medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (12. October) is the feast day of:
1) Edistus (?). E. (also Edistius, Hedistius, Aristus, Eristus, Heristus, Orestes) is a poorly documented martyr with an early cult site at Laurentum on the Via Ardeatina at the sixteenth milestone from the Eternal City, where he had a martyrial basilica that was restored under pope St. Hadrian (Adrian) I (772-95) and that presumably gave its name to an homonymous papal estate mentioned in the _Liber Pontificalis_. In St. Gregory the Great's time a monastery was dedicated to him at Rome near San Paolo fuori le Mura; in the earlier seventh century its church was dedicated to Sts. Aristus, Christina, and Victoria. The latter also appear among E.'s companions in his legendary Passio (BHL 3765), where he is Nero's armor-bearer, converted by St. Peter and martyred with others in a pozzolana pit in at Laurentum where they were attending nocturnal services conducted by a local priest.
A corruption in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology making E. a martyr of Ravenna on a Via Laure(n)tina led to his being recorded in the latter fashion in the martyrologies of the Carolingian period as well as in the RM until its revision of 2001. E. is not known to have been venerated at Ravenna before the Early Modern period. Back in Lazio, he is the patron saint of Sant'Oreste (RM), where the rebuilt cemetery church dedicated to him seems to have had a "romanesque" predecessor. Here's a view of it:
2) Maximilian of Celeia, venerated at Passau (d. later 3d cent., supposedly). M. is also known as M. of Lorch. In the later ninth century king Carloman gave to the monastery he had founded at today's Altötting in Bavaria purported relics of two saints, Felicity of Rome and Maximilian; the latter's origin is unknown. In the later tenth century bishop Pilgrim of Passau translated these Maximilianic relics to Passau, where M. joined St. Valentine of Rhaetia (7. January) as a patron of the diocese. M.'s cult was renewed there towards the end of the thirteenth century, when bishop Bernhard built a new cathedral (destroyed in the conflagration of 1662) and erected in it a joint sepulchre for the diocese's two patrons.
That renewal produced a legendary Vita (BHL 5811; ca. 1290). In it, M. is said to have been the offspring of wealthy parents at Celeia (today's Celje in Slovenia). When they had died, he manumitted his slaves and sold off the remainder of his goods and undertook a pilgrimage to Rome in the hope of becoming a missionary. Pope St. Sixtus II (257-258; a prominent victim of the Valerianic persecution) sent M. to evangelize in Noricum and Pannonia. As a missionary bishop M. established his seat at Lauriacum (today's Lorch an der Enns in Oberösterreich). After twenty years M. returned to Celeia, was caught up in a persecution, refused to apostasize, was martyred on this day, and was buried outside of the town. Thus far the Vita.
Passau, thanks in no small measure to bishop Pilgrim's attempts to remove his diocese from the metropolitan jurisdiction of Salzburg, had by this time long considered itself the successor of the ancient diocese of Lorch (which latter was asserted by Passau to have had archdiocesan status). M.'s Vita will have confirmed that tradition as well as giving Passau a more easterly southern missionary patron paralleling the more westerly Valentine of Rhaetia. Given the geography of M.'s Vita, it is not altogether surprising that in the fifteenth century he became a patron saint of the Hapsburgs.
M. is also known as M. of the Pongau. To judge from an early eighth-century inventory from the diocese of Salzburg there was erected at today's Bischofshofen in the Pongau south of Salzburg a chapel honoring a St. M. It is not clear whether this saint is the same as the M. whose relics were later at Altötting. The chapel was rebuilt as a church in 1450 and is now Bischofshofen's Pfarrkirche St. Maximilian. Here's a view:
3) 4966 Martyrs and Confessors under Huneric in Africa, incl. Cyprian and Felix, bishops (d. 482-484). This is a general commemoration, not attested before the Carolingian period, of the victims of Arian persecution in Africa under the Vandal king Huneric (477- 484) as reported by Victor of Vita. In Usuard their number is 4976. One of Huneric's practices in suppressing the Catholics of his realm was internal exile: this produced martyrs in the case of those (including the two bishops named above) who are said to have died of privation in the desert and confessors in the case of those whose place of exile within the kingdom was the more salubrious Sardinia.
4) Felix IV (III), pope (d. 530). Today's less well known saint of the Regno was a Samnite, that is, someone from Benevento or the surrounding area. Nominated by king Theodoric to succeed pope St. John I, F. was consecrated on 12. July 526. During the so-called semipelagian controversy he issued to the bishops of southern France a series of positions on grace and free will that were promulgated as canons by the synod of Orange in 529. In the same theological context, F. approved St. Caesarius of Arles' _De gratia et libero arbitrio_.
F.'s major monument is the stational church of SS. Cosma e Damiano on Rome's via dei Fori Imperiali. Created in the circular temple of Jupiter Stator (also known as the Temple of Romulus, i.e. of Maxentius' son of that name) and in an adjacent structure belonging to the Forum Pacis, it is particularly noteworthy for its sixth-century apse mosaic. An illustrated, English-language account is here:
Aerial satellite view of the church (center), with the circular temple on the south side. The major road to the north is the via dei Fori Imperiali and the large structure to the right (east) is the basilica of Maxentius and Constantine:
Other exterior views:
Another view of the rear, looking past remains of the temple of Antoninus and Faustina:
The apse mosaic:
F. holding a model of the church; St. Paul introducing Cosmas or Damian:
Apse mosaic and mosaic over triumphal arch:
5) Edwin of Northumbria (d. 633). We know about E. (in Old English, Eadwine) chiefly from St. Bede the Venerable and from the Vita of St. Gregory the Great by the Anonymous of Whitby (BHL 3637). He was the king of Northumbria and king over Lindsey whom bishop St. Paulinus of York converted to Christianity in the 620s during his relatively brief and, in the long term, largely unsuccessful mission in Northumbria. E.'s defeat and death at the hands of the combined forces of Gwynedd and Mercia at the battle of Hatfield Chase was followed by a pagan reaction. He was buried at the monastery of Whitby where he received a martyr's cult that was given limited papal approval only in the late sixteenth century. That St. Wilfrid of York had a feast on this day from the tenth century onward and that the later national saint Edward the Confessor had one on 13. October did nothing to raise his ecclesiastical profile. E. has yet to grace the pages of the RM.
An English-language account of the originally twelfth-century St Edwin's Church at High Coniscliffe (County Durham) is here:
NON-MEDIEVAL ASIDE: The modern church dedicated to E. in Dunscroft (S. Yorks), near the Hatfield usually identified as the scene of the battle of Hatfield Chase, is situated in the onomastically rather less than regal Sheep Dip Lane:
6) Rodobald II of Pavia (d. 1254). R., who had previously been archdeacon of Pavia's cathedral, was elected its bishop in 1230 and was consecrated by pope Gregory IX. At the outset of his episcopate R., who as bishop was responsible for dealing with heretics in his diocese, invited Bl. Isnard of Chiampo to establish the first Dominican house at Pavia. R. was also responsible for the creation of the catalogo Rodobaldino, an inventory drawn up in the 1230s of the 141 relics then held in the churches of Pavia. Having inherited from his predecessors a contest with the commune, which in 1197 had begun to erect its own palace next to that of the bishop (and probably in part on property belonging to the bishop), he resolved the immediate issue in 1236 by selling the larger part of his palace to the commune, which then incorporated it into his own structure.
In the same year R. consecrated Pavia's rebuilt church dedicated to his predecessor St. Lanfranc of Pavia. In contradistinction to the commune, whose sympathies were Ghibelline, R. supported the papacy in its contest with Frederick II. After falling into pro-imperial hands while on his way to Rome, he was held prisoner at Pisa from 1241 to 1244. For most of his pontificate he lived at the monastery of Santo Maria delle Stuoie in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral of San Siro. R. was buried in the cathedral (since rebuilt).
An illustrated, Italian-language account of Pavia's chiesa di San Lanfranco is here (though the facade, from 1257, is slightly later than R. most of the structure dates from his time) :
(last year's post lightly revised)
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