Translated by Louise Seymour Houghton
beginning anti-monastic. It is not rare for history to have similar contradictions to record. The meek Galilean who preached the religion of a personal revelation, without ceremonial or dogmatic law, triumphed only on condition of being conquered, and of permitting his words of spirit and life to be confiscated by a church essentially dogmatic and sacerdotal.
In the same way the Franciscan movement was originally, if not the protest of the Christian consciousness against monachism, at least the recognition of an ideal singularly higher than that of the clergy of that time. Let us picture to ourselves the Italy of the beginning of the thirteenth century with its divisions, its perpetual warfare, its depopulated country districts, the impossibility of tilling the fields except in the narrow circle which the garrisons of the towns might protect; all these cities from the greatest to the least occupied in watching for the most favorable moment for falling upon and pillaging their neighbors; sieges terminat