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Sessions of the Institutum Carmelitanum on Baptist Spagnoli and the Mantuan Reform

33/2018 – 24 – 05

The recent fifth centenary of the death of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli was the occasion for the Institutum Carmelitanum to offer a series of evening sessions on history, art and spirituality, at the Saint Abert’s International Centre (CISA) on the first three Mondays of May.

The sessions opened with an interview with Cristian Poli on the much-discussed figure of Tommaso Connecte, initiator of the Mantuan Reform, who, although he died at the stake as a heretic in 1434, was celebrated as a martyr by Spagnoli in his De vita beata. The second evening session was dedicated to the restoration of an autograph letter by Spagnoli which is kept in the General Archive. Fr. Mario Alfarano introduced the evening with a presentation of the content, context and symbolic value of this letter that Mantovano sent to Nicolas Audet in 1514; He was follow by Prof. Eulalia Ramos, from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, who illustrated the detailed and delicate restoration of the document. The last meeting was conducted by Fr. Giovanni Grosso who spoke about a part of the iconographic collection that enriches the church of San Felice del Benaco, which is one of the first foundations of the Mantuan Reform. Fr. Giovanni paid particular attention to some images of Our Blessed Lady and the early saints of the Order.

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."