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Friday, October 19, 2018
Aymeric of Piacenza: 12th Dominican Master

Continuing my articles on the Masters of the Dominican Order, we now arrive at the 11th Dominican Master: Bernard de Jusix.   For a quick recap of the previous Masters of the Order, please click here.

Aymeric of Piacenza governed the word from 1304 until 1310.  He succeeded Bernard de Jusix who ruled just a few years.  The governance of Aymeric brought more stability to the order compared with the quick turn-over of the Masters before him. 

Aymeric entered the Order of Preachers and soon after arrived in Milan to pursue his studies where, providentially, he formed a close relationship with the man who would later become Pope Benedict XI in 1303.  Aymeric taught philosophy and theology for 24 years before becoming the Provincial of Greece.  In 1304 in Toulouse at the General Chapter, in an act of humility, he renounced his office.  In the response to such an act, he was unanimously chosen as the successor to  Bernard de Jusix as the Master of the Order.

Highlights from his governance of the order included the relegation of studies in areas most affected by the Fraticelli.  The Fraticelli were known as the "Spiritual Franciscans" who were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty; they regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous and that of individual churchmen as invalidating their status. The Dominicans countered this movement which was declared heretical in 1296 by Pope Boniface VIII.  He also joined Pope Clement IV in 1309 regarding the examination of the Templars.  Shortly there afterward, he resigned his position in 1310 to avoid the displeasure of Clement IV, whose policy Aymeric did not always agree with. He later died on August 19, 1327.

He is reputed to have authored a treatise against the heretics of his era as well as works on dogmatic and scholastic questions.  Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Aymeric of Piacenza and all Dominicans.  

Pater Noster. Ave Maria. Requiem aeternam.

The source of his life comes from (Ed. Reichert, Rome, 1900), which forms the fifth volume of the "Monumenta Hist. Fratr. Praed." (181-202).


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