Saint Margaret of Cortona is called the light of the Third Order of Francis. This is the theme of the most extensive biography of any Franciscan Tertiary in the Middle Ages. Margaret’s extraordinary career brings the historian closer to the early development of the Franciscans and the Order of Penance; it tells us much about how women saints were described, and about how civic cults of saints emerged. Another window, although a smaller one, opens to the tensions between the Franciscan Community and the Spiritual Franciscans before the split prior to Pope John XXII. Indeed it could be said that we know more about Margaret of Cortona than about any woman of 13th century Italy, with the exception of Clare of Assisi and Clare of Montefalco. This edition is translated from the critical Latin edition by Fortunato Iozzelli, O.F.M., of “The Life of Saint Margaret of Cortona” by Fra Giunta Bevegnati. The original translation by Thomas Renna has been edited by Shannon Larson.
Thomas Renna, Ph.D., is professor of history at Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Mich. Renna teaches history of the Middle Ages, Ancient Rome, Renaissance, France, and ancient and modern Middle East. He has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Scranton, a master’s of medieval history from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in medieval history from Brown University. Renna has published three books and 120 journal articles on various medieval topics. He also has given 160 paper presentations at conferences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Middle East. Renna has received numerous awards and fellowships for scholarship and teaching.
Shannon Larson has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College, where she studied Egyptian, Jewish and Church history and biblical studies. She has a master’s degree in medieval history from Marquette University. There, she specialized in crime and justice. Larson’s research has focused on the intersection of rape and virginity in medieval discursive contexts, and on British and Continental jurisprudence. She is an independent scholar and works part time at an historical society.
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FRANCISCAN INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS - www.franciscanpublications.com - is a leading publisher of books and journals on medieval Franciscan history, sources, spirituality, philosophy and theology as well as contemporary issues on Franciscan life and ministry. It has published critical editions on, for example, the works of John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Adam de Wodeham and Peter of John Olivi. Known for many years for its critical editions of leading medieval Franciscan philosophers and theologians, Franciscan Institute Publications has more recently endeavored to make available to a wider reading public the very best of modern scholarship on the history, spirituality and intellectual tradition of the Franciscan moveme
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