The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 398 

The first printed edition of the Latin text of The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis appeared only in 1899 when François van Ortroy published it in the Acta Bollandiana.2 In his edition of the complete corpus of Thomas of Celano in 1906, Édouad d'Alençon also published it, as did the editors of the tenth volume of the Analecta Franciscana.3 The latest publication of the text is that of the Fontes Franciscani in 1995.4

Translating this lengthy list of miracles, however, seems to have been a daunting enterprise, and, because of its repetitious nature, one that was tedious and tiring. That translators and publishers gave little attention to Thomas's last work is verified by the fact that there have been no complete translations of the work. The Spanish, French, and American editions either printed selected paragraphs or nothing at all.5 Thus, little attention has been given to the work until the Italian Fonti Francescane published The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis in its entirety, prompting six studies that began to shed light on its richness.6 The authors of these essays examined aspects such as the sites of the miracles, the sociological backgrounds of the recipients, the information the incidents provide concerning the daily life of those involved, and Thomas's changing image of Francis.

  1. For a thorough study of the medieval understanding and appreciation of miracles, see Benedicta Ward, Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record and Event, 1000-1215 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982). For background information on Thomas of Celano’s approach to miracles in The Life of Saint Francis, see Roberto Paciocco, "Miracles and Canonized Sanctity in the ‘First Life of St. Francis,’ " GR 5(1991): 251-274.
  2. François van Ortroy, "Traité des miracles des François d’Assise par le b. Thomas de Celano," Analecta Bollandiana 18 (1899): 81-179.
  3. Eduardus Alenconiensis, Sancti Francisci Assiensis Vita et Miracula, additis opusculis liturgicis auctore Fr. Thoma de Celano, (Romae, 1906), 341-432; "Tractatus de Miraculis," Analecta Franciscana X (Ad Claras Aquas, Quaracchi: Collegium S. Bonaventurae, 1926-1941), 269-331.
  4. Fontes Franciscani, ed. Enrico Menestó, Stefano Brufani, Giuseppe Cremascoli, Emore Paoli, Luigi Pellegrini, and Stanislao da Campagno (Sta. Maria degli Angeli, Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncula, 1995).
  5. The Spanish edition, San Francisco de Asis. Sus escritos. Las Florecillas. Biografias del santo por Celano, san Buenaventura y los Tres Compañeros. Espejo de Perfección. 5 ed. (Madrid: BAC, 1951), ignored the work completely. The French edition, Saint François d’Assise: Documents, écrits et premières biographies. (Paris: éditions Franciscaines, 1968), was limited to only the titles. The American edition, Saint Francis of Assisi, Writings and Early Biographies: English Omnibus of The Sources for the Life of Saint Francis (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1972), published only certain paragraphs, i.e., those that had already been translated.
  6. Fonti Francescane. Scritti e biografie di san Francesco d’Assisi. Cronache e altre testimonianze del primo secolo francescano. Scritti et biografie di santa Chiara. 2 Volumes. (Assisi: Movimento Francescano, 1977).
    Mariano D’Alatri, "Da Una Rilettura del ‘Tratatto dei miracoli’ di Fra Tommaso da Celano," I’Italia Francescana 53 (1978): 29-40; Jacques Paul, "L’Image de Saint François dans Le Traite ‘De Miraculis’ de Thomas de Celano," in Francesco d’Assisi nella Storia, Secoli XIII-XV, a cura di Servus Gieben (Roma, 1983): 251-274; Roberto Paciocco, Da Francesco ai ‘Catologi Sanctorum.’ Livelli Istituzionali e Immagini Agiografiche nell’Ordine Francescano (Secoli XIII-XIV) (Assisi: 1990); Maria Antonietta Romano, "Tractatus de Miraculis B. Francisci," Hagiographica 2 (1996): 187-221; and Jacques Dalarun, "Il Tractatus de Miraculis, Vertice dell’Opera Celaniana," in La Malavventura di San Francesco: Per Un Uso Storico delle Leggende Francescane (Milano: Edizioni Biblioteca Francescana, 1996), 97-119.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 398

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