Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Reliquary of St Ferreolus

John Dillon posted today on the Medieval Religion discussion group about the several saints called Ferreolus, and one in particular. I have adapted his post as follows:


The reliquary of St Ferreolus at Nexon

 Image: culture.gouv.fr

There are at least five saints venerated in the Middle Ages from what is now France who are named Ferreolus. Two are celebrated on September 18th: Ferreolus of Vienne (d. 250 or 251, supposedly) and Ferreolus of Limoges (d. late 6th cent.; perhaps after 591 and the saint of the present notice). According to St. Gregory of Tours, as Bishop of Limoges this Ferreolus (in French, Ferréol; formerly also Forgel) calmed a riot that had broken out there in 579 and, in another action, rebuilt the fire-destroyed basilica of St. Martin at today's Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze). Ferreolus of Limoges is also recorded as having participated in the council of Mâcon in 583. A Vita of St. Aredius of Limoges (BHL 666; earliest witness is of the late ninth or early tenth century) has Ferreolus provide aid to that holy abbot (d. 591) and says that he presided at the latter's funeral. Dillon adds that as the Bollandists have assigned to this Vita the number of the Beast, it would perhaps be unwise to trust that account!

Today is the principal feast day of Ferreolus of Limoges in Nexon (Haute-Vienne) and his day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology.


The back of the reliquary

Image: culture. gouv.fr

In addition to the three photographs I have copied there is a description in French of the head reliquary of St Ferreolus made in Limoges in 1346 - as recorded on the back of the amice - for the church at Nexon (Haute-Vienne) and now kept in the treasury of the église de la Décollation-de-Saint-Jean-Baptiste in that town are here:


A detail of the mitre

Image: culture.gouv. fr

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