Dear Julia

I thank you very much for your interesting suggestion about Pope Urban's
work for peace in Europe; in fact, it is paralleled by Sacchetti's
explanation of Urban's widespread cult, referring to the 'concordia' between
the Papacy and the Empire (F. Sacchetti, Sermoni evangelici e lettere, ed.
O. Gigli, Florence 1857, pp. 214-5). His favour to St. Birgitta is also
deserving the historian's attention, but I think that the Invention of the
apostles' heads was also of a great importance. In fact, a lot of late XIVth
and XVth central Italian panels and frescoes represent this Pope as holding
a reliquary containing the two heads or a dyptych portraying Sts. Peter and
Paul. I would like to know what you and our co-mailers think about this subject.
Thank you again

Michele Bacci
Scuola Normale Superiore
Pisa (Italy)

At 06.45 11/10/97, you wrote:

>Could it not be that he really was an ideal Pope, having his enthronement
>and coronation be without the customary pomp and circumstance, living simply
>in his black Benedictine habit, in prayer and study, as well as papal
>administration, establishing bursaries for hundreds of poor students,
>founding three universities, curbing curial greed, working with the Emperors
>Charles IV of Bohemia and John V Paleologus for peace, heeding St Birgitta
>of Sweden's pleas for peace-making between the Kings of England and France
>and that he return the Papacy to Rome. Pope Urban V granted Birgitta the
>Bull for the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (the Brigittines of Vadstena),
>with the Augustinian Rule, her own Rule as supplement. In the end,
>discouraged by the mercenaries in Italy, he went back to Avignon, despite
>Birgitta's warning that he would soon die if he did so. Her prophecy took
>place. Earlier she had warned Clement VI that if he did not obey her and go
>to Rome, lightning would strike the bells of St Peters and melt them and he
>would die and those two events occurred, December 2, 6, 1352. Birgitta in
>turn gave to St Catherine of Siena the model of a woman who persuaded a Pope
>to return to Rome, both being instrumental in Gregory XI's return.
>Birgitta's Canonization was embroiled in controversy and carried out during
>the reigns of Grogory XI, Urban VI, Boniface IX, Martin V. Connected with
>the Brigittines were the Hieronymites, their founder being the brother of
>Bishop Hermit Alfonso of Jaen, Birgitta's director; likewise the Norwich
>Benedictine Cardinal Adam Easton (which later brings about the Syon Abbey
>founding); thus creating a network of Scandinavian, English, and Spanish
>support for the Popes in Italy. If one looks at the illuminations and
>woodblocks of Birgitta's Revelationes it is to see her giving the text to
>Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, Emperors, Kings, and the Laity, the Pope most
>favourable to her having been Urban V. 
>Julia Bolton Holloway, Hermit of the Holy Family
>via del Partigiano 16, Montebeni, 50014 FIESOLE, ITALY