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Marcellinus of Civezza, O.F.M.
(In the world PITRO RANISE)
Modern Franciscan author, born at Civezza in Liguria, Italy, 29 May, 1822; d. at Leghorn, 27 March, 1906. He entered the order of the Friars Minor in the Roman province, receiving the habit at Cori, 1 Feb., 1838. He completed his philosophical-theological studies at Tivoli and Lucca. In 1844 he obtained the degree of Lector (Professor) in philosophy, and in the following year, 17 May, was ordained priest. For some years he taught at Tivoli, Ferentino, Viterbo, Aracoeli in Rome; in 1854 he retired to Recco in his native province of Genoa. By order of Bernardino Trionfetti, minister-general of the Friars-Minor, Marcellinus in 1856 was entrusted with the gigantic task of writing the history of the Franciscan missions to which the greater part of his life was devoted, and for which he undertook great journeys all over Europe, bringing home great literary treasures, especially from the libraries and archives of Spain. Later on he resided mostly at Prato and at Rome, engaged in the publication of his works. From 1881 to 1889 Marcellinus was definitor-general of his order, and finally in 1899 he retired to the convent of Leghorn, where he peacefully died. During his long literary career Marcellinus made the acquaintance of many prominent men, with whom he carried on a large correspondence, preserved in the convent of Leghorn. He enjoyed also the high esteem of Leo XIII, to whom he dedicated some of his works.
The total number of books and brochures published by Marcellinus amounts to between seventy and eighty. Though his method was not always strictly scientific, he has the undeniable merit of having aroused interest in Franciscan history and literature, which of late has spread so widely. Only a few of his most important works can be mentioned here (1) "Storia universale delle Missioni Francescane" (Rome, Prato, Florence, 1857-1895), 11 vols in 8vo. A French version of this work was begun by Victor-Bernardine de Rouen, O. F. M., 4 vols (Paris, 1898-99); (2) "Saggio di Bibliografia geografica, storica, etnografica Sanfrancescana" (Prato, 1879), 8vo; (3) "Epistolae Missionariorum Ordinis S. Francisci ex Frisia et Hollandia" (Quaracchi, 1888), 8vo; (4) two periodicals: (a) "Crocana delle Missioni Francescane", 6 vols. 8vo (Rome, 1860-66; Fr. trans, Louvain, 1861-67); (b) "Le Missioni Francescane in Palestina ed in altre regioni della Terra", 8 vols. 8vo (Rome, Florence, Assisi, 1890-97), (5) ("Il Romano Pontificato nella Storia d' Italia", 3 vols. 8vo (Florence, 1886-87); (6) "Fratris Johannis de Serravalle Ord Min. translatio et commentum totius libri Dantis Aldigherii, cum textu italico Fratris Bartholomaei a Colle eiusdem Ordinis" (Prato, 1891), in fol.; (7) "La Leggenda di San Francesco, scritta da tre suoi Compagni (legenta trium Socioum) pubblicata per la prima volta nella vera sua integrita" (Rome, 1899; Fr. trans. by Arnold Goffin, Brussels, 1902). Numbers (3), (4b), (6), (7) were published with the collaboration of Father Theophil Domenichelli, O.F.M., his inseparable friend.
DOMENICHELLI, In Memoria del P. Marcellino da Civezza (Florence, 1906); Acta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, XXV (Quaracchi, 1906), 263-64.