Cristianesimo nella storia, 27 (2006), pp. 161-248
The different forms of Franciscan martyrdom - matured through the distillation of Minorite practice, comments on the Order and biographies of Francis, and made real historically in the late Middle Ages - are analysed after having examined the codification of martyrdom in Graziano's Decretum and in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. They are then considered in the light of two fundamental moments in the history of self-sacrifice in the Early Middle Ages: the case of Boniface, martyred in Friesland (VIII c.), and that of the martyrs of Córdoba (IX c.). Between the testimony of the Franciscan martyrs and those of the Early Middle Ages, in particular the Córdoba martyrs, there are elements of differentiation and points of contact which the author illustrates in detail. The value and the use of the instrument of martyrdom in the Franciscan context registers an ulterior connection with the discourse relating to martyrs from previous centuries thanks to the resolute appropriation of that virtus of martyrdom codified by Graziano in the Decretum, when he exalts Andrew's sacrificial choice. The power of the patientia, which lays the foundations for the capacity to spiritually fight the enemy, is a founding element in the confrontation and in the disputatio engaged in by a very long line of Franciscan witnesses of the faith. This particular declination of patientia is worth much more than the physical capacity for resistance which was associated with the martyrs of ancient times. It is projected beyond the martyr and beyond death: it is intellectual strength that is married to resoluteness, and with humility and the science of modestia, it is useful for discerning the nature of and time for action. It is a virtus founded on the awareness that the affirmation of faith requires an adeguate cultural background and knowledge of the "enemy", whoever he may be.
Cristianesimo nella Storia ospita ricerche di autorevoli studiosi sul percorso storico del cristianesimo, con particolare attenzione ai contesti e alle culture con cui i cristiani sono entrati in contatto, a cominciare da quella vetero-testamentaria e giudaica fino alle società secolarizzate di oggi. Ogni quadrimestre Cristianesimo nella storia propone, oltre ai saggi critici, rassegne, note e recensioni che consentono di valutare criticamente le ipotesi emerse negli studi scientifici internazionali in campo storico, teologico ed esegetico. Un numero di ogni anno viene dedicato a un argomento monografico.