medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (20. October) is the feast day of:
1) Cornelius the Centurion (d. 1st cent.). C., a Roman soldier stationed at Caesarea in Palestine, was the first gentile to be baptized in the Christian faith (Acts 10). St. Jerome's friend St. Paula visited a church in Caesarea that was said to have once been C.'s house. C. entered the historical martyrologies with Ado and Usuard, who placed him under 2. February and who gave him an elogium derived from the fourth-century _Constitutiones apostolicae_ (7. 46) and dubiously making him a bishop of Caesarea. 2. February is also where C. was entered in the RM prior to its revision of 2001.
C.'s martyrdom as depicted in a fourteenth-century manuscript of Guiard des Moulins' _Bible historiale_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 152, fol. 456r):
2) Caprasius of Agen (?). Nothing is known C. (in French: Caprais, Capraise, Caprés, Capres) beyond the fact that in the sixth century there was a church dedicated to him at Agen (so St. Gregory of Tours, _Historia Francorum_, 6. 12). By the ninth century his cult had been attracted into that of St. Fides of Agen and he appears in the legendary Passio of Sts. Fides, Caprasius, Primus, and Felician (BHL 2930) as one of her companions in martyrdom. C. entered the historical martyrologies with the ninth-century Florus of Lyon; his elogium in Usuard (under this day) is derived from the aforementioned Passio. In the fourteenth century C. was considered the protobishop of Agen.
C.'s originally twelfth-century church at Agen (Lot-et-Garonne) in Aquitaine is now that city's cathedral. An illustrated, French-language account, with interior views showing lots of nineteenth-century decor, is here:
The Romanes.com page on this church is here:
C.'s martyrdom as depicted on one of the capitals (medieval but re-worked? entirely nineteenth-century?):
Some views of the much rebuilt, originally eleventh-century église Saint-Caprais at Saint-Caprais-de-Bordeaux (Gironde), restored in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:
A page of views of the originally twelfth-/sixteenth-century église Saint-Caprais at Saint-Caprais-de-Lerm (Lot-et-Garonne), a former possession of the prior of the chapter of Saint Caprais at Agen:
At Castillon-du-Gard (Gard), some fifteen kilometers outside of Uzès (of whose cathedral it was a dependency in the thirteenth century), is a recently restored medieval chapel dedicated to a C. who might be either today's saint or else his homonym of Lérins (1. June). Here's a view:
And here's a French-language account:
3) Leopardus of Osimo (?). One of the ancient saints of Osimo (AN; the city's name is a proparoxytone and its first 'o' is open) in the Marche and believed in the Middle Ages to have been its bishop, L. has a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century Vita (BHL 4884) that dates him to the fifth century, confounds him with another saint of this name, and is generally quite unreliable.
In 1296 L.'s remains were discovered in the cathedral (this Inventio is recounted in detail in Osimo's fourteenth-century statutes); these were identified by a silver plaque, said to have been found on the saint's breast, bearing the inscription SCS [sanctus] LEOPARDVS. This plaque is one of the treasures of Osimo's diocesan museum. Formerly dated to the ninth century, it is now thought to be of the seventh or the eighth (when the March of Ancona was experiencing its Byzantine "Indian summer" as part of east central Italy's Pentapolis) and to have been the cover of a gospel-book. The best view I've found on the Web is here:
A drawing of this object's upper side is here:
The plaque on display in the museum:
Osimo's cathedral, dedicated to L., is an eleventh- and twelfth-century structure that received noticeable alterations in the late thirteenth century and again in the fifteenth. A brief, illustrated Italian-language account of this building is here:
The pertinent Italia nell'Arte Medievale pages, with many expandable views, start here (or would start here, were the site still on-line -- it was also off-line for a while last year and one may always hope for another re-appearance):
A few further exterior views (in the first, the church is at upper right):
A view of the crypt:
L.'s tomb in the crypt (at rear):
In this polyptych of 1418 by Pietro di Domenico da Montepulciano L. is the bishop at lower left:
4) Sindulf of Aussonce (d. later 6th cent., supposedly). S. (in French, Sidoux, Sindulphe) is a local saint of the diocese of Reims. According to his ninth-century Vita et Translatio by Altmann of Hautvillers (BHL 7792-7793), he was a priest and hermit who had been ordained at Reims, who died on this day under the rule of queen Brunhilde (regent, 575-584), and whose remains were translated from today's Aussonce (Ardennes) through Reims to the abbey in about the year 866. Flodoard of Reims says much the same thing in his _Historia Remensis ecclesiae_. In 1048 a procession through the diocese with S.'s holy relics resulted in a drought-ending rain.
The ancienne église abbatiale Saint-Sindulphe at Hautvillers (Marne) in Champagne-Ardenne, now a parish church (the remainder of the abbey is owned by Moët et Chandon), dates mostly from the seventeenth century. But it preserves from its "romanesque" predecessor the facade shown here in the only view of this much photographed church that I could find on the Web:
Buried in this church is Dom Thierry Ruinart (1657-1709), the pioneering Maurist editor of the Acts of the Christian martyrs of the first three centuries: _Acta primorum Martyrum sincera et selecta, ex libris cum editis tum manuscriptis collecta, eruta vel emendata, notisque et observationibus illustrata; opera et studio D.Theodorici Ruinart, presbyteri et monachi Benedictini e Congregatione S. Mauri_ (Paris, 1689). Though the state of the field has changed considerably since Ruinart's day, we should not miss this opportunity to salute him. How? Perhaps see next.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a Web-available view of Dom Ruinart's engraved monumental tablet. Absent that, here's a view of a monumental tablet in the same church honoring a slightly younger contemporary of whom some on this list may also have heard (he was the abbey's cellarer):
(For those having difficulty with the inscription, it memorializes Dom Pérignon).
And here's to Ruinart of another sort:
5) Vitalis of Salzburg (d. earlier 8th cent., supposedly). We first hear of V. in a later twelfth century Benedictine chronicle from Austria and in a twelfth-century Miracle collection that was used for his canonization inquest of 1462. He is believed to have been a disciple of St. Rupert of Salzburg (d. ca. 717) who became abbot that city's monastery (now archabbey) of St. Peter and who was Rupert's second successor in the see of Salzburg. V. is also said to have evangelized in the Pinzgau to the southwest of Salzburg and to have had his headquarters there at today's Piesendorf near Zell am See. In 1627 relics believed to be V.'s were discovered; these are in St. Peter, for which church his cult had been authorized, with a Mass and Office, by Leo X. His cult was extended to the entire archdiocese of Salzburg in 1628. V. entered the RM with its revision of 2001.
6) Andrew of Crete, martyr (d. 767). According to his closely posthumous Bios (BHG 111), this A. (also A. the Calybite; not to be confused with the slightly earlier confessor A. of Crete) was a native of Crete who lived very ascetically as a stylite until the year 767, when he traveled to Constantinople and there reproved the emperor (Constantine V) for his persecution of iconophiles. C., who is said to have been unable to match A. in theological learning, promptly consigned his opponent to the mercies of an iconoclast mob that first cut off the saint's right foot and then lynched him. A.'s body was thrown into a common grave but sympathizers coming by night were able miraculously to recognize it among all the others (was the trench chock full of fresh male corpses lacking a right foot?) and gave it honorable burial in a part of the city called the Crisis "'the Judgment"). Thus far the Bios.
A.'s burial church was an already existing one of St. Andrew the Apostle. The monastery attached to it is recorded from 792 onward as one for women. The original titular was venerated elsewhere in the city (notably at the church of the Holy Apostles) and in fairly short order our A. became the recognized saint of this church. The latter was rebuilt by Basil I (r. 867-886); it was rebuilt again in around 1284. In 1348 or 1349 the traveler Stephen of Novgorod visited this church and kissed A.'s body. Between 1486 and 1491 A.'s church was converted into a mosque. Re-oriented to face southeast and re-decorated within, it is now known as Koca Mustafa Pasha Mosque (also as the Sünbül Efendi Camii). Here's a view of it from an engraving published in 1877:
More recent views (the first from the northeast):
7) Adeline of Mortain (d. ca. 1125). A sister of St. Vitalis of Savigny, A. was the first abbess of the monastery founded in the early twelfth century at today's Mortain (Manche) in Normandy by count Guillaume de Mortain (d. 1106). Her cult is first attested from a translation in 1182 along with those of her brother and of other local saints to a chapel in Savigny; another translation in 1243 brought her to the town's principal church.
An English-language account of the abbey at Mortain is here:
(last year's post revised)
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