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.
- Article by:
- Eleanor Jackson
Books of Hours were a popular feature of medieval Christianity in Europe. Dr Eleanor Jackson introduces their common features, uses and purposes, explaining features such as the Instruments of Christ’s Passion and the medieval veneration of saints.
- Article by:
- Scot McKendrick
- Sacred texts, Christianity
Dr Scot McKendrick looks at manuscripts of the Bible prior to the invention of printing, exploring their contents and uses and answering the question of why there are so few manuscripts of the whole Bible.