medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (26. January) is the feast day of:
1) Timothy and Titus (d. 1st cent.). The RM's joint feast today (a Memorial) honoring these disciples of St. Paul is a result of the revisions to the general Roman Calendar that were promulgated 1969. Previously, this was the day of the feast (also a Memorial) of St. Polycarp, now celebrated on 23. February, his _dies natalis_. Timothy had been celebrated on 24. January, Titus on 6. February. Orthodox churches treat these recipients of the Pastoral Epistles as apostles; they celebrate Timothy on 22. January and Titus on 25. August). Herewith a brief consideration of each.
1A) Timothy. Thanks to Eusebius (_Historia ecclesiastica_, 3. 4. 5), T. has been widely considered the first bishop of Ephesus. A legendary Passio (BHG 1847; early translation into Latin, BHL 8294), supposedly written by a second-century successor at Ephesus, has him martyred there under Domitian but later changes this to place his death on a 22. January in the principate of Nerva (96-98). In the fourth century T.'s supposed remains were forcibly translated from Ephesus (where he had a martyrion) to the basilica of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. They were venerated there until their disappearance during the Unpleasantness of 1204 and following. In 1205 two teeth said to have been his were donated as Eastern relics to a monastery at Soissons.
For the most part, though, T. became a saint of the Regno. In 1238-39, during a rebuilding of the cathedral of Termoli in today's Campobasso province of Molise, a loculus was created beneath the crypt to house the body of the Blessed Timothy, disciple of Paul the Apostle. Those remains, less a skull whose presence is first recorded from 1592, were rediscovered in 1945 some ninety centimeters below the level of the floor as it was then. A view of T.'s inscribed tombstone from that loculus is here:
Termoli is an Adriatic port but a much smaller one than the more southerly and much more commercially important Bari and Brindisi, which latter boast the remains, respectively, of St. Nicholas of Myra and St. Theodore of Amasea. Whatever gain it achieved from the presence of such a potentially major saint as T. must have been very fleeting. The aforementioned skull is housed in reliquary said to be of thirteenth- or fourteenth-century manufacture. Here's a view:
An illustrated, Italian-language account of Termoli's cathedral of Santa Maria della Purificazione:
Another, not illustrated, is the second item on this page:
An illustrated, Italian-language account of the facade:
Views of the twelfth-century facade (upper portion repaired in 1456) and thirteenth-century portal, the last one showing the bronze doors executed by Piero Maggioni in 1994:
The Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on this church:
T. (at left) in an early medieval fresco in Rome's basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura:
Where in the basilica is this fresco? Was it damaged in the fire of 1823?
T. as depicted in a full-page illumination in an eleventh- or twelfth-century Greek-language Epistles (Paris, BnF, ms. Coislin 30, fol. 140v):
T. (at left; St. Anastasius the Persian at right) as depicted in a thirteenth-century menaion from Cyprus (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 1561, fol. 89v):
T. (at right; St. Cyril of Alexandria at left) in the earlier fourteenth-century (betw. ca. 1312 and 1321/1322) frescoes in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending on one's view of the matter, either Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the Republic of Kosovo:
T. (upper register; below, St. Anastasius the Persian) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century (betw. 1335 and 1350) frescoes of the narthex in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
T. (at right; St. Paul at left) in illuminations accompanying 1 and 2 Timothy in a fourteenth-century copy of Guiard des Moulins' _Bible historiale_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 152, fols. 490r and 491v):
T. (at center, attired as a cardinal) receiving 1 Timothy as depicted in a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century copy of Guiard des Moulins' _Bible historiale_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 159, fol. 503r):
T.'s consecration as bishop and T.'s martyrdom as depicted in a later fifteenth-century (1463) copy of Vincent de Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 50, fol. 365v):
1B) Titus. Ancient tradition, reflected in the Epistle to Titus (now generally not thought genuinely Paul's) and more explicitly in Eusebius (_Historia ecclesiastica_, 3. 4. 6), makes T. the first bishop of Crete. He too has legendary Acta. Substantial remains of the originally Justinianic church dedicated to him may still be seen at Gortys (also Gortyn, Gortyna):
The originally late medieval church dedicated to Titus at Heraklion has a skull said to be his:
An account of this relic's medieval, early modern, and modern travels is here (third paragraph):
Titus appears in the Martyrology of St. Ado of Vienne without a fixed feast. He is said to have entered the RM only in 1854. Orthodox churches celebrate him on 25. August.
T. as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century (1330s) frescoes of the church of St. Nicolas in the Patriarchate of Peć at Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
T. (at right; St. Paul at left) in an illumination accompanying the Epistle to Titus in a fourteenth-century copy of Guiard des Moulins' _Bible historiale_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 152, fol. 492v):
T. (at left; at center a messenger) as depicted in a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century copy of Guiard des Moulins' _Bible historiale_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 159, fol. 505v):
T. as depicted in the early sixteenth-century frescoes (1502) by Dionisy and sons in the Virgin Nativity cathedral of the St. Ferapont Belozero (Ferapontov Belozersky) monastery at Ferapontovo in Russia's Vologda oblast:
2) Theogenes of Hippo (?). T. is a martyr of Hippo Regius whose veneration there is attested by St. Augustine (_Sermones_, 273. 7). The (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology, followed in this regard by the ninth-century historical martyrologies, enters under today without indication of place a Theogenes and thirty-six others (there is some question as to whether these thirty-six others, who appear after another martyr on 28. January, really belong here). Evidence to confirm that this T. is really the martyr of Hippo and not, say, another entry for the Hellespontine Theagenes/Theogenes of Parium (3. January) seems to be lacking. Even more doubtful is the early modern identification of T. with the homonymous bishop who participated in the council of Carthage in 256. Those who conflate these two ascribe T.'s martyrdom to the Valerianic persecution (258-259).
3) Paula of Rome (d. 404). We know about P. from the correspondence of St. Jerome, especially from Letter 108, his eulogy of her. A wealthy Roman matron, she was widowed at the age of thirty-two and was already living ascetically when a few years later she came under the influence of Jerome and of St. Epiphanius of Salamis and St. Paulinus of Antioch. These encouraged her to adopt a monastic existence. In 385 P. and her daughter St. Eustochium traveled as pilgrims to the Holy Land, with Jerome accompanying them on the final part of their journey. P. settled in Bethlehem, where she learned Hebrew, established churches, and founded a monastery for women (mostly wealthy Westerners and their female companions) and a smaller one nearby for Jerome, whose work she supported financially. She spent all her money on these endeavors, died poor, and was succeeded by her granddaughter Paula the Younger (whom Jerome had educated).
Here's a view of what are said to be the tombs of P. and of Eustochium in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem:
4) Athanasius of Sorrento (?). This less well known saint of the Regno is one of the four early patron saints of Sorrento (Renatus, A., Baculus, and Valerius) whose appearance in perhaps 849 to a combined fleet from the duchies of Gaeta, Naples, and Sorrento setting out to battle Muslims is recounted in the later ninth- or earlier tenth-century Vita of St. Antoninus of Sorrento. In that text, which also says that bodies of all four are kept and venerated at Sorrento, A. is described as being of advancing years, bald, and clean-shaven; these details are thought to derive from his late antique or early medieval portraiture in Sorrento. Although the _Vita sancti Antonini_ calls all four saints bishops, one at least (Renatus) is not so characterized in the eighth-century sermons devoted to him (though he is so described in textual and pictorial sources from the ninth century onward).
Nothing is known about the historical A. He has yet to grace the pages of the RM.
5) Alberic of Cîteaux (d. 1109). A. was an hermit who attached himself to St. Robert of Molesme and who joined him in the founding of the New Monastery that developed into the community of Cîteaux. Prior when in 1099 Robert was ordered back to Molesme, he became the next abbot. Having secured from Paschal II in 1100 a guarantee of the community's independence of Molesme, A. transferred the community to a site about a mile south of the original one, erecting there the abbey's first non-wooden structures: a small stone church (consecrated in 1106) and cloister. Cistercian tradition places in A.'s time the order's adoption of the habit of unbleached wool that caused them to be called White Monks.
Cistercians celebrate Robert, A., and A.'s immediate successor St. Stephen Harding in a joint feast on this day.
6) Eystein of Nidaros (d. 1188). The perhaps Paris-educated E. (also spelled Øystein; latinized as Augustinus) Erlendsson, a member of a well connected noble family in Norway, had been chaplain and steward to king Inge Krokrygg before the latter appointed him archbishop of Nidaros (today's Trondheim) in 1158 or 1159, an action confirmed by pope Alexander III in 1161 when E. was in Rome. E. promoted the adoption of canonical life by Norwegian parish priests, officiated at Norway's first royal coronation (that of Magnus Erlingsson, a minor), and fostered the cult of king St. Olaf (buried in E.'s cathedral), whose liturgical Office he wrote and whose Miracula he expanded. During the years 1881-1883, when Magnus had been dislodged from his throne in a civil war, E. was an exile in England.
Miracles were reported early at E.'s tomb. He was proclaimed a saint at a Norwegian synod in 1229. Attempts in the Middle Ages to have him canonized papally were unsuccessful. E. entered the Roman Martyrology in 2001 with the designation _Sanctus_.
Apart from the _Passio sancti Olavi_ (BHL 6233, 6323; part of Olav's Office), E.'s chief monument today consists of the chapter house and the lower portions of the transepts of the since much added to and rebuilt Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. An English-language account of this structure is here (click on 'Cathedral history' for the building's various stages):
This view of the cathedral from 1857 shows the north transept and, next to the choir, the chapter house (the latter with a neo-romanesque apse added in the nineteenth century):
Here's a view of the north transept's porch:
(last year's post revised and with the additions of Theogenes of Hippo and Athanasius of Sorrento)
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