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The Church of the Buona Morte in Cannara

Birthplace of the Third Order of St. Francis (maybe)


[image ALT: zzz. It is the façade of the church of Buona Morte in Cannara, Umbria (central Italy).]

The church is usually kept closed.

No one knows where the Third Order was founded, but this church — until not so long ago known as the Church of the Stigmata of S. Francesco — is one of the candidates. Mind you, if the 16th chapter of the Fioretti is often given as the authority that the Order was founded in Cannara, the text actually says no such thing; and then of course, the Fioretti are quite late, and should be used more as confirmation rather than as a primary source: not exactly an authority. The Catholic Encyclopedia (q.v.) claims a consensus for Florence, chiefly on the authority of Mariano of Florence; or maybe Faenza, citing the first known papal Bull on the subject.

With this caution in mind, it is still a very old local tradition in Cannara that this church was the venue where St. Francis set up the order, or, at the very least, gave the Franciscan habit in 1221 to the Bl. Lucio Modestini, who is buried in the church; and the tradition is attested to at least back to the date of a plaque over the door of the church of S. Francesco. And the Palazzo Maiolica Mandrini, a building just across the street from the church, was once a hospital run by the Minorite friars; the place there where St. Francis maintained a cell for his use is still shown.


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Page updated: 1 Dec 09