| Quote #7
"Those men to whom my name was known, called me
As an inhabitant of Venus, Folco's weakness (the reason why he is not higher up in Heaven) is that he was too passionate a lover in his mortal days. Since Venus is the Roman goddess of love, it is appropriate that Folco is placed here after death. The Classical figures he lists, like Dido ("Belus' daughter"), Phyllis ("the Rhodopean woman whom Demophoön deceived"), and Hercules ("Alcides") were unfaithful or otherwise faulty lovers. That Folco considers his own acts of love worse than those of these figures suggests how corrupt he was and, by contrast, emphasizes the greatness of God's mercy, which has allowed him to repent and end up in Heaven.
| Quote #8
[St. Thomas]: "The Providence that rules the world with wisdom
This complicated passage essentially says that God's Providence, or particular love, gave the Church, "the Bride of Him," the gift of the "two princes," Saint Francis and Saint Dominic. The "blessed blood" and the referring to the saints as "princes" implies not only that the marriage is a royal one (between Christ and the Church), but that the two saints are the offspring of this noble marriage. Seen in this light, it is appropriate that the "princes" are described as angels, the first of God's children – one is "seraphic" and the other "cherubic." Their mission, of course, is to spread the holy love first expressed in the marriage.
| Quote #9
[St. Thomas on St. Francis]: "for even as a youth, he ran to war
The Franciscans' famous asceticism is captured in a clever metaphor, where St. Francis is described as lover of Lady Poverty. As readers, we are meant to admire St. Francis' generosity in loving someone to whom "none willingly unlocks the door" and who has been "scorned" by others. However, Dante spins Poverty in a positive light by showing her "constancy" to her first husband, Christ, when on the cross, even Mary abandoned him. The fact that Francis loves Poverty more than his own father shows his devotion to his God.