translated by Thomas Renna, Phd and Shannon Larson
Please click HERE for a sample of the book.
Saint Margaret of Cortona is the light of the Third Order of Francis. Such is
the theme of the most extensive biography of any Franciscan Tertiary in the
Middle Ages. Margaret’s extraordinary career brings the historian closer to
the early development of the Franciscans and the Order of Penance; it tells
us much about how women saints were described, and about how civic
cults of saints emerged. Another window, although a smaller one, opens
to the tensions between the Franciscan Community and the Spiritual
Franciscans before the split prior to Pope John XXII. Indeed it could be
said that we know more about Margaret of Cortona than about any woman
of thirteenth-century Italy, with the exception of Clare of Assisi and Clare
This edition is translated from the critical Latin edition by Fortunato
Iozzelli, O.F.M. The Life and Miracles of Saint Margaret of Cortona by Fra
Giunta Bevegnati. The original translation by Thomas Renna has been
edited by Shannon Larson.
"The poignant life of Margaret of Cortona offers a profound avenue to explore the rich complexity of Franciscan spirituality with special focus on the Lay Franciscan experience and with insights into the Franciscan tradition as a whole. This accessible translation of the vita of Margaret of Cortona will be beneficial to both students and scholars interested in the Franciscan tradition, and to people with a devotional attraction to Franciscan spirituality. This volume will be indispensable reading in Franciscan studies for decades."
-- Darleen Pryds, Associate Professor of History and Spirituality, Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union
"Thomas Renna s English translation of Fra Giunta Bevegnati s 1308 Life of Saint Margaret of Cortona (1247-1293) is a treasure trove of early Franciscan history primarily drawing from her canonization proceedings, the penitential movement, popular legend, and the cult of women's saints. It is based on Fra Fortunato Iozzelli's 1997 critical Latin edition. Renna's translation preserves the colloquial flavor and emotional force of Margaret s dialogues as well as their historical accuracy. Renna is careful to point out that numerous mythical elements about Margaret s penitential practices eventually became integrated into her Legenda. Between 1272-1289 Margaret turned to the Friars Minor, including her biographer, Fra Guinta, for spiritual advice. Known for her severe penances, she became Cortona's most public citizen. She died in 1293 in the commune of Cortona which built a church for her remains that became a popular pilgrimage site. A rich oral tradition continued to surround Margaret until her canonization in 1728. Fra Giunta's life of Margaret is peppered with vignettes relevant to the development of the Third Order of Saint Francis."
-- Ingrid J. Peterson, O.S.F., Rochester, MN
Available in Hard Cover or Paperback