General Introduction to the Historia Capuccina of Mattia Bellintani da Salò

by Melchiore da Pobladura OFM Cap

in Monumenta Historica Ordinis Minorum Capuccinorum Vol, V, Romae, 1946

Translated by Paul Hanbridge OFM Cap

Collegio San Lorenzo da Brindisi, Rome, 2003

© 2020 Capuchin Friars of Australia

Table of Contents

General Introduction[1]

I. The Author of the Capuchin History

We should admit that up until now we have not considered ourselves a capable biographer of the illustrious writer and preacher Mattia Bellintani of Salò. Although we do not believe that it is ours to tell about and describe fully the individual acts of such outstanding man, nonetheless, once we have reviewed his main biographical sources, we will immediately present to the eyes of the readers his curriculum vitae so that to some extent they may know the author of the work being published.

A. Biographical sources

1. As is fitting, the works composed by the author are the first biographical source to be had. However there is very little historical information to be found regarding his life. We have drawn our information from the codices of the Capuchin History, from his treatise on the prayer of the Forty Hours, and from the letters that Matthias of Salò himself sent or from those brought to him.[2]

2. John Francis of Brescia OFM Cap gave Mattias’ funeral eulogy in the Capuchin friary while the body was still present, and the priest John Poeta performed the funeral a few days later in the church of Saint Lawrence. In those eulogies, which were published in 1612,[3] the authors are more concerned with the soul and the person rather than chronological events.

3. The Vita del P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò, a codex in the Capuchin Archives of Umbria, with the reference number M.3. the anonymous author of this biographical information collected individual sermons of Fr. Mattia with special care, especially those which were given during Lent and Advent, indicating at the same time the time and place of each one. In our opinion, this author deserves the highest trust and therefore we believe that this anonymous author is to be followed in preference to other dissenting authors. The information he has given corresponds with that read in other authentic documents. The biography was composed after the edition of the funeral eulogies in 1612 and before the month of April 1620 since the author certainly knew the eulogies but does not mention the translation of the body that took place in this latter year.[4]

4. The Vita del servo di Dio Mattia da Salò, sc. Capuccino, al secolo Paolo Bellintani is kept the Biblioteca Queriniana in Brescia, under the reference number E.I.2, in a work Brixia beata nella quale si leggono 130 vite dei più scelti servi di Dio e serve di Dio di pia e venerata memoria, composte dai M.Ri. Sig. D. Bernardino Faino, prete bresciano P. Beniamino Zacchi, di S. Theologia lettore, agostiniano dell’ Osservanza di Lombardia, t.II, pages 765-793. It begins: Nel luogo di Gazzane de genitori bensì poveri ma honesti. It finishes: Et in arcam marmoream reposita, beatam resurrectionem expectant. The recent apographon, which we have used here, is kept in the General Archives OFM Cap. Rome, under the reference number A.V.7. Fasc. 185mm x 270mm, 24 pages.

The present biography, adequately complete and accurate, was made after 1648 because it describes the translation of the body of Fr. Mattia while Fr. Faustino Ghidoni was governing the Capuchin Province of Brescia. He was moderator of that province from 1648-1650.[5] There is a difference of opinion among writers about the identity of the author. Some say he was a contemporary confrere of Mattias himself since he knew Capuchin life very well.[6] Others think he was Ottavio Rossi because in another work of his he explicitly admits to having narrated the life of Mattias.[7] As regards this second opinion it should be known that Ottavio Rossi died in 1630. Furthermore it is clear from the original documents that the body of Mattias was inspected in 1620 and that among the document witnesses transcribed below we find the preface of Ottavio Rossi. Hence it is less intelligible as to how he could have written that the inspection happened fifteen years after Mattia’s death, that is, in 1626. It is certainly true that the same Ottavio Rossi wrote some biography, which until now remained unknown.[8] From a little piece of information about the codex in the General Archives OFM Cap we know that A.V.7 is divided into three parts or books which his contemplation, action and preaching are treated in an ordered way. These questions are also discussed in the present biography but mixed in with other things so that it cannot be said that the three books constitute one work. It is completely unknown to us why this biography in the general title of the work is not given importance by the authors mentioned.

In 1650 the printer Mark Anthony Rossi of Bergamo produced a biographical summary written by an anonymous Capuchin. Most of its information is seen and confirmed to be true and exact.[9] A recent apographon of this summary is kept in Rome in the General Archives OFM Cap under the reference number A.V.7. It is clear that this copy was made from the published text.

6. Zacharias Boverius, the author of the Annals of the Order, as is his custom, produces a biography of Mattias Bellintani in their second volume. As his principal sources he uses a manuscript, unknown to us, from the province of Brescia.[10]

7. Finally, also the more recent biographers should be recalled. The first of these is John Anthony M. of Brescia, OFM Cap who published his biography in 1885. In his work he collects and organises a lot of information.[11] Then there is Valdemiro of Bergamo OFM Cap who first in the periodical Miscellanea Francescana[12] and then in the history of the Capuchin Friars of the province of Brescia[13] wrote extensively about this question. Lastly in these recent times Umile of Genoa OFM Cap has addressed the same matter and has attempted to solve certain difficulties. However, as we shall see shortly, fortune will not have smiled upon him always.[14]

B. A chronological overview of the life of Fr. Mattia of Salò

Leaving aside biographical studies, in this section we refer year by year to the main events of the life of Mattia of Salò.

1535-1552. On the night of the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul in the year 1535, our Mattias was born in the little town of Gazzane (Roé Volciano) to Bellintanto Bellintani and Susanna Bonfecini. Here at the baptismal font, however, he was given the name Paul.[15] Fated with a good spirit and raised devoutly in the fear of god by his parents, he showed himself to be very dedicated to spiritual things. Provided with a sharp mind, he dedicated himself to letters at Salò since he had moved there with the family. After that he continued in Brescia. There he taught the son of a certain noble by the name of Avogadro.[16] In the same town he established a friendship with the Capuchin friars who were staying in a friary commonly called the Abbey, which was near the wall of the city.

1552. He had already completed his seventeenth year when on 7 October 1552 when he was inducted with the Capuchin habit at Bergamo by Pacificus of San Gevasio who was moderating the province of Milan.[17] Others hold that he joined the number of Capuchin confreres at Brescia on 4 October 1551.[18] Others again hold that it was the same day in 1553.[19] The first opinion cannot be defended since we know that at the time the supreme moderator of the Order was Eusebius of Ancona[20] who was not yet elected on the 3 June 1552.[21] The second opinion is rejected since Matthew would not have been seventeen but nineteen, contrary to the oldest documents.

1553. Half way through his novitiate year, evidently around the time of Lent 1553, Mattia was transferred to the friary at Como. When to time for his profession was imminent he was sent to Milan where on 7 October he took his religious vows before the Guardian of the friary, Francis Meazza of Milan.[22] Umile of Genoa who as we advised above, affirms that he was clothed in the seraphic tunic in 1553, and relegates Mattia’s profession to the following year. He adds that the aforementioned Francis Meazza is carrying out the office of minister provincial then[23], who in fact took up office in 1554.[24] Nonetheless the old writers state that when Mattia made his vows, Francis was then superior of the community.

1553-1555. After Mattia pronounced religious vows in Milan he returned to Como and stayed there until Easter 1555. We know that he was the companion of Joseph of Ferno OFM Cap on his visitations of the Barnabites.[25] When that happened is not clear. Some think it took place in 1554.[26] However from other documents it does not appear that he was in Milan in that year.

1555-1556. In the provincial assemblies gathered after Easter 1555 he was sent to Brescia, then under the leadership of Mark of Bergamo.[27]

1556. Then because of poor health, as the provincial chapter was celebrated after Easter, he was sent to Milan and then to the community in the town of Abbiategrasso. Because of this, from the things that we are about to say, it will be obvious that some erroneously write that he was transferred in that year.[28]

1556-1557. On the vigil of the Feast of Christmas 1556 he is heading to Monza and with Fr. John Fassazio of Milan as master, who was also fulfilling the office of guardian, he began to study logic and in which time be recovered from the long bout of illness. Since his master in this year was elected provincial minister, Mattia continued as a student of Fr. Jerome of Novara.[29]

1558. After the feast of Easter he is sent to Brescia and continues the study of logic under the instruction of Francis Meazza of Milan, or rather, alone he begins the study of philosophy.

1559. Before Lent he is sent with his master to Bergamo. When the general Minister, Thomas of Città di Castello saw his extraordinary gifts of heart and mind, furnished with a letter of obedience he sent him in June to the city of Assisi so that he might have the benefit of the plenary indulgence of the Porziuncola. He hoped afterwards to assign him for instruction from some outstanding and erudite master of the Order. However compelled by illness Mattia is forced to stay on in Assisi until October at which time he set out Rome and then to Aversa where his confrere Jerome of Pistoia taught him sacred theology.[30]

1560. After Easter the Lector Jerome of Pistoia went to Naples with the young religious.[31] However since the Naples study house was closed in the month of September, Mattia was place under the instruction of Jerome of Montefiore in the community in Rieti.[32] Finally, having completed the course of studies, on Christmas night in the church of the Order in Rome he offered the Holy Sacrifice for the first time.[33]

Before we continue we with the subject we believe one should be aware that Mattia did his philosophical and theological studies privately, i.e. under the individual instruction of Readers, about whom we have spoken above. It is not sure from historical sources, if perhaps the time of the Naples sojourn is established, whether or not there were many students together. Our opinion in this is plainly based on what we have known from elsewhere about things regarding studies in the Order in that first period.[34] In a certain way this explains the frequent changes of location. Further the things that are said about the instruction of Jerome of Montefiore seem to indicate this exactly.[35]

1561. When Jerome of Montefiore preached the season of Lent publicly in the town of Civita Castellano, Fr. Mattia was with him as his companion.[36] Then as the two were returning to the friary at Rieti, he remained there as vicar of the house for the time of the provincial chapter in Rome. On 4th May the general chapter was convoked in Rome and at it Mattia was acclaimed as a preacher of the word of God. At the same time he was assigned to the province of Umbria to teach logic.[37] He started this at Foligno after the feast of Our Lady of the Angels. On the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God he gave the first sermon, in the church however of the community. He preached the Advent in the Cathedral Church. Umile of Genoa mistakenly asserts that in the same year he preached the Lent in the same town[38] when he had not yet arrived in Foligno. Generally writers speak in a sufficiently confused way about a certain confraternity established in Foligno in that year.[39] This is about the Oratorio Boni Jesu that John Baptist Vitelli set up there. He asked Mattia to compose some proper statutes and rules, as he later did.[40]

1562. In this year he remained as lector in Foligno. He often gave sermons throughout the year in the cathedral church. However, during Lent he preached in the town of Gualdo Tadino.

1563. He continues in the office of lector. He gave the Lenten sermons in Trevi and after Easter he was sent as lector to Perugia.

1564. He participated in the provincial chapter as the discreet of the friary and was deputed as lector and guardian of the community of Foligno. When he preached at Spoleto he was asked to give a sermon on peace at the solemn Forty Hours prayer which Francis of Soriano OFM established there. However, overcome by fear and timidity and he did not dare to do it as he himself later told.[41]

1565. He is confirmed as lector and guardian in Foligno and often gives sermons in the town throughout the year. However he gave the Lenten sermons this year in the cathedral church of Assisi.[42]

1566. After the Lent that he preached this year in Narni he became guardian and lector at Todi where he also gave the Advent sermons.[43]

1567. He appeared as the sacred speaker for Lent in the town called Amelia. In the provincial assemblies celebrated after Easter he was elected definitor and custos general. At the same time we was assigned as lector and guardian at Perugia. On the 17th May Marius of Mercato Saraceno took up the highest governance of the Order. Marius made him as his companion and secretary. Then when he later visited the province of Naples he left him as caretaker and commissary in Cava to settle the dispute around that convent.[44]

1568. He gave the Lenten sermons this year in Cava and for the first time, overcoming his own apprehension, he frequently preached during the prayer of the Forty Hours and to the benefit of souls, so that he promised himself to always continue it. He participated in the provincial chapter in Naples as the superior of the community of Naples. At that chapter he became definitor, guardian and lector.

1569. He was confirmed as definitor, guardian and lector in Naples. He preached the Lent in Nola and gave the sermon for some hours during the solemn prayer of the Forty Hours.[45] He instituted the society called the Society of Mercy and he enriched it with statutes. In the Neapolitan church of the Annunciation he explained the sacred book of Tobit and in the church of the Incurables in the same city he preached the sacred time of Advent.

1570. By trickery he id deprived this year of the pulpit of the Cathedral church of Aversa. Therefore he preached the Lent in Naples in the church of St. Nicholas, commonly called del Molo. In May he was present for the general chapter in Rome. Following the wishes of the fathers of the province of Milan, the general superiors made him general lector in Brescia and the students from many provinces came there.

1571. He was called to preach the Lent in Perugia. Moved by his preaching the citizens began to build another friary for the Capuchin Friars.[46] Then when he was returning to his own province, he met the fathers of the province of Picena assembled at Macerata and he addressed them three times. Meanwhile the chapter was being celebrated in Milan on which occasion was appointed again as guardian and lector in Brescia. Throughout the year he often preached in that town.

1572. At the request of the cardinal of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo, he forwent preaching in the cathedral church in the city of Lodi and this year preached the Lent in the metropolitan church of Milan. After Easter he was elected provincial definitor, lector and guardian in Milan and he preached there very often.

1573. In the provincial chapter assembled in Novara after Easter he was confirmed as definitor, elected as custos general and assigned as guardian and lector in Brescia where he preached in the city before Lent. To increase piety he founded there for the people the hour of evening mental prayer in the cathedral church.[47] On the 9th May he was present for the general assemblies in Ancona and at the time of Advent he gave the sermons in the cathedral church of Cremona. In this year in Brescia the first part of his work On the practice of Mental Prayer came out.[48]

1574. He preached the Lent in Bergamo in the Church of St. Mary’s. In the chapter celebrated after Easter he became minister of the province of Milan for the first time. However while carrying out the visitation, he continued the office of lector in Brescia during the winter, where he also preached the Advent.[49] Again in the same year the first part of the Practice of Mental Prayer was published in Venice.[50]

1575. During the Lent in which he preached at Vercelli he resolved a certain dispute that had arisen between the bishop and the canons.[51] At Cremona after Easter he was confirmed as vicar provincial. In the month of May in Rome he was elected definitor general and was sent to France as commissary of the growing Order. Before taking up the journey he spoke in Cremona with cardinal Sfondrati (later Gregory XIII) and in Milan with cardinal Charles Borromeo who gave him a letters of recommendation for Henry III, for the Nuntio of Holy See in Paris and for the duke of Savoy Emanuel Philibert. On 2o July he left Milan and at Turin was courteously received by Emanuel Philibert. He then continued on to Savoy and established the friary of Cambéry. He reached Lyon in September and by the end of the year he was hurrying to Paris.[52] Again part one of the Practice of Mental Prayer came out in Venice.[53]

1576. He gave the Lenten sermons this year in Lyon. Also he often preached in Paris. In July he got permission from Henry III for Capuchin Order to be able to spread everywhere in France.

1577. On 22 February he lay the first stone for the church of the Capuchin Friars in Avignon. Then he preached the Lent in the cathedral church. After Easter he took himself to Marseilles and then left for Italy. However on the 19 April he first wrote to cardinal Charles Borromeo about the eradication of simony. On 25 June in Rome he obtained from the Supreme Pontiff the faculty to establish the confraternity of Corpus Christi. Towards the end of the month of July he appears before the king in the city of Poitiers. On 16 October he reaches Paris. Then he heads for the city of Caen and on 8 November he is back in Paris again. Following that he accepts the friary at Orleans and preached the Advent in that city.[54]

1578. In this year he gave the Lenten sermons in Marseilles.[55] After this, since the General Chapter was imminent he comes to Rome. In the assemblies celebrated there in May he is made general lector in the province of Milan and established his sedes in Brescia.[56] During the summer, in the friary church, after vespers, he commented on the Sacred Scripture at the command of the guardian who, without prior notice, proposed one or other sentence for him to explain. He also preached from time to time in the church of St. Mary’s.

1579. On 5 March he was made commissary general to preside the chapter of the Capuchin province of Genoa[57] and he preached the Lent in the metropolitan church of that city. After Easter he returned to the province of Milan he was elected definitor, guardian and lector at Bergamo. After vespers on Sundays he explained the Psalms in the friary church. From Bergamo he sent a letter to cardinal Charles Borromeo on 9 September, asking for a certain dispensation for the minister provincial.

1580. After he preached the Lent in Bologna he is confirmed as definitor, guardian and lector in the provincial chapter. He falls ill in August. Because of this he cannot be present for the provincial assemblies held in Bergamo in October in the presence of the minister general. Nonetheless he is elected vicar provincial.[58] A new edition of the first part of the work The Practice of Mental Prayer came out.[59]

1581. The second part of the highly praised work is published in Venice.[60] Cardinal Charles Borromeo strove so that Mattia would preach the Lent in his metropolitan church. However despite the best efforts and insistent requests by the bishop, he gave the sermons Bergamo a second time in the church of Saint Mary’s. When Easter was over, he was made commissary general to preside over the provincial chapters in Venice and Picena, however this did not eventuate as the letters of obedience were revoked.[61] In May he was elected definitor general and when he returned to his province he preached the Advent in Salò.[62]

1582. He gave the Lenten sermons a second time in Milan and in the chapter assembled in the same city is confirmed as minister provincial.[63] Then to attend to some business of the Order he went to Rome. After than on 22 October he sends a letter from Bergamo to cardinal Charles Borromeo, commending to him a certain priest who had to relinquish the religious habit because of illness. In November he was ordered to make the journey to Messina to preach.

1583. He preached this year’s Lent in Messina and is called to Rome after Easter to attend to certain matters with the superiors of the Order.

1584. In this year parts one and two of The Practice of Mental Prayer are published in Venice by the printer Peter Dusinelli.[64] Mattia also preaches the Lent in Terni and other sermons in the cathedral church of Perugia after Easter. In May the General Chapter assigned him to that city as lector of theology. Except during Advent, he preached there throughout the year, explaining the sacred book of the prophet Ezekiel.

1585. The first part of The Practice of Mental Prayer was published in Palermo.[65] The Lenten sermons were held in the church of the Holy Apostles in Venice and at the same time he preached in the basilica of Saint Mark. After he returned to Perugia to teach the friars and at the same time gave sermons on the first two chapters of Genesis to the people up until Epiphany.[66]

1586. He preached the Lent in the cathedral church of Vicenza and while he was returning to his own province after Easter he is assigned to Salò. There he founded a certain sodality for the relief of the poor and obtained public authority to have the Somaschi[67] called in. He was present for the provincial chapter in October, on which occasion he was made definitor and custos general. Finally he returned to Salò and preached very often. In the same year his work The Art of Mental Prayer was published again in Venice.[68]

1587. During the time of Lent which he was preaching this year at Verona, after having overcome serious difficulties he founded and established the devout prayer of the Forty Hours, and with a great gain of souls.[69] In May he participated in the general assemblies and was elected definitor. He obtained from the Supreme Pontiff, a plenary indulgence in his life to be gained by those who might participate in the pious exercise of the Forty Hours.[70] Cardinal Caraffa made him the visitator of a certain monastery of Olivetine monks. When he had accomplished that mission, he returned to Salò and stayed there. Finally as the discreet or counselor of the community he assisted at the chapter in Milan assembled in September, in which he was elected definitor. When the province of Milan was divided into two provinces he remained a member of the newly erected Brescia province[71] and returns to Salò. At the request of Mark Anthony Palazzolo the work The Practice of Mental Prayer is published in Verona.[72]

1588. On 6 January he sends a letter from Cremona to Cardinal Charles Borromeo about a certain reconciliation to be reached and settled. He preaches the Lent in Brescia.[73] Meanwhile The Practice of Mental Prayer is translated into French and published in Lyon.[74] He also published in this year certain spiritual introductions to the sermons of Saint Bonaventure[75] and the history of pious prayer of the Forty Hours, having added some invocations to be recited during it.[76] It also seems as if he wrote the first composition of the Chronicles or the Order then.[77]

1589. He gave the Lenten homilies in Brescia again.[78] Afterwards he was sent as commissary general to Switzerland and in June, from the 16th to the 19th the chapter assembled under his presidency. In that chapter Fr. Anthony of Cannobio was elected as the first minister of that province.[79] In July the province of Brescia celebrates its chapter at Bergamo. Fr. Mattia, who was present, was elected definitor and stayed in Bergamo until October. Later, having departed towards Genoa, he gives sermons in the church of All Saints in that city until the first Sunday after Epiphany.

1590. In this year, after he returned from the province of Genoa he preached the Lent in Lucca. After this, in order to take care of his health, he comes to the water. Because of this he is not strong enough to participate in the general assembly congregated in Roma on the feast of Pentecost. However he delegated Fr. Anselm of Monopoli in his place.[80] Nonetheless he headed for Genoa in September where he preached from the 15th Sunday after Pentecost until he preached the Word of God on the Epiphany of the Lord.

1591. He gave the Lenten sermons this year in Pavia. At the provincial assemblies carried out in Brescia he is elected vicar provincial. He is sent to Switzerland again in the summer as commissary and general visitator. When he completed that task, he returned to his province.[81]

1592. After he had preached the Lent in Savona he was confirmed as vicar provincial in Bergamo. The minister general sends him a letter on 2 August so that he reserve the Lenten sermons the following year for Milan.[82] Again the work The Practice of Mental Prayer is published in Venice by Peter Dusinelli.[83]

1593. As has been said, after a year had passed, on 2 August the Minister General deputed him “to preach the sacred Gospel of God in the coming Lent in the cathedral church of the city of Milan, taking into consideration the most illustrious and Reverend Lord Archbishop, whose pious wishes I ought not delay – nor can we nor should we.”[84] He assembled the chapter in Brescia on 7 May and was confirmed in the office of vicar provincial. In the following month he is called to the office of definitor during the general assembly celebrated in Rome.[85] With a letter of obedience from Christopher of Assisi, the procurator and commissary general, he is sent to the province of Tuscany on 16 September to visit the friars and preside at the chapter.[86] A second French edition of the work The Practice of Mental Prayer is published in Arras.[87]

1594. At the beginning of the year he heads to Rome. The cardinal Protector and procurator general of the Order deputize him as commissary of the Capuchin Friars in Sicily. He was just about to start the journey when the minister general came to Rome who with a new letter of obedience on 8 March sent him to Tuscany again.[88] He was to preach the Lent in the church of the Holy Apostles in Venice and because of serious occupations in Tuscany he is not strong enough to do this, and given that with the authority of the cardinal Protector he had to settle certain difficulties between the grand duke of the region and the king of Spain.[89] After the chapter of his province, which he he convoked in Salò after Easter, the cardinal Protector and procurator general deputized him as visitator general of the Capuchin friars in the province of Genoa.[90] Also in this year a French version is published of The Practice of Mental Prayer.[91]

1595. He was unable to preach the Lent this year because of poor health. However in the Pieve of Salò he popular talks and instruction on the sacraments. In May he entered the province of Genoa as commissary general, however since the fathers of the province did not accept him they protested his authority in writing. Because of this the minister general himself presided the chapter on 17 July.[92] In October he is elected provincial definitor at Bergamo and is assigned to the friary at Salò.

1596. Nor did his poor health permit him to preach the Lent this year. In the provincial chapter assembled after Easter in Brescia in the presence of the minister general he perpetually renounced the right to be nominated for election and his availability for positions in the Order. However this proposal was not accepted at all[93] and in fact he was made provincial definitor and custos general in the very same chapter.

1597. During Lent he preached three times a week in the metropolitan church of Milan.[94] After the Ascension of the Lord he is confirmed as definitor at the provincial chapter assembled in Bergamo and is assigned to the friary at Brescia. As councilor or discreet he represented that religious community at the chapter held again in September because of the death of the minister provincial. At it he was appointed to Salò where he preached the Advent that year. Around the end of the year he was occupied with the written Chronicles of the Order to be published.[95]

1598. In this year he twice sent to print a book of sermons, once in Venice and the other came out in Brescia.[96] In May he sends the work to his friend in Foligno, John Baptist Vitelli, together with a biography of Angels Merici which he had made.[97] He gave the Lenten sermons this year in Brescia and he preached the Advent in Salò.

1599. He remains in Salò and because of illness he is not able to preach the Lent.

1600. After preaching the Lent, which he did in Aquileia, he returns to Salò where he preaches the Advent.

1601. He stays in Salò. Because of poor health he is unable to preach the Lenten sermons except for the feastdays and three times a week in Portese (Brescia.)

1602. As in the previous year he preaches the Lenten sermons in the town of Gardone Riviera. On 17 May he produced the funeral eulogy of the nobleman Alexander Luzzago which is published in the same year.[98] After the provincial chapter he goes to see cardinal Frederick Borromeo who compels him to preach in the metropolitan church in Milan until the middle of summer. On 31 July the minister general Lawrence of Brindisi sent him, supplied with a letter of obedience, to Bohemia.[99]

1603. He fulfils the office of lector this year in Prague and preached the Lent in that city. A new edition of The Practice of Mental Prayer[100] comes out in Venice as well as another French version in the city of Arras.[101]

1604. He gave the Lenten sermons in Prague again. From the mandate of the minister general Lawrence of Brindisi, Andrew of Verona, who was commissary general of Austria and Bohemia, authorized him by a letter 16 August to act on behalf of the commissary general.[102]

1605. He preached the Lenten sermons in Prague a third time. On 8 June the minister general Sylvester of Assisi sends him a letter of obedience in which he was ordered to return to his own province of Brescia, “quoniam multis in istis partibus Bohemiae pro Religione nostra laborasti, et senectutis ratio habenda est.”[103] Therefore he stays at Salò until he is elected vicar provincial in Bergamo on 8 December.[104]

1606. A second time he preached the Lent in the own of Gardone Riviera. Then he fixes the beginning of the canonical visitation. Meanwhile in May, in the friaries situated in the dominion of Venice are struck by interdict. Because of this Mattia proposes complete obedience to the pontifical decree and requires it from his subjects.[105]

1607. He asks of Cardinal Pompeo Arrigoni his opinion about which norm he should observe about preaching in the places under interdict. He received the answer from him that he not go there to preach.[106] He gave the Lenten sermons in the town of Rivolta d’Adda where he had constructed a friary. In August he meets the minister general of the Order in the province of the Marches and speaks with him. In the chapter of the province of Brescia assembled in Crema on 9 November, under the presidency of Paul of Cesena the commissary general, he resigns from the office of vicar provincial and goes off to Salò. At Venice the four parts of the work The Practice of Mental Prayer are published.[107]

1608. During the year he often preached in Salò. He gave the Lenten sermons however in the town of Gavardo.

1609. In Cologne a Latin edition comes out of The Practice of Mental Prayer and in Paris parts three and four of the same work come out in a French version.[108] He preached the Lent in Maderno Riviera. After Easter he is elected first definitor and assigned to the friary at Brescia.

1610. During Lent he announced the word of God in the town of Chiari. In the chapter convoked at Cologne after Easter he was confirmed as first definitor..In Lyon the first part of The Practice of Mental Prayer came out in French and the third part came out in Douai.[109]

1611. A French version of the fourth part of The Practice of Mental Prayer was published in Douai.[110] On the feastdays during Lent he preached the Word of God in the friary church in Brescia. He is elected definitor in the chapter celebrated after Easter and on 20 July ad superos evolavit.

Without reason Umile of Genoa has overturned the old chronology of the writers, assigning the death of Mattia to 22 July. It seems to us that he has been led into this error for two reasons. a) The anonymous author of the report about the illness, death and funeral of Fr. Mattia affirms that on 17 July, which was a Saturday, he was struck down by the illness.[111] Take courage. The 17 July 1611 was not Saturday but Sunday. Therefore what should be said? Since the anonymous author offers more accurate information according to the day of the week, to which he refers by name, we believe he or the transcriber mistakenly wrote the number 17 for 16. This may be confirmed by the second reason. We know from another source[112] that his infirmity began on the feast of Saint Bonaventure (14th), although Mattia to this point hid the illness for two days until he was confined to bed. b) The aforementioned anonymous author testifies that Mattia died on Wednesday, i.e. the 20th, at the first hour of the night. Umile da Genoa has interpreted this sentence according to modern usage, asserting that he died in the first hour of Thursday. However it is known that in Italy until the 19th century that the night hours are counted from the setting of the sun, so that we may say that the first hour of the night in the month of July is the ninth hour after midday. Furthermore, according to the report of the anonymous author, while Mattia was receiving holy viaticum, he said that he would be in heaven on the octave day of the feast of the Seraphic Doctor Saint Bonaventure, that is, the 21st. Therefore if we say that he died on the 22nd, it must also be said that he was still on earth at that time, for he would breathe his last breath after the octave of the seraphic doctor had passed.[113]

II. The Writings of Fr. Mattia of Salò

A. Bibliographical sources

All the writers who assembled bibliographical inventories of the Order of Friars Minor also published a more or less complete catalogue of the works of Mattia of Salò[114] as was fitting. Others treated his works individually, namely: a) Valdemiro of Bergamo OFM Cap., who twice expounded the bibliography of Mattia and at the same time published the old catalogue of manuscripts transcribed by G. Brunati, which used to be kept in the Capuchin library in Salò and number 55.[115] b) Umile of Genoa OFM Cap., has put in the latest edition of the treatise on mental prayer an analysis of all the works of Mattia himself.[116] c) However no one has examined this question as carefully and extensively as Ilarino of Milano OFM Cap, who published a total and complete bibliographical description of all the published works and their editions and versions, which number one hundred and eight.[117]

B. The historical writings in general

In this section we list and examine only those writings of Mattia of Salò that present an historical character, except for the work we are publishing here. It is to be discussed at length separately. Whoever desires to know about the entire bibliographical output of this remarkable man may go to the writers to whom we have referred above.

a) On the true origins of Adrian VI

This small manuscript work is kept in the Queriniana library in Brescia under the reference number E.I.13,n.3. It has ten folios, 30cm x 22cm. It was transcribed in 1659 and authenticated by the public notary Dominic Ricchi.

It begins: Adriano Sesto, il cui nascimento.

It finishes: in vita e beneficio comune egli sofferse.

P. Guerrini asserts that many apographa of this manuscript are kept in Salò and Brescia.[118] Valdemiro of Bergamo used this apographon, which in his time he showed to Dominic Rossini of Salò and at the end he offered this information: “This writing that contains the origin of Pope Adrian VI was composed by Fr. Mattia of Salò, of blessed memory, in 1586. These seven or eight last lines above are by his own hand. As a witness to this, I, Br. John of Salò have signed by my own hand below, today, which is 2 February 1615. The same writing, except for the last lines, is by the hand of Mons. Lauro Ghisenti, named in this narration.”

The opusculum has two parts. The first one describes in summary the history of Adrian VI.[119] The second, on the other hand, presents the reasons by which the author attempts to show that the pontiff originates from the town of Renzano and from a certain Zamboni family. P.Guerrini published this second part and elaborated on it with notes.[120] Guerrini adds that B.Grattarola (1530-1599) proposed the same opinion earlier.

b) The biography of the venerable servant of God, Raniero of Sansepolcro

There is no doubt that Mattia of Salò wrote a biography of this venerable man. This may be demonstrated by the following arguments. 1) He promises twice in cod.R to insert this biography into the Chronicles.[121] 2) In the beatification process Jerome of Narni testifies that he read the life of Raniero written by Mattia of Salò, from which he drew his information.[122] 3) In 1655 in Rome an Italian compendium of the life of the aforementioned Raniero is published, which had been written around 625. Now the anonymous author asserts that he took most of it from the work of the Mattia of Salò.[123]

The autograph text of this biography is kept in Rome in the archive of the postulator of the Order without a particular placement. It is a paper codex 150mm x 220mm bound in compressed paper. It contains for fascicles and 48 pages. On the front cover, written probably by James of Salò in larger letters, is found: Vita di F. Raniero. / Vita di F. Raniero dal Borgo scritta da f. Mathia da Salò. Then on the reverse of the cover sheet is read: Vita / del Beato servo di Dio F. Raniero/ dal Borgo Capuccino/ scritta dal P.F: Matthia da Salò capuccino/ suo contemporaneo.

On page one, in his own hand, James of Salò puts this note first. “The author has not made a prologue because his plan was to insert it into his Historia Capucina and not make a separate work of it. Because of this he has not put chapter numbers in order to note there the number that corresponds with the preceding chapters in the Historia. Therefore this corresponds with the truth since the fifteen chapters of which the work is composed are written with out a sequence number.

It begins (page 1): di quello ch’(e) gli fu al secolo. Cap. – Di giuliano Sfaldelli da Calipardi villetta nella valle di rufelle distante 12 miglia dal Borgo S. Sepolcro. It concludes (page 48): Non essendosi fin hora ritrovato alcuno, il quale a lui ricorso o in vita o doppo non habbia attenuto quanto bramava. Che tutto sia ad honor et gloria della Divina Maestà.

Then there are four unnumbered fascicles with autographic appendices of the author, Mattia. However the folios up to that part are empty. Finally autographic fragments of James of Salò are inserted, added between the years 1615-1619. On the back cover we read the following writing in larger letters: Al M.R.P. il P.F. Girolamo/ Capuccino / Todi. Jerome of Narni was preacher to the aspostilic Palace between 1608-1612 and 1621-1623.[124]

We suspect that it is to be understood that the things that the minister general John M. of Noto wrote about Raniero of Sansepolcro to the annalist Zacharia Boverius were from this biography.[125] We do not know whether cod.C, which to this point we have not been able to examine, may contain this biographical information or not. We will publish it among the appendices of the second part of Mattia’s Chronicles.

c) The biography of St. Felix of Cantalice

Mattia of Salò knew this holy man[126] whose historical details he was to describe. However we know little about this biography. The author made it in Italian but until now we only know the Latin text published in the Acta Sanctorum.[127] The editors themselves testify that they translated it into Latin from and Italian codex kept in the friary of the Capuchins in Rome. This codex either has been lost or lay hidden.[128] It is certain that that Mattia’s description accords with the information of another contemporary author, namely, Snctis Tesauro OFM Cap.[129] Consequently, however, it is not permissible to arrive at the conclusion of a mutual dependence since either could have derived and reported information not only from direct and immediate knowledge, but also from the very same witnesses.

d) The biography of St. Angela Merici

First of all the author composed this biography in for the benefit of the society of companions founded by St. Angela. However, since he was preparing the Chronicles for the press he decided to also include in the work the biographical information of the foundress. Because of this he asked the moderators of that society if they would deign to send him the apographon, which they willingly did in May 1598.[130] From a letter of 27 May of the same year we also know that Mattia sent the work to his friend John Baptist Vitelli[131] who perhaps gave it to his companion Ottavio Gondi to have it published.

The text of the biography is read in cod.R, t.II, f.35v-54r. In the margin one will see a certain note written in another hand, “Quid ad nos? Tanto più essendo stampata quasi ad literreram sotto nome finto.” Certainly in fact by the beginning of the 17th century the biography of St. Angela Merici, the founder of the Company of virgins under the patronage of Saint Ursula, is published.[132] A comparison made with the biographical narration of the same holy virgin included in the Historica Capuccina of Mattia of Salò, the greatest similarity between them both is recognised. However, many unexpected differences are also found. These either come from another source or from another composition of the same source. We believe that the common source is the life first written by Mattia, which we know is preserved in two codices.

a) One codex is kept in the Brescia in the Queriniana library under the reference number B:VI:30. It has 24 folios, 23cm x 17 cm. It begins: Sono in vero le vite dei santi et grandi amici di dio santamente. It concludes: di così santa Madre et Maestra Suor Angela consacrata a Dio, al quale sia sempre honor et gloria.

In the back part of the cover one reads: Questa vita fu fatta dal rdo. P. Matia Capucino Belentani. After this someone else added these words: Poi fu raccomodata et ridotta in questa forma con doi prefatione dal rdo. Pre. Octavio Gondi, della Compagnia del Giesù. Obviously these two prefaces are missing from the copy in the Queriniana library.

b) The other codex is the process of the beatification and canonization of St. Angela Merici, which is kept in Rome with the General Curia of the Sisters of St. Ursula of the Roman Union. In part II, f.898-932 of this process it reads: Vita della Beata Angela da Desenzano del R.P. Mattia Cappuccino Bellintano secondo il manoscritto originale della vita conservato nell’archivio dei Cappuccini di Salò. The apographon was made in 1758 differs in few things with either the text of the codex in the Queriniana or with the text of the Historia Capuccina.

C. The “Historia Capuccina”

It remains that a word be said especially about the work we are publishing here. In May 1587 the general assembly of the Order gathered in Rome. Jerome of Pulizzi was elected minister general and listed second among the definitors was Mattia Bellintani of Salo.[133] Probably around this time he took up the task of making the Capuchins Annals, which had been asked earlier of Bernardino of Colpetrazzo.[134] He approached the work willingly and quick so that already by the following year 1588 it is obviously satisfactorily completed.[135]

The purpose that the author sets for himself is indicated by these words: Since the reading of the recently published Chronicles of Saint Francis (namely, those by Mark of Lisbon) bore great fruit for the Christian people, it has seemed appropriate to continue their theme and complete it with a noble end, narrating the things that have happened in the Capuchin Reform so that it may be shown that the Franciscan life and observance is that same one that the Lord Jesus gave to his apostles and which God has marvellously renewed in these last times.[136] The logical reading of such a them will be manifestly clear from a synthesis of the codices and their internal structure, which we will describe shortly.

Concerning the time period of the things described in the Historia capuccina writers have spoken with insufficient care. Some say that it extends up to 1576.[137] Others add that the historical information of certain events and biographies extends up to 1588.[138] Others assert that Mattia Salò extends the history until 1597.[139] The truth of the matter is this. The general chapters are described up until 1584, however other sparse information is found here and there which refer to things in 1600, although the apographon cod.R, as we will show, was made before this year.[140]

From both intrinsic reasons and external arguments it is demonstrated that Mattia of Salò wrote the history of the Order and that this is the same one found in codices C and R, to be described shortly.

It is certain that the name of the author is found written explicitly four times, namely, p.1, 30, 32 and 52: “The same br. Mattia of Salò, the writer of these present Chronicles.” This little note has been added in the margin by the same writer in place of the word “io” which is also found erased in the text.

We offer only two arguments from cod.R. a) In t.II, folio 137r is the discussion about a certain prophecy of St. John Capistrano about the battle of Naupacto in 1571 that the author himself saw: “la quale… fu veduta da chi scrive le Croniche f.Mathia.[141] b) In 1588 in Brescia the treatise on the pious practice of the Forty Hours came out by the author Mattia Bellintani of Salò.[142] From those things read in the Historia capuccina on the same theme, it appears that both have one and the same author.[143]

Now we also turn our mind to other arguments.

a) Bernardino of Colpetrazzo in 1592 testified that the superiors of the Order chose Mattia to write the Chronicles, since they regarded him more expert and much more suitable than himself who was through with the same task.[144]

b) From the letters of Nicholas of Tolentino OFM Cap. sent to Mattia on 3 and 9 February 1589, it is clear that this in intended for the history of the Order to be written and for which reason he asked more accurate information.[145]

c) The testimonies of James of Salò OFM Cap. can offer many things, but these two are sufficient. At the end of 1589, while commissary of the province of Palermo, Francis of Mazara sent to the minister general replies on certain friars in Sicily to be inserted into the Annals. In the codex of these inquiries James of Salò is aware that these reached Mattia who included them in the second volume of the Historia capuccina.[146] Furthermore in vol.II cod.R, folio 139r it is found that in 1575 that a certain commissary general is sent, but who is not named in the text. However in the margin James added: “Questo commessario fu l’istesso F.Matthia authore.

d) Paul Vitellesci of Foligno OFM Cap., who was the writer or the annals after James of Salò, often in the manuscript work ascribes to the Historia capuccina of Mattia of Salò while borrowing its words.[147]

e) Jerome of Narni OFM Cap., a disciple of Mattia of Salò, at the process of the beatification of Raniero of Sansepolcro, when he spoke about Mattia’s authority, added at the same time the capuchin history which he left incomplete.[148]

f) The minister general John Mary of Noto remembers the written history of Mattia, which without doubt should be understood to mean the Historia capuccina.[149]

g) From all the great writers from whom Z. Boverius takes the information of the Annals, the third is named. “Br. Mattias of Salò was an outstanding man. He carried out the office of definitor general many times and was honoured with many positions in the Order. His more extensive complete history of the foundation of the Capuchin reform until 1576 (!) is contained in two volumes. The virtue, authority and faith of this man are suspect in nothing and have been confirmed by God through signs after his death.”[150]

h) We are not recalling here the other biographers[151] who wrote later since they unanimously attribute this work to Mattia of Salò.

a) The Vatican codex

It is an autographic paper codex of the 16th century (1588), 105mm x 145mm. It is preserved in the Vatican Library under the reference number Ma. Lat. 13094. The codex offers no information that may reveal its origin and history. In around 1901 Eduardo d’Alençon OFM Cap examined it in the custody of the Vatican Library, although, as is obvious, it had not yet been returned.[152] In 1924 it was on show among the manuscripts but until now it has not been listed in the catalogue.[153]

The numbering of the pages and chapters has been done twice. Following the first numbering the codex consists of 127 pages to which 8 unnumbered sheets are added at the end. At one point the numbering of the pages was wrong on page 74 and page 96 but was immediately corrected by the same scribe. The more recent numbering takes in 72 sheets. Also an error has crept into the arrangement of the chapters. When chapter was divided later into two (cf. page 26) it is noted in the margin: Cap.7, and therefore the following chapters up chapter ten have been changed. However there are two chapters eleven. Consequently the numbering is mistaken up to the end. At the beginning of chapter 28, page 92, the reader is advised that chapter 29 is to be given first. However it is not found there: “Del primo capitolo generale e della vita dei primi Capuccini. Cap.29. Il principio di questo capitolo è nelle aggiunte a fogl. 16. Così da Dio raccolto.” At the end of chapter XXX, page 100, one reads: “Qui va il capitolo dei miracoli, ceh sarà il cap. 31.” This chapter is missing also from the codex. Chapters 39, 40 and 42 bear no title.

The codex has been made with one and the same hand. The writing is regular and uniform, and very small, which does not always allow for easy legibility. From the codex itself and from comparison with other original handwriting (cf. the Biographia of Raniero of San Sepolcro) it is clear to us that it was written by the hand of Mattia of Salò himself, who has inserted other corrections. The paper is clear and elegant. Each page has between 35 to 37 lines.

As regards the date of the codex we should say these things. The year 1588 is found on the frontispiece, which in all probability indicates the date of composition. In reality at the time the codex was made sixty three years had passed since the foundation of the Order of Capuchin Friars and it had already the sixty fourth year had begun.[154] The author already referred to the foundation in the year 1525. Hence it is clear that he time of composition is to be established in the year 1588-1589. The codex was certainly written before the 7 February 1594, at which time Bernardino of Colpetrazzo died.[155]

In the upper margin of page one this is found written by another hand: P. Mattia da Salò 1588. The title of the work follows immediately: Chroniche dell’ultima e perfetta riforma della religione di San Francesco de frati Minori Osservanti detti Capuccini.

It begins (page 1): Come nella religione è state sempre l’osservanza della Regola. Cap. 1. Nella figurale e misteriosa statua, la quale haveva le gambe. It concludes: Scrisse anco un trattato della povertà minorica, il quale per esser utile e degno da sapersi da frati, qui si pone. Qui va il trattato della povertà. Pages 127-128 are empty. One unnumbered page: Epitafio del Pre. Fra Michel Angelo Melzo dal Milano Predicatore. It begins: Cristo a cui il Padre eterno. It concludes: cupio dissolvi et esse cum Chro. Al quale sia gloria et honor in eternum.

A synthesis of the things contained in the codex can be reduced approximately to these. Once when the Franciscan Order was established in the beginning the observance of the Rule was vigorous (Chapter 1). Then straight away the vexed question about the shape of the cowl is raised (Chapter 2) and how with the years of decline it had been lost (Chapter 3). Then the Reform of the Friars Minor Capuchin is considered in itself as made by God and had to undergo many tribulations (Chapter 4). The characteristics that adorn it evidently demonstrate that it is the true Reform: austerity (Chapter 5), prayer (Chapter 6), patience and charity (Chapter 7). This Franciscan Reform bore a strong benefit to the reform of the universal church (Chapter 8) that was being carried out at the time (Chapter 9). Nor did it impede God from raising up saints in its beginnings (Chapter X). Then the time comes when Matthew of Bascio, who was divinely chosen, takes up this work of reform (Chapter 11). And so his beginning is described (Chapter 12) and how after Matthew suffered many things on the journey (Chapter 14) he obtained permission and approval from the supreme Pontiff (Chapter 13). The deeds of Francis of Cartoceto are told (Chapter 15) and then the apostolate of Matthew in Camerino (Chapter 16). Then Louis of Fossombrone, having overcome weighty difficulties, puts on the habit (Chapter 17). Taking advantage of this occasion the author speaks about the opposing outlook to unfold between Louis and John of Fano (Chapter 18). Then he discusses the arrival of Paul of Chioggia (Chapter 19), the tribulations of Louis (Chapter 20) and also the things that the Church of Christ was suffering at that time (Chapter 21). The Capuchin Reform is approved by Papal Bull (Chapter XXII) and while at the same time when heresy was insinuating itself into France and Germany, in Italy peace was beginning, as a kind of first fruit of the Capuchin Reform (Chapter 23). Many Observant Friars came crossed over to the Capuchin Friars (Chapters 24-28, 30). The first general chapter is celebrated at Albacina (1536) and the life and death of Matthew are described (Chapter 29). The follows the greatness and spread of the Reform. Friars are established in Rome and elsewhere (Chapter 33). The Friars in Calabria obtain a permanent status (Chapters 34-39) and the Friars in Rome are expelled (Chapter 40). Since John of Fano himself can be aptly numbered among the founders of the reform, his biography is also written (Chapters 41and 43). The friaries he established in Lombardy are also listed (Chapter 42).

It is sufficient just to superficially examine the codex, which we have described, to see that it does not contain the entire work of Mattias. Indeed it was the mind of the author to tall about the beginnings of the Order, the lives of the founders and as well as the main events. However all the things that are found in the codex relate to the first part. Furthermore, many of the things that were to be put in the codex have remained unknown to us up until this point. They are things that had been prepared, as can be discovered from these sentences: Vedi molte aggiunte a folgi 16. Così da Dio raccolto (page 92); Qui va il capitolo dei miracoli (of Matthew) che sarà il cap. 31 (page 100); La bolla il cui tenor è questo (the text is missing); Qui va il trattato della Povertà (page 126, the text is missing.)

b) The Roman codex

It is a paper codex from the end of the 16th century. It contains two volumes bound in parchment. It is kept in the general archives of the Order in Rome, under the reference number AC, 19-20 (previously Arm. A. II. 21-22). It is permissible to have the opinion that what the minister general John Mary of Noto OFM Cap wrote about the writings of Mattia of Salò to Z. Boverius and Fr. Bonaventure of Naples OFM Cap refers to this codex.[156]

In this description each volumes is examined separately. Volume I, 150mm x 200mm; [12] sheets – 401 pages – [12] sheets (ad. Page 119vb, 120ab.) The order of pages and chapters has been changed at least twice. Previously the codex had 377 pages. Now it arrives at 401 in number. The pages that have been added obviously later are the following, namely, pages 53-54, 119, 120, 147, 291-312. All these pages are related to the places where the original text is changed. What that original text was we do not know. Pages 359 – 362 (previously 335-338) are missing in this place. We find them inserted at the end of volume II and written by another hand. This could have been a change in the binding of the codex. The order of the chapters is also confused. From the table of contents at the front of the volume we know that the first treatise was originally composed of 39 chapters in which only 35 have been numbered. After the text had been written, chapter seven was divided in two and at the same time, because of this, the numbering changed. The title of chapter 36 (37) is one thing in the index and another in the text. As for treatise II, the index also lists nothing except 35 chapters. However the current text has 41 chapters. Chapters 18-23 have been added.[157]

The handwriting of the codex is neat and done by the one scribe. However at a later time another hand has insert changes into the text (p.119a, 120a, 241-244, 281-312, 353). It is the same hand that wrote the last part of volume II. The codex has notes written in the margins by James of Salò[158] and one or two done by the hand of Mattia himself (p.198-245). Each page has 27 lines.

Finally from the codex itself it seems possible to discover certain arguments to establish the date of the transcript. In general these things should be said. a) From the things to which the author refers in the Chronicles of Mark of Lisbon[159] we may conclude that the transcription of the codex was done after the Italian version of those Chronicles, therefore after 1591.[160] b) It seems very likely to us that this was the exemplar that was prepared for print in 1598.[161]

Folios 1-10 are unnumbered and empty.

Folios 11r – 12v are unnumbered: Tavola d’i Capitoli della Historia Capuccina.

Regarding this table we should be aware that since other changes were made in the text at a later time, it does not exactly correspond either with the true number of chapters or distribution of the pages.

Page 1: Historia / Capuccina che tratta dell’ultima e perfetta riforma della / religione di Sto. Francesco de Frati minori os-/servanti detti Capuccini.

[Libro primo]

[Trattato primo nel wuale si tratta delle origini e dei fondatori della Riforma Cappuccina].

It begins (page 1): Nella Religione è stata sempre l’osservanza della Regola. Cap. 1. Quando il Salvator del mondo per rinovar la vita et morte sua.

It concludes (page 208): Scrisse acho un trattato della povertà minorica, il quale per essere utile è degno da sapersi da Frati, qui si pone.

The material of this treatise is developed in this way. The Prolegomena. The Rule of Saint Francis has always been observed in the Order of Friars Minor, but not always to the same degree of perfection, so that it fades little by little and it will have to be renewed again. Therefore, in order to fully understand the reform of the Friars Minor Capuchin, who have dedicated themselves to the pristine form of Franciscan life, it is necessary to investigate the definition of that life and shape of the habit and how they were abandoned. Having established those things, the treatise can be divided into three parts. a) The Reform begins[162], i.e. it discusses the cooperation of the friars Matthew of Bascio, Francis of Cartoceto and Louis of Fossombrone. b) The Reform is taken up again[163], i.e. the supreme Pontiff approves it and in the general chapter at Albacina its constitutions or laws are promulgated. c) The Reform spreads[164], namely, vocations multiply, various houses are established, it extends into Calabria and is propagated in Lombardy by means of John of Fano.

Page 209: Trattato / Secondo nel quale si mostra la uera Riforma esser / la Capuccina.

It begins (page 209): La contesa nell’Ordine di buoni frati et di cattiui. Cap.p°. Innanzi che più oltre si passi narrando il progresso di quest Riforma.

It concludes (page 401): il quale esser doveva, quando la Sta. Chiesa generalmente si riformava.

Folio 1r is unnumbered: Annotationi di f. Giacomo da Salò. – facciata 77 med. Che la Vergine Sma., si sia dichiarata Protettrice della Riforma capuccina et Auspice, si tocca dell authore in diversi luoghi. La narrativa di tale dimostratione è nell’ultime cap. di questo libro, p.377, e pare a me troppo lontana da I luoghi dove lo authore la promette.

The material contained in this second treatise of the first volume can be easily divided into three sections.

A. – First of all it is shown how reform movements have always been in evidence in the Franciscan Order and how little by little it comes to be separated into different families. This is the theme that is developed for ten chapters in which the author divides Franciscan history into various states or series. He selects and presents those who were the more famous authors and supporters of reform, namely John of Parma, Peter of John Olivi, Angelo of Clareno and Ubertino of Casale. The conclusion of this first section is this: a more perfect reform is necessary.

B. – The Capuchin Reform is the only truly authentic Franciscan reform. Nor can there be any difficulty in this undertaking given that by its very arrangement it does not have its own general Minister. The section extends from chapter 11 to chapter 30. It refers to three kinds of testimony: a) the way of life itself (austerity, prayer, patience, charity, humility, chastity, obedience) in chapters 11 to 14; b) God often defends the reform and helps it with the marvels of his providence, in chapters 16 to 23; c) the prophecies about the reform itself, in chapters 24 to 30.

C. – The Capuchin Reform is considered in comparison with the general reform of the whole Church especially in the 16th century, so that from this it is concluded that this reform is the one that the angel of the Lord promised to Saint Francis, in chapters 31 to 41.

Having examined all these things it is opportune that we turn to the second volume. It is a paper codex from the end of the 16th century; 150mm x 210mm. It has 256 sheets, the last of which is blank. Two blank and unnumbered sheets follow in which one comes to a 16 sheet, unnumbered fascicle containing the revelations of John of Spain. Then there are four sheets numbered thus, pages 359 – 363. In the margin of this last page the reader is referred to folio 151 where in fact is also found Vedi infra fol. 363. Hence, however, it should not be concluded at all that folios 257-358 are missing for this error is satisfactorily explained in that while binding the second volume, by mistake, pages 359-362 of the first volume were inserted in it. Then on the following unnumbered folio someone wrote on it the first time the number 363.

The codex has been done in two main hands. The first one wrote folios 1-180r and the second wrote folios 180r – 236v, 2515-255, 259r-264,[165] as well as other scattered fragments. From here on we come across other pages added by another hand. Mattia wrote folios 237r-250 with his own hand as well as many margin notes spread throughout the codex.

Up until folio 176v the matter is divided into chapters, which come to twenty in number. After this only titles are added, to which the word capitolo is added two or three times.

In the second volume of codex R the events of the Order are narrated according to the term of office of each general Minister from the election of Bernardino of Asti until the election of James of Mercato Saraceno, certainly describing the first eighteen general chapters. However the greater part of the volume contains the biographical series. Just as Bernardino of Colpetrazzo recalled especially the friars of the province of Umbria, so Mattia of Salò, because of the sources he uses, reviews the friars of the provinces of Milan, Brescia, Genoa and Sicily.

This is the order of the material.

Folios 1-114v: Il secondo libro delle Croniche Capuccine.

It begins (folio 1): Della prima convocatione fatta al Cap°. Generale. Cap. p°. L’anno 1534, a 13 Ottobre passato già. However it will help to have remembered that this sentence has been changed: L’anno 1534, passato.

It concludes (folio 114v): ne mai più vi ha sentito dolore alcuno. Il fine del sdo. Lbo. The History of the Order extends from the general chapter of 1535-36 until 1558. According to the opinion of the author the second stage[166] of the Capuchin Reform developed during this period of time. It includes the time in which those friars governed it who had been received from the Observance by Louis of Fossombrone. Furthermore it describes the celebration of the chapters and the biographies of many confreres. Finally the author also described the life of Angela Merici (folios 36r-54r) the foundress of the Ursulines, and Mary Laurence Longo, the foundress of the Capuchin sisters of Naples (folios 108r-114v.)

Folios 115 r-255v: Libro terzo delle Croniche Capuccine.

It begins (folio 115r): Di tre stati della Congregatione Capuccina. Cap. p°.

Tre state infino all’hora presente sonosi veduti.

It concludes (folio 255v): Et fu doppo il suo corpo portato al Convento con molta divotione.

The description of this third book begins at the general chapter of 1558 and extends until the general chapter of 1584 (folios 115r-184v), i.e. from the generalate of Thomas of Città di Castello to the generalate of James of Mercato Saraceno. This is the third stage of the Capuchin reform, which includes the time in which it religious governed it who did not arrive from the Franciscan Order. The things which follow in the codex from folio 184v, and the major part are changes or additions, that are to be inserted into the preceding chapters.

The last folio is unnumbered and contains: Miraclo del legno detto leccio del P.S. Franc.o a Siena. The document has been signed by the public notary Bernard Bartolino of Siena of 12 July 1594.

As for establishing the age of the codex, the distinction should be made between the fragments written by the second hand. Regarding the first part, namely folios 1-180, it must be said that it was transcribed around 1593-1594. a) It refers to the sixtieth ninth year of the existence of the Reform of the Capuchin Friars.[167] b) Bernardino of Colpetrazzo is still alive at this point. He breathed his last however on 7 February 1594.[168] c) The text written by the first hand contains no information that may be related to the time after 1594. The second part, folios 180-236, 251r-255 to be exact, was not completed before 1600, and it is to be asserted moreover, as we shall soon see, from the margin notes. And certainly: a) It tells the biography of brother Obitius of Niardo. In the codex itself his death is assigned to 26 January 1600.[169] b) Elsewhere the author indicates the charity that the faithful pilgrims had received in Rome on the occasion of the jubilee year of 1575, and it has been added in the margin: Il che tutto non mancò, anzi con alcun aumento è seguito questo altro anno santo del 1600.[170]

It remains for us to offer a word about the margin notes. Two kinds of margin note are observed and which are to be attributed to two writers.[171] In the first place we find the original text is certainly often altered or corrected and the corrected text is placed either in the margin or on other folios to which the reader is referred. This kind of note is due to Mattia himself who, from an archetype unknown to us, took up a transcribed copy of codex to be made known, perhaps to prepare it for the press. From the changes themselves we may conjecture the time in which they were made. a) At one point during the governance of Thomas of Città di Castello (1558-1564) a fact is told regarding a certain friar whose name is not given. In the margin note however Mattia adds that since the friar had died, he could reveal his name, as he did do.[172] Death befell the aforementioned Raphael on 28 August 1596.[173] b) Elsewhere the testimony of Brother Valentine of Terni is given, who to this point was still alive, the words of which Mattia himself, who was correcting the text, erased. We also know that brother Valentine died 8 September 1599.[174]

To us the opinion of A. De Santi, S.J. cannot be proven at all. He denies that these notes are autographic and asserts instead that they were added after the death of Mattia and written by James of Salò.[175]

The other kind of margin observations is certainly to be attributed to him. More than a summary of the things contained in the text, they sometimes carry brief explanations either to avoid confusion or to correct the text briefly. These observations are all later to the autographic notes of Mattia. Sometimes they are signed in this or a similar way: F. Giacomo da Salò. This compatriot of Mattia took up the Capuchin habit in 1586 and departed this life 4 February 1621.[176] He was the one who, while Mattia was still alive, was his companion in collecting historical information.[177] Later he received from the superiors the task of assembling the Chronicles, in which task he worked until August 1619.[178] First of all it seems probable to us that he wanted to publish the work of Mattia. This supposition comes from him since he strove with solicitous care every once in a while to arrange it in better order and to include other sources which, apart from the work of Bernardino of Colpetrazzo, are usually the manuscripts of different provinces. Others of these were at least sent to the writer of the Annals of the Order after the death of Mattia. Because this had happened his idea was to continue the Chronicles further.

If it can be said that the first volume of codex R was prepared for the press, it is immediately obvious that the second volume, as we have observed, is not yet completed. This is not only since sometimes a new order of the material had to be adopted but also because the additions which, as it seems to us, begin from folio 185, had to be inserted into their places. Furthermore other fragments which either had to be found in the text or were to be adapted in the edition are missing. For e.g. a) The author promises himself to do a treatise on the servant of God Raniero of Sansepolcro. A treatise of this kind is nowhere to be found, although we know there is a biography at the end of the French version.[179] b) While treating the victory of the Christian army in the Echinades Islands in 1571, the author testifies that he will include the prophecy of St. John Capistrano, which however is not found there,[180] etc. As for the rest, Jerome of Narni states explicitly that his master, Mattia, bequeathed an incomplete historical work.[181]

c) The relationship of codex V to codex R

If we compare one codex with the other we will immediately discover their mutual relationship. The things described in codex V are all contained in volume I of codex R. the clearer and more complete exposition is in the second codex rather than the first. From the description itself it is apparent that in both there is a different order of things. Codex R presents the described material much more extensively than codex V. The former has more with the two treatises, the latter has only one. Similarly it appears that codex V is not a defined and completed work. On the contrary nothing seems is missing or lacking in volume I of codex R that it may go to print. Therefore codex V may be considered as a first stage in the composition of the Chronicles. As for the rest, generally in codex R all the particular and private personal meanings that reveal the author are missing, and other things – even if so few – as it will appear from variant readings, that are mostly direct and particular. This can be explained on account of the same reason, namely that codex R had been prepared for the press.

So that the reader may be able to examine the parallel passages of each of the codices, we will present them distributed in two columns, the first of which are the chapters and pages of codex R and the other shows the chapters and pages of codex V. As for the second treatise of the work we will only transcribe those titles which are common to each codex. Only codex R furnishes the remaining part.

1) Treatise I
Codex R Codex V
Chapter 1 – There has always been observance of the Rule in the Order, p. 1-7 Chapter 1 – How in the Order there has always been the observance of the Rule, f.1r-5.
Chapters 2-6 – p.7-35 om.
Chapter 7 – The pointed cowl has been in the Order, p.35-39. Chapter 2 – How the pointed cowl has been in the Order, f.5r.
Chapter 8 – The cowl has been lost, p.42-54 Chapter 3 – How the cowl was lost, f.7v-11v.
Chapter 9 – The Reform sought of God by many and promised to Br. Francis of Cartoceto, p.54-62 (52-60) Chapter 14 – The new beginning of the reform. Br. Francis of Cartoceto, who was the first of the Capuchin congregation, f.51-54.
Chapter 10 – What Br. Matthew did ad the beginning of the Reform, p.64-70 (61-68) Chapter 11 – The immediate disposition of the Reform, f.41-43v
Chapter 11 – Br. Matthew goes to Rome and gets permission, p.70-75 (68-73) Chapter 11a – The miraculous beginning of the Reform

Chapter 12 – How Br. Matthew had the permission of the Pope and the reform was approved, f.47-49

Chapter 12 – How Br. Matthew had the seal of the Order. Br. Francis takes the cowl and then passed to the Lord, p.75-78 (73-76)
Chapter 13 – The travails Br. Matthew suffered. His going to Camerino and the miracle of the beans, p.78-79 (76-82) Chapter 13 – The first travails Br. Matthew suffered coming (?) from Rome, f.50-51.

Chapter 15 – Br. Matthew goes to Camerino and after the famine miraculously provides for the poor with the miraculous multiplication of the beans, f.54-56.

Chapter 14 – The nature and character of Br. Louis, his travails, and his taking of the Capuchin habit, p.84-90 (82-88) Chapter 16 – The nature and character of Br. Louis, his travails and his taking of the Capuchin habit, f.56-60.
Chapter 15 – Br. Louis and Br. John and the first brief, p.90-94 (88-92) Chapter 17 – The marvellous judgements of God regarding Br. Louis and Br. John cause of discussion about the persecutions. Br. Louis excuse in clothing himself in the Capuchin habit and the promise made when submitting himself to the Conventual Fathers and obtaining the bull from the Pope, f.60-65.
Chapter 16 – Br. Paul of Chioggia and the permission granted to the Friars, p.95-99 (93-97) Chapter 18 – Br. Paul of Chioggia and the permission granted to everyone, f.63-65.
Chapter 17 – The ordeal Br. Louis suffered from the Minister, p.99-109 (97-107) Chapter 19 – The persecutions Br. Louis suffered from the Minister, f-65-70.
Chapter 18 – The Pope gives the bull to Br. Louis to be able to establish the congregation, p.109-116 (107-114) Chapter 21 – The approval completed (?) of the reform with the bull of the Pope, f.75-80
Chapter 19 – The first friars who came from the world were Br. Bernard of Fossombrone and Br. Joseph of Collamato, p.116-120 (114-118) Chapter 23 – the same title, f.82-84.
Chapter 20 – The first Zoccolanti who came after the bull and the particular brief they had, p.120-122 (118-120) Chapter 24 – the same title, f.85
Chapter 21 – Br. Matthew of S.Leo, p.122-124 (120-122) Chapter 25 – the same title, f.85-86
Chapter 22 – Br. Bernard of Offida, p.124-129 (122-127) Chapter 26 – the same title, f.86-89
Chapter 23 – Br. Anthony of Monteciccardo Chapter 27 – the same title, f.89-92
Chapter 24 – Br. Francis of Macerata, p.134-139 (132-137) Chapter 28 – the same title, f.95-98
Chapter 25 – Br. Bartholomew of Spello, p.139-142 (137-139) om
Chapter 26 – The general chapter and the life of the first friars, p.142-146 (139-144) Chapter 29 – The first general chapter and the life of the first Capuchins, f-92-95
Chapter 27 – The first constitutions of the Capuchin Congregation, p.146-159 (144-157) om
Chapter 28 – The life and death of Bl. Matthew of Bascio, p.160-166 (158-164) Chapter 30 – the same title, f.98-100
Chapter 29 – The houses established in Rome and elsewhere, p.167-169 (165-167) Chapter 32 – the same title, f.102-104
Chapter 30 – The beginning of the Reform in Calabria, p.169-172 (167-170) Chapter 33 – the same title, f.104-106.
Chapter 31 – The sustained persecution in Calabria, p.172-176 (170-174) Chapter 34 – the same title, f.104-106
Chapter 32 – The debate between the Zoccolanti and the Capuchins before the Duke of Nocera, p.176-180 (174-178) Chapter 35 – The debate between, etc. f.106-108
Chapter 33 – Br. Louis of Reggio, p.180-187 (178-185) Chapter 36 – the same title, f.108-113
Chapter 34 – On George and Palamone, p.180-187 (185-188) Chapter 37 – the same title, f.113-115.
Chapter 35 – Bl. Father Anthony of Reggio, lay friar, p.190-193 (188-191) Chapter 38 – Bl. Br. Anthony of Reggio, lay friar, f.117-119
Chapter 36 – Br. Louis imprisoned by the Minister, released. The Capuchins are chased out of Rome. Brandano exclaims, p.193-197 (191-195) Chapter 39 – title missing, f.117-119.
Chapter 37 – Br. John of Fano’s change of heart and his coming to the reform, p.197-201 (195-199) Chapter 40 – title missing, f.119-122
Chapter 38 – The houses Br. John of Fano established in Lombardy, p.201-205 (199-206) Chapter 41 – the same title, f.122-125
Chapter 39 – Br. John’s fervour and the end of his life, p.206-208 (204-206) Chapter 42 – title missing, f-125-126
Tractatus II
Codex R Codex V
Chapter 12 – The harshness of this reform, p.259-265 (256-263) Chapter 5 – The great austerity of this reform, f.18-24
Chapter 13 – The virtue of prayer of this reform, p.265-269 (263-267) Chapter 6 – The same title, p.24-26
Chapter 14 – The patience, charity and other virtues that flourish in the reform, p.169-274 (267-272) Chapter 7 – Title missing, f.26-28
Chapter 24 – What is the rising of St. Francis, p. 347 –351 (325-329) Chapter 7 – Title missing, f.28-30
Chapter 34 – The reform of our times, p.399-399 ?? (368-375) Chapter 9 – The general reform that has happened at this time, f.33-37

Furthermore other chapters are found in codex V in which either new matters are examined or other material is developed. We are to publish these following chapters in the appendix.

Chapter 4 – How this reform was done by God. Its grave persecutions, f.12-18
Chapter 8 – How at the time of this reform, and through it, a general reform took place in the Church, f.30-33
Chapter 10 – Why this reform did not have a saint at the beginning, f.37-41
Chapter 22 – The first effect of this reform and the travails of France and Germany because of heresy, f.80-82.

d) The Douai Codex

Codex 872 in the library of the city of Douai contains a French version of the Capuchin History of Mattia of Salò, translated very likely by Philip of Cambrai OFM Cap. We have wanted to examine this codex since 1939 however until now our wish has been in vain because of adverse circumstances. In August 1944 that library was destroyed. Happily, the manuscripts have been preserved. However the moderator of that library has made it very clear that much more time is necessary at this point before they can be shown to readers. I am hopeful that it can be described in the second volume of the codex.[182]

The French translation of the work of Mattia begins at folio 202. It has 49 chapters and concludes with the biography of the venerable servant of God, Raniero of Sansepolcro.[183]

e) About a certain proof of the edition

During the year 1597 a Venetian printer by the name Peter Paul had been assured that Mattia of Salò was writing the work about the things performed by the Capuchin Friars and that he desired very much to have him publish it. All this because he sought important and powerful friends who might effectively move the spirit of the author. They were the countess Laura Gonzaga Martinengo and the famous letter writer Bartholomew Zucchi, who sent this letter to Mattia on 14 September 1597.

To the Rev. Fr. Mattia of Salò, Capuchin, at Brescia

I have been requested to ask you a favour, and I have been requested in such a way that I cannot go back on my words. The worst of is that the one who is insisting with me shows so much hope in my intercession that he makes me blush. I am expending my self for what I value. However if he will want to be misled into regarding me for more than what I am, I would like the deceit for the sake of my desire that this friend be pleased.

Messer printer in Venice has heard that Your Reverence has compiled a volume just with the deeds of the Capuchin Fathers, and is consumed with the wish to honour his press with it. Because of this he has had recourse to me with many entreaties. For his part I can promise everything that pertains to his trade. However you should not have to think about too many things but to favour me in this, if however you judge that I am not totally unworthy of this.

In the same matter may you keep in mind the Lady Countess Laura Gonzaga Martinengo. She has almost prevented my coming before her, although in this matter I know I can take advantage of the certainty that I believe, in virtue of her Ladyships many requests, to carry out what she was able to entrust to me. I will say no more except that in thanking Your Reverence, my friend, just as with all the efficacy that I beg you to act, you can be assured that I will consider my eternally obliged to you for this.

As the son of one who has been so indebted to the Capuchin Fathers, especially to Father Mattia, if it were not superfluous, as a member of this family I would offer you my respect for the dominion that you will always have over me and this House (even if you have despised all temporal dominion). I even beg you to remember me often in your heavenly pastimes. To Your Reverence, to Father Apollonius Porcelaga and Father Seraphim Melzi I commend myself from the heart.

From Monza, 14 September 1597.[184]

However our Mattia was not able to favour these petitions since he had already sent the work to be published by others as may be discovered from the following letter dated 8 October. In it he clearly shows further his intention not to change his mind.

To the Lord Bartholomew Zucchi, brother Mattia Bellintani, Capuchin, at Monza.

Your Lordship’s valour and merits before me are capable of such that they have no need either for a mediator or for warm insistence in order to be fully effective in me, since just one hint alone is enough to bend all my ability. And may you have not doubt that Mr. Peter Paul has not been misled in believing that the authority of Your Lordship is supremely effective with Brother Mattia who would be in consideration of you in every great matter. Now that with such a beautiful and lovely letter you ask me as a friend, I feel such an unspeakable displeasure not to be able satisfy the one who can command me, since I have already made a promise to others that cannot be annulled. Her Ladyship the Countess Laura Martinengo has spoken with me about the same matter, to whom it was appropriate for me to give the same reply. I would give it to her a thousand times, if they were to come to me a thousand times.

I beg Your Lordship to excuse me and to accept my good will, which you will find most ready whenever I may be of use to you in something else, if wish to consider me, and just as I would come to your aid, may you do so with confidence. I commend myself to Your Lordship and ask the Lord holy peace for you.

From Bergamo, 8 October 1597.[185]

The proof work for publication did not come into effect. The reason however is hidden to us and up to this day the manuscript Capuchin History is on show. Although many have made use of it, especially in these times, they certainly published few fragments.

a) To be passed by in silence is the biography of St. Angela Merici which was published as Octavius Gondi SJ tells it, give that, in our opinion, he did not use the text of the Capuchin History but another one that Mattia had written earlier.[186]

b) In 1896 Eduardo d’Alençon OFM Cap published the biography of Venerable Laurentia Longo, the foundress of the Capuchin sisters in Naples, faithfully reproducing the text from codex R, t.II, f.108r.114v.[187]

c) Similarly the report of the apostolate of Peter of Piacenza and his companion in Algiers, where both breathed their last, was published from codex R, t.II, f.167v-170r.[188]

d) Finally in 1925 the small biographical note of brother John Baptist of Brishigella has been published from codex R, t.II, f.119rv.[189]

f) The historical sources

It will be valuable for the work to review, even if summarily, the historical sources from which the information of this present Capuchin history has been taken. They belong to two categories, namely those writers who belong to the Order of St. Francis, or those writers outside the Franciscan Order. Finally it is necessary to advise that a lot of information is contained in the work that Mattia either accepted from witnesses or that he drew from direct and immediate knowledge itself. The sources, however, that are referred to explicitly, are the following.

A. – 1. Thomas of Celano. He refers once to the author of the first biography of Saint Francis, when the author tells who the Seraphic Father cursed those friars who were a scandal to the world with the bad example, while on the other hand he blessed those who with holy virtues and good example spread the fragrance of Christ.[190]

2. St. Bonaventure. Apart from the Legenda maiorem[191] he also used other works of the Seraphic doctor, namely: The Constitutions of Narbonne,[192] his Letters sent to the whole Order[193] and the Apologia pauperum.[194]

3. Ubertino of Casale is extolled with the highest praises[195] and his life is narrated extensively, because Mark of Lisbon had not narrated it not so fully.[196] From the book Arbor vite crucifixe[197] he collects hands full of information about the reform movement of his time and also about the state of the Church and the mind of the Seraphic Father Francis. About the date of the composition of this book that he refers to extensively,[198] he did not always write the same thing. Indeed once he carefully indicated a day, month and year, namely 9 March 1305, which information he took up from the book Arbor vite crucifixe itself. Elsewhere on the other hand[199] he simply that the book had been composed around 1300. Nonetheless it should be known that the first piece of information was produced at a later date with the added pages.

Mattia wants to attribute to Ubertino of Casale the Expositio of the Rule that is found in the book De conformitate of Bartholomew of Pisa. He also wants to show this both from its manner of speech and from the authority of a certain old writer in whom this is found asserted. Furthermore he asserts that the substance of the constitution of Clement V Exivi de paradiso may have been taken from the documents of Ubertino for himself and for his companions.[200]

4. Angelo Clareno. We believe that it can be said that this is the principal historical source that Mattia followed to construct the Franciscan history of his time. He follows Angelo Clareno with great veneration and love and celebrates his praises.[201] He describes how the work Historia septem tribulationum had found been transcribed into a better form format by John of Ventimiglia before he became a Capuchin. He then brought it with him. He asserts quite explicitly that he used this work in the composition of the Capuchin History,[202] which any reader can discover. We are unable to say which exemplar he used. We have in our hands an Italian apographon of the transcription made by John of Ventimiglia. The codex used to be kept in the library of the Capuchin friary at St. Barnaba in Genoa with the reference number Ris.II.22. Now it is in the provincial archives in Genoa.[203] It is a paper codex of the 16th century bound in parchment; 115mm x 145mm; [1]-224-[3]. On the spine is read: Tribulati/oni/ Dell’OrdineScritte dal/ B.P. Angelo/ da Cingoli.

It begins (page 1): Cominciano i libri delle sette Tribulationi dell’ordine del B.Francesco composto dal Vener.le Pre. Fre. Angelo da Congoli che fu capo della riforma da chiarini.

Come Chro. si rivela al B. Francesco. Cap.o po. Fu descritta la vita del povero et humile Francesco.

It concludes (pages 216-217): ma resterà sotto i loro piedi rotto et fracassato et con loro sarà il Signor Iddio et Giesù christo, et lo spirito suo in luoco di maestro ne secoli dei secoli. Amen.

On the same page 217 one reads: Finisce il libro intitolato delle tribulationi dell’ordine successe dall’anno 1226 insino all’anno 1333, composto dal P.fre. Angelo de Cingoli.

Il sudetto libro è stato cauato dal Pre. Fra Giovanni di Vintimiglia capuccino nel tempo ch’’ra Zoccolante, l’anno 1521 alli 24 di luglio, dall’’originale antico ch’’ra nel luoco di Chiarvi dei Padri Zoccolanti in lingua latina, tradotto poi in volgare nella maniera che sta hora, nel qual’originale era nel principio del libro la revelatione sequente fatta dal beato Francesco a un divoto frate scritta della medesima mano ch’era il libro; et detto originale fu concesso a detto Padre da i suoi superiori in detto tempo, come esso di sua mano testifica.

Page 216: Reuelatione fatta dal B.Francesco a un diuoto frate.

It begins: Un frate desideraua uiuere senz’inganno.

It concludes (220): A niuno huomo di sangue perdona per denari, Deo gratias.

Pages 221-223: Tauola dei capitoli che si contengono nel presente libro.

The work of Angelo Clareno contained in this cod.G is distributed over 72 chapters. Compared to the edited text these things should be kept in mind. The first tribulation begins in the same way and same place in the codex and in the edition.[204] In the codex however is concludes with the exhortation and death of Father Saint Francis which constitutes the first chapter of the second tribulation. The text of tribulations II-V is completely the same.[205] Tribulation VI begins with those words that in the edition are like a guide from tribulation V to tribulation VI.[206] Tribulation VII in the codex begins where the editor of the Latin text puts the second part of tribulation VI[207] and it continues up to the end, without any interposed separation of that section, in which the discourse is about the shape of the habit.

James of Salò knew this codex, if you prefer, this Italian copy, for he often refers to parallel passages in the margins that always correspond with this Italian version. It is probable that he sometimes used this version to make slight corrections to the text of Mattia. However it should be added that Mattia himself either followed the Latin text directly and immediately, or another Italian version since his text evidently disagrees with cod.G. The exemplar which he used is contains the so called Legenda antiqua together with the Historia septem tribulationum, even if it is usually cited as one thing under the same name Historia septem tribulationum.

5. Peter Auriol,whose Tractatus de paupertate et usus paupere explicitly cited once.[208]

6. Peter John Olivi, the “huomo dottissimo e sanctissimo.” His Declaration on the Rule is referred to where he defends the usus pauper in everything by the friars.[209]

7. Nicholas of Lyra. His Oratio on the life of Saint Francis is cited twice.[210]

8. John of Rupescissa (Roquetaillade). Mattia used a certain old manuscript of this man to interpret a certain prophecy about the resurrection of Saint Francis.[211]

9. Bartholomew of Pisa. Although this name is found only once, and although as the Expositio of the Rule which is found in the book De conformitate may be added by Ubertino of Casale, without a doubt Mattia used this work quite often.[212]

10. Louis of Torre, who was general Vicar of the cisalpine family of the Observant Friar from 1498-1501[213], wrote the Apologia et defensorium fratrum minorum de observantia seu de Familia nuncupatorum, a work that Mattia uses twice.[214]

11. Speculum Minorum. From this miscellaneous work he took a lot of things either concerning either legislation or regarding historical information, or rather we believe that he made use of other things from it via other sources already listed. Nonetheless he only alludes to it twice explicitly.[215]

12. The Expositio of the Four Masters is cited once in passing.[216]

13. The Constitutions of the Order that are referred to are the following: a) the Constitutions of Narbonne; b) the Constitutions of William Farinier;[217] c) the Martinian Constitutions,[218] and d) the Constitutions of St. John Capistrano.[219]

14. Mark of Lisbon. Without any doubt Mattia will have had in his hands the Chronicles of this writer. Moreover he considers his work as a kind of continuation or extension of them.[220] Sometimes he accepts information from that work.[221] Other times he corrects and completes it.[222]

15. Francis Gonzaga. His great work was published in 1587.[223] Mattia does not refer to it explicitly, however certain miraculous facts are excerpted from chapter XX of treatise II. At that point James of Salò aptly noted: Casi antichi cavati dal Gonzaga.[224]

Now a word should be addressed to the Capuchin writers whom Mattia of Salò used.

1. Marius of Mercato Saraceno,[225] who was the first historiographer of the Order, is quoted nowhere. However there is some indication found that seems to indicate that the Relationes of Marius were not unknown to Mattia of Salò. Indeed the talk of Paul III with the chapter fathers gathered in Rome about the apostasy of Bernardino Ochino looks like it has been copied ad litteram from these Relationes. It is certainly true that the same story is found in Bernardino of Colpetrazzo, but this author tells it differently.[226]

2. Bernardino of Colpetrazzo. Mattia acknowledges explicitly[227] that he had taken a lot of information, especially biographical, from the Chronicles of Bernardino, and he often openly discusses his authority.[228] Now we should say which of the three ‘bernardinian’ compositions he used.[229] It is easy to given an answer to this question. Since all the information attributed to Bernardino is found in codex As and is missing from codex R, many the information is not common to both codices, it should be concluded that Mattia followed Bernardino’s second composition. This conclusion is demonstrated from the following table. The first column refers to the work of Mattia while the second refers to the edition of Bernardino.

Cod. R, t.I, p.78 MHOMC, t.II, p.272
Cod. R, t.I, p.133 MHOMC, t.III, p.237
Cod. R, t.I, p.139 MHOMC, t.III, p.260
Cod. R, t.I, p.161 MHOMC, t.II, p.292, t.III, p.4
Cod. R, t.I, p.270 MHOMC, t.II, p.307
Cod. R, t.II, p.7r MHOMC, t.II, p.395
Cod. R, t.II, p.8r MHOMC, t.III, p.184
Cod. R, t.II, p.66 MHOMC, t.III, p.306-308
Cod. R, t.II, p.72r MHOMC, t.III, p.426
Cod. R, t.II, p.74v MHOMC, t.III, p.252
Cod. R, t.II, p.79v MHOMC, t.III, p.257
Cod. R, t.II, p.88v MHOMC, t.III, p.337
Cod. R, t.II, p.90v MHOMC, t.III, p.328-331
Cod. R, t.II, p.125 MHOMC, t.III, p.306

If the things we have just indicated about cod.R are true, there is stronger reason that these things be applied to cod.V, since when this was being written Bernardino had not yet written his third composition. Furthermore it should be added that James of Salò only used the third composition in adding the margin notes. Indeed he often refers to parallel passages which all very much agree with the third composition.[230]

3. Joseph of Onéglia, a member of the province of Genoa, who died on 30 December 1591.[231] This man, a priest and preacher, simply and very devout, collected the things that seemed to him worthy memories for those who came after him. Since our Mattia knew these things he adapted them as his own.[232] It is under suspicion before all else that this is to mean the things and friars of province of Genoa since there is more abundant information that concerns this province.

4. Francis of Mazara. An extraordinarily knowledgeable man, he moved from the Conventual Friars Minor to the Capuchin among whom he carried out the office of lector.[233] While he governed the province of Palermo as commissary, under mandate of the minister General Jerome of Polizzi, he collected biographical information and sent it to the Annalist of the Order in Rome. It is thus inscribed: Informationi prese per ordine del P.F. Geronimo da Polizzi, Generale dei Padri Cappucini, dal P.F. Francesco da Mazzara, Commissario provinciale del medemmo Ordine della Provincia di Palermo sopra la vita e fatti d’alcuni frati Cappuccinni di santa vita, quali sono stati nella Provincia di Sicilia. – 1589 a 25 di dicembre. That codex is kept today in the Capuchin Archives in Bologna Cl. I, ser. IV, busta VII, 2. At the end James of Salò adds the following note: La copia di queste informationi del P.F. Francesco da Mazzara, Commissario, fu mandato dal P. Polizzi fin quando era Generale, al P.F. Matthia da Salò, il quale l’ha spiegata e registrata nella sua historia, come si può vedere, massime al fine del 2 tomo. Et io lo so, perchè vidi e summai la detta copia come scritore del detto P. Matthia. F.Giacomo da Salò.[234]

5. Raguaglio della vita e morte di F. Pietro Piacentino Capuccino in Algeri. Mattia inserts this account into his Chronicles,[235] which an eyewitness wrote on 10 June 1585 and sent it to Rome.

6. Finally among the Capuchin historical sources it helps to consider the treatise that Mattia himself wrote about the prayer of the Forty Hours. The things on the subject that are found in the Chronicles have been taken from this.[236]

B. – Only a few writers outside the Franciscan Order are referred to.

1. The Revelations of St. Brigit from which he took up the description of the war of brother Adversary against the Order of Saint Francis.[237]

2. Denis the Carthusian from whom Mattia derived the revelations about the state of the Church and its reform. He also mentions the Letter of this author to Princes.[238]

3. St. Augustine. He defers twice to the authority of the holy Doctor, namely, when he recalls the siege of Rome made by the Vandals and the Goths,[239] and to demonstrate that error of each member does not totally weaken the entire society.[240]

4. Joachim of Fiori. Without a doubt Mattia had a predilection for the theories of this celebrated abbot, however he did not welcome indiscriminately each of his works that were circulating, since rejected some as apocrypha.[241] He made use of him particularly to expound on the different states of the world and the reform of the church. However he took from his writings the prophecy about the holy patriarchs Francis and Dominic.[242] Often our Mattia interpreted the old and the more recent Franciscan history in connection with the text of the revelation of St. John the Evangelist. Nor do we consider the apocalyptic ideas of the Abbot of Fiore alien to his mind. Among the published works of Mattia of Salò no commentary on the Apocalypse is listed. It is certain however that he composed a similar work, which learned men regarded as great. Clement VIII, as it is said, wanted to keep its original manuscript in the Vatican library.[243] In fact the reputation about his knowledge of this sacred book has spread far and wide. We have this solemn witness. Stephanus Claudius Tholerinus, who had learned in Paris that Mattia was truly expert in the interpretation of the Apocalypse, so that he might deign to make known his mind about the antichrist, asked him why he had been taking so long in writing a commentary about this book. To favour his wishes Mattia answered, to which the aforementioned author in a letter 7 July 1600, after having thanked him and expounded new difficulties, said these things. “Therefore it is good that we will have consulted if we take refuge in the mercy of God so as not to fall into the tyranny of judgement. However, for the edification of holy Church, hasten the edition of your commentaries, which if you want to publish in Lyon, I will be present with the compatriot reverend fathers of your Order so that as much care as possible can be taken to avoid the usual printing mistakes. If as you write and we ask of God, send your exemplar to us, for which the reverend father Theodosius[244] and I are indebted. However, I am especially looking forward to the visit of your Reverend paternity.”[245] In 1610 Mattia finished this commentary and desired to have it published. However since he could not come to Rome, he asked that a censor be delegated to where he might be given an audience, if necessary. The supreme Pontiff approved that either Frederick Cardinal Borromeo himself or some other suitable person examine the book in Milan, so that Mattia be given an audience if necessary.[246] What happened then we do not know. However on 4 September 1627 the Procurator general informed the Minister general that the Holy congregation forbade that the work of Mattia of Salò on the Apocalypse ever be published. The Minister general himself moreover answered the same Procurator that because of this they could have peace of mind.

These things are added so that the readers may better understand the various opinions of Mattia of Salò, which they may find here and there in this present work.

g) Its historical value

On the threshold of this question we wish straightaway to recall historical and authoritative trust is a priori not to be denied the writer at all, by anyone who undertakes to defend some other matter. Otherwise any apologia or defense may be deprived of historical credibility and sincerity[247] since defenders inevitably fall into the danger of subjectivism.

There is no doubt about Mattia of Salò’s knowledge for writing the history. Bernardino of Colpetrazzo tells us that Mattia was preferred for this task by the superiors because of the erudition and talent with which he was endowed.[248] Furthermore the unanimous opinion of contemporary witnesses who refer to his knowledge, especially theological and biblical knowledge, is confirmed from an analysis of the works, and it will be observed in the text itself that we are publishing.

As regards probity, “huius viri virtus, auctoritas, fides, ne ulli suspecta esset, a Deo signis post mortem comprobata fuit.”[249]

Furthermore Mattia of Salò was gifted with another talent or quality which befits a man of history, a certain expert diligence in gathering information. Proofs are evident in the Capuchin History. Now we will take one or two from somewhere else. From letters of Nicholas of Tolentino OFM Cap, dated 3rd and 9th February 1589 we know about how he wanted to more certain about the duchy of Camerino and about the first houses of the Capuchin Friars.[250] Similarly from the instrument attributed to Mattia of Salò[251] and which was presented to the Capuchin provinces towards the end of the 16th century in order to collect information on the general history of the Order to be sent to the writer of the annals. It is clear that their author possessed an accurate notion of the discipline of history, although he may have been given to opinions of his time.[252] Finally the sources he used and which we have mentioned commend the serious gravity of the work.

Apart from these indications concerning his preparation to write, something else should be added from a consideration of the work itself.

From the catalogue of historical fonts itself it shines out that Mattia had a special predilection for the authority of those who go under the name of Spirituals, especially Ubertino of Casale and Angelo Clareno. He takes his Franciscan history in general terms from their polemical writings and it seems that he sees in the same writings the spirit and mind of the Seraphic Father Francis himself. Hence from their light and brightness he seeks to interpret the genuine and authentic Franciscan life, since in them he discovers the true tradition of the authentic Franciscan movement. At the same time it shows that the reform taken up by the Capuchin Friars is the last ring of the Franciscan evolution predicted by the Holy Patriarch and in conformity with many visions, revelations and prophecies.

We believe that the disposition of the mind of Mattia is inclined towards the theories of the spirituals and of the sects of the abbot Joachim of Fiore, and therefore more than once he is up against the dangers of subjectivism. However just because of this it should not be said from preconceived ideas the he wanted to assign all the rights and wrongs of the life he had embraced to events, prophecies and revelations of an earlier time. Since the first Capuchin friars were aglow with the desire of restoring the pristine fervour of the Order, they avidly traveled the tracks of Saint Francis and of his companions. They took up from them the love of poverty, austerity of life and derived observance of the Rule[253]. However they generally did not fall into the errors or exaggerations of the Spiritual friars. We discover this leaning in all the annalists of the first century of the Order[254] and Mattia of Salò developed this theme more than others did, most especially in the second treatise of the first volume. However he does not defend the extreme poverty that had been so strong in the first years must always be followed. He encourages study and the apostolate and accepts larger friaries not remote from the towns, to say in one word, he favours the progress and evolution of the Order.[255] All those who try to judge his inclination towards the theories of the spirituals and Joachimites should not overlook these things.[256]

Finally Mattia was an immediate witness of many things that he narrates, whether it they be information regarding the biographies of confreres, or whether they be things relating to the growth and evolution of the Order. It should be sufficient here to refer to the special care and diligence with which he describes the events of the birth of the Order in France and Switzerland. More recent writers, who wrote the Capuchin history of those regions with the help of other documents, although they declare him subject to errors, nevertheless bear witness to his greatness.[257]

III. The Method and Plan of this Edition

Since we have more than once explained the rules and norms that are followed in this collection for reproducing texts, noting the variant readings of the codices and for making to bibliographical references, it is not necessary to repeat the same things again here – things which the kind reader may consult at his leisure.[258]

We are to publish here the entire text of the Historia Capuccina in two volumes. The general introduction and bibliography regarding both volumes are presented in the first volume. Someone else perhaps may have liked better that a specific bibliography be offered in each volume. However then we would have been obliged to repeat the same things in general. Therefore we have preferred to write it only once and to indicate them things more fully, since in it bears upon the second volume the in the first place to present the work.

In choosing the archetypal codex there could not have been any difficulty at all since only Cod. R presents a definitive text, corrected and changed by Mattia of Salò himself. We have taken variant readings from codex V to complete the first volume. All the other things, as has been said, are missing from this codex.

From the copy of codex R it is obvious that it contains many autographic changes written in the margin. We have had these inserted precisely into the edited text. We have left aside the scratched-out text between the variant readings. Be aware, I ask, that the scribe writer did not always follow a sure and consistent method of copying the same word.

In the second and third book of the third volume the order of things has often been changed. We however, guided by the indications in the margins, have restored the right order, so that each pericope occupies its proper place. Changes are obvious from the page numbering preserved in the margin. As for the rest we have advised the readers in the footnotes.

These are the things we had to say before we would have brought to a conclusion the prolegomena to the critical edition of the Capuchin History of Mattia of Salò.

  1. Melchior a Pobladura, Introductio Generalis to Historia Capuccina in MHOMC V, p.xxxiii-xcvi..This translation by © Paul Hanbridge OFM Cap, April 2003, Rome.
  2. The letters of Matthias to Charles Cardinal Borromeo are kept in Milan in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Raccolta di lettere dirette a S. Carlo, vol.136-138. Others addressed Matthias are found in the General Archives OFM Cap in Rome, Raccolta di documenti originali spettanti al Padre Mattia Bellintani da Salò with the reference number A.IV.31. Something will be said about the codices of the Capuchin History below, page 21, The Vatican codex. The Tractatus title is found below, page 20 note 6.
  3. Cf. The Oratione Funebre given by Fr. John Francis of Brescia, Capuchin preacher, at the death and over the body of M.R.Fr.Mattia da Salò, Capuchin preacher, on the day of his funeral in the church of Saints Peter and Marcellinus in brescia. And afterwards put down on paper at the request of many religious and laity who heard it. Milan, 1612, p.1-36. – Discorso in morte del M.R.P. Mattia Bellintano Capuccino, given in the Prefecture of Saint Lawrence in Brescia by Fr. John Poeta on the occasion of the rites celebrated for him by M.R. Mons. Octavius Hermanni, prefect of that Church. Ibid., p.36-62. A later apographon of this Discursus in the Genera Archives OFM Cap (ms. A.V.7). It is a fascicle 145mm x 205mm, 18 folios.
  4. This biography was published not long ago by Francesco da Vicenza OFM Cap, Cenni biografici del P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò. Da un documento inedito in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.247-261. The editor is of the opinion that James of Salò may be regarded as the author (cf. below Giacomo da Salò, page 28.). this seems less likely to us. It is not at all abvious from the codex itself, as the editor wants to indicate, that the author was the companion of Fr. Mattias at the time of his journey to Gaul in 1575. If such is the case, James would have to be excluded since he had net yet entered the Order in 1586.
  5. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed I Cappuccini bresciani, p.152
  6. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, op.cit., p.214, note.
  7. This is the opinion of Humile of Genoa in L’Italia Francescana 9(1936) p.187,note.
  8. “As a confrere of his in the same house I witnessed his passing and contemplated how God was present at his death and that the angles collected him. In his particular life, which I have written at length, his exceptional qualities are admired publically.” Ottavio Rossi, Elogi istorici, p.468.
  9. Compendio della vita del P. Mattia Bellintani, predicatore capuccino, delineato da un divoto Padre dell’istessa Religione. In Bergamo, 1650.
  10. Cf. Annales Ord. Fr. Minorum S. Francisci Capuccinorum, t.II, n.7-47, p.867-873.
  11. Vita del Padre Mattia Bellintani da Salò cappuccino, Milano, 1885.
  12. Valdemiro da Bergamo, Biografia e bibliografia del P. Mattia da Salò Cappuccino, in Miscellanea Francescana, 3(1888) p.22-28, 39.
  13. Idem, I conventi ed it cappuccini bresciani, p.212-247, Milano, 1891. On page 230 are listed all the authors who in earlier times have described the historical details of P. Mattia.
  14. Umile da Genova, P. Mattia bellintani da Salò in L’Italia Francescana, 11(1936) – 13(1938), passim.
  15. Cf. Vita del P. Mattia in Collectanea Francescana 6(1936) p.248; Compendio, p.5; Epistola of Fr. Luciano of Brescia to James of Salò (1 May 1612) in Analecta OFM Cap 24(1908) p.27. This opinion of ours about the year of his birth is confirmed from the inscription on his tomb which reads: “obit die 20 julii, anno 1611, aetatis suae LXXVII.” Others usually state 1534: Vita del servo di Dio Mattia da Salò, p.1; Valdermiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed Cappuccini bresciani, p.213; Umile da Genoa, P.Mattia Bellintani in L’Italia Francescana, 9(1936) p.188.
  16. Cf. Vita del P. Mattia, loc.cit., p.248. Others assert the contrary, that he taught the father, Avogadro, not the son. Cf. compendio, p.7; Valdemiro d Bergamo, op.cit., p.214; Umile d Genoa, loc.cit., p.191.
  17. Cf. Vita del P. Mattia, p.249, Compendio, p.6.
  18. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, op.cit., p.214.
  19. Cf. Vita del servo di ‘Dio Mattia da Salò, p.2. Umile da Genoa, loc.cit., p.463.
  20. “He was seventten years old when he entered the Order, just as I maintain, since he had been clothed under the Most Rev. Fr. Eusebius of Ancona, General.” Epist of Fr. Luciano, op.cit., p.27
  21. Cf. MHOMC IV, p.133 sq.
  22. Cf. Vita del P. Mattia, p.249; compendio, p.6. According to the Lexicon Capuccinum, the surname of Francis of Milan, Provincial in 1554 (and agains in 1568) was ‘Arconi.’
  23. Cf. L’Italia Francescana, 11(1936) p.464
  24. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi e I cappuccini dell’antico ducato di Milano, p.45.
  25. Cf. Mattia da Salò, Trattato dell’oratione delle quarant’ore, p.30.
  26. Cf. A. de Santi, l’orazione delle quarant’ore, p.102.
  27. Some writers mistakenly assert that around 1555 Mattia’s first appointment was to Rome. Cf. Fredegando d’Anversa OFM Cap, Le idee francescane spirituali nei FF.MM. Cappuccini del secolo XVI in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) p.115, 125, note 45.
  28. See footnote 1 page 5.
  29. Cf. Historia Capuccina, t.II, f.186.
  30. Valdemiro of Bergamo (cf. I conventi ed I Cappuccini bresciani, p.214) asserts that the Minister General sent Mattia sent to Naples. Furthermore, Unile da Geno adds (cf. L’italia Francescana, 1936, p.467) that this happened in 1556, i.e. two years after profession. However it should be kept in mind that Thomas of Città di Castello did not moderate the Order in 1556, but Eusebius of Ancona. Nor could Mattia have been then a student under the instruction of Jerome of Montefiore since he did not join the Capuchin Friars until later, namely, in 1559 [cf. collectanea Franciscana 11(1941) p.112].
  31. Plural
  32. The reason for this change according to some authors was Mattia’s poor health. Cf. Vita del servo di Dio P. Mattia,p.3; Giannatonio da Brescia, Vita del P. Mattia, p.32; Umile da Genoa in L’Italia Francescana 9(1936) p.469.
  33. It is not necessary to affirm (cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, op.cit., p.214; Umile da Genova, loc.cit., p.472) that the house of theological studies was transferred to Rome.
  34. Cf. Z.Boverius Annales, t.I, an.1564, n.II, p.609
  35. “In September (1560) … Fr. General gave Fr. Mattia to Fr. Jerome of Montefiore as a disciple … With all this, Fr. Montefiore never gave any lesson to Fr. Mattia. Rather, he studied Scotus on his own. After lunch he used to go to have his difficulties clarified by Fr. Montefiore. Fr. Mattia said that properly he had been his lector.” Vita del P. Mattia in Collectanea Franciscanai 6(1936) p.250
  36. Others say that he give these sermons in the town of Rieti. Cf. Vita del Servo di Dio Mattia,p.3.
  37. Valdermiro da Bergamo (cf. op.cit., p.215) seems to indicate that he was assigned to teach theology. Umile da Genoa (loc.cit. p.473) is of the opinion that he was a reader in general studies. This seems less probable since studies of this kind probably did not exist at that time.
  38. Umile da Genoa in L’Italia Francescana 6(1936) p.473. The writers who are referred to here do not make this assertion. On the contrary, Umile da Genoa himself wrote [cf. L’Italia Francescana 6(1936) p.473] that Mattias was only sent to Umrbia after Easter of the same year.
  39. Cf. Gianantonio da Brescia, op.cit., p.88; Fr. Cuthbert, The Capuchins, A Contribution to the History of the Counter Reformation vol.I, p.205
  40. Cf. F. Cirocchi, Vita del servo di Dio Gio. Battista Vitelli da Foligno, fondatore dell’Oratorio del buon Gesù in essa città, Foligno, 1625; M. Faloci Pulignani, Notizie del Ven. Gio. Battista Vitelli da Foligno e del suo carteggio, foligno, 1894; AOC 9(1895) p.250-256.
  41. Cf. Trattato della santa Oratione, cited by A. de Santi, op.cit., p.145; Historia Capuccina, t.II, f.165r, 191v.
  42. Mattia wrote (cf. Trattato della santa Oratione, cite by A. de Santi, op.cit., p.146) that he preached that year in Narni. However he later corrected the sentence. Cf. Historia Capuccina, t. II, p.165-191.
  43. Cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.4 where it is found that he gave the sermons in Amelia. However it is clear that this is affirmed by the transcriber not without some hesitation.
  44. Cf. Trattato della santa Oratione, in A. de Santi, op.cit., p.146; Historia Capuccina, Cod.R., t.II, p.265rv.
  45. He says in the first composition of the Historia Capuccina (t.II, f.165v) that he preached in Nola. In the second composition (ib. f.191v) he wrote that it was in Naples. However, this error is to be attributed to the copyist.
  46. On the Capuchin friary in Perugia cf. Francesco da Vicenza, OFM Cap, Cenni storici del convento dei Cappuccini di Montemalbe (Perugia) in Miscellanea Franciscana 35(1935) p.133-143.
  47. It is not at all clear to us whether this happened in 1573 or 1588. Cf. Vita del servo dio Dio Mattia, p.4, 14; Boverius, Annales an.1611, n.14, p.869.
  48. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1310. As we often see, this writer offers in this work an accurate bibliographical description of all the works of Mattia and therefore we refer the reader to him.
  49. Valdemirus da Bergamo (cf. I Cappuccini dell’antico ducato di Milano, p.45) mistekenly asserts that the assemblies were gathered this year in Cremona, because in fact the capitular fathers of Milan met.
  50. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, op.cit. n.1311.
  51. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed I Cappuccini bresciani, p.218 sq.; A. Crobellini, O.S.A., Vite dei vescovi di Vercelli, p.110, Milano, 1643.
  52. Cf. Godefroy de Paris, Historie de Frères Mineurs en France, t.I, p.83 sq.
  53. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, op.cit., n.1312.
  54. Cf. Godefroy de Paris, loc.cit.
  55. Cf. Giannantonio da Brescia, op.cit., p.75; Valdemiro da Bergamo, op.cit., p.220; Godefroy de Paris, loc.cit., p.109. According to these authors in this year Mattia preached the Lent in Paris and also headed from that city towards Rome. The opinion expressed in the text is held by: Vita del P. Mattia in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.255; M.Dubois, Historique de la province de Provence, p.5.
  56. It has been written often that that Mattia was elected to the General Definitory in this year. However it is now clear from an authentic document that whoever the Definitors were, he was not one of them. Cf. AOC 25(1905) p.312; Felice da Mareto, Tavoli dei capitoli generali, p.82-83.
  57. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali in the General Archives of the Order, Francesco Zaverio Molfino, Codice diplomatico, p.215 sq.
  58. According to Valdermiro da Bergamo (cf. I cappuccini dell’antico ducato di Milano, p.45) this provincial chapter was assembled in Milan in the friary of Saint Victor.
  59. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1313.
  60. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1314.
  61. Some add that the cardinal Protector was the author of this revocation. Cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.13.
  62. Cf. Vita del P.Mattia in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.256; vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.13. We concede greater faith to these writers than the others who, up to this point do not number Mattia among the Definitors general. Cf. Felice da Mareto, Tavole dei capitoli generali, p.84.
  63. Umile da Genoa [cf. L’Italia Francescana 12(1937) p.147] errs when he asserts that this Lenten sermons this were given in Bergamo.
  64. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1316.
  65. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1317.
  66. The author of the work Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.13, while passing over the events of this year in silence, refers to this time the things that happened in the following year.
  67. Somasco – a member of the Congregation of regular clergy instituted by St. Jerome Emiliani (1481-1537) in Bergamo (Bergamasco). Zingarelli 2003, p.1731.
  68. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1318.
  69. Cf. A.Canobbio, La divota oratione delle quaranta hore fatta nella città di Verona la settimana santa dell’anno MDLXXXVII così persuasa dal M.R.P.F. Mattia Bellintani, Verona, 1587.
  70. Cf. Historia Capuccina, t.II, f.165v. The Brief of Sixtus V (1 June 1587) is found in Trattato della santa oratione della quaranta Hore, p.5.
  71. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed i Cappuccini dell’antico ducato di Milano, P.I, p.24.
  72. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1319.
  73. Some refer to the establishment of the mental prayer and an increase of popular piety to this year. See above footnote 4 on page 7.
  74. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1344.
  75. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1372.
  76. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1377; A. de Santi, L’orazione delle quarantore, p.93 sq.
  77. See below p.19.
  78. Some say it was in the church of Saint Affra [cf. Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.258.]. Others on the other hand say it was in the church of the Holy Saviour (cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.14).
  79. Cf. Chronica prov. Helvetiae Ord. S.P.N. Francisci Capuccinorum, p.26, Solodori, 1884.
  80. Therefore those who deny that he was a definitor general this year are mistaken. Cf. Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.258, note 2.
  81. Cf. vita del P. Mattia in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.258.
  82. Umile da Genoa falls into error when he states that this letter was sent in 1587 [cf. L’Italia Francescana, 12(1937) p.147.]
  83. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1321.
  84. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  85. Therefore the edited Tables of the General Chapters should be corrected. Cf. Felice da Mareto, Tavole dei capitoli generali, p.94-95.
  86. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  87. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1345.
  88. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  89. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed i Cappuccini bresciani, p.221
  90. The different opinions of writers about the date of this legation are easily resolved if we admit that he accepted the mandate in this year and carried it out in the following year. Cf. Vita del P.Mattia in Collectanea Franciscana 6(1936) p.260; Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.15.
  91. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1347
  92. Francesco Zaverio Molfino, Codice diplomatico, p.68.
  93. Cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.15.
  94. The sermons he gave at that tim ewere publihsed the following year.
  95. See below, During the year 1597 page 33.
  96. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Bibliotheca, n.1300 and 1301.
  97. Cf. AOC 9(1895) p.253
  98. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Bibliotheca, n.1305
  99. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali. It is not at all clear from this letter that he was went to Bohemia as commissary general, as one opinion has it (cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia,p.16; Valdemiro da Bergamo, op.cit., p.221).
  100. Ilarino da Milano, Bibliotheca, n.1324
  101. Ilarino da Milano, Bibliotheca, n.1349
  102. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  103. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  104. According to the opinion of Valdemiro of Bergamo (cf. I conventi begramaschi, p.320) the provincial assembly gathered in Cremona in 1605, in which Francis Foresti of Brescia was elected Vicar provincial.
  105. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed i cappuccini bresciani, .p222 sq. In another work (cf. I conventi bergamaschi,p.320) the same author asserts that Mattia was Vicar Provincial in Bergamo in this year.
  106. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali.
  107. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1325,1327.
  108. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1351,1352,1340.
  109. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1353,1354.
  110. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, n.1355.
  111. Cf. Successo della infirmità, morte e sepultura del M.R. Padre Fra Mattia da Salò Capno., in Miscellanea Franciscana 3(1888) p.39-42. The apographon of this report is kept in the General Archives of the Order in Rome, Raccolta di documenti originali.
  112. Cf. Vita del servo di Dio Mattia, p.21
  113. In order to reconcile the dates, Umile da Geno is complelled to conclude that the octave of the feast of Saint Bonaventure is 22 July.
  114. Cf. Martin of Torrecilla OFM Cap, Apologema, espejo, y excelencias de la Seráfica Religión de Menores Capuchinos, p.149, turin, 1673; Dionysius of Genoa OFM Cap, Bibliotheca scriptorum, Genoa, 1680; Bernard of Bologna OFM Cap, Bibliotheca scriptorum Ordinis Minorum S. Francisci Capuccinorum, p.185-187, Venice, 1747; L.Wadding OFM, Scriptores Ordinus Minorum, Rome, 1906; Giovanni Hyacinto Sbaralea OFM Conv., Supplementum et castigatio ad scriptores trium Ordinum S. Francisci, P.II, p.234, Rome, 1921. See also: L.Cozzando OSM., Libreria bresciana, prima e seconda parte novamente aperta, p.172, Brescia, 1694; G. Mazzuchelli, gli scrittori d’Italia, cioè notizie storiche e critiche intorna alle vite e agli critti dei letterati italiani, t.II, p.629; V. Peroni, Bibliotheca bresciana, Brescia, s.a.; G. Brunati, Dizionarietto degli oumini illustri dell riviera di Salò, considerata qual era sotto la rep. Veneta, Milano, 1837.
  115. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, Biografia e bibliografia del P. Mattia da Salò Cappuccino in Miscellanea Franciscana 3(1888) p.22-28; Idem, Nuove notizie sul Padre Mattia Bellintani da Salò, ibid, I conventi ed i cappuccini bresciani, p.212-247.
  116. Cf. Pratica dell’orazione mentale. Introduzione ed edizione critica del P.Umile da Genova, Part I, p.xviii-xxvi, Assisi, 1932.
  117. Ilarino da Milano OFM Cap., Bibliotheca dei Frati Minori Cappuccini di Lombardia, p.241-260, n.1283-1391, Florence, 1937
  118. P.Guerrini, Una tradizione bresciaana sulla patria di papa Adriano VI in Miscellanea di storia e cultura ecclesiastica, 5(1906-1907) p.365 sq.
  119. L.Pastor (cf. Storia dei Papi, t.IV, p.24 sq.) states as an established fact never called into doubt by anyone that Hadrian Vi was born in Utrecht on 2 March 1459. Cf. M.Von Domarus, Die Quellen zur Geschichte des Papstes Hadrian VI in Historisches Jahrbuch, 1895, p.70-91. Also J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford 1986, p.258 sq.
  120. Cf. Una tradizione bresciana, loc.cit.
  121. “Brother Raniero, a lay friar from Borgo San Sepolcro, whose holy life is shown in its proper place.” Cod.R, t.II, f.27. “Brother Raniero from Borgo San Sepolcro, whose life will be included in its proper place.” Cod.R, t.II, f.96r.
  122. In the words of Fr. Jerome of Narni, “I kow all these things because I have read them in another manuscript biography composed and personally written by the Master, Reverend Fr. Mattia da Salò, who was my master in theology and who was a contemporary of Brother Raniero and who had long and familiar conversation with him.” Cf. Tudertina. Beatificationis et canonisationis Ven. Servi Dei Raynerii a Burgo S. Sepulchri, p.12, Romae, 1858
  123. “Let is first be noted that Fr. Mattia of Salò, who was a contemporary of this servant of God (Brother Raniero) and had long and familiar conversation with him, wrote extensively the History of his life from which this Compendium has been extracted in the greater part. Incomplete regarding his death he left this for the manuscript Historia Cappuccina.” Compendio della vita del Venerabile servo di dio Fra Raniero dal Borgo S. Sepolcro, laico Cappuccino, p.18, Roma, 1655
  124. Cf. Mauro da Leonessa OFM Cap, Il Predicatore Apostolico, p.72, 79, Isola del Liri, 1929.
  125. Cf. AOC, 10(1894) p.284.
  126. Cf. B.Zucchi, Vita del B. felice Porri Capuccino da Cantalice, p.156, Forli, 1630; Compendio della vita del P. Mattia Bellintani, p.22.
  127. Cf. Vita (B.Felicis Capuccini), auctore Fr. Matthia Salidiensi soaevo. Ex Processibus ante annum 1590 italice collecta in codice ms. conventus Romani in Acta Sanctorum, May, t.IV, p.210-233, Paris, 1866.
  128. Cf. Jean de Dieu, Le sources de la vie de saint Felice de Cantalice in Etudes Franc. 33(1921) p.101 sq.
  129. Cf. Informatio de vita, morte et miraculis (B.Felicis Capuccini) per R.P. Fr. Sancti, guardianum eiusdem. Ex ms. italico eiusdem conventus Romani, in Acta Sanctorum, loc.cit., p.205-209.
  130. All these things are shown in the following letter addressed to Mattia of Salò.To my most Reverend Father in Christ

    I have been slow to send you the copy of the life of blessed Angela made by you because I have tried to have it recopied in the format you wished. However the mother General of the company of ladies asks Your Reverence in the name of the whole company that it be expedited as quickly as possible and be of the same format that you will put it into your Chronicle, so that the prudence and wisdom what you have produced may totally evident. The rule of the said Company requires that your vita be recommended by the Archpriest of Salò. If you should need other things found in the principal books (libri magistrali) of the said Company of ladies, when you let me know I will act to find everything. I address the said vita to you as the Holy Spirit will inspire you, because the whole thing is sent back with confidence in your reverend paternity and your most wise judgement. When the work is finished it can be sent directly to Father John Paul Iosepino or to me, advising me in advance of what we will have to do. Then when your Reverend Paternity, when we were together after Easter and we spoke about the matter and raised the subject about whether it would be good to include in the vita the happy memory of Reverend Father Francesco Cabrino D’Alfianel. He was the confessor of the Nuns of Santa Pace. I have spoken about this with our Father Rector and others. His is not unhappy with your idea and indeed they agree if thus with you to say a little about that father, which would say: that after the death of the blessed sister Angela of happy memory, after some years, the aforementioned father was elected by the Company of the aforementioned ladies and approved by the ordinary as our first father general of the said Company, having found information about the goodness and holiness of the said father. Furthermore the said father had gathered around him a great number of virgins, almost the same number that the aforementioned Blessed Sister Angela had left. They were such a good number that they were made a Company too and has continued to grow. Now they are around 4oo. From then until now it has always been governed by the said Company of (Santa) Pace, which is about 40 years. For the greater satisfaction of your mind I send you a copy of his life, since there may be things found in this life that have not been included in the other since they were not recorded.

    I will not say anything more, so that I may send you this letter for your consolation as quickly as possible. I have nothing else to add. All our fathers great you dearly and we commend ourselves to your holy prayers. !3 May 1598, at Brescia. The unworthy servant of Your Reverend Paternity, Francesco Corbello.

    Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali, n.10. This is a tough letter to translate. I have not bothered too much with it consequently since direct knowledge of the contents is not essential to Pobaldura’s argument.

  131. “At the end of this past Lent I sent you the book of the Virgins of Saint Ursula with another of some of my sermons in the sorrows of Christ. They will go to Rome in the hands of the Most Rev. Fr. Procurator of the Capuchins who will send them to you. However because they come by way of merchants with their own routes, they easily going slowly.” Epistola of Mattia of Salò to John Baptist Vitelli, from Salò, 27 May 1598 in AOC 11(1895) p.253.
  132. The work has been published often without mention of the author’s name. Cf. Ch. Sommervogel, S.J., Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, t.III, col.1588, Brussels-Paris, 1892; Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, p.259 sq., n.1386-1391.
  133. Cf. Felice da Mareto, Tavole dei capitoli generali, p.90; AOC, 25(1909) p.71.
  134. Cf. MHOMC II, p.xlvii sq.
  135. See below Vatican codex page 22.
  136. See below, p.9 (cod.R, t.I, p.7): et poichè si vede haver le nuove Croniche di S. Francesco portato con la lettura loro gran beneficio al popolo christiano, convenevol cosa era continovar la tela di quelle e terminale con un fine honorato, descrivendo quello che nella riforma Capuccina è avenuto. Ove si vedrà la vita et osservanza francescana, che è quella che Christo diè a gli a gli Apostoli, rinovata miracolosamente da Dio in questi ultimi tempi.
  137. Such as Z. Boverius. See below, page 21, “From all the great writers …”
  138. Eduardo D’Alençon, De primordiis, p.4; Fredegando D’Anversa in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) p.119
  139. Bernardo da Bologna, Biblioteca, 186. Dionysius of Genoa also made the same assertion in Bibliothese, p.361.
  140. See below, The Roman codex below on page 23
  141. In the same text Mattia, when he corrected it later, deleted his name.
  142. Trattato della santa oratione delle quaranta hore di F.Mathia Bellintani da Salò, Capuccino, nel quale si contengono l’origine di essa oratione, alcuni essercitii da fare in quella et gli ordini ch’egli tiene a farla. In Brescia, 1588. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca, p.258, n.1377-1381; Santi, L’orazione delle quarantore, p.93 sq.
  143. Cf. Trattato della santa oratione, cod.R, t.II, f.165re, 191v-192r.
  144. Cf. MHOMC II, p.3: “I nostri Padri…, hanno dato tale impresa al Molto R.P. Fra Mattia da Salò per essere più dotto et più sufficiente di me.”
  145. Cf.AOC 12(1906) p.139-143.
  146. The entire text is copied below, Francis of Mazara, page 39.
  147. This work is kept in the General Archives of the Order in Rome, Arm.A.IV.26.
  148. “Finally, not many years ago, this Father (Mattia of Salò), while leaving incomplete the Capuchin history that he was compising, passed away to the better life.” Cf. Tudertina. Beatificationis et canonizationis Ven.Servi Dei Raynerii a Burgo S. Sepulchri, p.13.
  149. Cf. AOC 10(1894) p.284. See below John Mary page 24 .
  150. Cf. Bov. I., Index rerum singularum, quae in hoc primo annalium volumine continentur una cum auctorum ac vetustorum manuscriptorum citatione, ex quibus tota haec Annalium historia desumpta est.
  151. See above footnote 2 on page 15. When Hierotheus Confluentinus OFM Cap (cf. Epitome historica,p.268, Heidleberg, 1750) discusses those hermits who foolishly took up the Capuchin habit around 1530 he refers to the authority of Luke of Maring OFM Cap, who in his manuscript took his information “from Mattias da Salò.” The aforementioned Luke ( 15 February 1672), definitor general of the Order in 1667-1671, stayed in Rome (cf. Hierotheus Confluentinus OFM Cap., Provincia Rhenana Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum, p.88-89, Heidelberg, 1750) and his history manuscript may be conulted in the general archives. However the information that he attributes to Matthia da Salò in this place is only found in the work of Bernardino da Colpetrazzo, cf. MHOMC II, p.265-267.
  152. Cf. Eduardo d’Alençon, De primordiis, p.4, note 4.
  153. Cf. AOC 40(1924) P.254, note; 41(1925) P.158; l’Italia Francescana 2(1927) p.119.
  154. “It is already sixty four years since it (the Capuchin Reform) began and its has always continued until now in observance.” Cod.V, p.40.
  155. “Just as Br. Bernardino of Colpetrazzo, who is still alive, affirms it happened to him and his companion.” Cod. V, p.21. About the death of this man cf. Melchior a Pobladura OFM Cap, disquisitio critica de vita et scriptis P. Bernardini a Colpetrazzo in Collectanea Franciscana 9(1939) p.45
  156. “The wirtings of Fr. Mattia… are here in Salò and I will sned them to you.” Epistola of John Mary of Noto to Z. Boverius, 7 Febuary 1628, in AOC 10(1894) p.284. “Having made an inventory of the writings come from Salò, it is clear that the writings of Fr. Mattia copied in a good hand are not here. However because of this Fr. John of Salò writes and says that these are in Umbria.” Epistola of the same to Fr. Bonaventure of Naples, 29 February 1628, ibid.
  157. Fredegando d’Anversa published the table of chapters of this second treatise in which a double series of pages is indicated. Cf. Le idee francescane spirituali in L’Italia Francescana, 2(1927) p.128-130.
  158. See below, The other kind page 28.
  159. “Et poichè si vede haver le nuove Croniche di S. Francesco portato con la lettura loro gran beneficio al popolo christiano, conveneol cos era continovar la tela di quelle e terminarle con un fine honorato, descrivendo quello che nella Riforma Capuccina è avenuto.” See below p.9 (i.e. mhomc v, p.9). “Since it is clear that the reading of the new Chronicles of Saint Francis has brought great advantage to the Christian people, it was fitting to continue their text and bring them to a fitting conclusion by describing what has happened in the Capuchin Reform,”
  160. Cf. Eduardo d’Alençon, Quid de origine Ord. Min. Capuccinoru, et de Matthaeo a Bascio scripserit Marcus Ulyssiponensis in AOC 44(1928) p.42 sq.; MHOMC I, p.lviii, note 3; p.lxxiii. The third and last part of the Chronicles of Mark of Lisbon came out in the Italian version in 1591.
  161. The proof of the edition, which came out to nothing, is described below on page 33.
  162. Reformatio initur
  163. Reformatio instauratur
  164. Reformatio dilatatur
  165. This copyist is himself the one who wrote the appendices of the first volume.
  166. status
  167. “Hence it is marvellous and almost a miracle of God that since it (the Capuchin Reform) has lasted 69 years until now , that it has not scandalised the world with the excesses of many friars, but still has the maintained the reputation of its good example to this moment.” Cod. R, t.II, f.117v. Laonde è maraviglia e quasi miracolo di Dio che essendo (la Riforma Cappuccina) homai durata 69 anni non habbia con gli eccessi di molti frati scandalizati il mondo, ma siasi nel credito del suo bon essempio infino ad hora mantenuta.
  168. See above, footnote 4 page 22.
  169. Cod.R, t.II, f.197v-200r.
  170. Cod.R, r.II, f.142v.
  171. The second handwriting appears on folio 68v. The last line of the text is written and signed (subscripta) by the hand of James of Salò.
  172. Cf. Cod.R, t.II, f.125r.
  173. Cf. Francesco Zaverio Molfino, Necrologio, p.248. For the bibliographical details see MHOMC V, p.xxv.
  174. Cf. Francesco da Vicenza, Necrologia della provincia serafica, t.II, p.503.
  175. Cf. L’orazione delle quarant’ore, p.92, note 2, p.98, note 1.
  176. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed i Cappuccini bresciani, p.163.
  177. See below, Francis of Mazara page 39, the text in which James himself acknowledges to have contributed to the collaborative work of Fr. Mattia. This itself is clear from the author of the biography of Raniero of Borgo Sansepolcro, which was written around 1625. Cf. Compendio della vita del Ven. Servo di Dio Fra Raniero, p.94, 138.
  178. On 17 May 1612 Salvatore da Alcamo OFM Cap wrote from Palermo to James of Salo, “Rengratio V.P.R. della cortese carta che me fa e delli raccordi datemi nella compilatione delle cose più notabili occorse in questa provincia. Io singolarmente anco me rallegro che questo carico poi di tutto quello che sarà degnodi stampa sia nelle mani di V.P., perchè scorgo nella sua carta gran desiderio e caldeza et amore che si recercano in simile impresa et attitudine tale.” – I thank you Reverend Father for the kind letter and the records given me in the collection of the more notable things that happened in this province. I am particularly glad that the task of having all the deseriving material printed is in your hands, because I recognise in your letter of the great desire, warnth and love that are needed for undetakings like this and such an approach (in you).. – The Capuchin provincial archives of Bologna, Classes I, ser. IV, busta VII, n.2, p.388. It is apparent from the letters directed to him that even up to the month of August 1619 he was intent of collecting inforamtion. Cf. AOC 24(1908) p.24-31. Nonetheless is commonly held that around 1615 the task of writing the Annals of the Order was given to Paul Vitelleschi of Foligno, henceforth James of Salò was his companion. Cf. Eduardo d’Alençon, De primordiis, p.5 and in AOC, loc. Cit., p.25.
  179. See below The French translation page 33 and above Raniero of Sansepolcro page 16.
  180. Cf. Cod.R, t.II, f.137r.
  181. “All’ultimo, non molti anni sono, questo Padre lasciando incompita l’istoria capuccina che egli compneva, se ne passò a miglio vita.” Finally, not many years ago now, this Father passed away to the better life, leaving the capuchin history he was writing incomplete. Cf. Tudertino. Beatificationis et canonizationis Ven. Servi Dei Raynerii a Burgo S. Sepulchri… summarium super Dubio An constet de virtutibus theologalibus, p.13, Romae, 1858.
  182. The second volume of the codex published in 1950 has no introduction.
  183. Cf. Eduardo d’Alençon, De primordiis, p.4 note 4.
  184. Lettere of Bartholomew Zucchi of Monza. Part II, f.97rv, Venice, 1599. Perhps it would benefit the praise of this extraordinary man to borrow from Z. Boverius: Their piety (i.e. of John Anthony and Catherine) like a heavenly inheritance handed on to their children, excelled remarkably in Bartholomew Zucchi. With his parents, in the greater nobility of virute, he outshone everyone else. He not only justifies his rightful place among the more illustrious letter writers of our times. Rather, equal to the virtue bequeathed him, for as long as he lived he continued in such enthusiasm for the Capuchin Order that he that he would have surpassed with his elders. Benedetto Sanbenedetti’s translation runs thus: La pietà dei Padri, come un’eridità celeste tramandata ne’ figli, mantenne il suo vigore in Bartolomeo Zucchi il quale risplendendo fra tutti per la nobilità della stirpe, e molto più per excellenza delle virtù, non solo merita il luogo fra più degni Scrittori de’ nostri tempi: ma emulo della virtù materna, tutti is suoi giorni amò con tanto affetto I Cappuccini, che gareggiò con la devotione de’ suoi maggiori. Cf. Annali, t.I, part I, an.1539, n.xx, p.388
  185. Cf. B.Zucchi, L’idea del segretario…rappresentata, part IV, p.468, Venice, 1600. B.Zucchi answered this letter on 28 October of the same year, however he speaks no more about sending the edition t his Venetian friend. Cf. Lettere of B. Zucchi da Monza, l’internato Academico Insensato di Perugia. Part II, f.102v, Venice, 1599.
  186. See above, p. 18.
  187. Eduardo d’Alençon OFM Cap., La venerabile serva di Dio Maria Lorenza Longo. Cenno biografico inedito, scritto prima del 600 dal P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò, Cappuccino, stampato per la prima volta con alcuni appunti critici, Naples, 1896.
  188. Cf. AOC, 40(1924) p.257-260.
  189. Cf. AOC, 41(1925) p.150-160
  190. Cf. cod.R, t.II, f.103v; Thomas of Celano, Vita secunda S. Francisci Assisiensis in AF 10, p.220, n.156.
  191. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.62, 357, 361.
  192. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.47, 222, 231.
  193. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.222
  194. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.222. Fredegando d’Anversa OFM Cap, offers this opinion about the influence of St. Bonaventure: “Il (Bellintani) n’etime guère, les jugeant trop larges, ni l’Apologia pauperum, ni les Constitutions de Narbonne.” Cf. L’infiltrations des idées franciscaines spirituelles chez les frères Mineurs capucins au XVIe siècle in Miscellanea Ehrle, t.I, p.396. “ma pare non nutri molta stima nè per l’Apologia pauperum ne per le Costituzioni Narbonesi – la principale opera legislativa del Serafico Dottore (1260) – giudicandole troppo larghe.” Cf. Le idee francescane spiritualiste in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) p.121.
  195. Cf. cod.R. t.I, p.235, 242, 260, 336.
  196. Cf. cod.R, t.I. p.235 sq.
  197. This work has been eruditely discussed by Fredegando d’Anversa OFM Cap. L’idealisme francsicain spirituel au XIVe siècle. Étude sur Ubertin de Casale, Louvain, 1911.
  198. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.242-244.
  199. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.361.
  200. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.233 and p.241.
  201. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.228-229.
  202. “Brother John of Ventimiglia was in the Observant Fathers some years before the Capuchins appeared. In his good fortune he found in the friary at Chiarvi the book of the seven tribulations of the Order of St. Francis already written by the blessed Angelo of Cingoli … which we, by the work of this good Father, have had and made use of it in writing this Capuchin history.” Cod.R, t.II, f.209r.
  203. Cf. Fredegando d’Anversa OFM Cap, Le idee francescane spirituali nei FF. MM. Cappuccini del secolo XVI in L’Italia Francescana 2(1927) p.115, note 5.
  204. Tocco F., Le due prime tribulazioni dell’Ordine Francescano con un Appendice sul valore della Cronaca delle tribolazione, Roma, 1908; Historia septem tribulationum Ordinis Minorum, edited by F. Ehrle SJ in Archiv für Litteratur und Kirchengeschicte t.II, p.256-327 (third, fourth and fifth tribulations), p.126-164 (sixth and seventh tribulations); Cronaca delle Tribolazioni, edited by Luigi Malagòli, Società Editrici Internazionale, Torino, 1931; Liber Chronicarum sive Tribulationum Ordinis Minorum, a cura di G. Boccali, OFM con introduzione di Felice Accrocca e traduzione italiana a fronte di P. Marino Bigaroni OFM, Edizioni Porziuncola, Assisi, 1998.
  205. See J. Ehrle edition in previous footnote.
  206. Cf. cod.G, p.170; ALKG, loc.cit. p.125
  207. Cf. cod.G, p.184; ALKG, loc.cit. p.135
  208. Cf. cod.R, p.214. The treatise of Peter Aureolo has been published in Part III of the Speculum Minorum.
  209. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.214. Similarly it is the text of Peter John Olivi that Mattia used.
  210. Cf.cod.R, t.I, p.29,315.
  211. Cf.cod.R, t.I, p.350. Cf. MHOMC V, p.369.
  212. Cf.cod.R, t.I, p.241; t.II, f.14r.
  213. Cf. L.Wadding, Annales Minorum, t.xv, an.1498, n.I, p.175; an.1502, n.III, p.265; J.H. Sbaralea, Supplementum et castigatio ad scriptores trium Ordinum S. Francisci, Pars II, p.196.
  214. Cf.cod.R, t.I, p.256 , 323; Speculum Minorum, Pars III, f.228r-245v.
  215. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.49,214. This work has been discussed elsewhere. Cf. MHOMC t.I, p.lvii; t.II, p.lxxxi; Miscellanea Franciscana 28(1928) p.15 sq.
  216. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.231.
  217. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.48,49,51.
  218. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.49,51,52,254. Martinianae
  219. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.324,326.
  220. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.7
  221. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.335.
  222. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.216,235. On the work of Mark of Lisbon see MHOMC, t.I, p.lviii, lxxi; AOC 44(1928) p.42-49.
  223. De origine seraphicae Religionis Franciscanae eiusque progressibus, Romae, 1587.
  224. Cf. cod.R,t.I, f.246v.
  225. The three Relationes of Marius of Mercato Saraceno has been published in MHOMC, t.I.
  226. Cf. cod.R,t.II, f.34v; Marius of Mercato Saraceno, loc.cit., p.468; Bernardino of Colpetrazzo in MHOMC, t.II, p.448.
  227. “If God have not kept br. Bernardino of Colpetrazzo alive in the province of St. Francis, who was one of the first Capuchins, even this would not have been known since most of it is taken from him.” Cod.R. t.II, f.90v.
  228. Cf. cod.R,t.I, p.78,131,139,161, etc.
  229. The history to these three compositions has been told extensively in MHOMC II, p.L sq., Cf. Collectanea Franciscana, 9(1939) p.45sq.
  230. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.58, 168; t.II, f.5v, 68v, 95, 207v.
  231. Cf. Francesco Zaverio Molfino, Necrologio, p.372.
  232. “There was a brother Jpseph of Onéglia, a preacher, a simple and very devout person, who kept an account of some the things of the Order that seemed to him to be worthy of memory. Hence some little bits of these things have been used in these Chronicles.” Cod.R, t.II, f.206r.
  233. Cf. Bov. II, an.1588, n.25, p.356; Antonino da Castellmare, Storia dei F.F.M. Cappuccii della provincia di Palermo, t.II, .p.129 sq.
  234. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I Cappuccini della provincia Milanese, p.II, t.I, p.178.
  235. Cf. cod.R, t.II, f.167v-17or.
  236. Cf. cod.R, t.II, f.q65, 189v; Santi, L’orazione delle quarant’ore, p.95-96, 142.
  237. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p. 210-213.
  238. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.372-383, 392.
  239. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.389
  240. Cf. cod.R, t.II, p.29v.
  241. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.352.
  242. Cf. cod.R, t.I, p.352, 357-359.
  243. Cf. Valdemiro da Bergamo, I conventi ed it Cappuccini bresciani, p.241.
  244. Namely, Fr. Theodosius foresti of Bergamo OFM Cap., (1545-1625), who was minister provincial of the province of Lyon. Cf. Ilarino da Milano, Biblioteca dei Frati Minori Cappuccini di Lombardia, n.1493, p.283.
  245. Cf. Raccolta di documenti originali, n.13. Certain personal opinions are expressed in the same letter, and at the end is added, “Haec, licet aliena manu scripta, tibi corrigenda, augenda, minuenda, mutanda, et si videbitur evellenda, disperenda, etc. mittit tuae Rdae. peternitati Cl. Steph.Novelletius Thallorinus, tibi in Christo deditissimus.”.
  246. Epistola of John Cardinal Millini to Freercik Cardinal Borromeo, 4 September 1610, in Raccolta di documenti originali, n.30.
  247. Lead by this reason others want to invalidate the authority of the Annalists of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Cf. Theophil Graf, Zur Entstehung des Kapuzinerorders, Olten, 1940; Collectanea Franciscana 10(1940) p.418 sq.
  248. “I nostri Padri, pur hora quando che io l’havevo quasi finita (la Cronaca), hanno date tale impresa al Molto R.P. Fra Mattia da Salò per essere più dotto et più sufficiente di me.” Cf. MHOMC, t.II, p.3.
  249. “The virtue, authority and faith of the man may be under no suspicion, having been confirmed by god with signs after his death.” See above, footnote 6 page 21.
  250. Both letters are publihsed in AOC 22(1906) p.139-142.
  251. “We can easily suppose that Mattia was the author of these instructions since towards the end of them mention is made about the graces begged through the intercession of St. Ursula. And indeed our Mattia had the spiritual custom with the daughters of Blessed Angela Merici (whose life he wrote), the foundress of the congregation of Virgins of Saint Ursula” as says Eduardo d’Alençon in AOC 21(1905) p.313. This can be explained also why in this instrument the Capuchin History of Mattiaof Salò is not mentioned.
  252. Avvertimenti o istruzione per la raccolta della materia delle croniche cappuccine in AOC 21(1905) p.313-37, 332-337. The has been mutilated. The text has been published also in I Frati Cappuccini, vol.II, page 1863 sq.
  253. observantiam Regulae mutuatam: literally, a borrowed observance of the Rule.
  254. Cf. MHOMC, t.I, p.lxxv sq., t.II, p.lxxxv.
  255. “The growth in the number of friars come from the world has caused a many things. First of all it has put an end to that first fervour and ardour for austerity which fermented in the hearts of those Fathers who, wanting reform, had with great zeal changed the habit. They were men espert and experienced in regular matters…Secondly, with the arrival of young men from the world it has been necessary to have them study so that they may not lack the learning which the first Fathers brought with them. Consequently from the multiplication of studies have come young preachers and readers. Thirdly, the growth in the number of friars and the end of that extreme and anxious zeal for poverty – which in the beginning served to bring about the remarkable withdrawal from the common laxity – afterwards would have been more an impediment to the reasonable and necessary progress of the Reform. It has been the practice to accommodate the friaries, already too far away, near the towns …Thus the life, the friaries and the habits and everything else have been to a average state and to a religious routine. Hence those who do not have such an ferment of spirit like the first founders can still live with the substantial observance of the Rule.” Historia Capuccina, cod.R, t.II, f.117v.
  256. Cf. Fredegando d’Anversa, L’infiltration des idées franciscaines spirituelles chez les Frères Mineurs Capucins au XVI siècle in Miscellanea Ehrle, t.I, 1924; Idem, Le idee francescane spirituali nei FF.MM. Cappuccini del secolo XVI in L’Italia Francescana, 2(1927) p.113-130; Cuthbert of Brighton, I Cappuccini. Un contributo alla storia della controriforma, p.503, 515, Faenza, 1930; Umile da Genova, Brevi cenii biografici intorno al P. Mattia Bellintani da Salò in Practica dell’orazione mentale, Patre I, p.xv, xxiv, Assisi, 1932.
  257. “Le P. Mathias est un éecrivain consciencieux…, trés bien informé, surtout, et cela se conçiot, des événements auzqels il a été mêlé personnellement. Son Historia Capuccina constitue donc la source la plus sûre quant aux origines de notre Ordre en France. Cependant, parfois, sa bonne foi ou sa mémoire, ou son impartialité, sont surprises, mais le fait est relativement rare.” Godefroy de Paris, Les Freres Mineurs Capucins en France. Histoire de la province de Paris, t.I, fasc.I, p.12. “Er (Fr. Mattia) ist Zeitgenosse der Gründung (der Schweizerische Kapuzinerprovinz) gewesen . . . Wenn er uns daher in seiner Ordenschronik diese Gründung schildert, so hat sein Zeignis gorssen Wert . . . Seine Darstellung ist zuverlässig und beachtenswert.” Siegfried Wind OFM Cap., Ergänzungen . . . aus der Ordenschronik des P. Matthias von Salò in Collectanea Helvet. Franc., 1936, p.314 sq.
  258. Cf. MHOMC, t.I, p.lxxxii-lxxxiii; t.II, p.lxxxvi.