savonarola

Given recent events and fittingly given Cordatus’s last three posts I have rather succumbed to the allure of Fra Girolamo Savonarola. I have always found the great Dominican intriguing but a healthy dose of old English ultramontanism held me back from too doting an admiration. Ultramontanism is not what it was. One sobering thought is the fact that Savonarola himself repudiated his revelations (albeit under the most appalling torture). Still, St Joan had to retract her own recantation so this failing is not irreconcilable with sanctity. It is startling how many saints had a devotion to Fra Girolamo and also what an influence he had on artists and composers. This is William Byrd’s setting of Savonarola’s meditation on Psalm 50 expressing his sorrow about the false confession exracted from him under torture.