medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (8. June) is the feast day of:
1) Maximinus of Aix (d. 1st cent., supposedly). M. is the legendary protobishop of Aix-en-Provence. His existence is first reported from the eleventh century, when the abbey of Vézelay, which claimed to have the relics of St. Mary Magdalen, asserted that she had been interred at Aix by her companion from Palestine, M., and that later her remains had been brought Vézelay for safekeeping. M. was said to have been one of the seventy-two Disciples, to have accompanied Mary Magdalen to Provence, and to have been the first bishop of Aix. In 1267 St. Louis IX and other French royals witnessed a translation of her relics at Vézelay. But in 1279 Charles I of Sicily, who was also count of Provence and who had been present at Vézelay for the ceremonies of 1267, oversaw the Invention of the true relics of both Mary Magdalen and M. in a church near Aix dedicated to a saint Maximinus.
The church where these relics were discovered, located near a grotto called La Sainte-Baume, soon (1295) began to be replaced with an impressive new structure dedicated to St. Mary Magdelen, consecrated in 1316 (when the crypt had been finished), and left unfinished in 1532. The town, which had already become known by the name of its church, is now Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (Var). A page of views of the basilique Saint-Maximin is here:
More views at bottom here (scroll to the right):
M. reposes in the crypt in this fourth-century sarcophagus:
For its placement on the left-hand side in the crypt (originally, an above-ground oratory) see:
Of course, they're not there for M.:
A copy of the reliquary housing the skull said to be that of Mary Magdalene:
That copy doesn't do justice to the real thing:
Better views of the reliquary at home in the crypt:
Mary Magdalene and companions (incl. M.) landing in Provence, as depicted by Giotto or an assistant in the Magdalen Chapel of the Lower Basilica at Assisi:
M. and the others on the Tiefenbronn Altar (1431):
A description of the scenes on that altarpiece is here:
Here's M. baptizing the prince of Marseille and his wife in a predella panel of the Mary Magdalen retable (ca. 1550) at Contes (Alpes-Maritimes):
A view of trhe entire retable is here:
And an illustrated depiction of various panels is here:
2) Gildard (d. before 538). G. is traditionally the fourteenth bishop of Rouen. He participated in the first council of Orléans in 511. At the second council of Orléans (538) Rouen was represented by his successor. Between 838 and 841 most of his relics were translated to the abbey of St. Medard at Soissons. Later legend made him Medard's brother.
3) Medard (d. ca. 560). M. was a native of the Vermandois who became a priest, was known for miracles and late in life succeeded to the see of St-Quentin. Not long after his death he was translated to Soissons, where king Sigebert (561-75) erected a monastic basilica dedicated to him. M. has an early Vita in verse by Venantius Fortunatus (d. ca. 600; BHL 5863) and an only slightly later one in prose (BHL 5864) that used also to be attributed to Venantius. His ninth-century Vita (BHL 5865) makes him a monk of St. Medard at Soissons; one from the eleventh century (BHL 5868) has him transfer his see from St.-Quentin to Noyons.
An illustrated page on the remains of the abbey of St.-Medard at Soissons is here:
Some views of the crypt (which is almost all that survives of the abbey church):
Views of pages of the Gospels of St. Médard of Soissons (early ninth-century):
4) Fortunatus of Fano (d. after 596). F. was a bishop of Fanum Fortunae on the Via Flaminia, today's Fano (PU) in the Marche. A letter from pope St. Gregory the Great authorizes him to sell church vessels in order to raise ransom money for prisoners. F. has a twelfth-century Vita (BHL 3084) preserved at Fano but written by an abbot of Nonantola. This provides a back story for the presence of in Fano's cathedral of F.'s remains, which latter after a fire in 1113 underwent a formal recognition and were translated to the church's main altar (since rebuilt).
An illustrated, Italian-language page on Fano's Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Maggiore is here:
The Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on this structure, with views of the sculptures of its ambo (assembled in 1941; thought likely to have originally been placed on a structure leading to up the presbytery):
5) William of York (d. 1154). W. was the son of Herbert the Chamberlain, treasurer of Winchester. He became treasurer of York Cathedral. In January 1141 he was elected archbishop of York in a contested election. The archbishop of Canterbury declined to consecrate him and his consecration by the bishop of Winchester was not accepted by several popes. Eugenius III had him deposed at the Council of Reims in 1147. Anastasius IV restored him in 1153/54. W. returned to York in 1154 and operated his one known lifetime miracle: the absence of fatalities when the city's wooden bridge over the Ouse collapsed under the weight of the crowd that had come to see his entry. W. died within the month, seemingly poisoned. Miracles were later reported at his tomb. W. was canonized in 1227. In 1284 he was translated from his tomb in the nave to a shrine in the choir.
Here's a partial view (in black and white) of W. as depicted in the Saint's Chapel in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, St Albans:
Does anyone have a better to share with the list?
Herewith some views of W.'s recently restored window (1414?) in York Minster:
The translation of 1284:
Prayer at W.'s shrine:
Cripples at the shrine:
Ex-votos at the shrine:
(last year's post revised)
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