Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy, he became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is remembered as the patron saint of animals. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient, he returned to Italy to organize the Order.
Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew from external affairs. Francis is known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy, which would make him the second person in Christian tradition after St. Paul to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion, he died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142. Francis of Assisi was born in late 1181 or early 1182, one of several children of an Italian father, Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant, a French mother, Pica de Bourlemont, about whom little is known except that she was a noblewoman from Provence. Pietro was in France on business when Francis was born in Assisi, Pica had him baptized as Giovanni. Upon his return to Assisi, Pietro took to calling his son Francesco in honor of his commercial success and enthusiasm for all things French.
Since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought. Indulged by his parents, Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man; as a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. He was handsome, witty and delighted in fine clothes, he spent money lavishly. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar". In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis ran after the beggar; when he found him, Francis gave the man everything. His friends chided and mocked him for his act of charity; when he got home, his father scolded him in rage.
Around 1202, he joined a military expedition against Perugia and was taken as a prisoner at Collestrada, spending a year as a captive. An illness caused him to re-evaluate his life, it is possible. Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life. In 1205, Francis left for Apulia to enlist in the army of Count of Brienne. A strange vision made having lost his taste for the worldly life. According to hagiographic accounts, thereafter he began to avoid the sports and the feasts of his former companions. In response, they asked him laughingly whether he was thinking of marrying, to which he answered, "Yes, a fairer bride than any of you have seen", meaning his "Lady Poverty". On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica, he spent some time in lonely places. He said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the forsaken country chapel of San Damiano, just outside Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."
He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying, so he sold some cloth from his father's store to assist the priest there for this purpose. When the priest refused to accept the ill-gotten gains, an indignant Francis threw the coins on the floor. In order to avoid his father's wrath, Francis hid in a cave near San Damiano for about a month; when he returned to town and dirty, he was dragged home by his father, beaten and locked in a small storeroom. Freed by his mother during Bernardone's absence, Francis returned at once to San Damiano, where he found shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father; the latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from San Damiano, sought to force his son to forego his inheritance by way of restitution. In the midst of legal proceedings before the Bishop of Assisi, Francis renounced his father and his patrimony. For the next couple of months Francis wandered as a beggar in the hills behind Assisi.
He spent some time at a neighbouring monastery working as a scullion. He went to Gubbio, where a friend gave him, as an alms, the cloak and staff of a pilgrim. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damiano's; these he carried to the old chapel, set in p
Pope Urban IV
Pope Urban IV, born Jacques Pantaléon, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 29 August 1261 to his death in 1264. He was not a cardinal. Urban IV was the son of a cobbler of France, he studied theology and common law in Paris and was appointed a canon of Laon and Archdeacon of Liège. At the First Council of Lyon he attracted the attention of Pope Innocent IV, who sent him on two missions in Germany. One of the missions was to negotiate the Treaty of Christburg between the pagan Prussians and the Teutonic Knights, he became Bishop of Verdun in 1253. In 1255, Pope Alexander IV made him Patriarch of Jerusalem, he had returned from Jerusalem, in dire straits, was at Viterbo seeking help for the oppressed Christians in the East when Alexander IV died. After a three-month vacancy, Pantaléon was chosen by the eight cardinals of the Sacred College to succeed him in a papal election that concluded on 29 August 1261, he chose the regnal name of Urban IV. A fortnight before Urban IV's election, the Latin Empire of Constantinople, founded during the ill-fated Fourth Crusade against the Byzantines, was abolished after the re-capture of the city by the Byzantines led by general Michael VIII Palaiologos.
Urban IV endeavoured without success to stir up a crusade to restore the Latin Empire. Urban initiated construction of the Basilica of St. Urbain, Troyes, in 1262; the festival of Corpus Christi was instituted by Urban IV on August 11, 1264, with the publication of the papal bull Transiturus. Urban asked Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican theologian, to write the texts for the Mass and Office of the feast; this included such famous hymns as the Pange lingua, Tantum ergo, Panis angelicus. The Pope became involved in the affairs of Denmark. Jakob Erlandsen, Archbishop of Lund, wanted to make the Danish Church independent of the Royal power - which put him in direct confrontation with the Dowager Queen Margaret Sambiria, acting as regent for her son, King Eric V of Denmark; the Queen imprisoned the Archbishop. Both sides tried to get the Pope's support; the Pope agreed to several items that the Queen wanted - he issued a dispensation to alter the terms of the Danish succession that would permit women to inherit the Danish throne.
However, the main issues remained unsolved by Urban's death, with the case continuing at the papal court in Rome and the exiled Archbishop Erlandsen coming to Italy to pursue it in person. In fact, the convoluted affairs of distant Denmark were of only a minor concern to the Pope, it was Italy which commanded Urban IV's near full attention: the long confrontation with the late Hohenstaufen German Emperor Frederick II had not been pressed during the mild pontificate of Alexander IV, during which it devolved into inter-urban struggles between nominally pro-Imperial Ghibellines and more nominally pro-papal Guelf factions. Frederick II's heir Manfred was immersed in these struggles. Urban IV's military captain was the condottiere Azzo d'Este, nominally at the head of a loose league of cities that included Mantua and Ferrara. Any Hohenstaufen in Sicily was bound to have claims over the cities of Lombardy, as a check to Manfred, Urban IV introduced Charles of Anjou into the equation to place the crown of the Kingdom of Sicily in the hands of a monarch amenable to papal control.
Charles was Count of Provence by right of his wife, maintaining a rich base for projecting what would be an expensive Italian war. For two years Urban IV negotiated with Manfred regarding whether Manfred would aid the Latins in regaining Constantinople in return for papal confirmation of the Hohenstaufen rights in the realm. Meanwhile, the papal pact solidified with Charles a promise of papal ships and men, produced by a crusading tithe, Charles's promise not to lay claims on Imperial lands in northern Italy, nor in the Papal States. Charles promised to restore the annual census or feudal tribute due the Pope as overlord, some 10,000 ounces of gold being agreed upon, while the Pope would work to block Conradin from election as King of the Germans. Before the arrival in Italy of his candidate Charles, Urban IV died at Perugia on 2 October 1264, his successor was Pope Clement IV, who took up the papal side of the arrangement. There is a story that the pope's death was related to Great Comet of 1264 which he fell sick at sometime near the arrival of the comet and he died when the comet disappeared.
Tannhäuser, a prominent German Minnesänger and poet, was a contemporary of Pope Urban IV—the pope died in 1264, the Minnesänger died shortly after 1265. Two centuries the pope became a major character in a legend which grew up about the Minnesänger, first attested in 1430 and propagated in ballads from 1450; the legendary account makes Tannhäuser a knight and poet who found the Venusberg, the subterranean home of Venus, spent a year there worshipping the goddess. After leaving the Venusberg, Tannhäuser is filled with remorse and travels to Rome to ask Pope Urban IV if it is possible to be absolved of his sins. Urban replies that forgiveness is as impossible as it would be for his papal staff to send forth green leaves. Three days after Tannhäuser's departure Urban's staff begins to grow new leaves. There is no historical evidence for the events in the legend. List of popes David Abulafia, 1988. Frederick II, pp 413ff. Richard, Jean; the Crusades: c. 1071 – c. 1291. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-5
Segni is an Italian town and comune located in Lazio. The city is situated on a hilltop in the Lepini Mountains, overlooks the valley of the Sacco River. According to ancient Roman sources, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh king of Rome, established a Roman colony at the town known as Signia. Additional colonists were sent there in 495 BC; the ancient architectural remains at the site date from the Republican period. These include a circuit of fortification walls built using polygonal masonry; the walls incorporated a system of gates, including the Porta Saracena, covered by a large monolithic architrave. Atop the ancient acropolis of Segni sits the podium of the temple of Juno Moneta, which now supports a Medieval church of Saint Peter. Segni was a refuge for various popes with Pope Eugene III erecting a palace in the middle of the twelfth century; the Counts of Marsi, hereditary enemies of the Orsini, obtained Segni in the twelfth century. The family called de' Conti produced many cardinals.
In 1558 Segni was sacked by the forces of the Duke of Alba in the war against Pope Paul IV. Politician Giulio Andreotti was born in Segni in 1919. Co-cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the early 17th century on the former temple of St. Bruno; the bell tower is from the 11th century. The interior has a painting by Francesco Cozza; the polygonal masonry fortification walls of the settlement are well preserved. The ancient acropolis of Segni is marked by the former site of the temple of Juno Moneta; the acropolis has been the site of renewed fieldwork undertaken by the British School at Rome. Mykines, Greece This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Segni". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
The Hohenstaufen known as Staufer, were a dynasty of German kings during the Middle Ages. Before ascending to the kingship, they were Dukes of Swabia from 1079; as kings of Germany, they had a claim to Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. Three members of the dynasty—Frederick I, Henry VI and Frederick II —were crowned emperor. Besides Germany, they ruled the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Jerusalem The dynasty is named after a castle, which in turn is named after a mountain; the names used by scholars today, are conventional and somewhat anachronistic. The name Hohenstaufen was first used in the 14th century to distinguish the "high" conical hill named Staufen in the Swabian Jura, in the district of Göppingen, from the village of the same name in the valley below; the new name was only applied to the hill castle of Staufen by historians in the 19th century, to distinguish it from other castles of the same name. The name of the dynasty followed, but in recent decades the trend in German historiography has been to prefer the name Staufer, closer to contemporary usage.
The name "Staufen" itself derives from Stauf, meaning "chalice". This term was applied to conical hills in Swabia in the Middle Ages, it is a contemporary term for both the hill and the castle, although its spelling in the Latin documents of the time varies considerably: Sthouf, Stophen, Estufin etc. The castle was built or at least acquired by Duke Frederick I of Swabia in the latter half of the 11th century. Members of the family used the toponymic surname de Stauf or variants thereof. Only in the 13th century does the name come to be applied to the family as a whole. Around 1215 a chronicler referred to the "emperors of Stauf". In 1247, the Emperor Frederick II himself referred to his family as the domus Stoffensis, but this was an isolated instance. Otto of Freising associated the Staufer with the town of Waiblingen and around 1230 Burchard of Ursberg referred to the Staufer as of the "royal lineage of the Waiblingens"; the exact connection between the family and Waiblingen is not clear, but as a name for the family it became popular.
The pro-imperial Ghibelline faction of the Italian civic rivalries of the 13th and 14th centuries took its name from Waiblingen. In Italian historiography, the Staufer are known as the Svevi; the noble family first appeared in the late 10th century in the Swabian Riesgau region around the former Carolingian court of Nördlingen. A local count Frederick is mentioned as progenitor in a pedigree drawn up by Abbot Wibald of Stavelot at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1153, he held the office of a Swabian count palatine. Their son Frederick I was appointed Duke of Swabia at Hohenstaufen Castle by the Salian king Henry IV of Germany in 1079. At the same time, Duke Frederick I was engaged to the king's seventeen-year-old daughter, Agnes. Nothing is known about Frederick's life before this event, but he proved to be an imperial ally throughout Henry's struggles against other Swabian lords, namely Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Frederick's predecessor, the Zähringen and Welf lords. Frederick's brother Otto was elevated to the Strasbourg bishopric in 1082.
Upon Frederick's death, he was succeeded by his son, Duke Frederick II, in 1105. Frederick II remained a close ally of the Salians, he and his younger brother Conrad were named the king's representatives in Germany when the king was in Italy. Around 1120, Frederick II married Judith of Bavaria from the rival House of Welf; when the last male member of the Salian dynasty, Emperor Henry V, died without heirs in 1125, a controversy arose about the succession. Duke Frederick II and Conrad, the two current male Staufers, by their mother Agnes, were grandsons of late Emperor Henry IV and nephews of Henry V. Frederick attempted to succeed to the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor through a customary election, but lost to the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg. A civil war between Frederick's dynasty and Lothair's ended with Frederick's submission in 1134. After Lothair's death in 1137, Frederick's brother Conrad was elected King as Conrad III; because the Welf duke Henry the Proud, son-in-law and heir of Lothair and the most powerful prince in Germany, passed over in the election, refused to acknowledge the new king, Conrad III deprived him of all his territories, giving the Duchy of Saxony to Albert the Bear and that of Bavaria to Leopold IV, Margrave of Austria.
In 1147, Conrad heard Bernard of Clairvaux preach the Second Crusade at Speyer, he agreed to join King Louis VII of France in a great expedition to the Holy Land which failed. Conrad's brother Duke Frederick II died in 1147, was succeeded in Swabia by his son, Duke Frederick III; when King Conrad III died without adult heir in 1152, Frederick succeeded him, taking both German royal and Imperial titles. Frederick I, known as Frederick Barbarossa because of his red beard, struggled throughout his reign to restore the power and prestige of the German monarchy against the dukes, whose power had grown both before and after the Investiture Controversy under his Salian predecessors; as royal access to the resources of the church in Germany was much reduced, Frederick was forced to go to Italy to find the finances needed to restore the king's power in Germany. He was soon crowned emperor in Italy; the Papacy and the prosperous city-stat
Pope Innocent IV
Pope Innocent IV, born Sinibaldo Fieschi, was the head of the Catholic Church from 25 June 1243 to his death in 1254. Born in Genoa in an unknown year, Sinibaldo was the son of Beatrice Grillo and Ugo Fieschi, Count of Lavagna; the Fieschi were a noble merchant family of Liguria. Sinibaldo received his education at the universities of Parma and Bologna and, for a time, taught canon law at Bologna, it is pointed out by Agostino Paravicini-Bagliani, that there is no documentary evidence of such a professorship. From 1216-1227 he was Canon of the Cathedral of Parma, he was considered one of the best canonists of his time, was called to serve Pope Honorius III in the Roman Curia as Auditor causarum, from 11 November 1226 to 30 May 1227. He was promoted to the office of Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, though he retained the office and the title for a time after he was named Cardinal. Vice-Chancellor Sinibaldo Fieschi was created Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina on 18 September 1227 by Pope Gregory IX.
He served as papal governor of the March of Ancona, from 17 October 1235 until 1240. It is repeated, from the 17th century on, that he became bishop of Albenga in 1235, but there is no foundation to this claim. Innocent's immediate predecessor was Pope Celestine IV, elected 25 October 1241, whose reign lasted a mere fifteen days; the events of Innocent IV's pontificate are therefore inextricably linked to the policies dominating the reigns of popes Innocent III, Honorius III and Gregory IX. Gregory had been demanding the return of portions of the Papal States taken over by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II when he died; the Pope had called a general council so he could depose the emperor with the support of Europe's spiritual leaders, but Frederick had seized two cardinals traveling to the council in hopes of intimidating the curia. The two prelates remained incarcerated and missed the conclave that elected Celestine; the conclave that reconvened after his death fell into camps supporting contradictory policies about how to treat with the emperor.
After a year and a half of contentious debate and coercion, a papal election reached a unanimous decision. Cardinal de' Fieschi reluctantly accepted election as Pope 25 June 1243, taking the name Innocent IV; as Cardinal de' Fieschi, Sinibaldo had been on friendly terms with Frederick after his excommunication. The Emperor greatly admired the cardinal's wisdom, having enjoyed discussions with him from time to time. Following the election the witty Frederick remarked that he had lost the friendship of a cardinal but made up for it by gaining the enmity of a pope, his jest notwithstanding, Frederick's letter to the new pontiff was couched in respectful terms, offering Innocent congratulations and success expressing hope for an amicable settlement of the differences between the empire and the papacy. Negotiations leading to this objective proved abortive. Innocent refused to back down from his demands, Frederick II refused to acquiesce, the dispute continued, its major point of contention being the reinstatement of Lombardy to the Patrimony of St Peter.
The Emperor's machinations caused a good deal of anti-papal feeling to rise in Italy in the Papal States, imperial agents encouraged plots against papal rule. Realizing how untenable his position in Rome was growing, Innocent IV secretly and hurriedly withdrew, fleeing Rome on 7 June 1244. Traveling in disguise, Innocent made his way to Sutri and Civitavecchia, to Genoa, his birthplace, where he arrived on 7 July. From there, on 5 October, he fled to France. Making his way to Lyon, where he arrived on November 29, 1244, Innocent was greeted by the magistrates of the city. Finding himself now in secure surroundings and out of the reach of Frederic II, Innocent summoned, in a sermon preached on December 27, 1244, as many bishops as could get to Lyon, to attend what became the 13th General Council of the Church, the first to be held in Lyon; the bishops met for three public sessions: 28 June, 5 July, 17 July 1245. Their principal business was to subjugate the Emperor Frederick II. An earlier pope, Gregory IX, had issued letters on 9 June 1239, ordering all the bishops of France to confiscate all Talmuds in the possession of the Jews.
Agents were to raid each synagogue on the first Saturday of Lent of 1240, seize the books, placing them in the custody of the Dominicans or the Franciscans. The Bishop of Paris was ordered to see to it that copies of the Pope's mandate reached all the bishops of France, Aragon, Castile and León, Portugal. On 20 June 1239, there was another letter, addressed to the Bishop of Paris, the Prior of the Dominicans and the Minister of the Franciscans, calling for the burning of all copies of the Talmud, any obstructionists to be visited with ecclesiastical censures. On the same day he wrote to the King of Portugal ordering him to see to it that all copies of the Talmud be seized and turned over to the Dominicans or Franciscans. Louis IX, King of France, on account of these letters held a trial in Paris in 1240, which found the Talmud guilty of 35 alleged charges. Twenty-four cartloads of the Talmud were burned. Innocent IV continued Gregory IX's policy. In a letter of 9 May 1244, he wrote to King Louis IX, ordering the Talmud and any books with Talmudic glosses to be examined by the Regent Doctors of the University of Paris, if condemned by them, to be burned.
However, an argument was presented that this policy was a negation of the Church’s tradition
Jenne is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Italian region Lazio, located about 60 kilometres east of Rome. Jenne borders the following municipalities: Arcinazzo Romano, Trevi nel Lazio, Vallepietra. In the late 12th century, it was the birthplace of Pope Alexander IV