medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (26. April) is the feast day of:
1) Anacletus, pope (d. ca. 91). A. was the second bishop of Rome after St. Peter. Both this form of his name and the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology's 'Aninclitus' are latinizations of Greek 'Anenkletos' ('Blameless'), the form given by such Greek writers as St. Irenaeus of Lyon and Eusebius. He is also called Cletus, as in his commemoration in the Roman canon of the Mass. In the Liberian Catalogue, followed by the _Liber Pontificalis_, he appears as two popes, Cletus and Anacletus. The RM calls him Cletus. According to the _Liber Pontificalis_, A. erected a _memoria_ over Peter's tomb (this is widely disbelieved; the similarly named pope St. Anicetus is a more likely choice) and was himself buried nearby. The tradition that A. died a martyr seems to be without foundation.
A. appears to have been a saint of the Regno. At Ruvo di Puglia (BA) in Apulia a subterranean oratory beneath the present Chiesa del Purgatorio has been called the Grotta di San Cleto since at least the seventeenth century, when according to the ecclesiastical historian Ferdinando Ughelli the following inscription, written in crude "gothic" letters and seemingly indicating the presence of a relic, was legible on one of its walls: "Cives Ruborum nolite timere, Ego sum Cletus Rubensis Episcopus, Tertius post Petrum, qui pro vobis oro" ("Do not fear, citizens of Ruvo. I am Cletus of Ruvo bishop, third after Peter, who prays for you"). An illustrated, Italian-language account of this space, which holds a Roman-period cistern, is here:
On the theory that A. (as Cletus) was the town's patron saint before the present one (San Biagio, i.e. St. Blaise), some have thought that the unidentified seated figure above the rose window on Ruvo's thirteenth-century cathedral (finished in 1237 and since rebuilt) is really he. Views of this putative A. are here:
2) Basil of Amasea (d. ca. 322). B. (Basileus, Basilius) is recorded in St. Jerome's Latin-language version of Eusebius' _Chronicon_ as a bishop of Amasea in Pontus (also Amaseia; today's Amasya in north central Turkey) martyred under Licinius in the 275th Olympiad (321-324). He was one of the signatories of the acta of councils held at Ancyra and Neocaesarea in 314. B. has a probably later fourth-century Laudatio by Asterius of Amasea (BHG 240) and a legendary Passio (two forms: BHG 239 and 239b) that a) has him singled out for persecution because he had given shelter to a young woman of Christian faith who had been in the service of Licinius' wife and with whom Licinius had fallen in lust and b) relates that after he had been executed by decapitation at Nicomedia his head and the remainder of his body, which had been thrown into the sea separately, were miraculously recovered together by fishermen near Sinope and from there brought to Amasea.
3) Trudpert (d. ca. 600, supposedly). T. is the rather legendary saint of the monastery named for him at today's Münstertal im Schwarzwald in Baden-Württemberg, about twenty kilometers south of Freiburg im Breisgau. According to his earliest Vita (BHL 8329), he was an Irish missionary who settled there as a hermit and was soon murdered by two serfs who were to have been his laborers. The monastery, which became very wealthy, grew up over what was said to have been his grave. T. seems never to have graced the pages of the RM.
A twelfth-century cross from St. Trudpert is shown here:
The late thirteenth-century Freiburg Cross in the Hermitage is also from St. Trudpert:
The Hermitage held an exhibition in 2003/04 focusing on this piece:
Also from St. Trudpert is this thirteenth-century set of altar vessels:
4) Riquier (Richarius; d. ca. 645). R. founded the monastery of Celle (Centula; also known as the abbey of Ponthieu) at today's Saint-Riquier (Somme) in Picardy in about 625. He has a late seventh-century Vita whose reworking by Alcuin in the early ninth century is the subject of an article by Michel Banniard: "Les deux vies de Saint Riquier: du latin médiatique au latin hiératique", _Médiévales_, no. 25 (1993), 45-52. Some views of the abbey's fifteenth-/early sixteenth-century church, today's abbatiale St-Riquier:
A deliberately degraded reproduction for the Web of an early nineteenth-century engraving of the church's portal is here:
5) Paschasius Radbertus (d. ca. 860). The learned theologian R., a prolific writer, was a monk of Corbie and its abbot for about ten years from ca. 842. He is probably best known for his _De corpore et sanguine Domini_ with its exposition of the doctrine of the Real Presence, for his commentary on Matthew in twelve books, and for his Marian _De partu Virginis_. P. was buried in the church of St. John at Corbie. In 1073, after miracles had been reported at his tomb, he was translated to the abbey's church of St. Peter. Here's a view of his tombstone there:
The opening of P.'s commentary on Lamentations in a manuscript of Austrian origin generally dated to the twelfth century (Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Ms. 30):
The second column here has the beginning of an extract from P.'s _De corpore et sanguine Domini_ in a manuscript of French origin dated to around 1200 (København, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, GKS 181 2o, fol. 72r):
6) William and Peregrine, venerated at Foggia (d. 11th or 12th cent.). We know about these two saints of the Regno from a Vita in the form of lections from their incompletely preserved Office from Foggia (BHL 8915) in northern Apulia. According to this undated text, W. and P. (in Italian, Guglielmo e Pellegrino) were a father and his only son, both wealthy and very devout and living at Antioch on the Orontes. P., who from childhood had nurtured a desire to see Jerusalem, went there as a pilgrim when had come of age and stayed there, tending the sick in a hospice. When P. did not return as expected, W. grew concerned and made inquiries that proved unavailing. He then went to Jerusalem himself, searched anxiously for his son, and fell ill in the process. He was brought to P.'s hospice, where P. recognized him and they reunited. They returned to Antioch, where W. sold his possessions and with the proceeds funded the hospice in Jerusalem and established others.
Thus far the Vita as we have it. From hymns, responsories, and antiphons sent in 1638 by the archpriest of Foggia to the early Bollandists, it appears that W. and P. came to Foggia, where they lived as hermits, visited the sick, made miraculous cures, and died simultaneously. Two of those whom they cured are named but not further identified: Riccardus and Maria. The combination of the first of these names with the Vita's making both W. and P. travelers to Jerusalem conduces to the view that this is a pilgrim-oriented cult of twelfth- or early thirteenth-century origin. Foggia, which lies close to the Gargano Peninsula with its major shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, was on a route taken by travelers from the north heading to the port cities of Apulia; from the reign of Frederick II onward it has been the chief city of its region, the Capitanata.
W. and P. were accorded an elevatio in the principal church of Foggia in 1630. They are secondary patrons of Foggia.
7) Dominic and Gregory, venerated "at Besians" (Bl.; d. late 13th or early 14th cent.). Early modern Dominican sources from Spain make D. and G. (Domingo y Gregorio) priests of their order who preached in the county of Ribagorza in today's Huesca province of Aragón. While traveling, they were overtaken by a storm and sought shelter for the night under a rock that then collapsed and crushed them in its fall. A miraculous tolling of bells alerted the people of nearby Perarrúa, who on the following day recovered the bodies of D. and G. These were brought to the parish church at Besians, where further miracles occurred and a cult grew up. In the seventeenth century the tombs of D. and G. at Besians were still a pilgrimage destination. D. and G. were beatified in 1854. The diocese of Barbastro-Monzón celebrates them on 27. April with an obligatory memorial.
Today, Besians and Perarrúa are part of the municipality of Perarrúa, whose parish church is the originally later seventeenth-century iglesia de San Martín at Perarrúa. Besians' own twelfth-century church of San Juán Evangelista is an empty shell and, along with an originally thirteenth-century bridge across the Ésera, the locality's principal tourist attraction. Herewith some views of the church:
and of the bridge:
8) Stephen of Perm (d. 1396). After making his monastic profession at Rostov Veliky, where he studied Greek and Old Slavonic, the Komi-speaking Russian S. (also Stephen Hrap) became a missionary among the Zyrians, a Finno-Ugric people in the Komi region of the nothern Urals. He developed for them a script, the Old Permic alphabet, and translated Orthodox texts into Komi. In 1383 he was appointed the first bishop of Perm, with his seat at his monastic center at Ust-Vym. S. died while on a trip to Moscow and was buried there in what is now the Kremlin. He has a Life by Epiphanius the Wise (d. 1420).
(last year's post lightly revised and with the addition of Basil of Amasea)
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