medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (16. January) is the feast day of:
1) Marcellus I, pope (d. 309?). After an interregnum M. succeeded Marcellinus as bishop of Rome either late in 306 or late in the first half of 308. According to his epitaph by pope St. Damasus I (_Epigrammata Damasiana_, ed. Ferrua, no. 20), his hostility to those who had apostasized under Diocletian led to dissension within the church leading to public disorder and even to homicides. The emperor Maxentius banished him, presumably as a means of restoring peace. The dates of his pontificate are conjectural. M. died in exile. Still under Maxentius (d. 312), his body was returned to Rome and was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla. Subsequently viewed as a martyr, M. has a legendary Passio (BHL 5234, etc.) associating him with Sts Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus and with Sts. Priscilla and Lucy of Rome. Remains said to be his repose in Rome's chiesa di San Marcello al Corso (a successor to the former _titulus Marcelli_).
The _Legenda aurea_'s Vita of pope St. Marcellinus (26. April) relates, perhaps from that pope's legendary Passio (BHL 5223g), how St. Peter appeared to the newly consecrated M. and commanded him to bury his martyred predecessor (which of course M. then did):
Here's that scene as depicted in a later fifteenth-century (ca. 1480-1490) copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 244, fol. 132r):
The account in the Liber Pontificalis' Vita of Marcellinus (cap. XXX here <http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/liberpontificalis1.html>) ascribes the burial to a _Marcellus presbiter_, perhaps but not certainly the future pope, and lacks the element of the appearance of St. Peter.
Expandable views of M.'s portrait in two later fourteenth-century missals now at Avignon are here:
Some views of the originally eleventh-century chiesa di San Marcello Papa at Paruzzaro (NO) in Piedmont:
Click on the hotlinks here for views of the frescoes:
A brief Italian-language account, a brief video, and other views of the originally twelfth-century basilica di San Marcello in Montalino at Stradella (PV) in Lombardy (an Italian national monument since 1893; restored from the 1950s onward):
A couple of views of the originally twelfth-century (1166) chiesa di San Marcello Papa in Pacentro (AQ) in Abruzzo (not overlooking its fourteenth-century fresco of another sainted pope):
Crowded Pacentro is built along a ridgeline:
In this view the chiesa di San Marcello papa is barely visible at top just to the right of center:
This church was damaged in last April's terrible earthquake in the Aquilano.
The later fifteenth-century portal of the originally eleventh-century chiesa di San Marcello at Anversa degli Abruzzi (AQ) in Abruzzo, where M. (at left in the fresco) is the patron saint:
2) Honoratus of Arles (d. 430). H. (also H. of Lérins; in French, Honorat or Honoré) came from a Gallo-Roman family of consular distinction, locality unknown. At some point near the beginning of fifth century he chose an ascetic lifestyle, much to the dislike of his father and of most of his family. For reasons unknown he and his similarly inclined older brother St. Venantius ("of Lérins"; 30. May) traveled by sea to Achaia, where V. died of an illness shortly after their arrival at the port of Modon on the Peloponnese and where H. too was gravely ill. Having returned through Italy to southern Gaul, H. spent some time as an hermit in the vicinity of Fréjus, whose bishop later ordained him priest. One may visit a cave on Cap Roux (Var) called the Sainte-Baume that is said to have been H.'s hermitage:
In about 410 H. and his hermit friend St. Caprasius of Lérins (1. June) settled on the island of Lerina (today's Saint-Honorat in the Îles de Lérins) between Cannes and Antibes. There he attracted disciples and together they formed what became the famous monastery of Lérins. H.'s correspondents included his fellow monastic founders Sts. John Cassian and Paulinus of Nola. In about 420 H. visited his family and brought back with him to Lérins his younger relation, St. Hilarius of Arles (5. May). In 427 H. was made bishop of Arles. When he died a few years later Hilarius succeeded him at Arles and wrote a _laudatio_ of him (BHL 3975) that is our chief source for details of H.'s life. H. was buried in Arles' ancient cemetery, the Alyscamps; in 1391 his remains were translated to Lérins.
In the eleventh century the Victorines of Marseille expanded a church dedicated to H. in the Alyscamps of Arles. This structure was rebuilt in the twelfth and perhaps early thirteenth century when the place had become home to an abbey. A French-language page on the site (one view) is here:
Some single views of the exterior (showing later additions):
A ground plan and several views (mostly of the interior) are here:
More views of the interior:
The monastery at Lérins became Benedictine in 660. It suffered from attacks by Muslim raiders in the early Middle Ages and by Genoese pirates in the later Middle Ages. A fortified monastery was built from the eleventh century through the fourteenth and underwent various later modifications down through the nineteenth century when Violet the Duck (as he has come to be called on this list) took it in hand. Here's a distance view:
A somewhat closer view:
Two views of the upper cloister:
3) Titianus of Oderzo (d. 632, traditionally). If the charter in question is genuine, Titianus, bishop of Opitergium (today's Oderzo [TV] in the Veneto) has been venerated at Céneda (part of today's Vittorio Veneto [TV] since at least 31. March 794, the date of a grant from Charlemagne to the church of the latter town. Usuard included him, under today's date, in the second edition of his Martyrology. A legendary Vita (BHL 8304) that from the late Middle Ages until 1606 was used for T.'s Office at Céneda was already in existence in the earlier fourteenth century when it was used for another Vita (BHL 8304b) by the hagiographer Pietro Calò of Chioggia; the longer readings of its appended Translation account (BHL 8304c) have been thought to to go back to shortly after the saint's seventh-century translation from Oderzo to Céneda.
T.'s Vitae make him out to have been a nobly born effective preacher who successfully combatted Arian beliefs in his diocese and who condemned the Three Chapters at a time when the bishops of Aquileia and Istria had accepted them. Miracles are said to have occurred at his tomb. The Translation account tells how, when T.'s relatives from today's Eraclea (VE) were contesting with the people of Oderzo for his body, a series of miraculous events led to the latter's arrival at Céneda where later, after the Lombard destruction of Oderzo, his see would also be transferred. Modern scholars tend to think that both the see and the holy body were transferred by the Lombard duke of Céneda in the wake of Oderzo's destruction by king Grimoald in 665.
Remains venerated as T.'s are kept in a bronze effigy tomb in the crypt of Vittorio Veneto's early modern cathedral:
Views of the originally fifteenth-century chiesa di San Tiziano at Goima di Zoldo Alto (BL) in the Veneto and of a sixteenth-century altarpiece there (with T. second from left):
T. is the patron saint of Céneda and of the diocese of Vittorio Veneto. He was painter Titian's name saint. TAN: T. is at left in these views of an altarpiece by Titian and his workshop in the chiesa arcidiaconale di Santa Maria Nascente in Pieve di Cadore (BL) in the Veneto, painted in the early 1560s:
T. at lower right in the altarpiece by Titian and workshop in the chiesa arcipretale di Santa Maria Assunta at Lentiai (BL):
4) Fursey (d. 649). The Irishman F. (also Fursa, Fursy; in Latin, Furseus) was a monastic founder in his homeland, in England, and in France. According to his later seventh-century Vita (different versions: BHL 3209, 3210; known in some form to St. Bede the Venerable), he experienced two visions while still in Ireland at his first foundation; in the second of these he had an out-of-body experience in which angels took him to a place where he saw souls of the damned undergoing punition. In about 639 F. traveled to East Anglia and founded a monastery at a place now identified as today's Burgh Castle (Norfolk), left it in charge of his brother St. Foillan (31. October), spent some time as an hermit, and fled to Francia during an invasion of East Anglia by the pagan king Penda of Mercia.
In Francia F. was welcomed by the Austrasian mayor of the palace, Grimoald, and founded another monastery at today's Lagny-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne) where he soon died. His cult was immediate. Grimoald had him interred not at Lagny but at a monastery at Péronne (Somme) whose foundation he was then completing. F. is Péronne's patron saint.
Two scenes of F. from later medieval illuminated manuscripts:
A. Fursey and a monk, from an earlier fourteenth-century collection of French-language saint's lives (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 218r):
B. Fursey on his deathbed, his soul received by two angels, from a late thirteenth-century _Legenda aurea_ (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, Ms. HM 3027, fol. 133r), expandable image:
5) Giovanna of Bagno di Romagna (d. ca. 1105). G., who has been claimed by the Camaldolese as one of their own, was a pious laywoman who spent many years as a _conversa_ in the monastery of Santa Lucia di Bagno high in the Appennines of the Romagna near the latter's border with Tuscany. She is said to have been a companion of St. Agnes of Bagno di Romagna (29. January) and to have been buried in a stone coffin in her monastery. In 1287 she was translated in a marble sarcophagus to the parish church of the BVM at today's Bagno di Romagna (FC); the latter became Camaldolese in 1298. In 1506 her remains, placed in a new container, were translated to a newly created chapel in the same church. G.'s cult was confirmed in 1823.
Herewith a few exterior views of Bagno di Romagna's basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (as that church is now called):
G. is the town's patron saint.
(last year's post revised and with the addition of Titianus of Oderzo)
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