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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  February 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION February 2009

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Subject:

saints of the day 3. February

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 3 Feb 2009 02:48:01 -0600

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (3. February) is the feast day of:

Blaise (d. ca. 316, supposedly).  The hieromartyr B. (Blasios/Vlasios, Vlaho/Bla¸, Blasius, Blas, Biagio/Biase, etc.) is traditionally said to have been bishop of Sebaste in Armenia (today's Sivas in central Turkey) and to have perished in the Licinian persecution.  Some think it more likely that he was martyred under Diocletian.  His cult is first attested from the sixth century, when the medical encyclopedist Aetius of Amida reports his being invoked in cases of illness of the throat.  In B.'s developed legend, in which he is also flayed with carding combs and then decapitated, he saves a boy from choking to death on a fishbone.  In the later Middle Ages B.'s reputed care for ailments of the throat caused him to be numbered among the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Since the tenth century B. has been the patron saint of Dubrovnik (formerly Ragusa), where an eleventh-century head reliquary of him, formed as a Byzantine crown, is kept in that city's early modern cathedral dedicated to him:
http://img424.imageshack.us/img424/5418/dubro41wf.jpg
http://www.superstock.com/ImagePreview/1566-0218820
Dubrovnik also has at least one arm reliquary of B.  Another is in the cathedral of Ruvo di Puglia (BA) in Apulia, where B. is also the patron saint.
A fifteenth-century statue of B. at Dubrovnik:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/hr/6/66/Sv_vlaho.jpg
There's a brief discussion of that at bottom here:
http://www.dubrovnik-croatia.net/novo_web/st_blaise.htm
A fifteenth-century panel painting of B. at Dubrovnik:
http://tinyurl.com/2zkl77
B. in a polyptych of 1537 in the chiesa del Purgatorio at Ruvo di Puglia (BA) in Apulia (expandable image):
http://tinyurl.com/25qw82

Yet another arm reliquary of B. belonged to his originally late twelfth-/early thirteenth-century collegiate church at Braunschweig, commonly known as the Braunschweiger Dom.  Herewith two expandable views of this object, now in Braunschweigs's Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfenschatz
The Braunschweiger Dom was a project of Henry the Lion, whose Welf family had a special devotion to B.  Here are links to some pages of views of and text on this monument (which in the 1930s and early 1940s was converted into a "national shrine'):
The Wikipedia-de page:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweiger_Dom
The Dom's own multi-page site (sections indexed across the top of the home page):
http://www.braunschweigerdom.de/frameset/indexd.html
Another multi-page site on this church (also German-language):
http://www.vernetztes-gedaechtnis.de/dom.htm
Raymond Faure's page of views:
http://tinyurl.com/26wf4g
(The top four of these open up subsidiary pages.)

In 1014 Bl. Meinwerk of Paderborn, who was in Rome that year for the coronation of his friend Henry II, acquired a relic of B. for his diocese.  In the following year he consecrated that city's Abdinghof monastery, whose relic collection included one of B. placed in its early twelfth-century portable altar of Sts. Felix and Blasius, now in the Erzbischöfliches Diözesanmuseum in Paderborn:
http://tinyurl.com/btntx8
Detail (martyrdom of St. Felix):
http://tinyurl.com/cx6pbe
The ascription of this altar and of another in Paderborn that is signed by someone named Roger:
http://www.nrw-stiftung.de/projekte/projekt.php?pid=245
to the known goldsmith Roger of Helmarshausen has recently been questioned:
http://tinyurl.com/dgf2ou
http://tinyurl.com/d7v8y8

Here's a reliquary of B. and of other saints formerly in the possession of the chiesa di San Nicola at Lanciano (CH) in Abruzzo and now in the museum into which that church has been converted:
http://tinyurl.com/2g7z4s
detail views:
http://tinyurl.com/2g55wb

Other centers of B.'s cult include his abbeys at today's St.-Blasien (Kr. Waldshut) in Baden-Württemberg's Black Forest, seemingly an eleventh-century foundation, and at Admont in the Steiermark, founded by an archbishop of Salzburg in 1074.  Though those are now early modern and modern in appearance, medieval dedications to B. emanating from Admont are the originally fourteenth-century St. Blasius Kirche in Salzburg (replacing a late twelfth-century predecessor):
http://tinyurl.com/245thz
http://www.classictic.com/venues/de/26
http://www.salzburg.com/wiki/index.php/Bild:Blasius_2.jpg
ttp://travel.webshots.com/photo/2956036680073759724ehVOzb
and the originally fifteenth-century St. Blasius Kirche at Klein-Wien in Niederösterreich (replacing a late eleventh-century predecessor);
http://www.pfarre-paudorf.com/html/kirche_st__blasien.html
http://www.bda.at/organisation/126/0/4158/1/3/galerie/852/
http://bda.at/image/431232827.jpg

B.'s church in Vienna was attached to a hospital, as were also the originally twelfth-century chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples at Milly-la-Forêt (Essonne; restored in 1959), the burial place of Jean Cocteau:
http://tinyurl.com/yohrlh
http://www.flickr.com/photos/millynet/44130284/sizes/o/
and the originally twelfth-century church of l'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) on a pilgrim route to Compostela:
http://nicolas.boullet.free.fr/spip/IMG/jpg/DSCN0770.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/yp3wht
http://www.romanes.com/Mazille/

Still in France, the originally eleventh-century église paroissiale Saint-Blaise at Mazille (Saône-et-Loire) seems to have received its present dedication in the twelfth century.  Some views:
http://www.route-romane.net/default_fr.php?gzev=st_ot_367
http://www.romanes.com/Mazille/
The later fourteenth-century chantrerie Saint-Blaise at Silly-Tillard (Oise), endowed by a canon of Beauvais who was a native of Tillard, was intended for the convenience of travelers between Paris and Picardy:
http://www.cc-paysdethelle.fr/visuals/chantrerie.jpg

In Germany (again), the present St.-Blasius-Kirche at Balve (Märkischer Kreis) in Nordrhein-Westfalen with its twelfth-century choir:
http://tinyurl.com/2th2ur
http://tinyurl.com/2tko9n
was re-dedicated to B. in the thirteenth century when it had received a relic of him.  Herewith views of its thirteenth-century nave and fifteenth-century tower:
http://tinyurl.com/33as3s
http://tinyurl.com/2tvmcb
and of its southwest portal:
http://tinyurl.com/376ym4

Moving south, some illustrated, Italian-language discussions of the originally thirteenth-/fourteenth-century chiesa di San Biagio at Bellinzona (canton Ticino):
http://tinyurl.com/2kgvrb
http://touren.topin.travel/?id=B00890
http://tinyurl.com/3a2x8k

Further south, Armenian refugees are dubiously said to have brought to today's Maratea (PZ) in Basilicata in the year 732 urns containing B.'s relics and those of saint Macarius and to have installed these in a tiny chapel that previously had been dedicated to Minerva.  The settlement here appears not to be documented prior to 1079.  The central part of the church at the Santuario di San Biagio dates only to the later Middle Ages; rebuilt and added to in the Early Modern period, this shrine now enjoys the status of a papal basilica.  A distance view of the site:
http://tinyurl.com/3onnc
Exterior view:
http://tinyurl.com/57oyg

Better documented is the originally tenth-century chiesa di San Biagio at Nepi (VT) in Lazio, a perennial contender for the Saints of the Day Ugliest Church Award (Small Church Division).  In the first of these views, San Biagio is the building on the right:
http://tinyurl.com/cc4et
http://tinyurl.com/crdf4
http://tinyurl.com/9vj39

Views of the originally tenth-century chiesa di San Biago at Petrognano di Piazza al Serchio (LU) in Tuscany:
http://tinyurl.com/2eappv
http://tinyurl.com/258n8t

Illustrated, Italian-language accounts of the originally early eleventh-century former abbey church of San Biagio in Caprile at Campodonico di Fabriano (AN) in the Marche, recently restored as a youth hostel:
http://www.fabrianostorica.it/abbazie/sanbiagio.htm
http://www.guanciarossa.it/leviedellafede/abbazie/page008.htm
http://tinyurl.com/2sk6a9

Two views of the originally eleventh-century chiesa di San Biagio (the tower is fourteenth-century) at Lanciano (CH) in Abruzzo:
http://tinyurl.com/3e5foe
http://tinyurl.com/2nabzb
Another Ugliest Church contender, this edifice shelters what is said to be B.'s lower jaw.

A view of B.'s originally late eleventh-century church, now deconsecrated, at Gela (CL) in southeastern Sicily:
http://tinyurl.com/2nadyq

Views of the originally late eleventh-century pieve di Santa Maria Annunziata e San Biagio at Sala Bolognese (BO) in Emilia-Romagna (restored in 1920):
http://www.prolocosala.it/basilica.html
http://www.allafornacedisacerno.it/dintorni.html

Views of the originally eleventh-/fourteenth-century église Saint-Martin et Saint Blaise at Louveciennes (Yvelines):
http://tinyurl.com/2hwekm
http://www.romanes.com/Louveciennes/

Views of the originally twelfth-century église Saint-Blaise at the Abbaye Sainte-Marie in Valbonne (Alpres-Maritimes):
English-language account with plan:
http://www.abbyvalb.com/history_abbey.html
Views:
http://tinyurl.com/2yvj2k

Views of the originally mid-twelfth-century St.-Blasius-Kapelle at Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Lkr. Ansbach) in Bavaria:
http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Rothenburg/Tour/Chapel.html
http://hvanilla.sakura.ne.jp/rothenburg/image/rothenburg25.jpg
http://hvanilla.sakura.ne.jp/rothenburg/image/rothenburg186.jpg
http://hvanilla.sakura.ne.jp/rothenburg/image/rothenburg187.jpg

A view of the originally twelfth-century église Saint-Blaise at Arles:
http://www.memo.fr/LieuAVisiter.asp?ID=VIS_FRA_ARL_041

A view of the originally twelfth-/thirteenth-century oratorio di San Biagio at Roncoscaglia in Sestola (MO), Emilia-Romagna:
http://www.studiogiove.it/schede/9502.htm

Views of the originally thirteenth-century St.-Blasius-Kirche at Hannoversche Münden (Landkr. Göttingen) in Niedersachsen:
http://www.belocal.de/images/36025,1,3,238,0,true,true,0.jpg
http://regiowiki.hna.de/images/4/47/Blasius.jpg
http://kassellexikon.hna.de/images/4/47/Blasius.jpg
This next has dates for sections of the church:
http://kassellexikon.hna.de/Bild:Blasius-alt.jpg

Views of the originally thirteenth-century Dominikanerkirche in Regensburg:
http://www.capa-op.org/regensburg/blasius.html
http://www.bistum-regensburg.de/borPage000391.asp
http://www.capa-op.org/regensburg/blasrundgang.html

Views of the originally thirteenth-/fourteenth-century Divi-Blasii-Kirche in Mühlhausen (Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis), Thüringen:
http://tinyurl.com/ywxwhp
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divi-Blasii-Kirche_(M%C3%BChlhausen)
J. S. Bach was organist here early in his career.

Views of the fourteenth-century chiesa di San Biagio (the tower is fifteenth-century) at Montecatini Val di Cecina (PI) in Tuscany, with the Palazzo Pretorio to its left:
http://tinyurl.com/cxrd4c
http://tinyurl.com/yooxus

Views of the originally fifteenth-/sixteenth-century St. Blasius-Kirche at Kaufbeuren in Bavaria:
http://tinyurl.com/2e9wa8

Views of the originally fifteenth-/sixteenth-century Oude Blasiuskerk at Delden (Overijssel), restored in 1968:
http://tinyurl.com/2uqy2e
http://tinyurl.com/37vj69
http://www.vomhimmelhoch.nl/VHhArchiefBlassius.html
http://overijsselchurches.tripod.com/deldenherv.html


Further portraits of B. (beyond those from Dubrovnik and from Ruvo di Puglia linked to above):

B. in the twelfth-century mosaics of the Cappella Palatina at Palermo:
http://tinyurl.com/28mj2e

A thirteenth-century window from the area of Soissons, now in the Louvre, showing B. confronting the Roman governor persecuting him:
http://tinyurl.com/2lkkb6

Mid-thirteenth-century (ca. 1250-1260) illumination of B. in the act of healing (Limoges, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 63v):
http://tinyurl.com/23uod3

B., second from right, in a thirteenth-century fresco in the chiesa di San Biagio at Porano (TR) in Umbria:
http://www.comuneporano.it/upload/affrescosanbiagio.jpg
Detail:
http://www.comuneporano.it/upload/san_biagioaffresco.jpg

B. in an early fifteenth-century (ca. 1420-1425) illustrated book of hours from Rouen now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (MS M.105, fol. 62r):
http://tinyurl.com/2pzov7

Masaccio's "Trittico di San Giovenale" (ca. 1424/25), with Sts. Bartholomew and B. at left:
http://www.masaccio2001.it/cgi-bin/foto/SGiovenale.jpg
Detail:
http://www.masaccio2001.it/cgi-bin/foto/part_SGiovenale.jpg

B. in a detached fresco (earlier fifteenth-century) from the chiesa di Sant'Agostino at Cesena (FC) in Emilia-Romagna, now in that city's Pinacoteca comunale:
http://tinyurl.com/3b56ms

B. in an illuminated initial (ca. 1450-1460) by the Master of the Murano Gradual, cut from a gradual and now in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles:
http://tinyurl.com/22tw37

B. in Hans Memling's (1491) Lübeck Polyptych, now in Lübeck's St-Annen-Museum:
http://tinyurl.com/ytqbfu

B.'s (fifteenth-century?) portrait in the eleventh-century crypt of Pavia's chiesa di San Giovanni Domnarum:
http://tinyurl.com/6gunmm
B. is said to have spent the Middle Ages in this church and to now repose upstairs under the church's main altar.

B. (detail) in a panel painting (1536) by Fermo Stella of the Madonna between B. and St. John the Baptist, now in the the Museo Valtellinese di Storia e Arte at Sondrio (VA) in Lombardy:
http://www.wwmm.org/immagini/z_848.jpg

Best,
John Dillon
(last year's posts consolidated and somewhat revised)

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