medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (1. November) is the feast day of:
1) All Saints. This feast is recorded from Syriac- and Greek-speaking churches earlier than it is from Latin-speaking ones: traditional markers are a reference by St. Ephraem the Syrian to such a feast (I haven't pursued this to see whether it is in a work still considered to be E.'s) and a sermon for this feast by, or at least once ascribed to, St. John Chrysostom, delivered on the first Sunday after Pentecost, still the feast's usual day in Eastern-rite churches. Several Greek-language homilies for All Saints survive from the fourth and fifth centuries. An early Latin-language testimony to this commemoration is St. Bede the Venerable's _Sermo_ 18, an English-language translation of which is here:
At Rome the feast takes its origin from the establishment by Gregory III (731-741) of a chapel dedicated to Mary Ever Virgin and Mother of God and all the saints (including the particular classes of apostles, martyrs, and confessors); as Usuard notes in his elogium for today's feast, this had a predecessor in an annual feast at Rome on 13. May originating in pope St. Boniface IV's consecration on that day in 609 of Rome's church of Mary the Mother of God and all the martyrs, now Santa Maria ad Martyres. In 837 pope Gregory IV extended the feast to the church as a whole.
While we're here, a few views of Rome's Santa Maria ad Martyres:
Many expandable views:
Having looked at a church dedicated to _martyrs_, herewith a ground plan and some views of an originally late eleventh-/early twelfth-century one now dedicated to All the Saints but in the thirteenth century the principal church of an abbey called of the _Confessors_, Athens' Hagioi (Agioi, Agii) Pantes in Ampelokipi, excavated in 1922 and restored in 1956:
An illustrated, Italian-language page on, and some other views of, a church whose dedication has always been to _All_ Saints, the originally twelfth-century chiesa di Ognissanti in Trani (BT) in Apulia:
NB: Those apse views were taken from the harbor, looking across the Via Statuti Marittimi. The entrance to this church, on the Via Ognissanti, is neoclassical.
An illustrated, German-language page on the former Kloster Allerheiligen in Oppenau (Lkr. Ortenaukreis) in Baden-Württemberg and views of the remains of its originally later thirteenth-century church (nave converted to a hall church between 1470 and 1555):
Two later medieval dedications to All Saints in England:
a) All Saints Church, Loughton, Milton Keynes:
b) All Saints Church, Norwich:
A view of the originally late fifteenth-century Allerheiligenkirche am Kreuz in Munich, formerly the cemetery church of Alt St. Peter:
2) Caesarius of Terracina (?). Today's less well known saint of the Regno -- the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Vasto (CH) in Abruzzo has what are said to be his relics -- is a putative early martyr whose cult seems to have radiated from Rome, the site of multiple early medieval dedications to him. In several Passiones (BHL 1511-1514b) as well as in identical entries in the martyrologies of Ado and of Usuard, C. is said to have been a deacon from Africa who arrived at Terracina in southern Lazio in the time of a Claudius who seems to have been the one we now call Nero. These accounts go on to say that C. preached publicly against idolatry and that for this he was arrested, was tortured, and -- along with a priest named Julian -- was put into a sack and thrown into the sea.
Whereas C. appears without accompaniment in numerous church dedications and calendar entries (including that in the earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples), in Ado, Usuard, and the pre-2001 RM he shares this commemoration with the aforementioned Julian.
Hülsen's _Chiese medievali di Roma_ provides on this page an overview of C.'s various medieval dedications in Rome:
The most important of these are: 1) a church in the Lateran palace, already in existence in the late sixth century; 2) a monastery, also called that of St. Stephen and St. Caesarius, that was predecessor of the Benedictine monastery of St. Paul adjacent to the basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura; and 3) the originally ninth-century church of San Cesareo in Palatio (a.k.a. San Cesario de Graecis), erected in the imperial palace complex on the Palatine. This last church was originally Greek-speaking; connected with it is a legendary translation account in Greek and in Latin whereby Galla Placidia, the daughter of Valentinian III, was cured of a disease at Terracina by C.'s relics and then had these brought to Rome and installed in an oratory that became C.'s church on the Palatine.
C. is the patron saint of Terracina (LT) in southern Lazio, whose cathedral of Santi Pietro e Cesareo is now a co-cathedral of the diocese of Latina-Terracina-Sezze-Priverno. Consecrated in 1074, this building occupies an ancient temple base in the former capitolium. It was reworked in the twelfth century and very largely rebuilt in the eighteenth. The much altered belltower is originally of the thirteenth century.
The portico, whose columns, capitals, and ornamental cornice are spolia, is of the earlier thirteenth century. It has a noteworthy mosaic frieze:
The interior has a thirteenth-century cosmatesque pavement:
C. is also the patron saint of San Cesario sul Panaro (MO) in Emilia, where his cult is attested from 1112 in a charter of Matilda of Tuscany, and of San Cesario di Lecce (LE) in Apulia (the Roman-period Castrum Caesaris), where a dedication to C. first attested from 1180 in a comital charter of Tancred of Lecce, the future king of Sicily. Herewith some views of C.'s "restored", partly twelfth-century church at San Cesario sul Panaro (in the first, the church is to the left of the large buildings just below center) :
An English-language account of this church:
An Italian-language account:
An Italian-language account of the originally twelfth-century chiesa di San Cesario at Nave (BR) in Lombardy (rebuilt in 1233 and again in the fifteenth century):
3) Benignus of Dijon (?). B. (in French, Bénigne) is the protomartyr of Dijon. We first hear of him from the sixth century in a story by St. Gregory of Tours (_In gloria martyrum_, 51) that narrates how G.'s grandfather, St. Gregory of Langres, a) at first suppressed B.'s popular cult at Dijon because local veneration of him in an ornate, pagan sarcophagus smacked too much of idolatry but b), prompted by a divine revelation, reversed himself, authorized the cult, restored B.'s crypt, and erected a martyrial basilica above it. B.'s legendary, originally sixth-century Passio in several versions (BHL 1153-1155) makes him a disciple of St. Polycarp of Smyrna sent to Gaul as an evangelist and arrested, tortured, and finally killed at today's Épagny (Côte-d'Or) under emperor Aurelian (who ruled over a century after Polycarp's death). His feast on this day is recorded in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology.
Dijon's cathedral is a former abbey church dedicated to B. Herewith some accounts and views:
B.'s sarcophagus in the crypt:
4) Vigor (d. earlier 6th cent.?). V. is a fairly legendary early bishop of Bayeux whose feast today is recorded by Usuard in the later ninth century. Very popular in medieval Normandy, he has a series of legendary Vitae (BHL 8608ff.) of which the oldest (BHL 8612) was written at the then recently founded abbey of Cerisy in the period 1030-1045. Apart from documenting many of the abbey's possessions through the device of making V. a well-traveled pilgrim, this has him rid the future site of the abbey of a huge, diabolical serpent and combat idolatry in Bayeux itself once he has become bishop there. V. is also the legendary founder of the monastery of Saint-Vigor-le-Grand (Calvados) and the subject of a later eleventh-century report of a translation of his relics from Bayeux to Saint-Riquier in around 987.
Some views of the originally eleventh(?)-century église abbatiale Saint-Vigor at Cerisy-la-Forêt (Manche), reduced in size in the nineteenth century:
An illustrated, English-language account of the originally early twelfth-century église Saint-Vigor in Neau (Mayenne):
Frescoes (incl. two with depictions of V.):
Illustrated, French-language accounts of the originally twelfth-/thirteenth-century église Saint-Vigor at Quettehou (Manche):
A set of views of the remains of the originally twelfth-/fourteenth-century église Saint-Vigor de Juaye in Juaye-Mondaye (Calvados):
An illustrated, French-language page on the originally twelfth-/fifteenth(?)-century église Saint-Vigor at Champeaux (Manche):
Early in the later eleventh century a duke of Normandy brought V.'s cult to England. Herewith a view of the originally twelfth-century church of St Vigor at Stratton-on-the-Fosse (Somerset):
Illustrated, English-language accounts of the originally thirteenth-century, much rebuilt church of St Vigor at Fulbourn (Cambs), restored in 1869:
An English-language account of an originally early twelfth-century English dependency of the abbey of St. Vigor at Cerisy, the priory of Monk Sherborne (Hamps):
(Caesarius of Terracina revised from an older post)
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