The gardener plants an
Whilst trampling on a flower.
The flower refers to
the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi which were being
trampled by the Catholic
The Little Flowers
written sometime around 1250, and represented an idealized picture of
early days of the Franciscans as a support for the Spirituals, who were
under increasing disfavor by the established Church. It was, in this
The pope did not believe the church could
renounce wealth and power, as
Francis advocated, and still have much of a
future. By trampling on the ideals
of St. Francis, a more
permanent Catholic Church, an evergreen, was planted.
Following his first excommunication in 1227, Frederick, in the first of
series of letters extending over the next two decades, determined to enlist
support of the monarchs of Europe.
"Frederick then turned to a theme that from now on was ever recurrent in
thinking and writing: the departure of the Church from the simplicity of
founders. Like the Franciscans and Dominicans and, in the spirit of the
Calabria, Joachim of Floris, he conjured up a picture of the
of the poverty, of the primitive Church so abundantly
demonstrated in the lives
of the Saints. 'No man', he said, 'can erect the
Church on a foundation other
than that laid by the Lord Jesus himself.'"
- The Emperor Frederick II von Hohenstaufen
, by Thomas Curtis Van Cleve, p. 201
"Frederick accused the church of abandoning it's own
Poverty, not wealth, was the foundation of the Church.
The popes were wolves
in sheep's clothing. Frederick had, of course, touched a
raw nerve: Gregory
IX, patron of the Franciscans, seemed so far from Francis'
- Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor by David Abulafia, p.
" Because he followed St. Francis' belief that Franciscans should
wealth and power, Elias, St. Francis' successor, was deposed by
Elias threw in his lot with Frederick
The conflict between the Papacy and the Spiritual
Franciscans continued after
the death of Frederick II.
"In 1325 Pope John issued the bull Cum inter nonnullos, which
declared it was heresy to say Jesus and
his apostles owned no
property. Inquisitors were ordered to prosecute those who
believed Jesus was a
man. The Spiritual Franciscans, who did so believe, were taught an
lesson when the pope had 114
of their number burned alive."