Nicholas Audet (1481-1562)
Before he died, the prior general, Bernardine Landucci, had transferred the site of the next general chapter from Lyons to Naples. Pope Adrian VI in 1523 bestowed the vicarship on Nicholas Audet, provincial of the Holy Land. The general chapter of Venice, 1524, duly elected Audet prior general.
Born on Cyprus of lesser French nobility, Nicholas followed his older brother John into the Order in Famagusta and made his studies in Nicosia. When the provincial of the Holy Land, John of Cyprus, perished in a shipwreck, returning from the general chapter of 1513, Baptist of Mantua named Audet his successor.
Audet brought to his office a breath of the Holy Land, cradle of the Order. He became one of the great generals of the Order. His term of office, 1524-1562, providentially was the lengthiest of any prior general in the history of the Order, except John Grossi, if one counts the time he ruled the Avignon faction during the Western Schism. With Audet, the renewal of the Order, which had languished since the death of John Soreth, again became a reality.
Even while still vicar general, Audet had seen the need of reform and had drawn up a detailed plan for its implementation, which he gave the title Isagogicon. The general chapter gave it its approval and itself drew up a series of decrees called Caput unicum.