G. B. Marino's Dicerie Sacre, "Sacred Orations," are a sort of lay sermons in which varied religious subjects, but especially with reference to Jesus Christ, are dealt with. While waiting for the opportunity to read it (it will be the Christmas present from my sister, of course on the recipient's advice), the first data gathered online sound definitely encouraging ;-) As a true Baroque author, and a free-minded one at the same time, Marino starts from the elements of tradition, then reworks them leading them as far as he can. If we have learned something about a decent way to interpret him, we can predict that these "sacred talks" are much more than a display of erudition -- though they also are, after the rediscovery of the Church Fathers in the Renaissance; see Torquato Tasso's long poem Il Mondo Creato.
As an appetizer, the first part of the Dicerie Sacre is 'devoted' to the Sindone, the Holy Shroud that popped up in Lirey, France, in 1353, then belonged to the noble Savoy family, the future Kings of Italy, from the mid-15th century, and is kept in Turin from the late 16th century. It is believed to be the very linen cloth that enveloped the body of the dead Christ. Its origin and earlier vicissitudes, as well as some of the later ones, are a matter of controversy. Marino wrote the Dicerie during the years 1608-14, precisely when he was in the service of Duke Carlo Emanuele I di Savoia. His strong point is that the unusual optical, physical, etc., features of the Holy Shroud can be seen as the bedrocks of a whole theory on Art; an idea that is often considered as dating back to Pope John Paul II in the late 20th century.
We will examine the book more in depth as soon as possible. So, Santa Claus, hurry!