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spoke of the threatening aspect of affairs, the general discontent aroused against the Order. He exhorted him to stop the violence of the friars, who assaulted the secular clergy in their public sermons, stirring up strife and hatred, and causing schism. Again he remonstrated with the rapacity of the friars in accumulating money by begging and by hovering round death-beds. "Let it appear manifest to the whole world that they are not seeking their own advantage; but the salvation of souls."
During the eighteen years that Bonaventura was general, he was indefatigable in maintaining the true spirit of the Order, in repressing the dissension which was constantly threatening it with schism, and in controlling the fanatical and mystic vagaries of some of its members. John of Parma, the seventh General of the Minorites, was the extremest of the Spiritualist, rigorist party. His first act had been a visitation of all the monasteries of the Order, to enforce the strict observance of poverty in its severest form. He was employed by Innocent IV., in Greece, in an endeavour to reconcile the Eastern schism. In 1251, he was again in Rome. In 1256, exactly the very year in which came forth the daring book of William of S. Amour, there were first sullen murmurs, then open revolt against his rule. He was suspected of having been the author of the Everlasting Gospel. This he was not, if we may trust Salembene; but the fact of his having had the book attributed to him shows that his views were in accordance with it, and indeed Gerardino da San Donino was in too close connection with him for him to be altogether released from the charge of complicity in the work.
John of Parma was deposed, his place was occupied
by S. Bonaventura; and his task was to root out, or cover over, the heretical tenets which had spread through the Order, and, that to such an extent, that it had affected its general. S. Bonaventura is thought to have dealt harshly with the displaced general, in banishing him to the obscurity of a remote convent where he disappeared from sight among rude and ignorant novices. But Bonaventura knew the danger that threatened the Order, and that only sharp measures could stay the poison from penetrating and killing the whole society. Ere long the Fraticelli will be in open revolt against the Popes, and Clement V. will have to condemn the Beghards, the lay members, or tertiaries, of S. Francis, as outrageous heretics, and later, John XXII., to assure the Christian world, by special bull, that the Beghards, though claiming to be Franciscans, are beyond the pale of salvation.
S. Bonaventura worked diligently with his pen; he had the greatest horror of idleness. He wrote on theology, on philosophy; he composed commentaries on Holy Scripture, and tedious and useless task-on the Master of Sentences. He was a poet, and some of his hymns breathe the tenderest, most loving piety. He was requested by a general chapter of the Order assembled at Narbonne in 1260, to undertake a life of their great founder, S. Francis. It was a labour or love. As he was engaged on it one day, in his cell, S. Thomas Aquinas came to see him; before opening the door he looked through a chink, and saw in the rapt expression of the writer that he was absorbed in his work. He withdrew, saying to those who accompanied him, "Let us nct disturb the saint labouring for the saint."
1 "Sinamus Sanctum qui laborat pro Sancto."
"How do you find time to read, what do you study?" asked the Angelical Doctor one day of him; wondering at his sweetness, his depth, and knowing what distraction he had in regulating the affairs of his Order. "My book," answered Bonaventura, "is the Crucifix."
In 1263, Bonaventura was present at the opening of the tomb of S. Antony of Padua, and the translation of his relics. Soon after he celebrated a general Chapter at Pisa. As he had a great devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation, threatened by the intellectual scepticism of his day, he ordered that in the Order, between Christmas and Epiphany, at the close of the hymns, should be sung: "Gloria tibi Domine, qui natus es de Virgine," and at Prime, the response, “Qui natus es de Maria Virgine," and that the feasts of the Conception and Visitation of Our Lady should be observed in his Order, and these festivals have since extended throughout the Church.
After holding the chapter, Bonaventura went to Rome to ask the pope, Urban IV., to give his congregation a protector. The Holy Father offered him. Ancher Pantaleon, Cardinal of S. Praxedes, his nephew; but the Saint chose instead Cardinal John Gaëtan. Urban IV., son of a cobbler at Troyes, had found the College of Cardinals, at his accession, to consist of only eight. He hastened to fill up the number to twenty-two. His nephew naturally received one of the vacant hats; but he was neither by birth nor abilities equal to the requirements of Bonaventura, as a protector of his Order. The Saint groaned under the burden that was imposed on the Minorites of being confessors and directors of the nuns of S. Clare, an order attached to and sprung out of the Order of S. Francis. The great founder had said, with a sigh, "God has not
given us wives, so the Devil has pestered us with Sisters." The management of these nuns, the composing of their intestine discords, jealousies, heartburnings, was a task from which S. Bonaventura at first, in vain, urged the pope to release his friars. His urgency prevailed, and by bull cut short the claims, the demands of the nuns. If a Franciscan henceforward listened to their woes, and directed their disturbed souls, it was in charity, not out of obligation.
In 1264, Urban IV. died; and, after a suspense of four months, Ugo Falcodi ascended the chair of S. Peter, and assumed the title of Clement IV.
In 1267 died Godfrey, archbishop of York, and without paying attention to the rights of the canons to elect a successor, Clement offered the important see to Bonaventura. The English Church was flooded with Italian priests. Innocent IV. had demanded of the compliant king, Henry III., that provision should be made in it for three hundred Roman clergy. Stephen, the pope's chaplain, had been given the office and revenues of the rich archdeaconry of Canterbury, without being required to execute any of its duties; he also held in France, and equally neglected, the archdeaconry of Vienne. Robert Grostête, the saintly bishop of Lincoln, estimated that foreign priests and the Papal treasure drew annually from England the sum of 70,000 marks; the king's income was not onethird of the sum. Grostête had received command, through the Papal nuncio, to confer a canonry at Lincoln, on a child, Frederick, the nephew of the pope. He had firmly refused. "I am bound by filial reverence to obey all commands of the Apostolic See; but those are not Apostolic commands which are inconsistent with the doctrine of the Apostles, and the Master of the
Apostles, Christ Jesus." The Pope was furious, "Who is this old dotard who presumes to judge our acts? Is not the King of England our vassal; nay, rather, our slave, and will he not, at a sign from us, imprison this bishop ?"
The Barons were in revolt, unable any longer to endure the intolerable exactions. Aylmer, bishop elect of Winchester, was a Poitevin; Peter of Hereford was a Burgundian. William of Valence and Peter of Savoy had the ear of the weak king, and insulted and maltreated the English without heed to law.
"In those days," says Matthew Paris, "the Romans and their legates lorded it in England, causing much injury to laymen as well as ecclesiastics in the matter of advowsons of churches, providing their own friends with rich vacant benefices at pleasure, setting themselves in opposition to bishops, abbots, and other religious men, and involving them in the sentence of excommunication. The nobles, therefore, indignant at such acts of pride, bestirred themselves, late though it was, to apply a remedy, and compelled the foreigners to fly the kingdom." The pope, Urban IV., thereupon excommunicated the barons; but several of the English bishops refused to publish the interdict. The bishops of Winchester, Worcester, London, and Chichester were therefore excommunicated. It was at this juncture that Godfrey, archbishop of York, died; and Clement IV. pressed the vacant see on Bonaventura. The Saint saw, what the pope did not, that the intrusion of another foreigner into one of the most influential sees of England would cause fresh strife, and might lead to his expulsion, and the miseries of an interdict falling on the land in consequence; with good feeling, that does him credit, he declined the flattering offer.