A lad of about twenty-three, a peasant from the neighbourhood of the Sieci, was arrested, who on Easter night had shut himself up in Santa Maria del Fiore, and hidden under the altar of Our Lady towards the Chapter-house; the next morning he robbed the Madonna of certain silver ornaments on her arms and legs and eyes, and behaved in a disgusting way to show his contempt. And imagine how utterly worthless this crazy fellow was, when he had only been liberated by the captain on Holy Thursday after having been imprisoned for theft. On Saturday he was hung from the Campanile. I have mentioned him rather than others, because having been let out of prison on Thursday, the very next Sunday he committed this outrage.
A league was made with the Sienese for twenty-five years, and our fortresses were restored to us. At this time there died at Faenza a Brother of the Order of the Servi di Maria,(1) who had performed many miracles; the bells having rung of their own accord when anyone died, and sick persons being healed. People went to him from all the country round. I spoke to a trustworthy man, who said that he had witnessed these facts. Miracles were constantly happening; sometimes down by the river and sometimes up in the mountains; and sometimes he was seen speaking with a woman, who was the Virgin. I mention this to show that people were in the mood to expect great things from God.
(1) From the Historie di Faenza by Giulio Cesare Tonduzzi, and the Annali dell' Ordine de' Serviti by Arcangelo Giani, we find that this was the Beato Jacopo Filippo Bertoni, who died on the 25th May, 1483. These writers also testify to the prodigies referred to by Landucci, which so moved the Faentini that they wished honours to be conferred upon Misserino Bertoni dalla Cella di Monte Chiaro, father of the defunct, by a public decree.
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.
(1) This is the Madonna called della Carceri, which is worshipped at Prato, where there was soon built a very elegant temple after the design of Giuliano da San Gallo. Ferdinando Baldanzi wrote a fine description of it, which can be read in the Calendario Pratense of 1847. A church was also built at Bibbona in the Volterrano, in honour of the other image mentioned on the 12th June, 1482. Savonarola alludes to the prodigies worked by these two images in the second of his Poesie tratte dall' autografo, in which he says:
"O anima cecata Tu senti mille segni A Prato e a Bibbona"
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.