Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Larissa J. Taylor et al.

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research.

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Terracotta Sculptures

(621 words)

Author(s): Kathryn M. Rudy
On her way to enter a convent in 1444, a young woman in Amersfoort (The Netherlands) threw her image of the Virgin into the river. She was embarrassed because the image, which was made of pipe clay, was so ugly. Later the image was found in the water near the city walls and hailed as a miraculous find. A stone marker was erected to mark the spot where the virgin had been found, and pilgrims seeking cures came there to bathe and collect water. The image was placed in a chapel, which had to be expanded to accommodate the large number of visitors. The Amersfoort Virgin is one of several miracle-work…

Textile Contact Relics

(867 words)

Author(s): Margaret Goehring
A piece of cloth or other textile that has come into contact with the bodily remains of a saint, thereby receiving some of that saint’s holy aura within its fabric. Such relics are sometimes known as brandea, although this term also refers specifically to a type of memento that is created by inserting a piece of cloth into a saint’s shrine. This practice is found as early as the sixth century when Pope Hermesdas refused a request from Emperor Justinian for a relic of St Lawrence, offering a brandeum as a substitute. This accords with the growing interest in visual and tactile conta…