In the first decade of the 15th century, a movement of reform originated in the Tuscan province. Originator of the reform was Jacobo di Alberto, prior of the convent of Le Selve near Florence, first mentioned as “a house of observance” at the provincial chapter of 1413, which confirmed its special constitutions. Jacobo’s successor was Bl. Angelus Mazzinghi (d. 1438), who was also the first to make profession in the reform. Mantua and Geronde in Switzerland were added to the observance, when the Breton, Thomas Connecte, visited Italy with his followers, who likewise joined the reform.
In 1442, Eugene IV constituted these three convents a Congregation under the immediate jurisdiction of the prior general, whose powers, for that matter, were strictly limited.
The reform stressed silence and cloister and the common life. The mitigation of Eugene IV regarding abstinence was not accepted. The Mantuan friars wore a habit of rough undyed wool. In the Lower German province, John Ubach was not alone in renouncing all privileges for life (1435). The prior of Enghien, John Inguen, did the same, “from a motive of holy reformation.”