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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (26. August) is the feast day of:

Zyphyrinus (d. 217)  Zephyrinus became bishop of Rome in 198; the main
thing known about his pontificate is that he had to deal with an
adoptionist heresy in Rome.  His cult was suppressed in 1969.

Irenaeus and Abundius (d. c. 258)  According to legend, I. and A. were
Roman martyrs, drowned in a public sewer during Valerian's persecution.

Gelasinus (Gelasius) of Heliopolis)  (d. 297)  Legend tells that G. was an
actor in the Lebanon.  While in the midst of an onstage parody of Christian
baptism, he was suddenly convinced of the truth of Christianity.  He
proclaimed his belief to the audience---which then stoned him to death.  He
is most likely to be the authentic martyr attached to this story, which is
told of several other saints, including a St. Genesius the Comedian.

Victor of Cereso (?)  An interesting case of altering identity to suit the
needs of devotees.  Earlier Spanish documents report that Victor was a
Roman African martyred in an early persecution.  His fifteenth-century
acta, however, turned V. into a priest from the area of Burgos, martyred in
c. 950 for converting Muslims.

Ninian (5th cent.)  A native of Britain educated in Rome (according to
Bede), Ninian is mostly known for founding a church at Whithorn (Candida
Casa) in Galloway (Scotland).  The attached monastery became a missionary
center and was also very influential in the spread of monasticism to
Ireland.

Felix of Pistoia (9th cent.?)  Perhaps a saint of wishful thinking, bones
were found in Pistoia (Tuscany) in 1414 that were claimed to be those of
Felix, an early hermit of the region who may have never existed.

Herluin (blessed) (d. 1078)  The Norman Herluin was brought up to be a
knight, but became a monk.  He founded a monastery on his estate, which
after it moved to the banks of the river Bec in 1040 became one of the most
important monastic centers of leaning in western Europe.


Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
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