Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ludolph of Saxony (3)

Fray Ambrosio Montesino or Montesinos ( 1444? - January 29  1514 ) 
Vita cristi cartuxano romaçado

This edition of a translation of Ludolf of Saxony’s Vita Christi  has a particular historical significance

In 1499 Queen Isabella (Isabel la Católica) ordered the Franciscan friar and poet  Fray Ambrosio Montesino or Montesinos (1444? - January 29  1514 ) to translate into Castilian the work of the Carthusian

It took up to two years from 1499 to 1501 while the friar was at Cifuentes (Guadalajara)and his home town Huete, 

A poet in his own right,  he was the villanciquero of Isabella the Catholic . 

Eventually the work was published the work  in four volumes between 1502 and 1503. The printer was Stanislaus Polono 

As can be seen from the pages above it is a work dedicated to King Ferdinand the Catholic and Queen Isabella

The friar is depicted presenting his work to the King and Queen

It was this edition which St Ignatius read while he was recuperating and helped lead to his conversion

It is a work which is monumental in the history of Spanish printing

It was intended to be an aide to the Spanish monarchs and Court in following the liturgy

It was a Spanish work completely separate from the Latin and Italian traditions of the Spanish church. It is therefore an important work in the formation of a Spanish nationalism

The work was extremely popular. 

One feature of the work was that he highlighted with special characters passages that came directly from the Gospels (but in the vernacular Castilian)

The work was continually reprinted until  1559 which was when the Index forbade any translation of Scripture into vernacular (following the dictates of the Council of Trent)

Many Spanish scholars have highlighted the importance of the work in the formation nd development of St Ignatius` Spiritual Exercises

Perhaps this is the explanation of why at one time St Ignatius gave serious consideration to joining the Carthusians

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