Benedict M. Ashley, O.P.


A Popular Preacher

St. Dominic, who "spoke only to God or of God,"(1) founded his Order to meet the great need of the people of his time to hear the Word of God. Dominic visited many Italian cities, but was prevented from visiting Pisa by its Ghibelline politics.(2) It was one of his immediate disciples Ugucione Sardo who founded the Dominican priory and church of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Pisa which at that time was a growing commercial center destined by 1300 to count 95,000 citizens before malaria caused its decline in the Renaissance period.(3) Pisa was a city of fine libraries, and the Dominican students at St. Catherine's were able to obtain a sound theological education which prepared some of them to earn degrees at Paris and Oxford.(4)

Dominic Cavalca who entered the Order in the last years of the thirteenth century benefitted from this education but did not take an academic degree since his talents seemed to have been more for popular preaching than for scholastic teaching. He came from the noble family of the Gaetani, some of whom were notaries, and was born about 1270 in Vicopisano near Pisa.(5) All we know of his career is contained in a few lines of the Chronicles and Annals of his convent.(6) He was a man of practical charity who "preached every Sunday to the poor in the hospitals and prisons." In 1300 he helped reform the nuns of the convent of St. Anna and also of the convent of the Misericordia. He later helped the Misericordia nuns to move to a better location in the city and provided for their support by promoting an annual collection. He had a special concern for the prostitutes of the city, and by his preaching was able to convert many of them, some of whom he gathered in the Dominican convent of St. Martha later placed under the care of the Archbishop. He died in December of 1342, and the Annals say of him, "The whole city came to his funeral, especially the poor and afflicted, bewailing the loss of so merciful a father." The Chronicle says, "He was reputed a saint, nor undeservedly, for he faithfully carried out his religious obligations." He was probably buried at St. Catherine's, but no tomb, early inscription, or portrait has survived, although he has traditionally been given the titled of "Blessed."(7)

A Popular Writer

Cavalca's writings, widely disseminated and frequently reprinted into the nineteenth century, were apparently the direct outcome of his preaching. He states his purpose in one of his prologues:

And since I am undertaking this work only for the benefit of simple and unlearned lay people not skilled in literature, I proceed simply, taking care to speak usefully rather than elegantly. Hence I ask any learned person who finds an authority wrongly cited or any other defect which can be borne without danger of error (although they may well have phrased the matter better than I have done) to grant me this small indulgence...For if the bread is wholesome and the opinions true, I care little for the outer crust or a picturesque and nicely ordered style. (8)

Yet in fact Cavalca has an honored place among the earliest Tuscan authors and Innocenzo Colosio says that he is "one of the better Italian prose writers, because of (the) harmony, purity, and fluidity" of his style, although that style is "essentially practical, impersonal, with great qualities of analysis" but "lacking in synthesis and over generous with quotations."(9)

As a preacher Cavalca's first effort was to provide preachers with a supply of those exempla, often to the modern taste very far-fetched, by which the dry bones of medieval sermons were enfleshed. Hence he translated a Lives of the Fathers through which (along with Cassian's Conferences so beloved of St. Dominic (10) the great heritage of Egyptian monasticism was transmitted to the Latin West. R. Montano classes the Lives with the Franciscan Fioretti and says "it relates the deeds of the saints with an almost childlike wonder in the tone of a fable."(11) Cavalca is probably also the translator of the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, another fund of such exempla.(12) These works rank Cavalca with another Dominican James of Voragine (1230-1298) whose Golden Legend had already gained great success with preachers and iconographers.(13) Along with these collections of saints' lives we can list Cavalca's translation of the Acts of the Apostles because in all his works after Jesus himself, he uses St. Peter and St. Paul as his chief examples. Perhaps the same concern to supply preachers with exempla led him also to translate St. Jerome's famous Letter to Eustochium which complements the legends of the Egyptian hermits by a eulogy of Christian virgins.(14)

Apparently these works of translation were Cavalca's first literary efforts. The works that followed are more original although all of them make extensive use of previous authors and often are little more than translations which have been adapted to popular use by omission of technical passages, additions of examples and citations, rearrangements, compilations and occasional personal commentary.

The Mirror of the Cross

The first of these works was probably The Mirror of the Cross (Lo Specchio di Croce) which was written before 1233(15) and which was the most original and influential. The Franciscans St. Bonaventure in his brief Lignum Vitae (c. 1259)(16) and Ubertino de Casale in his vast Arbor Vitae Crucifixae Jesu (1305)(17) had already developed this type of meditation on the Passion. However, these works follow a spirituality which derives from St. Francis' own experience, namely, a literal reliving of Jesus' life from the crib to the cross, (18) while Cavalca is definitely in the Dominican tradition which, although the Dominican ideal equally with the Franciscan is a following of Christ, nevertheless puts the emphasis not on literal imitation of the events of Christ's life but on their doctrinal significance. Hence for Cavalca the Crucified is first of all the "one Teacher" (Matthew 23:11), the Book of Life.

In the preface of this work Cavalca says that according to the Parable of the Talents each of us will be judged by the interest we return on the gifts invested in us. Lest he be judged, therefore, he has written a book for simple people in which Christ will be shown as a teacher seated in his magistral chair, the Cross. Cavalca begs the prayers of his readers since he fears he has not practiced what he is about to preach. He will quote many authorities. In fact here as in his other works Cavalca draws principally from the Lives of the Fathers which he has translated, from Cassian and St. John Chrysostom for the tradition of eastern spirituality, and for western spirituality from St. Gregory the Great, St. Bernard, and the Victorines. Occasionally he uses secular authors, especially Seneca.

The body of this work is not divided systematically, but its order is not hard to follow. In an introduction (c. 1) Cavalca says that the purpose of the Incarnation was to remedy three defects in the Divine image in the human person which have resulted from sin: death, darkness of intellect, disordered love. The Cross is the only remedy for these defects. It teaches us two things: first, how much Christ has loved us without any merit on our part, and therefore how we should respond to His love (c. 2-3). This love of God is our highest possible human perfection. Second, the Cross teaches us what we should hate, namely, sin (c. 11-25). This hatred must begin with contempt for our own selfishness, and such hatred is true humility. Cavalca then shows in great detail how these lessons are taught by Christ's sufferings on the Cross, completing this with a plea for us to share Mary's compassion for her Son (c. 25).

The second part of The Mirror is devoted to considering the effects of the Cross, which bears fruits for us (c. 26-33). The Cross gives us true joy, overcomes our fears, and enkindles our hope. It illumines our darkened minds, helps us to know ourselves truly, both in our faults and our human dignity. We must constantly remember the Cross in order that these fruits may be realized in us. Cavalca then in a very poetic manner depicts the Crucified as Lover, as Warrior against evil, as the Fiery Furnace of the Spirit, and recalling Christ's seven last words to us, seeks to fix these images in our memory.

After the fruits come the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Cavalca analyzes in some detail (c. 34-35). Next come the works to which the Cross calls us, namely, the seven corporal works of mercy (c. 38-39) and the seven spiritual works of mercy (c. 40), prefaced by a famous description of Christ as the Book of the Law and the Book of Life by which we are instructed how to live (c. 36).

Thus because Christ crucified shows and teaches us every perfection and every useful science, we are able to say truly that He is the Book of Life in which every one of the faithful, the learned and unlearned, and those of every condition, can read and see the law briefly summarized. Because Christ on the Cross observed all the commandments, completed them, fulfilled all the prophecies, and realized every promise made to the holy fathers and patriarchs, accomplishing in deeds what he has preached; therefore, whoever studies the Cross well, can easily learn the whole Bible.(19)

The final part of The Mirror deals with the beatitudes (c. 41-49), which are the rewards of the Cross, concluding with a discussion of the correspondence between the beatitudes and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (c. 50). In the whole work three points are stressed which are of special significance for the Dominican tradition of spirituality. The first is that one of the chief consequences of sin is the darkening of the intellect so that we need to be illumined through the Cross as to what we should love and what we should hate. The second is that the sanctification that comes through the Cross consists principally in the growth of charity confirmed by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the beatitudes which they produce. The third is that this charity must bear fruit in practical ministry to our neighbor, both in material and spiritual matters, but especially in spiritual works of which the preaching of the faith is the greatest.

The Fruits of the Tongue

The Mirror of the Cross was followed by a Treatise on Patience or Medicine for the Heart(20) in two books, the first of which deals with the sins of anger and violence, and the second with their remedies. Cavalca wrote on this subject because, he says, "many are found ready to do good by fasting, alms and pilgrimages, and to be chaste and virtuous in many ways, but they are not prepared willingly and patiently to suffer evils."(21) The material of this treatise is largely gleaned from another important work in the history of Dominican spirituality, the Summa of Vices and Virtues of Guillaume Peyraut(22) the first part of which was written in 1236 and the second in 1249. Peyraut (Peraldus) was one of the first generation of the disciples of Dominic. His work was immensely influential and provides an example of a treatise on the Christian life outside the strict mold of university scholasticism written to help preachers. Cavalca makes such extensive use of this Summa here and in his other works that he can be viewed as principally a popularizer of Peyraut's thought, although Peyraut himself is in turn a compiler of sententiae of the early middle ages and the patristic period. Cavalca's The Mirror of Sins for the use of confessors is another such compilation and the only work of Cavalca that can be accurately dated (1333).(23) It was followed by two more important treatises which actually form a single work, The Wounding Tongue (Pungilingua) and The Fruits of the Tongue. The former work is explicitly acknowledged as a translation of material from Peyraut, (24) but the latter, although most of it is derived largely from the same source is a very interesting work deserving of analysis.

At the end of his Summa Peyraut, after discussing the seven capital sins, added a special treatise on the sins of the tongue, of which he lists twenty-four! This seems to have especially impressed Cavalca, who, basing himself on the text of James 3 translated and amplified this treatise of Peyraut as his Pungilingua. He then decided to go on and to write a more positive treatment of The Fruits of the Tongue, rearranging materials from Peyraut and other sources to form a treatise with an original thrust.

Cavalca sees three spiritual purposes of human speech.(25) The first is to speak to God in prayer. The second is to speak to one's neighbor by declaring the good news through preaching. The third is to heal one's own defects by the confession of one's faults. Thus we are reminded of St. Dominic's effort to "speak only to God and of God."

The treatise on prayer begins with an attempt to define prayer (c. 1), with the result that Cavalca emphasizes that "prayer consists chiefly not in words but in desire."(26) Jesus commanded that prayer be continuous (Luke 18:1), but this does not mean we can neglect charitable works, since works are a kind of prayer and the necessary condition for fruitful prayer (c. 2). Cavalca then shows the great value and power of prayer (c. 3-4), including its power to obtain the gift of wisdom, exemplified by such saints as Thomas Aquinas (one of Cavalca's few references to Thomas).

Cavalca next proceeds to practical instructions. Prayer is properly prepared by a good life of loving actions, and also by contrition for our sins, meditation, affective desires, and thanksgiving (c. 5). It is impeded by sin, lack of faith, our failure to ask for the greater gifts, and by our hard-heartedness or lack of love and docility towards God (c. 6). To overcome these we must pray wisely, humbly, with regards to our opinions, our feelings, and our exterior deportment, and with love, faith, and perseverance (c. 7). Cavalca stresses that we need to pray for the better gifts; especially for the coming of the Kingdom of God and God's justice. We should not ask only for temporal goods, since not only are these of lesser value, but they are often dangerous for us. God will provide for such needs but especially desires to give us better, more spiritual goods. Hence we should not ask for health, beauty, nor even extraordinary spiritual gifts, but only for wisdom and love. At length Cavalca develops the theme of I Corinthians 13, saying that love is the greatest of all gifts because the Giver is God alone, the receiver is an elect of God, the receptacle is the human heart, and the gift itself is imperishable, ever bearing the fruit of truth in our intellects, the fruit of joy in our desires, and of peace in our strivings (c. 10). The proper time of prayer is always, but especially under trial, at the beginning of some new project, in the morning, evening, and midnight of each day, or in the seven hours of Christ's passion. The best place is either in solitude and silence, or in a temple of God. He illustrates this by the example of Christ who prayed sometimes in the desert, sometimes in the Temple of Jerusalem, and then adds,

You, therefore, O Christian, when you enter into any city first visit the church before any other place. Pray there and then proceed to your business. Woe is me that everyone today seems to do the contrary. They visit the tavern first, rather than the church. And if by any chance they do venture into church they do not remain for the service, but hurry out as if the place were on fire. What is worse, many today linger in the tavern to make merry, to sing bawdy songs and tell dirty stories, to quarrel and to fall into many other sins. Even in the place where they should honor God, they curse Him the more.(27)

Cavalca next enumerates the kinds of unworthy prayer: prayer for revenge, prayers of words without the heart, of self-righteous boasting, and of rash demands. St. Paul names the kinds of worthy prayer in I Timothy 2:1: "petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings." These Cavalca understands to mean (1) petitions for our daily needs; (2) cries for help in time of trouble; (3) heartfelt longings for union with God; (4) praises and thanksgivings (c. 12). After the example of Peyraut, Cavalca gives great emphasis to eucharistic praise as the highest form of prayer and elaborates on the praise of God in creation (c. 13), in His saints (c, 14-15) and angels (c. 16), and especially in His great redemptive acts (c. 17). He enumerates at length the reasons why gratitude to God is so fruitful (c. 18-22). The greatest lifts for which we owe God thanks are justification (which is a miracle grater than the raising of Lazarus) and sanctification (which, however, is not achieved without spiritual combat). Cavalca especially dwells on the fact that it is often the worse sinners who are justified, rather than the righteous who are proud, because the sinner through suffering is made docile to listen to the preached Word of God, to follow good example, and to submit to the singular grace offered to him or her. He also points out that because of the diversity of vocations in the Church all can be sanctified, each in his or her own calling. Finally Cavalca deals with the classical question of the comparison of the contemplative and active lives (c. 23). He shows the superiority of the contemplative life in itself, yet assures us that such a life is very difficult and must be only undertaken prudently.

I would say that it is better to be a good active than a bad contemplative. For myself I believe that today there are many who under some title of being contemplatives are actually wicked, wretched, lazy and stupid. (28)

In the last chapter of this section (c. 24) Cavalca discusses the elements of contemplative living, such as the practice of the virtues, purity of heart, solitude, freedom from distractions, attentiveness to the interior word of God, and continual praise and thanksgiving. From the story of Abraham he illustrates these elements which he also enumerates as humility, quiet, meditation on death, the enkindling of desire, raising the mind to God, and continuous prayer, recalling St. Bernard's "ladder" of reading, meditating, prayer and contemplation.(29)

The second part of the Fruits on preaching is of particular importance and in this section Cavalca seems much more original.(30) As prayer relates us to God, preaching relates us to our neighbor through the chief of all spiritual works, the instruction of people in the truth of God. Cavalca first shows the immense value of preaching (c. 25) which raises the spiritual dead, enlightens the blind, heals the sick, cleanses lepers. It is Jesus' own work, an angelic task which gives men spiritual rebirth. We must preach not only to the elite but to the lowliest, and like Bernard, Francis, and Dominic we must preach the Word of God, not human wisdom.

When it says "Preach the Gospel," it shows we ought to preach the faith only and not philosophy. When it says "to all creatures" it means that we should not exclude sinners nor the poor from our teaching, but that we must announce the kingdom of God fervently and humbly to all, as Christ did to give us an example. (31)

Perhaps Cavalca here is alluding to that tendency to academicism which was by his time already adulterating the evangelical purpose of the Dominican Order.(32) This leads him naturally to consider why some who are commissioned to preach fail to do so (c. 26): that is, because of their own bad lives, their unwillingness to study, their greed, their fear of persecution, and their ambition which induces them to preach zealously until they attain high ecclesiastical office, after which they leave the tiresome task to underlings. Others give false excuses of humility or devotion to contemplation, or simply their frustration with the apparent ineffectuality of preaching. Cavalca closes this section with a surprising plea to the laity to encourage preachers to reform and return to their calling.

However, preaching requires a genuine call and competence (c. 27-28). The preacher must strive for holiness of life and a knowledge of the Bible, as well as have good intentions, and he must have discretion in the manner of his preaching. The kind of holiness which Cavalca considers most important is that marked by humility and poverty and based on prayer. The pomp and pride of preachers in their learning, their avarice and exploitation of the people belies their Gospel message. Cavalca rebukes the presumption of some men and women of his day who preach without such preparation and without authorization by the Church. While he considers virtue even more essential than learning for effective preaching, he warns that the exceptional case of a good preacher who lacks learning should not be taken as the rule.

As for discretion in preaching he says (c. 28) that the preacher should deal only with what is useful, not merely entertaining, and should remember the advice of Gregory the Great in the Regula Pastoralis on the needs of different kinds of hearers. When speaking to mixed audiences one's aim should always be at least to encourage virtue and discourage vice. Moreover, one's manner of speaking should fit the matter, especially as to clarity and interest. Five things need to be preached: the creed, the commandments, what to hope for, what to fear, and how to follow Christ and his saints. The preacher should always think of himself as a spiritual physician who considers the weaknesses of his hearers and seeks to heal them.

This leads Cavalca beyond what is ordinarily called preaching to the subject of fraternal correction, what we would today call counseling, which he regards as the natural extension of preaching. Relying in part on Peyraut (33) he shows the Christian duty of fraternal correction, how much good it can do, and the damage that comes from neglecting it because of false humility, fear of pharisaic scandal, human respect, laziness, cruelty, imprudence, or anger and hatred. However, this correction must be done discretely with love and compassion (c. 30). Cavalca dwells at length on the theme of compassion, and notes how often the powerless are punished while the powerful go unchallenged, and refers back to his Treatise on Patience for further details. He also discusses the danger of harshness and inordinate zeal in correcting the erring (c. 31), an interesting topic in view of the involvement of the Dominican Order in the Inquisition.

The third part of the Fruits deals with our use of speech to confess our sins for our own spiritual healing. He has in mind the Sacrament of Penance but also the whole ascetic (and today we would say psychological) process by which we seek peace of soul. First (c. 32-33) he describes the defects of confession which prevent it from bringing true peace, listing seven kinds of bad confessions: those that are really excuses, those that despair of forgiveness, those which lack true purpose of changing, those done out of fear, those that refuse to accept correction, those that are hypocritical, and finally those that are boastful. He believes that private confession was established by the Church especially to prevent boasting confessions!

In c. 34-44 he shows what makes for a good confession. Our contrition should be like a parent's grief over a dead child. Because our sorrow must be universal and appropriate to the gravity of our sins, preachers need to explain carefully the relative seriousness of sins, stressing always that spiritual sins are the worst. Our sorrow should grow with our understanding and should be constantly remembered. Confession should be frequent, integral (here he quotes St. Thomas Aquinas on the circumstances of sin), and prompt; that is, we should repent before we fall into repetition of the sin, lose our time of merit, risk an impenitent death, or fail to grow in grace (c. 35). Cavalca gives many warnings about the risks of waiting until death to be converted. Finally Cavalca commends the power of confession on the authority of Christ and the Church, and also because it gives us forgiveness on earth through the earthly ministry of the priest. It is easy and effective (since it gives us life from death, joy, healing, and peace), and it gives us the purity and strength of the life of grace (c. 36). The treatise closes with a rather curious chapter (c. 37) which collects a whole series of exempla, chiefly from St. Caesarius of Arles, St. Gregory the Great, and James of Voragine, which illustrate each of the points he has made about confession (notably including confession made to lay persons), but with special stress on the doctrine that even without sacramental confession, sincere contrition can restore the sinner to the life of grace.

Other Works

Space prevents an analysis of Cavalca's last three works. The Discipline of Spiritual Persons (34) is based on Galatians c. 6 and deals with conversion from the defects that most hinder devout Christians in making spiritual progress, namely: lukewarmness, vanity, contentiousness, envy, lack of mercy toward others, self-righteousness, impatience, negligence of study, especially of the Sacred Scriptures, and depression or laziness. Here Cavalca gives many valuable indications for spiritual direction. The Thirty Follies is a description of the spiritual combat and the mistakes made by those engaged in it, for example, those who undertake the battle with too heavy armor, that is, with the practice of excessive penances, and those who go into battle with insufficient armor, that is, with attachment to worldly vanities, or those who try to fight without God's help, or who go to battle bravely, then give up at the first encounter. Again Cavalca shows an experienced understanding of spiritual direction. The final work in which he was engaged when he died was his most ambitious undertaking, a veritable summa, called An Exposition of the Creed in which he intended to pass on from the moral problems which had been central to his writing to more dogmatic issues, but still with a very practical, catechetical purpose. At the end of two volumes Cavalca had only reached "born of the Virgin Mary." A passage from the Prologue of this work might well serve for Cavalca's epitaph:

Only the love of God has induced me (to write this work), because of which love I rejoice to have Him known and loved by others. Yet I am moved not only by love of my neighbor whom I want to help know and love God, but first of all out of respect for my own state in life and my vocation. Conscious that I am a Friar Preacher of an Order which was especially and principally founded by St. Dominic to destroy error by preaching the truth of faith, I fear that if I do not preach with some fruit and profit, that God and Dominic will reject and reprove me as a useless servant. Fearing this and seeing myself incapable of anything greater, I have imposed on myself, somewhat shamefacedly, the task of writing this book not for the learned but, as some would say, for the simple and foolish. (35)

Cavalca's Significance

To think of the Dominican tradition of spirituality is first of all to think of St. Thomas Aquinas as well as the other scholastic doctors of the Order such as St. Albert the Great and Cajetan, but today there is a growing interest in the less scholastic writers in this tradition.(36) Of these certainly St. Catherine of Siena, herself a doctor of the Church, is one of the most important. Father Alvaro Grion, O.P. in a well known study, Santa Caterina da Siena: Dottrina e Fonti (1953)(37) proposed the shocking (for Dominicans) thesis that the principal influence on St. Catherine's spirituality were the Augustinian William of Flete and the excommunicated Spiritual Franciscan Ubertino da Casale mentioned above as the author of the Arbor Vitae Crucifixae Jesu. However, a confrere of Grion, Giacinto d'Urso was provoked by this thesis to a more detailed comparison of Catherine's Dialogue and Letters with the works of Cavalca (whom Grion acknowledged as a "minor" influence) which revealed that Catherine was probably acquainted with Cavalca's translations of the Live's of the Fathers and St. Gregory's Dialogues (from which she derived her famous simile of Christ the Bridge), and that she was certainly deeply influenced by The Mirror of the Cross, but that there is little or no evidence of an acquaintance with Ubertino's work.(38)

What seems to me of special interest is the marked difference in the northern tradition of Dominican spirituality found in Mechtilde of Magdebourg, Meister Eckhart, Suso, and Tauler (not to mention Luther who was strongly influenced by Tauler)(39) and that of Guillaume Peyraud, Cavalca, St. Catherine, Savonarola, and Luis of Granada.(40) Both traditions are genuinely Dominican and both can rightly be said to be "spiritualities of the Word," because they (along with the Dominican scholastic tradition) emphasize the primacy in spiritual growth of the intellectual illumination by Divine Truth and consequently the primacy of preaching in ministry. However, as we see in Cavalca, the emphasis of the southern school is different from that of the northern. Using the works of Cavalca we can summarize the characteristics of the school in which he was an important and formative influence.

First, Cavalca remains close to Dominic's concern for popular preaching, and thus for a spirituality which is for lay Christians, as well as for the cloister. Such a spirituality avoids the Neo-Platonic paradoxes of Eckhart and the introspective, poetic tendencies of Suso or even Tauler, in favor of a simple, direct instruction on practical Christian living and prayer.

Second, Cavalca in The Mirror of the Cross provides a very concrete, Christocentric spirituality in contrast to Eckhart's "abstract," speculative mysticism. Yet it also contrasts with Suso's highly emotional and poetic contemplation of the Passion (ancestral to Lutheran pietism), by its emphasis on the Crucified as Teacher.

Third, Cavalca strongly emphasizes that the love of God which flows from the study of the Cross must bear fruit in the service of our neighbor through the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works, especially preaching. With this goes also a great concern for the reform of the Church (highly developed in St. Catherine and Savonarola) and above all of the clergy and religious. Thus this tradition is strongly practical and ecclesial in contrast to the northern tradition which has individualistic tendencies.

Fourth, Cavalca is very concerned to provide practical guidance in spiritual growth in the many vicissitudes of life and in different vocations, in contrast to the northerners (Tauler here may be an exception) who are more concerned with the direction of advanced contemplatives.

Thus, while the present great interest in Eckhardian mysticism with its parallels to eastern mysticism is certainly justifiable, attention also needs to be given to the school of Cavalca and St. Catherine who perhaps provide us with a more balanced guidance in our search for a spirituality for out times which is ecclesial and directed to the service of the world.


  1. Primitive Constitutions of the Order of Friars Preachers, Dist II, c. 31, in F. C. Lehner, O. P., St. Dominic: Bibliographical Documents, Washington, D. C., Thomist Press, 1964, p. 247. That this represents Dominic himself is evident from the Libellus of Jordan of Saxony, n. 104, Lehner, p. 76.

  2. The best history of Pisa is still the dated J. Ross and N. Erichsen, The Story of Pisa, London, J. M. Dent, 1909. Information about the Dominican foundation in Pisa is from Carmelina Naselli, Domenico Cavalca, Cittá di Castello, 1925, pp. 1-2, a work which I have found the best treatment of Cavalca and which I have used extensively in this paper. E. Falco, Domenico Cavalca moralista, Lucca, 1892 was unavailable. Naselli makes much use of A. Zacchi, "De fra D. Cavalca e delle sue opere," I1 Rosario: Memorie Domenicane an. 37, 1920, 272-281 and an. 38, 1921. I was unable to obtain the second part of this article.

  3. David Herlihy, Pisa in the Early Renaissance: A Study of Urban Growth, New Haven, Yale University Press, p. 43.

  4. Naselli, pp. 14-18.

  5. Ibid., pp. 1-13; Zacchi, ann. 37, pp. 275-277.

  6. The Chronicles and Annals are published in Archivio Storico Italiano, t. 6, part. 2, sec. 3, Firenze, 1845 and quoted in Naselli, pp. 1-36. On life and works of Cavalca also see Innocenzo Colosio, O. P., Dictionnarie de Spiritualité (afterwards DS), t. 2., colt 373-4; M. H. Laurent, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geógraphie eccléstiastique, t. 12, pp. 26-27; Telio Taddei, Enciclopedia Cattolica, t. 3, colt 1193-4.

  7. Colosio, col. 373.

  8. Lo Specchio di Croce, ed. Guiseppe Taverna, Brescia, 1822, p. 3.

  9. Colosio, col. 374.

  10. M. H. Vicaire, "S. Dominique," DS, t. 3, col. 1524. The most recent edition of Le Vite dei SS. Padri is by C. Naselli, Turin, 1926, which was not available to me.

  11. Article, "Italian Literature," New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, p 721

  12. Not in the catalogue of works in the Annals or Chronicle but ascribed to Cavalca in many MSS., see Naselli, pp,39-40.

  13. The Golden Legend, trans. by G Ryan and H. Rippenger, New York, Longmans Green, 1949, 2 vol.

  14. The Acts and Letter are also not listed in the catalogues but are ascribed to Cavalca in many MSS., see Naselli, pp. 39-40. Atti degli Apostoli, Florence, 1837; Dialogo di S. Gregorio e dell' epistola di S. Giro'l'amo a Eustochio, ed. G. Bottari, Rome, 1764.

  15. See Naselli, p. 43-46 on dating of Cavalca's works. The only sure date is that of the Specchio dei Peccati, 1333, but the approximate order of the works is evident from cross references.

  16. The date of the Lignum Vitae is uncertain, but J. Guy Bougerol, O.F.M., Introduction to the Works of Bonaventure, Patterson, N. J., St. Anthony's Guild Press, 1964, seems to link it with the De Triplici Via which he dates 1259, pp. 156-160. I note that in the Lignum Vitae Bonaventure divides the life of Christ into the Mysteries of Origin, the Mysteries of the Passion, and the Mysteries of Glorification. Did this influence the development of the Dominican Rosary?

  17. Charles T. Davis, Introduction to the reprint edition of Ubertinus de Casali, Arbor Vitae Crucifixae Jesu, Torino, Bottega d'Erasmo, 1961, p. iii.

  18. Ephrem Longpré "S. Francois d'Assise" in article "Spiritualité Franciscaine," DS, t. 5, col. 1271-1303.

  19. c. 36, pp. 146-7.

  20. Medicina del Cuore o vvero Trattato del Pazienza, ed. G. Bottari, Rome, 1756; see Naselli, pp. 85-6.

  21. Medicina, Prologue, p. 1.

  22. The best study is A. Dondaine, O. P., "Guillaume Peyraut: vie et oeuvres," Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, vol. 18, 1948, pp. 162-236. See also Phillip Delhaye, DS, t. 6, col. 1229-1234. I have used the edition entitled Summae Virtutum ac Vitiorum, Lyons, 1668, 2 vol. in one.

  23. Naselli, pp. 43-44, Lo Specchio dei neccati, ed. Del Furia, Florence, 1829, was not available to me,

  24. I1 Pungilingua, ed. G Bottari, Milan, 1837, Prologue p. xvi.

  25. I1 Frutti della Lingua, ed. G. Bottari, Milano, 1837; Prologue, pp. xi-xii.

  26. Ibid., c. 2, p. 4.

  27. Ibid., c. 11, p. 74.

  28. Ibid., c. 23, pp. 181-82.

  29. Scala Claustralium, PL, t. 184, col. 475-483. Actually this work is not by St. Bernard but by the Carthusian Guigo II d. ll93, see Maurice Laporte, "Gulques II," DS, t. 6, cols. 1175-76. This division of steps of prayer had considerable influence in Dominican tradition and is the basis of Savonarola's Commentary on the Lord's Prayer.

  30. I have not found sources for this section. It is not based on Humbert of Romans, De Eruditione Praedicatorum, in Opera de vita regulari, Rome, 1889, ed. J. J. Berthier, O.P. pp. 73-484, the Dominican classic on the subject, although it treats of the same main topics.

  31. Frutti, c. 25, pp. 202-3.

  32. William A. Hinnebusch, The Dominicans: A Short History, New York, Alba House, 1975, pp. 59-75.

  33. See Peyraut, Summae, t. I, part, xi, c. 2-5.

  34. Disciplina degli Spirituali col Trattato delle Trenta Stoltizie, Rome, 1857.

  35. La Ezposizione del Simbolo de~li Apostoli, ed. F. Federici, Milan, 1842, 2 vols. Prologue, p. xxvi.

  36. William A. Hinnebusch, The History of the Dominican Order, New York, Alba House, 1973, vol. 2, pp. 281-403 for the pre-Reformation history of Dominican spirituality; also the article "Freres Precheurs" by various authors in DS, t. 5, col. 1422-1523.

  37. Cremona, Morcelliana, 1953.

  38. "I1 pensiero di S. Caterina et le sue font)," Sapienza 7 (1954), pp. 335-88. The problem of the influence of William Flete is dealt with by M. Benedict Hackett, "Guillaume Flete," DS, t. 6, col. 1204-1208 who is of the opinion that Catherine's letters show that she arrived at her spiritual vision prior to 1376 under the influence of Flete and before Raymund of Capua became her confessor, However, as D'Urso points out she had been under Dominican influences since childhood.

  39. See Bengt R. Hoffmann, Luther and the Mystics, Minneapolis, Augsberg, 1976; to the contrary Steven E. Ozment, Homo Spiritualis, Leiden, Brill, 1969. Ozment does not deny the direct influence of Tauler on Luther, but insists on Luther's radical originality. For recent interest in Eckhart, see Thomas O'Meara, O. P., Eckhart Bibliography, Thomist, Eckhart Symposium, 42 (1978), 171-336.

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