medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (3. September) is the feast day of:
1) Mansuetus of Toul (?). M. (in French, Mansuy) is the legendary protobishop of Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle). His later tenth-century hagiographer Adso of Montier-en-Der says in his Vita et Miracula of M. (BHL 5210) that he was an Irishman who in Rome became a disciple of St. Peter, that he evangelized in Toul, and that St. Martin of Tours had prayed at his tomb. But M.'s cult really seems to begin in the tenth century when it was promoted by Toul's bishop St. Gerard I, who founded a monastery dedicated to M. and who commissioned the aforementioned work of Adso. The latter, not altogether surprisingly, presents M. as a model bishop. A head said to be M.'s is still kept in Toul's cathedral of St. Stephen. In the diocese of Nancy and Toul M. is now celebrated on 4. September, thanks to today's Memorial for pope St. Gregory I (no. 2, below).
2) Gregory I, pope (d. 604). Gregory the Great, known in some churches as Gregory the Dialogist, was born into a Roman senatorial family and as a relatively young man served briefly as city prefect. But he soon resigned, sold his estates in order to establish monasteries, and withdrew to a monastery he had founded on family property on the Caelian. Within a few years he had been drafted into papal service and was ordained deacon. Pelagius II made him his apocrisarius in Constantinople, where the essentially Greekless G. stayed for six years, began his _Moralia in Job_, and won a doctrinal controversy with that city's patriarch, St. Eutychius. In about 585 he returned to his monastery at Rome, completed and published the _Moralia_, and continued to advise Pelagius and to act on his behalf. In 590 G. was elected bishop of Rome. The first monk to be so chosen, he was ordained priest and consecrated on this day.
An early act of G.'s pontificate was the publication his _Pastoralis Cura_, on the role and duties of a bishop. Many of his energies were spent on administrative and diplomatic matters (e.g. managing the estates of the church, keeping the Lombards at bay). He affirmed and exercised his authority in Western dioceses other than Rome and the suburbicarian sees, wrote the _Dialogi_, and sent St. Augustine of Canterbury and others to evangelize the English. He died on 12. March. The latter was G.'s primary feast day in the general Roman Calendar prior to the latter's reform of 1969 and is still the day of his commemoration in the Church of England and in Orthodox churches that have not adopted the Gregorian calendar (in those that have, his feast falls on 25. March).
Here's the September page of of the liturgical calendar in the earlier twelfth-century St Albans Psalter (Hildesheim, Dombibliothek, MS St. Godehard 1), showing today as the feast of G.'s ordination (the deleted word was _pape_):
G.'s own monastery church of St. Andrew was rebuilt in the twelfth or thirteenth century and again in the early seventeenth century. Formally the Chiesa di Santi Andrea e Gregorio Magno al Celio, it is now usually referred to simply as San Gregorio Magno (or as San Gregorio al Celio). Adjoining its Cappella San Gregorio is a little room traditionally held to have been G.'s cell; in it is a late Roman chair said to have been his. Two views of the chair are here:
A brief, Italian-language account of this complex (which includes three adjacent oratories, two of which are also medieval), with indications of surviving medieval elements, is here:
Perhaps the best known of the many medieval depictions of G. composing with the dove of the Holy Spirit at his ear is this scene from a tenth-century ivory book cover now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna:
The originally twelfth-century Chiesa di San Gregorio Magno at Ascoli Piceno (AP) in the Marche is built into a former Roman temple:
A brief, Italian-language discussion is here:
Some views of the later twelfth-century Église Saint-Grégoire at Tesson (Charente-Maritime) in Saintonge, a church whose predecessor was in 1085 already referred to as _ecclesia de nomine sancti Gregorii pape_ (in case anyone had been wondering, "Which Gregory?"):
French-language account (with plan):
Some views of the Cappella di San Gregorio at the Monastero del Sacro Speco at Subiaco (RM) in Lazio, notable for its early thirteenth-century frescoes:
G. (with Job at lower left):
After Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome, G. is the last of the original four Western Doctors of the Church. All are depicted here (G. at upper left) in Pietro di Puccio's mosaics (1388; restored) on the facade of the cathedral of Orvieto (TR) in Umbria:
Another depiction of these four (in this view, G. is at right), this time in the fifteenth-century ceiling frescoes of the Chiesa di Santa Croce at Rocca Canavese (TO) in Piedmont:
Views of the fifteenth-century Église Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand at Ribeauvillé (Haut-Rhin) in Alsace:
St. Aredius (Aregius, Arigius, Arey, Érige) of Gap before G. in the mid-fifteenth-century frescoes of the Chapelle Saint-Érige at Auron, Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée (Alpes-Maritimes):
G. is the patron saint of Vizzini (CT) in Sicily, whose principal church (fifteenth-century; rebuilt in the eighteenth century) is dedicated to him. An exterior view, showing a Catalan Gothic portal, is here:
3) Remaclus (d. ca. 673). R. (in French, Remacle) was an Aquitanian who entered religion at Luxeuil and who later became abbot at Solignac. In about 650 he founded, at the behest of king St. Sigebert III, the double monastery of Stavelot/Stablo and Malmédy in what was then Austrasia and today is in southeastern Belgium. Laid to rest at Stavelot, he was canonized (locally, of course) some ten or fifteen years after his death. By the middle of the ninth century R. had obtained a reputation for miraculous cures that achieved imperial recognition from both Louis the Pious and Lothar II and that led, shortly before the latter's visit to Stavelot in 862, to a compilation of _Miracula_ that continued to grow over the centuries. From this time through to the dissolution of 1794 Stavelot was a major pilgrimage site as well as the capital of an independent ecclesiastical domain within the empire.
R. on a twelfth-century pilgrim's badge now in the Musée communal de Huy:
A view of R.'s shrine now in the Eglise St.-Sébastien at Stavelot (1268; photo from its appearance at the Belgian pavilion at Expo 67 [the 1967 World's Fair at Montréal]):
Some views of R.'s originally eleventh-century church at Ocquier (Clavier) in Belgium's province de Liège:
In the diocese of Namur R. is now celebrated on 4. September, thanks to today's Memorial for pope St. Gregory I (no. 2, above).
(Gregory I and Remaclus revised from older posts)
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