medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (2. February) is the feast day of:
1) The Presentation in the Temple / Hypapante / Candlemas / The Purification of the Virgin Mary. This feast is first described by the probably late fourth-century pilgrim Egeria in her account of the services at Jerusalem. An English-language translation is here (go to XXVI for the Presentation):
Clicking on the Roman numeral XXVI will bring up the passage in the original Latin.
A few visuals:
a) The Presentation as depicted in the mid-ninth-century Drogo Sacramentary from Metz (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 9428, fol. 38r):
b) The Presentation as depicted in the late tenth- or early eleventh-century (ca. 1000) so-called Menologium of Basil II (Città del Vaticano, BAV, cod. Vat. Gr. 1613):
c) The Presentation as depicted (bottom register) in the early eleventh-century Codex Aureus of Echternach (Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Hs. 156142, fol. 19r):
d) The Presentation as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century mosaics (restored betw. 1953 and 1962) of the katholikon of Hosios Loukas near Distomo in Phokis:
e) The Presentation as depicted in an earlier eleventh-century (betw. 1026 and 1050) troper and proser from Limoges (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 1119, fol. 17v):
f) The Presentation as figured the earlier twelfth-century (ca. 1145) sculptures of the right portal of the west facade of the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Chartres:
g) The Presentation as depicted in the mid-twelfth-century (ca. 1145-1155) Infancy of Christ window in the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Chartres:
h) The Presentation as depicted in a later twelfth-century (1178-1180) Coptic-language Gospels from Damietta (Paris, BnF, ms. Copte 13, fol. 142r):
i) The Presentation as figured in one of the panels of the early thirteenth-century bronze doors of the cathedral of Benevento, badly damaged by the Allied bombing of 1943 and recently restored:
j) The Presentation as figured in a later thirteenth-century (1260) relief by Nicola Pisano on his pulpit in the baptistery of Pisa:
k) The Presentation as depicted in a later thirteenth-century (ca. 1263-1270 or 1270-1272) fresco in the nave of the monastery church of the Holy Trinity at Sopoćani (Raška dist.) in southern Serbia:
l) The Presentation as depicted in the later thirteenth-century (ca. 1285-1290) Livre d'images de Madame Marie (Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 26r):
m) The Presentation as depicted in the very late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century (ca. 1300) frescoes of the Protaton church on Mount Athos:
n) The Presentation as depicted in an early fourteenth-century (1304-1306) fresco by Giotto di Bondone in the Arena Chapel (Cappella dei Scrovegni) in Padua:
o) The Presentation as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century (1320-1325) panel painting by Giotto di Bondone in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (MA):
p) The Presentation as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century (1342) panel painting by Ambrogio Lorenzetti now in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence:
q) The Presentation as depicted in a later fourteenth-century Armenian-language Gospels (Paris, BnF, ms. Arménien 333, fol. 3r):
r) The Presentation as depicted in an earlier fifteenth-century (1433-1434) panel painting by Beato Angelico on the predella of his Annunciation altarpiece in the Museo diocesano in Cortona:
s) The Presentation as depicted in an earlier fifteenth-century (1440-1441) fresco by Beato Angelico in one of the upper cells of the convento (now Museo nazionale) di San Marco in Florence:
t) The Presentation as depicted in a later fifteenth-century (ca. 1455) panel painting by Rogier van der Weyden on his St. Columba altarpiece in the Alte Pinkothek in Munich:
u) The Presentation as depicted in the later fifteenth-century (by 1472) east window of the church of St Peter and St Paul, East Harling (Norfolk):
2) Lawrence of Canterbury (d. 619). L., who had been ordained priest, was a senior member of the monastic mission to England sent from Rome under St. Augustine of Canterbury in 596. Early in the seventh century he succeeded Augustine as bishop of Canterbury. In 613, according to Canterbury's medieval historians, L. consecrated the monastic church of Sts Peter and Paul. In 616 or 618 the Christian king Æthelberht died and was succeeded by his pagan son Eadbald. Bede purveys a story in which L.'s conversion of Eadbald was achieved through his showing to the new king the welts that had miraculously appeared on L.'s body after St. Peter had given him a thrashing in a dream for planning to withdraw from England.
L. was buried next to Augustine in Sts Peter and Paul. Here's a representation of that church as it was in 1066:
In 1091 the remains of both saints were translated to the new church of the abbey that by then was already known as St Augustine's. Here are two views of the abbey as it is today:
3) Hadeloga (d. ca. 750). H. (also Hadelog, Hadlaug, Hadelonga, Adeloga) was the founding abbess, in the 730s or early 740s, of a double monastery became the imperial abbey at Kitzingen in today's northwestern Bavaria. She is mentioned in Eigil of Fulda's late eighth-century _Vita Sturmi_ (BHL 7294) as its abbess in the year 748. H. has a legendary Vita of her own (BHL 3734; twelfth-century) that makes her a daughter of Charles Martel who to her father's great displeasure chose virginity and who, evicted from the palace, traveled with her wealthy chaplain to Franconia and there founded the monastery. In this text father and daughter were then reconciled and Charles gave the abbey great gifts. One of her lifetime miracles includes a "faithful dog" story. According to the Vita H. was buried before the altar of the BVM in the sanctuary of the abbey church.
4) Burkard of Würzburg (d. ca. 754). The English Benedictine B. (also Burkhard, Burchardus) was a coadjutor in Germany of St. Boniface, who in 741 made him the first bishop of Würzburg. Pope St. Zachary confirmed him in this office in 743. B. is said to have promoted the cult of St. Kilian (Würzburg's patron saint) and to have founded under the Marienberg (on the left bank of the Main) a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew into which his remains were translated in the late tenth century and which subsequently was known by his name. The date of this translation (14. October) is B.'s feast day in Würzburg and in other German dioceses. Today, according to the second of his two Vitae (BHL 1483 and 1484; before 855 and mid-twelfth century, respectively), is his _dies natalis_; accordingly, it is his day of commemoration in the revised RM of 2001 (which latter evinces a marked preference for _dies natales_).
A German-language translation of B.'s Vita prima is here:
B.'s present church at Würzburg was begun in the early 1030s, was consecrated in 1042, and was radically rebuilt in the fifteenth century. Brief, German-language accounts are at:
A plan of the church:
A view from a painting of 1480:
Various views of today's church:
Here, from a later sixteenth-century (1574-1582) illustrated copy of Lorenz Fries' chronicle of the bishops of Würzburg (Universitätsbibliothek Würzburg, cod. M.ch.f.760), are expandable images of:
a) B. taking the episcopal oath on the grave of St. Peter before the pope and two cardinals (fol. 6r):
b) B.'s presentation as bishop (fol. 8r):
The home page of this digitization is at:
5) Simon of Cascia (Bl.; d. 1348). We know about the Augustinian Hermit S. (also Simon Fidati) both from his own writings and from a Vita (BHL 7756) by his student John of Salerno. Unlike many of his Augustinian contemporaries, he never obtained a university degree. Building on a solid foundation in the liberal arts, in which he had been trained prior to entering religion, he made his mark as a preacher, as a writer of treatises in pastoral theology, and as the author of the _De gestis Domini Salvatoris_, a lengthy Life of Christ written in the form of commentary on pertinent passages of the Bible. Some of his letters survive and we also have from his pen three vernacular _laude_ (lyric poems of middling length, mostly anonymous, on religious themes; the named poet most famously associated with the genre is Jacopone of Todi).
S. died during the onset of the Black Death in mainland Italy; his remains are at his native Cascia (PG) in Umbria, in the basilica di Santa Rita. His cult was confirmed in 1833. An edition of the _De gestis Domini Salvatoris_ by Willigis Eckermann appeared from the Augustinus-Verlag in Würzburg in seven volumes from 1998 to 2003; Eckermann's edition of S.'s minor works and of the Vita by John of Salerno was issued by the same publisher in 2006. In that year also appeared, again from the Augustinus-Verlag, a collection of essays, _Simon Fidati von Cascia OESA: Augustinische Theologie und Philosophie im späten Mittelalter_, hrsg. von Carolin M. Oser-Grote und Andreas E. J. Grote.
6) Peter of Ruffia (Bl.; d. 1365). The Dominican inquisitor P. (also Peter Cambiani or Cambiano) came from a prominent family of today's Ruffia (CN) in Piedmont. He took the habit at his order's convent at Savigliano and was ordained priest at the age of twenty-five. A gifted preacher, he was a little over thirty years old when in 1351 Innocent VI named him inquisitor general for upper Italy. Basing himself in Turin, P. worked diligently against Waldensian and other heretics until his assassination by persons unknown in what's now the southern cloister of the convent of San Francesco in Susa, where he had been a guest. P. was buried at San Francesco and stayed there until 1516, when his remains were translated to Turin's chiesa di San Domenico. His cult was confirmed in 1865.
Today is P.'s _dies natalis_ and the day of his commemoration in the RM. Dominicans celebrate him tomorrow in a joint feast along with two other inquisitors general also murdered in Piedmont, Bl. Anthony Pavoni (d. 1374; P.'s immediate successor) and Bl. Bartholomew of Cervere (d. 1466). His cult was confirmed in 1865.
Here's an Italian-language page on the history of the originally thirteenth-century chiesa e convento di San Francesco in Susa (TO) in Piedmont:
Views of its belltower and late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century polygonal apse:
And here's a page with numerous expandable views of this church (whose interior underwent a neo-gothic makeover in the later nineteenth century):
Torino's San Domenico is thought to have been completed in about 1334. If so, it will have been still fairly new when P. arrived there as inquisitor general. It was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and its present medievalizing appearance (e.g. the Piedmontese Gothic porch) is the result of an imaginative, early twentieth-century restoration. Here are an illustrated, English-language account and a more general exterior view:
(last year's post revised)
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