The Vita s. Iohannis Gualberti by Gregorio di Passignano was written in the last decades of the XII century in the light of Giovanni Gualberto’s canonisation (1193). Only a few fragments from this Vita were known: they were published in the XVIII century by the Vallombrosian Fedele Soldani. Thanks to another fragment, which was found in ms. 363 in the library of the City of Arezzo, it has been possible to better analyze the characteristics of this hagiography and the connections with the older Lives of the saint. This paper comprises also the publication of this fragment.
In recent years, several studies on female monasticism have shown that even the abbesses of some monasteries exercised a large personal power. With reference to the well-known monastery of Santa Giulia in Brescia, this essay examines a small group of public documents to help define the contribution of women in the monastic world in the 13th century. Subject of the documents are two abbesses, Mabilia and Armelina Confalonieri, and the jurisdiction they exercised over the dependent chapels of San Daniele and San Zenone. The solemn forms, the production mechanisms and the authentication through their own seal allow us to recognize the progressive intent of defining and representing the abbesses’ authority and power also through the construction of documents with peculiar characteristics.
Following the recent debate about space and its interconnections with social and political institutions, the present paper focuses on the diocesan space and its formation process in a specific area of Southern Italy (the regions of Apulia, Molise and Basilicata) during the first Angevin age (1266-1320). The analysis takes into account three organizational aspects: the juridical definition of episcopal authority; the clear delimitation of the pertinent diocesan space; the concretization of new practices for the diocesan government. The aim of this paper is to provide concrete examples and cases to explain the new administrative organization attested by the dioceses, concretely shaped in a renewed attention to the centrality of the episcopal authority and its power in bringing order within the complicated − almost confused − diocesan space.
This essay analyzes, and attributes, a heraldic fresco, until now anonymous, painted in the church of Saint Mary of Casale in Brindisi, one of the most fascinating medieval monuments in Puglia. A detailed intersection of data taken from historical and heraldic sources (books of arms and seals) has made it possible to identify some of the coats of arms depicted in this work and to explain the context of their origin. The hypothesis is that a votive fresco was commissioned in the years 1344-1346 by Geoffroy de Charny – the founder of the church of Lirey in which the Shroud of Turin appeared for the first time – and by other French knights during their journey to and back from the Crusade of Smyrna. In the background we find the great importance of the church and the central role of Brindisi and its port during of the Angevin domination.
In the years 1439-1441 the observant friar Alberto of Sarteano accomplished a dangerous task entrusted to him by Pope Eugenius IV, that of bringing back from Egypt to the Council of Florence a Coptic delegation to negotiate the Union with the Church of Rome. According to a nearly contemporary source (the observant chronicler Mariano of Florence) he also met with the Sultan and took part in a religious dispute with Islamic scholars at his court. Mariano’s story might have a basis of truth, even if it’s hard to state it precisely. In any case, among Alberto’s works there is a letter − that has gone unnoticed so far − in which the Pope proposes to the Sultan to set up an interreligious committee in order to establish the true faith for both Christian and Muslim believers. The paper provides a historical survey of Alberto’s mission and a critical edition of the letter.
The essay explores the concept of medieval Christianity studying its primary characteristics and limitations, already identified by Henri-Irénée Marrou in 1954. The mistrust towards the Idealtypen excludes any triumphalist connotation of the idea of Christianitas, as, on the other hand, the dissident movements of the Middle Ages can hardly be historiographically considered as “the precedents” of the Protestant Reformation. Furthermore, special attention is reserved to the person of pope Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II (1978-2005) and to his broadening of the Christian dimension from Portugal to the Vistula river, as the brothers of Thessaloniki Cyril and Methodius became the Co-Patrons of Europe. The short essay ends with the hint to some documents of the Vatican Council II supporting a sense of broadmindedness and of careful listening to the development of history.
In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, the practices of fasting and abstinence were less and less respected by Italian Catholics. However, fasting and abstinence continued to be strongly defended by the moral theologians who were Daniele Concina’s followers, including Antonio Maria Boranga, Gian Vincenzo Patuzzi, Giovanni Antonio Borgovini, Faustino Maria Scarpazza and, in the 1820s, Paolo Sperone. The preachers also favored a rigorous morality and tried to preserve the observances of Lent. Their teachings, however, were contradicted by the facts: in the Italian peninsula, the pope and the bishops were forced to grant each year considerable mitigations to the law of Lent.
Between the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, cults and devotions represented a language whereby the Church communicated the dangers of modernity. In this context, apparitions – notably the Marian ones – were an especially effective way to denounce the evils of the contemporary world. For this reason, from the pontificate of Pio IX to that of Pio X, not only did several new hierophanic shrines arise, but there were also many intransigent rereadings of past apparitions. At the beginnings of the two shrines herewith analyzed – Valmala and Seleiraut – there were apparitions that occurred in the first half of the nineteenth century that were not interpreted, at first, in an anti-modern way. But in the final decades of the nineteenth century these apparitions were gradually given a new meaning to adapt them to an intransigent ideology and papal militancy.
The last steps of the cause of canonization of Giovanni Battista Montini saw an intensification of study initiatives dedicated to investigating the figure and personality of the Pope. This provides a very rich and constantly updated bibliography, which has widened the framework of knowledge relating to the figure of Montini and to the complex events of contemporary Italian Catholicism. Particularly interesting are Montini’s experiences and the reflections that the young official of the Secretariat of State conducted at the turn of the Twenties and Thirties of the last century as a national assistant of FUCI, for the relief that the theme of education of youth, within the more general problematic posed by the encounter of faith with contemporary culture after the modernist crisis, took on the thought of Pope Paul VI and the elaboration of some of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council.
Nicholas Everett, Patron Saints of Early Medieval Italy, AD c. 350-800: History and Hagiography in Ten Biographies (Michele Baiteri) André Vauchez, S. Homebon de Crémone «père des pauvres» et patron des tailleurs. Vies médiévales et histoire du culte, avec la collaboration de Umberto Longo - Laura Albiero et le concours de Véronique Souche-Hazebrouck (Adelaide Ricci) Handschriftenverzeichnis zur Briefsammlung des Thomas von Capua. Auf Grundlage der Vorarbeiten von Hans Martin Schaller, bearbeitet von Kristina Stöbener - Matthias Thumser (Agostino Paravicini Bagliani) Il Perdono d’Assisi e le indulgenze plenarie. Atti dell’Incontro di studio in occasione dell’VIII centenario dell’Indulgenza della Porziuncola (1216-2016) (S. Maria degli Angeli, 15-16 luglio 2016); Il Perdono d’Assisi. Storia, agiografia, erudizione. Catalogo della mostra di documenti – codici – libri a stampa antichi (S. Maria degli Angeli, Museo della Porziuncola, 2 luglio – 1° novembre 2016), a cura di Stefano Brufani (Caterina Cappuccio) Economia della salvezza e indulgenza nel Medioevo, a cura di Étienne Doublier - Jochen Johrendt (Andreas Rehberg) Maria Paola Zanoboni, Donne al lavoro nell’Italia e nell’Europa medievali (secoli XIII-XV) (Maria Teresa Brolis) Béranger de Saint-Affrique, La Vita di santa Chiara da Montefalco, edizione critica e introduzione a cura di Enrico Menestò, traduzione italiana di Rossana Guglielmetti (Alessandra Bartolomei Romagnoli) Karoline Dominika Döring, Sultansbriefe. Textfassungen, Überlieferung und Einordnung (Agostino Paravicini Bagliani) Alexander Patschovsky, Ein kurialer Ketzerprozeß in Avignon (1354). Die Verurteilung der Franziskanerspiritualen Giovanni di Castiglione und Francesco d’Arquata (Agostino Paravicini Bagliani)