medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Since at least the eighth and ninth centuries a saint Reparata (in French, Réparate) has been venerated in several places in mainland central Italy, in Sardinia and Corsica, and in the city of Nice (where she is the titular of the cathedral). Her cult at many of these places represents a single devotion that radiated from an undetermined source probably in Tuscany (perhaps Florence, whence her cult was brought in the fourteenth century to Atri in northeastern Abruzzo). But some may be initially separate cults that at different times have adopted versions of the same early medieval Passio (BHL 7183ff.).
Reparata's first surviving mention in a liturgical calendar occurs in a later ninth-century manuscript of Bede's Martyrology from the abbey of Lorsch in today's Hessen. Her legendary Passio makes her a twelve-year-old virgin of Caesarea in Palestine who during the Decian persecution refuses to sacrifice to the idols, is tortured in various ways, and ultimately is executed. That the martyr Reparata is never mentioned by Eusebius, a late antique bishop of the Caesarea in question whose work was widely available in the Latin translation of Rufinus, seems not to have prevented broad ecclesiastical acceptance of this story in the Latin West.
Local adaptations exist. A Reparata has been venerated at today's Teano (CE) in northern Campania since, it would seem, the ninth century when a women's monastery dedicated to her was founded there. She has a revised Passio with a new Translation account (BHL 7188-7189) narrating the miraculous arrival of her relics during the town's period of Lombard rule. Another miraculous arrival of relics is told of the Reparata venerated at Nice (the story is essentially the same as those of the arrivals of St. Devota at Monaco, of St. Restituta at Ischia, and of St. Trophimena at Minori).
At Florence, where the originally late eighth-century predecessor of today's cathedral was dedicated to Reparata from at least the ninth century onward, her early Passio was replaced in the fourteenth century by one borrowed from Teano. In 1351 an unsuccessful attempt was made to procure from that source relics of Reparata to bolster her cult in Florence, which hitherto had not had any. The abbess at Teano palmed off on the unsuspecting Florentines an arm made of wood and plaster. The deception was discovered a few years later when the "relic" was being placed in an expensive reliquary newly fashioned for it. Florence now has other relics said to be of Reparata:
Today (8. October) is Reparata's feast day in Florence, in Atri, in Teano, in Narbolia in western Sardinia, and doubtless in other places. It is also her day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology. In Nice she is celebrated on the Sunday closest to 8. October. In Sardinia she is also celebrated at different locales on different days in early September.
Some period-pertinent images of St. Restituta (mostly Florentine):
a) as portrayed (at left; at center, the BVM and Christ Child; at right, St. Zenobius of Florence) by Arnolfo di Cambio and workshop in a set of early fourteenth-century statues (ca. 1300-1305; _aliter_, ca. 1320) once on the main facade of Florence's cathedral and now in the latter's Museo dell'Opera del duomo:
b) as depicted (at far left) by Giotto di Bondone (and workshop) in his early fourteenth-century Santa Reparata polyptych (ca. 1305-1310) in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence:
c) as depicted (at right, with Sts. Zenobius of Florence and John the Baptist) in an earlier fourteenth-century triptych by the Master of the Cappella del Polittico Medici (active, 1315-1335) in Florence's Museo dell'Opera del duomo:
d) as portrayed in an earlier fourteenth-century marble statuette (ca. 1340; attrib. to Andrea Pisano) in Florence's Museo dell'Opera del duomo:
e) as depicted by Bernardo Daddi in two of several dispersed predella panels from a dismembered mid-fourteenth-century altarpiece (ca. 1340-1348):
1) appearing before Decius (in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York):
2) martyrdom by fire (in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Köln):
f) as depicted (portrait and scenes) in late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century panel painting by Lorenzo di Niccolň in Florence's Museo dell'Opera del duomo:
g) as depicted by Andrea De Litio in a later fifteenth-century fresco (?1480s) in Atri's basilica concattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta:
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