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The women behind their saints: Dominican women's promotion of the cults of their religious companions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses examples concerning Dominican nuns and penitent women of Italy to argue that women sought to legitimize the existence of their religious communities by attracting the attention of friars and other clergymen to the perceived sanctity of some of their companions. Though such Dominican beatae as Giovanna of Orvieto (d. 1306), Agnes of Montepulciano (d. 1317), Catherine of Siena (d.1380), and Maria of Venice (d. 1399) ultimately became known through the vitae written by the Dominican friars, their cults were first established by women, and thus the means by which they did so. The women behind Agnes of Montepulciano, Catherine of Siena, Giovanna of Orvieto, and Maria of Venice were not alone in finding creative ways to further their religious causes.

Keywords: Agnes of Montepulciano; Catherine of Siena; cults; Giovanna of Orvieto; Maria of Venice; religious companions; Saints Dominican



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