Common section


Progress and Reaction

The French did not stay in Italy long. Napoleon had set off on his expedition to Egypt, from which he had stealthily slipped back to Paris in August 1799, just a week before the death of Pius VI. Joseph Bonaparte had proved incapable of holding Rome, anti-French and propapal risings by the Sanfedisti—“those of the Holy Faith”—had broken out all over the peninsula, and the French army had beaten a hasty retreat. It had, however, immediately been replaced by another army of occupation, Neapolitan this time, and there was a general feeling among the cardinals that the forthcoming conclave should be held in some city other than Rome, safer and generally more tranquil. They chose Venice.

The Most Serene Republic was dead. Napoleon had put an end to it in May 1797. A “Tree of Liberty” had been erected in St. Mark’s Square, surmounted by the symbolic scarlet Phrygian cap, which bore more than a passing resemblance to the doge’s corno.Thecorno itself, together with other symbols of the ducal dignity and a copy of the Golden Book in which the names of all the noble families of the republic were inscribed, had been publicly burned beneath it. But Napoleon had held Venice for only five months; in October, by the Treaty of Campo Formio, he had handed it over to Austria. It was therefore under Austrian auspices that the conclave was held, the Emperor Francis even offering to pay its expenses.

The selected meeting place was the island Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, and it was there, in November 1799, that the conclave assembled. From the outset it was clear that its task was not going to be easy. Austria wanted above all a pope who would uphold the monarchist counterrevolution and who would not interfere with her increasingly ambitious plans for North Italy; she was anxious in particular to assert her permanent possession of the Legations—Ravenna, Bologna, and Ferrara—which Pius VI had been obliged to cede to Napoleon at Tolentino. The Sacred College held no brief for the Revolution, but most of the cardinals felt a good deal more strongly about the Legations, which they held to be an integral part of the territory of the Papal State. Only after fourteen weeks of argument was the stalemate eventually broken, with the election of Cardinal Barnaba Chiaramonti, Bishop of Imola, as Pope Pius VII.

The Emperor Francis was, to say the least, displeased. The new pope, though gentle, mild-mannered, and deeply pious, was known to have preached in 1797 a Christmas sermon which welcomed democracy (in the revolutionary sense) as a Christian virtue; moreover, being himself a native of the Papal State, he could hardly be expected to look kindly on an Austrian annexation of the Legations. With reluctance the emperor invited him to Vienna for talks; the pope declined, and Francis somewhat pettishly refused him the use of St. Mark’s for his coronation. This consequently had to be staged in San Giorgio, a tiny island where conditions were cramped and where no ceremonial procession was possible. But now there came a still more ominous sign of imperial displeasure: fearful of propapal demonstrations in the Legations, Francis ordered that Pius return to Rome by sea. The vessel put at his disposal proved to be barely seaworthy and totally without cooking facilities; the journey took twelve nightmare days.

When the pope finally reached Rome in July 1800, he found the political situation once again transformed. Napoleon Bonaparte, now first consul and de facto ruler of France, had smashed the Austrians at Marengo and was once again master of North Italy. Would Pius follow the same path as his predecessor, to deposition and exile? It seemed more than likely. But Napoleon was a lot more intelligent than the members of the Directory had been—intelligent enough to see that the French people were sick and tired of the excesses and extremes of the Revolution: that the reaction had set in and that they wished to return to their old faith. One of his first actions on achieving supreme power had been to order full funeral honors for Pius VI, whose body was lying, still unburied, at Valence.1 On June 5, 1800, he had addressed the clergy of Milan:

I am convinced that the Catholic religion is the only one capable of making a stable community happy, and of establishing the foundations of good government. I undertake always to defend it.… I intend that [it] should be practiced publicly and in all its fullness.… France has had her eyes opened through suffering and has seen that the Catholic religion is her single anchor amid the storm.

The first communication from Napoleon to be received by Pius VII, therefore, was a good deal friendlier than the pope had expected. It informed him that the first consul would welcome proposals for a new concordat, even going so far as to suggest that if agreement could be reached the Papacy might recover at least some of its lost possessions. But the ensuing negotiations were long and hard. One of the thorniest problems was that of the appointment of bishops. At this moment in her history France had two competing hierarchies: the old prerevolutionary one and that which had been established by the Civil Constitution. Each had its own bishops, among whom no reconciliation was possible. Napoleon’s solution was to abolish the lot and to nominate a new set himself without consultation with the pope—a proposal that left the Sacred College horrified. Another headache was caused by the question of clerical celibacy. During the Revolution priests had been permitted—indeed encouraged—to marry, and many of them had done so. An additional complication here was Talleyrand, who was now foreign minister of France; a former Bishop of Autun, he had married a lady who was not only English but a Protestant to boot. He was understandably determined that no action be taken against married priests.

But it was not only the French who made the difficulties. For many of the cardinals Napoleon continued to represent the Revolution, that same Revolution that had persecuted the Church, stolen its property, massacred its priests, abducted its pope, and deprived it of its secular power, which included its schools, hospitals, and care for the poor. Let Napoleon throw his tantrums; let him threaten schism on the English pattern or even turn Calvinist and take Europe with him; were not even those things preferable to an accommodation with Antichrist? In May 1801 the talks were on the point of breaking down altogether, and the French troops in Florence were preparing to march on Rome. Only a frantic rush from Paris to Rome by the papal secretary of state, Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, saved the day—and the long-awaited concordat was finally signed on July 15. Even then the difficulties were not over: hardly was the ratification complete and the necessary legislation under way than Napoleon unilaterally published his seventy-seven Organic Articles, tightening the grip of the state and further restricting papal intervention. The Legations remained in French hands, as did Avignon and the Venaissin. There was no restoration of Church property. The two sides were still arguing when, in May 1804, Napoleon had himself proclaimed Emperor of the French. Shortly afterward the pope was invited to Paris for the imperial coronation.

This put Pius in a quandary. The monarchies of Europe had been shocked by the concordat, which they saw as an act of capitulation. If the pope were now to attend—let alone perform—the coronation of this Corsican adventurer, the reputation of the Papacy would sink lower still. As for the Emperor Francis, who had defended the Church throughout the Revolution, how would he react to the spectacle of a pope crowning an upstart rival, devoid alike of birth or breeding? At the same time, Pius knew that he could not refuse. Telling himself that the very act of laying the crown on Napoleon’s head must at least increase his prestige, he set off, escorted by six cardinals, across the Alps.

On his arrival in Paris he found an unexpected opportunity to assert his authority: Josephine confessed to him that she and Napoleon had never gone through a wedding ceremony in church, and the pope refused point-blank to attend the coronation until they had done so. A secret marriage service, without witnesses, was accordingly performed by Napoleon’s uncle Cardinal Joseph Fesch on the previous afternoon, much to the bridegroom’s irritation. But the emperor had his revenge. On the day of the coronation, December 2, 1804, in Notre Dame, he first kept the pope waiting for a full hour and then personally performed the actual crowning—first of himself and then of Josephine. Pius was allowed to bless the two crowns, but that was all: for the rest, he was relegated to the role of a simple spectator. In Jacques-Louis David’s great painting of the occasion his displeasure can be clearly seen on his face.

The pope remained in France for the next four months. Despite repeated efforts, he failed to achieve any of his main objectives: the Organic Articles remained in force. On the other hand, he enjoyed huge personal success. Whenever he appeared in public, which he did as often as possible, he was greeted by cheering crowds, all surging forward to receive his blessing. The pendulum had swung a long way since the Revolution; France was on the threshold of a dramatic Catholic revival, and the presence of the pope was exactly what it needed. When the time at last came for him to return to Rome, more crowds lined his route; it was a very different journey from that which had followed his election in Venice only five years before.

ONE YEAR TO the day after the emperor’s coronation, his army of 68,000 triumphed over a combined force of 90,000 Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz in Moravia. On the day after Christmas, by the terms of a treaty signed at Pressburg (now Bratislava), the Holy Roman Empire came to an end and Austria was obliged to return to France all the Venetian territories she had acquired in 1797 at Campo Formio—to constitute, together with the coasts of Istria and Dalmatia, the new Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. For Napoleon, however, this was only the beginning: he was determined to take over the entire peninsula. He had already annexed, without warning and to the pope’s furious indignation, the papal port of Ancona; now a French army of 40,000 men under Marshal André Masséna marched through the Papal States into South Italy, with Joseph Bonaparte as the emperor’s personal representative. When Pius registered a somewhat nervous protest, Napoleon put him firmly in his place: “Your Holiness will show the same respect for me in the temporal sphere as I bear toward him in the spiritual.… Your Holiness is the Sovereign of Rome, but I am its emperor.”

On February 11, 1806, King Ferdinand and Queen Maria Carolina of Naples—she was the sister of Marie Antoinette—fled to face the winter miseries of Palermo; and on the fourteenth, in drenching rain, a French division entered Naples. There was virtually no resistance. The Neapolitans looked on in silence, when on the following day, Joseph staged his own procession and took up residence in the royal palace. Later that year, by imperial decree, he was proclaimed king. The Holy See was surrounded by French-controlled territory, and henceforth relations between France and the Papacy suffered a steady deterioration, leading in January 1808 to another French occupation of Rome itself, with the pope held prisoner in the Quirinal and under immense pressure to abdicate all his temporal power. He continued to refuse, and on June 10, 1809, Rome was declared a “free imperial city” while the tricolor replaced the papal flag on Castel Sant’Angelo. Three weeks later French patience gave out altogether: a body of French soldiers climbed the walls of the Quirinal with scaling ladders and burst into the papal study, where Pius was in conference with his secretary, Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca. The two were seized and, still fully robed, bundled into a coach and driven north. Pacca was held in Florence, but the pope was rushed with all possible secrecy over the Alps to Grenoble.

When Napoleon was informed of the abduction, he flew into a rage. His men had acted irresponsibly and without orders; he would have infinitely preferred to leave Pius at the Quirinal, where he belonged. On the other hand, he would lose face by sending him straight back to Rome. Finally he decided to send the unfortunate pontiff to the bishop’s palace at Savona, on the Italian Riviera. Here, though treated with every consideration where his physical comfort was concerned, he remained a prisoner—totally cut off from the outside world, with paper and ink alike forbidden. Rome, meanwhile, had become a dead city, the entire papal establishment having been virtually liquidated; the cardinals, the heads of the religious orders, the archives and seals of authority had all been removed to Paris.

By now, however, the emperor had two new problems on his hands. Josephine had failed to provide him with a son and heir and was now, at forty-six, obviously too old to do so. His only hope lay in remarriage, but Pius, he knew, would never grant him a divorce. Fortunately, however, his marriage had been undertaken only under pressure and without witnesses; in the circumstances, the ecclesiastical courts in Paris saw no obstacle to annulment. In April 1810 Napoleon married Marie Louise, daughter of the Emperor Francis I of Austria2—though thirteen cardinals who remained loyal to the pope refused to attend the ceremony.

The second problem was Pius’s continued refusal to confirm any bishops nominated by Napoleon. By 1810 there were twenty-seven sees without prelates in France alone and countless more in French-occupied Europe. Napoleon had hoped to persuade the council of existing bishops to override the pope, but the council—even though led by Cardinal Fesch, his own uncle—would not hear of it. Pius himself knew nothing of all this until, on June 9, 1812, he was snatched away from Savona and taken forcibly to France. The journey, most of which, for reasons of speed and secrecy, was effected in the hours of darkness, proved a further nightmare, every bit as bad as that endured by his predecessor: by this time, too, he was suffering from a serious urinary infection which obliged him to stop the coach every ten minutes. The poor man was on the point of death when, after twelve hideous days, he arrived at Fontainebleau—only to be informed that the emperor had just departed on his Russian campaign.

Napoleon remained in Russia only about six months. In December, learning of an attempted coup d’état in Paris, he abandoned his army—just as he had in Egypt—and took a sleigh back to the West. He arrived back at Fontainebleau in mid-January 1813. By this time the pope had made a partial recovery, but, remaining as he did in poor health and entirely alone, without a single cardinal to support him against the furious bullying by the emperor that now began, it was hardly surprising that he finally capitulated, signing on a scrap of paper a draft of a formal concordat whereby he would be shorn of all his temporal power. No longer would he rule in Rome; the seat of the Papacy was now to be transferred to France. New bishops would be invested by their metropolitans if the pope failed to approve their appointments within six months.

It was still only a scribbled draft, but Pius was forced to sign it, and Napoleon instantly proclaimed the concordat a fait accompli. Now at last the cardinals Pacca and Consalvi, both horrified by the news, were allowed to join their master. They found him a broken man, his head buried in his hands, appalled by what he had done and by the way the emperor had first tormented, then tricked him. Slowly the two cardinals managed to breathe new life and hope into him, until eventually he wrote to Napoleon in his own hand, repudiating the concordat on the grounds that he had signed only a draft and that under severe duress. Napoleon predictably suppressed the letter, but by now he had other, more important things to think about. After his defeat at Leipzig in October his empire had begun to crumble; by January 1814 he was writing to the pope withdrawing the concordat unconditionally. His Holiness was free to return to Rome at his convenience. Pius left first for Savona, then in March traveled on to the Holy City. Arriving on the twenty-fourth, he was given a rapturous welcome; his carriage horses were unharnessed from the shafts, and he was drawn in triumph to St. Peter’s by thirty young scions of the greatest families in Rome.

ON NOVEMBER 1, 1814, with Napoleon exiled to Elba, the Congress of Vienna met to redraw the map of Europe. The papal representative was Cardinal Consalvi, whose superb diplomatic skills succeeded in recovering almost all the former papal territories with the exception of Avignon and the Venaissin—for which by now there was little real justification anyway. The Legations and the Marches of Ancona, however, which in 1798–1799 had formed part of the Cisalpine and Roman Republics and in 1808–1809 of Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy—were returned once more to the Holy See.

But it was not only Europe that needed reconstruction; it was also the Church. The Holy Roman Empire, which had begun with Charlemagne just over a thousand years before, had been abolished in 1806; the great prince-bishoprics of Germany were gone. The religious orders had been largely suppressed. All over the continent episcopal sees were vacant, seminaries closed down, Church property taken over; and in all the lands which had been subject to the revolutionary law of France, divorce, civil marriage, and freedom of religion were now deeply rooted and would be hard indeed to abolish. As a first step in what would clearly prove a Herculean task, on August 7, 1814, Pius VII revived the Society of Jesus.

The pope was now seventy-two, and respected in Europe more than he had ever been. The cruelties and excesses of the Revolution and the megalomaniac ambitions of Napoleon had brought about a vigorous spirit of reaction of which the Church, which had endured persecution from the one and consistently harsh treatment from the other, had emerged as the leading symbol; and Pius, whose pontificate had been one of the most troubled in all history and whose own personal sufferings had been acute, was now seen as the personification of resistance which had ultimately led to the destruction of both. No longer was the pope looked upon—as he had been in the previous century—as a fairly insignificant anachronism; he was now once again back on the map of Europe, recognized by the Catholic princes as a temporal ruler as well as the supreme spiritual authority. This consequently put him in a substantially stronger position as a negotiator; and during the nine years remaining of his pontificate he was able to conclude more than twenty different concordats with foreign states, including Orthodox Russia in 1818 and Protestant Prussia in 1821, setting out the terms and conditions under which the work of the Church could be done in each. In most countries he lost the right to appoint bishops—one of the great points at issue between Church and state throughout history—but monasteries and seminaries reopened, and schools were once more subjected to religious authority. Not all the changes were for the best: there were cases where democracy was suppressed or the censorship of books reimposed. In Spain the hopelessly reactionary Ferdinand VII even reintroduced the Inquisition. But Pius himself did his utmost to adapt the Papacy to the modern world, and when he died on August 20, 1823—of the aftereffects of a broken femur—he left it in a state far better than that in which he had found it.

CARDINAL CONSALVI, THE pope’s devoted secretary of state and the guiding spirit behind many of his reforms, died six months after his master, and the way was now clear for the zelanti, the more reactionary cardinals, who hated those reforms and looked for a conservative regime dictated by spirituality rather than pragmatism, to select one of their own. Their choice fell on the sixty-three-year-old Cardinal Annibale della Genga, who had spent much of his career in the papal diplomatic service until he was dismissed by Consalvi after disastrously bungling the negotiations for the return of Avignon. He took the name of Leo XII. Pious but narrow-minded, in constant pain from chronic piles, he represented a throwback to the most blinkered days of the eighteenth century, condemning toleration, reinforcing censorship and the Index, once again restricting Jews to ghettos and in Rome obliging three hundred of them to attend a weekly Christian sermon. In the Papal States the old aristocracy was reestablished, the old ecclesiastical courts reintroduced. Education was strictly controlled, morality enforced by a thousand pettifogging regulations. The playing of games on Sundays and feast days was punishable by a prison sentence. The free sale of alcohol was forbidden. The enlightened modern state that Consalvi had been so carefully building up was replaced by a police regime of spies and informers of the kind all too accurately depicted in Puccini’s Tosca.

During the first months after his accession, there were fears both in Rome and abroad that Leo would reverse all the conciliatory policies of Pius VII. Fortunately, they were unfounded. Bigoted the pope might be, but he well understood the advantages of good relations with the European powers. Indeed, it was thanks to his intervention with the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II that the Armenian Catholics were at last emancipated in 1830. But by then Leo was dead. His five-and-a-half-year pontificate had been a near disaster. He had undoubtedly meant well, but his lack of any understanding of the modern world made him a detested figure in Rome and undid much of the splendid work of his predecessor.

Since Cardinal Francesco Saverio Castiglione, who succeeded him in March 1829 as Pope Pius VIII, was to reign for only twenty months, he might have been seen as a stopgap. He was in fact a good deal more. A brave man of high principle, he had served an eight-year prison sentence for refusing to swear allegiance to Napoleon. Pius VII, whose name he had deliberately adopted, had greatly admired him and had hoped that he might be chosen as his successor; and the new pope’s declared aim was to continue in the great man’s footsteps. He could not altogether abolish Leo’s police state, but he drew its teeth and made life for the average Roman infinitely more bearable than it had been; and when, in August 1830, France deposed her morbidly pious and hugely unpopular Charles X, the pope was not slow in recognizing Louis-Philippe as King of the French and bestowing upon him the traditional title “Most Christian King.”

Four months later, however, Pius died in his turn. His successor, elected after sixty-four days and eighty-three ballots, was a former Camaldolese3 monk from the Monastery of San Michele in Isola on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon. His name was Cardinal Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, and he took the name Pope Gregory XVI. Just as Pius VIII had continued the work of Pius VII, so—alas—was Gregory XVI to follow in the footsteps of Leo XII. Like Leo, he was a creature of the zelanti; he also had the backing of the Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich, who had set his heart on an absolutist pope who would not surrender to what he described as “the political madness of the age.” The prince certainly got what he wanted.

Gregory succeeded to the Papacy in a moment of crisis. Since the fall of Napoleon, a wave of radical discontent had been steadily gathering force the length and breadth of the Italian Peninsula, deriving much of its strength from a vast semisecret society known as the Charcoal Burners, or Carbonari. Their principal ideals were, first, political liberty; second, the unification of Italy. And although few of them were yet aware of the fact, there was another group still in the process of formation for whom a united Italy was to be the only goal. This group was called La Giovane Italia—Young Italy—and was founded in 1831 by an exile in Marseille, a young man of twenty-six named Giuseppe Mazzini.

In 1830 rebellion broke out in the Papal States, several of the cities falling into rebel hands. Gregory had to move swiftly. Terrified that the unrest might spread, he appealed to the Austrian emperor to send troops to defend Rome. Francis did not need to be asked twice. His firm action quickly restored order in the Papal States, but it solved none of the fundamental problems which underlay the uprising; and with the immediate danger averted the pope settled down to a policy of grim repression. He openly condemned the very idea of freedom of conscience or of the press, or the separation of Church and state. On those who upheld these ideals he clamped down mercilessly, by means of a police regime even more severe than that of Leo before him. Before long the papal prisons were overflowing, the papal exchequer emptied by the cost of spies and informers.

Gregory’s mind was totally closed to progress, indeed to any innovation. It was typical of him, for example, that he banned the new railways—which he called chemins d’enfer—from all papal territories. Less than four months after his accession, the great powers came together to demand radical reforms in the Papal States. The pope refused; civil disorder broke out once again; the Austrian troops were recalled; and Louis-Philippe—in a remarkable display of ingratitude—seized Ancona. For the next seven years the Papal States lay under foreign military occupation.

BUT GREGORY’S WORST failure was in Poland. By the terms of the Third Partition in 1795, Poland as a state had ceased to exist, its territory split among Russia, Prussia, and Austria, and ever since his accession in 1825 Tsar Nicholas I had been making life as difficult as he could for the Catholics—and the Poles were virtually all Catholics—under his rule. Upon the Uniates (those who, while accepting papal supremacy, followed the Eastern rite) he put heavy pressure to join the Russian Orthodox Church, while the bishops—the vast majority—who preferred the Latin rite found that communications with Rome had been made well nigh impossible. Resentment of the Russians steadily grew, until, in November 1830, the Poles rose against them. Everything that could go wrong did so; yet they somehow managed to establish a provisional government, and when, in February 1831, a force of 115,000 Russian troops marched on Warsaw, they fought back. A great wave of pro-Polish feeling now swept across Europe, and from all over the continent men hastened to join the Polish colors, including hundreds of officers from Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Other contingents came from Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Britain. In France, Louis-Philippe made sonorous speeches suggesting military support, and James Fenimore Cooper started a Polish-American Committee.

Alas, their efforts were in vain. On September 8 Warsaw was forced to capitulate. Tsar Nicholas took hideous vengeance. The leaders of the revolt were beheaded, 350 sentenced to hang, 10,000 officers sent off to hard labor. The estates of more than three thousand families were confiscated. In the countryside, whole villages were burned.

The accent was on humiliating the proud, degrading the noble, removing the vertebrae. Prince Roman Sanguszko, who was of Rurik’s blood and might have qualified for some respect in Russia, was sentenced to hard labour for life in Siberia and made to walk there chained to a gang of convicts. When his wife, a friend and former lady-in-waiting to the Empress, fell at the feet of Nicholas and begged for mercy, she was told she could go too. She did.4

At some stage it might have been expected that Gregory XVI would utter a word or two of support for his Catholic flock; he did nothing of the kind. Instead, in June 1832, he published a brief in which he categorically condemned the insurrection and denounced “those who, under cover of religion, have set themselves against the legitimate power of princes.” Two months later, in his encyclical Mirari Vos, he went still further, referring to “that absurd and erroneous doctrine, or rather delirium, that freedom of conscience is to be claimed and defended for all men.” As to any ideas for the regeneration of the Church, “it has been instructed by Jesus Christ and his Apostles and taught by the Holy Spirit.… It would therefore be completely absurd and supremely insulting to suggest that the Church stands in need of restoration and regeneration … as though she could be exposed to exhaustion, degradation, or other defects of this kind.”

Mirari Vos was directed primarily against the priest Félicité-Robert de Lamennais, editor of the newspaper L’Avenir—which carried the words Dieu et Liberté on its masthead—and spokesman of the French liberal clergy. Lamennais maintained that the Church must ally itself with the people rather than their oppressors: with the Catholic Poles against Tsar Nicholas, with the Catholic Belgians against the Dutch Protestant King William I, with the Catholic Irish against Protestant Westminster. But, as the encyclical made all too clear, Pope Gregory would have none of it; and by his refusal—perhaps his inability—to accept progressive ideas he cut off both himself and the Papacy from modern political thought. Lamennais later denounced Rome as “the most hideous cloaca that has ever soiled the human eye.” He was going, arguably, a little far; but few things in the world are more infuriating than blinkered bigotry on the scale then demonstrated by the Roman Papacy, and it is hard not to feel some sympathy for him.

Gregory’s record was not wholly disastrous. He reorganized all foreign missions, bringing them more firmly under papal control. He established some seventy new dioceses across the world and nearly two hundred missionary bishops. He denounced slavery and the slave trade. He founded the Christian Museum in the Lateran and the Etruscan and Egyptian Museums in the Vatican. But he brought sad discredit on the Church; and when on June 1, 1846, he died after a short illness, there were few indeed who mourned him.

1. It was brought back to Rome in 1802 and buried at St. Peter’s.

2. Formerly Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire. This, however, had been dissolved after Pressburg. In 1804 he had founded the new Empire of Austria, of which he was now the Emperor Francis I. He was thus nicknamed the Doppelkaiser (double emperor), the only one in history.

3. The Camaldolesi were a strict and austere branch of the Benedictines who lived only part of their life in the monastery, spending the rest of it as hermits.

4. Adam Zamoyski, The Polish Way, p. 275.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!