Joachim of Fiore

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Joachim of Fiore, also known as Joachim of Flora and in Italian Gioacchino da Fiore (c. 1135 – March 30, 1202), was the founder of the monastic order of San Giovanni in Fiore (now Jure Vetere). He was a mystic, a theologian and an esoterist. His followers are called Joachimites.

Biography

Born in the small village of Celico near Cosenza, in Calabria, at the time part of the Kingdom of Sicily, Joachim was the son of Mauro the notary, who was well placed, and Gemma, his wife. He was educated at Cosenza, where he became first a clerk in the courts, and then a notary himself, and worked in 1166-1167 for Etienne du Perche, archbishop of Palermo and chancellor of Marguerite, regent for the young William II of Sicily.



About 1159 he went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, an episode about which very little is known, save that he underwent a spiritual crisis and conversion in Jerusalem that turned him from the worldly life. When he returned, he lived as a hermit for several years, wandering and preaching before joining the ascetic Cistercian abbey of Sambucina near Luzzi, Calabria, as a lay brother, where he devoted his time to lay preaching. Under pressure from the ecclesiastical authorities, he joined the monks of the Abbey of Corazzo, and was ordained priest, apparently in 1168. He applied himself entirely to Biblical study, with a special view to uncovering the arcane meaning concealed in the Scriptures, above all in Revelation. To his dismay, he was acclaimed abbot by...
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