Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/486

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

into two classes — the greater and the less. In Languedoc the greater pilgrimages were customarily four — to Rome, Compostella, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and the Three Kings of Cologne. The smaller were nineteen in number, extending from shrines of local celebrity to Paris and Boulogne-sur-mer. The cases in which they were employed may be estimated by the sentence passed by Bernard Gui, in 1322, on three culprits whose only offence was that, some fifteen or twenty years before, they had seen Waldensian teachers in their fathers' houses without knowing what they were. Commencing within three months, the penitents were required to perform seventeen of the minor pilgrimages, reaching from Bordeaux to Vienne, bringing back, as usual, from each shrine testimonial letters of the visit. In this case it is specified that they were not obliged to wear the crosses, and I think it probable that this exempted them from scourging at each of the shrines, to which penitents with crosses would naturally be subjected. In one case, occurring in 1308, a culprit was excused from pilgrimages on account of his age and weakness, and was only required to make two visitations a year in the city of Toulouse. Considerate humanity such as this is not sufficiently common in the annals of the Inquisition for an example of it to be passed in silence.[1]

At the inception of the Inquisition the pilgrimage universally ordered for men was that to Palestine, as a crusader. Indeed, the legate, Cardinal Romano, commanded this for all who were suspect of heresy. It seems to have been felt that the best use to which a heretic could be put, if he was to escape the fagot, was to make him aid in the defence of the Holy Land — a service of infinite hardship and peril. In the wholesale persecutions in Languedoc the numbers of these unwilling crusaders were so great that alarm was excited lest they should pervert the faith in the land of its origin, and about 1242 or 1243 a papal prohibition was issued, forbidding it for the future. The Council of Béziers, in 1246, commits to the discretion of the inquisitors whether penitents shall serve beyond seas, or send a man-at-arms to represent them, or fight the battles of the faith nearer home, against heretics or Saracens. The term of service was also left to the inquisitors, but

  1. Arch, de I'lnq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXVII. 11).— Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 1, 340-1.