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John:

Thanks for your perceptive insights on Fra Giunta's use of baiulus. You
may well be right, he uses the term primarily as guardian. The reason I
suggest "bearer" is because Margaret sometimes assigns--through the
commands of Christ--tasks to Giunta, such as preaching, peacemaking,
hearing confessions, chastising other friars and indeed many others
(secular clergy, town officials, proud noblewomen) in Cortona, defending
her from her critics, including her decision to climb to the top of the
town to become a solitary. It would seem, then, that he considers
himself the instrument by which Christ by means of Margaret sends His
message of repentance and reform to the world. I would like to think
that Giunta is defending her from charges that she is too closely
associated with the Spiritual Franciscans, but I find no evidence of
this in the text.

But if this interpretation is correct, why did Giunta chose to present
himself in a Legenda, which after all was intended, at least in part, as
evidence to promote her cause for canonization? Perhaps Giunta was so
naive as to think that such a presentation might actually improve her
cause in the minds of Napoleone Orsini and Ubertino da Casali. I suspect
Giunta's motives for writing the biogiography are much more complex than
simply responding to his Franciscan superiors in Cortona.

What do you think, John?

a presto ...

Thomas Renna
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