A Man Of The People

By: Carmelo Arnoldin


Available at Amazon.ca

2022 ISBN 978-1-989861-56-1


A young peasant’s enduring quest to help the poor in fifteenth-century Italy.

From childhood, Donato Crivelli witnesses the brutal living conditions of the serfs in his hamlet of Alagna. The church and state tax them relentlessly and show no mercy—not even during times of famine when many die of hunger.

A vision of leading his people from lives of destitution compels Donato to leave home and enter the monastery at the age of fifteen. There, he hopes to gain the education that will empower him to bring about the change necessary to end the dire poverty.
Donato suffers for years within the rigid monastery community that regards peasants as no more than animals, but his vow to help the peasants endures.

Once ordained, Fra’ Donato requests to serve as a village priest outside of the monastery. The Lord Abbot, affronted and shocked at his determination to leave the monastery—and its comforts—sends him to Sauris, a poor village on the far side of Italy. Soon after, Fra‘ Donato is caught between the demands of the church and the needs of his parishioners when a devastating drought leaves the villagers in dire straits. He refuses to collect tithes but must then face the fury of Bishop Graziani and Lord Lodovico who strike out with fists of iron.

Excommunicated by his church and labelled a rebel and heretic, Donato’s run from the authorities brings him to the forefront of a revolutionary movement.