Simon Fidati of Cascia, Bl.

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Augustinian friar, preacher, and spiritual author; b. Cascia, Umbria, 1295; d. Florence, Feb. 2, 1348; buried in Cascia. Simon first studied natural philosophy in Cascia. As a result of a conversion experience that probably was occasioned by the Franciscan spiritualist Angelo Clareno, Simon turned to theology and joined the Augustinians. Until Clareno died in 1337, he remained Simon's spiritual advisor. Simon was an active and successful preacher, traveling between Florence and Rome, helping the persecuted Clareno maintain contact with his spiritual followers by transmitting messages between them. On Sept. 6, 1338, he moved to Rome, and from that time until almost the end of his life he worked on a commentary on the Gospels under the title De gestis domini salvatoris. His version of the life of Christ contain treatises on John the Baptist, Mary, the sermons and miracles of Jesus, the testament of love, and the suffering and resurrection of Jesus, as well as commentaries on Christian justice and rule. This work was circulated widely outside of Italy and exercised a continuing influence on the spirituality of the late middle ages.

In his writings, Simon urged his readers to a life modeled on Christ (cristiformitas ). His interpretation of the Scriptures had a devotional, rather than a academic, goal. Simon strongly emphasized Jesus Christ, faith, grace, and Holy Scripture as the norms of theology. He also rejected mixing quotes from Scripture with philosophical propositions. Simon influenced Martin Luther's Aristoteleskritik, and probably Luther's general theological approach, although the latter has not been proved.

Feast: Feb. 16.

Bibliography: w. eckermann, ed., De gestis domini salvatoris: Erstveroffentlichnung durch Johannes con Salerno Nach dem Tode Simons (kritische Edition) (Wurzburg and Rome 1998). n. mattioli, Epistolarium: Briefsammlung in lateinischer und italienischer Sprache (Rome 1898) 259519. Literature. w. eckermann, "Simon Fidati con Cascia, Europaische Theologie im lateinischen Mittelater," Augustiniana 47 (1997) 339356. g. cas ciano, Beato Simone Fidati (Tern 1993). w. eckermann and f.-b. stammkotter, "Die Rezeption des S. Fidati con Cascia," Analecta Augustiniana 55 (1992) 221246.

[w. eckermann]