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John of Parma

1209-1289. Franciscan leader. He taught logic at Parma, became a Franciscan in 1233, and later went to Paris for further study. He taught theology and was a master in logic and an eloquent preacher. As minister-general of his order from 1247 he sought to restore its asceticism and original standards. To this end he traveled throughout Europe, trying also to unite the Eastern and Western churches. His austerity and adherence to the doctrines of Joachim of Fiore,* together with a suspect treatise, brought his resignation, at Alexander IV's insistence, in 1257. He suggested Bonaventura* as his successor. The rest of John's life was spent in penance and contemplation as a solitary at the hermitage of Greccio. In 1289 he set out for Greece again to further reunion, but died en route at Camerino. The Franciscan Salimbene (1221-88) described John in his Chronicle as handsome, charming, learned, musical, strong, and energetic.