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RAYMOND DEJEAN: FRANCISCAN RENEGADE On November 11, 1328, a group of heretics was condemned at Carcassonne.1 Most were béguins, but the group also included Cathars, Waldensians, Sorcerers and a single spiritual Franciscan. Most were alive, a few were dead. All but one of the living had recanted. Those who had been found guilty simply of aiding, abetting or not reporting heretics were sentenced to wear crosses and go on pilgrimages. Others who were judged genuine believers in heresy were given perpetual imprisonment. The lone recusant was turned over to the secular government for punishment. No sentence except the recusant's was final. Within a year some of those condemned to imprisonment would see their sentences commuted to crosses and pilgrimages, and those who set out obediently on their pilgrimages might hope they would someday be allowed to remove their crosses. Conversely, those who failed to mend their ways and were again denounced to the inquisitor might expect to see their situations worsen. Among the twelve sentenced to prison that day, four were singled out whose crimes deserved special punishment. One was then in turn named as rating special punishment even among those four. He was the lone .Franciscan in the group. Stripped of ecclesiastical orders, he was assigned to the worst part of the prison, where he was to be kept in irons.2 It is that Franciscan who concerns us here. He was called Raymundus Johannis, literally "Raymond ofJean." We will call him Raymond Déjean simply because that is the way Jean Duvernoy rendered the name in his French translation of Manselli's Spirituali e beguini in Provenza? He is interesting because he provides our best 'The entire affair is described in MS Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Collection Doat, vol. 27, ff. 3r-112r (hereafter CD 27:3r-112r). 2CD27:93r. ^Spirituels et Béguins du Midi, Toulouse, Editions Privat, 1989. We could also call him Pierre Jean, following die pattern long recommended in the case of another illustrious Johannis, Petrus Johannis Olivi. FT Durieux, "Approches de l'histoire franciscaine," in Les mendiants en pays d'Oc au XUU siècle (Cahiers de Fanjeaux, 8), Toulouse, Edouard Privat, 1973, 92 claims that Olivi's name should be seen as "Pierre Jean-Olieu" or "Pierre Janolieu," a suggestion seconded by ?.-?. Vicaire in his introduction to Franciscains d'Oc: Les Spirituels ca. 1280-1324 (Cahiers de Fanjeaux, 10), Toulouse, Edouard Privat, 1975, Hf. Thus the "Olivi" 57 Franciscan Studies, 57 (1999) 58David Burr evidence of what life was like for the French spiritual Franciscans after 1317. We will begin with some historical context, then turn to Raymond. THE SPIRITUAL FRANCISCANS The spirituals existed from the time the order was founded in the sense that there were always some who wanted to observe a higher level of poverty than was preferred by others, but it is hard to argue that they constituted a definable faction in the order before the 1270s. Even then, what we see is the emergence of two movements in different places (Southern France and Italy) insisting on slightly different things.4 By the 1290s, though, leaders of the order were beginning to treat zealots as a single group, and in 1299 they launched the first order-wide persecution, which continued through the first decade of the fourteenth century. At that stage the leaders and their adherents—a group which came to be known as "the community" even as their targets were beginning to be called "the spirituals"—found their project frustrated by substantial pro-spiritual sentiment outside the order. In southern French cities like Narbonne, Béziers and Carcassonne the spirituals had built a loyal lay following. Important churchmen supported them for a variety of political and religious reasons. Spiritual fortunes took a sudden if temporary upward turn when Pope Clement V tried to arbitrate the quarrel and in 1312 imposed a settlement which refused the spirituals autonomy while making the Franciscan order a more hospitable place for them. He demanded the sort of reform that would bring the order more into line with their aims and encouraged the election of leaders who would treat them kindly. The houses at Narbonne, Béziers and Carcassonne...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 57-78
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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