Ubertino of Casale

1259-c.1330. Franciscan Spiritual leader. Born at Casale, near Vercelli, Italy, he entered the Franciscan Order about 1272. He studied and lectured in Paris (1289-98), then returned to Italy as a preacher and teacher. Influenced by John of Parma* and P.J. Olivi,* ardent Spirituals, he became a leader of this party of strict Franciscans in Tuscany and Umbria. His principal work, Arbor vitae crucifixae Jesu (1305), written during enforced retirement, includes an account of Christ's life and suffering and a commentary on the Apocalypse following ideas of Joachim of Fiore,* with severe attacks upon the papacy and those Franciscans who abandoned rigid observance of the vow of poverty. For his part in the poverty controversy and failure to be reconciled to his order, John XXII* transferred him to the Benedictines (1317). Charged with heresy, he fled Avignon (1325). He preached against John XXII at Como in 1329; otherwise nothing is known of his last years.