Saint Dominic in Soriano

Last updated

Saint Dominic in Soriano (Italian : San Domenico in Soriano; Spanish : Santo Domingo en Soriano) was a portrait of Saint Dominic (1170–1221) painted in 1530. It is an important artefact in the Dominican friary at Soriano Calabro in southern Italy. It was believed to be of miraculous origin, and to inspire miracles. It was the subject of a Roman Catholic feast day celebrated on 15 September from 1644 to 1913. Its miraculous origin was the subject of several 17th-century paintings. Several ecclesiastical buildings have been named after it.[ which? ][ citation needed ]

Contents

Saint Domingo in Soriano by Francisco de Zurbaran, 1626 SantoDomingoenSoriano.jpg
Saint Domingo in Soriano by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1626

History

There seems to be no record that Dominic himself ventured further south in Italy than Rome.[ citation needed ] In 1510, members of the Dominican Order founded a friary at Soriano Calabro, [1] :53–56 Calabria, in the arch of the foot of the boot of Italy. A town grew up around it.[ citation needed ] In 1530, the friars began to display for public veneration a portrait of the founder of their Order.[ citation needed ]

In the early 17th century, Silvestro Frangipane, a Dominican, investigated the painting and wrote a book about it. Several senior members of his Order gave it their imprimaturs , and it was published in 1634. [1] :Title page and four unnumbered pages

Fra Frangipane wrote (in an English translation):

It happened that, during the night before the octave of the Nativity of the Madonna, [Note 1] in the Year of Our Lord 1530, the sacristan of Soriano had risen, as was his custom, at 3 o'clock in the morning to light the church lamps. Three ladies of wonderful appearance, the first of whom seemed much afflicted by grief, finding the door unlocked, entered. Their leader, her grief turning into joy, asked, “What church might this be?” The sacristan replied, “This church is dedicated to Saint Dominic. We have no paintings on the walls, except for that crude depiction of him behind the altar.” The venerable matron said, “So that your church may have another icon, take this and give it to your superior. Then, tell him to place it above the altar.” With great reverence, the sacristan accepted the gift and brought it to his superior. When the superior and two other brothers came to the church, the ladies were nowhere to be seen. One of them later said, “While I knelt in prayer, Saint Catherine the Virgin appeared to me and said: I, together with the Virgin Mother of God and the Magdalene, have conferred this favour upon you.” [1] :58–60

That narrative is largely the one accepted by the Dominican Order today. [2]

The portrait soon acquired a reputation for having marvellous properties. According to Fra Frangipane, if it was ever hung in a place other than the one specified by the Virgin Mary, the following morning it would be back in its proper place. [1] :63–65 He described numerous other miracles attributed to its presence. [1] :65–235 No fewer than 1,600 miracles were reliably attributed to its presence within a space of 78 years.[ citation needed ] In 1644, Pope Innocent XII ordained a feast day on 15 September to commemorate its origin and properties. [2] [Note 2] The feast may have been suppressed in 1913, when Pope Pius X moved what had until then been the movable feast of Our Lady of Sorrows to the fixed date of 15 September. [3] [Note 3]

The more recent history of the portrait seems to be unknown.[ citation needed ] Soriano Friary was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1659  [ it ] of 6.6 magnitude. [4] It was rebuilt; but in 1783, Calabria was struck by a series of five earthquakes within two months. The first, on 5 February, was of 7.0 magnitude, and levelled Soriano to the ground. [5] The third, on 7 February, was of 6.6 magnitude, and its epicentre was 3 km from Soriano. [6] [7] In Soriano itself, 171 people had died, and damage estimated at 80,000 ducats had been caused. [8] The friary was rebuilt for a second time, but seems never to have regained its earlier reputation; it seems to disappear from the records.[ citation needed ] The portrait may have failed to survive one of those events. [Note 4] [ original research? ]

A description of the painting

In 1634, Fra Frangipane wrote:

E il corpo di quell'Imagine di cinque palmi, & un quarto di lunghezza, nella desto mano ha un libro, e nella sinistra un giglio, doue egli si dimostra di mediocre slatura, di bell aspetto, ma venerando, e mortificato, co'l uolio alquanto affilato; il naso aquilino; i capelli la maggior parte son canuti; e gli altri così della barba, come della testa vanno alquante al rosso; la faccia è molto bianca, & hà co'l cadere congiunta la palidezza: gli occhi sono serenissinimi, e da ogni parte, ch'essi si guardino, rimirano con un piaciuolissimo terrore: le vesti, e l'habito non passano il tallone, restando tutto il piede di scarpe nere coperto: e finalmente tutta l'Imagine altro non rassembra se non artificio celeste, e diuino. [1] :62–63

An English translation:

And the figure in that Picture, which is five palms high and four broad, [Note 5] in his right hand holds a book, and in his left a lily, is of medium stature, of handsome aspect, but venerable, and mortified, with somewhat sharply defined features; his nose is aquiline; his hair is mostly white; and the rest, like that of his beard, reddish; his face is very white, as if he was at one with pallidity: his eyes are most serene, and follow you everywhere you go, inducing a mild feeling of terror: his garments and habit do not extend down to his heels, thus displaying his feet clad in black shoes: and, in conclusion, the whole Picture exhibits nothing but celestial, and divine, workmanship.

Artistic representations

The miraculous origin of the portrait seems to have been a significant topic for religious art in 17th-century Italy and Spain, as evidenced by the number of paintings described later in this section. It is uncertain which, if any, of the painters had seen the original. Those paintings are consistent in showing Dominic slightly less than life-size, full length, wearing his habit, with book and lily, thus generally conforming to Fra Frangipane's 1634 description; [1] but differ in detail. They are also consistent in another way: all show the three saints exhibiting the open painting to one or more friars.

Examples (with provenance, where known) include (arranged approximately by date):

Ecclesiastical buildings

Ecclesiastical buildings named after, and so perhaps dedicated to,[ original research? ]Saint Dominic in Soriano include (arranged by date):

Notes

  1. 8 September.
  2. The years from when the portrait began to gain its reputation until its official recognition fall squarely within the Counter-Reformation, which is dated 1545–1648.
  3. Saint Dominic has always been held in the highest regard. The feast may have been removed from the church calendar simply because its subject, the portrait, no longer existed. If there is any mention of either the portrait or the feast in Catholic Encyclopedia (1907–1912), it is not easy to find.
  4. Most of the paintings by notable artists were made before 1659. The friary continued to be a destination for pilgrimage until 1783 (see Soriano Calabro in Italian Wikipedia for a narrative). Arguments for loss of the portrait on either, or any other, date are inconclusive.
  5. If the measurements are in Neapolitan 'palmi' (which seems likely for a book published in the Kingdom of Naples), then the picture was about 52 inches (130 cm) x 41.5 inches (105 cm).

Related Research Articles

Fra Angelico 15th-century early Italian Renaissance painter

Fra Angelico was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance, described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent". He earned his reputation primarily for the series of frescoes he made for his own friary, San Marco, in Florence.

Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated opposite, and lending its name to, the city's main railway station. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city's principal Dominican church.

Saint Dominic Castilian Catholic priest and founder of the Dominican Order

Saint Dominic, also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán, was a Castilian Catholic priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.

Santa Maria sopra Minerva 14th-century Dominican Order church in Rome, Italy

Santa Maria sopra Minerva is one of the major churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers in Rome, Italy. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian church structure on the site was built directly over the ruins or foundations of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, which had been erroneously ascribed to the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva.

San Francesco a Ripa

San Francesco a Ripa is a church in Rome, Italy. It is dedicated to Francis of Assisi who once stayed at the adjacent convent. The term Ripa refers to the nearby riverbank of the Tiber.

Villa Soriano Town in Soriano Department, Uruguay

Villa Soriano is a town in the Soriano Department of Uruguay. Historically, it was also known as Santo Domingo de Soriano. It had acquired the status of "Villa" (town) before the Independence of Uruguay.

Soriano Calabro Comune in Calabria, Italy

Soriano Calabro is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Vibo Valentia in the Italian region Calabria, located about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southwest of Catanzaro and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Vibo Valentia. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 2,975 and an area of 15.2 square kilometres (5.9 sq mi).

Santi Domenico e Sisto Church in Rome

The Church of Santi Domenico e Sisto is one of the titular churches in Rome, Italy in the care of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. It is located at no. 1 Largo Angelicum on the Quirinal Hill on the campus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), of which it is the University Church.

Museo Nazionale di San Marco Art museum, historic site in Florence, Italy

Museo Nazionale di San Marco is an art museum housed in the monumental section of the medieval Dominican friary dedicated to St Mark, situated on the present-day Piazza San Marco, in Florence, a region of Tuscany, Italy.

Events from the year 1530 in art.

The decade of the 1490s in art involved some significant events.

Juan Bautista Maíno

Friar Juan Bautista Maíno, or Mayno was a Spanish Baroque painter.

Santo Domingo in Mexico City refers to the Church of Santo Domingo and its Plaza, also called Santo Domingo. Both are located three blocks north of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral following Republica de Brasil Street with Belisario Dominguez Street separating the two.

Saint Dominic or Dominic de Guzmán was the Roman Catholic founder of the order of Dominicans.

The Lamezia Terme Town Library is located in the historic centre of the former village of Nicastro and more precisely in the Nicotera-Severisio historical building located in the Tommaso Campanella square.

Santuario del Santo Cristo Church in Metro Manila, Philippines

The Santuario del Santo Cristo, also known as the Church of San Juan del Monte is a church and convento in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines. The shrine was built in 1602–1604 by the Dominicans on land that was donated to the order. Both the church and convento were burnt and destroyed during the Chinese insurrection of 1639, and later rebuilt in 1641. It was again destroyed in July 1763 as Britain briefly occupied Manila during the Seven Years' War. The current church and convento were built in 1774, and used as a shelter by Katipuneros during the 1898 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire. It has since been renovated many times until the 1990s.

Santo Domingo Church (Quezon City) Church in Quezon City, Philippines

Santo Domingo Church, formally known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, is the largest church in Metro Manila and one of the biggest churches in Asia. It is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus under her title Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

Santa Maria del Rosario, Alcamo Church building in Alcamo, Italy

Santa Maria del Rosario is a Catholic church in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani.

Basilica of Santo Domingo, Lima Church in Lima, Peru

The Basilica and Maximus Convent of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, popularly known as that of Santo Domingo, located in the city of Lima, Lima Region, capital of Peru, it's an architectural set of religious buildings under the invocation to Our Lady of the Rosary and is located at the intersection of the first block of the Jirón Camaná with the second block of Jirón Conde de Superunda, in the historic center of Lima. The historic chapter house of the Basilica of Santo Domingo was the place where the University of San Marcos, officially the first Peruvian university and the oldest university in the Americas, began to function in the 16th century.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Frangipane, Silvestro (1634). Raccolta de'miracoli e gratie oprate dall'imagine del patriarca S. Domenico di Soriano (in Italian). Messina . Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Pillars of the Dominican Order: St. Dominic de Guzman & St. Thomas Aquinas". Providence College . Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  3. Calendarium Romanum: ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatam. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1969. p. 103. OCLC   493727522.
  4. Pasqualini, Lorenzo (8 November 2016). "5 novembre 1659, un forte terremoto colpisce la Calabria centrale: duramente colpita l'area fra Vibo Valentia e Catanzaro". meteoweb.eu (in Italian). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  5. Lyell, Charles (1830). Principles of Geology. John Murray. p. 425. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. "La piu' grande catastrope del 18° secolo, it terremoto del 1783 in Calabria e Messina". ascenzairiggiu.com (in Italian). 15 August 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  7. "5 febbraio 1783. Ricordando il terribile sisma che 231 anni fa colpì Calabria e Sicilia. La premonizione di Goethe". famedisud.it (in Italian). 5 February 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  8. Durante, Giovanni (5 February 2017). "Il grande terremoto In Calabria: 5 Febbraio 1783". mediterraneinews.it (in Italian). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. "Image of Saint Dominic Being Carried to Soriano by the Madonna and the Saints Mary Magdalene and Catherine". Piccoli Grandi Musei. Retrieved 17 April 2017. (Under the 'Collection' tab.)
  10. Sassu, Giovanni (1 February 2015). "Carlo Bononi e i colori "di cuore liquefatto"". MuseoinVita (in Italian). Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  11. "Santo Domingo en Soriano". artehistoria.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  12. Carlos Varona, M. C. de (2009). "Santo Domingo en Soriano". Museo del Prado (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  13. Bartolozzi, Sebastiano Benedetto (1753). Vita di Jacopo Vignali pittor fiorentino (in Italian). Florence: Eredi Paperini. p. xx. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  14. "Alonso Cano". Artcyclopedia . Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  15. Merino Thomas, Andrés. "Milagro de Santo Domingo en Soriano". Revista de arte (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  16. 1 2 Cavalcoli, Giovanni (25 September 2015). "P. Cavalcoli rincara la dose sulla misericordia del cardinale Kasper". Scuola Ecclesia Mater (in Italian). Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  17. Viera y Clavijo, José (2004). Noticias de la historia general de las Islas de Canaria (in Spanish). MAXTOR. p. 406. ISBN   9788497611336 . Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  18. "Churches in Soriano". Diocese of Mercedes. Retrieved 21 May 2013.(in Spanish)