Documents Related to the Arena Chapel

Bull of Pope Benedict XI granting indulgences for visitors to the Arena Chapel --March 1, 1304 (source: James Stubblebine, Giotto: The Arena Chapel Frescoes , p. 105): Therefore, Eternal Life, etc. since it should be priased. Accordingly, we beseech and through God exhort the universal community of the faithful, urging for the remission of your sins, insofar as you do visit, in the spirit of humility, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Charity in the Paduan Arena, imploring God forgiveness of sins.

We therefore, as the faithful of Christ, almost as a salubrious reward, shall invite to these merits, by the mercy of the omnipotent God and his holy Apostles Peter and Paul, confident of his authority, those who, having confessed and being fully penitent, shall solemnly visit the aforementioned church on the feasts of the Nativity, of the Annunciation, of the Purification, and of the Assumption of the Virgin, to be granted a dispensation of one year and forty days, and for those who shall solemnly visit the church for one week immediately following the feast days, we mercifully give dispensation of one hundred days from the injunction of penance. Dated at the Lateran, on the first of March in the first year.


Complaint of the Eremitani Monks --January 9, 1305 (source: James Stubblebine, Giotto: The Arena Chapel Frescoes, pp. 106-107: ...[S]ince the Prior of the aforesaid Monastery [Eremitani] has lodged a complaint in your presence, that the noble and powerful soldier, Lord Enric Scrovegni the magnificent, citizen of Padua, had made and newly constructed a new bell tower in the Arena at the church which is located there, in order to place huge new bells in it to the gave scandal, damage, prejudice and injury of the friars and monks who dwell in that place, or in other words of the aforementioned Monastery and those of thge Order located there, and of the Convent and of the Church, and that, according to their sworn statements, there ought not to be a huge church in the Arena, but a small one with one altar in the manner of an oratory, and not with many altars, and further it ought to be without bells and without a bell tower according to the manner and form ascertained and contained in the document of concession made of the aforementioned Lord Enrico by the then Lord Bishop of Padua. The form and manner of the concession is as follows:

That Lord Enrico will be allowed to construct in the Arena, or in that place which is called the Arena, without prejudice to the rights of others, a small church, almost in the manner of an oratory, for himself, his wife, his mother and his family, and that people ought not to be allowed to frequent this church. He should not have built a large church there and the many other things which have been made there more for pomp, vainglory and wealth than for praise, glory and honor of God. And again, these things have been done counter to the form and tenor of the concession of the Lord Bishop....


Deliberations of the Venetian High Council --March 16, 1305 (Source: James Stubblebine, Giotto: The Arena Chapel Frescoes pp. 107-8): Since Sir Enrico Scrovegni intends to have his chapel at Padua consecrated at some time, and he asked for such hangings from San Marco as might be useful to him, the number of such hangings which he needed was obtained.