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Rome and the Sanctity of Saint Birgitta
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Medieval Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1072-9538
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A year before the Jubilee of 1350, the Swedish noblewoman Birgitta Birgersdotter left her home country for Rome never to return. After having become a widow in her mid-forties, Birgitta had converted to a religious life. The past three years before setting off on her Roman pilgrimage, she had been a lay affiliate of the Cistercian monastery of Alvastra, where she had gained the support of the prior Petrus Olavi. In this paper I shall argue that the city of Rome plays a significant role, both for Birgitta and for Prior Peter, who among others would later campaign for her sanctity, in transforming her from a mulier religiosa into a mulier sancta. It was during the period of more than two decades that Birgitta’s lived in Rome that the Liber coelestis Revelacionum, which would soon represent her primary claim to sanctity, took shape. By analysing the Revelaciones and the proceedings from Birgitta’s canonization process, initiated in Italy immediately after her death in Rome in 1373, I shall demonstrate that the sacred topography of the city, its concrete buildings, relics and artworks, not only provides the contents, protagonists and the mise-en-scène of a number of Birgitta’s visions, but her physical presence at the specific Roman shrines is also employed by her supporters as an effective argument in favour of her sanctity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Accademia d'Ungheria in Roma, Italy, 2017.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Art History; History; Literature; History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147468OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147468DiVA: diva2:1145634
Conference
The 6th Hagiotheca Conference - The Saints of Rome: Diffusion and Reception from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period
Projects
The Locus of Truth: Birgitta of Sweden and the Journey to Jerusalem
Funder
EU, European Research Council
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-10-18

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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