Boston Friar Translates OFM History Book

John Maganzini, OFM Friar News

BOSTON — St. Anthony Shrine’s Raphael Bonanno, OFM, co-director of the Holy Name Ministry of the Word, has translated the latest scholarly history of the Franciscan Order from Italian to English.

In the Name of Saint Francis, written by Grado Giovanni Merlo, president for 20 years of the Societa Internazionale degli Studi Francescani, was published April 15 by the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University. The original Italian edition appeared in 2003.

The importance of the book is that, for the first time, a scholar used the most recent Franciscan research of the last 30-plus years. As a layman, Merlo is not out to prove who the “true” Franciscans are today, as was the case with past historians like Heribert Holzapfel, Raphael Huber and Lazaro Iriarte, all Franciscan priest-scholars representing respectively the OFM, Conventual and Capuchin traditions, Raphael said.

bonannoThe book covers the first three centuries of the Order, from the death of St. Francis to the Council of Trent, from 1226 to 1542. The book has also been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Slovenian.

Raphael’s translation was further edited by Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, and Jean-Francois Godet-Cologeras, both of the Franciscan Institute at SBU.

Franciscans of the English-speaking world, which covers some 50 countries, will be interested in reading this work.

Raphael served as director of communications for the Order from 1993 to 1995 and holds a degree from the Franciscan Institute.

— Br. John is vicar of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston and director of the Province’s postulant program.