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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  January 2001

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION January 2001

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Subject:

FEAST 6 January

From:

CA Muessig <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 6 Jan 2001 17:45:02 +0000

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (97 lines)

Today, 6 January, is the feast of ...


* Epiphany
- commemorates the visit of the Magi; their number is not
specified in the Bible, but from the time of Leo the Great
their number has usually been held to be three; for more
information on the cult of the Magi, see the work of list
member Francesco Scorza Barcellona


Three years ago Bill East clarified the Epiphany posting:
More precisely, it commemorates three "manifestations" of Christ: the
aforesaid visit of the Magi, the Baptism of Christ (at which the voice
ofm the Father attested "This is my beloved Son") and the Miracle at
Cana by which St John says "he manifested his glory". All three
manifestations are held in balance in the Eastern liturgy; in the west,
the visit of the Magi has overshadowed the other two, at least in
popular observance, but actually all three are still mentioned in the
Office for the day - cf. particularly the magnificat antiphons for
Evening Prayer II - and in numerous Epiphany hymns, e.g. "At the Lamb's
high feast we sing" with its lines:  "Manifest at Jordan's stream . . ."
and "Manifest in power divine, changing water into wine."


* Wiltrudis, widow (c. 986)
- widow of Berthold, duke of Bavaria, she founded and led a
Benedictine abbey at Bergen (or Baring) bei Neuburg


* Erminold, abbot (1121)
- as abbot of Pru"fening, his strict 'management style' was
such that his monks murdered him. Hmmmm ...


* Guarinus or Gue/rin, bishop of Sion (1150)
- a correspondent of Bernard of Clairvaux, Guarinus
requested that the monastery of St John of Aulps (diocese
of Geneva) be affiliated to Clairvaux; no contemporary vita
exists, but his local cult is ancient;


* Gertrude of Delft (1358)
- a great beguine and mystic, she received the stigmata on
Good Friday 1340; these stigmata would bleed seven times
daily, until she prayed for this to stop, in order to keep
the curious away from her


Two years ago  Jo Ann McNamara added this morsel of information about
Gertrude:


Stigmata are all very well but Gertrude has a much more endearing claim
to fame which I would like to note, particularly with homage to Caroline
Bynum. She is, to the best of my knowledge, the only fat holy woman--a
condition that visited her despite her intense fasting and other
devotions.


"Gertrude ab Oosten, virgin and beguine of Delft in Belgium,
AASS 6 January, d. 1358.  V. Her various prophecies.
20. This devout virgin, Gertrude of Oosten who was called by the middle
monosylable in her name, sustained the five wounds of Christ on the
nightof Good Friday as written and the red blood flowed from them for
many
weeks seven times a day even to the ascension in that same year of 1340.
She lived 18 years longer but became fat in body and imbecile so that
shehad to pause for rest two or three times on the way to visiting the
church. And though she was fat and corpulent she took food and drink but
sparingly. 21. One time she was overcome by a great longing for bread
andcheese and the lord God hearing to fulfill her wish excited a certain
rustic villein who took bread and cheese to the city of Delft hardly
knowing what he should do with it. And when he came walking around the
beguinage where the virgin lived to the wall of whose house adhered a
common plate. Knowing in spirit that he had come with bread and cheese,
Gertrude whom he did not know or of whom he had not heard, called her
consoror Dieverdis and sent her to take the bread and cheese which the
villein had brought. Continuing his progress he came to the gates of the
beguinage carrying the bread and cheese and she said to him: "Friend,
nowyou have completed your trip for you have come at the will of God
where you were meant to come. And speedily he offered her the bread and
cheese and so after mutual salutations both of them took their roads and
he returned home. Therefore Gertrude received the villein's bread and
cheese from her censoror and ate giving thanks and blessing the lord.


******************
Dr Carolyn Muessig
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TB
UK
phone: +44(0)117-928-8168
fax: +44(0)117-929-7850
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

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