medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (6. June) is the feast day of:
1) Vincent of Bevagna (d. 303, supposedly). V. is the supposed protobishop of Bevagna (anciently, Mevania) in Umbria. According to his legendary Passio (BHL 8676) he and his brother St. Benignus were both martyred under Diocletian. Today is his _dies natalis_. Absent from the RM, he is Bevagna's patron saint.
V. is said to have had a fourth-century church at his gravesite that in the early Middle Ages served as Mevania's/Bevagna's cathedral. In the twelfth century this structure was abandoned as ruinous and V.'s relics were moved into the town's then new collegiate church of St. Michael the Archangel. V.'s cult spread not only in Umbria but also, through the transfer of relics, to Lucca, to Urbino, to Capua and to Benevento and, outside Italy, to Metz, where as recently as the 1960s he is said to have had not only a feast today but also a translation feast on 4. July (Metz' abbey of Saint-Vincent, on the other hand, housed relics believed to be those of the better known St. Vincent of Saragossa).
Herewith a few views of Bevagna's ex-chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo:
The Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on Bevagna begins with a series of exterior views of San Michele:
An illustrated, italian-language account of this church, with older photographs, occurs about halfway down the page here:
V. was the saint of the abbey of San Vincenzo al Furlo at today's Acqualagna (PU) in the Marche, ruled in the early eleventh century by St. Romuald of Ravenna and, somewhat later, by St. Peter Damian. Herewith an illustrated, Italian-language account of this community's later thirteenth-century church, incorporating a crypt that's about a century older:
Some expandable views:
Detail views (incl. one of the altar in the crypt, thought to be of the tenth or eleventh century):
2) Artemius and Paulina (d. 304, supposedly). A. and Candida, husband and wife, and their daughter P. are characters in the legendary Passio of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (BHL 5230, etc.; originally late sixth-century?), said to have been converted to Christianity by P., to have been baptized by the priest M., and to have been martyred during the Great Persecution. A. is said to have been a jailer and to have been scourged and then decapitated; C. and P. are said to have been buried alive. Their late antique places of veneration would indicate that A. and C., however related one to another (if at all), are Roman martyrs of the cemetery of Calepodius and that P. is a martyr of Via Portuensis. Prior to its revision of 2001 the RM included C. in this commemoration.
The martyrdom of A., C., and P. as depicted in a copy from 1463 of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 51, fol. 67v):
P. is the patron saint of Santa Paolina (AV) in Campania, where a church dedicated to her is recorded from the thirteenth century onward. The present instance is a seventeenth-century rebuilding of an originally fourteenth-century structure.
3) Eustorgius II of Milan (d. ca. 517/18). E. is the traditional twenty-fourth bishop of Milan; depending upon whose reconstruction of events one follows, he succeeded St. Laurentius I either in 508 or in about 512. St. Ennodius of Pavia, who also had hoped at this time to be named bishop of Milan, notes in a letter his disappointment over E.'s preferment (_Ep._ 314). E. successfully urged king Theoderic to order his governor in Sicily to afford strict protection to the properties there of the Milanese church. Writing in 518, St. Avitus of Vienne (_Ep._ 44) records both E.'s expenditure of great sums of money to free prisoners taken by Theoderic during his war against the Franks and the Burgundians and his personal appeal to Theoderic to send a mission to inspect and remedy wartime damage in southern Gaul. Ennodius tells us (_Ep._ 379) that E. restored Milan's baptistery of St. Stephen.
4) Claude of Condat (d. in or after 699). C. (C. of the Jura, C. of Besançon) is the traditional twelfth abbot of the monastery of Condat (for most of the Middle Ages called Saint-Oyend; today's Saint-Claude in Franche-Comté). One of that institution's medieval lists of abbots styles calls him "archbishop and abbot"; a dubious tradition, expressed in his perhaps thirteenth-century Vitae (BHL 1840, etc.), makes him archbishop of Besançon. Charter evidence has C. alive in 699. At some time between 1160 and 1213 there was a formal Inventio of his remains. Said to be wonder-working, these brought many pilgrims to Saint-Claude before their disappearance/destruction in 1794.
The originally fifteenth-century former abbey church of Saint-Oyend is now the the cathedral of Saint-Pierre, Saint-Paul et Saint-André at Saint-Claude. Though its facade is early modern, much of it is still very clearly medieval. Some views:
C. in effigy on his late medieval tomb plaque:
5) Alexander of Fiesole (d. early 9th cent.?). A. has a brief Vita in several versions (BHL 277b-278a; 277d no later than the eleventh century) that makes him a bishop of Fiesole who went to a ruler in Pavia to obtain the restoration of some possessions of his church and who, successful in that endeavor, was on his return journey drowned by enemies in the piccolo Reno near Bologna. He is considered a martyr. According to the version in the _Acta Sanctorum_, the ruler was the emperor Lothar, whose attention he gained by taking off his hat and having it supported for half an hour by the sphere of the sun (this seems borrowed from St. Donatus of Fiesole's account of St. Bridget of Ireland hanging her cloak on a sunbeam). A.'s body was returned to Fiesole, where it was interred in a church dedicated to him.
The existence of such a church is said to be documented from 966 onward. The ex-chiesa di Sant'Alessandro at Fiesole is an early nineteenth-century rebuilding of a structure thought to have been consecrated in 1120 by Callixtus II. Whereas that's not medieval in appearance, the basilica di Sant'Alessandro at nearby Giogoli di Scandicci (FI) in Tuscany, where a church of this dedication is recorded from 1035, certainly is. Herewith an Italian-language account with two exterior views of the present church:
Other exterior views (also expandable):
6) Norbert of Xanten (d. 1134). N. came from a well-off noble family who saw to his early endowment with comfortable benefices. After a near-death experience he turned very serious, gave up his position as almoner at the imperial court, was ordained priest in 1115, and began a failed attempt to reform the life of his fellow canons at Xanten in the Rheinland. In 1120 N. was given some land at a place in the diocese of Laon called Prémontré, where he founded the order of canons regular we know as the Premonstratensians. In 1126 he was appointed bishop of Magdeburg, where he died on this day and was buried near the cathedral in the church of his order's monastery of the BVM (in German, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen or St. Marienstift). N. was canonized in 1582. In 1627 his relics were translated to the abbey of Strahov outside of Prague, where they remain.
The ex-monastery of San Severo at Orvieto has what is sometimes said to be the oldest surviving portrait of N. (a fourteenth-century fresco):
Though this depiction of N. receiving the Rule from St. Augustine in a manuscript of his Vita B (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 17144) seems rather older:
An illustrated, German-language page on Magdeburg's much rebuilt Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen / St. Marienstift (the west front of the Liebfrauenkirche / St. Marienkirche dates from before N.'s time):
N.'s tomb in the abbey of Strahov:
7) Falco of La Cava (Bl.; d. 1146). Today's less well known holy person from the Regno was a member of the Cavensian community who after having been prior of La Cava's important dependency at Cersosimo (PV) in Basilicata and of other dependencies in Calabria became in 1141 abbot of the mother house of the Most Holy Trinity at Cava de' Tirreni (SA) in coastal Campania. Renowned for his oratorical gifts, F. expanded the community through the acquisition or erection of numerous dependencies. His cult was confirmed in 1928.
(last year's post very lightly revised)
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