THE AUGUSTINIANS AND THE RENAISSANCE (6)
Giles of Viterbo O.S.A.
Giles of Viterbo O.S.A., was a person of the Renaissance and in the sixteenth century and also the Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine in 1506-1517, the eve of the Protestant Reformation.
He must be among the best and most talented to have occupied a position in the list of Priors General of the Order of Saint Augustine throughout its 750 years of existence.
As he assessed it, the Order of Saint Augustine was not all bad or all good.
On the one hand, it was not decadent at its core; nor, on the other hand, was it without blemish and fault. There was laxity, and he anticipated that it could be eradicated.
(For the pages in Augnet about Giles of Viterbo O.S.A., click here.)
In the growth of humanism and in the Renaissance, the Order of Saint Augustine attempted to walk the tightrope of staying in meaningful contact with contemporary society while at the same time attempting to temper the excesses of that society.
Possibly the Order had not much right either in principle or in reality to assume a stance of being "holier than thou."
Is there a real choice for an individual between being a message bearer who is accepted by his audience (such as Giles of Viterbo O.S.A., Luigi Marsigli O.S.A., or Mariano da Genazzano O.S.A.) and being one who is uncompromising and ultimately rejected (Girolamo Savonarola O.P., Martin Luther O.S.A.)?
In any case, in history there seems sufficient room for both.
Paradoxplace. A huge and very pictorial site on the Middle Ages, especially in Italy. It also contains helpful chronologies of the Middle Ages. Obviously a labour of love, this site deserves to be bookmarked!
http://www.paradoxplace.com/index.htm For Paradoxplace images of the town of San Gimignano, click here.