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SAINT BIRGITTA AND FLORENCE'S CERTOSA

Andrea della Robbia
Birgitta with her Pilgrim Cross and Book of Revelations,
likely formerly at the Porta Romana Confraternity of St Birgitta
 

SANTA BIRGITTA/BRIGIDA DI SVEZIA, REVELATIONES IV, SULLA

CERTOSA DEL GALLUZZO DI NICCOLO` ACCIAIUOLI, NAPOLI, 8/9/1366
 
 

Chapter 7 Visio mirabilis et notanda de quadam anima /Niccolò Acciaiuoli/ iudicanda et de Dyaboli accusacionibus et virginis gloriose aduocacionibus et de exposicione ipsius visionis, in qua celum per palacium, Christus per solem, virgo per mulierem, Dyabolus per Ethiopem, angelus per militem designantur; et in qua duo loca penarum irremediabilia et tria remediabilia computantur et multa alia mirabilia et quam maxime de suffragiis.
 
 

Andrea da Firenze, Via Veritatis , Spanish Chapel, Santa Maria Novella. Ediz. Giusti di S. Becocci, Firenze.

ndrea da Firenze's fresco, the Via Veritatis, in the Spanish Chapel of Dominican Santa Maria Novella, gives to the right hand side of the Pope and Emperor, the kneeling figures of a queen, Queen Joan of Naples, with golden hair and a golden crown; a beautiful young woman shabbily dressed as a pilgrim and an aged widow, these being daughter and mother and recognizably Catherine and Birgitta of Sweden; and Lapa Buondelmonte Acciaiuoli, sister to Niccolo` Acciaiuoli, and friend to both Birgitta's household and to Queen Joan. The fresco was painted in 1366-67 with funds donated by the Florentine merchant Buonamico di Lapo Guidalotti, whose wife had died of the plague. In those years Birgitta and her family were in Naples and she was present at Niccolo` Acciaiuoli's deathbed 8 September 1366. Birgitta had earlier prophesied this meeting in Rome of Pope and Emperor, which was to take place, 21 October 1368.

here was formerly at Certosa, amongst its relics, an autograph letter written by St Birgitta to Lapa Acciaiuoli, but which disappeared in WWII. In December 1373,Francesca Papazzuri, following Birgitta's death in her house in Rome, next wrote to Lapa Acciaiuoli about commissioning a painting for that room now become a chapel, 'quod faciatis mihi istam charitatem, quod pro vobis ego possem habere unam tabulam pro illa capella et altari posita in illa camera, in qua ipsa domina Brigida emisit spiritum ad Christum, Et in predicta tabula sint depinti, videlicet Christus crocefixus cum matre sua angosata et beato evangelista Johanne, sancto Jacobo et sancta Catherine et Magdalena. Item sanctus Petro cum sancto Paulo se invicem amplexando, sancta Agnete et Johanne Baptista '. Archivio di Stato, Firenze, Carte Strozziane, Serie Prima, CCCLII; Isak Collijn, Birgittinska Gestalter: Forskninger i italienska arkiv och bibliotek (Stockholm: Michaelisgillet, 1929), pp. 9-20. Margery Kempe likely saw the painting when visiting that room in 1415. Birgitta's friend, Lapa Buondelmonte Acciaiuoli,, like Niccolo` Acciaiuoli, her brother, is buried in the crypt at Certosa del Galluzzo, Florence, about which Birgitta had prophesied in her Revelationes IV.7.26 . Beside the monastery is the vast Acciaiuoli Palace, now used as a picture gallery by the Cistercian monks who replace the original Carthusian monks. Part of the monastery is open to visitors, except Mondays. The Cistercians seem not to know of the important Carthusian and Brigittine history of their beautiful habitation.
 
 

Chapter 7 Visio mirabilis et notanda de quadam anima /Niccolo` Acciaiuoli/ iudicanda et de Dyaboli accusacionibus et virginis gloriose aduocacionibus et de exposicione ipsius visionis, in qua celum per palacium, Christus per solem, virgo per mulierem, Dyabolus per Ethiopem, angelus per militem designantur; et in qua duo loca penarum irremediabilia et tria remediabilia computantur et multa alia mirabilia et quam maxime de suffragiis.

{ Vni persone vigilanti in oracione et non dormienti /Brigida di Svezia/ videbatur in spirituali visione, quasi videret palacium incomprehensibile magnitudine, in quo erant innumerabiles vestiti vestibus albis et fulgidis, quorum quilibet videbatur habere sedem propriam. 2 In palacio vero principaliter stabat una sedes iudiciaria, in qua erat quasi sol; et splendor qui de sole procedebat erat incomprehensibilis in longitudine, profunditate et latitudine. 3 Virgo quoque una stabat iuxta sedem habens preciosam coronam in capite, omnesque seruiebant soli sedenti in sede, laudantes eum in hympnis et canticis. 4 Deinde videbatur quidam Ethiops, terribilis in aspectu et gestibus, quasi plenus inuidia et accensus ira magna, qui loquendo clamauit: "O, iuste iudex, iudica michi animam et audi opera eius! Modicum enim iam restat de vita eius. Permitte quoque michi punire corpus cum anima, donec abinuicem separentur." 5 Quibus dictis videbatur michi quod unus stabat coram sede quasi miles armatus, pudicus et sapiens in verbis modestusque in gestibus suis, qui dixit: "O, iudex, ecce hic sunt bona opera eius, que gessit usque ad hanc horam." 6 Et statim audiebatur vox de sole sedente in sede: "Hic," inquit, "vicium maius est quam virtus, nec est iusticia quod vicium summe virtuti coniungatur." 7 Respondit Ethiops: "Ergo," inquit, "iusticia est ut anima ista coniungatur michi. Si enim ipsa vicium aliquod habet in se, sic et in me nequicia est omnis." 8 Respondit miles: "Misericordia Dei quamlibet personam sequitur usque ad mortem et usque ad ultimum punctum et postea fit iudicium. In isto vero homine, de quo loquimur, adhuc coniuncta sunt anima et corpus et discrecio manet in eo." 9 Respondit Ethiops: "Scriptura dicit, que mentiri non potest: 'Diliges Deum super omnia et proximum tuum sicut te ipsum'. Vide ergo, quod omnia opera istius facta sunt ex timore non ex caritate, sicut debuit, 10omniaque peccata eius, de quibus confessus est, inuenies confessa cum modica contricione. Ideo promeruit infernum, quia demeruit regnum celorum, et ideo peccata eius sunt hic manifesta apud iusticiam diuinam, 11 quia nunquam adhuc obtinuit contricionem ex diuina caritate peccatorum suorum commissorum." Respondit miles: "Ipse utique sperauit et credidit obtinere contricionem veram ante mortem." 12 Cui Ethiops: "Tu," inquit, "congregasti omnia, quecumque bene fecit, omniaque verba et cogitatus ad salutem anime eius nosti. 13 Omnia," inquit, "ista, quecumque sunt, non possunt assimilari gracie illi, que est contricio ex diuina dileccione cum sancta fide et spe, et minus delere possunt omnia peccata sua. 14 Nam iusticia ab eterno in Deo est, quod nullus peccator ingreditur celum, qui non habuerit perfectam contricionem, et ideo impossibile est quod Deus iudicet contra disposicionem prescitam ab eterno. 15 Ergo anima ista iudicanda est ad infernum et mecum ad eternam penam coniungenda." Quibus dictis miles tacuit nichil respondens ad eius verba. 16 Post hec videbantur demones innumerabiles, similes discurrentibus scintillis ex feruenti igne et clamabant una voce, dicentes ei qui sedebat in sede quasi sol: 17 "Nos," inquiunt, "scimus, quod tu unus es Deus in tribus personis et eras sine principio et es sine fine, nec est alius deus nisi tu. Tu vere es ipsa caritas cui coniuncta sunt misericordia et iusticia. 18 Tu fuisti in te ab inicio, nichil habens diminutum in te nec transmutabile sicut decet Deum. Extra te nichil est et nichil extra te, quod gaudium habeat. 19 Ideo caritas tua fecit angelos ex nulla alia materia nisi a deitatis tue potencia; et fecisti sicut misericordia dictabat. 20 Sed postquam nos intus accensi fuimus superbia, inuidia et cupiditate, tua caritas diligens iusticiam eiecit nos de celo cum igne malicie nostre in abissum incomprehensibilem et tenebrosam, que vocatur nunc infernus. 21 Sic fecit caritas tua tunc, que nec separabitur adhuc de iusticie tue iudicio, siue fiat secundum misericordiam siue secundum equitatem. 22 Plus dicimus: si res illa quam pre omnibus diligis, que est virgo que te genuit et que nunquam peccauit, si, inquam, illa peccasset mortaliter et sine contricione diuina mortua fuisset, 23 sic diligis iusticiam, quod anima eius nunquam obtineret celum sed esset nobiscum in inferno. Ergo, o iudex, cur non iudicas animam istam nobis, ut puniamus eam secundum opera sua?" 24 Post ista audiebatur sonitus quasi tube, quem qui audiebant tacuerunt, et statim quedam vox loquebatur dicens: "Silete et auscultate, omnes vos angeli et anima et demonia, quid mater Dei loquitur!" 25 Et statim ipsa virgo ante sedem iudicii apparens et habens sub mantello suo quasi occulte res aliquas magnas dixit: "O, o inimici! Vos persequimini misericordiam et cum nulla caritate diligitis iusticiam. 26 Licet in operibus bonis hic appareat defectus, pro quibus hec anima non debet obtinere celum; videte tamen quid ego habeo sub mantello meo!" Cumque virgo ambas aperuisset sinus mantelli, apparuit sub una quasi quedam modica ecclesia, in qua aliqui monachi videbantur /Certosa del Galluzzo/. 27 Sub alia vero sinu apparuerunt mulieres et viri amicique Dei religiosi et alii; et omnes una voce clamabant dicentes: "Miserere, misericors Domine!" (gli amici di Dio domenicani) 28 Deinde factum est silencium, et virgo loquebatur dicens: "Scriptura dicit: Qui habet fidem perfectam potest per eam montes transferre in mundo. Quid ergo tunc possunt et debent voces istorum facere, qui et fidem habuerunt et seruierunt Deo cum feruenti caritate? 29 Quid vero illi amici Dei facturi sunt, quos iste rogauit orare pro se, ut posset separari ab inferno et obtinere celum, nec pro bonis operibus suis aliam remuneracionem quesiuit nisi celestia? 30 Numquid non possunt et valent omnes eorum lacrime et preces apprehendere et eleuare eum, ut obtineat ante mortem suam diuinam contricionem cum caritate? 31 Insuper et ego addam preces meas cum oracionibus omnium sanctorum qui in celo sunt, quos iste specialiter honorabat." 32 Et iterum adiecit virgo: "O," inquit, "demones, precipio vobis ex potestate iudicis attendere ad illa que in iusticia nunc videtis." 33 Tunc omnes responderunt quasi ex uno ore: "Nos," inquiunt, "videmus, quod in mundo modica aqua et aer magnus placant iram Dei. Sic et tua oracione placatur Deus ad misericordiam cum caritate." 34 Post hec audita est vox de sole dicens: "Propter preces amicorum meorum obtinebit iam ille diuinam contricionem ante mortem, in tantum quod non veniat in infernum, sed purgabitur cum illis qui grauiorem penam habent in purgatorio. 35 Purgata vero anima mercedem habebit in celis cum illis qui in terris fidem et spem habuerunt cum minima caritate." Quibus dictis demones fugierunt. 36 Deinde sponse videbatur quod quasi locus quidam terribilis et tenebrosus aperiebatur, in quo apparuit fornax ardens intus. Et ignis ille nichil aliud habebat ad comburendum nisi demones et viuentes animas. 37 Supra vero fornacem istam apparuit anima illa, cuius iudicium iam in superioribus auditum est. Pedes vero anime affixi fuerunt fornaci, et anima stabat erecta quasi persona una. 38 Non autem stabat in altissimo loco nec in infimo, sed quasi in latere fornacis, cuius forma erat terribilis et mirabilis. Ignis vero fornacis videbatur se trahere sursum infra pedes anime, 39 sicut quando aqua trahit se sursum per fistulas, et violenter comprimendo se ascendebat super caput, in tantum quod pori stabant sicut vene currentes cum ardenti igne. 40 Aures autem videbantur quasi sufflatoria fusorum, que cerebrum totum cum continuo flatu commouebant. Oculi vero euersi apparebant et immersi et videbantur ad occiput intus esse affixi. 41 Os quoque erat apertum et lingua extracta per aperturas narium et dependebat ad labia. Dentes autem erant quasi claui ferrei affixi per palatum. Brachia vero ita longa erant, quod tendebant ad pedes. 42 Manus quoque ambe videbantur habere et comprimere quandam pinguedinem cum ardenti pice. Cutis vero, que apparebat supra animam, videbatur habere formam pellis supra corpus et erat quasi linthea vestis circumfusa spermate. 43 Que quidem vestis sic erat frigida, quod omnis qui videbat eam contremuit, et de illa procedebat sicut sanies de ulcere cum corrupto sanguine et fetor ita malus, quod nulli pessimo fetori in mundo posset assimilari. 44 Visa itaque ista tribulacione audiebatur vox de illa anima, que dixit quinque vicibus ve ve, clamans cum lacrimis totis viribus suis. 45 "Primo," inquit, "ve michi, quia sic modicum dilexi Deum pro maximis virtutibus eius et gracia michi data. Secundo ve michi, quia non timui iusticiam Dei, sicut debui. 46 Tercio ve michi, quia dilexi corporis et carnis mee peccatricis voluptatem. Quarto ve michi propter mundi diuicias et superbiam meam. Quinto ve michi, quia unquam vidi vos, Lodouicum et Iohannam." /Luigi da Taranto e la regina Giovanna di Napoli/ 47 Et tunc dixit angelus michi: "Ego," inquit, "volo tibi exponere visionem istam. Palacium istud quod vidisti est similitudo celi. Multitudo vero illorum qui erant in sedibus vestiti vestibus albis et fulgidis sunt angeli et sanctorum anime. 48 Sol vero significat Christum in deitate sua; mulier autem virginem, que Deum genuit; Ethiops vero Dyabolum, qui animam accusat; miles angelum, qui bona opera anime dicit illi. 49 Fornax vero notat infernum, qui est intus sic ardens, quod si totus mundus arderet cum omnibus que in eo sunt, non esset simile magnitudini fornacis illius. 50 In isto vero fornace audiuntur voces diuerse, omnes loquentes contra Deum omnesque inchoantes voces suas cum ve et similiter finientes. Apparentque anime quasi persone, quarum membra extenduntur inconsolabiliter, nunquam habentes requiem. 51 Scito eciam, quod ignis, qui videbatur tibi in fornace, ardet in eternis tenebris, et anime in eo ardentes non habent omnes equalem penam. 52 Tenebre vero, que apparuerunt in circuitu fornacis, vocatur limbus et procedit de tenebris, que sunt in fornace; et sunt tamen ambo unus locus et unus infernus: quicumque illuc venerit nunquam habebit cum Deo mansionem. 53 Supra vero tenebras istas est pena maxima purgatorii, quam anime possunt sustinere; et ultra locum istum est locus alius, ubi minor est pena, que non est alia nisi defectus virium in fortitudine et pulchritudine et consimilibus, 54 sicut per simile dico, quasi si aliquis esset infirmus et cessante infirmitate vel pena nichil haberet de viribus, donec paulatim recuperaret. 55 Tercius vero locus superior est, ubi nulla alia pena est nisi desiderium perueniendi ad Deum. Et ut melius in consciencia tua intelligas, dico tibi per similitudinem, 56 quasi si es misceretur et arderet cum auro in igne ardentissimo, et tam diu deberet depurgari, donec es consumeretur et aurum remaneret purum. 57 Quanto vero es forcius et spissius esset, tanto ardenciori igne indigeret, donec aurum esset quasi aqua currens et totum ardens. 58 Deinde magister eius profert aurum in locum alium, ubi obtineat veram formam in visu et tactu; postea mittit in tercium locum, ubi custodiatur et presentetur possessori. 59 Sic est eciam spiritualiter. In primo loco supra tenebras est maxima pena purgatorii, ubi vidisti illam supradictam animam purgari. Ibi est demonum tactus; ibi per similitudinem apparent venenosi vermes et similitudo animalium ferocium; 60 ibi calor est et frigus; ibi tenebre et confusio, que procedunt de pena que est in inferno; ibi quedam anime habent minorem penam, quedam maiorem, iuxta quod peccata emendata erant vel non eo tempore, quo anima cum corpore mansit. 61 Deinde magister, id est iusticia Dei, profert aurum, id est animas, in alia loca, ubi non est nisi defectus virium, in quibus anime tam diu morabuntur, 62 donec refrigerium habebunt vel de specialibus amicis suis vel de sancte ecclesie continuis operibus: nam anima, quo maius auxilium habebit de amicis, eo cicius conualescit et liberabitur de illo loco. 63 Post hec autem anima fertur in locum tercium, ubi non est pena nisi desiderium perueniendi ad Dei presenciam et eius visionem beatam. 64 In hoc loco morantur multi et nimis diu, preter illos qui, in mundo dum vixerunt, perfectum desiderium habuerunt perueniendi ad Dei presenciam et eius visionem. 65 Scito eciam, quod multi moriuntur in mundo ita iusti et innocentes, quod statim perueniunt ad presenciam et visionem Dei, 66 quidam vero peccatis suis cum bonis operibus sic emendatis, quod anime eorum nullam sencient penam; sed pauci sunt qui non veniunt in locum ubi est desiderium perueniendi ad Deum. 67 Ideo omnes anime in istis locis tribus morantes participantur sancte ecclesie precibus et bonis operibus que fiunt in mundo: precipue que fecerunt dum vixerunt et [eorum] que fiunt ab amicis eorum post mortem. 68 Scito eciam, quod sicut peccata sunt multiformia et diuersa, sic eciam pene sunt multiplices et diuerse. Ideo, sicut esuriens gaudet de pasticulo venienti ad os eius, 69 siciens de potu, tristis letatur de gaudio, nudus de veste, infirmus in veniendo ad lectum, sic anime gaudent et participantur hiis bonis, que fiunt pro eis in mundo." 70 Deinde subiunxit angelus: "Benedictus sit ille qui in mundo iuuat animas oracionibus et bonis operibus laboreque corporis sui, 71 quia iusticia Dei mentiri non potest, que dicit, quod anime aut purgari debent post mortem pena purgatorii, aut operibus bonis amicorum cicius solui." 72 Post hec de purgatorio audiebantur multe voces dicentes: "O, Domine Ihesu Christe, iuste iudex, mitte caritatem tuam hiis qui spiritualiter potestatem habent in mundo; tunc plus participari poterimus quam nunc de eorum cantu, leccione et oblacione." 73 Supra vero spacium istud de quo clamor iste audiebatur, videbatur quasi domus, in qua multe voces audiebantur dicentes: "Merces sit illis a Deo qui mittunt nobis auxilium in defectibus nostris!" 74 In ipsa quoque domo videbatur quasi aurora procedere, subtus vero auroram apparuit nubes, que nichil habebat de luce aurore, de qua vox maxima processit dicens: 75 "O, Domine Deus, da de tua incomprehensibili potestate unicuique centesimam remuneracionem in mundo hiis, qui nos eleuant cum bonis operibus in tue deitatis lucem et tue faciei visionem!"

Chapter 8 Verba angeli ad sponsam de intencione pene anime a Deo in superiori capitulo iudicate; et de remissione eciam pene ipsius, quia ante eius mortem inimicis pepercit.

{tem loquitur angelus dicens: "Illa anima, cuius disposicionem vidisti et iudicium audisti, ipsa est in grauissima pena purgatorii. Et hoc ideo est, quia non intelligit utrum veniet ad requiem post purgacionem, an dampnata sit. 2 Et hec iusticia Dei est, quia ipse habuit conscienciam seu discrecionem magnam, qua utebatur ad mundum corporaliter et non ad animam spiritualiter, quia nimis oblitus est et neglexit Deum quamdiu vixit. 3 Ideo nunc anima eius patitur ardorem de igne et contremiscit de frigore; ipsa est ceca de tenebris et de demonum visu horribili timorosa, surda de clamore Dyaboli, esuriens et siciens intus et abextra vestita cum confusione. 4 Attamen Deus dedit ei unam graciam post mortem, quod scilicet non veniret ad tactum demonum. Quia propter solum honorem Dei pepercit et dimisit grauia delicta capitalibus inimicis suis et fecit amiciciam cum capitali inimico suo. 5 Scito eciam, quod quidquid boni fecit et quidquid promisit et dedit de bene acquisitis diuiciis et maxime preces amicorum Dei minuunt et refrigerant penam eius, iuxta quod diffinitum est in iusticia Dei. 6 Alia vero bona minus bene acquisita, que dedit, proficiunt hiis spiritualiter qui iuste antea possidebant ea, aut corporaliter, si sint digni iuxta disposicionem Dei."

Chapter 9 Verba angeli ad sponsam de iudicio Dei iusticie contra animam supradictam; et de satisfaccione fienda in hac vita pro ipsa existente in purgatorio.

{tem loquitur angelus: "Tu prius audisti, quod propter preces amicorum Dei ille obtinuit diuinam contricionem ex caritate pro peccatis modicum ante mortem, que contricio separauit eum ab inferno. 2 Ideo post mortem iudicauit iusticia Dei, quod deberet per sex etates ardere in purgatorio -- quas habuit ab illa hora qua primum scienter mortale peccatum fecit, usque dum ex diuina caritate penituit fructuose -- nisi de mundo et amicis Dei auxilium obtineret. 3 Prima itaque etas fuit, quod non dilexit Deum propter nobilis corporis eius mortem et propter tribulaciones eius multiformes, quas et ipse Christus tolerauit, non propter aliam causam nisi propter salutem animarum. 4 Secunda etas fuit, quod non dilexit animam propriam, sicut Christianus debet, nec regraciabatur Deo pro baptismo suo et ex eo, quod non erat Iudeus vel paganus. 5 Tercia etas fuit, quod bene sciuit, que Deus precipit facere, et ad hec perficienda modicam habuit voluntatem. 6 Quarta etas fuit, quod bene sciuit, que Deus prohibuit hiis qui ad celum vellent ire, et audacter fecit contra illa, sequens non consciencie sue stimulos sed suum carnalem affectum et voluntatem. 7 Quinta etas fuit, quod non usus est gracia et confessione, sicut ad illum pertinebat, cum habuit tam longum tempus. 8 Sexta etas fuit, quod modicum curabat de corpore Christi, nolens illud frequenter recipere, quia a peccato continere noluit nec caritatem habuit recipere corpus Christi antequam in fine vite." 9 Post ista apparuit quidam quasi homo modestus valde in visu, cuius vestes erant albe et fulgide quasi alba sacerdotalis, cinctus zona linea et stola rubea ad collum et subtus brachia eius. 10 Qui inchoabat verba sua isto modo: "Tu, que hec vides, attende et nota et memorie tue commenda, que vides et que dicuntur tibi. Vos quippe, qui estis in mundo viuentes, non valetis eo modo intelligere potenciam Dei et eius ante tempora constitucionem 11 sicut nos, qui cum eo sumus, quia illa que apud Deum sunt in unico puncto, hec apud vos comprehendi non possunt nisi cum verbis et similitudinibus iuxta mundi disposicionem. 12 Ego itaque sum unus de illis quem iste homo iudicatus ad purgatorium honorauit cum donis suis in vita sua. Ideo dedit michi Deus ex gracia sua, quod si aliquis vellet facere que moneo, tunc anima istius transferri posset in sublimiorem locum, 13 ubi obtineat veram suam formam et nullam aliam penam senciat, nisi sicut ille pateretur, qui magnum morbum habuisset et omnes dolores abessent iaceretque quasi homo sine viribus, attamen ex hoc gauderet, quod pro certissimo sciret se ad vitam peruenturum. 14 Propterea sicut tu audisti, quod anima istius clamauit quinquies ve, ideo quinque dico consolatoria sibi. Primum ve fuit, quod Deum modicum dilexit. 15 Ideo ut ab isto liberetur, dentur pro anima eius XXX calices, in quibus Dei sanguis offeratur et ipse Deus magis honoretur. 16 Secundum ve fuit, quod non timuit Deum. Ideo pro isto absoluendo eligantur XXX sacerdotes, deuoti iudicio hominum, quorum quilibet dicat XXX missas, quando possunt: 17 IX de martiribus, IX de confessoribus, IX de sanctis omnibus, vicesimam octauam de angelis, vicesimam nonam de sancta Maria, tricesimam de sancta trinitate. 18 Et omnes intente orent pro anima istius, ut ira Dei mitigetur et iusticia eius ad misericordiam flectatur/Certosa del Galluzzo/ . 19 Tercium ve fuit pro superbia eius et cupiditate. Ideo pro isto absoluendo recipiantur XXX pauperes, quorum pedes lauentur cum humilitate et dentur eis cibaria et pecunia vestesque, quibus consolentur. 20 Quorum quilibet, tam qui lauat quam qui lauantur, roget Deum humiliter, ut propter humilitatem suam et amaram passionem suam dimittat anime istius cupiditatem et superbiam quam commisit. 21 Quartum ve fuit luxuria carnis sue. Ideo quicumque daret unam virginem in monasterium et unam viduam similiter unamque puellam in coniugium verum, dando cum eis tantum de bonis, 22 unde sufficienter ad victum et vestitum subsistant, tunc peccatum anime istius, quod in carne commiserat, dimittet Deus, quia hee sunt tres vite quas Deus in mundo iussit stare et elegit. 23 Quintum ve fuit, quod multa peccata commisit in plurimorum tribulacione, scilicet quod totas vires adhibuit, 24 quatenus illi duo prius nominati conuenirent in coniugium, qui non minus quadam consanguinitate erant coniuncti, quam si fuissent ambo de proxima parentela. 25 Et hanc coniunccionem procurauit plus propter se ipsum quam propter regnum et sine requisicione Pape contra laudabilem sancte Ecclesie disposicionem. 26 Pro isto itaque facto multi facti fuerunt martires, ne contra Deum et sanctam Ecclesiam seu Christianos mores talia tolerarentur. 27 Si quis igitur tale peccatum abolere volens iret ad papam dicens: 'Quidam homo tale peccatum commisit,' non exprimendo personam, 'attamen in fine penituit et obtinuit absolucionem non emendato peccato; 28 imponite igitur michi penitenciam qualemcumque vultis et tolerare possim, quia ego paratus sum pro eo peccatum illud emendare,' 29 vere, si non esset isti imposita maior penitencia nisi unum Pater Noster, valeret illi anime ad diminucionem pene in purgatorio."
 
 

Andrea da Firenze, Via Veritatis , Spanish Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Pope and Emperor before the Cathedral of Florence. Ediz. Giusti di S. Becocci.
 

The above text was translated into Middle English at Syon Abbey in a manuscript now in the Garrett Collection at Princeton University, then translated into modern English in Julia Bolton Holloway, Saint Bride and Her Book: Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations (1992; republished, Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer , ISBN 0-941051-18-8). This vision concerns the Florentine Seneschal of Naples, Nicholas Acciaiuoli, at whose deathbed Bride was present, 8 September 1366, Johannes Jørgensen, Saint Bridget of Sweden (London: Longmans Green, 1954), II.183-188.
 
 

{ow Saint Bride sees in her spiritual sight the judgment of a soul whom the fiend accused, and at the last was helped by our Lady;and how she saw all Hell and Purgatory and many other marvels; and how needful it is to help them who are in Purgatory. Chapter 17. [IV.7]

{t seemed to a person who was awake in prayer and not sleeping as though she had seen in her spiritual sight a palace of incredible greatness, in which were countless people, clad in white and shining clothes. And each of them seemed to have a proper seat to himself. In this palace stood principally a judgment seat, in which it was as if there were a sun; and the brightness that went from that sun was more than may otherwise be told or understood, in length, depth and breadth. There stood also a Virgin close to that seat, having a precious crown on her head. And all who were there served the Son sitting on the throne, praising him with hymns and songs. Then appeared there an Ethiopian, fearful in sight and bearing, as though he had been full of envy and greatly enraged. He cried and said: 'O you rightful Judge, grant me this soul, and hear his works; for now his life is near the end. Allow me therefore to punish the body with the soul, until they are separated'.

When this was said, it seemed to me that one stood before the throne, like a knight armed excellently, and wise in words, and sober in hearing, who said: 'You, Judge, see, here are his good works that he has done up to this hour'.

And then there was heard a voice out of the sun sitting on the seat: 'Here are vices', he said, 'more than virtues. And it is not justice that vice be joined to him who is supreme virtue'.

Then answered the Ethiopian: 'Therefore it is rightful that this soul be joined to me; because if it has any vice in it, in me is all wickedness'. The knight answered: 'The mercy of God follows every person until the last moment of his life, and then comes the Judgment. And in this man that we speak of are yet both soul and body joined together, and discretion remains in him'.

The Ethiopian answered: 'The Scriptures say, that may not be: you shall love God above all things, and your neighbour as yourself. See you therefore, that all the works of this man are done out of dread, and not out of love and charity as they ought to be. And all the sins that he is cleansed of, you will find him cleansed with little contrition. And therefore he has deserved Hell; because he has forfeited the kingdom of Heaven. And therefore his sins are here opened before the Judgment of God. For he never yet was contrite in goodly charity for the sins that he has done'.

The knight answered: 'Truly, he hoped and believed he would become contrite before his death'.

'You', he said, 'have gathered all the deeds that he had ever done well, and you know all his words and his thoughts for the salvation of his soul. And all these, whatever they may be, may not be likened to that grace gained by contrition for the love of God with holy faith and hope, and much less they may not cancel out all his sins. For justice is in God who is without beginning, that no sinner shall enter Heaven who is not perfectly contrite. And therefore it is impossible that God should judge against the disposition ordained from before time. Therefore the soul is to be judged to Hell and to be joined with me in everlasting pain'.

When this was said, the knight held his peace and answered nothing to these words. After this appeared innumerable fiends, like sparks out a hot fire. And they all cried out with one voice saying to him who sat in the seat as a sun: 'We', they say, 'know that you are God in two Persons, without beginning and end, and there is no other God but you. You are that charity to which is joined mercy and righteousness. You were in yourself from before the beginning, having not lessened nor in any little way changed, as it seemed God without you is not, and nothing has joy without you. Therefore your charity made angels of no other matter but the power of your Godhead. And you did as mercy stirred you. But after that we were burned within with pride, envy and greed; your charity, loving righteousness, cast us out of heaven with the fire of our malice into dark and unseeable deepness that is now called Hell. So did your charity, then, which shall not yet be separated from the Judgment of your justice, whether it be after mercy or after equity. And yet we say more, if the thing which you love before all things, the Virgin who bore you, who never sinned, had sinned mortally and died without goodly contrition, you love justice so that her soul should never have got to Heaven, but it should have been with us in Hell. Therefore, Judge, why do you not condemn this soul to us, that we may punish it after his works'.

After this was heard as it were the sound of a trumpet, and all who heard it were still. And then was heard a voice saying: 'Be still and listen, all angels, souls and fiends, to what the Mother of God speaks'.

And then, the same Virgin appearing before the seat of Judgment and having under her mantle as it had been some great private things, said: 'O, you enemies, you persecute mercy and without charity you love justice, though here appears a lack of good works for which this soul ought not to get Heaven, yet see what I have under my mantle'.

And when the Virgin had opened both the fronts of her mantle, under the one appeared as like a little church, in which seemed to be some men of religion /See the medieval paintings, particularly common in Florence, of Mary in this attitude with people gathered within her cloak; also the Giotto Arena Chapel Last Judgment fresco with Ernesto Scrovegni donating that chapel shown self-referentially within it, Sarel Eimerl, The World of Giotto: c. 1267-1377 (New York: Time Incorporated, 1967), p. 129; also Birgitta's cloak which survives as a relic. Here Bride is speaking of Nicholas Acciaiuoli's founding of the Carthusian monastery, La Certosa, in Florence, 1342, from his ill-gotten Neapolitan gains as that Kingdom's Seneschal, and from similar motives as had Scrovegni the Arena Chapel. Compare, too, with St Francesca Romana ./; and under the other appeared women and men, Friends of God , religious and other /Birgitta frequently uses this term, associated with the medieval Dominican mystics, the Friends of God, especially in her material concerning Magister Mathias, who was buried with the Stockholm Dominicans, and who had studied at their house in Paris. This can explain Birgitta's presence in the great Dominican fresco in Santa Maria Novella's Spanish Chapel./. And they all cried with one voice saying, 'Have mercy, merciful Lord'.

Then after there was silence and the Virgin spoke and said: 'The Scripture said, he who has perfect faith may thereby move mountains in the world. What then may and ought the voices of these do, who had faith and also served God with charity? And what shall those friends of God do, whom this man asked that they pray for him, that he might be separated from Hell and obtain Heaven? And he sought no other reward for his good works but heavenly things, where all their tears and prayers may not or are not of power to take him and lift him up so that he get goodly contrition with charity before his death, and furthermore I shall add to my prayers the prayer of all the saints that are in Heaven, whom this man specially worshipped'. Yet then further said the Virgin: 'O, you fiends, I command you by the power of the Judge to take heed of these things that you see now in justice'.

Then they all answered as if it had been with one mouth: 'We see', they said, 'that in the world a little water and great air balance out the anger of God. And so by your prayer is God weighed to mercy with charity'.

After this was heard a voice from the Son, saying: 'For the prayers of my friends shall this man now get goodly contrition before his death, in so much that he shall not come into Hell; but he shall be purged with them who suffer most grievous pain in Purgatory. And when the soul is purged, he shall have reward in Heaven with them who had faith and hope on earth with right little charity'.

When this was said, the fiends fled away. Then after that it seemed to the Bride as if there had opened a fearful and dark place wherein there appeared a furnace all burning within; and that fire had nothing else to burn but fiends and living souls. And above that furnace appeared that soul whose judgment was just completed. The feet of the soul were fastened to the furnace, and the soul stood up like a person. It did not stand in the highest place nor in the lowest, but as if on the side of the furnace. The shape of the soul was fearful and marvelous. The fire of the furnace seemed to come up between the feet of the soul, as when water ascends up by pipes. And that fire ascended upon his head, and violently thrust him together; so much that the pores stood as veins running with burning fire. His ears seemed like smiths' bellows which moved all his brain with continual blowing. His eyes seemed turned upside down and sunk in as if they were fastened to the back part of his head. His mouth was open and his tongue drawn out by his nostrils and hung down to his lips. His teeth were as iron nails fastened to his palate. His arms were so long that they stretched down to his feet. Both his hands seemed to have and to press together a kind of fat with burning pitch. The skin which seemed to be upon the soul seemed like the skin upon a body, and it was as a linen cloth all fouled with filth; which cloth was so cold that each one could see it tremble and shiver. And there came from it pus from a sore with corrupt blood, and so wicked a stench that it could not be compared to the worst stench in the world. When his tribulations were seen, there was heard a voice of the soul that said five times, 'Woe, woe, alas, alas', crying with tears and all his might.

First he said: 'Alas and woe to me, that I loved God so little for his truly great virtues and grace given to me'. The second: 'Alas and woe to me, that I did not fear the Judgment of God as I ought'. The third, 'Alas and woe to me, that I loved the body and the lust of my sinful flesh'. The fourth, 'Alas and woe to me, for my worldly riches and pride'. The fifth, 'Alas and woe to me, that ever I saw you, Lewes and Joan'./Latin text gives 'Ludovicum et Ioannam'. This is the vision Bride had about Nicholas Acciaiuoli, Grand Seneschal of Naples, who had been tutor to Prince Lewes of Taranto and whose marriage he arranged in 1347, following her murder of her previous husband and King of Naples, Andrew of Hungary, 1345. Acciaiuoli had founded Carthusian Certosa in Florence, 1342: ASF Monastero de Santa Brigida detto del Paradiso 61, fols. 21v-24v; Vatican MS Ottob. lat, fol. 120; Jorgensen 2:121-122. The Carthusians continued to inhabit Certosa until the war years when they fled first to Lucca, then Grenoble. Today Certosa is shared by Cistercian monks and the University of Florence's medievalists of S.I.S.M.E.L. For a sepia photograph of Carthusian monks at the Certosa in Pavia , see 'I Fratelli Alinari: Florentine Photographers'/

Then the angel said to me: 'I will explain this vision to you. This palace you have seen is the likeness of heaven. The multitude of those who were on the thrones, clad in white and shining clothes, are angels and the souls of saints. The sun means Christ in his Godhead. The woman means the Virgin who bore God. The Ethiopian means the fiend who accuses the soul. The knight means the angel who tells of the good works of the soul. The furnace means Hell, which is so burning within, that if all the world burnt with all things that are within, it would not be like the greatness of that furnace. In this furnace are heard diverse voices, all speaking against God, and all beginning their utterances with "Woe and alas", and ending in the same way. The souls appeared as people whose members are stretched out without comfort and who never can rest. Know also the fire that seemed to you in the furnace, burns in everlasting darkness, and the souls that burn within it do not all have the same pain. The darkness that appeared about the furnace is called "limbus" /To be in 'limbo' is to be betwixt and between, neither in Heaven nor in Hell. See Dante, Inferno 4./, and it comes from the darkness that is in the furnace and yet they are both the same place and one Hell. Whoever comes there shall never dwell with God. Above this darkness is the greatest pain of Purgatory that souls may suffer. And beyond this place is another place where there is less pain, that is none other but the lack of firmness in strength, beauty and such other: as I tell you by a parable, as if there were a sick man; and when the sickness and the pain had ended, he was left so feeble that he had no strength, until he recovered little by little. The third place is above, where there is no other pain but the desire of coming to God. And that you should understand this better in your conscience, I tell you by a parable, as if other metals were meddled with gold and burnt in a most hot fire and should so long be purged, that the other metals were refined away; and the gold stayed pure and clean though the other metal was strong and thick, so that it should need the hotter fire, and the gold was like running water, and all burning. Then the master of the work puts the gold in another place, where it shall take its true form and shape by sight and by touch. And after that, he puts it in the third place, where it is kept until it is presented to the owner.

'It is the same spiritually. In the first place above the darkness is the greatest pain of Purgatory, where you see the said soul being purged. There is tormenting by fiends. There appear the likeness of venomous worms and the likeness of savage beasts. There is heat and cold. There is darkness and confusion that comes from the pain that is in Hell. Some souls there have less pain and some more, according to whether their sins were amended or not, during the time that the soul dwelled in the body. Then the master, that is, the justice of God, puts the gold, that is the souls, in other places, where there is less strength, in which the souls abide until they have refreshing of their friends or of the continual prayers of holy Church. For a soul, the more help it has from its friends, the rather will it become strong and be delivered from that place. After this, the soul is born to the third place, where there is no pain except the desire to come into the presence of God and to his blessed sight. In this place dwelled many and for a very long time, without, those who had perfect desire while they lived in the world to come to the presence and sight of God. Know also that many die in the world so virtuously and innocently, that soon they come to the sight and presence of God. And some have so amended their sins with good works, that their souls shall feel no pain. But there are few who come not to the place where there is desire to come to God. Therefore all souls abiding in these three places have a part in the prayers and good works of holy Church that are done in the world; namely of those that they did while they lived, and of those which are done by their friends after their death. Know also that as sins are many and diverse, so are the pains many and diverse. Therefore as the hungry one delights in food when it comes to his mouth, and the thirsty in drink, and as he who is downcast, is gladdened with joy, and the naked with clothing, and the sick with going to his bed, so the souls joy in and are partners of the good deeds that are done for them in the world'.

Then said the angel furthermore: 'Blessed be he who has in the world helped souls with prayers, good works and the labour of his body. For the Justice of God may not lie which says that souls either must be purged after their death with the pain of Purgatory, or else they must be loosed by the good works of their friends'.

After this were heard many voices out of Purgatory, saying: 'O Lord Jesus Christ, just Judge, send your charity to them who have spiritual power in the world; for then shall we have more part than we have now, of their song, readings and offerings'.

Above this space from where this cry was heard, it seemed as if it were a house in which were heard many voices, saying, 'Let those be rewarded of God who send us help from our errors'.

In the same house the sun seemed to go forth as if it had been the spring of a day. And under that dawn appeared a cloud that had not the light of the morning time. Out of which came a great voice, saying: 'O Lord God, give of your unspeakable power to each of them in the world a hundredfold reward, that with their good deeds lift us up into the light of your Godhead and into the sight of your face'.

hen after that the angel tells of the pains of the said soul and says [IV.8-9]

'hat soul whose disposition you have seen, and heard his judgment, is in the most grievous pains of Purgatory. And that is because it does not understand whether it shall come to rest after purgation, or else be damned; and this is the Justice of God, for this one had conscience and great discretion, which he used bodily to the world and not spiritually to his soul. For he was too negligent and forgot God too much, while he lived. Therefore his soul suffers now from burning in flames, and it trembles for cold. It is also blind from the darkness and fearful with the horrible sight of the fiends. It is deafened from the fiend's cry, hungry and thirsty within, and all wrapped in confusion without. Nevertheless, God gave it one grace after death; that is, that it should not be subjected to torment by the fiends. For he spared and forgave grievous faults to his chief enemies, only for the praise of God; and he made friendship and accord with his chief enemy. Know also that whatever he did of good and whatever he promised and gave of justly obtained riches, and most of all the prayers of the friends of God, these lessen and refresh his pain, after it is determined in God's Justice. But other goods that he gave, that were not justly obtained, profit those who had them rightfully in their possession spiritually or physically, if they are worthy after the disposition of God'.

After this the angel called, furthermore, for the Judgment of the afore-mentioned soul, and said: 'You have heard already that for the prayers of the Friends of God , this man obtained goodly contrition through charity for his sins, a little before his death; which contrition separates him from Hell. Therefore after his death, the Justice of God judges that he should burn in Purgatory for six times the age that he has, from that hour that he did first knowingly deadly sin, until the time when he repented fruitfully of goodly charity, but he obtained help from God, of the world, and from the friends of God. The first was that he loved not God for the death of his noble body, and for his manifold tribulations, that he suffered for no other cause but for the salvation of souls. The second age was that he loved not his own soul as a Christian man ought; nor did he thank God for his baptism, for being neither Jew nor heathen. The third age was that he knew well the things that God commanded, and he had very little desire to fulfill them. The fourth age was that he knew well the things that God forbade to them who desire to go to Heaven; and he acted bodily against these, not following the prickings of his conscience, but his own carnal desire. The fifth age was that he did not use grace and confession as was appropriate, while he had the time to do so. The sixth age was that he cared little for the body of Christ, not willing to receive it often, for he would not keep himself from sin; neither had he charity to receive the body of Christ until the end of his life'.

fter this there appeared one like a man of great solemnity, whose clothes were white and shining like a priest's alb/Alba, white, dawn. An alb is a white gown worn by clergy during church services. He may represent St Lawrence./; he was girt with a linen girdle and a red stole about his neck and under his arms; and he began his words in this way. [IV.9]

'ou who see these things, take heed, mark and commend to your mind the things that you see and that are said to you. For you who are living in the world may not understand the power of God and the everlasting stability of it, in the same way as we who are with him. For the things that are with God, done in a moment of time, may not be understood amongst you, but with words and likeness after the disposition of the world. I am one of them whom this man, who is condemned to purgatory worshiped with his gifts in his life. Therefore God has granted me of his grace that if any man would do these things that I tell you, then his soul might be translated to a higher place, where it should get his true shape, and feel no other pain than as if he had a great sore, and all the sorrows would be gone, and he would lie like a man without strength, and yet he should rejoice, as much as he should know certainly that he should come to live.

'Therefore, as you heard the soul of this man had cried five times, "Woe and alas", so I say now to him five things of comfort. The first woe was that he loved God too little. Therefore, that he may be delivered from this, there needs to be given for his soul thirty chalices, in which the blood of God can be offered, and God himself be more praised. The second woe was that he did not fear God. Therefore, to cancel out this, let there be chosen thirty priests devoted to the man's judgment, and each of them to say thirty masses, when they may: twelve of the Martyrs, twelve of the Confessors, twelve of All Saints, twenty-eight Masses of the Angels, twenty-nine of our Lady, and thirty of the holy Trinity. And all of them must pray intensely for his soul, that the anger of God be assuaged, and his justice bowed down to mercy /Certosa del Galluzzo/. The third woe was for his pride and greed. Therefore, to do away with these, let there be received thirty poor men, whose feet are to be washed with humility, and food and drink and money and clothes to be given to them, with which they can be comforted; and each of them, both he who washes, and they who are washed, should pray to God meekly, that for his meekness and bitter Passion he forgive this soul the greed and pride that he has enacted. The fourth woe, for the lechery of his flesh. Therefore, whoever gives a maiden into a monastery and also a widow, and a maid into true wedlock, giving with them as much goods as they might be sufficiently endowed in food, drink and clothing; then should God forgive the sin of this soul which he had done in the flesh. For these are three lives that God commanded and chose to stand in this world. /The three states: Virginity, Marriage, Widowhood./ The fifth woe was that he had done many sins to others' tribulation. That is to say, he did all in his power that the two named before should come together in wedlock, which were no less of kin together than if they had both been next of kindred; and this marriage he procured more for himself than for the realm, and without permission from the Pope, against the praiseworthy disposition of holy Church. And for his deed, many were made martyrs, that such things should not be endured against God and holy Church and Christian custom./Queen Joan of Naples' marriage to Prince Lewes of Taranto./

'If any man who would repent of his sin went to the Pope and said: "A certain man did such a sin" (not expressing the person), "nevertheless at the end he repented and obtained absolution, though the sin was not amended. Tell me therefore what penance you would give, that I may bear; for I am ready to amend that sin for him". Truly, if he were to say for him no more than one P ater noster, it should be worthwhile to that soul to the lessening of his pain in Purgatory'.
 
 

Ediz. Giusti di S. Becocci, Firenze

In order not to violate copyright some of these images are considerably debased. If originals are needed for scholarly purposes contact Julia Bolton Holloway who can acquire black and white photographs from Fratelli Alinari or coloured postcards from Giusti di S. Becocci in Florence.
 
 

From Augustus J.C. Hare, Florence (1896):
 

t 2 1/2 miles from the Porta Romana, by the direct road beyond the village of Galuzzo, on the hill of Montaguto, is the Certosa of the Val d'Ema. The position is beautiful, with lovely views, and the convent crowning a cypress-covered hill is very picturesque. The cloister, with its beautiful Luca della Robbia medallions, suffered terribly in the earthquake of 1895. The Certosa was founded in 1341 by Niccolò Acciajuolo, Grand Seneschal to Queen Joanna of Naples, and its fortifications were especially granted by the Republic. In 1896 there were fifteen monks here: the full number was eight-six. A white-robed brother shows visitors over the monastery. Sepia.

[Today, Cistercians from Casamaris inhabit the Certosa, the last Carthusians having fled to Lucca's Charterhouse in WWII, where monks were killed by the SS. The monastery's books, also, were first taken to Lucca, then to the motherhouse at Grenoble.]

The principal Church is excessivly rich; decorated with frescoes, marbles and pietre-dure. The pictures relating to the life of S. Bruno are by Poccetti. To the right, through the chapel of S. John Baptist, which has a good picture by Benvenuti, we enter a beautiful gothic church of 1300, of which the architecture is attributed to Orcagna. It contains some good Florentine stained glass; a picture of S. Francis receiving the Stigmata by Cigoli; a Crucifixion by Giotto (?); and a picture by Fra Angelico.

In the Crypt, before the high-altar, are the noble tombs of the founder and his family.

Whether Andrea Orcagna built the Certosa near Florence is uncertain; but the monuments of its founder, Niccolò Acciajuolo, and his family, which exist in the subterranean church, belong to his time, and were perhaps executed by some of his scholars. The tomb of Niccolò (Grand Seneschal of the kingdom of Naples under Queen Joanna I, ob. 1366) consists of his recumbent statue, clad in armour placed high against the wall, beneath a gothic canopy. His son, Lorenzo, upon whose funeral obsequies he spent more that 50,000 gold florins, lies below under a marble slab, upon which is sculptured the effigy of this 'youth in arms, and eminent for his graceful manners and his gracious and noble aspect'. Next him lie his grandfather and his sister Lapa.' - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.

The general design of Niccolò's tomb is very peculiar, gothic certainly, but almost transitional to the cinquecento. Niccolò, the Grand Seneschal, founder of the convent, was a noble character. The family, originally from Brescia, and named after the trade they rose by, attained sovereignty in the person of Ranier, nephew of the Seneschal, styled Duke of Athens and Lord of Thebes and Argos and Sparta. He was succeeded by his bastard son Antony, and the latter by two nephews, whom he invited from Florence, Ranion and Antony Acciajuoli; the son of the latter, Francesco, finally yielded Athens to Mahomet II, in 1456, and was soon afterwards strangled by his orders at Thebes. - Lindsay's Christian Art.

In a side chapel of the crypt is the tomb of Angelo Acciajuolo, Bishop of Ostia, 1550, by Donatello, with a border of fruit and flowers by Giuliano di San Gallo. A small cloister has some lovely stained glass by Giovanni da Udine. The chapter-house contains a Crucifixion by Mariotto Albertinelli; a Madonna and Child with saints by Perugino; and in the middle of the pavement, in a perfect abandonment of repose, the noble figure of Lionardo Bonafede, Bishop of Cortona, and Superior of this convent (ob. 1545), by Francesco di San Gallo, son of Giuliano.
It is very carefully modelled; the flesh parts are well treated, and the drapery is disposed in natural folds. It has almost the effect of a corpse laid out for burial before the altar, and produces a striking effect. - Perkins.
The exquisite Della Robbia lunettes of the great cloister were removed to the Accademia in the time of Napoleon I. They had scarcely been restored to the monastery when one side of the beautiful cloister was ruined by the terrible earthquake of 1895.

The Refectory is shown, in which the monks dine on Sundays, released on that day for two hours from their vow of silence, though a reader officiates during dinner from a pulpit in the corner. The small cloister is by Brunelleschi. At the Drogheria, the famous Alkermes and other liqueurs manufactured in the monastery, are sold.

Nineteenth-century photograph of Certosa's cloister with two Carthusian monks. 
See Florence in Sepia

 
 
 

Go to SISMEL, Certosa del Galluzzo§

Go to Revelationes, complete Book IV
 

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