By Livia Lupi

10 May is the feast day of St Antoninus. Born in Florence as Antonio Pierozzi in 1389, St Antoninus was a Dominican friar who became archbishop of Florence in 1446.

St Antoninus was an eminent theologian, and assisted as papal theologian at the Council of Florence. He wrote numerous works, including two Summae, a Summa theologica and a Summa confessionalis, which was a guide for confessors used for centuries. Both texts were printed posthumously in the 1470s. Antoninus held the post of prior of various Dominican convents all over Italy, including Naples, Gaeta, Rome and Florence. In Florence, he was prior of the convent of San Marco at the same time as Fra Angelico was working on his frescoes decorating all environments of the structure. 

Antoninus was canonised in 1523 by pope Adrian VI. As well as on May 10, he is also celebrated on May 2, day of his death in 1459. He is the patron of the archdiocese of Florence together with St Zenobius. 

Reference: Tommaso Leccisotti, “Sant’Antonino,” Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, Enciclopedia Treccani.

Giovanni Dupré, St Antoninus, 19th century, Uffizi, Florence.

Fra Angelico, St Antoninus, detail of Crucifixion with Saints, 1441-42, Chapter House, San Marco, Florence

Fra Angelico, Crucifixion with Saint, 1441-42, Chapter House, San Marco, Florence

Michelozzo, Cloister of San Marco, begun 1437, Florence.

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