medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (17. September) is the feast day of:
1) Satyrus of Milan (d. 377 or 378). Uranius Satyrus was an older brother, or perhaps half-brother, of Ambrose of Milan, from whom we have most of our limited information about him. Born at Trier in about 330, he had the same sort of education as did A., and rose through the imperial civil service to a high position in the prefecture of Italy. When in 374 A. became bishop of Milan, S. took over management of the family's estates. In the exercise of this responsibility he traveled to Africa in 376/77 or 377/78. On the return voyage his vessel encountered a severe storm and was shipwrecked off Sardinia. S., who at the time was still a catechumen, obtained from baptized Christians a sacred host, wrapped it in a napkin, and, trusting in its power alone, jumped with it into the sea. Safely on shore, the grateful S. had himself baptized by the local bishop, satisfying himself first that this worthy was not schismatic. S. returned to Milan and died not long afterward.
A.'s two books of consolation on his brother's death (_De excessu fratris sui Satyri_) as well, perhaps, as the fact that A. had S. buried next to what was recognized as the grave of the Milanese martyr Victor, led in time to S.'s veneration as a saint with an Office in the Ambrosian Missal. His relics now repose in an effigy reliquary in the Cappella dei Santi Bartolomeo e Satiro at Milan's Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio:
S.'s chief physical monument is the originally ninth-century archiepiscopal chapel dedicated to him in Milan and now usually known as the Sacello di San Satiro. Prior to the early 1480s, when it was given a circular outline and attached to the newly built church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro, this was a small separate church with a central plan consisting of a Greek cross opening into lobes of differing dimensions. A plan is here:
Some exterior views:
This one is greatly expandable:
San Satiro's interior has columns and capitals ranging in date from antiquity to the twelfth century, an early thirteenth-century fresco of the Virgin and Child (itself a supposedly miraculous cult object), and a polychrome terracotta Lamentatio Christi by Agostino de Fondulis (1482-83). Two views:
An English-language translation of Ambrose's _De excessu fratris sui Satyri libri duo_ (Bk. 1 is A.'s funeral oration for S. and has the biographical matter) is here:
2) Lambert of Maastricht (d. ca. 705). According to his eighth- and ninth century Vitae (BHL 4677, 4678), the nobly born L. (in Latin, Landebertus or Lambertus) was educated by bishop St. Theodard of Tongeren (Tongres) - Maastricht, whom he succeeded with the approval of Childeric II. After the latter's assassination L. is said to have suffered the enmity of the mayor of the palace, Ebroin, to have been ejected, and to have spent seven years at the abbey of Stablo (Stavelot). Thereafter, still according to these Vitae, he was reinstated and lived monastically at Ličge (Lüttich), where he lived in a monastery, prayed a great deal, was assiduous in rousing the brothers for matins, and ultimately was assassinated in a family feud. A later Vita, seeking to account for L.'s veneration as a martyr, has him killed in retribution for having disapproved of the adulterous behavior of his assassin's sister.
According to the Vitae, L.'s body was returned to Maastricht for burial. Miracles were reported at his cell in the monastery at Ličge and a church honoring him was erected in that town. L.'s successor, bishop St. Hubert (d. 727 or 728), is said to have translated his remains from Maastricht to this church, which once Hubert established himself at Ličge (Lüttich) became the cathedral of what was now the diocese of that name. From there his cult spread widely across Europe. L. is entered in the ninth-century martyrologies of Ado and Usuard. In German dioceses his feast is kept on 18. September.
Here's a view of the originally twelfth-century tower of the église St.-Lambert at Wonck (Bassenge) in Belgium's Région wallonne:
And here's a view of the medieval portions of the originally thirteenth-century église St.-Lambert at Bouvignes-sur-Meuse (Dinant) in Belgium's province de Namur:
Ličge's later medieval cathedral dedicated to L. was destroyed by the new regime following the French revolutionary capture of the prince-bishopric in 1794. Some expandable views of engravings of drawings from before and after the destruction are here:
Some views of the originally later fourteenth-century Lambertikirche in Münster (Westfalen), starting with the exterior:
And here (should you have missed it in the recent Saints of the Day notice of pope St. Sergius I) is a fifteenth-century panel painting of an angel bringing to Sergius L.'s mitre and staff that has been attributed variously to Rogier van der Weyden and to a late fifteenth-century follower and is now in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles:
3) Columba of Córdoba (d. 853). We know about C. (in Spanish, Colomba, Coloma) from St. Eulogius of Córdoba's _Memoriale sanctorum_. She was a nun of the double monastery of Tábanos. When the community there forced to leave in 852 she moved into Córdoba along with her married sister and brother-in-law who had earlier retired to Tábanos (where her brother-in-law had become the abbot). One day the following year she presented herself to a magistrate, asserted the rightness of Christianity vis-a-vis Islam, and was condemned for having blasphemed against the Prophet. E. was executed by decapitation; her body, which had been thrown into the Guadalquivir, was recovered and given Christian burial at a basilica dedicated to St. Eulalia.
In the eleventh century relics said to be those of C. were brought to the monastery of Santa Maria la Real at Nájera in La Rioja, where they were used to hallow a dependent priory for women that was named for her. In what is now northern Spain there was already a cult of the semi-legendary virgin martyr C. of Sens; consequently, it can be difficult to tell which C. was intended by a recorded dedication in those parts to a saint so named. One instance of that is Santa Colom(b)a at Abendiego (Guadalajara) in Castilla-La Mancha, whose attested cult is of today's C. Herewith some exterior views of this originally twelfth-century church:
4) Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179). We know about the abbess, visionary, literary and musical composer, and natural scientist H. from her own writings, from some details in the Vita of Bl. Jutta of Sponheim (BHL 4613b), and from her partly autobiographical and partly closely posthumous Vita by her secretary Godfrey of St. Disibod as continued by Theodoric of Echternach (BHL 3927-3928). The youngest child of well-to-do parents, she was entrusted at the age of seven to the abbey of St. Disibod in the diocese of Mainz, where she had two mentors of whom the second was the only slightly older Bl. Jutta of Sponheim (7. August). After J.'s death H. succeeded her as prioress of the abbey's small female community. A few years later, with the approval of the abbot and the archbishop she began writing her vision-based theological summa, the _Scivias_.
In 1151, with the _Scivias_ still a year away from completion, H. moved her community from St. Disibod to an elevation near Bingen, where she established at monastery dedicated to St. Rupert. There, with the help of her confessor at St. Disibod, prior Volmar (d. 1173), she finished the _Scivias_ and wrote the remaining major constituents of her oeuvre. During this time H. ran her abbey, conducted an extensive correspondence, and went on preaching tours.
H.'s cult appears to have begun in the thirteenth century. She is entered in the RM at the level of Saint and her cult, where she also enjoys the title of Saint, has been approved for the dioceses of Germany (the latter action is a limited form of equivalent canonization).
Two views of an illumination of H. with prior Volmar (_Liber Scivias_; Hessische Landesbibliothek, Wiesbaden, Hs. 2 [the so-called Riesencodex], c. 1180):
And another (_Liber divinorum operum_; Lucca, Biblioteca statale, cod. lat. 1942; early thirteenth century):
Nothing substantial is left in place at H.'s abbey of St. Rupert. Remains of the abbey of St. Disibod can still be viewed near Odernheim (Kr. Bad Kreuznach) in Rheinland-Pfalz (these abbeys are often referred to by the hills that take their names from them, the Rupertsberg and the Disibodenberg). Herewith some views of the latter:
(Satyrus of Milan lightly revised from last year's post)
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