medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (21. June) is the feast day of:

1)  Alban of Mainz (d. ca. 405, supposedly).  A saint of this name has been venerated at Mainz and vicinity since at least 758.  At Charlemagne's behest archbishop Riculf began in 767 the construction on a hill outside of Mainz of a basilica dedicated to A., next to which he established what became Mainz' medievally famous abbey of St. Alban.  In the ninth century archbishop St. Rabanus Maurus entered A. under today in his Martyrology, giving him a legendary elogium based on the Passio of St. Theonestus and companions (BHL 8110) in which he is a missionary sent from Milan to Gaul who after losing a companion to martyrdom at Augst is martyred at Mainz and is buried there.  Local tradition of long standing makes A. a cephalophore.  In the early 1060s Goswin of Mainz composed a Passio of A. (BHL 200) notable for its topographic and temporal confusion.  Herewith two German-language pages on A.'s abbey at Mainz:

As today is also the _dies natalis_ of St. Alban of England in the earliest version of his Passio, the suspicion exists that A. of Mainz (who was dropped from the RM in its revision of 2001) is merely A. of England furnished with a new identity anchoring the monastery to its larger community of city and diocese.  Since A. of England had been venerated in Francia since the fifth century, it can be difficult to determine whether a church dedicated to an A. originally honored the English saint or instead the one of Mainz.  At Basel, veneration of a not further identified St. A. is attested from 855 (Basel was the ecclesiastical successor to Augst, so this veneration may be why Rabanus has his A. come to Mainz from that city).  But the A. of Basel's former monastery of the BVM, Christ, and St. Alban, a foundation of 1083 whose originally later thirteenth-century Sankt Alban-Kirche is shown here:
and here (in a view of ca. 1857):
was pretty certainly always today's saint, the founder having previously served as chamberlain of the archbishop of Mainz.

The elderly A. on this late twelfth-century reliquary from the Rheinland now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich seems more likely to be A. of Mainz than A. of England:

A church dedicated to an A. has existed in the village of Taubenbach in today's Reut (Lkr. Rottal-Inn) in southeastern Bavaria since at least ca. 1100.  In about 1473 it was rebuilt with an adjacent pilgrims' chapel of the same dedication.  Herewith a few views of the present Pfarrkirche Sankt Alban and of its Nebenkirche Sankt Alban (the tower is originally from 1530; the interior decor is baroque):
The titular of this church seems always to have been A. of Mainz, who is widely venerated across southern Germany and through Switzerland to the Tirol (the A. of Burano in Venice is in origin also likely to be today's A.).

By the later Middle Ages both today's A. and A. of England were considered cephalophores (and were of course invoked for pains or illnesses in/of the head).  Although A., at least in the earliest accounts, was not a bishop, the named A. so depicted in this reconstructed early sixteenth-century altar panel from the Tirol, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, is identified by that institution as A. of Mainz:
The iconography of the A. venerated in Winterthur, where he is a city patron in recognition of the city's having received a charter of liberties from Rudolf of Hapsburg on 22. June 1264, is also of a cephalophore bishop.  Because of the day in question, Winterthur's St. Alban is now understood to be A. of England.  But was he also so understood in the later Middle Ages?
This fifteenth-century engraving of a cephalophore bishop, now in Dresden's Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, could be of A. or of St. Dionysius of Paris:|home
And in different versions of Wikipedia one can find the same view of a fifteenth-century statue in the collections of the Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny) in Paris identified as A. of Mainz:
or as Dionysius of Paris:

In Belgium A. (in French, Aubain) is the patron saint of Namur and titular of its cathedral.  He has been venerated there since 1047, when the cathedral's predecessor was established as a collegiate church and its first dean, the future pope Stephen IX, brought a relic of him from Mainz for the church's consecration.  Herewith an engraving of the largely medieval cathedral church replaced in the later eighteenth century by Namur's present cathédrale Saint-Aubain:
The originally thirteenth(?)-century tower survives (it was raised to its present height in 1648):

2)  Méen (d. earlier 7th cent.).  M. (also Mewan, Mevennus) has a legendary Vita (BHL 5944) of the tenth or eleventh century that makes him a Welshman active in Cornwall and then in Brittany along with his relative St. Samson of Dol and has him found the monastery at Gaël (Ile-et-Vilaine) that came to bear his name.  From the eleventh century onward M. appears on this day in Cornish and in Breton calendars.  He was invoked frequently by those seeking cures for diseases of the skin.  Numerous holy wells and fountains are named for him.

In the twelfth century M.'s abbey at Gaël became known as Saint-Méen-le-Grand.  Herewith some views of its eleventh- to fifteenth-century abbatiale (whose chapel of St. Vincent has fourteenth- and fifteenth-century frescoes of scenes from M.'s Vita):
M.'s tomb in this church:

A couple of views of the church of St Mewan at St Austell (Cornwall), said to date from the thirteenth century:

An illustrated, French-language page on the originally earlier sixteenth-century chapelle Saint-Méen at Saint-Quay-Perros (Côtes-d'Armor), first recorded from 1538 (the views and the map detail are both expandable):

An illustrated, French-language page (most of the views are at bottom) on the also originally earlier sixteenth-century chapelle Saint-Méen in Ploemel (Morbihan): 
Another page of expandable views (from Templar enthusiasts who despite the buildings' obviously more recent date seem to think the place a former Templar site), with three views of the adjacent fountain-house:

3)  Engelmund (d. early 8th cent., supposedly).  A saint of very dubious historicity, E. is said to have been a colleague of St. Willibrord in the Netherlands, where he is particularly associated with today's Velsen (Noord-Holland) and where, according to his undated Vita (not attested before the sixteenth century), a ninth-century bishop of Utrecht had found his tomb.  That Vita survives in only one copy whose textual state either is badly degraded or else has been misrepresented by an inept transcription.  The cult it supports is not documented medievally.  E. has yet to grace the pages of the RM.  Here's an illustrated, English-language page on his originally twelfth-century church at Velsen, said to have been dedicated originally to St. Paul (its immediate pre-Reformation dedication is not known):
Another view of the tower:
E.'s Vita is reproduced at left (fairly far down) in this illustrated, Dutch-language account of E. as a figure of early modern myth:

4)  Leutfrid (d. 738).  According to his not awfully reliable ninth-century Vita (BHL 4899), L. (Leutfredus, Leufroy) was born into a noble family of Évreux, studied locally and at Chartres, became a recluse in the diocese of Rouen, moved to the latter town and became a monk, and later left to found the monastery of La-Croix-Saint-Ouen, where the Vita was written.  Today is his _dies natalis_.  The Vita reports lifetime and posthumous miracles.  According to a later Translation account (BHL 4900), L. was formally elevated at the monastery church in 851 by a bishop of Évreux.  In the tenth century his tomb was so popular that L.'s name replaced that of St. Ouen (Audoenus) in references to the monastery, whose later town is today's La-Croix-Saint-Leufroy (Eure).

L. as depicted in an early fifteenth-century (ca. 1414) breviary for the Use of Paris (Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 198r):
L. as depicted in a later fifteenth-century (ca. 1470) copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Mâcon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 3, fol. 168r):

Two old views of the now demolished église St-Leufroy at Paris:
An illustrated, French-language page on the originally twelfth-century église Saint-Leufroy at Thiverny (Oise) in Picardy is accessible from here (in the menu at left, click on "La Commune"; then click on "Thiverny au passé"; then click on "L'église du XIIème siècle"):
Another view:

5)  Raymond of Roda (d. 1126).  According to his closely posthumous Vita by Elias of Roda (BHL 7074), R. was born in the diocese of Toulouse in a place that modern scholars have identified as today's Durban-sur-Arize (Ariège) in the northeastern foothills of the Pyrenees.  He became a canon regular at Saint-Antonin de Frédélas and went on to be prior at Saint-Sernin in Toulouse.  In 1104 Peter I of Aragón-Navarre brought him to northern Iberia to be bishop of Roda and Barbastro; the appointment was effectuated after Peter's death in that year by his successor Alfonso I.  R. was an active bishop, performing visitations and making changes for the good.  He lived ascetically, was charitable to others, and was beloved by his clergy.  In 1116/17 bishop Esteban of Huesca resolved a territorial dispute by sending troops who forcibly evicted R. from Barbastro, where he had resided since 1110; thereafter R. resided at Roda.

R. took part in Alfonso's expedition against Granada in 1125.  He died in Huesca upon his return to Aragón and was buried in Roda.  Miracles ensued and his cult began.  The former cathedral at today's Roda de Isábena (Huesca) preserves objects said to be his, including this mitre:
also the fragments of a wooden chair shown at the bottom of this page:
and more clearly here:
An illustrated, English-language account of Roda de Isábena's mostly eleventh- and twelfth-century ex-cathedral of San Vicente, consecrated in 1067, modified in the eighteenth century, and restored in the later twentieth century:
A multi-page, illustrated, Spanish-language site on this monument (subordinate pages reachable via the drop-down menu to the right of "SELECCIÓN RÁPIDA"):
R.'s sarcophagus in the crypt:
This was formerly supported by caryatid angels:
The latter now support the church's main altar:
Frescoes in the north crypt:

On 10. December 1123 R. dedicated the church of Sant Climent de Taüll (Lleida) / San Clemente de Tahull (Lérida), famous for its mural paintings (removed to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona in 1922 and in part replaced _in situ_ by recent copies).  An illustrated, English-language account of this church, which forms part of the Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí (since 2002 a UNESCO World Heritage Site):

Illustrated, Spanish-language accounts of the building:
Other exterior views:
A three-page, illustrated, Catalan-language account of the church and its murals begins here:
Interior panorama:
A brief video:
Views of the Pantocrator fresco:

On the following day the nearby church of Santa María de Taüll was consecrated.  An illustrated, Spanish-language page on it is here:
A three-page, illustrated, Catalan-language site on this church and on its murals (also now in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona) begins here:
Another illustrated, Catalan-language page on this church:
A brief video:

John Dillon
(last year's post revised)

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