Translation of the Article THE FRIARS PREACHERS from the Dictionnaire de Spiritualité:

Part B

1. The Sixteenth Century
2. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
3. From 1800 to 1950.


1. The Sixteenth Century.


Dominican spirituality in Italy during the 16th century took up and developed the reform movement of the preceding century. It thus helped prepare the new spiritual climate of the country and the renewal of the Church. Italian Dominicans, of whom a certain number were associated very closely with the Council of Trent, were to devote themselves to the implementation of the reforms decided upon by the Council.

1) Those who complied with the Dominican reform, henceforth at the head of the Order, determined its development in a more unified and homogeneous direction (Mortier, vol. 5, passim). The most vital centers were the Province Utriusque Lombardiae and the Congregation of St. Mark, descended from Savonarola. They reorganized studies, which explained in part the spiritual progress of the sixteenth century. The Ratio studiorum renewed the obligation to study St. Thomas. Former university centers were developed, new ones were established, especially the college of St. Thomas in Rome (MOPH, vol. 9, p. 316; bibliography in Memorie domenicane, vo1. 34, 1959, p. 4, n. 3; at last the "second scholasticism" sprang into life (DTC, vol. 14, 1941, col. 1717-1718).

2) External factors, such as the Renaissance and Protestantism, also had their influence. Under the pressure of humanistic ideas, some spiritual and theological authors sought to adapt their new methods and language. The spiritual life of the Chrisitan was presented in more comprehensible terms, with more optimistic emphases. More concerned perhaps than in the past to consolidate the personal faith of their contemporaries, writers invited them to enter into themselves; hence the more introspective note, the appeal to spiritual psychology. Certain aspects dear to the humanism of the Renaissance came into view again and presented a Christian perspective. The struggle against Lutheran or Calvinist ideas and literature affected the history of spirituality, properly so-called, less directly at that time. The Italian Dominicans turned toward theological study (Mortier, vol. 5, pp. 308-310). The inquisitors were vigilant (ibid., pp. 403-413). A literature of controversy appeared. Especially in the pastoral domain, sacramental practice for example, Dominican preaching faced the struggle of restoring the Christian life of the people.

Nevertheless, it seems more accurate to place in the foreground, both in time and in intensity, concern for the internal reform of the Church, and in particular of the clergy. Before Luther had raised the problem, preachers, writers, and cloistered mystics had been concentrating for a long time on the need for reform, and in this, Italian Dominicans of the sixteenth century followed in the footsteps of their great predecessors.

3) The ideal personalities inspiring the efforts of the Order were St. Catherine of Siena and Savonarola.

a) Lives of Catherine are numerous, although all based upon the Legenda major of Raymond of Capua, which Ambrogio Catarino re-edited. The Dialogue (most of the eleven editions of the sixteenth century are Italian) and the Letters are often re-edited. Mystics, especially whether Dominican or not, experienced the spiritual influence of Catherine of Siena. She often intervened in their charisma, so that one finds many Catherinian phenomena in their mystical life: spiritual marriage (the subject most often represented by painters), devotion to the suffering Christ, exchange of hearts, etc. Among others were Bl. Lucy of Narni (+1501), Bl. Hosanna of Mantua (+1505), Antonia of Brescia (+1507), Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (+1547), Domenica of the Paradiso (+1553) (DS, vol. 3, col. 1513-1516), etc.

b) The post-Tridentine period especially felt the influence of Savonarola (R. Ridolfi, Vita de G. Savonarola, vol. 2, Rome, 1952, appendix Sommario delle fortune e del culto); lives, sermons, apologies then became widespread; many nuns were devoted to him, like B. Colomba of Rieti (+1501) or Bartolomea Bagnesi (+1577). Savonarola's influence is also apparent in Sts. Philip Neri and Francis de Paula (A. Neri, I Santi e it Savonarola, in Propugnatore, vol. 11, 2, 1878, pp. 357-375; see also L. Ferretti, Per la cause di G. Savonarola, in Il Rosario, Memorie domenicane, vol. 13, 1896).

His cult was maintained in Florence (Mortier, vol. 5, pp. 120-125, 178-182), in particular by the youths of the confraternity of the Purification, to which Philip Neri belonged, and also in the monasteries that he had assisted or reformed (Memorie domenicane, vol. 13, 1938, pp. 49-55, 82-85). At Prato, St. Catherine de Ricci seems even to have organized a devotion to him (see introduction to ed. of the Lettere... by C. Guasti, Prato, 1861, pp. x-xii, li-lxiv; G. Scalia, G. Savonarola e S Caterina de' Ricci, Florence, 1924; of C. Pera, in Il Rosario. Memorie domenicane, vol. 44, 1927, pp. 233-248, 379-390).

A Savonarolian center developed at Lucca in the convent of San Romano. Evidence of it remain in lives and written defences (A. Mancini, Codici savonaroliani in Lucca, Lucca, 1901), among which is the controversial biography whose author was probably P. Burlamacchi (I. Taurisano, I Domenicani in Lucca, Lucca, 1916, pp. 77-93) Even today, in the archives of Lucca we find a number of references concerning the cult of Savonarola in Italy, in the collection of I. Manardi (Biblioteca di Stato, ms 2572). From this same convent, Paolino Bernardini (+1585) set out with the Master of the Sacred Palace, Matteo Lachi (+1566), to defend the orthodoxy of Savonarola before Paul IV (I. Taurisamo, op. cit., pp. 117-122).

The portrait of Savonarola in the "Dispute over the Holy Sacrament" by Raphael indicates also in its way the veneration accorded to him.


John Baptist Carioni, better known under the name of Battista da Crema, was the silent initiator of the Italian spiritual movement which preceded the Council of Trent, and a precursor of modern spirituality. The reader in refereed to the article dedicated to him (DS, vol. 2, col. 153-156). Here we only mention his influence, adding some bibliographical data.

The personality and teaching of Battista had a decisive bearing on Italian spirituality in the sixteenth century at the pre-Tridentine period; his writings were widely diffused (Aperta verita, 6 ed; Filosofia divine, 4 ed. Specchio interiors, 20 ed.; Della congnitione e vittoria di se stesso 20 ed.) Spiritual combat and love were the dominating themes of his spirtuality; they appear again in the spiritual literature of the Italian Dominicans who followed Battista, While continuing to demand interior despoilment and detachment, the spiritual life was set more explicitly under the sign of the love of God demanding charity toward one's neighbor. Thus was born a literature of divine love.

Battista da Crema was one of the most radiant spiritual directors of the century (DS, vol. 3, col. 1108-1109). He met St. Cajetan the Theatine (1519)) founder of the Confraternity of Divine Love in Rome. He susggested that Cajetan pay less attntion to the Confraternity so as to occupy a more central position and cover a wider field of action. He probably inspired Cajeton to found the Theatines, remained in touch with him by letter, and composed at his request that little jewel which is the Epistola familiare. The Combattimento spirituale, certainly written by a Theatine, also shows the influence of Battista by its structure and spiritual orientation (O. Premoli, S. Gaetano Thiene e fra Battista, in Rivista di scienze storiche, vol. 7, 1910, and separate re-print).

In 1527, Battista became director of Countess Torelli di Guastalla, foundress of the Angelical Sisters. The following year he directed St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (DS, vol. 1, col. 720-723), who, six years later, assisted him on his deathbed. A significant detail: the first Barnabites considered Battista the founder of their Order (O. Premoli, Storia dei Barnabiti nel Cinquecento, Rome, 1913).

On the influence of Battista da Crema in Spain, see above, vol. 4, col. 1148.


We shall not treat at length the contribution of the bishops and theologians of the Dominican Order to the labors of the Council of Trent (Mortier, vol. 5, pp. 438-451, 520-536; P. Cherubelli, Il contribute degli ordini religiosi al concilio di Trento, Florence, 1946; A. Walz, I domenicani al concilio di Trento, Rome, 1961) and the compiling of its Catechism (P. Paschini, Il Catechismo del Concilio.., Rome, 1923); we shall simply underline the more spiritual and pastoral aspects.

The reforming activities which the Italian Dominicans undertook were not exclusively their own. The renewal was not so much the achievement of an, ancient order or a new congregation; it grouped them in similar ministries and in the struggle against common evils. What we say here emphasizes the Dominican contribution without considering it exclusive. See, for example, P. Tacchi Venturi, Storia della Compagnia di Gesu in Italia, vol. 1 La vita religiosa in Italia.., 2d ed., Rome, 1931.

Before the Council convened, the best and most lucid among the writers, preachers and mystics focussed upon the internal reform of the Church. Battista da Crema had already dedicated himself entirely to it. On the eve of the meeting of the Council, L. Bettini, claiming Savonarola as his authority, published Oracolo della renovazione della Chiesa... (Venice, 1543; of Archivio storico italiano, vol. 77, 2, 1919, pp. 164-231). The mystics, cloistered or active (above, p. 51 ) had a keen sense of Christ suffering in his Church and their correspondence showed their yearning for renewal (A. Cistellini, Figure della Riforma pretridentina, Brescia, 1948).

1) Priestly and religious life was one area most urgently in need of renewal. Dominicans contributed effectively to the rise of various groups of clerks regular. We have already mentioned the influence of Battista da Crema on Cajetan the Theatine and Anthony Mary Zaccaria. Thomas Badia (+1547), charged by Paul III to examine the basic text of the Company of Jesus, reported favorably on it (Tacchi Venturi, op. cit., vol. 2, 1, Rome, 1922, pp. 295-297). Egidius Foscarari in turn approved the Spiritual Exercises (Mortier, vol. 5, pp. 312-313, 448), while the Master General, Fransco Romeo, invited his Order to be helpful to the first Jesuits. (ibid., pp. 449-450). Paolino Bernardini (+1585) started for young John Leonardi a congregation of priests reformed after the model of the one founded by Philip Neri, whence developed the clerks regular of the Mother of God. John Leonardi's directors were usually Dominicans (F,V, Di Poggio, Memorie della religions domenicana della natione lucchese, ms, Dominican archives of Lucca, vol. 2, pp. 193-196, 214-217, 235-242, 253-261).

2) To renew the Christian life of the faithful, the Italian Dominicans spread devotion to the rosary, especially in the second half of the century, intensified Eucharistic life, and founded several confraternities.

a) Probably under the influence of Savonarola and his Epistola delta frequente Comunione (Venice, 1547), and then of Louis of Granada, several Dominicans advocated frequent communion in the associations or confraternities of young people centering about their convents. Already Battista da Crema was permitting daily communion and writing for Cajetan the Theatine and Anthony Mary Zaccaria his treatise on communion. Those two saints became in turn great promoters of the Eucharistic movement.

In 1539, at Santa Maria supra Minerva, Thomas Stella established a confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament which gradually spread, in the course of the century, into a great many parishes. To it we owe in part the restoration of public devotion to the Eucharist (L. Fanfani, De confraternitatibus aliisque associationibus ordini FF. Prasdicatorum propriis, Rome, 1934, appendix). Ignatius of Loyola was one of its first members (V.M. Fontana, Monumenta dominicana, Rome, 1675, p. 459). This confraternity was not, of course, the first of its kind. Another Dominican, John of Cividale, founded a similar one at Gemona in Friuli shortly before (G. Barbiero, Le Confraternite del SS. Sacramento prima del 1539, Vedelago, Treviso, 1944, pp. 196-197); but Stella's confraternity developed far more extensively (pp. 142-146). It sometimes absorbed other confraternities, even those dedicated to Mary, such as the Company of Purity in Florence (S. Orlandi, La Capella e la Compagnia della Purita in Santa Maria Novella.., Florence, 1958).

Thomas Nieto, a Spanish Dominican of the convent of St. Eustorgius in Milan, was one of the most active promoters of the Forty Hours (A. de Santi, L'orazione delle Quarant 'Ore.., Rome, 1919, pp. 21-37).

b) Confraternities of young people, whose history has not been written, sprang up just about everywhere. We shall speak later of the confraternity of the rosary. With it we can mention the Company of the Cross of Jesus Christ, founded at Perugia (1563) by Laurence Bernardini (+1575) (Di Poggio, ms cited above, pp. 203-208); the Confraternity of the Holy Spirit, the work of Ambrose Salvi (+1577) (L 'annee dominicaine.., vol. 12, p. 31); the youths of the Company of Jesus, at Lucca (Di Poggio, vol. 2, pp. 196-198); the confraternity of the Colombini, instituted in 1558 by Vincent Arnolfini (+1561), to which John Leonardi belonged.

c) Devotions. -- Although devotion to the Child Jesus was in favor among Dominican women mystics (Lucy of Narni, Domenica of the Paradiso, Mary of Popiglio (+1575), in particular), and Paolino Bernardini, together with Mariano Lo Vecchio (+1859) (Quétif-Echard, vol. 2, p. 294) popularized novenas for Christmas, the Italian Dominican sixteenth century was above all a Marian century, and devotion to the Virgin was certainly one of the most efficacious instruments of the Catholic restoration among the faithful.

In the first decade of the century, the beautiful pages of Cajetan on the compassion of Mary (Y.-M. Congar, Cajetan et la dévotion à la compassion de Marie, VSS, vol. 38, 1934, pp. 142-160) and, probably under his influence, the introduction of that feast into the Dominican liturgy (1508; MOPH, vol. 9, p. 85) continued a devotion inherited from the preceding century.

The rosary, especially, with its confraternity and the literature to which it gave rise, permitted Dominicans to participate in the renewal of Christian life. The magnificent expansion of the Rosary Confraternity in the following century was taking root at this time, developing its characteristics and its methods. Diverse factors contributed twits spread. Preaching habitually laid stress on Marian piety, and the Ave Maria attained its definitive form in Pius V's breviary (Bibliography in EC, vol. 2, 1949, col. 516). The general chapters advocated for the whole Order the Italian custom of the rosary procession on the first Sunday of October (MOPH, vol. 10, p. 173, etc).

Finally, the victory of Lepanto, achieved on the day when the Rosary Confraternity had organized special prayers, favored its expansion.

The rosary furnished the opportunity for many works, more frequently as the century drew to a close. In devotional literature are to be found several writings presenting a method of meditation or contemplation, such as the Mistico tempio del Rosario (Venice, 1584) of Reginald Spadoni or the Quindeci meditationi sopra gli quindeci misteri del rosario... Treviso, 1584, 1589, 1599) by Pietro Franchini.

The first Italian writer on the rosary, Albert of Castello or Castellano (+1522) (Quétif-Echard, vol. 2, p. 48) already had this intent: his Rosario della gloriosa Vergine Maria (Venice, 1521, 1534, 1566, 1567) bears the sub-title Essercitio spirituals de gli buoni christiani (ed. 1521, f. 4r), In addition to chapters describing the origin of the rosary, the constitutions and indulgences of the confraternity, the miracles obtained, subjects habitually treated in works of this kind, the author inserted a chapter Della meditations che si debbe fare quando si dice il rosario (f. 32-33) two short explanations of the Lord's Prayer and the Angelic Salutation (f. 204-218). The latter makes up only the first part of our present Hail Mary. The body of the work (f. 34-201) is composed of 165 evangelical mysteries; each of the fifteen mysteries of the traditional rosary is developed in eleven Gospel scenes; woodcuts on the left-hand page illustrate the scriptural commentary of the scene. Such a work was obviously intended to facilitate meditation for the faithful.


-- The central theme of the correspondence (C. Guasti, Delle letters.., Opere, vol. 5, Prato, 1898) and of the spiritual life of Catherine de Ricci (+1590) is indeed the reform of the Church (DS, vol. 2, col. 326-327). She speaks of it to her illustrious correspondents, the most eminent saints of her time, Pius V, Charles Borromeo, Philip Neri, Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (of G. Getto, La letteratura ascetica e mistica in Italia.., in Contributi alla storia del concilio di Trento e delta Controriforma, Florence, 1948). Her spirituality was above all conceived as a combat. It resembled closely that of Battista da Crema and Savonarola, to whom, as has already been said, she was devoted. Her life was centered in Christ, and more precisely on the suffering Christ whose Passion she experienced charismatically. Battista da Crema in the first half of the century, and Catherine in the second were the two great Dominican figures in Italy. They were equally, although in different ways, oriented toward the same objective: the spiritual reform of the Church.

On the Marian devotion of Catherine de Ricci, see William Di Agresti, Mediazione mariana nell' Epistolario di Santa Caterina.., in Rivista di ascetica e mistica, vol. 3, 1958, pp. 243-255; Santa Caterina de' Ricci. Testimonianze sulfa eta giovanile, Collana Ricciana, Fonti 1, Florence, 1963.


We do not mention here writers and works treated in the course of our exposition nor writers whose works are lost.

Let us add here the preface which Peter Paul Filippi (+1648) gave to the second book of the Theologia mystica by Harphius in the ed. castigate et correcta of Rome, 1586 (between pages 446 and 447). This necessaria introductio is found again in the following editions of the seventeenth century. See RAM, vol. 5, 1924, pp. 49-56.

2. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.


-- Whereas in the preceding century Italian Dominicans had an active influence on the formation of new spiritual and devotional movements, the 17th was for them the time for the assimilation and extension of those movements. Thus, while preserving their own proper physiognomy, they participated further in the "spiritual eclecticism" typical of the century. The tendency was more toward pastoral concerns than doctrinal speculation or the opening of renewed spiritual paths: Tridentine reforms were being consolidated.

The 18th century was but a prolongation of the 17th: the same predominating activities, the same spiritual currents, the same eclecticism, the same types of literature. The style, in preaching as in books, became more academic and more pompous. Quietism, then Jansenism and the secular spirit pervading the peninsula were new factors marking the history of the century. They aroused especially in Dominicans a theological activity in disputationsand an apologetic literature, particularly against the secular spirit, which contributed little to the spiritual life.

1) Some of the more spiritually active congregations bear witness to the interior life of the Order. In the south, the congregation of Health (1593), initiated by Mark da Marcianise (+1616) (P.-TH. Milante, De viris inlustribus congregationis S. Mariae Sanitatis, Naples 1745); in the north, that of Bl. James Salomoni (1622), whose influence wok he preponderant especially in the 18th century (J.F.B. De Rubeis, De rebus congregationis B. Jacobi Salomonii, Venice, 1751; Mortier, vol. 7, pp. 116, 180 95); and in the center, the congregation of Santa Sabina, the work of Hyacinth Passerini (+1677) (Mortier, vol. 7, passim).

Convents dotted the whole peninsula, to such an extent that it is very difficult to get one's bearings in the geography and statistics of the Order of that period. A guide mark, however, at the end of the 17th century enables us to settle upon some data: the eleven Italian provinces then totalled 494 houses, more than 4800 priests, students and novices, more than 1900 lay brothers and 200 tertiaries; in all, more than 6000 members. These statistics were noticeably lower at the end of the 18th century as can be deduced from various indications. although accurate figures are lacking see Walz, pp. 421-424; P. Mandonnet, in Il Rosario, Memorie domenicane, vol. 33, 1916, pp. 543-545.

The great dispersion of convents throughout the country favored a pastoral, liturgical and popular orientation of Dominican activities (Marchese, vol. 2, p, 54). Studies continued to flourish. In the 17th century the library of the Casanatense in Rome collected books and manuscripts, particularly of spirituality, which became the seed-bed of Thomist scholars (J.-J. Berthier, L'eglise de la Minerve, Rome, 1910, pp. 401 ff).

2) The predominating spiritual figures were not the spiritual writers of the period. Although these were not lacking, none took the place held in the preceding centuries by Catherine of Siena and Savonarola. It is worthy of note that the latter's influence gradually disappeared while Catherine's remained as vital as ever.

a) Interruption of the Savonarolian influence. -- At the end of the 16th century, the veneration of the friar Savonarola remained alive, especially in the convents of central Italy; his cause for beatification seemed ready. The Master General, Anthony Beccaria, assigned three brethren (1597-1598) to compose an office in his honor (C, Guasti, L'officio proprio per... Savonarola, 2d. ed., Prato, 18.63); the historian Serafino Razzi then wrote his celebrated Narrationi della vita e morte del.., Florence, 1590, and sent them to Clement VIII (cf. G. Schnitzer, Savonarola, Italian transl., vol. 2, Milan, 1931, pp. 545-547). But the beatification did not take place and later (1625, 1634) decrees of Urban VIII discontinued the cult and arrested any hope of seeing the reformer raised to the altars. The spiritual movement inspired by Savonarola ceased to exist as a collective phenomenon, but continued to guide the interior life of some Dominicans.

b) The influence of Catherine of Siena remained especially in the interior life of spiritual persons and in published books. People saw in her their ideal of sanctity; the Tesoro nascosto (ch. 18) of Gregory of Areylza (+1691) was significant in this regard. Cloistered contemplatives especially kept alive devotion to the saint, a habitual theme of their biographies. Catherine was often at the origin of their vocation, and guided them in a sometimes extraordinary manner on their spiritual ascent. See below, pp. 145.

Gregory Lombardelli, Sommario delta dispute e difesa delle sacre stimmate di santa Caterina.., Venice, 1665, -- Jerome Gigli, who was not a Dominican, published a classic but often faulty edition of the works of the saint (4 vols., Siena, 1707; Rome, 1866). -- Pius M. Pizzello, Divote meditazioni sopra la Vita.., published in 1841 (Rome). -Alexander Origoni also presented Catherinian meditations which enjoyed great success (Rome, 1726, 1730, etc., 1887).

3) Spiritual Eclecticism. -- Theological disputations, most of which developed in Rome or terminated there, had a considerable influence on the life of the Church and on opinions, and many Dominicans were in the front lines defending Thomism. Yet at the same time the traditional spirituality of the Order expanded to embrace other spiritual experiences, Ignatian (cf. below), Carmeilite and Oratorian in particular.

a) The personality of St. Teresa of Avila visibly influenced the spiritual life of several contemplatives, such as Catherine Paluzzi (+1645) (Philip di San Paolo, Vita.., cited below, pp. 358-366, 414), Mary di Santiago (+1688) (N. Squillante, Vita.., cited below, pp. 355-357), Laurence A. Frescobaldi (S. Loddi, Notizie della vita.., Florence, 1716, p. 99) and L.M. Calco (+1709) (Vita anonymous, Venice, 1754).

b) Philip Neri, having experienced in his youth in Florence the profound influence of the Dominicans, himself, later influenced certain ones among them, such as Nicholas Ridolfi, future Master General and one of the principal craftsmen of the spiritual vitality of the Dominicans in the 17th century. From a distance he directed Catherine Paluzzi (Philip of San Paolo, op. cit., pp. 53-58, 147-152, 165-172) and Vincent M. Orsini, the future Benedict XIII (G. Vignato, Storia di Benedetto XIII, vol. 3, Bergamo, 1956, pp. 68-69).

c) As another mark of eclecticism, Dominicans translated foreign spiritual works, in the last years of the 16th and especially the 17th century.

T. Botonio translated the Letters of John of Avila (Florence, 1590; 6 editions up to that of Brescia, 1728, cf. Manresa, vol. 17, 1945, p. 370). G. Giovannini translated the Sinner's Guide of Louis of Granada (Venice, 1575) some Pensieri cristiani drawn from the Fathers (Vicenza, 1600), and edited the Sermones of Humbert de Romans (Venice, 1603).

d) Italian Dominicans and the Spiritual Exercises. -- Although mental prayer was obviously not a novelty in the Order (v.g. P. Philippe, L'oraison dominicaine au 13e siécle, VSS, 1948, pp. 424-454), a more structured conception of this prayer gradually spread to it under Ignatian influence. Nicholas Ridolfi (+1650), former student of the Roman college, then Master General, (1629-1644), recommended to religious the practice of the Spiritual Exercises (letter of 1630; Mortier, vol. 6, pp. 315-316). An annual retreat of ten days was rendered obligatory throughout the Order by the Chapter General of 1650 (MOPH, vol. 12, pp. 288-289). The practice of mental prayer and the annual exercises became a kind of distinctive mark of the fervent religious. General Chapters pointed this out with regard to S. Capponi (+1614) (MOPH, vol. 1, p. 287), C. Avitabile (+1636) (vol. 12, p. 212), M.A. Nanni (+1617) (vol. 13, p. 114), etc.

The 17th century produced an abundant literature on prayer which would be deserving of study. Even more numerous are collections of meditations. According to our present information, the works of Ignatius Del Nente (+1648) stand out from the lot; refer to his notice, DS, vol. 3, col. 129-130.

In his Della tranquillita dell animo nel fume della nature, della fede, della sapienza e del diving amore (ed. Florence, 1642), he presented his teaching on meditation, a work indicative of the spiritual tendencies of Dominicans at that time. Del Nente did not propose a method, properly speaking; he set affective prayer above discursive (p. 379). "Meditation frequently renewed is transformed into contemplation.., it is the mother of contemplation (p. 380)." He is very concerned with maintaining the continuity of the spiritual life, while clearly distinguishing its stages.

Gradually, as time went on, the "Spiritual Exercises" published were still as numerous, but the subject matter tended to change. One finds less and less authentic spiritual doctrine. Retreats, strictly speaking, became infrequent and gave place to collections of prayers and practices of devotion.


1) Italian Dominican spirituality was decidely Christocentric and directed especially toward the infancy of Jesus, the suffering Christ, the Sacred Heart and the Eucharist,

a) Devotion to the infancy of Jesus was a heritage from the preceding century (DS, vol. 4, col. 664). Introduced probably by Mariano Lo Vecchio (+1589) (M.A. Coniglione, La provincia domenicana di Sicilia, Palermo, 1990, pp. 274-265) and spread to central Italy by Paolino Bernardini (+1585), the Dominicans became, among others, its promoters and spread it particularly as a Christmas novena. For such novenas, T. Valle, R. Rocco, G. Ricciardi published books of meditations or sermons (DS, vol. 4, col. 677).

In the 18th century, Naples manifested an extraordinary devotion to the (crèche) a movement propagated especially by Gregory Rocco (+1782), who was a great preacher to both the common folk and the court (P. Scognamiglio, It frate dai due Cappucci, Rome, 1946, pp. 63-67).

Devotion to the infancy of Jesus was also dear to contemplatives. Their biographers reported their intimacy with the Infant Jesus and many other more or less extraordinary favors with which they were blessed during the Christmas season. Spiritual texts are unfortunately infrequent; mention may be made of some meditations on Christmas by the mystic Fialetta R. Fialetti (+1717) (in G.V, Patuzzi, Vita.., Venice, 1740, pp. 504-507).

b) The suffering Jesus was probably the predominating aspect of Christology. This tendency, more spiritual than doctrinal, still awaits an historian to evaluate it, Still more than works on the Passion by D. Gori, R. Grillenzoni, I Del Nente, Maria Villana or G.B, Mazzoleni, were the biographers of the period who bear witness to it, The suffering Christ was the center of the spiritual life of the majority of Christians or of those at least whose lives have been written, The charisms of the passion were frequent, to such an extent that they presented a critical problem, both theological and psychological. However that may be, devotion to the Passion was an established fact and it is worthy of note that the affective attitudes described had their source in the Middle Ages.

c) The Heart of Jesus. -- For Frances C. Vacchini (+1609) (G.M. Martini, Vita, cited below, pp. 81-82) and Catherine Paluzzi (Philip of San Paolo, Vita, cited below, pp. 396-398), devotion to the sacred side of Christ played an important role. Mary Trucco (+1606) is said to have had the vision of three mansions in the open side corresponding to the three stages of purification, progress and union (L'année dominicaine, vol. 7, pp. 345-347). But the real apostle of the Sacred Heart was Ignatius Del Nente, inspired by Suso and St. Gertrude. Together with characteristics of medieval origin, we find explicit allusions to reparation. If we are not mistaken, Le solitudini al Divinissimo Cuore di Giesu (in Le solitudini di sacri e pietosi affetti. , Florence, 1643, pp. 321-338) formed the first retreat centered upon the Sacred Heart (cf. DS, vol. 3, col. 130).

The 18th century did not, to our knowledge, contribute any Dominican works on the Sacred Heart. The devotion, however, was deeply rooted in the cloisters: F. R. Fialetti (+1717) (G.V. Patuzzi, op. cit., pp. 212-215), and Catherine delta Volonta di Dio (+1722) (G. Gallizioli, op. cit. below, pp. 157-158) were atoning souls. The devotion to the Heart of Christ of M. Innocenza Orselli (+1737) was noteworthy (Vita anonymous, Forli, 1741; MOPH, vol. 14, p, 170).

d) The cult of the Eucharist appeared in spiritual literature (see below, col. 1460 p.78) and in devotional observances. John Ricciardi d'Altamura (+1675) (MOPH, vol. 13, pp. 196-197) was probably one of the first to introduce the recitation of the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament (L 'annee dominicaine, vol. 10, p. 451); whence his Modo di instituire la congregazione del SS. Sacramento con il modo di recitare il SS. Rosario (Naples, 1640). According to the tradition inherited from the preceding century, Aurelius Risaliti facilitated the devotion of the Forty Hours by his Preces dicendae in... supplicatione quadraginta horarum (Palermo, 1615) and his Hora contemplative d'un' anima... interno colloquio con il SS. Sacramento... (Palermo, 1619). In the second half of the 17th century, Dominicans propagated perpetual eucharistic adoration in convents such as the Corpus Domini of Macerata (A. Zucchi, Il monastero del Corpus Domini.., in Memorie domenicane, vol. 11, 1936, pp. 366-369; vol. 12, 1937, pp. 91-98; Regole... delle suore della penitenza et osservanza di S. Domenico, Macerata, 1690; ed. 1736, ch. 33) or the monastery of Farra d'Isonzo erected by Basil Pica (+1664) (MOPH, vol. 13, pp. 137-139; F. Spessot, Basilio Pica.., Gorizia, 1933). Many confraternities of which we shall speak later supported those devotions.

The movement in favor of frequent communion, begun in the 16th century, expanded a great deal. It would seem that certain isolated Dominicans expressed some reserve in the matter. Might one interpret in that way the approbation which Vincent Candido gave in 1645 to La fréquente communion by Anthony Arnauld (L'anneé dominicaine, vol. 11, p. 276)? Joseph Mary Paltinieri (+1702) denounced some abuses (Dissertationum trias... De communione spiritual), Padua, 1698). In any case, most Dominicans were in favor of frequent communion, from G.L. De Fusco (+1621) (B. Longo, Il venerabile G.L. De Fusco, Valle di Pompei, 1917, p. 100) until Vincenzo Orsini, the future Benedict XIII, promoter of children's communion, founder of confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament at Cesena, Benevento and elsewhere, and author of an Istruzione per quei che devono ammettersi alla SS. Comunione, etc. (G. Vignato, op. cit. pp. 49-51).

2) The Marian movement. -- The 17th century in Italy is probably the most intensely Marian period in Dominican history. Books of devotion, meditations, etc. are numerous, but especially did the expansion of confraternities animate Marian devotion, to the point where the Master General John De Marinis ordered the publication of the Bullarium confraternitatum ordinis praedicatorum (Rome, 1668), to clarify the situation; the rosary held the preponderant place, (MOPH, vol. 12, p. 115; Mortier, vol. 7, p. 11).

Among the books on the mysteries of Mary should be cited, with those of I. Del Nente, the Giardino fiorito della Gran Signora Regina... Naples, 1615), of James Affinati d'Acuto, which follows the liturgical year and is typical of many others, and the important work of Angelo Paciuchelli (+1660), Excitationes dormitantis animae... (Venice, 1659; Italian translation, 3 vols., Naples, 1849), whose most remarkable pages are dedicated to the Virgin. Among the most frequently re-edited books was Sante Pascocci's (+1728), Esercizi di devozione per celebrare le feste della SS. Vergine Maria (Faenza, 1721).

The Marian devotion of the Dominicans gave rise to such observance as the month of May (Origini del culto... alla Madonna nel Maggio, in Il Rosario. Memorie domenicane, vol. 3, 1886, pp. 225-238; vol. 10, 1893, pp. 434-438, 455-459, 532-534) or associations independent of the rosary and its confraternity, like the association organized by Vinsi for lay people and religious who plegedt themselves to being offered as "servants," devotees, slaves for their whole lifetime to the Mother of God (R. Cai, Pratiche mariane del sec. XVII, in Vita cristiana, vol. 7, 1935, pp. 348-355). "But the rosary with its confraternity was by far the most important Marian movement which the Italian Dominicans directed (see in Il Rosario. Memorie domenicane, vol. 5, 1888, pp. 519-523, 698-701, 753-756).

The principal instrument of this devotion was Timothy Ricci (+1643) (MOPH, vol. 12, p. 353) who thought up the alternate recitation of the rosary by two choirs. This practice began in Naples (1617, G. Lampo, in Il Rosario, vol. 39, 1922, pp. 401-402), then spread to Rome (1624). With the help of Petronius Martini, he initiated the perpetual rosary (1635) whose universal success was a national event (V. M. Foniana Monumenta dominicana, Rome, 1675, Part 5, chap. 1). One should read contemporary publications on the rosary or chronicles such as that of F. Di Poggio (op. cit. above, ms., Archives of Lucca) to have an idea of the Christian fervor thus evoked throughout the whole of Italy. The Virgin was proclaimed patroness of several cities, to such an extent that Francis Maildachini (+1644) set down norms for the behavior of Dominicans on such occasions. It is impossible to enumerate the confraternities founded even in villages. See Acta Sanctae Sedis necnon magistrorumpro societate SS. Rosarii, Lyons, 1890, Part 4, pp. 1309-1313, 1333-1335, 1356-1360). In 1716, Clement XI extended to the whole Church the feast of the rosary and established it on the first Sunday of October (P.T. Masetti, Memorie circa la festa e l'officio proprio del Rosario, in Il Rosario..., vol. 2, 1885).

The movement continued in the 18th century, at least during the first half; after that, writings on the rosary are less frequent, a probable indication of a spiritual decline in the confraternity.

The most active apostles were, in Sicily, V. Pagano (+1650), John M. Bertini (+1669), Andrew d'Auria (+1672) (I1 Rosario.., vol. 22, 1905, pp. 425-427), John Ricciardi d'Altamura (+1675), creator of the rosary for the dying (MOPH, vol. 13, pp. 196-197).

Callistus of Misanello (Regole, costituzioni, esercizii spiritual)... nelle congregazioni e compagnie del SS. Rosario.., 4th ed., Naples, 1647) wrote about the "secret schools of mortification" in the Naples region; their members were formed according to Thomas Aquinas, Henry Suso and Antoninus of Florence (cf. I.C., Le Seuole segrete di mortificazione.., in Vita cristiana, vol. 11, 1939, pp. 517-524). The movement spread within the confraternities of the rosary. John Ricciardi dedicated to it his Domenicale per tutto l'anno e mode di fondare ed esercitare le scuole di mortificazione (4 vols., Naples, 1640-1654), those schools had as their object the spiritual formation of the most generous members of the rosary confraternities.

The rosary inspired much writing: first, works of a general character such as the Compendia on the rosary (history, devotion, apologetics, etc.) of A. Baretti, S. Banchi, A. Caraccia, G. B. Riccardi, P. Castrucci, etc.; then, works on miracles obtained through the Virgin, and many others with sermon suggestions for rosary preachers.

The rosary meditated should have a prominent place here. General Chapters insisted on the interior aspect which should animate the devotion and its external manifestations. Hence appeared a series of meditations or ways of meditating on the rosary (v.g. the works of B. Pica, A. Del Giudice d'Altamura, F.M. Bianco, G. Gattico, etc.).

3. SPIRITUAL LIFE IN THE ORDER has not yet been sufficiently explored. There were apparently no great figures, and yet, according to the biographers and witnesses of the period, mystics were plentiful, especially among nuns, as in the preceding century. The work of Dominic Gravina (+1643) (Ad discernendas veras a falsis visionibus et revelationibus, 2 vols., Naples, 1638) gives evidence of the reality of the mystical problems which this flowering presented to theologians.

There was much more spiritual direction in practice than we have evidence of. John L. De Fusco and Ignatius Del Nente were great directors very much in demand. In the 18th century their successor was Serafino Brienza (S. Tommaso spirituale direttore ovvero Trattato delta rinnegazione di noi, 2 vol. Naples,- 1752-1753). But the period has left few studies of spiritual theology. We know that J.M. Bertini (Teologia mistica secondo la dottrina di S. Tommaso, Palermo, 1668), and Vincent Giovanetti (De mystica theologia) published some, but their works cannot be found, probably because of restricted editions, The Della tranquillita dell'animo of Ignatius Del Nente has many pages which belong to that type of writing, but rather than a theologian of mysticism, he was a spiritual writer.

Spiritual writings, which are more abundant, showed the authors' attachment to mystical nuptials and to the symbolism and lyricism of the Song of Songs, a common theme at the time even among preachers, Nicholas Riccardi (+1639), Raymond Rocco (+1665), and mystic, Mary Villani (+1670), wrote commentaries on the Song of Songs. These writings have either remained in manuscript or been lost. The spiritual author who seems to dominate these two centuries, both in the volume and the value of his work, was certainly Ignatius Del Nente (DS, vol. 3, col. 129-130).

Autobiographical writings, especially of contemplatives, have not been explored to any extent. A number of documents remain which are deserving of study:

A number of biographers have inserted fragments written by their subject; at the very least their works inform us of the spiritual life of many contemplatives. A few of them follow:


Except for Ignatius Del Nente, no spiritual writer emerged. Certain works, however, are solid and interesting; such as Il tesoro nascosto (Naples, 1651) by Gregory de Areylza (DS, vol. 1 842), in particular in his later chapters on man, image of the Trinity. Such also, although they are purely theological, were the writings of John Paul Nazari (+1646), often quoted by John of St. Thomas and the school of Salamanca. His teaching on the Mystical Body, discussed by E.-Mersch (v.g. Le Corps Mystique du Christ, 2d ed., Paris, 1936, passim) had a great influence on La Croix de Jesus by L. Chardon (ed. F. Florand, Paris, 1937, pp. LXXXI. See R. Verardo, G.P. Nazari, in Memorie domenicane, vol. 24, 1949, pp. 134-176, 244-277; vol. 25, 1950, pp. 35-45).

In the 18th century, the most prolific and published spiritual author was, without any doubt, Fulgentius Cuniliati (+1759). Given the preponderant place of apostolic activities at that period, Dominican writings reflect that orientation: the greater number deal with the Christian life (virtues and vices, patience in sufferings, the last ends, etc.), or present texts to sustain the devotion, prayer and meditation of the faithful.

We give here a chronological list of spiritual authors, without repeating their works already cited.

3. From 1800 to 1950.


For the Order as well as for the Church in Italy, the 19th century was marked by many crises and persecutions. Influenced later than France by the wave of anti-religious movements, the Italian Church was the object of hostility, or at least of anti-clericalism, until the last third of the century.

The Napoleonic occupation suppressed religious orders in the territories which it gradually took over (decrees of 1806, of 1810). Liberalism, Carbonarism, free masonry were plainly anti-clerical and affected large numbers of Christian people. In the mid-century many Italians held Pius IX and the Church responsible for the failure of the national movement of 1848. The Roman Question poisoned the second half of the century (see R. Aubert, Le pontifical de Pie IX, collection of Fliche and Martin, vol. 21, Paris, 1952, pp. 72-107).

The Dominican Order, several times suppressed throughout the whole or a part of Italy (1855, 1866, 1873), suffered from the consequences of thaat political and social climate. The secession of the Dominican provinces of Spain and the Spanish colonies, the most flourishing provinces at the time from 1806 until 1872 (Mortier, vol. 7, pp. 430-438, 494), the absence of General Chapters from 1777 to 1832 and from 1844 to 1862, are so many indications of a profound crisis which was not confined to Italy, but which was surely the most serious one in the Order's experience.

Statistics give evidence of-this crisis. The Italian provinces numbered 1595 members in 1844, 825 in 1876, and about 500 in 1910. That date marked the low point of the numerical curve, since twenty years later there were 655 Dominicans in the Peninsula. Nevertheless, the recovery was later than in other countries: in 1844 Italy represented one third of the Order, in 1876 one quarter, in 1910 one ninth (cf. Walz, pp. 523-525). The figures do not tell all. It is certain that, despite a numerical decrease, the last third of the 19th century marked a renewal.

However, during that long crisis, fervent little groups, at first in the cloisters, then in a more visible way through books, the revival of spiritual movements, and apostolic activities which had never been abandoned, proved the vitality of the Order. It is not surprising that, given the circumstances described above, great doctrinal or spiritual works are rare.


The pontificate of Leo XIII (1878-1903) coincided with the Dominican renaissance in Italy, or at least the latter then became apparent. Spiritual life had not really disappeared. Mystics can be mentioned such as Reginalda Tosetti (+1817), a soul of reparation (Luke di San Giuseppe, Vita.., Florence, 1906), and Rose Colomba Asdente (+1847) (G. Ferrari, La monaca di Taggia, Sr. Rosa,., Turin, 1933). Spiritual authors had published various works: Philip Anfossi (Quadragesimale, Rome, 1815; Esercizi spirituali, Rome, 1821; etc.), G.M. Airenti and Joseph Morassi (+1870), who wrote on the rosary. The convent of La Quercia (Viterbo) was a spiritual center sparked by the theologian Hyacinth Pellegrinetti and by Vincent Palmegiani (+1863), for twenty years master of novices. He formed Lacordaire, V. Jandel and the first French Dominicans to the life of the Order (Année dominicaine, review, vol. 3, 1863, pp. 258-260; Memorie domenicane, vol. 13, 1938, pp. 56-66). The novitiate in Bosco (Piedmont) also formed some of Lacordaire's disciples (Augustine d'Arres, Souvenire du noviciat de Bosco, in Annee dominicaine, review, vol. 12, 1872, at vol. 14, 1874, passim).

Several acts of Leo XIII were important factors in the spiritual renaissance of the Order, in Italy particularly (cf. Leo Papa XIII et Ordo praedicatorum, Rome, 188 ). Thus, his interventions in favor of Thomism (J.J. Berthier, S. Thomas... doctor communis, Rome, 1914; he declared St. Thomas patron of Catholic schools (bull Aeterni patris, 1880); his encouragement of the Leonine edition, etc.

1) Spiritual Movements. -- The directives of Leo XIII on the rosary (encyclical Supremi apostolatus, September 1, 1883) occasioned a great revival and rejuvenation of the devotion. Thomas M. Granello (+1911) (Il Rosario. Memorie.., 1911, pp. 219ff, 230ff) conceived and founded in 1884 the Order's first review in Italy, Il Rosario Memorie domenicane, which spread and unified the devotion (Memorie domenicane, vol. 8, 1933, pp. 11-24). Marcolino Cicognani composed a month of October (Leone XIII e il Santo Rosario. Letture per il mese di ottobre, Rome, 1898). Constantius Becchi (+1930) (Memorie domenicane, vol. 6, 1931, pp. 20-27, 121-127) reorganized and started anew the Perpetual Rosary and established its center at Santa Maria Novella in Florence (I. Grossi, L'Associazione del Rosario perpetuo in Italia, in the review Sicut Rosa, 1960, pp. 43-52). Rosario Bianchi in 1909 founded the children's rosary (rosarianti), with its magazine (Rose e Gigli).

In addition to the rosary, mention should be made of the movement known as the "Servants of Eternal Wisdom" founded in 1929 by Henry Genovesi (+1958; Bolletino di San Domenico, vol. 39, 1958, pp. 236-237). Its specific role was to spread the Gospel among the people. Besides diffusing the text the movement published pamphlets introductory to the Gospel, organized "Gospel days," conventions, associations, etc. (Vita cristiana, vol. 15, 1943, pp. 490-495).

2) The cult of the Eucharist took on a new impetus at the beginning of the twentieth century throughout the Church. The Dominican, Mary Louise Maresca (+1912) (Il Rosario. Memorie.., vol. 29, 1912, pp. 362-365), an active apostle of the devotion, was no stranger to the Encyclical Mirae charitatis (1902) of Leo XIII. Her Novena del Corpus Domini (1901; 4th ed., 1905) attracted the attention of Pius X, who expressed to her his appreciation (Il Rosario. Memorie.., vol. 24, 1907, pp. 319-321).

The devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Christ included among its supporters the theologian Albert Lepidi (+1925) (De cultu cordis Jeus eucharistici explicatio dogmatics, Rome, 1905; French trans. E. Hugon, 2d. ed., Paris, 1926). Cf. DS, vol. 4, col. 1648-1653.

Giocondo Logna (+1928) founded in 1922 a Dominican congregation dedicated to devotion to the Eucharist and the education of children (A. Portaluppi, Profilo della vita.., Venice, 1950). His Consigli ad un giovane superiore was published in Rivista di ascetica e mistica, vol. 2, 1957, pp. 116-119, 220-231.

The above examples illustrate the various types of undertakings which the devotion to the Eucharist stimulated.

3) Spiritual Direction. -- Near Naples and the Marian shrine of Pompei, a devout group was formed and inspired by two directors of souls. For ten years (1875-1885) Albert Radente directed Bartolo Lango, the social and Marian instigator of the group. He also directed Catherine Volpicelli, Sister Giuliana, and especially a mystic who somewhat resembled Catherine Emmerich: Mary Louise Ascione (+1875), foundress of the institute of the Virgin of Sorrows and of St. Philomena (cf. N. Taccone Galluci, Suor M.L. di Gesu e l'illustrazione della sacra Scrittura, place?, 1876). Radente published her autobiography (Vita ed intelligenze spirituali della serve di Dio.., 2d ed., Naples, 1883), which has not yet been the object of a critical and theological study,

Emilio De Caria was also a great director, in particular of the Dominican tertiary, Mary Blanche Dusmet (+1887) of whom he published the Autobiografia di Maria Dusmet.., Naples, 1889.

Aside from this Neapolitan group, Henry Milioni (+1889) directed Mary Teresa of Savoy (+1879) and urged her to write the account of her life (published in Nuova antologia, Rome, 16 April, 1932), Some of her letters are preserved, addressed to her spiritual father (in Memorie domenicane, vol. 5, 1930, pp. 418-420). Vincent Vera (+1907) directed Teresa Solari and encouraged her in her foundation of the "Little House of Providence" of Genoa (D. Ardito, Pagine di storia e di fede.., Turin, 1921). -- We may include with these directors and their penitents the contemplative, Agostina Sandrone (+1839) some of whose letters and writings are preserved (in G. Baravalle, Vita.., Ponza, 1905, pp. 180-192).

4) Studies and Spiritual Trends. -- The Dominican Order in Italy did at this time possess great spiritual figures who created a new spiritual movement. But in the second half of the nineteenth century and since that time, the revival of hagiographical and historical studies, within the Order and beyond it, has restored to full prominence St. Catherine of Siena and Savonarola. These studies have the great merit of vitalizing the traditional spiritual trends of Italian Dominicans and spreading them abroad. Here we shall recall only the beginnings of the revival. Twentieth century studies and editions are easily available in bibliographies.

Catherine of Siena has been re-edited: the Dialogue (1842-, 1866), the letters (1860), the prayers (1865), the Life by Raymond of Capua (1866), the Legenda minor (1868), etc. Pius IX proclaimed her second patroness of Rome (1866). During the same period, the spiritual works of Savonarola, which were almost inaccessible, and only in the 16th century editions, were published again: letters, 1850, 1858; commentary on the Pater, 1865; sermons, six different editions before the end of the century. The fourth centenary of his death (1898) gave a new impetus to historical studies on the Frate. Consult the Sources historiques du moyen âge of U. Chevalier (Bio-bibliographie, vol. 2, Paris, 1907, col. 4156-4163) to get an idea of their abundance.

The movement continued into the 20th century. Its scope widened to include studies or editions of the Angelico, Antoninus of Florence, etc., while slowly and critically restoring the authentic texts. Organizations which publish periodicals have come into existence (v.g. the international society of Catherinian studies and its Bulletin, 1923), and a chair of Catherinian studies at the University of Siena (1926), etc. See L. Zanini, Bibliografia analitica di Santa Caterina da Siena, 1901-1950, in Miscellanea del centro di studi medievali, Publications of the University of the Sacred Heart, no. 58, Milan, 1956, pp. 325-374. -- L. Ferrara, Bibliografia savonaroliana, Florence, 1958.

Dominicans have done their share of this work of gathering source material, especially Ludovico Ferretti (+1930) (Memorie domenicane, vol. 5, 1930, pp. 295-303), Thomas Alfonsi (+1947)(ibid. vol. 22, 1947, pp. 79-80), Albert Zucchi (+1948) (ibid., vol. 23, 1948, pp. 59-72) and notably Innocenzo Taurisano (+1960), to whom we owe, in addition to his Catherinian studies, the Catalogus hagiographicus ordinis praedicatorum (2d ed., Rome, 1918), publications on the primitive spirituality of the Order and on the Dominican movement at Lucca in the sixteenth century (I Domenicani in Lucca, Lucca, 1914).

We must also mention the historical and spiritual contribution of Dominican publications. Il Rosario. Memorie domenicane (A. Zucchi, Il contributo di un periodico italiano alla storia dell'ordine, AFP, vol. 2, 1932, pp. 505-511) was split in two parts in 1926 in order to publish the Memorie domenicane, especially devoted to Dominican spirituality in Italy. The eucharistic review, Il SS. Sacramento (1937) is the organ of the confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament. (Memorie domenicane, vol. 12, 1937, pp. 180-181). Vita cristiana (1929) has taken on new vitality by becoming (1956) the Rivista di ascetics e mistica, still under the direction of the Dominicans of Florence. These publications, at once practical, doctrinal and historical, are the mouthpiece of a good portion of Dominican spiritual life.