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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  January 2010

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION January 2010

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Subject:

Re: saints of the day 27. January

From:

Dr Jim Bugslag <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 30 Jan 2010 11:14:48 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (255 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Actually, Maddy, the explanation for the proliferation of True Cross 
relics is even more highly unlikely but interesting than contact relics. 
The True Cross was considered to have the property that when one broke a 
bit off, it was not diminished, thus providing the possibility of 
unlimited splinter relics. There were also miraculous candles that were 
considered capable of being aflame without diminishing. I actually 
managed to prove this in my high school chemistry class, although my 
teacher was not much impressed.
Cheers,
Jim

Madeleine Gray wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> This whole contact relic thing does of course explain the huge number 
> of nails, fragments of the True Cross etc that were around by the C16. 
> It's a kind of homeopathic approach, I guess ...
> It's also psychologically compelling even today. I may have mentioned 
> before that my daughter sang in the choir at the opening of our 
> Millennium Stadium and the 2000 Rugby World Cup. The choir were taken 
> to see the Cup and actually allowed to touch it - and she touched a 
> piece of her programme to it and kept that for a long time as a 
> contact relic.
> Maddy
> Dr Madeleine Gray
> Reader in History
> School of Education/Ysgol Addysg
> University of Wales, Newport/Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd
> Caerleon Campus/Campws Caerllion,
> Newport/Casnewydd NP18 3QT Tel: +44 (0)1633.432675
> 'You may not be able to change the world but at least you can 
> embarrass the guilty'
> (Jessica Mitford)
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval 
> religious culture on behalf of Dr Jim Bugslag
> *Sent:* Fri 29/01/2010 9:07 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [M-R] saints of the day 27. January
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> Dear Judith,
> I agree with you that this practice seems "highly unlikely but
> interesting", but the fact is that much medieval practice fits that
> exact description. Such chemises were sent not just to French queens but
> to noble women and even churches. One was presented, for example, in
> 1531 to Queen Eleanor of Austria (the earliest surviving reference, re.
> a queen), but in 1540 the ambassador of Renee of Ferrara returned home
> with no less than three. Earlier, however, the 1477 inventory of
> Fontevrault lists four chemises from Chartres, presumably donated by the
> noble ladies who became nuns there. The last recorded offering, in 1811,
> was to the Empress Marie-Louise. The early modern antiquary, l'abbe
> Brillon, wrote a detailed description of such a "chemise de Chartres",
> accompanied by a sketch, which he found in the parish church at Bonce,
> in the diocese of Chartres (both reproduced in Tresors de la Cathedrale
> de Chartres, exh. cat. (Chartres, 2002), p. 52).
> But it gets more unlikely but interesting than that. Knights were in the
> habit of bringing their own tunics to Chartres and touching the
> Sainte-Chasse with them. This, it was thought, would protect them in
> battle. The 1389 Vieille Chronique describes this almost as a mass
> movement. There are reports that King Richard the Lionheart wore such a
> tunic during the Third Crusade (I have yet to see any firm documentation
> on this), but there were quite a few English references to such tunics
> by the 14th century. And one or two such tunics which were actually
> believed to have saved their wearers in battle were eventually hung, as
> votive offerings, in the crossing of the cathedral.
> And to top it all off, thousands of "chemisettes" were also produced at
> Chartres: small metal replicas of the Holy Tunic, which were sent in the
> thousands to the Knights of Malta, bought by pilgrims, etc. I, in fact,
> have a small silver chemisette with a ring mount, so that it can be worn
> around one's neck, which opens up to reveal a collection of relics (I
> haven't yet dared to remove the tiny labels to try to see if I can
> identify the relics), and in the late 17th century, the canons of
> Chartres sent quite a large chemisette reliquary to the Huron mission
> just outside of Quebec City. The best collection of them, however, is in
> the Musee des Beaux-Arts at Chartres.
> Cheers,
> Jim
>
> Judith Rosenberg wrote:
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> > culture There is another tale told in the Memoires de la societe
> > archeologique d’Eure-et-Loir, vol. 9, by F. de Mély, called “Les
> > Chemises de la Vierge,” in which the reliquary is described as being
> > of cedar, which would speak well to the preservation of the
> > nightdress, and a custom of offering to the pregnant queen of France a
> > copy of the nightdress and that this custom survived until 1811. The
> > article is readable online through a google search. The author cites
> > the custom as dating at least to the early 16th c. It all seems highly
> > unlikely but interesting...
> >
> >
> > On 1/29/10 12:23 AM, "Marjorie Greene" <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> > culture
> > Thanks, Jim. I should have googled "chartres reliquary 1712"
> > first, then I would have had your article before me and not had to
> > bother the list.
> > There was another fluffier website that talked of cutting the veil
> > - or whatever - into pieces, that it was dated from NT times, etc.
> > MG
> >
> > Marjorie Greene
> > http://medrelart.shutterfly.com/
> >
> > --- On *Thu, 1/28/10, Dr Jim Bugslag /<[log in to unmask]>/*
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> > From: Dr Jim Bugslag <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: [M-R] saints of the day 27. January
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 9:46 PM
> >
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion
> > and culture
> >
> > Marjorie,
> > According to Yves Delaporte, a very knowledgeable canon of
> > Chartres in the early 20th century, the venerable old
> > Sainte-Chasse was opened with the intention of translating the
> > relics in it to a new reliquary, since the old one, reputedly
> > made in the late 10th century, was falling apart. At some time
> > in the 17th century, a special rod of gold had been made in
> > order to poke about through the holes in it, and there was a
> > repair effected in 1679. Shortly later, though, it was claimed
> > that fabric could be seen through the holes in the shrine.
> > Nevertheless, a new reliquary was not made in 1712, and that
> > may have been because of the shock and disappointment of not
> > finding the Holy Tunic within. All that was found was a length
> > of silk that was immediately interpreted as the Virgin's Veil.
> > A brave face was put on, but the Veil was stuffed back into
> > its rickety old reliquary until the French Revolution, when
> > the reliquary was melted down, but the relic saved. That is
> > the "official" story, in any case. There were occasional
> > references, however, to a Veil from the late 13th century, and
> > I can't help suspecting that the good canons had sneaked a
> > peak much earlier than 1712. We will probably never know the
> > whole story.
> > Cheers,
> > Jim
> >
> > Marjorie Greene wrote:
> > > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion
> > and culture
> > > Jim Bugslag wrote: reliquary (which when opened in 1712 was
> > found [not to contain a tunic]
> > > Now I'm curious why this reliquary was opened in 1712. Louis
> > XIV surely wasn't hoping for any more children...
> > > MG
> > >
> > >
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