Saint Margaret of Cortona is the light of the Third Order of Francis. Such is the theme of the most extensive biography of any Franciscan Tertiary in the Middle Ages. Margaret’s extraordinary career brings the historian closer to the early development of the Franciscans and the Order of Penance; it tells us much about how women saints were described, and about how civic cults of saints emerged. Another window, although a smaller one, opens to the tensions between the Franciscan Community and the Spiritual Franciscans before the split prior to Pope John XXII. Indeed it could be said that we know more about Margaret of Cortona than about any woman of thirteenth-century Italy, with the exception of Clare of Assisi and Clare of Montefalco.
This edition is translated from the critical Latin edition by Fortunato Iozzelli, O.F.M. of The Life of Saint Margaret of Cortona by Fra Giunta Bevegnati. The original translation by Thomas Renna has been edited by Shannon Larson.