Musso, Cornelio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Cornelio Musso was a Franciscan preacher, bishop, and a conciliar father. He completed his philosophical-theological and humanistic studies at the University of Padua in 1533. In those same years, he began his commitment as a preacher in Italian, which continued throughout his life from many Italian pulpits, though especially he prayed in Rome, called by the Pope Paul III in 1538, who later appointed him bishop of Bitonto. Still confident in the reunification of the Church, Musso participated in the Council of Trent and worked to promote an authentic reform of the Roman Church. The central theme of his preaching is the necessity of personal and interior conversion, reachable through the imitation of Christ. This moral change is regarded as an indispensable premise for a reform of the ecclesiastical institution. His preaching relied on few key elements, such as Humanist culture, Franciscan spirituality, and Augustinian inspiration. These combined intellectual sources had an impact on the characterizing aspects of his praying, in particular on the moral content, on the Christocentric religiosity, and on the emotional tension to move the feelings and the will of the believers. Confident in the power of the word, rhetorically elevated, Musso’s sermons were inspired by the great models of classical and patristic rhetoric, leaving behind forms of medieval preaching. His sermons paved the way for the modern history of sacred eloquence and inspired Musso’s most famous successor, Francesco Panigarola, as well as representatives of the flourishing seventeenth-century literary and religious scenes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Concilio di Trento
  • Council of Trent
  • Oratoria sacra
  • Oratoria sacra nel secolo XVI
  • Predicazione in lingua volgare
  • Sacred oratory
  • Vulgar preaching


Dive into the research topics of 'Musso, Cornelio'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this