I’m new here to these forums so I don’t know much nor am I Catholic. However, I find forums are generally a good jump start to meeting people who have information on a variety of topics.
I’m a fiction writer and I’m looking for information regarding Medieval Catholicism from both Catholic and secular sources. I’m not sure which time period I would like to base my piece in just yet, so an overall view of Medieval Catholicism is sufficient. I would like to base the work in Italy, though.
I’m largely concerned with modes and practices, the mores and values of the people, their culture and way of life and how they viewed their theology. So any help in this regard would help.
Well, St. Francis of Asissi is a good start: the movie, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” christianitytoday.com/movies/reviews/brothersunsistermoon.html has that pertinent part, where the Young Francis, sees, this Crucifix in a broken down Church and it is likened, a metaphor, that the Catholic Church is suffering from the same general state. This cross of San Damiano, so humble and those eyes and image of Jesus relays a message to him and it could be just something he sensed, I am not aware of the details,** “Francis, rebuild my church.” **
Previously, Francis had in fact, been in the army of the estate/state wars of Italy: but the life of a soldier was not for him.
So, with the famous St. Anthony de Padua being another Franciscan and of course, St. Bonaventure, this orginates in medieval times, oh, and one can not forget St. Clare as well who St. Francis knew.
It really is a good starting place, He seems to be the largest Christian figure historically to me at least after the time of Christ, but lived such a humble life, seeking and trying to be like Christ.
Another period, a little later, is the story about St. Catherine of Sienna. She was the youngest in a family of around 20 children. She was a woman of strong character and personality and actually convinced the Pope, who at that time was in Avignon France, to return the Papacy back to Rome.
She was illiterate at first, but miraculously learned to read and write overnight. She is one of the 33 doctors of the Church.
Are those books on Italy? Why are you thanking for the suggestions? You aren’t the original poster. Why the thumbsup in the first and your post? Why did I just use that same emoticon this morning for the first time in sincerity? Mimicking someone?
In the Middle Ages, the core of Catholic faith was more often France and not what later became known as Italy. For a time, the Papacy had moved to Avignon France because Rome had become too dirty and disease-ridden.
As I mentioned earlier, the story about how an lowly uneducated Italian woman convinced the Pope to move back from France to Rome might make a very interesting historical fiction project.
‘Where’ you are setting it would be very, very important. Like saying ‘I want to set it in the US’ might mean anything between a desert ranch in Nevada to Park Avenue - with large differences culturally and attitudinally!
Which is why you also need to have a picture of ‘where’. That would determine all sorts of things about the ‘cultural, moral and political climate’ - it would have been dramatically different depending on where you were.