He wandered from village to village and town to town, preaching to enormous audiences, always in the open air; the earnestness and straightforward eloquence with which he insisted that true repentance came from the heart, that pious pilgrimages and the absolution of the Church were mere outward symbols, appealed to all classes.
The calm cheerfulness and resolution with which he met his fate show that he felt that he had cleared his conscience, and that his recantation of his recantations was a repentance that needed not to be repented of.
During his operations in northern Romagna, Vitelli, Oliverotto, Paolo Orsini, and the duke of Gravina, to show their repentance, seized Senigallia, which still held for the duke of Urbino, in his name.
If a heretic in the Inquisition asked for absolution, he could receive it, but subject to a life imprisonment; but if his repentance were but feigned he could be at once condemned and handed over to the civil power for execution.
He died on Tower Hill in 1572 for an example to the disloyal counties, protesting innocence and repentance, warning his children in a last letter to discredit all "false bruits" that he was a papist.