Print

Print


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Yesterday (14. October) was also the feast day of:

Angadrisma (d. ca. 695).  We know about A. (also Angadresima; in French, Angadrême) chiefly from Aigradus' Vita of St. Ansbertus of Rouen (BHL 520) written ca. 700.  This tells us that she was of the high nobility of Merovingian Francia, that her family originated in the territory of Thérouanne, that a cousin was St. Lambert of Fontenelle, and that though she wished to remain virginal she was betrothed by her father to the young Ansbert (who of course had not yet entered religion).  A. prayed that her beauty be turned to ugliness through what the text calls leprosy.  Her prayer was granted and her visage became ulcerated.  Doctors were called in but the more they worked on her the more deformed her face appeared.  Finally the marriage was called off by the families' mutual consent.

A. then betook herself to St. Audoenus (Ouen) of Rouen and with his blessing became a nun, whereupon her physical beauty was restored to her.  She entered the monastery of Oröer near Beauvais, where in time she became abbess and where she died, aged more than eighty years.  Her cult is thought to have been more or less immediate.  Oroër was destroyed by Normans in 851 but A.'s cult continued and her putative remains were preserved at Beauvais (they are now in the cathedral).  She has a Vita of her own (BHL 453), whose only witness is of the eleventh century.

In 1321 A.'s veneration at Beauvais was renewed by its then bishop, the Norman noble Jean de Marigny (d. 1350; younger brother of Enguerrand de Marigny, chamberlain to Philip the Fair), who fixed the day of her feast in his diocese as 14. October.  In 1472 her shrine was displayed on the ramparts during Beauvais' successful resistance to the siege placed on it by Charles the Bold.  In the following year Louis XI decreed that A. be honored in an annual procession in gratitude for her aid in saving the city.  The number of late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century statues of A. surviving in Beauvais testify in part to her civic popularity at this time.

Remains of A.'s monastery are said to exist underneath the sixteenth-century église St.-Martin at Oroër (Oise), shown here:
http://tinyurl.com/2g8dse

A.'s chapel in Beauvais' cathédrale Saint-Pierre is graced by the late sixteenth-century statue of her seen here in increasingly closer views:
Distance view (lighted figure to the right of the choir, facing viewer):
http://tinyurl.com/39hemg:
Closer view, showing A. to the left of her chapel:
http://tinyurl.com/2mdl5z
Much closer view, showing A.'s face darkened to represent her "leprosy":
http://tinyurl.com/2ph3hh

The cathedral  of Beauvais has another statue of A.:
http://tinyurl.com/3a3xp8
http://tinyurl.com/32j7qo
http://tinyurl.com/2pglgy
According to the Ministère de la culture, this is of the fifteenth or sixteenth century.  See its data on this page:
http://tinyurl.com/29lnsu
And the cathedral has yet another, said to be of the sixteenth or seventeenth century:
http://tinyurl.com/29pc7q
In A.'s iconography the book that she holds may be either open or shut.

A couple of illustrated sites/pages on Beauvais' cathedral:
http://www.cathedrale-beauvais.fr/index.htm
http://www.romanes.com/Beauvais/

Best,
John Dillon

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html