On the 24th December 2003 Romana Guarnieri died. Ten years have passed, but those who had the fortune to know her will never forget her open smile, bright blue eyes and especially the great intellectual and spiritual passion that was accompanied by an unlimited generosity.
was a true child of her time: born in
the death of De Luca she works closely with his intellectual enterprise, then
she becomes herself the heart of important meetings, with Catholics and
Communists as Tronti, with feminists such as Luisa Muraro, all contributors to
the magazine that was born from these unpredictable exchange of ideas,
"Bedlam" (from number 23 of December 1998 we publish excerpts taken
from the article From Hadewych to Hadewych). Her constant love, the focal point
of her research, has always been the popular Beguines of
Her knowledge of Flemish languages made her rediscover the great mystic and poet Hadewych of Antwerp, from whom she translated poems and works, but above all it helped to establish the attribution of a manuscript found in the Vatican Library - The Mirror of Simple Souls - of a Beguine condemned to the stake, Marguerite Porete, an attribution that changed not only the history of mysticism, but also that of Western philosophy, due to the great influence exercised, in an obivious but not confessed way, of Porete on Meister Eckhart. Romana was therefore a pioneer of historical studies on women, and she supported them with great passion, continuing also to take an interest in those women whom she called the "Italian Beguines", such as Angela of Foligno.
With her warm enthusiasm she also addressed these studies to priests who had a passion for history, with whom she often kept contact for decades, bonds of a spiritual kind, in which she was the guide and teacher. And today “women church world” greets in her a founder ante litteram.
of Lucetta Scaraffia
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 12, 2019
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