medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Germanus and Randoaldus (d. ca. 675). Germanus and Randoaldus (in French, Germain et Randoald) are the founding saints of the now largely vanished abbey of Moutier-Grandval (in German, Münster-Granfel or Münster-Granfelden) at today's Moutier (Münster) in the Bernese Jura. What we know of them comes from Germanus' seemingly closely posthumous Vita (BHL 3467) written at the behest of the abbots of Lure, Luxeuil, and Grandval by the priest Bobolenus. According to Bobolenus, who had received information from named monks who had known his subject, Germanus came from a senatorial family of Trier and had been educated by that city's bishop St. Modoardus. One of Germanus' brothers became a high official under kings Dagobert I and Sigebert III. Germanus desired an eremitical way of life and joined St. Arnulf of Metz at the latter's monastery on the Horenberg where he received the tonsure and stayed for a while before transferring to Remiremont.
At Remiremont Germanus began to attract disciples drawn by his lifestyle of fasts, prayer vigils, and hard labor. In time he and his companions moved on to Luxeuil, There they were received by abbot St. Waldebert, who had Germanus ordained priest. Waldebert was asked by a high noble who in the Vita is called Gundonius (this is Gundoin, the first duke of Alsace) to found a monastery on land at a place called Grandis vallis (later Grandval) that he would donate in the diocese of Basel. Germanus was chosen to be its first abbot and proceeded to the site accompanied by Randoaldus, who would become the monastery's first prior.
At first things prospered at Grandis vallis and Germanus was put in charge of two other monasteries as well. But a successor to Gundonius whom Bobolenus calls both Bonifacius and Cathicus (these were really two people; the one who seems to be meant is Cathicus, better known as Adalrich or Eticho) began to harrass the monks and clearly intended to make their territory his own. In a parley at today's Courtételle (canton Jura) Germanus reproved him, whereupon he and Randoaldus were murdered by Cathicus' soldiers. After a few days of searching monks found the corpses of their abbot and their prior. Germanus' body was brought back to Grandis vallis; a healing miracle soon confirmed his sanctity.
Thus far Germanus' Vita. In this text Randoaldus is not yet considered a saint and the disposition of his remains is not mentioned. The monastery at Grandval had a chequered history in the Middle Ages and was closed for good in 1534, when in the wake of the Reformation in Basel its community (who were then canons regular) moved to Delémont (in German, Delsberg) in today's canton Jura. The église paroissiale Saint-Marcel there (until 1792 these canons' church) houses what are said to be relics of both Germanus and Randoaldus:
Also in Delémont, the Musée jurassien d'art et d'histoire houses a wooden crozier ornamented in a Merovingian fashion in cloisonné enamel, with filaments of gold and silver, that came from Grandval and that traditionally is known as Germanus' crozier (as well it might have been, the ornamentation being of course later). Herewith some views of this object, said to be among the world's oldest surviving croziers:
The earlier ninth-century Moutier-Grandval Bible (London, BL, MS. Add. 10546), a product of Tours, was also brought to Delémont, where it is said to have been found by children in 1821 or 1822. Here's an illustrated, English-language account of this manuscript:
Two views (the first in grayscale) of this bible's opening page of Exodus:
The _explicit_ page (fol 449r) with imagery from the Apocalypse illustrating the unity of the two testaments:
In the fifteenth century Bobolenus' Vita of Germanus was versified in Latin elegiac distichs by Sebastian Brant of _Narrenschiff_ fame. In one of the two editions of Brant's _Varia Carmina_ that appeared in 1498 <http://swb.bsz-bw.de/PPNSET?PPN=402218736> his _Vita divi Germani abbatis Grandivallensis atque martyris insignis_ begins here:
(matter from an older post revised)
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