medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (19. March) is the feast day of:

Joseph of Nazareth (1st century)  The foster-father of Jesus.  Almost
everything known about Joseph comes from the gospels of Luke and Matthew.
His cult developed late; he is mentioned in a martyrologium of Reichenau
from 850, some churches began to celebrate his feast in the 11th century,
but the cult really "took off" only in the late Middle Ages.  Legend makes
Joseph an old man at the time of his marriage to the Virgin Mary, chosen
miraculously in a contest for her---his staff burst into flower.

Pancharius  (d. c. 303)  Pancharius was a Roman senator and Emperor
Diocletian's treasurer.  When persecution of Christians began, Pancharius
lied about his Christian belief to save himself.  But one day Pancharius
received a latter from his mother and sister, urging him to live up to his
beliefs.  Deeply moved, Pancharius professed his belief to Diocletian.  He
was beheaded.

Alchmund (d. c. 800)  According to legend, Alchmund was a son of King
Alchred of Northumbria.  He was murdered in c. 800 at a young age, perhaps
by King Eardwulf, a successor of Alchmund's father.  Many miracles were
worked at Alchmund's grave in Lilleshall, and a popular cult developed.

Isnard of Chiampo (of Vicenza) (blessed) (d. 1244)  Isnard was from Chiampo
in the diocese of Vicenza (Italy).  In 1219 he entered the Order of
Preachers, received by Dominic himself.  Isnard founded and led the
Dominican convent in Pavia.  He was also one of the greatest preachers of
his time, and much sought as a spiritual advisor.  He was beatified in

Sibyllina Biscossi (blessed) (d. 1367)  Sibyllina was born in Pavia in
1287.  Orphaned at a young age, she had to work as a servant, but she went
blind at the age of twelve and entered the Dominican convent of Pavia.
From 1302 until her death 65 years later she lived as a recluse next to the
Dominican church.  Noted for her unusual charisma and visions, she became a
noted spiritual guide.  Sibyllina was beatified in 1854.

Marcuo of Montegallo (d. 1497) (blessed)  Marco was born in Montegallo
(near Ascoli, Italy) in 1425.  He became a physician, but in 1452 he and
his wife decided together to enter the Franciscan order.  Marco became a
priest and became a successful preacher throughout Italy.  He was beatified
in 1839.

Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
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