Cardinal Richard Annibaldi was appointed by Pope Innocent IV at time of the Little Union and by Pope Alexander IV at the time of the Grand Union to supervise and advise the formative stages of the Order on behalf of the official Church.
This he consistently and authoritatively did until his death in 1276, twenty years after the Grand Union.
What follows are two examples of the effect of the change from an eremitical (hermit) lifestyle in the countryside to that of mendicant
living in urban areas. It is a situation that was no doubt repeated many times.
Firstly, in the year 1250, Guido, Prior de Valle Bona de Carfagnana attended the general chapter of the 1244 grouping of Tuscan Hermits that was held at Cavina - this man may in fact have been Guido de Stagia, who in 1265 became the second Prior General of the Order of St Augustine that was founded in 1256.
After the Grand Union of 1256, this hermitage, being in an isolated location, began to decline. Though in 1300 it still had seven members, the first steps in disposing the property were made in that year, but no buyer was found.
The site still appeared in the registers of the Prior General in 1387 and 1392.
In 1461 it was united to the large monastery (convento) of S. Agostino in Lucca, and as such was still listed as one of the four grangie of S. Agostino as late as 1693.
As a second example, there is a letter of permission from Prior General Clement of Osimo O,S,A.,
written on 21st October 1290 (i.e., thirty-four years after the Grand Union).
By then some hermitages in the Augustinian Province of Pisa were surplus to requirements, and two friars in Pisa were authorised to sell seven of them and to use the sale money for the new Augustinian foundation in the city of Pisa.
It is known, however, that the two friars were not completely successful in their sales task. For example, one of the seven former hermitages, the heremus S. Salvatoris ("hermitage of the Holy Saviour") de Cavina supra Vicum, still remained within the property holdings of the Augustinian convento in Pisa as a grangia (subsidiary property) in the seventeenth century, five centuries later.
(Continued on the next page.)