Franciscan poet, born at Todi in the first half of the thirteenth century; died at Collazzone about 1306. This passage occurs also in "Chronica XXIV generalium" ("Analecta Franciscana", III, Quaracchi, 1897, 460), which was compiled in great part before 1369 and completed in 1374. "Analecta Franciscana", IV (Quaracchi, 1906), 235-40]. It may be taken for granted that all these writers knew nothing of the detailed lives of Jacopone which appear in the fifteenth century. On the other hand, Bertoni is right in rejecting the description of the circumstances in which each poem of Jacopone was written.
Very little is known with certainty about the life of this extraordinary man. About 1335 the "Catalogus sanctorum Fratrum Minorum" (in "Speculum Vitae beati Francisci et Sociorum eius", Venice, 1504, f. the separate reprint of the "Catalogus" by Lemmens, Rome, 1903, 9) uses even more emphatic words of praise. The "Chronica XXIV generalium" and Bartholomew of Pisa would certainly have inserted one or other, as they were wont to do in other cases. The part of his life is rather to be considered as a commentary on the poems of Jacopone.
Although the oldest lives go back only to the fifteenth century, yet a few earlier records exist. Some further details about Jacopone are given by Bartholomew of Pisa in 1385 ["Liber conformitatum" (ed. Those lives can all be reduced to one, inserted in the chronicle commonly called "Franceschina", attributed to Jacopo Oddi, O. As to the real sources of his life, the author himself, in the Tobler version (see bibliography), points out that he has collected the reminiscences and traditions concerning Jacopone still extant among the older friars in the Umbrian converts of his epoch.
[See text in "Archiv für Litteratur and Kirchengesch.", V (1889), 509 sq.] Angelo Clareno in his "Chronica septem Tribulationum", written about 1323 ["Archiv f. The next reference to the poet is found in Alvarus Pelagius's "De Planctu Ecclesiae", written principally in 1330; he quotes two of Jacopone's sayings (lib. It was the great piety and the tragical death of his young spouse that brought about an entire change in Jacopone.
The historical value of this and similar lives has been recently denied by Giulio Bertoni ("La Leggenda Jacoponica" in "Fanfulla della Domenica", Rome, 10 June, 1906), on the ground that this legend has too many points of resemblance with the "Legends of St. But these resemblances between the lives of the saints have already become a commonplace, and in this case are not to be taken seriously.
A great feast was being celebrated at Todi probably in 1268.
Among the onlookers was Jacopone's wife in rich array.
Suddenly the raised platform from which she was witnessing the spectacle gave way, crushing her fatally.
When the poet reached her side Vanna was already dying; on opening her dress, he found a hair cloth beneath the splendid robes.
The terrible blow caused by his wife's death, together with the evidence of her secret penance for his sins, made such an impression on Jacopone that for many years he seemed to be no longer himself. MDXCVI." "Here lie the bones of Blessed Jacopone dei Benedetti da Todi, Friar Minor, who, having gone mad with love of Christ, by a new artifice deceived the world and took Heaven by violence ...
Abandoning his profession, and wearing the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary (), he led a roaming life for a full decade (see the poem "Que farai fra Jacopone" in Modio, 73). (translation of Knox Little.) The date, 25 March, 1296, is however obviously erroneous.
During this period he was the terror of his friends and relations, and became a sort of Christian Diogenes. Jacopone is often called blessed, and has been considered a "blessed" or a "saint", in the technical sense of the words, by different authors. The chief obstacle to the confirmation of the cultus lies in the part Jacopone took against Boniface VIII and the satires he wrote against this much calumniated pope. In the cathedral of Prato is a beautiful fifteenth-century fresco, often reproduced.