Luciano Sangermano

Il "santo sognato". Esperienze oniriche e guarigioni miracolose nell'agiografia francescana dei secoli XIII e XIV

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In the accounts of the lives of the Saints, dream is basically a time and a place which enables the "Man of God" to establish a direct connection with heavenly entities. This connection often expressed by means of allegory, through which he receives revelation, guidance and knowledge of future events. The case is different when the Saint is both the subject and the protagonist of the oneiric experience, continuing his earthly deeds to the advantage of his followers and devotees. From this point of view, Franciscan hagiography is a good example at a time when the conception of the "visio in somnium" shifts from that of a very peculiar but strictly personal experience, to that of a real "miraculum". Concerning Francis, the Saint founder of the order, the "therapeutic dream" is mostly the mirror of a providential mission, while in the hagiographic works about Antonio da Padova, written at the same time as the Franciscan ones and equally conspicuous, tend to privilege the local basis of the cult.

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