James of the Marches, St.
JAMES OF THE MARCHES, ST.
Papal nuncio, early leader of the Franciscan Observants; baptized Giacomo Gangala; also known as James (Giacomo) della Marca; b. Monteprandone, in the March of Ancona, 1393; d. Naples, Nov. 28, 1476. He was reared by a priest uncle at Offida, studied the humanities at Ascoli, and took civil and canon law at the University of Perugia. He was frequently sent on various missions in the interest of the Church and the Franciscan Order: in 1430 he went to Bohemia against the hussites; in 1432 the Minister General William of Casale sent him to Bosnia to combat the bogomils; and he was inquisitor against the fraticelli in 1441. He went back to Bosnia and Dalmatia in 1452, and replaced john capistran as nuncio to Hungary in 1456. With bernardine of siena and Capistran, James worked tirelessly throughout his life for the success of the Church and the Franciscan Order. These three "pillars of the Observance" (see franciscans) came together in a historic meeting near Lake Trasimeno in May 1444, shortly before Bernardine's death. James's efforts to effect Bernardine's canonization met with success on Pentecost 1450. James received two saintly disciples into the order: Bernardine of Fossa in 1445 and bernardine of feltre in 1456. James failed in his efforts to implement callistus iii's Bulla concordiae (Feb. 2, 1456), designed to unite the
Franciscan Conventuals and the Observants. In 1458 James returned to Italy and spent the rest of his life evangelizing Italian towns and establishing the montes pietatis In 1472 sixtus iv sent him to Naples to preach reform. James, whose body rests in S. Maria Nuova in Naples, was beatified in 1624 and canonized in 1726. His writings are largely unedited or lost.
Feast: Nov. 28.
Bibliography: San Giacomo della Marca nell'Europa del '400, International conference, September 7–10, 1994, ed. s. bracci (Padua 1997). a. gattucci, "Frate Giacomo della Marca bibliofilo e un episodo librario del 1450," in: Miscellanea Augusto Campana, Mediaevalia e Umanistica, 44–45 (Padua, 1981), 313–353. m. sgattoni, La vita di S. Giacomo della Marca per fra' Venanzio da Fabriano (Zara 1940). d. lasiČ, De vita et operibus S. Iacobi de Marchia: studium et recensio quorundam textuum (Ancona 1974), includes text of "Miracula facta virtute sacri nominis Jesu." a. ghinato, "Apostolato religioso e sociale di S. Giacomo della Marca in Terni," Archivum Franciscanum historicum, 49 (Quaracchi-Florence 1956) 106–142, 352–390. s. candela, S. Giacomo della Marca nel V centenario della morte (Naples 1976); S. Giacomo della Marca e Santa Maria la Nova di Napoli (Naples 1972). d. capone, Iconografia di s. Giacomo della Marca nell'ambiente napoletano lungo i secoli (Naples 1976); ed., S. Giacomo della Marca nel rotolo remissoriale della sua beatificazione (Naples 1972).