The focus of my paper is a mnemonic structure of Francis of Assisi’s hagiographies – which is an opposition of Francis’s virtues and vices – and its revision by Thomas of Celano (1229 and 1247) and Bonaventura (1263). These revisions have been influenced by institutionalisation of the Order in medieval social structures for the 13th century. Moreover, Franciscans distinguished themselves from other friars and monks with the aid of Francis’s image creating a phenomenon of the collective memory of the Order. I suppose that it was a management tool for controlling Franciscans by institutional power in Capetian France in the 13th century.
In the Chronicles of the Order of the Friars Minor (1556-1568), Marcos de Lisboa (1511-1591) composed a hagiography of St Francis of Assisi that influenced most of the texts on the saint written in Portugal. He presents Francis as the ‘angel of the sixth seal’ of Apocalypse (7, 2) and as the stigmatised saint during a vision of a seraphim, as described in Isaiah (6, 1-2). In the following century, Antonio Vieira (1608-1697) dedicated two sermons to the wounds of St Francis. The Jesuit changes the saint’s representation because he does not relate him to the angel and seraph of the Bible. This work aims to demonstrate the reason for this modification. Our hypothesis is that Vieira wanted to refute the image of the Franciscan Order as being prefigured in the Holy Scriptures by the figure of its founder. Thus, it would not occupy a prominent role in the history of salvation.