medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (8. June) is the feast day of:
1) Maximinus of Aix (d. 1st cent., supposedly). M. is the legendary protobishop of Aix-en-Provence. His existence is first reported from the eleventh century, when the abbey of Vézelay, which claimed to have the relics of St. Mary Magdalen, asserted that she had been interred at Aix by her companion from Palestine, M., and that later her remains had been brought Vézelay for safekeeping. M. was said to have been one of the seventy-two Disciples, to have accompanied Mary Magdalen to Provence, and to have been the first bishop of Aix. In 1267 St. Louis IX and other French royals witnessed a translation of her relics at Vézelay. But in 1279 Charles I of Sicily, who was also count of Provence and who had been present at Vézelay for the ceremonies of 1267, oversaw the Invention of the true relics of both Mary Magdalen and M. in a church near Aix dedicated to a saint Maximinus.
In 1289, under Charles II of Sicily and Provence, the church where these relics were discovered, located near a grotto called La Sainte-Baume, began to be replaced with an impressive new structure seemingly dedicated both to M. and to St. Mary Magdalen, consecrated in 1316 (when the crypt had been finished), and left unfinished in 1532. In 1295 Charles referred to it as that "of Saint-Maximin and the Blessed Mary Magdalene". See the first of the translated "Letters of Charles II, King of Naples [_sic_; correctly, "of Sicily"], concerning the Church and Monastery of Saint-Maximin in Provence, 1295" at:
TinyURL for that:
The church is commonly referred to simply as that of St. Mary Magdalen, while an adjacent Dominican convent, now an hotel, retained M.'s name (though later it was also known as the Couvent Royal). The town is now Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (Var).
A page of views of the basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is here (this is not a hot link; you will have to cut and paste):
More views at bottom here (scroll to the right):
M. reposes in the crypt in this fourth-century sarcophagus:
For its placement on the left-hand side in the crypt (originally, an above-ground oratory) see:
Some views of the ex-convent and its cloister:
Mary Magdalen and companions (incl. M.) landing in Provence, as depicted by Giotto or an assistant in the Magdalen Chapel of the Lower Basilica at Assisi:
M. and the others on Lukas Moser's Magdalenenaltar (1432) in the St. Maria Magdalena Kirche at Tiefenbronn (Lkr. Enzkreis) in Baden-Württemberg:
M. baptizing the prince of Marseille and his wife as depicted on a predella panel of the Mary Magdalen retable (ca. 1550) in the Musée de Contes at Contes (Alpes-Maritimes):
2) Gildard (d. before 538). G. is traditionally the fourteenth bishop of Rouen. He participated in the first council of Orléans in 511. At the second council of Orléans (538) Rouen was represented by his successor. Between 838 and 841 most of his relics were translated to the abbey of Saint-Médard (on whom see no. 3, below) at Soissons. Later legend made him Medard's brother.
Two views of, and an English-language account of, the church of St Medard and St Gildard in Little Bytham (Lincs), in part seemingly at least as old as the eleventh century and restored in 1875, are here:
Another view of the tympanum of the Priest's Door:
A page of expandable exterior views:
A French-language account of the originally later eleventh- to thirteenth-century église paroissiale Saint-Médard-et-Saint-Gildard at Lhuys (Aisne):
Some view of this church:
A French-language account of the originally later twelfth- to late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century (nave re-worked in the nineteenth century) église paroissiale Saint-Médard-et-Saint-Gildard at Crépon (Calvados):
A view of this church's belltower:
3) Medard (d. ca. 560). M. was a native of the Vermandois who became a priest, was known for miracles, and in time succeeded to the see of Noyon. The union of the diocese of Tournai/Doornik with that of Noyon, which remained in force until 1146, is held to have occurred in his time. Not long after M.'s death his body was translated to Soissons, where king Sigebert (561-75) erected a monastic basilica dedicated to him. M. has an early Vita in verse by St. Venantius Fortunatus (d. ca. 600; BHL 5863) and an only slightly later one in prose (BHL 5864) that used also to be attributed to Venantius. His ninth-century Vita (BHL 5865) makes him a monk of Saint-Médard at Soissons; one from the eleventh century (BHL 5868) has him transfer his seat to Noyon from Saint-Quentin.
An illustrated, French-language page on the remains of the abbey of Saint-Médard at Soissons:
Some views of the crypt (which is almost all that survives of the abbey church):
Expandable views of pages of the early ninth-century Gospels of Saint-Médard of Soissons (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 8850):
Pages of clickable images of the BnF's digitization of that manuscript are accessible here (go to 'Recherche' and enter 'Latin 8850' under 'Cote'):
When queen St. Radegund fled the court of her husband Chlotar I she sought the church's protection at Noyon, where M. is said to have consecrated her deacon. Here, in a later fifteenth-century copy of Vincent of Breauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 310, fol. 222v), is a depiction of M. with R., who is shown removing her royal vestments before adopting religious garb:
Views, etc. of the at least eleventh-century and later church of St Medard and St Gildard in Little Bytham (Lincs) and of the originally later eleventh- to thirteenth-century église paroissiale Saint-Médard-et-Saint-Gildard at Lhuys (Aisne) are in Gildard's notice at no. 2, above.
Views of the originally tenth- to twelfth-century église Saint-Médard at Élancourt (Yvelines):
Views of the originally eleventh-century église paroissiale Saint-Médard at Mainfonds (Charente):
Views of the originally eleventh-century église Saint-Médard at Anville (Charente):
Views of the originally eleventh-century église (ancien prieuré) Saint-Médard at Ruelle-sur-Touvre (Charente), a priory of Cluny until 1450:
Views of the originally twelfth- and thirteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Vaudoy-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne):
Views of the originally eleventh- or twelfth- and fourteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Genté (Charente):
Views of the originally twelfth- to fifteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Thouars (Deux-Sèvres), restored in the nineteenth century and undergoing renovation now:
A set of detail views of carvings on the main portal:
An illustrated, French-language page on the originally early thirteenth-/fifteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Jodoigne/Geldenaken (Brabant Wallon / Waals Brabant):
Better exterior views (chevet; nave and transept):
An illustrated, French-language page on the originally twelfth- to earlier sixteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Châlo-Saint-Mars (Essonne):
Two other views are here:
An aerial view:
An illustrated, Dutch-language page on the originally fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Sint-Medarduskerk in Wervik (West-Vlaanderen):
Paris' église Saint-Médard began in the twelfth century as a simple chapel dedicated to M. The present building, though mostly of the later sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, was begun in the late fifteenth century; surviving from that early period of construction are the facade and part of the nave:
Views of the early sixteenth-century église Saint-Médard at Blénod-lès-Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle):
M. on that portal:
Inside, a fourteenth-century statue of M. enthroned:
4) Fortunatus of Fano (d. after 596). F. was bishop of Fanum Fortunae on the Via Flaminia, today's Fano (PU) in the Marche. A letter from pope St. Gregory the Great authorizes him to sell church vessels in order to raise ransom money for prisoners. F. has a twelfth-century Vita (BHL 3084) preserved at Fano but written by an abbot of Nonantola. This provides a back story for the presence of in Fano's cathedral of F.'s remains, which latter after a fire in 1113 underwent a formal recognition and were translated to the church's main altar (since rebuilt).
An illustrated, Italian-language page on Fano's Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Maggiore is here:
The Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on this structure, with views of the sculptures of its ambo (assembled in 1941; thought likely to have originally been placed on a structure leading to up the presbytery):
5) Victorinus of Pioraco (d. before 851). V. is the patron saint of Pioraco (MC) in the Marche. He shares with St. Severinus of Septempeda (today's nearby San Severino Marche) a legendary Vita whose earliest versions are in witnesses dated to the later ninth century (BHL 7680) and to the tenth century (BHL 7659), respectively.
According to BHL 7659 (printed in the _Acta Sanctorum_), the two saints were brothers who after the death of their parents sold their wealth and distributed it to the poor. V. then chose the life of a hermit, residing in a cave of a high mountain called, in the accusative, Prolaquem (this name derives from Pioraco's ancient name form Prolaqueum). There he succumbed one night to temptation by a devil in the form of a girl who earlier that day had sought shelter with him. Discovering his sin, V. betook himself to his brother, confessed, and fulfilled a three year's penance of extreme abstinence from food and drink. A miracle confirmed to all that God had forgiven him. Soon thereafter V. became a bishop at Amiternum, where his saintliness was such that he was taken for an angel.
Thus far the Vita (at least as far as V. is concerned). The statement that V. became bishop of Amiternum derives from that town's also having had a cult of a St. Victorinus. The latter, apparently a different saint, gave his name to the town that succeeded ancient Amiternum, San Vittorino, now a _frazione_ of L'Aquila (AQ) in Abruzzo. In the central Middle Ages references to San Vittorino's church alternate between one of that locality's St. V. and one of St. Michael the Archangel.
Back in the Marche, one of the three mountains surrounding Pioraco is Monte Gualdo, where one may view a cave said to be the one in which Victorinus dwelt as a hermit. Click on:
and scroll down to PIORACO.
Pioraco's originally medieval chiesa plebale di San Vittorino was rebuilt in 1794 and again in 1945-1940. It contains relics believed to V.'s as well as a sixteenth-century wooden statue of the saint. V. was dropped from the RM in its revision of 2001.
6) William of York (d. 1154). W. was a son of Herbert the Chamberlain, treasurer of Winchester. He in turn became treasurer of York Cathedral. In January 1141 he was elected archbishop of York in a contested election. The archbishop of Canterbury declined to consecrate him and his consecration by the bishop of Winchester was not accepted by several popes. Eugenius III had him deposed at the Council of Reims in 1147. Anastasius IV restored him in 1153/54. W. returned to York in 1154 and operated his one known lifetime miracle: the absence of fatalities when the city's wooden bridge over the Ouse collapsed under the weight of the crowd that had come to see his entry. W. died within the month, seemingly poisoned. Miracles were later reported at his tomb. W. was canonized in 1227. In 1284 he was translated from his tomb in the nave to a shrine in the choir.
Here's a partial view (in black and white) of W. as depicted in the Saint's Chapel in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, St Albans:
Does anyone have a better to share with the list?
Herewith some views of W.'s recently restored window (1414?) in York Minster:
The translation of 1284:
Prayer at W.'s shrine:
Cripples at the shrine:
Ex-votos at the shrine:
(last year's post revised)
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