A fifth grouping was mentioned in Licet ecclesiae catholicae, the papal bull by Pope Alexander IV that called for the Grand Union.
It was the Hermits of Favali, or of Monte Favale, a place in the Diocese of Pesaro, Italy.
Between 1244 and 1250 they had been part of the Williamites. In 1251 they became independent again, and then in 1255 had themselves incorporated into the Cistercian Order.
They were not, therefore, part of the Grand Union of 1256, although they were mentioned in the bull of invitation that had been issued for the Grand Union, Licet ecclesiae catholicae.
A Group meant to be involved or not?
Another eremitical (hermit) group also had hastened to safeguard its independence and current practices. The Hermits of Carnaldoli seemed legally to be within the embrace of the bull, Licet ecclesiae catholicae, on 9th April 1256 that had convoked the Grand Union, but had sent not delegates to the meeting.
Instead, the Hermits of Carnaldoli made strenuous efforts to preserve their autonomy. They received permission to continue as a separate Order at the same time as had the Williamites on 22nd August 1256.
There are two other religious congregations that, for reasons that will become clear hereunder, have mistakenly been thought to have been part of the Grand Union of 1256.
Neither group had, in fact, been invited to participate in it.
Into this category fall the "Poor Catholics." The "Poor Catholics" had houses in Lombardy, and had adopted the Rule of Augustine as early as 1238.
The Grand Union of the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine took place on 9th April 1256. Soon afterwards, on 1st August 1256 the Provincial of the "Poor Catholics" placed the communities of the Province of Lombardy into the Order of Saint Augustine at the order of the Augustinian Order's Cardinal Protector, Richard Annibaldi.
The "poor Catholics" had a troubled past. They were founded by Durand de Huesca, who had been a disciple of Valdes of Lyons (died 1206), who had been condemned as a heretic.
In 1247 the bishops of Narbonne and Elne complained to the Pope that the Poor Catholics were preaching without permission of the local bishops, and spreading false doctrines. As a result, Pope Innocent IV forbade them to preach and demanded that they join one of the approved religious orders.
Their amalgamation into the Order of Saint Augustine was then approved by Pope Alexander IV in October 1257, i.e., in the year after the Grand Union.
But the "Poor Catholics" proceeded to withdraw from this forced union, quite contrary to the papal decision.
In Milan, the Poor Catholics members at their Church and Convento of St Augustine had been exchanged with some Augustinians from St Mark's.
The Poor Catholics became dissatisfied with this, returned to St Augustine's in the middle of the night and drove out the new occupants by force of arms.
Because of the unsettled conditions within the Archdiocese of Milan, the Poor Catholics back in St Augustine's were able to keep their independence until 1272, when the ten remaining Poor Catholics there were reunited to the Order of Saint Augustine by the force of both ecclesiastical and civil authority.
In order to avoid further scandals the Convento of St Augustine was demolished, and the church lasted until demolished because of other circumstances during the following century.
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