Girolamo Savonarola Italian priest

born in Ferrara (1452) and died in Florence (1498), aged 46


1452 in Ferrara

September 21

1474 aged 22 in Bologna

April 25

1478 aged 26 in Ferrara

Girolamo Savonarola's studies are interrupted when he is sent to the Dominican priory of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Ferrara as assistant master of novices.

1482 aged 30 in Bologna and Florence

1484 aged 32 in Prato and Bibbona


In this July a worship of an image of the Virgin Mary(1) at Prato began; people rushing there from all the country round. It worked miracles like that of Bibbona, so that building was begun and great expense incurred.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 40

1485 aged 33 in San Gimignano

Girolamo Savonarola delivers apocalyptic sermons in San Gimignano as a Lenten preacher.

1491 aged 39

Lionardo di Buonarrota, Michelangelo's older brother, becomes a devoted follower of Girolamo Savonarola and enters the Domenican Order, effectively leaving Michelangelo as eldest son of the family.

1494 aged 42 in Viterbo, Rome, Pisa, Florence, Emilia-Romagna, Castelnuovo, Pietrasanta and Sarzana

November 5

Certain messengers of the King of France arrived and went about Florence marking the houses which they preferred. They came indoors and entered all the rooms, marking one for such and such a lord, and another for such and such a baron.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 59-60

November 28

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

November 28

After a short, tense occupation of the city, and an intervention by Girolamo Savonarola (as well as the promise of a huge subsidy), the French army resumes its journey southward. Savonarola declares that by answering his call to penitence, the Florentines had begun to build a new Ark of Noah which had saved them from the waters of the divine flood.

December 6

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

December 7

The said offering was made. And he preached again in Santa Maria del Fiore, and ordered that a procession should be made, in order to thank God for the benefits received.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 74

December 14

14th December (Sunday). We heard how those Frenchmen who were marking the houses in Rome had been driven away, and many had been killed; the Romans wishing to defend themselves and not accept the Frenchmen in their city.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 76

December 16

16th December (Tuesday). Nothing but the sermons of the said Frate.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 77

December 19

19th December (Friday). Many schemes of government were taken to the Palagio. Each Gonfaloniere made a scheme, as the Frate had proposed.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 77

December 21

21st December (Sunday). He preached again; and still he did not wish any women to come; he went on discoursing about State matters, and great fear was felt lest the citizen should not agree. Chi la volava lesso e chi arrosto (One wished it boiled and another roast): i.e . everyone had a different opinion, one agreed with the Frate, and another was against him; and if it had not been for him there would have been bloodshed.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 77

December 22

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 77

December 28

28th December (Sunday). Fra Girolamo preached, and again wished no women to be present. There was a great crowd; it was judged that there were always 13 to 14 thousand people at his sermons. Everyone felt very distrustful, fearing some trouble in the beginning of this new government.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 78

1495 aged 43 in Lucca and Florence

January 1

1st January. The new Signoria entered into office, and it was a great joy to see the whole Piazza filled with citizens, quite different from other times, as a new thing, thanking God who had given this impartial government to Florence, and delivered us from subjection. And all this had been done at the instigation of the Frate.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 78

January 6

6th January (Tuesday). The Epiphany. The "Eight," in searching for money, found in San Marco 1200 florins belonging to Ser Giovanni. Some gave the blame to Fra Girolamo; but in preaching he exonerated himself, saying that he had not known anything of this money, nor had he been applied to with regard to it.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 79

January 11

11th January (Sunday). Fra Girolamo preached, and spoke much concerning the reforms in the city; and exculpated himself from various accusations, saying that there were devils who disturbed the life of the commune; and that they wrote forged letters, which made it appear as if the Frate had given Piero de' Medici hopes of returning in order to make the people turn against him. But nevertheless all this was untrue; he was entirely for the people and the common weal. He was calumniated by these foxes; but the truth would always prevail. It is the fact that he always encouraged this community of feeling amongst the people.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80

January 13

Girolamo Savonarola preaches his great Renovation Sermon to a huge audience in the Cathedral of Florence.

January 17

17th January (Saturday). Fra Girolamo preached; and concerned himself much about this peace and union of the citizens; and many of them began to grow angry with him, saying, Questo Fraluccio ci fa capitare male (This wretched monk will bring us ill-luck).

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80

January 25

25th January. Fra Girolamo preached, and asked leave of absence, saying he had to go to Lucca. The people were much displeased.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 81

April 1

1st April. Fra Girolamo preached, and said and testified that the Virgin Mary had revealed to him, that after going through much trouble, the city of Florence was to be the most glorious, the richest, and the most powerful that ever existed; and he promised this absolutely. All these things he spoke as a prophet, and the greater part of the people believed him, especially quiet people without political or party passions.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 85

April 9

Source: A Florentine Diary, p.85

1497 aged 45 in Rome and Florence


May 12

Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola and threatens the Florentines with an interdict if they persisted in harbouring him.

1498 aged 46 in Arno and Florence

March 18

After much debate and steady pressure from a worried Florentine government, Girolamo Savonarola withdraws from public preaching.

May 23

Fra Girolamo Savonarola, Fra Domenico, and Fra Silvestro Maruffi are led out in the morning into the main square where, before a tribunal of high clerics and government officials, they were condemned as heretics and schismatics, and sentenced to die forthwith. Stripped of their Dominican garments in ritual degradation, they mounted the scaffold in their thin white shirts. Each on a separate gallows, they were hanged, while fires were ignited below them to consume their bodies. To prevent devotees from searching for relics, their ashes were carted away and scattered in the Arno.

May 23

1527 in Florence

May 16

In Florence, the Piagnon, a group devoted to the memory of Girolamo Savonarola, drive out the Medici for a second time, re-establishing the Republic of Florence until 1530.

1530 in Florence

August 3

In the Battle of Gavinana, Florence is captured by Spanish troops under Prince Philibert. The Piagnon (followers of the memory of Girolamo Savonarola) are overthrown, ending the Siege of Florence, and the Medici are restored, in the person of the Pope's nephew Alessandro de' Medici.

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