Caesar of Speyer (or Spires)
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In 1223 Caesar, accompanied by Thomas of Celano, returned to Assisi to be present at the general chapter of Pentecost, and at his own request was relieved of the office of provincial minister of St. Francis. Of the remaining fifteen years of Caesar's life little is known. He was probably in Italy, with Bernard of Quintavalle, Blessed Giles, and the other companions of St. Francis, encouraging the friars by word and work to remain faithful to their rule and life, and warning them against the innovations of the Relaxati. Jordan of Giano says of Caesar at this time : "He was a man wholly given to contemplation, most zealous for evangelica poverty and so commended by the other friars that he was esteemed the most saintly after St. Francis." Owing to his opposition towards the Relaxati Caesar was imprisoned by order of the minister general, Brother Elias ; he finally met a violent death at the hands of the lay brother who had been appointed to guard him. There seems, however, no warrant for the opinion expressed by some that he was murdered by order of Elias, and the slight colouring which Angelo Clareno and Ubertino of Casale give to their accounts of his tragic end is due to the bias and bitterness against Elias's party which characterize all the writings of the Spirituals.
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