The Apostolic Brethren (sometimes referred to as Apostolici, Apostoli, Apostles) were a Christian sect founded in northern Italy in the latter half of the 13th century by Gerard Segarelli, a native of Alzano in the territory of Parma. He was of low birth and without education, applied for membership in the Franciscan order at Parma, and was rejected. Ultimately he resolved to devote himself to the restoration of what he conceived to be the apostolic manner of life.Most of the spirit of the movement continued in the Dulcinian movement.
Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, Eucharist, prayer, confession, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations have ordained clergy and hold regular group worship services.
A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political, or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger group. Although the term was originally a classification for religious separated groups, it can now refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
About 1260, Segarelli assumed a costume patterned after representations which he had seen of the apostles, sold his house, scattered the price in the market-place, and went out to preach repentance as a mendicant brother. He found disciples, and the new order of penitents spread throughout Lombardy and beyond it. At first the Franciscans and other churchmen only scoffed at Segarelli's eccentric ways; but about 1280 the Bishop of Parma threw him into prison, then kept him awhile in his palace as a source of amusement, and in 1286 banished him from the diocese. All new mendicant orders without papal sanction having been prohibited by the Second Council of Lyon in 1274,Pope Honorius IV issued a severe reprobation of the Apostolic Brethren in 1286, and Nicholas IV renewed it in 1290.
Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.
The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others.
Mendicant orders are, primarily, certain Christian religious orders that have adopted a lifestyle of poverty, traveling, and living in urban areas for purposes of preaching, evangelization, and ministry, especially to the poor. At their foundation these orders rejected the previously established monastic model. This foresaw living in one stable, isolated community where members worked at a trade and owned property in common, including land, buildings and other wealth. By contrast, the mendicants avoided owning property, did not work at a trade, and embraced a poor, often itinerant lifestyle. They depended for their survival on the goodwill of the people to whom they preached.
A time of persecution followed. At Parma in 1294 four members of the sect were burned, and Segarelli was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Six years later he was made to confess a relapse into heresies which he had abjured, and was burned in Parma on July 18, 1300. A man of greater gifts now took the lead of the sect. This was Dolcino, the son of a priest in the diocese of Novara, and a member of the order since 1291, an eloquent, enthusiastic utterer of apocalyptic prophecies.
Fra Dolcino was the second leader of the Dulcinian reformist movement who was burned at the stake in Northern Italy in 1307. He had taken over the movement after its founder, Gerard Segarelli, had also been executed in 1300 on the orders of the Roman Catholic Church. Although the beliefs and spirituality of the Dulcinian sect were inspired by the teachings of Francis of Assisi, who had founded the Franciscan Order in 1210, their beliefs were condemned as heresy by the Catholic Church. The Papacy condemned their practices of poverty, liberty and opposition to the feudal system.
As the head of the group, who were in daily expectation of seeing the judgment of God on the Church, he maintained in the mountainous districts of Novara and Vercelli a guerilla warfare campaign against the crusaders who had been summoned to put him down. Cold and hunger were still more dangerous enemies; and finally the remnant of his forces were captured by the bishop of Vercelli: about 150 persons in all, including Dolcino himself and his "spiritual sister," Margareta, both of whom, refusing to recant, were burned at the stake on June 1, 1307.
Novara is the capital city of the province of Novara in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan. With 104 284 inhabitants (1-1-2017), it is the second most populous city in Piedmont after Turin. It is an important crossroads for commercial traffic along the routes from Milan to Turin and from Genoa to Switzerland. Novara lies between the rivers Agogna and Terdoppio in northeastern Piedmont, 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Milan and 95 kilometres (59 mi) from Turin.
Vercelli, is a city and comune of 46.552 inhabitants (1-1-2017) in the Province of Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy. One of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, it was founded, according to most historians, around the year 600 BC.
This was really the end of the sect's history. Later, in the middle of the century, traces of their activity are found, especially in northern Italy, Spain, and France, but these were only isolated survivals.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The ideal which the Apostolic Brethren strove to realize was a life of perfect sanctity, in complete poverty, with no fixed domicile, no care for the morrow, and no vows. It was a protest against the invasion of the Church by the spirit of worldliness, as well as against the manner in which the other orders kept their vows, particularly that of poverty. In itself the project might have seemed harmless enough, not differing greatly from the way in which other founders had begun. When the order was prohibited, however, the refusal to submit to ecclesiastical authority stamped its members as heretics.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
Persecution embittered their opposition; the Church, in their eyes, had fallen completely away from apostolic holiness, and become Babylon the Great, the persecutor of the saints. Their apocalyptic utterances and expectations are a link with the Joachimites; in fact, parallels to their teaching, mostly founded on literal interpretations of Scripture texts, may be found in many heretical bodies. They forbade the taking of oaths, apparently permitting perjury in case of need, and rejected capital punishment; their close intercourse with their "apostolic sisters" gave rise to serious accusations against their morals, though they themselves boasted of their purity, and considered the conquest of temptation so close at hand as especially meritorious.
The Apostolics did not have a fully developed theory, Segarelli being uneducated. They based their belief on the Acts of the Apostles (2,44-45):
All who believed were together, and had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.
They lived a simple life of fasting and prayer; often they worked to earn enough to eat, otherwise living off charity, preaching, and always invoking penitence.
Their maxim was Poenitentiam agite (make penitence) soon misspelled as Penitençagite! and cited in present days by The Name of the Rose , a novel by Umberto Eco.
Pope Honorius IV, born Giacomo Savelli, was Pope from 2 April 1285 to his death in 1287. During his pontificate he largely continued to pursue the pro-French political policy of his predecessor, Pope Martin IV.
Year 1300 (MCCC) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.
The Fraticelli or Spiritual Franciscans were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty, and regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous, and that of individual churchmen as invalidating their status. They were thus forced into open revolt against the whole authority of the Church and were declared heretical in 1296 by Boniface VIII.
A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded since the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.
JakobHutter, was a Tyrolean Anabaptist leader and founder of the Hutterites.
Apostolic poverty is a Christian doctrine professed in the thirteenth century by the newly formed religious orders, known as the mendicant orders, in direct response to calls for reform in the Roman Catholic Church. In this, these orders attempted to live their lives without ownership of lands or accumulation of money, following the precepts given to the seventy disciples in the Gospel of Luke (10:1-24), and succeeding to varying degrees. The ascetic Pope Paschal II's solution of the Investiture Controversy in his radical Concordat of 1111 with the Emperor, repudiated by the cardinals, was that the ecclesiastics of Germany should surrender to the imperial crown their fiefs and secular offices. Paschal proved to be the last of the Gregorianist popes.
The Dulcinians were a religious sect of the Late Middle Ages, originating within the Apostolic Brethren. The Dulcinians, or Dulcinites, and Apostolics were inspired by Franciscan ideals and influenced by the Joachimites, but were considered heretical by the Catholic Church. Their name derives from the movement's leader, Fra Dolcino of Novara, who was burned as a heretic on the orders of Pope Clement V.
Gerard or Gherardo or GherardinoSegarelli or Segalelli was the founder of the Apostolic Brethren. He was burned at the stake in 1300.
When heresy is used today with reference to Christianity, it denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. It should be distinguished from both apostasy and schism, apostasy being nearly always total abandonment of the Christian faith after it has been freely accepted, and schism being a formal and deliberate breach of Christian unity and an offence against charity without being based essentially on doctrine.
The Chronicle of the Expulsion of the Greyfriars is a historical writing on the Reformation in Denmark between 1527 and 1532 when the Franciscans were forced to leave Denmark.
Sack Friary, Bristol was a friary in Bristol, England. It was established in 1266 and dissolved in 1286.
Jean de Beaune was a Dominican inquisitor in Carcassonne during the early 14th century who played a role in precipitating the Apostolic poverty controversy of the period.
Brethren is a name adopted by a wide range of mainly Christian religious groups throughout history which do share historical roots. The largest movements by this name are the Schwarzenau Brethren, Anabaptists, Moravian Brethren, and Plymouth Brethren.
Apostolici, Apostolic Brethren, or Apostles, are the names given to various Christian heretics, whose common doctrinal feature was an ascetic rigidity of morals, which made them reject property and marriage.
Fulgenzio Manfredi, or Fra Fulgenzio, was a Franciscan friar, an observant minor, and active preacher in Venice from 1594. During the Venetian Interdict imposed by Pope Paul V, he gained particular prominence for his anti-Roman sermons, preaching against papal regulation of religious orders in the Venetian republic. He was a colleague of the famous theologian and scholar, Father Paolo Sarpi in the defence of the Venetian Republic in her struggle with the Curia. Manfredi was tried by the Roman Inquisition, declared a relapsed heretic, and sentenced to be burnt. He was executed in the Campo di Fiore, in Rome.
The doctrine of the Absolute Poverty of Christ was a teaching associated with the Franciscan order of monks, particularly prominent between 1210 and 1323. The key tenet of the doctrine of absolute poverty was that Christ and the apostles had no property, whether individually or shared. Debate about this came to a head in what is known as the theoretical poverty controversy in 1322–23. Pope John XXII declared this doctrine heretical in November 1323 via the papal bull Cum inter nonnullos, but debate on the subject continued for some years after; indeed, John's own final statement on the subject came in 1329 in his Quia vir reprobus. Key aspects of the debate included: the origins of property and whether use of material objects implied ownership; whether property existed before the Fall of Man; whether Christ while on earth had dominion over temporal things; the detailed and technical status of Christ's well attested poverty; and the apostles' use of material goods.
Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar to Protestantism before 1517, when Martin Luther (1483–1546) nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to a church door, which is usually considered the starting year for the Reformation era. Major representatives were Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe (1320s–1384), Jan Hus and the movements they started.