Voluntary poverty was an important element of the apostolic way of life embraced by many Christian religious groups in medieval Europe, both those considered heretical and others that were not. This article shows that the so-called Cathar heretics of Languedoc, however, did not embrace apostolic poverty. In fact, they participated actively in the local economy, even borrowing and lending money on occasion. Using testimony of Cathar supporters contained in thirteenth-century inquisition registers, this article shows that believers made large bequests and contributed both goods and money to the Cathars. These assets were held and managed collectively and used to support the heretical clergy and, at times, believers as well. The article also demonstrates the existence of a network of Cathar practitioners, believers, and supporters through which money was collected, held, and circulated.

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