medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
On Friday, November 6, 2009, at 4:57 pm, I wrote:
> Today (6. November) is the feast day of:
> Leonard of Noblac (d. 6th cent., supposedly)...
> Herewith views, etc. of some other medieval dedications to L. in
> today's Italy:
> a) The originally late twelfth-century doorway of the church of San
> Leonardo al Frigido near Massa (MC) in Tuscany (now in the
> Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York):
> Medievally, this was the church of a pilgrim hospital. An
> Italian-language account:
> b) Not dissimilar in general appearance is the originally early
> twelfth-century church of San Leonardo in Treponzio (since rebuilt),
> near Capannori (LU) in Tuscany. This too once had an adjacent hospital:
Further views of the chiesa di San Leonardo in Treponzio are here:
Today (6. November) is also the feast day of:
1) Felix of Toniza (?). F. is recorded under today in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology. Florus of Lyon, followed by Ado and Usuard, identified him as the F. who, according to St. Augustine of Hippo (_Enarr. in Ps_., 127. 6) died in prison before he could be executed. As Toniza, now El Kala in northern Algeria, was close to Hippo Regius, that identification, though far from certain, is at least possible.
2) Illtud (fl. 5th or 6th. cent.). The Welshman I. (also Illtyd, Illtut) is the largely legendary abbot of abbot of Llantwit Major in Glamorganshire. He is first heard from in the probably earlier seventh-century Vita of St. Samson of Dol (BHL 7478) and in the _Mirabilia_ section of the earlier ninth-century _Historia Brittonum_. His own Vita (BHL 4268) dates from ca. 1140 and is quite unreliable. An English-language translation of it is here:
3) Melanius of Rennes (d. earlier 6th cent.). F. (in French, Mélaine), bishop of Rennes, is recorded as a participant in the synod of Orléans in 511. Together with bishops St. Licinius of Tours and Eustochius of Angers he signed, in about 519-520, a letter reproaching two Breton priests for undertaking itinerant missions with portable altars in which they were assisted at liturgies by women. A successor is first recorded from 549. The (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology gives today as the commemoration of his laying to rest.
M.'s cult is already attested by St. Gregory of Tours in the later sixth century (_In gloria confessorum_, 54). He is the subject of several legendary Vitae (BHL 5887-5890d), none apparently earlier than the ninth century; these make him a hermit before his elevation to the episcopate and attribute healing miracles to him. From at least the later Middle Ages onward M. has also had a feast on 6. January (? commemorating his consecration as bishop); that is where he was in the RM prior to its revision of 2001.
An illustrated page on the originally late fifteenth-century église Saint-Mélaine at Morlaix (Finistère):
4) Winnoc (d. 716 or 717). The Breton W. (also his name in French) is the saint of the former priory bearing his name at today's Wormhout (Nord) in French Flanders. His earliest Vita (BHL 8952) has him enter religion at Sithiu / Saint-Omer; seemingly written there before 820, it associates him with Sts. Omer and Bertinus and has him found, with that house's permission, a cell at Wormhout that evolved in his lifetime into the aforementioned priory. Miracles are said to have been reported at W.'s tomb. W.'s feast is first recorded from the eighth century and has been celebrated on various days (not altogether surprisingly, as numerous translations of his relics are reported from the Middle Ages). The RM took today as his feast day from Propers of the dioceses of Arras and Lille.
5) Stephen of Apt (d. 1046). This twenty-seventh (traditional numeration) bishop of today's Apt (Vaucluse) has a closely contemporary Vita (BHL 7896). Born at Agde (Hérault), he studied at a Benedictine house in that city but seems to have become a secular priest. He was elevated to the episcopate in 1010 and is documented from 1019 to 1044 at consecrations of churches from Marseille to Catalunya and in other connections. S.'s is cult is recorded from Arles in the twelfth century; curiously, it is not attested from Apt prior to the latter diocese's Breviary of 1532.
6) Nuno Álvares Pereira (d. 1431). The Portuguese national hero N., who at the age of twenty-three was already constable of the realm, had an outstanding military career. In 1423, after the death of his wife, he entered religion at the Carmelite house he had founded at Lisbon and lived there as a penitent until his death. N. was beatified in 1918 and canonized in 2009.
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