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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  August 2003

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION August 2003

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Subject:

saints of the day 1. September

From:

Phyllis Jestice <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 31 Aug 2003 16:32:37 -0700

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (1. September) is the feast day of:

Priscus I of Capua (d. 66?)  Legend tells that Priscus was a native of
Jerusalem (with the name Priscus?) and a disciple of Christ, sent to be
first bishop of Capua by Peter.  He is supposed to have been martyred in
Nero's reign.

Terentian (d. 118?)  Terentian was bishop of Todi in Umbria.  According to
tradition, he was racked (did Romans have racks? I thought the rack was a
late medieval/early modern invention), then had his tongue cut out, and was
beheaded.

Vibiana (?)  An important saint, the principal patron of Los Angeles, no
less.  What she is, though, is some unlabelled bones taken from the
catacombs and given to the cathedral of Los Angeles in 1858.  She is
claimed to be a virgin-martyr---on no evidence at all---and the name
Vibiana was given to her arbitrarily.

Twelve Brothers (early 4th cent.)  The relics of twelve southern Italian
martyrs were brought together in Benevento in 760.  The legend then
developed that they were the twelve sons of Sts. Boniface and Thecla.  The
truth of the matter is that they are four unrelated groups of martyrs from
various cities.  The cult was suppressed in 1969.

Ammon of Heraclea & co. (d. 322?)  Ammon was a deacon in Thrace.  He and
forty young women he had converted were martyred at Heraclea during the
reign of Licinius.  Ammon was killed rather grotesquely, by putting a
red-hot helmet on his head.

Priscus II of Capua and companions (5th cent.?)  Perhaps a misreading, and
Priscus was actually bishop of Castra in Africa.  And the companions were
apparently Campanian saints who had nothing to do with Priscus.  The legend
is good, though: Priscus is supposed to have been a bishop in north Africa,
set adrift in a rudderless boat along with his priests by Arian Vandals.
They reached Italy, where Priscus became bishop of Capua (and several of
the companions also became bishops).  The cult was reduced to local
calendars in 1969.

Regulus of Lucca (d. c. 545)  By an odd coincidence, Regulus, too, ran foul
of the Arian Vandals in Africa.  He was exiled and became a hermit on the
coast of Tuscany.  Only to be killed by the Ostrogothic leader Totila.

Giles (Aegidius) (8th cent.)  One of the most popular saints of the Middle
Ages (about 160 churches were dedicated to him in England alone).  Little
is known about the historical Giles, encouraging the development of rather
fantastic legends.  Possibly he was a Provencal who became a hermit and
founded a monastery that was the core of the town of Saint-Gilles near
Nimes.  According to the tenth-century legend, G. was a native of Athens
and hermit in France.  He was crippled by a hunter's arrow, because a deer
had taken refuge with him.  One reason for G's popularity was the
widespread belief that G's intercession was so effective that his devotees
didn't even have to make full confessions---another legend tells that an
emperor went to the saint, seeking forgiveness for a sin he didn't dare
confess---Giles prayed for the guy, and in a vision saw the emperor's
record of sins wiped clean.

Giles and Arcanus (d. c. 1050)  Giles and Arcanus, one a Spaniard and the
other Italian, founded a monastery at what is now Borgo San Sepolcro
(Italy) to house the relics they brought back from the Holy Land.

Dulcelina (d. 1274)  Dulcelina was a native of Digne (France).  She founded
a house of Beguines at Hyeres (Provence) in c. 1230, as well as foundations
at Aix and Marseilles.


Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
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