mikeh wrote:If by chance it could be shown that the earliest Popess card (before the PMB) had the keys, too, it would be even more persuasive, and tend to count against Popess = Manfreda as the original, because of the authoritarian nature of the keys, at least as I understand Matt. 16:19, part of the "age of the son" that Manfreda was against (and suffered from).
The thing that counts most against the secret survival of the Guglielmite cult inspiring Bianca Maria to make a picure of Manfreda as a Popess is that there is no reason to believe her cult of the late 13th century did
Secondarily, even if the Visconti family did have the original documents, there is no mention of the word "papissa" (Latin for Papessa
) in them. It does mention that Manfreda was supposed to become Papa, but it doesn't change the gender of the term and doesn't make much of a big deal of the claim.
The first person I can find to use the term Papissa
when describing Maifreda is Giovanni Pietro Puricelli (1589-1659), in his summary of the beliefs of the sect of Guglielmites, point 8 (of twelve). This was first edited and published by Lodovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750) in 1741 (this summary was widely translated into Italian, French and English).
Puricelli’s summary of Saramita’s statements goes:
“Mayfreda futura erat vera Papissa
, auctoritate & potestate veri Papae praedita, ita ut Papa & Papatus Ecclesiae Romanae, qui tunc erat, abolendus esset, & locum daturus Mayfredae Papissae
, aqua baptismo sacro abluendi erant Judaei, Saraceni, ceteraeque nationes, quae sunt extra Ecclesiam Romanam, & nondum sunt baptizatae.“
(Lodovico Antonio Muratori, ed., Antiquitates italicae medii aevi
, t. 5 (Milan, 1741), col. 92)
(In the future Maifreda was to be a true Popess
, provided with the authority and power of the true Pope, just as the Pope and Papacy of the Roman Church, which then was, would be abolished, and the place being given to the Popess Maifreda
, Jews, Saracens, and the other nations, who are outside of the Roman Church and not yet baptized, should be cleansed in the water of holy baptism.)
Compare this to the original from the deposition of Andrea Saramita (which Puricelli had in front of him), 13 August 1300:
“…[S]oror Mayfeda deberet esse verus papa
et habere plenam et veram iurisdictionem et auctoritatem veri papa et quod ipsa deberet esse verus vicarius Spiritus sancti in terra et quod papa et papatus Romane ecclesie, que nunc est, et eius ritus et auctoritatas et curia cardinalium cessare deberent. Et quod dicta soror haberet predictam auctoritatem pape et papatus Romane ecclesie et quod ipsa Mayfreda
deberet baptiçare Iudeos et Sarracenos et omnes alias nationes que sunt extra ecclesiam Romanam que nundum sunt baptiçate.”
(Marina Benedetti, ed., Milano 1300. I processi inquisitoriali contro le devote e i devoti di santa Guglielma
(Scheiwiller, 1999), pp. 172-174)
(Sister Maifreda would be the true pope
and have full and real jurisdiction and authority of the true pope and that she would be the true vicar of the Holy Spirit on the earth and that the pope and papacy of the Roman Church which currently exists, along with its rites, authorities and curia of cardinals would cease. And that the said sister would have the foresaid authority of the pope and papacy of the Roman Church and that Maifreda herself
would baptize Jews, Saracens and all other nations that are outside the Roman Church who are not yet baptized.)
The notion that the PMB Popess (or even the existence of the Popess among the Tarot trumps) represents Manfreda da Pirovano is a romantic fantasy that should be discarded.