Lilies among thorns: Lay saints and their cults in northern and central Italian cities, 1150–1350

This dissertation explores the phenomenon of civic cults dedicated to contemporary laymen and women in the late medieval

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Lilies among thorns: Lay saints and their cults in northern and central Italian cities, 1150–1350

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Lilies Among Thorns: Lay Saints and Their Cults in Northern and Central Italian Cities, 1150-1350 Mary Harvey Doyno

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Abstract Lilies Among Thorns: Lay Saints and Their Cults in Northern and Central Italian Cities, 1150-1350 Mary Harvey Doyno

This dissertation explores the phenomenon of civic cults dedicated to contemporary laymen and women in the late medieval Italian communes. While hundreds of contemporary lay people were venerated in the Italian communes between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, I focus upon a number of saints for whom the most primary sources survive: Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160), Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197), Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza (d. 1200), Andrea of Siena (d. 1251), Zita of Lucca (d. 1278), Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena (d. 1289), and Margaret of Cortona (d. 1297). Although most of these lay saints were never officially canonized by the Roman church, their local cults gave them a place within a pantheon of civic protectors and patrons that had previously been dominated by biblical figures and early Christian martyrs. In order to explore both the phenomenon and function of lay sanctity in the Italian communes, I have mined a wide variety of sources, including vitae (or saints' lives), miracle collections, communal deliberations and statutes attesting to the support and growth of lay saints' cults, and the physical remains of the churches, altars, tombs, paintings, and sculptures created to memorialize these saints. The first cults of lay saints appear alongside the development of independent communal governments in the twelfth century and reached their height during popolo-xvm communes in the late thirteenth-century. My work shows that the cults of these new civic patrons, who had been midwives, goldsmiths, domestic servants, merchants, and artisans,

emphasized aspects of lay life that were most at odds with a saintly life: familial relationships, the decision to remain active and involved in the city, and work. Moreover, I argue that from their first appearance, the cults dedicated to urban laymen and women presented two models of the perfected lay life: one focused on the transformation of an individual life and the other concerned with the reform of a civic society. I show how between roughly 1250 and 1300, whenpopolo factions (political parties made up of a city's merchant and artisan elite) dominated communal governments, the civic cults of contemporary lay inhabitants rely on both models. The cults of lay saints in popolo-nm communes emphasize how these pious inhabitants had transformed their own lives through prayer and penance at the same time as they had rehabilitated their civic communities through charity. Moreover, I show that by mining both models of lay sanctity, lay saints' patrons were able to construct cults that responded to and reflected their own civic and religious contexts. Finally, I conclude by looking at how Supra montem, a 1289 papal bull calling for Franciscan supervision of lay penitents, changed the terms of urban lay sanctity, emphasizing a lay saint's religious affiliation and internal spiritual development over his or her civic identity and involvement.

Table of Contents



The Lay Religious Life The Penitential Movement The Communal Context Reforming Self and City: The Two Models of Lay Sanctity 1.


The Beginnings of Civic L a y Sanctity in the Italian Communes

5 10 14 20


Saints and Sources Ranieri of Pisa A Lay Saint Canonized: The Beginnings of Omobono of Cremona's Cult

23 28

Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza Raimondo's Religious Life Raimondo's Charity

48 50 58

The Later Lives of Omobono of Cremona Quoniam historiae Labentibus annis

66 67 70



Practical Piety: Zita of Lucca and the Growth of her Civic Cult



The Sources


Constructing Lay Sanctity "With her Own Hands": Zita's Work Life

89 92

Pilgrimage, Penitence and Prayer: Zita's Religious Life The Balm of Charity Surrogate Charity: Standing Between Rich and


97 109

Poor Practical Charity: Overcoming Sex and Status Perfect Charity: Zita's Death


110 115 118

Zita's Civic Cult The Canons of San Frediano TheRiseofthePopolo A Civic Feast: Zita and the Popolo Zita's Cult After the Popolo

121 127 132 135 139

Conclusion: Zita as Civic Patron


L a y Sanctity a n d t h e Sienese C o m m u n e


Civic Saints in Siena


Sources Andrea Gallerani Pier'Pettinaio'

150 150 154

Communal Siena


Siena's First Lay Saint: Andrea Gallerani Andrea's Vita Andrea's Miracles An Indulgence and A Pair of Reliquary Shutters Andrea's Cult in the Fourteenth Century

165 166 173 175 180

Siena's Holy Comb Maker: Pier 'Pettinaio' and his Cult c. 1250-1289 Serving Siena: Pier's Communal Life The Sermon: Pier's Communal Death ,

182 182 187

Civic Sanctity and the Nine Ancient Patrons: The Virgin and her Court The New Cults Deliberating Civic Sanctity

194 195 198 201

A Civic Holy Man: Pier's Vita and his Cult c. 1333 Pier's Practical Penitence , An Active or Contemplative Saint? Franciscan Connections Pier's Civic Christianity Money and Work Following the Lay, Paying Taxes

204 205 209 215 220 221 226






M a r g a r e t of C o r t o n a : T h e New P e n i t e n t


From Concubine to Civic Saint Sources and Scholarship on Margaret The San Basilio Sources The Communal Statutes Cortona in the Thirteenth Century Affiliating with the Franciscans: Lay Penitents and Franciscans in Cortona Penance, Work and Charity in the Legenda "Deserts are not relevant today": Margaret's Desire for a Solitary Life A Public Penitent: Margaret's Religious Life in Cortona The Doubting Franciscans Margaret's Tribulations/Franciscan Tribulations

232 240 250 253 254 258 265 269 277 287 292

Margaret of Cortona: The Civic Patron


The Move to San Basilio Criticizing the City and Helping Others: Margaret's New Visionary Life "A Particular Life of Understanding": Margaret and SerBadia Margaret's Death and Miracles A Penitential Community: The Beginnings of Margaret's Cult at San Basilio The Visual Sources in San Basilio The Commune's Saint Conclusion

302 304 318 322 331 340 346 348









Introduction Sometime in the first quarter of the thirteenth century, Lucchese, a merchant living in the small Chianti town of Gaggiano, was forced to flee his native city after the political party he had vocally supported fell out of favor. Lucchese settled with his wife, Bonadonna, and their children in Poggibonsi, a city 25 kilometers north of Siena, where they resumed their work as merchants. Not long after Lucchese and Bonadonna's arrival in the city, however, all of their children died. The couple responded to their tragedy by becoming penitents, an increasingly popular path for members of the urban laity in late medieval Italy who were seeking a more dedicated religious life. The couple swore to maintain a celibate marriage, followed a rigorous schedule of prayer and fasting, and devoted as much of their time as they could to providing charity to the poor and needy of Poggibonsi.1 Lucchese and Bonadonna died within a few months of each other around 1250. Immediately after their death, the people of Poggibonsi as well as those from the surrounding countryside began to flock to the couple's tombs, drawn by reports of the many miracles occurring there. A Franciscan friar, who had served as Lucchese's and perhaps also Bonadonna's confessor, took down accounts of these miracles. Scholars ' On Lucchese and Bonadonna of Poggibonsi, see Martino Bertagna, "Note e documenti intorno a S. Lucchese," Archivumfranciscanumhistoricum 62 (1969): 3-114, and 452-7; Massimiliano Zanot, "Lucchesio, Lucio, Lucchese," in Ilpubblico dei santi: Forme e livelli di ricerzione dei messaggi agiografwi, ed. Paolo Golinelli (Rome: Viella, 2000), pp. 157-179. Also, see Bibliotheca Sanctorum, ed. F. Caraffa, 12 vols. (Rome: 1961-9), vol. 8 (1966), cols. 230-4 [hereafter BS\. On medieval Poggibonsi, see Maria Grazia Ravenni, Poggibonsi nel basso medioevo: Genesi di un territorio comunale (Poggibonsi: Lalli, 1994). 2

There has been some confusion over when Lucchese and Bonadonna died; see Zanot, "Lucchesio, Lucio, Lucchese," p. 161.

2 have speculated that this friar may also have composed a now lost vita of Lucchese in those first months after the merchant's death.3 A second vita written in 1370 also by a Franciscan survives in a fifteenth-century copy and purports to include an abbreviated version of the original collection of miracles.4 The claims made in this second vita have cemented Lucchese's reputation as a Franciscan saint.5 The vita describes how Francis of Assisi visited Lucchese and Bonadonna in Poggibonsi not long after the death of their children and offered the couple a set of guidelines to organize their new religious lives and penitential habits to mark their commitment. In short, from the mid fourteenth century on, Franciscans and scholars have seen the couple as the first members of a Franciscan lay order. While Francis may very well have traveled to Poggibonsi and offered spiritual guidance to Lucchese and Bonadonna, to describe this couple only in terms of their possible association with the Friars Minor is to overlook much of the history of the development of their cults. In civic statutes released in 1300 and again in 1333, Lucchese is identified as one of Poggibonsi's patron saints.6 And in communal documents issued throughout the fourteenth century,


Zanot, "Lucchesio, Lucio, Lucchese," p. 161.


See J. Bollandus and G. Henschenius, Acta Sanctorum...editio novissima, ed. J. Carnandet et al., 3rd ed. (Paris: 1863-87), Apr. Ill, pp. 594-610 [hereafter AA.SS.]. The 1370 vita, which was written by the Franciscan Friar, Bartolomeo de' Tomei di Siena, has been preserved through a copy made by Fra Bartolomeo da Colle in 1477; see Bertagna, "Note e documenti intorno a S. Lucchese," pp. 10-15. While Bartolomeo de' Tomei cites the original Legenda as one of his main sources, his vita conforms to many of the hagiographic tropes common to Tuscan saints' lives and has raised questions about how accurately it reproduces the thirteenth-century life; see Bertagna, Note e documenti intorno a S. Lucchese." 5

Those works that have emphasized Lucchese and Bonadonna as particularly Franciscan saints include Agostino Neri, Vita del Beato Lucchese, terziario francescano (Assisi, 1890); Francesco Mattesini, Le origini del Terz 'Ordine francescano: Regola antica e vita del Beato Lucchese (Milan: Vita e pensiero, 1964. 6

Bertagna has transcribed these statutes; see "Note e documenti intorno a S. Lucchese," pp. 15-17. For more on the Poggibonsi statutes, see Una comunita della Valdelsa nel medioevo: Poggibonsi e il suo statuto del 1332, ed. Silvio Pucci (Poggibonsi: Lalli, 1995); and L 'Archivio comunale di Poggibonsi:

3 there are several mentions of members of the city's communal government attending and financially supporting the civic celebrations to mark Lucchese's feast day.7 Thus while the Franciscans may have worked to establish Lucchese as a member of their pantheon, the city to where this pious merchant fled with his family, and later underwent a conversion to a life of penance and charity, was aiming for the same. This dissertation will explore the appearance, beginning in the twelfth century in northern and central Italian cities, of civic cults dedicated to contemporary laymen and women. In cities ruled by independent communal governments, midwives, goldsmiths, domestic servants, merchants, and artisans (to name just a few of the occupations of these civic lay saints), with little or no association to organized religious orders, were venerated during their lifetimes and celebrated as civic patrons after their deaths by their fellow city-dwellers. Although only one of these civic lay saints would be canonized by the Roman church during the Middle Ages—Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197), who was canonized by Pope Innocent III in 1199—the vitae, miracle collections, tombs, and altars dedicated to these pious men and women by their fellow city-dwellers as well as the many mentions of them in civic statutes provide convincing evidence that these cults were of great local importance. That importance has often been overlooked, because of the success mendicant orders had during the fourteenth century connecting lay saints to their burgeoning third or lay orders. While many of the laymen and women celebrated as local saints in the Italian communes had some connection (and perhaps even a loose institutional affiliation) with Franciscan and Dominicans friars, this dissertation will

Inventario della sezione storica, ed. Mario Brogi (Siena: Amministrazione Provinciale di Siena, 2003), pp. 7-40. 7

Bertagna, "Note e documenti intorno a S. Lucchese," pp. 19-39.

4 argue that lay saints cults, as they first emerged, were essentially civic and not mendicant affairs. Between 1150 and 1350, hundreds of recently deceased laymen and women were venerated in the Italian communes. Contemporary primary sources documenting both those lay saints' lives and the beginnings of civic cults survive for far fewer individuals. In the chapters that follow, I shall explore the religious lives and civic cults of those lay saints for whom the most extensive medieval sources survive: Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160), Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197), Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza (d. 1200), Andrea of Siena (d.1251), Zita of Lucca (d.1278), Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena (d.1289), and Margaret Q

of Cortona (d. 1297). I have chosen to focus on lay saints who lived active lives within their cities—those who did not live as recluses or hermits but instead spent a significant amount of time engaged with the people and issues of their cities.9 While the saints I shall study did at times withdraw from the world into their homes or into private cells, their lives were dominated by tending to the sick and the poor, wandering the streets preaching penance and peace, making pilgrimages to holy sites, and working in their respective professions. By focusing on saints who played an active role in their communities, I shall be able to consider how they integrated worldly concerns with I shall not be including lay saints such as Rose of Viterbo (d. 1251), John Pelingotto of Urbino (d. 1304), Angela of Foligno (d. 1306), and Vanna of Orvieto (d. 1307), for whom we have little or no evidence of a civic cult. 9

Two examples of urban hermit penitents are Verdiana of Castelfiorentino and Umiliana dei Cerchi. Verdiana lived for nearly 30 years in a cell attached to the walls of her city, while Umiliana spent the majority of her life as a recluse in her parent's Florentine house. For Verdiana, see Anna Benvenuti Papi, 'In castropoenitentiae': Santita e societa femminile nel'Italia medievale, Italia Sacra, vol. 45 (Rome: Herder, 1990), 263-303 and passim; and Vita diS. Verdiana d'incognito autore, ed. O. Pogni (Empoli, 1936). On Umiliana, see AA.SS., Maii, IV, pp. 385-418; Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae,' 59-98; and Anne M. Schuchmann, "Within The Walls of Paradise: Umiliana de' Cerchi and the Changing Rhetoric of Sanctity," (Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 2004). Schuchmann's work on Vito of Cortona's vita suggests that our understanding of Umiliana as a recluse has more to do with Vito's interest in portraying Umiliana as an ideal female lay penitent than what was most likely the reality of the saint's more mobile life.

5 religious ones as well as how their surrounding community understood lay saints' multifaceted identities. In order to study these cults as both religious and political entities, I explore a wide range of primary sources. In my first chapter, I focus upon the vitae of twelfthcentury communal lay saints in order to see how hagiographers first described lay civic sanctity. All of the vitae I consider were written within a generation of the death of these saints and stand as our most extensive evidence for their lives and beginnings of their cults.10 I explore these texts to see how the idea of a perfected lay life was first articulated, how the realities of an urban lay life—such as marriage, children, work, and civic responsibilities—were presented as corresponding to and having been integrated into a rigorous religious vocation. The remaining chapters consider vitae, miracle collections, communal deliberations and statutes, and the physical remains of the churches, altars, tombs, and paintings created to memorialize these saints so that I might trace the terms used to describe lay sanctity and the processes by which thirteenthcentury laymen and women became spiritual and political patrons for their civic communities.

The Lay Religious Life Andre Vauchez was the first to see the numerous civic cults dedicated to members of the laity across late medieval Italy as a distinct phenomenon and has pointed to these

Although the vitae I shall study were written by contemporaries, or near-contemporaries of these saints, medieval copies of those texts do not always survive. In some cases, such as the vitae of Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza and Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena, I have had to rely on early modern translations of the original medieval Latin texts.

6 cults as evidence of the growing importance the laity played in the later Middle Ages.


In an article looking at twelfth-century lay saints, Vauchez describes some of the common features of lay saints' cults—their emphasis upon asceticism, pilgrimage and charitable activities and notes both the laymen's social background—most were from relatively wealthy merchant and artisan families—and the important role the secular clergy played as these cults' first patrons.12 Vauchez has also been instrumental in pointing out how the phenomenon of communal lay saints confirms what modern scholars have seen as the changing nature of sainthood in the later Middle Ages. In the 1980s a number of studies of late medieval sanctity noted that thirteenth-century southern European saints (deemed so either officially by the church or unofficially by a local population) held several characteristics in common. Saints from the Mediterranean region tended to come from the laity or the mendicant orders and, almost without exception, lived in a city or town.13 Furthermore, these studies noted that while northern European saints often came from the nobility and were kings or bishops, southern


Vauchez, "A Twelfth-Century Novelty: The Lay Saints of Urban Italy," in The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices, ed. Daniel E. Bornstein, trans. Margery J. Schneider (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993), pp. 51-72, originally published as "Une nouveaute du XHe siecle: Les saints lai'cs de PItalie communale," in L 'Europa dei secoliXI e XIIfra novita e tradizione: Sviluppidi una cultura, Atti della X settimana internazionale di studio, Mendola, 25-29 August 1986 (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1989), pp. 57-80. 12


Vauchez, "A Twelfth-Century Novelty," pp. 51-72.

Andre Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 183-87. Also, see Michael Goodich, Vita Perfecta: The Ideal of Sainthood in the Thirteenth Century, Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters 25 (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1982), 19; and Donald Weinstein and Rudolph M. Bell, Saints and Society (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982), 169-170.

7 European saints were more likely to come from families of middle status and have been mendicants, merchants, or mothers.14 The perception that southern European sanctity had a particularly lay and urban identity builds on ideas about medieval religious movements that Herbert Grundmann articulated in the 1930s.15 Grundmann argued that the religious enthusiasm of the later Middle Ages originated in part in the eleventh- and twelfth-century lay (and often female) religious movements of the burgeoning urban centers of Italy and the Low Countries. Since Grundmann, many historians have come to recognize the central role lay people played in the religious history of southern Europe: they were not only frequently at the forefront of new forms of religious expression but were also often venerated for their efforts.16 The prominent place the laity occupied in late medieval religious history reveals the extent to which they had come to be seen as a distinct population within European society. Scholars of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages see a so-called "birth of the laity" as having occurred along side the growth of an institutional church.17 As the


Vauchez emphasizes this distinction but he does so by relying on documents gathered and created expressly for canonization inquiries. Thus this distinction only holds for the saints whom episcopal and papal authorities considered for canonization. 15

Herbert Grundmann, Religious Movements in the Middle Ages, trans. Steven Rowan (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), originally published as Religiose Bewegungen im Mittelalter (2nd ed., Darmstadt, 1961). 16

On lay piety and lay sanctity, see Francois Vandenbroucke, "New Milieux, New Problems: From the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century," in F. Vandenbroucke, Jean Leclercq, and Louis Bouyer, The Spirituality of the Middle Ages, (London: Burns and Oaks, 1968), 223-506; and Vauchez, "Lay People's Sanctity in Western Europe: Evolution of a Pattern (Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries)," in Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe, ed. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Timea Szell (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 21-32; and Vauchez "Comparsa e affermazione di una religiosita laica (XII secolo-inizio XIV secolo), in Storia dell'Italia religiosa, 1: L 'antichita e il medioevo (Rome: Laterza, 1993), pp. 397-425. 17

Jacques Fontaine, "The Practice of Christian Life: The Birth of the Laity," in Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century, ed. Bernard McGinn and John Meyendorff (New York: Crossroad, 1985), 453-91. For useful introductions to the history of the laity and lay spirituality, see Yves Congar, "Laic au

8 clergy came to be regarded as a separate body within Christendom, those who were neither clerics nor members of religious orders came also to have an identity as a distinct population. The papacy's attempts to ban clerical marriage, simony, and lay investiture in the late eleventh century contributed not only to the hardening of the distinction between priests and laymen but also to the carving out of a distinctively lay devotional space.18 That space allowed for medieval people to imagine that a lay life could be a saintly life.19 Because they had families and trades, the laity was believed to have a particularly difficult road to sanctity. Vauchez and Dyan Elliot have studied how in the later Middle Ages lay people began to transform their lives, through the rejection of their trades or the adoption of conjugal chastity, to fit into a monastic or even clerical religious ideal.

Such a manipulation of lay life fits into what Giles Constable has seen as a

Moyen Age" in Dictionnaire de spiritualite (Paris: Beauchesne, 1976), col.79-83; Guy Lobrichon, La religion des laics en Occident: Xf-XV6 siecles, la vie quotidienne: Civilisations et societes (Paris: Hachette, 1994); and Vauchez, "II posto dei laici nell'ecclesiologiamedievale," in Esperienze religiose nel medioevo (Rome: Viella, 2003), pp. 51-65 [originally published as "Yves Congar et la place des laics das l'ecclesiologie medievale," in Cardinal Yves Congar, 1904-1995 (Paris, 1999), pp. 165-182]. It is important to emphasize that as early as the third century the church hierarchy saw the laity as having a religious identity that was distinct from clerics; see Hippolytus of Rome, The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition (Ridgefield, Conn.: Morehouse, 1992). 18

This has been discussed by numerous scholars; for example, see Georges de Lagarde, La naissance de Vesprit la'ique au declin du Moyen Age, 3rd ed., 5 vols. (Louvain-Paris: 1956-63); and Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, 3-26. 19

On the idea of lay sanctity, see Antonio Volpato, '"Corona awed1 e ' corona aureola'': Ordini e meriti nella ecclesiologia medioevale," Bullettino dell'istituto storico italianoper il medio evo e archivio muratoriano 91 (1984): 115-182; Derek Baker, "Vir Dei: Secular Sanctity in the Early Tenth Century," in Popular Belief and Practice: Papers Read at the Ninth Summer Meeting and the Tenth Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, ed. G.J. Cuming and Derek Baker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp. 41-53; and Vauchez, "Lay People's Sanctity in Western Europe: Evolution of a Pattern"; and Ann W. Astell, ed., Lay Sanctity, Medieval and Modern: A Search for Models (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000). 20

Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 356-8; Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, pp. 185-204; and Dyan Elliot, Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

general monasticization of medieval life starting in the twelfth century.

As lay people

began to live more like monks, the parameters of sanctity began to expand; by the late twelfth century, one did not necessarily have to withdraw from the secular world to be a saint. What Vauchez has called "a new lay religious order" manifested itself in a diverse array of expressions of religious enthusiasm, such as crusades, pilgrimage, devotion to the Eucharist, imitatio Christi, conjugal chastity, and an increase in lay and female saints in the later Middle Ages.22 What united each of these aspects of lay piety, however, was a focus on penitential piety. As Raffaele Pazzelli has noted, since the early fourth century "penitent" was a term used to describe Christians who had dedicated their lives to performing penance.

A "voluntary penitent" was a person who had been admitted into

a loosely defined order of penitents through a liturgical ceremony.24 In that ceremony the penitent would swear to follow a rigorous prayer schedule and adhere to regular periods of fasting and abstinence. The penitent would also vow to follow certain restrictions placed on work and the handling of money and to abstain from military service.25 In the


Giles Constable, The Reformation of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 7.


For an introduction to the range of high and late medieval lay piety, see Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages; Richard Kieckhefer, "Major Currents in Late Medieval Devotion," in Christian Spirituality: High Middle Ages and Reformation, ed. Jill Raitt (New York: Crossroad, 1987), pp. 75-108; and Jean Leclercq, Francois Vandenbroucke and Louis Bouyer, The Spirituality of the Middle Ages. On popular piety, see Etienne Delaruelle, Lapiete populaire au Moyen Age (Torino: Bottega d' Erasmo, 1975); Lobrichon, La religion des laics en Occident: Xf-XV siecles; and Karen Scott, "Catherine of Siena and Lay Sanctity in Fourteenth-Century Italy," in Lay Sanctity, Medieval and Modern: A Search for Models, pp. 77-90. 23

Pazzelli, St. Francis and the Third Order: The Franciscan and Pre-Franciscan Penitential Movement (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1989), pp. 9-11. 24

E. Amann and A. Michel, "Penitence," in Dictionnaire de theologie catholique, vol. 12 (Paris, 1933) col. 803; as cited by Pazzelli, St. Francis and the Third Order,p. 9. Pazzelli, St. Francis and the Third Order, pp. 9-11.

10 later Middle Ages, lay penitents seem to have abided by similar restrictions and have understood their rigorous ascetic program as an attempt to follow the vita apostolica without formal, institutional support.26 Vauchez has noted that the penitents of communal Italy were in some respects an extension of the phenomenon of conversi, laymen who had a connection with a monastery but still remained tied to and within the secular world.27

The Penitential Movement In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the number of voluntary penitents grew alongside the rise of new religious orders and movements. The great predominance of penitential piety among the laity has led modern scholars to group a variety of religious callings taken up by the laity as a "penitential movement."28 Lay groups as diverse as the


Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, p. 119. On the vita apostolica, see M.-D. Chenu, "Monks, Canons, and Laymen in Search of the Apostolic Life," in Nature, Man and Society in the Twelfth Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp. 202-238. On penitents, see Raffaele Pazzelli, St. Francis and the Third Order; Alfonso Pompei, "II Movimento penitenziale nei secoli XII-XIII," in L'ordine dellapenitenza diSan Francesco d'Assisi nel secoloXHI, ed. O. Schmucki (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1973), pp. 9-40, and Gilles Gerard Meersseman, Dossier de Uorder de la penitence au XIIf siecle, Spicilegium Friburgense 7 (Fribourg, 1961). 27

Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, p. 119; the English translation is confusing here, see the original French edition, Les laics au Moyen Age: Pratiques et experiences religieuses (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1987), p. 105. On conversi in medieval Italy, see Duane J. Osheim, "Conversion, Conversi, and the Christian Life in Late Medieval Tuscany," Speculum 58 (1983): 368-390. Of course anyone (layman, laywoman, monk, nun, or cleric) who performed penance could be called a penitent. Especially in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, however, if a person was identified as a "penitent" he or she was most likely a member of the laity. To some extent, to call a monk a penitent would have been seen as redundant; monks and nuns lived lives that were by their definition dedicated to penance. 28

The fundamental work on the lay penitential movement remains Meersseman, Dossier de I'order de la penitence au XIIIs siecle. Also see Alfonso Pompei, "II Movimento penitenziale nei secoli XII-XIII," in L'Ordine della penitenza diSan Francesco d'Assisi, pp. 9-40; Giovanna Casagrande, Religiosita penitenziale e cittd al tempo dei comuni (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1995); Augustine Thompson, Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125-1325 (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005), pp. 69-102; and the essays collected in // Movimento francescano dellapenitensa nella societa medioevale. Atti del 3" convegno di studifrancescani (Padova, 25-27 settembre 1979), ed. Mariano D'Alatri (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1980).

11 beguines in the Low Countries, the Humiliati in Milan, the Flagellants in Perugia as well as the first lay followers of Francis of Assisi (who were called "brothers and sisters of penance") have all been identified as part of this movement.

Each of the lay saints I

shall study was either explicitly identified in his or her vitae as having lived as penitents or have been classified by modern scholars as part of this wider penitential movement. Thus penitents in late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century Italy were people seeking ascetic lives while remaining attached to and involved in the secular world. The diversity of names used to identify penitents in central and northern Italy— conversi/conversae, fratres et sorores de poenitentia, penitenti, pizochere, beati/beatae, bizzoche —underscores a fundamental diversity in how penitents lived.30 Some lived communally with other penitents. Some stayed in their family homes. And some removed themselves from others altogether, living alone either in a cell or hermitage. While some penitents became mendicant friars and nuns, others retained their lay status, often allying themselves loosely with either the mendicants or a confraternal organization.31 A set of guidelines or & proposition outlining how to live as a penitent in

On the beguines see Walter Simons, Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001). On the Humiliati, see Frances Andrews, The Early Humiliati (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); and Grundmann, Religious Movements in the Middle Ages, pp. 32-40. For the Flagellants, see // movimento dei Disciplinati nel settimo centenario dalsuo inizio. Atti del convegno internazionale (25-28 settembre 1960) (Perugia, 1962). Also see, Francis of Assisi, "Earlier Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (the First Version of the Letter to the Faithful) (1209-1215)," in Francis ofAssisi: Early Documents, The Saint, ed. J.A. Wayne Hellmann, Regis J. Armstrong, and William J. Short (New York: New City Press, 1999), pp. 41-44. 30

On the names used to identify penitents, see Romana Guarnieri, "Pinzochere," in Dizionario degli istituti diperfezione, ed. Guerrino Pelliccia and Giancarlo Rocca (Rome: 1980), col. 1723-4; and Alfonso Pompei, "Terminologia varia dei penitenti," in // Movimento francescano della penitensa nella societa medioevale, pp. 11-22. 31

On the institutionalization of the penitential movement, see Vauchez, "Penitenti laici e terziari in Italia nei secoli XIII e XIV," in Ordini mendicanti e societa italiana XU1-XVsecolo (Milan: Mondadori, 1990), pp. 206-220; Sensi, "Anchoresses and Penitents in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Umbria," Women

12 the secular world has survived in the 1228 Memoriale propositi fratrum et sororum de penitentia in domibus propriis.32

This document, which reads like a rule, calls for lay

penitents to wear distinctive but modest clothing, to adhere to regular periods of prayer, fasting and abstinence, to care for their larger communities and each other, and not to engage in any violence.33 G. G. Meersseman has argued that the Memoriale (which itself seems to have been a reworking of an earlier penitential rule from c.1221) was used in a confraternity of lay penitents in Romagna.34 While scholars have tried at length to find a mendicant source for the Memoriale, the origins of the lay penitential movement remain •ye


Thus even though the Memoriale suggests that there was a standard way of

life for penitents, the diversity of types of penitents and the absence of any consistent institutional affiliation argues for seeing lay penitents as members of a varied lay

and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, ed. Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 56-83; Sensi, Storie di bizzoche tra Umbria e Marche, Storia e letteratura: Raccolta di studi e testi 192 (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1995); and Luigi Pellegrini, "Female Religious Experience and Society in Thirteenth-Century Italy," in Monks and Nuns, Saints and Outcasts: Religion in Medieval Society, Essays in Honor of Lester K. Little, ed. Sharon Farmer and Barbara H. Rosenwein (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2000), pp.97-122; and Maiju LehmijokiGarnder's thorough introduction to Dominican Penitent Women (New York: Paulist Press, 2005), pp. 1-36. Also see the essays collected in / Fratipenitenti di San Francesco nella societa del due e trecento, ed. Mariano D'Alatri (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1977); La 'Supra montem' di Niccolo IV(1289): Genesi e diffusione di una regola. Atti del 5" convegno di studi Francescani (Ascoli Piceno, 26-27 ottobre 1987), ed. R. Pazzelli and L. Temperini (Rome: Analecta T.O.R.,1988). On lay penitents' confraternities, see Meersseman, Ordo fraternitatis: Confraternite e pieta dei laid nel medioevo, Italia Sacra 24-26 (Rome: Herder, 1977), pp. 359-63. 32

For the text of the Memoriale, see Meersseman, Dossier de Vordre de la penitence, pp. 92-112. There has been much work questioning how much of a hand Francis of Assisi had in drafting the Memoriale and in the origins of a lay penitential order in general. For example, see again Meersseman, Dossier de I'order de la penitence, pp. 5-21; Atanasio G. Matanic, "I Penitenti francescani dal 1221 (Memoriale) al 1289 (Regola bollata) principalmente atraverso i loro statuti e le regole," in L'Ordine delta penitenza di San Fracesco d'Assisi, pp. 41-63; and Mariano D'Alatri, Aetaspoenitentialis: L'Antico ordine francescano della penitenza, Bibliotheca Seraphico-Capuccina 42 (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1993). 33

Meersseman, Doss ier de Vordre de la penitence, pp. 92-112.


Meersseman, Ordo fraternitatis, p. 363.


See Casagrande, Religiositapenitenziale e citta al tempo dei comuni, pp. 75-161.


13 religious movement that sometimes had ties to religious and urban institutions but did not constitute a discrete order. Although some Franciscans writing before the late thirteenth century described lay penitents with associations to their order as members of a "third order," a formal lay wing of the Franciscans did not exist until after Pope Nicholas I V s 1289 bull, Supra montem.

In that bull, Nicholas outlined a rule to govern the lay penitential life, largely

repeating the guidelines that had been set in the Memoriale, and required all lay penitents to place themselves under the guardianship of the Friars Minor.37 The support the papacy granted to the Franciscans' supervision of lay penitents as well as the protests instigated by Dominicans upset by the privileges being offered to their rival order helped launch the formal organization of the Franciscan Third Order.38 The Dominican Third Order was not formally established until 1405, when Pope Innocent VII approved a rule for Dominican tertiaries.

Giovanna Casagrande, "Un Ordine per i laici: Penitenza e penitenti nel Duecento," in Francesco d'Assii e il primo secolo di storia francescana, eds. Maria Pia Alberzoni et al. (Torino: Einaudi, 1997), pp. 237-255. 37

On Pope Nicholas IV's bull, see La 'Supra montem' di Niccolo IV (1289).


On the Dominican protests, see Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Worldly Saints: Social Interaction of Dominican Penitent Women in Italy, 1200-1500 (Helsinki: Suomen Historiallien Seura, 1999), p. 37. On the development of the mendicant third orders, see Casagrande, "Un ordine per i laici"; and David Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 2001), p. 361, n.66; Sensi, "Anchoresses and Penitents in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Umbria," pp. 56-83; and La 'Supra montem' di Niccolo IV (1289): Genesi e diffusione di una regola. 39

Lehmijoki-Gardner has argued that scholars have mistakenly seen the late 1280s as a key period for the beginnings of a formal Dominican Third Order. Her research has shown that the penitential rules written by Dominicans at the end of the thirteenth century were only rudimentary guidelines offered to a specific community of penitents in the central Italian city of Orvieto. She has convincingly dispelled the notion that Dominican friars were making any concerted attempt in the late thirteenth century to formalize their relationship with lay penitents and integrate them into their order; see "Writing Religious Rules as an Interactive Process: Dominican Penitent Women and the Making of Their Reguta," Speculum 79 (2004): 660-687.

14 In the chapters that follow, I shall explore how the institutionalization of the lay penitential life influenced the shape and growth of lay saints' cults. My exploration of lay cults will show that Supra montem's call for a more regulated relationship between lay penitents and Franciscans radically changed not only the nature of the lay penitential life but also the identity and function of the urban lay saint. Just as there were many different types of lay penitents in the thirteenth century, before 1289, there was a similar diversity in the supervision of the lay religious life. While lay penitents might look to the mendicants as spiritual guardians, they were also as likely to seek guidance from local clergy and canons as well. After 1289, however, any member of the laity wanting to take up a penitential program (or already in the midst of such a commitment) was required to be under the direct supervision of the Franciscans. Lay penitents could no longer fashion a religious life that relied upon associations with a variety of religious and civic authorities.

The Communal Context The Italian communes' struggle to assert an independent political as well as cultural identity provides a rich but circumscribed context for understanding the development and role of civic lay saints. Independent civic governments first appeared in late eleventh and early twelfth century northern and central Italian cities.40 Those early communes were most often established and run by a city's noble population. During the


For the development of the communes, see Philip J. Jones, The Italian City-StatefromCommune to Signoria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); J.K. Hyde, Society and Politics in Medieval Italy: The Evolution of Civil Life, 1000-1350 (London: Macmillan, 1973); Daniel Waley, The Italian City-Republics, 3rd Edition (New York: Longman, 1988); Elisa Occhipinti, L 'Italia del comuni. Secoli XI-XIII (Rome, 2000); and Maureen C. Miller, The Bishop's Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000).

15 twelfth century, as these cities continued to grow and prosper economically, a hitherto absent voice in communal politics, that of the non-noble but wealthy population of successful merchants and artisans, began to demand a say in the political, economic and cultural life of their cities. Modern historians have often described this political turn as the rise of the popolo, using the name well-off merchants and artisans gave to their political party.41 Although a distinct history stands behind the development of each civic government, there are some generalizations we can make about this era of the Italian communes. Popolo parties seem often to have originated in collective associations, such as merchant and artisan guilds as well as neighborhood associations that were formed to protect the interests of their members.42 As these merchants and artisans gained increasing economic power, they began to demand more political power, using their increasing presence in commune's general councils to fight not only for greater economic opportunities for themselves but also to limit the privileges and abuses of the nobility. Although these associations were called popolo (the people), it would be a mistake to see them as representing the entire population of a city. As I have noted, the merchants and artisans who ran the popolo occupied an elevated economic strata. They did not emerge from the city's substantial population of lesser merchants, artisans or day-laborers. By the mid fourteenth century, as most cities were reeling from the economic downturn


For a good introduction to the rise of the popolo, see Andrea Zorzi, "The Popolo," in Italy in the Age of the Renaissance, 1300-1550, ed. John M. Najemy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 145-164. Also see John C. Koenig, "The Popolo of Northern Italy (1196-1274): A Political Analysis (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1977); and E. Artifoni, "Tensioni sociali e istituzioni nel mondo comunale," in La storia. I grandi problemi dal medioevo all'eta contemporanea, vol. II, // medioevo, ed. N. Tranfaglia and M. Firpo (Turin, 1986), pp. 461-491. Zorzi, "The Popolo," pp. 146-147.

16 brought on by famine and plague, the era of the popolo had come to an end. Most communes had by then fallen under the control of signorie or oligarchic regimes. Nevertheless, it was during the thirteenth century, when the communes were largely under the control of the popolo, that we see civic governments working most explicitly to establish recently deceased pious laymen and women as civic patrons. These new saints, who as Vauchez has noted tended to come from the middle segments of the population, must have appealed to members of the popolo as an embodiment of some of their political and cultural ideals. 43 Both the presence of a civic religion and the particular role of patron saints in the medieval Italian communes has long been a primary research topic.44 Much of this work has focused upon the role biblical or early Christian patron saints played in the early formation of independent civic governments. Some scholars, following Vauchez's example, have explored the rise of contemporary patrons.45 For example, Gary Dickson

Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, 173-183. It is important to note that while most of the lay saints I shall study did come from middle status families, a few came from families of a much higher status. 44

On Civic Religion in the Italian communes see Gerald Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004); Nicholas Terpstra, Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Mauro Ronzani, "La 'Chiesa del comune' nelle citta dell'Italia centro-settentrionale (secoli XII-XIV)," Societa e storia 6 (1983): 499-534; Vauchez, ed., La religion civique a I'epoque medievale et moderne (Chretiente et Islam) (Paris: Ecole Francaise de Rome, 1995); Diana Norman, Siena and the Virgin: Art and Politics in a Late Medieval City-State (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999); Art, Politics, and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261-1352, ed. Joanna Cannon and Beth Williamson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000). On patron saints, see Hans Conrad Peyer, Citta e santipatroni nell 'Italia medievale, trans. Anna Benvenuti (Florence: Le Lettere, 1998) [originally published as Stadt und Stadtpatron in mittelalterlichen Italien (Zurich, 1955); A.M. Orselli, L 'Idea del culto santopatrono cittadino nela letteratura latina Christiana (Bologna, 1965); Paolo Golinelli, "Antichi e nuovi culti al sorgere dei communi nel nord-Italia," Hagiographica 1 (1994): 159-180; Golinelli, Citta e culto dei santi nel medioevo italiano (Bologna: CLUEB, 1996); and Sarah Blake McHam, "The Cult of St. Anthony of Padua," in Saints: Studies in Hagiography, ed. Sandro Sticca (Binghamtom: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996), pp. 215-232. 45

Vauchez, "Patronage des saints et religion civique dans l'ltalie communale a lafindu Moyen Age," in Patronage and Public in the Trecento, ed. Vincent Moleta (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1986; reprint, The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefand Devotional Practices (Notre Dame, 1983)). In addition to

17 has studied how Perugia's civic pantheon constantly expanded and contracted throughout the later Middle Ages.46 Chiara Frugoni's article on the "new saints" of the communes looks at how the cults of contemporary female saints came to portray these holy women as engendering civic consciousness.47 And Kenneth Baxter Wolfs study of the meaning of poverty in early sources associated with Francis of Assisi has explored to what extent the founder of the Friars Minor espoused religious ideals similar to the lay saints.48 The most thorough scholarly contribution to this subject has come from Diana Webb. Her work on the development and function of patron saints (both ancient and contemporary) in the Italian communes outlines the history of civic patronage.49 Moreover, her interest in the social background of lay saints has expanded our understanding of the role money and wealth played not only in these cults but also in the late medieval communes in general.50 Most recently, Webb has translated the vitae of

his article "A Twelfth-Century Novelty," Vauchez also explores the subject of lay civic sanctity in "Lay People's Sanctity in Western Europe: Evolution of a Pattern (Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries)"; and "La difficile emergence d'una saintete des laics a Venice aux XIIe et XIIIe siecles," in Genova, Venezia e il Levante nei secoli XII-XIV, Atti del Conveno, Genova-Venezia 10-14 marzo 2000, ed. G. Ortalli and D. Puncuh (Venezia, 2001), pp. 335-348. 46

Gary Dickson, "The 115 Cults of the Saints in Later Medieval and Renaissance Perugia: A Demographic Overview of a Civic Pantheon," Renaissance Studies 12 (1998): 6-25.


Chiara Frugoni, "The City and the 'New' Saints," in City States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy: Athens and Rome, Florence and Venice, ed. Kurt Raaflaub Anthony Molho, and Julia Emlen (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991), pp. 71-91. Also, see Sarah Blake McHam, "The Cult of St. Anthony of Padua,"; and Colin Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa: The Power and Limitations of Sanctity in Twelfth-Century Italy," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 25 (1994): 588-599. 48

Kenneth Baxter Wolf, The Poverty of Riches: St. Francis of Assisi Reconsidered(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 69-76. 49

Diana Webb, Patrons and Defenders: The Saints in the Italian City States (London: Tauris Academic Studies, 1996).


Webb "A Saint and His Money: Perceptions of Urban Wealth in the Lives of Italian Saints," in The Church and Wealth, ed. W.J. Sheils and Diana Wood (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987), pp. 61-73. On this subject also see Sofia Boesch Gaiano, "Lavoro, poverta, santita fra nuove realta sociali e luoghi comuni agiografici," in Cultura e societa nell 'Italia medievale: Studiper Paolo Brezzi (Rome: Istituto Storico Italian per il Medio Evo, 1988), pp. 117-129.

18 several Italian urban lay saints and provided a thorough introduction to the phenomenon of lay civic sanctity.51 Scholars have also used the vitae of various lay saints as prime evidence for the contours of lay religious life in late medieval Italian cities.52 In Cities of God, Augustine Thompson relies upon the vitae of many Italian urban saints to construct a portrait of the everyday religious life of the communes.

Thompson laments the dearth of modern

scholarship that has recognized the extent to which the medieval communes were "simultaneously religious and political entities."54 He notes how little even the most comprehensive history of the Italian communes says about religion.55 As evidence for the interweaving of religion and politics in the Italian communes, Thompson briefly notes that voluntary lay penitential associations of the early communes seem to have provided models for political associations, like the popolo, which dominated communal governments in the thirteenth century.56 While Thompson's observation deserves a full study, the relationship that he points to underscores the fundamental connection between lay sanctity and/?o/?o/o-dominated communes.


Diana Webb, Saints and Cities in Medieval Italy: Selected Sources Translated and Annotated (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). 52

For example Lester K. Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978), pp. 215-217. 53

Thompson not only dedicated a chapter to looking at lay saints ("Holy People, Holy Places") but also relies their vitae throughout his study of religion in the medieval Italian communes; see Cities of God, pp. 179-216, andpassim. 54

Thompson, Cities of God, p. 3.


Thompson points specifically to Philip Jones, The Italian City-State and notes that Jones only devotes 17 out of 673 pages to religious life in the communes; see Cities ofGod, p. 3. 56

Thompson, Cities of God, p. 6.

19 My own study of the political and religious dimensions of lay saints' cults has been influenced by recent scholarship that sees the importance of the role of voice, gender, genre, and social status on the construction of medieval vitae. As Catherine Mooney has made clear in her work on Angela of Foligno's "Memorial," recognizing this text's collaborative authorship is the first step for any scholar interested in Angela's religious life and cult. What the reader learns about Angela's religious life comes through the filter of her scribe.57 Scholars such as Mooney, Karen Scott, John Coakley, and Anne Clark have articulated how readers can use a number of interpretive tools both to recognize the constructed nature of saints' vitae and to rely on those texts to reveal aspects of a saint's individual spirituality.58 My attention to the issues affecting the construction of lay saints' vitae has been guided by the examples set forth by these scholars. While the lay saints I consider do not appear to have been active participants in the composition of their vitae and only one (Margaret of Cortona) seems to have been alive during any part of the production process, all of the evidence I present of lay saints' behavior and attitudes comes to us through the filter of their hagiographers. Much of my work in this study will be to piece together how each hagiographer's political, social, religious, and gender concerns contributed to the filter through which he wrote. In short, I shall remain aware throughout this study that saints and their cults depend entirely upon 57

Catherine M. Mooney, "The Authorial Role of Brother A. in the Composition of Angela of Foligno's Revelations," in Creative Women in Medieval and Early Modern Italy: A Religious and Artistic Renaissance, ed. E. Ann Matter and John Coakley (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), p. 58. 58

Mooney, "Imitatio Christi or Imitatio Mariael Clare of Assisi and Her Interpreters"; Scott, "Mystical Death, Bodily Death: Catherine of Siena and Raymond of Capua on the Mystic's Encounter with God"; John Coakley, "A Marriage and Its Observer: Christine of Stommeln, the Heavenly Bridegroom, and Friar Peter of Dacia"; and Anne L. Clark, "Holy Woman or Unworthy Vessel? The Representations of Elisabeth of Schonau," in Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and Their Interpreters, ed. Catherine M. Mooney (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999); also see John Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power: Female Saints and their Male Collaborators (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006).

the people and societies that venerated them in the first place. As Aviad Kleinberg has noted, sainthood is a social phenomenon that requires an audience.59 This study will keep both the conduits and audiences of lay sanctity as its focus.

Reforming Self and City: The Two Models of Lay Sanctity In the chapters that follow, I shall explore how these cults constructed portraits of ideal urban lay lives during a period in which both the political identity of the communes and the institutional identity of lay religion were undergoing profound transformations. My analysis of lay cults will show that from the twelfth century, hagiographers moved between two models of lay sanctity. One model favored an understanding of lay sanctity that championed a dedication to civic charity as the most potent evidence of a perfected lay life. The other focused much more on the lay saint's ability to overcome and transcend the sinful aspects of the lay world. Throughout the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries hagiographers, whether they were secular canons, priests, bishops or friars, moved between these two models of the perfected lay life to construct a patron who both fit and responded to a particular civic context. In essence by presenting the lay saint as dedicated to charity and prayer, as interested in individual spiritual progress as well as in civic welfare, as living a perfectly mixed life of action and contemplation, the cults of contemporary laymen and women

Aviad M. Kleinberg, "Shared Sainthood," in Modelli di santita e modelli di comportamento: contrast!, intersezioni, complementarita, ed. Guilia Barone, Marina Caffiero and Francesco Scorza Barcellona (Torino: Rosenberg and Sellier, 1995), p. 168; also see Kleinberg, Prophets in Their Own Country: Living Saints and the Making of Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992).

21 presented civic patrons who were not only ideal lay Christians but also ideal urban citizens. In the conclusion of his first study of lay sanctity, Andre Vauchez observed that by the 1270s, the phenomenon of the contemporary lay civic saint had begun to disappear. He sees this change as inexorably linked to the rise of the mendicants in Italy and their interest in "an increasingly contemplative form of mysticism," that, as he notes, was difficult to "reconcile" with the "down-to-earth, or at any rate very concrete, conception of sanctity" expressed in the cults of twelfth-century laymen.60 While I shall show that the rise of the mendicants and in particular their new role as the guardians of lay penitents did indeed profoundly change the character of lay sanctity in Italian communes, I shall maintain that such a change was in fact an intensification of certain aspects of lay sanctity that had been present in lay civic cults from their first appearance in the twelfth century.

Vauchez, "Lay Saints of Urban Italy," p. 71.


Chapter One The Beginnings of Civic Lay Sanctity in the Italian Communes

In this chapter, I shall look at the ways in which a perfected lay life was articulated in the first civic cults dedicated to recently deceased laymen in the twelfthcentury Italian communes. (We do not see cults dedicated to lay women in the communes until the thirteenth century.) I shall do this by focusing upon the vitae of three laymen who garnered cults from their contemporary civic neighbors: Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160), Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197), and Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza (d. 1200). While there are many other twelfth-century lay saints that I could have considered—such as Gualfardo of Verona (d. 1127), Allucio of Compilgiano (d. 1134) and Teobaldo of Alba (d. 1150), to name just a few— the sources we have for those saints' religious lives and cults either survive only from later centuries or are frustratingly brief.61 The extant vitae for Ranieri, Omobono and Raimondo, although raising their own issues of transmission, offer us the most extensive opportunity to see how the idea of a saintly lay-life was first described in the medieval cities of northern and central Italy. My aim in this chapter will be to show how even in the earliest vitae of communal lay saints, hagiographers presented two models of lay sanctity. While one model focused upon the lay saint's own spiritual and religious progress and was most concerned with describing how a lay life could be a holy one, the other paid more attention to the lay saint's urban context and saw his sanctity as the beacon of civic reform. In subsequent chapters, I shall look at a variety of sources—vitae, miracle collections, communal records, and visual sources created for lay saints' tombs and altars—to trace the many 61

For more on these early lay saints, see Vauchez, "A Twelfth-Century Novelty."

23 civic and religious interests and patrons that stood behind the development of lay civic cults. In this chapter, however, I do not trace the growth of a civic cult as much as look at how the first written sources—more often than not, vitae and miracle collections— described a holy lay life.

Saints and Sources The first source I consider is the vita and miracle collection for Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160). This long text was written immediately after the saint's death by one of his disciples, Benincasa.62 We know that Benincasa served for some time as the custos of Ranieri's tomb in Pisa's cathedral and may have been a canon there as well.63 The vita describes Ranieri as a successful merchant in Pisa, his conversion to a religious life while on a business trip to the Holy Land, the seven years he spent as a hermit in Jerusalem, and finally his return to Pisa, where he dedicated the last years of his life to performing both charitable works and healing miracles for his civic neighbors. Benincasa claims to have composed his text both from what he witnessed and what the saint told him about his life. Andre Vauchez has described the claims that Pope Alexander III (also a Pisan)

This vita survives in two medieval manuscripts that scholars agree were both of Pisan origin but written independent of each other. One was written at the beginning of the thirteenth century (the Livorno copy), and the other in the mid-fourteenth century (what scholars call the Pisa copy, since it is still held in the city). The vitae in these manuscripts are largely the same, suggesting that they were copied from a common source. The manuscripts differ most noticeably in their miracle collections. While the earlier Livorno copy disperses a number of accounts of miracles Ranieri performed during his lifetime throughout the vita, the later Pisan copy places all of these accounts as well as a number of post-mortem miracles not included in the Livorno copy at the end of the vita. The Livorno manuscript was discovered and edited by Reginald Gregoire in the 1980s and since then has been preferred by scholars over the Pisan copy (Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 vols., (Brussels, 1898-1901, ans supplementary vol., Brussels, 1987) (hereafter BHL), 7084 and published in the Acta sanctorum); see his San Ranieri di Pisa (1117-1160): In un ritratto agiografico inedito del secolo XIII (Pisa: Pacini, 1990). For a full discussion of the manuscript history of this vita, see Colin Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa: The Power and Limitations of Sanctity in Twelfth-Century Italy," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 45 (1994): 599. Gregoire, San Ranieri di Pisa, pp. 85-98.

24 64

canonized Ranieri as an "uncorroborated tradition."

I also have found no evidence to

support this claim. The most extensive study of the text to date is Reginald Gregoire's San Ranieri di Pisa, which includes both a thorough introduction to the manuscript history of Benincasa's text and an edited transcription of the earliest known copy of that vita, which Gregoire discovered in the 1980s.65 Vauchez, Colin Morris and Augustine Thompson have looked to Benincasa's text for what it can reveal about the shape of lay spirituality in the mid-twelfth century and have noted the "reformist current" running throughout the text.66 As Morris has succinctly argued, Benincasa presents Ranieri's spirituality and sanctity as redeeming the church from its current state of corruption.67 Benincasa notes in the vita that upon the saint's death, Pisa's communal government donated money for a tomb. We do not see evidence for an on-going civic cult in communal sources until the thirteenth-century, however. Lily Richard's article on the tomb and visual programs created for Ranieri in Pisa during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries explores much of this period of the saint's growing civic cult. Of all the saints I shall consider in this dissertation, the only one to be canonized by Rome during the Middle Ages was Omobono of Cremona (d. 1197).69 As a result we

Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 199-200. 65

Gregoire, San Ranieri di Pisa.


Vauchez, "A Twelfth-Century Novelty," pp. 63-64; Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," pp. 588-599; and Augustine Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 183-186,206,210-211,284, and 402-405. 67 68

Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594.

Lily Richards, "San Ranieri of Pisa: A Civic Cult and Its Expression in Text and Image," in Art, Politics, and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261-1352, pp. 179-235.

25 have been left with several sources describing his time working as a merchant and his eventual conversion to a life dedicated to penitence, prayer and charity. The earliest of these sources is Pope Innocent Ill's bull of canonization, Quiapietas, issued on January 12, 1199, less than two years after the saint's death.70 In addition to looking at this bull, I shall also consider the three anonymous medieval vitae that were written for Omobono: Cum orbita solis (c.1200), Quoniam historiae (c. 1240-1270), and Labentibus annis (c. 1270-1300).71 These four sources—Innocent's bull and the three vitae—offer strikingly different understandings of both the inherent challenges of becoming a holy layman and the function such a figure was to have for his civic community. As the first non-royal layman to be canonized by Rome, Omobono has received a fair amount of scholarly attention. The most extensive work on Omobono has been done by Vauchez, who has studied the manuscript history of the thirteenth-century lives, the texts' different understandings of a lay religious life, and the development of the saint's civic cult over the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Other scholars have seen

Vauchez discusses the significance of Innocent's canonization of Omobono for the development of papal authority in late medieval saint's cults; see Sainthood in the later Middle Ages, pp. 36-37 and 112. 70

The bull is included in Die Register Innocenz' III, I, ed. O. Hageneder and A. Haidacher (Vienna, 1964), n. 528-30, pp. 761-764. It is also included in Daniele Piazzi's collection of sources relating to Omobono: Omobono di Cremona: Biogrqfie dal XIII al XVI secolo, edizione, traduzione e commento (Cremona: Diocesi di Cremona, 1991), pp. 14-19. 71

Editions of all of these vitae can be found in Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona. Labentibus annis has been catalogued in BHL 397. Webb has also translated Labentibus annis in her Saints and Cities, pp. 57-61. Webb provides a thorough summary of the manuscript history of these lives as well; see Saints and Cities, pp. 46-53. 72

Vauchez has written extensively on Omobono and the medieval sources documenting his cult. The most thorough treatment can be found in Omobono di Cremona (+1197): Laico e santo, profilo storico (Cremona: Nuova Editrice Cremonese, 2001); also see his "Le 'trafiquant celeste': Saint Homebon de Cremone (+1197), marchand et 'pere des pauvres,'" in Mentalites et societes, v. 1 of Horizons marins, itineraries spirituals (ve-xviiie), ed. H. Dudois, J-C. Hocquet, and A. Vauchez (Paris: Sorbonne, 1987), pp. 115-22; and "Le culte de saint Homebon du XIIe au XVIe siecle: intentions des promoteurs et modalites de sa reception," in II Pubblico dei santi: Forme e livelli di recezione dei messaggi agiograflci, ed. Paolo Golinelli (Rome: Viella, 2000), pp. 129-139.

26 Omobono both as an emblem of the new religious opportunities available to the laity in the later Middle Ages and as a useful illustration of the practices and beliefs that constituted this new lay religious life.73 Daniele Piazzi has looked at Omobono's life and cult in the context of Cremona's religious history and has also produced an edited edition of all of the medieval sources associated with the saint.74 Diana Webb translated Innocent's bull, Quiapietas and one of the vitae, Labentibus annis and has also provided a thorough introduction to the manuscript history of all the saint's medieval vitae15 In this chapter, I shall rely on Piazzi's edition of the Latin texts and Webb's translation of Quiapietas and Labentibus annis. I shall also explore the vita of Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza (d. 1200), written in 1212 by Rufino, a canon of the Church of the Twelve Apostles, where Raimondo established a hospice to serve Piacenza's poor and needy.76 Rufino describes Raimondo as having felt drawn to a more religious life from his youth. His vita recounts the many pilgrimages he took to the Holy Land and around Europe, the married and working life he felt compelled to take up on his return, and finally his dedication to providing charity for his fellow Piacentians after the deaths of his wife and children. Webb has also completed a translation of Rufino's vita, which as she notes survives only from a "double-process of translation."77 Although the original Latin text

For example, see Lester K. Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe, p. 215; Elliott, Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock, p. 204; and Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 191,198,201, 243, and passim. 74

Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona.


Diana Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 54-61.


The vita can be found in AA.SS. July VI, pp. 645-657; hereafter referred to as Vita S. Raymundi.

has disappeared, the seventeenth-century Bollandist editor, Peter Bosch found an Italian translation of the original vita made in 1525 by a Dominican friar for the community of nuns living at the site of Raimondo's former hospice. The text that now appears in the Acta sanctorum is Bosch's subsequent retranslation of the Italian back into Latin.78 As Webb has pointed out, even if the sixteenth-century effort were a faithful translation of the original text, the Latin that comes down to us in Bosch's translation is a far cry from that of a thirteenth-century cleric. Nevertheless, Webb notes that scholars have accepted Bosch's text as "authentic and trustworthy," and she has found nothing in it that "is not acceptable as a product of Rufmo's time and place."79 I shall use Rufino's vita of Raimondo but keep in mind the issues raised by its complicated transmission. Like Ranieri and Omobono, Raimondo has also been used by modern scholars to exemplify the contours of late medieval lay spirituality. In particular, the vita's lengthy descriptions of Raimondo's pilgrimages have been seen as evidence for the popularity and prestige such enterprises assumed by the late twelfth century.80 Luigi Canetti's Gloriosa civitas remains the most extensive study of both Rufino's vita and the development of Raimondo's cult in Piacenza. In addition to looking at the hagiographic issues raised by Rufino's vita, Canetti places Raimondo's cult within the context of

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 62. 78

AA.SS. July VI, pp. 645-657 (BHL 7068).


Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 62-63. In addition to Webb, both Vauchez and Luigi Canetti have accepted the Acta sanctorum text as an acceptable source; see Vauchez, "Raimondo Zanfogni, detto Palmerio," in Biblioteca sanctorum, 11, cols. 26-29; and Canetti, Glorias civitas: Culto dei santi e soceita cittadina a Piacenza nel medioevo (Bologna: Patron Editore, 1993), pp. 167-175. 80

For example, see Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, p. 198; and Webb, "Raimondo and the Magdalen: A Twelfth-Century Italian Pilgrim in Provence," Journal of Medieval History 26 (2000): 1-18.

Piacenza's ancient cults. 1 In his study of Francis of Assisi's assumption of a life of poverty, Kenneth Baxter Wolf has written about the striking similarities as well as differences between Raimondo and Francis.82 While Wolf notes that Raimondo's vita shows that Francis was far from the first layman to take up a life dedicated to penance, prayer and poverty in the late medieval communes, he also sees Francis' decision to transform himself into a beggar as "a decisive shift away from the new civic saint paradigm," which Raimondo exemplified. The goal of these new civic saints was "to tend to the needs of the urban underclass." Unlike Francis, Wolf writes, saints like Raimondo did not let their interest in "ascetic self-denial" compromise their commitment to civic charity.

While the vitae I shall study in this chapter (and throughout this

dissertation) will show the importance charity work held in the construction of urban lay sanctity in the Italian communes, they will also reveal that from its beginnings a central issue for the hagiographers of lay saints was the extent to which the phenomenon of the lay civic saint represented the possibility of a reformed lay life.

Ranieri of Pisa As I noted above, our knowledge of the details of Ranieri of Pisa's life and religious conversion come to us solely through the vita written immediately after the saint's death in 1160 by one of his disciples, Benincasa.84 In the vita, Benincasa refers several times to the time he spent with the saint and notes that what he includes in the text


Canetti, Glorias civitas, pp. 167-285.


Kenneth Baxter Wolf, "St. Francis and St. Raymond," in The Poverty of Riches, pp. 69-76.


Wolf, The Poverty of Riches, p. 75.


Vita sancti Rainerii in Gregoire, San Ranieri di Pisa, pp. 101 -254.

29 comes either from his interactions with Ranieri himself or from other reliable witnesses.85 Benincasa tells us that Ranieri came from a noble family and like his father earned a living as a successful merchant.86 He writes that Ranieri enjoyed a worldly adolescence but became interested in changing the direction of his life after he met Albert of Corsica, another layman, who, upon the death of his brother, had given all of his possessions to the poor and gone to live as a hermit at the church of San Vito in Pisa.87 Benincasa describes how Ranieri was so moved by Albert's example that he began to live as a penitent, followed a rigorous schedule of prayer and fasting, and eventually joined Albert at San Vito. Benincasa makes it clear, however, that this marked only the first part of a •


two-stage conversion experience. Even though the saint was living at San Vito (perhaps as a conversus), Benincasa notes that Ranieri was still working as a merchant.89 Ranieri's second and more radical break with his worldly life came during a business trip to the Holy Land. At a Good Friday service in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a vision of the Virgin spurred Ranieri to strip off his clothes and replace them with the hermit' spilurica. Benincasa describes how Ranieri spent the next seven years as a hermit at the Temple in Jerusalem, where he 85

Gregoire lists all of the references Benincasa makes to his interactions with Ranieri; see San Ranieri di Pisa, pp. 89-91. 86

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 102.


Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 107-108.


Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 115-116.


Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 120: "[FJactum est autem post haec congregatis suis et sotiorum suorum mercibus, partes ad transmarinas mercandi lucrique faciendi causa nauigio san-//ctus Rinerius ex Aqua perrexit." The vita does not make Ranieri's status at San Vito clear. Nevertheless the description of his connection to the monastery seems akin to what Duane J. Osheim describes as the increasingly common phenomenon of conversi in late medieval religious houses in northern Italy; see his "Conversion, Conversi, and the Christian Life in Late Medieval Tuscany."

continued to have visions of the Virgin as well as of Christ. Ranieri eventually decided to return to Pisa after hearing of the election of Pope Eugenius III (also a native Pisan). The last third of the vita describes Ranieri's life back in Pisa, where the saint spent his time crisscrossing the city with a group of disciples, serving the poor, healing the sick and performing numerous miracles on behalf of his civic neighbors. While he was still living in Jerusalem, the Virgin Mary appeared to Ranieri and informed him that he would remain forever in her bosom. When the saint asked her to be more specific, Mary answered that his final resting place would be within her church in Pisa.90 As Benincasa points out, Ranieri's vision came true when Ranieri died in 1160 and was buried in Pisa's cathedral.91 Vauchez has noted that Benincasa's vita is not only one of the earliest pieces of lay hagiography to come out of the Italian communes but also an example from that genre that gives "the most extensive indication of lay spirituality."92 Ranieri's decision to rid himself of his worldly possessions and live a life dedicated to prayer and penance, first as a hermit, and later as a civic charity worker were popular paths for laymen and women seeking a more rigorous religious life in the twelfth century.93 But as Vauchez has also noted, while Benincasa may portray Ranieri's religious life as exemplifying 90

Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 124-125: "Cui beatissima uirgo inquid: 'Tu requiesces in gremio meo', Adhec sanctus Rainerius: 'Quomodo, inquid, domina cum celi terreque sis Regina, qui tantillus sum in tuo pausabo gremio?'. Senes uero, qui ante Dei matrem ipsum portauerant, inter manus per brachia cubito a terra distante, ante earn cum omni reuerentia tenebant. Iterum ei uirginum Domina //respondens ait: 'Corpus tuum requiescet in ecclesia mea que est Pisis in sempiternum'." 91

Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 173-174: "At sacerdotes eius portantes inferetro sacratissimum corpus a sancti Uiti locum usque adpredictam Deigenitricis Marie ecclesiam, dignum et Deo charum obsequium prebuerunt." 92


Vauchez, The Laity, p. 63.

For more on the lay religious life in the twelfth century, see Vauchez, "Lay Belief around 1200: Religious Mentalities of the Feudal World," in The Laity in the Middle Ages, pp. 85-93; and Kieckhefer, "Major Currents in Late Medieval Devotion."

31 some of the major currents in late medieval lay spirituality, he also sees it as entangled in the tensions that existed between the clergy and laity in the mid-twelfth century. Colin Morris has argued that Benincasa portrays the penance Ranieri performed as a hermit in Jerusalem as having brought about the redemption of a corrupt church, affording Ranieri the opportunity to serve as a manifestation of Christ.94 Morris notes that Benincasa's descriptions of Ranieri's time in Jerusalem are dominated by the idea that the saint's penance would redeem the church.95 For example, Benincasa describes a conversation between Ranieri and God in which God announced (speaking through Ranieri) that he had "given over the priests into the hands of Satan."96 When Ranieri became horrified by the words coming out of his mouth, Benincasa writes that God quickly reassured the saint that it would be through his own efforts that all Christians would be set free.

As Morris makes clear, Benincasa locates Ranieri's power no

to reform the church in the great penance he performed as a hermit in Jerusalem.


writes that Ranieri had earned a "royal priesthood," which, while available to all baptized Christians, had come to the saint because of his great mortification of his flesh.99 94

Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," pp. 593-594


Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594.


Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 148: "Dum in Domini sepulcro, pro ecclesia et sacerdotibus quodam tempore Deum obnixe precaretur, ut lux fulgeret populi, confenstim uerbum Domini per os eius respondit ei: 'Ego sacerdotes in manu Sathane tradidi.'" 97

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 148: "Respondit...Surge et noli sicut mortuus esse, quia non ideo tefeci, etpre aliis te elegi. Incipe iam nunc penitentiam pro populo agere. Panem opirum et aquam, in cibo tuo tantum habe: pro populo ipso sine interpellatione exora me, usque dum tecum illuc ueniam, ubipopulum meum christianum liberabo per te. " 98 99

Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594.

1 am quoting Vauchez here, who is paraphrasing Ranieri's vita; see the Laity, p. 63; and Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 141: "Et est sacerdos mortificatione carnis. Unde beatus apostolus ait: 'Obsecro uosper misericordiam Dei, ut exibeatis corpora uestra, hostiam uiuentem, sanctam, Deo placentem. Quicumque Deo hostiam offert, sacerdos est secundum hunc modum, et bone mulieres corpora sua crucifigentes,

32 Augustine Thompson has noted that Benincasa was not claiming a quasi-clerical status for Ranieri but instead saw the saint as having earned an "intensification" of the grace originally received through baptismal and confirmation anointings.100 This intensification entitles Ranieri, in Benincasa's eyes, to a prominent role in God's providential plan. In short, the saint cures the ills of the church by becoming another manifestation of Christ on earth.101 We see evidence of this idea in Benincasa's description of Ranieri's first full confession. The author notes that Ranieri's confessor gave the saint no penance to perform, since as he stated, in Ranieri "God will purify his dwelling-place."102 Benincasa goes on to mention how during a Christmas sermon at Tyre the bishop of Sidon announced to an audience (full of Pisans, the author makes sure to mention) that God was "now among us and has put on the flesh of one of you, for the salvation of all Christians."103 As Morris has pointed out, nothing would be remarkable about such a statement if Benincasa had not added that after the bishop spoke all eyes immediately fell on Ranieri. And when Benincasa describes Ranieri's dramatic donning of the hermit' spilurica in front of the congregation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,

sacerdotis nomine censentur. Unde et Petrus ait: Uos estis ergo genus electum, regale sacerdotium. ldeo mulieres et uiri crismate fronte et uertice unguntur, ut aduersus diabolum simus reges et sacerdotes pugnantes semper, et orantes. Et Ioannes in Apocalipsi sua: Et fecit nos Deo nostro regnum, et sacerdotes." 100

Thompson, Cities of God, p. 186.


Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 593.


Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 105.


Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 123-124: "...Sidonis episcope uice archiepiscopi illius qui tunc Romam abierat missam canentem lectoque euangelio predicto episcopo pulpitum seu anbonem ascendentem, ita ad populum, multis aliis ibi existentibus pisanis, fari exorsus est: 'Audite fratres karissimi, in ueritate sciatis, quia inter nos nunc Deus est qui unius uestrum carnem induit, pro omnibus christianis saluandis'. Et uerbum iterans pluries dixit. Nostri omnes qui aderant presentes, de tarn altissimo uerbo ceperunt obnixe mirari. Alterutrum sese respicientes, oculos tamen propensius ad beatum/Rainerium uertebant." Also see, Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 593.

33 he writes that a priest in the Temple announced that "God was stripped on Calvary, and is now stripped in the Temple for the salvation of the Christian people .. .without doubt he is in this temple."104 Benincasa makes it clear how effective Ranieri's time in Jerusalem had been: when the saint decides to return to Pisa, Benincasa notes that God assured him that his efforts had "satisfied me for my Christian people."105 Vauchez has pointed out that although there is a strong "reformist current" running throughout the text, Benincasa ultimately portrays Ranieri responding to various failings of the clergy without launching a radical attack on the priesthood (as, Vauchez notes, various heretical sects were waging at this time).106 After all, God does assure Ranieri that through him all Christians would be released from Satan's grip and condones his move back to Pisa by telling him that he had satisfied him for all Christians. Moreover, many of the text's descriptions of Ranieri's role as God's conduit come from members of the clergy. Benincasa's text thus presents Ranieri as an engine of reform without seeing that reform as necessitating the overthrow of the institutional church. Morris has noted the similarities between the portrait of Ranieri in the vita and the descriptions Francis of Assisi offered of his mission nearly sixty years later.107 Both saints' emphasize their special vocation from God to repair, but not dismantle, the

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 127: "Audite audite, fratres mei, obsecro, fratres audite: rem magnam et inauditam tempore isto, nobis qui hue conuenistis refero. Quam quia uobis referre nolebam, iterum uox nominatim me uocans terruit. Cumque adhuc reluctarer, mortis minas interminans, uice tertia me resurgere coegit: Perge, et die populo quia Deus in caluaria expoliatus est, et est nunc expoliatus in templo pro saluando christianopopulo. Querite ergo, fraters, ad inuicem, quiaproculdubio est in templo isto." 105

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 150: "Septem uero completis annis, ita ei Deus de hac penitentia dixit: 'Ecce pro populo meo christiano michi satisfecisti...'." 106

Vauchez, The Laity, p. 63; also see, Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594. Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594-595.

present-day church.

Both saints' claimed a universal ministry and both were portrayed

as second Christs.109 But as Morris also argues, Ranieri and Francis ultimately looked to different patrons. While Francis found support in the Roman curia and gained an international reputation, Ranieri's patrons and cult would remain limited to Pisa.110 With Vauchez's and Morris's ideas in mind, I would argue that just as Benincasa presents Ranieri's spiritual conversion as occurring in two parts (the first part coming after hearing about Albert of Corsica and the second while he was in Jerusalem), he also constructs Ranieri's saintly life as unfolding in two parts. The first comes while he lived as a hermit in Jerusalem. During this period, just as Morris and Vauchez note, Benincasa presents Ranieri as a second Christ, whose great piety influences the reform of a corrupt clergy. In the second half of the vita, however, the author shifts his focus away from the issues of the church in general to portray Ranieri as a civic charity worker, whose piety and sanctity serve his fellow Pisans. In the last sections of the vita, which narrates Ranieri's life after he has returned to Pisa, the consequences and context of Ranieri's sanctity narrow. Back in his native Pisa, Ranieri serves as a holy man for his civic neighbors. In episode after episode, Benincasa describes the exorcisms and physical healings Ranieri performed on behalf of his fellow Pisans.111 Benincasa seems to

As Morris points out, the first few lines of Benincasa's dedication of the vita has much in common with Francis' letter dedicated "to all Christians, religious, clerks and laity, men and women, all who live in the whole world." See Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 594; and Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 101: "Dilectissimis in Deo et saluatori nostro Iesu Christo, omnibus in oriente et occidente, septemptrione mehdieque: cuisuscumque etatis Deum timentibus et amantibus fratribus et sororibus, Benincasa Dei nostri Yesu Christi servus, propinande nobis saluberrime doctrine minister et gerulus." 110

While Ranieri's cult is still present in Pisa, I have found no indication that it spread beyond the city either during the Middle Ages or afterwards. Morris also notes the particularly local nature of this cult; see Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," pp. 590 and 595.

35 anticipate this shift in a vision he reports the saint had while he was still in Jerusalem. Benincasa writes that Ranieri longed to lay his hands on the sick in order to cure them. God, however, had other plans for the saint. He appeared to Ranieri and told him that "in this land" such an honor was reserved for His mother. God goes on to assure Ranieri that he would lead him "to where by your ministry I shall cure many sick."112 In the miracle collection scholars believe Benincasa compiled at the same time as he wrote the vita, the local significance of Ranieri's sanctity is clear. In the 35 miracles that the saint performed during his lifetime (after his return from Jerusalem) and 91 postmortem accounts, nearly every beneficiary is described as a native Pisan or as a long-time resident.113 Morris has speculated that Benincasa's focus at the end of the vita upon Ranieri's local significance was perhaps aimed at removing the sting of the more radical message of the first half of the text.114 Whether or not this is true, Benincasa makes an argument for the connection that existed between Ranieri's sanctity and the wellbeing of his civic community. In fact, Benincasa suggests such a connection in the first lines of the text, which purportedly transcribe a sermon Ranieri delivered to his fellow Pisans. In that sermon, Ranieri announced that God had sent him not only for the salvation and "future exaltation" of Pisa but also to end the present famine and wine shortage in the city. With


Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 162-173.


Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 152: "[UJoluit lerosolimis sanctus Raynerius quibusdam inflrmantibus ut curarentur, manus inponere; sedprohibuit eum Deus, dicens illi: 'Uide nefeceris quia hunc ego in terris istis honorem tantum mee matri seruaui et donaui. Ego te ducam illuc ubi tuo ministerio multos habentes sum curaturus'. Quod et hodie in infinitis inpleri absque ulla ambiguitate cognouimus." 113

This figure refers to the miracle collection appended to the Livorno manuscript; see Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa, " p. 595. 114

Morris, "San Ranieri of Pisa," p. 598.

36 115

God's help, Ranieri claimed he could offer the Pisans eternal life.

Thus Benincasa

seems to imagine two different understandings of Ranieri's lay sanctity. In one, Ranieri's pious example offered a cure for the ills of the larger church: the religious transformation of a layman provides the penance needed to remake the entire church. But Benincasa's text also presents a much more local understanding of the meaning and effect of Ranieri's sanctity. As God tells him, Ranieri's vocation was to serve his fellow Pisans, and as Benincasa makes clear, after he left Jerusalem, Ranieri did just that, dedicating the rest of his life to feeding them, curing their illnesses, and releasing them from their tormenting demons. Although Benincasa's text argues that both Pisa's civic and religious authorities were quick to help promote Ranieri's cult, the majority of evidence for an on-going civic cult does not appear until the mid-thirteenth century. Benincasa notes in the vita that after Ranieri died, a large procession of both clerics and lay people followed the saint's body into the cathedral, where it was displayed for several days before being placed in a tomb.116 The author notes that the city's consuls had paid for the tomb.117 Unfortunately this tomb no longer survives. We can get some sense of what it looked like from two sculpted reliefs illustrating Ranieri's burial and a post-mortem miracle (see figures #1 and

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 104: "Deusfratres mei me ad uospro uestra salute misit. Nuntio in eius nomine ex eius mandate pacem gaudium letitiam et uestre ciuitatis exaltationem futuram uobis. Fuistis enim hue usque uarias infirmitates atque mortales ita utfamem panis et uini grauiter perpessi, et de ceteroque me misit Deus, uobis miserebitur in omnibus hiis et ut in uerbo Domini, quod in ipso factum est uenerit euidens esset, postparuum tempus exactum, prout adnuntiauit, ita in omnibus factum est." 116


Vita sancti Ranierii, pp. 173-177.

Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 176: "Tumbam in qua sanctissimum corpus illius quiescit, consules dederunt prenominate ciuitatis ut in eo eius impleretur prophetia, quam nobis et magistro Hugoni, phisicalis doctrine sciencia reddimito, retulit." Gregoire notes that master Hugo has not been identified, see Vita sancti Ranierii, p. 176, note for line 1955.

2) that decorate the saint's second cathedral tomb.

Scholars believe that this second

tomb was completed in the early fourteenth century by the Sienese sculptor Tino di Camaino.119 The reliefs suggest that Ranieri's first burial site consisted of a tomb-chest (where Ranieri's body would have been placed) affixed to the wall, with a historiated gable above and an altar below.120 The depiction of an altar under Ranieri's first tomb suggests that Benincasa, who consistently calls Ranieri both sanctus and beatus throughout the vita, was not the only Pisan venerating Ranieri in the 1160s. Nevertheless, we do not see evidence for an active civic cult until the midthirteenth century, when Archbishop Frederick Visconti of Pisa lamented in a sermon that Ranieri, along with three other recently deceased pious Pisans, had not been canonized by Rome.121 Ranieri's name first shows up in civic statutes in 1286, after Pisa's popolo faction had assumed control of the city's communal government.

These statutes call

for fines to be levied on anyone who did not attend the saint's June 17th feast-day


This second tomb is now in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Pisa. For more on this monument, see G. Bardotti Biasion, "Gano di Fazio e la tomba-altare di Santa Margherita da Cortona," Prospettiva 37 (1984): 2-19. 119

For more on Tino di Camaino, see G. Kreytenberg, Tino di Camaino (Florence: Museo nazionale del Bargello, 1986). 120

1 am taking this description of Ranieri's tomb from Joanna Cannon, see Cannon and Andre Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti: Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), pp. 66-67. 121

The other local saints mentioned by Archbishop Visconti are: Ubaldesca (d. 1206), Bona (d. 1207), and Dominic Vernagalli (d. 1219); see Les sermons et la visite pastorale de Federico Visconti archeveque de Pise (1253-1277), ed. Nicole Beriou and Isabelle le Masne de Chermont (Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome, 2001), pp. 965-969. Also see Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 87-88. 122

On Pisa in the thirteenth century, see David Herlihy, Pisa in the Early Renaissance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1958); Emilio Cristiani, Nobilitd epopolo nel Comune di Pisa: Dalle origini del podestariato alia Signoria dei Donoratico (Naples: Nella Sede dell'Instituto, 1963); and Elizabeth P. Rothrauff, "Charity in a Medieval Community: Politics, Piety, and Poor-Relief in Pisa, 1257-1312," (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, 1994).

38 celebration.

Such an injunction may very well suggest that the city had already been

venerating Ranieri as a civic patron for some time. Nevertheless, we cannot overlook the fact that it was only after the government became dominated by the city's leading merchant families that the saint's name was inscribed into civic statute. Benincasa's vita may articulate the connection between Ranieri's sanctity and the welfare of Pisa, but it seems that it was not until there was a/>opo/o-dominated commune that the city itself began to embrace such an idea. Regardless of the later development of Ranieri's cult in Pisa, we can see Benincasa moving between two different understandings of lay sanctity in the vita—one that saw Ranieri as a new manifestation of Christ on earth, sent to cure the ills of the church, and one that understood Ranieri's mission and effect on a much more local scale. Within a generation of Ranieri's death, Omobono of Cremona, another merchant who had also adopted a life of penance and charity would be canonized by Rome. As we turn now to look at the earliest sources written to describe this saint's religious life, we see Omobono's sanctity not influencing the reform of a corrupt church, but instead the reform of lay urban life.

A Lay Saint Canonized: The Beginnings of Omobono of Cremona's Cult In his 1199 bull, Quiapietas, addressed to the clergy and people of the city of Cremona, Pope Innocent III proclaimed one of the city's own, Omobono, who had died

For the 1286 statute, see F. Bonaini, Statuti inediti delta Cittd di Pisa dal XII at XIVsecolo (Florence, 1854), vol. 1, p. 339.


two years earlier, a saint.

39 In the bull, Innocent writes that he first learned of Omobono

from Cremona's bishop, Sicard, who along with other religious and notable Cremonesi had "expounded in our presence the life and deeds and also the manner of dying of a certain blessed man, in name and in fact Homobonus."125 Sicard's own chronicle confirms that the bishop traveled to Rome in order to seek Omobono's canonization. In the bull, Innocent gives almost no biographical information. He does not mention Omobono's social background, his martial status, or his trade—aspects of the saint's biography that would appear in later medieval vitae of the saint. Instead, the pope puts forward three aspects of Omobono's religious life as evidence of his sanctity: the layman's dedication to following a rigorous schedule of prayer, his charity work, and his efforts both to promote civic peace and fight heresy. Innocent writes that Omobono was always "present at the office of matins," and frequented "the office of the mass and the other hours with the utmost devotion."127 Omobono was so dedicated to his prayers, Innocent notes, that "whatever work he [Omobono] did, standing, sitting or lying down, his lips seemed to move continually in prayer."128 If he was not praying, the pope writes,


Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 14-19.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; and Quiapietas, p. 16: "Sane veniens adpraesentiam nostram venerabilis frater noster Sicardus, episcopus vester, multis viris religiosis et aliis honestis personis de sua dioecesi comitatus, cuisdam beati viri et re et nomine Homoboni vitam et actus necnon et modum transitus eius humiliter nobis aperuit, in quibus et sanctae ipsius degustavimus conversationis odorem Deumque mirabilem et omnia opera eius in fide cognovimus et praedicavimus gloriosa." 126

Sicard's chronicle can be found in Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores, 31, ed. O. HolderEgger, p. 177; cited by Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 46. 127

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quiapietas, p. 16: "...adeo in lege Domini meditabatur die ac node, et ei serviens in timore et secundum prophetam media nocte surgens ad confitendum ei matutinis semper laudibus interesset. Missae quoque officium et alias horas cum summa devotione frequentans, ita assiduis orationibus insistebat, ut in certis horis aut incessanter oraret aut horas ipsas aliquandopraeveniret..." 128

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quiapietas, p. 16: "...nisi forte ipsum sollicitudo, quam super pace reformanda per civitatem tamquam pacificus virgerebat, aut occasio eleemosynae pro pauperibus acquirendae seu alia iusta causa in aliis operibus misericordiae detineret—, qui nimirum ante crucem

40 Omobono was busy acquiring alms for the poor, giving them shelter in his own house, providing for their burials, and working for peace within Cremona.129 In addition, the bull states that Omobono dedicated himself to fighting heretics in the city by holding himself "aloof from the society of worldly men," among whom, Innocent writes, he "bloomed like a lily among thorns."

Omobono died, Innocent writes, doing what he did

every day: having risen early for matins, the saint "prostrated himself in his accustomed manner in prayer before the Cross," and died "while the angelic hymn was being sung."131 After his brief description of the notable aspects of Omobono's life, Innocent turns to the subject of miracles. The pope writes that instead of enumerating "one by one" the miracles that occurred at Omobono's tomb, he would instead recount only one, which, he notes, stood out for its "strengthening of the Catholic faith."132 Innocent describes the series of miraculous events that occurred when a possessed woman was brought to Omobono's tomb. As she stood next to the tomb, she first rejected a consecrated Eucharist presented to her, but demonstrated her miraculous cure when after

dominicam ex assuetudine se prosternens, opus quodlibetfaciendo, stando, sedendo, iacendo, adorationem labia movere continue videbatur." 129

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quiapietas, p. 16: "Inter alia veropietatis opera, quae tarn circa paupers, quos secum in propria domo tenebat, curabat et pariter procurabat, quam circa alios indigentes quibus viventibus humanitatis officium mortuis sepulturae beneficium consueverat devotus impendere, diligentius exercebat, ipse a saecularium hominum consortio segregatus, inter quos virebat quasi lilium inter spinas, haereticorum, quorum pernicies partes illas infecit, austerus extitit aspernator." 130 Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quia pietas, p. 16. 131

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quia pietas, p. 16: "Deducto autem sic vitae sanctae curriculo, cum ad matutinale officium, prout dictum est, in festivitate sancti Brictii surrexisset, circa Missae primordia idem se ante crucem dominicam more solito in orationeprosternens, dum cantaretur hymnus angelicus, beato fine quievit." Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 55; Quia pietas, p. 16: "Que vero, quot et quanta miracula fuerint subsecuta et quot advenientibus ad sepulcrum eius sanitatis beneficia sint impensa, cum longum sit enumerare per singula, unum inter cetera ad assertionem catholicae fidei duximus expressius adnotandum."

41 being sprinkled with unblessed water, spat out holy water. According to those who witnessed this miracle, the woman finally left the tomb clearly having been freed from the grip of the demon.133 Innocent concludes the bull by writing that his knowledge of both Omobono's life and miracles had been confirmed by "the testimony of our beloved son Osbert, priest of the church of Sant'Egidio in Cremona."134 The pope writes that Osbert had served as Omobono's spiritual father and confessor for twenty years and had "informed us further about the obedience which he [Omobono] showed in prayers, vigils and other fruits of penitence." As Innocent claims Osbert had testified, Omobono had always done more than "what was laid upon him."135 Scholars have noted the extent to which Innocent's bull stresses Omobono's obedience to the church.136 Omobono is presented as not only fighting heresy in his city but also exceeding his confessor's expectations for his prayers, vigils, and penitence. Moreover, relying upon both Sicard's and Osbert's testimonies for his description of Omobono's life, Innocent invests a substantial amount of authority in Cremona's religious establishment. Sicard and Osbert are in fact the only sources named in the bull.

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 55-56; Quiapietas, p. 16: "Cum enim quaedam daemoniaca mulier ad sepulchrum eius deducta fuisset, ne aliquafraus lateret, eadem primo fuit aqua non benedicta respersa, qua sepatienter aspergi permittens, aquam secundo respuit benedictam. Et ut res evidentiori experimento pateret, oblatam non consecratam absque aliquapraescentia sibi recipienspraesentatam, eucharistiam consecratam subsequenter abhorruit nee receipt: quae et meritis eiusdem sancti liberata recessit." 134

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 56; Quiapietas,p. 18: "Fidem namque, quant super conversatione ipsius absque figmento hypocrisis fraudolento divinum iudicium, ut dictum est, manifeste ostendere videbatur, per testimonium dilectifdii Osberti, presbyteri sancti Egidii Cremonensis, praesentis cum episcopo memorato, recepto ab eofirmavimus iuramento." 135

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 56; Quia pietas, p. 18: "Sub cuius obtestatione, videlicet iuramenti, ipse, qui patrinus eius existensper viginti annos et amplius confessionem eius saepe receperat, quae de illins sancti conversatione praemisimus, cum ipso episcopo et aliis supradictis iuratis similiter asseruit esse vera. Et de oboedientia, quam in orationibus, vigiliis et aliis paenitentiae fructibus, in qua sibi ab eo imposita erat, plus iniuncto satisfaciens exhibebat, non reddidit certiores." 136

See Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona (+1197): Laico e santo, p. 20; and Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 20-21.

42 Scholars have seen Innocent's interest in wooing the people and clergy of Cremona (to whom the bull is explicitly addressed) as a reflection of some of the challenges the Cremonesi themselves had presented to the papacy.137 Twelfth-century Cremona was known both as a hub for heretics (both anticlerical Patarenes and Cathars) and as a city with Imperial leanings. Long an enemy of Milan, Cremona often followed a pro-Imperial agenda in opposition to its more powerful neighbor.138 For example, in 1184 Frederick Barbarossa had been enthroned in the city's central square. A few weeks before issuing Quia pietas, Innocent had written to the people of Cremona, urging them not to support Markward of Anweiler, a former advisor to Henry VI, who in the late 1190s was making his way through northern Italy looking to garner support for Frederick II.139 By lending his support to a local holy man obedient to local religious authorities, Innocent most likely sought to win Cremona's allegiance, divert attention away from the city's heretical cells, and present Omobono as an ideal model of religious enthusiasm. Scholars have pointed to similar circumstances influencing Innocent's support of both the Humiliati and the Friars Minor in the early 1200s.140 Innocent's characterization of Omobono in Quia pietas provided a powerful model for the cults of other communal lay saints in the thirteenth century. The aspects of


See Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 16-22; Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 46-47; and Webb, "The Pope and the Cities: Heresy and Anticlericalism in Innocent Ill's Italy," in The Church and Sovereignty c. 590-1918: Essays in Honor of Michael Wilks, ed. Diana Wood (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991), pp. 135152. 138

For a history of medieval Cremona, see Ugo Gualazzini, // "populus" di Cremona e I'autonomia del comume (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1940); Koenig, "The Popolo of Northern Italy (1196-1274); and Storia religiosa della Lombardia: Diocesi di Cremona, ed. A. Caprioli, A. Rimoldi, and L. Vaccaro (Brescia: La Scuola, 1998). 139


Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 47-48.

See Brenda Bolton, Innocent III: Studies on Papal Authority and Pastoral Care (Hampshire: Aldershot, 1995); and Jane E. Sayers, Innocent III: Leader of Europe, 1198-1216 (London: Longman, 1994).

43 a perfected urban lay life that he outlines—a dedication to prayer, charity, peace, and orthodox religious ideals—became the blueprint of Italian lay civic sanctity. For example, the vitae of Zita of Lucca (d. 1278), Andrea Gallerani (d. 1251) and Pier 'Pettinaio' (d. 1289) both of Siena, and Margaret of Cortona (d. 1297) all mention these saints' constant prayer, concern for the poor, and interest in maintaining peace between civic factions. Moreover just as Innocent calls on the Cremonesi to venerate Omobono precisely because the layman could hold "himself aloof from the society of worldly men," but still bloom within that world "like a lily among thorns," the hagiographers of thirteenth-century lay saints all point out how deftly their saint had lived an active life without falling victim to the secular world's temptations. Innocent's bull is not the only source that survives from the first years of Omobono's cult, however. As I have mentioned, we know from both Quia pietas and Bishop Sicard's own chronicle that the bishop had traveled to Rome to plead Omobono's case.141 Scholars have wondered if Innocent's comment that Bishop Sicard had "expounded in our presence the life and deeds and also the manner of dying" referred to a written text presented to the pope.142 Vauchez and Piazzi both believe that it does and maintain that Innocent was referring to the earliest of the three surviving medieval vitae, Cum orbita solis.m

Vauchez and Piazzi base their conclusion on three main points.

First, the text's division into nine readings (with the first six devoted to Omobono's life and the last three to the miracles performed after his death) suggests that it was intended 141

Sicard's episcopacy was particularly marked by his commitment to promoting his city's saints; he translated two of the city's patrons, Saints Archelaus and Himerius into new cathedral shrines in 1196. On Sicard, see Leonard E. Boyle, "Sicardus of Cremona," in New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 8 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), pp. 190-191; and Webb, Saints andCities, pp. 46-47. 142

Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona, p. 26; and Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 27-28.

44 to have a liturgical use. Moreover, these two scholars point out that since Cum orbita solis makes no mention of Omobono's canonization, it makes sense to date it to between the saint's death in November 1197 and the issuing of Innocent's bull in January 1199. And finally, both scholars note the justification made by the anonymous author of a midthirteenth-century vita of Omobono, Quoniam historiae, that his new vita was meant to include information about the saint revealed during the canonization proceedings, which as a result did not make it into Cum orbita solis.UA Vauchez and Piazzi's argument has not been accepted without question, however. In the introductory remarks to her recent translation of the bull, Diana Webb takes a more cautious approach, noting that there are details in Quiapietas—most notably the miracle of the possessed woman—that are not included in Cum orbita solis and thus must have come from another source.145 Webb wonders if Cum orbita solis was written (perhaps by Sicard) to mark the 1202 translation of Omobono's body from his parish church (where he died) to the cathedral.146 Regardless of whether or not Sicard was the author of Cum orbita solis or if this vita was presented to Innocent in Rome, scholars do agree that the vita was written sometime around 1200, making it the earliest extant life of Omobono.147 Just as we saw in the pope's bull, Cum orbita solis also emphasizes the layman's dedication to performing prayer, penance, and charity as well as fighting heresy. Unlike the bull, however, this first life does provide some biographical information for the saint. In particular, Cum orbita solis discusses Omobono's life as a merchant, although it does not


Quoniam historiae, p. 50.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 49.




On the dating of Cum orbita solis, see Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, p. 44.

45 look kindly upon it. In the first reading, we are told that Omobono turned to blessed contemplation from a familiarity with a "perverse and miserable business."148 In the third, the author notes that in his conversion to a life of penance, Omobono abandoned the commerce of this world and became a merchant of heaven.149 And in the fifth reading, the author celebrates Omobono's conversion using language that reminds the reader of the saint's working past: O theft, o blessed pillage! O commerce, o glorious violence! The blessed Omobono stole the kingdom of heaven through faith. He pillaged with penitence, he purchased with alms.150 As Vauchez has pointed out, the vita expresses a hostility toward merchants and their work that was often seen in medieval religious texts.151 The vita seems to argue that Omobono is all the more remarkable for having rejected his former working life to embrace a life of prayer, penance and charity. I have already noted that scholars have pointed to aspects of the political and religious context of late twelfth-century Cremona that may have spurred Innocent to endorse Omobono's sanctity. Innocent wanted to win the loyalty of the Cremonesi both to keep the city from siding with Imperial factions and becoming a haven for heretics. While Sicard's own interest in stamping out heresy in his city seems incontrovertible, a look at some of the political history of Cremona's


Cum orbita solis, p. 30: "a contubernioperversae miseraeque negotiationis adqfficium beatae contemplationis." 149

Cum orbita solis, p. 32: "Cum itaque beatus Homobonus veterem exutus novum hominem induisset, commercia deferens temporalium, mercator efficitur regni caelorum. Regnum enim caelorum quidam furantur, quidam rapiunt, quidam mercantur, quidam vocatiprompta voluntate ingrediuntur, quidam nolentes ingredi compelluntur." 150

Cum orbita solis, p. 34: "Ofurtum, o rapina beata! O commercium, o violentia gloriosa! Furatus est beatus Homobonus regnum caelorum per fidem, rapuit per paenitentiam, mercatus est per eleemosynam..." 151

Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 28-29.

commune makes it clear that the bishop may have seen his support of Omobono as a means to push his own social and political interests. In 1197, the same year Omobono died, members of the city'spopolo faction revolted against communal authorities and elected their own nominee for podesta.152 Although the popolo would not assume full control of the commune until the late thirteenth century, the city endured a violent struggle between its older elite population and its wealthiest merchants and artisans throughout the century.153 In 1210 Bishop Sicard awarded a third of all seats in the commune to members of the popolo.154 Scholars have credited Sicard with making a concession aimed at ending the violence and responding to the popolanVs desire for a voice in their communal government.155 John Koenig has proposed a different interpretation of Sicard's concessions, however. In his dissertation on the rise of popolo governments in the northern communes, Koenig writes that a careful study of Sicard's legislation reveals that the bishop's actions managed to weaken the popolo as a political movement.156 In brief, Koenig has shown that Sicard's concessions gave the popolani a role in the communal government as a social class but not as a political party. The bishop's provision called for a third of communal seats to be filled by the people of the city (populus tocius civitatis Cremone) but did not guarantee

For the history of this revolt, see Gualazzini, // "populus" di Cremona. 153

From the 1230s on members of Cremona's popolo refused to recognize the city's communal government and began to organize their own governmental bodies; see Barbara Sella, "Cremona," in Encyclopedia of Medieval Italy, ed. Christopher Kleinhenz, vol 1 (New York, Routledge, 2004), p. 265. 154

Sella, "Cremona," p. 265.


Ibid.; also see Lauro Martines assessment of the concessions in his Power and Imagination: City-States in Renaissance Italy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), p. 47. Koenig, "The Popolo of Northern Italy," p. 459.

47 them to members of the popolo's organized political party.

Moreover, Sicard's

legislation outlawed any political allegiances that were "against the commune." Such a provision was clearly aimed at the popolo since it offered the only internal opposition to Cremona's civic government.158 And finally, Sicard's legislation also called for a massive increase in the power held by the podesta, effectively giving this one office control of the communal government. As Koenig reasons, if the popolani controlled only a third of the votes, the position of podesta was assured to remain in the hands of the city's noble families.159 If, as Koenig has argued, Sicard's interests were with the older, aristocratic population of Cremona, we can imagine that his promotion of Omobono might have been born from a desire similar to Innocent's: to promote and authorize Omobono's cult in order to exert control over both the cult and those popolani who would have been its expected devotees. Thus the emphasis we see in Innocent's bull and Cum orbita solis on Omobono's orthodoxy, his adherence to a rigorous prayer schedule and civic charity, and his need to give up his worldly business for a "heavenly commerce" portray lay sanctity as a transformation of a lay life. Both sources celebrate Omobono's ability to transcend and transform the sin inherent in a worldly life into a saintly ideal. If we turn to look at another cult of a late twelfth-century layman, Raimondo of Piacenza, as well as the later vitae written for Omobono, we can see the extent to which the earliest portraits of Omobono's sanctity imagined lay sanctity as a reformation of lay

Cited in Ibid., p. 459. Koenig, "The Popolo of Northern Italy," pp. 460-461. Ibid., p. 460.

48 life. While the aspects of Omobono's religious life upon which Innocent focused would continue to be emphasized in both Raimondo of Piacenza's vita and in later lives written for Omobono, a new interest in the civic value of lay sanctity, similar to what we saw expressed at the end of Ranieri of Pisa's vita, and a more positive understanding of a lay life would appear.

Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza Like Benincasa's vita of Ranieri of Pisa, the vita of Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza (d. 1200), written in 1212 by Rufino, a canon from Piacenza's Church of the Twelve Apostles, describes a saint whose conversion to a religious life occurred over several years. A native of Piacenza and son of a well-off artisan, Raimondo first began to embrace a more dedicated religious life after the death of his father left him feeling "at liberty" to abandon his family trade and travel (accompanied by his mother) to the Holy Land.160 Rufino describes how mother and son visited various sites, marveled at what they saw and were eager to return home to "inflame the cold hearts of worldly men and women with divine love."161 After his mother died on the voyage home, Raimondo returned to Piacenza, where he married and returned to his former trade. Rufino describes how Raimondo continued to long for a more dedicated religious life. When his

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 67; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 646: "Turn vero sanctus Adolescentulus liberum sese esse considerans, obscuro isti opificio statuit valedicere, non ut otium sectaretur, aut se vitiis prostitueret, quod vulgus assolet adolescentium; verum ut Salvatori suo, per consecratam divinis obsequiis toto animo vitam, propius adhaereret." In my citations of Raimondo's vita, when I am relying on Webb's translation, I shall cite both her text and the Latin from the Acta Sanctorum. 161

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 69; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 647: "Elapsis interea diebus nonpaucis, cum sacra omnia jam loca circuissent, de repetenda patria cogitarunt; utquaecumque viderant mirabilia, cum hominibus piis ac religiosis communicarent, etfrigentia cum virorum, turn mulierum secularium corda divino amore succenderent."

children and wife all died in quick succession, the saint sold his possessions and set off once again on a pilgrimage tour. The vita describes how, under the portico of St. Peter's in Rome, Raimondo's understanding of what constituted a committed lay religious life began to change. Rufino writes that there at St. Peter's, Christ appeared to the saint, dressed as a pilgrim, and instructed Raimondo that acts of charity and not pilgrimages would be of the most value at the Last Judgment. Christ went on to describe the suffering occurring in Raimondo's native Piacenza and urged the saint to return home to help his neighbors. Rufino dedicates the remaining pages of the long vita to Raimondo's tireless charity work back in Piacenza: the hospice he founded to house and aid the city's poor and needy, the prostitutes he helped to find husbands or convents, the abandoned children he rescued, the cases he pleaded in court on behalf of poor defendants, and the civic rivalries he calmed. Although we must keep in mind that Rufino's vita survives only through a double process of translation, if we conclude it to be an acceptable text for its purported time and place, as most modern scholars have, we have a strikingly different portrait of civic lay Aft')

sanctity than what we found in the early sources associated with Omobono.


Rufino's text, evidence for Raimondo's sanctity is above all found in the layman's engagement with the harsh realities of his civic context. Whereas both Innocent's bull Quiapietas, and the liturgical life, Cum orbita solis, either ignore or make a passing reference to Omobono's family and work life, Raimondo's vita devotes much space not only to discussing the difficulties the saint found in balancing such lay responsibilities with his religious life but also to describing the ways in which these burdens ultimately 162

"Double process of translation," is Webb's phrase; see Saints and Cities, p. 62.

50 provided Raimondo with opportunities to deepen his spirituality. Of course there are similarities between the early portrait of Omobono and Rufmo's account of Raimondo. The sources for both saints emphasize the laymen's obedience, both to the church and to following the norms of their civic societies. They both point to charity as a defining aspect of lay sanctity. But the attention Rufino gives to Raimondo's struggles with his lay responsibilities as well as to the saint's recognition of the inequalities and harsh circumstances of his urban society ultimately distinguishes Raimondo's lay sanctity from the early portraits of Omobono. In Rufino's vita, Raimondo's lay status is not presented as inherently sinful. While Rufino may portray the responsibilities that go along with the saint's lay life as hindering his ability to devote himself to a life of penance, the author also presents those duties as opportunities for greater spiritual growth. Moreover, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, Rufino's construction of lay sanctity as requiring a careful balance of worldly responsibilities with a spiritual calling and a full investment in civic charity anticipates a theme that would dominate the cults of communal lay saints throughout the thirteenth-century.

Raimondo's Religious Life In her recent translation, Webb notes that Rufino's vita presents a "remarkably straightforward account of a practical saint."163 By straightforward, Webb means that Rufino makes no mention of any miracles performed by Raimondo during his lifetime, gives a passing reference to the saint's penitential routine, and recounts only one visionary experience (when Christ appeared to him in Rome).164 Webb speculates that

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 64.

51 this might reflect a lack of ambition on Rufino's part; while the collection of postmortem miracles suggests some hope of publicizing the saint, she writes that there are no other documents to argue that any effort was made to advocate for Rome to canonize Raimondo.165 Vauchez has speculated that the Piacentians did not push for Raimondo's canonization because the city was under a papal interdict in the early 1200s.166 Whether or not Rufino or anyone else sought Raimondo's canonization in the early thirteenth century, I shall argue that Rufino's "straightforward" style articulates a different understanding of lay sanctity than what we saw expressed in the early sources for Omobono. In short, this portrait sees the evidence of lay sanctity residing not so much in the saint's own penitential or spiritual development as in his understanding of, interaction with, and work for his civic community. Rufino does, however, devote some of the text to describing the regulations and habits that made up the saint's devotional life. He writes that after Raimondo married he began to model himself on Tobit and was thus "sparing in his food, assiduous in almsgiving, fasting and prayer, and tireless in attendance at the divine office."167 To a certain extent, Rufino's characterization of Raimondo's religious life sounds like Innocent's description of Omobono. Nevertheless, as we move through the vita we see that Rufino's main concern was to show how Raimondo organized his lay responsibilities to fit and feed his religious commitment.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 64.


Vauchez, "Raimondo Zanfogni, detto Palmerio," col. 28.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "Vitam suam in opera Dei Famulus ad exemplum sancti Tobiae instituebat, in victu parcissimus, in eleemosynis assiduus, injejuniis, in oratione, in Officiis divinis indefessus."

52 Rufino writes that from the saint's adolescence, Raimondo was forced to consider his family responsibilities before he could embrace the spiritual life for which he longed. Rufino describes Raimondo feeling compelled, since he was still "under his father's authority," to take up the family profession even though he was "born for bigger and better things."168 It was not until his father died that Raimondo felt "at liberty" to give up "that lowly trade.. .and cleave more closely to his Savior in a life wholeheartedly consecrated to the divine service."169 But as Rufino quickly adds, Raimondo would not leave on pilgrimage until he obtained permission from his mother.170 When the saint informed his grieving mother that he would soon leave Piacenza for the Holy Land, she burst into joyful tears telling her son that since she had been "released from the bonds of matrimony" and had no other children, she would join him on his pilgrimage.171 Throughout the vita, Raimondo and his mother see their familial responsibilities as a kind of servitude that keeps them from fully pursuing a religious life. Rufino writes Webb, Saints and Cities, p 67; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 646: "...eum vero adaetatem annorum circiter duodecim accrevisset, apud opificem quemdam apatre elocatus est, non ut litteris doctrinaeve daret operant; sed ut artem eius servilem atque ignobilem exerceret, in eaque disceret mercaturam facere. Hoc opoficium quale fuerit, comperiri certo argumento nonpotuit: sunt, qui sutorium fuisse velint, opinione ducti, non scientia. Id tamen est verum, quaecumque demum ars illafuerit, optimo Adolescentulo non parum Mam displicuisse; ut qui ad majora utilioraque, quemadmodum patebit infra, natus esset: puer ipse interea, atque in patria potestate constitutus, tolerare Mam necesse habuit; utita Domini, honorem erga parentes obedientiamque dxvina lege praecipientis, mandato obtemperaret." 169

Webb, Saints and Cities, p 67; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 646: "Jam annospubertatis, sive adolescentiae, quae ab anno aetatis quarto decimo ducit initium, B. Raymundus attigerat, cum pater eius ex hac brevi vita adpatriam caelestem transiit. Turn vero sanctus Adolescentulus liberum sese esse considerans, obscuro isti opificio statuit valedicere, non ut otium sectaretur, aut se vitiis prostitueret, quod vulgus assolet adolescentium; verum ut Salvatori suo, per consecratam divinis obsequiis toto animo vitam, propius adhaereret." 170

Webb, Saints and Cities, p 67; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 646: "Proficisci tamen ante noluit, quam annuisset mater vidua, ac bene sibiprecata esset." 171

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 67-68; Vita S, Raymundi, p. 646: "Haec audiens piissima mater, uberrimis perfusa lacrymis, complectitur Filium, et in haec verbaprorumpit: 'O carum et unicum lumen meum...nam et ego, cum vinculo conjugal i solutam nunc me viderem, nee alium habere filium, nisi te, educatum pridem nee jam amplius puerum; me vero aetate maturam esse, omnino decreveram, quidquid mihi superesset vitae, id officiis divinis, sacrisque locis adeundis totum impendere... "

53 that after the saint's children died, Raimondo tried to convince his wife to live with him in chastity. She refused, telling him that as long as she was a wife she would continue to act like one and not like a nun.172 Ever "the prudent servant of God," as Rufino calls him, Raimondo believed such a response to be due to "his wife's imperfection and peril," and decided not to press the subject, hoping to maintain a domestic peace.173 The vita reports that the couple had one more child, but Raimondo quickly found that this new addition once again reduced him "to servitude."174 When Raimondo's wife died after a long illness, Rufino describes the saint as having been "emancipated from the marital yoke," and sees the loss as a sign of God's pity. Rufino makes clear that, as a married man, Raimondo could not devote himself "to the pursuit of the spiritual life while he was bound in servitude by the conjugal yoke and care of children."175 And yet, Rufino presents the saint's familial responsibilities not only as burdens but also as opportunities. For example, when the author first touches upon the subject of Raimondo's marriage, he reports that the saint's relatives had encouraged him to marry, arguing that if he were to live unmarried and alone he would have "a hard life" with no

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 73; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "At ilia, rebus caelestibusparum addicta, procaciter admodum: Cumfuero monialis, inquit, turn monitis hisce tuisparebo: nunc abs te ducta cum sim, uxorem agere certum est, non viduam aut sanctimonialem." 173

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 73; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "Noluit prudens Dei Famulus, spectata conjugis imperfectione ac periculo, importunius earn urgere; utpacifice porro inter se et absque peccato viverunt." 174

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 73; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "Itafactum divinaprovidentia, ut alium denuo filium gigneret. Hunc bonus Raymundus, cum se reductum ad servitutem videret..." 175

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 73; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "At benignus omnium Conditor cum sciret, non posse Famulum suum toto pectore adstudia vitae spiritualis incumbere, utpote conjugii vinculo, curaque liberorum, adstrictum servituti, misertus eius est, et aliqua ilium voluit libertatisparte donare: filiolos enim eius omnes anno uno ex hac vita sustulit... Ita bonus Raymundus, maritali jam jugo exsolutus, perpetuae castitatis et continentiaepropositum confirmavit."

54 176

one to care for him. "Married people too could serve God," they added.


reports that Raimondo "allowed himself to be persuaded, the divine goodness permitting it," so that he could "experience what trials those joined in marriage undergo, in feeding and bringing up children and looking after a household."177 Thus the text seems to argue that although marriage and family life presented impediments on the path to an ideal lay religious life, those obstacles offered occasions to prove that spiritual commitment. Demonstrating how aware he was of the realities of lay life, Rufino writes that the saint's "patrimony did not suffice" to support him and his family. Raimondo was thus forced to return to his father's trade. But here again, we see the author present the demands of a lay life as both burden and opportunity. Rufino describes Raimondo as working "without fraud and without avarice," solely to feed his family and have alms to offer to the poor. Although he notes that the work kept Raimondo from his "spiritual purposes," Rufino proves to be more interested in describing how the saint adapted his work responsibilities to feed his religious goals than in criticizing that work.178 The author writes that Raimondo would set aside as many hours as he could (often on feastdays when he was not allowed to work) to "study scripture" and devote himself to

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 71; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "Elapsis a reditu eius inpatriam diebus aliquot, Raymundo haec suggerere coeperunt consanguinei: Raymunde frater, si caelebs ac solus ita pergis vivere, laborabis multum; cum neminem habeas, quires tuas curet. Auctores itaque tibisimus, ut uxorem ducas, cogitesque, Deo servire posse etiam conjugatos; quandoquidem institutum ab ipso matrimonium est" 177

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 71; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "Sivit bonus Raymundus haec sibipersuaderi, permittente id etiam divina bonitate, ut experiretur et Famulus eius, quas matrimonio juncti regenda conjuge, alendis instituendisque liberis, re domestica administrandapatiuntur miserias." 178

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "... in quo quidem integerrime versatus est, sine dob, sine avaritia: tantum utse, ut uxorem, utfilios aleret, essetque, unde pauperibus eleemosynas largiretur."

"conversation with religious men."


55 These experiences allowed Raimondo, even though

as Rufino notes he was not educated, to seem "most knowledgeable about those things that had to do with God and with the Catholic religion." Each feast day Raimondo would travel to a workshop in Piacenza and preach, as Rufino describes "in a homely fashion," so as to "divert worldly men" and "instruct them in the works necessary to fulfill the divine commands."180 So effective were Raimondo's "humble domestic exhortations among his companions," as Rufino describes them, that the men in those workshops began to look to the saint as a "spiritual father and guide" and together "formed a sort of religious order."181 Rufino is careful to assuage any concerns his readers might have about the orthodoxy of these feast-day sermons. He writes that when news of Raimondo's powerful sermons to workers spread through the city, many people began to urge the saint "to hold meetings in public places, even in the main piazza."182 Raimondo refused,

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "Quoniam vero ipsi ars ilia nonplacebat, ut quae ab instituto suo spihtuali avorcaret animum, horis, quas opus urgendo nanciscipoterat, subsecivis, et festis praesertim die bus (ut erat cognoscendae legis divinae ac sacrarum Litterarum studio concitatus) id operant dabat, ut cum viris religiosis, probitate ac doctrian conspicuis, conferret sermonem." 180

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "Ea re tantum profecit, ut etiam sine litteris, non tamen sine dono divinae sapientiae, scientissimus appareret eorum, quae adDeum religionemque Catholicam pertinebant. Porro ut homines profanos, atque eos imprimis, qui eamdem secum profitebantur artem, a lascivis confabulationibus, ludisque vanis averteret, ipsefesto quoque die certam sibi officinam deligebat, ubi magno caritatis ardore sodalibus suis veram sanctae Dei legis doctrinam familiar iter praedicaret, eosque edoceret operum adpraecepta divina exigendorum, ac virtutum ante omnia sectandarum, fugiendorumque vitiorum rationem." 181

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: "Domesticis tamen suis illis et humilibus exhortationibus apud eos, quos in eodem opificio habebat socios, tantum effecit, ut ordinem quemdam religiosum referrent, nee aliter ad bonum Raymundum, quam adpatrem suum ducemque spiritualem, recurrerent." 182

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: 'Won multopost tempore optimi Raymundi fama usque adeo percrebuit; ut festis diebus, cum primum rescissent, in qua turn ipse domo aut officina versaretur, ad earn plurimi verba ipsius ardentia excepturi concurrerent. Quidam etiam hortabantur ilium, ut loco publico, atque adeo in ipso foro, condones haberet."

56 saying that he knew if he did so "error could creep up on him" and that such preaching was properly the work of priests and learned men.183 As his emphasis upon the distinction between public and private preaching seems aimed at arguing, Rufino devotes much of the text to describing Raimondo's orthodoxy and obedience to the church. And more often than not, Rufino focuses upon the particular obedience Raimondo showed Piacenza's bishop. For example, when Rufino writes about the decision of Raimondo and his mother to embark on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem after the death of the saint's father, Rufino points out that in order to fulfill their vows mother and son "made the necessary arrangements" with their kin and sought the bishop's approval.184 He even includes Raimondo and his mother's plea to the bishop, perhaps to prove that they observed proper protocol for embarking on a pilgrimage.185 We see a similar focus on the obedience the saint showed his bishop in Rufino's description of Raimondo's return to Piacenza.186 In Rome, when Christ instructs Raimondo to return to Piacenza and devote himself to aiding the city's poor and needy, Rufino writes that Christ told the saint to make sure to first check in with the city's

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 72; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 649: " Verum id humilis Dei Famulus sefacturum negavit; sacerdotum illud virorumque doctorum officium esse dictitans; sibi vero, qui litteris excultus non esset, errores posse subrepere." 184

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 68; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 647: "Turn vota exsecuturi, res adperegrinationem necessarias disponunt; etpost amicos cognatosque ex officio salutatos..." 185

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 68; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 647: "...Pater acpastor reverendissime, deliberatum nobis est hinc peregre ad sanctum Sepulcrum abire; manibus igitur admodum crucis compositis idposcimus, quod solent huiuscemodiperegrinV 186

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 648: "Sic iter arripit bonus Raymundus, habituperegrinantium indutus, in quae solent a sancto Sepulcro reduces usurpare, indicia praeferens; puta crucem rubram in pectore...Placentiam tandem ingressus, priusquam adproprias aedes diverteret, majorem ecclesiam invisere voluit, et sese cum signis modo dictis reverendissimo episcopo sistere. Turn actis Creatori de obtento beneficio gratiis, acceptaque ab episcopo benedictione, non sine cognatorum amicorumque comitatu ac benevolentiae singularis officiis in domum se suam recepit."

bishop and explain his new duties.


57 Rufino writes that even though "a huge number" of

people followed Raimondo through town, "struck dumb" by the sight of the saint dressed all in blue and carrying a large wooden cross over his shoulder, Raimondo was careful to follow Christ's order and neither looked at nor spoke to anyone before he met with the bishop.188 Rufino then includes Raimondo's plea to the bishop, even though this largely repeats what the author has already described Christ saying to the saint in Rome. After describing his mission to collect "alms for the needy," gather up "poor pilgrims," and reconcile "those in conflict," Raimondo adds that he would do none of this without the bishop's "good will."189 The bishop offered Raimondo his blessing and promised to protect him in whatever way he could.190 Rufino makes clear at the end of the vita how Raimondo's obedience to his city's episcopal authority was rewarded. The author points out that it was the bishop who performed the translation of the saint's body into a tomb in the Church of the Twelve Apostles and allowed Gerardo, Raimondo's only living child, to serve as its custodian.191

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Prius tamen quam in urbem tuam introeas, dictojam te modo vesties, sublataque in humerum cruce mea, te sistes episcopo, cui officium indicabis, quod nomine meo statuis exercere." 188

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Ita Placentiam tandem ingrediens, aspectantes tarn insolita specie obstupefecit omnes, quorum ingens eum numerus ad ecclesiam usque cathedralem prosecutus est. Ipse interim alloquitur neminem, nemini respondet; sed vocem et oculos modeste demissos continens, ad antistitem pervenit...." 189

VitaS. Raymundi, p. 651: "...cuiuspostulata benedictione, Reverendissmepater, inquit, cum in animo haberem ultra non reverti inpatriam, hortatus me est Salvator meus, ut redirem; ac, tefavente, ad conquirendas eius, et sanctissimae crucis nomine, indigentibus eleemosynas, adperegrinospauperes colligendos, ad conciliandos discordes me totum impenderem. At horum nihil sine vestra benevolentia potero: obtestor itaque te, Reverendissime pater, jussu ac verbis Servatoris mei, ut in exercitio tarn sancto, cui me imparem prorsus esseprofiteor, manus porigas adjutrices." 190


Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651.

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 655: "Paratis demum, quas exsequiae tales exigebant, rebus omnibus, advenit cum omni clero reverendissimus episcopus, qui sanctissimum corpus maxima cum solennitate ad canonicam

58 Raimondo's Charity In the first half of the vita, Rufino repeatedly presents Raimondo trying to manage his lay responsibilities in order to devote more time to studying scripture, learning from religious men, and preaching to his fellow workers. When the death of his wife and children released him from his domestic responsibilities, Raimondo immediately embarked on another pilgrimage, seeing the trip as a way to "abandon all concern with temporal things." But as Rufino describes, Raimondo's parents-in-law begged him not to leave. They asked him why, since the city had so many relics, he could not serve God in Piacenza. Raimondo told them that he had not been liberated in order to stay at home.192 The pleas of Raimondo's in-laws anticipate a major change in the saint's religious life that Rufino presents as having occurred after the saint had a vision of Christ while he was on pilgrimage in Rome. Rufino describes how Christ, disguised as a pilgrim, appeared to Raimondo as he stood under the portico of St. Peter's and told the saint that, although he had assisted him in his wish to go on pilgrimage by releasing him from the "slavery of wife and children," he now wanted him to turn his attention to "works of mercy."193

jam dictam transferens, sic illud ibi deposuit, ut cuivis commodum esset flexo poplite sacrum eius tumulum venerari. Post dignam tantofunere celebritatem absolutam prodit in medium filius eius coram reverendissimo antistite ac reverendo Priore canonicae, adstante clero universo et urbis optimatibus; demissisque ad terram genibus, Reverendissime pater, inquit, tempus tandem est, utfldem beato Patri meo (tametsi me vitia meafllii eius nomime indignum arguunt) datam liberem; habitum igitur religiosum expeto, precorque, ut ad canonicam hanc sanctam, et simul adpaterni sepulcri custodiam adsciscar: unicum hoc est desiderium meum; ut eius meritis pertingere aliquando possim ad aeternam felicitatem.'"' On Raimondo's burial, also see Canetti, Glorias civitas, pp. 215-216. 192

Webb, Saints and Cities, p.75; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 650: "£/ quidni in patria etiam tua, tot sacris ditata reliquiis, servire possis Creatori tuo? Ad haec B. Raymundus grates egit quidem ex animo: at consilio remanendi in patria obsequi recusavit, ideo libertati restitutum se dicens a Domino Deo, ne remaneret; hoc sibidivinitus inspirari;proculabsentemplus utilitatis allaturumseseeorum animae, quampraesentem" 193

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 650: "Serve mi Raymunde, tarn gratae mihifueruntpreces tuae.utpiis tuis peregrinandi desideriis ad horam hanc usque sim obsecutus, eaque de causa te uxoris acfiliorum servitute liberaverim ...Non placet istud mihi consilium; quia rebus magis mihi gratis, tibique magis utilibus, misericordiae, inquam operibus occupatum te volo."

59 Rufino writes that Christ warned Raimondo that at the Last Judgment it would be works of mercy and charity and not "pilgrimage and works of piety of that kind" that would most matter.194 Pointing out that Raimondo's own city was teeming with poor, sick, abandoned widows and those simply "overcome by various misfortunes," Christ tells Raimondo that it is up to him to return to Piacenza to "lead the rich to almsgiving, the unquiet to peace, and erring and sinful women to a right way of living."195 Although Rufino reports that Raimondo at first resisted, claiming he was "not equal to such an undertaking," and begging that he not be bound to his fellow-citizens, who themselves were so "bitterly divided" and "strife-torn," the second half of the vita portrays Raimondo taking up Christ's command: Raimondo's tireless dedication to supporting the city's needy and the extraordinary efforts he undertook to right some of the wrongs he witnessed around him become the focus of Rufino's description of Raimondo's religious life and claims to sanctity.196 As a result, Rufino's text ultimately does not present lay sanctity as the result of one man's self reformation but instead as the

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 76; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 650: "Neque vero existimes, meperegrinationum ac piorum id genus exercitiorum rationem tempore judiciipraecipuam habiturum esse, cum dicam: Venite, benedicti Patris mei; possidete regnum caelorum: esurivi enim, et dedistis mini manducare; sitivi, et dedistis mihi bibere; nudus eram, et coperuistis me; infirmus, et visitastis me; in carcere eram, et redemistis me." Christ is quoting Matthew 25:36: "nudus et operuistis me, infirmus etvisitatis me, in carcere eram et venistis ad me." 195

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 76; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 650: 'Wo/o itaque,flli mi, deniceps utper orbem vageris: sedpatriam tuam Placentiam repete; ubi tot paupers, tot infirmi et variis oppressi calamitatibus misericordiam implorant meam, et non est qui adjuvet. Ibis tu, eroque tecum ego, et gratiam dabo, qua possis ad eleemosynam divites, dissidentes adpacem, aberrantes denique, et vagas praesertim mulierculas, adrectam vivendi normam adducere." On the criticism that was aimed at pilgrims and pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, see Giles Constable, "Opposition to Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages," Studia Gratiana XIX (Rome: Melanges G. Fransen I, 1976), pp. 125-146 [reprinted in Religious Life and Thought (ll'h-12'h Centuries) (London: Variorum Reprints, 1979)]. 196

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 650: "Respondit voce demissa fidelis DeiServus: Domine, par ego non sum rei tantae suscipiendae, homo utique rudis, sine litteris, sine agendi industria, peccatis plenus. Noli me, obsecro Domine, ad cives illos meos legare: vides enim, quam infense divisi sint inter se, quam discordes Non audient me; frustra laborbo; novi mores eorum, Turn, numquid non ipse asseruisti, Domine, acceptum non esse hominum in patria sua?"

60 reward given to one who confronted and sought to heal some of the harsh realities of urban society. Rufino describes, how upon Raimondo's return to Piacenza, the saint began to look for a suitable place to live, store alms, and help the most needy. The first patrons Raimondo found to support his mission were the canons of the Church of the Twelve Apostles, who provided a building next to their church where Raimondo established a hospice to serve both men and women.197 Rufino portrays Raimondo's charitable activities as directed at those poor whose social status or infirmity prevented them from begging, those who in the vitae of lay saints in the later thirteenth century would be 1 Oft

called paupers verecundi.

Rufino notes that Raimondo became outraged when he

realized the unwillingness of Piacenza's wealthy to support their needy neighbors. The vita describes how the saint began to comb the city for those whose "shame or disease prevented [them] from begging." Rufino writes that when Raimondo found people fitting this description, the saint immediately began to seek donations for their support from his fellow city-dwellers by carrying his wooden cross on his shoulders as he walked through the streets yelling: "Woe to thee, O avaricious rich, for the supreme sentence will be pronounced against you"199 Rufino writes that Raimondo's pleas were successful; "the 197

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651.


For more on the "shameful poor," see Richard Trexler, "Charity in the Defense of the Urban Elites in the Italian Communes," in The Rich, the Well-born, and the Powerful, ed. F. Jahar (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973), 64-109; also see O.Z. Pugliese, "The Good Works of the Florentine 'Buonomini di San Martino': An Example of Renaissance Pragmatism," in Crossing the Boundaries: Christian Piety and the Arts in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Confraternities, ed. K. Eisenbichler (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1990)., pp. 108-120. 199

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 78; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Hoc igitur obtento, coepit bonus Raymundus investigare per urbem egenos, quos velpudor ingenuus, vel morbus mendicare non sinebat; nactusque debitam quorumdam notitiam, totapalam urbe stipem illis conquirere, et crucem humero praeferens, clamare contenta voce: Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi misericordiam consequentur: vae vobis, avari divites, quia suprema in vos sententia pronuntiabiturr

61 good and generous" were inspired; "the avaricious and hard-hearted" were terrified. Rufino thus makes it clear that Raimondo was following Christ's injunction to support the needy of his city as well as to "lead the rich to giving."200 Rufino seems particularly interested in describing Raimondo's anger and vocal protests over what he saw as the miserly ways of his fellow Piacentians. The author describes how, when Raimondo's pleas for alms began to be met with more and more success, a group of beggars gathered around the saint, eager for a share of what he had collected. Raimondo reminded those beggars that since they could "beg openly" and knew "no shame," the alms he collected were not rightly theirs.201 The beggars informed Raimondo that their own efforts had yielded little, leaving them nearly empty-handed as they wandered through the city. Rufino describes how angry this made Raimondo, who once again took to the streets, carrying his cross, and yelling at all he passed: Help, help, hard and cruel Christians, for I am dying of hunger while you have plenty.. .1 don't have just one mouth, for I could suffer hunger not unwillingly; but there are as many mouths as you see here, perishing for want of food. I beg you, by the most holy Cross, have pity on the poor of Jesus Christ.202

As Kenneth Baxter Wolf has pointed out, Rufino portrays Raimondo as the "conscience of Piacenza."203 The saint's criticism of his fellow city-dwellers becomes a key piece of

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 79; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Quibus quidem verbis et accendebantur boni ac liberates, et avari durique terrebantur, itaque largas ab utrisque eleemosynas obtinebat." 201

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Mendicorum quoque ingens eo turba confluebat, de collectis eleemosynis partem aliquam exposcentium; quibus bonus DeiServus, ite, inquit, vos, et, utsoletis, palam ipsi petite: neque enim aut aegri estis, aut nostis erubescere." 202

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 79; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Hoc ut audivit B. Raynundus exarsit caritate scilicet, atque adversus opulentorum duritiam commovit sese, et arrepta in humerum sancta cruce, ac jussis sequi se miseris, per compitaprocedens, clamitabat: Succurrite, succurrite, Christiani crudeles ac duri; quia ego fame morior, dum vos interim abundatis...At ille progrediens, non unum hoc, ait, os mihi est, quod quidem inedia vexari non invitus patiar; sed ora tot sunt, quot hie videtis, fame pereuntia. Per sanctissimam igitur crucem hanc obtestor, misereminipauperum Jesu Christi."

62 evidence for proving Raimondo's sanctity. The work Raimondo did to support his city's poor and needy of course counted too. But as the passage quoted above makes clear, Raimondo's claim to sanctity had as much to do with the moral criticism he delivered in the streets as the charity work he performed in his hospice. Rufino describes how in no time Raimondo's reputation for charity grew to such an extent that "all of the afflicted," that is, "the poor both public and private" looked to the saint as their "father and defender."204 Rufino dedicates a good bit of his account of Raimondo's charity work to the particular concern the saint took for repentant prostitutes.205 As Rufino writes, Raimondo's hospice became known as a place willing to care for and protect prostitutes who were "repentant and wanted to lead a chaste life henceforth." Raimondo took them in and put them under the care of "respectable matrons."206 After the women had lived at the hospice for some time, Raimondo would ask them what sort of life they wanted. For those who wanted to marry, the saint provided a dowry. And for those that wanted to maintain their chastity, Raimondo helped them be "admitted to reputable enclosed convents," since as Rufino adds, Raimondo was


Wolf, The Poverty of Riches, pp. 74-75, and n. 33.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 79; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Beati vero Raymundi tantum brevi crevit existmatio, ut eum afflicti omnes, infirmi, pauperes tarn occulti quam publici, patris ac tutoris loco haberent." 205

For more on medieval prostitution and repentant prostitutes, see Ruth Mazo Karras, "Prostitution in Medieval Europe," in Handbook of Medieval Sexuality, ed. Vern L. Bullough and James Brundage (New York: Garland Press, 1996); and Jacques Rossiaud, Medieval Prostitution, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988). 206

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 79-80; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 651: "Hue vero admittebat non mulieres modo peregrinas, sedcives quoque pauperculas, omni ope destitutas. Quinimo siquae ex inhonestis prodibant latibulis, modo eas peccati poeniteret, vellentque castamporro vitam ducere, has B. Raymundus et suscipere non dubitabat, et matronarum pudicissimarum custodiae commendatas maturo integerrimoque dirigebat exemplo."

63 well aware of how difficult it would be for a former prostitute to preserve her virtue "untarnished in the world."207 Rufino writes that Raimondo, in addition to assisting repentant prostitutes, gained a reputation within the city for helping all who were "unjustly oppressed by others." In particular, Rufino describes how the reports of those who could not afford to bring legal cases to court moved Raimondo to once again take up his wooden cross and plead for justice for these unfortunate civic neighbors.208 At the courts, Raimondo begged the judges to "love and do justice to the poor," since as he reminded them they would be judged by Christ "with that judgment with which you have judged."209 Rufino notes that Raimondo was so successful that he earned the trust of the city's magnates mdpodesta who sought his advice "as if he were a prophet."210 Rufino also describes how Raimondo comforted prisoners in their cells, begged judges to pardon those who had sincerely

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 80; Vita S. Raymundi, pp. 651-652: "Turn ubi tantum temporis, quantum eius prudentia requirebat, exactum esset, seiseitabatur ab Mis, ecquod vitae genus optarent. Aiebantnon nullae, statum conjugalem sibi magis probari, ut securius possent in vitae honestae propositi) perseverare. Harum desiderioprospiciebat ipse, dote eis ab hominibusprobis corrogata. Aliae castitatem, quoad viverent, colere, se velle asserebant; quas ipse in honesties clausisque monasteriis curabat admitti, minime ignarus, quam esset arduum huiuscemodi virtutem illibatam in seculo conservare, iis maxime, quae turpitudini dudum assuevissent." 208

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 652: "Tantam B. Raymundo sincera sanctitas existimationempeperit, utpauperes viduae, pupilli, aliique, siquando ab aliis inique vexati causam apudjudices magnatesque nonpoterant obtinere, ad ilium, tamquam adcommunem miserorum omnium parentem ac tutorem confugientes, clamitarent: Serve Dei, adjuva nos: deest enim unde ad litem suppeditare sumptus, etjudicio cum adversariis possimus contendere." 209

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 81; Vita S. Raymundi, p. 652: "Turn surgens ab oratione, cruce humero imposita, ac toto corde abreptus in Deum, pergebat ad tribunal; ubi manu crucem apprehendens, sic apud injusto judices perorabat: Diligite, atque ergo inopes servate justitiam, o vosjudices, quijudicatis terram: mementote, quo judicio judicaveritis, eodem etvosab eo, qui pro vobis exspiravit in cruce, judicatum iri: mementote, post hanc vitam nonjudicaturos vos, sedjudicandos esse." 210

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 652: "Tantum vero vitae sanctimonia verbis eius virtutis addebat etponderis, ut cum a magnatibus, turn ab urbis praefecto perlibenter audiretur; et id impetraret auditus, ut ex eius consilio res ab ipsis plurimae conjicerentur. Imo vero si quid urbi vel difflcultatis acciderat velpericuli, B. Raymundum iidem, tamquam prophetam, consulebant, et quod agendum erat, ad eius saepe decernebant arbitrium."

64 repented, and worked to convince his fellow Piacentians not to engage in "Trojan" or other "gladiatorial games," which often injured or killed its participants.211 Finally, Rufino writes that Raimondo worked to maintain peace not only between rival factions within the city but also between Piacenza and its longtime enemy, Cremona.212 Throughout this vita, Rufino embeds his portrait of Raimondo's lay sanctity in the realities of medieval urban life. Instead of describing how a lay life could be a holy life, Rufino pays attention to the difficulties Raimondo had cultivating a dedicated religious life while maintaining the demands of his domestic life. The vita seems ultimately to argue that an integral aspect of Raimondo's sanctity was his ability to organize his lay demands in order to attend most effectively to his religious and civic ideals. Raimondo's domestic endurance is thus further evidence of his holy status. Nevertheless, Rufino's most compelling argument for Raimondo's sanctity comes not in the efforts the saint made to reform himself but in his interest and success in reforming his city. While both Quia pietas and Cum orbita solis refer to Omobono's efforts to maintain peace within Cremona and to root out any heretics, these two sources tell us very little about his civic context. From the beginning of Rufino's vita, however, the city of Piacenza plays a starring role. Rufino begins the text by noting that Raimondo was both a native of the city and had parents who were neither wealthy nor poor but instead were "private citizens."


VitaS. Raymundi, p. 653.


VitaS. Raymundi, p. 653.


Vauchez has suspected that Rufino's statement identifies

VitaS. Raymundi, p. 646: "Beatus Raymundus, quodquidem adpatriam attinet, Placentinus fiiit, in ipsa natus urbe Placentia. Parentes habuit nee illustres origine, neque viles admodum; sed cives privatos, eosque, si rem spectes domesticam, nee pauperes nee opulentos."

65 Raimondo's parents as member of Piacenza'spopo/o.


Although Rufino admits he

cannot be sure, he notes that many claim that Raimondo's father worked as a cobbler.215 Like Cremona, Piacenza endured a long battle waged by its new class of merchants and artisans for political control in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Although the most significant period for this revolt came in the 1220s (twenty years after Raimondo's death, and eight years after Rufino wrote his vita), scholars have noted that confrontations between the city's older nobility and the growing members of the popolo began m the 1190s.

It is tempting then to see Rufino's interest in Raimondo's social

background, his vivid depiction of Raimondo's pleas to the wealthy to help the city's less fortunate, and his keen sense of the harsh realities of urban life as reflecting some of the turbulence and politics of this period in Piacenza's history. Regardless of any political influences, Rufino presents lay sanctity as a cure for the ills of urban society. A contemporary lay saint such as Raimondo served as a city's conscience to right wrongs, help the unfortunate, and lead sinners to a virtuous life. As Christ's instructions make clear, while the attention Raimondo had been paying to his own spiritual progress (specifically in the pilgrimages he had undertaken) had not gone unnoticed, it was his contributions to helping others, and most specifically his civic neighbors, that mattered most. This understanding of lay sanctity was markedly different from the portrait of Omobono of Cremona we saw in the early sources connected with his 214

On Raimondo's social origins, see Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, p. 59; and Canetti, Gloriosa Civitas,pp. 176-177. 215

Vita S. Raymundi, p. 646: "...sed ut artem eius servilem atque ignobilem exerceret, in eaque disceret mercaturam facere. Hoc opifwium quale furerit, comperiri certo argumento nonpotuit: sunt, qui sutorium fuisse velint, opinione ducti, non sciential Webb has wondered if Rufino in fact left out any specific mention of what kind of trade Raimondo and his father practiced and this aside is in fact a later addition to the text; see Saints and Cities, p. 63. 216

See Canetti, Gloriosa Civitas, pp. 235-243; and Koenig, "The Popolo of Northern Italy," pp. 68-136.

66 cult. As we shall see, the cults of other thirteenth-century Italian lay saints would adopt a similar point of view. Zita of Lucca (d. 1278) and Andrea Gallerani (d. 1251) and Pier 'Pettinaio' (d. 1289) of Siena, would all be portrayed in their vitae as using their religious lives to reform their urban communities. If we turn to two additional vitae of Omobono written during the mid to late thirteenth century, we can see both the endurance of an earlier construction of lay sanctity that privileged efforts to reform the inherently sinful aspects of a lay life and a new emphasis upon the importance and meaning of the saint's civic context that we saw mattered so much in Raimondo's vita.

The Later Lives of Omobono In the second half of the thirteenth century, two additional vitae (both anonymous) were written for Omobono of Cremona. Scholars date the first, Quoniam historiae, to between 1240 and 1270, and the second, Labentibus annis, to between 1270 and 1300.217 While both repeat details about the saint that seem to have come from Innocent's bull, Quiapietas, and the earlier vita, Cum orbita solis, they articulate different understandings of the identity and function of a communal lay saint. Despite their differences, these later lives are united in the attention they pay to Omobono's civic context. Although Quoniam historiae focuses upon the penitential habits of Omobono and finds the evidence of his sanctity in a set of rigorous self-regulations, and Labentibus annis returns to the model of the practical penitent (reminiscent of the portrayal of Raimondo), both vitae see Omobono's sanctity as connected to his role within and serving his civic community.


For a discussion of how scholars have dated these vitae, see Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 37-54; Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 49, 56-59, and 68-69; and Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 46-53.


Quoniam historiae The anonymous author of Quoniam historiae begins his text by explaining that he has included details about Omobono's life that were revealed during the canonization process and thus did not make it into the saint's first vita, Cum orbita solis?n He also notes that his text was meant for those who wanted to follow Omobono's example. Webb has seen this admission as evidence that the text was most likely used for preaching.219 The division of the text into short vignettes describing various aspects of Omobono's religious life would have provided preachers with material that not only could have been easily used as text for a sermon but also specifically described a holy lay life. For the most part, these brief illustrations focus upon the saint's penitential acts, which are mentioned only in passing in both Innocent's bull and Cum orbita solis. The text describes the saint's schedule of fasting and flagellation. It notes the lengths Omobono went to mortify his flesh, describing the tormenting belt and hair shirt he always wore. The author devotes one section to the struggles Omobono had with the devil and another to the always rigorous routine of prayer he followed. In addition to the saint's penitential program, the author portrays Omobono's dedication to helping the needy of Cremona. We learn that the saint was always generous in his almsgiving and would often give away his own as well as his family's food and clothing.

Quoniam historiae, p. 50: "Quoniam historiae huius auctor quaedam, turn ex negligentia vel ignorantia, turn etiam quia ante canonizationem nequaquam fuerant patefata, omisit, ea illorum amore, qui huius sancti vestigia assequi desiderant, gloriosa supplevi et scripsi a ieiuno incipiendo." Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 50.

68 Unlike Innocent's bull, Quoniam historiae does not shy away from discussing Omobono's wife, his children, or his work. In a paragraph where the author gives a physical description of Omobono—he was tall but slight and had a dark complexion—he also writes that Omobono was a merchant but had first worked as a tailor.220 The author's matter-of-fact tone here carries through the rest of the references in the text to the saint's work and family life. For example, the author notes that if Omobono was working when he heard church bells ring to mark a canonical hour, he simply stopped what he was doing and began to pray.

We do hear about how frustrated Omobono's

wife became when she realized her husband's habit of giving away her food and clothes to the poor as well as his own, but the author does not go out of his way to depict either the saint's wife or his working life as inherently sinful or as having kept the saint from his spiritual goals. Moreover, the author never suggests that Omobono had to reject his active life for a contemplative ideal. Instead, the author of Quoniam historiae makes a case for Omobono's sanctity simply by describing the saint's daily life and habits. We learn the details of Omobono's schedule of fasting: he fasted for all of Lent, and went without his regular meals three days a week.222 On Good Friday, the saint limited himself to bread and water. On the


Quoniam historiae, p. 54: "Homofuit mercator, sedprimo sarcinator. Magnus in statura, macer in substantia, in colore brunus..." 221

Quoniam historiae, p. 50: "Et interdum propriis manibus laborabat cum horam tertiam aut sextant, nonam aut vesperas pulsari audiebat, opera manuum dimittebat et ad orationes et venias sibi in vinea festinabat." 222

Quoniam historiae, p. 50: "Ieiunabat enim beatus Homobonus tota quadragesima Domini et tres dies in hebdomada sine pulmento. Parasceve in pane et acqua, quattuor anni tempora sine pulmento, quadragesima Pentecostes quattuor dies in septimana, quadragesima sancti Martini sicut quadragesima Domini et dies veneris et sabbati totius anni. Vigilias sanctorum, quas sancta servat Ecclesia, sine pulmento ieiunabat, portionem suam pulmenti scilicetpauperibus erogabat. Aliis diebuspanem, vinum, carnes etpisces comedebat. Quattuor tantum diebus in hebdomada a carnibus astinebat, nonnisi bis in die nullo tempore comedebat. leiunium aliqua de causa non dimittebat labore vel infirmitate."

vigils of saints' feast days, he fasted and gave the food he would have eaten to the 001



He confessed his sins to his parish priest every week

and listened closely to

the weekly sermons, always trying to practice the teachings they offered.225 He kept a full schedule of prayer and gave generously to the poor.

If he came upon a sick person in

the street, he would give away his own coat, telling his family that a thief had stolen it.227 He was, the author notes, a simple man who was afraid of God and did not want to do harm to any creature.228 By focusing upon Omobono's daily routine, the author effectively offers a model for others to follow. That model conveys the same emphasis we saw in Innocent's bull and Cum orbita solis upon obedience to the church. Just as we saw in those earlier sources, this vita goes out of its way to describe how Omobono's sanctity grew out of his commitment to following the requirements of lay religion. Quoniam historiae's focus upon Omobono's rigorous penitential program and the concern he showed to rid himself of worldly goods presents lay sanctity as the result of one man's efforts at self-reform.


Quoniam historiae, p. 50.


Quoniam historiae, p. 50: "Omni hebdomada sacerdoti ecclesiae suae culpas suas confitebatur?

Quoniam historiae, p. 52: "Praedicationespresbyterorum libentissime audiebat, eorumquepraecepta observabat." 226

Quoniam historiae, p. 52: "Eleemosynator fuit maximus et in tantum quam portionem suam, qua comedere debebat, pauperibus erogabat, modica tamen particula sibi retenta... Orator fuit maximus in ecclesia et extra ecclesiam, eundo, sedendo, vigilando, dormiendo. Eundo namque orabat ita, quodeius oratio salutationem aplebefactam intelligere ipsum frequenter impediebat." 227

Quoniam historiae, p. 52: "Quadam die advineam suam ierat et nudum pauperem inveniens, ipsum chlamyde sua cooperuit ac dimisit. Et sine chlamyde domum veniens, quodam ospitale intravit et ab ospitalariis aliam mutuo accepit. Quidem cumfamilia sua alieno mantello coopertum videret, interrogavit: 'Ubi est chlamys tua?'. Qui excusans se, latronibus imputavit." 228

Quoniam historiae, p. 52: "Simplex homo fuit et timens Deum. Creaturam Dei offendere nolebat. Cum enim volatilia caeli in via, qua ambulabat, inveniebat, ea impedire nolebat, alterius viae partem tenens."

70 Daniele Piazzi has noted how well the model presented in Quoniam historiae would have spoken to the merchant and artisan population that was increasingly dominating Cremona's civic and political life in the mid thirteenth century.229 The absence of a negative assessment of Omobono's lay responsibilities supports Piazzi's point. Nevertheless, if we compare this vita to Rufino's vita of Raimondo, we see that it says little about the saint's civic context. The interest of the author of Quoniam historiae is not in depicting Omobono's role within his city, but in detailing the personal practices the saint adopted to reform his lay life into a saintly one. While not an indictment of lay life, Quoniam historiae does present lay sanctity rooted in one man's efforts to modify his life. Omobono's rigorous routine of fasting, prayer, and charity are all aimed at making him into a perfected Christian. In contrast, in Raimondo's vita, lay sanctity is ultimately presented as a civic enterprise. Raimondo may have at first pursued a religious life that was focused on individual perfection, but Christ's injunction to him in Rome changes his orientation. In the end, Rufino's vita sees Raimondo's sanctity as a force that could remake the city of Piacenza. In Quoniam historiae, Omobono's rigorous penitential routine ultimately serves to remake the saint himself.

Labentibus annis Not long after the appearance of Quoniam historiae, another vita was added to Omobono's hagiographic portfolio. Scholars have dated the writing of Labentibus annis to sometime during the last third of the thirteenth century.230 As is the case for both Cum orbita solis and Quoniam historiae, this vita has also remained anonymous. We do know 229

Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, p. 58.


Vauchez, Omobono di Cremona, p. 48.

71 that it was used as the model for the vita authentica written by the canons of Cremona's cathedral in 1570.231 The portrait of Omobono presented in this final thirteenth-century vita seems to combine the two models of lay sanctity we have seen develop between the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. This vita essentially presents lay sanctity as both the reform of an individual lay life and the reform of a civic society. Omobono's identity as a member of his civic community is emphasized above all else. While the vita mentions the penitential practices the saint followed, they do not constitute the author's main evidence for Omobono's sanctity. Instead, the author of Labentibus annis locates Omobono's holy reputation in his ability to turn the impediments of his lay life into spiritual opportunities and respond to the needs of his fellow city-dwellers. In the chapters that follow, I shall explore how a similar compromise between an individualistic and civic-centered understanding of lay sanctity was presented in the vitae of other communal lay saints written at the end of the thirteenth century. From its very beginning, Labentibus annis announces its focus on Omobono's civic context. The first lines of the vita bemoan the sad state of city during the saint's lifetime. Whereas in Quiapietas Innocent called Omobono a "lily among thorns," the author of Labentibus annis refers to the saint as a "rose" produced by God to inflame and lead away from sin not only the people of Cremona, which he describes as "blinded by the great falsehoods of heretics," but also those in the surrounding region.232 From the


' Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 51; on the vita authentica, see Piazzi, Omobono di Cremona, pp. 79-92.


Labentibus annis, p. 60: "Labentibus annis ab incarnatione mille centum nonaginta septem, cum Cremona urbs magnis haereticorum esset decaecata fallatiis, qui quasi spinae saepius bonorum etiam animas lacerabant, rosam in spinis attulit Deus, quae non quidem Cremonam urbem, verum adiacentem patriam sui odoris fragrantiam de peccatifoetore ad virtutis redolentiam adductam servaret de vitiosis animum ad honeste beateque vivendum accenderet sui Conditoris cognitione et hiis spretis falatiis quae fere omnium vanas sollicitant mentes."

72 larger city, the author narrows his focus to Omobono's neighborhood, noting that the saint's parents lived among "other citizens of middling and popular rank" in an area surrounding the church of Saint' Egidio, which he notes had become quite densely populated.233 The Saint' Egidio neighborhood was part of what medieval Cremonesi called the citta nuova, an area created by an expansion of the city walls in the late twelfth century. Merchants and artisans (as the vita notes, citizens of "middling and popular rank") populated this neighborhood, while Cremona's elite—its large landowners, judges, wealthiest merchants, and knights—lived in the citta vecchia.234 The author's social profile of the saint's family does not end with his description of Omobono's neighborhood. Adding that Omobono was a member of the "de'Tucenghi" family, he notes that this family had practiced a variety of trades but most recently had been known to be tailors. Omobono's father, we are told, lived both "on the produce of his labors," and the income generated by the land he owned outside of the city.235 The author of Labentibus annis highlights the bond that had always existed between Omobono and his civic neighbors. He writes that as a young man Omobono worked in his father's trade, conducting himself in such an unusual way that he "preserved faith and equality in his dealings" and had "inspired the good will of all

Labentibus annis, p. 60: "Mo itaque tempore in ea civitate iuxta basilicam incliti confessoris Egidii, turn civium frequentia turn aediflciorum structura cives, illam non indecoram partem effecerant. Eo loco inter conches ceterasque prosapias, quas medriocris status popularis fortuna fovebat, habitabat quaedam prosapia de Tucengo tunc dicta, cuius domus anitqui variis pro tempore mercaturae art is officiis praedicti etiam resarciendorum vestimentorum arte vivebant; eorum quos et sartores vulgo appellare solemus." 234


Sella, "Cremona," p. 265.

Labentibus annis, p. 60: "Ex hac prosapia de Tucegno antiquus vir cum uxore sua suis laboribus vivens, ibi domo quam eius attavipossederant, habitabat; cui et agorum satis ampla possessio non longe a moenibus eius urbis victus necessaria ministrabat."

73 citizens toward him."


Similar to Rufino's account of the beginnings of Raimondo of

Piacenza's religious life, the author of Labentibus annis describes Omobono as having lived a relatively pious life until the death of his father prompted him to take up a more comprehensive religious commitment. After his father's death, Omobono "became his own master," and began to think about the shortness of life and "the falsity of the world and its fleeting goods." The author writes that such thoughts prompted Omobono to give up his "great preoccupation with increasing his fortune," and take up Christ's words in the Gospel of Matthew to "store up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth destroys."237 Thus even though before the death of his father Omobono had been "assiduous in attending church, in prayer and fasting" and had always given the wealth he made from his trade to the poor and needy, his moment of spiritual clarity brought about a significant change: he stopped working. The author notes that this greatly upset Omobono's wife, whose nagging gave the saint a chance to explain his new orientation. When she demanded to know why Omobono "no longer lived by his trade" but was instead giving all of their goods away "to wretched people," he told her that "fleeting earthly goods

Labentibus annis, p. 60: "Hie Homobonusparentum artibus vacans in mercatura arte doctus evasit ita tamen, quod raw fieri solet, (ut)fidem et aequalitatem in permutandis rebus proposse servaret. Cum vero iam pubes effectus omnium civium in se suis virtutibus benevolentiam provocasset, volentibus parentibus maturae virgini maritali se connubio iunxit." 237

Labentibus annis, p. 60: "Cum qua uxoreplurimos annos viventepatre cum omni adparentes oboedientia permanens; statuto die mortuo patre, sui iuris effectus, considerare coepit breves hominis dies etfalacem mundum eiusque bonafugacia nihilque sanctius fieri quam quod evangelicus sermo testatur: 'Thesaurizate vobis thesaurus in caelo, ubi neque aerugo neque tinea demolitur.' Hoc ergo iamplurimos dies intentus proposito, quo dudum in illo grandis sollicitudo augendarum fortunarum callere consueverat, tepere iam coepit, nee socios sequi, nee operam solito artificio consummare..."

74 were like a flow of water," and that he "who stored up treasure in heaven by aiding the poor of Christ" was a happy man.238 Similar to how Rufino portrays Raimondo, the author of Labentibus annis presents Omobono as a practical penitent. Although he assiduously attended church, followed a rigorous schedule of prayer and fasting, and devoted himself to helping Cremona's needy, the vita never describes him going to extremes to perform any of these duties. In other words, missing from Labentibus annis are the accounts we found in Quoniam historiae of the saint's punishing schedule of fasting and attempts to mortify his flesh. Moreover, while Labentibus annis does present Omobono's decision to give up his work as a merchant as a fundamental moment in the story of his conversion, it does not fulminate against merchants as does Cum orbita solis. Instead, Labentibus annis takes as its focus a number of miracles Omobono performed while still alive. In each of these accounts, Omobono is presented as a penitent whose commitment to prayer and charity afford him opportunities to move beyond the inherent limitations of his lay status and attend to the needs of his fellow city-dwellers. In the vitae of other communal lay saints produced in the late thirteenth century, we see a similar focus on the miracles performed during those saints' lifetimes. The first miracle the author describes in Labentibus annis concerns Omobono's rigorous schedule of prayer. Noting that it was the saint's custom to go to his


Labentibus annis, p. 62: "Cum vero eius sic mutatum uxor a propositis maritum videret et industriam et artem solita reliquisse, seque quasi in conptemptum hominibus saeculi vitam dedisse, illi nonparum molesta effecta est dicens: 'Quae te, Homobone, quondam prudens vir iam coepit insania, cum nee arti nee exercitio, quibus honorifice vivebas, attendas, sed eis destitutis omnia bona nostra consumis in miserabilibus ea errogando personis, ex quibus non minimum unquam servitium expectamus!'. Et multa adversus virum sanctum improperia contumeliasque fundebat. Ille vero patienter ferens, illipraedicabat fugentia bona terrena velut aquarum lapsus etfelicem ilium thesaurum, qui subveniendo pauperibus Christi congregatur in caelis. Huius uxor is saepe varias temptationes accipiens, semper cum patientia et humilitate vincebat."

75 neighborhood church of Saint' Egidio every night, the author writes how the church's priest, Osbert, who we know from Innocent's bull had served as Omobono's confessor for twenty years, always came to open the church doors for the saint. One day, Osbert was not there. The author describes the miracle that ensued when, after waiting for some time, "by God's will" the doors miraculously opened on their own. The author goes on to describe how this sequence of events repeated several times, making it clear to Osbert that "this was the work of God and that this was a holy man."239 In the vitae of both Zita of Lucca and Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena, hagiographers also describe church doors and city gates opening to allow these saints access that would have customarily been denied to them. Moreover, just as we shall see in both Zita of Lucca's and Andrea of Siena's vitae, Labentibus annis describes Omobono performing food multiplication miracles.240 For example, when during a famine in the city Omobono received his usual bread delivery, a crowd of the "poor and needy" gathered around his house. The author of the vita describes how Omobono gave away his bread but was saved from his wife's punishment when she opened their cupboard to find them full of loaves "of an incomparable firmness and quality, as many in number as Omobono had given away.'


Labentibus annis, p. 62: "Erat autem huic sancto homini consuetudo singulis noctibus ad ecclesiam suam accedere, ut ibi continue matutinali interesset officio. Unde presbyter Osbertus quidam nomine, qui tunc illius ecclesiae curam gerebat, vir et ipse bonus ac timens Deum, cum huiusmodi Homoboni devotionem vidisset, singulis noctibus cum pulsaret campanam pro Matutinis, veniebat ut ei aperiret et in ecclesiam ipsum induceret. Unde cum quadam vice ante sonitum campanae Homobonus venisset et aliquandiu stetisset ante ecclesiam expectans ante valvas, ecclesiae portae nutu Dei per se ipsas in conspectu sanctiDei apertae sunt...ex quo intellexit sacerdos hoc opus esse divinum et hunc sanctum virum existere, cum illudpostmodum in annis viginti sex, quibus sacerdos ille ecclesiam rexit, pluribus vicibus accidit quod superius narratum est.'''' 240

Such miracles were quite common among religious women in the later Middle Ages; see my discussion of the secondary work on the subject on pp. 109-115.

76 And just as would be ascribed to both Zita and Pier 'Pettinaio', the author of Labentibus annis claims that Omobono managed to turn water into wine. Informing his reader that the saint had kept his "little vineyard" in order to support himself and tend to the poor, the author describes how one day the saint took a jug of wine to the men who worked his land. When on the way to the vineyard he gave away all of the wine to the poor people he passed, fear of his wife's reproaches kept him from returning home. The author describes how Omobono filled the jug with water, made the sign of the cross over it and miraculously found it to have turned to wine.242 In comparison to Quoniam historiae, Labentibus annis offers a much more sober understanding of Omobono's sanctity. This final thirteenth-century vita for the saint describes his fasting in one sentence, ignores any acts of self-mortification that might have been recounted in past lives, and finally, sees Omobono's lay life—his marriage, his work—neither as inherently sinful nor as impediments on his road to sanctity. Instead the author presents both Omobono's working and married life as having offered the saint more opportunities to attend to and explain his new religious orientation. After realizing "the brevity of human life and the falsity of the world and its fleeting goods," Omobono Labentibus annis, pp. 62-63: "Quadam vero die dum tempore famis quondam mensuram panis, ut fieri solet, furni magister ad sancti viri detulisset domum, cognovissentque egeni etpauperes plurimi hum panem ad Homobonum patrem pauperum pertinere, portantem secuti sunt usque ad domum viri Dei; quern in domo repertum suppliciter petunt ut eis, more solito, ex hoc pane pias eleemosynas largiatur. Quibus annuens, ne uxor perpendeat, quae forte tunc aberat, maiorem partem distribuit panis. Venta vero uxore, cum hora esset cenae, adarcam vadens uxor duplex genus panis videt in area. Nam quotpanes dederat Homobonus, tot erant incomparabili bonitate etpulchritudine cum reliquis." 242

Labentibus annis, p. 64: "Quod in pane accidit, quasi simile fuit in vino. Nam cum ipse exilem vineam purgarifecisset, quam solampro victo suo et multorum pauperum tenuerat, ceteris aliis praediis venditis et distributis in pauperes, ferretque vasa vino plena colonis, huncpauperes quidam suppliciter rogarent, ut ex eis vasis potum acciperent. Quod cum eis ita dedisset, utfere omne vinum exaustum foret, nee auderet domum reverti implere vasa ob uxoris iurgia, aqua implevit signavitque et concludens laboratoribus tulit, quos sitibundos invenit. Illi ergo cum gustassent, senserunt amabile etpretiosum vinum, nee simile in nostrati vino quodpatria germinat et quaerebant unde hoc habuisset, cui numquam simile in bonitate fuisset."

77 does not immediately run from his life as a successful merchant but instead gives his earnings to the poor and needy.243 And when his wife complains about his actions, the vita describes how Omobono sees her distress both as a trial to endure and as opportunity to explain his new religious commitment.244 From the text's first lines, the author of Labentibus annis makes clear the importance Cremona plays in understanding Omobono's story. We are told of the saint's family background, the social makeup of their neighborhood and the ways in which the family earned a living. While the vita looks to Omobono's own spiritual development as part of its argument for his sanctity, it sees his holiness as most clearly articulated in miracle stories that do not detail his own penitential practices but instead describe his connection with his civic community.

Conclusion The early sources connected with these three twelfth-century lay saints paint different pictures of civic lay sanctity. While in the first half of his vita, Benincasa saw Ranieri's penance as a cure for an entire church, the vita ends with the author describing a local holy man whose mission and effect was limited to his civic community. In the first sources connected with the cult of Omobono of Cremona, a pope and perhaps (if Sicard did write Cum orbita solis) a bishop saw opportunity to appropriate the memory of a local man for political purposes. In both Quiapietas and Cum orbita solis we see a layman, who, having rejected the sinful aspects of lay life, proved himself a saint through his devotion to the practices of an orthodox and normative lay religious life. In Raimondo's vita, we see a new emphasis upon civic charity. Rufino makes clear that 243

Labentibus annis, p. 60.

78 while Raimondo's early dedication to prayer, penitence and pilgrimage were marks of a devout life, it was the saint's endless work to serve the poor and needy of his civic community that proved him holy. And while Quoniam historiae^s attention to Omobono's daily penitential practices to some extent brings us back to a conception of lay sanctity that prized the reform and regulation of a lay life, the text's matter-of-fact descriptions of the saint's family and working life ultimately distinguish it from earlier sources. In 1272, at the same time that scholars believe Labentibus annis (the final thirteenth-century vita written for Omobono) was being written, the cult of another lay saint appeared in Cremona. A Cathedral obituary records in January of that year the death of Facio, a gold- and silversmith who had lived a long life dedicated to penitence.245 The obituary notes Facio's diligent practice of prayer, penitence and pilgrimage as well as the outpouring of devotion the clergy and people of Cremona showed at his tomb in his neighborhood church.246 By March 1272, a member of the cathedral clergy had written a vita and account of miracles for Facio.247 This vita describes Facio's life as a pious artisan, his imprisonment for his political allegiances, the L 'Obituario delta cattedrale di Cremona (obituarium ecclesias cremonensis), ed. Francesco Novati (Milan: Bortolotti, 1881), pp. 34-35: "MCCLXXI die lune XVIII intrante Ianuario Frater Facius auri et argenti optimus fabricator, natione Veronensis, Cremone ab adolescentia sua nutritus, de hoc seculo in quo per quinquaginta annos et plus magnam et arduam fecerat penitentiam in senectute bona migravit ad Dominum. Qui iugiter et in Ecclesia et extra Ecclesiam in orationibus persistebat et clamando laudare Dominum non cessabat etperegrinando limina Ecclesie beatiJacobi de Galicia decern et octo vicibus visitavit. Cuius corpus post obitum suum secunda die in Ecclesia maiori Cremone a canonicis cum universo clero et omnipopulo civitatis utriusque sexusfuit cum magna reverentia et honore sepultum. Ad cuius tumulum maxima turba undique curcurritpopulorum, laudantium et benedicentium Dominum gloriosum; inter quos multi egri diversis et variis egritudinibus obsess i, gratia prius operants divina et mentis ipsius sancti Viri, secundumfidem ipsorum manifeste sanitatis beneficiumperceperunt"

Vauchez has published an edition of Facio's vita (hereafter Vita Beati Facii) with an extensive introductory essay; see his "Saintete lai'que au XHIe siecle: La vie du B. Facio de Cremone (V.l 1961272)," Melanges de I'Ecole Francaise de Rome 84 (1972): 13-53.

79 vision of the Virgin Mary that initiated his dedication to penitence, and the charitable organizations he founded in Cremona. The vita makes clear that even after his conversion, Facio continued to practice his trade.

We hear how the smith worked ever

harder in order to have more to donate to the poor and needy of Cremona.249 Although both the cathedral obituary and the vita describe Facio and his disciples as having practiced penitence, there is almost no description in either source of what those practices may have involved. In the description of this late thirteenth-century cult, civic charity and action trumped self-reform. Like Labentibus annis, Facio's vita pays the most attention to the miracles Facio performed while still alive—each of which document how this layman's piety afforded him ever-greater opportunities to care for his civic 250

community. By the 1270s, the commune of Cremona was fully under the control of the popolo party.

Vauchez has written about the extent to which Facio's vita articulates its

approval of and allegiance to that new communal government.252 Both the understanding of Omobono in Labentibus annis as a pious merchant and of Facio in his vita as a pious artisan reflect the political culture of the popolo era. A negative assessment of the work of an urban lay life that we saw expressed in the earliest sources connected with Omobono would have received little appreciation from a government controlled by the


Vita Bead Facii, pp. 37-38.




Vita Beati Facii, pp. 43-48.


Vauchez, "Saintete lai'que au XHIe siecle: La vie du B. Facio de Cremone (V.l 196-1272)," pp. 26-28.



80 upper strata of the city's merchants and artisans. This would also be the case for the cult of a domestic servant living in the Tuscan city of Lucca who died six years after Facio.

81 Chapter 2 Practical Piety: Zita of Lucca and the Growth of her Cult

In 1308, Lucca's new^opo/o-dominated government, made up largely of the city's wealthiest merchants and artisans, added April 27th, the anniversary of the death of the city's most famous domestic servant, Zita of Lucca, to a long list of civic holidays.253 A mere thirty years after her death, the ascent of Zita to such an exalted position cemented a growing association between her cult and Lucca's communal government. Zita, however, was not a native of the city that came to claim her as a patron. Her vita, written most likely by a canon from her neighborhood church of San Frediano within a decade of her death, reports that Zita had arrived in Lucca from the surrounding countryside at the age of twelve to work as a domestic servant for the Fatinelli, one of the city's leading merchant families.254 The vita notes that Zita quickly gained a reputation not only as a hard-working and loyal servant but also as a dedicated penitent. Zita's sanctity, the vita argues, derived in large part from her ability to serve her employers even though she spent much of her time rapt in prayer, making pilgrimages to shrines and churches outside of Lucca, and caring for the poor of her adopted city. By the end of her life, the constant care and concern Zita took to feed, shelter, and succor the poor and Scholarship on Zita has not been extensive. For the most recent studies of her cult and spirituality, see Anna Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae': Santita e societa femminile net'Italia medievale, Italia Sacra, vol. 45 (Rome: Herder, 1990), pp. 263-303; Michael Goodich, "Ancilla Dei: The Servant as Saint in the Late Middle Ages," in Women of the Medieval World: Essays in Honor of John H. Mundy, eds. Julius Kirshner and Suzanne F. Wemple (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), pp. 119-136; and Andre Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 210,240-1, 244, and 421. Also, see F.P. Lusio, "L'Anziano di S. Zita," in Miscellanea Lucchese di studi storici e letterari in memoria di Salvatore Bongi (Lucca: Scuola Tipografica Artigianelli, 1931), 61-91; P. Puccinelli, 5. Zita: Vita condotta suite notizie del codice Fatinelli (sec. XIV) (Lucca: 0.& E. Malanima, 1949); Americo Guerra, Istoria delta vita di Santa Zita vergine Lucchese narrata secondo i documenti contemporanei (Lucca: S. Paolino, 1875); and U. Nicolai, Documenti storici inerenti at culto di Santa Zita vergine Lucchese: In prossimita del settimo centenario delta morte (1278-1978) (Lucca: Estratto dal 'Notiziario Storico-Filatelico Numismatico, 1978). For Zita's vita, see p. 83, n. 256.

82 needy of Lucca, and the miracles that often resulted from that charity work, had won her a large following. The Lucchese were so devoted to Zita, the vita reports, that upon hearing the news of her death, a large crowd gathered in the square outside of San Frediano where her body lay, clamoring to touch Zita's corpse or rip off a piece of her clothing for themselves. It is likely that some of those advocating for the celebration of her feast day as a public holiday had, in some manner, known Zita. Whether they had seen her walk from her employer's house to the church of San Frediano, had sat next to her there while she prayed, had benefited from her frequent acts of civic charity, or had gathered together after her death, hoping to take away a piece of her clothing for themselves, these merchants and artisans were adding a contemporary to the ranks of civic saint. Like so many other cities in late medieval Northern and Central Italy, Lucca adopted the popular cult of a recently deceased layperson during the height of its independent communal civic government.255 This chapter will seek to understand how the first patrons of Zita's cult described her sanctity as well as why Lucca's communal government became interested in connecting the city to the memory of a contemporary pious lay woman. It will begin by considering the ways in which the author of Zita's vita (most likely a canon from San Frediano) describes Zita's lay sanctity. I shall argue that his presentation of Zita as a visionary as well as a practical-minded worker committed to serving the needs of her 255

For a general history of Lucca in the Middle Ages, see Augusto Mancini, Storia di Lucca (Florence: Sansoni, 1950); and Girolamo Tommasi, Sommario della storia di Lucca dall'anno MW all'anno MDCC, Archivio Storico Italiano 10 (Florence: G.P. Vieusseux, 1847); for thirteenth-century Lucca, see Giuseppe Matraia, Lucca nel Milleduecento (Lucca: M.Pacini Fazzi, 1983; originally published in 1843); for fourteenth-century Lucca, see Louis Green, Castruccio Castracani: A Study on the Origins and Character of a Fourteenth-Century Italian Despot (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986); Christine Meek, The Commune of Lucca Under Pisan Rule, 1342-1369 (Cambridge: Medieval Academy of America, 1980); and Lucca 13691400: Politics and Society in an Early Renaissance City-State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978). Also, see Duane J. Osheim, An Italian Lordship: The Bishopric of Lucca in the Late Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977).

83 civic neighbors not only reflected the merging of different models of lay sanctity but also fostered an image of the saint that allowed for her cult and memory to transcend affiliation with any one particular religious or political institution. The vita's use of an anonymous voice (for both Zita and her hagiographer), its description of the various religious and civic officials who oversaw the first days of the cult, and finally, its insistence upon the popular support for Zita's cult as the final proof of her sanctity, all allowed Zita's memory to become fused with an idealized vision of Lucca: as a place where rich, poor, men, women, lay and religious could live together in relative harmony.

The Sources Our knowledge of Zita, both the details of her life and the early development of her cult, comes from three sources: a notary's collection of miracles that took place at Zita's tomb during the first year after her death; a vita scholars believe was written within ten years of her death by a canon from Zita's parish church, San Frediano256; and finally, the communal statutes that first mention the civic festivities to be celebrated annually on For Zita's thirteenth-century vita as well as the miracle collection, see the edition prepared by Daniel Papebroch in 1673, AA.SS., Apr. Ill, pp. 497-532 (BHL 9019). There has been some debate about the year Zita died. The modern scholarly consensus places her death on April 27,1278, however Papebroch maintained that the 1278 date was the result of a manuscript error and claims she died in 1272; see AA.SS., pp. 502-503. Vauchez has added to this confusion by alternating between 1272 and 1278 in his Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 210,240-1, and 244. In her translation of the vita, Diana Webb accepts 1278 as the correct year for Zita's death and notes that Papebroch's edition of the vita includes several transcription errors; see Saints and Cities in Medieval Italy, p. 160. Papebroch's text largely relies on copy of the vita from the Tuscan monastery of Camaldoli (now held in Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Conventi Soppressi G.5, 1212, fols. 193-200v; I have been unable tofinda date for this manuscript), although he claims to have checked that copy with the earliest copy of the vita made for the Fatinelli family, see AA.SS., pp. 502-503. I have consulted the Fatinelli copy, which is held in the Biblioteca Statale di Lucca, MS 3459, and Giovanni Sercambi e il suo tempo: Catalogo della mostra (Lucca: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, 1991), pp. 234-238. Webb compares the Fatinelli copy with two English copies of Zita's vita that she speculates may belong to an older manuscript tradition, see Saints and Cities, p. 225, n.10. As a result, Webb's translation corrects many of the errors of Papebroch's edition. Since Webb has not yet produced a new edition of the Latin text, I shall follow the Bollandists' text for this chapter, but check it against Webb's translation. I am grateful to Webb for sharing an early version of her translation with me. Unless otherwise noted, the translations that follow are my own.

84 Zita's feast day, which were issued in 1308 and then reissued with minor changes in 1331, 1342 and 1372.257 Although Zita is referred to as "Santa Zita" in both the collection of miracles and the communal statutes, there are no documents pointing to any formal canonization inquiry until the late seventeenth-century. In addition to these three sources, the canonization proceeding, successfully completed in 1696, refers to medieval testamentary donations made both by various Lucchese to honor Zita's memory and by her employers, the Fatinelli family, to build a chapel in San Frediano to hold her body. These testamentary documents are, to my knowledge, no longer extant.258 The author of Zita's vita also mentions a collection of 53 miracle accounts written by the jurist, Ugolino of Parma, which have not survived.259 And finally in the fourteenth century, the poets Fazio degli Uberti and Dante Alighieri, as well as the Lucchese chronicler Giovanni Sercambi, mention Zita in their work.


The 1308 statutes have been published, see S. Bongi and L. del Prete, "II statute del commune di Lucca del 1308," Memorie e documentiper servire alia storia di Lucca (1867; reprint, Lucca, Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1991); hereafter referred to as: Lucca, 1308 Statutes. For the 1331,1342, and 1372 statutes, see Archivio di Stato di Lucca, "Statuti del Comune di Lucca," 3 (1331), 5 (1342), 6 (1372). For more on these statues, see Mancini, Storia di Lucca, 101-108; Meek, The Commune of Lucca Under Pisan Rule, pp. 33-52; and Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 12-29. 258

1 have consulted Zita's 1696 canonization proceedings in the Vatican, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Riti, Proc. 1315. 259

AA.SS., c. 37, p.513: "Denique inter reliquos, qui de hac summi Dei ancilla miracula conscripserunt, Ugolinus Parmensis, Legum Professor disertus, sic inquit..." As I have noted, the language of Zita's vita is highly rhetorical and often rendered in convoluted Latin. In an effort to make my translations as clear as possible, I will not always give a literal translation but will instead try to render the sense of the Latin. In addition, while I shall include Papebroch's Latin punctuation, I will not always follow it in my translations. The dramatic rhetoric of Zita's vita is similar to the style adopted in the vitae written by Italian Renaissance humanists vitae, see Alison Knowles Frazier Possible Lives: Authors and Saints in Renaissance Italy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005). 260

Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, ed. Giuseppe Corsi (Bari: Gius. Laterza & Figli, 1952): III.6, lines 7375: "Io vidi Santa Zita e 7 Volto Santo/ e udii come alprego di Frediano/ il Serchio s 'era volto da I 'un canto." Dante, Inferno, canto 21, line 38: "Ecco un de liiAnzian di Santa Zita." Le Croniche di Giovanni Sercambi Lucchese, ed. Salvatore Bongi, 3 volumes (Rome, 1892): I. CLIII: "a diXXV aprile, la vigilia di santa Sita," and I. CCXXXV: "... Ciguardi santa Zita e san Frediano...."

85 This chapter will focus upon the three earliest sources—the miracles, the vita, and the civic statutes—to construct a portrait of the beginnings of Zita's cult in Lucca. The miracle collection, begun on April 28, 1278 (the day after Zita's death) survives only in one medieval copy: a fourteenth-century manuscript that belonged to Zita's employers, the Fatinelli family. This manuscript also contains the earliest copy ofherv/ta.261 While the vita mentions that the notary Fatinello di Migliore (not a member of the Fatinelli family) transcribed 150 accounts of miracles performed at Zita's tomb, only 99 are present in the Fatinelli manuscript.262 Fatinello collected these accounts, we can assume, with the idea that they might one day aid a canonization inquiry. The stories of the miraculous cures wrought by Zita's intercession offer us a glimpse of both the local population who were first drawn to Zita's tomb and the witnesses, mainly canons from San Frediano, who remained next to her tomb in that first year, asserting themselves as the primary guardians of her cult. The identity of the author of Zita's vita has unfortunately not been preserved in these early sources. Scholars have long assumed that the vita was written by a San Frediano canon within a few years of Zita's death.263 In the eighteenth century, the Lucchese priest and scholar Bartolommeo Fioriti speculated that Iacopo, the prior of San Frediano during Zita's life, was the most likely candidate. Prior Iacopo is mentioned in the vita and is, in fact, the only member of the San Frediano community specifically


Biblioteca Statale di Lucca, MS 3459. For more on the Fatinelli copy, see Marco Paoli, Arte e committenza privata a Lucca nel Trecento e net Quattrocento: Produzione artistica e cultura libraria (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1986), pp. 92-93. 262

AA.SS., p. 514. This manuscript also includes some later miracles: three from 1300, and five from 1372.


For example, see Bartolommeo Fioriti, see Vita, virtu', e miracoli di Santa Zita Vergine Lucchese (Lucca, 1752), p. xiii; and Guerra, Istoria della vita di Santa Zita, p. 17.



86 He is identified as having overseen the construction of Zita's tomb. The vita

also mentions that he had early doubts about Zita, noting that he "and his brethren placed little or no faith in her sanctity, although they were otherwise very religious men."265 The vita goes on to note that Iacopo decided, after consulting with the Lucchese Franciscans and Dominicans, to wait to see if crowds continued to flock to Zita's tomb before coming to a final judgment of her sanctity. While there is no reason to attribute the life to Iacapo, it does seem safe to assume that the text was the work of a canon of San Frediano. The canons, as the guardians of Zita's tomb and witnesses to almost every one of her miracles, were her earliest patrons. Moreover, as I shall explore in this chapter, the vita identifies Zita's ability to live a mixed life of activity and contemplation as a key aspect of her sanctity. Regular canons, who themselves balanced their involvement in the world with a rigorous commitment to a religious life, would have been particularly interested in celebrating the merits of a mixed life.266


Fioriti, Vita, virtu', e miracoli, p. xiii; Guerra disagrees with Fioriti, claiming that Iacopo was already dead by the time of Zita's death. A number of charters produced in response to a struggle over burial rights between San Frediano and the Lucchese Franciscans show that Prior Iacopo was alive until at least 1291, see Le pergamene del convento diS. Francesco in Lucca (sec. XII-XIX), eds. Vito Tirelli and Matilde Tirelli Carli (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1993), pp. 277-279. 265

AA.SS., c. 35, p. 513: "Jacobus, Priorpraefatae ecclesiae, suique Fratres, nullam vel modicam sanctitati huiusfidem accommodantes (quamvis magnae viri religionis existerent) praehabito prudentium et etiam religiosorum virorum, tarn Praedicatorum quam Minorum Ordinis Fratum, consilio et collatione concordi, in lapideo sarcophago fecerunt concludi venerandum eius corpus, redolens immensi ordoris multa fragrantia, exspectantes de concordi praedictorum consilio rei exitum..." 266

The debate between the merits of an active versus a contemplative life continued throughout the Middle Ages; see Giles Constable, "The Interpretation of Mary and Martha," in Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 69, and pp. 1-141 passim; and "Twelfth-Century Spirituality and the Later Middle Ages," Medieval and Renaissance Studies 5 (1971), pp. 40-45. Caroline Walker Bynum has looked at medieval women's embrace of a "mixed life" in "The Mysticism and Asceticism of Medieval Women: Some Comments on the Typologies of Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch," Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (New York: Zone Books, 1992), pp. 53-78.

87 The date of the writing of Zita's vita is also not explicitly identified in the text. The vita's author notes that even though Zita's life had not yet been publicly promoted or preached, each year more and more people gathered at her tomb on her feast day; this remark suggests that he was writing at least a few years after her 1278 death.267 Webb has posited that the text might have been written in 1286 when the canons of San Frediano began a protracted battle with the Lucchese Franciscans over burial rights. She argues that the San Frediano canons may have used the vita to support Zita's burgeoning cult, giving their parishioners incentive to be buried at their parish church rather than in one of the increasingly popular Mendicant churches.269 Finally, the author of the vita does not specifically identify the audience for whom he writes. The vita begins with a somewhat formulaic prologue that attests to the value of studying the lives of saints in order that "all could imitate them in this world and at some time enjoy their company in the glory of eternal life."270 Toward the conclusion of the vita, however, the author notes that both lay and religious should be imitating Zita's life. Praising Zita as "the perfect lay woman," he writes that she was "worthy of imitation

AA.SS., c. 36, p. 513: "Et quod est satis devota admiratione et miranda devotione dignum, licet de suae praeeminentia sanctitatis aut vitae et miraculorum multiplicitate praenimia, nequaquamfautores, promotores, coadjutores, aut praedicatione promulgatores usquam locorum habuerit, into contradictores quam plures; tamen non solum annuatim concursus infmitae gentium multitudinis diversarum regionum, civitatum et dioecesium pene totius Italiae, occurrentium anniversario die suae glorificationis et transitus, eiusdem sanctitatis meritaprotestatur.... " 268

Webb points to the appearance of the same miracle account in two English manuscripts of the vita as well as in the earliest copy, the Fatinelli copy, see Saints and Cities, p. 162. 269


Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 161-162.

AA.SS.,prologus, p. 504: "Inde quoque virorumperitissimorum olim disciplinabilis mos extitit, Sanctorum celebres Vitas exquirere, earumque seriem styli officio solicite ac rationabiliter memories posteritatis assignare: quatenus ob suae studium doctrinae, ipsorum in orbe imitatione quilibetpotiretur, et eorum quandoque consortio inperennis vitce gloria frueretur: eorum nimirum, quifecere virtutes, tantum habetur laus, quantum easpotuere verbis extollere scriptorumpraeclara ingenia."

88 not only by other laypeople, but also by ecclesiastical persons, including nuns and regulars."271 One might therefore assume that the author imagined both the lay and religious populations of Lucca as his intended audience. Written in a highly rhetorical and stylized manner, often convoluted and hard to decipher, the text seems aimed at a mixed audience. As Diana Webb notes in the introduction to her translation of Zita's vita, the author clearly had access to the works of Gregory the Great, in particular, the Moralia in Job and the Regula Pastoralis, both of which he quotes extensively but does not identify.272 The writings of Gregory the Great, along with those of Augustine and other Church Fathers, were central to the clerical reform movement in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.273 Since the canons of San Frediano were singled out by the papacy for their successful embrace of a reformed canonical life, it seems reasonable to assume that they would have had access to and perhaps a particular interest in the writings of Gregory the Great. The final source I shall explore in this chapter, the Lucchese civic statutes, issued in 1308 and re-issued with minor changes throughout the fourteenth century, will help provide some of the political and social context for piecing together the early years of Zita's cult. By the time of the drafting of the popolo statutes in the early fourteenth century, Lucca had reached the height of its communal development. The 1308 statutes stood as the blueprint for civil administration until the time of Napoleon. Embedded into


AA.SS., c. 24, p. 510: "O quamperfectissima femininisexus laica, nedum a quibuslibet secularibus, nee non et viris ecclesiasticis, sed etiam ab ipsis Regularibus et Sanctimonialibus imitandaf'



Diana Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 191.

See Caroline Walker Bynum, "The Spirituality of Regular Canons," in Jesus As Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), pp. 47 and 53; and Charles Dereine, "Chanoines," Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastiques 12 (1953): cols. 377-378.

89 that design is an association between Lucca's civic identity and Zita's sanctity. As was the fate of so many communal governments in Italian cities, Lucca' spopolo government did not last for long. And yet, although its government changed hands several times during the fourteenth century, Zita remained Lucca's saint; the association that had begun between her cult and the popolo commune had, by the mid-fourteenth century, become one between the saint and the city.

Constructing Lay Sanctity Unlike many of the other lay saints venerated in the Italian communes during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Zita is not said to have undergone a conversion experience.274 The vita suggests that Zita's saintly behavior derived, in part, from a particularly pious family. The author reports that Zita's Monsagrati family already had two members with saintly reputations. Zita's sister, Margherita, and her maternal uncle, Graziano, were both venerated in and around their rural village after they died.


commitment to prayer and charity, the vita argues, was handed down to her as part of her family heritage; the vita thus does not present her commitment to living as a penitent and performing works of charity as attempts to atone for a shameful past.

Having been

employed as a domestic servant from the time she was twelve years old, Zita, the vita

Some saints whose vitae claim did undergo a conversion experience and began to live as penitents include Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160), Lucchese of Poggibonsi (d. 1250), Andrea of Siena (d. 1251), Facio of Cremona (d. 1272), and Margaret of Cortona (d. 1297). 215


On the hagiographic convention of presenting saints' childhoods as indicative of their later piety, see Weinstein and Bell, Saints and Society: The Two Worlds of Western Christendom, pp. 19-47.

argues, lived a life unblemished by the sins medieval people often associated with lay life. Without any conversion experience to narrate, Zita's vita maintains a much less personal tone than the vitae of other lay saints. As I have noted, the author of the vita never identifies himself in the text. His presentation of Zita is likewise marked by a sense of anonymity. Narrated overwhelmingly in the third person, the account gives the reader only the most cursory examples of Zita's direct speech: for example, she is reported to have said of her miraculously quick arrival at a church outside of Lucca, quoting Job, "As it hath pleased the Lord, so it is done."277 The author gives no examples of Zita talking to God, Christ, saints, or a confessor in the text. In fact, although the devotional routine described in the vita suggests that Zita was a penitent, there is no indication that the saint followed a particular penitential rule or reported to a confessor. Moreover, the text does not suggest that the author talked with Zita about her religious experiences for the purpose of composing a written account. As a result, there is no suggestion that Zita was ever concerned about her own spiritual progress. These characteristics of Zita's vita distinguish it from writings about other late medieval Italian holy women. In the generation after Zita's death, hagiographers portrayed lay saints such as Margaret of Cortona and Angela of Foligno as having paid particular attention to their spiritual progress. These hagiographers also make clear that a complex relationship existed between themselves and their saintly subjects.278 The author's omniscient

AA.SS., c. 15, p. 508: "Quam cum admirationepermaxima exquireret idem eques, quomodo tarn velociter se praecesserit et eo citius, pervenisset, inquit illud S. Job: Sicut Domino placuit, ita factum est." 278

See Mooney, "The Authorial Role of Brother A. in the Composition of Angela of Foligno's Revelations,"; and John Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, and the essays collected in Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and Their Interpreters.

91 narration throughout Zita's vita keeps his reader from gathering any sense of either the saint's own voice or of whether she contributed to the text's composition. The author instead concentrates upon the relationships Zita formed with her employers as well as the needy of Lucca. He uses his exploration of those two relationships to emphasize how her commitment to work—whether as a domestic servant, penitent, or charity provider—influenced her sanctity. In effect, Zita's vita argues that the pious servant's sanctity evolved out of her ability to overcome the limitations inherent in the life of a poor lay woman. As the text repeatedly demonstrates, Zita's energy, hard work, and courage allowed her to transform seeming impediments on the path to becoming a holy woman into devotional and charitable opportunities. No matter how much work she had seeing to the Fatinelli's needs, Zita always had the time and energy to maintain an extensive routine of pilgrimage, penitence, prayer and charity work. Conversely, no matter how rigorous Zita's devotional activities may have been, they never kept her from fulfilling both her domestic and charitable duties. The author presents Zita's commitments to work, penitence and charity in a manner that encourages imitation, and lauds her as the "perfect laywoman." But he also reveals some ambivalence toward her lay status. Although Zita does not seem to have garnered the kind of public attention other lay saints earned from their dramatic visionary life, her claims to sanctity, as they are expressed in her vita, are intimately connected to her public persona. The text's focus upon Zita's working life instead of upon her internal spiritual development allows the accounts of Zita's miracles, visions, and ecstasies to take on an overtly social and political significance. As opposed to using stories of Zita's piety and spirituality to reflect the saint's religious development, the author employs

92 these stories to provide a fuller understanding of the realities of life in thirteenth-century Lucca as well as a sense of how Zita's behavior and actions both criticized and sustained that society. In the life constructed by her hagiographer, Zita's piety is not only laudable but also a sign of her sanctity because of what it offers her civic community. Her concern for the throngs of hungry people who gather outside of her employer's house, the poor who shiver in the winter outside of her neighborhood church, and the prostitutes who have nowhere to sleep reveals the harsh conditions of city life at the same time as it provokes practical solutions to resolve those problems. While the author of the vita clearly sees Zita's works of charity as evidence of her sanctity, his presentation of that work also seems aimed at revealing some the harsh conditions of civic life in the midthirteenth century.

"With her own hands": Zita's Work Life After a brief look at her family in Monsagrati, the author explores Zita's experience living and working in Lucca. From his first description of Zita's working life, the author notes a connection between the manual labor she performed for her employers, the Fatinelli family, and the charity that she extended to the people of Lucca. He notes that by surrendering herself {tradidit se) to the Fatinelli family, Zita was able to minister to needy people of Lucca.279 As scholars have noted, it was increasingly common during the rapid economic expansion of cities in the thirteenth century for medieval people to

AA.SS., c. 2, p. 505: "Ut autemjuxta Apostolum adea, qua opus erant, sibi suis manibus ministraret; ne forte manducaret partem dolor is, aut ut invalidis et egentibus afferret subsidia, tradidit se in domun civium Lucanorum degentium non longe a reverenda ecclesia S. Fridiani Lucani, in qua modo eius corpus venerabile requiescit." This passage alludes not only to Acts 20.34: "ipsiscitis quoniam adea quae mihi opus errant et his qui mecum sunt ministraverunt manus istae" but also to Psalm 126.2: "frustra vobis est de mane consurgere postquam sederitis qui manducatispanem idolorum."

93 280

leave their rural villages for the city in search of work.

We can assume that Zita's

family sent her to Lucca to find work because they could not provide for her at home. The vita notes the economic impetus behind Zita's arrival in Lucca, stating that she came to Lucca to support herself.

But the vita also seems to argue that Zita was looking for

more than the security of employment. Zita went to work for the Fatinelli, the vita argues, so that she could provide charity to the people of Lucca. Zita worked for the Fatinelli family for nearly 60 years and is described throughout the vita as having been an ideal servant. She served all members of the family, rushed to attend to their every need, and never complained.282 As a careful and attentive worker, Zita was able to gather enough scraps of food and belongings (presumably collected from her employers) to feed and care for a growing number of needy Lucchese who daily gathered outside of the Fatinelli house seeking her help.283 Zita's charity was also the forum for her to perform miracles. In one episode, a thirsty pilgrim approached her on the street begging for water. Zita encouraged the pilgrim to follow her to the Fatinelli's well and to make use of what she did not take. The vita goes on to describe how the water she handed over to the pilgrim turned into wine after she

See Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae', pp. 263-280; and Goodich, "Ancilla Dei," pp. 119-136. 2Sl

AA.SS., c.2, p. 505.


AA.SS., c. 2, p. 505: "Duxit igitur totum tempus vitae suae venerabilis Zita in domo nobelium praedictorum, usque videlicet adannosferme sexaginta, serviens dominis et dominabus suis irreprehensibiliter sine querela, et curam solicitam gerens circa gubernationem domus etfamiliae utriusque sexus et aetatis eorum." 283

AA.SS., c. 16, p. 508.: "Et ut se ad haec paratam facilius reperiret, non tantum decentia ad hoc opus, velquae opportune viderentur, cura pervigili praeparabat; sed etiam permodica fragmenta, vel vilia etiam, expulmentis etminutis solicite colligebat; observans intente, ne forte vacuumpauperem contingeret ab ea discedere."

made the sign of the cross above it.

Whether it was by recycling her employers'

garbage, dipping into their storehouse of extra food, or miraculously turning the Fatinelli well-water into wine, Zita used her access to her employer's plentiful supplies to feed the poor of Lucca. As Caroline Bynum has noted, it was common for medieval women to manipulate food, and in particular to redistribute the resources of their families or employers, as a way to express their love of neighbor.285 Zita's diligence and hard work as a domestic servant not only allowed the Fatinelli household to function and aided the poor but also protected Zita from the distractions and dangers of lay life. By keeping herself engaged in work, Zita could avoid, what the text calls, the "bite of burning serpents," a hazard the author associates with the "idleness and preoccupation" of worldly life.286 Zita, the author argues, worked hard because "as it is written in the book of Wisdom, 'whatsoever thy hand is able to do,


AA.SS., c. 3, p. 505: "Adeo quidem, ut dum quadam die peregrinus quispiam, siti graviter cestuans et calore, ab ea eleemosynam postularet; & ipsa non haberet unde pauperi subveniret, anxiabatur plurimum quidageret: meditando tandem, ccelitus inspirata; hortatur pauperem peregrinum, donee sibiaquam recentem de puteo afferat sustinere. Arrepto vase cereo, juxta loci consuetudinem, haustam recentem aquam a puteo attulit peregrino, extenso desuper signo Cruris. Cumque gustasset ille prcedictam aquam divinitus vinum factum, et actualiter persensissetperoptimi vini saporem, hilarius et abundantius bibit; asserenspostmodum et contestans, se numquam tale tamque suave vinum bibisse cunctis diebus vitce suae." 285

Webb notes that Umiliana de' Cerchi also distributed the excess of her wealthy family to the poor; see "A Saint and his Money," p. 64. Moreover, both Ida of Louvain (d. late thirteenth century) and Lidwina of Schiedam (d. 1433) are depicted in their vitae redistributing the resources of their families to feed the needy; see Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 80, 121-122, and 124-129. Ida and Lidwina are just two of the many women who manipulated food as a means of religious expression that Bynum discusses. In his study of Benguine communities, Walter Simmons has also noted the emphasis in the vitae of Mary of Oignies and Ida of Louvain on the work these women performed "with their own hands" to serve the poor; see his Cities of Ladies, pp. 68 and 85. 286

AA.SS., c. 2, p. 505: "£/si aliquando reifamiliaris obsequia sibi non incumbebant, statim ad laborem manuum assidua recurrebat; devitans summopere, tamquam morsus serpentium ignitorum, omnem otiositatem, et curiositatem huius volubilis temporis; arma videlicet hostis antiqui ad miseras animas captivandas."

do it earnestly.'"


95 By simply attending to what needed to be done, the author seems to

argue, Zita could keep herself insulated from the world in which she worked so hard. Zita, he claims at the conclusion of his first description of her working life, believed it "glorious to serve God, inglorious to serve the world."288 Although the vita's author presents a harmonious and beneficial relationship between Zita's domestic and spiritual labor—by serving the Fatinelli, she could ultimately serve God—the subsequent episodes he uses to portray that relationship reveal a more ambivalent attitude toward Zita's two commitments. First, the author notes that often "badly made things sprung from the work of her hands" when her mind was focusing on her prayers.289 Zita could be so engaged in her prayers, he writes, that "she seemed to have dedicated not only her heart and body but also her time and her work to God."290 While this might seem another reason to celebrate Zita, the author of the vita goes on to note how her spiritual dedication could potentially get her into trouble. Zita had episodes in which her "excessive devotion" allowed her to become "suspended in ecstasy" to such a degree that she became unaware of her surroundings and forgot about


AA.SS., c. 2, p. 505: "Implebat quoque sedula quod in libro scribitur Sapientiae, Quodcumquepotest manus tua instanter operare." The author misidentifies the Biblical passage. It is a quotation from Ecclesiastes 9:10. My English translation is taken from the Douay-Rheims translation. 288

AA.SS., c. 2, p. 505: "Et si aliquando reifamiliaris obsequia sibi non incumbebant, statim ad laborem manuum assidua recurrebat; devitans sumopere, tamquam morsus serpentium ignitorum, omnem otiositatem, et curiositatem huius volubilis temporis...." 289

AA.SS., c. 16, p. 508: "Propter quodeveniebat aliquando, ut opera manuum eius resultarent inepta, dum cor non apponeret operationi, sed magis orationi." 290

AA.SS., c. 16, p. 508: "Nam ambulans et sedans, laborans et vacans, intus etforis, adeo erat orationi mentis intenta, ut Deo videretur non solum quidquid erat cordis et corporis, verum etiam temporis et operis dedicasse." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 173.

96 her domestic duties.


For example, the author describes a time when Zita became so

engaged in her early morning prayers that she lost track of time and forgot about the bread she had baking in the Fatinelli's oven. The vita reports that when she finally remembered the bread, Zita rushed back to the Fatinelli house (we can assume she was down the street praying at San Frediano, as the vita tells us she so often was), berating herself for not having completed her domestic duties. Zita realized her good fortune, however, when "coming to the oven, she found the bread most beautifully done." Convinced that the lady of the house had taken over her duties, Zita sought her out to offer her gratitude. But it soon became clear to all in the house that "no mortal" had been attending to the bread, and that, instead, it had been finished "from heaven."292 The vita presents a happy ending to Zita's forgetfulness—she is both rescued and rewarded for ignoring her domestic duties. What lesson was the vita's audience meant to take from this story? Is the reader urged to imitate Zita's spiritual commitment to the determent of his or her worldly duties? Is the story suggesting that those duties will be finished "from heaven" if one exhibits a rigorous enough commitment to contemplative life? The vita does not explicitly answer these questions. By raising them, however, the author reveals the inherent tensions and difficulties of portraying a saintly lay life. How could Zita be both a lay woman and a saint? His answer is two-fold: Zita's piety protects


AA.SS., c. 16, p. 508: "Suspendebatur frequenter sancta in ecstasi, tanto devotionis excessu defixo synderesis apice in aeterna spectacula; ut super semetipsam rapta, et ultra humanum sensum aliquid sentiens, quae circa se agerentur omnino nesciret." 292

AA.SS., c. 19, p. 509: ilSed accedens arcam, invenitpanes decentissime factos, quibus delatis ad clibanum, concito gradu rediit, gratias cum timore etpudore suae dominae matrifamilias relatura, quam existimabat panes confecisse praedictos; qui tamen coelitus facti fuerant, sicutpostea signo certo certius est compertum; dum disquisitione praehabita diligenti nemo mortalium repertus est, qui confecisset eosdem."

97 her from the lay world, at the same time as her domestic labor provides the necessary means to fund her charity work. To a certain respect, the author is turning the tensions inherent in lay sanctity on their head. By arguing that Zita's limitations as an uneducated lay woman allowed her to serve her community more effectively, he seems to be saying that it was precisely Zita's lay status that was responsible for her sanctity. The author of her vita repeatedly reminds his audience that by using her own hands for both her domestic labor and charity work, Zita could produce concrete and practical results. He describes Zita "extending her hands eagerly" towards the poor offering them the scraps of food she had collected.293 When she was left empty-handed, she could still help by offering the poor "consoling words," which the author deems more useful for addressing the needs of her community than "the words of scripture."

In other words, Zita's emotional response was more effective

than a Biblical quotation.

Pilgrimage, Penitence, and Prayer: Zita's Religious Life Although the author never specifically identifies Zita as a participant in the penitential movement that had captured the attention of so many urban laymen and laywomen in Italy during the later Middle Ages, his description of her religious life makes it clear that she had committed herself to following a penitential regime. Zita managed to make regular pilgrimages to churches on the outskirts of the Lucca contado


AA.SS., c. 4, p. 505: "Itaque liquescebat gratia eius ad infirmos etpaupers; extendebat quoque manus studios ius ad eosdem." 294

AA.SS., c. 4, p. 505: "Quibus siquidem nonpoterat manum, saltern exhibebat affectum, exhortationibus adpatientiam aut verbis consolatoriis intersertis: egentis etenim cor doctrinae sermo non penetrat, sihunc apudeius animum manus misericordiae non commendat: et ilia vox cor audientis non penetrat, quae hoc quodsonuerit opere non conservat."

98 and embarked on a few more ambitious trips to churches around Pisa even though she was of little or no financial means. In her neighborhood church, Zita was drawn to pray as often as the church's custodian would allow her under a wooden crucifix. In front of that crucifix, Zita felt her soul melt and the ability to escape the boundaries of her fleshly body for a moment or two. When she was not praying in San Frediano (or working for the Fatinelli), Zita spent her time donating her food, clothing and bed to the needy and making the rounds of her city's major religious and charitable organizations. When Zita sat exhausted on the side of a hill one night on her way back from Pisa, the Virgin Mary appeared to her and led her safely back to Lucca. Thus pilgrimage, penitence, prayer and Marian devotion punctuated Zita's religious life.

The author's portrayal of Zita's

engagement in each aspect of her devotional life again emphasizes this lay woman's ability to remain firmly rooted in the lay world at the same time as she transcended its sinful traps and limitations. Zita's vita includes descriptions of four trips she took to visit churches outside of Lucca: two on the outskirts of the Lucca contado, Sant' Angelo in Monte and the church of the Magdalene in Crebaria, and two near Pisa, S. Pier a Grado and S. Jacobo in Podio. In each episode, the vita's author emphasizes Zita's strong devotional commitment to make such pilgrimages, her sheer courage to do so alone, and the spiritual rewards her endeavors earn her. Those rewards do not endow Zita with a greater spiritual knowledge as much as they allow her access to what was usually beyond the reach of a poor laywoman. In these stories, Zita is continually portrayed as successfully gaining access

These were common aspects of late medieval lay piety; see Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages, pp.119-127; Richard Kieckhefer, "Major Currents in Late Medieval Devotion," pp. 75-108; and Vandenbroucke, "New Milieux, New Problems: From the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century," pp. 243-260.

to churches, onto routes, and through gates where she was at first blocked. As in the portrait of her working life, the vita uses these pilgrimage stories to emphasize that Zita's sanctity derived from her sheer capability; in some sense the stories also provide a clear model for imitation. The pluck and energy that Zita applies to complete her domestic duties emerge again as the determining forces behind her pilgrimages. In the first pilgrimage described in the vita, the author concentrates on Zita's journey to and from the Pisan churches of S. Jacopo in Podio and S. Pier a Grado and tells his reader nothing about what she did once inside these churches. Zita set off on her journey one day, with "a family companion" (familiari comite) who was likely another household servant.296 After having visited the church of S. Jacopo together, the companion decided to return to Lucca. Zita, refusing "to leave unfinished her established plan," continued on through Pisa toward the shore to S. Pier a Grado, the church built on the land where Peter was said to have landed on his way to Rome from Antioch.


author then turns to narrate Zita's harrowing return to Lucca, leaving out any information about what she did in the church she was so resolute to reach. On her way home, Zita refused offers of hospitality from those worried at seeing a woman walking alone at night. Once she reached the summit of Monte Pisano (about halfway back to Lucca), exhausted and weak from the fasting that had accompanied her pilgrimage, Zita fainted. When she awoke, she found the Virgin Mary standing next to her with an outstretched hand, ready to accompany her home. Zita "regained so much strength, security, and 296

AA.SS., c. 12, p. 507: "Siquidem visitationis gratia devotissima Zita quadam die devotissime, agens jejunium, iter arripuit ad eundum ad ecclesiam S. Jacobi de Podio, prope Pisa, cum quadam sibifamiliari comite." 297

AA.SS., c. 12, p. 507: "Ingressam igitur civitatempraefatam comes illapraefata retrocedens reliquit. Et quoniam quisquis bonum maius subire proponit, bonum minus quod licuit illicitum fecit; Zita stabilitum propositum non omittens, adivit ecclesiam Apostolorum Principis, cum oratione supplici devoto conjuncta jejunio."

comfort that all of her weakness as well as her hunger and thirst vanished."

Mary and

Zita made their way back to Lucca over a bridge where the gates which, "according to custom were bolted and locked, spontaneously opened for them," and finally through the gates of the city, "which, in a similar way in their presence, opened in the blink of an eye."299 But as soon as Zita arrived at the Fatinelli's door, Mary vanished, leaving Zita to face another Fatinelli servant who "opened the door, yelling at Zita" for having been i


gone so long. In the descriptions of Zita's pilgrimages to churches much closer to Lucca, the author again makes the journey the focus. On her way one Saturday night to the church of Sant' Angelo in Monte, as the vita notes was her custom, Zita, having been kept later than usual by her domestic duties, found herself walking in the dark only a mile into the six-mile journey.301 Once again, as a woman alone at night on a rural road, her presence merited comment. A man passing her on horseback chided her for being out by herself at such an hour. Zita told the man to continue on his own way without worry for her since, as she said: "Christ leads me unharmed."302 The vita describes this man's astonishment

AA.SS., c. 14, p. 507: "Advocem cujus gratissimam Zita, non solum imperterrita mansit; sedexiliens, pio ac dulcifamine, tantam fortitudinem, securitatem et confortationem recepit, quod omnis debilitas omnisque lassitude famis et sitis evanuit, et respondit continuo: Libenter: volo venire: eamuspariter." 299

AA.SS., c. 14, p. 508: "Dum igitur pariter commeantespervenissent adpontem tectum circa mediam noctem; ecce janua pontis, quae more solito clausa etfirmata erat, ultro aperta est eis: quibus ingressis, per se iterum clausa fuit et obserata. Demum venientes adportum civitatis, invenerunt earn similiter diligenter ferries seris firmatam: quae modo simili in conspectus illarum seipsam patefecit in ictu oculi, liberum utrique prebens ingressum." 300

AA.SS., c. 14, p. 508: "Tandem pervenerunt adportam suae habitationis: et ad clamorem Zitae, famula domus, cum murmuratione et objurgatione aperuit ostium; et statim mulier ilia disparuit, quae Zitam comitabatur." 301

AA.SS., c. 15, p. 508: "Quadam igitur die, dum fuissetpluribus in ministeriis domesticis praeposita, advesperascente et inclinante jam die, consuetum iter arripuiC

101 when he arrived at the gate of Sant' Angelo and saw Zita praying there, having beaten him to the church even though he was on horseback and she was on foot. Thinking that she must have been carried to the church by angels, the man asked Zita how she had managed to get to the church so quickly. Zita replied, "in the words of Job: 'As it hath pleased the Lord, so it is done.'"303 In the last pilgrimage described in the vita, the reader is given just a brief glimpse of what Zita did inside the churches to which she had undertaken such difficult journeys. The account of this pilgrimage begins by noting that Zita was insistent that she would make it to the church dedicated to the Magdalene in Crebaria on that saint's feast day, no matter how dangerous the fighting between Pisa and Lucca had left the road. The author points out the courage Zita had to make such a journey since the route had earned a reputation as a road where "one was frequently robbed of one's things... and sometimes had one's throat slit."304 But as he noted in his description of her working life, Zita always completed her tasks and would not abandon her pilgrimage.

However, Zita

arrived to a closed church once again. Undaunted by this seeming setback, Zita proceeded to pray at the church's door until she fell asleep. When she awoke and


AA.SS., c. 15, p. 508: "Qui dum cerneret earn, pedetentim se gressu raro et debilipraecedentem, exorsus inquit: Quo, mulier stolida, pergis hac hora tardissima? te noctisjam tenebrae circumdantes in errorem sunt noxiam perducturae. Ilia vero acsi nilpenderet, respondit humiliter: Itote viam vestram, me Christus perducet incolumem." 303

AA.SS., c. 15, p. 508: "Quam cum admirationepermaxima exquireret idem eques, quomodo tarn velociter se praecesserit et eo citius, pervenisset, inquit Mud S. Job: Sicut Domino placuit, ita factum est." 304

AA.SS., c. 20, p. 509: "Quodam igitur tempore, dum adesset B. Mariae Magdalenae devota festivitas, Zita, more solito sibipridem, accedere studuit ad eius ecclesiam semotam a civitate Lucae milliariis pene decern in solitudine, quae Crebaria nuncupatur; quamvispropter guerrarum discrimina, quae Lucanos ac Pisanos graviter affligebant, nemo confideret ad eamdem ecclesiam properare; cum illis inpartibus crebro spoliarentur, et aliquando jugularentur homines quilibet adeuntes." AA.SS., c. 20, p. 509: "At Deifamula, infervore spiritus constituta, non omisit ob hocproficisci, summa cum devotione, ad earn deferens in manibus cereum accendendum ad honorem beatissimae Magdalenae."

102 realized that she had slept through a wind and rainstorm, she watched the candle that she had brought to honor the Magdalene relight in her hands as the doors of the church opened. The author concludes the story, noting that after sunrise, when the priest and several parishioners arrived, they were amazed to find Zita praying inside the church.306 The stories of these pilgrimages leave the audience with only a limited sense of Zita's devotional activities inside the churches she visited. We learn that she was found praying in the church of the Magdalene in Crebaria but are not told the content of her prayers. In addition, the reader is left to wonder about what went on between the Virgin Mary and Zita on their long walk back to Lucca from Monte Pisano. Lacking accounts of ecstatic visions and divine conversations, the narration of Zita's pilgrimages in her vita is more concerned with describing the saint's demanding journeys than the particular details of her devotional life. As a woman traveling dangerous roads, most often alone and at night, Zita reveals her determination. And again, the author focuses attention on Zita's practical, can-do attitude, as it wins her something particularly valuable for a laywoman of her status: access and mobility. Gates and doors miraculously open for her; limited to travel by foot, she is able to beat a man riding on horseback. And undaunted by the warravaged area around Crebaria, Zita wins entry into a church before the priest and other devotees. Thus, in his presentation of Zita, the author associates her sanctity not with the particular details or intensity of her inner spiritual life, but instead with her brave determination and the freedom of movement that her courage and faith afford her.


AA.SS., c. 20, p. 509: "Ita tandem appropinquante aurora, Zita venerabilis, sicut intrepida, sic et illcesa, ab oratione pariter et somno surrexit; cereumque, quern extinctum attulerat, reperit in manibus suis divino igne accensum, quod nee venti nee pluvice potuerant extinxisse; ac ante suam faciem fores ecclesice, nutu patescentes divino, liberum prcebuerunt eidem ingressum: quam postmodum ingressam et orantem plures evidentius repererunt, qui cum Presbytero dictce ecclesice advenerunt, post solis ortum, ob hoc admiratione nimia stupefactV

Although the author presents few precise details of Zita's internal spiritual life in the vita, his description of her everyday devotional life makes it clear that she was committed to a life of penance. Claiming a similarity between her name and virginity "in the Roman language," the author writes that Zita's purity extended far beyond her abstention from sexual activity.307 Zita disciplined her body so intensely "that she rarely felt sensual impulses."30 She refused any food beyond what was necessary to keep herself alive, and collected what she did not eat to distribute to the poor and sick. Her body was so conditioned to fasting that, as the author writes, "it was hardly necessary for her to consume anything to support herself."309 He notes, that, "although she looked plump, there was scarcely anything on her bones." In fact, "her bones were fading because of her fasts, and her mind was raging with her yearnings for heavenly things; so much so that for the most part she seemed less like a human body, than she did like a ghost or spirit."310 While Zita's behavior clearly indicates that she was living as a penitent, as I have noted the author makes no mention of a rule or order structuring her activities. Moreover, the vita never links Zita's routine of self-denial and fasting to her own spiritual progress. Instead, the author focuses on the external application of each of 307

AA.SS., c. 21, p. 509: "Reverendam insuper B. Zitam non eventufatali credimus tale nomenfuisse sortitam, sed divino praesagio et dispositions gratiae supernaturalis, cui sunt futurapraesentia: Zita nempe Romana lingua Virginem sonat." 308

AA.SS., c. 10, p. 507: "Tanta nempe disciplina et rigiditate felix Zita carnem crucifigebat cum vitiis, quod motus sensuales rarissime sentiebat..." 309

AA.SS., c. 10, p. 507: "...ettam strictafraenabat modestiae lege, utaliqua vix sumeret necessaria sustentationi naturae." 3,0

AA.SS., c. 10, p. 507: " Et quia tunc castimonia adperfectum munditiae candorem ducitur, cum per abstinentiam caro domatur; jejuniis crebris adeo se macerabat, ut licet videreturfacie corpulenta, ossibus vix harereet. Pallebat os eius jejuniis, et mens coelestibus desideriis aestuabat: utplerumque nil minus quam corpus humanum, sedphantasma velspiritus videretur." I am using Webb's translation of this passage; see Saints and Cities, p. 170.

104 Zita's renunciations: when Zita does not eat, the poor of Lucca can; when Zita does not sleep on the small couch provided for her in the Fatinelli house, paupers, pilgrims and prostitutes have shelter and are saved from sin.311 We know that medieval women's manipulation of food for themselves and others was a primary aspect of their spiritual lives.312 For the author of the vita, however, Zita's bodily austerities and "her yearnings for heavenly things" are understood not in terms of their benefits to the saint but rather in terms of the benefits they offer Lucca. Thus each of Zita's abstinences has a practical result that serves to highlight her constant contributions the social welfare of her city. If Zita does not eat, the poor will. If she shuns new clothes, the needy will have something to wear. And if she gives up her bed to prostitutes, they will not have the opportunity to sin. The vita points out that no matter how much her domestic duties for the Fatinelli constrained her time, Zita regularly got up at Matins to pray at her neighborhood church, San Frediano. Not interested in drawing attention to the extensive time she spent in church or to her sometimes dramatic behavior while there, Zita preferred to pray in the lower part of the church where by herself she could "shed tears, fill the place with groans, beat her chest with her hands or with a stone, and in different ways share all the secrets of her hidden thoughts with God."313 Although the author provides more information about


AA.SS., c. 11, p. 507: "Quamvispraeterea lectulum satis convenientem haberet, in eo rarissime decumbebat: magis autem paupers et peregrinos introducens, ipsos in stratu suo refocillabat. Saepius etiam meretrices seu alias mulierculas, carnis illecebris et turpitudini servientes, hospitabatur et introducebat ad lectum; ea videlicet simplicitatis consideratione, ut quamtum posset vel una node a peccati coinquinatione servaret, zelans nimium ardentissima caritate salutem omnium animarum." 312 313

See Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast, p. 186 and passim.

AA.SS., c. 17, p. 508: "Omnipene tempore vitae suae surgebat ad vigilias Matutinas, et saepius ad ecclesiam B. Fridiani sibi vicinam accedens, Officio matutinali intentissima permanebat; degensque

105 Zita's activities inside San Frediano than he does of her visits to pilgrimage churches, he still says relatively little about what the secrets of her hidden thoughts might have been, and instead focuses on the places where Zita liked to pray. We learn that in San Frediano, Zita was often "accustomed to pray before a certain cross" that had been placed in the church's cemetery.314 And that when she did venture into the main church to join the other parishioners, Zita tended to sit with the men instead of the women, who, the author laments, often stood out for their inane talking.315 When she could not make her way to San Frediano, Zita would spend her nights in the Fatinelli house praying in a "place of solitude." There she would experience spiritual ecstasies that would leave her "drunk with the overabundance of divine love," making it clear to those of "better judgment" in the Fatinelli house that she was experiencing an "angelic visitation." In one passage, the author does offer us some sense of the content of Zita's internal devotional life. Describing how she often prayed in front of her favorite crucifix in San Frediano's cemetery, the author notes that there Zita regularly felt her soul melt "while she was sweetly and gently restored by the flesh of the Lamb who was roasted in the oven of the Cross." The author continues:

solitaria in inferiori parte ecclesiae, admodum spatiosae, ibi suas orations formabat, spargebat lacrymas, locum replebat gemitibus, tundebat manu vel lapide pectora, et cogitationis occultae secreta cuncta cum Deo multifarie conferebat." 314

AA.SS., c. 17, p. 508: "Praecipue ante quamdam Dominicam crucem, jampene vetustate consumptam, et ob hoc in diversorio coemiteriipositam, consuevit orare: ibi liqufiebat anima eius, cum de assati in clibano cruces Agni carnibus perduclciter et persuaviter reficeretur." 315

AA.SS., c. 18, p. 509: "Utplurimum autem non degebat in ecclesia inter alias mulieres, quae vacare inaniloquacitatisaepius dignoscuntur; sedjuxta viros locum adorandum sibidiligere consuevit" 3l6 AA.SS., c. 17, p. 508: "Ut autem quietius spiritualium consolationum immissiones exciperet, dxvini amoris exuberantia inebriata, loci solitudinem infra septa domus habitaculi sui quaerebat, etfrequentius in ibipernoctabat. Ubi ab his qui defamilia erant tanta claritas saepe videbatur de nocte, ac sifons luminis sol oriretur ibiem; existimantibus his, quibus mens sanior inerat, earn tunc praesentia auctoris luminis vel visitatione Angelica consolari."

106 The thought of the Passion of Christ was so intimately impressed on her innermost heart that it both burned her mind within with a fire of love and infused it with the wormwood of compassion. In the font of his love she burned the more fiercely the more violently she lamented his Passion; and when she saw the marks of the wounds on the crucifix and saw them also internally with the eyes of her mind, she could scarcely restrain her tearful groans; feeling in her virginal bowels, with endless sighs, how the bloody fluids burst forth from Christ's heavenly limbs and how he, the supremely blessed, exhaled his spirit with them and she did not cease to beat her breast until, at God's invisible chiding, tranquility returned. And, just as a man talks to his friend, so she talked, groaning, with the Lord, as if he were there present in the flesh.317 The author's rhetorical flourishes steal the scene here.318 Nevertheless, while "bloody fluids" bursting "forth from Christ's heavenly limbs" provides a vivid and dramatic image, the author does not give us much sense of what it meant for Zita to experience such a moment. In other words, his description, while dramatic, is nonspecific. Without any hint of Zita's voice to qualify and particularize her experience in front of the crucifix, the author instead uses this episode to show off his rhetorical flare at the same time as he continues to use Zita to draw a portrait of ideal lay devotional behavior. Although spiritually rigorous and sincere, Zita, according to the text, knew the proper time and place for ecstatic visions. In other words, despite the highly embellished description of Zita's experience before the crucifix, the author presents a moment of spiritual frenzy that is ultimately contained. At the climatic moment of her soul's melting, as she sees the AA.SS., c. 18, p. 508: "Praecipue ante quamdam Dominicam crucem, jampene vetustate consumptam, et ob hoc in diversorio coemiteriipositam, consuevit orare: ibi liquefiebat anima eius, cum de assati in clibano cruces Agni carnibusperdulciter etpersuaviter reficeretur. Et ideo memoria Passionis Christi visceribus cordis eius erat impressa medullitus, ut mentem eius intrinsecus et incendio dilectionis adureret, et absynthio compassionis impleret. In cuius amorefontali eo aestuabat ardentius, quo de passione eius doluit vehementius: et dum super crucifixo Domino plagas vulnerum oculis mentis interius quasijugiter cerneret, vix exterius a lacrymosis gemitibus continere valebat; animadvertens videlicet virgineis visceribus, cum suspiriis inaestimabilibus, quomodo sanguinales fluvii ex coelestibus Jesu membris [prorumperent] et cum eis spiritus Hie beatissimus eiulabat; nee prius a pectoris cessabat verberibus, donee invisibiliter Domino increpante rediret tranquillitas." This is Webb's transation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 174. 318

They also sound quite similar to language Catherine of Siena often used to describe her visionary experiences in her letters; see The Letters of Catherine of Siena, 2 volumes. Translated by Suzanne Noffke, O.P. (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000).

107 blood bursting forth and cannot stop groaning, the author writes that "at God's invisible chiding, tranquility returned."319 Moreover, even though she often beat her chest and groaned, Zita, the reader is told, prayed in front a crucifix that was not in the center of the church, but in the church's cemetery. After describing Zita's dramatic reaction to the crucifix, the vita again returns to exploring the physical dimensions of Zita's devotional life: It was her habit to leave the church last and to enter it ahead of others; nonetheless, when she was shut out she often prayed in front of the closed church door.. .She conducted herself in church with such modesty and silence that not only did she try never to look anyone in the face, but nothing was on her mind or her lips except her prayers; for often, while the tongue is not at all restrained from idle talk, it is let loose in presumptuous and foolish chatter.320 The author thus presents Zita as having two sides to her devotional life. On one hand, Zita's time in the cemetery of San Frediano is full of "tearful groans," "wailing," and the "scouring of her chest." On the other hand, after describing her heights of spiritual ecstasy the author insists that she was a model of "modesty and silence" while she prayed in other parts of the church. Zita, the reader is urged to see, knew the proper time and place for her ecstatic devotion. One can imagine that the canon who wrote this vita might have seen Zita's attentiveness to her behavior in church and her restrained but rigorous spirituality as a particularly attractive model for bis congregation to follow. Too much enthusiasm from a parishioner could be disruptive. In the generation after Zita, lay saints

AA.SS., c. 18, p. 508: "...donee invisibiliter Domino increpante rediret tranquillitas." 320

AA.SS., c. 18, p. 509: "Solita enim erat cunctis abire posterior, et ceteris prior introire: nihilominus quoque exclusa saepe, ante januam ecclesiae clausam, orationem suam faciebat... Tanto quoque silentio et pudore se in ecclesia coarctabat, ut non solum in cuiusquam facie minime videre tentaret, sednil aliud quam orations ore et mente revolveret: nam saepe dum ob otiosis verbis nequaquam lingua compescitur, ad temeritatem quoque stultae loquacitatis effertur." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 174-175.

108 such as Margaret of Cortona and Angela of Foligno were often excluded from the church services that their ecstatic behavior tended to upstage.321 In a paragraph exploring the spiritual rewards Zita found in prayer, the author returns to his earlier interest in the use the saint made of her hands. The reader is told that Zita prayed "with her hands" in part as a way to make manifest the deep tenor of her devotion without "entirely forsaking the quiet" that "might destroy the fire of celestial love in herself."322 Zita's use of her hands, the vita seems to argue, allowed her to maintain her more circumscribed style of prayer.323 Augustine Thompson, looking at the influence Peter the Chanter's treatise on prayer had on lay devotion in the Italian communes, has emphasized the importance both bodily gestures—such as bowing and prostration—and hand gestures had in lay prayer.324 Although Zita's use of her hands to pray was not unusual, the author's concern to point out that Zita's prayer was more effective precisely because she used her hands instead of her mouth seems intent upon identifying ideal lay behavior in church. Zita stood apart from the noisy frenzy the author associates with lay women in church, opting to sit with the men instead of the talkative women. The focus on Zita's use of her hands both connects her to other members of the laity at the same time as it distinguishes her from the masses. She is a member of the lay


Margaret of Cortona upstaged her Franciscan confessor with her ecstatic visions during services at San Francesco, see Legenda, p. 246; and Angela of Foligno was escorted out of San Francesco in Assisi by her confessor when she began to scream after feeling Christ leave her; see Memorial, in Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, trans. Paul Lachance (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), pp. 136-137.


AA.SS., c. 16, p. 508: "Et ut eius animae intellectus ab irradiatione divinae lucispurior redderetur, sic continuabat orare, ut etiam manibus operans, corde et ore obsecrationis verba ruminando depromeret; ne quietem funditus deserens, ignem superni amoris in se exstingueret." 323

AA.SS., c. 18, p. 509: "Tanto quoque silentio etpudore se in ecclesia coarctabat, ut non solum in cuiusquam facie minime videre tentaret, sednil aliudquam orations ore et mente revolveret..." 324

Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 344-357. For more on gestures in medieval prayer, see Jean Claude Schmitt, La raison des gestes dans I'occident medieval (Paris: Gallimard, 1990).

population, as she prays with her hands and yet she is not one who falls victim to the faults the author sees as common in other female parishioners. Zita's vita makes it clear that she was deeply committed to a rigorous routine of prayer, asceticism, and works of charity, and that her engagement in those activities afforded her spiritual gifts and visions that distinguished her from her fellow Lucchese. Nevertheless, the author does not use her visionary life as her primary claim to sanctity. Instead, his presentation of Zita locates her sanctity in the practical application of her spiritual experience. Zita might reach heights of mystical ecstasy, but she does so, the author argues, in a restrained manner that keeps each of her penitential and devotional actions anchored in the example it offers her civic community.

The Balm of Charity When Zita is not working for the Fatinelli, praying, or making pilgrimages, the vita most often presents her as offering charity to her fellow Lucchese. The author describes Zita's charity through a series of episodes, each of which portrays the saint mediating divisions within Lucchese society. Both the actual charity Zita offers and the miracles that often result from her efforts are presented in the text as bridging the gap between wealthy and poor, men and women, the learned and unlettered, and finally between life and death. As the perfect laywoman, Zita aids her fellow Lucchese, smoothes over differences in status and wealth and provides charity that allows for her civic community to function in relative peace and harmony.

110 Surrogate Charity: Standing between the Rich and the Poor In an episode included early on in the text, the author describes Zita overwhelmed by a throng of poor and starving Lucchese who had heard about her charitable reputation and had come to the Fatinelli house to seek her help. At first, Zita was concerned because she had already "made all the contributions that she was able to obtain from others through her works of piety" and faced the throng of starving poor with nothing to offer.

But having been "pierced by the sword of compassion" when she spotted a

woman with several hungry children emerge from the crowd, Zita began to look again for anything she might be able to offer. Remembering her employer's storehouse of food, she began to distribute some of what the vita describes as the Fatinelli's large supply of beans. Over the next few days, Zita continued to offer the Fatinelli's reserve to the hungry "no matter how many came asking for alms."326 While Zita was left fearful of the punishment her employer would inflict on her once he discovered her transgression, the author offers a justification for her action: Not having the means to extend a helping hand to her [the starving woman], she was divinely directed, for in times of need everything is to be shared and the heavenly rather than the earthly Lord must be obeyed.. .For those who claim private rights in the common gift of God are wrong to consider themselves blameless. Almost every day they are killing as many poor dying people as those whose means of support they keep to themselves; as long as they fail to give out what they have received, they are effecting the deaths of their neighbors.327 AA.SS., c. 5, p. 506: "Quae jam impensis omnibus quae habuerat, et quaepoterat ab aliis obtinere in huius opere pietatis, nihil sibi amplius supererat, quod posset impendere." 326

AA.SS., c. 5, p. 506: "Quapropter diebus subsequentibus ex arcapraefata largiebatur pauperibus, quotquot adveniebant eleemosynam postulantes." 321

AA.SS., c. 5, p. 506: "Seddum advenisset quaedam miserabilispaupercula, cumparvulorumpuerorum turba, circiter se et super se consistentium, et instanter ab eo eleemosynam postularet, deplorans se una cum illis paupertate pene incredibili laborare, imo nee ultra posse subsistere; continuo benignissima Dei famula compassionis extitit gladio perforata; nee habens unde posset illi manus porrigere adjutrices, edocta divinitus, quod videlicet necessitatis tempore communicanda sunt omnia, etplus esse coelesti Domino quam terreno parendum, constanter access it ad quamdam arcam dominisui, continentem fabarum multitudinem copiosam, scilicet ad certam stariorum mensuram; et indigenti feminae cum liberispartem

Ill The author's insistence on both the righteousness of Zita's actions and the shame of those unwilling to imitate her example complicates the portrayal of her commitment to charity. Zita's charity is not simply an act of compassion and generosity, but also an act of criticism. How could someone hoard excess food, the vita demands, when so many starve? Moreover, how could one even think of such provisions as one's particular property? In times of necessity, the author tells us, "all things ought to be shared." And those that do not share, the author claims quoting Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care, have their neighbor's blood on their hands.328 In the end, Zita is not punished for using the Fatinelli's beans to feed the poor. When the lord of the house ordered the box of beans assessed of its worth and then sold, it was found to be "divinely crowded with beans."329 The author writes, "the Lord, in whom she [Zita] had confided, marvelously protected his maidservant from all imminent harm in a supernatural way."330 Just as we saw in the description of the miraculously baked bread, the vita presents Zita acting in a manner contrary to what one would expect from an ideal servant. Yet, in both episodes, she is protected from her moment of distraction (forgetting about the baking bread as she prayed) and defiance (giving away goods that were not rightly hers) by miracles that not only save her from rebuke, but also

tribuit, ut famis possetpericulum evitare; quoniam incassum se innocentes putant, qui commune Dei manus sibi privatim vendicant: qui totpene quotidie perimunt, quot morientium pauperum apud se subsidia abscondunt; quidum recepta non tribunt, in proximorum nece versantur." This is Webb's transation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 167-168. 328

Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis, Patrologiae cursus completus: series latina, v. 11 (Paris: Migne, 1857-66), 3:19.


AA.SS., c. 6, p. 506: "Et ecce comperta est area referta dMnitus fabis, et in nullo earum inventa est diminuta mensura..." 330

AA.SS., c. 6, p. 506: "...sicque Dominus, in quo confidebat, protexit mirifice ab omni imminente molestia famulam suam, miro et inexcogitato humanitus modo."

112 function to underscore her sanctity. Such protecting miracles were common in the vitae of female saints in the later Middle Ages. Uncomfortable with their families' wealth, women were often portrayed by their hagiographers as offering those resources as charity.331 Moreover, both Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) and Columba of Rieti (d. 1501) performed food multiplication miracles that restored items they had taken from their families and as a result avoided punishment.332 But what is the reader to make of a miracle that is also an act of disobedience? On the one hand, the author offers sharp criticism of anyone who would hoard food while others starved. On the other hand, the Fatinelli were storing beans in order to sell them— an activity one would expect from a merchant family. The miracle that concludes this story ultimately protects both Zita and the Fatinelli from guilt: Zita does not have to confess her crime and the Fatinelli have no need to punish her. The question of imitation seems at issue here: what lesson should the reader take away from this story? In what way is Zita's behavior to be imitated? Immediately following the bean episode, the author describes another charitable act of Zita's that again ends with a protecting miracle. The author claims that Zita was an imitator of Saint Martin and presents the subsequent story as proof.333 On a particularly cold Christmas Eve, the master of the Fatinelli house noticed Zita bundling up in her "cheap and flimsy clothes" to pray and attend services at San Frediano, as was her usual


For example, Ida of Louvain (d. late thirteenth century) gave away her father's money as alms for the poor and Elizabeth of Hungary (d. 1231) gave as charity her husband's resources; see Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast, pp. 121-122 and 135-136. 332


Ibid., pp. 146 and 170.

AA.SS., c. 7, p. 506: "Imitatrix siquidem extitit ancilla Dei Zita Apostolici viri B. Martini Pontificis, dum, prout legitur, vestire Christum Dominum meruit in eius persona vel quempiam Angelorum."

113 custom. He implored her to stay and keep warm with the family, remarking that she had already completed her fast. If she was intent on going, however, he insisted she borrow his coat to protect her from the "moist and frigid marble pavement" of the church. Her master's kindness came with an ominous warning, however. "Pay attention Zita," he commanded, "that you don't give the cloak to someone... for if it is lost, I shall be much put out by my loss and you will suffer for it."334 As soon as Zita entered the church her attention was seized by "a certain halfdressed and murmuring pauper" whose "teeth were chattering" from the cold. She approached the shivering man and, disobeying her master, offered him her borrowed coat. The vita reports that Zita was careful to warn the man that he needed to return the coat to her before he left the church.335 After the services, however, Zita was left searching for the pauper, convinced that his shame had led him to disappear with her cloak.336 Returning home empty handed, Zita's lord "reproached her with harsh words" and continued to berate her for several hours until the pauper appeared to them on the AA.SS., c. 7, p. 506: "O Zita, quomodo sicproperas ad ecclesiam hoc noctis in tempore frigidissimo, quo vix sub tecto etpannis consistentes rigoris gelidi, possumus perferre molestiam? Cum tu maxime jejunio praecedenti confecto, vilique veste ac tenui cooperta, super humecta etfrigida consessura sis marmora pavimenti? Nempe, aut tibi parcens, hoc in loco vacatura Sanctis obsecrationibus dege; out tuis humeris contra molestiam frigoris chlamydem meam cum pellibus superadde. Cumque Zita recusaret in node tantae solennitatis deesse sanctae ecclesiae, et assumpta pelliceata illius chlamydem ad ecclesiam properaret, replicans loquipater-familis dixit, quodam praesago spiritu, prout sequentia indicant: Adverte, Zita, etdiligenter cave, ne chlamydem recommendes alteri cuiquam, autdimittas ubilibet; ne forte ilia deperdita, ego rerum mearum carentia et damno afficiar, et tu a me gravem molestiam patiaris." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 169. 335

AA.SS., c. 8, p. 506: "Dum itaque Zita ingressa esset ecclesiam, statim eius intuitus se direxit ad quemdam pauperem, seminudum, submurmurantem, etprae asperitate frigoris dentibus constrepentem; in cujus miserria continuo cor Zitae prae compassione confossum liquefiebat super afflictionem pauperis tremebundi. Et accedens proprius, ait: Bene, Frater, quid tibi est? et cur querimoniis te afflcis? At ille quodam vultuplacido intendens in earn, extendit manum, tetigitque chlamydem, contegit pauperem, dicens ei: Has, frater, teneas, super tepelles, donee divina Officio complebuntur, sed resignaturus Mas mihi: nee usquam eas, quia te addomumperducam, etafrigoreper ignemprotegam" 33

AA.SS., c. 8, p. 507: "Putas quo ille divertit? Vereor ne quisquam sibi chlamydem abstulit, et sic prae verecundia non audet se meis visibus exhibere. Et quidem stais videbaturpersona bonae apparentiae, unde nee credo quod aut chlamydem fraudarit autfugerit."


stairs of the Fatinelli house with the cloak on his arm.

114 As soon as Zita and her master

began to speak to the pauper, he disappeared "like a flash of lightening" leaving them both with "a new and unfamiliar sensation of heavenly joy."338 The story of Saint Martin had a particular meaning for the vita's Lucchese audience. In addition to the circulation of popular versions of Martin's vita, most notably Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda Aurea, the Lucchese knew Martin as the titular saint of their Cathedral.

Just as Saint Martin had figured out that the poor man with whom he

had shared his cloak was Christ, the author of Zita's vita wants his audience to understand that Zita and her master also realized the divine identity of their mysterious pauper. By casting Zita as a new Saint Martin, the author of her vita not only buttresses his claims for her sanctity but also gives his audience a familiar narrative in which to place Zita. In both this miracle story and the miraculous replenishment of the Fatinelli's storehouse of beans, Zita is spared the consequences of her charitable impulses. The cloak returns, the beans are replenished and there is no need for the Fatinelli to punish their servant. While stories of female saints' manipulation of the resources around them (whether of their families or their employers) for charitable ends identify one of the few contexts in which medieval women could rebel, the protecting miracles that follow Zita's


AA.SS., c. 9, p. 507: " 0 immensa divinae bonitatis dementia! Ecce siquidem hora tertia, adest in scala et domus medio pauper, venusta specie demulcens animum intuentium, et in ulnis deferens chlamydem praefatam..." 338

AA.SS., c. 9, p. 507: "£/ subito, dum tarn Zita quampater-familias ipsum alloqui inchoassent, disparuit ab eis, velutfulgur coruscationis cuiusdam, immisso in eorum corda coelitus quodam novo et inexperto gaudio, ex quo cum admiratione iaetabantur, et cum delectatione quadam diutius mirabantur." 339

Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, 2 vols., trans. William Granger Ryan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), vol. 2, pp. 292-300. On San Martino, see Clara Baracchini and Antonino Caleca, Ilduomo di Lucca (Lucca: Libreria Editrice Baroni, 1973).

115 340

moments of rebellion complicate the meaning of her charity.

On one hand, the

miracles themselves criticize the social inequalities of the late medieval city. On the other hand, however, they also serve to protect the Fatinelli from harsh judgment. Without a doubt, the Fatinelli come across in the vita as less than generous. Zita doles out her employer's excess as charity to those in need, while the Fatinelli, warm and secure in their house, remain as unaffected by and perhaps oblivious to the starving throngs outside as they were to the shivering paupers populating their neighborhood church. But the miracles the vita narrates have a double purpose. They come to the practical rescue of the poor and the moral rescue of the wealthy. With Zita around, the vita seems to suggest, there is no need for the wealthy to change their ways; Zita's charity can mend the social problems of her day and remove any need for social change. While the poor may be starving and cold as the rich are warm and hoarding excess food, the vita presents Zita's sanctity as allowing for these disparities to exist in relative harmony.

Practical Charity: Overcoming Sex and Status The author also includes stories of Zita's charity that do not entangle her employers in the social realities of the city. These episodes, for the most part, do not end in miracles but instead explore Zita's relationship with those in need as well as the manner in which she distributed her charity. Throughout the vita, the author notes that Zita was both filled with "fraternal affection" for the poor and needy and had a "maternal womb" not for carrying children, since she was steadfastly committed to maintaining her

Bynum explores food distribution as rebellion in the vitae of several late medieval women; see Holy Feast and Holy Fast, pp. 119-122, 190-193, and 221-27.

116 virginity, but in order that she "could alleviate the miseries of miserable people."


Although eager to point out Zita's maternal qualities, the author distinguishes her behavior from that of other women. He writes that her concern for others did not lead her to interfere in her fellow Lucchese's lives like a "female flatterer" (adulatrix). That is, he elaborates, "she was not one of those for whom nothing is more enjoyable than to talk and concern themselves about the affairs of others." Instead, Zita "closed her ears against slanders and rumors" and "rarely spoke without proper consideration or useful need, bewaring of all idle talk."342 As we have seen, the vita notes that Zita preferred to sit with the men in San Frediano since the women were known for their "inane chatter."343 The author's portrait of Zita urges his audience to see the pious servant as a perfected example of her sex: able to care for the poor like a mother, but still a virgin; involved in the affairs of her neighbors, without resorting to gossip. The author goes on to describe more precisely Zita's way of influencing the lives of her fellow Lucchese. Zita could offer "happiness to the sorrowful, compassion to the


AA.SS., c. 4, p. 505: "Pietatis quoque dulcedo in tantaplenitudinis copia in Dominifamulam a misericordiae Fonte manaverat, ut ad miserabilium personarum relevandas miseries viscera videretur gestare materna." 342

AA.SS., c. 29, p. 511: "Sednec effabat seupertractabat ut adulatrix de negotiis alienis: quoniamhaec non erat ex his, quorum est, non sua sedpotius aliena loqui et aliena curare; maxime si evenerit vel odio eos vel amore praeveniri, quibus affectibus saepe Veritas occultatur et depravatur. Sed et aures suas sepivit a detractionibus et susurris; et silentium posuit ori sou, et ostium circumstantiae labiis suis tarn arduum, utperraro loqueretur, absque opportune consultatione vel necessaria utilitate. " This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 182-183. 343

AA.SS., c. 18, p. 509: "Utplurimum autem non degebat in ecclesia inter alias mulieres, quae vacare inani loquacitati saepius dignoscuntur; sedjuxta viros locum ad orandum sibi diligere consuevit."

117 afflicted, beneficial counsel to the desolate, and helpful advice to the unlearned; not with sophisticated eloquence or in learned words.. .but by the display of spirit and life."344 In other words, Zita taught others through her actions instead of her words— a trope in medieval hagiography but also an appropriate description in a text that does not offer the reader any examples of Zita's direct speech. Again the author uses the limitations inherent in Zita's low social status to argue for her sanctity. Just as he noted that Zita's concern for others was ultimately more effective than "the words of scripture," here he sees the practical simplicity of Zita's piety and charity as a key to her sanctity.345 Others may flatter and offer learned words of wisdom, but Zita, the vita continually shows, was the living example of the value of simple, hard work. In fact, Zita could ultimately transcend the limits of her uneducated lay status. Noting that many people think they can portray themselves as smarter than they are by speaking "inappropriately about unfamiliar things and believe that they appear the more learned the bigger display of loquacity they can make," the author celebrates the way in which Zita's simplicity ultimately reveals her intelligence. The author writes that even though Zita was "of such simplicity," she seemed to attain "the understanding of the most learned."346 Again, the vita portrays Zita as the perfect laywoman, who was bound but not limited by her sex and


AA.SS., c. 27, p. 511: "Atmoestis laetitiam, compassionem afflictis, desolates consilia salutaria, et indoctis monita praestabat salutis: non equidem leporum disserendi acutissima urbanitate, aut in doctis humanae sapientiae verbis; sed in ostensione spiritus et vitae." 345


AA.SS., p. 505.

AA.SS., c. 27, p. 511: "Plerique nempe esse se doctos etprae omnibus credunt doctiores ostendere, quanto sepotuerint loquacitatis multiplicitate aperire. Nimirum autem quamvia Deifarnula circa mundi negotia, cuiuscumque forent materiae vel causae, tantae simplicitatis existeret, acsi ab his penitus aliena de mundo non esset; tamen in omni mandatorum Dei perfectione et his quae possunt ad animarum pertinere salutem, et sacrarum lectionum intelligentiam, suo modulo tantae videbatur sapientiae et virtutis, ut doctissimorum quorumlibet studiositatem attingeret, lucis aeternae irradiata fulgoribus: utpote quam inhabitabat Spiritus sanctus, cunctarum Scripturarum magister." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 181

118 status. Her simplicity allows her to tap into a kind of intelligence far above what one would expect from someone of her station. And her charity makes use of what the author sees as the most praiseworthy aspects of her sex—her ability to carry and support the needy as if they were her own children.

Perfect Charity: Zita's Death The vita portrays Zita as having achieved in her old age such a degree of spiritual perfection that "she did not carry on further as their [the Fatinelli's] servant but instead as the maidservant of the most high God."347 Moreover, the author reports that the Fatinelli family began to look after Zita "like one of their own children," suggesting that the servant had exchanged roles with her patrons.348 This transformation only went so far, however. Although she was treated like a member of the family, the vita notes that Zita had not abandoned her "voluntary poverty."349 And though weakened by old age, Zita, the reader is assured, had not given up "either the punishing work, the usual vigils and fasts, or the future austerities of her body as occasion offered," nor did she "relinquish


AA.SS., c. 31, p. 512: "Cum igitur Venerabilis Zita adsummam arcem perfectionemque cunctuarum virtutum et adperfectam venisset aetatem; nobelium quoque hominum, quibus dudum ministrando servierat, discreta providential ulterius nonferebat, illam habere utsuam, sed velut Dei sumtni ancillam: et sic exinde quaecumque velletagere libere permittentes, eamdem, tarn maturitate senilis aetatis, quam contemplatione Celebris sanctitatis, congruo venerabantur affectu." 348



AA.SS., c. 31, p. 512: "Zita vero, cumfervore spiritus semper in sublimiora conscendens, paupertatem voluntarium, semper sibi dilectam, amplexari non destitit, neque ob gravitatem aetatis (qua videlicet ceteri solent remissius vivere) nee propter sexus fragilitatem seu debilitatem corpoream, passa est austeritatem sui cursus emolliri aut diminui."

her state of servitude or subjection."


119 Instead, Zita continued to serve her employers as

well as her fellow Lucchese. The author describes the final days of Zita's life by pointing out that the spiritual rewards she was enjoying were both a result of her years of hard work and proof of her sanctity. Zita's commitment to "servitude or subjection," the author writes, had "earned [her] the right to be swept up to the celestial dwellings and hailed by the resplendent heralds of sanctity." As Zita died, "she was carried to the love of the Creator by exertion in marvelous works," because, he argues, "all ascent is in exertion, all descent in pleasure; by effort the step leads upward, but by relaxation it leads downwards."351 As we have seen, throughout the vita, the "effort" Zita manifests toward her work substantiates her claim to sanctity: her manual labor was her spiritual progress. At her death, the years of "exertion in marvelous works" ultimately carry her to a God who is portrayed as particularly committed to compensating those who have worked hard. The author writes: Omnipotent God, the truthful and faithful (who does not cheat the laborers in the vineyard of penitence out of their daily penny, as the gospel trumpet proclaims, 'Come to me all you that labor, and are burdened') already wishing that his beloved maidservant was at rest and refreshed, thought it right to lead her in this way toward the heavenly nuptial of the Lamb.

AA.SS., c. 31, p. 512: "Sedneque operapoenalia, neque consuetas vigilias etjejunia, autreliquas corporis asperitates voluit ex quavis occasione deserere, aut statum servitatis sive subjectionis omittere siverelinquere..." 351

AA.SS., c. 31, p. 512: "...sed consideratione solicita, cautela quam amplissima, tumionibus acpressuris innumeris expolita, merebatur coaptari coelestibus aedificiis, amplificisque efferripraeconiis sanctitatis; et semper seipsa ferventior, rebus fugacibus spretis, in amorem Conditoris, mirabilium operum laboribus ferebatur. Omnis enim ascensus in labore est de intensione, descensus in voluptate: quia per annisum gressus ad superiora tenditur, per remissionem vero ad inferiora declinature 352

AA.SS., c. 33, p. 512: "Fidelis etverax Deus omnipotens (qui laborantes inpoenitentiae vinea diurno denario non defraudat, quin into clamat evangelica tuba, Venite ad me omnes, qui laboratis et onerati estis) jam requiescere et reficere volens dilectam ancillam suam, adcoelestes Agni nuptias dignatus est earn hoc modoperducere." The vita's author is citing Matt. 20.1-2 and 11.28.

120 Zita's labor earns her a place in heaven. The message to the vita's audience is clear: God is aware of your burden and will reward hard work. As the vita notes, toward the end of her life, Zita's employers cared for the servant who had for so many years cared for them. The author makes it clear that although still committed to "servitude," Zita directed most of her energy towards providing charity for her fellow Lucchese. In the final pages of the vita, the author offers a succinct appraisal of that commitment. By the fervor of her love and in the practice of the spiritual life she was every day made a new creature, so that she despised this present world, did not love transitory things, fixed her inmost mind in humility on God and her neighbor, maintained patience against insults and with studied patience repelled sorrow from her heart, gave what was her own to the needy, never meddled with others' affairs, loved her friends in God and her enemies because of God, and lamented the suffering of her neighbor. All these things were great signs of perfection in her.353 The "great signs of perfection" the author identifies in Zita designate her as a saint despite her lay status. Zita was "every day made a new creature" precisely because she engaged herself in the realities of city life without becoming a victim of its sins. According to her vita, Zita was the perfect laywoman because she could exist between two different worlds. She could devote herself utterly to her domestic work without becoming too attached to worldly things because she "did not love transitory things." She could carry and tend to the poor, as a mother would carry her own offspring, without succumbing to the outbursts, inane talking, or flattery of other women. And she could lead and instruct others to follow her example without "meddling in the affairs of others."

AA.SS., c. 30, p. 512: "Perfervorem ergo caritatis, in exercitio vitae spiritualis, novaflebat quotidie creatura; dum sic ageret, ut praesentem mundum despiceret, transitoria non amaret, mentem medullitus in humilitate Deo et proximo sterneret, contra illatas contumelias patientiam servaret, et custodita patientia dolorem a corde repelleret, egenis propria tribueret, aliena minime ambiret, amicos in Deo diligeret et inimicos propter Deum, et deproximi afflictione lugeret: quae omnia magna fuere in ea signa perfectionis." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 183-184.

121 The author's presentation of Zita's sanctity sees her as a perfected member of the laity; she rises above but not beyond her social and sexual station.

Zita's Civic Cult After a fever that lasted for five days, Zita died in the Fatinelli house. The description the vita offers of the Lucchese's reaction suggests that in her adopted city, Zita was already treated as a saint. The author writes that as her employers were making arrangements for Zita's funeral, word spread through the city of her death, and "both men and women of all ages" crowded into San Frediano's cloister and the adjacent streets.354 The devotees tried to remain as "near to the body as they were able" and managed to keep the canons of San Frediano from completing Zita's funeral service for several days. The Lucchese's enthusiasm was so strong that, as the canons carried Zita's corpse into San Frediano, the crowd scrambled to rip off bits of Zita's clothes, leaving her body almost nude.355 Concerned that the "irrational mob," as the vita describes them, might next start to pull Zita's body apart, "those of more substantial discipline," whom I assume refers to the canons, took Zita's body on a circuit of San Frediano, moving the body through the enclosed choir, the cloister, the cathedral chapter, the refectory, and the hospital.356 Thus, even after her death, Zita was able to gain access to places usually

AA.SS., c. 34, p. 513: "...tanta indigenarum convenit utriusque sexus et aetatis hominum innumera multitudo, ut ecclesiam dicti B. Fridiani, praegrande claustrum, et adjacentes plateas implerent..." 355

AA.SS., c. 34, p. 513: "...quoniam die noctuque constipatapopuli multitudoperseverabat instantius circa corpus, et quisque proutpoterat, ob devotionem ingentem, de vestimentis eius auferre aliquid satagebat: adeo quidem, utpluribus vicibus, quibus in tanto induta extitit, remansit seminude." 356

AA.SS., c. 34, p. 513: "Verum ne discerperetur corpus Sanctae, utque obviaretur irrationabili multitudiniper eos qui solidioris sunt disciplinae: quidamfide et devotione promptiores, diversis ingeniis et simulationibus quaesitis, transferebant Mud verierandum corpus, ut erueretur, nunc in chorum

inaccessible to someone of her sex and status. While this episode again underscores Zita's status as a perfect lay woman, it also emphasizes that the canons offered Zita's body the needed protection and space for her developing cult. The vita's author goes on to note that although no one had "promoted or favored or publicized by preaching the pre-eminent sanctity of her life and the excessive abundance of her miracles" taking place at her tomb, every year more and more people came "on the anniversary of the day of her glorification and passing and bear witness to her saintly merits."357 Thus according to the author, in the first years after Zita's death, her cult grew not by means of "preaching" but by the force of popular interest. He notes that even though Zita's tomb began to emit a "tremendous fragrance," the San Frediano canons remained skeptical and held off immediately promoting her cult, reasoning that "if the whole business was ill-founded and of merely human origin, it would soon cease; if it were of divine origin and proceeded from divine providence, no mortal would be able to resist it, but despite all opposition it would prosper and grow mightily."358 Once a

conclusion, nunc in claustrum, nunc in capitulum, nunc in refectorium, nunc in hospitariam, et alia monasterii loca; cncludentes illudin cassis ligneis, quae tamenpluries confractae fuerunt." 357

AA.SS., c. 36, p. 513: "Et quod est satis devota admiratione et miranda devotione dignum, licet de suce prceeminentia sanctitatis aut vitce et miraculorum multiplicitate prcenimia, nequaquam fautores, promotores, coadjutores, autprcedicatione promulgator-es usquam locorum habuerit, into contradictors quam plures; tamen non solum annuatim concursus infinites gentium multitudinis diversarum regionum, civitatum et dicecesium pene totius Italics, occurrentium anniversario die suce glorificationis et transitus, ejusdem sanctitatis merita protestatur: sedetiam quotidianus visitationis excursus, adsepulcrum eius venientium, tarn citra [quam ultra] montanorum, quibus prcesto adest et affuit, in necessitatibus et periculis contingentibus invocata, earn apud Dominum insignem et exaudibilem, non voce solum, sed opere asserit, indiciisetsubventionibusmanifestis" 358

AA.SS., c. 35, p. 513: "Jacobus, Priorpraefatae ecclesiae, suique Fratres, nullam vel modicam sanctitati huiusfidem accommodantes (quamvis magnae viri religionis existerent) praehabito prudentium et etiam religiosorum virorum, tarn Praedicatorum quam Minorum Ordinis Fratum, consilio et collatione concordi, in lapideo sarcophago fecerunt concludi venerandum eius corpus, redolens immensi ordoris multa fragrantia, exspectantes de concordi praedictorum consilio rei exitum: ut videlicet, si opus idem foret fictitium et dumtaxat humanum, cito deficeret; si vero esset divinum et de providentia divina procederet, nemo mortalium posset illi resistere, sed invito omni contradictore immensum prosperaretur et

123 "salutary liquid" began to seep from it and her body appeared to have resisted decay, the author writes that cardinals, archbishops, bishops, secular princes, barons, knights and "prominent popolanF began to flock to her tomb in San Frediano.359 The accounts of miracles that the notary, Fatinello di Migliore, collected starting the day after Zita's death in April 1278 until January 1279 also argues for the quick growth of Zita's cult. The 99 miracle accounts copied into the Fatinelli manuscript provide us more information about the first visitors to Zita's tomb. Nearly equal numbers of men and women, mainly from Lucca and the surrounding countryside, came to the tomb in order to cure their bodily and spiritual ailments as well as to pay homage for miracles already performed in Zita's name. Zita seems to have been particularly adept at releasing her devotees from various forms of physical paralysis, as there are 50 accounts that include mention of the miraculous healing of the lame and crippled.360 In addition, Zita was hailed for curing the blind, deaf and mute as well as releasing several women

cresceret: sicutde die in diempublice cernitur adimpletum." This is Webb's translation; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 187. 359

AA.SS., c. 36, p. 513: "Sicut revera testaripossuntplures ex S.R.E. Cardinalibus, ac etiam Archiepiscopis, Episcopis et aliis venerabilibus, qui viderunt; nee non Principum secularium, Baronum ac Militum, et grandis popularium multitudo, occurrentium diversis temporibus: qui corporeis oculis conspexerunt, dumpia devotione ad venerationem eius, citra tamen juris prohibitionem, saepius occurrerunt, et occurrere quotidie non desistunt; maxime autem ii, qui in suis necessitatibus eius subventiones et benejicia persenserunt: quibus in maris terraeque periculis ad opitulandum adstitit devotius invocata." The incorruptibility, sweet smells, and oozing of liquids from saints' corpses was a common theme in medieval hagiography. On these phenomena, see Herbert Thurston, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, ed. J.H. Crehan (Chicago: H. Regnery Co., 1952), pp. 233-282; Michel Bouvier, "De 1'incorruptibility des corps saints," in Les Miracles, miroirs des corps, ed. Jacques Gelis and Odile Redon (Paris: Presses et Pubications de 1'Universite de Paris-VIII, 1983), pp. 193-221; Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 300-1336 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), pp. 206-212, and 221-224; and Bynum, "Bodily Miracles and the Resurrection of the Body in the High Middle Ages," in Belief in History: Innovative Approaches to European and American Religion, ed. Thomas Kselman (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), p. 70. 360

SeeAA.SS., miracula, c.l, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,21,22, 23,25, 28,29, 30, 31, 32,36, 37,40,41,42,46,47,48, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 59,60, 62, 67, 68, 73, 74, 75, 79, 83, 87, 88, 90, 96, 98. Some miracle accounts report the curing of more than one kind of ailment.

from the grips of tormenting demons.


124 Finally, there are miracle accounts that describe

Zita's healing of various types of animal bites, ulcers, food allergies, and unspecified bodily pains.362 The miracle accounts are valuable not only for what they can tell us about the kind of aliments people believed Zita could cure but also what they tell us about who was drawn to her tomb. Both men and women came to Zita's tomb looking for cures (47 men and 52 women).

Of those devotees, the vast majority came from Lucca and the

surrounding countryside (85 of the 99 accounts).364 In addition to listing the names and geographical origins of the beneficiaries, the notary also included a list of witnesses who could attest to the validity of each miracle. Canons from San Frediano served as witnesses to all of the miracles that took place during the first year after Zita's death. The miracle accounts can also help us understand how Zita's reputation grew after her death. As I have noted, the vita's author claims that the increasing traffic of pilgrims to Zita's tomb was all the more noteworthy since her life had not been formally promoted or preached.365 The author seems particularly concerned to point out how Zita's reputation spread by force of popular interest. Although he mentions a number of prominent church and secular leaders who came Zita's tomb, the author does not name these leaders. Instead, he describes the different kinds of people who came—cardinals 361

For Zita's cure of the blind, deaf and mute, see AA.SS., miracula, c.4, 5, 12,13, 15,24, 26, 33, 34,38, 39,42,43,45, 56, 57, 61, 69, 70, 78, 82, 96, 97; for the possessed women cured at Zita's tomb, see miracula, c.35, 44,49, 58,64, 66, 71, 72, 76, 77, 81, 85,95. 362

AA.SS., miracula, c.10,27, 52,65, 80, 84, 86, 89, 91,92, 93, 94,99.


For women reporting miracles, see AA.SS., miracula, c.l, 2, 7,12,15, 17,19, 20, 22,23,28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34,35,36, 38,42,43,44,46,48,49, 56, 57, 58, 59,60, 63, 64,66, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77,78, 79, 81, 85, 86, 88,90,91, 92, 93,94, 95, 96, 98. 364

For those coming from beyond Lucca and its contado, see AA.SS., miracula, c.17, 32, 52, 53, 59, 76, 81, 95, 96, 98. 365 AA.SS. c.36, p. 513; see note 103.

125 and archbishops, knights and barons—as a way to emphasize the variety of people interested in Zita. The author's portrait of the popular origins of Zita's cult is supported by the testimony in the miracle collection. In a number of accounts, the beneficiaries mention that they came to seek a cure from Zita after they heard that she had been "sanctified."366 In testimony taken in January 1279, a woman from Pisa described the successful cure of her arthritis at Zita's tomb during the previous summer. The notary adds that this miracle took place after Zita "had been sanctified in Lucca."367 Early modern scholars speculated that the Bishop Paganello of Lucca must have authorized this civic canonization, but I have been unable to find any documentation to support this idea.368 Bishop Paganello is not mentioned by name in either the vita or the miracle collection. Webb has posited that if indeed the vita was written during the 1286 struggle between San Frediano and the Lucchese Franciscans, the author might have omitted any mention of Paganello if the bishop was not aiding the canons in this dispute.369 While the precise reason for the absence of Lucca's bishop in either the vita or the miracle collection remains unanswered, its effect is clear. Both the vita and the miracle collection present the people and not specific secular or church authorities as the engine behind the spread of Zita's reputation and her civic sanctification.


AA.SS., miracula, c. 35, 63,69, 83, 90.


AA.SS., miracula, c. 98, p. 531: "Jacobina, uxor Bonajunctae Pellicciarii, de S. Martino in Guasso longo civitatis Pisanae, etfilia qu. Rodolphini Bursarii anno MCCLXXIX; decima die mensis Januarii, corporaliter adsancta Dei Evangelia juravit et suo juramento dixit...Et dixit, quodhoc proximo praeterito anno in aestate, juxta festivitatem Ascensionis Domini, quando suprad. B. Zita Virgo sanctificaverat in civitate Lucana, ipsa vovit se Deo et supradictae, venire Lucam ad eius corpus ad eius laudem, et referre ei laudes et gratias, si ipsa sibi redderet sanitatem...." 368

On the history of episcopal canonizations, see Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 22-57. Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 161-162.

126 In spite of both the vita's and the miracle collection's emphasis on the popular origins of Zita's cult, it seems clear that the San Frediano canons had a significant impact in directing the beginnings of Zita's cult—they contributed both the author of her vita and the witnesses to each of the miracles performed at her tomb. We should therefore ask why the Frediani canons were first interested in Zita. What initially piqued the canons' interest in what, we can imagine, was not their only pious parishioner? As I have noted, the vita's author pays particular attention to the ways in which Zita juggled work and prayer. The canons who witnessed Zita's devotional activity in San Frediano and went on to be her first advocates were undoubtedly engaged in a similar balancing act. As regular canons, their mission was to stand as exemplars of the apostolic life for the lay population to whom they ministered. Like Zita, they were required to participate in the business of the world without being entirely of that world. In some sense, regular canons were pulled between two communities—their cloister and parish—just as Zita was pulled between two kinds of work—one for the Fatinelli and the other for the needy of Lucca.370 The author of Zita's vita thus might have seen an opportunity to describe a life that spoke to his own circumstances.

The Canons of San Frediano While Zita's connection to San Frediano was circumstantial—she frequented it, we might imagine, because it was the closest church to her employer's home—we can assume that she was aware, to some extent, that her neighborhood church occupied an

On regular canons role within public life, see Joan Barclay Lloyd, The Medieval Church and Canonry of S. Clemente in Rome (Rome: San Clemente, 1989), pp. 208-210.

127 important place in Lucca's history. Founded in the late sixth century by Bishop Frediano, an Irish monk who made Lucca his home, the first church of San Frediano was dedicated to Saints Vicenzo, Stefano, and Lorenzo. By the 690s the church, which by then also included a monastery, was commonly referred to as San Frediano; the Irish bishop, buried in the church's crypt, had come to be venerated in his adopted city for—among other things—his miraculous redirecting of the Serchio River, which saved the city from disastrous floods. By the mid-eighth century, however, the community of monks at San Frediano had been replaced by secular clerics.371 During the eleventh century, most notably under the influence of Bishop Anselm I (later Pope Alexander II, 1062-1073), Lucca was one of the first Italian cities to embrace the papacy's calls for a reformed clergy. By 1100, most Lucchese churches had communities of reformed canons living a common life. Foremost among those communities were the canons at San Frediano. In his study of the different types of canons in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Charles Dereine notes that the San Frediano canons were an example of the kind of community that was particularly amenable to reform. Housed in a former monastery, the Frediani canons had the physical spaces that allowed for the adoption of a common life following the rule of St. Augustine.


On the history of San Frediano, see Romano Silva, La Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca: Urbanistica, architettura, arredo (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1985); Giorgio Giorgi and Umberto Nicolai, Le Tre basiliche di S. Frediano nella storia e nell'arte (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1998); Diana Webb, "The Church of San Frediano in Lucca," History Today, 44 (1994): pp.62-63. The last mention of San Frediano's monastery comes in a 762 charter, see Martino Giusti, "Le canoniche della citta e diocesi di Lucca," Studi Gregoriani 3 (1948): p. 346. A 1042 charter refers to the "priests, deacons, and canons" at the church, see Giusti, "Le canoniche," p. 346. 372

On the history of the canons of San Frediano, see Charles Dereine, "Chanoines," Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastiques 12 (1953): cols. 381-382; Giusti, "Le canoniche," Studi Gregoriani 3 (1948): pp. 345-348; Enrico Coturri, "La Canonicadi S. Frediano di Lucca dalla prima...." Actum luce 3 (1974): pp. 47-80; and Grover A. Zinn, "The Regular Canons," in Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century, p. 218.

128 letters sent in the late-eleventh and early-twelfth century reveal that in return for their successful embrace of the papacy's reform program, the Frediani were repeatedly singled out for praise and reward. For example, Paschal II offered the canons episcopal immunity and called them to Rome to help reform the Lateran canons, an honor that was extended again by Gelasius II and Calixtus II. In addition to the changes brought to the city by the reform papacy, a dramatic increase in pilgrimage traffic into the city during the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries also significantly affected San Frediano as well as other Lucchese churches. Located on a main pilgrimage route to Rome from Northern Europe, the Via Francigena, Lucca enjoyed the economic benefit the increasing number of pilgrims brought into the city. In order to capitalize on that traffic, the cathedral, San Martino, as well as San Frediano began immense rebuilding projects, with both churches increasing the size of their naves and translating their most celebrated relics from the crypts to the high altars to attract and accommodate the flood of pilgrims. The large, three-nave church that Zita attended was completed in 1147.374 Its new size now rivaled the cathedral and stood as proof of the prestige San Frediano's community of reformed canons had achieved over the past century. The rebuilding of San Martino (in the 1060s) and San Frediano (completed in 1147) took place on opposite sides of the city and marked the beginning and end of an era of intense religious reform in Lucca. But the rivalry between Lucca's two largest

See Charles Buchanan, "Spiritual and Spatial Authority in Medieval Lucca: Illuminated Manuscripts, Stational Liturgy and the Gregorian Reform," Art History 27 (2004): 723-744; Coturri, "La Canonica di S. Frediano," pp. 58-63; Giusti, "Le canoniche," pp. 326-7; Silva, La Basilica diSan Frediano, pp.26-29; and Paul Kehr, Italia Pontificia, vol. Ill (Berlin, 1908), pp. 414-428. On San Martino, see Baracchini and Caleca, // duomo di Lucca.

churches had a more complicated history than the competitive quest for pilgrimage profits might suggest. The prestige the canons of San Frediano enjoyed in the late eleventh and early twelfth century (their episcopal immunity and many invitations to Rome, for example) came—to some degree—at the expense of the reputation of the cathedral chapter. San Frediano's canons became the privileged Lucchese chapter only after San Martino's canons had lost favor with the papacy in 1079.375 In that year, the cathedral canons had split into two factions, with one faction, led by Bishop Anselm II, willing to conform to the reforms called for by Pope Gregory VII, and another faction intent upon rejecting those modifications to the canonical life. The cathedral canons who refused to reform eventually allied themselves with Lucchese nobles and citizens partial to the Imperial cause in Tuscany, setting the stage for the beginnings of Lucca's communal government, and further alienating the papacy.

In 1080, his attempts to

reconcile the rebellious canons having failed, Bishop Anselm II fled to escape the city's increasingly powerful imperial faction. In 1081, Henry IV granted the Lucchese their first set of civic privileges, a step on the road to an independent civic government. While the conflict within the community of cathedral canons set the stage for the development of the commune, it also allowed for the canons of San Frediano to come to the attention of the papacy. By the early twelfth century, the papacy had redirected its attention away from the difficult San Martino canons toward the canons of San Frediano, repeatedly

Buchanan, "A Late Eleventh-Century Illustrated Hagiographic Lectionary from Lucca (Biblioteca Capitolare, Passionario C): Expression of Ecclesiastical Reform," (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1997), pp. 237-242, and "Spiritual and Spatial Authority," p. 733. Buchanan, "Spiritual and Spatial Authority," p. 729.

130 praising and rewarding the Frediani for their successful observance of the reformed canonical life. During the late eleventh century, however, the cathedral's lot began to change with the discovery of the Volto Santo, a larger than life-size wooden crucifix, depicting a dark-skinned and clothed Christ figure that medieval people believed was carved by Nicodemus and conveyed Christ's true likeness. A twelfth-century account dates the statue's first appearance in the city to the eighth century (it was believed to have been found by Lucchese fishermen after washing ashore), but no evidence attests to its presence in the city before c.1097.378 The cult of the Volto Santo grew dramatically with the new influx of pilgrims through the city and the completion of a new chapel for the statue within San Martino. By the early thirteenth century, the feast day dedicated to the Volto Santo, often referred to as the Santa Croce, had become one of the city's most important civic celebrations.379 As Diana Webb has pointed out, the statue's cult achieved the same status in Lucca as the cults of the Virgin Mary in Siena and of John the Baptist in Florence.380 The appearance of the Volto Santo gave San Martino an attraction that could rival the remains of Lucca's beloved Irish bishop and assert itself over San Frediano as the city's primary holy site. As Charles Buchanan has noted in his study of liturgical 377

The history of this split has been well summarized by Buchanan, "Spiritual and Spatial Authority," pp. 728-729. 378

On the history of Lucca's Volto Santo see, Lucca, il Volto Santo e la civita medioevale, Atti convegno internazionale di studi, Lucca, Palazzo Pubblico 21-23 Ottobre 1982 (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1994); and Webb, "The Holy Face of Lucca," Anglo Norman Studies IX (1986): pp. 227-237. For a helpful summary of the scholarly debate over when the to date the Volto Santo's first appearance in Lucca, see Antonino Caleca, "II Volto Santo, un problema critico," in // Volto Santo: Storia e culto, ed. Clara Baracchini and Maria Teresa Filieri (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1982), pp.59-69. 379

Lucca, 1308, bk. I, c.VII, and XLII; bk. IV, c. I.


Webb, "The Holy Face of Lucca," p. 288.

131 manuscripts in twelfth-century Lucca, San Martino was seen from the late seventh century as disadvantaged since it did not hold the relics of the city's favorite bishop-saint, Frediano.381 Buchanan's study of the extensive number of hagiographic lectionaries held by San Frediano as well as his analysis of the cathedral's thirteenth-century Ordo qfflciorum, which outlined the city's celebrated stational liturgy, both convincingly argue for the primary role San Frediano held in the promulgation and celebration of the cult of saints in the diocese from the Lombard period through the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries.382 The popularity of the Volto Santo gave the cathedral the means to begin to reassert its authority over San Frediano. To that end, in 1120, the canons of San Frediano agreed to observe the celebration of the feasts of Saint Martin as well as Easter Monday, which had been celebrated at San Frediano, at San Martino.383 With the history of this rivalry in mind, we can begin to see why patronage of Zita's cult might have been attractive to the San Frediano canons in the late thirteenth century. As a lay woman committed both to work and prayer, Zita presented the canons with the opportunity to explore and celebrate the merits of a mixed life. Moreover, Zita's tomb gave the canons the opportunity to attract a significant portion of the religious traffic (both from the Lucchese themselves and from pilgrims) away from the Volto Santo and San Martino. Zita, as the author of her vita was careful to point out, was a new Saint Martin. And finally, the canons could use Zita's low social status and life as a domestic


Buchanan, "Spiritual and Spatial Authority," p. 739.


Ibid.; also, see Giusti, "L'Ordo Officiorum della cattedrale di Lucca," in Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati, vol. II, Letteratura medioevale (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1946). Buchanan, "Spiritual and Spatial Authority," p. 739.

servant to fit the ideals of the emerging political power in Lucca at the end of the thirteenth century: the popolo.

The Rise of the Popolo During the second half of the thirteenth century, the commune of Lucca experienced a period of dramatic political change. Like so many other Northern Italian cities during the late thirteenth century, Lucca was in the midst of the rise of apopolodominated government. The origins of such unrest lay in the tense divide felt since the early 1200s in the city between lesser merchant and artisan families who provided the Lucchese army with pedites, or foot-soldiers, and the wealthier nobles, or leading families of the city, who provided the city's milites, or mounted forces. From the beginning of the Lucchese commune, the majority of civic offices and institutions had been securely in the hands of the city's wealthiest families. But by the mid-thirteenth century, merchant and artisan families had begun to carve out an increasingly powerful institutional presence within the commune through representative bodies such as the Societa delle Armi and the Gonfaloniere. These institutions developed in the thirteenth century alongside the older civic bodies, dominated by the city's leading families, as a means to give the other side of the city's population, often called the popolo, a substantial voice in the running of the commune.

In 1261, civic statutes (now lost except for a

few fragments) outlined measures to reorganize the Lucchese government in such a way to recognize the power now held by the/»opo/o-dominated councils of the commune.385


On the rise of the popolo government in Lucca, see Louis Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 12-29; and Girolamo Tommasi, Sommario delta Storia di Lucca, pp. 140-164. On the rise of the rise ofpopolo governments throughout Italy, see Jones, The Italian City-State, pp. 440-520.

133 Lucca'spopolo party was originally made up mainly of Guelph sympathizers. By the late thirteenth century however, the Lucchese Guelphs had divided into two factions, the Blacks (led by the degli Obizi family) and the Whites (led by the Antelminelli and Ciapparoni families). By 1301, Lucca's Black Guelphs had amassed enough control under the auspices of the new popolo regime to exile all families allied with the White Guelphs.386 The statutes of 1308, the first set of complete statutes that survive from medieval Lucca, represent the zenith of the popolo's power in the city. Along with formally awarding the civic bodies representing the popolo a majority of power, the statutes also articulated the political and judicial limitations that were to be placed on the urban nobility to keep the popolo's new power from being undermined. Lucca was far from alone in placing such limitations upon its grandi or urban nobility; this was a common strategy popolo governments adopted across communal Italy.387 Nevertheless, while the 1308 restrictions placed on the leading noble families in Lucca were not as severe as those seen enacted upon the Florentine magnates in 1250 and 1293, the Lucchese reforms were aimed at a much larger proportion of the urban population than similar statutes in Florence, or in other communes, had been.388 The restrictions placed on leading families in Florence were acute but only touched only the upper reaches of the urban magnates.389


See Tommasi, "Documenti," in Sommario, pp. 15-16.


Green, Castruccio Castracani, p. 28.


For work on the limitations placed on grandi or magnati in Florence, see Robert Davidsohn, Storia di Firenze (Florence: Sansoni, 1956-68), p. iii; also, see Carol Lansing, The Florentine Magnates: Lineage and Faction in a Medieval Commune (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991). 388

Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 19-23. Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 19-20.

In Lucca, however, the 1308 statutes restricted a much larger proportion of the population: knights, their male offspring, the old landed nobility of the city, as well as 120 families deemed potentes et casastici, which encompassed a wide swath of the city's leading merchant, banking, and trading families, were all excluded from belonging to the Societd delle Armi and thus kept from having any real political power. Included among the names of potentes et casastici were Zita's employers, the Fatinelli.390 Although the Lucca statutes did not completely exclude these families from participating in Lucca's government—they could still participate through the older representative council, the Consiglio del Comune—the statutes did limit the Lucchese magnate's legal rights and ability to bear arms. In effect, the 1308 statute gave a substantial amount of power to Lucca's artisan and lesser merchant community and limited the resources available to the wealthiest families to restore their domination of civic affairs.391 In addition to the Fatinelli family, over half of the canons of San Martino came from magnate families excluded from participating in the popolo government.392 As we have seen, many of the cathedral canons, who had resisted the papal reform program, went on to ally themselves with the imperial cause and eventually helped to found Lucca's first communal government in the late eleventh century. Thus, the San Martino canons were made up largely of the leading noble families, responsible for the first incarnation of Lucca's commune, but excluded from its new popolo regime. The canons of San Martino were also at odds again with the papacy in the early thirteenth century. In

Lucca, 1308 Statutes, bk. Ill, c. CLXX. Lucca, 1308 Statutes, bk. III. Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 193-194.

135 1301, Boniface VIII expelled six San Martino canons who had been closely allied with the Lucca's exiled White Guelphs. In their place, he appointed six canons from families sympathetic to Lucca's Black Guelphs (and thus thepopolo government).393 While I have been unable to find information that speaks to a specific connection between the San Frediano canons and the popolo government, both the Frediani's long alliance with the papacy and rivalry with San Martino suggest that the canons might have imagined that a popo/o-dominated commune would be receptive to Zita's cult.

A Civic Feast: Zita and the Popolo If the San Frediano canons were the first civic institution to take on patronage of Zita's cult, the newly constructed popolo government was the second. Chapter VII of the 1308 statutes outlines the measures the commune took to ensure that that there would be sufficient guardians to keep order during feast days that excited the most attention in the civic population. At San Martino, these nights included the feasts of saints Martin and Regulus (an eighth-century saint whose relics were held in San Martino), as well as the night of the raising of the Volto Santo. For San Frediano, the statutes identify only Zita's feast as requiring guardians; these guardians, assigned by the neighborhood consuls, were to watch over her tomb to ensure that no crimes took place there. The chapter delineates the fines that were to be levied on those consuls if their guardians should fail to fulfill their duties and names the commune as having the ultimate authority to punish those caught.394 We can conclude from a 1290 testament specifying that 5 Lucchese florins be

Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 193-194. Lucca,1308 Statutes, bk. I, c.VII.

136 given to benefit the poor each year on "the feast of Santa Zita," that Zita's feast had been celebrated for some time at San Frediano before the 1308 statutes.395 Zita is again mentioned in the 1308 statutes in a section dedicated to civil administration; the first chapter, "£>e sedendo et ius reddendo singulis diebus, et de feriis," outlines the days, times, and manner in which the city's Podesta and judges were required to adjudicate and render justice within the city. After stating the schedule the civil administrators were to follow on non-feast days, the chapter lists the feast days when such administrative business would not be conducted. Included in the non-working holidays was "the day of departure of Santa Zita." As Augustine Thompson has pointed out, there was no distinction between religious and secular time in the Italian communes.396 The 1308 statutes make clear that Lucca's administrative calendar corresponded to the city's liturgical calendar. Zita had become a member of a list of saints, which included the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and the city's other patrons, who marked the time in Lucca and gave the city a day off from work. The cult of a pious servant whose vita emphasized not only her devotion to providing charity for Lucca's needy but also her ability to right the wrongs of her aristocratic employers was a perfect fit for the new political regime. The extensive segment of the civic population excluded from Lucca's new government, much larger than the population of potenti kept out of popular governments in other Tuscan cities, suggests that the rise of the popolo brought a comprehensive restructuring of the city's


This testament made by Lando di Buonagiunta and recorded by the notary, Ser Giunta Ranieri on August 11,1290 unfortunately has, to my knowledge, not survived. It is transcribed by Fioriti, Vita, virtu', e miracoli, p. 137 and also appears in Zita's canonization proceedings; see Vatican, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Riti, Proc. 1315, 43v. Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 3, and 274-280.

137 political elite. By co-opting the cult of a laywoman who spent her life engaged in manual labor, prayer, and charity work, the popo/o-dominated commune could both tap into the current religious enthusiasm of its citizens and align itself with a saint who more closely resembled the government's values. One can also imagine how much the vita's portrayal of the acts of charity that implicitly criticized Zita's wealthy employers, a family excluded from the new government, appealed to the popolo government. Here was a saint whose reputation was based, in part, on her ability to point out the excesses of the powerful. It is important to keep in mind, however, that Lucca's popolo government was not made up of merchants and artisans who occupied a social status or economic position anywhere near the level of Zita's. In fact, as with so many popolo communes in thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century Italian cities, Lucca's new government was dominated by the wealthiest of workers. Nevertheless, the distinction between older, aristocratic families who had dominated Lucca's government until the mid-thirteenth century and the new merchant- and artisan-based government was a significant enough divide that a domestic servant could stand as an emblem for the popolo''s cause. But Zita's cult was not the first local cult to be appropriated by the commune. As scholars have noted, the growth of the cult of the Volto Santo occurred at the same time as Lucca established itself as an independent civic government. Diana Webb has argued that the initial growth of the statue's cult was most likely spurred by "popular" interest and came to be associated with the newly sworn commune.397 Raoul Manselli has noted that while saints Frediano and Regulus remained the patrons of the city of Lucca during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Volto Santo became the patron of Lucca's

Webb, "The Holy Face of Lucca," pp. 232-233.


In the earliest communal statutes from the mid-thirteenth century, citywide

processions of the sculpture on its feast day, led by civic and religious officials, became days to celebrate the commune.399 The emphasis the vita's author places on the popular nature of the beginnings of Zita's cult set the stage for her inclusion in the popoWs 1308 statutes. As the people's saint, and specifically a saint who appealed to working people, Zita could stand as an emblem for the city's revamped communal government just as the Volto Santo had represented Lucca's first commune. From these early sources—her vita, the miracle collection and the 1308 statues— we can draw a number of conclusions about the state of Zita's civic cult at the beginning of the fourteenth century. During the first year after her death, devotees flocked to San Frediano as word spread of both Zita's "canonization" and the miracles taking place at her tomb. Less than forty years after her death, Zita's feast day garnered enough attention from her fellow Lucchese that the commune took special precautions to protect her tomb. Moreover, the city's new civic government considered Zita to be a saint of enough importance to be included amongst the city's patron and titular saints. Missing from this early history of Zita's civic cult, however, are her employers, the Fatinelli family. The vita's criticism of the family fit the political tide of late thirteenth-century Lucca. The family had suffered political and social demotion with the rise of the popolo government. Once that government fell, however, the Fatinelli began to assert themselves as the primary patrons of Zita's cult.

Raoul Manselli, "Lucca e II Volto Santo," in Lucca, II Volto Santo e la ctvita medioevale, p. 13. Lucca, 1308 Statutes, bk. I, c.VII.

Zita's Cult After the Popolo During the fourteenth century, the civic government of Lucca changed hands several times. Although scholars have characterized the popolo's 1308 statutes as the zenith of Lucca's constitutional development, this form of the city's government had a rather limited life.400 On June 14, 1314, the White Guelphs, having allied themselves with both the Lucchese and Pisan Ghibelline parties, sacked the city and overthrew the popolo government. From 1314 until 1328, Lucca was ruled by despotic, or protoSignorial regimes, first headed by Uguccione della Faggiuola, and then followed two years later by Castruccio Castracani.401 Under Castracani's rule, Lucca enjoyed its broadest territorial expansion. Upon Castracani's death in 1328, however, Lucca entered a 40-year period under a series of foreign rulers, with Pisa's control of the city from 1342 until 1369 standing as the single longest occupation.402 In 1369, with the aid of Charles IV, the Lucchese were once again able to become an independent commune and were to remain so until the late eighteenth century. Throughout this chaotic period, Zita's cult continued to flourish. As I have noted, the earliest manuscript we have of her vita was copied sometime in the mid-fourteenth century. In addition, in 1321, the Fatinelli began to build a chapel around the tomb of their former servant. At that time, Zita's tomb was located within San Frediano's cemetery, which lined the east side of the church. The Fatinelli family took steps in 1321 to enclose the area around her tomb, a process that by the early fifteenth century would


Meek, "Lucca," in Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, v.2 (New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 661.


For Lucca under della Faggiuola and Castracani, see Green, Castruccio Castracani, pp. 30-78.


For the period before the Pisan occupation, see Green, Lucca Under Many Masters: A FourteenthCentury Italian Commune in Crisis (1328-1342); and for during the Pisan occupation, see Meek, The Commune of Lucca Under Pisan Rule.

result in a fully enclosed annex to the original church.

In his 1382 will, Jacopo

Fatinelli ordered that a panel painting be created depicting the Volto Santo, "Beata Zita," and several testators.404 This painting was either never made or was lost, as no record of the completed panel survives. He also ordered that a daily mass be said by the canons at Zita's tomb for the good of his soul and left money for the embellishment of the chapel.405 Moreover, starting in 1383, the Fatinelli family began to stipulate in their wills that they be buried in the chapel of their venerated servant.406 By the early fifteenth century, relations between the Fatinelli family and San Frediano's canons had become strained over who held the ultimate authority in the management of Zita's chapel. As Andre Vauchez has noted, disputes between religious institutions and individual families were common at this time.407 The Fatinelli felt they had a right to control the activities of a chapel that not only had been funded by them but was also dedicated to the woman who had spent nearly sixty years living with and caring for their family. In 1410 the Fatinelli and the canons reached an agreement whereby a rector, chosen by the Fatinelli from among the canons but approved by the church's prior, would be in charge of the chapel.408 The family then proceeded to have the chapel


On the building of Zita's chapel in San Frediano, see Silva, La Basilica diSan Frediano, pp. 66-68; and Paoli, Arte e committenzaprivata a Lucca, pp. 217-8, and pp. 257-263.


Silva, La Basilica di San Frediano, p. 67; Silva cites Ridolfi, Scritti d'arte e d'antichita (Florence, 1879), which I have been unable to locate.


See Vauchez, Sainthood, p. 240-1; ASV, Riti, Proc. 1315,61 r-63v; and Gerardo Mansi, / Patrizi di Lucca: Le Antiche famiglie lucchesi e i low stemmi (Lucca: Titania, 1996). This testament has been transcribed, see Fioriti, Vita, virtu', e miracoli, p.138-139. 406

See Vauchez, Sainthood, p.241; and ASV, Riti, Proc. 1315,43v-44r.


Vauchez, Sainthood, pp. 240-241.



141 completely separated from the cemetery, making it a large side chapel off the main nave.409 At this time, the Frediani canons also allowed the Fatinelli to place their coat of arms outside of the chapel's entrance, thus securing an association between the family and the pious servant in the minds of all who came to see her tomb.410 The Fatinelli family's efforts to build a chapel in honor of Zita can been understood as a double-edged act of civic charity: while the Lucchese gained a more substantial location to venerate Zita, the Fatinelli were clearly looking for the spiritual rewards such generous patronage might deliver.411 One can speculate that they might also have wanted to restore the less than benevolent portrait of them in Zita's vita. The efforts of the Fatinelli family to link themselves to Zita's memory and cult did not eclipse her status as a civic saint, however. In the 1342 statutes, issued immediately after the beginning of Pisa's occupation of Lucca, Zita's name again appears among the saints' feast days recognized as civic holidays.412 Pisa ruled Lucca without much change to the civic administrative structure that had been in place since the rise of the popolo regime. And although there seems no longer to have been need to control rowdy worshippers on Zita's or other saints' feast days, the 1342 statutes specified that the commune was to set aside forty candles for the vigil of "Santa Zita" each year.413

Silva, La Basilica di San Frediano, p. 70. 410

Paoli, Arte e committenzaprivata a Lucca, pp. 217-8.


Similar to the merchant Enrico degli Scrovegni's decision to have the Scrovegni chapel built and decorated in an attempt to make up for his extensive involvement in usury, see Paoli, Arte e committenza privata a Lucca, pp. 220-222. 412

Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Statuti, 5 (1342): bk. IV, c.I.


Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Statuti, 5 (1342): bk. II, c.XXI.

142 By the time Lucca issued a set of statutes in 1372 to mark the re-establishment of the city's independence three years earlier, Zita was again listed as a civic saint for whose feast day the regular business of the city was to stop.414 The 1372 statutes also call for 30 pounds of wax to be donated by the commune to celebrate Zita's feast.415 The only extant copy of the 1372 statutes was produced at the bequest of the Fatinelli family and bears their coat of arms on the first page. While some scholars believe that the manuscript containing these statutes was written in 1374, a recent study concluded that the manuscript is a copy made as late as 1413.416 In any case, the continuing presence of Zita's name as one of Lucca's civic saints speaks to the endurance of her cult. Even though their patronage of Zita's chapel in San Frediano suggests that the Fatinelli were engaged in attempts to link their history and memory with that of their former maid, the 1372 statutes do not reveal any attempt by the family to augment their connection to Zita. Her position, established by HiQpopolo statutes of 1308, as the most recent addition to a list of civic saints, remained largely the same throughout the fourteenth century. Thus the association the popolo government had formed with her memory did not doom Zita's cult when that government fell apart. Although her vita emphasized the aspects of Zita's reputation (her ability to balance work, prayer, and charity) that had made her an appropriate emblem for the Frediani canons as well as the popolo party, it also presented each of Zita's labors ultimately as contributions to her civic community. Moreover, the text's author saw the Lucchese's popular enthusiasm as a key to the spread


Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Statuti 5 (1372): bk. Ill, c. II.


Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Statuti 6 (1372): bk. Ill, c. XCVI.


See E. Lazzareschi, "Angelo Puccinelli e gli altri pittori lucchesi del Trecento," Bollettino Storico Lucchese 10 (1938): p. 138; and Paoli, Arte e committenzaprivata a Lucca, p. 93.

143 of her reputation. As a result, her memory transcended associations with the particular religious and political factions that continued to promulgate her cult. In the end, Zita was not the Frediani, the Fatinelli, nor thepopolo's saint, but Lucca's saint.

Conclusion: Zita as Civic Patron The success of Zita's cult rested upon a number of factors. On one hand, during her life no one group could claim Zita. She was the Fatinelli's maid, yet most of her devotional activity took place when she prayed in the church of San Frediano. While her dedication to her work and employers was substantial, she seems to have reached the zenith of her spiritual progress by tending to the needy of Lucca outside of the Fatinelli's home. Even though she had no education, Zita's teachings by example were of more value than anything coming from the city's learned population. While the San Frediano canons may have written her vita and presented the saint in terms consonant with their own dual role in lay society, the celebrations spearheaded by the jw/w/o-commune initiated the public rituals linking Zita's memory to her adopted city. And although celebrations of Zita's feast day were a civic affair, anyone participating in those festivities could not miss the message that the Fatinelli arms and tombstones adorning Zita's chapel expressed. The absence of Zita's own voice throughout her vita distinguishes her from female Italian lay saints of the next generation. Unlike the cults of more vocal visionaries such as Margaret of Cortona, Angela of Foligno, Vanna of Orvieto, or Margaret of Citta di Castello, Zita's cult was never successfully co-opted by either the Franciscan or Dominican Orders. While in the later fourteenth century, the Dominicans worked both to

spread Zita's cult through Italy and to associate their order with her memory, we have no evidence that they had any hand in the growth of Zita's cult in Lucca in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.417 If Zita belonged to anyone, her vita and the collection of miracle accounts seem to argue, she belonged to an idealized vision of Lucca. That is, she belonged to those she helped weather the difficulties of poverty, to those whose resources she recycled, to those who crowded outside of San Frediano after she died, to those who flocked to her tomb day after day seeking her cures, and to those who spread the word of her sanctification. In short, Zita belonged to a city sustained by her sanctity. The author of Zita's vita presents lay sanctity as a balm for the ills of Lucchese society. But unlike Rufino's presentation of Raimondo, Zita was a gentle balm. Her mission was not to save Lucchese souls but instead to respond to and smooth over the inequalities and divisions that plagued her city. Zita was the perfect lay woman. Her lay status did not hamper, but in fact contributed to her ability to care for her fellow citydwellers. Zita could work and pray, travel alone unharmed, aid both the rich and the poor, give maternal affection, and teach her fellow Lucchese not through abstruse doctrine or learned words but by the example of her actions. The vita's author notes that at the time of Zita's death a new star was seen shining over all of Lucca. Under this star, which the author writes was visible "to everyone of understanding," the city was illuminated.418


See Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, p. 210; also, see, // Processo castellano, ed. M.H. Laurent, Fontes vitae S. Catharinae Senensis historici (Milan: Fratelli Bocca, 1942), pp.30-31. 418

AA.SS., c. 33, p. 513: "Nam Stellapraefulgida, super civitatem Lucanam, cunctis cernentibus evidenter Lucanam civitatem novi sideris lumine illustratamfore."

Chapter 3 Lay Sanctity and the Sienese Commune

Civic Saints in Siena In his early fifteenth-century chronicle of the history of Siena, the painter Bindino da Travale (d. 1417) makes clear the importance the Sienese attached to local saints.419 While Catherine of Siena (whom Bindino calls "santa de Fontebranda") might be a familiar name today, the other santi and beati he prays to (Ambrogio Sansedoni, Andrea Gallerani, Pier Pettinaio, Pier Martono) most likely are not. Anyone living in the Sienese commune in the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, however, would have been familiar with these "santi novellinV or "contemporary saints."420 While medieval Siena is often touted as the Civitas Virginis, the civic religion of the Sienese commune in fact depended upon a pantheon of both ancient and contemporary patrons.421

Bindino da Tavale, Cronaca, ed. V. Lusini (Siena, 1900), pp. 172-3, quoted in Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 133-134, n. 17: "A schritto, o santo Ambrogio Sansedoni, frate di santo Domencio, dottore, dammi grazia che tale dire iopossa disporre. O santo Andrea Gallerani, che cho le vergine Maria parlasti cho leipalese, di chiedere grazia mi sia chortese. Beato santo Pier pettinaio, chiede grazia a Di che io dispongha I'archa de lo intelletto mio. O san Pier Martoro, Icuaglifuste tutti sansei e rignaste al mondo con virtu di valore, atiatemi a disponare I'archa chol vostro chalore. O Chaterina santa de Fontebranda, figliola di mona L 'apa, che in voifu virtu tanta a gli occhi miei, ne la chiesa di santo Domenicho ti vidi adorare Giesu con tanto disio, ora al mondo se 'morta e se' a'piedi di Dio. Ora chonciede a me tanto valore ch'io disponghi I'archa e ilsuo valore." 420

The poet Franco Sacchetti (1355-1400) referred to the new saints of communal Italy as santi novellini and expressed his concern that more veneration was being shown for them than for older saints; see Sacchetti, Opera, ed. A. Borlenghi (Milan: Rizzoli, 1957), p. 1115, quoted in Chiara Frugoni, A Distant City: Images of Urban Experience in the Medieval World, trans. William McCuaig (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), p. 85. 421

On Siena's civic religion, see Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese, pp.xiii-31; Webb, Patrons and Defenders, esp. pp. 249-316; Diana Norman, Siena and the Virgin; William M. Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune: Siena Under the Nine, 128-1355 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), pp. 260-298; Daniel Waley, Siena and the Sienese in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 127-154; and Bram Kempers, "Icons, Altarpieces, and Civic Ritual in Siena Cathedral, 1100-1530," in City and Spectacle in Medieval Europe, ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt and Kathryn L. Reyerson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), pp. 89-136.

Two of the saints mentioned by Bindmo, Andrea Gallerani (d. 1251) and Pier 'Pettinaio' (d.1289) were Sienese laymen, venerated in the late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century for their piety, charity, and unending dedication to their civic community. Although neither is specifically identified as such in contemporary sources, both appear to have lived as lay penitents, wearing clothes to mark their religious commitment and following a strict routine of prayer and fasting. Andrea Gallerani came from a prominent Sienese noble family that held extensive land both within the city and in the contado. The Gallerani had increased their fortune as international merchants during the thirteenth century.422 As a young adult, Andrea was exiled from Siena after being convicted of murder.423 Upon his return, a vision of the Virgin Mary precipitated his conversion to a life dedicated to aiding the sick and poor of Siena. Andrea may have helped found one of Siena's largest medieval hospitals, Santa Maria della Misericordia, also know as the Domus misericordia.424 Andrea died on Easter Sunday in 1251 and was buried in the church of San Domenico. Evidence suggests that his cult did not begin to

In a property assessment taken in 1316-1320, Hayden Maginnis has noted that three Sienese families (the Salimbeni, Bonsignori and Gallerani) owned 20 percent of the city's real estate; see Hayden B. J. Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter (University Park: The Pennsylvania University Press, 2001), p. 28. For more on the Gallerani family as international merchants, see Georges Bigwood, Les livres des comptes des Gallerani, ed. and rev. Armand Grunzweig, 2 vols. (Brussels: Palais des Academies, 1961-2). 423

Augustine Thompson has written that the man Andrea had killed was a blasphemer, but I have been unable to find any mention of this in the medieval sources; see Thompson, Cities of God, p. 196. Diana Webb has noted the same error; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 141.


On the history of the Domus, see La misericordia di Siena attraverso i secoli: dalla domus misericordia all'arciconfraternita di misericordia, eds. Mario Ascheri and Patrizia Turrini (Siena: Protagon Editori Toscani, 2004); Giuliano Catoni, "Gli oblati della Misericordia: Poveri e benefattori a Siena nella prima meta del trecento," in La societa del bisogno: Poverta e assistenza nella Toscana medievale ed. Giuliano Pinto (Florence: Salimbeni, 1989), pp. 1-17; Diana Norman, "When Charity Fails: Andrea Gallerani and Memory of the Misericordia in Siena," in The Kindness of Strangers: Charity in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean, ed. Dionysios Stathakopoulos (London: Centre for Hellenic Studies, 2007), pp. 91-118; and Peter Denley, Commune and Studio in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (Bologna: CLUEB, 2006), pp. 23-27

flourish until around 1274 when Siena's bishop offered an indulgence to anyone who visited Andrea's San Domenico tomb on the saint's feast day (by then moved to the Monday after Easter) and a pair of wooden shutters painted with scenes from Andrea's life were used to cover the niche containing his remains. The first vita for Andrea was also most likely produced by a Dominican during this period (the early 1270s). By the mid-fourteenth century, the Sienese and their communal officials were celebrating Andrea's feast day and calling him the founder of the expanding Domus misericordia. Andrea's cult, however, never received the same attention from communal authorities as did the cult of another Sienese layman, Pier "Pettinaio.' As his nickname suggests, Pier was a comb-maker, who came from a different social and economic stratum of Sienese society than Andrea. Although he was born in the village of Campi in Chianti (within the Sienese contado), Pier seems to have spent most of his life living within Siena. Unlike Andrea, Pier was married and may have had children.425 The medieval sources describing Pier's life do not point to any particular circumstance initiating the comb-maker's conversion but simply note that after some boisterous teenage years, Pier felt the hand of God come upon him and he became a new man, wholly dedicated to living his life in the most pious manner possible. To this end, Pier convinced his wife to live with him in chastity, adhered to scrupulous business practices, followed all communal laws meticulously, distributed charity with a number of companions throughout the city and followed a rigorous prayer schedule. After the death of his wife, Pier came to live in a cell attached to the church of San Francesco, where he finally died in December 1289. Pier's name shows up many times in communal records


There is conflicting information in the medieval sources over whether or not Pier had children; see my discussion of this on p. 207, n.618.

148 produced during his lifetime and after his death. Both communal authorities and his fellow Sienese relied on him to help distribute alms and to make restitution for usurious gains. Finally, there seems to have been immediate interest in his cult: less than two weeks after his death, the commune voted to donate money to San Francesco for the construction of a tomb for Pier's remains. Both the communal government and the city's Franciscans would continue to promote Pier's growing cult throughout the first half of the fourteenth century. The different shape of the religious lives and cults of these two lay saints reveals much about the political and cultural contexts in which each developed. The initial interest in Andrea's cult came after Siena's astounding victory over Florence at the battle of Montaperti (1260). Siena had credited its victory at Montaperti to the vows civic and religious officials had made in front of images of the Virgin in Siena's cathedral on the eve of the battle. As Andrea's cult developed in the 1270s, the political and civic dimensions of the city's Marian cult had just begun to grow. It is not surprising then to see Mary play a prominent role in the early sources associated with Andrea. The full political development of the city's cult of the Virgin, however, did not come until the very end of the thirteenth century, during the rule of the Nine (1287-1355)—a period that also corresponds to the growth of Pier's cult. The Nine were particularly adroit at using the city's newly invigorated cult of the Virgin to guide its political ideology. That ideology presented Siena's peace, prosperity, and physical beauty as the result of the city's devotion to the Virgin as well as a sign of her sanction of its earthly government. The Nine's patronage of a number of major artistic projects as well as their expanding role in civic festivities celebrating not only the Virgin but also a number of contemporary

holy figures (including Pier), articulated, time and time again, that Siena's fortune and good government depended upon its civic patrons. This chapter will focus on what the lives and cults of two Sienese lay saints can tell us about the phenomenon of lay civic sanctity as well as about the relationship that existed between these two cults and the construction of a Sienese civic religion. As I shall show, Andrea's and Pier's cults conveyed different understandings of the content and value of lay sanctity. Andrea's cult focused on portraying the saintly potential of an active lay life. The themes stressed in his cult—his charity, rigorous prayer schedule and ability to balance an active life with his contemplative ideals—present lay sanctity as a reorganization and reformation of lay life. Although the Dominicans were most likely instrumental in its early promotion, Andrea's cult emphasized the nobleman's status as an independent penitent and saint. Pier's cult would emphasize some of those same themes and ideals but ultimately invoked an understanding of the lay saint as a reformer of civic society that we have seen presented in the cults of other communal lay saints. We are in the unusual position of having sources produced during Pier's lifetime. These sources allow us not only to see glimpses of his life in Siena and how others understood his role within the city but also to peel back some of the layers that Pier's Franciscan patrons added to their portrait of the pious comb-maker in his c. 1333 vita. As I shall show, while Pier's vita conveys the friars' attempt to portray an institutional relationship between the comb-maker and the Order where it is unlikely one existed, it ultimately presents Pier's sanctity in terms consonant with the political and cultural reality of Siena under the Nine—a regime that was itself deeply committed to issues of civic reform and patriotism.


Sources Andrea Gallerani Our knowledge of the life and early cult of Andrea Gallerani comes primarily from the following three sources: a brief vita that concludes with a list of the miracles performed in Andrea's name after his death,426 a 1274 indulgence offered by Bishop Bernardo of Siena to anyone who visited Andrea's tomb in the church of San Domenico on Easter Monday (Andrea's feast day),427 and finally, the painted wooden shutters used to cover the niche that contained Andrea's remains in San Domenico.428 In addition to these three sources, Andrea is briefly mentioned in Biccherna records (Siena's chief financial magistracy, which recorded all communal expenses and income) from February 1251. In this document, we learn that the commune had given Andrea money to help him in his efforts to aid the pauperes verecundi (or the shameful poor), whose high social status kept them from begging.429


The vita is found in Siena, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, K. VII. 2. I have not consulted this manuscript. Diana Webb has recently translated the vita; see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 141-144. Webb points out that the Acta sanctorum adopts a different organization for the chapters of the vita than the fourteenth-century manuscript. Her translation follows the order found in the fourteenth-century manuscript. When I cite the vita, I shall provide the Latin found in the Acta sanctorum: AA.SS., Mar. Ill, pp.49-57 (hereafter A V) (BHL 450). Unless otherwise noted, I shall use Webb's translations throughout this chapter. 427

A transcription of the indulgence is printed in AA.SS., Mar. Ill, p. 50; it is also transcribed in Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Storia del vescovado delta citta di Siena (Lucca, 1748), pp. 233-234.


Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale. The panel is illustrated in Vauchez, Sainthood, pi. 21, and in James H. Stubblebine, Guido da Siena (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964), p. 36.


Libri dell'entrata e dell'uscita della repubblica di Siena detti del camarlingo e dei Quattroproweditori delta Biccherna, libro XI (1251) (Siena: Lazzeri, 1935), p. 74. On the office of the Biccherna in Siena, see Bowsky, The Finance of the Commune of Siena 1287-1355 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), especially pp. 1-15.

151 Scholars have been unable to identify either an author or specific date for Andrea's vita, which is preserved in a fourteenth-century manuscript now held in Siena's Biblioteca Comunale. Enzo Carli has claimed that this manuscript was listed among the items found in the sacristy of the church of San Domenico in Siena at the very beginning of the fourteenth century but does not provide any supporting evidence.430 More recently, Diana Webb, who has translated the text, has argued that the vita seems likely to have been the work of a Dominican and represents an abbreviated version (perhaps intended to be used as material for a sermon) of a longer, and now lost, vita.431 As Webb points out, the vita's author writes that he has included only short versions of the miracles stories since longer versions can be found in "the little book in which they were first entered at length."432 Scholars have had more success pinning down information about the wooden shutters that once covered the niche containing Andrea's remains in San Domenico. While art historians once believed that they were the c. 1280 work of Guido da Siena (dates unknown), they have recently amended their conclusions.433 L. Bellosi has argued, based upon stylistic analysis, that the shutters were more likely to have been completed a decade earlier, around 1270, and were the work not only of Guido da Siena, who Bellosi

Enzo Carli, "Considerazoni e notizie sul B. Andrea Gallerani e sulla sua famiglia," Economia e storia 1 (1964): 254. 431

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 141-142.


Ibid., p. 142; AV, p. 55: "Et quamvisper circumstantias referendum negotium diligentius etclarius exanimatur; verum quiadictorum prolixitas non solum audientium, sed etiam legentium animos aggravat et fatigat, haec sub brevitate perstringam, horum declarationem relinquens libello, ubi haec primo fuerunt diffusius compilata," 433

For early scholarly work on the shutters, see George Kaftal, Iconography of the Saints in Tuscan Painting (Florence, Sansoni, 1952), col. 53-57.

152 believes painted the interior images, but also of Dietisalvi di Speme (active until 1291), who he argues was the artist behind the exterior images.434 None of these three sources (the vita, the indulgence, and the painted shutters) connects Andrea to the Domus misericordia. It is not until the early fourteenth century that documents mention both the pious organization and Andrea. The first known source to do so is a 1302 indulgence from the papal legate, Matthew d'Acquasparta. In that document, Matthew offers 100 days indulgence to anyone confessed and communicated who visited the Casa della misericordia during the feast of either the Virgin Mary or of Andrea Gallerani. Unfortunately, this source does not survive and we must rely on a mention of it from a 1695 register.435 Visual images produced in the fourteenth century also began to connect Andrea with the Domus. For example, a full-length portrait of Andrea, most likely painted by Simone Martini (or his workshop) in the 1320s, includes the monogram of the Domus misericordia painted on the saint's cloak.436 And finally, in the deliberations from Siena's General Council we learn that in 1347, members of the Domus successfully petitioned the government to have Andrea's feast day recognized as a communal holiday.437

See Raffaele Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea Gallerani fondatore della Domus Misericordia di Siena," in La misericordia di Siena attraverso isecoli, p. 53. Argenziano cites Bellosi's work; see L. Bellosi, "Per un contesto cimabuesco senese: a) Guido da Siena e il probabile Dietisalvi di Speme," Prospettiva 61 (1991): 6-20. 435

Archivio di Stato di Siena (hereafter ASS), Mss., B.82, n.515; cited by C. Zarrilli, "Gallerani, Andrea" in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, LI (Rome, 1998), p. 547.


That portrait was most likely painted for a chapel within the Domus misericordia, which is now the church of San Pellegrino. The painting is now on deposit in Siena's Pinacoteca Nazionale. The painting had been ascribed to both Taddeo di Bartolo and Leppo Memmi before scholars recently argued for Martini or his workshop; see Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea," p. 60; and Simone Martini e 'chompagni,' Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale 27 marzo-31 ottobre 1985 (Florence: Centro Di, 1985), pp. 7881.

153 Most of the secondary work on Andrea Gallerani has been dedicated to unearthing details about the production of medieval sources describing his life and cult.438 Besides this work, some scholars have mined these sources for what they reveal about lay sanctity and the development of civic cults in the later Middle Ages. Andre Vauchez has pointed to Bishop Bernardo's indulgence as evidence for the active role bishops still had promoting saint's cults in the mid-thirteenth century.439 Vauchez has also discussed Andrea as a prime example of the popularity that saints of charity achieved in urban Italy and of the important role that members of charitable organizations played in getting recognition for the cults of their founders.440 More recently, Joanna Cannon and Cordelia Warr have studied the images found on the reliquary shutters as key evidence for the early iconography of the Dominican Order.441 And Diana Norman has looked at how even though the hospital connected with the Domus misericordia closed its doors in 1408, the memory of the charitable organization and of Andrea as its saintly founder has been preserved to the present day.442


ASS, Deliberazioni del Consiglio Generate 140 (1347), ff. 42-43.


For example, see the essays by Argenziano and Nardi in La misericordia di Siena attraverso i secoli; and Carli, "Considerazoni e notizie sul B. Andrea Gallerani e sulla sua famiglia."


Vauchez, Sainthood, p. 92.


Ibid., pp. 20 land 243.


Joanna Cannon, "Dominic Alter Christusl Representations of the Founder in and after the Arco di San Domenico" in Christ Among the Medieval Dominicans: Representations of Christ in the Texts and Images of the Order of Preachers, eds. Kent Emery, Jr. and Joseph Wawrykow (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), pp. 26-48; and Cordelia Warr, "Religious Habits and Visual Propaganda: The Vision of the Blessed Reginald of Orleans," Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002): 43-72. 442

As Norman points out, although the Domus officially closed in 1408, in 1836 two Sienese confraternities merged taking the name "Arciconfraternita della Misericordia," and tracing its origins to the thirteenth century Domus; see Diana Norman, "When Charity Fails: Andrea Gallerani and Memory of the Misericordia in Siena," pp. 91-118.

154 Pier Pettinaio Pietro da Montarone, a Sienese Franciscan, completed his vita of Pier "Pettinaio" in c. 1333.443 The only known manuscript of this fourteenth-century vita was destroyed in a fire in San Francesco in the late sixteenth century. In 1508, however, Serafino Ferri, an Augustinian hermit at Lecceto (near Siena) completed a translation of the original Latin into Italian. That translation was first published in 1529444 and was re-issued with added notes of both a scholarly and devotional bent in 1802 by Luigi de Angelis, a Sienese Franciscan.445 The Italian translation unfortunately does not include the final chapter of postmortem miracle accounts that was part of the original Latin manuscript.446 Instead Ferri includes short notices of a number of miracles that he claims represent the diversity of miracles and beneficiaries found in the Latin vita.441 De Angelis' edition of the Italian translation was produced to mark Rome's first acknowledgement of Pier's cult. On January 6, 1802 the Vatican confirmed that the comb-maker's cult had existed ab immemorabili in the Sienese diocese.448 In her recent translation of the sixteenthcentury Italian text, Webb has noted the difficulty that any scholar working on Pier faces


Luigi de Angelis, Vita del Beato Pier Pettinajo senese del terz 'ordine di San Francesco volgarizeata da una leggenda latin del 1333 per F. Serafino Ferri Agostiniano di Lecceto I'anno 1508 (Siena, 1802), p. vii. Although the sources refer to the saint as both "Pier" and "Pietro," in order to distinguish between the saint and the author of the vita, I shall call the author of the vita "Pietro" and the saint "Pier." 444

Serafino Ferri, Vita auctore Pier de Monterone (c. 1330), vita del Beato Pier Pettinaio (Siena, 1529); the only published copy I have found is in the Biblioteca Vallicelliana, Stampati: S. II. 45. 445

De Angelis, Vita del Beato Pier Pettinajo (hereafter Vita). De Angelis claims to have corrected parts of Ferri's original translation. After comparing the 1529 edition to de Angelis' text, Webb found no significant difference between the two; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 191. 446

De Angelis, Vita,-p. 119.


Ibid.. De Angelis, Vita,pp. 133-140.

in having to rely on a sixteenth-century translation for information about a medieval saint.449 Webb points to Ferri's own claim that he had not amended the fourteenthcentury original and notes that she found nothing in the translation that struck her as "implausible for its supposed date."450 My own reading of Ferri's translation agrees with Webb. Moreover, as I shall show below, many of the details I have gathered about Pier's life and cult from extant thirteenth- and fourteenth-century sources corroborate the portrait drawn in the vita. I shall therefore use this version but bear in mind its distance from the original both in chronology and language. In his proem, Pietro notes that he had first been encouraged to write the vita by his Franciscan superiors and fellow friars and that he consulted many who had known and lived with the saint.451 We do not know anything about Pietro except that he was a friar living at San Francesco in the early fourteenth century.452 Pietro writes that Pier spent the last years of his life in a cell attached to the church of San Francesco in Siena; this raises the possibility that the two knew each other, although Pietro does not mention the subject himself. We are in the unusual position of having other contemporary sources, besides a vita, to help build a portrait of Pier's life. Thus in addition to the vita, I shall also look at references to Pier in several documents produced by both Siena's General Council and


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 191.


Ibid.. Webb also mentions that Ferri claimed that he had found it quite difficult to translate the often incorrect Latin of the vita.


1 have benefited greatly from Webb's translation. When I cite particular passages of Pier's vita, I shall refer to both Webb and de Angelis and shall provide the Italian text where appropriate. For Pietro's statement that he was encouraged by superiors to write the vita, see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 194; and De Angelis, Vita, pp. 2-3. De Angelis, "Prefazione," in Vita, p. VII.

the commune's principal financial magistracy, the Biccherna.45 These documents show that Pier was actively involved in his civic community: he helped to restore usurious and illicit profits454, assisted the commune in an annual release of prisoners455, distributed alms on behalf of the commune456, and received communal money to paint images near the city gates.457 In addition to these communal sources, Pier's name appears in two charters produced in the 1270s that list the lay fratri who served the Domus misericordia.45* And finally, in a testament written in April 1284, the rector of the Domus, Bartolomeo Vincenti, asked that Pier's advice be sought to determine both where the rector would be buried and how his estate would make appropriate restitution of any • 11


ill-gotten gams. I shall also look at what civic records from after 1289 (the year Pier died) can tell us about the communal support offered to Pier's cult. These include the information that we find in the deliberations of the General Council as well as in the Biccherna record about the money given in December 1289, immediately after Pier's death, for the


Most of the communal sources referring to Pier have been listed in the following two articles: F. Cristofani, "Memorie del B. Pietro Pettinago da Siena," Miscellanea francescana V (1890): 3-52; and A. . Lisini, "Notizie sul B. Pier Pettinago," Miscellanea storica senese IV (1896): 42-45. 454

Libri dell 'entrata e dell 'uscita della repubblica di Siena detti del camarlingo e dei Quattro proweditori della Biccherna, libro XIX (1258) (Siena: Academic Senese degli Intronati, 1963), p. 18; and ASS, Biccherna, 94, f. 9r, July 1264.


ASS, Consiglio Generate, Deliberazioni, 29 (6 January 1285), ff. 25r-25v,.


ASS, Biccherna, 90 (1285), f. 12r.


ASS, Biccherna, 94 (1286), f. 198r.


ASS, Diplomatico, R. Universita, 17 May 1272, and February 1278.


ASS, Diplomatico, 23 April 1284. Bartolomeo's testament is also discussed by Nardi, "Origini e sviluppo della casa della misericordia," in La misericordia di Siena attraverso i secoli; p.68; and by Daniel Waley, Siena and the Sienese, p. 146.

construction of an elaborate tomb in the church of San Francesco.


157 The tomb and Pier's

remains were lost in a fire in 1655.461 The 1289 donations began what scholars believe was an unofficial but annual practice of the Franciscans petitioning and being granted money from the commune to support the festivities at San Francesco on Pier's December feast day.462 In 1329, Pier's cult was among five civic cults that were granted official and continuing communal support after efforts by the government to cut the commune's patronage of local cults failed.463 Finally, I shall look at a sermon dedicated to Pier that Cesare Cenci found in a small early fourteenth-century codex.464 Cenci believes that the codex was likely made for the personal use of a Franciscan preacher. Moreover, he has argued that the sermon was probably written within a few months of the saint's death by a Franciscan who had known Pier.465 Although I shall explore Pier's cult only in Siena, other extant sources show us that by the early fourteenth century, interest in Pier had spread beyond that city. For


ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni, 38 (19 December 1289), f. 62; and ASS, Biccherna, 102 (1289), f. 150v. 461

Cristofani, "Memorie del B. Pier Pettinagno da Siena," p. 37.


Communal documents that record the interest taken in supporting Pier's cult include: ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni, 38 (19 December 1289), f. 62; Biccherna, 102 (December 1289), f. 150v; Biccherna, 113 (December 1296), 233r; Biccherna, 121 (December 1307), 196v; Biccherna, 171 (December 1331), 152r; Biccherna, 234 (December 1354), 125r; Biccherna, 248 (December 1369), 197v. 463

ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni, 107 (16 February 1329), f. 35v-37v. Andre Vauchez has studied these deliberations; see "La commune de Sienne, les orders mendiants et le culte des saints. Histoire et enseignements d'une crise (novembre 1328-avril 1329)," Melanges de VEcole Franqaise de Rome 89 (1977): 757-767. 464

The sermon is included in Cesare Ceni, "San Pietro pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," Studifrancescani 87 (1990): 5-30; also, see Cenci, "Fonte anonima di un anonimo predicatore francescano senese," Archh/umfranciscanumhistoricum 87 (1994): 135-139. 465

Cenci, "San Pietro pettinaio," p. 6.

example, two Florentine manuscripts from the first half of the fourteenth century contain a laude dedicated to Pier.466 Both manuscripts belonged to laudesi confraternities—lay religious associations that gathered together in churches to sing the evening office.467 In addition, in the prologue of his Arbor vita, Ubertino da Casale writes that he had found many virtuous men in Tuscany; noteworthy among them was "Pier, a man full of God."468 Pier also shows up in Dante's Purgatorio. Sapia Tolomei credits Pier's prayers for keeping her out of hell and granting her a place in purgatory.469 And finally, at the end of the thirteenth century, Bartolomeo da Pisa included Pier in his list of prominent members of the Franciscan Third Order, although there is little evidence to suggest that the saint ever made a formal affiliation with the order.470 In recent scholarship, Pier has served, like Andrea, as an example of the popularity of lay saints dedicated to charity in the Italian communes.471 Pier has also been seen as one of the local saints integral to the construction of a Sienese civic religion in the early fourteenth century.472 Vauchez and Webb have paid particular attention to


For both copies, see Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, Codice II, 1,122, and Codice miniato II. I. 212. On these manuscripts, see P. Zeffirino Lazzeri, "Due laudi francescane inedited del sec. XIV'," Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 8 (1915): 334-337; and P. Cherubelli, "Florilegio francescano tratto da alcuni codici della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze," Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 32 (1939): 260-270. I have not consulted these manuscripts. 467

One to Santo Spirito and the other to San Egidio. On laudesi confraternities, see John Henderson, Piety and Charity in Late Medieval Florence (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 33. 468

Ubertino da Casale, Arbor vitae crucifaae lesu (Venice, 1485; reprint, Turin: Bottega d'Erasmo, 1961), col. 4. 469

Dante, Purgatorio, c. XIII, vv. 124-9.


Bartolomeo da Pisa, De conformitate vitae Beati Francisci advitam Domini lesu (Liber I, Fructus VIII, Pars II), in Analecta Franciscana IV (1917): 361. Vauchez, Sainthood, pp. 134, 202-5, 208.

159 how Pier's vita casts his work as a comb-maker not as an obstacle but as a means for expressing his piety and sanctity.473 And finally, Augustine Thompson has mined the vita for what it reveals of the everyday religious experiences of the laity in the 474


Communal Siena The development of the cults of both Andrea and Pier corresponds to a period (between 1250 and 1350) in the history of the Sienese commune that is rich in archival evidence, has been well studied by modern historians, and is often referred to as a golden age of Sienese history.475 It was during this time that the Sienese defeated the Florentines at the battle of Montaperti (1260), were ruled by the Nove, or Nine, (1287-1355) in relative peace and prosperity, and saw the production of many masterpieces of Sienese art and architecture. This was also a period in which Florence defeated Siena at the battle of For the role of Pier's cult in the development of a Sienese civic religion, see Parson, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese, pp. 16-18, 29,41; Franco Cardini, "L'argento e i sogni: Culutra, immaginario, orizzonti mentali," in Franco Cardini, Michele Cassandro, et al., Banchieri e mercanti di Siena (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1987), pp. 291-375, esp. 354-360; Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, pp.260-266; Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 276-297; and Mario Ascheri and Patrizia Turrini, "La storia della misericordia e la Pieta dei laici a Siena," in La misericordia di Siena, pp. 14-49. 473

Vauchez, Sainthood, pp. 202-203; and Webb, "A Saint and His Money: Perceptions of Urban Wealth in the Lives of Italian Saints," pp. 61-73. 474


Cities of God, see esp. pp. 179-216, and passim.

Extant records from the commune's main legislative body, the Consiglio Generate run from the midthirteenth century on, and registers from the city's main financial magistracy, the Biccherna survive from the late 1220s. On Siena in this period, see Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune; Bowsky, The Finance of the Commune of Siena; William Caferro, Mercenary Companies and the Decline of Siena (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998); Samuel K. Cohn, Death and Property in Siena, 1205-1800 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988); D. Balestracci and G. Piccinni, Siena nel trecento. Assetto urbano e strutture edilizie (Florence, 1977); U.G. Mondolfo, // Populus a Siena nella vita della citta e nelgoverno del comune fino alia riforma antimagnatizia del 1277 (Genoa, 1911); Edward D. English, Enterprise and Liability in Sienese Banking, 1230-1350 (Cambridge: Medieval Academy of America, 1988); Banchieri e mercanti di Siena, ed. Anna Gramiccia (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1987); Giuseppe Martini, "Siena da Montaperti alia caduta dei Nove (1260-1355)," Bullettino Senese di Storia Patria 68 (1991): 75-128; and Waley, Siena and the Sienese.

160 Colle (1269), the Guelph party ascended in the city, and the city's once-great banking companies failed. During most of the thirteenth century, the chief ruling body of the Sienese commune was the General Council (consiglio generate) made up of roughly 300 citizens, divided according to three districts of the city.476 Although the General Council had little legislative initiative and was expected to approve measures sent to it from the commune's executive committee (concistoro), the surviving records of its deliberations provide an invaluable glimpse into the workings of the civic government and offer us opportunities to see how both Andrea and Pier served their commune.477 The real power within the civic government was held by the executive committee, however, which was responsible for the membership of all the other governmental bodies, including the city's main financial magistracy (the Biccherna), the podesta, the captain of the popolo, the captain of war, and the mercanzia (the merchant guild).478 Between 1224 and 1270, the commune's executive committee was ruled by the Twenty-Four, named for the number that sat on the committee (8 from each district). This was a period marked by both a Ghibelline ascendancy and the growing presence of popolani in the communal government.479 In Siena, the popolo party consisted of those wealthy merchants and artisans who had benefited from the city's mercantile and banking success during the thirteenth century. Samuel Cohn has noted that much of the political history of thirteenth-century Siena boils down to the blending of two distinct civic 476

The Terza di Camollia, Terza di Citta, and Terza di San Martino.


English, "Siena," pp. 1038-1039.


For a good introduction to the place of guilds in medieval Siena, see Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, pp. 41-43. 479

Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, p. 34.

populations—wealthy merchants and Siena's noble families.

Siena's noble families

had created the city's great banking companies but did so with the help of a rising group of elite citizens—an upper middle class. As those wealthy merchants joined noble families in business ventures and in marriage, they saw their wealth as well as their political and social status rise. In 1287, the commune passed a statute calling for the city's executive committee to be made up solely of merchants "of the middle people," initiating the rule of the "Nine Governors and Defenders of the Commune and People of Siena," or the Nove, as the government was most commonly called. Members of the Nine, which ruled Siena for nearly 70 years, served a two-month term and came overwhelmingly from the popolani. Upon taking office, members of the Nine had to swear (among other things) to follow all of the commune's laws, increase the city's rural holdings, maintain the peace within the city, protect it from outside invaders, and see that laws were followed and justice administered.481 Moreover, they were charged with patronizing the city's churches, hospitals, protecting its widows, orphans and wards, keeping known usurers out of communal offices and finally acting in a manner that was always aimed at supporting "the good and honor" of the "magnificent city of Siena."482 There has been some debate among scholars over how to characterize the era of the Nine: did it mark a radical break from the rule of the Twenty-Four? Were the Nine a regime? An oligarchy? Or is it more accurate to see the Nine's rule simply as evidence

Cohn, Death and Property in Siena, p. 5. 1

Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, p. 63.


For the complete oath, see Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, pp. 55-56.

162 that over the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Sienese commune had fallen increasingly into the hands of a class of wealthy (but non-noble) merchants?483 While these are not questions I shall take up here, it clear that the rule of the Nine marked a distinctive period in the history of the city. The Nine ruled longer, in circumstances of more peace and civic growth, than any other communal regime in Siena. Scholars have seen the Nine's sense of political ideology and civic patriotism as key reasons for their success. Nowhere are these traits more clearly illustrated than in the outpouring of public works and civic monuments they commissioned. Much of the urban landscape that we associate with medieval Siena was the result of the Nine's efforts. As Hay den Maginnis has pointed out, by 1300 there were three hundred civic statutes that dealt with the development of the city and by 1309, nothing could be erected in the city without the commune's approval.484 The Nine built the Palazzo Pubblico (1297-1310) and the Torre del Mangia (1325-1344), redesigned the Campo (1333-1349), twice expanded the city walls (1326 andl346), and brought water to the Fonte Gaia (1347) to name just a few of their civic projects.485 Around 1300 they also took control of the opera del Duomo or cathedral works and had a hand not only in commissioning several major altarpieces (Duccio's Maesta, for example) but also in a campaign to substantially enlarge Siena's Duomo (begun c. 1320-1330 but abandoned after the plagues).

Waley has well summarized this debate; see Siena and the Sienese, p. xiii. Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, p. 24.

Perhaps more than any other medieval commune, Siena under the Nine fashioned itself as a spiritual community as much as a civic one.486 What scholars have sometimes referred to as the "myth of Montaperti," (since it comes down to us solely through fifteenth-century chronicles) ascribes Siena's victory over Florence to the vows civic and religious authorities took on the eve of the battle in front of an image of the Virgin.487 Historians and art historians have long debated to what extent the victory at Montaperti influenced the growth of the Virgin's civic cult. While there is clear evidence that there was a thriving Marian cult in Siena long before the 1260 battle, Diana Webb and Gerald Parsons have convincingly argued that this victory ushered in new developments in the political dimension of the cult, seen most clearly in the two Maesta paintings—Duccio di Buoninsegna's for the cathedral's high altar (1308-1311) and Simone Martini's for the Sala del Consiglio in the Palazzo Pubblico (c. 1315)—commissioned by the Nine. These images present the city's peace, prosperity and good government as dependent upon the city's veneration of the Virgin as well as a sign of her divine sanction of the city.489


Philip Jones, The Italian City-State, p. 298.


There has been much debate over whether the battle of Montaperti initiated or augmented an already present cult of the Virgin in Siena. Diana Webb gives a thorough summary of both sides of the debate and makes a convincing argument for seeing the city's cult of the Virgin as predating the 1260 battle; see her Patrons and Defenders, pp. 249-275. Also, see Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese, pp. 1-31. 488

Evidence from 913 points to a church in the same location as the cathedral dedicated to Mary. Moreover, the early twelfth-century Ordo officicorum Ecclesiae Senensis, written by the Sienese cleric Odericus, makes it clear that the cathedral had an active Marian cult since at least the late-eleventh century. By the early-thirteenth century, Siena's cathedral had been rededicated specifically to the Virgin of the Assumption. Moreover, the political nature of the Virgin's cult also stretches back into the early thirteenth century. In an annual procession called the Corteo dei ceri e dei censi to mark the feast of the Assumption, various members of the Sienese community carrying identifying banners made offerings of candles and wax to the Virgin; see Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese, pp. 1-2; and Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 249-275.

In addition to the many works portraying the Virgin's protection and patronage of the city, the Nine was also responsible for one of the most celebrated pieces of medieval secular art, Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Effects of Good and Bad Government. Lorenzetti painted this series of three frescoes for the Nine's meeting chamber, the Sala del Nove, in the Palazzo Pubblico most likely between 1337 and 1340. On the room's central wall, a number of personified virtues surround a large central figure representing good government or Ben Comun (the common good). To either side of these personified virtues are frescos depicting the effects of both good and bad government on the city and the countryside. The allegorical and political ideology as well as the possible textual sources that stood behind the creation of this work is a vast subject that has been much debated by scholars.490 Scholars agree, however, that the Nine who sat surrounded by these frescoes would have seen the images as constant encouragement to continue the good rule they believed their government was already providing for the Sienese.491 The connections made in many of the Nine's commissions between the city's civic religion and the maintenance of an ideal civic community also appears in many of the sources associated with the cult of Pier. During his lifetime, communal sources show us that Pier repeatedly served his commune, distributing its alms and helping to right the financial misdeeds of its citizens. After his death, his Franciscan patrons would 489

For the political dimensions of this period of Sienese art, see Norman, Siena and the Virgin; Kempers, "Icons, Altarpieces, and Civic Ritual"; Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter; and Frugoni, A Distant City. 490

Some of the key works are Frugoni, A Distant City, esp. pp. 118-188; Quentin Skinner, "Ambrogio Lorenzetti: The Artist as Political Philosopher," Proceedings of the British Academy LXXII (1986): 1-56; and Randolph Starn, "The Republican Regime of the 'Room of Peace' in Siena, 1338-40," Representations 18(1987): 1-32. 491

Diana Norman has succinctly noted that the Lorenzetti paintings "sum up the achievements and aspirations of the Nine as a ruling magistracy"; see her Painting in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (1260-1555) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 104; also see Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, p. 290.

165 emphasize how both his work for the commune and his religious commitment made Pier the ideal communal lay saint. Andrea's cult, which experienced its most significant period of development in the decade before the Nine took power, would never take such an explicitly political turn. Instead, the portrait of Andrea's sanctity, first crafted before the Nine took power, remained focused on describing what a lay religious life looked like and how it was possible to be both lay and holy.

Siena's First Lay Saint: Andrea Gallerani The first mention we find of Andrea Gallerani comes from the February 1251 Biccherna register, which recorded that the commune had granted Andrea di Ghezolino (Andrea Gallerani, the son of Ghezolino Gallerani) and a certain Maffeo 25 lire so that they could attend to the needs of the pauperes verecundi.492 While other communal records from the early 1250s name Maffeo as one of the first members of the Domus misericordia, these sources do not mention Andrea.493 Besides the brief mention of his charity work in February 1251, it is not until the early 1270s that we can find documents mentioning Andrea and his developing cult.494 The long interval between Andrea's death (in April 1251) and the beginnings of his cult may very well be explained by political circumstances. In 1260, after their victory over a Guelph Florence at the battle of 492

Libri dell'entrata e dell'uscita della repubblica di Siena, libro XI (1251), p. 74. For more on the "shameful poor," see Trexler, "Charity in the Defense of the Urban Elites in the Italian Communes,"pp. 64109; also see O.Z. Pugliese, "The Good Works of the Florentine 'Buonomini di San Martino': An Example of Renaissance Pragmatism," pp. 108-120. 493

See ASS, Consiglio generale 3, f. 15r, cited by Paolo Nardi "Origini e sviluppo della casa della misericordia nei secoli XIII e XIV," in La misericordia di Siena attraverso i secoli, p.87; and Libri dell'entrata e dell'uscita della repubblica di Siena, libro XII (1251), p. 95.. Also see, G. Catoni, "Gli oblati della misericordia," p. 3. 494

Thompson claims that Andrea's cult sprang up immediately after his death, but this is not supported by any evidence I have been able tofind;see Cities of God, p. 196.

Montaperti, the Sienese commune exiled all those with known Guelph sympathies, including the Gallerani family.495 After the Tuscan Guelphs reasserted themselves with the decisive victory at Colle in 1269, Siena's exiled families began to return to the city. One can imagine that a cult dedicated to a Gallerani would have been more favorably received after 1269 than before. The beginnings of that cult can be seen in the three sources mentioned above—a brief vita, an episcopal indulgence and a pair of painted reliquary shutters—all most likely produced around 1274.

Andrea's Vita Much of what we know about Andrea's life comes from the brief vita. This text celebrates him above all for having reached the heights of piety not by rejecting his active worldly life, but instead by transforming it into one that was wholly taken up by charity work and prayer. As in the vitae of Zita of Lucca and Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza, Andrea's vita portrays lay sanctity as dependent upon an active engagement in one's civic community. Neither Zita nor Andrea longs for a life of solitary contemplation (as we shall see later communal lay saints do, such as Pier and Margaret of Cortona). Instead, the v/Ya's author presents Andrea's sanctity as emerging from the new energy and embrace of the active life that the saint's conversion experience initiates. In short, the vita locates Andrea's sanctity in his lay status. The author seems to argue that precisely because Andrea remained an active and attentive member of his civic society after his conversion, he was able to attend to his neighbors' needs and, as a result, reach saintly heights of piety.


Michael Goodich, "A Profile of Thirteenth-Century Sainthood," Comparative Studies in Society and History 18 (1976): 435.

167 The vita begins with an account of Andrea's conversion experience, which itself seems to burst from the page with action: returning to Siena after his exile for homicide, Andrea was lifted off of his horse by a cloud, which swooped down "and carried him through the air for about the space of three miles." As he flew through the air, Andrea prayed to the Virgin Mary to protect him. When Andrea landed safely back on his horse, he realized that he had found his calling.496 The vita tells us that from that moment on Andrea understood that he had to keep himself from earthly things and instead "give himself over to heavenly contemplation."497 The descriptions of Andrea's converted life that follow do not portray the saint as removed from his worldly community, however. Instead, the author describes episode after episode in which Andrea placed himself in the midst of Siena to help its most needy residents. In a chapter describing Andrea's compassion, the author recounts two occasions in which the saint came to the aid of the sick. In both stories, the vita celebrates Andrea precisely for not avoiding the earthly things he saw around him. Thus when Andrea came upon "a poor person who had a swollen leg which was almost entirely rotten," he "applied a poultice, and at once the man was entirely healed." The text's author notes that "because of his poverty," the suffering man could not even afford to have his leg

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 144-145. A V, p.53: "...quasi nocturno tempore cumfratre suo de Maritima veniens, vidit nubem de sub quodam molendino subito exeuntem, quae ipsum cum equo, cui insidebat, a fratris aspectu subtrahens, triumfere milliariorum spatioper aerem detulit; ipso germano sequente, et tantamperditionem dolorosis et anxiis gemitibus adclamante. Sed vir Dei mox salutatione Virginis se munivit, earn nullatenus desinens devotissime salutare; ita ut eius mentis tandem ad terramfuerit incolumis restitutus." 497

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 144. A V, p. 53: "ifr quia diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum, in hoc vir sanctus, suae intellexit voctionis exordium, ut scilicet animum suum abstraheret a terrenis, et ad contemplandum coelestia se transferret: ipsi devote serviens, qui eum de tenebris huius mundi vocavit in admirabile lumen suum."



168 Andrea was moved to act, the author adds, once he realized that the man's

poverty kept him from obtaining medical help.499 Andrea demonstrated his great compassion a second time when one day on his way back to Siena from the contado, he "came upon a lone woman in labor, and moved by pity he assisted her as a midwife, serving everything perfectly."500 In both stories, the vita does not present Andrea healing his patients through miraculous acts. Instead, the author describes the saint as having stepped in to do the work of a missing doctor or midwife. Moreover, in both episodes it is Andrea's presence in the world—his being at a particular place at a particular moment—that gives him the opportunity to act on his sense of compassion. As the author makes clear, it is Andrea's active life that allows him to seek out and help the infirm and the suffering.501 Andrea's presence within his civic community also sets the stage for a number of miracles. Just as Zita turned water into wine and fed the poor from a store of beans that was miraculously replenished, Andrea could also create abundance from scarcity. In the chapter, "The Benevolence of the Helper in Action" (an apt description for the text's overall portrait of the saint), Andrea attends to the hungry of Siena by turning water into wine and dividing one bushel of flour into more loaves than one would have expected

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 145. AV, p. 53: "Unde etsemel cuidampauperi obviavit, qui crus habebat tumidum, etjam quasi totaliter putrefactum, nee inveniebat propter inopiam pecuniae recisorem. Quod vir Dei intelligens, emplastrum quoddam ex sua simplicitate apposuit, et statimfuitplenarie liberatus." 499

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 145. A V, p. 53.


Ibid.: "Unde et quadam die dum rediret de Comitatu, inveniens feminam solitariam parientem, pietate motus, sibi loco adstitit obstetrkis, etperfecte in omnibus ministravit." 501

Ibid.: "Hie infirmos et afflictos diligentiusperquirebat, eos visitans et consolans, admonens ad patientima et exhortans."

three bushels to yield.


169 The descriptions of Andrea's food multiplication miracles do

not convey the same moralizing that we saw in Zita's vita, however. While the author emphasizes the poverty of those Andrea helps, he does see the wealthy as being morally responsible to aid the poor. This portrait of Andrea still has much in common with the portrayal of other Italian lay saints. Like Zita, Andrea is celebrated above all for his commitment to charity. Moreover, Andrea's vita portrays that charity as springing both from the saint's hard work and from the miracles his piety produces. In a chapter dedicated to Andrea's "Love of God and Neighbor," we see more similarities between the stories told in Andrea's and Zita's vitae. Here the author recounts a time when a pilgrim came to beg at the Gallerani door. While Andrea's brother tried to turn him away, making his irritation and disapproval clear, Andrea overruled his brother and invited the pilgrim inside. Andrea locked the pilgrim in his own room for the night, to protect the man from his brother, but in the morning found the room empty. Just as Zita and her employer came to realize that the vanished pauper to whom the maidservant had lent her employer's coat had been Christ, Andrea also eventually understood that it had been Christ to whom he had offered his bed.503 Although Christ appears disguised as a pauper at Andrea's door, it is the Virgin Mary whom the vita most often describes as the focus of the saint's devotional life. From the moment of his conversion, the author describes Andrea as having held a particular 502

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 146. A V, pp. 53-54. In her study of the religious significance of food to medieval women, Caroline Walker Bynum notes that while the confluence of food and religion is most often seen in the lives of female saints, medieval men were often associated with miracles of food multiplication. Bynum cites the work of Herbert Thurston, who has noted that food multiplication miracles seem to occur as much to male saints as to female saints. As Bynum points out, Thurston includes modern saints as well as medieval ones; see Holy Feast and Holy Fast, pp. 76 and 332, n. 21. 503

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 147-148. AV, p. 54.

devotion for the Virgin and in episode after episode, the reader learns of the many times the Virgin appeared to Andrea while he prayed at home and in Siena's churches. As in Zita's vita, Andrea's vita does not focus on the content of the saint's conversations with the Virgin. Instead, the author uses his descriptions of the conversations to emphasize the extent to which Andrea's fellow Sienese were able to witness extraordinary moments in the saint's devotional life. For example, the reader is told that the women who lived across the street from Andrea often "saw the place where he prayed radiating an immense splendor."504 Curious about the source of this light, they asked Andrea's maidservant to investigate. The maidservant got up at Matins the next morning and was amazed to see "in the light of dawn a most beautiful lady talking sweetly with the holy man."505 Moreover, the author describes how once, as Andrea prayed in the church of San Cristoforo, "the priests and clerks who were in the sacristy heard him engaged in a delightful conversation." When the men came out of the sacristy "in order to spy out the speaker," they were astonished to see "Our Lady, radiant with splendor."506 In these episodes, the author seems to place more emphasis upon the opportunities Andrea's conversations with the Virgin gave his civic neighbors to witness the saint's devotional life than upon their content.

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 147. A V, p. 54: "Nam mulieres quae viro sancto ex opposito morbantur, pluries, quando surgebant ad Matutinos, videbant locum, ubi ipse orabat, immense splendore clarescere..." 505

Ibid.: "...sequenti node consurgens, luminaria immense conspiciens, vidit in albis Dominam pulcherrimam, virum sanctum dulcitert...". 506

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 149. AV, pp. 54-55: "Dum enim quadam die in S. Christophoro ante altare B. Blasii clauses januis devotius peroraret, Sacerdotes et Clerici qui erant in sacristia delectabile sibifieri colloquium audiebant. Et exeuntes, ut suspicerent ad loquentem, viderunt Dominam nimio splendorem fulgentem, quae statim disparuit."

171 Even though the text claims that after his conversion experience Andrea turned away from earthly matters in order to give himself over to heavenly contemplation, we have seen how much of the activity the author describes embeds the saint ever deeper into his civic environment. The author's description of Andrea's dedication to prayer offers an attempt to make sense of that dichotomy. In his introduction to the vita's third chapter, dedicated to Andrea's "promptness in prayer," the author notes: Because one comes to the contemplative by way of the active, the third virtue follows befittingly, that is his earnestness in prayer, by means of which his mind flew to the summit of contemplation from the field of action.507 In this passage, the author presents Andrea's dedication to prayer as allowing the saint to exist in a kind of middle ground between the active and contemplative life.508 His prayer is the "means" by which Andrea could make the transition between "the field of action" and "the summit of contemplation." In the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, lay saints' vitae would emphasize the ways in which those saints had been able to move beyond the active life toward a contemplative ideal. Both Pier and Margaret of Cortona would be celebrated for progressing from lives of action to contemplation. The author of Andrea's vita does not point to such a spiritual trajectory. Instead, he bases much of his argument for Andrea's sanctity on the fact that the saint could move so easily between an active and contemplative life. For example, the author of Andrea's vita, like the author of Zita's vita, pays particular attention to how the saint was careful to maintain his active


1 have slightly changed Webb's translation of this passage. Webb, Saints and Cities, p, 146. AV, p. 54: "Et quia per activam vitam ad contemplativam venitur, congrue sequitur tertium, scilicet orationis instantia, in qua adapicem contemplationis de campo actionis eius animus transvolabat." 508

For more on how medieval people understood the merits of the active versus the contemplative life, see Constable, Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought, p. 69, and pp. 1-141 passim; and "Twelfth-Century Spirituality and the Later Middle Ages," pp. 40-45. Also see Bynum Fragmentation and Redemption, pp. 53-78.

life of charity while still following a rigorous schedule of prayer. Andrea "always, if he could" recited fifty Paternoster and Ave Maria prayers between day and night but only, as the author adds, "if his work with the poor permitted."509 To keep himself on this grueling schedule, Andrea was known to attach a cord to his hair while he prayed, so that if he fell asleep he would be able to wake himself up to return to his prayers.510 As we saw in the vivid description of his conversion experience, Andrea's vita portrays the saint's religious life as an action-packed endeavor. Andrea may have renounced "the world and its pomps" to dedicate "himself totally to Christ," but, as the author points out, the saint did this by "fleeing from death, thirsting for life," and not being "afraid to enter on the path of life."511 In other words, the author sees Andrea's religious life as remarkable because the saint renounced the world at the same time as he embraced it by attending to his fellow Sienese and providing them with opportunities to witness his divine conversations. Andre's vita is also noteworthy for what it does not mention. The text makes no attempt to provide Andrea with a concrete institutional identity. In addition to not mentioning the Domus misericordia, the vita, although likely written by a Dominican, does not claim that Andrea looked to the Order of Preachers as guardians or guides. The author simply notes that Andrea had chosen to be buried in San Domenico "out of


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 147. A V, p, 54: "Semper autem inter diem et noctem quingenta Pater noster et totidem Ave Maria devote dicebat, si quando poterat; tpote, si occupatio pauperum sineret, ter quingenta ferventius superaddens." 510

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 147. AV,p. 54: "Et utposset attentius et devotiusperorare, capillos cuidam funiculo appendebat, ne orationis fervor em sommus aliqua interpolatione interrumperet." 511

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 144-145. A V, p. 53: "Quod utiqueprovida, et simplici aviditate complevit: ex tunc enim mundo, et pompis eius renuntians, Christo se totaliter dedicavit, virtubus claruit, quibus seipsum regens et Christianorum utilitati intendens, adDeum sefeliciter ordinavit; mortem fugiens vitam sitiens, viam vitae ingredi non expavit."


Moreover, the author does not portray Andrea's spirituality and sanctity as

influenced by or as a product of the Dominicans. Instead, his focus remains on describing how an active urban life could also be a holy one.

Andrea's Miracles Although the vita's author does not argue for Andrea having had a particular affiliation with the Sienese Dominicans during his lifetime, the Order of Preachers were the guardians of his tomb and therefore do show up as the beneficiaries of several of Andrea's miracles.513 For the most part, however, these abbreviated miracle accounts reveal only the name of the beneficiary and the illness cured. As Webb has pointed out, the majority of these cures were received after the making of a vow to visit Andrea's tomb, indicating that the miracles took place away from San Domenico.514 Webb also speculates that because one of the accounts specifies that the beneficiary came from the terzo di San Martino, the majority of the beneficiaries most likely came from terzo di Camollia, the neighborhood where Andrea had lived and where San Domenico is located.515 The list of miracles reports a number of maladies that we find common to many late medieval miracle collections: among others, Andrea cured the blind, deaf, dumb, paralyzed, and the demonically possessed. And as we see mentioned in the


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 150. A V, p. 55: "Corpus etiam eius, dum ad locum Fratrum Praedicatorum in Campo-regio, ubi ex devotione supulturam elegeret, portaretur..."


Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 151, 157,andl58. AV, pp. 55, and 57.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 142.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 142.

174 miracle collections of many communal saints, Andrea often rescued children who had fallen from the high windows of their apartments.516 One miracle stands out for the clue it offers for dating the vita. In one account, we learn that a mother vowed her son to Andrea after the boy was cured of an illness. The account mentions that the mother had been spurred to pray to Andrea after hearing "Brother Ambrogio" preaching about Andrea's miracles.517 "Brother Ambrogio" refers to Ambrogio Sansedoni, a popular Dominican preacher who died in 1287. Although Ambrogio was not recognized as a beatus by Rome until the sixteenth century, the Sienese commune had donated money for the construction of his tomb within a year of his death, and Siena's bishop had authorized an account of his miracles to be written.518 It would be reasonable then to expect that the author of Andrea's vita, himself most likely a Dominican, would have referred to the distinguished Dominican as "Blessed" or "Saint" after his death. I would therefore argue that since the author calls him "Brother Ambrogio," this version of Andrea's vita was written sometime before Ambrogio's death in 1287. The production of an episcopal indulgence in 1274 and the pair of painted wood reliquary shutters a few years earlier point to the early 1270s as a particularly active period for the beginnings of Andrea's cult as well as the most likely time for the production of the vita.


For the preponderance of miracles involving children falling from windows in the miracle collections of communal saints, see Webb, "Friends of the Family: Some Miracles for Children by Italian Friars," in The Church and Childhood, ed. Diana Wood (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 183-195; and Ronald C. Finucane, The Rescue of the Innocents: Endangered Children in Medieval Miracles (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997). 517

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 152. AV, p. 56: "Quaedam mulier audiens in praedicatione Fratris Ambrosii, miracula viri Dei, filium, quern fractum diu in lecto dimiserat, vovit B. Andrea, et rediens invenit ipsum plenary liberatum." For more on Ambrogio Sansedoni, see Waley, Siena and the Sienese, pp. 142-146.


An Indulgence and A Pair of Reliquary Shutters In March 1274, a charter issued by Bishop Bernardo of Siena (1273-1281), himself probably a member of the Gallerani family, offered a year indulgence to anyone who visited Andrea's tomb in San Domenico on the saint's feast day.519 The bull mentions that Andrea's body rested in the Dominican church and notes the great devotion the Friar Preachers, the Sienese and pilgrims had demonstrated for Andrea. The bull does not refer either to Andrea's founding of the Domus misericordia or to any miracles. Nevertheless, Bishop Bernardo does describe Andrea as venerabilis throughout the document. 52° While we can imagine that he would have been eager to promote a member of his own family, Bernardo's struggle during the first two years of his episcopate (that is, 1273-1274) to keep episcopal lands and men immune from communal taxation may have also contributed to his desire to ally himself with what he describes as a popular local cult.521 By lending his support to both Andrea's cult and the Dominicans, the bishop could assert his authority over the religious life of the city during a period in which his lordly power was threatened. In the depictions of Andrea on a pair of painted wooden shutters (painted by Guido da Siena and Dietisalvi di Speme in c. 1270) that once covered the niche 519

AA.SS., Mar. Ill, p. 50. Scholars have long believed that Bishop Bernardo of Siena was the son of Ghezzolino Gallerani and therefore was Andrea's nephew, see Giuliano Catoni, "Gli oblati della misericordia: Poveri e benefattori a Siena," p. 5. Paolo Nardi has recently questioned this relationship, however, and has suggested that Bishop Bernardo was rather from the Boncius family, see Paolo Nardi, "Origini e sviluppo della Casa della Misericordia nei secoli XIII e XIV," in La misericordia di Siena attraverso i secoli, p. 69. On Bishop Bernardo see also Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Storia del vescovado della Citta di Siena, pp. 228-238. 520

Vauchez has seen this indulgence as an indication of the power medieval bishops had to promote local cults; see Sainthood, p. 92. 1

Pecci, Storia del vescovado, p. 232.

176 containing his remains in San Domenico, we see three scenes (one on the front of the shutters, and two inside) depicting Andrea dispersing charity with an unidentified companion, giving alms to pilgrims, and praying before a crucifix (see figures #3 and 4). On the internal panels, the scenes of Andrea are juxtaposed with two episodes from the early history of the Dominican and Franciscan orders: "The Vision of the Blessed Reginald of Orleans," and "The Stigmata of Saint Francis." Taking a different approach from the episcopal indulgence, the shutters' artists did not hesitate to canonize Andrea: in each depiction Andrea wears a nimbus and on the outside panels, S. Andrea is inscribed in red above the figures. Like the vita, the shutters locate Andrea's sanctity in his pious activity, although they make no specific mention of the Domus misericordia.522 These depictions of Andrea show him turning his active lay life into opportunities for extraordinary piety and charity, and, as I shall argue below, present an equivalency between Andrea's ideal lay religious life and mendicant ideals. In his indulgence, Bishop Bernardo noted the many pilgrims who were visiting Andrea's tomb. The scene depicted on outside panels seems to have been aimed at providing those pilgrims with familiar images. In this panel, Andrea stands with his hand outstretched to a group of four pilgrims and is surrounded by three buildings that we can assume were meant to suggest Siena (see figure #3). Two of the pilgrims carry staffs, and the pilgrim's badge, the scallop shell, can be seen on both a satchel and a hat. Scholars have noted that older photos of these panels reveal a nimbus above the pilgrim closest to Andrea that has disappeared in subsequent restorations, making it likely that the

I do not agree with Diana Norman who has written that the shutters stand as evidence that by 1270 the Sienese were connecting Andrea with the Domus; see Norman, "When Charity Fails," p. 96.

177 panel refers to the story of Andrea's offer of shelter to a disguised Christ that also appears in the vita.523 On the inside of the shutters, in the left hand panel, we see Andrea praying below a depiction of the Blessed Reginald's vision (see figure #4). The viewer can still make out a rope connecting a bunch of Andrea's hair to an iron rod above him. We know from the vita that this is a reference to the measures Andrea supposedly took to stay awake as he prayed.524 In the scene above, an ill Reginald of Orleans (an early member of the Order of Preachers) has a vision in which the Virgin Mary presents him with the black and white habit of the Dominican Order that miraculously cures him. Cordelia Warr has recently shown how the story of Reginald's vision became an important part of Dominican iconography in the late thirteenth century.525 Warr notes that later visual and written renderings of this episode often inserted Dominic into the story, as we can see is the case in the reliquary shutters, where Dominic prays for Reginald's recovery.526 In her study of early representations of Dominic, Joanna Cannon has noted that the portrayal of Reginald's vision in the shutters presents Dominic acting as an intermediary between his order and the divine. Cannon also points out that in the written accounts of the vision, Dominic was credited with having prayed not to Christ but to the Virgin for Reginald's recovery.527 Cannon writes that the juxtaposition with Andrea was


Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea Gallerani," p. 55.


Webb notes that Henk van Os thought the rope was around Andrea's neck. Van Os was most likely following Kaftal; see Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 144; van Os, The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, 1300-1500 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), p. 61; and Kaftal, Iconography of the Saints, cols. 56-57. 525

Warr, "Religious Habits and Visual Propaganda." Ibid., pp. 43-48.

178 apt since the lay saint was particularly know for his prayers and devotion to the Virgin. Cannon's ideas can be pushed a bit further, however. Just as Dominic acts as a mediator between his order and God, this panel seems to suggest that Andrea could fulfill a similar role for the laity. Both the paternoster beads in Andrea's hand and the saint's physical position (kneeling in front of a crucifix) would have invited a lay audience at Andrea's tomb to see aspects of their own devotional routine reflected in this portrait of Andrea. The inclusion of the rope by which Andrea kept himself from dozing off during his prayer functions to turn a familiar posture into a saintly ideal, however. Nevertheless, by depicting Andrea kneeling in prayer below a scene that speaks to how effective Dominic's prayers were, the panel not only draws a parallel between Dominic's and Andrea's prayers but also honors what we can imagine would have been the viewers' own actions. In the right-hand panel, above a scene of Andrea dispersing bread with an unidentified companion to a group of poor and ill Sienese, we see a depiction of Saint Francis receiving the stigmata (see figure #4). Francis kneels in a rocky landscape, with his back to the viewer to reveal the wounds in his feet. One might wonder why such a crucial moment in the history of the Franciscan order would be placed opposite a depiction of Reginald's vision on a panel made for a Dominican church. While Warr sees the placement of the two episodes as revealing the importance the Dominican story had taken for the Order of Preachers in the later Middle Ages, I would also argue that the presence of Francis keeps the shutters from articulating a clear affiliation between Andrea and the Dominican Order.528 After all, the shutters also include a story emphasizing the

Joanna Cannon, "Dominic alter ChristusV pp. 26-28.

179 importance of the habit for the Dominican order—it is what the Virgin offers Reginald in his vision and what Dominic wears below—and yet depict Andrea wearing a simple dark gray cloak and tunic that, just as the vita's description of the saint as having "worn poor and common garments," does not convey any institutional affiliation.529 The shutters' internal scenes thus invite the viewer to see Andrea's lay piety as constituting a devotional path similar to, but ultimately independent from, that of the mendicant orders. In the lower panels, we see Andrea exemplifying an ideal lay religious life that corresponds to the portrait of him in the vita. He is as dedicated to prayer as he is to charity. The image of Andrea praying in front of the crucifix mimics not only Dominic's position as he prays for Reginald but also Francis' posture below the seraph. The combined vertical and diagonal relationships suggested in these panels portray Andrea's prayers as allowing him to be an effective intermediary like Dominic as well as giving him direct experience with the divine like Francis.530 As we saw emphasized in the vita, prayer was what allowed Andrea to move easily between the active and contemplative life; through his prayers his mind could fly to "the summit of contemplation" from "the field of action."531 Moreover, when looking across the other diagonal (from the lower right-hand panel to the upper left-hand panel), we see the power

Warr, "Religious Habits and Visual Propaganda," pp. 59-60. 529

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 149. A V, p. 55: "Corpus suum quantum poterat humiliabat jejuniis, vilia et despecta induens vestimenta." On the importance of the Dominican habit in both visual and narrative renderings of the episode, see Warr, "Religious Habits and Visual Propaganda." 530

Cannon has noted that while Francis is depicted in the midst of a direct contact with the divine, Dominic is shown acting as an agent or intermediary between prospective member of order and the Virgin; see "Dominic alter ChristusT p. 27. 531

1 have slightly changed Webb's translation of this passage. Webb, Saints and Cities, p, 146. AV, p. 54: "Et quia per activam vitam ad contemplativam venitur, congrue sequitur tertium, scilicet orationis instantia, in qua ad apicem contemplationis de campo actionis eius animus transvolabat."

180 of Andrea's actions: just as the Virgin's charity heals Reginald, Andrea heals the poor and the sick of Siena. The juxtaposition of an unaffiliated Andrea with both Dominic and Francis in these panels suggests that an urban lay religious life, in its ideal form, could stand on par with a mendicant one. It is curious that these shutters do not depict Andrea performing any miracles. There is evidence that in the early fourteenth century additional portrait panels were added to Andrea's tomb site that included depictions of his postmortem miracles. Nevertheless, in the first wave of interest in Andrea's cult, it seems that it was not the miraculous actions he performed after his death but the ways in which he proved himself an ideal layman, through his dedication to charity and prayer, that were most celebrated.

Andrea's Cult in the Fourteenth Century In the first half of the fourteenth century, Andrea's cult came to the attention of a papal legate, some of Siena's leading artists, and the commune. Yet it would never achieve the popularity and communal support that we shall see was given to Pier's cult during the same period. The earliest evidence linking Andrea to the Domus misericordia comes as we have seen from 1302, when the papal legate, Matthew d'Acquasparta offered 100 days indulgence to those who visited the Casa della misericordia during the feast of either the Virgin Mary or of Andrea Gallerani.532 In the 1320s, Simone Martini painted a full-length portrait of Andrea (see figure #5) that included the monogram of the

ASS, Mss., B.82, n.515; cited by C. Zarrilli, "Gallerani, Andrea," p. 547.

181 533

Domus misericordia on the saint's cloak.

Scholars are uncertain where Martini's

portrait originally hung but speculate that it was made for a chapel within the Domus.534 In 1327 the painted wooden shutters covering Andrea's remains in San Domenico were either replaced or embellished by a large painted panel, purportedly the work of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, which depicted a full-length portrait of Andrea surrounded by scenes from his life and miracles. The painting is no longer extant and we must rely on two descriptions of the work made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.535 Although we have evidence of a number of visual sources produced to celebrate Andrea's memory, we have no evidence that the commune aided the growth of his cult before the mid-fourteenth century. In 1347, the fratri of the Domus misericordia successfully petitioned the General Council to have the commune recognize Andrea's feast day as a civic holiday.536 The members of the Domus neither asked for money nor that civic authorities attend Andrea's feast day festivities—demands that, as we shall see below, those supporting the cult of Pier "Pettinaio" had made and won from the commune some twenty years earlier. Andrea's supporters simply wanted the feast day of the man they believed had founded their organization recognized by the Sienese commune. As I shall explore below, the 1320s and 1330s were a particularly fertile time for the cults of other civic saints in Siena. While Andrea's cult did continue to grow in this period, it did not receive the intensity of communal attention and money that was given to other local holy figures. The portrait of Andrea's sanctity we see expressed in 533

The panel is now in Siena's Pinacoteca; see Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea," p.60; and Simone Martini e 'chompagni,' pp. 78-81. 534

Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea,"p. 60.


Argenziano, "La prima iconografia del Beato Andrea Gallerani," pp. 56-59.


ASS, Deliberazioni del Consiglio Generale 140, f. 42-43.

182 the vita, indulgence and reliquary shutters is most focused on depicting his equal commitment to charity and prayer, his independent status, and his noble lineage. His cult's concern to define what exactly it meant to be a holy layperson did not speak to the particular concerns and political ideology dominating Siena under the rule of the Nine. The themes emphasized in the cult of a pious comb-maker, however, did.

Siena's Holy Comb-Maker: Pier "Pettinaio" and his Cult c. 1250-1289 Between 1258 and his death in 1289, long before the 1333 composition of his vita, Pier's name shows up several times in both the deliberations of Siena's General Council and in the commune's financial records. A sermon dedicated to Pier and most likely written by a Franciscan friar immediately after the comb-maker's death also gives us information about how Pier's memory and cult were first constructed. While these documents provide only discrete bits of information about Pier's activities in the city and perhaps raise more questions than they answer, they do allow us to see the role this pious comb-maker served for his civic community. In both communal records and charter sources, we can see communal authorities as well as individual Sienese relying on Pier to right financial misdeeds and to distribute alms to the poor. And in the sermon, we hear of a community mourning one of their own. In short, these sources make it clear that during his lifetime, Pier served as a moral compass and holy man for his civic community.

Pier's Communal Life: Serving Siena We find the first mention of Pier's name in a 1258 Biccherna register. The financial magistracy's register shows that Pier returned 51 soldi to the commune on

183 behalf of an unnamed man who, as the entry records, had earned that money through usury.537 The practice of making restitution for profits gained through usury had been required since the Third Lateran Council (1179), but was a matter for ecclesiastical, and not civic, authorities.538 The mention in the registry that usurious profits were being returned to the commune therefore seems unusual. We know that the Sienese commune had long battled with ecclesiastical authorities over the jurisdiction of usury. William Bowsky has pointed out that under the Nine, the commune had waged a particularly intense battle with the city's episcopal authority over the jurisdiction of usury.539 By the end of the thirteenth century, church authorities had agreed to limit their activities prosecuting usury in those cases that involved testaments.540 We are left to wonder if this 1258 Biccherna record (long before the Nine came to power) indicates that the battle over the jurisdiction of usury was an issue much earlier. Nevertheless, we can conclude that in 1258, the Sienese already saw Pier as someone particularly suited to helping others solve such financial problems. This is confirmed by Pier's next appearance in the Biccherna register. In 1264, the Biccherna records that Pier had returned fifteen lire to cover money an unnamed man had taken from the commune through his office {qui eos illicite

Libri dell 'entrata e dell 'uscita della repubblica di Siena, libro XIX (125 8), p. 18: "Item LI. sol. quos dicti tres habuerunt et receperunt a Piero Pectinario, quos ipse dicebat se habuisse a quodam homine, qui eos restituit Comunipro usuries." 538

On the restitution of usury, see Diana Wood, Medieval Economic Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 166-171; and Benjamin N. Nelson, "The Usurer and the Merchant Prince: Italian Businessmen and the Ecclesiastical Law of Restitution, 1100-1550," The Journal of Economic History 7 (1947): 104-122. 539

Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, pp. 110-112. In the fifteenth century in Florence, a rising tide of anticlericalism initiated the commune's efforts to assert its jurisdiction over matters involving the restitution of usury; see Marvin B. Becker, "Three Cases Concerning the Restitution of Usury in Florence," The Journal of Economic History 17 (1957): 445-450. Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune, p. 111.


subraxerat a Comunipro quodam offitio quod habuit).

184 Although the register provides

no more information, it seems likely that this item referred to money taken from the commune through the abuse of political office. In both Biccherna registers, Pier is recorded as acting as the middleman, allowing those with ill-gotten gains to remain anonymous while the commune recovered its losses. Two charters issued in the 1270s, one by the commune and the other by Bishop Bernardo, tell us that by this time Pier had become a member of the lay community of the Domus misericordia. In 1272, Pier was named as one of the 39 fratri of the Domus that the commune had exempted from both military service and taxes to support the poor.542 And in a 1278 charter, in which Bishop Bernardo recognized newly acquired lands of the Domus, we again find Pier's name listed among the (now 60) fratri of the pious institution.543 Pier is also named in the 1284 testament written by the rector of the Domus, Bartolomeo Vincenti. In his testament, Vincenti called for Pier to be consulted after his death on two matters: where the rector should be buried and how to make restitution for his usurious gains.544 One year later, in January 1285, Pier was again serving his commune. In the records of the deliberation of the commune's General Council, Pier was placed on a committee mandated to choose prisoners to be released in the government's annual show


ASS, Biccherna, 94 (1264), f. 9r: "Item XV lib. quospredicti quattuor receperunt a Piero Pectenario quos ipse solvit pro quodam homine, qui eos illicite subraxerat a Comuni pro quodam offitio quod habuit." 542

ASS, Diplomatico, R. Universita, 17 May 1272; cited by Nardi, "Origini e sviluppo della casa della Misericordia," pp. 68 and 88, n. 32. 543

ASS, Diplomatico, R. Universita, February 1278; cited by Nardi, "Origini e sviluppo della casa della Misericordia," pp. 68 and 88, n. 37. 544

ASS, Diplomatico, 23 April 1284. Bartolomeo's testament is also discussed by Nardi, "Origini e sviluppo della casa della misericordia," p. 68; and by Waley, Siena and the Sienese, p. 146.


of clemency.

185 John Koenig has studied the ritual release of prisoners in the communes

and writes that from the late 1270s on, Siena regularly relied on committees of prominent citizens, government officials, and religious to recommend prisoners for release. As the deliberations from 1285 stipulate, the prisoners given clemency were most often poor or "afflicted" (ex pauperibus et afflictis) and had not committed any violent crimes.546 Koenig points to other references in the communal documents that identify Pier (records I have not seen) serving on these committees and believes that the commune relied on the comb-maker in this capacity throughout the 1270s and 1280s.547 The commune seems to have used Pier in other ways as well. We find Pier's name mentioned again in 1285 in an entry in the Biccherna register. The entry records that the commune gave money to Pier and the notary, Ser Compagno, to distribute to the poor and religious of the city.548 As we shall see below, Pier's vita (written c. 1333) names Ser Compagno as one of eight companions with whom Pier lived for some time and worked to distribute charity to the city. Ser Compagno's name is again mentioned alongside Pier's in a Biccherna register from 1286. In this document, Pier, Ser

ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni, 29, ff. 25r-25v, 6 January 1285: "...Bartolomeus Mainetti consuluit et dixit quod ex carceratis et Comunis Sen. debeat relaxari et offerri V et eis qui debeant eligiper pierum pettenarium, Compagnum Episcopi et dominant Agnesem. Inter quos sit et esse debeat Castraleone et sint ex pauperibus et afflictis et quod detenti non sint pro homicidio, nee pro fur tis, nee pro proditione et rubbaria stratarum et incendia et quifuerint oblati, sint liberi et absoluti ab omnibus bapnis et condepnationibus..." I am using a transcription of this document made by Cristofani, "Memorie del B. Pietro Pettinagno," pp. 51-52. 546

John Koenig, "Prisoner Offerings, Patron Saints, and State Cults, at Siena and Other Italian Cities from 1250 to 1550," Bullettino senese di storia patria (Siena: Accademia senese degli intronati, 2003), pp. 222296. Thompson also refers to the 1285 deliberations; see Cities of God, p. 199. 547

Koenig's footnote is not clear, but he seems to list other volumes of the deliberations of the General Council that mention Pier; see "Prisoner Offerings, Patron Saints," p. 271, n. 120. De Angelis mentions that the commune placed Pier on one of these committees in 1282 as well; see Vita, p. 84, n. 1. 548

ASS, Biccherna, 85 (1285), f. 12r: "Item ccc lib. per apodixam XV Piero Pectinario et Compagno mantellato, quos solverunt religiosis et aliis personis pauperibus, prout eis visum fuit, sicut commissa est per consilium Campane Comunis Senensis." Transcribed by Lisini, "Notizie sul B. Pier Pettinagno," p. 45.

186 Compagno and Talomeo Battaglia (another of Pier's companions named in the vita) were commissioned by the commune to paint pictures near the city gates.549 Unfortunately, the entry does not offer any information about the circumstances behind this commission or the content of the images.550 These documents suggest that during his lifetime, both his communal government and individual Sienese used Pier to fulfill a variety of civic services. Pier is twice recorded returning questionable profits for unnamed Sienese and both the rector of the Domus and the commune itself relied on Pier's advice. Moreover, the commune used Pier and a number of his companions to distribute alms on its behalf and to paint images near its gates. How unusual was it for the commune to rely on pious individuals for such duties? When we look for mentions of other contemporary holy figures in communal documents we see that Pier's involvement in his civic community and government was exceptional. For example, Andrea Gallerani is mentioned in communal documents only once during his lifetime—when he was given money in February 1251 to help him aid the paupers verecundi. And Ambrogio Sansedoni (the popular Dominican preacher, who died in 1287) begins to appear in the communal record only after his death, as the commune gave money for his tomb and outlined the annual civic celebrations (including

ASS, Biccherna, 94 (1286), f. 198r: "Item, I lib. Ser Pier Pectenario et Ser Compagno del Veschovo et Talomeo Battaglia, propicturis quas fecceruntfieri ad Portasper ordinamentum XV." Transcribed by Lisini, "Notizie sul B. Pier Pettinago," p. 45. 550

In his study of early Sienese artists, Hayden B. J. Maginnis notes from the early fourteenth century the Nine was commissioning paintings on or nearby the city gates. The most famous of these was a Coronation of the Virgin by Simone Martini (no longer extant) on the Porta Romana. Maginnis makes no mention of any commissions before 1300 or of any going to artisans like Pier; see The World of the Early Sienese Painter, pp. 131 -132.

187 a polio) for his feast day.


Thus, Pier seems to have occupied an unusual position

within his civic community: he was someone individual Sienese turned to solve their money problems and the commune used to execute some of its charitable and pious interests.

Pier's Communal Death: The Sermon Pier's important place within his civic community comes through clearly in a sermon dedicated to him. Cesare Cenci writes that the author of the Pier sermon repeatedly notes that his audience had known Pier and had witnessed his great piety. The author also makes it clear that he too had seen and heard Pier's pious acts and words.553 Cenci sees the familiarity the author assumes his audience had with Pier, the absence of any mention of postmortem miracles in the sermon (the text does mention several miracles Pier performed while alive), as well as dating clues found in other sermons in the collection as evidence that Pier's sermon was written within a few months of the saint's death in 1289.554 Furthermore, since much of the sermon is repeated in the vita of Pier written by the Sienese Franciscan Pietro da Montarone in c. 1333, Cenci speculates that Pietro may have been the author of the sermon as well.555 Whether the


Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 278-279.


Pesaro, Biblioteca Oliveriana, ms. 1300, ff. 168c-171a. I have not consulted this manuscript. Cesare Cenci includes a transcription of the Pier sermon in his study of the sermon; see "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore Senese contemporaneo," pp. 5-30. 553

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 27.


One of the dating clues that Cenci points out is that in a sermon to mark the feast of the Annunciation found in this same codex, the author notes that the feast was to fall on a Friday that year. March 25* fell on a Friday in 1289,1295, and 1300 making one of these most likely the date of production; see Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 6. Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 22.

188 sermon was the work of Pietro da Montarone or another Sienese friar, Cenci's argument that it was composed soon after Pier's death is convincing, making it an extraordinary piece of evidence for how Pier's life and cult were first described. The sermon begins with a quotation from Ecclesiasticus that applies a description of Moses to Pier: "beloved of God and men, whose memory is in benediction."556 Although in its title, In Sancto Petro Pettenario, the sermon refers to Pier as a saint, throughout the text the author repeatedly calls Pier perfectus and not sanctus.551 The majority of the text provides evidence to support the author's claims that Pier was both perfectus and loved by God and man. More often than not, the author uses stories of the words Pier spoke to his fellow Sienese as that evidence. The sermon seems to argue that by knowing what to say and when to say it, Pier had proved himself loved (dillectus) by both God and man and had made his perfection visible through his disposition or orientation (ordinatus) toward God, himself and his neighbor.

The focus on Pier's

speech allows the author to remind his audience of their proximity to this great man and gives the text a eulogistic quality. The sermon's audience had known Pier, had heard him speak, and had directly witnessed some of the miraculous results of his pious life. To some extent, the sermon's author seems as interested in proving Pier's perfection as he does in providing his audience with the opportunity to grieve their loss. In example after example, the author uses the words Pier had said to prove his points and often reminds his audience that they had witnessed and listened to the 556

Ibid., p. 24:'"Dillectus Deo et hominibus, cuius memoria in benedictione est.'" The sermon quotes Ecclesiasticus 45: lldilectus a Deo et hominibus Moses cuius memoria in benedictione est." 557

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 24: "Sed videamus quomodo Pe(trus) perfectus fuit, qualiter ipsefuerit ordinatus et ad Deum et ad se et adproximum."

189 behavior he describes. At the beginning of the sermon, the author notes that his use of the word dillectus is justified by the fact that the majority of Siena had known Pier {maior pars civitatis scit).559 Cenci argues that the author's use of scit as opposed to memoratur, for example, serves to emphasize the temporal proximity between the saint and the sermon's audience.560 In a section dedicated to listing the signs of God's love for Pier, the author writes that Pier's heart was so inflamed with his love for God that he would become enraptured when he spoke about God (or to God) or heard others do the same and would lie on the ground as if he were dead.561 The author emphasizes his point by reminding the audience that they and he had witnessed this behavior.562 The frequent conversations (frequentia collocutionwri) Pier had concerning God serves as the second sign of God's love for the comb-maker. Pier's heart was so full of love for Christ, the author writes, that he almost continually spoke of (and sometimes to) God, the Virgin Mary, and celestial things and almost never mentioned temporal matters.563 When he was dying and could no longer speak, the author notes that Pier seemed to "speak" the paternoster through his gestures.564

Pier's continua conversatio


Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 24: "Maiorpars civitatis scit. Recte ergo de ipsopossumus dicere verbum propositum 'dillectus' etc."" 560

Ibid., p. 6.


Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 25: "Sed Petrus qualiter habit cor? injlammatum amore Dei. Multi ex vobis videre potuerunt et vidi quia cum (de) Deo audiebat loqui vel cum aliis loquebantur frequenter, sic rapiebatur in Deum quod, extra sensum J"actus, remanebat in terra quasi mortuus etfrigidus; et sic aliquando stabat quasi per totam diem." 562 563


Ibid., p. 26: "Vere signum magnum divini amoris est frequenter loqui de Deo, quia ex habundantia cordis os loquitur...Sic beatus Petrus; quia amor Christi habundabat in corde, continue quasi loquebatur de Deo et virgine Maria et rebus celestibus et nunquam quasi de temporalibus; et si sibi aliquid diceretur, statim recedebat vel alia verba de Deo assumebat."

is the third sign of God's love.


190 While conversatio can refer to one's manner of living

or conduct, it can also simply mean a conversation. The description of Pier's continua conversatio suggests both meanings. The sermon's audience is first told that Pier always spent his time either alone in his room or in church so that he could remain close to God and the Virgin. The author then adds that Pier would occasionally tell his friends that he thought the rank of pope, cardinal, or king seemed of little importance: having tasted the spirit, the author notes, all flesh or lower passions seemed foolish.566 The sermon seems to argue that both Pier's manner of living and his words stand as proof of God's love. Finally, even Pier's work or action (sua operatio), which the author describes as the final proof of God's love, becomes an opportunity to discuss Pier's speech. The author tells his audience that when Pier was not at prayer, he was visiting prisoners, the infirm, or the poor, consoling the afflicted, and comforting as well as fortifying the friends of God by preaching the words of both God and the saints.567 The author notes that he dares to make such a statement because he himself has heard Pier counseling a lay brother against the idea of predestination.568


Ibid., p. 26-27: "Dum enim in morte esset, pater noster in manu tenens, in gestibuspater noster dicere videbatur quod ore non poterat." 565

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 27: "Jra signum est continua conversatio." 566

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 27: " Sic Petrus semper quasi stabat in camera solus vel in ecclesia, ut posset cum Deo et virgine Maria familiarieter stare. Aliquando dixit amicis suis tale verbum: dico tibi, fratello quod aliquando sentio me in tali statu, quod omnis status pape, cardinalis, Regis, et cuiusvis execellentie videtur michi truffa. Hoc quare? nisi quia conversabatur cum Deo? Gustato spiritu, desipit omnis caro. Apostolus." Cenci points out that this last sentence paraphrases a letter of Bernard of Clarivaux; see Cenci, p. 27. 567

Ibid., p. 27: "Quartum signumfuit sua operatio... Unde b. P(etrus) quando non stabat in oratione, semper erat ad opera misericordie, ad visitandum captives, informos et paupers et huiusmodi. Consolabatur afflictos, confortabat etfortificabat Dei amicos et tarnfrequenterpredicabat et Dei verba et sanctorum recitabat quod omnes mirabantur de doctrina sua."

191 If we turn to the second half of the sermon, the author again relies on Pier's speech as evidence for the ways in which he was perfect in his disposition toward his neighbor and loved by men. The author begins by describing Pier's honestas vite. After the death of his wife, Pier lived as a virgin, fleeing the company of women. The author adds that Pier's prudence extended to his speech as well, noting that Pier continually kept a finger to his mouth to keep himself from saying anything that was not well considered.569 Another sign of Pier's perfection was his hedificatio magna (his great moral and religious edification)570, which was demonstrated most clearly by the attention and care Pier gave to the afflicted, sick, and poor. When Pier visited the sick, his words offered them particular comfort and sometimes even restored them to health.571 The author describes how one day when Pier ran into a friend whose son was near death, the comb-maker told his friend to believe firmly, take strength and go in peace.572 As the


Ibid., p. 27: "Audeo hoc dicere, quia vidi, quia, dum esset adhuc in seculo, quidam secularis, licet liberatus nee bene vivens secundum Deum, voluit eum temptare de quadam questione predestinationis et, arguensper multaargumenta in contrarium, sicprofunde sibi respondit ad omnia quod obstupuit, et dixit michi: credo firmiter quod, virtute Spiritus Sancti illuminatus, respondit, et credopenitus sanctum Dei, quodprius aliqualiter dubitabat; ex tunc vitam mutare proponens, admeliora mutavit." 569

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo,", p. 28: "Mortua uxore semper vixit ut virgo; mulierum consortia fugiebat et aspectum earum. Continue quasi digitum tenebat ad os, ne quiquam loqueretur non bene consultum." In the fifteenth century, Pier would often be represented with his finger over his mouth; for example, see H. W. van Os, Vecchietta and the Sacristy of the Siena Hospital Church: A Study in Renaissance Religious Symbolism (The Hague: Ministerie van Cultuur, 1974), p. 20, and pi. 5. 570

1 am reading hedificatio as aedificatio meaning "moral and religious edification"; see J. F. Niermayer, Media Latinitatis Lexicon Minus: A Medieval Latin - French/English Dictionary (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976). 571

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo,", pp. 28-29: "Secundo fecit eum apud hominess amabilem hedificatio magna, scilicet consolari afflictos, visitare infirmos, subvenire pauperibus. Videbatur enim quondam flammam dulcedinis immittere in animas afflictorum et, dum visitabat egrotos, verba sua errant de tanto conforto, quod recte videbatur restituere sanitatem." 572

Ibid., pp. 29-30: ""Item quomodo quidam suus amicus invenit eum in via, cuius filius erat quasi mortuus propter casum, qui ceciderat. Et beatus Petrus dixit sibi: 'confortare et non dubites, vade in pace', sicut solitus erat. Et, dum iste reverteretur domum, invenit puerum liberatum et sanum perfectum."

192 author points out, Pier's simple exhortation produced a miracle: the man returned home to find his son cured.573 The focus the author places upon the familiarity between his audience and his subject as well as upon the powerful influence of Pier's words allows the text to slip from sermon to eulogy. Above all, the text mourns the passing of a well-known and wellloved civic holy man. And yet, the author never mentions what we might consider a key aspect of Pier's identity. Beyond referring to him as Petro Pettenario in its title and noting that he gave a tenth of his earnings to the poor, the sermon makes no specific mention of Pier's work as a comb-maker.574 In addition, the author does not make any mention of the duties and activities that surviving communal documents and charters tell us that Pier performed on behalf of that civic community. For example, nothing is said of Pier's efforts to help restore ill-gotten profits or select prisoners for release. While the sermon omits this aspect of Pier's civic identity, the subject of usury does appear in the text. The author sees Pier's rigor in his last days (when having lost his voice, he would perform his prayers with gestures) as evidence of the importance of living a life fully dedicated to the love of God. The author points to the life of a usurer as a fitting contrast to Pier's example. The usurer, the author notes, comes to his moment of death having placed his love of wealth over his love of God. His soul will remain oriented in death towards the same concerns that had occupied it in life.575

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato daun predicatore senese contemporaneo,"pp. 29-30. 574


Ibid., p. 29: "Et de hiis, que lucrabatur tempore sue artis, decimampartempauperibus dabat."

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 27: "Sedquando usurarius venit ad mortem non cogitat de Deo, quia non dillexit eum, sed de divitiis. Dicit usurarius: tale pignum habui, Xlibras debebam habere, habui IXet dimidiam, Xsoldos perdidi. Ecce cogitatio sua! Et ideo aptate animam, habeatis in vita divinum amorem, ut in morte possitis recordari de Deo, quia cum ea

193 Pier's activities on behalf of his commune were not the only aspect of his life that the sermon ignores, however. The author also says very little about the different religious organizations with which we know Pier had some association. In addition to ignoring Pier's time as afrater at the Domus misericordia, the author, although likely a friar himself, makes almost no mention of Pier's connection to the Sienese Franciscans. The author notes only that at some point in his life, Pier decided to flee the world and live with the friars so that he might be free to think about God.576 Instead of focusing upon Pier's specific associations, the sermon's author seems more interested in portraying the way in which the Sienese's love of Pier reached across traditional divides. He notes that in a city where it was impossible to avoid taking sides in the Guelph versus Ghibelline split, Pier appealed to all; soldiers, members of the popolo, just men and sinners, clerics and religious all spoke highly of Pier.577 The portrait drawn of Pier in this sermon emphasizes above all that he had recently been a powerful presence within the city. The author points to Pier's words as the proof of the love both God and men had for him and the means Pier used to heal his fellow Sienese. The sermon's portrait of Pier places him in a space beyond institutional affiliation: he appealed to Sienese of all ranks and political associations. In this regard,

voluntate et amove, cum qua anima disedit, manet in eternum. Ideo dampnatis nunquam miserebitur, quia in eis semper durat mala voluntas. Ideo valde timendum ne in morte habeamus affectus et desideria mala sicut in vita, quia si cum eis decedit, pro eisdem cruciabitur." 576

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 26: "Unde ex magno amore, ut liberius de Deo cogitaret, fugit mundum et venit ad habitandum cumfratribus." 577

Cenci, "'San' Pier Pettinaio presentato da un predicatore senese contemporaneo," p. 24-25: "Neepro vili habeas famam mundi, quia magnum est ab hominibus dilligi; quod est commune vulgi: impossibile est quod non sit in parte vestra. Unde quando quis ab hominibus reputatur bonus, signum est maximum quod bonus est, quia nunquam potest longo tempore durare qui vult apparere bonus et non est. Unde signum maximum bonitatis etperfectionis istiusfuit comunis fama; quia milites, populares, iusti, peccatores, clerici, religiosi, omnes uno ore loquebantur bonum de eo. Etpatet quomodo erga hominess se habuit, quia fitit ab omnibus dillectus."

194 the representation of Pier's lay sanctity in the sermon is similar to the description of Andrea's sanctity in his vita. The reputations of both men depend upon their civic communities. Andrea's active life placed him in the midst of a city that needed the assistance he could provide. The words the Sienese hear from Pier serve as both the proof and manifestation of his perfection. A generation later, much of this sermon would reappear in the first narrative vita written of Pier. And although this vita would also celebrate the close connection Pier cultivated with his fellow Sienese and use a focus upon the saint's words to make that point, it would ultimately locate Pier's sanctity in his behavior as an artisan and communal citizen.

Civic Sanctity and the Nine Even though a vita for Pier would not be written for more than forty years after the saint's death, the cult of the pious comb-maker continued to grow. Throughout the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, the commune continued to make large donations of wax and candles as well as to send members of the Nine and other communal authorities to participate in the festivities celebrating Pier's December feast day. The government's interest in Pier's cult, however, cannot be understood in isolation from its patronage of other civic cults during the same period. It was during this period that a number of paintings, produced for both Siena's cathedral and newly built Palazzo Pubblico (the seat of the communal government), articulated the expanding political nature of the city's cult of the Virgin. This was also the era in which the commune began to patronize not only the cults of a number of contemporary Sienese but also the cults of the city's ancient patrons. The Nine's active participation in these cults was a

195 fundamental aspect of the creation of a Sienese civic religion. As I shall show, that civic religion would profoundly affect how Siena's most celebrated layman was finally portrayed in his c. 1333 vita.

Ancient Patrons: The Virgin and her Court In June 1311, Duccio di Buoninsegna completed his monumental altarpiece the Maesta (see figure #6). An anonymous fourteenth-century chronicler described the procession that accompanied its installation on the high altar of the cathedral. "As was the custom," the chronicler wrote, the panel was followed by the bishop, "a devoted company of priests and friars," the Signori of the Nine, other communal officials as well as all of the people of Siena, as it made its way around the Campo before arriving at the Duomo.578 The "custom" to which the chronicler referred was the annual civic procession and festivities surrounding the August feast of the Assumption of the Virgin— the Corteo dei ceri e dei censi—the most important and lavishly celebrated holiday in Siena. In this procession, various members of the Sienese community carrying identifying banners made offerings of candles and wax to the Virgin. As Gerald Parsons has noted, this procession effected both a symbolic "resubmission" of the lands and people that made up the commune and its contado and a "reaffirmation" of the Virgin's sanction of the city.

Around 1300, the commune had assumed control of the opera (or

works administration) of Siena's cathedral and thus had a direct hand in commissioning

Cronache senesi, in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, ed. A. Lisini and F. Iacometti, n.s. 15, 6 (Bologna, 1931-39), p. 90; the translation is taken from John White, Duccio: Tuscan Art and the Medieval Workshop (London: Thames and Hudson, 1979), pp. 97-97. Both works are cited by Norman, Siena and the Virgin, pp. 21, and 217, n. 1 Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion, and the Sienese, p. 2.

196 580

Duccio's painting and in directing the festivities surrounding its installation.


mimicking the annual procession on the feast of the Assumption, the procession to mark the installation of Duccio's altarpiece expressed a similar political message of submission to the commune and divine sanction of the earthly city—the Nine had, in short, used the arrival of Duccio's painting at the cathedral to articulate the expanding political nature of the city's devotion to the Virgin.581 Of course the content of the painting was also important. Scholars have noted that in the Maesta, Duccio transformed a traditional composition of Mary as mother of God and queen of heaven into one that spoke specifically to the Virgin's role as patron con

and protector of Siena.

Duccio effected that transformation primarily through two

details: the inscription along the edge of the Virgin's throne and the placement of four ancient Sienese patron saints kneeling on either side of the enthroned Virgin. The inscription notes the Virgin's role as the protector of the city by imploring her to "be the cause of peace for Siena, and because he painted you thus, of life for Duccio."583 On either side of the Virgin, saints Ansano, Savino, Crescenzio, and Victor, civic patrons who had been venerated in Siena's cathedral since at least the twelfth century, dominate the panel's foreground.584 Both their prominent placement in the panel's foreground and 580

Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, p. 24; English, "Siena," p. 1041.


For a good introduction to the Nine's patronage of art in Siena, see Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, pp. 123-144; and Parsons, Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese, pp. 1-31. 582

Norman, Siena and the Virgin, pp. 38-42; and Kempers, "Icons, Altarpieces, and Civic Ritual in Siena Cathedral," p. 112. 583

The inscription reads: "MATERSCA DEISISCAUSA SENIS REQUIEI. SIS DUCCIO VITA TE QUIA P1NXIT"; cited by Norman, Siena and the Virgin, pp. 38, and 219, n.52. 584

For the history of the cults of these ancient patrons, see the articles collected in "I santi patroni senesi fra agiografiae iconografia. Attidiun seminario," in Bullettino senese di storia patria XCVII (1990): 9-121.

their gestures of submission and petition make it clear that the viewer is meant to understand Duccio's inscription as the saints' plea. Duccio had imagined these four saints functioning as intermediaries between the people of Siena and their patron and protector. Between c. 1315 and 1321, Simone Martini painted a Maesta for the Sala del Consiglio (where the General Council met) in the Palazzo Pubblico. Martini's fresco largely aped the design of the central panel of Duccio's altarpiece (see figure #7).586 Although Martini's painting never functioned as a formal altarpiece, its use as the backdrop for the meetings of the commune's General Council powerfully conveyed the convergence of political and religious ideals that were first suggested in Duccio's panel.587 In what scholars believe once depicted a collective petition to the Virgin to protect the city, each of the city's ancient patrons held scrolls with inscriptions that are no longer extant. Along the steps below the Virgin's throne, one can still make out Mary's response to the "honest petitions" the saints had made on behalf of their "devotees." In that response, the Virgin promises that she will make those devotees as content as the saints' desire, so long as they are not petitioning on behalf of anyone who harms the weak or acts to deceive the Virgin's land. The Virgin ends her response praising the value of "good counsel" and again condemning those who, for their own benefit,

Norman, Siena and the Virgin, pp. 40-41. Duccio's altarpiece was not the first image the Nine had its hand in that paired the Virgin's cult with that of the city's ancient patrons. In 1287, the same year that the Nine came to power, the commune had commissioned a stained-glass oculus to be made for a window above the cathedral's high altar—a design that most scholars believe was also the work of Duccio; see Norman, Siena and the Virgin, p. 35; and Enzo Carli, Vetrata duccesca, (Florence: Electa, 1946), pp. 1214. 586

For a thorough description of Simone Martini's Maesta, see Norman, Siena and the Virgin, pp. 49-65. Norman, Siena and the Virgin, p. 52.

198 "despise" her and "deceive" her land.588 Martini's inscription portrays the Virgin not only as Siena's protector but also as concerned with the nature of the city's government. Her praise for "good counsel" and condemnation of those who oppress her land remind us of the depictions of the effects of good and bad government that Ambrogio Lorenzetti would take up and expand upon a generation later in his paintings for another room in the Palazzo Pubblico, the Sala dei Nove.589

The New Cults The cults of the Virgin and Siena's ancient patrons were not the only cults that the communal government patronized during the reign of the Nine. Less than two weeks after Pier's death in December 1289, the commune's General Council called him a saint in a decree that gave 200 lire to the Franciscans to build a tomb for the pious combmaker.590 Although the tomb does not survive, both the references in the communal


The full inscription that survives reads: "My beloved bear in mind/ when your devotees make honest petitions/1 will make them content as you desire,/ but if the powerful do harm to the weak/ weighing them down with shame or hurt/ your prayers are not for these/ nor for whoever deceives my land./ The angelic flowers, the rose and lily/ with which the heavenly field is adorned/ do not delight me more than good counsel/ but some I see who for their own estate/ despise me and deceive my land/ and are most praised when they speak the worst./ Whoever is condemned by this speech take heed." Cited by Norman, Siena and the Virgin, p. 54. Norman amended a translation made by White in Duccio: Tuscan Art and the Medieval Workshop, p. 96. 589

The literature on the Lorenzetti frescoes is immense. For a good introduction, see Randolph Starn and Loren Partridge, Arts of Power: Three Halls of State in Italy, 1300-1600 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 11-80. Also see, Frugoni, A Distant City, pp. 118-188.


ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni, 38, f. 62, 19 Dec 1289: "...quodfratribus minoribus et conventui ipsorum fratrum de Senis detur depecunia Comunis etsolvatur usque quantitatem .CC. librarum denariorum senensium pro faciendo construi super tumulum sancti Petri Petenarii venerabilis civis senensis, unum sepulcrum nobile cum ciborio et altar7...." This donation is also listed in Biccherna records, see ASS, Biccherna, 102 (1289), f. 150v: "Item CC lib. fratribus minorum pro sepultura Sancti Petri Pectenarii, pro reformatione Consilii.'

record to a sepulchrum nobile cum ciborio et altare and the large amount of money donated have led scholars to speculate that Pier's tomb was quite elaborate.591 After the commune's initial donation for the building of Pier's tomb in 1289, we do not find another mention of the comb-maker's cult in civic documents until 1296. In December of that year, the Biccherna records that Siena' spodesta and other government officials had taken 40 lire of wax and two doppieri to San Francesco to celebrate Pier's feast day.

Over the next twenty years, the commune appears to have gradually

increased what was most likely an annual donation to San Francesco on Pier's December feast day. Although the subvention is not listed in the Biccherna every year, a debate in the General Council in the late 1320s over how much the commune was spending on civic cults suggests that Pier's cult had been receiving a yearly donation. In 1307 the commune presented ten doppieri along with an additional donation of wax. And in 1321 and 1323, the Biccherna records that celebrations for Pier's feast included donations of over one hundred pounds of wax from the commune.593

Scholars have speculated that Pier's tomb may have been similar to the first tomb made for San Ranieri of Pisa (d. 1160), which consisted of a stone tomb chest, decorated with rectangular reliefs, supported on consoles, with a historiated gable above and an altar below; see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti, pp. 66-68. Our only evidence for the first tomb for Ranieri comes from a depiction of a miracle that took place at the tomb sculpted by Tino di Camaino for the second tomb monument made for San Ranieri between 1291-1306. 592

ASS, Biccherna, 113 (1296), f. 233: "Item XVlib: xiii sol. et iiiiden. Datis et expensis in quadraginta cereis, et duobus dopieris (sic) que (sic) dominus Potestas et dominus Capitaneus et alii officials Comunis Sen. portaverunt adfestum Sancti Petri Pectenarii et est inde habita apodissa (sic) a dominis Novem." I am relying on a transcription made by Cristofani, see "Memorie del B. Pietro Petinago da Siena," p. 52. Thompson defines doppieri as twelve-pound candles, while Maginnis writes that the term orginally referred to "a two-branch candelabra," but in late thirteenth and early fourteenth-century sources it most likely referred to "a very large candle," see Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 402-403; and Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, p. 42, n. 95. 593

ASS, Biccherna, 142 (1321), f. 146v; and 148 (1323), fol. 132 (modern pagination). Another communal donation is recorded in the Biccherna register from December 1327: Biccherna, 155 (1327), fol. 51 v. These three Biccherna references are taken from Webb, Patrons and Defenders, p. 280. I have not consulted these records myself.

200 Pier was not the only contemporary Sienese holy figure venerated by the commune. As scholars have noted, the type of tomb monument they suspect was built for Pier was also built for the remains of a number of other contemporary beati in Siena.594 In fact, by the 1320s, the Sienese commune, led by the council of the Nine, was making substantial donations to the cults of four recently deceased pious men: the Dominican preacher Ambrogio Sansedoni (d. 1287), the Augustinian friar Agostino Novello (d. 1309), the Servite friar Giovacchino (d. 1305), and Pier. Andre Vauchez has pointed out that the rise of the cults of these contemporary figures stands as strong evidence for the influence and power the mendicant orders had achieved in the communes by the early fourteenth century.595 But archival evidence for the commune's support of these santi novellini makes clear that it was the Nine who provided the financial and civic support that allowed these cults to thrive.596


See Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 67. For more on these types of tomb monuments see the work of Bardotti Biasion, Kretenberg, and Garms, which Cannon cites on p. 67. This was also the type of tomb monument built for Margaret ofCortona in the early fourteenth century; see Margherita of Cortona, pp. 66-78. 595


Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 764.

The majority of this evidence has been collected and studied by Vauchez and Webb. See Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne"; and Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 276-291. For more on Ambrogio Sansedoni, see Beato Ambrogio Sansedoni, 1220-1287, ed. P. Giacinto D'Urso, O.P. (Siena: Biblioteca Cateriniana, 1986); Waley, Siena and the Sinese, pp. 144-145; Sadoc M. Bertucci, "Sansedoni, Ambrogio," in Biblioteca Sanctorum XI (Rome, 1961-9), col. 629-633; and Meersseman, Ordo Fraternitatis, vol. 2, p. 956. On Agostino, see Cathleen Hoeniger, "Simone Martini's Panel of the Blessed Agostino Novello: The Creation of a Local Saint," in Art and the Augustinian Order in Early Renaissance Italy, ed. Louise Bourdua and Anne Dunlop (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), p. 55; and Agostino M. Giacomini, "Agostino Novello," in Biblioteca Sanctorum I (Rome, 1961-69), cols. 601-607. And on Giovacchino, see A.M. dal Pino. "Note iconografiche sul B. Giovacchino da Siena e la sua 'legenda,'" Studi storici dell'Ordine dei Servidi Maria 8 (1957-58), 156-61; cited by Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 68.

Deliberating Civic Sanctity In 1326, probably at the request of canons of the cathedral, the commune granted a petition to have the feast day of San Ansano, one of Siena's ancient patrons, annually supported by the government. In the petition, Ansano's supporters asked that the saint's December first feast day be made a civic holiday and that the city's podesta as well as other government officials attend the festivities in honor of the saint, bearing "fitting lights" and appropriate offerings. The petitioners also noted that the commune had previously given such honors to "several other saints."597 The San Ansano petitioners were referring to the support the commune had been offering to the cults of Siena's contemporary saints. Although the General Council passed the proposal to support Ansano's feast day and made it law by a final vote of 201 to 6, the measure came just as the commune was entering a period of economic hardship.598 Reacting to the march of Louis of Bavaria through Tuscany, as well as to a drought and food shortages, the commune launched efforts in the late 1320s to limit its civic expenditures. To this end, on November 10, 1328, the Nine brought forth and approved legislation that forbade government officials from attending or making offerings for any festival (ad aliquant festivitatem).599 The swift and potent response of the Sienese mendicant orders makes it

Webb, Patrons and Defenders, p. 278. 598


Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 760.

ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni 106 (10 November 1328), ff, 87v-88v. Diana Webb has pointed to the fact that the broad language of the measure could have been interpreted as limiting the Nine's participation in the August feast of the Assumption but was not taken this way; see Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 281-282.

202 clear that they believed the legislation would end the commune's regular contributions to the cults of its most recent saints.600 Between February and April of 1329, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, Servites and Carmelites all issued protests to the General Council.601 In each protest, representatives of the orders argued for the value their particular saint brought to the city and urged communal officials to continue their financial support for and attendance at each saint's feast day celebrations. The protests were so successful that the council not only rescinded the original measure but also took actions to make the commune's donations on the feast days of Ambrogio Sansedoni and Pier a regular event, no longer requiring an annual petition. The texts of the mendicants' protests have been well studied by Vauchez and Webb.

Both scholars have noted the opportunity these records offer to see how the

Sienese mendicants described the value and meaning of the cults of contemporary civic saints. Both the Dominicans, on behalf of Ambrogio Sansedoni, and the Franciscans, on behalf of Pier, argued that as Sienese natives and contemporaries of so many in their community, the cults of these saints offered the city particular benefits. The Dominicans pointed out that it was precisely a poor city that could most benefit from a celestial patron like Ambrogio and called for the city to be forever associated with the cult of the preacher.603 The Dominicans also made a plea for the general value saints' cults brought


Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 281-282.


The Sienese Carmelites did not have the cult of a contemporary Sienese and instead argued for the commune to continue its patronage of the cult of St. Nicholas of Bari; see Webb, Patrons and Defenders, p. 283; and Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 762. 602

Webb, Patrons and Defenders, pp. 280-287; and Vauchez, "La commne de Sienne."

203 to the city. They noted that the veneration of saints had "conferred many advantages" upon Siena and had "brought to an end and protected the city from many evils and perils."604 While the Franciscans also mentioned Pier's native blood, their argument focused on the benefits multiple intercessors brought to a city.605 Noting that the more advocates a city had, the more safely it would be preserved, the Franciscans pointed out that precisely because a man as holy as Pier had emerged from the city, Siena and its citizens had been honored. The friars concluded their appeal by calling for the podesta, the capitano and other communal officials to be required to attend Pier's liturgical office at San Francesco. Although the petitions of the Augustinians, Servites and Caremelites passed by slimmer margins, all of the protesting orders were successful in garnering some communal support for their saints. In the midst of the debate over the commune's financial role in the cults of its civic saints, the mendicants had reminded civic officials that the city's saints both protected it from harm and by their very presence offered Siena and its citizens a divine sanction. They had, in effect, given the city's contemporary holy figures a role similar to the Virgin's. We can imagine that the Nine's original legislation had alarmed the Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 761. 604

ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni 107 (16 February 1329), ff. 33-35v: "Quare, cum credatur et speretur firmiter quod veneratio sanctorum quae facta est hactenus in civitate Senarumper dictum Communem et Officiates ipsius multa commoda contulerit Communipraedicto etamultis malis etpericulis cessaverit et custodierit civitatem praedictam, petunt et rogant humiliter...quodpraefati officiates possint etdebeant ire et Consilium etiam irepossit, sicut fuit hactenus consuetum, ad festivitatem S. Ambrosii nobilissimi civis vestri..."; cited by Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 761,n.22. Bowsky cites and translates this passage but mis-identifies it as referring to Pier; see A Medieval Italian Commune, p. 263. 605

ASS, Consiglio Generale, Deliberazioni 107 (16 February 1329), ff. 35v-37v: "Quare cum ipse beatus Petrusfuerit de civitate ista nativus et ex eius originali amore specialem curam ad civitatem habeat et ad cives, et sanctitate et merit is eius, ut debemus credere, obtineat apudDeum, et tanto magis civitas serve tur incolumis quodplures apud defensorem suum, scilicet ipsum Deum, magnos habuerit advocatos, et cum honor sit civitati et civibus quod ex eis provenerit tantus sanctus..." This source has been transcribed by Cristofani, "Memorie del B. Pietro Pettinagno da Siena," pp. 37-38; and Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne," p. 761, n. 25.

204 mendicants and perhaps been the motivation behind the production of a vita for Pier in c. 1333. As I shall explore below, that vita, while clearly relying on the portrait of Pier we find in the sermon written immediately after the saint's death, focuses much more on Pier's identity as a comb-maker and his responsibilities as a communal citizen. In short, the vita draws upon the political and cultural climate of Siena under the Nine and presents Pier's sanctity as emerging from his identity as an ideal communal citizen.

A Civic Holy Man: Pier's Vita and his Cult c. 1333 A few years after the commune had agreed to the Franciscans' petitions to make the comb-maker's feast day a regular civic holiday, the Sienese Franciscan Pietro da Montarone completed the first known vita of Pier.606 As I have noted, we must rely on a sixteenth-century Italian translation of this source as the original Latin does not survive. In the introduction of the vita, Pietro records that he began to write about Pier at the urging of his superiors and fellow friars but does not give any sense of when he began his project.607 Many of the episodes mentioned in the sermon are also present in the vita. Moreover, like the sermon, the vita gives only a brief description of Pier's death and places particular emphasis on the power of the saint's speech: Pier's words heal the afflicted and initiate his own ecstatic states. The author mentions that much of the information he supplies came from others who had known and lived with Pier, but says

De Angelis, Vita, p. vii. 607

De Angelis, Vita, p. 2: " di certo essere io indegno ed insufficente a descriverla: intanto cheper nessun modo tal cosa tenterei, se non fosse che da alcuni de' miei Padri e Fratelli in Cristo ed amici e di questo santo Uomo divotissimepersone fossistato inclinato..."

205 nothing about his own relationship with the comb-maker.608 In the introduction to his edition of the vita, de Angelis speculated that Pietro had been Pier's confessor, but I have been unable to find any information to support this claim.609 Instead of focusing on his own connection to Pier, Pietro seems most interested in discussing the pious combmaker's relationship with Siena. Pietro repeatedly emphasizes that it was Pier's behavior as a member of his civic community—the choices he made as a working urban citizen— that most clearly revealed his sanctity. Although Pietro does write about the saint's devotion to Saint Francis as well as the time the saint spent living in a cell attached to the church of San Francesco in Siena, he stresses Pier's identity not simply as a good Sienese citizen but also as one that personified the political and cultural ideals of Siena under the Nine.

Pier's Practical Penitence Pietro begins his portrait of Pier with little information about the saint's early life and conversion. We are told that while Pier had been a "hot-tempered" and "boisterous youth," he was "always immune from the vices" often associated with the young.610 Pier's conversion to a religious life is not precipitated by a particularly sinful past or a


De Angelis, Vita p. 3: "(...per avere io la vita sua avuta da diverse persone, le quail sono insieme vissute col predetto Beato Pietro, accioche cosipreziosi edeccellenti e desiderabili virtu non periscano), in quell migliore veridico e sincero modo che a me sia possibile, descriverle. Edaccio la verita delta vita de predetto Santo...a me scrittorepiii certa e chiarafosse: trovandomi nel luogo dove conversd ilsant'Uomo, e i giorni di questa vita pace fini, coi familiari suoi, (che con ogni diligente esame ricercai) ho conferito, e massimamante con alcuni consapevoli delta probita del predetto Santo, a' quail per la probata verita di religione in low conosciuta, ho esistimato doversiprestare indubitatafede." 609


De Angelis, Vita, p. vii.

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 195; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 5-6: "Questo Pietro nellapuerizia e adolesenza sua visse sempre allegramente, essendo di condizione faceta: benche (secondo si diceva da chi in quella eta giovanile I'aveva conosciuto) fosse stato giovane furibondo edassai tempestoso. Nientedimeno, aiutandolo la divina protezione, da quel vizi, ne 'quali quell 'eta si suole immergere, sempre fit alieno."

moment of mental and spiritual clarity. Instead, Pietro simply reports that after the saint had taken up the trade of comb-making and had married, "the hand of the Lord came on Pier and suddenly he changed into another man altogether." This new man, Pietro adds, began to attend church frequently, where he listened "with the greatest attention to what he heard of Holy Scripture in the divine office or in sermons."611 The somewhat mundane quality of the vita's description of Pier's conversion experience continues in much of what Pietro tells us about the saint's devotional life. While Pietro makes it clear that Pier adhered to a penitential routine, he does not seem concerned to present this activity as having been particularly noteworthy. In fact, much of what Pietro tells us about Pier's devotional routine appears to be a rather pro forma description of the life of an urban lay penitent. Pietro writes that Pier always fasted in honor of the Virgin on Saturdays and offered prayers to her both day and night.

In a

chapter dedicated to describing Pier's commitment to chastity, abstinence and pilgrimage, Pietro gives a brief account of each of these aspects of the comb-maker's religious life. We learn that Pier fasted from All Saints to Christmas, throughout Lent as well as on "other prescribed vigils, and on Friday and Saturday."

Pietro writes that although the

saint did devote much time to abstinence, this aspect of Pier's religious life "was hidden


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 195;de Angelis, Vita,p. 6:"Efatta la mano del Signore sopra di Pietro, subitofu grandemente in altr 'uomo mutato, e cost comincio divotissimamente afrequentar la Chiesa, e quel tanto che egli della Sacra Scrittura nel divino Uffizio, o nelle sante predicazioni con attentissimo animo udiva, non oblioso ascoltatore, tutto riponeva nel seereto del sup petto...." 612


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 202; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 22-23.

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 223; de Angelis, Vita, p. 79: "Digiunava sempre dalla Festa di tutti i Santi insino a Natale e tutta la Quaresima colle altre Vigilie comandate, e il Venerdi e il Sabato mai non lasciava che devotamente non digiunasse."

and discreet."


207 Nevertheless, Pietro goes on to note that Pier was careful to eat only

"permitted things according to their season," and only amounts that barely sufficed. He "remained ceaselessly in prayer and contemplation," slept very little (always on a hard bed), dressed in "the cheapest fabrics" and mortified his flesh with "various tiring pilgrimages" to Rome, Assisi, Pisa and Pistoia.615 In the description of Pier's relationship with his wife, we begin to see a more individualized portrait of Pier's religious commitment and its effect on his everyday life as a layman and city-dweller. Although Pier was married, Pietro writes that the saint "paid constant and vigilant attention" to his chastity and had lived with his wife "in a Christian manner."616 Like Abraham, Pier only had "knowledge of his wife solely out of the desire to have children for the service of God." Once he realized that his wife was unable to have children, they decided to live together "observing perfect chastity.'

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 223; de Angelis, Vita, p. 79: "...eperd vacava singolarmenti all'astinenza, la quale era in lui ascosa e discretissima, imperocche di tutte le cose lecite secondo i tempi suoi mangiava, ma con tanta sobrieta e parsimonia che con faticapoteva bastare alia naturale sostentazione...Moltopoco dormiva, e secondol'Apostolicoprecetto stava senza intermissione in orazione e contemplazione, e quel poco dormiva sopra un durissimo letto, al quale non altro che la estrema necessita lo adduceva andare. Vestiva di vilissimipanni, i quali spesso rappezzava ancora di diversi colori. Macerava spesso il corpo suo con diverse efaticose pellegrinazioni andando ora a Roma alle sante Indulgenze: ora a S. Francesco d"Assisi, alia quale Indulgenza aveva singolare devozione efede: ora a Pisa nella santa Ascensione del Signore, or a Pistoia nella Chiesa di S. Jacopo maggiore. " 615



Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 223; de Angelis, Vita, p. 79: "Vegliava il servo di Cristo Pietro con molta custodia ed attentissima cura sopra la costanza del singolare tesoro della santa castita...";wd Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 195; de Angelis, Vita, p. 6: "Fatto adunque uomo Pietro, prese donna,dalla quale non ebbe maiprole, e colla quale cristianamente vivendo, schivava le lascivie e i vani consorzi degli altri giovani: le quali cose sogliono a molti esser causa di rovina." 617

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 197; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 9-10: "Venne come si crede il servo di Cristo Pietro a tanta purita, che quasi come Abraham solamente per desiderio di aver prole del servizio di Dio, conobbe pudicissimamente la sua compagnia, e vendendola sterile si determinarono insieme vivendo, osservare perfetta castitd, e dipoi la morte di detta sua donna sempre con somma continenza visse." Dyan Elliot has noted that Pier's vita provides an unusual example of what appears to be the mutual agreement of husband and wife to take up a spiritual or chaste marriage; see Spiritual Marriage, p. 252. The latenineteenth-century Sienese historian, A. Lisini questioned the portrayal of Pier as childless. Pointing to

208 While Pietro celebrates Pier's chaste union, he seems most concerned to describe how the saint never let his religious enthusiasm cause him to compromise his duties as a husband. Pier was always so concerned "to show consideration" for his wife that he was careful never to let his prayers or charity work make him late for lunch or dinner.618 Moreover, as Pier began to sell everything he owned to give the money to the poor, Pietro mentions that a "tactful and prudent religious" reminded the comb-maker that he needed to preserve his wife's dowry as long as she lived.619 Pietro reports that Pier not only kept his house with a vineyard while his wife was alive but, after her death, made sure to execute her will before he offered what he had left to the poor.620 Medieval vitae often tell stories of the criticism saints faced after alienating property or selling goods that either did not belong to them or upon which their family depended.621 But instead of celebrating Pier's impulse to give everything he could to the poor and needy, Pietro

archival evidence, Lisini notes that Pier had at least four sons; see Lisini, "Notizie sul B. Pier Pettinagno," pp. 42-45. Both the vita and the sermon dedicated to Pier chose to ignore this aspect of Pier's life. As we saw in the case of Omobono's cult, it was not uncommon for the vita of a male lay saint to discuss marital status, but not children. 618

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 196-197; de Angelis, Vita, p. 9: "...sforzandosi sempre in quello, che credeva piacere a Dio, farsela grata; per la qual cosa, come accade, trovandosi in sull 'ora del desinare or della cena con qualche persona a confabulare, dolcemente loro diceva: Fratelli carissimi statevi in pace, imperocche gia e I'ora, che la mia padrona mi aspetta: sicche non volendola turbare, voglio andare a casa." 619

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 199; de Angelis, Vita,p. 14: "Vendendo I'uomo di Dio, vivendo ancor la moglie, cid che aveva ed abbondantemente lo spregiatore deldenaro, ed amatore carissimo della povertd aipoveri per le strode, e agli incarcerati, e massimamente aipoveri vergognosi contribuiva in modo, che una volto un circospetto, e prudente Religsoso fit fatto avvertito, che nel dare, almanco la dote della moglie riserbasse perche, ella vivendo, non la poteva alienare." 620

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 199; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 14-15: "E cost I'uomo di Dio solo si riserbd la casa con una vigna, de frutti della quale, quantopoteva, come un altro Tobia, sollecitamente aipoveri soweniva...Andd dunque Pietro, e come amatore dellapoverta vende la detta vigna, delprezzo della quale, prima sodisfece al testamento della moglie, e del resto nefece molte limosine aipoveri, spendendone ancora parte in altre buone opere, e riserbandosi solo quanto potesse per se parcissimamente vivere." 621

For two examples from communal lay saints, see my discussion of Omobono of Cremona and Zita of Lucca above.

focuses on the saint's adherence to the rules and regulations of his society. Pietro makes it clear that Pier lived a committed religious life, had a chaste marriage and spurned worldly things, but wants his reader to understand that the saint never let his religious enthusiasm conflict with the responsibilities inherent in lay life. On one hand, these passages portray Pier's lay sanctity in a light similar to what we saw in Zita's vita. Like Zita's, Pier's religious life demonstrates a kind of practical restraint. Neither saint goes to penitential extremes to prove holiness. On the other hand, Zita's and Pier's vitae portray different results of the saints' practicality. Whereas Zita's practicality keeps her ever attentive to her responsibilities as a domestic servant despite her rigorous prayer schedule, Pier's practical piety allows him to maintain and follow the conventions and requirements of his civic community.

An Active or Contemplative Saint? Pietro describes Pier's dedication to offering charity to the poor and sick of Siena, noting that he "continually visited the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala," and like Francis, "devotedly washed the hands and feet of the sick, and cleaned and bound even horrible wounds."622 As we see in so many lay saints' lives, Pietro presents Pier as having found a perfect balance between action and contemplation: "Like another Martha he was always engaged in the active life in similar activities, not abandoning the

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 198; de Angelis, Vita, p. 11:" Visitava di continuo lo Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala di Siena, dove singolarmente aglipoveri di Cristo serviva...Le mani ed ipiedi di quell'infermi divotamente lavava, e baciava, e lepiaghe ancora orride nettava efasciava, quasi come un altro beatissimo Francesco."

210 contemplation of heavenly things with Mary."


In fact, the vita begins with a

description of how perfectly Pier attended to both ideals. "Like an angelic spirit," he writes, Pier "continuously practiced the contemplative life" and yet "did not confine himself to a life of prayer but "tirelessly practiced the active life of charity toward his neighbor."624 Over the course of the vita, however, we find that Pietro includes very few descriptions of the charity work to which Pier had supposedly dedicated his life. Moreover, in a few passages, Pietro writes that Pier eventually reached such heights of spiritual progress that he moved beyond the active life. For example, after the reader learns that Pier's eight companions would break off into groups of two each Sunday to administer charity to different districts of the city, Pietro writes that Pier and a few others "on these days did nothing but concentrate with Mary Magdalen on the contemplative life." Pietro adds that these men had "already won favor with God by the performance of the active life" and therefore could concentrate "solely on the divine harvest."625 In another passage, we are told that Pier was once asked why he no longer performed works of mercy since, as his unnamed questioner noted, "God has granted you such grace in this

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 198; de Angelis, Vita, p. 11: "...e come un altra Marta, sempre vacava alia vita attivaper simili esercizi, non lasciando il contemplare con Maria le cose celestiali..." 624

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 193; de Angelis, Vita, p. 2: "// quale, come spirito angelico, di continuo nella contemplativa vita si esercitava; donde molto spesso si trovava ripieno di spirito di Profezia, e seguitando gli Apostolici vestigi, I'umana superbia dispregiando, con ardore difervente carita, e colla sincerissima fede degli antichi Patricarchi e Martiri di Cristo santissimi, tutto in Dio si trovava rapito. E non perd su tutto questo si arrestava; ma indefessamente nell'attiva vita per le opere delta misericordia inverso il prossimo si esercitava, ed in se con singolare prudenza, le penitenze durissime dei Confessori di Cristo rinnovava." 625

Webb, p. Saints and Cities, p. 201; de Angelis, Vita, p. 18: "Gli altri quattrofra i quali I 'uomo di Dio Pietro, queigiorni non adaltro che con Maria Maddalena alia contemplativa vita attendevano, comefatti gia a Dio gratiper le azioni dell'attiva vita, nella sola fruizione divina sipascevano."

211 city that everything which you might ask to be given to the poor would be granted." Pier responded that there were "many paths to spiritual advancement," and that he "knew from experience.. .that it was no longer safe" for him to be involved in the world where "I do not feel that I can achieve any good except at the cost of my own perdition."627 While it is not clear how Pier's charity work could lead to his damnation, Pietro's point comes through clearly: Pier has progressed beyond the active life. And yet, as I shall show below, the majority of Pietro's text focuses precisely upon the many ways in which Pier's active civic life repeatedly proved him a saint. Pier's demeanor and actions as a husband, a comb-maker, and communal citizen all prove him to have led an ideal and thus saintly lay life. Pier's active involvement in his civic community comes through clearly in the many descriptions Pietro gives of the saint's speech. I noted that in the sermon dedicated to Pier, the author also placed great emphasis on Pier's speech. The sermon's author reminded his audience that they had heard Pier's pious words and pointed to both the saint's frequent conversations with God and the Virgin Mary and his ability to use his voice to heal those in distress as evidence of his perfection. In Pier's vita, Pietro expresses a similar interest in the saint's words and points to both his words and silences as his evidence for his sanctity. Pietro writes that after much effort and many years of

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 222; de Angelis, Vita, p. 74: "Un altro giorno vacando divotamente alia contemplazione, certi uomini di Siena sotto nome dipieta gli dissero: O Pietro avendoti dato Dio tanta grazia in questa Cittd, che tutto quello che dimandassiper dare ai Poveri ti sarebbe concesso; perche dunque non attendi tu a queste opere di misericordia sowenendo all'inopia e miseria di tantepersone, piuttosto che attendere e vacare all tua contemplazione?" 627

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 222; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 74-75: "A' quali il servo di Cristo benignamente rispose: Fratelli dovete sapere, che diversi sono i modi e le vie dei spirituali guadagni, ed io per esperienza parlo e conosco omninamente, che per me non fa dipiii intromettermi ed implicaremi col mondo, nel quale, eccettuatane la mia perdizione, non mi sento alcun bene operare."

prayer, Pier was granted the "gift of mastery of his tongue."


212 Following the injunction

in Ecclesiasticus, Pietro notes, that Pier "conducted himself prudently in speaking," and it was "his habit, whether walking or standing, almost always to hold his hand over his mouth like a man altogether careful in all his speech and fearful of saying an unprofitable word."629 Pier comes across in the vita as far from silent, however. Pietro writes that Pier was "constantly talking of God," and when he was not "thinking sweet contemplative thoughts" of God and the Virgin Mary, he was "praying aloud" to them.630 Moreover, throughout the vita, Pier's words seem to initiate each of the saint's moments of devotional ecstasy. But Pier's words also propel him into the midst of his civic community, making the saint's life of contemplation seem far from solitary or quiet. Pietro recounts several episodes in which Pier's contemporaries sought him out, wanting to hear the comb-maker speak, "because his words were of great weight" and had the power not only to instruct but also to heal.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 220; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 70-71: "Per tanta umilita in talguisa dominava la sua lingua, che senza grande necessita mai, owero raroparlava, e quello che diceva sempre era utilita o sua, o delporssimo, e questo dono di predominare la lingua I 'aveva Pietro di special grazia, con studio, e sollecitudine di sante orazioniper molti anni da Dio dimandata, eflnalmente ottenuta e cost secondo il consiglio delSapiente Ecclesiastico nelparlar suo prudentemente siportava, cioe o sempre taceva, o sivvero parlando non altro che cose salutifere proferiva. Aveva Pietro in uso o andasse owero stesse tenere quasi sempre la mano sopra la bocca come uomo tutto circopetto in ogni suo parlare, e timoroso di non dire parvia senza utilita." 629



Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 203 and 239; de Angelis, Vita, p. 27: "Finita Vuna e I'altra refezione gl 'invito I 'uomo di Dio ad andare a vistare certi iuoghi divotiper Siena, parlando per la via sempre cose diDio..."; p. 114: "Era il servo di Cristo Pietro tanto innamorato deldolce e benigno Salvatore Gesii, e della Madre sua Vergine sempre Immacolata Maria, che se stava, se andava, o fosse in casa, or fosse di fuora, sempre dolcemente di loro pensava contemplando, oparlava orando..." 631

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 202; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 23-24: "...che aveva di udire qualcheparola da Pietro perche le sue parole erano di molta sentenza."

213 In one passage, Pietro describes a time when two Florentine friends of Pier, who regularly came to Siena to talk with the comb-maker, were unable to make the trip. These men sent two of their friends to the saint with a letter, begging that Pier "write.. .some words of advice and exhortation to the good, both for themselves and for many others who confided in them."632 Pier demurred. Pietro writes that the saint knew that he was an unlettered man and thus did not think it right for him to reply. But, Pietro adds, Pier did eventually offer to recite a reply "according to what my patron, the glorious Virgin Mary, will dictate to me."633 Pietro includes Pier's dictated reply, which takes up several pages of the vita and urges the Florentines, among many other pieces of spiritual advice, to find a spiritual father from an approved order, confess their sins, keep to a rigorous schedule of prayer, and protect themselves from being intoxicated by vain and worldly honors.634 Just as we saw in the sermon, the vita also describes how Pier's words affected others. When Pier came across a friar suffering from the cold in San Francesco, Pietro reports that Pier told the friar to "come here to me, and open your ears to the words of my mouth."635 After reminding the friar of Christ's great suffering, Pier urged him not to be terrified by a little cold. Pietro concludes the passage by writing that Pier "had no sooner 632

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 233; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 102-103: "Aveva Pietro alcuni amici a Fiorenza, i quali nelle occorrenze loro gravi, erano soliti venire a Siena per consigliar con lui. Una volta essendo impediti, e nonpotendo venire, ed avendo bisognoper se e per gli altri del consiglio di Pietro, mandarono con loro lettera due suoi amici... nella qual letterapregavano Pietro istantemente si degnasse scrivergli alcune parole di consiglio e di esortazione al bene: tanto per loro, quanto per molti altri, i quali in loro si confidavano.'" 633

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 233-234; de Angelis, Vita, p. 103: "Carissimofratello io non ben sapendo scrivere, e tu scrivendo bene, tiprego voglia scrivere una risposta secondo che misara datoparlare dalla gloriosa mia Padrona Vergine Maria: imperciocche per me non sapre pensare, ne dire cosa buona." 634


De Angelis, Vita, pp. 103-113.

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 205; de Angelis, Vita, p. 33: "Vieni qua da me, edaprile orecchie tue alle parole delta bocca mia."

214 uttered these words, than the young friar, already thoroughly heated, said, 'Leave me, my father.. .for I tell you truly that from the moment you began to speak to me, I became so warm that I can't bear it any more.'"636 In another passage Pietro writes that while Pier was still living in his own house, two friends from Florence (perhaps the same friends who later asked for the letter of advice) paid him a visit. Pietro notes that Pier eagerly began to talk with these friends, since he "did not lack food of the divine words." In the midst of talking, Pietro writes that Pier "was swept up into a mental ecstasy."637 Moreover, Pietro reports that once Pier made his way with a group of companions to a dinner party held in his honor by the priest of San Giorgio (located just outside of the city), who had wanted to hear Pier speak.638 As they were making their way outside of the city, one of Pier's companions mentioned the Virgin Mary, causing Pier to feel "such sweetness of the love of her" that "he could keep quiet no longer but began to call upon her fervently in a loud voice." As Pietro writes, having called for the Virgin, Pier "fell into an ecstasy and was borne up on high."639 Pietro notes that after the saint returned to himself, he continued on to the dinner party where "he uttered wonderful and weighty words."640


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 205-206; de Angelis, Vita, p.33: "E nonpiii che finite I'uomo di Dio queste parole; ecco quelfrate giovine gli disse, fatto gidpieno di colore: lasciami, lasciami; Padre mio, andare e non mi volerpiii ritenere, che veramente ti dico, che dal momento che mi cominciasti aparlare, cost sono riscaldato che piu nonposso soffhre" 637

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 203; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 26-27: "...e non gli manco cibo all'uomo di Dio del verbo divino il quale cost stando con loro alia mensafu rapito in tal estasi di mente..." 638 639

De Angelis, Saints and Cities, pp. 23-24.

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 202-203; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 24-27: "Ma Pietro devotissimo della gloriosa Vergine Maria, della quale caminando insieme dolcemente aveva fatto memoria; venne in tanta dolcezza di amore di Lei, trovandosipresso al luogo chiamato Ravaccinao, che non potendo piu tacere la incomincio ardentemente con sommessa voce ad invocare, dicendo: Madonna mia Padrona e singolare Awocata mia non mi abbandonate; e dette queste parole fu fatto in estasi ed elevato in alto, cost parlando guardava come corporalmente fossevi stata la gloriosa Vergine Maria: e cosi stato per un grande spazio di

215 The vita provides many more examples of Pier's own words launching him into an ecstatic state. He falls after seeing a woman selling brooms on the street and wishing out loud that the soul could be swept clean as easily as a house.641 He falls as he eats figs on his way to Florence and begins to wonder about the sweetness of the celestial fruits.642 And finally, he falls after hearing the friars at San Francesco singing the "hymn of the three children, in which all creatures are called upon to praise their Creator," and wondering out-loud that if "irrational and insensible creatures" were asked to praise their creator, then how much more were humans obliged to offer that praise.643 In each episode, Pietro shows that Pier "mastered" his tongue to the extent of knowing when and how to use it for its greatest effect.

Franciscan Connections The description of Pier's religious life in the vita has all of the hallmarks of that of a lay penitent. And yet, the text's author, Pietro, never specifically identifies the combmaker as a penitent. The author also does not mention the time Pier spent as afrater of

tempo, ritornato in se seguitd i compagni....E parlando mirabili e sentenziose rare parole, presa la refezione, ritornarono, sempre di Dio parlando, alia citta." 640



Webb, p. 204; de Angelis, Vita, p. 28: "£ cost dicendo immediatamente fu rapito in spirito ed inaleato alquanto sopra terra per alcun spazio di tempo, siccome parve vedere ai compagni; e apoco apoco ritornato in terra, ma non bene restituito ai semi; stette bene per un 'ora in quell'eccesso di mente, quasi come se avesse udita la voce deU'Eterno Sposo e diletto, del qualepocoprima coi suoi compagni aveva fatta mensione." 642

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 204; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 28-29: "...e dette questeparole con intima, e devota considerazione cadde subito in estasi." 643

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 216; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 59-60: "Padre dicono Vinno di quei tre fanciulli, nel quale le creture tutte sono invitate a laudare il Creatore. Allore rispose Pietro, e disse: se le creature irrazionali e insensibili sono tenute a laudare il Creatore; quanto maggiormente siamo obbligati noi a laudarlo costantementeE dette queste parole fu fatto Pietro in estasi, e cost stette per grand'ora prima che tomato fosse pienamente ai sensi."

216 the Domus misericordia. Only the saint's connection to the Sienese Franciscans is mentioned. In an extended passage, Pietro describes the elaborate vision Pier once had while praying in Siena's cathedral.644 Pier watched as a procession of saints followed Christ across the cathedral's ash-strewn center aisle. When he saw that only Francis's feet perfectly fit Christ's footprints, Pier understood that he (Francis) was the "singular imitator" of Christ.645 Pietro writes that after this vision, Pier's devotion to Francis grew and he eventually went to live with the friars at the church of San Francesco.646 There, as the vita reports, Pier was assigned a cell near the infirmary chapel and a "devout and circumspect religious to minister to his needs."647 While Pietro discusses at length both Pier's particular devotion to Saint Francis and his relationship with the Sienese friars, he never makes clear in what capacity he had come to live with the friars toward the end of his life. In a passage where Pietro again refers to the saint's move to San Francesco, he writes that during the time Pier was living in Siena's Ovile district, he became quite ill and asked a number of friars to stay with him through the night, fearing that he might die.648 The friars reminded him that they were not allowed to spend the night outside of the convent and urged him to come to live with them at San Francesco. Pier agreed to join the friars and, as Pietro describes, spent all of 644

For the full text of the vision, see de Angelis, Vita, pp. 45-48.


De Angelis, Vita, p. 48: "E cosi rimase Pietro grandemente consolato, rendendo a Gesit grazie infinite, che si era degnato mostrargli Beato Francesco suo singolare immitatore cosi bella e grata visione." 646

De Angelis, Vita, pp. 49-50: "£ cosi crebbe VUomo di Cristo in singoiar devozione diS. Francesco, avendolo infra li Santi, dopo la beata Vergine, in precipuo suo Avvocato, e singolarmente amava li Frati successori suoi, e per meglio poter con loro conversare se ne ando ad abitare nel Convento di S. Francesco e da loro benignamente recevuto, gli assegnarono una Cella vincino alia Capella della Infermeria, assegnandogli ancora un dovoto e circospetto Religioso, il quale lo servisse nelle occurrenze sue." 647

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 212.


De Angelis, Vita, p. 44.

217 his time at the convent, finding there that "his devotion to God and the merits of his excellent life increased."649 Allison Clark has noted that there is evidence in Siena, as in many late medieval cities, that hermits lived in cells attached to churches.650 But Pier does not seem to have lived as a recluse at San Francesco, since the vita makes it clear that he continued to come and go from his cell as he pleased. In a passage describing Pier's love of poverty, Pietro mentions that Pier gave up the richly colored clothes he had worn in his youth and "made himself a habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, whom he had adopted as his special advocate, out of cheap cloth."651 Although we do see Franciscan writers refer to lay penitents as members of their "third order" in the mid thirteenth century, a formal Franciscan lay wing did not exist until after 1289, the year that Pope Nicholas IVs bull, Supra montem, required all lay penitents to be placed under Franciscan guardians.652 Thus this seems likely an anachronistic description of Pier's relationship with the Sienese Franciscans. Unlike the great efforts that the Cortonese Franciscans went through to establish a clear connection

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 210; de Angelis, Vita, p. 44: "La dove stando di continuo, in lui si aumentava la divozione in Dio e li meriti della sua buona vita; in modo che non solamente si levava di notte all'ora el Mattutino, ma ancora molto avanti a quell'ora si trovava I'Uomo di Dio essere tutto assorto nella devozione della Beata Vergine Maria, facendo ogni di, e notte le sue orazionipiit devote." 650

Allison Clark, "Spaces of Reclusion: Notarial Records of Urban Eremiticism in Medieval Siena," in Rhetoric of the Anchorhold: Space, Place and Body within Discourses of Enclosure, ed. Liz Herbert McAvoy (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, forthcoming); also see Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker, Lives of the Anchoresses: The Rise of the Urban Recluse in Medieval Europe, trans. Myra Heerspink Schulz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), pp. 1-23. 651

Webb, Saints and Cities, p.198; de Angelis, Vita, p. 12-13: "Levari dunque via i vestimenti colorati quali nella gioventii ventii usare soleva, secondo la decenza e dello stato, e del tempo, come dispregiatore vero di se medesimo, di vile panno sifece un abito del Terz' Ordine del B. Francesco, il quale aveva pigliato per suo singolare avvocato..." In his study of religion in the medieval communes, Thompson mentions that Margaret of Cortona made herself a habit of the Franciscan Third Order, see Cities of God, p. 82. I have not found any reference to Margaret making her own habit and think that Thompson is confusing Margaret for Pier. 652

Giovanna Casagrande, "Un Ordine per i laici: Penitenza e penitenti nel Duecento," pp. 237-255.

218 between their order and Margaret of Cortona at the beginning of the fourteenth-century, it is noteworthy that this is the only mention Pietro makes of the Third Order in this text. Later in the vita, Pietro notes that Pier had dressed in "the cheapest fabrics, which he often patched in different colors."653 This second description of the saint's clothes seems akin to the kind of ad hoc habit many independent lay penitents wore before Pope Nicholas I V s bull. Early thirteenth-century rules for lay penitents did not specify a uniform habit, but advised penitents to wear clothes made of cheap fabric, without embellishment or ornamentation.654 Although there was no standard lay habit before the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, as Augustine Thompson has pointed out, the habit still made the penitent.655 Communal governments punished those who dressed as penitents (and thus could claim exemption from certain laws and taxes) but did not follow a true penitential regime.656 Pier's clothes therefore mattered as the outward sign of his religious commitment. His tattered, mix-match clothes would have alerted his fellow Sienese to the fact that he was living as a penitent and may have even suggested his particular devotion to Francis, but most likely did not suggest a formal association with the Friars Minor. Nevertheless, as his visions of Francis as the one true imitator of Christ and his time living in San Francesco demonstrate, the vita portrays Pier's religious commitment bringing him into close contact with the Sienese friars. As we know from charter

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 223; de Angelis, Vita, p. 79: "Vestiva di vilissimipanni, i quali spesso rappezzava ancora di diversi color i" 654

See the penitential rules collected in Meersseman, Dossier de I'order de la penitence.


Thompson, Cities of God, pp. 82-84.


Thompson cites a Florentine statute as evidence here; see Cities of God, p. 83.

219 evidence, however, that commitment also afforded him connections with other religious institutions, such as the Domus misericordia, where he served as a lay brother for some time during the 1270s. Pietro does not mention Pier's time at the Domus, but does refer to a group of eight men with whom Pier lived, "as with the best of brothers" and who venerated Pier "with pious affection like a father."657 We can assume that Pier lived with these men sometime after the death of his wife and before he came to live at San Francesco. Pietro names all eight men, who "had for the love of God spurned the world," and who were focusing their lives "on nothing but prayer and works of mercy."658 We have already come across some of these companions. The notary Ser Compagno as well as Pier were both named by the commune to distribute alms on its behalf in 1285 and to paint images on the city gates in 1286.659 And we know that Bartolomeo di Vincenzo, who served as the rector of the Domus misericordia in the 1270s and 1280s, in his testament named Pier to be consulted on where the rector should be buried and how proper restitution should be made for his ill-gotten gains.660 Pietro writes that each Sunday these eight men (along with Pier, who made nine) met in Siena's largest hospital, Santa Maria della Scala, and "there took counsel together as to how during the next week they could most diligently serve the sick and the needy."661 The vita goes on to describe


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 200; de Angelis, Vita, p. 16: "Aveva VUomo di Dio Pietro con alcuni massima conversazione, coi quali, come con ottimi fratelli conversava, e da essi quasi come un low Padre era conpio affetto venerato." 658

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 200; de Angelis, Vita,p. 18: "Tutti questi avendo per I'amor di Cristo disprezzato il mondo, non ad altro che all 'orazioni, ed alle opere di misericordia attendevano." The companions were Guglielmo da Pancole, the notary Ser Compagno, Frate Baldino, Tolomeo Barcigli, Mino Luglioli, Bartolomeo di Vincenzo, the notary Ser Buonfigliuolo, and Jacomo Falconi. 659

See my discussion of this on p. 185. See above, p. 156.

220 how the men split up into groups of two and made their way through various districts of the city, offering food and begging for alms. Thus although Pietro describes Pier having made and worn a "Third Order habit," the attention Pietro gives to describing Pier's other religious associations paints a picture of a more institutionally varied religious life. As we shall see in Margaret of Cortona's Legenda, fourteenth-century hagiographers often expended much energy arguing for anachronistic connections between the lay wings of their orders and thirteenth-century lay saints. It is noteworthy that Pietro does not.

Pier's Civic Christianity We have seen how surviving communal documents describe some of the civic duties Pier was called on to perform during his lifetime. While the vita does not specifically refer to the activities documented in those archival records, it does portray Pier as having been involved in both his civic government and the wider urban community. In a passage describing Pier's tattered habit, Pietro writes that an acquaintance of the saint, Salvi di Orlando, asked the comb-maker why, since he was so "often bidden to attend the councils," he did not try to dress a bit better. Pier told Salvi


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 200; de Angelis, Vita, p. 18: "// giornopoi delle Feste sempre cinque de prenominati uomini di Dio si congregavano nello Spedale maggiore di Siena, ed ivi insime consigliandosi in che modo e via lafutura settimana si dovesse piii diligentemente servire agl 'infermi ed ai poveri indigenti, e dividendosi, e ciascheduno pigliando il compagno colla rasca in collo; alcuni altri col vaso diportar minestra, andavanoper diverse contrade di Siena cercando limosine, le quali caritativamente agli indigenti somministravano." 662

It is important to keep in mind that it would have been much easier to portray a man following an independent and varied lay religious life than it would have been to portray a woman in this vein. For more on this subject, see my chapters on Margaret of Cortona.

that, "he who cares for the world cannot care for God."

Pier's response conveys a

standard hagiographic position—that a perfected religious life is one that shuns worldly things and concerns. But, as Salvi's question and many other passages Pietro includes in the vita make clear, Pier was deeply involved in the world of his commune. And it was that involvement, as a businessman and communal citizen, that Pietro sees as offering the most compelling arguments for Pier's sanctity.

Money and Work In the text's repeated references to Pier's concern with debt and usury we again see him portrayed as rigorously attentive to the rules and regulations of his city. For example, in one passage we learn that a new podesta of Siena asked to see the holy comb-maker, wanting to hear "something of God" from him. Pier responded by asking the podesta if he had come to Siena in debt.664 When he said he had not, Pier urged the civic official not to go into debt in the future and quickly hurried away, perhaps as the vita's author suspects, because he was close to falling into a state of ecstasy.665 Pier's simple exhortation satisfied the podesta, who told those around him that he was sure that

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 199; de Angelis, Vita, p. 13: "...Pietro a me nonpare, che conversando tu con tanti uomini da bene, ed essendo tu, per la grazia, che ti ha data Iddio, spesse volte richiesto ne consigli, che tu debba usar cost vile, e rappezzato mantello....che chisi cura diDio, nonpud curare del mondo; e a Dio solo non al caduco mondo dobbiamo attendere, e questa esteriore apparenza, credimi, e quella cosa che distrugge il vivere umano." 664

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 226; de Angelis, Vita, p. 84: "... /'/ Potesta desidera udire da te alcuna cosa di Dio. Allora il servo di Cristo parlando al Potesta gli disse: Ditemi Messer Potesta, quando veniste in questa citta portaste con voi alcun debitoT Ibid.: "£ dette queste parole immediatamente di li si parti (credo come quello che si sentiva prossimo all'Estasi, e rapimento dispirito)."

222 Pier "has in him the spirit and wisdom of God, for in very few words he has given a mighty piece of advice."666 The issue of debt appears again in a passage describing the time when Pier had lent money to his brother-in-law, Gezio. The vita notes that Gezio did not pay the money back for quite some time, but that when he was finally able to repay Pier he noted that he was adding some interest, because he had kept it for so long and had prevented Pier from using and profiting from the money. That interest, Gezio assured Pier, was "not in usury," since as he added, he knew that Pier disapproved of such gains, "but by way of legitimate business and the profit that you could have got from it; your conscience need not trouble you, for I am giving it to you of my own free will."667 Pietro makes it clear that Pier did not subscribe to the distinction Gezio was making. He saw any money added to the original loan as usury and in the end refused to take back any part of the debt, telling his brother-in-law that since he had "honestly and faithfully" kept his money there was no "need to make satisfaction."668 Pietro describes Pier applying the same rigorous standards to his conduct as a comb-maker. Noting that Pier practiced his trade of comb-making with "such justice and purity that he seemed not to be a craftsman or a merchant of the world, but the most

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 226; de Angelis, Vita, p. 85: "Veramente credo questo sant'uomo avere in se spirito e sapienza di Dio, il quale in sipoche parole, haparlato una grande ed utile senteza." 667

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 204; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 30-31: "Ecco Pietro i denari quali benignamente mi hai prestati, e che avendoli tenutipiii del dovere, ed impedito il guadagno tuo, quale avresti con essi conseguito, non voglio essere ingrato; sicche nonper modo di usura, la quale ben so che non ti e grata, ma per modo di lecita mercanzia e guadagno, quale con essa avrestipotuto conseguire, piglia questa somma di denari de quali non bisogna ti rimorda la conscienza, dandotegli di mia libera volontd." 668

Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 204-205; de Angelis, Vita, p. 32: "Carissimo miofratello a te debbo render grazie, che ti sei degnato integramente efedelmente si lungo tempo riservare la miapecunia, epero non tu a me, ma io a te debbo satisfare: sicche tiprego di queste duecento lire ne tolga quella parte che ti place, ovvero tutta te la riserva e adoprela secondo le tue occorrenze."

223 devout and God-fearing religious," Pietro recounts several episodes to prove Pier's pious behavior.669 In one passage we learn that once when Pier traveled to Pisa to buy materials for his combs, he found the Pisan merchants selling both good and bad quality materials. When Pier asked to be sold only good materials, the Pisan merchants refused, forcing Pier to buy both. Pietro writes that the merchants "behaved like men who feared damage to their business more than to their conscience." Since Pier was "already full of the love of God and neighbor," he "bought the good and bad together" and tossed the bad materials into the Arno to save someone else from having to "offend God because of this merchandise."670 Pietro devotes a number of passages to describing Pier's concern that both he and other merchants charged a "just price" for their goods. In one passage, the reader is told of a time when Pier was buying the bones and horns he used to make combs from a Sienese butcher and became convinced that the butcher was underselling his goods. Pier informed the butcher that he did not "know the real value of these bones," telling him, "they're worth twenty-four soldi, not twelve; so take their value, and peace be with you."671 Pietro goes on to describe how Pier himself was careful to sell only good quality combs and always charged "the just price, and never either increased or diminished what


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 195; de Angelis, Vita, p. 6: "L 'arte, la quale impard difare i Pettini, con tanta giustizia e purita esercitava, che non artefice o mercatante mondano, ma timorato e divotissimo religioso pareva." 670

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 195-196; de Angelis, Vita, p. 6: "come da uominipiu tementi il danno dell'interesse, che della coscienza.Ma il servo di Dio Pietro ripieno gia della carita di Dio e delprossimo, accioche alcun altro non avesse materia in quella mercanzia di offendere Dio, tale quale era buona e trista insieme compro. E cost comprata se ne andb sulponte sopra ilfiume chiamato Arno, il quale passa per detta citta di Pisa, e li (siccome Angelo di Dio mandato a separare i buoni dai rei) elesse in una parte la mercanzia buona, nell'altra la rea, la quale cost separata, la gittd nelfiume." 671

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 196; de Angelis, Vita, p. 7: "Fratello carissimo, tu non conosci bene il prezzo diqueste ossa; imperciocche, non solo dodici, ma vagliono ventiquattro soldi: e perd piglia il prezzo loro e rimani in pace T

224 it was worth." Pier's piety did not keep him from running a healthy business, however. Pietro writes that if someone argued with the saint that a comb was worth less than he was asking, Pier held his ground, telling that customer that if they did not like that price, they could "leave it and go with the grace of God."672 Scholars have noted that while Roman and canon lawyers generally agreed that a "just price" was a going market rate that was unaffected by monopolies, hording or other "unjust" activities, theologians doubted that relying upon a market price alone could ever be "just," and called on individual exchangers to be bound by conscience to aim at a fair price.

The vita makes

it clear the extent to which Pier understood that responsibility. He demanded a just price for his own goods as well as for those he himself purchased. The vita seems to imply that the pious comb-maker provided Siena with a kind of "super-conscious" that aimed to regulate the city's market. The vita recounts how Pier's business practices earned him such a following that the other merchants and craftsman with whom he worked in the communal piazza on Saturdays were left struggling to sell their own goods. Taking note of this, Pier stopped

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 196; de Angelis, Vita, p. 7: "Facendo dunque sempre il B. Pietro i suoi pettini di ottima e miglior materia che si trovasse, a ciascuno giustamente gli vendeva, in modo che, se alcuni compratori il dimandavano: Dimmi Pietro, questo pettine e buono? Rispondeva il servo di Dio (quando non fosse il pettine molto buono) dicendo: Fratello il pettine non e ne molto buono, ne molto tristo: ma se pure il compratore diceva, eleggimene tu uno che sia buono; allore Pietro fedelmente ne pigliava uno, dicendo: ioper me piglierei questo. Ma domandandolo il compratore: quanto ne dimandi? Sempre rispondeva Pietro il giusto prezzo, e mai non accresceva ne diminuiva a quel tanto che valesse, perche sempre dimandava il giusto prezzo. Ma sepure il compratore, secondo il costume del mondo, istava mostrando valesse manco: rispondendo il servo di Dio, diceva: Fratello o Sorella mia, il pettine tanto vale: se non tipiace, lascialo stare, e va colla grazia di Dio." 673

See Joel Kaye, Economy and Nature in the Fourteenth Century: Money, Market Exchange, and the Emergence of Scientific Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 99-100; and Lester K. Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy, p. 177; Little cites J. W. Baldwin, The Medieval Theories of the Just Price: Romanists, Canonists, and Theologians in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, new series 49, part 4 (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1959), p. 54.

225 going to the piazza to sell his goods during the day and waited until after vespers, "so that the other comb-sellers could have a better chance of selling theirs."674 But Pier's efforts were only somewhat effective: anyone needing a comb and who lived close enough to the city quickly learned to wait until after vespers or go directly to the comb-maker's house to make their purchase. Nevertheless, Pier had done what he could so that, as Pietro writes, "the other merchants should have no cause for complaint."675 Later in the vita, Pietro records the advice Pier gave his friend Salvi one day when he passed him dressing hides. Pier urged Salvi to be careful to dress the hide he was working on well so that he did not damage his conscience. Pietro added that Pier had said these words "to show that •Rift

one must practice one's trade in such a way as not to offend God or one's neighbor. As these passages make clear, Pietro presents Pier's piety as primarily driven by the saint's concern for his fellow city-dwellers. Pier bought the bad materials along with the good materials in Pisa to protect other merchants; he made sure that the butcher was justly compensated for his goods; and he changed his own business practices to protect his fellow merchants. In each case, Pier's piety served the common good of his city. Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 196; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 7-8: "Spesse volte aveva in uso il servo diDio Pietro ilgiorno del sabbato pigliare i suoipettini, e portarli in su la piazza comune, acciocche piii presto gli vendesse, imperocche in maggior parte viveva di quelli. Ma essendo gia lafama sua non solo per la citta di Siena, ma per lo contado ancora divulgara, quasi tutti, che volessero comprar pettini, come ancora per la devozione, correvano a Pietro. Quinid (secondo awenir suole) gli altri mercatanti, ovvero artefici, per questo se ne indegnavano contro Pietro pure assai, nonpotendo (siccome volevano) spacciare le mercanzie loro. Delia quel cosa avvedendosi il servo di Cristo Pietro, ripieno di carita, accioper causa sua non ricevesse ilprossimo scandalo, incomincid a nonpiii andare se non dipoi vespero alia Piazza a vendere i suoipettini, acciocche gli altripettinai, megliopotessero vendere i loro." 615

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 196; de Angelis, Vita, p. 8: "Ma avvedendosi di questo I compratori, tutti, massimamente quei che non avevano a camminare molto dicosto dalla citta, per comprare da Pietro, aspettavano insino dopo vespero, ovvero andavano a trovarlo a casa; e in questo modo il servo di Dio operd; che gli altri mercatanti non si avessero a indegnare, vendendo miente di meno la mercanzia sua." 676

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 232; de Angelis, Vita, p. 100: "Andando un di Pietro per Siena, epassando per la via dove si conciano lepelli, e vendendo un amico suo chiamato Salvi conciare unapelle gli disse: O Salvi fratello, awerti che conciando tu bene cotesta pelle, tu non guasti la coscenza tua. E questo disse I'uomo di Dio, dimostrando che in tal modo si debbonofare le arti, che non si offenda Dio, ne ilprossimo, e cost detto andb al suo viaggio."

226 Following the Law, Paying Taxes The vita depicts Pier's religious ideals as affecting not only his work life but also his life as a communal citizen. For example, Pietro describes the time when Pier was caught out after the city's curfew by two of the podesta's household servants.677 Pier had left his house at midnight to pray before the image of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral, as was his usual custom according to the vita. The servants saw Pier walking between two lighted torches but could not see anyone holding the torches. Amazed by what they saw and out of reverence for Pier they said nothing as they passed him. Pier, however, knew he had broken a city ordinance and became adamant that he be punished for his infraction. Pietro describes how Pier walked back to the servants and told them that since they had "taken an oath" to their superiors to report anyone found wandering the city after the curfew, and he did not want them to have to "perjure" themselves, they should report him in the morning.678 On the following day, Pier on "his own accord" turned himself in to the podesta, reminding the official that, "anyone who is found at night going around the city must pay a certain amount of money, according to the form of the proclamation which you issued when you took office." Pier then gave the podesta money to cover his fine, urging him to "take it and put it into the communal treasury."


The vita notes that the podesta

De Angelis, Vita, pp. 81-82.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 224; de Angelis, Vita, p. 81: "Ma Pietro vedendoli, chiamolli a se dicendo: Fratelli carissimi non vogliate giurare per alcuna cosa ilfalso: io so bene, che vol avete giurato al vostro superiore, epromesso di denunziargli qualunque a quest 'ora troverete andareper la citta: sicche domattinaper ogni modo, acciocche voi non pergiuriate, denunziate al Giudice come mi avete trovato." 679

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 224; de Angelis, Vita, pp. 81-82: "Ma ilgiorno seguente andb il servo di Cristo Pietro spontaneamente a trovare il Potesta delta citta, al quale disse: Messere tu sai lo statuto, quale hai giurato d'osservare: contiene che ciascuno, quale di notte sara trovato andareper la citta debbe

227 marveled "at such punctilious observation of the statues," but told Pier that the law had not been made for him but for "criminals and ill-livers." The podesta added that he knew that Pier went around at night in order to do good and that from then on Pier would be exempted not only from this particular statute but also from "any impost which may be imposed" by the commune of Siena.680 The vita notes that Pier was happy to be allowed to travel around the city at night, but strongly objected to being exempted from communal taxes. Pietro records Pier's objection: 'Messer podesta I do not want this second privilege, because, if I make use of the amenities of this city—land, water, air, fire, the company of others, the security of this way of life, and many other common goods—it is not good for me to be exempt from the city's imposts.'681 In other words, Pier could not allow himself to be exempted from paying taxes, since it would in effect allow him to profit from a community he did not support. Immediately following this episode, Pietro includes another story that demonstrates Pier's concern to pay his taxes. The reader is told that at one point during Pier's life, the commune needed to issue a tax on all Sienese citizens to raise a large army to overtake a fortress in the contado that had been the refuge of many of the city's exiles

pagare certa quantita di denari secondo la forma del bando, quale inprincipio del tuo uffizio mandasti. Ora sappi che questa notte da tuoifamigli iofui trovato andareper la cittd, e cost avendo fatto contro al bando ti ho portata la pecunia, la quale per questo debbo pagare: sicchefalla pigliare ed applicare alia Camera del Comune." 680

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 224; de Angelis, Vita, p. 82: "Ma ilpotesta vedendo tanta giustizia nell 'uomo di Dio Pietro, e maravigliandosi di tanta osservanza degli statuti, come uomo prudente gli disse: va servo di Cristo, che gid ben sono informato delta vita e santitd tua: piglia la tua pecunia, che la legge non efattaper te, ma per i trasgressori, e per quelli che mal vivono: ben so che tu non vai di notte se non per ben fare: e cost acciocche tu non t'abbia di simil cosa infuturo afar coscenza, io ti assolvo da questo statuto, dandotipiena licenza e liberta di andare a qualunque ora di notte e a qualunque loco e in qualunque modo tipiace..." 681

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 224-225; de Angelis, Vita, p. 82: "Messer Potestd questa seconda grazia io non la voglio, perche non sta bene, che usando io i comodi di questa cittd, cioe e terra, acqua, aere, fuoco, la compagnia degli altri, la securitd del viver quieto, e molti altri comuni beni, sia alieno dalle gravezze di questa cittd."

and enemies.

Pietro writes that Pier learned of the tax several days after it was issued,

when he heard his neighbors complaining about it. After figuring out exactly what he owed, Pier brought his payment to the tax collector and apologized that it was a few days late. The collectors "marveled at such justice and observance of the law" but told Pier that they had no intention of trying to collect from him. They added that they knew he was "not rich in things of this world" and asked only that he pray for them and for Siena." Pier, of course, objected, handing the assessors his money, stating that he would not keep money "that belongs to my commune, for it is not mine."684 The episodes describing Pier's insistence that he was subject to all communal laws and taxes present the comb-maker's sanctity as deeply connected to his role within his civic community. Only a few years after this vita was written the Lorenzetti frescoes in the Sala dei Nove would present a complicated iconographical program that ultimately saw the ability to create and maintain a good government as belonging to the Nine. Pier's vita, however, seems to see some of that responsibility as resting with its citizens. It is Pier who reminds the podesta of the importance of avoiding debt and who demands that he be punished properly after committing a civic offence. And it is Pier who adds that the podesta should make sure to place that fine in the communal treasury. Pier goes


De Angelis, Vita, pp. 82-83.


Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 225; de Angelis, Vita, p. 83: "Maravigliandosi eglino di tanta giustizia ed osservanza di legge gli dissero: non bisogno uomo di Dio che noi tiperdoniamo, perche in questo tu non ci hai ingannati, e bene hanfatto gli esattori a non ti dir niente, che ben sappiamo che delle cose del mondo tu non sei ricco; ma questo ci basta, e questo da te ricerchiam, che per noi e per la nostra e tua cittafaccia a Dio orazione, che ci difenda da ogni male: piglia adunque la tuapecunia e riportala conte e va in pace." 684

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 225; de Angelis, Vita, p. 83: "Ai quali I'uomo giusto rispose: carissimi miei maggiori sempre desidero andare nellapace di Dio, ma pure questa pecunia quale e delmio Comune non laportero, imperciocchee e sua, e non mia, e lassatala, prestamente si parti."

229 out of his way to make sure his taxes are paid and practices his business in a manner that aims at creating a fair and just business environment for the rest of the Sienese. As I have argued, while Pietro may have noted that the comb-maker had a particular devotion to Francis and wore a Third Order habit, he ultimately does little to "Franciscanize" the saint. Concern with money and debt was prominent among Franciscans in late medieval Italy.685 Pietro's presentation of Pier's involvement in these issues concentrates on how such matters could poison a civic community, rather than their inherent contradiction of Christian ideals. Moreover, while Pietro's claims that Pier had progressed beyond the active life to a contemplative ideal and that he wore a Third Order habit present the pious comb-maker in a manner that, as I shall show in my study of the cult of Margaret of Cortona, was to become increasingly common in the vitae of lay saints produced by the Franciscans in the early fourteenth century, in the end, Pietro comes across as most concerned to construct Pier in terms that resonated with the political and cultural context of Siena. Just as members of the Nine had sworn to uphold "the good and honor" of the city, Pietro portrayed Pier's religious commitment as supporting and sustaining the same goal. On one hand, this portrait seems a smart response to the commune's efforts to limit its support for civic cults in the late 1320s. On the other hand, it also corroborates and builds upon what we see of Pier's life in the archival evidence. That evidence makes clear that Pier's religious life was often taken up with activity aimed at regulating and maintaining Siena's religious ideals.

On the Franciscans' concern with money and debt, see Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy.

230 Conclusion Both the pleas the Franciscans made to the commune on behalf of Pier's cult in 1329 and the vita written a few years later argue that Pier's religious and civic commitment brought immeasurable benefits to the city of Siena. The sources associated with Andrea's cult argue the same. Andrea's dual commitment to charity and prayer healed his fellow city-dwellers and gave them opportunities to witness the saint's conversations with the Virgin. The cults of these Sienese lay saints present them as having functioned as civic holy men—each responding to the needs of their communities. But as I have shown above, Andrea's cult never garnered the kind of communal attention that Pier's did in the late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries. The sources connected with the growth of Andrea's cult focused on articulating the contours of a holy lay life. Andrea's lay sanctity belonged to an earlier era that saw lay sanctity as something that still needed to be defined. At its heart, Andrea's cult was most concerned with the question of how someone could be both a layman and a saint. In answering that question, the vita celebrates a mixed life of action and contemplation and sees the city as providing many opportunities for a pious layman to prove his religious commitment. The reliquary shutters present a parallel between an ideal lay penitential life and a mendicant one: Andrea's prayers could be as effective as Dominic's and give him as much access to the divine as Francis had found at La Verna. Pier's civic cult would ultimately benefit from the work done by the cults of earlier lay saints, such as Andrea's. During Pier's lifetime, the idea of living a committed religious life as a lay city-dweller was not new; Pier could step into a role that Andrea had helped create. In the sermon written after Pier's death, his role as the city's holy man

231 is stressed—the words the sermon's audience remembers hearing effectively convey his sanctity. But by the early-fourteenth century, Pier's cult had crafted a much more complicated role for the saint. Just as the Sienese understood their veneration of the Virgin as offering both protection and divine sanction of their city, the Franciscans' 1329 petitions and the vita that soon followed presented the veneration of Pier as offering rewards similar as Virgin's cult: devotion to Pier expressed one's commitment and belief in the civic value of the rules and regulations the pious comb-maker followed so scrupulously. Thus when the Sienese knelt in front of Andrea's tomb, they saw a portrait of the power inherent in their own lay religious life, but when they prayed to Pier they celebrated their own role in maintaining their magnificent city of Siena.

Chapter 4 Margaret of Cortona: The New Penitent

From Concubine to Civic Saint Although the Roman church did not canonize Margaret of Cortona until 1728, within a generation of her death in 1297 the commune of Cortona identified her as a saint in its first set of civic statutes.686 Margaret was quite unlike the other civic patrons who made up her city's pantheon, however: she was not a biblical figure, an early Christian martyr, or a pious figure from the distant past.687 She was an unmarried laywoman who, after having lived for nine years as the concubine of a nobleman in the nearby town of Montepulciano, came to Cortona with her illegitimate son around 1272, seeking protection and forgiveness after the death of her lover left her homeless. In Cortona, Margaret found refuge with two women who were most likely dedicated to the same

For recent work on Margaret, see Joanna Cannon and Andre Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti; Vauchez, "Santa Margherita da Cortona (+1297): dalla religione civica al culto universale," in Esperienze religiose nel Medioevo (Rome: Viella, 2003), pp. 137-148; Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century after Saint Francis (University Park: The Pennsylvania State Press, 2001), pp. 325-334; John Coakley, "The Limits of Religious Authority: Margaret of Cortona and Giunta Bevegnati," in Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, pp. 130-148; Nancy Caciola, Discerning Spirits: Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003), pp. 98-113; Roberto Rusconi, "Margherita da Cortona: Peccatrice redenta e patrona cittadina," in Umbria: Sacra e civile, eds. Enrico Menesto and Roberto Rusconi (Turin: Nuova ERI Edizioni Rai, 1989), pp. 89-104; Daniel Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body: The Church and the Cult of Santa Margherita da Cortona," Church History 62, no. 2 (1993): 163-177; and Anna Benvenuti Papi, 'In castropoenitentiae,' pp. 141-168 and 375-402. Margaret is identified as a civic patron in Cortona's first complete set of civic statutes, written in 1325 and now held in Florence, Archivio di Stato, "Statuti comunita soggette," 279. Margaret's 1728 canonization proceedings are held in the Vatican, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Riti, Proc. 552. 687

On Margaret's role as patron of Cortona, see Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body"; Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 29-32, and passim; and Mario Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona nel contesto storico-sociale cortonese," Collectanea franciscana 69 (1999): 223-62. Other patrons of Cortona in the thirteenth and early fourteenth century included the Archangel Michael, Saint Mark and Saint Vincent; see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 31.

strict penitential routine that she had begun to follow after the loss of her lover. After a few years working as a midwife to the city's noble women and living a life of penance, Margaret asked the Cortonese Franciscans to allow her to wear a penitential habit that would identify her as affiliated with their order. Although the Franciscans were at first skeptical of Margaret—her beauty and youth led them to question her commitment—they eventually relented and in 1277 allowed her to become a Franciscan lay penitent. Over the next 20 years Margaret dedicated herself to an increasingly rigorous penitential program that she hoped would distance her from her sinful past and bring her ever closer to Christ. At some point during these years one of Margaret's Franciscan guardians and confessors, Friar Giunta Bevegnati, began to write the Legenda de vita et miraculis Beatae Margaritae de Cortona, which remains our most extensive source for the details of Margaret's life and spirituality.688 After becoming a Franciscan penitent, Margaret lived in a cell in the center of Cortona, close to the church of San Francesco, which she regularly attended. Sometime around 1288, however, Margaret moved to a new cell attached to the ruined church of San Basilio, located up a steep hill overlooking the city. Although Giunta explains that Margaret's move to San Basilio was the result of her wish for a break from the bustle of city-life, some scholars have seen Margaret's decision to move to San Basilio as an

Iunctae Bevegnatis, Legenda de vita et miraculis beatae Margaritae de Cortona, ed. Fortunate Iozzelli, Bibliotheca Franciscana ascetica Medii Aevi, torn. XIII (Rome: Grottaferrata, 1997), pp. 220-221 (hereafter cited as Legenda) {BHL 5314). I would like to thank Thomas Renna who shared an early draft of his translation of the Legenda with me. While I have benefited greatly from his work, the translations in this paper are my own. In the Legenda, Giunta writes that Margaret entered the Franciscan penitential order in 1277; see Legenda, p 181. The eighteenth-century scholar and priest, Lodovio Bargigli da Pelago, who published both an edition of Giunta's Legenda with extensive notes and a study of the context and content of the work, argued that Margaret had actually joined the Franciscans in 1275; see his Antica leggenda della vita e de 'miracoli di S. Margherita da Cortona scritta dal di lei confessore fr. Giunta Bevegnati dell'Ordine de'Minori: Legenda, Note, Dissertazioni, and Registro (Lucca, 1793), p. 17, n. 1. While most scholars have since followed da Pelago's dating, Fortunate Iozzelli convincingly argues that 1277 is more likely the correct date; see Iozzelli, "Profilo biografico di Margherita da Cortona," in Legenda, p. 60, n. 32.

attempt to escape her Franciscan guardians.


234 After all, Margaret did not find the peace

and quiet she supposedly sought at San Basilio, having been followed up the hill by a community of lay penitents that came to live alongside her, attended to her needs, and ultimately remained at the church to manage her tomb and cult after her death. Passages in the Legenda suggest that it was not just Margaret who was looking for more distance. Around the time of her move, friars at a Franciscan provincial meeting decided to limit Giunta's visits with Margaret to once every eight days, and then, not long afterwards, ordered him to leave Cortona and move to the order's convent in Siena.690 It is not clear if he was back in Cortona by the time Margaret died in February 1297. During the last seven years of Margaret's life, while Giunta was in Siena, Ser Badia, a secular cleric and eventually the prior of San Basilio, took over as Margaret's primary confessor. Badia seems to have kept Giunta informed about Margaret's activities since Giunta includes descriptions of conversations in the Legenda that took place between Badia and Margaret while the friar was in Siena. It is not clear whether or not Giunta rewrote Badia's reports or included them without alteration. The Legenda does refer to Badia as having written some of Margaret's revelations: in one conversation with Margaret, Christ tells her not to worry if at times Badia could not believe the things he had written about her.691 However, there are many other episodes where either no witness is named or the witness is simply referred to as Margaret's confessor. Moreover,


Scholars who have seen Margaret's move to San Basilio as an attempt to distance herself from the friars include Rusconi, "Margherita da Cortona: Peccatrice redenta," pp. 89-104; Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body," p. 167; and Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 108. 690


Legenda, pp. 376 and 249.

Legenda, p. 345: "...inquitDominus 'filia, quodsepissime in tantam debilitatem diffidentie circa te deueniet, ut non credat ea que scribet de te nee alia que per confessorem tuum scripta sunt ipsum poterunt roborare, quia timebit se derelictum; set non diffidat, quia secum ero."

in several passages, Giunta describes himself as having compiled (or as the unworthy compiler of) the various events and details of Margaret's life.692 While it is likely impossible to know the authorship of each passage of the Legenda, we can conclude that at least two people, Giunta and Badia, contributed details about Margaret's life in Cortona.693 The complexities of the Legenda do not end there, however. In the text's prologue, Giunta apologizes to his reader for the disorder of the text. He claims that he has been preoccupied and as a result "lacked the time to arrange all parts of the story properly" and asks his reader to rearrange the material if anything "seems out of place."694 Giunta's admission is not simply a humility claim, however, but an accurate description of the text. Giunta divides his description of Margaret's religious life into ten chapters, each dedicated to a particular virtue that she perfected. And while some scholars have argued that the first two chapters give a chronological account of Margaret's life during the first years after she joined the Franciscan order, the events related in the rest of the text follow no clear order.695 Joanna Cannon has suggested that


For example, see above, note 26 as well as Legenda, p. 349: "£x quo metu, ego, infrascriptorum compillator indignus, aduocatam peccatorum infatigabilem piis monitis induxi ad orandum pro utraque parte comuniter et denote." 693

I shall adopt the following strategy in the chapters that follow to deal with this ambiguity: when Giunta or Badia are specifically referred to as having witnessed an event, I shall refer to them as having composed that part of the text (although we must keep in mind that we do not know if Giunta rewrote Badia's reports). But when the text identifies the witness as Margaret's "confessor" or does not refer to a witness at all, I shall refer to the text as being the agent (for example, the Legenda shows; the text concludes, etc). 694

Legenda, p. 179: "Sapientibus tamen suadeo reuerenter ut quod inuenerint in legenda conforme non suo loco insertum, capitulis ubi ordinari debet adiungant, cum multipliciter, Deus scit, inpeditus, tempore libero caruerim ordinandi."

This was suggested by Mariano Nuti, who also wondered if the Legenda had once been put together as a chronological account of Margaret's life in Cortona but was later broken up and organized according to her virtues; see Margherita da Cortona: La sua legenda e la storia, pp. 74-80. In the text, Giunta often notes that Margaret experienced a vision on a particular feast day, but he does not provide enough

236 the Legenda's chaotic and non-linear style reveals that it is more likely a series of working notes than a polished piece of hagiography.696 The Legenda becomes even more complex source when we consider the "Testimony of Authenticity" appended to a list of the text's contents in its earliest surviving manuscript copy and purported to have been written by Giunta. In the "Testimony," Giunta writes that he began the Legenda at the request of his superior, Friar Giovanni da Castiglione, who, Giunta adds, had at one point acted as Margaret's primary confessor and had also served as the Franciscan inquisitor for provincial Tuscany.697 Mariano D'Alatri has argued that Giunta's comment did not necessarily indicate that Margaret was ever considered a heretic and has noted that it was common for friars to examine their lay penitents for signs of heresy.698 Nevertheless, as I shall argue, the Legenda makes clear that both Margaret's connection with the friars while she was alive and the relationship that developed between her cult and the Cortonese Franciscans after her death was far from straightforward. Margaret was a difficult penitent to embrace: her sinful past, her identity as an illegitimate widow and her dramatic religious life made the Franciscans uneasy. Although we have no evidence that Margaret was ever formally considered a heretic, both Giovanni da Castiglione's position as a Franciscan inquisitor and the passages within the text that describe the Franciscans' concerns about their lay penitent suggest information to connect that day to a specific year, making it impossible to construct a chronology of the events and conversations that punctuated Margaret's time in Cortona. 696

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 156.


Legenda, p. 477: "Hanc legendam compilauitfrater I. De mandatefratrislohannis de Castillione, inquisitor is heretice prauitatis, qui erat confessor beate Margherite et pater."


Mariano D'Alatri, "Genesi della regola di Niccolo IV: Aspetti storici," in La "Supra montem," pp. 93107.

237 699

that, for some period of time, the Cortonese Franciscans were quite wary of Margaret.

But for all of the passages that suggest that Giunta began to record his interactions with Margaret in order to help his Franciscan superiors check her for signs of heresy and demonic possession, there are just as many passages that celebrate Margaret's penitential commitment, visionary life and avid community of devotees. Such a dichotomy suggests that, at some point, the agenda behind describing Margaret's religious life had changed. Instead of assessing her orthodoxy, Giunta had begun to write about Margaret to convince others not only that she was a saint but also that her sanctity was dependent upon her identity as a member of the Franciscan Third Order.700 In several passages, Giunta makes clear that Margaret's identity as an ideal penitent and model member of the laity stemmed, in no small part, from her connection to the Cortonese Franciscans: the friars' guidance and example allowed Margaret to become, as Christ calls her in the text, "the third light" given to the Franciscan Order, following Saints Francis and Clare. In the generation after her death it was not the Cortonese Franciscans, however, but rather the commune of Cortona that most vigorously and successfully advocated for Margaret's sanctity. As Andre Vauchez has noted, in Italy throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth century it was Elizabeth of Hungary, not Margaret of Cortona, who was repeatedly depicted next to Francis and Clare as the representative of the Franciscan's lay

See Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, p. 9; and Nancy Caciola, Discerning Spirits, pp. 98-113. 700

Dyan Elliot has recently explored the connections between hagiography and inquisition in texts associated with religious women in the later Middle Ages, see Proving Women: Female Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), pp. 119-179. 701

Legenda, p. 439: "Sis etiamper innocentiam alba et rubicundaper amorem, quia tu es tertia lux in ordine dilecti mei Francisci concessa: nam in ordine fratrum minorum ipse est prima lux, in ordine monialium beata Clara secunda, et tu in ordine penitentium terita."



238 The Legenda itself credits the people of Cortona (and thus not the Franciscans)

as having been ready and eager upon Margaret's death in 1297 to treat this once fallen woman as a saint. The text reports that as soon as Margaret died her body began to emit a sweet smell and the Cortonesi rushed up the hill to San Basilio to wrap her body in purple robes and place it in a tomb.703 As news of the miracles preformed at her tomb spread, San Basilio became a popular pilgrimage site, and by the late 1330s, this onceruined church had been extensively rebuilt and was often referred to as Santa Margherita.704 A painted vita-panel, a marble funerary monument and a (now lost) fresco cycle surrounded Margaret's tomb, all testaments to her thriving cult.705 The many mentions of Margaret's name and cult in Cortona's first set of statutes as an independent commune produced in 1325 make clear that she had become, less than a generation after her death, a civic patron of her adopted city.706 In the following two chapters I will seek to understand why and how although our most extensive source for Margaret's religious life comes from her Franciscan guardians, it was the city of Cortona that most clearly and successfully claimed her as a patron saint.


Andre Vauchez, "Afterword," in Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 221-2.


Legenda, p. 451: "A udiens autem populus de Cortona transitum gloriosum, ad laudem et gloriam summi regis, generali congregato consilio, ad ecclesiam sancti Basilii deuotissime concurrentes, balsamo conditum corpus purpureo uestimento indutum in now sepulchro, cum luminaribus et clericorum ac religiosorum cetu, sollempniter tumularunt." 704

On the use of a joint dedication to Basilio and Margaret, see Cannon and Vauchez, pp. 45-47.


The v/to-panel can now be found at the Museo Diocesano in Cortona and the funerary monument remains in the church of Santa Margherita in Cortona. Watercolor copies of the lost frescos were made during a 1653 papal visitation to Cortona that culminated in Margaret's 1728 canonization. One set of these watercolors was inserted into Margaret's canonization proceedings; see Vatican, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Riti, Proc. 552. For Joanna Cannon's recent study of these watercolor copies as well as the other visual sources produced in conjunction with Margaret's cult at San Basilio, see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona. 7

ASF, "Statuti comunita soggette," 279, ff. 95,123, 140v-141 v; these statutes, which mention Margaret's feast day, have been transcribed by Vauchez in Margherita of Cortona, pp. 227-30.

239 To do this I will look closely at the Legenda to see what it can tell us about Margaret's relationship with the Cortonese Franciscans and ask why the doubts and concerns the friars had about Margaret were never removed from the Legenda. I shall explore how and why this text so often simultaneously conveys both the Franciscans' doubt and acceptance of Margaret's visionary claims, their revulsion and attraction to her penitential lifestyle, and finally their distain and celebration of her access to the divine. I will also consider what we can conclude about the nature of Margaret's affiliation with the Cortonese Franciscans as well as the institutional identity of the community of lay penitents who followed Margaret to San Basilio and remained to manage her cult after her death. As I shall show, both the Legenda and a series of testamentary and episcopal charters make it clear that this move did not signal the end of either Margaret's or the other lay penitents' association with the Franciscan order. Nevertheless, I shall consider how the community established at San Basilio cultivated a Franciscan identity that was distinct from that of the Cortonese friars at San Francesco. Although I shall argue that scholar's efforts to attach a definitive chronology to the events described in the Legenda are both futile and often based on dubious evidence, I shall show that we can divide episodes describing Margaret's life into two categories— before and after her move to San Basilio—to see significant differences in the text's description and understanding of lay sanctity. In the passages that seem to have been written while Margaret was still living in the city-center, the Franciscans' skepticism and suspicion seeps through every description of this former concubine's devotional routine. These passages present Margaret's religious life as full of public and shocking spectacles aimed at redeeming her past sin and shame. But as I shall show in chapter 5, in the

240 passages that most likely describe Margaret's life among a community of other lay penitents at San Basilio, the text no longer measures her religious life according to her efforts to make up for her past shame. Instead, the Legenda portrays Margaret's penitential acts as private matters that ultimately serve to redeem the sins of her urban community.

Sources and Scholarship on Margaret Our knowledge of Giunta's life is quite limited. Relying on the work of the eighteenth-century scholar and priest Lodovico Bargigli da Pelago, modern scholars believe that Giunta was a native of Cortona, who began to keep notes on his interactions with Margaret sometime around 1288 or 1289, when he took over from Giovanni as Margaret's primary confessor. Da Pelago concluded that Giovanni served as inquisitor for only about a year before his death in 1289.707 Giunta appears to have died no earlier than 1311 when he completed the miracle chapter.708 Giunta provides the reader with only minimal information about his production of the text. In the prologue he notes that in response to the request from his superiors he "assembled some of the acts and flowers of the admirable life of Margaret."709 As I have noted, the rest of our information about the production of the Legenda comes from Giunta's "Testimony of Authenticity." In


Da Pelago, Antica leggenda: Dissertazioni, pp. 52-63. On Giovanni da Castiglione, see Iozzelli, "Introduzione" in Legenda, p. 66; and Mariano D'Alatri, L'lnquisizionefrancescana (Rome: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1996), p. 350. 708


See Iozzelli, "Introduzione," pp. 4-7.

Legenda, p.179: "Satis feruentibus animis fructuosum esseputaui non totum, quia non eratpossibile, set flores quosdam eligere de uita mirabili Deo deuotissime Margarite, agentis austeram penitentiam in Cortona, etper capitulum distinguere undenum ipsius uirtutum gradum, compilando, de precepto prelati, et eius gratias copiosas, ut sacrosancta mater ecclesia que noua semper prole fecundatur, renouatur et gaudet, suosfilios exemplis nutriat nouitatis."

241 addition to naming the friars and clerics who had seen his text, Giunta writes in the "testimony" that papal legate Napoleone Orsini had held a copy of the Legenda in Rome for several months, making it available to all who wanted to copy it and on February 15, 1308, in the Cortona palazzo of lord Uguccio dei Casali, had officially approved the text.710 It seems that Orsini's approval did not ensure the LegendcCs popular success, however. Only three medieval manuscripts of the Legenda survive, all of which were written in the fourteenth century and remain to the present day in Cortona.


Iozzelli has based his recent critical edition of the text on codex 61 from the Archivio del Convento di S. Margherita. This is the only medieval copy that contains a final chapter of miracle accounts written by Giunta between 1308 and 1311.712 Although as Joanna Cannon has pointed out, both of the other medieval copies list the miracle chapter in their tables of contents, suggesting that they had intended to include that final chapter.713 Iozzelli's edition has become the standard scholarly edition of the Legenda and I shall rely on it throughout this chapter.


Legenda, p. 477: "Item uenerabilis dominus Neapoleo, apostolice sedis legatus et cardinalis, retinuit earn pluribus mensibus in curia apostolica; et in recessu precepit, cum reddidit earn, quod custodiretur semper Mesa, et accomodaretur omnibus uolentibus earn scribere, uelfacere scribi, et non obstante aliquo preceptopreferito, uelfuturo, de ipsapredicaretur." 711

On the manuscript history of the Legenda, see Iozzelli, "Introduzione," pp. 149-169. I am relying on his conclusions and have not viewed the manuscripts of the Legenda. 712

Iozzelli's edition includes fifteen miracles missing from codex 61 that are present in a seventeenthcentury manuscript, now held in the Biblioteca Corsiniana in Rome, which Iozzelli believes derives from the same manuscript tradition. For more on the chapter of miracles and the added miracles, see Iozzelli, "I miracoli nella 'Legenda' di santa Margherita da Cortona," Archivum franciscanum historicum 86 (1993): 217-276. 713

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 158.

242 The most extensive study of the Legenda remains da Pelago's two volume Antica leggenda della vita e dei miracoli di S. Margherita da Cortona (1793), which provides readers not only with a copiously annotated Latin text as well as facing Italian translation but also with twelve "dissertazioni" that explore the details of Margaret's life in Cortona, the backgrounds and careers of her Franciscan guardians, and the political circumstances of thirteenth-century Cortona.714 Motivated both by Margaret's 1728 canonization and da Pelago's work, numerous devotional biographies as well as a few more scholarly studies on Margaret were produced in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.715 Although Iozzelli's recent edition has superceded da Pelago's edition of the Legenda, scholars have continued to rely on the basic timeline and conclusions da Pelago produced in the generation after Margaret was canonized by the Roman church.716 In his work on the Legenda, da Pelago proposed that it was most likely in 1288 that Margaret moved to San Basilio and that the Franciscans condemned her as delusional and a fraud as well as limited Giunta's visits to her at their provincial meeting in Siena. Da Pelago also argued that at that meeting Giovanni da Castiglione was named to be the custodian of Arezzo and that, because he had died by 1289, it was around this time that Giunta took over as Margaret's primary confessor. Finally, no more than a year later, in 1290, according to da Pelago's conclusions, Giunta was moved to Siena and did not


Da Pelago's work on Margaret has been studied most thoroughly by Iozzelli, "I Miracoli nella 'Legenda,'" pp. 217-219; and Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 15, n. 8 and pp. 42-51.


Most notable among the more scholarly studies of Margaret produced before the twentieth century is Mariano Nuti, Margherita da Cortona. La sua legenda e la storia (Rome, n.d.). 716

For example, see the work of Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona; Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body"; Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, pp. 325-334; Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, pp. 130-148. Caciola relies on the conclusions of Cannon and Vauchez, which as I have mentioned are based on da Pelago's work; see, Caciola Discerning Spirits, pp. 98-113.

return to Margaret until very shortly before her death. The majority of these conclusions are not supported either by the text and or by outside sources, however.717 Da Pelago seems to have constructed his timeline by working backwards from the mention Giunta makes in the text that he was absent from Cortona for seven years. Just before he describes Margaret's death, Giunta states that there were many other things he was unable to include in the Legenda not only because Margaret had concealed many of God's secrets but also because he had been away from Cortona for seven years.718 This is not the only reference Giunta makes to his time in Siena. He writes that while he was in Siena, Christ told Margaret to write to Giunta to offer the friar his blessing and on another occasion was called back to Cortona by Margaret to help arrange a peace agreement between a Cortonese family.719 Da Pelago bases his belief that Giunta must have begun his seven-year absence in 1290 on a mention Margaret made in the text that Christ promised her that her confessor would be with her at the moment of her death. Thus da Pelago concluded that Giunta must have been in Siena for the last seven years of Margaret's life (that is, from 1290 until 1297).720 As I shall show below, it is not clear that Giunta wrote the description of Margaret's death in the Legenda; it is possible that it was Margaret's final confessor Ser Badia who recorded this event. Like so many


Most of da Pelago's work cites the Legenda as evidence and does not point to outside sources. Many modern scholars cite either da Pelago or other secondary work that itself cites da Pelago. For an example of this, see below n. 733. 718

Legenda, p. 450: "Multis autem pretermissis, que colligi minime potuerunt turn ratione humilitatis Margarite solerter celantis archana Dei, turn ratione confessoris absentis per septennium, qui superiora collegit..." 719

For Christ's command that Margaret write to Giunta in Siena, see Legenda, p.352; and for Christ's command that Margaret ask Giunta to return to Cortona to arrange a peace agreement between the sons of Rosso, see Ibid., p. 361-362. 720

Da Pelago points to Legenda, p. 281: "Quo dicto, Christum audiuit dicentem sibi: 'Lux noua in tenebris orta, cui ego quipassusfui et resurrexi benedico, scias quod tuus confessor erit in fine tuo."

244 questions about the chronology of Margaret's life in Cortona, the Legenda cannot give us a definitive answer. Da Pelago's claim that it was also around this time (c. 1288/89) that Giunta took over as Margaret's primary confessor is also not borne out by the text. Giunta's mention that he had begged Margaret to pray for peace in an impending battle between Bolognese and French forces, a battle that Pope Nicholas III (1277-80) was eventually able to quell, suggests that the friar was in contact with Margaret, and perhaps had even begun to record details of his interactions with her well before 1288.721 In addition, we do not know exactly when the custodian Giovanni da Castiglione died. While the Legenda indicates that Giovanni died while Margaret was still alive, neither it nor any other source tells us when this occurred.

Moreover, the text does not present Giovanni's death as

having precipitated a change in Giunta's relationship with Margaret. Christ repeatedly tells Margaret to relay various bits of information to "Friar Giovanni and your confessor," whom we can assume refers to Giunta.723 While Giovanni was still alive, Giunta clearly


Legenda, p. 350-351: "Tunc temporis Gallici congregabantur contra Furlienses Bononie, qua ratione efusio sanguinis pugnatorum indubitanter expectabatur. Ex quo metu, ego, infrascriptorum compillator indignus, aduocatam peccatorum infatigabilem piis monitis induxi ad orandum pro utraque parte comuniter et deuote ...Et parum post, bone memorie sanctissimus papa, dominus Nicholaus teritus, bellum inhibuit et iuxta diuinum promissum, strages militum peditumque tunc, annuente Domino cessauerunt." 722

Christ gives Margaret instructions to Giunta and mentions that Giovanni has died, see Legenda, p. 328: " 'Et dicas confessori tuo quodparet se ad impertiendum tibi tue salutis consilia, secundum sacrarum ordinem scripturarum mearum. Que quidem consilia semper circa te dilgenter precogitet, et tu ipsius reuerenter utaris consilio, et te recommendo eidem, sicut olim recommendaueram te fratri Iohanni defuncto.''" Da Pelago's decision that Giovanni died in 1289 provides an example of how his conclusions have become part of the scholarly consensus. In his study of Franciscan inquisitors, D'Alatri claims that Giovanni most likely died in 1289 and cites da Pelago; see D'Alatri, L 'Inquisizione Francescana, p. 350. Subsequently scholars have cited D'Alaltri to support 1289 as the year Giovanni died; for example, see Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, p. 66. 723

For example when Christ finally allows Margaret to move to San Basilio, he tells Margaret to tell both Giovanni and Giunta not to oppose her move; see Legenda, p. 200: " 'Ideo dicas fratri Iohanni et confessori tuo quod non impediant moram tuam in ea, cum opusfuerit quod uenisti."' See also Legenda, pp. 202, 261,271-272, 388, and 391.

245 already had a close connection to Margaret. Christ's repeated instructions through Margaret to "Friar Giovanni and your confessor" suggests that for some time the saint interacted with both men. Finally, Giunta also makes it clear that he and Giovanni were not the only friars to act as Margaret's confessors. Giunta mentions in the "Testament of Authenticity" that Ubaldo of Colle had also served in this position.724 Da Pelago's conclusions have pushed other scholars to see Margaret's relationships with these Franciscans as having been sequential, even though the text does not bear this out. Modern scholars have for the most part used the Legenda to study both Margaret's institutional affiliation and her spiritual life. Much of the scholarly work on Margaret's institutional life has focused on her affiliation with the Franciscan order. Anna Benvenuti Papi and Daniel Bornstein have both pointed to Giunta's emphasis on Margaret's institutional and spiritual connection to the Franciscans as an indication that at the time Giunta was completing the Legenda, the Friars Minor needed to establish a clear affiliation between Margaret and their order, since her body and cult remained at San Basilio and out of their direct control.725 Mariano D'Alatri has studied the Legenda for details about Margaret's life as a lay penitent as well as for information regarding the process by which an independent lay penitent became formally associated with the Franciscan order in the late thirteenth century.726 David Burr has combed the Legenda

Legenda, p. 478: "Heine legendam compilauit fraterI. de mandate fratris Iohannis de Castillione, inquisitoris heretice prauitatis, qui erat confessor beate Margarite etpater. Et hanc frater Tarlatus uidit, frater Paulus de Soci, frater Iohannes dictus, frater Philippus custos, et frater Ranaldus custos de Castillione, frater Vbaldus de Colle confessor eius." 725


Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body," pp. 169-170; Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae,' pp. 141-168.

Mariano D'Alatri, "L'Ordine della penitenza nella leggenda di Margherita da Cortona," in Prime manifestazioni di vita comunitaria maschile efemminile nel movimento Francescano della penitenza (1215-1447). Atti del convegno di studi Francescani (Assisi, 30 giugno-2 luglio 1981), ed. R. Pazzelli and

246 for information about Margaret's possible involvement with so-called spiritual Franciscans.727 And Bernard Schlager has looked to Giunta's text as an example, alongside Vito da Cortona's life of the Blessed Umiliana de'Cerchi of Florence (d. 1246), of the attempts Franciscan friars made to shape the lives of female penitents into orthodox models for the laity.728 Scholars have also looked to the Legenda for information about the shape of lay and female spirituality in the later Middle Ages. That work has focused for the most part on the penitential asceticism, Eucharistic spirituality, and ecstatic visions that Giunta describes as having dominated Margaret's devotional life. Caroline Bynum has studied the expression of Margaret's religious commitment in the saint's behavior towards food—both in Margaret's fasting and desire for frequent communion.729 In her work on women's religious lives in late medieval Italy, Benvenuti Papi has also written about Giunta's presentation of Margaret as a new Magdalen and how the portrayal of Margaret's penitential journey resembles a holy crusade or pilgrimage.730 Katherine Jansen's own study of devotion to Mary Magdalen in the later Middle Ages has also

L. Temperini (Rome: Commissione Storica Internazionale T.O.R., 1982), pp. 67-80; see also Alfonso M. Pompei, "Concetto e pratica della penitenza in Margherita da Cortona e Angela da Foligno," in La 'Supra montem'diNiccoloIV(1289), pp. 381-424. 727

Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, pp. 325-334; on Margaret's possible associations with the Franciscans spirituals, see also Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona nel contesto storico-sociale," pp. 251-261; Jerome Poulenc, "Presenza dei movimenti spirituali nella 'Leggenda' di Santa Margherita da Cortona," in Celestino V e i suoi tempi: Realta spirituale e realta politico. A tti del 4 ° convegno storico internazionale L 'Aquila, 26-27 agosto 1989, ed. Walter Capezzali (L'Aquila: Centra Celestiniano/ Sezione storica, 1990), 97-106; and Maria Caterina Jacobelli, Una donna senza volto (Rome: Edizioni Borla, 1992). 728

Bernard Schlager, "Foundresses of the Franciscan Life: Umliana Cerchi and Margaret of Cortona," Viator 29 (1998): 141-166.


Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast, pp. 140-149,219-229, and passim. Rudolph Bell has also looked at Margaret's food asceticism; see Holy Anorexia (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985), pp. 92-102. Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae', pp. 141-168 and 375-402.

247 brought attention to the ways in which Giunta presents Margaret's identity as a redeemed sinner as reminiscent of the Magdalen.

Both John Coakley's and Nancy Caciola's

work on Margaret build on the interest medieval scholars have shown over the last decade in exploring how male confessors and scribes interpreted the voices and spirituality of female saints.732 In his work on the relationships formed between female saints and their male confessors/collaborators, Coakley has studied the complicated understanding of religious authority that the Legenda presents. Coakley argues that although Giunta's authority over Margaret cannot be questioned, the text makes it clear that the friar still depended upon his lay visionary for knowledge of and access to the divine.

And Caciola has written about how the Legenda makes it clear that both

Giunta and Margaret were engaged in a "process of reconstruction."734 While the text describes the penitential journey Margaret took to reform herself from a concubine to a committed penitent, and as Caciola argues, a proto-saint, Giunta's construction of the text was itself an attempt to refashion a fallen woman into a more palatable lay saint for the Franciscan order. Andre Vauchez's work on the Legenda has sought to place the text's portrayal of Margaret not only within the context of urban lay spirituality in the later Middle Ages but also within the social and political reality of the developing commune of Cortona.735 A


Katherine Ludwig Jansen, The Making ofthe Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 252 and 280. 732

See Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, pp. 130-148; and Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 98113.


Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, p. 147.


Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 112.

number of Italian scholars have also used the Legenda as a jumping off point for exploring the larger political, social and religious context of late thirteenth and fourteenth century Cortona. Mario Sensi has used the Legenda to explore the developing relationship among lay religious organizations, more established religious orders and the communal government of Cortona.736 And in three essays published in the 1970s, Franco Cardini expanded our understanding of the relationship between the Casali, who were the ruling family of Cortona in the fourteenth century, and Margaret's cult at San Basilic737 The work of these scholars makes clear that the Legenda is a rich repository of information about the spiritual and institutional life of a female lay penitent in the late medieval Italian commune. Caciola's work with the Legenda in particular has encouraged readers to pay attention to what she sees as the individualized voices of Margaret, her Franciscan guardians and the Cortonesi that come through in the text, voices that reveal both positive and negative reactions to Margaret's religious life. Caciola writes that even though Giunta's presentation of Margaret argues convincingly for her identity as a Franciscan saint, "when we unstitch a few seams in the narrative, we find some interesting alternative viewpoints about her."

As I shall show below, the

seams that Caciola notes are due in large part to concern the Franciscan's had about the

See Vauchez's contribution to Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, chaps. 1,2 and afterword. See also his "Santa Margherita da Cortona (+ 1297): dalla religione civica al culto universale," as well as the brief mentions of Margaret in his The Laity in the Middle Ages, pp. 126-127 and 157-160; and Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages. 736

Sensi, "Margherita nel contesto storico-sociale."


Franco Cardini, "Agiografia e politica: Margherita da Cortona e le vicende di una citta inquieta," Studi Francescani 76 (1979): 127-136; "Allegrezza Casali: Devota di S. Margherita,figurapoco nota della spiritualita cortonese," Studi Francescani 72 (1975): 335-344; "Una Signoria cittadina 'minore' in Toscana: i Casali di Cortona," Archivio storico italiano 131 (1973): 241-255. Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 102.

249 vaility of Margaret's religious claims, a concern that for some reason, was never removed from the Legenda. Working from da Pelago's conclusions, most scholars have tended to assume that those "seams," the parts of the text that express the friars' profound doubts and suspicions regarding Margaret's spiritual transformation reflect a wariness that quickly fell away as news of the miracles occurring at San Basilio spread, and the Franciscans began to believe that the female lay penitent whose past and present devotional life had made them so uneasy was actually a saint.739 And since Giunta's text was not authenticated until 1308, eleven years after Margaret's death, it has also been easy for scholars to imagine that in the decade after Margaret's death, the Cortonese Franciscans viewed the writing, or perhaps the rewriting of the events described in the Legenda, as a way to establish their guardianship of Margaret both during her lifetime and after her death. This thesis does not correspond to the content and style of Giunta's text, however. If Giunta had more than a decade to transform Margaret from a questionable lay penitent to a Franciscan saint, why would the text retain so many of those doubts? Both the holes I have pointed to in da Pelago's conclusions and the chaotic structure of the text do not radically change our understanding of Margaret's religious life. They do, however, underline how little we know about the circumstances surrounding Giunta's production of the Legenda. When we begin to peal back the layers of false conclusions, it becomes difficult to assume that Margaret's civic cult emerged directly from her association with the Cortonese Franciscans. My study of the development of Margaret's cult will


For example, see Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body," p. 169; Caciola, Discerning Spirits, pp. 99 and 111-112; and Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, p. 325.

250 therefore rely not only on the Legenda but also on the sources produced for and at Margaret's final home, San Basilio.

The San Basilio Sources By 1318, the dilapidated church that Margaret knew had been transformed into a much larger structure with three naves to hold Margaret's tomb and the increasing number of pilgrims. Unfortunately, that fourteenth-century church is no longer visible, having been largely obscured by reconstruction in the eighteenth-century. Nevertheless, drawings made by da Pelago in the late eighteenth century of the footprint of the fourteenth-century church and Joanna Cannon's interpretation of those drawings allow us to have some sense of what the church, built largely with funds from Cortona's commune to honor Margaret, once looked like.740 A collection of charters from San Basilio (now held in the Archivio di Stato in Florence) include episcopal and legatine indulgences aimed at aiding the rebuilding of the church as well as testamentary donations made by individual Cortonesi to support either Margaret's tomb or the community of penitents living at San Basilio.741 Scholars have used these charters to demonstrate both episcopal and communal interest in the establishment of a church dedicated to Margaret, but, for the most part, have not explored what these documents can tell us about the community of penitents that followed

Da Pelago's drawings can be found in his Antica legenda: Dissertazioni, pp. 47-50, and tav. 2 and 3. Cannon's reading of these drawings are invaluable, see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, pp. 39-51. For the history of San Basilio, see E. Mori and P. Mori, Guido storico artistica as Santuario di Santa Margherita in Cortona (Cortona, 1996); and D. Mirri, Cronaca dei lavori edilizi della nuova chiesa diS. Margherita in Cortona (Cortona, 1989). 741

Florence, Archivio di Stato, Unione di vari luoghi pii di Cortona. Some, but not all, of these charters were transcribed by da Pelago; see da Pelago, Antica leggenda: Registro.

251 Margaret up the hill to San Basilio, stayed with her there in her last years, and remained to manage her tomb and growing cult.742 That community enjoyed a number of visual sources produced to aid Margaret's growing cult during the first generation after her death. The earliest of these sources is a panel painting (what scholars call a vzta-panel), completed within a decade of Margaret's death in 1297 (see figure #8).743 Scholars believe that the panel was placed either above or next to Margaret's tomb in San Basilio.744 Eight scenes from Margaret's life in Cortona surround a large fully frontal portrait of Margaret dressed in a penitent's habit. Such panels were a means in central Italy in the latter Middle Ages not only to convey the likeness of a recently deceased individual but also to memorialize visually that saint's deeds and miracles.745 In her study of Italian vita-panels, Cannon notes that Margaret's panel is an invaluable source for the earliest years of Margaret's cult; most likely produced during the same time that Giunta was completing the Legenda, the painting offers a vision of Margaret's life and sanctity that was independent from Giunta's portrait.746


Vauchez relies on the charters included in da Pelago to construct a history of Margaret's early cult; see Margherita of Cortona, pp. 21-36. Piero Scapecchi is the only scholar I have found who does not rely on da Pelago's transcriptions and has instead consulted the original charters; see Scapecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese del XIII secolo: Appunti sul 'liber fraternitatis sancte Marie de misericordia de Cortona' e alter fonti margaritiane," Annunario XXVIII (1997-98), (Cortona: Accademia Etrusca di Cortona, 1999), pp. 183-206. 743

This painting is now held in the Museo Diocesano in Cortona. Scholars have assumed that the panel was originally placed near Margaret's tomb in San Basilio; on the painting's provenance, see Cannon "Beyond the Limitations of Visual Typology: Reconsidering the Function and Audience of Three Vita Panels of Women Saints c. 1300," in Italian Panel Painting ofthe Duecento and Trecento, ed. Victor M. Schmidt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 293. 744 745

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 160.

On late medieval v/to-panels, see Cannon "Beyond the Limitations of Visual Typology," pp. 291-313. Canon also discusses other medieval v/'to-panels in Margherita of Cortona, pp. 159-169 and passim.

252 In the 1310s or 1320s a large funerary tomb sculpture was added to the church. This monument consists of two angels lifting the lid of a sarcophagus to reveal Margaret's uncorrupt body and five narrative reliefs below the tomb depicting Margaret's life as a penitent, her death, and two of her posthumous miracles (see figure #9). The work of Gianna Bardotti Biasion and Cannon have established that the monument was most likely the work of the Sienese sculptor Gano di Fazio (d. 1317/18) and that during the fourteenth century it was placed above both a wall-niche where Margaret's body rested behind wooden shutters and an altar where beneficiaries of Margaret's miracles could leave offerings. The monument's depiction of two angels lifting the sarcophagus' lid was meant to recall the times when the wooden shutters would be opened to reveal Margaret's body inside an iron cage (although since the early-twentieth century Margaret's body has remained constantly visible behind a glass panel).747 In her extensive work on the visual sources produced in conjunction with Margaret's cult, Cannon has explored both the liturgical and non-liturgical uses of the monument that 74 R

reflected Margaret's ambiguous saintly status. And finally, in the 1330s, San Basilio became the location of an extensive fresco cycle depicting scenes from Margaret's life and miracles that Cannon has recently suggested was the work of both Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti. Those frescoes were whitewashed in the late seventeenth century; our knowledge of them, besides a few fragmentary pieces, comes therefore entirely from watercolor copies made by Adriano 746

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, pp. 159-169.


Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 73.


Joanna Cannon, "Popular Saints and Private Chantries: The Sienese Tomb-Altar of Margherita of Cortona and the Questions of Liturgical Use," in Kunst und Liturgie im Mittelalter, ed. Nicolas Bock, Sible de Blaauw, Christopher Luitpold Frommel and Herbert Kessler (Rome: Bibliotheca Hertziana, 2000), pp. 149-162.

253 749

Zabarelli during a papal visitation to Cortona in c.1629 (see figures #10-13).

Nevertheless, Cannon's study of the watercolors and her painstaking reconstruction of the location of particular frescoes allows us to understand the vision of Margaret's sanctity that was presented at San Basilio in the century after Margaret's death.750

The Communal Statutes The final group of sources, which I shall use to explore the early history of Margaret's cult, is Cortona's first set of communal statutes. These statutes, completed in 1325 to mark Cortona's newly gained autonomy and the Casali family's assumption of power, name Margaret as one of the city's primary patrons and detail the civic T\ 1

celebrations that were required to mark her feast day.

In addition to outlining the ways

in which Margaret was to be celebrated in the city, the statutes call for the city to pay for San Basilio's rector to travel to Avignon with the hope of having Margaret canonized. We do not know if that trip was ever made, but the statutes give us an invaluable glimpse into the city's own process of canonization. A record of communal deliberations from the year before the statutes were issued survives and adds to our understanding of the connection that existed between Cortona's new communal government and the church of San Basilio.752

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 112. 750


Ibid., pp. 79-154.

Florence, Archivio di Stato, Statuti comunita soggette, 279. For a general assessment of the 1325 statutes, see Mancini, Cortona nel Medio Evo (Cortona, 1897; reprinted 1992), pp. 101-177. Vauchez has transcribed the passages that mention Margaret; see Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti, Appendix I, pp. 227-230.


Cortona in the Thirteenth Century In comparison with its more powerful neighbors, Cortona had a later and shorter tenure as an independent commune with a distinct municipal and episcopal identity. Important for the purposes of this dissertation is the fact that this brief time of independence coincided with the beginnings of Margaret's cult. Nestled on a hill overlooking the Val di Chiana and on the border between Tuscany and Umbria, Cortona was not one of the more powerful medieval communes. The city's geography has always limited both its size and power. As a hill town, Cortona never had a population that exceeded six thousand people in the Middle Ages. And as a neighbor of the epsicopal cities Arezzo, Perugia, Siena, and Florence, Cortona remained often in the shadow and subject to these more powerful cities. Vauchez has noted that being neither the seat of a bishop nor a count, Cortona had a reputation as a "quasi-city" during the later Middle Ages. Cortona first shows up in the documentary evidence in the eleventh century as part of the Arezzo contado. During the first half of the thirteenth century, Cortona started down a path to independence in a manner similar to the rise of many Italian communes: by allying with one powerful neighbor, Perugia, in order to wrest itself out from under the control of another, Arezzo, Cortona became powerful enough to begin subjugating the rural lords of the surrounding countryside. As a result, those lords began to move into the small city and Cortona's wealth and power continued 752

Cortona, Archivio storico del Comune di Cortona, Ql: "Deliberazioni comunitative 1323-1324" fols. 29-40. This is the only year for which deliberations survive. These have been discussed by Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body." I have also consulted this document. Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 13. On this period in Cortona's history, see also Mancini, Cortona nel Medio Evo.

to grow. During the 1230s and 1240s, a newly enriched population of magnates and merchants began to seek to establish an independent popolo-led government of Cortona. These Cortonesi had gained enough power to exile magnates loyal to Arezzo. But while the popolani were able to build a civic palace and divide the city into three municipal districts (terzieri) sometime after 1250, their efforts to remove Cortona completely from the control of its powerful neighbors was greatly slowed by the election of Bishop Guglielmino of Arezzo (1248-89).754 Bishop Guglielmino embarked on a long campaign to subdue Cortona's burgeoning independence and to force the city to return to paying half of its regalia (or public revenue) to Arezzo. To that end, Bishop Guglielmino sacked the city in 1258, exiling the magnate families who had rallied against Arezzo's control. Several of those exiles fought victoriously alongside the Ghibelline Sienese at the battle of Montaperti in September 1260. Siena's success at Montaperti encouraged the bishop to change his allegiance and side with the victorious Tuscan Ghibellines. As a result, the Cortonesi exiles were allowed to return home, but only with the agreement that the city would still be subject to Arezzo's control and tax levy. Lead by Uguccio Casali, the Cortonesi exiles returned home on April 25,1261, the feast of Saint Mark. During the next few decades, both Saint Mark's cult and the Casali family's power grew as Cortona inched its way closer toward independence. Associated now with the exiles return, Saint Mark became patron of the city. And as the leaders of the returned exiles, the Casali family became the city's most powerful family.755 Cortona struggled with Arezzo's rule throughout the tenure of Bishop

Cardini, "Una Signoria cittadina 'minore'," p. 245.

256 Guglielmino and, as we shall see, the Legenda reports that Margaret placed herself in the middle of those struggles, several times urging the bishop to stop inciting factions and to protect the welfare and peace of his diocese. The Casali also worked to subdue Bishop Guglielmino and negotiated between the increasingly strained relations among the city's magnates mdpopolani.

In 1278, Uguccio Casali was named "priore del consoli e delle

arti del popolo del commune di Cortona." In 1289, the Florentines killed Bishop Guglielmino at the battle of Campaldino. He was succeeded by Bishop Ildebrandino (1289-1312), who seems not to have been as interested in controlling the Cortonesi as his predecessor had been. As I shall show in the following chapters, Bishop Ildebrandino would come to play a significant role in helping Margaret rebuild the church of San Basilio and in promoting her cult after her death. With a relatively peaceful episcopal overlord, Cortona continued on its march toward independence. In 1312, Ranieri Casali, Guglielmino's son, was appointed imperial vicar to Emperor Henry VII. As Ghibelline fortunes rose in central Italy, the popolo party, with the Casali family at its head, began to draft the city's first communal statutes. But Cortona had to face another period of tension with Arezzo, after Guido Tarlati was made bishop of that city in 1312. Like Bishop Guglielmino, Bishop Tarlati was bent on increasing Arezzo's territory and wealth and to that end looked to Cortona. Tarlati was also loyal to imperial interests and, fortunately for Cortona, was excommunicated by Pope John XXII in 1324. One year earlier, in 1323, the current head of the Casali family, Ranieri Casali was instrumental in expelling Cortona's magnates in an effort to raise a popolo-\ed independent commune. In the strife that ensued, the Cortonesi named Ranieri 755

See Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 31; and Cardini, "Agiografia e politica," p. 128.


Cardini, "Una Signoria cittadina 'minore'," p. 247.


Casali to be Dominus generalis for life in an effort to bring peace to the city.

257 Finally,

in 1325, Pope John XXII voided all of the agreements that had bound Cortona to Arezzo and took land from the diocese of Arezzo, Chiusi and Citta di Castello in order to grant Cortona its own episcopal seat.758 These events paved the way for the commune, under the rule of Casali, to claim independence from all overlords and issue the city's first set of communal statutes. Thus when Cortona finally achieved independence, its government looked more like a signorial regime under the Casali than a government run by a consortium of popolani. The Casali would go on to rule the city for the rest of the fourteenth century; although by the end of the century, Florence's increasing power would slowly chip away at Cortona's independence until the city officially became part of the Florentine territory in 1411.759 The history of the commune of Cortona compresses the transition we see in other medieval Italian communes from popolo government to signorial regime: in Cortona the events seemed to occur simultaneously. As a result, Margaret's role as a civic patron would be associated both with the idea of an independent commune and a Casalicontrolled city. But as I shall explore below, the Casali's role as patrons to Cortona's newest saint was a relatively straightforward relationship; they gave her a prominent role as patron saint in the city's statutes and elected to make San Basilio, which by the midfourteenth century was commonly referred to as Santa Margherita, their family mausoleum. That relationship appears even more clear-cut when one starts to pull apart 757

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 16.


Bornstein, "Parish Priests in Late Medieval Cortona: The Urban and Rural Clergy," Quaderni di storia religiosa 4 (1997): 166. 759

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 16.

258 the complex relationship Margaret and her cult had with her Franciscan guardians during her lifetime and after her death. It is to the beginnings of that relationship that I shall now turn. Affiliating with the Franciscans: Lay Penitents and Franciscans in Cortona The few details we have about Margaret's life before she made a formal association with the Franciscan order come from the first chapter of Giunta's Legenda. Giunta devotes the majority of that first chapter to an extended description Margaret reported that Christ had given her reminding her of the stages of her penitential calling. Giunta introduces and concludes Christ's speech by providing his own summary of the circumstances surrounding Margaret's formal association with the Franciscans. Both Christ's speech and Giunta's summary of the beginnings of Margaret's relationship with the Cortonese Franciscans provide a glimpse into what it meant to live as a lay penitent in the mid-thirteenth century and how attractive a connection with the city's most prominent mendicant order was. Giunta begins the chapter by describing that in 1277 Margaret "humbly offered herself on bended knees, with her hands joined and in tears to Friar Renaldo, custodian of Arezzo, for admission to the third order of the blessed father Francis."760 Although Margaret may very well have submitted to living as a lay penitent under the guardianship of the Franciscans, in 1277 such an association did not mean that Margaret had become a member of the Franciscan Third Order. As I have noted, a formal order of tertiaries was not established until Pope Nicholas I V s 1289 bull, Supra montem. Mariano D'Alatri has 760

Legenda, p.181: "Christo Deo deuota, mentepura, corde feruida, Margarita, anno a natiuitate Christi millesimo cc° Ixxvif quo se ordini bead Francisci, manibus iunctis, cum lacrimis coramfratreRanaldo bone memorie aretino custode, genibus flexis, humiliter optulit et sponte in corpore et anima est oblata, assumptis etiam ordinis tertii beatipatris Francisci cum magna precum instantia indumentis..."

259 noted the attention Giunta pays to Margaret's physical posture. D'Alatri sees this focus as aimed at conveying the formality of Margaret's submission and entry into the Franciscans' lay wing.761 We can imagine that Giunta was trying to solidify what had been an ambiguous institutional relationship. Nevertheless, as D'Alatri also points out, Giunta cannot quite purge his text of all evidence of the ambiguity of lay penitents' status; he describes other Cortonese penitents as having taken the habit of the "Brothers '7ft')

of Penance," and others the habit of "the Order of Penitents."

Thus while many

penitents such as Margaret embarked on a formal association with the Franciscans, in the 1270s such a relationship did not carry with it a clear institutional identity. Both Giunta's description of Margaret's entry into the Franciscan Third Order and the history of her penitential progress that Christ recites to Margaret in the first chapter portray her arrival in Cortona and the beginning of her life as a lay penitent as connected to and dependent upon the Cortonese Franciscans. Christ tells Margaret to remember the sorrow and desperation she felt when her father and stepmother refused to offer her refuge after the death of her "enemy of salvation," which we can assume refers to her lover in Montepulciano.

After following Christ's suggestion to go to Cortona

and submit to the obedience of the Friars Minor, Christ reminds her that her heart was healed through her "filial fear" of the Franciscans.764 Christ goes on to list the ways in 761

D'Alatri, "L'Ordine della penitenza," p.69.


Ibid., p. 69, n.5.


Legenda, p.l 81: "Recordare quod, hoste tue salutis defuncto, adpatrem tuum, Lauianum, confecta doloribus, lacrimis irrigata, facie lacerata, nigris induta uestibus ualdeque confusa redisti." 764

Legenda, p. 182: "Ego autem interioris tue forme formator quam reformare uolebam dilector existens, conscientiam tuamper mei luminis inspirationem commonui ut Cortonampergeres acfratrum meorum minorum te obedientie mancipares. Que assumptis spiritualibus uiribus, tuum iter sine mora Cortonam direxisti et iuxta mandatum meum tefratribus optulisti, disciplinis eorum ac monitis animum summa cum

260 which Margaret began to subject her body to a rigorous routine of penance, denying herself the ornaments, foods, and comforts to which she had been accustomed. He notes that her early life as a penitent was quite public.765 Margaret, Christ recounts, shared her "many gifts of fear, sorrow, and tears" with both the Franciscans and the Cortonesi, asking them with such "sorrowful groans and sighs" if she would be rescued from the exile of her sinful life that she "made the friars weep."766 After concluding Christ's speech to Margaret, Giunta returns to his description of the beginnings of Margaret's association with the Cortonese Franciscans. He notes that it had taken Margaret several years to convince the friars that she was a worthy cause. "Why, O reader," he asks, "did the friars hesitate to give Margaret the habit of penance?"

The friars, Giunta tells his reader, had rejected Margaret several times

because they had found her too pretty and too young to believe that she was truly devoted to the penitential life.768 Giunta writes that the friars finally relented after seeing that Margaret was "united inseparably to Christ" and hearing her own explanation of why she

uigilantia inclinando. Recordare quod tui cordis remedium fuit, pro initio tue salutis, timor reuerentie fllialis quern inflxi menti tue defratribus minoribus, quorum te cure commisi, Quoperfecte concepto, inuisibilem hostem terrui et Mam quam contra te sumpserat de tua calamitate audaciam, mea dispensante gratia, conquassaui. Nonne statim tremebas? Nonne cumfrater aliquis de ordine tuipatris apparebat in ecclesia, domibus seu uia, pre reuerentia fades tua perfundebatur rubore, timens sedere uel loqui cum secularibus coram ipsis?" 765

Legend, pp. 182-183.


Legenda, p. 183: "Recordare copiosi muneris timoris, doloris etfletus continui quod tarn copiose tibi largiri dignatus sum, ut non solum fratres minores, quibus te commendaui, cum lacrimarum interrogares profluuio, si ego tuus pater et dominus exulemfactam in delictis, te de cetero ad misericordiam etpatriam reuocarem, uerum etiam seculares interrogando cumfletibus dolorosis de hoc tuis amaris suspiriis ad fletus uberrimos commouebas." 767


Legenda, p. 184: "Quare, o lector, dare fratres habitum differebant?"

Legenda, p. 184: "Certe turn quia dubitabant de constantia mentis eius, turn quia nimisformosa nimisque iuuenis uidebatur."

should be allowed to wear the penitential habit.

Giunta recounts that Margaret had

asked the doubting friars why they were afraid to offer her the habit when they had seen her change her life for the better and flee "the world to join a community of religious people."770 In his speech listing the circumstances that finally brought Margaret to the Cortonese Franciscans, Christ also reminds Margaret that "from the beginning," he had placed her "in the care of the noblewomen, Marinaria and Raniera."771 Caciola argues that these two women were most likely widows living as lay penitents themselves.772 While I have been unable to find any contemporary sources to confirm or deny this characterization, Margaret's pleas to the Franciscans that she had already been living in a community of religious people strengthens this assertion. These details about Margaret's first years in Cortona allow us to get some sense of the life of a thirteenth century female lay penitent and begin to understand the attraction the Franciscans held for Margaret. One can imagine that as an unattached woman with a scandalous past, Margaret was attracted to the prestige and legitimacy the friars offered. Unlike Zita of Lucca, Margaret did not have wealthy employers to shelter

Legenda, p. 184: "Sed postquam fratres inseparabiliter earn Christo adherere uiderunt, postquam in feruorem spiritus magis ac magis in Deum ascendere conspexerunt, postquam audierunt earn dicentem: 'Patres mei, quibus sum a Domino commendata, non hesitetis de me, quia si toto tempore uite mee moram in solitudine uasta contraherem, adeo Deum meum diligo, adeo mentem meam confortuait omnipotens, quod de nulla creatura nullaque temptatione timerem propter spem quam in Deumftxi, me ad suam gratiam reuocantem.'" 770

Legenda, p. 184: "Atpostquam mefugisse mundum uidistis, me religiosarum personarum consortio sociaui meamque uitam mutaui in melius per gratiam michi datam a Christo. Cur timetis? Cur me differtis induere?" 771

Legenda, p.183: "Recordare quodde statupristino te diuellens, sub nobilium dominarum societate, scilicet Marinarie et Ranerie, specialiter inprincipio collocaui." Bornstein writes that Marinaria was Raniera's mother-in-law, but I have found no evidence to support this idea, see "The Uses of the Body," p. 164. Marinaria is mentioned again when Christ commands Margaret to tell Marinaria that her husband has been released from purgatory and that Christ will extend mercy to her son if he makes a general confession, Legenda, p. 393. Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 100.

262 and protect her. It would be a mistake to see Margaret's association with the Franciscan Order as signaling the beginning of her religious life, however. As the Legenda reports, Margaret was already, "from the beginning," following a strict penitential program in the company of "religious people" when she sought to become a Franciscan penitent. Margaret's interest in establishing an affiliation with the Cortonesi Franciscans thus signified something other than an opportunity to live as a penitent. As I have noted, the lay penitential movement encompassed a variety of ways in which medieval men and women adopted a quasi-religious life without giving up the marriages, occupations, and civic responsibilities of their lay lives. For Margaret, however, a semi-religious life was most likely the only religious opportunity available to her. Margaret was an "illegitimate widow" and as such did not have the social standing or the means to become a fully-fledged member of a religious order.773 The Legenda provides only brief mentions of the community of penitents Margaret joined when she arrived in the city. In addition to the widows Marinaria and Raniera, who first offered Margaret and her son shelter, Giunta mentions Diabella, a wealthy noblewoman who donated her home so Margaret could found a "hospital of mercy," and Gila, a companion who assisted Margaret in her cell and witnessed, alongside several friars, Margaret faint after receiving the Host.774 A recently discovered rule for female lay penitents in Cortona tells us that lay penitents like Margaret were to refrain from violence, wear an identifying penitential habit, and adhere to regular periods of fasting, prayer, and abstinence.775

Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae', p. 145. 114


Legenda, pp. 183, 187, and 194.

This rule has been edited by Maria Caterina Jacobelli, La Regolaper le sorores depoenitentia nel codice 71 delta biblioteca di Cortona (Cortona: Calosci, 1992); this rule is similar to the 1228 Memoriale

263 In addition to expressing Margaret's particular interest in the Cortonesi Franciscans, The Legenda also conveys the fear and shame she felt in the friars' presence. For example, Christ reminds Margaret of how she would "blush" whenever she saw one of the friars "in church, in a house, or on the street." He asks Margaret: "Do you not remember how you would not dare to sit down or even speak to secular persons in the presence of the friars?"776 We can imagine that Margaret would not have been the only one intimidated by the privileged position the Friars Minor held in Cortona by the late thirteenth century.777 The Franciscans first arrived in Cortona in 1250, when Elias of Cortona moved all of the friars he could convince to join him out of the hermitage, know as the Celle, which had been founded by Francis and was located just outside of Cortona, and into the newly built church of San Francesco within the city walls.778 San Francesco was one of the earliest Franciscan churches in Italy and stood just a few meters away 770

from the Palazzo del Comune, the city's political and economic center.


established themselves in Cortona well before the arrival of other mendicant orders, the propositi fratrum etsororum depenitentia in domibus propriis as well as to the rule promulgated by Nicholas IV in his 1289 bull, Supra Montem, see Meersseman, Dossier, p. 92-112, Ordo fraternitatis, p.363, and La 'Supra montem' di Niccolo IV. The fourteenth-century manuscript copy dates the rule to 18 August 1279 and attributes it to Pope Nicholas III. Jacobelli concludes that this was not a scribal error but reflects a lost bull perhaps issued to the lay penitents at San Basilio. We have no evidence that there were any lay penitents at San Basilio before 1290, however. Moreover, other scholars disagree with Jacobelli's conclusions and believe that this is a locally emended copy of Nicholas IV's rule for penitents that was wrongly attributed and dated, see Lino Temperini's review in Analecta TOR 25 (1994): 277-279. 776

Legenda, p. 182: "Nonne cumfrater aliquis de ordine tuipatris apparebat in ecclesia, domibus seu uia, pre reuerentia facies tua perfundebatur rubore, timens sedere uel loqui cum secularibus coram ipsis?" 777

For the history of the Franciscans in Cortona, see Giuseppina Inga, "Gli insediamenti mendicanti a Cortona," Storia della citta: Rivista internazionale distoria urbana e territoriale 9 (1978): 44-58; and Iozzelli, "I francescani ad Arezzo e a Cortona nel duecento," in La Prescenza francescana nella Toscana del '200: "Sabatifracescani"—Ciclo di conferenze 1989-1990 (Florence: Convento S. Francesco, 1990), 121-142. 778

For the history of the Celle, see Le Celle di Cortona, eremo francescano del 1211 (Cortona: Calosci, 1977). Mancini, Cortona nel medio evo, pp.45-55.

264 Cortonese Franciscans maintained their power in the city in no small part because of their central location.

As the most prominent religious order in the city, the Franciscans

clearly intimidated Margaret, but we can imagine that an affiliation with them also offered her a clear path to redeem herself from her past shame and give validity to her new life of penitence. Once she had become identified as a Franciscan penitent, Margaret developed a reputation in Cortona for both the rigor of her penitential routine and the stark difference between the life she had once led and her new life. Giunta writes that her new habit not only identified her religious commitment but also functioned to remind her of the pleasure she had once taken in parading up and down the streets of Montepulciano wearing the ornate clothes, golden barrettes, and make-up that marked her status as a kept woman.781 Margaret adopted a routine of fasting, prayer and self-mutilation (often leaving her body covered in bruises and cuts and too weak to get up from the bare floor where she slept) to purge herself of the memories and effects of her former life.782 The Legenda descriptions of Margaret's penitential acts emphasize the use these bodily

Of the four mendicant churches built in Cortona, only San Francesco and San Agostino are within the city walls. San Agostino, located in the south-west corner of the city, was finished by 1275. San Domenico (second half of thirteenth century) and Santa Maria (second half of thirteenth century) were built just outside the city gates; see Inga, "Gli Insediamenti mendicanti a Cortona," pp. 44-45; and Iozzelli, "I Francescani ad Arezzo e a Cortona nel duecento," pp. 138-140. 781

Legenda, p. 204: "Quapropter adMontem Pollicianum ampere suum iter decreuerat etper Mam terram, in qua uariis fuerat ornata uestibus, per quam auro insertis crinibus, eques et pedes, picta facie, sui uiri opulentiam demonstrando incesserat..." 782

Legenda, p. 185-186: "Hec in oratione peruigilans, a prima uigilia noctis usque ad horam diei nonam, fletus amaros protrahebat orando. Ex uehementia quippe infixi doloris, nunc ex memoria suorum defectuum, nunc ex recordatione crucifixi Iesu cuius erat mente cruci confixa, tarn anxia cumfletibus emittebat suspiria, ut sepissime mori timeret, sepissime sensum ac uocem amitteret et uelud exanimis remaneret."

restrictions had not only for increasing her religious commitment and connection to Christ but also for making up for her sinful past.

Penance, Work and Charity in the Legenda As we have seen in the vitae of the other lay saints studied in this dissertation, lay saints often had to negotiate between the demands of their worldly lives and the spiritual ideals they were pursuing. While this is an issue that takes center-stage in the vitae of Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza, Zita of Lucca, and Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena, it makes only a brief appearance in Giunta's Legenda. Giunta reports that after Margaret had joined the Franciscan's order of penitents, she supported herself and her son by working as a midwife for the noble women of Cortona.783 Although Giunta's emphasis on Margaret's decision to earn a living "by the work of her hands" might remind one of the repeated references in Zita's vita to the manual labor the Lucchese saint performed, Giunta is not particularly concerned with celebrating Margaret's ability to balance the demands of her work life with her spiritual life. In fact, Giunta discusses Margaret's working life in only the first few pages of the second chapter and seems to offer these details in the service of describing the harsh penitence to which she regularly subjected her body. When Giunta first mentions that Margaret worked as a midwife, he does so to emphasize the degree to which she fasted. Even though she had to prepare delicious meals for the pregnant women she cared for, Giunta writes, Margaret would continue to

Legenda, p.l 86: "Et quoniam de suarum labore manuum se etfilium decreuerat alere, cepit nobiles dominas de Cortona humilis Margarita dilgenter custodire in puerperio."

fast as if it were Lent.


266 The other details Giunta provides about Margaret's working life

serve a similar rhetorical purpose: while Margaret would bathe her patients, she would wash herself only in tears; and while other attendants would sing for the laboring women, Margaret would stand off to the side and cry, inducing in all those present great feelings of guilt and compunction.785 And although Giunta reassures his reader that Margaret was able to recite all of the canonical hours (even adding in a few extra prayers) without ignoring the laboring women around her, he notes that her duties as a midwife often left her unable to attend Mass and sermons.786 In order for her to be able both to devote herself to the care of others and pursue her spiritual goals, Giunta reasons, Margaret would need a wealthy patron.787 A noblewoman named Diabella responded to this need and donated her house so that Margaret could found a "hospitium" or "domus misericordia"7** In this house, Giunta tells us, Margaret founded a refuge not only for


Legenda, p. 186: "Quibus licet cibaria que ipsarum statui competebant deliciose pararet, ita in quadragesimalibus cibis continuabat ieiunia ac si quadragesimale tempus adesset." 785

Legenda, pp. 186-187: "Ibique cantantibus aliis adlanguentis solarium, sola seorsum adeo liquefiebat infletu, quod cantantes ibidem conuertebat adplanctum et merentes cum ea sua cantica suspendebant. Hec est ilia Margarita que tamferuenter astantibus de Dei misericordia loquebatur atque seueritate iustitie, quod nullum cor astantium reperiebatur ita secularibus deliciis deditum, quodse a lamentispre colore uerborum ipsius defenderet...Hec est ilia que balneum preparans dominabus, in lauacro solummodo fletuum se lauabat..." 786

Legenda, p. 187: "Ibique famulatus parienti non subtrahens, summa cum diligentia horas canonicas cum aliis deuotis orationibus quas horis addebat, Domino nostro integraliterpersoluebat...Et quoniam predictorum obsequiorum de causa, de missis et predicationibus Domini famula Christo seruire nequibat ad uotum, se subtraxit celeriter aprefato seruitio dominarum et querens solitas consolationes recipere et ad desiderata citius largienda, largum dominum cepit precibus inuitare." 787



While the text states that Margaret began her domus misericordia in Diabella's house, I am aware that the text also mentions in the previous sentence that Margaret needed to find a "largus dominus," in other words, a male patron. Relying on both da Pelago's and Nuti's 's conclusions, scholars have suggested that this might be a reference to either Uguccio dei Casali or his son, Guglielmino. This would move the beginning of the Casali's involvement with Margaret to a much earlier date. I have found no other information to confirm or deny connecting the Casali with Margaret's "largus dominus." For a good summary of the scholarship on this issue, see Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, p. 74.

267 the city's poor but also a place dedicated to attending to sick friars, in gratitude for the care they had offered her.789 The Legenda's information about Margaret's role in the founding of one of Cortona's charitable institutions is quite limited, however. Giunta establishes that by founding the domus, Margaret had found a way to attend both to the needs of the poor and her own penitential program. His description of the content of her charity work is quite minimal. Giunta tells his reader that after founding the domus, Margaret gave everything she could to the poor, saved nothing for herself, and each year, on the feast of John the Baptist, distributed food to the needy.790 Unlike the portrayals in the vitae of the other lay saints I have discussed, the Legenda does not present Margaret's civic charity as a primary indication of her sanctity. Instead, Margaret's charity work is most often used in the text to illustrate her radical transformation. Her attention to others is all the more noteworthy, the text seems to argue, in light of the amount of attention she had once Legenda, p. 187: "Certe in domo domine Diabelle, in qua Pater misericordiarum et luminum tanta Margaritam misericordie pietate dotauit, ut ipsam domum in hospitium misericordie commutaret. Adhanc domum Margarita cor suumposuit et ipsam in usumpauperum adeo computauit, ut temporibus oportunis penitus uellet quod nee mobilibus nee immobilibus ad subuentionem pauperum largius peragendam uel in minimo parceretur, et suis plantatoribus non ingrata, iussit et ordinauit ut infirmarie fratrum minorum de Cortona de rebus predicte domus misericordie, necessitas infirmorum fratrum plenarie semper ministraretur." A fifteenth-century document suggests some confusion over which charitable institution Margaret founded in the city. This document claims that Margaret had founded Cortona's Fraternitas Sancte Marie de Misericordia (FSM), an organization that oversaw Cortona's Ospedale della Misericordia. This 1421 document, written by Uguccione di Lando, the present prior of FSM has been transcribed by da Pelago, see Antica legenda: Registro, n. XXIV; see also Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, p. 75; and Bruno Fresucci, "Attivita sociale di S. Margherita," in Cortona a Santa Margherita nel VII centenario della "conversione" 1272-1972 (Cortona: Calosci, 1973), pp. 55-59. Two thirteenth-century documents, a charter offering Bishop Guglielmino of Arezzo's approval of the fraternity and the FSMs first statutes, make no mention of Margaret, however. For Bishop Guglielmino's charter, see Fresucci, "Attivita sociale di S. Margherita," pp. 56-57; and for the fraternity's statutes, see Piero Scapecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese," pp. 196-202. Scholars have been unable to determine when Margaret founded the domus misericordia mentioned in the Legenda but suspect that it was one of the charitable organizations or hospices that the FSM managed. See Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, pp. 72-77; and Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 192-193. 790

Legenda, p. 188: "Tunc temporis Margarita in cuntis rebus Christo deuota, ad honorem Batiste, quern sibi in advocatum elegerat, festum pauperibus faciens annuatim, de suarum laboribus manuum pauperes, se ac filiumpriuando, quosparauerat cibis sollicite satiabat."

given to herself. Giunta tells his reader that, as Margaret's reputation for charity spread, the poor stopped begging at the homes of the rich and came looking for alms instead at her cell.791 In the process of trying to take on the suffering of others, Margaret came to realize that the performance of good works was the most effective demonstration of her devotion. In begging in the streets and giving away every last bit of her and her son's food and possessions, Margaret had found, along with her frequent prayers and confessions, another means to "erase the memory of the worldly honor and vanity of her former life."792 Thus charity work occupies a secondary position in the portrayal of lay sanctity in this text. While there are a few passing references in the rest of the text to Margaret's commitment to giving all that she had to the poor, Giunta's most extensive discussion of Margaret's charity work comes at the beginning of the second chapter "De perfecta conversione ipsius addeum." The title Giunta gave to this chapter indicates that, in his estimation, Margaret's charity work constituted the beginning of her religious life and not, as we have seen in so many of the vitae of lay saints who preceded her, the culmination and most perfect expression of that lay religious life. Thus in the Legenda, charity work is used as a barometer for the extent to which Margaret has transformed herself from a vain concubine to a devoted lay penitent.


Legenda, p.188: "0 agnitapie matrispietas, que adeopauperes et egenos actraxit, utrelictis diuitum hostiis, ad sue cellule hostium, in quaparum immo nichil quasi tenebat, turmatim congregabantur!" 792

Legenda, p. 189: "In tarn dolorosis amarisque fletibus etsuspiriis nunc de suis defectibus, nunc de Iesu Christipassione conceptis posita, sciens quoduere dilectionis euidentissimum signum est operum exhibitio recta, ad exterminationem pristine uite uanique honoris seculipro elimosina cepit ire per terram, nullius domum ingrediens nulliusque faciem hominis intuendo... Verumtamen tanta postea sibi ad pauperes inerat pietas maternalis, quod pro amore inopum panes integros recipere nullatenus recusabat. Hec est ilia Margarita que capsam donans et uasa pauperibus tribuens, panempro suo uictu in ollafracta et lapide tectapaupertatis amore recondidit."

"Deserts are not relevant today": Margaret's Desire for a Solitary Life As word spread through Cortona of the intensity of Margaret's penitential life and of the visions she experienced, the Cortonesi began to distinguish her from other lay penitents in the city and actively sought her out. The Legenda reports that they sat outside her cell near San Francesco, begged her to perform baptisms, and, when they heard she was experiencing a vision, rushed to her side so that they could witness her often dramatic behavior. Margaret had become the city's holy woman. But Margaret's identity and history complicated her assumption of that role. Margaret arrived in Cortona as a fallen woman, connected only to her bastard son. As I have suggested, one can imagine that her interest in affiliating herself with the Cortonese Franciscans had at least two impetuses: the friars were the most powerful religious order in the city, and as such, would have been an attractive patron for any lay penitent; they could also give Margaret the social and institutional protection she needed. Without spouse, father or employer to claim her, Margaret is not only an anomaly among lay saints venerated in the late medieval Italian communes but must also have been seen as an anomaly among her fellow Cortonesi. The Legenda's descriptions of Margaret's experiences living within Cortona, before she moved to San Basilio, portray two dominant aspects of her life as the city's holy woman: the growth of Margaret's spiritual gifts along with the anxiety and ambivalence that the expression of those gifts engendered in her fellow city-dwellers as well as her Franciscan guardians. The text most clearly articulates both of these aspects in its treatment of Margaret's desire to live as a recluse, her public penitential acts and visions while she was living in the center of Cortona and the development of her

270 relationship with the Cortonese Franciscans. In many passages, the idea emerges that Margaret's past life and present identity had the potential to shame and dishonor not only her but also those who had come to support and revere her. While Giunta does not present Margaret as having struggled much to balance her working life with her spiritual life, he does see her as having a difficult time reconciling her desire to live as a recluse with the various commitments and connections that kept her actively involved in her city. Giunta writes that after she received the habit of penance from the Friars Minor, Margaret appeared as a new woman. She had been so transformed, Giunta adds, that she "sought a solitary place where she could remain hidden and refrain from worldly conversation." Here, Giunta concludes, Margaret could be united with Christ, as a new Magdalen, through her mediation, prayers, tears and fasts.793 Medieval legends claimed that the Magdalen had lived as a recluse after Jesus' death and Giunta wants to emphasize how both Margaret's desire for a solitary life and her status as a redeemed sinner connect her to the Magdalen.794 But Margaret's desire to live a solitary life might strike the reader as odd; after all, she had just finally been admitted to the Franciscan community she had been seeking so intently to join. Why would joining the Franciscans make her want to "remain hidden," "refrain from worldly conversation" and, in effect, withdraw from her new community?

Legenda, p. 185: "Recepto igitur afratribus minoribuspenitentie habitu, moxper SanctiSpiritus infusionem nouafemina uisa est. Nam sic earn in se transformauit supernus ignis amoris, ut ex tunc antiori cura studeretperquirere qualiter se in solitario loco absconderet, turn ne cum hiis qui de terrenis rebus locuntur, loquendi haberet materiam, turn quia regi omnium seculorum ut noua Madalena meditando, orando, flendo et ieiunando, sine medio iungi optabat." 794

On legends regarding Mary Magdalen's eremitical life, see Jansen, The Making of the Magdalen, pp. 116-142. For Margaret as a "new Magdalen," see Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae,' pp. 141-168; and Jansen, The Making of the Magdalen, pp. 136, 261,280, and passim.

271 Giunta attributes Margaret's longing to become a recluse to the difficulties and distractions she encountered as her reputation as a visionary spread and requests for her presence at baptisms, healings, and exorcisms increased. As Cortona's holy woman, Margaret found that the demands on her time and alleged spiritual powers kept her from completing her schedule of prayer. Women would bother her while she prayed inside of San Francesco and when she stayed within her cell near the church.795 Giunta writes that a crowd of women often stood outside of Margaret's cell because there they would become inspired by "the ecstasies that they saw and heard."796 Requests for Margaret's presence at baptisms were constant, leaving Margaret conflicted about what the right course of action might be for her; while she did not want to be a part of worldly occasions, she also worried that she might "lose merit" by declining such requests.797 In several conversations recorded in the Legenda, Margaret begs Christ to release her from feeling conflicted and allow her to live as a recluse. And while Christ does eventually give Margaret his permission to move to San Basilio, there are many conversations in the text in which Christ rejects Margaret's pleas and offers her the same basic response: she must rely upon her Franciscan guardians in order to live as close to a reclusive life as she can while still remaining a part of her civic community.


Legenda, pp. 197 and 371.


Legenda, p. 250: "Qua ex re sepe ad uocemflentiset in oratione cum Deo sepe loquentis, uicine domine cum magna deuotione currebant et extra celle hostiolum obseruantes cum inundantia lacrimarum orantem, seseque in uisis et auditis feruoribus ad diuinum amorem renouabant." 797

Legenda, p. 207: 'We crebrescente fama honorabilior haberetur, curam cepit relinquere de pueris baptizandis, a quorum parentibus cum deuotione requirebatur. Agebat hoc propter discursum nimium quern spernebat. Dum uero super tali meditaretur proposito et tanti boni meritum perdere dubitaret, in magno perplexitatis agone posita, uidit uenientem adse matremfiliiprocuratorsminorumfratrum,ut filiumfilii baptizaret."

For example, Giunta writes that, one night, as Margaret thought about the necessity of solitude for dedicated prayer, she asked Christ to allow her to remain in her cell because too many pious women interrupted her meditations in San Francesco. Margaret believed that in her cell she could "be removed from the noise of the world" and not suffer the embarrassment she felt when she was seen receiving divine consolations publicly.798 The Legenda reports that Christ denied Margaret's request, reminding her that in order for her to taste his sufferings, as she had so often asked to do, she must, in preparation, experience hardships.799 Those hardships included, according to Christ's words to Margaret, leaving her cell but remaining silent as she made her way through the city. Christ repeats this advice several times throughout the text: Margaret is to refrain from speaking to secular people and instead speak only with her Franciscan guardians.800 In the passage above, in which Margaret complains that women were constantly interrupting her prayers in San Francesco, Christ reminds Margaret that she should not speak with secular people because, in the past, she had been harmed by those conversations. Christ encourages her to rely solely on her Franciscan guardians since they were responsible for her salvation.801 Thus, Christ outlines a difficult life for

Legenda, p. 197: "Nocte quadam in octaua Ephyphanie, dum sola in cella oraret, considerans quod orationi uacantibus solitudo necessaria est, petiit sibi concedi a Domino ne ulterius de cella exiret, turn quia deuote domine circumdabant earn in oratorio beatipatris sui Francisci et sepe suis uerbis impediebant orantem, turn quia cella a strepitu mundanorum erat semota, turn quia corpus grauabatur nimis discurrere debilitatum langoribus ex penitentie austeritate contractis, turn etiam quia consolationes diuinas in publico recipere recusabat." 799

Legenda, p. 197: "Eterna ueroprouidentia que congruis coaptat cuncta temporibus, non uotis condescendens set fructui, tale dedit Margarite responsum, dicens: 'Curpetis, o Margarita, meas incessanter gustare dulcedines et amaritudines disponentes ad ipsaspregustare non uis?" 800


For example, see Legenda, pp. 327-328, and 371.

Legenda, pp. 197-198: "Nam si /tunc modum deuote seruaueris, tibi non solum pro te, uerum etiam pro meis fidelibus magna et utilissima reuelabo. Et caue ne timeas unquam creaturam aliquam plus quam me

273 Margaret—withdrawn from the world while still a part of that world—that becomes more feasible with the help of the Cortonese Franciscans. In another episode, Margaret berates herself for having eaten the figs (a particular weakness of hers) that a few devout ladies, who thought her penitential practices were often too harsh, had prepared and brought to her cell near San Francesco.802 Ashamed of her weakness, Margaret again begs Christ to allow her to live as a recluse, asking him if she could live as the Magdalen had lived. But again, Christ rejects her request, telling her that he "did not intend" her "to live in the desert" since, as he states, "deserts are not relevant today. You can remain solitary in your own land, as if you were in a vast desert." Christ concludes this conversation by again urging Margaret to rely upon her Franciscan guardians to help her create a solitary life in the midst of the city. He tells her that the Friars Minor will provide Margaret with a servant who will help her live in silence in the city as if she were alone in a desert.803 The challenge Christ poses to Margaret, that she live within the city among other laymen and women but remain silent, reflects an inherent difficulty of lay sanctity that we see appear in the vitae of other lay civic saints in communal Italy. As Christ reminds Margaret, her access to spiritual gifts depends upon her ability to endure the hardship of being both of the world and, at the same time, fundamentally removed from that world. et nee oculum dirigas siuefigas in uultus tecum loquentium personarum: quanto enim plus fueris a talium colloquiis separata, tanto tibi ero propinquior; et tanto menti tue ero domesticus et humanus, quanto cum seculo inueniam te siluestrem. Defratribus uero minoribus quimittentur adte, non intelligas hoc tibi mandari, quia ipsisunt tue salutis occasio...Recordare quotiens dampnosa extititfamiliaris allocutio secularium personarum, quot et quales penas inde traxeris et sustinebis adhuc, nisiplenius solito te correxeris." S02

Legenda, p. 210.


Legenda, p. 211: 'Tw etiam statum Magdalene quantum ad solitudinem cum desiderio postulasti et quamuis to in desertum non destinem, cum deserta non sint his apta temporibus, ita siluestris maneas intra terram, sicut si intra uasta deserta maneres. Ibique fratres minores, quorum te cure commisi, filia, et commicto, personam tibi assignent, que seruiat tuis necessitatibus cum silentio."

274 We have seen other lay saints charged with a similar task. Zita of Lucca's status as a domestic servant made it impossible for her to devote her time exclusively to a penitential program. Her work kept her entrenched in a world her religious ideals urged her to reject. Zita found a way to turn her daily chores into spiritual and charitable opportunities and thus was able to be a member of the secular world while not being completely subject to that world. Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza complained that his working life distracted him from his religious duties until he began to deliver workshop sermons to his co-workers. And finally, when Pier 'Pettinaio' of Siena began to sell his wares for a "just price," his commercial interests allied with his religious ones. In the vitae of these communal lay saints, charity work becomes the key to overcoming the challenge of being both of the world but at the same time, removed or protected from its vices. Zita's, Raimondo's and Pietro's labor not only protected them from the dangers of urban lay life while still allowing them to actively partake in their civic communities but also gave them opportunities to perform charity. While the text presents Margaret's founding of the domus misericordia as having allowed her to devote herself simultaneously to her work and religious duties, this charitable institution does not function as a complete solution to the dangers of the secular world. Instead, as each of Christ's responses to Margaret's pleas to allow her to live as a recluse show, the Legenda repeatedly presents the Cortonese Franciscans as that solution. Only with the help of her Franciscan guardians, Margaret could remain a model of lay piety in the midst of a sinful world. Nancy Caciola has argued that the Legenda often presents Margaret as consciously fashioning herself into a saint. In one passage, Giunta reports that she told a

275 crowd of women mocking her transformation from a concubine to a lay penitent that one day they would come to visit her as pilgrims because "the time will come when you will call me holy, because I will in fact be holy."804 Margaret's desire to live as a recluse can be understood, in part, as an aspect of that self-fashioning. The female urban recluse was, by the late thirteenth-century, an established phenomenon in Italian cities. Local cults dedicated to women such as Verdiana of Castelfiorentino (d. 1241) and Umiliana dei Cerchi (d. 1246) celebrated these laywomen for their lives as civic recluses.805 After working as a domestic servant, Verdiana had retired to a cell she had built attached to a recently constructed church outside of the walls of Castelfiorentino.806 Umiliana came from a wealthy background and after the death of her husband spent much of the remainder of her short life (she died when she was 26) living in a room in her noble family's tower in Florence.807 While an urban recluse was a familiar saintly model in late thirteenth-century Italy, Margaret's identity, as a lay penitent who was an illegitimate widow and had no social connections beyond her Franciscan guardians, did not conform Caciola, Discerning Spirits, p. 102; and Legenda, p. 184: "Et ipsa dicebat: 'Adhuc tempus adueniet, in quo me nominabitis sanctam cum sanctafuero et uisitabitis me cum baculo peregrino, scarsellis pendendibus adhumeris uestris'." 805

On urban recluses in medieval Italy, see Benvenuti Papi "Velut in sepulcro," in 'In castropoenitentiae', pp. 263-414; Casagrande, "Oltre lo spazio istituzionale: il fenomeno della reclusione volontaria," in Religiositapenitenziale, pp. 17-74; Sensi, Storia di bizzoche tra Umbria e Marche; and idem, "Anchoresses and Penitents in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Umbria," in Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, pp. 56-83. While Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker's work focuses on urban recluses in northern Europe, her introductory essay is very useful guide to the larger phenomenon of medieval urban recluses, see Lives of the Anchoresses, pp 1-23. And on female recluses in Renaissance Italy, see Gabriella Zarri, he sante vive: Profezie dicorte e devozione femminile tra '400 e '500 (Turin: Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990); for an English translation of a large piece of Zarri's study, see "Living Saints: A Typology of Female Sanctity in the Early Sixteenth Century," in Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, pp. 219-303. 806

On Verdiana of Castelfiorentino, see Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae', pp. 263-305; and Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 195-196. 807

On Umiliana dei Cerchi, see Benvenuti Papi, 'In castro poenitentiae', pp. 59-86 and passim; also see Anne M. Schuchman, '"Within the Walls of Paradise': Umiliana de'Cerchi and the Changing Rhetoric of Sanctity."

276 to any existing models. Margaret's wish to escape the distractions of the secular world was perhaps an attempt to adopt an identity that would allow her to pursue her religious life according to more established norms. When we look closely at those passages that describe Margaret's desire for a reclusive life as well as Christ's responses, it becomes clear that while Margaret was struggling to fit into an established religious type, her Franciscan guardians were also struggling to come to terms with Margaret's identity. As Giunta emphasizes in his description of Margaret's entry into the friars' penitential order, although the Cortonese Franciscans finally received Margaret "as their daughter" in 1277, those same friars had rejected Margaret on several previous occasions. Too pretty, too young and, as we can imagine, having too scandalous a past, Margaret was viewed by the Cortonese friars with skepticism from the beginning. The Legenda portrays the friars' skepticism and concern as continuing well beyond Margaret's entry into their penitential order and is particularly evident in those passages in which Christ urges Margaret to use her mendicant guardians to help her live a saintly but worldly lay life. For example, after Christ has told Margaret that she must use the Franciscans to help her live within the city as if she were living in a vast desert, he tells her that she will be given no task that might detract from the friars' honor. Moreover, Christ tells Margaret not to bleach her veil. She need not worry, he tells her, that the stench will make the friars sick. Christ reminds her that when she first came to them with "the stench of your sins" not one of them shrank from her.808 Christ's

Legenda, p. 211: "A fratribus autem, quos tibi dedi in patres, nil recipias seruitii uel laboris quod ipsorum possit honoribus derogare. Iniungo etiam tibi ut capitis uelum de petioles factum omnipriuetur albedine. Et si times nefiliorum meorum fratrum minorum accedentium ad te stomaci sordem panni abhorreant, non de hoc oportet quod dubites, quia dum prius te misi ad eos etposui sub eorum sancta custodia, cum in tuis adhucfeteres defectibus, te propter amorem meum nullus abhorruit set infiliam receperunt. Quanto magis ergofaciam, quando te consecraui in tabernaculum meum, quod non

277 instructions suggest that the possibility of shame and dishonor was ever present for the Franciscans when they interacted with Margaret. His assurances that her unwashed veil would not make the friars feel nauseous implies that aspects of Margaret's religious life in fact did have the potential to repulse her guardians. After all, as Christ reminds us, Margaret was once covered with the stench of her sins. As we shall see in the following section, the public and often dramatic nature of Margaret's religious life made her Franciscan guardians anxious about both the sincerity of her claims and the orthodoxy of her spirituality. In the passage above, however, we can begin to see that standing behind much of the Franciscans' anxiety was the idea that Margaret's past sins could not only continue to mark her but also potentially disgust, shame, and dishonor her guardians.

A Public Penitent: Margaret's Religious Life in Cortona We can imagine that Margaret saw both an association with the Cortonese Franciscans and a solitary life as two viable paths to holiness. And yet, both the Franciscans' and Christ's response to Margaret's wish to live as a recluse emphasize the difficulty she had shedding her former sinful identity; although Christ urges Margaret to rely on her Franciscan guardians to live a saintly life in the midst of the city, the friars continue to be wary of their new charge. In passages that seem to describe Margaret's life as a lay penitent before she moved to San Basilio, the Legenda reveals that even though she may have relied on the friars, Margaret's religious life was far from silent. More often than not, the text portrays Margaret's attempts to redeem herself through penance and prayer as a public event while she was living in the city-center.

uilipendent te ex fetore panniculi? Ibipie consolabor te et uisitationes meas suauitate plenissimas degustabis."

278 In addition to the extremes she went to denying herself food and bodily comforts, Margaret often focused her penitential efforts on punishing herself publicly for her sinful past. Giunta writes that both he and his fellow Cortonese Franciscans found many of Margaret's efforts troubling and often felt the need to restrain her. In one passage, Giunta recounts how he stopped Margaret from carrying out her plan to "shame herself before all of those who had heard her brag about her possessions." Giunta writes that Margaret wanted to return to Montepulciano, with her head shaven and wearing only a slip. She imagined that another woman would lead her through the streets on a leash, crying out: "Here is Margaret, dear people, who has harmed so many in your town with her arrogance, her vanity and her bad example."809 Giunta recounts that "under pain of obedience" he was able to stop Margaret after reasoning with her that not only was it dangerous for young women to make long trips but also that "sometimes self-contempt can actually increase one's pride." Giunta concludes this passage by noting that Margaret did gain some merit from having the impulse to shame herself and would eventually be rewarded for her obedience.810 In another passage, Giunta describes a time when he again had to restrain Margaret's penitential ambitions. He writes that Margaret longed to disfigure her


Legenda, pp. 204-205: "Quapropter adMontem Pollicianum arripere suum iter decreuerat etper Mam terram, in qua uariisfuerat ornata uestibus, per quam auro insertis crinibus, eques et pedes picta facie, sui uiri opulentiam demonstrando incesserat, in sui abiectionem honoris, tonso capite, semicintiis induta, hostiatim uolebat ab illis elemosinam petere apud quos gloriatafuerat rerum copiis habundasse. Ordinauerat etiam tunc mulierem quondam secum ducere, que ipsam uelatam facie duceret ueludcecam et perfunem in collo, positum retineret et uoce precoma diceret: 'Hec est ilia Margarita, karissimi, que olim suis moribus in elationem erectis, sua uana gloria et malis exemplis multas in terra uestra animas uulnerauit."' 810

Legenda, p. 205: "Set ego suus confessor filie patriarche lacob discursum commemorans, et attendens quod mulieribus in iuuentutis flore constitutis non sunt de facii prolixiorum itinerum concedende licentie, et quod indiscreti feruoris impetus sunt discretionis chatno sepe frenandi, et quia sui contemptus est aliquando maioris elationis occasio, per obedientiam eiprorsus inhibui quod bona uoluntas sibi sufficeret in hac parte, ut merito tantipropositi non careret et premium obedientie reciperet infuturo."

279 beautiful face. Although she reassured Giunta that she would not go so far as to kill herself, Margaret admitted that she had found a knife with which she had planned to cut her nose and upper lip. Margaret reasoned with him, saying that she wanted to "make up my offenses toward God by mutilating my body." But Giunta forbade Margaret from cutting herself and told her that if she were to disobey him he would stop hearing her confession and the other friars would stop caring for her.811 We can imagine that Giunta's threat of abandonment carried a great deal of weight with Margaret. The prospect of this "illegitimate widow" losing her only real source of support and patronage must have been terrifying and seems to have compelled Margaret to listen to Giunta's warnings. The reasoning Giunta uses to restrain Margaret's actions again seems to point back to Margaret's former life. Giunta has already told us that Margaret took pride in parading up and down the streets of Montepulciano, dressed in clothes that marked her as a nobleman's lover. Giunta warns Margaret that her penitential enthusiasm has the potential to increase her sense of pride, emphasizing that Margaret's former shame and sin could always threaten her present actions. The Legenda also contains passages that describe the times when Margaret was able to carry through with some of the acts of penance she envisioned. The reader learns


Legenda, p. 205-206: "Nouis uteris remediis, Christifamula Margarita, prefer tante artitudinis abstinentiam, asperitatis disciplinas et afflictiones corporeas quas in sui consumptionem corporis auidissime renouauit, quia decor faciei eius non abolebatur citissime secundum desiderium suum, inusitatum genus excogitauit supplicii, ut in sui speciosi uultus deformitatem incurreretperoptatam...dixit michi: 'Pater mi, uestra michi concedatpietas, ut contra meum corpus quodtantum hodio possim nunc agere que diutius concupiui et ut uestra inhibitio non impediat mee spiritualis impetum uoluntatis. Certam conscientiam uestra reddo quod quamuis libenterfacer em, letaliter me non ledam '...'Et merito' inquit 'hec uigilanter desidero, quia uultus mei decor multorum animas uulnerauit. Cum igitur de me ipsa uelim, propter offensum Deum, uindictam expetere et speciem mei corporis in deformitatem conuertere, supplico ut sacrificium preordinatum de uestra licentia sine impedimento Christo largiar regi nostro.' Ad quam ego conuersus dixi: 'Filia, hoc nulla tibi ratione concedam... Quare si attemptaueris quodcogitasti explere, te de cetero in confessione non audiam et anime tue curam, una cum meis fratribus, omnino relinquam."' Bynum has noted how late medieval theologians often urged religious women to restrain their asceticism and Eucharistic devotion; see Holy Feast, Holy Fast, pp. 237-244.

280 that Margaret accused herself "out-loud" of having both violated God's laws and bringing scandal to her neighbors; she asked her fellow Cortonesi if they thought God would ever forgive "the worst of sinners" such as herself.812 Although Giunta had forbidden her from destroying her face, Margaret shaved her head and wore rags to replace the gold and pearls that had once covered her hair.813 And while Giunta had stopped her from returning to Montepulciano, Margaret did return to her hometown of Laviano, where she entered the parish church with a rope around her neck and was able to convince another woman to become a penitent.814 Back in Cortona, on one Good Friday, Giunta writes that Margaret ran through the streets of Cortona, "as if she were drunk, weeping and groaning, like a mother who had just lost her son." Giunta recounts that Margaret stopped her circuit of the city when she reached the Franciscans' convent but would have continued on to other churches if her sense of decency and fear of the friars had not QIC

restrained her.


Legenda, p. 217: "Ex suorum consideratione defectuum ad tarn profundam humilitatem Deifamula Margarita descenderat, ut altissima uoce cum inconsolabilifletu exprimeret qualiter omnium conditorem offenderat et quibus modis per diuinorum inobedientiam preceptorum, corda dehedificauerat proximorum. Interpellabat non solum cum lacrimis et suspiriis sanctospro suorum impetranda remissione peccaminum, uerum etiam seculares in limo mundialium uitiorum defixos interrogabat, ut ebria, si Deus, impiorum ultor, unquam parceret maxime peccatricum, dicens: 'Creditisne, karissimipatres et matres, quod Deus omnipotens exulem suam uelit de cetero in suam gratiam misericorditer reuocare?' Et hec dicendo, ita tremebat et infrigidabatur uniuersaliter cum sudore, sicut ad capitalem sententiam duceretur." 813

Legenda, p. 217: "Tunc memor Margarita existens honorum indigne sibi exibitorum in seculo, in abiectionem sui, capillos radendo abiecit et caput hactenus auro et margaritas ornatum, uilissimispetiolis alligauit." 814

Legenda, p. 217: "Post modicum, quadam die dominica, Lauianum, ubi ortafuerat et nutrita, se transtulit et infra missarum sollempnia adcollum coram populo cingulopro torque ligato, ad pedes prouoluta domine Manantesse, indulgentiam cum tarn inundantiprofluuio lacrimarum petiit, quod omnes asstantes infletum et admirationem adduxit. Hanc postea dominam in tantum dilexit, quod sua predicatione, ordinis penitentum habitum induit et quousque corporaliter uixit in mundo, parauit hospitium, alimenta necessaria que sibi subtrahebat exibuit et se exuendo, earn proprio indumenta uestiuit."

281 The simile Giunta uses—that Margaret groaned "like a mother who had just lost her son"—reminds us of Margaret's motherhood. The Legenda relates that Margaret viewed her son as both evidence of her former shame and a distraction from her life of penance. Giunta reports that Margaret rarely spoke to her son and had stopped preparing him meals so she could prepare meals for the poor instead.816 Barbara Newman has shown that the theme of "maternal martyrdom" was quite common in the vitae of thirteenth-century Italian female saints.817 The Legenda, like so many other vitae of late medieval mother-saints, celebrates Margaret's neglect of her son; Margaret demonstrates 010

her religious commitment by preferring to care for the poor over tending to her son. But Giunta's description of the maternal quality of Margaret's moaning on Good Friday seems also aimed at suggesting the circumstances that led to Margaret's running through the streets groaning in the first place. In other words, Margaret cannot shake her former identity. Even in her moments of penitential exuberance, she is still marked by her identity as a fallen woman, the mother of a bastard son. Legenda. p. 251: " Vnde in Parasceue Domini doloris impetus uiolentus ipsam expulit extra cellam et tonso capite, uelut ebria, sicut mater ammisso filio, flebat Dominum, eundo uociferando per terram usque ad locum minorum fratrum, quibus earn recommendauerat Iesus Christus, iuissetque tunc per omnes ecclesias, si admirabilis eius honestas et timorfratrum non cohibuisset eandem." 816

Legenda, pp.189-190: "Hec est ilia que euangelicum uerbum perfecte impleuit, quandopre amore dilecti sui sponsi Iesu, unicumfilium expulit et illipauperes, peregrinos et notospro Christo preponens, rebus sibi deputatisad usum se diligenter sepe priuauit. Ad hanc igitur uerebantur seculares accedere, turn quia raw loquebatur in cella, turn quia eternum adeo filio uterino preponebat amorem, ut nil ei conquere uellet ne tempus impediretur orandi, turn quia raro secum loquebatur eidem. Dicebat namque: 'Fili mi, cum ad cellam redieris, sicut cibum crudum inueneris ita sume tenendo silentium, quia tempus diuinis laudibus impendendum in te nulla ratione distribuam.' Et quamuis circa suum sefilium sic haberet, nichillom inus carnes, pisces et diuersa pro pauper ibus Christi parabat cibaria, in quorum occupata misteriis tempus non se dicebat amittere, cum spiritus suggereret hec exercere, non caro." 817

Barbara Newman, '"Crueel Corage': Child Sacrifice and the Maternal Martyr in Hagiography and Romance," in From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), pp. 76-107; for Newman's specific discussion of Margaret, see pp. 87-88 and 93-94. Newman, "Crueel Corage," p. 88.

282 As we have seen, Giunta emphasizes Margaret's sinful potential by noting the way in which her actions needed to be curtailed. The threats he made were effective. Faced with the possibility of losing her confessors and patrons, Margaret restrained some of her more dramatic penitential desires. But as the Legenda depicts, the public and often dramatic manner of Margaret's religious expression within Cortona could also provoke witnesses to consider their own sinful lives. For example, in another episode that details one of Margaret's many acts of public penance, Giunta reports that one night, as she thought about her own worthlessness, the devil began to tempt her with reports about her growing fame. The devil told Margaret that Christ had given her so many virtues that she had become famous among people of all ranks and reminded her of how many people were coming to visit her. Margaret's response to the devil's observations both confirms his words at the same time as it recasts their significance. After hearing the devil's taunts, Margaret passed part of the night in silence. Before the night was over, however, Margaret got up and began to shout from the balcony of the house where she was staying (the text does not make it clear, but it seems likely that this was the house of Marinaria and Raniera, the lay penitents who offered Margaret and her son refuge when they first arrived in Cortona), saying, "Get up, people of Cortona, get up! Arise I tell you, and drive me out of town with stones, for I am a sinner who has transgressed against God and my neighbors!" As Margaret continued to weep and wail, Giunta reports that people came from all around to see Margaret and having "only admiration and compassion," they returned to their homes "inspired" and "full of remorse for their own sins."819 Just as the


Legenda, p. 204: "At Margarita que solius eterni Dei querebat gloriam, nocturni silentii tempus expectans, cepit uicinis quiescentibus de solario sibiprestite domus Tarduli cumfletu clamare, dicens: 'Surgite, Cortonenses, surgite—dico—surgite et sine more dispendio cum lapidibus de uestra expellite me regione: nam ego sum ilia peccatrix que hec et hec contra Deum etproximum egi.' Et descripta per

283 devil had told her, the narration of this episode seems to indicate that Margaret had become famous in her adopted city. Margaret's public act becomes the impetus for those witnesses to reflect upon their own sins. Giunta's recounting of this episode calls attention to the potential danger of Margaret's growing reputation and fame as well as the practical influence her outbursts could have over her fellow Cortonesi. While Margaret's past sins might have the potential to corrupt her religious rigor, they also made Margaret's new identity as a penitent all the more powerful and inspirational to those around her. The Legenda also contains a number of passages that describe visions Margaret received while she was living in the center of Cortona. In these passages, we can see a similar dual emphasis on Margaret's potential for shame or dishonor and the actual sanctity her experiences convey. For example, Giunta writes that one day Margaret asked him not to leave his convent after she learned that she would experience a "mental crucifixion" inside San Francesco.820 Giunta does not seem to have listened to Margaret and describes in detail what he witnessed of Margaret's behavior. As "Margaret's soul became completely absorbed in God," she narrated to those around her each moment of Christ's passion as it was unfolding in her head: "Now I see him being led from the palace of Pilate outside the city.. .Now the Jews insult and murmur against him.. .Now he crises out in a loud voice and commends his spirit to God the father."821 In addition to

ordinem cum innundantia lacrimarum, excitando uicinos undique, preterita uitia sua, pre admiratione, compassione et hedificatione plenissima onmes in suis compungebantur cubiculis, gratias Domino cum lacrimis referentes." 820

Legenda, p. 242-243: "Horaque predicta, dum uenisset ad locum, me suum confessorem et indignum baiulum requirens, humiliterpro specialipoposcit gratia quatenus nulla ratione locumfratrumegrederer, quia sicut sibifuerat reuelatum a Domino debebat ad crucem die ilia mentaliter crucifigi."

284 describing each moment of Christ's passion, Margaret's body portrayed the drama of what she was experiencing. Giunta writes that her movements were so striking that "we believed she was about to die." Margaret ground her teeth and twisted her body until she turned pale, her pulse stopped and "her body became cold as ice."822 When she finally completed her recounting of the Passion, Giunta reports that Margaret lowered her head and did not move for several hours, leaving those around her convinced that she had died.

Giunta writes that it was not just the friars who had witnessed and been affected

by Margaret's vision but that the people of Cortona had also been moved. Many Cortonesi left their work as well as infants in their cribs and the sick in their beds in order to witness Margaret's mental crucifixion.824 Giunta tells us that when Margaret awoke, "as one who just rose from the dead," she was horrified to realize that she had experienced this vision in public and that her initial joy quickly turned to anxiety when she saw the people surrounding her. Margaret was distressed, Giunta points out that she had experienced Christ's Passion "in front of the people, rather than in her cell."825 But


Legenda, pp.243-244: "Finitis itaque missarum sollempniis, prope horam tertiam anitna ilia Deo deuota, fellepassionis potata et in Deum absorta, uidere cepitproditionisprocessum...Et dicebat: 'Nunc uideo eum depalatio extrahi, nunc extraportam duci et Simonem angariari...Nunc Iudei insultant et murmurant...Nunc indulget omnibus suis crucifixoribus etspiritum Deo Patrisuo, uoce altissima, recommendat." 822

Legenda, p. 244: "In qua tarn mirapatuerunt signa doloris, ut in mortis articulo crederemus earn penitus constitutam. Pre nimio enim uehementique dolore stridebat dentibus, torquebatur ut uermis et discolorabatur ad instar cineris, perdebat pulsum, ammictebat loquelam, glaciabatur totaliter et ita sunt facte rauce fauces eius, ut uix posset intelligi cum redibat ad sensum" 823

Legenda, p. 245: "Nimirum ubi morientis Domini et saluatoris hora, scilicet nona, peruenit et quod, inclinato capite, sacer ille spiritus emicitur, suum adeo capud reclinauit obliquatum in pec tore, ut omnes earn mortuam crederemus, amissispariter omnium membrorum motibus atque sensu." 824

Legenda, p. 244: "Hoc tarn nouum et compassioneplenum spectaculum ita Cortonenses omnes commouit, quodrelictis officiis suis et artibus, homines et mulieres, infantibus et languidis in cunis et lectulis decubantibus, pluribus uicibus ilia die oratorium nostri loci ad honorem beati Francisci sui et nostripatris constructum, infletu etpantu repleuerunt."

285 Christ reassured Margaret that her vision had been a public affair precisely because she was a "mirror of sinners," who could inspire even the most obstinate of sinners to be saved.826 Although Christ's words effectively convey to the reader that Margaret's behavior was a result of her piety and sanctity, the detailed description of Margaret's outbursts after her vision subtly suggests that Margaret's dramatic behavior had both worried and tested the patience of her confessor. Giunta writes that after her mental crucifixion, Margaret began to run around the city asking those she passed if they had seen the crucified Christ. Margaret's entreaties were so powerful that her state of anxiety, as Giunta describes it, left her unable to eat or sleep and moved those she encountered to tears.827 On the Sunday after her mental crucifixion, Giunta writes that during a sermon he was delivering in San Francesco, Margaret "could not restrain her impulses of sorrow" and stood up "in front of everyone" and began to shout "like someone out of her mind," asking Giunta if he knew where "the crucified Lord" had been taken.828 Her outburst was


Legenda, p.245: "Set quia uersa retrorsum in oratorio uidit multitudinem personarum, extrema gaudii occupauit timor amarus et cepit uehementer affligi, quia Deus ilium passionis dolorem in conspectu concesseratpopulorum et non in cella." 826

Legenda, p. 245: "At suorum amantium admirandus amator, Margarite sedans timorem dixit: 'De omnibus, que circa te et in te hodie acta sunt, non timeas neque dubites, quia tefeci speculum peccatorum quantumcumque obstinatorum, ut agnoscantper te quam libenter impertior eis meam misericordiam, ut saluentur."' 827

Legenda, pp. 245-246: "...credens eum sibisublatum, ebriata doloribus, incessanter cumfletibus, aha voce, ab omnibus quos uidebat suum crucifixum Dominum requirebat tarn pie, quod astantes uel sibi obuiantesprouocabat adfletum ardensque desiderio Christi, amoreplena, dicebat: 'Vidistis uos Dominum meum? Quo ibo, infelicissima, ut inueniam eum? O si tepossem uidere, Domine mi, quam infmito gaudio me repleres! Quero, suspiro, clamo, uigilo, laboro et deficit cor meum nee te inuenio, quia sublatus per duram mortem michifitisti. O angeli, homines et creature omnes, docete me Dominum meum crucifixum, quern quero et inuenire non possum! Heu! Heu! Quidfecisti, Domine mi, ut tarn uiliter et crudeliter tractaretur tua benignitas? Cur me dereliquisti, amor meus, ubi modo absconditus es, quia te uidere et audire desidero, nee audio neque uideo? Heu! Heu michi! Cur uiuo?' Et in hac sitisic anxia, in qua cibum dimisit et sompnum, stetit ab hora dicta usque ad mane sequenti dominice."

286 so potent that the entire congregation burst into tears. Giunta's irritation comes through when he describes that he was only able to regain control of his audience by assuring Margaret "in a loud voice" that Christ would make his presence known to all soon.829 Giunta reports that Margaret quickly submitted to his command and "sat back down in front of everyone, looking half-dead," but that after Mass she had returned to her cell, weeping and sighing as she continued to stop people in the street to ask them if they had seen Christ.830 The attention Giunta pays to what Margaret did after she had experienced her mental crucifixion suggests that he was observing how she behaved in public. Margaret's concern that she had experienced a vision of Christ's crucifixion in public also suggests that she found it upsetting to be the subject of such surveillance. And while Giunta ultimately assesses Margaret's public outburst as having been made with "sincerity and piety" and as having come from someone "full of love for Christ," his repeated mention that Margaret was acting like someone "out of her mind," and that she was in a state of acute anxiety, suggests that, to some extent, Margaret's behavior had been cause for concern.

Legenda, p. 246: "Dominica uero sequenti, dum in loco fratrum minorum celebrarentur missarum sollempnia et ego confessor eius in pulpito populo predicarem, pre timore et uerecundia, reuerens Margarita uix doloris impetum per breuissimam morulam continens, ut extra se posita et mente alienata coram omnibus clamare cepit, si sciebam Dominum curcifixum et ubi magistrum eius posueram." 829

Legenda, p. 246: "Ad cuius irremediabilem fletum omnes astantes, uiri et mulieres, cum deuoto feruore flere ceperunt. Ego autem, cui tarn auide loquebatur, turn ad ingerendam cordi eiusflduciamde reinueniendo magistrum, turn nepredicatio uerbi Dei impedimentum reciperet, alta uoce respondi quod adeo erat curiales et largus saluator, quern sic ardenter querebat, ut diu non posset suam differre seu celare presentiam. " 830

Legenda, p. 246: "Que cum audiuit quod eidem celeriter appareret, semiuiua coram omniplebe resedit. Celebrato denique missarum officio, dum ad suam cellam rediret, cum lacrimis et inenarrabilibus suspiriis per uiam repetebat ab omnibus, si suum sciebant uel uiderant saluatorem."

287 The Doubting Franciscans Not long after her entry into the Franciscan penitential order, Margaret embarked on a confession that lasted eight-days. Christ had told Margaret that after she had been cleansed of sin by a general confession, he would begin to call her "daughter."831 Giunta recounts that at the conclusion of her confession, Margaret received the Host, heard Christ finally call her daughter and collapsed. Some "envious people," Giunta writes, insinuated that Margaret had only pretended to collapse. The friars took it upon themselves to prove these doubters wrong and had a number of women drag Margaret on the ground and pull her hair to verify her ecstatic state.

This would not be the only

time Margaret's guardians would test the veracity of her behavior and the orthodoxy of her beliefs. The Legenda itself was most likely first composed by the Franciscans with the intention of looking closely at the dramatic and often public behavior of one of their lay penitents. We know that the Cortonese Franciscans had misgivings about Margaret from the beginning. Until they saw the fervor of her devotion and realized "that she was united inseparably to Christ" they would not allow the young and pretty Margaret to wear their penitential habit.833 Once Margaret was a part of their order, Giunta's precise descriptions of Margaret's public outbursts suggest that the Friars Minor had ongoing concerns about the nature of Margaret's religious life.


Legenda, p.193: " 'Non adhuc uocaberis filia, quia filiapeccati es. Cum uero a tuis uitiis integraliter per generalem confessionem iterum purgata fueris, te inter filias numerabo. "' 832

Legenda, p. 194: "Hiisque dictis, coram omnibus nonficte, ut quidam dixerunt emuli, rapiebatur in Deum, sicut experientia multiformi fratres experti sunt per manus astantium dominarum in agitando corpus et depliando." Legenda, p. 184.

288 The Franciscans' apprehension about Margaret's religious life culminated in their denunciation of her at their provincial chapter meeting in Siena. In the text it is Margaret who first mentions the meeting when she predicts its outcome to Giunta one day when he visited her in her cell near San Francesco. Margaret told Giunta that the Holy Spirit had revealed to her that the Friars Minor had doubts about her based on both "scripture and what they had heard from many people suffering from delusion" and that they would limit Giunta's visits to her.834 Giunta goes on to report that Margaret's prophesy was correct. He writes that, when the chapter had concluded, the newly elected custodian of the Arezzo friars had come to Cortona and told Giunta to visit Margaret only once every eight days.

The new custodian had then confronted Margaret in her cell, telling her

that the friars were "certain that her whole way of life, her revelations, and her consolations were nothing but deceptions." Giunta adds that the friars who were condemning Margaret believed that "she pretended to have such consolations in order to become famous among the populace."836 Giunta writes that Margaret was overwhelmed by this news. Trembling and weeping, she begged Christ to help her, crying out that she

Legenda, p. 249: "Quadam igitur die, dum confortandi causa cettam eius ingrederer, quando Senis prouinciale fiebat capitulum, coram me cum magno feruore locuta est, dicens: 'Pater, mi confessor, Spiritu Sancto didici reuelante, quomodo fratres in capitulo congregati uos artare ordinant circa uisitationem meam: nam propter experientiam scripturarum et multiformium illusionum, que in multis reperte sunt, de statu meo quidam dubitant." 835

Legenda, p. 249: "Celebratoque capitulo, iuxta uerbum Margarite nouus custos fratruum Cortonam adueniens, legem michi confessori suo imposuit ex parte capituli non quod earn desererem, set utsemel intra dies octo uisitarem eandem, nisi dum aliquis ei nouus casus accideret uel cum in suis langoribus contingeret earn grauius laborare." Angela of Foligno's confessor and scribe, Friar A. also had his visits limited by the Franciscan provincial minister; see "The Memorial," in Angela ofFoligno: Complete Works, chapters VII and IX. 836

Legenda, p. 249: "Cernens autem hostis noster antiquus aliquos fratres de ipsius perseuerantia dubitare, etne consolationes illeper illusionem uel fictionem fierent ad acquirendam fame popularis celebritatem, cepit in cella dicere quodfrateres, experientia docti, sapientia scripturarum illuminati et gratia Sancti Spiritus plenius illustrati, idcircode ipsa ceperant dubitare, quia per eos cognoscebatur ueraciter quod tota uita, reuelatio et consolationes que uidebantur diuine, nil erant nisi decptio."

289 could not do more than she was already doing either to fight against "the invisible enemies" or to deal with the friars, whose doubts about her were terrifying.837 Da Pelago has claimed that Giovanni da Castiglione was "the newly elected custodian" who delivered the meeting's bad news to Margaret.838 While the text does in one passage (two chapters after the reference to the Siena chapter meeting) refer to Giovanni as the thenconfirmed custodian (tunc custode conferrem), it also mentions two others who held this position; we cannot therefore be sure that it was Giovanni who delivered the renunciations. Giunta's narration of the report from the provincial chapter meeting provides by far the most explicit evidence for the doubts the Cortonese Franciscans had about Margaret. Nevertheless, both the friars' concern and skepticism toward Margaret and Margaret's awareness of that ambivalence appears throughout the text As we have already seen, Margaret would become upset if she realized that she had experienced a vision publicly and often tried to control when and where she had them. For example, Giunta describes Margaret once having asked him in the midst of a Mass in San Francesco to wait until after the service to give her communion. She was afraid, he writes, of being seen "before the friars' altar with a rope around her neck and her head uncovered, weeping uncontrollably." Margaret feared, Giunta writes, of being accused 837

Legenda, p. 249: "Propter quod Margarita statim se in orationem prostemens, cum lacrimis et tremore dixit: 'Domine Iesu...qui scis omnia antequamfiant,bene nosti quodaliud agere modo nonpossum, turn quiapugno cum inuisbilibus hostibus certantibus contra me, turn quiafratres, quibus me commendasti, sua dubitatione me terrent."' 838

The "newly elected custodian of the friars" is mentioned on p. 249 of the Legenda: "Celebratoque capitulo, iuxa uerbum Margarite nouus custosfratrumCortonam adueniens, legem michi confesori suo imposuit ex parte capituli non quod earn desererem, set ut semel intra dies octo visitarem eandem..." For da Pelago's conclusion that this was Fra Giovanni, see da Peago, Note, chap. V, n. 6. 839

Legenda, p. 416: "Propter quod me rogauit ut de tantorum notitia sibi data, cumfratre lohanne tunc custode conferrem, quia hoc habebat in mandates a Domino ut numquam a consilio eius recederet."

290 "of pretense or of fabricating her experiences."


Giunta also mentions that Margaret

often refused to give details about her divine conversations and visions. In some passages, Giunta sees Margaret's silences as an example of her great humility, but in others he makes it clear that she kept details to herself because she was keenly aware of how she was perceived by others.841 And while Margaret sometimes revealed the content of her visions to her Franciscan guardians, looking to the friars for help in distinguishing deceptions from revelations,842 Giunta also writes, at times, Margaret would withhold information from them.843 Giunta relates several episodes that suggest that Margaret's fears about what she might reveal to the friars were well founded. In one passage, Giunta recounts how he and the guardian of the friars, Friar Ubaldo, visited Margaret in her cell (it is not clear which cell Giunta is referring to here). While Ubaldo was speaking to Margaret about Christ's passion, Margaret became "overcome with grief and told the friar that if she had been Legenda, p. 322: "Mane itaque facto, cum missarum sollempniis interesset, tarn excessiuus in ea creuit feruor amoris, quod subprimere uocem in conspectu astantis populi non ualebat. Ipsa quidem hora, infusa lacrimis, fatigata suspiriis, confessorem suum quesiuit et quod differret sibi dare corpus altissimipost missam conuentus humiliter postulauit, ut mentalis ebrietatis feruorem humanis aspectibus atque laudibus occultaret. Nolebat enim coram populo cordulam sibi ad collum ligare et capite nudato et coram altari fratrum ymbribus lacrimarum perfusa accedere, ne de simulatione autfictione aliqui earn temere iudicarent: sic namque tunc rapiebatur in Deum, ut astantes liquido crederent earn presentialiter suum cernere creatorem." 841

Legenda, p. 450: "Multis autem pretermissis, que colligi minime potuerunt turn ratione humilitatis Margarite solerter celantis archana Dei, turn ratione..." 842

Legenda, pp. 415-416: "In node dominicepost Epyphaniam, intuens se Margarita sine suo munere tarn copiosis gratiarum muneribus adornari, timuit ne sub pretextu tarn sacrarum reuelationum, temptator decipiens se celaret... Timore tamen ostentationis sue et deceptionis diabolice ipsam retrahente, nil de uisis pandere presumebat. Propter quod me rogauit ut de tantorum notitia sibi data, cumfratre Iohanne tunc custode conferrem, quia hoc habebat in mandatis a Domino ut numquam a consilio eius recederet." 843

In one passage, Christ is reported as having asked her why she was keeping the content of the revelations she received from her confessor; see Legenda, p. 394: "Tunc insensibilis facta in corpore, audiuit in mente Christum dicentem sibi: ' Cur timens etdubitasfratril., confessori tuo, narrare que dicto? "' In another passage, Margaret asks Christ if she may keep a revelation she has just received from her confessor; see Legenda, p. 335: "Set suarum aspernatrix laudam Margarita, hec audiens, dixit: 'Domine, si placet tibi, nolo hec dicerefratri confessori meo'."

291 present at the crucifixion she would have asked Christ to send her to hell rather than allow Christ to suffer.844 Giunta writes that Friar Ubaldo became deeply upset with Margaret's response and told her that such sentiments were "contrary to the divine dispensation."845 Giunta follows his description of Margaret's exchange with Ubaldo with a report of the reassurance Christ offered Margaret after the friars left her cell. Christ told Margaret that he had understood the sentiment of her words and that the friars should not doubt her faithful heart.846 In another passage, Giunta again describes an exchange between Margaret and the Cortonese Franciscans in which the friars seem intent on figuring out both the content and goals of her spiritual life. Giunta writes that he, Ubaldo and Friar Ranaldo took Margaret to what he calls "the school of the friars" and asked her whether she would be willing to give up her own connection with Christ ("deprive yourself of your intoxicating sweetness") to lead a soul full of evil to grace or if she would rather continue her "joyful consolation" while the evil soul, as a result, descended into Hell.847 Finding it impossible


Legenda, p. 303: "Quodam manefrater Hubaldus, guardianusfratrum, adMargaritam secum me ducens, dum loqueretur de Christi passione feruenter, inebriata doloribus fratri respondit, dicens: 'Si tunc astitissem Domino meo crucifixo Iesu, dixissem quod prim meponeret in inferno quam illos cruciatus in suo speciosissimo corpore pateretur. "' 845

Legenda, p. 303: "Ad quod uerbum quasi contra diuinam dispensationem prolatum frater commotus, de ipsius deceptione timens..."


Legenda, pp. 303-304: "Non ponant igiturfratres in dubium fidelissimi tui cordis amorem, quimee respondit inclinationi, quam gratis mundo exibui: nam si dum patiebar in cruce hoc uerbum dixisses, fides tua, que tola estpura, saluam tefecisset." 847

Legenda, pp. 366-367: "Infesto beati Iohannis Euangeliste, in scolis fratrum, cumfrate Ranaldo etfrate Ubaldo, ego, scriptor horum, Margarite post comunionem asistens, cepit eifrater Ranaldus, tunc custodie custos, loqui dicens: 'Ecce tibi, ut nunc, in Christi dulcedine quiescenti, noua reuelatione monstratur quod anima quedam sit criminibus honerata, utpenitus sit eternis deputanda suppliciis, nisi earn reduxeris ad penitentie statum monitis et exortationibus tuis; et unum dumtaxat de duobus tibi conceditur, id est, ut uel inebriante, qua nunc frueris, priueris dulcedine etanimam illam usque ad tertiam reduces adgratiam, uel si expauescis tarn iocundo priuari solacio, infernis deputabitur omnino suppliciis: quod deliberabis omittere? "'

to choose between the two, Margaret refused to answer the friars. Again, Giunta follows this exchange with a report of a conversation between Margaret and Christ in which Christ reassures her that she was right not to try to answer the friars' question.848 Although these episodes ultimately provide a defense of Margaret's behavior, they suggest that for some period of time, the Franciscans saw it necessary to explore and test Margaret's beliefs.

Margaret's Tribulations/ Franciscan Tribulations The doubts and suspicions that Margaret had to endure about her penitential transformation and the content of her religious life are often presented in the text as both tests and proof of her piety and sanctity. At one point, Christ tells Margaret that she should not be deterred by others laughing at her attempts to imitate him and that she should ask Giunta to ask Friar Giovanni to pray for her because, as Christ says, "you will have to endure much pain... [and] many people will question your sincerity for the rest of your life."849 Having already warned her that she "will be in the furnace of suffering"850 until the day she dies and that with each new consolation he grants her "a new army of

Legenda, p.368: "Node insuper sequenti, super eiproposita questione afratre alloquitur Christus Margarite, dicens: 'Ofilia, quiafratri non respondisti, qui tibi dederat optionem, bene fecisti: nam sine mea presentia, iam tibi communicata per gratiam, non credis uiuere posse, et animam pro suis dampnandam sceleribus liberare uolebas. "' 849

Legenda, p. 261: "Et dicas baiulo tuo et confessori quod significetfratri lohanni ut oretpro te instanter, quia tot eruntpene tue et ita suspicione plene, quod ambo dubitabunt sepe de te, et ita erunt dubitatione plene coram multis usque adobitum tuum." 850

Legenda, p. 233: "Et tibipredico quod usque ad tui obitus diem infornacem micteris afflictionum."

293 jealous enemies" will be raised against her, Christ is often portrayed in the Legenda as having compared Margaret's suffering to his own. In a conversation that the reader is told took place during the week of the Passion, Christ tells Margaret that the pain he suffered was much greater than the gospels portray. He tells her that on the day he revived Lazarus from the dead, he "became aware of the plots hidden in the hearts" of his enemies. He goes on to say that in addition to seeing the "treacherous designs" of his enemies in his soul, he could see "the plots of treason, the scourges, the accusations" and the instruments of his impending torture even though his disciples "seemed oblivious" to his anguish.852 The pairing of Christ's mental anguish with his physical suffering is striking. The anguish Christ describes came from the realization not only of the physical pain that was to come but also of the betrayals that precipitated his capture. Even his disciples could not see what Christ saw and remained oblivious to his anguish, he tells Margaret. Christ concludes his recounting of his Passion by noting how similar Margaret's tribulations are to the ones he suffered. He tells her that just as "the world despised and did not know me, it is my will that you too be OCT

despised, and that people murmur about you."

Thus, just as Christ endured betrayal

and ridicule so will Margaret. We have seen that the Legenda often emphasizes

Legenda, p. 235-236: "Et Dominus ad earn: 'Filiam mea, similiter habitura es nouas de me consolationes, propter quas contra te inuidentium hostium nouus est renouatus exercitus."' 852

Legenda, p. 270: " '...nampena mea fuitprolixior quam dicat scriptura. Ab ilia enim die, qua Lazarum suscitaui, cernebam deliberatum meorum ordinem tormentorum in cordibus hostium. Et nunc representabatur anime mee, diuinitati coniuncte, proditorium studium; nunc mine, Jlagella et uoces aduersantium; nunc claui, spine potus amarus et crucis pondus; nunc lancea penetratura latus meum. In quarumfixa et certa ymaginatione penarum, alterabatur coram discipulis meis a sua specie corpus meum nee aduertebant."' 853

Legenda, p. 270: " 'Hec tamen, quoad oculum mundi, signa dilectionis subtraham et inde non modicam penam recipies: non enim uidebitur mundo deditis uita tua sic ordinata, ut erit, quia uolo quodsicut mundus me spreuit et non cognouit, ita spernet te et murmurabit de te. "'

294 Margaret's physical expression of her religious commitment: she denied her body food and a comfortable place to sleep. She shaved her head and would have mutilated her face if Giunta had not stopped her. Her visions often left her either writhing on the ground of San Francesco or so pale and still that those around her were sure she had died. In the passage above, however, Christ's words indicate that the greatest expression of her penitential rigor, the one that imitates Christ's suffering most completely, will be the mental tribulations that she will have to endure. Mentions of these mental tribulations run throughout the text. The Franciscans' doubts about Margaret and the measures they took to condemn her clearly constituted some of the hardships about which Christ spoke. But while the Legenda describes Christ's warnings to Margaret of her future tribulations, it also includes numerous references that Christ made to Margaret about the tribulations and sufferings that were on the horizon for the Franciscan order. Like Margaret, the Friars Minor would face "murmurings," but as Christ tells Margaret, just as Margaret should not be concerned about the "murmurings of the people," the friars also should not worry, since people murmured about Christ as well.854 Nevertheless, Christ asks Margaret to warn the Franciscan superiors to prepare for the tribulations they will face.855 In several passages in the ninth chapter of the Legenda, the reader is given some sense of the content of those coming tribulations. After telling Margaret that a demon will soon come into the world

Legenda, p.335: "Et non curent de murmurationibus populorum, quia de me omnium Domino extitit murmuratum." 855

Legenda, p. 276: "...dixit Margarite Dominus: 'Tupetiuistipro fratribus meis benedictionem et ego redemptor omnium benedico simul omnibus amore electorum meorum, cum quibus sunt. Set die prelatis eorum quod ipsiparent se ad tribulationem, quiafratres minores pre ceteris, qui sunt sub celo, me immitantur."

295 in order to prepare for the arrival of the Antichrist, Christ states that although the damage unleashed by this demon will cause many religious people to leave their orders, the Franciscans will suffer in particular. Christ goes on to assure Margaret that since he has bestowed more grace on the friars than on any other order, the tribulations they shall suffer will only increase their likeness to him. He adds that if the Franciscans "have no pope to console them" he will show the order a particular sign of his love and as a result "will purify them."856 The reader learns more about those coming tribulations in another passage, one of only two within the entire text that carries a specific date (the other being Margaret's 1277 entry into the Franciscan penitential order). In May of 1288, the Legenda reports that Christ tells Margaret that the demon he had previously warned her about, the precursor of the Antichrist, had already left hell. That demon, Christ explains, had come to unleash a torrent of sin, destruction and death. He tells Margaret that she should tell the Franciscans that he will remain with them, but the friars should be prepared to fight against this demon.857 A few passages later, the Legenda reports that during another conversation with Christ, Margaret received a vision that made clear to her "those who were waging war on the Order of the Friars Minor." The text does not offer the reader any information about who Margaret saw battling against the Franciscans and instead 856

Legenda, p. 382: "Et erit tribulatio talis, quod multireligiosi egredientur de ordinibus suis et moniales de monaster iis. Wo quidem tempore fratrum ordo minorum ualde affligetur; set confortentur in me, quia ipsos protegram daboque predicte religioni gratiam meam... Parent se igitur ad tribulationes per quas michi conformes fient, quia tantum eos diligo, ut ipsorum uitam mee ueliimper ordinem conformari. Et si non habebuntpapam pro consolatione sua, in hoc eis precipuum signum dilectionis ostendam, etpurgando eos, cum eis ero. "' 857

Legenda, pp. 383-384: "In mense maio m cc" 88, locutus est sapientia Dei Patris famule sue, dicens: 'Electa mea, ille malignus spiritus, quern tibipredixi, iam exiuitde inferno, transmissus inpericulum animarum, cum exercitu demonum ualde magno et est nunc cum demonibus in uasta solitudine, ad quam non est accessus hominum, quos libenter occiderent, si adirent...dic fratribus minoribus quod uiriliter contra eius malitias sintparati, quia contra eos multas ordinabit afflictiones."

296 describes Margaret's distress when she realizes that Christ was "overjoyed" to see the combat between the friars and their enemies. When Margaret asked Christ how he could watch and not become angry with those persecuting the Franciscans, he explained to her that he was confident that in the end the admonitions, good example, and teaching of the friars would restore the persecutors to him.85 In another passage, Christ again refers to the papacy as the origins of some of the friars' tribulation. Christ reports to Margaret that there will soon be a pope who, while he appears to restore order to the world, will in reality dissolve peace.859 Christ introduces this bold statement by noting that while never have there been as many holy friars as there are today, there have also never been as many weak ones. 86° But Christ goes on to assure Margaret that the strong will "sustain and nourish" the weak friars. These references to such tribulations on the horizon for the Franciscan order and the distinction between good and bad friars have served as evidence for scholars to connect Margaret and her Legenda to the Franciscan spirituals of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.861 This argument has been further strengthened by the mentions we find in the text of figures known to have either been sympathetic to or

Legenda, p.386-387: "Ed Dominus ad earn: 'Filia, circa illos ita iocundor, quia eos michi reseruo et in altissimo statu ponam eos; set circa istos turbari non uideor, quia finaliter per fratrum minorum monita, exempla et documenta redibunt ad me. "' 859

Legenda, p. 404: "Neque timeant, cum eos uelim michi quantum ad uite ordinem similari, quia numquam deseram eos: habebunt enimpapam, qui uidebitur totius mundi ordinator, et eritpotius dissipator." 860

Legenda, p. 404: "In cuius ordine, quern michi cum tarn intima deuotione commendas, numquam fuerunt tot sancti homines quot hodie, neque tot debiles, set fortes et iusti qui sunt in eo suis orationibus et exemplis substentant etfouent debiles et inflrmos." 861

See Maria Caterina Jacobelli, Una donna senza volto; Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona nel contesto storico-sociale"; and Scappecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese."

297 members of the spiritual wing. For example, also in the ninth chapter, between the passages that refer to the friars' impending hardships, the reader is told that a certain "Friar Conrad, beloved of God" had come "from a distant province" to see Margaret. The text gives no more information about this friar except to report that Margaret had relayed to him advice from Christ about how a friar ought to celebrate Mass.862 Scholars have long suspected that this Friar Conrad was the spiritual Franciscan Conrad of Offida (d. 1307). In addition, we learn from Giunta's declaration of authenticity that the papal legate, and spiritual sympathizer, Napoleone Orsini, had held the Legenda in Rome for several months before coming to Cortona to give his approval to the text. Also named in the declaration of authenticity is Ubertino da Casale, another Franciscan with spiritual connections, who accompanied Orsini to Cortona, serving as the legate's agent. Ubertino shows up very briefly within the Legenda when he accompanies Margaret's son to her cell after the boy was caught sleeping through Matins at the Franciscan convent where he was living.863 In an appendix to his study of the Franciscan spirituals, David Burr considers the question of Margaret's spiritual connection and gives a valuable summary of the scholarly work on the subject.864 He identifies the scholarship as falling into two camps: on one side, there is Maria Caterina Jacobelli's conclusion that not only did Giunta have strong spiritual associations but he also constructed Margaret's religious life in the 862

Legenda, p. 385: "Quidam Deo amabilis frater, scilicet Coradus, de remotaprouincia ad uidendum famulam Dei per gem, se orationibus Margarite comendauit. Qua orante, responsum accepit a Domino, hec dicente: 'Die ei quod missas celebret in hunc modum...." 863

Legenda, p. 389: "Qui cellam matris intrans, cumfratre Vbertino de Auerna, audiuit earn cum lacrimis hec dicentem: 'Anima mea transacta nocte presens extitit, quando clamasti, baculum accepisti et tuam pueriliter faciem lacerasti?"" 864

Burr also looks at possible spiritual connections to Clare of Montefalco and Angela of Foligno, see The Spiritual Franciscans, pp. 315-346.

Legenda to reflect a spiritual agenda.

As Burr points out, Jacobelli sees Giunta's

spiritual polemic, especially the specific references made in the text to the tribulations that will be brought on the Franciscans by the papacy, as reflecting ideas in line with those expressed by Ubertino da Casale in his Arbor vitae.

An alternative view comes

from Mario Sensi, who Burr writes "essentially reverses Jacobelli's argument and pictures Giunta as attempting to put the best face possible on Margaret's drift away from the Cortona Franciscans toward the spirituals."867 Sensi believes that the community of Franciscan tertiaries that gathered around Margaret at San Basilio were themselves part of a larger association of spiritual sympathizers.868 Thus on one side, Jacobelli sees Giunta as the source of the text's spiritual sentiments; while on the other, Sensi holds that the Legenda was Giunta's attempt to "whitewash" or clean up a spiritual point of view that reflected Margaret's own sentiments. Burr finds Jacobelli's conclusions hard to support, however, and points to a number of places where the text expresses sentiments that either laude the Franciscan order as a whole or endorse ideas that would have been intolerable to the spirituals. For example, Burr notes that Christ is never portrayed in Legenda specifically criticizing the current Franciscan way of life. As we shall see in my next chapter, while there are several passages in the text in which Christ condemns much of contemporary lay and


As Burr points out, Jacobelli's title is meant to convey that the Margaret presented in the Legenda is completely constructed by Giunta and thus has "no face." While I have consulted Jacobelli's work as well as the other works that Burr mentions, I shall be relying on his extremely helpful summary of the scholarship on this issue. 866

Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, p. 329.


Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, p. 333.


See Burr, Ibid., pp. 333-334; and Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona nel contesto storico-sociale," pp. 251258.

299 urban life, he does not pass judgment on the everyday activities of the Friars Minor. As Burr writes, Christ's endorsements of the order suggests that "he expects it to keep playing more or less the same role it currently plays within society—the very role that the spirituals found questionable." Moreover, Burr points out that Christ's statement that although there have never been so many good and bad friars, the strong sustaining and nourishing the weak by their prayer and example, would have been greatly at odds with the spirituals' desire to split the order so that rigorous Franciscans might not be distracted by those seeking to live a more relaxed religious life.869 In the end, Burr comes down as partial to Sensi's argument but still skeptical. He notes that it is quite possible that by moving to San Basilio, Margaret was in effect doing what Conrad of Offida himself had done when he moved "to maintain distance from a lax, worldly Franciscan community by choosing a more eremitical existence."870 And yet, Burr notes, "there is simply little evidence for it."871 In other words, Burr concludes that while the Legenda is full of details suggesting that there could have been a connection linking Margaret, her Legenda and the spirituals, there is both little direct evidence to support this impression and just as many details suggesting that she and her hagiographer endorsed the Franciscan order. Although Burr's work on both the Legenda and the scholarly work on questions regarding Margaret's possible connection to the spirituals are extremely valuable, one aspect of his argument derives from a piece of misinformation. As I have noted, Burr


Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, p. 331.


Ibid, p. 334.

300 bases some of his skepticism toward Margaret's connection to the spirituals upon the fact that numerous friars are named and praised within the text who clearly would not have been spiritual sympathizers. In particular, Burr writes, we must consider that a Franciscan inquisitor, Giovanni da Castiglione, first ordered Giunta to compose the Legenda. Burr writes: We cannot say precisely when he ordered it, but it must have been between 1298 (when Margaret died) and late 1307, when it would have already been in the hands of Napoleone Orsini. In other words, it would have been commissioned during a time when leaders of the order where carrying out a determined persecution of the spirituals.872 We know from the Legenda, however, that Giovanni died while Margaret was still alive.

Although we do not know precisely when Giunta began to write the Legenda,

we can be sure that it was commissioned before Margaret died. As I have already noted, Burr's and many other modern scholars' assumptions about Giunta's production and the dating of the events described in the Legenda rely on the unsupportable conclusions of da Pelago. We can perhaps see that in an attempt to construct a clear timeline for Margaret's life that might or might not connect her to the Franciscan spirituals, scholars have kept themselves from confronting the often dichotomous portrait of Margaret that Giunta presents—one in which the Franciscans are responsible for many of the tribulations Margaret must endure while at the same time suffering their own tribulations. One way to begin to confront this dichotomy would be to accept, as Burr begins to suggest, that both the evidence linking her to the spirituals and the evidence arguing for



Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, p. 328.

Christ gives Margaret instructions to Giunta and mentions that Giovanni has died, see Legenda, p. 328: " 'Et dicas confessori tuo quodparet se ad impertiendum tibi tue salutis consilia, secundum sacrarum ordinem scripturarum mearum. Que quidem consilia semper circa te dilgenter precogitet, et tu ipsius reuerenter utaris consilio, et te recommendo eidem, sicut olim recommendaueram te fratri Iohanni defuncto?"

301 her endorsement of conventuals Franciscans is valid. If we put this together with the details the Legenda provides about the public nature of Margaret's religious life, her desire for solitude, the Franciscans' doubts and concerns about Margaret's past and present identities, and the kinds of tribulations that connect both Margaret and the friars to Christ, we can begin to see that the Legenda tells us much more about the shape and constraints of lay penitents, lay spirituality and lay sanctity in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries than about the details of the development of the Franciscan order. I shall argue in the following chapter that while we do not know exactly when Margaret moved to San Basilio, the episodes that describe Margaret's experiences at San Basilio, give us a sense of how, removed from her Franciscan guardians, Margaret's religious life changed. Ensconced at San Basilio, the Legenda no longer describes public penitential acts aimed redeeming Margaret's past shame but instead portrays Margaret having visions and performing private acts of prayer and penance all intended to atone for the sins of her civic community.


Chapter 5 Margaret of Cortona: The Civic Patron The Move to San Basilio Although we cannot be sure when Margaret moved from her cell near the church of San Francesco to another cell attached to the rundown church of San Basilio, half-amile above the city center, a number of passages in the Legenda appear to describe events that took place both after Margaret's relocation and after the Franciscan's condemned her at their provincial meeting. These episodes provide a striking contrast to the text's descriptions of Margaret's devotional life when she was living in a cell near San Francesco and had more regular contact with her Franciscan guardians. At San Basilio, Margaret's conversations with Christ focus on the sins and salvation of others rather than on her own sinful past and need for redemption. Moreover, away from Cortona's citycenter, Margaret's experience of Christ's presence within her is no longer depicted as a public event or dramatic spectacle that required testing or verification. A number of times in the text, Giunta explains Margaret's decision to move as an attempt "to escape the tumult of society and human contacts."874 And yet Giunta's explanation that Margaret needed to escape the noise and distractions of city life often seems at odds with the Legenda's descriptions of the community of lay penitents that formed around Margaret at San Basilio. In other words, Margaret does not seem to have found a life of solitude when she left the center of Cortona. In this chapter, I shall explore what both the Legenda and a number of testamentary documents produced for 874

Legenda, p. 338: "In die kalendarum maii, nouam montis intrauit cellam Deifamula Magarita, ut tumultum acfrequentiam fugeretpersonarum."

303 Cortonesi in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century can tell us about the lay penitents who attended to Margaret during the last years of her life and remained at San Basilio after her death to manage her cult. Like Margaret, these penitents are often identified in the sources as having been Franciscan penitents or tertiaries. And yet, their presence at San Basilio as well as the institutions they would come to establish there suggest that they were a community distinct and perhaps even at odds with the Franciscans at San Francesco. The witnesses to the accounts of Margaret's posthumous miracles listed in the final chapter of the Legenda propose as well that, with the exception of Giunta, the friars from San Francesco did not join the lay penitents at San Basilio to promote Margaret's cult. I shall also look in this chapter at a number of extant episcopal and cardinal legatine charters that relate to the restoration and expansion of San Basilio in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. These documents detail the rebuilding of San Basilio and can give us a sense of who was instrumental in the beginnings of Margaret's cult. The growth of Margaret's cult was greatly aided by the restoration of San Basilio and the visual sources produced for the pilgrims coming to seek cures from Margaret and give thanks for the miracles they believed she had already performed. These visual sources convey a cult focused much more around the lay penitents living at San Basilio and the city of Cortona than on Margaret's Franciscan guardians. In 1325, after finally winning independence from the bishop of Arezzo, Cortona not only issued its first statutes as an independent commune but was also made the seat of a new diocese. I shall conclude my study of Margaret's cult by looking at her appearance in those first statutes as a civic patron to understand the sequence of events that finalized

304 an association between Margaret and her adopted city that had been growing since her move to San Basilio. While Giunta's Legenda portrays the origins of much of Margaret's religious life in the great admiration and devotion she had for her Franciscan guardians, it shows the beginnings of her identity as a civic saint in the visions she had and the advice she communicated to others after she founded her own community of lay penitents at San Basilio.

Criticizing the City and Helping Others: Margaret's New Visionary Life Although the organization of Giunta's text makes it difficult, if not impossible, to identify all of the passages written after the Franciscan's provincial meeting and Margaret's move to San Basilio, a number of episodes recorded in the fifth through tenth chapters of the Legenda both convey the effect the friar's condemnation had on Margaret and seem to describe her religious life after that meeting and her move. It is important to emphasize that the distinction I am suggesting between the first five chapters and the last five chapters of the text is not absolute. While there are mentions of both the Franciscan's condemnation and Margaret's move to San Basilio scattered throughout the text, these events are described in the greatest detail in the text's fifth chapter. Moreover, in the following chapters (that is, chapters 6-10), the majority of episodes included seem to describe Margaret's life after the condemnation and move. As I have noted, however, Giunta's text is not organized chronologically and thus one can find episodes included in the second half of the text that describe events that took place before Margaret's move to San Basilio.

305 Nevertheless, there is a marked change in how the Legenda presents Margaret's religious life in the second half of the text. The public and dramatic aspects of Margaret's spirituality are no longer a primary focus of the text. The second half of the Legenda emphasizes the ways in which Margaret's access to Christ allowed her to impart wisdom and warnings to her fellow Cortonesi, her Franciscan guardians, and the community of devotees that surrounded her at San Basilio. Instead of physically manifesting her sense of Christ's presence, Margaret becomes a conduit for Christ's warnings about the dangers of urban lay life. And while there are descriptions of visions that Margaret experienced in front of others in the second half of the text, these passages make no mention of any doubts or suspicions the Franciscans may have had about such behavior.875 In one of the first passages that conveys the effect the Franciscan's condemnation had on Margaret, Christ tells her that while in the past she had proclaimed his Passion "in a loud voice and with inconsolable tears," she now remained silent "out of fear of being accused of vainglory." Christ encouraged Margaret to return to her more dramatic devotions and "not to fear the whispering of worldly people who were questioning the wonders" taking place in her.876 More often than not in the episodes related in the second

For example, at the beginning of chapter seven, Giunta again mentions Margaret's eight-day confession. In this passage, he describes Margaret as having fallen down "before the altar of the Blessed Virgin with a rope around her neck and her face soaked with tears," see Legenda, p.319: "Quadam igitur uice, continua iterum diebus octo generali confessione coram me confessore suo cum gemitibus dolorosis et circumstantiarum expressione mirifica sicut ei oranti fuerat diuinitus preostensa, ad optatum diem beati lohannis euangeliste ieiunando et orando deueniens, in oratorio predictorum fratrum, populo recedente, apensa cordulapro torque adcollum, madidata facie capiteque nudato, coram altari beate Virginis se prosternens, addominici corporis sacramentum tremens et totaliter effecta subito pallida, reuerenter accessit." While this certainly describes a dramatic moment, Giunta does not again mention that the friars tried to verify Margaret's ecstatic state by having her dragged on the ground or pulling her hair; see Legenda, p. 194. 876

Legenda, p. 254: "Passionem meam altis uocibus hactenus, inconsolabiliterflendo, solebas exprimere et nunc propter detrahentium metum, qui tuifletum dolor is temere pro uana gloria fieri extimant, silentium

306 half of the text Margaret does not return to her dramatic penitential ways. Christ ends his conversation with Margaret by giving her an extensive description of the ways in which she should go about proclaiming the details of his life and Passion to others. From the wounds of Christ's circumcision, to his working of miracles, to his betrayal by Judas' kiss, and finally to his bloody death, Christ provides Margaret with a vivid narrative that she is to proclaim to others.877 Unlike the account of Margaret's mental crucifixion that we found in the first half of the text, where she experienced a vivid recount of Christ's Passion, the description of this episode does not provide the reader with any details about Margaret's physical state during Christ's speech. During that earlier mental crucifixion, Giunta recorded both Margaret's narration of each moment in Christ' Passion as it unfolded in her head and the concomitant reaction those around Margaret saw taking place in her body. Margaret ground her teeth, twisted like a worm and was so physically affected that those who were watching her thought she was about to die.878 In this later passage, however, as Christ recounts the details he wants Margaret to proclaim, the reader is not given any sense of Margaret's physical state. Rather than focusing on the effect of Christ's words on Margaret, this passage emphasizes Margaret's role as the mouthpiece for Christ's story. She is not to re-enact Christ's life but instead to proclaim its details to those around her.

tibipenitus indidisti. Adfletum ergo pristinum reuerti non differas, quia propter secularium et mendaciter interpretantium bona, que in mefiunt, uerba nana etfalsa duris cruciatibus punienda, passionem meant sub gutture non replices nee abscondas, quia nulla ratione debes timere proximum, ubi ex parte tua non daturpeccandi set gloriam et gratiampromerendi occasio." 877

Legenda, pp. 254-255: "Para igitur te ad tribulationes maximas: sicut enim uita tua uana olim contra me per linguas murmuratorum clamauit in castris, siluis, agris, pratis et uillis, ita tu clamare non cesses meamper ordinem passionem et quod semper in hac uita pro amore humani generis uixi in laboribus in penis. Qui autem super hocpresumpserit murmurare, offendet me grauiter et tu michiplacebis." Legenda, p. 244.

307 Immediately after recounting Christ's instructions to Margaret to proclaim his life and death, the Legenda records another long speech Christ delivered to Margaret in which he complains that "every generation" continues to crucify him. Christ goes on to list, in a series of questions and answers, the ways in which Margaret's own generation re-enacts his Passion. For example, Christ asks: Who are those who betray me, like Judas? Those who talk, laugh, eat, drink, and dwell with other people, and then kill them for money. Who are those who strip me and then cast lots for my clothes? Those who rob travelers.879 As Christ continues with his speech, his outrage seems particularly directed at an urban audience: Who are those who pull out my hair? Goldsmiths, merchants, and artisans whose avarice drives them to concoct ever more clever ways to make illicit profits. Who are those who are not afraid to pull my beard and hit me in the face? The miserable usurers, who can have no hope of salvation.8 l Who are those who are not afraid to spit in my face? Those who blaspheme my RR?

name and paint their faces with makeup. On one hand, Christ's complaints allow the reader to recognize the changes Margaret had made in her own life. As a fallen laywomen who had so radically transformed her life, Margaret provided a powerful example of both the sinful snares of the lay world and the possibility of redemption that a life dedicated to penance offered. On the other hand, this 879

Legenda, p. 257: "Qui sunt Mi qui meprodunt ut Iudas? IUiprofecto sunt qui locuntur, rident, comedunt, bibunt et dormiunt cum hominibus etpro peccunia eos occidunt. Qui sunt qui exuunt me et super uestem sortem miserunt? Predones uiarum." 880

Legenda, p. 257: "Qui sunt Mi qui modo tondent capillos meos? Auriflces, mercatores et artifices qui per auaritiam suam uariis modis et nouis lucrandi intendunt. " 881

Legenda, p. 258: "Qui sunt Mi qui genas meas et barbam euellere non formidant? Hii sunt miseri et a spe glorie separatifeneratores.'" 882

Legenda, p. 258: "Qui sunt Mi qui infaciem meam spuere non uerentur? Blasphemantes nomen meum etfigment is faciem suam pingentes."

passage, as well as the one that precedes it in which Christ encourages Margaret to proclaim the details of her passion, place the nature and quality of Margaret's sanctity in a different light than we have seen in the first part of the text. In these later passages, Margaret's sanctity lies in her role as Christ's agent. Christ tells Margaret the information that those around her need for their own salvation. Unlike earlier episodes, where Margaret's sanctity can be seen in the physical transformation that takes place when she comes into contact with Christ, these episodes present Margaret's ability to relay Christ's words as confirmation of her great piety and sanctity. In several other passages that we find in the second half of the Legenda, Christ continues to exclaim to Margaret about his disappointment in the present state of the world. In a vision that Margaret experienced in her cell during Advent, the saint claimed to have seen an angel with six wings in the midst of flames appear above her. As Margaret lay limp in the arms of her companions, Christ spoke to her, criticizing the sinful behavior of her contemporaries. Pointing out the sins of "bad virgins, married people, and widows" as well as "cheating merchants, and depraved usurers," Christ asked Margaret why people continued to injure him.883 While the text describes the physical reaction this vision caused Margaret (she lay limp in her companions' arms), the real focus here is the content of Christ's complaints. In the same chapter, Christ again deplores the state of the contemporary world in a conversation with Margaret. His first complaint seems particularly aimed at reminding the reader of Margaret's own past sinful behavior. Christ tells Margaret that he deplores 883

Legenda, p. 394-395: "Conqueror de malis uirginibus, coniugatis et uiduis, de mercatoribus falsis et usurariis prauis, qui de suis offensis aspere punientur: nam qui in hoc seculo dilationem punitionis recipiunt, punientur durius in loco illo et tempore, quibus uoces eorum exaudiri non poterunt nee aliquorum sujfragiis adiuuari. Quare.filia, meus populus me offendit, pro cuius amore iam tibi relata toleraui libenter, ut eorum sententiam retractarem?"

309 "the married who debase the state of matrimony" claiming that, "they should really be called adulterers." He is grieved by people's interest in the latest fashions in clothes and jewelry, which he says, "fill the soul with obscene thoughts." And finally he finds "the use of perfumes, ornaments, and ribbons" offensive, noting that he takes no pleasure in the prayers, pilgrimages, almsgiving, fasts, and other good works performed by the those who engage in such sins.884 We know from the first half of the Legenda that Margaret once took great pride in wearing sumptuous clothes and jewelry and in placing ribbons and ornaments in her hair as she paraded up and down the streets of Montepulciano as a nobleman's concubine.885 The rest of this episode reveals that Christ's criticisms are not directed only at Margaret's past sins. As Christ continues, his grievances become aimed at the urban lay community in general. For example, Christ tells Margaret the great offence notaries cause him, when they add, change or reduce the terms of wills or other contracts. Calling them "cruel and inflexible," Christ notes that these notaries have no concern for widows, orphans or wards, "their only concern is making money."886 Counselors are no better received by Christ. In their desire to enrich their friends, they "neglect to defend the common good," Christ claims. And while they might appear to be working for the pubic 884

Legenda, pp. 398-399: "Conqueror tibi de Mo innominabili uitio, quod in mea natiuitate puniui. Conqueror de coniugatis, qui matrimoniis tarn uitiose utuntur, quod non uere coniuges, set adulteri nuncupantur. Conqueror de uana gloria nouiter adinuenta in indumentis et aliis ornamentis, que sunt occasio lucrorum illicitorum etfaciunt intuentes peccare mortaliter, ymaginationes immunditie ipsorum mentibus inprimendo. Et ideo de huiusmodi loturis, ornamentis et ligatures sepe mortaliter me offendunt: nam in facie suaferunt audaciam et arma Sathane, necnon et in cordibus recondunt opera pessimi ducis et temptatoris. Et hinc est quod non solum eorum cogitationes, locutiones et opera terminantur ad ipsum, set inde oritur quod eorum orationes, peregrinationes, elemosine ac ieiunia, cum ceteris bonis operibus, minime michi placent." 885


Legenda, p. 204.

Legenda, p. 399: "Conqueror de notariis, qui offendunt me addendo, alterando, minuendo, differendo de hiis que audiunt in testamentis et aliis contractibus; qui crudelitate rigidi non compatiuntur uiduis, orphanis etpupillis, set solum peccunie cumulande intendunt."

310 interest, in reality they work "only for their private welfare, seeking fame and praise."


Christ concludes his tirade with an invective against merchants, which seems to carry with it a condemnation of urban commercial activity in general: I complain to you about lying merchants who deceitfully and without heed of the law of distinction wish to profit and conceal the flaws in their merchandise even in their vegetables. I complain about those who sell bread and wine, wax and oil, cloth and thread, and whatever else they sell with malice and deception of their neighbors. And [I complain] about those who pass off inferior goods as being of higher quality and the sick for the healthy. I complain about those who sell wheat and salt and oil and about all the craftsmen and those who defraud their customers with their weights and measures.888 After Christ finishes reciting his long list of complaints to Margaret, he tells her that although he himself has endured insults and beatings, the sinners he mentioned, "will not tolerate even a word of criticism," because as he tells her, "they refuse to see me as their mirror and model of behavior and listen to sermons about me."889 The phrase "mirror and model" has appeared earlier in the Legenda. In several conversations, Christ told Margaret that her penitential transformation has made her a mirror and model for the laity. Whether depicting Margaret as the "mirror of sinners," "a model of patience," of "a mirror in eternal life for all sinners," the text repeatedly emphasizes that her past has

Legenda, p. 399: "Conqueror tibi deprauis consiliariis, quiparticularibus etpriuatis amicitiis capti, comunem utilitatem impediunt et non defenduntl et si aliquando pro reipublice utilitate uidentur loqui, hoc ideofideliter agere se ostendunt, ut laus etfama propterea in eorundem commodum conuertatur. Quare uerba eorum sub colore licitiproferuntur, ut etiam collegas opprimant et in contemptione confundant, maiorem legalitatem adcomune bonum mostrantes, opera uero nulla." 888

Legenda, pp. 399-400: "Conqueror tibi de mercatoribus falsis, qui mendaciter et sine lege discretionis lucrari uolunt et rerum uitia etiam in herbis occultant. Conqueror de uendentibus panem et uinum, ceram et oleum, panum, repe et alia quecumque uenduntur cum malitia etproximorum deceptione; et de hiis qui uendunt mala pro bonis et infirmapro sanis. Conqueror et de hiis qui uendunt triticum, salem et oleum et de artificibus omnibus et de hiis qui offendunt in pondere et mensura." 889

Legenda, p. 400: "Nam merito hecfient, cum ego, Dei Filius, substinuerim pro eis tot uerba et uerbera et ipsipro me nolunt unum solummodo uerbum pati. Et quare hoc? Quia in me, suum speculum, non attendunt, uerbum predicationis mee audire contempnunt, immitantes hostis antiqui dolos, actus et uoluntates."

311 made her all the more able to show other laymen and lay women the path to salvation. ° 8

Christ's complaints above seem to suggest that it was not only adulterers and bad virgins who should recognize themselves in Margaret's history but also notaries, counselors and merchants. Everyone who was a part of Margaret's sinful urban world, Christ's invective suggests, could model his or her own conversion on Margaret's. While in the first half of the text the descriptions of Margaret's religious life emphasized the ways in which Margaret was different from others as well as how the saint's connection with Christ caused her to act in strange and unsettling ways, in these passages it is the likeness between Margaret and other laymen and laywomen that is the focus. We can see the beginnings of Margaret's identity as a civic saint here. As Christ's conduit, Margaret can offer both criticism of her contemporary world and represent the potential for its penitential transformation. In these passages the focus on Margaret's religious life that dominated the first half of the Legenda is gone. When Margaret parrots Christ's complaints about lying merchants, bad virgins, and evil counselors the focus is not on how her religious experiences transform or affect her but on how she can influence others. Moreover, as Christ's conduit, she no longer has the potential to dishonor and disgust, so emphasized in the first half of the text, but instead to influence and transform her fellow city-dwellers. The descriptions of Margaret's religious life in the second half of the Legenda show that her role as Christ's agent was not limited to spreading information about his life and Passion, or about his concerns about contemporary urban society. In numerous 890

Legenda p. 327: "Verum lux uera sui comunicatiua nobis equaliter, dixit ei: 'Non loquar tecum, si emiseris assistentes, cumfecerim te speculum peccatorum "'; p. 395:"... in qua etiam multas consolatione et tribulationes te noueris suscepturam et in exemplumpatientie tibi mepono... "; p. 401: "Etdico tibi quodtu eris unum speculum in uita eterna omnibuspeccatoribus: necesse namque est ut misericordia mea demostretur in celo et in terra."

312 passages, Margaret's connection with Christ allows her to bring about extraordinary changes in the lives of her fellow Cortonesi. For example, the reader learns that during her lifetime, Margaret became known for praying for the release of souls from purgatory. Her reputation for effective prayers was so strong that people came to her not only from far away provinces but also from purgatory to seek her aid. On one occasion, the Legenda describes a visit Margaret received from the souls of two shoemakers who had been murdered before they had the chance to confess their sins. One of the shoemakers admitted to Margaret that he had been a dishonest businessman and had been guilty of feigning friendship and love; this shoemaker begged Margaret to encourage the families of both men to make satisfaction for their sins so that they might be released them from OQ1


While the text does not tell us if Margaret or the families of the

shoemakers were successful in releasing these men, another passage describes how Margaret was able to help her friend Gilia move from purgatory to heaven.892 The second half of the Legenda also emphasizes Margaret's ability to see into others' souls and as a result help them to make, or in some cases help their confessors to elicit, a full confession.893 In an extended conversation between Margaret and Christ, the Legenda, p. 351: "Ad tarn latissimam caritatem, suam disposuerat sponsam Christus, quod non solum de remotisprouinciis quamplurimiproperabant, uerum etiam diuinapermissione anime defunctorum, de suis receptaculis accedentes, ipsius suffragium cum instantia postulabant. Inter quos, duo quifuerant interfecti dixerunt ei: 'Quamuis in morte non potuerimus confiteri, quia nostram preuidimus mortem, cum predones extraxerunt nos de itinere quo ibamus, per siluam ducentes, dedit nobis subito creator noster contritionem de culpis nostris etpatientiam in morte, quam crudeliter intulerunt, et sic per misericordiam nos ab eternis incendiis liberauit. Nos autem, dilecta Deifuimus ambo arte cerdones et ego precipue, tecum loquens, legalitatem quam debui, non habui in mercando. Quare supplico ut facias, pia mater, cum meis de domo, quod pro me satisfaciant specialiter montaninis etpro isto germano similiter, qui est mecum. Nam sumus in magnis purgatorii cruciatibus, et ego magis, propter dolosas et amicabiles in signo locutiones inficta dilectione. Ora ergo pro nobis, sponsa Dei."' 892

See Legenda, pp. 391-392. The text also reports that Margaret told Marinaria (one of the women who had offered her refuge when she arrived in Cortona) that her son had been released from purgatory; see Legenda, pp. 393-394.

reader learns that one of Margaret's companions had not fully confessed her sins. Christ tells Margaret that while this woman "believed that no serious sins remained in her soul," he would reveal to Margaret (so she could, in turn, reveal to her confessor, who is not named in this passage) the woman's hidden sins. Christ urges Margaret to have her confessor write down these sins so that the confessor might help her "benefit form this disclosure."894 Christ gives Margaret a long list of this woman's sins. To name only a few, Margaret is told that this woman had an inordinate desire for her husband, wanted to rule her father's household, gossiped about her neighbors, spent more time in church chatting than praying, ate to excess, neglected to give money to the poor, horded money, and did not allow her domestic servants to rest when they were weary.895 After revealing the many secret sins of Margaret's companion, Christ notes that even though this woman will receive the light of God's grace when she does makes a full confession, she will never completely recognize the gift that Margaret's revelation of the woman's sins has offered her.896 The later chapters of the Legenda also describe some of those gifts Margaret's revelations offered to others. She is described as having been a source of guidance and advice for several Franciscan friars, a dramatic change in the relationship we saw


Legenda, pp. 351, 391-392, and 393-394.


Legenda, p. 354: "Quedam secularis domina magne fame, propterfrequentationem confessionis sic erat in animo quietata, quodnon credebat aliquod graue peccatum in anima remansisse. Set quia intenta erat saluti et honori ac necessitatibus Margarite, Deifamule pro ipsa feruenter oranti saluator locutus est, dicens: 'Filia, incipe narrare confessori tuo defectus illius, pro qua orasti, et cum ceperis eos loqui, ostendam eos tibiper ordinem et ipse scribat adeius utilitatem^ 895


See Legenda, pp. 354-358.

Legenda, p. 358: "Veruntamen confortetur in me, et uitiam suam examinare non differat in manibus confessoris tui, inducendo ad memoriam suas culpas, et ego infundam lumen gratie menti eius. Tibi autem, filia Margarita, predico quod hec, pro qua tantam in tuis misericordiam orationibus impetrasti, istam gratiumplenarie non agnoscet."

314 between Margaret and her often skeptical guardians in the first part of the text. In a passage in the text's ninth chapter, Christ gives Margaret advice to pass onto Friar Benigno, who was concerned that he was saying Mass and receiving the Eucharist too often. Through Margaret, Christ assures Benigno that he is pleased with his commitment to the poor and that as long as he confesses his sins, he may say Mass, and we can assume although it is not specifically said, receive the Eucharist as often as he desires.897 It is striking to see Margaret in this passage offering reassurance about a subject that she is portrayed elsewhere in the text as having been both concerned about and needing reassurance. Earlier in the text, Christ tells Margaret not to worry if she was worthy or not to receive communion, but to partake in it daily.898 In fact, an entire chapter of the Legenda (chapter seven) discusses at length Margaret's desire for frequent communion, her constant fear that she was unworthy to receive the sacrament and finally Christ's assurances that her commitment to confession, prayer and penance had redeemed her.899 Another aspect of Margaret's religious life that is emphasized in the second half of the text is her work with both Giunta and the Bishop of Arezzo to secure peace within the city of Cortona and with its external rivals.900 Christ mentions to Margaret in both the

Legenda, p. 375: "Frater Benignus re et nomine, dubitans de frequentatione missarum, meruit per Margaritam in hancformam responsum a Domino: 'Dicfratri Benigno pauide frequentanti mei corporis sacramentum quodde licentia mea frequenter celebret; set priusquam accedat adaltare ad celebrandum, suos defectus plenarie confitens, suum animum ordinet adquietem. In misericordia autem, quam habet tarn uigilanter ad paupers, usque adjinem mando quod perseueret, quia multum michi placuit modus eius, quern tenuit usque nunc, requirendo per domos pauperes, debiles et infirmos, quos in confessionibus libentius receipt quam diuites seculares.'" 898

See Legenda, pp. 317-318.


See Legenda, pp. 319-347.


For the peace negotiated between Cortonesi factions, see Legenda, pp. 358-363; and for Margaret's condemnation of the bishop of Arezzo, see Legenda, pp. 401-402. See also, Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, pp. 77-80.

315 first and second half of the text that there would soon be peace between Bishop Guglielmino of Arezzo and the people of Cortona.901 Scholars have assumed that these passages refer to the peace agreement reached between the bishop and Cortona in 1277.902 Bishop Guglielmino appears again in the text in a series of passages included in chapter nine. In these, Christ lists the numerous ways in which the bishop has acted badly. Christ instructs Margaret to tell the bishop to stop taking church funds intended for the poor, to stop inciting factions within Tuscany, to stay out of his own family's wars, to stop acquiring illicit profits at his court, and finally to stop postponing the confirmation of the title of San Basilio.903 As Fortunato Iozzelli has pointed out, working for peace was a standard occupation for lay penitents in the late medieval commune.904 Margaret's role as peace negotiator also extended to the internal factions plaguing Cortona. In one passage, Christ orders Margaret to call Giunta back from Siena so that he can help broker a peace between the sons of the Rosso family and the Cortonesi. Giunta reveals that this was not the first time he had tried to arrange such a truce between the Cortonesi citizens and this family. Giunta writes that during his first attempt he became distracted by doubts he had about Margaret: The serpent and dragon, who is deceitfully hidden, is always trying to spread promised poison in the death of the elect; it tempted me to turn against the daughter of God. I began to believe that she was indiscreet in her devotions and excessive in her austerities. I stopped visiting her for several days. Margaret,


See Legenda, pp. 219-220 and 303-306.


See Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 14; and G. Mancini, Cortona nel Medio Evo (Cortona, 1897; reprinted 1992), p. 76. 903 904

See Legenda, pp. 401-403. Iozzelli, "Introduzione," in Legenda, p. 77.

316 nevertheless, continued to pray for me, her confessor, with such sweetness that, following communion, she heard him say: Tell your confessor that I would like him to lead an apostolic life and take comfort in me. His tribulations are my sign. He should counsel souls without hurrying. Tell him not to worry about what people say about him, since many murmured against me, his creator. Let him reflect on my Passion, when many of those who crucified me later adored me. So too today, many will return to me. Tell your confessor to work diligently to achieve peace among the people of Cortona, for I will be with him in everything.905 While Giunta does eventually broker a peace, his description of his first attempt is striking for what it reveals about his feelings toward Margaret. As I have discussed, the text often presents the tribulations that both Margaret and her Franciscan guardians must endure as evidence not only for how much they are loved by Christ but also for the ways in which their adversity mimics Christ's sufferings. In this passage, Christ encourages Giunta, through Margaret's words, to see his tribulations as a sign of Christ. On one hand, this episode is another example of the way in which Margaret's religious life seems to have taken on a more external focus in the later chapters of the Legenda; Margaret, with the help of Giunta, expresses her religious commitment by working to bring peace to her fellow Cortonesi instead of having herself dragged through the streets by her hair. On the other hand, this passage also reveals the change we can see in how people began to understand Margaret after her move to San Basilio. In the above quotation, Giunta is explicit about the doubts he had about Margaret: he worried that her spiritual life was


Legenda, p. 359: "Illo uero serpens et draco, occulte insidians, promissum uirus cupiens infundere semper inperniciem electorum, alio modo pungens, ita meum animum contra Deiflliam concitauit, eo quod indiscretam contra seper nimiam uite asperitatem cernebam, utpluribus diebus ab eius me uisitatione subtraxerim. Set ilia incessanter cum mentis dulcedine pro me, confessore ipsius, Dominum exorante, post Christi corporis sumptionem, audiuit eum dicentem sibi: 'Die confessori tuo quod uolo ut uita eius sit apostoli uita, et confortetur in me cunctasque tribulationes suas uarias in me significet et, dum se disponit et ordinal ad consilia animarum, non currat neque curet si de ipsofuerit murmuratum, quia et de me, creatore suo, fuit a multis acriter murmuratum. Attendat etiam diligenter quod, sicut tempore passionis multi uenerunt ad crucifigendum me, qui me libenter postea adorauerunt, et multi crucifixores mei me postea cum desiderio adorassent, ita in hoc ipse finaliter remanebit. Die iterum ei quod diligenter procuret Cortonensium paces, quia in omnibus secum ero'."

317 indiscreet and excessive. But Giunta also comes to recognize that such feelings are only temptations. By enduring these temptations and the murmurings about him, Giunta can imitate Christ. Giunta's doubts about Margaret have become an opportunity for his own spiritual growth. In his study of the text's portrayal of the relationship between Margaret and Giunta, John Coakley has explored ways in which we can see Giunta's hand directing Margaret's conversations with Christ away from her own devotional experience and toward applying that connection to helping others.906 With the descriptions of the doubts and suspicions Margaret's religious life engendered in others largely having disappeared, the second half of the text presents a picture of lay sanctity that conforms much more closely to the portraits we have seen in the other vitae discussed in this dissertation. In episode after episode, the text presents Margaret's sanctity as associated with and even dependant upon her urban community. Margaret's access to Christ allows her to expose the sinful nature of the contemporary city, release souls trapped in Purgatory, reveal the secret sins of her neighbors, advise friars on how to live a virtuous life, and finally to negotiate both internal and external peace for her city. In short, Margaret's sanctity has become embedded in the community she serves. And in the descriptions of Margaret's interaction with that community we can see that instead of doubting and questioning Margaret, her guardians begin to question the origin of their own feelings and the extent of their own religious commitment. This is nowhere more apparent than in the interactions included in the text between Margaret and Ser Badia.

Coakley, Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, p. 140.

318 "A Particular Light of Understanding": Margaret and Ser Badia The first mention we have of Ser Badia, the secular cleric who took over as Margaret's confessor after Giunta was transferred to Siena, comes from the 1286 statutes of the Fraternitas Sanctae Mariae de Misericordia, which name him as the institution's first prior.907 As I have noted, scholars have concluded that Margaret's domus misericordia had some association to this fraternity. Badia appears again in a charter issued on September 6, 1290 by the commune of Cortona naming him as the rector of San Basilio.908 This charter also mentions that the city was at the time funding the restoration of the church. Badia's name also appears in the second half of the Legenda as the witness to several conversations between Margaret and Christ. We can assume that these conversations took place after Giunta was transferred to Siena and Margaret had moved to San Basilio. We can also safely assume that these passages draw on (to what extent we cannot know) the reports Badia gave to Giunta to include in the Legenda. Unlike her Franciscan guardians in the first half of the text, Badia is not presented as having been concerned about the nature and validity of Margaret's visions. Instead, in these passages, the text seems to emphasize that Margaret and Badia share a similar spiritual history and devotional attitude. As Margaret has had to flee her evil worldly past, so has Badia. As Margaret fears abandonment, so does Badia. And when Margaret prostrates herself in front of the cross, begging for forgiveness, Badia joins her. In each 907

Vauchez cites da Pelago's transcription of these statutes, which do not include any mention of Badia; see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 24. A new transcription of the 1286 statutes has been made by Scapecchi; this copy does include a dating clause that mentions that Badia was serving as the fraternity's prior; see Scapecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese," p. 202. The original statutes are held in Arezzo, Biblioteca della Citta, codice 74. 908

This charter is only preserved in an eighteenth-century transcription; see D. M. Manni, Osservazioni istoriche sopra i sigilli antichi de secoli bassi, vol. XIX (Florence, 1757), p. 66; a copy can also be found in Scapecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese," p. 202.

319 episode that includes mention of Badia, Margaret relays the additional advice Christ has given to her to pass on to her confessor. For example, as Margaret meditates on the passion, Christ tells her that when Badia was in the world the cleric strove to offend Christ.909 Christ tells Margaret to urge Badia to use those same thoughts and feelings now to find God's grace and tells the saint that she should find comfort in the hands of this priest precisely because Badia has reformed from his past shame.910 Badia, like Margaret, has had a conversion experience; his sinful past shapes both his present religious commitment and his facility as Margaret's confessor. Throughout the Legenda, Badia is not portrayed as concerned with maintaining a distinction or distance between confessor and penitent. In one of several occasions when Margaret experiences a vision of Christ after receiving the Host from Badia, Christ instructs Margaret to tell Badia to recite the Pater noster prayer several times and to be full of shame and sorrow as he strives to opens his heart to remember the Passion.911 The exchange of roles here is striking: Margaret gives her confessor some of the same tasks she has so often herself performed as a penitent. Christ also tells Badia through his instructions to Margaret that neither out of fear, shame or some tribulation should the priest separate himself from Margaret because Christ has infused Badia's ministry with

Legenda, p. 284: "Et dico tibi quod aliquando in conspectu istius tuifilii Badie tibi gratiam contuli, ut magis accendatur in amore mei. Cui recommendo grauitatem, puritatem, honestatem, amorem et sollicitudinem in omnibus rebus, in quibus creditplacere michi, et custodiam mentis et corporis in omnibus rebus, in quibus precognoscere poterit meanm offensionem. Et sicut subtilissime studuit in seculo me qffendere, ita uolo habeat subtiles cogitationes et affectiones ad gratiam acquirendam." 910

Legenda, p. 347: "Et Dominus ad earn: 'Vt non desperes, set conforteris in manibus istius sacerdotis, qui non offendet me admodo sicut elapsis temporibus consueuit, te in hoc sepius consolabor."' 911

Legenda, p. 382: "Alia uicefamula Dei comunicans, dixit ei Dominus quoddiceret sacerdoti Badie ut diceret multa Pater noster, et cum reuerentia cogitaret ad quern statum uocauerat eum misericordia redemptoris. Et iterum dixit ei: 'Die ei quod uerecundetur et doleat suumque cor studeat dilatare in passionis mee memoria, et subtilietur in meditando secreta mea que scribet. "'

"a particular light of understanding."


320 Christ goes on to warn Margaret that there will

be moments when even Badia will look back over what he has written about the saint's visions and distrust her. It is the explanation for Badia's doubts, however, which stand out here. Christ tells Margaret that Badia will doubt her in moments when Badia himself is "afraid that he has been abandoned."913 Throughout the Legenda, Margaret fears that Christ will abandon her, a common theme in visionary literature, but remarkable here as an explanation for her confessor's moments of doubt. Badia himself seems to be experiencing a sense of mystical fullness, or presence, during his time with Margaret. He fears losing his connection to Margaret, just as Margaret fears losing her connection to Christ. In this same passage, confessor and penitent again exchange roles. Margaret seeks Christ's forgiveness, fearing that she will be seen as "presumptuous" for having accidentally blessed Badia in a moment of fervor. As he always does in the Legenda, Christ forgives Margaret's transgression, but goes on to tell her that her accident has inspired Badia's actions and has provided him with a special grace.914 Margaret's offenses thus not only serve as fodder for her own spiritual development, but also aid her confessor's devotional progress; they give Badia a "special grace" and "particular light of understanding," and distinguish him from his Franciscan counterparts. Instead of

Legenda, p. 403: "Et Dominus ad earn respondit: 'Dicas sacerdoti B. quod nee propter timorem, seu verecundiam, aut tribulationem aliquam separetur a ministerio tuo, et ego infundam ei lumen cognitionis." 913

Legenda, p. 345: "'Et dico tibi' inquitDominus 'filia, quodsepissime in tantam debilitatem diffidentie circa te deueniet, ut non credat ea que scribet de te nee alia que per confessorem tuum scripta sunt ipsum poterunt roborare, quia timebit se derelictum; set non diffidat, quia secum ero.'" 914

Legenda, p. 344-345: "Timens autem Christifamula Margarita ne benedictionem quam inferuore spiritus suo dederat capellano B. presumptio mentis reputaretur, dixit Dominus, quod inspirauerat ei ut sic ageret et cum ilia benedictione eidem largitus fiierat gratiam specialem."

questioning the nature and validity of Margaret's experiences, Badia joins the spiritual journey of his charge.915 It would be misleading to paint too stark a contrast here. Giunta, as well as other Franciscans, celebrates Margaret's visionary powers and penitential commitment throughout the text. In addition, Badia's interactions with Margaret come to us through a text compiled by Giunta. Nevertheless, Badia is portrayed throughout the text as treating Margaret quite differently than the Franciscans treated her. While Giunta and his Franciscan brothers garner their own graces through their interactions with Margaret, these graces often have a communal significance; they tend to refer not to individual spiritual development, but instead, to the glory Margaret's visions shine on Francis' order. The sharp contrast between the moments of praise and doubt that distinguish the friars' interaction with Margaret perhaps speaks to an equally sharp divide the Franciscans saw between themselves and Margaret. After all, the distinction between confessor and penitent, religious and secular, or friar and laywoman spoke to the hierarchies upon which the Franciscans based their relationship with their lay penitents. As a secular cleric, Badia was outside of the Franciscan chain of command. While he had sacramental rights that distinguished him from Margaret, he was also the local alternative to an increasingly international Franciscan order. His time as her confessor reveals a likeness and dependence between visionary and confessor that seems to have transcended their distinct religious identities.


In his study of the relationship between James of Vitry and Mary of Oignies, Coakley describes a similar exchange of roles between confessor and penitent; see Women, Men, and Spiritual Power, pp. 7887.

322 Margaret's Death and Miracles Based on the reassurance Christ gives to Margaret in the Legenda that her confessor would be with her when she died, scholars have long held that Giunta returned from Siena shortly before Margaret's death and was with her when, after seventeen days without food, she died on February 22, 1297.916 Implicit in this assumption is the idea that Giunta was present to write a first-hand account of Margaret's death. But as we have seen with other long-held assumptions about the chronology of Margaret's life and the composition of the Legenda, the evidence does not always support these conclusions. While Christ reassures Margaret that her confessor will be with her when she dies, it is not clear to which confessor he refers, since both Giunta and Badia are referred to as confessor within the text.917 Moreover, the text's description of Margaret's death does not include any mention of Margaret's Franciscan guardians. One might expect that the emphasis made throughout the Legenda on Margaret's connection and dependence upon the Franciscans would be mentioned again in a description of her death. Instead, the text does not specifically identify those around Margaret when she died. It simply notes that those who were assisting her became convinced by the sweet smell that came from her body that she had been "a vessel of holiness."918 When word spread that Margaret had


For Christ's reassurance, see Legenda, p. 281: "Quo dicto, Christum audiuit dicentem sibi: 'Lux noua in tenebris orta, cui ego quipassusfui et resurrexi benedico, scias quodtuus confessor erit in fine tuo." 917

For example, Badia is called Margaret's confessor when she asks him to help her make a general confession, see Legenda, p. 448: "Tunc Deifamula confessorem suum, ser Badia, inuitauit ut earn iuuaret ad subtilissimam confessionem faciendam, quia intendebat subtilius et frequentius confiteri." In addition, in the "Testimony of Authenticity," Giunta lists those friars who had seen the text and refers to Fra Ubaldo of Colle as having also served as Margaret's confessor, see Legenda, p. 477: "Et hancfrater Tarlatus vidit...frater Vbaldus de Colle confessor eius." 918

Legenda, p. 450: "Tunc omnes astantes tarn miro sunt odore repleti, quod in mentali satietate dulcedinis ueraciter cognouerunt Margaritam fuisse uas sanctitatis etgratie celestium carismatum contentiuum."

323 died, the Legenda emphasizes that it was the people of Cortona who rushed to San Basilio: When the people of Cortona heard about Margaret's glorious passing from this life to the next, they offered praise and glory to the Highest King. The people with great devotion hurried to the church of San Basilio. There they embalmed her body, dressed it in a purple robe, and solemnly placed it in a new tomb, in the presence of distinguished persons, clerics and religious.919 This description of crowds rushing to be near Margaret's sweet smelling corpse conforms to hagiographic conventions. The general description of the "distinguished persons, clerics and religious" who were present when Margaret's body was embalmed seems strange coming from Giunta. Would we not expect him to identify who those religious people were, especially if they included member of his own order? Does this mean that it was Badia and not Giunta who witnessed Margaret's death? Or did Giunta have a reason to leave these "distinguished persons, clerics, and religious" anonymous? While the Legenda does not provide the reader with enough information to answer these questions, by asking them we can begin to think about the people who first promoted Margaret's cult. One of our best sources with which to do this is Giunta's final work concerning Margaret, the chapter of miracle accounts he added to the Legenda in 1311. Although the Legenda provides a detailed exploration of Margaret's religious life, it only mentions one of the miracles Margaret is believed to have performed: Margaret's healing of a possessed boy from Borgo San Sepolcro as he made his way to Cortona.920 The final sentences of the Legenda alert the reader that a chapter of miracles was to

Legenda, p. 451: "Audiens autempopulus de Cortona transitum gloriosum, ad laudem etgloriam summi regis, generali congregato consilio, ad ecclesiam sancti Basilii deuotissime concurrentes, balsamo conditum corpus purpureo uestimento indutum in nouo sepulchro, cum luminaribus et clericorum ac religiosorum cetu, sollempniter tumularunt." Legenda, pp. 220-221.

324 follow. However, this miracle chapter can only be found in one of the three extant fourteenth-century manuscripts of the Legenda: codex 61 in the Archivio del Convento di S. Margherita, the earliest manuscript and the one upon which Iozzelli bases his recent edition of the Legenda.

As Joanna Cannon has noted, however, the other two

manuscript copies list the chapter of miracles in their table of contents, suggesting that they had intended to contain the final chapter.922 This added chapter includes 83 stories of Margaret's miracles, four of which occurred during Margaret's life (including a brief mention of the cure of the possessed boy from Borgo San Sepolcro). Giunta appears to have completed this additional chapter sometime around 1311, as this is the date of latest account included; the earliest miracle comes from 1302, although of the 83 accounts only 13 are dated. In addition, two accounts claim that the miracles reported had been examined by Cardinal legate Napoleone Orsini, but only one of these is dated (1304). Da Pelago has argued that Orsini would have most likely completed his investigation into the other miracle account either in that same year, 1304, or in 1308, when he returned to Cortona to authenticate the Legenda. Giunta organizes the chapter according to the type of cures Margaret performed. These categories adhere to a common typology of miracles reported in late medieval collections: for example, the reader learns about how Margaret restored sight to the blind, cured those suffering from hernias and kidney stones, liberated the possessed and raised


Legenda, p. 451: "In quo secundum promissa Dei, quia multis miraculis corruscauit, ideo restat undecimum scribendum capitulum, per decern diuisum capitula, de signis que Deus omnipotens, ad ipsius honorem, per propinqua remotaque locaperegit et agere non desinit." Cortona, Archivio del Convento di S. Margherita, cod. 61.


Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 158. Cited by Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 182.

the dead.

In his extensive study of this final chapter of the Legenda, Iozzelli draws

some conclusions about what the reports of Margaret's cures can tell us about her early devotees. As was often the case in miracle collections written after the mid-thirteenth century, most of the miracles did not take place at Margaret's tomb.925 Beneficiaries came to Margaret's tomb to fulfill vows they had made after the miracle was performed. In many of the accounts of Margaret's miracles, beneficiaries are described as having come to her tomb with wax and votive offerings in gratitude for their cure. Iozzelli notes that while more beneficiaries came from the city and contado of Cortona than from any other area, the miracle accounts suggest that by the early fourteenth century, Margaret's fama sanctitatis was well diffused throughout the geographic area between Cortona, Perugia and Arezzo.

And as he notes is true in other late medieval miracle collections,

Iozzelli concludes that most of the accounts do not provide enough information to allow identification of the professions and social status of the beneficiaries.927 We can say, however, that more men appear in the accounts as beneficiaries than women and that Margaret seems to have been particularly associated with curing sick or injured children.928


See Vauchez's table on the "Development of the typology of the miracles recorded in processes of canonization (1201-1417)," in Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, p.468.


Iozzelli, "I miracoli nella 'Legenda' di santa Margherita da Cortona," pp. 237-238. For more on the late medieval trend of miracles taking place away from the saint's tomb and the beneficiary vowing to visit the tomb if their request was granted, see Vauchez, Sainthood, p. 446. 926

Iozzelli, "I Miracoli," p. 239.


Iozzelli, " I Miracoli," pp. 243-44.


See Iozzelli, "I Miracoli," p. 249; Iozzelli notes that men would have been more likely than women to have had their accounts recorded and thus does not necessarily mean that men were more interested in Margaret's cures than women. Iozzelli also cites scholarship that has been done on the marked increase in cures of children in late medieval miracle collections.

326 Andre Vauchez sees the decision to add a final chapter of miracles as a strategic move aimed at Margaret's canonization.929 Adhering to the standard forma interrogatorii used in canonization proceedings in the early fourteenth century, the miracles portray Margaret's powers to heal and cure in a manner that conforms to conventional hagiographic style. This style is a marked departure from what we have seen in much of the Legenda.930 As I have noted, the text often vacillates between presenting two incongruous portraits of Margaret: on one hand, Margaret was a public penitent whose dramatic spiritual life made her subject to the profound doubts and suspicions of her Franciscan guardians, while on the other hand, she was also a model of lay spirituality and sanctity. As we would expect to find in a chapter of miracles, all the hints and references to the ambivalence and doubts that surrounded Margaret's penitential transformation and visionary claims disappear. Instead, the 83 accounts straightforwardly describe and celebrate Margaret's miraculous powers. But while the content of the miracle accounts does not raise questions about the nature of Margaret's religious life, the account's descriptions of those who witnessed and were responsible for Margaret's developing cult encourages us to think more about the influence Margaret's move to San Basilio had on those who came to champion her sanctity. Cannon has argued that the mention in some of the miracle accounts that both members of the San Basilio community (several accounts mention Ser Badia or his successor as rector, Ser Felice) and friars from San Francesco served as witnesses demonstrates that the two communities in some sense had a "shared supervision" over


Vauchez, "Afterword," in Margherita ofCortona, p. 222.

Margaret's growing cult.


327 For example, we learn that on May 27, 1310 the husband of

a woman from the village of Antria swore in the cloister of San Francesco in front of Giunta, Ser Felice, and other Cortonesi (who are named but not identified as Franciscans) that his wife had experienced such intense labor pains that she lost her sight and only had it restored after she vowed to walk barefoot to Margaret's tomb.932 Another account reports that again in May of 1310 both Giunta and Ser Felice swore on the gospels that they had seen a man from Perugia suffering from a severe wasp sting recover after vowing to visit Margaret's tomb every year on her feast day.933 While Cannon sees the miracle accounts as evidence of a joint supervision of Margaret's cult between the community at San Basilio and the Franciscans at San Francesco, she also sees both the content and size of codex 61 (the manuscript containing the added miracle chapter) as signaling the end of that joint supervision. Cannon does not believe, as da Pelago did, that codex 61 was Giunta's working copy, but sees the codex's small size (c.24 X 16.5 cm) along with the presence of both the final chapter of miracle accounts and the report of Napoleone Orsini's declaration of authenticity as suggesting that this was the copy intended to travel to Avignon to argue for Margaret's canonization.934 As I shall discuss shortly, Cortona's first communal statutes written in 1325 charged Ser Felice, then the rector of San Basilio, with the task of traveling to the papal palace in the hopes of having Margaret canonized. Cannon contends that if this were indeed the copy intended for Felice to take with him on his journey, by 1325 "the 931

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 157.


Legenda, pp. 455-456: miracle #7.



Legenda, pp. 461-462: miracle #34. Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, pp. 157-158.

328 promotion of Margherita's cult—together, perhaps, with this very copy of the Legenda— had passed from the Franciscan friars of Cortona into the hands of the rector and owners of the Church of S. Basilio," the communal government.935 Although Cannon's conclusions about the possible intended use of codex 61 make sense, the absence of friars from San Francesco in the majority of the miracles reported in Giunta's added chapter suggests that the Cortonese Franciscans had been taking little interest in promoting Margaret's cult in the first place. Only a small fraction of the miracles included in the added chapter provide us with any details about date, location or witnesses. Most of the accounts give only a brief description of the beneficiary, the malady, the vow made, and finally the miraculous result and fulfillment of the vow. Of the 83 accounts, fourteen are dated and these can be divided into two periods: eight accounts occurred between 1300 and 1304 and six accounts from between 1310 and 1311. Of the 1300-1304 miracles, only three provide additional information about where and to whom they were reported. In 1304 Cardinal Orsini examined a woman from Citta di Castello's claim that prayers and vows to Margaret revived her five-year-old son after he fell from a high window.936 In 1303, prayers and vows to Margaret again revived a child, this one having suffocated in his crib; Ser Badia, Ser Costanza as well as suore Amata, Margherita and Meliore (members we can assume of the San Basilio lay penitential community) are all named as having witnessed the mother's claim.937 And in 1304, in the oratory of San Francesco, the friars

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p 158. Legenda, p. 463: miracle #36. Legenda, pp. 463-464: miracle #38.

329 Giovanni of Castiglione (not the same Giovanni that had served as Margaret's confessor and Franciscan inquisitor, whom the Legenda makes clear died before 1297), Matthew John, and Niccoluccio Anitaldi of Cortona all heard a mother's claim that her son had been saved from a fall when she invoked Margaret's name.938 It is important to emphasize that this 1304 miracle is the only one in the chapter that mentions any Franciscans besides Giunta. Of the six miracle accounts that we know occurred in 1310 or 1311, four list both Giunta and Felice as witnesses and three note that the claims took place in the oratory of San Francesco. Two of these accounts were written by notaries, a practice that was becoming increasingly common in Italian cities in the later Middle Ages and one that we have already seen in the collection of miracles in Zita of Lucca's vita. These two notarized claims of Margaret's miraculous healings were both taken in San Francesco in May of 1310 and both name Giunta, Felice and other Cortonesi as witnesses.939 Two other accounts that took place in May 1310 name Giunta and Felice as witnesses.940 And finally, there are two miracles accounts dated to 1311. In one we only learn that in February of 1311 a woman named Mina, from the Porta San Vicenzo neighborhood in Cortona, claimed that Margaret had cured her three-month old daughter of epilepsy.941 And in the other, Ser Felice served as the only named witness to a claim that Margaret

Legenda, p. 468: miracle #52. 9

Legenda, pp. 455-456: miracle #7; and pp. 461-462: miracle #34.


Legenda, p. 468: miracle #54; and p. 474: miracle #79.


Legenda, p. 469: miracle #55.

had healed the sores on a boy's legs.


330 To summarize then, of the miracle claims that we

know were made between 1300 and 1304, one was witnessed by a group of San Basilio penitents, one by a group of Franciscan friars, and one was examined by Cardinal Orsini. In the claims that were made in 1310 and 1311, the only witnesses that are named are Giunta, Ser Felice and various Cortonesi, who appear in four of the six accounts from this period. The miracle accounts allow us to draw a few conclusions—some more tentative than others—about the early history of Margaret's cult. We can conclude that the Franciscans do not appear to have been overtly interested in promoting Margaret's cult in the first decade after her death. The fact that only one account mentions any other friars besides Giunta, suggests that the friars were neither gathered around Margaret's tomb at San Basilio looking to collect miracle accounts nor questioning the beneficiaries of Margaret's miracles in their own church. As I have noted, most of these beneficiaries had vowed to visit Margaret's tomb if they or their family member were cured, so it seems likely that most of these accounts were recorded in San Basilio as beneficiaries came to fulfill their vows. Since Giunta indicates when he was present as a witness to claims (he names himself as a witness to five accounts), we can also conclude that someone other than Giunta first recorded most of these accounts. When Giunta appears as a witness he is always alongside Felice and never in the company of any other friars. The appearance of Giunta's name only alongside members of the San Basilio community might suggest that his interest in Margaret was not supported by the other friars at San Francesco. In addition, the fact that the friars from San Francesco appear in only one of the miracle accounts may suggest that the Cortonese Franciscans were either 942

Legenda, p. 475: miracle #82.

331 not particularly interested in the events taking place at San Basilio or did not have access to those making miracle claims. We have already seen how the Franciscans shared their supervision of Margaret when Badia took over as her confessor after Giunta was sent to Siena. But what remains unclear is whether the relationship Giunta cultivated with Badia in order to receive reports about Margaret's religious life was sanctioned by his Franciscan superiors. The portrait we see of those who served as witnesses to the many claims of miraculous cures that Margaret's devotees made after her death suggests that Giunta's interest in Margaret and the promotion of her sanctity met more support among the community of lay penitents and clerics at San Basilio than among the friars at San Francesco.

A Penitential Community: The Beginnings of Margaret's Cult at San Basilio The accounts of the miracles performed by Margaret demonstrate her widespread following in the decade after her death. Devotees came from Cortona and beyond to give thanks for the cures performed in her name. Beyond a few references in the Legenda to those helping Margaret at her last cell, information about the community of lay penitents who had remained at the church to manage Margaret's tomb and growing cult come almost exclusively from a number of testaments and a series of episcopal and papal legatine charters and indulgences. These documents suggest that, even before her death, Margaret took part in the efforts to restore San Basilio and was joined there by a community of devotees that included both lay penitents as well as clerics. These charters also portray this community of lay penitents as living together in a number of houses surrounding San Basilio, responsible for maintaining the church and Margaret's tomb,

332 and overseeing both a hospital for the pilgrims who came to Margaret's tomb and the domus misericordia, which, as we know from the Legenda, Margaret had founded.943 In November 1392, nearly a century after Margaret's death, the commune of Cortona, which owned the land on which San Basilio stood, granted control of the church, its adjacent houses, and Margaret's shrine to the Cortonese Franciscans based at San Francesco.944 This marked the end of nearly 100 years of management by the community of penitents that began as Margaret's devotees. While late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century sources identify these penitents as mantellati or continenti, by the mid fourteenth-century those living and working at San Basilio were called members of the Franciscan third order in extant sources.945 And yet, the charter sources show that both the people of Cortona and church officials were aware of the distinction between the Franciscans at San Francesco and those at San Basilio and divided their pious bequests and indulgences accordingly.946 The earliest document we have that connects Margaret to San Basilio is the charter Bishop Ildebrandino (1289-1312) issued on August 27,1290. In this document, Bishop Ildebrandino reconfirmed the name of San Basilio, authorized the church to be

Lodovico Da Pelago, Sommario delta storia delict chiesa e convento di Santa Margherita da Cortona, compilato e disposto per ordine cronologico dal P. Fra Lodovico da Pelago, Unpublished manuscript, Archivio conventuale di Santa Magherita, Cortona, 1298, 1304, 1308; also see Florence, Archivio di Stato, Unione di vari luoghi pii di Cortona [hereafter ASF, Unione], 18 March 1298; 15 August 1304; 1 June 1308; 21 June 1308. 944

ASF, Unione, 25 November 1392; this charter has been transcribed by Da Pelago, Antica leggenda: Registro, n. 21. 945

Da Pelago, Sommario, 1290 and 1298. For charter referring to the penitents as members of the Franciscan third order, see ASF, Unione, 2 July 1336; 10 July 1336; 15 November 1360; 10 August 1363; 17 April 1370; and 9 May 1374.


Bornstein has also studied testamentary donations made to Margaret's cult; see "The Uses of the Body."

333 947

rebuilt ex novo and offered an indulgence to anyone who aided that rebuilding.


know from the Legenda that Margaret had sought this privilege from Ildebrandino's predecessor, Bishop Guglielmino, who is the subject of much criticism in the text. The privilege Margaret finally won from Bishop Ildebrandino survives only in a transcription Lodovico da Pelago made in the eighteenth century. Mario Sensi argues that there is reason to believe that this charter was written in the fourteenth century to provide evidence that linked Margaret to San Basilio.948 Sensi notes that the language the bishop used to address Margaret sounds more like what would be used to describe someone who had died in the odor of sanctity than to address a living person.949 Sensi also questions a charter issued by the commune of Cortona on September 6,1290, supposedly less than ten days after Ildebrandino's charter.950 In this charter, the commune names Badia as the rector of the newly reconfirmed church of San Basilio, which the charter notes stands on communal land. Sensi argues that it is odd for Ildebrandino's charter not to mention that the commune owned San Basilio's land. Moreover, he notes that nowhere in the Legenda is Badia referred to as rector of San Basilio. Other scholars have not joined Sensi in his suspicions, however. For example, Cannon and Vauchez believe that the mention in the September 6th charter that Badia was to take possession of the altar clothes of the church can serve as evidence that the restoration of San Basilio had in fact begun long before


This charter is transcribed in da Pelago, Registro, n. IV.


Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona e contesto Cortonese," pp. 242-244.


Ibid., p. 243.


See Manni, Osservazioni istoriche sopra isigilli antichi de secoli bassi, vol. XIX, p. 66; and Scapecchi, "Santa Margherita nella societa cortonese," p. 202. For Sensi's comments, see his ""Margherita da Cortona e contesto Cortonese," pp. 243-244.


Bishop Ildebrandino issued his support ten days earlier.

334 And although Sensi is correct

that the Legenda does not refer to Badia as rector, a number of testamentary charters, the earliest also issued in 1290, which I shall discuss below, do identify Badia as the rector of San Basilio. Since these two 1290 charters survive only in modern copies, I cannot dismiss Sensi's suspicion that these charters could have been produced in the fourteenth century in an effort to justify San Basilio as the home of Margaret's body and cult. If they were produced in 1290, however, we can conclude that not long after the Franciscans had condemned her as delusional and a fraud, Margaret had found vital sources of support in the new bishop of Arezzo and Cortona's communal government. In other words, seven years before her death, Margaret had begun to turn her new home at San Basilio into something much more than a place of solitude. The next mention we have of Badia serving as rector of San Basilio comes from a testament of a Cortonese woman written on September 27,1290. In this will, Donna Santese bequeathed money to a number of Cortonesi churches as well as to those who were in service to the church of San Basilio.952 Badia is named as the testament's executor; he is identified not only as the rector of San Basilio but also as associated with the domus misericordia.

Thus long before Margaret's tomb began to attract devotees,

this testament confirms that Margaret had been joined at San Basilio by people in service to the church. We must wait until nine months after Margaret's death for our next piece of evidence from San Basilio. On November 28, 1297, Bishop Pietro of Chiusi, which was 951

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, pp. 41-42.


ASF, Unione, 27 September, 1290; 18 March 1298; 13 July 1300.


ASF, Unione, 27 September 1290.

335 the diocese that included Laviano, Margaret's birthplace, offered an indulgence of 40 days to anyone who donated money to aid the construction of the new church in which the body of the beatissima Margherita remained.954 The bishop's indulgence mentions the miracles that had been taking place in San Basilio, stating that the blind had been made to see, the deaf to hear and that many lame and infirm people had been liberated from their maladies at Margaret's tomb.955 Vauchez has claimed this is the only episcopal document to identify Margaret as a beatissima or to mention her miracles.956 But as we shall see in charters issued in the fourteenth century, other bishops and cardinal legates would be more cautious and not mention Margaret's yet-to-be approved cult so explicitly. For example, Bishop Ildebrandino would continue to refer to Margaret as a beatissima and praise the many miracles taking place at her tomb. On March 1, 1298, another charter issued by Bishop Ildebrandino promoted Felice into the priesthood. Ildebrandino identifies Felice as a member of the continenti, suggesting that he had been a part of San Basilio's penitential community. We know from later charters as well as Giunta's chapter of miracles that Felice eventually succeeded Badia as rector of San Basilio.957 In an additional charter issued in 1298, we see another mention of an individual who seems to have been a member of the community penitents Margaret established at San Basilio. In his March 18,1298 testament, a man named Marzio offers himself and his belongings to God and the blessed


ASF, Unione, 28 November 1297. This charter is also transcribed in da Pelago, Registro, n. VI.


Iozzelli discusses the way in which the types of miracles mentioned are meant to suggest the kinds of miracles performed by Christ, see Iozzelli, "I Miracoli," p. 249. 955 957

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p.30.

ASF, Unione, 1 March 1298. We can assume that Badia had died by April 1306 when we have a charter that first identifies Felice as the rector of San Basilio, see ASF, Unione, 25 April 1306.

336 Basilio and places himself in the hands of Badia, who is identified as the rector of the communal church of San Basilio. Da Pelago suggested that this is the same Marzio mentioned twice in the Legenda: Giunta includes him among those who witnessed Margaret's ecstasies after her eight-day confession, and Christ instructs Margaret to tell Marzio to stop murmuring and complaining about Christ's friends, although it is not made clear who those "friends" were.958 And finally, Badia is again mentioned as San Basilio's rector in a testament from July 18, 1300, in which Donna Giacobella bequeathed her house in the Orsaia neighborhood to Badia and San Basilio.959 Between July 1304 and June 1308, the papal legates, Niccolo da Prato and Napoleone Orsini, issued a number of charters offering indulgences to those who visited San Basilio or aided in the church's reconstruction. On July 13, 1304, Niccolo of Prato offered 40 days indulgence to anyone helping to build the church, and on September 16, 1306, he offered 100 days of indulgence to anyone who visited the church on particular feast days.960 Napoleone Orsini offered three indulgences in support of San Basilio between 1306 and 1308. In the first, issued on September 2,1306, Orsini offered an indulgence of one year and 40 days to anyone visiting San Basilio on feast days, which included the feast of Cathedra Petri, which was the same day, February 22, as Margaret's death.961 At the end of that same month, September 1306, Orsini expanded his previous decree and offered an indulgence of one year and 40 days to anyone who visited San 958

Da Pelago, "Dissertazioni," p. 63. For the passages of the Legenda that mention Marzio, see pp. 194, and 316. 959

ASF, Unione, 18 July 1300.


ASF. Unione, 13 July 1304; and 16 September 1306.


ASF, Unione, 2 September 1306; on this charter, see Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 30.


Basilio "confessed and penitent" on any day of the year.

337 And finally, on June 1, 1308,

Orsini offered an indulgence to those who gave money or worked in favor of the hospital at San Basilio.963 We learn that the penitents who remained at San Basilio had come to live in houses surrounding the church from a charter issued on June 21, 1308 by Bishop Ildebrandino of Arezzo. In this charter, Bishop Ildebrandino offered an indulgence to anyone who helped construct houses for those penitents who were living at San Basilio where, as the charter states, the body of the beatissma Margaret remained and where many miracles had taken place.964 A charter issued on August 15,1304, tells us that while Buongiovanni del fu Ranieri Villani left his body to the Franciscans at San Francesco, he left the hospital he had founded in his house in the San Basilio neighborhood to the commune of Cortona.965 In her May 15, 1307 testament, Domina Ranaldesca stipulated that ten soldi be left to the hospital at San Basilio. We can assume that this refers to the hospital founded in Buongiovanni's house. Like Buongiovanni, Domina Ranaldesca also asked to be buried in San Francesco. Her pious bequests were even more spread across the various Franciscan institutions around the city than Buongiovanni's: in addition to her gift to the hospital at San Basilio, she left 20 soldi each to the domus misericordia and the fratres staying at the Celle.966


ASF, Unione, 28 September 1306.


ASF, Unione, 1 June 1308.


ASF, Unione, 21 June 1308.


This charter is discussed by Bornstein, "The Uses of the Body," p. 168; it is also mentioned in da Pelago, Sommario, 1304. 966

ASF, Unione, 17 May 1307.

338 The pairing in Domina Ranaldesca's testament of bequests to institutions associated with Margaret (the hospital at San Basilio and the domus miericordia) and the Celle has been another piece of evidence that has led scholars to wonder about both Margaret's and her cult's connections to the spiritual Franciscans.967 The Celle had been a point of controversy for the Cortonese Franciscans for sometime. As I have mentioned, in the mid thirteenth century, Elias of Cortona left the Celle, the hermitage founded by Francis, to build the church of San Francesco in Cortona; a number of friars had refused to make the move with Elias and remained at the hermitage. In late thirteenth and earlyfourteenth century documents, the friars still living at the Celle were often referred to as fraticelli?6* Scholars have argued about to what extent we can see these fraticelli as associated with the Italian wing of the spiritual Franciscans. Girolamo Mancini and Livarius Oliger have posited that while the friars at the Celle may have followed a more rigorous Franciscan life, they did own property and thus cannot be grouped together with other spirituals.969 Sensi rejects the notion that Celle friars' ownership of property supports such a conclusion and believes that these fraticelli did indeed have some connection to other groups of spiritual Franciscans in Italy.970 Sensi makes his case by pointing to Pope John XXII's November 1318 bull expelling the friars from the Celle.971 Sensi notes that this expulsion came a year after Pope John XXII had issued the first of a


See for example, Livarius Oliger, "Documenta inedita ad historiam fraticellorum spectantia," Archivum francisccmum historicum 6 (1913): p. 290 968

See ASF, Unione, 9 April 1301; 11 April 1301; 3 February 1304; 17 May 1307; and 10 November 1318.


See Oliger, "Documenta inedita," p. 290; and Mancini, Cortona nel Medio Evo, pp. 89-90.


Sensi, "Margherita da Cortona nel contesto storico-sociale, " p. 257.


ASF, Unione, 18 November 1318.

series of papal bulls aimed at condemning the spirituals, and only six months after four spirituals were burned in Avignon. Moreover, in his November 1318 bull, John XXII mentions Felice, rector of San Basilio, as a patron of the fraticelli.912 David Burr has noted that one part of Sensi's argument linking the spiritual fraticelli at the Celle to the penitents at San Basilio does not hold together: if they had both been part of the spiritual movement, why did John XXII not take action against the lay penitents at San Basilio as well? As Burr points out, Sensi answers this objection by pointing out that the San Basilio penitents were protected by the support they received from the commune.

The charters I have explored above show that in addition to the

commune, the bishops of Arezzo and Chiusi as well as two papal legates, Napoleone Orsini and Niccolo da Prato, had also offered their support to that community. As I have argued concerning the possible spiritual content and focus of the Legenda, the extant sources do not reveal whether or not the penitents at San Basilio were associated with spiritual Franciscans. Nevertheless, the sources I have reviewed above do suggest that, like the fraticelli at the Celle, the devotees who had followed Margaret up the hill constituted a Franciscan community distinct from the friars at San Francesco. That community consisted of lay penitents as well as clerics, all of whom lived around the church and managed not only the crowds of pilgrims coming to Margaret's tomb but also the charitable organizations associated with San Basilio. My study of the witnesses named for several of Margaret's miracles suggests that Giunta, without much support from the other friars at San Francesco, worked with the community at San Basilio to


Ibid.: " conscentientepresbitero Felice, nunc Rectore ecclesie sancti Basilii de Cortona et suo dumtaxat nomine ecclesiepredicte sancti Angeli [the Celle] ueropatrono..." Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans, pp. 333-334.

340 promote Margaret's cult. As we shall see below, the visual sources produced in conjunction with the rebuilding of San Basilio also portray the friars from San Francesco as largely absent from the beginnings of Margaret's cult. While each of these visual sources portrays Margaret's religious life as having begun with the Franciscans, they emphasize her miracles and not any institutional affiliation as the most cogent expression of her saintly identity.

The Visual Sources in San Basilio In the generation after Margaret's death, the church of San Basilio was not only substantially rebuilt and enlarged but was also home to a painted vita-panel, a marble funerary monument, and an extensive fresco-cycle (now lost but preserved in a series of watercolor copies made in the late seventeenth century as part of the canonization inquiry). In her joint study with Vauchez, Joanna Cannon has extensively studied these sources and I shall largely rely on her conclusions here. The earliest of the visual sources is a painted vita-panel, now located in the Museo Dioceano in Cortona, but in the early fourteenth century it was most likely placed above or next to Margaret's tomb (see figure #8).974 The panel's style of painting and the absence of depictions of any of the miracles mentioned in Giunta's final chapter have led scholars to believe that this painting dates from sometime during the decade after Margaret's death.975 Without a specific textual source for this painting, we must assume, as Cannon has pointed out, that the scenes depicted here reflect the memories of the


For more on late medieval v/'to-panels, see Cannon, "Beyond the Limitations of Visual Typology," p. 293. 975

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 160-161.

devotees that had surrounded Margaret.

The panel provides a large-scale portrait of

Margaret, surrounded by nine smaller-scale scenes narrating events from her life and death. In the center, Margaret stands with a nimbus, clasping paternoster beads with her palms turned inward in a gesture that one scholar has argued signifies Margaret's penitential conversion.977 Several other scholars have noted the significance of Margaret's stripped habit, which identifies her as an independent lay penitent rather than .


a Franciscan tertiary. The nine smaller-scale scenes that surround the portrait of Margaret focus on Margaret's entry into religious life and her spiritual progress as a penitent. Unlike the vita-panel created for Clare of Assisi a generation earlier, Margaret's panel does not focus as much on the relationship between the saint and the Franciscans as it does on Margaret's connection to Christ.979 The first three scenes depict Margaret's arrival in Cortona, her entry into the Franciscan penitential order and her donation of her belongings to the poor. Challenging Kaftal's conclusions that the next two scenes depict Margaret thwarting a suicide attempt and washing the feet of lepers, Cannon argues that the fourth and fifth scenes portray Margaret twice resisting temptation. In these two scenes, Margaret wears the same stripped penitential habit that she wears in her largescale portrait. In the first, a figure dressed in red, whom Cannon has suggested is a 976

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p.163


L. Corti, "Esercizio sulla mano destra: Gestualita e santi nel medioevo," Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, serie IV (1996): 39-49; cited by Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 165. 978

See Canon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 164-165, n.34 and 35; Caciola, Discerning Spirits, pp. 110-111; and Fabio Bisogni, "L'Abito di Margherita," in Margherita da Cortona: Una Storia emblematica devozione narrataper testi e immagini, eds. Laura Corti and Riccardo Spinelli (Milan: Electra, 1998), pp. 33-43. Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 166.

342 demon in disguise, tempts Margaret with the mirror he holds. As we have seen, the Legenda calls Margaret a "mirror of sinners" and describes how the saint wanted to disfigure her face and overcome her reported beauty. In the next scene, which is badly damaged and quite hard to decipher, Cannon has argued that Margaret, still kneeling in front of the demon, who is now depicted as having hooves, turns her head away, suggesting that she has overcome the temptation in front of her.980 The final three scenes again focus on Margaret's penitential progress. In the first, Christ appears to a kneeling Margaret with Saint Francis next to him, echoing Margaret's claim in the Legenda that Christ's absolved all of Margaret's sins through her prayers to and the merits of Francis.981 In the next scene, Margaret again kneels, this time in front of two clerics who administer the Eucharist to her. And in the final scene, Margaret kneels in front of Christ, who points upward and is accompanied by a female saint. Cannon has noted that this compresses three ideas into one image: Margaret's vision of her throne in heaven, her vision of the Magdalen wearing a crown, and finally her understanding that just as the Magdalen is enthroned among other virgins in heaven, so she will be as well. In the bottom register of the panel, a final rectangular scene shows Margaret's body flanked by two figures, clearly one Franciscan and the other Dominican. Cannon wonders if we are meant to understand these figures as representing Francis and Dominic, but the painting is too damaged to know for sure.983 Below Margaret's corpse are two


Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 163.


See Legenda, p. 188.


Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 164.


Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, p. 164.

343 more barely visible figures that Cannon believes are individuals seeking cures at Margaret's tomb. Thus the earliest depiction (either visual or textual) we have of Margaret portrays her as an independent lay penitent, who, while connected to and dependant upon both mendicants and clerics for access to a religious life, pursues her spiritual progress through her own interactions with demons, Christ, and saints. In other words, the vita-panel seems to argue through Margaret's gesture, her dress and the narrative of her religious life, that more than a Franciscan tertiary, Margaret must be identified foremost as a lay penitent. A marble funerary monument, most likely the work of the Sienese sculptor, Gano di Fazio in the second or third decade of the fourteenth century depicts two angels holding the lid of Margaret's tomb to reveal the saint's fully dressed and fully preserved body beneath (see figure #9).984 Below Margaret's body, six rectangular reliefs depict scenes from Margaret's life and miracles performed after her death. The four scenes, depicting moments from Margaret's life, largely repeat the narrative from the v/to-panel: Margaret's entry into the Franciscan Order, her donation of her clothing to the poor, the absolution of her sins through the merits of Saint Francis, and finally Margaret's death and her soul's ascent into heaven. Below these panels are two more panels: one depicting the cure of those with various physical illnesses at Margaret's tomb and the other showing the curing of a possessed figure. As Cannon had noted, in these reliefs the Franciscan presence has been further reduced from what we saw in the v/ta-panel.985 In the scene of her entry into the penitential order, the monument shows one friar cutting

See Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona, pp.66-74. Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona p.170.

344 Margaret's hair. Beyond this, the only representations of Franciscans in the monument are of tertiaries: Margaret receives her penitential tunic from a figure whose dress suggests that he is a mantellato or a Franciscan tertiary. And in the scene depicting Margaret's death, a man wearing the same outfit as the mantellato in the scene of Margaret's profession stands next to her body. Cannon assumes this figure represents Badia.

At the other end of Margaret's deathbed stands a veiled woman, whose dress

leads Cannon to assume also represents a lay penitent. Thus this funerary monument, which scholars believe was once placed on the wall above a wall-niche containing Margaret's body, de-emphasizes the Franciscans' role in Margaret's life and cult. While they are represented as the beginning of her penitential life, the friars do not figure in the charity and miracles Margaret is shown performing. Instead, next to her at each of those moments are other members of the San Basilio community of lay penitents. In the watercolor copies of the frescos that once covered the walls of San Basilio, we see a similar de-emphasis on the role the Friars Minor played in Margaret's life (see figures # 10-13). Cannon has noted the frescos at San Basilio are the earliest example scholars know of in Italy of a cycle in a cappella maggiore dedicated to telling the story of the life and miracles of an uncannonized person.987 The frescos, most likely completed by the Lorenzetti brothers in the 1330s, focus on the miracles that Margaret performed either during her life or after her death and that are described in the added chapter of miracle accounts in Giunta's Legenda.

In addition to miracle scenes, four frescos

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita ofCortona., p. 171. Ibid., p. 174. Ibid., pp. 147-154.

345 were devoted to the story of Margaret's conversion to and perfection of a religious life, two scenes depicted Margaret's funeral, one scene depicted her association with the domus misericordia, and finally the other scene showed Napoleone Orsini investigating the miracle accounts and authenticating her Legenda?*9 Cannon notes that while it is clear that the Lorenzetti had access to Giunta's Legenda, they do not seem to have tried to represent the many conversations with Christ and visions Margaret claims to have had, which dominate that text. The frescos also seem not to have focused on important moments in Margaret's spiritual progress, as the vita-panel had done. In the fresco of Margaret's funeral (see figure #10), two Franciscans and two Dominicans appear among what looks like various Cortonesi. In addition, we see friars depicted in the scenes of Margaret's conversion and entry into a religious life (see figures #11-12). But in the copy of the fresco showing Napoleone Orsini's visit to Margaret's tomb when he came to Cortona to authenticate the Legenda and the miracle claims, no friars are depicted (see figure #13). Thus while these frescoes did not pay much attention to Margaret's Franciscan guardians, they did provide the visitor to San Basilio with many images representing members of a larger Cortonesi community, those, we can imagine, who were the beneficiaries of Margaret's miracles.

The Commune's Saint Although the earliest source, the vita-panel, focuses upon Margaret's spiritual progress, the visual sources produced in the 1310/1320s and 1330s locate Margaret's sanctity in the miracles she performed. Each of these miracles had beneficiaries, and 989

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 177-178.

346 these sources (especially the frescos) provided opportunities for pilgrims coming to San Basilio to see representations of the kinds of cures they were seeking for themselves. From the descriptions in many of the testamentary charters that refer to San Basilio as the commune's church, we can assume that some of those arriving at Margaret's tomb would have been aware that they were in a church that belonged to the city. In the 1320s, Bishop Guido Tarlati of Arezzo's battle with the papacy allowed Cortona to resist Arezzo's control and begin to assert itself as an independent commune. In communal deliberations from 1324 (the only year for which such documents survive), the commune voted to give money to aid in the enlargement of San Basilio (pro ecclesia Sancti Basilii augmentanda).990 Cannon suggests that this referred to an on-going subvention to the church and stands as evidence that it was most likely the commune that funded the Lorenzetti's work on the frescos in the 1330s.991 In 1325, after Pope John XXII removed Cortona from the jurisdiction and control of the Arezzo bishop and made the city the seat of a new diocese, the commune issued its first set of civic statutes.992 These statutes named Margaret as one of the city's patrons. As we have seen in the communal statues of other cities where lay saints were venerated, Cortona's statutes outlined that on Margaret's feast day both civic officials and guild members were to lead a city wide procession.993 If anyone spoke ill of Margaret, the statutes outlined the

Cortona, Archivio storico del Comune di Cortona: Ql: "Deliberazioni comunitative 1323-1324," fol. 29. Also cited in Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 218. 991

Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p.218.


ASF, Statuti comunita soggette, 279, fols. 95, 140v-141v, and 123. These are transcribed in Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, pp. 227-230. 993

ASF, Statuti comunita soggette, 279, fols 140v-141v.

punishment they would receive.

And finally, the statutes make provisions for the then

rector of San Basilio, Felice, to travel to Avignon at the commune's expense to advocate for Margaret's canonization.995 We do not know if Felice ever made this trip, but if he did, he was not successful, since the Roman church did not canonize Margaret until 1728. Nevertheless, Margaret's cult continued to grow in Cortona throughout the fourteenth century. The Casali who had been instrumental in pushing for Cortona's independent status had by 1325 become the ruling family of the city. Napoleone Orsini's authentication of Margaret's Legenda in the Casali palace in 1308 gave the family the ability to associate their rule over Cortona with Margaret's memory.996 Just as the Fatinelli had done in San Frediano to mark their devotion to Zita, the Casali had made San Basilio their family mausoleum by the mid fourteenth century.997 In addition, the Cortonesi continued to make testamentary donations to the community of San Basilio. Many of the charters identify the pious gifts as going to both San Basilio and Santa Margherita.998 By 1392, however, as Cortona's commune was being pulled into the Florentine orbit and control of Margaret's church and tomb was granted to the Franciscans at San Francesco, the Casali's rule and Cortona's independence were fading. But when Margaret's body and cult finally passed into the hands of the Franciscans who had once been so wary of her, it no longer mattered that she was a fallen woman with a

Ibid., fol. 123. Ibid., fol. 14 lv. For more on this point, see Cardini, "Agiografia e politica." See Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona, p. 219. See for example, ASF, Unione, 10 August 1363; 9 May 1374; 17 April 1387.

348 dramatic visionary life. By the end of the fourteenth century, Margaret was simply Cortona's saint.

Conclusion The development of Margaret's cult at San Basilio portrays the efforts of one lay penitential community to maintain a religious life that, while connected to the Franciscan order, was not under the direct rule of its friars. The extent of that community's link to the spiritual Franciscans is unclear. Nevertheless, just as the fraticelli living at the Celle were at odds with the Franciscans at San Francesco over their refusal to join the friars living within Cortona, we can imagine that the lay penitents living at San Basilio were making their own claims of independence. That independence was supported and recognized by a variety of Cortonesi and religious authorities and paved the way for the saint's cult to be taken up by Cortona's emerging commune. The monuments and frescos produced to celebrate Margaret emphasized her civic identity by de-emphasizing her connection to the Franciscans, focusing instead on her membership in a community of lay penitents and her role as the city's holy woman and miracle worker. The mendicants have often been seen as the central focus of any study of lay penitents and lay saints in medieval Italian cities, and their importance in the growth of lay saints' cults and in the patronage of lay spirituality should not be questioned. But the circumstances and results of Margaret's move to San Basilio suggest that the Friars Minor did not always have as direct and as seamless a role in the development of the cults of contemporary civic saints in late-medieval Italy as many have assumed. The textual stories we have, describing not only the visions and conversations Margaret had

349 with Christ but also her efforts to help her fellow city-dwellers recognize and reform their sinful ways, all come from the Legenda, a text compiled by her Franciscan confessor. Yet, the absence of the Cortonese friars in the list of witnesses to most of Margaret's miracles and in the documentary record of the beginnings of her cult suggests that in the generation after her death, the Friars Minor were not particularly concerned with controlling Margaret's body and cult. Giunta's text makes it clear that Margaret's guardians had such serious doubts and suspicions about her that at one point they condemned her as delusional and a fraud. Giunta's descriptions of Margaret's religious life while she was living near San Francesco indicate that Margaret could not shake her identity as a fallen woman, which imbued all of her actions with the potential for shame and dishonor. If late medieval Christianity viewed the lay and urban world as inherently suspect, Margaret's identity as a fallen woman, without husband, father, or employer to claim her, must have seemed beyond redemption. And yet, as Giunta's text makes clear, Margaret's penitential program was so extreme that she became a new Magdalen, repentant and redeemed from her past shame. The seams in Giunta's narrative, as Nancy Caciola has described them, not only portray a deep ambivalence between Margaret and the Franciscans but also keep the text from telling a narrative with a clear chronology. We do not know when Giunta began his text, the circumstances surrounding its production, nor why it was never transformed into a more straightforward account of the development of Margaret's Franciscan sanctity. Giunta's appearance alongside other members of the San Basilio community as a witness to several miracle accounts perhaps suggests that his association with this new Magdalen had led him away from the doubts of some of his brothers. His transfer to Siena perhaps

350 speaks to the displeasure some of those friars felt over Giunta's on-going interest in Margaret. Although Giunta's text often cannot provide us with answers to basic questions about Margaret's life and associations, it does present a profound change in the focus of Margaret's devotional life and visions after her move to San Basilio. And no matter whether the disappearance of the questioning and doubting of Margaret's behavior reflects a change in Giunta, Margaret, or the religious opportunities available at San Basilio, Giunta shows that removed from the city, Margaret no longer used her penitential commitment and visionary gifts to redeem her past shame but instead used them to redeem her fellow Cortonesi.

351 Conclusion

This dissertation has looked at how and why contemporary laymen and women were venerated as saints in their civic communes. Documenting communal governments' interests in lay saints has, to a large extent, been the most straightforward aspect of this history. The appearance of lay saints' names in civic statutes and communal deliberations makes clear that civic regimes took an active role in connecting cities to the memory of their most pious inhabitants. It has been a more complicated endeavor to describe how the first vitae, legendae, miracle collections and visual monuments produced for these saints articulated the form, function and value of lay sanctity. I have noted that from the first twelfth-century cults, hagiographers mined two models of lay sanctity. While one emphasized a lay saint's civic function, privileging the saint's efforts to respond to the needs of a civic community, the other focused on the lay saint's efforts to reform the sinful aspects of his or her own life through a rigorous penitential routine, visions, and a quest to live according to a contemplative ideal. But as I have shown in the proceeding chapters, in the late thirteenth century, when communes were at the height of their independence and we have the most evidence of thriving lay civic cults, hagiographers moved easily between these two models, picking and choosing aspects of each to fit their particular civic and religious context. Thus, while earlier lives of Omonbono of Cremona ignored or disparaged the saint's work as a merchant, Labentibus annis, written between 1270-1300, during the height of popolo power in Cremona, paid particular attention to his work and social background. Moreover, Labentibus annis emphasized how the pious layman's efforts to protect

352 himself from the snares of the lay world with a rigorous routine of penance ultimately contributed to the welfare of the city. In thirteenth-century Lucca, a canon from the church of San Frediano was concerned to articulate how Zita perfectly balanced her work as a domestic servant and her commitment to providing charity for her fellow Lucchese with her punishing schedule of penance and prayer. That canon's sense of what constituted an ideal lay life must have reflected the mixed life of contemplation and action that was also expected of him. Moreover, Zita's identity as a domestic servant who frequented San Frediano allowed the new popolo government to associate themselves with a non-noble city-dweller and the canons of the church to launch a popular cult aimed at rivaling the cathedral's Volto santo. In a vita that was likely written in the early 1270s, Andrea of Siena is described as experiencing numerous visions of the Virgin Mary. The emphasis on Andrea's Marian devotion reflected the Sienese's growing cult of the Virgin, whom they credited for their surprising victory at Montaperti a decade earlier. But instead of simply portraying Andrea as a visionary, the author of his vita focused upon how the saint's civic neighbors served as witnesses for each of his visions. Living an active life within his city, Andrea's vita repeatedly emphasized, gave this saint the ability to transform his own moments of spiritual connection into devotional opportunities for his entire civic community. By the 1330s, however, both Siena's civic context and the nature of the urban lay religious life had changed. Although written by a Franciscan friar, Pier's vita still reflected the particular concerns and culture of Siena under the Nine. While Pietro da Montarone insisted that Pier had progressed from an active to a contemplative life, the stories he uses as evidence of Pier's sanctity in the vita point to the pious comb-maker's tireless efforts

353 to adhere to the laws of his commune. Pietro's vita makes clear that the most potent proof of Pier's sanctity was the actions he took to be a perfect communal citizen. Andre Vauchez has noted that associations between the laity and local clergy stand behind the beginnings of several cults of lay saints in the Italian communes.999 The cults of Ranieri of Pisa, Raimondo 'Palmerio' of Piacenza, Facio of Cremona and Zita of Lucca all began with vitae written by members of the local clergy. Those vitae were most often begun to record the miracles preformed at a layperson's tomb. Canons and priests were precisely the individuals charged with the responsibility of maintaining those tombs so it is not surprising to see them as the first patrons of lay cults. After Pope Nicholas I V s 1289 bull, Supra montem, the institutional ambiguity that had marked the lay penitential life had been replaced with the certainty of Franciscan supervision. Friars, not priests or canons, were expected to be lay penitents' confessors and guardians. As a result, those friars also became the first patrons of lay saints' cults. In my study of the development of Margaret of Cortona's cult, I emphasized how the joint community of secular clerics and lay penitents that congregated at San Basilio, and managed with the help of the communal government to promote Margaret's cult, suggested that these lay penitents were actively seeking to maintain an independent and varied religious life that was quickly disappearing. I discussed how the complicated history of both Margaret's life and early cult owes much to the fact that it was during her lifetime that the nature of the relationship between the Franciscans and lay penitents changed. Giunta suggests that Margaret had long sought a connection to Cortona's most powerful religious order. The circumstances of her life support his assertion. Margaret's

Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, pp. 240-1.

354 status as a fallen woman with an illegitimate child made her desperate for the protection an affiliation with the Franciscans could offer. But the combination of the friars' doubts about Margaret and the loss of freedom Supra montem signaled for lay penitents seems to have led this saint to have sought the connection of another community—the penitents of San Basilio and the civic commune that supported them. While Margaret may have been looking to recapture an independent lay religious life that was disappearing, we can imagine that Giunta was at pains to describe Margaret's sanctity in a manner that would be acceptable to his superiors. To a certain extent, Giunta capitalizes upon the Franciscans' initial concern about Margaret. He presents her lay sanctity as most clearly visible in the efforts she went to redeem and reform herself. Although Giunta claims that Margaret was devoted to providing charity to her fellow city-dwellers, I noted how little the Legenda actually says of this charity work. Giunta is ultimately more interested in looking at how Margaret's penitential practices distanced her from her former shame than in the contributions to her civic community. The connection Giunta makes in the Legenda between individual selfreform and lay sanctity bring us back to an earlier model of a holy lay life. At the very end of the twelfth century, Pope Innocent III justified his canonization of Omobono by pointing out that it was the layman's efforts to be a "lily among thorns," to withdraw from worldly concerns, dedicate his life to a rigorous penitential program, and fight against heresy that marked him as a saint. To some extent, then, my analysis supports Vauchez's conclusions: the papal call for mendicant supervision of the lay penitential life did herald the end of the kind of lay civic sanctity that flourished in the thirteenth-century Italian communes. With friars

acting as the guardians of lay penitents and most often the authors of lay saints vitae, the evidence of a holy lay life was much more likely to be found in attempts at self reform and spiritual progress than in civic charity. By emphasizing one model of lay sanctity, the mendicants created lay cults that deemphasized a lay saint's particular civic context. The development of the cult Pier 'Pettinaio,' however, argues against Vauchez's thesis. None of the references we see in Pier's vita of the saint's particular devotion to Saint Francis, his time living in a cell connected to the church of San Francesco in Siena, the claim that he made himself a "Third Order" habit, or the author's claims that Pier has progressed from an active life to a contemplative ideal dilute the vita's presentation of the importance of Pier's civic identity. Although he was writing after the Franciscans had assumed control of lay penitents, this friar goes to great lengths to promote a lay sanctity that valued Pier's identity as a citizen of the Sienese commune over his connection with the Friars Minor. The cult of Enrico of Treviso (d. 1315), whose late fourteenth-century vita is outside the parameters of this study, also argues against seeing the mendicants as responsible for the end of lay civic sanctity.1000 Although Enrico died and his vita was written long after Supra montem, Bishop Pietro da Baono, the author of Enrico's vita, makes clear that the primary association of the saint and his cult was with Treviso. The bishop describes the constant prayer and pious activities of Enrico, who, although particularly devoted to the city's Augustinian hermits, made a point each day of visiting all of the city's churches. He describes the Trevesi's outpouring of devotion when Enrico


Enrico is also sometimes identified as Enrico of Bolzano, the town where he was born. For Enrico's vita and cult, see Webb, Saints and Cities, pp. 242-256; and R. degli Azzoni Avogari, Memorie del Beato Enrico, morto in Trivigi MCCCXV corredate di documenti, con una dissertazione sopra San Liberate e sopra gli alti santi dei quali riposano i Sacri Corpori nella chiesa delta gid detta chiesa (Venice, 1760).

356 died; people were so intent upon touching Enrico's body as it was carried into the cathedral that they broke off some of the casket's panels, exposing the saint's body "rocking to and fro" inside.1001 The bishop goes on to describe how Tr^viso'spodesta rushed to the cathedral when he heard about Enrico's death, and marveled there, alongside the bishop, that the casket had been so badly damaged. Within a few days the commune, the bishop and the podesta had jointly appointed a committee of three men to verify and document the accounts of miracles taking place at Enrico's tomb. The vita concludes with the bishop noting that a chapel was ordered built within the cathedral to hold Enrico's remains "by decree of the bishop and chapter and commune."1002 Thus, just as we saw was the case in Pier's vita, Enrico's vita presents lay sanctity as dependent upon the saint's civic community. Is the distinction both Vauchez and I are making therefore a matter of sex? After all, I noted how the descriptions in Pier's vita of the comb-maker's connection to the Franciscan order bear none of the angst that Giunta's Legenda makes clear existed between Margaret and her guardians. Did male lay penitents retain an independence that female penitents did not? Did that independence keep the cults of laymen entangled in a web of civic and religious associations that were not open to women? A study of the growth of the cults of a number of male and female fourteenth-century urban saints (all of whom have been claimed by the Franciscans and Dominicans as members of their Third Orders) such as John Pelingotto of Urbino (d.



Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 252.

Webb, Saints and Cities, p. 256. Diana Webb has noted that early modern sources refer to now lost medieval documents attesting to the efforts the commune went to have its Palazzo Publico covered in the fourteenth century with images of the Virgin Mary, Saint Lucy, and Enrico; see Saints and Cities, p. 245.

357 1304), Vanna of Orvieto (d. 1306), Angela of Foligno (d. 1307), Margherita of Cittadi Castello (d. 1320), Peter Crisci of Foligno (d. 1323), Cecco of Foligno (d. 1350), Michelina of Pesaro (d. 1356), and Tommauccio of Foligno (d. 1377) is needed to bring to light the extent to which the terms of lay sanctity had become determined by sex. Recent studies devoted to the most famous of all lay saints, Catherine of Siena (d. 1380), which urge us to think more carefully about the nature of her religious vocation and the development of her cult, however, suggest that some ambiguity surrounding the lay religious life persisted into the late fourteenth century. F. Thomas Luongo has shown us how Catherine's sanctity emerged out of her particular civic and political context. He has noted the extent to which, unlike the portrait of the saint's religious life we see in Raymond of Capua's Legenda maior, the Miracoli di Caterina di Iacapo di Siena, written in 1374 by an anonymous Florentine, presents Catherine as having participated in an active independent lay religious vocation (in the midst of other independent religious lay women) throughout much of her young-adult life.1003 Luongo writes that Raymond must have seen Catherine's community of mantellate (as Catherine and her companions were often called) living uncloistered lives within the city as an "unpromising position from which to launch a new saint."1004 Luongo points out Raymond's need to justify the

F. Thomas Luongo, The Saintly Politics of Catherine of Siena (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006), especially pp. 23-55. The Miracoli has been edited and translated by Lehmijoki-Gardner, who notes that elements in the text suggest that the anonymous writer may have been a woman; see Dominican Penitent Women, pp. 87-104. The work of Katherine Jane Gill and Elizabeth Makowski on the continuing lay character of women's religious communities despite papal directives in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries would be relevant to such a study; see Katherine Jane Gill, "Penitents, Pinzochere and Mantellate: Varieties of Women's Religious Communities in Central Italy, c. 1300-1520" (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1994). Elizabeth Makowski has studied papal and canon lawyers attitudes towards of female penitents and quasireligious; see "A Pernicious Sort of Woman ": Quasi-Religious Women and Canon Lawyers in the Later Middle Ages (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005); and Canon Law and Cloistered Women: Periculoso and its Commentators, 1298-1545 (Washington D. C : The Catholic University of America Press, 1998).

358 public nature of Catherine's later life; Raymond presents Catherine's years as a (supposed) recluse as having given her the protection she needed to move "unscathed in the world."1005 Gerald Parsons has studied the extensive efforts the Sienese commune took to celebrate Catherine and connect her cult to the city in the generation after her death.1006 Parsons points out that at the same time as Raymond and the Dominicans were pushing for Catherine's canonization, her native city was also working to cement her identity as a primary civic patron. We are left to wonder how much our understanding of Catherine has been determined by her hagiographer's interest, to use Luongo's phrase, to "erase problematic features of Catherine's career."1007 To what extent, we must ask, did the lives and cults of other urban laymen and women in the century after Supra montem retain an independence and civic-centeredness that their mendicant-directed vitae deny? A brief look at Catherine seems to suggest that even at the end of the fourteenth century, a holy lay life remained connected to and anchored in the city.


Luongo, The Saintly Politics of Catherine of Siena, p. 51.


Gerald Parsons, The Cult of Catherine of Siena: A Study in Civil Religion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008).


Luongo, The Saintly Politics of Catherine of Siena, p. 26.

Figure #1

Tino di Camaino Tomb of S. Ranieri, c. 1291-1306 S. Ranieri and a Donor, Marco Sicchi, Stand Before the Tomb and Altar of Saint Pisa, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo


Figure #2

Tino di Camaino Tomb of S. Ranieri, c. 1291-1306 The Body ofS. Ranieri Is Placed Within the Tomb Chest Pisa, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Figure #3

Reliquary Panels for Blessed Andrea Gallerani Exterior Panels Guido da Siena, c. 1270 Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale

Figure #4

Reliquary Shutters for Blessed Andrea da Siena Interior Panels Dietisalvi di Speme c. 1270 Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale


Figure #5

Simone Martini or workshop Beato Andrea Gallerani, c. 1320 Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale


Figure #6

Duccio di Buoninsegna Front panel of Maesta, c. 1308-1311 Siena, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo


Figure #7

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Simone Martini Maesta, c. 1315-21 Siena, Palazzo Pubblico, Sala del Consiglio


Figure #8

Beata Margherita with Eight Scenes from Her Life Tuscan, c. 1297-1307 Cotona, Museo Diocesano


Figure #9

Sienese sculptor, (Gano di Fazio?) Funerary Monument of Beata Margherita, c.1310-1320 Cortona, Santa Margherita


Figure #10

The Funeral ofMargherita Watercolor copy, 1629-40 Formerly on north wall of cappella maggiore ofS. Margherita Cortona, Biblioteca Comunale e dell'Accademia Etrusea, cod. 429

Figure #11

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Christ Calls Margherita to Go to Cortona to Do Penance Watercolor copy, 1629-40 Formerly on north wall of cappella maggiore ofS. Margherita Cortona, Biblioteca Comunale e delPAccademia Etrusca, cod. 429


Figure #12

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The Profession and Investiture ofMargherita as a Member of the Franciscan Third Order Watercolor copy, 1629-40 Formerly on north wall of cappella maggiore ofS. Margherita Cortona, Biblioteca Comunale e delPAccademia Etrusca, cod. 429

Figure #13


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The Visitation of Cardinal Napoleone Orsini Watercolor copy, 1629-40 Formerly on north wall of cappella maggiore ofS. Margherita Cortona, Biblioteca Comunale e deU'Accademia Etrusca, cod. 429