George T. Peck “The Fool of God – Jacopone da Todi”. The University of Alabama Press, 1980.
my connecting phrases in italics, Peck’s text in normal font
An uncomfortable saint!
«… In the last analysis Jacopone speaks most directly to the faithful. those who have themselves, however fleetingly, stood in the presence of God.
As Emile Durkheim demonstrated many years ago such experience happens to men in all ages, places, and conditions; and those who are versed in mysticism will find that Jacopone shares the “perennial philosophy” of all mystics and will discover in him echoes of other great souls from Lao-Tsu to Teilhard…
Yet here the veil that hangs between Jacopone and us is perhaps the thickest
…One would have thought that Roman Catholics would have accepted Jacopone long since as a hero and saint, as in fact many did during the Renaissance: but the Reformation broght a stop. They found Jacopone’s invective against the hierarchy unconfortable in a world that also contained Luther.
… Difficult as it may seem, this veil too can be drawn aside by the working of the Spirit.Now that the spirit of “aggiornamento” has grown so big and so fast, Christians are discovering that they are separated less from each other… It is time to unveil Jacopone.»
Don Mario Pericoli
I cannot help but remember the priest of Todi Mario Pericoli, who dedicated a long and careful effort to the search for traces of Jacopone in the archives of the Catholic Church. He finally admitted, with much pain, that he had found nothing. The archives of the Catholic Church had made a clean sweep of all testimony on Jacopone.
Today even Don Mario could find new reasons for hope.
Cordial greetings, Claudio