Rome: Il Salomoni, 1796. 4to (27 x 19.7 cm). Engraved portrait of Leonardo da Porto Maurizo after Stefano Casabona. In a contemporary Roman binding, speckled calf, smooth spine with with rosettes and floral tools, decorated Italian paper pastedowns, leather lettering-piece. Title and first leaf with small marginal wormhole, title with old book label removed at bottom, partially covering imprint, A2/3 sprung, some pale marginal dampstaining to several gatherings at front, intermittent pale spotting, natural paper crease in lower margin of gathering Nn; binding with rubbing at corners and board edges, spine with some wormtracks. A tall, wide-margined copy in original, unrestored condition, with a contemporary ownership signature on title. Item #407229
First edition of this biography of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751), the Italian Franciscan preacher and ascetic writer. Under the auspices of Cosimo III de' Medici, Leonard was sent to the monastery del Monte near Florence, and began to hold missions for the people of Tuscany. Alphonsus Liguori called him "the great missionary of the 18th century," attracting large crowds when invited to preach. This biography is dedicated to the Duke of York, son of James [III] of England and was written by his postulator for beatification, Giuseppe Maria da Masserano. Pope Pius VI pronounced his beatification on 19 June 1796, the year of publication, and he was canonized by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1867. The Franciscan order celebrates his feast on 26 November (outside his order it is celebrated on 27 November).