by Simone Bandini
“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know at all”
In a recent edition of Valley Life (n. 163, spring 2021) we had already told the passionate historical-documentary research of Umberto Pippolini on Francesco di Bernardone, better known as “Saint Francis of Assisi”. The exciting research of Umberto – esteemed professional and inexhaustible creative – ended with the release of the text, already available in the bookstore: “Il Mio San Francesco di Assisi – Alla ricerca della sua unica e vera immagine”.
It is his second book after the release, last year, of “Storia millenaria di Lippiano – Dentro i Marchesi Bourbon Del Monte”. A real bestseller, which required subsequent reprints for the interest and appreciation aroused. This new book by Umberto Pippolini is a narrative ‘pictorial’ of the Saint, the history of his iconography: that is, the whole of the ‘images’ represented in painting, sculpture and frescoes – that since the historiography of the XIII and up to the XX Century has represented Saint Francis. And it seems that Pippolini has achieved his goal: to give back to Saint Francis his “unique and true image”.
A difficult path, tortuous and not devoid of sibilline pitfalls, his. But at last bright in the individuation and then celebration of that ’rediscovered’ image; that the Patriarchal Basilica of St Francis of Assisi of Conventual Minors, on 4 October 1926, present the Papal Legate, celebrated a supreme glorification – on the occasion of the eighteenth centenary of his death, occurred in 1226. The passionate investigation that the author carries out, with a dedication that caresses the sacrifice, certainly goes beyond the iconographic image with its updates or counterfeits, and speaks rather of the soul of Saint Francis: Umberto in fact approaches the figure of the Saint more ‘with intellect of love’ than not uncritical criticism.
His book really deserves special attention, for the amount of documents sifted, the witty insights and the timely information also historiographical. But, we hear you say, dedicate yourself to his reading to try to participate in that mysterious strength and determination that guided the soul of Francis’ – that the Saint is a beacon in the effort to recover the metaphysical and founding spirit of Western civilization.
The book is available at the following bookstores:
– Città di Castello: Libreria Paci Tifernate, Piazza Matteotti 2/ Libreria Sacro Cuore, Piazza Gabriotti 106
– Sansepolcro: Biblioteca del Frattempo, Viale Diaz 2
– Montefalco: La Regaleria dal 1863, Corso Mameli 56
– Ponte San Giovanni: Libreria Grande, Via della Valtiera 229/1
– Arezzo: Theuth Library, Viale Michelangelo 26 / Edizon Library by Biblion, Piazza Risorgimento 31
– Lucca: La libreria Ubik, Via Fillungo/ Luccalibri / Libreria Caffè Letterario, Via Regina Margherita 113
– Santa Maria degli Angeli-Assisi: Libreria Mondadori piazza Garibaldi 2B
– Assisi: Libreria Eredi Di E.Zubboli Touring Club Italiano, Piazza del Comune
And also at “Bar il Pretino” in Lippiano (Pg)