Periodicals / Journals
Via Spiritus : Revista de História da Espiritualidade e do Sentimento Religioso
Hagiografia e iconografia beneditinas : Os “Diálogos”do papa S. Gregório Magno
Geraldo Coelho Dias
AbstractThe life of Saint Benedict (480-547) written by the Pope Saint Gregory the Great († 604) in the “Book II of Dialogues” is not an accurate historical biography. It is, above all, an exemplary narrative, which, within the context of the hagiographic literary genre and in accordance to the biblical models and stereotypes, proposes a concrete example of Christian perfection and an incentive to sanctity. Obviously the author did not create this character and therefore mentions specific witnesses. Much to the taste of this time, the chronicle about the life of the Founder of western Monasticism is filled with numerous short narratives, an evidence of the author’s didactic and pragmatic concern. Benedict is a “man of God, filled with the spirit of every righteous man”, and consequently, a model of perfection. The present analysis of the Hagiography is made in conformity with these parameters, according to the “Book II of Dialogues” and its iconography, particularly the well-known engravings of the work of Angelo Sangrino (1586), which has inspired so many works of art, like the polychromatic gilded carvings (1716-19) from the choir loft of the Monastery of S. Bento da Vitória in Oporto.
Last Update: 2014-03-06
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