Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/304

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to them, for though we may doubt the Dominican story that Innocent was stricken with paralysis the very day that he signed the "crudelissimiim edictum" he certainly did die on December 7, within sixteen days after it, and a pious Roman had a vision of his soul handed over to the two wrathful saints, Dominic and Francis. Moreover the Cardinal of Albano, whose hostility to the Orders had led him to take an active part in advising Innocent to the measure, was imprudent enough to boast that he had caused the subjugation of the Mendicants to the bishops and would place them under the feet of the lowest priests. The same day a beam in his house gave way ; he fell and broke his neck. It would perhaps be unjust to accuse the Dominicans of having assisted nature in these catastrophes ; but, strange as it seems to hear them boast of having prayed a pope to death, they certainly do relate with pride that "Beware of the Dominican litanies, for they work miracles," became a common phrase.[1]

The death of Innocent saved the Mendicant Orders. That his successor was elected after an interval of only fourteen days was due to the provident care of the Prefect of Rome, who, distrusting the operation of the Holy Ghost, put the fathers of the Conclave on short rations, resulting in the election of Alexander IV. The new pope was specially favorable to the Mendicants. When John of Parma, the Franciscan general, came to him with the customary request that he would appoint a cardinal as "Protector" of the Order, he refused, saying that so long as he lived it should need no other protector than himself; and his selection of the Dominican Raymond of Pennaforte and the Franciscan Ruffino as papal chaplains showed how willingly he subjected himself to their influence. On December 31, ten days after his elevation, he addressed letters to both Orders asking their suffrages and intercession with God, and the same day he issued an encyclical, revoking the terrible bull of Innocent and pronouncing it void.[2]

Before such a judge the case of the University was evidently lost. On April 14, 1255, appeared the bull Quasi lignum vitæ, deciding the quarrel in favor of the Dominicans. Yet William of

  1. Waddingi Annal. ann. 1254, No. 3; ann. 1255, No. 5. — Brevis Historia (Martene VI. 357).— Martene Thesaur. I. 1059.
  2. Waddingi Annal. ann. 1254, No. 20; ann. 1255, No. 1.— Ripoll I. 266-7.