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Individual or Individualism?: Scotus and Francis of Assisi

From: Franciscan Studies
Volume 55, 1998
pp. 239-251 | 10.1353/frc.1998.0025

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Individual or Individualism?
Scotus and Francis of Assisi1
Andrea Tabarroni
University of Torino
Anthony M. Carrozzo O.F.M.
The Franciscan Institute


1. This text is an English-language translation of Andrea Taborrone's article "Individuo o individualism? Scotus e Francesco d'Assisi," in Eticea e persona Duns Scoto e suggestioni net moderno (Bologna: Edizioni Francescane, 1994), 101-119. The author notes that his footnotes are limited to those items that are essential for understanding the text.

2. Admonition V, 4-5: "Unde ergo potes gloriari? Nam si tantum esses subtilis et sapiens quod omnem scientiam haberes et scires interpretari omnia genera linguarum et subtiliter de caelestibus rebus persecrutari, in omnibus his non potes gloriari," (ed. K. Esser, Die Opuscula des Hl. Franziskus von Assisi. Neue textkritische Edition, edition of Collegii S. Bonaventurae ad Claras Aquas, 1976, Spicilegium Bonaventurianum, XIII, 109).

3. Admonition V, 6-8: "quia unus daemon scivit de caelestibus et modo scit de terrenis plus quam omnes homines, licet aliquis fuerit, qui summae sapientiae cognitionem a Deo receperit specialem. Similiter et si esses pulchrior et ditior omnibus et etiam si faceres mirabilia, ut daemones fugares, omnia ista tibi sunt contraria et nihil ad te pertinet et in his nil potes gloriari, sed in hoc possumus gloriari in infirmitatibus nostris et baiulare quotidie sanctam crucem Domini nostri Jesu Christi." (ed. Esser, 109-110).

4. Cf. G. Miccoli, "Un'esperienza cristiana tra Vangelo e istituzione," in Dalla 'sequela Christi' all'apologia della povertà, Atti del XVIII Convegno Internazionale. Assisi, (18-20 Ottobre 1990) (Spoleto, 1992), 3-40. Also see "La proposta cristiana di Francesco d'Assisi," in Francesco d'Assisi. Realta e memoria di un'esperienza cristiana, (Torino, 1991), 33-97; originally published in Studi Medievali s. 3, 24 (1983), 17-73.

5. De vera et perfecta laetitia: "[Brother Leonard] related, in the same place, that one day at Saint Mary the blessed Saint Francis called Brother Leo and said: 'Brother Leo, write!' He answered: 'I'm ready.' 'Write,' [Francis] said, 'what true joy is: A messenger comes and says that all the masters in Paris have come into the Order; write: this is not true joy. Or that all the prelates beyond the mountains [have entered the Order], as well as archbishops and bishops; or, that the king of France and the king of England [have entered the Order]; write: this is not true joy. Again, that my brothers have gone to the nonbelievers and converted all of them to the faith; again, that I have so much grace from God that I heal the sick and perform many miracles: I tell you that true joy does not consist in any of these things." Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, ed. Regis Armstrong and Ignatius Brady (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1982), 165.

6. De vera et perfecta laetitia: "What then is perfect joy? I return from Perugia and arrive here in the dead of night; and it is winter time, muddy and so cold that icicles have formed on the edges of my habit and keep striking my legs, and blood flows from such wounds. And all covered with mud and cold, I come to the gate and after I have knocked and called for some time, a brother comes and asks: 'Who are you?' I answer: 'Brother Francis.' And he says: 'Go away; this is not the proper hour for going about; you may not come in.' And when I insist, he answers: 'Go away, you are a simple and a stupid person; we are so many and we have no need of you. You are certainly not coming to us at this hour!' And I stand again at the door and say: 'For the love of God, take me in tonight.' And he answers: 'I will not. Go to the Crosiers' place and ask there.' I tell you this: If I had patience and did not become upset, there would be true joy in this and true virtue and the salvation of the soul" (ibid., pp. 165-166).

7. Cf. Gratian of Paris, Histoire de la fondation et de l'evolution de l'Ordine des Frères Mineurs au XIIIe si...