Leo I’s sermon on the third anniversary of his consecration seems conventional, but tells us much about the contemporary Italian episcopate. The pope’s contention that his suffragan bishops should be chosen on the basis of their spiritual qualities and not their rank and birth was an attack on particular dynasties of Italian bishops at the time. They were often chosen precisely because of their paternity and family traditions of leadership in the world or the church. Leo was not concerned about great aristocratic bishops, who belonged to a previous generation of prominent churchmen in Italy. Bishops from families of local notables were his target. Leo proceeded to warn them against a cultural tradition of maintaining conjugal relations with their wives, using language normally employed to attack Julian of Aeclanum’s followers.
It is a debated topic in historic and artistic studies to determinate if Minor and Preachers Friars had a passive or active role in the increasing presence of burials in their convents, already from the 1240s. The article considers this matter through an analysis mainly based on the general and provincial chapters of both orders during the 13th century. Even if chapters urged convents not to accept burials, they didn’t motivate those prohibitions by sumptuary reasons, but by the will to avoid fights with parish clergy and liturgical overcharge. At the same time, both orders were defending their jus sepulture and both used burials, in particular those of prestigious people, as a guarantee of their legitimacy. Only Preachers carried out a policy on the localisation and the typology of the tombs, with an explicit attempt to reserve the burial in the ecclesia fratrum for illustrious members of the order.
The production of works about the matter de recuperatione Terrae Sanctae was huge even during the papacy of Boniface VIII and the first half of 14th century, but it reached its climax during the Jubilee of 1300. It seems a contradiction because the proposals and the strategic plans described were not followed by any of the benefits of these kinds of works. One of the most important strategic proposal was the possibility of a christian alliance with the Mongol ilkhanate of Persia against the common enemy: the Mamluk Sultanate. The works of Ramon Llull, Héthum of Armenia and Marino Sanudo il Vecchio nourished the hopes of an impossible alliance.
Through the analysis of literary and iconographic sources, the paper reconstructs the devotional Christological practices present in Perugia between late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century. One of the most important sources is the Libro di Vita, an unpublished manual of spiritual exercises for the devout layman, written in 1496 by minor observant friar Gabriele Sante da Perugia. Figurative evidences, analyzed in connection with the devotional literature, are some unknown wood sculptures, identified in private chapels in Perugia, depicting the bust of Christ, an iconography that art historians have recently encoded to refer to both the devotional laic environment and the Third Orders of Central Italy in the late fifteenth century.
This study proposes the reconstruction of the whole debate within the Roman Curia about the participation of Italian Catholics to general elections, since 1860 until 1888. New elements therefore integrate the acquisitions of classical and recent historiography upon this theme. They are drawn from a rich and unpublished documentary heritage not yet systematically examined, in particular reports and documentation of three of the most important ministries of the Holy See’s government: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Inquisition and the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Following this documentation, it is clear how the Vatican’s “closed” position on the involvement of Italian Catholics in national political life was neither effective nor definitive, even after the Holy Offi ce officially proclaimed the non expedit as a prohibition, in 1886.