As a monk in the Benedictine order, Vincelli was apparently living at Monte Cassino when, in 1505, he was sent to Normandy with other Italian friars.
As an extremely erudite monk, he was by all accounts an expert in the study of hermetic philosophy, which originated from the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism focuses above all on the deepest and most essential aspects of the human soul. It combines both means of access to an occult knowledge of the profound nature of the human constitution and a transcendent vision of the relationship of man with the visible and invisible universe. Hermeticists seek out the secret pathways of a lost science.
Alchemy was one of the ways enabling monks to reach a higher level of knowledge. Vincelli was not apparently an expert in herbalism but more an alchemist.