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Martyrdoms of Ignatius and Cornelius the Centurion, in a Martyrology

Martyrdoms of Ignatius and Cornelius the Centurion, in a Martyrology

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1390

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 68

Item number: f.80r

Length: 35.9

Width: 24

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Monasteries had special services everyday in which the dead of the community were commemorated. It took place in the chapterhouse after morning prayers or mass and consisted of reading aloud in turns a chapter from the rule followed by the community, the names of saints whose feasts would be commemorated on the following day and reading of the names of the deceased of the community and names of important friends who had given them support. The lists of names of saints and of the dead along with a calendar and other texts important to the monastery, such as its rule, were collected in a book called a 'martyrology.' A very old, large and important community such as the priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, would have a massive list and collection of texts important to it. This martyrology of Christ Church records names and events from the 14th to 16th centuries. The lives of martyrs, which were read on their feast days, are included in the martyrology. For early February, the story of the 3rd-century African martyrs Laurentius, Ignatius, Celerina and Celerinus were read on 3 February, and the next day the martyrdom of Cornelius the Centurion, whose story is told in Acts 10 and in the Roman martyrology (the mid-4th century book of martyrs from Rome, often the source for stories of early martyrs) was commemorated.

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