Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Serafino Porrecta

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 12
Serafino Porrecta

by Daniel Joseph Kennedy


Family name Capponi, called a Porrecta from the place of birth, theologian, b. 1536; d. at Bologna, 2 Jan., 1614. He joined the Dominican Order at Bologna in 1552. His life was devoted entirely to study, teaching, writing, and preaching. He is best known as a commentator on the "Summa" of St. Thomas; he also wrote valuable commentaries on the books of the Old and New Testaments. His duties as a professor prepared him well for work of this kind, for he taught philosophy, theology (dogmatic and moral), and Sacred Scripture. In 1606, Father Capponi was invited to teach theology and Sacred Scipture to the Carthusians in a monastery near Bologna. He accepted the invitation, but two years later he was recalled to Bologna, where he died. Fr. Michele Pio, who wrote his life, states that on the last day of his life Porrecta completed his explanation on the last verse of the Psalms. The people of Bologna venerated him as a saint; miracles, attested by the ordinary, are said to have been wrought through his intercession and his body was taken (1615) from the community burying-ground to be deposited in the Dominican church. It is almost universally admitted that, until the Leonine edition of St. Thomas's works appeared, there were no editions more highly prized or more helpful to students of the "Summa" than those which contained the Porrecta-Cajetan commentaries. The distinguishing features of these commentaries are well set forth in the title of the Venice edition of 1612. His principal works are: "Elucidationes formales in summam theologicam S. Thomae de Aquino" (Venice, 1588, 1596); "Summa totius theologiae D. Thomae . . . cum elucidationibus formalibus . . ." (Venice, 1612; Padua, 1698; Rome, 1773). To the first volume were added: (a) De altitudine doctrinae Thomisticae; Regulae ad lectorem; (c) Five indices. Echard censures the addition of Fr. Javelli's "Expositio in primam partem" and "Tractatus de praescientia et praedestinationa"; "Veritates aureae supra totam legem veterem . . ." (Venice, 1590); "Commentaries on St. Mattew" (Venice, 1602); "St. John" (Venice, 1604); those on St. Mark and St. Luke were not published; "Scholia super comp. Theologicae veritatis Alberti Magni" (Venice, 1588, 1590). Echard says the compendium was not by Albertus Magnus (I, p. 176); "Tota theologia S. Th. Aquin. In compendium redacta" (Venice, 1597); "Commentarii in psalmos" (one volume published, Bologna, 1692).

Quetif and Echard, Script. Ord. Proed., II (Paris, 1721), 392; Michele Pio, Vita e morte del ven. P. M. Fr. Serafino della Porrecta (Bologna, 1615).

D.J. KENNEDY