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Poverty in the Order of Preachers Author(s): William A. Hinnebusch Source: The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 45, No.

4 (Jan., 1960), pp. 436-453 Published by: Catholic University of America Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25016596 . Accessed: 06/04/2011 16:08
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POVERTY IN THE ORDER OF PREACHERS By


William Poverty, one A. Hinnebusch* vows of religion, was an of the three traditional so at the of the life. It remains Dominican integral part religious most recent The the Constitutions of revision present day. (1932) or substan lists it as one of the things that cannot be surrendered the purpose of the order. Domini tially changed without jeopardizing can history bears out the wisdom the friars of this remark. When held poverty in honor the order achieved an eminence that was almost it the order stagnated. All monks unrivalled ;when they disregarded even when their order or monastery individual cultivated poverty, But it was the mendicants who first possessions. to the apostolate and extended its purpose beyond the joined poverty even among the sanctification of the individual religious; personal there were different ways of looking at it. Francis saw one mendicants another. Dominic loved poverty deeply. It nourished thing, Dominic his own interior life and brought him into conformity with the poor owned extensive It freed him from worldly cares and allowed Christ, his Divine Master. to the salvation of souls. It gave con him to give himself completely crete example of true values to a new society, built on an expanding economy, tempted to overvalue wealth and material prosperity. The Dominican Order, begun in the well-favored lands of southern France, in the midst of the prosperous civilization of completed its organization that Dominic Little wonder Lombardy. incorporated a strict poverty in the scheme of his order. a long history.1 Poverty was in the in 1206. It had a lineage that car movement of the twelfth century love of poverty had Dominic's air when he began his apostolate ried back through the apostolic to the and the Gregorian Reform tive Church.
* Father House 1 On of

The

desire
O.P.,

days of the apostles and the primi to imitate the apostles in the following of
is professor D. C. of church history in the Dominican

Hinnebusch,

Studies, Dominican beim

Washington,

Dominikus'und gedanke Beurteilung

cf. H. C. Lambermond, Der Armutsgedanke des hl. poverty, seines Ordens Berthold "Der Armuts (Zwolle, 1926). Altaner, hl. Dominikus," und Glaube, XI "Zur 404-17; Theologie (1919), Pers?nlichkeit und der Entwicklung der Ordensidee des hl.

der

436

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

437

Christ

centuries.

the eleventh and twelfth Christendom during impregnated The ideal expressed itself in a variety of ways. The canons of this ideal) regular (though they fell short of the full realization in the blending of found perfect imitation of Christ and the apostles three elements : the contemplative life, evangelical poverty practiced in

and the ministry for souls. Besides the canons, many of the clergy and laity from all social strata aspired to return to the evangelical life of the primitive Church, a life characterized common in the and austerity. Under by poverty one the the of itinerant of twelfth century, leadership preachers formed itself into religious societies prac segment of this movement segment, impatient of ticing the poverty of the common life. Another or into schism fell into control, lapsed heresy, notably theWaldenses, common, The and those who drifted into Albigensianism. Humiliati, claimed that imitation of the apostles conferred of itself the preach and exercise the pastoral ministry. The canons-regular on the other hand, correctly recognized itinerant preachers, office of preaching, though mightily supported demanded clerical status and an official mission heretics right to and the that the life,

by the apostolic for its exercise.2

inherited all these trends.3 As a member of the cathedral St. Dominic of influenced by the canons Osma, he was most powerfully chapter the life and of lived poverty in common. Nor was he regular already to the influence of the other advocates, insensitive Catholic and the life. Dominic's of about heretical, apostolic thinking poverty in 1206 when he began his aposto entered a new stage of development late in southern France. For the next decade his poverty was not only
Dominikus," Heribert C. 141-45). Ill) lays erroneous Zeitschr. Scheeben's f. Kirchegesch. Der views, XLVI (1927), 403-406 [Freiburg, [Cambridge, a means. He (criticism 1927], 1937], advances the of pp. chap. the of

F. Ralph too much

Bennett stress

(The on Dominican

Dominikus heilige Dominicans Early poverty as

that Dominican after poverty developed only opinion Dominic (pp. 46-49). 2 Cf. Herbert im Mittelalter Grundmann, Religi?se Bewegungen 267. Berlin, 157-69. Pierre Mandonnet-M. pp. 13-50, 1937), Studien, Saint Vid?e, Dominique, C. Dereine, "Chanoines/' Canons and their "Aux l'homme Dictionnaire et l'oeuvre d'histoire

death

(Historische H. Vicaire,

163-92. (Paris, 1938), II, 22-48, et de g?ographie eccl?siastiques,

XII

(1953), 356-57, 377-78, 386-90. J. C. Dickinson, The Origins of the Austin


Introduction origines du into England vald?isme. XVI de Saint pp. 26-39. Antoine (London, 1950), Une de foi de Vald?s," profession 191-235. (1946), Dominique (Paris, 1958), I, 91-98.

Dondaine, Archivum 3 Cf. M.

fratrum praedkatorum, H. Vicaire, Histoire

438
an ascetic

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

ideal that conformed him to Christ but was also militant, a soldier whose life preached by deeds as well as by word. him making It was the poverty commanded by Christ when He sent the apostles out to preach : "Do not keep gold, or silver, or money in your girdles, nor wallet for your journey nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staff; for trav the laborer deserves his living."4 Dominic and his companions elled on foot, penniless and poorly clothed. They begged their food and lodging.5 It was the method of preaching suggested by Diego d'Aceb?s, Bishop of Osma, when he and Dominic met the papal legates that He urged them to put aside other labors, year at Montpellier.
to toil more ardently at preaching and, in order to be able to stop the

mouths of the wicked, to go forth in humility, to do and to teach according to the example of the loving Master, to travel on foot without gold and
silver, following the practice of the apostles.6

Dominic and his associates rested from their preaching tours, sustenance from the possessions and revenues shared in received they common with the sisters founded by him at Prouille.7 At this point no religious order existed. The preachers had no corporate, organized existence. They were a group of apostles pursuing an identical end under the moral leadership of Dominic but were "not bound to him by the situation as it existed obedience."8 Jordan of Saxony described When

in 1214:
For the Order of Preachers had not been founded yet, and nothing had taken place but discussion about the founding of an Order, although he devoted himself to the preaching office to the best of his ability. And that
4 Matt, X, 5 Cf. Robert maniae monachi

9-10; Luke, of Auxerre, Scriptores,

X,

1. ed. O. Chronicon, XXVI (Hanover, Monumenta Ger Holder-Egger, vallium Sarnarii 1882), 271. Petri

ed. P. Guebin-E. de l'histoire de Lyon Albigensis, (Soci?t? no. 21, cf. no. 47. France. Paris, 1926), 6 Petri no. 21. hist. Alb., Sarnarii vallium 7 Cf. M. H. hist?rica Monumenta ordinis s.p.n. Dominici Laurent, (Monumenta no. 5-9, 12-19, XV. Praedkatorum fratrum [abbrev. MOPH]), Paris, 1933), 21-23, 42-53, 25-40, "Archives 56-57, cf. no. de Prouille," 62; no. 4, Archivum cf. Raymond inauthentic, Praedkatorum fratrum (abbrev. also no. 24, 41 are inauthentic, cf. Vladimir de s. Dominique," XXVIII AFP, (1958), ordinis no. 31. Praedkatorum, ed. Heribert 11, 58, are

hist?rica, historia

Loenertz,

XXIV 42-44, 46-47; (1954), AFP), sur le cartulaire "Notes Koudelka, 106-109. 8 Libellus de prinicipiis of Saxony Jordan XVI. C. Scheeben 1935), Rome, (MOPH,

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

439
on enacted, that it was

constitution forbidden

was to receive

not

observed possessions

which or

was to keep

later those

already

received.9

from the moment when Dominic and the preachers began to an the foundation of an order, they were already practicing form of community poverty. At the new preaching center of established in 1214, they had two sources of revenue: rents Fanjeaux, from the fortified town of Casseneuil given by Simon de Montfort (though there is some doubt whether they were able to collect them), as and tithes from the church of Fanjeaux, to Dominic accruing Yet discuss austere titular rector. Jordan of Saxony stated that they used these revenues sparingly, handing over the surplus to the sisters at Prouille.10 A charter of Bishop Fulk of Toulouse, signing over to the sisters tithes at Fanjeaux at the wish and consent of Dominic, substantiates this.11 The thought of founding a preaching order raised novel problems. It was one thing to apply stringent poverty to itinerant preaching ; it was quite another to extend it to the entire scope of the religious life. Dominic had already travelled beyond the range of traditional religious in his order would have a three-fold scope :apostolic, poverty. Poverty and ascetic, practical. His men would be fundamentally apostolic, but would learn the truth silent in and they study contemplation. They would then preach it. A regime of poverty in imitation of the apostles would create the best atmosphere for contemplation and study by dis concerns. friar from secular It would be the best adjunct engaging the to preaching, to evangelical lives that matched by pointing apostolic doctrine. The ascetic purpose would demand from the friars a mortified life in imitation of the poor Christ and force on them the necessity of on divine Providence. The practical considera complete dependence tion would require that student and preaching friars be left free for their primary duties.12 Manual labor and management of estates and revenues could not be allowed to encroach on their time.
no. 37. *Ibid.? 10 no. 54 (fratris Ibid., no. 37. Cf. Laurent, Fano Mon., Dominici, capellani on the rents of Casseneuil For a commentary and doubt as to their collec jovis). Hist., tion, cf. Vicaire, I, 322 n. 247, 344 n. 69; II, 16. 11 no. 54, 55 (the same document; cf. Loenertz, Mon., Laurent, AFP, XXIV, no. 58 is apparently 20 no. 18. Laurent, cf. Loenertz, Mon., inauthentic; ibid., are also in the bull of Oct., tithes listed 1215 pp. 46-47. The (Laur., Mon., no. 62; cf. Vicaire, Hist., I, 344 n. 69). 12 Altaner holds that Dominic, pp. 416-17) ("Der Armutsgedanke," develop a different than Francis. For gave poverty ing his ideas independently, emphasis

440
Dominic's

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

problem was not the simple one of St. Francis whose Dominic and miniature lived in hermitages priories. early friars of clerical communities religious?mature envisaged organized a for is It friars the student heavy fully trained, apostolate. preparing it to feed and clothe a community, especially when responsibility friars contains young religious under training. How could such a community a the law of the Church Moreover, support regime of absolute poverty ? on was a A preaching order had frowned unsupported. clergy that to be an order of priests. A clerical, religious life with alms alone as law (first established its economic base was entirely new. Ancient the Third Lateran Council in 1179) to sacred orders who did not have canonical parlance, a "title." Inno

at Chalcedon

to include subdeacons.13 prohibition to the clerical state for a clergyman to be obliged to live on charity.14 In 1206 the itinerant poverty of excited the misgivings of the suggested by Bishop Diego, preachers, were and that These considerations legal practical papal legates.15 he not have from In 1215 could Dominic taking hasty steps. prevented foreseen all the problems and their solutions. There was a period of trial from 1215 to 1220. As a wise legislator, he framed laws when his and approved theories had been tested by experience by higher of poverty are clear from the the foundation of the order in 1215 until the first general chapter in 1220 there were steady strides toward absolute on neither rents nor property. We shall review poverty, depending at the of the estates in them briefly. In May, Seila 1215, partition the of the inheritance Peter order, receiving Toulouse, Seila, one of in the matter
him rather it was than was an instrument of the apostolate, personal ascetic the freeing holiness. While ideal. of On it was Christ. C. de praeb., canonici, 16, X, Councils of the General (St. 95-96. quintus, former iuris the also friars there other an for the ministry, in this is truth for Francis demon

in 451 and revived at forbade bishops to ordain anyone a guaranteed means of support?in cent III had recently extended this In 1205 he considered it a dishonor

authority. Dominic's thoughts course of events. From

judgment, poverty to strating 13 Canons Ill, 5. Henry

of achieving Dominic's it obscures

a means

hand, apostolate

a personal not merely matter; the ideal following the world 6 and 5 respectively, Corpus J. Schroeder, pp. 95, 220, III Romani Latina, Disciplinary cf. commentary, pontif. CCXV, no. 3.

Decrees

Louis, 1937), 14 Innocenti Minge,

bishop 15 Laurent,

Patrolog?a of Toulouse).

pp. sive liber regestorum litterarum, col. 682 of Rabestens, (to Raymond

Monumenta,

BY WILLIAM

A.

HINNEBUSCH

441

houses

its first members, accepted no immovable property apart from the it put to immediate use.16 The charter of Bishop Fulk, approv ing the order in June, recognized the poverty of the friars and granted an alms from diocesan of tithes reserved for the poor.17 In October

the same year, Dominic regime of Prouille separated the economic from the rest of the order by getting papal confirmation of the proper ties held by the brothers and sisters there.18 Then followed the deci sion of the formative chapter in 1216, the assembly presided over by as the basis of the that chose the Rule of St. Augustine St. Dominic life and formulated In addi the Book of Customs. order's religious of religious, tion to the traditional the chapter individual poverty decided not to hold landed possessions but still to retain rents.19 This decision reflected the actual state of affairs. All landed possessions or cultivation to Prouille. administration The demanding belonged confirmation 1216, granted to the order in December, and its possessions) Prouille listed only rents and churches: ecclesiastical St. Romanus, St. Prouille, properties?four of of and Loubens the of Arnold ; Lescure, Holy Trinity Mary hospice Bernard ;and (housing a sisterhood of penitents founded by Dominic) bull of papal (apart from two sources Dominican churches,
i? " Ibid., Ibid.,

of rent, Casseneuil

and the diocesan

tithes

in Toulouse.20

corporate priories, and


61. 60.

never excluded poverty on which the properties

these

the ownership of stood.21 This

no. no.

18 are confirmed no. 62. The to the brothers at and nuns Ibid., possessions Prouille. Cf. Vicaire, Hist., II, 67. 19 no. 42. Altaner main pp. 409-12) Libellus, Jordan, ("Der Armutsgedanke," not to hold possessions tains that the proposal did not become effective until our account the action of the first general shows 1220, through chapter. However, that apart from Prouille no. de and its possessions the order actually held no properties

after
20 bation,

1216.
74. ?Cf. Vicaire, Hist., l'ordre des Pr?cheurs," II, 66-67, Revue and "Fondation, appro d'histoire eccl?siastique,

Laurent, Mon., confirmation

XLVII

(1952), 589-91. In 1217 Prouille and the friars in Toulouse held the
hist, (Institutum to Failure pp. 232-33. of Dominican poverty Der latter a Armuts (pp. domo; 176 cf.

no. 80). in Limoux church of St. Martin (Laur., Mon., jointly 21 Cf. W. A. Hinnebusch, Friars Preachers English Early ff. Praed. this Altaner, errs, : Dissertationes ownership "Der pp. 10-15 into take by 77) 14. Rome, historicae, 1951), account the treatment vitiates pp. 407-10;

Armutsgedanke," ; Bennett, that cit., pp. Early Dominicans 233-36.

gedanke,

Dominicans, possessed

pp.

Lambermond, 35-51. The procul

holding op.

properties

Hinnebusch,

442

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

in the practice of poverty between fact explains apparent contradictions 1216 and 1220?the in Toulouse, and selling of properties buying to out the and elsewhere round Bologna, priory precincts and to clear in papal extended them of houses and tenants,22 and the protection to Dominican the bulls and by Simon de Montfort properties.23 Also, at Prouille must be considered since the foundation apart, strictly life of the nuns demanded endowments and fixed incomes. enclosed there to care for both the temporal and spiritual Friars remained welfare of the nuns. founded after 1216 obeyed the decisions of the formative At Paris the community of thirty or more friars enjoyed a chapter. rent but apparently eked out the rest of their subsistence from alms.24 At Mascarella, in Bologna, the first foundation the order weathered a to St. Nicholas days of extreme poverty;25 after the friars moved Priories lived without property or rents. There is no trace of large community or rents at Segovia.26 Dominic provisionally accepted possessions houses at Brihuega in Spain either for the rents or with the inten a foundation.27 In May, tion of making friars 1219, the Madrid they held this for the sisters, who accepted a rural estate. Probably were seeking to establish a monastry, and in the following year the over to friars turned them.28 priory and property Dominic threw the entire weight of his influence toward of absolute poverty. His personal life since 1206, and the of the order since 1216, urged him toward a poverty that experiences the good-will of the faithful, relied on divine Providence, offerings and the quest for alms. He knew from personal trial how effective an instrument of the apostolate poverty was. The stream of recruits Meanwhile, the adoption
22 Cf. Laurent, The Monumenta, churches of no. 71, 73 and Bologna, (Toulouse), 115, were held 116, 126, 150

(Bologna),
(Florence). ibid., no. Annales Analecta 23

106, 131 (Siena),

118 (Milan),
Fanjeaux 94. For

139 (Paris),
Limoux cf. also, I, AOP), app., IV

145 (Brescia),

151

134, 138, 152, 80, 89, ordinis Praedkatorum ordinis fratrum no. no.

Thomas pp.

by Prouille, M. Mamachi, ; (1221) 169 n.

(Rome, 1756), Praedkatorum (abbrev.

375-76

(1899-1900),

1 (1223), 170 n. 3 (1224).


Laurent, Jordan, Mon., Libellas, no. 55. 24 m 62, 86 (Prouille), 59. Laurent, Mon., ordinis 74, 82. no. 92. Gerardi 119-22. de

Ibid., 26 Cf. Vitae

fratrum (MOPH,

Praedkatorum 70-71. cf.

Fracheto,

ed.

B.

Reichert 27 Vicaire, 28 Laurent,

Hist., Mon.,

I. Rome, pp. 1896), II, 383-85 (document), no. 95.

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

443

who

joined the order in Paris and Bologna proved that it was to generous attractive souls who sought to follow Christ. Neverthe less, there appears to have been some reluctance on the part of the friars. In Paris, Prior Matthew of France had introduced various had

statutes29 and permissible with (required by diocesan as use the such and the of of horses money dispensation) carrying as we shall see, the community was when travelling.30 At Bologna, mitigations but prevented by Dominic from accepting landed property. Dominic educated his first sons, Gradually by example, then by words. The canonization witnesses were unanimous in describing his poverty. : three stressed his They points personal poverty, his constant urging that the brethren love and practice it, his desire that the order observe it through the entire range of its life. tempted, Since 1206 Dominic's personal poverty had been most austere and so after he founded the order. A it continued of his computation the times visitation of to 1218-1219 travelling during Spain and indicate France, and incidents that occurred during these journeys that he never deviated from his earlier practices. He always went on foot, spent the night in churches, and carried no money or provisions.31 Even when travelling he fasted every Friday and continuously from 14 to Easter. He begged his food from door to door and September was satisfied with what they gave him, rejoicing when he was poorly He for.32 wanted his to depend on the friars also provided bounty of divine Providence. When he dispersed them in 1217 he sent them on foot, without to their destinations expense money. He asked this of them even though the order's statutes on poverty were not yet framed and the charter of the Bishop of Toulouse, requiring poverty of life, did not prevail beyond the diocese.33 The founder extended these stringent ideas of poverty to the corpo rate life of his order. At Bologna the friars, riding on the wave of
29 1213, J. D. Mansi, Rouen, Sacrorum 1214, when Conciliorum canons nova to collectio, XXII, 828E, their members give XVI. (MOPH, 50. Mandonnet-Vicaire, II, 189 n. 75, 908 horses (Paris, and

commanding travelling). S. Dominici, Hist.,

money expense 3? Acta canonisationis p. 144, lines 16-17.

ed. A. Walz II, 149 n.

Rome,

Cf. Vicaire,

1935), Domini n.

que, II, 215 n. 25. 31 Vitae pp. 72, 74-75. Vicaire, fratrum, Hist, 124, p. 138 n. 17. 32 Acta canonisationis, pp. 125 no. 4, 161:21-162:3 colon indicates the line.) 33 Cf. Hist., II, 96-98. Vicaire,

cf.

pp.

131

(the

numeral

following

the

444

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

the gift of some landed property.34 The great popularity, accepted contract was all drawn up, but Dominic it as soon as he rescinded the heard of it. During of Faenza, the canonization process Rudolph Dominic's described the incident and procurator at Bologna, reported reaction. His report gives in substance what on these aspects of poverty. He said : all the witnesses repeat

He did not want them to have these or any other possessions but to live solely on alms, and sparingly, for if they had enough in the house to enable them to last the day, he did not wish them to accept anything or to send anyone out after alms. And he wanted them to have small buildings and cheap clothes. And even in church he did not want silks to be used, but the vestments were to be of coarse cloth. He also said that he did not wish the
friars or the ever to become involved of of reading, in temporal house business, was matters, except entrusted. or for He And in putting those up a building, to whom rest any to be friar in discussions administration intent upon temporal the brethren the knew

wanted if he

praying,

or preaching.

to be well
on him.35

fitted for preaching,

he wanted

no other duty to be imposed

The

after the other ascribed these insistence with which one witness leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader that sentiments to Dominic he practiced its the most abject poverty and continuously drummed lessons into the minds of his sons. He took every occasion to do so, e.g., once when Procurator put out a special dish for the Rudolph to him : "You are called him aside and whispered brethren, Dominic

ruining the brethren by giving them these delicacies."36 At Bologna they collected only enough for the day. As a result the house often ran short of bread, wine, or other food. Then Rudolph and report: "We have no bread or wine." would go to Dominic The answer was, "Go and pray, for the Lord will provide." So would Rudolph would go to church, and often Dominic join him. "And God did provide," he continues, "for they always had enough set the scant food they had on the to eat. And sometimes he would
34 A eta *&Acta 161:13, canonisationis, canon., pp. p. 150-51 150:12. no. 145:23, 156:24-157, pp. 177 seq. Jordan, not send friars for priory [Rome, b. (Miracula 311:16

Libellus, alms when Dominici. no. 3). a?/&?/.,

32; cf. p. 137:6, 144:18-20, also the other Toulouse 166:9, 183:5-10, witnesses, no. 108. Bl. Cecilia that Dominic also notes would there was sufficient inMiscellanea food for Pio the day in vol. the I ed. A. Walz 149:13.

Paschini,

1948],

p.

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

445
supply their was an eye

and the Lord would command, table, at Dominic's as procurator, need."37 Buonviso, who followed Rudolph to a similar marvel: witness
On a certain fast day the food in the refectory a ran out.

Then

Brother

Dominic
that there

signaled
was

that food should be set before the brethren.


there. Then with cheerful countenance,

I told him
Brother

none

Dominic
of men

raised his hands, and praised and blessed the Lord. At once a pair
came in carrying baskets, one of bread and the other of dried figs,

so that the brethren had plenty.38 in his life of the founder transferred this event of Orvieto Constantine to San Sisto Priory in Rome where the friars experienced like short two of bread. loaves In his version, tages. youths appeared, carrying a on either the loaf before with side, they placed youngest Starting him, ending with custom observed with St. Dominic.39 in Dominican This refectories is the origin of the 700-year of beginning the serving

of the community. the youngest members love of poverty. There is another incident that illustrates Dominic's At a time when he was away from Bologna, Rudolph began to raise returned and saw the ceilings of the cells about a foot. When Dominic and the brethren over what was happening he reproached Rudolph and over : "Do you want so quickly to give up poverty and to put up Work great palaces ?" stopped at once and the cells remained as they were as long as Dominic lived.40 This episode manifests his insight heart. The in the cells was an into the human slight improvement entering wedge ; if driven farther, it would destroy the poverty of the insistence also bore fruit at Paris during May, order. Dominic's 1220, when the friars surrendered their rents41 in anticipation of Dominic were of the work of the first general chapter. The example and exhortation Honorius
m a* Ibid.,

III. Several
p. 149:11-21.

papal

letters of December,

seconded 1219, use

by Pope language

Ibid., p. 141:3-11. 39 Constantine s. Dominic of Orvieto, i, ed. H. S. Scheeben Legenda (MOPH, no. 37. Bl. Cecilia no. 3) elaborates XVI. pp. 309-11 Rome, (Miracula, 1935), further. the account 40 Acta canon., p. 157:5-14. 41 no. date is established Monumenta, 11, 114. The Laurent, by Koudelka, friars held 113-14. The them for just a year, XXVIII cf. ibid., AFP, (1958), no. 92. F. Balme-P. 36 n. 2, 80 n. Acta Lelaidier, canon., p. Cartulaire 144:21. de Saint Dominique (Paris, 1897), III,

446

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

indicating that Dominic had decided upon, and the pope had approved, for his order. When absolute poverty compared with earlier letters more a and decisive language point to sterner realities. they speak exhorted the friars to preach in season Three years before, Honorius and out of season and to accept the burdens inherent in their ministry for their sins."42 There is no reference to poverty. A in "satisfaction month later he wrote to the universal hierarchy of the Church recom whose useful min "the friars of the Order of Preachers, mending we to God." He believe is and institute religious pleasing istry and bishops to aid them in their necessities, asked the archbishops to the title of poverty."43 But for "they have given their preference this was a poverty that had not yet dug to the roots. The friars still themselves the use of rents and fixed alms. permitted The new documents envisioned something more austere. The friars were to preach in absolute poverty. The most important of these let ters is the Cum Spiritus fervore issued on December 12, 1219. the himself "to and brothers of the Order of Addressing prior III noted that they had "cast off the burdens Preachers," Honorius of worldly riches" and had "resolved to undertake the office of preach ing for the salvation of others in the lowliness of voluntary poverty." He but he knew, too, its labor expected great fruit from this ministry, he them of encouragement To words and perils. and strengthen spoke and of in labor raised the privation mendicant to preaching poverty the level of the sacrament?is when he said ". . . the privations and in carrying out this kind of labors which you are about to undergo as a we of way upon you atoning for your sins."44 In this duty, enjoin brief letter

a poverty the pope recognized that had gone into the In the "have their 1217 friars to the 'title of given depths. preference " 1219 In have "cast off the of burdens they poverty.' worldly riches," ... and have undertaken "the office of preaching in the lowliness of is a difference. The new absolute poverty voluntary poverty." This was soon to be called technically "mendicant poverty." Vicaire, with Five days reason, styles this papal letter "the bull of mendicancy."45 before it was issued Honorius had already begun to speak of mendicant poverty
42 ?

in the first of new bulls of recommendation


Monumenta, 84. 102. 175-176. no. 77.

Laurent, Ibid., no. no.

44JW?, **Hist.,

II,

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

447
. . . aside unceasingly the burdens sow of

The their

prior grain,

and

the

friars of

of their

the Order preaching. cover now and,

of Preachers They more "weeping, cast

the word

earthly riches that they may hasten more


world, in the which lowliness the briars of vice of voluntary poverty

freely through the field of this


than ever. sow they They their go about seeds."46

to remove the temptations of letters carry a phrase designed cupidity from the path of the friars ; e.g., "if any shall preach in your diocese for the sake of gaining money, claiming to be members of the . . . you shall arrest and condemn Order of Preachers them as Other
impostors."47

Running parallel to these bulls was a series of letters of gratitude sent by Honorius to the Benedictines of Notre Dame des Champs to the people of Madrid in Paris, to the University, to and Segovia, of Bologna, the chief magistrate thanking them for the (the podesta) aid and protection them they had given to the friars. He requested to continue "to stretch out to them the right hand of benevolence," and "aid them in their necessities by your generous gifts and alms."48 Under a stricter regime of poverty the friars would need these good offices even more urgently in the future than in the past. in connec St. Dominic had founded a priory in Rome Meanwhile, tion with the monastery of San Sisto.49 The friars were to assume the temporal and spiritual care of the nuns whom he would shortly transfer there from several older, decadent Roman monasteries,50 but an apostolate in the city and its environs also lay open to them. The a regime of absolute poverty at the priory, and founder established the community relied so much on alms that any failure of generosity the among people saw the friars going hungry. We can imagine their consternation when a fall of masonry crushed one of the laborers who was
46 Hist, E.g., II, Laurent, 379 no. HI Mon., 14. (1897-98), no.

engaged
103 : types no. 68

in preparing
II and IV as

the monastery
classified cf. Laurent,

for*

by Vicaire, Mon., no.

4?AOP,

308

(Dec.

11,

1219),

129. Archiv

der deutschen Dominikaner,

II

(Cologne, 1939), 170 (Dec.


1220).

13,

no. 112. Vicaire, cf. Laur., Mon., Hist, II, 380 no. 15. 1219), 48 no. 107, 107b, 108, 109, 110 (from Feb. 27-Mar. Laurent, Mon., 24, 49 The at this time is suggested foundation by the fact that Dominic him: Frogier of Penna, three companions with of Piacenza, Buonviso liam of Montferrat Vicaire cannon., pp. 165:8, 139:124, (Acta 134:12). was made superior Frogier so Cf. Hist., Vicaire, II, at San 182-88, Sisto 278-97. (Hist., II, 188 n. 71 ).

brought and Wil believes

448

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

but they likewise saw at the workman, the nuns. The friars mourned once that the accident might work them great harm. People might take it as a bad omen, the more so since "the character of the Order was yet little known." Starvation was just around the corner for the friars. raised the man back to life But great was their relief when Dominic Melle, and health.51 Hunger again stalked the community when James of a Roman friar who was procurator, lay at death's door. He had and rites the the last stood about his bed to speed friars received just his departing soul. Here again their grief was not unalloyed. "They were not a little sad at the loss of a friar so necessary for them at that in they had no other brother who was so well known in the case of the workman, Dominic rescued them from their plight. He brought James back to health and restored him to his is explained by Constantine office.52 The mixed joy of the brethren

time, since Rome." As

of Orvieto, who heard the incident from James himself. The brethren, from door to he said, frequently went hungry in those days. Passing for alms, they found many priests door in the customary manner "Often they suffered a great and L?vites but few good Samaritans. want of necessities because the Order was not yet known among the
people."53

dreams regarding general chapter of 1220 brought Dominic's It pledged the order to absolute, mendicant to full realization. in a single, brief sentence : "Posses poverty. This was accomplished sions and rents are not to be accepted under any circumstances."54 The poverty This a step far beyond that taken by the formative chapter of the traditional poverty of the individual had established Customs called for poor clothing and beds, The Book of religious. common life. the and and Indeed, even then Dominic penitential diet, more than this. at aimed full the friars envisioned something They was not yet ripe for the final step. The corporate poverty but the time was 1216 which chapter contented itself with the decision "not to own possessions so

51 Constantine no. 36. Cf. Jordan, Libellas, no. 126. of Orvieto, Legenda, &2 Ibid., no. 39. 53 no. 37, cf. 38. Ibid., 54 Constituciones Distinctio ord. Praedkatorum, II, cap. 26, ed. primitivae des Predigerordens," Archiv "Die Constitutionem Heinrich f?r Littera Denifle, I (Berlin, canonisa des Mittelalters, tur und Kirchengeschichte 1885), 222. Acta dated this text of the Constitutions Denifle erroneously tionis, pp. 157:16,166:16. from 1216, the core of the second distinction dates first distinction to 1228. The from 1220.

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

449
the preaching only rents."55

for temporal things might not impede for time decided the ministry. They being to retain This was already a great advance over the poverty of orders that owned

that concern

"possessionate" farms, estates, and flocks. Also at that time, author ized by Bishop Fulk's charter approving the order, the friars prac ticed evangelical poverty when they preached. They went two by two, on foot, penniless, begging their bread. The chapter of 1220 capped the work of 1216. In the Institutions, which it joined to the Book of Customs, it laid down the rule for the order's preachers. Not only the bishop's charter but the law of the order now obliged them to imitate the life of the apostles. They were to travel in pairs when they went out to preach or for any other purpose. "They shall neither accept nor carry gold, silver, money and for food and clothing and necessary and gifts, except garments to go on foot, for it was a fault to go on books."56 They were
horseback.57

The chapter took the ultimate it gave up possessions step when as well as rents. It closed off all fixed income, all regular economic resources and placed the order in full reliance on divine Providence. Not only were fixed resources excluded, but the friars were forbidden to engage in any other occupations and beyond prayer, preaching, : are who "Let to all the or to office study assigned preaching study have no care or management of temporal affairs, so that they can carry out more freely and ably the spiritual ministry enjoined upon them."58 This threw the order completely on the mercy of their fellowmen. Charity became the sole prop of their economic existence and the quest for alms in kind became a necessity. Even here Domi nic's poverty was extreme. He wanted the friars "to live solely on for if and had alms, sparingly, they enough in the house to enable them to last the day, he did not want them to accept anything or to send
anyone out after alms."59

Once decisions. mendicant


55 Jordan, 56 Const, Ibid.,

the chapter was Paris, Bologna, poverty.


Libellus,

over, it remained only to implement its and San Sisto were to already pledged sur Dominicans suit, the Madrid Following
42.

no.

57 58

Ibid., 59 Acta

prim., D. II, cap. 31, ALKG, I, 223-24. Dist. I, cap. 22, ALKG, I, 208, cf. Vicaire, D. II, cap. 31, ALKG, I, 224. no. 32, cf. pp. p. 150:18-20, canonizationis,

Hist.,

II, 222

n. 69.

166:16.

156:26-157,

161:22-162*3

450
rendered

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

their real estate and their priory to the sisters.60 At Toulouse the order returned several churches to the diocese and made over its to Prouille.61 The tithe granted by Bishop Fulk rents from Cassenueil in 1215 became the subject of an agreement. When both men met in in April, Rome surrendered the tithe and Fulk gave 1221, Dominic of the church at Fanjeaux. A phrase in the agree the order possession ment the of that Dominic speaks prior of Fanjeaux, indicating intended to establish a priory there.62 When this did not materialize the order deeded enjoyed Franciscan its tithes the church since to Prouille in 1227,63 and Prouille had 1215.64

historians have maintained that Dominic learned his we from It be if Francis.65 St. would could poverty prove pleasing this reliance of one saint on another,66 but at most we can show with certainty only one meeting of the two founders, at the home of Cardinal At the end of the visit St. Dominic, to the Hugolino. according for his cord as a keepsake. Obtaining it account, begged St. Francis in spite of the reluctance of Francis, he girded himself with it under
60 Annalium (1893-94), ord. 513. Letter Praed. of continuatio, St. Dominic ed. H. to the D. Christianopuolo, Balme, Cartulaire, AOP, III, I 79.

nuns,

Hist, II, 122-24. Vicaire, ?i Cf. Hist, Vicaire, II, 232 nn. 100-101. 62 no. 134 : vel a priore a dicto magistro in dicta ecclesia Monumenta., Laurent, instituto. Cf. no. 138. 63 de N. D. de Prouille Cartidaire Jean Guiraud, (Paris, II, no. 332. 1907), 64 no. 54, 62. Monumenta, Laurent, 65 in a letter written after to be the O.F.M., ?ngelus Clarenus, 1318, seems und Kirchengesch. first to state this dependence f. Litt categorically (Archiv I,

559).

It is also held by Luke Wadding


1931), (Paris, 1219-1221) others. I, ad 1894), ann. pp. 1219 245-52; no. H. hist. 1-12;

(d. 1657), Annales Minorum


Paul Vie Sabatier, Der hl. Frans Fribourg i. S., ord. Mortier, de S. v. A. 1907), frat

(ed.

Quaracchi, d'Assise der 108; 66 Jahre and

Fischer, Studien,

Fran?ois w?hrend pp. 83

(Freiburger

J. Quetif-J. Echard, Dominicans, following Scriptores the dependence, e.g., Antoninus I, 77-81, denied 1719), (Paris, Pr?cheurs de l'ordre des Fr?res des Ma?tres (Paris, g?n?raux B. Altaner kanische On ("Die Studien, Beziehungen IX [1922], des hl. Dominikus zum hl. Franz

Praed. Histoire

1903), I, 71 seq. v. A.," Franzis

pages the than

median general

and "Der Armutsgedanke," pp. 404-406). 23-28, that Dominican had a different he maintains character poverty 416-17, and that Franciscan Franciscan the poverty ultimately approached Lambermond of the Dominicans. in pp. 18-21) (Armutsgedanke, poverty

s. Fran Altaner. Cf. Jean Guiraud, "S. Dominique a-t-il follows copi? et d'arch?ologie chr?tienne d'hist pp. 153 seq. (Paris, 1906), ?ois," Questions hl. Dominikus i. B., C. Scheeben Heribert pp. 115-16, (Der. [Freiburg 1927], on the Waldenses. sees a dependence of Dominic cf. 149) 124-25,

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

4SI

I could wish his habit, saying to Francis, "Brother Francis, that your Order and mine would become one and we live in the to in a similar way." After Francis had left, he remarked Church "In truth I say to you, other religious should imitate the bystanders, so great is the perfection of his sanctity."67 this holy man Francis, neath Franciscan scholars conclude from Since poverty that attracted Dominic. to unite the orders, they say, he adopted evangelical poverty bringing to the Franciscan. It is interesting to his order into closer conformity consid that during the interview Cardinal Hugolino note, however, to the Franciscans. of ered the Dominicans poverty equal exponents : "In the his remarks to Francis and Dominic lose meaning Otherwise early Church the pastors of the Church were poor and were men afire don't we make bishops and with charity instead of cupidity. Why in teaching and example from who he said, your brethren, prelates, are superior to others?" Also, the chronology of all three persons involved enables us to place the meeting only in 1221, a full year after Dominic
general

this conversation that it was he could not realize his wish

had completed
chapter.68

the order's

structure

of poverty

at the first

In addition Little Flowers Franciscan

to the meeting of St. Francis

chapter impressed him that he resolved to embrace evangelical poverty.69 This account gains some support from the words of a nameless, elderly canon. In 1261 he related to John Peter Olivi that he had once heard and this St. Dominic say he had been present at a chapter in Assisi

in the home of Cardinal Hugolino, The an account to a of Dominic's visit give at Portiuncula. The poverty of the Franciscans so

in his order.70 If we grant the his influenced him to stress poverty but confirm what is already admitted. these of accounts, they toricity no that influences doubt There is toward many impelled Dominic in Italy but apostolic poverty.71 He certainly knew the Franciscans
67 Thomas Quaracchi, Soc. (Brit. 6?Altaner, there is no 69 Trans. de Celano, 1927), Fran. pp. Stud., Vita 147-48, pp. secunda S. Francisci Assisiensis, cap. 109-12. II, 20 n. 41. However, Archivum Franciscannm pp. cap. 43, 150. Speculum 109, 110 (ed. ed. P. Sabatier

perfections, Hist.,

13, Manchester, 4-12, in dating this

"Beziehung," agreement R. Brown

1928), 28. Vicaire, episode

; cf. Bihl,

historkum, XVII

(1924), 300-302.

b. Francisci 1958), chap. 18, pp. 81-82. Actus (New York, et sociorum pp. 69-71. (Paris, 1902), ejus, cap. 20, ed. P. Sabatier 70 Archivum Fran, 155. hist, XX, 71 For on Dominic, a summary cf. Altaner, of the influences bearing op. cit., pp. 22-28.

452

POVERTY

IN THE

ORDER

OF PREACHERS

his program of poverty developed with conviction from increasing 1206 onward and was already mature before he came into Italy late in 1215. A few meetings with Francis72 were not enough to produce a basic program, the differences of especially when we consider temperament, We have methods, and even aims of the two founders. to already noted the factors that influenced Dominic embrace the ideal of preaching in evangelical poverty in 1206. When he came to apply poverty to a religious community, the Constitutions seem to have guided him. and practices of the Order of Grandmont Grandmont was strong in southern Its poverty forbade the enjoyment flocks. It made the quest for alms. to be forbade its clerical members France. It was an order of priests. of landed possessions, parishes, or

St. Stephen of Muret, its founder, with occupied anything but prayer was the and contemplation, if there quest prohibited already enough in the house to eat.73 These were the formulas used by Dominic in 1220, except that he applied them to a preaching order. He was even anxious to go a step further than the other members of the general to place the lay brothers he wished chapter. Imitating Grandmont, in complete charge of temporalities.74 Here the friars balked. The similar regulation in Grandmont had caused quarrels and even riots and the spiritual and civil authorities had to step in. Dominic's love so great that for once his practical for poverty was sense was
submerged.

The difference between Francis and Dominic was one of emphasis. In her Dialogue St. Catherine of Siena catches the spirit of each. At the same time her words about Dominic the work aptly summarize of the general chapter of 1220. It is God the Father who speaks to her :
the two between cf. reputed meetings saints, account Celano's The appears Only acceptable. of Frachet pp. 9-10) meeting fratrum, (Vitae appears to be legendary Bartholomew of Trent, O.P. op. cit., pp. (Altaner, 12-18). records the friendship of Francis and Dominic hl. Der (1245-51), (B. Altaner, Altaner, pp. 4-22. "Beziehung," mentioned by Gerard und Texte Dominikus, Untersuchungen [Breslau, 1922], p. 233 no. 13 n; Acta I [Paris, Sanctorum 557 no. 9). 1867], Augusti, 73 . . . ord. Muretensis S. Stephani Regula cap. Grandimontensis, iv, v, ix, De ecclesiae ed. E. III (Venice, ritibus, Mart?ne, antiquis xiii, pp. 309-11. 1783), to call attention is the first who Cf. Vicaire, to Grandmont. Hist., II, 219-21, t* Acta S. Stephani, canon., pp. 144:22-143:2. cap. 54-55, pp. 315-16, Regida to the Ride, cf. emendations the difficulties p. 322 no. I-II. For experienced by Grandmont, cf. Vicaire, Hist., II, 221. 72 There are six accounts of

BY WILLIAM

A. HINNEBUSCH

453

See with what perfection and love of poverty Francis ordered his ship and decked it with the pearls of virtue. He steered it in the way of lofty perfection being the first to give his Order true and holy poverty for spouse.
He had chosen her for himself, embracing her lowliness . . . Poverty . . .

belonged
foundation

especially
of his

to my

poor man
for this

Francis
poverty

who

placed

the principal
strict.

Order

in love

and made

it very

Now it most
be

look at the ship of thy father Dominic, my beloved son. He ordered that his sons should with the light of science perfectly, wishing
only to my honor and the salvation of souls. He made this

attentive

light the principal


account deprived of

foundation
true and

of his Order.
poverty.

But
He

he was
had

not on that
To show

voluntary

it also.

that he had it truly and the contrary displeased him, he left his curse and mine as an heirloom to his sons, if they should hold any possessions either
privately his or in common, as a sign that he had chosen Queen Poverty for spouse.75

full could rest content. The chapter of 1220, with St. Dominic into that he had all had of the law desired Church, passed approval in the way of poverty since he first began to preach in southern France, since he first began to think of founding an order. With St. Francis he stands discover as a great lover of Lady Poverty. He was the first to a working to an apostolic formula to apply strict poverty

order of priests. Dominican House of Studies

Washington
7* Dialogo pp. della 540-42. divina Provvidensa, cap. 158, ed. I. Taurisano (Florence,

1928),