Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/215

This page needs to be proofread.




Mendez and Gualaquiza, Vicariate Apostolic OF, established by Leo XIII on 3 February, 1893, in the southern part of the province of Oriente, Ecua- dor. It depends directly on the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. The vicar- Apostolic is Mgr Giacomo Costamagna, Salesian, titular Bishop of Colonia elected, IS March, 1895. The mission was entrusted to the Salesians, who sent thither three fathers, two scholastics, and one cate- chist. They were all expelled under the anti-clerical regime in 1895. The province of Oriente is popu- lated almost exclusively by Indians of the Jibaro (q. V.) stock. In the eighteenth century many of the tribes had been converted by the Jesuits, but on the expulsion of the latter in 1767 the missionaries who replacetl them failed in the work of evangeliza- tion and the natives relapsed into paganism. Oriente is estimated to contain 150,000 Indians.

Wolf, Geog. y geolugia del Ecuador (Leipzig, 1892).

A. A. MacErlean.

Mendiburu, Manuel de, b. at Lima, 29 October, 1805; d. 21 January, 1885. He was educated in the University of S. Marcos del Rimac under the direction of Dr. Javier de Luna Pizarro, and in 1819 was ap- pointed amanuensis of the Consulate. Upon the dec- laration of Peruvian independence he entered the army as an ensign and was afterwards promoted by General San Martin to the rank of lieutenant. Hav- ing been present at the battles of Calana Locucuba, Torata, and Moquegua, captured by the Spaniards, and then set at liberty, he rose to be captain in 1830. A year later he was sent on special commissions to Brazil and thence to Spain. Early in 1834 he became known in politics, and in 1851 was promoted to briga- dier general. After serving as prefect of several de- partments in succession, he was appointed in 1870 di- rector of the School of Arts and Trades at Lima. He also held at various times the portfolios of agriculture, foreign affairs, war, and marine, served several terms as a member of the Chamber of Deputies, became general-in-chief of the army, vice-president of the con- stitutent Assembly, and diplomatic representative of Peru in Great Britain, Bolivia, and Chile, in which last post he won general esteem by his uprightness and kindness. Mendiburu's monumental work, the "Dic- cionario historico biografico del Peru ", a model of its kind in America, cost him long years of constant la- bour. It relates the principal achievements of those who did good service to Peru, and is an historical the- saurus of great utility to engaged in the special study of Peruvian history during the rule of the Incas and in the colonial period. He also reorganized the library and national archives at Lima.

Dice. Encicloped. Hispano-Americano, IX (Barcelona, 1892).

Camillus Crivelli.

Mendicant Friars are members of those religious orders which, originally, by vow of poverty renounced all pro])riet(ir.sliij) not only individually but also (and in this differing from the monks) in common, relying for support on their own work and on the charity of the faithful. Hence the name of begging friars. There remain from the Middle Ages four great mendi- cant orders, recognized as such by the Second Council of Lyons, 1274, Sess. 23 {, XXIV. 9(i). the Order of Preachers, the Friars Minor, the Carmelites, and the Hermits of St. Augustine. Successively other con- gregations obtained the privilege of the mendicants. The Council of Trent ( XXV, cap. iii) granted to all the mendicant orders, except the Friars Minor and the Capuchins, the liberty of corporate possession (.see Friar). The object of the present article is to outline I, the origin and characteristics of the mendicants; II, the opposition which they encountered.

L Historical reasons for the origin of the mendicants are obvious. Since the struggle regarding investi- tures a certain animosity against church property had

remained. Arnold of Brescia (q. v.) preached that monks and clerics who possessed property could not be saved. A little later John Valdes founded the " Poor Men of Lyons", soon followed by similar sects. The movement thus started in France and Italy hati spread among the poorer classes at the beginning of the thirteenth century and threatened to become dan- gerous to the Church. By uniting utter poverty to entire subjection towards the Church, St. Francis be- came with St. Dominic the bulwark of orthodoxy against the new heretics, and the two orders of Friars Minor and Preachers proved themselves a great help both to the inner and to the external life of the Church. Nor was absolute poverty the only characteristic of the new orders. They did not confine themselves to the .sanctification of their own members; their maxim was non sibi soli vivere sed et aliis proficere (not to live for themselves only, but to serve others). At once contemplative and active, to the complete renuncia- tion of all things they joined the exercise of the apostolic ministry, devoting themselves to the evangel- ization of the masses, and thus introducing another element into monastic life. A necessary consequence of their close contact with the people, the convents of the mendicants, unlike those of the Benedictines, Cister- cians and of the monks generally, were .situated in the towns, in which, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, communal life was rapidly developing. Now as Brewer (Monumenta P^ranciscana I, p. xvii) ob- serves, and his words may be applied to all the mendi- cants, "it was to this class of the population, in the first instance, that the attention of the Franciscan was directed; in these wretched localities (suburbs of the towns) his convent and order were seated. A glance at the more important will show the general correct- ness of this statement. In London, York, Warwick, Oxford, Bristol, Lynn and elsewhere, their convents stood in suburbs and abutted on the city walls ". The work of the mendicants in the pulpit, in the confessional, in the service of the sick and the socially weak, in the foreign missions, had no parallel in the Middle Ages. This same apo.stolical activity had two con.sequences, which form further characteristics of the mendicant friars, a new organization of elaustral life and the adoption of a special means of providing subsistence. The mendicants, unlike the monks, were not bound by a votum stabilitalis (vow of permanency) to one con- vent but enjoyed considerable liberty. Not only might they be called upon to exercise their ministry within the limits of a province, but, with permission of the general, they could be .sent all over the world. The form of government itself was rather democratic, as for the most part the superiors were not elected for life and were subject to the General Chapter. From their apostolical ministry the mendicants derived the right of support from all Christian people: dignus est opera- rius mercede sua. (The labourer is worthy of his hire.) It was only just that having left everything in the world in obedience to Christ's counsel (Matt., xix, 21; xvi,24; Luke, ix, 1-6) in order to devote themselves to the well-being of the people, they should look to the people for their support. And in fact those alms were regarded as the due of their apostolic work. When later the Apostolici (q. v.) tried to live in the same way as the mendicants without doing their work, .Salimbene rebuked them indignantly: "They to live", he writes, "on the charity of the Christian peo- ple, al1;hough they do nothing for it, they hear no con- fessions, they do not preach, nor do they give edifica- tion, as do the Friars Minor and the Preachers" (Mon. Ger. Hist. Script. XXXII, 25.5-57, 259, 204). But provision for the necessities of life was not left to chance. Each convent had its limit or district (limes, terminus), in which brothers, generally two and two, made regular visits to solicit alms. This institiition .still exists in Catholic countries, as in Italy, Spain and some parts of Germany and in the Tyrol, while in