Academic journal article Magistra

The Life and Miracles of Saint Margaret of Cortona

Academic journal article Magistra

The Life and Miracles of Saint Margaret of Cortona

Article excerpt

The Life and Miracles of Saint Margaret of Cortona by Fra Giunta Bevegnati, translated by Thomas Renna and Shannon Larson. St. Bonaventura, N.Y.: Franciscan Institute Publications, 2012, 344 pp., $44.95 (he) $29.95 (pb), ISBN 978-1-57659-301-1.

The vita of Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297) was written in 1308. It was written by a Franciscan friar who was a spiritual father to the Third Order Franciscan woman and his account shares many of the characteristics and stylistic elements of the female hagiographies of the time. His story, however, is the longest and most vivid of any of a tertiary of that period. Consequently, there is a fair amount of detail about the Franciscan world of the time and the way holy women were perceived.

Margaret's story would certainly made her a wonderful subject for hagiography, in fact for romance or grand opera. It also makes her an apt patron for many of the marginalized of today: a teenaged runaway bearing the illegitimate child of a wealthy man who dies, leaving her homeless and rejected by her family. …

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