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Giovanni Battista Scaramelli

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Ascetical writer, b. at Rome, 24 Nov., 1687; d. at Macerata, 11 Jan., 1752. He entered the Society of Jesus 21 Sept., 1706. He devoted himself to preaching for fifteen years, and long fulfilled the duties of the sacred ministry. He wrote the following works:

  • "Vita di Suor Maria Crocifissa Satellico Monaca francescana nel monastero di monte Nuovo", Venice, 1750; 5th ed., revised and corrected, Rome, 1819;
  • "Discernimento de' spiriti per il retto regolamento delle azione proprie ed altrui. Operetta utile specialemente ai Direttori delle anime", Venice, 1753; 7th ed., Rome, 1866; Sp. tr., Madrid, 1804; Ger. tr., Mainz, 1861;
  • "Direttorio ascetico in cui s' insegna il modo di condurre l'Anime per vie ordinarie della grazia alla perfezione christiana, indirizzato ai direttori della Anime", Naples, 1752, still reprinted; tr. and ed. Eyre, "The Directorium Asceticum", with preface by Cardinal Manning, Dublin and London, 1870-71; now revised ed., London, 1879-81; Lt. tr., Brixen, 1770; Louvain, 1848; Ger. tr., Augsburg, 1778; Sp., Madrid, 1806; Fr., Paris, 1854; still reprinted. In this work the author devotes four treatises to the study of (a) the means and helps necessary to attain Christian perfection ; (b) the obstacles which hinder us and the way to surmount them; (c) the virtues to be acquired (cardinal virtues, virtues of religion, those opposed to the capital sins ); (d) the theological virtues and especially charity, which is the essence of Christian perfection. His manner of dividing his subject and his method are frankly traditional and intellectualist; his unoriginal, but, as it were classic doctrines are proved by reason and authority, while the study of scruples at the end of the second treatise retains all its value after the researches of modern psychologists.
  • "Il direttorio mistico indrizato a' direttori di quelle anime che Iddio conduce per la via della contemplazione" (Venice, 1754; Lat. tr., Brixen, 1764; Louvain, 1857; Sp., Madria, 1817; Ger., Ratisbon and Mainz, 1855-56; Fr., Paris, 1865; Polish, Warsaw, 1888; Italian abridgement in the form of dialogues by Santoni, Rome, 1776; new abridgement, Rome, 1895). This work completes the method of spiritual direction the first part of which is set forth in the preceding work. Here likewise the doctrine is intellectualist and strongly opposed to the purely sentimental forms of mysticism such as Quietism.
  • "Dottrina di S. Giovanni della Croce compresa quali si contiene la 'Salita del Monte', nel secondo le 'Notti oscue', nel terzo 'l'Esercizio di Amore' e la 'Fiamma di Amor vivo'" (Lucca, 1860)
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