medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (27. June) is the feast day of:
1) Zoilus of Córdoba (?). Z. is an early martyr of Córdoba, first mentioned (with the name-form Zoellus) by Prudentius at _Peristephanon_ 4. 19. The (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology enters him for today. Usuard adds a brief statement to the effect that Z.'s relics were found by a bishop Agabius in a place where they had been buried; a longer Inventio (BHL 9024d), first attested from the tenth century, places this discovery in the time of king Sisebut (d. 621) and relates that Z.'s relics were first brought to a little basilica of St. Felix that bishop Agapius later replaced with a larger church dedicated to Z. The tenth-century Calendar of Córdoba gives today as that of Z.'s principal feast and 4. November as that of the Invention of his relics. In the eleventh century Z. received a brief Passio (BHL 9022) that tells us nothing useful about him.
In 883 Z. was one of the Cordoban saints whose putative relics were translated to Oviedo. In the eleventh century those of Z. were further translated to the monastery of Carrión de los Condes in the diocese of Palencia; the monastery then came to be known by his name. Herewith some views of its twelfth-/sixteenth-century iglesia de San Zoilo, starting with the west portal of the original church:
Multiple views of that portal's capitals and, inside the church, of the sarcophagus of the count of Carrión:
A larger view of the sarcophagus:
Some views of the originally fourteenth-century ermita de San Zoilo at Cáseda (Navarra):
Views of the ornamental portal (use the images at bottom to isolate details):
Another detail view of the portal:
Cleaning the tympanum:
A suite of views starts here (and continues with the images at upper right):
2) Majorinus of Acqui (d. 4th cent.?). M. (also Majoranus, Malerinus; in Italian, Maggiorino) is the very shadowy protobishop of Acqui Terme in Piedmont. Usually, one says "the legendary protobishop of". But M., alas, has no legend. What he does have is an eleventh-century diocesan chronology that lists him first and says that he directed the see of Acqui for thirty-four years and eight months, that he died on 27. June, and that he was buried in a church dedicated to St. Peter. Today's chiesa di San Pietro at Acqui, though vastly transformed since the Middle Ages, is originally of the tenth or early eleventh century; it was from this building, in whose paleochristian predecessor M. is thought to have been interred, that M. was later said to have been translated to Acqui's then new cathedral by bishop St. Guido (Wido; d. 1070).
According to what Dom Pompeo Ravera, quoted by the diocese of Acqui at <http://www.diocesiacqui.piemonte.it/maggiorino.htm> calls a very ancient tradition adopted by eminent scholars ("Una tradizione, antichissima, fatta propria da eminenti studiosi"), M. was created bishop by pope St. Sylvester after the Edict of Milan. Ravera adds that it's more probable that M. participated in the council of Milan in 355 than that he was the Maiorinus present at Sylvester's Roman synod of 324. Whether either is more than remotely likely does not emerge from this formulation.
Acqui's cathedral, consecrated in 1067, has been rebuilt several times. Its transept and apses preserve their early, "romanesque" form. The belltower is originally of the thirteenth century. A few exterior views:
The Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on this church and on Acqui Terme's chiesa di San Pietro has good views of the cathedral's crypt:
By the time of Filippo Ferrari, the early seventeenth-century cataloger of Italy's saints, the exact location of M.'s remains had been forgotten. M. has yet to grace the pages of the RM.
3) Sampson the Hospitable (d. 4th or 5th cent.). We first of S. (also Samson, also S. the Hospitaler) in a novel of Justinian I from 3. November 537 referring to a master of Constantinople's hospice of Sampson of blessed memory. According to Procopius (_De aedificiis_, 1. 2. 13-16), S. had established this hospice "in early times"; the building itself had been damaged by fire in the Nika riots of 532 and Justinian had rebuilt and enlarged it. Crediting him with numerous healing miracles, S.'s legendary tenth-century periphrastic Bios (BHG 1615) says that he was laid to rest in the church of St. Mocius, where the ill were wont to anoint themselves with exudate from his myrrh-streaming body. Less plausibly, the Bios makes him a relative of Mocius', has him ordained priest by patriarch Menas (536-552), and claims that he miraculously saved his hospice from the Nika fire.
A novel of Manuel I Comnenus of March 1166 includes today, because of the veneration of the holy thaumaturge S., among those when the courts are not in session. In 1200 Anthony of Novgorod venerated at S.'s hospice the saint's staff, stole, and (other) priestly vestments. We have an encomium of S. by the late thirteenth-/early fourteenth-century theologian and hagiographer Constantine Acropolites (BHG 1615d).
Herewith a computer-generated reconstruction of S.'s hospice as rebuilt by Justinian:
S. as depicted (at left; at right, St. Cyrus) in the earlier thirteenth-century frescoes (1230s) in narthex of the church of the Ascension in the Mileševa monastery near Prijepolje (Zlatibor dist.) in southern Serbia:
S. as depicted in a June calendar portrait in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. ca. 1312 and 1321/1322) of the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending on one's view of the matter, either Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the Republic of Kosovo:
S. (at left; at right, the martyrdom of Sts. Cyrus and John) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) of the narthex in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
4) Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444). C. succeeded his uncle Theophilus as bishop of Alexandria in 412. An uncompromising champion of the orthodoxy he had a large part in formulating, he continued his uncle's feud with St. John Chrysostom even after the latter's death, provoked riots against Alexandria's Novatianists and Jews, had both groups exiled from the city, and stirred up other riots against the imperial prefect, whom he loathed, and against the latter's friends (one of whom was the philosopher Hypatia, killed in 415). In 429 he began his lengthy battle against Nestorius, N.'s followers, and those whom he considered N.'s forerunners (e.g. Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia). At the council of Ephesus in 431 C. managed to secure both the condemnation of Nestorius and the elevation of the see of Alexandria to the status of a patriarchate.
C. has left numerous exegetical and dogmatic writings. The Western martyrologies from Bede onward enter him under 28. January. The earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples has him twice, once on 7. June and once on 7. July.
C. (at right; at left, St. Athanasius of Alexandria) as depicted in a thirteenth-century menaion from Cyprus (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 1561, fol. 77r):
C. as depicted in the later thirteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1260 and 1263) of the altar area in the church of the Holy Apostles in the Patriarchate of Peć at Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
C. (at left; at right, an unidentified hierarch) as depicted in the later thirteenth-century (either ca. 1263-1270 or slightly later) frescoes of the altar area in the monastery church of the Holy Trinity at Sopoćani (Raška dist.) in southern Serbia:
C. as depicted ca. 1300 in a fresco attributed to Manuel Panselinos in the Protaton church on Mt. Athos:
C. as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1313-ca. 1320) of the altar area in the King's Church (dedicated to Sts. Joachim and Anne) in the Studenica monastery near Kraljevo (Raška dist.) in southern Serbia:
C. (at right; at left, St. Basil the Great; at center, St. Gregory of Nazianzus) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1315 and 1321) of the parecclesion of the Chora Church (Kariye Camii) in Istanbul:
C. (at left; at right, St. John the Almsgiver) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) in the nave of the church of the Pantocrator at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
C. (at left; at center, St. Athanasius of Alexandria; at right, St. Leontius of Rostov) as depicted in a fifteenth-century Novgorod School icon now in the Museum of History and Architecture in Novgorod:
C. (again followed by John the Almsgiver) as depicted in the restored mid-sixteenth-century frescoes (1544; attributed to Joseph Houris) of the St. Neophytos monastery near Paphos in the Republic of Cyprus:
5) John of Chinon (d. 6th cent.). According to St. Gregory of Tours, _In gloria confessorum_, cap. 23, J. was a priest of Breton nationality who became a recluse at an oratory he had constructed at today's Chinon (Indre-et-Loire). Gregory tells a nice miracle story about one of the laurel trees under which J. had been wont to read. J.'s cult was connected medievally to that of St. Radegund, thanks to an incident in Baudonivia's Vita of R. (BHL 7049) wherein that saint, preparing to enter religion and fleeing the menaces of her spouse king Chlotar I, sends J. a bejeweled ornament and her rich dress and asks that he pray that she never return to secular life.
In the twelfth century a rock-cut structure at Chinon identified as having been J.'s cell was converted into a church. It is now known as the chapelle Sainte-Radegonde. Some views:
Closer views of the best known fresco:
Here the colors seem miraculously refreshed:
6) Adeodatus of Naples (d. ca. 671). This less well known saint of the Regno was celebrated medievally on 1. October; that, according to the Marble Calendar of Naples, was the day of his deposition. Number thirty-three in the catalogue of Naples' early bishops, he is said to have ruled for eighteen years in the time of the emperor Constans II (641-68) and of pope St. Vitalian (657-72).
Constans spent much of 663 in Naples, directing a military campaign against the Lombards of southern Italy; during this time he made major donations to the local church. A. is conjectured to have used some of this wealth to build the basilica since known as that of Santa Restituta and to have overseen the translation of that saint's remains from Ischia to this church, now part of Naples' later medieval cathedral. According to a tenth-century sermon embodying some of the highly dubious Acta of St. Patricia of Constantinople, venerated at Naples (25. August), A. officiated at the latter's funeral at the city's monastery of Sts. Nicander and Marcian. The late ninth-/early tenth-century chronicler of Naples' bishops, John the Deacon, gives no particulars about A.'s life or character. His putative relics repose, along with others said to be of St. Constantius of Capri, in the abbey crypt at Montevergine. A. has yet to grace the pages of RM.
7) Arialdus (d. 1066). The well-educated A., a deacon of Milan, taught at that city's cathedral school and in 1057 emerged into public view as the leader of the Pataria, the anti-nicolaism and anti-simony movement within the Ambrosian church. Supported by reforming popes and opposed by his simoniac archbishop (Guido da Velate, 1045-71), he provoked violence against his ecclesiastical opponents and received the same from them.
After the Patarenes got Alexander II to excommunicate the archbishop, the latter took his revenge on A. (who had gone into hiding outside the city) by hunting him down and having him arrested. A. was taken to a castle belonging to a niece of the archbishop and thence to a little island in Lago Maggiore, where he underwent a grisly execution. A year later, peace was made between the parties and A.'s body was brought back to Milan, where it was displayed with honor at Sant'Ambrogio for ten days before being buried in a local monastery. Alexander II is said to have declared A. a martyr.
An illustrated, Italian-language page on the Rocca di Angera, the castle to which A. was taken just before his murder (shown in a later medieval rebuilding):
Andrew of Strumi's _Vita Arialdi_ (BHL 673) was edited by Friedrich Baethgen in MGH Scriptores, vol. 30, pt. 2. The edition by Marco Navoni (Andrea da Strumi, _Passione del santo martire milanese Arialdo_ [Milano: Jaca Book, 1994]) is based on Baethgen's with recourse as well to a photocopy of the unique ms. of the Vita but normalizes spellings for ease of reading comprehension. Navoni adds a brief (78 paragraphs) anonymous Passio of A. (BHL 677).
8) Ferdinand of Aragon (d. later 11th cent., supposedly). This less well known and very poorly documented saint of the Regno has been venerated on this day in the vicinity of Caiazzo (CE) in northern Campania since at least the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when he appears in notices by the Capuan ecclesiastical historian Michele Monaco and by Filippo Ferrari, author of the _Catalogus sanctorum Italiae_, as well as in an "ancient" office from Caiazzo printed by its bishop Paolo Filomarino. According to the little provided by these sources, he was frequently mentioned in the archives of the diocese of Caiazzo (now part of the diocese of Alife - Caiazzo), was thought to have come from Spain, to have settled at Caiazzo, to have been chosen as its bishop after the death of an incumbent, to have died in the vicinity of Alvignano (CE), and to have been buried in a church near there dedicated to the BVM.
F.'s name (in Latin, Ferdinandus and Ferrandus) does suggest Hispanic origin or ancestry; early modern guesses about his date range from the eleventh century (because of the association of his Office with that of Caiazzo's bishop St. Stephen Menecillo) to the thirteenth (because of St. Dominic of Caleruega's activity in Italy then). Monaco rather shrewdly suspected that the specification "of Aragon" had to do with the kingdom's Aragonese rule in the fifteenth century. Given the lacunose state of Caiazzo's medieval diocesan records, it is impossible to say that F. was ever its bishop; scholars from the early Bollandists onward have doubted that he was. F. has yet to grace the pages of the RM.
The church in which F. is thought to have been buried is today's originally early medieval and recently restored basilica di Santa Maria di Cubulteria (Cubulteria was Alvignano's Roman-period predecessor; in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the church's location was given as _in Cornello_), also known as the basilica di San Ferdinando (local tradition speaks of a fifteenth-century Invention of F.'s relics there; he's now the church's titular). An Italian-language account of this building is here:
Further views (expandable):
The last few views are from an annual procession on 29. April.
Bishop Filomarino is said to have translated F.'s remains in 1620 from the principal church of Alvignano to the cathedral of Caiazzo and to have placed them there in an altar dedicated to the aforementioned St. Stephen Menecillo. Relics believed to be F.'s are now kept in Alvignano's chiesa arcipretale di San Sebastiano.
(last year's post revised and with the addition of Sampson the Hospitable)
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