LogoLogo

San Pietro Celestino

Saint Peter Celestine was an exceptional, charismatic figure for his contemporaries and excited great expectations for a general rebirth of the Church of his times. That is also why he was such a powerful source of inspiration for artists, writers and poets, similarly to another wonderful holy figure of the Middle Ages, St. Francis, with whom he shared a message of peace.
Who made the great refusal?
Poscia ch'io v'ebbi alcun riconosciuto,
vidi e conobbi l'ombra di colui
che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto

(After I had identified someone,
I saw and recognized the shadow of that one
Who cowardly made the great refusal
)
(Inferno, III, vv.58-60)

For centuries now critics and scholars have discussed on the identity of this soul, running in a group after an ever-changing standard. Francesco Boccaccio, one of the first critics of the Divine Comedy, believed that it was impossible to know who Dante had not wanted to name. The interpretation that this coward soul was Pope Celestinus 5th came first from Dante's own son, and became widespread in later critics. Giovanni Pascoli believed that Dante would never have placed Pietro da Morrone among those who did neither evil nor good in their lives, such as the angels who did not choose between God and Lucipher, and suggested the soul might have been Pontius Pilate, who well fit the "cowardy" and "great refusal" mentioned in the lines.

Karl Ruther
In the mid-17th century Karl Ruther from Danzic from the school of Rubens, came in pilgrimage to Collemaggio, then became a monk as Frate Andrea and stayed in Aquila up to his death in 1680, devoting his life to prayer and painting. His oil canvas follow thelife and miracles of San Pietro Celestino, always seen among the mountains and in the company of shepherds and animals, the lion and the lamb sitting in peace at his feet. The Saint is seen as the defender of the humble against nature, the powerful lords, highwaymen and Saracens.

The Laude
These are five anonymous compositions typical of medieval vernacular literature, representing a very important document of early Italian literature, and showing the great devotion of the local population for their saint hermit. These are the titles:
I - Laude de sanctu Petro confessoro
II - Laude di san Petro Celestino
III - Laude ad Collemagio la domenica del mese
IV - Laude ad Collemaggio de sancto Petro Celestino
V - Laude ad Collemagio de San Pietro

LAUDE DE SANCTU PETRO CONFESSORO
O pope Celestine elected by God,
spare this city from faults.

Dall'hora et dallo iorno che nascysty,
Fusty inchinatu ad fare penetenza,
Et per servire a Cristo te dagisty,
Et Cristo te meritò per soa potenza,
Papa te fece per la soa clementia:
Che fecysty dello tou corpo a Dio concecto.

Da poy che tryumphasty nello papatu,
Patre, vennysty in questa toa cytade
De quisto populo fusty innamoratu;
Facystily dono, per toa santitate,
Duy cardenaly per nobiltate;
Ad Aquila desty honore con affecto.

Poy ce facisty quella casa sancta,
Dove ponisty grande perdonanza,
Là dove va la gente tucta quanta,
Ca da buy ly fo facta la certezza;
Et avemo ferma speranza:
Chi vé alla toa casa, de peccaty è nieto.

Ficysty quisty duny in toa vita
Et altry infiniti che no'llo porria contare,
Gratia li desty longa et infinita
Ad Collemaggio, che non pò mancare;
Et chi se vole l'anyma soa salvare,

Alla toa casa venga con affecto.
Amastila nella vita, cha sse pare;
Et in nella morte tu ly porty amore,
Moristy, all'Aquila volisty retornare,
Ad Aquila tea tollere dolore.
Tu ne si' patre, guardiano et redentore;
Ca llo avemo veduto con affecto.

O confessoro, papa Celestino,
Pastore della sancta cristianytate,
Tu prega per nuy lu Salvatore divino,
Che per toa amore se mova ad pijtatte,
Tu guarda et defedy questa toa citade,
Et nuy reaccomand'a Cristo benedicto.
Amen.

[Translation] O pope Celestine elected by God,
spare this city from faults.

Since the time and day you were born,
You were always kneeling down for penitence,
and to serve God you devoted yourself,
And Christ chose you out of His power,
He made you Pope out of his benevolence:
because you dedicated your body to God.

After you rose to the Holy See,
Father, you came to your town
With this population you were in love;
You gave them, out of your holiness,
Two cardinals for their nobility;
To Aquila you gave honour with affection.

Then you made for us that holy house,
Where you granted your great pardon,
There all the people go,
Since they are certain;
And have great hope:
Who comes to your house of all sins is cleared.

These gifts you gave in your life
And so many others I can't remember,
Grace you gave long and endless
To Collemaggio, that cannot disappear;
And he who wants to save his soul,

To your house should come with affection.
You loved it deeply in your life;
And now you're gone you still love it,
You died, to L'aquila you wanted to come back,
To your Aquila to relieve pain.
You are its father, guardian and redemptor;
This we have seen with affection.

O confessor, O pope Celestine,
You Pastor of holy christendom,
Do pray for us our divine Saviour,
That for your love would be moved to pity,
Do guard and defend this city of yours,
And reccommend us to blessed Jesus.
Amen.


Laude di San Petro Celestino
Ad ti recorremo, sancto Confessore,
Nostro advocatu papa Celestino,
C'onne Aquilano grande e piccolino
Con devotione sci tte porte in core.

In ti è nostra speme e nostro amore;
Per li toy merity e toy sancte orationj,
Semo scampatj da gran tribulationj;
sci regratiato da nuj a tucte l'ore.

Avisti de caritate gran fervore,
In aquila te volisty coronare,
Pace et concordia assay fecisti fare,
Che Aquilanj stavan in grande errore.

Gran gratia ay facta ad omne peccatore:
Chy ad Collemayo sci vole venire,
Di soy peccati se vollia pentire,
Asciolto è da battismo del sou errore.

De poy che del papato fusty fore,
Che renunzasty per tua humilitate,
Fo tanta accepta la toa sanctitate;
La Ecclesia tra beati te fa honore.

O sancto Petro d'Aquila pastore,
Grande conforto alli Aquilan daiesty,
Che ad Collemagio morto revendisty;
Non te curasti de quilly de fore.

Gran grazia sci nne à facta el Criatore
Che Bernardin con Petrj accompagnato.
Omne un de loro serrà nostro advocato;
Per nuy pregate sempre el salvatore.

[Translation]
To you we apply, holy Confessor,
Our advocate, pope Celestine,
that every small and great Aquilan
with devotion keeps you in his heart.

In you our hope and love reside;
Thanks to your merits and holy prayers,
We escaped great tribulations;
and we thank you all the time.

You had great inclination for charity,
In aquila you wanted to be crowned,
great peace and harmony you brought about,
Cause the Aquilans had greatly sinned.

Deep grace you gave to every sinner:
he who to Collemayo wants to come,
and of his sins would like to repent,
Absolved he is of his sins since baptism.

After you were out of the high office,
which you gave up out of humility,
widely recognized was your holiness;
The Church among the Blessed honors you.

O saint Peter, pastor of Aquila,
Great comfort to the Aquilans you gave,
As to Collemagio after your death you came;
You did not care about foreign ones.

Great grace the Almighty has given us
That Bernardin together with Peter.
Forever either of them will be our defensor;
For us do always pray the Saviour.


Laude ad Collemagio la domenica del mese
Glorioso Criator, che tte dignaty
Ad nuy Aquilanj San Piero mandarne,
De, piacciate, Signor de perdonarne
Si como ad Matalena perdonasty.

San Petro, gran dono ce donasty
In quillo dì che fusty coronatu,
Avisti el signo del vero pappatu
Como che pervilegio ci mostrasty.

Aquila in divisione assay trovastj,
Che l'un castello all'altro facea guerra;
Venisti in questa terra
Et l'un coll'altro tutti li apparasty.

Più che lly toy Aquila tu amasty;
Thucti Aquilanj sci tte porta in core.
O Celestino, con perfecto amore
Ad Aquila venir deliberasty.

In Collemagio, o patre, te allocasty.
Piacque al glorioso vero Dio
Della soa matre era voler seo;
Perciò nel Collemagio te posasty.

El gran tisoro, o patre, ce lassasty
Che omne peccator che vole gratia
La jndulgentia toa el cor ne satia,
Como de nostra Dopnna la 'mpetrasty.

La Nostra Dopnna legere jmparastry;
Stavj alla scola ch'erj mammolecto.
Essa te spirò nello intellecto.
La via della salute sequitastj.

In nel camin li latron trovastj;
Colly toy fraty tu andavj ad Pistoya.
Voleanovj fare innogia:
Serpentj ly mordero et tu campasty.

Sempre dal Sumo Dio gratia trovasty:
Li angely te veniano ad visitare.
Che in genocchiunj te stavj all'altare;
Per tucti li fidely sempre orastj.

[Translation]
Glorious Creator, who graciously wanted
To us Aquilans Saint Peter to send,
Please, Lord, do forgive us
Just as you Magdalene forgave.

O Saint Peter, great gift you gave us
On the day when you were crowned,
You had the signs of a true pope
As you showed us and the privilege gave.

Aquila in great division you found,
That one castle to the other was waging war;
You came to this land
And one with the other you put together.

Deeper than your own place Aquila you loved;
Every Aquilan keeps you in his heart.
O Celestine, with perfect love
To Aquila to come you decided.

In Collemagio, o father, you settled.
Our true glorious God wanted
of His mother to follow the wish;
That is why in Collemagio you lay down.

The great treasure, o father, you left us
That every sinner who asks for pardon
Your indulgence the heart fills,
As you of our Lady asked.

Our Lady you learned to read;
As a child you were at school.
She inspired your mind.
The roat to salvation you took.

On your way brigands you met;
with your friars you went to Pistoia.
They wanted to kill you:
Snakes bit them and you lived on.

Ever from God Almighty grace you received:
Angels came to visit you.
You were kneeling at the altar;
For all faithfuls always you prayed.


Laude ad Collemaggio de sancto Petro Celestino
Ad tucte l'ore sci regratiatu,
San Pietro Celestin, nostro patrone.
Oggi è lu dì de tua traslatione,
Che da Campagna ecquà fusti recatu.

Da poy che fusti for dello papatu,
Che per toa sanctitate renunziasti,
In Campagnia ad Foirentino te nne andasti;
Nel monasterio ti fusti posatu.

Da multe genti erj visitatu;
Miraculy mustravj ad più persone,
Et per invidia c'altrj ti portone
Te uccise che no fusci più onoratu.
Grande miracolo Dio ci abbe mostratu:
Quillo che tte occise cadde morto.
Volze mostrare Dio che era torto;
Chi lo fe fare deventò arrabiatu.

Annj vintiuno ja morto erj statu,
O patre nostro, Petrj Confessore;
Quilli de Fiorentin avian timore
Che llo corpo no fosse furatu.

La nocte e 'l dì erj ben guardate,
Che non te possa alchuno furare.
Tu pur volisti ad Aquila tornare,
Per grande amore sempre n'ay portatu.

Fra Iacobo de Rogi era chiamatu,
Et uno Selmontino te furaro;
In questa ecclesia, o patre, te ricaro.
El populo Aquilano ay consolatu.

[Translation]
At any time be thanked,
Holy Peter Celestine, our protector.
Today is the day of your passage,
From Campagna here you were brought.

After you were out of your office
that for you sanctity you renounced
in Campagna to Ferentino you went;
in the monastery you remained.

By many people you were visited;
Miracles you showed to many people,
and for the envy another had for you
he killed you so you wold be honored no more.
Big miracle God had shown us:
the one who killed dropped dead
God wanted to show that he was wrong,
who ordered the act got angry.

Twenty-one years had already gone
since your death, father confessor Peter,
those of Ferentino had fear
lest the body be stolen.

By night and day you were well guarded
so that nobody could steal you
But you wanted to come back to L'Aquila
Because you had always loved it deeply.

Brother Jacopo, from Rogi called,
and one from Sulmona stole you
To this church, dear father, they brought you
the Aquilan people you comforted.


Laude ad Collemagio de San Pietro
O Aquilani assay obbligati sete.
San Pietro Celestino regratiate:
Sempre sta nanti a Dio per nuy pregare,
Soccorre alli abisogny et vuoi el sapete.

De questa ecclesia non vinne scordete:
Volese visitare como è usanza.
El papa ci à conceduata la osservanza
De quisti religiosi che vedete.

Fideli Christiany, sempre actenti state:
Resistete alle mali tentationy,
Se lle vostre orationy
Volete che Dio siano exautide.

Ad hobedire sempre velliarete.
Per Dio lo perdonar non vi sia forte.
Sempre camina la morte.
Né hora né llo dy vuy no sapete.

Dimintry in quisto mundo el tempo avete
ad oper bona omne hom s'aiute,
Ad ciò che Dio non ci refute,
Li soy comandamintj sequirete.

[Translation]
O Aquilans you are really obliged
Saint Peter Celestine you should thank
Always he is before God to pray for us
He helps you in your need and you know

This church do not forget
it is to be visited according to the custom
the pope granted us the observance
of these religious things that you see

O faithful Christians, always beware
Resist evil tempations
if you want your prayers
to be listened to by God.

To obey you always must strive
For God's forgiving is not by chance.
Always death is walking
Neither time or day you can know

While on this world you have the time
to good deeds everyone must strive
In order that God shall not reject us
His commandments you shall follow.

Follow ItalyHeritage on Facebook: