Stosunki zakonu krzyżackiego z franciszkanami kustodii pruskiej do 1466 roku. Część I: do końca XIII wieku

Sławomir Zonenberg

Abstract


The Teutonic Order needed Franciscans to Christianize the subjugated heathen of Borussia and to carry on the cure of souls of numerous urban and rural settlers (coming to Borussia chiefly from German-speaking countries) as well as to summon the crusades in the Empire. Franciscans possessed then in the State of the Teutonic Order all in all seven cloisters, viz., in Torun, Chelmno, Welawa, Gdansk, Nowe, Braniewo and Barczew. However, the first five of them were under the immediate control of the Teutonic Knights only. On the other hand, the Order was a founder of the first three also. They made up one custodia, which belonged first to the Czech- Polish Province, next to the Saxon Province. Moreover, the Teutonic Knights intended to set up a cloister of Minorites in Ragneta, but the project went bust. Franciscans – due to manifold help obtained from the Order – reshaped (in the 14th century) the previous plain wood-and-clay buildings into conspicuous stone-and-brick edifices. It can be safely assumed that during the period in question the relations of Minorites of Borussia with the Teutonic Knights were very good. Throughout the 14th and till the 15th century the founded Franciscan cloisters could be even spoken of as favored by the Knights. The reasons are understandable enough. The country of both was Germany, and the social-political patterns of both stemmed therefrom too. It was of pivotal importance that the Franciscans of Borussia did not interfere into (public) political matters, and did not prompt any aggressive or sensational outbreak of religious nature. Moreover, though being mendicants they were not importunate and, consequently, not tiresome. It seems that (till the end of the analyzed period) the Franciscans of Borussia exhibited decent conduct, which positively contributed to how they were perceived. The friendly and submissive attitude of Minorites of Borussia towards the Order, could have resulted, one the one hand, from their being financially dependent upon the Teutonic donations and from their poor economic situation; on the other hand, from their being not numerous. This all contributed to settling between them a firm and stable relation – a relation typical of the weaker towards the stronger. It is also probable that Franciscans (under dominion of the Knights) acted, as a rule (till the end of the period in question) in the interests of the State of the Teutonic Order.

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