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Richard Annibaldi - 01

St Augustine : Augustinian Grand Union  of 1256 at S. Maria del Popolo Rome
Augustinian Grand Union
of 1256
at S. Maria del Popolo
The person who was the greatest influence on the calling of the Augustinian Grand Union, its actual occurrence and the first twenty years of the Order of Saint Augustine immediately afterwards was not an Augustinian,
It was the Order's appointed Cardinal Protector, Richard Annibaldi, a man with an overpowering personality.
It was he who shaped the legal, ascetical and liturgical form of the Order.
He promoted the expansion of the Order of Saint Augustine, using his considerable powers of influence with kings and bishops, such that the Order grew to over 300 houses by the time of his death during the Order's twentieth year of existence.
The Order of Saint Augustine, as an "orphan" with no individual person to call its founder as in the case of the Franciscans and Dominicans, could probably claim Annibaldi as its nearest-possible surrogate in that role.
These Augnet pages will focus almost mainly on Annibaldi's contribution to the Order of Saint Augustine, and not cover his far greater contribution to the Church generally.
Richard Annibaldi (ca. 1200-1276) was born between 1200 and 1210, and nothing is known of his childhood.
He was made a Cardinal Deacon of St Angelo in Pescheria in 1237, and from 1254 until his death in 1270 held an influential position within the Roman Curia (the central agency of administration within the Catholic Church). For this position, Annibaldi would usually have been expected to enter Holy Orders, at least to the status of becoming a deacon; he never advanced to becoming a priest, let alone be consecrated as a bishop. (See the next page for further details.)
It should be noted here that the position of cardinal is an executive and administrative position within the church, or even solely a position of honour. It is not a sacramental office.
It should also be remembered that the Pope was the ruler of public government in central Italy at that time, and that there was no clear separation between church and state in that region.
For example, in 1239 Richard was appointed Rector ("governor") of Campagna and Maritima, two papal provinces south of Rome.
In that capacity, he was the chief executive officer of public government in those two provinces.
As such, he had to arbitrate between factions, and negotiate in the continuous private warfare between neighbouring cities, etc.
On a larger scale, he had to look after the interests of the Pope in a power struggle with the emperor, which was causing tension in Italy. 
Politically Italy was beginning to divide into Guelfs (for the papacy, and often comprising the city merchant class) and Ghibellines (for the emperor, and often comprising the rural nobility).
(The terms Guelf and Ghibelline did not come into popular usage much before 1250.)
From June 1244 until October 1251, Pope Innocent IV fled for safety to Lyon in France, and then in Perugia in 1251-1253. 
(Continued on the next page.)

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