medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (16. December) is the feast day of:
1) Ado of Vienne (d. 875). A. obtained both his geographic suffix and his status as a saint of the Roman church through his having been archbishop of Vienne from 860 until his death. A letter of recommendation for that post from the celebrated Lupus of Ferrières tells us that A. was of noble ancestry, that he was a monk of Ferrières and a disciple of his who had been sent to the abbey of Prüm, that he had gone on to Lyon for further study, and that Lupus had then written to the archbishop of Lyon and to the bishop of Grenoble confirming his approval of this move. The letter also makes it clear that A. had had his detractors at Prüm and that Lupus himself had at one point been publicly unhappy with him.
As archbishop A. enjoyed good relations with pope Nicolas II and consistently (as far as is known) sided with him in opposing the divorce of Lothar II. It is tempting to see the latter's restitution of various properties to the abbey of St. Peter at Vienne in 863 as an attempt to curry A.'s favor. When A. died he was buried, as most of his predecessors had been, in the abbey church of St. Peter. In the eleventh century his successor Leodegar (Léger) effectively styled him a saint (thus making him the first bishop of Vienne to be so honored after the initial forty). A.'s feast only begins to appear in local breviaries of the fifteenth century; likewise his appearance in litanies of the saints. He entered the RM through sixteenth-century printed additions to Usuard.
In addition to the martyrology for which he is now well known, A. is the author of an expanded Passio of St. Desiderius of Vienne (BHL 2150), of a Vita of St. Theuderius (BHL 8130), and of a chronicle ending in the year 869. Not everyone accepts Quentin's demonstration that the _Parvum (or _Vetus_) Martyrologium Romanum_ prefixed to A.'s own martyrology is in reality A.'s own creation.
Herewith some views of the originally fifth- or early sixth-century église de St.-Pierre at Vienne, rebuilt in the tenth century and in the twelfth, outfitted with a twelfth-century belltower and porch, and now serving as a lapidary museum:
Some visuals relating to A.'s martyrology:
A very early (late ninth-century) Ado: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, codex 454.
The text of this fully digitized codex starts here:
Description of the manuscript:
An Ado of 1087: Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, cod. Vat. lat. 4958 (written at Montecassino),
fol.15v (saints of 27. February - 1 March):
(image expandable but the larger view can be slow to load)
NB: The very first line here offers a better text than that provided by Dom Jacques Dubois and Geneviève Renaud, _Le martyrologe d'Adon, ses deux familles, ses trois recensions: texte et commentaire_ (Paris: Eds. du CNRS, 1984), a work whose failure to identify the manuscripts used as the base text for each recension is, to say the least, regrettable. At p. 95 of their edition, where Ado is speaking of the gouty St. Julian being carried in a litter, Dubois and Renaud print _cellula_ rather than the _sellula_ shown here. The St Gallen ms. shown above also reads _sellula_ at this point (the account of St. Julian at III. Kal. Mart.):
An Ado of 1318: Aix-en-Provence, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 0014, f. 13v (Agnes and other saints of 21. January):
f. 61v (detail of Protase and Gervase, 19. June):
Title page of Domenico Giorgi's edition of 1745 (editio princeps of the text as transmitted in the second family of manuscripts):
2) Adelaide of Burgundy (d. 999). A daughter of Rudolf II of Jurane Burgundy, A. (in German, Adelheid) was betrothed in infancy to Lothar, the son of her father's successor as king of Italy, Hugh of Arles. When she was sixteen and Lothar was Lothar II of Italy they married. Three years later Lothar was dead, said to have been poisoned by his successor, Berengar II. (Hugh, Lothar II, and Berengar II will be familiar to many as three of the four immediately pre-Ottonian kings of Italy figured in the jambs of the abbey church of San Clemente a Casauria.) When Berengar failed to persuade A. to marry his son he shut her up in a castle where she, it was later said, was treated very badly. In the following year Berengar was overthrown by Otto I, to whom A. was married on 25. December 951 in the kingdom's capital of Pavia. In 962 the royal pair was crowned emperor and empress in Rome.
A. was very pious and in addition to taking part in Otto's foundation of the diocese of Meißen (968) she founded or restored several monasteries on her own initiative and patronized others, notably Cluny. She had a series of spiritual advisors including St. Adalbert of Prague and, after Otto's death in 973 and her subsequent retirement to Burgundy, the abbots of Cluny St. Majolus and St. Odilo. A. had a major falling out with her son Otto II, which was patched up with Majolus' assistance; she did not get along at all well with his wife, the empress Theophanu, with whom she served as co-regent for her grandson, the minor Otto III (and from Theophanu's death in 991 to 995 as sole regent). A. died at her monastery at today's Seltz (Bas-Rhin) in Alsace and was buried there. Odilo of Cluny wrote a memorial of her (BHL 63-65), focusing on her later years, lauding her virtues, calling her _sancta_, and recounting her miracles. A. was canonized by Urban II in about 1097.
(Odilo had a low opinion, of Theophanu, whom he consistently refers to simply as _Graeca_ ["the Greek woman"]. Did this distaste come from A.?)
The cathedral of Meißen was rebuilt between 1240 and 1260. Dating from very shortly after that are its statues of the diocese's founders, A. and O.:
3) Macarius of Collesano (d. 1005). We know about today's less well known saint of the Regno from Orestes of Jerusalem's joint Bios of M.'s father, tomorrow's St. Christopher of Collesano, and of M. himself (BHG 312), as well as from the same author's Bios of M.'s brother St. Sabas the Younger (5. February; BHG 1611). All three saints, as well Christopher's wife Kale, came from today's Collesano (PA) south-southwest of Cefalù in Sicily's Madonie range. In the early twelfth century Christopher, who had entered religion at the famous abbey of St. Philip of Agira at today's Agira (EN) in north central Sicily, received permission to live as a hermit at a place that Orestes says was named Ktisma ("Foundation"; perhaps this was the family's later name for a place that previously had had none) and erected an oratory dedicated to St. Michael.
M. and S. joined C. there as monks, while K. took the veil and founded a small monastery for women nearby. In 940/41 a famine caused to entire family to move to Calabria, where they established themselves in the mountainous area of the Merkourion, already a favored place of settlement for Italo-Greek monks and hermits. Pressure from Muslim raiders caused them in time to move further inland to the similarly rugged Latinion, now in the Parco Nazionale del Pollino in today's Basilicata. After the deaths of C. and K., M. and his brother supervised several small monasteries in both the Merkourion and the Latinion, governing with prudence and humility, living very ascetically, and encouraging other monks to be true to their vocation in the face of repeated incursions by raiders (who were also slavers).
M. outlived Sabas by ten years. He was known for miracles and his cell attracted pilgrims of various stations. Today is M.'s _dies natalis_. His cult is attested in medieval synaxaries and menaea of Italo-Greek provenance.
(Ado of Vienne lightly revised from last year's post)
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