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Medieval Inquisition

The Mendicant Orders

The Waldensians

Ce Fut en Mai

Troubadours and Courtly Love

Blessings on you brothers and sisters! Most people know me as Francis of Assisi but at my baptism I was given the name of Giovanni Francesco Bernardone. I was born around 1181 or 1182 in Assisi in Umbria in what today is called Italy and lived until 1226.

When I was growing up I led a pretty carefree life. That ended when fighting in a local skirmish against Perugia. I was captured and fell seriously sick. Recovering from the illness was like a resurrection. I was a new person. I renounced my inheritance and wedded myself to poverty, choosing to dedicate my life to prayer, and service to the poor and sick. Out of this grew what is known as the Franciscan order.

We first Franciscans were wandering evangelists, begging for our living, preaching a simple gospel of love of God and neighbor. The idea was to live as much like Jesus Christ as possible.

As you go through this part of the website you’ll find information on others who wanted to return to a simple living out of the gospel and what that meant in the rise of the mendicant orders. There were others who also wanted to change what they saw as a Church that had lost contact with the gospel. These groups, such as the Cathars and the Waldensians, ended up wanting to change central elements of the Church’s teaching and that led them outside the Church. At this time we have the beginnings of the inquisition.

During my lifetime there was also a large innovation in the world of literature and music. This was the work of the troubadours of southern France. You’ll find out more about their work.

Welcome to the website! Enjoy it and learn.


Virtual Medieval Church and Its Writings
University of Saint Thomas–Saint Paul, MN
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St, Francis of Assisi