medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (1. May) is the feast day of:
1) Joseph the Worker (d. 1st cent.). Yes, this is J., the foster-father of Jesus, whose principal feast is on 19. March. Today's feast is a creation of 1955, replacing that of Philip and James (who now are celebrated on 3. May).
2) Andeolus (d. 208, supposedly). A. (in French: Andéol) is the legendary evangelist of the Vivarais. According to his legendary Passio (BHL 423; earliest witnesses are of the tenth century) he was a subdeacon sent to Gaul by St. Polycarp of Smyrna in a mission headed by St. Benignus of Dijon. A. was on his way to Carpentras when in the persecution of Septimius Severus he was arrested at a place called Bergoiata, was tried before the emperor himself, then on his way to Valence, and was found guilty. After various torments he was dispatched on this day in the presence of the emperor, who ordered that A. be killed by having his head sliced and re-shaped in the form of a cross. A.'s corpse was thrown into the Rhone, whence it was recovered by a pagan matron who, instructed as to A.'s holiness by a miracle, became Christian and gave him a decent burial. Thus far the Passio.
Bergoiata is now Bourg-Saint-Andéol (Ardèche) in Rhône-Alpes. Its skyline is dominated by the originally eleventh-/twelfth-century église abbatiale Saint-Andéol:
Some interior views of the church are here:
The Structurae page of views for the church:
The ancient sarcophagus seen in two of the Structurae views was reworked in the early twelfth century to house A.'s putative remains. All four sides may be seen here:
Here's a view of the re-carved side with its identifying inscription flanked by representations of St. Benignus of Dijon at left and of St. Polycarp of Smyrna at right:
A.'s cult is attested by numerous toponyms and dedications of existing churches across southern France and Catalunya. Herewith some views of the church and other structures of the former monastery of Sant Aniol d'Aguja (Girona), said to have been founded in the late ninth century (the present church may in origin not be quite that old):
3) Hypolistus (d. ca. 303, supposedly). This saint of the Regno is the titular of the originally twelfth-century church of Sant' (also San) Ippolisto at Atripalda (AV) in Campania. That structure was built over a late antique Christian hypogeum known medievally as the _specus martyrum_ ('cave of the martyrs'), where saints are first known to have been venerated from 357, when the site was part of a necropolis for ancient Abellinum (in the early Middle Ages Abellinum's population moved to the site of today's Avellino; Atripalda, first attested from 1086, is the community that took its place). H. was one of the saints venerated there. He has a legendary Passio (BHL 4054-4055; 4055f is by the eleventh-century Cassinese prose stylist John of Gaeta, later pope Gelasius II) that presents him as a priest of Antioch who preached the gospel wondrously at Abellinum and who was martyred under Diocletian. H. has yet to grace the pages of the RM.
Atripalda's chiesa di Sant'Ippolisto was rebuilt in Renaissance neoclassical style during the years 1585 and following. The crypt was radically altered in 1629, at which time most of its medieval decor (about which we know something from an early thirteenth-century description) was lost. The collapse of the crypt's vaulting a few years later may have been an unrecognized comment from on high on the merits of this stylistic "renovation". Some medieval frescoing and sculptural fragments survive in the crypt. The latter's most recent restoration is the subject of Giuseppe Mollo, _Specus Martyrum. Arte e Restauri_ (Viterbo: BetaGamma, 1998), whose cover is shown here:
Here's a view of the entrance to the crypt's eighteenth-century Cappella del Tesoro showing surviving tortile columns:
In the collage shown here, the crypt's cappella di Sant'Ippolisto is shown at left:
A view of H.'s display reliquary case above his tomb:
To give you an idea of what may have been lost in 1629, here's an illustrated, Italian-language page on the originally eighth(?)-century basilica antica beneath the early modern basilica della Santissima Annunziata at relatively nearby Prata di Principato Ultra (AV), similarly built into an ancient Christian cemetery:
The bishop depicted in the final painting shown _might_ be H. (a very iffy conjecture).
4) Orientius of Auch (d. earlier 5th cent.). O. has a not altogether credible Vita prima (BHL 6344) that has been dated variously from the early sixth century to sometime in the Carolingian period and upon which his later Vitae depend. This makes him a bishop of today's Auch (Gers) in southwestern France, in O.'s lifetime Auscis in Novempopulonia. A. was learned in theology, converted pagans at Auch, and destroyed a pagan temple that was a haunt of of devils. Auch at this time belonged to the Visigothic kingdom and the O. is said to have served as an envoy from the Gothic king of Toulouse to the Roman generalissimo Aetius, who received him respectfully while his subordinate Litorius refused to meet with A. When the Goths later captured the Roman force Litorius paid with his life while O. was able to secure the release of the others. Thus far this Vita.
O. is customarily identified with the late antique Christian poet Orientius, the author of a moral-didactic poem called _Commonitorium_ whose 518 elegiac distichs include an often cited passage on the woes of Gaul under barbarian rule.
5) Sigismund of Burgundy (d. 523 or 524). What little we know about S. comes chiefly from St. Gregory of Tours' _Historia Francorum_ (3. 5-6) and from S.'s Passio (BHL 7717) by a monk of the abbey of St. Maurice at Acaunus (today's Saint-Maurice-en-Valais or Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune in Switzerland's canton Valais). He was the son and successor Gundobad, king of Burgundy. G. was Arian but A. was persuaded by St. Avitus of Vienne to convert to the Catholic faith. In 515 he founded at Acaunus the aformentioned abbey. In 522, persuaded by his second wife (by whom he had two sons) that Sigeric, one of his sons by his first marriage, was plotting to overthrow him, S. had Sigeric murdered. Becoming remorseful, he is said to have entered the abbey at Acaunus as a penitent. In the following year he was defeated in battle by sons of Clovis. S. abdicated and was soon murdered by the victors.
Testifying to the veneration of his miracle-working relics at Acaunus, Gregory of Tours viewed the penitent confessor S. as a martyr (_In gloria martyrum_, 74). In 1366 the emperor Charles IV translated S.'s relics to Prague. Venerated in imperial circles, S. was the name saint of Sigismund of Luxemburg, king of Hungary from 1387, king of the Germans from 1411, king of Bohemia from 1419, king of the Lombards (i.e., king of Italy) from 1431, as well as emperor from 1433 until his death in 1437. Herewith a view of S. as depicted in an earlier fifteenth-century fresco (betw. 1417 and 1437) in the Dreifaltigkeitskirche in Konstanz (an imperial city until 1458):
S.'s statue from Jakob Kaschauer's 1443 altarpiece for Freising cathedral (now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich):
S. was also the name saint of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (d. 1468), lord of Rimini and the endower of that city's church of St. Francis usually known as the Tempio Malatestiano. Herewith two views of S.'s portrait of ca. 1451 by Piero della Francesca in that church:
6) Asaph (fl. 6th cent., supposedly). A. (Asaf, Assafus, Asa) is the eponym of today's Llanasa ('Church of Asa') in Flintshire, the probable original seat of the diocese in northern Wales first recorded under the name of St. Asaph in 1152, when Geoffrey of Monmouth succeeded as its bishop. The present seat of the diocese, in English St Asaph but in Welsh Llanelwy ('Church on the Elwy'), in Denbighshire some five miles to the southwest of Llanasa is not known to have been associated with A. prior to the twelfth century. Jocelin of Furness' legendary Vita of St. Kentigern (BHL 4646; written probably after 1180) has the latter found a monastery at Llanelwy and, upon his return to Glasgow, commit it to his young disciple A. The saint of a narrowly circumscribed region, A. is absent from surviving medieval Welsh calendars.
The present cathedral of St Asaph was begun in the late thirteenth century but is mostly of the later fifteenth century with subsequent modifications (esp. those introduced in the restoration of 1867-75). Some views:
A plan of the building is here:
7) Aredius of Gap (d. early 7th cent.). A. (in Latin also Aridius, Arigius; in French: Arige, Arège, Arey, Ariez, Érige, etc.) was a bishop of today's Gap (Hautes-Alpes) whose presence is attested at two later sixth-century synods and who appears in the correspondence of pope St. Gregory the Great as a trusted opponent of simony and of the ordination of laymen as priests. According to his seventh-century Vita (BHL 669), he was the first-born son of Frankish nobles who in today's Chalon-sur-Saône dedicated him to the church at the age of two. Various miracles are reported of him. A.'s eleventh-century Vita (BHL 670) has him dying after the murder (in 607) of bishop St. Desiderius of Vienne.
A. is the titular of the originally "romanesque" chapelle Saint-Érige at Auron (Alpes-Maritimes). Herewith French-language and English-language versions of a site on this chapel with hotlinks and expandable views (incl. several of the chapel's mid-fifteenth-century frescoes):
Another view of the frescoes is here:
This fresco illustrates the miracle (already in A.'s Vita prima) wherein a bear that had killed an ox pulling A.'s cart when he was returning from Rome with many relics came to A.'s funeral, let itself be yoked to the cart bearing A.'s body, drew it, and returned annually for the saint's feast:
8) Pellegrino Laziosi (d. ca. 1345). The Servite friar P. (sometimes called St. Peregrine) was a penitent and a healing thaumaturge in his native Forlì in the Romagna who came to be considered a saint in his lifetime. His cult was immediate after death and was spread by members of his order. P. has a Vita from 1484 written by the humanist Nicolò Borghese (BHL 6629) that is thought to derive from a now lost earlier account then preserved at the Servite convent in Forlì and that seems to have given at least as much attention to P.'s spirituality as to his miracles. He was canonized in 1726. Along with the BVM, P. is a principal patron of the city of Forlì and of the diocese of Forlì-Bertinoro. The greater recognition given to P. in modern times probably has a lot to do with the diocese's celebration of yesterday's St. Mercurialis now falling in October rather than immediately before P.'s day.
P. was laid to rest in a loculus in Forlì's originally twelfth- or thirteenth-century chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi, where his remains still reside. Though almost completely transformed early in the seventeenth century, this church retains a later medieval portal:
(matter from last year's post lightly revised and with the additions of Sigismund of Burgundy, Asaph, and Aredius of Gap)
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