Showing posts with label Blanquerna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blanquerna. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Raimundo Lull's Novel of 1284 About the Resignation of a Pope and "Perfect Charity"

Raimundo Lull and his novel Banquerna about a hermit, who becomes elected to the papacy
and resigns after realizing reforms
.
The Servant of God Raimundo Lull (1232-1316), Franciscan and universal scholar who was from Mallorca. In addition to numerous other writings, he wrote the novel, Libre de Evast e Blanquerna, commonly known as Blanquerna, between 1283/1284. He portrays the life of the main character of the same name and is the first great literary work in Catalan.

Blanquerna is a figure of a deep and rich spiritual life and representative of an organic reform of the Church. Lull describes the seven deadly sins on the basis of the main character. Blanquerna decides, after a life that also makes him experience marriage and the birth of a son, to lead the hermit's existence.  Although he longs to be withdrawn, he soon becomes the abbot of a monastic community and eventually even becomes a pope. His pontificate is uneasy because he is subjected to hostility. He reorganizes the Roman Curia and reforms it from the ground in the right faith. He then declares his resignation and withdraws to his hermit's life.

The parallels to Pope Celestine V (1209-1296) are unmistakable. However, Celestine was elected pope ten years after Blanquerna's writing. Celestine's pontificate lasted only a few months, in order to overcome the stagnation in the election of the pope by mutually paralyzing parties. As soon as this had happened, he announced his resignation to the Cardinals to prepare for the election of a successor. As a precaution, he honorably left to prevent the danger of a schism in the church, since there can only be one pope. Celestine, who before his election was pope hermit and abbot, was already venerated as a saint during his lifetime.

There is another analogy in the office of Pope Benedict XVI. In February 2013 Brother  Amado Trujillo Cano, Vicar General of the Regulated Tertiary of St. Francis (TOR), wrote the corresponding description in Lull's novel Blanquerna.

Pope Blanquerna felt the desire to devote himself to a hermit's life, a passion that had accompanied him since he had decided to follow his vocation. This desire was always greater when he assumed new ecclesiastical responsibility and realized important and significant reforms not only for the Church, but also for the whole society.

Now that he had gathered with all the cardinals in a secret consistory, he proposed the creation of a ministry (in the etymological word of service) of prayer, whose leader was to devote himself to contemplative life in order to ask the Lord to give the excellent State of the Papacy and the Roman Curia, which had been achieved by the reform. When the Cardinals heard his suggestion, and his request to accept his renunciation from the papacy and to undertake with this new prayer, they tried to persuade him by all sorts of arguments. Blanquerna answered them with the request that they should have mercy on him. It was only because of this emphatic request that the Cardinals finally accepted his resignation, which pleased Blanquerna very much, because he could thus realize his heartfelt desire to devote himself entirely to contemplation in a hermit's life. He asked the Cardinals for their blessing and thanked them for their support. Then he immediately retired to the life of a hermit. The cardinals then elected the cardinal "Laudamus te" as pope.

The intended aim of Blanquernas's vocation calls in some way the path of the sanctification of Walter Map, who was a member of the Commission on the Third Lateran Council (1179) to examine the teachings of the Waldensians. He resisted the pauperistic path propagated by the new religious groups, which he regarded as false, for he observed that, while waiting for the papal confirmation, they humbled themselves, but when they were obtained, quickly abandoned their original resolutions, as soon as the call of their holiness brought them gifts and privileges. For Walter Map the unmistakable sign of holiness was the perfecta caritas, which was personified by three hermits who distinguished themselves by leticia perfectae caritatis, which was opposed to the hypocrites' tristes.

\On February 22, an exhibition on Raimund Lull will be opened in Rome in the crypt of the Basilica of St. Anthony (Via Merulana 124). The exhibition emtitled Raimundus Lullus, Christianus Arabicus - The meeting between cultures has been organized by the Pontifical University Antonianum in collaboration with the European Institute of the Mediterranean of the University of La Sapienza.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: catedraferratermora (Screenshot)
Trans; Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
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