A Sermon of St John Chrysostum
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Medieval theologians and preachers drew on a large number of books in their studies and writings. Often a volume from a cathedral or monastic library would contain works by several authors, bringing together writings that were related in some way. Containing instructive and inspirational writings on worship and faith, this manuscript belonged to the monastery of St Augustine, Canterbury. Each piece was copied by a different scribe on a separate section of pages, and two of them may have been made in the 11th century while the rest were made in the 12th.
Most of the items in this book provide material for writing sermons. This page begins a homily (or model sermon) written by one of the most famous preachers of Christianity, St John Chrysostum. Written about 390 CE, the sermon is on the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15, Mark 7) who asks Jesus to cure her daughter of demonic possession. The handwriting of this piece clearly differs from that of most of the others and suggests that it was copied in the mid to late 11th century.