775G Antoninus Florentinus 1389-1459
Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura [Italian] Specchio di coscienza. Add: Trattado dell’ excommunicazione; Li dieci comandamenti; Credo volgare in prosa; Thomas Aquinas: Orazione la quale diceva quando andava a celebrare; Orazione che si fa dopo la comunione
[Milan: Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler, about 1477-80]
Also recorded as [Christophorus Valdarfer, about 1470-71] $SOLD
Quarto 8 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches, a-m8, n6
This copy is bound in early sixteenth century dark calf Venetian binding, richly blindstamped boards.
In this copy the initial and heading letters fully rubricated in red, upper margin a bit short, but a fine and crisp copy on strong paper.
One of the earlier XVth century editions of the Confessionale in ancient italian . This is one of the first books printed in Milan. Antoninus Florentinus entered the Dominican order at the age of sixteen. Uninterested in achieving an important administrative position, he was nevertheless forced by Eugene IV to accept the Archbishopric of Florence in 1446 .“The literary productions of Saint Antoninus, while giving evidence of the eminently practical turn of his mind, show that he was a profound student of history and theology.” (CE) These two works on Dominican and ecclesiastical discipline and canon law deal with the circumstances under which excommunication might be imposed and all legal and theological aspects of marriage.
Of considerable importance are the manuals for confessors and penitents containing abridgments, reproductions, and translations from the “Summa” and frequently published in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries under the name of St. Antoninus. An unsuccessful attempt has been made to show that he was not the author of the Italian editions. At the most is should be granted that he committed to others the task of editing one or two. The various editions and titles of the manuals have caused confusion, and made it appear that there were more than four distinct works. A careful distinction and classification is given by Mandonnet in the “Dictionnaire de théologie catholique”
Antoninus was born in Florence in 1389, and is reported to have been inclined to prayer and piety from early childhood, taking pleasure only in reading the lives of saints or conversing with pious persons. In his teenage years he felt inspired to join the Dominican order, but was forbidden from doing so by his father who insisted on the study of canon law instead, adding that he could take the habit when he had learnt the entirety of Gratian’s Decretum by heart. Antoninus set himself to the task, and at the age of sixteen he answered his examination on the whole of Gratian and promptly presented himself to the prior of Fiesoli. He subsequently held office over the great convent of the Minerva in Rome, and was prior at Naples, Cajeta, Cortona, Siena, Fiesoli, and Florence, as well as actively preaching throughout Italy and acting as an advisor to Pope Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence in 1439. On the death of the archbishop of Florence the election of a successor was referred to Eugenius IV, who is reported to have asked Antoninus’ associate Fra Angelico (at the time working on a painting project in the Vatican), who suggested Antoninus. He was appointed while engaged in a visitation of his monasteries, but was extremely reluctant to accept an office that would keep him from his chosen life as a Dominican preacher, initially attempting to flee into hiding in Sardinia, and then petitioning the pope to be released of this burden. With his pleas to the pope falling on deaf ears, he turned to his influential Florentine friends for aid, including Cosmo de’ Medici who wrote two letters to the pope: an official one endorsing Antoninus’ plea to drop the nomination, and another secretly congratulating the pope on his choice. After being threatened with excommunication Antoninus took possession of his archbishopric in March 1446, but continued to act in accordance with his earlier life, shunning riches and fine robes, dividing his income between himself, the Church and the poor of the city, having the archiepiscopal flower gardens replanted with wheat for the poor, and refusing to own a horse or carriage, travelling everywhere instead on a rented donkey. He died on the 2 May 1459 at the age of seventy, and was buried in the church of San Marco. Plans for his canonisation were immediately put into effect, and he was finally pronounced a saint in 1523.
Goff A 848; (U.S.A: San Marino CA, The Huntington Library) GW 2171;( Corresponds page for page with the edition of about the same date from an anonymous press, GW 2170. GW assigned to Valdarfer ) BMC VI, 794; IGI 658; Pell. 857