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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2007

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2007

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Subject:

saints of the day 26. October

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 18:52:18 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (26. October) is (or, in one case, was) the feast day of:

1)  Gaudiosus of Salerno (d. before 647, supposedly).  Today's less well
known saint of the Regno is either a poorly attested bishop of Salerno
(so his tradition, which is at least chiefly early modern) venerated at
Naples or else a fictional doublet of tomorrow's G. of Abitina, also
venerated at Naples.  He is said, on very doubtful authority, to have been
the son or nephew of Theophylact, duke of Naples (d. 670), to have
entered the ranks of the clergy in that city, to have been made bishop
of Salerno, to have defended it against attacks by the Lombards (to whom
Salerno did fall in 646), and to have died at the age of 50.  A few
years later, a relative who was then _magister militum_ at Naples is
said to have obtained G.'s body from a Lombard ruler named Grimoald
(anachronistically styled prince of Salerno) and to have placed it in a
church dedicated to him at Naples.  Those who have credited this story
with some semblance of historical accuracy have differed over whether
the Grimoald in question were Grimoald I, duke of Benevento (651-62;
subsequently king of the Lombards) or Grimoald II, duke of Benevento
(677-80).

The only documented medieval churches at Naples dedicated to a St.
Gaudiosus honored G. of Abitina.  It was in one of these (founded over a
century after our G. is supposed to have died) that relics of our G.
were claimed to have been discovered in 1606.  Our G. appears not to
occur in any of the several later medieval Neapolitan sanctoral
calendars known to scholarship.  The bishop G. who occurs without
geographic specification in the ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples
and in the Neapolitan _Ordo ad unguendum infirmum_ attested from the
tenth and eleventh centuries is certainly the G. of the homonymous
extramural catacombs and intramural monastery, i.e. G. of Abitina.  But
this could have been lost sight of in the later Middle Ages (when the
catacombs in question, containing that G.'s clearly marked former burial
site, seem to have been forgotten).  Among the works of the late
fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Neapolitan poet Jacobo Sannazaro
are two hymns (Odes V and VI) for what would appear to have been an
Office for a feast of the Invention of the relics of St. Gaudiosus.  These give
no indication that their author thought that Naples had two saints of this
name.  The only reason I can think of for asserting (as some have done)
that the saint they honor must be G. of Salerno is that Sannazaro's
mother belonged to the nobility of Salerno.

Prior to its revision of 2001, the RM had a listing for today's G.  Whether
he is celebrated liturgically anywhere is doubtful.


2)  Fulk of Piacenza and Pavia (d. 1229).  F. was a member of a
prominent family of Piacenza, the Scotti.  In 1185, at the age of
twenty, he joined the canons regular of that city's St. Euphemia.  After
study at Paris he returned to St. Euphemia and a few years later was
appointed its provost.  In 1208 F. became a cathedral canon at Piacenza
and appointment as archpriest followed swiftly.  In 1210 he was elected
bishop of Piacenza and in 1216 he exchanged that see for the bishopric
of Pavia.  He was buried in Pavia's cathedral, where he still reposes.
F. entered the RM in 1578 with a listing for today (his presumed _dies
natalis_; the latter is now thought to have been 16. December).  At
Pavia F. is celebrated on 21. May.  A page of expandable views of
Piacenza's originally twelfth-century church of Sant'Eufemia is here:
http://tinyurl.com/y4p7j8

One can read more about F. in Giovanna Forzatti Golia, "Folco Scotti
'episcopus et rector communis Papie' (1216-1229)", in _Speciales fideles
imperii. Pavia nell’età di Federico II_, a cura di Ettore Cau e Aldo A.
Settia (Pavia: Antares, 1995), pp. 61-96.

Best,
John Dillon 
(last year's post lightly revised)

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