G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Published, August, 1906
Reprinted, August, 1906; September, 1906
November, 1906; November, 1908
The Knickerbocker Press, New York
The Saint, though it is independent of Fogazzaro's earlier romances, and though it explains itself completely when read in its entirety, will perhaps be more readily understood and enjoyed. especially in the opening chapters, if a few words are said with regard to certain of its characters who have made an appearance in preceding stories by the same author. All needful information of this kind is conveyed in the following paragraph, for which we are indebted to Mrs. Crawford's article, "The Saint in Fiction," which appeared in The Fortnightly Review for April, 1906:
"Readers of Fogazzaro's earlier novels will recognise in Piero Maironi, the Saint, the son of the Don Franco Maironi who, in the Piccolo Mondo Antico, gives his life for the cause of freedom, while he himself is the hero of the Piccolo Mondo Moderno. For those who have not read the preceding volumes it should be explained that his wife being in a lunatic asylum, Maironi, artist and dreamer, had fallen in love with a beautiful woman separated from her husband, Jeanne Dessalle, who professed agnostic opinions. Recalled to a sense of his faith and his honour by an interview with his wife, who sent for him on her death-bed, he was plunged in remorse, and disappeared wholly from the knowledge of friends and relatives after deposking in the hands of a venerable priest, Don Giuseppe Flores, a sealed paper describing a prophetic vision concerning his life that had largely contributed to his conversion. Three years are supposed to have passed between the close of the Piccolo Mondo Moderno and the opening of Il Santo, when Maironi is revealed under the name of Benedetto, purified of his sins by a life of prayer and emaciated by the severity of his mortifications, while Jeanne Dessalle, listless and miserable, is wandering around Europe with Noemi d'Arxel. sister to Maria Selva, hoping against hope for the reappearance of her former lover."