medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
I wrote (zipping along and not paying attention): "the originally ninth-century Synaxary of Constantinople... " My bad: it's originally tenth-century.
From: John Dillon
Sent: Thursday, July 7, 2016 11:21:14 PM
To: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture
Subject: FEAST - A Saint for the Day (July 8): St. Pancras of Taormina
Pancras (Pancratius; d. ca. 107, supposedly) is the legendary protobishop of the northeastern Sicilian port of Taormina. His legendary Bios kai Martyrion (BHG 1410-1410b; probably late seventh- or early eighth-century), supposedly written by his disciple Evagrius, makes him a native of Antioch whose father took him as an adolescent to Jerusalem, where he saw Jesus with his own eyes. Having returned to Antioch, Pancras was later converted to Christianity by St. Peter. Peter consecrated him bishop and sent him as a missionary to Sicily along with St. Marcian of Syracuse. When Pancras arrived at Taormina a pagan temple collapsed at the very sight of him. He soon converted and baptized the Roman prefect and many others, destroyed idols, built a church in what had been a temple of Isis, and established a diocese united with that of Syracuse. Pancras lived to a great age; arrested during Trajan's persecution, he was tortured and then stoned to death. Thus far the legend. St. Elias of Enna is said in his Bios to have venerated Pancras' relics in Taormina at what will have been the end of the ninth century or the very beginning of the tenth. These are presumed to have been lost between the Aghlabid capture of the city in 902 and Taormina's return to permanent Christian rule in 1079.
Pancras' cult spread widely in the Byzantine commonwealth. He has an early ninth-century encomium by Gregory the Pagurite (BHG 1411) and is the subject of an homily by the earlier to mid-twelfth-century Siculo-Calabrian preacher Philagathus "of Cerami" (BHG 1412). In the originally ninth-century Synaxary of Constantinople he has the first entry under 9. July. In the late tenth- or early eleventh-century so-called Menologion of Basil II (actually a synaxary) he is celebrated on 9. February along with St. Marcellus of Sicily (i.e. Marcian of Syracuse) and St. Philagrius of Cyprus (another legendary protobishop sent out by St. Peter); modern Orthodox churches commemorate him on both days. The Italo-Albanian church (a direct successor of the medieval Greek church in southern Italy and Sicily) celebrates him on 9. July. So do Roman-rite churches in the ecclesiastical region of Sicily (the celebration is optional in most places but obligatory in the diocese of Messina). The earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples enters Pancras under today (8. July); that is also his day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology. Pancras is Taormina's patron saint and the patron or protector of several other places in eastern Sicily.
Some period-pertinent images of St. Pancras (Pancratius) of Taormina:
a) as depicted (at center, betw. Sts. Marcellus of Sicily [i.e. Marcian of Syracuse] and Philagrius of Cyprus) in the late tenth- or very early eleventh-century so-called Menologion of Basil II (Cittą del Vaticano, BAV, cod. Vat. gr. 1613, p. 388):
b) as probably depicted (at left) in a twelfth-century fresco in the church of Sts. Jason and Sosipater in Anemomilos / Anemomylos, a suburb of Corfu (city) on Corfu:
c) as depicted in the mid-twelfth-century mosaics of the chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (a.k.a. chiesa della Martorana) in Palermo:
d) as depicted (at center in the panel at lower right; martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 46v):
To join the list, send the message: subscribe medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: unsubscribe medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site: