And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

onsdag 30. september 2015

When September Ends

 As September draws to a close I'm putting up the final blogpost for this month, and in the spirit of transition I give you three items from the Old English Martyrology which marks the change from September to October. All translations are by Christine Rauer and taken from her edition of The Old English Martyrology, D. S. Brewer. 2013: 195. As will be seen, the transition is marked by the feast of Saint Jerome (c.341-420), one of the most formative Christian writers of one of the most formative periods in the shaping of Catholic theology. His most notable contribution to Christian culture was his translation into Latin of the Old and the New Testament, but also his letters were of great importance as they lent his authority to a range of theological matters. For instance, in his letter to Vigilantius, a Christian from Aquitaine, Jerome strongly defended and expounded the orthodoxy of the cult of relics, which no doubt help garner an intellectual acceptance of this aspect of the nascent cult of saints.

September, the month of sowing
MS Additional 21114, French psalter, betewen 1255 and 1265
Courtesy of British Library

Cambrai - BM - ms. 0965, f.001, Chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea, 1155
Courtesy of

On the thirtieth day of the month is the feast of the priest and noble scholar Jerome, who lived in the Jewish city of Bethlehem. St Arculf says about him that he saw a small church outside the city of Bethlehem, in which the body of Jerome was placed, covered with stone, and above that a lamp was placed which burned day and night.

Jerome writing, inspired by the Holy Spirit
Avranches - BM - ms. 0003, f.001, Bible, between 1200-1210
Courtesy of

When the month which we call Haligmonað ['Holy Month'] comes to an end, the night is twelve hours long and the day likewise.

Jerome and the lion, defaced by pious kisses
Besançon - BM - ms. 0172, f.001, Epistulae, 15th century
Courtesy of

There are thirty-one days in the tenth month of the year. In Latin it is called Octember, and in our language Winterfylleð ['Winter Full Moon'].

October, the time for wine-making
MS Additional 21114, French psalter, betewen 1255 and 1265
Courtesy of British Library

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