Saint Francis’ Prophecy: Authority, Authenticity and Franciscan Identity between the 14th and the 15th century The essay focuses on a vision attributed to Francis of Assisi, in which the saint predicts the advent of a heretic pope, the decline of the Franciscan Order and the persecution of the few righteous. The first attestations of the prophecy, which met with great success between the late Middle Ages and the modern age, date back to the beginning of the 14th century, when the text circulated within the persecuted groups of ‘spiritual’ Franciscans. It is not clear to whom the hint to the heretic pope originally referred, but it is precisely the vague and unspecified nature of the vision that favours the active role of the readers, who are entrusted with the responsibility of making explicit the allusions. Moreover, the intrinsic ambiguity of prophetic language is intertwined with the ‘mediated’ nature of a speech delivered by Francis, transmitted by his companion Brother Leo, but recorded only by later authors such as Corrado of Offida and Angelo Clareno. In this stratified memory, the transmission of the alleged words of Francis testified the charismatic continuity between the ‘founder’ and his true disciples: the few spiritual friars, which were isolated and persecuted, and therefore all the more in need of a guarantee of authenticity that would justify and somehow redeem their defeat.
Michele Lodone (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Titolo:||La profezia di san Francesco. Autorità, autenticità e identità francescana tra XIV e XV secolo|
|Rivista:||RIVISTA DI STORIA DEL CRISTIANESIMO|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |
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