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BOOK REVIEWS59 statement of purpose in "Monache in provincia. Le canonichesse lateranensi di Arienzo": Ho cercato, nel mio viaggio a ritroso nel tempo, di mettere in luce cosa abbia significato . . . scegliere la via del chiostro, Ie motivazioni che erano alla base di tale scelta, le stratégie familiari, i ritmi e i modi di vita all'interno del convento, gli interessi culturali che in esso si coltivavano, cercando di delineare il modello di religiosa che veniva formandosi. (p. 372) A notable advantage of this book to the English-speaking student is that it is built upon previous Italian scholarship not otherwise available. One will note especially, in this regard, the influence of Gregorio Penco. Annamaria Facchiano , "Monachesimo femminile nel Mezzogiorno médiévale e moderno," illustrates and, perhaps, overstates weaknesses ofpast foreign scholars, such asJohn Moorman, in understanding the sources. On the other hand, some ofthe studies suffer from lack of familiarity with foreign scholarship. So, for example, Facchiano's consideration of women religious in Southern Italy, an area which is well represented in the collection, suffers from the omission of Evelyn Jamison 's study (Oxford, 1934) ofAbbess Bethlem of Benevento. On the whole, the book is a valuable addition to the study ofItalian monasticism . A special note ought to be made about the fine material qualities of the publication, which includes seven color plates and a color reproduction of a truly beautiful Piero della Francesca fresco (detail). Charles Hilken SaintMary's College ofCalifornia, Moraga Il tempo di Bernardino da Portogruaro. By Giuseppe Buffon. [Francescani in Europa.] (Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola. 1997. Pp. xxv, 889. Lire 55,000 paperback .) On October 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII formalized a major institutional reform of the Order of Friars Minor. It was known as the Leonine Union. Four branches of the Order (Observants, Reform, Discalced, and Recollects), each independent of the other but subject to a common Minister General, were amalgamated to become the modern Order of Friars Minor. Neither the Coventuals nor the Capuchins were involved. According to the Bull of Union (Felicitate quadarn) unification was necessary for several reasons: the religious fervor characteristic of each group at its birth in the sixteenth century had naturally diminished over the centuries; the decrease in numbers and the damage to morale associated with the suppressions and exclaustrations of modern times; exemptions and privileges proper to each group which made it impossible for the Minister General to exercise his supreme authority in the Order; bitter quarrels, especially between the Observants and the Reform, which were causing public scandal and inhibiting the pastoral ministry of the friars. Exasperated by repeated ap- 60BOOK REVIEWS peals for their intervention to resolve these disputes, the Congregations for Bishops and Regulars and the Propagation of the Faith had readily agreed with their consultors (a Discalced Carmelite and a Redemptorist) when they suggested union as the answer to the Order's difficulties. Leo XIII needed little encouragement to support the idea and insisted that the matter be discussed at the General Chapter held in Assisi in 1895. Not without some pressure from the Chapter President, Aegidio Mauri, O.P, and subsequent protests, the delegates gave their assent. Two years later Leo decreed the implementation ofthe union. Giuseppe Buffon examines the way in which Bernardino da Portogruaro, member of the Reform family and Minister General (1869-1889), promoted a renewal of the four families of the Order the ultimate consequence of which was the union just described. In this lengthy and detailed study he summarizes the state ofthe Order in Europe in the nineteenth century and demonstrates the complexity of the issues that gave rise to such bitter disagreement between the parties concerned and resulted in Rome's definitive intervention in 1897. The book is divided into three sections: historiography associated with Bernardino da Portogruaro; his life as teacher,preacher, Guardian, and Provincial within the Venetian province until 1861 and as Procurator General of the Reform branch of the Order in Rome (1861-1869); his years as Minister General. A portrait emerges of a friar convinced that the future of his Order depended on return to conventual Franciscan life characterized by community living, poverty, a love of study (especially of the Franciscan tradition...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 59-60
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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