Gerard Segarelli

Gerard Segarelli

Gerard" or "Gherardo" or "Gherardino" "Segarelli" or "Segalelli (around 1240 Alzano or Albazzano near Parma – July 18 1300 Parma) was the founder of the Apostolic Brethren (in Latin "Apostolici"). He was burned at the stake in 1300.

As a youth he applied for admission to a Franciscan monastery in Parma but was apparently refused because he exhibited the symptoms of an unsound mind. Nevertheless he remained around the monastery for some time, often visiting the convent and the church to sit or kneel before the altar of the Brotherhood of St. Francis. Influenced perhaps by a representation over the altar of the twelve Apostles, Segarelli allowed his beard and hair to grow, went around barefoot and wore only a white tunic in imitation of the primitive Christians.

After selling his possessions in 1260, he went to the market of Parma and distributed his earnings. Segarelli wandered about the streets calling the people to repentance ("penitentiam agite"), announcing that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand and begging for his sustenance in the name of Christ.

He continued this activity for three years until one "Robert"--who had been a servant of the Franciscans--joined him; before the end of that year about thirty more individuals had joined them. Segarelli started preaching in other cities and the number of his followers grew, drawn from among the poor. After some initial prevarication he agreed to be elected their leader. The group walked about the streets chanting hymns, preached to those who would listen and ate what the people gave to them, sharing it with the poor.

The movement eventually spread not only throughout Lombardy but also Germany, France, Spain, and England. Some Apostles were traduced at a council in Wurtzburg and a decree was issued which forbade them to preach and beg and the people were warned against encouraging them by giving food or water. Other Apostles were proscribed in England at a council at Chichester in 1289; it is not certain if these sects were directly connected to that of Segarelli, there are however many analogies between them.

At a later point in 1300 followers of the Apostles were found in Spain where one Richard of Alexandria was successful in his preaching, particularly in Galicia. In 1320, Peter of Lugo--an Apostle follower of Richard--was brought before the Inquisition in Toulouse.

It was in Lombardy where the disciples of Segarelli had great success and started to attract enemies. The bishop of Parma was informed in 1280 that Segarelli was directing invectives against the Church so he had him apprehended immediately. After examination the authorities concluded that he was a poor, demented visionary and released him.

In 1286 however, probably pressed by the Inquisition, the Bishop banned him from the city. It appears that he broke the ban in 1294, returning clandestinely to his hometown. He was again brought before the Bishop, abjured and condemned to perpetual imprisonment while four of his followers were burnt alive. It is not clear why, but in 1300 he was interrogated again by the Grand Inquisitor of Parma and found guilty of relapsing into errors formerly abjured and thus burnt at the stake.


*Johann Lorenz von Mosheim "Geschichte des Apostel-Ordens in dreien Büchern" in "Versuch eines unparteischen und gründlichen Ketzergeschichte," Helmstaedt 1748.
* [ Mariotti L. (Antonio Gallenga), "Historial memoir of Fra Dolcino and his times," Brown, London 1853, pp.85-118] .
*Berkhout, Carl T. and Jeffrey B. Russell. "Medieval heresies: a bibliography, 1960-1979," in Subsidia mediaevalia, 11. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1981 (entries Apostolici, Segarelli).

See also

*Fra Dolcino

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Apostolic Brethren — The Apostolic Brethren (sometimes referred to as Apostolici, Apostoli, Apostles) were a Christian sect founded in northern Italy in the latter half of the 13th century by Gerard Segarelli, a native of Alzano in the territory of Parma. He was of… …   Wikipedia

  • Apostolici — • The name of four different heretical bodies Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Apostolici     Apostolici     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Fra Dolcino — Dolcino redirects here. For the Italian wine grape also known as Dolcino, see Dolcetto. Fra Dolcino Fra Dolcino (c. 1250 – 1307) was an Italian radical Christian preacher[citation needed] burnt at the stake …   Wikipedia

  • apostolic — apostolically, adv. apostolicism /ap euh stol euh siz euhm/, n. apostolicity /euh pos tl is i tee/, apostolicalness, n. /ap euh stol ik/, adj. 1. of or characteristic of an apostle. 2. pertaining to or characteristic of the 12 apostles. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Pope Honorius IV — Infobox Pope English name=Honorius IV birth name=Giacomo Savelli term start=April 2, 1285 term end=April 3, 1287 predecessor=Martin IV successor=Nicholas IV birth date= ca. 1210 birthplace= Rome, Italy dead=dead|death date=death… …   Wikipedia

  • 1300 — Year 1300 was a leap year starting on Friday Calendar Portugal 1300 (Julian calendar), Time and Date AS / Steffen Thorsen, 2008, webpage: [ country=15 TimeandDate calendar 1300 Portugal] .]… …   Wikipedia

  • Fraticelli — The Fraticelli, sometimes confusingly called Fratricelli, were medieval Roman Catholic groups that could trace their origins to the Franciscans, but which came into being as a separate entity. The Fraticelli were declared heretical by the Church… …   Wikipedia

  • List of people burned as heretics — This list contains persons burned by various religious groups, after being deemed heretics. NOTOC Those burned by Roman Catholic executioners# Ramihrdus of Cambrai (1076 or 1077) (lynched) # Peter of Bruys († 1130) (lynched) # Gerard Segarelli († …   Wikipedia

  • List of people executed by the Holy See — This is a list of people executed by the Holy See. It includes individuals executed by the Papal States and/or on the orders of the Pope. Although capital punishment in Vatican City was legal from 1929 to 1969, no executions took place. This list …   Wikipedia

  • Fraticelli — Demande de traduction Fraticelli → Fraticelli …   Wikipédia en Français