First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

The body of the giant Pallas, the son of Evander, was found at this time, and with it a burning candle. In the center of the body was a wound, open to the extent of two and one-half feet. The candle could not be extinguished by water nor by blowing. However, a man of subtle intelligence made a hole below the flame with a stylus, and when the air entered from below, the flame was extinguished. The body was so huge that when it leaned against a wall, it over-topped the parapet. A number of days later the body disintegrated like any other human corpse.[Evander is represented in a late legend as an Arcadian who settled very early on the Palatine at Rome, where he founded a town named Pallantion, after his native place. He had a son, Pallas, who was an ally of Aeneas, who was slain by the Rutulian Turnus.]

Berengarius, a doctor, after flourishing for some time for his piety, scriptural wisdom and learning, fell into error through the prolixity of his art with regard to the holy sacrament; and he poisoned the minds of many people with his errors. Afterwards, however, he was so enlightened by divine grace that at the Council of Vercelli he publicly renounced his errors, and discontinued his subtle and adroit teaching. All he possessed he spent for the glory of God, sustaining himself the rest of his days by manual labor, and consuming his time in piety.[For Berengarius, see the following paragraph and note.]

In later years Pope Leo called a council at Vercelli against the errors of the said Berengarius, and by said council said Berengarius was condemned as one who had erred. However, having become enlightened (as above stated), he well ended his days.

Berengarius, medieval theologian, born at Tours, was educated in the famous school of Fulbert of Chartres. Later as director of the cathedral school of his native city, he taught with such success as to attract pupils from all parts of France, and powerfully contributed to diffuse an interest in the study of logic and metaphysics, and to introduce the dialectic development of theology. The earliest of his writings of which we have any record is an Exhortatory Discourse to the hermits of his district, written at their own request for their spiritual edification. It shows a clear discernment of the dangers of the ascetic life. Sometime before 1040, Berengarius was made archdeacon of Angers. It was shortly after this that rumors began to spread of his heretical views regarding the sacrament of the Eucharist. Transubstantiation, he held, was contrary to reason, unwarranted by Scripture, and inconsistent with the teaching of men like Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine. He did not conceal this conviction from his scholars and friends, and through them the report spread widely that he denied the common doctrine respecting the Eucharist. Berengarius was not affected by the exhortations of his friends nor by those of other officers of the Church; and hearing that Lanfranc, the most celebrated theologian of his day, strongly approved the doctrine of Paschasius and condemned that of Scotus Eriugena (really Ratramnus), he wrote him expressing his surprise and urging him to reconsider. Lanfranc, who was then in Rome (1050), brought the letter to the notice of Leo IX with the result that the Berengarius was excommunicated and ordered to appear before the Council of Vercelli which was to be held later in the year. Before it assembled, he was cast into prison, and only when it was too late were the bishop of Angers and other powerful friends able to procure his release. At the council of Tours (1054), he found a protector in the papal legate, the famous Hildebrand, who satisfied with the fact that Berengarius did not deny the real presence of Christ in the sacramental elements, succeeded in persuading the assembly to be content with a general confession that the bread and wine, after consecration, were truly the body and blood of the Lord, without requiring him to define how. At the council of Rome (1059), Berengarius signed a formula of faith defining the real presence in a very realistic manner; but on returning to France he continued to attack the doctrine of transubstantiation, apparently without objection from civil or ecclesiastical superiors. Finally, Hildebrand (now Pope Gregory VII) summoned him to Rome, and, in the council of 1078, tried once more to obtain a declaration of his orthodoxy in general terms; but in the council of the following year Berengarius was forced to acknowledge a change of the bread into the body of Christ, not merely by sign and virtue of the sacrament, but in the very nature and truth of substance. He was kindly dismissed by the pope, with a letter recommending him to the protection of the bishops of Tours and Angers, and another pronouncing anathema on all who should do him any injury or call him a heretic. Berengarius again recalled his confession, but at the council of Bordeaux (1080), made a final retraction. He passed the rest of his life in retirement and prayer on the island of St. Come, near Tours, where he died in 1088. He left behind him a number of followers.

The objections of Berengarius to transubstantiation were chiefly metaphysical. Accidents, he argued, cannot exist without their substance, and if the accidents of bread are present on the altar, their substance, and not that of the body of Christ, will be there. Besides, if Christ is present, and bread alone is seen, there is deception, for Christ, who is God, represents himself other than he actually is. Again, if Christ is in heaven, he cannot be on earth or on many altars, since nobody can be in different places at the same time. Moreover, the body of Christ after resurrection became incorruptible; therefore, it cannot be broken with the teeth or daily re-created. This reasoning Berengarius supports by the Bible and the Fathers. He seems, however, to have admitted the real presence in the Eucharist, for he allowed that, after the consecration the elements undergo a conversion, not losing the being that they have, but in a sense acquiring something else, that something being the real and invisible body of Christ which constitutes the res sacramenti. The position of Berengarius was not entirely new, for in the ninth century, Ratramnus, a monk of Corbie, had rejected the substantial change in the elements and Eriugena had regarded the Eucharist as merely a memorial. As far as the church was concerned, the debates with Berengarius led to a clearer exposition of the nature of the change in the sacrament, and an enrichment of the terminology applicable to Eucharistic dogma.

In these times, in the Year of the Lord 1040, flourished the Blessed John (Iohannes), originator and founder of the Order of Vallombrosa under the rule of the Blessed Benedict, with the addition of various other regulations and a prescribed gray habit. Of these there are many in Tuscany and Upper Lombardy. This holy man, a native of Florence (whose father Gualbert was a knight), according to legend and history came to enter upon a spiritual life in this manner: He was at enmity with his neighbor because the latter had slain his brother. Once upon a time John went from the country to Florence, having with him certain men at arms. And the murderer of his brother came toward him unexpectedly in the mountains not far from the monastery of San Miniato. John attacked him; but when the murderer saw that he was captured and had no hope of escape, he fell to the feet of this John, in the name of the crucified Christ begging him for mercy and forgiveness. And at this John was so moved that he forgot his rage for his brother’s sake against the murderer, and forgave him all guilt. Then John arrived at the church of San Miniato (which was on the way) and stood before the crucifix, the head of the image nodded to him in evidence of divine pleasure because of his absolution and forgiveness of the punishment merited by the murderer. Even today the same crucifix is shown and greatly venerated in the same church at Florence upon a mount, as a memorial to this miracle. By the admonition involved in this miracle, this holy man was so affected that he soon adjusted himself to a spiritual life, and as a hermit secluded himself in the region called Vallombrosa, in the Apennines, and by the piety of his life he attained to greater grace with God, and as a pious monk residing in the same region, he established the monastery of the Order, from which many other places originated and from which they derived their names. This Order was afterwards illustrious for its holy and highly learned men. And as this John was of a spiritual nature, he was accustomed to tame the flesh by fasting, by abstinence in food and drink, and by wakefulness. He avoided idleness and devoted himself to prayer and good works. Later he performed works of piety in the healing of the sick. Finally, in the Year of the Incarnation 1073, he died in blessedness; and because of his many miracles, Pope Gregory, the seventh pope of this name, before long enrolled him on the list of the saints. He was buried on the third day after his death in the church of the monastery of Pasignano. After his passing omnipotent God performed many miracles through him.

John Gualbert (985 or 995 - July 12, 1073) was born at Florence. His father, who was of high military rank, gave him a good education according to the ideas of the time: He excelled in all manly exercises and entered on the active career of a young Florentine noble. When he was still a young man, his only brother, Hugo, was murdered by a man with whom he had a quarrel. Gualbert, whose grief and fury were stimulated by the rage of his father, and the tears of his mother, set forth in pursuit of the assassin, vowing vengeance. It happened, that when returning from Florence to the country house of his father on the evening of Good Friday, he took his way over a narrow winding road that leads from the city gate to the church of San Miniato-del-Monte. About halfway up the hill, where the road turns to the right, he suddenly came upon his enemy, alone and unarmed. Gualbert drew his sword, and the other seeing no means of escape, fell upon his knees, entreating for mercy. He extended his arms in the form of a cross, and adjured Gualbert by the remembrance of Christ, who had suffered on that day, to spare his life. Gualbert, struck with sudden compunction, remembering that Christ when on the cross had prayed for his murderers, stayed his uplifted sword, and after a moment of terrible conflict in his own heart, he held out his hand, raised the suppliant, and embraced him in token of forgiveness. Thus they parted; and Gualbert proceeded on his weary way, thinking of the crime he had been on the point of committing, when he arrived at the church of San Miniato, entered, and kneeled before the crucifix over the altar. His rage had given way to tears and as he wept before the image of the Savior, and supplicated mercy because he had shown mercy, the figure bowed its head. This crucifix is preserved in the Church of the Trinity at Florence, which belongs to the Vallombrosan Order. From that moment, the world and all its vanities became hateful to Gualbert; he felt like one who had been saved upon the edge of a precipice. He entered the Benedictine Order, taking up his residence in the monastery of San Miniato. Here he dwelt for some time as a humble penitent. He left the convent and retired to a isolated place amid the Apennines about twenty miles from Florence, the Vallombrosa, renowned for its poetical and religious associations. Here he built a little hut in company with two other hermits. But others, attracted by his sanctity, collected around him, and he finally found it necessary to introduce some order into this community. He gave his disciples the rule of Benedict, renewing those strict observances which for three centuries had been almost discarded; adding also some new obligations – for example, that of silence.

The new institution received the confirmation of the pope, and the founder lived to see twelve houses of his Order spring up around him. Gualbert died in 1073. The Benedictine abbey and motherhouse of Vallombrosa, founded by Gualbert in 1038 near Florence is no longer in existence.

The last sentence of this paragraph is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.