By Benedicta Ward
The medieval realizing of touch with the powers of heaven is without doubt one of the such a lot conspicuous and but strangest good points of the period.
Read or Download Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record, and Event, 1000-1215 (The Middle Ages Series) PDF
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Additional info for Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record, and Event, 1000-1215 (The Middle Ages Series)
They were petty knights, minor land-holders, priests of the district, monks, and clerks. Men, women, and children came to the shrine, though there was a high proportion of men in its clientele. Peasants are mentioned only once when they tried to demand admittance to the shrine,13 while at the other end of the social scale there is no record of kings, popes, cardinals, or bishops patronising St Faith. It was predominantly a local shrine, even when its devotees were not directly dependent on the monastery.
32 Like Gregory, Desiderius cast his work in the form of a dialogue with an interlocutor, 'Theophilus the Deacon'. Desiderius uses other sources for his material, but the Dialogues of Gregory are frequently behind his account of miracles. 33 There is, however, a fundamental difference between the miracles of St Benedict recorded by Gregory and those by Desiderius: Gregory was presenting a certain kind of sanctity, that of the vir dei, the sanctus abbas, father of monks and writer of a rule for monks.
For if he created the laws of matter in accordance with his will, why should he not alter them whenever he chooses to do so? 40 This Augustinian approach to miracles expressed in these two shrine collections underlies the accounts of miracles next to be considered. 41 Popular expectations of the miraculous in every kind of situation could be focussed on shrines and their saints; they presented a formidable force in evidence of the theory that produced them, and, in a later age, provided material for those with other theories of events and reality to criticize.