Item #4900 Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola. of Siena Catherine, Saint, Siena 1347- Rome 1380, Caterina Benincasa.
Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola.
Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola.
Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola.
Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola.

Epistole et orationi della seraphica vergine santa Catharina da Siena, nella quali manifestamente si dechiara l'ardentissimo amore dell'eterno padre verso l'humana generatione, & il grandissimo frutto del pretioso sangue del Signor nostro Iesu Christo. Vi è aggionta la vita et canonizatione della detta santa, con alcuni capitoli in sua laude, novamente reviste, & con somma diligentia ristampate. Con la sua tavola.

Venice: (Pietro Nicolini da Sabbio for) Federico Torresano, 1548.

Price: $6,800.00

Quarto: 20 x 14.8 cm. [8], 305, [1] lvs. Collation: †8, A-Z8, AA-OO8, PP10

SECOND COMPLETE EDITION (1st 1500), THE THIRD EDITION OVERALL (1st 1492)

Bound in 17th c. parchment (some soiling, corners bumped.) Woodcut title page border. Full-page woodcut of Saint Catherine on leaf 8 verso. Printer’s device on recto of final leaf. The text is in very good condition with instances of light damp-staining, scattered mild foxing. And occasional soiling A few marginal tears and chips to the title page, not affecting the text or woodcut border; tiny hole in the border of the same leaf. Provenance: bookplate of Cardinal Mario Compagnoni Marefoschi (1714-1780).

The letters of Caterina Benincasa, known to the world as St. Catherine of Siena. “Born to a large family of cloth dyers in Siena, Caterina Benincasa became a Dominican nun at the age of sixteen. Her self-denial, charity, and bold spiritual writings attracted many followers, and during the insurrection of the Papal States she was called to mediate with Gregory XI, the last pope at Avignon. Eventually she convinced the pope to transfer the Holy See back to Rome, but to her disappointment his death led to the Western Schism between Urban VI in Rome and the antipope Clement VII in Avignon. Living on sacramental bread and wine alone, she died at age 33. She was canonized in 1461, and in 1970 she and St. Teresa of Ávila were declared the first female Doctors of the Church.

“St. Catherine’s correspondence, 383 letters dictated in Italian and addressed to heads of church and state as well as humble monastic followers, centered on themes of devout mysticism, ecclesiastical reform, and contemporary political issues.”(Women of the Middle Ages)

The first edition of her letters was printed in 1492. The first complete edition in 1500. The book also includes a life of the saint, written in honor of her canonization (June 29, 1461.)

The woodcut portrait in this edition is based on that of the edition printed by Aldus in 1500. The original image was probably made by the Paduan illuminator and designer Benedetto Bordon, who was also responsible for the illustrations of the “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili” (1499), the masterpiece of Venetian book illustration.

The printer of this edition, Federico Torresano, was Aldus Manutius’ brother-in-law. The dedicatee, the nun Paola Sinistra of the convent of Santa Croce on the Giudecca, Venice, is believed to have been a relative of the printer. See Annaclara Cataldi Palau, “Gian Francesco d'Asola e la tipografia aldina : La vita, le edizioni, la biblioteca dell'Asolano”, 172.

“Between 1375 and 1380 saint Caterina of Siena, the unschooled artisan woman who became a famous lay preacher and mystic, dictated almost four hundred letters addressed to people from a variety of social classes and positions in the Church. The immediate occasion motivating her sending of letters was usually a practical matter. She advised her correspondents about how they could help advance one of her political or ecclesiastical causes: the crusade to the Holy Land, peace in Italy, the Papacy's return to Rome, or Church reform through the naming of holy rectors and bishops in the Papal states. More profoundly, however, in her letters Caterina took every opportunity to convey central lessons about conversion. Her consistent goal in sending letters was to exhort her various audiences to change their lives and to progress always further along the road to Christ-like perfection. Her ‘epistolario’ was an essential apostolate by which she communicated to others the fruits of her own journey to God.”(Karen Scott, Candied Oranges, Vinegar, and Dawn: The Imagery of Conversion in the Letters of Caterina of Siena)

“Catherine was the youngest of 25 children born to a lower middle-class family; most of her siblings did not survive childhood. At a young age she is said to have consecrated her virginity to Christ and experienced mystical visions. Convinced of her devotion, Catherine’s parents gave her a small room in the basement of their home that acted as a hermitage. She slept on a board, used a wooden log for a pillow, and meditated on her only spiritual token, a crucifix. She claimed to have received an invisible (for humility) stigmata by which she felt the wounds of Christ.

“At the age of 19, after a three-year seclusion, Catherine experienced what she later described as ‘spiritual marriage’ to Christ. In this vision, Jesus placed a ring on her finger, and her soul attained mystical union with God. She called this state an ‘inner cell in her soul’ that sustained her all her life as she traveled and ministered.

“Catherine became a tertiary (member of a monastic third order who takes simple vows and may remain outside a convent or monastery) of the Dominican order (1363), joining the Sisters of Penitence of St. Dominic in Siena. She rapidly gained a wide reputation for her holiness and her severe asceticism. In her early twenties she experienced a ‘spiritual espousal’ to Christ and was moved to immediately begin serving the poor and sick, gaining disciples in the process.

“Her ministry eventually moved beyond her local community, and Catherine began to travel and promote church reform. When the rebellious city of Florence was placed under an interdict by Pope Gregory XI (1376), Catherine determined to take public action for peace within the church and Italy and to encourage a Crusade against the Muslims. She went as an unofficial mediator to Avignon with her confessor and biographer Raymond of Capua. Her mission failed, and she was virtually ignored by the pope, but while at Avignon she promoted her plans for a Crusade.

“It became clear to her that the return of Pope Gregory XI to Rome from Avignon—an idea that she did not initiate and had not strongly encouraged—was the only way to bring peace to Italy. Catherine left for Tuscany the day after Gregory set out for Rome (1376). At his request she went to Florence (1378) and was there during the Ciompi Revolt in June. After a short final stay in Siena, during which she completed ‘The Dialogue’ (begun the previous year), she went to Rome in November, probably at the invitation of Pope Urban VI, whom she helped in reorganizing the church. From Rome she sent out letters and exhortations to gain support for Urban; as one of her last efforts, she tried to win back Queen Joan I of Naples to obedience to Urban, who had excommunicated the queen for supporting the antipope Clement VII.

“Catherine recorded her ecstatic experiences in her “Il libro della divina dottrina” (“Book of Divine Doctrine”), which illustrated her doctrine of the ‘inner cell’ of the knowledge of God and of self into which she withdrew.”(Britannica).

Renouard, Alde, 144/9; Adams, 1106; Essling, 1908; STC Ital. 159; Olscki Choix, IV, 4292; Bernoni, Torrisani, p. 318, n. 369; Zambrini, 233; Edit16 10271