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A Martyrology f.8r

A Martyrology f.8r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Royal MS 7

Item number: f.8r

Length: 34

Width: 24

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

A martyrology was a collection of lives of saints (especially stories of their martyrdoms), lists of names and dates of death of members or patrons of a monastery arranged according to the calendar of feast days, and the 'Rule'--the guidelines for conduct and daily prayer, the most common being the Rule of St Benedict (benedictine rule). It was made to be read from during the meeting called 'chapter', which was held after early morning prayer (about 6 am) for the purpose of commemorating the dead and reading a chapter of the rule. After the reading, assignments for various tasks were made and any necessary punishments or complaints delivered. This martyrology belonged to the priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, and records the names and death dates of many of its monks, as well as those from its confraternity such as Glastonbury and Faversham.

Any day of the year may be the feast of dozens of saints. A medieval church or monastery would select the saints most significant for it. This page has the beginning of February, which highlights St Ignatius, the late 1st-century bishop of Antioch who was considered the second pope. Other saints are mentioned for the day, ending with St Brigit "in Ireland, whose life shines with miracles." Next, according to the Roman calendar system (using nones, ides, kalends), is the 4th nones of February or 2 February, on which an array of early Christian martyrs are commemorated.

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