medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Now appearing with a subject line, I give you;
Today, March 23, is the feast day of:
Domitius of Caesarea and companions (d. 361) A discourteous saint. Legend
tells that Domitius was a Phrygian. Perhaps in Caesarea, he attended a
religious ceremony that was headed by Emperor Julian (the Apostate) and
disrupted it with his mockery. He was beheaded, perhaps with 4 others.
Gwinear/Fingar/Guigner/Guiner/Winier/Wynier/Winnear, etc (d. later 5th
century, supposedly) is the saint of the homonymous parish in Hayle near St
Ives in Cornwall, where a church dedicated to him is first recorded from
1258. His legendary Passio from c1300 by one Anselm makes him an Irish
king's son. Although his father was firmly opposed to Christianity, Gwinear
while still a pagan treated St. Patrick with courtesy. Soon afterwards,
while hunting and thinking about the new religion, Gwinear converted; he
released his horse and stayed in the forest as a hermit. For this he was
disinherited and exiled by his pagan father. He fled to Brittany where he
establishes an oratory and lived as a hermit, but was instructed by an angel
to return to Ireland, where he finds that his father is dead and the country
is now Christian. Declining his temporal inheritance he gathers 770 male and
female companions (including his sister Phiala) and set out by ship (except
for the holy virgin Hya -- the saint of St Ives -- who came late and who
then crossed on a little leaf) to spread Christianity in Wales and Brittany.
His travels were marked by miracles; one was that one day, when thirsty, he
caused three fountains to spring up - one each for himself, his dog, and his
horse. Finally Gwinear and many of his companions were killed by an evil
Cornish tyrant (who kept a lake filled with reptiles, into which he threw
people he disliked). Gwinear's death occurs after and apart from that of the
others and is accompanied by prodigies. A church is built over Gwinear's
grave; various miracles occur there afterward. Thus far the Passio. Though
Anselm's story focuses on Cornwall, the interlude in Brittany suggests that
readers are to identify Gwinear with a saint venerated there, probably
Guigner of today's Pluvigner (Morbihan).
Liberat and companions (d. 484) Liberat was a physician. He, his wife, and
their large family were arrested in the Vandal Hunneric's persecution. They
were imprisoned and flogged daily to make them accept the Arian creed. After
persistent refusal, they were allowed to go into exile.
Benedict of Campania (d. c550) Gregory the Great tells in his Dialogues that
Benedict was a hermit. Some Goths under the command of Totila threw him into
a furnace, but he miraculously escaped unscathed.
Felix of Montecassino (d. c1000) was an ordinary monk of Montecassino. He
died and was buried at Chieti, and so many miracles were worked at his tomb
that the bishop had his relics enshrined.
Merbod/Merboth of Bregenz (blessed) (d1120) According to legend, Merbod was
a brother of the hermit saints Diedo and Ilga who became a Benedictine monk
at Mehrerau in today's Austrian province of Vorarlberg and later curate of
the church at Alberschwende, generally thought to be today's Andelsbuch
(Vorarlberg). He was murdered by some of his parishioners, seemingly unhappy
that he had just cured a child by the laying on of hands. His cult, said to
be attested since the thirteenth century but never officially confirmed, is
believed to have been immediate. His death was recorded for this day in his
monastery's necrology. The early modern chapel of St. Wendelin at
Andelsbuch's locality of Bersbuch is reported to have replaced a medieval
chapel erected on the site of his murder and to house a statue of him.
Otto, venerated at Ariano Irpino (d. c1127, supposedly) was a soldier of
Roman origin who, taken prisoner and put in chains, was released through the
intercession of St. Leonard (of Noblac) and became a hermit at what's now
Ariano Irpino in Campania, dying on this day. His dates and his frequent
ascription to the Roman family of Frangipane are guesswork. In 1452, when
king Alfonso I requested their return, his relics were at Benevento, whither
they were said to have been removed for safekeeping during a period of
Saracen raids (so probably late ninth century, well before the time that
Otto is now thought to have existed). Later in that century Ariano's
cathedral of the BVM was rebuilt and Otto's relics were placed in a chapel
at the end of the right aisle. That is where they are today.
Pietro Ghisengi da Gubbio (c1250?) - when the *Te Deum* was heard coming
from his tomb, it was opened, and there was found Pietro's corpse in a
kneeling position, with open mouth and joined hands.
Lukardis (d. 1309) Not formally canonized. Lukardis was from Thuringia, born
in c. 1274. After her entry into the Cistercian order she enjoyed a great
number of mystical experiences and illnesses, culminating in the stigmata.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in
school. ~Albert Einstein
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