medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (16. February) is the feast day of:
1) Juliana, venerated at Cumae (d. ca. 305, supposedly). Today's formerly well known saint of the Regno is listed for today in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology as a martyr of Cumae, today's Cuma (NA) in Campania. She has been venerated in greater Naples since at least the late sixth century, when pope St. Gregory the Great in a letter (9. 181 Ewald-Hartmann) to that city's bishop Fortunatus asks him to accede to a request from a woman religious for _sanctuaria_ (contact relics) of saints Severinus and Juliana. Though neither saint is further identified, Severinus must be S. of Noricum, whose remains at this time were still residing in his monastery just outside Naples, and, in the absence of other candidates, Juliana is almost certainly today's J. She is today's saint in the ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples.
In a legend no longer credited by the RM (which now calls her a martyr of Campania) J. is a martyr of Nicomedia (today's Ýzmit in northwestern Turkey) who, translated almost immediately after her death to Campania, is venerated at Cumae. Florus of Lyon, Ado, and Usuard awkwardly attach this view to the datum of the (ps.-)HM by beginning their elogia with J. dying at Cumae but ending with her martyrdom at Nicomedia and with her subsequent translation to Campania. J.'s legendary Passio, which exists in several forms, both Greek and Latin. makes her the only Christian in her family and has her refuse to be married off to a pagan. Her irate father, unable to sway her by torture, turns her over to the authorities. J. undergoes further tortures, struggles visibly with a devil, is tortured some more, and finally is decapitated.
Whereas Florus and Ado have a basic narration in their martyrologies, for a truly engaging text one has to read the _Passio sanctae Iulianes_ (BHL 4526) of the tenth-century Neapolitan hagiographer Peter the Subdeacon. Peter's J. may be a bit didactic in her first colloquy with the prefect but her very rational response to his misogyny is a nice antidote to excessive generalizations about medieval Christianity's failures in that department.
In 1207 relics said to be J.'s were removed from then ruinous Cumae to Naples' convent church of Santa Maria Donnaromita. Others are recorded, some as early as the ninth and tenth centuries, from many parts of western Europe. The town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria grew up around a church dedicated to J. first attested from the later ninth century. Some views of the present twelfth-century colegiata de Santa Juliana at Santillana del Mar are here:
Here's a fourteenth-century illumination of a familiar scene from J.'s legend (J. holding a devil by a chain):
The same scene as depicted on a panel in the fourteenth-century rood screen at St. Andrew, Hempstead (Norfolk):
For context, see:
By way of comparison, J. (and St. Petronilla) from the reconstructed early fifteenth-century rood screen at St Mary, North Elmham (Norfolk):
For context, see:
Some views of the chiefly late fourteenth-century (ca. 1370) Stiftskirche St. Juliana at Mosbach (Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis) in Baden-Württemberg, a "Simultankirche" with an early modern wall separating the Protestant nave from the Catholic choir:
Views of the nave:
Views of the choir:
2) Filippa Mareri (Bl.; d. 1236). This less well known holy person of the Regno was a daughter of the lord of the area around Mareri, now a _frazione_ of Petrella Salto (RI) in eastern Lazio but then a territory of the kingdom of Sicily along its border with the papal state. Her brother Tommaso was a determined and able person who held a series of high offices under Frederick II. F. was a determined and able person who against the wishes of her family left it to form a community of women religious. For a while they lived in a cave above Mareri but in 1228 her family gave her their church of St. Peter with the intent, soon realized, that she would establish a monastery there (the act of donation could be inauthentic but there is no reason to believe that its date was falsified). F. had her monastery declared exempt in 1231 and in 1235 it joined St. Clare of Assisi's Damianite order.
Like many monastic founders, after her passing F. was venerated as a saint by her community. Her Vita (no BHL number), which survives in different versions and which may have been first written within a decade of her death, has her meet St. Francis of Assisi and asserts that he both led her to a religious vocation and provided a brother to guide her spiritual development. F. is said to have been recognized as a saint by Innocent IV in 1247 or 1248; her cult was confirmed, at the level of Beata, in 1806. F.'s community survives, though in 1940 it had to move to new quarters in the relocated _frazione_ of Borgo San Pietro in Petrella Salto when the artificial Lago di Salto was created; it preserves relics of F. and an archive going back to the foundation and it maintains as a place of worship a hillside cave said to have been the community's early home. Herewith some views of the cave:
What is said to be F.'s heart, found to be incorrupt during a recognition of her remains in 1706, is preserved in the monastery church of Borgo San Pietro:
When the monastery was moved F.'s chapel from the soon to be flooded old church was reconstructed in the new one. Other relics of F. are preserved there in this display reliquary:
Views of frescoes from the old chapel re-installed in the new one are here (some are medieval):
and here (individual views)
3) Nicola Paglia (Bl.; d. 1256). This less well known holy person of the Regno was an early Dominican who founded his order's convent at Perugia and who served as prior provincial of its Roman province. In N.'s native Apulia (he was born in Giovinazzo, where a sixteenth-century Paglia's house is shown to tourists as his family home) he is credited with the foundation of the Dominican houses at Trani and at Brindisi. The latter's Dominican chiesa del Cristo (inscriptionally dated to 1232; "restored" in 1950 and in 1972) is shown here:
In Matera too (an Apulian city added to Basilicata in the seventeenth century as a counterweight to Potenza), N. is credited with the foundation of a Dominican house (1230). An illustrated, Italian-language page on Matera's chiesa di San Domenico is here:
N. was buried at the convent of San Domenico in Perugia. His cult was confirmed in 1828. In 1959 his relics were transferred to Giovinazzo and placed in that city's eighteenth- and nineteenth-century church of San Domenico. They (or at least some of them) are now in Giovinazzo's restored late fourteenth-century chiesa dello Spirito Santo:
Here's D.'s portrait by Beato Angelico among the Dominican worthies in the chapter house of San Marco in Florence:
He's identified by his bundle of straw ('paglia').
Context of that roundel:
(Juliana, ven. at Cumae and Nicola Paglia lightly revised from last year's post)
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site: