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on the following Sunday, the 29th, there was concluded in the great church an instrument of holy union, abridged by John de Ronchovetero. On the 5th of February, the feast of the holy virgin and martyr Agatha, the said Brother Sylvester made his testament, in which he constituted the people of Placentia his heirs, and dismissed them rich, that is, well instructed, and well trained, and well furnished in all doctrine and discipline into one body, reformed and reduced to peace and concord. He made all the boys, women, and men, in separate divisions, embrace and kiss each other, which they did weeping for joy. He restored peace to those who had committed homicide, preaching and declaring the epistle of Paul to the Colossians-Induite vos sicut electi Dei, sancti, et dilecti, viscera misericordiæ pietatem, modestiam,' and the rest to the end. On the 8th of February, ambassadors from Placentia proceeded to Milan to have the statutes of the holy union confirmed, and on the following day Brother Sylvester left Placentia, and went to Cremona, that he might establish a holy union there also."* Let us return to the annals of the order. In 1471, Brother Fortunatus, of Perugia, made peace between Florence and Sienna.. In 1486, at Perugia, on the feast of St. Antony of Padua, after the sermon, when St. Bernardine, of Monte Feltro, was sitting at table to refresh his strength, lo! a sudden noise and tumult arose, caused by the two most powerful armed factions of the Peneschi and the Staffeschi combating in the forum. Seizing a cross, he rushed into the midst, and had such authority that he made them desist. Though forty were wounded, and all breathed slaughter, nevertheless, they obeyed the man of God, and retired each to his own home. Soon after, the Ballioni and Oddesci came to join in the fray; but these also he repressed, and led the chiefs of all the parties into the adjoining church of St. Lorenzo, where, by the intervention of the bishop, he peased their mutual anger, and established peace.†
In 1487, coming to Tuderta, he found the citizens divided into two factions, and brought them to peace by his sermons and pious exhortations. Then united in one body, he prevailed on them to suffer whatever laws their bishop thought necessary. About to depart before Septuagesima Sunday, he unfurled in the public square the standard which he had prepared secretly, in which Christ flagellated was painted with arms extended over the city; the citizens, divided in two parties, were represented on their knees, with eyes raised up to Christ, exclaiming, "Pars mea Deus est," to whom the Saviour replies, "Et ego ero vester si vos mei fueritis." At the end of the sermon he uttered, with great fervor, the words, pacem meam relinquo vobis." Then exhorting them all to preserve that peace, he desired them to make two similar standards, and to place one in the cathedral, and the other in the Church of St. Fortunatus, while the third was to be suspended in the town hall, to be a perpetual testimony and exhortation to peace. Descending from the pulpit, all received him with tears and great cries, exclaiming,
* Ant. de Ripalta, Annales Placentini, ap. Muratori Rer. Ital. Script. tom. xx. Tom. xiv.
Peace, peace!" After some interval, returning to Tuderta, he found the seeds of dissension still lingering: these he labored to destroy. At length, having established sixteen articles of solid peace, he ordained a general procession round the city, and taking up the said standard, he was followed by all the people carrying branches of olive. This solemn and salutary day was diligently noted in the annals of the city; and in the senatorial palaces the image of Bernardine was sculptured.
Ravenna, in 1491, was divided into armed factions: daily he spoke against them, and by a divine power softened hard hearts. Many who had been deadly enemies for many years, were made friends; and these persons, to serve an example to others, used to rise up in the midst of his sermons to kiss and embrace each other in sight of all. The magistrates co-operated with him, and used to inquire who were at enmity. They would then send each of the parties successively to Bernardine, and both having heard the preacher, were eventually reconciled. There was one old man, who for many years could not be induced to forgive the slayer of his only son, a hopeful youth, though many of the chief citizens had interposed. At length, a certain man, named Papiniano, prevailed on him, after two or three attempts, to go with him and hear Bernardine, who offered himself in place of his dead son. All who were present wept, knowing the inflexibility of the old man. But like the rest who came, he was vanquished, from a mortal foe becoming a man of peace, so that ever after when he heard of others being at enmity, he would lead them to Bernardine with Papiniano, the author of his own peace. Amongst others he led two heads of factions of Valle Lamone, who, for many years, had been continually at war. One more severe than the other, and of more rigid nature, said roughly, "that for eternity he would not relent;" and to Bernardine persuading peace, replied, "I cannot ; one hundred years we are at war: my enemy has shed much of our blood, they slew my relations. Do you ask me to spare them? I will not. You lose your time.” Still Bernardine persevered, describing the misery of enmity, and the advantage of peace, while the old man continued saying, " If I lost my only son by treason, yet, for the love of God and of this holy man, I spared and forgave his murderer, and have laid aside all anger; and do you resist still on account of your relation's blood ?” At length, the Holy Ghost inspiring, he too felt himself softened the reconcilia tion was soon effected. Rushing into each other's arms, they embraced and filled all the beholders with wonder and admiration. "The Lord hath sent his angel to us," they exclaimed, "who hath restored peace to the city, and concord to us all."*
At Brescia Bernardine saved the city from imminent ruin; for the discord running high in the great council, at the second hour of the night, the gates being closed, early in the morning, he preached on the miseries of civil war and se
Id. vol. xiv.
dition, with such effect that he recalled to union and peace the Avogradi and the Martinengi, who were ready armed, and about to meet in intestine shock, and furious close of civil butchery.* This man, in sooth, did wonders: but many of the same order were alike successful. In the kingdom of Naples, all the villages which are in the circuit of Monte Corvino were at such enmity, that they had long made war against each other, like wild beasts, sparing neither sex nor condition. In 1524, a certain pious Franciscan, eminent for preaching, went to them, and labored so effectually, that he reunited them all in friendship, and then, in common, they built the church of St. Mary of Peace, to which they added a convent for friars of his order.+ We should observe, that Minor friars, or Dominicans, were repeatedly chosen to be the instruments of effecting peace, when the holy see intervened. Thus, in 1331, Gerard, the minister general of the Minors, was sent by the pope along with Brother Arnold, the Dominican, to pacify Edward, king of England, and David, king of Scotland, who were hastening to the arbitrement of swords, and preparing for each other a heavy reckoning against the great accompting day.
In 1351, the Venetians and Genoese were at cruel war: the Euxine beheld repeatedly their terrible conflicts. Peter, king of Aragon, and the emperor of Constantinople, came to the assistance of the former; John Visconti, of Milan, sided with the latter: Pope Clement VI. sent Brother Fortanerius Vassallus, a Minor friar, as pacificator between them.§ In 1366, Brother John, another Minor, was sent by Pope Urban V. to make peace between the Emperor Charles IV. and Lewis, king of Hungary. Angelo de Bibiena and Thomas Fiecho were also employed as pacificators by Pope Gregory IX. As rival princes, when blood is their argument, can seldom meet without adding fresh fuel to the fire of malice, personal interviews between them were generally condemned as by the wise Philip de Comines, and they were advised to communicate together through meek religious men.|| Friars were, therefore, chosen for this purpose, who never failed through want of zeal. But without bearing such authority, those whom the cord girt humbly are found every where making peace. Thus, in 1336, they reconciled the kings of Castile and of Aragon. In 1362, Brother Mark, of Viterbo, minister general, pacified many princes of Italy; a true angel of peace was he, soothing all discordant hearts with admirable skill and incredible facility. Thus he made peace between Amadæus, count of Savoy, and John, marquis of Montferrat, between the same marquis and Galeazzo Visconti, and between the Florentines and Pisans. Brother Mark was most active in endeavoring to repress the horrors of the English bands, which came into Italy at the termination of the war between England and France. Again, in 1371, Thomas, the minister general, made peace between the Genoese and the count of Flisco; and re
* Id. tom. xv. Id. tom. xvi. Id. tom. vii. § Id. viii. Le Conseiller d'Estat, 1645. Id. vii.
pressed also the hostilities of the former against Cyprus.*. The pacific labors of the Minors are sometimes attested on their tombs. Thus, on that of Friar Paul, of Padua, celebrated for his power and success as a pacificator-who lies buried near the gate of the cloister of the Franciscans, in that city—you read, under the date of 1323
"Dulcibus eloquiis, cui persuadere quietem
Civibus et patriæ sedula cura fuit.
Pacifer hic Patavæ sedavit scandala terræ,
On that of the blessed Guido de Spathis, in the convent of the Minors at Bologna, you read
"Auctor ubique pacis, linguæ sanctissimæ facis
Tu montium colles, contristi novissima valles,
The venerable branch of the seraphic order, which is known by the title of Capuchins, did not belie its origin when there was occasion to make peace. The manner in which Bernardine, general of the Capuchins, composed the troubles of Palermo in 1536, seemed divine to all who witnessed it.‡
John of Fano, after passing to this order, was another eminent pacificator. He found Burgo San Sepulcro in the midst of tumults and dissensions, and by his sermons he made all the inhabitants friends.§ Brother Mariano of Nebia was another angel of peace under the same hood, the scene of whose ministry was the island of Corsica, the ferocious inhabitants of which, he tamed and composed to all offices of love and friendship. Petrus Tudertinus, a Capuchin, possessed such a grace from God, in composing dissensions, that there was no one who could resist his pacific influence. Many rival houses which had been at war for generations, were by his efforts reconciled to each other, and factions which had disturbed the public tranquillity wholly suppressed. Brother Antonius of Cordova, a Minim, revered by the people as a saint, was so successful in reconciling enemies, that he used to be called by the bishop and nobles of that city, instrumentum pacis.** In short, each member of that humble order, lived but to inspire charity, and ever in his right hand carried gentle peace. But it is time that we should turn to the Dominicans, that second great family of the mendicants, who were devoted to the blessed work of reconciliation. Truly it would be long to tell of the labors for this end, of Gilles de Sant Irene, John the Teutonic, the third general of the order, Blessed Bartholomew de Braganza, Constantine de Medicis, James Boncambio, James Crescenti, whose mission was in Poland and Russia, Thomas de Berta, who labored in Sienna, Peter de St. As
* Le Conseiller d'Estat. viii. § Id. 1539. | Id. 1540.
Wadding. tom. vii. Annales Capucinorum an. 1536
tier, triumphant at Perigueux, Humbert de Romans at the university of Paris, Aldobrandi at Orvietta, Morandi de Signia, and he who afterwards governed the church as Innocent V.*
Who could worthily describe the fruits of peace which followed the steps of a friar Lawrence of England, of a St. Vincent Ferrier, who never left a town or a village without having chased from it the demon of discord, and re-established order, peace, and harmony; who passed as an angel of peace through Spain and France, Italy, Savoy, Switzerland, England, Ireland, and Scotland, where Henry IV. then reigned; of a Lewis of Valladolid, confessor of John II., king of Castile; of a blessed Peter of Palermo, or of him who afterwards became Pope Benedict XI, a man who seemed to have lived only to preach peace, and to have obtained power only to make it reign; or of a Raymond of Capua, twenty-third general of the order; or of an Andrew de Franchis, afterwards bishop of Pistoia, or of a Paul Justiniani, who reconciles so wondrously the two great hostile families of Genoa, the Assereti and the Imperiali; or of a Decius Justiniani, afterwards bishop of Aleria, to whom the canons of his cathedral bore this testimony, inscribed upon his tomb,
"In componendis odiis Corsica miraculum;"
or of an Ambrose of Sienna; or of a cardinal Latin Malebranche, of the Frangepani family, legate of the pope, who persuaded the Florentine Guelphs to restore the banished Ghibellines to their country and property, in 1278, on the place of Santa Maria Novella, reversing all decrees against them, and causing marriages to be contracted between them, so that he was ever afterwards styled the Prince of Peace; or of St. Augustin de Gazothes; or of Odon de la Sale, afterwards archbishop of Pisa; or of Berenger de Landon, who became archbishop of Compostella, and who died in discharging the office of mediator; or of Bernard Guido ; or of an Angelo of Perugia, that true angel of peace to Florence; or of a Simon Salterelli, nuncio of Clement V.; or of a blessed Ventura of Bergamo, who conceived and realized the idea of terminating the dissensions of a whole people by a pilgrimage? Ten thousand Lombards assuming the cross for their standard, and for motto three words, "Peace, Penance, Mercy," clad all in white, having on one side of their habit a cross, and the other a dove, with an olive branch, followed this friar to Rome, where, at his suggestion, laying aside their arms, they sealed their peace before the tomb of St. Peter. On this occasion, the warriors were accompanied by their wives and daughters, and even their children. It is remarked by historians that this new inspiration of love had restored the multitude to harmony with all nature, and that the spectacle of the beautiful regions through which they passed, gave them a taste for joys, of which, while hatred and vengeance filled their breasts, they could have had no conception.
*Touron, Hist. des Hommes Illust. de l'Ord. de S. Dom. i.