His young wife took it upon herself to do penance for the worldly excesses of her husband. One day Vanna, at the insistence of Jacomo, attended a public tournament. She was sitting in the stands with the other noble ladies when the stands collapsed. Vanna was killed. Her shaken husband was even more disturbed when he realized that the penitential girdle she wore was for his sinfulness. On the spot, he vowed to radically change his life.

He divided his possessions among the poor and entered the Secular Franciscan Order (once known as the Third Order). Often dressed in penitential rags, he was mocked as a fool and called Jacopone, or “Crazy Jim,” by his former associates. The name became dear to him. After 10 years of such humiliation, Jacopone asked to be a member of the Order of Friars Minor) (First Order).

Because of his reputation, his request was initially refused. He composed a beautiful poem on the vanities of the world, an act that eventually led to his admission into the Order in 1278. He continued to lead a life of strict penance, declining to be ordained a priest. Meanwhile he was writing popular hymns in the vernacular.

Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had on their side two cardinals of the Church and Pope Celestine V. These two cardinals, though, opposed Celestine’s successor, Boniface VIII. At the age of 68, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned. Although he acknowledged his mistake, Jacopone was not absolved and released until Benedict XI became pope five years later. He had accepted his imprisonment as penance. He spent the final three years of his life more spiritual than ever, weeping “because Love is not loved.” During this time he wrote the famous Latin hymn, Stabat Mater.

On Christmas Eve in 1306 Jacopone felt that his end was near. He was in a convent of the Poor Clares with his friend, Blessed John of La Verna. Like Francis, Jacopone welcomed “Sister Death” with one of his favorite songs. It is said that he finished the song and died as the priest intoned the Gloria from the midnight Mass at Christmas. From the time of his death, Brother Jacopone has been venerated as a saint.

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  1. Dear Blessed Jacopone da Todi, please pray for my brother J who is wrapped up in worldliness and an atheist that God the Father would soften his heart and would lead him back to Himself. Also pray for me and my family that we too would reject worldliness and draw close to God.


  2. Philanthropy is what is worldly love. Must confess as a hiker and dog walker; having a hard time with the admittance that I would rather be hiking trails than at home. Do do my studies and work for income but would rather be outside any day and I teach my children to love the outdoors, also.

  3. The poetry of Blessed Jacopone da Todi:
    From “Love That Is Silent”:

    Love, silent as the night,
    Who not one word wilt say,
    That none may know thee right!
    0 Love that lies concealed,
    Through heat and storm and cold,
    That none may guess nor read
    Thy secrets manifold;
    Lest thieves should soon grow bold
    To steal away thy treasure,
    Snatch it and take to flight
    Deep-hid, thy secret fires
    More ardently shall glow;
    And he who screens thee close,
    Thy fiercest heat shall know.

    Blessed Jacopone da Todi, pray for us!

    AND. CAN. CALM. THE. SOUL !!!!!!!
    WE,,NEED,,,,,,,PEACE. ON. EARTH………..AND….GOOD…WILL….TO…ALL!!! ✝️

  5. Dear Blessed Jacopone de Todo: Your life was a real rollercoaster, with many ups and downs. So, you understand how life for us is today. Please pray for the people of the world who face the coronavirus, and I will pray that God shows you His great mercy. Thank you.


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