Smaller Groups (2)
A second group that have been mistaken as being in some way involved in the Grand Union were the Order of Penitent Brothers of Jesus Christ (or "Brothers of Sack Cloth" or the "Sack Friars").
They were named thus because their habit (everyday religious garment) was made of that least expensive material.
In somewhat similar fashion to the "Poor Catholics" their religious order was forcibly closed. Individual members were permitted to keep living their vows until death, and some of them opted to change to other religious orders.
Once unoccupied, some of their former houses came into possession of the Order of Saint Augustine, but the Sack Friars certainly were not as a religious order drawn into the Augustinian Grand Union of 1256. (In fact, their "troubles" with Rome did not begin until 1274.)
The error in suggesting their involvement in the Grand Union of 1256 may have arisen because some of their vacated houses came into Augustinian possession, as explained above. This error was first published in 1357 by an Augustinian scholar and historian, Jordan of Saxony O.S.A. - and subsequently repeated for centuries afterwards.
The Sack Friars began in France in 1248 in the region of Toulouse, adopting the Rule of Augustine. Seeing they were founded after the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, by its Canon 13 they were suppressed by the Second Council of Lyons in 1274.
After they appealed unsuccessfully to Rome a number of times, their houses were handed over to other religious orders between 1290 and 1317.
This gave the Augustinians as many as fifteen new communities in France, a house in Barcelona (Spain) in 1295 and another in Esslingen (Germany) in 1325.
King Philip IV of France gave their former house in Paris to the fifth international leader of the Order of Saint Augustine (i.e., to the Prior General), Giles of Rome.
To this venue was transferred the famous studium generale (general house of study) of the Order of Saint Augustine in Paris.
In October 1290, Pope Nicholas IV ordered that their house at Saint John of Acre (in the Holy Land) be given to the Augustinians.
The city, however, fell to the Turks before any Augustinians could be sent to take possession of it.
For further reading
Cardinal Richard Annibaldi. By Francis Roth O.S.A. A long article that appeared in English in successive issues of the scholarly historical periodical, Augustiniana, of the Augustinian Historical Institute of Louvain, Belgium in 1952-1954. Chapter 3 of the article, in Augustiniana of December 1952, specifically deals with this topic. Cf. pp. 230-247.