medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today, March 4, is the feast day of:
Appianus/Apianus of Comacchio (d. 8th century) According to his brief,
undated Vita (BHL 619, preserved in one manuscript of the mid-eleventh to
mid-twelfth century), he was a monk at Pavia's San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro,
where he was exemplary in his behavior towards monks, clerics, and lay
people and where he secretly practiced mortification of the flesh. Made
steward, he was an effective and prudent manager of his monastery's goods.
His abbot sent him to today's Comacchio to acquire salt for his monastery.
There he built himself a cell and spent the remainder of his life as a
simple hermit, exercising his many virtues (and, as he seems not to have
been replaced, presumably continuing to serve as his monastery's agent for
the purchase of salt).
When Appianus died he was buried by the locals. Miracles occurred at his
grave, a cult sprang up, and his remains were translated to a church erected
in his honor. Much later, people from Pavia who had come to buy salt
attempted to steal Appianus' relics. But their vessel miraculously halted
near a church of St. Maurus; since it would go no farther, Appianus' relics
were removed and interred in that church. Thus far the Vita. It is unknown
what connection, if any, there might have been between Appianus and the
chapel of St. Ap(p)ianus at Pavia's rebuilt San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in
which St. Augustine's relics were said to have been rediscovered in the
Basinus of Trier (d. c705) is traditionally the thirtieth bishop of Trier.
Because his name appears together with that of his immediate successor
bishop St. Liutwinus (d. c713) in diocesan documents dated 698, 699, and
704, it is supposed that by the first of these years Basinus had associated
Liutwinus in his rule. Later tradition at Trier, not attested prior to the
eleventh century, held that Basinus had been a monk of that city's monastery
of St. Maximinus, rising to abbot there before being elected bishop. Also in
the eleventh century, Thiofrid of Echternach in his Vita of St. Liutwinus
(BHL 4956) called the latter Basinus' nepos, a word that may mean no more
than younger male relative other than brother or son.
Basinus' cult seems to have been immediate, as he is entered under March
3 in the early eighth-century Calendar of St. Willibrord. His celebration
today is recorded in a ninth-century copy from Prüm of the
(pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology (now Trier, Stadtbibliothek, ms. 1245) and
in medieval calendars from the archdiocese of Trier. Basinus has a Vita (BHL
1028) that in the Acta Sanctorum is ascribed to Nizo, abbot of Mettlach
(i.e. that house's eleventh-century abbot Nithard III) and that continues so
to be ascribed at the Bollandist website Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina
Manuscripta http://tinyurl.com/27ah7s despite the demonstration by the
Bollandist Albert Poncelet early in the last century that this Vita, which
is written in Humanist Latin, is really the work of St. Maximinus' early
sixteenth-century librarian, Johannes Scheckmann (see Poncelet's
posthumously published "L'auteur de la vie de S. Basin, évêque de Trèves",
Analecta Bollandiana 31 , 142-47).
Humbert III of Savoy / Umberto III di Savoia (d. 1188) In 1148 Humbert
became count of Savoy at the age of 13. He abdicated and went to a
Cistercian monastery, but returned to power to get married for reasons of
state; after an heir was born he headed back to the cloister (the
Cistercians say that he became a monk, but apparently this is debated).
Casimir (Lithuanian: Kazimieras, Polish: Kazimierz, Belarusian: Kazimir) of
Poland (d. 1484) known as 'The Peace-Maker', the very pious Casimir
(Kazimierz) was the third child and youngest son of King Casimir IV of
Poland and of his queen, Elizabeth of Austria. In 1471 at the age of 13 he
was sent with an army against his fellow claimant for the throne of Hungary,
Matthias Corvinus but the expedition was a fiasco (his own troops deserted
because they hadn't been paid), and his father banished him. From that time
on, Casimir refused to fight any Christian enemies (preferring to fight
Turks), and finally refused to take up arms at all, turning to a
predominantly spiritual life while holding high official positions. He is
said to have declined marriage in 1481 to a daughter of the emperor
Frederick III because he wished to remain celibate. After a stint as regent
in Poland proper while his father was in the Lithuanian part of the realm,
Casimir served as governor of Vilnius in 1483. He was known for his justice.
He was at the Lithuanian court at Grodno in today's Belarus when in 1484 he
became gravely ill with tuberculosis; accounts differ as to whether he died
there or, very shortly afterward, at Vilnius. After a spate of miracles at
his grave King Sigismund petitioned for his canonization, which was granted
1602. In 1636 Urban VIII proclaimed him Lithuania's patron saint. In the
16th and 17th centuries he was noted for his supernatural aid to Lithuania
in its wars with Russia.
Casimir, whose remains now repose in Vilnius' cathedral, is also one of
Poland's patron saints and the patron of numerous Roman Catholic dioceses in
Poland as well as of the Roman Catholic diocese of Grodno. A portrait of C.
from 1520 is reproduced here: http://tinyurl.com/yuskbe
Here's his reliquary in the chapel dedicated to him in Vilnius'
Casimir's portrait under the reliquary chest shows him with an
interesting number of hands: http://tinyurl.com/2seyn3
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