This essay analyses the domestic cult of the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola from his death at the stake (1498) to the end of the sixteenth century. Numerous accounts exist of people praying to Savonarola in their households and receiving miracles of every kind through him. Accounts aside, the many measures issued by the religious authorities from 1499 to 1585 demonstrate that a domestic cult of Savonarola was alive and well during all these years. In spite of the repeated bans prohibiting the possession of relics and the spread of Savonarola’s doctrine and miracles, as late as 1583 the archbishop of Florence expressed his concern about the lay people who used to gather in private homes to worship the late Friar. The essay ends by showing how in the late sixteenth century Savonarolan followers claimed the right to venerate the Friar in private in spite of his condemnation, while Counter-Reformation authorities surrendered the control of private prayers, paving the way to a double practice of devotion.

Domestic Prayers and Miracles in Renaissance Italy: The Case of Savonarola and his Cult

DALL'AGLIO Stefano
2019

Abstract

This essay analyses the domestic cult of the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola from his death at the stake (1498) to the end of the sixteenth century. Numerous accounts exist of people praying to Savonarola in their households and receiving miracles of every kind through him. Accounts aside, the many measures issued by the religious authorities from 1499 to 1585 demonstrate that a domestic cult of Savonarola was alive and well during all these years. In spite of the repeated bans prohibiting the possession of relics and the spread of Savonarola’s doctrine and miracles, as late as 1583 the archbishop of Florence expressed his concern about the lay people who used to gather in private homes to worship the late Friar. The essay ends by showing how in the late sixteenth century Savonarolan followers claimed the right to venerate the Friar in private in spite of his condemnation, while Counter-Reformation authorities surrendered the control of private prayers, paving the way to a double practice of devotion.
Domestic Devotions in Early Modern Italy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3712874
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