Pauline monasteries in medieval Croatia: Monastic wealth sources

Silvija Pisk

The Pauline Order was not officially recognized until 1308, even though Pauline eremites had tried to get recognition from Pope Urban IV as well as authorization for using the Rule of St. Augustine since the mid-thirteenth century. Recognition never happened, as Paul, the bishop of Veszprém, determined that the eremite accommodations did not fulfill the Pope's main requirement after visiting and inspecting them; it appeared that the eremites did not have enough resources to support themselves. It was not until 1308 that Cardinal Gentilis de Montafiore assessed that this requirement was fulfilled and granted the Paulines the freedom to use Augustine’s Rule. After the initial poverty and modest hermit-like accommodations, Pauline monasteries throughout the later Middle Ages transformed into wealthy and distinctive monasteries. This process can be tracked very easily by looking through examples of Pauline monasteries, especially through the 545 medieval manuscripts from the Holy Virgin Mary Monastery of Garić. During its 300 years of existence, the monastery progressed from a small and poor hermit-like community to a significant feudal power with numerous estates, which included ploughlands, grasslands, forests, vineyards, fishing ponds, and mills. The estates were acquired through donations, leasing, and purchasing. Even though they tended to the estates themselves at first, maintenance became impossible without the use of peasants, servants, and other help after the expansion. This work will describe the course of monastic development and Pauline’s ascent from poverty to riches.