This paper analyzes some tales of the genre named furta sacra, written in Italy during the Middle Ages. After proposing a definition that can describe the specific nature of this genre within the broader framework of the category of translationes, the focus is on the cast of characters. In particular, this essay takes into consideration the writing strategies and the narrative functions linked to the key players of the furtum: the costumer and the thief, the helper and the tomb keeper, the opponent and the antagonist, the saint, the robbed community, and the community of the adventus. The goal of this paper is to reflect on the writing mechanisms of the hagiographer, particularly related to the confirmation of God’s intervention in the translation, the authenticity of the relics, and the presence of the saint in his new ‘home’.
In the light of the challenge to overcome entreched conceptions that offer few explanations for the dynamics of ecclesiastical powers and their mechanisms of organization in the 11th century, this article investigates the network structures formed during the initial years of Peter Damian’s priory. Particularly their role in establishing a legitimate field of action for the Hermitage of the Holy Cross of Fonte Avellana. From this perspective, Peter Damian’s correspondence represents an invaluable corpus to investigate the early stages of a collaborative network, constitued around that anchorite community.
Between the 12th and 13th centuries, the area of Tuscia, north of Rome, was involved in the diplomatic and propaganda efforts of Innocent III to annex it to the Patrimonium sancti Petri. In the same years, a sumptuous porch on the facade concluded the building of the cathedral of Civita Castellana, a relevant town close to the via Flaminia. At first, the church front had been commissioned to a team of Umbrian sculptors, but right after the excommunication imposed to the community of Civita Castellana in 1199, and shortly removed, the project was entrusted to the Roman marmorari Lorenzo and Jacopo, who had been also the authors of the vestibule of the church in the nearby cistercian abbey of Santa Maria in Falleri. The article proposes a reconsideration of the relationship between these two architectures, by comparing historical events and examining the architectural features of both churches.
The essay focuses on the Laurentian codex Plut. 90.40, where there is the late fifteenth-century copy of a text composed between 1329 and 1331 by the prior of the Augustinian Florentin convent. This text presents two parts: the biographies of the Augustinian saints and the narration of the origins of the Order. It is the more ancient self-proclamation of the Augustinian Order and it reflects the history of the Order itself. The autor of the text offers a very clear interpretation, presenting Augustine as the father of the Order and the Tuscan Augustinian friars as his first and legitimate sons, since they received the Rule from his hands. They are, so, the more ancient and the most prestigious nucleus of the Order. The Florentine text was very successful and it was used by all the historiographers of the Order, and first by Henry of Freimar. Both this use and the prestige of the Tuscan Augustinian convents had the effect of making credible the Tuscan primogeniture of the Augustinians.
On the occasion of Lent 1582, the Franciscan Minor Francesco Panigarola held in Turin a series of «lettioni sopra dogmi» against the doctrines contained in Calvin’s Institutio christianae religionis. This article briefly examines the tripartite content of this work by Panigarola (first edition 1584), and focuses on the sixth lettione of the first part. In particular, the article takes into account the arguments that Panigarola derives from Augustine and from other sources that had already dealt with the exegesis of the famous periscope «super hanc petram» (Mt 16,18) of St. Matthew’s Gospel, but which the Counter-Reformist preacher elaborates with a certain originality along the lines laid down by the first Council of Trent.
In 1732 the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists, was founded; it would have had its strength in the missions in rural areas. In the intentions of s. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, its founder, being good missionaries meant being good preachers, good confessors, good theologians and moralists. The Constitutions of 1764 represented the normative moment par excellence in defining the formation of the Redemptorists: it would take place during the years of the novitiate and the ‘studentate’, during which the novices would develop their religious and cultural preparation. In this paper we analyze the Ratio studiorum of the Redemptorists, the given instruction in the aforementioned institutes, the studied subjects, the adopted texts, with a look at the geographical origin and social extraction of those who entered the Congregation from 1732 to 1869.
The paper analyses some cases of catholic priests, admitted to one of the major Italian psychiatric hospitals, San Lazzaro in Reggio Emilia, since 1870 to 1940 approximately. All them were clergymen, some with parish responsibilities, and they came from different regions of north Italy. Studying their case files, we can see they were often poor, lonely and not infrequently alcoholic. The psychiatrists working in San Lazzaro, searching the origin of their mental diseases, focused on their exaggerated studies, their religious doubts and, sometimes, on the bad relationship with their parishioners.
The main intent of the essay is to shed light on one of the most discussed topics in the cultural debate within Italian Catholicism in the Thirties, i. e. the connection between the Austrian Ständestaat – built by Chancellor Dollfuss and the Christian Social Party – and Catholic Social Teaching, particularly the Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo anno. Based on the confrontation between the most relevant catholic voices of that time, the study shows how Italian Catholicism generally took a clear stance in favour of the Austrian ‘Christian and Corporatist’ State, although some – such as the founder of the Partito Popolare Italiano Luigi Sturzo – focused on the risk of identifying the Church with a political authoritarian project. In order to piece together the catholic debate about the Ständestaat during his whole existence (1933-1938) a particular attention has been paid to the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana (Fuci) and the lay organizations of the Catholic Action.
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