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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  July 2001

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION July 2001

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Subject:

saints of the day. 29. July

From:

Phyllis Jestice <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 28 Jul 2001 17:01:38 -0700

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (29. July) is the feast day of:

Martha of Bethany (1st century)  According to the gospels, Martha was the
sister of Mary and Lazarus.  She is often discussed as a model of the
active live, thanks to the passage in Luke in which Martha, who is busily
caring for the guests, asks Jesus to get her sister to lend a hand.  She
has been cursed with a reputation for practicality, especially since in the
gospel story it is Martha who points out that after four days Lazarus' body
will be stinking---but she also in the same passage proclaims Jesus to be
the son of God (John 11).  In medieval legend, the three siblings went to
southern Gaul after the resurrection, where Martha is supposed to have
driven away a man-eating dragon with her cross and holy water.  In the
twelfth century her relics were discovered in Tarascon, which became the
center of her cult.

Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrix (d. c. 304)  According to legend, the
brothers Simplicius and Faustinus were martyred during Diocletian's
persecution.  They were beheaded, and their bodies were thrown into the
Tiber.  Their sister Beatrix recovered and buried the bodies; shortly
afterward she was murdered.

Lupus of Troyes (d. 478)  Lupus was born in the late fourth century at
Toul.  He married a sister of St. Hilary, but after six years they
separated by mutual consent, after which Lupus sold his estates and became
a monk at Lerins.  He became bishop of Troyes in c. 426.  In 429 he went to
Britain with Germanus of Auxerre to combat Pelagianism.  Later, when Attila
the Hun was pillaging Gaul, Lupus managed to persuade him to spare the
province, becoming a hostage himself.  When Attila was defeated, Lupus was
accused of helping the Huns escape and had to retire to the mountains as a
hermit.  After several years he returned to his diocese.

Olaf II Haraldsson (d. 1030)  St. Olaf's cult is still alive in Norway.
Olaf was born in 995 as a son of King Harald of Norway.  From the age of
twelve, he engaged in viking raids.  In 1014 he was baptized in Rouen, and
in 1015 succeeded his father as king.  Olaf fought the native religion of
Norway with all his powers, importing missionaries from England and Germany
and also preaching himself.  Olaf's efforts had great success, but also
created many enemies.  In 1028 he was driven from the throne by a noble
rebellion.  When he invaded in an effort to reconquer his land, he was
killed in battle on 29. July 1030 at Stiklestad.  A cult developed almost
immediately.

Urban II (blessed) (d. 1099)  The future Urban II was born in c. 1035 as
Odo of Chatillon.  He became a monk and then prior in the monastery of
Cluny.  In c. 1080 he was made cardinal-bishop of Ostia, in which role he
served as papal legate in Germany.  In March 1088 he was elected pope.  A
more moderate person than Gregory VII, Urban did much to restore the papacy
even in the midst of the Investiture Contest.  And of course he called the
first crusade in 1095

Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
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