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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2011

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2011

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Subject:

Feasts and Saints of the day - March 20

From:

Terri Morgan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 17:14:53 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Yesterday, March 20, was the feast day of:

Parasceve (d. 138/161) was a particularly beloved saint in the Middle Ages,
and a rich body of legends developed around her. Parasceve was a virgin
martyr, probably killed in the reign of Antoninus Pius in Palestine.  Legend
reports that Parasceve was imprisoned and tortured several times, but
remained miraculously uninjured; the emperor was so impressed that he
accepted baptism. After that, Parasceve traveled widely and preached
Christianity with great success - at one point she even killed a dragon,
impressing yet another ruler so much that he converted.

Photina and companions (?) Legend tells that Photina was the Samaritan woman
who has a cameo performance beside a well in John 4. She is supposed to have
preached the gospel and somehow made her way to Carthage, where she was
martyred.  Or, as Spanish version says she was taken to Rome where she
converted Nero's daughter Domnina and 100 of her servants and was then
martyred.

Claudia (d. c300) A legendary passio relates that Claudia was martyred in
Asia Minor by being hanged, flayed, and finally burned in an oven.

Herbert of Derwentwater (d687) Herbert was a close friend of Cuthbert, a
priest and hermit, living on an island in the Derwentwater. Cuthbert
prophesied that they would die on the same day, as indeed they did.

Cuthbert (d. 687) Cuthbert seems to have sprung from Anglo-Saxon nobility
living in in the more northerly parts of the kingdom of Northumbria; as he
trained at Melrose Abbey, quite possibly his family was in Lothian. After
serving as guest master at a newly founded daughter house at Ripon he
returned to Melrose as prior, moved on to Lindisfarne where he was also
prior, and then became a hermit on Inner Farne. In 685 he was consecrated
bishop of Lindisfarne (for which he exchanged Hexham, to which he has just
been elected). At the very end of 686 or early in 687 Cuthbert returned to
Inner Farne and died there, probably in his early fifties. His body was
taken back to Lindisfarne and interred next to the altar of St. Peter's
church. Eleven years later, Cuthbert underwent a formal elevation, at which
time his body was declared to be incorrupt.
   When the Vikings sacked Lindisfarne in 793 the monks began a lengthy
peregrination with his body and other treasures (not least the head of St.
Oswald), settling in 883 or 885 at Chester-le-Street in today's County
Durham. By this time Northumbrian missionaries had carried his veneration to
the Continent and Cuthbert was listed in the major Carolingian
martyrologies. In 995 his remains were brought from Chester-le-Street to
Durham, where they now repose in the cathedral. In 1104, when his tomb was
opened prior to his translation to his present shrine it was found to
contain a small copy of the Gospel of John, made at Monkwearmouth or Jarrow
during the abbacy of St. Ceolfrith. Later known, from a former place of
safekeeping, as the Stonyhurst Gospel and now referred to as the St Cuthbert
Gospel of St John, it is on permanent loan to the British Library. Views of
its goatskin binding (said to be the oldest western binding now in Europe)
are here: http://faculty.luther.edu/~martinka/art43/daily/2nd/ston.jpg and a
view of one page (fol. 27r): http://tinyurl.com/2995rg . His body was still
incorrupt in 1104. In fact, when Henry VIII's commissioners dismantled his
shrine in the early sixteenth century, the body was still so lifelike that
they sent off to London for special instructions.
   And, of course, Cuthbert has a bird named after him: the Cuddy duck
(a.k.a. Common Eider; a.k.a. Somateria mollissima). 
   A view of Cuthbert's shrine in Durham Cathedral:
http://tinyurl.com/ybzntts
      and a view of a twelfth-century wall painting, thought to be of
Cuthbert, in the cathedral's Galilee Chapel: http://tinyurl.com/2llog4

Evangelist and Peregrine (c. 1250) - close friends throughout their lives,
these Augustinian Hermits died within hours of each other, and were buried
in the same grave.

Ambrose Sansedoni (d. 1287) Ambrose was born in Siena. Born in 1448, he was
born deformed but miraculously healed in a Dominican church. He became a
sickly-sounding child prodigy, and entered the Order of Preachers on his
fifteenth (or seventeenth) birthday. Ambrose was then sent to Paris, where
he studied with Albertus Magnus. Ambrose spent the rest of his career as a
preacher - so intense that he's credited with levitating during sermons, and
was frequently used on peace-making missions, active in Germany, France, and
Italy. Reportedly, he died as a result of bursting a blood vessel while
preaching against usury. Many miracles were reported at his tomb.

Maurice Csaky (d. 1336) Not formally beatified, Maurice was a Hungarian
prince. He wanted to become a Dominican, but was forced to marry.  So he and
his wife took a vow of continence and, when the time was ripe, fled to
become a Dominican and a nun respectively. His father-in-law, the count
Palatine, was annoyed, and tried to force them back to secular life, even
kidnapping Maurice and holding him in prison for several months before
giving up. Maurice then spent the rest of his life in obscurity and poverty
as a priest, living near Budapest.

(Giovanni) Battista Spagnolo (Bl.; d. 1515) Battista (usually known by some
form of his humanist name, Baptista Mantuanus) was a native of Mantua whose
Spanish father, captured by the Genoese at the battle of Ponza along with
Alfonso V of Aragon and I of Sicily, had after his release settled in the
Gonzaga capital. After study there under the humanists Giorgio Merula and
Gregorio Tifernate B. went on to Padua but left the university there without
taking a degree and entered the Carmelite Order in 1463 at Ferrara. He
completed his studies there and was ordained priest (seemingly by 1470). He
had a distinguished career as a Carmelite administrator and diplomat, rising
late in life to the generalship of his Order. He was a prolific author in
both prose and verse. Some of his poems, most notably the eclogue collection
_Adulescentia_ and some of his _Parthenicae_ (brief epics on female saints),
were widely used as school texts in the sixteenth century. He was esteemed
as a poet that his fellow townsmen of Mantua set up a bust of him in rivalry
with that of a rather more famous Mantuan poet: someone named Virgil. Today
is his _dies natalis_ and his day of commemoration in the RM. 


happy reading,
Terri Morgan
--
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in
school.  ~Albert Einstein

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