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University of California. 


The Bancroft Library* 









$ Slietclr fff flit gaminta ®xtex. 




Pie Pater Dominice, 
Tuorem memor operum, 
Sta coram summo Judice, 
Pro tuo coetu pauperum. 





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 


St. Dominic's name is revered by many who never pe- 
rused his life, and it is likewise execrated by others who 
gain their notions of him from false biographies, (if they 
may be so called.) 

The fragrance of his sanctity fills the entire garden of 
the Church, and all within its holy precincts acknowledge 
his virtues, even without pausing to learn the peculiar 
causes of his distinction, while those without hear nothing 
but the foul reports of such as never saw him, never 
held any kind of communication with his associates, but 
who derived all their knowledge of St. Dominic from 
those who wrongly judged him. 

England was not the last in joining in this hasty ver- 
dict, elicited from incompetent testimony ; nor is she the 
last in re-opening the case, setting aside all unqualified 
evidence, — nay, in arraigning before the majesty of reason 
and of truth the faithful contemporary eye-witnesses of 
the Saint, and in giving to the world, as the result of most 
careful and impartial scrutiny, the true life of St. Dominic, 
of which this is a mere republication. 

This English portrait of St. Dominic is a gem, the pre- 
cious offering to the sanctuary of Catholic truth, by a 
distinguished pen, admired for its rare powers while used 
out of the Church, now consecrated in its undiminished 



force and elegance by Divine faith. The EnglV < author 
in pencilling so exquisitely the portrait of the Saiut, mo- 
destly forgot to state who depicted it ; but the merit of 
the life before us will be deeply appreciated by all its 
readers. The American non-Catholics earnestly searching 
after truth will see in St. Dominic the unflinching lover 
of truth, — the gentle yet powerful advocate of truth, and 
the undying martyr of charity to his fellow man. 

And if American Protestants should read St. Dominic's 
life, Catholics should especially be familiar with it. It is 
well said that the reading of the lives of the saints makes 
saints. Our Saviour pronounced dreadfnl woes against 
those by whom scandal comes ; and if scandal be a great 
evil, because it occasions the ruin of souls redeemed by 
Christ's most precious blood, no Christian can doubt the 
incalculable blessings that naturally flow from reading 
the heroic examples set forth in the lives of the saints. 
But St. Dominic's should be peculiarly dear to all our 
Catholics, on account of his important relations with the 
Catholic world : for he gave to the world the most useful 
devotion of the Rosary, of which the Sovereign Pontiffs 
have proclaimed him the founder. He obtained from 
heaven the extraordinary power of living after death in 
thousands and tens of thousands of devoted preachers of 
the Catholic truth, through whom he has carried the gos- 
pel of Christ to the uttermost bounds of the earth. — He 
has adorned the Catholic libraries with the unsurpassed 
wisdom of St. Thomas, and a host of others ; he has 
given to St. Peter's chair distinguished and saintly occu- 
pants ; he has studded the altars of the Church with 
most precious gems of virtue and sanctity, and has 
given to America her first Saint — the fragrant Rose of 


A few words of explanation may seem required as an 
apology for presenting the public with a new Biography of 
S. I>ominic. The beautiful life of the saint by Pere 
Lacordaire seemed to have furnished everything that could 
be desired, in clothing the legendary story of his great 
patriarch in modern dress. But although there can cer- 
tainly be no temptation to pretend to anything like a 
rivalry with that eloquent writer, there are some reasons 
which appear to make a fresh biography desirable for those 
among ourselves who wish to form a more familiar acquaint- 
ance with S. Dominic than is furnished in the brief notices 
given in English collections of the lives of the saints. It is 
true PereLacordaire's life has for some time been translated 
into our own language ; but the very beauty of its style is 
so essentially French, that no translation can preserve its 
peculiar charm, or render it as popular as it deserves to be. 
But it is French in something more than idiom; it was 
written with the avowed object of advancing the order in 
France, and a prominence is therefore given to the Gallican 
associations of the Order of Preachers, which, by readers 
of another nation, is felt to be undue. 

In the following pages, the course of .the saint's life has 
been followed with no view save that of giving his character 
in its true historical light; and for this end, the simple 
narrative of facts, without comment or explanation, has been 
felt to be sufficient. We are much mistaken if the best 
defence that can be offered of S. Dominic's character, so 
long the subject of the strangest misrepresentation, be not 
to be found in the unvarnished story of his life, drawn from 
the testimony of those who saw him face to face, and whose 
writings form the principal material from which the follow- 
ing pages have been compiled. « 


There are some subjects which our readers may be dis- 
appointed in finding so briefly touched upon in a life of S. 
Dominic. But we have felt that several of the disputed 
points, commonly discussed by his biographers, have little 
real interest to the student of his character. We have not, 
therefore, entered at length into the history of the 
Albigensian war, or of the foundation of the Inquisition, 
preferring to leave the doubts arising out of these subjects 
to be resolved by others, whose object is the critical 
examination of historical questions. Our only task has 
been to lay before our readers the personal portrait of one 
whose influence in the Church of Christ must endure so 
long as the religious and apostolic life shall be found 
within her bosom. 

The authorities from which we have drawn our sketch 
have been chiefly Mamachi's Annals, with the ancient 
chronicles and memoirs reprinted in that work, including the 
Acts of Bologna, the memoir of Sister Cecilia, and that of 
blessed Humbert; Polidori's life, which follows the facts, 
and in many places the text, of blessed Jordan ; Ferdinand 
Castiglio's history of the order, and the life of S. Dominic 
by Touron; whilst in the account of the early fathers of the 
order, great use has been made of F. Michel Pio's work 
entitled "Progenie dell' Ordine in Italia" (which collects 
all the particulars given by Gerard de Frachet and the old 
writers), and of the biographical sketches of F. Marchese in 
his "•Diario Domenicano." 

The summary of the history of the Friars Preachers 
subsequent to the death of S. Dominic, has been chiefly 
taken from Touron's great work on "the Illustrious Men of 
the Order." In selecting a few out of the many names that 
called for notice, we have necessarily omitted a number that 
will readily suggest themselves to our readers ; but our 
object has been to avoid - wearying them with a mere 
enumeration of authors and learned works, and, without 
attempting such ^i complete sketch as our limited space 
rendered impossible, to suggest something of the general 
features of the order, as illustrated by the lives of its 
greatest men. 



The birth of Dominic. His youth and university life, 1. 


Dominic is appointed canon of Osma. His mission to the north in 
company with Diego of Azevedo, 6. 


Pilgrimage to Rome. First labours among the Albigenses, 9. 




>minic in Languedoc. The miracles of Fanjeaux and Montreal. 
The foundation of the Convent of Prouille, 14 


Diego returns to Spain. His death. Dominic remains in Langue- 
doc. The murder of Peter de Castelnau, and the commencement 
of the Albigensian war, 20. • 


Proclamation of the Crusade. Simon de Montfort. Dominio 
among the heretics. His apostolic labours, 27. 


The institution of the Rosary. The Council of Lavaur. The battle 
ofMuret, 41. 



Dominic commences the foundation of his order at Toulouse. The 
grant of Fulk of Toulouse. Dominic's second visit to Home. 
The Council of Lateran. Innocent III. approves the plan of 
the Order. Meeting of Dominic and Francis, 52. 


Dominic's return to France. The brethren assemble at Prouille to 
choose a rule. The spirit of the Order. Some account of the 
first followers of Dominic. Tne convent of S. Romain, 62. 


Dominicls third visit to Koine. Confirmation of the Order by 
HUlionus 111. Dominic's vision in St. Peter's. He is appointed 
master of the Sacred Palace. Ugolino of Ostia, 72. 


Dominic returns to Toulouse. He disperses the community of 
S. Eomain. His address to the people of Languedoc. Future 
affairs of the totter in that country, 77. ' 


Dominic's fourth vist to Konie. His mode of travelling, 86. 


The convent of S. Sixtus. Rapid increase of the Order. Miracles 
and popularity of S. Dominic. The visit of the angels, 92. 


The monatstery of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Dominic is ap- 
pointed to reform and inclose the community. His sucoess. 
Their settlement at S. Sixtus. The restoration to life of the 
Lord Napoleon. Sister Cecilia, 102. 



Affairs of the Order in France. First settlement of the brethren 
at the convent of S. James at Paris. Foundation at R i f >1ft g'"' a - 
Character of the religious houses of the Ul'fler. Settlement of 
the Friars in Spain and Portugal. Brothers Tancrod and Henry 
of Eome, 108. 


Dominic at Santa Sahina. The vocation of S. Hyacinth. Regi- 
nald of Orleans. The Blessed Virgin bestows on him the habit 
of the Order, 118. 


Dominic's life at Eome. The rule of the Order. Description of 
his person and appearance. His prayer, and manner of hfe, 125. 


Attacks of the Devil. Legends of S. Sabina and S. Sixtus, 133. 


Dominic leaves Rome. He visits Bologna on his way to Spain. 
Incidents of his journey. He preaches at Segovia. Foundations 
there, and at Madrid. His continual prayer, 142. 


Return to S. Romain. He proceeds to Paris. Jordan of Saxony. 
Interview with Alexander, King of Scotland. Return to Italv, 


The Convent of Bologna. Effects of Reginald's preaching and 
government. Fervour of the Community of S. Nicholas. 
Conversion of Fathers Roland and Moneta. Dispersion of 
the brethren through the cities of Northern Italy. Reginald's 
novices. Robaldo. Bonviso of Placentia. Stephen of Spain. 
Rodolph of Faenza. Reginald is sent to Paris. Jordan joins 
the Order. Reginald's success- and death, 158. 




£*""ljominic journeys through Italy, and returns to Eome for the fifth 
~~^iffie:--lrfCTe"ffSB"T>f ^the Order. Characters of the first fathers. 
Interview with S. Francis. Favours of the Holy See, 173. 

**<First gen 


Tirst general Chapter at Bologna^ Law of poverty. The Order 
spreads through Europe. Dominic's illness at Milan. Yisit to 
Siena. Tancred. Apostolic journeys through Italy. Return to 
Bologna, and conversion of Master Conrad. John of Yicenza. 
Anecdotes, 178. 


Heretics of northern Italy. Foundation of the third Order. Last 
visit to Home. Meeting with Fulk of Toulouse. Second general 
chapter. Division of the Order into provinces. Blessed Paul 
of Hungary. S. Peter Martyr, 190. 


The Order in England. Arrival at Oxford of Gilbert de Fresnoy. 
Celebrated Englishmen of the Order. "Walter Malclerk, Bacon, 
and Fishacre. The Order and the Universities. The German 
province, 199. 


Dominic's last missionary journey. His return to Bologna, and 
illness. His death. Kevelations of his glory. His canoniza- 
tion, and the translation of his relics, 207. 


Dominic's writings. His supposed defence of the Immaculate 
Conception. His portraits By Fra Angelico, and in the verses 
of Dante. Observations on the Order, 218. 





Progress of the Order after the death of S. Dominio. Missions. ^ 
Rjise ofjhe. JDpminican school of theology. Albert the Gr3at ^^ 
and S. Thomas. The Universities. Influence of the Order on 
langnag e, poetry , and society. S. Raymund Ponnafort. In- 
ffiience on other religions bodies, 225 


The 14th century. Pestilence of 1348. The great schism. S. 
Catherine of Siena. Reform of the Order. S. Vincent Ferrer. 
Greatness of the Order during this period. Its foreign missions. 
Its prelates. S. Antoninus. Council of Basle. Zeal of the 
Order in defence of the Holy See. Council of Florence. John 
Torquemada, 261. 


Santa Maria Novella. Passavanti. Connection of art with reli- 
gious reform. B. John Dominic. Foundation of the convent _-V- 
of Fiesole. Fra Angelico. Savonarola ; his idea of Christian \ 

art and literature : his fall. Fra Bartolomeo. Bartholomew 
of the Martyrs at the court of Pius IT. Later artists of the 
Order, 279. 


Close of the 15th century. Discovery of America. First Dominican 
missions in the new world. Bartholomew de Las Casas. Jerome 
Loaysa. S. Louis Bertrand. The Philippine Islands, 317. 


The 16th century. Revival of biblical learning. Zenobius 
Acciajoli. Giustiniani. Sanctes Pagninus. Sixtes of Siena. 
Cajetan. Scenes of the Reformation. Persecutions in Ireland. 
Irish martyrs. Dominican Popes. The Council of Trent, 334 



Declension of religion in the 17th century. Distinguished 
reformers of the Order. Sebastian Michaelis. Anthony le 
Quieu. John B. Carre. Cardinal Howard. Massoulie. Fatalis 
Alexander. Distinguished religious women. Juliana Morelle. 
Vittoria Dolara, 353. 


Pontificate of Benedict XIII. Missions and martyrs of Chiua. 
Dominican saints. Conclusion, 364. 


— coo — 


The birth of Dominic. His youth and university life. 

It was in the year 1170, during the pontificate of 
Alexander III., that Dominic Gusman, the founder of the 
order of Friars Preachers, was born at his father's castle 
of Calargo, in Old Castile. The history of a genealogy, 
however illustrious, seems scarcely to find its place in the 
biography of a saint ; though indeed few families can boast 
of one more honourable than that of the Castilian Gusmans. 
But if their long line of chivalrous ancestors, and the royal 
privileges granted to them by the kings of Spain, have no 
claim to be noticed here, the immediate ancestors of S. 
Dominic possesed at least one distinction which had a more 
powerful influence on his life. They were a family of 
saints. The household of his father, Don Felix Gusman, 
was so remarkable for the religious character of its inmates, 
that it was said to resemble rather a monastery than a 
knightly castle. His mother, Joanna of Aza, after being 
constantly held in popular veneration, has, almost within 
our own time, received the solemn beatification of the 
Church. The same testimony has been borne to the hetric 
sanctity of Manez, her second son ; and though Antonio, 
the eldest of the three brothers, has not indeed received 
similar honours, yet was he no unworthy member of his 
'illustrious family. We read of him that he became a 
secular priest, in which position he might have aspired to 
the highest ecclesiastical distinctions ; but, enamoured of 
holy poverty, he distributed his patrimony to the poor, and 


retired to an hospital where he spent the remainder of hia 
days in humble ministering to the sick. 

The future greatness of her youger son was announced 
to Johanna even before his birth. The mysterious vision 
of a dog, bearing in his mouth a lighted torch which set 
fire to the world, appeared to indicate the power of that 
doctrine which should kindle and illuminate men's hearts 
through the ministry of his words. The noble lady who 
held him at the font saw, as the water was poured on his 
head, a brilliant star shining on the infant's forehead : 
and this circumstance, which is mentioned in the earliest 
life which we have of the saint (that of Blessed ^Jordan), 
bears a singular connection with the beautiful description 
of his appearance in after-life, left by his spiritual daugh- 
ter, the Blessed Cecilia ; in which she says, among other 
things, that "from his forehead, and between his brows, 
there shone forth a kind of radiant light, which filled 
men with respect and love." Nor were the expectations 
which were excited by these prodigies in any way dimi- 
nished by the promises of his childhood. His early years 
were passed in a holy household, and his first impressions 
were received from the all-powerful influence of a saintly 
mother. Amid the associations of a Christian family, his 
mind was moulded into a religious shape even from his 
cradle ; and the effect of this training is to be traced in 
the character of his maturer sanctity. From first to last 
we admire the same profound and unruffled tranquillity 
of soul. So far as his interior life is revealed to us, he 
seems to have kndwn nothing of those storms and agita- 
tions through which the human mind so often works its 
wa} r to God; nothing seems to have interrupted the up- 
ward growth of his soul ; and even the tales of his combats 
with the powers of evil give us more the idea of triumphs 
achieved, than of temptations suffered and overcome. 

When seven years old, he was committed to the charge 
of his uncle, the arch-priest of Gumiel di Izan, a town 
not far from Calaroga. Here he grew up in the service *" 
of the altar, finding his pleasure in frequenting the 
churches, and learning to recite the divine oflice, in sing- 
ing hymns, and serving at mass, and other public cere- 


monies ; and in all those numberless little devout offices 
which make the life of so many Catholic boys much like 
that of the child Samuel in the Temple. To Dominic 
they were all labours of love ; and his biographers dwell 
on the devotion kindled in the hearts of those who saw 
the grave and reverent manner with which he bore him- 
self in the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament, or 
busied himself in the cleaning and adorning of the altar. 
At fourteen he was sent to the university of Palencia, 
then one of the most celebrated in Spain. He was but 
young to be suddenly removed from so retired and 
sheltered a home into intercourse with a world, of which 
as yet he knew nothing. With how many would such a 
change have brought only the rapid loss of all which had 
hitherto rendered his life so innocent and happy. But 
to Dominic it did but give room for larger growth in 
holiness. During the ten years of his residence at 
Palencia, he was equally distinguished for his application 
to study, and for the angelic purity of his life. Worldly 
pleasures afforded no seductions to. one who from his very 
birth had received an attraction to the things of God. 
Even human science failed to satisfy his desires, and he 
hastened to apply himself to the study of theology, as to 
the only fountain whose limpid waters were capable of 
quenching the thirst of his soul after the highest truth. 
He spent four years in the most profound application to 
philosophy and sacred letters ; often spending his nights 
as well as his days over his books ; and, convinced that 
Divine Science can only be acquired by a mind that has 
learnt to subjugate the flesh, he practised a rigid austerity, 
and for ten years never broke the rule he imposed on him- 
self at the commencement of his studies, to abstain entirely 
from wine. 

The influence of a holy life is never unfelt by those 
who would be the last to imitate its example. Dominic's 
companions bore witness, by their respect, to the subli- 
mity of a virtue far above the standard of their own lives. 
Boy as he was, none ever spoke with him without going 
away the better for his words, and feeling the charm 
of that Divine grace which shone even in his exterior 
B 2 


gestures. " It was a thing most marvellous and lovely U 
behold," says Theodoric of Apoldia ; " this man, a boy in 
years, but a sage in wisdom ; superior to the pleasures of 
his age, he thirsted only after justice; and not to lose 
time, he preferred the bosom of his mother the Church, 
to the aimless and objectless life of the foolish world 
around him. The sacred repose of her tabernacle was 
his resting-place; all his time was equally divided be- 
tween prayer and study ; and God rewarded the fervent 
love with which he kept His commandments, by bestowing 
on him such a spirit of wisdom and understanding, as made 
it easy for him to resolve the most deep and difficult ques- 

Before we quit his University life, two circumstances 
must be recorded, which happened during its course, and 
illustrate the peculiar gentleness and tenderness of his 
character. Such terms may seem strange to a Pro- 
testant reader, for there is, as it were, a traditional 
portrait of S. Dominic, handed down from one age to 
another by means of epithets, which writers are content 
to repeat, and readers to receive, without a thought of 
inquiry as to their justice. We can scarcely open a book 
which professes to give the history of the thirteenth 
century and its religious features, without finding some- 
thing about " the cruel and blood-thirsty Dominic," or the 
" gloomy founder of the Inquisition;" and under this 
popular idea the imagination depicts him as a dark- 
browed, mysterious zealot, without a touch of human 
tenderness, remorselessly handing over to the flames the 
victims of his morose fanaticism. The author of the well- 
known " Handbook," from which so many English travel- 
lers gather their little stock of knowledge on Italian 
matters, finds something of an almost providential signi- 
ficancy in the fact that the tree planted by the father of 
the Friars Preachers in his convent-garden at Bologna, 
should be the " dark and melancholy cypress." And all 
the while the true tradition of his character is one pre- 
eminently of joy and gentleness. With his fair auburn 
hair and beaming smile, he does not present in his exterior 
a more perfect contrast to the received notion of the 


Spanish Iiquisitor, than may he found in the tales of 
tender-hearted compassion, which are almost all we know of 
him during the first twenty years of his life. We find 
him, in the midst of the famine which then desolated 
Spain, so sensibly touched with the sufferings of the 
people, that not only did he give all he had, in alms, 
selling his very clothes to feed the poor, — but he set a 
yet nobler example of charity to his fellow-students by a t 
sacrifice which may well be believed to have been a hard 
one. His dear and precious books were all that remained 
to give; and even those he parted with, that their price 
might be distributed to the starving multitudes. To 
estimate the cost of such an act, we must remember the 
rarity and costliness of manuscripts in those days, many 
having probably been laboriously copied out by his own 
hands. Yet when one of his companions expressed astonish- 
ment that he should deprive himself of the means of 
pursuing his studies, he replied, in words preserved by 
Theodoric of Apoldia, and treasured by after-writers as 
the first which have come down to posterity, "Would 
you have me study off those dead parchments, when there 
were men dying of hunger?" This example roused the 
charity of the professors and students of the university, 
and an effort was soon made which relieved the sufferers 
from their most urgent wants. On another occasion, 
finding a poor woman in great distress on account of the 
captivity of her only son, who had been taken by the 
Moors, Dominic, having no money to offer for his ransom, 
desired her to take him and sell him, and release her son 
with his price : and though this was not permitted to be 
done, yet the fact exhibits him to us under a character 
which is strangely opposed to the vulgar tradition of his 
severity and gloom. 

It is said by some authors, that his early desires led 
him to form plans for the foundation of an order for the 
Itedemption of Captives, similar to that afterwards es- 
tablished by S. John of Matha; but of this we find no 
authoritative mention in the writers of his own order ; and 
it is probable that the idea arose from the^faof to which 
allusion has just been made. 


Dominic is appointed canon of Osma< His mission to the north in 
company with Diego of Azevedo . 

[It was not until his 25th year that Dominic was called 
to the ecclesiastical state./ Until that time the designs of 
God regarding him had not been clearly manifested; but 
some important changes which took place in the diocese 
of Osma were the means of bringing him into a position 
where the latent powers of his soul were displayed before 
the eyes of the world. Martin de Bazan at that time 
ruled the Church of Osma; a man of eminent holiness, 
and most zealous for the restoration of Church discipline. 
Following the plan then generally adopted in most of the 
countries of Europe, he had engaged in the difficult but 
important task of converting the canons of his cathedral 
into canons regular, an arrangement by which they 
became subject to stricter ecclesiastical discipline and 
community-life. In this labour he had been greatly 
assisted by a man whose name will ever have a peculiar 
interest to all the children of S. Dominic, — Don Diego 
de Azevedo, the first prior of the new community, and 
afterwards successor to Martin in the episcopal see. The 
name of Dominic, and the reputation of his singular 
holiness no less than of his learning, had already reached 
the ears of both; and they determined, if possible, to 
secure him as a member of the chapter, not doubting 
but the influence of his example and doctrine would 
greatly assist their designs of reform. In his 25th year, 
therefore, he received the habit of the Canons Regular, and 
the influence of his character was so soon felt and appre- 
ciated by* his brethren, that he was shortly afterwards 
chosen suteprior, in spite of nis being the youngest of the 
whole body of canons. 


Nine years- were thus spent at Osma, during which 
time God was doubtless gradually training and preparing 
his soul for the great work of his future life.\ Jordan of 
Saxony has left us a beautiful sketch of his manner of life 
at this period. "Now it was," he says, "that he began 
to appear among his brethren like a bright burning 
torch, the first in holiness, the last in humility, spreading 
about him an odour of life which gave life, and a perfume 
like the sweetness of summer days. Day and night he 
was in the church, praying as it were without ceasing. 
God gave him the grace to weep for sinners and for the 
afflicted; he bore their sorrows in an inner sanctuary of 
holy compassion, and so this loving compassion which 
pressed on his heart flowed out and escaped in tears. It 
was his custom to spend the night in prayer, and to speak 
to God with his door shut But often there might be 
heard the voice of his groans and sighs, which burst from 
him against his will. His one constant petition to God 
was for the gift of a true charity ; for he was persuaded 
that he could not be truly a member of Christ unless he 
consecrated himself wholly to the work of gaining souls, 
following the example of Him who sacrificed himself 
without reserve for our redemption." 

It is interesting, among the very scanty details left us 
of Dominic's early years, to find two books mentioned, 
the study of which seems to have had an extraordinary 
influence in forming and directing his mind. The one 
was, the "Dialogues of Cassian ;" and the other, the 
"Epistles of St. Paul." In after-years he always carried 
a copy of the Epistles about his person, and he seems to 
have shaped his whole idea of an apostolic life after the 
model of this great master. In 1201, Don Diego de 
Azevedo succeeded to the bishopric of Osma, and two 
years afterwards was appointed by Alfonso VIII. , the 
king of Castile, to negotiate a marriage between his 
eldest son and a princess of Denmark. He accordingly 
set out for the north, taking Dominic as his companion ; 
and it was on the occasion of this journey that, as they 
passed through the south of France, the frightful cha- 
racter and extent of the Albigensian heresy, which then 



infected the -whole of the southern provinces, first came 
under their notice. Though they were not then able to 
commence the apostolic labours for which they saw there 
was so urgent a demand, yet an impression was left on 
the hearts of both which was never effaced ; and Dominic 
felt that his life, which had hitherto seemed without any 
determinate call or destiny, had been, as it were, reserved 
for a work which he now saw clear before him. Probably 
this feeling was strengthened by a circumstance which 
occurred at Toulouse, where they stopped for a night on 
their journey. The house where they lodged was kept by 
a man who belonged to the sect of the Albigenses, and 
when Dominic became aware of the fact, he resolved to 
attempt at least to gain this one soul back to the faith. 
The time was short, but the dispute was prolonged 
during the whole night ; and in the morning the 
eloquence and fervour of his unknown guest had con- 
quered the obduracy of the heretic; before they left the 
house he made his submission, and was received back 
into the bosom of the Church. The effect of this first 
conquest on Dominic's mind was a feeling of unspeakable 
gratitude, and a determination, so soon as he should be 
free to act, to found an order ft)*, the express purpose 
of preaching the faith. Castiglio, m his history of the 
order, tells us that the embassy on which Diego and 
Dominic were employed was not to Denmark, but to 
the court of France, and that it was on this occasion 
that, finding Queen Blanche in much affliction on account 
of her being without children, Dominic recommended to 
her the use of the Rosary. The Queen, he adds, not 
only adopted the devotion herself, but propagated it 
among her people, and distributed Rosaries amongst 
them, engaging them to join their prayers to hers, 
that her desire might be granted; and the son whom 
God gave in answer to those prayers was no other than 
the great S. Louis. This is the first direct mention of 
the devotion of the Rosary which we find in S. Dominic's 
life ; it is probable, from the date of S. Louis' birth, 
which is generally given in 1215, that the cireumstar >es 
referred to, if they ever really took place, occurred at 


some later visit to the French court. But though there 
is evidently some confusion in the time, we do not like 
altogether to abandon the story as without foundation; 
for there is always a peculiar charm in the little links 
which unite the lives of two great saints together, and 
those who claim any interest in the order of S. Dominic 
may feel a pleasure in thinking of S. Louis as a child of 
the Kosary. 


Pilgrimage to Rome. First labours among the,Albigenses 

The death of the princess, whose marriage they were 
negotiating, whilst engaged in a second embassy at 
her father's court, having relieved Diego and Dominic 
from their charge in this affair, they determined to take 
the occasion of their absence from the diocese, to visit 
Rome on pilgrimage before returning to Spain. Many 
motives concurred in inducing them to undertake this 
journey; but with Diego the most powerful one was the 
desire to obtain permission from Pope Innocent III. to 
resign his bishopric, and undertake the labours of an 
apostolic missionary life among the Cuman Tartars, who 
were then ravaging the fold of Christ in Hungary and 
the surrounding countries. It would seem as if the 
impressions made on the minds of these two great men 
by what they had witnessed of the sufferings of the 
Church in their journey through Europe, had been of 
that kind which is never effaced, and which, whenever 
it touches the soul, is to it the commencement of a new 
life. In them it had kindled the desire to devote them- 
selves to a far wider field of labour than the limits of one 
diocese: they had both received the heroic call of the 
apostolate. The state of the Church at that time was 
one which might well make such an appeal to hearts 
ready to receive it. "Without were fightings, within 


were fears." Whilst hordes of savage and heathen ene- 
mies were pressing hard on the outworks of Christendom, 
and watering the ground with the blood of unnumbered 
martyrs, heresy, as we have seen, was at work within 
the fold; and during this memorable year, Diego and 
Dominic had in some degree been eye-witnesses of both 
these evils. We know in what manner they had been 
thrown among the Albigenses of France, and it is at 
least probable, that in the course of their Danish journey 
they had become in some way more vividly aware of the 
dangers 4f which the northern nations were exposed. 
Pope Innocent, however, knew the value of Diego too 
well to grant him the permission he sought, and exhorted 
him not to abandon that charge which God had given 
him in his Church, but to reassume the care of his 
diocese; and after a short residence in Rome, the two 
friends accordingly prepared to return to Spain, it being 
then the March of the year 1205. 

They had come to Rome as pilgrims, and it was in the 
same spirit that, on their journey home, they turned from 
the direct road in order to visit the celebrated abbey of 
Citeaux, which the fame of S. Bernard had made illus- 
trious throughout Europe. The charm of its religious 
character and associations captivated the heart of Diego ; 
doubtless the failure of his deeply-cherished plan had 
been no little pain to him, and his return to Osma was 
a hard obedience. He was suffering under that strange 
thirst to strip himself of the world, which sometimes 
attacks the soul at the very time when it bows to the 
law that forces it back to the world's duty. Very wil- 
lingly would he have remained at Citeaux, and commenced 
his noviciate in that school of holy living; but as this 
could not be, he contented himself with taking the habit 
of the order, and soliciting that he might carry some of 
tht religious back with him to Spain, to learn from them 
their rule and manner of life. It is interesting to us to 
know that he was probably moved to this by the example 
of our own S. Thomas of Canterbury, who. several years 
before, had received the religious habit at the same monas- 
tery, whilst in exile from his diocese, and whose popu- 


larity as a saint was just at that time at its greatest 
height. After this he no longer delayed his homeward 
journey; but, accompanied by Dominic and some of the 
Cistercian brethren, he set out for Spain, and soon arrived 
in the neighbourhood of Montpellier. 

And here, if we may so speak, the will of God awaited 
them. Those inward, stirrings which both had felt, yet 
had not fully comprehended, had truly been the whisper- 
ings of the Divine voice ; and dimly feeling in the dark, 
in obedience to the hand that was beckoning them on, 
the dream of a martyr's crown among the Cumans, or a 
monk's cowl at Citeaux, had, as it were, been two false 
guesses as to what that whisper meant. This feature in 
what we may call the vocation of S. Dominic is worthy of 
notice, because whilst we are often inclined to regret that 
more details of his personal life have not been preserved, 
there is a peculiarity in this early portion of it, not with- 
out its interest. His call was not sudden, or miraculous, 
or even extraordinary ; it was that which is the likeliest 
to come to men like ourselves; particular impressions of 
mind were given just at the time when circumstances 
combined together gradually to develop the way in which 
those impressions could be carried out. He was always 
being led forward, not knowing whither he went. As 
sub-prior of Osma he probably saw nothing before him 
but the ordinary community-life of the cathedral chapter. 
Then came the journey to Denmark, on a mission whose 
ostensible subject was a failure, but whose real end in the 
designs of God was accomplished when it brought him 
into the presence of the heresy which it was his destiny 
to destroy. Yet though we have reason to believe that, 
from the time of his first collision with the Albigenses, a 
very clear and distinct idea was formed in his mind of 
some future apostolate of preaching, it is evident that 
lie had no equally clear and determinate view in what 
direction he was to work ; and it hung on circumstances 
alone, and on the will of another, to decide whether or no 
he were to end his days as a nameless missioner among 
the Tartars. He was on the road back to his old home, 
preparing to take up again the old duties and the old life, 


which had been interrupted by two years, rich with new 
thoughts and hopes now, as it seemed, to be for ever 
abandoned ; and then, when he had made what was pro- 
bably a painful sacrifice of great desires, those mysterious 
orderings of Providence, which we call chance and coinci- 
dence, had prepared for him, under the walls of Mont- 
pellier, a combination of events which was to make all 

The alarming progress and character of the Albigen- 
sian heresy had at length determined the Roman Pontiff 
on active measures for its suppression. A commission 
had been appointed for that purpose, the most distin- 
guished members of which were Arnold, abbot of Citeaux, 
and Rodolph and Peter de Castelnau, the Papal legates. 
These were, all three, Cistercian monks, and with them 
were associated several other abbots of the same order. 
They found their task a difficult one, for the country was 
entirely in the power of Count Raymond of Toulouse, 
the avowed protector of the Albigenses; and unhappily 
the bishops and clergy, by their coldness and indifference, 
too often even by yet more culpable irregularities, were 
themselves the chief causes of the spread of the evil. 
Innocent III., in a letter to his legates, speaks in bitter 
and yet in touching terms of this degeneracy of those 
who should have been foremost in the ranks. "The 
pastor," he says, "has become a hireling; he no longer 
feeds the flock, but himself; wolves enter the fold, and he 
is not there to oppose himself as a wall against the ene- 
mies of God's house." This scandal was of course the 
great weapon used by the heretics, in all their conferences 
with the legates. It was a short and triumphant argu- 
ment to quote the words of the Gospel, " By their fruits 
shall ye know them;" and then to point at the careless 
and worldly character of the priesthood. Baffled and 
confounded in all their efforts, the Catholic leaders had 
met to consult together in the neighbourhood of Mont- 
pellier ; and it was whilst discussing the gloomy prospects 
of their commission that they heard of the arrival of the 
two travellers. Their reputation, and the interest they 
had shown in the state of the distracted province on the 


occasion of their former visit, were well known, and the 
legates sent them an invitation to assist at the conference. 
It was accepted, and the disappointments and perplexities 
of the whole case were laid before them. 

The chief difficulty in their way was the impossibility 
of convincing the heretics that the truth of the Christian 
faith depended, not on the good or bad example of indi- 
viduals, but on the sure and infallible word of God made 
known to them through the Church. Diego inquired 
very particularly concerning the mode of life adopted by 
the legates and their opponents, and gave it as his 
opinion that the great obstacle which had hindered the 
work of souls, had been the neglect of Evangelical poverty 
among the Catholic missioners. For " he remarked," 
says Blessed Jordan, " that the heretics attracted men by 
persuasive means, by preaching, and a great outward 
show of sanctity, whilst the legates were surrounded by 
a numerous suite of followers, with horses and rich ap- 
parel. Then he said, ' It is not thus, my brothers, that 
you must act. They seduce simple souls with the ap- 
pearances of poverty and austerity : by presenting to 
them the contrary spectacle, you will scarcely edify them ; 
you may destroy them, but you will never touch their 
hearts.' " The words of Diego, if they convinced his 
hearers, were yet a little unwelcome. None had the 
courage to be the first to follow the hard counsel, and 
they felt the want of one possessed of the chief authority 
among them to set the example of an austere reform, and 
enforce its adoption by the others. "Excellent father," 
they said to Diego, "what would you have us do?" 
Then the spirit of God came upon him, and he said " Do 
as I am about to do;" and, calling his attendants, he 
gave orders that they should return to Osma with all the 
equipages and followers who accompanied him. A little 
company of ecclesiastics alone remained, of whom Dominic 
was one ; but they retained nothing of external pomp, and 
affected only the bearing and manners of the humblest 
missioners. The example was instantly followed by the 
other legates, and each one sent away all his followers and 
baggage, retaining only the books necessary for the re- 


cital of the Divine Office, and for the confutation of the 
heretics. More than this, feeling the power of Diego's 
character and influence, they unauimously elected him as 
head and chief of the Catholic body, and Innocent III,, 
to whom the whole of the circumstances were made 
known, hesitated not to grant him the permission which 
he had before refused in the case of the Cumans : he was 
authorized to remain in the French provinces for the 
service of the faith. 


Dominic in Languedoc. The miracles of Fanjeaux and Montreal. 
The foundation of the Convent of Prouille \ 

A NEW impulse had been given to the enterprise on 
which the Catholics of Languedoc had embarked: with 
the apostolic life came a daily increase of the apostolic 
spirit. It was a very different thing to set about evan- 
gelizing a country encumbered with the pomp of a feudal 
retinue, and to traverse the same country on foot with 
"neither purse nor scrip," as Diego was wont to send out 
his companions daily into the neighbouring towns and 
villages to preach the faith. For after the conference at 
Montpellier they all set out together towards Toulouse, 
stopping at different places on the road to preach and 
hold disputations with the heretics, as they were moved 
by the Spirit of God. We are assured that they made 
this journey barefooted, and trusting to God's providence 
alone for their daily wants ; and the effect of this new way 
of proceeding was soon evident in the success which at- 
tended their labours. At Carmain, a town near Toulouse, 
the residence of two of the principal Albigensian leaders, 
Baldwin and Thierry, the people received the missionaries 
so warmly that they were only prevented from expelling 
the Albigenses from tHeir territory by the authority of 
the lord of the place, and accompanied the legates out of 
the town on their departure with every sign of respect. 
They proceeded iu this way to Beziers, Carcassona ; and 


other places in the surrounding country, confirming the 
faith of the Catholics, and in many instances reconciling 
great numbers of the heretics to the Church. 

Hitherto Dominic's part in these transactions has 
seemed to be a secondary one : he has appeared before us 
rather as the follower and companion of the bishop of 
Osma, than as the man whose name was to be for ever 
remembered in future histories as the chief leader in this 
struggle of the faith. Few probably of those who wit- 
nessed these first openings of the campaign against the 
Albigenses, would have believed that the award of a 
deathless fame was to fall, not to the bishop, whose 
prompt and commanding spirit had been so readily re- 
cognized by those who had unanimously chosen him to 
be their chief, but to one who followed in his train, 
known only as Brother Dominic; for he had laid aside 
even the title of sub-prior, and took on him nothing but 
the inferior part of the subject and attendant of another. 
As soon, however, as the disputes with the heretics began 
to be helct of which we have spoken, his power and value 
were felt. Perhaps they were best evidenced by the 
bitter hatred which the heretics conceived against him. 
The same sentiments had been so unequivocally evinced 
towards the legate Peter de Castelnau, that the others had 
persuaded him to withdraw for a while from the enter- 
prise, in order not to exasperate those whom it was their 
object to conciliate. The masterly arguments and capti- 
vating eloquence of Dominic, which time after time 
.silenced his adversaries, and conquered the obstinacy of 
vast numbers who returned to the obedience of the 
Church after many of these conferences, excited a no less 
vindictive feeling against him in the minds of those who 
might be confounded, but would never yield. They spoke 
of him as their most dangerous enemy, and did not even 
conceal their resolve to take his life, whenever chance 
should give them the opportunity. He behaved on this 
occasion with a surprising indifference : the service of 
God was the only thing that he saw before him ; and as 
his days were spent in public disputations, his nights 
were consumed in interviews with those who secretly 


sought his counsel, or more frequently in those prayers, 
and tears, and strong intercessions with God for the 
souls of his people, which were more powerful anus in 
fighting the battle of the faith than were the wisdom and 
eloquence of his words. 

Among the conferences held at this time, that of Fan- 
jeaux was the most important, both from the preparations 
made by both sides, and the extraordinary nature of its 
termination. It would seem that the heretics had ap- 
pealed to some final arbitration of their differences, and 
that the Catholic leaders had not only responded to the 
challenge, but even accepted as judges in the controversy 
three persons whose sentiments were commonly known 
as favourable to the Albigenses themselves. Each side 
had put together in writing the strongest defence of their 
cause ; that of the Catholics was the work of Dominic. 
The three arbitrators having heard both parties, and read 
the written apologies, absolutely refused to pronounce 
any decision on the case ; and in this perplexity the here- 
tics loudly demanded a different mode of trial,* and pro- 
posed that both books should be committed to the flames, 
that God might declare by his own interposition which 
cause He favoured. " Accordingly a great fire was 
lighted" (says Blessed Jordan), "and the two volumes 
were cast therein ; that of the heretics was immediately 
consumed to ashes ; the other, which had been written by 
the blessed man of God, Dominic, not only remained un- 
hurt, but was borne far away by the flames in presence of 
the whole assembly. Again a second and a third time 
they threw it into the fire, and each time the same result 
clearly manifested which was the true faith, and the holi- 
ness of him who had written the book. This miracle is 
given by every contemporaneous writer. It is mentioned 
in the lessons for the Divine office, composed by Constan- 
tine Medici, bishop of Orvieto, in 1254 ; and in the fol- 
lowing century Charles le Bel, King of France, purchased 
the house where the event took place, and erected it into 
a chapel under the invocation of the saint. A large beam 
of wood on which the paper fell when tossed away by the 
flames, was still preserved when Castiglio wrote his his- 


tory ; and there does not even seem to have "been any 
attempt on the part of the heretics themselves to deny 
the fact. Yet in spite of this, there is a melancholy sig- 
nificance in the expression of the historian. " A few of 
the heretics were converted to the truth of our holy faith, 
but as to the rest, it produced no effect ; this being the 
just reward of their great sins."* It would seem as if every 
age and every heresy were to act over again the scenes of 
Christ's ministry in Judea : signs and miracles were thrown 
away on those who had Moses and the prophets, and would 
not believe. 

This was not the only occasion when a miracle of this 
kind was wrought. A similar prodigy took place at 
Montreal, in the diocese of Carcassona, under different 
circumstances. Dominic had, in the course of one of his 
public disputations, written down on a sheet of paper 
various quotations from the Holy Scriptures, which he 
had cited in the course of his argument, and these he 
gave to one of the heretics, praying him to consider them 
well, and not to resist the conclusion to which they might 
bring him. The same evening, as this man sat over the 
fire with some of his companions, discussing the subjects 
of dispute, he drew out the paper, and proposed submit- 
ting it to the flames, as a test of the truth of its contents. 
They consented, and thrusting it into the fire, kept it 
there for some time, and then drew it out unscorched. 
Again and again they repeated the experiment, and always 
with the same result. And a second time what do we 
find to be the effect on the witnesses of this new miracle ? 
" Then the heretics were filled with great wonder, and, 
instead of keeping the promise they had made of believing 
the truths preached by the Catholics, agreed to keep the 
prodigy a close secret, lest it should reach the ears of the 
Catholics, who would be certain to claim it as a sign of 
victory."f One, however, more noble-minded than the 
rest, was converted by what he saw, and published it to 
the world, and from his testmony it was inserted by 
Peter de Vaulx Cernay, in his history of the Albigenses. 

It is to be regretted that more particulars have not 

* Castiglio, part i. cap. viii. t Polidori, cap. vi. 


been preserved of those memorable conferences, but we 
arc only told in general that great success everywhere 
followed the footsteps of the missionaries, and that the 
r.umbers of the Catholics daily increased, which reduced 
the heretics to the necessitybf using frauds and the most 
incredible ingenuity to preserve their ground against the 
power of their adversaries 

It will be observed that we have made no attempt in 
these pages to give any account of the nature of that 
celebrated heresy, the name of which will be for ever 
inseparably united with that of S. Dominic ; neither is it 
our intention to do so. An ample account of its doc- 
trines may be gathered from so many works within the 
reach of the Catholic reader, that we feel it is wholly 
unnecessary to devote any space here to the task of un- 
veiling its true character. Indeed, whilst alluding to its 
connection with this period of S. Dominic's life, we 
cannot but feel that this connection has been greatly 
overrated by many, who have made his biography little 
more than a history of political and ecclesiastical affairs, 
with which he had personally but little to do. In this 
way his own personal life and character have often been 
lost sight of, and confused with the troubles of the times, 
and the portrait of the Saint has been hidden by the 
shadow which rests, in some degree, on the Count de 
Montfort's crusade. With all this we have nothing to 
do; nor shall we allude to the political history of the 
time, except in so far as is necessary to explain and illus- 
trate the details preserved to us of the life of Dominic. 
There is little doubt that the Albigensian heresy, besides 
its corruptions of the faith and its frightful immorality, 
had a directly political character, and was mixed up with 
a spirit of revolution and sedition, which goes far to ex 
plain the bitterness of those civil wars of which it, was the 
immediate cause; and, like all revolutionary movements, 
it had a disorganizing effect on all social ties, so that the 
south of France was plunged by it into a state of civil 
anarchy, which was doubtless the chief reason which 
moved the civil arm against its followers with such pecu- 
liar severity. One of the consequences of these political 


commotions was the impoverishing of many noble families 
engaged in them, and this often led to their concealing 
their faith through the pressure of necessity, and suffering 
their children to be educated by the heretics, who eagerly 
made use of the worldly temptations which were in their 
power to offer, in order to get the children of Catholics 
into their hands. This evil was very soon perceived by 
the quick eye of Dominic, and so deplorably did he feel the 
cruelty which exposed these souls to the certain ruin of their 
religious principles, that he determined on a very strenuous 
effort to oppose it, and to provide some means for the 
education of the daughters of Catholics in the true faith. 
For this purpose he resolved to found a monastery, 
where, within the protection of strict enclosure, and under 
the charge of a few holy women whom he gathered to- 
gether out of the suffering provinces, these children might 
be nurtured under the Church's shadow. The spot chosen 
for the purpose was Prouille, a name illustrious in the 
Dominican annals, for there, unconsciously probably to 
its founder, rose the mother-house of an institute which 
was to cover the world. It was a small village' near 
Montreal, at the foot of the Pyrenees ; and a church dedi- 
cated to our Lady, under the familiar title of Notre Dame 
de Prouille, was the object of considerable veneration 
among the people. There, with the warm sanction and 
co-operation of Fulk, bishop of Toulouse, Dominic founded 
his monastery. The church we have spoken of was granted 
to the new foundation, and it seemed as if the plan had no 
sooner been proposed than every one saw its fitness for the 
necessities of the times, and vied one with another in 
forwarding and contributing to it. Peter of Castelnau, 
stretched on a bed of sickness, gave thanks to God with 
clasped hands for what he deemed so signal a mercy. 
Bcrenger, archbishop of Nar bonne, immediately granted it 
considerable lands and revenues ; and all the Catholic 
nobles, with the Count de Montfort at their head, gave* 
their prompt and liberal aid to a scheme from which they • 
themselves were sure to derive su/ch lasting advantage. 

The little community consisted at first of nine mem- 
bers, all of them converted from the Albigensian heresy 
c 2 


by the preaching and miracles of Dominic. They were 
joined by two noble ladies of Catholic families, one of 
whom, Guillemette de Fanjeaux, though the last to re- 
ceive the habit, was chosen by Dominic as their Superior. 
She continued in that office until the year 1225 ; but he 
himself governed the monastry, and thenceforth received 
the title of Prior of Prouille, residing in a house outside 
the enclosure, when his apostolic labours did not call him 
elsewhere. The community took possession of their new 
retreat on the 27th of December, 1206. Their habit was 
white with a tawny mantle ; of the rule given them by 
their founder we know nothing, save that it bound them, 
besides attending to the education of children, to devote 
certain hours to manual labour, such as spinning. Prouille, 
afterwards associated to the Order of Preachers, became 
in time a flourishing monastry, never numbering less 
than a hundred religious ; it was the mother-house of no 
less than twelve other foundations, and reckoned among 
its prioresses several of the royal house of Bourbon. 


Diego returns to Spain. His death. Dominic remains in Langue- 
doc The murder of Peter de Castelnau, and the commence- 
ment of the Albigensian war. 

Piego of Azevedo saw the foundation of Prouille before 
returning to his diocese of Osma. He had now been two 
years in the French provinces, and he felt it was time to 
revisit his own church and people. He left the country 
in which he had laboured so truly and nobly, with the 
promise soon to return with fresh labourers in the cause ; 
^but this promise was destined never to be fulfilled. His 
• companions attended him to the confines of the province 
of Toulouse, all journeying on foot and preaching as 
they went. These last missionary labours of Diego were 
crowned with new successes. At Montreal 500 heretics 


abjured their errors. A meeting of the legates and chief 
Catholics also took place at the same town, and another 
at Pamiers, when the increased courage and strength of 
the Catholic party were plainly visible, and some of the 
principal of the Albigenses made their submission with 
the most unequivocal marks of sincerity. After this last 
conference Diego turned his steps towards Spain, and, 
still travelling on foot, reached Osma, having been absent 
from his diocese exactly three years. He died before he 
could carry his intention of returning to France into 
execution; and thus he and Domnic never met again. 
He was the first of a long line of great men with whom 
the founder of the Friars Preachers was united in bonds 
of no common friendship, nor was he the least worthy of 
the number. So holy and stainless was the life he led, 
that even the heretics were wont to say of him in the 
words of blessed Jordan, that " it was impossible not to 
believe such a man predestined to eternal life, and that 
doubtless he was sent among them to be taught the true 
doctrine." It was his influence that had consolidated the 
weak and scattered elements of the Catholic party into a 
firm and united body, and his loss was felt by all to be 
that of a father and chief. Nay, it seemed as if his death 
dissolved in a moment the tie which had bound them 
together. They were again scattered, each in different 
directions, and a few weeks after the news of his friend's 
death reached the ears of Dominic, he found himself alone. 
We cannot guess, or rather we can but guess, what 
kind of solitude that was when the work remained to do, 
but the fellow-labourers, and he among them whose com- 
pany had been a brotherhood «f fourteen years, were gone. 
Yet Dominic was equal to the shock of that great lone- 
liness : he saw one after another of the missioners depart, 
the Spanish ecclesiastics to Spain, the Cistercians back to 
their abbey, but he remained firm and tranquil at the 
post where God had placed him. The sweetness of human, 
consolation had left it, but the will of God was clear as* 
ever, and that was the law of his life ; and if hitherto he ' 
had been displayed to the world as following rather in 
another's track, than as himself the originator of the 


enterprise in which be was engaged, it was for the test of 
a crisis like this to show him to the world in his true 
light. We have mentioned Fulk, bishop of Toulouse, as 
co-operating in the foundation of the convent of Prouille. 
His presence and influence in some degree supplied the 
loss which the Catholics had sustained by the death of 
Diego. Until his elevation to the episcopate, one of the 
greatest drawbacks to the Catholic cause had been the 
coldness and indifference of their own bishops; but the 
vigorous example of the new prelate roused many of his 
colleagues from their negligence, and infused new life into 
the ecclesiastical administration of the diocese. He was 
indeed in every way a remarkable man, one in whom the 
energy of human passion had been, not laid aside, but 
transformed and sanctified by the influence of grace. 
Not many years before, he had been known to the world 
only as a brilliant courtier, a successful cultivator of the 
"gaie science," the very embodiment of the Provengal 
character. The world spoiled him for a time, and then 
deserted him ; or we might rather say that God haL de- 
termined to draw to Himself a soul too noble for the 
world's spoiling. Deaths came one after another to strip 
his life of everthing that made it desirable ; then there 
followed that period of bitter conflict and agony which 
precedes the putting off of the old nature ; and when it 
was over, Provence had lost her gayest troubadour, and 
Fulk was a monk in the abbey of Citeaux. In 1206 he 
was raised to the bishopric of Toulouse, and in that capa- 
city his energy and enthusiasm of character was of special 
service in animating the chilled and timorous spirit of his 
colleagues. Towards Dominic and his companions he was 
ever a liberal benefactor. 

And indeed there was need of some support in the 
position in which the departure and death of Diego bid 
left his friend. He was not only alone, but alone just as 
.the difficulties of the cause to which he was bound were 
about to be increased tenfold by the horrors of civil war. 
This conflict, associated as it was with the religious 
contest in which he was engaged, could scarcely fail to 
entangle him in something of its confusion: so at least 


it would J seem, if we remember that the war was that 
crusade against the Albigenses, which history has per- 
sisted in linking with the name of Dominic. The reader 
of his life who comes full of this prepossession, will turn to 
the chapter of the Albigensian crusade with the natural 
expectation of finding there the most striking details of 
the man he has been accustomed to think of as its hero. 
Whereas it is literally true that it is just during the ten 
years of the Albigensian war that we find least record of 
Dominic's life, so far as the world knew it. He had a life, 
and a work, but one so wholly distinct from the conflict 
that was raging around him, that it has hidden him from 
sight. Here and there we find a trace of him, but in no 
case are those scattered notices connected with any of 
the warlike or political movements of the times. They 
are the anecdotes of an apostolic life, whose course has 
been thus briefly sketched by Blessed Humbert in a few 
lines : " After the return of the bishop Diego to his dio- 
cese," he says, " S. Dominic, left almost alone with a few 
companions who were bound to him by no vow, during 
ten years upheld the Catholic faith in different parts of the 
province of Narbonne, particularly at Carcassona and at 
Fanjeaux. He devoted himself entirely to the salvation 
of souls by the ministry of preaching, and he bore with a 
great heart a multitude of affronts, ignominies, and suf- 
ferings for the name of Jesus Christ." And this is all. 
The few details preserved of these ten years of suffering 
and silent work will disappoiut any who look for stirring 
pictures of the crusade. Some trait of humility and 
patience exhibited amid the insults of his enemies, — or, 
it may be, a few words redolent with the spirit of prayer 
and trust in God, which have come down in the tradition 
of ages, or the record of miracles, worked, like those of 
the Master whose steps he followed, as he went up and 
down the hills of Narbonne, and among the towns and 
villages, preaching the faith, and seeking* for the sheep 
that were lost, — this is all we find. There is an evan- 
gelical sweetness of simplicity about these broken notices 
of his life, which, coming in the midst of the troubled and 
bloody history of the period, sounds like the rich notes of 


a thrush's song falling on the ear between the intervals 
of a thunder-storm, — lost every now and then, and hushed 
by the angry roll of the elements, then sounding sweetly 
again in the stillness when the storm is over. We shall 
give them as we find them, in their proper place, but it is 
necessary first of all to notice very briefly some of those 
events which followed on the departure of Diego of Azevedo, 
and which plunged the southern provinces of France into 
the bloody contest of which we have spoken. 

It will be remembered, that among the legates and 
missioners whom Dominic and Diego met. at Montpellier, 
on their first entrance on the mission, mention was made 
of Peter de Castelnau, against whom the hatred of the 
heretics had been so strongly evinced, that he had been 
persuaded for some time to withdraw from the enterprise. 
Something of severity and harshness in his character may 
probably account for the peculiar vindictiveness of which 
he was the object. He had often been used to say, that 
religion would never raise its head in Languedoc till the 
soil had been watered with the blood of a martyr ; and 
his constant prayer was, that he himself might be the 
victim. It was even as he desired. Count Raymond of 
Toulouse, the sovereign of the distracted provinces, had 
been the constant but not always the avowed protector 
of the Albigenses during the whole period of his govern- 
ment. Again and agai*, in reply to the pressing en- 
treaties of the Holy See, he had promised to use his 
authority to suppress their disorders, and to defend the 
property and liberty of the Catholics ; and again and 
again, when the dread of excommunication was with- 
drawn, he had failed to fulfil his engagements. It is 
no part of history to asperse its characters with epithets 
of reproach. Count Raymond has been the hero of one 
party, and the object of unlimited abuse from the other ; 
but we may well content ourselves with such conclusions 
as may be drawn from facts which none have attempted 
to dispute. He had bound himself by solemn oaths to 
suppress those violent disorders, the frightful increase of 
which had opened the eyes of his predecessor, and forced 
from him the unwilling acknowledgment, that " the 


spiritual sword was no longer enough; the material 
sword was needed also." These oaths were made, and 
as often violated ; after incessant remonstrances, Peter 
de Castelnau, in his office of Papal legate, pronounced 
the final sentence of excommunication against him. The 
result was an earnest entreaty from the count to meet 
him at Saint Gilles, in order that by fresh submissions 
he might be once more reconciled to the Church. His 
request was agreed to, but it seemed impossible for 
Raymond to act with good faith. No sooner were the 
legates in his power, than he changed his tone of sub- 
mission, and naughtily threatened them with imprison- 
ment if they did not grant him the unconditional repeal 
of his sentence. Such threats were lightly felt by men 
who counted their lives as nothing in the cause in which 
they were engaged, and they answered him only with a 
stern reproof. Next day, as they stood by the rapid 
waters of the Rhone, on the banks of which they had passed 
the night, and which they were preparing to cross, two 
members of the count's household came up in pursuit of 
them, and one plunged his lance into the body of Peter 
de Castelnau. It was the death for which he had so 
often longed; he fell without a struggle, and summoned 
his departing strength to utter words worthy of a 
martyr. "May God pardon you," he said to his mur- 
derer; "as for me, I forgive you, — I forgive you;" then 
turning to his companion, "Keep the faith," he said, 
" and serve God's Church without fear, and without 
negligence;" and, with these words upon his lips, he 

When the news of this murder reached the ears of 
the Pope and the Catholic potentates of Europe, there 
seemed a unanimous feeling that all time for further 
treating with the heretics was at an end. Let us re- 
member, that the south of France had now been at their 
mercy for more than a century ; that during that time 
these atrocious wretches, whom Protestants are not 
ashamed to boast of as their ancestors in the faith, 
had ravaged the country like bandits, setting fire to 
churches, torturing priests and nuns, trampling under 


foot the holy Eucharist, and committing every violence 
most shocking to human feeling; and that during this 
century of crime the Church had opposed only her 
censures and her entreaties, sending among them mis- 
sionaries and preachers, but never unloosing the temporal 
sword. Nay, she had even interposed with peaceful 
measures when the civil arm was at length raised 
against them. Raymond of Toulouse, the predecessor 
of the present count, and himself a favourer of the 
heretics, had at length become aware of the danger 
threatened to his own government, and to the very 
existence of all law, by their continued excesses. Too 
late he strove to check the evil he had fostered, but 
he found the task was far beyond his strength. In his 
terror he wrote to the French king a memorable letter, 
which, as coming from his pen, may fairly be received as 
impartial testimony, "Our churches," he says, "are in 
ruins, penance is despised, the Holy Eucharist is held in 
abomination, all the sacraments are rejected — yet no one 
thinks of offering any resistance to these wretches." He 
then makes an earnest appeal to the king for assistance, 
and would have obtained it had not the reigning Pontiff, 
Alexander III., interfered, and proposed once more to 
try the effect of an ecclesiastical mission before harsher 
measures were adopted. 

But however well fitted a legation of monks and 
preachers might be for the suppression of theological 
errors, it scarcely had the strength necessary for deliver- 
ing Languedoc from its swarms of bandits. The sufferings 
of the country were not simply doctrinal : Stephen, abbot 
of S. Genevieve, sent to Toulouse by the king, and an 
eye-witness of what he describes, gives us a picture of 
the state of things in his time in a few words which 
occur in one of his letters: "I have seen," he says, 
"churches burnt and ruined to their foundations; I have 
seen the dwellings of men changed into the dens of 
beasts." Is it any wonder, therefore, that after these 
terrible disorders had been endured for more than a 
century, and opposed only by the weapons of eccle- 
siastical censures, the murder in cold blood of the Papal 


legate by the avowed leader of the Albigenses seemed 
to fill the measure of their iniquity? War at once 
burst out ; and surely if ever war is just, it must be 
deemed so when waged to defend society from outrage, 
and the faith from ruin. This at least we may affirm 
without in any way binding ourselves to vindicate the 
manner in which it was carried on, when men's passions 
and personal interests were once irretrievably engaged ; 
but we cannot think that the act which proclaimed the 
crusade against the Albigenses, after a century of for- 
bearance, can be condemned by any who will patiently 
go over that century's most melancholy history. 

— ooo — 


Proclamation of the Crusade. Simon de Montfort. Dominic 
among the heretics. His apostolic labours 

The death of De Castelnau took place in the February 
of the year 1208. Early in the following month Pope 
Innocent addressed letters to the kings of Prance and 
England, and to the sovereign nobles of Prance, calling 
on them to lay aside their private quarrels, and join 
in an unanimous effort against " the rage of heresy." 
The crime of the Count of Toulouse was declared to be 
one which freed his subjects from their allegiance until 
such time as he would return to his own allegiance to the 
Church; and a new commission of bishops and abbots 
was appointed to preach the crusade, and undertake the 
ecclesiastical government of the country. In this commis- 
sion Dominic's name does not occur ; Arnold of Citeaux 
is the man charged with the chief burden of the whole 
undertaking, and his fiery and inflexible temper caused 
him to fulfil his charge with an unrelenting severity, 
which can never be excused. If indeed we had to make 
any religious body responsible for the severites of the 
crusade, it certainly seems as though the Cistercians had 


done more to merit such a reproach than any other. We 
find their leader, Arnold, eagerly and zealously engaged 
in all the movements of the Catholic chiefs, often accom- 
panying them to the field and rousing the country to 
arms with the energy of his preaching. Every represen- 
tation of the progress of the war which reached the Pope 
came through him and his followers; and these repre- 
sentations seem, in more instances than one, to have been 
coloured by partiality, and to have misled the Pontiff 
whom they were intended to direct. For more than a 
year after the war first broke out, Arnold was the only 
acknowledged leader and director of the Catholic forces ; 
and the unfortunate plan of setting the two houses of 
Montfort and Toulouse in rivalry one against the other, 
as the means of destroying the latter by the vindictive- 
ness of a personal quarrel, was the invention of his own 
scheming brain. 

Yet this man, who really played so conspicuous a part 
in the history of his time, and who stands bound to every 
detail in those proceedings of which he was the animating 
spirit, is almost forgotten by Protestant historians and 
their readers, so eager are they to heap terms of reproach 
on one who had little or no share in them. Doubtless in 
their own day, Dominic Gusman was a very insignificant 
person compared to the legate, Arnold of Citeaux; but 
the Church, in her unerring justice, has raised one to her 
altars, and left the other to the mercy and indifference of 
future ages ; and this explains what would otherwise 
be an unaccountable phenomenon. Arnold of Citeaux, 
though a busy man in his time, is in no way a represen- 
tative of the Catholic Church; she has not identified 
herself with him, and so there is no good reason for 
attacking him and his order, and holding up their names 
for popular abuse, however deeply they were responsible 
for the excesses of the crusade. But it is quite another 
thing to vilify a Catholic saint. Dominic bears on his 
brow the indelible seal of the Church's canonization, and 
therefore no Protestant can touch on the history of the 
Albigensian war without assuring us that it was "preached 
by the infamous Dominic," with a thousand other like 


expressions which would give us to understand that he 
was the foremost character in the whole affair, but which 
are simply inexplicable to any one who, in studying his 
life, fiuds it his chief difficulty to come on any trace 
of him during this period. 

It must be acknowledged that the perpetual insinceri- 
ties of the Count of Toulouse render it difficult to follow, 
with anything like clearness, a history which shows him 
to us submitting to public penance in the church of 
S. Gilles in 1209, and swearing at the same time, on holy 
relics and the very body of our Lord, to drive away the 
heretic insurgents, to repair the churches, and replace the 
lawful bishops in their sees ; then a year afterwards, 
evading the^ demands of the council , held at the same 
place, which called on him to fulfil his engagements, and 
persisting in his refusal, even whilst he supplicates to be 
heard in justification of the accusations brought against 
him. A little while after, we find him at Toulouse, pre- 
paring to take up arms against the Catholic forces whom 
he had sworn to assist ; and, in return for this breach of 
faith, we have a touching and affectionate letter from 
Pope Innocent, calling on him once more to stand to his 
plighted word. Then more conferences and more eva- 
sions. In 1211, at a meeting held at Montpellier, he 
seems about to yield, but suddenly leaves the city with- 
out a word of explanation. Then at length the thunder 
of excommunication falls on his head a second time ; and 
the war begins in earnest. 

Raymond had the powerful protection of his brother- 
in-law, the king of Arragon, together with many of the 
territorial lords of the south. The power of the crusaders 
under the leadership of Count Simon de Montfort was 
certainly in no overwhelming disproportion, and, we are 
told, more than a thousand cities and towns were in the 
hands of the heretics. Two of these towns, Beziers and 
Carcassona, had yielded to the Catholic confederates, 
after a bloody contest at the very commencement of the 
war, and before the final rupture with Raymond. The 
cruelties practised on the inhabitants of the former, and 
the pillage of the latter, gave a vindictive character to the 


very .opening of the campaign. For the enormities per- 
petrated by the heretics had lashed the Catholics of 
Lauguedoc to fury; and when the day of retribution 
came, and vengeance was in the power of men who had 
so long suffered the worst injuries without redress, it 
broke out into the usual excesses. There is no tempta- 
tion to justify such excesses, yet surely there is an 
astonishing unfairness, may we not say an astonishing 
hypocrisy, in those who can find no words to express their 
horror at the slaughter of Beziers, yet forget the tortures 
of helpless women, the profanation of holy things, the 
murders and oppressions of the century which had passed, 
the reollection of which was doubtless too terribly alive 
in the minds of the crusaders for them to find such mercy 
in their hearts for those who were in turn their victims. 

Where was Dominic all this time ? Some of his his- 
torians gave the year 1207 as the date of the foundation 
of his order ; inasmuch as it wae then that he took the 
command of that little company of missionaries who re- 
mained with him after the departure of Diego. But they 
were bound to him by no other tie than a common in- 
terest ; and the only ground for the supposition seems to 
be, that they lived together in a kind of community-life, 
and were known by the name of the Preaching Brothers. 
It does not, however, seem that they had anything of the 
formation of a regular religious body, and probably no 
plan for such a formation had yet been clearly developed 
in Dominic's own mind. Of their manner of life we can 
form some notion from those scattered anecdotes which 
are all that are left us. Even amid the hottest period of 
the war, it was the same as it had ever been ; they went 
about barefoot from village to village preaching the faith. 
The only commission which Dominic held, was the origi- 
nal one he possessed in virtue of that first legation to 
which he and Diego had been associated before the cru- 
sade began. It gave him the power of reconciling heretics, 
and receiving them to penance, an office which has ac- 
quired him the title of the first Inquisitor. If by this is 
meant that the office of the Inquisition, as afterwards 
constituted, was established at this tim,e such title is 


certainly an error ; no such office existed before the Lateran 
■Council of 1215, and it was not until 1230, nine years 
after the death of Dominic, that the Council of Toulouse 
gave it a new form, and intrusted a large share of its 
government to the recently instituted order of Friars 
Preachers. It is singular also, that the first commission 
for denouncing heretics to the civil magistrate was granted 
to the Cistercians. But, on the other hand, there is no 
doubt that the commission of reconciling heretics, held by 
S. Dominic, was the germ from which the Inquisition 
afterwards sprang ; and so Dominic may be called the first 
Inquisitor, in the same sense as the Marquis of Worcester 
is called the inventor of the steam-engine, or Roger Bacon 
the discoverer of gunpowder ; without supposing that the 
marvels of a cotton-mill, or the broadside of a three-decker, 
ever crossed the imagination of either.* 

His chief residence was at Fanjeaux and Carcassona. 
Fanjeaux he chose for its proximity to Notre Dame de 
Prouille, and Carcassona for another reason. " Why do 
you not live in Toulouse, or the diocese?" was a question 
one day asked him. " I know many people in Toulouse," 
he replied, " and they show me respect ; but at Carcassona, 
every one is against me." They certainly were: it was 

* It is no part of the plan which we have laid down for ourselves, 
to enter at any length into the vexed question of the character or 
the Inquisition. But we cannot resist referring to one authority, 
quoted by Pere Lacordaire, in his well-known " Memorial to the 
French People," whose partiality can scarcely be questioned. It is 
from the Keport presented to the Cortes, on the character of that 
tribunal, which was followed by its suppression, and bears the date 
of 1 81 2. Considering thatit proceeded from the party most violently 
opposed to the Inquisition, and whose political successors, the Pro- 
gressistas of Spain, have succeeded in abolishing all religious orders 
in that country, its testimony is of peculiar value. " The early 
Inquisitors," they say, " encountered heresy with no other arms 
than those of prayer, patience, and instruction ; and this remark 
applies more particularly to S. Dominic, as we are assured by the 
Bollandists, with Echard and Touron. Philip II. was the real 
"founder of the Inquisition." For a minute and careful account of 
the change introduced into the character of the tribunal by the 
royal influence, we must refer the reader to the celebrated work 
of Baimez, on " Protestantism and Catholicity compared in their 
Effects on the civilization of Europe.'* 


their diversion to treat the humble barefooted friar who 
was to be seen about their streets as a fool; rather let us 
say, they gave the truest testimony to his likeness to his 
Lord by the likeness of their treatment of him. They 
were wont to follow him, throwing dirt at him and spit- 
ting in his face; tying straws to his cloak and hat, and 
pursuing him with shouts of derisive laughter. He never 
seemed to heed them, or to let the singular quietude of 
his soul be once disturbed by these affronts. Sometimes 
their insults were accompanied with blasphemous oaths 
and threats of death : "I am' not worthy of martyrdom," 
was the only answer they were able to draw from him. 
He was warned once of a party of heretics who lay in 
ambush in a certain place to assassinate him. He treated 
the information with his usual indifference, and passed 
by the place singing hymns with a joyful aspect. The 
heretics, who were probably not prepared for the actual 
execution of their threat, accosted him on their next 
meeting in their usual style. " And so thou dost not 
fear death? tell us, what wouldst thou have done if thou 
hadst fallen into our hands?" Then the great and cou- 
rageous spirit of Dominic spoke in a memorable reply: 
" I would have prayed you," he said, "not to have taken 
my life at a single blow, but little by little, cutting off 
each member of my body, one by one ; and when you had 
done that, you should have plucked out my eyes, and then 
have left me so, to prolong my torments, and gain me a 
richer crown." It is said that this reply so confounded 
his enemies, that for some time afterwards they left him 
unmolested, being convinced that to persecute such a man 
was to give him the only consolation he desired. The 
place of the intended attempt on his life is still shown, 
half-way between Prouille and Fanjeaux, and its name 
" Al Sicari," in the dialect of the country, commemorates 
the event. 

On another occasion a great conference was appointed 
to be held with the heretics, at whieh one of the neigh- 
bouring bishops (who, some writers tell us, was Fulk of 
Toulouse) was to attend. He came in great pomp, to the 
great displeasure of Dominie. " Then the humble herald 


of God spoke to him, and said, ' My father, it is not thus 
that we must act against this generation of pride. The 
enemies of the truth must rather be convinced by the 
example of humility and patience, than by the pomp and 
grandeur of worldly show. Let us arm ourselves with 
prayer and humility, and so let us go barefooted against 
these Goliaths.' " *The bishop complied with his wishes, 
and they all took off their shoes, and went to meet the 
heretics singing psalms upon the way. Now, as they were 
not sure of their road, they applied to a man whom they 
met and believed to be a Catholic, but who was in truth a 
concealed and bitter heretic; and who offered to be their 
guide to the place of meeting, with no other design than 
that of embarrassing and annoying them. He led them, 
therefore, through a thorny wood, where the rough stones 
and briers tore their naked feet, and caused them to dye 
the ground with their blood. The bishop and his suite were 
a little disconcerted at this, but Dominic encouraged them 
to persevere. Joyous and patient as ever, he exhorted 
his comrades to give thanks for their sufferings, saying, 
" Trust in God, my beloved ; the victory is surely ours, 
since our sins are expiated in blood ; ' is it not written, 
' How beautiful are the feet of them who bring the gospel 
of peace?' " Then he intoned a joyful hymn, and the 
hearts of his companions took courage, and they also sang 
with him ; and the heretic, when he witnessed the patience 
and courage of the saint, was touched to the heart, and, 
falling at his feet, confessed his malice, and abjured his 

As we have said, these anecdotes of Dominic's apostolic 
life in Languedoc can hardly be given in successive order 
as they occurred ; the most ancient writers tell us only in 
general terms, that during this time he suffered many 
affronts from his enemies, and overcame their wiles by 
his patience, giving these disconnected stories without 
anything to guide us as to the particular times when 
they happened. One anecdote, however, in which the 
miraculous powers of the saint are first exhibited to us, 
is given with greater exactness. It was in 1211, whilst 
* Theodoric of Apoldia. 


the crusaders were under the walls of Toulouse, and just 
after open hostilities had for the first time broken out 
with Count Raymond, that the course of Dominic's 
apostolic wanderings led him to the bank of the river 
Garrone. Whilst he was there, a band of English pil- 
grims also arrived in the neighbourhood. They were 
about forty in number, bound to the shrine of S. James 
of Compostella. In order to avoid the town, which lay 
under the Papal interdict, they took a boat to cross the 
river ; but the boat, being small and overladen, was upset, 
and all those who were in it sank to the bottom. Dominic 
was praying in a small church which stood near the scene 
of the accident, but the cries of the sufferers and some of 
the soldiers who saw their danger roused him from his 
devotions. He came to the river's bank, but not one 
of the pilgrims was to be seen. Then he prostrated him- 
self on the earth in silent prayer, and, rising full of a 
lively faith, " I command you," he cried, " in the name 
of Jesus Christ, to come to the shore alive and unhurt." 
Instantly the bodies rose to the surface, and with the help 
of the soldiers, who flung them their shields and lances, 
they all safely reached the bank, praising God and his 
servant Dominic. 

Several other miracles are related as having happened 
at this period, they are the only footprints left us of his 
apostolic journeys over Languedoc. At one time we hear 
of him dropping his books into the river Ariege as he 
forded it on foot, and after three days they are recovered 
by a fisherman, and found perfectly dry and uninjured. 
At another time he is crossing the same river in a little 
boat, and being landed on the opposite shore, finds he has 
no money to pay the boatman. The boatman insisted on 
his fare: "I am," said Dominic, " a follower of Jesus 
Christ ; I carry neither gold nor silver ; God will pay you 
the price of my passage." But the boatman, being angry, 
laid hold of his cloak, saying, " You will either leave your 
cloak with me, or pay me my money." Dominic, raising 
his eyes to heaven, entered for a moment into prayer; 
then, looking on the ground, he showed the man a piece 
of silver which lay there, which Providence had sent, and 


said to him, " My brother, there is what you ask, take it, 
and suffer me to go my way." 

Cardinal Ranieri Capocci, who lived during the time of 
S. Dominic, in a sermon preached shortly after his canon- 
ization, relates the following fact which had come to his 
own knowledge. A certain religious chanced to be the 
companion of the saint on a journey of some days, but 
being of another country, and neither of them under- 
standing the language of the other, they were unable to 
hold any conversation together. Desiring very much, 
however, to profit by the time he should spend in his 
society, this religious secretly prayed to God that, for the 
three days they should be together, they might be intel- 
ligible to one another, each speaking in his own tongue, 
and this favour was granted until they reached their 
journey's end. We read also that, after a night spent in 
long disputes with the heretics, Dominic left the place of 
conference in company with a Cistercian monk, and de- 
sired to retire into a neighbouring church, in order, 
according to his custom, to spend the remainder of the 
night in prayer. They found the doors locked, and were 
therefore obliged to kneel outside. But scarcely had they 
done so, than, without being able to say how, they found 
themselves before the high altar inside the church, and 
remained there until break of day. In the morning the 
people found them there, and crowding together, brought 
them the sick and infirm in great numbers to be healed. 
Among these were several possessed persons, whom the 
holy father was intreated to restore by his touch. He 
took a stole, and fastened it on his shoulders as if about 
to vest for mass ; then throwing it around the necks of the 
possessed, they were immediately delivered. 

These miracles, some of which are mentioned in the 
process of his canonization, were commonly known and 
talked of both by the crusaders and by the people of 
Toulouse. Among the latter their effect was sensibly 
felt, and in no sniall degree aided the success of his 
preaching. Yet the marvels produced by his simple elo- 
quence were, perhaps, as great in their way as those 
directly supernatural gifts communicated to him by God. 
d 2 


One day, as he prayed in the church of Fanjeaux, nine 
women who until then had been of the heretical sect, 
came to him, and threw themselves at his feet in great 
anguish. "Servant of God," they cried, "if what you 
preached to us this morning is true, we have till now 
been living in horrible darkness ; therefore have compas- 
sion on us, and teach us how we may be saved." The 
holy man looked on them with a bright and cheerful 
countenance, and comforted them with words of hope. 
Then he prayed awhile, and turning to them bade them 
be of good heart, and not be afraid of what they should 
see. Scarcely had he spoken, when they saw in the 
midst of them a hideous animal, of a ferocious and hor- 
rible aspect. It fled from among them, and seemed to 
escape from the church through the bell-tower. The 
women were greatly terrified, but Dominic spoke and re- 
assured them. " God has shown you, my daughters," he 
said, " how terrible is the devil whom till now you have 
served; thank Him, therefore, for the evil one has from 
this moment no more power over you." These women, 
who were all of noble birth, he afterwards caused to bo 
instructed in the faith, and received into the monastery 
of Prouille. Miracles and preaching, however, are not 
the only means, scarcely the most powerful, by which the 
saints of God extend the kingdom of their Master. The 
silent eloquence of a holy life has a larger apostolate than 
the gifts of tongues or of healing ; and we find some re- 
cords of the harvest of souls which were gathered to the 
faith solely by the example of the servant of God. There 
were living, near Toulouse, some noble ladies who had 
been led to join the heretics, being seduced into this error 
by the show of pretended austerity which their preachers 
affected. Dominic, who had their conversion greatly at 
heart, determined to preach there that Lent; and, going 
thither with one companion, it chanced, by the providence 
of God, that they were received to lodge in the house 
occupied by these ladies. He remained there during the 
whole time of his stay, and they saw with wonder the 
reality of that life of penance which differed so widely 
from the empty professions of the heretics. The soft 


beds which had been prepared for them were never used, 
for Dominic and his companion slept upon the ground. 
Their food was scarcely touched; until Easter time they 
took only bread and water, and that in scanty measure. 
Their nights were spent in prayer and austerities, their 
days in labours for God; and so new and wonderful did 
this life seem to those who beheljd it, that it opened their 
eyes to the truth of the faith which inspired it ; and the 
whole household made their recantation in his hands be- 
fore the time of his stay was ended. In after days he 
was often accustomed to exhort his brethren to this, as 
the best method of preaching, reminding them that it was 
by good works, and by the outward habit, even more than 
by holy words, that we must let our light shine before 
men to the glory of God. 

It was this singular holiness of life which endeared him 
so wonderfully to all those among whom he was thrown. 
Three times the episcopal dignity was offered to him, but 
he refused it with a kind of horror. He was used to say 
he would rather go away by night with nothing but his 
staff than accept any office or dignity. He could not, 
however, succeed in avoiding a temporary appointment as 
vicar to Guy, bishop of Carcassona, during the time that 
the latter was absent from his diocese preaching the cru- 
sade, and gathering together fresh forces to join the army 
of the Count de Montfort. He held this charge during 
the Lent of the year 1213, during which time he resided 
in the episcopal palace, and discharged all the duties of 
the office, without, however, suffering them to interfere 
with his customary occupation of preaching and instruct- 
ing in the faith. During this Lent we again find him 
spoken of as fasting on bread and water, and sleeping on 
the ground. "When Easter came," says his historian, 
" he seemed stronger and more vigorous than before, and 
of a better aspect." We may remark in this appointment, 
how entirely distinct Dominic's mission was from the 
military or political affairs in which many other of the 
Catholic clergy and prelates took their share. So far 
from being himself the preacher of the crusade, we see 
him taking the place and duties of another who is engaged 

33 1.1? £ OF 8. DOMINIC. 

in that undertaking, as if the purely spiritual character 
(f his ministry were generally recognised. Once, and 
once only, do we find his name in any way associated 
vith any of the judicial severities of the time; it is in an 
anecdote given by Theodoric of Apoldia, hut it will be 
hard to draw from it the conclusion that Dominic was the 
bloody persecutor represented in popular fiction ; for as 
we shall see, his part was to release, and not to condemn 
the prisoner in question. " Some heretics," says the his- 
torian, " having been taken and convicted in the country 
of Toulouse, were given over to secular judgment, because 
they refused to return to the faith, and were condemned 
to the Haines. Dominic looked at one of them with a 
heart to which were revealed the secrets of God, and said 
to the officers of the court, ' Put that man aside, and see 
well that no harm befall him.' Then, turning to the 
heretic, he said with great sweetness, 'My son, I know 
that you must have time, but you will at length become a 
saint.' Wonderful to relate, this man remained for 
twenty years longer in the blindness of heresy, till at 
length, touched by the grace of God, he renounced his 
errors, and died in the habit of the Friars Preachers, with 
the reputation of sanctity." 

The presence of Dominic at this execution will be un- 
derstood, if we remember that, before the diliverance of 
any heretic to the secular arm for punishment, every 
effort was made, by the exhortations of persons appointed 
for that purpose, to convince them of their errors, and 
reconcile them to the Church; in which case their sen- 
tence was rescinded, and they were admitted to canonical 
penance. This course was always followed in the later 
proceedings of the Inquisition; the part of the Church 
was to reconcile and convince, and not to condemn; 
in the instance just quoted, we might call it to pardon. 
This office was exercised by Dominic in virtue of the 
powers he held from the Papal legates; two letters prov- 
ing this fact are giving us by Echard, but have no date 
attached, although there is little doubt they belong to this 
period of his life. They are as follows: "To all the faith- 
ful in Christ to whom these presents may come, Brother 


Dominic, canon of Osma, the Humble minister of preach- 
ing, wishes health and charity in the Lord. We make 
known to your discretion, that we have permitted Ray- 
mund William de Hauterive Pelaganira to receive into 
his house of Toulouse, to live there after the ordinary 
life, William Huguecion, whom he has declared to us to 
have hitherto worn the habit of the heretics. We per- 
mit this until such time as it shall be otherwise ordered 
either to him or to me by the Lord Cardinal ; and this 
shall not in any way turn to his dishonour or prejudice." 
If it seems singular to us in those days that a written 
permission was necessary in order to allow any man to 
receive into his house a reconciled heretic, we must re- 
member the double character attaching to these people. 
They were not merely heretics, but the disturbers of 
the public peace; and, as the authors of every kind of 
outrage against society, it is not singular that some kind 
of pledge for their future good conduct was reasonably 

The other letter is of a severer character ; it is as fol- 
lows : " To all the faithful in Christ to whom these pre- 
sents may come, Brother Dominic, canon of Osma, wishes 
health in the Lord. By the authority of the Lord Abbot 
of Citeaux, who has committed to us this office, we have 
reconciled to the Church the bearer of these presents, 
Ponce Royer, converted by the grace of God from heresy 
to the faith ; and we order, in virtue of the oath which 
he has taken to us, that during three Sundays or feast- 
days he shall go to the entrance of the village, bare to the 
waist, and be struck with rods by the priest. We also 
order him to abstain for ever from flesh, eggs, cheese, and 
all which comes from flesh, except at Easter, Pentecost, 
and Christmas, when he shall eat some to protest against 
his former errors. He shall keep three Lents each year, 
fasting and abstaining from fish, unless from bodily infir- 
mity or the heat of the weather he shall be dispensed. 
He shall dress in religious habit, as well in the form as 
in the colour, t© the ends of which shall be hung two 
little crosses. Every day, if possible, he shall hear mass, 
and he shall go to vespers on festival days. Seven times 


a day he shall recite ten " Pater Nosters," and lie shall say 
twenty in the middle of the night. He shall observe 
chastity, and once a month he shall, in the morning, pre- 
sent this paper to the Chaplain of the village of Cere. 
We desire this Chaplain to have great care that his peni- 
tent lead a holy life, and observe all we have said until 
the lord legate shall otherwise ordain. If he neglect to 
do so through contempt, we will that he be excommuni- 
cated as perjured and heretic, and be separated from the 
society of the faithful." 

Such was still the Church's discipline in the thirteenth 
century. We who live in days when that discipline has 
been gradually, though reluctantly, relaxed, because of 
the relaxing love and faith of penitents, are amazed at 
its severity : we are even disposed to lay the responsi- 
bility of its seeming harshness on the head of him who 
pronounced the sentence. But Dominic was in no way 
the legislator in such a case as this : he was simply the 
executor and dispenser of the Church's law. The above 
diploma is one of those monumental records of canonical 
penances which we occasionally find preserved in the 
course of history, and which when so stumbled on are 
almost invariably rocks of offence to those who are 
accustomed to look on a litany, or a ' Salve Regina,' as 
a reasonable penance for the sins of a life. The ac- 
cumulation of indulgences in modern times ought surely 
to have its significance to such minds. In those days, 
men really performed the penances which are now dis- 
pensed. The rod which descends so gently on the head 
of the wandering stranger in the Roman basilicas, — that 
ghost of the ancient penitential discipline, — fell with a 
hearty earnestness on the shoulders of our fathers; and 
we cannot too often remind ourselves, by means of such 
documents as that we have just read, of a difference 
which should cover us with humiliation for the feeble- 
ness of modern penitence, rather than send us to criticize 
the severity with which the Church has ever looked on 


The institution of the Kosary. The Council of Lavaur. The 
battle of Muret. 

We have given a few anecdotes of the life led by 
Dominic during a time when war and bloodshed were 
raging around him. They are all that are left us to 
mark his course for many years. But it was during this 
time, though it would be difficult to affix the precise 
date, that he propagated that celebrated devotion which 
would alone entitle its author to our veneration, did we 
know him in no other way than as the first institutor of 
the Rosary. The universal voice of tradition affirms this 
devotion to have been revealed to him by the Blessed 
Virgin herself; and if we consider its almost super- 
natural character, combining as it does the simplest 
prayers with the profoundest meditations, or again if we 
remember the extraordinary power with which it has 
been blessed, and its adoption through the universal 
Church as the very alphabet of prayer, it is difficult 
for us not to believe it something more than a human 
invention, but rather as a gift which came to us as the 
most precious token of the love of our dear Mother. 
Although, however, there is ample ground for this belief, 
the details of any such revelation have not been pre- 
served to us for the circumstantial accounts of the 
giving of the Rosary, which are so popular with later 
writers, are not to be found in any of the more ancient 
authors, who leave the date and the manner of its first 
institution in obscurity.* Dominic's life during these 
years was, for the most part, a lonely and hidden one: 

* Local tradition declares the sanctury of Notre Dame de Dreche, 
near Albi, to have been the scene of the vision of our Lady ; it is 
certain that this sanctury first attained celebrity during the Albi- 
gensian troubles, and was one of the favourite resorts of fc>. Dominic 
in the course of his apostolic labours. 


his communications with heaven remained locked within 
his own breast ; for it was not with him as with so many 
other saints, on whom a hundred busy eyes were always 
fixed to mark every indication of supernatural grace, every 
phenomenon, if we may so say, of their ecstacy and prayer : 
his own lips were the only source from whence the secret 
favours of God could ever have been made known, and 
they certainly were the last which were ever likely to speak 
of them to another. 

We again remark in the institution of the Rosary 
something of that characteristic feature of S. Dominie to 
which we have before alluded. It was not altogether a 
new devotion. There was nothing novel in the frequent 
repetition of the " Angelical Salutation," or the " Pater 
Noster :" such devotion had been common in the Cnureh 
from time immemorial, and we read of the hermits of the 
deserts, counting such prayers with little stones, in the 
same way as we use the beads. The novelty was the 
association of mental and vocal prayer in those mys- 
teries, which gather together, under fifteen heads, all the 
history of the life of Christ. This working out of the 
materials which lay before him, and which others had 
used before him, is the peculiarity of which we "have 
spoken. It is the distinctive humility of our Saint. If 
we reflect on the way in which all his greatest actions 
were performed, we may safely say, that they came from 
a soul in which the petty desire of personal reputation, 
of making a noise in the world, of being known as the 
founder of an institution, or the originator of a noble 
thought, was never felt. Nay, if we may so say, there 
is something which perpetually reminds us of our Lord's 
own way of working; when He took His parables and 
similitudes from the common things before His eyes, and 
was content to let His Church grow out of the relics of 
Judaism, as its visible temples may sometimas be seen 
standing among the ruins of heathen fanes, converting 
all their beauty to a sacred use. In all S. Dominic's 
institutions we see this unconsciousness of self, which is 
an evidence of the highest class of mind, and it is 
probably from this cause that, in the commencement of 


all of them, there is an obscurity and uncertainty ?f date 
which is rarely found to attach to the inventions of human 

We may, however, consider it as certain that the Rosary 
had begun to be propagated before the year 1213, as we 
are assured that it was used by the soldiers of the Count 
de Montfort's army before the battle of Muret, which 
took place in that year. Many stories are told of the 
wonders which followed on its first adoption. Some de- 
spised it, and ridiculed its use ; among whom was one of 
the bishops of the country of Toulouse, who, hearing the 
Rosary preached by S. Dominic, spoke of it afterwards 
with contempt, saying it was only fit for women and 
children. He was soon convinced of his error ; for shortly 
afterwards, falling into great persecution and calumnies, 
he seemed in a vision to see himself plunged into thick 
mire from which there was no way of escape. Raising his 
eyes, he saw above him the forms of our Lady and S. 
Dominic, who let down to him a chain made of a hundred 
and fifty rings, fifteen of which were gold; and laying 
hold of this he found himself safely drawn to dry land. 
By this he understood, that it was by means of the de- 
votion of the Rosary he should be delivered from his 
enemies, which shortly took place after he had devoutly 
commenced its use. Another similar story relates how a 
noble lady opposed the new confraternities of this devo- 
tion with all her power, but was converted by the follow- 
ing vision, which was granted to her one night in prayer. 
Being rapt in ecstasy, she saw an innumerable company of 
men and women, surrounded by a great splendour, who 
devoutly recited the Rosary together; and for every "Ave 
Maria" which they repeated, a beautiful star came forth 
from their mouths, and the prayers were written in a book 
in letters of gold. Then the Blessed Virgin spoke to her 
and said, " In this book are written the names of the 
brethren and sisters of my Rosary, but thy name is not 
written; and because thou hast persuaded many not to 
enter it, there shall befall thee a sickness for a time, which 
yet shall turn to thy salvation." The lady was soon after 
seized with sickness, and, recognizing the truth of the 


prediction, she caused herself, on her recovery, to be in- 
scribed among the members of the confraternity. The 
spread of this devotion was the most successful weapon 
in the eradication of the Albigensian heresy. The child of 
ignorance, it fled before the light of truth; and as the 
mysteries of the faith were gradually brought back to the 
minds and hearts of the people, the mysteries of falsehood 
disappeared. The doctrine of the Incarnation, so specially 
commemorated in the Rosary, became then, as ever, the 
bulwark of the truth ; and wherever the sooiety was esta- 
blished, and the name of Mary was invoked, that name, as 
the Church sings, "alone destroyed all heresies." 

During the time that Dominic exercised the office of 
vicar to the Bishop of Carcassona, the position of the 
contending parties in Languedoc was considerably altered 
by the arrival of Peter, king of Arragon, who joined the 
forces of the Count of Toulouse with a powerful army. 
He was allied to the count by marriage, but had hitherto 
contented himself by negotiating in his favour with the 
court of Rome. In the beginning of the year 1213, 
however, a council was summoned at Lavaur, at which 
the king formally demanded from the legates and Catholic 
chiefs the restitution of the towns and lands which they 
had taken in the course of the war from the Count of 
Toulouse and the other nobles who had espoused .his 
cause, and their restoration to the communion of the 
Church. The council consented to admit the others on 
the terms proposed, but refused to include the Count of 
Toulouse, whose repeated perjuries and evasions had 
rendered him unworthy of trust. This answer was con- 
sidered by the king as an evidence that there was a re- 
solve to destroy the house of Toulouse, from motives of 
personal ambition on the part of the Count de Montfort ; 
and he, therefore, declared the family of Raymond under 
his protection, and appealed to the Holy See against the 
decision of the council. The legates, on their part, repre- 
sented to the Pope that the only chance of restoring peace 
to the distracted country was by the entire removal of 
the house of Toulouse, and the destruction of its heredi- 
tary power. The contradictory appeals and reports which 


were sent him, rendered it difficult for Innocent to judge 
in a cause involved every way in embarrassment. That 
he was very far from advocating unnecessary or undue 
severity towards Raymond and his family, we may gather 
from his own letters to the Count de Montfort, in which 
he urges him not to let the world think that he fought 
more for his own interests than for the cause of the faith. 
On the other hand, he complains, in a letter, that 
the king of Arragon has misled him as to the state of 
affairs, and enjoins him to proceed no further against the 
Count de Montfort, until the arrival of a cardinal whom 
he is about to despatch to the spot, to examine the whole 
question as his delegate. It was too late. Before the 
order arrived, the king had passed the Pyrenees, and, 
joining the troops of the Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and 
Comminges, prepared to advance against the army of the 
crusaders. Their position seemed indeed but gloomy, 
for the forces of the heretic leaders far outnumbered those 
of the Catholics. A lay brother of the Cistercians, who 
watched the progress of the war with painful interest, 
went in company with Stephen de Metz, another religious 
of the same order, to consult Dominic at this juncture A 
well knowing that God often revealed to him the secrets 
of coming events. "Will these evils ever have an end, 
Master Dominic?" asked the afflicted brother. He re- 
peated his question many times, but Dominic remained 
silent. At length he replied, " There will be a time when 
the malice of the men of Toulouse will have its end ; but 
it is far away ; and there will be much blood shed first, 
and a king will die in battle." Brother Stephen and the 
Cistercian interpreted this prediction to allude to Prince 
Louis of France, the son of Philip Augustus, who had 
joined the army of the crusaders in the previous February. 
"No," replied Dominic, "it will not touch the king of 
France : it is another king whose thread of life will be cut 
in the course of this war." This prophecy was very shortly 
to be accomplished, and Dominic himself was destined to 
be present on the spot where the decisive struggle took 
place which witnessed its fulfilment. 

Very shortly after uttering the prediction, he left Car- 


cassona on the return of the bishop, intending to join a 
congress of the Catholic prelates and legates which was 
to be held at Muret. On the road thither he passed 
through the city of Castres, where the body of the martyr 
S. Vincent was preserved, for the veneration of the faith- 
ful. Entering the church, to pay his devotion at the 
shrine of the saint, he remained so late that the prior of 
the collegiate canons of Castres, who w r as his host for the 
time, despatched one of the brethren to call him to din- 
ner. The brother obeyed, but on going into the church, 
he saw Dominic raised in the air in ecstasy before the 
altar ; and not daring to disturb him, he returned to the 
prior, who himself hastened to the spot, and beheld the 
spectacle with his own eyes. So forcible was the impres- 
sion it left on his mind of the sanctity of the man of God, 
that shortly after he joined himself to him, and was one 
of those who formed the first foundation of the order. 
This was the celebrated Matthew of France, afterwards 
the prior of the convent of S. James in Paris, and the 
first and last who ever bore the title of abbot among the 
Friars Preachers. After this incident, Dominic proceeded 
on his road to Muret. 

It was on the 10th of September of the same year, that 
the king of Arragon suddenly appeared before the walls of 
this place, with an army, according to some writers, of 
100,000 men, or, as others more probably state, of 40,000. 
The intelligence of his approach reached De Montfort at 
Fanjeaux. It seems probable that this hostile movement 
took the Catholic chieftain by surprise; for only a few 
weeks previously, he had been invited to a friendly con- 
ference by the king, and so little was he prepared for any 
active measures at the time (owing to the pending nego- 
tiations with the Roman court), that he had no more than 
800 horse, and a small number of men-at-arms with him, 
with which to come to the relief of the besieged. To 
oppose so contemptible a force to the army of the king, 
seemed little less than madness, yet he never hesitated. 
On the day following that on which the news reached 
him, he set out from Fanjeaux, taking with him the 
bishops and legates, amongst whom was Fulk, bishop of 


Toulouse, -with the intention of at least attempting a 
pacific settlement before the last appeal to arms. He 
stopped on his way at the Cistercian monastery of Bol- 
bonne, and going into the church, laid his sword on the 
altar, as though to commend his cause to God, and remained 
for some time in prayer ; then taking back his sword, as 
now no longer his, but God's, he proceeded to Saverdun, 
where he spent the night in confession and preparation 
for death. His little company of followers did the same, 
and on the morning of the following day they all com- 
municated, as* men who were about to offer their lives as 
a sacrifice. Some authors tells us that Dominic was pre- 
sent with the other legates and ecclesiastics in the army ; 
others name him as being in their company only at 
Muret ; but it seems probable that he had joined them 
previously, and if the current tradition is the correct one, 
that the crusaders ascribed their subsequent victory to 
the particular assistance of Mary, whom they had united 
to invoke in the prayers of the Rosary, we may well be- 
lieve that this appeal to our Lady of Victories came from 
his counsel and exhortation. The army reached Muret 
on the side of the town opposite to that where the forces 
of the king of Arragon were drawn up; but, before en- 
tering the gates, the bishops were dispatched with pro- 
positions of peace to the enemy's camp. A contemptuous 
sarcasm was the only reply they received, and returning 
to the army they all entered Muret together. But they 
determined on one more effort, and very early in the 
morning dispatched another message to the king, to the 
effect that they would wait upon him barefoot, to bring 
about the terms of reconciliation. They were preparing 
to execute this design, when a body of cavalry attacked 
the gates ; for the king had ordered the advance, without 
even deigning a reply to this second embassy. 

The scene that morning within the walls of Muret was 
surely a religious one. Eight hundred devoted men, for- 
tified by prayer and the sacraments of reconciliation, were 
about, as it seemed to human judgment, to lay down their 
lives as a sacrifice for the faith. There might be seen 
how the holy sacrifice was celebrated iu the presence of 


tliein all ; and how, when the Bishop of Uzes turned to 
say the last "Dominus vobiscum," De Montfort knelt 
before him, clad in armour, and said, " And I consecrate 
my blood and life for God and His faith ;" and how the 
swords and shields of the combatants were once more 
offered on the altar; and when it was over, and the horse- 
men were gathering together, and the very sound of the 
attack was at the gates, these men all once more dis- 
mounted, and bent their knee to venerate and kiss the 
crucifix, extended to them by the Bishop of Toulouse. He 
had come to give them his parting words and blessing. 
Did his voice falter, or his eye grow dim at the spectacle 
before him ? Something there certainly was of human 
emotion at that moment which history does not notice; 
for we are told it was not he, but the Bishop of Com- 
minges who stood by his side, that spoke the last charge 
to the army, and, taking the crucifix from the hands of 
Fulk, solemnly blessed them as they knelt. Then they 
rode out to battle, and the ecclesiastics turned back into 
the church to pray. 

Nothing more heroic is to be found in the whole history 
of chivalry, than this battle of Muret. It was a single 
charge. They rode through the open gates, and after a 
feigned movement of retreat, they suddenly turned rein, 
and dashed right on the ranks of their opponents, with 
the impetuosity of a mountain-torrent. Swift as light- 
ning they broke through the troops that opposed their 
onward course, scattering them before their horses' hoofs 
with something of supernatural energy, nor did they 
draw bridle till they reached the centre of the army 
where the king himself was stationed, surrounded by 
the flower of his nobles and followers. A moment's 
fierce struggle ensued; but the fall of the king decided 
the fortune of the day. Terrified by the shock of that 
tremendous charge, as it hurled itself upon them, the 
whole army fled in panic. The voice and example of 
their chief might again have rallied them, but that was 
wanting; Peter of Arragon lay dead on the field, and 
Dominic's prophecy was fulfilled. 


And where was he meanwhile? and what place has 
this page of chivalry in the annals of his apostolic life ? 
The flash of swords, and the tramp of those galloping 
steeds, startle us strangely from the story of his quiet, 
lonely wanderings over the mountains, filling their echoes 
with the sound of his hymns and litanies, as he goes 
about to preach. Where are we to look for him in such 
a scene ? Protestant writers are ready enough to tell us 
he was at the head of the Crusaders, carrying a crucifix, 
and urging them on to slaughter. We must be suffered 
to think, however, that neither in the schools of Palencia, 
nor in the canonry of Osma, could he have fitted himself 
for such a post as the leader of a cavalry charge whose 
equal is scarce to be found in history. Yet the battle of 
Muret forms part of the story of Dominic's life ; he had 
his place there ; for that one moment, and, so far as 
history gives us any token, for that one alone, he was 
brought in contact with the stormy scenes of the Crusade. 
He had his place; but, to find it, we must leave the 
battle-field, and go back to the church of Muret, where 
a different sight will greet us. When the Christian 
knights were ridden forth to the battle, the churchmen 
had gone before the altar to pray. They had sent their 
comrades, as it seemed, to certain death ; and their prayer 
had in it the anguish of supplication. Prostrate on the 
pavement, which they bathed with their tears, they 
poured out their souls to "God. F. Bernard, of the Order 
of Preachers, who lived in Toulouse at the beginning 
of the following century, and who wrote whilst the 
memory of these events was still fresh in the minds 
of the people, thus describes them : " Then going into 
the church, they prayed, raising their hands to heaven, 
and beseeching God for His servants who were exposed 
to death for His sake, with such great groans, and cries, 
that it seemed not that they prayed, but rather howled."* 

* A very popular tradition has represented S. Dominic as ascend- 
ing one of the towers on the wall, and displaying the crucifix for 
the encouragement of the Christian troops. This assertion has been 
supported by the exhibition, in later ages, at Toulouse, of a crucifix 
pierced all over with arrows, which is supposed to have been the 



But from this agonizing suspense they were roused by 
the shouts of the populace. The cry of victory sounded 
in their ears ; they hastened to the walls, and beheld the 
plain covered with the flying companies of the heretics. 
Some plunged into the waters of the Garonne and 
perished in their armour ; others trampled their own 
comrades to death in the confusion of their flight ' r many 
died under the swords of the Crusaders. It is computed 
that no fewer than 20,000 of the heretic forces were 
slain, whilst we are assured by all authorities that eight 
only of the Catholics fell during the combat of that day. 
As the Count de Montfort rode over that victorious field 
he checked his horse by the bleeding and trampled body 
of the king of Arragon. De Montfort had some of the 
failings, but all the virtues, of his order : he was cast in 
the heroic type of Christian chivalry. Descending from 
his horse, he kissed the body with tears, and gave orders 
for its honourable interment, as became a gallant enemy ; 
then, returning barefoot to Muret, he went first to the 
church to return thanks to God, and gave the horse and 
armour with which he had fought to the poor. It was a 
true picture of the ages of faith. 

We need scarcely be surprised that so wonderful a victory 
was looked on as miraculous, and counted as the fruit of 
prayer. De Montfort himself ever so regarded it ; and 

identical one used by him on the occasion. Polidori, who in all 
things strictly adheres to the ancient authors, and is careful to 
repudiate every modern addition of less authority, rejects this tale 
as utterly unfounded, chiefly from the entire silence of F. Bernard 
concerning the whole matter; and as he was Inquisitor of Toulouse 
during fourteen years, if any such crucifix had been preserved by the 
Institute in his day, he could hardly have failed noticing it. Pere 
Lacordaire, in his eloquent life of S. Dominic, has followed the 
same argument On the other hand, in the chapel of our Lady in 
the church of S. James at Muret, which was built as a memorial 
of the victory in the course of the same year, we see a picture 
representing the Blessed Virgin giving the Rosary to S. Dominic, 
who holds in his right hand a crucifix pierced with three arrows : 
on the other side of our Lady, kneel Simon de Montfort and Fulk 
of Toulouse. A fac-smile of this picture, and of the same date, 
was long kept in the Dominican church at Toulouse. Whether 
this picture alluded to any circumstance which really took place, 
or was itself the origin of the tradition, we do not pretend to 


attributing his success, under God, to the intercession of 
Dominic, his love and gratitude to the saint knew no 
hounds. It has always been so associated in the traditions 
and chronicles of the time with the institution of the 
Rosary, as to make many affirm that the first propagation 
of that devotion must be dated from this time. 

The battle of Muret was a fatal blow to the cause of 
the count of Toulouse. Very shortly after, Toulouse 
itself opened its gates to the victorious arms of De Mont- 
fort; and a council,* which assembled at Montpellier in 
the following year, decided that the sovereignty of the 
country should be intrusted to him, until the general 
council, about to assemble at Rome, should declare" fur- 
ther. Cardinal Benvenuto, who reached Toulouse just as 
the decisive blow had been struck, was commissioned to 
receive the elder Raymond to absolution, and to put a 
stop to further hostilities; but the question as to his 
future enjoyment of the temporal rights he had forfeited by 
breach of engagement, was still deferred. 

Twice again Dominic's name occurs among the busy 
scenes of De Montfort's career. He was called on to 
baptize his daughter, and to celebrate the marriage of his 
eldest son with the daughter of the dauphin of France. 
But the favour of the victorious chieftain, and the dis- 
tractions of the camp and court, were scarcely felt by him 
at this moment. The shifting chances of the war, guided 
by the hands of Providence, were opening to h'im, after 
long waiting, the way to that design which had ever 
floated before his mind's eye. The clouds which had so 
long hung over that distant horizon rose at last; and 
when Toulouse opened her gates, and the storm of the 
combat was lulled, and the favour of man was at hand to 
help on the will of God, Dominic, in his forty-sixth year, 
prepared to lay the foundation of that order which was 
to bear his name to future ages so long as the world and 
the Church should last. 

* In the Life of S. Francis we are informed, that the holy founder 
of the Friars Minor was present at this council, being then on his 
return from Spain. He had, however, no opportunity of meeting 
S. Dominic, as the latter was then absent at Carcassona, and took 
no part in the proceedings. 

. E 2 



Dominic commences the foundation of his order at Toulouse. The 
grant of Fulk of Toulouse. Dominic's second visit to Rome. 
The Council of Lateran. Innocent III. approves the plan of the 
Order. Meeting of Dominic and Francis 

Dominic came to Toulouse soon after the Crusaders 
had entered it, and was joyfully received both by Fulk 
and by the count de Montfort. Neither of these distin- 
guished persons were, however, destined to be the imme- 
diate co-operators with him in the foundation of the 
order. Peter Cellani, an opulent citizen of Toulouse, 
and another of the same rank, known to us only under 
the name of Thomas, presented themselves to him shortly 
after his arrival at Toulouse, and placed themselves and 
all they had at his disposal. Peter Cellani offered his 
own house for the use of the few companions whom 
Dominic had gathered together to commence his work. 
They were but six in all, and in after years Peter was 
accustomed to boast, that he had not been received into 
the order, but that it might rather be said he had re- 
ceived the order into his own house. With these six 
followers, whom he clothed in the habit of the Canons 
Regular, which he himself always wore, Dominic accord- 
ingly commenced a life of poverty and prayer under rules 
of religious discipline. 

But this alone did not satisfy him; the first design 
which he had conceived, and which had never left his 
mind, had pre-eminently as its object the salvation of 
souls, by means of such a ministration of the Divine 
Word as should proceed from a knowledge of sacred 
science, large enough for the defence of the Christian 
dogmas against all the assaults of heresy and infidelity. 
The whole future scope of the Friars Preachers was in 
the mind of Dominic at the moment of their first founda- 
tion. That it was so is evinced by his first step after 


assembling these six brethren in the house of Peter Cel- 
lani. He explained to them the extent and nature of his 
design; and showed them that, in order to carry it out 
and fit themselves for the task of teaching truth, they 
must first learn it. Now it so happened that there was 
then in Toulouse a celebrated doctor of theology, named 
Alexander, whose lectures were greatly admired and fre- 
quented. It was to him that Dominic resolved to intrust 
his little company. On the same morning Alexander had 
risen very early, and was in his room engaged in study, 
when he was overcome by an unusual and irresistible in- 
clination to sleep. His book dropped from his hand, and 
he sank into a profound slumber. As he slept he seemed 
to see before him seven stars, at first small and scarcely 
visible, but which increased in size and brightness, till 
they enlightened the whole world. As day broke he 
started from his dream, and hastened to the school where 
he was to deliver his usual lecture. Scarcely had he 
entered the room when Dominic and his six companions 
presented themselves before him. They were all clad 
alike, in the white habit and surplice of the Augustinian 
canons, and they announced themselves as poor brothers, 
who were about to preach the gospel of Christ to the 
faithful and heretics of Toulouse, and who desired first of 
all to profit by his instructions. Alexander understood 
that he saw before him the seven stars of his morning 
dream ; and many years after, when the order had indeed 
fulfilled the destiny predicted, and had covered Europe 
with the fame of its learning, he himself being then at the 
English court, related the whole circumstances with an 
almost fatherly pride, as having been the first master of the 
Friars Preachers. 

These first steps of the brethren were marked by the 
bishop, Fulk of Toulouse, with unmixed satisfaction. The 
piety and fervour displayed by them, and their exact fol- 
lowing in the footsteps of Dominic, for whom he had 
ever entertained a peculiar reverence, determined him to 
give the infant order the support of his powerful protec- 
tion. With the consent of his chapter he assigned the 
sixth part of the tithes of the diocese for their support, 


and the purchase of the books necessary for their studies. 
The document in which he makes this grant will not be 
without its interest : — " In the name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. We make known to all present and to come, that 
we Fulk, by the grace of God the humble minister of the 
see of Toulouse, desiring to extirpate heresy, to expel 
vice, to teach the rule of faith, and recall men to a holy 
life, appoint Brother Dominic and his companions to be 
preachers throughout our diocese; who propose to go on 
foot, as becomes religious, according to evangelical poverty, 
and to preach the word of evangelical truth. And 
because the workman is worthy of his hire, and we are 
bound not to muzzle the mouth of the ox who treadeth 
out the corn, and because those who preach the gospel 
shall live by the gospel, we desire that, whilst preaching 
through the diocese, the necessary means of support be 
administered to them from the revenues of the diocese. 
Wherefore, with the consent of the chapter of the church 
of S. Stephen, and of all the clergy of our diocese, we 
assign in perpetuity to the aforesaid preachers, and to 
others who, being moved by zeal for God and love for the 
salvation of souls, shall employ themselves in the like 
work of preaching, the sixth part of the tenths destined 
for the building and ornamenting all the parochial 
churches subject to our government, in order that they 
may provide themselves with habits, and whatsoever may 
be necessary to them when they shall be sick, or be in 
need of rest. If anything remain over at the year's end, 
let them give it back, that it -may be applied to the adorn- 
ing of the said parish churches,' or the relief of the poor, 
according as the bishop shall see fit. For inasmuch as it 
is established by law, that a certain part of the tithes 
shall always be assigned to the poor, it cannot be doubted 
that we are entitled to assign a certain portion thereof to 
those who voluntarily follow evangelical poverty for the 
love of Christ, labouring to enrich the world by their ex- 
ample and heavenly doctrine; and thus we shall satisfy 
our duty of freely scattering and dividing, both by our- 
selves and by means of others, spiritual things to those 
from whom we receive temporal things. Given in the 


year of the Word Incarnate 1215, in the reign of Philip 
king of France, the principality of Toulouse being held 
by the Count de Montfort." Neither was .De Montfort 
wanting in a like liberality tow ards the young order. He 
had already made many grants to the house of La Prouillc, 
and in this year we find him making over the castle 
and lands of Oassanel to the use of Dominic and hi3 

In the autum of the same year Fulk of Toulouse set 
out for Rome, to attend the approaching council cf the 
Lateran, and Dominic was his companion. Eleven years 
had passed since his first visit in company with Diego: 
they had been years of hard and solitary labour, and the 
work, the plan of which had even then been formed 
within his mind, was now but just developing into actual 
existence. Most surely he had within his soul the prin- 
ciple of a far higher strength than mere human enthu- 
siasm, or he might well have been daunted, as coming for 
the second time within sight of the eternal city, the forty- 
six years of his life lay before him, so full of patient 
work, and, as it seemed, blessed with so little fruit. And 
something more than human enthusiasm was needed, to 
look forward to the task of the future — the task of teach- 
ing and reforming a world ; whilst all the materials which 
he had as yet gathered for the struggle were to be found 
in the six unknown and unlettered companions whom he 
had left behind him at Toulouse. 

Innocent III. still filled the Papal chair, and the Council 
of Lateran formed almost the closing scene of a Ponti- 
ficate which must be held as one of the greatest ever 
given to the Church. On the 11th of November, 1215, 
nearly 500 bishops and primates, above 800 abbots and 
priors, and the representatives of all the royal houses of 
Europe, met in that ancient and magnificent church, the 
mother church of Rome and of the world. Few councils, 
save that of Trent, have higher claims on our venera- 
tion ; for in it were defined some of the highest articles of 
Catholic faith. The Albigenses, like so many other here- 
tical sects, were the involuntary means of drawing forth 
an explicit declaration of the Church's doctrine and disci- 


pline, and eliciting regulations of reform <ind Christian ob- 
servance, which have probably contributed more than any 
other to the well-being of the whole ecclesiastical body, 
as well as to each individual member thereof. We allude 
to the decrees concerning the nature of the Sacraments, 
and in particular of the Holy Eucharist, and to the esta- 
blishment of those two binding obligations of yearly con- 
fession and communion, which, whilst they do indeed 
attest the lamentable decay from primitive fervour which 
could have rendered such regulations necessary, yet placed 
a barrier against farther relaxation which no future 
age has been able to overstep. This council has always 
called forth the bitterest rancour from the supporters of 
heresy ; a result which was but natural, considering the 
vigour and success with which ii not only opposed itself 
to the evils which existed at the time, but, with an asto- 
nishing spirit of discernment, provided defences for the 
future, which have lost nothing of their power and stabi- 
lity even at the present day. In fact, the singular energy 
displayed by this celebrated council, and the very nature 
of its decrees, are a sufficient proof of the state in which 
the world and the Church were then found. There was 
everywhere a decay and a falling off. Old institutions 
were waxing effete, and had lost their power; whilst in- 
dications were everywhere visible of an extraordinary acti- 
vity and restlesness of mind, which was constantly break- 
ing out into disorder for want of channels wto which it 
might be safely guided. Europe had takm some cen- 
turies to struggle through the barbarism whi«h had fallen 
on her after the breaking up of the Roman Empire. As 
the waters of that great deluge subsided, life mme back 
by degrees to the submerged world, and just at this period 
was quickening into a vitality which, in the s»?-eeeding 
century, was manifested in what we might caU a luxuri- 
ance of growth. It was just one of those j?inc*.wes in 
the world's history, when God is wont to raise w> preat 
men who lay their hands on the human elements «f con- 
fusion, and fashion them into shape. And it is na+- too 
much to reckon among these the founder of the INfrai 


As yet the Church possessed only the more ancient, 
forms of monasticism, with some institutes of later creation, 
which had, however, but a limited object, or a merely 
local iufluence; for the Friars Minor, though they pre- 
ceded the Preachers by several years, could not as yet be 
said to have been formally established as a religious order. 
Dominic's idea included a much wider field than any of the 
more modern founders had attempted. He had designed 
an order for preaching and teaching ; which for that pur- 
pose should apply itself to the study of sacred letters, 
with the express object of the salvation of souls. But 
preaching and teaching had hitherto been considered the 
peculiar functions of the episcopate, and one of the de- 
crees of this very council of Later an, after enumerating 
the evils flowing from the neglect or inability of the 
bishops in respect to these offices, empowers them to 
choose fit and proper persons in each diocese to discharge 
the " holy exercise of preaching" in thei* stead. This 
decree, however, in nowise contemplated the establish- 
ment of any body of persons exercising the ofiice as an in- 
dependent right, or in any other way than as deputies to 
the bishop, and the plan was, therefore, one full of 
novelty, and, as it seemed, of difficulty and even danger. 
But, apart from every other consideration, we may ob- 
serve in it its admirable adaptation to the peculiar wants 
and feelings of the time. The world was like an un- 
trained, untaught child, just rising into manhood, and 
ready to learn anything. It wanted teachers, and whilst 
the want was unsatisfied, it made them for itself. During 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, one wild sect after 
another had risen, and counted its followers by thousands, 
with scarcely any other reason for its success than the 
favour which was ready to attach to a popular leader. 
Dominic determined on nothing less than to give them 
truth in a popular form, and from the mouths of popular 
teachers ; he felt that it had too long been buried in the 
cloister or the hermit's cell, and that the time was come 
for the world also to have evangelists. In short whilst 
his idea was directly aimed at the guidance and taming 
of the wild spirit of the day, it had in it not a little of the 


prevailing tone of enterprise and enthusiasm. It was the 
very chivalry of religion. 

His reception by the fathers of the council, and by the 
Pope himself, was cordial and flattering. Met as they 
were, in a great measure, to discuss the questions which 
had arisen out of the state of the French provinces, 
Dominic's name, and the part he had taken during the 
last ten years, were not unknown and unappreciated by 
them. Before the formal opening of the council, Pope 
Innocent granted him an apostolic brief, by which he 
received the convent of Prouille under the protection of 
the pontifical see, and confirmed the grants made to it. 
But when the plan for the foundation of the order was laid 
before him, its novelty and the vastness of its design 
startled him. It seemed to encroach on the privileges of 
the episcopate, and its boldness seemed dangerous at a 
moment when men's minds were so powerfully agitated. 
The troubles of the Waldenses were fresh in his mind, a 
sect which had grown out of the simple abuse of this 
same office of preaching, when usurped by men without 
learning or authority. The Church, in short, was jealous 
of innovation, and had just ruled, in the council then 
sitting, that no more new orders should be introduced or 
allowed. In the face of this fresh regulation, it certainly re- 
quired no small degree of boldness and confidence to pre- 
sent the scheme of a new foundation for approbation, and 
to perseverve in the request ; yet Dominic did so, and. the 
result proved not only the strength of his confidence, but 
the source from whence it had been derived. Five years 
previously, when Francis of Assisi had visited Rome to 
solicit the approbation of his infant order from the same 
Pope, the like objections and difficulties had been raised ; 
and we are assured that, on both occasions, they were re- 
moved by a similar interposition of Divine Providence. 
Pope Innocent, doubtful as to the reply he should grant, 
saw, in a vision of the night, the Lateran Basilica about to 
fall, and Dominic supporting it on his shoulders. An 
exactly similar dream had before decided him to listen to 
the petition of S. Francis; and it is probable that the 
coincidence of the two visions had an additional weight 

The pope approves the order. 59 

in determining him on this occasion to favour that of 

Yet the language of the council was too strong to be 
entirely evaded ; it was as follows : — " In order that the 
too great diversity of religious orders be not a cause of 
confusion in the Church of God, we strictly prohibit that 
any one do for the future form any new order ; whoever 
desires to become a religious, let him do so in one of those 
already approved. In like manner, if any one desire to 
found a new religious house, let him be careful that it 
observe the rule and constitutions of one of the approved 
orders." Not, therefore, to act in positive contradiction 
to a principle so recently and distinctly laid down, Inno- 
cent sent for the servant of God, and, after commending 
his zeal, and assuring him of his approval of the design, 
he desired him to return to France, that, in concert with 
his companions, he might choose one out of the ancient 
rules already approved, which should seem to them the 
best fitted for their purpose. When the selection was 
made he was to return to Rome, with the assurance of 
receiving from the apostolic see that confirmation which 
he desired. 

Besides this encouragement and promise of future pro- 
tection, Innocent was the first who bestowed on the order 
the name it has ever since borne. The circumstances 
under which he did so were a little singular, and have 
been preserved with unusual exactness. Shortly after 
granting the above favourable answer to the prayer of 
Dominic, he had occasion to write to him on some 
matters connected with the subject, and desired one of 
his secretaries to despatch the necessary orders. When 
the note was finished, the secretary asked to whom it 
should be addressed. " To Brother Dominic and his 
companions," he replied; then, after a moment's pause, 
he added, " No, do not write that ; let it be, ' To Brother 
Dominic, and those who preach with him in the country 
of Toulouse;'" then, stopping him yet a third time, he 
said, " Write this, ' To Master Dominic and the Brothers 
Preachers.' " This title, though cot at first formally given, 
by his successor Honorius in the bulls of confirmation,, 


was, as we shall see, afterwards adopted, and has always 
continued to be used. It was one to which Dominic himself 
was attached, and which he had always assumed. So early 
as the June of 1211, when he was in the midst of his 
solitary missionary labours in Languedoc, we find a 
document bearing his seal, attached to which are these 
words, "The seal of Brother Dominic, Preacher?'' 

The object of his visit to Rome was now fully accom- 
plished; yet he did not return to Languedoc until the 
spring of the following year. The council still sat, and 
it is probable that he was present at those deliberations 
concerning the future settlement of the French provinces, 
which terminated in the formal declaration that Raymond 
of Toulouse had forfeited his rights, and in the definitive 
transfer of them to the Count de Montfort. But we do 
not feel that these transactions require any further notice 
in a biography of S. Dominic. His connection with the 
history of the Albigensian struggle was now at an end; 
henceforth he was to belong, not to Languedoc or to 
France alone, but to the world. During his stay in Rome 
his first acquaintance with S. Francis was formed under 
the following circumstances. One night, being in prayer, 
he saw the figure of our Lord in the air above his head, 
with the appearance of great anger, and holding three 
arrows in his hand, with which he was about to strike the 
world in punishment of its enormous wickedness. Then 
the Blessed Virgin prostrated herself before him, and pre- 
sented two men to Him whose zeal should convert sinners, 
and appease His irritated justice. One of these men he 
recognised as himself; the other was wholly unknown to 
him. The next day, entering a church to pray, he saw 
the stranger of his vision, dressed in the rough habit of a 
poor beggar, and recognising him as his companion and 
brother in the work to which both were destined by God, 
he ran to him, and, embracing him with tears, exclaimed, 
"You are my comrade, you will go with me; let us keep 
together, and nothing shall prevail against us." This 
was the beginning of a friendship which lasted during the 
remainder of their lives. From that time they had but 
one heart and one soul in God; and though their orders 


remained separate and distinct, each fulfilling the work 
assigned to it by Divine Providence, yet a link of fra- 
ternal charity ever bound them together : " brought forth 
together," in the words of Blessed Humbert, "by our holy 
mother the Church," they felt that "God had destined 
them from all eternity to the same work, even the salva- 
tion of souls." In the following century the storm of 
persecution bound these two orders yet closer together; 
the blows aimed at the one fell on the other, and when 
they eventually triumphed over their enemies, the de- 
fence which so successfully silenced all attacks came from 
the lips of the two greatest doctors of either order, 
S. Thomas and S. Bonaventure; men who revived in their 
own day the friendship and the saintliness of their two 
great patriarchs.* 

In the Life of S. Francis it is said, that Angelus the 
Carmelite, afterwards a martyr of his order, was likewise 
in Rome at this time, and preached in the church of 
S. John Lateran, in the presence of the two holy founders, 

•::- The friendship between the two orders was not a mere matter 
of sentiment. It was considered of sufficient importance to be 
noticed in their very rule. In the Chapter of Paris, held in 1236, 
the following was ordained, and still continues in the Constitutions 
of the Friars Preachers : — 

"We declare that all our Priors and Brethren should have a 
diligent care that they always and everywhere bear, and heartily 
preserve, a great love to the Friars Minor; let them praise them 
with their lips, and by their works kindly receive and courteously 
treat with them; and be solicitous as far as they can to be at peace 
with them. And if any do contrary, let him be gravely punished. 
And let the Brethren beware, lest they ever speak otherwise than 
well of them, either among themselves or to any of their friends. 
And if any one, under the show of friendship, shall report any evil 
of the aforesaid Friars, our brethren must not be easy in believing 
it; but shall rather endeavor as iar as possible to excuse them. 
And if it chance that the Friars Minors shall have provoked us by 
speaking ill of us, nevertheless let us in nowise publicly contend 
with them." 

It i3 in the same spirit that we find it ordered, that there 
shall always be made a commemoration of " Our holy father 
S. Francis" in the little office of S. Dominic. (Such is the 
aifectionate title given by the Friars Preachers to the founder 
of the order of Minors.' Whilst within the last twelvemonth 
(1855) the entire office of both holy Patriarchs has been ordered 
to be recited by the brethren of the two orders on their respective 


predicting their future greatness, and the extension of 
their orders. Some of the Franciscan writers place this 
meeting of Dominic and Francis in the following year, 
when both were again present in Rome for the confirma- 
tion of their institutes, but the Dominican authorities are 
generally agreed in giving it as occurring during this visit. 
The difference is of no great consequence, and might easily 
arise without throwing any discredit on the authenticity 
of the circumstance itself, which rests on the authority of 
one of S. Francis's constant companions, and has never 
been called in question. 


Dominic's return to France. The brethren assemble at Prouille 
to choose a rule . The spirit of the Order. Some account of 
the first followers of Dominic. The Convent of S. Komain. 

The Gouncil of Lateran lasted but three weeks, and 
broke up at the end of November, 1215. In the early 
spring of the following year, Dominic found himself once 
more among his brethren at Toulouse. In the short 
period of his absence their numbers had increased from 
seven to sixteen, and we may well imagine the mutual 
joy of their meeting. He explained to them the result 
of his expedition to the Holy See, and the necessity 
which now lay on them to apply themselves to the choice 
of a rule. For this purpose he appointed Notre Dame 
de Prouille as the place of meeting, where two other of 
the brothers, Fr. William de Claret and Fr. Noel, who 
had care of the religious of Prouille, were waiting for 
them. It was April when they all gathered in this 
mother-house of the order; and after earnest prayer 
and invocation of the Holy Spirit, they agreed in 
choosing the rule of S. Austin ; a rule to which Dominic 


himself had long been bound, ever since he had worn the 
habit of Canon Regular, and which from its simplicity 
was the better fitted for their purpose, as being sus- 
ceptible of nearly any development which the peculiar 
objects of their institute might require. In choosing 
this rule, Dominic fulfihed the obligation imposed on 
him by tbe Pope, and escaped the censure of the late 
council, while at the same time he was left free to 
expand the general principles of religious life laid down 
by S. Anstin into particular constitutions of his own. 

He had not been the first who had made a singular use 
of this rule. If we compare the plan and work of S. 
Dominic with that of S. NorbeA who had preceded him 
by nearly a century, we shall Sid a very striking simi- 
larity. S. Norbert's rule was a reformation of that of the 
Regular Canons. In its design he departed from the or- 
dinary line of the more ancient forms of monasticism, and 
set before him as his object active missionary labours for 
the salvation of souls. His work was preaching. He 
himself preached all over the provinces of France and 
Flanders, and obtained faculties from Pope Gelasius II. 
enabling him to preach wherever he choose. A mere cur- 
sory glance would induce us to judge the spirit of these 
two orders identical; and there can be no doubt that, in 
many points of interior discipline, Dominic took the Pre- 
monstratensian rule as his guide. Yet we see clearly, 
that, whatever similarity existed between them, they were 
not the same; they were called to different works, and 
were to fill a different place in the Church of God. Reli- 
gious orders, we must never forget, are the result of 
Divine vocation, not the mere creations of human intelli- 
gence ; and those vocations they accomplish in an infinite 
variety of ways, which human intelligence could never 
have planned or executed : they are like the varieties of 
plants and animals in nature, whose mingled distinctions 
and similarities, multiplied in so many thousand forms, 
attest the authorship of an infinite Creator. We cannot 
but be struck by this supernatural element in the forma- 
tion of the order of Friars Preachers. As a mere human 
work, critics might find so much to say against it. If 


Domimic only wanted to join the active and contemplative 
lives together, S. Norbert had done it before him; why- 
could he not be a Premonstratensian ? They followed the 
same rule, and wore the same habit. Or if he and S. Francis 
really had the same thoughts, and were raised up for the 
same purpose, why did they not amalgamate, and then their 
strength would have been concentrated, instead of being 
divided ? These seemed reasonable objections ; they were 
doubtless some of those which encountered the holy 
founder at his first outset, for it is the way in which the 
world is wont to criticize the Church. It is certainly the 
way in which in our own day we do so, as though she 
were a vast piece of ingenious machinery, which we have 
a right to take to pieces and improve, as we like best. 
Wc often loose sight of the fact, that great men and great 
institutions, popes and councils and religious orders, are 
but instruments in the hands of God, who works them 
like puppets without their will, for the accomplishment of 
His own designs. The order of Friars Preachers had a 
place to fill in the Universal Church, never yet filled by 
any religious body, and in which it has since had no rival, 
even in the period of its decay. Only a hundred years 
from its first foundation, an Emperor* who was its avowed 
enemy, and who during his whole life had persecuted it 
to the last extremity, witnessing its remarkable contest 
against the alleged errors of a Pontiff, f whom it had been 

-::- Louis of Bavaria 

t John XXII. This pontiff was reported to have given utterance, 
as a private individual, to some opinions of doubtful orthodoxy, 
concerning the state of souls previous to the day of j udgment. He 
himself, in a brief which death alone prevented him from publishing 
in the consistory he had summoned for the purpose, made the most 
distinct and formal protest of hia entire and hearty accordance with 
the doctrine of the Church. (Rohrbacher, H, sioire de V Eglise Catho- 
lique, torn, xx- p. 227.) Whether or no he ever did hold the opinions 
in question, the subject gave rise to a cohtroversj r , in which the 
Friars Preachers took a distinguished part ; particularly an English- 
man, by name F. Thomas Walent, who is described as " a man of 
great zeal, great heart, and great learning :" with daring courage 
he preached in the very presence of the Pope, denouncing the 
supposed error in no measured terms, and suffered for his boldness 
by a long imprisonment. The favourers of the disputed point had 


foremost to defend when the aggressions of an Antipope 
divided the allegiance of the faithful, pronounced this 
celebrated verdict, wrested from him, as it were, against 
his will : " The order of Preachers is the order of truth. 11 
This is the place which it has ever filled; which in 
God's Providence, we trust it ever will fill ; and it was the 
place for which Dominic determined it should be fitted 
from the very first. His plan was threefold. The first and 
primary idea of the order was labour for the salvation of 
souls ; but in setting this before him as his principal aim, he 
was not willing to abandon anything of the religious cha- 
racter which attached to the elder institutes of the Church. 
In short, the whole of his design*is expressed in that pas- 
sage of the constitutions where it is said that " the Order 
of Preachers was principally and essentially designed for 
preaching and teaching, in order thereby to communicate 
to others the fruits of contemplation, and to procure the 
salvation of souls." Dominic well knew that to sanctify 
others the teachers should first be sanctified themselves, 
and he was content to follow the guidance of antiquity in 
choosing the means of that sanctification whose fruits 
were to be imparted to the world. Those means had ever 
been considered as best found in the rigorous discipline 
of the cloister : in silence and poverty, prayer, fasting, 
and a life of penance, and the secret and magical influences 
of community life. He therefore included in his rule all 
the essential characteristics of monasticism, whilst at the 
same time a certain freedom and expansiveness was mingled 
with the strictness of its discipline, which enabled it ever 
to bend and mould itself so as to meet its great and pri- 
mary intention, the salvation of souls. In the constitu- 
tions of the order, accordingly, we find, mixed with the 
usual enactments of regular discipline, certain powers of 
dispensation, to be used when a literal and unbending ad- 
herence to the letter of the rule would embarrass and 
impede the brethren in their more active duties. There 
are also express constitutions, both for the ordering of 

sufficient influence to cause considerable suffering and disgrace to 
the order, which, however, never relaxed an inch in its obstinate 
defence of the teaching of the Catholic Church. 



their own studies, and the regulation of sucli schools as 
they might open for the teaching of others; so that all 
their active and apostolic undertakings, instead of being 
departures from the rule, should be provided for in it, and 
partake of its own spirit and discipline. We may, there- 
fjre, consider contemplation, apostolic labour for souls, 
and the especial cultivation of theological science, as the 
three objects which Dominie sought to unite in the con- 
stitution of his order. 

With what success he laboured, and with what fidelity 
his children have adhered to the character first imprinted 
on their institute by the hand of its founder, it is for his- 
tory to show. The ord£r of Friars Preachers has never 
lost anything of the monastic spirit, whilst at the same 
time it has never so exclusively adhered to it as to lose 
sight of the active duties imposed on it by its vocation to 
apostolic labour. The two characters have ever been pre- 
served entire, and it has presented to the world, through- 
out six centuries, the spectacle of a body acting in the 
most perfect unity of government and design, producing 
at one and the same time the highest examples of con- 
templative saints, apostolic missionaries, and theological 
writers. If we are dazzled by the fame of its doctors, we 
have but to turn over the page of the Dominican chro- 
nicles, and, in exchange for the successes of a university 
contest, we shall find some talc of saintly life, redolent 
with the sweetness of evangelic simplicity. Its saints are 
not all great men in the world's reckoning; they are 
gathered from all ranks ; from the shepherds of the 
Spanish mountains, the blind beggars of Italy, or the 
slaves of America, as well as from princes and doctors of 
the church. Or if, whilst dwelling on this side of the vast 
scene which it unfolds to us, absorbed, it may be, in the 
seraphic revelations of S. Catherine, or the sweet mys- 
ticism of the German Suso, we are tempted to think that 
its genius grew to be contemplative only, and that in time 
it shrank from close contact with the world for which it 
was called to labour, other pages lie open before us rich 
with tales of the strife of martyrs. Poland, Hungary, 
Ethiopia, America, and China — these, and many other 


countries, have tlie children of Dominic evangelized by 
their preaching and watered with their blood. Nor is this 
all; it has constantly been true to its vocation as the 
organ of popularizing truth. It has borrowed from the 
spirit of the age to supply the wants of the age. When 
the world was accustomed to gather science from the lips 
of living orators, it gave out its companies of preachers 
and lecturers. When books became more popular vehicles 
of teaching, there was no want of Dominican writers. 
Nay, it knew how to use other and lighter kinds of in- 
struction, and laid a strong hand upon the magic of the 
arts. How many a sermon has Angelico left us in the 
colours which still charm us on the walls of his convent ; 
and after him, painting still remained the heritage of the 
order which gave him birth, and in its hands has never 
ceased to be Christian. And if we cannot say of the 
greatest poet of the middle ages, that he was himself a 
child of Dominic, it must at least be confessed that he 
found means to clothe his verse in the spirit of a theology 
whose master and teacher was S. Thomas. Pre-eminently 
the order of the church, it has shared her destinies, as it 
has clung to her teaching. Like her, it has never lost its 
unity; we do not indeed pretend to say of either, that 
time has never seen their children waxing cold and un- 
faithful ; but with both, the power of reformation has ever 
been found to exist within their own bosoms. The only 
occasion when the order of Preachers can ever be said to 
have endured a divided government, was the unhappy 
period when it shared in a schism which rent the allegi- 
ance of the church herself; when one regained unity of 
obedience, it was restored also to the other. After all its 
sufferings we constantly see it renewing its strength like 
the eagle; and even in our day, we can scarcely fail to 
observe that astonishing vitality and power of fresh develop- 
ment, which after six centuries bursts out as vigorous as 
ever, attesting its principle of eternal youth. 

Before closing this chapter, we must give a brief ac- 
count of those brethren who joined with S. Dominic in 
the deliberations of Prouille, and who with him may be 
considered the first founders and propagators of the order. 


They were, as we have said, sixteen in number. Matthew 
of France we have before mentioned in relating the cir- 
cumstances of his first acquaintance with S. Dominic, 
when prior of S. Vincent's church at Castres; Bertrand 
of Garrigues, a little village in the province of Narbonne, 
was the constant companion of the holy father in all his 
journeys, and a most faithful imitator of his life and auste- 
rities. It is of him that it is related, how, being con- 
stantly weeping for his sins, S. Dominic reproved him, 
and enjoined him rather to weep and pray for the sins of 
others. This circumstance throws light upon another 
story, very commonly repeated, but which we venture to 
think has not always been fully understood. It is thus 
related by Surius : — " This Brother Bertrand, a holy man, 
and, as we have said, the first prior provincial of Provence, 
was accustomed every day to celebrate mass for sins; 
and being asked by one Brother Benedict, a prudent man, 
why he so rarely celebrated mass for the dead, and so fre- 
quently for sins, he replied, ' We are certain of the salva- 
tion of the faithful departed, whereas we remain tossed 
about in many perils.' ' Then,' said Brother Benedict, < if 
there were two beggars, the one with all his limbs sound, 
and the other wanting them, which would you compas- 
sionate the most ?' And he replied, ' Him certainly who 
can do least for himself.' 'Then,' said Benedict, 'such 
certainly are the dead, who have neither mouth to con- 
fess nor hands to work, but ask our help ; whereas living 
sinners have mouths and hands, and with them can take 
care of themselves. And when Bertrand was not per- 
suaded in his mind, on the following night there appeared 
to him a terrible figure of a departed soul, who with a 
bundle of wood did in a wonderful manner press and 
weigh upon him, and waking him up more than ten times 
that same night, did vex and trouble him. Therefore on 
the following morning he called Benedict to him, and 
told him all the story of the night ; and thence religiously, 
and with many tears, going to the altar, he offered the 
holy sacrifice for the departed, and from, that time very 
frequently did the same. This is the same Brother Ber- 
trand, a most holy and venerable man, to whom S. Dominic 


enjoined that lie should not weep for his own, but for 
others' sins; for he well knew that he was wont to do 
excessive penance for his sins. And this charge of the 
Blessed Dominic had such an effect on the soul of Brother 
Bertrand, that from that time, even if he wished, he was 
not able to weep for his own sins ; but when he mourned 
for those of others, his tears would flow in great 

The next of S. Dominic's companions whom we find 
noticed, are the two whom we have before mentioned as 
residing at Prouille, where they had care of the nuns; 
"William de Claret of Pamiers, and Brother Noel, a native 
of Prouille. The former of these had been one of the 
first missioners among the Albigenses, in the time of 
Diego of Azevedo. After remaining in the habit of the 
Friars Preachers for twenty years, he left the order and 
joined the Cistercians. Not content with this, he even 
attempted to induce the nuns to follow his example, but, 
it is unnecessary to say, without success. Then there 
was* Brother Suero Gomez, a Portuguese of noble birth, 
who left the royal court to join the army of De Mont- 
fort against the Albigenses. He was one of those who 
witnessed the deliverance of the fourteen English pil- 
grims, and who assisted in bringing them to shore, 
and shortly afterwards passed to the company of Domi- 
nic; he is said to have been distinguished for many 
virtues, and was the founder of the order in Portugal. 
Michael de Fabra, a Spaniard of noble blood, was 
the first lecturer on theology in the order, and held 
that office in the convent of S. James, at Paris. He 
was also a celebrated preacher, and accompanied King 
James of Arragon in his expedition against Majorca, 
where it is said, " So great was the esteem had of him, 
that during the fifteen months that the siege lasted 
nothing was done in the camp, either by soldiers or 
captains, save what was by him ordered."* Such was 
the reverence in which he was held, that after the 
conquest of the island he was looked on as the father 
and ruler of it; and his name was always invoked next 
* Michaele Pio Uomini— illustri. 


after God and the Blessed Virgin. Divers stories of his 
apparitions and supernatural assistance to the Christian 
soldiers are to be found; and the Moors were themselves 
accustomed to say, that it was Mary and Brother Michael, 
not the Spaniards, who conquered the island. 

Another Michael, called De Uzero, was afterwards 
sent by Dominic to establish the order in Spain. Brother 
Dominic, called sometimes the little, on account of his 
stature, or by others, Dominic the second, (and confused 
by some writers with Dominic of Segovia,* or the third,) 
had also been one of the holy patriarch's first companions 
in the missions of Toulouse. "He was," says his his- 
torian, " little of body, but powerful of soul, and of great 
sanctity." He too was a wonderful preacher, and cleared 
the court of king Ferdinand, " as it were in a moment," of 
all buffoons, flatterers, and other evil company. 

Next comes Lawrence the Englishman. He is said to 
have been one of the pilgrims whom Dominic saved from 
death, as before related. By many he is called Blessed 
Lawrence, a title he seems to have deserved by his 
sanctity and his gifts of prophecy and miracles. Then 
there was Brother Stephen of Metz, a Belgian, " a man 
of rare abstinence, the frequent macerator of his own 
body, and of burning zeal for the eternal salvation of his 
neighbour ;" and Brother John of Navarre, whom S. 
Dominic had brought with him to Toulouse from Borne, 
and there given the habit. He it was to whom S. Domi- 
nic gave the celebrated lesson on holy poverty, which we 
shall notice in its proper place. "He was then imper- 
fect," says his biographer, "but afterwards made many 
journeys with S. Dominic, and by familiar conversation 
with him learnt how to be a saint, which indeed he 
became." He was one of those who gave his evidence 
on the canonization of the holy father. Peter of Madrid 

* Many authors tell us, that "Dominic the little " was the first 
Provincial ofLombardy, and afterwards of Spain ; and that he was 
likewise called " Dominic of Segovia. It is clear, however, from 
the account of Michaele Pio, that the two Dominica were distinct 
persons, and that Dominic of Segovia." the Provincial ofLombardy, 
was not the same as the early companion of the holy patriarch of 
his order. 


is the next name, but we find no particulars of his life. 
The two citizens of Toulouse, Peter Cellani and Thomas, 
have already been mentioned. Oderic of Normandy was 
a lay brother, and accompanied Matthew of France to 
Paris, where he was known and reverenced for his 
" perfection of sanctity." Lastly, there was Manez 
Gusman, S. Dominic's own brother, " a man of great 
contemplation, zealpus for souls, and illustrious for 
sanctity;" the only one of the sixteen who has received 
the solemn beatification of the Church. He had a great 
gift of preaching, although his attraction was wholly to 
contemplation. Michaele Pio gives us his character in a 
few expressive words ; " Above all things he loved quiet 
and solitude, taking most delight in a contemplative life, 
in the which he made marvellous profit ; and in living 
alone with God and himself, rather than with others. He 
had the government of the nuns who were established 
at Madrid. Sincerity and simplicity shone in him above 
all things ; and many miracles declared to the world how 
dear he was to heaven." 

As soon as the little council of Prouille had concluded 
its deliberations, Dominic returned to Toulouse. There 
fresh demonstrations of the friendship of Fulk awaited 
him. With the consent of his chapter he made him the 
grant of three churches : Saint Eomain at Toulouse, and 
two others; one at Pamiers, and another, dedicated to 
our Lady, near Puy-Laurens. These in time had each a 
convent attached to them; but that of S. Remain was 
commenced immediately, for Peter Cellani's house was 
no longer adapted to their increased numbers. A very 
humble cloister was therefore built contiguous to the 
church, and over it were placed the cells of the brethren. 
This was the first monastery of the order. The friars left 
it in 1232, in order to remove to a larger and more 
magnificent building. The convent of S. Romain was 
poor enough, and soon completed ; the brethren went 
into it in the summer of the same year, 1216 ; and the 
house of Peter Cellani became the future residence of the 

Previous to his last departure to Rome, Dominic had, 


with the concurrence of his brethren, made over all the 
lands and property granted to him and his brethren, to 
the nuns of Prouille. Afterwards he had accepted, as 
it seems a little reluctantly, the revenues provided by 
the generosity of Fulk of Toulouse. But though he 
himself felt attracted towards the entire observance of 
poverty in its strictest form, the mendicity which was 
afterwards made a law of the order was not among those 
constitutions drawn up at Prouille and immediately 
adopted. It was reserved for the test of experience, 
and for future deliberations. Nevertheless poverty was 
scarcely less dear to Dominic than it was to Francis; he 
honoured it in his own person, and was vigorous in seeing 
it observed by those he governed; and we are assured that 
every detail of the convent of S. Roniain was executed 
from his orders, and under his own eye, so as to insure 
its conformity to the strictest requirements of his favourite 



Dominic's third visit to Rome. Confirmation of the Order by 
Honorious III. Dominic's vision in S. Peter's He is appointed 
master of the Sacred Palace. Ugolino of Ostia. 

As soon as the convent of S. Romain had been taken 
possession of by the brethren, Dominic prepared to return 
to Rome, to lay the result of his consultation with the 
other brethren before the Sovereign Pontiff. Before he 
did so, the news arrived of the death of Innocent III., 
which took place at Perugia on the 16th of July, and of 
the election on the day following of Cardinal Savilli as his 
successor, under the title of Honorious III. This seemed in- 
deed a severe blow to the hopes of the young order, for In- 
nocent had been a sure and faithful friend, and it might well 
cause no small anxiety to have to treat with a new Pontiff 
for the confirmation of an unknown and untried institute. 
He, however, set out, leaving Bertrand of Garrigues to 


govern the convent in his absence, whilst he himself made 
his third visit to the Roman capital. lie arrived there in 
.the month of September, and found the Pope still absent 
at Perugia ; this caused him some delay, and during the 
interval he lived a poor and unknown life, having no other 
lodging at night than in the Churches. It seemed at first 
as if many difficulties would stand in the way of the suc- 
cess of his enterprise ; for the new Pontiff was engaged 
in various troublesome negotiations, and his court was full 
of dissensions. Dominic's resource was constant prayer ; 
and in spite of all obstacles, he obtained the two bulls 
confirming the foundation of the order of the 22nd of 
the following December. The confirmation of the Order 
of Friars Minor was made at the same time, S. Francis 
being at that time in Rome; and by very many the 
meeting between him and Dominic is said to have taken 
place at this period, and not on the occasion of their 
former visit. 

The first bull given by Honorius is of considerable 
length: it grants a variety of privileges and immunities, 
and confirms the order in the possession of all the lands, 
ehurches, and revenues with which it had been endowed 
by Fulk and other benefactors. The second bull is much 
shorter, and we insert it for the sake of a remarkable 
expression which it contains prophetic of the future des- 
tinies of the order : — " Honorius, bishop, servant of the 
servants of God, to our dear son Dominic, prior of S. 
Roniain at Toulouse, and to your brethren who have 
made or shall make profession of regular life, health and 
apostolic benediction. We, considering that the brethren 
of the order will he the champions of the faith and true 
lights of the world, do confirm the order in all its lands 
and possessions present and to come, and we take under 
our protection and government the order itself, with all its 
goods and rights." 

It was at Santa Sabina, then the apostolic palace, that 
these two bulls were given on the same day. In neither 
of them, however, did the new order receive the title 
which had been originally given to it by Innocent III., 
and which was so dear to Dominic, that of Preachers. In 


a third bull, however, dated the 26th of January, 1217, 
the omission is made up. It begins as follows : — "Honorius r 
bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dear son the 
prior and brethren of S. Romain, Preachers in the country 
of Toulouse, health and apostolic benediction." Mean- 
while Dominic, whose mission at Rome was accomplished 
as soon as the two first bulls had been granted, was 
anxious to return to Toulouse, but was detained at Rome 
by the command of the Pontiff, who had conceived a high 
esteem and affection for him. Day and night, therefore, 
he commended his children and their work to God, and 
specially in those watches which he still continued to 
keep in the churches, which were his only lodging. That 
of the Holy Apostles was the one he loved the best, and it 
was whilst fervently praying for his order at their tomb, 
that he was granted a second vision to encourage and 
console him. This was the appearance of the apostles 
S. Peter and S. Paul, the first of whom gave him a staff, 
and the second a book, saying these words: "Go and 
preach, for to this ministry thou art called." Then he 
seemed to see his children sent forth two and two into 
the world, preaching to all nations the word of God. 
Some writers add that the Holy Spirit was seen to rest 
on his head in the form of a fiery tongue, and that from 
that time he was singularly confirmed in grace, and freed 
from many temptations; others, that he ever aftewards 
bore about with him the book of the Gospels and of the 
Epistles of S. Paul. In all his journeys, too, he con- 
stantly carried a stick, an unusual thing which he proba- 
bly did in memory of this vision. His delay at Rome, if 
tedious to himself, was greatly profitable to others. Lent 
found him still there ; and during that holy season he 
took occasion frequently to exercise his office of preaching. 
His success induced the Pope to appoint him to explain 
the Epistles of S. Paul in the sacred palace, before the 
court and cardinals. An ancient author of the noble 
house of Colonna, himself a Dominican, tells us that 
" Many came from all parts to hear him, both scholars 
and doctors, and all gave him the title of Master." Other 
authors, among whom is Flaminius, relate that the origin 


of tliis appointment of S. Dominic was as follows: Ho 
was, they say, greatly displeased, on the occasion of his 
visits to the palace, to see the followers of the cardinals 
idling about the ante-chambers, playing at games of 
chance, whilst their masters were engaged on the business 
of the Church ; and that he suggessed to the Pope 
whether some means could not be devised for enter- 
taining them religiously and usefully, by the explanation 
of the Scriptures. The Pope, agreeing to his views, laid 
the charge on himself, and instituted the office of Master 
of the Sacred Palace, which continues even to our own 
day, and is always conferred on one of the Dominican 
order. This office is not simply a titular one ; its duties 
are considerable, and of no small importance, including 
the censorship of all books published in Rome ; and its 
possessor has been described as the Pope's theologian, 
acting as his domestic adviser in all matters of a theolo- 
gical character. 

Another of those dear and honourable friendships which 
so embellish the life of Dominic, was formed during this 
visit to the Roman capital. Ugolino Conti, cardinal 
bishop of Ostia, and afterwards successor to Honorius, 
under the title of -Gregory IX., already the friend and pro- 
tector of Francis and of the Friars Minor, now first made 
the acquaintance of his brother and rival in sanctity. He 
was advanced in age, but a man of warm and enthusiastic 
feelings, who ever counted the close personal ties which 
bound him to those two great men as among the greatest 
privileges of his life. It was at his house that Dominic 
met another younger friend, William de Montferrat, who 
was spending Easter with Ugolino. The charm of the 
saint's intercourse, which indeed seems to have been of a 
very peculiar and winning kind, so captivated him that he 
was induced to take the habit of his order. He has left 
us the account of the whole matter in his own words : — 
"It is about sixteen years," he says, " since I went to 
Rome to spend Lent there, and the present Pope, who 
was then- Bishop of Ostia, received me into his house. At 
that time Brother Dominic, the founder and first master 
of the order of Preachers, was at the Roman court, and 


often visited my lord of Ostia. This gave me an oppor- 
tunity of knowing him ; his conversation pleased me, and 
I began to love him. Many a time did we speak together 
of the eternal salvation of our own souls, and those of all 
men. I never spoke to a man of equal perfection, or one 
so wholly taken up with the salvation of mankind, 
although indeed I have had intercourse with many very 
holy religious. I therefore determined to join him, as 
one of his disciples, after I had studied theology at the 
university of Paris for two years, and it was so agreed be- 
tween us ; and also, that after he had established the 
future discipline of his brethren, we should go together to 
convert, first, the pagans of Persia or of Greece, and then 
those who live in the southern countries." Once more we 
find here the key-note of Dominic's soul, the salvation of 
souls, which "wholly took him up;" and how large and 
magnificent was that thought of going first to convert 
Persia and Greece, and then on to the southern world ! 
He had the very soul of chivalry under his friar's tunic ; 
and we can well imagine the charm which such vast and 
glowing thoughts, clothed in the eloquence which was all 
his own, must have exerted over the minds of those who 
listened to him. He endeavoured also to persuade Bar- 
tholomew of Clusa, archdeacon of Mascon and canon •*£ 
Chartres, one of his own penitents, to enter the new order, 
for he clearly discerned that such was God's vocation to 
his soul. Bartholomew, however, turned a deaf ear to all 
he said, and Dominic predicted that many things would 
befall him in consequence of his resistance to grace, which 
things, he himself assures us, did really afterwards happen 
to him ; but what they were does not appear 

Among the incidents of his life at Koine during this 
visit, we find mention of several active works of mercy, 
both spiritual and corporal. Outside the walls of the city 
there resided at that time certain recluses, commonly 
called Murati from their habitation. They were a com- 
munity of hermits ; each lived in a poor little cell separate 
one from the other ; in which they were inclosed, never 
leaving them ; being moved to this singular life by a par- 
ticular spirit of mortification and solicitude. Almost every 


morning, after celebrating mass and reciting the Divine 
office, Dominic went to visit them, conversing with them 
on holy subjects, and exhorting them to perseverance. 
He was also accustomed to administer to them the sacra- 
ments of penance and the eucharist, and was, in short, 
what would be now called their director. When not 
engaged in these duties, of in the public exercise of 
preaching, he was to be found in the churches, where he 
spent his nights. 


Dominic returns to Toulouse. He disperses the Community of 
S. Romain. His address to the people of Languedoc. Future 
affairs of the Order in that country. 

It was not until the May of 1217, that Dominic was 
able to return to Toulouse. His return was very wel- 
come to his children ; yet their joy was, if we may so say, 
a little sobered, when, almost immediately on his arrival, 
after gathering them together and addressing to them a 
fervent exhortation on the manner of life to which they 
now stood pledged, he announced his intention of break- 
ing up the little community as yet but just formed, and 
scattering its members to different countries. The plan 
seemed the height of imprudence; all joined in blaming 
it, and endeavouring to dissuade him from it. But 
Dominic was inexorable; the vision which he had seen 
beside the tomb of the apostles was fresh in his eye ; their 
voice yet sounded in his ear. Fulk of Toulouse, De 
Montfort, the archbishop of Narbonne, and even his own 
companions, urged him to pause, but nothing would stir 
him from his purpose. " My lords' and fathers," he said, 
•' do not oppose me, for I know very well what I am 
about." He felt that their vocation was not to one place, 
but for all nations ; not for themselves alone, but for the 
Church and the world. " The seed," he said, " will fructify 
if it is sown ; it will ut moulder if you hoard it up." Some 


little time he gave them to consider if they could submit 
to his determination, with the alternative otherwise of 
abandoning the order. But his followers, whatever had 
been their feelings on the subject, had too profound a 
veneration for his person and character to oppose their 
judgments to his, and soon yielded the point. 1 The event 
showed how entirely his resolution had been guided by 
the spirit of God. 

Meanwhile, in the preparation which he made for this 
dispersion of his children, he showed how great was his 
anxiety for the preservation among them of the observ- 
ance and spirit of their rule. The convent of Toulouse 
he designed to be the model which was to be followed in 
all later foundations, and made several regulations to ren- 
der it more perfect in its arrangements. He thought it 
well that the brethern should from time to time meet to- 
gether for mutual counsel and encouragement. With 
this idea lie caused two large additional rooms to be built, 
one for containing the habits of the community, the other 
for the brethren to assemble in ; for until now they, like 
the Cistercians, had had no rooms but their cells and the 
refectory. These two additions to their little convent 
added materially to the comfort of those who were to be 
left to inhabit it, and were doubtless the more welcome 
to them as proofs of the watchful thoughtfulness of their 
father. He was very earnest in enjoining upon them the 
strict observance of that part of S. Austin's rule which 
forbids all private appropriation of the smallest article. 
Even in the ehurch itself he desired that the spirit of 
holy poverty should never be forgotteu ; and though he 
constantly insisted on its being kept a mirror of cleanli- 
ness, yet he forbade all elegancies and curiosities, and 
even ordered that the sacred vestments should not be 
made of silk. As to the cells of the brethren, the 
poverty he enjoined was absolute : a little cane bedstead, 
and a miserable bench were the only furniture he allowed. 
They had no doors, in order that the superior might 
always be able to see the brethren as he passed along; 
the dormitory resembled, as closely as possible, that of 
an hospital. 


Blessed Jordan tells us, that it was whilst engaged in 
these regulations, that the holy father had the vision which 
foretold to him the death of the Count De Montfort. He 
seemed to see an immense tree, in whose branches a 
great quantity of birds had taken refuge; the tree was 
luxuriant and beautiful, and spread out its arms over the 
earth : suddenly it fell, and the birds all took flight, and 
Dominie was given to understand, that this represented 
the fall of him who had been known in a special manner 
as the proteetor and "faiher of the poor." This was 
accomplished in the following year, when the two Ray- 
monds regained possession of Toulouse, and the Count 
de Montfort fell at the siege of that city. It is probable 
that his knowledge of the approaching return of war 
hastened Dominic in the execution of his designs. He 
fixed the feast of the Assumption for the assembly of all 
his brethren at Notre Dame de Prouille, previons to 
their departure for their different missions; and these 
missions were to include Paris, Bologna, Rome, the two 
convents of Toulouse and Prouille, and Spain ; whilst he 
himself was letting his beard grow, with the intention, 
when things were fairly put in train in Europe, of setting 
out to the countries of the infidels. And all this was to 
foe accomplished with sixteen followers : such was the 
largeness of Dominic's confidence in Grod. 

On the appointed day, the little company all met to 
keep the festival of the Assumption with an unusual 
solemnity in the church of their mother-house of Prouille. 
It must have been a deeply touching spectacle to all 
present, and to Dominic himself one of profound and 
singular emotion. Great numbers of persons from the 
surrounding country, who knew the circumstances which 
had gathered the brethren together, came to witness the 
ceremony of the day ; among them was De Montfort 
himself, and several- prelates, all anxious to ascertain the 
final determination of S. Dominic as to the destination of 
his little flock. It was he himself who offered the Holy 
Sacrifice, and who, still habited in the sacred vestments, 
preached to the assembled audience in language some 
of which is still preserved to us. We are compelled, 


from the severity of his tone, to draw conclusions un- 
favourable to the people of Languedoc; for it was them 
whom he thus addressed: "Now for many years past," 
he said, "have I sounded the truths of the Gospel in 
your ears, by my preaching, my entreaties, and my 
prayers, and with tears in my eyes. But, as they are 
wont to say in my country, the stick must be used when 
blessings are of no avail. Lo ! princes and rulers will 
raise all the kingdoms of this world against you; and 
woe be unto you ! they will kill many by the sword, and 
lay the lands desolate, and overthrow the walls of your 
cities, and all of you will be reduced to slavery ; and so 
you will come to see, that where blessings avail not, the 
stick will avail." These dismal announcements were too 
truly fulfilled when the army of the French king was 
sent against the people of Toulouse ; and they seem to 
indicate that the evils under which the unhappy country 
had so long laboured had produced an effect which not 
even the twelve years labour, of an . apostle had been able 
to counteract : it was a solemn farewell which framed 
itself, almost unintentionally, into words of prophetic 
warning. He then turned to his own brethren, and 
reminded them of the first origin of their order, the end 
for which it was instituted, and the duties to which they 
stood pledged. Above all, he exhorted them to confidence 
in God, and a great and unflinching courage, always to 
prepare for wider and wider fields of labour, and to be 
ready to serve the Church, in whatever way they might 
be called to work for the conversion of sinners, heretics, 
or infidels. His words had an extraordinary effect on 
those who listened ; any lingering feelings of dissatis- 
faction they might have felt were dispelled by this 
appeal to the heroism of their natures. Like soldiers 
harangued by a favourite leader on the battle-field, they 
seemed all kindled with a spark of his own chivalrous 
ardour, and were impatient to be led on to the enterprise 
which awaited them. 

But another ceremony yet remained to be performed. 
When Dominic had concluded his address, the sixteen 
brethren knelt before him, and made their solemn vow3 


in his hands, binding themselves to the three obligations 
of the religious state ; for until then they had been bound 
to him by no other tie than their own will. The nuns 
of Prouille, in like manner, all made their profession on 
the same day, adding the fourth vow of inclosure. When 
this ceremony was over, he declared to each of them the 
quarter to which they were destined. The two fathers, 
who had until then had the direction of the convent of 
Prouille, were to remain there as before, whilst Peter Cel- 
lani and Thomas of Toulouse were to continue at S. Ro- 
main. A large section of his little company were appointed 
for the establishment of the order in Paris; these were 
Matthew of Prance, Bertrand, Oderic, Manez the saint's 
brother, with Michel Fabra and John of Navarre, the 
last of whom had but just received the habit, and our 
own countryman Lawrence. Stephen of Metz he reserved 
as his own companion, and the four remaining Spaniards 
were sent to Spain. Before they separated to their dif- 
ferent parts, Dominic determined to provide for the future 
government of the order in case of 'his death or removal, 
for he still cherished the secret design of himself depart- 
ing for the countries of the infidels, and finding perhaps 
a martyr's crown among them. It was the old dream 
planned so long ago with Diego of Azevedo, and never 
laid aside. He therefore desired them to make a canoni- 
cal election among themselves of some one who should 
govern the order in his absence, or in case of his death. 
Their choice fell on Matthew of France, who received the 
title of Abbot, a designation never continued in the order ; 
after his death the brethren were content with the title 
of Master for him who held the chief authority, whilst 
the other superiors were called priors and sub-priors, 
names chosen as best befitting the humility of their state. 
This election being finished, Dominic committed the bull 
of confirmation to the keeping of the new abbot, that it 
might be solemnly published in the capital of France, and 
gave them a parting exhortation to keep their vows, and 
be diligent in founding convents, preaching God's word, 
and following their studies; and so dismissed them with 
his blessing. 



One of them, and one only, showed evident signs of 
reluctance to obey. This was the newly-clothed brother, 
John of Navarre. He strongly shared in the sentiments 
of those ecclesiastics who solemnly condemned the holy 
patriarchs for imprudence. He ventured, before depart- 
ing, to ask for a little money for his expenses on the way. 
The request seemed reasonable ; but Dominic's discern- 
ment saw clearly the secret feelings of distrust and dis- 
content which prompted it. He sharply reproved him, 
and set before him the example of the disciples whom 
their Lord sent forth, "having neither scrip nor purse;" 
then, quickly exchanging severity for the paternal tender- 
ness which was more natural to him, he threw himself at 
his feet, and with tears in his eyes besought him to lay 
aside his cowardly fears, and to arm himself with a 
generous trust in God's Providence. But John still con- 
tinuing stubborn in his view, and unconvinced of the 
practicability of travelling two hundred miles without 
funds, Dominic desired them to give him twelve pence, 
and then dismissed him. 

We are told that some Cistercians who were present 
expressed their surprise in no measured terms, that he 
should send out these ignorant, unlettered boys to preach 
and teach; their criticism was something more than free, 
it was even contemptuous. Dominic bore the officious 
remarks with the equanimity which he never failed to 
exhibit on such occasions, the virtue for which the Church 
has so worthily designated him "the rose of patience." 
"What is it you say, my brothers," he replied with his 
accustomed sweetness; "are you not a little like the 
Pharisees ? I know, nay I am certain, that these ' boys' 
of mine will go and come back safe, but it will not be so 
with yours." As for himself, when his little flock was 
dispersed, he still lingered awhile at Toulouse, and, be- 
fore he left, he gave another token of his disinterestedness 
and magnanimity. The two brethren of S. Romain be- 
came entangled in some disputes with the procurators of 
the bishop's court, about the portion of tithes granted to 
the order by Pulk of Toulouse. Dominic settled the 
matter by causing an instrument to be executed in ac- 


cordance with the views of the procurator, without further 
controversy; this paper is dated the 11th of September, 
1217. He left for Italy soon after its execution, but not 
till he had received several new sons into his order; 
amongst these were Poncio Samatan, afterwards the 
founder of the convent of Bayonne; Raymond Falgaria, 
a noble of the neighbourhood, and successor to Fulk in 
the bishopric of Toulouse ; and Arnold of Toulouse, first 
prior of the convent of Lyons. From this time we shall 
not have much occasion to speak of Languedoc; for, in 
following the future course of S. Dominic's life, we shall be 
led forward to other countries ; the bright star which had 
risen in Spain, and spent its long meridian in France, was 
to shed its setting splendour over the fields of Italy. 

Simon de Montfort perished the following year under 
the walls of Toulouse, as foreseen by Dominic. His death, 
like his life, was that of a brave and Christian knight. 
The victorious arms of the two Raymonds had stripped 
him of the greater part of the provinces with which he 
had been invested; and, urged to a last effort for their 
recovery, he laid siege to Toulouse with a force wholly 
unequal to the enterprise. It was sunrise on the 25th of 
June, when word was brought him of an ambuscade of the 
enemy. He received the message with tranquillity; and 
arming himself with his usual composure, he went to hear 
mass before going to the field. Another despatch arrived 
in the middle of the ceremony; they had attacked his 
machines of war, would he not hasten to their defence? 
" Leave me !" was his reply, " I stir not till I have seen the 
sacrament of my redemption!" Yet once again another 
messenger rushed into the church; the troops could hold 
out no longer; he would surely come to their aid. He 
turned to the speaker with a stern and melancholy air: 
"I will not go," he said, "till I have seen my Saviour." 
He knew his last hour was at hand ; the sadness of deep 
disappointment was in his heart, but he surely made that 
day a solemn offering and resignation to God of the life 
whose human hopes had failed. When the priest elevated 
the sacred host, De Montfort knelt, and uttered the words 
" Nune dimittis." Then he went out to the scene of 


combat. His presence had its wonted efiect on his fol- 
lowers, as well as on his enemies. The men of Toulouse 
fled back to the city, pursued by the victorious crusaders ; 
but a stone from the wall struck their gallant leader to 
the ground; and smiting his breast with his hand, ho 
expired, recommending his soul to God, and with the 
name of Mary on his lips. 

His friendship towards the order of Friars Preachers 
survived in his family. One of his daughters, Amice, or, 
as the Italians sweetly name her, Amicitia, the wife of 
the Seigneur de Joigny, bore so peculiar a love to the 
children of Dominic that she used all her endeavours to 
induce her only son to take the habit. He, however, fol- 
lowed the army of S. Louis to the Holy Land; but whilst 
detained in the island of Cyprus, he was taken with a 
mortal sickness, and on his death-bed, remembering his 
mother's prayers, he sent for the friars and received the 
habit from their hands. When the tidings were brought 
her, she gave thanks to God, and on the death of her 
husband resolved to enter the order herself. She was 
constantly repeating the words, " If I cannot be a Friar 
Preacher, I will at least be one of their sisters ;" and she 
succeeded, after much opposition, in founding the convent 
of Montaign, where she herself took the habit, and died 
in odour of sanctity about the year 1235. 

Toulouse, the nursery of the Dominican order, con- 
tinued to be closely linked with its history for many a 
year, though after the death of De Montfort we hear less 
of the triumphs of its champions than of the sufferings of 
its martyrs. Among these we find some hardly to be 
passed over without notice, such as the blessed Francis 
of Toulouse, one of the first who received the habit, and 
whom Taegius calls one of the most intrepid preachers of 
b*s time : he fell into the hands of the heretics, who tor- 
mented him in every way that more than pagan barbarity 
could suggest; but he preached through it all, and pro- 
claimed the Catholic faith. Then they plaited a crown c f 
thorns, and placed it on his head ; and Francis received i t 
joyfully, counting himself unworthy to be made partaker 
in one of the sufferings of his Lord ; and still, as the bloai 


streamed down his face, "he confessed and denied not," 
but boldly preached the word of God, and the faith of 
His Church. Then they shot him to death with arrows ; 
and so, standing like Sebastian with his face to his ene- 
mies, and with that glorious crown upon his brow, he 
went to Christ. This was in 1260; a few years previously 
Toulouse had witnessed the confession of others of the 
order, among whom was William of Montpellier and his 
companions. They were all of the convent of Toulouse, 
and Count Raymond, the successor to the dominions and 
the heresy of the Raymond of Dominic's time, enraged at 
their boldness and success among his subjects, tried first 
to starve them into submission. He gave orders that 
none, under pain of death, should bring any meat or drink 
to the convent, or hold any communication with it, and 
posted guards about its boundaries to see his orders en- 
forced. But angels set his guards at defiance, and were 
seen going -to and fro with provisions, so that no man 
durst hinder them. Then he drove them from the town, 
stripped them of all things they possessed, and condemned 
their houses to be burned : this did not disturb them ; they 
went on their way, singing the Creed and the Salve 
Regina with joyful countenances as they left the city 
gates. But though forced to retire, they soon returned to 
the province, and everywhere carried, as before, the light 
of truth among the people; so that in 1242 Raymond 
determined on yet more violent measures. Being then 
at his country house of Avignette, and seated at his ease 
at the window of his private room, William, with ten other 
companions, some of his own order, some of that of the 
Friars Minors, were brought before him, and severely tor- 
tured in various ways ; Raymond looking on and enjoying 
the scene. And whilst his eyes were satisfied with the 
spectacle of their sufferings, there was not wanting music 
for his ears, if indeed it were of a kind that such a soul 
as his could understand. Under the very knives of their 
torturers, the dying martyrs raised a sweet harmony with 
their failing breath ; they sang clear and loud the canticle 
Te Deum, and taught their murderers, even with their 
expiring voices, that the triumph of that hour belonged 

86 LIFE OF S. t)OMlNlC. 

to tlieir victims, and not to them, This happened on the 
vigil of the Ascension, 1242. 

— c#o 


Dominic's fourth visit to Rome* His mode of travelling. 

The October of the year 1217 saw Dominic crossing 
the Alps on foot, for the fourth time, on his way to Home, 
in company with Stephen of Metz, A considerable ob- 
scurity hangs over this journey. According to an ac- 
count sent to Rome by the fathers of the convent of SS. 
John and Paul at Venice, it was at that city that he first 
stopped, having, as it is said, the intention of carrying out 
the design already spoken of, namely, to embark for the 
East, and preach the Gospel to the Saracens in the Holy 
Land. Whilst there he preached publicly on several oc- 
casions, with such eifect that several of the inhabitants 
demanded the habit, and the authorities of the Republic 
granted to him and these new brethren the little oratory 
of S. Daniel. The words of this document are as fol- 
lows: — "In the year of our Lord 1217, the holy father 
Dominic came to Venice with a few other brethren, and 
received from the Republic the oratory then called S, 
Daniel, but which after his canonization was called the 
chapel of S. Dominic, and since the year 1567, down to 
the present day, has been called the chapel of Rosary. 
In this oratory, which was at first very small, S. Dominic 
erected a little convent for his brethren, and in the place 
now called the novitiate may still be seen, in the windows 
and walls, the remains of this ancient fabric." Whether 
indeed this relation may be trusted, in so far as concerns 
the foundation of the convent at Venice, seems a matter 
of doubt; yet there appears every probability that the 
saint did visit the city at that time with the intention of 
embarking for the Holy Land ; an intention which, it is 
well known, he entertained whilst yet at Toulouse. What 
the circumstances were which induced him to abandon it 
does not appear ; nor is there any certain account preserved 


of his manner of passing the months which intervened 
between his departure from Toulouse and his arrival at 
Rome at the close of the year 1217. "We find, however, 
that he stopped at Milan on his way, and was there 
courteously entertained by the Canons Regular of San 
Nazario, who received him as one of their own order, for 
he and his brethren still wore the Augustinian habit; 
nor did they change it until after the vision granted to 
Blessed Reginald, of which we shall speak further on. 

In default of exact details concerning this fourth jour- 
ney to Rome, we will present our readers with the picture 
which has been so faithfully left us of Dominic's mode of 
performing all his journeys, and leave them by its means 
to fill up the blank, and to follow him thus in their mind's 
eye as he crossed the Alps on foot and made his way 
through the plains of Lombardy, and, as some have not 
hesitated to add, through the valleys of Switzerland and 
the Tyrol, preaching as he went. It will help us to a 
more intimate acquaintance with him, and set him before 
us with a more personal reality, as we enter on the most 
important period of his life. 

Dominic always travelled on foot, with a little bundle 
on his shoulder and a stick in his hand. As soon as he 
was a little out of the towns and villages through which 
he passed, he would stop and take off his shoes, perform- 
ing the rest of his journey barefoot, however rough and 
bad the roads might be. If a sharp stone or thorn en- 
tered his feet, he would turn to his companions with that 
cheerful and joyous air which was so peculiar to him, 
and say, " This is penance," and such kind of sufferings 
were a particular pleasure to him. Coming once to a 
place covered with sharp flints, he said to his companion, 
Brother Bonvisi, " Ah ! miserable wretch that I was, I 
was once obliged to put on my shoes in passing this spot." 
" Why so ?" said the brother. " Because it had rained 
so much," replied Dominic. He would never let his com- 
panions help to carry his bundle, though they often begged 
him to suffer them to do so. When he looked down from 
the heights which they were descending, over any country 
or city which they were about to enter, he would pause, 


and look earnestly at it, often weeping as he thought of 
the miseries men suffered there, and of the offences they 
committed against God. Then, as he pursued his journey 
and drew nearer he would put on his shoes, and, kneel- 
ing down, would pray that his sins might not draw down 
on them the chastisement of Heaven. For there was in 
his character a singular mixture of that frank and joyous 
bonhomie, so invariably to be found in a high and 
chivalrous mind, with the tenderness of a melancholy 
which had in it nothing morose, but was rather the con- 
sequence of a profound reverence for the purity of God, 
the outrages against Whom, as they hourly came before 
him, were felt with an exquisite sensibility. He seldom 
looked about him, and never when in towns or other 
places where he was not alone. - His eyes were generally 
cast down, and he never seemed to notice anything 
curious or remarkable on the way. If he had to pass a 
river he would make the sign of the cross, and then enter 
it without hesitation, and was always the first to ford it. 
If it rained, or any other discomfort disturbed him on the 
road, he encouraged his companions, and would begin 
singing in a loud voice his favourite hymn, the Ave 
Maris Stella, or the Veni Creator. More than once at his 
word the rain ceased, and the swollen rivers were passed 
without difficulty. 

He constantly kept the fasts and abstinences of his 
rule, and the silence prescribed by the constitutions 
until prime; and this silence he insisted on being also 
observed by the others; though, as regarded the fasts 
and abstinences he was indulgent in dispensing with 
them for the brethren whilst they were travelling; an 
indulgence he never extended to himself. Then, as they 
went along, he would beguile the way with talking of the 
things of God, or he instructed his companions in points 
of spiritual doctrine, or read to them ; and this kind of 
teaching he enjoined on the other brethren when tra- 
velling with younger companions. Sometimes, however, 
he was used to say, " Go on before, and let us each think 
a little of our Divine Lord." This was the signal that 
he wished to be left to silent meditation. At such times 


lie would remain behind, to escape observation, and 
would very soon begin to pray aloud, with tears and 
sighs, losing all thought of the road he was following, or 
the possible presence of others. Sometimes they had to 
turn back and search for him, and would find him kneel- 
ing in some thicket or lonely place without seeming to 
fear wolves or other dangers. The dread of personal 
danger indeed formed no part of Dominic's character. 
His courage, though always passive, was essentially 
heroic. Over and o\ r er again he had been exposed to 
the assaults of his enemies, and warned of their in- 
tentions against his life ; but such things never so much 
as made him change his road and alter the plan of his 
journey in any particular; he always treated the subject 
with silent indifference. When his prayers were ended, 
his brethren, who often watched him on such occasions, 
would see him take out his favourite book of the gospels, 
and, first, making the sign of the cross, pursue his road, 
reading and meditating to himself. However long and 
fatiguing was the day's journey, it never prevented him 
from saying Mass every morning whenever there was 
a church to be found; and most frequently he would 
not merely say but sing it ; for he was one who never 
spared his voice or strength in the divine offices. We 
are constantly reminded of the heartiness of the royal 
psalmist, in the character left us of Dominic's devotion. 
" I will sing to the Lord with all my strength," was the 
language of David ; "I will sing to the Lord as long as 
I have any being." And Dominic had no indulgence for 
any indolence or self sparing in the praises of God. He 
always rendered Him the sacrifice, not of his heart only, 
but of his lips; and called on all his companions to do 
'he same, for he felt it a good and joyful thing to praise 
the Lord. 

It must be acknowledged, that his wonderful bodily 
constitution was no little assistance in this matter to the 
fervour of his soul. In his animal nature, no less than 
in the cast of his mind, there was much of the gallant 
spirit of a soldier ; he never felt that fatigue, or in- 
disposition, or other little ailments and difficulties, could 


be an excuse for doing less for God. Therefore when he 
stopped for the night at some religious house, which he 
always preferred doing when it was possible, he never 
failed to join them in the singing of matins ; and he gave 
it as his reason for choosing to stop at a convent, in 
preference to other lodgings which he might have ac- 
cepted, saying, " We shall 'be able to sing matins to-night." 
At such times he generally chose the office of waking 
the others. These passing visits to the convents, either 
of his own or of other orders, were always full of profit 
to their inmates. They made the most of the few hours 
of his stay, and Dominic never thought of pleading for 
the privilege of a weary traveller. If the convent were 
under his own government, his first act was to call 
together the religious, and make them a discourse on 
spiritual things for a "good space;" and then if any 
were suffering from temptations, melancholy, or any 
kind of trouble, he never was tired of comforting and 
advising them till he had restored them to the quiet 
and joy of their souls. Very often these little visits were 
so delightful to the religious who entertained him, that 
on his leaving them in the morning they would ac- 
company him on his way to enjoy a little more of his 
discourse ; for the fascination of his conversation was 
universally felt to be irresistible. But if there were 
no such nouses to receive him, he left the choice of the 
night's lodging to his comrades, and was all the better 
pleased if it chanced to be incommodious ; he made it a 
rule, before entering, always to spend some time in the 
nearest church. When people of high rank entertained 
him, he would first quench his thirst at some fountain, 
lest he should be tempted to exceed religious modesty at 
table, and so give occasion of scandal ; a prudence which, 
in a man of such austerity of life, gives us a singular idaa 
of his humility. When ill, he would eat roots and fruit 
rather than touch the delicacies of their tables ; and even 
when canon of Osma he never touched meat; he would 
take it and hide it in his plate, not to be observed. 
Sometimes he begged his bread from door to door, 
thanking his benefactors for their scanty alms on his 


knees, and with uncovered head. His sleep was taken 
on the floor, and in his habit ; and very often those who 
slept near him could hear that the night was spent in 
prayers and tears, and "strong crying" to God for the 
salvation of souls. 

Thus journeying, he would stop and preach at all the 
towns and villages in his way: what kind of preaching 
this was, we may easily guess. " What books have you 
studied, father," said a young man to him one day, "that 
your sermons are so full of the learning of holy Scrip- 
ture ?" " I have studied in the book of charity, my son," 
he replied, " more than in any other : it is the book 
which teaches us all things." "With all his strength," 
says blessed Jordan, "and with the most fervent zeal, 
he sought to gain souls to Christ without any exception, 
and as many as he could ; and this zeal was marvellously, 
and in a way not to be believed, rooted in his very 
heart." His favourite way of recommending to man the 
truths of God, was the sweetness of persuasion ; and yet, 
as his parting address to the people of Languedoc shows 
us, he knew (according to his own expression) " how to 
use the stick." Finally, to cite once more the words of 
the writer just quoted, "Wherever he was, whether on 
the road with his companions, or in the house with the 
guests or the family of his host, or among great men, 
princes or prelates, he always spoke to edification, and 
was wont to give examples and stories whereby the souls 
of those who heard him were excited to the love of Jesus 
Christ, and to contempt of the world. Everywhere, both 
in word and deed, he made himself known as a truly 
evangelical man." The same testimony was borne by 
those who were examined on his canonization : " Where- 
ever he was," they say, " whether at home or on a journey, 
he ever spoke of God or to God; and it was his desire 
that this practice should be introduced into the consti- 
tutions of his order." We must, however, conclude these 
brief notices, so precious in the personal details they have 
preserved to us of some of his characteristic habits, and 
once more take up the thread of his story, which finds him 
for the fourth time under the walls of the eternal city. 


The convent of S. Sixtns. Kapid increase ot the Order. Miracles 
and popularity of S. Dominic. The visit of the angels 

Dominic was received at Rome with renewed evidences 
of affection and favour from Pope Honorius, who showed 
every disposition to forward the view with which he had 
returned thither, namely, the foundation at Rome of a 
convent of his order. The church granted to him by the 
Pontiff for this purpose was chosen by himself; it was 
one already full of ancient and traditionary interest, which 
its connection with the rise of the Dominican order has 
certainly not lessened. There is a long road that stretches 
out of Rome, following the course of the ancient Via 
Appia, which, deserted as it now is by human habitation, 
you may trace by its abandoned churches and its ruined 
tombs. In the old days of Rome, it was the patrician 
quarter of the city ; the palace of the Csesars looks down 
upon it, and by its side stand the vast ruins of Caracalla's 
baths, with the green meadows covering the site of the 
Circus Maximus. This circumstance of its being formerly 
the place of popular and favourite resort, accounts for the 
abundance of Christian remains which mingle with fhe 
relics of a pagan age, and share their interest and their 
decay. For here were formerly the houses of many of 
noble and some of royal birth; and when their owners 
confessed the faith, and died martyrs for Christ, the vene- 
ration of the early church consecrated those dwellings as 
churches, to be perpetual monuments of names which had 
else been forgotten. But in time the population of Rome 
gathered more and more to the northern side of the 
Caelian Hill, and the Via Appia has long been left to a 
solitude which harmonizes well enough with its original 
destination, for it was the Roman street of tomb3. There, 


mixed with the ruined towers and melancholy pagan 
memorials of death, where the wild plants festoon them- 
selves in such rich luxuriance, and the green lizards and 
snakes enjoy an unmolebted home, stand these deserted 
Christian churches, never open now, save on the one or 
two days when they are places of pilgrimage for the crowds 
who flock to pray at shrines and altars which at other 
times are left in the uninterrupted silence of neglect. 
Among these is one dedicated to S. Sixtus, pope and 
martyr, and the tomb of five others, popes and martyrs 
like himself. If the English traveller visit it now, on one 
of those days of which we speak, when its doors are opened 
to the devotion of the faithful, and should chance to ad- 
dress himself to any of the white-robed religious whom 
he may find there, and who seem to be its masters, he 
will be startled with the sound, so sweet, and alas ! in a 
place of holy association, so strange to his ears, the accent 
of his own English tongue. The church of San Sisto is, in 
fact at this time, the property of the Irish Dominican 
convent of San Clemente a circumstance not without its 
interest to ourselves. 

This was the church chosen by Dominic for his first 
foundation at Rome, and Honorius did not hesitate to 
grant it to him, together with all the buildings attached. 
These had been erected by Innocent III., with the inten- 
tion of gathering together within their walls a number of 
religious women who were at that time living in Rome 
under no regular discipline. The design had never been 
carried out, and Dominic was ignorant of it when he ap- 
plied for and obtained the grant of the church. His first 
care was to reduce the house to a conventual form, and 
to enlarge it so as to be capable of receiving a consider- 
able number of brethren. To do this he was obliged to 
solicit the alms of the faithful, which were indeed abun- 
dantly supplied; the Pope himself liberally contributing 
to a work in which he felt no common interest. Mean- 
while Dominic laboured at his usual trade of preaching. 
Whilst the walls of his convent were daily rising above 
the ground ajad growing into shape, he was busy forming 
a spiritual edifice out of the hearts and souls of those 


whom his eloquence daily won from the world to join 
themselves to God. In our own day we are often tempted 
to talk and think much of our great successes, and the 
extraordinary impulse given to our religious life. It is a 
style known only to those among whom that life is still 
but feeble, and would doubtless have sounded strange in 
the ears of our fathers; and nothing is better fitted to 
humble and silence our foolish boasting, than a glance at 
the results of a religious impulse in the ages of faith. It 
is nowhere painted to our eyes in more vivid and magni- 
ficent colours than in the period of this Church's history. 

Many influences certainly paved the way for what in 
these days would be called the " success" of Dominic and 
Francis. As we have before said, they were wanted by 
their age: the world was restlessly heaving with the ex- 
citement of new feelings, which stirred men with emotions 
they neither understood nor knew hpw to use. We need 
not therefore wonder at the enthusiasm with which they 
flung themselves into the ranks of the two leaders whom 
God had sent them. For, after all, great men are not 
the exponents of their own views or sentiments. Be they 
saints, or heroes, or poets, their greatness consists in this, 
that they have incarnated some principle which lies hidden 
in the hearts of their fellow-men. All have felt it ; they 
alone have expressed and given it life; and so when the 
word is spoken which orings it forth to the world, all men 
recognize it as their own; they need no further teaching 
and training in this thought, for unconsciously to them- 
selves they have been growing into it all their lives; and 
the devotion with which they follow the call of him who 
guides them is, perhaps, the strongest sentiment of which 
human nature is susceptible; made up not merely of ad- 
miration, or loyalty, or enthusiasm, but in addition to all 
these, of that gratitude which a soul feels towards that 
greater and stronger soul whose sympathy has set its own 
prisoned thoughts at liberty, and given them the power 
and the space to act. Then like some pent-up and angry 
waters, that have long vexed and chafed themselves into 
foam, and beaten aimlessly against the wall that kept 
them in, when the free passage is made, how impetuously 


they rush forth ! At first agitated and confused, but 
gatliering majesty as they flow, till the torrent becomes 
a river, and the river swells into a broad sea, the dash of 
whose long united waves no barrier can resist. This is 
what we call a popular movement. Europe has seen such 
things often enough, as well for good as for evil ; but she 
never saw one more universal or* more extraordinary than 
the first burst into existence of the mendicant orders. 
Francis had heen first in the field, and the first chapter 
of his order saw him in the midst of five thousand of his 
brethren. But the fields were white with the harvest, 
and the Friars Minor were not to be the only gatherers 
of it. In three months Dominic had assembled round 
him at Rome more than a hundred religious with whom 
to begin his new foundation. His convent of S. Sixtus 
had to be even yet more enlarged ; and here he may now 
be said to have carried out for the first time the entire 
observance of that rule of life which was commenced at 
S. Romain. 

This period of his life is everyway remarkable; it sets 
him before us in a new character. Hitherto we have 
caught but broken and imperfect glimpses of him in his 
life of solitary and unappreciated labour. But now at 
length we see him manifested to the world, ruling over a 
numerous community, and sending them out to be in 
their turn the apostles of their day. Many details of his 
character come out to our view which till now have lain 
concealed ; and as if to make him known in the eyes of 
men in an especial manner, God was pleased at this time 
to confirm his teaching and authority by many super- 
natural signs. The first of these was on the occasion of 
an accident which happened during the erection of the 
convent. A mason, whilst excavating under part of the 
building, was buried by a mass of the falling earth. The 
brethren ran to the spot too late to save him, but Domi- 
nic commanded them to dig him out, whilst he betook 
himself to prayer. They did so, and when the earth was 
removed, the man arose alive and unhurt. This miracle, 
however much it confirmed the faith and devotion of his 
own followers, was little known or talked of beyond the 


walls of his convent ; but it was followed by another of 
more public notoriety. Dominic was accustomed at this 
time to preach in the church of S. Mark, where he was 
listened to with enthusiasm by crowds of all ranks who 
nocked to hear him. Among them one of his most constant 
auditors was a certain Roman widow, Guatonia or Tuta 
di Buvalischi ; and one day rather than miss the preach- 
ing, she came to S. Marks, having left her only son at 
home dangerously ill. She returned to her honse to find 
him dead. When the first anguish of her grief was over, 
she felt an extraordinary hope rise within her that by 
the mercy of God, and the prayers of His servant Domi- 
nic, her child might yet be restored to her. She there- 
fore determined to go at once to S. Sixtus; and firm in 
her faith she set out on foot, whilst her women servants 
carried the cold and lifeless body of the boy behind her. 
S. Sixtus was not yet inclosed, on account of the un- 
finished state of the convent, and she therefore entered 
the gates without difficulty, and found Dominic at the 
door of the chapter-house, a small building standing se- 
parate from the church and convent. Kneeling at his 
feet, she silently laid the dead body before him, whilst her 
tears and sobs of anguish told the rest. Dominic, touched 
with compassion, turned aside for a few moments, and 
prayed ; then, coming back, he made the sign of the cross 
over the child, and taking him by the hand, raised him, 
and gave him back to his mother, alive, and cured of his 
sickness. Some of the brethren were witnesses of this 
miracle, and gave their evidence in the process of canon- 
ization. Dominic strictly charged the mother to keep the 
fact a secret, but she disobeyed him, as the woman of Judea 
had before disobeyed One greater than him. Her joy was 
too abundant, and out of its abundance her heart and lips 
were busy, and so the whole story was quickly spread 
through Rome, and reached the ears of Honorius, who 
ordered it to be publicly announced in the pulpits of the " 
city. Dominic's sensative humility was deeply hurt: he 
hastened to the Pontiff", and implored him to counter- 
mand his order. " Otherwise, Holy Father," he said, " I 
shall be compelled to fly from hence, and cross the sea to 


preach to the Saracens ; for I cannot stay longer here." 
The Pope, however, forbade him to depart ; he was obliged 
to remain and receive what is ever the most painful portion 
of the saints, the public honour and veneration of the 
populace. And certainly they evinced it with a warmth 
which English hearts may find it difficult to understand. 
They were Catholics and Romans, and so thought little 
of human respect, or of anything save the giving free vent 
to that almost passionate devotion which is the hereditary 
characteristic of their race. So great and little, old and 
young, nobles and beggars, "they followed him about" 
(to use the words of contemporaneous authors) " wherever 
he went, as though he were an angel, reputing those 
happy who could come near enough to touch him, and 
cutting off pieces of his habit to keep as relics." This cut- 
ting of his hajbit went on at such a pace as to give the 
good father the appearance of a beggar, for the jagged and 
ragged skirt scarcely reached below his knee. His brethren 
on one occasion endeavoured somewhat harshly to check 
some of those who crowded round him, but Dominic's 
good-nature was hurt when he saw the sorrowfnl and disap- 
pointed looks of the poor people. " Let them alone," he 
said ; " we have no right to hinder their devotion." A me- 
morial of these circumstances may still be seen in that 
same church of S. Mark of which we have spoken. Once a 
year, on the festival of its patron saint, there is an exhi- 
bition in that church of saintly treasures, which few sanc- 
tuaries can rival and none surpass. There, amid the relics 
of apostles and martyrs in jewelled and crystal shrines 
and elaborate carvings, you may see, inclosed in a golden 
reliquary, a little piece of torn and faded serge. Priests 
are there holding up these precious objects one by one for 
the veneration of the kneeling crowd, and they hold this 
also for you to look at and to kiss, whilst they proclaim 
aloud, "This is part of the habit of the glorious Patri- 
arch S. Dominic, who in the first year of his coming to 
Rome, was wont to preach in this church." And fancy 
is quick to suggest that this precious morsel may be one 
of those so unceremoniously torn from him by the crowds 
who flocked about him on that very spot. 


Other miracles are related as having occurred during 
the time of his residence at S. Sixtus, and we give them 
here, as no more exact date is assigned. Giacomo del 
Miele, a Roman by birth, and the syndic of the convent, 
-was attacked by sickness, which increased so rapidly that 
he received extreme unction, and was desired by the phy- 
sician to prepare for death. The brethren were greatly 
afflicted, for he was a man of singular ability for his office, 
and much beloved. Dominic was overcome by the tears 
of his children: desiring them all to leave the cell, he 
shut the door, and, like Elias when he raised the Suna- 
mite's son, extended himself on the almost lifeless body of 
the dying man, and earnestly invoked the Divine mercy 
iand assistance. Then, taking him by the hand, Giacomo 
arose entirely recovered, and Dominic delivered him to 
his companions, who knew not how to contain and express 
their joy. 

Among the "Murati," whom we mentioned in a former 
page, and whom he still continued to visit and direct, there 
were some who lived a life of extraordinary mortification, 
and were entirely enclosed in little cells built in the walls, 
so as that none could enter, or communicate with their 
inhabitants; food and other necessaries being given to 
them through a window. One of these recluses was a 
woman named Buona, who lived in a town near the gate 
of S. John Lateran ; another, Lucy, in a little cell behind 
the church of S. Anastasia. Both of them suffered from 
incurable and most terrible diseases, brought on by the 
severity of their mode of life. One day, after Dominic 
had administered the sacrament of penance and the holy 
Eucharist to Buona through her little window, and ex- 
horted her to patience under her dreadful sufferings, he 
blessed her with the sign of the cross, and went away ; 
but at the same instant she felt herself perfectly cured. 
Lucy was likewise restored in a similiar manner, as Brother 
Bertrand, who was present on the occasion, attested. 

But perhaps the most interesting of all these miracu- 
lous events is one still daily commemorated in every house 
of the Dominican order. We are assured that a similar 
event happened twice during the period of his residence 


at S. Sixtus; but we shall only give the account of one 
of these circumstances, as related at length in the nar- 
rative of Sister Cecilia : — " When the Friars were still 
living near the church of S. Sixtus, and were about one 
hundred in number, on a certain day the blessed Dominic 
commanded Brother John of Calabria and Brother Albert 
of Rome to go into the city to beg alms. They did so 
without success from the morning even trl'l the third hour 
of the day. Therefore they returned to the convent, and 
they were already hard by the church of S. Anastasia, 
when they were met by a certain woman who had a great 
devotion to the order ; and seeing that they had nothing 
with them, she gave them a loaf; " For I would not," she 
said, "that you should go back quite empty-handed." As 
they went on a little further they met a man who asked 
them very importunately for charity. They excused 
themselves, saying they had nothing themselves ; but the 
man only begged the more earnestly. Then they said one 
to another, "What can we do with only one loaf? Let us 
give it to him for the love of God." So they gave him 
the loaf, and immediately they lost sight of him. Now, 
when they were come to the convent, the blessed father, 
to whom the Holy Spirit had meanwhile revealed all that 
had passed, came out to meet them, saying to them with 
a joyful air, "Children, you have nothing]" They re- 
plied, "No, father;" and they told him all that had hap- 
pened, and how they had given the loaf to the poor man. 
Then said he, " It was an angel of the Lord : the Lord 
will know how to provide for His own: let us go and 
pray." Thereupon he entered the church, and, having 
come out again after a little space, he bade the brethren 
call the community to the refectory. They replied to him 
saying, "But, holy father, how is it you would have us 
call them, seeing that there is nothing to give them to 
eat?" And they purposely delayed obeying the order 
which they had received. Therefore the blessed father 
caused Brother Roger the cellarer to be summoned, and 
commanded him to assemble the brethren to dinner, for 
the Lord would provide for their wants. Then they pre- 
pared the tables, and placed the cups, and at a given 


signal all the community entered the refectory. The 
blessed father gave the benediction, and every one being 
seated, Brother Henry the Roman began to read. Mean- 
while the blessed Dominic was praying, hi3 hands being 
joined together on the table; and, lo 1 suddenly, even as 
he had promised them by the inspiration of the Holy 
Ghost, two beautiful young men, ministers of the Divine 
Providence, appeared in the midst of the refectory, car- 
rying loaves in two white cloths which hung from their 
shoulders before and behind. They began to distribute 
the bread, beginning at the lower rows, one at the right 
hand, and the other at the left, placing before each bro- 
ther one whole loaf of admirable beauty. Then, when they 
were come to the blessed Dominic, and had in like manner 
placed an entire loaf before him, they bowed their heads, 
and disappeared, without any one knowing, even to this 
day, whence they came or whither they went. And the 
blessed Dominic said to his brethren : " My brethren, 
eat the bread which the Lord has sent you." Then he 
told the servers to pour out some wine. But they re- 
plied, "Holy father, there is none." Then the blessed 
Dominic, full of the spirit of prophecy, said to them, " Go 
to the vessel, and pour out to the brethren the wine which 
the Lord has sent them." They went there, and found, 
indeed, that the vessel was filled up to the brim with an 
excellent wine, which they hastened to bring. And Dominic 
said, " Drink, my brethren, of the wine which the Lord 
has sent you." They ate, therefore, and drank as 
much as they desired, both that day, and the next, and 
the day after that. But after the meal of the third day, 
he caused them to give what remained of the bread and 
wine to the poor, and would not allow that any more of 
it should be kept in the house. During these three days 
no one went to seek alms, because God had sent them 
bread and wine in abundance. Then the blessed father 
made a beautiful discourse to his brethren, warning them 
never to distrust the Divine goodness, even in time of 
greatest want. Brother Tancred, the prior of the convent, 
Brother Odo of Rome, and Brother Henry of the same 
place, Brother Lawrence of England, Brother Gandion, 


and Brother John of Rome, and many others were present 
at this miracle, which they related to Sister Cecilia, and 
to the other sisters, who were then still living at the 
monastery of Santa Maria on the other side of the Tiber ; 
and they even brought to them some of the bread and 
"wine, which they preserved for a long time as relics. Now 
the Brother Albert, whom the Blessed Dominic had sent 
to beg with a companion, was one of the two brethren 
whose death the blessed Dominic had foretold at Rome. 
The other was Brother Gregory, and a man of great 
beauty and perfect grace. He was the first to return to 
our Lord, having devoutly received all the sacraments. 
On the third day after, Brother Albert, having also re- 
ceived the sacraments, departed from this darksome prison 
to the palace of heaven. Allusion is made in the conclu- 
ding part of this narrative to a circumstance which took 
place a little later. One day, Dominic being full of the 
Holy Spirit, was holding chapter, and was observed by all 
present to be very sad. " Children," he said, "know that 
within three days, two of you now present will lose the life 
of your bodies, and two others that of their souls." Within 
the time described, the two brothers named above died, as 
we have related ; and two others, whose names are not given, 
returned to the world. 

We said that the circumstance of the angel's visit to 
the refectory of S. Sixus, so beautifully related by Sister 
Cecilia, is still daily commemorated in the houses of the 
order. And it is so ; for from this time the custom was 
adopted of beginning to serve the lowest tables first, and 
so going up to the table of the prior ; a custom which was 
afterwards made a law of the order, being introduced into 
the constitutions. 


Tl e monastery of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Dominic is ap- 
pointed to reform and inclose the community. His success. 
Their settlement at S. Sixtus. The restoration to life of the 
Lord Napoleon. Sister Cecilia 

Some mention was made in the last chapter of a design 
entertained by Pope Innocent III., to appropriate the 
church of S. Sixtus to a number of religious women then 
living in Rome without inclosure, and some even in the 
private houses of their relations. The design of collecting 
them together under regular discipline had been found 
fraught with difficulty, and had failed; even the papal 
authority, aided by the power and genius of such a man as 
Innocent, had been unable to overcome the wilfulness and 
prejudice which opposed so wise a project. Honorius, who 
no less than his predecessor ardently desired to see it carried 
out, resolved to commit the management of the whole affair 
to Dominic. He could not refuse ; but aware of the com- 
plicated obstacles which lay in the way, he made it a 
condition that three other persons of high authority might 
be united with him in a business which, he probably felt, 
was far harder than the foundation of many convents, 
namely, the reform of relaxation, and the union under one 
head and into one body of a number of individuals who 
owned no common interest or authority 

These religious had for a considerable time been badly 
governed; perhaps, we should rather say, they had not 
been governed at all. They claimed exemption from the 
ordinary rules, were members of powerful families, and 
their relatives, among whom many of them lived, urged 
them on to resist every encroachment on their liberty as 
an act of tyranny. And indeed, in the then existing state 
of things, they could not be said to be absolutely com- 
pelled to obedience : the matter was one rather demand- 


ing address than authority. But if ever man possessed 
the art of persuasion it was the blessed Dominic, whom, 
as it is said, "none did ever resist;" or rather persuasion 
with him was not art, but nature. It was the effect of 
that admirable union of patience, prudence, and firmness, 
tempered with the charm of a sweet and tranquil gaiety, 
which gave so wonderful a magic to his intercourse ; and 
his powers were never more severely tested than on this 
occasion. The coadjutors given him by the Pope were 
the cardinals Ugolino, Bishop of Ostia, the venerable 
friend of S. Francis; Stephen of Fossa Nuova; and Ni- 
cholas Bishop of Tusculum. The very first steps which the 
cautious commissioners took raised a storm of obloquy. 
The cardinals had enough to do to quiet the nuns, and 
bring them to listen to the Pope's proposals. But those 
who held out had a strong party in their favour. The 
gossip of Rome was on their side ; and there was a tem- 
pest of busy angry tongues all declaiming against tyranny 
and aggression, and talking great things about innovation 
on an ancient custom. "And truly," says Castiglio, with 
a touch of Spanish humour, "the custom was so very an- 
cient, that it could scarce keep its legs. Moreover," he 
adds, " we know well, that for relaxation and liberty there 
will always be ten thousand persons ready to do great 
things, but for virtue not one willing to stir a step." 
However, as we have said, the nuns had the popular cla- 
mour on their side, and they Used their advantage with 
considerable address. They had but to receive visitors 
all day long, and keep up the excitement of their friends 
by perpetual talking, and the Pope and cardinals would 
be held at bay. 

The most refractory of these religious were some who 
were living at that time in the monastery of Santa Maria 
in Trastevere, in which was kept a celebrated picture of 
our Blessed Lady, said to have been painted by S. Luke. 
This picture was a particular favourite with the Roman 
people. Tradition said that it had been brought to Rome, 
many centuries before, from Constantinople; that it was 
t >e same that had been borne processionally by S. Gre- 
gory in the time of the plague, on that Easter-day when 


the words of the Regina Caeli were first heard snug 
overhead by the voices of the angelic choirs. After that 
Sergius III. had caused it to be placed in the Lateran 
Basilica, but in the middle of the night it found its own 
way back to the majestic old church which seemed its 
chosen resting-place. The possession of this picture was 
no inconsiderable addition to the power and popularity of 
the nuns ; without it they were determined never to stir, 
and there seemed great difficulties in the way of remoA r - 
ing it. Dominic's plan was simply to carry out that pre- 
viously designed by Pope Innocent, and collect all the 
nuns of the different convents that had no regular dis- 
cipline, as well as the others living out of inclosure, into 
one community, to whom he proposed giving up his own 
convent of S. Sixtus, receiving instead that of Santa Sa- 
bina on the Aventine Hill. His first visit was a failure; 
the very mention of inclosure and community life was 
received by a very intelligible assertion that they neither 
were nor would be controlled by him, the cardinals, or the 
Pope. But Dominic was not so easily daunted. He used 
all the skill and address of manner with whicn God had 
endowed him; and on his second visit he found means 
to win over the abbess, and after her all the community, 
with one solitary exception, to the wishes of the Pope. 
There were, however, conditions proposed and accepted. 
These were, that they must be suffered to carry their pic- 
ture with them to S. Sixtus, and should it come back to 
the Trastevere of itself, as in the days of Pope Sergius, 
that they should be held free to come back after it. Do- 
minic consented ; but, saving this clause, he induced them 
to profess obedience in all else to himself ; and they having 
done so, he gave them as their first trial a prohibition 
to leave their convent in order to visit any of their friends 
or relatives ; assuring them that in a very short time 
S. Sixtus should be ready to receive them. 

After this it seemed as though the affair were pretty 
well settled; "but" (to use the words of the grave and 
judicious Polidori) " the instability of human nature, and 
especially of the female sex, easy to be moved by whatso- 
ever wind may blow, did very soon make the contrary to 


appear." The wise regulation which Dominic had made 
was evaded, and the vituperating tongues were busier 
than ever. There were no terms too strong to use in 
denouncing the proposed migration to S. Sixtus. It 
would be the destruction of an ancient and honourable 
monastery ; they were about blindly to put themselves 
under an intolerable yoke of obedience, and to whom ? 
- — to a new man, a "/rate," whose order nobody had ever 
heard of before — a scoundrel (ribaldo), as some were 
pleased to term him ; they must certainly have been be- 
witched. The. nuns began to think so too, and many 
repented of their too hasty promise. Whilst this new 
disturbance was going on, Dominic was relating the suc- 
cess of his mission to the cardinals. But the fresh dis- 
orders which had arisen were revealed to him by the Holy 
Spirit even at the moment that they occurred. He re- 
solved to let the excitement exhaust itself a little before 
taking any new measure; and a day or two afterwards 
proceeded to the convent, where, having said mass, he 
assembled all the religious in chapter, and addressed them 
at considerable length. He concluded with these words: 
" I well know, my daughters, that you have repented of 
the promise you gave me, and now desire to withdraw 
your feet from the ways of God. Therefore, let those 
among you who are truly and spontaneously willing to go 
to S. Sixtus make their profession over again in my 
hands." The eloquence of his address, heightened by 
that strange and wonderful charm of manner to which all 
who knew him bear witness, whilst none can describe it, 
was victorious. The abbess instantly renewed her pro- 
fession (with the same condition respecting the picture), 
and her example was followed by the whole community. 
Dominic was well satisfied with their sincerity; neverthe- 
less he thought it well to add one precaution against 
further relapse. It was a simple one, and consisted of 
taking the keys of the gate into his own custody, and ap- 
pointing some of his own lay brothers to be porters, with 
orders to provide the nuns with all necessaries, but to 
prevent their seeing or speaking with relatives or anV 
other person whatsoever. 


On Ash Wednesday, which fell that year on the 28th 
of February, the cardinals assembled at S. Sixtus, whither 
the abbess and her nuns also proceeded in solemn pro- 
cession. They met in the little chapter-house before 
mentioned, where Dominic raised to life the widow's 
child. The abbess solemnly surrendered all office and 
authority into the hands of Dominic and his brethren; 
whilst they, on their part, with the cardinals, proceeded 
to treat concerning the rights, government, and revenues 
of the new convent. Whilst thus engaged, the business 
of the assembly was suddenly interrupted by an incident 
which is best told in the language of one of the eye- 
witnesses : — " Whilst the blessed Dominic was seated 
with the cardinals, the abbess and her nuns being 
present, behold! a man entered, tearing his hair and 
uttering loud cries. Being asked the cause, he replied, 
' The nephew of my lord Stephen has just fallen from 
his horse, and is killed !' Now the young man was called 
Napoleon. His uncle, hearing him named, sank fainting 
on the breast of the blessed Dominic. They supported 
him ; the blessed Dominic rose, and threw holy water on 
him ; then, leaving him in the arms of the others, he ran 
to the spot where the body of the young man was lying, 
bruised and horribly mangled. He ordered them im- 
mediately to remove it to another room, and keep it 
there. Then he desired Brother Tancred, and the other 
brethren to prepare everything for Mass. The blessed 
Dominic, the cardinals, friars, the abbess and all the 
nuns, then went to the place where the altar was, and 
the blessed Dominic celebrated the Holy Sacrifice with 
an abundance of tears. But when he came to the 
elevation of our Lord's Body, and held it on high 
between his hands, as is the custom, he himself was 
raised a palm above the ground, all beholding the same, 
and being filled with great wonder at the sight. Mass 
being finished, he returned to the body of the dead man ; 
he and the cardinals, the abbess, the nuns, and all the 
people who were present ; and when he was come, he 
arranged the limbs one after another with his holy hand, 
then prostrated himself on the ground, praying and 


weeping. Thrice he touched the face and limbs of the 
deceased, to put them in their place, and thrice he 
prostrated himself.. When he was risen for the third 
time, standing on the side where his head was, he made 
the sign of the cross ; then with his hands extended 
towards heaven, his body raised more than a palm 
above the ground, he cried with a loud voice, saying, 
1 young man, Napoleon, in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, I say unto thee, Arise.' Immediately, in 
the sight of all those who had been drawn together by so 
marvellous a spectacle, the young man arose alive and 
unhurt, and said to the blesssed Dominic, * Father, give 
me to eat;' and the blessed Dominic gave him to eat 
and to drink, and committed him, joyful and without 
sign of hurt, to the cardinal, his uncle."* It must be 
acknowledged, there is a wonderful grandeur in this 
narrative. We realize at once the alarm and emotion 
of the bystanders, and the supernatural calm and tran- 
quillity of the saint, who was acting under the Spirit of 
God. Never, perhaps, was any miracle better attested, 
or more accurately described ; and, as we shall hereafter 
see, it bor^ abundant fruits. 

Four days after, on the first Sunday in Lent, the nuns 
took possession of their convent. They were forty-four 
in all, including a few seculars, and some religious of 
other convents. The first who spontaneously threw her- 
self at Dominic's feet, and begged the habit of his order, 
was the same sister Cecilia whose narrative has been 
just quoted. She was then but seventeen, of the house 
of Cesarini, and distinguished for the great qualities of 
her soul, even more than for the nobility of her birth. 
Meagre as is the account left us concerning her, we 
scarcely feel the want of further details, for her character 
is sufficiently evidenced in the little which is preserved. 
She had a soul large enough to appreciate that of 
Dominic. Child as she was, she had been quick to 
recognize, and value at their true worth, the qualities 
of that mind which had brought into order the tempes- 
tous and disorganized elements of the community of 
* Narrative of Sister Cecillia. 


the Trastevere. Then she became an eye-witness of that 
great miracle which we have just related in her own 
beautiful language ; and the admiration which she had 
already felt for him was raised to a devotion as fervent 
as it was lasting. We are told that Dominic com- 
municated to her the most hidden secrets of his heart ; 
and we feel in reading the narative which she has left, so 
noble and touching in its biblical simplicity, that she was 
worthy of such confidence. Her example was followed 
by that of all the nuns ; all received the habit of the cew 
order, and took the vow ofinclosure. 

Dominic waited until night-fall before he ventured to 
remove the picture so often named ; he feared lest some 
excitement and disturbance might be caused by this be- 
ing done in broad day, for the people of the city felt a 
jealous unwillingness to suffer it to depart. However, at 
midnight, accompanied by the two cardinals, Nicholas 
and Stephen, and many other persons, all barefoot and 
carrying torches, he conducted it in solemn procession to 
S. Sixtus, where the nuns awaited its approach with 
similar marks of respect. It did not return ; and its 
quiet domestication in the new house complete^ the settle- 
ment of the nuns. They were soon after joined by 
twenty-one others from various other houses, and thus was 
formed the second house of religious women living under 
the rule of S. Dominic. 

CjOO — 


Affairs of the Order in France. First settlement of the brethren 
at the convent of St. James at Paris. Foundation at Bologna 
Character of the religious houses of the Order. Settlement of 
the Friars in Spain and Portugal. Brothers Tancred and Henry 
of Rome. 

Before we proceed to give any account of the settle- 
ment of S. Dominic at the convent of Santa Sabina, 
whither he removed after that of S. Sixtus had been 
given up to the nuns, as" just related, it will be necessary 


for us to speak of several events which had taken place 
since his departure from Toulouse in the autumn of the 
preceding year. Various were the discouragements and 
difficulties which had attended the first outset of the 
missionaries sent from Prouille. . -;I)pminic of Segovia 
and Michel de UzeroiiaJ returned from Spain without 
having been able to' succeed in establishing themselves 
in that country ; and had joined their brethren in Rome. 
The little community destined for the French capital had 
scarcely fared better, and might possibly have abandoned 
their project in a similar manner, had it not been for the 
presence of the Englishman Lawrence. " For as they 
drew near to that great city, they went along in great 
doubt and affliction, because in their humility they 
greatly feared to preach in so celebrated a university, 
where there were so many famous doctors and masters 
versed in sacred science ; but Godwin order to encourage 
them, revealed to his servant Lawrence all that should 
hereafter happen to this mission, and all the favours 
which God and the Blessed Virgin would show them 
in the house of S. James, and all the bright stars, as 
well of sanctity as of learning, that should rise from 
thence, to illuminate not the order only, but the entire 
Church ; which revelation, as it greatly comforted the 
soul of brother Lawrence, so he in like manner declared 
it to his companions, to animate them also ; and they 
believing it, for the opinion which all had of the sanctity 
of that servant of God, conceived a lively faith. Where- 
fore they joyfully entered into the city where all things 
happened as he had predicted. "* 

Notwithstanding this "joyful entry," they spent ten 
months in extreme distress. None of them were known 
in Paris except Matthew of France, who in his youth had 
studied at the university ; and Lawrence very shortly 
after was summoned to Rome, where he was present, as 
we have seen, before the removal of the Friars from 
S. Sixtus. It was not until the August of 121*8, nearly 
a year after their departure from Prouille, that John de 

• From a short notice of blessed Lawrence in Marchese's, H Diaro 
Dome/iicano," drawn from ancient writers 


Barastre, one of the king's chaplains and a professor of 
the university, having been struck by the singular effects 
of their preaching, and their patient endurance of so much 
poverty and suffering, persuaded his colleagues to grant 
them the little c&srcJi of S. James, then attached to an 
hospital for poor strangers, 'aft^ffrards the most celebrated 
house' of that order. But besides the missionaries whom 
he had already sent from Prouille, Dominic had not been 
long in Rome before he began to dispose of some of the 
followers who had so soon been gathered there about his 
standard. It seems certain that it was whilst still inhabi- 
ting S. Sixtus, that John of Navarre (who had returned 
with Lawrence from Paris), Brother Bertrand, Brother 
Christian, and Peter, a lay brother, were despatched to 
lay the first foundation of the order in Bologna. Their 
preaching soon attracted general attention ; they are said 
to have been the first religious who had ever been heard 
to preach publicly in Bologna, and the astonishment and 
admiration felt for their eloquence was increased when it 
was understood that they were the children of Dominic, 
whose name was not unknown to the Bolognese. Two 
houses were soon given to them, with the accompanying 
grant of a neighbouring church, called Santa Maria della 
Mascarella. They were soon after joined by the two 
brethren who had returned from Spain and a few others 
whom Dominic despatched from Borne ; but they had to 
struggle with many difficulties. As soon as they could, 
they began to arrange their house into a conventual form, 
building a very humble refectory and dormitory ; for it 
seems to have been always felt as ,a first and indispensable 
requisite in these early foundations of the order to have 
a religious house, in order to carry out their rule in a re- 
ligious spirit, and this even at a time when the commu- 
nity consisted of no more than four or five persons. That 
this was done from a deep conviction of the utility and 
necessity of such external observances, and not from a 
love of show, or a desire to build great establishments, is 
evident if we look at the way in which it was done. " As 
well as they could" (we are told in the account of this 
Bolognese foundation), " considering the confined space, 


they made a dormitory and refectory, with other necessary 
offices ; their cells were so small, that they were not more 
than seven feet long and four feet two inches wide, so that 
they could scarce contain a hard and narrow bed and a 
few other things; hut they were more content with this 
poor habitation than if they had possessed the largest and 
most magnificent palaces."* Here they led "a life of 
angels;" and "so wonderful was their regular observance, 
and their continual and fervent prayer ; so extraordinary 
their poverty in eating, in their beds and clothes, and all 
such things, that never had the like been seen before in that 
city." They continued to live in this way, without making 
much progress, and, in spite of their first favourable recep- 
tion, enduring many affronts and persecutions, until the 
end of the year 1218, when, as we shall see, a fresh impulse 
was given to their enterprise by the arrival among them ot 
one man, the celebrated Reginald of Orleans. 

Certainly, if we wish to form an idea of the true spirit 
of the order, we cannot do better than dwell on what is 
preserved to us concerning the manner of these first foun- 
dations. Throughout all of them we shall find the same 
characteristics. The great missionary work of preaching 
and saving souls was the first thing thought of; every- 
thing gave way to that. They were scattered abroad right 
and left, as soon as they had given themselves to the work, 
for Dominic never departed from the inflexible law which 
he had laid down at Prouille: — "We must sow the seed, 
and not hoard it up." Doubtless there must often have 
been hard sacrifices and struggles with nature in this; 
his children were separated from him as soon as they had 
learnt to love him; and, to use the expression of blessed 
Jordan, in speaking of his departure from Bologna on a 
late occasion, " they wept to be so soon taken from their 
mother's breast." " But all these things," he adds, 
" happened by the will of God. There was something 
marvellous in the way in which he was wont to disperse 
the brethren here and there through all parts of the 
Church of God, in spite of all the representations often 
made to him, and without his confidence being once dis 
* Michel Pio of Bologna. 


quieted by a shadow of hesitation. One might have said 
he knew beforehand their success, and that the Holy 
Spirit had revealed it to him; and indeed who would 
dare to doubt it ? He had with him to begin but a small 
number of brethren, for the most part simple and illiterate, 
whom he sent through the world by twos and threes; so 
that the children of the world, who judge according to 
human prudence, were wont to accuse him of destroying 
what he had begun, rather than of building up a great 
edifice. But he accompanied those whom he sent forth 
with his prayer ; and the power of God was granted to them 
to multiply them." 

But though this was the first thought, it wa3 never so 
followed out as to induce the neglect of the fundamentals 
of religious observance. The Friars Preachers were to 
sacrifice all comfort, and all human ties for the work of 
God ; they were to endure poverty, humiliation, and 
detachment of heart in its most painful form ; but one 
thing they were not to sacrifice, and that was the character 
of religious, and the habits of regular observance. Whilst 
they begged their bread, and lived on alms, the first thing 
on which those alms were expended was the rude and 
imperfect conversion of their poor dwellings into a re- 
ligious shape. We feel at once how different such a 
plan of proceeding is from our modern notions ; and the 
difference is more important than appears at first sight. 
" Let us have essentials," is the favourite expression of 
our own day ; "let us only do our work ; the external 
forms are of secondary importance." But the language 
of the saints and the men of faith was rather, " Let us 
have the religious spirit, for without it our work will be 
of no avail;" and in their deep and living humility they 
acknowledged that they were powerless to retain this 
spirit, made up as it is of prayer and recollection £.nd 
continual self-restraint, without certain external helps and 
hindrances which modern theorists feel themselves privi- 
leged to despise. Every part of the Dominican rule and 
constitutions breathes of this principle; whilst the salva- 
tion of souls is ever placed before us as the end and 
object of the order, the formation of the religious man 


himself is provided for by regulations of the most aston- 
ishing minuteness; and as a part, and an essential part, 
of these, there is given us the beautiful ordering of the, 
religious house 

We do not mean to assert that this necessary con- 
nection between the outward form and the inward spirit 
is anywhere stated in express terms, for there was not 
much talk about theories and general principles among 
men in the Middle Ages ; yet, perhaps unconsciously to 
themselves, they ever acted under a deep prevailing 
sense of this sacramental character of our being. They 
believed that not in soul alone, but also in body, the 
whole nature was to be made subject to Christ ; and with 
the simplicity of antique wisdom, they condescended to 
provide for this by making laws, not only for their work 
and their prayer, but even for their houses and their 
dress. The religious man was ever to be surrounded by 
an atmosphere redolent with sanctity; he was to reflect 
a light of holiness cast on him by the very walls of his 
dwelling. Nothing, therefore, was neglected by which 
they could be invested with this peculiar character. 
They were the mould in which souls were insensibly 
to receive a shape that separated them from the world. 
The amateurs of ecclesiastical architecture tell us that, 
in its purest form, no ornament will ever be found 
introduced for ornament's sake; there was always a 
use and significance in the most fanciful and grotesque 
of those elaborate designs. And so in the conventual 
house, common and necessary things were not exchanged 
for what was fanciful or extraordinary; but a religious 
form and colouring was given to the whole. Thus the 
man who was being trained to the life of religion was 
placed where he saw nothing that did not harmonize 
with that one idea. His refectory was as unlike a 
dining-room as possible : it was as much a room to 
pray in, as to eat in. There, ranged in a single row 
behind the simple wooden tables that stood on either 
hand, sat the same white robed figures beside whom he 
stood in the choir, and with an air scarcely less modest 
and devout. At the top was the Prior's seat ; there 



were neither pictures nor ornaments on the wall, only 
a large crucifix above that seat, to which all were to bow 
on entering; for even in hours of relaxation the religious 
man was to be mindful of the sufferings of his Lord. 
There was no talking or jesting as in the feasting of the 
world, for the refectory was a place of inviolable silence ; 
but from a little pulpit one of the brethren read aloud 
(as we have seen brother Henry represented doing in 
the scene of S. Sixtus), that, to use the words of the old 
rule of S. Austin, " whilst the body was refreshed, the 
soul also might have its proper food." The house was 
to be poor and simple, having " no curiosities or notable 
superfluities, such as sculpture, pavements, and the like, 
save in the church," where some degree of ornament was 
allowed to do reverence to the presence of God. The 
dormitory too had its own character; the cells were all 
alike in size and arrangement, for here all were equal. 
They were separate, that every one might be silent and 
alone with God; yet partly open, that the watchful eye 
of the superior might never be shut out. Even the 
dormitory-passage itself had something holy ; for it was 
ordained, that " to promote piety and devotion to the 
Blessed Virgin, the especial Patroness of the order, an 
altar with her image should be erected in the dormitory 
of every convent," and here the lamp was kept burning 
throughi the night. Each of these places had its own 
sweet tradition. Angels, as we have seen, have before 
now served in the Dominican refectories ; nor, as we 
gaze on such a scene, do we feel they were out of place ; 
and the dormitories have been blessed no less than the 
choir with the sweet presence of Mary, who through 
those open doors has given her benediction to the 
sleeping brethren, and sprinkled them with her dear 
maternal hand. Surely these houses were as the gate 
of heaven. All about them were holy sentences, preach- 
ing from the walls ; poverty reigned everywhere, but 
clad in the beauty and majesty of that spirit of order, 
which lias been fitly termed, " the music of the eye." 
All things were in common, and common things were 
made to speak of God; yet there was neither gloom nor 


melancholy, but rather a glad and cheerful aspect, tempered 
by the pervading tone of silence and recollection ; so that 
the beholder might well exclaim, " How good and joyful a 
thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity !" 

At the risk of being tedious on a subject which may 
not perhaps be felt to be of general interest, we would 
but suggest how often we must feel, in reading the 
earlier devotional writers, that many of their most 
charming passages could only have been inspired in a 
house of this character. The author of the following 
sentences had certainly caught their spirit nowhere but 
in a religious refectory : " He that reads words of holy 
wisdom to his brother, offers choice wine to the lips of 
Jesus. — He that at table gives up to his brother the 
better portion, feeds Jesus with the honey of charity.— 
He that during refection reads to his brethren correctly 
and distinctly, serves up a heavenly cup to the guests of 
Jesus; but if he reads ill, he takes away the relish of 
the food; and if he stammers, he stains the cloth which 
covers the table of Jesus. — He that goes to the common 
refectory with his brethren to hear spiritual reading, 
eateth and drinketh with Jesus and His disciples ; and if 
he lay up in his heart the word of God which he hears, 
he reposes with S. John, during supper, on the breast 
of Jesus."* Writing in a day, and in a country where 
our holy and beautiful houses have long ago been swept 
away, and the ideas that raised them have become lost 
like historical antiquities, we well know how difficult it 
is to realize the true significance of the monastic rules. 
They and all their accompaniments are looked on as, at 
best, but dreary fancies which have had their day, but 
could never stand the test of utility. " To what purpose 
is this waste?" is the continual cry of England over the 
relics of her old religion. Nevertheless our fathers had 
their purpose, and did not deem it waste; and we are 
desirous of directing our reader's attention to the 
particular care evinced in this matter by the founder 
of the Dominican order, because, if we do not mistake, 
it illustrates one prominent characteristic of his own 
* Thomas a Kempis, Garden of Ross, ch. xvii. 


mind, as well as of the institution which was its off- 
spring,, and which bore and ever retains the likeness of 
its father. The life of a saint like S. Dominic is not 
made up alone of journeys and foundations and the dates 
of his birth and death ; his living soul is to be found in 
the rule whose most striking features were the im- 
pression of his own hand : and it is not a little remark- 
able that, together with that free and pliable spirit which 
is one of its distinguishing characters, there should be 
this invariable adhesion to the externals of monastic and 
community life. The* same ruie was observed in all the 
foundations of the order, and this of course by the 
particular direction of its founder; and the fact reveals 
more of his mind and feeling than whole volumes of 
commentary. It exhibits him to us in that mixed char- 
acter of contemplation and action, the union of which is 
the basis of the Dominican life : we see him at once, 
"the Jacob of preaching and the Israel of contempla- 
tion;" and we see also what in his eyes constituted the 
essentials of such a life, and the indispensable means for 
attaining it. 

In Spain blessed Peter had succeeded in founding 
a convent at Madrid, of which foundation, however, no 
particulars are preserved. Two of his companions, as we 
have seen, returned to rejoin Dominic at Rome, whilst 
the third, Suero Gomez, went on to his native country of 
Portugal, where he became known to the Infanta Donna 
Sancha, who gave him a little solitary oratory on Monte 
Sagro, about six miles from Alancher, dedicated to Santa 
Maria ad Nvves. Here he built a miserably poor con- 
vent, or father hermitage, formed of stones and straw 
cemented together with mud, "according to the manner 
of those first days of fervour in the order." He lived in 
this singular dwelling alone for some time, but very soon 
numbers of all ranks flocked to him to receive the habit 
from his hands-; and "though they were so many, and 
of such character and nobility as might have done 
honour to any order in the Chnrch, yet did he not 
bate one iota in the rigours which he had learnt from 
his holy master, and which were established as laws in tho 


constitutions."* Every day he preached in the city, which 
8X)n became renowned for its sanctity of manners. He 
was a true son of Dominic, " thinking only how to sow the 
Divine word, and caring nothing for his own body ; " and 
bo, little by little, the mud hermitage was frequented 
like a place of pilgrimage, and the crowds who thronged 
there to see and hear one whom they reckoned rather 
as ' an angel or apostle than as a common man, com- 
pelled him to enlarge his dwelling in order to receive 
them ; so that in the following year, when Dominic 
himself visited the spot, he found a spacious and well- 
ordered convent, the mother-house of the order in Por- 
tugal. Suero was in every way a remarkable man : 
his adherence to the rule, even in the minutest par- 
ticular, was almost a proverb. In 1220, when he went 
to Bologna to attend the first general Chapter, he per- 
formed the whole journey on foot, carrying only a 
stick and his breviary, and so begged his way the 
entire distance. He became afterwards the first Provincial 
of Spain. 

It only remains for us to add a few words concerning 
some of the brethren whose names have already been 
mentioned as having joined the order at Rome. Tancred, 
the prior of S. Sixtus, had been called in a singular way. 
He was a German, and a courtier of the Emperor 
Frederic II. Being at Bologna when the first brethren 
arrived there, he was one day made sensible of a singular 
and powerful impression on his soul, urging him to reflect 
on the great question of eternity in a manner wholly 
new to him. Disturbed and agitated, he prayed to the 
Blessed Virgin for direction ; and in the night she 
appeared to him, saying these words : " Gro to my house- 
hold." He awoke in doubt as to their meaning, but in 
a second dream there appeared to him two men dressed 
in the habit of the order, the elder of whom addressed 
him, saying, " Thou hast asked of Mary to be directed 
in the way of salvation : come with us, and thou shalt find 
it." In the morning he begged his host to direct him to 
the nearest church, that he might hear mass. As he 
* Michel Pio 


entered, the first figure he met was that of the old man he 
had seen in his vision ; the church was in fact Santa 
Maria, in Mascarella, and the friar was none other than 
the Prior Roger. Tancred's mind was soon made up as to 
his future course ; and, abruptly severing his engagements 
with the court he proceeded to Rome, where he took the 
habit. Henry of Rome, who has also been mentioned, 
entered the order against the earnest remonstrances of 
his family. As they expressed a determination to carry 
him back by force if he would not return, Dominic sent 
him out of Rome, with some companions, by the Via 
Nomentana. His relatives pursued him as far as the 
banks of the Anio. Seeing there was no chance of escape, 
Henry raised his heart to God, and invoked His help 
through the merits of His servant Dominic; and the 
waters of the little stream suddenly increased to so large 
and rapid a torrent, that the horses of his pursuers were 
unable to pass. After this he returned undisturbed to 
S. Sixtus. 

After the sisters had removed to that convent, thirty of 
the friars were left there under the government of Tancred, 
but in a distinct and separate house ; for the convent at 
Santa Sabina was not yet able to contain them all. Brother 
Otho, also a Roman by birth, was appointed the prior and 
director of the nuns. 


Dominic at Santa Sabina. The Vocation of S. Hyacinth. Regi- 
nald of Orleans. The Blessed Virgin bestows on him the habit 
of the order. 

It is said that all lives have their chapter of poetry ; 
if so, the poem of Dominic's life is now opening before 
us. No period of his history is at once so rich in 
legendary beauty, and so full of ample and delightful 
details, as that of his residence at Santa Sabina — the 
church which, as we have already said, had been granted 


to him and his brethren by Pope Honorius when they 
abandoned S. Sixtus to the nuns of the Trastevere. It 
was attached to the palace of the Savelli, of which family 
Honorius was a member ; and we are told that the 
change of residence was particularly welcome to the 
friars, inasmuch as the neighborhood was at that time 
more thickly populated than that of S. Sixtus, and the 
church was one of popular resort. This character has 
long since departed from it ; and the tide of population, 
retreating every year further and further to the west, 
has left the Aventine hill once more to its silent and 
solitary beauty. Built on the brow of tha£ hill, as it 
rises abruptly above the Tiber, the convent of Santa 
Sabina stands between the ancient and the modern city. 
On one side it looks over a long vista of churches and 
palaces, until the golden glow of the horizon above Monte 
Mario is cut by the clear sharp outline of that wonderful 
dome which rises over the tomb of the apostles. Turn 
but your head, and you gaze over a different world. 
Heaped all about in fantastic confusion, there are the 
arches of gigantic ruins, and the broken walls and 
watch-towers standing among the vineyards; and beyond 
them is the wide Campagna stretching like a sea into 
the dim horizon, spanned by the long lines of the 
aqueducts, that seem as though they reached the very 
base of those distant mountains which stand round the 
Eternal city as "the hills stand about Jerusalem." S. 
Sixtus is not far off, you may find your way down to 
it through the green and pleasant lanes that wind among 
the almond-trees ; everything here seems full of Dominic ; 
and when the story of his life has become dear and familiar 
to us, the whole of the Aventine seems consecrated as his 

-::- The convent of Santa Pabina remains little altered since the 
timeof S. Dominic, and many memorials of him are still preserved 
within its walls. Among others is an orange-tree said to have been 
planted by his hand, which is shown ki the quadrangular inclosure. 
A few years since, this tree sent out a young and viaourous sucker, 
which grew aud flourished, and in the course of the year 18:4 
produced flowers and fruit. It was remarked that this took place 
during the noviciate of Pere Lacordaire and his companions, to 


It was here, then, that the friars removed as soon as 
the nuns had taken possession of their former residence; 
and they had not long settled in their new consent when 
some very remarkable additions were made to their num- 
bers. Ivo Odrowatz, the Polish Bishop of Cracow, was 
at that time in Rome, having in his company his two 
nephews, Ceslaus and Hyacinth, both of them canons 
of his cathredral, and men of singular virtue. They 
had all been present in S. Sixtus on the occasion of the 
raising of the young Napoleon to life, and when, by 
means of Cardinal Ugolino, they became personally 
acquainted with Dominic, the deep impression made on 
their minds by that scene was increased by his saintly 
and winning manners. Ivo urged him to send some of 
his brethren to the northern countries, but the difficulties 
of the language seemed to offer an insuperable obstacle 
to this plan ; Dominic, however, suggested that were 
some of his own followers to take the habit, it would be 
the best way of carrying out his wishes. A few days 
after this Hyacinth and Ceslaus, with two others, Henry 

whom is due the restoration of the French province ; and the little 
incident was hailed as significant of that universal restoration and 
return to youthful vigour and the beauty of regular discipline 
whose impulse since tuat period has been manifested throughout 
the entire order . 

A singular discovery has recently been made within the inclosure 
of this convent. ' About three months ago" (says Cardinal Wise- 
man in his lecture on " Rome, Ancient and Modern," delivered 
January 31,18 6,) " the good religious wi -hed to make an alteration 
in their garden, and reduce it more into the English style. They 
were, of course, their own workmen , and it was not long before 
their industry was repaid. They met with an opening, into which 
they entered, and found an anci nt Chri.-tian hall elegantly painted 
in arabesque. Having cleared it out, they found an entrance into 
another chamber. In this way they went forward from room to 
room ; so that when I last heard, about a fortnight fsgo, they were 
arrived at the tenth apartment. The discovery has exc ted immense 
interest, no suspicion having been entertained of such a monument 
existing there. One room is covered with names of about the third 
or fourth century, only one of which had then been deciphered. 
But this excavation is further important in another way. For the 
first piece of antiquity discovered was a portion of the wall of 
Tullius, the early king of Rome; and fhis recurring at a distance 
from a portion found, a few years ago, in the.Iesuit's neighbouring 
vineyard, in planting new vines, decides the direction of the wall, 
and the boundary ol the primitive city." 


of Moravia, and Herman, a noble German, presented 
themselves at Santa Sabina, and, throwing themselves 
at the feet of the saint, begged to be allowed to enter 
the order. They were joyfully received, and their pro- 
gress was as rapid as it was extraordinary. Doubtless 
in those days of early fervour, the growth of souls plant- 
ed in a very atmosphere of sanctity was quicker and 
more vigorous than now ; and we are led to exclaim, 
" There were giants in those days," when we find these 
four novices, within six months after their first admission, 
ready to return to their own country to be the founders 
and propagators of the order. They travelled back with 
the bishop of Cracow, preaching as they went. Sapara- 
tion, that law of the Dominican institute, was the lot 
that awaited them also. Hyacinth and Ceslaus pursued 
their way to the north, where they divided the land be- 
tween them. Ceslaus planted the order in Bohemia, 
whilst the apostolate of Hyacinth extended over Russia, 
Sweden, Norway, Prussia, and the Northern nations of 
Asia. Dominic's old dream of a mission to the Cumans 
became realized in the labours of this the greatest of his 
sons, and in him the order of Friars Preachers took 
possession of half the known world. Henry proceeded 
to Styria and Austria, and founded many convents, es- 
pecially that of Vienna. An account of singular beauty 
is left of his death. He fell sick in the convent of 
Wrateslavia ; and finding his last hour draw near, he 
fixed his eyes on a crucifix before him, and sang sweetly 
while he had strength. After a little space he was silent, 
yet smiled, and put his hands together, and showed 
in his eyes and his whole face a great and inexplicable 
joy. Then, after a brief time he spake and said, " The 
demons are come, and would fain disturb and trouble my 
faith, but I believe in God the Father, and the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost :" and with these words on his lips he 
gently expired. Herman, the fourth of this society, was 
left at Friesach to govern a convent founded in that 
place. He was a man of extraordinary devotion, though 
of small learning. In consequence of his simplicity and 
ignorance he was often despised and ridiculed by his 


companions ; and, seeking comfort from God in prayer, lie 
obtained the gift of so much understanding of the holy 
Scriptures that, without study of any kind, he was enabled 
to preach not only in German, but also in Latin, with 
extraordinary eloquence and success. 

But another disciple was to be gathered into the order 
during this same year, whose career, if shorter than 
any of those we have mentioned, was scarcely less bril- 
liant; and who was destined to exercise a considerable 
influence over some of the most important of the early 
foundations. Indeed, there were singular marks of a 
Providential ordering of things, in what seemed the acci- 
dental assembling at Rome that year of so many men 
whose hearts were ready for the work which was prepar- 
ing for them there. Among these he of whom we are 
about to speak was not the least distinguished. Reginald, 
deacon of the church of Orleans, had come there, in 
company with the bishop, with the intention of visiting 
the holy place, and thence passing on in pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem. He was already known as a profound doctor 
in canon law, and held the chair of that science in the 
University of Paris. But brilliant as was his intellect, 
and the renown which it had procured him, it did not 
satisfy him ; for he had within him something greater 
than genius, and a thirst which the world's applause 
could not satiate. Whilst the world of Paris was busy 
with his fame, there had come upon him a desire to 
abandon all things for Christ, and to take refuge from 
popular applause in some state where he could spend 
his life for the souls of others, while his own should be 
made a sharer in the very poverty and nakedness of 
the crucifix. His pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem 
was undertaken under this idea : it formed part of his 
plan for breaking loose from the ties of his present life, 
and searching for the better part to which he felt he was 
called and chosen. The result must be told in the words 
of blessed Humbert : " He prepared himself for this 
ministry, therefore, though he knew not in what way 
he was to carry it out ; for he was ignorant that the 
order of Friars Preachers had as yet been instituted. 


Now it chanced that in a confidential discourse with 
a certain cardinal he opened to him his whole heart on 
this matter, saying to him that he greatly desired to 
quit all things in order to go about preaching Jesus 
Christ in a state of voluntary poverty. Then the cardi- 
nal said to him, ' Lo ! there is an order just risen up, 
whose end is to unite the practice of poverty with the 
office of preaching ; and the master of this new order is 
even now present with us in the city, who also himself 
preaches the word of God.' Now when Master Reginald 
heard this, he hastened to seek out the blessed Dominic, 
and to reveal to him the secret of his soul. *Then the 
sight of the saint, and the graciousness of his words, 
captivated his heart, and he resolved to enter into the 
order. But adversity, which proves so many holy pro- 
jects, failed not in like manner to try his also. He fell 
sick, so that the physicians despaired even of saving his 
life. The blessed Dominic, grieving at the thought of 
losing a child ere as yet he had scarcely enjoyed him, 
turned himself to the Divine mercy, earnestly imploring 
God (as he himself has related to the brethren) that He 
would not take from him a son as yet but hardly born, 
but at least to prolong his life, if it were but a little 
while. And even whilst he yet prayed, the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and Mistress of the World, 
accompanied by two young maidens of surpassing beauty, 
appeared to Master Reginald as he lay awake and parched 
with a burning fever ; and he heard the Queen of Heaven 
speaking to him, and saying, 'Ask me what thou wilt, 
and I will give it to thee.' And as he considered 
within himself, one of the maidens who accompanied 
the Blessed Virgin suggested to him that he should 
ask nothing, but should leave it to the will and pleasure 
of the Queen of Mercy, to the which he right willingly 
assented. Then she, extending her virginal hand, 
anointed his eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, reins, and 
feet, pronouncing certain words meanwhile appropriate 
to each anointing. I have heard only those which 
she spake at the unction of his reins and feet : the 
first were, 'Let thy reins be girt with the girdle of 


chastity ;' and the second, ' Let thy feet be shod for 
the preaching of the Gospel of Peace.' Then she showed 
to him the habit of the Friars Preachers, saying to him, 
' Behold the habit of thy order,' and so she disappeared 
from his eyes. And at the same time Reginald perceived 
that he was cured, having been anointed by the Mother 
of Him who has the secrets of salvation and of health. 
And the next morning, when Dominic came to him, to 
ask him how he fared, he answered that nothing ailed 
him, and so told him the vision. Then both together did 
render thanks to God, who strikes and heals, who wounds 
and who makes whole." 

Three days after this Dominic again came to his room, 
bringing with him a religious of the Hospitallers of 
S. John. And as they sat all three together, the same 
scene was repeated in the sight of all. We are told by 
some that on her former appearance the Blessed Virgin 
had promised this repetition of her previous visit, and 
that Reginald had mentioned this fact to S. Dominic. 
He now conjured him and his companions to keep the 
whole of the circumstances secret until after his death ; 
and he did this out of humility. Dominic complied with 
his request ; and in announcing to his brethren his in- 
tention of changing the form of their habit, he did not 
give the reason which had caused the change until after 
Reginald' s death. Until this time the habit of the regu- 
lar canons had continued to be worn by all the brethren ; 
it was now changed for that which had been shown by 
Mary to Reginald, and which Dominic had himself seen 
on the second occasion of her appearance. The linen sur- 
plice was laid aside, and in its place was used the long 
woollen scapular, which was the particular part of the 
habit she was seen holding in her hands. Thenceforward 
this has been the distinctive sign of religious profession 
among the Friars Preachers; and the words with which 
it is accompanied in the ceremony of the giving of the 
habit, mark at once its origin, and the reverence with which 
its wearers are accustomed to regard it : " Receive the 
holy scapular of our order, the most distinguished part of 
our Dominican habit, the maternal pledge from heaven 


of the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary towards us." This 
especial love of Mary for the order of Friars Preachers is 
indeed a claim which we do not wonder at their—making, 
when we consider the many ways in which it has been 
evinced. In those early days of the order one of the 
popular names by which the brethren were known, was that 
of " the Friars of Mary j" a title which reveals to ns how 
filial was the devotion which they felt for the Mother 
who had clothed them with her own hands ; and we shall 
find, among the traditions of Santa Sabina, other tales 
which show us the singular and tender nature of the pro- 
tection she gave them. 

Some of these traditions, illustrating as they do this 
period of Dominic's life, we will give in the following 
chapters, together with that sketch of what we may term 
his conventual habits, which has been left us by blessed 
Jordan and other early writers ; and they will probably 
render us more familiar with his personal character than 
any other portion of his history, Meanwhile Reignald of 
Orleans departed for the Holy Land, whence he did not 
return until the conclusion of the year. 


Dominic's life at Koine. The rule of the Order. Description of 
his person and appearance. His prayer, and manner of life. 

When Dominic was fairly settled at Santa Sabina, he 
saw himself surrounded by a multiplicity of cares and 
occupations, any one of which would have demanded the 
whole strength and time of an ordinary man. There 
was the government of two communities : that of his own 
convent, a company of novices gathered from all ranks 
and ages, unused to rule and discipline, and who had to 
learn the whole science of religion from his lips alone; 
while the training of the nuns of S. Sixtus was even a 


harder task, for with them there were long habits of 
negligence and relaxation to eradicate, before the spirit of 
fervour and observance could possibly be infused. How 
hard and difficult a thing it was, we may judge, from the 
unwearied assiduity with which Dominic laboured at his 
task. He visited them daily, instructing them in the 
most minute particulars of their rule ; and sent to Prouille 
for eight of the more experienced religious of that house, 
one of whom, Sister Blanche, was appointed prioress. 
His long and patient care was not thrown away. Inclo- 
sure and the observance of a holy rule produced their 
usual marvels, and transformed the undisciplined nuns of 
the Trastevere into mirrors of sanctity and grace. These 
two undertakings, carried on at the same time, called for 
a genius of government which few have ever possessed in 
a more remarkable degree than S. Dominic. But within 
his soul there lay vast resources, and a certain fullness of 
spiritual light which never failed to guide him in the 
guidance of others ; so at least we are led to affirm if we 
contemplate him alone and unaided in his gigantic tasks. 
And if we are curious to know the means whereby he 
achieved them, we must seek for them in that rule which, 
if we mistake not, exhibits to us more of the character of 
his mind than we can gather from any other source. 
" The Christian perfection which he taught " (to use the 
admirable words of Castiglio) " consisted primarily indeed 
in the love of God and of our neighbour ; but secondarily 
and accidentally in that silence and solitude, and in those 
fasts, mortifications, disciplines, and ceremonies, which 
are the instruments whereby we reach unto that high and 
most excellent end." It would seem indeed as if these 
"ceremonies" he speaks of formed no insignificant part 
of Dominic's great idea of spiritual training. We read of 
his ?' diligent training of the nuns in the rules and cere- 
monies;" and again S. Hyacinth is said to have become 
a perfect master in " all the ordinances and ceremonies of 
the order during his short noviciate." And if we examine 
the rule itself, we find in it very much of this outward 
training so deep and significant in its intention, and so 
great in its results. This arose partly from the sagacity 


which perceived how large an influence is exerted over 
the inner man by the subjugation of his external nature; 
partly also from a characteristic feature in Dominic's mind, 
the love of order. Whilst wholly free from the narrowness 
of mere formalism, his soul yet delighted in that harmony 
which is a chief element of perfection : it was as though his 
eagle eye had gazed on the ordering of the heavenly courts, 
and, drawing from the image pictured on his soul, he strove 
to reflect something of their beauty in his convent choirs. 
And so, perhaps, those bowings and prostrations of the 
white-robed ranks, which, when exactly performed, give so 
unearthly and beautiful an appearance to the worship of a 
religious choir, may, at the same time as it harmonized the 
souls of the worshippers into recollection, have been intended 
to recall and symbolize those scenes on which doubtless his 
own spiritual vision had so often rested, and the repeated 
foldings of those many wings, and the casting of the golden 
crowns upon the ground. 

Let us now see what was the rule of his own life at this 
period, and the impression which his intercourse and ex- 
ample left on the minds of those who observed him ; and 
first we will give the portrait they have delineated of his out- 
ward appearance. It must have been very noble, if we may 
judge from the description of Sister Cecilia : " He was about 
the middle stature, but slightly made; his face was beautiful, 
and rather sanguine in its colour ; his hair and beard of a 
fair and bright hue, and his eyes fine. From his forehead, 
and between his brows, there seemed to shine a radiant light 
which drew respect and love from them that saw it. He 
was always joyous and agreeable, save when moved to com- 
passion by the afflictions of his neighbours. His hands 
were long and beautiful, and his voice was clear, noble, and 
musical. He was never bald, and he always preserved his 
religious crown or tonsure entire, mingled here and there 
with a very few white hairs." Next we find an equally 
minute and interesting description of his dress. Gerard de 
Frachet, who wrote by command of blessed Humbert so 
early as 1256, speaks thus : " Everything about the blessed 
Dominic breathed of poverty : his habit, shoes, girdle, knife, 
books, and all like things. You might see him with his 


scapular ever so short, yet did he not care to cover it with 
his mantle, even when in the presence of great persons. 
He wore the same tunic summer and winter, and it was 
very old and patched, and his mantle was of the worst." 
It was the same spirit of poverty that induced him never 
to have any cell or bed of his own. He slept in the church. 
If he came home late at night from his expeditions drenched 
with rain, he would send his companions to dry and refresh 
themselves, but himself would go as he was to the church. 
There his nights were passed in prayer ; or if overcome with 
fatigue, he would sleep leaning against the altar steps, or 
lying on the hard stones. On one part of the pavement of 
the church of Santa Sabina there is still preserved an in- 
scription indicating one of the stones as that whereon he 
was accustomed to lie at night If, when he travelled, they 
stopped where there was no church, he slept anywhere, on 
the floor, or on a bench, or sitting in his chair, and always 
dressed in his habit as during the day. Thrice every night 
he disciplined himself to blood ; the first time for himself, 
the second for sinners, the third for the souls in purgatory. 
His prayer was in a manner continual. There was neither 
place nor time in which he did not pray, but especially in 
those night hours which he spent alone with God in the 
church. Very often they watched him unknown to him, 
and saw the way in which, when he believed himself entirely 
alone, he poured out all the fervour of his soul with- 
out control. After compline, when the others were dis- 
missed to rest, he remained behind, visiting each altar 
in turn, and praying ibr his order and for the world. Some- 
times his tears and prayers were so loud as to wake those 
who slept near; and though very often these exercises 
lasted until the hour of matins, he never failed to 
assist at the office with the spirit and alacrity which 
were so remarkable in him. He was most zealous for the 
exact performance of what he considered the primary 
duty of a religious, and would go through the choir from 
one to another, calling on them to sing with attention 
and devotion, and in a loud and distinct tone. He never 
passed an altar whereon was the figure of our Lord 
without a profound inclination, to recall the sense 0/ 


his own nothingness. He taught his brethren to do the 
same at the repetition of the Gloria, as a homage to the 
Most Holy Trinity, and was wont to quote the words of 
Judith, "The prayer of the meek and humble shall ever 
please Thee." He was accustomed likewise to pray, in 
imitation of Christ in the garden, with his face on the 
ground; and in this posture he would remain for a long 
space, repeating passages from the Psalms of the most 
profound abnegation, and accompanied with many tears, so 
that the place was often wet where his face had leaned. 

Some of his favourite ejaculations are preserved. "0 
God, be merciful to me a sinner !" he was heard exclaim- 
ing: "I have sinned, and done amiss." Then, after a 
little space, "I am not worthy to behold the height of 
heaven, because of the multitude of my iniquities, for 
Thy wrath is irritated against me, and I have done evil 
in Thy sight. Yea, my soul cleaveth to the ground; 
quicken me according to Thy word." To move his disciples 
to a similar mode of prayer, he would cite the example of 
the holy kings throwing themselves at the feet of Christ, 
and would say, " Come let us adore, and fall down before 
God, and weep before the Lord who made us." " If you 
have no sins of your own to weep for," he would say to the 
younger novices, "weep after the example of the prophets 
and apostles, and of the Lord Jesus ; and grieve for the 
sinners who are in the world, that they may be brought 
back to penance." Another of his favourite devotions was 
to keep his eyes fixed on the crucifix, and meanwhile to 
genuflect a hundred times or more ; and so he would pass 
many hours, uttering ejaculations from the Psalms; or he 
would kneel silently, as if unconscious of aught save the 
presence of God ; and then his face, and his whole person, 
and his very gestures, seemed as though he would penetrate 
the distance that separated him from his beloved; now 
beaming with a holy joy, and now sorrowfully bathed in 
tears. At other times he was seen to stand up upright 
before the altar, with his hands clasped before his breast, 
as though holding a book, out of which he had the air of 
reading, then he would press them over his eyes, or 
raise them above his shoulders. In these postures h« 


had the appearance of a prophet, now listening or speak- 
ing with God and the angels, now thinking within himself 
on what he had heard. He would stand also with his arms 
stretched out in the form of a cross, and would so pronounce 
steadily and at intervals sentences like these: — "0 Lord 
God of my salvation, I have cried before Thee day and 
night. I have cried unto Thee, Lord ; all the day long 
have I stretched out my hands to Thee. I have stretched 
out my hands unto Thee ; my soul graspeth to Thee as a 
land where there is no water." This was when he prayed 
for any special grace or miracle, as on the raising of Napoleon j 
and at such times his face breathed an air of indescribable 
majesty, so that the bystanders remained astonished, with- 
out daring to question him of that which they beheld with 
their own eyes : often in rapture, he was seen raised above 
the ground ; his hands then moved to and fro as though 
receiving something from God, and he was heard ex- 
claiming, " Hear, Lord, the voice of my prayer, when 
I cry unto Thee, and when I hold out my hands to Thy 
holy temple." As soon as the hours and the grace after 
dinner were ended, he would retire alone to some secret 
place, where sitting down and making the sign of the 
cross, he would meditate on those things which he had 
heard read. Then taking out that book of the Gospels, 
which he always carried, he would kiss it reverently and 
press it to his breast ; and those who observed him could 
mark how, as he read, he would seem to fall into argu- 
ments with another, smiling or weeping, beating his 
breast, or covering his face with his mantle, rising and 
again sitting and reading, as the passing emotions of his 
soul sought for expression. Nor must we fail to notice 
the singular devotion with which he daily celebrated the 
holy sacrifice of the Mass, which he almost always sang. 
At the Canon and the Lord's Prayer his tears fell in 
abundance ; those . who served his Masses noticed this, 
and bore witness that it wa3 always the case, and that with 
a tenderness of devotion which moved them also to weep 
with him. 

Of his manner towards his subjects, we read that its 
undeviating rule was charity. He was their loving 


father, even whilst he knew how to reprove and correct 
them. The following are the words of Rodolph of Fa- 
enza: — He was ever kind, cheerful, patient, joyful, mer- 
ciful, and the consoler of his brethren. If he saw any 
of them fail into a fault, he would seem as though he 
did not at the time observe it, but afterwards, with a 
serene countenance, and with gentle speech, would say, 
4 Brother, you have done wrong, but now repent;' and 
so did he bring all to penance. And yet though he 
told them of their faults with such humble words, he 
could gravely punish them." " He punished transgressors 
of the rule with severity, and yet with mercy," says 
John of Navarre, " and greatly did he grieve when he 
had to punish any." Brother Frugerius, another of the 
eye-witnesses of his life, says, " He was rigid himself in 
the observation of the rule, and would have it observed 
also by others ; yet did he punish transgressors with 
meekness and sweetnesss. He was kind and patient in 
trouble, joyful in adversity, loving, merciful, and the con- 
soler of his brethren, and of all men." To which test- 
imony Brother Paul of Venice adds, " So sweet and 
just was he in correction, that none could ever be troubled 
by a punishment or reproof received from him." An- 
other of his disciples adds, " Although like a father, 
he could use the rod of correction ; yet also as a 
mother he could give the breast of consolation ; and 
so sweet and efficacious was his way of comforting 
those who came to him, that none went away without 
solace and relief. And if he saw his brethren at any 
time sad or afflicted, he would call them to him, and 
condole with them, and ofttimes deliver them by his 

We may draw the reader's attention to the striking 
similarity of the character sketched by so many different 
hands. Indeed, when we read over " the Acts of Bo- 
logna, as these evidences for his canonization are entitled, 
we are immediately struck with the exact resemblance 
they bear to one another. We see, as it were, the 
portrait of one whose features were too marked not 
\o be instantly caught by the painter ; they were the 


outlines of the most perfect form of charity- And the 
mother of his charity was a profound humility. " Nevei 
did I see a man so humble in all things as was Brother 
Dominic," is the language of one of the witnesses on 
his canonization ; " he dispised himself greatly, and 
counted himself as nothing; he was the example to his 
brethren in all things — in words, gesture, food, clothing, 
and manners. He was generous, too, and hospitable, 
and gladly gave all he had to the poor. He passed 
his nights without sleep, praying for the sins of others," 
And blessed Jordan, on the last-mentioned quality 
(zeal for souls), says, f It was the trait in which lie 
most desired to resemble his Lord." With the beautiful 
eulogy which is given by this holy writer, the worthy 
successor and biographer of his great patriarch, we must 
conclude this chapter : " The goodness of his soul, and 
the holy fervour with which he acted, were so great, 
that none could doubt him to be indeed a chosen vessel 
of honour adorned with precious stones. He had a par- 
ticular firmness of spirit, always equal, save when moved 
to pity or compassion. The peace and quietude of his 
heart was manifest in his gentleness and his cheerful 
looks. And he was so firm and resolute in the de- 
terminations he had taken after just reflection, that 
never, or almost never, did any succeed in making him 
change his mind. The holy joy which shone in him had 
something singular about it, which drew all men's affec- 
tions to him so soon as they had looked upon his face. 
He embraced all in great charity, and so was loved of 
all ; and his rule was to rejoice with them that rejoiced, 
and to weep with them that wept. He was all love for his 
neighbour, all pity for the poor ; and the simplicity of his 
conduct, without a shadow of insincerity either in word or 
deed, made him dear to all." 

With this portrait in our mind, sketched by the very eye- 
witnesses of his daily life, we shall now proceed to give 
some of those legends attached to the period of his residence 
at Rome, to which we have before referred- 


Attacks of the Devil. Legends of S. Sabina and S. Sixtns 

On the second Sunday in Lent, being the first after 
the settlement of the nuns at S. Sixtus, Dominic preached 
in their church, standing, as it is said, " at the grating," 
that is, so as his discourse should be heard both by them 
and by the congregation assembled in the public parts of 
the church. As he did so, a possessed woman who was 
in the midst of the crowd interrupted the sermon, " Ah, 
villain !" cried the demon, speaking through her voice, 
" these nuns were once all mine own, and thou hast robbed 
me of them all. This soul at least is mine, and thou shalt 
not take her from me, for we are seven in number that 
have her in our keeping." Then Dominic commanded her 
to hold her peace, and making the sign of the cross, he 
delivered her from her tormenters in the presence of 
all the spectators. A few days after this she came to 
him, and, throwing herself at his feet, implored to be 
allowed to take his habit. He consented to her request, 
and placed her in the convent of S. Sixtus, where he gave 
her the name of Amata, or, as we used to call her, Amy ; 
to signify the love of God displayed in her regard. 
She afterwards removed to Bologna, where she died 
in the odour of sanctity, and lies buried in the same tomb 
with Dominic's two other holy daughters, Cecilia and 
Diana, the latter of whom was foundress of the convent of 
women in that place. 

In speaking of this and other examples of the malice 
of the demon, which are narrated in the history of 
S. Dominic, we cannot but observe something perhaps 
a little distinctive about them. Never do we find one 
instance in which Satan was permitted the least power 
to vex or trouble him. Never, as with so many othef 


saints, was he suffered to do him bodily harm, or to 
assault him with grievous temptations. The evil one 
appears to us always baffled and contemptible, as in the 
power of one who is his master, the very Michael among 
the saints. Yet though always petty, and as it were 
ridiculous, he ceased not in his efforts to thwart and 
disturb him, and chiefly directed his malice against the 
friars and sisters of S. Sixtus, grievously trying them 
by perpetual distraction, as though he hoped thereby at 
least to diminish something of the fervour of their devo- 
tions. Once indeed he made a more serious attempt 
against Dominic's life. One night, as he prayed in the 
church of Santa Sabina, a huge stone was hurled at him 
by an invisible hand from the upper part of the roof, 
which all but grazed his head, and even tore his hood, 
but falling without further injury to the saint, was 
buried deep in the ground beside him. The noise was 
so loud that it awoke several of the friars, who came 
in haste to the spot to inquire the cause ; they found 
the fragments of the broken pavement, and the stone 
lying where it fell ; but Dominic was kneeling quietly 
in prayer, and seemed as if unconscious of what had 

Another story, of a similar character, is told as follows : 
" The servant of God, who had neither bed nor cell 
of his own, had publicly commanded his children in 
chapter, that in order that they might wake the more 
promptly, to rise to matins, they should retire to bed at 
a certain hour, in which he was strictly obeyed. Now, 
as he himself abode before the Lord in the church, the 
devil appeared before him in the form of one of the 
brethren, and though it was past the prohibited time, yet 
did he remain in the church with an air of particular 
devotion and modesty. Wherefore the saint, judging 
it to be one of the friars, went softly up to him, and 
desired him to go to his cell, and sleep with the others. 
And the pretended friar inclined his head, in sign of 
humble obedience, and went as he was bid; but on each 
of the two following nights, he returned at the same hour 
and in the same manner. The second time the man of 


God rose very gently (although, indeed, he had reason to 
be somewhat angry, seeing he had at table during the day 
reminded all of the observance of that which had been 
enjoined), and again desired him to go away. He went ; 
but, as we have said, returned yet a third time. Then, 
it seemed to the saint that the disobedience and pertinacity 
of his brother was too great, and he reproved him for the 
same with some severity ; whereat, the devil (who desired 
nothing else, save to disturb his prayer and stir him unto 
wrath, and move him to break the silence) gave a loud 
laugh, and, leaping high into the air, he said, 'At least 
I have made you break the silence, and moved you to 
wrath !' But he calmly replied, ' Not so, for I have power 
to dispense, neither is it blameworthy wrath when I utter 
reproofs unto the evil-doers.' And the demon, being so 
answered, was obliged to fly." 

On another occasion, as he was by night walking about 
the convent of S. Sabina, guarding his flock with the 
vigilance of a good shepherd, he met the enemy in the 
dormitory, going like a lion seeking whom he might 
devour ; and recognizing him, he said, " Thou evil beast, 
what doest thou here ?" "I do my office," replied the de- 
mon, "and attend to mygains." "And what gains dost thou 
make in the dormitory ?" asked the saint. " Gain 
enough," returned the demon. " I disquiet the friars in 
many ways ; for first, I take the sleep away from those 
who desire to sleep in order that they may rise promptly 
for matins ; and then I give an excessive heaviness to 
others, so that when the bell sounds, either from weariness 
or idleness they do not rise ; or, if they rise and go to 
choir, it is unwillingly, and they say their office without 
devotion." Then the saint took him to the church, and 
said, " And what dost thou gain here ?" " Much, an- 
swered the devil; " I make them come late and leave 
soon. I fill them with disgusts and distractions, so that 
they do ill whatsoever they have to do." " And here ?" 
asked Dominic, leading him to the refectory. " Who does 
not eat too much or too little ?" was the reply ; " and 
so they either offend God or injure their health." Theu 
the saint took him to the parlour, where the brethren 


wore allowed to speak with seculars, and to take their 
recreation. And the devil began maliciously to laugh, 
and to leap and jump about, as if with enjoyment, and he 
said, " This place is all mine own ; here they laugh and 
joke, and hear a thousand vain stories ; here they utter 
idle words, and grumble often at their rule and their 
superiors ; and whatsoever they gain elsewhere they lose 
here." And lastly they came to the door of the chapter- 
room, but there the devil would not enter. He attempted 
to fly, saying, "This place is a hell to me ; here the friars 
accuse themselves of their faults, and receive reproof and 
correction, and absolution. What they have lost in every 
other place they regain here." And so saying, he dis- 
appeared, and Dominic was left greatly wondering at 
the snares and nets of the tempter ; whereof he after- 
wards made a long discourse to his brethren, declaring 
the same unto them, that they should be on their 

But if, at the risk of wearying the reader, we have 
given these instances of the infernal malice, it is time 
for us to present him with other and more lovely pictures, 
as they are left us in the relation of Sister Cecilia. The 
first, as is fitting, shall be of the maternal love of Mary. 
Before reading it, we must remember that Dominic never 
had cell or bed of his own, and slept, when he slept at 
all, in the church or the dormitory. "One night, 
Dominic having remained in the church to pray, left it 
at the hour of midnight, and entered the corrider where 
were the cells of the brethren. When he had finished 
what he had come to do, he again began to pray at one 
end of the dormitory, and looking by chance towards the 
other end, he saw three ladies coming along, of whom 
the one in the middle appeared the most beautiful and 
venerable. One of her companions carried a magnificent 
vessel of water, and the other a sprinkler, which she 
presented to her mistress, and she sprinkled the bre- 
thren, and made over them the sign of the cross. But 
when she had come to one of the friars, she passed him 
over without blessing him ; and Dominic having observed 
who this one was, went before the lady, who was in the 


middle of the dormitory, near to where the lamp was 
hanging. He fell at her feet, and though he had already 
recognized her, yet he besought her to tell him who she 
was. At that time the beautiful and devout anthem 
of the Salve Regina was not sung in the convents of 
the friars or of the sisters at Rome ; it was only 
recited, kneeling, after compline. The lady who had 
given the blessing said therefore to Dominic. ' I am she 
whom you invoke every evening, and when you say < Eia 
ergo advocota nostra,' I prostrate before my Son for the 
preservation of this order.' Then the blesssed Dominic 
inquired who were the two young maidens who accom- 
panied her, and she replied, ' One is Cecilia, and the other 
Catherine.' And the blessed Dominic asked again why 
she had passed over one of the brethren without blessing 
him ; and he was answered, ' Because he was not in a 
fitting posture;' and so, having finished her round, and 
sprinkled the rest of the brethren, she disappeared. Now 
the blessed Dominic returned to pray in the place where 
he was before, and scarcely had he begun to pray when 
he was wrapt in spirit unto God. And he saw the Lord, 
with the Blessed Virgin standing on His right hand ; and 
it seemed to him that our Lady was dressed in a robe of 
sapphire blue. And, looking about him, he saw religious 
of every order standing before God; but of his own he 
did not S3e one. Then he began to weep bitterly, and he 
dared not draw nigh to our Lord, or to His Mother; but 
our Lady beckoned him with her hand to approach. 
Nevertheless, he did not dare to come until our Lord 
also in His turn had made him a sign to do so. He 
came, therefore, and fell prostrate before them, weeping 
bitterly. And the Lord commanded him to rise ; and 
when he was risen, He said to him, * Why weepest thou 
thus bitterly?' And he answered, 'I weep because I 
see here religious of all orders except mine own.' And 
the Lord said to him, ' Wouldst thou see thine own ?' 
And he, trembling, replied, 'Yes, Lord.' Then the 
Lord placed His hand on the shoulder of the Blessed 
Virgin, and said to the blessed Dominic, ' I have given 
thine order to my Mother.' Then He said again, 'And 


wouldst thou really see thine order?' And he replied, 
1 Yea, Lord.' Then the Blessed Virgin opened the 
mantle in which she seemed to be dressed, and extending 
it before the eyes of Dominic, so that its immensity 
covered all the space of the heavenly country, he saw 
under its folds a vast multitude of his friars. The 
blessed Dominic fell down to thank God and the Blessed 
Mary, His Mother, and the vision disappeared, and he 
came to himself again, and rang the bell for matins ; and 
when matins were ended, he called them all together, and 
made them a beautiful discourse on the love and venera- 
tion they should bear to the most Blessed Virgin, and 
related to them this vision. It was on this occasion that 
he ordered his friars, wherever they might sleep, always to 
wear a girdle and stockings." 

Another story we give in the words of the same writer : 
" It was the constant habit of the venerable father to 
spend the entire day in gaining souls, either by continual 
preaching, or hearing confessions, or in other works of 
charity. And in the evening he was accustomed to come 
to the sisters, and give them a discourse or a conference 
on the duties of the order, in presence of the brethren ; 
for they had no other master to instruct them. Now, 
one evening, he was later than usual in coming, and the 
sisters did not think he would come at all, they having 
finished their prayers and retired to their cells. But, lo ! 
suddenly they heard the little bell, which the friars were 
used to ring to give the sisters a signal of the approach 
of the blessed father. And they all hastened to the 
church, where, the grating being opened, they found him 
already seated, with the brethren, waiting for them. 
Then he said, t My daughters, I am come from fishing, 
and the Lord has this night sent me a great fish.' He 
spoke of Brother Gandion, whom he had received into the 
order; he was the only sen of the Lord Alexander, a 
Roman citizen, and a man of consequence. Then he 
made them a long discourse, which gave them great con- 
solation. After which, he said, ' It will be well, my 
children, if we drink a little.' And calling Brother 
lloger, the cellarer, he bade him go and bring a cup and 


some wine. And the friar having brought it, the blessed 
Dominic desired him to fill the cup to the brim. Then 
he blessed it, and drank first, and after him also the other 
friars who were present. Now they were of the number 
of twenty-five, as well clerks as laics; and they drank as 
much as they would, yet was not the wine diminished. 
When they had all drunk, the blessed Dominic said, 'I 
will that my daughters drink also.' And calling Sister 
Nubia, he said to her, ' Come in thy turn, and take the 
cup, and give all the sisters to drink.' She went there- 
fore, with a companion, and took the cup, full up to the 
brim, withont a drop having been poured out. And the 
prioress drank first and then all the sisters, as much as 
they would, the blessed father saying to them, 'Drink 
at your ease my daughters.' They were a hundred and 
four, and all drank as much as they would ; nevertheless 
the cup remained full, as though the wine had just been 
poured into it ; and when it was brought back, it was 
still full. This done, the blessed Dominic said, ' The 
Lord wills me now to go to Santa Sabina.' But Brother 
Tancred, the prior of the brethren, and Odo, the prior of 
the sisters, and all the friars, and the prioress with the 
sisters, tried to detain him, saying, 'Holy father, it is 
near midnight, and it is not expedient for you to go.' 
Nevertheless he refused to do as they wished, and said, 
' The Lord wills me to depart, and will send His angel 
with me.' Then he took for his companions Tancred and 
Odo, and set out. And being arrived at the church-door, 
in order to depart, behold ! according to the words of the 
blessed Dominic, a young man of great beauty presented 
himself, having a staff in his hand, as if ready for a 
iourney. Then the blessed Dominic made his com- 
panions go on before him, the young man going first, and 
he last, and so they came to the door of the church of 
Santa Sabina, which they found shut. The young man 
leaned against the door, and immediately it opened; he 
entered first, then the brethren, and then the blessed 
Dominic. And the young man went out, and the door 
again shut ; and Brother Tancred said, ' Holy father, who 
wa3 the young man who came with us ? ' And ho 


replied, l My son, it was an angel of God, whom He sent 
to guard us. Matins then rang, and the friars descended 
into the choir, and were surprised to see there the blessed 
Dominie and his companions, for they knew that the 
door had been left shut." 

Such are some of the legends of these times. Traces 
of them may yet be found on the spots they have enriched 
with their associations. Over the door of' Santa Sabina, 
a half-defaced fresco commemorates this visit of the 
angel ; within, is still preserved the fragment of the 
stone which was hurled at Dominic in prayer ; and the 
spot on the pavement where he was wont to take his 
scanty rest is marked by a Latin inscription. The room, 
too, where Hyacinth and Cestaus received the habit is 
yet shown, and the picture that hangs over the choir tells 
the story of their singular vocation. This church and 
convent have never passed from the hands of the order, 
and the freshness of their association with the legendary 
history of its founder is unimpaired. 

S. Sixtus is no longer inhabited, though still the pro- 
perty of the order. The malaria drove the nuns from 
its walls so long ago as the year 1575; since which time 
they have been established at a new house on the 
Quirinal, bearing the name of "San Dominico e Sisto." 
But amid its desertion and ruin one monument of its 
ancient history yet remains. That little chapter-house, 
on whose threshold the widow's son was raised to life, 
and where Dominic and the sisters were assembled when 
the news came of the death of young Nnpoleon, yet 
stands ; one of the very few buildings in the ancient 
ecclesiastical style which are yet left in Rome. A fate 
has awaited this almost solitary relic of Christian archi- 
tecture which we cannot but trust may have results 
worthy of its historic interest. In it has been made 
the first attempt to restore the early ecclesiastical style, 
which has been seen in Rome for three centuries. It 
has been recently arranged as a chapel, and its walls 
decorated with frescoes, in the antique manner, descriptive 
of the life of Dominic. It may have been nothing but a 
chance j yet one feels it was a happy and appropriate 



chance that the first steps towards a revival of Christian 
art should have been made in this monument of the 
Dominican order, and by the hands of a Dominican 

In 1667, the two convents of S. Clement and S. Sixtus 
were granted to the Irish Dominicans, driven out of their 
own land by the persecutions of the times. " Inasmuch 
as our province of Ireland," says Father Anthony Monroy, 
the master-general of the order at that time, " has 
endured long and cruel persecutions, so that its sons have 
neither house nor place where they may lay their head, 
we judge them worthy of all commisseration." The brief 
continues by formally ceding to them these two convents 
" as a refuge for the miserable province of Ireland," and 
also as a plaee of education ; and they have ever since been 
assigned to the brethren of that nation. 

Some years ago the church and buildings of S. Sixtus, 
were covered with paintings and inscriptions commemo- 
rative of the many miracles and incidents of S. Dominic's 
life which had taken place within their walls; and the 
pulpit was shown from which he was accustomed to 
preach and propagate the Rosary among his audience ; 
but many of these are now destroyed or removed. No 
lapse of years or injury of time could however efface the 
memory of the saint on that spot, and in the diploma 
wherein Clement VIII. restored the locality to the 
Dominican order, after it had for some time been alien- 
ated, he prefaces the donation by a long summary of 
those wonderful events which have made it worthy to be 
enumerated among the holy places of Rome. The 
diploma is dated the 19th of January, 1611. 

* Pere Hyacinth Besson 


Dominic leaves Rome. He visits Bologna on his "way to Spain. 
Incidents of his journey. He preaches at Segovia. Foundations 
there, and at Madrid. His continual prayer. 

It was in the autumn of 1218 that Dominic prepared 
to leave Home, in order to visit the places where his 
children had been forming so many new settlements 
during the short year which had passed since their first 
dispersion at S. Romain. That memorable year bad seen 
them well-nigh planted throughout Europe; and he felt 
that the rapid increase of the order rendered his own 
presence and inspection of the young houses a thing no 
longer to be delayed. It is said also, that a feeling of 
humility was one of the motives which urged him to leave- 
Home ; his preaching and the fame of his miracles had 
gained him a reputation from which he shrank. We 
therefore find him, in the month of October, leaving the 
city gates, with his stick, his little bundle, and his copy 
of the Gospels, in company with a few of his own religious, 
a Franciscan, Brother Albert, soon after joining them on 
the road ; whilst Hyacinth and his three companions set 
out at the same time for the north. Dominic's steps 
were directed towards Bologna, where the brethren were 
still in their first convent of Santa Maria della Mascharella, 
suffering many inconveniences and discouragements, against 
which they continued to struggle until the month of 
December following, when, as we shall have occaasion to 
show, the arrival of Heginald of Orleans gave a fresh spirit 
to their undertaking. 

Dominic's visit lasted but a few days; yet we can 
easily imagine the joy and comfort which it diffused 
among them. In the course of his stay the same miracle 
which had previously taken place in the refectory of S. 
►Sixtus was here renewed ; the brethren were fed by 


angels, and the story is told with such a peculiar quaint- 
ness by the good Father Ludovico Prelormitano, that we 
cannot resist inserting the account in his own words : — 
" After that our most sweet father S. Dominic had 
finished the arduous business committed to him by the 
Holy Pontiff at Rome, he came to Bologna, and lodged 
at the Mascharella, where the friars still abode, not being 
yet able to go to S. Nicholas by reason of the rooms being 
yet too fresh and damp. And it happened on a day that 
by reason of the multitude of the brethren, there was no 
bread, except a few very little pieces ; and the blessing 
being given, the good father raised his eyes and his heart 
to God ; and lo ! (januis clausis) the doors being closed, 
there appeared two beautiful youths with two baskets of 
the whitest loaves, and giving one thereof to each friar, 
they so multiplied, that abundantly (ad saturitatem) there 
remained enough for three days. And this great miracle 
happened twice at Rome and twice at Bologna. The 
second time, after the loaves, they gave a good handful of 
dried figs. And the brother who made oath of the same 
to Pope Gregory IX. added and said, ' That never had he 
eaten better figs.' Then replied the Pontiff, ' Grammercy 
to Master Dominic, for they were not gathered in your 
garden;' as though he had said, 'God did at that time 
produce them.' And the number that ate was more than 
a hundred friars. Benedictus Deus /" He adds, " I 
have been in the cells which the said friars built, and 
accurately measured them, in the year 1528 ; they were 
four feet and a half wide, and scarcely six long. And 
the rector of Santa Maria Mascharella, my very dear 
friend, told me that every year, on the §ame day when 
the holy angels brought the heavenly bread, most sweet 
odours were perceived in the space then occupied by the 
refectory, which lasted forty hours." The table on which 
the miraculous loaves were placed was left at Santa 
Maria when the friars removed to S. Nicholas, and was 
still to be seen, guarded by iron bars in the wall, at the 
time when Father Prelormitano wrote. 

But Dominic soon left Bologna ; his journey being 
now principally directed towards that native country 


which lie ha*d not seen for sixteen years. Two anecdotes 
alone are left us of his journey. It is said that on quit- 
ting Bologna in company with the Franciscan before 
mentioned, they were attacked by a fierce dog, who tore 
the poor friar's habit, so that he was unable to proceed 
on his journey, and sat down by the wayside in some 
dispair. Dominic applied a little mud to the rent gar- 
ment, and this new kind of mending perfectly succeeded ; 
when the mud dried, the hahbit was discovered perfectly 
joined together. The other story is thus amusingly told 
by Castiglio : — " Having, one day, come to an inn with 
several companions, the hostess was much disturbed at 
the small gains she saw herself likely to make by them ; 
for they being many, and eating little, she saw herself 
put to much trouble to little purpose. Wherefore, as 
the servants of God conversed together on spiritual 
things, as was their wont, she went about grumbling and 
blaspheming, saying all the evil words that came into 
her mind; and the more the holy father S. Dominic 
sought to appease her with fair speeches, the more violent 
she became, not being willing to hear reason. At length, 
being wholly disturbed by the noise of this virago, S. 
Dominic spoke to her and said, 'Sister, since you will 
not leave us in peace for the love of God, I pray Him 
that He will Himself silence you;' the which words 
were no sooner uttered than she lost the power of speech, 
and became entirely dumb. She continued so until the 
saint's return from Spain, when, as he stopped at the 
same inn, she threw herself at his feet to implore his 
pardon, and he restored her to the use of her tongue, 
with a warning that she should use it in future to the 
praise of God. 

It was probably in the course of this journey that the 
following incident occurred at the city of Faenza, as 
given in the ancient memoirs preserved in the convent 
of that place. Albert, the bishop of Faenza, was so 
charmed by his eloquence and the fascination of his dis- 
course, that he would not allow him to lodge anywhere 
but in the episcopal palace. This did not, however, pre- 
vent Dominic from pursuing his ordinary course of life ; 


every night he rose at the hour of matins, as was his 
custom, and proceeded to the nearest church to assist at 
the divine office. The attendants of the bishop noticed 
this ; and on watching him secretly to observe how he 
was able to leave the palace without rousing the inmates, 
they observed two beautiful youths who stood by the 
door of his chamber with lighted torches, and so led the 
way for him and his companions, every door opening for 
them as they went along ; and in this way they were 
every night conducted in safety to the church of S. 
Andrew, °whence, after the singing of matins, they re- 
turned in like manner. When this was made known 
to Albert, he himself watched and became an eye-witness 
of the fact ; and in consequence he procured the above 
church to be the foundation of a convent of the order. 
A memorial of the circumstances is preserved in the name 
given to the ground lying between tbe palace and S. 
Andrew's church, which is still called " The Angels' 

Field/* \ ;H i-Vv. 

Doubtless many cities of northern Italy received like 
pawing visits from Dominic, but no certain traditions 
concerning them have been preserved. We can, there- 
fore but follow him in imagination, as he made his 
way over the plains of Lombardy, and crossing the Alps, 
found himself once more in the convent of S. Romain 
at Toulouse. The number of the brethren was greatly 
increased, but their prospects, together with those of the 
Church generally in those parts, had received a serious 
check by the death of the Count de Montfort, and the 
renewed persecutions of the heretics. Dominic remained 
a while with them to encourage them, and nominated 
Bertrand of Garriga, who had just returned from Fans, 
their superior. He then continued his journey to Spain ; 
and we find that before Christmas he was at Segovia, m 
Old Castile. One circumstance occurred on his way 
which must not be omitted. The brethren who travelled 
in his company, discouraged perhaps by the hardships ot 
the journey, and yet more by those which they witnessed 
in the young houses of Bologna and Toulouse, broke out 
into murmurs, and even determined to quit the habit 


and return to the world. Some writers tell us that 
these religious were not those who came from Italy 
with the saint, but some young Castilian novices, who 
had been attracted to him by the fame of his eloquence 
and miracles, and whose fervour cooled as soon as they 
made a closer acquaintance with the austerity of his rule \ 
and this seems the more probable conjecture. However 
that may be, their discontent was soon discovered by 
Dominic : he did his best to deter them from their pur- 
pose, but in vain; three only remained with him, the 
others, having put their hand to the plough, looked back 
and left him. Turning sadly and gently to those who 
remained faithful, Dominic addressed them in the words 
of our Lord on a like occasion, " Will ye also go 
away ? " And the memory of this incident has been 
preserved in a touching passage of the Constitution of 
the order, introduced at a later period with an evident 
allusion to these circumstances. " Whenever novices," 
it is said, " wish to return to the world, we command 
all the religious freely to let them go, and to return 
them all that they have brought. Nor must they 
give them any vexation on this account, after the ex- 
ample of Him, who, when some of his disciples went 
back, said to those that remained, ' Will ye also' go 
away V "* The greater number of those who had 
abandoned him, shortly afterwards returned to their 

The city ef Segovia, where Dominic first stopped, is 
not far from Osma. His return to those familiar scenes, 
so thick with memories of his friendship with the bishop 
Diego, and the long quiet years of his early life, before 
the call of God had drawn him before the world, must 
have been full of singular emotion to a heart so tender 
and sensitive as his own. Perhaps it was something of 
this natural affection for old scenes, linked to such dear 
associations, that made him fix on this neighbourhood 
for his first foundation on his return to his native land. 
Only a few particulars of his residence there have been 
preserved. He lodged at the house of a poor woman, who 
* Const. F. F. Praed. d. i. c. 14. 


contrived to get possession of a coarse hair shirt which 
he had worn, and had laid aside to exchange it for one of 
yet harsher material. Some time afterwards, the house 
caught fire, and everything was burned excepting tho 
box which contained this precious relic. This hair shirt 
was long preserved among the relics of the monastery of 
Valladolid. Dominic had not been long in the city 
before he began his usual work of preaching, and with 
more than usual success. Possibly the familiar lan- 
guage of his mother-tongue, and the sight of those 
Spanish Hills, after the long years of exile and separation, 
gave a fresh inspiration to his words. It seemed, too, 
that God was willing, that special tokens of His miracu- 
lous power should accompany the preaehing of His 
servants. A long drought had afflicted the country of 
Segovia, and reduced the inhabitants to the utmost dis- 
tress. One day, as they gathered together outside tho 
walls to hear the preaching, Dominic, after beginning his 
discourse, as if suddenly inspired by God, exclaimed, 
" Fear nothing, my brethren, but trust in the Divine 
mercy. I announce to you good news, for to-day even 
God will send you a plentiful rain, and the drought shall 
be turned into plenty." And shortly after, his words 
were fulfilled, for such torrents of rain fell, that scarcely 
could the assembled crowd make their way to their own 
homes. The spot where this took place is still shown, 
and the event is commemorated by a little chapel which 
has been erected in his honour. On another occasion, 
as he preached before the senate of the city, he spoke 
thus : "You listen to the words of an earthly king, hear 
now those of Him who is eternal and divine." One of 
the senators took offence at the freedom of his words, 
and mounting his horse, rode off, exclaiming .contemp- 
tuously, "A. fiue thing, forsooth, for this fellow (ciarla- 
tino) to keep you here all day with his fooleries. Truly, 
it is time to go home to dinner !" Dominic looked at 
him sorrowfully : " He goes as you see," he said, 
addressing the others, " but within a year he will be 
dead." And, indeed, not many months after this occur- 
rence, he was slain on that very spot by his own nephew. 


Dominic's preaching soon rendered him very popular 
among the Segovians. They were proud of him as a 
fellow-countryman, and nocked together to listen to him 
wherever he appeared. We are told, that he never spoke 
in public without first prostrating in prayer before a little 
image, and repeating the versicle, " Dignare me laudare 
te, Virgo sacrata," &c. It is with him also, according to 
Pere Croiset, that the custom among preachers of intro- 
ducing the Ave Maria at the beginning of their sermon, 
first arose. In a short time a number of new disciples 
were gathered together at Segovia, the foundations of a 
convent were laid, under the title of the Holy Cross ; and 
one of his followers, named Corbolan, and known as 
" Blessed Corbolan the Simple," was appointed prior. 
This convent was erected close by the little river Eresma, 
on whose banks Dominic was accustomed to address the 
multitudes. Close by may still be seen another spot 
consecrated by the memory of his presence. It is a 
grotto deep sunk in the rock, where he was wont nightly 
to retire from the presence of his followers, to give him- 
self up to the free exercise of prayer and the presence of 
God. Its walls (as those testified who secretly watched 
him at these times) were often wet with his tears and 
his blood. This grotto now forms part of the chapel 
erected in his honour, and is attached to the church. It 
was visited by S. Theresa, who declared that she received 
such grace and consolation in her visit to it, that she 
could have desired to spend her life within its recesses. 

As soon as the convent of Segovia was founded, 
Dominic proceeded to Madrid. The house already 
founded there by Brother Peter, originally sent thither 
from Toulouse, was without the town. It was very poor, 
having a little church like a hermitage, and a narrow 
dormitory without division. Dominic resolved to convert 
it into a monastery of women, for he considered its 
revenues and endowments unsuitable for his brethren. 
This, therefore, was the third convent of sisters which he 
founded. Nor was his care of them inferior to that he 
had before bestowed on Prouille and S. Sixtus. A beauti- 
ful letter is still preserved, in which he addresses them on 


their duties and vocation. We give part of it as another 
illustration of the importance he evidently attached to 
those external aids whereby the strictness and entireness 
of the rule should be perfectly observed : — " Brother 
Dominic, Master of the Preachers, to the Mother Prioress, 
and all the convent of the Sisters of Madrid, health 
and amendment of life by the grace of God. We 
rejoice, and thank God for your spiritual progress, and 
that He has drawn you from the mire of the world. 
Combat still, my daughters, against your old enemy by 
prayer and watching; for he only shall be crowned who 
has striven lawfully. Hitherto you have had no house 
suitable for following all the rules of our holy religion, 
but now there will be no excuse ; since now, thanks 
be to God, you have a building where regular observance 
can be exactly kept. Therefore I desire that silence 
may now be kept in all the places enjoined by the Con- 
stitutions, in the choir, refectory, dormitories, and 

wherever you live according to rule We send 

our dear brother Manez, who has laboured so much for 
your house, and has fixed you in your holy state, to order 
all things as shall seem good to him, to the end that you 
may live holily and religiously." The people of Castile 
received Dominic with extraordinary marks of honour ; 
Castiglio gives us a long list of donations granted by the 
magistrates of Madrid to his order, bearing the date of 
May, 1219. His sermons were listened to by crowds 
of the inhabitants, among whom a wonderful change was 
effected in a short time. This change was so great and 
striking that, in the words of Castiglio, " he could not be 
satisfied with weeping, by reason of the marvellous and 
heavenly contentment which he felt for the clear and 
manifest favours of God, and his tenderness towards 
sinners." The preaching of the Rosary, as usual, was his 
great instrument for the conversion of the people, and 
many wonders were wrought by the extension of its 
devotion. When at length he prepared to return to 
Toulouse, the regret of the citizens knew no bounds ; 
" for his manner and conversation," continues Castiglio, 
" had marvellously captivated the souls of all, and they 


felt themselves raised on high to great and heavenly 
desires, whilst their affections were likewise drawn to 
him by a singular tenderness." There must, indeed, 
have been something peculiarly sweet and familiar in the 
intercourse between him and these converts of Madrid; 
for we find him writing to the Pope to declare their 
fervent and devout dispositions; and Honorius in conse- 
quence sent a brief conveying his special benediction 
both to them and the people of Segovia. 

Several other convents were already founded in Spain, 
but it is uncertain what share S. Dominic himself had in 
their establishment. Nor is there any universal agree- 
ment among authors as to the cities he visited, though it 
seems certain that he made some stay at the Palencia, the 
scene of his early university life. We have an interesting 
memorial of this visit in the will of Anthony Sersus, who 
leaves a certain sum for candles for the confraternity of 
the Holy Rosary, founded in that place by " the good 
Dominic of Gusman," as he terms him. We find by this 
how very early a date may be claimed for the confrater- 
nities of the Rosary, which indeed were founded in almost 
every city wherein Dominic preached, especially in the 
north of Italy. For still, as he passed from place to 
place, his work was ever the same : he preached without 
rest and intermission, and many of the miracles attributed 
to him by popular tradition are given to us associated 
with stories of the propagation of the Rosary. His time 
was never his own : he had long since made it over to God 
for the salvation of souls :* his idea of the vocation 
of a Friar Preacher was one of utter self-abandonment, 
and so whenever he appeared abroad he was followed 
by crowds, attracted by the odour of his sanctity, who 
were accustomed to say that penance was easy when 
preached by Master Dominic. 

Yet though never alone, his life of prayer was un- 
interrupted ; the secret of that perpetual communion 
with God in the midst of exterior distractions, so ad- 
mirably displayed in the life of the great spiritual 
daughter of his order, S. Catherine of Siena, when 
shc°spoke of the interior cell of the heart wherein she 


was wont to retire, was well known to him ; it was there 
he found his rest ; and the habit of prayer had knit his 
heart so close to God, that nothing had the power of 
separating him from that centre, " wherein," says Cas- 
tiglio, " he reposed with a marvellous quiet and tran- 
quillity. Never did he lose that repose of soul which is 
essential to the spirit of prayer ; but in. all his labours 
and disquiets, in the midst of hunger, thirst, fatigue, long 
journeys, and continued interruption from others, hi3 
heart was free and ready to turn to God at all hours, 
as though it were conscious of none else but Him. 
Therefore many consolations were granted to him that 
are not given to others ; and of this we have evidence in 
his words, his zeal, and all his actions, wherein there 
appeared a certain grace and sweetness of the Holy 
Ghost, showing how dearly favoured was his soul." In 
faet S. Dominie was pre-emimently a man of prayer ; it is 
the feature above all others which we find traced upon 
his life. By night or by day, whether alone or with 
others, silent in contemplation, or surrounded by the 
distractions of an active apostolic vocation, his heart 
never stirred from the true and steady centre it had 
so early found in God ; and in this one fact lay the 
secret -of all the graces which adorned his most beautiful 
soul. It was the source of that interior tranquillity 
which fitted him to be called " the rose of patience," 
as 4 well as of the exterior and gracious sweetness to 
which all have borne testimony, and which with him 
was nothing else than the fragant odour proceeding 
from the abiding presence of God. 


Ketum to S. Kornain. He proceeds to Paris. Jordan of Saxony. 
Interview with Alexander, King of Scotland. Ketnrn to Italy. 

We find Dominic once more among the brethren of 
S. Romain in the April of the year 1219. His presence 
was joyfully welcomed, nor was it among his own bre- 
thren only that his coming always seemed to diffuse 
a spirit of gladness; if we may credit an ancient writer, 
" even the Jews and Gentile Saracens, whereof there 
were so many in Spain, held him dear, all save the 
heretics, whom he was wont to conquer and silence 
by his preachings."* And now, once more, Toulouse 
heard for awhile the mighty eloquence of that voice 
which had before carried the Gospel of peace over the 
hills and villages of Languedoc. Such crowds flocked to 
hear him, that S. Romain could not contain them ; it was 
in the cathedral church of S. Stephen, before the bishop 
and chapter, that he was obliged to deliver his sermons ; 
and their fruit was an abundance of conversions. Here 
again he gave himself without reserve to all the labours 
of his apostolic calling. All day long he was in the city, 
or in the surrounding country, preaching and instructing 
the people; and the night was devoted to prayer and 
sharp austerities. Here, too, all his care and devotion 
was lavished on his brethren and children, whom he 
strove to form to sanctity. Prouille and S. Romain were 
to him now, what S. Sixtus and Santa Sabina had already 
been at Rome ; and another miracle of the multiplication 
of the loaves is said to have taken place in the refectory 
of S. Romain. 

Rertrand of Garrega was his companion in the journey 
to Paris, which next lay before him. Some of his 
younger disciples were also with him, and it was in 
» John of Spain. 


tenderness to their weakness and fatigue that he is said to 
have miraculously changed some water into wine, a trait 
of his characteristic thoughtfulness and compassion; "for," 
says Gerard de Frachet, " they had been tenderly nur- 
tured in the world." 

On the road they turned aside to visit the sanctuary 
of Roquemadour, near Cahors, where they spent the 
night praying in the church of our Lady. The next 
day, as they journeyed along, singing litanies and reciting 
the Psalms of the divine office, two German pilgrims 
overtook them ; and being greatly attracted by the 
devotion of their exterior, they followed closely behind 
them. When they came to the next village, their new 
friends begged them to sit down and dine with them ; 
and they continued this conduct for four consecutive 
days. On the fifth day Dominic said to Bertrand, 
" Brother Bertrand, it grieves me to reap the temporal 
things of these pilgrims, without sowing for them spi- 
ritual things ; let us kneel down and ask God to grant us 
the understanding of their language, that we may speak 
to them of Christ." They did so ; and during the rest 
of their journey were able to converse with them without 
difficulty. When they drew near Paris, they separated, 
and Dominic charged Bertrand to keep the matter secret 
till his death, " lest," as he said, " the people should take 
us for saints, who are but sinners." Jordan of Saxony 
tells us another anecdote of this journey, which he heard 
from the lips of Bertrand himself : it was that being 
threatened with a violent tempest of rain, they walked 
on in the midst of it, Dominic making the sign of the 
cross as he went along, and none of them were touched 
by the floods of water that fell around them. On another 
occasion, when the rain had drenched them through and 
through, they stopped for the night at a little village, 
and his companions went to the inn fire to dry their 
clothes, whilst Dominic, as usual, made his way to the 
church, where he spent the night before the altar. In 
the morning the habits of the others were still wet, but his' 
were perfectly dry ; the fire of charity that burned within 
had communicated itself also to his exterior. 


We have already noticed the foundation of the convent 
of S. Jacques, at Paris; in spite of all obstacles, the 
numbers of the brethren had now increased to thirty, and 
the presence of Dominic was a fresh encouragement to 
them. His stay among them was very short, but marked 
by two characteristic proceedings. His first act was to 
" set in order a regular house, with cloisters, domitory, 
refectory, and cells for study ;"* for it must be remem- 
bered that the brethren were in close connection with 
the university, where they followed the course of divinity 
and philosophy with the other stndents. Dominic's next 
step was to carry out • his usual law of dispersion ; 
Limoges, Pheims, Poitiers and Orleans, were all chosen 
as the scenes of new foundations ; and the little band, so 
hardly gathered together, were no sooner collected than 
they were scattered abroad. 

Peter Cellani, the citizen of Marseilles who had been 
the first benefactor and disciple of the order, was chosen 
for Limoges ; but he ventured to plead his ignorance, 
and incapacity for preaching. " Go, my son," was the 
heroic answer of his leader, " go, and fear nothing : twice 
every day will I remember thee before God, and do not 
thou doubt. Thou shalt gain many souls to the Lord, 
and He will be with thee." Peter obeyed with the 
simplicity so natural to him, and was used afterwards 
to say that in all his difficulties he had never invoked 
God and S. Dominic without obtaining relief. Whilst 
at Paris. Dominic had the happiness of giving the habit to 
his old friend William of Montferrat, whose two years 
of study at the university were now complete. His first 
acquaintance was also made with Jordan of Saxony, then 
also a young student of the university. The story of his 
vocation to religion is -of singular beauty. He was 
accustomed every morning to rise for the matin service 
of Notre Dame ; and whatever might be the season or 
the weather, nothing ever detained him in his bed. One 

« These words are from Martene's history, and are an addition- 
al evidence of what we huve before alluded to as one of the prim- 
ary conditions of a religious community, according to the system of 
S. Dominic; namely, the " regular hoitst." 


morning, fearing he was late, he left his lodging in great 
haste, and hurried to the church-door, which he found 
shut, for the hour was still early. As he stood waiting 
to enter, a beggar solicited an alms, aud Jordan felt 
about him for his purse, but in haste he had left it in his 
room, and he had nothing to give. Sooner, however, than 
refuse an alms for the love of God, he stripped off a rich 
belt mounted in silver, which he wore after the fashion of 
the times, and gave it to the poor man. As he entered 
the church, and knelt for a moment before the great 
crucifix, he saw the same belt hanging round the neck of 
the figure, and at that moment a voice within him called 
him powerfully to the closer service of God. This call, 
and the desires to which it gave rise, pursued him without 
rest, and when he heard of the fame of Dominic, he 
resolved to lay the whole state of his soul before him. 
His counsel and direction restored his peace ; but he did 
not take the habit until Reginald of Orleans finally won 
him to the order by his eloquence. 

Another interesting incident of Dominic's visit to 
Paris, as connected with the history of the order in our 
own island, is his interview with Alexander II., king of 
Scotland. This monareh was then at the French capital 
for the purpose of renewing the ancient alliance of his 
crown with the royal house of France. The Princess 
Blanche, mother to St Louis, had a particular esteem for 
S. Dominic, and often invited him to her court, and there 
probably the Scottish king first met with the Patriarch 
of the Friars Preachers. We know nothing of the par- 
ticulars of their interview; but we are assured that he 
eagerly pressed the saint to send some of his brethren to 
Scotland, and promised them his fatherly and royal pro- 
tection. At what exact period this request was granted 
seems a little doubtful ;* but it is certain that Alexander 
did build several convents for the fathers in his kingdom, 
and always bore a singular love to the order. Eight 
religious were sent into Scotland, headed by one Father 
Clement, afterwards bishop of Dublin; and no less than 

*The Melross Chronicle assigns the year 1230 as the earliest 
date of the establishment of the order in Scotland. 

156 LI] ' OP S. DOMINIC. 

eight monasteries "were founded in that country during the 
the reign of this prince. 

The period of his short visit being expired, Dominic 
once more took the road to Italy, accompanied only by 
William de Montferrat, and a lay brother who had come 
with him from Spain. All these long journeys were per- 
formed on foot, in the fashion of poor pilgrims ; and their 
rapidity, and the short rest he allowed himself, fill us 
with admiration for the energy and courage which they 
evince. His joyous and manly temperament of spirit 
bore him on in spite of all fatigues and dangers, and in 
those days footr-travelling over wild and uncultivated 
countries must have been plentiful in both. Passing 
through Burgundy, he arrived at Chatillon on the Seine, 
where he was charitably lodged by a poor ecclesiastic; 
but Dominic richly repaid his kindness, for whilst he was 
yet in the house, the news was brought him that his host's 
nephew had fallen from a high roof, and was being brought 
home dead. Dominic went to meet him, and restored him 
to nis parents alive and well. Other miracles of healing 
also marked his stay in the place, from whence he proceeded 
on to Avignon, where a little trace of his sojourn may 
yet be seen in a well, bearing an inscription to the effect 
that in 1219 the founder of the Friars Preachers blessed 
this water, which has since restored health to many sick 

All Dominic's companions were not quite such good 
travellers as himself. We find that as they were making 
their way through the passes of the Lombard Alps, the 
strength and courage of poor Brother John, the Spanish 
lay brother, entirely failed him: overcome with hunger 
and fatigue, he sat down, unable to proceed further. The 
good father said to him, " What is the matter, my son, 
that you stop thus?" And he replied, "Because, father, 
I am dying of hunger." "Take courage, my son," said 
the saint , "yet a little further, and we shall find some 
place in which we may rest." But as Brother John 
replied again that he was utterly unable to proceed any 
further, Dominic had recourse to his usual expedient of 
prayer. Then he bade him go to a spot he pointed out, 


and take up what lie should find there. The poor brother 
dragged himself to the place indicated, and found a loaf of 
exquisite whiteness, which, by the saint's orders, he ate, 
and felt his strength restored. Then, having asked him if 
he were revived, Dominic bade him take the remains of the 
loaf back to the place where he found it ; and having done 
so, they continued their route. As they went on, the 
marvel of the thing seemed to strike the brother for the 
first time. "Who put the loaf there?" he said; "I was 
surely beside myself to take it so quietly ! Holy father, 
tell me whence did that loaf come?" " Then," says the 
old writer, Gerard de Frachet, who has related this story, 
" this true lover of humility replied : ' My son, have you 
not eaten as much as you needed ?' And he said, ' Yes.' 
'Since, then,' replied the saint, 'you have eaten enough, 
give thanks to God, and trouble not yourself about the 
rest/ " 

And now Dominic was once more on the Italian soil, 
which thenceforth he never quitted to the day of his death. 
It was the summer of 1219; only eight months had 
elapsed since he had quitted Rome, and within that space 
he had spread his order through the whole extent of Spain 
and France. His road was literally marked by new foun- 
dations ; we may trace it on the map by the convents that 
date their origin from this time. Asti, Bergamo, and 
Milan, all received him with marks of honour ; at Bergamo 
he was detained by a severe illness, which even compelled 
him to discontinue his abstinence and fasting — a fact 
noticed as almost unexampled in his life. At Milan he 
was welcomed as the messenger of God; the canon of S. 
Nazaire, in particular, received him with singular marks of 
affection, and three celebrated professors, all citizens of that 
place, received his habit. In company with these new 
brethren he set out for Bologna, where he arrived about 
the month of August ; but it is time for us to give some 
brief account of the progress of that convent since the 
period of his last visit to it in the preceding year. 


The Convent of Bologna. Effects of Reginald's preaching and 
government. Fervour of the Community of S. Nicholas. 
Conversion of Fathers Roland and Moneta. Dispersion of 
the brethren through the cities of Northern Italy. Reginald's 
novices. Robaldo. Bonviso of Placentia. Stephen of Spain. 
Rodolph of Faenza. Reginald is sent to Paris. Jordan joins 
the Order. Reginald's success - and death. 

The progress of the brethren of Bologna at their little 
convent of La Mascharella had been slow, and their diffi- 
culties and discouragements very great, up to the time of 
the arrival amongst them of Reginald of Orleans. As 
soon as he returned from the Holy Land, he set out for 
Bologna, according to his previous agreement with S. 
Dominic, and arrived there on the 21st of December, 1218. 
His presence caused an immediate change in the position 
of the friars; he held the authority of vicar-general in 
Dominic's absence, and his extraordinary powers of 
government, added to the brilliancy of that eloquence 
which so remarkably distinguished him, infused a fresh 
spirit into the community, whilst crowds of those who had 
before treated them with contempt now crowded about 
their church in hopes of catching the words of the cele- 
brated preacher. There was a certain vehemence of 
spirit about Reginald that carried all before him; very 
soon the church was too small to contain his audience, 
and he was compelled to preach in the streets and public 
piazzas ; the people came from all the surrounding towns 
and country to hear him, and the age of the apostles 
seemed to have returned. The fire of his words produced 
an astonishing effect on the hearts of all who listened ; 
and whilst a general change of manners was observed 
among all ranks, a vast number were kindled with a holy 
and impetuous enthusiasm, and feeling the call of God 
in their hearts, they turned their backs on the world, and 


eagerly demanded the habit of religion. " He was filled 
with a burning and vehement eloquence," says Brother 
Jordan, " which kindled the hearts of his hearers, as 
though with a lighted torch." Within six months Regi- 
nald received more than a hundred persons into the 
order: among them were several of the most distin- 
guished doctors and students of the university ; and it 
came to be a common saying, that it was scarce safe to 
go and hear Master Reginald, if you did not wish to take 
the friar's habit 

This rapid increase of the brethren soon rendered their 
habitation too small for them. Early in the spring 
of 1219, they removed to the church and convent of 
S. Nicholas delle Vigne, situated without the walls. 
Many miraculous signs had betokened the future sanctity 
of this place; angels had been heard singing over it by 
those who worked in the vineyards; and a kind of uni- 
versal tradition had pointed it out as some day to be a 
place of prayer and pilgrimage. The life led within its 
walls, under the government of Blessed Reginald, was 
a worthy fulfilment of these auguries. It was the 
strictest and most fervent realization of the rule of 
Dominic which has ever been seen. Many of the bre- 
thren closely imitated him in their nightly watchings and 
discipline, and in the devotions which were dear and 
peculiar to himself. At no hour of day or night could 
you enter the church without seeing some of the friars 
engaged in fervent prayer. After compline they all 
visited the altar, after the manner of their holy founder ; 
and the sight of their devotion, as they bathed the ground 
with their tears, filled the bystanders with wonder. 
After singing matins very few returned to bed ; most of 
them spent the night in prayer or study, and all con- 
fessed before celebrating the Holy Sacrifice. Their 
devotion to the Mother of God was of the tenderest 
kind. Twice every day they visited her altar, after 
matins and again at compline, walking round it three 
times, as they sang canticles in her honour, and recom- 
mended themselves and their order to her love and pro- 
tection. They held it a matter of conscience never to 


eat till they had first announced the word of God to some 
soul. They also served in the hospitals of the city, 
adding the corporal to the spiritual works of mercy ; and 
in spite of the excessive austerity of their lives, it is said 
such was the joy of their hearts, shining out in their 
countenances, that they seemed none other than angels 
in the habit of men. The strict observance of the rule 
of silence practised among them is illustrated by the 
following anecdote. One night a friar, being in prayer 
in the choir, was seized by some invisible hand, and 
dragged violently about the church, so that he cried aloud 
for help. These disturbances, arising from diabolic 
malice, were very frequent in the beginning of the order ; 
and at the sound of the cry more than thirty brethren, 
guessing the cause, ran into the church and endeavoured 
to assist the sufferer, but in vain ; they too were roughly 
handled, and, like him, dragged and thrown about with- 
out pity. At length Reginald himself appeared, and, 
taking the unfortunate friar to the altar of S. Nicholas, 
he delivered him from his tormentor. And all this while, 
in spite of the alarm and horror of the circumstances, 
not one of those present, who amounted in all to a con- 
siderable number, ventured to speak a single word, or so 
much as to utter a sound. The first cry of the vexed 
brother was the only one uttered during the whole of 
that night. 

This admirable discipline was certainly attained and 
preserved by the practice of a somewhat rigid severity; 
yet its very sharpness attests the perfection which must 
have been reached by those who could have inflicted or 
accepted it. In the following anecdote, as given by 
Gerard de Frachet, the supernatural and passionless self- 
command exhibited by the chief actor, robs the story of 
that austere character which might make an ordinary 
reader shrink, and clothes it with a wonderful dignity and 
sublimity. A lay brother had committed a slight in- 
fringement of the law of poverty, and on conviction of 
his offence, refused to accept the penalty imposed. 
Reginald perceived the rising spirit of insubordination, 
and at once prepared to extinguish it. Causing the 


delinquent to bare his shoulders, he raised his eyes 
to heaven, bathed in tears, and calmly and gently, as 
though presiding in choir, pronounced the following 
prayer : — " Lord Jesus Christ, who gavest to thy 
servant Benedict the power to expel the devil from the 
bodies of his monks through the rod of discipline, grant 
me the grace to overcome the temptation of this poor 
brother through the same means. Who livest and 
reignest, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever 
and ever, Amen." Then he struck him so sharply that 
the brethren were moved to tears, but the penitent was 
reclaimed, nor did he ever again relapse into a similar 
fault. This sort of chastisement was a very ordinary 
means which he used to deliver them from the assaults of 
the devil ; yet we should err if we attributed to him a 
harsh or tyrannical spirit. It was a severity wholly 
compatible with the sweetness which formed a peculiarity 
of his character; for the very tenderness of his love 
towards his children was the cause of that severity he 
showed against the enemy of their souls. They certainly 
never looked on it in any other light, for he was beloved 
as a father, and the fame of his strict discipline did not 
keep multitudes from embracing it as their surest guide 
to heaven. 

The first who joined the order after the arrival of 
Reginald, was Roland of Cremona, the public Reader 01 
Philosophy at the University. His coming was most oppor- 
tune, for the brethren were then still suffering from the 
old spirit of discouragement ; and in spite of the presence 
of Reginald among them, some had even resolved on 
quitting the order. They were assembled in Chapter, 
engaged in earnest and sorrowful conference, when the 
door suddenly opened, and Roland appeared among 
them and impetuously demanded the habit. Reginald, 
yielding to a sudden inspiration, took off his own 
scapular and flung it over his shoulders. The incident 
seemed to restore the spirit and courage of the whole 
assembly, and the fame of Roland's conversion was the 
means of inducing many of his former companions to take 
a similar step. Another remarkable conversion was that 


of Brother Moneta, also a professor of the University, 
but a man who, until the coming of Reginald, had been 
wont to ridicule all religion, and to live without any of 
its restraints. Hearing of the wondarful effects of the 
new preacher's eloquence, he feared to expose himself to 
its influence, and kept away. One day, however, being 
the feast of S. Stephen, some of the scholars endeavoured 
to carry him with them to hear the preaching. Not 
liking to refuse, and yet unwilling to comply, Moneta 
proposed that they should first hear Mass at S. Procolus. 
They went, and stayed during three Masses, till, unable 
to delay longer, Moneta was obliged to accompany the 
others to Santa Maria, where Reginald was then deli- 
vering his sermon. The doors were so crowded that 
they could not enter, and Moneta remained standing on 
the threshold. But as he stood there he could command a 
view of the whole scene, and every word reached his ear. 
A dense mass of people filled the church, yet not a sound 
broke the words of the preacher. He was speaking on the 
words of S. Stephen, the saint of the day: "Behold, I see 
heaven open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of 
God." " Heaven is open to-day also," he exclaimed ; " the 
door is ever open to him who is willing to enter. Why do 
you delay 1 Why do you linger on the threshold ? What 
blindness, what negligence is this! The heavens are 
still open!" And lo! as he listened, Moneta's heart was 
changed and conquered. As Reginald came down from 
the pulpit, he was met by his new penitent, who abandoned 
himself to his direction, and after remaining in the world 
under probation for a year, he was received to the habit, 
and became himself the founder of several convents. 
His after holiness equalled the irregularity of his former 
life. He died full of years and of merit, and, it is said, 
blind from his constant weeping. It was in his cell 
that the great patriarch breathed his last, as we shall 
hereafter relate. 

Such was the position of the community of Bologna, 
when Dominic again appeared among them. His first 
act was to make a renunciation of certain endowments 
which had been made over to the convent by a citizen of 


the place. Dominic tore the contract in pieces with his 
own hands, declaring they would rather beg their bread 
than depart from their law of poverty. His next step 
was one which perhaps a little moderated the joy caused 
by his presence ; it was another dispersion of the society 
so newly gathered together. Religious were sent to every 
one of the towns where, as he passed through on his late 
journey, he had prepared the way for their reception; 
and in a few weeks, Milan, Bergamo, Asti, Verona, Flor- 
ence, Brescia, Faenza, Placenza, and other cities of Tuscany 
and Lombardy, received little companies of the new apostles. 
There was, doubtless, a reason for this very extensive dis- 
persion of the order throughout the north of Italy , it may 
be found in the fact that that country was at the time 
overrun by the self-same destructive heresy of the Manicheans 
which had produced such desolating effects in France. This 
was the great enemy against which the Order of Friars 
Preachers had been raised to combat; and wherever it 
showed its head, Dominic knew that he and his faithful 
soldiers had a call to follow. If the community of Bologna 
was greatly reduced by these colonies sent to other cities, 
its numbers were soon made up by fresh acquisitions. 
Among those clothed by the holy father was Brother 
Robaldo, who afterwards became distinguished for his suc- 
cess against the heretics in the city of Milan. A somewhat 
amusing story is told of him when preaching there. The 
Manicheans then filled the city in great numbers, and 
treated the Catholic missionaries with the utmost insolence. 
As Robaldo was one day in prayer before the high altar of 
the church, a band of these miscreants determined to divert 
themselves at his expense, and sent one of their number in 
to practise a joke upon him. " Father," said the heretic, 
" I well know you are a man of God, and able to obtain 
whatsoever you wish by prayer ; I pray you, therefore, to 
make over me the sign of the cross, for I suffer from a 
cruel fever, and I would fain receive my cure from youi 
hands." Robaldo knew well the malice of his enemy, and 
replied, " My son, if you have this fever, I pray God to 
deliver you ; if you have it not, but are speaking lies, I 
pray Him to send it to you as a chastisement." The man 
m 2 


instantly felt the approach of the malady he had feigned, 
and cried, impatiently, "Sign me with the cross, I say, 
sign me; it is not your custom to send curses upon men, 
but cures." But Robaldo replied again, "What I have 
said, I have said; if you have it, may He deliver you; if 
not, you will surely have it." Meanwhile, the others stood 
at the door, laughing to see the saint, as they thaught, 
made a fool of; but their merriment was soon silenced,' 
when they saw their companion return to them with every 
symptom of the fever he had before pretended. The result 
of these circumstances was his own conversion, and that of 
his entire family; and Bobaldo, on his sincere penitence 
restored him to health, and received him and all his 
children into the communion of the church. 

Bonviso of Placentia, was another of the novices clothed 
at Bologna by the great patriarch. Before he was pro- 
fessed he was sent to preach in his own country, and very 
unwillingly he went, for his humility made him fear lest 
he should fail, and bring disgrace on the order. Dominic 
however, encouraged him, and said, "God's words will be in 
your mouth, my son ; go without fear, and do my will •" 
and Bonviso never felt afterwards any difficulty in preach- 
ing. He was one of those who gave their evidence on the 
canonization of the saint, and says that so long as he knew 
him he never slept save on benches or on the ground and 
never m any particular place; but sometimes in the church, 
sometimes in the dormitory, and often in the burial-place of 
the convent Stephen of Spain was another of the new 
disciples of the order ; his conversion was remarkable. He 
has lnmself described it, being at the time a student at 
Bologna. « Whilst I was there," he says, « Master Domi- 
nic arrived and preached to the students and others and 
I went to_ confession to him, and I thought he loved me 
One evening, I was sitting down to supper with my com- 
ponions, when two of the friars came to me, and said, 
Master Dominic is asking for you,' and I replied that I 
would come as soon as I had supped. But they repeat- 
ing that he expected me at once, I rose, and, leaving every- 
thing as it was, I came to S. Nicholas, where I found 
Master Dominic in the midst of a number of the friars 


He turned to them, and said, ' Show him how to make the 
prostration,' and they having shown me how to do it, I made 
it, and he instantly gave me the habit of a friar preacher. 
I have never thought of this without astonishment, reflect- 
ing by what instinct he could thus have called and clothed 
me, for I had never spoken to him of the matter ; where- 
fore I doubt not he acted by some divine revelation." 
Stephen was another of the witnessess on the canonization, 
whose evidence is preserved among the other "Acts of 

Another very distinguished member of the family of 
Bologna was Rodolph of Faenza, whom we notice here, 
though he entered the order at an earlier period. Some 
affirm that he acted as confessor to S. Dominic, and it is 
said that the saint, being at one period afflicted on account 
oi the withdrawl of some who had at first given themselves 
to God, Rodolph was granted a vision, wherein he saw 
our Lord and His Blessed Mother, who laid their hands 
on his head and comforted him ; after which they led him 
out to the shores of the river, and showed him a great 
ship as it were, laden with brethren dressed in the habit, 
and said to him, " Seest thou all these, Brother Rodolph ! 
They are all of thy order, and are going forth to fill and 
replenish the world." Rodolph acted as procurator to 
the convent ; and on one occasion, he made some trifling 
addition to the two dishes allowed by the rule ; this 
greately displeased Dominic, who himself never tasted but 
one ; and calling the procurator to his side, he whispered, 
" Why do you seek to bribe the brothers with these pit- 
tances?" And yet we are assured the addition to their 
ordinary fare was of the plainest kind. " Dominic's own 
dinner," adds Rodolph, "was so spare, and so quickly 
finished, that often, as he waited whilst the others des- 
patched their meal, he fell asleep for weariness, after his 
long vigils." 

Such were some of the brethren of the convent of S. 
Nicholas. Its reputation for sanctity came to be so great 
that men spoke of it as a kind of harbour of salvation ; as 
may be illustrated by the following beautiful story which 
is given us by Taegius and others. There was a certain 


cleric in Bologna of great learning, but devoted to worldly 
vanity, and to other than a holy life. Now, one night he 
seemed suddenly to be in the midst of a vast field, and 
above him the sky was covered with clouds, and rain fell 
in great abundance, and there was a terrible tempest. 
He, therefore, desiring to escape from the hail and light- 
ning, looked all arouud him to see if by any means he 
might find a place of shelter, but he found none. Then 
at the last he perceived a small house, and going to it 
he knocked, for the door was fast shut. And a voice 
spoke to him from within saying, u What wantest thou ?" 
And he said "A night's lodging, because of the great storm 
that is raging.' ' But the keeper of the house answered 
him, saying, " I am Justice, and this is my house ; but 
thou canst not cuter here, for thou art not just." Then he 
went away sad, and presently he came to a second house, 
and he knocked there likewise ; and the keeper answered 
and said, " I am Peace, but there is no peace for the 
wicked, but only to them of good will. Nevertheless, be- 
cause my thoughts are thoughts of peace, and not of afflic- 
tion, therefore I will counsel thee for what thou shalt do. 
A little way from hence dwelleth my sister, Mercy, who 
ever helpeth the afflicted : go, therefore, to her, and do even 
as she shall command thee." So he, continuing on his way, 
came to the door of mercy, and she said to him, " If thou 
wouldst save thyself from this tempest, go to the convent 
of S. Nicholas where dwell the Friars Preachers; there 
thou shalt find the food of doctrine, the ass of simplicity, 
the ox of discretion; Mary who will illuminate, Joseph 
who will make perfect, and Jesus who will save thee." And 
he, coming to himself, and thinking well on the words of 
Mercy, went quickly and with great devotion received the 
holy habit. 

The great talents and success of Blessed Reginald 
determined Dominic to remove him to Paris, in the hopes 
that he would do as much for the convent there estab- 
lished as he had done for that of Bologna. His departure 
was a severe grief to his brethren ; they wept as though 
torn from the arms of their mother ; but the expectations 
of their founder were fully realized in the short but 


brilliant career which awaited Reginald in the French 
capital. That marvellous eloquence, whose vehemence 
was so irresistible, while at the same time so far removed 
from mere human impetuosity, soon drew all to hear 
him. When he preached, the streets were deserted ; his 
holy life, too, so corresponded to his words, that men 
looked on him as an angel of God. " All judged him to 
be one come down from heaven," says an old writer ; 
and indeed the students and citizens of Paris were best 
able to appreciate the worth of one whose sacrifice to the 
cause of religion they had- witnessed with their own eyes. 
Matthew of France, the superior of the convent of S. James, 
who had himself been a student at Paris in former years, 
when Reginald was professor in the same university, 
asked him once how he, who had been used to so lux- 
urious and brilliant a life in the world, had found it 
possible to persevere in the severe discipline of their order. 
Reginald cast his eyes humbly to the ground. " Truly, 
father," he said, "I do not think to merit anything for 
that before the tribunal of God. He has given me so 
much consolation in my soul, that the rigours of which 
you speak have become very sweet and easy " And this, 
indeed, appeared in all he did; for whilst he was constantly 
distinguished for the exceeding austerity of his life, he did 
all things with such a ready and joyful spirit that he 
taught men the sweetness of the Cross by the very light- 
ness with which he bore it. 

Among the disciples whom he drew into the order, and 
who received the habit at his hands, was Jordan ot 
Saxony. We have already spoken of his first vocation to 
religion, but he did not finally determine on taking the 
habit until overcome by the persuasions of Reginald. 
He brought with him a near and dear friend, Henry of 
Cologne, then canon of Utrecht. "A man," he says, 
" whom I loved in Christ, with an affection I never gave 
to any other; a vessel of perfection and honour, so that 
I remember not in all my life to have seen a more 
gracious creature." They lodged in the same house, and 
followed their studies together ; and Jordan, whose mind 
was always full of the thoughts of that vocation which 


he himself had not as yet obeyed; often spoke of it to his 
friend, and endeavored to persuade him to form a similar 
determination. Henry con »tantly rejected the idea; Jordan 
as constantly persevered in his arguments and per- 
suasions. He has left us an account of the result, given 
in his most beautiful style: — "I made him go to Blessed 
Reginald to confession, and when he came back, opening 
the prophet Isaiah by way of taking counsel, I fell 
on the following passage: — ' The Lord made me to hear 
His voice, and I did not resist him: I went not back.' 
And as I interpreted the passage, which answered so 
well to the state of my own heart, we saw a little 
further on the words, 'Let us keep together/ which, as 
it were, warned us not to separate from one another, but 
to consecrate our lives to the same object." "Where 
are now those words 'Let us keep together ?' " wrote 
Henry some years after, in a letter to his friend. " You 
are at Bologna, and I at Cologne!" But this was the 
Dominican law of dispersion. A vision completed the 
conquest of Henry. He saw Christ sitting in judgment, 
and one by his side cried to him, and said : — " You who 
stand there, what have you ever abandoned for God?" 
Filled with trouble at this saying, his soul was torn by a 
short and agonizing struggle. He desired, yet he could 
not resolve on the sacrifice. At length, he sought 
Reginald, and, yielding to the powerful impulse with 
which God was drawing his heart in spite of himself, he 
made his vows in his hands. When he returned to 
Jordan, "I saw," says the latter, "his angelic coun- 
tenance bathed in tears, and I asked where he had been ; 
he answered, ' I have made a vow to God, and I will 
perform it.' " They were both clothed together at the 
close of Lent ; but a singular revelation had pre- 
viously declared to Jordan the death of Reginald, and 
something of his own future destiny in the order. On 
the night that blessed man departed to God, towards the 
commencement of the month of February, he saw in his 
sleep a clear and sparkling fountain suddenly spring up 
in the chnrch of S. James, and as suddenly fail ; and as 
he grieved, understanding the vision to predict the 


untimely death of Reginald, a clear stream of water took 
the place of the fountain, and flowed on in immense 
waves till it filled the world. It was a fit emblem of his 
own future career, so abundant in its fecundity that he 
is said to have clothed a thousand novices with his own 

Among Reginald's disciples, during his life at Paris, 
may also be mentioned, Robert Biliber Kilward, an Eng- 
lishman, who afterwards became archbishop of Canterbury 
under Edward I., and cardinal of the Roman Church. 
He was reckoned one of the greatest theologians of his 
age, as well as a distinguished minister of state ; yet in 
all his dignities he never laid aside his religious dress or 
character, made his journeys on foot, and lived in the 
utmost simplicity of holy poverty, reckoning his profession, 
as a friar preacher, the greatest of all dignities lavished on 
him by fortune. 

Reginald's death took place in the early part of the 
March of 1220. When the physicians declared the hope- 
lessness of his case, Matthew of France came to announce 
their decision to him, and to propose that he should 
receive the sacrament of Extreme Unction : "I do not 
fear the assault of death," he replied, "since the blessed 
hands of Mary herself anointed me at Rome. Never- 
theless, because I desire not to make light- of the Church's 
sacraments, I will receive it, and humbly ask that it may 
be given to me." His body was laid in the church of 
Sainte-Marie-des-Champs, and though he has never been 
solemnly beatified, the veneration which was paid him 
may be gathered from the prayers and hymns in his 
honour which may be found in the ancient office-books of 
the order. He was undoubtedly one of its greatest 
men, to whom there has hardly been done (sufficient 
justice. In him might be seen the rare union of human 
genius and heroic sanctity; and even when the super- 
natural element had taken possession of every capacity of 
his soul, it consecrated them without destroying any of 
his fervour and richness of imagination, or the force and 
impetuosity by which it manifested itself in his preaching, 
and which gave him such a magical power over the hearts 


of his hearers. These dazzling gifts once placed the world 
at his feet, but he was happy above so many of his fellows r 
in that he made no other use of its homage and its smiles 
than to offer them to God. None, perhaps, ever made a 
nobler sacrifice, or felt that it cost him less ; and he may 
stand to all ages an example of the rarest of all the 
miracles of grace, a soul of consecrated genius. 

The spirit of a saint may be said to multiply itself, and 
to survive in his disciples ; and in the distinctive graces 
exhibited to us in them we have another means ol 
estimating the character of their founder, besides what 
is afforded us by the study of his own life. Or rather 
we might say the truest judgment will be formed by a 
comparison of the founder and his disciples; and when 
we find any one trait of the former caught up and 
repeated over and over again in those who came after 
him, and whose supernatural life was formed on the 
model of his own, we may safely conclude that the 
similarity is no accident, but the result of some great 
principle which had struck deep root in his soul, and 
spread its branches far and wide over his followers. 
Now if this be so, we can scarcely fail to be struck 
with one peculiarity in the history of these early 
companions of Dominic which will surprise us, if we 
have any share in the popular prejudice which attaches 
to his name. We might have expected, along with 
much zeal and fervour, to have found some traces of 
that stern fanaticism which is attributed to him and his 
order, betraying itself like a hereditary malady in the 
ranks of the Friars Preachers. But as we search for 
illustrations of bigotry or gloom, or of a fierce and 
bloody vindictiveness, we lose ourselves, as it were, in 
a garden of sweetness. Gathered from all states of life — 
knights, courtiers, professors, men of the world, peni- 
tents, and saints — the novices of Dominic, so soon as his 
spirit has breathed over them, display to our gaze amid 
many varieties, one trait of which has the indescribable 
peculiarity of a family likeness. It is sweetness : that 
quality of which it is said, in the Book of Ecclesiasticus, 
"Accomplish your works with sweetness, and you shall 


draw the love and esteem of men." We see it first in the 
great founder himself, of whom it is said, " None did ever 
resist the charm of his intercourse, or went away from him 
without feeling himself the better." It spoke in his low 
sonorous voice ; nay, it might be seen in the very splendour 
of his starry forehead, and in the beauty of that counte- 
nance, which every one who gazed on it described as full of 
joy and hilarity. And yet, we are told, he often and easily 
wept, but only when moved by the sufferings of others ; 
nay, so tender was his heart that he could not think of 
human misery as he gazed over a distant city without 
being touched to tears. 

This tenderness of spirit was the hereditary birthright of 
his children. There was Reginald of Orleans, winning 
men to penance against their will ; and Henry of Utrecht, 
that "gracious creature," as Jordan calls him, with the 
joy of Grod painted on his angelic countenance, and whose 
voice breathed the odour of a childlike innocence. There 
was Jordan himself, whose simple bonhomie of cha- 
racter is perhaps as delightful as any of them ; who could 
tranquillize disturbed consciences by a look, who was 
severe only to those who were severe to others, and whom 
we find taming and playing with the wild ferrets on 
the road as he journeyed, in the overflowing tenderness 
and kindness of his heart. Of another we read, that as 
he prayed in the garden, his looks were so gentle, that 
timid birds would come and perch on his outstretched 
arms. And whole volumes might be written of their 
deaths. Of numbers it is related that they died singing. 
In the convent of Vincenza we find a brother who, after 
"singing versicles to the Blessed Virgin, with wondrous 
delightsomeness, signed to his companion to rejoice also 
with him, saying, 'Brother, do not think it strange, but 
it is impossible for me not to sing of the love of Mary.' 
Then after a while he opened his eyes again, and said 
oftentimes with much jubilation, 'Let everything that 
hath breath praise the Lord ;' and so, with a smile, 
expired." Father William of Anicy, as he lay dying, 
was visited by the angels, who visibly appeared to the 
bystanders; and one of them bent over his bed and 


kissed his rorehead, a grace he had deserved by hi3 
angelic life and conversation. There was John of Gas- 
cony, a a very marvel of sanctity, who, like the swan, 
sang as he was a-dying; sweetly repeating with his last 
breath, ' Into Thy hands, Lord, I commend my spirit. 
Alleluia ! For Thou hast redeemed me God of truth ! 
Alleluia ! Alleluia ! ' " Then again we find other stories 
of their special earnestness in the work of peace. F. Ro- 
baldo, for instance, seemed to have a vocation for the 
healing of quarrels and feuds. He worked miracles to 
make men forgive one another ; but perhaps his own 
angelic temper had a greater magic in it than his 
miracles. A young Milanese noble had been slain by 
his feudal enemy, and the two surviving brothers had 
vowed revenge. Robaldo, after having in vain en- 
deavoured to appease one of them, took him by the 
hand and commanded him not to move till he had 
promised peace. He instantly lost the power of motion, 
and whilst he stood thus his other brother came to the 
spot, uttering curses and imprecations, and binding him- 
self by oaths never to rest till he had steeped his sword 
in the blood of the murderer. And yet neither of them 
could resist the sweetness of Robaldo, and it ended by 
his sending them to the house of their enemy to dine 
with him, and bringing all three next day to the consent 
church, to bury all their differences at the foot of the 
altar. Then there was our own Lawrence; called blessed 
because of his blessed temper, and known through Spain 
and France as the reconciler of enemies." In short, turn 
where we will, we find the feet of these true preachers 
"shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." 
They were all shaped after one likeness, even that of 
their holy patriarch : " benign, merciful, patient, and sober, 
not giving cursing for cursing, but rather blessing 
those that cursed." Such are the words of Bonviso of 

These we repeat were no fanatics; the pages of our 
own history will furnish us, in the followers of Cromwell, 
or Argyle,* with a portrait of fanaticism never to be 
found among these Friars Preachers ; and when we have 


been compelled to grant them the character of saints, it will 
perhaps startle us to know that many of these very men 
bore also the dreaded title of Inquisitors. 

We must not close this chapter without noticing the 
foundation at Bologna of a convent of women, which was 
begun through the means of Diana of Andala, one of 
S. Dominic's spiritual daughters. Her extraordinary 
constancy and resolution overcame all the obstacles 
opposed by her friends; and eventually her own father 
became one of the most liberal supporters of the new 
house. Cecilia and Amy, the two sisters of S. Sixtus 
before named, were removed from thence to Bologna in 
1223, and all three lie buried in the same grave, where 
their remains have been twice discovered, and honourably 

— <un — 


Dominic journeys through Italy ; and returns to Home for the 
fifth time. Increase of the Order. Character of the first 
fathers. Interview with S. Francis. Favours of the Holy 

After Reginald's departure from Bologna, Dominic 
remained a while in the place, chiefly occupied in quiet- 
ing the dissensions among the inhabitants which arose 
from the jealousy subsisting between the nobles and the 
citizens. Nor were his efforts unavailing: the Bolognese 
recognized him as their mediator of peace, and this was 
the first origin of that singular affection with which he 
was ever afterwards regarded in the city. Their confi- 
dence in him was increased by their conviction of his 
entire disinterestedness in the whole matter; for when 
their gratitude sought to show itself by gifts and donations, 
he constantly and inflexibly refused to receive the smallest 


offering beyond the pittance of daily alms which was 
hogged from door to door. Indeed, his rigid regard of 
poverty was in no degree inferior to that observed by 
S. Francis: if there was food enough in the convent to 
suffice for the day, he never allowed more alms to be 
received for the next day ; and very often he himself 
would undertake the office of begging in the streets, which 
he practised with a peculiar pleasure. He left Bologna in 
the October of the same year, and, crossing the Appennines, 
proceeded to Florence, whither some of the brethren had 
already been despatched, and had commenced their 
foundation. Here again the malice of the devil was 
overcome and made the means of extending the order. 
A woman named Benita, who had been grievously tor- 
mented by the evil spirit, and had led an irregular and 
irreligious life, being converted, and delivered from her 
possession, by the prayers of Dominic, took the veil, 
and the name of Sister Benedicta. From Florence, he 
came to Viterbo where the Pope was then staying, who 
received him with open arms. The recital of the progress 
which he and his brethren had made, since his departure 
from Borne, filled the Pontiff with delight. He testified 
his renewed affection and esteem by briefs, addressed 
to the prelates and ecclesiastical superiors throughout 
all the countries of Christendom, recommending the order 
of Friars Preachers to their protection and respect. These 
briefs are dated the November and December of 1219. 

Soon after their publication, Dominic returned for the 
fifth time to Rome, where he arrived in the commence- 
ment of the year 1220. A trifling circumstance is 
recorded, connected with his return, which may seem 
scarce worthy of notice, and yet discloses to us whole 
volumes of the character and disposition of this great 
man. He had brought with him, we are told, from Spain, 
certain spoons of cypress-wood for the nuns of S. Sixtus. 
Sister Cecilia thus describes this beautiful little incident : 
" Upon a certain time S. Dominic, returning from Spain, 
brought the sisters, as an affectionate little gift, some 
spoons of cypress, for every sister one. And upon a day, 
having finished his preaching and other works of charity, 


in the same evening he came to the sisters, that he might 
Relive/ to them these spoons from Spain." Amid all his 
journeys and fatigues, he had time and room enough in 
his heart for so simple a thought as this; and the com- 
fort and pleasure of his children was still present to his 
mind. One of those spoons, carried over the hills of 
Spain and Italy in the little bundle of the saint, during 
the long foot-journeys of so many months, was surely a 
precious relic. 

He was soon busy in his old quarters at Santa Sabina 
and hard at work again, preaehing to the Roman people. 
A great number of miracles and miraculous conversions 
are recorded as taking place at this time; and many of 
them we find spoken of as effected through the instrumen- 
tality of the Rosary. The stream of novices continued 
to flow as abundantly as ever into the cells of Santa 
Sabina, and the care of the saint was bestowed on them 
with all his usual vigilance and tenderness. Their fervour, 
according to the testimony of Theodoric of Apoldia, was 
truly admirable. « When they looked on the beauty and 
purity of their institute," he says, " all their regret was 
not sooner to have embraced it." A great care was ever 
taken of the novices, both as to their instruction and their 
health, for their zeal always had to be moderated. Instead 
of its being necessary to wake them for the midnight office, 
it was rather needful to seek for them in retired places, 
where they had hidden themselves to pray, and oblige them 
to take some rest. The abstinence they practised was 
remarkable; many passed eight days without drinking, 
and mixed their food with cold water. They ever looked 
on preaching for the salvation of souls as the essential 
part of their institute. When they went to preach, 
according to Dominic's direction, they took with them 
only the Bible or the New Testament. When it was 
proposed to send missions among the barbarian nations, 
or wheresoever there was a certainty of suffering crowds 
offered themselves for the service; they had" a holy 
eagerness for the salvation of souls and the chance of a 
crown of martyrdom 

It was at this time, according to the most prohable 


conjecture of historians, that the interview took place 
between Dominic and Francis, in the palace of Cardinal 
Ugolino, which the Franciscan writers give as occurring 
at Perugia, in the year 1219. After a spiritual con- 
ference of some duration, the cardinal asked them whether 
they would agree to their disciples accepting ecclesiastical 
dignities. Dominic was the first to reply : he said that it 
wan honour sufficient for his brethren to be called to defend 
the faith against heretics. The words of S. Francis were 
equally characteristic ." My children," he said, " would no 
longer be Friars Minors if they became great ; if you 
would have them bring forth fruit, leave them as they are." 
Edified by their replies, Ugolino did not, however, aban- 
don his own views ; when he was elevated to the papacy, he 
promoted a great number of both orders to the episcopate, 
as many as forty-two of whom were of the order of Friars 

We shall not pause to notice at any length the re- 
newed favours of the Holy See, so liberally poured out in 
the shape of briefs and letters at this period, one of which, 
published in the commencement of this year, constituted 
Dominic the Superior or Master-General of the entire 
order ; an office he had hitherto only held by tacit consent, 
and which was doubtless formally given him at this time 
with a view to the assembling of the brethren in the first 
general chapter, which was now in contemplation. 
Whilst the preparations for this event were in hand, the 
friars were every day making further advances in Lom- 
bardy, and the great convent of S. Eustorgia was founded 
at Milan. The church had been granted to the order 
through the intervention of Cardinal Ugolino; and be- 
fore their coming, a certain hermit had been wont to 
declare to the people, saying, " Before long this church 
will be inhabited by friars called Preachers, who shall 
give light to the whole world; for every night I see 
bright lamps shining over it which illuminate the entire 
city." The canons also heard the sweet music of angelio 
choirs singing round the walls, and a great devotion had 
attached to the sanctuary in consequence. This convent 
became the head-quarters of the order of Lombardy, and 


it was ever foremost ia its attacks on the heretics of the 

The general chapter had been fixed for the Pentecost of 
1220, just three years from what may be deemed the com- 
mencement of the order. Its astonishing progress in that 
brief period seems to our eyes truly miraculous ; perhaps 
the coldness of later days, could they have beheld it in 
vision, might have seemed as hard of credit or comprehen- 
sion to the men of that heroic era. To ourselves the com- 
parison can bring nothing but humiliation, whilst we 
contemplate a vigour, and, if we may so say, an impe- 
tuosity, in the religious life of those days, which seems 
like the giant verdure of the forests of the New World 
beside our own stunted and degenerate growth. And what 
is perhaps as worthy of our admiration, is the simplicity 
and unconsciousness with which the facts of this extra- 
ordinary progress are given to us ; we scarcely find a word, 
among those who were the eye-witnesses of what had been 
going on during those three years, expressive of any sense 
of success. The work was the work of God, and for their 
own share in it, each one, with a sincere humility, could 
have joined in the words of their holy founder, as he stood 
in the midst of. that first assembly of his children: "I 
deserve only to be dismissed from among you, for I have 
grown cold and relaxed, and am no longer of any use/' 



First general Chapter at Bologna. Law of poverty. The Order 
spreads through Europe. Dominic's illness at Milan. Yisit to 
Siena. Tancred, Apostolic journeys through Italy. Keturn 
to Bologna, and conversion of Master Conrad. John of Vicenza. 

It was on the 27th of May that the fathers of the 
order met in the convent of S. Nicholas at Bologna. 
Jordan of Saxony, who has left an account of their 
proceedings, was himself present, having come from Paris 
three weeks before. But so little was there among any 
of them of a desire to seem great in men's eyes, that 
very few details have been left regarding it, and many 
things are passed over in silence which would have been 
interesting to know. The number of friars present at the 
first chapter of his order held by Francis have been care- 
fully preserved ; but no similar reckoning was made of 
the Friars Preachers : we know only that France, Spain, 
Italy, and even Poland, had their representatives in that 
assembly. Dominic was then fifty years of age, having 
lost nothing of that manly vigour of mind and body 
which ever distinguished him : if we seek amid the 
scanty materials which history has left us, to find some 
token which may reveal to us the secret feelings of his 
heart at a moment so deep in its interest, we shall find 
that power, and success, and a government over other 
men which gave him a personal empire of souls extend- 
ing over half Christendom, had produced no change in 
the simplicity and humility of his heart. It tended 
Godward as it had ever done; and his first act was to 
implore permission to renounce a superiority of which 
he accounted himself unworthy. Some, perhaps, may be 
tempted to look on this as an easily assumed modesty, 
and to doubt how far he hoped or expected his resigna- 
tion would be accepted. But the evidence of blessed 


Paul of Venice shows that even at this time the darling 
hope of his soul had never been abandoned ; he still 
cherished the thought, so soon as the order was firmly 
established of carrying the light of the Gospel among 
the heathen. " When we shall have fully instructed our 
order," he was wont to say, " we will go to the Cumans 
and preach the faith of Christ ; and, doubtless, this secret 
and deeply-rooted idea was in his mind when he made 
the effort to rid himself of the government of his order. 

It is needless for us to say this resignation was unanim- 
ously rejected, and Dominic was compelled to retain an 
authority none other could have accepted in his lifetime. 
Yet he made it a condition, that his power should be limited 
and controlled by the appointment of definitors whose office 
extended over all the acts of the chapter, and even to the 
correction and punishment of the Master himself, in case of 

Many of the laws, still forming part of the consti- 
tutions of the order, were now established — those relating 
to abstinence and fasting, and many regarding the titles 
and authority of the local superiors. But the principal 
object of this chapter was the entire adoption of the rule 
of poverty, which had not been formally laid down by 
any statute. A renunciation was made of all lands and 
possessions until then retained, and it was resolved that 
nothing should be accepted in future save the daily alms 
on whieh they depended for support. The property of 
the monasteries of Toulouse and Madrid was respectively 
made over to the convents of women ; and the order was 
reduced to the severity of the apostolic standard. If in 
the revolution of six centuries the change which has 
passed over the whole surface of society has necessitated 
a repeal of what, at the time, seemed a fundamental 
law, it need neither scandalize nor surprise us. Dear as 
was the rule of poverty to Dominic's heart, he never put 
it forth as the end of his order : he judged it but a 
means, and at that age a chief and essential means, for 
the one unchanging object of the institute of Preachers, 
the salvation of souls. And when the living authority 
of the Church in a later day dispensed the observance of 
n 2 


the letter of a rule no longer adapted to that object, she 
• adhered strictly to the spirit, and explained the principle 
on which this change was made in words* so luminous and 
conclusive that they leave nothing to be added on the sub- 
ject. Dominic was anxious to provide for the preservation 
of another essential of his institute, the pursuit of sacred 
learning; and for this purpose proposed that all the 
temporal affairs of the convent should be left in the 
hands of the lay brothers, so as to set the others entirely 
at liberty for the purposes of prayer and study. This was 
overruled by the other fathers, experience having shown 
the danger of this custom in other orders ; and Dominic 
did not press the proposal. Some regulations were added 
about the cells, in respect to size and arrangement, and 
it was ordered that a crucifix and an image of the 
Blessed Virgin should be in each. The chapter was 
to be held yearly, at Paris and Bologna in turn: this 
regulation was afterwards done away, as the extension of 
the order rendered so frequent an assembly impossible, 
and made it desirable to fix it at other cities according to 
circumstances. The arrangement was made at this time 
in consequence of the neighbourhood of the two univer- 
sities, a connection with which was held to be of the first 

We do not know what length of time was taken up 
by the proceedings of the chapter; but we find that 
early in the summer Dominic's attention was once more 
wholly given to the foundation and settlement of new 
convents. Brethren were sent also to Morocco and 
several of the infidel countries, as well as to Scotland, 
as some historians tell us. Luke, bishop of Galicia, 
speaking of this period, says, "At that time one saw 
nothing but foundations of the Friars Preachers and 
Friars Minors springing up everywhere ; and wherever 
heresy appeared, the children of Dominic," he adds, 
" were at hand to combat and subdue it." The Ghi- 
beline influence of the German Emperors was doubtless 

* See Const. F. Praed, d. ii. c. 1 ; where the principles of religions 
poverty as professed by the order are laid down with great exact- 


a chief cause of that heretical tendency so widely diffused 
in the north of Italy, and there Dominic's chief efforts 
were directed. His residence at Bologna was constantly 
broken by excursions to the various cities of Lombardy, 
though we have no certain guide as to the exact order in 
which these visits were made. We find him again at 
Milan, in company with Brother Bonviso, in the course 
of the summer, and here he was again taken ill. Bonviso 
has left an account of this illness, and remarks upon the 
patience and cheerfulness he displayed in the extremity 
of fever: "I never had reason to complain of him" (he 
says); "he seemed always in prayer and contemplation, 
to judge from his countenance ; and so soon as the fever 
subsided, he began to speak to the brethren of God ; he 
praised God and rejoiced in his sufferings, as was his 
custom." He caused them to read to him, as he lay on 
his rough wooden bed, those Dialogues of Cassian and 
the Epistles of S. Paul, which had ever been his favourite 
books ; and we feel that it is not fanciful to detect in this 
persevering attachment a token of that tranquil stability 
of mind, which formed so distinctive a peculiarity of his 

It would be scarcely interesting to the reader to be 
detained with the mere names of foundations, or of the 
new disciples daily admitted to the order. We shall 
endeavour to select a few among those which may be 
most worthy of our notice. The date of Dominic's visit 
to Siena has not been exactly preserved, though it may 
probably be referred to the present year. As he preached 
in one of the churches of that city, Tancredo Tancredi, a 
young noble of high birth and renown for learning, stood 
amid the crowd. As he listened and gazed at the cele- 
brated preacher, he saw another figure standing beside 
him in the pulpit, and whispering in his ear : it was the 
Blessed Virgin, who was inspiring the words of her 
faithful servant. The sight filled Tancred with ad- 
miration, but as the saint descended the pulpit-stairs, 
that same glorious vision of Mary floated nearer and 
nearer to the spot where he stood. It pointed with its 
Jiand to the figure of the Preacher, and a low sweet voice 


uttered in his ear, " Tancred, follow after that man, and 
do not depart from him." From that time Tancred became 
what he had been so sweetly called to be, a close and 
faithful follower of his great master. Many very beauti- 
ful records are left us of his life. He had a strange 
familiarity with the angels, who stood by him as he 
prayed. Once, as he was earnestly interceding in prayer 
for an obstinate sinner, the angelic friend beside him 
whispered, " Tancred, your prayer for that soul will be 
in vain." But the zeal and charity of this true Friar 
Preacher was not to be checked even by such a word as 
this ; he only prayed the harder, as though he would be 
heard ; and, lo ! three days after, he saw the soul for 
whom he laboured flying up safe to heaven. We can. 
scarce find a more beautiful or instructive anecdote of 
the might of prayer than this. 

Immense numbers of all ranks were attracted by the 
ever-increasing fame of the new institute ; many were 
men of learning and sanctity, many doubtless very 
imperfect and uninstructed ; yet we are told S. Dominic 
did not hesitate to employ the latter equally with the 
former in the work of teaching, in the firm conviction 
that, when so engaged, God would speak by flicm as 
readily as by those better fitted, according to human 
judgment, for the task ; and also, as it would seem, 
because such work formed a part of his method of train- 
ing them. This labour of training went on incessantly, 
for it was his own hand that formed and directed all of 
those new disciples. We can scarcely estimate aright 
the prodigious labour which he assigned himself ; we see 
him, as it were, in every city of Italy ; and we find him 
in the same year busy at this engrossing work at 
Bologna, which was now his head-quarters ; and never 
did he relax, for all his engagements, that public office of 
preaching tc which he held himself so solemnly bound. 
Very strange must have been the scenes which were often 
witnessed in the churches where those discourses were 
delivered. Every day. and sometimes more than once, he 
preached whilst at Bologna. The people crowded round 
his pulpit, and often the multitude were forced to adjourn 


to the open air. They followed him afterwards to his 
convent-door that they might still gaze at him, or speak 
with him. On one of these occasions two young students 
addressed him, and one said, " Father, I am just come 
from confession ; I pray you obtain from God the pardon 
of my sins." The saint, after a moment's thought, 
replied, " Have confidence, my son, for your sins are 
already pardoned." Then the other made the game 
request, but the answer was different : " Thou fcast not 
confessed all," said Dominic ; and the young man, enter- 
ing into himself, discovered indeed a secret sin which had 
escaped his momory. 

On another occasion, he had been preaching in one of 
the public places of the city, when, the sermon being 
ended, a nobleman, the governor of S. Severino, who had 
been among the audience, pushed his way through the 
crowd, and waited on his knees to receive his blessing as 
he came down from his pulpit. Nor did his admiration 
end here ; that one sermon had gained for the order the 
grant of a church and convent, and established the Friars 
Preachers in the marches of Ancona. 

Every part of the country between the Alps and the 
Appennines was trodden by the unwearied feet of this 
great apostle. At Cremona he met once more his 
friend and fellow-labourer S. Francis, who was there, 
together with his spiritual daughter S. Clare. The 
three saints lodged in the same house, and an anecdote 
of their meeting has been preserved. The water of a well 
belonging to the house had become unfit for use, and the 
people of the place, bringing some of it in a vase, begged 
one of the two saints to bless it that it might recover its 
sweetness. A graceful contest arose, each wishing the 
other to undertake the miracle, but the humility of 
Francis conquered. Dominic blessed the water, which 
was immediately restored to its clearness and sweet 

* Such of our readers as are familiar with the Franciscan his- 
torians will doubtless be surprised at the omission in these pages 
of many other interviews between the two great patriarchs, noticed 
ty those writers ; but although far from wishing to decide on 


In the course of his wanderings, Dominic found him- 
self one night before the gates of S. Colomba, a Cister- 
cian house, but the hour was late, and he would not 
disturb the inmates. "Let us lie down here," he said 
to his companion, "and pray to God, who will surely 
care for us." They did so, and both immediately found 
themselves transported to the interior of the convent. 
Thus we see it was ever with the same simplicity that 
Dominic journeyed ; it was the poor mendicant friar, 
with his wallet on his back, and nothing save the light 
that gleamed on his noble forehead to distinguish him 
from other men, who went barefoot up and down the 
hills and valleys of Italy, where we may now mark the 
magnificent foundations of S. Eustorgio of Milan, or 
SS. John and Paul of Venice, and that other convent 
which lies amid the wooded hills of Como, and a thousand 
others, all nurseries of saints. 

The festival of the Assumption saw him once more 
at Bologna, where, on his return, he found matter for 
both sorrow and displeasure ; for Rodolph of Faenza, 
the procurator of the convent, had in his absence made 
some additions to the buildiug which the saint judged 
inconsistent with the profession of holy poverty. Before 
his departure he had himself left directions for the pro- 
posed alterations, and even a kind of plan or model to 
insure the preservation of that rigorous observance of 
poverty which was so dear to him, and which he conceived 
to be the indispensable condition of religion. He gazed 
at the new building with tears flowing down his cheeks. 
" Will you build palaces whilst I am yet living," he said, 
" after such a fashion as this ? Know then that if you 
do, you will bring ruin on the order ; you have pierced 
my very heart." Such words did indeed pierce the 
hearts of those who listened ; and during the remainder 
of his life none dared speak of finishing the building, on 
which not another stone was laid. And yet the cells ho 

theso as being wholly fictitious, we feel ourselves obliged to pass 
them over iu silence, as they are not given by Dominican author- 
ities, and are often difficult to reconcile with the chronology of tho 


found so luxurious and unsuitable were after all but 
poor and narrow, and not much superior to those which 
had been before erected. How rigid indeed was the 
poverty and humility of the structure, we may judge from 
another circumstance which occurred about this time. 
S. Francis also came to Bologna on a visit to the religious 
of his order recently established in the city, but when he 
found them living in a large and spacious house, he was so 
indignant that he ordered them every one to quit it, and 
he himself took up his dwelling in the convent of the 
Friars Preachers, "which," says Father Candidus Cha- 
lippus, "he found more to his taste, and where he passed 
some days with his friend S. Dominie." 

Shortly after the return of the latter to Bologna, a 
remarkable addition was made to the number of his dis- 
ciples, in the person of Conrad the German. He was a 
professor of the university, whom the brethren had long 
ardently desired to have amongst them. On the evening 
of the Assumption Dominic was in familiar conversation 
with a certain Cistercian prior, and said to him, "Prior, I 
will tell you a thing, which you must keep secret till my 
death. Never have I asked anything from God, but He 
has granted it to me." " Then, father," said the prior, 
"I marvel that you do not ask the vocation of Master 
Conrad, whom the brethren desire so greatly to have 
among them." " The thing is difficult, " answered 
Dominic; "nevertheless, if you will pray with me this 
night, I doubt not God will incline to our request." 
That night the prior kept watch in the church by his 
friend's side ; and at the hour of prime, as they intoned 
the hymn, Jam lucis orto sidere, Conrad entered the 
choir, and demanded the habit from the hands of the 

Another of the disciples of this year was John of 
Vicenza, who deserves a more particular notice. Martin 
Schio, his father, intended him for the law, and sent him 
with this intention to Padua, then the great legal univer- 
sity. There, however, a more sublime vocation awaited 
him. Dominic passed through the city, and no church in 
the place being large enough to hold the crowds who 


flocked to hear him, he preached in the great piazza 
known as the Piazza della Valle; John was there, and 
that day's preaching put all thoughts of law out of his 
head. As soon as the sermon was ended, he went to find 
the preacher, and begged to be instantly admitted among 
his followers, and to receive the habit of his order. He 
made his noviciate at Bologna, but afterwards returned to 
the convent of Padua, where he became one of the most 
famous preachers of his time. He was called the apostle 
of Lombardy, and indeed Lombardy needed an apostle in 
those unhappy days, torn as it was by the wars, and 
desolated by the cruelties, of Frederick II. and the tyrant 
Ezzelino. John was a preacher of peace amid all the 
terrible calamities of those times. He left one memorial 
of himself in the salutation "God save you," which he 
introduced among the citizens of Bologna during a time 
of public commotion, to excite them to gentler and more 
courteous treatment of their opponents, and which soon 
spread through Europe, and has lasted to our own day. 
The angels were seen whispering in his ear as he preached, 
and his words had ever the same burden, purity and peace. 
He was a fervent lover of the Bosary, and sometimes, as 
he preached this devotion, a bright rose would appear on 
his forehead, or a golden sunny crown would glitter over 
his head. He had a marvellous power over the fiercest 
animals; eagles were obedient to him, and a wild un- 
tamable horse became tractable at his bidding. His devo- 
tion to the memory of Dominic was very remarkable, and 
Father Stephen of Spain assures us that 100,000 heretics 
were converted by only hearing the account of his life 
and miracles as narrated by his devoted follower. The 
Pope at length appointed him on a mission of pacification 
to the north of Italy, and such was the success of his 
labours, especially after a discourse addressed to the 
populace on that very Piazza della Valle where he had 
first heard the eloquence of his holy father, that all the 
contending parties agreed to abandon their differences 
and accept of peace. Ezzelino alone held out; and con- 
earning him John had an awful vision. He saw the 
Almighty seated on His throne, and seeking for a scourge 


for the chastisement of Lombardy, Ezzelino was chosen 
as the instrument of his wrath, and surely a more terrible 
one was never found. At that time John had never seen 
him, and when first they met, and he cast his eyes on 
him, he wept, recognising him as the man he had seen in 
his vision, and cried aloud, " It is he whom I saw — the 
scourge of Lombardy. Woe! woe to thee, unhappy 
country ! for he shall execute judgment on thee to the 
uttermost." Nevertheless, even this monster was in 
some degree touched and softened by the preaching of 
Blessed John. We can scarcely imagine a more won- 
derful and beautiful sight than that presented on S. 
Augustine's day in the Campagna of Verona, when the 
banks of the Adige saw 300.000 people met together, 
with the princes and prelates of half Italy, to swear a uni- 
versal peace. There, by the river-side, rose an enormous 
pulpit sixty cubits high, that John, who stood in it to 
harangue and bless the vast assembly, might be seen by all. 
Ezzelino himself was there. A few weeks before, he had 
been burning and laying waste everything that was before 
him, and Mantua, Brescia, and Bologna had all united 
in besieging the unhappy city of Verona. But one 
powerful and impassioned appeal of blessed John had 
changed the entire scene ; and now the sun rose on that 
vast assembly, ranged in order according to their dignities, 
and in the midst of a profound silence he addressed them 
again from the words of our Lord, " Peace I give you, 
my peace I give unto you;"* and such was the power of 
his eloquence that even Ezzolino hid his face and wept. 
Then was heard a cry that rose from that great multitude 
as from one man. " Peace, peace," they cried, " and 
mercy !'" And then, when they had given vent to their 
emotion, John spoke again, and blessed them in the name 
of the Pope, and all swore to peace and unity, and Ezze- 
lino and his brother Alberic were proclaimed citi:ens of 
Padua. And in the evening there were rejoicings — the 
first that land had seen for many a day — fires and illumi- 
nations, music and happy laughter, all the hours of that 

-::- These words are engraved on the foot of his image in the church 
of the Holy Crown, at Vicenza. 


summer's night, to celebrate " The Festival of Peace." 
It was of short duration ; yet, short as it was, and soon 
disturbed by the unquiet spirits of evil men, there was a 
harvest of glory won that day that was worth a thousand 
battle-fields of victory. Ezzelino soon added heresy to 
his other crimes, and while he deluged Lombardy with 
blood, he let loose on it the poison of false doctrine. 
The cities of Italy at length banded against him, and in 
1259 he was taken prisoner; and refusing to be cured of 
his wounds or to reeeive any food, he died a miserable 
death of despair. An obscurity hangs over the last days 
of John of Vicenza. By some he is said to have died 
in the prisons of Ezzelino; whilst others affirm him to 
have found a martyr's death among the Cumans. But, 
however this may be — and the uncertainty of his fate is 
but one among many examples of the indifference of the 
order to historical fame — the acclamations of Italy declared 
him " Blessed;" a title from time immemorial allowed 
by the Sovereign Pontiff, though never ratified by any 
formal process of beatification. 

To return, however, to Dominic and his novices. The 
vocations of which we have spoken were certainly very 
remarkable, and were often the result of what we should 
call a mere chance, directed by the providence of God. 
Thus, a certain priest, greatly drawn to the person of 
Dominic, yet still uncertain how to act, had recourse to 
a favourite custom of those days, and opening the Bible 
after prayer, beheld the words addressed to the centu- 
rion, " Arise, and go with him, nothing doubting, for I 
have sent him." The same means were adopted by 
another, Conrad, bishop of Porto, who was a Cistercian 
monk, and entertained grievous and perplexing suspi- 
cions as to the character of the order. He opened his 
missal, and read the words, "Laudare, henedicere, prae- 
dicare;" and embracing the saint the next time he met 
him, he exclaimed, "I am all yours: my habit is Cistercian, 
but in heart I am a Friar Preacher." Sometimes the 
sudden vocations of some caused violent opposition from 
their friends. A young student, just received to the 
habit, was beset by all his relations and companions, who 


threatened, if he would not return to the world, to carry 
him off by violence, Dominic's friends advised him to 
seek the protection of the magistrates. " Trouble not 
yourselves, my good friends," he replied, " we have no 
need of magistrates; even now I see more than two hun- 
dred angels standing round about the church, and guarding 
it from our enemies.'' 

These threats of violence were sometimes, however, 
carried into execution. There was among the novices a 
youth whose singular gentleness and sweetness of disposi- 
tion greatly endeared him to Dominic . His name was 
Thomas of Paglio ; and shortly after his reception his 
relatives forcibly carried him off by night, and dragging 
him to a neighbouring vineyard, stripped off his habit, 
and clothed him in his former worldly garb. Dominic, 
hearing what had happened, immediately betook himself 
to his only arms, of prayer ; and as he prayed, Thomas 
was seized with a strange and unendurable heat. "I burn, 
I burn," he cried ; " take these clothes from me, and 
give me back my habit ; " and having once more gained 
possession of his woollen tunic, he made his way back to 
the convent in spite of all opposition, and at the touch 
of that white robe of innocence the fiery anguish was 
felt no more. The same author who relates this circumstance 
tells us that other miraculous signs, besides those of the 
efficacy of his prayers, were noticed as attaching to the 
person of Dominic. A student of the university who 
served his Mass, attested, that as he kissed his hand, a 
divine fragrance was perceptible, which had the power of 
delivering him from grievous temptations with which he 
was tormented ; and that a certain usurer, whom the saint 
communicated, felt the Sacred Host burning against his 
mouth like hot coals, whereupon he was moved to penitence, 
and making restitution of all his ill-gotten gains, became 
sincerely converted to God. 


Heretics of northern Italy. Foundation of the third order. Last 
visit to Rome Meeting with Fulk of Toulouse. Second gen- 
eral chapter. Division of the order into provinces. Blessed 
Paul of Hungary. S. Peter Martyr. 

The heretics of Northern Italy, of whom freqnent men- 
tion has already been made, were not less violent in their 
attacks on the rights and property of the Catholics than 
their brethren of Languedoc. Protected as they were in 
many cases by the secular princes, who in their constant 
feuds one with another made use of them as political instru- 
ments, even when no way sharers in their opinions, they 
availed themselves of every opportunity for seizing the 
lands of the Church, so that the clergy were in many places 
reduced to the same state of degradation and dependence 
which had already produced such frightful effects in Lan- 
guedoc. It was to oppose this abuse, and to place a bar- 
rier against that social corruption which everywhere follow- 
ed on the track of the Manichean heresy, that Dominic 
founded his third order. Intimately entering into the needs 
of his age, his quick and sagacious eye perceived that his 
institute was imperfect so long as it aimed at the salvation of 
souls only through the ministrations of preaching, or the 
discipline of convent rule. The world itself was to be 
sanctified ; therefore, out of the world itself should be 
formed the instruments of sanctification. The " Militia of 
Jesus Christ." as the new institute was called, ranked un- 
der the standard of the Chureh those of either sex who had 
received no call to separate themselves from the ordinary 
life of seculars, and yet desired to shelter it under the 
skirts of the religious mantle. The first object contem- 
plated in its institution was the defence of ecclesiastical 
property ; but this was a very small part of the work to 
which, in God's providence, it was afterwards called. 


The third orders of Dominic and Francis completed the 
conquest of the world. They placed the religious habit 
under the breastplate of warriors and the robes of kings. 
They were like streams, carrying the fertility of Paradise 
to many a dry and barren region, so that the wilderness 
blossomed like a rose. Something of the barrier between 
the world and the cloister was broken down ; and the 
degreees of heroic sanctity were placed, as it were, within 
the grasp of thousands, who else, perhaps, had never 
risen above the ordinary standard. 

These third orders have given us a crowd of saints, 
dearer to us, perhaps, and more familiar than any others, 
in so far as we feel able to claim their close sympathy 
with ourselves; and the more so, that t<hey are a per- 
petual witness to us, that no path in life is so busy, or so 
beset with temptations, but that God's grace may cover it 
with the very choicest beauty of holiness. As time 
went on, and the circumstances of its first institution 
had passed away, the Militia of Jesus Christ exchanged 
its name for that of " the Order of Penance of S. Domi- 
nic," and by degrees assumed more and more of the re- 
ligious character ; particularly after S. Catherine of Siena 
had by her example given a new shape to the order, 
in so far as regarded its adoption by her own sex ; and in 
her life, and that of the numberless saints who have trod- 
den in her steps, we see the final triumph and vindication 
of what we may venture to call the primary Dominican 
idea ; namely, that the highest walks of contemplation 
are not incompatible with the exercises of active 
charity, amd the labour for souls ; but that a union of 
both is possible, which more nearly fulfils our conception 
of the life of Christ than the separated perfections of 

The circumstances attending the first establishment of 
this order are unknown to us; many authors are of 
opinion that it is to be referred to a much earlier date, 
and that it was even the first of the three founded by 
S. Dominic, having been originally instituted in Lan- 
guedoc for the resistance of the Albigenses. It is very 
probable that some kind association had been formed 


by him among the Catholic confederates, and afterwards 
developed into a more regular shape, when the renewed 
encroachment of the heretics in Lombardy rendered a 
similar means of protection desirable ; for such a sup- 
position would harmonize very much with S. Dominic's 
general method of action. It is certainly not a little 
remarkable, that an uncertainty hangs over the founda- 
tion both of this institute, and even of the first regular 
establishment of his greater order, which shows how 
little the thought of human praise or celebrity found 
its way into the soul of their author — like the silence in 
the Gospels on the life of Mary, which tells us more of 
her sublime humility than many words could do — and 
this humility and simplicity of action forms also, if we 
mistake not, a large feature in the portraiture of Domi- 
nic. It is without doubt, however, that to him must be 
ascribed the first origin of this form of the religious life ; 
for the third order of S. Francis, which so long divided 
with its sister institute the favour of Christendom, was 
not founded until 1224, three years after S. Dominic's 

The December of 1220 saw Dominic once more in 
Rome. This, his last visit to a city which had been the 
scene of so many labonrs and miracles, is marked by the 
date of various fresh briefs and privileges granted to his 
order by its faithful friend and benefactor, Pope Hono- 
rius. The first of these briefs was for remedying some 
irregularities which had taken place in the ordinations of 
the brethren ; others were addressed to the bishops and 
prelates of the Church, recommending the order to their 
protection in terms of the warmest eulogy ; and one 
dated April 1221, had reference to the nuns of S. Sixtus, 
to whom it secured the possessions formerly enjoyed by 
the community of the Trastevere. This visit to Rome 
was the occasion of a meeting that must have been full 
of the tenderest interest to the heart of Dominic. Fulk 
of Toulouse was then at the pontifical court ; little more 
than three years had elapsed since that dispersion of the 
sixteen brethren of S. Romain, which had taken place in 
his own presence, and now he witnessed the triumph of 


an order to which he had been so true a nursing father. 
Three years had converted the prior of Prouille, the 
leader of that devoted little band whose destinies, to every 
eye but his, seemed then so hopeless and obscure, into 
the. master-general of a great order, whose convents were 
spread through the length and breadth of Christendom. 
All things in their respective positions were changed, save 
Dominic himself; but Fulk could have detected no dif- 
ference -between Dominic the apostle of Languedoc, and 
Dominic the master of the Friars Preachers, save in the 
adoption of a yet poorer habit, and those few silver hairs 
which, we are told, his long labours, and not his years, 
had begun to sprinkle over his tonsured head. But the 
heroic heart, the patient gentle spirit, the simple hearty 
joyousness of his friend, were still the same ; and so, too, 
was the disinterestedness of his soul, of which Fulk had 
proof in a transaction whose acts are still preserved. 
This was the renunciation, on Dominic's part, of that 
grant, formerly made by the bishop, of the sixth part of 
the tenths of his revenues for the support of the order 
when it was yet young and friendless. The principle of 
poverty had since then been more strictly developed in 
the institute, and Dominic believed he could no longer 
in conscience accept this revenue, even though given, in 
the very terms of the grant, as an alms to the poor of 
Christ. Fulk, on his part, confirmed the donation of the 
church of Notre-Dame-de-Fangeaux to the religious of 
Prouille; for it will be observed that the rigid law of 
poverty which he enforced on the rest of his order, he 
relaxed in favour of the communities of women, for whose 
state he judged a moderate revenue was requisite to be 

It were to be wished that more particulars had been 
left us of the great patriarch's last appearance in the 
Roman capital. Rome had witnessed the epopee of his 
life; henceforward S. Sixtus and Santa Sabina were to 
become classic names among his children; and if, as we 
have reason to believe, a prophetic knowledge had been 
granted him that the period of his death was not far off, 
there must have been a peculiar charm in his parting 


visits to these familiar scenes. As usual, every day saw 
him at the grating of S. Sixtus, renewing his exhortations 
to the sisters to keep fast to the holy rule under whose 
power they had been transformed into the saintly life. 
The affection which he so faithfully preserved for these 
spiritual children is illustrated by one of the miracles 
related to us by Sister Cecilia as happening at this time. 
Upon a certaiu day he stopped at the gate, and, without 
entering, asked of the portress how Sister Theodora, 
Sister Tedrano, and Sister Ninfa were. She replied they 
were all three ill of fever. " Tell them," said Dominic, 
"from me, that I command them all to be cured;" and 
at the delivery of the message they all three arose in 
perfect health. 

Dominic's presence was always peculiarly welcomed in 
Rome, where he was well known to many of the cardinals 
and others attached to the Pontifical court ; and these 
vie one with another in the diligence with which they 
sought his companionship ; for as it was well expressed in 
the bull of his canonization, " none ever spoke to him and 
went away without feeling the better." But popularity 
was the last thing that he sought ; and it is to be believed 
that the celebrity he enjoyed at Home was one of the 
principal motives for his formerly removing his residence 
from thence to Bologna, whither he now returned early 
in the month of May, to meet the second chapter of the 
order, which was about to assemble in that city. On his 
way he passed through Bolsena, where he was often 
accustomed to stay, being at such times always hospitably 
entertained by a certain citizen, who, to prove his friend- 
ship for his guest, left it as an obligation to his heirs 
that they should always receive and lodge all the Friars 
Preachers who should pass through Bolsena in time to 
come, a condition still faithfully observed at the end of 
the thirteenth century, as Theodoric of Apoldia narrates. 
This particular mark of esteem was probably a token of 
gratitude, for it happened that in one of. his visits to this 
house, Dominic had preserved the vines of his host in the 
midst of a violent storm which devastated all the surround- 
ing vineyards. 


The second chapter of Bologna opened on the 30th of 
May, 1221. Dominic, at the commencement of their pro 
ceedings, addressed the brethren at considerable length, 
laying before them the state of the order in the countries 
wherein it was already established, and proposing its still 
farther extension. It appeared that sixty convents were 
already founded, and yet a greater number in course of 
erection. For the more perfect government, therefore, 
of the order, it was now divided into eight provinces, and 
a prior-provincial appointed to each of them ; namely, 
to Spain, Toulouse, France, Lombardy, Rome, Germany, 
Hungary, and England. These two latter countries were 
yet to be colonized by the Friars Preachers ; and the 
appointment and despatch of their first missioners formed 
one of the undertakings of this chapter. Of the founda- 
tion of the English province we shall presently speak 
more at length ; that of Hungary was placed under the 
government of a native of the country, named Paul, who 
had recently been received into the order by Dominic, 
and had previously filled the chair of canon law in the 
university of Bologna. Immediately after his reception, 
Paul was despatched to his new province with four com- 
panions, of whom one was Blessod Sadoc of Poland, the 
tale of whose martyrdom, with his forty-eight compa- 
nions, is among the most interesting incidents recorded 
in the annals of the order.* The crown of martyrdom 
was reserved for Paul also. He received it the following 
year, together with ninety of his brethren, from the hands 
of the Cuman Tartars, who infested the borders of 
Hungary, and whose conversion to the Christian faith 
had so long formed the cherished day-dream of S. Dominic. 
It would seem, indeed, as though this nation, whose 
barbarity exceeded that of any of the savage hordes that 
still hung round the boundaries of Christian Europe, was 
destined, if not to be converted by his order, at least to 
fill its ranks with an army of martyrs. Another of Paul's 
earliest companions, Blessed Berengarius of Poland, the 
archbishop of Cracow, was slain by them a few years 
afterwards, and in 1260 seventy more were sent to join 
* See No. 2. of " Catholic Legends," in this series. 


their company; all of whom, it is said, were children and 
disciples of the glorious S. Hyacinth 

The extraordinary manner in which these first founders 
propagated the order in the countries whither they were 
sent, may be estimated by the number of these martyrs : 
the ninety who died in company with blessed Paul must 
all have been gathered into the ranks of the institute 
within a year from the period of his departure from 
Bologna. If this may be taken as anything like a fair 
proof of the stimulus to religion which everywhere 
followed on the appearance of the Friars Preachers, 
it may perhaps dispose us the more readily to believe 
an incident which is said to have occurred just before 
the meeting of this second chapter. Two of the brethren 
who were travelling towards Bologna, were met on the 
road by a man who joined himself to their company and 
fell into conversation with them. He inquired the object 
of their journey, and being informed of the approaching 
thapter, "What," he asked, "is the business which is 
likely to be discussed ?" " The establishment of our 
brethren in new countries," replied one of the friars ; 
"England and Hungary are amongst those proposed." 
" And Greece also," said the stranger, " and Germany, 
is it not so?" "You say truly," returned the friar; 
"it is said that we shall shortly be dispersed into all 
these provinces." Then the stranger utttered a loud cry 
as of great anguish, and exclaiming, " Your order is my 
confusion," he leapt into the air, and so disappeared; 
and the friars knew that it was the voice of the great 
enemy of man, who was thus compelled to bear witness 
to the power which the servants of God exercised against 

The convents of the Friars Preachers in the new pro- 
vince of Hungary may be said to have been planted in 
blood, that seed of the Church which has never failed to 
bring forth the hundredfold. " In blood were they sown," 
says Marchese, "and in blood did they increase; so that the 
more they were slain, so much the more numerous did 
they become, till within a brief space a province was 
erected of vast extent, including the countries of Molda- 


via, Transylvania, Croatia, Bosnia, and Dalmatia ;' and 
this was afterwards divided into two, the second of which, 
bearing the name of Dalmatia, contained a great number 
of convents, illustrious for the names of many saints and 
martyrs who flourished in them 

In his address to the assembled fathers, Dominic gave 
them an earnest exhortation to the pursuit of the sacred 
learning, that they might be the better fitted for the 
charge laid on them by their vocation as Preachers. He 
reminded them that the briefs granted so liberally by the 
Vicar of Christ, recommended them to the favour of the 
universal Church, inasmuch as they were therein de- 
clared to be labourers for God's honour, and the salvation 
of souls, and that this end could never be attained with- 
out a diligent application to the divine Scriptures ; he 
therefore enjoined all who should be engaged in the 
sacred office of preaching to apply without ceasing to 
the study of theology, and to carry always with them 
a copy of the Gospels, and the seven canonical Epistles. 
The letter commonly attributed to S. Dominic, and pur- 
porting to be addressed by him to his religious in the 
province of Poland, after the conclusion of the second 
general chapter, has been questioned by some as of 
doubtful authenticity. Without venturing to decide the 
disputed point, we may refer to the peculiar force with 
which the study of the divine Scriptures is recommended 
in this letter, as exactly harmonizing with the tone of his 
address to the chapter : it is given by Malvenda and 
Bzovius as undoubtedly the work of S. Dominic, nor 
was its authorship ever called in question until the time 
of Echard. Touron, in his life of the saint, has entered 
into the critical examination of the question, and decides 
that the evidence is all in favour of its authenticity ; 
while the letter itself is, as he says, not unworthy of 
him. It breathes a noble spirit throughout, exhorting 
the brethren to a fervent observance of their rule, and a 
life worthy of the angelic ministry with which they were 
charged. " Let us apply ourselves with energy," he adds 
in the concluding paragraph, I 1 to the great actions which 
God demands of us j" a word of heroic exhortation which 


has rung for centuries in the ears of his children, and led 
them on to aim at something of that greatness in the 
paths of holiness which it points out to them as the object 
of their vocation. 

It was probably whilst the chapter was still sitting 
that Dominic gave the habit to one who was eventually 
to become one of the brightest ornaments of the order. 
Peter of Verona, the son of heretical parents, but him- 
self destined to die a martyr in defence of the faith, was 
at that time a student in the university of Bologna, and 
though a mere youth of sixteen, his learning and holiness 
had already made his name respected among his fellows. 
Dominic did not live to see the glory of his future career, 
yet even now there were sufficient indications of it to 
make him peculiarly dear to the heart of the saint, who 
felt himself drawn by a powerful attraction to the youth 
whose angelic innocence of life had been united, even 
from infancy, to an extraordinary courage in the pro- 
fession of the Catholic faith. " The hammer of the 
heretics," as he was commonly termed, he died by their 
hand, writing on the ground in his blood the word 
Credo ; and among all the disciples whom S. Dominic 
left behind him to continue his work, we may single out 
S. Peter Martyr as the one on whom his mantle may most 
surely be said to have fallen. 

Leaving for awhile the course of S. Dominic's life, we 
will proceed to say a few words concerning the foundation 
of the order in our own island, trusting that the digression, 
if it be one, may be pardoned on a subject so full of interest 
to the English reader. 


The order in England. Arrival at Oxford of Gilbert de Fresnoy. 
Celebrated Englishmen of the order. Walter Malclerk, Bacon, 
and Fishaere. The order and the universities. The German 

Gilbert de Fresnoy was the person appointed by 
Dominic to undertake the foundation of the new pro- 
vince of England ; the establishment of which was, it is 
said, resolved on in compliance with the earnest en- 
treaties of certain distinguished persons of that nation. 
Previous to the period of this second chapter, we can 
find no mention of Brother Gilbert ; but we are told he 
immediately set out with twelve companions, travelling 
in the suite of Peter de Roche, bishop of Wincester, 
whose " presence at Bologna, on his return from the Holy 
Land, may probably have hastened the dispatch of the 
English mission. They arrived at Canterbury some time 
in the month of June, where the archbishop, Stephen 
Langton, was then residing. He received the new 
comers with extraordinary kindness, and insisted on 
Gilbert's addressing a sermon to the people on that very 
day. It must have been a somewhat hard tax on the 
preacher's powers, the more so as he probably felt the 
future success of his enterprise, in so far as it depended 
on the favour of the archbishop, was in no small degree 
likely to hang on the good or bad opinion he might form 
of his sermon. Happily it was received with universal 
applause. It was declared to be grave, elegant, and full 
of wisdom ; and Stephen promised both him and his 
companions that they should never fail to find in him 
a friend and a protector. They proceeded on their 
journey to London, and thence to Oxford, where they 
arrived on the feast of the Assumption ; and having settled 
in the parish of S. Edward's, they immediately erected a 


little oratory dedicated to our Lady, and opened schools, 
which from the name of the parish were called S. Edward'3 

Thus the children of S. Dominic found themselves at 
length in connection with the three great universities of 
Europe — Bologna, Paris and Oxford ; although, indeed, 
it was not until the famous struggle which took place 
seven years afterwards at Paris, that any of their num- 
bers were raised to the professors' chairs. But from the 
very first, the character they aimed at as a teaching 
order was universally avowed, as the very letter of their 
constitutions, and the provisions they assign for the 
carrying out of their system of study, and receiving 
degrees, evidently show. Yet it is worthy of notice, 
that the first occasion on which we find any formal 
mention of their schools is in the account of those 
opened at Oxford ; for hitherto, at both the other uni- 
versities, they are rather spoken of as students than as 
having yet assumed the office of teachers, except in the 
pulpits. They continued to reside in the parish of 
S. Edward's till the king granted them a site of ground 
outside the walls ; but this place proving inconvenient 
for their purpose, owing to its distance from the city, 
they betook themselves to prayer that they might find 
favour in the eyes of the university authorities. Nor 
were their prayers in vain ; for they soon after obtained 
a settlement in the Jewish quarters in the town, u to the 
intent," says Wood, " that they might induce the Jews 
to embrace the Christian faith, as well by the sanctity 
of their lives as by preaching the word, in which they 
excelled." Shorly after this the canons of S. Frideswide 
let them some lands at a low rate ; and aided by further 
benefactions from the countess of Oxford, and Walter 
Malclerk, bishop of Carlisle, they built themselves a 
house and church, which stood partly in the parish 
of S. Aldate, on the ground belonging to the canons before 
mentioned. The composition entered into between the 
canons and themselves in regard to this ground still 
exists, and seems to bear a little hardly on the friars ; 
nevertheless, we are assured they were in favour with 


them as with the citizens, "being as acceptable to the 
latter for their piety, as they were to the former for 
their learning." Forty years afterwards, their houses 
being too small to accommodate the immense number 
of scholars who flocked to hear them, they removed to 
an island in the river, "in the south suburbs, and most 
delightful for situation," where they continued to re- 
side until the general destruction of religious houses in 
the time of Henry VIII. The first who taught in the 
schools of S. Edward was one John of S. Giles, "a man," 
says Matthew Paris, "skilful in the art of medicine, a 
great professor of divinity, and excellently learned and 
instructing." They were there greatly cramped for room, 
but in their island house, we read, they had larger space ; 
and that the acts of divinity were given in the church 
and chapter-house, whilst the lectures on philosophy were 
delivered in the cloister. They became in time the greatest 
ornaments of the university, eminent, as it is said, for all the 
learning of the time. 

Of the great men whom they gave to England it would 
be impossible to recount all the names; yet some we 
should not pass over without a word of notice. Walter 
Malclerk, their first benefactor, became afterwards a 
member of their community, and resigned his bishopric, 
and every other dignity he possessed, to assume their 
humble habit. His history is a remarkable one. His noble 
birth, attractive manners, and extraordinary genius, raised 
him to the highest favour at the court of Henry III., 
who, besides elevating him to the bishopric of Carlisle, 
made him lord high treasurer of the kingdom. In this 
position many years were spent in a life of brilliant state 
services ; but, as it would seem, the taint of worldly 
ambition for a time obscured his better qualities and his 
religious character. After a brief period of disgrace at 
court, we find him again at the head of affairs in 1234; 
and when, eleven years later, the king marched from 
London against his revolted subjects, he left Walter 
Malclerk to govern the kingdom during the period of his 
absence in the field. But God had destined the con- 
clusion of his life to present us with another of those 


many singular conversions whose stories crowd the annals 
of the Dominican order. We are not told what was the 
immediate cause which wrought the change in his views 
and desires, and disgusted him with the very career 
which he had hitherto so ardently pursued; but as soon 
as grace had effectually touched his heart, he resolved on 
a generous and entire sacrifice ; and, resigning his 
bishopric and distributing all he possessed to the poor, 
he took the habit of the Friars Preachers at Oxford, 
where he gave himself wholly to a life of penance and 
religious fervour. This act of heroic renunciation filled 
all England with surprise, whilst the friars themselves 
were forced to admire the marvel which had transformed 
a courtier and a minister of state into the humble novice 
of a mendicant community. He died two years after- 
wards, and left behind him several learned works. Another 
reaowned member of the order was Robert Bacon, the 
brother, or as some say, the uncle, of the yet more 
celebrated Roger Bacon. He joined the friars when 
an old man, out of the great love he bore S. Dominic. 
Together with him we must notice his dear and bosom 
friend, Richard Fishacre, whom Ireland calls "the most 
learned among the learned." He was a great admirer 
of Aristotle, whose works he ever carried in his bosom. 
"He was," says Wood, "renowned both as a philosopher 
and as a divine, for which reason he was so dear to 
Bacon that he became his inseparable companion ; and 
as they were most constant associates in life, so neither 
could they be separated in death. For as the turtle- 
dove, bewailing its lost mate, dies, so, Bacon being dead, 
Fishacre neither could nor would survive." He was the 
first English preacher who commented on the "Book of 

Other convents of the order were soon affiliated to the 
parent house, the Black Friars in London being one of 
the earliest of these foundations. Indeed, they seem to 
have been deservedly popular among the English, who 
were then, as now, a sermon-loving people; and so great 
were the crowds that flocked to hear the new preachers 
that the sermons were generally delivered out of doors 


and we find frequent mention of the "portable pulpits" 
they used, convenient to be set up in the public streets. 

From England they soon found their way to Ireland ; 
Father Ronald, an Irishman by birth, and one of the 
first missionaries from Bologna, being sent over there very 
shortly after the settlement of his companions at Oxford. 
He died archbishop of Armagh, having lived to see the 
order spread through almost every province of the island. 
The spectacle exhibited in the example of Walter Malclerk 
was again and again repeated in a long list of eminent men 
of both countries, who, in the succeeding centuries, laid 
aside every dignity to become children in the noviciates of 
the Friars Preachers. 

The Franciscans soon followed in the track of their 
sister order, and an interesting account is given us of 
their first arrival at Oxford, where they were generously 
and hospitably received by their Dominican brethren. 
Two of the Friars Minors, ignorant of the country, and 
perfectly friendless, had first begged at the door of the 
Benedictine monastry of Abingdon, and being unknown, 
and mistaken\ for " mimics or disguised persons," were 
driven away With bad usage. They would have passed 
the night in/ the road, if a young monk, touched with 
compassipn/had not secretly hid them in a hayloft ; and 
the next morning they pursued their way to Oxford, 
praying as they went, that " God would dispose some 
goodwill for them among the men of Oxford. Nor were 
their prayers in vain; for being come to the city, and 
going directly to the house of the Dominicans in the 
Jewry, though they durst scarce hope for it, they were by 
them entertained with extraordinary care and charity, 
and having found them as friendly as the Abingdonians 
had been merciless, they had the benefit of the refectory 
and dormitory till the eighth day."* This mutual 
exchange of hospitality forms one of the most beau- 
tiful features in the history of the two orders, and might 
be illustrated by innumerable examples of a similar 

It will be seen that both at Oxford and Paris, and also 
■k- Steven's Dugdale, from the MS. of A. Wood. 


at Bologna, the order immediately assumed a position in 
connection with the nniversities. In fact, this connection 
was one of the principal objects contemplated by these 
foundations in those cities. The constitutions of the 
order were drawn up with a view of providing for a 
regular system of study ; and at the same time things 
were so arranged that the student was still under reli- 
gious discipline, and study was made only a part of his 
religious training. They were not cast abroad on the 
great world of university life to shift for themselves : but 
the idea was, that in all the great centres of learning 
there should be a religious house, to which the students 
of the order were bound as members of its community 
during the period of their university course ; and so the 
university and community life were woven together, and 
the intellectual advantages of the one laid under the 
restrictions of the other. The nature of their studies 
was regulated and limited so as, if not exclusively theo- 
logical, at least to bear more or less on theology. Merely 
secular and honorary distinctions and degrees, granted 
by the university authorities, were not recognized, the 
order reserving a system of graduation in its own hands ; 
and so by means of very minute and most sagacious legis- 
lation, one of the great Dominican ideas was gradually 
given an active and practical existence, namely, the 
Christianizing of the intellect, the cultivation of human 
science as a handmaid to the science of divine things, 
and the pursuit of learning under the safeguard of that 
subjection and spiritual bondage which secured humility. 
This was the system which, founded by Dominic himself, 
in the succeeding age produced S. Thomas. We say, 
founded by S. Dominic himself, for it is in the very year 
following that of his first visit to the brethren of S. James, 
before spoken of, that we find that community described 
by Pope Honorious as a The brethren of the Order of 
Preachers, studying in the Sacred Page at Paris." Doubt- 
less it was the peculiar adaptation of this system to 
the wants of the day which produced the surprising 
effects we observe in the period immediately succeeding 
Dominic's death. The learning and the piety of Europe 


then flowed into the order of Preachers like a great 
wave. Blessed Jordan, his successor in the government, 
is said to have clothed more than a thousand novices with 
his own hand : and Martene, before quoted, says of him, 
" There entered under his rule at Paris, into the order of 
Preachers, so many masters in theology, doctors -in law, 
bachelors and masters of arts, and such a countless mul- 
titude of others, that the whole world stood amazed at the 
grace which attended their preaching, and at the wonderful 
things that they did."* 

Before resuming the thread of Dominic's personal 
history, we cannot pass without notice the foundation of 
the German province, which took place at the same time 
as those of England and Hungary. The provincial ap- 
pointed for Germany by the chapter of Bologna was that 
same Master Conrad who had been gained to the order 
in so extraordinary a manner by the progress of Dominic ; 
and when, soon after his arrival in his new government, 
the people of Cologne demanded a foundation of the 
friars among them, Henry of Utrecht was chosen as superior 
of the new house destined to be so celebrated in the 
Dominican annals. Since his profession at Paris in com- 
pany with Jordan of Saxony, as related in a former 
chapter, he had remained in that city, where the charm 
of his character no less than of his preaching had obtained 
him universal applause. But popularity had no power to 
change or disturb the perfect calm and humility of his 
soul. " Never was there seen in him," says Blessed 
Jordan, " any trouble, emotion or sadness ; the peace 
of God and the joy of a good conscience were so painted 
in his countenance, that you needed but to see him to 
learn how to love God." It is said that when the news 
of his entrance into the order reached Utrecht, the canon 
who had educated him from boyhood, and two other of 
his friends, were greatly grieved ; and before setting out 

* Those of our readers who may be curious for a more particular 
account of the Dominican system of study, and its happy blending 
of* the intellectual and monastic training, w« may refer to an article 
in the Dublin heview (Sept. 1345), on " the Ancient Irish Domini- 
can Schools;" and another, from a well-known writer in the 
Mritish Critic (Jan. 1843) on" Dante and the Catholic Philosophy.*' 


for Paris to persuade him to return, they spent a night 
in earnest prayer to obtain light from God on the subject. 
As they prayed, a voice sounded through the church, 
saying, " It is the Lord who has done this, and He does 
not change." Relieved from their anxiety, they abandoned 
their first purpose, and exhorted him instead to a faithful 

In 1224 the convent of Cologne was at length founded. 
Henry went there alone ; but his talents, and the singular 
attractiveness of his virtues, soon gathered many about 
him ; his influence over the people was extraordinary. 
The besetting vice of the nation at that time was blas- 
phemy — one, perhaps, the most difficult to eradicate from 
the inveterate force of habit ; yet such was the power of 
Henry's eloquence that he inspired the whole city with a 
horror of every kind of imprecation. 

Cologne became in the succeeding century the nursery 
of the Dominican order. Within its walls S. Ambrose of 
Siena and S. Thomas of Aquin studied together under 
Albert the Great ; names to which might be associated a 
crowd of others who illustrated their age with the splen- 
dour of their learning and the saintliness of their lives ; 
and when, in the succeeding age, the violence of heresy 
laid waste so many a sanctuary, and the children of Dominio 
were the foremost to suffer for a cause they had ever been 
foremost to defend, there were not wanting those who, by 
the generous sacrifice of their lives, gave a crowning splen- 
dour of martyrdom to the glories of Cologne. 


Dominic's last missionary journey. His return to Bologna, and 
illness. His death. Kevelations of his glory. His canoniza- 
tion and the translation of his relics. " 

The career of Dominic was now fast drawing to a close ; 
but five years had been granted him to reap the harvest of 
his long and solitary labours, and yet short as the time 
might seem, it was enough j he had lived to see that little 
seed, planted in the fields of Languedoc, grown into a 
mighty tree, whose branches might now be said to cover the 
earth, and his work was accomplished. 

The chapter had broken up in the latter part of May ; 
on the 30 th of the same month, Dominic received an 
unusual mark of honour from the magistrates of Bologna, 
who by a solemn act admitted him to the rights of a citizen, 
with the privilege of entering their council and voting 
on all public questions. Nor did they confine this ex- 
pression of their gratitude to his person alone, but declared 
it to be henceforth granted to all his successors in the 
supreme government of the order. When we remember 
that it was through his means that peace had been restor- 
ed to the city after it had been for years the victim of 
cruel civil dissensions, we feel that this was but a fitting 
and natural testimony of their affection from the citizens to 
their deliverer. 

In the following month Dominic left Bologna on his 
last missionary journey. At Venice he met Cardinal 
Ugolino, and laid the foundation of the great convent 
of SS. John and Paul ; some say that this visit was 
undertaken with the idea that some opportunity might 
still present itself which should enable him to pass to 
the countries of the infidels, a plan he had nearly laid 
aside. And there is little doubt that even before he 
lefc Bologna he had received from God an intimation of 


his approaching release. Blessed Jordan tells us, that, 
being one night in fervent prayer, an unusually powerful 
emotion overwhelmed him with the desire to be with 
God ; and suddenly a youth of dazzling beauty appeared 
before him, and, calling him by name, said to him, " Do- 
minic, my well-beloved, come to the nuptials, come." 
And there seemed after this time a certain change about 
him, as though he knew the end of all sadness was at 
hand. As he sat in familiar conversation with some of 
the students and clergy of the university, he spoke with 
his usual cheerfulness and sweetness for some time, 
then, rising to bid them farewell, he said, " You see 
me now in health, but before the next feast of the 
Assumption I shall be with God." These words sur- 
prised those who heard them ; for indeed there were no 
signs of approaching sickness, or of the failure of that 
vigorous and manly spirit for which he had been ever 
distinguished. Nevertheless, when he returned to Bo- 
logna after a few weeks, a marked change was visible. 
His hair was thinning on his temples, the excessive heat 
of the summer appeared to render him languid and 
exhausted ; and yet, for all he was evidently suffering, 
he never relaxed in any of his usual labours. It was the 
6th of August : he had travelled from Venice to Bologna, 
on foot as usual, stopping at Milan, and preaching as he 
went ; nay, there was even a more than ordinary zeal 
observable in his conduct, as if he felt the time was 
shortening, and desired that the last hour should find 
him watching and at work. As he approached Bologna, 
the extraordinary heat affected him painfully. It was 
evening when he reached the convent of S. Nicholas ; in 
spite of his fatigue, he remained until past midnight con- 
versing with the procurator and prior, and then proceeded 
to the church, where he continued in prayer until the 
hour of matins, notwithstanding their earnest entreaty 
that for once he would consent to rest during the office. 
As soon as it was finished, he was obliged to give way to 
the violence of the fever, the advances of which he had 
hitherto disregarded ; they begged him to allow himself 
a little repose on a bed, but he gently refused, and 


desired to be laid on a sacking which was stretched upon 
the ground. His head was swimming with the pain and 
heaviness of his malady ; but even then he would not 
spare himself, but desired the novices to be called round 
him that he might speak to them, for what he felt would 
be the last time; and all the time his patience and 
sweetness were never interrupted ; nor, spite of the 
pallor of death that fast overspread his noble features, 
was the joy and cheerfulness of their expression for a 
moment changed. 

The brethren were overwhelmed with affliction ; and 
hoping that some relief might be afforded by a change of 
air, they took him to Santa Maria dei Monti, situated 
on a hill just outside the city. He himself, however, well 
knowing that no human skill could avail for his recovery, 
called the community around him that he might leave 
them his last testament. "Have charity in your hearts," 
he said, "practise humility after the example of Jesus 
Christ, and make your treasure and riches out of volun- 
tary poverty. You know that to serve God is to reign ; 
but you must serve Him in love, and with a whole heart. 
It is only by a holy life, and by fidelity to your rule, that 
you can do honour to your profession." It was thus he 
continued to speak as he lay on the ground, whilst F. 
Ventura and the other brethren stood weeping around 
him. " He did not even sigh," says Ventura in his evi- 
dence ; "I never heard him speak a more excellant and 
edifying sermon." The rector of Santa Maria made a 
rather unsuitable interruption to this scene, by suggest- 
ing that, should the saint die in that convent, he would 
certainly not wish to be carried elsewhere for burial. 
This obliged the brethren to refer the question to him- 
self, and he immediately replied, with some energy, 
"Look well to it that I am buried nowhere but under 
the feet of my brethren. Carry me away from here, and 
let me die in that vineyard ; then no one will be able to 
oppose my being buried in our own church." And 
akUough they almost feared that he would expire on 
the road, they nevertheless fulfilled his command, and 
brought him back to S. Nicholas, carrying him through 



the fields and vineyards wrapped in a woollen sacking, 
weeping as they went. Having no cell of his own, he 
was taken to that of Brother Moneta, and there laid on 
his hed. He had already received Extreme Unction at 
Santa Maria ; and after remaining quiet for about an hour, 
he called the prior to him, saying, " Prepare," (meaning 
for the recommendation of a departing soul) ; but as they 
were about to begin, he added, "you can wait a little ;" 
and it was perhaps during these moments that, according 
to the revelation made to S. Bridget, the Mother of 
God, to whom he had ever shown himself so loyal and 
loving a servant, visibly appeared to him, and promised 
that she would never withdraw her patronage and pro- 
tection from his order. 

He was now sinking so rapidly, that they saw a very 
short time would rob them of the father to whom their 
hearts cleaved with so overflowing a tenderness ; all were 
bathed in tears. Rodolph held his head, and gently 
wiped the death-sweat from his forehead ; Ventura bent 
over him, saying, "Dear father, you leave us desolate 
and afflicted; remember us, and pray for us to God." 
Then the dying saint summoned his fast-failing strength, 
and, raising his hands and eyes to heaven, he said in 
a clear and distinct voice ; " Holy Father, since by Thy 
mercy I have ever fulfilled Thy will, and have kept and 
preserved those whom Thou hast given me, now I recom- 
mend them to Thee. Do Thou keep them: do Thou 
preserve them." Then, turning to his children, he 
added tenderly, "Do not weep, my children; I shall 
be more useful to you where I am now going, than 
I have ever been in this life." One of them again 
asking him to tell them exactly where he would be 
buried, he replied in his former words, "Under the feet 
of my brethren." He seemed then for the first time to 
perceive that they had laid him on a kind of bed, and 
obliged them to remove him, and place him on ashes on 
the floor : the novices left the room, and about twelve of 
the elder brethren alone remained beside him. He made 
his general confession to Father Ventura, and when it 
was finished, he added, addressing himself to the others, 


" Thanks be to God, whose mercy has preserved me in 
perfect virginity until this day: if you would keep 
chastity, guard yourselves from all dangerous conver- 
sations, and watch over your own hearts." But, an 
instant afterwards, a kind of scruple seemed to seize 
him ; and he turned to Ventura with a touching hu- 
mility, saying, " Father, I fear lest I have sinned in 
speaking of this grace before our brethren." The re- 
commendation of his soul now began, and he followed 
the prayers as well as he could ; they could see his lips 
moving ; and as they recited the words, " Subvenite, 
Sancti Dei; occurrite, angeli Domini, suscipientes ani- 
mam ejus, offerentes earn in conspectu altissimi" he 
stretched his arms to Heaven, and expired; being in the 
51st year of his age. 

His weeping children stood for awhile around the body, 
without venturing to touch the sacred remains ; but as 
it became necessary to prepare for their interment, they 
began to strip off the tunic in which he died, and which 
was not his own, but one belonging to Brother Moneta; 
and having done so, their tears of tenderness flowed 
afresh, for they discovered an iron chain tightly bound 
round his waist, and from the scars and marks it had 
produced, it was evident that it had been worn for many 
years. Rodolph removed it with the utmost reverence, 
and it was afterwards delivered to blessed Jordan, his 
successor in the government of the order, who kept it as 
a precious relic. It was a singular and appropriate cir- 
cumstance that the funeral obsequies of this great man 
should be performed by one who had ever during life 
shown himself Ids truest and most faithful friend. Car- 
dinal Ugolino Conti came from Venice to Bologna to 
preside at a cermony which, in spite of their orphanhood 
and desolation, his children could scarcely feel a melan- 
choly one. Ugolino claimed this ofhce as his right, and 
it was he who celebrated the funeral mass. The people of 
Bologna, who had shown an extraordinary sympathy with 
the friars during the last days of Dominic's illness, and had 
made continual prayers for their benefactor's recovery, 
followed the procession in a dense body. Patriarchs, 
p 2 


bishops, and abbots from all the neighbouring country 
swelled the train. Among them was one who had been a 
dear and familar friend of the departed saint, Albert, 
prior of the convent of S. Catherine in Bologna, a man 
of great piety and warm affections. As he followed, 
sorrowful, and bathed in tears, he observed that the friars 
chanted the Psalms with a certain joyfulness and calm of 
spirit ; and this had such an effect on him, that he too 
stayed his tears and began to sing with them. And then 
he began to reflect on the misery of this present state, 
and the folly of mourning it as an evil, when a holy soul 
was released from bondage and sent to the presence of 
his God. With this thought in his heart, he went up, in 
an impulse of devout affection, to the sacred body, and 
bending over it and conquering his grief, he embraced 
his dead friend, and congratulated him on his blessedness. 
When he rose, an emotion of wonderful happiness was 
observable on his countenance. He went up to the prior 
of S. Nicholas, and taking him by the hand, " Dear father, 
rejoice with me," he said ; " Master Dominic has even now 
spoken to me, and assured me that before the year is ended 
we shall be both re-united in Christ." And the event 
proved his words, for before the close of the year Albert 
was with his friend. 

Nor was this the only revelation of the blessedness of 
Dominic which was granted to his friends. At the same 
hour in which he expired, Father Gnallo Romanoni, prior 
of the convent of Friars Preachers in Brescia, fell asleep, 
leaning against the bell-tower of his church, and he 
seemed to see two ladders let down from an opening in 
the sky above him. At the top of one stood our Lord, 
and His blessed Mother was at the summit of the other. 
Angels were going up and down them, and at their foot 
was seated one in the habit of the order, but his face was 
covered with his hood, after the fashon in which the 
friars were wont to cover the face of the dead when they 
are carried out for burial. The ladders were drawn up 
into heaven, and he saw the unknown friar received into 
the company of the angels, surrounded by a dazzling 
glory, and borne to the very feet of Jesus. Guallo 


awoke, not knowing what the vision could signify; and 
hastening to Bologna, he found that his great patriarch 
had breathed his last at the very moment in which it had 
appeared to him, namely, six in the evening; and he 
judged it as a certain token that the soul of Dominic had 
been taken up to heaven. Moreover, on that same day, 
the 6 th of August, Brother Raoul had gone from Borne 
to Tivoli in company with Tancred, the prior of Santa 
Sabina, and at the hour of Sext he celebrated mass, and 
made an earnest memento for his holy founder, whom he 
knew to be then lying in the extremity of sickness at 
Bologna. And as he did so, he seemed to see the great 
road reaching out of that city, and walking along it was 
the figure of Dominic between two men of venerable 
aspect, crowned with a golden coronet, and dazzling with 
light. Nor was this the last of these visions. A 
student of the university, warmly attached to the saint, 
who had been prevented by business from assisting at 
his funeral, saw him on the following night in a state of 
surpassing glory, as it seemed to him, seated in a parti- 
cular spot in the church of S. Nicholas. The vision was 
so distinct that, as he gazed on it, he exclaimed, "How, 
Master Dominic, are you still here?" "Yes," was the 
reply, "I live, indeed, since God has deigned to grant 
me an eternal life in heaven." When he went to S. 
Nicholas on the following morning, he found the place of 
sepulture was the same indicated in his dream. 

We shall not attempt the task of transcribing the 
miracles which rendered the place of his rest glorious; 
they already fill volumes entirely devoted to the purpose 
of racording them. His brethren of Bologna have been 
severely blamed by many authors, because in spite of 
this accumulation of prodigies and Divne favours, they 
allowed the body to remain under the plain flagstone 
where it had been placed by the care of Rodolph of 
Faenza, without any sign of honour to distinguish it to 
the eye. And what is more, in spite of the crowds who 
flocked thither day and night on pilgrimage, and whose 
gratitude for the graces poured out on them with such 
abundance was attested by a very forest of waxen images, 


and other similar votive offerings which they hung over 
the spot, no move was made by the authorities of the 
order to obtain the canonization of the saint. This 
conduct has, we have said, been censured as a culpable 
neglect ; but we may perhaps be permitted to instance it 
as an example of that simplicity and modesty which 
Dominic left behind him as a heritage to his children. 
The answer of one of the friars, when questioned on the 
subject, may be taken as a sample of the spirit of the 
whole body. "What need for canonization?" he said; 
" the holiness of Master Dominic is known to God: it 
matters little if it be declared publicly by man." A 
feeling similar to this has been hereditary in the order, 
and has been the cause why the early annals of many of 
their most illustrious saints are so barren of details. 
They never thought of providing for the applause of man ; 
and brilliant as is the renown of the Dominican institute 
in the history of the Church, it may perhaps be said that 
its greatest works have never been made manifest. 

It was chance, or rather necessity, that at length 
obliged the religious of S. Nicholas to undertake the first 
translation of the sacred relics. The convent had to be 
enlarged on account of the ever-increasing size of the 
community, and the church stood in need of repair and 
alteration. The tomb of Dominic had, therefore, to be 
disturbed, and to do so, the Pope's permission was first 
required. Honorius III. was dead, and his successor in 
the papal chair was none other than Ugolino Conti, who 
had been consecrated Pope under the name of Gre- 
gory IX. He acceded to the request with joy, sharply 
reproving the friars for their long negligence. The 
solemn translation accordingly took place on the 24th of 
May, 1233, during the Whitsundide chapter of the order, 
then assembled at Bologna under blessed Jordan of 
Saxony, who had succeeded his great patriarch in the 
government. The Pope wished to have attended in per- 
son at this ceremony, but, being prevented doing so, 
deputed the archbishop of Ravenna to represent him, in 
company with a crowd of other distinguished prelates. 
Three hundred Friars Preachers, from all countries, were 


assembled to assist at this function, not without a secret 
fear lest the sacred remains should be found to have 
suffered change ; and this doubt as to the result of the 
translation agitated many of them during the day and 
night preceding that on which it was appointed to take 
place, with a painful emotion. Among those who showed 
the greatest disturbance was one named Brother Nicholas 
of Giovenazzo ; but it pleased God to re-assure him, and 
all who shared his timidity, by a special revelation. For, 
as he prayed, there appeared to him a man of majestic 
appearance, who spoke these words in a elear and joyous 
tone : " Hie accipiet benedictionem a Domino, et miseri- 
cordiam a Deo salutari suo." And he understood them 
to signify the blessedness enjoyed by S. Dominic, and to 
be a pledge of the honour which God would cause to be 
shown to his relics. 

On the 24th of May the ceremony of translation took 
place. The general, and all the chief fathers of the 
general chapter then assembled at Bologna, together 
with the bishops, prelates, and magistrates, who had come 
to be present on the occasion, stood round in silence 
whilst the grave was opened. Bodolph of Faenza, who 
still held the office of procurator, and who had been so 
dear a son to the great patriarch, was the first to com- 
mence raising the stone. Hardly had he begun to 
remove the mortar and earth that lay beueath, when an 
extraordinary odour was perceptible, which increased in 
power and sweetness as they dug deeper, until at length, 
when the coffin appeared, and was raised to the surface 
of the grave, the whole church was filled with the per- 
fume, as though from the burning of some precious and 
costly gums. The bystanders knelt on the pavement, 
shedding tears of emotion as the lid was raised, when 
there were once more exposed to their eyes, unchanged, 
and with the same look of sweetness and majesty they 
had ever worn in life, the features of their glorious father. 
Cantipratano, in his second book De Apibus, relates a 
singular circumstance, which has been repeated by Mal- 
venda. He says that among the fathers present at the 
ceremony was John of Vicenza, whose singular zeal and 


sanctity had always rendered him specially dear to S. 
Dominic. As he stood by the body, he made way to give 
place to William, bishop of Modena ; but immediately the 
sacred remains were seen to turn in the direction in which 
he stood. His humility moved him to change his place 
again, and the same thing was observed ; and it seemed as 
though, on this the first day when the public honour of the 
Church were about to be paid to the holy patriarch, he was 
willing by this token to show that he counted his chiefest 
glory to be less in such honours than in the sanctity of his 

It was blessed Jordan who raised the body of the 
beloved father from the coffin, and reverently laid it in 
a new case. Eight days afterwards, this was once more 
opened to satisfy the devotion of some nobles and others 
who had been present on the previous occasion; then it 
was that Jordan, taking the sacred head between his 
hands, kissed it, while tears of tenderness flowed from 
his eyes ; and, so holding it in his arms, he desired all 
the fathers of the chapter to approach and gaze at it for 
the last time: one after another they came, and kissed 
the features that still smiled on them like a father; all 
were conscious of the same extraordinary odour; it re- 
mained on the hands and clothes of all who touched, or 
came near the body; nor was this the case merely at the 
time of the translation. Flaminius, who lived 300 years 
afterwards, thus writes in 1527 : " This divine odour of 
which we have spoken, adheres to the relics even to this 
present day." 

We shall not pause to give a detail of those abundant 
miracles which every day shed fresh glory round the 
sepulchre of S. Dominic. They were scarcely needed, one 
may say, as attestations of his sanctity ; it seemed the 
universal feeling, both of prelates and people, that his 
canonization should be no longer deferred. The bull to 
that effect was published in the July of 1234; and it 
was the singular happiness of Pope Gregory IX., who 
had been bound in such close ties of friendship to the 
founders of the two orders of the Friars Minors and 
Friars Preachers, that both should be raised to the 


altars of the Church by his means, and during his pontifi- 
cate. His well-known expression with regard to Dominic 
has been preserved to us by Stefano Salanco ; " I have no 
more doubt of the sanctity of this man, than I have of that 
of S. Peter or S. Paul." 

Three festivals have been consecrated to the memory 
of S. Dominic : the 4th of August, on which his death is 
celebrated (instead of the 6th, already occupied by the feast 
of the Transfiguration) ; the 24th of May, in memory of 
the translation of his relics; and lastly, the 15th of Sep- 
tember, in honour of the miraculous picture of Suriano. 
An obscurity rests over the origin of this picture ; or perhaps 
we should rather say that the Church, whilst granting the 
festival, and bearing her willing testimony to the extra- 
ordinary Divine favours shown to the devotion of the 
pilgrims of Suriano, has been silent as to the history of the 
painting itself. It first appeared in the convent in the year 
1530, and did not attract much popular regard until the 
beginning of the following century, when the miracles and 
conversions wrought at Suriano made it a place of pilgrimage 
to the whole world. After a number of briefs granted by 
sucessive pontiffs, and a severe examination of the facts., 
Benedict XIII. at length appointed the 15th of September 
to be observed through the whole order, in commemoration 
of the graces received before this remarkable picture. 

A second transalation of the relics of S. Dominic took 
place in 1267; but the beautiful sculptures which now 
adorn his place of burial, and which are probably the first, 
both in design and execution, among similar works of art, 
were not placed over his tomb until 1473, being the chef- 
docuvre of Nicholas de Bari. 


Dominic's writings. His supposed defence of the Immaculate 
Conception. His portraits by Fra Angelico, and in the veraea 
of Dante. Observations of the Order. 

"We should have wished," says Polidro in the con- 
cluding chapter of his life, "to have been able to put 
before the eyes of our readers all that S. Dominic 
ever wrote in defence of the Catholic religion, for the 
instruction of his disciples, in order that they might 
collect from these writings yet greater and more copious 
illustrations of his virtues. But there remains to us 
nothing, except the constitutions of his order (added 
to the rule of S. Austin), the sentence of reconciliation 
to the Church of Pontio Rogerio, and the faculty granted 
to Raymond William of Altaripa, to entertain the here- 
tic William Uguccione in his house. It is, however, 
certain that he wrote many letters to his brethren, 
especially exhorting them to the study of the Sacred 
Scriptures, but none of these now remain ; that ad- 
dressed to the Polish friars, and bearing his name, not 
being genuine." We have already spoken of the letter 
here alluded to, and, as may be remembered, have 
mentioned that many of the best and most cautious 
writers have taken a more favourable view of its claims 
to authenticity. We shall not, therefore, again enter 
on the question in this place. The commentaries of 
S. Dominic on the Epistles of S. Paul were still extant 
in the time of Giovanni Colonna ; and when we re- 
member how these Epistles formed the constant and 
favourite reading of the Saint, we shall know how to 
regret the loss of their exposition from the hand of one 
who followed so closely in the footsteps of S. Paul, and 
seemed in a special manner to have borne his mantle 
and received his spirit. 


The lectures he gave in the apostolic palace on these 
same Epistles, together with the conferences given at 
Bologna, on the Psalms and the canonical Epistles, and 
on the Gospel of S. Matthew, are also referred to by 
Lusitano as still existing in his day; but all have since 
been lost, and it is the misfortune of the order and of the 
Church that, with the exceptions mentioned above, nothing 
of the writings of this great man now remains. 

There is one book, the mention of which occurs in one 
of the most striking anecdotes of his life, and which, 
could it be restored to us, would naturally be held iu 
peculiar veneration, not merely for the sake of its author, 
but also for that token of the Divine approbation which 
gave to its doctrines and contents even more than the 
authority of a saint. We refer to the book written by 
Dominic in confutation of the Albigensian heresies, and 
which, thrice cast into the fire remained uninjured, and 
was even flung out of the burning heap by the flames 
which refused to touch it. Although this book is lost to 
us, together with the other writings of S. Dominic, there 
exists a tradition concerning its contents which is of par- 
ticular interest to us at this time; and which, without 
passing any judgment as to its authenticity, we will give, 
as it is to be found alluded to by several writers. The 
following extract is from a letter of Father Alessandro 
Santo Canale, of the Society of Jesus, published in a 
collection of letters on the Immaculate Conception, at 
Palermo, in the year 1742. He says, "All the regular 
orders, following the inclination of the Holy Church their 
mother, have always shown a courageous zeal in defence 
of the Immaculate Conception. And I say all; because 
one of the most earnest in favour of the Immaculate 
Conception has been the most learned and most holy 
Dominican order, even from its very first beginning, — I 
mean even from the time of the great patriarch S. 
Dominic, in the dispute which he held with the Albi- 
genses at Toulouse, with so much glory to the Church 
and to himself. Almost from the time of S. Dominic 
down to the present day, there has been preserved in the 
public archives of Barcelona a very ancient tablet, whereon 


is inscribed the famous dispute of the saint with the 
Albigenses, and the triumph of the truth, confirmed by 
the miracle of the fire, into which, at the request of the 
heretics, the saint having thrown his book, when that of 
the Albigenses was destroyed, his remained uninjured." 
Of which book this inscription thus speaks : — " Against 
these errors S. Dominic wrote a book on the Flesh of 
Christ. And the Albigenses, rising up furiously against 
the said blessed Dominic, said that the Virgin was con- 
ceived in original sin. And blessed Dominic replied, 
even as it is contained in his book, that what they said 
was not true ; because the Virgin Mary was she of whom 
the Holy Ghost says by Solomon, ' Thou art all fair, my 
beloved, and there is no stain in thee.' " In this book of 
S. Dominic's on the Flesh of Christ, chap, xvii., there are, 
among other passages, the following words, quoted from the 
Acts of S. Andrew : — " Even as the first Adam was made 
of virgin earth, which had never been cursed, so also was 
it fitting for the second Adam to be made in like man- 
ner."* It would seem, therefore, that the book was still 
extant at the time of this inscription, and that the above 
passages were quoted from it. Nor is it in any way sur- 
prising or difficult for us to believe, that Dominic, 
educated in the schools of Palencia, should have been a 
firm and undoubting defender of that doctrine which was, 
so to speak, the heritage of Spanish theologians. 

Two men have been given to the world, each of them 
foremost in the ranks of genius, who have in different 
ways left us the living portraits of S. Dominic. The first 
is his own son Angelico, who, steeped in the spirit of his 
order, drew its founder, not indeed according to the 
material likeness of flesh and blood, — for that he had not 

* "According to creditable opinion," says Mon seigneur Parisis, 
" S. Dominic professed in very express terms his belief in the 
Immaculate Conception. It is even said that he committed it to 
writing in a certain book, which the heretics required him to cast 

into the flames, &c It contained (it is said) in the following 

terms the precious text of the Acts of the Martyrdom of S. An. 
drew." And he proceeds to quote the words given above — De- 
monstration, de VImmaculaUe Conception, de la B. Vierge Marie, Mer$ 
ds DUu. 


seen, — but according to that truer portraiture which is 
the type of the spiritual man. The idea of S. Dominic as 
it came before the eye of Angelico in hours of prayer and 
mystic contemplation, has been left us on a thousand 
frescoed walls, in every attitude and under every variety. 
Amidst them all, we see it is the same idea, the same 
man ; he is there in his joyousness, his majestic beauty, 
and his life of prayer. Always noble, always simple, 
with his bright star upon his forehead, and the lily in his 
hand, he stands among a crowd of saints and angels, 
beneath the Redeemer's Cross, or by the side of the 
Madonna's starry throne and everywhere we recognize 
in him our old familiar friend ; him who drew all men to 
him by his winning courtesy, and from whose brow there 
went out that mystic splendour which attracted all who 
gazed upon it. 

The other painter is a poet ; the poet of Italy and of 
the middle ages. If Dante drew his inspiration from 
the fount of human imaginations, it was to the order of 
S. Dominic that he owed the religious character in which 
it has been clothed. The poetry of Dante is to poetry 
what the paintings of Angelico are to art ; and indeed 
the new impulse his writings gave to the early Christian 
artists, exhibits the close harmony that exists between 
their works and his. And if he might thus claim brother- 
hood with the Angelic painter, to the Angelic doctor he 
was bound by yet stricter ties. His theology is that of 
S. Thomas ; and to understand the Divina Commedia, we 
must first read the Summa. Thus we may understand 
how it is that when he comes to draw the portrait of 
" the holy athlete for the Christian faith," as he terms 
S. Dominic, his words flow forth with such a power of 
vivid and inspired delineation. 

Do we not feel that some one greater than the herd of 
common men is drawing near us, when the great master 
prepares us for his coming by those few low tones of 
sweetest harmony which he draws from his lyre when he 
he speaks of the founder of the Friars Preachers. " There," 
he says, " where the gentle breeze whispers and waves 
among the young flowers that blossom over the fields of 


Europe, — not far from that shore where break the waves 
behind which the big sun sinks at eventide, is the fortunate 
Calarogo ; and there was born the loyal lover of the Christian 
faith, the holy athlete, gentle to his friends and terrible to 
the enemies of truth. They called him Dominic ; and he 
was the ambassador and the friend of Christ ; and his 
first love was for the first council that Jesus gave. His 
nurse found him often lying on the ground, as though he 
had said, ( It was for this I came.' It was because of 
love of Divine truth, and not for the world, that he 
became a great doctor in a short time ; and he came 
before the throne of Peter, not to seek dispensations, or 
tithes, or the best benefices, or the patrimony of the poor ; 
but only for freedom to combat against the errors of the 
world by the word of God. Then, armed with his doc- 
trine and his mighty will, he went forth to his apostolic 
ministry, even as some mountain torrent precipitates 
itself from its rocky height. Ani the impetuosity of 
that great flood, throwing itself on the heresies that 
stemmed its way, flowed on far and wide, and broke into 
many a stream that watered the garden of the Church." 

We must apologize to our readers for giving the glorious 
poetry of Dante in weak and ineffective prose ; yet perhaps 
less weak and less ineffective than the attempt to render it 
into such verse as a translator can give. Tf e have but re- 
minded them of the passage, that they may turn to it in the 
original ; for a sketch of the character of S. Dominic seems 
incomplete without an allusion, at least, to the writer who 
has perhaps drawn him best. 

We should be departing from the plan we have proposed 
to ourselves, if we detained our readers with any sum- 
mary and critical examination of the character of S. 
Dominic's virtues, which is usual in lives of more pre- 
tension, and written with a different object to this. 
But we have sought only to place this great saint before 
our readers in a popular light, trusting that he might 
speak to them himself in the story of his life ; and that 
something of that charm of gracious joyousness on whieh 
his old biographers are so eloquent, might win them to a 
closer study of one whose order has been termed so 


empnatically, " The Order of Truth;" and whose spirit 
is, even in our own day, as young and vigorous as ever. 
If there be one saint who has greater claims than another 
on the love and veneration ' of the Church, struggling as 
she is in our own country against the high tide of heresy, 
it is S. Dominic. And if we would learn the way to 
fight her battles, we can scarcely do better than sit at the 
feet of one who knew so well how to be at the same time 
the enemy of heresy and the lover of souls. That won- 
derful intelligence, which was able to unite so rigid a disci- 
pline with the flexibility which is to be found in what his 
great daughter S, Catherine calls " the free and joyous 
spirit of his order, "* had it been engaged in prescribing for 
the wants of England in our own day, could scarcly have 
devised a fitter rule for those who would labour in 
her cause. 

The austerity of S. Dominic was for himself and his 
own children; but wherever there was the question of 
saving souls, we find only the gay sweet manner that 
men called magic, because they could not resist it ; the 
familiarity that mixed with the people, and would let 
them cut his very habit to pieces sooner than drive them 
from his side; the tenderness that never wept but for 
the sufferings or the sins of others, and which, as the 
Castilians said, made even penance itself seem easy, when 
it was preached to them by Master Dominic. All 
labour came alike to him, and the rule that at other times 
laid such an iron grasp upon its subjects, relaxed in a 
moment when the work of God was to be done. Then, 
too, how wonderful it is to find, along with all this popu- 
larity and preaching, the theological spirit never separated 
from any part of his design, building up every word on the 
foundation of Catholic truth, and aiming yet more at 
instruction than either eloquence or exortation. The 
Friars Preachers were pre-eminently to be Friars Teachers ; 
and from the mysteries of the Rosary up to the Summa 
of 8. Thomas, we may see the same principle of 
making a solid knowledge of Christian truth the ground- 

* " La sua religiono, tutta larga, tutta gioconda."— Treatise on 
Obedience, chap. 1.5S. 


work of Christian devotion. Thus the most popular orde* 
was at the same time the most learned ; and whilst 
their portable pulpits were erected in the streets of London 
and Oxford, and surrounded by the sermon-loving English 
crowds of the thirteenth century, and the men who filled 
them, and knew how to win the ear and rouse the conscience 
of their rude and ignorant audience, were the same who 
filled the chairs of the university with so briliant a renown, 
that they may be said to have commenced a new era in 
theological studies. 

This mixed character, which is so distinctive a feature 
of the Dominican rule, gives it peculiar capabilities in 
a country crowded with population, and crying aloud to be 
taught. It has its sermons and rosaries for the poor, and 
its theology for the learned ; for sin and suffering of all 
kinds, and in all shapes, there is the tenderness of that most 
gentle and fatherly heart of its great founder, who when he 
sold his books for his starving countrymen, and was ready 
to sell his own life also, left to his children in those two 
actions the rule of charity which he would have them fol- 
low as their guide. 

Of all the founders of religious orders, it may be said that 
they live again in the history of their institutes ; but with 
S. Dominic this perpetual presence among his followers in 
all ages was the last legacy of his dying lips. And we can 
scarcely close this notice of his life with fitter words than 
those which, the Church places on our own, when she 
teaches us to invoke him : — 

" Thou didst promise after death thou wouldest be help- 
ful to thy brethren. Fulfil, father, what thou hast said, 
and assist us by thy prayers." 




— zoo — ■ 


Progress of the Order after the death, of S. Dominic. Missions. 
Rise of the Dominican School of theology. Albert the Great 
and S. Thomas. The universities. Influence of the Order on 
language, poetry, and society. S. Raymund Pennafort. In- 
fluence on other religious bodies. 

We should scarcely be completing the work we pro- 
posed to ourselves in these pages, were we to leave our 
readers without some account of the after-destinies of 
the Order of Preachers. The life of a founder must 
be necessarily imperfect without some notice of that 
institute, which is, perhaps, the clearest expression of his 
own mind and character. Whether consciously or not, 
the germ of all that followed must have lain within his 
own soul ; and much that it is difficult for us to bring 
out in the portraiture of his single life, may be more 
easily studied in the general history of his order. 

The rapid progress of the Friars Preachers even during 
the lifetime of S. Dominic, and the position they so soon 
assumed as the great teaching order of the Church, may 
indeed seem to render this glance into their after-history 
less necessary with them than with many other orders 
that might be named. Still, though the main features of 
their mission were traced out and recognized by the 
world, before their founder's death, time was needed to 
call forth all their resources, and to exhibit them answer- 
ing to the demands of different ages, and bringing out of 
their treasure-house " things new and old," as they 
shaped themselves to the wants of every fresh exigency. 



And as we watch them in their work, and see them 
jealously preserving the unity of their government, and 
adhering to the laws as well as to the spirit of their first 
institution, we cannot but admire at the same time their 
wonderful adaptation of that spirit to the needs of the 
times, and their aptitude in the office of teachers to the 
people, as they successively occupied every avenue to the 
popular intelligence and heart. 

We are aware that in treating this subject we can do 
little more than present our readers with what has 
already been so eloquently given in the celebrated 
"Memorial to the French people;" but originality forms 
no part of our pretensions. History itself can be but 
the repetition of the same facts from different points of 
view ; and whilst the view of the Pere Lacordaire has 
been that of a nationalist and an apologist, we conceive 
that neither a national nor an apologetic tone would be 
suitable to our own circumstances. In the same way, 
therefore, as we have attempted to give the life of s! 
Dominic, we shall now add a few words on the history 
of his order, whose triumphs, whilst they doubtless form 
part of his accidential glory in heaven, unfold to us, 
century after century, something more of the character 
of his own soul. 

We have before . observed that the most remarkable 
feature in the Dominican order has been the variety of 
ways in which it has been allowed to act on the destinies 
of the Church and of the world. As apostles, as theolo- 
gians, as men of science, as bishops, or as simple ascetics, 
in every branch of human learning, and every form of 
the religious life, the world has felt the influence of the 
children of S. Dominic. Two only, however, of these cha- 
racteristics had perfectly developed themselves during the 
life of the founder ; namely, the apostolic labours of the 
order, and its cultivation of theological science, which last 
was expressely enjoined on the order by its very constitu- 
tions, and with a view to which the Friars Preachers had 
already Sxed their residence in the neighbourhood of the 
three great universities of Europe. During S. Dominic's 
life, however, although the theological element had been 


distinctly recognized and provided for, the apostolic cha- 
racter greatly preponderated. And this was only natural : 
while theologians were being slowly and painfully formea 
in the schools of Paris and Bologna, a fervent noviciate 
under the guidance of the saint was education enough 
for the preacher, whose power lay not so much in the 
depth of his science, as in the magic of his eloquence, 
and the holiness of his life. We have but to recall some 
of those wonderful conversions, to which we have re- 
ferred in the foregoing pages, and of which the early 
annals of the order are so full, and then to remember 
the power of that deep religious enthusiasm which 
follows on the death of human passion, and inherits all 
its intensity, to understand how an ardent apostolic zeal 
was sure to be the first spirit developed in an order 
devoted to the salvation of souls. As time went on, 
it seized on other means for the advancement of the 
same object, and claimed science and the very arts as 
instruments for saving souls ; but in the fresh fervour of 
their institute there was not time for this, and the first 
fathers of the order were necessarily, and almost exclu- 
sively, preachers and apostles of the faith. It was in 
this apostolic character that the order spread itself with 
such rapidity over Europe during the first twenty years 
of its foundation. The second chapter of Bologna, over 
which S. Dominic had presided just before his death, had 
witnessed the establishment of eight provinces, including 
more than sixty convents — fruit enough for the labours 
of six short years: before seven more had elapsed, four 
new provinces had been added, under the government of 
blessed Jordan of Saxony, whilst the convents and the 
members of the brethren had multiplied, we had almost 
said, miraculously. Jordan is said to have clothed more 
than a thousand novices with his own hand ; and we are 
told that the first thing done on his arrival at any of the 
houses was to supply cloth for the habits of the crowd 
of postulants who were sure to apply for admission. 
This extraordinary expansion of the order plid not show 
itself in one directon more than another ; for although 
the sympathies and early associations of Jordan himself 



naturally turned to the Holy Land, which was the country 
of his birth, yet this attraction to the east did not pre- 
vent an equal growth in other and opposite directions, 
so that whilst Greece and Palestine formed two of the 
new provinces, others were established in Poland and 

During the brief space granted to S. Dominic after the 
establishment of his order, he was permitted to clothe 
with his own hands two men destined to be among the 
greatest of his children, and, like himself, to be enrolled 
by the church among the catalogue of her saints. The 
first of these was S. Hyacinth, of whose extraordinary 
vocation and subsequent career we have before spoken. 
And whilst he is reverenced in his order as her greatest 
apostle, the name of S. Peter of Verona stands as the 
glorious first-fruits of her martyrs. We shall not attempt, 
in our limited space, anything like a sketch of the labours 
of S. Hyacinth, and of the other great missionaries who 
followed in his steps. In later ages, infidelity has well 
nigh swept away the traces of their apostolate, so that 
the very names of the countries through which they 
preached are lost to Christendom ; and we are apt to be 
startled at the notices which we find in history, exhibiting 
to us the vast extent of the empire of the Cross during 
the middle ages. These accounts, which we are often 
tempted to treat as mere fable and romance, receive 
singular confirmation from the discoveries of our own 
times ; and the vestiges of Christian doctrine and Ca- 
tholic ceremonial among the Tartars of the present day 
may possibly seem less unaccountable, when we remember 
that not only did S. Hyacinth preach the faith in those 
distant regions of Asia, as far as the northern boundaries 
of China, but that with a success which is evidenced by 
the distinct notices we have of embassies from Christian 
princes of these countries to various European courts so 
early as the middle of the thirteenth century. The exact 
detail of S. Hyacinth's labours has never been preserved; 
he alone could have chronicled them ; but, as one of 
his historians* justly observes, "his only thought was to 



save souls, and not to tell us what he did for their salva- 
tion." And whilst the fruits of his prodigious toils have 
in other places been utterly swept away, we cannot but 
refer to what the same writer remarks as among his 
greatest miracles, one ever fresh, and subsisting among 
us to this day, — we mean the preservation of the faith 
with so much of its first fervour in the unfortunate country 
which gave him birth. Nowhere has the Catholic faith 
sustained ruder shocks than in Poland ; heresy and schism, 
and infidelity, and the tyranny of a foreign yoke, have 
done their best to root it from her soil ; yet still she 
gives her martyrs to the torture and the sword, and 
the Order of Preachers, to whom she owes her great 
apostle, still finds a cherished home in her torn and 
afflicted bosom. 

If S. Hyacinth and his followers sustained the apo- 
stolic character of the order in the northern countries, a 
long succession of great men might be cited, who were 
for centuries the chief supporters of the faith throughout 
the East. In 1330, under the pontifiate of John XXIL, 
we find the Friars Preachers established in Armenia, 
and one of their number, the blessed Bartholomew of 
Bologna, governing the Church of that nation as arch- 
bishop of Naksivan. By his labours the Greek schism 
was well-nigh exterminated out of the land,* and the 
Armenians returned to the Church in crowds. He also 
made a successful resistance to the progress of Mahome- 
tanism, then beginning to extend its baneful influence 
through the East ; and we may gather some idea of the 
position of the order in Armenia from the tradition of 
the Christians of that country, who affirm that seven 
distinct churches were founded at that time, whose 
bishops were all taken from the ranks of the Friars 
Preachers. These dioceses were established in Persia, 
Caffa, Georgia, and the countries on the shores of the 

--<- Clement Galanus tells us of a certain Brother John, an English- 
man, and companion of blessed Bartholomew's, who assisted him 
in the translation of a vast number of theological books into the 
Armenian dialect, and adds, that many copies of these translations 
Were to be found in the Armenian convents of the order still exist- 
ing in his time. 


Black Sea ; and even after the triumph of Mahometa'nism 
in these regions, the Dominicans stood their ground, and 
their houses were still existing in Armenia up to a late 
period. The archbishopric of Naksivan, first filled by 
blessed Bartholomew, still exists : and his orthodox suc- 
cessor rules in our own day over a widely-extended 
diocese, in which the free exercise of the Catholic faith 
has been tolerated under the successive rules of the 
Tartars, the Saracens, and the Persians. So late as 
the date of Touron's history, the archbishops were still 
nominated by the superiors of the order, and chosen from 
its ranks. 

In Persia the success of the Dominican missions was 
scarcely less brilliant. Under the same Pope, Franco of 
Perugia was appointed archbishop and metropolitan of 
Sultana, while six religious of his order were named to 
other sees. Nor were these empty titles. We have 
abundant proof of the rapid extension of the Church in 
these new proviuces from the Papal briefs, which grant 
power to the archbishop to consecrate other bishops as 
necessity might require, and give the charge of all the 
churches, left without a sufficient number of pastors, to 
the community of the Friars Preachers. And here we 
may again observe the special blessing which seems to 
rest on the missionary labours of the order ; for the 
primate of Armenia being won over to recognize the 
primacy of Borne by the zeal of Father Franco, his 
successors have ever since continued in the orthodox 
communion, and enjoy the title of "the Catholic."* 

Our readers would perhaps smile were we to include 
among the missionary conquests of the order the dominions 
of Prester John ; and quote the romantic pages of Uretta 
with their wonderful tales of the convents of Plurimanos 
and Alleluia, each inhabited by many thousand religious, 
and more than four leagues in circuit, with their eighty 
dormitories, each one with his own church and offices, 
and their refectories a mile in length. But though 
the extraordinary legends of the Spanish writer belong 
rather to poetry than to history, it can scarcely be 



doubted but that some ground existed for his nairative; 
and that the Dominican Order had at one time made 
so extraordinary a progress in Abyssinia and Ethiopia 
that, while no authentic records are left of their achieve- 
ments, their memory has been retained in the exaggerated 
fables of romance. The merest glance into the history 
of those countries, now overspread by Mahometan ism, 
astonishes us with the idea it presents of the extent to 
which Christianity had spread in the south and east; and 
in the annals of the order we have indications of the 
countless martyrs who fell in the defence of these almost 
unknown churches. For everywhere the aposlolate of 
the Friars Preachers was sown and sealed in blood ; and 
throughout Poland, Hungary Armenia, and Tartary, the 
first century of their labour yielded to the Church a 
glorious addition to her white-robed company of martyrs. 
Meanwhile, the other element of which we have spoken, 
that of theological science, was developing itself in an 
equal degree. The very year that was marked by the death 
of S. Dominic witnessed the admission into the order 
of one who may be called the first-fruits of its theology. 
This was the stupid Swabian novice, driven to despair 
during his noviciate because he was too dull to learn, 
but who, receiving the gift of a profound intelligence 
from the very hands of Mary, has been known to all suc- 
ceeding ages by the title of Albert the Great. * Albert 
may be taken as the very type of a doctor, or master of 
those times, and as such, his name, under the mythological 
guise of poetic fable, has been made as well known as 
that of Faust or Cornelius Agrippa. It need scarcely 
be said that the poetical and the historical Albert are 
two very different personages ; yet a man's learning must 
needs be something wonderful to admit it to legendary 
fame. Perhaps, in few ages but the thirteenth would 
learning alone have gained him such a distinction ; but 
that singular century presents us with the romance of 
science. We are accustomed to talk much of the taste 
for knowledge exhibited in our own day, yet it may 
be questioned whether, with all our education, we can in 
x- See No. 3. of "Catholic Legends.'' 


any degree comprehend the enthusiasm with which our 
fathers of the middle ages entered into the arena of 
philosophy and scholastic learning. One great cause of 
the popularity of science in those days may doubtless be 
found in the method by which it was taught. The press 
was then unknown, and men learnt everything from the 
lips of their teachers ; the teaching came to them with 
all that living, personal charm which ever gives so far 
more powerful an influence to the spoken than to the 
written word ; and so philosophy and grammar, the 
logic of Aristotle, and the sentences of Peter Lombard, 
which would seem but dull "reading for the million" in 
the nineteenth century, were popular in the thirteenth, 
and excited an extravagant enthusiasm when dressed in 
the witchery and grace of rhetoric. We are surely right 
in speaking of this age as the romantic era of learning, 
when it furnishes us with such a scene as that given in 
the life of the Great Albert on his first visit to Paris in 
the year 1248. He came there to lecture on the sen- 
tences, as he had previously done in all the cities of 
Germany. His fame preceded him, and no school in 
the University was large enough to contain the crowds 
who flocked to listen to his words ; so they and their 
lecturer were forced to adjourn to the great square out- 
side, and the subtle discourse of the great master was 
delivered on the spot since called the "Place Maubert," 
a corruption of the words, " Place Maitre Albert." 

The variety of Albert's learning is indicated in the sen- 
tence by which his contemporaries describe him, " Magnus 
in magia, major in philosophia, maximus in tlieologia ;" 
but whatever his distinction of these branches of learning, 
we may safely say that his crowning glory was in the 
disciples whose minds were formed under his own. His 
prodigious intellect was the morning star of Dominican 
science, but a very galaxy followed ; and at one time he 
numbered among his pupils in the University of Cologne* 

•* Among other pupils of Albert the Great, and fellow-students 
ofS. Thomas, we may mention blessed Thomas Joyce, an English- 
man, who joined the order with his five brothers, and was afterwards 
created cardinal of Santa Sabina by Clement V. 


Thomas Cantipratano, S. Ambrose of Siena, S. James of 
Bevagna, B. Augustine of Hungary, and, above and 
beyond all others, S. Thomas Aquinas, whose fame soon 
threw that of his master and companions in the shade. 
Happy indeed is it for an age, and an order, when, in 
giving a list of their learned men, we give one only of 
canonized or beatified saints. The children of S. Dominic 
may well look back to that era with something of pride, 
and something yet more of humiliation ; for in those days 
the men who earned for their order its highest claims in 
the ranks of intellectual greatness, if, like Albertus Magnus, 
they were " great in magic, * greater in philosophy, 
greatest in theology," were greatest of all in another and a 
profounder science, and that was the " superemiiient science 
of Divine love." 

It would of course be quite unnecessary to enter here 
on any analysis of the claims by which S. Thomas holds 
his rank among the first doctors of the Church. His name 
is enough to thousands who never read a line of his works, 
and are content with knowing that the Church has accepted 
him almost as the definer of her faith. When the Triden- 
tine fathers had laid on their council-table, as their only 
authorities, the Holy Scriptures, the decrees of the Popes, 
and the works of the angelic doctor, they completed his 
canonization as a theologian. Yet, whatever may be the 
degree of reputation accorded to S. Thomas by the 
voice of the six centuries that have elapsed since he formed 
the separate materials of dogmatic, moral, and speculative 
theology into one grand and finished structure, we can 
never certainly rightly estimate his merit without some 
knowledge of the dangers from which science and philo- 
sophy were rescued by his teaching. During the 12th and 
13 th centuries, the revival of learning had led to dangerous 
excesses, and men pursuing their philosophic inquiries 
without the check of authority, and with the ardour of 

■■'■ We need scarcely observe that the " Magic' here spoken of was 
nothing more than skill in natural science, similar to that which 
obtained the title of " magician" for Roger Bacon. Far from being 
infected with the taste for unlawful science so prevalent in his day, 
Albert wrote expressly to condemn its practice, and distinguished 
between the lawful and unlawful in distinct and definite terms. 


an unbridled passion, had plunged into the very vortex of 
scepticism. " The universities were as often schools of infi- 
delity as of faith ; the philosophers of the age owned but 
one master, and he had the misfortune to be a heathen. 
" Aristotle," says Lacordaire, " was taken as the represen- 
tative of wisdom ; and, unfortunately, Aristotle and the 
gospel did not always agree." 

But, besides the natural consequences of taking a 
Pagan philosopher as the infallible guide and teacher of 
thought to Christian students, the very enthusiasm of 
the age constituted its great danger. " As soon as we take 
our first glance at this epoch," says Balmez,* "we ob- 
serve that in spite of the intellectual rudeness which 
one would imagine must have kept nations in abject 
silence, there was at the bottom of men's minds an 
anxiety which deeply moved and agitated them. The 
times were ignorant, but it was an ignorance, conscious 
of itself, which longed for knowledge. We find in differ- 
ent parts of Europe a certain germ and index of the 
greatest disasters ; the most horrible doctrines arise 
amidst the heaving masses ; the most fearful disorders 
signalize the first step of the nations in the career of life : 
rays of light and heat, indeed, have penetrated the shape- 
less chaos, presaging the new future which is reserved for 
humanity, but at the same time the observer is seized 
with alarm, for he knows that this heat may produce 
excessive fermentation, and engender corruption in the 
field which promises soon to become an enchanting 

garden The world was in danger of being abused 

and deceived by the first fanatic who came ; and at such 
a moment the fate of Europe depended on the direction 
given to the universal activity." This intellectual " fer- 
mentation," to use the expressive term of the Spanish 
writer, gave rise to the most astonishing extravagances. 
Perverting the will, we see it breaking out in the wild 
and criminal excesses 'of the Manichees, and other fana- 
tical sects ; whilst in the schools the understanding was 
darkened and led astray by innumerable subtleties ; and 

-::- " Protestantism and Catholicity compared in their effects on 
the civilization of Europe," chap. 43. 


before the Christian philosophy had been reduced to 
system, many, entering on the unexplored sea of thought 
without a guide, made hopeless shipwreck of their faith. 
In the same chapter of his great work on civilization 
which we have quoted, Balmez, after presenting us with 
a striking sketch of the confusion and excitement of the 
times, does not hesitate to attribute the salvation of 
Europe from the chaos into which it was about to plunge, 
to the influence exerted on society by the mendicant 
orders ; nor was that influence anywhere more power- 
fully felt, nor the danger itself more imminent, than in 
the schools of the Universities. For the peculiarity in 
the mode of teaching of those times, when the chair of an 
illustrious professor drew together crowds who had 
travelled from distant countries to listen to the famous 
master of the day, while it gave a wonderful vivacity and 
interest to the pursuit of science, fostered a danger which 
has ever been the nurse of false doctrine. It was hard 
for a man who saw himself the object of such popular 
enthusiasm, to resist the seductions of vanity ; and vanity 
would often tempt him to sacrifice truth to novelty, to 
seek the reputation of being the founder of a new 
system, and to affect what was bold and original in theory 
in matters where original speculation is seldom friendly 
to the faith. It was amid the confusion of these new 
opinions that S. Thomas was given to the world to mark 
out the limits of Christian Philosophy ; he did not attempt 
to silence the strife of tongues by an antagonism of terms, 
but skilfully adapted the language of Aristotle, and forced 
it into the service of the Church. To use the expression cf 
a modern writer, " he reconquered his writings by giving 
them a Christian sense." Thus the work which 8. Domi- 
nic had begun by directing the enthusiasm of the will into 
a religio us channel, was completed by his great follower, 
when he laid the chains of faith on the enthusiasm of tli» 
intellect. A broad high road, safe and visible to all, was 
►thrown by his master hand over the quicksands of opinion; 
and whilst those who had preceded him as champion* 
of Christianity had, for the most part, advocated the sup- 
pression of that intellectual power whose erratic excesses 


were beyond their control^ S. Thomas boldly advocated 
its claims, and did but bring the haughty rebel to the 
servitude of the faith. " His leading idea," says Balmez, 
" was to make the philosophy of the time subservient to 
the defence of religion." For this reason he used the 
language and system of Aristotle rather than those of the 
fathers, to whom the master of the sentences had closely 
adhered; he won men from the dangers of philosophy 
by availing himself of its charms ; and in the words 
of the writer just quoted, "finding the schools in anarchy, 
he reduced them to order, and on account of his angelic 
intellect and eminent sanctity was looked up to as their 
sublime dictator."* 

In his own time, however, this bright luminary rose on 
the world amid the storm of controversy and persecution. 
The twin orders of S. Francis and S. Dominic had already 
taught theology publicly in their schools, although 
excluded from the chairs of the Universities. If, how- 
ever, the University professorship were jealously guarded 
by the secular authorities, these had sometimes the 
mortification to see them resigned by their most illus- 
trious occupants, in order to embrace the institute of 
their despised rivals. It is interesting to ourselves to 
know that the two first of either order who publicly 
taught theology in the schools of Paris were English- 
men by birth ; they were John of S. Giles, and Alex- 
ander of Hales. The first was remarkable for pro- 
ficiency in natural, as well as theological science, and 
his early imputation had been gained by his lectures on 
medicine. But laying aside these pursuits in order to 
devote himself to the exclusive study of religion, he 
iceived the degrees of doctor, and finally a professor's 
chair from the University of Paris. A day came, how- 
ever, when he was to present the world with one of those 
great practical lessons, more eloquent than any words. 
The chapter general of the Friars Preachers was then 
assembled in the French capital under the goverment 
of blessed Jordan ; and on a certain day John of S. Giles 
appeared in the pulpit of S. James's church to preach to 
tt Balmez, chap. 71. 


a vast assembly of his admirers. His sermon was on the 
vanity of the world, the worthlesness of its riches, its 
honours, and of all it had to give. In the midst of his 
impassioned oratory, as he was listened to in profound 
silence by the breathless audience, he suddenly stopped, 
descended the pulpit steps, and, kneeling at the feet of 
Jordan before all present, he asked and received the 
habit of religion, and this being done, he finished his 
discourse, having thus illustrated his subject by his 
example as well as by his words. Nevertheless, in con- 
sequence of the urgent solicitation of the students, he 
did not discontinue his lectures as professor ; and this, 
according to Nicholas Trivet, first gave rise to the erec- 
tion of the Dominican chair of theology at the University. 
He adds that there were many others illustrious at once 
for their learning and virtue, who about the same time 
renounced everything that the world had to give, to 
embrace the voluntary poverty of Jesus Christ, retiring 
into the orders of the Friars Preachers, or the Friars 
Minors. Alexander Hales was one who joined the ranks 
of the Franciscans; but among the illustrious Domini- 
cans of this period none held a higher reputation than 
Bacon and Fishacre, of whom we have before spoken. 
Matthew Paris does not hesitate to say of them, that 
England had none to compare with them for greatness 
of learning or sanctity of life. They both took the habit 
of the Preachers at Oxford about the same time that 
John of S. Giles embraced the institute in Paris; and, 
like him, they continued to fill their professional chairs, 
adding to their studies the exercise of the apostolic 

The jealousy of the secular clergy, however, headed by 
the rector of the university of Paris, William de St. Amour, 
soon directed a violent assault on the position assumed 
by the two orders in the French capital. In the long 
contest of forty years which ensued between the Univer- 
sity and the mendicant friars, and which has been 
rendered illustrious by the joint defence offered for the 
latter by S. Thomas Aquina, and S. Bonaventura, the 
champions of their respective orders, the seculars dis- 


tinguished themselves by the violence of their invectives, 
and the grossness of their libels. According to them, 
the friars were hypocrites and false prophets, and every- 
thing spoken of in the Scriptures concerning the fore- 
runners of Antichrist was to be interpreted of them. 
It was not until the year 1255 that this celebrated 
quarrel was finally settled by the decision of Pope 
Alexander IV., which put the two orders in possession 
of all their contested privileges; and, amongst others, of 
that so dearly prized, of being eligible for the university 
professorships. In fact, when the struggle was over, the 
Dominicans may be said to have taken possession of the 
universities of Europe. John of S. Giles, already men- 
tioned, hold the chair of theology in no fewer than four; 
and the two professorships already claimed by the order 
in Paris, were secured to it by the authority of S. Louis ; 
whilst Oxford and Bologna, which had already given so 
many of their doctors to the new institute, now received 
back their most renowned professors from its ranks. From 
this period must date the development of the second great 
mission of the Friars Preachers, — their influence on 
theology and learning : their ranks were already rich 
with the names of apostles and martyrs ; they were now 
to be equally prolific in those of doctors. Their schools 
everywhere started up side by side with the numerous 
universities which that age of scholastic enthusiasm pro- 
duced at Orleans, Toulouse, Montpellier, and other places 
which it would be wearisome to enumerate. They may 
be said to have created the university of Dublin altogether ; 
while their influence continued paramount in those of 
Oxford, Paris, and Bologna; "where," says a writer 
of our own day ; " they did more than any other teachers 
to give the knowledge taught in them its distinctive 

— But the influence produced by the learning of the 
Dominicans was far from .being confined to theology; 
their institute embraced no smaller idea than that of 
Christianizing the very well-spring of science; so that, 
as its thousand streams flowed forth to irrigate and 
fertilize the world, there should mingle with their floods 


the gladness and healing of the waters of life. Nic holas 
Trivet , the English historian, and a member of the order, 
is described, for instance, by Le Grendre as " a good 
religious, a good poet, a good philosopher, a great mathe- 
matician, and a profound theologian/' At an age, there- 
fore, when England is commonly said to have had no 
literature (Henry III. — Edward I.), the order of Preachers 
gave her this great writer, whom Touron declares to have 
"possessed all the sciences, and each one as perfectly as 
if he had made it his exclusive study." And the list oi 
his varied acquirements is but a sample of those in which 
his brethren have by turns excelled. Much of this learn- 
ing, it must be remembered, was conveyed, not through 
writings, but from the lips of skilled and eloquent preach- 
ers; and hence the very calling and office of a Dominican 
gave him familiarity with the great medium of popular 
instruction in those days. We can scarcely estimate the 
effect of the sudden expansion of the office of preaching 
which followed on the establishment of the mendicant 
orders, as it was felt not only in religion, but in language 
and general education. The intellects, as well as the wills of 
men were enlightened by the sermons of such teachers as 
Taulerus and Suso ; for we must remember that preaching 
was not now, as formerly, confined to the towns and 
universities, and the resorts of the learned ^nd opulent : 
every country village and mountain district was in turn 
visited by the wandering friar, who often taught his simple 
audience the elements of thought and language with the 
same accents with which he spoke to them of penance 
and of faith. This, which is no fanciful supposition, may 
be illustrated by the example of blessed Jordan of Pisa, 
a man asserted by contemporary writers to have been at 
once " a prodigy of nature, and a miracle of grace," but 
whose reputation, like that of so many of his brethren, 
has scarcely survived his own day, through the modesty 
of his order, whose historians are never so tantalizing in 
their brevity as when speaking of the illustrious members 
of their own society. He lived at the latter part of the 
thirtenth century, a time when the language of Italy 
was still unformed, and presented a rude chaotic mixture 


of the barbarous dialects left by the inundations of the 
northern nations. The " lingua Toscand" as yet had no 
vocabulary; and, we are told, the first to harmonise* an"d 
combine its scattered elements was this preaching friar, 
whose eloquence, rich in classic erudition and the grace 
of native genius, was uttered in a style at once new and 
perfectly intelligible to his hearers ; so that the few 
fragments that remain of his sermons may even now be 
taken as examples of correct and musical Italian. He, 
too, was one of the varied geniuses of his order. Not 
only was he a great philosopher and theologian, "joining 
the eloquence of Tully to the memory of Mithridates," 
but, we are told, " he was a perfect master iu the art 
of teaching men with equal facility on any subject that 
he chose."* 

We may at the same time mention two others whose 
influence on what we might call the civilization of lan- 
guage was not less remarkable. The first is Bartho- 
lomew a Sancta Concordia, also a Pisan, who flourished 
about the middle of the fourteenth century. He wrote 
in his native tongue, and his little work entitled " Teaching 
of the Ancients," is praised by Leonardo Salviati, who 
speaks of the " force, brevity, clearness, beauty, grace, 
sweetness, purity, and simple ease which are there to be 
seen expressed in language worthy of the best era or 
literature." And again he says, " This work is written 
in the best and noblest style which the age had yet pro- 
duced, and it would be fortunate for our language were 
the volume larger." The other writer to whom we re- 
ferred is Father J. Passavanti ; and his " Mirror of True 
Penance," originally written in Latin, but translated by 
his own hand into Italian, is thus praised by the editor of 
the Della-Cruscan Academy, who undertook a reprint of 
the work in 1861 : — " The < Mirror of True Penance,' by 
Father -Pussavanti, a Florentine by birth, and a Dom- 
inican by religious profession, written in the style of his 
day, but adorned with the purest of gold of the most refined 
eloquence, has gained a more than ordinary applause, 
both for the sacred matter it contains and the charm and 

■fcMarchese, quoted from Loander Albert. 


beauty of its composition. And as many have thought that 
it^night without disadvantage be compared with the writ- 
ings of the most learned among the first fathers of the 
Church, so we may also consider it as inferior to none of the 
choicest and most renowned masters of the Tuscan tongue." 
These men, together with another Dominican preacher, 
Domenico Cavalca, are named by Pignotti among the fathers 
of Italian literature. 

Poetry, too, the most popular of all branches of litera- 
ture, was not without receiving some influence from the 
order whose mission was to popularize the faith by infusing 
it into science, and to teach men through all channels 
and by all ways. We have already alluded to the power 
of its theology over the muse of Dante. Without such 
a check, what might not have been the ftite of that 
wild and daring genius ? But in him, happier than so 
many to whom the laurel has been a poisoned wreath, 
imagination owned the mastery of faith, and his imperishable 
verses bear on to all ages the dogmas of the angelic doctor. 
And if the Dominicans may thus half claim the poet as 
their theologian, they may more than half claim for their 
great theologian the laurel of the poet. None can read 
those beautiful hymns of the Church, given to her by 
the inspired pen of S. Thomas,* without acknowledging 
their poetic as well as their devotional excellence. And this 
is yet more true of what we may fearlessly venture to 
call one of the finest lyrics in any language, — we mean the 
"Dies Iroe," a production which, though its authorship 
is contested, is most commonly attributed, and with the 
greatest appearance of probability, to the Dominican 
Cardinal Latino Malabranca, or Frangipani, who died in 
the year 1294. 

The greater part of the preaching talent of the order 
has, of course, left no monument behind it which might 
enable us to measure the work done by it, or the intel- 
lect which produced it. We gather only a general, and 
certainly an astonishing, idea of the greatness of the 

"The "Adoro Te " "Pange Lingua," "Verbum Supernum," 
'Lauda Sion." and "0 Sacris Solemniis." 


mediaeval preachers by the position which their office 
assumes in the history of the times. What wonderful 
pictures, almost remantic in their colouring, may be 
found, for instance, in the lives of saints such as S. An 
thony of Padua among the Friars Minors, or Blessed 
Matthew Carrerio among the Dominicans, or a hundred 
others who might be named, and who really seemed to 
have the world at their command by the force of their 
eloquence. Half the influence produced by these orders 
on society is beyond our power to estimate, for it was 
exerted by their daily association with men, and the 
power of their personal words or presence. Hitherto, 
let it be remembered, the sanctity and learning of the 
cloister, and that wondrous, indescribable power felt even 
by those who most abhor it, which is possessed over the 
world by the men who have renounced it for ever, — 
all this had been for the most part withdrawn from 
the popular view; and the deserts of Citeaux or the 
Chartreuse, or the craggy summits of Monte Cassino, 
shut out religion from the familiar eye of men. Now it 
was in their streets; the poor could gaze at it and be 
familiar with it, for it came under the garb of poverty ; 
the rich and the learned felt its sway, for under the 
ragged tunic there lay those high gifts whose power they 
were forced to own resistless. The influence of religion 
and education thus popularized, and widely diffused in its 
living representatives, must have been something equal 
to, if not surpassing, the modern action on society of the 
press. We can scarce open a book which treats of these 
times, without meeting with some additional evidence of 
this. The friars were the favourite confessors of kings, 
and their coarse habits were familiar in the gayest courts ; 
yet they were also the brethren and companions of the 
poor. Most of our popular devotions, those best adapted 
to sink into the hearts of the common people, and by 
their very simplicity to win for themselves universal 
acceptation in the Church, have come to us through the 
hands of the friars. Thus the devotion of the Stations 
of the Cross, is said to have originated with the Blessed 
Alvaro of Cordova, of the Order of Friars Preachers, 


of whom we are told, in the breviary-office on his feast, 
that he constructed in his convent of Scala Coeli, representa- 
tions of all the holy places of Palestine connected with the 
Passion, so disposed that each of the mysteries of our 
redemption was thus exhibited together, and that after 
his time this pious custom spread to other convents. In 
later times, we know, it has found its chief propagators 
in the sister Order of S. Francis. Again the Angelus, 
that most popular, and, as one might say, most Christian- 
izing of all minor devotions, bringing as it does the 
thought of Christ incarnate to men's minds thrice a day, 
and forcing them by a sweet compulsion to kneel and 
worship in the field or the thoroughfare, whenever the 
bell for the Ave Maria falls on their ear, was first 
instituted by S. Bonaventura, and propagated among 
the people by his directions after the general chapter of 
the Friars Minors held at Pisa in 1262. The influence of 
the Rosary, the peculiar devotion of the Dominican 
order, it is impossible to over-estimate. It has been the 
defence of the faith itself against heresy and unbelief, 
and it would require a treatise to tell of all the wonders 
worked on society by this one devotion alone. Indeed, 
the institution of all kinds of lay confraternities for devo- 
tional purposes may be said to have arisen out of it j and 
these associations beginning with the Dominicans, were 
afterwards taken up and propagated with equal ardour 
by the Franciscans; so that in the annals of the Friars 
Minors the first establishment of these pious societies is 
attributed to S. Bonaventura. 

The presence of the friars among them was eagerly 
courted by a grateful people, who knew that the white 
scapular of S. Dominic, or the cord of S. Francis, brought 
with them their own blessings. How often do we find 
mention of this hearty welcome of the mendicants among 
the people to whom they came to preach ; an enthusiasm 
which in some degree explains their rapid extension over 
Europe, for churches and monasteries sprang up for 
them wherever they appeared ; and we are told that after 
the sermons of S. Francis it was common for the people 
of the town or country where lie preached to offer to 
r 2 


build a convent. It vras thus that the mountain of Alvernia 
was bestowed on him by Orlando, where, as we read jai 
the exquisite chronicles of the order, on his sending two 
of his brethren to take possession of the chapel and 
monastery, they were welcomed to the solitude by the 
cries of the birds who came forth to greet them. And if 
we consider the works of active charity practised by the 
friars, so many of whom fell victims in their services to 
the plague-stricken, and the innumerable hospitals and 
institutes of mercy that owed their origin to them, as the 
orphanages founded by S. Vincent Ferrer in almost every 
city of Spain, this view of their beneficial influence on 
society, apart from their writings or actual apostolic 
labours, may be largely extended. Nay, were we to 
attempt anything like an examination into the subject, 
we might startle our readers by the variety of inventions 
and institutions of practical and social utility,* quite dis- 
tinct from religion, which have originated with the friars 
of both orders, and which show at once their kindly 
sympathy with the people's wants, and their universal 
influence for the amelioration and civilization of society. 
In the words of Balmez, " if the illustrious Spaniard, 
Dominic of Guzman, and the wonderful man of Assisi, 
did not occupy a place on our altars, there to receive the 
veneration of the faithful for their eminent sanctity, they 
would deserve to have statues raised to them by the 
gratitude of society and humanity." Then, after rapidly 
sketching the change beginning to be felt in Europe at 
the time when the mendicants first arose, he proceeds to 
draw the portrait of these new orders in words which 
need no apology for their insertion. " They are not," he 
says, speaking of the friars, " anchorites living in remote 
deserts, nor monks sheltered in rich abbeys, nor clergy 
whose functions and duties are confined to any particular 
place ; they are men without fixed abodes, and who are 

* For instance, the institution of the "Mor ~ di Pieta," so well 
known in Catholic countries, and so admiral substitute for the 

pawn-broker's shop, is to be attributed to a friar minor, Barnabo di 
Terni, who made the first experiment of the kind at Perugia during 
the pontificate of Leo X. 


found sometimes in populous cities, and sometimes in 
miserable hamlets ; — to-day, in the midst of the old con- 
tinent, to-morrow on a vessel which bears them on peril- 
ous missions to the remotest countries of the globe ; 
sometimes they are seen in the palaces of kings, enlight- 
ening their councils and taking part in the highest 
affairs of state ; sometimes in the dwellings of obscure 
families, consoling them in misfortune, reconciling their 
differences, and giving them advice on their domestic 
affairs. These same men who are covered with glory in 
the chairs of the universities, teach the catechism to 
children in the humblest boroughs ; illustrious orators 
who have preached in courts before kings, go to explain 
the gospel in obscure villages. The people find them 
everywhere, and meet them at every step — in joy and in 
sorrow ; these men are constantly ready to take part in 
the happy festivities of a baptism which fills the house 
with joy, or to lament a misfortune which has just covered 
it with mourning. We can imagine," he continues, " the 
force and ascendency of such institutions. Their iufiu- 
ence on the minds of nations must have been incalculable : 
the new sects which had aimed at misleading the multi- 
tude with their pestilent doctrines, found themselves face 
to face with an adversary who completely conquered 
them. They had thought to deceive the simple by the 
ostentation of austerity, and to strike the imagination by 
the sight of exterior mortification and poor clothing ; 
but the new institutions united these qualities in an 
extraordinary degree ; and the true doctrine had the 
same attributes which error had assumed. Violent 
declaimers had sought to take possession of the minds of 
the multitude by their fiery eloquence; but in all parts 
of Europe, we meet now with burning orators, pleading 
the cause of truth, who, well versed in the passions, ideas, 
and tastes of the people, know how to interest them, and 
use in defence of religion what others avail themselves of 
to attack her. They are found wherever they are wanted 
to combat the efforts of sects. Free from all worldly 
ties, belonging to no particular Church, or province, or 
kingdom, they have the means of passing rapidly from 


one region to another, and are found at the proper time 
wherever their presence is most urgently required.', * 

But there is just one peculiarity in the mission of the 
friars to society at large on which we must briefly touch ; 
it is the part they took as the peacemakers of the world. 
Whether we look to what they did as popular mendi- 
cant preachers scattered over the face of the world, or to 
the influence exerted by their chiefs and great dignitaries, 
we shaji always find the same spirit evinced ; and these 
persecutors of the people, and enemies of freedom, as 
some have loved to represent them, are emphatically men 
of peace. Beautiful upon the earth were the feet of those 
who brought the glad tidings which healed the feuds and 
factions of those turbulent ages : of some, like the 
English Lawrence, and S. Vincent Ferrer, we read, that 
they never left a town or village without having chased 
away all hatreds and discords from the place. Others, 
like Crescenti in Russia, were legates of peace to distant 
countries. The pontificates of two of the Dominican 
Popes, Innocent V. and Benedict XI., short as they were, 
were both distinguished by successful exertions in extin- 
guishing the bloody and rival factions of the time. 
Cardinal Latino Frangipani went about through Italy on 
this heavenly mission, and received the title of the prince 
of peace ; and the same might be said of a vast number 
of others whose names would fill a volume.f But that 
)ur readers may form some idea of the lovely character 
sf these missions of peace, we will add a passage from 
the life of the blessed Ventura of Bergamo. He was one 
of those gentle and loving men whose tenderness draws 
to their feet the greatest criminals, whose hardened hearts 
ire melted by their charity and their tears. It is 
thus that Oderic Raynaldus describes his labours at 
Bergamo in the cause of peace. The fruits of his preach- 
ing were visible in a vast crowd of penitents, who abjuring 
their ancient animosities, were formed into a united con- 
fraternity, and conducted by the blessed father on a 
pilgrimage to Rome. Thus, at the time when the lords 

* " Protestantism and Catholicism Compared,"' ch. 43. 

t See - Mores Catholici," book ix. ch. 12 


and tyrants of Italy, busy with the thought of satisfy- 
ing their ambition, their avarice, and their cruelty, were 
deluging her cities with blood, Ventura, full of zeal for 
the salvation of souls, determined to oppose to these devices 
of the demon of discord a holy society of Christians, who, 
led by a different spirit, should have no other stand- 
ard than the cross, and no other device than the three 
words, " Peace, Penance, and Mercy." These pious 
pilgrims to the number of 10,000, and followed by an 
almost infinite multitude of people, journeyed along, wear- 
ing white robes, with a little cloak of a blue colour. The 
cross was seen on one side of their habit, and on the 
other a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. In 
their hands they bore instruments of penance, and still 
as they went they chanted the praises of God, or those 
oft-repeated words, " Peace, Penance and Mercy." The 
order they preserved in their march filled all men with 
admiration ; they went two and two, and kept close 
to the rules prescribed by their holy leader. And so 
they travelled till they reached Rome, where they 
solemnly sealed the reconciliation of all their feuds on 
the tomb of the apostles. We are assured that the 
spectacle of this singular procession, and the very sound 
of the words they repeated as they marched, brought 
peace and mercy " to the cities through which they passed, 
and inspired with compunction the hearts of the greatest 

We read the same of almost all the early preachers 
of the order ; as of Angelo of Perugia, the angel of 
peace to Florence, " where he caused all hatreds, quar- 
rels and ancient feuds to cease, and reconciled the chief 
families of the city." Of John of Vicenza we have else- 
where spoken ; but we cannot refrain from inserting 
in this place the description given us of his labours in the 
words of an ancient historian : " Never," he says, " since 
the time of our Lord Jesus Christ, were there seen such 
multitudes gathered together in His name, as were assem- 
bled to hear this friar preach peace. He had such power 
over all minds, that everywhere he was suffered to 
arrange the terms of reconciliation ; and through reve- 


rence for him the greater part of the multitude used to 
listen to him with bare feet. Many who had been mor 
tal enemies, moved by his preaching, of their own accord 
embraced and gave each other the kiss of peace."* And 
of the great preaching in the meadows of Verona, we read 
in a contemporary chronicle : — " Such a multitude assem- 
bled as had never been before seen in Lombardy, it being 
by the river-side, about four miles from Verona, and there 
he proposed the authority of Christ, S Peace I give to 
you, my peace I leave with you,' and preached peace to 
Lombardy and all Italy, adding warnings and denuncia- 
tions against any who should dare in future to interrupt 
that blessed peace." 

We must return from the digression, which seemed 
necessary in referring to the influence of the friars on 
society, so much of which was exerted, not through their 
writings, but by the effect of their personal presence and 
intercourse in the world ; and which, powerful as it was, 
has of course left no monuments behind it, so that in 
many cases those who have done the greatest works are 
the least known to posterity. We have alluded to the 
preaching of Taulerus and Henry Suso ; but with them 
the case has been different, for they were also writers, 
and their worksf which remain among us have preserved 
their fame, and conferred on them a high rank in the 

* Life of Riceiardus, Count of S. Bonifaee. 

t We are glad to take this oportunity of reminding our readers 
that the admirable work of Suso, his " Little Book of Eternal 
Wisdom," has been recently translated into English, and it is ito be 
hoped that his beautiful life will soon also be known among us. 
Nor can we omit in this place quoting the words of one of the 
greatest modern writers of Germany, Frederic Sehlegel, as h? con- 
trasts the Language of the Catholic ages, with that which has pre- 
vailed since the rise of Protestantism. " Besides a Kempis," 
he says, " there are several other religious writers of the fifteenth 
century, and even of an earlier period, who, though less known, 
were distinguished by a similar spirit, partly among those who used 
the Latin ian°u u ge, then universally current, and partly among 
those who, like Taulerus, made the German the vehicle of their 
thoughts. Were we to compare the gentle simplicity, the charming 
clearness of thought and expression which reign in the wor s of 
these writers, with the productions of the following age of bar- 
barous polemic strife, we should be furnished with the best eriteiioa 
for duly appreciating the earlier and the later period." 


school of mystic theology. But, as we have before said, 
it was not merely as theologians that the Dominicans 
distinguished themselves in this first century of their 
career. The part they took in the general revival of 
learning was equally great, and we may particularly refer 
to their cultiviation of the Oriental languages, a study 
which has been always in a particular manner cherished 
by the order. It was John the Tewtonic, the fourth 
general of the Friars Preachers, who, at the general 
chapter at Metz in the year 1251, added the greater 
part of those statutes to the constitutions which refer to 
the regulation of the studies ; and it was to him, in com- 
pany with S. Raymund Pennafort, that we may attribute 
their first direction to the cultivation of Oriental litera- 
ture. Not that these great men can at all claim to be 
the first who rendered this branch of learning popular in 

It is a little singular that Schlegel should not have more parti- 
cularly alluded to Henry Suso, whose works might be more fairly 
compared, in point of style, with those of Thomas a Kempis, than 
the writings of Taulerus. He might have added, that, along with 
the charm of simplicity, these early German writers have a depth 
of pathos, and a beauty of imagination unknown to the controver- 
sialists of modern times. Nothing, we suppose, can go beyond the 
winning plaintiveness of Suso's style ; and both he and Taulerus 
are, as it were, personally made known to us in the singular and 
exquisite biographies which are attached to their works. We may 
add, that for those who find ihe Germanism of blessed ^uso a little 
rugged in his English dress, Monsieur E. Cartier has furnished a 
modern French version which is everything they can desire. 

We can but hope that the day is not far distant when the bio- 
graphy and writings of Taulerus may also find an English trans- 
lator. It was the consideration of the advantages to be gathered 
from the study of his works that obliged Cardinal Bellarmine to give, 
him the just and glorious title of" a preacher eminent for piety and 
learning;" and the celebrated Louis of Blois, who defended the 
purity of hi3 teaching against the indiscreet and uncharitable zeal 
of those who sought to bring suspicion on it, boldly calls him " the 
zealous defender of the Catholic faith, whose writings are not merely 
orthodox, but even divine." A celebrated prelate of France, more- 
over (Sponde, bishop of Pamiers), who has continued the history of 
Cardinal Baronius, hesitates not to assert that il he is a man worthy 
of all admiration, and that his works are full of the unction and 
grace of the Holy Spirit;" to which he adds a very remarkable 
fact, namely, " that by a kind of prophetic spirit he has predicted 
the heresies which only rose in later ages, and groaned in tender- 
ness over those wounds of the Church which are rut raflicted till 
long after his death.'' (From the advertisment prefixed to tho 
French translation of the Institutions of Taulerus, 1681.) 


Europe. During the Moorish dominion in Spain the 
Arabic philosophy, grounded as it was on the writings of 
Aristotle, had become the rage in Europe; and we know 
that the ardour with which it was pursued in the 13th 
century appeared so dangerous and excessive to Innocent 
III. as to call forth from him a decided censure. But 
with the Dominicans Orientalism was cherished, not from 
the love of vain philosophy, but, as became their apostolic 
vocation, as an assistance and necessary instrument in 
the defence of the Christian faith. The Jews and Moors 
were in those days the formidable adversaries of religion ; 
they possessed many sources of learning shut out from 
the Christians ; and the fact that the " Summa" of S. 
Thomas was principally directed against their contro- 
versialists, may give us some idea of the position they 
then held as enemies of the faith. Spain was the great 
battle-field of Christianity against infidelity, and it was 
there that, among his other great labours, S. Kaymund of 
Pennafort used his influence with the kings of Arragon 
and Castile for the establishment of colleges for the 
express study of the Oriental languages, as an indispensa- 
ble weapon to be used in the disputes with the Jewish 
and Mahometan doctors. To him also the world proba- 
bly owes the great work of S. Thomas to which we have 
just referred, for we are told that it was written at his 
request and suggestion. Nor were his efforts without 
success : Christianity seemed to make instant head 
against the infidels on the adoption of those studies in 
the colleges of the order; and Clement VIII. did not 
hesitate to say that by the introduction of Hebrew and 
Arabic learning S. Raymund had contributed to the glory 
both of Spain and of the Church, and been the cause of 
the conversion of thousands. In fact, we have his own 
testimony in a letter to Humbert, the successor of John 
the Teutonic in the government of the order, that no 
fewer than 10,000 Saracens had been received to the 
Christian faith, since the commencement of these studies, 
and, among them, many of their most learned men. The 
cultivation of the Greek and Hebrew languages is ex- 
pressly provided for in the constitutions; and we shall 


find on examination that a very large proportion of the 
great writers of the order have been chiefly distinguished 
for their proficiency in these studies, and in those so 
closely connected with them, namely Biblical learning and 

We cannot of course propose to ourselves to give even 
the names of all who claim our notice as stars in the 
Dominican heaven; but the mention of Biblical learning 
suggests one, even in those early times, too distinguished 
for his services in that branch of science to be passed 
over in silence; this was Hugo a Sancto Charo, the first 
cardinal of the order, and the author of the first Concord- 
ance of the Bible ever attempted. Mariana tells us that 
no fewer than 500 religious of the order laboured at this 
great work under his direction, and that those after- 
wards compiled by the Jews and Greaks were in imita- 
tion of it ; nor can we over-estimate the encouragement 
which such a work must have given to the study of the 
Sacred Text. His piety was equal to his learning, and 
his exertions had no small share in the establishment of 
the feast of Corpus Christi; the devotion to the Blessed 
Sacraments being one of the objects to the propagation of 
which he may be said to have dedicated his life. 

But the learning of the Dominican order was the least 
remarkable feature which it displayed during the first 
century of its existence. We may venture to point to 
its great men, as men, and to the singular force and hero- 
ism of their character as offering the best explanation of 
the rapid extension of their institute over the world. 
Let us take the first five generals of the order after the 
death of S. Dominic. We can hardly picture to ourselves 
a group of more remarkable and admirable characters. 
There was the blessed Jordan with his divine simplicity, 
his good-humored bonhomie of disposition, and his fear- 
less courage, which prompted him to utter the boldest 
truths even to such men as Frederick II. There was 
S. Raymund of Pennafort (for the Friars Preachers were 

* Blessed James of Voragine, archbishop of Genoa, known as the 
author of the Golden Legend, was the first translator of the Bible 
into the Vulgar tongue. His Italian version of the Old and New 
Testaments was made in 1254, or thereabouts. 


happy in this also, that they were ruled in those early 
ages by a dynasty of saints), but of him we shall presently 
have to speak more particularly. Then comes John the 
Teutouic, the fearless preacher of peace, whose bold re- 
bukes, strangely enough, like those of blessed Jordan, 
also won the friendship and confidence of Frederick. Not- 
withstanding the extraordinary difficulty of his position, 
placed as he was between the contending interests of the 
Pope and the emperor, he displayed a firmness and 
prudence which would have proved equal to the govern- 
ment of a kingdom. Under him the order is thought to 
have attained its highest glory, and his generalship may 
be considered the most brilliant period of its history. 
Paris, Bologna, Cologne, Montpellier, and London, wit- 
nessed those chapters of the Friars Preachers which were 
recognized as the assemblies of saints. Our readers will 
pardon us for inserting an extract from the letter addressed 
to the Prior of Montpellier by Guy Fulcodi, afterwards 
Pope Clement IV. He had come to town, in company 
with his sister, to witness the deliberations of the fathers. 
It was the festival of Pentecost, and it is thus he describes 
the scene; "We entered your church, where, whilst she 
[his sister] prayed, humbly prostrate on the ground, and 
entreated the Lord to look favourably on so many of those 
who laboured for His glory, she felt her confidence increase 
with her importunity ; and as the choir intoned the l Veni 
Creator, 1 she beheld descending from on high a great flame 
which covered all the choir and remained above them till 
the conclusion of the hymn." 

What shall we say of the blessed Humbert, the suc- 
cessor of John, and the author of those Chronicles whose 
charm and grace have surely never been surpassed ? Who 
can read his letters to his brethren, and not feel his own 
heart kindled with some touch of that heroic zeal which 
breathes in every line! What noble and elevating 
thoughts, what a great and gallant spirit, must have dwelt 
in the heart that thus pours forth its animating exhorta- 
tions, ever reiterating the old battle-cry of the order, 
"God's honour, and the salvation of souls!" And in all 
these men, with all their splendid qualities, how vainly 


should we look to find one spark of that ambition so 
common with the simply great men, whose greatness is 
not linked to the humility of the saint. S. Kaymund 
resigned his office, having held it only two years. Hum- 
bert did the same at the chapter of London, after a 
government of no more than nine years. " He has been 
considered," says Touron, " as the perfect model of a wise, 
zealous, and vigilant superior; able to bear with the 
infirmities of the weak, but incapable of admitting aught 
that could enervate the vigour of regular discipline." He 
was a great writer, and even in our own day the order feels 
his influence, and may drink his spirit in the various com- 
mentaries and explanations on the Rules and Constitutions 
which he has left behind him, 

Again, as confessors and spiritual guides to the people, 
the influence of the friars was felt even more universally 
than as preachers or men of learning. As the counsellors 
of kings, they had a vast share in giving that Christian 
tone to the government of the day which is so striking a 
feature in the history of the thirteenth century. For 
instance, where can we look for higher ideals of Christian 
monarchy than in the examples of S. Louis of France, 
James of Arragon, Alphonsus III. of Portugal, and S. Fer- 
dinand of Castile ? They are the noblest types of royalty 
which the mind can picture, and have excited the enthu- 
siasm even of Protestant eulogists. Yet it is impossible 
to doubt that much of that sanctity which renders them 
so admirable, is to be attributed to the character of their 
spiritual advisers, and these were all Dominicans. S. Peter 
Gonzales was the confessor of S. Ferdinand; Geoffrey de 
Beaulieu held the same office to S. Louis of France; 
S. Raymund of Pennafort enjoyed the unlimited con- 
fidence of James of Arragon; and, in short, we are told 
that, during the government of John the Teutonic, the 
kings of France, England, Castile, Arragon, Portugal, and 
Hungary, invariably chose their confessors and chaplains 
from the ranks of the Friars Preachers. The whole his- 
tory of such men as S. Peter Gonzales and S. Raymund 
exhibits them to us in what we might call a semi-political 
character, labouring to sanctify a royal court and army; 


and though S. Raymund's eminence as a canonist, and the 
celebrity of his works on penance, as well as the fact of his 
having had so large a share in the formation of the Consti- 
tutions of his order, entitle him to rank as one of its most 
distinguished writers, yet it is not as an author that we 
know him best : by those who are familiar with his life he 
is rather remembered as a great man and a great saint. 
And because authorship is at best but a human thing, 
we will leave it for a moment to glance at one episode in 
the life of S. Raymund which is connected with another 
of the glories of his order; its influence, namely, in the 
formation and reform of other religious bodies. In the 
same work, from which we have already made such fre- 
quent quotations, Balmez distinguishes, as among the 
most remarkable institutions of the thirteenth century, 
the rise of the orders for the redemption of captives. 
Certainly, in days when the abolition of slavery has been 
so popular a theme, and freedom so national a boast, there 
should be peculiar sympathy for the work of heroic charity 
to which the two Institutes of Mercy and the Trinity so 
nobly devoted themselves. The latter, indeed, we may 
almost claim as an English order, so large a share had 
our own nation in its first foundation* and government ; 
while its calendar of saints and martyrs is enriched with a 
catalogue of English names which England has well-nigh 

The deep sympathy felt by the Order of Preachers 
for this work of the redemption of captives is evident 
from many facts. We have in a previous page related 
how S. Dominic himself was on one occasion so moved 
by the sufferings of his captive brethren, as to offer to 
be sold to the Moors in order to procure the redemption 
of a poor woman's son. Many writers of the order add, 

■;:- Among the fellow-students of S. John of Matha in the univer- 
sity of Paris, who first joined his order, were .John of England, 
William of Scotland, and Roger Dee, also an Englishman, and a 
learned doctor of the day. John and William were the chief co- 
operators with the holy founder in the beginning of his enterprise, 
and successively governed the order after his death ; whilst among 
its canonized saints is the English martyr S. Serapion, with others 
of less note. 


that he had resolved at one time to consecrate his life to 
this undertaking, but that God made known to him by a 
particular revelation that it was the work reserved for S. 
John of Matha, and that his calling was rather to labour 
for the conversion of heretics. We may consider it almost 
certain, that these two great men were known to one 
another, and that S. John did actually co-operate with 
S. Dominic in his labours among the Albigenses ; for it is 
said that in the year 1202 he was charged by Pope Inno- 
cent III. with a mission to the Count of Toulouse and 
the Albigenses, and that he preached in Languedoc on 
his return from the court of Rome to Spain ; which 
seems the more probable from the fact of his order 
having been at that time established in Provence. If 
then, as seems likely, the two founders were personally 
known to one another, we may imagine how deep must 
have been the sympathy of minds whose objects and desires 
were so alike. 

It is not, however, of the Trinitarian Order that we 
are about to speak in this place, but of the sister Order 
of Mercy, in whose establishment S. Raymond Pennatbrt 
had so large a share, and whose founder was also, as is 
more than probable, a familiar friend of S. Dominic ; 
for the first time we meet with the name of S. Peter 
Nolasco, it is as a crusader in the army of Count Simon de 
Montfort. At the victory of Muret, Peter, then twenty- 
five years of age, played a distinguished part ; and when, 
on the death of King Peter of Arragon, the fortune of 
war threw his infant son, Prince James, into the hands 
of the conqueror, De Montfort, with the chivalrous 
feeling for which he was so remarkable, having a tender 
regard and compassion for his little prisoner, selected 
the young soldier, as the bravest and noblest of his 
knights, to be the guardian and tutor of the prince, and 
sent them both back to Barcelona, then the chief re- 
sidence of the court of Arragon. To this brave and truly 
Christian soldier Kinsr James owed the blessings of his 
religious education, and had reason to look back on the 
defeat of Muret as one of the chief blessings of his life. 
If the infancy of the prince was thus connected with 


one of the great incidents in the life of S. Dominic, his 
manhood was passed under the guidance and influence 
of the order of preachers j for S. Raymund of Pennafori 
was, as we have said, his most intimate adviser, and held 
the office of confessor both to him and to S. Peter 
Nolasco. The circumstances which led to the foundation 
of the Order of Mercy are among those supernatural 
events, the evidenee of which has been placed beyond 
the possibility of a doubt. On the same night, the 
Blessed Virgin appeared in three distinct visions to 8. 
Peter, King James, and S. Raymund, and charged them 
to commence the establishment of an order for the 
redemption of captives among the Moors, promising 
them her patronage and assistance. It was at once begun, 
and on the feast of S. Lawrence, 1223, the king and 
S. Raymund led S. Peter to the Cathedral church of 
Barcelona, where the bishop Berengarius received his 
religious profession, adding to the three essential vows 
of religion one to devote his life, substance, and liberty 
to the randsoming of slaves. Then was presented one of 
those striking scenes so common in the ages of faith : 
S. Raymund ascended the pulpit, and annonnced to the as- 
sembled people the Divine revelation which had given 
rise to this foundation, and declared the manner with which 
the will of God and the favour of Mary had been made 
known at once to himself, the king, and the saint who stood 
before them ; after which he gave the habit of the new 
order to S. Peter with his own hands, as we learn on the 
authority of Mariana. 

The constitutions of the Order of Mercy, as it was 
thenceforward designated, were entirely drawn up by 
S. Raymund, whose peculiar skill in this branch ox 
legislation was well known ; and he is even reckon ati 
as its second founder. But nothing in connection with 
this singular history has, as it seems to us, a deeper 
interest than the words of the saint himself, still pre- 
served in the letter of S. Peter Nolasco ; in which, when 
many years had passed over their heads, he remi.uls 
him of that eventful night, when both of them had 
gazed upon the face of Mary. For S. Peter, over- 

s. raymund's letter to s. peter nolasco. 257 

burthened by the charge of superiority, at one time 
thought of imitating the example of S. Raymund and 
laying down the government of his order, to seek repose 
in a humbler and more obscure position. S. Raymund, 
however, well knew the necessity of his continuing at 
the head of the institute he had founded ; and the letter 
by which he succeeded in turning him from his design is 
still extant. He had himself resigned the mastership of 
the Order of Preachers, and was forced to use much 
ingenious humility to pursuade his friend that in so 
doing he had not given him a precedent. Then he 
continues in the following terms : " But for you, dear 
brother, rejoice in the Lord ; or at any rate afflict not 
yourself because you see yourself at the head of your 
order ; for it is not your own choice, but the very oracle 
of the Mother of God that has placed you there. To 
what other pastor has that Queen of Virgins ever said, 
' Feed my sheep ? ' Would you then resist her will ? 
I cannot think this of you. I conjure you, by the holy 
love we must all bear that Blessed Virgin, never to 
abandon the flock she has entrusted to your care. Re- 
call, dear father, the thought so sweet and consoling of 
that happy night, illumined, as it seemed, by a ray of 
Eternity, when your merits made me also to share in the 
blessedness of the heavenly citizens. I mean that night 
when we were both honoured by the visible appearance 
of Her whose divine beauty surpassed the beauty and 
brightness of the sun. Ah ! how can you ever yield to 
sadness — you who have been consoled by the choirs of 
angels, and by the favourable looks of Her who con- 
ceived the very Word of God ? Could it have been for 
the loss of any one ? or must it not have been for the 
salvation of those who were perishing that the Mother 
of mercy thus deigned to show herself to her ser- 
vants ? If, therefore, it is any sentiment of humility 
which urges you to resign your rank, remember in what 
manner you were called to it, and be persuaded that 
what is contrary to that Divine vocation can never come 
from God." There is something of most thrilling in- 
terest in this allusion to the vision of Mary ; nor can we 



recall anything in the lives of the saints which more 
realizes a supernatural visitation than these words, in 
which the recollection is so tenderly and devoutly brought 
to mind. 

In alluding to other orders in whose foundation or 
reformation the Dominicans have taken part, the order 
of Semites, or Servants of Mary, should not be forgotten. 
The singular origin of this order is probably familiar to 
many of our readers. Seven rich merchants of Florence, 
members of a devout confraternity dedicated to " our 
Lady of praise," were praying in the oratory of their 
confraternity on the festival of the Assumption, when 
each felt himself moved by a secret and powerful impulse 
to dedicate himself in some special way to God and our 
Lady. Communicating their impressions to one another, 
they resolved on distributing all their wealth to the poor, 
and abandoning the world to embrace an austere and 
eremitical life. They accordingly retired to some cells 
on Monte Senario, about six miles from the city, and on 
their first appearance in the streets of Florence in the 
rough penitential habit they had assumed, the people to 
whom their persons were familiar, gathered about them 
with surprise, and the children ran after them crying 
out " See ! there go the servants of Mary !" This cry 
was, it is said, repeated by an infant of five years old 
who was carried by in his nurse's arms. The child was 
afterwards S. Philip Beniti, the great ornament of the 
order of Servites ; and the name thus bestowed on the 
little company was ever afterwards retained by them. It 
was the time when the Church was suffering grievously 
from the disorders of the Manichean heretics, and when 
S. Peter Martyr so nobly upheld the standard of the 
faith in the northern provinces of Italy. He filled the 
ofnce of Inquisitor of the faith under the Pontiffs Gre- 
gory IX. and Innocent IV., and on the accession of the 
latter to the Holy See, the task of examining the cha- 
racter of the new society, whose members had rapidly 
increased, was laid on S. Peter. His inquiries resulted 
in a warm approval of their spirit and manner of life; 
and his cordial recommendation of them was quickly 


followed by the formal confirmation of their order by 
the new Pontiff. No doubt the tender and special 
devotion ever borne by the great martyr of the Friars 
Preachers to the Mother of God, was one chief secret of 
the earnest support he gave to her servants, who from 
the first commencement of their association had made 
the dolours of Mary the peculiar object of their re- 
verence ; so that they may be considered the great pro- 
pagators of that most touching devotion. Some writers 
even go as far as to assert that the first idea of erecting 
the pious association into an order originated with S. Peter, 
and though this wants confirmation, yet it is probably true 
that the plan of withdrawing them from their exclusively 
contemplative and solitary life, and employing them in 
active labour for the salvation of souls, was of his 
suggestion. Touron speaks only of his diligent and ex- 
act examination of their rule, and recommendation of it 
for confirmation to the Holy See, but in the original 
chronicles of the order of Servites the story is given with 
the addition of some of those circumstances of supernatural 
interest, which the French historian so universally rejects 
from his narrative, but which form the peculiar charm of the 
old writers. 

According to F. Michael, the Servite chronicler, it 
would seem that the interest felt by S. Peter in the 
hermits of Monte Senario was the result of a divine 
revelation. Many a time did he, being in ecstacy, behold 
before the eyes of his soul a mountain surrounded by 
most clear light, adorned with every kind of flower, 
among which seven lilies of dazzling whiteness far sur- 
passed the rest in beauty and delicious perfume; and 
his wonder and admiration increased when he beheld 
them gathered by the angels, and presented to the 
Mother of God ; and accepted by her with a joyful 
and gracious countenance. He often pondered over this 
vision, but never understood its meaning till he came to 
the holy mountain of Senario : there the life of the 
solitaries, who had left the world to dedicate themselves 
to God and our Lady, and to cherish a loving com- 
memoration of Her sorrows, seemed to explain the 
s 2 


mystery, and he was enlightened to discern the graea 
which dwelt in these men, and specially of their seven 
founders ; whose cause and order he thenceforward 
generously protected and advanced. Nor were tho 
Servites backward to express their gratitude. S. Peter 
Martyr has always been honoured amongst them as their 
second founder, and after his glorious martyrdom and 
subsequent canonization, he was enrolled among their 
chief protectors and patron saints. In the notice of his 
martyrdom inserted in their chronicles, he is called by 
the common appellation of "familiar of our order."* 

We might mention other orders which felt the in- 
fluence of the Friars Preachers, especially the Carmelites. 
Their rule appearing to many excessive in its austerity, 
the religious applied to Pope Innocent IV. for some expla- 
nation of its obscurities ; and Hugo a Sancto Charo, the 
cardinal of Santa Sabina, was the person selected for the 
task. Three centuries later, when the Dominicans had again 
so great a share in the reform of the same order, S. The- 
resa refers to this their first connection, in the following 
words: "We observe," she says, "the rule of our Lady 
of Mount Carmel, without any mitigation, as it was 
ordained by Father Hugo, cardinal of Santa Sabina, and 
confirmed by Pope Innocent IV." This revision of the 
Carmelite rule took place during the generalship of S. 
Simon Stock. * 

To these orders we may add the Congregation of the 
Barnabites of S. Paul, whose rule was committed to the 
revision and examination of Leonard de Marini, Papal 
Nuncio at the council of Trent, by Pius IV. before 
granting it his confirmation ; the Order of Grandmont, 
whose rule was revised by Bernard Geraldi, appointed 
visitor to the order by Honorius IV. in 1282 ; and 
several Benedictine reforms, in which the eminent men of 
the Order of Preachers had a prominent share. It is 
time, however, for us to bring this chapter to a close, that 
we may enter on the general history of the order during 
the second century of its foundation. 

-::- See Touron. Yie de S. Dominique, liv. 5. and Chron. Ord. Serv. 
p. 11— 15. 


The 14th century. Pestilence of 1348. The great schism. 8. 
Catherine of Siena. Reform of the Order. S. Yincent Ferrer. 
Greatness of the Order during this period. Its foreign missions. 
Its prelates. S. Antoninus. Council of Basle. Zeal of the 
Order in defence of the Holy See. Council of Florence. John 

Whilst glancing, in the last chapter, over some of the 
great men and distinguished writers of the Dominican order, 
we have for a time abandoned the course of its history. The 
contest with the universities was not the only one in which 
it had to bear a leading part ; and the second great struggle 
in which it was engaged brings us to consider what we may 
call its influence on the politics of the Church. If the thir- 
teenth century was busy with the disputes of the schools, 
the fourteenth was torn by distractions of a far more 
grievous kind : it may be termed the century of schism. 
The two great factions of Gruelf and Ghibelline, Italian in 
their origin, extended in their spirit and effect throughout 
the whole Church; and in every country of Europe eccle- 
siastical privileges had to sustain a fierce attack from the 
encroachments of the civil power. The most important 
of these contests was, of course, that to which the names 
of the two factions is more particularly applied — namely, 
that between the emperors and the Popes. In the long 
and complicated history of that quarrel we find the Order 
of Friars Preachers offering to the chair of S. Peter a 
defence, the loyalty and devotion of which is not to, be 
surpassed even by that of the illustrious society which 
has made allegiance to the Popes an obligation to which 
its members are bound by vow. The emperors and the 
antipopcs seem to have had a sort of instinctive horror 
of the Friars Preachers, as of their natural enemies ; 
and we accordingly find Louis of Bavaria, and his nominee 
to the schismatic tiara, Nicholas V., driving the order 


out of every convent in Germany, and such cities of the 
north of Italy as acknowledged their obedience. For 
three years the order suffered the most violent persecution 
for its adherence to the rightful Pontiff, John XXII., 
which was only terminated by the death of the emperor 
and the consequent fall of the antipope. In '^348, a new 
calamity fell on the Church in the terrible plague which 
ravaged Europe and desolated whole provinces, so that, 
we are told, many districts remained wholly without 
inhabitants, the domestic animals became fierce and wild, 
and cultivated regions fell back again into vast untenanted 
deserts. The great novelist who has given us a sketch of 
some of the terrors of that dreadful time, has left us 
likewise an idea of its frightful demoralization. Men 
grew familiar with death till they ceased to fear it, and 
there appeared among them that strange form of sen- 
suality which would make the most of the brief hour which 
separates it from the grave, and even links its licentiousness 
with the idea of the pestilence which it defies — a sensuality 
which has been exhibited in our own day, and in our own 
day also has found a novelist worthy to be the chronicler 
of its abominations. 

The very year when this pestilence broke out was that 
which gave to the world one of the brightest ornaments 
of the Dominican order. We can scarcely picture to 
ourselves the state of the world during those thirty-three 
years that S. Catherine of Siena was its glorious apostle. 
It was a period of universal decay; and the religious 
orders felt the effects of the universal declension equally 
with the rest of the Church. The Friars preachers, who 
had nobly exposed themselves to the relief of the plague- 
stricken, died by thousands ; and those who were the 
worthiest in their ranks were the surest to be taken, 
falling victims to their noble charity to the sick and dying. 
Nor was the reduction of their numbers the only or the 
worst evil resulting from the scourge. A time of pesti- 
lence is never a time of strict observance, and when the 
scanty remnant that survived the epidemic beheld their 
order reduced to a tenth of its former numbers, — some 
conven s left wholly without inhabitants, — others with 


communities of twos and threes, where formerly they had 
been reckoned by hundreds, they yielded to a fatal human 
prudence ; and by the way of filling up the empty ranks 
admitted all kinds of subjects under all kinds of dispensa- 
tions, relaxing the rule, even allowing community life to be 
relinquished in many places for the sake of securing to the 
order the adherence of those who were in reality unfit 
for its duties or its austerities. 

A grievous and universal relaxation was the inevitable 
consequence of this unhappy policy ; and when, in 1378, 
the great schism of the West broke out, and Europe, 
already suffering from the demoralizing influence of long- 
continued pestilence and famine, was again distracted by 
a divided spiritual allegiance, the miserable state of all 
classes of society became such as it is difficult to believe, 
and impossible to describe. This was the period during 
which S. Catherine lived and wrote ; and it is just that 
we should have some knowledge of the causes and extent 
of that fearful corruption which she was raised up by 
God to denounce and to reform, if we desire to have 
any idea of her true historical character. It was doubt- 
less one wholly extraordinary, but so were the times ; 
and we need to be in some degree aware of their deep 
degradation to understand those bold and severe denun- 
ciations of vice in every form, in every class, which 
are to be found in her inspired writings. At once the 
chief support of the Papacy and the apostle of the age, 
S. Catherine has other claims which have perpetuated 
her name to the veneration of the faithful, far beyond her 
own day. As a mystic writer, she holds a rank in the 
Church, which we cannot well place too high ; and the 
term "inspired," which we have just ventured to apply 
to her writings, will scarcely seem exaggerated to those 
who are familiar with their profound and most heavenly 
teaching. As a saint, she is perhaps the most perfect 
type of the Dominican ideal ever given to the world. 
Her mind, her life, and her writings, are all steeped in 
the essential spirit of the order. Large and free, full of 
enthusiasm, and full of good sense ; chivalrous in every 
impulse and purpose, devoted with unswerving loyalty to 


the Holy See, and full of divine and infused science, we 
see in Catherine an epitome of the Dominican character. 
Nor can we anywhere seek for a more perfect example 
of that which is the primary idea of the institute, namely, 
the union of the active and contemplative states, than is 
to be found in the life of one who soared to the very 
heights of divine contemplation, not in the solitude of 
conventual enclosure, but amid the jarring vexation of 
ordinary domestic duties, or the distractions of what we 
might almost call a public and political career. In her 
are combined the seemingly opposite characteristics of 
other saints j — the wisdom and theology of the doctors of 
the Church, with the simplicity of him whose title, as 
well as whose supernatural and mysterious privilege of 
suffering she shared, namely, the seraphic* saint of 

The great schism lasted 70 years; and we must not be 
surprised if during the perplexities of that unhappy 
period we find good men coming to a different decision 
on the claims of the rival candidates. It is easy for us 
in our day to go over the problem as it has been worked 
and solved by others, and to come to the ready conclusion 
that Urban was Pope, and Benedict and Clement were 
antipopes ; just as it is easy for us to see the landmarks 
about us when we have emerged from a fog, and have made 
our way to a higher ground, whilst it is still thick 
darkness to those whose eyes are blinded with the mist. 
Doubtless its difficulties must have been very great ; 
and sorrowful as is the fact, we must not be hasty in 
our judgment of it when we find the already enfeebled 
order in part sharing in the schism, and the provinces of 
France, Castile, Arragon and Scotland, with their general, 
Elias Raymund, under the obedience of the antipopes, 

* The title of " Seraj)7ric J) given in common parlance to the 
whole Franciscan Order is not, so far as we are aware, bestowed on 
any individual saint except S. Bonaventure, the Seraphic doctor, 8. 
Catherine, and 8. Francis ; the two latter having also this peculiar 
privilege, that the Church has recognised and honoured their 
reception of the stigma by appointing festivals for their commemo- 
ration ; a distinction which, we believe, is exclusively their own. 


whilst the rest of the order adhered firmly to the cause of 
Urban and his successors. But in the history of orders, 
as in that of the Church itself, the period of relaxation is 
followed by that of reform. The relaxation must indeed 
have been great, if we may trust the words of Michel 
Pio, who, writing in the seventeenth century, acknow- 
ledges that its effects were still felt even in his day. The 
reform, however, which was chiefly worked out under 
Raymund of Capua and Bartholomew Texier, grievous 
as were the evils in which it originated, exhibited in a 
remarkable manner the vitality of the Dominican rule, 
which even in decay has ever possessed within itself 
the power of regeneration. There were no new ordi- 
nances or rules drawn up ; and when we use the word 
" reform," our readers must understand the expression 
in a totally different sense to that which it would have in 
speaking, for instance, of the Capuchins or Cistercians, 
who when they returned to their original rule, broke off 
at the same time from the unity of the parent stem. But 
this has never been the case with the Dominicans : their 
unity of government has remained absolutely unbroken, 
and their reforms have consisted only in a return to the 
observance of that rule to the fulness of whose provisions 
nothing could be added. This return to strict observance 
was not indeed universal ; and hence we sometimes find the 
terms conventual and observant used, as among the Francis- 
cans, to distinguish the stricter from the more relaxed com- 
munities ; but nevertheless, the government of the order 
has never once been divided, save in the case of the great 
schism of which we have spoken above. 

Dur:ng this reform begun by Raymund of Capua, the 
order produced a harvest of great and saintly men, worthy 
of its best days and primitive fervour. Marcolino of 
Forli, and John Dominic of Florence, both of whom the 
Church has ranked among her beatified heroes, might 
have been novices of Dominic or of Reginald; and they 
shed a sweet odour of sanctity over a troubled time. To 
the latter, indeed, who sat in the Council of Constance as 
Cardinal Legate to Pope Gregory XII., the final extinction 
of the schism must be in a great measure attributed. It 


was he who advised, and at length succeeded in effecting, 
the resignation of all the contending claimants ; a step 
which was immediately followed by the election of Martin 
V., and the restoration of peace to the Church. 

It is impossible to pass over the period of the great 
schism without noticing the extraordinary man whose 
apostolic labours shed a light upon the troubled times, 
while he took an active share in the great question which 
then agitated the Church. We allude to S. Vincent 
Ferrer, the Thaumaturgus of his order, and one of its 
most distinguished ornaments, who previously to the 
decision of the Council of Constance, took in common 
with his countrymen, the side of Peter de Luna (Bene- 
dict XIII.) in the long controversy. But his support of 
the Cardinal de Luna's claims had nothing in it of parti- 
sanship : his constant endeavours were directed to per- 
suade him to resign his pretensions as the only means of 
restoring peace and unity to the Church ; he lived on 
terms of the closest intimacy with John Dominic and the 
other adherents of Pope Gregory, and his conduct on the 
final decision of the question by the election of Martin 
V. exhibits one of the most admirable examples of sub- 
mission to the authority of the Church which stands 
recorded. United by personal intimacy and ties of 
private interest to Peter de Luna, he never hesitated as 
to the course to be pursued when the doubt which had 
distracted the Church so long was at length removed. 
From the moment the decree of the Council was pub- 
lished, he withdrew all obedience to the authority of him 
whom till then he had regarded as the rightful Pontiff ; 
and the rest of his life was spent in unwearied exertions 
to procure the entire extirpation of the schism, and to 
bring the kingdom of France and Aragon to acknow- 
ledge the authority of Pope Martin.* Of S. Vincent's 

• Lest the fact of S. Vincent having at, one time espoused the 
cause of an antipope should perplex any of our readers, and induce 
them to imagine him involved in the charge of schism, we will 
quote the words of Gerson, who himself lived in those times, and 
who writes as follows; "In the present schism which is of so 
doubtful a character, it would be a most bold, injurious, and 
scandalous assertion, to say that those who embraced either one 


career as an apostle it is difficult to speak : not to men- 
tion his miracles, which are of a character and authority 
which justify us in ranking him amongst the most extra- 
ordinary of all the saints, his life was a miracle in itself. 
He was the apostle not of one province or country, but of 
the world: in almost every town and village of Spain, 
France, Italy, and we have a pride in adding, of England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, he preached with a success that 
has no parallel in history. In Spain alone he is known 
to have converted more than 8,000 Moors and above 
35,000 Jews; whilst if we take the accounts of the 
Jewish rabbins instead of Christian authors, we may 
increase this last number to that of 200,000 of their 
nation whom they affirm to have been moved to receive 
baptism and embrace the Christian faith by the preaching 
of S. Vincent. Gerson did not hesitate to apply to him 
the prophecy in the Apocalypse of " one mounted on a 
white horse to whom was given a crown, and who went 
forth conquering, and to conquer." Others understood 
the prophecy given by the same Evangelist, of the winged 
angel who was to preach the everlasting gospel through 
the heavens, as referring to him ; and hence in Christian 
art he is commonly represented with wings. In fact, 
the boundless influence he possessed over men's minds 
in his own day cannot be overrated; yet he is of the 
number of those who have left little behind him for 
posterity. His sermons, a few letters, and a golden 
treatise on the spiritual life, are all the authentic writings 
which remain of this wonderful man, whose greatness 
was essentially of that personal description to which we 

side or the other, or who remain neutral, incur any censure or 
suspicion of the guilt of schism; for there never has been a schism 
in which there is more room for doubt than in this; the opinions of 
the greatest doctors and most holy men on both sides being so 
opposed." S. Vincent is not the only saint we find taking a part 
now universally judged to be erroneons. Blessed Peter of Luxem- 
burg, beatified by Clement VII., was an adherent of another 
Clement, one of Peter de Luna's predecessors. We may add the 
fact that John de Puinox, general of that portion of the order which 
recognized Benedict XIII. , afterwards became confessor to Martin 
V., and, like S. Vincent, used all his influence with Benedict to 
induce him to resign. 


alluded as the one most commonly to be found in a 
preaching and apostolic order. 

We will not dwell further on the period of the schism, 
which, even in the midst of the most painful and humili- 
ating circumstances attendant on a time of religious 
declension, furnishes us nevertheless with one remarkable 
feature in the character of the Dominican order — we 
mean its extraordinary vitality. It cannot be crushed, 
and it will not decay ; even when seemingly most dead it 
raises itself to new life, not, like other orders, demanding 
new constitutions or new founders, but ever the same, 
with its rule, its government, nay, its very habit un- 
changed since the days of its first foundation. We have 
spoken of the influence of the order on the politics of the 
Church, and specially of its devotion to the Holy See in 
opposition to the attacks of the Ghibeline emperors; but 
this devotion was equally displayed through all the 
struggles which the Pontifical power had to maintain 
during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Conrad of 
Brescia, the reformer of the convent of Bologna, was 
among those most remarkable for his noble and disinter- 
ested efforts in defence of the Papal authority, at the time 
when the Bolognese were in open rebellion against the 
government of the Holy See. He was at the mercy of 
the insurgents, shut up in their city, and wholly dependent 
on their favour and support ; the city was laid under an 
interdict, but none dared to publish it, until Conrad, 
laying aside every thought save that of loyalty to the 
chair of Peter, boldly proclaimed it in the great piazza 
of the city, and was instantly seized and cast into prison, 
where he was left without food for many days. Released, 
and imprisoned a second time, he was at length condemned 
by the popular party to be starved to death; and the 
sentence would undoubtedly have been executed but for 
the open and manifest protection of heaven ; for his 
enemies were forced to acknowledge, after a lengthened 
trial, that man " lives not by bread alone," and that the 
saints of God have meat that the world knows not of. 
" In fact," says Leander Albert, " the prison of Conrad 
was a Paradise, rather than a place of torment, by reason 


of the heavenly consolations with which he was favoured." 
So finding that starvation had no power over one who lived 
on prayer, they again released him; but when the news 
of his liberty was brought to him he only sighed : "I 
had thought," he said, "that the wedding-feast was at 
hand, and that you had come to call me to the nuptials ; 
but God's will be done; I am not worthy to die for 
Christ." Martin V., who constantly looked on him as a 
martyr in will, and who attributed the peace which was 
soon afterwards concluded between the Holy See and 
its Bolognese subjects, to the heroic sacrifices of this 
admirable religious, offered him the purple ; but he reso- 
lutely refused every dignity and begged as the only reward 
of his services, to be suffered to spend his life in labour 
for his order and the Church. He died, as became 
him, in the service of the plague-stricken, at the age 
of 31, and though never solemnly beatified, no writer 
speaks' of him in other terms than as "the blessed 

This loyalty to the See of Rome we shall always find 
exposing the Friars Preachers to persecution from the 
enemies° of the Church. That it was, as we have said, 
their peculiar characteristic cannot be doubted, when we 
find such bodies, for instance, as the schismatical Council 
of Basle making an invasion of the privileges granted to 
the Dominicans, one of its first measures, and at the very 
same time when, as we shall see, it was directing its pre- 
sumptuous attacks against Eugenius IV. If, too, we 
examine the tendency and character of the writers who 
have attacked or depreciated the order, as Matthew Paris 
and others, we shall invariably find them to be Ghibeline in 
their principles. 

We have spoken of the periods of decay and of reform: 
another must now be alluded to, and it is the period of 
revival. The labours of Raymund and of Texier were 
crowned with an abundant success: and if we desire 
proof of the extent to which the new impulse was felt 
throughout the order, we may find it in the fear which 
was expressed by its superiors, lest it should suffer from 
its very greatness, and from the dangers which seemed 


to threaten it from the vast numbers now raised to eccle- 
siastical dignities from its ranks. Every province was 
then rich with men of learning and sanctity ; the world 
had thought, the order dying and degraded, and were 
astonished to see reappearing on all sides religious men 
zealous for primitive discipline and full of the heroism of 
their institute. The apostolic spirit revived, and fresh 
missions were sent out to labour among the northern 
regions of Russia, and the schismatical provinces of the 
East. Not that the missionary labours of the order had 
ever been wholly interrupted, even when the deplorable 
schism of the Church had checked and in great measure 
hindered their success. It was in the very midst of that 
disastrous time that blessed Alvarez of Cordova was pur- 
suing his most painful and untiring labours in the Holy 
Land ; and the preaching of the Dominicans in the 
eastern empire, now rapidly falling before the victorious 
arms of the Turks, was not without success even among 
the Mussulman conquerors themselves. The eastern 
missions, as well those of the Franciscans and Dominicans, 
as of other religious bodies, seemed to have received a 
fatal blow on the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the 
consequent triumph of the Turkish arms in every part of 
the East. Great, however, as were the obstacles thence- 
forward opposed to the success of the Christian mission- 
aries, they were far from abandoning the apostolic work ; 
and Providence raised up a series of pontiffs with 
the continued support and encouragement of the Holy 

Since the time of S. Hyacinth there had existed in the 
order a congregation for the extension of the faith, called 
" the Congregation of the Pilgrims of Jesus Christ." 
This ancient association was suppressed in 1462 by F. 
Martial Auribelli, master-general of the order, but was 
restored under the government of his successor, Conrad 
of Asti, and greatly encouraged by Pius II. We may 
judge of the amount of the missionary work at this time 
undertaken by the order, by the account given us of the 
countries and convents over which this congregation 
alone presided. Besides many convents belonging to it 


in the East, we find others in Hungary, Poland, Lithu- 
ania, Podolia, Russia, Moldavia, and Wallachia. The 
superior of this congregation was F. Benedict Filicaja, 
" a man," says Fontena, " who desired nothing better 
than to die for Christ and the gospel." The fruits of its 
re- establishment were very great, In Russia alone, then 
a barbarous and in some degree an idolatrous country, 
we read of one Dominican of Erfurth converting 5,000 
persons to the Christian faith ; and the success of others 
was much in the same proportion. We cannot, however, 
undertake to give even the briefest sketch of the Domin- 
ican missions ; for it is a subject which would demand as 
many volumes as we have pages to devote to it. It is 
much to be hoped that some day the vast treasures of 
information which lie hidden in the original and unpub- 
lished documents preserved in the order, may in some 
shape or other be given to the public. The more than 
indifference which the order of Friars Preachers has con- 
tinually exhibited to make its prodigious labours manifest 
to the world, is not one of its least remarkable character- 
istics ;* but much as we may admire the carelessness of 

* We are surely justified in pointing to this singular modesty of 
the Friars Preachers as a characteristic of them as a body. With 
them it has ever seemed enough to do their work, and think no 
more about it. Our readers will remember their extraordinary 
indifference even to the canonization of its holy founder. *■ Every 
one," they said, " knew that he was a saint; to what purpose enter 
on a long process to prove it?" Many of the biographies of their 
greatest men are lost, or so imperfectly preserved as to give no 
idea of what they actually performed. And not to speak further 
of the singular reserve they have shown with regard 1o many of 
their most wonderful missionary undertakings, of which the world 
knows nothing, we observe the same peculiarity in the conduct of 
individuals among them. Thomas Turco, for instance, general of 
the order in 1649, never published any of his own writings, whilst 
he spent the greater part of his leisure in superintending new 
editions of those of others ; and in Louis Sousa, the Portuguese 
historian of the order, this simplicity and perfect absence of literary 
vanity was very remarkable. He was chosen by Philip IV. to write 
a history of the life and reign of John III. of Portugal; and having 
completed the work, he committed the manuscript to the hands of 
the viceroy who was charged with its publication ; but from some 
unexplained cause the history never was published, and Sousa lost 
even his manuscript, for he had never taken the ordinary precaution 
of preserving a second copy of his work when he gave up the ori- 


popular applause, we must feel mankind to be losers by 
the suppression of so valuable a portion of the history of 
the Church. 

Imperfectly as we possess the details of these apostolic 
labours, they are of the deepest interest ; and many 
circumstances concurred just at this period to give an im- 
pulse to the Church's missionary zeal in spite of the 
check which it had received from the victorious arms of 
the Turks. 

New discoveries were every day adding unknown coun- 
tries to the geography of the world. In these discoveries 
the Portugese took the lead under the enterprising and 
zealous encouragements of Prince Henry of Portugal ; 
and wherever the Spanish and Portuguese navigators 
appeared, laying open new islands and continents to 
European commerce, they were quickly followed by the 
indefatigable missionaries of S. Francis and S. Dominic. 
It is, indeed, very gratifying to find the close union sub- 
sisting between the two orders in their apostolic labours, at 
a time when they were often engaged on opposite sides in 
controversial questions, and when differences in their theo- 
logical systems sometimes placed them in apparent rivalry. 
Whatever their disputes as theologians, as apostles they 
ever worked side by side with most generous and united 
devotion ; nor can we discover a single trace of that 
jealousy which might easily have arisen from the circum- 
stances in which they were placed. In Livonio, for 
instance, where the Friars Preachers were first in the 
field, we find the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, 
to whom the sovereignty of the country belonged, coming 
to their assistance when the work was beyond their 
strength, and founding three convents of Franciscans to 
assist the Dominicans in their laborious struggles against 
the infidels on the boundaries of Christendom. So, in like 
manner, we find Dominicans labouring in those holy places 
in Palestine of which the Franciscans were the appointed 
guardians, and not a vestige of any unwillingness on the 

ginil, so little did he know of ambition or ostentation of a men 



part of the Friars Minors to admit them to a share in the 
glorious work. 

Sometimes, indeed, as in the accounts of the first preach- 
ing of Christianity to Congo, we find the honours disputed 
by the historians of the two orders : but the rivalry natural 
to authors seems to have been unknown to the missionaries 
themselves ; and the controversy does but furnish us with 
a proof that both Friars Preachers and Friars Minors 
were engaged in the apostolic work at the same time, and 
with equal energy and success. In fact, to study the 
history of the missions founded by one order, is to become 
acquainted with the achievements of the other ; for during 
the three first centuries of their foundations the Francis- 
cans and Dominicans were, almost exclusively, the apostles 
of the world. 

Reserving a more particular notice of the missionary 
character of the order for a later date, when we shall have 
to speak of the apostolic labours of the Friars Preachers 
in America and in China, we will return to the general 
history of the Dominican institute at this period, which 
may be considered that of its greatest glory and most 
perfect development. An allusion has been made to the 
number of bishops and dignitaries chosen from its ranks 
during the two centuries that followed the close of the 
great schism; and so great was their number and repu- 
tation, that we may venture to point to the character of 
the great Dominican prelates as one among the most 
beneficial influences which the order was destined to 
shed upon the Church. At all times, indeed, the order 
of Preachers has produced great prelates, for the papal 
authority very soon overruled the objections made by the 
founders of the two mendicant orders to the holding of 
ecclesiastical dignities by their followers. Gregory IX., 
to whom, whilst yet cardinal, that joint disapprobation 
had been expressed, was the first to act in opposition to 
it by the appointment of John the Teutonic, afterwards 
master-general of the order of Preachers, to the bishopric 
of Bosnia. Hugo di Sancto Charo, one of the earliest 
of the Dominican theologians, was the first cardinal of 
the order, having received the purple in the year 1244 



from the hands of Innocent IV. It would be in vain 
to attempt anything like an enumeration of the great 
bishops afterwards given to the Church by the briars 
Preachers ; we will select one only as an example of 
pastoral excellence ; and our choice naturally turns in 
the first place to the great S. Antoninus of Florence, 
who may be taken as the fairest model of the Dominican 

And we may here remark 'the very striking similarity 
of character which distinguishes all the great prelates 
of the order. There is a kind of family likeness among 
them : the four Dominican popes, — of whom one is a 
canonized and another a beatified saint,* — S. Antoninus 
of Florence, Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Jerome La- 
nuza, and others who crowd upon the memory, were all 
alike in the general outline of their lives. In public, 
they spoke and acted as great prelates, all being par- 
ticularly distinguished by their zeal for the preservation 
or restoration of ecclesiastical discipline ; but in private 
they were poor religious. They kept the rule and wore 
the habit of their order: their revenues were lavished 
on the poor, and their great work was invariably one of 
reform, and a living protest against the corruptions of 
the day. In S. Antoninus and Bartholomew of the 
Martyrs this resemblance is rendered yet more striking 
by the similarity to be found in various circumstances of 
their lives. The zeal and charity of both were exhibited 
during a time of pestilence and famine, their own hands 
ministering to the sick and dying when others fled from 
the sufferers in disgust. The lives of both were exposed 
to the attacks of assassins, whom they converted by their 
prayers ; and in ooth the natural sweetness and gentle- 
ness of their dispositions did not prevent them from 
severely enforcing the ecclesiastical canons on clergy as 
well as laity, in pursuance of their vigorous reforms. In 
the laborious visitations of their dioceses, which they 
performed on foot like humble religious, amid the snows 
and cataracts of mountainous districts, both were equally 

S. Pius V and blessed Benedict XI. 


indefatigable ; and when we remember that Antoninus 
was selected by Pius IL to attempt that very reform of 
the Cardinalate which was afterwards so courageously 
and successfully iusisted on at the Council of Trent by 
Bartholomew, the likeness between these two brothers 
of the same illustrious family, separated as they are by a 
century and a half in point of time, appears singularly 
complete. In fact, the Dominican prelates were always 
foremost in the work of ecclesiastical reform ; and 
perhaps their rigid advocacy of evangelical poverty may 
have partly arisen from a remembrance of the fact, that 
the first step of their great founder in his apostolic 
career was a protest against the luxury of the legates and 
bishops associated with him in his mission against the 

The name of S. Antoninus is distinguished not merely 
for his merits as a pastor, but also as a doctor of the 
Church. Theological greatness is, as it were, the heri- 
tage of the illustrious men of his order, and S. Antoninus 
ranks with the very first of its theologians. But had his 
Summa of Moral Theology never been written, we should 
still cherish the memory of the great archbishop of 
Florence as presenting us with a perfect model of sanctity 
in the episcopate. " The hands of the poor," says Pope 
Pius II., " were the depository of all he possessed." 
In fact, the revenues of his diocese were entirely expended 
on their relief ; for himself he retained within his archie- 
piscopal palace the same rule of life which he had observed 
in the cloisters of Fiesole or S. Mark. There was, to 
use the words of Touron, a " heroism" in his mode of 
government which produced astonishing results. He 
succeeded in bringing about a reformation of manners 
in the city of Florence, the mere attempt to effect which 
would seem in our day like the schemes of a visionary. 
But Antoninus was armed with the strange irresistable 
power of sanctity. " He rose with all difficulties," 
says his biographer, " and not only was his chapter 
and clergy placed under the restored discipline of the 
ecclesiastical canons, but the people themselves felt the 
influence of his apostolic and paternal rule; so that 


before long, gaming and blasphemy were unknown h 
Florence, usury and other disorders of a social character 
were abolished, private quarrels and dissentions were healed, 
and, to use the words of Pope Pius, ' all enmities were 
banished out of the city.' He was, in fact (if we may so 
say), canonized whilst yet alive, in the heart and judg- 
ment of the world. Pope Nicholas V. ordered that no 
appeals against any of his sontences should be received at 
Rome ; and Pius II. concludes the eloquent eulogy of him 
which he has inserted in his Commentaries with the 
remarkable expression, that ' from the day of his death, 
he was with reason regarded as an inhabitant of the 
heavenly city.' '' 

The Dominicans, in their character as theologians, 
have naturally played a great part in the councils of the 
Church, and, at the period of which we speak, distin- 
guished themselves in a particular manner in the delibe- 
rations of the Council of Basle, by their zeal against the 
heresy of the Hussites, and by their efforts for the reconci- 
liation of the Greek schismatics at that of Florence. 
The age was in fact rife with error; and in Bohemia the 
fanaticism of the followers of Huss and Zisca had pro- 
duced a bloody and disastrous insurrection. Those who 
are willing to believe that the Church has known no other 
method of dealing with heretics than that of fire and 
sword, would do well to study the manifesto of Father 
John Nyder, one of the Papal Nuncios despatched by 
the Fathers of Basle against the Bohemian insurgents. 
It is given at length by Bzovius, and is remarkable for 
its tone of sweetness and moderation, and its strain of 
exalted piety. 

But our chief motive for referring in this place to the 
Council of Basle, is for the sake of the illustration which 
its history affords of that devotion on the part of the 
Dominicans to the interests of the Holy See, of which we 
have before spoken as one of their most striking cha- 
racteristics. The unfortunate conclusion of the council 
is well known. On the attempt of the Pontiff Euge- 
nius IV. to remove the assembly to Ferrara, the prelates 
not only opposed his resolution with their remonstrances 


(a step which was probably justified by the peculiar 
circumstances in which the negotiations with the Bohemian 
heretics had involved them), but, on his persisting in 
his design, they proceeded to open resistance of his 
authority, and even ventured to pronounce his deposition 
from the Papal chair. Not to enter on the great theo- 
logical question* which engaged the pens of the controver- 
sialists assembled at Basle, we may be permitted to notice 
the course pursued by the Dominican theologians during 
this painful crisis, and their resolute defence of the Papal 
authority, with sentiments of just admiration. The 
services rendered by them to the Fathers of the Council 
in the whole course of the proceedings against the Huss- 
ites, and the labours of Nyder, Montenigro, and above all, 
of John Torquemada, the Master of the Sacred Palace, had 
been warmly acknowledged by the assembled prelates. 
It is evident that they shared the views of those who 
looked on the removal of the Council as a dangerous and 
ill-advised step; nevertheless, the moment that an attack 
seemed threatened against the integrity of the Holy See, 
the instinctive loyalty of the order to the Chair of S. 
Peter was manifested. No doubt the crisis was one of no 
common importance; the proceedings of the Council of 
Constance were considered by some to offer a precedent to 
those of Basle, although in fact the cases were totally 
different. Nevertheless, recent events, and the grievous 
effects of a long schism, had contributed to lower the idea 
of the Papal supremacy, and to exalt the authority of 
councils. The danger of this feeling, at the very moment 
when heresy was raging without the fold, was quickly ap- 
prehended by the watchful eyes of the Dominican theolo- 
gians, who accordingly withdrew from Basle, and hastened 
to join the new council assembled under the authority of 
the supreme Pontiff at Ferrara. 

It was under these circumstances that Torquemada 
published his two treatises on the power of the Popes, and 
the authority of general councils ; and at Florence, 
whither the prelates assembled at Ferrara adjourned soon 

* The Immaculate Conception; defined by the fathers of Basle, 
and at that time warmly disputed, by opposite schools of theology. 


afterwards, he distinguished himself in so remarkable a 
manner by his defence of the Latin dogmas, and especially 
of the Roman primacy (which was defined by the council 
and acknowledged by the Greek bishops) that he received 
from Eugenius the glorious title of " Defender of the 
Faith," less fitly borne in the following century by the 
English tyrant Henry VIII. 

Torquemada was, in fact, one of the most illustrious men 
of the time ; and it is not until we fully appreciate the dan- 
gers of the age in which he lived, that we can justly esti- 
mate the services rendered to the Church by him and 
others of his order, in their firm resistance to the schismati- 
cal spirit then so general, and their devotion of every 
energy to maintain inviolate that supremacy of the See of 
S. Peter which each succeeding age has recognized with 
greater distinctness to be the bulwark of the Christian 
faith. As Cardinal-legate and Papal ambassador to 
half the courts of Europe, Torquemada occupied a dis- 
tinguished position in the sight of the world ; and yet so 
little of the worldly spirit clung to him in his greatness, 
that we find him retiring to his convent at Florence for 
two years " busying himself with his own sanctification 
and the practices of a private religious." " His great 
dignities," says Leander Albert, " in no way interrupted 
his ordinary exercises of piety and penance, or diminished 
ought of his religious modesty. His habit and ex- 
terior remained unchanged ; what he was among his 
brethren he was also among the princes of the Church ; 
humble, recollected, penitent ; full of zeal for the salvation 
of souls, of tenderness for the poor and of love for his order, 
which he honoured yet more by his virtues than by 
the purple." * 

We will now pass to a subject closely connected with 
the period of religious reform ; carrying us, however, to 

* Our readers must not confound John Torquemada, the "cardinal 
of S. Sixtus of whom we have spoken above, with his nephew 
Thomas Torquemada, the celebrated Spanish inquisitor, whose 
severe measures in defence of the Christian religion, then furiously 
attacked by the Jews and Saracens, have rendered his name so 
terrible to English ears. 


far different thoughts from those suggested by the dis- 
putes of councils : yet we can probably scarce find a 
better illustration of the largeness and diversity of the 
Dominican spirit, than by turning from the great questions 
of ecclesiastical and political interest which engages the 
theologians of Basle and Florence, and dwelling for a few 
moments on the gentler, — but who shall say less power- 
ful? — influence of that art which, like theology, was 
to find its " sublime dictator" among the ranks of the 
Friars Preachers. 

At this period of active contest and controversy, it is 
pleasant to turn to the sunny hills and silent cloisters of 
Fiesole, where the glorious genius of one whom the voice of 
the world has consented to beatify, was laying a sweet and 
powerful grasp upon the imagination and the heart of 
Christendom. The order which had already produced an 
angelic doctor was now giving to the world that saintly 
artist, to whose name also the title of "Angelic" was to 
be perpetually associated. 



Santa Maria Novella. Passavanti. Connection of Art with reli- 
gious reform. B. John Dominic. Foundation of the convent 
of Fiesole. Fra Angelico. Savonarola : his idea of Christian 
art and literature. His fall. Fra Bartolomeo. Bartholo- 
mew of the Martyrs at the court of Pius IV. Later artists of 
the order. 

The connection of the Dominican order with Christian 
art dates almost from its foundation. It was in 1278 that 
the first stone of the church of Santa Maria Novella at 
Florence was laid under singular and impressive circum- 


stances. The feuds between Guelf and Ghibelline were 
then at their height, and Fra Latino Malabranca, nephew 
to Pope Nicholas V., after travelling through all the cities 
of Roniagna, preaching peace and reconciliation to the 
opposing factions, at length arrived at Florence to com- 
mence the same work of mercy. He assisted at the 
blessing of the foundation-stone of the new church, and 
took occasion of the multitudes assembled to witness the 
ceremony, to address them in so powerful a strain of 
eloquence that the disputants agreed to forget their 
enmities, and, flinging their arms round one another's 
necks, embraced as brothers. The same scene was wit- 
nessed not long after within the walls of the newly-erected 
build: ng on the solemn publication of peace, which was 
delivered by Latino from its pulpit ; and thus the very 
foundation of this church, afterwards so celebrated in the 
order, may be said to have been laid in mercy. Its archi- 
tects and designers were the two lay brothers Fra Sisto 
and Fra Ristoro ; and the glorious temple raised under 
their direction was exclusively built by the hands of the 
religious brethren themselves, without the assistance of 
a single secular, " a thing," says Marchese, " very rare in 
the history of art." 

It is unnecessary for us to speak in praise of a struc- 
ture whose criticism from the lips of Michael Angelo 
must be familiar to all. He was wont to call it " his 
gentle and beautiful bride;" and his merits have even 
been celebrated in a treatise bearing the title " De Pul- 
chritudine Sanctas Maria Novellce" which we find quoted 
in one of Savonarola's orations. It must ever pos^s a 
peculiar interest for the student of Christian art, who, 
retracing the six hundred years that have elapsed since 
its first erection, will recall the day when the walls were 
receiving their first frescoes from the hands of those 
Greek artists who had been invited to Florence by the 
Republic, and found their first and most generous patrons 
among the Friars Preachers. And as in fancy he watches 
them at their work, he may see stealing into the church 
a truant schoolboy, who has escaped from his books and 
lessons in the grammar-school opened by the Friars 


immediately on their settlement in the convent, and has 
found his way here to feast his eyes and imagination on 
the paintings so far superior in design and coloring to 
anything yet known in Florence. He is the scapegrace 
of the school, and his name is Cimabue. The order of 
Preachers cannot indeed claim him as a member, yet it 
was within the walls of one of her most glorious temples 
that the future founder of the Florentine school of 
painting caught his first inspiration, and it was there, in 
the Ruccellai chapel, many years afterwards, that his 
great chef d'aruvre, the Madonna, was carried in pro- 
cession, and deposited by the hands of his enthusiastic 

We should never end were we to attempt to chronicle 
all the artistic glories of Santa Maria Novella, and our 
design in speaking of them at all is that they furnish one 
out of many illustrations which might be given, of the 
manner in which art was used as a means of popular 
teaching. The fourteenth century was an age (to use 
the words of F. Marchese) "prolific in artists and glorious 
for Christian art : every one desired to read on the walls 
of the temple the most sublime stories of the Bible, the 
popular legends of the saints, and the immortal strains 
of Dante. Religion was then the fountain-source of the 
artist's inspiration, and painting was employed as a grand 
means of moral teaching, worthy of a Christian people/' 
Indeed, no one can fail to be struck with the contrast 
exhibited between the whole system of composition at 

-"- The story told of the completion of this picture is illustrative 
enough of the enthusiasm of the age in matters of art. Cimabue 
was employed in putting hi3 last finishing touches to the Madonna, 
when Charles of Anjou passed through the city, and notified his 
intention of visiting the artist's studio. Hitherto no one had been 
admitted to see the painting; but the news of the prince's intended 
visit getting wind, a vast multitude of the citizens followed in his 
train, and insisted on the doors being thrown open to the public. 
Thi.3 was done ; all Florence crowded to see the great masterpiece 
of Cimabue, and so great was the joy and admiration it excited, 
that the quarter of the town occupied by his house received the 
name of the " Borgo Allegri;" and the painting itself was, as we 
have said, borne in triumphant procession to the chapel, where it 
still remains. 


this period, and that adopted in the modern schools of 
painting. Mere picturesqueness of detail in form and 
colouring was not the great object of the painter's study ; 
the aim of men like Memmi, Orgagna, or Taddeo Gaddi, 
was to employ religious, or, we might say, theological 
ideas ; and thus the pencil of the artist was often guided 
by the theologian, and was devoted to the representation 
of a part of some complete system of doctrine or devotion. 
In fact, painting was unknown as an art of luxury, or 
apart from its great mission of popular instruction ; and 
it is remarkable that cabinet pictures, that is, pictures 
merely intended to hang against the walls of private 
apartments as objects of taste, did not exist until a later 
period. Up to the time of which we now speak, paintings 
were to be found only on the walls of the church and 
cloister, on the doors of shrines and tabernacles, or other 
public places where they might best fulfil their avowed 
object as the books of the unlearned. It was in this 
way that the church of Santa Maria Novella became, 
under the direction of successive generations, a very 
museum of Christian art. Much was the work of the 
religious themselves ; but they contributed to the forma- 
tion of a high school of religious sculpture and painting 
not only by their own labours, but by their patronage 
and encouragement of others. None took a greater 
share in this undertaking than the celebrated Fra Jacobo 
Passavanti, of whom we have before spoken as the author 
of " The Mirror of True Penance," and one of the earliest 
fathers of the Italian idiom. His refined and admirable 
taste led him to form intimate ties with the distinguished 
artists of the day, such as Orgagna and others ; and at 
his solicitation, under the superintendence of Fra Jacobi 
Talenti, they completed the edifice, and made it an almost 
unequalled gallery of sacred painting. Nowhere, perhaps, 
have the peculiar characteristics of the mediaeval 'theology 
been so perfectly represented and preserved. DanUs 
mind and imagination seem to be embodied on the walls, 
and we have already indicated the source whence the 
great poet derived the religious coloring of his poems. 
To show how close the connection was in those days 


between painting and theology, we may remark that 
whilst Orgagna was employed in those wonderful frescoes 
which represent the terrors of the "Inferno," Simon 
Memmi was decorating the cloister with a series illus- 
trative of the mysteries of the Church triumphant and 
militant, where we find the Sacrament of Penance placed, 
in a number of elaborate designs, as the entrance to the 
Church triumphant, every image being taken from Pas- 
savanti's work. Indeed, we are expressly told that it 
was he who superintended the whole undertaking, and 
that the ideas and mode of treatment were all suggested 
by him ; a circumstance which explains the remarkable 
unity of design and teaching which we find in the entire 

But it was not only as patrons of the arts that the 
Friars Preachers evinced an appreciatian of their power 
as instruments of popular instruction. They were 
artists themselves: and there is one remarkable feature 
in the history of their cultivation of Christian art which 
we particularly desire to notice in this place. Not only 
was it essentially a Christian school of painting which 
flourished in the Dominican order, but one which was 
invariably associated with the spirit of religious discipline 
and reform. Whilst the arts have elsewhere but too 
often gained themselves an ill name by their connection 
with an age of luxury and relaxation of morals, wc find 
that in the cloisters of the Friars Preachers they were 
not only made compatible with the rigour of primitive 
discipline, but were even used as a means of its restora- 
tion, where it was found to have decayed. The chief 
patrons of art in the Dominican order have every one 
been among her greatest and most austere reformers ; so 
that, in attempting a sketch of her painters and sculptors, 
the names of her saints and ascetic men would necessarily 
find their way into our pages. Blessed John Dominic, 
S. Antoninus, and Jerome Savonarola, are among the most 
conspicuous of those who fostered artistic genius in those 
very cloisters into which they introduced so primitive and 
austere a reform ; and this fact will readily explain the 
very spiritual and sublime character which attaches to 


productions which were undertaken in close association 
with a revival of religious observance, — nay, often as the 
very instruments of effecting it. 

No man probably stands more distinguished as an 
ecclesiastical reformer, whether in the Church at large 
or in his own order in particular, than he whose name we 
have already so often referred to, — the blessed John 
Dominic, Cardinal of S. Sixtus. In history he must 
always be remembered as one who bore the greatest part 
in extinguishing the fatal schism of the west. He also 
took the lead in the reform of his own order, and was the 
founder of several convents which he established on the 
principles of strict regular observance, to serve as nur- 
series of sanctity, and models of the institute at large. 
He was himself an artist of no mean capacity, and during 
the early years of his religious life in the convent of 
Santa Maria Novella attained to singular excellence as a 
miniaturist ; many of the choral books illuminated by his 
hand at this period being still preserved. It was, there- 
fore, experience rather than theory which taught him the 
use which might be made of religious art as an instru- 
ment of community reform ; and in his after career we 
are told that in every convent of the order, whether of 
men or women, whose regular discipline he reformed, 
nay. in every convent that he built from the foundations, 
" he invariably laboured to introduce the most noble 
art of painting, whose tendency is to raise the soul and 
the heart to chaste and holy thoughts." Many of his 
letters on this subject, written to the nuns of the con- 
vent of Corpus Domini at Venice, remain to attest the 
truth of this assertion. In them he directs the religious 
to perfect themselves in miniaturing (by which is here 
meant the devout miniatures in choral books) and offers 
to complete some, the final tintings of which were too 
difficult for them to undertake.* 

We shall select the history of one these convents of 

strict observance, both for the sake of its connection with 

Dominican art, and because we are persuaded that our 

readers will gather a better idea of the spirit of the order 

« Marches^ 


at this period of its revival and reform from such a narra- 
tive, than by a separate notice of the illustrious men whose 
names are associated with its foundation. 

It was then, in the year 1406, that after reestablishing 
regular discipline in every convent of the Roman pro- 
vince, John Dominic determined, as we have said, on the 
foundation of several new houses, where the strict letter 
of the rule should be observed, and the spirit of the order 
carried out in its highest perfection. The sunny hill of 
Fiesole was chosen as the site of one of these ; and if, as 
would seem, exterior beauty dwelt on in a religious spirit 
was judged in the mind of its founder to be a help to the 
devout contemplation of God, he could scarce have chosen 
a fitter spot than the one which he destined for his 
new convent of S. Dominic. The ground was given by 
Altovito, Bishop of Fiesole, himself a Dominican ; and 
scarcely had the work been begun, when rumours 
spread far and near that the building then in course of 
erection was intended as a retreat of peculiar sanctity, or 
as one may say as an ideal of monastic perfection. S. 
Antoninus was among the first of those who presented 
themselves for admission, being attracted by the rumoured 
holiness of the new foundation ; and he was followed two 
years afterwards by the two brothers Mugello, better 
known as Fra Benedetto, and Fra Giovanni Angelico da 
Fiesole. No noviciate being as yet attached to the con- 
vent, they were sent to Cortona, where the blessed 
Lawrence of Ripafracta became their novice-master ; 
having held the same office to S. Antoninus, who has left 
a eulogium on his venerable guide and teacher in the 
spiritual life, which has been confirmed in our own day 
by his solemn beatification. " By reason of his purity of 
heart," says Bzovius, " he doubted not to call him 
blessed," And besides these joined with them in the ties 
of holy friendship, there was the blessed Constantius 
Fabriano, afterwards the reformer of Ascoli, a man illus- 
trious for miracles and the gift of prayer ; and Pietro 
Capucci, to whom is also sometimes given the title of 
blessed. In fact, Cortona and Fiesole were the nurseries 
of saints, and it was in such a home, and in such fellow- 


ship, that the genius of Angelico received its stamp of 
sanctity. Of all the painters of the mystic school (by 
which we intend to designate the followers or imitators 
of Giotto in opposition to the naturalists who received 
so powerful an encouragement from the patronage of the 
Medici), Angelico stands undoubtedly highest ; and his 
merits as a painter, nay more, the singular and irresistible 
spiritual influence of his works, have been acknow- 
ledged by critics like Vasari, whose mind was certainly 
cast in a wholly different mould. Yet his sketch of the 
Dominican painter is itself so beautiful and truthful a 
delineation that we will give it as it stands, feeling sure 
that our readers will gain their best idea of the character 
of his paintings by knowing something of the character 
of the man. His words are as follows : " Era Giovanni 
was a man of holy and simple habits ; he lived a pure 
and sanctified life, and was ever the friend of the poor on 
earth, as I believe also that his soul is now in heaven. 
He was always painting ; and never wished to produce 
anything save for the saints. He was wont to say that 
true riches consist in being content with little. He 
might easily have attained to high dignities, but he did 
not esteem them, saying that the only dignity he desired 
was to escape hell, and to win paradise. He was very gen- 
tle and sober, and used to say that artists needed quiet, and 
should be free from interruptions ; and that he whose 
works related to Christ should be ever communing with 
Christ. Never was he known to exhibit anger, and when 
he had occasion to admonish any, he did it with a gentle 
smile. When others sought works from his pencil he 
was wont to tell them with extraordinary amiability that 
so long as the prior was satisfied he would not refuse 
them. In short, both in actions and words, he was 
most humble and modest, and in his painting simple and 
devout ; the saints he painted have more the air and 
resemblance of saints than those of any other artist. ' 
He never retouched or heightened the effect of any of 
his works, but left them just as they came from his 
pencil, believing that such was the will of God. Some 
say he never took up his brush without first having 


recourse to prayer. Whenever he painted a crucifixion 
the tears streamed down his cheeks, and it is easy, in the 
very countenances and attitudes of his figures, to see the 
purity of his heart, and his devotion to the Christian 
faith." In fact, to use the words of a more modern critic, 
" painting was his ordinary prayer," the very means he 
used to raise his heart to God. What wonder that the 
works of such a man should bear in their silent eloquence 
something of that strange power over the soul which 
attaches to the speech or the writings of the saints ? A 
power which genius alone, even the genius of Rafaele or 
Michael Angelo can never attain to when the supernatural 
element is wanting. 

The influence exercised by the poetry of Dante over 
all the painters of the mystic school was of a very singular 
character. Giotto, we know, was the friend and close 
associate of the great Florentine, and may be said to have 
illustrated the Divine Commedio by his pencil. Nor was 
Angelico insensible to the influence of that master mind. 
" Dante," says Marchese, in his work on the Dominican 
painters, " mated the doctrine of S. Thomas to the har- 
mony of his verse ; and I would venture to affirm that 
Angelico incarnated and coloured the conception of these 
two great men. If we compare his pictures with the 
writings of the philosopher and the poet, we shall have 
little difficulty in detecting the identity of thought that 
characterized the Italians in their theories of the super- 
natural, and the imagery in which they clothed them." 
To which we will add, that a study of the works of these 
three minds will probably convey the most perfect idea that 
could be formed of the Christianity of the middle ages, 
and would enable us to form a high conception of the 
extent to which the theolgy of S. Thomas, illustrated and 
popularized as it was to men's hearts by the genius of the 
poet and the painter, diffused its influence over all classes, 
and found new ways of exercising its dictatorship of 
Christian philosophy. 

How vast a distance separates this school of superna- 
turalism from that of the succeeding centuries! Two 
words rise to our lips as we stand before any of the great 


works of the Angelico: they are simplicity and faith; and 
these two qualities, whilst they express the whole character 
of his mind and of his paintings, seem also to express the 
religious spirit of his age. What their influence may have 
been in keeping alive spirituality and asceticism we can but 
estimate by contrasts. Let us turn to the productions of 
a later school, to the churches restored, as it was called, by 
the enthusiasts for pagan art, whose walls are defaced by 
those gross imitators of nature who seem to value the art 
of delineation only so far as it reproduces the idea of flesh 
and blood ; and when we feel the evil power possessed by 
such representations, of obliterating spiritual impressions, 
and substituting in their room the merest images of sense, 
we feel also how different and wholly unearthly must have 
been the thoughts and tone of mind of those trained to 
prayer and contemplation in the midst of that supernatural 
system which in the ages of faith was preached from the 
very walls of church and cloister. 

The reforms begun by John Dominic were carried out 
in the same spirit by his disciple S. Antoninus, who, pre- 
vious to his elevation to the see of Florence, governed 
successively the convents of Rome, Naples, Gaeta, Cortona, 
Siena, Fiesole, and Florence. At the latter place Cosmo 
de Medici made over to the Friars Preachers the convent 
of S. Mark, which he endowed with his usual munificence, 
and S. Antoninus became prior of the new house, to which 
Angelico and his brother were soon summoned, and where 
they have left the most glorious monuments of their genius. 
S. Mark's soon became another Fiesole, a home and nur- 
sery of sanctity, and at the same time a gallery of the 
most glorious productions of Christian art. Indeed, wt> 
linow that S. Antoninus, like his predecessor, John Dominic, 
was not only a patron and encourager of art, but was 
himself possessed of considerable skill in painting, and 
many of the choral books of S. Mark's still claim to be 
those which received their illuminations from his venerable 
hands. And widely different as their part in life was des- 
tined to become, the name of Antoninus, the mirror of 
prelates, the reformer of his order, the doctor of the 
Church, is always sweetly and closely associated with that 


of Fra Angelico whose life was so essentially hidden and 
contemplative, and whose only learning was that of his 
pencil. Every one knows the story of his visit to Rome, 
and how Eugenius IV. is said to have been so struck with 
his peculiar sanctity, that he would have elevated him to 
the vacant archbishopric of Florence, had not the painter 
declined the dignity, and suggested Fra Antonio as the 
fitter person for so exalted an office; so that, if the tale 
be authentic, and there seems no reasonable ground for 
doubting it, we may consider the glorious episcopate of 
S. Antoninus as in no small degree to be attributed to the 
recommendation of his friend. Those who are familiar 
with his story will remember also that instance of his 
naive simplicity, so like what we realize of his character, 
when we are told how, on being invited to dine with the 
holy father, he declined, saying he could not eat meat, 
without his prior's permission, quite forgetting the dispen- 
sing power of the supreme Pontiff. He lies in the church 
of the Minerva, and it is said the Pope himself wrote 
the inscription we read over his tomb ; remarkable for the 
circumstances that even there, and so immediately after 
his death, the expression occurs which has been sanc- 
tioned, if not by the formal declaration of the Church, 
at least by the common consent of her people. The words 
run thus: — 

Here lies the Venerable Painter, 
Brother John of Florence, of the Order of Preachers. 
Fra Angelico had no disciples among the ranks of his 
own brethren, nevertheless, though he can searcely be 
said to have formed a school, or to have trained others in 
his peculiar style, there were many of the order who trod 
in his footsteps, though there were none who came near 
to him in artistic skill. Thus we read of a certain Fra 
Girolamo Monsignori, whose character, sketched also by 
Vasari, is precisely of the same stamp as that of the 
great painter: "He was chiefly distinguished," he says, 
" for his love of prayer and seclusion, and his indifference 
to the world. The money which he earned by his works, 
and expended on the purchase of colours, was hung up in 
an old box without a lid, so that any one who wanted it 


might come and use it. To avoid all trouble about daily 
food, he cooked every Monday a pot of beans, and this 
supplied him during the week. When Mantua was visited 
by the plague and every one fled in alarm, he, moved by 
charity, refused to abandon the sick fathers, but tended 
them with his own hands. So, sacrificing his life to God, 
he caught the contagion and died, being of the age of 
sixty." How full, too, of the religious spirit of Angelico 
is the inscription which we read on the painted window 
in the church of S. Dominic at Perugia, which tells us 
that the window is consecrated " to the honour of God 
and of the most Holy Virgin, of S. James, and the blessed 
Dominic, and of the celestial choir, by Brother Bartolomeo, 
the least of the order of Preachers, who, with the Divine 
aid, furnished it in the year 1411." Glass-painting, 
indeed, was an art particularly cultivated in the order, and 
produced the only really beatified saint who was distin- 
guished as a painter ; this was the blessed James of Ulm,* 
a lay brother in the convent of Bologna, and the master 
of a school of artists who rivalled him both in genius and 
in sanctity. 

But we must pass on to another period when the connec- 
tion between religious art, as cultivated by the Dominican 
order, and a spirit of ecclesiastical reform, was destined 
to be more fully and strikingly illustrated than even in 
the example of the Cardinal John Dominic. In speaking 
of it we must necessarily carry our narrative to a later 
date than that with which we concluded our last chapter ; 
but as it is not our intention to return to this subject, we 
shall refer to the one or two facts which seem to claim 
our notice, without attending to the chronological order 
of our sketch; and there seems no fitter place than this 
in which to speak of one whose enthusiasm for Christian 
art is certainly not the least remarkable feature in 
his character: we refer, of course, to the unfortunate 

We have already mentioned Cosmo de Medici as 
having endowed the order of Friars Preachers with the 
convent of S. Mark's at Florence. He was the first of 
* See No. XIX. of " Tales and Legends from History." 


his family who attained to the chief and supreme rule in 
the Florentine republic, and under him and his successors 
it may, indeed, be said that the state was a republic no 
longer. The very name of his race carries with it the 
idea of all that is splendid and refined ; the restoration of 
learning, and encouragement of science and commerce, 
and, above all, a special patronage of the arts. And yet, 
for all this, we can scarcely be wrong in saying that 
Christian art and feeling had no more fatal enemies in 
the fifteenth century than the illustrious members of the 
Medici family; and that it was they who chiefly gave 
that impulse to pagan literature and pagan philosophy 
and art, from whose deadly effects the world is only in 
our own day beginning to revive. The fall of Constanti- 
nople drove multitudes of Greek scholars and artists into 
Europe, and nowhere did they receive a more princely 
welcome than at the court of Cosmo the Magnificent. 
A fashion, if we may so say, set in for classic studies ; 
Plato took the place of S. Thomas, and we begin to hear 
in the popular writers of the day more of the " virtues of 
philosophy," and "the sublime mysteries of Platonism," 
than of either the virtues or the mysteries of the gospel. 
'• In fact," says a modern historian of this period, 
" Florence was heathenized by the Medici, and pagan 
philosophy was made the rule of life for the scholars and 
sages of this new Athens of intellectual refinement." 
Yet the evil had its commencement only in the lifetime 
of Cosmo. 

The dazzling brilliancy of the age of the Medici has 
too often blinded the eyes of its historians, as it did 
those of contemporaries, and concealed from their view 
the fatal character of that revolution which was effected 
in society during the fifteenth century. If we con- 
sider some of the elements then at work, we may easily 
perceive that in no way could the world have escaped 
a period of powerful agitation and intellectual excite- 
ment. At one and the same time, the stores of ancient 
classic learning were being poured into the capitals of 
the west, brought thither after the fall of the eastern 
empire, by the crowd of refugee scholars and philosophers 


who found their chief asylums at Rome and in the northern 
cities of Italy ; whilst the newly-discovered art of 
printing lent its aid to diffuse these new studies, and, 
in the words of Marchese, " sowed broadcast the seeds" of 
pagan erudition. 

Old principles of thought were breaking up : Aristotle 
and his school of Christian interpreters were abandoned ; 
and Plato, who took his place, was thought to need no 
Christian interpreter at all. No century could, probably, 
be selected so brilliant in names of literary greatness ; 
but when we glance at the character of their genius, we 
tremble at the combination of so much mental power with 
so enormous a depravity. The world was no longer to 
be ruled by the brute force of barbarous ages, and the 
people showed a disposition to free themselves from the 
yoke of their feudal rulers, whose power was everywhere 
giving way before the refinement and civilization of the 
age. But, in exchange, they fell under a different and 
more subtle tyranny. It was the age of Machiavelism, and 
the principles of state policy, and we may add, of state 
iniquity, were in the vigour of their first developement. 
" In wickedness of policy," says Marchese, " no age ever 
surpassed the fifteenth century, for it fought, not with 
arms and valour, but with fraud and poisons, and few 
ever equalled it in the corruption of its morality." In 
Tuscany the Medici, in their attempt to secure the 
supreme power, not only pursued this object with a total 
indifference to the protection of morals, but made the 
indulgence of the people in a certain licence of manners 
one of the most approved methods of acquiring the 
dominion at which they aimed. It has ever been the 
line of all who have grasped at a usurped dictator- 
ship, to amuse and intoxicate the multitudes by 
pageant and festivals, by which their senses are dazzled, 
and their minds distracted from an apprehension of their 
real danger. This was the peculiar policy of the Medici, 
and they cared little for the licentiousness which quickly 
infused its poison into every vein of society, so long as 
the world applauded, and the state submitted ; and 
Florence was content to sacrifice its liberty in exchange 


for the enjoyment of that unbridled freedom which dis- 
figured the very arts of which they claimed to be the 
special and most magnificent patrons. Alas! these great 
patrons of art were, in too man^ ways, its gTeat corrupters. 
What could be anticipated from an intellectual move' 
ment so thoroughly and essentially pagan in its tendencies, 
that we find examples like that of a certain Florentine 
canon, who, in his idolatry of Plato, went so fir as to burn 
a lamp in his chamber before an image of his favourite 
philosopher ! 

Whatever may be the merit of the Medici as the 
revivers of classical learning, and the great encouragers 
of genius in every shape, the prestige of their magnifi- 
cence is something tarnished when we view it closer. 
The imaginative arts had hitherto been the weapons of 
Christianity against the world : they now became arms 
in the hands of the world, warring against Christi- 
anity. Let us hear a modern author speaking of the 
period when Lorenzo de Medici ruled the republic, of 
Florence as its absolute sovereign: — "Among the means 
adopted by this great and astute man to secure his 
power, always increasing, over the Florentine people, 
he imagined a new style of poetry which he called 
" Ganti Carnascialesclii" or carnival-songs, in order to 
give more effect to certain masquerades in which some 
triumph or subject of art was represented. He spared 
no expense to render these orgies attractive and brilliant. 
The chariots and carousers went about the city from 
after dinner to two, and even three, hours of the night, 
men wearing masks following them on horseback, richly 
apparelled, with flames and torches. In this order they 
paraded the city with singers and musicians, singing 
ballads and madrigals suitable to the character of each 
masquerade." He then gives us the names of subjects 
of some of these representations, some being heathen 
fables, as " The triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne ;" others 
of a satirical character, adding that these festivals, and 
the poetry which was sung in them, " were for the 
most part indecent and immoral."* In fact, one cannot 
« De Rians. 


acquit the Mecsenas, or the Augustus of Florence, as 
his flatterers loved to call him, of a deliberate plan for 
securing his power over the populace by means of the 
corruption of the public taste and manners. Nay, what 
was the very art that he encouraged and revived ? We 
may quote a French writer of our own day, one of those 
many generous champions of Catholic faith and purity 
who, thanks be to God, are fast obliterating from the 
literature of their country the associations of a past age 
of infidelity. " Antiquity," says Carlier, " was patron- 
ized by the Medici only on the side of sensuality. 
Their love for pagan art was not a classic taste, but a 
voluptuous passion. In literature, Ovid, Catullus, and 
Tibullus, were in greater favour with them than Homer, 
Cicero, and Caesar. Their celebrated garden at Florence 
became the sanctuary of a nude naturalism in art. Deve- 
lopments of form — the mere manifestations of physical 
perfection — statues of divinities who presided of old 
over the orgies of unbridled vice, — these attracted the 
public admiration, and found a species of worship in 
obsequious criticism, in poetry, and even in philosophic 

Such was the state of things in Florence, when a chance 
meeting at the chapter-general of the order, held at Reggio 
in 1445, introduced Jerome Savonarola to the notice of 
one of the most remarkable men of that remarkable age. 
This was John Picus Mirandola, " the phoenix of intel- 
lects," as he was styled: a prodigy of learning, whose 
wonderful mind had happily early drunk deep at those 
sacred sources of Christian theology which made all things 
pure to him. The intellectual wonder of his age, he was 
able to say with the profound conviction of one who utters 
the experience of a life, "Philosophy seeks for truth, 
theology finds it, religion possesses it."f Among all the 
great intelligences whom the Medici had attracted to 
their court, there was none so distinguished for his vast 
attainments, his undisputed taste, and his lofty and irre- 
proachable character, as the young prince of Mirandola ; 

• Carlier, AZstMtiquea di Savonarola 
f Epist. Joh. Pic. Mir- 


and at his first meeting with Savonarola, " spirit sprang to 
spirit," and a friendship was formed between them which 
remained unbroken during the whole of their lives. On 
his return to Florence, Mirandola exerted all his influence 
with Lorenzo de' Medici to invite the gifted friar to his 
capital, and five years afterwards Savonarola was estab- 
lished in the convent of S. Mark, and was almost imme- 
diately elected prior of that community. 

Of all the illustrious men of the Dominican order 
there is none whose name has such a world-wide interest 
as that of Savonarola. Something of the spell which 
attracted men to him during his life almost against their 
will, still attaches to his memory ; and sparks of that 
enthusiasm which he kindled by his strange eloquence 
even now survive among us. His career, from the time of 
his entrance into Florence to the day of his ignominious 
death, occupied the short space of eight years : during 
that time he combated single-handed against the corrup- 
tions of the world around him : against licentiousness of 
morals, corruptions in public government, and paganism 
in literature and the arts. As a religious, he was the 
strictest, yet the gentlest of reformers : we see him, in our 
mind's eye, walking through those glorious cloisters of 
S. Mark's, rich with the fairest creations of Angelico's 
imagination, with the ivory death's-head that he was wont 
to carry in his hand, and with that look of sweetness and 
repose about him which, we are told, was one of the 
secrets of his influence over others, and which kindled an 
indescribable feeling of interior consolation in all who 
approached him. His first work as a reformer, and that 
which was the most successful and abundant in its fruits, 
was in his own order. Everywhere he endeavoured to 
introduce the old spirit of poverty and religious simpli- 
city ; a spirit little in accordance with the manners of the 
time, but which he found ways and means of fostering 
out of the richness and fertility of his own inventive 
genius. What cannot one master mind effect when, in 
addition to its greatness and its power, it knows how to 
charm by a sweet familiar intercourse with all ranks and 
ail ages: when it can be grave with sadder and elder 


hearts, and can unbend to children ; can discourse of 
divine things, and expound the sacred Scriptures with 
theologians, or gather the novices and little ones of 
Christ, and exert all its skill and all its gracious 
pleasantry to amuse! And so it was with the prior of 
S. Mark's. We can watch him in the convent garden, 
singing canticles with his novices, or sitting under the 
shadow of the fig-tree, amusing them by cutting out the 
pith of trees into images of little doves, or teaching them 
simple games, wherein some saint of pure and holy life 
was commemorated, and praises and divine songs were 
sung in honour of the Child Jesus, or of the blessed 
Virgin. This was one of his methods of guidance; 
another was the introduction of habits of industry among 
all the members of the community. He contrived to 
infuse his own spirit among them, and one of the great 
weapons used by him for the preservation of this spirit 
of primitive and spiritual religion was the introduction 
and cultivation of Christian art. In every convent over 
which his influence extended, and in all which he founded, 
whether of men or of women, the arts of painting and 
modelling were introduced, and carried on in strict accord- 
ance with those maxims which our own day is fast 
recognizing as the truest definitions of beauty ever given 
to the world. 

We should be exceeding the limits of our subject were 
we to give the extracts from Savonarola's sermons and 
writings, wherein he lays down the rules of spiritual 
beauty, and attacks with a bold and fearless eloquence 
the profane and abominable representations from the 
school of naturalism which had found their way into the 
holy places. Art was in his eyes one of the great 
elements by which men were to be humanized and 
christianized: he considered it as a want of the people, 
and, unlike others who had entered on the task of 
reform, far from proscribing it, he encouraged it with 
all the force of his enthusiastic eloquence ; his denun- 
ciations fell only on the sensualism which had usurped 
its name. We refer the reader to the beautiful work of 
Rio, " La Poesie en TArt," to Marchese's " Lives of the 


Dominican Painters and Sculptors," and to Carlier's 
article* on the " ^Esthetics of Savonarola," if they would 
form any idea of the corruptions which he attacked, or 
of the principles which he brought into opposition. No 
one can rise from the perusal of these authors, or of 
those passages of Savonarola's own writings which touch 
on the subject without feeling that he in the most 
intimate and delicate manner apprehended that super- 
natural and spiritual idea of art which had found its 
incarnation in the works of Angelico ; while, on the 
other hand, he will receive an impression of the cha- 
racter of that classic revival so lauded by the admirers of 
the Medici, which makes us glad to leave the task of 
exposure to other hands and other pages. Let him turn 
to the Lenten Sermons in which the great orator attacks 
the profligacy of the church-decoraters in such indignant 
strains of eloquence, and in the same breath defines the 
idea -of beauty, apart from form, as something whose 
essential principle must be light and purity. Powerful, 
indeed, must have been that oratory, whose effects are 
said by Burlamacchi to have been like an irresistible 
magic, even on hardened and debased minds like those of 
the Florentine artists. As in the days of the Apostles, 
they came and laid at their feet the materials of their 
unholy trade. Baccio della Porta, afterwards known in 
religion as the celebrated Fra Bartolomeo, with several 
others, brought all their designs and works of a reprehen- 
sible character, and offered to destroy them before' his 
eyes. Others left his presence with vows on the lips, 
never again to degrade the art of sculpture or painting 
by prostituting them to the encouragement of vice. The 
change effected by his fervid oratory was felt, not among 
the artists alone, but in all ranks and professions. The 
quick and ardent sensibilities of the Florentines were 
captivated by that eloquence which undoubtedly, in its 
bewitching charm, surpassed everything which the world 
of antiquity had known. 

" The people," says Burlamacchi, " rose from their 
beds at midnight to go to the sermon, and waited uncovered 
* Published in the H Annales Arch6ologiques," 1847. 


at the doors of the cathedral till they were opened, never 
complaining of the inconvenience, or exposure to the 
cold air, of standing in the winter time on the bare marble ; 
and amongst them were young and old, women and 
children, of every class, all filled with great joy, and going 
to the sermon as to a wedding. In the church was pro- 
found silence; not a whisper heard in the great multi- 
tude till the children came, who sang some hymns with 
such sweetness that Paradise seemed opened. And so 
they would wait three or four hours till the father 
ascended the pulpit. Profane songs were now no longer 
heard, but spiritual canticles, often the composition of 
Savonarola himself; these they sometimes chanted in 
chorus on the highways, as friars do in the choir. Mothers 
were seen in the street reciting the office with their 
children. The women, now dressed with modesty, and 
even the children, sent a deputation to the governors of 
the city praying them to enact laws for the protection of 
good morals." All classes crowded round the wonderful 
friar, and gave in their enthusiastic adhesion to his plan 
of social reform. " The grand intellects," says Marchese, 
" whom the Medici had attracted to their court, all 
bowed before the majesty of his surpassing eloquence." 
There was the Count de Mirandola, who after renouncing 
his government, desired to enter the order of S. Dominic ; 
but, death preventing the accomplishment of this design, 
he directed that at least his body should be buried in the 
holy habit, which was accordingly done. There was 
Zanobi Acciajuoli, the classic scholar of his day, and 
Politian, the most refined and elegant of Lorenzo's 
courtiers. Such a crowd of Florentine nobles solicited 
the habit that S. Mark's had to be enlarged ; and, on 
the death of Savonarola, the convent counted upwards of 
two hundred friars, and eighty novices, all 1 of whom, 
we are assured, persevered. As to the artists to whom 
Savonarola unfolded his glorious idea of beauty, Vasari 
compares their enthusiasm to a delirium. They threw 
themselves into the ranks of the order like volunteers 
flocking to a patriot band ; and, indeed, at that time the 
purification of art and of literature was regarded as a kind 


of patriotism. On the one hand were those who usurped 
a despotism over Florence, and sought to govern her hy 
her degradation ; on the other side was the cause of 
the republic ; and, as Savonarola would fain have had it 
thought, that cause was indissolubly tied up with social 
reform, and the restoration of Christian purity in morals, 
letters and education. It was a tremendous struggle, and 
we well know how it ended. Yet, ere the bloood of 

the great victim flowed, he had achieved a triumph, the 
memory of which was not to be effaced even by the fury of 
the Arrabbiati. 

Not to dwell too long on the details of a period whose 
interest insensibly carries us beyond our limits, we must 
just give the account left us by Burlamacchi, of one of 
the reformed carnival festivities. A year or two before, 
these hoildays had been ovations to vice : they were now 
made the solemn inauguration of restored Christianity. 

" At the beginning of the carnival, 1497, the father 
ordered that there should be a very solemn procession, 
full of mysteries ; and he caused to be erected in the 
Piazza dei Signori, a large cabin, within which were 
collected all vain and abominable objects which the 
children had gathered from all parts of the city. The 
joiners had constructed a pyramid, and in its hollow 
placed a great quantity of brushwood and gunpowder. 
On its steps were laid and arranged all the various offen- 
sive objects. On the first step, most precious tapestries, 
whereon indecent figures had been worked ; above them 
figures and portraits of the fairest damsels of Florence; 
on another step, cards, dice, and such like diabolical inven- 
tions ; on another, musical instruments of all kinds. 
Then came the adornments of women : false hair, mirrors, 
perfumes, cyprus-powder, and similar varieties. Then 
masks, beards, and other carnival trumpery. Then the 
works of the Latin and modern poets, Boccaccio, Petrarch, 
and the like. Then many most beautiful works of the 
chisel and the pencil, with some ivory and alabaster chess- 
men for which a certain Venetian merchant had offered 
20,000 crowns ; but, instead of letting him have them, 
they painted him to the life, enthroned him at the 


top as the king of all these vanities. Then the whole 
was set on fire, the flames mounted up to heaven, and all 
these vanities were consumed." 

Some of our readers may think this indiscriminate 
destruction of the chefs oVauvres of the Florentine artists 
a strange instance to cite in illustration of the services 
rendered by Savonarola to the cause of art ; and coupling 
such a fact with the circumstance of his oppposition having 
been directed against works of the pagan or classical 
school, they may receive an impression that the question 
was a mere rivalry of styles, and that the zeal shown by 
the Dominican friar was but a development of that 
bigoted medievalism which would limit Christian art to 
one form of expression, and would resist the renaissance 
of the 15th century simply as being a departure from the 
antique ecclesiastical type. To hold up such a principle 
as worthy of veneration and imitation would not only be 
a mistake, but even a dangerous one, calculated to foster 
that insidious error so inseparable from an heretical 
spirit, the inclination, namely, to petrify truth into some 
particular form arbitrarily chosen, denying to the Church 
her power of adopting every variety of style and system, 
and bending them to her purpose ; and above all it would 
be to encourage that disposition to exalt antiquity over the 
Church's living authority, which, even when it does not 
extend to an actaul revolt against her teaching, argues 
but a cold sympathy with her in matters of feeling, and has 
been the Jansenism of every age. 

For it cannot be forgotten that, whatever be each one's 
taste in such matters, there could plainly be no question 
of orthodoxy involved in the struggle between mediaeval 
art and the cinque cento. Even if there were a secret 
danger lurking in the revival of a style closely associated 
with paganism, the Church had power to annul the evil by 
consecrating those classic forms to Christian purposes; 
and that she has done so, and in the centre of Chris- 
tendom has permitted the modern taste to prevail 
over the Mediaeval style, ought not to be without its 
significance to those amongst ourselves who would pin 
down Catholicism in art and architecture to the taste of 


any particular century chosen by themselves. We are 
aware that the advocates of the modern classical renais- 
sance go even further, and not only marvel how the 
grotesque forms of the middle ages can be preferred to 
the truer delineation of nature, and bolder design of the 
school of artists who sprang up during the age of the 
Medici, but assert that the genius of the great men of 
the fifteenth century has created a new era in Christian 
aesthetics, and that the result has been not merely the 
adaptation of the classical forms to the warmer and more 
joyous spirit which characterizes the modern Church, 
but the creation of a style by which that spirit must be 
almost exclusively expressed. Nor is it wonderful that 
they who have drunk in Catholic devotional feeling under 
the wonderful dome of Michael Angelo, or before the 
unscreened altars of modern Rome, and who find in the 
Madonnas of Rafaele and his contemporaries their highest 
ideals of human beauty, should corae to associate Grecian 
architecture and the productions of a school of painting 
which avowedly drew its inspiration from life and nature, 
with their own tenderest impressions of Catholic worship ; 
and that, overlooking with an indulgent partiality the 
sensualism which too often mingles with the beauty, 
they should claim the pre-eminence in Christian art for 
that style which is identified in their minds with modern 

We have no wish to impose the severer rules of 
ancient taste on those with whose devotion it has ceased 
to harmonize ; doubtless, what spiritual writers afiinn 
of the individual soul is true of the world at large, 
and to adopt the expression of S. Catherine, " the heart 
cannot always abide in one mode of receiving the 
Divine visitation, as though God were not able to act 
through other means and in other ways."* Nor would 
we overlook the fact that one secret of the Church's 
strength lies in her power of absorbing into herself all 
popular emotions, and pressing them into the service 
of the faith. As she seized on the military enthusiasm 
of a semi-barbarous age, raising out of it the beautiful 
«• Dialogo, cap. 71. 


fabric of Christian chivalry, and at a later period over- 
powered the relationship of the schools by adapting their 
system into her own scheme of Christian philosophy, 
■ — and as in each succeeding age she has kept her mastery 
over the world less by crushing than by directing those 
varying forms of popular enthusiasm which in bodies 
separated from her guidance have resulted in wild and 
fanatic excess, — so there cannot be a doubt that she did 
well and wisely in receiving the classical renaissance into 
her bosom, and robbing its beauties of their paganism 
by identifying them with the associations of Christian 

Against this principle Savonarola's zeal was in no 
way directed : his crusade was against sensualism in 
art, wherever it might be found existing; but we can 
nowhere find any condemnation pronounced by him of 
one style rather than of another. So far from wishing 
to stifle the study and imitation of nature under due 
restrictions, or from attempting to stiffen Christian art 
into any given shape no longer in harmony with the 
popular taste and feeling, we know that the disciples 
whom he formed on his own principles did not any of 
them follow the mediaeval models, and that the greatest 
of them all, and he who certainly was most profoundly 
imbued with his master's teaching, Fra Bartolomeo, is 
thought in his boldness of conception and design to 
follow closely on the steps of Michael Angelo, whom he 
is often said to resemble. No doubt the eagle eye of the 
Dominican friar saw the weak point of the rising school, 
and was forewarned of the inevitable consequence of taking 
any standard of human beauty for the ideals of divine 
forms. If, when he denounced in such tremendous terms 
the "gross materialism" which was taking the place of the 
purely spiritual creations of elder days, and so often set 
before his hearers, in discourses whose sublimity has never 
been surpassed, the idea of Jesus as the type of regener- 
ated humanity, he showed little mercy on genius when 
defaced by what he deemed the evil stamp of a licentious 
character, this was no mediaeval bigotry ; although we 
may fancy his half-prophetic soul looking on through the 


senturieg that followed, beholding the naturalizing of art 
resulting in little else than its degradation. Surely, 
without risk of being thought to advocate the imposition 
of any peculiar views as a rule of taste, we may ask 
ourselves whether Christian art may not have suffered 
something when it consented to take its inspiration from 
no higher source than that which moved the genius 
of pagan artists in the delineation of pagan divinities, 
when nature was made the standard of ideals that 
were above nature; when human beauty was thought 
enough to constitute a model for the Immaculate Mother, 
whatever were its character, and the artist's studio 
not only lost its almost religious character, but came 
to be looked on as a dangerous school for morals. 
Nor can we be otherwise than struck with one singular 
and significant fact in connection with this subject. 
Whatever may be said of the undoubted superiority 
of the modern school of painters, considered simply as 
artists, the religious heart of Christendom has refused 
them its homage. Their exquisite works are to be 
oftener found in our galleries and dining-halls than in 
our churches ; of all the incarnations of grace and beauty 
which Rafaele has given us in his Madonnas we know 
not of one which has ever become the object of popular 
religious veneration j* and the multitude, so true in the 

* We do not mean to assert that no modern picture bas become 
an object of popular veneration, or even been honoured by mira- 
culous graces. More instances than one occur to our minds which 
would be sufficient to establish the contrary. But we must needs 
admit that where this bas been the case the pictures in question 
share neither in the artistic merits, nor in the religious demerits of 
the great masters. One in particular suggests itself to the writer's 
mind, painted but a few years since by a very neophyte in the art 
of fresco, innocent of the mysteries of chiaro 'scuro, and as stiff and 
unskilful in its design as though copied from an early mosaic ; yet 
it has a character of inexpressible purity and sweetness, or, it may 
be, the air of the little chapel of the "Mater Admirabilis" is so 
redolent with devotion that we involuntarily ascribe something of 
sanctity to the character of the painting. It is in the convent of 
the Trinita dei Mor.ti at Rome ; and the numberless graces granted 
at the little sanctuary are known to all who have ever visited the 
Holy City, and not long since procured from the Sovereign Pontiff 


long run to religious instincts, keep faithful to those 
more ancient representations which, with less of material 
beauty, possess the higher qualifications of devotion, and 
have been honoured by those miraculous graces which 
seem withheld from the highest productions of human 
genius. The Madonnas of liafaele will, no doubt, com- 
mand the homage of our admiration as long as their canvas 
holds together; but they will never draw away the love and 
worship of the people from the old sanctuaries where the 
images of Mary borrow nothing of their power from the 
skill of the painter, and where the supernatural beauty 
which is so often discernible in spite of the rudeness of 
their design, is as far as possible removed from the stamp 
of sensualism ; 

Our readers must pardon us if we have in some degree 
wandered from our subject, but it seemed necessary, to 
avoid misconception on a matter where it is so easy a 
thing to write or read as a partisan. Savonarola's name 
is so closely associated with the advocacy of Christian 
design, and the condemnation of paganism in art and 
literature, that it would not be unnatural for a eulogy 
of his principles in this matter to be taken as bearing 
on some particular questions warmly contested in our 
own day, and he might come to be looked on as having 
desired to crush rather than to spiritualize art. But we 
may remind any who might be inclined thus to interpret 
the scene which we have described on the Piazza dei 
Signori, that the man who thus encouraged his fellow- 
citizens to sacrifice without mercy " all vain and lascivious 
things " was the same who, in reviving primitive observance 
at S. Mark's, resolved (in the words of Marchese) "to 
promote the study of the arts of design which he con- 
sidered essential to his grand reform. He determined 
that the lay brothers should devote themselves to some 
of the arts not likely to distract them, such as sculpture, 
painting, mason's work, writing, &c." And no fewer 
than nine of the first artists of Florence received the 
religious habit from his hand, and were eneouraged by 

the grant of a golden crown to the picture, together with man;? 
indulgences to those who offer their devotions before the altar. 


him not to abandon their art, but to consecrate their 
genius within those cloisters rendered already glorious 
by the pencil of Angelico. Even in the Dominican con- 
vents of women l.iis influence introduced a cultivation of 
the arts of design, specially in that of S. Catherine at 
Florence, founded by Camilla Ruccellai, where painting 
and modelling were studied by the religious at his sugges- 
tion, and where a succession of excellent artists continued 
to flourish down to the period of the suppression of the 
religious orders in the last century. The two sisters 
Plautilla and Petronilla Nelli were both members of 
this community, the former of whom was a paintress 
of no mean celebrity, while the latter devoted herself 
to literature, and has left, among other works, a life of 
Savonarola still preserved in manuscript. Plautilla Nelli 
is compared by Vasari to the celebrated and unfortunate 
Properzia de' Rossi, whose skill, he says, was rivalled by 
that of the Dominican nun. But if equal in genius, 
by how vast a distance are they separated in the story of 
their lives ! Properzia died a victim to the world's most 
cruel sorrow : Plautilla consecrated her glorious gifts 
to God's service, and was yet more admirable for the 
prudence and piety with which she governed her mon- 
astery, than for those endowments which she valued 
only as a means for promoting the honour of her Divine 

Savonarola's whole design seems to have been the 
substitution of Christian ideas, as objects of literature 
and art, for those which were in themselves essentially 
pagan. He was never foremost in that popularization of 
devotion by means of songs and pictures, which has done 
such admirable service to religion in the struggle she has 
waged with modern heresy. His " Laude," or Divine 
Songs, were written to take the place of those very 
Carnival verses of a licentious character which he had 
so summarily destroyed; and we can confidently affirm 
that none who read those exquisite verses, " Jesus to the 

* See the interesting chapter in Marchese's work on the '' Domi- 
nican Artists," which is devoted to the female painters and authors 
of the order. 



soul," and others of equal merit recently translated and 
given to the public in his biography by Dr. Madden, can 
refuse to acknowledge his claims to true poetic feeling, 
even though he placed the works of Petrarch among the 
" vanities" of his bonfire. The fact that S. Philip Neri, 
closely identified as he was in after years with what we 
may call the modern popular school, passed his youth 
and formed his first religious impressions in the cloisters 
of S. Mark, where the spirit and principles of Savonarola 
were still warmly cherished and preserved, would be 
enough to show that those principles must have been 
wholly distinct from the mere purism of antiquarian 

The political career of Savonarola, and his subsequent 
condemnation by the Holy See, are foreign, to the pur- 
pose with which we have introduced his name into our 
present sketch, which has been solely as an illustration 
of the part always taken by the Dominican order in the 
cause of Christian art. His story has continued to furnish 
matter of warm and often of bitter controversy even 
down to our own day, and it is not the least singular 
fact in connection with the great republican friar, that, 
after the lapse of four centuries, his name is still able to 
rouse the enthusiasm both of friends and enemies, so that 
it is hard for either to reason save as partisans. Doubtless, 
the purity of the cause to which he first devoted his noble 
energies, and the heroic constancy with which he struggled 
single-handed to stem the corruption of the age, must 
command the sympathy of every generous heart ; and 
if, during his closing years, the excitement of political 
agitation absorbed those powers which should have 
been spent on worthier things, and, gradually warping 
his judgment, and (it may be) marring the perfect 
equilibrium of his mind, led him into the fatal error of 
assuming a position of hostility to the supreme authority 
of the Church, it is scarcely surprising that the sufferings 
by which he expiated his fault, and the character of his 
persecutors, should have induced many to forget and 
almost to palliate the fault itself. It is, however, one 
of those cases in which an indulgence of our sympathies 


would lead us astray; the fact remains uncontroverted, 
that not only did Savonarola resist that supreme authority, 
submission to which is the primary law of Christian 
obedience, but justified his resistance in words* which 
bear unmistakeable evidence of an appeal to interior 
inspiration against the claims of obedience. Such a pre- 
tence has been the groundwork of all heresy and unbelief; 
and, feeling this, we shrink from the popular canonization 
of the great Florentine, as we should from all attempts 
to substitute sentiment in the room of principle. His 
career and his misfortunes, if they are a problem in 
history, afford at least a profound lesson in morals, and 
one suited to no age better than to our own. For in him 
we see a soul far on the track of sanctity, endowed with 
the highest gifts of genius, and the most keen and exqui- 
site perceptions of truth, ever soaring to the highest 
standard, and content with nothing short of the beauty 
or the truth of God, thrown out of its course, and wrecked 
at last, when it came to identify a political creed with 
the cause of Christianity, and when the love of truth 
became insidiously and imperceptibly blended with the 
fatal love of self. 

We hold it for something more than a probability, that 
the highly wrought and excitable temperament of Savon- 
arola had before his death contracted the first seeds of 
mental disease. And this appears in a certain vein of 
fanaticism, and extravagance, and an assumed tone of 
authority, only comprehensible in one of his greatness of 
understanding under the supposition that his mind was 
overstrained. We know that such aberrations of genius 
and imagination are not rare; yet it would not be too 
bold to say that, although such a supposition must 

* "I act in coming here in obedience to authority. To whom? 
To the Signoria ? You wish not to believe me, because, as you 
say, I am not bound to obey them. It is, then, you will say, t>) 
obey your prelates, your superiors. But nothing of the kind has 
been directed me by my superiors. Know, then, that I have 
ascended the pulpit this day to obey Him, who is the Jh'date of 
all prelates, the Supreme Pontiff of all popes, and who makes 
known to me what is contrary to His will, and in nature opposed 
to it, &c 



extenuate much in his conduct which otherwise appears 
indefensible, it of itself presupposes a defective humility, 
for without the admission into the soul of some such 
error in principle, or the yielding to some interior temp- 
tation, enthusiasm can never gain such mastery over a 
mind as to throw it off its balance. Yet, be the case how 
it may, the name of Jerome Savonarola will always be 
held as one of the greatest in his order, and the memory 
of his errors is well-nigh consumed in the flames of his 
expiatory sacrifice. When the mob of the Arrabbiati 
stormed the convent of S. Mark on the 9th of April, 
1498, and the partisans of Savonarola prepared for 
defence, and the short struggle was terminated by the 
voluntary surrender of the great victim into the hands of 
his enemies, — there were none on whom the catastrophe, 
which closed the drama of his life, fell with so over- 
whelming a power as on those artists of Florence who had 
adopted the principles of his reform. Many paid for their 
devotion to his cause with their life. " Others," says 
Marchese, " when the terrible tragedy was ended, aban- 
doned the cultivation of those arts which had formed 
their delight during the lifetime of Fra Girolamo. " 
Among these was Baccio della Porta, who during the 
attack on S. Mark's had made a vow that should Grod 
spare his life, he would take the habit of S. Dominic, and 
end his days in the cloister. He kept his word, and 
when the dreadful scene of the 23rd of May was over, 
and Florence (so true in her likeness to Athens) had 
scattered the ashes of her greatest citizen on the waters 
of the Arno, he surrendered all his patrimony to his 
brother, and, renouncing the world, and as he thought, 
the arts also, for ever, he took the religious vows in the 
convent of Prato. But the genius of Baccio della Porta 
was to revive in a more splendid form in Fra Bartolomeo, 
a name destined in the chronicles of Dominican art to be 
second only in celebrity to that of the great Angelico. 
At first, indeed, the bitterness of his grief rendered the 
very thought of resuming his pencil odious to him. But 
on his return to Florence he was thrown in company 
with Sanctes Pagninus, then a member of the community 


of Si Mark's, and himself a disciple and admirer of 
Savonarola. This celebrated man, of whose extraordinary- 
learning we shall have occasion to speak in another place, 
being elected prior of the convent, was the means of 
inducing Fra Bartolomeo to resume the study of his art, 
and eventually Pagninus became to Porta what S. 
Antoninus had been to Angelico. He soon attained a 
reputation which justifies Rosini in calling him u the star 
of the Florentine school." And when, in 1506, the 
young Rafaele d'Urbino arrived at Florence to study the 
works of Michael Angelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he 
placed himself under the tuition of the Dominican painter, 
as the nearest to them in his knowledge of colouring, 
while Fra Bartolomeo at the same time learnt from his 
illustrious pupil a more perfect theory of perspective. The 
friendship between these two great masters forms one of 
the most refreshing incidents in the history of art ; it was 
free from the least shadow of a professional jealousy, 
and more than one picture exists on which their pencils 
have worked together, and in which Rafaele, even when at 
the summit of his glory, did not disdain to finish subjects 
commenced by Delia Porta. 

His after career found him competing for renown by 
the side of Buonarotti, whom perhaps he most re- 
sembled in the grand and majestic character of his 
designs ; and living as he did, at the period when art 
had reached its highest glory, and the rival schools of 
Venice, Florence, and Borne, were producing the greatest 
artist3 the world has ever known, his name ranks among 
the most illustrious of them all. Nevertheless, we should 
err did we seek to convey the idea that he revived the 
supernatural school of painting which had found its 
matchless representative in Angelico. He never, indeed, 
departed from those principles which he had learned 
from his first master Savonarola, and art was never 
debased or degraded in his hands ; but we miss the 
mystic spirituality of his predecessor, although there is 
ample evidence that Bartolomeo ever placed before his 
eyes the life of the saintly artist as his guide and model. 
He was himself a true and excellent religious. Vasari 


tells us that " he arrived at length at the wished-for 
power of accompanying the labour of his hands with the 
uninterrupted contemplation of death." He was also, 
like so many other of the pupils of Savonarola, a poet 
and a musician, and some of his pious verses have 
been found traced on the back of his pictures in his 
own hand. He died when only forty-eight, having in the 
brief period of seventeen years produced a marvellous 
number of works, the list of which is given by Marchese. 
The close friendship existing between him and Rafaele 
may possibly have had some share in bringing about, 
what Marchese calls " the most splendid religious re- 
habilitation of Savonarola — the most luminous proof of 
his innocence, and the most convincing proof of the 
perfidy of his persecutors." We allude to the intro- 
duction of the great reformer in the grandest work of 
Rafaele's genius — the " Disputation on the B. Sacra- 
ment," where he is painted among the doctors of the 
Church, the face being, as it is thought, an exact copy 
of the likeness of Fra Girolamo, painted by Delia Porta 
many years before. This magnificent work was executed 
only ten years after the death of the friar ; it was under- 
taken by the command of Julius II., and adorned the 
. very halls of the Pontifical palace, and may be considered 
as offering almost as complete a vindication of his name 
from the aspersions of his enemies as that given by Paul 
III., who hesitated not to declare " that he should regard 
that man as heretical who dared to accuse Savonarola 
of heresy." 

But we have already gone far beyond our limits in 
treating of the connection of the order with religious 
art, and must hasten to bring this chapter to a close. 
There is a crowd of illustrious names which might be 
given in illustration of the fact that the Dominican order 
has never relinquished its principle of cultivating and 
sanctifying the imaginative arts, as means of influencing 
the popular heart, and guiding men's minds to God by 
possessing itself of every avenue by which to reach them. 
Some of these were simple lay-brothers ; others, like 
Ignatius Dante (of the family of the poet) attained the 


highest ecclesiastical dignities. And let it be remem- 
bered, that the art encouraged by the Dominican painters 
and sculptors has always been essentially Christian ; and 
that Savonarola's denunciations against the corruptions 
of heathenism in art and literature have been faithfully 
re-echoed by other champions of Christian purity. In 
the succeeding age the classic imitators had it their 
own way ; the world, as we know, was flooded with 
pagan literature, and the beautiful monuments of the 
ages of faith were, in too many cases, swept away to 
make room for clumsy imitations of heathenism. Popes 
and cardinals vied with one another in their enthusiastic 
patronage of brick and mortar, and in the bad taste 
with which they used them ; but even at the court of 
Pius IV., a Dominican was found to lift his voice against 
the prevailing corruptions. The Pontiff was himself 
a great encourager of the classical rennaissance then in 
fashion. He was a great builder, and a patron of 
architects and men of taste. In the summer of 1561, 
however, he was entertaining one who seemed insensible 
to all which he beheld ; it could not be stupidity, for 
Bartholomew of the Martyrs, the primate of Portugal, 
was not a stupid man ; nevertheless, when the new 
buildings at the Belvidere were submitted to his view, he 
only shrugged his shouldars. " What do you think of 
the Belvidere, my lord of Braga ?" inquired the Pope. 
" It is for me to admire and not to judge," was the reply. 
" Your excellency, however, intends adding to the epis- 
copal palace of Braga ; I am told it is in the old style, 
quite unsuitable to our modern taste." " Your holiness 
is probably aware that I have no money for building." 
" Come, I am determined to know your opinion of my 
architect ; I will know what you think of the Belvidere 
and its statues : they at least are full of merit." " Since 
your Holiness commands me to say what I think" 
at length replied the imperturbable archbishop, " 1 
think the Son of God will one day come to burn up 
palaces such as these : I think they are quite worthy 
of their architect, but not of your holiness, whom God 
has placed in the Church to rear up lively temples for 


Himself. As to the paintings, I care for those only 
which trace the image of God on the souls of the faithful : 
this, Holy Father, is what I think." It was certainly a 
fair specimen of Dominican freedom of speech, but the 
words of Bartholomew are every way remarkable. So too 
was the Pope's reply. " I see how it is, — you and 
Charles Borromeo have been together; you are just a pair; 
he cares no more for my statues than you do, and I will 
answer for it when he gets to Milan, his palace will be the 
counterpart of yours." 

The strictures of two such men as Bartholomew and 
S. Charles were doubtless levelled, not merely at the 
expense but also at the character of these decorations. 
Bartholomew could scarcely have been insensible to the 
claims of that religious art, the appreciation of which 
was hereditary in his order ; his censures were not 
directed against the frescoes of Angelico, at that moment 
rotting on the walls of their neglected chapel, but rather 
against that school of restored paganism which has not 
hesitated to place in the basilica of S. Peter's, and on 
the very tombs of the Pontiffs, statues which modern 
refinement has been compelled to veil. Nevertheless, 
the spirit of the age was then too strong to be resisted. 
For three centuries art was well-nigh lost to the cause 
of religion, and, like all creatures of his imagination 
when emancipated from the control of the faith, it became 
only the minister of sensuality. Yet there are indi- 
cations that even during this period, the tie between 
the Dominican order and the Christian use of art was 
never wholly severed. Besides those architects and 
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
an account of whom will be found in the work of Padre 
Marchese, we find incidental mention of the cultivation 
of painting among some of the South American mission- 
aries, and that for a purpose purely religious. Gonzalo 
Lucero, provincial of Mexico in 1550, a man possessed ot 
much of the peculiar genius of his order, is spoken of as 
painting a series of all the chief mysteries of the faith, 
and preaching from them to the people, thus carrying 
out the old principle of Passavanti, that M pictures were 


the books of the unlettered." And the same is told us 
of other and later missionaries in the same field. 

It cannot, indeed, be pretended that all the Dominican 
artists followed in the steps of Angelico, or that the 
genius of such men as Marcillat could be claimed as 
doing much credit to their order. But these were ex- 
ceptions ; in general the character of the painters, equally 
with that of their paintings, was devout and spiritual. 
Out of many names we may select that of Fra Paolino 
Signoraccio, who, when a young novice in the convent of 
Prato, evinced so much artistic talent as to induce his 
superiors to place him as a pupil under Fra Bartolomeo. 
Almost his first essay in modelling was made on the clay 
figures for the Christmas crib of S. Magdalene's hospital, 
in whose books there occurs an entry of the said figures 
"made by little Paul of Pistoja," with the memorandum 
that they are already hard, "for he made three years 
before and painted them, to the honour of God, S. Domi- 
nic, and S. Magdalen." Little Paul, as he is here called, 
was but thirteen when he commenced his career as an 
artist. He followed the style of his master, Fra Barto- 
lomeo, and if he was inferior to him in boldness and 
originality of design, he is acknowleged to have excelled 
him in the devotion and " celestial beauty" of his repre- 
sentations of the Madonna. In fact, Paolino was an 
excellent and worthy religious, " simple, upright, devout, 
modest, and obedient."* He was the friend of S. Cathe- 
rine de Ricci, and of Plautilla Nelli, and he ever aimed at 
rendering his talents subservient to the cause of religion. 

Yet more celebrated in his own peculiar art was 
Damian of Bergamo, the renowned worker in wood 
mosaic, or, as it is technically called, tarsia. His 
extraordinary works far surpassed anything of the kind 
which had been hitherto seen, and are still the wonder 
of all who beheld them, They excited the incredulous 
admiration of Charles V., who, on his visit to the friars' 
church at Bologna, could not be led to believe that what 
he saw was i eally worked in wood, till he had convinced 
himself by unsheathing his dagger and chipping off a 
x- RazzL 


portion of the work. He gave his imperial testimony to 
the singular merits of the artist, by visiting him in his 
humble cell. It was on that occasion that Damian gave 
the greatest monarch in Christendom a memorable lesson 
of independence. The emperor was followed by Alfonso 
of Este, the Duke of Ferrara, but Damian refused him 
entrance : the duke's officers had been guilty of some 
unjust and tyrannical impositions, and the sturdy lay 
brother had determined he should never see his works 
till he had done him justice. His independence of 
character, however, had nothing in it that was morose; 
he was the favourite of his convent, and not only a man 
of genius, but a holy and excellent religious. 

We have mentioned the name of Ignatius Dante, 
whose celebrity was perhaps rather as a mathematician 
and an engineer, than as an artist. The singular and 
beautiful maps still to be seen in the galleries of the 
Vatican, however, evince no inconsiderable degree of 
taste, as well as of science. He was appointed to 
superintend the works at the Vatican under the ponti- 
ficate of Gregory XIII., and his influence was of the 
happiest kind, "for to his knowledge of art," we are 
told, "he added the most unblemished morality." The 
same may be said of Fra Portigiani, the architect, and 
the celebrated worker in bronze, whose piety and devotion 
have found honorable records in the annals of his 
convent of S. Mark. 

Paganelli, another engineering genius of the order, 
and architect to Paul V., was held in equally great 
repute for his skill in the sacred sciences; and, as 
became a member of the order, ever zealous for the 
purity of ecclesiastical discipline, was one of the congre- 
gation appointed by the authority of the council of 
Trent, for the reformation of the clergy. 

The art of military defence perhaps scarcely merits to 
be included in our present subject ; and that it should 
have found any to cultivate it among the ranks of the 
Dominicans may possibly excite our reader's surprise. 
But the friars were the men of their age : they were ever 
ready to turn their talent in whatever direction it was 


noeded; and so, when the republic of Genoa was strain- 
ing every nerve to defend its liberties against the tyranny 
of Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, the enthusiastic citizens, 
who toiled day and night at the walls, did not appeal in 
vain to the patriotism of Fra Yincengo Maculano, the 
most experienced engineer of the day, who filled the 
office of Inquisitor in the Genoese capital. After ex- 
hausting every resource of his genius on the military 
defence of Genoa, Maculano was called to Rome, where 
he rose to high repute as a theologian, and became 
master of the Sacred Palace. His skill as a military 
engineer, however, was destined to be once more exerted, 
and in a cause that was not unworthy his sacred pro- 
fession. . He presided over the works raised at Malta in 
1640, when the island was threatened by the Turks, and 
on his return to Rome was created cardinal and arch- 
bishop of Benevento by Urban VIII. Marchese assures 
us that on two occasions he was within a single vote of 
being raised to the pontificate, of which dignity his 
virtues and talents rendered him not unworthy. 

We may add, that even in our own day the arts still 
find those who cherish them in a truly Christian spirit, 
in the ranks of the Friars Preachers. The great church 
of Bologna, which contains the shrine of the holy founder 
of the order, has not long since been restored in excellent 
taste under the direction of one of the lay brothers, Fra 
Girolamo Bianchedi of Faenza, who also presided over 
the restoration of the Minerva in Rome. This church, 
the head-quarters of the order, originally raised by two 
Florentine Dominicans, presents one of the very few 
remains of the earlier ecclesiastical style still existing in 
that city. Its restoration is but partial; and Girolamo 
died a victim, it is said, to the terrors of the late revo- 
lution, before seeing the completion of his design. He 
did not live to witness what was a proud day for his 
order; when, on the feast of S. Dominic 1855, the church 
was reopened by the pope in person, and the relicts of 
S. Catherine, which had lain since her death in the 
Rosary chapel, were solemnly removed to the high altar, 
under which they now repose. A proud day, we have 


said, for the order ; for on the evening of that day tho^e 
streets, which four centuries since had been trodden by 
the feet of the seraphic saint of Siena, were filled with 
the lines of an immense and splendid procession, in the 
midst of which her relicts, borne in a silver urn and 
canopied with flowers, were shown for the veneration of 
the enthusiastic multitudes. The skill of Fra Girolamo, 
who has thus enjoyed the happiness of restoring the two 
churches of his order which contain the shrines of its 
two greatest saints, and the principles on which he 
conducted his restoration, which are essentially based on 
the rules of Christian art, have received the sanction of 
his present Holiness, who, when bishop of Imola, employed 
the Dominican artist in the restoration of his own cathe- 
dral in that city. We might mention other indications 
that the artistic spirit of the order still survives among us, 
but we have already exceeded our limits. Yet we cannot 
resist concluding this chapter in the words of the writer 
so often quoted : — " The mission of our order," says Mar- 
chese, "is to infuse new life into hearts that have been 
weakened by the corrupt influences of the times ; to 
consecrate our energies to the amelioration of the people ; 
and to prove that religion, however inflexibly opposed to 
a false and spurious progress, is, nevertheless, the truest 
protectress of sound knowledge, and the most zealous 
patroness of national prosperity. Nor should we forget 
the arts, for it lies on us to inspire them with noble and 
sublime sentiments, and associate them with all that 
is sanctified by religion. Let him, therefore, who cannot 
speak from the pulpit, or the professor's chair, speak 
with the chisel, or the pencil, but let us all speak a 
noble and a holy language. Never let us forget that we 
saved the arts in the days of barbaric devastation: and 
that we sheltered and cherished them in the times of the 
renaissance. Never let us forget that we warmed them 
with the breath of our hearts, and that we educated them 
for the honour and glory of Christianity. Thus shall we 
convince men that we comprehend the full sublimity of 
our vocation ; and for every benefit we bestow on the peo- 
ple, we shall receive the benedictions of grateful hearts." 


Close of the 15th century. Discovery of America. First Dominican 
missions in the New World. Bartholomew de Las Casas. Jeromo 
Loaysa. S. Louis Bertrand. The Philippine Islands. 

As we draw on to the close of the fifteenth and the 
opening of the sixteenth century we are conscious of the 
approach of a great change ; the infancy of the world is 
over, and its education complete; will, understanding, 
and imagination, have all come to maturity ; the child has 
become a man, and is about to assert its independence, 
and to enter on a career which may display its energies 
to the full. Two great discoveries mark the commence- 
ment of this singular era, and in no small degree help 
on the designs of Providence: Columbus gives a new 
world to European enterprise by the discovery of Ame- 
rica, and the invention of printing accomplishes the 
greatest social revolution the world has ever known : 
henceforth two thirds of mankind will be governed by 
the press. The Dominicans had hitherto claimed their 
share in each new influence to which the world had been 
subjected since the foundation of their order, and it was 
not to be supposed that they could remain insensible to 
the new field thrown open to their apostolic labours by 
the discovery of America, or to the demand made on 
them in their character of a teaching order by the 
revival of literature. The little flotilla which sailed from 
Europe on the 3rd of August, 1492, and was destined to 
gain a new world to Christendom, bore on the decks of 
its admiral's vessel three friars, the representatives of 
their respective orders — a Franciscan, a Dominican, and 
F. Solorzano of the order of Mercy, who acted as con- 
fessor to Columbus, and almoner to his fleet. The lands 
which the Genoese adventurer added to the empire of 
Spain, these three mendicant friars may be said to have 


taken possession of in the name of Christ ; and the part 
which succeeding brethren of those three orders were to 
play on the soil of the newly discovered continent, made 
the circumstance of their presence at that first landing a 
peculiarly appropriate accident. In fact, Columbus owed 
not a little of his success in gaining the consent and 
protection of Ferdinand, to the orders of S. Francis and 
S. Dominic. His two great advocates at the court of 
Spain were the Franciscan, John Perez de Marchena, 
and Diego Deza, Dominican professor of theology at the 
university of Salamanca; and Remesal does not hesitate 
to say, that Spain in a great measure owed the discovery 
of her new empire to F. Diego. Marchena led a com- 
pany of missionaries of his order to Haiti in the 
following year, and the little hut which he erected at 
Isabella, and where he celebrated Mass directly on his 
landing, was the first Christian church erected by the 
Spaniards in America. Diego did not himself enter on 
the apostolate of the new world, but his nephew, Peter 
Deza, was the first archbishon of Xaragua, and primate 
of the American churches. 

It is melancholy to read the solemn terms in which 
that Alexandrian bull is couched which delivers the pro- 
vinces of the new world to the keeping of the kings of 
Spain, and charges them with the care of the souls of 
their inhabitants, and their instruction in the Christian 
faith " by the memory of their baptism, and by the bowels 
of mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ," and then to remem- 
ber that only ten years after the publication of that bull 
the atrocities committed by the Spanish conquerors had 
attained their height, and cruelty had already been formed 
into a system which the indignant and courageous remon- 
strances of the Christian missionaries were unable to 
suppress. Queen Isabella died in 1504; her death was, 
in the words of Las Casas, the signal for the destruction 
of the aborigines, and her last testament which gives such 
evidence of the deep impression made on her soul by the 
Papal charge of Alexander VI. was scarcely written ere 
it was violated. Six years afterwards we find the first 
regular mission opened in America by the Friars 


Preachers, and in the same year Bartholomew de Las 
Casas sang at Vega the first high mass which had been 
heard in the new world. It was also his own first mass, 
and he was then a simple secular priest ; already full of 
enthusiastic kindness for the natives, whose language he 
had learnt with a view of devoting his life to their ser- 
vice and conversion. The celebration of that high mass 
of Bartholomew would form no bad subject as an historic 
picture. By command of Diego Columbus it was accom- 
panied with the greatest pomp. "Everyone then at La 
Vega," says Herrera, " assisted at it, and a vast number 
of the inhabitants from other parts of the island were also 
present, it being then the season of gold-finding. They 
came from all quarters with quantities of the precious 
metal as offerings to the new celebrant, who gave them 
all to his godfather in the sacred ceremony, keeping only 
a few pieces better cast than others." Well, indeed, 
might the simple and trustful people of America crowd 
instinctively around their future protector and offer him 
their gratuitous homage. It was not long before Bar- 
tholomew, already disposed to compassionate the suffer- 
ings of the Indians, was induced, on a closer knowledge 
of the cruelties practised on them, to embrace their cause 
as his own ; and, giving up the employments he had at 
first accepted under the viceroy of Hispaniola, he resolved 
to do and suffer anything in order to deliver the victims 
of his countrymen's cruelty from the tyranny under which 
they languished. 

In this general resolve he was warmly encouraged by 
the Dominican missionaries, under Peter of Cordova, who 
had scarcely arrived at Haiti before they began their 
bold and uncompromising protests against the injustice 
and rapacity of the Spaniards. Their determined and 
dogged assertion of evangelic truth soon raised a storm ; 
before many months Antonio de Montesino, the chief 
orator in the defence of the Indians, was sent back to 
Spain to plead their cause before King Ferdinand ; and 
though little real fruit came of the affair, the successful 
advocacy of the natives before the Court at Burgos, was 
a triumph >f which their generous protectors might well 


be proud. It was soon evident that if the missionaries 
would have free room for their labours, they must act 
independently of the Spanish authorities, and preach the 
cross in provinces where the Spaniards had as yet made 
no settlements, and created no prejudice against the 
name of Christian; and accordingly, in the year 1512, 
those missions were commenced on the continent of 
America, which gained so many a martyr to the order oi 
Preachers, and so many a soul to the faith of Christ. 
And here again we have occasion to admire the admirable 
spirit of unity which marked the missionary labours of 
the orders of S. Francis and S. Dominic. When in 1516 
Las Casas had so far interested the Spanish regency in 
the cause to which he had devoted himself, that they had 
nominated him Protector General of the Indians, and 
had induced Ximenes, then at the head of affairs, to enter 
warmly into his views, a great impulse was given to the 
zeal of the various religious orders; and F. llemi, a 
Franciscan of great interprise and courage, who had 
lately returned to Europe after many years spent among 
the infidels, set himself to organize a fresh body of 
labourers whom he collected from all countries, and with 
them prepared to set out a second time for the scene of his 
former missions. They were fourteen in all : among them 
it is interesting to read the name of F. Remigius Stuart, 
a member of our own royal and unfortunate house. He 
was the brother of King James IV. of Scotland, and not 
less distinguished for his religious zeal than for his illus- 
trious birth. When the little company of Franciscans 
were ready to sail, Ximenes added several Dominicans, 
who joined the body, and acknowledged Eemi as their 
leader and superior. 

In 1518, the conquest of M< xico was undertaken by 
Fernando Cortez, and the first missionaries who entered 
on this new field were of the order of mercy. They were, 
soon followed by the Franciscans, under the celebrated 
Martin de Valencia, the blessed Martin, as he is 
deservedly called, who, as Wadding tells us, began to 
preach the same year that Luther commenced spreading 
his doctrines in Germany; "so that it would seem as if 


the providence of God had disposed that one Martin 
should repair, by the conversion of new kingdoms, the 
loss caused to the Church by the corruptions of another 
Martin." But very soon after the country had fallen 
under the Spanish dominion the Dominicans were sent 
thither by the command of Charles V., and we again read 
that " they were received by the Franciscans with no less 
charity than joy, and abode with them for the space of 
three months, until their own habitations had been pre- 
pared."* They were twelve in number, and were destined 
eventually to become the founders of those provinces of 
, Oaxaca and Guatemala, whose chronicles rival in roman- 
tic and pathetic interest anything which one can find in 
the fabulous pages of Uretta. 

The names of Dominic de Betancos, the founder of 
more than a hundred convents, and of his deacon and 
disciple, Gonsalvo Lucero, suggest tales of such surpass- 
ing beauty that, did we once enter on their narration we 
should be beguiled into a prolixity which our limits 
forbid. It was a hard struggle at first: at one time 
Dominic was left the only priest of his order in Mexico, 
the others had died, or been forced to return to Spain ; 
and one of the charming tales which occur in the life of 
Lucero shows him to us the only inhabitant of his con- 
vent, having on his shoulders the apostolic care of a vast 
district, and the maintenance of religious rule and dis- 
cipline, which spite of every difficulty he never abandoned. 
But this did not last long: other missionaries soon 
poured into America in great numbers, owing to the 
edict of the emperor that no vessel was to leave Spain 
without carrying a certain number of religious on board, 
and such was the zeal and sanctity of Betancos, that 
crowds of young Castilians who had left their native land 
in search of riches or adventures, laid aside their dreams 
of worldly advancement, and received the habit of religion 
at his hands. Meanwhile Las Casas was toiling at a 
fruitless cost. Again and again did he return to Europe 
to plead his cause, and to lay new schemes for the pro- 
tection of the natives before the royal council. His first 
x-Fontaua, Monumenta Domenicana. 


plan, whose consequences, little forseen by its author, 
have brought great and undeserved obloquy on his name, 
was to increase the importation of the African negroes to 
supply the place of the native Americans, whose delicate 
and feeble constitution unfitted them for severe labour. 
This plan did not originate with Las Casas ; it had been 
adopted from the commencement of the century. To 
use the words of a well-known Protestant historian,* " It 
was a suggestion of humanity, however mistaken; and 
considering the circumstances under which it occurred, 
and the age, it may well be forgiven in Las Casas, 
especially, inasmuch as, when more enlightened, he, with 
deep humiliation, confesses his regret at having counte- 
nanced the measure, since, to use his own words, 'the 
same law applies equally to the negro as to the Indian.' " 
— W The next scheme was bolder, and most characteristic 
of Bartholomew's ardent and imaginative mind. It was 
to obtain the grant of a vast district and commence a 
Christian colony, independent of the military authorities, 
whose atrocities had made the very name of European 
hateful to the natives. He had the idea that by adopt- 
ing a different dress, which was to be white with the 
cross of Calatrava, he might persuade the Indians to 
believe that the new colonists were of a different nation 
from their persecutors. Fifty Dominicans were to accom- 
pany the colony, and a military order was to be estab- 
lished for its defence. His eloquence, as he advocated 
his plan in the presence of the emperor, prevailed, and he 
was suffered to make the attempt. It failed, through 
the malconduct of the Spaniards of a neighbouring settle- 
ment; and, compelled to abandon his project, he retired 
to the Dominican convent of Hispaniola, to hide his 
chagrin and his disgrace. "It is impossible," says 
Prescott, " not to recognize in the whole scheme the 
hand of one more familiar with books than with men, 
who meditated his benevolent « plans without estimating 
the obstacles in their way, and counted too confidently 
on meeting the same generous enthusiasm which glowed 
in his own bosom." He found his consolation, however, 
* Prescott. 


for in that period of disgrace and disappointment, when 
the sympathy of the friars formed his only resource, he 
received the call to religion ; and, becoming a member of 
the order he had ever so dearly loved, he passed some 
years in retirement, and in the discharge of the duties 
befitting his new character ; at which time it was that his 
great work on " The History of the Indies," was com- 
menced, though it was finished only a few years before 
his death. 

When we next find him at the Spanish Court, many 
years had passed over his head, but they had not changed 
his purpose or his constancy. A great change had, how- 
ever, come over the royal councils. The presidency of 
the Indian Council was filled by no less a man than 
Garcias de Loaysa, the confessor to the emperor, and 
General of the Order of Preachers. The renewed appeal 
of Las Casas produced most important regulations on 
behalf of the American subjects of the Spanish Crown, 
and a code of laws was passed, "having for its express 
object the enfranchisement of the oppressed race ; and in 
the wisdom and humanity of its provisions it is easy to 
recognize the hand of the Protector ot the Indians."* 
In fact we are bound to admit that little or no blame 
attaches to the Spanish government in their dealings with 
their colonies : to use the words of the writer just quoted, 
" the history of Spanish colonial legislation is the history 
of the impotent struggles of the government against the 
avarice and cruelty of its subjects;" and certainly neither 
Ferdinand nor Charles ever showed themselves insensible 
to the charge laid on them by the sovereign Pontiff to 
regard the dominions given them by Providence as a cure 
of souls. In 1544, Bartholomew de Las Casas, then 
seventy years of age, was consecrated Bishop of Chiapa. 
He was well-nigh worn out with toil and disappointment : 
he had already crossed the Atlantic on four several missions 
to the court of Castile, and now he did not shrink from 
returning to his adopted country with the fresh burden 
of the episcopate on his venerable shoulders. He had 
need of all his heroic courage to face the storm that 
# Prescott, 



greeted him on his landing. The colonists saw in him the 
author of the new code which laid so powerful a restraint 
upon their cruelty and rapacity. He was everywhere 
received with an outcry of hatred and contempt, " which," 
says Touron, "he accepted as the appanage of the apos- 
tolate." Violence was even offered to his person; yet 
never did the tide of opposition prevail with him so far as 
to induce him to yield one point of what he deemed the 
cause of God. Up to the last he refused to admit to 
the sacraments any who still held an Indian in bondage 
contrary to the regulations of the new code. 

But he was powerless to check the flood of iniquity 
which desolated the unhappy country : his own eyes were 
witnesses of those enormities which his pen has so vividly 
portrayed; — he saw infants torn from their mothers' 
breasts, and dashed against the wall, or thrown into the 
river. He beheld the unhappy natives, with noses and 
limbs cut off, thrown, in the sport of cruelty, to be 
devoured by dogs. He witnessed the brutal wagers of 
the Spanish conquerors, where a trifling bauble was the 
prize of his dexterity who should strike off an Indian's 
head at a single sabre-stroke. He tells us of massacres in 
which 500 of the chief caciques were slaughtered in a 
day ; and of one occasion when 4,000 Indians were slain, 
700 of whom were thrown alive from the summit of a 
precipice, so that you might have seen the air darkened 
by the cloud of their bodies as they fell, and were dashed 
to pieces on the rocks. Eighteen millions of Indians are 
reckoned to have perished in these wholesale slaughters ; 
and the number every day delivered to the flames or the 
wild beasts was so great, that, he assures us, a certain 
vessel made the voyage to S. Domingo from some distant 
island without the aid of a compass, being guided thither 
only by the dead bodies which floated over the water by 

At length even the hope and courage of Las Casas was 
unequal to continue the struggle, and he determined to 
withdraw from the scene of abominations which he had no 

* Touron, quoted from the "Relation of the extinction of the 


longer any power to restrain. He resigned his bishopric, 
and again returned to Europe, to die among his brethren: 
he appeared once more as the champion of the Indians in 
the famous dispute with Sepulveda, who had undertaken to 
justify the proceedings of the Spanish conquerors in a 
work entitled, "The Justice of the War of the King of 
Spain against the Indians." In this book the learned 
author endeavoured to make the most of the dominion 
over the new world granted to Spain by the Alexandrine 
bull, and to deduce as a consequence that the Spaniards 
might do what they liked with their own. The book 
was suppressed owing to the instances of Las Casas, but 
Sepulveda at length obtained permission for a solemn 
disputation on the question to be held between him and 
his opponent before the royal council. Dominic Soto 
>vas appointed arbiter, and the aged champion of justice 
to the Indians had thus an opportunity of striking a 
last blow in the cause he had so faithfully and devotedly 
served. His triumph was undisputed, especially in the 
propositions, wherein he clearly demonstrates that the 
grant made by the Holy See rested on the condition 
of the conversion of the natives to Christianity ; and 
though this argument seemed to attack the very integrity 
of the Spanish colonial empire, Las Casas was regarded 
with too much respect for the court to take offence. 
He died at length in his 92nd year at the convent 
of Atocha, near Madrid. His character is one con- 
cerning which the judgments of men have never differed : 
Protestants and Catholics have rivalled one another in 
doing justice to his heroic memory. " He was one 
of those," says Prescott, " to whose gifted minds are 
revealed those glorious moral truths which, like the 
lights of heaven, are fixed and the same for ever; but 
which, though now familiar, were hidden from all but 
a few penetrating intellects by the general darkness of 
the times in which they lived. He was inspired by 
one great and glorious idea. This was the key to all 
his thoughts, and to every act of his long life. It 
was this which urged him to lift the voice of rebuke 
in the presence of princes, to brave the menaces of an 


infuriated populace, to cross seas, to traverse mountains 
and deserts, to incur the alienation of friends, the hostility 
of enemies, and to endure obloquy, insult, and persecution." 
" His only fault," says the Pere Charlevoix, the Jesuit 
historian of S. Domingo, " was an over-ardent imagination, 
by which he at times allowed himself to be too much 
governed." In short, his faults were those of a generous 
enthusiasm, his virtues those of the purest Christian 
heroism. • 

We have devoted so large a space in speaking of this 
most illustrious of all the early Dominican missionaries 
of America, that we must necessarily pass very briefly 
over the names of others who claim our notice. The 
greater proportion of the first American bishops were 
chosen from the order of Preachers : * among them 
Jerome de Loaysa, first bishop of Carthagena, and after- 
wards first archbishop of Lima, presents us with the 
perfect model of an apostle. He may be said to have 
been the founder of all the future glory of the Peruvian 
Church ; and Lima, so rich in saints and saintly men, 
owes a debt of gratitude to her first primate, the extent 
of which can never be rightly measured. He laboured 
equally at the conversion of the Indians, and at the far 
harder task of Christianizing the Spanish colonists ; and 
such was his success, that he is reckoned, in all the 
soberness of historic truth, as having made up by the 
souls he gained to Christ in the new world, for the 
losses the Church was then suffering in Europe at the 
hands of the Lutheran heretics. We have said that 
Lima is indebted for no small part of her religious glory 
to the labours of Loaysa. Her university owes its 
foundation to him, as well as that celebrated convent 
of the Rosary, whence the university drew its chief 
professors. We will not attempt the task of reckoning 
all the congregations and orders, the religious and 
charitable foundations, he introduced into the city ; we 
will content ourselves with remarking that the estab- 
lishment of the Tertiaries of S. Dominic at Lima was 

« 8ee the list of the bishopg who sat in the two first provincial 
councils of Lima, given in Touran's "History of Ameri-wi.' 


his work, and from that stem blossomed the first and 
sweetest saint of the new world, S. Rose of Lima, whose 
sanctity would be glory enough to the country which gave 
her birth, even if it did not claim the right of reckoning 
her as only the first of a long calendar of saints.* Vat 
verdo, the first bishop of Casco, died a martyr's death, 
being seized by the cannibals of La Puna, and torn 
to pieces, whilst in the act of celebrating the sacred 
mysteries. Bernard Albuquerque, bishop of Guaxaca, is 
another whose life has the charm of a romance, and whose 
character is essentially of the heroic stamp ; and one 
scarce knows which most to admire, his untiring and 
prodigious labours, his life of secret prayer, or that sweet 
and strange humility, which made his more worldly col- 
leagues affirm that " he knew better how to be a saint than 
how to be a bishop." 

We must "hasten, however, to bring this subject to 
a close, and conclude our scanty sketch of the South 
American missions with the notice of one name greater 
than any yet mentioned, S. Louis Bertrand, the Xavier 
of the Western world. In doing so we must necessarily 
pass on to a later period ; and before entering on the 
labours of this, the most illustrious apostle whom the 
Dominican order had produced since the days of S. 
Hyacinth, we must beg our readers to understand, that, 
in speaking of the services rendered to the faith in 
America by that order, nothing is further from our 
intention than to claim for them the exclusive honours 
of the American apostolate. The Franciscans in a par- 

-* Among the saints of the Liman Church we may specially notice 
the Indian half-caste, Martin Porres, a lay brother in the Domi- 
nican convent of the Rosary. The beatification of this holy man 
seems the crowning: example of that, spirit which has been the 
special glory of the Dominicans of America ; who, m the elevation 
to their altar of an Indian slave, have in the noblest manner pro- 
nounced their condemnation of those prejudices which have dis- 
graced the Christian world for three centuries. And whilst we see 
the most Protestant of republics still vindicating the rights of 
slavery and the wrongs of slaves, the veneration shown by the 
Catholic Church to more than one saintly member of this despised 
class, presents a contrast which we need not press upon the atten- 
tion of our readers. 


ticular manner divide the glory of that work, and we 
might say that there is scarcely a religious order which 
was not represented in the early South American missions, 
and which did not distinguish itself by a noble advocacy 
of the rights of humanity and justice. But in our 
narrow limits we are obliged to confine ourselves to one 
branch of the subject, and certainly the consent of all 
writers, even those who are alien from the faith, justifies us 
in giving the Dominicans something of pre-eminence, 
when speaking of the defence of the suffering Indians. 
Their zeal was of so peculiar a kind as to have extracted 
a tribute of admiration even from such a writer as 
Robertson ; and the American author whom we have 
already so often quoted, gives his testimony in their favour 
in terms which evince how little he is inclined to speak 
favourably of the Order of Preachers. " The brethren 
of S. Dominic," he says, " stood forth as the avowed 
champions of the Indians on all occasions, and showed 
themselves as devoted to the cause of freedom in the 
new world, as they had been hostile to it in the 
old ;"* an assertion of inconsistency in the conduct of the 
friars whick he has not thought it necessary to justify 
or explain 

It was in the year 1562 that S. Louis Bertrand, 
whose fame for sanctity had already been established in 
his own country, arrived at Carthagena, and found the 
Christian faith rapidly spreading under the united efforts 
of the Franciscans, the Dominicans, and the Order of 
Mercy. The admirable harmony with which these three 
orders worked together deserves a tribute of respect at 
the hands of the historian, and amid the many jealousies 
and rivalries that force themselves on our notice when 
we enter on the literary or political history of any 
body of men, the evangelical love which was retained 
unbroken between the missionaries of these different 
societies is a subject of perpetually recurring consola- 
tion. At the period of which we speak, we find John 
de los Barrios, a religious of the Order of Mercy, bishop 
of S. Martha, his first act being the establishment in 



his cathedral city of two communities, one of S. Francis, 
and another of S. Dominic. The Austin Friars were 
likewise there, and religious women of each order scat- 
tered over the diocese. The charge of education was giv- 
en over to the Dominicans, who were laying the foundation 
of a future university at Lima. As to the work of 
preaching, it was common to all. The neighbouring 
diocese of Carthagena was governed by a Dominican, 
Gregory de Beteta ; and by both these holy prelates the 
arrival of S. Louis was hailed with extraordinary joy. 
He almost at once entered on his apostolic labours 
in all the northern provinces of the Continent, and with 
such success that we are assured no less than 10,000 
souls were gained by him to Christ in the short space of 
three years. The signs and graces promised to the apos- 
tles did not fail to follow on the preaching of this extraor- 
dinary man, His first prayer had been, to be understood 
by the people whom he should address ; and the mira- 
culous gift of tongues, which we know was so frequently 
granted to S. Francis Xavier, was granted to him also. 
Whilst he spoke no language but Castilian, he was under- 
stood by all the various tribes and nations among whom 
he preached. 

But miracles are after all the least marvellous and 
least admirable part of the story of a saint i and when we 
read of the sick cured by the touch or prayer of the 
servant of God ; of storms quelled, and ferocious animals 
tamed and domesticated by the sign of the Cross, — these 
things seem little by the side of the constancy and sweet- 
ness and devotedness which gave a greater power to the 
preaching of S. Louis than all the marvels that he worked. 
The savage people crowded about him in wonder ; their 
hearts opened to him as, drawn by an irresistible charm, 
they came and dashed their idols to pieces before his 
eyes, and with their own hands raised altars to the true 
God, and vowed to receive the doctrine of purity and 
of the Cross. So he passed from Carthagena to Tabara, 
and thence, when there were no more infidels to con- 
vert, to the territories of Cipacoa and Paluato. His 
fame went before him ; the Indians knew him but by 


one title, " the religious of God," and came down from 
their mountains, and from the recesses of their forests, 
to meet him on his way. Sometimes, indeed, he was 
not so well received. We read of one tribe of Paluto 
of whom two only were converted at the time ; but the 
harvest of souls in this case was only delayed, and at 
a later period the whole people embraced the faith. 
Once, as he preached under a tree to a vast multitude, 
a band of savages were seen approachiug armed with bows 
and lances, and with the avowed purpose of putting the 
despiser of their idols to a bloody death. Louis was 
warned to fly. " Fear nothing," he replied : " they will 
not be able to do what they propose." The savages, 
indeed, reached his presence, but instead of offering him 
violence, they stood as though overpowered by a new and 
strange sentiment of admiration. He continued to 
speak, and when his discourse was ended, 200 of his 
intended murderers cast themselves at his feet and 
demanded baptism. He even penetrated alone among 
the Carribees, where, after escaping innumerable attempts 
against his life, he made many converts, and is said to 
have sometimes won these fierce and savage people by 
the charm of his music. At length, after eight years of 
these labours, he returned to Spain, wearied out by the 
hardness of heart, not of the heathens, but of the Spanish 
Christians. On his death, he was fitly claimed by the 
people of New Grenada as their patron saint, and was 
solemnly declared protector of that country by Alex- 
ander VIII. 

Of the long line of prelates which the order gave 
to the South American provinces, our space will not 
allow us to speak, though the name of Bartholomew 
Ledesma, John Ramirez, Peter de Feria, and many others, 
might fitly find a place among those which have most 
worthily graced the episcopate. Let it be remembered that 
those apostolic men, who evangelized the vast territories 
of the American continent, were not content with simply 
preaching and converting souls ; but they planted the 
Church on solid and lasting foundations ; and wherever the 
Dominican missions appeared, there sooner or later were 


established hospitals, religious houses, and colleges for 
education of all kinds. At Lima they founded the great 
university, which was entirely conducted and taught by 
their professors. At Puebla, in Mexico, and in many 
other cities, as afterwards at Manilla, in the Philippines 
their colleges received the university privileges. The 
hospital of S. Alexis,*at Guatemala, where the sick natives 
were served and nursed by the hands of the religious, owed 
its erection to the devoted and heroic zeal of F. Matthew of 
Peace ; and scarce a town of Peru and Mexico but bears 
even to this day marks of the pious labours of these 
admirable men, whose names are unknown and forgotten 
save in the chronicles of their order, and in the book ot 

Whilst these things were going on in the Western 
world, the discoveries of Magellan in the Eastern Archi- 
pelago were hardly less important in their results. It 
was in the year 1521 that the Portuguese navigator dis- 
covered that group of islands, which being afterwards in 
1555 formally taken posession of by Philip II., received 
from him the name of the Philippine Islands. The 
Augustinian and Franciscan friars were the first to take 
advantage of the ground thus opened; but it was not 
long before F. John de Castro, one of the most illustrious 
of the Dominican missionaries of South America, was 

--5- The story of this foundation is a beautiful illustralion of the 
character of these early missioners. Matthew, whilst still very 
young, entirely devoted himself to the service of the natives ; he 
begged alms in the street for their necssaries, and shared all their 
hardships and sufferings. He had built a little sanctuary at Gua- 
temala in honour of our Lady, where be collected his Indians every 
day, and prepared them for the sacraments. The sick he received 
in a little hut adjoining the chapel, which he had built with his 
own hands, of straw and the branches- of trees. Here he nursed 
and tended thpm : and not a day passed but this humble servant 
of the despised Indian slaves might be seen seeking new objects of 
charity in the streets, and carrying them on his back to his little 
hospital. It was there he lived; and neither the infection of the 
place, nor the difficulties he encountered among the Indians them- 
selves, ever wearied out his' patience. This was the beginning oi 
the hospital of S. Alexis, afterwards constructed on a larger scale, 
and served by the Dominicans of Guatemala. 



appointed vicar-general of a new mission destined for the 
East, and became the founder of the celebrated Philippine 
province of the Holy Rosary. 1579, Dominic Salazar, a 
Dominican by profession, had been appointed first bishop 
of Manilla ; and it was probably about five years after 
his elevation that the new missionaries arrived in his 
diocese. Among them we find the name of Michael 
Benavides, who afterwards succeeded Salazar in the 
government of Manilla, when the church was erected 
in to an archbishopric. . Previous to this elevation, he 
devoted himself with enthusiasm to the scheme, alway3 
so dear to Catholic missionaries, of penetrating into 
China. The settlement of the Philippines offered singular 
advantages for facilitating this enterprise; and, indeed, 
the great value of these islands as a religious possession, 
was their position half-way between the South American 
provinces and China. Benavides succeeded in entering 
the Celestial empire, but was obliged after a while to 
return to Manilla without effecting any permanent 
results. Prom this period the influence of the Domi- 
nicans became paramount in the Philippine Islands, and 
has continued to be so even to our own day. A long 
line of illustrious bishops of their order have governed 
the Church of Manilla ; and at a time when almost every 
other religious house was suppressed by the revolutionized 
government of Spain, it was found necessary to preserve 
one convent of the Friars Preachers (that of Ocagna) for 
the purpose of supplying the missions of the Philippine 

We have already exceeded our limits in speaking of 
this subject ; we can, therefore, only add that the apostles 
of the Order of Preachers were to be found during this 
and the succeeding century in almost every country of 
the east. In Hindostan, they preceded the Jesuits; in 
Ceylon, the Moluccas, Siam, Corea, and China, we might 
reckon the names of their missionaries and martyrs by 
hundreds. Nor were the old fields of Armenia and 
Persia neglected for these newer regions of enterprise; 
whilst from the island of Scio, a home and nursery of 
the order, went forth a crowd of zealous missionaries to 


all the coasts of the Archipelago and Levant. And we 
may again remark the solid character of the work under- 
taken by the order ; it always had its eye on the firm 
establishment of the Church in the countries it evange- 
lized, by means of educational institutions ; and it is 
entirely in accordance with the spirit and example of his 
predecessors that we find Seraphino Siccus, the master- 
general of the order in 1622, establishing the college of 
Nakchivan in Armenia ; whilst not content with this, the 
order founded within a few years another Armenian 
college at Rome, the rules of which were drawn up in 
the general chapter of 1644. 

Indeed, we may safely affirm that the generals of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were men worthy of 
succeeding to the office which had been made so illus- 
trious by the first masters of the order. Such men as 
Seraphino Siccus, Nicholas Rodolph, Thomas Tarcus, and 
their successors, present us with splendid examples of 
religious superiors; and the study of their biographies 
furnishes us with some idea of the vast spiritual dominion 
then included within the government of the Friars 
Preachers; reaching, as we might say, over the whole 
known world, and illustrated during those centuries 
with a continual succession of martyrs and apostolic men. 
And it will be seen that even at a period when the order 
had lost something of its influence in Europe, and was 
evincing symptoms of languor and decadence, it never 
lost anything of its fresh and primitive vigour in the 
fields of the apostolate. The first blessing has rested on 
that work, wherein the first fervour of its missionaries 
has never cooled; and the annals of China in the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries present us with the 
same pictures of constancy and devotion as we may find 
in the Tartar or American missionaries of earlier ages. 


The 16th century. Revival of biblical learning. Zenobius Accia- 
joli. Giustiniani. Sanctes Pagninus. Sixtus of Siena. Cajetan. 
Scenes of the Keforrnation. Persecutions in Ireland. Irish 
Martyrs. Dominican popes. The Council of Trent. 

Whilst the discoveries of navigators were daily 
throwing open new fields to the labours of the Dominican 
missionaries, the order was not idle at home. The six- 
teenth century is, indeed, an eventful one in history, and 
the unhappy religious revolution which distinguished it 
could scarcely fail to call forth all the energies and 
talents of that institution which has deserved the title of 
the "hammer of the heretics." But even without this 
stimulus to activity it could not but be roused to extraordi- 
nary exertions in an age which was par excellence the age 
of the restoration of letters, and we naturally look in its 
ranks, at this period, for a more than ordinary display of 
learning, and of literary greatness. 

And here we may remark how much the influence of 
Savonarola's teaching was felt in the generation which 
succeeded him. All the men of eminence formed in his 
school had received a particular bias in the direction of 
their studies, the utility of which in the questions which 
afterwards rose to agitate the world was, certainly, in no 
degree foreseen by Savonarola at the time it was first 
suggested by him. We allude to the substitution of 
scriptural criticism and the study of the oriental lan- 
guages, in place of scholastic or classical learning, which 
we find general among his disciples, and which gave the 
same impulse to the renewed cultivation of what one 
might call the biblical sciences, as we have before noticed 
as taking place in the thirteenth century. The restora- 
tion of biblical learning just at a period when the heretics 
of Germany were about to claim the Scriptures as their 


rule of faith, and when spurious translations of the sacred 
text were to be placed in the hands of the unlettered 
multitudes, may be deemed a Providential circumstance, 
and one most important in its results. 

One of the most distinguished literary disciples of 
Savonarola was Zenobius Acciajoli, to whom we have 
before alluded as the friend and associate of Mirandola 
Politian, Martiales Ficinius, and other men of learning 
and genius who adorned the court of the Msdici, and 
among whom the study of orientalism was a favourite pursuit. 
After his entrance into the Order of Preachers, he conse- 
crated all his literary powers to the service of religion, and 
in the preface to his translation of a treatise of Eusebius 
against Hierocles, we find him dedicating to Lorenzo de 
Medici, " this the first fruits of his studies since his 
entrance into the Dominican order, whose special profes- 
sion it is to neglect nothing which can contribute to the 
defence of the Catholic faith." 

His chief labours were spent on the translation of the 
works of Justin Martyr and Theodoret ; the latter work 
having, as he says, been suggested to him by John Francis 
Mirandola as an antidote to the dangerous idolatry of 
Plato then so universal. He was promoted to a congenial 
and most suitable ofiice by Leo X., being made Prefect of 
the Vatican Library, where every opportunity was afforded 
him of pursuing his favourite researches among the trea- 
sures of Greek and Hebrew literature. We shall find 
almost all the learned men of the order at this period 
turning their attention to similar pursuits ; among them 
we may mention Augustine Giustiniani, a member of that 
illustrious house which has supplied so many a great name 
to the ranks of the Friars Preachers. He, too, entered 
the order just at the time when Savonarola's system was 
becoming generally adopted, and the works he subsequently 
published prove, says Touron, " that Greek, Hebrew, 
Arabic, and Chaldaic, were as familiar to him as Latin." 
He adds, naively enough, that the application of Giusti- 
niani to these studies was at first purely " the effect of 
his spirit of penance," but that they afterwards became 
his delight. Being invited to Paris by Francis L, 


he awakened the attention of the French prelates and 
literati to the importance of these pursuits, and intro- 
duced the cultivation of oriental learning into the 
university of Paris. His Psalter in five languages was 
but a sample of what he purposed to have done; his 
plan being to give similar versions of each of the sacred 
books; but he lacked a patron to assist him in the 
completion of this gigantic undertaking. 

Not to accumulate the mere names of learned men, we 
shall content ourselves, in this reference to the revival 
of biblical literature, with mentioning that of Sanctes 
Pagninus, the wonder of his age, and one who, like the 
others we have named, was led to scriptural criticism, and 
the study of the oriental languages. His Latin translation 
of the Bible from the original tongues was a work which 
received the approval of Leo X. That great pope, whom 
Protestant critics have not hesitated to term exclusively 
heathen in his tastes, was one of the most magnificent 
encouragers of sacred letters whom the Church ever pro- 
duced, and death alone prevented him from undertaking 
the publication of Pagninus's work at his own expense. 
It is said to have occupied its author for more than 
thirty years; during which time he produced a variety 
of other learned works, chiefly intended to facilitate the 
study of the Hebrew and Chaldaic languages. Nor can 
we omit recalling to mind the fact that this man of 
letters was also the apostle of the south of France, and a 
hero of charity. Of the seventeen years of his residence 
at Lyons, fourteen were spent amid the horrors of pesti- 
lence; and Lyons has to thank him for that magnificent 
hospital which was built for the sufferers at his suggestion 
by Thomas Guadagni. 

The name of Sixtus of Siena claims our notice not only 
for his own merit as an author, but on account of his con- 
nection with the early career of S. Pius V. It is well 
that our readers should see something of a Dominican. 
Inquisitor, and we know no better example with which 
to present them than that of Michael Ghislieri. Sixtus 
was by birth a Jew : we know nothing of the story of his 
conversion, but there is sufficient evidence that his bold 


genius very early showed a disposition to original and 
dangerous speculation. It was in the year 1500 that F. 
Miehael Ghislieri, in the discharge of his duties as Com- 
missary-General of the Holy Office, entered one day the 
prisons of the Inquisition, not for the purpose of super- 
intending the torture, as some of our readers might 
believe, but in order to see and speak with the prisoners, 
and inform himself personally of their state. There he 
found Sixtus, then just thirty years of age : he had been 
adjudged guilty, not of heresy only, but of relapse into 
heresy, and lay under sentence of death. Ghislieri was 
touched with compassion, and by his means the unhappy 
man was convinced of his errors, and induced to lay aside 
the haughty resolution he had formed to die rather than 
to submit, and so appear again in the world humiliated 
and disgraced. The commissary of the Inquisition left 
the prison to throw himself at the feet of the Pope and 
obtain the pardon of the prisoner ; but this was not all ; 
he determined to charge himself and his order henceforth 
with the care of this erratic and untamed genius, and his 
charitable and urgent solicitations won from the Pope a 
permission rarely if ever granted; which was, to receive 
the condemned but repentant heretic into the ranks of the 

Fifteen years afterwards, in his dedication of his great 
work, the Biblioteca Sancta, to S. Pius, Sixtus thus 
addresses his generous deliverer: — "I could not seek a 
more friendly or more powerful protector than you, who 
once, in old times, delivered me from the very gates of 
hell, and restored me to the light of truth, and to a yet 
more perfect state. When you deigned to receive me 
into your order, you were pleased to clothe me with your 
own hand, and even with your own habit, and at the same 
time adopted me as your spiritual child." 

He had, indeed, in Sixtus, saved a glorious soul. The 
powerful grasp of religious discipline completed the con- 
version of heart which was begun by those first lovirg 
and charitable words in the dungeons of Rome. Sixtus 
never relapsed, and his vast learning and intellectual 
powers were thenceforth directed to the service of the 


faith. He was specially employed in combating Judaism, 
at that time active and powerful in its attacks on Christi- 
anity. His reading, like his writing, was all on a prodigious 
scale ; we have the list of his numerous works, mostly 
criticisms on the Scriptures and biblical languages; but 
with the characteristic impetuosity of his nature, he threw 
them all into the flames with his own hand, with the excep- 
tion of the Biblioteca Sancta, which was the only one 
which had reached completion at the period of his death. 
This work, besides containing criticisms and commentaries 
on the sacred books, and a vast amount of curious biblical 
erudition of all kinds, gives an exact account of all the 
writers who have treated on similar subjects down to the 
middle of the 16th century; in the course of which he has 
become the historian of many distinguished authors of his 
own order. 

We have perhaps said enough to suggest to our 
readers an idea of the direction which had been given to 
the studies of the Dominicans just at the period when 
this kind of learning was most called for by the special 
needs of the Church. "We might add many names to 
those given above ; but we shall do no more than allude 
to that of Thomas de Vio Cajetan, known to every reader of 
the history of the Protestant Reformation as that Cardinal 
Cajetan to whom, as Legate of the Pope, Martin 
Luther made solemn profession of his willingness to sub- 
mit to the judgment of the Roman Church, and to whom 
he gave his written declaration that "he repented of his 
failure of respect to the Pope, and demanded nothing 
better than in all things to follow the decision of the 
Holy Father." Previous to his elevation to the purple, 
Cajetan had been general of the order, and had done good 
service to the Holy See by a defence of its prerogatives, 
in a treatise on the comparative authority of a council and 
the Sovereign Pontiff — the old traditionary battle-ground 
of the Dominican champions of the Papacy. He, too, was 
a biblical commentator, and an expounder of the doctrines 
of the Church on those points attacked by the Lutheran 
heretics. But. it was perhaps more even in his public 
than in his literary character, that his name is illustrious, 


remembered and often maligned as it is in our own country 
on account of the firm opposition he offered to the divorce 
of Henry VIII. When he fell into the hands of the 
Imperialists at the sack of Rome, it is said that Clement 
VII. mourned over his loss more than over that of his 
capital, and declared the cardinal of S. Sixtus to be " the 
light of the Church." 

His name brings before us the great feature of that 
strange century, which dates, like the commencement 
of modern history, as a new era in the destinies of Europe, 
and the history of the Church. Far be it from us to 
say of that century, what may be said of no period with- 
out gravely impugning the fidelity, or the providence of 
God, that its fruits were unmixed evil. On the con- 
trary, we know and are assured that the Catholic Church, 
whilst it had to deplore whole kingdoms lost to the 
unity of the faith, has gained by having to battle face to 
face with a form of unbelief avowedly without her pale ; 
and that the age of reform, falsely so called, was one of 
true reform to her, in which the limits of her faith 
received their last and exactest definitions, and her dis- 
cipline put on something of that primitive beauty which 
had been lost during the turbulent centuries which had 
preceded it. But still the history of the Reformation is 
a book written within and without with lamentation, and 
mourning, and woe. And the order which follows the 
fortunes of the Church, as a guard of honour clings to 
some crowned master in the hour of triumph or defeat, 
that order on which we have seen a sovereign Pontiff 
bestowing the title of the " Order of Truth," shared in 
all the sufferings of this unhappy period. In those terrible 
struggles, when so much blood was shed amid the violent 
disorders which everywhere followed on the preaching 
of the new doctrines, the Dominicans gave a crowd of 
martyrs to the Church. In France alone it is calculated 
3,000 ecclesiastics and 9,000 religious perished by the 
swords of the Huguenots; whilst the profanations and 
crimes that accompanied these murders were too shocking 
to describe. We hear much of the massacre of S. Bar- 
tholomew, but France could tell other tales, less familiar 
z 2 


to our ears, of thirty-five convents of this one order alone 
fired by these same Huguenots, and their inhabitants driven 
out, tortured,* or put to the sword. In Germany they 
suffered yet more. Whole provinces had to be abandoned, 
with their convents, in Poland, Moravia and Bohemia. 
In the Low Countries frightful cruelties were practised : 
at Ghent, for instance, the brethren were seized to the 
number of a hundred, tied two and two, and placed in 
their own refectory to be starved to death ; but at the 
end of three days their captors determined on shooting them 
to shorten their trouble, and were about to execute their 
design, when the senate interfered and desired that the 
friars should only be driven from the country. And this 
was instantly done ; the half-dead and famishing religious 
being compelled, though scarce able to stand, to begin the 
journey, in the course of which many perished on the road- 
side of hunger and exhaustion. 

But it may perhaps be thought unfair for Catholics to 
complain of persecution, as though their adversaries enjoyed 
a monopoly of cruelty in a persecuting age. The Hugue- 
nots of France, it may be said, had to bear as much as 
they inflicted. "We will, therefore, turn to a country where 
there has been no rivalry in the matter ; in whose history, 
at least, Catholics can only appear as sufferers, the voice 
of whose wailing has gone forth to the ends of the earth, 
and whose emerald soil has been dyed red in the blood of 
martyrs. We will pass over the suppression of the order 
in England, where forty-two convents were swept away by 
Henry VIII. with the usual scenes of sacrilege and 
violence which accompanied the proceedings of that illus- 

* Among other methods of slaughter, it was the practice of the 
Huguenot3 to tie the priests to a crucifix, and in this way make them 
marks for their arquebus-shots. "Who can relate all the martyr- 
doms and persecutions suffered by the Fathers,'' savs Michel Pio, 
" and that not in one place, but in every part of France ? Some 
were cut to pieces, others thrown into wells, others dragged about, 
poisoned and pierced with swords and arrows ;" whilst, venting\ 
their rage even on the dead carcases, they would stuff them full of 
corn and hay, and so make them eating-troughs for their horses. " In 
the midst of these inhumanities," he adds, '' the Huguenots would 
raise the cry, ' Vive V Evangile ! P ",— (Travagli 

Li dell' Ordine, p. 353 ) 


trious reformer, and where tlie nation showed #s re- 
viving appreciation of letters by publicly burning the works 
ot the angelic doctor. The English province was entirely 
destroyed, and though partly restored by Queen Mary, 
the renewed persecution under Elizabeth completed its 
extinction. An interesting letter is given by Michel Pio, 
from the English provincial of the period, F. Richard 
Hargrave, to the master-general, describing the exile of a 
community of Dominican nuns of Dartford, and the state of 
destitution in which they were then living in the island of 
Zealand. One of the religious of this little community, 
the last remains of the English province, was a sister 
of the martyred Fisher, bishop of Rochester, " and a 
martyr of no less will and constancy," says F. Hargrave, 
" than was her brother." 

In Ireland, however, many circumstances rendered it dif- 
ficult for the English sovereigns to carry out their measures 
for the destruction of religion with the same success as had 
attended their efforts in their own island. They were 
there wholly without popular support, and though the 
laws against Catholics were framed for both countries, 
yet they were never able to root up the Church or her 
religious orders, as they had done in England. Never- 
theless, the Catholic religion endured great sufferings. 
We will give one specimen of the system pursued by 
Elizabeth on her accession to the crown, taken from the 
" Epilogus Chronologicus," of Father John O'Heyne. 
It was in the year 1602, that a number of religious, 
Benedictines, Cistercians, and others, together with seven 
Dominicans, were assembled in the island of Scattery, 
under orders to leave the kingdom. A royal ship of 
war took them on board, with the purpose, as was pre- 
tended, of conveying them to the coasts of France or 
Spain. But though this was the professed design, the 
captain had his private orders conveyed by a royal man- 
date ; and so soon as they were out of sight of land, every 
one of the prisoners, to the number of forty-two, was thrown 
overboard. Elizabeth, however, had a character to keep 
up, and therefore, on the return of her officers, after 
despatching her royal orders, they and all on board were 


cast into prison. But let not the reader suppose that this 
was intended as any mark of displeasure on the part of 
their sovereign ; — on the contrary, having by this act suf- 
ficiently vindicated her reputation for justice and tolera- 
tion, the prisoners were after a few days released, and by 
another mandate rewarded for their good service by being 
put in possession of the very abbey-lands which formed the 
property of their victims. 

Protestant writers of course pass over facts like these; 
and their Protestant readers will therefore go on to the 
end extolling the glories of that " bright occidental star," 
whose rising put an end to the inhuman cruelties of the 
Papists. That can be scarcely called ignorance which 
refuses to know the truth'; and the martyrdoms of Irish 
Catholics under Elizabeth were not few in number, neither 
are they left without full historical records. They put 
the inquisition to the blush ; hanging was thought too 
mild a death to inflict on the victims of " religious 
tolerance." The ingenuity of the Indian savages was 
imitated in the devising of new and strange tortures. 
They were roasted, and pressed to death ; their nails 
were slowly torn from their feet and hands ; they were 
exposed to die of cold and starvation ; and the imagina- 
tion of their tormentors was racked to invent originalities 
in the way of cruelty. What, for instance, are we to 
think of the punishment "inflicted on Dermot Hurle, 
archbishop of Cashel, a Dominican ? He was sentenced 
to be hanged ; but previously to his execution, was sub- 
jected to an extraordinary barbarity. His entire legs and 
feet were covered with a corrosive plaster made of pitch, 
sulphur, brandy, salt, and other combustible materials, 
which slowly consumed the flesh ; the plaster was renewed 
hour after hour, till the arteries and muscles were destroy- 
ed, and the very bones appeared ; and his enemies, having 
thus satisfied their savage malice, then conducted him to 
the scaffold, though we are told they did so before brealc of 
day, lest the circumstances of his previous tortures should 
become public. 

A great number of the religious of the order suffered 
during the reigns of James I. and Charles I., yet still it 


survived in spite of all that the rack and the gibbet could 
do to extinguish it. But during the conquest of the 
island by Cromwell, Ireland was made to drain to the very 
dregs the chalice of her misery. We have neither space 
nor inclination to dwell at length on the barbarities in- 
flicted by that champion of religious liberty, yet wo 
cannot omit an allusion to one or two among the many 
illustrious martyrs whose deaths shed an additional lustre 
over the Irish province of the Friars Preachers. There 
is something that reminds us of the acts of the early 
Christian martyrs in the account, for instance, given us 
of the death of F. Richard Barry, prior of Cashel, who 
was seized in the church with a number of other 
Catholics, both secular and ecclesiastic, after having 
insisted on his brethren seeking safety by flight. He 
was a man of noble and stately bearing, and when the 
leader of the hostile troop came into his presence, he was 
bo struck by his appearance that he offered him his life 
if he would only consent to quit the religious habit. 
But Father Barry rejected the offer with heroic disdain. 
" These garments," he said, " are the livery of Christ, 
and represent to me His Passion ; they are the banner 
of my military service to Him ; I have worn them from 
my youth upwards, and never will I put them off." 
Enraged at his obstinacy, they determined to make an 
example of him, and collecting a fire of sticks on the rock 
of Cashel, they burnt him slowly from his feet upwards, 
and at length ended his sufferings with a thrust of a sword. 
Or again, how beautiful is the story of Father Lawrence 
O'Ferall of Longford, who, being remanded for three 
days, secretly prayed to God that the palm of martyrdom 
should not be denied him. When led to the scaffold, he 
threw his rosary round his neck, and meekly folding his 
hands under his scapular after the manner of his order, 
he submitted to the hangman with a sweet and cheerful 
countenance. As he hung suspended in the air, by a 
marvellous prodigy, he withdrew one of his hands from 
his scapular, and with it held his cross high above his head, 
in token of victory and triumph, until all was over. 

But we must remember that we are not writing a 


niartyrology. In spite of torrents of blood and con- 
tinual banishments, the Irish province lived on, and its 
succession of provincials has remained unbroken even to 
our own time. We have already spoken of the grant 
made by Clement VIII. to the Irish branch of the order, 
of the convents of S. Clement and S. Sixtus at Home. 
It likewise possesses other foreign establishments, such 
as the college at Lou vain, erected by permission of 
Philip IV. in 1655; and that at Lisbon founded in 1615, 
whose first prior, F. Dominic O'Daly, has left several in- 
teresting works on the history and sufferings of his order. 
We must pass from this part of our subject to glance 
for a moment at some of those great theologians whose 
services were called forth by the peculiar exigencies of 
the times. In the history of the Protestant Reforma- 
tion, the names of some of these Dominican defenders of 
the faith have attained an immortal celebrity. None, 
perhaps, offered a more formidable opposition to the new 
sectaries than John Faber, one of the chief Catholic 
theologians at the celebrated Conference of Baden (in 
which the doctrines of Luther and Zuinglius were defi- 
nitively condemned), and at the subsequent Diet of 
Spires. The two Soto's, Dominic and Peter, with Mel- 
chior Cano, upheld the theological renown of the order 
in Spain. Peter Soto was the friend of Cardinal Pole, 
the last Dominican whose voice was heard in the schools 
of Oxford. During the temporary restoration of the 
faith in England under Philip and Mary, he was estab- 
lished professor at the university, and revived for a brief 
space the ancient scholastic and theological studies that 
had formerly flourished there. Associated with him in 
this work were several others of his order, amongst them 
Bartholomew Carranza and John of Villagracia ; and we 
are assured the conversions effected by them were very 
numerous. Dominic Soto was one of that great body of 
Dominican theologians who took so large a share in the 
deliberations of the Council of Trent ; and during the first 
six sessions of the council he was appointed to represent 
the general of the order. He was placed, moreover, at 
the head of all the theologians sent by the emperor \ and 


among the fifty fathers of his order who were present in 
that august assembly, he was considered the one of highest 
repute. This certainly is no light praise, when we con- 
sider who those Dominicans were who filled the ranks of 
the Tridentine Fathers. There was, at a later period of 
the sessions, Leonard Marinis, the archbishop of Lan- 
ciano, who sat there as Papal legate, to whom, in company 
with two others of his order, Giles Foscarari and Francis 
Forerio, was committed the drawing up of the Catechism 
of the Council of Trent. There was Bartholomew of the 
Martyrs, the saintly archbishop of Braga, and the un- 
flinching promoter of ecclesiastical reform, the friend and 
adviser of S. Charles Borromeo, and, we might say, the 
model on which he formed his idea of sanctity. There 
also was the companion and chosen associate of Bartho- 
lomew, Henry of Tavora, afterwards archbishop of Goa, 
a man of singular and primitive simplicity: these, and 
others equally illustrious, represented the order of 
Preachers in that great council, where one and all dis- 
tinguished themselves with extraordinary unity of senti- 
ment as the champions of Church reform. No one will 
mistake the sense in which we use these words, and 
certainly the Dominican order is not the body which lies 
open to the suspicion of favouring novelties and innova- 
tions. The reform aimed at by the Tridentine Fathers 
was the universal restoration of that primitive discipline 
which we see carried out in the episcopates of such men 
as Bartholomew of the Martyrs, S. Charles Borromeo, 
Lanuza, and other saintly bishops who illustrated an age 
rendered yet more distinguished as the age of ecclesiastical 
reform by the pontificate of S. Pius V, 

In fact, it is well known that some of the most stringent 
measures of ecclesiastical reform originated with the 
Dominican members of the council. One of the prelates 
in attendance resolutely opposed some of these; and, in 
particular, ventured to press the propriety of exempting 
the cardinals from the effect of the reforming decrees. 
" The most illustrious and reverend cardinals/' he said, 
in the pompous style of a court eulogist, " can stand in 
need of no reform." Bartholomew of the Martyrs iimne- 


diately rose to reply. " The most illustrious and reverend 
cardinals shall have a most illustrious and most reverend 
reform;" and his opponent was soon obliged to give up the 
point before the determination of the Portuguese primate. 
We have already alluded to his strictures on the building 
tastes of Pius IV. His name is to be had in benediction 
as one of the most glorious examples of pastoral excellence 
the order ever produced, and as the guide and teacher 
of one who surpasses him in the glory of actual canoniza- 
tion, yet was but the disciple and imitator of his episcopal 
■?a:eer. It was probably after some such scene as that we 
ime described in the Belvidere gardens, that the young 
Cardinal Borromeo followed him to his room, and opened 
his whole heart to the first man who had ever seemed 
worthy of his confidence. " There is none here but God 
and ourselves," he said, closing the door behind him, 
" and you must hear me, for I loved you from the first 
moment that we met ; and I well know that it was for 
my sake God sent you hither. You see what it is to be 
nephew to a Pope ; I ^m young and care for none of 
these things. I shall resign all my preferments and 
retire to some monastery of strict observance, for I desire 
only to save my soul." If S. Charles was preserved in 
his exalted position, and exhibited to all future ages as 
the model of the episcopate, it was owing to the advice 
and guidance of Bartholomew at that critical moment. 
His work, entitled the " Stimulus Pastorum" being 
instructions for those entering on the pastoral office, is 
said to have been the constant companion of the saint ; he 
carried it in his bosom, and the living example of its 
incomparable author was the rule by which he guided his 
subsequent career. 

We have alluded to the pontificate of S. Pius. Two 
other members of the Order of Preachers had already 
ascended the chair of S. Peter. Peter de Tarentasia, 
under the title of Innocent V., in a short reign of five 
months, had accomplished the reconciliation of the Guelph 
and Ghibeline factions of Tuscany, and left a name so 
dear and venerable, that though no office has been 
granted in his honour, his name is often distinguished 


with the popular title of Blessed. Nicholas Bocassini, the 
ninth general of the Dominicans who, true to the loyal 
instincts of his order, stood by the unfortunate pontiff 
Boniface VIII., when all else deserted him, on the fatal 
day of Anagni, became his successor, and is known in 
history as the blessed Benedict XI. His pontificate lasted 
but a single year; but, like that of Pope Innocent it was 
long enough to be deemed illustrious, and to fill the dis- 
tracted Church of the 14th century with the sweet and 
gracious odour of peace. "Wars and dissensions fled from 
Rome," says an ancient author, quoted by Oderic Ray- 
naldus, "when Benedict appeared." Peace^oo was restored 
by his fatherly hand between France and the Holy See; 
and the grievances which had arisen in the reign of 
Boniface were healed and reconciled. In every country 
the legates of the blessed Benedict were to be found preach- 
ing the same gospel of peace and reconciliation ; and if, as 
is thought, his early death was caused by poison adminis- 
tered by his enemies, we may pronounce his eulogium in 
the words of Touron, and say that, " the victim and the 
martyr of peace, he lived but to preach its doctrines, and 
reigned only to make it reign." 

Benedict XI. has received the solemn beatification of 
the Church. It remained for her to bestow a yet higher 
honour on the third Dominican who succeeded to the 
sacred tiara. This was Michael Ghislieri, of whose 
character as grand inquisitor we have already spoken. 
The whole idea of the pontificate of S. Pius was one of 
ecclesiastical reform ; and if something of severity appears 
to attach to his government, let it be remembered that 
this severity was directed in most cases, not against 
seculars and heretics, but against the Catholic clergy 
themselves. Borne under his rule became once more 
worthy of the title of the Holy City: — nor was there a 
country in the wide range of Christendom that did not 
feel the effects of his parental solicitude. Tfe can find 
in the annals of no single pontificate, if we except that of 
Innocent III., such examples of vigilance over all people, 
and all churches that owned the rule of Peter, as we find 
in the history of S. Pius. And when we remember the 


period during which he held the reins of government, — • 
a period when Europe was on one side revolutionized by 
the madness of sectaries, whilst on the other the power of 
the Ottomans was every day advancing nearer and nearer, 
and destroying one by one her bulwarks of defence, — • 
we shall be better able to do justice to the qualities of 
one to whose greatness the world and the Church alike 
bear witness in his threefold character of pontiff, prince, 
and saint. His election to the chair of S. Peter was the 
work of S. Charles Borromeo, whose influence was para- 
mount in the conclave that assembled on the death of 
Pius IV. He^may be considered the last, and in some 
respects the greatest, of that long line of popes whose 
temporal and political power almost equalled that of 
their spiritual supremacy. After his time, the political 
influence of the Roman pontiffs gradually declined; it 
had rested on the religious unity of the European states, 
and when that unity was broken, the Roman see, which 
had formed its centre, naturally lost much of the power 
it had hitherto possessed. But though the causes which 
effected the change were already in operation during the 
reign of Pius V., they had only begun to work, and the 
crisis of extraordinary danger which, in the middle of 
the 16th century, well nigh laid Europe at the mercy 
of the Turks, was the last occasion when a Roman 
pontiff was seen acting as the .father of the Christian -» 
world, animating the distracted sovereigns to courage 
and unity with his single voice, and directing all thip 
was left in Europe of faith and chivalry against the 
hosts of the Mussulman invaders. The Christian league, 
whose victory at Lepanto broke the naval power of the 
Turks, and saved Europe from unimaginable sufferings, 
was the creation of S. Pius ; nothing short of his un- 
wearied constancy, and the influence of his venerable 
authority, could have cemented such a league in that 
hour of discord ; the glorious result of the great struggle 
belongs to him and to his order; and its results, as well 
as the sagacity and pious zeal of him who was the 
presiding spirit of the Christian confederacy, extorted 
from Bacon the memorable words, " I marvel that the 

s. Pius v. 349 

Roman Church has not yet canonized- this great man." 
In the following century, however, those honours were 
formally granted to S. Pius which had long before been 
his by popular acclamation. He had earned them, not 
merely as the victorious defender of Christendom, but 
by the merits of a pontificate which aimed at, and in no 
small degree succeded in, restoring to the Church its 
primitive purity and beauty. The part he had taken in 
drawing up the reforming decrees of the Council of 
Trent was very considerable, but still greater was his 
share in enforcing them. And lest, in representing him as 
the uncompromising advocate of ancient discipline, any 
should think of him as acting on that narrow-minded 
bigotry which refuses to mould itself to the views and 
necessities of the age, let them remember that he was 
the warm advocate of popular education, the founder of 
the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and the liberal 
patron of parish schools, and factories, on the foundation 
of which latter establishments he expended 100,000 
crowns, in order to supply some means for correcting 
the idleness, as well as the ignorance, of his people. Nor 
is the Church without her obligations to him in matters 
which might be deemed of lighter import. True to the 
traditions of his order, he supported the principles of 
Christian art, against the abuses of the renaissance.* 
The same sensuality which had debased the arts of 
painting and sculpture had, towards the middle of the 
16th century, infused its poison with no less subtlety 
into music ; so that the Council of Trent, which had 
passed a severe condemnation on the character of the 
pictures and images then being introduced into the 
churches, felt called on in like manner to censure tho 
worldly and effeminate music which had taken the place 
of church harmony. S. Pius, when cardinal, formed one 
of the commission before whom the question was finally 
brought, which was to decide whether, in consequence oi 
these abuses, the use of all ornamental or figured musio 

* By order of S. Pius all statuary of a reprehensible character in 
the gallery of the Vatican was removed, and the pieces of any 
artistic merit placed in the collection at the Capitol. 


should not be abandoned. It was the genius of Palestrina 
which alone prevented such a result. The Mass, commonly 
known as that of Marcellus II., on which the trembling 
hands of the composer, who knew how much depended 
on the judgment to be formed of his work, had traced 
the words, " Deus adjuva me," convinced all who listened, 
that music, like painting, in religious hands, could minister 
to a religious end. The question remained undecided, 
however, until the accession of S. Pius, who immediately 
appointed Palestrina master of the papal chapel, where 
the spirit and traditions of the great master of sacred 
harmony still survive. 

We may finally remind our readers, that by English 
Catholics the name of S. Pins should ever be held in 
peculiar veneration : he never failed to show a warm, 
paternal sympathy in their sufferings; and his corres- 
pondence with Mary Stuart, the unhappy victim of 
Elizabeth's tyranny, is not among the least interesting 
pages of his life. 

The order of Friars Preachers still continued fruitful 
m men of letters; and among them we find three who 
attained to eminence as historians, — Leander Albert, 
Malvenda, the annalist of his order, and Bzovius, to 
whom was committed the task of completing the Annals 
of Baronius. In Spain we seem to behold that group of 
illustrious Dominicans whose names are associated with 
the reform of S. Theresa, among whom are to be reckoned 
S. Louis Bertrand himself, her friend and supporter in 
many difficulties, and Dominic Bannez, her confessor 
through the most stormy period of her life. Indeed the 
close connection of the order with the life of this great 
saint is not among the least interesting chapters of its 
history ; and if, in God's Providence, many of its saintly 
men were suffered to co-operate with her in her work, it 
received its reward in the precious testimonies of esteem 
which it has received from her pen. 

The mention of the Spanish Dominicans of the 16th 
century recalls one name, probably more familiar to our 
readers' ears than any we have yet given, — that of Louis 
of Granada, whose works have found a home in every 


language, and are esteemed even by those who widely 
differ from his faith. Among the mystic writers of the 
order, he has had a more world-wide influence and 
reputation than any who preceded him. Doubtless in 
his writings we miss the sweet antique pathos of Suso, 
or the terrific majesty of Thaulerus ; he comes to us in a 
more modern guise and spirit ; nevertheless, the author 
of the " Guide of Sinners" is certainly one cf those to 
whom the Christian world stands most indebted. In his 
own day his works were read and esteemed in every 
European country, and yet it is even more his sancity 
than his genius that we love to commemorate. A peculiar 
beauty ever attaches to the friendship of the saints, and 
there are few more delightful passages in the history of 
Louis of Grenada than those which exhibit him to us 
in his familiar intercourse with S. Louis Bertrand, and 
the great archbishop of Braga. No office or dignity in 
the Church could have been too high for him to aspire to, 
and hardly one exists which was not pressed on his 
acceptance ; but he refused them all. and when his 
acceptance of the purple was urged on him by Gregory 
XIII. he replied to the pontiff's solicitations in the words 
of Job, " In nidulo meo moriar j" — " I will die in my 
little nest. "* 

Once more we repeat, it is not as writers and men of 
letters that we most desire our readers to admire the 
posterity of S. Dominic. Even during this century, 
when the heretics declaimed so loudly against the corruption 
of the Church and her religious, it is remarkable that the 
order, and we might add the Church at large, was richer in 
saints, and saintly men and women, than at almost any 
other period. f The religious spirit had not departed from 
the cloisters of the Friars Preachers, and those whom the 

-::- Job. xxix.18. 

f The century of the Protestant Reformation was illustrated in 
the Catholic Church by the lives of some of her very greatest saints. 
We find all livirg at the same time, S. Pius V., S. Philip Neri, 
S. Ignatius Loyola, S. Louis Bertrand, S. Francis Borgia, 8. The- 
resa, S- Catherine of Ricci, S. Peter Alcantara, S. Charles Borromeo, 
S. Andrew Avellino, S. Francis Xavier, S. Pascal Baylen, S. Stanis- 
laus Kotska, fc*. Aloysius Gouzaga, and many others of almost equal 


world celebrated for their learning and literary distinction 
were rather valued among their own brethren for their 
sanctity and prayer. And lest our readers should carry 
away the idea that lectures and disputations, and the dan- 
gers . of learned celebrity must necessarily have effaced 
the monastic simplicity of the former ages, let them con- 
sider the example of F. Bartholomew of Valenza, a disciple 
of S. Louis Bertrand, and a great theological lecturer in his 
day. When he addressed his scholars, we are told, do 
what he would, his lectures fell into the language of prayer. 
He always spoke in abstraction, to God, and not to them 
— " Jesus, my love, 5 ' he would say, " Thy servant S. 
Thomas in this question considers the difference between 
time and eternity : do Thou deliver me from time, and 
conduct me to a blessed eternity, even to Thyself, God. 
Amen. But in the reasoning of Thy servant Thomas, 
there arises difficulties which I know not how to answer ; 
Master of my soul, give me Thy Holy Spirit to unc^r- 
stand that which I shall one day see. Thy servant Caje^an 
on the same subject says so and so. May he ever enjoy 
Thy blessed vision who, by Thy inspiration, has spoken of 
Thee so wisely and so well. But to me it seems that there 
is such or such a distinction : pardon my arrogance, 
Lord of angels, those beings drawn out of time, and now 
tasting of eternity, and give to me, a sinner, grace to 
enjoy it one day with them, through the merits of Thine 
own blood. Amen." In this way he would go on, 
mingling his speculations with devotions, oft rapt in 
ecstasy, whilst his auditors heard him with tears, and 
a feeling of solemn awe, as though listening to some 
superhuman colloquy. We do not give his style as a 
model for the imitation of theological professsors, but 
merely to illustrate the fact that at this peiod of sharp 
and bitter" controversy, when so much of the religious 
feeling of the past was crumbling away, instances were 
not wanting to prove that the Dominican professor was 
still .onething more than a mere man of letters, and was 
worthy of reckoning his descent from that noble ancestry 
of the 13th century which filled the lecture-rooms of the 
universities with beatified saints. 


Declension of religion in the 17th century. Distinguished re- 
formers of the Order. Sebastian Michaelis. Anthony le 
Qnieu. John B. Carre. Cardinal Howard. Massoulie. ISTa- 
talis Alexander. Distinguished religious women. Juliana 
MoreUe. Yittoria Dolara. 

Although it can scarcely be doubted that the effect 
of the revolution of the lGth century was eventually 
beneficial to the Church, and brought about a real 
reformation within her pale, of a different character 
from the unhappy schism which assumed the name, yet 
neither can we deny that its immediate results were 
disastrous and ruinous in the extreme. "It would bo 
impossible to paint in too lively colours," says Touron, 
" the injury which the Church received in the 16th 
century, from the spirit of error and licentiousness 
which was supported by all the powers of hell." Not 
to speak of the fatal contagion of such a spirit, the 
religious orders of this period suffered in some measure, 
as they had done during ihe great plague of the 14th 
century, and with something of a similar result. Thou- 
sands of religious fell under the swords of the Huguenots 
and German sectaries, and the gaps left by their removal 
were not easily filled up ; for those readiest to give their 
lives for the faith were sure to be the worthiest members 
of their body. All men are not purified by persecutions, 
and when Vincent Giustiniani, one of the last who filled 
the office of Provincial of England, was elected to the 
mastership of his order, he found, in the course of tho 
general visitation, together with much of noble zeal and 
fidelity among his subjects, many tokens of relaxation 
and decay. We have sufficient evidence that the evil 
was only partial ; nevertheless, we know that even S. 
Theresa, in the description she gives of the great order, 
traditionally interpreted to signify that of S. Dominic, 
2 A 


which was to revive in the latter times for the confusion 
of heresy, represents it as being in her day in the com- 
mencement of her decline. It can be no great matter of 
wonder that it should be so, for it is with the religious 
orders as with the dynasties and kingdoms ; they rise and 
fall, and their history is full of variations. The order of 
Friars Preachers was certainly neither superanuated nor 
effete ; but its greatest era was past, and the new society 
of Jesus, fresh in the vigour of a young foundation, and in 
the full fervour of its first generation of saints and heroic 
men, in some degree took its place, and became, if not the 
most popular, at least the all-powerful order of the two 
succeeding centuries. 

Nevertheless, this period of partial declension was 
illustrated by the zeal of many bold and fervent advo- 
cates of religious reform. Whilst Hippolitus Beccaria 
ruled the order and toiled with unwearied zeal for the 
universal restoration of regular discipline, the province 
of Provence was governed by one who was well fitted to 
carry out the general's designs. This was F. Sebastian 
Michaelis, who proposed to himself nothing short of an 
exact return to the spirit and discipline of the first ages. 
His visitations as provincial were made in the very 
spirit and method of those of S. Dominic. Perhaps the 
historical associations of his province, the very birth 
place of the order, and the scene of S. Dominic's first 
and most heroic labours, contributed to cherish these 
feelings ; for it sounds like a passage out of the life of 
the great patriarch, when we read of the chapter held by 
Michaelis at Fangeaux, the scene of that celebrated 
miracle which attested the triumph of S. Dominic over 
the Albigenses. Michaelis' labours were not without fruit, 
and the communities reformed by him, especially that 
of Toulouse, became, as in old time, the nurseries of 
saints. Indeed, we have evidence that not in France 
only, but in Spain, and Italy, especially at Naples and 
Salamanca, the reformed convents restored the regular 
observance of the rule with a severity and zeal which is 
truly extraordinary. We have F. Marchese's description 
of the convent of Salamanca, of which he was himself 


a member; and our readers will allow that the religious 
spirit was not yet extinct among the Friars Preachers, 
whatever may have been the partial relaxation. "In 
that convent," he says, "the happy state of primitive 
religion seemed never to have grown old. It was a 
perpetual alternation of prayer and study, so that the 
religious were always employed either in the praises 
of God, or in attending to the salvation of souls. No 
indulgence was admitted in the rigours of fasting, Ibe 
exactness of inclosure, or the observation of silence, which 
last was indeed but little felt; for the work was so cou- 
tinual that even had any desired to speak they would have 
found no time to do so." Some of the most interesting 
sketches left us by this writer are of the Neapolitan 
religious whom he had himself known, and whose lives 
are a sufficient evidence that the cloisters of the Friars 
Preachers were still nurturing chosen souls to the heroic 
degrees of sanctity, 

The reformation of their own order and the defence of 
the Church against the progress of heresy were the two 
objects to which the efforts of the Dominicans were now 
directed ; and none was more distinguished for his zeal 
and devotion in both these objects than the celebrated 
Anthony Le Quieu, who embraced the religious life in 
the convent of the Annunciation, founded by the Pere 
Michaelis as the model house of his reform. In this 
house he became the master of novices to many of those 
destined eventually to revive the spirit of religion through- 
out the order ; but even the strict observance of this 
foundation did not satisfy him, and his ardent tempera- 
ment was ever devising schemes of new establishments, 
wherein the exact observance of the constitutions should 
be united to an apostolate for the extinction of heresy in 
every province where the new convents should be erected. 
We can scarcely study the history of any order with- 
out being forcibly struck by the singular family likeness 
that exists among its great men : we see not only 
their virtues, but their infirmities continually reproduced, 
and it is evident that the same rule and spirit attracted 
tc itself men of congenial natures. If one may systema- 
2 a2 


tize in sueh things, we should be inclined to say, that 
a certain romance and enthusiasm, sometimes carrying 
its possessors beyond the bounds of discretion, but 
always noble and full of chivalry, was the hereditary 
infirmity of the Friars Preachers ; it sometimes gave to 
their plans of perfection, as in the case of Bartholomew 
de Las Casas, a character rather ideal than practical, and 
in that, of Le Quieu eventually led him to go beyond the 
very constitutions whose exact observance he desired to 
revive. Nicholas Rodolph, the general of the order, 
entered warmly into his views, and after receiving the 
benediction of the Sovereign Pontiff, he proceeded to 
enter on his work, and became the founder of six convents 
in various provinces of France, which were united together 
under the title of " the Congregation of the Blessed 
Sacrament." In these we must particularly admire the 
way in which he succeeded in bringing out the great idea 
of the Dominican institute in its integrify ; namely, its 
union of the contemplative and the apostolic life ; his 
religious were men of prayer and men of preaching, and 
in the description left us of these convents, as in those 
founded by Michaelis, we seem to see a reproduction 
of the early foundations of S. Dominic. The indiscretion 
of Le Quieu to which we have alluded consisted in his 
desire to introduce the custom of going barefooted ; a 
practice which had never existed in the order, or formed 
any part of its rule, and which would inevitably have led 
to some separation from the main body of the order, and 
thus have deprived it of what has been one of its greatest 
glories and privileges, its unbroken unity. The scheme 
was, however, overruled by the authority of the general, 
and Le Quieu was in future obliged to content himself 
with the degree of poverty and austerity prescribed by 
his rule. 

Ten years before his death he commenced his apostolic 
missions in the territory of Geneva. The heretics of the 
south of France had already learnt to fear him, as onoo 
their forefathers had feared the preaching of S. Dominic, 
and now the whole diocese of Annecy (whither the 
bishops of Geneva had removed their episcopal see) felt 


the influence of this extraordinary man. " Wherever he 
preached," gays his biographer, the Pere Archange, "he 
introduced the devotion of the Forty Hours. He 
preached twice and sometimes three times every day, and 
would spend ten or twelve hours in the confessional, 
passing the nights on the altar-step. His repast was 
only a handful of bread, and he might often have been 
found on the wayside taking it by the margin of some 
running stream which supplied his drink, and this when 
he was seventy-five years of age." His singular devotion 
to the Blessed Sacrament led to his forming a foundation 
for the express purpose of promoting its honour. This 
was a convent of nuns of the Perpetual Adoration estab- 
lished at Marseilles in 1659, and one of the first establish- 
ments of the kind of which we find any notice in history.* 
They followed the rule of S. Austin, with constitutions of 
their own given them by Le Quieu, which were approved 
by the Holy See. This convent still existed at the period 
when Touron wrote his history. 

The only other of these modern reformers whom we 
will mention is F. John Baptist Carre, the founder of the 
Noviciate-General of Paris, who, like Le Quieu, was a 
disciple of the reform of Michaelis, and had received his 
religious education in his convent at Toulouse. He also 
filled the same office of novice-master at the Annunciation, 
and in 1632 the admirable scheme for the establishment of 
one noviciate for the whole of the French provinces was 
carried out, and placed under his management by Nicholas 
Rodolph the general of the order. Indeed at this 

« We say one of the first, for the first convent of this description 
was undoubtedly that founded in Paris in the year 1653 by 
Caiherine de Barr. under the patronage of Anne of Austria. 
Thi3 community followed the ,Benedictine rule. Marchese men- 
tions a convent of Dominican friars in Spain about the same time, 
where the Perpetual Adoration was kept up. In fact, devotion to 
the Most Holy Sacrament has always been a distinguished feature 
of the order of Preachers: we find the arch-confraternity of the 
Blessed Sacrament established at the Minerva by Paul III. in 
153J, from which other branch-confraternities took their rise, 
though that of S. Martin at Liege was probably of yet earliei 


period France may be considered as the rallying ground 
of the Dominican Institute. In spite of the spread 
of Jansenism, and the attacks on the liberties of the 
Church which mark the ecclesiastical history of France 
in the seventeenth century, there was probably no age 
when the ranks of her clergy were filled with more illus- 
trious members. Among these the most distinguished 
of ajl may be claimed by the order of S. Dominic, of 
whioh he was a professed tertiary. We allude to M. 
Olier, the founder of the seminary of S. Sulpice, and one 
whose influence over the society of his day was of the 
most extraordinary kind. It is well known that the 
sanctification of this great man, and his devotion to the 
work which afterwards produced such vast results on the 
whole body of the French clergy, has been formally 
acknowledged by many of the Sulpician ecclesiastics as 
principally owing to the influence of the Venerable Agnes 
of Jesus. Perhaps it was his close connection with this 
celebrated religious of the Dominican order that moved 
him with the desire to attach himself to the same institute. 
As he knelt to receive the scapular in the chapel of S. 
Sulpice, we are told that " he confessed with lively emotion 
that he owed every grace he had up to that time received 
to the order of S. Dominic." "lam rejoiced," he added, 
" to see myself a child of S. Dominic, and more than ever 
a brother of the revered Mother Agnes of Jesus, to 
whom I owe so much." Following his example, many 
other priests of the seminary entered the third order about 
the same time. 

Whilst speaking of those who reformed the order, the 
English Dominicans ought never to forget one to whom 
they owe in no small degree the restoration of its existence 
among themselves. This was Philip Thomas Howard, 
one of the noble house of Norfolk who entered the order 
in the year 1645, and during the Protectorate of Crom- 
well founded a monastery of English friars at Bornheim 
in Flanders, and a convent of nuns of the second order at 
Vilvorde, which was afterwards removed to Brussels,* his 

-:<- We have called Sister Antoinette Howard, sister to the cardinal, 
on the authority of Touron, but by the unpublished manuscript 


own sister Antoinete Howard being the first of the 
English nation who offered herself to join the proposed 
foundation. At the French revolution in the following 
century, when so many religious communities took refuge 
in England, these two houses were broken up, and their 
inmates settled in our own land, which thus saw the 

memoirs of the community of Vilvorde (now settled at Atherstone 
in Warwichshire), it would not appear that she was so nearly related 
to him. 

She was out sixteen years of age when she took the habit, hav- 
ing removed from the convent of Tempes with two of the religious 
of that commuunity, for the purpose of commencing the new foun- 
dation. " She was the first Englishwoman," says the MS., "that 
had taken the habit of the holy father since the unhappy fall of 
religion in England. A short time of her noviceship passed when 
it pleased God to try her with a grievous sickness ; and He rewarded 
her virtuous intentions and fervent desires to be consecrated to 
Him in holy religion, with a clear sight of His Sacred Mother, 
the ever-blessed Virgin, about an hour before her happy death, 
which took place on the 8th day of October, 1661, four months after 
she took the holy habit." After some particulars of her illness, 
the account continues as follows : " A little while after, she fell 
into a trance, in which for about a quarter of an hour she ap- 
peared quite dead ; then smiling, she opened her eyes with great 
signs of joy, and presently after fell into another trance, which 
lasted not so long, but by the signs of joy and satisfaction far ex- 
ceeded that that she had showed before ; this moved the father 
confessor to ask her the cause of her joy, to which she made no 
reply, but looked upon him and us that were by her very cheerfully 
and made some signs with her hand which we could not understand. 
Then her confessor, much surprised to see this strange satisfaction, 
so very unusual at such a time, said thus to her, " Child, I command 
you in virtue of holy obedience, to declare the cause of your joy at 
this dreadful time, when you are going to give a strict account of 
every thought, word, and deed, which God exacts with such 
severity that the greatest saints have trembled to think of it." 
She, without any change of countenance, answered, " I see it." 
" Child," said the father, " what do you see ? tell what you see.' 
She said, " I see our Blessed Lady with a crown in one hand and 
a rosary in the other — a fine crown." " Child," said the father, 
" have a care what you say ; do you see our Blessed Lady ? " She 
very cheerfully replied, " Yes, I do see our Blessed Lady with a 
fine crown and rosary, ! fine crown ! 1 fine rosary ! I desire 
to see no more of this world." Then the Confessor (F. William 
Collings) said to her, " Child, would you have the absolution 
of the rosary ?" She answered, "'I made signs for it many times 
when I could not speak." Then devoutly preparing herself to re- 
ceive it, he gave it to her, and presently after, with a pleasant 
smiling countenance, she left this wretched life to pass to eternal 
felicity — She was professed on her death-bed. 


restoration of the order just two hundred years after the 
nuns of Dartford had been driven from her shores in the 
manner we have described. F. Howard was raised to 
the purple in 1675, and at the instance of James II. was 
afterwards declared Cardinal Protector of England. 
He was also the founder of a new college at Louvain 
in favour of religious of his own order and nation. 
Towards the end of the seventeenth century the opinions 
of the Quiet ists began to trouble the Church ; their 
errors had long before been minutely described and con- 
futed by Taulerus ; and in their modern form they found 
a vigorous opponent in Pere Anthony Massouli6. the 
enthusiastic defender of S. Thomas, whose principles of 
theology are the weapons he uses, in his celebrated trea- 
tises on prayer, and the love of God, to condemn the 
erroneous doctrines of his adversaries. Other writers of 
the greatest eminence flourished about this time : among 
whom we may notice Goar, the illustrious convert from 
the Greek schism, but, in particular, the theologian and 
ecclesiastical historian, Natalis Alexander, whose works 
were declared by Cardinal Orsini to be a library in 

We find among the literary notices of this century the 
name of one writer, whose celebrity is of so curious a 
kind that we shall not hesitate to give her story at length. 
It is well known that not a few of the religious women of 
the Dominican order have in all ages maintained the 
character of their institute for learning and the cultiva- 
tion of the arts, and have found means to unite these 
pursuits to the virtues of their vocation in a truly admir- 
able manner. We have alluded to the two sisters, 
Plautilla and Petronilla Nelli, the painter and authoress, 
of the Ruccellai convent at Florence. During the same 
century a singular amount of talent was to be found in 
convents of the female Dominicans. The nuns of 
Florence were among the earliest and most zealous 
encouragers of the art of printing. Their spiritual 
director, Fra Domenico of Pistoja, established a printing- 
press in their convent, which they worked with their own 
hands. Marchese mentions Sister Aurelia Fiorentini, of 


the convent of Lncca, one of whose paintings may yet be 
seen over the high altars of S. Dominic's Church in that 
city, where it was placed after the removal of the 
Madonna della Misericordia, the chef cCceuvre of Fra 
Bartolomeo. Besides a great many of other female 
painters whose names have been recorded by Marchese, 
the convent of Prato, celebrated as that of S. Catherine 
of Ricei, was the residence of the well-known elegiac 
poetess, Lorenza Strozzi, of whom Echard has given a 
long and interesting account. After her entrace into 
religion she applied herself to the study of languages, 
and became a perfect mistress both of Greek and Latin. 
Her Latin hymns and sapphics, for the feasts of the 
Church, have been translated into French verse, and were 
much esteemed. But the learning of Sister Lorenza 
fades into nothing by the side of that of Juliana Morelle, 
to whom we made allusion above. She was a native of 
Barcelona ; and previous to her entrance into religion, 
her father, Anthony Morelle, applied himself to the 
task of cultivating her natural talents by devoting her to 
a course of study very unusual in those of her sex. We 
are told that when only twelve years old she spoke 
Castilian, French, Italian, Greek, and Hebrew, with per- 
fect facility. She employed nine hours every day in 
study, and attained such eminence in the sciences of 
logic, and of physical and moral philosophy, that in 1607 
(she being then but thirteen years of age), she sustained 
public theses of philosophy at Lyons, and which were 
afterwards published, and dedicated to Margaret of 
Austria. Besides these acquirements, she studied meta- 
physics, jurisprudence, and music. Her father wished 
her to take her degree as Doctress in Law, and for this 
purpose conducted her to Avignon. The whole city was 
stirred at the news of her arrival, and the most distin- 
guished persons of either sex were eager to see and speak 
with her. By her wisdom and erudition, but far more 
by her singular modesty and humility, she excited general 
admiration ; and the vice-legate of Avignon, wishing to 
have some proof of her learning, appointed a day for a 
public disputation to be held at his palace, in the presence 


of the Duchess of Conde, and a crowd of illustrious ecclesi- 
astics and religious, with other persons of rank and 
eminence. Juliana for the second time was obliged to 
defend the public theses, answering every argument and 
objection of her opponents with so much depth and readi- 
ness as to astonish all who listened. Nevertheless, in the 
midst of all the flattery which was heaped upon her, her 
humility never once gave way ; and the simplicity and 
sanctity which were observable in her conduct rendered her 
far more worthy of applause than did the learning on 
which her father and the public set so high a value. She 
very early took the resolution of retiring from the eyes of 
the world, and entering religion ; and took the veil in the 
convent of S. Praxedes, at Avignon, when only fifteen 
years of age ; so brief had been the career that created so 
extraordinary a renown. 

Probably some of our readers may have formed no 
favourable idea of the young doctress and public disputant, 
but they must surely admire the purity and true spiri- 
tuality of a soul that could unite such gifts, and a 
reputation so uncommon, to the virtues of a religious 
vocation. They must forgive Juliana her learning, should 
that be an offence in their eyes, when they hear how she 
bore herself in her religious probation. In the midst of 
the most humbling trials to which her superiors con- 
sidered it right to subject her, in order to prove her 
vocation, and to prevent her from being puffed up by her 
extraordinary knowledge, she always showed herself 
equally humble, patient, submissive, and grateful to all. 
She never exercised her talents save with permission 
of her superiors, or for the service of the sisters. When, 
in order to test her, they would show contempt for the 
explanations she gave of anything, Juliana lost nothing of 
her customary sweetness and humility. She was a 
most exact observer of her rule, and was several times 
elected novice-mistress and prioress of her community, 
always discharging these offices with a union of zeal, 
sweetness, and spiritual wisdom. She had a great love 
to the poor, anc ! . distributed to them everything in her 
power to give. At length, after twenty-five years oi 


constant sickness, she died in 1653, and several miracu- 
lous cures were attributed to her after her death. " This 
great religious," continues the author of the Dictionnaire 
UniverseUej " whom several learned authors have not 
hesitated to call the honour of her sex, the wonder of her 
age, the glory of her monastery, and one of the brightest 
ornaments of her order, has left several devout works. 
Amongst these are a 'Retreat of ten days on Eternity,' 
a beautiful commentary on the ' Treatise on the Spiritual 
Life' of S. Vincent Ferrer, together with a commentary 
on the rule of S. Austin, some Latin prayers, and a history 
of the reform of her monastery of S. Praxedes. Besides 
these, she wrote a brief exposition of the dispositions 
proper for religious profession." She is spoken of in 
terms of eulogy by Lopez de Vega, and several other 
writers. Later in the same century, Sister Maria Villani, 
of the convent at Naples, attained a yet higher reputation 
as mystic writer. Few biographies can rival hers in 
beauty and interest, for she was of most saintly life. She 
left " eleven large volumes full of the profoundest doc- 
trine," says E chard, who gives a list of her works in 
his "History of the Dominican writers," where we shall 
find an interesting notice of all the illustrious women of 
the order. 

Their reputation has been supported nearer our own 
time by Sister Anna Vittoria Dolara, prioress of the 
monastery of S. Mary Magdalen on Monte Cavallo, 
founded by Magdalen Orsini, and now inhabited by the 
nuns of the Perpetual Adoration. She was alike remark- 
able for her piety, her poetical genius, and her excellence 
as a painter. When Pius VI. was carried into exile by 
the soldiers of the French republic, they spared the con- 
vent of the sisters, but at the same time stripped it of all 
means of support. Vittoria Dolara contrived in this 
emergency to raise a sufficient subsistence for herself and 
her sisters by incessant application to her pencil, and it 
was during this period of suffering that she wrote the 
"Complaint of the Roman Virgins," a little poem of 
singular beauty and pathos. "This accomplished nun," 
says Marchese, " possessed a considerable knowledge of 


Latin; she was also well skilled in vocal and instrumental 
music, and was wont to cheer her afflicted sisters with her 
melodious strains. Pius VII., who held Sister Dolara in 
the highest esteem, often visited her, and more than once 
sat to her for his portrait. These likenesses were admir- 
ably painted, and Leo XII. conferred a similar honor on 
this ornament of the cloister. Thus were all the accom- 
plishments of Plautilla Nelli the paintress, and Lorenza 
Strozzi the poetess, revived in the person of the gifted 
Dolara." She died in 1827, aged 63 years. 


Pontificate of Benedict XIII. Missions and Martyrs of China. 
Dominican Saints. Conclusion. 

On the death of Innocent XIII. in 1724, the fourth 
and last pontiff of the Dominican order ascended the 
chair of S. Peter, in the person of Cardinal Orsini, 
archbishop of Benevento, who assumed the title of 
Benedict XIII. His pontificate, which lasted six years, 
was chiefly remarkable, like those of his predecessors, for 
its measures of peace and conciliation ; and, we may add, 
for the singular zeal displayed by the venerable Father 
in the discharge, not only of pontifical, but of pastoral 
functions. The times were not heroic; and there was 
little opportunity for a display of great or brilliant 
qualities; nevertheless, there is a character of touching 
simplicity in the narrative of Benedict's career, which 
supplies for the want of more striking interest. But if 
the Church history of Europe in the eighteenth century . 
was in some degree wanting in sublimity, the same could 
not be said of her missionary annals. We have neces- 
sarily been compelled to pass over in silence much that 


exhibits the order of Friars Preachers to us in its 
grandest character, as one of the chief apostolic bodies 
existing in the Church. Nevertheless, the missions and 
martyrdoms of China which took place during the ponti- 
ficate of Benedict XIII. form so very remarkable a 
portion of her history, that we cannot omit som« notice of 
them in this place. 

The number of Christians in China had been greatly 
increased during the course of the seventeenth century 
by the labours of the missionaries of various religious 
orders, especially of the Jesuits and Dominicans. Among 
the latter, John Baptist Morales, Dominic Navaretto, and 
Gregory Lopez, a native Chinese, who entered the order 
of Preachers, and became the first of his nation elevated 
to the Christian episcopacy, had evangelized a vast tract 
of country, which retained its hold of the faith in spite 
of the cruel persecutions to which the new converts were 
subjected. It was in 1715 that Peter Martyr Sanz set 
foot on the soil of China ; and after the course of a few 
years he was consecrated bishop of Mauricastro, just at 
the time when a new persecution of the Christians was 
in contemplation by the government. The number of 
converts made by Sanz and his companions was alto- 
gether extraordinary, and the rage of the Chinese 
magistrates was the more excited from the circumstance 
of many of the highest rank being among their disciples. 
But what gave a singular and striking character to the 
apostolic labours of the bishop of Mauricastro, was his 
success in winning the Chinese not merely to embrace 
the Christian faith, but to aim at the highest grades of 
perfection. The number of Christian virgins desirous of 
consecrating themselves by vow to God was so great, as 
to recall the days of the primitive Church, and Sanz 
knew no better way of meeting their wishes, and giving 
a lasting character to the religious feeling which had 
been excited among them, than by the establishment of 
the third branch of his own order, whose habit was 
accordingly received by a very considerable number of the 
new converts. 

A very extraordinary revival of fervour followed on 


this step, but the Christians were not long left in 
tranquillity. In the month of June, 1746, the bishop 
and his four companions were seized and carried before 
the tribunals, whilst at the same time eleven holy women 
of the third order, suspected of having assisted and con- 
cealed the missionaries, were likewise arrested. The 
Chinese seem on this occasion to have lost the timidity 
which so ' generally distinguishes them. They evinced 
their fidelity to their pastors by signs of the most 
extraordinary attachment. They followed them on the 
road to Focheu, the capital of the province, kissing their 
chains and habits, and refusing to be driven away. 
"These Christians," said one of the governors, "honour 
the Europeans as though they were gods, or their own 
fathers." At Focheu they were examined under the 
torture. The courageous answers of the Christian 
virgins were worthy of the saints of the primitive ages ; 
five of them, after enduring cruel torments, were sent 
back to their own homes ; the rest were condemned to 
the cangue, and other punishments, but their lives were 
spared. As to the bishop, he was adjudged worthy of 
death, " for perverting the souls of men ; " and after 
being tormented in the most barbarous manner, beaten, 
and torn on the face with iron-pointed gauntlets, the 
sentence was carried into execution on the 26th of May, 
1747. This glorious martyrdom received additional lustre 
from the manner in which it was commemorated by the 
supreme pontiff, Benedict XIV., who, in a secret con- 
sistory held in the September of the following year, 
pronounced a magnificent allocution on the death of 
Peter Sanz. By many he was regarded as the proto- 
martyr of China, but the Pope corrects this error, 
adjudging that honour to belong to another of his 
order who had suffered in the previous century, F. Francis 
de Capillas. 

The names of the four companions of the bishop 
deserve our remembrance; they were Francis Serrano, 
Joachim Boyo, John Alcober, and Francis Diaz. When 
the holy prelate was condemned to death, the same 
sentence was pronounced on the other missionaries, 


and cut, in Chinese characters, on their faces. They 
were, nevertheless, detained for twenty-eight months in 
prison, at the end of which time they were secretly 
strangled. During this time the persecution was chiefly 
directed against the Chinese Tertiaries, whose number 
was very great. We read of one noble confessor of the 
faith, himself enrolled in the order, by name Lin Mat- 
thias, whose three daughters were all consecrated to God 
under the habit of S. Dominic. In vain did the man- 
darins call on him to abandon his profession, and give 
his daughters in marriage. " I will never renounce the 
holy law of God," was his reply, " nor give my daughters 
in marriage, who are devoted to serve God in holy vir- 
ginity." It is with a singular interest that we follow the 
story of these brethren and sisters of the order among 
the native Chinese, whose devotion and heroic charity 
are the reproduction of the virtues of those whose names 
they bore. One admirable woman expired under repeated 
torture, and the sisters of the third order at Lienha, where 
she died, braved every danger to gather round her bed and 
tend her in her last moments. Many of them were driven 
into exile ; others were cast into prison and cruelly insulted. 
Some seem to have been living together in a kind of 
community, for we find a letter from the manderin charged 
with the conduct of the persecution, describing his entrance 
into a house inhabited by four devout women, named 
Ursula, Lucy, Petronille, and Isabella, where he had 
seized books, images and rosaries, belonging to their 
" perverse law ;" and it is evident that whole families of 
the Christian converts of the mart} r red missionaries were 
united in the fellowship of the order. The particular fate 
of each of these has not been preserved ; but though few 
probably actually suffered death, they must in some sort 
find a place in our commemoration of the Dominican 
martyrs of China. 

Even in our own day the order has given its blood to 
the same ungrateful soil. The whole province of eastern 
Tong-King may be considered as a Dominican mission ; 
and it was there that in 1838, Ignatius Delgado, 
who had laboured as vicar-apostolic of the province for 


forty years, expired in prison from the effect of his suffer- 
ings ; while his companion and coadjutor, Dominic 
Henarez, with several religious of the order, was beheaded 
a few days later. Seven members of the third order 
likewise gave their blood for Christ at the same time* 
One of these, Joseph Cank, an old man of seventy, insisted 
on going to the place of execution clothed in the white 
habit of his order. Five others were only novices, and not 
being able to receive the missionary of the district in their 
prison, they sent him their profession in a letter ; this was 
in the August of 1839. Our readers will peruse the 
simple expression of their fervour and faith with no com- 
mon interest. " We are, all five, novices of the third 
order," they write, "and we can observe the fasts pre- 
scribed by our rule on most days, but not always. "We, 
therefore, beg the father to extend some indulgence to 
us, and to pardon his children. Moreover, we entreat to 
be allowed to make our profession according to the 
said rule of the third order ; and we conjure the father 
to admit and receive our professions, here written, as 
if we made it in his hands. Therefore, to the honour 
of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we, Fran- 
cis Xavier, Dominic, Thomas, Agustin, and Stephen, in 
your presence, Reverend Father Juan, in the place of the 
Most Reverend Master-General of the order of Friars 
Preachers, and of the third order of Penance of S. Domi- 
nic, make profession, and promise to live acccording to the 
rule and constitutions of the third order of S. Dominic, 
even until death." 

" Is it not a touching spectacle," says Pere Jandel, 
the present general of the order, in his preface to the rule 
of the Tertiaries, " to see five young men, subjected for 
more than a year to all the horrors of a cruel captivity, 
accusing themselves and begging pardon for not always 
observing the fasts and abstinences of their rule with 
sufficient exactitude." A great number of infidels im- 
prisoned with these generous confessors of the faith 
were instructed and baptized by them, and afterwards 
shared their martyrdom, which took place at length 
eighteeen months after their first arrest. They were all 


strangled, invoking the name of Jesus, on the 19th of 
December, 1839. These seven Tertiaries were declared 
venerable by Gregory XVI., who, imitating the example 
of Benedict XIV., pronounced the eulogy of all the 
martyrs of the persecution, in a secret consistory held in 
February, 1840. He gave his approval to the introduc- 
tion of their process of beatification and canonization in 
the June following, confirmed by a later decree in 1843 ; 
so that it is probable that at some future day the order 
will be enabled to venerate those heroic martyrs with the 
highest honours of the Church 

Our task is well-nigh ended. Not, indeed, that we 
pretend to have offered in these hurried and imperfect 
notices anything like a complete sketch of the Dominican 
order — hardly even so much as to have indicated the 
direction in which it? most illustrious men are apt to be 
found. Least of all have we in the foregoing pages 
given any idea of that which constitutes the true great- 
ness of an order, namely, the calendar of its saints. 
Yet even this is scarcely to be taken as the fair measure of 
its sanctity. " Count the stars if thou art able," was 
the reply given by one of the Roman pontiffs to a person 
who asked him the number of the Dominican saints. 
They include a vast variety; men and women of all 
ranks and all countries, and all phases and developments 
of holiness, high and low, active and contemplative; yet 
all with the generic Dominican character of heroic zeal 
for souls 

Twelve, besides the great patriarch himself, have re- 
ceived canonization; namely, S. Hyacinth, S. Raymond 
Pennafort, S. Peter Martyr, S. Thomas Aquinas, S. Vin- 
cent Ferrer, S. Antoninus, S. Louis Bertrand, S. Pius V., 
S. Catherine of Siena, S. Agnes of Monte Pulciano S. 
Catherine Ricci, and S. Rose of Lima. Sixty-six have 
received the inferior order of beatification, twenty of 
whom are women. Three of the canonized female saints 
are elaimed by the third order, with seventeen of those 
beatified ; whilst among the men, B. Martin Porres, and 
B. Albert of Bergamo, were also Tertiaries. The rest 
2 B 


belong to the two first branches of the order. But it 
would be an error to suppose that this includes all those 
whose sanctity is acknowledged by the popular prefix of 
" Blessed." In fact, scarcely a year now passes without 
adding to the list; and the newly beatified saints are 
mostly those of the earlier centuries, who have long 
been known and revered as such in the chronicles of 
their order. 

A.nd the order is not yet obsolete ; involved as it was 
in the general decay which affected all religious institu- 
tions during the last century, we have even in our own 
day seen it revive with redoubled vigour. France, once 
the nursery of infidelity, but, as it would seem, destined 
also in God's Providence to be the nursery of Catholic 
regeneration, gives her best blood to the ranks of the 
Friars Preachers,* whose restoration in all the purity of 
their primitive discipline is going on side by side with 
the advance -of the Catholic Church. Everywhere the 
white scapular of S. Dominic is reappearing ; Italy, 
France, Belgium, America, and England, are all witness- 
ing the second spring of this obstinate family which 
follows the fortunes of the Church, and, like her, will not 
die, Those who watch the times predict for the Church 
a coming era of unusual greatness; nor can we doubt 
that if it be so, the order of Friars Preachers will once 
more have a prominent part to play. We would not, 
however, be misunderstood; nor in using the words 
revival and restoration, would we point to any fanciful 
bringing back of manners and modes of feeling impossible 
perhaps in our day. But if we have shown anything by 
the glance over the history of the Friars Preachers which 
has occupied these pages, it is that they are emphatically 
the men of their age, and are ever ready to minister to its 

* Not to speak of the influx of French subjects into the religious 
houses of the order, and of the illustrious living members of the 
Institute which is carrying on its reform under the government of a 
Frenchman, the popularity of the Dominicans in France is evinced 
by the fact that the third order, revived by P. Lacordaire, reckoned 
already upwards of 2,000 members within five year3 from its 


needs, not by an idealism of the past, but by a vigorous 
adaptation of their vast resources to the necessities of the 
present day. 

In what way the eternal counsels of God may direct the 
freshly-waking energies of the Church in the next genera- 
tion, time alone can show ; but if the glories of the Friars 
Preachers are indeed to have that great revival in the 
latter times long since prophesied by S. Teresa, we know 
that they will be developed, as of old, in a loyal adhesion to 
her living principles j .-. and that wheresoever and howsoever 
the Church may pursue her heavenly calling, there will 
the order of S. Dominic be found labouring in her 
foremost ranks. 


A LARGE DISCOUNT from the annexed prices allowed to the 
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which his Establishment offers. 

First. The Cheapness of his Books. He allows Clergymen, Book- 
sellers, &c., &c. — all who buy for sale or distribution — 
the largest discount. 
His books are printed and bound in the best manner. 
His own publications comprise the best and most saleable 
Prater Books ; 
The best Historical Works ; 
The Choicest Works of Instruction ; 
The best Meditation Books ; 
The largest variety of Pious Biographies, and Lives 

op Saints. 
The most desirable assortment of Catholic Tales and 

Stories, suitable for young persons. * 

Excellent School Books, including those of the Christian 

Brothers, the Columbian Series, &c, &c. 
Books for Premiums and Libraries selected with care 
and discrimination, and any that are found unsuitable 
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His establishment contains an assortment of religions 
articles of every kind— Church Vestments, Altar Fur- 
niture, Crucifixes, Rosaries, Medals, Scapulars, &c.r 
&c. ; all of which he supplies at the lowest rates. 
His facilities for supplying, all the requisites for Missions 
are unequaled. He supplies them at the lowest rates, 
and takes back all that remain unsold. 
Seventhly. Uniting, as he does, in his establishment, every branch 
of the Catholic trade, he can afford to sell at the smallest 
possible percentage of profit. 

P. O'SHEA, 27 Barclay Street, 

MARfln 21, 186T. 





The General History of the Catholic Church, 

From the commencement of the Christian era until the 
present time. By M. L'Abbe J. E. D arras, with intro- 
duction and notes by the Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, D. D., 
Archbishop of Baltimore. 

4 vols. 8vo, cloth, beautifully illustrated $12 00 

" " " beveled edges 14 00 

J* " " sheep, marbled edges 16 00 

" " " half Morocco extra 20 00 

" " " half Morocco antique 24 00 

« « « " calf, gilt backs, extra 24 00 

u " " Turkey Morocco, extra gilt edges. 32 00 

This great work, warmly commended by His Holiness Pope 
Pius IX., by the most celebrated Archbishops and Bishops of 
France and Italy, by the Most Rev. Archbishop Spalding, of 
Baltimore, the Most Rev. Archbishop McCloskey, of New 
York, the Most Rev. Archbishop Puecell, of Cincinnati, the 
Most Rev. Archbishop Alemany, of San Francisco, and by 
nearly all the Bishops of the United States, has been pub- 
lished in a style of unsurpassed elegance. 

It has been introduced as a text book: in the most distin- 
guished Catholic seminaries and colleges in Europe. 

It is recommended by the Most Rev. Archbishop Spalding 
to every Catholic family in the United States, "AND TO OUR 





Letter from His Holiness Pope Pius IX. to the author of 
" The General History of the Church." 

Dileoto filio presbytero J. E. 
Dabbas, Lutetiam Parisio- 



Dilecte Fili, Salutem et 
Apostolicam Benedictionem : 

Litteraa Tuaa XIII. Kalendas 
Aprilis proximi ad nos datse, 
quibus exemplar offerre nobis 
voluisti operis de historia Ec- 
clesise generali, fuerunt nobis 
ipsis quam gratissimoa. Sig- 
nificas enim id Tibi ftfisse con- 
silii, quod virum certe decet 
germanae doctrinaa studio ao 
singularis erga Nos ipsos se- 
demque Apostolicam devo- 
tionis et observantise laude 
prsestantem. Si, ut confidi- 
mus, consilio ipsi opus quod 
adhuc legere Nos non potui- 
mus, exacte respondeat, magno 
illud usui erit istic futurum 
addetque omnibus stimulos ad 
gravissimam earn ecclesiasti- 
corum studiorum partem poe- 
nitius internoscendam. Meri- 
tas pro oblato ipso operis 
munere cum Tibi, Dilecte Fili, 
persolvimus gratias, omnipo- 
tentem Dominum suppliciter 

To our beloved Son, J. E. 


Beloved Son, health and the 
Apostolic Benediction : 

Your letter of the twentieth 
of March, accompanied by a 
copy of your General History 
of the Church, was most grate- 
ful to us. The plan of your 
work testifies your zeal for 
sound doctrine and your sin- 
gular and praiseworthy devo- 
tion toward us and the Apos 
tolic See. If, as we trust, the 
work (which we ourselves 
have not as yet been able to 
read) fulfills the design pro- 
posed, it will be of the greatest 
use, and will tend to stimulate 
a more profound study of this 
most important branch of Ec- 
clesiastical Science. We give 
you, therefore, beloved son, 
merited thanks for your offer- 
ing to us, and we earnestly 
pray Almighty God that He 
will multiply and preserve 
His gifts in you. And as a 
pledge of this great favor, we 


exoramus, ut sua in te mu- add the Apostolic Benediction, 

nera multiplicet ac tueatur. which, with the sincere affec- 

Et tanti linjus boni auspicem tion of our paternal heart, we 

adjungimus Apostolicam Be- lovingly impart to you. 
nedictionem, quara intirao pa- 
terni cordis affectu, ipsi Tibi, 
Dilecte fili, amanter imperti- 

Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, Given at St. Peter's, Rome, 

die 8 augusti, anni 1855, the 8th of August, in the 

Pontificatus Nostri anno X. year of our Lord 1855, and 

the tenth of our Pontificate. 

Pius P. P. IX. 

Pius P. P. IX. 

From the Most Rev. John- McCloskey, D. D., Archbishop of 
New York. 

Deak Sir : — I am very glad to learn that you are about 
publishing an English version of the excellent Ecclesiastical 
History of the Abbe Darras. The auspices under which the 
translation is made, will, I am confident, secure for it both 
elegance and fidelity. I trust that your laudable enterprise 
will meet all due encouragement from the Catholic public. 
Very truly, your friend and servant in Christ, 

t John, Archbishop of New York. 
P. O'Shea, Esq. 

New York, Dec. 12, 1864. 

From the Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, D. D., Archbishop of 

Mr. P. O'Shea: 

The conviction grows upon me, that the History of Darras, 
so warmly commended by many learned men in France, will 
meet a want which has been so long felt in this country — that 
of a good Church History, neither too lengthy nor too compen- 
dious, and at the same time replete with interesting and 
edifying details. 

The rbur volumes which you are publishing contain a rich 
array of facts, well stated and well put together, which will be 
most agreeable and instructive to our Catholic people, all of 
whom will of course seek to obtain the work for family use. 
This Church History will also be found very opportune and 
useful in our numerous Seminaries, Colleges, and Academies. 
I wish you every success in your praiseworthy undertaking, 


and hope you will receive sufficient patronage to defray all 

t M. J. Spalding, Archbishop of Baltimore. 
Baltimore, Dec. 7, 1864. 

From the Most Rev. J. B. Puroell, D. D., Archbishop of 

Cincinnati, Nov. 15, 1864. 
Mr. P. O'Shea : 

Dear Sir: — Permit me to take this occasion, in answering 
your Circular, to signify my concurrence in the judgment pro- 
nounced on the Ecclesiastical History of the Abbe Darras. 
Please send me five copies in volumes, cloth binding. 
Respectfully yours, 

t J. B. Purcell, Archbishop of Cincinnati. 






From Monseigneue Paeisis, Bishop of Arras. 

I have read nearly the whole of the first volume of youi 
General History of the Church, and I have only congratulations 
to address to you upon the work. Its spirit is excellent, its 
doctrine sound, and its style clear and unaffected. To have 
ranged the facts of ecclesiastical history according to the suc- 
cession of pontiffs, just as the events of a kingdom are fre- 
quently related in the order of reigns, is a very happy innovation. 
Your work is in every respect truly admirable. We see in it, 
distinctly portrayed, the Fathers of the Church and their 
writings, the martyrs and their sufferings, the heretics and 
their numerous errors. The Holy Scriptures, the canon law, 
and the whole discipline of the Church, are alike admirably 

I do not hesitate to say to you, if the other three volumes 
are equal to the first, that your General History of the Church 
will become a class-book of the highest usefulness in our 

t P. L., Bishop of Arras. 


From Monseignette Debelay, Archbishop of Avignon. 

We have caused the work to be examined by a competent 
judge, * * * and knowing well the excellent spirit by 
which M. L' Abbe is animated and his filial love for the Church, 
we approve and recommend his work. 

t J. M. M., Archbishop of Avignon. 

From Monseigneub Oasanelli D'Ibteia, Bishop of Ajaccio. 

I received your first two volumes in Home, and after having 
examined them in my own way, I submitted them to the 
examination of two eminent men of learning here, Monseig- 
neur Tizzani, Professor in the Roman University, and the 
celebrated Jesuit Father, Rev. P. Ballerini, Professor in the 
Roman College, no less renowned in the Holy City for his 
profound erudition. 

I have the satisfaction of making known to you the fact that 
these rigid censors agree with me in the high estimate I have 
formed of your work. If the last two volumes are equal to 
the first (and of this I have no doubt), I shall not hesitate to 
request the superiors of my seminaries to adopt it in their in- 
stitutions as the text-book of Ecclesiastical History; and 
I shall congratulate myself on having been one of the first 
to profit by the fruit of your labors. Meanwhile, may your 
enterprise prove a complete success, and may God bless a pen 
so usefully employed in the service of our Holy Mother the 

t X. T. Raphael, Bishop of Ajaccio, 

From Monseignette De Segue, Auditor of the Tribunal of the 
Rota, at Rome. 

For a long time past the friends of the Holy See and of the 
Church were anxious to see a good Ecclesiastical History, short 
yet complete, interesting in style, truly Catholic, yet moderate 
and impartial, and fit to be used both by the clergy and the 
laity. Allow me to congratulate you on your having been 
chosen by the Almighty to execute so important a work, and 
to have fulfilled so successfully all the conditions of your ar- 
duous task. 

In this age of logic and common sense, the evil and the good 
tend more and more to separate, and soon there will be, with- 
out doubt, only two adverse camps in the world : — Christianity 
and the Catholic Church on the one side, socialistic revolu- 
tion and infidel philosophy on the other. Let us all work, 


each according to his measure, to increase the ranks of God's 
army ; and let us humbly thank our Lord when He permits us 
to serve in His holy cause. * * * 

L. G. De Segue. 

From Very Rev. Father Etienne, Superior-General of the 


I have charged with the examination of your work two 
Fathers who have been Professors of History for many years 
in the schools of our society. They unite in praising it in the 
highest terms. I therefore cheerfully add my approbation of 
your History to the many indorsements which you have 
received, and which no doubt you will still receive from other 

Etienne, Superior- General. 

Lingard's History of England. 

From the latest revised London edition, in 13 vols., 12mo, 
beautifully illustrated with fourteen fine line engravings 
on steel, by Goodall, including a beautiful and correct 
portrait of the author from an original painting by Lover. 

Thirteen vols., large 12mo, cloth $16 00 

" " " " sheep, library style 20 00 

" " " " half-calf extra, marble edges.. 28 00 

This is undeniably the standard History of England. No 
library should be without it. No other writer, it is universally 
acknowledged, has made use of the vast mass of materials 
bearing on the Histor}- of England, with so much impartiality, 
skill, industry and ability as Lingard. Maoatjlat and Hallam, 
rivals in the same field, have both acknowledged his superior 
merits. Daniel "Webster asserted that there was no other 
work worthy the name of History of England, except Lin- 
gard's. To the lawyer who would make himself thoroughly 
acquainted with the growth of the common law and the Con- 
stitution of England, Lingard's History is indispensable. To 
the general reader, perhaps there is no work so interesting 
and instructive. It abounds in events and incidents related 
in a style unsurpassed for beauty and elegance. The arrange- 
ment is clear and simple, and on the margin of each page are 
to be found the dates of the occurrences related theiein. 


The American Republic, 

Its Constitution, Tendencies and Destiny. By 0. A. 
Brownson, Esq., LL. D. 1 vol., 8vo, 456 pp. 

Cloth plain $3 00 

Half-calf extra 5 00 


After a general introduction, Dr. Brownson proceeds to 
discuss, in seven chapters, Government, its Origin, and its 
Constitution ; and having thus settled the leading principles 
of his political belief, applies them to the consideration of the 
United States, the Constitution of the United States, Seces- 
sion, Reconstruction, the Political Tendencies, and Political 
and Religious Destiny of the Republic. The topics are such 
as come home to every intelligent citizen, and they are treated 
in a manner which will interest large classes of readers who 
are commonly repelled by works on political science. As 
the ablest and most matured of the author's publications, it 
will doubtless receive what it unquestionably deserves — the 
thoughtful attention of thinking minds. 

We have neither time nor space to indicate our points ot 
agreement with, or dissent from, Dr. Brown son's logic, and 
indeed the interest of the book does not depend on the 
reader's sympathy with the writer's views. He is a born 
reasoner, as some other men are born poets ; he must have 
toyed with the syllogism in his cradle ; and among all Ameri- 
can writers, he is perhaps the only one who has succeeded in 
giving to consecutive argumentation the interest and charm 
of narrative. His reasoning fastens the attention like other 
men's stories; he delights in the process himself, and his 
readers and hearers catch it by infection ; and from the time 
he first unfolded to the working-men of Boston the meta- 
physics of Cousin, to the present day, he has never lost the 
power of presenting the most abstruse and intricate problems 
in clear, forcible, logically-connected and captivating state- 
ments. In the present volume this power is exhibited in its 
most attractive form ; and as the subject is of the utmost 
importance, while its treatment is as vigorous as it is per- 
spicuous, it would seem that the book must obtain a multitude 
of readers. — Boston Transcript. 

This is no ordinary book. It gives us the mature con- 
clusions of a mind long schooled in religious and political 
philosophies, and conscientiously devoted to the pursuit of 
Truth. It is undeniably of that class of intellectual achieve- 
ments which build up the highest reputations, and resist alike, 


with a recoil fatal to all assaults, the artillery of denunciation 
and the slow corrosion of intentional neglect. — New York 

There can be no doubt that this work will give rise to 
conflicting opinions, and notices of the most antagonistic 
character. But the work will outlive it all, and remain a 
iasting monument of a great mind and a patriotic heart. We 
venture to say that this work will not only remain as one of 
reference, but actually a Text-book in our Catholic schools. 
— Boston Pilot. 

The Gentle Skeptic, 

Or Easy Conversations of a Country Justice on the Au- 
thenticity and Truthfulness of the Old Testament Records. 
By Rev. C. Walworth. New and Revised Edition. 
1 vol., 368 pp., 8vo. 

Cloth $1 50 

" gilt edges, beveled 2 50 

Half-calf, extra. 3 75 

From the Catholic World of January, 1867. 
" The Gentle Skeptic, by Rev. C. A. Walworth, now pastor 
of St. Mary's Church, Albany, treats of several topics here 
noticed in a cursory manner. This work is the result of 
several years' close and accurate study in theology and science. 
It has, therefore, the solidity and elaborate finish of a work 
executed with care and diligence by one who is both a strong 
thinker and a sound scholar. In style it is a model of classic 
elegance and purity, and in every respect it deserves a place 
among the best works of English Catholic literature. The 
author has broke ground in a field of investigation which it is 
imperative on Catholic scientific men to work up thoroughly. 
The entire change which has taken place in the attitude of 
science toward revealed religion within a few years, and in the 
doctrines of science themselves, makes the old works written 
on the connection between religion and science to a great 
degree useless. The subject needs to be taken up afresh, and 
handled in manner adequate to the present intellectual wants 
of the age." 

Henry Clay's Works, 

The Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Henry Clay. 
Six volumes, 8vo. By Calvin Colton, LL. D. 
Cloth, beveled, uncut edges $18 00 


Sheep, library style 20 00 

Half calf, extra 25 00 


A new edition of the Life, Correspondence, and Speeches 
of Henry Clay, handsomely printed on tinted paper, in six 
portly octavo volumes, has just been published by Mr. P. 
O'Shea. This important work, originally issued in separate 
volumes, at long intervals, under the editorial care of the late 
Calvin Colton, has Undergone a thorough revision, both in 
the arrangement of the subject-matter and the correction of 
typographical and other accidental errors. It now appears in 
a form and dress worthy of the memory of one of the most 
illustrious statesmen of the Republic. 


This edition of Clay's Works is gotten up in the very best 


We congratulate Mr. O'Shea on his being able in these 
hard times to bring forth another edition of such a costly and 
splendid work as the one before us. * * * * From no 
other work can our young men derive better materials or more 
reliable data to understand the working and nature of our 
Government, or draw purer inspirations to serve it faithfully, 
than from Mr. Colton's Life of Henry Clay. 

The Complete Works of Dean Swift, 

including a Life of the Dean, by Roscoe. Six volumes, 
large 12mo. Illustrated with a Portrait. 

Cloth, extra $12 00 

Sheep, library style 16 00 

Half calf, extra 24 00 

This is the only elegant, complete, and readable edition of 
Swift's Works extant. 


We commend strongly to our readers this magnificent 
edition of the greatest writer of his age. — The Irish American. 

This edition of Swift's Works is above all praise. It has 
been carefully edited and beautifully gotten up. — Philadel- 
phia Press. 


Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 

1 vol., 12mo. Printed on superfine paper, and beautifully 
Illustrated. By Rev. Titus Joslin, author of " Life of 
St. Francis of Assisium," "Scenes from Life of the 
B. V. M.," " Star of Bethlehem," &c, <kc. 
Cloth, plain, illustrated with fine steel engrav- 
ing of the Immaculate Conception $1 00 

Cloth, gilt edges, 3 steel engravings 1 50 

Turkey Morocco, extra 3 00 

This beautiful tribute to the Immaculate Mother of God, 
from the glowing pen of its pious author, must prove a wel- 
come acquisition to the Catholic literature of America. Its 
superb mechanical execution, embracing the finest paper, most 
beautiful typography, excellent illustrations, and richest bind- 
ing, must render it as desirable an ornament in a Catholic 
household as its contents are interesting and edifying. 

The Life of St. Joseph. 

Translated from the French of the Abbe P — , Vicar- 
General of Evreux. To which are added Prayers and 
Devotions for the Month of March, consecrated to his 
honor. 1 vol., 12mo. 

Cloth, plain : . $1 50 

" gilt edges 2 00 

The Life of St Dominic, 

and a Historical Sketch of the Dominican Order, with 
an Introduction by the Most Rev. J. S. Alemany, D. D., 
Archbishop of San Francisco. 1 vol., 12rao. 

Cloth, extra $1 50 

" " gilt edges 2 00 

There is no department of Catholic literature so interesting 
and instructive as the Lives of Saints, and there is not, in the 
whole range of sacred biography, a more interesting and im- 
portant work than the Life of St. Dominic and the sketch of 
his renowned Order now presented to American readers un^er 
the auspices of the learned and distinguished Archbishop of 
San Francisco. 

The Life of St. Anthony of Padua. 

By Father Servais Dirks, Friar Minor, Recollect of 


the Belgian Province. Translated from the French. 
1 vol., 12 mo. 

Cloth, plain $1 50 

" gilt edges 2 00 

The incidents of St. Anthony's life are here related in a 
charming manner. Even without the fascination of style, 
this book could not fail to be popular, so remarkable are the 
various incidents and miraculous occurrences of the Saint's 

The Life of St, Zita, 

A servant-girl of Lucca, in the thirteenth century. Trans- 
lated from the French of the Baron De Montreuil. To 
which is added, the Life of Catherine Teaghokuita, the 
Iroquois Virgin, by Father De Charlevoix, of the So- 
ciety of Jesus. 

1 vol., 18mo., cloth 60 cents. 

" " " gilt edges 90 " 

Here is a book which should be read not only by every 
servant-girl, but also by every Catholic in America. It shows 
how the Church, like her Divine Master, honors the poor as 
well as the rich, according to their deserts. The Servant-girl 
of Lucca is a model, which not only servant-girls, but all 
others, will find worthy of imitation. 

History of the Pontificate and Captivity of Pope 
Pius VL; 

Together with a glance at the Catholic Church. Trans- 
lated from the French by Miss H***th, a graduate of 
St. Joseph's, near Emmitsburg, Maryland. 1 vol., 1 8mo, 
cloth, 240 pp., 60 cents. 

A more intensely interesting narrative has rarely, if ever, 
been written. The heroic devotton and constancy of the 
Pope, the insanely rabid conduct of his persecutors, his meek- 
ness under every contumely, their vexation at the calm resig- 
nation with which he bore every affront, together with the 
many important events which then agitated the Christian 
world, invest this volume with an interest which rarely at- 
taches to any book. 


The Star of the North. 

Life of the Right Rev. Bishop Maginn. By Thomas 
D'Arcy McGee, Esq. 1 vol., 12mo, cloth, $1.00. 


The life of this great champion of the Irish church, so full 
of apostolic zeal, moral courage, and iron fortitude, cannot 
fail to attract the Catholic reader. — Baltimore Catholic Mir- 

The history of the Right Rev. Bishop Maginn is the history 
of one of the most deeply interesting epochs of Irish history — 
the close of a religious struggle for the freedom of religious 
worship, and the beginning of a yet unfinished struggle for 
national independence. * * * We. commend this book as a 
valuable addition to Irish literature in America, which Mr. 
McGee has done so much to foster and to establish. — Phila- 
delphia Catholic Herald and Visitor. 

We have not often read so interesting a work as this memoir 
is.— N. Y. Truth Teller. 

Life of St, Francis of Assisium, 

By Rev. Titus Joslin. 1 vol., 18mo, cloth, gilt back, 
45 cents. 


Thank you, Father Joslin, for writing this interesting and 
earnest little volume. — AT. Y. Freeman's Journal. 

It is a charming history of the life of one of the humblest 
and most devoted servants of the Lord. — Jjf. Y. Truth Teller. 



Life of Guendaline, Princess Borghese, 

Translated from the German, with an introduction by 
Rev. A. F. Hewit. 1 vol., 18mo, cloth, 45 cents. 

We are delighted to see this admirable little life of so exem- 
plary a Catholic of our own times. The subject is one of 
interest, and the style of the translator is particularly agree- 
able. — 2f. Y. Freeman 's Journal. 

We have often to commend books with words of praise, 
since no other would be exactly suitable, although they 
scarcely merit what the words convey. The present volume 
is an exception. It is in reality equally interesting and edify- 
ing, and forms a most promising commencement of the New 
Catholic Library commenced by Mr. O'Shea. The Life of 
Guendaline Talbot reads like a story of romance, yet it is all 
true. — St. Louis Leader. 


Life of the Egyptian Aloysins; 

Or, The Little Angel of the Copts, by Rev. Father Bres- 
ciani. Translated from the Italian by Rev. A. F. Hewit. 

1 vol., cloth, plain $0 75 

" " gilt edges 1 00 


This is one of the most delightful little biographies we have 
ever laid eyes on, and we hope it will find its way into every 
separate school, and every other Catholic institution in the 
Province. A life of a saint of the ancient Coptic Church is a 
rarity, especially such an extended one as the present. — To- 
ronto {Canada) Mirror. 

This English version is beautiful and fascinating. It is put 
forth as a literal one ; but while we doubt not that it is an 


exact reproduction of the original, we can recognize in it 
none of the dryness or stiffness of style characteristic of pro- 
claimed literal translations. Indeed, we cannot see any noble 
feature in the English dress of the memoir, that is not to be 
discerned in the translator's edifying introduction. The ar- 
tistic and glowing touches of the same evenly guided pen are 
visible throughout the whole work, and one must be. hyper- 
critical to an extreme who fails to observe and appreciate the 
many charming merits either of the original prefatory remarks 
of the translator or the translation of the biography itself. 

Had we room, we would gladly quote some portions of the 
work, which seems to us singularly beautiful and entertaining. 
However, we are obliged to content ourselves with what we 
have said in favor of the publication, and again recommend- 
ing it to the notice of every thoughtful Catholio reader.— 
ilT. Y. Truth Teller. 


Life of a Modern Martyr, Bishop Borie. 

By Rev. A. F. Hewit. 
1 vol., 18mo, cloth, gilt back $0 50 


This is another of Father Hewit's edifying little books. His 
name is a sufficient recommendation, yet we cannot avoid 
calling especial attention to this life of a faithful servant of 
God, not alone on account of the Christian heroism it illus- 
trates, and the attractive style in which it is presented, but 
also because the subject of Catholic missions is one which de- 
serves the greatest attention. — JV". Y". Freeman 's Journal. 

This beautiful book presents to us a memoir of one of the 
most truly heroic men of modern times. His burning zeal 
led him to the remote regions of Tonquin to spread the con- 
quests of Christianity, where he labored, in despite of the 
most cruel persecution, until his blood was shed under the 
glorious banner of the Cross.—- Catholic Herald. 

The Life of Blessed Paul of the Cross. 

Founder of the Congregation of Discalced Clerks, of the 
Most Holy Cross and Passion of Jesus Christ. Written 
by Father Pius of the name of Mary, consultor-gcneral of 
the same congregation. Translated by Father Ignatius 
of St. Paul, consultor for the Anglo-Hibernian Province. 
First American edition, with the approbation of the 


Very Rev. Dominic Tarletini, Provincial of the Passionists 
in the United States. 

1 vol. 12rao, cloth $0 75 

" * " gilt edge 112 

The Life of St, Bridget. 

"The Mary of Erin." By an Irish Priest. 

1 vol., 18mo, cloth plain 60 cents. 

" " " gilt edges 90 " 

A more extended account of the life of this great Saint, so 
much revered, and so dear to the Catholics of Ireland, had long 
been looked for. 

The publisher is happy to be able to announce at last the 
publication of such a work. 

The Life of Mary Magdalen; 

Or, the Path of Penitents. By the Rev. Thomas S. 
Preston, author of the " Ark of the Covenant." 
1 vol., 18mo, cloth 60 cents. 

Such a book has long been needed. It now appears from 
a masterly pen, and is well calculated to do all the good which 
a work of this kind could be instrumental in effecting. 

The Life and Miracles of St, Philomena, Virgin 
and Martyr, 

Whose sacred body was lately discovered in the cata- 
combs at Rome, and from thence transferred to Mugnano, 
in the kingdom of Naples. Translated from the French. 

1 vol., 18rno, cloth 60 cents. 

" " " gilt edges .90 " 


We trust this little volume will serve to enkindle a tender 
devotion to the Saint in many a young heart. At the early 
age of thirteen years, this true heroine trampled all the vanities 
of the world under her feet, and chose to endure multiplied 
torments rather than renounce her vow to her crucified Saviour. 
What a model of constancy and of every virtue does she 
present to us. Let the youthful heart go to her when tried 
and with unbounded confidence implore her intercession. 


The Life of Bishop Brute. 

First Bishop of Vincennes, with sketches describing his 
recollections of scenes connected with the French Revolu- 
tion, and extracts from his Journal. By the Rt. Rev. 
James R. Bayley, D. D., Bishop of Newark. New 
1 vol., 12mo, illustrated $1 50 


Iitstradton,gdiofi0ti aitir §UMfattoit 

Most of these Books are highly approved for distribution at Missions. 



A Treatise on the Love of God. 

By St. Francis De Sales. A new translation. 
1 vol., large 12mo, over 600 pp., cloth $1 75 


We have before us a new translation of that sublime and 
beautiful treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales. 
We have taken some pains to examine into the excellences 
which should characterize a new translation of such a work, 
and the ease and beauty of diction, together with the idiomatic 
correctness of expression throughout, are such as to enable us 
to give a most favorable notice of the rendering of this beauti- 
ful treatise.— Philadelphia Catholic Herald. 

To those who have read the "Devout Life," it will be only 
necessary to say of the style of this treatise, that its beauties 
are those with which they are already familiar ; but there is 


a depth of thought and of feeling here beyond what we find 
in any other writings of St. Francis. The translation is very 
creditable. We hope this work will meet with the circulation 
which it well merits, and of which the present excellent edition 
seems to promise assurance. — Baltimore Catholic Mirror. 

This handsome volume is a valuable addition to the ascetic 
literature of the English language. It is a mine of rich 
thought concerning that virtue which was the distinguishing 
characteristic of its author. It appears to have been carefully 
translated, and to give the name of its publisher is equivalent 
to saying that it is a creditable specimen of book-making. — 
Boston Pilot. 

Of the work itself it would be superfluous to speak — a work 
which is remarkable alike for its deep philosophy and theology, 
and its sweet, unaffected piety. We are glad to see the work 
placed within the reach of the English reader, and we hope it 
will take the place of the light superficial, sentimental devo- 
tional works which have become so fashionable in late years. 
Its constant study and meditation will render our piety solid 
and robust as well as tender. St. Francis was in some sort 
the apostle of Calvinists, and his are the best works extant 
for Catholics who live in a Calvinistic country like ours. — 
Brownson's Review. 


The Introduction to a Devout Life, 

By St. Francis of Sales. To which is added a Sketch 
of his Life. 

1 vol., 24mo, cloth, plain 60 cents. 

" 18mo, " ' " 75 u 

This book is beyond all praise. Its reputation is world-wide. 
Perhaps there is no other work so universal a favorite or so 
generally useful as this. 


The Spirit of St. Francis of Sales, 

By the Bishop of Belley. Translated from the French 

by a Priest of the Diocese of Boston. 
1 vol., 12mo, cloth, beveled $2 00 

The Philadelphia Catholic Standard says : 

" This work of Bishop Camus is so well known to the ad- 
mirers of the sainted Bishop of Geneva, that the mere 
announcement of its appearance in an English dress will secure 


for it a wide circulation. The author enjoyed for years the 
familiar and intimate friendship of St. Francis de Sales, and 
during this time treasured up many of his sayings and doings 
which he has given to the world in this volume. Though St. 
Francis is well known for his works, it is his "spirit" that 
makes his name immortal. In this book, written by his friend, 
he teaches by example, and instills into the mind and heart 
some of his own gentle earnestness. It is peculiarly adapted 
to ecclesiastics, who will find in it a mine of sound, practical 



Crasset's Meditations for every Day in the Year. 

Translated from the French by Mrs. Anna H. Dorset. 

With an Introduction by Rer. C. Walworth. 
1 vol., large 12mo, cloth $1 80 

The Rev. Father Walworth, in his Introduction, says : 

" Of meditation books we know of none which seem to 
fulfill their purpose, except this work of Father Orasset. * * * 
"We repeat once more, for those who aspire, not simply to read 
meditations, but to practice mental prayer, this work of Father 
Orasset is the book of books. 


These Meditations, perhaps the most popular and cele- 
brated of any in Europe, rich in matter and well-arranged in 
form, should be hailed with pleasure by English-speaking 
Catholics. It is no common book of meditations, and should 
receive no common welcome. Mrs. Dorsey is esteemed as a 
translator, and has no doubt done her duty well. Mr. O'Shea 
has had the book well printed and on good paper. — New York 
Freeman's Journal. 

The best of meditation books. — New York Tablet. 

Many of the meditation books that are to be found in the 
book-shops are mere books of spiritual reading, all the points 
in them being elaborated to such an extent as to leave nothing 
to the mind of the meditator to work out. Others err in the 
opposite direction, and are mere bald collections of heads of 
topics for meditation. Father Crasset's work is free from 
both of these objections. It is eminently suggestive and prac- 
tical. For people living in the world, it is the best manual of 
meditation that we know of. — Boston Pilot. 


Orasset's Meditations, translated by Mrs. Anna H. Dorsey, 
is an almost necessary book, for no one book of Meditations 
can supply the varied demand of those who cultivate mental 
prayer. We have now two solid, excellent works — Challoner's 
and Orasset's. In spite of our familiarity with the former, 
and our reverence for its sterling worth, we are almost forced 
to admit that for ordinary meditation Cr asset is the book of 
books. It will bear comparison with the highest standards 
of piety. We wish it the widest circulation, for it will prove 
a spiritual treasure wherever its use obtains. — Catholic Mirror. 

The Sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

By Father Thomas of Jesus. 1 vol., 12mo, cloth, 
beveled, $2. This is the great standard book of Medi- 
tation and Instruction on the Life and Sufferings of our 

The Catholic World 3ays of it : 

" This is a work composed by a great saint, and justly de- 
serving of the great reputation it has always enjoyed as one 
of the best of spiritual books. It contains an inexhaustible 
mine of meditation, sufficient to last a person during his 
whole life, and just as new and fresh after the hundredth 
perusal as during the first. It is as a book for meditation that 
it should be used, and for this purpose it cannot be too highly 
recommended to religious communities or to devout persons in 
the world who desire and need a guide and model for the 
practice of meditation." 

The Sufferings of Jesus, 

By Catherine Emmerich. Translated by a Sister of 
Mercy. 1 vol., 18mo. 

Cloth, with a fine steel Engraving of the 

" Agony in the Garden" 60 cents. 

NOTICES of the press. 

This is a very attractive little volume, relating to the 
passion and death of our Saviour. The authoress is repre- 
sented as having been favored with visions during the holy 
season of Lent, in which she spiritually witnessed the progress 
of the " Sufferings of Jesus." What was thus revealed to her 
she describes in a graceful style, which this condensed trans- 


lation presents unimpaired to edify the reader." — N. Y. Truth 

Persons of contemplative minds can have no better guide 
to the thrilling scenes of Calvary than the Sufferings. — N. Y. 

Here is an excellent book, and is a valuable addition to 
our books of devotion. It is got out in good style, and is em- 
bellished with a beautiful engraving of our Blessed Lord in 
his agony. — Boston Pilot. 

Spiritual Progress. 

By Rev. J. W. Cummings, D. D., late Pastor of St. Ste- 
phen's Church, New York. 
1 vol., 12mo, cloth, red edges $1 50 

The Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph says of it : 

" After a careful perusal of the work, we beg to advise our 

readers to purchase, preserve, and attentively read it. It is a 

work of merit." 

Selections from the Writings of Fenelon, 

With an introduction by Rev. Thomas S. Preston, and 
a sketch of the life of Fenelon, by J. G-. R. Hassard, 

1 vol., 12mo, cloth, plain $1 25 

a " " gilt edges 175 

This book is a gem. — Catholic Telegraph. 
We have nowhere else seen so much of beautiful senti- 
ment, solid instruction, and sound philosophy combined. — 
Nat. Quarterly Review. 

The Following of Christ. 

In four books, by Thomas A Kempis. Translated from 
the Latin by Rt. Rev. Richard Challoner, D. D. 

1 vol., 48mo, beautiful type, cloth, plain $0 40 

" " " " '• gilt edges. . . 60 

Roan, gilt edges 75 

Turkey Morocco, extra 1 50 

The Spiritual Combat ; 

Or, the Christian Defended against the Enemy of his 


Salvation. 1 vol., 48mo, uniform with " The Following 
of Christ.' 1 

Cloth, plain 40 cents. 

" gilt edges 60 u 

Eoan, " " 75 " 

The Spiritual Combat was the favorite book of St. Fkanois 
De Sales. He always carried it in his pocket. 

Instructions on the Commandments and Sacra- 

Translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori. 
1 vol., 48mo, uniform with "The Following of Christ* 
Cloth, plain, 40 cents. 

A Treatise on Prayer, 

By St. Alphonsus Liguori. 1 vol., 48mo, cloth, uni- 
form with the above, 40 cents. 

The Ark of the Covenant ; 

Or, a series of short Discourses upon the Joys, Sorrows, 
Glories, and Virtues of the Ever Blessed Mother of God. 
By Rev. Thomas S. Preston. 1 vol., 18mo, cloth, 
plain, 60 cents. 

A Month of May; 

Or, Scenes from the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
Arranged for the devotions of the month of May, with 
practices, prayers, and examples. 1 vol., 32mo, cloth, 
38 cents. 


This is a precious little jewel case, containing a number of 
the most precious pearls of the crown of the Immaculate Vir- 
gin Mother. They are really brilliant, quite free from com- 
mon-place, and wrought in sparkling style, so that they are 
beyond all praise. We warmly commend this beautiful book 


to every household. It cannot be read without having our 
love for our Blessed Lady increased. — Philadelphia Catholic 

This little book is a gem. * * * It is beautifully gotten up. 
— N~. Y. Freeman 's Journal. 

The Little Month of the Holy Infancy; 

Or, the First Mysteries of the Life of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ, proposed to the imitation of youth. Trans- 
lated from the French of the Abbe Letourneur, V. G. 
of Soissons, and dedicated to the members of the Society 
of The Holy Childhood. 1 vol., 18mo, cloth, 63 cents. 

This is the most instructive, interesting, and edifying book, 
especially for youth, that has ever fallen under our notice. It 
presents in the most charming manner an account of the first 
years of the life of our Divine Lord, with suitable reflections. 
Each chapter contains a happily conceived colloquy between 
the Infant Saviour and the youthful Christian reader, and 
closes with a beautiful historical example well calculated to 
impress upon the mind principles of true Christian heroism, 
always inseparable from the performance of simple daily 

Give this booh to your children and neglect not to read it 

Think WellOn't; 

Or, Reflections on the Great Truths of the Chris- 
tian Religion for every day of the month. By Rt. 
Rev. R. Challoner, D. D. 1 vol., 32mo, cloth, 30 

This is decidedly the most beautiful edition extant of this 
famous book of Bishop Challoner. 

Via Crucis ; 

Or, the Stations of the Holy Way of the Cross. Paper 
covers, 6 cents. $4 per 100 copies. 

New Testament, 

24mo. A beautiful pocket edition. Printed from pearl 


type. With the approbation of the Most Rev. John 
McCloskey, D. D., Archbishop of New York. 

No. 1. Oloth $0 40 

2. Roan, embossed, plain edges 60 

3. " " gilt " 75 

4. Turkey Morocco, extra 2 25 

Douay Bible, 

24nio. A beautiful pocket edition. In press. 

The Manual of the Confraternities, 

Containing the Stations of the Cross, and the form of 
erecting and blessing them ; the Scapular of the Blessed 
Trinity ; the Scapular of the Passion ; the Scapular of 
the Immaculate Conception ; the Scapular of the Seven 
Dolors ; the Scapular of Mount Carmel, Via Matris, Liv- 
ing Rosary, &c, &c. 1 vol., 32 mo, cloth, 45 cents. 

The Rosa Mystica; 

or, Mary of Nazareth. The Lily of the House of David. 

By Marie Josephine. 

1 vol., 12mo, extra, cloth, red edges $2 00 

" " " ' " gilt edges 3 00 

The gifted author of this, while yet a Protestant, and with 
no intention of becoming a Catholic, conceived the idea of 
giving in poetry the life of the Blessed Virgin ; and after she 
had completed it, the present work, " Rosa Mystica," she 
formally renounced Protestantism and professed Catholicism — 
a striking example of the fact that our holy religion requires 
only investigation in order to be adopted. The work is an 
unique gem. It possesses much fervent piety, poetical excellency 
and originality. Its tender devotional sentiments toward our 
Blessed Mother and its literary merits will instruct and please 
any one who appreciates the good and the beautiful. — Cin- 
cinnati Catholic Telegraph. 

Rosa Immaculata, 

or, Tower of Ivory in the House of Anna and Joachim. 



A Poem by Marie Josephine, author of u Rosa Mystica." 
1 vol., 12mo, uniform with Rosa Mystica, $2; gilt 
sides and edges, $3. 

The Siege of Spoleto. 

A Poem by Michael J. A. McCaffery, M. A. 

1 vol., 12mo, cloth $0 75 

" M superfineed 1 00 

This is a poem of very rare merit. The story of the Siege 
of Spoleto will always possess historic interest. It is recited in 
this charming poem in a manner which happily combines 
historic fidelity with poetical grace and vivacity. 

Agnes Hilton ; 

or, Practical Views of Catholicity, a tale of trials and 
triumphs, by Miss Mart J. Hoffman. 1 vol., 12mo, 
cloth, $1 50. 

This is unquestionably the most charming, and at the same 
time the most useful Catholic tale that we have yet had from 
the pen of an American writer. It has received high praise 
from the secular as well as the Catholic press. Perhaps 
no better book could be placed in the hands of a non Catholic 
reader in order to give in an attractive manner a broad and 
clear view of the teaching and practices of the Church. 

Bickerton ; 

or, The Immigrant's Daughter. A tale of the times. By 
the author of "Harry Layden," <fcc. 1 vol., 12mo, cloth, 
60 cts. 


This is an excellent story, and well suited to the times. — 
Brownsorts Review. 

Any work like the Immigrant's Daughter, whose tendency 
is to wither or uproot bigotry and intolerance, ought to be 
welcomed by every man who loves the country and its institu- 
tions, and is animated by the holy principle of Patrick Henry 
— " Give me liberty or give me death." — N~. Y. Citizen. 

This is an excellent little work of fiction, grounded on the 
present aspect of political affairs in this country. It is a true 


narrative of the sufferings of many a poor immigrant, and 
will be read with interest. — 2f. Y. Irish American. 

This is an interesting story, and will be read with great 
interest at the present time, as it dips into the Know Noth- 
ings in grand style. The book is well gotten up by the pub- 
lisher. — Boston Pilot. 

Edina and Marguerite, 

A tale by the author of the "Orphan of Moscow." 
18mo, cloth, gilt back, 60 cents. 


It is a highly pleasing story for young persons, illustrative 
of the duty, pleasure, and reward of filial devotion, charity, 
and friendship. — Philadelphia C. Herald. 

A truly edifying and interesting story. — 2ST. T. Truth Teller. 

The Young Communicants, 

By the author of " Geraldine." 1 vol., 18mo, cloth, 
38 cents. 

It is unnecessary to point out the merits of a book written 
by the author of "Geraldine." It may not, however, be out 
of place to say that Father Joslin especially recommends it as 
a most instructive and interesting book, in a note in that ex- 
cellent prayer book, the Star of Bethlehem. 

Legends of the Blessed Virgin, 

Translated from the French of Colin de Plancy, and pub- 
lished with the approbations of the Archbishop of Paris 
and his Eminence Cardinal Wiseman. 

1 vol., 12mo, cloth * $0 90 

" " " gilt edges 1 50 

These legends have a world wide celebrity. 

Filial and Fraternal Piety 

By Brother Philippe, Superior-General of the Brothers 
of the Christian Schools. Translated from the French by 
Christine Farville. 

1 vol., 18mo, cloth 60 cents. 

" " gilt edges 90 " 


This book contains over one hundred remarkable and well 
authenticated examples of the blessings that attend filial duty, 
and of the awful retribution which has followed contempt or 
neglect of this sacred duty. Each of these examples is an 
interesting, sometimes a delightful oe a thrilling narra- 


These remarkable narratives are presented under the fol . 
lowing heads : 

I. Love for Parents. 
II. Kespect for Parents. 

III. Bearing with the Faults of our Parents. 

IV. Respect due to Old Age. 
V. Obedience to Parents. 

VI. Bodily Assistance due to Parents. 

VII. Spiritual Assistance due to Parents. 
VIII. Concord between Brothers and Sisters. 

The Children of the Patriarchs ; 

or, The Six Hundred Thousand Combatants Conquering the 
Promised Land. By Brother Philippe, Superior-General 
of the Christian Brothers, author of " Examples of Filial 
and Fraternal Piety," &c. 

1 vol., 18mo, cloth $0 75 

" " " gilt edges 1 00 

In this beautiful volume, all the more striking incidents of 
the Old Testament are presented in a manner admirably suited 
for young persons. It fills a void that has been long felt in 
our religious literature for the young. 

The Sheaf. 

By M. Alfred des Essabts. Translated from the French 
by Christine Farville. 

1 vol., 18mo, cloth $0 90 

" M « gilt edges 1 20 


As we deliver up to the public the simple narratives that 
form this volume, we think it well to explain both its title and 
its aim. There are all kinds of sheaves : sheaves of flowers in 
spring, sheaves of corn in summer. As provident people, let 
us make for the long evenings of the latter end of autumn, for 
those long nights that claim moral amusement, our sheaf of 


Morality has also its flowers, it nourishes like the corn, and 
the nutrition it gives to the soul should be well chosen. On 
this head we hope to have attained the aim, and we trust that 
there will not be found in our sheaf one single sterile shoot 
that cautious censure would wish to cut off. 

May Templeton, 

A Tale of Faith and Love. By the author of " Tyborne, 
and Who Went Thither," <kc, <fec. 

1 vol., 12mo, cloth, plain $1 50 

" u gilt edges 2 00 

This is perhaps the most elegantly written work in the 
whole range of Catholic fiction. It exhibits, on the part of its 
distinguished author, a rare union of genius and common 
sense, with a very remarkable knowledge of the motives 
which prompt and influence human action. 


A Tale. Translated from the French. 

1 vol., 12mo, cloth $1 25 

" " gilt edges 1 75 

This is a tale of great pathos and brilliancy. It excited a 
remarkable degree of interest in France, and no doubt will bo 
no less welcome to American readers. 

Charming Stories for the Young, 

In beautiful bindings, suitable for premiums, and at very 
low prices. 

Sebastian's One Thousand Feancs. — Beautifully 
bound in enameled paper, with bronze lettering. 

18mo $0 12 

Heneietta. — A true story, beautifully bound in ena- 
meled paper, with bronze lettering. 

18mo 12 

Geetohen ; or, The Chapel of Winkelried. — Enameled 

paper cover, with bronze lettering 12 

The Faiby's Well.— Enameled paper cover, with 

bronze lettering 12 


The Seceet of Riches. — A Tale of the last Century. 

Enameled paper cover, with bronze lettering $0 12 

The Saukkmonde. — Tradition of the Black Mountain. 

Enameled paper cover, with bronze lettering 12 

Coenelio; or, the False Vocation. — Enameled paper 

cover, with bronze lettering 12 

Valentine, the Successful Student. — Enameled 

paper cover, with bronze lettering 12 

Adventuees and Misfoetunes of a Saxon School- 


An Episode of the Kussian Campaign 15 

The same, beautifully bound, in six vols., cloth, 
viz: — 

Sebastian and Faiey's "Well. — 1 vol., 18mo, cloth.. 30 

Heneietta and Gteetchen. — 1 vol., 18mo, cloth 30 

Seceet of Kiches and Saueemonde. — 1 vol., 18mo, 

cloth 30 

Coenelio and Valentine. — 1 vol., 18mo, cloth 30 

The Saxon Schoolmastee. " " " 30 

The Campaign in Russia. " " " 30 



The Manual of the Immaculate Conception. 

A collection of prayers for general use, including ttie 
most approved devotions to the Blessed Mother of God, 
selected from authentic sources, with the approbation of 
the Most Rev. J. McCloskey, D. D., Archbishop of New- 
York. Copiously illustrated with, fine steel engravings. 

It contains 1220 pages, 18mo, printed on fine white paper, 
and is the most Complete, Compeehensive, Useful, and Ele- 
gant Peateb Book now in use. 



No. it Roan, embossed, 1 plate $1 50 

2. " " gilt center and edges, 1 plate 2 00 

3. " " " " " clasp, 1 plate 2 50 

4. " full gilt sides and edges, 2 plates 2 50 

5. " " " " u clasp, 2 plates 3 00 

6. Turkey morocco, extra, 7 plates 3 50 

7. " " u " H and clasp 4 00 

8. " " u " " beveled 4 00 

9. " <* " W "and clasp 4 50 

10. " " " M "paneled... 5 00 

11. " " «' " "and clasp 6 00 

12. " " block paneled and tooled edges 7 00 

13. " " " " and clasp 6 00 

In various styles of velvet bindings, from $8 to $20 each. 

It had been for a long time the design of the publisher to 
publish a Prayer Book dedicated to the Patroness of America, 
and placed under her benign protection, under the title of her 
Immaculate Conception. It is now his privilege to have ful- 
filled this design. He devoutly trusts that the Manual op 
the Immaculate Conception will not be found unworthy 
of the high auspices under which it is offered to the Catholics 
of America. As a general Prayer Book, it will recommend 
itself to popular use by its completeness, accueaoy, and 
beauty. But besides containing those devotions generally 
sought for in a Prayer Book, it contains, also, in a well- 
arranged -manner, nearly all those beautiful prayers to the 
Holy Mother of God, upon which the Church has put the 
sacred stamp of her approbation. 


The Freeman's Journal says of it : " It is a general Manual 
of Devotions, and comprises many and well-selected medita- 
tions and instructions. Those pious enough to use large 
prayer books and many devotions will be well satisfied with 
it. It really strikes us as a meritorious and excellent prayer 

The Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph says : " The ' Manual of 
the Immaculate Conception,' published by P. O'Shea, New 
York, and approved by the Most Rev. J. McCloskey, D. D. 
This is one of the most complete manuals of devotion that we 
have seen. Besides a large collection of the most beautiful 
prayers for general use, the Epistles and Gospels for every 
Sunday and holiday in the year, it contains all the most ap- 


proved devotions to our Blessed Mother, under the auspices of 
the Immaculate Conception of whom it has been published. 
The amount of matter it contains, all approved by the Most 
Eev. Archbishop of New York, may be judged from the fact 
that there are 1,114 pages in it. It is well printed, and taste- 
fully illustrated, on good paper, and most beautifully bound in 
fine morocco." 

The St. Louis Guardian says : " Mr. O'Shea, the publisher 
of New York, has rendered a lasting service to the Catholic 
community, by issuing the above excellent book of Devotion. 
It combines, with the ordinary prayer book, a manual of spe- 
cial devotions to the Blessed Virgin, with suitable prayers for 
Novenas, offices of the Scapular, Epistles, Gospels, &c, for the 

The Metropolitan Record says : " The fullest and most beau- 
tiful manual of prayer ever issued by a New York publisher. 
In its pages will be found the devotional exercises to which 
the mind instinctively turns in joy or sorrow, in sickness or 
suffering, as well as the public offices of the Church for peni- 
tential seasons, high festival times, or ordinary occasions ; 
novenas and litanies ; and every approved form of private or 
associated prayer. In addition, the ' Manual of the Immacu- 
late Conception' is profusely illustrated, clearly printed, and 
handsomely bound." 

The Manual of the Immaculate Conception contains, 
besides the usual devotions to be found in large prayer books — 

Novenas for the principal Feasts of the Blessed Virgin. 

Novena to Saint Joseph. 

Vespers for the Festivals of the Blessed Virgin. 

Chaplet of Twelve Stars. 

Chaplet of Seven Dolors. 

Forty Ave Marias. 

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, in Latin and English. 

Office of the Immaculate Conception. 

A great number of Indulgenced Devotions to the Blessed 

Mass of the Sacred Heart. 

Devotions to the Sacred Heart. 

Mass for the Dead. 

Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays and Festivals through- 
out the year, &c, &c, &c. 

The Star of Bethlehem 

A new and complete Prayer Book, containing — besides the 
ordinary devotions to be found in other Prayer Books — 



the Epistles and Gospels for all the Sundays and Holidays 
of the year ; the complete Vespers for Sundays and Festi- 
vals, with the appropriate Music for each Psalm. Com- 
piled by the Rev. Titus Joslin. With the approbation of 
the Most Rev. J. Hughes, D. D., Archbishop of New 
York. Printed on fine white paper, and beautifully illus- 
trated with fine steel engravings. 18mo, 810 pp. 

"No. 1. Roan, embossed, plain edges. 1 steel engraving. $125 

2. " " gilt edges. 2 " engravings. 1 75 

3. " " " u and clasp. 2 steel eng's 2 00 

4. " Imitation mor., gilt sides, and edges 2 00 

5. " " " and clasps 2 25 

6. Turkey morocco, extra, 6 steel engravings 3 50 

7. " " " and clasps, 6 steel eng's 4 00 

8. " " beveled edges. " " . . 4 00 

9. " " " and clasps. " " . . 4 50 

10. " " paneled 5 00 

11. " " * and clasps 5 50 

12. " " velvet, and clasps 7 00 

13. " " u rims and clasps 9 00 

14. " " " full ornaments 10 00 

15. " " " extra ornaments 

The Star of Bethlehem. 

24mo, edition. 

No. 16. Roan, embossed, plain edges. 1 plate $0 75 

17. " plain edges, gilt sides. u 1 00 

18. " gilt edges and center. 2 plates 1 25 

19. " " " and clasps. " 1 50 

20. " imitation mor., gilt edges. " 1 50 

21. " " " and clasps. " 1 75 

22. Turkey morocco. 6 steel engravings 3 00 

23. " u and clasps. 2 plates 3 50 

24. u " beveled 3 50 

25. " " " and clasps 4 00 

26. " " " paneled 4 00 

27. " " and clasps 4 50 

28. " " velvet corners, and clasps ...... 6 00 

29. u " u rims 6 75 

30. u " full ornaments 8 00 

31. " " extra ornaments, from.... $10 to 20 00 



It compares favorably with any Prayer Book published in 
America. — i\T. Y. Freeman's Journal. 

This manual reflects great credit on both the compiler and 
publisher. It contains over 800 pages of the best selected 
matter ever put into a Prayer Book, while the paper, printing, 
and binding are in character with the contents. — N. Y. Tablet. 

This is a Prayer Book of the largest class, but the cheapest 
in price, just issued. We observe that those litanies which 
have been noticed by the most learned of our theologians have 
been entirely omitted. This feature will certainly commend 
it, and we speak for it a liberal share of patronage. — Balti- 
more Catholic Mirror. 

From our own experience, we can say there is hardly any 
work so hard to find as a Pbatee Book, containing the vari- 
ous devotional aids which a Christian requires in daily life. 
The Star of Bethlehem is most satisfactory in this respect. 
All the principal services of the Church, all the ordinary ne- 
cessities of the Christian, are copiously provided for. The 
prayers at Mass, as well as the preparation for confession and 
communion, are especially full. The Vespers also form a note- 
worthy feature of this volume. It includes the proper psalms 
for every feast in the year, accompanied by its appropriate bar 
of music, placed neatly and conspicuously over the psalms. In 
short, The Stae of Bethlehem is a prayer book that can be 
relied upon. It is printed beautifully, carefully, and attract- 
ively, is illustrated with well-executed and appropriate steel 
engravings, and is substantially bound in a variety of styles, to 
suit the means of every Catholic. — JST. Y. Truth Teller. 

This very excellent compilation includes the gospels and 
epistles for the year, and various offices, special devotions, and 
masses, in addition to the usual contents. The book is well 
printed in large clean type, and will be found a useful compan- 
ion and guide to the holy temple. — Philadelphia Catholic 

We observe throughout this manual many useful notes and 
remarks, proofs of the Rev. Father Joslin's zeal for the 
interest and welfare of the people intrusted to his care. — 
Baltimore Metropolitan Magazine. 

The Paradise of the Christian Soul. 

Delightful for its choicest pleasures of piety of every 
kind. By James Merlo Horstius, of the Church of 


the Blessed Virgin Mary, in pasculo pastoris, at Cologne. 
A new and complete translation, by lawful authority. 
18 mo, 1083 pages. 

The Paradise of the Christian Sotjl, to which access 
hitherto was only had in the Latin language, is the most com- 
plete manual of Catholic devotion, meditation, and instruction, 
ever published. It contains nearly eleven hundred pages of 
closely but beautifully printed matter, remarkable for its sweet 
and fervid piety, and its choice and useful instruction. It is, 
beyond all other books, a Family Pbatee Book, and a copy 
of it should be in every Catholic family. 

No. 1. Cloth, plain $1 25 

2. Eoan, embossed, plain edges. 1 steel engraving. 1 50 

3. u " gilt edges. 2 " engravings. 2 00 

4. American morocco, gilt sides and edges, 4 steel 

engravings 2 25 

5. American morocco, gilt sides and edges, and 

clasp. 4 steel engravings 2 50 

6. Turkey morocco, extra. 6 steel engravings 3 50 

7. u " " and clasp. 6 steel eng's. 4 00 

8. " " " beveled boards. 6 steel 
engravings 4 00 

9. Turkey morocco, extra, beveled and clasp. 6 

steel engravings f 4 50 

10. Turkey morocco, paneled 5 00 


It contains the most soul -elevating prayers we have ever 
read. — Catholic Herald. 

The Mission Book, 

A new and improved edition. A Manual of Instructions 
and Prayers, adapted to preserve the Fruits of the Mis- 
sion. Published under the direction of the Missionary- 
Priests of St. Paul. 18mo, 500 pages. 

No. 1. Roan, embossed, plain edges , $1 00 

2. " full gilt sides, plain edges 1 25 

8. " embossed, gilt edges 1 25 

4. " " " " and clasps 1 50 

5. Imitation morocco, full gilt sides and edges 1 50 

6. " " u " " ' " clasp... 1 75 

7. Turkey morocco, extra 3 00 


8. Turkey morocco, extra, clasps $3 50 

9. " " " beveled 3 50 

10. " " u " clasps 4 00 

11. "" " " paneled 4 50 

12. " " " a and clasps 5 00 

13. " u " velvet corners and clasps. . 6 50 

14. " " " " rims and clasps 7 50 

15. " " " " full ornaments... .9 00 

The Mission Book. 


No. 16. Koan, plain $0 75 

17. u gilt sides 90 

18. " embossed, gilt edges 1 00 

19. " " " " clasps 1 20 

20. " full gilt sides <md edges 1 25 

21. '« " u " " clasps 1 50 

22. Turkey morocco 2 00 

23. " " clasp 2 50 

24. u " extra 2 50 

25. " " " clasp 3 00 

26. •* " " beveled 3 00 

27. u " " " clasp 3 50 

28. ** " u bands and ornaments 5 00 

The Key of Heaven. 

24mo. New and enlarged edition. Containing the Col- 
lects, Gospels, the Stations of the Cross, and the Scapu- 

No. 1. Cloth, plain. 1 plate •. . $0 50 

2. Eoan, embossed 63 

gilt edges 1 00 

" and clasp 1 20 

full gilt sides 90 

bs. 3 plates 1 25 

clasps 1 50 

Turkey morocco, extra 2 50 

" clasp 3 00 

%i beveled. 3 00 

" " clasp 3 50 

paneled, &c 3 25 

" and clasp 3 75 

" bands and clasps 5 00 

3. " 


4. " 


5. " ful 


6. " 


7. " 


8. Turkey m 




10. " 


11. " 


12. " 


13. " 


14. " 



15. Turkey morocco, velvet corners and clasps $5 50 

16. " " * bands and clasps 6 25 

17. " " " full ornaments 7 50 

18. " " " extra 

The Key of Heaven, 

18mo. Large type, fine paper. A superb edition. 

No. 19. Roan, plain, with a fine steel engraving $1 00 

20. " embossed, gilt edges 1 25 

21. " " " " and clasps } 50 

22. " gilt sides 1 25 

23. " w " and edges 1 50 

24. " M « « and clasps i....! 75 

25. Turkey morocco, extra 2 75 

26. " " " and clasps 3 25 

27. " " beveled £ 25 

28. " " " and clasps 3 75 

29. " " paneled 4 00 

30. " " " and clasps 4 50 

31. " " " bands and ornaments . . fr 00 

The Christian's Daily Guide. 

A Manual of Prayers, selected from the most approved 
sources; containing a great many Indulgenced Prayers. 
Printed in large type, on fine white paper; beautifully 
illustrated, with fine steel engravings, besides illustrations 
of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 3 2 mo. Ap- 
proved by the Most Rev. J. McCloskey, D. D., Arch- 
bishop of New York. 

No. 1. Cloth, plain $0 40 

2. Roan, " 50 

3. " gilt edges 75 

4. a " " and clasps 90 

5. " gilt sides 60 

6. " " " and edges 88 

7. " " " " " and clasps 100 

8. Turkey morocco, extra 2 00 

9. " " " and clasps 2 50 

10. " " beveled 2 50 

11. " " « and clasps 3 00 

12. " « paneled 3 75 

13. " « « and clasps 4 25 

14. u " «' ornaments and *lasps...5 00 


The Christian's Treasury 

A most beautiful, complete, and useful prayer book ; con- 
taining all the most approved prayers, with the Epistles 
and Gospels, and the appropriate Vespers for every Sun- 
day and holiday in the year. Printed on fine paper, in 
large type ; with a variety of fine illustrations. Approved 
by the Most Rev. J. McCloskey, D. D., Archbishop of 
New York. 

No. 1. Cloth, plain, 24mo $0 60 

2. Roan, " 75 

3. " gilt edges 1 00 

4. " " " and clasps 1 25 

5. " gilt sides 90 

6. " " " and edges 1 25 

7. " " " and clasps 150 

8. Turkey morocco, extra 2 50 

9. u " " and clasps 3 00 

10. u " beveled 3 00 

11. u " " and clasps 3 50 

12. " " paneled. 4 00 

13. " " " and clasps 4 50 

14. " " " bands and clasps 5 00 

The Little Path to Paradise. 

48mo. A very complete, portable, and elegant Prayer 

No. 1. Cloth, plain $0 30 

2. Embossed 38 

3. " gilt edges 50 

4. " " " and clasp 63 

5. u gilt sides 45 

6. " " " and edges 63 

7. " " " " " and clasp 75 

8. Turkey morocco, extra 1 25 

9. * " " and clasps 1 62 

10. " " bands and clasps 2 50 

The Flowers of Paradise, 

24mo, 512 pages. Containing the Collects and Gospels, 
the Confraternities, and Indulgenced Devotions. 

No. 1. Cloth, plain. 1 plate $0 50 

2. Roan, embossed. 1 plate 63 


3. Koan, embossed, gilt edges $1 00 

4. " u " " and clasp 1 20 

5. " full gilt sides. 2 plates 90 

6. " " a " and edges 125 

7. " H " " " " clasps 1 50 

8. Turkey morocco, extra, case 2 25 

9. " " " flexible... 2 50 

10. " " " clasp 3 00 

11. « " " beveled 3 00 

12. " " " " clasps 3 50 

13. " " bands and ornaments 5 00 

Velvet, from $3.75 to $15. 

The Flowers of Paradise. 


No. 14. Cloth, plain $0 45 

15. Eoan, " 50 

16. u gilt sides 60 

17. " embossed, gilt edges 75 

18. " " and clasp 90 

19. " gilt sides and edges 90 

20. " " " " " clasps 1 12 

21. Turkey morocco, extra 2 00 

22. " " " clasp 2 50 

23. " " " beveled 2 50 

24. " " " u clasp 3 00 

25. " " bands and ornaments 4 00 

Velvet, richly ornamented, from $4 to $12. 

The Diamond Manual 

A beautiful pocket Prayer Book, containing all the neces- 
sary prayers. 

No. 1. Cloth, gilt $0 25 

2. Embossed roan, gilt edges 45 

3. Tucks (pocket-book form), gilt edges 63 

4. Turkey morocco 1 00 

6. " " clasps 1 25 

Velvet and ornaments, from $1.50 to $6. 

The Child's Catholic Manual. 

Containing short abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, 
Prayers for morning and evening, Instructions and Pray 


ers for Mass, with handsome Illustrations of the Mass, 
Instructions and Devotion for Confession, Holy Commu- 
nion and Confirmation, and a selection of beautiful and 
suitable Devotions, Hymns, &c, &c. 32mo. 


No. 1. Cloth $0 30 

2. Eoan, plain 38 

3. Cloth, gilt center and edges 50 

4. Roan, « " " " 75 

5. " " " " " and clasp 90 

6. " gilt sides, plain edges 60 

7. " " " and edges 88 

8. " " " " and clasps 1 00 

9. Morocco, extra 2 00 

10. " " and clasp 2 50 

The Purgatorian Manual; 

• or, A Selection of Prayers and Devotions, with appropri- 
ate reflections, for the use of the members of the Purgato- 
rian Society, and adapted for general use. By Rev. 
Thomas S. Preston. Approved by the Most Rev. John 
McCloskey, D. D., Archbishop of New York. 18mo 
beautifully illustrated with steel engravings. 


Cloth, plain $1 00 

Roan, " 1 25 

" gilt edges 1 50 

" " " and sides 2 00 

Turkey morocco, extra 3 50 


I. The Purgatorian Society in the Diocese of New York ; 

its history and the conditions of membership. 
II. The Doctrine of Purgatory stated and demonstrated. 
III. A Devout Method of hearing Mass for the benefit of the 

Suffering Souls. 
IY. The Office for the Dead. 

V. A Collection of Prayers Indulgenced by the Church. 
VI. Novena of St. Alphonsus, for the nine days preceding 
All-Souls 1 Day. 


VII. Octave of Father Faber for the Souls in Purgatory. 

VIII. The Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori. 

IX. Reflections for such as seek purification in this life. 

Challoner's Catholic Christian Instructed, 

16mo. Flexible cloth 45 

Challoner's Catholic Christian Instructed, 

16mo. Paper 30 

Butler's Catechism, 

With the Scriptural Catechism. Per hundred . $4 50 08 

Butler's Catechism, 

Detroit edition 4 50 08 

A Catechism for General Use, 

By Rev. J. McCaffrey, D. D., President of Mt. St. 
Mary's College. Approved by the Most Rev. J. Mc- 
Closkey, D. D. ; Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, D. D. ; Rt. 
Rev. J. F. Wood, D. D., and several other Bishops, for 
use in their Dioceses. 

18rao, large type, good paper, per 100 $5 00 

24mo, " " " " 2 75 

" abridged 1 75 


On the favorable report of our Examiners of Books, we take 
pleasure in approving the Catechisms recently composed by 
Rev. Dr. McCaffrey, President of Mount St. Mary's College, 
the revised edition of which is to be soon issued ; and We per- 
rcit and even recommend their use in our Archdiocese. 
Baltimore, April 12, 1866. 

M. J. Spalding, 

Archbishop of Baltimore. 


We approve the Catechisms prepared by the Very Rev. Dr 
McCaffrey, both the larger one and the Abridgment, and re- 
commend their adoption in the various schools of our diocese. 
John, Archbishop of New York. 

New York, July 16, 1866. 

Cathedral, Logan Square. 

Philadelphia, Jan. 11, 1867. 
We cheerfully concur in the recommendation of Catechisms 
lately published by Very Rev. Dr. MoCaffeet, knowing and 
appreciating the care and labor bestowed on their preparation 
by the Very Rev. author. 

James F. Wood, 

Bishop of Philadelphia. 


The great desideratum in a Catechism is brevity, simplicity, 
and a plainness of style which enables the young mind to take 
in without effort all that it propounds and teaches. Dr. Mc- 
Caffrey's Catechism, while it fully states the elements of 
Christian doctrine, comes nearer, in our opinion, to what is 
needed in these particulars, than any thing of the kind that has 
yet been published. It is not to be expected that any human 
effort will ever reach perfection in a work of this kind, yet we 
much doubt if any future attempt that may be made will ever 
surpass, if it equal, this one of Dr. McCaffrey. It is a plea- 
sure to know that in our opinion of this little catechism we 
differ in nothing from many of our Archbishops, Bishops, and 
the body of our venerated clergy. 

A Short Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, 

Revised for the use of the Catholic Church in the 
United States. Per hundred.. $2 50 $0 05 

Catechism for the Use of the Sick Poor. 

By a Sister of Mercy 03 

General Catechism of the Christian Doctrine, 

Prepared by order of the National Council. ...... 05 

Short Catechism, 

Price 03 


School Books. 

The following School Books have been adopted for use by 
the Sisters of Charter/, Ladies of the Sacred Heart, Sisters 
of Mercy, Brothers of the Christian Schools, <Jbc, <kc. 
They are used, also, in most of the best conducted private 
schools in the vicinity of New York. 

I The Primary Spelling-Book. 

An easy introduction to the " Columbian Spelling- 
Book, " in which the spelling, pronunciation, meaning, 
and application of almost all the irregular words in 
the English language are taught in a manner adapted 
to the comprehension of young learners, by means of 
spelling and dictation exercises. 1 vol., 12mo, half 
bound $0 25 

II. The Columbian Spelling-Book. 

A complete Manual of Orthography, Orthoepy, and 
Etymology. A new and easy method of teaching the 
spelling, pronunciation, meaning, and application of 
almost all the difficult and irregular words in the lan- 
guage, by means of Spelling and Dictation Exer- 
cises. 1 vol., large 12mo, 310 pp 45 

The Primary Reader. 

By J. B. Tullt. Illustrated with several beautiful 
wood-cuts. Half bound 12-J- 

The Second Reader, 

By J. B. Tullt. 18mo, 188 pages. Half bound. . 25 

The Third Reader. 

By J. B. Tullt. 12mo, half bound, roan, back 
lettered 63 

The Fourth Reader, 

ByJ.B. Tullt. 12mo, 432 pages 100 


The Columbian Orator ; 

Or, The Fifth Book of the Columbian Series of 
Readers and Spellers, with illustrations and expla- 
nations of the various attitudes suitable to the 

This book contains, besides an admirable selec- 
tion from the best authors, several dialogues, pre- 
pared especially for it, which will be found to sup- 
ply a want much felt hitherto by our schools. 1 
vol., 12mo 1 50 



"I have just received a copy of the 'Primary Spelling- 
Book,' by Mr. Tully, and lam delighted with it. It is at once 
the most simple, practical, and scientific English Spelling-Book 
I have ever seen. 

"Brother Habactjc." 

from the convent of mercy, houston street, new york. 

" We like your series of Readers very much, and shall use 
them hereafter in our school." 


"After a careful examination of 'Tully's Columbian Spell- 
ing Book,' I adopted it in the higher classes of this school. 
The success which has attended its use has verified my expect- 
ations of it, and convinced me that it is not only a book of 
exceeding merit, but that it is decidedly the lest of its Mnd of 
any that has ever come under my observation. I cordially 
recommend it to general patronage, in the conviction that, 
wherever it may be adopted, its use will confirm the opinion 
I have expressed in regard to its superior excellence. 

"M. J. O'Donnell, Ward School No. 5." 


"We are pleased to see that the text-book ('Columbian 
Spelling Book'), to which we invite our readers' attention, 
ascribes great importance to the practice of dictation. Be- 
sides adequate provisions for oral recitation, it furnishes 
abundant exercises especially arranged for writing. The work 
is thoroughly prepared and issued in a convenient and durable 



First Book of Reading Lessons. 

By the Christian Brothers 12 

Second Book of Reading Lessons, 

18mo, half bound 25 

Third Book of Reading Lessons. 

24mo, roan, back lettered 36 

Carpenter's Scholars' Spelling Assistant. 

A new stereotype edition. 1 vol., 18mo 20 

School Diaries. 

Per dozen 20 

Copy Books. 

Per dozen, from 60 cts. to 1 20 

Exercise Books. 

Per dozen, from $1.50 to 3 00 

The Practical Dictation Spelling Book, 

In which the spelling, pronunciation, meaning and 
application of almost all the irregular words in the 
English language are taught in a manner adapted 
to the comprehension of young learners, by means 
of spelling and dictation exeecises. By Ed. 

Hitlvany. 12mo, half bound , 30 

This book is admirable in plan and execution, and 
ought to be introduced into all our schools. 

Price's Practical Arithmetic. 

12mo, half bound 65 


fcmtl §Jjjj)aMkai fist at goohs, 

Published and for Sale by 


A General History of the Catholic Church, from the 
commencement of the Christian Era, until the pre- 
sent time. By the Abbe Dabeas. 4 vols., 8vo, 

doth $12 00 

Sheep, marble edges 16 00 

Half morocco, extra 20 00 

Half morocco, antique 24 00 

American Republic. By O. A. Beownson, LL. D. 1* 

vol., 8vo, cloth 3 oo 

Agnes Hilton, a Tale of Trials and Triumphs. ' By Miss 

Hoffman. 1 vol., 12mo, cloth 1 50 

Adventures and Misfortunes of a Saxon Schoolmaster. 

18mo 30 

An Episode of the Campaign in Russia. 18mo, cloth. . 30 
American Revolution. By Michael Doheny. 18mo, 

cloth 75 

Appleton's Sermons. 1 vol., 8vo 3 00 

Adelmar, the Templar. Cloth 30 

All for Jesus ; or, The Easy Ways of Divine Love. By 

Fabee 1 50 

Alice Riordan ; or, The Blind Man's Daughter.' ...... '. '. 50 

Alton Park 1 25 

Ailey Moore ' 1 00 

Alice Sherwin ; or, The Days of Sir Thomas More 113 

Art Maguire ; or, The Broken Pledge. By Cableton. 75 

Anima Devota ; or, Devout Soul 60 

Archconfraternity of the Heart of Mary 80 

Ark of the Covenant. By Rev. T. S. Peeston 60 

Angelical Virtue 38 

Apologia pro Vita Sua. By Dr. Newman 2 00 

Aspirations of Nature. By Rev. I. T. Heokee 1 00 


Apostleslnp of Prayer. 12mo. Cloth $1 75 

Adventures of an Irish Giant 40 

A Treatise on the Love of God. By St. Fbancis De 

Sales 1 75 

Alphonso ; or, The Triumph of Religion 80 


Brownson's American Republic 3 00 

Black Baronet. By Oakleton 1 00 

Brooksiana 50 

Balmes on European Civilization. 8vo 3 00 

Baines's Essay on Divine Faith 1 25 

Balls and Dancing. By Abb6 Hulot 50 

Bertha ; or, The Pope and the Emperor. By MoCabe. 1 00 

Bible against Protestantism. By Dr. Sheil , 75 

Bible Question Fairly Tested 50 

Beauties of Sir Thomas More 1 00 

Beauties of the Sanctuary 75 

Bickerton ; or, Immigrant's Daughter 60 

Blakes and Flannigans 1 13 

Blind Agnes 50 

Blanche. A Tale 30 

Bossuet's History of the Variations of the Protestant 

Churches. 2 vols. Cloth 2 50 

Boyhood of Great Painters. 2 vols. Cloth 1 20 

Bartoli's Life of St. Ignatius. 2 vols . . 3 00 

Blessed Sacrament. By Faber .V. . 1 50 

Brownson's Essays and Reviews of Theology, Politics, 

and Socialism. Cloth 1 75 

Butler's Lives of the Saints. New and beautiful edition. 

12 vols., half morocco, extra 30 00 

(This is the best edition extant.) 

Butler's Lives of the Saints. 4 vols. Cloth 8 00 

Butler's Catechism 8 

Butler's Catechism for the Diocese of Detroit 8 

Bryant on the Immaculate Conception , 75 

Ballad Poetry of Ireland. By Charles Gavan Duffy. 

1 vol., 18mo. Cloth 75 

Boyne Water. By Banim 1 00 

Bishop England's Works (scarce) 

Bishop Maginn, Life and Letters of. By Thomas 

D'Arot McGee. 1 vol., 12mo 100 

Bishop Brute, Memoir and Journal of. By Bishop 

Batley. 1 vd,., 12mo 1 50 

Brother James's Library. 12 vols., cloth. Each 30 

Burke's Speeches. 1 vol., 12mo 2 00 



Christian Treasury. A beautiful Prayer Book, with the 

Epistles arid Gospels. Large type, from 75 cents to. . $10 00 
Christian's Daily Guide. A convenient and very com- 
plete Prayer Book. Large type, from 40 cents to . 5 00 

Clay's Works. 6 vols., 8vo. Cloth 18 00 

Children of the Patriarchs. Cloth 75 

Cornelio and Valentine. Cloth ; 30 

" " Paper 12 

Charity and Truth. By Haywakden 1 00 

Christmas Night's Entertainments 75 

Chateau Lescure. A Tale 50 

Cobbett's History of the Eeformation 1 13 

Considerations on the "World 50 

Cottage Conversations. By Mama Monica 90 

Chapel Choir Book 90 

Con O'Regan ; or, Scenes from Emigrant Life 1 00 

Confessions of an Apostate. 16mo. Cloth 75 

Cochin on the Mass 1 00 

Cross and Shamrock 75 

Callista. A Tale of the Third Century. By Dr. New- 
man 1 13 

Considerations on the Sacred Ministry 50 

Crasset's Meditations 1 80 

Considerations on the World. By Rev. B. S. Piot 50 

Catechism of Sacred History 20 

Clifton Tracts. 4 vols 2 00 

Ceremonial for the Church in the United States 3 00 

Confessors of Connaught 90 

Cecelia. A Roman Drama 38 

Catholic World. A Magazine. 3 vols., now ready, 

cloth. Per vol 3 00 

Counsels of a Christian Mother. 60 

Christian Missions. By Marshall. 2 vols., cloth 5 00 

Campbell and Purcel's Debate 1 50 

Cottage Evening Tales 50 

Children of the Valley 50 

Count Leslie 50 

Charles and Frederick 50 

Curious Questions. By Dr. Brann 2 00 

Conversion of Ratisbone 38 

Catholic Offering. By Mt. Rev. Wm. Walsh J 1 50 

Consciences Tales — The Poor Gentleman 75 

" " The Conscript and Blind Rosa 75 

" " Happiness of being Rich 75 

" " The Miser 75 




__REC!D_LD — 


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LD 2lA-60m-10,'65 

General Library 
University of California 


XB 3053c