Marco di San Francesco

Agnus Dei Atop Mountain

Bronze, 86.9 mm Ø, 207.2 g
By Antonio Selvi, 1748.
Obverse:  Bust of Marco di San Francesco facing right, wearing zucchetto and Carmelite habit. Around, P · MARCVS · A · S · FRANC · VENET CARM · EXSC · ORAT · SAC · EXIM · ÆT · XXXVI (Father Marco di San Francesco, Venetian, Discalced Carmelite, Sacred Orator, at the Age of 36). Under truncation, A · SELVI .
Reverse:  The Lamb of God atop a mountain from which springs of water flow, of which people drink. Two palm trees in the background on the right. Around, in two ribbon cartouches, DOCTRINA · ET · ELOQVIO · / DE · FONTIBVS · SALVATORIS (Teaching and Eloquence from the Sources of the Savior). In exergue, A · CIƆ · IƆ · CCXLVIII / FLORENTIÆ · (The Year 1748, Florence).

Marco di San Francesco was a Carmelite friar known for his preaching and translations. He was born Giancarlo Rossetti in Venice on April 5, 1712. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites of St. Teresa in Padua on April 6, 1727, at the age of fifteen, and assumed the name Marco di San Francesco the following year. At first a teacher of philosophy to novices, his superiors recognized his scholarly skills and he began work as a translator. He translated from French the works of the Carmelite friar Onorato di Santa Maria (1651-1729).

Marco di San Francesco began his career as a preacher in 1742 and continued until 1746. He then devoted two years to translating from Spanish the works of the Carmelite friar Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591). He resumed preaching in 1748 in Florence, and was in Perugia in 1751. He asked to retire in 1755 due to ill health, but was preaching once again, this time in Fano, in 1757. It seems that he again reduced his preaching after this, no doubt due to his health, and he would then focus on translations and his own writings. Marco di San Francesco died in 1793 at the age of 81.

This medal was commissioned by Antonio Francesco Gori, a Florentine antiquarian and provost of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, in 1748 to celebrate Marco di San Francesco's return to preaching in Florence after his absence of two years. The reverse of the medal refers to the eloquence and sacred knowledge from his preaching, which comes from the source of Christ the Savior and quenches the thirst of the faithful. The imagery is taken from the Apocalypse of St. John.


Numismatica Varesi 70, 19 April 2017, lot 198.

Raffaele Negrini 40, 30 January 2015, lot 733.


Vannel and Toderi 1987, no. 210

Johnson 1990, no. 546

Voltolina 1998, no. 1489