Arma Christi prayer roll


One of ten surviving late-medieval rolls containing the Middle English prayer-poem ‘O Vernicle’.

The prayer-poem ‘O Vernicle’ provides a lengthy meditation on the Arma Christi, or Instruments of the Passion, which are a series of objects that were associated with key moments in Christ’s suffering leading up to his death. Each stanza focuses on a different Instrument, beginning with the ‘Vernicle’, the Middle English name for the cloth that St Veronica used to wipe sweat from Christ’s brow, causing it to become miraculously imprinted with an image of the Holy Face. The Instruments are each illustrated, described, and related back to the life of the viewer through a brief prayer. The roll is 134cm long with twenty-four illustrations in total, and it was probably read as part of the personal devotions of its unknown owner.

View images of the entire manuscripts via our Digitised Manuscripts website.

Full title:
An English Arma Christi Roll
2nd quarter of the fifteenth century
Manuscript / Scroll / Vellum roll
Latin / English
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Add MS 22029

Full catalogue details

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