Savonarola, Girolamo, 1452-1498Jncipit Exposicio v[e]l Meditacio f[rat]ris Hieronimi sauonarole de Ferraria ordi[ni]s p[rae]dicatorum in psalmu[m] Jn te d[omi]ne speraui. qua[m] i[n] vltimis dieb[us] du[m] vite sue fine[m] prestolaretur edidit.
(Exposicio in psalmum XXXI In te domine speravi). N.pl., n.d. (prob. the ed. Magdenburg, Moritz Brandis), after 1500, Price: $6,000
Quarto 20 x 15 cm. a4,b4. (8) lvs., rubricated in red, modern boards.[*] – First leaf w. incipit with outer remargined ; a few tiny wormholes throughout (mostly in blank margins). Hieronymus Savonarola (1452-1498) In te Domine speravi. The Dominican preacher wrote this text while in prison in Florence in 1498, charged with heresy, and having been found guilty was burned at the stake in that year. He was a Catholic and a critic of the luxurious lives of the rulers, the Medici family, of the Florentian people and the corruption in the Catholic Church. His sermons resulted in the downfall of the ruling Medici family. Pope Alexander VI excommunicated him. “ Savonarola , after his first ” examination ” nearly amonth of quiet in the little prison , which, after all, was notless spacious or comfortable than his cell. This resting timethe victim employed in a manner befitting his characterand life. He wrote two meditations , one on the Miserere(5 1st Psalm) and the other on the 31 st Psalm, in which hepoured out his whole heart in communion with God. Withthe right hand which had been spared to him in diabolicalmercy that he might be able to sign the false papers whichwere intended to cover him with ignominy, he still had itin his power to leave a record of that intercourse with hisheavenly Master in which his stricken soul found strengthand comfort. Between the miserable lies of the notary Ceccone,over which those Florentine nobles in the palace werewrangling ; and the stillness of the little prison hung highin air over their heads, where a great soul in noble trustyet sadness approached its Maker, what a difference!”
[E. H. PEROWNE, D.D. 1900 ]
Savonarola writes at the last bit written, a quite heartfelt passage”“BURN away Thy face from my sins, and blot outall tnine iniquities. Wherefore, Lord, regardestThou my sins ? Why numberest Thou them ?Why considerest Thou them so diligently ? KnowestThou not that man is as a flower of the field ? Where-fore lookest Thou not rather on the face of Thy Christ ?Alas, wretch that I am, why see I Thee angry withme ? I confess I have sinned, but do Thou in Thygoodness have mercy upon me : turn away Thy facefrom my sins. Thy face is Thy knowledge ; turnaway therefore Thy knowledge from my sins. I meannot that knowledge which consists in simple appre-hension, wherewith Thou seest all things at all times,but the knowledge which consists in approval and disapproval, whereby Thou dost approve the actions of the just, and by disapproving dost condemn the sins of the wicked. Take not such knowledge of my sins as to impute them to me ; but turn away Thy face from my sins, that through Thy mercy they may be blotted out. Regard, Lord, the soul which Thou hastcreated, regard Thy likeness which Thou hast formed. For Thou didst create it in Thine image, and I poorwretch have overlaid it with the likeness of the devil.” (Translated by Perowne.)
Under torture Savonarola confessed to having invented his prophecies and visions, then recanted, then confessed again. In his prison cell in the tower of the government palace he composed meditations on Psalms 51 and 31. On the morning of 23 May 1498, Savonarola and two other friars were led out into the main square where, before a tribunal of high clerics and government officials, they were condemned as heretics and schismatics, and sentenced to die forthwith. Stripped of their Dominican garments in ritual degradation, they mounted the scaffold in their thin white shirts. Each on a separate gallows, they were hanged, while fires were ignited below them to consume their bodies. To prevent devotees from searching for relics, their ashes were carted away and scattered in the Arno .
Scapecchi, P. Cat. Savonarola,; 87 (Catalogo delle edizioni di Girolamo Savonarola (secc. XV-XVI) possedute dalla Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze) Girolamo Savonarola, Prison Meditations on Psalms 51 and 31 Tr., Ed. John Patrick Donnelly S.J. (Milwaukee, Marquette University Press, 1994).
Goff (suppl.); S-206a; BMC 15th cent.; II 601; GW M40482 ; Hain-Copinger; 14412; Reichling; 1384; Audin de Rians, E. Bib.,; 138; ISTC No.is00206500. https://data.cerl.org/istc/is00206500 United Kingdom British Library (IA.10973) United States of America. Yale add ??? US,TX SMU