Item #5040 Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato. of Siena Catherine, Saint, Siena 1347- Rome 1380, Caterina Benincasa.
Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato.
Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato.
Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato.
Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato.

Dialogo de la Seraphica Vergine Santa Catharina da Siena: el qual profondissimamente tratta de la divina providentia: de quasi tutti li peccati mortali & de molte altre stupende, & maravigliose cose: como in el suo repertorio lucidamente appar. Insieme con la sua vita, & canonizatione & alcuni notabili capitoli composti in sua gloria, & laude. Nuovamente revisto, & con summa diligentia castigato.

Venice: Pietro de Nicolini da Sabio ad instantia de Marchio Sessa, 1547.

Price: $4,800.00

Octavo: 15 x 101 cm. 293 (i.e. 251), [1] lvs. Collation: A-Z8, AA-HH8, II4

TENTH EDITION (1st ed. 1475).

A very fine, fresh copy in early vellum (corners bumped, light soiling, lacking ties) with the original blue and white silk end-bands intact. Bright and clean internally. With the Sessa cat and mouse device on the title and final leaf. Early, faded inscription and early stamp of the Carthusian library at the Reichskartause Buxheim (Buxheim Charterhouse) on the t.p. The library was dispersed after secularization in 1803.

A rare edition of “Il libro della divina dottrina”, “The Book of Divine Doctrine” (also called the “Dialogue”), the culminating theological work of the Dominican tertiary mystic Saint Catherine of Siena (canonized 1461, feast day 29 April).

Catherine composed the book, which takes the form of an inner conversation between the soul and God, two years before her death.

The book was first published in Bologna ca. 1475 and reprinted five times in the fifteenth-century. In 1504 Lazaro di Soardi printed an edition at Venice. The next was printed by Cesare Arrivabene in 1517; the third by Sessa in 1540. This 1548 ed. is the fourth 16th c. edition.

This edition includes a life of the saint, composed by an unnamed Dominican, drawn from the documents presented during the canonization process. The dedication to Isabelle d’Este, wife of Giovanni Galeazo Sforza, duke of Milan, and Beatrice d’Aragona, wife of Lodovico Sforza, duke of Barri, is taken from the 1494 edition, in which this vita first appeared. The Italian translation of the text (from the Latin original) is attributed to Baldassare Azzoguidi, publisher of the first edition.

Tradition held that Catherine dictated the work to her secretaries over the course of five days while she was in the throes of ecstasy. Historical evidence indicates that it was probably dictated over a period of months between December 1377 and October 1378.

“The ‘Dialogue’ deals with the whole plan of salvation, with particular emphasis on Jesus Christ as the Bridge which unites man to God. Although it contains a rich theological doctrine, it does not present a systematic development of ideas. Catherine is not interested in speculative scholasticism; rather, she is moved by practical considerations. This is obvious from the first chapter of the Dialogue , where she addresses four petitions to the Eternal Father: (1) for herself; (2) for the reformation of the Church; (3) for the needs of the whole world; and (4) a petition to divine providence to provide for things in general and in particular. The rest of the Dialogue is taken up with the Father's response to these four petitions with interjections now and again from Catherine…

“God's love for us in creation is so great that, according to Catherine, it reaches a point of ‘madness’. In the last chapter, overcome by the realization of this ‘madness’ of love, she writes: ‘I confess and do not deny that you loved me before I existed and that you loved me unspeakably, as if you were mad with love for your creature.’

“Contemplating the Incarnation, Catherine cannot understand how God can love us so much that he would take on the lowliness of human nature: ‘O abyss of love, what heart can help breaking when it sees such dignity as yours descend to such lowliness as our humanity? ... For what reason? Love. By this love, O God, you have become man, and man has become God.’ As in the case of Creation, so again, in the context of the Incarnation, Catherine exclaims that God must be ‘mad’ with love for us: ‘It seems, O abyss of love, as if you were mad with love for your creature, as if you could not live without him; and, yet, you are God who has no need of us.’

“The death of Jesus Christ is the supreme expression of God's mad love for man. Addressing Jesus Christ directly -something which she does rarely- Catherine asks: ‘O loving madman, was it not enough for you to become incarnate, without also wishing to die?’ She is convinced that nails would never have held Jesus Christ to the cross, if love had not held him there.”(O’Driscoll)

“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.

“The record of her ecstatic experiences in ‘The Dialogue’ illustrates her doctrine of the ‘inner cell’ of the knowledge of God and of self into which she withdrew. Catherine also composed about 380 letters and 26 prayers.”(Britannica).

Edit16 CNCE 10270