Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Thomas of Celano

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THOMAS of Celano, the contemporary and supposed biographer of Francis of Assisi, was born probably towards the end of the 12th century, and died about 1255. He derives his surname from Celano (q.v.), in the Abruzzo Ulteriore. His name does not occur among those of the earliest disciples of Francis, but he is recorded by some historians of the order, though not by all, to have held the office of custos in various Franciscan houses (Cologne, Mainz, Worms, Spires) from 1221 onwards. An old biography of Francis, which is incorporated in the Acta Sanctorum, is attributed to Thomas with much probability, and nothing cogent has been urged against his authorship of the Dies Iræ. (see Hymns, vol. xii. p. 583), although, so far as is at present known, his name is not associated with that remarkable poem by any writer earlier than 1385.