jeudi 19 mars 2015

Bienheureux JEAN de PARME, religieux franciscain et confesseur

Bienheureux Jean de Parme, prêtre

Jean Buralli, Frère Mineur sous le nom de Jean de Parme, enseigna la théologie à Bologne puis à Naples. Septième maître général de son Ordre pendant dix ans, il en visita toutes les provinces et fut envoyé par le pape comme légat à Constantinople pour renouer l'unité déchirée. Il passa les dernières années de sa vie à Greccio, dans la solitude volontaire et mourut à Camerino dans les Marches, en 1289.


Bienheureux Jean de Parme

franciscain (+ 1289)

Frère Mineur, il enseigna la théologie à Bologne puis à Naples. Septième maître général de son Ordre pendant dix ans, il en visita toutes les provinces et fut envoyé par le Pape comme légat à Constantinople pour renouer l'unité déchirée. Il termina sa vie à Greccio, dans la solitude volontaire . Son culte fut approuvé en 1777.

À Camerino dans les Marches, en 1289, le bienheureux Jean Buralli de Parme, prêtre de l’Ordre des Mineurs, que le pape Innocent IV envoya comme légat chez les Grecs, pour rétablir leur communion avec les Latins.


Bienheureux Jean de Parme

franciscain ( 1289)

Frère Mineur, il enseigna la théologie à Bologne puis à Naples. Septième maître général de son Ordre pendant dix ans, il en visita toutes les provinces et fut envoyé par le Pape comme légat à Constantinople pour renouer l'unité déchirée. Il termina sa vie à Greccio, dans la solitude volontaire . Son culte fut approuvé en 1777.

À Camerino dans les Marches, en 1289, le bienheureux Jean Buralli de Parme, prêtre de l’Ordre des Mineurs, que le pape Innocent IV envoya comme légat chez les Grecs, pour rétablir leur communion avec les Latins.


Martyrologe romain


Blessed John of Parma
Minister General of the Friars Minor (1247-1257), b. at Parma about 1209; d. at Camerino 19 Mar., 1289. His family name was probably Buralli. Educated by an uncle, chaplain of the church of St. Lazarus at Parma, his progress in learning was such that he quickly became a teacher of philosophy (magister logicæ). When and where he entered the Order of Friars Minor, the old sources do not say. Affò (Vita, p. 18, see below) assigns 1233 as the year, and Parma as the probable place. Ordained priest he taught theology at Bologna and at Naples, and finally read the "Sentences" at Paris, after having assisted at the First Council of Lyons, 1245. Through his great learning and sanctity, John gained many admirers, and at the general chapter of the order at Lyons in July, 1247, was elected minister general, which office he held till 2 Feb., 1257. We may judge of the spirit that animated the new general, and of his purposes for the full observance of the rule, from the joy felt (as recorded by Angelus Clarenus) by the survivors of St. Francis's first companions at his election, though Brother Giles's words sound somewhat pessimistic: "Welcome, Father, but you come late" (Archiv. Litt., 11, 263). John set to work immediately. Wishing to know personally the state of the order, he began visiting the different provinces. His first visit was to England, with which he was extremely satisfied, and where he was received by Henry III (Anal. Franc., I, 252). At Sens in France St. Louis IX honoured with his presence the provincial chapter held by John. Having visited the provinces of Burgundy and of Provence, he set out in Sept., 1248, for Spain, whence Innocent IV recalled him to entrust him with an embassy to the East. Before departing, John appears to have held the General Chapter of Metz in 1249 (others put it after the embassy, 1251). It was at this chapter that John refused to draw up new statutes to avoid overburdening the friars (Salimbene, "Mon. Germ. Hist. Script.", XXXII, 300). Only some new rubrics were promulgated, which in a later chapter (Genoa, 1254) were included in the official ceremonial of the order, beginning: Ad omnes horas canonicas (last published by Golubovich in "Archivum Franc. Hist.", III, Quaracchi, 1910). The object of John's embassy to the East was the reunion of the Greek Church, whose representatives he met at Nice, and who saluted him as "angel of peace". John's mission bore no immediate fruit, though it may have prepared the way for the union decreed at the Council of Lyons in 1274.

In his generalate occurred also the famous dispute between the Mendicants and the University of Paris. According to Salimbene (op. cit., XXXII, 299 sqq.), John went to Paris (probably in 1253), and by his mild yet strenuous arguments strove to secure peace. It been in connection with this attack on the Preachers and the Minors that John of Parma and Humbert of Romans, Master General of the Dominicans, published at Milan in 1255 a letter recommending peace and harmony between the two orders (text in Wadding, 111, 380). The "Introductorius in Evangelium Æternum" of Gerard of S. Donnino (1254), John's friend, having been denounced by the professors of Paris and condemned by a commission at Anagni in 1256 (Denifle, "Arch. f. Litt.", I, 49 sqq.), John himself was in some way compromised--a circumstance which, combined with others, finally brought about the end of his generalate. He convoked a general chapter at Rome, 2 Feb., 1257. If Peregrinus of Bologna [Bulletino critico di cose francescane, I (1905), 46] be right, Alexander IV secretly intimated to John that he should resign, and decline re-election should it be offered him. On the contrary, Salimbene (1. c., 301 sqq.) insists that John resigned of his own free will. The pope may have exerted some pressure on John, who was only too glad to resign, seeing himself unable to promote henceforth the good of the order. Questioned as to the choice of a successor, he proposed St. Bonaventure, who had succeeded him as professor at Paris. John retired to the Hermitage of Greccio near Rieti, memorable for the Christmas celebrated there by St. Francis. There he lived in voluntary exile and complete solitude; his cell near a rock is still shown. But another hard trial awaited him. Accused of Joachimism, he was submitted to a canonical process at Cittá della Pieve (Umbria), presided over by St. Bonaventure and Cardinal John Gaetano Orsini, protector of the order. The mention of this cardinal as protector brings us to a chronological difficulty, overlooked by all modern writers, who assign the process against John to 1257; for Alexander IV (1254-61) retained the protectorship (Anal. Franc., 696, 710; Mon. Germ. Hist.: Scr., XXXIII, 663, 681-2); and Cardinal Orsini became protector, at the earliest, at the end of 1261; see Oliger in "Arch. Francisce. Hist.", III, 346.

Angelus Clarenus tells us that the concealed motive of this process was John's attachment to the literal observance of the rule, the accusation of Joachimism, against which he professed his Catholic Faith, being only a pretext. Other sources, however (Anal. Franc., 111, 350, 698), speak of retractation. The same Clarenus relates that John would have been condemned had it not been for the powerful intervention of Innocent IV's nephew, Cardinal Ottoboni Fioschi, later Hadrian V (concerning whose letter to the judges see Arch. f. Litt., II, 286; Orbis Seraphicus, I, 120). John certainly did not profess the dogmatical errors of Joachimism, though he may have held some of its apocalyptic ideas. Upon his acquittal he returned to Greccio, and continued his life of prayer and work. It was there that an angel once served his Mass (Salimbene, 1.c., 310; Anal. Franc., 111, 289), and that in 1285 he received the visit of Ubertin of Casale, who has left a touching account of this meeting ("Arbor Vitæ", Venice, 1485, V, 3). Hearing that the Greeks were abandoning the union agreed upon in 1274, John, now 80 years old, desired to use his last energies in the cause of union. He obtained permission of Nicolas IV to go to Greece, but only travelled as far as Camerino (Marches of Ancona), where he died in the convent of the friars, 19 March, 1289. He was beatified 1777; his feast is kept 20 March.

With the exception of his letters scarcely any literary work can with surety be attributed to John. He is certainly not the author of the "Introductorius in Evang. Æternum", nor of the "Visio Fr. Johannis de Parma" (Anal. Franc., 111, 646-49). With more probability can we attribute to John the "Dialogus de vitia ss. Fratrum Minorum", partly edited by L. Lemmens, O.F.M. (Rome, 1902). The "Chronicle of the XXIV Generals" (Anal. Franc., III, 283) ascribes to John the allegoric treatise on poverty: "Sacrum Commercium B. Francisci cum Domina Paupertate" (ed. Milan, 1539), edited by Ed. d'Alençon (Paris and Rome, 1900), who ascribes it (without sufficient reason) to John Parent. Carmichael has translated this edition: "The Lady Poverty, a thirteenth-century allegory" (London, 1901); another English translation is by Rawnsly (London, 1904); a good introduction and abridged version is given by Macdonell, "Sons of Francis", 189-213. Other works are mentioned by Sbaralea, "Suppl. ad Script." (Rome, 1806), 398.

Sources

I. ORIGINAI, SOURCES.-SALIMBENE, Chronica (Parma, 1857), ed. also by HOLDER-EGGER in Mon. Gern. Hist.: Script., XXXII (Hanover, 1905-8); ANGEIUS CLARENUS, Historia septem tribulationum, partly edited by EHRLE in Arch. Für Litt. u. Kirchengesch., II (Berlin, 1886), 249 sqq., and by DÖLLINGER, Beiträge zur Seklengesch., II (Munich, 1890), 417 sqq.; Anal. Francisce., I (Quaracchi, 1885), 217 sqq.; III (Quaracchi, 1897); Archivum Francisanum Historicum, II (Quaracchi, 1909), 433-39; Bull. Franc., I (Rome, 1759); II (Rome, 1761); Suppl. ad Bull. Franc. of ANNIBALI A LATERA (Rome, 1780); Bull. Franc. Epitome by EUBEL (Quaracchi, 1908). Collection of good texts, especially referring to missions in the East: GOLUBOVICH, Biblioteca bio-bibliografica di Terra Santa, I (Quaracchi, 1906), 219-228; WADDING, Annales, III, IV (2nd ed., Rome, 1732). 

II. LITERATURE.--MACDONELL, Sons of Francis (London, 1902), 214-51; Léon [DE, CLARY], Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the Three Orders of St. Francis, I (Taunton, 1885), 493-513. There are three Italian lives with the title Vita del Beato Giovanni da Parma, by CAMERINI (Ravenna, 1730), by AFFÒ (Parma, 1777), and by LUIGI DA PARMA, 2nd ed. (Quaracchi, 1900)--1st ed. had appeared in the review Beato Giovanni da Parma, Periodico Bimensile (Parmi, 1888-9); JACOBILLI, Vile de' Santi e Beati dell' Umbria, I (Foligno, 1647), 329-34; AFFÒ in Memorie degli Scrittori c Letterati Parmigiani, I (Parma, 1789), 129-45; DAUNOU in Histoire Littéraire de la France, XX (Paris, 1842), 23-36 (antiquated); FÉRET, La Faculté, de Théologie de Paris, Moyen Age, II (Paris, 1895), 94-9; PICCONI, Serie Cronologico-Bioqrafica dei Ministri e Vicari Prov. della Minoritica Provincia di Bologna (Parma, 1908), 43-44; HOLZAPFEL, Manuale Historiæ Ordinis Fratrum, Minorum (Freibug im Br., 1909), 25-30; German edition (Freibug im Br., 1909), 28 33; RENÉ DE NANTES, Histoire des Spirituels (Paris, 1909), 145 205.


Oliger, Livarius. "Blessed John of Parma." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 19 Mar. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08475c.htm>.


Bl. John of Parma
John Buralli, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in the year 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five, he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to study and, after he had been ordained, to teach and preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. He preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons, even very important persons flocked to hear him.  In the year 1247, John was chosen Minister General of the Order of Franciscans. He had a very difficult task because the members of his community were not living up to their duties, due to the poor leadership of Brother Elias. Brother Salimbene, a fellow townsman who worked closely with John, kept an accurate record of Johns activities. From this record, we learn that John was strong and robust, so that he was always kind and pleasant no matter how tired he was. He was the first among the Ministers General to visit the whole Order, and he traveled always on foot. He was so humble that when he visited the different houses of the Order, he would often help the Brother wash vegetables in the kitchen. He loved silence so that he could think of God and he never spoke an idle word. When he began visiting the various houses of his Order, he went to England first. When King Henry III heard that John came to see him, the King went out to meet him and embraced the humble Friar. When John was in France, he was visited by St. Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the Crusades, came to ask John's prayers and blessing on his journey. The next place John visited was Burgundy and Provence. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favor. He asked John if he and Brother Salimbene could be allowed to preach. John, however, did not want to make favorites of his Brothers. He said, "even if you were my blood brothers, I would not give you that permission without an examination." John of Ollis then said, "Then if we must be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us?" Hugh, the former provincial was in the house, but since he was a friend of John of Ollis and Salimbene, he would not allow it. Instead, he called the lecturer and tutor of the house. Brother Salimbene passed the test, but John of Ollis was sent back to take more studies. Trouble broke out in Paris where John had sent St. Bonaventure who was one of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. Blessed John went to Paris and was so humble and persuasive that the University Doctor who had caused the trouble, could only reply, "Blessed are you, and blessed are your words". Then John went back to his work at restoring discipline to his Order. Measures were taken to make sure the Friars obeyed the Rules of the Order. In spite of all his efforts, Blessed John was bitterly opposed. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying out the reforms that he felt was necessary. So he resigned his office and nominated St. Bonaventure as his successor. John retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St. Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement. He died on March 19, 1289 and many miracles were soon reported at his tomb. His feast day is March 20th.


Blessed John of Parma

(1209-1289)


The seventh general minister of the Franciscan Order, John was known for his attempts to bring back the earlier spirit of the Order after the death of St. Francis of Assisi.

He was born in Parma, Italy, in 1209. It was when he was a young philosophy professor known for his piety and learning that God called him to bid good-bye to the world he was used to and enter the new world of the Franciscan Order. After his profession John was sent to Paris to complete his theological studies. Ordained to the priesthood, he was appointed to teach theology at Bologna, then Naples and finally Rome.

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV called a general council in the city of Lyons, France. Crescentius, the Franciscan minister general at the time, was ailing and unable to attend. In his place he sent Father John, who made a deep impression on the Church leaders gathered there. Two years later, when the same pope presided at the election of a minister general of the Franciscans, he remembered Father John well and held him up as the man best qualified for the office.

And so, in 1247, John of Parma was elected to be minister general. The surviving disciples of St. Francis rejoiced in his election, expecting a return to the spirit of poverty and humility of the early days of the Order. And they were not disappointed. As general of the Order John traveled on foot, accompanied by one or two companions, to practically all of the Franciscan convents in existence. Sometimes he would arrive and not be recognized, remaining there for a number of days to test the true spirit of the brothers.

The pope called on John to serve as legate to Constantinople, where he was most successful in winning back the schismatic Greeks. Upon his return he asked that someone else take his place to govern the Order. St. Bonaventure, at John's urging, was chosen to succeed him. John took up a life of prayer in the hermitage at Greccio.

Many years later, John learned that the Greeks, who had been reconciled with the Church for a time, had relapsed into schism. Though 80 years old by then, John received permission from Pope Nicholas IV to return to the East in an effort to restore unity once again. On his way, John fell sick and died.

He was beatified in 1781.

Comment:

In the 13th century, people in their 30s were middle-aged; hardly anyone lived to the ripe old age of 80. John did, but he didn’t ease into retirement. Instead he was on his way to try to heal a schism in the Church when he died. Our society today boasts a lot of folks in their later decades. Like John, many of them lead active lives. But some aren’t so fortunate. Weakness or ill health keeps them confined and lonely—waiting to hear from us.




Blessed John of Parma


(beato Giovanni da Parma)

Confessor, First Order
Blessed John of Parma was the seventh general of the Franciscan Order, and labored zealously during his administration to reanimate the spirit of the Order. He was a descendant of the ancient noble family of the Buralli, and was born at Parma in the year 1209. He was in high repute for learning and piety, and was professor of philosophy in his native city, when the love of God urged him to forsake the world and devote himself wholly to God in the Order of Friars Minor. At the time he was twenty-five years of age. Already during his year of probation he was imbued with the spirit of our holy Father St Francis; he loved poverty above all things, not only so far as the renunciation of external goods is concerned, but also in the sacrifice of his will and the esteem tendered him, so that he was a model of humility, abnegation, and self-sacrifice.

After his profession he was sent to Paris to complete his course in theology. After he was ordained to the priesthood, his superiors employed him in the apostolic ministry. Then he was appointed professor of theology, and acquitted himself of this task with remarkable success at Bologna, Naples, and Rome.

Pope Innocent IV convoked a general council in the city of Lyons in the year 1245. As the minister general, Cresentius, was unable to attend the council because of age and infirmity, he deputed Father John to go to the council in his stead. Here John won for himself the admiration of all the prelates of the Church by his wisdom, knowledge, and virtue; and the sovereign pontiff gave him his full confidence.

Two years later, when the pope himself presided at the general chapter of the Franciscan Order for the election of a general, the pope pointed out John as the man best qualified for the office. So, he was elected minister general of the order in 1247. Universal rejoicing reigned among the good religious, especially among the surviving disciples of St Francis. They trusted that the spirit of poverty and humility would bud forth anew, and they were not disappointed in their hopes.

As general of the order, John visited practically all the convents in the various countries. He always journeyed on foot, clothed in a poor habit, accompanied by only one or two friars. Sometimes it happened that he spent several days in a convent as an unknown guest, and could without trouble observe everything that occurred before he revealed his identity. Everywhere he set the example of a perfect Friar Minor and made the best possible provision toward promoting religious perfection.

The pope, who called him an angel of peace, sent Blessed John of Parma as his legate to Constantinople to bring back the schismatic Greeks to Catholic unity. For two years John labored at this task with remarkable wisdom and much success. Upon his return he deemed it best that someone else be appointed to govern the order. This was in the year 1257. Upon the urgent request of his brethren, he named St Bonaventure as a worthy successor. He it was who completed the work begun by his predecessor.

John now withdrew to a hermitage in Greccio, where he spent a life far more angelic than human. One morning when the server failed to appear for his Holy Mass, an angel came instead. Blessed John of Parma had spent thirty-two years in this solitude when he learned that the Greeks who had been reconciled with the Church, had again relapsed into schism. Although he was then eighty years old, John was eager to undertake the journey to the East in order to restore unity. Pope Nicholas IV gladly assented to the plan. But, arriving at Camerino, John felt that his end was near. He himself exclaimed: “Here is the place of my rest.”

Blessed John of Parma received the last sacraments with great devotion, and departed from this life on the twentieth of March, in the year 1289. Numerous miracles occurred at his grave. Even those who had formerly persecuted and calumniated him came to beg his forgiveness. Pope Pius VI beatified Blessed John of Parma in 1781.

*from The Franciscan Book of Saints, Marion Habig, OFM



Today, March 20, we celebrate the feast of Blessed John of Parma (1209-1289), seventh Minister General of the Franciscan Order. Blessed John is remembered for his quiet and gentle spirit, kindness, and orthodox reforms of the order which had lapsed following the death of Saint Francis of Assisi. Blessed John worked tirelessly, crossing the continent of Europe until his death at age 80. His spiritual works bore great fruit, reinforcing the Rule of Saint Francis, and reaffirming the faith and commitment of the Franciscans.

Born Giovanni Buralli in Parma, Italy, John excelled at his studies and received his advanced degrees in philosophy and logic at a young age. By the age of 24, he was teaching at the university, but was more well-known for his piety and life of holiness. Blessed John realized that his calling was not in the academic realm, but in the religious, and at age 24, joined the Franciscan Order, forsaking the world. Following his profession, he was dispatched to Paris, to complete his studies of theology, and there was ordained to the priesthood. Having a natural affinity for teaching, John was sent to Bologna, Naples, and finally to Rome to teach theology. It is said that he preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons (not just his students!), including important persons like local leaders and royalty.

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV called a general council in Lyons, France. The current Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Crescentius, was too ill to attend, and sent John in his place. There, John made a deep impression on the leaders of the Church gathered, impressing them with his deep faith, kind words, and appreciation of silent contemplation. Here was a man who had little negative to say about anyone or anything, and rather than speak, listened carefully to all that was said before rendering his own opinion. Blessed John was a model of humility and love of the Lord—so much so that he never spoke idly, as it distracted him from focusing on God.


In 1247, when it came time to elect a new Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Pope Innocent IV recommended Blessed John, remembering him attributes well. Approved by the Order, he became the seventh Minister General. The surviving disciples of Saint Francis rejoiced in his election, anticipating a return to the spirit of poverty and humility, like in the early days of the Order. One said to him upon his election, “Welcome, father… but you have come late!”

Those seeking reform were not disappointed. As Minister General, Blessed John set out to visit each house of the order—the first to do so—and restore the original Rule of Saint Francis. He traveled, always on foot, across Europe, stopping at each Franciscan convent. At times he would arrive at these places of worship and not be recognized. On these occasions, he would remain for three days to test the true spirit of the brothers before revealing his role. John’s journeys were recorded by his brethren. He is remembered as being a robust man, with only kind words to say, regardless of how tired he was after his journey. In most cases, he could be found performing the most menial duties, cleaning or peeling vegetables in the kitchen. His humility, faith, and obedience inspired his brethren. It is said that at times, when celebrating Mass, he was assisted by an angel from heaven.


When Blessed John began visiting the houses of his Order, he went to England first. When King Henry III heard that John was at the palace, the King went out to meet him and embraced the humble Friar. Similarly, when John was in France, he was visited by St. Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the Crusades, came to ask John's prayers and blessing on his journey. John continued his journey, visiting Burgundy and Provence. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favor. He asked Blessed John if he and another brother, Brother Salimbene, could be allowed to preach. John, however, did not want to make favorites of his Brothers. He said, "even if you were my blood brothers, I would not give you that permission without an examination.” Following examination by the tutor of the house, only Brother Salimbene was determined to be ready for preaching, and Brother John of Ollis was returned to his studies.

While traveling, news reached Blessed John that some trouble had broken out in Paris. Saint Bonaventure, one of the greatest scholars of the Franciscan Friars Minor, had been sent to the University of Paris to lecture. There, one of the university doctors had alleged heresy and found trouble in the saint’s words. Blessed John arrived, and was so humble and persuasive, that the man who had caused the trouble could only utter, "Blessed are you, and blessed are your words.”

Blessed John was later called to serve as Papal Legate to Constantinople, where he successfully convinced the schismatic Greeks to return home to the Church. Upon his return home, he found his efforts at continued reform bitterly opposed by many of his brothers, who had grown comfortable, and were not eager to return to a life of poverty. Well advanced in age, Blessed John asked Saint Bonaventure to succeed him as Minister General, which he did, and John spent the remainder of his years in a life of quiet prayer and contemplation at the hermitage at Greccio.

Shortly before his death, Blessed John learned that the Greeks, who he had been instrumental in reconciling with the Church, had relapsed in schism. John received permission from Pope Nicholas IV to return to Constantinople to restore unity. Despite his age, he set off with determination, but on his travels, feel sick and died.
Many years later, John learned that the Greeks, who had been reconciled with the Church for a time, had relapsed into schism. Though 80 years old by then, John received permission from Pope Nicholas IV to return to the East in an effort to restore unity once again. On his way, John fell sick and died. Following his death, many miracles were reported at his tombside.

The life of Blessed John of Parma is one of quiet faith, kindness, and gentle encouragement of others. In examining his life, we can see the benefits of his contemplative silence, listening, avoidance of idle words, and positive attitude. How often do our own words fail to encourage others, and quite the opposite, serve as reasons for discouragement? How frequently do we speak wickedly or angrily of others? During this Lenten season, we can look to Blessed John of Parma as inspiration to chose our words more carefully, abstain from gossip, and encourage those we encounter with Christian love .