnium, etiam tenore dictarum licterarum[180] ac Indulgentiarum tam dicto Ordini quam fratribus concessarum etc. et aliorum necessariorum majori et veriori expressione, latissime expediri possint.

If we cut away the redundant words for an easier grasp of this wordy letter, produced in the customary form, these words remain. Ludovico and Raffaele, legitimately transferred to the Conventuals, via the permission of the Provincial of the Marches as well as the Cardinal Protector, ask that they be allowed:

– to wear the habit which they had adopted;
– to wear a longer beard;
– to dwell in solitary places under the protection of the Conventuals;
– to elect their own Custos;
– to receive both clerics and religious from other Orders.[181]

The right of visitation and correction remains however with the Provincial of the Conventuals, and this should be carried out once a year. The friars are obliged to present themselves each year.

3. As the note on the back of the diploma points out, this petition of Ludovico was rejected. The likely reason for the rejection may be read in the other note in the same place: “Interveniat manus d. Cardinalis.” Evidently the letter of petition lacked the approval and recommendation of the Cardinal Protector who, although he might have granted permission to have recourse to the holy See, remained the one to decide about granting the grace. Below we will see that Ludovico corrected the new letter so that the petition might be approved by the Cardinal, so that he might succeed in obtaining his main aim. Indeed, on 3 July the graces for which he asked were granted him, although in a different form, in the following apostolic letter.

Clemens PP. VII

Dilectis filiis Ludovico et Raphaeli de Forosempronii, Ordinis minorum beati Francisci professoribus.

Dilecti filii, Salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. Exponi nobis nuper fecistis quod vos olim, fervore serviendi Altissimo ducti, Ordinem fratrum minorum de Observantia nuncupatorum ingressi estis et, professione emissa, in eo per certum spatium permansistis: et deinde, cum licentia superioris eorumdem fratrum provinciae Marchiae, in qua degebatis, juxta modum et formam litterarum apsotolicarum super unione et concordia inter eosdem et fratres Conventuales nuncupatos, ad dictorum fratrum Conventualium consortium vos transtulistis: et ab ipsorum provinciae Marchiae Magistro benigne recepti, et aliorum fratrum Conventualium praefatae provinciae numero et consortio aggregati fuistis.

Deinde vero vobis desiderantibus, pro animarum vestrarum salute et Dei altissimi gloria, heremiticam vitam ducere, et quantum humana patitur fragilitas Regulam beati francisci observare, praefatus Minister provinciae Marchiae, superior vester, licentiam vobis concessit ad Romanam Curiam accendendi, et a Nobis ac Sede Apostolica quaecumque vobis ad animarum vestrarum salutem et Dei gloriam condcibilia et opportuna viderentur petendi ac impetrandi.

Ac etiam dilectus filius noster Andreas, tituli Sanctae Priscae presbyter Cardinalis, dicti Ordinis Protector vobis similiter indulsit, ut a Nobis quaecumque volueritis, et quae Nos vobis concedenda duxerimus, petere et impetrare valeatis,

hoc uno solummodo reservato, quod unus ex consortio vestro, omnim nomine, capitulo seu Minsitro dicti Ordinis fratrum Conventualium dictae provinciae, singulis annis se praesentare teneatur, in signum subjectionis:

qui quidem Minister, si sibi sic visum fuerit, vos semel in anno et non ultra visitare possit, et si vos Regulam praedictam non observare invenerit, ad eam plenius observandam vos admonere atque ebitis modis compellere possit: praeter haec autem nec vos de loco ad locum transerre nec aliquid aliud vobis injungere, aut a vobis exigere valeat, sed potius vos tueri atque defendere teneatur, ut in pace possitis Altissimo in divinis famulari,

prout in litteris praefatorum Cardinalis Protectoris et Ministri desuper confectis plenius dicitur contineri, quarum omnium et singularum tenores volumus hic haberi pro sufficienter expressis.

Nos igitur, vestris supplicationibus super hoc Nobis humiliter porrectis inclinati, vobis secundum Regulam praedictam vitam heremiticam ducere,

et habitum cum capucio quadrato gestare,

necnon omnes tam clericos saeculares, etiam sacerdotio fungentes, quam laicos, ad vestrum consortium recipere,

et tam illi quam vos barbam deferre,

et ad heremitoria, seu loca alia quaecumque, cum consensu domiorum eorum locorum, vos conferre, et in eis habitare, ac quoties opportunum vobis visum fuerit, ab eis recedere et alia loca eligere, vitamque austeram et heremiticam inibi agere:

necnon omnibus et singulis privilegiis, gratiis, et indultis dicto Ordini fratrum minorum ac heremo Camaldulensium sancti Romualdi, illiusque heremitis in genere et in specie concessis, seu etiam in futuro forsan concedendis, quorum omnium et singulorum tenores volumus hic haberi pro sufficienter expressis, ac si de verbo ad verbum praesentibus insererentur, uti, potiri, agudere in omnibus et per omnia, quemadmodum ipsi et quilibet ipsorum utuntur, potiuntur et gaudent,

necnon in omnibus locis mendicare possitis,

auctoritate apostolica, tenore praesentium, plenam et liberam facultatem concedimus et largimur.

Non obstantibus Constitutionibus et Ordinationibus apostolicis et Ordinis praefati institutionibus quibuscumque, necnon litteris apostolicis super unione et concordia fratrum Conventualium et Observantium nuncupatorum confectis, aliisque in contrarium facientibus quibuscumque.

Venerabilibus vero fratribus Episcopo Camerinensi et Urbinati, aliisque omnibus in quorum dioecesi vos loca habere contigerit, eorumque in spiritualibus generalibus Vicariis, committimus et in virtute sanctae obedientiae praecipimus et mandamus, ut quatenus fuerint, aut aliquis eorum fuerit pro parte vestra requisitus, auctoritate apostolica praefata vobis inviolabiliter assistant, non permittentes vos ab alique persona cujuscumque ordinis, gradus aut dignitatis fuerit, etiam vestri Ordinis Ministris et Magistris generalibus, super praemissis molestari aut perturbari, sed vos faciant hac concessione nostra pacifice frui et gaudere, contradictores et rebelles per censuras apostolicas et alia juris opportuna remedia, appellatione postposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis.

Volentes quoque, ut si vobis videbitur opportunum, has litteras nostras etiam sub plumbo expediri facere valeatis.

Datum Viterbii, iij Julii 1528, (Pontificatus nostri) anno quinto.[182]

As one can see, the letter of petition and the apostolic letter are in general agreement in everything. The main difference consists in the fact that Ludovico asked for the faculty to receive religious of any Order, and certainly he had the Observant friars minor in mind. In fact, this was a principle aim of his petition as well. Very likely the Cardinal Protector refused to consent to this chapter. Since the petitioner would not have hoped to break the Cardinal’s opposition, he judged it more expedite to go around the difficulty. He had known about the privileges granted to the Camaldolese hermits, and among these he did not fail to notice the permission to receive “each and everyone who might come, leaving whichever Order and from whichever Congregation, house or monastery, Mendicant or not, even from the Carthusian Order.”[183] Therefore in the second petition he asked for himself a share in each and all the privileges, graces and indults granted to the hermits of the hermitage of the Camaldolese of Saint Romuald, in general or in particular, and even those to be granted in the future. Since he intended to lead the eremitical life, a participation of this kind would have seemed suitable, and which, as I believe, he managed to obtain easily from Cardinal Lorenzo Pucci, the Major Penitentiary, Protector of the Camaldolese: with the intervention of the Duchess of Camerino, if it had been necessary. In fact that sharing of privileges with the Camaldolese was of great importance, using them he could later accept even friars minor legally to his family.

It is also to be noted that nothing is fixed in the apostolic letter about directions for the erection of a congregation, since in the first letter the institution of a Custos had been sought, who would function with the authority of a minister Provincial and was to be elected by the friars. I would not dare to judge that Ludovico wanted this omission so that he might be allowed to keep the governance for his own judgement. For the rule of law orders the actions we interpret for the best part, and the spirit in which they are done.[184] It declared that he wants to observe the Rule of blessed Francis in so far as human frailty permits, the Rule which determines that Chapters and elections are to be done at their proper times. However, this omission created problems which had to be faced in subsequent years.

It has been said above that the Cardinal Protector softened his first opposition and granted a letter patent at the pleas of Ludovico. Authentic testimony of his approval has lasted to this day in the written original of the letter preserved in the Vatican Archives. At the bottom of the sheet one may read his approval, written in his own hand and expressed in these words: “Videtur concedendum. A. Card. Della Valle, Protector.” Further down are also the words to the cardinal Major Penitentiary Lorenzo Pucci, titular of Santi Quattro Coronati, since (as I imagine) he was Cardinal Protector of the Camaldolese, who likewise signed: “L. Card. SS. Quatuor.” Also named are all the other witnesses to its authenticity: “Visa. Ja. Symoneta” with the signature of the Secretary of Briefs, “Evangelista.” Also a note written on the back of the sheet demonstrates the intervention of the Duchess Caterina, “Intercedente Ducissa Camerini,” which is followed by this new testimony of the approval of the two Cardinals, “Rev.mus SS.4 et Protector viderunt.”[185]

At the very end of the letter it is stated, “Volentes quoque, ut, vobis videbitur opportunum, has litteras etiam sub plumbo expediri facere valeatis,” that is, in the form of a Bull.[186] Ludovico, who preferred nothing more than to make his undertaking secure, did not fail to provide this solemnity and more robust confirmation. Therefore the letter was issued sub plumbo, with the same date expressed in the form of a Bull: “Anno Incarnationis Dominicae millesimo vigesimo octavo, quinto nonas Julii.” With the substance remaining the same, the composition was unchanged in most things. To conform with the style of the Curia, revised as a Bull, it began with the words, “Religionis zelus.” I will not transcribe it here, since it can be easily found in the Bullarium Romanum and in the Bullarium Capuccinum.[187]

Chapter VII

1. A discussion about certain things in the Bull highlighted by Boverius. 2. On wearing the beard. 3. Where did the name of the Capuchins come from? 4. Who really was the founder of the Capuchins?

1. With state and family matters put in order with the Pontiff, and the subsequent matters of the new congregation off to a good start, Caterina left Viterbo and arrived in Camerino on 12 July. Ludovico stayed in the Curia to take care of the expedition of the Bull.[188]

Our annalists have it that the Duchess orders the Bull to be promulgated by the town crier in all the squares of the city when Ludovico has returned, bringing with him the pontifical diploma; and that the bishop also commanded that it be read entirely in public at all the Masses. From that diploma we could read and consider many things, after the example of Boverius, who spends many pages expounding the marvels he finds in that Bull. He says, “Among these things, the first is this. It could not have happened without the supreme and hidden plan of God, so that in this Bull where the first foundations of the Capuchin Religion were laid, there is no reference at all to the author, nor to the honour and title of its founder. Moreover, and this deserves the greatest wonder, there is no mention at all of Matteo da Bascio.”[189]

You might say that this man, although learned and erudite, examined no other Bull concerning the erection or institution of the other Orders or regular congregations apart from this one. He certainly knew the Bull of Gregory IX, Solet annuere, which confirmed the Rule of the Friars Minor. Are the honour and title of author or founder given in it to Saint Francis? Not at all, and if his name is expressed there, it is written only the once since it is read in the first chapter of the Rule. The honour and title are bestowed on the one to whom the Bull is addressed, whatever Boverius might say to the contrary. If there was no mention of Matteo, it is not necessary for us to search out the secret designs of God, but to remember the things said above about this holy man’s way of acting. He never had in mind to found a new Congregation. He intended to live by himself alone and that is all he asked from Clement VII. He did not care about obtaining a Bull, and if one was given, this should be attributed to the artfulness of Ludovico. I have already repeated the words of the famous Vittoria Colonna, which confirm this view fully: “Although it was the very holy man fra Matteo who began this reform, free from all ambition, he was going around in the grace of preaching when this Bull was made.”[190]

Nor is Boverius’ observation valid that the diploma sought by Ludovico two years earlier had been addressed to Matteo also. Circumstances were quite different then from now. Matteo indeed is named in the Brief, which confirms the sentence of excommunication brought by the minister general, and which mandated their capture. Therefore he was to be named in the Penitentiary’s Bull intended for the annulment of this Brief.

The Annalist continues: “Who, I pray, would not rightly consider that the first place, the more important honour, in the apostolic Bull be assigned to the author? As the standard bearer of the new religion, how is it that he is not made general by apostolic authority as is usually done with other founders of Orders? In fact, since it was not attributed to him at all by the apostolic See, which claims for itself the Holy Spirit as its perpetual guide, this work must certainly be considered as the ineffable wisdom and design of God.“ I am amazed at Boverius’ surprise. He would have done better to giving examples than assert that the apostolic See usually constituted the general superiors in its approval of Orders. I have the apostolic letter of the same Clement VII before my eyes, where he approved the congregation of Clerics Regular, 24 June 1524. It is addressed to the founders, “Venerabili fr. Johanni Petro episcipo Theatino et dilecto filio Gaietano presbitero Vincentino, ac eorum et succesoribus.”[191] You will search in vain to find where in this letter the honour and title of founder are given them, or the designation as superiors of the new Institute. On the contrary, it obliges the members to elect each year the superior, who is to be called the ‘Praepositum.’[192] The apostolic See was accustomed to do it this way, and not as Boverius dreamed. Otherwise, no harm is done to the wise and the willing. Matteo’s name does not occur in the Bull because he did not want to be involved in obtaining it. The letter of petition, presented above, had been presented in the name of Ludovico and Raffaele. Therefore it is an answer addressed to them. However the honour and title of author and founder are not deferred to anyone. It is for the friars to name him, when the Congregation will have grown to a sufficient number, as will happen later, according to the rule of Saint Francis which they intended to observe.

However I concede to the Annalist that these things happened by the divine design of Providence, that is, “the fact shows that the Capuchin religion, with Francis as its head, had been brought forth and founded by no one else except God as author and founder.”[193] A century earlier, the incomparable Vittoria Colonna stated this, when she added to the words cited above, “although there was fra Matteo who began this religion, none the less I say that saint Francis was its true author.”[194]

2. Then Boverius begins a long dissertation to show that the Capuchins, although they were living an eremitical life, did not distance themselves from the religion of the Friars Minor. I consider it useless to follow him here and direct myself to another observation of his: “The third thing is not to be taken lightly. This emerged from the Bull, at the evident initiative of the Pontiff: that the new offspring of this Reform wear the Beard. We read in fact that the first fathers of the Reform did not ask it of the Pontiff.”[195] We, on the other hand, see in the letter of supplication that Ludovico and Raffaele asked that he grant to themselves and to others willing to lead the same solitary life “both laymen and clerics to wear the long beard.” Therefore the Pontiff did not determine this by his own initiative in order to distinguish the Reform from the family of the Observants by a more obvious difference, but because he had been asked to allow the wearing of the uncut beard, according to the custom of the Camaldolese hermits. There is no need for obscure causes to explain obvious and apparent things. Nor do I think Ludovico did it to conform himself better with Saint Francis. In those days the controversy about the beard of Saint Francis had not yet arisen. This controversy will come about from this practice that others later reprimanded in the Capuchins and denied that they are sons of the Seraphic Patriarch. The example of Saint Francis is given for the first time in the Constitutions of our Order in their edition imposed by cardinal Antonio Barberini in 1638.[196] However, this vanished with Constitutions being rejected by the entire Order. It is also believable that the example of Saint Francis had been inserted there because of the dissertation of Boverius. However the question of the beard returned in the new edition of the Constitutions revised by the general Chapter of 1918.

3. Although I question the imaginary meanderings of Boverius, it is necessary to elaborate some other things. After having narrated the promulgation of the Bull by order of the Duchess of Camerino, he continues. “However, the Supremely Good and Great God, who by the midwife hand of divine providence had brought forth the new born Reform, brought it into the light. At the beginning of its birth He also decreed the name to be given it and by which it would be called and distinguished from the other reforms of the Order. It was not devised by human ingenuity or some pleasing invention, but was conceived by a certain divine reason and design. For as soon as this child of the new Reform had shown itself in public and was seen going through the city, children in throngs immediately cried out “Capuccini, capuccini” – not in ridicule but as much as reverence. This cannot be ascribed at all to that simple and tender age that is completely without wile and calculation. Without doubt it is understood to take its origin from God, who often makes the tongues of little children expert in divine things. Indeed it is especially obvious that the child of the new Reform began to be known generally by that title, as if it had come down from heaven, and was from that time known everywhere by no other name than that of the Capuchins. The author of the Historia Romualdina, who touches on the matter with a few words, says, ‘From the children crying out after them capuccini, that name has remained with them, and from the mouth of infants praise is complete.’” In the margin he cites the place in the Historia Romualdina, where this is found, and in the Index of sources from which he repeats the story, it says, “Capuccinorum appellatio a pueris orta Camerini, Romualdina, 1.3, c.14.”[197]

If you go to this place you will find quite a different narration. The author of this history, Fra Luca, briefly relates the origin of the Capuchins and adds, “Almost like wandering sheep they arrived at Camerino. The citizens, on seeing their funny cowls, ridiculed the men, and the children cried out after them ‘capuccini, capuccini,’ from which name …”[198] Boverius offers no other source, nor do I think it worthwhile to repeat another. However I am amazed at how our Annalist turns the derision of the citizens, when they saw their ridiculous cowls, as well as the playful cries of the children, into reverence.[199]

Should it be said that the new word Capuccinus had almost descended then from heaven? It seems to me that the question deserves some careful consideration. Before everything else it should be noted that the discussion here is not about the word itself as it sounds to the ears and is accepted in its genuine meaning, as a diminutive of the word Capucium. Indeed it is doubtless that the word, with this meaning, had been in use among writers many centuries before.[200] However the discussion is about the adaptation of the word capuccinus to designate a person.

First of all, Luca Hispano cited the origin of the name by which the friars of the new family are called, from the cries of the children. However, in no way did he claim that this word was almost new and invented by the children. He did not note the date in words and numbers, but he says it happened when Ludovico and Raffaele, who had fled to the Camaldolese to avoid the pursuit of the provincial of the Observants, had left the hermitage of Pascelupo. This was towards the end of April or the beginning of May 1526. “From here,” he writes, “like wandering sheep they arrive at Camerino.” I omitted above the passing of the two fugitives through that city. I think it worthwhile to pause a moment on this.

From that hermitage they went to Rome. Since in fact they knew quite well that traps would be set for them (they were not unaware of the command issued for their capture) it is not very likely that they diverted from the direct, shorter route. Otherwise they would expose themselves unwittingly to obvious risks by approaching Camerino during the day. They most certainly arrived in Rome by another course before 18 May since this is date of the letter of the Sacred Penitentiary. Obviously it was necessary for them to wait some time for it. They did not leave Pascelupo before the Camaldolese Chapter dealt with their aggregation, namely, on 24 April. However since their petition was returned a second time on the 30th of the same month, perhaps at their urging, it is to be believed that they did not leave before this. Therefore a shorter time was needed to make the journey[201] with the necessary interim between their arrival in Rome and the submission of the letter of petition. Furthermore, the narration by the author of the Romaldina Historia overturns the order of events, so that it would be inadvisable to swear on his words. Therefore I do not hesitate to reject the date that he apparently assigns.

Can we accede to Boverius’ opinions when he says that the name had been imposed on the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life when Ludovico and Raffaele, after having returned from Rome, presented themselves with their companions publicly in Camerino? Not at all, unless I overturn the substance of the marvellous thesis which the Annalist defends, asserting that the name Cappuccini was not “elaborated by the intelligence of men, or according to invented opinion, but was conceived by a certain divine reason and design.” Before that day in fact in Camerino the name indicated a hermit. I will demonstrate my proposition.

I said above that Caterina returned to Camerino on 12 July, while more probably Ludovico remained in Viterbo to take care of the Apostolic letter to be expedited in the form of a Brief signed on the 3rd of the same month, and as a Bull. This expedition process required many days. Even if he had returned on 12 July, the word capuccino was already in use in Camerino before his return.

The notary, Bernardino Lilii, who recorded in his Diary the things that took place, writes under 10 July, “A certain Capuchin friar entered Camerino.” For the space of two days before the return of the Duchess, that word cappuccino was in use, and consequently many days before the promulgation of the Bull, and before the new progeny of this Reform appeared in public and was seen entering the city. Therefore Boverius’ narrative collapses.

I might have easily conjectured that the word cappuccino had been a common name in this time to signify a hermit, at least in the territory of Camerino. Hence it would not have been a wonder if the children, seeing them dressed in the eremitical habit, cried out together cappuccini.

What persuades me to propose this opinion is that the friar, whom the Notary of Camerino designated by this title, was not connected with ours by any pact. He was the famous hermit Bartolomeo Carosi, called “Brandano.” This can be easily discovered from his narration. In the words of Lilii’s Diary, “On the 10 July 1528 a certain Capuchin friar came to Camerino, who, surrounded by children, went through the city, crying out in a loud voice with them, ‘Mercy.’ He drew many people after himself and each day he preached in the afternoon, admonishing the people to stop all intemperance and to change their bad deeds to good example. Also at dusk he walked about the districts and squares of the town crying out, “Mercy.”[202]

Although another, later hand had written the name Matteo da Bascio in the margin of the Diary,[203] it is certain that he is not the one under discussion. Matteo often went to Camerino and was known in the region. Because of this, his coming would not have aroused so much attention so that the chronicler would note him in his Diary. Furthermore, those who have spoken about this holy man and about his preaching report nothing like this. Certainly he also went through the districts and squares of the town, but cried out, “To hell, sinners! To hell, usurers! To hell you keepers of concubines!”- and so forth for the other vices. Nowhere, either, does one read that his custom was to gather children. However it was Brandano’s custom to be surrounded by children. He took them with him to visit churches and kneeling with them, cried out with them, “Mercy!”[204]

However I am unable to unravel this question even though I wanted to present it more abundantly, since the title cappuccino, in so far I could ascertain, appears written in the aforesaid Diary for the first time to indicate a person. Whatever its origin may be, the title soon constituted the proper name of the new family. The friars however had given themselves a name: the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life. In fact that is their name in the first Constitutions written the following year.[205] Also in the letter of association given to the friars of Calabria on 16 August in the same year, 1529, Ludovico Fossombrone is called “the Vicar General of the Order of Minors of the Eremitical Life.”[206] Nevertheless, in the Brief another title prevailed and it is used by the Roman Curia itself, and this is seen as confirmation of the Curia’s implicit approval.[207]

In the common Italian language they were called Scapuccini.[208] I leave the task of elucidating this form to the philologists. However, as some have judged quite ignorantly, this term was in no way pejorative.[209] In fact the duchess of Camerino[210] used this term herself as did others of this period who had great respect for our first fathers.[211] They also do not reject this designation.[212] It would be easy to multiply examples, however it will be more useful to move on to other things.

After having narrated the cries of the children of Camerino when Ludovico and Raffaele first appeared in public dressed in the new habit, Boverius continues, “It would be agreeable to ponder a little what was then indeed the design of God for the imposition of this soubriquet. So then, first of all, with this it is certain that when this new reform emerged, for the first time the true shape of the habit of Blessed Francis had been restored and which depends very much upon the cowl. Hence it is believed that this happened by divine design so that the name itself might come under the auspices of the cowl. Because of the renewed cowl and the restored habit of the Blessed Francis, praise may accompany it always. Acclaiming the Capuchins, as the voice of the whole world, the children rejoiced that true shape of the habit of Blessed Francis had returned to the world.”[213] I do not intend to discuss the true shape of the habit of Blessed Francis, but I wish to note something about the shape of cowl taken up by our protagonists.

Boverius rightly observes that the word cappuccino is a diminutive derived from the Capuccio, and it means a small cowl. Indeed in his letter of petition Ludovico asked to be allowed to wear “habitum medicum et heremitarium cum pauperculo capuccetto quadrato.”[214] Those who discuss the shape of our habit and interpret it in different ways, get quite excited about the adjective quadratum. I do not intend to offer an explanation. Historically speaking, however, it seems to me that this word quadratum had been chosen mainly because it signified a shape of the cowl different to the round or circular ones used by the Observants.

Among our own the first one to interpret the meaning of this word quadratum is Giovanni da Fano in his corrected Dialogo. When discussing the shape of the habit we use he has this, “That Saint Francis and the whole Order in those times wore this cowl that we have in the first book of the Conformities, …..16, where it says that Saint Francis had the cappuccio quadro (square cowl) that is, with four sides, just like the one we wear.”[215] However what those four sides, or “four faces”[216] might mean to him, I leave for others to investigate. As regards to Giovanni, he immediately uses then another adjective to indicate the same shape and he calls the cowl ‘pointed’ or “aguzzo.” It is also to be noted that Giovanni uses the words capuccio and capuccino indiscriminately to designate this part of the habit. This cowl is considered small if compared to what the Friars Minor wore then.[217] But enough of this.

4. From the words of Boverius just related it is clear that he proves the things which have been said above, namely, that Ludovico and Raffaele removed the habit which they donned freely when they left the friary, in order to obey the command of the sacred Penitentiary. In fact the Penitentiary granted them to live the eremitical life, ‘while always keeping your habit,’[218] that is, the habit of the Friars Minor of the Observance. However when they transferred to the Conventuals it is to be believed that they took up the habit of this Order, until a new form of clothing be granted them. Otherwise the wonder of the citizens and the cries of the children would have been without cause since many times before they had gone along the streets of Camerino. Also he could not have said elsewhere that “they had restored the true shape of the habit of blessed Francis.”

In fact he had just written above that this restoration had already happened since Clement vii allowed Matteo to wear the habit with the square and pointed cowl.[219] However we cannot call this concession made to Matteo, and which would consequently disappear with him, a real and proper restoration. Hence it follows that Ludovico, who obtained this form of clothing for himself and his companions, deserves the praise for restoring the habit of Saint Francis. Because of this it is necessary to greet him with the title of Founder of the new family.

I am not unaware that the sad exit of Ludovico has made this necessary argumentation odious for our friars. For them that solace of the apostle I offer might not help: “It is not the one who plants, nor the one who waters, but God who gives the increase… you are God’s field, you are God’s building.”[220]

Chapter VIII

1. The reception of the first friars. 2. A description of the places or friaries.

1. By virtue of the Bull addressed to him by name and to Raffaele (who was a lay friar), Ludovico (who was a priest), was appointed rector and it was up to him to receive anyone to his company.[221] The first ones he accepted and aggregated to the Congregation were Matteo and Paolo da Chioggia, says Boverius,[222] and it must be said that this accords with the truth. Without doubt they could legally wear the habit with the square and pointed cowl, and legitimately lead the eremitical life; not because, however, they belonged to the body of the new family, but in so far as they were united to the authority of the rector himself.

It is laborious to present an ordered list of those who then joined the new family, because Mario disagrees with himself in his third narration. The first time he places Giuseppe da Collamato immediately after Paolo da Chioggia. Then in the other place he assigns this position to Bernardo da Fossombrone, who was called Girolamo dello Scorzolo in the world. When he came to the Religion, “Ludovico called him Bernardo for this reason, that he was the first of the secular men whom he named in the Capuchin Order; for just as the Blessed Father Francis regarded Bernardo da Quintavalle as the firstborn of the Order of Minors, Ludovico also wanted him to go by the same name: Bernardo.”[223] He lived in the Order as a lay friar.

Giuseppe da Collamato, also called Giuseppe da Fabriano, is named later. He was present with Mario when he wrote the first account. In the world his name was Pietro Matteo and he was eighteen years old when he came to us. They say that he had already tried religious life earlier with the Observants and that he had been devoted to Matteo and Paolo while they were staying at Cerreto but could not legitimately accept anyone. He was often Novice Master and the incomparable Mario was numbered among his disciples.[224]

Four friars followed them who migrated to us from the Observance: Angelo di Sant’Angelo in Vado, Arcangelo da Matélica with his blood brother whose name is unknown, and Silvestro da Montegiorgio. A little about each of them.

Angelo da Sant’Angelo, or Tifernum Metaurense, was the brother of the famous painter Thaddeus Zuccari.[225] A priest among the Friars Minor of the Observance, he was the first to flee from them to the Capuchins, writes Colpetrazzo, who knew him and from whom Boverius made a summary of the life of this good father.[226]

The same Colpetrazzo also knew Arcangelo da Matélica, who for some time stayed in the province of Umbria. “He was the first,” says Colpetrazzo, “to begin to weave cloth for the clothes of the friars.”[227]

Colpetrazzo also lived with Silvestro, whom he portrayed with one expression: “fuit frater valde stimulatus.” This Silvestro was accustomed to say, “The Religion numbered only fourteen friars when I entered it.” Both returned to the Marches but there is nothing about them in the Annals.[228]

We do not have sure dates for the transitus of the four friars from the Observance to the eremitical life and whom Ludovico accepted by virtue of the Camaldolese privileges communicated to him. Another five from the same Order, who “ were either unsatisfied with the authority the Fossombrones had to receive others, or they were completely unaware of it,”[229] came a different way. On 11 September they obtained a letter from the Sacred Penitentiary which allowed them to lead the eremitical life outside of the Order of the Observance under the obedience and jurisdiction of the Minister General of the Conventuals. I omit the letter since it agrees word for word with letter which Ludovico and the others brought back.[230] One thing in this should be carefully noted. Our first Fathers were permitted to live outside the Order, but while retaining the habit of the Order. The same permission was given these five with this new clause, “in the habit assigned by blessed Francis for the Friars of the same Order.”[231] Therefore the observation of Wadding vanishes, that the square cowl is mentioned in the letter. It is certainly not mentioned explicitly, but since our first Fathers felt certain that the habit with the square cowl was the genuine clothing assigned by blessed Francis to his friars, these friars are prudently using this way of speaking to achieve their goal more easily, namely, that of adopting the square cowl. They asked to be subject to the Minister General of the Conventuals, to whom the Capuchins were subject quite remotely by the Bull of Clement VII, so that they might cross over to them more quickly. Furnished with the letter and, it is to be believed, with the permission of the aforesaid Minister of the Conventuals, they approached Ludovico who received them into his family. These were Matteo da San Leone, Pietro da Pagnano, Bernardo da Offida, Antonio da Pennabilli and Paolo da Collamato.

Boverius[232] narrates the life of the first one, namely, Matteo da San Leone. Pietro da Pagnano or Appignano and Paolo da Collamato have fallen into oblivion.[233] Colpetrazzo recalled seeing Antonio da Pennabilli while he was staying in Foligno. He praises his humility and his application to prayer.[234]

Bernardo da Offida had greater renown. Although he was a lay friar, he was the first guardian of the friary in Foligno in 1531 and it is said that he raised a boy from the dead.[235]

After the five aforementioned friars went across to the Capuchins, at the same time came the layman Francesco da Macerata who for many years was manager of the Ospedale di San Giacomo degl’Incurabili in the service of the sick, and struck up a friendship with Francesco Vannucci, whom I recalled above, then the almoner of Paul IV.[236]

Ludovico da Urbino, who had been a distinguished preacher of the divine Word.[237] Giacomo da Gubbio, was secretary for Ludovico da Fossombrone and died peacefully at a ripe old age on 3 March 1580.[238]

To those friars whose coming is recorded expressly in the Annals, a certain P. Ruffino da Crema is to be added. Colpetrazzo recalls that he was present at the first Chapter the following year. Apart from them certainly other friars came whose names were not written, especially those who did not persevere in the austere, new Reform.

Therefore the first friars minor of the eremitical life whose memory has come down to us are these:

P. Ludovico da Fossombrone
fr. Raffaele his brother[239]
P. Matteo da Bascio, the forerunner of the Order
P. Paolo da Chioggia
P. Bernardo da Fossombrone
P. Giuseppe da Collamato
P. Angelo da Sant’Angelo in Vado
P. Arcangelo da Matélica and his twin brother
P. Silvestro da Montegiorgio
P. Matteo da San Leone
P. Pietro da Pagnano
fr. Bernardo da Offida
P. Antonio da Pennabilli
P. Paolo da Collamato
fr. Francesco da Macerata
P. Ludovico da Urbino
P. Giacomo da Gubbio
P. Ruffino da Crema

2. From the first known friars, let us go now to their eremitical places. Some like to bestow the ducal palace itself with the title as the first friary where Matteo and Ludovico often lodged, and they add that the Duchess accommodated cells for them in the upper part of the building until she prepared a more suitable place.[240]

Our Boverius agrees fully with the ancient records in this and writes, “Near the city of Camerino, outside the gate of the Annunciation, was the church consecrated to the martyr Blessed Christopher. It was about one thousand five hundred metres from the city. Adjoined to it was a modest little house, in which a priest was accustomed to live and where he celebrated Mass. With the agreement of the priest, Ludovico and the others[241] prepared their first residence.”[242] Today, on the summit of the hill called Arcofiato, the foundations of the church and small house are still visible, where the first fathers stayed, and which the words of the Annalists confirm.[243] In fact he continues, “Surely since the space of that house was so limited as to be inadequate as a dwelling for both them and the priest. They were hard pressed by so many inconveniences. They lacked so many necessities which men need to live fittingly. Nor can worship by the inner man be exercised properly. After a short passage of time, especially as their number grew more frequently, with those who took refuge in the bosom of the new Reform either from the Order of Observants or also from the world” it became necessary for them to move to a larger place.

The Duchess then obtained an agreement from the Gerolamite monks living in the monastery of the Annunciation at Camerino, a small community about three miles from the city. The place was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, next to the little town of San Marcello, in a place called Colmenzone.[244] Once it had been the residence of the Clareni friars. Then the two monks of the aforesaid Order of Saint Jerome lived there, only “to claim the rent,” says Boverius. The Capuchins moved to that solitary place. In the middle of the woods, well suited for the eremitical life though somewhat in ruins.

We have a very old description taken from the end of the sixteenth century. This puts before our eyes the poverty of this early friary of our Order. “That friary has been built on the hill side and therefore it was necessary to cut a level surface in the rock to put up the small building, part of which is supported by vaults. The door of the narrow church is such that a corpulent man might enter only with difficulty. The windows are small and the choir is so restricted that there is only enough space for seven friars. The same for the other things about the place. The refectory and the cells which are on the ground and have no paving. The outside walls are of stone and the internal walls are made of wicker and slightly whitened lime plaster.”[245]

Only the half ruined church which stands alone today confirms this description. The vestiges of the convent were visible until the middle of the eighteenth century. These have vanished, covered now by briars and saplings grown up among the ruins. Because of the unhealthy environment of the place, the friars moved to Renacavata around the year 1531. Until the end of the eighteenth century, the Capuchins used to go there with the Novices during their year of probation, where they celebrated the sacred liturgy for an entire day.[246]

With the growing number of friars, Caterina prepared another place for them in the area called Montemilone (today, Pollenza) located between Tolentino and Macerata, not far from the Castello La Rancia, built by the ancient Dukes of Varano. In the same place, in the countryside called Gualdo, there was a church of Saint Lucy, which by law belongs to the patronage of the family de Pianis. This was granted to the Capuchins, it is to be believed, at the request of the remarkable Duchess.[247] In fact in summer time she was accustomed to go to her property there, according to Colpetrazzo.[248]

Ludovico also obtained a third place in the territory of Fabriano near the castle of Albacina. At the base of Mount San Vicino rises a ridge at the end of which the church of the Blessed virgin Mary was built and a hermit looked after it.[249] The church of Santa Maria della Aquarella is in the same position today. Its walls, partly cut into the outcrop, have endured the centuries. However it remains closed and abandoned. Just once a year, on the Feastday of the finding of the Holy Cross, the people from Albacina come there, since the road which ascends the mountain takes about two hours and is difficult, covered with bushes and full of rocks. Therefore the unique solitude of this hermitage is disturbed on the day – a solitude whose silence is broken during the spring by the song of numerous birds, the whisper of the running streamlet, and the rustling fronds of the tall timber. This place of Albacina is famous in our Annals since the first Chapter was held there and the first Constitutions of the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life were composed.

Finally Ludovico erected the fourth little friary near his home, the town of Fossombrone. However, no memoir of it has lasted.[250] No wonder. The tenor of the first Apostolic Letter allowed them to withdraw to the solitary places they establish and to choose others when it seems opportune to them. Hence none of the first places I have described is inhabited today by our friars.

A letter of petition is kept in our Roman archives, written in the name of the Duchess. The letter asks the Holy See to grant another place to Ludovico and his companions. Whether it had been presented or not I have not been able to ascertain. Nor has any record of a Capuchin presence in the place come to light. Nonetheless, precisely because records of this period are rare, I think it useful to publish that letter here, so that it may not be lost.

Pater Sancte,[251] in Ducatu Camerinensi et diocesi, prope castrum Montisalti et villam Monasterii,[252] est quaedam grotta, vulgo nuncupata la Grotta de sancta Maria Magdalena, quam praecessores vestri concesserunt fratribus Clarenis sancti Francisci nuncupatis, tunc heremitis, donec vitam heremiticam ducerent et regulam sancti Francisci sevarent, et eos subjecerunt jurisdictioni Episcopi Camerinensis pro tempore existentis, prout in praeinserta continetur.[253]

Qui fratres a longo tempore citra non ducunt vitam heremiticam, sed in nullo servant regulam beati Francisci, immo faciunt vitam dissolutam in malum exemplum populorum vicinorum. Habentes de praedictis notitiam, quia modicum fructum afferunt et a certo tempore citra ceperunt hedificare certum monasterium prope dictam grottam, animo, ut creditur, illam reliquendi: igitur Ducissa Camerini, cupiens ut vita heremitica ducatur in dicta grotta, juxta tenorem praeinsertae, cupit dictos fratres, qui sunt numero quatuor vel sex ad plus, amovere de dicto loco et in illo collocare certos religiosos ejusdem Ordinis sancti Francisci, videlicet fratrem Ludovicum et fratrem Raphaelem gemanos de Foro Sermpronio, cum quibusdam sociis suis, qui non solum servant regulam beati Francisci, sed veram vitam heremiticam faciunt, in maxima paupertate Altissimo famulantes: ideo fiat Breve directum Episcopo Camerinensis vel ejus vicario, ad supplicationem ducissae praedictae, ut de praemissis se informet, etiam personaliter accedendo ad locum, si opus fuerit, et si invenerit dictos fratres non servare vitam heremiticam, prout tenentur ex forma bullae praeinsertae, vel alias male vivere contra formam regulae suae, illos auctoritate apostolica expellat de dictis locis, et praedictos Ludovicum, Raphaelem et socios suos fratres verosque heremitas, in dictis locis collocet, concedendo eis licentiam habitandi in eis, et quod a nullo possint molestari, donec vitam heremiticam duxerint et regulam beati Francisci servaverint. Et ostendatur praeinserta domino abbreviatori, ut sciat dictare supplicationem cum clausulis oportunis et juxta voluntatem praefatae Ducissae.[254]

Let us return to our history. Towards the end of 1528 and the beginning of the following year, according to constant tradition, the aforementioned received friars occupied the four places I have written about here, although the hermitage at Fossombrone had not yet been completed by the time of the general Chapter. I come now to describe the celebration of that Chapter.

Chapter IX

1. The Chapter assembled at Albacina. 2. The Constitutions composed then. 3. Matteo abdicates the office of Vicar General and Ludovico takes it up. 4. The first friary in Rome.

1. With the growing number of friars it was necessary to elect superiors to govern them canonically, and establish norms for the government and life of the friars, so that each might not live according to his own will and legal questions for the new congregation might make progress. Boverius would have it that Ludovico received the command from the Pontiff with a Bull to assemble the Chapter for the first time. Such an order, he adds, compelled Ludovico’s conscience.[255]

Colpetrazzo however, who knew many of the first friars, tells about the convocation of this first Chapter differently, saying that it had been imposed on Ludovico by the friars murmuring about the necessary election of superiors. Ludovico did not spontaneously call the Chapter.[256]

With the exception of one, our early chroniclers fail to give a date for the Chapter, when they narrate its celebration. Mario alone indicates the year 1528.[257] Nonetheless the Annalist writes “around the beginning of the month of April (1529)…with the feast of Easter just finished on 28 March. Ludovico designated the place at Albacina, which was the furthest from the tumult of men. Perhaps to him it seemed more suitable to hold this assembly in secret, as prudence might suggest. Since the house attached to the church was too small to accommodate all the friars, they erected a hut from woven branches and wicker. Everything proclaimed poverty and exile, just as the seraphic father had exhorted his first disciples.[258]

Some say that all the friars had been called. Others say that the young and those recently arrived from the world to the Reform were excepted. However all agree in saying that there were only twelve vocals. According to Marius, who upholds this number and says he had heard this from some of those who were present at that Chapter – those twelve had been elected by all the friars in recognition of the college of Apostles and the first companions of Saint Francis.[259] Colpetrazzo names only five of them, namely, Ludovico, Matteo, Paolo da Chioggia, Angelo da Sant’Angelo in Vado and Ruffino da Crema. “The others,” he says, “I do not remember.”[260] After two days spent in prayer and thanksgiving, they passed the whole night before the Friday, the day the Chapter was to be celebrated, pouring out prayers before God, the Virgin Mary and Saint Francis as well, so that they might come to the elections enlightened from heaven.

Leaving aside the other things narrated, I turn to the outcome of the Chapter.

Four Definitors were elected in the scrutiny, namely,

Ludovico da Fossombrone
Matteo da Bascio
Angelo da San’Angelo in Vado[261]
Paolo da Chioggia

With this election complete, when it came to the election of the Vicar General, by a common inspiration and with the perfect agreement of everyone, the voice of all spontaneously acclaimed Matteo da Bascio as superior. He declined such an office. He said God had called him to preach penance to the people, not govern friars. He maintained that he was unable to accept the task. The friars were adamant. Convinced by everyone’s pleas Matteo finally acceded to their wish.

2. With the elections done, the first thing that weighed upon the new superiors was to establish particular laws to govern the Congregation and signal its own character. Therefore, continuing in prayer and fasting they all asked the Holy Spirit to deign to dictate the Constitutions himself, for the good and stability of the little flock, which they believed would multiply within a short time.

This was not in vain. Evangelista da Cannobio, who was Vicar General (1564-1567) “speaking publicly, testified that he received an old tradition of the Fathers, that while the Constitutions were being composed, the Holy Spirit appeared in the shape of a dove.”[262]

I would not dare to affirm that text of those Constitutions which have come down to us were certainly first written in that form. However their substance and precepts appear undoubtedly to be attributed to our first Fathers. We know, in fact, from the testimony of our earliest Chronicler that they were published in Latin which Paolo da Chioggia[263] rephrased in this idiom, since the only Italian version we have is in the work of Mattia da Salò.[264] Mattia also wanted us to be aware that perhaps Ludovico da Fossombrone probably added some things. From the composition of the short Preface, written in the singular, the constitutions appear attributed to him. He certainly promulgated them. Therefore they are said to be issued under his name and authority.[265]

Boverius, to whose text I refer , remains silent about this Latin edition. When he wanted to report the things that had been decreed in the first Chapter, he had to translate them from the Italian into Latin. Indeed he states that he “faithfully” translated these ordinances himself. However his version, compared with the original text, appears unreliable in many places.

One article is translated so carelessly that he gave an opportunity to some ill-disposed persons to malign our first Fathers and rebuke them for being almost opposed to the celebration of Masses in private. “According to the ancient custom of our Order, we also decree that only one Mass be celebrated each day in the friary, at which the other priests assist, especially since that was the mind and admonition our Father Saint Francis. Therefore the superiors should not compel any of the other priests to celebrate except on Solemnities or in time of necessity.” That is how our Annalist puts it.[266] Then in the original text one reads: “According to the ancient practice of our Order we also decree that one Mass only be celebrated pro consuetudine. If the other friar priests are satisfied to assist at this Mass only, which Saint Francis encouraged, cum osculo pedum, we order that the friar priests, unless led by their own devotion, should not be obliged by the superiors to celebrate Mass, except on Solemnities or in case of necessity.”[267] Therefore there was the freedom to celebrate Mass privately when moved by their devotion. Indeed none of them knew that the daily celebration of Mass in private had not yet become a custom in those days. Nor was it usual to celebrate Mass daily in the Order of Friars Minor. In his Dialogo, Giovanni da Fano exhorts the priest who wants to celebrate Mass to prepare himself devoutly by a fast from the previous evening and by sacramental confession. Again, when he discusses the sacrament of Penance, he wants the priest who intends to celebrate to make his confession each time.[268] Our Colpetrazzo, in his life of P. Bernardino d’Asti, in order to emphasise the holiness of his life, says that he never missed the daily celebration of Mass. Hence it is to be concluded that the practice of celebrating daily was not common in the Order, though there was certainly no prohibition for priests whom devotion moved.[269]

3. The Constitutions were promulgated under the name and authority of Ludovico, for Matteo carried out the task of Vicar General only for a short time. Boverius narrates that “for a period of around two months” he did the visitation of the friars and later, because the office had taken him from preaching, he decided to abdicate. That period of two months to do the visitation seems protracted to me. The friars, who were few in number, lived in only four houses and had not yet expanded beyond their confined spaces. However, let us listen to the Annalist. He says, “Consequently, when Matteo came to the monastery at Fossombrone, he called there all the other Definitors and Fathers. Having given his good reasons, despite all the ways they sought to persuade him otherwise, in their presence he abandoned the office of General. At the same time, he left the seal of the Religion, the document and Bull with them… Immediately they looked to Ludovico, who was first Definitor, to whom under the title of Commissary fell the task of carrying out that office according to an ancient law and custom of the Order. They acknowledged him as Father and Shepherd of the little flock.”[270]

Mario instead says explicitly: “Fed up with the office within a few days, Matteo went to the friary at Fossombrone where Ludovico had been made guardian. Since Ludovico was the first Definitor, and because it had become a new congregation of friars, Matteo resigned from the office, placing in Ludovico’s hands the seal, the brief and the Bull which Ludovico had obtained.”[271]

Another writer, who committed to writing the sayings of the great, had before him in his hands records which are lost to us today. About Matteo he wrote, “He began the Reform and then governed it for nine days, or according to others, one year, and then he left it.” In another place, “Fra da Bascio, after he had governed the Congregation for nine days, or four months, or a year, went back to the Observants.”[272] That Matteo carried out the office of Vicar General a short time is confirmed in the promulgation of the Constitutions under the authority and name of Ludovico. However I have not been able to find a record of this time which might remove doubt concerning the dates of the Chapter and the abdication of Matteo.

Although he said a little earlier that Matteo carried out the visitation of the friars, Boverius shows us Ludovico continuing this visitation taken up by his predecessor. He would have been more candid to admit that the facts of the time are completely hidden to us and that a sure date for the foundation of the new friaries and the other things regarding the growth and spread of the Order are unknown.

The same Annalist continues, “Meanwhile Ludovico was thinking to himself about a journey to Rome, for various reasons, especially to be confirmed in the government of the Religion, which had been vacant because of Matteo’s renunciation. He also believed it necessary to prepare a residence in the city of Rome where it would be easier to elude the machinations of the persecutors whom he feared were to come. A house in Rome would be more convenient to take care of the affairs of the Religion.”[273] From the things to be said now, it seems probable that Ludovico turned his mind to getting apostolic confirmation, and the things presented below about preparing the residence in Rome are certain.

4. At an undetermined time Ludovico went to Rome to prepare a domicile for himself and his friars. One thing is clear to us, namely, that he had already established a presence in Rome by August 1529. According to the words of Boverius, who places the beginning of the celebration of the Chapter around the beginning of April, Matteo carried out the visitation for a period of about two months. If we stay with Boverius, as soon as Matteo resigned from office Ludovico succeeded him and took up the government of the Order in June. Therefore the first friary in Rome could have been established in Rome around the month of July. However, the doubts remain, as they do concerning the circumstances of this institution.

Let us listen to the same Boverius, who is supported by our early Chroniclers. “Having discussed and considered the matter with Caterina, the Duchess of Camerino, he received from her letters to the Pontiff and to Victoria Colonna, the Marchioness of “Aternum” or Pescara, an outstanding woman, who laudably blossomed in virtue. He hurried off to Rome straight away. There, as soon as possible, he worked to erect a monastery with Vittoria in the city. The final result was a certain small building dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was called Our Lady of Miracles. He obtained it from the Ospedale di San Giacomo degl’Incurabili, where he established the first presence in the city of Rome.”[274]

The protection of the Marchioness of Pescara for the nascent Congregation may be to her honour, but her stay in Rome at this time is not confirmed by any authentic document. On the contrary, in fact, it seems almost certain that she was absent.[275] Moreover her patronage is not required to explain the causes of the kind grant. Two of Caterina’s brothers were living in Rome at the time. Lorenzo Cybo was standard bearer of the holy Roman Church and Giovanni Battista Cybo, bishop of Mariana. Both were Custodians of the Ospedale di San Giacomo, under whose authority lay the little place Our Lady of Miracles. It was enough only for the Duchess to commend to them her client so that they themselves would apply to the administrators of the Hospital. If these things lack probability, nevertheless I am not proposing them as certainties. On the other hand that interpretation is more acceptable to me.[276]

When Ludovico came to Rome in 1526 he met, says Colpetrazzo, Francesco Vannucci, who showed him kindness at the time.

What might be a wonder is that Ludovico on his first arrival, had found him well disposed. Ludovico was unknown to him and beneath him. Before Ludovico had approached anyone else, he revealed his mind to Vannucci. Furthermore, Francesco fulfilled the office of Chamberlain in the aforesaid hospital.[277]

Therefore he would have been the best person of all to help obtain this residence. The things to be said now suggest that the two practices were connected.

That little edifice or chapel had been erected shortly before (1525) to protect an image of Mary, the glorious, ever-virgin Mother of God. This was because of the many miracles through the intercession of the same glorious Virgin Mother of God that the Most High deigned to work there for Christ’s faithful devoted to that image. Because of that devotion a multitude of people used to came there.[278] In the same year of 1525, with the Apostolic Letter Pastoralis officii (5 September),[279] Clement VII granted the petitions of the Custodians and Councilors of the Hospital, so that by apostolic authority the Chapel of this image, with each and every right and provision of its own, could appropriate and apply the offerings and alms brought and offered to that image for the provision of the hospital and incurably ill poor. More help could be provided to the needy and the poor helped more amply. The construction of the new church was decreed the following year, next to which a small dwelling was supplied for the Chaplain. That building was perhaps the first residence of the Ludovico and the Capuchins in Rome.

Chapter X

Capuchin origins in Calabria. 1. The sources for the history. 2. The beginnings of the Recollect reform. 3: These join the Order of Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life.

1. The illustrious Dr. Antonio Maria De Lorenzo of Reggio, Bishop of Melito (1889-1898) and then titular archbishop of Seleucia († November 1903) was a very diligent investigator of things about his home land. While discussing the origin of the Capuchins in Calabria, he considered discerning the truth within the obscurities of the narratives of the chroniclers almost impossible, until new documents, to this point unpublished, come to light.[280] I fully agree with this opinion. The new documents that the famous writer searched for avidly, I too have sought in vain. Therefore I will try to chose documents already known and that appear more reliable. A discussion first about the sources of such a history is appropriate.

a) I put before all of them, even though he was after that period, Paolo Gualtieri da Terranova or from “Thurium novum.”[281] He was a professor of philosophy and theology who in 1630 published his first book – a work entitled Glorioso trionfo over Leggendario di SS. Martiri di Calabria.[282] There he speaks at length about the origin of the Capuchins in Calabria. Although he might mix together what is false and doubtful with what is true, the volume he has left us is very useful, since he used manuscripts lost to us today and it was always his practice to indicate them. He also declared that he did not want to propose anything due to a lack of authentic writings. When he was aware of any error in the things he had written earlier and already had published, he is not ashamed to admit the mistake and correct it.[283] Nonetheless it is necessary to weigh up all his assertions. Therefore I include him here more on account of the documents he presents rather than because of this own dense discourse.

b) Because of his small stature Giovanni Romeo da Terranova, had the nickname “Giovannello.” Born at the beginning of the sixteenth century, he was a cleric and student in the friary in Oppido in May 1532. Hence it is clear that he wrote about the origins of the Capuchins in Calabria as an eye witness. In his second account, Mario da Mercato Saraceno advises us that in the friary of Motta Filocastro he heard from Giovanni the things which he (Marius) reports about the beginnings of the friars from Calabria, things “which he (Giovanni) had put in writing.”[284] However, the Chronicles which appeared under his name seem doubtful.[285] Gualtieri treats them cautiously since, he says, they have been altered twice.[286] Manuscript copies of these Chronicles of Giovannello, if there are any, are unknown today and we know about them only from the Historia sacra by the author Silvestro Maurolico, who states that what he presents about the origin of the Capuchins, he took from the writings of Giovanni da Terranova.[287] A hint of this alteration is already present in the title: De origine et principio Congregationis Capuccinorum in provincia Marchiae et Calabriae. If we weigh up the words of the above mentioned Marius, they do not mean that Giovannello wrote an entire history about the origins of the Capuchins in Calabria, but only an account about what happened in 1532.[288] You will search there in vain for things which happened earlier. Nevertheless he could known about them and had been a participant in them as well. Therefore how did one who passed over his own matters in silence, take up the account of the events of the friars in the Marches? What is more, how did he not know about these happenings until he was informed by Marius, since his own text had already been brought to Rome many years earlier.[289] If we can believe one modern author, the Chronicles of Giovannello were brought to Rome from the friary at Melito in 1554 by Eusebio da Ancona, the Vicar General of the Order.[290]

In his first edition of Bibliotheca Scriptorum Ordinis, when he records the history of Giovannello, Dionisio da Genova says “which he continued up until the year 1545.” He adds that the author had dedicated the history to the Cardinal of Santa Severina, the Cardinal Protector of our Order at the time. However he is unaware of the gross error in his calculation of the date. To correct this in the second edition he put, “up until the year 1571” which agrees with the history published by Maurolico.[291] However there is strong doubt that this is the genuine work of Giovannello. In fact if the history published by the outstanding Cistercian abbot is compared with Marius’ second Narration, at first glance one sees that with his history and Marius’ second narration, the one flows from the other. Giovannello, or the one who altered his work, often presents the testimony of Mario when he speaks about the things that happened in the Marches.[292] In the same way Mario refers to Giovannello when he considers the first Calabrian friars. Furthermore it is certain that Mario had written the second Narration to comply with the wishes of the Cardinal of Santa Severina.[293] Therefore the time in which he wrote should be situated between 13 March 1570 and 7 September 1578. Even if there in the codex which I use there is no mention of the year 1571, as found in Maurolico, he could have written in this very year, even if I should want to post date a little the composition of this second Narration.[294]

I said that Giovannello or the author of the modifications often presents the testimony of Mario when he describes the things that happened in the Marches. Where he discusses the events in Calabria he often speaks in the first person “I, Giovanni da Terranova.” Therefore Maurolico could have and should have attributed to Giovannello the history which he included in his work. He was not concerned with researching the identity of the genuine author.

Another question arises. Did the aforesaid abbot have longer writings, parts of which he took up, and correctly quoted those he had? No one can answer this, but it is certain that not everything found in Gualtieri’s amplification comes from Giovannello, and the things which he cut out or omitted are obvious.[295]

Given what has just been said above about the transportation of the Chronicles of Giovannello to Rome in 1554, there are obvious alterations. Many things are transmitted which in fact happened after the aforesaid year.[296]

Whatever it may be, however, the Chronicles of Giovannello are to be considered of great importance in illustrating the events that took place in Calabria in 1532.

Our friars report that Giovannello was a man of outstanding virtue and a strong defender of the Faith against heretics. Many works are attributed to him, of which voracious time has robbed us. The title of one alone is found, which they say was printed in Venice in 1566: Tractatus de recta in Deum Fide. However, this is no longer to be found today. He died in Galatro in 1573, in his seventieth year.[297]

c) Girolamo da Dinami, who flourished in the middle of the sixteenth century, also wrote a history of the Capuchins of Calabria. Having entered the Religion in 1540[298] he came to Rome in 1558, as he reports. He stayed in Venice for many months in 1565 where he gave sermons or scriptural readings in the churches of Holy Apostles and Saint Sylvester.[299] Gualtieri frequently uses his testimony, a manuscript work, referring to it sometimes as “Ex Reforma Capucina,” or “Fra Girolamo da Dinami nella sua Riforma Capuccina.” Often he simply says “Ex Historia F. Hieronymi a Dinami.”[300] P. Bonaventura Campagna also refers to him, whom he calls the most eminent and learned preacher of his time.[301]

Perhaps he had already begun to write the work in 1559, as I deduce from Gualtieri, who then repeats a letter transcribed by him from those times. He also reports something which he saw and heard in Rome in 1558. The same Bonaventura tells that Girolamo went to Rome again in 1580. However the time of his death is unknown. Those who used his writings remain silent about this. The work which he wrote seems lost today and only a few fragments have come down to us in Bonaventura and Gualtieri. The author of the work Della Calabria illustrata also refers to it.[302]

d) Gualtieri had in his hands a history which P. Martino da San Martino had written.

e) He also mentions a manuscript of fra Stefano da Francica, who was one of the first Calabrian friars.

f) In another place he praises P. Francesco da Paola, de Spinellis, philosopher, theologian and outstanding preacher “who wrote histories of the Capuchins.”

All these are lost to us.

g) A manuscript codex is kept in our Archives in Rome entitled: Cronaca Capuccina in cui si tratta del principio et origine de’Frati Minori Capuccini in questa Provincia di Reggio. Della vita, miracoli et opere maravigliose de’ due primi Beati Fondatori di essi Capuccini Lodovico, e Bernardino il Giorgio da Reggio et di molti altri di quei antichi Padri e Fratelli, tanto di essa città di Reggio, che di altri luoghi, che fiorirono in virtù e miracoli. Composta dal Molto Reverendo Padre Bonaventura Campagna da Reggio, Diffinitore Cappuccino. In Reggio l’anno 16[303] The remainder of the date is missing because of a small tear in the paper. Nevertheless the work of Bonaventure had already been completed before 1630 since Gualtieri used it in his book published then. Gualtieri calls him Bonaventura the Younger to distinguish him from the other Bonaventura likewise from Reggio, who lived in the previous century and whose life is narrated in the same Chronicles. Very often Gualtieri refers to him in this way: “The history by F. Bonaventura da Reggio the younger.”[304]

Bonaventura Campagna died in Naples in the friary of Saint Euphebius in 1655.[305] Given the lack of very early writings, his Chronicles are not to be rejected outright, even though he did not know how to discern the beginnings of the Order in Calabria from the records he had at hand.

h) Enrico Nava da Reggio, who was a preacher by the year 1747, carried out the office of Secretary in his Province.[306] Of his manuscript works one remains, namely, Trattata del principio e progresso della Religione Cappuccina in Calabria, which, with the suppression of the regular friaries, was deposited in the library of the Comune of Reggio. Later however, when the library was transferred to another location the work was lost.[307]

In 1771 the venerable servant of God, P. Gesualdo Malacrinò da Reggio made a copy of it kept today in the Archives of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, along with the other works of the servant of God. Recently it was transcribed and the copy deposited in our Archives in Rome.

I have not examined the work of Enrico, nor do I have it in my care today, since he knew, from what I have been told, the early records, e.g. the writings of Girolamo da Dinami, except for Bonaventura and Gualtieri. The work should be evaluated just like the other work he composed, and which as one qualified author advises, should be used with caution.[308] Discussing the beginnings, he tries to prove that the title and distinction as founders of our Order belong to the first friars of Calabria, not only in that province but even in Italy.[309] I will say what I think of this kind of opinion later. I have not found the date of the death of Enrico Nava.

i) By way of conclusion I submit the often cited work of P. Fortunato Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei cappuccini di Reggio Calabria, which he sent to press there in 1885.[310] This contains old and new institutions[311] of the early friars and does not make any critical judgement to distinguish true from false.

I am more hesitant in taking up these words regarding the history. I believe it is impossible to resolve the obscurity surrounding the beginnings of the Order in Calabria, especially before 1529. I shall attempt to shed some light on them, in so far as I can.

2. While all the things related to this point happened in the Marches, God had earlier prepared a particular group of friars in the province of Calabria. At the time ordained by Him they joined our first Fathers and the Order extended to the furthest regions of Italy.

It was said in Chapter One that just after the union of the various Franciscan reform families sanctioned by Leo X, a new reform had begun in many provinces and friaries were assigned to those who wanted to live more austerely. In Calabria there was no shortage of friars of spirit, whose leaders were P. Ludovico Comi and Bernardino Molizzi, who was called “Giorgio.” Both were from Reggio and put on the habit of the Observant Friars Minor on the same day. Both were also disciples of Francesco Lichetto in Brescia, a famous reader in theology at the time. The zeal for perfection was no less in them than that of doing their studies. Consequently with many others in their province they embraced a more austere way of life. Opponents to this life did not dare stop them, knowing that they were protected by the aforesaid Lichetto, elected Minister General of the Order (11 July 1518.)

When Lichetto died prematurely (November 1520), the reform, already endangered, disappeared under the oppression of his successor, until Francesco de Angelis was elected. He had already propagated the reform in Spain under the name of the ‘Recollection.’ He had prescribed wise rules for it. Circumstance might smile again upon the friars wanting to live a stricter life. After visiting the Neapolitan province (September 1515), he went to Basilicata where (18 October) he ordered that the recollect friars be given two friaries.[312] He did not go to Calabria but sent his Commissary who celebrated the Chapter. I could easily believe that then three friaries were given to the reformed friars of this province. They were commonly called Colletti. The three friaries were Saint Sergio (Tropea), Saint Francis (Terranova) and Saint Philip (Cinquefrondi). I believe that those times of remarkable progress for the Recollects in Calabria that the writers tell about ought to be recounted.

Of those times (1525-1526) the writers of Calabria present Ludovico da Reggio and Bernardino Giorgio staying some time in Rome in the friary of the Holy Apostles. Let us listen to Girolamo da Dinami: “I will not fail to relate the things which a certain very old lay friar, fra Bonifazio d’Anticoli, stated to me in Rome in 1580. He was staying in the friary of Holy Apostles, where the Conventuals now reside. There with him were P. Ludovico and Bernardino Giorgio. This friary was of the Reformed friars. Later, when that Reform did not go ahead, having returned to Calabria they began the Recollects. This happened in 1526.”[313] Let us consider each of these things.

It is known that this fra Bonifazio d’Anticoli was in fact a Conventual before he transferred to the Capuchins, along with many others who were living then (before 1537) in Anticoli. Even as a lay friar he was guardian and novice master for thirty years. Among his disciples was St. Felice da Cantalice. Felix went to heaven on 19 May 1587 and his novice master survived him. They say he died around one hundred years of age. Therefore Girolamo could have seen him still in Rome in 1580. It is not unlikely that he, who had been a Conventual,[314] stayed in Rome at Holy Apostles. However it is not likely that this friary had been a friary of the Reform. It had been built by the Conventuals around the year 1463 and from that time was their primary friary in Rome.[315] After the division of the Order by Leo X (1517) it was the residence of their own General. In no way, “at that time was it in under the care or authority of the Observant Friars”, as Boverius asserts without hesitation, who in order to establish their likely sojourn among the Conventuals, writes that it was necessary for them to receive permission from the Supreme Pontiff.[316] Our Annalist is accustomed to multiply pontifical faculties to suit his purposes, and he always fails to describe their tenor. It means that he took these things from the manuscripts of the province of Calabria. We do not know which writings these were. Bonaventura Campagna, who refers to the testimony of Girolamo da Dinami cited above, simply says they had permission, but he does not reveal the scope of such a faculty.[317]

Gualtieri says however, “The aforesaid blesseds (Ludovico and Bernardino) da Reggio, around the year 1525, obtained an Apostolic Brief, in which the faculty was given them to attend to their own reform in the friary of the Holy Apostles in Rome, where they stayed for some time. The manuscript history of fra Stefano da Francica has something about this. He was one of the Friars assembled at Saint Martins’ and clothed in the Capuchin habit in Flogs (1532), and was present at the death of blessed Ludovico (19 December 1535).[318] It is regrettable that Gualtieri did not put down the very words of Stefano, which would have been of great importance in solving this question.[319]

Enrico Nava writes that the Friary of the Holy Apostles was given to the friars of Calabria by Francesco de Angelis, Minister General of the Observants, as if he had jurisdiction in that place.[320]

Therefore I do not deny that they sought a letter from the Sacred Penitentiary to lead the eremitical life under the obedience and jurisdiction of the General of the Conventuals, or had simply transferred to their company according to the form of the Bull of Leo X, in the same way it happened later with our first Fathers of the Marches.

With the lack of dependable records and admitting no exception, the stay of Ludovico and Bernardino in the friary of the Holy Apostles is shrouded in darkness, which are impossible to dispel today. They returned to Calabria in 1526, says Bonifazio d’Anticoli, and then founded the Recollects. Given that they were in Rome in 1525 they could have had the necessary faculties easily from the Minister General Francesco de Angelis, who arrived in Rome on the last day of July. Indeed a document sought from the Pope would not have been necessary , as Boverius asserts again.[321]

We have returned to the things which were said above regarding the foundation of the three friaries of the Recollection in Calabria at the end of 1525, or at the beginning of the following year, which can be taken as certain.

3. Francesco de Angelis could not watch over the reform that had been his care, distracted under papal command by other occupations It was necessary for him to hand over his government papal command with other occupationsof the Order to the Cismontane General Commissary, Paolo di Parma, a severe adversary of the reformers. Under his leadership the friars were driven out from the friaries of recollection and dispersed to other places to live like the others. It is clear that this happened in Calabria. The Vicar General was able to hound the Recollects but was impotent to extinguish the spirit that led them. Although separated from each other, they remained firmly united in mind and they looked forward to the time when they might come together again. Finally they obtained the hermitage of Sant’Angelo da Valletuccio from the canons of the cathedral church in the diocese of Reggio.[322] They were not deterred from their holy purpose and decided to petition for a letter from the Sacred Penitentiary giving them permission to lead the eremitical life in that hermitage.

To this end Bernardino Giorgio and P. Antonio de Randolis[323] came to Rome around the beginning of the month of August 1529, and asked for a document to allow them “to lead the eremitical life outside the Order in their hermitage of Sant’Angelo in Valletuccio, with eleven or twelve other friars of the same profession according to the Rule of the Friars Minor.”

With the matter happily concluded, while he was still staying in Rome, Bernardino heard that Ludovico da Fossombrone had instituted a new congregation that the Pontiff approved. To explore the truth of the matter he went to Ludovico who better informed him about everything he had heard, and about why he had come to Rome, and he showed him the letter obtained from the Sacred Penitentiary. They discussed among themselves the matters that needed to be stipulated with regard to an amalgamation, things he could not put into effect without the consent of the other friars, especially Ludovico da Reggio, who was their leader.[324]

Consequently on 16 August 1529, to the home of the Neapolitan D. Berardo Ruta, apostolic notary, in the presence of witnesses, two of whom were from Reggio, a third, also a Neapolitan, had been called. He was the apostolic notary whom we have already met, namely Francesco Vannucci. He made the document of this amalgamation. Although the document may be found in Boverius and I take many things from that record, it should be presented here, since it is the first irrefutable witness regarding the history of the Capuchins of Calabria.

In nomine Domini. Amen. Anno a Nativitate Domini 1529, Ind.2, mensis augusti die 16, Pontificatus sanctissimi in Christo Patris et Domini nostri D. Clementis divina providentia Papae vii, anno sexto. In praesentia mei Notarii et testium infrascriptorum ad haec specialiter vocatorum et rogatorum, constitutus Vener. In Christo P. Fr. Ludovicus Forosemproniensis, Vicarius generalis Ordinis Minorum de Vita Eremitica secundum Regulam B. Francisci, asseruit se habere quasdam Literas Apostolicas, quas et authenticas demonstravit, ac de verbo ad verbum legendas tradidit, quarum principium tale erat: Clemens Episcopus servus servorum Dei. Dilectis filiis Ludovico et Raphaeli Forosemproniensibus, etc. Ex quarum vigore, et ex eo praesertim, quod ultra privilegia concessa Fratribus Ordinis Minorum, gaudent provilegiis hactenus concessis et in posterum concedendis Fratribus Eremitis Eremi Camaldulensibus S. Romualdi, tam in genere quam in specie: in quibus Camaldulensis conceditur posse recipere ad suum consortium nedum venientes saeculares, sed etiam ecclesiasticas ac religiosas cujuscumque Ordinis ac Professionis existant, ut patet in nobis ostensis et eorum lectis authenticis literis Eugenii Papae, confirmatis et corroboratis per Leonem X, ut per suas authenticas literas, quae etiam coram nobis praelectae sunt, patet, quarum Eugenii literarum tenor talis est: Eugenius Episcopus servus servorum Dei. Dilectis filiis Priori et universis fratribus Domus Fratrum Eremi Camaldulensis, praesentibus et futuris salutem et apostolicam benedictionem, etc.

Quapropter praesentialiter et coram nobis Fr. Bernardinus Georgius de Rhegio, et Fr. Antonius de Randolis, Provinciae Calabriae sacerdotes Ordinis Minorum de Observantia comparuerunt, asserentes, quod nuper eis concessum et indultum Apostolica auctoritate, una cum decem seu duodecim aliis ejusdem Professionis fratribus, possint extra Ordinem, juxta Regulam Fratrum Minorum vitam eremiticam ducere: et patet per authenticas et coram nobis lectas literas sacrae Poenitentiariae. Et propterea desiderant, una cum praefatis fratribus et eorum eremo S. Angelis de Valle Tucis Rheginae diocesis, recipi in consortium ipsorum Fratribus de Vita Eremitica s. Francisci, et sub eorundem obedientia eis penitus incorporari: ut sic vitam propositam non extra, sed in ipso Ordine praefato et Congregatione minorum profiteri possint.

Eapropter supplices praedicatum P.F. Ludovicum, Generalem Vicarium obsecrarunt, quatenus eorum precibus benignum praestans auditum, dignetur illos recipere, et sibi ac praemissae Familae aggregare.

Quapropter dictus Pater ejusdem Congregationis Vicarius Generalis, eorum supplicationibus annuens, ad eorum animarum salutem et Dei gloriam, nedum auctoritate communis juris, quo cuique conceditur posse licite ad strictiorem vitam transire, sed etiam vigore praememoratorum privilegiorum, in suae Congregationis gremium eos praesentes, rogantes et consentientes, et praefatos alios decem, seu dodecim, juxta praefatam Bullam Poenitentiariae receptos vel recipiendos, una cum Eremo praefato, recipit, illos Familiae antedictae ordinis Minorum de Vita Eremitica B. Francisci, uniendo ac incorporando, et prasentium tenore eos receptos, aggregatos, unitos et incorporatos dictae Familiae declarando:

Ordinans eis insuper et praesentium tenore demandans, quatenus in Provinciam Calabriae accedant, ibique una cum aliis se tam in habitu, quam reliquis actibus ad observantiam puritatis Regulae Fratrum Minorum pertinentibus praefatae Familiae conforment: ac sic conformati unum ex eis Provincialem Vicarium canonice eligant. Quem sic electum praefatus P. Ludovicus nedum in Vicarium in Provincia Calabriae, ex nunc, prout ex tunc confirmat, sed etiam in suum Commissarium in plenitudine potestatis instituit, institutumque declarat, tradens ei omnimodam potestatem recipiendi fratres, ac multiplicandi loca et eremos, juxta eisdem concessa privilegia, prout magis Regulae B. Francisci omnimodae observantiae videbitur expedire. Et denique omnia et singula faciendi et attendandi, quae ipsemet faceret et attentaret.

Ad quorum omnium fidem utraque pars me Notarium rogavit infrascriptum, ut de praedictis cunctis publicum conficerem instrumentum, unum vel plura, prout opus fuerit, ad sensum sapientis, non mutata substantia veritatis.

Actum Romae, in Regione Campi Martii, in domo habitationis Domini Berardi Rutae Neapolitani. Praesentibus ibidem nobilibus ac RR. viris infrascriptis, R.D. Berardo Ruta, Abbate Joanne Thoma Bardana Rhegino, D. Hieronymo de Alessio a Catanzaro, D. Matthaeo Giaria Rhegino et D. Marco testibus ad praemissa vocatis atque rogatis.

Et ego Franciscus Vannutius, Clericus Romanus, publicus Apostolica auctoritate Notarius, Archivii Romanae Curiae Scriptor, quia praedictis omnibus, una cum praefatis testibus praesens fui et in notam sumpsi: ideo in fidem et testimonium praemissorum et singulorum me subscripsi et publicavi: meque solito signo signavi, una cum appensione sigilli Archivii Romanae Curiae in cera rubea, et capsula lignea, et cordula similis coloris impressi pendentis, rogatus et requisitus.

Ego qui supra Berardus Ruta de Neapoli, Apostolicus Protonotarius, testis interfui, et me propria manu subscripsi.

Ego Abbas Joannes Thomas Bardanus Rheginus testis sum ac interfui, et me propria manu subscripsi.

Ego Matthaeus Hiaria de Rhegio testis interfui, et me propria manu subscripsi.

Ego Marcus de Falco Clericus Neapoliotanus testis sum ad supradicta, et in omnibus interfui.[325]

Before we go on to other things, there are many things deserving of observation in this record.[326] First and foremost the letter shows more clearly in the light of day, that the postulate of the writers of Calabria differs from the truth. They want to attribute the origin of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin to the Recollects of this province. Let us listen to their standard-bearer, Bonaventura Campagna. Chapter 37 of book One of his Chronicles he wrote, “How those blessed Fathers of Reggio were the true founders of the Order of Capuchin Fathers.”[327] “The Fathers of the Marches have,” he says, “a Brief granted first to B. Matteo and P. Ludovico da Fossombrone, rather than to our B. Ludovico da Reggio. However such a concession and Brief have been revoked many times at the demands of the Observant Fathers. The last Brief in fact, though it had never been revoked, was first granted to Bl. Ludovico da Reggio. At the insistence of the Duchess of Camerino, it was also granted to Ludovico da Fossombrone. Consequently, the first to ask for the Pontifical Brief, as in the reform, were the Fathers of Calabria. That Brief addressed to Ludovico da Reggio was kept by our fathers in the friary at Melito until 1554, when it was taken to Rome by P. Eusebio d’Ancona, the General, because the Religion did not have another. The one granted to Fossombrone was lost when he left us.”[328]

Campagna thinks his demonstration corroborates with the testimony of Girolamo da Dinami who says, “After many days P. Ludovico da Reggio went to Rome with P. Francesco da Dipignano. They also took with them Orlando da Catanzaro, a member of a servant of the Duke of Nocera, furnished with a letter of recommendation from the same Duke to the many very illustrious men with whom he had some influence. Better informed by their conversation, the Pontiff revoked the Brief issued against them. Blessing them, he allowed them to lead this holy life. They also asked for another Brief allowing them to persevere in this life and to received anyone, even Carthusians. This Brief was in the old friary at Melito… After returning to Calabria they began to accept friaries. The first Motta Filocastro.”[329]

All these things are to be weighed individually. I grant, and have already said above, that the Fathers of Calabria began their reform before Matteo returned with permission from Clement VII. However the question remains. The whole controversy is about the Papal document by which the new family is founded.

Campagna does not deny that the first Brief had been granted to Matteo and Ludovico da Fossombrone. More probably he understands for the word “Brief” the Letter of the Sacred Penitentiary given 18 May 1526, in which Ludovico, Raffaele and Matteo were permitted to lead the eremitical life, which he asserts was revoked by the demands of the superiors of the Observance. Later in the order of time, he places the Brief granted to Ludovico da Reggio before Fossombrone obtained a similar Brief with the pleas of the Duchess of Camerino.[330] Here it must stop. One does not read of any other Brief granted at the intercession of Caterina except the one given in Viterbo, 3 July 1528, and procured in the form of a Bull, Religionis zelus. We not only have this Brief, but to this day it is found among the original writings in the records of Clement vii in the Vatican Archives. To the contrary, The one they would have given to Ludovico da Reggio is completely unknown. There is no trace of such a Brief.

More importantly, if Ludovico obtained such a Brief before 3 July 1528, there was no reason for Bernardino da Reggio to come to Rome the following year to solicit a Letter from the Sacred Penitentiary, and there would be mention of this letter in the cited Instrument of amalgamation. Indeed such a granting would be quite useless, since the Brief granted to Ludovico da Reggio “must never be revoked” according to Campagna’s own testimony.

Girolamo da Dinami, whose authority he invokes, rather than confirm his thesis, clashes with it. He speaks about the two Briefs: about one that the Pope revoked, at the insistence of the Duke of Nocera, and of another which he granted to Ludovico. The first is known to us from the Chronicles of Giovanni da Terranova, who refers to it being issued against the friars of Calabria in August 1532 and is found in the Vatican Archives under the date 3 July 1532. This will be presented in its turn. No trace is found of the second Brief graciously granted them, where they were allowed to receive anyone, even Carthusians. Padre Dinami admits that he had not seen it because it had been taken to Rome before he wrote his history.

If the Brief had been obtained, as Dinami would like, this was not before July 1532, when it had already been granted to Fossombrone in 1528 to receive whosoever to his company, even Carthusians, by virtue of the Camaldolese privileges, which are precisely what he used to aggregate the Calabrian friars to the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life.

In fact, regarding the things that Dinami says occurred in 1532, he compromises himself when he says, “Having returned to Calabria they began to accept places, especially Motta Filocastro.” From Giovanni da Terranova already cited it is evident that before they had no place of their own in Calabria, but went around here and there almost like lost sheep. He testifies that he shared his hut with snakes day and night.

What more? Before Matteo da Bascio and Ludovico da Fossombrone had been able to give attention to the reform and propagate it everywhere, the friars of Calabria had not in any way instituted a distinct family approved by the Apostolic See. They were also unable to complete anything before their amalgamation with the Friars of the Eremitical Life could be brought into effect. However the fact should not be pre-empted: it is enough to have shown that the claims of their writers who strive to ascribe the origin of the Order of Capuchins to the friars of Calabria are inconsistent with the authentic documents. The institution of our Order is to be found nowhere else than in the Bull of Clement VII, Religionis zelus, 3 July 1528, granted to Ludovico and Raffaele da Fossombrone.

Furthermore what Dinami says about the removal of the Brief from the friary at Melito in 1554 should be clarified. He says this happened because the Religion had no other Brief, since the one given to Ludovico Fossombrone had gone missing. Evidently he is referring to Religionis zelus. It is possible that Ludovico da Fossombrone kept the original for himself when he left in 1536. It is also possible that no copy had been kept in the possession of the superiors of the Order. Therefore it is no wonder if Eusebius d’Ancona, finding an authentic copy of the Bull, took it to Rome. Where, though, did that authentic copy come from? This is easily discovered from what is to be said now, for our chroniclers report that when Bernardino da Reggio headed to Rome for the finalisation of the agreement with the Vicar General of the Friars of the Eremitical Life, he brought an authentic copy of Religionis zelus with him. This is quite likely. This is implicitly shown by what is said in the executorial document given in Naples 26 September 1529, which mentions the Apostolic Letter, dated Viterbo 3 July 1528.

It is clear from the wording of the instrument that Ludovico accepted the Recollect friars of Calabria in virtue of the privileges Eugene IV granted to the Camaldolese Hermits. He allowed them “ut omnes et singulos, cujuscunque Ordinis existant, de quibuscunque Congregationibus, Domibus, seu Monasteriis, sive Mendicantium, sive non Mendicantium, etiam Carthusiensis Ordinis venerint … Superiorum ipsorum licentia petita licet non obtenta, sine cujusquam contradictione … recipere et ritinere possitis.”[331]

We may also conclude, from other words, that the letter of the Sacred Penitentiary submitted the Recollects of Calabria to the obedience and correction of the Ordinary in Reggio, in whose diocese the Hermitage of Sant Angelo da Valletuccio was located. Otherwise one might not read there that they wanted to be incorporated into the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life of Saint Francis, “so thus they may be able to profess the proposed life not outside, but within that Order and Congregation of Minors itself.” Therefore that letter was in the usual Curia form to allow someone or to others to lead the eremitical life outside the Order. Nevertheless much more abundant faculties were designated in the letter than those accorded to Ludovico and his five other Observant companions of the Marches. For example, they were allowed to take with them books and vestments which they had ad usum to celebrate Mass and the Divine Office, to administer the Sacraments, to preach and to elect a President, as is read in the pontifical document issued against them 27 May 1530 as presented below.

Ludovico is adorned with the title of Vicar General. Because we are dealing here with a public instrument, composed by the hand of the Apostolic Notary, we must believe that he had been given this authority and title legally. Boverius, who without hesitation always involves the Supreme Pontiff, says that Ludovico went to Clement VII and told him about Matteo’s spontaneous abdication from the office of General, “in which capacity and authority,” declared Ludovico, “Matteo administered the Reform up to that point. The Pontiff however, did not want the yet small Reform to be bothered by a new chapter. Since he considered Ludovico without equal for this task, Clement VII made him Commissary General of the Reform, by Apostolic authority – until when established in greater numbers, a new assembly may be convoked more conveniently for the election of a Vicar General.”[332] These things are based on the authority of the good Colpetrazzo, whose authority nevertheless I consider unequal in arousing credibility. It would be ideal, I say, if Ludovico managed to have this authority confirmed for himself through the mediation of the Cardinal Protector. In fact, most probably our Chroniclers present the aforesaid Cardinal to have never failed, when necessary, to exercise his authority for the little flock of Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life, whose foundation he had defended.

I return now to the series of events. Bernardino Giorgio returned with his companion to Calabria, carrying the instrument of amalgamation made on 16 August, together with the a copy of the Bull of approval, Religionis zelus, and the Constitutions, as well as the shape of the cowl. Passing through Naples Bernardino asked for a regal executorial letter which was ready on 26 September, issued by Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, the Vice-Chancellor and general surrogate for the viceroy Philibert, Prince of Orange. This is the letter:

Carolus, etc.

Pompeus, etc. Reverendis in Christo Patribus quibuscunque Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, eorumque Vicariius, Clericis, Capitulis generalibus, Ministris, guardianis, aliis Ecclesiasticis et religiosis personis, nec non illustribus spectabilibus, et magnificis nobilibus et egregiis viris quibuscunque, Baronibus titulatis et non titulatis, Gubernatoribus, Auditoribus, Capitaneis, Universitatibus, caeterisque aliis ad quos spectabit, et praesentes pervenerint, Regis fidelibus dilectis gratiam regiam et bonam voluntatem:

Nuper Sanctitas Papae Clementis Septimi providit quod frater Ludovicus et Raphael de Foro Sempronio Ordinis Minorum congregare potissent certum numerum fratrum Ordinis praedicti, in quodam Brevi contentum, et ducere vitam heremitariam ubicunque eis placuerit, et quod possint admitti in locis heremitariis quibuscunque, prout seriosius continetur in quibusdam litteris in forma Brevis sub datum Viterbii, tertio julii millesimo quingentesimo vigesimo octavo, Pontificatus ejusdem anno quinto: et quibusdam litteris acceptatoriis et commissionalibus, factis per Reverendum Vicarium Generalem Ordinis praedicti in personam fratris Bernardini Georgii de Rhegio et sociorum.

Fuit propterea pro ipsorum parte nobis supplicatum, quatenus regias exequutoriales pro praemissorum exequutione, et quod nullum impedimentum eisdem inferatur, expediri facere, et providere dignaremur. Nos autem volentes cum dispisitionibus praefatis, ut par est, reddere conformes, hortantes et requirentes vos omnes Ecclesiastics personas, praecipimus et mandamus vobis omnibus supradictis, et cuilibet vestrum in solidum, quatenus servata forma Brevis praefati, et acceptoriarum litterarum, illam in omnibus et per omnia ad unguem inviolabiliter observetis, et exequamini, ac exequi, et observari faciatis per quos decet, juxta ipsarum continentiam, nullumque impedimentum inferatis, nec inferri permictatis, immo praestetis, praestarique faciatis omne auxilium, consilium, et favorem opportunum et necessarium, juxta Brevis praefati, et litterarum praefatarum acceptoriarum continentiam et tenorem, omni dubio et difficultate cessantibus: et contrarium non faciatis, pro quanto vos, Ecclesiasticae personae, praefatis Mayestatibus et Nobis morem gerere et obtemperare cupitis; caeteri vero praefati omnes, pro quanto gratiam praefatarum Mayestatum caram habetis, ac poenam duorum millium [ducatorum?] cupitis evitare: praesentibus Regio sigillo a tergo impressis praesentatis singulis vicibus remansuris.

Datum in Civitate Neapoli, die vigesimo sexto mensis Septembris millesimo quingentesimo vigesimo nono.

Pompeus, Vicecancellarius, locumtenens generalis, vidit.
Vidit de Colle, Regens.
Vidit Loffredus, Regens.
Thomas, Episcopus Triventinus, Regius Capellanus major, vidit.
Dominus Locumtenens generalis mandavit mihi Coriolano Martirano, pre-secretario.[333]

Ludovico da Reggio, for his own motives and reasons unknown to us, thought it opportune to wait a little. On account of this, the agreed union between the Recollect Friars of Calabria and the Minors of the Eremitical Life did not come into effect for the time being.

Chapter XI

1. The General of the Observance harshly persecutes the Reform. 2. The Capuchins are involved in the ministry of the sick in the Ospedale di San Giacomo. 3. New friaries in Rome. 4. They establish a residence in Naples.

1. If in some provinces, as the Roman one, friaries of the Recollection founded by Francesco de Angelis endured,[334] in other provinces the Reform had been brought down. Therefore it is no wonder if certain zealous friars appealed to the Sacred Penitentiary, in the same way that the Recollects of Calabria did, so that exempt from the authority of the superiors of the Order they might be permitted to lead the more austere life they desired. This observation was necessary, for it seems unlikely to me that the Apostolic Letter, obtained by the Minister General of the Observance towards the end of 1529, is directed only against our Friars of the Eremitical Life but also the Recollects of Calabria. The General was Paolo Pisotti da Parma. He was already Commissary General when, in the Chapter celebrated in Parma on the vigil of Pentecost 15 May 1529, he had been coopted as Minister General. A hostile adversary of the Reformers, he seems to apply his mind to their complete destruction. “With either impetuous animus or inflamed zeal, in whatever way he could, he energetically expounded to the Pontiff his concerns and called for a remedy.”[335] Since our friars are evidently included in the number of those with whom the letter deals, it is necessary to present it.

Dilecto filio Generali Ministro Ordinis Fr. Minorum de Observantia nuncupatorum.

Dilecte fili etc. Cum nuper non sine mentis nostrae perturbatione nobis innotuit, nonnulli Ordinis Fr. Minorum de Observantia nuncupatorum professores, fallaciis hostis antiqui seducti, et poenitentia inchoati benefacti jam fatigati, ac suae professionis et salutis immemores, favoribus propinquorum et amicorum in Romana Curia residentium, exemptiones ab ordinariis Superioribus ipsius Ordinis sibi obtinere procurant, et ut liberius absque correctore vivere valeant, se ipsos Ordinariis diocesanis, sive Magistro et Superiori Fr. Conventualium immediate subjiciunt: et licet se ab Ordine exemerint, tamen habitu de dicto Ordine reputari, ac illius privilegiis et immunitatibus se protegi et defensari volunt, ac cum illis, Dei et Religionis honore postergatis, almam Urben nostram et extra eam soli peragrare et discurrere, ac tabernas et alia loca viris religiosis minus congruentia requirere et inhabitare non erubescunt, in grande dedecus Religionis et Ordinis sacerdotalis, ac eorum qui a votis solemniter emissis, nulla cogente necessitate, resiliunt, animarum pacem et periculum, necnon Observantiae hujusmodi ac religionis honestatis, fratrumque regulariter in suis conventibus sub observantia regulari viventium praejudicium.

Et cum tales fugitivi, quibusdam falsis et subreptitiis impetrationibus a nobis, sive a Poenitentiaria nostra extortis protecti, ordinaria Religionis disciplina prohiberi nequeant, maxime cum dictae Curiae officiales, quamvis de contrario informati, hujusmodi impetratas concessiones defendere et impetratoribus favere, quantum in ipsis est, nitantur, ut nulli Judices ordinarii dictae Curiae, seu executores illius justitiae, cum ad illos pro auxilio opportuno reclamatur, quamvis coram illis litterae felicis recordationis Sixti IV, Innocentii VIII, Alexandri VI, Julii II, Leonis X Romanorum Pontificum predecessorum nostorum in forma Brevis editae, et contra similes insolentias multipliciter impetratae producantur, asserentes se cum Cardinalibus et Praelatis ac aliis Officialibus Curiae hujusmodi contendere nolle; Fratribus dicti Ordinis in juris subsidium ad compescendas talium insolentias fugitivorum, et Ordinis salutarem disciplinam declinantium assistere nolint: plurimi ex defectu castigationis talium exemplo allecti, hanc viam sic apertam intrepide ingredi praesumunt. Sicque Religio in sanctitate instituta dissipatur et ruit, non sine populorum scandalo et universalis Ecclesiae praejudicio.

Nos hujusmodi abusus, errores et excessus submovere, ac super his, ne deteriora parturiant, congruentibus remediis obviare volentes, omnia et singula Apostolica rescripta, ac litteras sun plumbo, necnon in forma Brevis sub anulo Piscatoris, quibusvis Ordinis et Observantiae praedictorum professoribus, super exemptione ab ordinariis superioribus ipsius Ordinis, et aliis praemissis quomodolibet, necnon pro inchoanda nove secta, seu novo modo vivendi sub alterius, quam sub hujus, pro tempore existentis dicti Ordinis Generalis Ministri obedientia, aut pro erigendis novis Congregationibus, seu domibus, praeter et contra voluntatem tuam, aut tui Vice-Ministri et Commissarii quomodolibet concessa et concessas, quorum tenores presentibus haberi volumus pro expressis, auctoritate Apostolica, tenore praesentium revocamus, cassamus, irritamus et annullamus, nulliusque roboris vel momenti existere, ac tanquam per falsi suggestionem et veri suppressionem, extorta, pro non concessis, ac si numquam concessa fuissent haberi, nec in aliquo suffragari debere decernimus. Districtius inhibentes in virtute sanctae obedientiae tibi et pro tempore existenti Ministro Generali praefato, ne novas sectas in dicto Ordine introduci, nec illius fratres alio novo nomine, quam quod beatus Franciscus ab Apostolica Sede sibi dari et concedi obtinuit, nominari permittas.

Necnon quibuscumque solicitatoribus et aliis Curiam praedictam sequentibus, etiam eisdem fratribus fugitivis quavis consanguinitate, affinitate, amicitia conjunctis, necnon ejusdem Curiae Officialibus, ne sub praetextu temporalis lucri, similes litteras talibus fratribus absque praedictorum Superiorum licentiam scriptis authenticis producenda tradant, concedant vel expediant. Necnon quibusvis Ecclesiarum parochialium Rectoribus aut Curatis, ac aliis quacumque dignitate ecclesiastica, seu officio in dicta Curia praefulgeant, ne quemquam talium ad exercitium curae animarum parochianorum suorum et administrationem Sacramentorum, solis Curatis spectantium, absque eo quod illis de licentia praedicta legitime constiterit, admittere, nec eosdem fratres exemptos de cetero in districtu parochianorum suorum superpelliceum super habitu ipsorum gestare permittant, ipsisque fratribus ne de cetero extra eorum conventus habitum, eorum superpelliceo velare praesumant, nisi alba, si eos fidelium devotione requisitos extra suas ecclesias celebrare, seu in processionibus in comitiva suorum fratrum interesse contingat: ac decernentes irritum et inane quidquid secus contigerit attentari.

Necnon mandantes pro tempore existenti almae Urbis nostrae in spiritualibus Vicario, et quibusvis aliis Curiae praedictae ordinariis judicibus, ut quoties pro parte tua, vel Procuratorum, aut Commissariorum dicti Ordinis desuper requisiti fuerint, nemini deferentes seu indulgentes, nec ad aliqua rescripta, seu Brevia Apostolica respectum habentes, faciant praesentes litteras et in eis contenta firmiter observari: contradictores quoslibet et rebelles per censuras et poenas ecclesiasticas et alia opportuna juris remedia, de quibus tibi aut Procuratoribus et Commissariis praedictis videbitur, appellatione postposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc auxilio brachii saecularis. Non obstantibus …

Datum Bononiae sub anulo Piscatoris, die 14 Decembris mdxxix, Pontificatus nostri anno vii.


The year 1529 closes with that document. We come to the following year which offers us fewer records to shed light on the history and support the accounts of our Chroniclers. Therefore I will briefly present those things regarding the general history of the Capuchins and which are confirmed by certain writings.

The letter obtained by the Minister of the Observants at the end of 1529 had little result, perhaps because it was too general, or as noted in the preface, no one wanted to contend with cardinals, prelates and officials of the Curia and other men who lent their support and assistance to the reformed friars. In fact, not all were in agreement with the strange spirit that moved the General, for example, his predecessor. Honoured with the Roman purple and called Cardinal Quiñones or of Santa Croce, could Francesco de Angelis tranquilly watch the ruin of a work which he held close to his heart? Whatever the reasons, when Pisotti saw the apostolic letter have little effect, he did not fail to request another, directly effecting the Capuchins and the Recollects of Calabria as well. This letter was given on 27 May 1530.

Dilectis filiis Ministro Generali, et Procuratori Ordinis Fratrum Minorum de Observantia.

Dilecti filii, salutem. Cum sicut accepimus, alias, postquam Venerabili fratri Laurentio Episcopo Praenestinensi, majori Peonitentiario nostro, pro parte dilectorum filiorum Ludovici et Raphaelis de Fossambruno, ac Bernardini Georgii de Rhegio fratrum Ordinis minorum de Observantia suggestum fuit, quod ipsi, et dilecti filii Vicentius de Dipiniano ac Antoniusde Gatemolis,[337] necnon Sanctus de Sancto Martino, ac nonnulli alii fratres dicti Ordinis, ob meliorem vitae frugem ac ut a quibusdam perturbationibus et inquietationibus, quae inter fratres dicti Ordinis provinciarum Calabriae et Marchiae Anconitanae, quarum respective existebant, tunc vigebant, semoti quietius Altissimo famulari ac sacrarum litterarum studio efficacius intendere valerent, desiderabant una cum aliis ejusdem Ordinis fratribus, usque ad certum numerum, qui eorum propositi forent, in aliquo eremitorio, seu loco a coetu hominum remoto, vitam eremiticam ducendo, stare et permanere, praefatus Laurentius Episcopus et Poenitentiarius eisdem Ludovico et Raphaeli, ac Bernardino, necnon Antonio et Sancto, ac nonnullis aliis, ut ipsi et alii dicti Ordinis fratres pro tempore eligendi, et loco deficientium pro tempore surrogandi, dummodo omnes insimul dictum certum numerum non excederent, extra domos ejusdem Ordinis in aliquo eremitorio seu loco a coetu hominum remoto, per eos eligendo et mutando, habitu tamen regulari retento, et alias juxta Regulam dicti Ordinis honeste vivendo, sub obedientia loci Ordinarii, in cujus diocesi eos pro tempore fore contingeret, vitam eremiticam ducendo, una cum libris et vestibus quae ad usum eorum habebant, simul stare et permanere, ac omnibus et singulis privilegiis, exemptionibus, gratiis, concessionibus et indultis spiritualibus et temporalibus, quibus alii dicti Ordinis fratres in illius domibus commorantes utebantur, potiebantur et gaudebant, ac uti, potiri et gaudere poterant, quomodolibet, in futurum uti, potiri et gaudere necon missas et alia divina officia celebrare, et confessiones audire, ecclesiastica Sacramenta ministrare, verbum Dei Christi populo praedicare, lectioni et studio sacrarum litterarum ac aliis litterariis et spiritualibus exercitiis incumbere, ac quotiens ipsos vel eorum aliquem praedicationis vel alicujus necessitatis causa, per domos dicti Ordinis transire contingeret, in illis prout alii dicti Ordinis fratres hospitari, et cum eis videretur, ad eumdem Ordinem redire, et tunc in proprio gradu recipi. Quodque inter eos Praesidens pro tempore eligendus, in alios eadem potestate, et facultate, qua ministri provinciales ejusdem Ordinis in illius fratres utebantur, in spiritualibus uti, ac ipsorum quilibet per se, aliis defunctis seu deficientibus, litteris desuper confectis et in eis contentis clausulis gaudere valerent, per diversas suas sub sigillo Officii Poenitentiariae nostrae expeditas litteras indulserat:

Ipsi Ludovicus et Raphael, necnon Bernardinus et Vincentius, necnon Sanctus ac nonnulli alii propriae professionis immemores, domos ejusdem Ordinis exiverunt, et alios illarum fratres ab eis extrahere et ad se advocare, necnon plurima a viris religiosis aliena committere non erubuerunt, in animarum suarum periculum ac dicti Ordinis dedecus, perniciosum quoque exemplum et scandalum plurimorum.

Nos quorum interest et ad quos spectat temerariorum ausus reprimere, praemissis tamquam ab ipsa Religione alienis et ab ea deviantibus, pro viribus occurrere cupientes, necnon litteras praedictas tamquam scandalosas, auctoritate Apostolica, tenore praesentium revocantes, cassantes et annullantes, ac Ludovicum et Raphaelem, necnon Bernardinum et Vincentium ac Antonium necnon Sanctum praefatos, et quosvis alios fratres litteris ipsis et in eis contentis nullatenus uti posse, nec eas illis in aliquo suffragari posse aut debere decernentes, vobis et cuilibet vestrum, earumdem tenore praesentium mandamus quatenus Ludovicum et Raphaelem, ac Bernardinum nencon Vincentium et Antonium ac Sanctum praefatos, et quosvis alios fratres, quos dictarum Litterarum praetextu a suis domibus exivisse reperiretis, vel alter vestrum repererit, ad Ordinem et domos hujusmodi revocetis, eosque in illis morari et juxta laudabilia dicti Ordinis instituta permanere, auctoritate nostra compellatis, nec permittatis in dicta religione, vel extra eam, aliquam congregationem seu novum vivendi modum innovare seu quoquomodo inducere vel servare eos, nec alios quoscumque vestrae curae commissos: contradictores quoslibet et rebelles per censuras et poenas ecclesiasticas ac alia opportuna juris remedia, appellatione postposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis, non obstantibus…Datum Romae 27 maii, anno MDXXX. – EVANGELISTA.[338]

It must be said that his document is very important for the history of the Recollects of Calabria. As I indicated above, it shows us the faculties they petitioned from the Sacred Penitentiary and reveals the names of some of the first friars in a surer way than the later Chroniclers. They did not know about Antonio da Gatrimulis, Vincenzo da Dipignano and Santo da San Martino, who certainly were not the least important. As has been observed, Antonio da Randoli is probably one and the same with Antonio da Gatrimuli. Of the other two, no record has come down to us in the chronicles of Calabria.[339]

From the other pontifical documents issued in the following years it is evident that the Apostolic Brief had no effect. A word will be said about these later. They show that the false hope had vanished in which Ludovico da Reggio depended and avoided bringing to completion any separation from the Order, since he was hoping that the superiors would introduce the reform, or at least not stop it. Nonetheless he remained steadfast in this hope until the repeated refusals and persecutions freed him of this doubt.

Wadding observes that Pisotti, for his part, “having obtained the document, thought to himself that what he wanted was already achieved. In fact, I find it noted in his records under the 3 June of this year: The friars, who are called the Reformed and who have places and particular constitutions both in the Roman province and elsewhere, have been deprived of the said friaries by two Apostolic Briefs. They have been put under the clear obedience of the Ministers, so that in regard to friaries and other things they act according to the disposition of the Chapterhope ifical documents issued in the following years i and of the Superiors. These friars live now like the other friars of the province and have neither separate friaries nor a special way of life. And under the 16 September in a letter to the Minister of Brescia: Our Lord the Pope does not want the Reforms already begun or those that are beginning. Therefore, the friars who initiate these things are to be stopped by Pontifical authority and my own.”[340] In fact he was able to overcome the Reformed friars of the Roman province and the others who remained joined to the Order. Not the others, however.

What then of Ludovico da Fossombrone? They report that he prepared himself with the counsel and support of some friends and obtained the tacit revocation of the document. The Pontiff then commissioned the whole matter to three Cardinals. Without their approval could not he receive anyone from the Observants. It is impossible to identify which things are true. To me it seems that the commission of three Cardinals may be a fable. In fact, there is no mention of it in the Report of the Procurator general of the Observance (1532). Instead he recalls “seven regulations made by the Cardinal of Santa Croce.” It is regrettable that these regulations are unknown to us. They would be very important records. They would show us what had been decreed, either then or a little later, regarding the reception of Observant friars. The regulations were made by the Cardinal of Santa Croce, Francesco de Angelis, previously Minister General and promoter of the Reform. Hence it should be concluded that he, who would not plot the ruin of Reform of the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life, but would have acted in its favour for its preservation. Let us listen to Boverius. After referring to the commission of three Cardinals, as it was believed, he states, “The situation itself shows that this Pontifical decree, in its turn, helped the Capuchins. For Ludovico, led by piety and an imprudent zeal for souls, would receive indiscriminately anyone who came to him from the family of the Observants. He appeared to give little attention to the selection of those who might be useful and advantageous to the Reform. Therefore it became like the new field. It risked being sown not only with grain but also with darnel. Consequently it was a great design of God that the Pontiff issued this decree. It checked Ludovico’s excessive desire for the spread of the Reform. It could proceed more carefully and fruitfully for the common good of the Religion.”[341]

Nonetheless, our chroniclers say that the Capuchins had enough freedom in Rome to climb the pulpit in the ministry of the Word. They would have it that in 1530, Giacomo da Gubbio, the companion of Ludovico, was the first of the new family to preach there and to the great benefit of the listeners. Some of those who came from the Observance performed the office of preacher. They say, in fact, that Ludovico used to send those whom he received into the Order to the friary of San Valentino, not far from Foligno in Umbria, which they say he accepted in this year, “even though others might place the foundation in the following year.”[342] They also agree in attributing the erection of other houses to this year[343]: in Matélica in the Marches, and Scandriglia and Rieti in the Roman province. However all these things lack authentic confirmation.

2. What our Chroniclers say regarding the ministry a few friars began to offer to the sick in the Ospedale di San Giacomo is more probable. These friars were living in Rome with the Vicar General. It was fitting that Ludovico assign them to this work of charity, even if the example of the seraphic Father had not inspired him, since they had accepted the small place they lived in from the aforesaid hospital. Was it not right to respond then to the good deed by dedicating themselves to the ministry of the sick? Our authors are quite smug in describing this obliging kindness. In preference to the pretentious words of our Annalist, I consider the almost contemporary testimony of the Custodians of the hospital should be presented. I said ‘almost contemporary’ because this testimony comes from the period of the pontificate of Paul III (1534-1549), and was directed to the Pope himself.

At a time not known with certainty, the superiors decided to call back the friars who were not engaged in the ministry of the sick. Wanting to impede them in this proposal, the Guardians of the Hospital considered it useful to appeal to the Pontiff. Kept in the Archives of San Giacomo I have found a triple copy of a certain Motu Proprio, which they wanted signed by Paul III. Whether this had been issued by the Pope or not I believe is uncertain. However the text alone per se reveals the ministries which our friars offered to the sick, as well as how much the Rectors of the Hospital regarded these ministries. Therefore, as the occasion has presented itself, I consider it useful and honourable to present the document here, which until now has never been published.

Paulus PP. III

Motu proprio etc. Cum sicut accepimus. Licet hactenus nonnulli fratres Ordinis sancti Francisci de Observantia, Capuciati nuncupati, per Vicarium Generalem dicti Ordinis, seu alios superiores pro tempore existentes deputati, venerabili Archihospitali Sancti Jacobi incurabilium in Augusta almae Urbis, pie et laudabiliter inservientes, non solum infirmis in eodem Hospitali degentibus spiritualia sacramenta pro tempore et occurrentibus necessitatibus ministrare, sed etiam eisdem infirmis personalia servitia et obsequia impendere, ac panis et vini, ac reliquorum victualium, necnon vestimentorum et aliorum utensilium ad usum eorumdem infirmorum et ejusdem Hospitalis ministrorum necessariorum, curam et administrationem habere et tenere, non minus charitative quam fideliter consueverint;

Nihilminus ab aliquo tempore citra iidem fratres (nonnullis de causis, et) forsan verentes ex eo quod ipsi perpetuum Domino famulatum exhibere promiserunt, non sine conscientiae scrupulo, in praemissorum temporum administratione perseverare non posse, ab illa se subtrahere nituntur et intendant.

Nos cupientes ut Hospitale praefatum in spiritualibus et temporalibus recte et fideliter gubernetur, et de eorum fratrum fideli administratione et providentia certam notitiam habentes, ac firma spe fiduciaque conceptis quod per eosdem fratres, pauperibus infirmis ut praefertur inservientes, gratissimus Domino famulatus exhibeatur, attestante Domino qui inquit, quod uni istorum feceritis mihi facietis; Motu proprio et ex certa scientia dilecto filio Vicario Generali et quibusvis aliis superioribus ejusdem Ordinis, nunc et pro tempore existentibus, tenore praesentium in virtute sanctae obedientiae ac sub excomminicationis poena committimus et mandamus ut ex dicti Ordinis fratribus qui eidem hospitali hactenus inservierunt, eumdem numerum solitis dicti Hospitalis servitiis assignet, quem ipsius Hospitalis Guardiani pro tempore duxerint necessarium et oportunum.

Ac ipsis fratribus inservientibus et pro tempore insevituris, ut in eodem Hospitali habitare et pernoctare, ac eorumdem spiritualium et temporalium curam exercere, prout hactenus fecerunt, libere et absque aliquo conscientiae scrupulo, possint et valeant, licentiam et facultatem concedimus, et quatenus opus sit, cum eisdem misericorditer dispensamus. Ipsisque fratribus pro tempore ministraturis ut omnibus et singulis indulgentiis et peccatorum remissionibus Confratibus societatis dicti Hospitalis per Romanos Pontifices praedecessores nostros et etiam nos concessis, approbatis et innovatis, fruantur et gaudeant concedimus: ipsisque pariter indulgentes, districtius inhibentes eidem Vicario Generali ceterisque superioribus dicti Ordinis pro tempore existentibus ne fratribus curae dicti Hospitalis pro tempore deputatis aliquod impedimentum vel gravamen inferre audeant seu praesumant. Irritum quoque et inane, etiam obstantibus…

Et praesenti nostri Motu proprii solam signaturam absque aliqua registratura sufficere volumus, quae (in) judicio et (extra) fidem faciat, ac si litterae in forma Brevis vel alia, desuper expeditae essent, ceteris aliis in contrarium non obstantibus quibuscumque.[344]

The ministries that the friars offered in the Hospital in Rome seem to me to show the way Ludovico followed to bring them to other cities, as we will see happen in Naples and Genoa.

3. Around the same time that the adversaries of our Friars of the Eremitical Life were plotting their ruin, even the elements rouse up against them. On 7 October 1530, the Tiber river swelled and broke its banks and so flooded Rome that “the city would have been completely submerged if the Virgin had not come quickly to the city’s aid.”[345] “The disaster of this flood and the billowing tempest of the Tiber were not insignificant and the little house of the Capuchins, which was only a short distance from the bank of the river, had endured it. Therefore, since the place appeared to be a little unsafe, and was cramped given the great increase in the number of friars each day, (Ludovico) thought about moving somewhere else.”[346] Either he himself or through friends he had called, Ludovico obtained from the Cardinal Protector a certain old, deserted monastery.

May the Reader allow me to mention some things about the place where very important and decisive things happened concerning our history.[347] This monastery rose at the foot of the Esquiline Hill, in the ancient Vicus Patritius.[348] Almost facing the church of Santa Pudenziana, it was attached to the old Basilica of Santa Eufemia, Virgin and Martyr. Apparently the saint is the one Chalcedonean Martyr, as Boverius would like. The early writers would have it that the site of the church had been the theatre of the martyrdom of this Virgin who had been thrown into a pit filled with snakes and scorpions and from which, by the grace of Christ, she emerged unharmed.[349] The mosaic in the vault of the church encouraged this tradition. There the Saint was depicted with her arms outstretched between two snakes.[350]

Therefore the titular Saint of the church is uncertain, as is the date of the construction of the church. However it is named in a septiform Litany proclaimed by saint Gregory the Great on 29 August 590, to ask for liberation from a contagious plague which was depopulating the city of Rome.[351] Pope Sergius (687-701) “re-roofed and renovated the Basilica of Santa Eufemia which had been without a roof for a long time.”[352] Leo III (795-816) “made a vestment with interwoven crosses[353] in the Basilica of blessed Eufemia” and then “made a silver canister for the monastery of Saint Eufemia and the Holy Angels, which is near the church of Pudenziana.”[354] That monastery was inhabited by nuns, they all say. However they do not indicate which Order. Their presence is confirmed up to the year 1511.[355] They left recently, say our chroniclers, because of the unhealthy air, and the building was given to the Capuchins to live in instead.[356]

They had already transferred to a new friary built for them when Paul III applied the revenues and proceeds from the old church to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.[357] Pius IV increased the dignity of the old building when he made it a presbyteral cardinal titular church and on 8 February 1566 created Guido Ferreri as cardinal of Santa Eufemia.[358] Nonetheless Sixtus V did not hesitate to knock down part of it when he opened a road which runs from Trajan’s forum to Saint Mary Major.[359] The monastery was also levelled at that time. Nonetheless, certain vestiges of “a spacious cloister circumscribed by columns” had survived until the first five years of the seventeenth century, as can be seen among the writers of that time.[360] Today these have been completely removed and the monastery dedicated to the Infant Jesus, del Bambin Gesù, occupies the site on what is now called the Via Urbana.

The writers of Calabria assert that without doubt Santa Eufemia had been given to Ludovico da Reggio. The last of these chronologically, Enrico Nava, basing himself on the testimony of Matteo da San Martino, says that Clement VII gave to the same Ludovico the Bull or Brief (which I have discussed at length above) to establish a presence in Rome. Then he obtained the monastery of Santa Eufemia in which Fossombrone later took refuge with his friars when he was compelled to abandon Santa Maria with the Tiber flood. Matteo da San Martino said he had heard this from P. Bernardino da Reggio. However, the good man, whose candour I do not doubt, was obviously mistaken.[361] For when Bernardino came to Rome in 1529, they had no other friary except the hermitage of Sant Angelo da Valletuccio, which is the only one mentioned in the instrument of incorporation of the friars of Calabria.

4. All want to refer the foundation of the friary in Naples, an event surrounded by a impenetrable fog, to the year 1530. The writers of Calabria strive to claim the foundation for their friars,[362] while others proclaim Ludovico da Fossombrone the founder of this friary. Boverius correctly observes, “Romeo, who wrote the short history about the seven Holy Custodians of the city of Naples, agrees with us,[363] that this friary had been founded in 1530. He disagrees in that he believes that Ludovico da Reggio had been its first founder. Nearly all the authors and manuscripts contradict Romeo, whom the chronological order itself also clearly accuses of error. In fact, in the previous year Ludovico and the others, who were working for reform among the Observants in Calabria, had been incorporated into the family of Capuchins by Ludovico da Fossombrone, who was fulfilling the office of Vicar General. Nonetheless none of them, having taken up the Capuchin habit, had left the Order of Observants before 1531,[364] as everyone maintains. The outcome of this is that because Ludovico da Reggio was not yet clothed in the Capuchin habit at that time, he was dealing with the Capuchins, he could not have been the author or founder of this friary…Finally, the author of the book entitled Napoli sacra,[365] as well as our own Mattia da Salò, Mario da Mercato Saraceno, Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, the manuscripts of the province of Reggio and the others from whom we have taken this order of history, agree in referring the foundation of the province of Naples to Ludovico da Fossombrone.”[366] The Neapolitan chroniclers are unable to dispel the darkness, or determine a certain origin of his friary.[367]

In Naples at the time lived the venerable Servant of God Maria Lorenza Longo, who at the death of her husband Giovanni, turned to her works of charity.[368] She erected the Ospedale di Santa Maria del Popolo and spent herself in ministry to the sick. She was the one who first offered hospitality to the Capuchins coming to this city. Our Chroniclers would have Vittoria Colonna commend Ludovico and his friars to this Servant of God with whom she had a close relationship.[369] I omitted above the intervention of the Marchioness of Pescara when Ludovico went to Rome in 1529 precisely because she was staying in Naples. We have arrived to the time when, in fact, she could have seen and known the Capuchins. It is said that in 1530 she stayed in Rome for a period of time with her brother Ascanio, who was one of the key figures in Rome whom Ludovico counted as protectors and supporters. At that time she could have shown her benevolence towards the Friars of the Eremitical Life whom the Duchess of Camerino had commended to her.[370]

We have shown above the ministries that our early friars offered in the hospital of San Giacomo degli Incurabili. “These pious offices of charity,” says Boverius, “were so pleasing and acceptable in Rome that everyone accorded them the greatest favour and esteem. News of this arrived to the Cardinals and all the other prelates of Rome and enkindled a benevolent attitude[371] towards the Capuchins. They regarded the Capuchins worthy of all honour since their singular and manifest virtue endeared them to everyone.”[372]

Did this reputation in fact reach the ears of Maria Lorenza so that she wanted to have the Capuchins as helpers in her hospital? It is not possible to confirm this, though one can speculate. All agree in saying that this pious servant of God gave them hospitality when they came to Naples, until they obtained the church of Sant Eufebio.

This old church, without the care of souls, was a simple benefice pertaining to the collection of the Archbishop. Neapolitan writers say that a priest from the Carafa family had been there and enjoyed this benefice. The benefice then went to support the Capuchins, with the approval of the Cardinal Archbishop Vincenzo Carafa under the persuasion of P. Ludovico Marra from the noble family Guardia. The same writers report that he, in this year 1530, transferred from the Observants to the Capuchins, at the advice of the aforesaid fathers from Reggio and whose impetus for reform he shared. While they had decided that they should wait, he donned the Capuchin habit without hesitation in the home of Maria Lorenza. And so a third friar with the name ‘Ludovico’ came to this foundation. Bernardino da Colpetrazzo referred to a fourth, Ludovico da Capranica, whom he says Fossombrone had appointed the first superior. This parity of names had begun to generate confusion. Powerless to dispel the darkness, I limit myself only to consider the foundation of the friary in Naples. In fact I could narrate its circumstances.

The same holds for the tradition of the province of Genoa which would have the Capuchins in the principal city of the Serenissima Republica in the same year, 1530. Contemporary documents to support this are lacking. Nor up to this point in time has it been possible to find any certain proof. However it is not possible to agree with the writers of the same province who name Giuseppe da Fermo as leader of the first group of friars. The name was not in the Order at that time. They established their place near the Ospedale degli Incurabili and the Church of San Columbano was granted for their use. The charity that they extended in the service of the sick won for them the benevolence of the magistracy and earned them generous support.[373]

Chapter XII

1. The holy death of some of the friars. 2. The Duchess prepares are new place for the Capuchins in Camerino. 3.The General of the Observance persecutes our friars again.

1. The year 1531, to which we now turn, offers us little for the general history of the Order. With fitting praise our Annalist simply recalls and describes the deaths of two of the first friars, namely Paolo da Chioggia and Matteo da San Leone. Mario writes that the first died around the year 1530 or 1531. The Necrology of the Province of the Marches however honours his memory under the date of 3 April 1531, though the year is indicated as uncertain.[374] However no date is known for the death of the other friar, Matteo.[375] Not a few others rest in the Lord and whose names we trust have been written in the book of life. Regrettably their memory has disappeared.

2. They say that because of the unhealthy air about ten died in Camerino in the friary of San Giovanni at Colmenzone. Consequently the Duchess, the pious mother of the Capuchins, decided to provide another friary for them in a healthier place. To the east of the town, about one and half miles away, among the hills and woods, there was an old chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Purification, near a sand pit commonly called Renacavata. The surrounding lands belonged to a canon of Camerino called Precetto Precetti.[376] With the land bought from him at a fair price, she built a humble and poor little friary, in the building of which the friars were very likely responsible. “With little change (although the course of time has been significant) the first shape has remained intact to this day, and still presents an image of that ancient poverty as well as a monument of humility for all to see.”[377]

3. I cannot narrate the growth of the new family. I have not examined the documents of this period.[378] However it is clear that the transfer of friars coming from the Observance to the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life continued, despite the pontifical letters that had been obtained. Consequently, their General, says Wadding, “seething with excessive ardour against them, at the end of this year again sought to issue this letter, to be promulgated via Cardinal della Valle, the Protector of the Order.[379]

The said Annalist presents the entire letter. Since the first part sounds almost the same as the previous letter, I think to present here only the new things that are useful.

Dilectis filiis, salutem et Apostolicam benedictionem. Alias postquam bonae memoriae Laurentio Episcopo Praenestinensi, tunc in humanis agenti[380] et majori Poenitentiario nostro, pro parte dilectorum filiorum Ludovici et Raphaelis de Fossambruno, ac Bernardini et Georgii de Rhegio Ordinis Fratrum Minorum de Observantia suggesto, quod ipsi et dilecti filii Vincentius de Pujano, et Antonius de Gatimalis, ac Sanctus de Sancto Martino, et nonnulli alii fratres dicti Ordinis, ob melioris vitae frugem…(desiderabant in aliquo eremitorio vitam eremiticam ducere, litteris desuper confectis, indulserat)…prout in diversis sub sigillo officii Poenitentiarae desuper confectis litteris plenius dicitur contineri: per Nos accepto, quod ipsi Ludovicus, Raphael, Bernardinus, Vincentius, Antonius et Sanctus, ac nonnulli alii, propriae professionis immerores, domos ejusdem Ordinis exierant, et alios illarum fratres ab eis extrahere et ad se advocare, necnon plurima a viris religiosis aliena committere non eruberant, in animarum suarum periculum, ac dicti Ordinis dedecus, perniciosum quoque exemplum et scandalum plurimorum, Nos litteras praedictas revocavimus, cassavimus et annullavimus, ac Ludovicum, Raphaelem, Bernardinum, Vincentium, Antonium et Sanctum praedictos, et quovis alios dicti Ordinis fratres litteris ipsis et in eis contentis nullatenus uti posse, nec eas eis in aliquo suffragari posse aut debere decrevimus, vobisque et cuilibet vestrum mandavimus, quatenus Ludovicum, Raphaelem, Bernardinum, Vincentium, Antonium et Sanctum praedictos, et quoscumque alios fratres quos dictarum litterarum praetextu a suis dominus exivisse reperiretis, ad Ordinem ac domos hujusmodi revocaretis, eosque in illis morari et juxta laudabilia dicti ordinis instituta permanere compelleretis, nec permitteretis eos vel alios quoscumque vestrae curae commissos, in eadem Religione vel extra eam aliquam Congregationem, seu novum vivendi modum innovare, aut quoquo modo inducere vel servare: contradictores quoslibet et rebelles per censuras et poenas ecclesiasticas, ac alia opportuna juris remedia appellatione posposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis: prout in nostris in forma Brevis datis, die videlicet vigesima septima mensis maii, Pontificatus nostri anno septimo, inde confectis litteris, quarum transumptis plenam fidem adhiberi voluimus, plenius continetur.

Cum autem, sicut nuper accepimus, litterae nostrae praedictae, propter non paritionem dictorum Ludovici, Raphaelis, Bernardini, Vincentii, Antonii et Sancti, ac eorum complicum, necnon favores per eos pro sua non paritione hujusmodi undique quaesitos, nondum sint sortitae effectum: Nos motu proprio et ex certa nostra scientia,[381] omnibus et singulis dicti Ordinis fratribus, qui post dictam diem vigesimam septimam mensis hujusmodi, ad ipsorum Ludovici, Raphaelis, Bernardini, Vincentii, Antonii et Sancti, ac eorum complicum Congregationem abierunt, ut ad domos dicti Ordinis, in quibus ante litteras Poenitentiariae hujusmodi erant, redeant et in illis permaneant, nec ab eis absque expressa Superiorum dicti Ordinis licentia, recedere audeant, ac eidem Congregationi ne eos recipere vel secum tenere praesumant, sub apostasiae et excommunicationis, ac perpetuae privationis quorumcumque actuum legitimorum poenis, per quemlibet contravenientem ipso facto incurrentis, auctoritate apostolica per praesentes discricte praecipiendo mandamus: ac omnibus et singulis locorum Ordinariis in virtute sanctae obedientiae ac sub suspensionis a divinis poena similiter mandamus, quatenus eorum quilibet quandocumque pro parte vestra vel alicujus vestrum fuerit desuper requisitus, faciat praedictas nostras ac praesentes litteras plenum effectum sortiri, ac ab omnibus inviolabiliter observari nec permittat eis quomodolibet in aliquo contravenire: contradictores quoslibet ac rebelles, eisque auxilium, consiulim vel favorem directe vel indirecte quomodlibet praestantes, etiam per praedictas et alias quascumque, de quibus sibi placuerit, censuras et poenas, ac alia incurrenda appellatione postposita compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis. Omnes autem et singulos Dominos locorum in temporalibus requirimus et hortamur attente, quatenus vobis in praemissis omne auxilium, consilium vel favorem impendant. Non obstantibus…Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, sub anulo Piscatoris, dei 2 decembris 1531, Pontificatus nostri anno IX. – EVANGELISTA.[382]

Apart from a better judgement the difference between this letter and the previous one deserves observation. Since it does not directly effect the friars designated in it by name, and because of their non obedience and the support that they won for themselves, given the obvious failure of the previous document, the existence of their Congregation is in some way recognised. The letter orders the friars who went to the said Congregation after 27 May 1530 to return to the houses from which they left, and the letter prohibits receiving them or keeping them in the Congregation. Therefore the previous letter was not to be considered revoked, for it is sent to each and every Ordinary of the places to have full effect and that they have it obeyed. However, what did they hope for as long as the supporters of Ludovico and his companions, who were not frightened by the previous letter, did not stop their protection? Many disagreed with the Minister General, nor did they approve his adverse efforts against the friars aspiring to a stricter life and right observance of the Rule. Hence, as Wadding observes, various disturbances and feelings against the aforesaid Pisotti sprang up, whom they even reproached for indiscreet and fickle government. It is not for me to present these things, but it was useful to be aware of them since they show the real cause of the transfer of friars of the Observance to the new Congregation, and even the esteem that these friars gained, whom the Minister General denounced to the Pontiff as rebels and scandalous.

Chapter XIII

1. The Recollects of Calabria join with the Capuchins. 2. New persecutions by the Observant Minister General. 3. The Procurator General of the same Order has recourse to the Pontiff. 4. Two Cardinals are assigned to the matter. 5. The establishment of the friary at Montepulciano.

1. Let us go to Calabria. The agreement made on the 16 August 1529 between Bernardino da Reggio in the name of the Recollects of Calabria, and the Vicar General of the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life had not yet come into effect. Those reformed friars, maltreated by the Minister General, had gathered for a short time in the hermitage of Sant’ Angelo in Valletuccio. However, even though they were dispersed to various places they were united in one spirit. Their standard-bearer, Ludovico da Reggio, always hoped to obtain the necessary permission from the major superiors to be able to lead a more austere life tranquilly. He took heart with some of them and around the beginning of 1532 he was staying in the friary of San Filippo at Cinquefrondi.[383]

The celebration of the General Chapter in Messina had been announced for the fourth Sunday after Easter (28 April). Therefore our Chroniclers present the Minister General asking the leaders of the Recollects to go to Sicily to ask from the Chapter the long desired permission.[384] He then strove by good and bad means to be re-elected to office,[385] and was extremely careful not to alienate anyone from himself. He reserved the reply to himself and exhorted them to present themselves and renew their request which would be weighed up appropriately. Perhaps he imagined that something would be done for the friars who longed for reform, for he had received similar petitions from many parts. In reality, say our writers, the two friars from Reggio came to Messina at the time of the Chapter. Feigning a very kind disposition, Pisotti welcomed them. He considered their spirit and for his part ascribed it to a zeal for ambition. In order to force them to be obliged to his opinion and to recall them from the impulse to reform, he appointed Ludovico as guardian at Pizzo and Bernardino as guardian in the friary of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Reggio. These things are according to our writers. However, the appointment of superiors in such a way a few days before the Provincial Chapter, is very unlikely, we must say, unless he was making a simple promise.[386]

Pisotti got the confirmation for which he was canvassing and after a few intervening days went to Calabria, to the provincial Chapter of Sicily, to be celebrated on the feast of Pentecost. Let us listen to Giovannello who, having listed the friars belonging to the reform, continues, “Everyone knows about the obligation to take care of our salvation, and that at the general Chapter celebrated then in Messina we had been unable to obtain permission to live among the Zoccolanti Fathers the purity of the Rule which we have professed. We asked in writing for permission to observe our profession with the Capuchin habit, under our own General, who was Ludovico da Fossombrone at the time – not because we were hoping to get that permission, but to observe Canon law in the Chapter de Regularibus. At that time, the General of the Zoccolanti, having left for Messina, celebrated the provincial Chapter in Calabria, in the friary at Scigliano. After having read our petition, he ordered that the bearers (of the supplication) be made enter in order to maltreat them. They, however, had taken precautions and and had quickly left. One of them was fra Angelo.”[387]

That is how Giovannello has it. Wadding explicitly contradicts him. He had before his eyes the authentic writings of the Religion and he tells the story then this way. “In the Chapter of Calabria, which we have said the Minister General celebrated near Cigliano, the letter of fra Bernardino Giorgio da Reggio was read, in which he asked insistently for permission to transfer to the Conventuals. This was granted by the common consent of the Definitory. Another letter was read, that of Ludovico also from Reggio, asking permission to go to the Capuchins. This letter was sent unexpectedly and mostly laden with harsh rebuke. In it he quite irreverently criticised the Religion where he was raised and from which he received all the regular discipline that he displayed.”[388]

I do not hesitate to lend faith more readily to the Annalist of the Friars Minor, whose sincerity is far from suspicion and who cannot be accused in his study regarding the Minister General. On the other hand, Pisotti was not one who openly might offend the Duke of Nocera, whose hospitality and urbanity he had experienced in his comings and goings and who showed such generosity to the assembled Capitulars.[389] Without a doubt his attitude towards Ludovico was surer, whom they say was the guide of his conscience. It should be no wonder if the Duke had intervened with his recommendation.

Ludovico had learned from experience not to believe too much in promises. In fact he feared the false friars who, deciding to give deference to the Minister General, would try to obstruct the implementation of the permission, granted with difficulty. Thinking therefore that there should be no delay, and with a plan of action devised with the Duke, he busied himself to send the following letter to Bernardino, staying in Reggio.[390]

La littera fu questa, havendone io havuto la copia in mano, la ponerò propriamente come ella sta de parole in parole. – Reverendo Padre, et sempre cordialissimo nel Signore Lo Signor Duca di Nocera si è offerto ad ogni nostro aiuto et favore. El Signor Gismondo è partito questa matina per Cosenza à portar littere di Sua Signoria allo eccellentissimo Signore Vice Rè della Provincia, et per cavar da esso anco favor et littere per Roma. Io scrissi à Fra Cataldo, al Palamone, et alli compagni, che noi per ogni via speriamo bene, perciò che il negotio per se stesso è favorevole, né esso pietoso Dio mancarà di pietà et misericordia alli amatori suoi. È necessario dunque il vostro venir prestissimo a Filogasio, si per poter presto espedire le cose nostre, si anco per provedere di prevenire alli nostri avversarij, acciò non habbiamo à patir insidie et pericoli, non trovandoci noi à tempo in luogo sicuro. Venite dunque con questi frati ch’io mando, et de gl’altri nostri compagni doi ne manderete à Seminara per Fra Bonaventura da Reggio, et doi altri di essi, che son pur costì, vadino ad Oppido à prender Fra Giovanni da Terranova. Date ancora ordine che alcuni se ne vadino à Cinquefrondi per quei Frati, che sono quivi di questo nostro parere, et desiderio, et à pigliar le littere, che quivi si ritrovaranno: et tutto quello, che si ha da fare, facciasi quanto più presto si può, et con quella prudentia et diligentia, che si conviene, et che Dio vi ha dato: non altro. Pregate Dio per me, et à bocca meglio et più largamente parleremo insieme. Dal Pizzo, la vigilia della Pentecoste del 1532.” (18 May.)

Mario copied this letter.[391] There were other copies, as seen in Giovannello, in the work of Maurilico, Boverius and Gualtieri. He included the letter according to a copy which Girolamo da Dinami had copied from another copy produced by the hand of Pietro da Quartieri, and he doubts its genuineness. In fact, in the margin he put: Copy of the letter of B. Ludovico, taken from a copy of another copy, if not as if from a quasi infinite progression.”[392] In the version that Boverius presents, one reads, “Do everything prudently and quickly. Our letter, in fact, had been sent on the Sunday evening,” therefore the preceding Sunday, that is, 12 May. According to Gualtieri however, “will be sent,” that is, the following Sunday, 19 May. Since both agree about the Vigil of Pentecost, one is on the date, the other of the two is mistaken. Then, according to the same authors, Ludovico advised that the journey be made. “And it will be easier, as he (the Minister General) may be raising the battle line against us. Therefore it seems wise to me that all the friars come from San Martino, then Loreto (others have “Soreto”), and finally Filogasio. This is enough… From Pizzo on the Vigil of Pentecost 16 May” 1532.” (Sic, but the Vigil of Pentecost occurred on 19 May.) “As for the town of San Martino, the question of Francesco Pacileo will have to be considered. He will give hospitality to all our friars. – Yours in the Lord, Fra Ludovico da Reggio.” — The address: “To the venerable Padre fra Bernardino da Reggio, of the Order of Friars Minor of the Observance, celebrated Preacher of the divine Word. In the Annunciation (friary) at Reggio.”[393] Since no mention of the title of Guardian is made in that address, it seems we must conclude that what our Chroniclers reported above about the appointment of Bernardino as Superior of the friary at Reggio has no foundation.

Giovannello does not explicitly show the outcome of the petition. From his account however it must be said that the requested permission was denied. Wadding, on the other hand, asserts the opposite, that it was granted. What persuades me to follow the Friar Minor Annalist is that everyone, according to Boverius, “without any impediment or uproar, came to Ludovico at Filogasio.”[394]

Giovannello writes that there were thirty who left for the Capuchins, and whose names are quite uncertain since those who report them do not agree. Those mentioned to this point can be taken up again:

Ludovico da Reggio
Bernardino da Reggio
Cataldo, who is not identified with any other name
Francesco Palemone da Reggio
Bonaventura da Reggio
Giovanni da Terranova

All these have been named in the letter just presented.

Angelo da Calanna, who brought Ludovico’s petition to the Chapter, as Giovannello says. Among friars of the same intention he identified earlier:

Bernardino Bisignano
Michele da Castrovillari, or da Abruzzi
Giovanni Candela da Reggio

A little later a Francesco de Pignano[395] is found at Filogasio.

Their first concern had been to accommodate the habit for themselves according to the shape which the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life used. There is a tradition that the Duchess[396] wanted, with her servant ladies, to cut and sew the cowls with her own hands. By day they used a table on which the cowls were cut and fitted. That table is inscribed,

Primitias tabula haec dedit primordia nostrum,
Hic habitus fratrum caesaque forma fuit,
Dux Eleonora illa abscidit femina palmis,
Conclubetta suis inclita Nuceriae.[397]

Assembled on or around 28 May, in the monastery of the Dominican Fathers, they celebrated a Chapter to elect for themselves a Provincial, as Ludovico da Fossombrone had stipulated in the letter of aggregation. Ludovico da Reggio was elected.

With his friars, the new Provincial moved to the place of the hermits near the town of Panáia, which lay at a distance away of five hundred metres from Filogasio, next to the old church of Saint Anthony the Abbot, with the approval of the Duke in whose dominion it was. During the same period he also obtained from the monks of Saint Basil the little church of Sant Elia in the forest of Gálatro.

2. They were living in peace the life they had chosen for themselves, while a new storm had arisen. The Minister General had not abandoned his opposition to anyone reformed. He had returned to Rome, where he did not dare to refuse these things which, when away, he tried to revoke and overturn. At his petition a new pontifical document came out on 3 July and it was directed mainly against the friars in Calabria. It begins transcribing the Brief given 2 December 1531 literally, right down to the words:

Cum autem, sicut nuper accepimus, litterae nostrae praedictae[398] propter non paritionem Ludovici, Raphaelis, Bernardini, Vincentii, Antonii et Sancti praedictorum, ac eorum complicum, necnon favores per eos pro sua non paritione hujusmodi undique quaesitos, nondum sint sortitae effectum

Then it continues:

Quinimo Bernardinus Georgius ac Ludovicus et Franciscus de Rhegio Calabriae, ac Bernardinus de Bisignano, et Hieronymus ac Franciscus de Piniano, ac Andreas de Capua, et nonnulli alii sacerdotes, et Ludovicus[399] de Terranova, et nonnulli alii diaconi et subdiaconi, ac Joannes et Baptista ac Bernardus etiam de Rhegio, laici fratres, professi dicti Ordinis, duas domos in provincia Calabriae de novo construi facere, illasque inhabitare, in contemptum vestrum ac nostrarum litterarum non erubuerint:

Nos tantae temeritatis audaciam, etsi nostra benignitate utendo, non prout deceret punire, saltem reprimere volentes, motu proprio et ex certa scientia aliis omnibus et singulis dicti Ordinis fratribus, qui post diem 27 mensis maii hujusmodi ad ipsorum Ludovici et Raphaelis de Fossmabruno praedictorum, ac omnium et singulorum aliorum eorum complicum congregatione abierunt, ut ad domos dicti Ordinis, in quibus ante litteras Poenitentiariae hujusmodi erant, redeant et in illis permaneant, nec ab eis absque expressa licentia Superiorum dicti Ordinis recedere audeant, ac eidem Congregationi ne eos recipere vel secum tenere praesumant, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae ac perpetuae privationis quorumcumque actuum legitimorum poenis, per quemlibet contravenientem, ipso facto incurrendis, districte praecipiendo mandamus:

Ac omnibus et singulis locorum Ordinariis in virtute sanctae obedientiae, ac sub suspensionis a divinis poena mandamus, quatenus eorum quilibet, quandocumque pro parte vestra vel alicujus vestrum fuerit desuper requisitus, faciat nostras praedictas ac praesentes litteras plenum effectum sortiri, ac ab omnibus inviolabiliter observari, nec permittant quomodocumque eis in aliquo contravenire: contradictores quoslibet et rebelles, eisque auxilium, consilium vel favorem directe vel indirecte quomdodlibet praestantes, etiam auctoritate regali et principali, ducali, marchionali, comitali et aliis quibuscumque dignitatibus, excellentiis et gradibus praefulgeant et quavis auctoritate fungantur, etiam perpetuas et alias quascumque de quibus sibi placuerit censuras et poenas, et alia juris remedia, appellatione postposita, compescendo, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis.

Ac dilectos filios nobiles viros Viceregem Calabriae ac Ducem Nuceriae, omnesque alios principes ac dominos temporales rogamus, requirimus et hortamur attente quatenus vobis in praemissis omne auxilium, consilium vel favorem impendant, et quod nostrae praedictae in forma Brevis, ac praesentes litterae plenum sortiantur effectum, quibuscumque sublatis obstaculis procurent. Non obstantibus…Datum Romae, die 3 julii 1532 (Pontificatus nostri) anno nono: — EVANGELISTA.[400]

Before relating the series of events, some things should be noted in the letter. First, there are the names of other friars not previously mentioned, namely:

Girolamo da Pignano
Andrea da Capua, both priests
Ludovico da Reggio, cleric
Giovanni Battista da Reggio
Bernardo da Reggio, both lay friars.

The document confirms the construction of two friaries which we have reported above, namely, Sant Antonio in Panaglia and San Elia in Galatro. The clear wording shows the protection of the Duke of Nocera for the friars.

Giovannello mistakenly assigns the date of this harsh Brief to the month of August. He adds, “the Brief was thus brought to Calabria, by the Zoccolanti Friars, around the end of September.”[401] I do not believe it likely that the General had waited so long. I am of the view that this refers to another document from the month of August, which is included below.

The Minister General of the Observants, who probably had been assigned the execution of the apostolic letter, and who knew about the two Capuchin friaries, “sent,” according to Giovannello, “two squads of strong friars with clubs to each of these friaries, to capture us, drag us out and maltreat us, with the option of invoking against us the secular arm.” However this was in vain because Ludovico da Reggio, who at the right moment had been informed of their arrival, sent word to his friars living in the friary of Sant’ Elia in Galatro to hide. He sent the others, who were living with him in the hospice of Sant Antonio in Panaglia, to the palace of the Duke in Filogasio. Warned at the last minute, he also hid.[402] And so it happened, that by his strategy the captors were evaded.

While Ludovico was escaping into the woods, continues Giovannello, and while “we were in the room of the Ducal palace, the aforesaid Zoccolanti Fathers came into the palace. Speaking with the lord Duke, they argued with his Most Illustrious Lordship and said that he should not give his favour or protection to us. They were vociferous in calling us apostates, and said we were excommunicated. They asked his Most Illustrious Lordship to deign to hand us over to them in accordance with the command of His Holiness. Otherwise, they threatened, all his subjects who might speak with or help us with the support of their alms would be excommunicated.”[403] The commissary of the Minister General certainly had to show the pontifical letter to the Duke himself, since he is explicitly required and exhorted to do so by name in the letter, so that he might lend every help and support, and having removed any obstacles, strive for it to be brought into full effect.

The same Chronicler continues. “Then the Duke replied to them in these words, ‘By the life of Don Tiberio, I will make anyone who presumes to pronounce such an excommunication here move very quickly.” Tiberio, by whom the Duke made the oath, was not the only son of the Duke, as one reads in the same place. He was the last boy among five children born to Ferdinand and Dianora.

“The Duke now asked them why they were trying to stop those who desire to do penance and observe their rule. Then he offered to have come to the palace in their presence Padre fra Ludovico and Padre fra Bernardino Giorgio and to give them the reasons for their side, as long as they promised not to pronounce the excommunication. He affirmed that if they gave reasons for the others to return, he would do everything necessary to have them return to them. If, instead, Padre fra Ludovico with Padre Bernardino give just reasons for their side, they may depart in peace. The Zoccolanti fathers agreed with this reasonable proposal. Having sent for Padre fra Ludovico, who was praying in the woods, and for Padre fra Bernardino Giorgio, who was with me and the other subjects below the room where this discussion took place, we were led together into the presence of the said Duke.

“The Zoccolanti Fathers began to reprimand Padre fra Ludovico and Padre fra Bernardino, saying that they had left them without cause. However these responded that they had done it, moved by the most urgent reasons: to observe the Rule of Saint Francis in its purity, since they could no longer observe it among them.

“First of all, regarding the purity and precept of the Rule where it says, Fratres nihil sibi approprient nec domum nec aliquem rem, that is, neither in common nor in particular. Therefore Pope Clement declares that it is not permissible for Friars to summon any secular person to judgement of any temporal cause. The privileges in which this precept is relaxed have been against the will of Saint Francis. Therefore to have income from chapels, rights to burials, the assurance from the owner that the places never be taken back, the obligations of the comune regarding an annual pension for the food and clothing of the friars – all these things are against the purity of the Rule.

“Secondly, regarding the way of dressing, Friars Minor are obliged by this precept: Fratres omnes vilibus vestimentie induantur. Therefore the Friars who are not clothed in the lowly cloths of their region do not observe this precept well, as Pope Clement declares.

“The third thing regards the precept: Nullo modo denarios vel pecuniam recipiant. Explaining this, Clement V says that the Rule is not observed in those regions and friaries where money is collected. You equally receive money and other offerings with indifference.

“The fourth regards the precept: Vadant pro eleemosyna confidenter. Pope Clement V says that it is not likely that Saint Francis, or even Christ himself, wanted the Friars to have grain stores and cellars in places where they can expect continuous for alms.

“The Zoccolanti Friars were confused with the exposition of these universal transgressions, without going much into details.”[404] The Zoccolanti Friars left without proclaiming the excommunication.

I believe that this brief and sober account of Giovannello, a witness to such a discussion, is to be preferred to the prolix narration that Boverius composed. [405] He took it entirely from the other Chroniclers of Calabria. However it does not seem incredible to them that Ludovico and Bernardino, called without warning to the debate, take up a long learned explanation of Franciscan history. Even if they were learned – such a history required books and study. Marius, who takes the account of this debate from Giovannello, puts many things into the mouth of the two friars from Reggio that are not to be found in the account of the discussion presented in Maurilico’s publication of the Chronicles. However the things proposed to be refuted are things that the Capuchins opposed. For the most part they appear to be extracted word for word from a small work entitled Memoriale Ordinis Minorum.[406] No one, even gifted with the greatest memory, and taken by surprise, could keep in his mind this series of facts noting the dates and the names of the persons.

Even though they withdrew confused, the opponents of the Capuchins had not wasted their time completely, for “all those friars who were not solidly based in zeal to observe the Rule, winnowed like husks by that temptation, fell away. Leaving us, they went back to the Zoccolanti Fathers. We were thirty before. Only fifteen of us persevered.

“Although the temptation of the said excommunication may have passed,” continues Giovannello, “the persecutions and calumnies increased still, brought on everywhere by those walking according to the flesh, to uproot the tender plant of Christ. On the other hand, the Majesty of God did not cease to bring it assistance with divine help and human support… In Calabria He enlightened the most Illustrious Don Ferdinand, Duke of Nocera, and his consort the Lady Dianora Conclubet, to decide even to sacrifice their state to support us, defending us before the Supreme Pontiff, and to show this in actions. For his Most Illustrious Lordship immediately sent the Abbot[407] to stay with His Holiness until he got his blessing.”[408]

Here the narration of the things and happenings in Calabria finishes in Giovannello. Other Chroniclers, however, not content with these, say that Ludovico went to Rome, accompanied by two friars – in fact Francesco da Dipignano and Angelo da Calanna. They do not assign a date to this, but from their account it is clear that this happened during a very cold winter.[409] They also tell of a new debate taken up before the Supreme Pontiff himself, in which the Minister General and the Procurator of the Observance take part on one side, with Ludovico da Reggio and Ludovico da Fossombrone on the other. The Capuchins were victorious and Clement VII sharply reprimands the Minister General and confirms Ludovico da Reggio with blessings.[410] What a glorious triumph. It is inappropriate to assign it to the authentic records, especially since the Minister General was not in Rome. Having gone to the ultramontane provinces in the month of August, he arrived at Grenoble on 20 September.[411]

3. While Pisotti, consumed by vehement antagonism, attended to the promulgation of excommunications in the name of the Pontiff, who probably was not aware of such dealings,[412] the Procurator General decided to have direct recourse to Clement VII. In the Chapter at Messina, Padre Onorio Caiani had been elected to this office. He was from the province of Tuscany and the Capuchins had not yet arrived there. New to the office he had been told rather little about some of their details. Let us listen to him.

Beatissime Pater, pauperculus Onorio Chaianus, Procurator Ordinis, supplex veniam petit, si instantia quotidiana et negociis plurimus fastidium Sanctitati Vestrae intulerit. Ego pro honore meae Religionis et salute mortem subire paratus sum. Dolore summopere afficior coram Sanctitate Vestra his temporibus hujusmodi negotia peragere. Et quum Religio tota mirabatur quod a Sanctitate Vestra emanasset Bulla quaedam, similis Bullae Eugenianae, quam habuit sanctus Bernardinus et complures sanctissimi viri ab ipso Papa Eugenio,[413] contra Bullam Unionis obtentam a sanctissima memoria Papae Leonis x: et data fratri cuidam discolo, et nullius famae, sanctitatis et doctrinae.[414] Decrevi ego experiri an verum esset: petii coram Protectore Reverendissimo ut mihi ostenderet qua auctoritate contra obedientiam praelatorum vitam ageret, qua etiam auctoritate fratres nostros sine licentia nostra reciperet?

Pater Beatissime, in rei veritate pro certo comperi quicquid a pluribus audieram de isto capite horum fratrum Scappuccinorum. Confessus est quod est circa novem vel decem annos, quod ipse, una cum fratre suo carnali nostro fratre, petierat licentiam a Ministro nostrae provinciae Marchiae eundi ad fratres Conventuales: et minister illius provinciae, tanquam fratribus durae cervicis ac propriae voluntatis et incorrigibilibus, dedit licentiam eundi ad fratres Conventuales. Deinde ivit ad pedes Magistri, sive Generalis Conventualium, et ei suam licentiam manifestarunt et recepit eos. Hinc ipsi ab ipso Generali Conventualium petierunt vitam eremiticam ducere, et dedit eis licentiam hanc in scriptis.

Isti vero, dum Curia esset Viterbii, supplicaverunt Domino Protectori ut assensus praeberet cuidam Brevi, quod a Sanctitate Vestra vellent impetrare, ut in vita eremitica persistere valerent. Dominis vero Protector nolebat assentire; sed tunc Viterbii erat Domina Ducissa Camerini, quae petiit talem gratiam a Domino Protectori de tali Brevi impetrando; noluit assentire. Tandem dixit Domina Ducissa: Rogo Vestram Dominationem ne impediat: et huic assensit. Et ideo Breve impetraverunt ut possent vivere vita eremitica.

Et nichil aliud habent, nec possunt recipere nostros fratres absque licentia suorum superiorum, contra Bullam Unionis obtentam a Sanctissimo Leone. Et ita cum hoc Brevi accepit plures fratres, dicentes habere Bullam a Sanctitate Vestra tenoris Bulla Papae Eugenii. Et ita plures simplices fratres hoc audientes et non existimantes ad ipsum absque licentia suorum praelatorum fugerunt.

Et vero tale caput istorum fratrum gravibus poenis mereret puniri. Conventualem se esse profitetur: et verum est; omnes vero illi fratres, qui non habuerunt licentiam a nostris praelatis, sequitur quod sunt excommunicati, et sunt absque praelatis.

Quapropter, Beatissime Pater, Sanctitas Vestra dignetur instare ut observentur septem capitula ordinata a Reverendissimo Cardinali Sanctae Crucis. Et illud caput revertatur domum suam, id est ad Conventuales, ut meretur. Ceteri vero revertantur ad suas provincias, secundum tenorem horum septem capitulorum. Et dico Sanctitati Vestrae quod quasi omnes revertentur.

Iste bonus homo prohibuit omnibus fratrius suis ne nostris fratribus loquantur, et praeter duos vel tres, aliis non manifestavit haec septem capitula. Et ita decepit eos.

Cetera vero crastina die a Veneratissimo Protectore et a Reverendissimo Cardinali Sanctae Crucis oretunus Sanctitas Vestra audiet.

Pauperculus servitor fr. ONORIO et supra.[415]

This report of the Procurator General of the Observance should be regarded of the greatest importance. Even if it discredits Ludovico, it must not be passed over in silence. It confirms the things already related and sheds light on the things to be said shortly. Yes, some things in fact are discordant with the truth. For example, nine or ten years had not yet passed since Ludovico and Raffaele had gone over to the Conventuals, as is proven from the apostolic letter of 8 March 1526 issued against them, and the other letter of the Sacred Penitentiary given on 18 May of the same year. If it is true that they only obtained a Brief in Viterbo on 3 July 1528, it had been granted so that they would be able to have it sent sub plumbo if it seemed opportune. Also no special permission was given to receive Observants, but they did become participants in the privileges of the Camaldolese Hermits Ludovico intended to use to receive such friars, which we saw explicitly declared in the Instrument of the amalgamation of the friars of Calabria.

However this letter reveals to us the intervention of the Cardinal of Santa Croce to moderate and legitimise the reception of friars of the Observance, an intervention he arranged for these in seven chapters. Unfortunately, however, such ordinances are now lost to us. They would be very important to know the truth. Finally it explains the reasons for the following opinion.

4. The given Report lacks a date, but it seems to have come out around the beginning of August because it was the reason the Pontiff committed the entire matter to the Procurator, such a learned man, and to the Cardinals mentioned here- to two empurpled Fathers, Antonio del Monte and Andre della Valle. We have known about this commission from their judgement of prohibition. Despite the wordiness of this decree, it is necessary to transcribe it.

Antonius miseratione divina Episcopus Portuensis, et Andreas, eadem miseratione divina tituli Sanctae Priscae Presbyter, S.R.E. Cardinales, de Monte et de Valle respective vulgariter nuncupati: causarum, causaeque et causis inter partes infrascriptas subortis, a Sanctissimo Domino Nostro Papa, vivae vocis oraculo per eum nobis desuper facto, Commissarii et Compositores specialiter deputati: universis ac singulis Dominis Abbatibus, Praepositis, Decanis, Archidiaconis, Scholasticis, Cantoribus, Custodibus, Thesaurariis, Succentoribus, Sacristis, tam Cathedralium quam Collegiatarum Canonicis, Parochialiumque Ecclesiarum Rectoribus, seu locum tenentibus eorumdem, Plebanis, Viceplebanis, Capellanis, Curatis et non Curatis, Vicariis quoque perpetuis, ac Domini nostri Papae Cursoribus quibuscumque per Almam Urbem ejusque districtum, necnon provincias totius Calabriae, Romaniae, Marchiaeque Anconianae, et alias ubilibet constitutas, et eorum cuilibet in solidum, ac illis vel illis ad quem vel ad quos presentes nostrae Literae pervenerint, Salutem in Domino, et nostris hujusmodi, immo verius Apostolicis, firmiter obedire mandatum.

Noveritis quod nuper Sanctissimus in Christo Pater et Dominus Noster, Dominus Clemens divina providentia Papa vii causam et causas quae, ut asseritur, sunt inter religiosos viros Ludovicum ac Raphaelem de Fossombruno, et Bernardinum Georgium et Ludovicum de Rhegio, et nunnullos alio litis consortes in provincia Calabriae Ordinis Minorum Conventualium de Vita Eremitica Sancti Francisci ex una, et Fratres Ordinis Minorum de Observantia ejusdem Sancti Francisci ex alia partibus, de et super eo quod nonnulli Fratres dicti Ordinis Minorum de Observantia, certis ex causis eorum animum moventibus, a dicto Ordine recesserunt, et ad Vitam Eremiticam, sive Ordinem Eremiticum Sancti Francisci accesserunt, et in illo Ordine Deo servierunt: rebusque aliis in actis causae et causarum hujusmodi latius deducendis, et illorum occasione partibus ex altera, summarie, simpliciter, et de plano, sine strepitu et figura judicii, sola facti veritate inspecta, etiam manu Regia, et prout Nobis melius videretur audiendas, cognoscendas, decidendas, fineque debito terminandas et componendas et concordandas, una cum omnibus et singulis suis incidentibus, dependentibus, emergentibus, annexis et connexis, cum potestate dictas utrasque partes, omnesque alios et singulos sua communiter vel divisim interesse putantes, et in executione citationis per nos decernendae, nominandos in Romana Curia et extra eam, etiam per edictum publicum, constito summarie, simpliciter et de plano et extrajudicialiter, de non tuto accessu in Romana Curia et extra eam, citandi, ac illis et aliis quacumque auctoritate det dignitate etiam Episcopali, Archiepiscopali, Patriarchali, Cardinalatus onore fulgentibus, quibus et quoties opus fuerit, etiam sub Ecclesiasticis sententiis, censuris et poenis, etiam pecuniariis, arbitrio nostro imponendis, applicandis et moderandis, etiam per simile edictum inhibendis, inobedientesque et rebelles sententias, censuras et poenas praedictas incurrisse et incidisse declarandi, aggravandi, reaggravandi, interdicendi, et quatenus opus sit, auxilium brachii saecularis invocandi: et alia quae in praemissis et circa ea necessaria fuerint, seu quomodolibet opportuna.

Certis praetensis litteris per praelibatum Sanctissimum D. N. Papam eisdem Fratribus Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci de Observantia, seu illorum Ordini in forma Brevis concessis,[416] quam tenores Sanctitas Sua voluit haberi pro sufficienter expressis et insertis, caeterisque in contrarium facientibus non obstantibus quibuscumque, eorumdem praemissorum et aliorum forsan de necessitate exprimendorum tenores, effectus et compendia pro sufficienter expressis habere volens, Nobis vivae vocis oraculo commisit atque mandavit.

Cujus quidem causae, seu causarum hujusmodi commissione, vivae vocis oraculo ut praemittitur Nobis facta, et ad aures dictarum partium deventa, fuimus pro parte atriusque dictarum partium debita cum instantia requisiti, quatenus in causa et causis hujusmodi procedere et modo solito inhibere, litterasque inhibitorias desuper necessarias et opportunas, sub excommunicationis aliisque sententiis ac poenis Ecclesiasticis, ac pecuniariis in Romana Curia et extra eam, et ad partes in forma solita et consueta decernere et concedere dignaremur.

Nos igitur Antonius Episcipus et Andreas Presbyter Cardinales Commissarii et Compositores praefati, attendentes requisitionem hujusmodi fore justam et rationi consonam, volentesque inter partes praedictas aequalitatem, ut decet, servare ac dante Domino justitiam ministrare, ut tenemur, ac quidem in causa et causis hujusmodi sic in Romana Curia coram Nobis indecisis pendentibus, nihil sit in partibus per quemcumque attentandum seu innovandum.

Idcirco autem Apostolica auctoritate Nobis vivae vocis oraculo commissa et qua fungimur in hac parte, vos omnes et singulos supradictos, et vestrum quemlibet in solidum tenore praesentium requirimus et monemus primo, secundo, tertio et peremptorie: vobisque nihilominus et vestrum cuilibet, in virtute sanctae obedientiae et sub excommunicationis poena, quam in vos et vestrum quemlibet, si ea quae vobis in hac parte committimus et mandamus neglexeritis seu distuleritis contumaciter adimplere, canonica monitione praemissa, quam ferimus in his scriptis, districte praecipiendo, mandantes quatenus infra sex dierum spatium post praesentationem seu notificationem praesentium vobis seu alteri vestrum factas, et postquam pro parte dictarum partium, seu alterius earum principalium, vigore praesentium fueritis requisiti, seu alter vestrum fuerit requisitus, immediate sequentes, quorum sex dierum duos pro primo, duos pro secundo, et reliquos duos pro tertio et peremptoria termino ac monitione canonica assignamus: ita tamen quod in his exequendis unus vestrum alterum non expectet, nec unus pro alio seu per alium se excuset: propterea accedendo quo fuerit accedendum, Reverendissimis ac Reverendis in Christo Patribus et Dominis Patriarchis, Archiepiscopis, Episcopis et quibusvis aliis locorum Ordinariis, etiam Cardinalatus honore fulgentibus, sub interdicto ingressus ecclesiarum, eorumque et cujuslibet ipsorum in spiritualibus et temporalibus Vicariis seu Officialibus, Judicibus, Commissariis, Delegatis, Subdelegatis ordinariis, extraordinariis quibuscumque, quacumque auctoritate fungentibus, et praesertim RR. ac Venerabilibus ac Religiosis viris D. Magistris Provincialibus Ministris, Generali, Procuratoribus ac Fratribus et Religiosis Ordinis Minorum de Observantiae S. Francisci, ac Eremitis Ordinis Minorum ejusdem S. Francisci, partibus hinc inde principalibus praedictis, omnibusque aliis et singulis quorum interest aut interesse poterit quomodolibet in futurum, quibuscumque nominibus censeantur et quacumque praefulgeant dignitate, de quibus pro parte dictarum partium seu alterius earum principalium fuerint requisiti, seu alter eorum fuerit requisitus etiam sub excommunicationis aliisque sententiis, censuris et poenis ecclesiasticis, ac duorum millium ducatorum auri de Camera, pro una parte observanti et alia mediatibus Camerae Apostolicae irremissibiliter applicandorum ac persolvendorum, poenis quas in his scriptis ferimus, quasque quemlibet hujusmodi nostrae inhibitioni contravenientem incurrere volumus ipso facto, inhibentes: quibus et Nos etiam tenore praesentium sub similibus censuris et poenis inhibemus ne ipsi, vel eorum alter in causa et causis hujusmodi, per se vel alium seu alios, publice vel occulte, directe vel indirecte, quovis quaesito colore vel ingenio, in vilipendium litis pendentis ac jurisdictionis nostrae, immo verius Apostolicae, aut in dictarum partium vel alterius earum, earumque et cujuslibet ipsarum juris praejudicium et gravamen, lite et causa hujusmodi sic coram Nobis indecisis pendentibus, quicquam attentare seu innovare.

Dictaeque partes, videlicet dicti Fratres S. Francisci de Observantia eosdem Fratres Eremitas ejusdem Ordinis S. Francisci, etiam dictos Ludovicum et alios, qui a dicto eorum Ordine Observantiae recesserunt et dictam Eremiticam vitam adiverunt, etiam sub praetextu quod ad eorum Ordinem revertantur, etiam vigore dictarum litterarum eis, ut praemittitur, in forma Brevis concessarum, realiter vel personaliter cogere, seu in dicto eorum Ordine Regulari, Eremitoriis et aliis locis molestare, inquietare vel perturbare et de eis revocare cogere.

Et e converso dicti Fratres de Vita Eremitica S. Francisci aliquos ex dictis Fratribus S. Francisci de Observantia recipere quovis modo audeant, sive praesumant, seu audeat vel praesumat, donec et quousque in causa et causis hujusmodi per Nos, seu subrogandos nostros fuerit determinatum, seu decisum, aut alias concordatum et compositum.

Quod si secus factum fuerit, id totum revocare et in pristinum statum reducere, ac ad dictarum sententiarum censurarum et poenarum declarationem, illarumque aggravationem, reaggravationem interdicti Ecclesiastici appositionem, ac brachii saecularis invocationem, ac alia graviora procedere curabimus, justitia mediante.

Diem vero seu dies inhibitionis seu inhibitionum nostrarum hujusmodi, et quicquid in praemissis feceritis, seu aliquis vestrum fecerit, Nobis per vestras patentes litteras, aut instrumentum publicum harum seriem seu designationem in se continens, remissis praesentibus quantocius poteritis fideliter intimare curetis. Absolutionem vero omnium et singularum, qui praefatam nostram Excommunicationis sententiam incurrerint seu incurrerit, quoquo modo Nobis, vel Superiori nostro tantummodo reservamus.

In quorum omnium ac singulorum fidem et testimonium praemissorum, praesentes litteras sive praesens publicum instrumentum, hujusmodi nostram inhibitionem in se continentes seu continens, exinde fieri et per Notarium publicum hujusmodi causae coram Nobis Scribam infrascriptum subscribi ac publicari mandavimus, Sigillorumque nostrorum, quibus in talibus utimur, jussimus et fecimus appensione communiri.

Datum Romae in aedibus nostris successive, sub anno a Nativitate Domini millesimo quingentesimo trigesimo secundo: Indictione quinta, die vero Mercurii quartadecima mensis augusti, Pontificatus Sanctissimi in Christo Patris et Domini nostri Clementis, Divina Providentia Papae vii, anno nono. Praesentibus ibidem Venerabilibus Viris Dominis Pandulpho de Torto et Bartolomaeo Piperis, Clericis Romano et Saluciarum, necnon Felice Morono et Michaele Torrella Clericis Firmano et Romano, respective testibus ad praemissa vocatis specialiter atque rogatis.

Et ego Augustinus Matthaei alias Clerici, Clericus Cameracensis Dioecesis, publicus apostolica et imperiali auctoritatibus Notarius, in Archivio Romanae Curiae descriptus et annotatus, quia dictae inhibitioni omnibusque aliis praemissis, dum sic, ut praemittitur, sucessive agerentur, una cum praenominatis testibus praesens fui et in notam sumpsi. Ideo hoc instrumentum hujusmodi nostram inhibitionen in se continens exinde feci, subscripsi et publicavi, signoque et nomine meis solitis et consuetis, una cum praelibatorum Reverendissimorum DD. Cardinalium Sigillorum appensione signavi in fidem praemissorum rogatus et requisitus.

Locus Signi Notarii[417]

(L. S.) (L. S.)

If we want to strip this prohibiting judgement, produced in the customary form, from the mass of words, these things are clear. The Supreme Pontiff had received the Report of the Procurator General and listened to the two Cardinals, Santa Croce and the Protector. He had even been informed about events in Calabria, as is to be believed, from the legate of the Duke of Nocera. He appointed Cardinals del Monte and della Valle to resolve the dispute arisen between the Superiors of the Observants and the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life. These Commissioners, decided to settle the controversy with great prudence and maturity, and order the Observants to abstain for the time being from bothering the Capuchins, and command the Capuchins not to admit anyone from the Observants into their company. However the mention of a letter in the form of a Brief granted to the Friars of the Observance seems deserving of special notice. In the strength of this letter they tried to force the Capuchins to return to the Order. I have already indicated that this letter is the most recent Brief of 3 July. Hence it follows that it had been sent to Calabria before the month of September, as I asserted contrary to Giovannello. There will be another conclusion too. The aforesaid Brief had not been revoked, as our chroniclers would like, but its execution had only been suspended.

Boverius writes, “The Cardinals, to whom the case had been referred, having reached common agreement and with everything restored to how it was before, appear to have brought an end to the controversy in this year.”[418] I cannot agree with this opinion. From the things which are about to be presented, it will be clear that the outcome was completely different.

5. Before finishing the series of facts regarding the year 1532, we should note the construction of the friary at Montepulciano, which was the first in the Province of Tuscany. A certain fra Francesco, a Conventual Friar Minor, originating from this town, took himself into a solitary place with certain companions, and founded their hermitage dedicated to Santa Maria Magdalena. He had been the author of this humble reform which lost its vigour after his death,[419] though it was not extinguished nonetheless. It lasted to the year 1532 when the Superior of the hermitage, Padre Michele Angelo Marini da Secusia,[420] seeing the Capuchin Reform grow and spread and his own vanish little by little, decided to dissolve it. On 17 May he gave the friary back to the comune to which it belonged by the right of possession. On the day “a council was held and Rudolfo Giovanni, one of the council, prevailed to have an effective letter written to ask the Protector and co-citizen, Cardinal del Monte, to deign to take action, that is, that in the friary of Santa Maria Magdalena the comune might have Capuchins in the place of the Friars Minor of Saint Francis. The friary had been obtained for 55 lupinos albos 55, rubros 7 nonobst. ”[421] As they did not wait for the outcome of the petition, the hermitage was given to the Capuchins already by the 22 of the following month. Cardinal del Monte, designated here, was one of the two Commissioners appointed by the Pontiff and who is the same year gave the prohibiting sentence just referred to. I could easily believe that he had been sufficiently inclined towards the Capuchins.

Chapter XIV

1. New dangers threaten the Capuchins. 2.The Bull of the Reform is published 3. Its execution is suspended.

1. The fourth year had passed since the canonical foundation of the Congregation of the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life.[422] Tossed about by so many storms it would have sunk if divine Providence had not disposed otherwise. Certainly, some who were not able to endure this life, full of tribulations every day, left it and returned to the Observance. Others, however, remained constant to the ideal, those whom men of right mind and immune from passion steadfastly oppressed. Nonetheless necessity required that the disturbances arisen in the Order be resolved, and a simple abolition of the Capuchins was considered an ineffective solution. There was no better solution to be found for the matter. The new Congregation had dawned, and had experienced growth amid the different obstacles that the superiors of the Observance brought against those who longed to observe more perfectly the Rule they had professed. The cause removed, the effect would be taken away. It might have been enough to grant to the zealous friars the holy freedom they desired, and they might not have been compelled to search for it outside the houses of the Order and the obedience of the superiors.

I am convinced that such was the advice of Cardinal Santa Croce, who indeed, while he lead the Order, commanded that each province assign more friaries to the friars desirous of living in a reformed manner. Moreover, nor might the troubles have been renewed which the friars suffered in this way, had he had Pontifical authority intervene with a decision. Those for whom the commands of the General meant nothing would have respected that Pontifical authority.

Certain Reformed friars of the Roman province were also in agreement with this goal. Pisotti had persecuted them and had them driven out of the friaries granted them. The significant friars among them were Francesco d’Iesi and Bernardino d’Asti, “men of great integrity, equally pious and learned,” says Wadding.[423] The same spirit breathed in others in similar provinces. I will discuss just some of the zealous friars of the Province of Veneto, whose laments the bishop of Verona, Giovanni Matteo[424] Giberti and the Serenissima Senate of the Republic had referred to the Pontiff the preceding year.[425]

The two founders of the Clerics Regular had established their headquarters in Venice at the time: Saint Cajetan and Giovanni Pietro Carafa, known as the Theatine bishop. Their zeal for promoting church reform is well known to everyone. A certain Padre Bonaventura, from Veneto, had joined them in holy friendship. He was a friar and strenuous defender of the regular Observance, whom the priors of the city raised to the dignity of patrician because of this great virtue. At the same time they often provided suitable means for the renewal of fervour in the Order. Having weighed up matters appropriately, Carafa decided to send Bonaventure to Rome to go in his name to the Pontiff to inform him about various important things that were emerging. One was the need to establish friaries of the Reform in the provinces.[426] With his legate Carafa sent a wide-ranging and very carefully detailed report in which he dealt with each of the things. Produced in the form of a letter addressed to him Bonaventure was to hand it to Clement VII.[427]

When Padre Bonaventura arrived in Rome (October 1532), the matter was concluded on 2 November “in the palazzo of the most holy Lord.” He wrote to Carafa, “In this moment Our Lord welcomed me kindly, to whom I gave the letter and report from your Lordship.” Then he added this information which is very important for our history.

Of the Capuchins the Lord Pope permits a small number of fra Ludovico of the Marches to continue. However in this pact therefore they may not accept new places, not aggregate friars of any Order and are to be subject to the visitation and correction of the superiors of the Observance. Another part of the Capuchins has returned to the Observance, whose Procurator worked in the Curia for the production of a Bull in which it is ordered by Apostolic authority that the Capuchins, who returned to the flock, as well as all the other friars of the Order who wish to observe the Rule literally, should have four or five houses or more in each of the provinces, under their own Guardians. Other appropriate chapters are decreed so that it will be possible to do good things. No one will have cause to separate from the Order because he was not granted the facility of acting rightly. May God lay the foundation as he will know best and watch over us poor little ones faithful in his service.”[428]

2. The Bull to which Bonaventura da Venezia referred was published on 16 November 1532. The things in it that pertain to our history should be presented.[429]

Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. — In suprema militantis Ecclesiae specula, licet immeriti, disponente Domino, constituti, inter multiplices nobis ex debito Pastoralis officii incumbentes curas, illa potissimum premimur, ut qui sub voluntariae paupertatis habitu militantes, in humilitate spiritus devotum et sedulum Altissimo impendere satagunt famulatum, non solum ad id, sublatis impedimentis, intendant, verum etiam id eo ardentius efficiant quo majores sibi viderint exhiberi commoditates. Et ex hoc fit, ut quae antea ex rationalibus causis a praedecessoribus nostris ordinata sunt, videbantur expedire. Sane postquam felicis recordationis Leo Papa X praedecessor noster ex certis causis tunc expressis, voluerat et declaraverat sub nomine Reformatorum, ac pure et simpliciter Regulam beati Francisci Observantum comprehendi omnes et singulos Observantes tam de Familia, quam de Reformatis sub Ministris, ac fratris Amadei, de Colletanis, Clarenis, de sancto Evangelio, se de Capucio, ac Discalceatos nuncupatos, aut alios similes, quocumque alio nomine nuncuparentur, et Regulam beati Francisci hujusmodi, pure et simpliciter observarent, ex quibus omnibus unum corpus insimul efficiens, eosdem ad invicem perpetuo univerat. Itaque deinceps omissa diversitate nominum praedictorum, Fratres Minores sancti Francisci et Regularis Observantiae simul vel disjunctive nuncuparentur, et nuncupari possent et deberent, omnesque, ut praefertur, unitos Generali et Provincialibus Ministris et Custodibus dicti Ordinis, in quorum Provinciis et custodiis respective morabantur, in omnibus et per omnia secundum Regulam eamdem subjici deberent.

Cum nonnulli ipsius Ordinis professores, sicuti fideli relatione percepimus, Spiritu Sancto inflammati, ut beati Francisci alumni et veri filii, affectent Regulam ipsam beati Francisci pure et plene, juxta ejus litteram et declarationem bonae memoriae Nicolai III ac Clementis V Romanorum Pontificum praedecessorum nostrorum, firmiter observare. Nos, qui in sinceris eorum conscientiis delectamur, quique ab ineunte aetate ad hujus Ordinis professores, et ad Ordinem ipsum totum, singularem gessimus devotionis affectum, nunc autem ex communi cura Pastoralis regiminis, quam immeriti sustinemus, ad ipsos rovendos dulcius et gratiosis favoribus attente prosequendos, tanto provocamur ardentius, quanto intenta mente ipsi Religioni et toti universali Ecclesiae speramus profuturos: attendentes etiam quod in his, quae animae salutem respiciunt, ad vitandos gravantes remorsus, pars securior est tenenda.

Igitur tam pia et ferventi Fratrum praedictorum requisitione commoti, ad peragendum diligentius, quod ab eisdem desideratur, studia duximus convertenda. Habita igitur super his cum venerabilibus Fratribus nostris sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalibus, ac aliis de ipso Ordine informatis, matura deilberatione praehabita, de eorumdem Cardinalium unanimi consilio, his nostris in perpetuum valituris statuimus et ordinamus, ac in virtute sanctae obedientiae districtius praecipiendo mandamus, quatenus praedictis Fratribus dictam strictiorem Observantiam desiderantibus, per praefatos Generalem et Provincialem et Provinciales Ministros, ceterosque dicti Ordinis Praelatos, et quemlibet ipsorum, cui vel quibus hae nostrae, vel earum transumpta praesentatae vel praesentata fuerint, assignent loca, quantum fieri potuerit contigua, quatuor vel quinque juxta numerum Fratrum eorundem: et si in futurum plures Fratres voluerint se vitae praecedenti conformare, et ab eis acceptati fuerint, nullus eos impedire possit, sed Minister Provinciae cum Definitoribus in Provinciali Capitulo teneatur alia loca, quantum possibile fuerit contigua praedictis assignare ac prioribus addere, Quae quidem loca Fratres praedicti expropriare possint superfluis et pretiosis, et ea in utilia et necessaria commutare, mediante Syndico a Nicolao IV praedecessore nostro ordinato.

Et Generalis ac Provinciales Ministri et eorum Commissarii non possint impedire praedictos ab eorum strictiori observantia ipsius Regulae, juxta praefatas declarationes Nicolai et Clementis, nec a suo bono modo vivendi, quem inter se pro dicta strictiori observantia ordinaverint. Nec etiam impediant quin vilioribus et repeciatis induantur, et quin nudis pedibusd ambulent: sed qui non poterunt, portent calepodia, ut ceteris conformentur. In forma autem habitus et caputii sint ceteris dictae Observantiae conformes. Volumus etiam quod Fratres recipiendi seu vestiendi per Fratres in dicta Observantia strictiori viventes, examinentur juxta Regulam, per Ministrum Provincialem, et ab ipso cum consilio ipsorum Fratrum acceptentur. Nec possint quicumque dicti Ordinis Praelati, sine praefatorum Fratrum consensu ad loca praedicta mittere alios fratres, nec praedictos ab ipsis locis amovere, nisi ipsi petierint. In Provincialibus vero Capitulis removeantur per Minstros Provinciales et Definitores a locis praedictis illi Fratres quos Custos, ut infra eligendus, cum consensu majoris partis vocalium dictorum locorum duxerit amovendos. Insuper statuimus, quod praedicti Fratres in dicta strictiori observantia vivere volentes habeant in singulis Provinciis ubi fuerint, Custodem unum ex ipsis, quem sibi ipsi petierint, a Ministro Provinciali, vel ab eo qui praeest Capitulo, simul cum Definitoribus confirmandum et assignandum, qui habeat absolutam potestatem plenarie in hoc tantum, ut Fratres praedictos visitet, moneat et corrigat, ac manuteneat in dicta strictiori observantia Regulae, ordinationum et gratiarum eis a Nobis et successoribus nostris pro tempore existentibus Romanis Pontificibus, et praedictis Ministris Generalibus concessarum et concedendarum in futurum, et in dicto suo bono modo vivendi. Nec propter hoc impediatur Minister Provincialis quin visitare possit eosdem, ac corrigere delinquentes. Qui etiam Custos ire possit ad Capitulum Generale cum Ministro Provinciae, ad intimandum necessitates et opportunitates dictorum Fratrum. Ordinamus etiam quod Custos, Guardiani et Discreti vadant ad Capitula Provincialia, in quibus habeant vocem activam et passivam sicut ceteri Vocales: in quibus Capitulis Custos praedictus praesentet Ministro Provinciali et Definitoribus Fratres idoneos ad officium Guardianatus, ex quibus tantum fiant Guardiani supradictorum locorum. Possit etiam idem Custos, infra annum, cum consensu majoris partis conventus singuli removere Guardianum ab ejus officio, et alium substituere, quem Minister Provincialis confirmet. Custos vero possit a Fratribus reeligi usque ad triennium. Quo Custode infra annum decedente, Guardiani dictorum locorum alium, quem sibi viderint expedire, petant a Ministro vel ejus Commissario confirmari et assignari, quem Minister ipse vel ejus Commissarius benigne confirmet et assignet. Possit quoque dictus Custos, si Fratribus eisdem visum fuerit, esse Guardianus dictorum locorum. Si igitur Ministri Provinciales vel eorum Commissarii his praefatis contravenerint, sive alicui eorum, immediate Fratres praedictorum locorum, subjiciantur Ministro Generali. Et si, quod absit, Generalis praedictus eos impedire tentaverit, vel eis in praemissis, aut aliquo praemissorum favere neglexerit, volumus praefatis Fratribus ad Apostolicam Sedem et ad totius Ordinis Protectorem liberum patere recursum, a quo si quis eos impedire praesumpserit, sentenitae excommunicationis, quam ex nunc prout ex tunc ferimus in his scriptis, illico subjacere auctoritate Apostolica, tenore praesentium statuimus et promulgamus…

Datum Romae apud Sanctum Petrum, anno Incarnationis Dominicae MDXXII, XVI Kalend. Decembris, Pontificatus nostri anno IX.[430]

These things were ordered very often, and if they had been faithfully observed, it would have been over for the Congregation of the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life, unable to cite any reason to legitimise its separation. Therefore it seemed destined for a slow death, with the disappearance little by little of the friars who preferred to persevere in such an amalgamation with the reformed friars. However human prudence cannot prevail against God’s designs.

3. It would be very good for us to distinguish between how the will of the Holy See had been pointed out to Ludovico da Fossombrone and the spirit in which he and his companions approached the conditions imposed on them. However there is a complete dearth of authentic documents. Therefore it is very difficult, or I may even say impossible, to distinguish true from false in the accounts of our Chroniclers, whose main defect is a general ignorance of the history of the Order of Friars Minor. In the things which happened in 1533 they do not fail to include the Minister General who, as has been said, had left Rome in August 1532 and was staying in Gaul. He never returned to Rome.

Boverius, who blindly follows the Chroniclers, believes without foundation that everything had been settled at the end of 1532. He holds as certain the triumph won by Ludovico da Reggio by divine power over the very powerful enemy of the Reform, that is, the Minister General, then acting from afar. Consequently he does not hesitate to write that this year of 1533 was splendidly cheery and happy for our friars, and that many among those in the family of the Observants who remained firm in zeal for Reform, without interruption, fled from the various provinces to the Capuchins.[431]

Mere words, because it is more believable that the promulgation of the Bull In suprema of 16 November 1532 held back sensible men until they saw the outcome of this Reform solemnly promised by Apostolic authority. The Annalist records the name of none of them, while at the same time he mentions to the contrary, secular men who, having thrown off the spoils of the world, were inscribed in the records of the Religion. It was only prohibited for Religious of any order to join.

In his letter to Carafa, Bonaventura da Venezia also reported that the Capuchins had been forbidden to receive new places. Nevertheless the construction of a new friary near Reggio in Calabria in April 1533 appears certain. This construction is said to be confirmed by a public document.[432] On 6 April, in the presence of the notary Francesco Perrone, a certain doctor Giovanni Bernardo Melito granted to the friars Bernardino Giorgio and Ludovico da Polistena land with a hermits’ house where the archbishop of Reggio, Girolamo Centelles, intended to establish a Capuchin friary.

He also reports the advent of our friars to Sicily in this year of 1533 but he does not establish a sure date. The testimony of the good Colpetrazzo, who narrates these things, while it may be justified by the other contemporary writers, especially the Sicilians, is to be trusted less.

He transmits many things about the troubles which our Congregation suffered then from the Minister General (!) of the time who wanted the Congregation to be subject to himself. If the words of Bonaventura da Venezia are true, and we have no reason to suspect his sincerity, the right had been decreed for the superiors of the Observance to visit and correct the Capuchins whom the Pope allowed to remain in existence. No wonder therefore if the Superiors would have wanted to carry out the office entrusted to them, against the will of Ludovico. Perhaps not content with these things they attempted to assimilate among all the other friars those who, according to the Bull, intended to live in a reformed way, for whom it was prescribed to conform with the other friars of the Observance regarding the shape of the habit and of the cowl.

This was the reason, I believe, for the troubles which Boverius narrates with evident amplification, but which, lacking any other testimony, he was glad to pass over. I do not deny however that the superiors of the Observance wanted to press the Capuchins in the strict observance of the conditions imposed on them, while procrastinating with the execution of the Bull of Reform.

On 4 June 1533, a friar of the Roman province, whose name is not given, wrote to the Theatine Bishop.[433] “Venerable Father, greetings in Christ. I report to Your Paternity that the Pope, at the request of the friars, has suspended the execution of the Bull of Reform until the next General Chapter. The friars of this province have obtained with difficulty four inadequate small houses and this year will proceed slowly as best they can. However they intend to insist that the Bull be strictly observed in the coming year, since they fear that in the General Chapter the number of friars against will be greater than those in favour.”[434] The writer of the letter then asked the Bishop to work diligentlytogether with the bishop of Verona with the Supreme Pontiff so that he might deign to apply a strong hand in the execution of such an important task as this.

It would be very useful for us to know the history of the Reform, which is connected to ours, but few things are known about its beginnings, and those who have written about these things often relied upon uncertain traditions rather than documents. For my part, I am not capable of bringing even the slightest light. Because of this, with the things that happened in 1533, I will come to an end with the resignation of the Minister General offered by order of the Pontiff and to whom only the bare name of Minister General remained.[435] Paolo Pisotti da Parma, the hostile enemy of the Capuchins and the Reformed friars, died in his home land on 7 November 1534.

Chapter XV

1. Ruin threatens the Capuchins. 2. They leave Rome. 3. The sentence of exile is revoked. 4. The passage of Giovanni da Fano to the Capuchins. 5. The conclusion of the present Commentary.

1. The obstacles that the Observant friars met, who wanted to live in a reformed way in the houses of the Order, persuaded them to migrate to the Capuchins. We do not know the reason such transfers were made, despite the repeated pontifical prohibitions. Nonetheless these things could not have happened without provking further efforts of the Observants against them, “since they believed themselves disadvantaged, because the flower of virtuous men left them and went to the Capuchins.”[436]

Among these are numbered Bernardino d’Asti and Francesco d’Iesi, whom we have seen as promoters of the Reform to be done in the Order.[437] Perhaps of lesser piety, not of lesser reputation, was Bernardino Ochino who had been the first Minister of the Province of Siena, many times delegated Commissary to the province of Veneto by the General. He took part in the Congregation assembled by order of the Supreme Pontiff on 26 July 1533, which accepted the resignation of the Minister General, Paolo da Parma, and elected the Cismontane Vicar.[438] Not unknown was Giovanni da Fano whom, according to them, also went at this time to the Capuchins and whom he had harshly persecuted. However, I shall say more about him later.

Around the end of 1533 and the beginning of the following year, others also enlisted among the Capuchins. Among these Bernardino da Colpetrazzo must not be passed over in silence. He wrote himself that he fled to the Capuchins on the Sunday in the Octave of Epiphany, 11 January 1534.[439]

The Superiors of the Observance were not able to tolerate these things for long and united to remove the Capuchins from their midst. There was no need for them to incite so many kings and princes of the Christian world so that, with letters written to the Pontiff, they might act more forcefully with him so that he not allow the Order to be disturbed by that new and completely useless Reform. Not only did most of them not know the Capuchins who had not yet spread through all of Italy,[440] but that conspiracy of eminent persons against the poor friars was in no way becoming to their dignity. It would have been better if one or other of them, with the Bull In suprema promulgated, which established norms to institute reform in the provinces, had asked that its execution to be postponed, as it could endanger the quiet of their subject friars. Access to the Pontiff was easy for the Procurator General Onorio Caiani, whom Clement VII chose as his confessor. It would not be rash to conjecture about this. He would show his most illustrious penitent that the example of the Capuchins is the cause of disturbances which some restless friars stirred up in the Order on the pretext of Reform. No other reason, in fact, will be given for their abolition or suppression in the documents to be cited below.

It seems certain that the Pontiff consented to the suppression of the Capuchins. The original copy of the Brief has endured to now, in which he himself declared them to be completely extinguished. The Papal Auditor, Girolamo Ghinucci, whose competence was to present to the Pope the letters to be sent in his name, disapproved of this judgement and did not hesitate to advise Clement VII. This is evident from the writing in his own hand on the back of the original, which reads: “It does not seem fitting to compel an unwilling religious to lead a more lax life. If however Our Lord His Holiness wants another consideration, in no way do I agree that this be issued by His Holiness. It should be entrusted to someone else. Indeed such a procedure is not worthy to involve the Pope himself in the process. Girolamo. Auditor.”[441]

This observation of the Auditor touched upon the substance and form of the Brief. Regarding the form he easily overcame the cause, while the substance remained the same. In this way the earlier letter was corrected. Having deleted the words “Ad futuram rei memoriam,” it is directed to the Cardinal Protector to whom its execution is entrusted. And so:

Venerabili fratri nostro Andreae Episcopo Praenestinensi, Cardinali de Valle nuncupato.

Venerabilis Frater noster salutem.

Pastoralis officii cura nos admonet, ut ad ea diligenter indendamus per quae singuli religiosi, et praesertim Ordinum Mendicantium professores, qui sub voluntariae paupertatis habitu Domino militant, semotis perturbationibus et scandalis universis, gratum et sedulum impendere valeant Altissimo famulatum. Accepimus siquidem quod nonnulli Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Regularis Observantiae nuncupatorum professores, praetendentes se velle Regulam beati Francisci ad unguem, juxta ejus litteralem sensum, et non declarationes super illa hactenus per Romanos Pontifices predecessores nostros editas, observare, a propriis Ordinis et Observantiae hujusmodi domibus recedentes, ad diversas alias domos et loca, etiam eiusdem Ordinis, se transtulerunt, et inibi se Fratres Capuciatos nuncupantes, vitam admodum austeram et rigidam ac fere non humanam ducunt, in maximam aliorum ipsius Ordinis professorum, qui propterea dubitant se Regulae pariter non satisfacere, perturbationem, et grave scandalum plurimorum.[442]

Nos igitur volentes, praemissis, quantum cum Domino possumus, occurrere et materiam scandalorum amputare,[443] omnes et singulos dicti Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Regularis Observantiae professores, sub habitu et moribus ac observantia eorumdem fratrum Capuciatorum ad praesens viventes, auctoritate nostra requiras et moneas[444] in Domino: eis et eorumdem singulis, nihilominus, in virtute sanctae obedientiae, et sub excomminicationis latae sententiae poena, quam eos nisi realiter et cum effectu paruerint eo ipso incurrere volumus et declaramus, districte praecipiendo mandas,[445] quatenus infra xv dies post monitionem tuam praedictam, eis et eorum cuilibet personaliter faciendam, immediate sequentes, quorum quinque pro primo, quinque pro secundo, et reliquos pro tertio et peremptorio termino ac monitione canonica, eis et eorum cuilibet assignes, debeant et quilibet eorum debeat ad domos dicti Ordinis, quas in eorum recessu reliquerunt et ad quas eos, absque eo quod per superiores suos praemissorum occasione quovis modo molestari possint, libere redire posse decernimus, sub illorum superiorum obedientia, omni exemptione cessante, realiter et cum effectu redisse, et se habitui et moribus ac observantiae aliorum ipsius Ordinis professorum de Observantia nuncupatorum omnino conformasse.

Nihilominus per te vel alium,[446] seu alios, omnes et singulos, sub praesentibus nostris comprehensos, monitione et mandatis tuis hujusmodi non parentes, et quos excommunicationis sententiam praedictam incurrere continget, ex nunc prout ex tunc, et contra excommunicatos tamdiu publice nunties, et facias ab aliis nuntiari, donec ipsi sic excommunicati ab hujusmodi excommunicationis sententia absolutionis beneficium meruerint obtinere. Et nihilominus terminis super iis habendis servatis, processibus sententiam excommunicationis praedictam iteratis vicibus aggravare procures, invocato etiam ad hoc, si opus fuerit, auxilio brachii saecularis. Non obstantibus etc.

Datum Romae, die 15 aprilis 1534, anno Pontificatus undecimo.


The Cardinal Protector did not refuse to carry out the unpleasant task presented to him, for he signed the letter in his own hand thus: “Videtur concedendum. A. Cardinalis De Valle. Protector.”

It is laborious and completely impossible to distinguish true from false in those things which then happened next. If Colpetrazzo is to be believed, the Pontiff, terrified by lighting, revoked his intention regarding the annihilation of the Capuchins. I confess sincerely that I, according to my judgement at least, in a similitude of the truth, have left aside the story of this colossal storm with terrifying lightning bolts which struck three major Basilicas at the same time, while the fourth lightning bolt cut in half the marble image of the Angel erected on the top of Adrian’s Fortress.[447] In fact none of the contemporary writers who published historical commentaries of Rome mention this storm in April 1534. Nor do they make the slightest mention of the destruction of the effigy of the angel, though they refer to it hit many times by lightning.

The observation of the Papal Auditor, for whom it did not seem fitting that an unwilling religious be constrained to a laxer life had been taken little into account. Nonetheless that ruinous judgement lacked effect and in this is to be seen the finger of God.

2. Boverius, who copies the account of Colpetrazzo and maintains that the judgement was revoked, is not ashamed to attribute a duplicity to the Supreme Pontiff, whom he shows resorting to cunning practices to satisfy the bogus petitions of the Princes, to calm the storm in the Christian world. Let us listen to him: “At this time the Pontiff thought to expel the Capuchins from Rome for a brief period of time in which those who opposed the Reform thought it would be easier now to extinguish them from the earth, given their expulsion from Rome, which manifested the hostile attitude of the Pontiff towards the Capuchins. However, because of this, there were no fewer of those who supported the Capuchins, he knew that complaints against him were to be expected. Hence on this pretext he decreed that the friars then be recalled to Rome. Regarding the Capuchins moreover, since he considered them to be endowed with singular virtue, he was convinced henceforth that they had endured that adverse storm and trial with equanimity and strength.”[448]

I am well aware that the Annalist presents the writings of Colpetrazzo for his own justification. Nonetheless I am amazed that a learned and religious man did not refrain from this shameful accusation of duplicity. Nor can I explain why the Sacred Congregation of the Index, which ordered the account of the storm be put aside, did not order things like this to be deleted.

Whatever the motives behind the attitude of the Pontiff, if this sentence of expulsion was issued by him, it seems to me that the account by Colpetrazzo deviates from credibility. Indeed he says that it ordered the Capuchins to obey the order and leave the friary within the time it took to burn a candle. He narrates that the peremptory decree was presented at lunch time, as the friars were sitting down at the table. After reading it publicly, Ludovico counsels that it be obeyed immediately and they rise from the table. Carrying nothing but the breviary, preceded by a Cross, going two by two, they leave the friary and the City.

Marius, who narrates the event himself, says with greater probability that a time limit of some days had been given them. They say that this exit happened on 25 April, the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist.

It seems plausible to me to propose another reason for the exit of the Capuchins from Rome. I am brought easily to recognise in this decree of expulsion the beginning of the execution of the Brief of 15 April, which had not yet been revoked. The time limit of fifteen days was to be given by the Cardinal Protector to each and every friar so that they might all return to the friaries from which they left. Given that that sentence had not been repealed, in fact nothing is clear about that repeal, the Protector had to make it known not only to Ludovico, who could have concealed it, but to each of those to whom it pertained, as was provided in the Apostolic letter: “districte praecipiendo mandamus, quatenus infra xv dies post monitionem tuam praedictam, eis et eorum cuilibet personaliter faciendam…[449]

If Ludovico decided that the decree of expulsion be obeyed straight away, if not he, why do other friars refuse to obey the Pontifical command imposed on them by the Cardinal under pain of excommunication? I confess, however, that my conjecture does not admit a reason for the departure, so to speak, and the scene of the friars going two by two in procession behind the upright cross. Was not this in fact what Colpetrazzo described? It was again, he says, the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. The customary solemn prayers of this day explain the reason for the procession and the friary could have chosen this mode so that they might conceal the real reason for their departure. I believe that Ludovico chose to be prudent, rather than further inflame the anger of the adversaries with a risky, even somewhat irreverent manifestation.

Since that procession arrived to the church of Saint Lawrence outside the walls, say our chroniclers, and the friars did not know where to go, the Lateran Canons serving in the Basilica who had the use of the spacious monastery, constrained the Capuchins to their hospitality. Given that they had been told to leave Rome, they had obeyed. Being kindly invited, they could stay at Saint Laurence’s. Given also that they might have decided to return the friaries of the Observance, nothing stopped them however from staying for a while, as long as they returned to their own friaries before the end of the established time-limit of fifteen days. Our Chroniclers add that not all stayed with the Lateran Canons, but they had spread out to different provinces, and as the chroniclers add rather improbably, in order to receive new places and spread the Religion. The times were cloudy, but probably each took up his own journey, and the ones who remained were those who belonged to the Roman province.

Whatever the opinion held about either the expulsion of the Capuchins or their voluntary departure, it is certain that Ludovico did not remain idle. On the contrary, he laboured with all his strength. With the help of those whom he had experienced by now to be benevolent towards him and his friars, he tried again to save the Congregation condemned to ruin. They say that the Duchess of Camerino, immediately notified, hurried to Rome.[450] Likewise, Vittoria Colonna responded first by letter and then in person. She was then staying in the town of Marino, which lay at a distance of fifteen miles from Rome. Camillo Orsini also, and Ascanio Colonna, as well as other persons of lesser note, did not fail to effectively uphold the cause of the Capuchins. A tradition of the Roman Province says that Ascanio then offered hospitality to the friars on his land in Nemi and that this is the origin of the friary in that place.[451] Among the friends of Ludovico, worthy of special memory are Nicola Bufalini, a Roman citizen, protector of the City and Papal Commissary,[452] a certain advocate Marcello Falonio and two soldiers Giovanni da Torino and Bartolomeo da Benevento.[453]

Our chroniclers also say that the famous hermit Brandano, the itinerant prophet mentioned above came then to the city. Going around the streets and squares of Rome he cried out, “Woe to you, Rome! You throw out the Capuchins while you nurture usurers and prostitutes!” and shouting out other such reproaches he struck fear in everyone. Given the character of the prophet, these things are possible. However those who have written his life, as well as other Roman historians, are silent about the presence of Brandano in Rome at this time.

3. The sentence against the Capuchins was revoked. That is clear. However the circumstances of this revocation are unknown to us. We only know from Wadding that a new Brief came out which completely forbad Ludovico and all his companions to receive Observants into their Congregation. Even if it is reported in the Annalist of the Friars Minor to have been given on 9 April 1534, I am quite certain that it was written later, once the earlier sentence was repealed. We have known other mistakes in the dates of Briefs in Wadding, who copied them from the Curial Records. In many things it agrees with a letter of 15 April, which is the more correct date of the letter.[454]

Dilectis filiis Ludovico de Fossambruno Ordinis Fratrum Minorum professori, Fratri Capucciato nuncupato, et ejus sociis, ac eorum cuilibet.

Dilecti filii etc. Cum sicut accepimus, vos praetendentes velle Regulam beati Patris vestri Francisci ad unguem juxta ejus litteralem sensum, et non declarationes super illam per Romanos Pontifices praedecessores nostros hactenus editas observare, a propriis domibus Ordinis vestri Fratrum Minorum Regularis Observantiae nuncupatorum recedentes, et ad diversas alias domos et loca etiam ipsius Ordinis vos transferentes, ac inibi vos fratres Capucciatos nuncupantes, maximam in dicto Ordine perturbationem suscitare, et caeteris ipsius Ordinis professoribus, an per eos Regulae praedictae ad plenum satisfiat, haesitandi materiam praebere visi fueritis, in gravem animi ipsorum professorum trepidationem.

Nos volentes perturbationi et scandalo praedictis, quantum cum Deo possumus, obviare: Motu proprio et ex certa scientia, vobis et vestrum singulis, in virtute sanctae obedientiae, et sub excommunicationis poena, quam vos et vestrum singulos, si praesentibus nostris contraveneritis, incurrere volumus ipso facto, districte praecipiendo mandamus, quatenus de caetero aliquem ex ipsius Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Regularis Observantiae nuncupatorum professoribus, etiamsi ad Fratres ipsius Ordinis Conventuales nuncupatos antea transiverit, et ab eis receptus fuerit, seu habitum ipsius Ordinis prius dimiserit, et in habitu saeculari existat, in socium vel fratrem vestrum, aut novas domos vel loca ad habitandum recipere absque Sedis praedictae licentia speciali, plenam et expressam de praesentibus mentionem, faciente, nullatenus praesumatis.

Non obstantibus constitutionibus et ordinationibus Apostolicis, ac dicti Ordinis, juramento, confirmatione Apostolica, vel quavis firmitate alia roboratis, statutis et consuetudinibus, privilegiis quoque, indultis, ac litteris Apostolicis etiam in forma Brevis vobis sub quibuscumque tenoribus, et cum quibusvis etiam derogatoriarum derogatoriis clausulis, irritantibusque, etc.

Datum Romae apud sanctum Petrum, sub anulo Piscatoris, die … Aprilis MDXXXIV, Pontificatus nostri anno XI.[455]

In this letter, and in the others he sent, the term ‘Capuciatus’ is used to designate the Friars Minor of the Eremitical Life. Thus their name was immortalised in common use by the Apostolic See at the same time that their ruin was decreed.

4. While the Capuchins breathed a little while the storm had calmed, attention ought to be given to Giovanni da Fano who truly deserves special mention. Having left office in the Chapter of 1527 he no longer governed the province of the Marches but applied himself completely to the ministry of the Word. He did this so well that he deserved to receive, on 1 August 1532, “the faculty to preach freely through all the Cismontane provinces, wherever the impulse of the Spirit directed him, and taking with him suitable companions, religious men, for this pious ministry.”[456]

In this same year the Senate of Ragusa asked the Minister General to send them this outstanding preacher of the divine word. The Minister promised that Fra Giovanni da Fano would be sent, and would preach the coming Lent. Soon after he said ‘no’ to being sent, which upset those in Ragusa a great deal. Therefore they protested to the Cardinal of Trivulzio, the protector of the republic, so that he might admonish the Minster not to back down from his promise. But in vain, for in 1537 the same Senate wrote to Giovanni that it had the greatest joy, having learned of his intention to come to Ragusa to preach the word of God, since they had been wanting to hear him for a long time.[457]

He prepared a volume of sermons for the press that were carefully written twice and in which he had weighed each and every word. They were subjected to the scrutiny of a certain learned friar who had completed his studies in Paris, and who spent an entire year at this task. Two friars of outstanding learning in the Veneto Province carried out the office of censor. They were Francesco Giorgio and Girolamo Malinpiero. The author might have claimed property rights to be safer and he wanted to obtain a Pontifical Brief. No one would dare to publish a work without his consent. To obtain this more easily he asked P. Bonaventura da Venezia to entrust the matter to the Theatine Bishop Giovanni Pietro Carafa. In February 1532 an Apostolic Letter was given in which Carafa was ordered, either himself or through someone else proven by him, to examine the said sermons carefully. If he finds them canonical and approved by the Church and worthy for publication, he might grant permission by Apostolic authority to have them published.[458] It is believed that the Bishop wanted to examine the work but Giovanni, who earlier had understood from P. Bonaventura that Carafa would be content with the censorship already done, had handed the work over to the printer. We know this from his letter to the Bishop.[459] I have not been able to find anything else about the book of Sermons nor discover whether it even came out.

He published another small work in the same year of 1532 in Bologna, for the use of the simple, against the pernicious Lutheran heresy,[460] and which he did not want confused with the other work.

What Giovanni did after that we do not know. Those who wrote about the Reform in the province of the Marches say he was the first Custos of the Reformed friars.[461] However it is difficult to reconcile this with the documents, which appear certain, and with our tradition. In fact the Reform, as is clear from Wadding, had begun in the Marches only in 1534. In the Regestum Cismontane one reads, “In the present year of 1534, on 16 April, the Commissary General, R.P. fra Girolamo da Valencia, was sent to the Province of the Marches, requested by the same Province, with full authority to conduct the visitation…and to hold the Chapter … and in the same province, by the authority of the Rev. P. Commissary himself, and of the R.P. Minister and the Fathers of the Definitory of the Chapter, some places were granted to the friars requesting to live in a reformed way. These are: the friary of the Annunciation at Osimo; the friary of San Giacomo at Cingoli; and the Hermitage at Massaccio, under obedience to and with the support of the Minister, however without a Custos.”[462] Therefore Giovanni was not the first Custos of the Reformed friars of the Marches.[463]

The common tradition of our Chroniclers is that he joined the Capuchins before the events related in this previous paragraph happened. They say that he was Guardian at the friary of Cingoli where two Capuchins came, drenched by rain, and whom he received charitably. Asked by them about the state of the Congregation, with compunction of heart, he decided to join their company, together with Eusebio d’Ancona. Meanwhile individual friars of that friary, pondering this independently, left the friary. Although they undertook a different journey, they all arrived at the door of Santa Eufemia.

Wadding, for whom this story is suspect, observes that the friary at Cingoli was far too unimportant a place, “out of proportion to the man’s dignity as Boverius proclaims.”[464] This is true, but I can say that Giovanni chose this for himself moved by zeal for a stricter life which he proposed in his Dialogo, before the Bull of Reform would have an effect in his province of the Marches. In fact his conversion does not appear to me unexpected, but opportunely considered. Giovanni was a sincere man who did not judge reform in the Order useless. He would want universal reform. He even feared individual attempts as almost contrary to the common good.[465] He persecuted our first Fathers and opposed everyone in words, deeds and writings, not because he was driven by blind rage, but because the decrees of the Apostolic See and his office of superior required it. Over the course of years his mind could have changed, especially in those things which he saw take place in the other provinces, such as Veneto. His somewhat slight familiarity with Bonaventura da Venezia, a strenuous proponent of reform, gave him some indication of this change.[466] Hence, I suspect that when the Bull In suprema came out, Giovanni welcomed it with a joyful heart as the beginning of a happy moderation that proceeded not just from some private man of lesser note, but from the supreme authority of the Pontiff, and that he decided to reform himself. However I do not dare to exceed the limit of free conjecture nor propose these things as certain. Therefore we do not know the true circumstances of Giovanni’s conversion and it is even impossible to determine the date. Nor does he offer us the slightest light in his corrected Dialogo.

5. I could not finish with Giovanni, without saying that he saw fulfilled the prophetic words of blessed Battista Varano who, when he asked her what he should do with our first Fathers, it is said, answered with Gamaliel, “If this plan is from men the undertaking will fail. If indeed it is from God, you will not be able to destroy it.”

At this point let us take the fulfilment of this prophecy almost in hand and I have completed my assumed task. We turn to the end of the Pontificate of Clement VII who in fact died on 25 September 1534. Through the intercession of his niece the Duchess of Camerino he planted the Congregation in the garden of the Church, and then he himself attempted to uproot it. Within God’s design this shows more clearly that this work is not from men. New troubles, though no less important, which were observed in the Order during the Pontificate of Paul III, his successor, manifested more and more the divine design. These difficulties arose not only from external enemies but from the friars themselves, and indeed from their own Superiors. I have already narrated their role[467] and therefore I am stopping here.

Many things remain obscure, doubtful and uncertain in the history of the beginnings of our Order. To the best of my ability I have attempted to explain unpublished and little known documents. Far too numerous are the others which I have left to be studied, for those especially who have the task of writing the history of individual provinces. They are to seek out carefully contemporary accounts hidden in the archives of friaries, scribes, comuni and regions, especially regarding the spread of the Order and the foundation of friaries, which our Chroniclers often related with less exactness. Against the affirmation of the poet I know for sure: hard work does not conquer all things. However it is necessary so that our history not be numbered among fables by learned men.

Come then, brothers, cast off the works of darkness. Avoid foolish and old tales and clothe yourselves with the armour of light and truth.

Appendix: Two letters by the Duchess of Camerino in support of the Capuchins

At the death of Clement VII the Duchess of Camerino lost the influence by which she used to exercise authority among many in the Curia. She had gravely offended the sentiment of the new Pontiff by giving her daughter Giulia to Guidobaldo, the son of the duke of Urbino, and at one and the same time she was distancing from herself the sentiments of his brothers. Therefore she was incapable of guarding her Capuchins from their enemies. She did not stop coming to their aid however, but sought to find supporters for them. Although these might refer to the Pontificate of Paul III, it will not be unpleasant to present two letters she wrote to Ercole Gonzaga, the Cardinal of Mantua. These in fact are the last documents which have come down to us and they manifest her maternal affection towards our first friars. I take them from the work of Feliciangeli, cited already many times.[468] et Monsignor mio osservatissimo.

Poi ch’io ho giuocato et pedutomi tutti miei fratelli, son forzata ricorrere alla protettione de mia patroni come è V.S., quale havendo io sempre tenuta per mia Signore et Patrono, ora si volgi essermi anche protettrice nelle cose che mi occorreranno per mio interesse et de li amici miei, com’è hora che avendo i fratini costì una loro casa et havendo bisogno di favore, essendo io loro affexionata come sono, prego che in tutto quel ch’ella portà li voglio aiutare et favorire et me ne farà tal gratia che ne li havrò perpetua obbligatione et così reverentemente le bacio le mani, rendedole infinite gratie de la congratulatione ch’ella mi ha fatta del parentado contratto di mio filiuola con lo Signor suo nipote et dove io prima havea la servitù con Lei ora vi sarà la servitù et la parenteza benchè indegnamente.

Di Camerino il 29 di 8bre del 1534.
Serva la Duchessa di Camerino.

The Cardinal, says the noteworthy author, answered by promising his support, but he was not ignorant of the difficulties presenting themselves in the matter, which is unknown to us. The Duchess wrote back to him. et Monsignor mio,

Rendo infinitissime gratie a V.S.R. del buono animo ch’ella tiene di far tutti quelli piaceri ch’ella potrà alli frati scappuccini per amor mio et così ne li resto per sempre oligatissima et perché mi scrive la difficultà ch’ella ci conosce a poter loro far servigio, le rispondo che quanto l’impresa è più ardua et difficile, tanto sarà maggiore l’obbligo che io ne la havrò et quanto le paia col Santa Croce oprarci el mezo del di Bari io mene rimetto al suo più sano parere: in qualunche modo si aitino a me non importa, pur che si aitino, che invero per la loro vita et buoni esempli meritano che ognun buon Christiano parli per essi et così di nuovo riverentemente le bacio le mani. Di Camerino il xix di 9bre del 1534.

Serva la Duchessa di Camerino.

Even Guidobaldo, Caterina’s son-in-law and the nephew of Cardinal Gonzaga, wrote to his uncle on 29 October.

Questa Signora Duchessa mia matre havendo singular devotione nei frati chiamati scapucini et desiderando che per le occorrentie che alla giornata si trovano havere in Roma faccino acquisto di uno particolare Protettore loro, mi ha ricerco con grande instancia gli voglio far raccomandati alla et et perché desidero extremamente com’è debito mio, in tutto qel ch’io posso gratificare questa Signora, non ho voluto mancare ad istantia sua di questo offitio appresso quella la quale però prego efficacissimente che a contemplatione della predetta Signora et per amor mio si contenti pigliare la protettione di questi frati.

Such commendations and Cardinal Gonzaga achieved little, both then and later. He showed himself to be dutiful friend of the Capuchins, but when he assumed the office of Vice-Protector of the Order of Friars Minor he signed judgements contrary to them.[469]

  1. Orignal title: Eduardus Alenconiensi, De primordiis Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum 1525-1534. Commentarium Historicum, Romae, apud Curiam Generalitiam O.M.Cap, 1921
  2. Pacifico Carletti da Seggiano was Capuchin Minister General 1908-1914.
  3. Exodus 8:19.
  4. Cicero, De Oratore, II, 15 ( In fact, 2.62.)
  5. Melchiorre da Pobladura, De vita et scriptis P.Marii Fabiani a Foro Sarsinio, O.M.Cap., in Collectanea Franciscana, 6(1936) 553-554 disagrees with the commonly held view (ibid. p.553, note 7) concerning the year Marius joined the Capuchins. See also his De vita et gestis P. Marii Fabianii in the introduction to his edition of the Relationes de origine Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum, in Monumenta Historica Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum I (herein MHOMC), Rome, 1937, p.xxxiv. [BCC:023-F-1; 23-N-26.] Pobladura’s opinion is upheld by the Lexicon Capuccinum (1951), 1057 [BCC:023-E-5; 027-A-11]
  6. “Although I was a boy then (1525), though at the age that I remember everything quite well, I went with my father to his sermons. Because of the love my father had for him, and the devotion he had towards him, this good friar hardly ever came to my town … and my father did not extend to him a welcome to his home…” “When I was Guardian in the year 1543, this Father (Matteo) appeared that year in the city (Camerino), carrying out his office of preaching and bringing the people to do good works. It happened that I went into the city for other matters and I met him and pleaded with him to come and stay in our friary. And so he came the following day, where I had quite a long conversation with him. We talked together about things concerning the congregation. It was at that time that he told me everything about the beginning and development of our company; and what God wanted to do through him in Montefalcone; on the journey to Rome; in Rome itself, and also everything the Pope did, and about the difficulties that he suffered. To say it in one word, he told me about everything, and I noted everything he told me very well.” (Marius a Mercato Saraceno, Relationes, MHOMC I, n.58, p.179-180.
  7. This has already been published in the Analecta OFM Cap, volume 23, and in my small work De origine Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, Rome, 1908, p.43-51, following codex 551 of the Correr Museum, Venice. I have another description from a certain codex stored in the archives of our province in Genoa, and which the beloved Francesco Saverio de Lorenzo (historian of the same province) handed me. Zarlino, in the work mentioned below, writes that this account or letter was sent on 3 September 1565.
  8. I have in mind a copy (apographum) transcribed from a very old codex, formerly in our friary in Cingoli and now kept in the provincial archives of the Marches, which our Giuseppe da Fermo (reader and annalist of the same province) kindly showed me. A paper codex, 125mm x 95mm, 228 pages, of miscellaneous content. Among other things it contains (ff.21-129b) the amended dialogue of Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo della Salute, to which our discussion will return later; (ff.177-228b): Descrittione nella quale fedelmente si ragiona et narra, come, quando et dove cominciò la Reforma de frati Cappuccini di san Francesco, composta da fra Marius da Mercato Saraceno del medesimo ordine et professione, sapendo benissimo il tutto da chi fu il Fundator di detta Congregatione et parimente da quei fratri, che furono primi à pigliar quale santo abito. The first part of this codex (ff.1-165) was completed on 20 December, Anno Domini MDLXXV (1575)…It had been for the use of p.Pietro da Apiro († 1616), the novice master, who wrote down some spiritual songs where blank pages occurred.
  9. That small work is entitled: Informatione del Reverendo M. Gioseffo Zarlino da Chioggia, Maestro di Capella della Serenissima Sig. di Venetia. Intorno la Origine della Congregatione de i Reverendi Frati Cappuccini. In Venezia, appresso Domenico Nicolini, in 32 octavo pages. [ Pobladura published this document in Appendix II of Marius, Relationes, P. 489-526.] The heading for the narration by Marius is: Narratione dell’origine della Congregatione de’ Frati Cappuccini, cioè come, quando, dove e da chi ella hebbe il suo principio. Composta dal Molto Padre Fra Marius da Mercato Saraceno, del medesimo ordine, del quale fu generale egli anni sei. And so it is in the codex that is kept in the archives in our Province of Venice. Formerly the codex had been given to P. Onorio da Venezia by the vicar General, P. Giovanni Maria da Tissa (1581-1584). P. Gerardo da Villafranca, archivist of the same province, wrote a copy for himself, which he donated to our general archives. Another copy is kept in the national library in Naples (codex IX, F.57). This copy was made in 1584 in Crema at the order of P. Luciano da Brescia, the Guardian. Boverius used this codex. A third copy is in the city library of Lyon (codex 1225).
  10. “Since our recent general Chapter celebrated in Rome decided that the Chronicles of our Friars, written and collected from the good memory of Rev. P. Frate Marius da Mercato Saraceno and by you Father be revised, corrected and well set out so that they may be then printed, with the merit of holy Obedience, go to Rome … with the presence and help of the R.P. Procurator of the Order and of the P. Guardian of Rome … attend to putting them in good order… from Santo Angelo in Vado, 18 August 1584. F. Giacomo da Mercato Saraceno.” This is to be found in the codex of Bernardino da Colpetrazzo. Historia Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum (1525-1593). Liber primus: Praecipui nascentis Ordinis eventus, MHOMC II, edited by Melchiorre da Pobladura, Assisi, 1939, p.12. [BCC:023-F-2; 23-N-27]. He had already submitted an earlier redaction at the request of the general superior Jerome of Montefiore (1574-1581) in 1580. On the redaction history of Colpetrazzo’s Chronicle see Pobladura’s Disquisitio critica de vita et scriptis P. Bernardini a Colpetrazzo in Collectanea Franciscana 9(1939)34-72 and his Prolegomena to aforementioned Historia Ordinis MHOMC II, p.xxxix-lxxxix. A ‘manuscript’ English translation of both studies may be found in Melchiorre a Pobladura, [BCC:171-A-269].
  11. Cf. “Litterae P. Lucani Brixiensis” in Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908) 25-27.
  12. There are three copies of the new work by P. Bernardino. I consider the one kept in the Archives of the Umbrian province is the oldest. The second is in the Casanatense Library in Rome (codex 1689, now D.VI.24) and is entitled Del principio della riforma et congregatione de’ frati Capuccini: et delle vite e costume di quei primi Padri e santi uomini: et de’ miracoli, astinenze et rivelationi che da esi santi uomini furono fatti. The third copy is kept in our general archives. It begins Incomincia una simplice, et divota historia dell’origine della congregatione de’ Frati Cappuccini: ciò è, quando, come, et da chi hebbe il suo principio, composta da me Fra Bernardino Colpetrazzo Cappuccino. The author wrote this codex between 1592-1593 and Boverius made use of it. Melchiorre da Pobladura has described these codices, and other copies, in relation to Bernardino da Colpetrazzo’s triple redaction of the ‘Chronicle’ in Disquisitio Critica de Vita et Scriptis P. Bernardini a Colpetrazzo in Collectanea Franciscana 9(1931) 34-72; and the Prolegomena in MHOMC II, xxxix-lxxxix.
  13. Cf. Giannantonio M. da Brescia, Vita del Padre Mattia Bellintani da Salò, Milan, 1885; Valdimiro da Bergamo, I Cappuccini Bresciani, Milan, 1891, p.212-247. See bibliography in Lexicon Capuccinum 1078-1080. Add Marc’Antonio Rossi, Compendio della vita del P. Mattia Bellintani predicatore cappuccino, Bergamo, 1650 [BCC:30-A-1B]; Francesco da Vicenza, Cenni biografici del P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò da un documento inedito in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) 247-261; Roberto Cuvato, Mattia Bellintani da Salò (1534-1611): un Cappuccino tra il pulpito e la strada, Rome, 1999 – [BCC:26-N-90]; Melchiorre da Pobladura, Introductio Generalis in Historia Cappuccina by Mattia da Salò, vols 2., MHOMC V-VI, Rome, 1946. See next note for BCC references. The Introductio Generalis, vol.I, p.xxxiii-xcvi has been translated into English, though not published, in Bernardino of Colpetrazzo [BCC:171-A-269].glish.)
  14. Bibliotheca scriptorium Ordinis, Genuae, 1680 [BCC:23-M-28]; ibid. 1691 [BCC:23-O-8].
  15. In Indice rerum singularium, quae, in hoc primo Annalium volumine continentur, una cum Auctorum ac vetustorum manscriptorum citatione, ex quibus tota haec Annalium historia est desumpta. There is no page numbering in the preface material.
  16. Historia Capuccina, 2 octavo volumes. It has been about twenty years since P. Gregorio Palmieri O.S.B., then Custodian of the Vatican Archives, showed me a small codex, whose owner he did not wish to indicate. It was inscribed Chroniche dell’ultima e perfetta Riforma della Religione di San Francesco de frati minori osservanti detti Capucini. I easily recognised in it that it contained part of the work of P. Bellintani, however time was not given me to compare this codex with the one in our archives. The Historia Capuccina of P. Mattia was translated into French at the beginning of the seventeenth century by P. Phillip of Cambrai, a member of the Province of Flanders, who was in Atrebas in 1612. That work today is found in the Douai city library and is listed in the manuscript catalogue under number 872. The codex contains many different things which I omit. On folio 202 there is Histoire capucine, laquelle traite de la dernière et parfaicte réforme de la religion de saint François, des Frères mineurs observans, appelez Capucins. It begins: “Lorsque le sauveur du monde pour renouveler sa vie et mort ès espritz des fideles… Melchiorre da Pobladura published Mattia’s Historia Capuccina in 2 vols. In 1946, in the series Monumenta Historica Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum vols. v and vi; [BCC:023-F-5 and 6, 23-N-31 and 31].
  17. The title of this codex is Informazioni prese per ordine del P.F.Girolamo da Polizzi, generale de’ Padri Cappuccini, 1589. In it, on page 49, one may read: “La copia di questa Informazione … fu mandata dal P. Polizzi, fin da quando era generale al P. Mattia da Salò, il quale l’ha spiegata e aggiustata nella sua Historia… Et io lo so, perché viddi e summai la detta copia, come scrittore del detto P. Mattia. F. Giacomo da Salò…(Valdimiro da Bergamo, I Cappuccini della provincia Milanese, part II, vol.I, p.178, Crema, 1898. [BCC:24-M-7,B] The same Valdimiro, in the other work already cited, relying on the Provincial records says, “He worked for about fourteen years in writing the chronicles of the Order…” in I Cappuccini Bresciani: memorie storiche, Milano, TiP. Cesare Crespi, 1891, p.163. [BCC:24-M-5].
  18. Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908), 24-31. Letters with the dates 12 November 1611 and 1 May 1612.
  19. Ibid. The letters dated 1 December 1615 and 6 August 1619.
  20. Acta Ordinis I, the manuscript in our general archives. In the year 1627, on the feast of Pentecost, an Assembly was celebrated with the assembled Definitors. Among other things, it was decided “that the Chronicles of our Order, which for about twelve years have been commissioned to P.F. Paolo da Foligno for him to write, be taken from his hands along with all the writings which have been made in all the different provinces. Let them be assigned to P.F. Zaccaria da Saluzzo to do them in the Latin language, the language common to all nations…” Analecta OFM Cap., 6(1890) 68 and 10(1894) 283.
  21. Bibliotheca scriptorum, cit.
  22. The codex, ín folio, lacks a title and simply begins “Tomus I. Origo et progressus Religionis Capucinorum. Libro primo. Di Frate Matheo da Basci…” (Cf. Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908), 25.)
  23. Three manuscript codices are preserved in the public library of Foligno. These contain Conciones quadragesimales of P. Paolo (A.H. II, 17-19) and the other codex Sermonem regularium ad moniales (B.I.1). Pobladura has published Origo et progressus Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum of Paolo da Foligno, Romae, 1955 in Monumenta Historica Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum vol. vii.
  24. Analecta OFM Cap., 23(1907), 283+
  25. Cf. Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908) 25.
  26. Analecta OFM Cap., 23(1907): De origine fratrum minorum Capuccinorum. Cronica F. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, Roma, 1908. ( He presents the Latin text with a synoptic Italian translation, p.9-19,118-126, 150-153, 178-185, 214-219, 248-253. According to a later witness, Paolo Gualtieri, this version of the Giovanni’s chronicle was modified for the Acta Sanctorum and to date it seems no sure copy nor manuscript has survived. See also I Frati Cappuccini, t.II, 1260. Cargnoni prefers the Maruli version as closer to the original and has published it in I Frati Cappuccini t.II, n.2945-2982, p.1261-1291. The Maruli version: Historia sagra intitolato Mare Oceano di tutte le religione del mondo. Composta da Monsignore D. Silvestro Maruli, o Maurolico, In Messina, Stamperia di Pietro Brea, 1613, p.375-393. [BCC:76-G-20.] The Chronicle of Giovanni Romeo was translated in French and the priest René Pieau, vicar general of Evreux published it. It is found at the end of Pieau’s work Vie spirituelle de la Bienheureuse Baptiste Varani religieuse de l’ordre de Sainte-Claire…Par l’abbé P., Vicaire-général d’Evreux. Clermont-Ferrand, 1840. It takes up pages 219-269. This version was made from another in Latin that Papenbroeck S.J. published among the appendices to the life of Saint Felix of Cantalice in the Acta Sanctorum, Maii, tom.IV, 281-289. [BCC:028-A-17]
  27. Regarding the history of the Reform in Calabria, what Marius wrote post-dates and depends upon Giovanni da Terranova: “Et tutte queste cose mi raccontò con la voce viva nel sopradetto luogo della Motta il Padre Fra Giovanni da Terranova, et poi le pose in scritto. Mi raccontò, replico, et fece sapere la disputa fatta in Filogasio tra i Frati de Zoccoli et i nostri Frati, et anco la morte di questi dui buon Padri, essendo esso Fra Giovanni presente ad ogni cosa. Et io discopersi a lui il successo tutto intiero et cominciamento de Frati Cappuccini della Marca, come hora descrive in queste carte.” Marius, Relationes, 76.
  28. “He was very careful in seeking out, transcribing and preserving things old and new concerning the Religion. Moreover when Marco da Lisbona (who has written the Chronicles of St. Francis) came to Italy and to Rome to search in the libraries and look for things about the Religion, he was directed to this Father, who gave him many writings he had collected here and there…” Mattia da Salò, Historia Capuccina, II, 385.
  29. Dialogo de la salute tra el frate stimulato et el frate rationabile circa la regula de li frati Minori et sue dechiarationi per stimulati. At the foot of the title page: “Impressum Ancone per Magistrum Bernardinum Vercellensem Anni 1527. Die 5 junii.” The edition of 120 pages is without pagination.
  30. Dialogo della salute…dechiarationi, con molte necessarie additioni, di novo ricomposto e ristampato. The dedication reads: To the reverend Padre Frate Bernardino d’Aste, Vicar General of the said Congregation (of the Order of the Eremitical Life)…” It concludes: “I pray you Very Reverend Father, that you may be pleased that this work be given to the Printer…”
  31. There is a manuscript in Rome in the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele: Fondi minori cod.1972; in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples, codex xi. F. 57; in the Biblioteca Communale in Macerata, Codex 438. I had at my disposition the copy which is kept in our Friary at Montefiascone in Umbria. ( Montefiascone is located about 16km north of Viterbo, west of Umbria, not far from Lago Bolsena. See Lexicon Capuccinum, 1168.) Another manuscript was copied in French and is kept in the civic library in Orléans, Codex 498: Dialogue du salut entre le frère stimulé et le frère Raisonable touchant la reigle des Frères Mineurs et ses déclarations avec plusieurs très nécessaires additions, de nouveau recomposé par le R-P.F. Jehan de Fane, de l’ordre des Frères Mineurs appelés les Capucins et traduict d’italien en français.
  32. Gesuati
  33. MHOMC I,480-482
  34. Tercera parte de las Chronicas de la orden de los frayles menores del seraphico padre Sant Francisco … Nuevamente ordeneda y sacada de los libros y memoriales de la order, por Fray Marcos de Lisboa…En Salamanca. En casa de Alexandro de Canova, 1570. in-fol. The two earlier parts came out in his mother tongue of Lisbon in 1557 and 1562. The author wrote the third part in Spanish. Although 1570 may be read at the front of the book, the publication was not completed until February 1571. [See BCC:58-H-13]
  35. Marcus Ulyssiponensis (or Olisiponensis)
  36. Chapter xxxii: De fray Francisco de Titelman muy devoto y sancto religioso. Chapter xxxiii: Come el varon de Dios fue hecho vicarious provincial, y de sua muerte. Chapter xxxiiii: Del bienaventurado fray Juan de çuaço de la provincial de la Concepcion. Chapter xxxv: De fray Matteo de Baso que murio en Venecia.
  37. Delle Croniche de Frati Minori del Serafico P.S. Francesco. Parte Terza, in Venetia presso Erasmo Viotti, in-4°.
  38. Annales Minorum, an.1525, xvi. The eminent author is mistaken, however, when he says that the addition is not to be found in the first Italian edition, but only in the one that came out in 1598. If one casts a glance at the index of chapters, the Tavola dei Capitoli, the alteration is obvious. The index follows exactly the numbering and order as in the Spanish edition. Additions, however, which follow chapter xv in the body of the book, are placed in the index under chapter number xxxv, which in the work of Marco da Lisbona deals with Matteo da Bascio. Hence the chapter numbering in the book is different to that in the index.
  39. It only reached Venice in 1569 as may be read in the copy at the Correr Museum there: Breve dechiaratione del principio alla nostra Congregatione…mandata a un Padre di questa Provincia l’anno di N. Signore 1569. See Melchiorre da Pobladura, Relationes P. Marii – ‘Introductio’ in MHOMC I, xlv-xlvi.
  40. Appresso Domenico Nicolini. In -4, 32ff. Published in MHOMC I, 499-526
  41. MHOMC I, 89-475.
  42. De tutte l’opere del R.M. Gioseffo Zarlino…Quarto ed ultimo volume, Venetia, 1589. In-fol., pp 93-113. [BCC:24-P-35].
  43. Venetiis, apud Franciscum de Franciscis Senensem, in-fol. [BCC:172-E-97]. Liber secundus, 158-159. On the author, see Giovanni Franchini da Modena, Bibliosofia e memorie letterarie di Scrittori francescani Conventuali ch’hanno scritto dopo l’Anno 1585, Modena, Per gli eredi Soliani Stamperatori, 1693. Chapter ccxcii: Pietro Ridolfi da’ Tossignano, Vescovo,” 523-527. [BCC:56-M-41].
  44. The Capuchins: their origin and author.
  45. Here are confuted those who make out the founder of the Capuchins to be someone other than Bl. Matteo.
  46. Some famous men in our time expound a teaching that Bl. Matteo was not the author but a certain Paolo da Chioggia. I do not approve of this opinion.
  47. The margin note reads: “Excellens Dominus Iosephus Girlinus Clodensis Magister Capelle S. Marci Venetijs est huius mentis ut mihi retulit.”
  48. Ex typographia Dominaci Basae, in-fol.
  49. On the perfection of the Franciscan Order and the origin of the Capuchin Fathers, as well as the division between them, the Observants and also the Conventual Fathers.
  50. De origine Seraphicae Religionis, 61.[BCC:172-E-69].
  51. conventus
  52. Michele Angelo da Napoli, Chronologia historico-legalis Seraphici Ordinis, tom.I, Neapoli, 1650, 255. [BCC:57-O-2]. When Francesco de Angelis, Minister General, was conducting the visitation of the Italian provinces in 1525, he removed their midst the abuses against poverty. In Rome, in the friary of the Amadeite Congregation at Saint Peter of Montorio on the Gianicolo, he had the vineyard ripped up by the roots… In the city of Chieti, on 12 November, he convoked the Abruzzi (chapter)… and took an axe to the root of the abuses (et resecanda resecuit.) He gave instructions that the vast copse of timber, which earned a sum of money each year for the community of Orsonia, be either completely removed or completely relinquished or abandoned. He also instructed that the olive trees be removed from the friary in Termini, as well as the beehives from other friaries as contrary to Franciscan poverty. In the province of the Marches, at the chapter held in the friary at Recanati on 23 November, he banned perpetual legacies, which could not be reconciled with a religious way of life and the poverty of Friars Minor. He also forbad begging for superfluous grain, sumptuous buildings, affected singing, or what they call organ music, and the reception of immature youths. And among the particular things proscribed at Bologna on 9 December, he prohibited the things they call linen “patches,” or small vests, as well as white or unusual cinctures or cords. He wanted these to be only of hemp twine. Furthermore he ordered that secular servants, in whatever place, be dismissed. Annales Minorum, an,1525, xi…xii.
  53. Chronologia historico-legalis, tom.I, 241.
  54. aliisque sui spiritus fratribus
  55. cum quampluribus ejusdem spiritus fratribus
  56. Chronologia historico-legalis, tom.I, 241
  57. Chronologia historico-legalis, tom.I, 242
  58. Chronologia historico-legalis, tom.I, 241
  59. innovatores
  60. Wadding, Annales Minorum, tom.xvi, an.1520, n.xxvii, p.121.
  61. De Gubernatis a Sospetello, Orbis Seraphicus, tom. II, Lugdini, 1685, p.328, n.86. [BCC:56-P-7]
  62. Marius da Mercato Saraceno writes that in 1525 Matteo was about thirty. Pascucci, in his life of Blessed Battista Varani, tells that before entering the Order Matteo was servant to Giulio Cesare Varani, Duke of Camerino, the father of the aforesaid blessed. No contemporary witness confirms this. Vita della beata Battista Varani: principessa di Camerino, e fondatrice del Monasterio di S. Chiara, ordinata, ampliata, & illustrata con varie riflessioni spirituali, & erudizioni da Matteo Pascucci; Operette spirituali della beata Battista Varani, raccolte da Matteo Pascucci, in Macerata, per Giuseppe Piccini, 1680. [BCC:59-E-5]. Acta Sanctorum tom. VII, Maii, die 31, 467-505 includes a Commentary, Life and Revelations of Baptista, plus a Supplementum ex Italico Pascucci, 493-505. Pascucci’s reference to Matteo working in the house of Baptista’s father is also in the extract published in Italian in Analecta OFM Cap., 22(1906) 240-244.
  63. Marius says in his threefold work, “Si parti senza far motto ad alcuno.” Similarly Bernardino da Colpetrazzo says, “Con gran silentio del convento di Montefalcone si parti..” MHOMC I,172-173 and MHOMC II, 109 respectively.
  64. In the decree of 10 June 1658, these things were declared forbidden: “Libri omnes impressi, et qui inconsulta Sac. Congregatione imprimentur tractantes contoversiam de vera et non interrupta successione filiorum S. Francisci, et de vera forma Capucii ejusdem.”
  65. Informatione intorno la origine della Congregatione de i Reverendi Frati Capuccini. See Gerardo da Villafranca, P.Matteo da Bascio e P. Paolo da Chioggia. Studio sulla loro vita, Chioggia, G. Vianelli, 1913. [BCC:28-M-38]. See MHOMC I, 489-526.
  66. Zarlino, Opere, IV, 95: “Era barbiere.” (He was a barber.) I surmise that the son was known by his father’s trade rather than by his surname, that is, ‘Barbieri’, ‘de Barberiis’, ‘de Barbiis,’ ‘de Barbitiis.’ He makes use of various forms of the name himself.
  67. The book of acta or ‘instruments’ in which acted officially – the book is called the Protocol – is kept today in the State Archives of Veneto. The first ‘instrument’ in it was written under the date 16 June 1504 and the last, 11 September 1512.
  68. In the curial archives is kept the “Liber primis actorum D. Bernardino Veniero episcopo Clodiense, D.D. …, D. Joanne de Barberiis, D…Cancellariis.” He renounced that office in October 1510.
  69. This date is calculated from the last document described in the cited Protocol. However this date cannot be proposed with certainty. One thing is sure: Giovanni did not enter the Order before 11 September 1512. It is not possible to go further. The witness of Antonio Vacca, the chancellor of Chioggia on 24 June 1521 does not determine the time in which Giovanni entered religion and “sent back all his writings and Protocols.”
  70. Zarlino offers another reason also. Boverius falsely suggests the unexpected death of the father as the reason. However from the cited codex of the Curia of Chioggia, it seems clear that Dante had died in 1508.
  71. “He went there (to Assisi) with the intention to begin to cast the seed first in those parts. Then watered by heavenly grace, it might produce and bear fruit one hundredfold in the Vineyard of the Lord, beginning a new congregation. From that moment onwards, this took effect because from this Your congregation was born. Having arrived there, therefore, and after he had visited the Church (of the Porziuncola) he left and made his way towards the beautiful city of Perugia. Having seen that city he went to Montefalco and to Camerino. He did not fail to see Montefeltro. In these places he was well received and appreciated. Preaching every day, one minute here, another there, according to his desire, he saw the fruit emerge that he desired, especially in Camerino. For having found some who, inspired by God, wore that habit that you now wear, they no longer strayed from him. Instead they persevered in that holy intention in which they had begun. For he saw in this the new and great beginning of the new congregation of you Capuchins…Fra Paolo remained in those parts for some time, seeing the good fruit that he had done. He prayed the Lord our God that a beginning such as this have an even better advancement and the very best ending. He decided to go to Rome before returning to Chioggia from where he had departed. And that is what he did.” [See Zarlino, Informatione, MHOMC I, 497+, and note 3.] To confirm Paolo’s long sojourn in the Marches, the aforesaid author includes here a letter sent him by his friend Vincenzo Lori, written from Fabriano 11 August 1582. However this letter, even if it testifies that Paolo went to Cerreto, in no way proves his presence in the said castle before 1525. On the contrary, the writer reports that Paolo had remained there with Matteo. And then Matteo left the friary in January 1525. He also reports that Giuseppe da Collamato had been accepted there by the two of them. However, Giuseppe himself, in Marius’s narration near to hand, puts the date of his entry sometime after the month of May 1526.
  72. “…Che benché fusse un fra Matteo, sanctissimo huomo, che cominciò questa reforma, il quale vive hogge et sta tra questi Patrj…” E. Ferrero and G. Muller (eds), Vittoria Colonna Marchesa di Pescara. Carteggio, Torino, Loescher, 1892, 117. [BCC:64-D-24]. See my small work Tribulationes Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum primis annis Pontificatus Pauli III, Roma, 1914, 34 and my demonstration concerning the date of this letter in the same work in Chapter IV. [BCC:023-D-18]. See below in The Troubles, pages 253+
  73. He was still a boy in 1524, as he himself tesifies: “Nel tempo della mia fanciullezza…l’anno di nostra salute mdxxiv.” (Opera, IV, 99). Concerning the facts that happened after that year he reports to have seen Paolo while he (Zarlino) was still a boy: “Essendo fanciullino…” Zarlino, Opera, IV, 100.
  74. Zarlino, Opere, IV, 98; MHOMC I, 498, note.
  75. This and the other marvels are based uniquely on the account of Matteo. The holiness of his life lends faith to this. God himself wanted that holiness attested after his death by the many miracles done at his tomb.
  76. “In a portable pulpit that was in the new church of St. Peter.” (Marius, Analecta OFM Cap., 23(1907)278; MHOMC I, 176)
  77. “Quum asseras te licientiam habere a Summo Pontifice ad libitum tuum quascumque velis provincias, divinum Verbum evangelizandi gratia peragrandi: hinc est quod ego quoquo volens ut tam sancto operi, ac quo ferves animas Christo lucrifaciendi desiderio noster accedat assensus: tenore praesentium, tibi cum merito salutaris obedientiae concedo ut, modo Regulam quam Deo Domino vovisti sincerius observes, quocumeque, spiritus Jesu te conduxerit, una cum socio, fr. Joanne de Forolivio, provinciae Bononiae clerico devoto, praefatum praedicationis officium, majori quo poteris fidelium exemplo et aedificatione executurus ire possi et valeas…” [ This quote text is from d’Alençon’s Latin text.] Given at Mantua, 15 May 1536 by P. Vincent Lunel, Minister General of the Regular Observance. I have in my hands a text taken from the codex of P. Beato da Valagnesi, Ord. Min. Reformati (†1730) which is kept in Venice in the archives of the friary of Isola di S. Michele. Flaminius Corner published the letter in the work Ecclesiae Venetae… illustratae, ac in decades distributae (Dec. xi, pars posterior), Venetiis, 1799, p.32, n.4.
  78. “Il suo andar gridando: all’inferno, all’inferno: è noto a molti.” (Marius, MHOMC I, 12.)
  79. “Non si sapeva molto il suo dimorare nel Monte Feltro e per questo egli si era ritirato in quel luogo per fuggire la Frataria” (Colpetrazzo, MHOMC II, 119.)
  80. 16 April 1525, following Hoepli calculation for Easter that year. Cronologia, cronografia e calendario perpetuo, 1998. Software by Giuseppe Gatto. Version 1.0, 1998.
  81. Marius, whom others follow, writes that this chapter was celebrated in Matelica. Contrary to this are the monumenta of the Observant province, which report, “In the year of the Lord 1525, the provincial Chapter was celebrated in our place in Assisi.” The Chapter was assembled in Matelica in 1526. Cf. Alessio d’Arquata, Cronaca della riformata provincia dei Minori della Marca, Cingoli, 1893, 14; Luigi da Fabriano, Cenni Cronologico-biografici della Osservante Provincia Picena, Quaracchi, 1887. Tipografia del Collegio di S. Bonaventura, 1886 (!) [BCC:56-L-55].
  82. “Vir doctus et religious, in dicendo, in scribendo acerrimus, magni zeli erga suum Institutum et oservantiam ejusdem.” Wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum, Romae, 1650. [BCC:57-O-11], Romae, ex Typographia Francisci Alberti Tani, 1650, p.205. According to the monumenta of the Province of the Marches Giovanni was provincial first from 1518 until 1521. That time is confirmed by a letter of Blessed BattistaVarani to Giovanni on 23 April 1521 in which she congratulates him on his angelic and very prudent government of the Province of the Marches, which he had ruled most virtuously and in a dignified manner for three years. Hidden to us are the tribulations and persecutions he suffered, and which then had a happy outcome, glorious for him, while his disparagers were submerged in an abyss of confusion. The letter was published in the life of Blessed Battista by the author Pascucci and then presented by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, tom.vii, Maii, die 31. Cf. Opere spirituali della b. Battista Varani, Camerino, 1894, 339. Analecta OFM Cap., 22(1906), 240. This letter from the convent in Camerino is published on p.501, in the Supplementum (493-505) in Caput V with its title: Baptistae familiaritas cum Joanne Fanensi; sub hoc enata Congregatio Capuccinorum: Beata obitus et veneratio corporis ac lingua incorrupta. The date given for the letter in the Acta is 20 April 1521. Baptista’s Revelationes are published there also, 488-493, and include those regarding the mental sufferings of Christ. Her works have been published several times in Italian. See also Callisto Urbanelli, “Giovanni Da Fano e la Beata Battista da Varano,” in Camilla Battista Da Varano e il suo tempo. Atti del convegno di studi sul V centenario del monastero delle Clarisse di Camerino, Castello di Lanciano –Palazzo ducale e Cattedrale di Camerino, 7-8-9 settembre 1984, Camerino, 1987, 207-228
  83. even if they have an apostolic letter
  84. Leo X, In supremae dignitatis specula, 8 January 1516; Clement VII, Dudum felicis ricordationis, 11 March 1525. Wadding, Annales Minorum, vol. xvi, 553-556 and 667-669 respectively (original pagination cited by d’Alençon in his footnote.)
  85. At the end of the Dialogo he wrote, “Although not all these things may not belong to the substance of the rule, they are good for the enthusiastic (friars)… they are even good for a general reform and to urge life in regular observance.” Dialogo, 119; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini. Documenti e testimonianze del primo secolo, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, 1988, vol. II, p.68-69. Giovanni da Fano’s first Dialogo (1527),41-69.
  86. In suprema militantis Ecclesiae specula, 16 November 1532, Alessio D’Arquata, Cronaca della riformata provincia, as above. Bullarium Romanum, Taurensis Editio, tomus vi, 1860, 155-158.
  87. “At the time I sought out many ways to stop them, especially by following the usual practice of the community in such cases, which has always detested these separations. I did not know whether this reform be according to His will…” Dialogo correcto (Cingoli codex, f.36v). Cf. Costanzo Cargnoni (ed), I Frati Cappuccini I, 589. The text of Giovanni da Fano’s second version (1536), pp.583-719
  88. The historian of the city of Camerino recalls the presence of the Duke, Giovanni Maria Varano at the coronation of Adrian VI (31 August 1522) and then continues: “On his return to Camerino, he was careful to defend the city from the plague. He had Recanati and other suspect places banned. Despite all this, they did not remain free of the contagion that year, consequently neither did the villages and castles situated near the border with the Marches.”[“Intervenne intanto Gio: Maria con 400 Cavalli de Camerinesi all’incoronatione d’Adriano VI e recevè dall istesso Pontefice humanissime dimostrationi. Ritornato in Camerino, invigilò, che restasse difesa la Città dalla peste. Fece bandire Recanati, & altri luoghi sospetti, tuttoche nonostante quelle diligenze, non restassero liberi dal contagio in quell’anno, e nel susseguente i villagi, e le Castella, poste ne’ confini verso la Marca. [296] Nel Marzo del 1523 furono in Camerino le Principesse Agnesina della Rovere, madre d’Ascanio Colonna, una figliuola di Mutio, e Beatrice figliuola, benche naturale, di Fabritio. Procurò Gio: Maria nelle turbolenze con Gismondo, per evitare la nimicitia con tutti i Soggetti dell’Eccellentissima Famiglia Colonna, che venisse Beatrice collocata in matrimonio à Ridolfo fuo figliuolo, parimente di non legitimi natali. Nacque à 24 di Marzo dalla Duchessa Caterina, Giulia, che fù l’unica figluola di quel matrimonio.”] Camillo Lilii, Dell’Historia di Camerino, Macerata, Grisei, 1652, 295-296. [BCC:120-E-6]. I have taken the liberty to extend d’Alençon’s quote, adding the paragraph in square brackets.
  89. I would easily believe that this friary, which our friars call the friary of San Giacomo, is one and the same with the friary which Gonzaga calls the friary of San Giovanni, situated “ad mille passus ab oppido Matelica, versus Sancti Vicini montem…modicus quidem et angustus cum quinque tantum fratres ad plurimum contineat, sed contemplationi spiritualique vitae ducendae omnino accommodus.” I found this reference about the friary of San Giacomo from the Camaldolese Annales. At the time of the Chapter celebrated by the Hermits of the new congregation of Montecorona at the beginning of the month of July 1525, “the place of San Giacomo outside the town of Matélica was offered to the assembled Fathers. At that time four hermits of the order of Saint Francis lived there, and it seemed to them good not to proceed with the acceptance of the place, but better to receive those hermits into the Congregation” (Mittarelli, Annales Camaldulenses, lib.71, vol. vii, 43). A more recent author says, “The offer was refused of the hermitage of Saint James outside Matélica, proposed by four tertiaries of Saint Francis. Three of these, that is, a priest by the name of Pacifico, a cleric and a lay friar, were accepted into the community.” Placido Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese di Montecorona, Frascati, Sacro Eremo Tuscolano, 1908, p.202. [BCC:115-C-12]. In his Historia Generalis Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, pars prima; 1525-1619, 24, [BCC:023-C-7] Melchior of Pobladura writes that Matteo diverted from his journey to go to the friary of St. James at Matélica where he spoke with the elderly Francesco da Cartoceto, whom Matteo clothed in the habit, and who died shortly afterwards. Callisto Urbanelli, in Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche, Parte prima, volume I: Origine della Riforma Cappuccina 1525-1536, Ancona, 1978, 183 [BCC:23-H-54] adds: “The hermitage of St. James stood above the villa of Braccano, a few kilometres from Matélica. Around the second half of the fifteenth century, some Clareni lived there.” See C. Acquacotta, Memorie di Matélica, Ancona, 1838, 162-163; Candido Mariotti OFM, L’Ordine francescano a Matélica, Matélica, 1909, 12, 35+; [BCC:opusc- 47-15]. For a discussion on the presence of the Capuchins in the hermitage of S. James, see Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini, 250 and note. Similarly, Lexicon Capuccinum, 1073, under the voice “Matélica,” has the Capuchins in that hermitage from 1525 to 1550. Another friary was founded in Matélica in 1578 and abandoned in 1874. See Mariano d’Alatri, I conventi Cappuccini nell’Inchiesta del 1650, II L’Italia centrale, Roma, 1984, 89-90 [BCC:23-F-16]. Braccano is 3.8 km from Matélica, on the road to Monte San Vicino.
  90. “Non sapendo cosa alcuna di fra Matteo, nè che egli havesse pigliato altro habito, nè che fusse fuori de Zoccolanti…” [MHOMC I, 185].
  91. “He was asked by many friars if he wanted to enter the reform, and these were zealous friars who desired that reform. They did this because they saw him as judicious man and that he would work hard in such an undertaking and bring it to completion, since he was a suitable instrument amid such difficulties…” (Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, MHOMC II, 133).
  92. See above. Giovanni da Fano inserted one of the provisions of the Minister General in his Dialogo, concerning questing for grain, where he writes, “The Minister General, Father Francesco de Angelis, very zealous and one of the number of reformed (friars), when he was doing his visitation of the province of the Marches, made this provision: “It is prohibited under pain of privation of active and passive voice for the three years, to quest grain in any place at all, except in those places that the Minister general, with the counsel of the fathers, will decide, and this for three reasons. First, when the alms of bread from the questing is not enough. Second, when it is not possible some other way to provide for the sick. Third, when there is no alms to clothe the friars. The alms derived from the begged grain may not be spent on anything except these three aforesaid causes…” Dialogo (1536), in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 689.
  93. Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1526, n.vii. He not only recommended these things, but he even “appointed certain more spiritual friars as Visitators of the Provinces, giving them the reformed norm for living that had been concluded in three chapters, and exhorting them to reform the provinces, to foster friaries assigned to the reformed friars, and where these have not been assigned, to see to their establishment. As is found in these words in the Register of the same General: Item mando ut Commissarii Visitatores in provinciis, in quibus non sunt domus recollectae, ponant in scriptis fratres volentes domos tales habitare et Regulam strictius observare, ut eorum devotioni in provincialibus capitulis provideatur.” Michele Angelo da Napoli, Chronologia historico-legalis Seraphici Ordinis, tom.I, 242.
  94. “Against whom is the judgement of Pope John xxii. Against these modern ones especially is the judgement of the Very Reverend Minister General, that is, Francisco de Angelis who excommunicated them. There is also an authentic brief by Pope Clemente VII that excommunicates them, and some of them by name.” Dialogo (1527), 27. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 62.
  95. Riformanze Cingolane, p.172. Our Giuseppe da Fermo, archivist of the province of the Marches, kindly sent me this deliberation. This deliberation is reproduced in Constanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 609-610. From this volume I have reproduced the fuller Latin text as follows:“Concilio credentie communis et hominum terre Cinguli…Sexto. An videatur pauperibus patribus et religiosis heremum incolentibus Sancti Angeli, plurimum persecutes per fratres observantes Ordinis minoris (‘minorum’ in d’Alençon), favorem aliquod impartiri, stante maxime ipsorum vita laudabili et partier comendatione de eis facta per reverendum patrem predicatorem.Perpaulus domini Perleonis […] super sexta, religiosis vero patribus heremum Sancti Angeli incolentibus, attenta ipsorum vita exemplari et partier comendatione de ipsis facta per venerabilem patrem predicatorem, consulit et laudavit dare et impartiri debere omnem favorem in scribendo et ita quod in ditione cingulea eis inferri nequeat aliqua violentia.Quod ad sufragia positum, obtentum fuit fabis septem et sexaginta albis favorabilibus in pixide repertis del sic, una solummodo nigra contraria non ostante.”NB: Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche, part I, vol.I, 197-198, notes 41 and 42, points out our author’s error regarding the ownership of the hermitage of Sant’Angelo. “D’Alençon and many after him,” says Urbanelli, “affirmed that the Conventuals of Cingoli were the ones who offered the hermitage of Sant’Angelo to the fugitives. This is inexact because the hermitage was the property of the comune. The request for protection of the three (!), prelude to their passage to the jurisdiction of the Conventuals, was a practice already followed by other reformers. For example, the Observant friar Giovanni Pasqual, in 1517, succeeded to come under the jurisdiction of the Conventuals to start a new reformed congregation. Cf. Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1541, xxv-xxviii; Heribertus Holzapfel, Manuale Historiae Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, Friburgi Brisgoviae, Herder, 1909, 291-292 [BCC:57-M-8]. From the Brief Cum Nuper (14 December 1529), in Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1529, xxxiv, it can be believed that such passages of jurisdiction were rather frequent. Finally, the initiative taken up by the three to place themselves under the tutelage of the Conventuals appears as the most likely hypothesis for their iter after the flight from the Observance and also in regard to what the Brief of 8 March would have us suppose.” Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini I, 197, note 41 [BCC:23-H-54,1]. Urbanelli’s note 42 on page 198 gives the evidence of the Comune’s ownership of the hermitage.
  96. Vatican Archives, Brevia of Clement VII Arm. xxxix, vol. 55, f.36v. Wadding, Annales Minorum, tomus xvi, 790-791. I have transcribed this from this study by d’Alençon.
  97. Boverius narrates this amply (Annalium, 1526, liv-lix.) I accept the truth of this event, trusting in the testimony of Marius, who reports that Giovanni himself had later confessed that he had fled in fear because of the din. “Venuto poi fra Giovanni a farsi Cappuccino, esso fra Ludovico gli raccontò il tutto; ne rimase pieno d’allegrezza, et poi fra Giovanni con riso (essendo esso gratiosissimo nel parlare) raccontava il magnanimo timore ch’haveva havuto, et il timor et tremor di quei frati et sbirri ch’eravano seco” (Cingoli Codex, f.207v. See MHOMC I, 209.)
  98. The Hermitage of the Grottoes is situated in a narrow, deep valley in the diocese of Iesi, about two kilometres from Massaccio, today Cupramontana. (Placido Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese di Montecorona, 114). In the same region of Massaccio San Giacomo delle Marche accepted a small friary from the Camaldolese Monks, which later was one of the first places inhabited by the “Reformati” or Reformed Friars (Francesco Gonzaga, De origine Seraphicae Religionis, 208; Alessio D’Arquata, Cronaca della riformata provincial, 64.) Massaccio changed names to Cupramontana in 1860. Paolo Giustiniani described the site: “I made my way to this place in the Marches of Ancona where, in a hidden valley, a brooklet runs between two crags. In these crags, there are grottoes and caverns which have been begun by nature and completed by human labour, fashioned in the manner of hermit cells.” (Jean Leclercq, Camaldolese Extraordinary. The Life, Doctrine, and Rule of Blessed Paul Gustiniani, edited by the Hermits of Monte Corona, Ercam editions, Bloomingdale, 2003, p.158.)
  99. A massaro was a kind of agronomist administrator with responsibilities varying according to place and period.
  100. Quoting here Giustiniani (Placido Lugano, La Congregatione Camaldolese degli Eremiti di Montecorona, 206.) “They were not equipped as if to pursue the gospel of peace.”
  101. The hermitage near Pascelupo, at Monte Cucco, is west of Massaccio (Cupramontana), at a straight line distance of some thirty kilometres over mountainous terrain. On the hermitage of the Grottoes, Paolo Bossi and Alessandro Ceratti, Eremi camaldolesi in Italia. Luoghi Architettura Spiritualità, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 1993, 96-100 [BCC:72-O-26].
  102. All this has been taken from the letter of Blessed Paolo addressed “to the venerable and beloved brothers in Christ, Agostino and Giustiniano, the hermit visitators…at Monte di Ancona” and dated 11 April 1526. (Placido Lugano, La Congregatione Camaldolese degli Eremiti di Montecorona, 205-207. Analecta OFM Cap., 25(1909) 249-252. [Ed.: The reference in d’Alençon’s note is mistaken.) My conjecture is that this refers the Epistola historica de progressu Instituti primorum Capuccinorum, which is mentioned among the writings of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani (Magnoaldus Ziegelbauer, Centifolium Camaldulense, Venetiis, 1750, page 46, n.14.) Cf. Flori, Vita del B. Paolo Giustiniani, Roma, 1724, liber II, c. 19, p.205. For convenience, I include the letter here:“Giacchè sono tanto afflitto che appena posso scrivere, vi racconterò – sub brevitate causa set ordinem afflictionis meae. Nel sabato delle Palme, a ora di compieta, capitarono qui due religiosi [fra Lodovico e Fra Raffaele da Fossombrone, fratelli], con abito bigio, grosso, eremitico, i quali erano, come poi mi narrarono, con certa licenza apostolica, usciti dall’osservanza di S. Francesco, della provincia della Marca, ed osservano certa vita più stretta e solitaria, parimente secondo la regola di S. Francesco. Mi dissero esser venuti per sentire il mio consiglio, e fare quanto io li consigliassi di fare determinatamente. Udendo che da’ frati di S. Francesco osservanti erano molestati, e derogata per breve apostolico quella loro licenza, parendomi ancora buoni religiosi, li consigliai a mutar abito ed entrar nella nostra, o in altre compagnie. E perché non credevo far dispiacere ai frati dell’osservanza, mandai a dire q questo guardiano della Romita di questi frati: che se non voleva, io non li riterrei, né li vestirei. Egli mi rispose che gli pareva bene che li ritenessi e vestissi per liberar la religione la Religione e questi due fratelli dalle tribolazioni, e che quando venisse il ministro provinciale, mandariano a chiamarli, e mi farebbono intendere più risoluto la sua volontà, e così quelli stettero sino alla sera del lunedì. Essendo io tornato da S. Gerolamo alle 22 ore verso le 23, vennero alla nostra cella, over erano i due fratelli, armata manu seculari, il capitano del Massaccio con i sbirri e non molti frati dell’osservanza, con insolenze ed evaginatis gladiis. Nonostante che intimassi loro la nostra esenzione e privilegi, e li mostrassi, pressero dicti due fratelli, quali io tenevo come di famiglia, e vestivano le nostre capparuccie. Volevano condurli nel convento de’ frati, ma sopravvenendo i massari del Massaccio, tanto mi adoprai che furon dati in mano de’ massari, per quella notte, e non de’ frati. Anzi andai di notte in qel luogo, e tanto disse che si contentarono di renderli, e così la mattina me li restituirono, con patto che si vedesse quello che doveva essere di ragione, e quello si facesse. Il dì seguente, cioè il mercoledì venne il ministro con numerosa caterva di frati succinti non in preparatione Evangelii pacis, ma per prenderli a forza: pur non l’ebbero; e parimente tornò il capitano, e non potè averli. Or io vedendo questo, e non volendo più tali tumulti, dissi a quei fratelli che pensassero di andarsene, e l’animo mio era che andassero a fare i fatti loro. Ma essi, temendo cadere nella mani de’ frati, mi pregaron di poter mutar abito, acciò non fossero conosciuti: ed io sapendo che ai soldati ed altri, perché non cadano nelle mani di chi vuol prenderli, si dà spesso o si permette l’abito religioso, permisi che si mettessero il nostro abito; il quale, subito che se lo misero addosso, quasi romiti che con l’abito avessero ricevuto lo Spirito Santo, mi chiesero con somma grazia essere de’ nostri, e da noi ricevuti. Io so bene che a ricever persone di altra religione, vi vuole la licenza del capitolo, pure non come ricevuti legittimamente, ma come recipiendi e non come vestiti, ma come per autorità del capitolo vestiendi, permisi che con l’abito nostro andassero bene accompagnati a S. Gerolamo, scrivendo al priore, che li tenga finchè il capitolo determinerà di loro. Or vi sono di quelli che non cessano diffamarci per scomunicati, perché (dicono) abbiamo impedito un breve che hanno di poter prendere questi frati, nel quale però non è derogato a nostri privilegi ed esenzioni: dall’altra parte, siccome hanno fato tutti quest’insulti irragionevoli, come temo assai che vadano armata manu a S. Gerolamo, e nonostante che abbino l’abito nostro, li prendano con denigrazione dei nostri privilegi. Onde, avendo consultato come molti, sono di sentimento che sì per ovviare a scandali che potessero seguire, in questo caso ed in altri simili, sì per far conoscere che non abbiamo il torto, si dovesse eleggere per nostro conservatore il R. monsignor Governatore di Loreto, uomo di autorità, il quale dopo chè averà veduto i nostri privilegi ed esenzioni, debba fare intendere al Governatore di Jesi, che sopra noi e i nostri luoghi non ha giurisdizione alcuna. Il capitano del Massaccio venne a prenderli per una patente del Governatore di Jesi, nella quale però non era nominato né il luogo religioso né eremitorio; ma solo che li debba prendere, potendo averli. Così ancora denunxiare ipso facto scomunicato questo capitano- cum satellitibus sui set omnes qui malo animo cum eis accesserunt, aut auxilium favorem, aut consilium dederunt – etc. Vi ho detto il mio parere col consiglio che mi è stato dato in casa e fuori di casa. Li padri (monaci) della nostra Religione, che sono nel Massaccio, cioè il priore e l’abbate, si sono mostrati molto amorevoli verso di noi, ed ancor essi mi hanno consigliato questo istesso.”An abbreviated rendition of this letter in a more modern Italian, as well as a bibliography of sources for it, may be found in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 296-299. However, d’Alençon published the letter, supplemented with some of Lugano’s account, as well as d’Alençon’s historical notes in Analecta OFMCap 25(1909) 249-252. Also Callisto Urbanelli, Gli eremiti camaldolesi dei Monte corona e la origini dei cappuccini in Aspetti e problemi del monachesimo nelle Marche, Atti del convegno di studi tenuto a Fabriano, monastero di S. Silvestro Abate, 4-7.VI.1981, I, Fabriano, 1982, 291-293.
  103. Atti capitulari fatti dal capitolo generale delli eremiti di Romualdo, fatto nel anno 1526 nel eremo delle Grotte del Massaccio cited Placid Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese degli Eremiti di Montecorona, 208, note 2: “‘Furono anchora proposti f. Lodovico e f. Raphael de’ ordine de s. Francesco, i quali erano stati alle Grotte et per i quali erano occorse certe tribolationi e pro bono respectu non furono receputi.’ However it should be noted that at the end of the same month, on 30 April, permission was granted with these words, ‘Che il P. Magiore co’ visitatori habbiano auctorità di ricever se li parerà bene, f. Lodovico et f. Raphael del Ordine de san Francesco et tutti altri suoi compagni.’” Also for the text of these deliberations of the Charter of Cupramontana see Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 299-300.
  104. Placido Lugano, La congregazione Camaldolese degli Eremiti di Montecorona, 178, 204, 218; R. Maulde La Clavière, San Gaetano da Tiene e la Riforma cattolica italiana (1480-1570), Roma, Desclée & Co., 1911, 110, 174 [BCC:72-I-3].
  105. “According to the indications that Ludovico gave, it was believed that the priest was m. Francesco Manutii, the almsgiver of His Holiness Clement VII” (MHOMC II, 146). Melchior da Pobladura points out that Francesco Vannucci had been the papal almsgiver of Paul III, Julius III, Marcellus II and Paul IV. Cassiano (Carpaneto) da Langasco, Gli ospedali degli incurabili, Genova, Spedali civili di Genova, 1938, 178, 180 [BCC:35-P-19].
  106. “A Roman cleric and canon of Saint Mary’s in Trastevere.” So it is in the document of profession of the first Clerics Regular, 14 September 1524 (R. Maulde La Clavière, San Gaetano da Tiene e la Riforma cattolica italiana (1480-1570), 264-268). He was later co-opted among the Canons of the Basilica of Saint Peter. Chosen as almsgiver by Paul III he carried out this office under Paul III’s successors: Julius III, Marcellus II and Paul IV. He died in Rome 28 April 1556 and his tomb can still be seen today in the basilica of Saint Laurence outside the walls.
  107. Boverius, whom historians of the Clerics Regular have followed with their eyes closed, wrote that this house was situated “sub monte Pincio.” However when they narrate that these things happened before Ludovico obtained the Letter of the Sacred Penitentiary (18 May), such an assertion is to be corrected. For according to the testimony of Josephus Silos, Historiam Clericorum Regularium, Liber III, Romae, 1650, p.76 [BCC:82-O-8-9], the Theatines only moved to the Pincio house after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September). Then they lived in the house left them by Bonifacio da Collis, the first disciple of the founders. The house was situated “in regione Campi Martiis” (near the Field of Mars or Campo Marzio) on the straight Leonine road of Santa Maria del Popolo (today the via Ripetta), in view of the gate of Tiberius de Augusta, or of Saint Rocco as it is called. R. Maulde La Clavière, San Gaetano da Tiene e la Riforma cattolica italiana (1480-1570), 261.
  108. Let us listen to Boverius observe correctly: “Since this Pontifical diploma only includes these three, and moreover there is no mention about others to be received into the bosom of the Reform, nor was Ludovico thinking up to this point about the propagation of the Reform, nor … is anything considered about its propagation and how the Capuchin shoot was to spread” (Annalium, 1526, xlv). Nonetheless, on the preceding page he depicts Carafa as quite ardent towards the work of the Reform, so that apart from easier access for Ludovico to the Pontiff, he would highly recommend Ludovico’s true and religious proposal to the Pope and act on behalf of Ludovico’s just petition himself. (Annalium, 1526, xli.) To confirm this translation, the Italian translation of Sanbenedetti: “Secondariamente si deduce, che abbracciando la Bolla solamente questi tre, ne facendo mentione alcuna della ricettione de gli altri, non henna fin’all’hora F. Lodovico pensiero di propagar la riforma, ne… fu trattata cosa alcuna spettante alla propagazione d’essa Riforma, & all’accrescimento di questa figliolanza de’Cappuccini” Annali de’ Frati Minori Cappuccini, composti dal M.R.P. Zaccaria Boverio…e tradotti in volgare dal Padre F. Benedetto Sanbenedetti, Appresso i Giunti, In Venetia 1643, Tomo primo, anno 1526, n.42, p.96.
  109. to grant concessions to religious staying outside the enclosure.” Vincentius Petra, De S. Poenitentiaria, Romae, 1712, 195. In a prolix record about the need for reform, which Carafa raised in October 1532 to put before the eyes of the Supreme Pontiff himself, among the causes of scandal he lists the corruption of “the very avaricious administrators of the Penitentiary,” and with these words he urged the reform of this sacred tribunal. “And because His Holiness now has made the Supreme Penitentiary secundum cor suum, nevertheless this does not excuse from providing for this and other needs of the said office, because that poor old man, may God forgive him, was too used to that in his old age… That good old man was cardinal Lorenzo Pucci, who died 16 September 1531. (A. Caracciolo, Vita et gesti di Gio. Pietro Caraffa, manuscript in the Casanatense library in Rome. Other copies are on view in various libraries, e.g. the Vatican Library, cod. Barberini lat., 4953 and 4961; in the Vittorio Emmanuele Biblioteca Nazionale, Fondi Minori, manscripts 1730 and 1734. This record was rendered in Latin and reproduced briefly by Josephus Silos, Historiam Clericorum Regularium, Liber III, Romae, 1650, 99-108. Cfr Edoardo d’Alençon, Gian Pietro Carafa e la riforma nell’ordine dei Minori dell’Osservanza, Foligno, 1912 [BCC:opusc-46-42]. This observation did not escape Bartolomeo Carrara, a writer on Carafa, who professed that the Boverian narrative is suspect for a further reason. He continues, “Carafa rumbled against such excesses and abuses, and when he was Pope he removed the corruption of these letters from the Dataria and the Penitentiary and issued a Bull against religious outside their Religion because of apostasy or even in service of the Holy See. This Bull put fear into them.” (Carlo Bromato, Storia di Paolo IV, Ravenna, 1748, vol. I, p.141). Cf. the Bull Postquam divina bonitas, 27 August 1558. [Bullarium Romanum, vol.6,538-543, dated 20 July 1558.] Caracciolo was at least unaware of the principle role that Boverius assigned Carafa in this affair. He writes, “In fact he did nothing other than guide and support their reform which began in those years” (ms. cit. f.105). From its context however it seems this refers rather to later years.
  110. Evidently in those days he was asked by the Orator of the Duke of Mantua, in the name of that prince, to grant the faculty to a member of the Order of Preachers to transfer to a milder religion. On 26 May 1526 the Orator wrote to the prince, “I have spoken with Our Lord (the Pope) about the case of Ven. Fra Matteo Bandello…His Holiness answered me that you understand that you should not get tangled up in such matters, but leave the concern to the Rev. Santi Quattro (cardinal Lorenzo Pucci). By the ordinary means of the penitentiary, he provides according to the usual custom.” (Luzio-Renier, Coltura e relazione letterarie d’Isabelle d’Este in Giornale storico della letteratura Italiana, 34 (1867) 85.
  111. “The Supreme Pontiff declared to the Bishop of Camerino, that he knew nothing about any Bull they had obtained from the Penitentiary, and that it was never his intention to grant such concessions against the Religion.” Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo (1527), 27; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II,62
  112. Boverius published the letter in Annalium, 1526, xliii and it may also be found in the Bullarium Ordinis, tom.I, p.1. [BCC:023-D-1]. I have before me and faithfully transcribe the authenticated copy made by P. Marius da Mercato Saraceno, 10 July 1579, from the original (which today is lost). The transcript is registered by the hand of a notary and kept in our General Archives in Rome.
  113. That is, 18 May 1526. The administrators’ signatures and bill follow in the transcript, which were adjoined sub plica and in plica, as they say. It seems these should be read: Jul. de Paparonibus, quinque t. (that is, 5 Turonenses) – G. Amodeus, pro secretario. – P. Auditor, pro sigillatore separet residuum gratiae qua (?) sumptus. – G.Alberigius. – Jul. Cardellus. Then the notary has added: Omisso sigillo praefato existenti in capsula raminea cum cordulis rubeis.“The bill of the Penitentiary under Clement VII states, “Taxae Sigilli sacrae Poenitentiariae Apostolicae in which Pro qualibet bulla de speciali simpliciter capit Sigillum, ultra taxam scriptorium, carlenum unum et quatrenos decem septem.” A further amount, “dimidium carlenum pro cordula et cera sigilli.” (Emil Göller, Die Päpstliche Pönitentiarie, Vol. II, part II, Romae, 1911, p.177.[BCC:90-L-7-8]) Cf. Le Sceau de la S. Pénitencerie, Annuaire pontifical catolique, Paris, 1910, p.680.Plica: The lower margin of a document along its fold. Each document is indicated with its incipit, that is, the first words of the arenga of the document. Thomas Frenz, I documenti pontifici nel medioevo e nell’età moderna, edizione italiana a cura di Sergio Pagano, Scuola Vaticana di paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica, Città del Vaticano, 1989, p.13. [BCC:48-E-5].An Italian translation of this Bull in Vincenzo Criscuolo (ed), I Cappuccini fonti documentarie e narrative del primo secolo (1525-1619), Roma, Curia Generale dei Cappuccini, 1994, 119-121. This text is based on the Latin text in C. Urbanelli, Storia dei cappuccini delle Marche, III/1, 28-29. Urbanelli’s text is a certified copy also made by Marius da Mercato Saraceno and kept in the Provincial Archives of the Marches (see Urbanelli’s introduction in his vol.III/1,7.) I include here a quick English translation of Criscuolo’s Italian text. While the legal language is somewhat awkward, the translation allows the reader to grasp the letter’s content easily.“Laurence, by the mercy of God, bishop of Palestrina, to his beloved sons Ludovico and Raffaele da Fossombrone and Matteo da Bascio da Montefeltro, professed (members) of the Order of Friars Minor of the Observance. Health in the Lord.Your request addressed to us that you, who for the sake of your greater peace of mind and in favour of a better life, since for various reasons you do not believe that you can dwell and remain in the houses of your Order without detriment to your conscience, ask for this: to be able to live for the rest of time apart from these houses and the friaries of the Order and, while keeping your habit, to dwell and remain for all your life in another suitable place, isolated from men, leading the eremitical life. Since you are concerned about doing this legally and of receiving permission not without the Apostolic See being consulted, you have humbly asked that the same See proceed juridically to an appropriate solution.Therefore we, by the authority of the Pope, of whose Penitentiary we have the care, and by its special mandate given us verbally to occupy ourselves with this, we grant you full and free faculty: that you, having asked the permission of your superiors either yourselves or through another or others acting in your name, even if permission is not obtained, you may freely and licitly lead the eremitical life forever, remaining apart from the houses or regular friaries of the Order and living in some eremitical place, according to preference; nevertheless keeping your habit, and observing the Rule in as much as human frailty allows, and living under the obedience and correction of the ordinary of the place that is given you to reside; that you may receive alms offered you piously by any Christian and that you may apply these for your licit and honest needs, and enjoy and also use each and every privilege, grace and concession.Notwithstanding the constitutions and apostolic ordinances and the statutes and customs of the houses and of the aforesaid Order, and also strengthened by an oath or confirmed by apostolic authority or by any other authority; and notwithstanding the privileges, concessions and apostolic letters sent to the Order, under whatever verbal form or clause of exemption formulated in the strongest, most effective and usual way, perhaps granted, confirmed and often renewed verbally against what is granted above. From all these things, in special form and expressly, only this time, we remove their value, while the other things, even those contrary to the things granted here, will keep their juridical force.Therefore we order the venerable father in Christ, and by the grace of God bishop of Camerino or his vicar, by the aforesaid authority and mandate, in all that regards yourselves in the above mentioned things, through the help of effective defence, that they not allow through themselves or others from now on that in any way you be molested, upset and disturbed in your persons or in other things, for any reason, by any superior of the aforesaid Order, by prelates, friars, judges or other persons, both ecclesiastic and secular, also agents under apostolic authority. Let every disobedient or rebellious person be reprimanded by ecclesiastical censures or other opportune juridical remedies, invoking if necessary even the help of the secular arm.Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, under the protectorate of the office of the Penitentiary, 18 May, in the third year of the pontificate of the Lord Pope Clement VII.”
  114. You might say that they really had not read this Bull, or they had not weighed up its words. Thus in his triple account, Marius da Mercato Saraceno writes that the Pope granted permission to Ludovico to wear the habit he had adopted and to receive others. He says, “Fra Ludovico went to Rome to the feet of the Supreme Pontiff, asking His Holiness his permission and blessing to wear that habit… and likewise to be able to grant it to others. Graciously and kindly the Pope granted all that Ludovico asked of His Holiness and gave him the brief. This was in 1526 on 18 May.” [MHOMC I, 38] On the contrary, however, the Bull itself says they had to keep the habit of the Order. Nor does it mention any faculty to receive others. Nevertheless, at least when he wrote the third account, he had the transcript of this Bull, a transcript he had made himself, as we said above.
  115. Annalium, 1526, xlv.
  116. Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, TiP. della SS Concezione, Roma, 1910, p.14, note 1 [BCC:24-L-22]: “Notable also is the address of the letter in which P. Matteo occupies the third place. Was P. Ludovico already ready to initiate a true reform of the Order and put himself at the head, with Matteo put aside? All his later conduct would lead one to believe so.”
  117. “Di qui venne che esso Padre se ne andò poi sempre libero, né più da frati a lui proprio fu dato alcun fastidio.” (No reference given.)
  118. De expresso indicates the things which the Pope would have granted viva voce with an express announcement by the office or person of the Major Penitentiary either by word or by rescript. De speciali indicate the things which specially or ordinarily are reserved to the Pope and over which the office of the Penitentiary has a mandate or the person of the major Penitentiary has a special commission by indult or privilege.” (Rules or decisions of the Penitentiary under Alexander VI, 1497, as in Emil Göller, Die Päpstliche Pönitentiarie, Vol. II, part II, Romae, 1911, 101.) Even earlier Sixtus IV (13 September 1471) had granted to the Major Penitentiary “supplicationes cum clausula de expresso et Sedis Apostolicae mandato signare et litteras in forma solita expedire” (p.108).
  119. Annalium, tom.I, 987.
  120. Emil Göller, Die Päpstliche Pönitentiarie,II/ii, 161. Under the plica of the Bull is read the fee of five Turonenses charged to Ludovico, which either he or a spiritual friend had to pay. Under the plica of the Bull granted to the other friars is the fee of twenty Turonenses, and “super residuum de consensu.” In the same list of fees, 4 Turonenses was stipulated “De monasterio ad monasterium eiusdem ordinis professionis et habitus ac paris observantie regularis taxatur ad 4 T.” (same page.) All the other fees in this category ranged between 12 and 36 Turonenses. This circumstance seems to lend support d’Alençon’s observation on habitus vestro semper retento in the following paragraph.
  121. “Wearing a suitable hermit habit.” Emil Göller, Die Päpstliche Pönitentiarie, 69 (Note that d’Alençon cites p.60 mistakenly.) From the book of decrees around 1542. Earlier, the request for the special faculty to change habit was very rarely granted. In the letter cited above of the Orator of Mantua, who asked this permission on behalf of his prince, for the said religious, one may read, “Mi ha fatto difficillimo (il cardinale Penitenziere) il puotere ottenere la mutatione de l’habito, dicendo che questa dispensatione non si suol fare…”Luzio-Renier, Coltura e relazione letterarie d’Isabelle d’Este in Giornale storico della letteratura Italiana, 34 (1867) 85.
  122. “Erano, come poi mi narrano, con certa licenza apostolica, usciti dall’osservanza di San Francesco, ed osservano certa vita più stretta e solitaria, parimente secondo la regola di San Francesco…Udendo io che era derogata per breve apostolico quella la loro licenza.” Letter of Paolo Giustiniani cited above, Placido Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese di Montecorona, 205.
  123. Giovanni da Fano, Dialogo (1527), 25: “Declaro a lo Episcopo de Camerino che … non fu mai sua intentione concedere tali indulti contro la Religione.” Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 62.
  124. under his obedience and correction
  125. “Sub Clemente VII fuit Magister Aulae, subque Paolo III eodem munere functus est.” (He was Magister Aulae under Clement VII and also carried out the office under Paul III.) Ferdinando Ughelli, Italia sacra sive de episcipis Italiae et insularum adjacentium, edition secunda, aucta & emendate, cura et studio Nicolai Coleti, Venetiis, apud Sebastianum Coleti, tomus I, Camerinenses episcopi, p.566, c.656. [BCC:029-B-1]. His words are repeated by Octavius Turchi, De Ecclesiae Camerinae Pontificibus, Romae, 1762. In the year 1535, on 26 March, I have found him as Magister Domus of Paul III. However, in that year he abdicated from the Church entrusted to him on 5 July, and keeping only the name. Archivum Vaticanum, Diversorum Cameralium, Armadio 29, vol.103, fol.87. Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii et recentioris aevi…Monasterii Libraria Regensbergiana, Patavia, tom.iii, 1923, 149 [BCC:029-B-11].
  126. On litterae clausae…closed letters which were folded a number of times vertically as well as horizontally, with the seal thread pieced through the folds of the document, see Thomas Frenz, I documenti pontifici nel medioevo e nell’età moderna, 28+.
  127. Wadding, Annales Minorum, 1526, n.x, p.262.
  128. Michele Angelo da Napoli, Chronologia historico-legalis Seraphici Ordinis, 257 and 244. For a copy of this letter found in the Vatican Archives, as well as an Italian version from S. Francesco da Ripa, ms. 51, 133-143, see Juan Meseguer Fernández, “Constituciones Recoletas para Portugal, 1524 e Italia, 1526” in Archivo Ibero Americano 21(1961) 463-483.” The author also includes earlier Constitutions for the houses of Recollection in Spain in “Programa de Gobierno del P. Francisco de Quiñones, Ministero General O.F.M. (1523-1528)” in Archivo Ibero Americano 21(1961)5-51.
  129. “Since I was at the General Chapter at the Porziuncola in 1526, I heard it said many times to the padre fra Francesco de Angelis, Minister General – (a man of the strictest life and one of the number of the reformed and who attended to the reform very carefully) – that the general way of living of the family of the Observance is good and sure. And those who live in it according to the way given by the most holy father reformers, that is, by blessed Giovanni da Capistrano and by saint Bernardino da Siena and others, are in a good state, and sure of their own salvation…although in some particulars there may be some transgression. Nonetheless the friars are not impeded by this so that, if they want, they may observe the Rule ad litteram spiritualmente.” Dialogo (1527), 10; (Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 46-47.) Later, however, Giovanni openly declared the lax friars had distorted the true meaning of these words of his, almost as if he might have approved of the abuses then holding sway. At the same time, to the contrary, he spoke uniquely about the way of life founded by the aforementioned saints. We hear him say, “The other time that we were in these discussion, if you remember well, I said to you that the way the family of the Observance lives, according to the way given by the holy Father Reformers, that is, by blessed Fra Giovanni da Capistrano, saint Bernardino and others, is good and sure, and those who have observed it have been sure of salvation. This was always my intention in the other Dialogue (as is clearly obvious in it), namely, to commend the life arranged and observed by the aforesaid saints, and not the particular way of life of many, especially in modern times; although some have taken from my words a generalisation and used it, in these modern times, to cover-up laxity. They will not be excused, however, before the Divine Judge.” In the Dialogo correcto, Cingoli Codex, f.28v. ( Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, I, 598.)
  130. Cf. My small work already cited, Gian Pietro Carafa. Documenti inediti sul Generalato di Paolo Pisotti da Parma, Foligno, 1912 [BCC:opusc-46-42].
  131. “Since in the Marches no such friaries (of recollection) have been assigned, many spiritual friars are going to the Capuchins.” Augustino da Stroncone, O.F.M., L’Umbria Serafica, 1526, in Miscellanea Franciscana 6(1895+), 144, right column.
  132. The words are those of Gamaliel in Acts 5:38,39. Pascucci cites the text in the life of blessed Battista.
  133. Pascucci, Vita della beata Battista Varani, 139; Acta Sanctorum, VII, maii, die 31. Cf Analecta OFM Cap., 22(1906), 243. Callisto Urbanelli, “Giovanni da Fano e la beata Battista da Varano” in Camilla Battista Da Varano e il suo tempo. Atti del convegno di studi sul V centenario del monastero delle Clarisse di Camerino, Castello di Lanciano – Palazzo ducale e Cattedrale di Camerino, 7-8-9 settembre 1984, Camerino, 1987, 207-227, especially 223. [BCC:70-L-84]. This letter may be apocryphal (Pietro Luzi, Camilla Battista da Varano. Una spiritualità fra Papa Borgia e Lutero, Piero Gribaudi Editore, Torino, 1989, 114, n.2 [BCC:57-C-73].
  134. Although he mistakenly ascribes Battista’s death to 1525, without hesitation Pascucci relates the things which took place later. He would have it that Giovanni sought her advice before he went across to the Capuchins (1534). Historians are in agreement in writing that she died on 31 May, on the feast of Corpus Christi. Furthermore, that feast fell on 31 May only in 1526. Cf. Milziade Santoni (ed), La vita spirituale della B. Battista da Varano, Camerino, Tipografia Savini, 1880, p.70.
  135. Boverius, who correctly observes that no mention is made among them about those who were to join, prudently omits these additions. Nevertheless he says that Paolo went to the Pope (Annalium, 1526, lxxxi.)
  136. Giuseppe Zarlino, as mentioned earlier, and below.
  137. “And so he lived withdrawn from the conversation of the other priests of the city… He rarely left his house. If he did leave, he first went to the Duomo and celebrated Mass with great devotion. Later he returned to his room and did not leave there except some important occasion presented itself.” (Zarlino, Informatione, MHOMC I, 494…495.
  138. In the letter of the Sacred Penitentiary, “that you may receive alms offered you piously by any Christian and that you may apply them for your licit and honest needs.” (Zarlino, Informatione). This reference is to the letter of the Penitentiary to Ludovico, as above. I have not found it in the Informatione! On the death of his mother and the provision for his sister, MHOMC I, 495-496.
  139. Gerardo da Villafranca, P.Matteo da Bascio e P. Paolo da Chioggia. Studio sulla loro vita, 34, 117.
  140. “The first to clothe himself in this Capuchin habit, and who had permission from Clement VII to wear such a habit and receive others into his company who might want such a life, and who could do so freely, without being impeded by anyone, was padre fra Paolo.” This is read in a certain letter which the author published in the complete edition of his works to confirm his assertion regarding the primacy of Paolo. I am compelled to refer to the letter, nor do I see any objections to presenting it. “Il che conferma quello che è scritto in una parte di una Lettera, indricciata ad un vostro P. Cappuccino, da un suo amico, che s’affiticò di mostrare in Scrittura l’origine di voi R.P., della quale lettera parte ne tengo appresso di me, avendomene fatta coppia un de i Rev. Vostri Fratelli di sua mano: il quale taccio per buon rispetto.” Who that friend was who had laboured to present in writing the origin of the Capuchins should be investigated. The name of Zarlini presents itself since, apart from him, no one is known to have published such a text, and the letter is produced to confirm the truth of his Informatione. Furthermore, the letter appears dated in Venice where he was living as Chapel Master of the Serenissima Repubblica. The letter is directed to a certain Capuchin who similarly wrote a small work on the true origin of the Capuchins. So then, apart from P. Marius I see no one to whom these things apply. You might say that Zarlino deliberately wrapped all these things in darkness, and that the author of this letter which I transcribe literally is unknown. “Essendo il p.f. Bernardino da Calatanissetta di Sicilia Capuccino Sacerdote à Venetia del 79, e ragionando io con sua paternità dell’Operetta vostra posta in luce intorno all’Origine vera di voi P. Cappuccini, mi disse: in confirmatione della verità, che già io hò detto di sopra, che essendo lui à roma del 69, dove erano congregati molti Padri della vostra Congregatione; fra i quali ve era il p.f. Thomaso da Castello, quale era stato Generale vostro, et in tal tempo era Generale il R.P.F. Marius da Mercato saracino: disse questo P.F. Bernardino, che ragionando col detto P.F. Thomaso, capitò nel vostro monasterio un R. Sacerdote da Camerino, molto vecchio, quale serviva all’Hospedale di S. Giacomo appresso la porta del popolo in Roma: ragionando con detto P.F. Thomaso venna à parlare della voluntà di Pio V, quale voleva allora fare tutto un corpo de voi P. Cappuccini con li padri Zoccolanti: disse quel detto R. Sacerdote, qualmente non ere vero quello che si diceva: cioè il P.F.Mattheo fusse stat lui l’Origine della vostra Riforma, perché veramente non è così, ma si veramente è stato un R.P. F. Paulo da Chiazza Sacerdote et predicatore, huomo di santa vita: il quale lui molto bene conobbe tutti tre: cioè F. Paulo, F.Mattheo e F. Ludovico, perché moltissime fiate aveva conversato con loro, nel luogo di Camerino et aveva inteso questa verità da loro proprii, del primo che si vestite (sic) di questo Habito Cappuccino, et che hebbe licenza da Clemente Settimo di portare tale abito, et ricevere in sua Compagnia altri che volessero fare tale vita, potesse liberamente senza essere impedito da veruno, fu il sudetto P.F. Paulo. La qual cosa fu molto grata à noi intendere, perché non sapevamo tal cosa pienamente: ma più presto questo principio si attribuiva al P.F. Matteo, et falsamente, si come il detto Sacerdote da Camerino più volte ci confermò quasi con giuramento. Et è da crederli, perché essendo lui di Camerino, et avendo con esso loro tanto conversato et da loro proprii inteso et veduto la cosa, la quale dicenda da se stesso, s’ha da presupponete, che non haverebbe detto falsità, ma la sola verità sincera. Et ci narrava la cosa de tale Origine tanto minutamente, a punto che fra i nostri padri fu giudicato, che’l detto Sacerdote fusso stato Frate di quei primi et uscito fuori, forsi Novizio per non poter sopportare l’austerità grande de quei primi padri.” Giuseppe Zarlino, Opere, IV, 110.
  141. “etiam quasi cum juramento” refers to the “ci confermò quasi con giuramento” of the letter cited in the previous note.
  142. “…as some say who, deceived by them, joined them. Then on seeing the great deception, have returned to the flock,” Dialogo, 27; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 62-63.
  143. Dialogo de la salute tra el frate stimulato et el frate rationabile circa la regula de li frati Minori et sue dechiaratione per stimulati. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 41-69.
  144. “…un povero fraticello, desiderando servire fedelmente al suo creatore, et la promessa Regula inviolabilmente observare, et al ultimo salvare l’anima sua: temendo etiam perche istanno li periculosi tempi, et le insidie de li versati demoni: vedendo ancora molti ne la Religione caminare per diverse vie: perche alcuni seguitando una via troppo larga, una apert, pericolosa et scandalosa relaxatione dimostrano. Altri elegano una via tanto arcta, difficile, scrupolosa, et quasi indiscreta, che lassando quella che li sancti patri nostri doctissimi et stimolantissimi hanno tenuta, se sforzano de mostrare et dogmatizzare un’altra nove et singolare:li quali si fano bene or errano, desotto se demostrara. Queste cose adunqua considerando quel povero fraticello, se ne ando ad un patre da bene, de eta maturo, grave de costume, de fama perspicuo, esperto et rationabile, et domandolli consiglio sopra le predicte cose, et ricevette da lui molti securi et saluberrimi documenti: et acosi inseme confabulando composero un mirabile Dialogo, et a quelli che desideranno a Yesu Cristo fedelmente servire molto utile.” (Dialogo, 4) It finishes: “Finisse el Dialogo nuncupato de la salute tra el frate Stimulato et el frate Rationabile, facto per pace et quiete de la nostra observantia, et per obviare a li scandali et inconvenienti che insorgono per la diversita de secte, le quale hanno origine da li stimoli non rationabili. Dove se dichiara che questi tali sonno decenti…Si dichiara anchora che ne la Religione de la observantia se possono perfectamente observare, stando ne li lochi dove el capitolo el mette.” (Dialogo, 119)
  145. expositio
  146. “In questo Dialogo secondo l’ordine de li capituli de la regula, sonno reduce in breve compendio tutte le dechiaratione de la regula facte da li summi Pontifici et da li doctori de l’ordine. E facto in lingua materna et vulgare, accio li semplici et idioti el possano intendere. E facto breve, accio più spesso sia lecto, et meglio sia a memoria ritenuto.” (Dialogo, 5-)
  147. “Et benche queste cose non siano tutte de substantia de la Regula, nondimeno sonno bone per li stimulati (accio non vadano cercando de fare secte et divisione) perche possono ne la comunita satisfare a li loro rasonevoli stimoli. Sonno boni anchora per una comune reformatione, et a restringere el vivere de l’observantia regulare.” (Dialogo, 119.)
  148. “Ho ricomposto il detto Dialogo nel medesimo ordine, lassando molte superfluità, aggiungendo molte cose necessarie et molte cose mal dette emendando” (Cingoli Codex, f.22r.) Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 589.
  149. “A li ven. patri et fratri de l’observantia del Divo Francesco in capitulo congregati. Frate Joanne da Phano vostro umile servo et Ministro obsequiosa et debita reverentia” (Dialogo, 3.)
  150. At the foot of the last page: “Impressum Ancone per Magistrum Bernardinum Vercellensem. Anno Domini 1527, die 5 Junii.”
  151. “cujus etiam illum postea tantopere poenituit, ut sape dicere solitus esset, nisi libelum publice palinodia decantasset, penitus de sua salute illi fore desperandum, nec unquam coram Deo se satisfacturum, nisi se ipsum eidem Capuccinorum reformationi animo et corpore consecrasset, atque integra sui deditione tot impietatis fasciculos dissolvisset.” Dionigio Genuensis, Biblioteca scriptorum Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci Capuccinorum, Genuae 1680, 263 [BCC:23-M-28], 1691, 177 [BCC:23-O-8]. “et di coti certo che non pensava mai haver ossuto satisfare alla conscientia mia, ne esser della salute securo, delle parole dette contra una tanto santa et a Dio grata Riformatione (le quali parole reputo fusseno un libello famoso) et anco per le reali contradittioni e persecuzioni ch’io li detti, meglio che ritrattando in scriptis et l’habito loro realmente pigliando.” (Cingoli Codex, f.36v.) Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I,610.
  152. In the Bull Gloriosam Ecclesiam, 23 January 1318, which condemned the Bizzochi, the Beguine, the Fraticelli as pseudo-friars of Saint Francis. The words of Giovanni da Fano: “Nel medisimo tempo (of Michele da Cesena), molti sotto pretexto de reformatione, fecero molte novita, maxime con habiti et capucci deformati, che se chiamavano fraticelli o Bighini, o de la povera vita: li quail papa Joanne 22, et la sancta matre chiesia dampna et excommunica come temerarij, superbi, scnadalosi, seditiosi, et heretici; perche in molte cose erravano; vede ne la bola de epso summon pont. Molte cose contra questi et in speciale li proibisse che non portano quello abito deforme con el cappuccio vituperabile et comanda che siano reduci a la uniformita de li abiti: affirmando la difformità de li abiti esser segno de discensione de animi, et perche sono girovagi et vagabondi, pero li chiama figlioli de la diffidentia, nube senza acqua, le quale sonno da li venti portate intorno et stelle errante a le quale la procella e reservata..etc.” (Dialogo, 22) [ Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 56.] In fact, in the Bull it reads, “Et ut ipsorum (pseudo-fratrum) error veritas et impietas religio putaretur, demeritate propria quondam habitus cum parvis caputiis, custos, strictos, inusitatos, et squallidos, simulationis conscios, irrisionis amicos, ac dissidii non ignaros, discrepantes a communitate Ordinis assumere, et in simplicium cordibus, ut eosdem secum in devium erroris adducerent seminare, disctos habitus fore secundum regulam B. francisci, et in ipsis solum pseudo-fratribus Ordinem consistere, famaque aliorum fratrum praefatae Commuinitatis diversis convitiis lacerare procaci impudentique versutia praesumpserunt.”
  153. The Bull Ite et vos, 29 May 1517. “Et ne ex novarum sectarum in dicto Ordine forsan introductione facienda, Ordinem iterum in rixas devenire oporteat, volumes, et in virtute sanctae Obedientiae firmiter praecipimus et mandamus, quod de caetero nullae novae sectae vel reformations in dicto Ordine introducantur, aut fiant, absque Ministri generalis, aut Provincialium ministrorum reformatorum in suis provinciis resective, expresso assensu.”
  154. D’Alençon has “tempore bacchanalium, viderentur” to translate “che seriano nel carnevale”
  155. “Benche questo veneno qualche volta, (anco al presente) repullule, perche al presente anchora alcuni se levano et fanno queste novita, mutando habito, et partendose dal ordine, con scandalo de la religione. Fra. Stimolato: Io ne ho congnosciuti alcuni de questi: che opinione hai de loro? Fra. Rationabile. Dico che sonno temerarij, ignoranti de la Regula et sua professione: Vagabondi, Superbi, ambitiosi, che desiderano essere chiamati riformatori de l’Ordine. Et pongano la perfectione ne l’homo esteriore, de l’interiore poco curandose. Sonno impazienti, de dura service, de mala conscientia (perche mormorano de la Religione con infamie etiam appresso li secolari), senza spiritu et devozione. Contra li quali e la sententia de papa Jo.22° como desopra. Et in speciale contra questi moderni e la sententia del P. Ministro generale, cioe fra Francesco de Angelis, el quale li excomunica. Anchora e un breve autentico de papa Clemente 7. el quale li excomunica, et alcuni de loro nominatim. El quale summo pontifico declaro a lo Episcopo de Camerino che de una certa bolla impetrata da loro de la penitenziaria, Sua Sanctita niente sapeva, et non fu mai sua intenzione concedere tali indulti contra la religione. Conciosiacosache, si vogliono, possino ne la Religione spiritualmente la Regula observare. Etiam Leo X. in bulla unionis comanda in virtu de sancta obedientia, che non se faceno nove secte, ma che tutti vivano con li frati de la famiglia o vero con li conventuali. Et nientedimeno quelli Temerarij, dal Demonio decreti et obcecati, vanno quando soli, quando accompagnati: quando scalci, quando con le sole: quando in uno tugurio, quando in un altro: et molto tempo consumano per le corte et per via: spesso vengono in divisione tra loro: fanno ilo Guardiani auctoritate propria, et poi non gli vogliano obbedire: et fanno molte altre levita et stultitie, che seriano nel Carnevale un bel Gioco da mamoli: come dicono alcuni li quali da loro decenti se sonno acostati ad epsi, poi vedendo el grande inganno, sonno ritornati al grege. Ma veramente quelli poverelli se inganano legendo alcune cose del B. Francesco, le quale faceva in sue conversionis principio, et perche erano pochi, andavano soli, stavano per li deserti, et per le case di secuilari, con qualche varieta de abiti: ma poi che’l B. Francesco hebbe la confirmatione de la Regula. Ordino che abitassero inseme ne li lochi, et andassero per via a doi a doi, et redusse l’ordine a la conveniente decentia, et non in quel modo che pensano loro. Et pero questi sono ingannati come molti altri, tanto antiqi, quanto a li tempi nostri. Tutti sonno inganni de li Demonij.” Dialogo in I Frati Cappuccini II, 61-63.
  156. Frate Stimolato: Nell’altro Dialogo tu molto biasimavi questi Cappuccini, con molte imputazioni e parole molto sinistre, et al presente si con parole, come in pigliare il loro habito tanto li commendi. Frate Rationabile: Io allora per molti rispetti dissi quelle parole, et in molti modi cerai d’impedirli, e massime seguitando il solito costume della comunità in questi casi, la quale sempre hà avute exose queste separazioni, et non conosceva la volontà de Dio, ne che questa Reformatione sia secondo il suo beneplacito. Al presente, mutando sentenza, dico che non solo don deveno esser imputati di levità, superbia, ambitione e di altra mala intenzione, come nell’altro Dialogo contra loro prorrumpendo dissi, immo deveno esser sommamente commendati, perche tengo certo ch’abbiano ritrovato la vera intenzione del nostro Padre San Francesco circa l’osservanza della Regola.” (Cingoli Codex, f.36v). Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, I, 610.
  157. Martin V, in the Declaration of the Rule Cum generale Capitulum, 6 June 1430.
  158. Frate Stimolato: Possemo noi con bona conscientia seguitare la communita? Fra Rationabile: Possemo et devemo. Et non e lecito a noi portare habito deforme in colore, grossezza o vecchiezza: perche altra cosa e essere frate Minore povero, al quale specta servare una decentia povera, onesta, conforme a la rasone, uniforme a la communita, et altro e de essere furfante, o eremita. Unde dice Mart.V°, Che nel vestire deve rilucere la poverta et la asperita, non pero tale che induca ad horrore chi li vede, o vero li provoche a riso. Et in questo e la excommunicatione de Papa Jo. 22. come appare disopra. Et in questo semo securi si observamo quello che hanno osservato li sancti patri nostri, et sancti et docti: et non te confundere in quella deformita de abiti et de cappucci etc…” (Dialogo, 57). Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 67
  159. Cerreto d’Esi, Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 341.
  160. This fra Prospero is absolutely unknown to our annalists.
  161. I include the entire letter of Vincenzo Lori: “A questi giorni leggendo L’Origine de Capucini, opera di V.S. vidi quando gagliardamente difendeva la parte de F. Paolo da Chioggia capo et inventore di detta Religione, et anche racconta in detta Opera, che il detto F. Paulo più volte stette in queste nostre parti della Marca: ma per quanto si vede, V.S. non par c’habbi avuto cognizione di quei luoghi, et accenna in certi, che credo certo non vi sia stato, ò pur essendo deve essere per un passaggio, ma non fermo, come è stato qui: si come qui sotto intenderà. Deve dunque sapere come essendo io venuto questa Settimana qui in questo nostro Castello di Cerreto per far la raccolta de grani, et ragionando ieri con certi di questi contadini, à un certo proposito de Cappuccini, venni a discoprire, come il vostro F. Paolo fu in quest o Castello assai volte, ma particolarmente una volta vi stette assai tempo fermo, e stava in compagnia con F. Matteo et un altro F. Prospero, et abitavano in una Chiesuola lontano qui dal Castello forsi un miglio verso la montagna, chiamata la detta Chiesa S. Martino, et ivi haveano fatto un poco de ridotto ò stipa, et dormivano come (con reverentia) fanno gli animali, e da queste genti erano sovvenuti di mangiare e bere: et detto F. Paulo vi stette più assiduo che F. Matteo, perche F. Matteo era più vagabondo: et celbrorno la messa et predicono in questo nostro Castello più volte: et detto F. Paulo fece tra l’altre ose mentre stette in S. Martino, un bellissimo Crocifisso di rilevo, grande quanto un grand’uomo, et è una delle più belle e devote imagini, che si possa vedere: il quale si conserva qui à Cerreto nella Chiesa de S. Maria della piazza, in una cappella appartata, et vi è grandissima devozione: et io do poi cìho saputo esser opra di F. Paulo, mi ha fatto rendere più divotione de prima, à tale che V.S. può considerare quanto tempo vi sia stato fermo qui, che (secondo intendo) è stato de più anni, e tutte queste cose glie le dico de riferto fattomi da questi Vecchi, quali erano molto Amici delli detti F. Paulo et F. Matteo, e conversando insieme molto strettamente, dicendomi ancora detti contadini, che F. Paulo predicava nel Castello rare volte, et assai manco di F.Mattheo, et che era più dotto et letterato di detto F. Matteo, è che spesso era visitato in S. Martino da altri Frati de più bande, che seguitavano lo stil suo et l’habito” in Giuseppe Zarlino, Opera IV, 98. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 341-343. The latter version includes two more final paragraphs.
  162. See MHOMC II, 182-185.
  163. On Girolamo da Sessa see Placido Lugano, La Congregazione Camaldolese di Montecorona, 196
  164. “Ad ipsorum fratrum Conventualium consortium vos transtulistis.”
  165. D’Alençon’s quote from Religionis Zelus abbreviates the passage: “juxta formam litterarium Apostolicarum super unione et concordia inter Observantes et Conventuales edicta confectarum…” Reader beware, for “edicta” read “edita.” For Latin texts see the bibliography in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 61. (The Latin text with an Italian translation, 61-69.) Note the reference to Wadding, Annales Minorum xvi, should read 296-298 instead of 294-296. See Von Pastor’s worthwhile note, in History of the Popes, from the close of the Middle Ages, Herder, St. Louis, 1923 (3° edition), vol.X, 465, note 1 regarding the varying quality of the text in some Latin versions (especially Boverius and Wadding), as well as a description of the diploma. He also notes the copy kept in the Capuchin general archives of the petition of Ludovico and Raffaele. An English translation of the Religionis zelus may be found in The Round Table of Franciscan Research, VII (1941-42), 1949 reprint, p.110+, and copied below, p.300+.
  166. Licentiare
  167. Ite et vos, 29 May 1517.
  168. Michele Angelo da Napoli, Chronologia historico-legalis Seraphici Ordinis, tom.I, 255.
  169. “Etiam Leo X in bulla unionis comanda in virtu de sancta obedientia che non se faceno nove secte, ma che tutti vivano con li frati de la fameglia o vero con li conventuali.” (Dialogo, 27.) Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 62.
  170. Di frate Honorio informatione sopra frati Scappuccini, Vatican Archives: Lettere dei Principi 7, f.658. His report (Informatione) completely unknown until now, will be given in its entirety later. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini, II, 69-73. Includes introduction with Latin/Italian text, based on the original.
  171. “After the flight of countless butterflies from Abruzzo to the Province of the Marches, it was understood that the plague had entered the city of Ascoli and from their ran like lightning to infect the Marches, and from the Marches it reached Camerino, where in the first three days one hundred persons perished and then countless others.” Camillo Lilii, Historia di Camerino II, 301.
  172. Boverius mistakenly reports the year 1528 for the death of the Duke.
  173. “ad Romanam Curiam accendi, et a Sede Apostolica quaecumque ad animarum suarum salutem et ad Dei gloriam opportuna viderent petendi et impetrandi” are words from the Bull Religionis zelus.
  174. Camillo Lilii, Historia di Camerino II, 3.
  175. Honorio Caiani, Informatione sopra frati Scappuccini, as above p.135 note 5. Costanzo Cargnoni I Frati Cappuccini II, 71-72.
  176. Since d’Alençon summarises the petition below, there is no need to translate it in its entirety here.
  177. The words “seu Ordinariorum locorum” have been deleted.
  178. Before the word “obtenta”, “licet non” have been erased.
  179. “recipere” in the original.
  180. The letter of supplication is transcribed literally and some words are obscure.
  181. They also ask for permission to live the eremitical life of prayer.
  182. Vatican Archives, Minute dei brevi di Clemente vii, Arm. xl, vol. 20, epist. 1191. This letter is found transcribed in Arm. xxxix, vol. 48, p.2066, n.1164.
  183. The Bull of Eugene IV, Illa quae, Florence, 24 November 1305, and confirmed by Leo X. In Boverius, Annalium I, Regestum Bullarum, 969. The date of the Bull given in this footnote follows the mistaken date in Boverius, 970 “Datum Florentiae, Anno Incarnationis Domini mcccv, Oct. Kal. Decembr. Pontificatus nostri Anno quinto.” This date disagrees with the heading given for the Bull on page 969, namely, 1405. Both dates are wrong, and should read 1435. The Bull Illa quae may also befound in Bullarium Romanum 5,17. The Bull confirms that of Gregory ix, 9 July 1227 (23 June 1227), in Bullarium Romanum 3, 423.
  184. Decret. Gregor., lib. V, tit.41, cap.2. Corpus Iuris Canonici, editio Lipsiensis secunda post Aemili Ludouici Richteri, Pars secunda: Decretalium Collectiones. Ex officina Bernhardi Tauchnitz, Lipsiae, mdccclxxxi, page 927, [BCC:010-B-3].
  185. Vatican Archives, Minute dei brevi di Clemente vii, Arm. xl, vol. 20, epist. 1191
  186. “Also if you want, if it may seem opportune to you, you can have this letter issued as a Bull.”
  187. Boverius and Wadding also have this Bull. It seems that the original copy has been lost. Our Archives, however, have an authenticated copy transcribed in Ancona on 10 July 1579, by the hand of the public notary, Vincenzo Pavesi, under the care of Marius da Mercato Saraceno. Bullarium, diplomatum et privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum (Taurinensis editio), [013-A-7,6]; Bullarium Ordinis FF. Minorum S.F. Francisci Capuccinorum, [023-D-1], 3-4. See footnote 2 on page 167. Note the reservations concerning the transcriptions of Boverius and Wadding.
  188. Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, Camerino, 1891, 92, from the diary of B. Lilii.
  189. “In his illud primum est. Non absque summo, atque arcano Dei consilio factum esse, ut in hac Bulla in qua prima Religionis Capuccinorum fundamente jacta fuere, nulli omnino auctoris, aut fundatoris honor ac titulus deferatur. Quin etiam (quod majori admiratione dignum est) nulla omnino de Matthaeo de Bascio mentio fiat.” Annalium, an.1528, v.
  190. “Che benchè fusse un fra Matteo, sanctissimo huomo, che cominciò questa reforma, il qua’ e vive hogge et sta tra questi Patrj, et non curando di ambitione, andava predicando se fece la Bolla de la sancta memoria di Clemente.” In a letter to Cardinal Contarini, cf. Tribulationes, 34. This letter begins, La devotion che ha al glorioso San Francisco has been published a number of times. A revised Italian edition in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 216-227.
  191. Exponi nobis in Bullarium Romanum 6, 73-74.
  192. R. Maulde La Clavière, San Gaetano da Tiene e la Riforma cattolica italiana (1480-1570), 264
  193. Facto ostenderet Capuccinorum religionem non alio praeterquam Deo auctore ac fundatore, sub Francisco capite, excitatam atque institutam fuisse.
  194. Benchè fusse un far Matteo…pur dico che san Francesco è il fundator lui.”
  195. Boverius, I, xv, P. 99. The author’s note repeats the typographical error in the Annalium which reads xxv instead of xv.
  196. Lexicon Capuccinum (1951), column 455 observes: “Alia contextio Constitutionum, Cardinali Protectore mandante elaborata, praelo subiecta est (italice et latine) Romae an.1638. Hae vero Constitutiones, etsi a S. Congreg. Et ab ipso urbano VIII approbate et confirmatae die 24 mart. 1638, ab Ordine nostro, qui in recognitione nullam habuerat partem, non sunt acceptatae.” Both the Italian and Latin versions of these constitutions have been republished in Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae, vol.I, Constitutiones Antiquae (1529-1643), editio anastatica, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap., 1980 [BCC:023-D-12,1], pp.223-564. Regarding the beard, the Constitutions of 1536 say: “portisi la barba a exemplo di christo sanctissimo & di tutti li nostri antiqui sancti impeho che e cosa virile & naturale rigida dispecta & austera.” Constitutiones antiquae, 44. Similarly the following Constitutions of 1552: “e si porti la barba per essempio di christo santissimo, e de tutti gli antichi padri nostri santi, essendo cosa virile, naturale, rigida, & dispetta.” Constitutiones antiquae, 90. The Constitutions of 1575: “Et portsi la barba ad esempio di Christo Santissimo, d’altri Santi, & di tutti nostri Antichi Padri, essendo cosa virile e naturale, rigida, disprezzata, & austera, non però la nutriscano, si come dice il Canone.” Constitutiones antiquae,161. The Constitutions of 1608 repeat the admonition verbatim, though with a slight change in order of the adjectives. The admonition is not found at the end of chapter two as previously, given the introduction to these Constitutions of several regulations concerning apostates. Constitutiones antiquae, 233. The Constiutions of 1638: “e si porti la barba come l’ha portata Christo nostro Salvatore, i suoi Santi Apostoli, & il P.S. Francesco.” Constitutiones antiquae, 333, or in the Latin “Barba deferatur quemadmodum & Christum sanctissimum, & Apostolos, & Patrem nostrum S. Franciscum detulisse legimus.” Constitutiones antiquae, 456. The Constitutions of 1643 revert to: “e si porti la Barba ad essempio di Christo Santissimo, d’altri Santi, e di tutti nostri Antichi Padri, essendo cosa virile, e naturale, austera, rigida, e Disprezzata. Non però la nutriscano, come dice il Canone.” Constitutiones antiquae, 580. The 1896 revision of the Constitutions were the most austere regarding the beard, “Et deferatur barba ad exemplum Christi sanctissimi et Patrum nostrorum antiquorum, non tamen nutriatur” in Constitiones Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum saeculorum decursu promulgatae (1909-1925) editio anastatica, vol. II, Romae, Curia Generalis OFM Cap, 1986 [BCC:023-D-12,2], 482. In the approved edition of 1909, however, we read, “e si porti la barba ad esempio di Cristo santissimo, del Serafico padre S. Francesco, di altri Santi e di tutti i nostri antichi Padri: né la nutriscano, come dice il Canone, avvertendo però di spuntarla sufficientemente con forbici nel labbro superiore, per riverenza del Santissimo Sacramento” in the Italian text, Constitutiones recentiores, 64; and in Latin, “et ad exemplum Christi Sanctissimi, Seraphici Patris Francisci, aliorum Sanctorum et priscorum Patrum nostrorum deferatur barba, cum sit virilis, naturalis et austera; neque eam, iuxta Canonem, nutriant; in labio autem superiori superfluitates eius, ob reverentiam SS. Sacramento bebitam, forficulis sufficienter resecent” in Constitutiones recentiores, 219-220. the Constitutions of 1925: “et ad exemplum Christi, seraphici Patris Francisci, aliorum Sanctorum et priscorum Patrum nostrorum deferatur barba, quum sit res virilis, naturalis et austera. Neque ea, saecularium more, nutriatur” in Constitutiones recentiores, 376. After 1968 (including 1970, 1974, 1982): “Eadem pluriformitatis norma etiam quoad consuetudinem barbam deferendi valet”. (The current constitutions differ slightly due to grammatical changes 1990: “Pluriformitatis norma quoad consuetudinem barbam deferendi valet.”)
  197. Boverius, Annalium I, 102, n.xxiii.
  198. Luca Eremita Hispano, Romualdina, seu, Eremetica Montis Coronae Camaldulensis Ordinis Historia, in agro Patavino; in Eremo Ruhensi, 1584, f.133v. [BCC:75-A-43]. An italian translation by Giulio Premuda, La historia romoaldina, overo eremitica dell’Ordine Camaldolese di Monte Corona, del Reuer, Luca Hispana; in Venetia, appresso Nicolò Misserini, 1590, 89r,
  199. The author’s literal interpretation of the text prompts his amazement. Boverius here is quoting from the Romaldina when he says ex ore infantium perfecta est laus. Lucas may have been referring to the words of the Psalm 8:2: Ex ore infantium et lactentium perficisti laudem propter inimicos tuos, which he and his monastic readers would have known.
  200. Edmund Martène in Thesauro novo Anecdotorum, Parisiis, 1717, tom. iv, col.334, has the canons of the Council of Apt celebrated in 1365. There one can read, “…ut nostrorum quilibet vestes suis domicellis seu scutiferis…fieri faciat…accedant Capuccini cum botonis…” Frequently the Master of Ceremonies of the Pontifical Chapel, John Burckard, speaking in his diary about the clothes of the Pontiff, of the Cardinals and of bishops, uses the word ‘Capucini’ to refer to the humeral cloak to which the caputium was added. It would take too long to repeat to each reference, so I offer two. On 8 May 1487, among other things there is, “Episcopus Herfordiensis…equitavit in mantello de camelotto nigro, longo, sine capucio et capucino, quia nullum capucinum habebat…Prior Cantuariensis in mantelllo nigro cum capucino parvo subtus.” On 27 February 1493 he advises the Pontiff that “minus conveniat Papam tempore quadragesimali in capucino albo et stola pretiosa equitare, sed in capucino rubeo et stola violata.” “Joannis Burckardi Liber notarum, ab anno 1483 usque ad annum 1506” in Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum scriptores, edit. Nova, Città di Castello, 1907-1912, tom. I, p.196, 400. [BCC:90-H-32,1A-B]; see also Du Cange, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis: capuccinus.
  201. The direct distance from the Grottoes of Massaccio to Rome is 150 kilometres.
  202. “10 luglio 1528, venne in Camerino una Frate Scappuccino, il quale andava per la Città, gridando con li Mammoli, Misercordia. Radunò molte persone dietro a lui: predicava ogni dì dopo pranzo, con ammonire il Popolo, che s’emendasse degli eccessi, e del male, che si commetteva con dare buoni esempi, et ongi sera andava gridando ad alta voce Misericordia… Diario di Bernardino Lilii, ms in Valentiana library of the university of Camerino, carte Liliane, tom.IV, f.51.
  203. “Questi fu Mattheo Blaschi fondatore dei Cappuccini.”
  204. “La sera in Petroio usava fare alcune processioni di fanciulli, radunando tutte le creature della terra, caminando a tuttle le chiese, spesso gli faceva inginocchiare, battendosi il petto, altamente gli favea dire gridando Misericordia a Dio, gli faceva recitare Letanie. Spesso si inginocchiava mente seguiva le chiese, sempre dicendo ad alta voce, Signor habbiate misericordia di noi peccatori, e nel dire le preci essortava ciascuno a fae penitenza de’ suoi peccati.” Vita di Bartolomeo Carosi da Petroio chiamato il Brandano descritta da Camillo Turi Senese, in the Casanatense library, Rome, codex 2627, ff.2 and 3. The life of this hermit was published by Jos. Ant. Pecci, Notizie storico-critiche sulla vita, e azioni di Bartolomeo di Petrojo chiamato Brandano, 2° edition, Lucca, 1763. However in this work there is nothing to be found which touches upon the matter. He had come to Rome in 1527 before the siege and had gone around the city, a sad seer announcing the anger of heaven. He is found in Orvieto in March 1528 while the Pontiff was staying there. Hence it is a mistake to believe that he came to Camerino perhaps on his journey to Monte Gargano. The name of Brandano recurs again in our history in the year 1534. Cf. Ludwig von Pastor, Geschichte de Päpste seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters, vol.iv, part ii, pp.262,333 [BCC:80-I-4]; or History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, vol. ix, pp.379-391; vol. x, 475.
  205. “Constitutioni dei Frati Minori detti della Vita Heremitica.” See Le prime Costituzioni dei Frati Minori Cappuccini, Roma, 1913, [BCC:25-N-6]. See also Matthia da Salò, Historia Capuccina Vol.1, MHOMC v, 158 – 171; Paulus a Foligno, Origo et Progressus Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, edited by Melchiore a Pobladura, MHOMC VII, Roma, 1955, 58-73. An English translation may be found in Round Table of Franciscan Research, 8(1942-43) 116+ reprint.
  206. Boverius, Annalium, an.1529, cvii. Other examples may be offered, e.g. Giovanni da Fano, on entering our Order (1533 or 1534) sent his corrected Dialogo to Bernardino d’Asti, Vicar General, accompanied by a letter with begins: “Frate Giovanni da Fano dell’ordine minore della vita heremitica.” ( Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 587). Also his opusculum: Arte de la Unione, which was published in 1536, is dedicated to the Friars Minor of the EremiticalLife: “Alli amantissimi in christo Jesu Fratelli Frati Minori della vita heremitica, ditti Capucini.” ( Text in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini III, nn. 297-429, this reference.)
  207. The first time they are called “Capucciati,” Clement VII, Cum sicut (9 April 1534) in the Bullarium Capuccinorum, 11 [BCC:023-D-1]; then Paul III, Accepimus (18 December 1534), Bullarium Cap., 12. The name capuccinus is found in the address of the Brief by the same Pope, Nuper accepto (12 January 1535), Bullarium Cap., 13. However the earlier term Capucciatus occurs again later in Pastoralis officii (14 August 1535), Bullarium Cap., 14. Both terms are found in the Letter Dudum postquam (29 August, the same year, 1535). Capucciatus occurs again in the Brief Cum sicut (29 April 1536), Bullarium Cap., 16. In the Bull of confirmation of the Order Exponi vobis (25 August 1536), Bullarium Cap., 16, they are called Capuccini and from then on only this term remains in use.
  208. Thus the aforementioned notary of Camerino, who first wrote this word, “Venne in Camerino un frate Scapuccino.”
  209. Our Gabriele da Modigliana did not hesitate to write, “Non furono giammai in alcun tempo chiamati li Cappuccini, col nome ridocolo e sprezzante, col quale al referire di Giusto Fontanini vengono nominati da due scrittori poco avvertiti nelle loro opere, ove fanno precedere congiunta al nome di Cappuccini la prima lettera, con cui s’incomincia ad atricolare la semplicità de’medesimi: i volumi d’uno almeno de’ quali si trovano proscritti nell’Indice Romano.” Narrazione sincera, e generale del Principio, Progresso, e Stato presente di tutta la Serafica religione Cappuccina. Venezia, 1756, p.xxi. [BCC:24-H-17,A]. The first among the authors presented by Fontanini in Della eloquenza italiana, Venezia, 1737, 471, is Ascanio Centorio in the work L’aura soave, Vinegia, 1556, 181. Discussing Albano he wrote, “e venuta della terra fuori, a una Chiesa de Frati scapuccini.” The other, whose works were proscribed, is Pietro Aretino. His words are, “Diceva lo Scappuccino, che impauriva le maschare a Padova..” La terza et ultima parte de ragionamenti del divino Pietro Aretino, 1589, f.2v. Regarding Mons. Giusto Fontanini, the BCC has the 1753 edition of the Biblioteca dell’eloquenza italiana, 458 (62-L-19): L’Aura soave (libri III) di M. Ascanio Centorio, Cavalier di San Giacopo, In Vinegia presso il Giolito 1556 in 8. Il Centorio qui nel lib.iii, p.181 mentionava i Frati Cappuccini, come abitanti fuori di Nemo, cioè Nemi, castello, da xvi miglia lunge da Roma, in quel tempo de’ Colonnesi, e ora de’ nostri Signori Frangipani: e gli chiama Scapuccini all’uso tuttavia del volgo in qualche parte d’Italia, e di Pietro Aretino nel Ragionamente delle Corti (a)[fol.2.2.ediz. del 1589.]
  210. On 19 November 1534 she wrote to Cardinal Gonzaga, “Rendo infinitissime gratie a V.S.R. del buon animo ch’ella tiene di far tutti piaceri ch’ella potrà alli frati scappuccini per amor mio.” Feliciangeli, op.cit., 187. The author also reproduces the letter in the Appendix, at the end of this essay, and there identifies the work of Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, Camerino, 1891. Note: the letter is dated “il 29 di 8bre del 1534.” See also Renato Lupi, Catharina Cybo, ‘mamma’ dei Scapuzzini, in L’Italia Francescana 77(2002) 31-43.
  211. Thus Guidobaldo Della Rovere, who married Giulia Varano, the daughter of the Duchess, wrote to the same Cardinal on 29 October, “Questa S. Duchessa mia matre havendo singulare devotione nei frati chiamati scapucini.” Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, 186, n.1. (See also in the appendix below.) The Magistrates of the city of Siena, on 6 November 1541, to implore their fellow citizen Bernardino Ochino not to disdain to edify them with his preaching, address a letter to him, “Al Reverendissimo padre generale de li scappucini frate Bernardino Occhini.” Karl Benrath, Bernardino Ochino von Siena, 2° edition, Braunschweig, 1892, p.278. [BCC:44-L-22].
  212. Thanking Pietro Aretino for a certain work which Aretino had sent him, Bernardino Ochino signed his letter, “frate bernardino scapuccino da Siena,” 25 March 1542. Libro secundo delle lettere scritte al S. Pietro Aretino, Venetia, 1552, 218.
  213. Boverius, Annalium, an.1528, xxv.
  214. The habit of mendicants and hermits with poor little square cowl.
  215. “E che S. Francesco e tutto l’ordine in quelli tempi portasse questo capuccio l’havemo prima nelle Conformità, fructu 16, dove si dice che S. Francesco havea il capuccio quadro, cioè con quattro faccie, come questo che noi portiamo. 2° tutte le imagini di S. Francesco e delli altri frati (parlo delle antiche) hanno questo cappuccino aguzzo, come si vede qui per tutto nelle chiese antiche. 3° Perché si trovano ancora molti cappuccini di panno in detta forma, et io ho visto il cappuccino di Frate Ruffino in Santa Chiara d’Asisio, e l’habito tutto del B. Raynerio con il cappuccino nel Borgo San Sepolchro, e quello del B. Filippo Longo in S. Francesco di Monte Elcino e quello del B. Simone in Spoleto. In San Simone un cappuccino di S. Francesco e in Roma in Santo Apostolo, uno in San Marcello, doi nel Vescovato di Riete e nel loco dell’Alverna, e in molti altri lochi ne sono.” (Cingoli Codex, f.72v.). “Ipse enim (Saint Francis) a Christo edoctus, voluit habitum suum exteriorem cruci conformem ad litteram esse… Caputium quadrum, et tantae longitudinis, quod habitus crucis formam praesentaret.” Liber Conformitatum in Analecta Franciscana, V, 104, lines 4 and 15. [BCC:172-D-14] (1510, Milan); [BCC:59-O-1] (1590, Bologna); [BCC:023-B-5] (1906, Analecta Franciscana.)
  216. quattro faccie
  217. “Caputium tali modo fiat, quod existens in capite, extremitas per longitudinem duorum digitorum supra cingulum debeat remanere, cui longitudini correspondeat proportionaliter latitudo, sive caputii quantitas” Constitutiones Martinianae, 1430. “Ordinamus quod latitudo caputii habitus nostri non transeat a lateribus conum conjuncturae humerorum, et quod longitudo ipsius caputi a parte posteriori cingulun non attingat.” Constitutiones Barcinonenses, 1451. “Tali modo incidatur caputium quod impositum capiti honeste cooperiat, et longitudine cingulum non excedat.” Constitutiones Alexandrinae, 1500. Cf. Venantius a Lisle-en Rigault, Monumenta ad Constitutiones Ord. Fr. Min. Capuccinorum pertinentia, Romae, 1916, 105 [BCC:023-D-20]
  218. habitu vestro sempre retento
  219. “Hoc itaque optimo Dei consilio factum est, ut vera ac germana primaevi habitus forma, quae B.P. Francisco ac caeteris prioris illius aetatis Fratribus Minoribus communis erat, nonnullis retro saeculis tenebris sepulta, hac tandem anno 1525, et hoc mense januarii Orbi restituta fuerit.” Boverius, an.1525, xii.
  220. 1 Cor 3:7,9.
  221. “Prima ch’io vada avanti, so’ sforzato à dire ch’el Padre Fra Ludovico da Fossambrune era il capo di tutti per vigor’ di quanto gl’haveva detto il Papa, ma non che fusse eletto da Frati per Prelato, et Pastore, et così stette ricevendo Frati all’ordine, insino che fù fatto il lor’ primo Capitolo generale.” Marius da Mercato Saraceno, Cingoli Codex, f.192v. i.e. the Cingoli Codex (or Codex Anconitanus, MHOMC I, li-liv.) Marius’s second account, quoted here by d’Alençon, was found in ff.177r-228r of this miscellaneous codex, resulting in the apparent discrepancy in the page numbering used by d’Alençon here, and Melchiorre da Pobladura (f.17r), MHOMC I, 41.)
  222. In the margin is: “Mattheus et Paulus Congregationi associantur.” However in the context of the narration of their arrival, he simply adds: “Soon after infact, when Matteo and Paolo were part of the Congregation, with them…Mox vero Ludovicus Matthaeo ac Paulo Congregationi associatis, cum his…” Boverius, Annalium an.1528, xxvii
  223. Boverius, Annalium an.1528, xxix. He briefly tells the story of his life later in the Annals, an.1539, l.
  224. Concerning the time of Giuseppe’s death see what has been said above about the first writers of our history. In the letter of Vincenzo Lori (11 August 1582) to Zarlino, he writes about Giuseppe saying, “il quale non è molto ch’è morto.” It seems that he died while Marius was writing his second account, between 1570 and 1578.
  225. Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia dei F.M. Cappuccini della provincia Picena, 16 February. [BCC:24-O-25].
  226. Boverius, Annalium an.1569, xxx. Where he is among the first friars received, an.1528, xxx, and calls him Augustine. In the Chronicle of Giovanni da Terranova he is erroneously called Angelo Innodato. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1268, note 18- “Nel testo: Imodato(!) Si tratta di fr. Angelo da S. Angelo in Vado (†1569).”
  227. In the codex cited, p.278. fol.279, MHOMC II, 230.
  228. In the same codex, fol. 279. Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 8 March. The necrology says about Silvestro da Monte Giorgio: “Morì pieno d’anni e fu uno dei nostri primi padri, poichè, come era solito ripetere, quando entrò in Congregazione essa contava non più di quattordici soggetti.” On Silvestro da Santa Maria in Giorgio, see MOHMC I, 236 and Silvestro da Montegiorgio in Bernardino da Orciano, Croniche “Biografie di cappuccini delle Marche nel primo secolo della Riforma a cura di Renato Raffaele Lupi, Roma Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 2004, page 381.
  229. Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1528, xvii. It seems this more probable interpretation is the opinion of Boverii who has them “novae Reformationis ortum ignorantes” appeal to the Sacred Penitentiary (xxx).
  230. The letter is to be found in Boverius, Annalium, tom.I, Regestum Bullarum, 987-988; and Wadding tom. xvi, an.1528, xviii, as well as Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche III, 33-34.
  231. sub habitu a beato Francisco Ordinis praedicti Fratribus designato
  232. Annalium, an.1531, ix-xviii.
  233. For Pietro di Piagnano or d’Arpignano, see Bernardino da Orciano, Croniche, 68, 301, 302; Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche I, 240+; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1482. For Paolo da Collamato (who returned to the Observance), see Bernardino da Orciano, Chroniche, 301, 302; Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche I, 240+; III, 33-34 (for the text of a notarized copy of their letter from the Sacred Penitentiay), 683; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1482.
  234. MHOMC II, 229-230.
  235. Boverius, Annalium, an.1558, vi-xv. MHOMC III, 52 in Colpetrazzo’s biography of Bernardo da Offida 46-52.
  236. Boverius, Annalium an.1568, iii-xxvi, and from Colpetrazzo (MHOMCIII, 403-412) and Mattia da Salò (MHOMC V,145-150.) Melchiorre da Pobladura notes that Francesco Vannucci was almsgiver for Paul III, Julius III, Marcellus II and Paul IV. (MHOMC II, 146, note 1.
  237. Boverius, Annalium an.1560, ix.
  238. Gabriele da Mogiliana, Leggendario cappuccino, Venezia, 1767-1789, tom. iii, 21 [BCC:28-O-13]; Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 171. Thes latter writes, “sol di lui sappiamo, che fu tra i primi ad unirsi in Roma il P. Fossombrone; che gli fece alcun tempo da secretario; che fu il primo cappuccino che predicasse in Roma; e che si trovava Guardiano di Scandriglia, quando vi fu mandato il P. Giovanni da Fano,” p.171; Lexicon Capuccinum (1951), col. 785.
  239. The life and death of Raffaele is completely unknown. He came to Rome with his brother and died in that province in the first friary of Tivoli, when the Capuchin Congregation had already grown in number, writes Colpetrazzo, MHOMC II, 154-155.
  240. “Il primo convento ch’ebbe Fra Matteo, con due suoi compagni, si può dire che fusse il Palazzo Ducale, ristretto però in alcune anguste stanze nella parte più elevata.” Camillo Lilii, Historia di Camerino, 301. Marius da Mercato Saraceno had already written, “La Signora Catarina fù la prima, non solo che raccolse i Capuccini in casa sua, quando andavano fugitivi, et assegnò loro particulare et ritirate stanze nel palazzo suo, ma etiamdio cominciò à procacciargli li luoghi” Cingoli Codex, f.198. MHOMC I, 48 and 281, lines 19-23.
  241. I can easily believe that Matteo did not change his way of life, but according to his custom he continued to go about here and there as he did before.
  242. Boverius, Annalium an.1528, xxviii. Benedetto Sanbenedetti translates this passage thus: “Era vicina, un miglio e mezzo in circa, alla Città di Camerino fuori della porta dell’Annunicata, una Chiesiola dedicata a S. Christoforo Martire, con una picciola casa, nella quale soleva abitare un Sacerdote, che celebrava Messa. Accordatisi con esso F. Lodovico, & i Compagni si trattenero ivi qualche tempo.”Annali de’Frati Minori Cappuccini, an.1528, 26.
  243. Cf. Analecta OFM Cap., 22(1916), 140 and my work Les premiers couvents des frères-mineurs capucins, Paris-Couvin, 1912. Callisto Urbanelli, Ludovico Tenaglia da Fossombrone e la riforma cappuccina in Vincenzo Criscuolo (ed.), Ludovico da Fossombrone e l’ordine dei cappuccini,Roma, Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1994, 110, note 32 inidcates the letter of the Capuchin Nicola da Tolentino to Mattia da Salò in Analecta OFM Cap.,22(1906) 139-142. There Nicola states the San Cristoforo di Arcofiato in Camerino was the first Capuchin residence in Camerino.
  244. Boverius writes that it was consecrated to Saint Jerome, however the early witnesses are to the contrary. In a Bull of Nicholas IV, 4 July 1447, it has the title of San Giovanni da Colomezone. An old acount written in 1589 has this, “The church is called San Giovanni di Commenzone because it is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.” That it had been called “of Colmenzone because the Capuchins began there” is a gratuitous assertion by the writer, since that name Colomezone is already found in the aforesaid Bull. It was commonly called Commenzone, just as today it is called Cormonzone. Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908) 24. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 880-882.
  245. Analecta OFM Cap., loc. cit. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 883-884.
  246. Octavius Turchi, De Ecclesiae Camerinensis Pontificibus, Rome, 1972, 303.
  247. Analecta OFM Cap., 24(1908) 21. Visita triennale di F. Orazio Civalli Maceratese, provinciale dei Conventuali 1594-1597, in Colucci, Antichità Picene, tom. XXV, Fermo, 1795, p.77. The image of Saint Lucy painted in 1411 demonstrates the antiquity of the church. The Capuchins remained there a few years, for at the beginning of 1539, on 25 January, the place was given to the Reformed Conventual Friars Minor.
  248. MHOMC II, 255.
  249. “The church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise called The Hermitage (La Romita), under the authority of the owner, in the place called Acquarella, in the district of Fabriano…built per brother Frandenum the hermit in the year of the Lord mccccxxxxi, 17 November…” [Ecclesia S. Virginis Mariae, dictae alias La Romita, in balia aventiae, in loco ubi dicitur Acquarella, districtus Fabriani…aedificata per fratrem Frandenum heremitam anno Domini mccccxxxxi, die 17 novembris.] that is what is read in the codex in the Lateran Archives called the Libro della Catena, in which the goods of the Lateran Chapter are described. Raffaele Ambrosini, Il Romitaggio di Albacina, Fabriano, Tipografia Gentile, 1880, P. xlv. Perhaps the year 1441 indicates the time when the building transferred to the goods of the Lateran. According to some, the church had already been inhabited earlier by hermits since 1349.
  250. Under the title of the most holy Virgin dei Ravi, writes our Giuseppe in the Necrology already cited. He adds, “Apart from the word, no vestige or ruin remains.” Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 372.
  251. The Latin text and an Italian translation are found in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 314-316. The editor says “it is not possible to ascertain whether the hermitage of the Grotto of Saint Mary Magdalen corresponds with the first place of the Capuchins at Colmenzone, about three kilometres from Camerino. In this regard see Callisto Urbanelli, Storia dei Cappuccini delle Marche, I, 243+, note 47, where, however, the hermitage of the Grotto is not named.
  252. Today Montalto and Monastero are little towns in the community called Cessapalombo.
  253. The Bull of Nicholas V just mentioned is included in the letter. In it are listed the places granted to the Clareni and the many things decreed for their government. Nicholas V, Dudum siquidem, 4 July 1447 in Bullarium Franciscanum, Nova Series, tom.I, 901 [BCC:022-O-10].
  254. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 316 adds here: “Haec mittantur pro informatione.” Now in English:“Holy Father, in the Duchy and diocese of Camerino, near the region of Montalto and Monastero there is a certain grotto commonly called the Grotto of Saint Mary Magdalene, which your predecessors granted to the friars of Saint Francis called the Clareni, hermits at the time, for as long as they might live the eremitical life and observe the rule of Saint Francis and submit to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Camerino at the time, according to what is contained in the attached (Bull).These friars have not led the eremitical life for a long time, and in no way observe the rule of blessed Francis. Rather, they live a dissolute life in bad example to the people around them. Hearing about the aforesaid friars, since they bear little fruit and indeed some time ago began to build a monastery near the said grotto, with the intention, it is believed, to abandon this one: therefore the Duchess of Camerino, wanting that the eremitical life be led in the said grotto, according to the tenor of the attached (Bull), wants the said friars, who number four or six at most, to move from the said place and to put in it certain religious of the same Order of saint Francis, namely brother Ludovico and brother Raffaele, twins from Fossombrone, with companions of theirs, who not only observe the rule of blessed Francis, but live a real eremitical life, serving the Most High in great poverty.Therefore may a Brief be directed to the Bishop of Camerino or his vicar, at the request of the aforesaid Duchess, that he inform himself about the aforesaid matters, even by going personally to the place, if necessary, to see if he should find whether the aforesaid friars observe the eremitical life, as they are obliged to do by the form of the attached Bull, or whether they live badly against the form of their rule; and by apostolic authority may he expel them from the said places and put there Ludovico, Raphael and their companions, friars and true hermits, granting them permission to live there disturbed by no one, for as long as they live the eremitical life and observe the rule of blessed Francis.May the attached Bull be shown to the lord abbreviator so that he may know how to dictate the request with the appropriate clauses and according to the will of the aforesaid Duchess.This letter is sent for (your) information.” This last line is not in d’Alençon’s transcription.
  255. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, II. The somewhat interpretative translation of Benedetto Sanbenedetti in Annali de’frati minori cappuccini an.1529, 2 reads: “L’animo di F. Ludovico era grandemente stimolato dall’ordine di Sua Santità prescritto nella Bolla, che gli stava fisso nel cuore, à congregare quanto prima il Capitolo.”
  256. “Tra di loro dicevano: Sarebbe bene, già che la Congregatione è alquanto assodata, che noi ci congregassemo, e facessemo il nostro capitolo…Io vuorej, dicevano vuolontieri, che quel, che mi ha da reggere e governare fusse (come us la Religione) dallo Spirito Santo eletto. Piacque al Signor Idio, che queste parole pervenessero all’orecchie del P. fra Ludovico…”, MHOMC II, 242.
  257. Narrating how Matteo later abdicated from office, he says explicitly that Matteo was elected in 1528. “E se n’andò a questo modo alla disciolta, sempre aggirando a predicando per più anni, cioè dal 28, quando egli rinuntiò l’ufficio del Vicariato.” Codex cit., f. 293. This does not refer to the Cingoli Codex (or Codex Anconitanus, of Marius’ second narration), but the third narration, MHOMC I, 243, lines 26-28.
  258. 2Celano 60: Non solum domorum arrogantiam odiebat home iste, verum domorum utensilia multa vel exquisita plurimum perhorrebat. Nihil in mensis, nihil in vasis, quo mundi recordaretur, amabat, ut omnia peregrinationem, omnia cantarent exsilium. Fontes Franciscani, Porziuncola, 1995, 498.
  259. “Questo io l’ho da quelli che furono a tale capitolare celbratione. Volsero quei buoni Padri eleggere solamente il nmero di dodici, sì per aver ad un tanto effetto i frati più atti e più esperti, sì anco per la divotione che aveano a quel bel numero per memoria delli dodici Apsotoli e dodici compagni di S. Francesco…” Codex cit. f.98r Again this is not the Cingoli Codex (The second narration), but the third, MHOMC I, 242.
  260. “Degl’altri non me ne ricordo.” Cod. cit., f.295; MHOMC II, 244, line 12.
  261. In Latin his name should read Angelus a Tiferno Metaurensi, so as to avoid confusion with Città di Castello (Tifernum Tiberinum.)
  262. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, xiv. Da Salò whom Boverius invokes, has this: “F. Evangelista da Canobio Generale et altri Padri gravissimi asserivano che fu visto assistere lo Spirito Santo in forma di colomba mentre si componevano…” Cod. cit., f.37v. MHOMC VII, 57, which notes the codex page as 74. On the identity of “Salodiensis, quem invocat,” and Boverius’ less than univocal references to him, see MHOMC VII, xxxvii-xxxviii.
  263. “Fecero le loro ordinationi…poste in buona lingua latina dal P. Paolo da Chioggia.” Marius, Cod. cit., f.100r. MHOMC I, 245.
  264. Cod. cit., ff.146+. MHOMC V,158-172. See Constitutiones OFM CaP. Vol.I: Antiquae, 9-10, and an anastatic reproduction of Mattia’s text of the ordinances or statutes in his own hand, 18-31. [BCC:023-D-12,1]
  265. “Le Constituzioni che fecero in Alvacina si trovano sotto il nome di fra Lodovico da Fossombrone, perché con esse egli dispose la congregatione capuccina tutto il tempo che la governò, et puote essere che egli vi aggiungesse alcuna cosa, secondo che nel progresso vedeva esser bisogno.” Op.cit. MHOMC V,158.
  266. Boverius, Annalium, an.1529, xx. “Item statuimus ut una dumtaxat Missa in conventu quotidie celebretur, juxta antiquam Ordinis consuetudinem, cui alii sacerdotes assistant: praesertim cum ea fuerit S.P.N. Francisci mens et admonitio. Idcirco superiores neminem caeterorum sacerdotum celebrare cogant, praeterquam in diebus solemnibus, seu in tempore necessitatis.” Benedetto Sanbenedetti translates Boverius thus: “Ordiniamo parimente, che si dica una sol Messa il giorno, conforme all’antica usanza dell’Ordine, alla quale tutti convengano, essendo tale la mente,& il consiglio del nostro Beato Padre. Per tanto i Superiori non costringano alcun’altro de’Sacerdoti à celebrare, eccetto ne’giorni solenni,& in tempo di necessità.” He then adds in italics, “Questa costitutione, come anco la prima del P.S.Francesco nel principio dell’Ordine, poco è stato osservata nella Religione, per altri motivi più degni rispetti.Annali de’Frati Minori Cappuccini, an.1529, 20.
  267. “Item ordiniamo che si dica solum una Messa in Chiesa per consuetudine secondo l’usanza dell’Ordine. Et se alli altri fratelli Sacerdoti satisfacesse star solamente a quella Messa: alla qual cosa S. Francesco ne ha esshortato co’l bascio delli piedi: ordiniamo che li frati Sacerdoti, eccetto se non fussero tirati per lor devotione, non siano costretti dalli Prelati à dir Messa, eccetto nelle solemmità o necessità.” ( MHOMC V, 160); Costituzioni di Albacina, n.6, Edouard d’Alençon, Le prime Costituzioni dei Frati Minori Cappuccini,19. The words of Saint Francis alluded to are to be found in his letter to all the priests of the Order: “Moneo praeterea et exhortor in Domino, ut in locis in quibs morantur Fratres, una tantum celebretur Missae in die, secundum formam sanctae romanae Ecclesiae. Si vero in loco plures fuerint sacerdotes, sic sit, per amorem charitatis, alter contentus audita celebratione sacerdotis alterius.” Wadding, Beati Patris Francisci Assisiatis Opuscula, Antuerpiae, 1623, p.36. [BCC:172-C-106]. The 1638 edition [BCC:59-I-14], 39-40. This letter of Francis has had varius titles in various manuscripts, cf. Caietanus Esser, Opuscula Sancti Patris Francisci Assisiensis, Bibliotheca Francescana Ascetica Medii Aevi to. XII, Grottaferrata, 137-138. Current convention calls it Epistola toti Ordini missa, Letter sent to the whole Order.
  268. “El sacerdote quando vuole celebrare deve prima devotamente apparecchiare: la sera inante con qualche abstinentia, la mattine come le Oratione, Confessione, e leggere la preparatione de la Messa.” (p.62) “Questo perfectamente observara el frate stimulato: confessandose non solo doi volte la septimana, ma onme volte che vol celebrare si è sacerdote.” (p.107) Also in Dialogo de la salute tra…edited by Bernardino da Lapedona, Isola del Liri, 1933, p.56 and P. 96.
  269. Cf. Giuseppe da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, p.25, note 1. Bernardino da Colpetrazzo relates: “Fu zelantissimo della santa oratione, imperochè quantunque fosse occupato quasi del continuo in qualche reggimento, non di meno celebrava con molta divotion ogni matina; et sempre inanzi o dopo la Messa faceva un’hora di oratione. Et più volte io gli sentì dire: Io non lasscio mai Messa che non me ne confessi.” MHOMC III, 185.
  270. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, c…ci. Benedetto Sanbenedetti, Annali de’Frati Cappuccini, an.1529, 93 has: “E perciò giunto che fù al convento di Fossombrono, convocò gli altri Diffinitori,& addotte le cagioni, che lo muovevano à questo deliberatione, alla presenze di tutti, rinunciò il sigillo, la Bolla, e l’ufficio di Generale. Vedendo i Frati, che non valevano ne le ragioni, ne le lagrime, à persuadergli il contrario, rivolsero subito gli occhi in Fra Lodovico all’ora primo Diffinitore, al qulae, secondo l’antica legger,& il costume della religione, toccava il governo con nome di Commissario, e lo riconobbero per loro Superiore, e padre.”
  271. “Ond’egli stanco in pochi giorni di tal cura se n’andò a Fossombrone a trovare il Padre Lodovico, che nel Capitolo di Alvacina fu fatto guardiano del luogo nuovamente pigliato fuori di essa città di Fossombrone, perchè esso Fra Lodovico nel sopradetto Capitolo fu il primo Diffinitore, e nelle sue mani senza farsi altra congregatione de’ Frati, rinuntiò l’ufficio di Vicario e diedegli i sigilli, il Breve e la Bolla, ch’egli aveva ottenuta.” Cod. cit. f.98v. MHOMC I, 243.
  272. Paulo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, over Leggendario di SS. Martiri di Calabria, libro primo, Napoli, 1630. “Questo Matteo diede principio ad una riforma, il qual dopo che la governò nove dì ò (second’altri) un’anno, se n’usci…”(f.276). “If F. da Basi dopo d’haver guidato la sua Congregation 9 dì, ò mesi 4, ò pur un’anno, ritorno al capuccio tondo.” (f.287.) This writer was poorly informed about the facts of Matteo. He knew more about the facts in Calabria. Nevertheless he narrated the things which were taking place and if his words are not considered great, his testimony should not be rejected it seems. I will say much more about the cited work when the origin of the Capuchins in Calabria are treated explicitly.
  273. Boverius, Annalium, 1529, ciii.
  274. Cf. my small work Il primo convento dei Cappuccini in Roma. S. Maria dei Miracoli, Alençon, 1907. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, 103. Edouard d’Alençon’s work BCC: opusc-61-76.
  275. Cf. Edouard d’Alençon, Tribulationes Ordinis fr.min. Capuccinorum, 5.
  276. It would seem that Lorenzo Cybo (20 July 1500-14 March 1549) was a custodian of the hospital, together with his brother Giambattista, for 1528 – 1529. Lorenzo was re-appointed for the following term 1529-1530, see Cassiano da Langusco, Gli ospedali degl’incurabili, Genova 1938 [BCC:35-P-19]. Listed as a member on the Hospital board does not necessarily guarantee permanent residence, or perhaps any residence at all for Lorenzo. After a period of diplomatic service for the Papacy in France, he returned to Italy. Then in November 1527 was appointed captain of the guard in the Apostolic palace in Orvieto. On 16 July 1529 Carlos V decided the dispute between Lorenzo and his consort over the possession of the marquisate, in favour of his wife. Lorenzo had been made governor of Ferentillo, Montegiove and Giano also in 1529. In November of the same year he was the standard bearer of the Church of Rome at the coronation of Carlos V in Rome. F. Petrucci, “Lorenzo Cibo” in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani vo. 25, 255-257 [BCC:025-L-25].
  277. His registers or record books are kept in the State Archives in Rome: Libro di Francesco Vanozzi Camerlingo, for 1525 and following years. (Archivio di Stato, Arcispedale di S. Giacomo.)
  278. The words are from the Bull to be cited below.
  279. Vatican Archives, Regesta Clementis VII, an.II, tom.47, with the reference today Vol.1484, f.251.
  280. “Le peripezie che precedono e seguono questo che a noi sembra un punto rimarchevole nella storia de’ nostri riformatori di Calabria (la loro union con quelli della Marca), lasciamo la cura di ricordarle a chi mai avrà a discorrere di proposito, se pur sia possibile il distrigarle dagl’inviluppati racconti de’nostri cronisti senza l’aiuto di altri inediti documenti contemporanei.” Antonio de Lorenzo, Nostra Signora della Consolazione, protettrice della città do Reggio Calabria. Quadretti storici. Third edition. Roma, 1902, 180. [BCC:24-H-2,2].
  281. Turi
  282. Per Matteo Nucci, in Napoli, 1630. In-4. The page numbering is disordered. Gualtieri only published one volume, though the work he had in mind would have come to five volumes: “Speramo stampar cinque tomi.” That he only printed one is regrettable because he promised the publication of numerous Capuchin biographies: “Nella nostra suppellittile historica habbiamo le vite di sessantuno Capuccini di Calabria.” Glorioso trionfo, over Leggendario di SS. Martiri di Calabria, 507, 508 respectively.
  283. “…dei quali non ragionamo per difetto di scritture authentiche, non dovendosi in materia historica ragionar seconda la propria speculatione” (p.226). On page 287 he writes about Matteo da Bascio, “Questi non si ritrovò nel convento de’ SS. Apostoli, come per error di stampa si legge nel folgio 276, alla linea 8, dove vuol dire così…”
  284. “P. fra Giovanni da Terranova told me all these things in person in the friary at Motta. Later he put them in writing.” Cingoli Codex, f.221. MHOMC I, 365.
  285. I published these in our Analecta OFM Cap., 23(1907) when Marius’ first and second Narrations were unknown to me. Cronaca de Origine Fratrum Minorum Sancti Francisci Capuccinorum, in Analecta OFM Cap., 23(1907) 9-19,118-126,150-153,178-185,214-219,248-253. Appendices: Epistola P. Marii a Foro Sarsinio ad P. Honorium a Monte Granario, 273-279, 326-326; Costanzo Carnogni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1261-1292 with introduction, 1260.
  286. “La Cronica di fra Giovanello da Terranova…due volte fu adulterata, come riferisce Fra Girolamo da Dinami nella sua Riforma Cappuccina.” “Della Cronica di Fra Giovanello, perché fù due fiate adulterata, l’auctor non se ne serve.” Paolo Gualtiero, Glorioso trionfo over Leggendario di SS. Martiri di Calabria, 322, 349.
  287. Historia sagra intitolata Mare Oceano di tutte le Religioni del mondo, divisa in cinque libri, composta da Mgr. Silvestro Maruli o Maurilico. Messinese, Dottor theologo, abbate di S. Maria di Roccamadore dell’Ordine Cisterciense. Messina, 1613, In-fol. [BCC:76-G-20]. In book five, pages 375-393, one reads, “Dell’origine, e principio della Congregatione de’ Padri Capuccini nella Provincia della Marca, et di Calabria, cavato da gli scritti del Padre Fr. Giovanni di Terranova.” Fr. Daniel van Papenbroeck translated this account from the Italian to Latin, which he included in tom.iv of the Acta Sanctorum, May, after the life of Saint Felix of Cantalice. In the first edition, pages 283-290. In the second edition, ( Maii Tomus Quartus Francisco Baertio e Conrado Ianningo, Pariis et Romae apud Victorem Palmé, Bibliopolam, 1866,) pages 281-289. For the French version see above, page 91, note 5. [BCC:028-A-17].
  288. “Tutte queste cose mi raccontò con la voce viva…e poi le pose in scritto; mi raccontò (replico) et fece sapere la disputa fatta in Filogasio, et anco la morte di questi dui buon Padri, essendo esso Fra Giovanni presente ad ogni cosa.” Cingoli Cedex, l.c. In fact, this quote is not located with the previous from the Codex Cingulano f.221, i.e. in Marius third account (MHOMC I, 365.) It is from Marius second, (MHOMC I, 76; or Cingoli Codex 44r.)
  289. “Et io discoversi a lui il successo tutto intiero et cominciamento de Frati Capuccini della Marca, come hora descrivo in queste carte.” Also MHOMC I, 76.
  290. “L’anno 1554 tanto la Bolla dell’Ordine quanto la Cronaca del P. Giovanello furono prese e portate in Roma dal P. Eusebio d’Ancona, allora ministro generale dell’Ordine, nel tempo che visitava i conventi della Provincia.” Fortunato Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei Capuccini de Reggio Calabria, Reggio, 1885, 29. [BCC:24-M-9]. Bonanventura Campagna and Gualtieri, who repeat the words of Girolamo da Dinami, only mention the Bull. This will be discussed below. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II: the Chronicle of Bonaventura da Reggio Calabria (Campagna) 1335-1370. The reference to the Bull is in n.3046, p.1347. The Chronicle of Girolamo da Dinami, 1292-1336. The reference to the Bull is in n.3009, p.1317.
  291. Towards the end one reads, “Onde sino al presente del 1571.”
  292. Although he only recalls the first Narration of Marius, or the Letter written to Onorio da Monte Granaro, he does not use it. He uses the far more copious second Narration, the words of which he takes up.
  293. “Al presente mosso dalle parole dell’ et Cardinale Sancta Severina, nostro vice protettore, et sempre padre amorevolissimo. Mi son posto di nuovo à porre in carta il primo principio di questa nostra compagnia.” Cingoli Codex, f.177. MHOMC I, 23. I wonder what d’Alençon thought of Marius’ words at the beginning of the ‘first’ Narration: “I set myself again to put down on paper the very beginning of our company.”
  294. At the end of this Narration Marius himself writes that he had been in the Order about fourty years. Cingoli Codex f.228. MHOMC I, 85. Morever, since he entered the Capuchins in 1536, by 1571 fourty years would not yet have passed, but only thiry five.
  295. Where Qualtieri speaks of Fra Domenico da Molochio he says, “il quale, come scrisse P. Giovanello da Terranova, era di una semplicità colombina.” (P.352). Then he is not mentioned at all in Maurilico. Giovannello names Angelo da Calanna and refers back with the expression “predetto,” aforesaid: Frat’Angelo da Calanna predetto”- You will search in vain for the place where he is mentioned.
  296. It recalls the Bull of Pius IV issued in the third year of his Pontificate, namely, Pastoralis officii (2 April 1560). At the end, as has been said, mention is made about the state of the Order in 1570. finally there is praise of the holy deaths of friars who died after the year 1554, e.g. Bernardino da Mont’Olmo (†1565); Raffaele da Volterra who was elected provincial of Tuscany in 1566. Speaking about Tiberio Carafa he writes, “hora prelato dignissimo Vescovo di Potenza;” he was promoted to this see 15 May 1566.
  297. Boverius praises him in Annalium, an.1576, iv-v. Bonaventura (Campagna) da Reggio Calabria, book iii (?), chaP. 1-3 (Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1359-1362. Note that Cargnoni locates this passage in Book IV rather than Book III.); Gualtieri, pp.557+, treat of Giovannello, but falsely attribute to him the revelations or prophecies about the apostacy of Ochino, which pertain to another Giovanni, Giovanni Spagnuolo, called Zuaza and from Medina del Campo. Giovannello certainly refers to these things in the Chronicle published by Maurilico, but the alteration, taken from the second Narration of Marius,’ is incorrectly interpreted. Dionisio da Genova and Bernardo da Bologna also treat of Giovannello.
  298. Paolo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, 344 has, “Fra Girolamo Dinami, il quale entrò nella Religione Capuccina l’anno 1540.” Disagreeing with himself above, he numbers Girolamo among the Observants who fled to the Capuchins in the early days. (p.279.)
  299. He sent to press at the time a small work entitled, “Trattato della divina Predestinatione. Ristretto in quattro capitoli da Fra Girolamo Dinami Calabrese Capuccino di San Francesco, predicando & leggendo, in Venetia in San Silvestro, à utilità & contentezza de’ simplici & studiosi di Christo. In Venetia. Con licentia de’ Superiori. (no year, but 1566).” At the bottom of the page: “In Venetia, per Domenico & Aluisse Zio Fratello. In-8, 18ff.” The work begins with a dedicatory letter, as follows: “Al reverendo Piovano de San Silvestro, & alla sua Magnifica & virtuosa Contrada Fra Girolamo Calabrese Capuccino, salute e pace in Christo Giesù.” It finishes, “Nell’istessa Chiesa, a 28.Decembre 1565.” The friar from Taranto produced the work again, enlarged and corrected, with Quintiliano Campo del Mondo. Bernardo da Bologna (Bibliotheca Scriptorum) writes, “In this edition the author regrets that this opusculum had been published without his consent in Venice in 1565. In four chapters, including his image in the clothes of the Dominican family.” It is difficult to reconcile that this edition had been published without his consent with what is said in the letter above where one reads, “Ho voluto non solamente servirve con la voce leggendo, ma anco con la scrittura … acciocchè … possi ciascuno haverlo seco.” At the front of this opusculum a rough engraving depicts a friar on a pulpit, wearing a cowl on his head. His clothing could equally be that of a Conventual or an Observant or a Dominican. The second edition was produced in Padua. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini III, facing page 1792, reproduces the frontispieces of both editions. The second, corrected and enlarged edition is in five chapters, and has the title reported by Bernardo da Bologna [BCC:23-O-1], 118. The date suggested above by d’Alençon to supply the lack of a publication date for the first edition, post dates that of the second edition.
  300. Paolo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, 333; 286,288, 322, 345, 353, 357, etc.
  301. “Il P. Girolamo da Dinami, eminentissimo e dotissimo predicatore di quei tempi, in una sua Chronichetta scrisse…”
  302. Dalla Calabria Illustrata opera varia istorica del R.P. Giovanni Fiore, predicatore da Cropani, In Napoli, Per li Socij Dom.Anto. Parrino, e Michele Luigi Mutij, mdcxci. [BCC:35-P-5]; Tomus II published 1743 [BCC:35-P-6]. For an example see tom. II, 142, n.xviii. The work was republished 1999-2000, edited by Ulderico Nicostò, published by Rubbettino, Catanzaro. [BCC:26-U-7-9]. The Chronicle is no longer completely lost, “with almost eight of its original chapters” published from a manscript in the Secret Vatican Archives, Misc. Arm. viii 57, ff.271r-298v. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1292-1293, with the text, 1294-1336.
  303. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, has “162…”, while commenting that “the page is torn and the last number cannot be read, however the number 2 is barely visible,” 1338. On the spine of the codex is “Cronaca della Pr. Di Reggio 1623.”
  304. Even though according to the testimony of Gualtiero, a contemporary writer, Bonaventura Compagna had written the Vita Bonaventurae senioris (the Life of Bonaventure the Elder), our bibliographers attributed it to another Bonaventure, whom they would have from Reggio Calabria too; while according to others, and with greater probability, he came from Reggio Emilia. He was Provincial of the Marches four times and Procurator General of the Order for six years (1564-1570). He had been re-elected Definitor General when he died in Senigallia in 1572 at the age of sixty, thirty eight years in the Order. Boverius praises him, Annalium an.1572, v-xv. Gualtiero reports that Bonaventura senior died in 1548. The Annalium, however, record him among the deceased of 1555.
  305. Fortunato Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei Capuccini di Reggio Calabria, 75-76 [BCC:24-M-9]; Apollinare a Valencia in Delphinatu, Bibliotheca Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum Neapolitanae, Romae, apud Archivistam Generalem Ordinis Capuccinorum, 1886, 26. [BCC:23-O-5].
  306. Antonio de Lorenzo, Nostra Signora della Consolazione, 178. In the same year he dictated some poems which are inserted in the wokrd of Ludovico da Olivadi, Vita del Ven. Servo di Dio P. Antonio da Olivadi, In Palermo; nella Stamperia di Stefano Amato, 1747, pp.14 and 15. [BCC:27-M-23]. The poems are not found on these pages.
  307. Giuseppe Mazzantini, Inventari dei manoscritti delle biblioteche d’Italia, vol.1, fasc.1, Loescher, Torino, 1887, p.55 [BCC:62-M-29]; Antonio de Lorenzo, Nostra Signora della Consolazione, 178, wrote in 1902, “The autographic volume, of which there is no copy, and by misadaventure has gone missing in the transfer of the Biblioteca Comunale.” The author did not know about the copy made by P. Gesualdo kept in Rome.
  308. La vera Consolatrice degli afflitti, or the history of the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patron of the friary in Reggio. The Dominican, Spanò Bolani wrote about this work in his Storia di Reggio di Calabria, Napoli, 1857, vol.ii, 228: “In tale opera il P. Nava ci dà molte notizie appartenenti alla storia reggina, ma bisogna leggerlo con cautela, perché spesso è inesatto, e tragge altrui nell’errore.”
  309. “È una storia scritta con sano giudizio (?) nella quale con chiare notizie e ragioni desunte da vecchi e veridici scrittori della provincia e dell’Ordine, s’impegna a mostrare la vera origine dei Cappuccini nelle Calabrie, e come ai nostri Fr. Ludovico Comi e Fr. Bernardino Molizzi, meglio assai che a quei della Marca, convenga il vanto e gloria d’essere stati i primi fondatori dell’Ordine Cappuccini in Italia.” Fortunato Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei Capuccini de Reggio Calabria, 90.
  310. Fortunato Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei Cappuccini di Reggio di Calabria, Reggio Calabria, 1885, [BCC:24-M-9].
  311. “instituta.” Apart from various appendices, the small work has two main parts: the first, an account of the foundation of the province and each of its friaries; the second, brief biographical sketches of renowned friars of that Province.
  312. Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1525, xii.
  313. “Non mancherò di dire che l’anno 1580, in Roma, mi assicurò un laico antichissimo Fr. Bonifazio d’Anticoli, che stava in SS. Apostoli, over stanno adesso i conventuali, coi PP. Ludovico e Bernardino Giorgio: che quel luogo era dei riformati, e poi, non andando avanti quella Riforma, ritornati in Calabria fecero questo modo di Recoletti, il che fu nell’anno 1526.” According to Bonaventura Campagna da Reggio lib.i, cap.5, f.20 Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1339, n.3037; moreover, the Chronichetta di Girolamo da Dinami, cap.2, in the same volume, 1305, n.2996.
  314. Giuseppe da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 209.
  315. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1463, cxxvii.
  316. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, cv.
  317. “Se ne andarono nella santa città, e avendo ottenuto di segregarsi dai PP. Zoccolanti, si ritirarono in SS. Apostoli, ove stanno adesso i Padri Conventuali, essendo allora quel luogo di Riforma.” (loc.cit.) Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1339, n.3037.
  318. The death of Ludovico da Reggio was in 1537. See Lexicon Capuccinum (1951), col. 1000; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini V, 666.
  319. “I predetti Beati Reggini, circa l’anno 1525, ottennero Breve Apstolico, con potestà di potersi riformar nel luogo de’ Santi Apostoli in Roma, dove per alcun tempo dimorarono. Evvi di ciò l’istoria M.S. di F. Stefano di Francica, il qual fu de’ congregati in S. Martino, vistiti in Filocasi, e presenti al felice passaggio del B. Ludovico.” Paolo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, 286.
  320. Cod.cit., 6. O happy ignorance which, ignoring the truth, follows its absurdities without any doubts.
  321. Gualtieri also recalls a pontificial permission: “Tralasciamo anco dir come non havendo progesso quella Riforma, i detti BB. Reggini ottennero dal Papa i luoghi de’ Colletti di Calabria, dove l’anno 1526 si ritirarono.” Paolo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, 286.
  322. “Sul versante meridonale della nostra estreme Calabria, più sopra della presente terra di S. Lorenzo, v’era nel medio-evo un paesetto denominato Tuzio o Val di Tuzio e più spesso Valletuccio, feudo dell’ archimandrita basiliano del SS. Salvatore di Messina. Valletuccio al tempo di cui scriviamo non più esisteva: ma si vedeva tuttavia, deserto e semidiruto, l’antico monastero basiliano di S. Michele Arcangelo, che un giorno colà fioriva, e il cui titolo abbaziale, insieme con la mensa monastica. Era passato in commenda ai Canonici del Duomo di Reggio. Fu adunque tra gli avanzi di questo vecchio cenobio che ottenevano di rifugiarsi questo manipolo di asceti.” Antonio de Lorenzo, Nostra Signora della Consolazione, 14.
  323. Antonius de Randolis is otherwise unknown. I would easily believe that he is one and the same with Antonio de Gatrimulis, whose name we will come across later, and whose praise likewise was unsung. Hence we see that little faith ought be given the writers as they listed the names of all the first friars of Calabria. The same Antonio, the companion of Bernardino in this important affair, was certainly not the least among the Recollects.
  324. Having the same name caused confusion between Ludovico da Fossombrone and Ludovico da Reggio. In good faith, the Calabrian writers ascribed many things to the second Ludovico which belonged to the first. I wanted the reader to be aware of this.
  325. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, cvii. The original copy is kept in the Archives of the Order.
  326. monumentum
  327. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1345.
  328. “In oltre confessano (i Padri della Marca) che fu prima spedito il Breve in persona del B. Matteo e del P. Ludovico da Fossambruno, che del nostro B. Padre Ludovico da Reggio, ad ogni modo tale concessione e Breve furono più volte ad istantia de Padri Zoccolanti revocati, e l’ultimo (Breve) che mai più si rivoco, fu prima concesso al B. Padre Ludovico da Reggio, e poi ad istantia della Signora Duchessa di Camerino fu concesso al P. fossombruno. Si chè, anco in questo si mostrano superiori e primi. E questo Breve del P. Ludovico d Reggio è quello il quale si conservò da’ Padri nel luogo di Mileto, insino all’anno del Signore 1554, e poi dal P. Eusebi d’Ancona, Generale, fu portato in Roma, per la Religione, dove non v’era altro Breve, perché quello del P. Ludovico da Fossambruno con l’andata sua s’era perso.” Cod.cit., 103. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1346-1347, n.3046.
  329. “Conforme ha scritto il P. Girolamo da Diname nel quarto Capitolo della sua Cronica dicendo: Dopo multi giorni andò il P. Ludovico da Reggio col P. fra Francesco da Dipignano in Roma, e menavano seco Orlando di Catanzaro servitore del Signore Duca di Nocera, con lettere raccomandate a molti Ill.mi con i quali molta poteva, e informato il Papa della vita e del buon esempio loro, rivoco il Breve, dando loro la benedittione di poter fare questa santa vita, e portarono il Breve che potessero far tal vita, e potesero ricever ogn’uno, etiam Certosino, e questo Breve era nel luogo vecchio di Mileto…E ritornati cominciarono a prender luoghi in Reggio nella Motta di Filocastro.” Loc.cit. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1347.
  330. In Chapter 22 of the same book One of his Chronicles, the same Campagna narrates that the letter of Caterina had been brought to Clement VII. At the same time hers was sent, the Cardinal of the Dataria sent the Brief granted to Ludovico da Reggio. This narration shows his ignorance, for the Duchess did not recommend Fossombrone by letters but in person, as has been told above, when she went to Viterbo in 1528.
  331. Boverius, Annalium I: Regestum Bullarum, 969; Bullarium Ordinis OFM Cap., I, 5+. “You may receive and keep each and all who might come from whatever Order, from whichever Congregations, Houses or Monasteries, Mendicants or not, even those who might come from the Carthusian Order…with the permission of their Superiors asked for, even if not obtained, without any objection.”
  332. Boverius, Annalium an.1529, cix. If he had been made Commissary, the right by which he could assume the title of Vicar General is not clear.
  333. From an early copy inserted between pages 16 and 17 of the Italian codex Cronaca Capuccina in cui si tratta del principio ed origine de’Frati Minori Capuccini in questa Provincia di Reggio, by the author P. Bonaventura Campagna da Reggio, kept in the General Archives of the Order under the reference number Arm. A.I.5. At the end of the document is read: In Comune primo Principis Orangiae, fol. 161, on the reverse. Since I have already published this letter in the Analecta OFM Cap., in the Cronica Joannis Romaei, I asked to be informed about the original document from the Royal Archives of Naples. However the reply was that the old Regesta are missing between 1502 and 1545.
  334. This is shown from a record included below, dated 3 June 1530. Benedetto Spila, Memorie storiche della provincia riformata romana, Roma, 1890, vol. I, chap.I, [BCC:56-N-18] in Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 33.
  335. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1529, xxxiii.
  336. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1529, xxxiv, from the original.
  337. D’Alençon adds here in brackets ‘Gratimalis?’
  338. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1530, xvi. He puts this letter under the date of the ides of May. However, in the Records in the Vatican Archives (Arm.xxxix, col.50, p.1201. n.750) is the date of the 27th. This date is repeated in later letters which will be given below. A minute of this letter, under 27 May, is founded in the Vatican Archives Arm. xl, vol.28, n.366. It reads at the end: Videat R.mus de Valle, Protector, qui subsignavit: A. Car.lis de Valle, Protector.
  339. The other friars named from Dipignano and from San Martino designated in the letter are not remembered.
  340. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1530, xv.
  341. Boverius, Annalium an.1530, v.
  342. Boverius, Annalium an.1530. iii,iv. Cf. Michele Faloci Pulignani, S. Valentino da Civitavecchia presso Foligno, Foligno, 1919, p.4+ [BCC:opusc-30-153]
  343. Our Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 373 refers to the origin of the friary of San Giacomo near Matélica in 1525 because, I believe, Francesco da Cartoceto was staying there. This Francesco was the first, after Matteo (2 August 1525) to put on the square cowl and our Chroniclers number him among the Capuchins. However the friary at Matélica is not found among those our friars inhabited at the time of the Chapter of Albacina. That the friaries of Scandriglia and Rieti had been accepted around 1530 has been the consistent tradition of the Roman province (Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 127.)
  344. Archives of San Giacomo degli Incurabili, Arm. A., Sect. III, num.10, in the State Archives.
  345. An inscription from the time on the front of Santa Maria sopra la Minerva inidcates the height of the flood.
  346. In the Annalium an.1530, viii, Boverius again refers to the assistance of Vittoria Colonna, who was away from Rome however.
  347. I had begun to collect monumenta to bring to light this second friary of ours in Rome, just as I did for the first and the third. However, distracted by other cares, I have not been able to carry out the necessary study and publish the projected little title.
  348. “Ea vero vallis, quae a Viminali Exquilias usque ad Thermas Diocletiani, vicus patritius dicta est, a patritiis qui eo in lovo Tullii Regis jussu habitarunt.” Faunus Lucius, De Antiquitatibus Urbis Romae, Venetiis, 1549, f.95v. (Vicus Patritius – Patrician quarter).
  349. Indulgentiae Ecclesiarum Urbis Romae, Rome, 1511. Floravantes Martinellus, Ecclesia S. Laurentii in Fonte, Roma, 1629, pP. x and xi writes, “Incertum Card. Baronio cuinam Euphemiae dedicata fuerit haec aedes, dum in notis Martyrologii, occasione alterius Euphemiae haec inquit: ‘Romae ad radices Exquilini Collis hactenus perseverat ejusdem Ecclesia, nisi magis placuerit dicere plures fuisse Euphemias.’” Martyrologium Romanum, 2nd ed., Antwerp, 1589, p.411.
  350. Pasquale Adinolfi, Roma nell’eta di Mezzo, Rome. 1881, II, p.244. [BCC:76-M-22]
  351. “Omnes mulieres viduae ab ecclesia Sanctae Eufemiae (egrediantur) cum presbyteris regionis quintae.” Gregorius Turonensis (Gregory of Tours), Historia Francorum, book x, chaP. I in Migne, Patrologia Latina 71, column 529; Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae Romanorum Pontificum, edit. Oldoino, Romae, 1677, I, colum 403. [BCC:74-P-15,1-4]
  352. Liber Pontificalis, edit. L.Duchesne, Paris, 1886-1892, I, p.375. [BCC:79-O-7]
  353. “fecit vestem de stauraci”. See Stauracium in Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis, tom., vi, 381. For an explanation vesti de Stauraci see Acta Sanctorum, Maii, vol.IV, 390-399: Vita S. Paschalis Papae (†824) and his exceptional activity to build, renovate and adorn Roman churches. Among his adornments to the newly restored church of Santa Maria in Domnica (or ‘della Navicella,’ on the Caelian hill) his biographer says “fecit vestem de stauraci” (p.393), explained in note ff. page 394.
  354. Liber Pontificalis, Duchesne, II, pp.13 and 24. [BCC:79-O-8]
  355. Indulgentiae Ecclesiarum Urbis Romae, as above.
  356. If “now it is possible to live on the Equiline in healthy circumstances,” as with the wall of the house built around the end of the previous century, found at the top of the road, the Patrician quarter formerly on the slope of the hill occupied a lower valley. For example, while today one goes down a high set of steps to the church of Santa Pudentiana, before it used to stand alone and was reached by going up about ten steps. “Era prima rilevata in alto della strada circa dieci gradi.” Pompeo Ugonio, Historia delle Stationi di Roma, Roma, 1588, f.162. Huelsen C., Le Chiese di Roma nel Merdio Evo. Cataloghi ed appunti, Leo S. Olschki, Firenze, 1927; anastatic edtion: Roma, Edizioni Quasar di Severino Tognon, 2000, 249-250.
  357. The Bull dates 19 June 1545 in Regesta Vaticana 1697, f.7.
  358. Eubel, Hierarchia sacra III, 45. Francesco Crasso (9 February – 26 Aug 1566) succeeded Cardinal Ferreri. Then came Giovanni Aldobrandino, 9 June – 25 November 1570. The last Cardinal of Santa Eufemia was Carlo d’Angennes de Rambouillet, 20 November 1570 – 23 March 1587.
  359. There was a common saying about the number five in the name of Sixtus V (Quintus): he opened five roads, he demolished five churches and built as many others, and he reigned five years. “Vias quinque aperuit, ecclesias quinque destruxit et totidem aedificavit, quinquennio regnavit.” ( Sixtus V was pope from 24 April 1585- 27 August 1590)
  360. Grimaldi (1622) in the work De Canonicis S. Petri, chapter II, in Giovanni Vignolo, Liber Pontificalis, Roma, 1724, p.312, note 2. Our Dionisio da Montefalchio, in L’arte d’unirsi con Dio del R.P.F. Giovanni da Fano, Roma, 1622, p.6, says: “Il P.Asti fu eletto Generale in Roma, sotto Paolo III, in quel nostro convento di S. Eufemia, che ora è tagliato dalla strada, e se ne mirano ancor le vestigie appresso S. Maria Maggiore.” Cf. F.M. Torigo, Apologia dell’historia della ven. Imagine di Maria Vergine, Roma, 1643, p.118; Floravantes Martinellus, Ecclesia S. Laurentii in Fonte, Roma, 1629 and Roma ex ethnica sacra, Roma, 1658, P. 357.
  361. “Quanto disse il Campagna vien confermato dal P. Matteo da S. Martino nella sua cronaca, che viene inserita nel libro dei Processi del P. Arcangelo da Oppido” (f.132), “qual P. Matteo è autore contemporaneo al B. Ludovico. E dice: Dopo (di avergli concesso il Breve) Sua Santità ordinò al P. fra Lodovico da Reggio, che pigliasse un luogo nel alma Città di Roma, in una Chiesa detta S. Eufemia, come mi ha detto il P. Bernardino da Reggio Predicatore Cappuccino” Trattata del principio e progresso della Religione Cappuccina in Calabria, p.88 and p.122.
  362. Enrico Nava, Trattata del principio e progresso della Religione Cappuccina in Calabria, 88 says, “Dopo pigliato il luogo di roma colla benedizione di Sua Santità (il P. Ludovico da Reggio) se ne venne alla città di Napoli, e pregato da quelli Signori Napolitani pigliò il luogo di S. Eframo.” If this were true, the foundation must have been in 1528. However, no one would dare hold that view.
  363. Davide Romari, Septem sancti custodes ac praesides urbis Neapolis, Napoli, 1571, p.110. “Ludovicus et socii…Rhegii, in tota fere Italia, Sicilia, casas, hoc est aediculas aedificarunt, et Neapoli ipse Ludovicus anno Christi mdxxx.”
  364. Boverius and Sanbenetti his translator have the year 1532.
  365. Cesare d’Eugenio Caracciolo, Napoli sacra, Napoli, O.Beltrao, 1623, p.644: “Questa chiesa (S. Eufebio) la qual nell’anno 1530 fu conceduta da Vincenzo Carrafa Arcivescovo di Napoli, e da gli Eletti della medesima città a Frati Franciscani Cappuccini, li quali furono condotti in Napoli da F. Ludovico di Fossombrono, benchè il Romeo nella vita di S. Eusebio, et altrove dica ch’il detto F. Ludovico con F. Giorgio, seu Gregorio fussero Calabresi della città di Reggio.” [BCC:80-C-30]
  366. Boverius, Annalium an.1530, xvi, xix. Cf. Benedetto Sanbenedetti, Annali de’Frati Cappuccini, tom. I, part I, xviii, xx.
  367. Cf. Bonaventura da Sorrento, Il Proto-Convento ed i Conventi Cappuccini della città di Napoli, Napoli-Sorrento, 1889. [BCC:24-N-34]
  368. She did various works, however the history based on authentic records remains to be written. Cf. Apollinare da Valencia, Bibliotheca Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum Neapolitanae, 7, 13; and my small work La venerabile Serva di Dio Maria Lorenza Lungo: cenno biografico inedito del 1600 dal P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò, Roma, Andrea e Salvatore Festa, 1896. [BCC:opusc-66-3]
  369. Cf. D’Alençon, Tribulationes, p.5+
  370. The Colonna and Varano families were bound together. When Caterina’s only daughter Giulia was born (24 March 1523), Beatrice Colonna came to Camerino for the occasion of the Baptism. Beatrice was the natural daughter of Fabrizio, the father of Ascanio and Vittoria, and who a few months earlier had married Rudolfo Varano, the natural son of the Duke of Camerino. Around the same time, Victoria’s mother returned from a pilgrimage to Loreto and stopped over in Camerino. She was welcomed with the hospitality of the ducal palace. Caterina, who visited Rome in 1523 (19 November) for the coronation of her uncle, Clement vii (26 November), remained in Rome for many months (10 July 1524) and probably met with Vittoria then. She came to Marino on 21 March where she stayed some months. Both loved letters and fostered common cultural activities so as to pursue their mutual exchanges. However no record of this bond remains for us apart from the statements made by our Chroniclers, statements which are not devoid of probability. Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, 42 and 165.
  371. Boverius adds: “and devotion”
  372. Boverius, Annalium an.1530, xiii.
  373. Francesco Zaverio Molfino, Codice diplomatico dei Cappuccini Liguri, Genova, 1904, P. xxiii; [BCC:27-F-5] I Cappuccini Genovesi II, I Conventi, Genova, 1914, p.1+ [BCC:24-N-67]
  374. “Il passaggio di questo buon padre fu intorno all’anno 1530, ovvero nel 31.” Marius da Mercato Saraceno, Codex cit., f.90v. ( Third Narration, MHOMC I, 230); Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 3 April.
  375. Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 3 January, the supposed day of his death.
  376. “La memoria dei Cappuccini notano il nome del canonico Processi: ma nell’albo del capitolo cattedrale, questi non comparisce. Invece a quei tempi era canonico Precetto di Ser Precetti, il quale, oltre ad appartenere a famiglia ben nota tra le camerinesi, nel 1525 era stato delegato da Clemente vii, insieme all’altro canonico Andrea di Giovanni, giudice di una controversia tral la Collegiata di S. Severino e il monastero di S. Caterina.” Milziade Santoni, I primordi dei Frati Cappuccini nel Ducato di Camerino, Camerino, 1899, P. 67. [BCC:24-N-15]
  377. Boverius, Annalium an.1531, xix. Cf. D’Alençon, Les premiers convents des Frères-Mineurs Capucins, Paris, 1912, p.11+ [BCC:opusc-61-3]
  378. The construction of three hermitages in the Marches is recalled- at Fano and Montevécchio in 1530 and Pietrarubbia in 1531. Giuseppe da Fermo, Necrologia della provincia Picena, 371+.
  379. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1531, v.
  380. He died on 16 September of this year.
  381. In the minute was added, “Auctoritate apostolica tenore praesentium” but it had been deleted.
  382. Wadding, Annales Minorum, 1531, v. Our Giuseppe da Monterotondo calls this letter into doubt since a similar one is dated 3 July 1532. However Wadding advises that he copied it himself “ex autographo” (from the original) found in the Regesta of Clement vii, Vatican Archives, Brevi di Clementi vii, Arm. xxxix, vol.51, p.2078, n.751. The minute is kept in Arm. xi, vol. 34, n.143. On the back the date 17 November had been changed to 2 December.
  383. Chronica Joannis de Terranova, 13. Analecta OFM Cap.,23(1907) 120; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, p.1269, n.2954.
  384. They designate the place as Catona “which is an inn within the region of Messina, at a distance of seven miles from Reggio” Boverius, Annalium an.1532, ii. Catona had once been a port, which silted up with time. The little town of this name is to be found up to this day.
  385. Cf. (D’Alençon), Gian Pietro Carafa. Vescovo di Chieti (Paolo IV) e la Riforma nell’Ordine dei Minori dell’ Osservanza. Documenti inediti sul Generalato di Paolo Pisotti da Parma e la Provincia di S. Antonio, Francesco Salvati, Foligno, 1912,. passim. (BCC:opusc-46-52). This essay is translated above.
  386. Later, however, we come across Ludovico in Nepi and Bernardino in Reggio at the feast of Pentecost. Regarding their office of superior, however, this is not clear.
  387. Chronica Joannis de Terranova, 13; Analecta OFM Cap.,23(1907)121; Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, p.1269-1270, n.2955.
  388. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1532, xxxi. Wadding refers to the regestum generale cismontanum, f.114. Giovannello could have known about Ludovico’s petition and not that of Bernardino. Both, however, arrived at the same end by a different way. It is to be believed that Bernardino asked to transfer to the Conventuals so that he could move to the Capuchins more easily.
  389. Wadding, from the same Regestum.
  390. Codex Cingulano, f.201v. (MHOMC I, 314-315). I have transcribed here the Italian text presented by d’Alençon in a footnote, to present a copy of the letter other than the one preserved in MHOMC I. Differences between the texts are few and cosmetic. This English translation below is based on the Italian version transcribed by d’Alençon from the Codex Cingulano:“This is the letter. Since I have had a copy in my hands, I will included it as it is, word for word. – Reverend Father, and always most cordial in the Lord. The Most Illustrious Lord Duke of Nocera has offered himself to help and support us. The Lord Sigismund left this morning for Cosenza to take a letter from His Lordship to the Most Excellent Lord Viceroy of the Province and to obtain his support and a letter for Rome. I wrote to Fra Cataldo, to Palamone and to the other companions, that by all means we are hoping for the best. Therefore the matter in itself is favourable. May the Lord God not fail in His kindness and mercy for those who love Him. It is necessary therefore that you come very quickly to Filogasio, to be able to expedite our matters and also to prepare for the arrival of our adversaries, so that we will not have to suffer snares and dangers by finding ourselves without a safe place. Come therefore with these two friars whom I am sending and from our other companions send two of them to Seminara for Fra Bonaventura, as well as two others who are there, to go to Oppido to get Fra Giovanni da Terranova. Also give orders that some go to Cinquefrondi for the Friars there who are of our opinion and desire, and to get the letters found there. With all this that has to be done, let it be done as soon as possible and with that prudence and diligence that is needed and which God has given you. Nothing else. Pray to God for me. We will be able to speak about these things better and at greater length. From Pizzo, the Pentecost vigil of 1532.”
  391. See previous note.
  392. “Copia della lettera del B. Lodovico, cvata da una copia dell’altra copia, se pur non si da progresso quasi infinito.” Paulo Gualtieri, Glorioso trionfo, 278. He advises also that the copies he saw do agree regarding their date: “In alcune copie di queste lettere ms. sta notato l’anno 1530, in altre 1532.”
  393. Boverius, Annalium an.1532, viii.
  394. Boverius, Annalium an.1532, ix.
  395. ‘Piniano’
  396. Dianora or Leonora Conclubet, the daughter of John Francis iv, Marquis of Arena, wife of Ferdinand Carafa, the Duke of Nocera. Cf. Chronica Joannelli, 14, note 2. D’Alençon published the Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova in Analecta OFMCap 23(1907)11-19, 120-126, 150-153, 214-219, 248-253. In this edition the footnote cited here is on p.121, n.2 in the left column. The editor writes there “D. Dianora Conclubet, filia Marchionis de Arena, non erat mater sed uxor Ducis Ferdinandi, uti paulo infra recte scribit Joannellus.”
  397. Securi da Reggio, Memorie storiche sulla provincia dei Capuccini de Reggio Calabria, 12. They only reformed the cowls, according to the Giovannello: Therefore in that year our Friars wore the habit of he Zoccolanti, with only the cowl reshaped (reformato solum cappuccio): on account of the impossibility of getting the lowly cloth that we wear now.” (D’Alençon) Chronica Joannelli, 16.
  398. 27 May 1530
  399. As I believe this should read “Giovannello” instead of “Ludovico.”
  400. Vatican Archives, Arm.XL, vol.39, Epist.184, Minute dei Brevi di Clemente vii; Arm.XXXIX, col.12, Brevi di Clemente VII, anno ix, tom.II, num. 185. On the back of the said minute one reads: “Si placet Sanctissimo expediatur. A. Card. De Valle, Protector.” – “R.mus Protector et D.nus Auditor Camerae viderunt M. Generalis misit.” The Brief also has the following words on on the back: “Pro Generali Ordinis Minorum de Observantia. – Mandatur omnibus fratribus dicti Ordinis qui mense maii 1530 apostatando ad quamdam novam Congregationem in Calabria exortam abierunt, ut ad domos dicti Ordinis in quibus erant, redeant nec inde absque Superiorum licentia recedant cum mandato ecclesiasticis et hortatione laicis ut praesentes observari faciant et permittant.”
  401. D’Alençon, De origine Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, 17. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1271, under heading 4.
  402. Giovannello says that he had been warned by a boy calling out, “Run, Capuchins! The Zoccolanti are coming to get you.” Boverius states, “This was then amazing, since the name and title of Capuchins was still unheard of until then. From that child the word began to spread rapidly everywhere to the extent that amid the persecutions of those times, the name of the Capuchins for the first time spread then among everyone in Calabria, and had its origins from him who looses the mouths and voices of children.” Boverius, Annalium an.1532, xxviii. The good man (Boverius) sees miracles everywhere. Therefore he asserts that the word Capuchin had been unheard of in Calabria, even though it might have been in common use for four years in the Marches, and probably in Rome as well as anywhere the Friars of the Eremitical Life were living. Therefore, without the extraordinary intervention of God, the word could have easily arrived in Calabria. This title was certainly known to Ludovico and his companions. What wonder if it had spread outwards. In fact this is the third month that they have been wearing the pointed cowl. Hence that name.
  403. (D’Alençon) De origine Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, 19. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1273, under heading 5, n.2959. In the following passages from Giovannello, I translate the Latin translation of d’Alençon.
  404. D’Alençon, De origine Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, 19-21. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1273-1275, under heading 5, n.2959-2960.
  405. Boverius, Annalium an.1532, xxxv-xlviii.
  406. Marius, Cingoli Codex, f.209-220. ( Marius’ first account, MHOMC I, 59-74. Cf his third account, MHOMC I, 325-336.) — The Memoriale Ordinis Minorum was published many times in works called the Monumenta Ordinis Minorum, Salamanca, 1516; the Firmamenta trium Ordinum, Paris, 1512; and the Speculum Minorum seu Firmamentum, Venice, 1513 [BCC:172-C-10.]
  407. Boverius believes this Abbot is Tiberio, the son of the Duke, who at that time was still quite young, as Giovannello says. Very likely that Abbot was Don Francesco, another of the Duke’s sons who, older in age, obtained a number of Abbacies, according to Aldimari, Historia genealogica della famiglia Carafa, Napoli, 1691, tom.ii, p.254. However, without any foundation, the author includes Francesco Carafa among the archbishops of Lanciano. I have searched Eubel and Ughelli in vain for his name in the list of prelates of this diocese.
  408. D’Alençon, De origine Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum Chronica Fr. Joannis Romaei de Terranova, 21. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 1275-1276, n.2962.
  409. On a certain day, the said friars were “exhausted by fasting, hunger, cold and by the effort of the journey.” “Nothing on the broad plain, snow cover everywhere, when a house or hospice appeared.” Boverius, Annalium an.1532, liii.
  410. Boverius, Annalium an. 1532, lxvii.
  411. Wadding, Annales Minorum, 1532, xv; 1533, xxi. – According to these Ludovico then took back a Bull, which I said above was invented. Boverius agrees, saying that the Ponfitiff did not declare his mind in any document. Boverius, Annalium an.1532, lxviii.
  412. Heaven forbid that one think that the Supreme Pontiff knew individually all the letters made in his name in the Secretariat. Before they were sent, when it was a question about matters concerning the Rule, the letters were deferred to the Cardinal Protector who would sign them. Then the Papal Auditor (Auditor Sanctissimi) saw them, and briefly in audience with the Pontiff, presented the things that were granted or sanctioned in them.
  413. Ut sacra Ordinis Minorum Religio, 11 January 1446, in which the Observants were separated from the Conventuals, the confirmation of the Vicars only remaining to the Minister General.
  414. That is, Ludovico da Fossombrone.
  415. Vatican Archives, Lettere dei Principi, vol.7, f.658. On the back: “1532. Di frate Honorio informatione sopra frati Scappuccini.”
  416. In so far as I can tell, this is the letter that had been given on 3 July. Cf. above p.73.
  417. From Boverius Annalium an. 1532, lxviii. I have corrected some errors, while others perhaps have remained.
  418. Boverius, Annalium an.1532, lxix.
  419. Boverius, in Annalium an. 1524, xxxvi, assigns his death to the year 1513. It seems to me that that date needs confirmation.
  420. “Secusia in Piemonte,” in Sisto da Pisa, Storia dei Cappuccini Toscani, Firenze, 1906, tom.i, p.34, note 2.
  421. Archives of the Comune of Montepulciano, Riforme, leggi … f.248, in Sisto da Pisa, Storia dei Cappuccini Toscani, Firenze,1906, tom.i, p.34+ [BCC:24-N-17]
  422. The Bull of the foundation had been given in Viterbo 3 July 1528, the extreme Brief of destruction came out on the same day, 3 July in 1532.
  423. Wadding, Annales Minorum an. 1532, xxi.
  424. Not Gian Maria Ghiberti as in the text.
  425. Wadding, Annales Minorum an. 1532,vii.
  426. Cf. D’Alençon, Gian Pietro Carafa e la Riforma nell’ordine dei Minori dell’Osservanza, passim.
  427. An abbreviated Latin verion was publihsed by Giuseppe Silos, Historiam Clericorum Regularium pars priot, Romae, 1650, pp.99-108 [BCC:80-O-8]. Other writers presented fragments. Copies are found in variis manuscript codices: Biblioteca Casanatensis, m.349; Biblioteca Vaticana, codex Barberin., lat. 5697. The letter regarding reform in the Order is to be found in the small work just mentioned, Gian Pietro Carafa e la Riforma nell’Ordine dei Minori dell’Osservanza, 30+ (page 47 above). A full version is in Vincentius Schweitzer (collegit edidit illustravit), Concilii Tridentini Tractatuum pars prima complectans tractatus a Leonis X temporibus usque ad translationem Concilii conscriptos (Concilium Tridentinum, tomus duodecimus, tractatuum pars prior, Societas Georresiana), Fribugri Brisgoviae, Herder, mcmxxx, 67-77. I have appended this document to d’Alençon’s essay above on Carafa and the Observant Reform. See pages 77- 90.
  428. Biblioteca Vaticana, Codex Barberin. Lat., 5697, f.171): “In questa hora havuta benigna audientia da Nostro Signore, ma succincta, et da Sua Santità ricevuta la littera de fede et tuta la scriptura de Vostra Signoria … Circa li Capuzinj el nostro Signore ne lassa in piedi un picol numero di fra Ludovico de la Marchia, et cum hoc che non possan moltiplicare lochi, ne ricevere frati de nullo ordine. Et che prelati de l’observantia, li visiti et correga. L’altra parte dei essi Capuzini è ritornata a l’observantia, la qual per el procurator di corte tracta che si fazi una bolla di forma che, per auctorità de la Sede Apostolica et essi Capuzini ritornati al grege et tuti li altri frati de l’ordine, li quali voranno observare la regula ad litteram habiano in ogni provintia 4 over 5 lochi, o più, sub custodiis, con molti belli capituli, tanto che si potra fare molti beni, et niuno harà causa de seperarsi per conto che non li sia dato commodo di fare bene, El Signor Dio fatia funamento suo modo et conservi noi soi poveri nel vero et fidel servitio suo.”
  429. De Gubernatis a Sospitello, Orbis Seraphicus: historia de tribus ordinibus a seraphico patriarcha s. Francisco institutis, tom. II, Lugduni, apud Aissonios, Ioannem Posuel, & Claudium Rigaud, 1685, p.98 [BCC:56-P-7] tells about the petition for this Bull in this way: “Timentes primarii de Observantia Patres, ne ad ignis instar serperet in dies Fratrum et Conventuum ad Capuccinos devolutio (earlier he said that the friary of Greccio and Fontecolombo had been given them), consilium ineuntes ad Aram Coeli tandem concluserunt, haec omnia ob Generalis aversionem a domibus recollectis evenisse: statuerunt Summum Pontificem exorare ut conventus aliquot in unaquaque provincia pro Fratribus reformationem amantibus apostolica auctoritate stabiliret. Ad Pontificem ipsum et Cardinales informandos Stephanum Molinam, Bernardinum Astensem ex Romana, Franciscum Aesinum ex Marchiana et Franciscum Torniellum ex Mediolanensi provinciis destinarunt. Aliquot etiam Provinciales Ministri, qui tunc Romae aderant, una cum Procuratore Ordinis idem negotium omni efficacia pertractarunt tanquam Religioni necdum proficuum, verum et simpliciter necessarium. Pontifex ergo per Molinam optime informatus, ubi causam nonnullis S.R.E. Cardinalibus commisisset, ipsorum audito voto. Reformationis initia edito diplomate in Ordine universo firmavit.”
  430. Boverius, Annalium, tom. I, Regestum Bullarum 998; Wadding, Annales Minorum, an. 1532, xxii.
  431. Boverius, Annalium¸ an.1533, i.
  432. Antonio de Lorenzo, Nostra Signora della Consolazione, protettrice della città do Reggio Calabria. Quadretti storici, 186, writes about this foundation: “Il Canonico Diego Calarca (come si assicura in certi suoi appunti ms) leggeva lo strumento della concessione del Dott. Mileto, rogato dal notaio Francesco Perrone il di 6 aprile 1533. Per esso il Magnifico Dott. Gio. Bernardo Mileto concede gratuitamente ai PP. Capuccini Fra Bernardino il Giorgio e Fra Ludovico da Polistena una porzione di terra, parte piana e parte boscosa, sopra la contrada Borraci, con dentro una casa di Eremiti, over l’arcivescovo D. Geronimo Centelles vuol formare un convento di Cappuccini.”
  433. That is, Gian Pietro Carafa.
  434. Cod. Barberin.¸ lat. 5697, f.66: “Ven. Pater salutem in Christo. Adviso V.P. qualiter il Papa, ad instantiam de frati, ha suspesa la bolla de la reformatione usque ad Capitulum Generale. Fratres autem provinciae hujus vix hanno ottenuto quatro lochetti, anderano per questo anno zopicando al meglio si potrà: ma vorriano che l’anno futuro omnino si exeguisca la Bolla, quia in Capitulo generali temeno ce sarà più frati contrarij che propitij.”
  435. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1533, viii, etc. Cf also (D’Alençon), Gian Pietro Carafa e la Riforma nell’ordine dei Minori dell’Osservanza, 36+, page 57 above.
  436. The words are of Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1530, xv, though they seem to fit these times better.
  437. Our friars mistakenly say that Bernardino had been Procurator General of the Observance. Cf Wadding, Annales Minorum, an.1534, lxii.
  438. Those who participated in this Congregation are said to have been chosen by the Pontiff himself “from the Cismontane Friars of the Order itself, friars of greater standing in the same Order” says Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1533, ix. Concerning the commission of Bernardino to the province of Veneto see (d’Alençon), Gian Pietro Carafa e la Riforma nell’ordine dei Minori dell’Osservanza, 3, 8+ and 37; pages 7, 17+, 58 above. Some would have it that he transferred to the Capuchins with difficulty for the reason that he might succeed then in getting the leadershiP. Boverius, Annalium an. 1534, xii; cf (d’Alençon), Tribulationes Ordinis Fr. Min. Capuccinorum primis annis Pontificatus Pauli III, 6; page 239 below.
  439. Cf above, page 96, ii.
  440. Boverius (Annalium 1534, xv) says letters were sent from Spain, France, Germany and Italy. He almost immediately notes that our Reform had not yet spread beyond the Italian frontiers, so that the Capuchins were unknown just about everywhere outside of Italy.
  441. Vatican Archives, Minute dei Brevi di Clemente VII, Arm. xl, vol. 47, n.243. “Non videtur decens ut religiosus invitus cogatur ad laziorem vitam; si tamen Sanctissimus Dominus Noster aliquo respectu id velit, nullo modo approbo quod procedatur per Sanctitatem Suam, sed committatur alii, non enim talis processus est dignus provessu per ipsummet Papam. Hier. Auditor.”
  442. “Circumveniamus ergo justum, quoniam inutilis est nobis, et contrarius operibus nostris, et improperat nobis peccata legis, et diffamat in nos peccata disciplinae nostrae…Gravis est nobis etiam ad vivendum, quoniam dissimilis est aliis vita illius, et immutatae sunt viae ejus. Tanquam nugaces aestimati sumus ab illo, et abstinet se a viis nostris tamquam ab immunditiis et praefert novissima justorum, et gloriatur patrem se habere Deum (S. Franciscum). Videamus ergo si sermones illius veri sint, et tentemus quae ventura sint illi, et sciemus quae erunt novissima illius. Si enim est verus filius Dei (S.Francisci), suscipiet illum, et liberabit eum de manibus contrariorum…Haec cogitaverunt et erraverunt: excaecavit enim illos malitia.” Wisdom 2:12-21.
  443. D’Alençon includes this parenthesis in the text itself: [In the minute was added: motu proprio, et ex certa scientia, ac de apostolicae potestatis plenitudine; however is has been deleted.]
  444. In the minute requirimus et monemus has been deleted.
  445. mandamus” has been deleted.
  446. From the minute it appears that this mandate was given first to the bishop of Bisignano and his Vicar. Fabio Arcella, the bishop of Bisignano, was nuntio at Naples at the time.
  447. Boverius, Annalium an.1534, xvii.
  448. Boverius, Annalium an.1534, xviii.
  449. “We order, precribing strictly, within a period of fifteen days of your aforesaid warning made to them and to each of them personally.” Note: mandamus instead of the mandas here in the author’s text.
  450. Caterina’s historian narrates the journey to Rome only from Boverius. It seems to me that the circumstances exclude this. For on the 13 April the Duchess at Camerino had been attacked by cunning and even sacked. I do not see how she would dare to expose herself to new dangers within a period of just a few days. Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, 152+
  451. Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 135.
  452. These titles are taken from a certain Brief addressed to him. Vatican Archives, Minute dei Brevi di Clemente VII, Arm.xl, vol.48, eP. 48, under the date January 1534.
  453. Giuseppe Maria da Monte Rotondo, Gl’inizi dell’Ordine Cappuccino e della Provincia Romana, 37.
  454. Iidoro Agudo da Villapadierna in Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, Introduzione e Testi, p.25, note 27: “Edito in Annales Minorum xvi, 439, nel Bullarium Capuccinorum I, 11+ e in Edouard d’Alençon, De Primordiis, 119+, il quale lo crede posteriore a quello del 15, ma la data del 9 è patente nella minuta (Vatican Secret Archives, Minute dei brevi di Clemente VII, Arm. xl, vol.47, n.241.) L’errore è stato ripreso anche da altri autori.
  455. Wadding, Annales Minorum an. 1534, lxxv: “Ex Regesto generali Cismontano, fol. 126.” Also the Bullarium Ordinis, tom.i, page 11.
  456. Wadding, Annales Minorum an. 1532, xxxiv.
  457. “Documenti francescani di Ragusa” in Miscellanea Franciscana, Letters 127 and 129, 16(1915) 51-52.
  458. Venerabili fratri Johanni Petro Episcopo Theatino Venetiis commoranti. — Supplicari nobis fecit dilectus filius Joannes de Fano, Ordinis Minorum de Observantia, ut sibi Conciones seu Praedicationes verbi Dei per eum ad populum habitas et in scriptas redactas, imprimendi licentiam concedere, aliisque ne eo, cum ipse Johannes imprimendas eas dederit, invito, illas ad decennium impriment inhibere dignaremur. Nos de fratris Johannis singulari doctrina et pietate plenam in Domino fiduciam obtinentes, tibi mandamus ut per te, vel per alium tibi probatum, dictas praedicationes diligenter inspicias, et si eas canonicas et ab Ecclesia probatas, editioneque dignas repereris, tunc Johanni illas imprimi faciendi licentiam auctoritate nostra concedas. Nos etiam, si hujusmodi licentiam per te concedi contigerit, inhibemus omnibus et singulis in statu et ditione temporali S.A.P., mediate vel immediate nobis subjectis, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae et insuper librorum amissionis … xxv ducatorum aureorum … ipso facto incurrenda poena, ne per decennium a data praesentium litterarum computandum, dictas praedicationes, sine expressa ejus, cum eas imprimendas dederit, licentia, imprimere vel imprimi facere, aut impressas vendere seu venales habere praesumant. Mandantes etc.It has no date but on the back it reads: “febr. 1532. P. Johanni de Fano licentia imprimendi.” It is found with the letter with the date of 15 February. Vatican Archives, Minute dei Brevi di Clemente vii, Arm.xl, vol. 41, number 85, year 9.
  459. Letter of Giovanni da Fano to the Theatine Bishop:“Monsegnor, per amor de yhesu X° Vostra Signoria me perdone de la presumpcion che ho usato a fa venire quel benedetto breve, per che pregai el P. fra Bonaventura che volesse intendere da V.S. si se contentava haver commissione di posser commettere ad altri il reveder del libro: me repuse quella esser contenta, et con questa confidentia ho seguitato l’impresa. Et per lie mei peccati ho facto tre inconvenienti. Ho dato pena a V.S. secondo me dice el P. fra Hieronimo Malimpiero; ho buttato via 6 scudi et più, et ho messo in compromesso le cose mie che erano in buon termine. Per qualche bon rispecto non andava volentiere per le man del patriarca, pure non mancava qualche altro mezzo. L’opera (a ciò sappia V.S. è stata scripta doe volte. Io l’ho revista tutta de verbo ad verbum, doe volte. Un nostra frate doctissimo (che a studiato in Parigi) per commission del P. Generale, l’ha revista tutta, et in questo ha consumato quasi tutto un anno: che altramente il P. Generale non me haveria dato licentia in scriptis per farla imprimer. Demum per commission de li signor Cani (?) l’hanno revista el P.f. Francesco Giorgio et el P.f. Hieronimo Malimpiero, et si non de verbo ad verbum, saltem le materie del momento, et la doctrina, et la theologia, et trovano le cose securissime: et chi volesse rivederla de verbo ad verbum non bastaria una altro anno. Io so andato puramente et con gran simplicità, Dio el sa, et più presto voria morire che mettere in pericolo l’anima mia, et l’honore de la Religione et mio, a mettere in publico cosa periculosa, immo non securissima. Pareva a me che usando tanta diligentia, et sollicitudine, et fatiga, et accurata fidelità per santa chiesa nel predicare, haver messo quell’homo da bene chel fa imprimere in spesa, che fino in hora ha speso parechie decine de ducati. Et si perdo questa ventura, stentarò a ritrovarne un’altra. Omne cosa ho facto a bon fine, ad honor de la divina majestà, et utilità de le anime. Me ritrovo in grande affanno de mente. Prego V.S. se digne far me intendere per lo exhibitor de la presente (al qua potrà dire a bocca quello li pace senza scrivere) qual sia (circa hoc) l’ultima sua pretentione, si in tutto quella recusa l’impresa, o pur vol farme questa charità, et in che modo. Et de consiglarme quello habbia a fare, per che me rtirovo in una grande confusione de mente et in un gran laberintho. Si quella me ne po cavare li restarò in perpetuo obligatissimo, che senza questo so obligato de haverli debita reverentia et observantia, come a mio Signore et padre precipuo. A la cui bona gratia de contino me aricomando. Et li baso la mano devotissimamente. E.V.R.D. Filius et servulus, fr. Jo. De Phano.”Vatican Library, Cod. Barberin, lat., 5697, f.170.
  460. It has the title: Jesus Maria. Opera utilissima vulgare contra le pernitiosissime heresie Lutherane per li simplici. m.d.xxxii. At the end: “Giovan Battista Phaello bolognese in Bologna Impresse. L’anno del Signore m.d.xxxij, del mese di settembre.” In 8vo, ff.4, nn. et 101. The top of the first page has the title, “Opera utilissima volgare chiamata incendio de zizanie Lutherane, cioe contra la pernitiosissima heresia di Martin Luthero.” [BCC:172-B-7]
  461. Alessio d’Arquata, Cronaca della riformata provincia dei Minori della Marca, Cingoli, 1893, p.22.
  462. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1534, lxxiii, ex Regesto Cismontano, f.129
  463. Previously, d’Alençon had said, “Ioannes Fanensis primis fuit Custos fratrum Reformatorum provinciae Picenae (1533)” in Tribulationes, page 2, note 1 see page 234 note 1 below.
  464. Wadding, Annales Minorum an.1534, lxxii.
  465. “Et benche queste cose non siano tutte de substantia de la Regola, nondimeno sonno bone per li stimulati…Sono boni anchora per una comune reformatione, et a restrengere el vivere de l’observantia regolare.” Dialogo de la salute tra el frate stimulato et el frate rationabile circa la regula de li frati Minroi et sue dechiarationi per stimulati, 119. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini II, 68-69.
  466. “Et benche nel principio io gli fussi molto contrario (alla Reformatione dei Cappuccini) con parole et fatti: al presente confesso la ignoranza mia, che sequitando le communi usanze della communità alla quale queste restrittioni sono state sempre esose, et non conosceva la divina volontà, et il gran frutto che ne dovea seguitare.” Dialogo emandato in Codex Cingulano, f.21. Costanzo Cargnoni, I Frati Cappuccini I, 589.
  467. In Analecta OFMCap xxix-xxx, and in a separate work, Tribulationes Ordinis Fr. Minorum Capuccinorum primis annis Pontificatus Pauli III, 1534-1541, Romae 1914 which presents my corrected and enlarged discussion. [BCC:023-D-18]. In the Analecta OFM Cap., see Brevis illustratio monumentorum quae ad historiam nostri Ordinis spectant, primis annis Pontificatus Pauli III, in Analecta OFMCap 29( 1913) 122, 155, 188, 215, 252, 279, 310; 30(1914) 36, 147, 242, 307
  468. Bernardino Feliciangeli, Notizie e documenti sulla vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, 186-188.
  469. (D’Alençon), Tribulationes, p.4, note 1see below page 236 note 1.