The Joachimite ideas were equally persistent among the Spirituals, and acquired new strength with the publication of the commentary on the Apocalypse.
From this moment Louis appeared in the character of the natural ally and even the protector of the Spirituals against the persecution of the pope.
Clement V., at the council of Vienne, had attempted to bring back the Spirituals to the common rule by concessions; John, on the other hand, in the bull Quorundam exigit (April 13, 1317), adopted an uncompromising and absolute attitude, and by the bull Gloriosam ecclesiam (January 23, 1318) condemned the protests which had been raised against the bull Quorundam by a group of seventy-four Spirituals and conveyed to Avignon by the monk Bernard Delicieux.
Shortly afterwards four Spirituals were burned at Marseilles.
The minister general, Michael of Cesena, though opposed to the exaggerations of the Spirituals, joined with them in protesting against the condemnation of the fundamental principle of evangelical poverty, and the agitation gradually gained ground.
Treatises on poverty appeared on every side; the party of Occam clamoured with increasing imperiousness for the condemnation of John by a general council; and the Spirituals, confounded in the persecution with the Beghards and with Fraticelli of every description, maintained themselves in the south of France in spite of the reign of terror instituted in that region by the Inquisition.
They had had close relations with the dissident Franciscans, but the Spirituals often disavowed them, especially when the sect, which in Segarelli's time had had no very precise doctrinal character, became with Dolcino frankly heterodox.
107, &c.), Angelo of Clarino, in his De septem tribulationibus, written to the glory of the Spirituals, does not scruple to stigmatize the Dolcinists as "disciples of the devil."
Henry of Ceva had taken refuge in Sicily at the time of Pope Boniface VIII.'s persecution of the Spirituals, and thanks to the good offices of Frederick of Sicily, a little colony of Franciscans who rejected all property had soon established itself in the island.
Under Pope Clement V., and more especially under Pope John XXII., fresh Spirituals joined them; and this group of exalted and isolated ascetics soon began to regard itself as the sole legitimate order of the Minorites and then as the sole Catholic Church.
It was decreed that the Benedictine houses of each ecclesiastical province should henceforth be federated for the purposes of mutual help and the maintenance of discipline, and that for these ends the abbots should every third year meet in a provincial chapter (or synod), in order to pass laws binding on all and to appoint visitors who, in addition to the bishops, should canonically visit the monasteries and report on their condition in spirituals and temporals to the ensuing chapter.
The rigorists, who soon became known as "Spirituals," represented St Francis as the initiator of Joachim's third age.
This book was published with, and as an introduction to, the three principal works of Joachim, in which the Spirituals had made some interpolations.'