Baldo Lupetino - Baldus Lupetinus
Prominent Istrians


English

A 12 miglia da Pola, sorge la cittadina di Albona, patria di uomini distinti per virtù e forza d'ingegno, tra i quali dobbiamo annoverare Baldo Lupetino e suo nipote Mattia Flacio, che abbracciarono la riforma protestante con grande entusiasmo, sacrificiando per essa quanto di più avevano, ed il Lupetino anche la vita. 

Baldo Lupetino era nato da nobile famiglia albonese. Da giovane era entrato nell'Ordine dei Conventuali e ben presto si era fato notare per le sue doti e capacità, tanto che fu fatto Provinciale dell'Ordine. Ma abbracciato le dottrine dei protestanti tedeschi, si diede a diffondarle anche dal pulpito. Denunziato presso il Santo Officio [di Venezia] da un certo Jacopo Curzola da Cherso, dove il Lupetino aveva predicato la Quaresima del 1540 e aveva parlato contro un giubileo surrettizio di quie frati, dovette comparire dinnanzi al tribunale per scolparsi delle accuse che gli venivano mosse. Risulto dal processo che Fra Baldo ametteva la predestinazione, negave l'esistemza del Purgatorio ed il libero arbitrio, sosteneva che Cristo ci ha redenti per i Suoi meriti e quindi che erano inulati le buone opere.

In base alle risultanze del processo il Lupetino venne condenato anno 1543 al carcere perpetuo e al pagamento di 100 ducati all'arsenale di Venezia. Ma nemmeno in carcere il frate albonese desistette dalla propaganda delle sue dottrine. Per cui nel 1547 fu sotoposto ad un processo, in seguito al quale venne condannato al rogo. Risparmiato anche questa volta dalla degradazione e dalla decapitazione merce la elemenza del Doge e del Consiglio dei Dieci intercedenti il Duca di Sassonia ed altri principi tedeschi, la condanna gli fu commutata in quella di carcere fino a quando il Lupetino non si fosse ravveduto ed avesse abiurato. Si deve notare qui, che durante il secondo processo, il procuratore fiscale aveva presentato al Lupetino 16 articoli in forma di domande, alle quali l'accusato doveva dare una risposta scritta, con un semplice si o no. Ma poichè gli inquisitori vennero a sapere che per Venezia circolavano gli articoli proposti al Lupetino con il suo commento, istituirano un nuovo processo, dal quale apparve che Fra Baldo aveva continuato la sua propaganda nel carcere ed aveva conservato tutte le opinioni manifestate nei due primi processi, negando specialmente la superiorità del Papa sui Vescovi. Non volendo egli abiurare neanche questa volta alle sue dottrine, fu condannato nel settembre del 1556 alla morte per annegamento. Così dopo 20 anni di carcere sostenuto con sprezzante fierezza e dignità, ricusando di subire l'umiliazione dell'abiura, che forse gli averebbe salvato la vita, Fra Baldo Lupetino nell'anno 1556 finiva miseramente i suoi giorni affogato nelle acque della laguna. La condanna sollevò grande rumore, tanto che si tentò di liberarlo.

Nel luglio del 1553 il Duca Cristoforo del Wurtenberg, su esortazione del Vergerio, scrise al Doge chiedendo la liberazione di Fra Baldo ma il Doge rispondeva: "nostrum omnino non est eorum(qui eius generis causas discreptant)decretum aliqua ex parte immutare", (Schott Veregers Briefwechsel, p.87)


Italiano

Twelve miles from Pola (now Pula) there is a small town called Albona (now Labin) that was the home of men whose talents and great intelligence distinguished them, among these we must mention Baldo Lupetino (Baldus Lipetinus) and his nephew Mathias Flaccius who embraced the Protestant Reformation with great enthusiasm sacrifying all they had, and Lupetino even his life.

Baldo Lupetino came from a noble family of Albona. When he was still a young man, he entered the Order of Conventual Friars and soon demonstrated his gifts and abilities so that he was made provincial of the Order. But as soon as he embraced the German protestants’ doctrines, he started preaching them even from the pulpit. He was denounced to the Venetian Saint Office [Holy See?] by a man called Jacopo Curzola from Cherso (now Cres), where he had preached the Lent of 1540 and he had spoken against a surreptitious jubilee of those friars, so he was forced to appear before a court in order to exculpate himself from the accusations. During the trial it emerged that friar Baldo admitted predestination, denied the existence of purgatory and free will, but he sustained that Christ freed us through his merits so that these were included in His good actions.

In 1543, according to the results of the proceedings, Lupetino was sentenced to life imprisonment and the payment of one hundred ducats to the Venetian Arsenal. Not even in jail did he stop preaching his doctrines, so that in 1547 he was tried again and condemned to the stake. On this occasion he was again saved from degradation and beheading thanks to the Doge’s mercy and that of the Council of Ten representing the Duke of Saxony and other German princes. Lupetino’s sentence was commuted to imprisonment until he mended his ways and renounced his beliefs. We must note that during the second trial, the Public Prosecutor had given to Lupetino sixteen articles in the form of questions to which the prisoner had to give a written answer with a simple yes or no. But since the inquisitors happened to know that those articles that they gave to Lupetino were being circulated around Venice with his comments, they set up a new trial from which it emerged that Friar Baldo had continued his propaganda in jail and that he still retained all the opinions he had held during the first two trials, denying above all the superiority of the Pope over his bishops. Since not even this time did he wish to renounce his doctrines, he was condemned to death by drowning in September 1556. So, after twenty years of imprisonment during which he maintained scornful pride and dignity by refusing to be humiliated into renouncment which probably would have saved his life, Friar Baldo Lupetino miserably ended his days in 1556 by drowning in the waters of the lagoon. The sentence gave rise to a great protest which attempted to have him set free.

In July 1553 Duke Christopher of Wurtenburg on the appeal of Vergerius, wrote to the Doge asking for Friar Baldo’s freedom, but the Doge replied: “nostrum omino non est eorum (qui eius generis causas discreptant) decretum aliqua ex parte immutare”.

Translation by: Elsa Gregori (edited)

Mathias Flaccius described Lupetinus, his uncle, thus:
"The reverend Baldus Lupetinus, sprung from a noble and ancient family, was a learned monk and provincial of the order to which he belonged. After having long preached the word of God in both the vulgar languages (Italian and Sclavonian) in many cities, and defended it by public disputation in several places of celebrity with great applause, he was at last thrown into close prison at Venice, by the Inquisitor and papal legate. In this condition he continued, during nearly twenty years, to bear an undaunted testimony to the gospel of Christ, so that his bonds and doctrines were made known, not only to that city, but to the whole of Italy, and even to Europe at large, by which means evangelical truth was more widely spread. Two things, among many others, may be mentioned as marks of the singular providence of God towards this person during his imprisonment. In the first place, the princes of Germany often interceded for his liberation, but without success. And secondly, on the other hand, the papal legate, the Inquisitor, and even the Pope himself, laboured with all their might, and by repeated applications, to have him, from the very first, committed to the flames, as a noted heresiarch. This was refused by the Doge and Senate, who when he was at last con demned, freed him from the punishment of the fire by an express decree. It was the will of God that he should bear his testimony to the truth for so long a time; and that, like a person affixed to a cross, he should, as from an eminence, proclaim to all the world the restoration of Christianity, and the revelation of Antichrist.

At last, this pious and excellent man, whom neither threatenings nor promises could move, sealed his doctrine by an undaunted martyrdom, and exchanged the filth and protracted tortures of  a prison for a watery grave." 

[This text was widely repeated in the 19th century.]

Sources:

  • Main text (amended to his correct surname, Lupetino, not Lupetina) - Mario Pavat, La riforma tridentina del clero a Parenzo e Pola,  (Roma, 1960).
  • Note (amended from original) - Lovorka Čoralić, "The Venetian Inquisition and the Eastern Adriatic Coast Analysis of Legal Suits from the 16th to the 18th Centuries", ACTA HISTRIAE, VII, 1999, pp. 423-442 [synopsis extract] - http://www.zrs-kp.si/Zaloznistvo/acta/acta7/coralic.htm
  • Note - Annales # 22 (October 2000) - Grubelce in secoveljska dolina v zgodnjerimskem casu - http://www.zrs-kp.si/Zaloznistvo/annales/Anali24/maracic.htm#it

See also:


Main Menu


This page  compliments of Marisa Ciceran, Ivan Kalcic and Elsa Gregori

Created: Thursday, February 21, 2002. Last Updated: Thursday August 15, 2013
Copyright © 1998 IstriaNet.org, USA