medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (14. April) is also the feast day of:

John of Montemarano (d. 1094 or 1095).  J. (in Italian, Giovanni) is 
the first known bishop of today's Montemarano (AV), a population center 
in south central Irpinia that seems to have been raised to episcopal 
dignity only in the eleventh century.  He has a very brief medieval 
Life (BHL 4414) and a set of presumed remains said to have been 
incorrupt at the times of their respective translations within 
Montemaro's then cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in 1624 and 1726.  His
cult was confirmed in 1906.
According to the Life, J. was a monk whom Gregory VII, during his exile 
in Salerno, named as bishop upon the request of the clergy and people 
of Montemarano.  It has been inferred from this that J. was of local 
origin.  He is said to have led the people in prayer when a church at 
Montemarano that he had dedicated became unusable due to an infestation 
of worms; this expression of collective piety caused the church's 
priest to confess that he had fouled this temple by using it repeatedly 
for sexual trysts.  On another occasion, J. was in charge of a group 
of laborers engaged in clearing land near the river Calore; when it 
proved impossible to provide sufficient wine for them, J. had water 
drawn from the river, blessed it, and the Lord, honoring his servant, 
converted it into wine.

Montemarano's Santa Maria Assunta was rebuilt in 1494 to such an extent
that it received a new consecration.  It has been rebuilt several times
since, most recently after the great Irpine earthquake of 1980. 
Nonetheless, its crypt has some medieval capitals visible here:
and is also said to have in its central apse two late eleventh- /
twelfth-century frescoes, one of which portrays a seated bishop whom
Riccardo Sica, writing in the _Storia illustrata di Avellino e
, identifies as J.

In the crypt, J.'s presumed remains are kept here:
The crypt is also said to contain a fifteenth-century wooden bust of J.
The earliest representation of him whose reproduction I could find
readily on the Web is this sixteenth-century statue in silver:

In the rural district of San Leonardo outside of Montemarano are some
remains of an originally twelfth-century Benedictine monastery.  Two
views of a ruined tower on this site are here:
And here are the remains of a belltower from a church in the rural
district of Contecorbo:

Montemarano's diocese was folded into that of Nusco in 1818.  One of its
treasures was this fifteenth-century folding chair (said to be one of but
three of its kind now known to exist in Italy), preserved in part
because it was later said to have been J.'s:

John Dillon

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