SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.32 issue63Churches and StateThe king and the kingdom under the eye of the preacher: Vincent of Beauvais and the concept of Christian kingship in the 13th century author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Revista Brasileira de História

On-line version ISSN 1806-9347

Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.32 no.63 São Paulo  2012 



The time of sanctity: reflections on a concept



Igor Salomão Teixeira

Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Departamento de História. Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Agronomia. 91501-970 Porto Alegre – RS – Brasil.




We present and analyze the concept of 'time of holiness', which was forged during the doctoral research conducted between 2008-2011 on the canonization of Thomas Aquinas. In the thesis, we argued that the person most interested in the official recognition of the canonization of Aquinas was Pope John XXII and that it was a theological canonization. To reach to this conclusion we developed the concept of time of sanctity. This is a retrospective analysis of the period between the date of the canonization and the date of the saint's death. Using this data we prepared a table of temporality, in which the time of Thomas Aquinas is 49 years (1323-1274). The concept allows for comparative analysis and allows us look at sanctity as a collectively built social phenomenon.

Keywords: time of sanctity; Thomas Aquinas; theological canonization.


Apresentamos e analisamos o conceito de 'tempo da santidade'. Esse conceito foi forjado durante a pesquisa de doutorado que realizamos entre 2008 e 2011 sobre a canonization de Thomas de Aquino. Na tese defendemos que o principal interessado no reconhecimento oficial da santidade desse teólogo foi o papa João XXII, e que se tratou de uma canonization teológica. Para chegar a essa conclusão elaboramos o conceito de tempo da santidade. Trata-se de uma análise retroativa do período compreendido entre a data da canonization e a data da morte do santo. Com base nesses dados elaboramos uma tabela de temporalidade. O conceito permite análises comparadas. O tempo de Tomás de Aquino é de 49 anos (1323-1274). O conceito permite olhar para a santidade como um fenômeno social construído coletivamente.

Palavras-chave: tempo da santidade; Tomás de Aquino; canonização teológica.



On 18 July 1323 the canonization process of Thomas Aquinas, which had started in 1319, came to an end. In four years Pope John XXII authorized the opening of an inquiry, received the summaries of the investigations carried out in 1319, ordered new proceedings to be carried out in 1321 and in 1323 authorized the cult of the doctor of theology and friar of the Order of Preachers per universas ecclesias.1 1322 and 1323 were decisive for this pope. This was the period between the convocation of a commission of cardinals on the question of 'Christ's poverty' and the publication of the bull Cum inter nonnullos, in which he condemned radical theses about this question and 12 November of the following year when Thomas Aquinas was canonized. Coincidence? We believe not.

To reach this conclusion we analyzed the documents related to the 1319 and 1321 inquiries, as well as pontifical letters and bulls. Moreover, we analyzed the hagiographic production of the Order of Preachers and the administrative position of this order regarding the recognition of saints from within its ranks. In this group of documents it was possible to identify three possible group interested in the canonization: the order itself, the court of the kingdom of Sicily, and the curia in Avignon. However, a prior and deeper question remains: why Thomas Aquinas and not other candidates for sainthood in the same period? Why was this canonization singular in relation to its contemporaries? These questions show that the central theme is the question of the power of the popes and principally, how the pontiffs could use the resource of canonization to affirm their authority over the community of believers.

Our investigation is situated by these questions in a specific research context about sanctity in the Middle Ages: the passage from the thirteenth century to the fourteenth. A period in which historians have some consensus about the increasingly more precise and clear institutionalization of the functioning, or better, the papal prerogative of exclusivity for the canonization of saints. Specifically for this period there exists another question: did the new form of apostolic life inaugurated with the Minor Friars (Franciscans) and the Preaching Friars (Dominicans) also imply novelties in the phenomenon of sainthood?

These were the questions which led to the historian André Vauchez advocating the idea of 'recent sanctity.'2 According to him, during the thirteen century there occurred a transformation in the time elapsed between death and the official recognition of sanctity. While for previous periods this average covered what the author called the 'very old' saints (more than 100 years be tween death and canonization), between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the average fell to 60 years. There was thus a proximity, principally chronological, between the model of sanctity and the faithful. In other words, the life/death of the saint was closer to that of the faithful, which could also signify a greater proximity between the Church and the faithful.

We used the category 'recent sanctity' until we perceived that if we analyzed only the time elapsed between the death and canonization of saints from the Mendicant Orders – Franciscans, Dominicans, Heremites of St. Augustine – the average of 60 years (which is reached is consider saints with other positions/functions, such as kings, laypeople, etc.) annulled some particularities and masked some possibilities of the problematization and explanation of the phenomenon of sanctity in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. To be successful in our proposal, we thus made a selection of processes from the canonization of the first mendicant saint, Francis of Assis in 1226 to the papacy of John XXII, ending with the death of the pope in 1334. We placed this selection in a temporality table (Table 1) calling the time between the year of the death of the saint and their year of canonization the 'time of sanctity.'


We reached the following panorama: the case of Thomas Aquinas is the third longest (49), after Margaret of Hungary (673) and Nicholas of Tolentino (141). Taking into account that the fourth longest 'time of sanctity' in the table is 20 years, the canonization we analyze, i.e., that of Aquinas, is among those which clashes with the others. Furthermore, as a member of a religious order which already possessed two officially recognized saints with 'times of sanctity' of 13 and two years, (Domingo de Guzmán and Pietro da Verona, respectively), why the interval of 49 years? And if we consider the 'time of sanctity' of Franciscan saints (canonization of Clara de Assisi in 1255 and the death of Francis of Assisi in 1226), we have three saints with 29 years. In the case of the preaching friars, between the canonization of Thomas and the death of Domingo we have a 'time of sanctity' of 102 years for three canonizations.



We consider the time of sanctity as the period in which sanctity was constructed. The expression 'time of sanctity' can be interpreted as, for example, the time in which Thomas Aquinas was prayed to and/or considered as a saint is only the period between death and canonization. This is not what we argue. Perhaps expressions such as 'time for sanctity' or 'time for canonization' might be better, however, we have decided to maintain the initial proposal.

We discarded the idea of 'recent sanctity' proposed by André Vauchez, since he considers saints with an interval of 60 years between death and canonization based on a general average. What we propose can be applied to any saint, irrespective of whether they are 'recent' or 'older,' as shown in the case of Margaret of Hungary and Nicholas of Tolentino, for example, in Table 1.

In relation to the expression 'time for sanctity' or 'for canonization,' we do not use them as we believe 'time of sanctity' a more polished form.

Another observation is also necessary in relation to this concept. We take the initial date to be the canonization and/or an official recognition of sanctity. This creates the question: can the concept only be used for canonized saints? In principle we think so, however, only monographic research about specific cases can lead to a more detailed response to this question. We can suppose that Thomas Aquinas had not been officially canonized. However, we have the archeological and documentary records of the creation of the first chapel with his name. Can we consider these records as the beginning and/or recognition of a cult? Yes, and we can use the concept of 'time of sanctity' for the case of Thomas. Nonetheless, it is important that the reader and/or researcher consider that his concept was created for the analysis of the canonization of Thomas Aquinas, and does not deal with the period in which Thomas was considered a saint. To the contrary, it is the time that elapsed before his official recognition occurred.

This proposal is directly related to the inquisitorial process for canonization. It thus has to be asked: is the concept only applicable for saints who were the target of inquisitorial processes in which the inquiries helped in understanding the 'time of sanctity'? We believe that the use of this concept for saints who fit into this profile is more apt, since the canonization process allows significant access to the forms of 'construction' of sanctity as a collective operation. It is thus important to have a clear understanding of how this type of process worked.

From the judicial point of view a canonization process is an inquisitio. To us the records have often arrived copied by different notaries and in a summarized form. Basically we have access to information such as: the day and place where the inquiry was held; the name position/function held by the person questioned; explicit statement of the oath and obligation to tell the truth. The object of the investigation is generally initially covered by the fama publica of the sanctity attributed to the man or woman being investigated.

The initial date: canonization and its context (inquiries, bulls, hagiographies)

Based on the analyses we have made of the inquiries about Thomas Aquinas we can conclude that the statements recorded provide some indications for the study of possible interest groups in canonization causes. For example, in the 1319 inquiry 32 people were interrogated, including Dominican friars, Cistercian monks and laypersons nobles. The officials documents contain the following information: they knew him, they saw him, and how they heard of his fama publica in life and after his death. In the 1321 inquiry what was recorded by the notaries suppresses the interest in fama in vita and reveals to us only the miracles attributed to the saint. Among the 112 people interrogated, there were no Dominican friars, few Cistercians, many women and a number of children. Most of the public were lay persons. Certainly this data allows a number of questions to be raised, such as: should fama only be certified by clergy and nobles? Why in the official records were no questions put to women about the fama of Thomas? In relation to this: were they asked? Based on these and other questions we can affirm the potential of canonization processes in the construction of time of sanctity.

In addition to the process as a judicial artifact, it is also fundamental to consider its origin: papal power, principally for the period we are analyzing, i.e., the end of the thirteenth century and the first quarter of the fourteenth. Although there were some unrecognized cults, the pope had the authority to decide whether or not to open canonization processes and principally to decide on the result of the investigations.

John XXII is significant in this sense in relation to the preaching friars. Thomas Aquinas and Raimundo de Peñafort could have had very close times of sanctity. They died in 1274 and 1275, respectively, and John XXII faced demands for the canonization of both. For the former, as has already been stated, there was a favorable finalization in 1323. However, the latter had to wait 326 years. One of the reasons was that John XXII did not authorize during his papacy the opening of an inquiry into the jurist. Why? Relations were complicated between this pope and the king of Aragon, the claimant/postulator.

John XXII's position during his papacy in relation to canonization is also an element that reveals how the concept of 'time of sanctity' is interwoven in the official prerogatives of recognition of sanctity. The antagonistic responses in the two cases mentioned above open space for this question: was the pope open to the canonization of a theologian and not a jurist? It would be simpler to answer in the affirmative based solely on the result. But what was the meaning of the discontent of the pope in relation to the first inquiry into Thomas Aquinas? Why was there an inquiry with a predominance of laypersons and women in 1321 focused basically on miracles? Was the pope looking for a 'broader' appeal for the sanctity of Thomas, in other words, not restricted to a masculine and clerical universe?

It is important to observe how the pope used the result of the inquiries. This is usually exposed in the bull of canonization. The bull of 18 July 1323 on Thomas Aquinas follows the same structure as the inquiries, especially that of 1319. It begins with a report on his life and afterwards the miracles are presented. In the bull we can find information about the humility, chastity and erudition of Thomas. We can also find a brief report about his final moments, after falling sick near to the Cistercian monastery of Fossanova, as his way to the Council of Lyon in 1274. It is important to highlight that John XXII stated that there had been an inquisition and in this a diligent examination had been carried out. Only after these procedures and invested with the authority specific to him does the pontiff order that the name of Thomas be inscribed in the catalogue of saints.4

Based on these elements we consider the official establishment of a cult as an initial date for the retroactive analysis of the construction of sanctity. In other words, recognition is a landmark which establishes a profile for the saint who has to be prayed to. We consider that the concept of 'time of sanctity' becomes an important analytical tool in counterpoint to André Vauchez's concept of 'recent saint,' since: 1) it does not work with an average, but rather allows the separate analysis of the temporality involved in each case of the official recognition of sanctity; 2) at the same time that its separates the cases, if constructed in a table of comparative temporality the concept can instrumentalize the analysis of questions such as the intervals for the recognition of Dominican and Franciscan saints, analyses of gender, regions, etc.

Until now we have dealt with bulls and judicial artifacts that are inquiries. This documentation was produced over an interval of four years (1319-1323). In addition to this documentary corpus there is another type of record produced in this context directly related to the construction of the time of sanctity of interest to us.

Hagiography as a part of the construction of time of sanctity

In the case we are analyzing, the first hagiography written about Thomas Aquinas was Ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino by Guglielmo da Tocco.5 This author, also a Dominican, was among those involved in the process, one of the few who knew Thomas Aquinas. In 1317 he was appointed by the Order of Preachers to carry out research into the life and miracles of the theologian. He also accompanied all the statements given to the inquiries, especially those of 1319, when he was also questioned. In other words, Guglielmo da Tocco was what is currently considered the 'postulator' of the cause of canonization of Thomas Aquinas, also gave a statement, was a witness, and the author of his first hagiography. In other words, he was one of the principal 'constructors' of the sanctity of Thomas Aquinas, and his participation in the process cannot be neglected, nor the specific record he produced, the Ystoria.

This hagiography has a significant characteristic in relation to the naming of reports about the lives of saints: it does not begin with passio, vita or legenda. The word Ystoria appears constantly in the 19 complete manuscripts. However, we have found that there was no distinction between Ystoria (or history) and legend which are used as synonyms.6 For Bernard Guenée, however, 'history' was different from 'hagiography' in the Middle Ages. One of the principal differences was the atemporality in the hagiographic report, in its almost total absence of chronological data. However, Dominique Boutet argues that some hagiographic texts used resources from historiographic texts, such as by the insertion of diplomatic documentation.7

Is Ystoria a text which, in addition to serving as a model for the preparation of sermons, also seeks to legitimate itself through the use of judicial documentation? Alain Boureau states that, for example, Jacopo de Varazze – the Dominican author of the famous medieval hagiographic complication, the Legenda áurea (Golden Legend) – produced a type of 'hagiographic patina' in constructing the text about Peter the Martyr.8 This construction is similar to that of Guglielmo da Tocco in relation to Thomas Aquinas: a Dominican writing about the sanctity of a friar from the same order. However, they are episodes with different 'times of sanctity': a year in the first case (Peter was martyred in 1252 and canonized in 1253; the date of the production/compilation of the Legenda aurea is attributed to the period 1268-1298) and 49 in the latter. Furthermore, the Ystoria was produced at the moment of canonization and not later. However, the expression forged by Boureau is appropriate.

Guglielmo da Tocco uses the records of the canonization process, what he heard during the questionings and discovered in his own research, as well as knowing the person he was investigating. Probably he did this to give authenticity to the report, since the official recognition of the sanctity was at that moment being given based on the proof produced in the inquiries. In this case, what we have is not just an official recognition, but a construction recognized as such. Thus, to operate the concept of time of sanctity we consider the hagiographic reports produced in their temporal context as well as the documentation necessary for the analysis of this construction.

The final date: death as the beginning of the reconstitution of a holy life

No matter how much a saint generally prefigures in life the signals of this sanctity, it is in death that we can perceive the beginning of a reconstitution of the elements which can confirm the exceptionality.9 Saints even manage to predict their death. This is also the maximum symbol of a type of saint, the martyr. Martyrdom is the maximum testament of faith. Among the Dominican saints of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries there is a martyr, Peter of Verona, however, Thomas Aquinas does not fit into this category – he died after falling asleep during a trip. Why was his death important in the cause of canonization? Certainly because of his life. A paradox?

Thomas Aquinas was a controversial intellectual, and this is an aspect that is widely recognized and well studied. What is of interest to us is the operation carried out by the Order of Preachers for the reconstitution and/or rehabilitation of Aquinas' name. Rehabilitation which only achieved wide-ranging proportions after his death in 1274.

The exception made by Martin Morard, in considering that Thomas Aquinas was also a man of flesh and bone, is extremely legitimate.10 This Dominican theologian, by being treated as one of the pillars of the Catholic Church (principally after his death and during the religious Reformation), is often studied apart from his condition of a human being. The title of saint, given to him in 1323, corroborates this type of positioning.

If we consider the lament of the council of the Faculty of Arts of Paris expressed in a letter sent to the Preachers through the General Chapter of the Order in 1274, the death of Thomas is an event as important as his canonization for understanding how his sanctity was constructed.11 While in Paris in 1274 there were efforts undertaken for copies of Thomas' works to be made, as request in the above letter, in 1277 the situation would be fundamentally changed. The condemnations of Étienne Tempier published on the third anniversary of Thomas Aquinas' death compose one of the most important items for the understanding of the 'time of sanctity' which interests us.12

The condemnations of 7 March 1277 were motivated, according to Étienne Tempier's letter, by a report prepared by 'eminent and serious persons' who had denounced some professors for going beyond the limits of their own faculty, exposing and discussing in schools some execrabiles errores and falsities about the Catholic faith.13 We cannot state that this document is aimed at and only deals with theses related to Thomas Aquinas. However, the coincidence with the date of the third anniversary of the death of the theologian cannot be totally ignored. Furthermore, for the same reason, we believe that through the context of these condemnations, any attempt to construct the sanctity of Thomas Aquinas must past through a rehabilitation process of his theological preeminence.

In relation to the text of the condemnations, it is important to consider the existence of a long debate that has gone on for years. We perceive a crucial difference between positions adopted in relation to the content of the condemnations. Some researchers argue that the articles were listed in a random fashion, while others state that a certain internal coherence can be identified.14 Authors such as David Piché, Sylvain Piron, Kent Emery Junior and Andreas Speer have carried out comprehension exercises on the text of the 219 relevant theses.15 Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the minimum necessity to understand the relationship of the events in the 1270s with the process inaugurated in 1318, and with the opening of the canonization process for the rehabilitation of the figure and ideas of Thomas Aquinas.

Jacques Paul offers this synthesis:

This list of errors condemns the most diverse theses; some are dangerous for the Christian faith, others reveal themselves to be compatible with the strictest orthodoxy, while others finally are philosophical statements whose impacts on faith seem very distant. The condemnation hits the Averroists hard. A determined number of theses characteristic of the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas are part of this list.16

A varied text which serves as an instrument of censure. Sylvain Piron considers that Étienne Tempier actually did have a specific plan which can be identified in some of the theses, most especially nos. 25-183. According to the author, a coherence can be identified divided in this manner:

1. De Deo (de prima causa): art. 25-68;
2. De angelis (de substantiis separatis, sive de intelligentiis): art. 69-86;
3. De mundo (de celo): art. 87-102;
4. De anima (de forma hominis): art. 103-116;
5. De intellectu: art. 117-127;
6. De voluntate: art. 128-143;
7. De scientia (de philosophia): art. 144-157;
8. De voluntate (bis): art. 158-165;
9. De fide et moribus: art. 166-183. (Piron, 1999)

Specifically in the case of Thomas Aquinas, the historiography highlights that questions related to the unity of the intellect and the eternity of the world were the principal targets. Of the 219 theses we cannot state that they were being questioned or debated in the conflicts with which Pope John XXII was involved. Nevertheless, the relationship between these condemnations and the 'time of sanctity' studied here is the proximity with the final date, in other words, the death of Thomas Aquinas. The 1270s are important because they are the moment of the first clashes that were both favorable and unfavorable to Thomas.

Concluding in relation to the 'bishop's plan,' we can also consider the hypothesis raised by Robert Wielockx about the existence of a process against the memory of Thomas Aquinas undertaken by Étienne Tempier. According to Wielockx, in addition to the condemnations of 1277, Tempier made a second convocation in which two articles literally extracted from the first part of Thomas Aquinas' Suma Teologica and Quodlibet III were analyzed by the masters of Paris.17 Wielockx argues that in 1277 the bishop of Paris undertook three censure procedures: that of 7 March, that related to Gilles of Roma published on 28 of the same month, and a third one, which is the one specifically against the memory of Thomas Aquinas and which is considered based on some indications, such as declarations by Jean Pecham. According to Wielockx, the process began between March and May 1277, though it was interrupted between 20 May and 25 November of that year, the period between the death of John XXI and the election of the new pope.

Pope Martin IV and his successor Honorius IV took no responsibility for the debate, considered by Jean Pecham a priority assumption for Rome. Honorius IV, between 1285 and 1286, considered that it was an affaire concerning the University of Paris and not the papal curia. Analyzing letters and decrees from the period, Wielockx concluded that there had been a specific process against Thomas Aquinas. However, this did not make much progress between of the relationships of the Savelo family (Honorius III and Honorius IV) with the Order of Preachers and because of the actions of this order between 1277 and 1286 (Wielockx, 1988, p.418-422).

In relation to the first aspect, it is important to note that Honorius III was the pontiff who recognized the Order of Preachers and who established the Dominican convent (Santa Sabina), contiguous to the Savelo family palace, his base of government, the same place as the residence of Honorius IV. The relationship between these two names and Thomas Aquinas is even more evident when we comes across the name of Pandulfo de Savelo as apostolic nunciary and commissionaire of Pope John XXII in the canonization process of Thomas Aquinas between 1319-1321.18

In relation to the second aspect, it is valid to return to the General Chapters in the years following the death of Thomas, specifically after the 1277 condemnations. For this year we can find no references to the name of Thomas Aquinas. In 1278, in the Milan Chapter, two friars were sent to England to investigate friars involved in scandals about Thomas Aquinas (MOPH, v.1, p.199). In 1279 the order adopted this position:

Cum venerabilis vir memorie fr. Thome de Aquino, sua conversacione laudabili et scriptis suis multum honoraverit ordinem Nec sit aliquatenus tolerandum quod de ipso vel scriptis eius aliqui irreverenter et indecenter loquantur eciam aliter sencientes iniungimus prioribus provincialibus et conventualibus et eorum vicariis ac visitatoribus universis quod si quos invenerint excedentes in predictis punire acriter non postponant.19

In relation to these three chapters in the 1270s, Robert Wielockx concludes that in 1277 the silence of the order was prudent, and that those of 1278 and 1279 were carried out after the suspension of the process against the memory of Thomas, when there was no reason for the silence (Wielockx, 1988, p.428). Wielockx attributed this change in posture to the General Master of the order between 1264 and 1283. It was Jean de Verceil who sent Thomas Aquinas as master regent to the University of Paris around 1268, and who became an influent cardinal with Pope John XXI. In addition, the presence of Jean de Verceil in Paris in 1277 was decisive. In the 1279 General Chapter there is a 'broad and general' position, not specifying polemics or Questions of Thomas to be defended, differently from the 1286 chapter. This meeting, as Andrea Robiglio states, is the moment of the 'turning of the tide' in terms of how the order resolved to position itself in relation to Thomas Aquinas, and now defended him.20

We thus agree with Robert Wielockx's thesis. In short, he believes that the condemnations of March 1277 were the first step taken by Étienne Tempier towards a specific process against the memory of Thomas Aquinas. This was interrupted because of the death of the pope and not returned to because of the decisive actions of the Order of Preachers. The following table lists only some of the situations in which we believe that the arguments favorable and contrary to Thomas Aquinas were important in the construction of the fama of the theologian in the first years after his death:



This table summarizes what we have listed as the initial elements which define, amongst other things, the need for the (re)construction of the ideas of Thomas Aquinas, who was passing through the 'sieve' of canonization. We can also make a specific reading of the pro-Thomas column. We present the moments in which the Order of Preachers adopted formal positions in the General Chapters, about the need to defend the theologian from the criticisms in question. Criticisms that were also made inside the order, as the decision of the 1278 Chapter shows. We can read into this that the criticisms were not only external, as in the case of the 1279 Correctoria and the Franciscan decision in 1282.

What is the importance of this for the concept of 'time of sanctity'? In summary, Thomas Aquinas accumulated criticisms and enemies during his life and his theses were attacked after this death. These attacks also emerged within the Order of Preachers. Based on this information and the lack of participation of preachers in the canonization process (as people who were questioned) we can infer that the principal interest in the canonization of Thomas Aquinas did not originate in the order. This conclusion is supported by the documentation produced by the Order immediately after Thomas' death. Although it was not the principal interested party, it was at the same time pushing the process along and produced the Ystoria. The Order of Preachers, thus, cannot be forgotten in this analysis. For this reason the official documents from the General Chapters were important in preparing the concept.



In this paper we have looked at three vastly studied topics: Thomas Aquinas, John XXII and sanctity in the Middle Ages. It is difficult to extract from the junction of these elements something innovative or even unsaid. Nevertheless, the results were shown to be satisfactory, since they allow the proposal of relating the canonization processes to a more social writing of history to be put into practice. After all sanctity is mostly studied as an object of cultural history and historical anthropology. Unlike this, we have presented here a reading of the possible disputes of power and revealed specific interest groups. The analysis is stimulated by the need to find more appropriate heuristic tools and concepts, the reason for which we created the concept of 'time of sanctity.'

It is worth stressing once again that this concept covers the analysis of the documentation produced about a candidate for sainthood in the period between his death and the finalization of the inquisitorial process for the verification/investigation of suspicions of sanctity. This is a retroactive mathematical operation. In other words, it begins with the end of the canonization process and ends, at the very least, at the date of the death of the candidate for sainthood. At the minimum? We have analyzed and applied the concept to the postmortem trajectory of Thomas Aquinas, the pro and contra arguments which disputed his ideas and the legitimation of his fama publica. This does not mean that the concept cannot cover periods that include the time when the candidate to sainthood was alive.

To prepare the concept and analyze the question we have proposed, we looked at the different types of documentation available and produced in the period we are interested in (1323-1274): inquisitorial processes, hagiographic reports, decrees, bulls and letters. A collection of documents which require a theoretical and methodological assumption, namely to approach sanctity as a socially and collectively constructed phenomenon. This phenomenon aims at proposing a biographical profile of righteousness and a profile of exceptionality and intervention. It is important to bear in mind that a saint is an intermediary between men and God, and his actions are marked/characterized by acts not realized by all, in other words miracles.

The documentation also revealed that important, though discrete, actions were taken by the Order of Preachers, and at the same time, the pontiff John XXII took decisive and direct action to canonize Thomas Aquinas. It was a period in which the papal power strengthened its authority in relation to kings, religious orders, men and women; marked by the actions of the mendicant friars in pastoral, liturgical and intellectual life.



1 A documentação sobre a canonização de Tomás de Aquino está basicamente toda publicada. Aqui utilizamos como referências: DE SANCTI THOMA AQVINATE: Doctore Angelico Ordinis Praedicatorum. In: Acta Sanctorum. Martii. Tomus I. A Ioanne Bolland S.I. colligi felicit cœpta A Godefrido Henschenio et Danielle Paperbrocchio eiusdem societatis Iessu aucta digesta & illustrata. Antuperpiæ, apud Iacobum Meursium. Anno MDCLXVIII. p.655-747 (doravante cit. como AASS) e LAURENT, M. H. (Ed.), Fontes vitae S. Thomae Aquinatis notis historicis et criticis illustrati, 4: Liber de inquisitione super vita et conversatione et miraculis fratris Thomae de Aquino. Apud: Revue Thomiste, Saint Maximin [Var], 1931. O Inquérito de 1321, em: Fontes vitae S. Thomae Aquinatis notis historicis et criticis illustrati, 5: IIe procès de canonisation: Abbaye de Fossa-Nova, 10-20 Novembre 1321. Récits de la canonization de S. Thomas d'Aquin: Avignon, 14 (ou 16)-21 Juillet 1323. Apud: Revue Thomiste, Saint Maximin [Var], 1931. p.409-532.         [ Links ]

2 VAUCHEZ, A. La sainteté en Occident aux derniers siècles du Moyen Age: d'après les procès de canonisation et les documents hagiographiques. 2.ed. Rome: École Française de Rome; Palais Farnèse, 1988.         [ Links ]

3 Dados obtidos em VAUCHEZ, 1988, p.295-300.         [ Links ]

4 IOANNES EPISCOPVS. Canonizatio S. Thomae de Aquino Civitate provinciae Campaniae, professoris Ordinis Fratrum Praedicatorum S. Dominici, ejusque relatio in numerum Sanctorum Confessorum, com institutione suae festivitatis pro die 7 Martii. Apud: BULLARIVM ROMANVM: B. Leone Magno, vsq; ad S. D. N. Clamentem X. Opus absolutissimum, Laertii Cherubini Praestantissimi I. C. Romani et ad D. Angelo Maria Cherubino Monaco Cassinensi e aliis illustratum e auctum. Editio novissima. Quinque tomis distributa, vitis & Iconibus aeneis omnium Pontificum exornata. Lugduni: Sumpt Petri Borde Ioannis & Petri Arnaud, MDCLXXXXII, p.228.         [ Links ]

5 GUILLAUME DE TOCCO. Ystoria Sancti Thome de Aquino de Guillaume de Tocco (1323). Toronto: Pims, 1996.         [ Links ]

6 Até o momento este é o estudo mais sistemático sobre a tradição manuscrita do texto de Guilherme de Tocco: LE BRUN-GOUANVIC, C. La tradition du texte. In: GUILLAUME DE TOCCO, 1996, p.61-67. O Ms F22, datado da primeira metade do século XIV, tem o título: "Prohemium in ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino et de necessitate institutionis ord. Predicatorum et eius commendatione". Ou o Ms L23, do fim do século XIV, com o título: "Prohemium de hystoria beati Thome de Aquino ordinis fratrum predicatorum. Et primo de necessitate institucionis eiusdem ordinis et eius commendatio", com a subscrição: "Explicit legenda sancti Thome de Aquino". Ou, ainda, o Ms V24, também do fim do século XIV, possui a inscrição: "Prohemium in ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino. De necessitate institutionis ordinis predicatorum et eius commendatione. Primum Capitulum". Dentre os do século XV, um exemplo: o Ms. B25 leva o título: "Incipt prohemium in Legendam sancti Thome de Aquino. Et primo necessitate institutionis ordinis predicatorum et eius commendacione sic incipit feliciter".         [ Links ]

7 BOUTET, D. Hagiographie et historiographie: la Vie de saint Thomas Becket de Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence et la Vie de saint Louis de Joinville. Le Moyen Age – Revue d'Histoire et de Philologie, Tome CVI, n.2, 2000. p.277-293.         [ Links ]

8 BOUREAU, A. La patine hagiographique. Saint Pirerr Martyr dans la Légende Dorée. In: RENARD, E.; TRIGALET, M.; HERMAND, X. ; BERTRAND, P. (Éd.) Scribere Sanctorum gesta: Recueil d'études d'hagiographie medieval offert à Guy Phillipart. Turnhout: Brepols, 2005. p.359-366.         [ Links ]

9 Concordamos aqui com Aviad Kleinberg. Esse autor considera o santo como um ser de exceção e que é capaz de feitos não realizáveis por todos os seres humanos, ou seja, os milagres. KLEINBERG, A. Histoire des Saints: Leur rôle dans la formation de l'Occident. Trad. Moshé Méron. Paris: Gallimard, 2005. p.14.         [ Links ]

10 MORARD, M. Saint Thomas d'Aquin: un home de chair et d'os...aussi. Sedes Sapientiae, n.30, p.37-54, 1989.         [ Links ]

11 MONUMENTA ORDINIS FRATRUM PRAEDICATORUM HISTORICA, v.5, p.104-106. Carta XXVIII (doravante cit. como MOPH, com o volume correspondente).         [ Links ]

12 PICHÉ, D. La Condamnation Parisienne de 1277. Paris: J. Vrin, 1999.         [ Links ]

13 EPISTOLA SCRIPTA A STEPHANO EPISCOPO PARISIENSI ANNO 1277. Apud: PICHÉ, 1999, p.72-79.         [ Links ]

14 Cf., por exemplo: PIRON, S. Le plan de l'évêque: Pour une critique interne de la condam­nation du 7 mars 1277. In: _______. Recherches de philosophie et théologie médiévales (no prelo); LIBERA, A. Pensar na Idade Média. São Paulo: Ed. 34, 1999; além dos estudos de David Piché na edição dos 219 artigos condenados: PICHÉ, 1999.         [ Links ]

15 Além do estudos de Piché e Piron já citados, cf.: AERSTEN, J. A. Nach der Verurteilung Von 1277: Philosophie und Theologiae an der Universität Von Paris im letzten Viertel dês 13. Jahrhunderts. Studien und Text. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2001. Especificamente estes textos: EMERY JR., Kent; SPEER, Andreas. After the Condemnation of 1277: new evidence, new perspectives, and grounds for new interpretations. p.4-19; MAHONEY, Edward P. Reverberations of the Condemnation of 1277 in Later Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy. p.902-930.         [ Links ]

16 PAUL, J. Historia intelectual del Occidente Medieval. Madrid: Cátedra, 2003. p.402.         [ Links ]

17 WIELOCKX, R. Autour du procès de Thomas d'Aquin. In: ZIMMERMANN, A. (Ed.) Thomas von Aquin: Werk und Wirkung im Licht neuerer Forschungen. Berlin, 1988. p.413-438 (Miscellanea Mediaevalia, 19).         [ Links ]

18 AASS, Marti I, p.686-688. É atribuído a Pandulfo de Savelo a existência do primeiro santuário em homenagem a Tomás de Aquino, a saber, a capela Santo Tomás no monte Savelo. O notário recebeu em 1322 autorização para erigir a capela e fundou um colégio de teologia. Sobre este assunto cf. KOUDELKA, V. J. La capella di S. Tommaso d'Aquino in Monte Savello a Roma. AFP, n.32, p.126-144, 1962.         [ Links ]

19 MOPH, v.1, p.204. Trad. com auxílio de Cassiano Malacarne: "Visto que o homem de venerável memória, irmão Tomás de Aquino, muito tenha honrado a Ordem com sua conduta louvável e com seus escritos, não seja de alguma maneira tolerado que quaisquer que sejam falem sem respeito ou inconvenientemente sobre ele ou dos escritos dele, ou ainda, aqueles que julgam diferentemente. Obrigamos aos priores das províncias e dos conventos, e aos vicários destes, e a todos os visitadores, que se tenham encontrado alguns que se excedem nas coisas mencionadas, que não posponham em punir severamente".         [ Links ]

20 ROBIGLIO, A. La sopravivencia e la gloria: Appunti sulla formazione della prima scuola tomista (sec. XIV). Bologna: ESD, 2008. p.37-38.         [ Links ]