Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/161

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141
FRUITLESS MISSION WORK.

the orthodox could not be stimulated to persecution. Bishop Foulques of Toulouse used to relate that in a disputation at which he was present the Cathari were, as usual, vanquished, when he asked Pons de Rodelle, a knight renowned for wisdom and a good Catholic, why he did not drive from his lands those who were so manifestly in error. "How can we do it?" replied the knight. "We have been brought up with these people, we have kindred among them, and we see them live righteously." Dogmatic zeal fell powerless before such kindliness ; and we can readily believe the monk of Yaux-Cernay, when he tells us that the barons of the land were nearly all protectors and receivers of heretics, loving them fervently and defending them against God and the Church.[1]

The case seemed desperate, when a new light fell as though from heaven upon those groping blindly in the darkness. About mid-summer in 1206 the three legates met at Montpellier, and the result of their conference was a determination to withdraw from the thankless labor. By chance, a Spanish prelate, Diego de Azevedo, Bishop of Osma, arrived there on his return from Rome, where he had vainly supplicated Innocent to permit his resignation of his bishopric in order that he might devote his life to missionary work among the infidel. On learning the decision of the legates, he earnestly dissuaded them, and suggested their dismissing their splendid retinues and worldly pomp and going among the people, barefooted and poor like the apostles, to preach the Word of God. The idea was so novel that the legates hesitated, but finally assented, if an example were set them by one in authority. Diego offered himself for the purpose and was accepted, whereupon he sent his servitors home, retaining only his sub-prior, Domingo de Guzman, who had already, on the voyage towards Rome, converted a heretic in Toulouse. Arnaud returned to Citeaux to hold a general chapter of the order and to obtain recruits for the missionary work, while the other two legates with Diego and Dominic commenced their experiment at Caraman, where for eight days they disputed with the heresiarchs Baldwin and Thierry, the latter of whom we have seen driven from the Nivernois some years before. We are told that they converted


  1. Guillel. de Pod. Laurent, c. 8. — Pet. Sarnens. c. 1.