Taken from "El Cojo ilustrado", March of 1912, 1º Nº485, Caracas, Company El Cojo, págs.145-146. JACOPONE DA TODI. JACOPO BENEDICTI or BENEDETTI).
Historical investigations. "The poet of the Stabat Mater for Eloy G. González. (Venezuelan writer, intelectual)
Jacopone of Todi was one of the numerous Franciscan poets of the century thirteen and surely one of the most illustrious. While San Francisco of Assisi he had not praised the glory and the benefits of God in Italian canzoni, Jacopone fué simultaneously Italian poet and Latin poet, as their predecessor brother Tomás of Celano, the poet of the Dies Iræ", was in Latin that composed the song that will be enough to immortalize him the Stabat Mater."
He was born in Todi, in 1228, two years after San Francisco's death. Their father, Benedetto Di Simo, era gentile man and possessed the feud of Spagliagrano, to outside of the city; he exercised Notary's profession, so important in a time in that the notaries frequently played remarkable part in the interior government and in the diplomatic missions.
Todi, the city had a quadruple population and the fields that surrounded it forty thousand residents contained,... it was the time of the bloody fights among the Emperor Federico II and the Popes Gregorio IX and Innocent IV. Messer Benedetto, as good gentleman, hugged the cause gibelins, the village of Todi, although vassal of the Vatican, was in favor of Hohenstaufen, although he didn't end up rebelling. Jacopo who was not still Jacopone, witnessed the magnificent entrance of the Pope Gregorio to its good city of Todi, among the songs, the retinues, the luxurious and the pomps.
The Franciscan future was in its youth of untamable character, of a violent and fantastic humor; troublemaker, indocile and scandalous. As young Francisco, was fond of the luxurious and easy life, the magnificent dresses, the good foods, the parties and the cheerful companies.... Jacopo liked the study almost as much as the pleasure and he obtained the most brilliant successes in the celebrated University of Bologna where studied several years civil right, canonical right, theology and beautiful letters, he obtained doctor's title in Law ...Bolonia it was then one of the literary capitals of Italy, active focus of the rebirth of the classic studies and of the Italian poetry... Jacopo cultivated that Italian poetry of the century thirteen, mixture of loving fondness, of platonic philosophy and of Catholic pity.
Returned to Todi, he succeded to their father in Notary's position ...En 1267, when he counted forty years, he married a sweet and compassionate girl, Juana di Bernardino of Comitoli, belonging to a noble gibelin's family of the surroundings of Todi; the youth took cilice and she delighted in practicing meritorious works of pity. However, to please their husband it consented in accompanying him to the parties and banquets that it continued liking. One day, few months after the marriage, the Lordship offered to the town, in the main square of Todi, some shows of varieties, Juana witnessed them from the balcony of a house friend, suddenly, the balcony collapsed under the weight of the concurrence, which came to earth; Juana, gravely wounded, expired later minutes in her husband's arms...
Jacopone desperation get mad, lost the use of the word and for a lot of time he to wander for the streets, covered with rags, ...When he returned to the reason, he solved to consecrate to God the rest of its life.... During some time it continued living in Todi, dress with an ass skin, ...Then he distributed his goods and properties among the poor, he abandoned that beautiful mansion forever in the ramp of the Piana, and during many years he shared his time between the pilgrimages and the long retirements to the mountains of the Apennines and of the Abruzzos, praying unceasingly... From that time, he composed great number of songs, satires and award in Italian verses. In the Satires and Award he refers his life, he meditates about the death, the true sense of the life, the mysteries of the religion and he preaches the regret... after going on pilgrimage for sixteen years like eremita, he entered in the Order of the Franciscans, being behind of the Order Third from years...
In July of 1294, the sacred hermit Pier Angeliere elected Pope, under the name of Celestino V. Jacopone that more than once he had visited him in his austere retirement of Monte Morrone, he was happy a lot with that election, but after some months, the old Pope abdicated and the Sacred School chose to replace it to the ambitious cardinal Gaetani who took the name of Bonifacio VIII. Jacopone, discouraged he believed with reason or without Gaetani had impelled the Pope Celestino to that abdication and he had prepared its own election by means of impeachable maneuvers. He adhered to openly to the protest that wrote both cardinals Colonna it seems that they made for family hates against Gaetani, before for religious zeal. Bonifacio VIII had a hard hand and he made lock the poor friar in a prison where remained until XI Benedicto's coming in 1303, although Jacopone had asked for forgiveness.
During their long captivity, he had not ceased of praying, of writing songs and of composing hymns in Italian language. Position in freedom, retired to the convent of Colazzone, to the northeast of Todi where he still lived three years. There he wrote those two admirable Latin proses: Stabat Mater Dolorosa and the other one less well-known that is as a pendant of that: Stabat Mater Speciosa: The Virgin to the foot of the Cross and the Virgin in the stable.
Brother Jacopone of Todi died in December of 1306. In their bed of death he improvised the last Italian song where exhaled their happiness, their hope and their burning love of God: I'm yours and your mine ..., Divine Love; that more can I want?... Eloy G.González.
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