Christine the Astonishing

By Danièle Cybulskie This week, I read the story of Christine the Astonishing for the first time (in Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality, translated by Elizabeth Spearing), and it struck me that while it’s meant to be the story of a holy woman’s life, it also gives us an intimate look at what was likely […]

Saint Eadburh, Daughter of King Edward the Elder

By Susan Abernethy Eadburh, daughter of King Edward the Elder and grand-daughter of King Alfred the Great, was dedicated to the Nunnaminster at Winchester when she was a young child. The only contemporary historical evidence regarding her is a Winchester charter dated from 939 in which she was the beneficiary of land at Droxford in […]

Jeanne de Valois, Queen of France and Duchess of Berri

By Susan Abernethy Jeanne de Valois was the daughter, sister, and wife of kings. She was born with disabilities and suffered through a miserable marriage. In the end she became devoted to and died in a religious life, eventually becoming a saint. Jeanne was known as Jeanne de France, Jeanne de Valois and Joan de […]

Katherine of Alexandria: Decline of an Empire

According to hagiographers, (C)Katherine was a princess, the daughter of Roman governor named Constus. She was well educated, beautiful and highly intelligent. She converted to Christianity at the age of 13 or 14 and caught the eye of the Roman Emperor, Maxentius (278-318 AD).

Saints, Tradition and Monastic Identity: The Ghent Relics, 850-1100

The extraordinary story ofthe Ghent relics was first told by Oswald Holder- Egger in an article published in 1886. During his work on part two of volume 15 of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores series, which Holder- Egger had just finished, he had come across the hagiographie literature produced at the abbeys of St Baafs and St Pieters in Ghent.

Childbirth Miracles in Swedish Medieval Miracle Collections

The chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth was very real for medieval women, and still is in many Third World countries. In Medieval Catholic Western Europe, including Scandinavia, these risks, and the absence of medically schooled persons who could give efficient help, led many women to turn to the saints for intercession.

St. Patrick’s Irish Pride

In honour of the day, it seems fitting to throw out some interesting facts about St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.

The Anonymous Old English Legend of the Seven Sleepers and its Latin Source

The earliest extended treatment of the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in a
western vernacular language is the anonymous Old English prose version preserved
in British Library MS Cotton Julius E vii…

“I, too, am a Christian”: early martyrs and their lives in the late medieval and early modern Irish manuscript tradition

This paper examines part of that future: late medieval and early modern Gaelic Irish devotion to the early Christian martyrs as evidenced in the vernacular manuscript tradition.

The Lives of St Samson: rewriting the ambitions of an early medieval cult

In the middle of the ninth century, at the monastery of Dol in Brittany, the Life of the sixth-century saint Samson was rewritten. The rewriter evidently perceived a defi- ciency in the existing Life of St Samson, and one that many modern historians would come to share: the fact that it had very little to say about Brittany.

The Anna Selbdritt in late medieval Germany : meaning and function of religious image

The Anna Selbdritt in late medieval Germany : meaning and function of religious image Virginia Nixon Doctor of Philosophy, Concordia University, School of Graduate Studies, Montreal, Canada (1997) Abstract In the decades between 1480 and 1520 the production of images of Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child increased in Germany and the Netherlands in […]

“Becoming Mary of the Gael”

This paper focused on the comparison of St. Brigit and the Virgin Mary in early Irish texts.

Transitional Holiness in the Twelfth Century: The Social and Spiritual Identity of Domina Christina of Markyate

Visions flourish within particular domestic contexts and disciplines, and Christina enables us to glimpse a sub-culture of visionary experience in twelfth-century England, which rarely shows up in sources and is given little authority in the dominant narratives.

Mummified saints of the Northern Croatian Littoral

European mummies occupy a significant place among the world known mummies.

Pilgrimage and Embodiment: Captives and the Cult of Saintsin Late Medieval Bavaria

Chief among the stories contained in these miracle stories are tales of escapes from captivity. Almost forty percent of the reports in the two Munich Latin miracle collections deal with liberations from imprisonment and escapes from captivity of various sorts.

St Edmund of East Anglia and his miracles: variations in literature and art

Edmund was said to have been crowned at the age of just fourteen years by St Humbert on 25 December 855 in the then royal capital Burna, (probably Bures St Mary, Suffolk). Almost nothing is known of his life and reign, though he was recorded as a just and uncompromising ruler, the embodiment of the Greek ideal of the kalòs kai agathòs – that is, the right balance of the Good and the Beautiful, the combination of virtues that could create the perfect nobleman.

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