Sancta Katherina

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by Göran Bäärnhielm

Catherine was born in 1331 or 1332 as the fourth child of >Sancta Birgitta and Ulf Gudmarsson. She was married to the knight Eggard van Kyren but convinced her husband to preserve her virginity. In 1350 she followed her mother to Rome and stayed with her until her death in 1373. She then returned to Sweden bringing her mother’s remains, and became the first abbess of the Vadstena convent, but soon returned to Rome to agitate for her mother’s canonization and the confirmation of her rule. After five years she returned to Vadstena where she died on 24 March 1381. Rumours of sainthood and miracle-working seem to have circulated already in her lifetime. Around 1420 Ulf Birgerson composed her Vita in fulfilment of a vow to her on behalf of a sick nun. In 1463 Bishop Birger Månsson, on a visit to the Roman Curia, raised the question of canonization. In 1474 an appeal for Catherine’s canonization was sent to the pope by the council of Arboga, supported by the Vita and sixty-eight miracles. The pope appointed a commission with three Swedish subdelegates, and witness hearings were held in Sweden 1475–1477. The final outcome, however, was merely a papal bull for her beatification 1482, some years later an admission for local cult, and her translation was solemnly celebrated at Vadstena in 1489.

Contents

(1) Vita

A biographical note on Catherine was inserted in Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, an excerpt from St. Birgitta’s Revelations, made in the Dutch Birgittine convent Thronus Mariae and edited by the poet Jacobus Canter. Not in BHL.

Title

De beata Catharina “On blessed Catherine”.

Incipit

Item de eadem beata Catharina. Beata Catharina filia Birgitte quamuis virum nomine Egghardum nobilem et potentem per plures annos habuerit...

Explicit

... Insuper alij quam plurimi vtputa sensibus priuati, a demonio vexati, tumore corporis laborantes, intoxicati veneno, vulnerati, peste infecti, contracti, dolorem dentium pacientes, eius meritis sunt liberati.

Size

1 page (ca 23 lines).

Editions

No post-medieval editions.

Summary of contents

Her virginity in marriage, her position as the first abbess at Vadstena, her death on 24 March (vigilia annunciacionis) 1381, the multitude of miracles after her death, sixty-seven and more in number, summarized under different headings. The text is preceded by >Johannes Benechini’s antiphon O Sweuorum aduocata (titled Oratio) and a mass.

Composition and style

The listing of miracles reminds of the one in PAVINIS 1481 but is quite independent.

Medieval reception and transmission

First edition 1489, second edition 1491 (the copy in Stockholm, National Library, is bound together with Thomas a Kempis, Meditationes. De vita et beneficiis saluatoris Jesu Christi. deuotissime meditationes cum gratiarum actione.) Same content was published in Cologne 1517 under title Thesaurus. [It could be mentioned that the Dutch translation of the Opusculum, edited in Antwerp 1491, does not contain this text but a legend on Catherine attributed to Petrus Olaui, translated from an unknown Latin original (COLLIJN 1934–1938, 113).]

  • 1489: Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, Antwerpen: G. Leeu, fol. 127a–129b [q8r–r1v].
  • 1491: Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, Speyer: P. Drach, fol. 78a–78b [k vjr–k vjv]
  • 1517: Thesaurus anime fidelis ex reuelationibus b. Birgittae collectus, Cologne, fol. 155b–157a [v3v–v5r]

(2) Miracula et processus canonizationis

(A) Miracles added until 1460

Seven miracles were joined to the Vita until ca. 1460. BHL 1711.

Title

Miracula Vitae Ulfoni Birgeri adiuncta (Miracles joined to Ulf Birgerson’s Vita Katherine).

Incipit

De miraculis eius post mortem … Transactis aliquot annis post obitum …

Explicit

… cuius meritis se salvam esse confidebat.

Size

A little over five pages in the Ghotan edition 1487, two pages in the edition of 1865.

Editions

(a) Complete:

  • GHOTAN, B. 1487: Vita cum miraculis b. Katherine, Stockholm, fol. 23r–25v.
  • MAGNUS, O. 1553: Vita abbreviata praedilectae sponsae christi s. Birgittae, Rome [The Vita Katherine occupies sign. B.5–E.4 verso. – KB: F1700-1417].

The Vita Katherine appears in all editions of the Revelationes S. Birgittae from 1557 to 1680, after the Vita abbreviata s. Birgittae, arranged in twenty chapters as in the Vita abbreviata s. Birgittae of 1553.

  • ASS, Antwerp 1668, Martii, vol. 3, 518–19, n. 68–74: “Vita Katerinae auctore Ulphone.”
  • • ASS, Paris 1865, Martii, vol. 3, 516–17, n. 68–74: “Vita Katerinae auctore Ulphone.”
  • G.E. KLEMMING (ed.) 1869: Vita cum miraculis b. Katherine (facs.), Stockholm [This facsimile was issued with an anonymous pamphlet written by KLEMMING, Om Vita Catharinae, Stockholm, 1869, also published in id., Ur en antecknares samlingar, Stockholm 1868–1873 (in fasc. 3, 1869), 92–104, attached to which one finds two leaves of the facsimile, and reprinted in id., Ur en antecknares samlingar, 2nd ed. = Skrifter utgifna af Svenska Literatursällskapet 3, Uppsala 1880–1882, 88–96, without any leaves of the facsimile but with an appended comment of one page].
  • ANNERSTEDT, C. 1876: ”Vita Katerinae filiae sanctae Birgittae,” (SRS, vol. III:2), 244–63.
  • LUNDÉN, T. 1981: Vita Katherine. Facsimile tryck av Bartholomeus Ghotans i Stockholm 1487 tryckta bok. Med översättning och inledning, Uppsala, 117, [94].

(b) Excerpts from the same (BHL 1711): This is the miracle of Peter Kråka (L3 = LUNDÉN 1950, no. 3, see Translation)

  • MAGNUS 1553: Sign. E.5 recto–verso = Ch. 20 of the Vita Katherine [included in the Vita abbreviata S. Birgittae]. (Cf. Editions 1557–1680: Cap. 20 of the Vita Katherine [included in the Revelationes S. Birgittae]. [SURIUS, edition of 1571, lacks miracles, other editions have not been checked, not being available in the National Library].
  • ANNERSTEDT 1876, 263–64.

Translation

LUNDÉN 1950, no. 1-7.

Date and place

Three first miracles were included in the Vita until ca. 1427, another four were added in the 1440s and 1450s.

Summary of contents

Seven miraculous healings, most of them in the vicinity of Vadstena: 1) One year old boy fallen into a stream; 2) Nun at Vadstena seriously ill; 3) Peter Kråka, vicar at Vadstena, headache and lameness; 4) Nun at Vadstena, lame; 5) Birgitta Hansdotter, nun at Vadstena, toothache; 6) Priest’s maid, sore hand; 7) Woman vomiting tapeworms and toads.

Medieval reception and transmission

The Vita, version of 1427 with three miracles, is preserved in two manuscripts in the British Library (FRÖJMARK 1992, 52). Earliest manuscript with all seven miracles is Stockholm, National Archives, Skokloster 15 in 4° (described FRÖJMARK 1992, 183–85), including also the Henricus Tidemanni commission miracles (see below) and dated 1470–1475. A copy of the Vita with sixty-eight miracles was sent to Rome from the council of Arboga early 1474 together with the appeal for canonization. A copy of this, confirmed by three notarial subscriptions, was returned to Sweden in 1475 as foundation for the inquisitio in partibus 1475–1477. It contained thirty-six folios and is often referred to, in the minutes of the hearing, as the Libellus rubeus (described by KOLSRUD 1935). Later it may have been kept in the Birgittine hospital in Rome and might have been among the documents acquired from there for Polish king Sigismund in 1590 (COLLIJN 1942–1946, IV). It is now kept in the Ossolinski library, previously in Lemberg/Lwów, now in Wroclav (FRÖJMARK 1992, 57).

There is an Old Swedish translation of the Vita, preserved in “Jöns Budde’s book”, Stockholm, National Library, A 58, fol. 129–165. Miracles 1–3 are in fols. 162v–165: “Aff jerteknom epter hennes dødh”, but the last folio is lost, so the text breaks off in the middle of a sentence (Ed. RIETZ 1843, DAHLGREN 1865–1874, HULTMAN 1895).

Apart from the editions quoted above, there is also a translation into Low German of the three first miracles, printed in Lübeck 1496, fol. CCiir - CCiiir ”Van etlichen wunderwerken vnde van erer vorheninge. Dat xiiii vnd dat leste capittel”.

(B) Miracles added in 1469

Miracles collected by the commission appointed by Henricus Tidemanni, bishop of Linköping, on 31 December 1469. BHL 1713.

Title

Miracula annis 1469-1474 iuridice collecta. (Miracles collected officially 1469–1474).

Incipit

Incipit Epistola Henrici episcopi Lincopensis: Henricus … Licet miraculorum examinatio … Incipit Prologus: Gloriosus Deus, qui dat virtutem … Incipit: Anno Domini MCCCCXLI non solum casu …

Explicit

Et ego Benedictus Pauli clericus Upsalensis …

Size

36 pages in GHOTAN 1487, 14 pages in the Vita printed in ASS 1865.

Editions

(a) Complete (i.e. only those sixty-one which were selected and sent to Rome with the Vita).

  • GHOTAN 1487, fols. 26r–48v.
  • ASS 1668, 519–31.
  • ASS 1865, 517–29.
  • Lundén 1981 [facs].

(b) Excerpts from the same (BHL 1713).

  • ANNERSTEDT 1876, 264–66.

Translations

LUNDÉN 1950, no. 8-95.

Date and place

January 1470–December 1473.

Summary of contents

Included in the printed Vita (numbers from LUNDÉN 1950):

8) Girl injured by axe: 9) Three year old girl of noble birth seriously ill: 10) Boy drowned during fishing; 11) Boy injured on travel: 12) Warrior injured by an arrow; 13) Girl out of her senses while watching geese; 14) Man from Vadstena suddenly ill in a grove; 15) Merchants attacked by pirates on voyage from Germany; 16) Knight’s servant, eye disease; 17) Tailor from Vadstena suddenly ill during meal; 18) Priest’s horse get swollen legs during journey; 19) Young man prisoner at Stäkeholm castle, escapes; 20) Nun at Skänninge, lame; 21) Woman ad Vadstena, serious headache; 22) Wife of a crossbowmaker, headache; 23) Woman at Visingsö, swollen like a barrel; 24) Woman with tapeworm; 25) Bell-ringer insane; 26) Woman at Motala deaf; 27) Woman gets stillborn child; 28) Man at Åtvidaberg falls into the coppermine; 29) Man at Heda seriously ill; 30) Son of a goldsmith at Vadstena suddenly ill; 31) Wife at Vadstena unable to breast-feed her child; 32) Tailor at Vadstena, pain in the arm; 33) Merchants from Skänninge lose goods in a river; 34) Merchants chased by pirates on voyage from Germany; 35) Man, swollen throat and chest; 36) Man, arrow in the chest; 37) Man, stomach disease; 38) Woman blown in the face by evil spirit, head swells up; 39) Smith from Lödöse, blind four years; 40) One and a half year old boy falls into the well; 41) Man from Vreta, arrow through his cheek; 42) Man taken prisoner at Ronneby; 43) Girl at Visby falls out of a window; 44) Ten year old boy crushed under a load of hay; 45) Farmer falls ill during a childbirth celebration; 46) Young man falls ill, lying dead nine hours; 47) Burgher at Söderköping seriously ill; 48) Tailor shot by a soldier with a crossbow; 49) Schoolboy at Stockholm seriously ill; 50) Daughter of a knight in Uppland seriously ill; 51) Boy at Stockholm castle gets mute from a blow; 52) Man in Småland gets powerless and blind; 53) Burgher in Arboga loses his wits; 54) Man gets a stillborn son; 55) One and a half year old boy swallows an ear of wheat; 56) Man, his horse falls; 57) Boy seriously ill, mute and lame; 58) Woman trodded down by crowd at Söderköping convent; 59) Man … 60) His wife, swollen around her body; 61) Nobleman in Västergötland, worms in the farmland; 62) Wife in Stockholm, worms in her ear; 63) Servant of the bishop of Linköping injured in his head; 64) Man in Västergötland, disease in his throat; 65) His wife, tempted by the devil and afflicted with “obduracy and uncleanliness of heart” (induricia cordis et immundicia) ; 66) Five year old boy, Västergötland, astray in the forest during cattle-watching; 67) Woman intoxicated; 68) Three year old boy left behind in the forest during cattle-watching. – Not in the printed Vita (not edited, Lundén translation only): 69) Four year old boy, hard black abscess on head; 70) Woman at Vadstena, small son threw silver spoon away; 71) Man, head perforated by dagger; 72) Woman, sudden disease; 73) Wife of procurator at Vadstena convent, serious toothache; 74) Son of same, worm in ear, bit his mother when sucking; 75) Man, violent pain in legs; 76) Woman, headache; 77) Woman, serious disease in legs; 78) Woman in perilous birth, sick child; 79) Man lost cow in forest; 80) Sickly child; 81) Woman, pain in arm; 82) Man in Söderköping, seriously ill; 83) Man fell from a height and broke ribs; 84) Many seafarers in storm at sea; 85) Woman in perilous childbirth fourteen days; 86) Man’s farm attacked by fire; 87) Woman in Söderköping blind one month; 88) Two and a half year old child lame; 89) Young man seriously ill; 90) Franciscan brother extremely weak; 91) Boy, deadly sick; 92) Poor woman, disease in head with loss of hair and bleeding; 93) Woman with horse and waggon broke through ice; 94) Three year old girl fell into a well, first carried by her mother to a St. Olof sanctuary but was not then revived; 95) Man, insane five weeks.

See also MYRDAL 1994, 149–50, for 12, 19, 23, 28, 42, 50 and 61.

Medieval reception and transmission

The main source is the manuscript Stockholm, National Archives, Skokloster 15 in 4°, described by FRÖJMARK 1992, 183–85. It contains the Vita with seven miracles, sixty-one selected and twenty-seven not selected miracles of the commission and fourty-eight miracles collected later. These latter seventy-five miracles have remained unpublished, but all 143 miracles were included in the translation by LUNDÉN 1950.

(C) Miracles added after 1669

Miracles collected later than the Henricus Tidemanni commission, most of them during the hearings 1475–1477. This group, when duplicates (= previously recorded miracles) are excluded, contains fourty-eight miracles from the Skokloster manuscript (LUNDÉN 1950, no. 96–143) and fourty-five miracles from the Processus. Unnumbered in BHL.

Title

Miracula annis 1474–77 iuridice collecta (Miracles collected officially 1474–77).

Editions

One miracle (MYRDAL 1994, A1: Three Vadstena burghers in peril on the ice of lake Vättern.)

  • MAGNUS 1553, sign. E.4 verso–E.5 = Ch. 19 of the Vita Katherine.

Ch. 19 of the Vita Katherine which appears in all editions of the Revelationes S. Birgittae from 1557 to 1680, after the Vita abbreviata s. Birgittae, arranged in twenty chapters as in the Vita abbreviata (MAGNUS 1553).

  • ASS 1668, 519, no. 75.
  • ASS 1865, 517, no. 75.
  • COLLIJN 1942–1946, 76–77 (another textual variant).

Four miracles (MYRDAL 1994, A1, A2, A15, Extra 4)

  • BÄÄRNHIELM 1990

Five miracles (LUNDÉN 1950, 105, 115, 136, 137, 143):

  • ANNERSTEDT 1876, 266–67.

121 miracles, documented in the Processus hearings, seventy-six of which were previously recorded (above, B).

  • COLLIJN 1942–1946, 76–103 (MYRDAL 1994, A: 31 miracles), 108–23 (MYRDAL 1994, B: 21 miracles), 161–73 (MYRDAL 1994, C: 60 miracles) 177, 193–97 (MYRDAL Extra: Nine miracles).

Translations

LUNDÉN 1950, no. 96–143 BÄÄRNHIELM 1990, four miracles listed above.

Date and place

Miracles documented 1474–1477, in many cases taking place much earlier.

Summary of contents

Miracles from the Skokloster manuscript (numbers according to LUNDÉN 1950): 96) Prioress at Skänninge seriously ill; 97) Steward’s servant at Skänninge injured by his master; 98) Mayor at Stockholm, deaf; 99) Merchant’s son injured by tree branch; 100) Horse-driver injured by pole; 101) Man of Västerås diocese seriously ill; 102) Girl at Arboga, deaf three years; 103) Boy in Linköping diocese, limbs withered; 104) Nun at Vårfruberga seriously ill; 105) Servant of a provincial judge, arrow in head; 106) Woman, Skara diocese, dies in childbirth; 107) Woman possessed by devil; 108) Carpenter falls from a ladder; 109) Man in Dalecarlia seriously ill; 110) Boy killed under a carriage-load of firewood; 111) Estate in Småland threatened by fire; 112) Girl in Uppland, blind for three years; 113) Man, Linköping diocese, seriously injured in arm; 114) Man from Norway deadly injured; 115) Knight injured in battle at Brunkeberg 1471; 116) Three year old girl scalded during beer-brewing; 117) Four year old girl got lost in forest; 118) Palace servant, Örebro, insane after fighting the devil; 119) Man from Västergötland deadly injured by neighbour; 120) Man from Uppland seriously ill; 121) Man from Vadstena region injured by arrow; 122) Six year old boy crushed by falling tree; 123) Knight’s sheriff seriously ill; 124) Knight’s servant pierced by sword; 125) Two year old girl in Skänninge drowned in a beer-barrel. 126) Three year old girl got lost in forest; 127) Twelve year old boy scalded to death during beer-brewing; 128) Boy, Skara diocese, lame three years; 129) Twelve year old boy kicked by horse, mute; 130) Blind girl, Västergötland; 131) Man, Östergötland, injured in chest, lung hangs out; 132) Woman, Småland, seriously lame; 133) Monstrance with reliquaries, Ångermanland, stolen and retrieved in forest; 134) Three year old girl lame during epidemics; 135) Girl, Östergötland, possessed by devil; 136) Knight injured by arrow during siege; his son and wife get sick; 137) Same knight loses a gold ring in the field; 138) Man, Åbo diocese, leprous five years; 139) Councillor, Skänninge, unable to eat; 140) Still-born child, Östergötland; 141) One year old boy saved from fire by his father; 142) Knight’s servant drowned while transporting clods over a lake; 143) Knight’s servant gets insane after meeting the devil in the shape of a swine.

Miracles from the Processus hearings (numbers from MYRDAL 1994, duplicates omitted). —Series A (COLLIJN 1942–1946, 76–103), hearings 28 August–5 September: 1) Three Vadstena burgers in peril on the ice of lake Vättern; 5) Woman, eye disease; 6) Four year old boy, lame; girl, lame; 7) Man, lame three years; 8) Man, lame two years; 9) Seven year old boy, lost during hay-making; 10) Four year old girl lost in forest while fetching a cooking-pot; 11) Sheriff’s wife, disfigured in face; 12) Man with eye disease, blind for three years; 13) Fifteen year old girl, epilepsy; 14) Six year old boy, damaged in eye by knife while playing; 16) Man with eye disease; 17) Wife, fire during flax-drying; 18) Vicar at Skärkind, twenty wooden houses burn down; 19) Town of Söderköping burns; 20) Man returning from Söderköping market, leg disease; 21) Man insane from disease for three days; 25) Seven year old daughter of Vadstena burgher suddenly ill; 29) Nun at Vadstena, deaf; 30) Nun at Vadstena, deadly ill (1455); 31) Nun at Vadstena, seriously hoarse.

— Series B (COLLIJN 1942–1946, 108–23): 1) Woman in peril of drowning on road to church; 2) Man with epilepsy; 3) Still-born twins; 4) One year old boy crept into forest at night; 5) Woman, swollen tongue; 6) Woman suddenly ill; 7) Woman injured in eye; 8) Man insane for two weeks; 10) Six year old boy broke his leg when playing in a barn; 11) Three year old boy injured while fetching firewood; 12) Vadstena burgher injured by weapon; 13) Three year old boy, disfigured leg; 14) Man fell from horse returning from church; 16) Man seriously ill; 17) Woman dead in childbirth; 18) Two year old boy fell to the floor; 19) One and a half year old boy crept out of bed and froze to death.

— Series L(C) (COLLIJN 1942–1946, 161–73) contains witness hearings for the Henricus Tidemanni commission miracles, in some cases with additional details, but in many cases witnesses failed to appear.

— Series Extra (COLLIJN 1942–1946, 177, 193–97): 1) Knight and squire injured in war; 2) Danish man injured during firewood-cutting; 3) Danish knight’s daughter, abscess in eye; 4) Carpenter of Arvid Trolle gets crushed when tarring a raft; 5) Man on Åland afflicted by dropsy; 6) One year old daughter of a squire seriously ill; 7) Six year old girl possessed by demons; 8) Ten year old girl lame; 9) Hemming Gadh, chancellor to the bishop of Linköping, ear-pain.

Medieval reception and transmission

To what extent the fourty-eight post-Tidemannian miracles from the Skokloster manuscript were spread and transmitted in medieval times needs further investigation, but seems little probable because of the late dating of this manuscript, i.e. 1521. The transmission of the miracles in Stockholm, National Library A 93, containing the hearings in partibus 1475–1477, is obvious, but confirmation in detail would demand a comparison with PAVINIS 1481, which has not been done. One special case is the first miracle recorded during the hearings of 1475, i.e. the case of tree Vadstena burghers in peril on the ice of Lake Vättern. It is the second last listed in PAVINIS 1481, 32, with reference to fol. 101 of a lost Processus manuscript. In addition to the extraordinariness of the event, that might be the reason why, as the only “late” miracle, it was included in the Vita abbreviata by Olaus Magnus, and in the succeeding editions of the Revelations, and therefore received a separate BHL entry of 1712.

(D) Canonization process I

This is not the canonization process properly speaking, but a report on the hearings of witnesses in Sweden, inquisicio in partibus, held 1475 to 1477, dated Strängnäs 1 July 1477 and signed by four clerics from Linköping and Strängnäs, likewise imperial or apostolic notaries. We get insights into the beliefs and superstitions of the age and into the creation of a saint. Most important are the factual elements including national history, daily life, names of places and individuals of both high and low standing. BHL 1714 b.

Title

Processus seu negocium canonizacionis b. Katerine de Vadstenis. (Canonization process of blessed Catherine of Vadstena). Phase 1. The ten initial folios of the manuscript are lost, so the original title is not preserved, and the title given above has been constructed by editor COLLIJN based on the phrase negocium canonizacionis celebris memorie beate Katherine on manuscript page 11v. In the Summarium by PAVINIS (1481) this manuscript is referred to as processus remissorialis continens inquisicionem in partibus factam …

Incipit

[10 initial folios are missing, existing text starts in the middle of a sentence:] necnon meritis et miraculis dicte domine Katharine …

Explicit

... iussimus impendenda. Datum in civitate Strengenensi anno Domini MCDLXX septimo die Martis prima mensis Iulii. Et ego Conradus Gregorii …, followed by the notary’s subscription.

Size

200 pages in COLLIJN’s edition.

Editions

  • COLLIJN 1942–1946 [The text of the canonization process appears on pp. 3–200].
  • COLLIJN 1943 [A photographic reproduction of the manuscript; the text of the canonization process appears on pp. xi–clxii].
  • BÄÄRNHIELM 1990 [Four miracles (A1, A2, A15, Ex.4 in the listing Myrdal 1994, 152–54) edited and translated].

Translations

  • BÄÄRNHIELM 1990 [Four miracles, see above].

Commentaries

  • COLLIJN 1942–1946
  • FRÖJMARK 1992, 58–63
  • MYRDAL 1994

Date and place

Pope Sixtus IV appointed on 23 September 1474 a commission of three cardinals, one to lead the investigation. Four Swedish subdelegates were appointed to conduct hearings in Sweden on the basis of thirteen “articles” extracted from the Vita. They received the documents on 27 August 1475; hearings started at Vadstena the following day and continued until 5 September. They were then postponed because of harvest and peace negotiations, to be resumed at a planned Diet at Strängnäs the following year, but still some hearings took place in October 1475 and early June 1476. In 1477, 26 May–5 June, hearings were held at Vadstena on the Vita and the 61 miracles of the Henricus Tidemanni commission. The Strängnäs Diet finally took place in June 1477, and some final hearings were held there 21–30 June.

Summary of contents

1. Documents on the appointment of a committe of three cardinals and a Swedish subcommittee for the inquisitio in partibus, dated 27 August 1475 (p. 3–7). 2. Thirteen articuli from the Vita which are to be examined (p. 7–11). 3. Hearing of thirteen witnesses from the Vadstena convent on Catherine’s life, 30 August to 5 September 1475 (p. 12–75). 4. Thirty-one miracles, reported 28 August to 5 September 1475, confirmed with up to five witnesses (p. 75–103). 5. Document on the interruption of proceedings due to the harvest and impending peace negotiations and a document of summons to hearings the following year 1476 (p. 103–7). 6. Twenty-one miracles, reported 7–10 October 1475 (p. 108–23). 7. Hearing at castle Stäket 6 June 1476 (p. 123–26). 8. Hearings regarding the twenty-five chapters of Ulf Birgersson’s Vita Katherine, held at Vadstena 27–28 May and 5 June 1477 (p. 126–61). 9. Examination of the libellus rubeus containing sixty-one miracles, held 28 May 1477. (p. 161–73). Witnesses often give additional detail to the miracle reports. 10. Hearings at the Diet of Strängnäs, 21–30 June 1477, with some of the most distinguished men of the realm on the thirteen Vita articles with reports on some additional miracles (p. 174–98). 11. Proceedings were closed 1 July 1477 and delivered to the committee of cardinals in Rome. The manuscript ends with four notarial certificates (p. 198–200).

Composition and style

No linguistic or stylistic studies have been made. Style generally varies between the formal and repetitive language of legal documents and the lively and sometimes highly emotional narrative in the miracle stories, which are however often influenced by the legal mode of expression resulting in a certain clumsiness with frequent anacolutha. Cases of prose rythm can be found, but no frequency studies have been made.

Die Lune vicesima octava mensis Augusti supradicti hora octava vel quasi in locutorio fratrum seculari suprascripto ante prandium nobis commissariis pro tribunali sedentibus quidam Mattias faber quinquaginta duorum annorum Magnus Clawosson et Hemmingus sartor quinquaginta annorum, cives opidi Vastenensis Lincopensis diocesis, iurati, producti, auditi et seorsum examinati dixerunt eorum medio iuramento, quod cum anno Domini millesimo quadringentesimo septuagesimo primo die Iovis proxima post Cineres irent super glaciem in quodam stagno magno dicto Vether, cuius stangni longitudo extendit se ultra duas dietas legales, latitudo vero ad unam dietam, monasterio Vastenensi contiguo, versus opidum Lidekopingh, quod est situatum in diocesi Scarensi, que diocesis distat a monasterio Vastenensi in quatuor miliaribus alamanis.

Quodquidem stagnum talis est nature, quod quando appropinquat tempus resolucionis glacierum, vehementissimo strepitu incipit ebullire et commoveri a fundo et magna violencia prorumpere in parvas rimas vel scissuras, que fuerunt in glacie, et has in modico temporis spacio faciens valde latas. Licet autem protunc glacies in densitate habuerit plus quam ulnam, et tunc cooperante superius impetu dividitur tota glacies in plures particulas ita, quod multi existentes super ipsam glaciem multociens submerguntur. Sed licet istud videatur mirabile ad credendum, tamen omnis circumiacens regio hoc testatur. Sed cum prefati Matthias, Magnus et Hemmingus, commocionem a profundo audientes et stangni naturam scientes, volebant ad litus properare, mirum in modum tota glacies ex vehementissimo strepitu a profundo et commocione ac impetu ventorum incepit se dissolvere et in particulas hinc inde et circumquaque dividere. Sed cum prefati Matthias, Magnus et Hemmingus viderunt aperturam tam amplam effectam, quod impossibile erat eis venire ad litus, unde propter horribilem collisionem et commocionem glacierum usque ad mortem turbati sunt, cum nichil exspectarent nisi submersionem subitam imminere. Remanserunt tamen in una magna particula glaciei levantes oculos suos versus monasterium Vastenense, quod tunc distabat a loco, in quo manserunt in glacie, in duabus miliaribus alamanis, dominam Katerinam sibi in auxilium flexis genibus humiliter invocando. Quofacto mirum in modum particula glaciei, in qua periculosissime steterunt, se contra impetum fluctuum et turbines ventorum dirigebat et ad illam partem que adiacebat litori, quam subsequebatur una altera particula maior prima, in qua stabant. Sed ex impetu et commocione supervenientis particule comminuta est illa particula, in qua stabant, et disiuncta ita et taliter, quod ipsi cum magna difficultate poterant ascendere cum equis, vehiculis et aliis bonis suis super particulam glaciei venientem. Sed illis continue in oracione ad beatam Katerinam flexis genibus, ut eius precibus salvari possent, clamantibus, eadem particula glaciei quasi ad spacium vnius miliaris cum dimidio contra impetum fluctuum et turbines ventorum enatare cepit, et eos salvos et incolumes ad litus produxit. Sed illis de particula prefata descendentibus in terram statim et incontinenti illa particula glaciei, que eos ad litus perduxit, in aquam puram et claram est conversa.

Hec omnia suprascripta prefati Matthias, Magnus et Hemmingus medio eorum iuramento ad sancta Dei ewangelia prestito iurati et seorsum interrogati dixerunt et quilibet eorum dixit, addentes, quod quando dissolvebatur glacies, habuerunt unum integrum miliare cum dimidio ad proximum litus, et dicebant quod quilibet eorum habuit equum cum pondere equino. Et dixerunt, quod, quando ascendebant de prima particula glaciei, in qua primo stabant, super advenientem particulam, que eos perduxit ad litus, tunc cum adminiculo asserum existencium in vehiculo remigarunt contra ventum ad litus. Et tandem interrogati, si predicta dicebant timore, amore, precibus vel precio, dixerunt quod non nisi solo intuitu veritatis et non alias aliter neque aliomodo etc.

(Monday 28 August, ca. 8 a.m. in the said brothers’ speaking room (locutorium), we commissars being seated in office, there was brought before us the smith Mattias, fifty-two years old, Magnus Clausson and Hemming the tailor, fifty years old, burghers of Vadstena town, Linköping diocese. They took an oath, were interrogated separately and said under oath, that, when they in the year 1471, Thursday after Cineres, walked upon the ice in a big lake called Vättern, more than two legal day’s journeys long and one day’s journey wide, close to the Vadstena convent, towards Lidköping town which is situated in Skara diocese which is at a distance of four German miles from the Vadstena convent. This lake is of such nature that when icebreak approaches, it begins to bubble up and move violently from the bottom with a forceful noise and with great violence break forth in the small cracks and clefts in the ice and in a short time make them very wide. Although the ice at that time would have been more than an ell in thickness, through the impact of the violent winds, the ice is broken up in several pieces so that often many drown when being on the ice. That seems strange to believe, but the whole surrounding region can attest to that. But when the said Matthias, Magnus and Hemming, heard the movement from the bottom and wanted to hurry to the shore as they knew the lake’s nature, all the ice started to dissolve in a wonderful way because of the forceful noise from the bottom and the movement and the force of the wind, and to divide into pieces in different directions and all around. But when the said Matthias, Magnus and Hemming saw that there had become an opening so wide that it was impossible for them to come to the shore, whence they were disturbed unto death because of the horrible concussion and motion of the ice, as they expected nothing but to be drowned immediately. They remained however on a large ice-floe, lifting their eyes towards Vadstena convent, which then was at a distance of two German miles from the place where they were on the ice, and humbly on their knees invoked the help of Lady Catherine. Then the ice-floe, on which they were perilously standing, in a wonderful way began to move against the waves and whirlwinds and in the direction of the shore, and then followed another oce-floe, bigger than the first one on which they were standing. But the ice-floe on which they were standing was broken up and shattered by the violent motion of the upcoming ice-floe, so that they with great difficulty managed to climb over with horses, vehicles [i.e. sleighs] and other goods to the upcoming ice-floe. But while they continued crying in prayer on their knees to blessed Catherine that they might be saved by her intercession, this ice-floe began to drift almost one and a half mile against the power of the waves and whirlwinds, and brought them to the shore safe and unharmed. But when they descended from the floe to the ground, this floe, which had brought them to the shore, immediately was transformed into pure and clear water.

All this was told by said Matthias, Magnus and Hemmingus, having sworn on God’s holy gospel and having been interrogated separately. They added that when the ice dissolved they were one and a half mile from the nearest shore, and they said that each of them had a horse with a full horse-load. And they said that when the climbed from the first ice-floe, on which they stood, onto the upcoming floe, which brought them to the shore, then they rowed against the wind and to the shore with the help of stakes present in the vehicle. Finally they were asked if they told this for fear, love, on demand or for payment, but they said it was only with respect to the truth and not otherwise.

Purpose and audience

See above: intended for the committe of cardinals appointed by the Pope 1474 for the examination of the Swedish proposal for St. Catherine’s canonization.

Medieval reception

The manuscript Stockholm, National Library, A 93 was written by Conradus Gregorii, priest at Linköping and imperial notary. He also signed it together with three other notaries. Marginal notes are attributed to another notary who collated the libellus rubeus (KOLSRUD 1935, COLLIJN 1942–1946, VI). The manuscript was originally bound together with the libellus rubeus (COLLIJN 1942–1946, II); it would have been sent to Rome late 1477 and is referred to in PAVINIS 1481 as a “forwarded process containing the special examination made in the actual location, closed and sealed with four authentic seals and secured with four notarial subscriptions” (processus remissorialis continens inquisitionem in partibus factam clausus et quatuor sigillis auctenticis sigillatus ac quatuor notariorum subscriptionibus munitus) (see below). The PAVINIS’s Summarium also speaks of another manuscript, evidently containing the complete process, with an extent of at least 296 folios and not identical with A 93 (COLLIJN 1942–1946, V). After the pope’s decision the manuscript would have remained in Rome with the Birgittines, and probably was among the documents acquired from there for king Sigismund of Poland around 1590 (COLLIJN 1942–1946, IV). It was found in 1865 in the Dominican convent at Cracov by B. DUDIK (1868) and in 1873 was acquired to the National Library under somewhat dubious circumstances (COLLIJN 1942–1946, IV).

Extracts from the process are to be found in other Vadstena manuscripts: Uppsala, University Library, C 153 (copy of the writing from the commissars in Rome to the Swedish subdelegates with instructions how to conduct and record the hearings and a short version of the first four articles) and C 321 (a full copy of the thirteen articles confirmed by the pope 20 February 1475).

The cult of Catherine was supported mainly from the Swedish-national side. This was demonstrated at her translation in 1489, which was attended by regent Sten Sture and other secular dignitaries. But there hade been at least one exception: miracle twelve is about a warrior in the service of Staffan Bengtsson, Swedish councillor to Danish king Christian, who fell himself in the Brunkeberg battle 1471 (FRÖJMARK 1992, 164–68).

Paintings and sculptures of Catherine are found in some fourty-five churches in Sweden, two in Finland, and one in Norway. The best known is the sculpture by Håkan Gulleson, Trönö, Hälsingland, early sixteenth century She is often depicted in Birgittine costume with a lamp and a lily-stem, symbols of virginity, a deer at her feet (she once saved a deer from hunters). (LUNDÉN 1963, esp. 346, Iconographic register at ATA). No miracles are illustrated. A wall-painting by Johannes Rosenrod 1437 in Tensta church, Uppland, has been interpreted as Catherine’s birth, which had miraculous elements, but is now thought to represent the birth of Birgitta herself, because the child is adorned with a nimbus, an unlikely attribute for Catherine fifty years before her beatification (NISBETH 2004, 240). A number of illustrations are found in books and single-sheet prints from the incunabulum age and later, but miracles are equally rare until the seventeenth century, when you will find a few engravings alluding to her miracles, i.e. “La gloire de S. Catherine dans ses miracles” in CORET 1673, and “Unda vidit et fugit, Tybris conversus est retrorsum” in ERCOLANI 1663, alluding to an episode when she prevented an inundation of the Tiber in Rome (LUNDÉN 1959, 227).

(E) Canonization process II

Summary of canonzation proceedings, composed by Johannes Franciscus de PAVINIS, papal auditor causarum, who was appointed, together with two other prelates, by pope Sixtus IV to a commission for the examination of the case. BHL 1714.

Title

Processus canonisationis. (The Canonization Process). Phase 2. The title is that of BHL. Collijn gives the title Summarium processus canonizacionis B. Katherine de Vadstena, while Proctor gives Circa canonisationem beata Catherinae de Suetia.

Incipit

Faciem tuam illumina … Beatissime Pater, circa canonizationem b. Catherine de Suetie regno …

Explicit

Haec si feceris illamque canonizando benedixeris … que fiunt in ecclesia pro valde bonis iuxta Aug[ustinum] in c[apitulo] “tempus” [causae] xiii q[uestionis] ii et in enkyridion et habetur in c[apitulo] “cum marthe” in ti[tulo] de cele[bratione] missa[rum], followed by a Missa de S. Catharina.

Size

35 unnumbered pages in the print.

Editions

  • PAVINIS 1481
  • PAVINIS 1891 (Facsimile)

Date and place

The print is undated but the date of September 1480 is mentioned in the text p. 32, and the papal bull of Catherine’s beatification was issued 16 August 1482, so the date should be in between. Authorship appears from manuscript notes in copies in London, Munich and Rome.

Summary of contents

Introduction: supplication to the pope for the canonization of b. Catherine. Hopefully by her intercession the infidel Turks might be removed from Christian lands, especially Italy. Ten chapters, fundamenta principalia: 1) Her mother’s divine revelations. 2) Her own miraculous birth. An unknown lady in white clothes appeared and helped at the birth. 3) Her exquisite virginity. 4) Her clean and immaculate faith. 5) Her holy and long-lasting pilgrimage. Her pilgrimages with her mother are enumerated. 6) Holiness of her whole life. 7) Her faithful and glorious death. 8) The multitude of miracles after her death: Four miracles are retold at length, the rest are summarized under different headings: Revival of twenty dead, ten dying; Healing of six paralytics, eight dumb, nine blind, four deaf, six lame. Five lost in the forest recovered, thirty-four healed from various diseases and six liberated from perils. The second last miracle is the one on the ice of Lake Vättern, the last one is from September 1480 concerning a twelve year old boy in Rome, who was healed from a fever. 9) Instantia requisita cum mora. (= “the required legal process with delay “?) Applications for canonization have arrived from various parties in Sweden, from the king of Denmark, i.e. the Scandinavian union, from the archbishop, bishops and Vadstena convent, and the pope on 23 December 1474, appointed the above-mentioned commission of cardinals. 10) Special and solemn examination. (Inquisitio specialis et solemnis). This chapter refers to the process in Sweden, and here we find the reference to a “remitted process containing the special examination made in the actual location, closed and sealed with four authentic seals and secured with four notarial subscriptions” (processus remissorialis continens inquisitionem in partibus factam clausus et quatuor sigillis auctenticis sigillatus ac quatuor notariorum subscriptionibus munitus) which would be the manuscript Stockholm, National Library, A 93. There are also references to a processus volume with folio numbers which are not consistent with A 93, and which contained at least 296 folios (COLLIJN 1942–46, V).

There follows a proposal for the canonization of Catherine and that her name be entered in the book of saints, supported, like previous paragraphs, by numerous references to canon and civil law and to authorities in theology.

Finally a draft office for Catherine with introit, collect, epistle, secret, communion and post-communion prayers.

Composition and style

The style is highly technical with numerous references (allusions) as mentioned above.

Medieval reception and transmission

Seven copies of the print were known to COLLIJN in 1933 (COLLIJN 1933, 1). The summary of miracles, pp. 27–32, is found, with the same wording, in the above-mentioned Skokloster manuscript, fols. 73r–79r. This is most probably copied from the print: the September 1480 Rome miracle is quoted at the end, and is followed directly by a Sermo de beata Birgitta by another hand, believed by FRÖJMARK (1992, 185) to be the same that wrote the date 16 July 1521, at the end of the volume.

(F) Abridged versions of the canonisation process

BHL 1715.

Title

Epitome Vitae et miraculorum (An abridged version of the Vita and miracles (i.e. of I – III above))

Incipit

De hac virgine Katharina dicitur quod cum adhuc in cunis ...

Explicit

… et invocata s. Katharina, sane revixit filius eius.

Editions

  • Jacobus de Voragine 1483: Legenda aurea [A supplement to the Legenda aurea contains the material on St. Katharina, fol. 342c–346c].
  • Historiae plurimorum sanctorum 1485 [The material on St. Katherina is on fol. 148v–154r].

[These are not available in the Royal Library, neither the German version of 1492].

Translations

  • (German) 1499: Dat duytsche Passionael, Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea, Lübeck: S. Arndes [Fol. 74v–75r contains four miracles, two in Vita: preventing the Tiber flood; a servant run over by her waggon in Prussia on travelling home in 1380, two post mortem: Peter Kråka; Laurentius and his two sons going fishing (Lundén nr 10 = A27).
  • (German) 1507: Dat duytsche Passionael, Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea, Lübeck: S. Arndes [Same miracles in folios 83r-84r].
  • (German) 1517: Dat duytsche Passionael, Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea, Basel, A. Petri [Same miracles in folios 96r-96v].
  • (German) SCHECKH 1749: “Caput 25. Miracul, und Gutthaten, so Gott der Allerhögste durch die Verdienst S. Catharinae Jungfräuliche Tochter S. Birgittae, und erster Abbtissin zu Vastenen, gewürcket,“ 60–64.
  • (French) CORET 1673: “Partie derniere. La sainteté de la princesse Catherine de Svede éclatante par les miracles,” 199–252.
  • (Spanish) TRABESEDO 1776: ”Cap. 29. Algunos de sus muchos milagros despues de la muerte,” 231–39.
  • (Italian) S. ANTONIO 1641: ”Miracoli di S. Caterina. Parte seconda,” 465–87.
  • (Italian) ERCOLANI 1663: [Engraving of Catherine stopping the Tiber flood on p. 508]. “Caterina Principessa Svezzese Figlia di Brigida,” 509–79.

(3) Officia and Memoriae

Two offices are known for St. Catherine. One is referred to as Salve mater inclita, while the other, Letare Syon filia, is attributed to >Johannes Benechini. St. Catherine’s feast day, 2 August, was in some places celebrated with a low grade feast, a memoria or commemoratio (consisting of an antiphone, a versicle, a response and a collect prayer) at the end of Laudes and Vespers. The collect prayers are not yet edited in the Corpus Orationum series (CCSL).

(A) Salve mater inclita

Antiphon: Salue mater inclita / Suecie patrona / Katerina prodita / virtutum corona … Collecta: Domine Jhesu Criste qui ex abundancia caritatis tue dilectam tibi Katerinam in exemplum fidelium tuorum sanctimonia mirabiliter decorasti fac nos tibi deuota conseruacione et placidis et moribus deseruire. (Not published in the Corpus Orationum) Antiphon super Benedictus: Hec est sensata femina / digne vocata domina / terrena respuendo … Antiphon super Magnificat : Vale robur debilium / virtutum fragrans lillium / mestorum medicina…

Editions

  • GEETE 1907–1909, p. XVI (first antiphon, from Berlin manuscript cited below).
  • KLEMMING 1885: Additamenta, 74i–74k (two last antiphons, as parts of the office “Letare Syon filia” by >Johannes Benechini, from Breviarium Gnadenberg cited below).

Medieval reception and transmission

  • Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Theol. lat. in 8:o, 71, f. 149r, “Memoria aff hälga fru Katherine” edited by GEETE 1907–1909.
  • Stockholm, National Library, A 35, Collectarium Danicum (possibly from the monastery Mariager, fifteenth century, CARLÉ & FRÖJMARK 1996, 523), fol 44r.
  • Stockholm, National Library, A 92, Breviarium Birgittinum Gnadenberg, fifteenth century, fol. 69r–69v.

(B) Memoriae

There is a memoria for Catherine in Uppsala, University Library, C 455 (SCHMID 1936, 101–5). The Breviarium Upsalense 1496 has for 2 August the kalendar entry (bl. 10b): “Stephani pape et martyris iii lectionum. Katherine filie beate birgitte commemoratio.” The collect prayer is found in part V, Proprium de sanctis, fol. L4v = bl. 324b (Cf. HELANDER 2001, 309), with the rubric Katherine Vastenensis memoria in communi:

Collecta: Deus qui largiflue bonitatis consilio ecclesiam tuam beate Katherine tibi dilecte preclare vite meritis decorasti, et gloriosis letificas miraculis, concede nobis famulis tuis, vt eius exemplis in melius reformemur, et ab omnibus aduersis eius patrocinio protegamur. (The relevant part is not yet published in Corpus Orationum (CCSL)).

MOBERG (1947, 304) mentions a commemoratio for Catherine, 2 August, but with a faulty reference to the Missale Upsalense 1513. Antiphonaria with a series of memoria-elements to both Birgitta and Catherine are Uppsala, University Library C 468, C 458 and C 470 (Cf. NORLIND 1909, 26–27).

(4) Missae

Two masses were proposed for St. Catherine. One was inserted at the end of Johannes Franciscus de PAVINIS’ Summarium (1481). The other proposal for a mass, or rather memoria, for Catherine, was inserted in the above-mentioned Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, an excerpt from St. Birgittas Revelations, made in the Dutch Birgittine convent Thronus Mariae and edited by the poet Jacobus Canter.

(A) de Pavinis’s Missa beate Catherine

Size

Half a page, 27 lines in the print, including headings.

Editions

  • PAVINIS 1891 (facsimile).
  • COLLIJN 1933, 11–12.

Summary of contents

Introitus: Secundum nomen tuum, Deus … (Ps. 47:11-12) Versus: Magnus dominus … (Ps. 47:2-3) Gloria Collecta: Clementiam tuam, Domine, suppliciter imploramus, vt intercedentibus beata virgine Catherina et sancta matre eius Birgitta omnium gratiarum tuarum plenitudinem consequamur per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum. (Cf. Corpus Orationum 635a-c, Clementiam tuam, domine, suppliciter exoramus …; 636, Clementiam tuam quaesumus, omnipotens deus, ut, intercedente pro nobis beato Apollinare martyre tuo atque pontifice … ) Epistola: Mulierem fortem quis inueniet etc. (Prov. 31,10) Graduale: Mulier sensata et tacita … (Eccl. 26,18-19) Alleluya: Sicut sol oriens … (Eccl. 26,21). Secreta: Sacrificium nostrum quesumus, Domine, suscipe propicius, vt meritis et precibus beate virginis Catherine ac sancte matris eius Birgitte indulgentiam consequamur, per Dominum nostrum etc. (Cf. Corpus Orationum 5223, Sacrificium nostrum, quaesumus, benignus intende…) Communio: Audi filia et vide … (Ps. 44.11) Postcommunio: Beate Catherine virginis et sancte matris eius Birgitte quesumus, Domine, precibus et meritis adiuuemur, vt secum sine fine letemur. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum etc.

Medieval reception and transmission

Printed in PAVINIS 1481, 35.

(B) Another proposal for a mass for Catherine

A proposal for a mass, or rather memoria, for Catherine, was inserted in the above-mentioned Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, an excerpt from St. Birgitta’s Revelations, made in the Dutch Birgittine convent Thronus Mariae and edited by the poet Jacobus Canter.

Size

Ca. 30 lines in print.

Editions

  • KLEMMING 1885, 74 (antiphon, titled Oratio ad beatam Katherinam, filiam beate Birgitte vidue with reference to the Opusculum cited below).
  • KLEMMING 1885, Additamenta, 74c–74d (antiphon, cited as part of the office Letare Syon filia, which is titled Historia beate Katherine de Swecia and attributed to Johannes Benechini, with reference to the manuscript cited below).
  • AH 26: 75, 219–22.

Summary of contents

Antiphona super Magnificat: O Sweuorum aduocata / Catharina sociata / Christo eternaliter … Si quis voluerit missa de ea legere dicat officium vnius virginis cum collectis sequentibus. Collecta: Deus qui eximie castitatis priuilegiorum et virtutum sanctimonia beatam Catharinam gracia tua multipliciter in exemplum fidelibus decorasti, da famulis tuis eius meritis intercedentibus puritatem mentis et corporis, per quam a te promissum nobis possimus percipere felicitatem. Per dominum. (The relevant part is not yet published in the Corpus Orationum). Secreta: Super hanc oblationem nostram quesumus domine benedictio tua descendat,vt et ipsi tibi hostia placabilis efficiamur, beate Catharine apud tuam clementiam supplicatio et merita obtineat. Per dominum. (Cf. Corpus Orationum 5664b, Super hanc oblationem nostram, quaesumus, domine, benedictio tua descendat et, ut ipsi tibi hostia placabilis efficiamur, sancta Editha apud te obtineat). Complenda: Celestibus sacramentis refecti altaribus tuis domine inclinati deprecamur vt que in commemoratione beate Catharine deuote percepimus, Eius auxilio et intercessione nobis proficiant ad vtriusque profectum salutis. Per dominum. (Cf. Corpus Orationum 548. Caelestibus sacramentis refecti, maiestatem tuam altaribus tuis, domine, deprecamur inclinati ut, quae in sollemnitate beatae Cuthbergae laetanter percepimus, auxilio eius intercessionis nobis proficiant ad utriusque profectum salutis).

Medieval reception and transmission

  • Stockholm, National Library, A 92, Breviarium Birgittinum Gnadenberg, fifteenth century, fol. 67v–68r (antiphon only, see above).
  • 1489: Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, Antwerp: G. Leeu, fol. 127a-129b [q8r-r1v]
  • 1491: Opusculum vitae et passionis Christi, Speyer: P. Drach, fol. 78a-78b [k vjr-k vjv]
  • 1517: Thesaurus animae fidelis, Cologne, fol. 155b-157a [v3v-v5r]

In all three prints with the title Oratio ad beatam Catharinam filiam beate Birgitte vidue. The antiphon, in the early prints, begins “O Sweuorum”, KLEMMING 1885, following the manuscript, prints “O Swecorum”.

(C) Sequentia

The sequence Recensemus in hac die is attributed to >Johannes Benechini (attribution by KLEMMING and LUNDÉN, see Editions below).

Incipit

Recensemus in hac die / cum concentu armonie / Katherine gloriam.

Explicit

Sis et nobis recreamen, / placans patrem atque flamen, / vt finale post examen / sanctis nos conjungat, amen, / salvator, rex glorie.

Size

55 lines

Editions

  • KLEMMING 1885, 75–77, after a manuscript in Helsinki, attributing it to Johannes Benechini.
  • AH 42, 241 f.
  • LUNDÉN 1950, 75–76

Translation

  • LUNDÉN 1950, 75–76

Metre

The rhytm is 8p+8p+7pp.

Medieval reception and transmission

Preserved in two Linköping manuscripts (MOBERG 1947, 305, LUNDÉN 1950, 75):

  • Uppsala, University Library, C 420
  • Uppsala, University Library, C 427
  • Helsinki, University Library, missal fragment Haapanen no. 344

The sequence was sung in the translation in 1489, as told by Nicolaus Ragvaldi’s report: “… börjadhe Systrarna síunga Sequentiam af S. Catharina: Tricentesimus in hac die (!)…” (ANNERSTEDT 1876, 273; FRITZ & ELFVING 2004, see also Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning 10 (1928), 48 (MOBERG 1947, 305).

(5) Epitaph

Catherine’s epitaph in Vadstena, as cited from memory by two witnesses, one former and one incoming Confessor General, at the hearings of 30 August and 1 September 1475. The text is very simiar to the tombstone of Petrus Olaui, buried 16 September 1378 (Opening lines: Annis millenis / reuolutis septuagenis / Ac ter centenis / exhinc octo quasi plenis / A partu Christi / mortem bone Petre tulisti.) (GARDELL 1945, 1:276, no. 220) Authorship is undecided. This age is the peak of Swedish medieval Latin poetry, the age of Nils Hermansson, Birger Gregersson, Petrus Olavi himself and others. The text is as follows: Annis millenis transactis bis quadragenis Et tricentenis monos iuncto quasi plenis Post ortum Christi mortem Katerina subisti. Hic dum vixisti, prelucida stella fuisti, Tutrix, adiutrix miseris in agone laboris, Nutrix ac alitrix multis, ad culmen honoris Dux, comes et via, lux, requies pia, nos laqueatos Protege, preuia, duc, rege, deuia, respice gratos.

(When one millennium, three hundreds, twice forty and nearly one year had become completed since the birth of Christ, you entered death, Catherine. As long as you lived here, you were a bright shining star. Guardian, helper for the miserable in the agony of toil, Nurse and nourisher for many to the height of honour. Leader, follower and way, pious repose, protect us who are fettered, leader of the way, lead us, govern us, you who are out of the way, look back upon us who are grateful.)

Metre

First six lines: rather heavy versus leonini (NORBERG 1958, 65), two last lines: a more dancing rhythm, an imitation of tripertiti dactylici (6pp+6pp+5p NORBERG 1958, 67, 106), well-known from Bernard de Morlais’ famous Hora novissima, tempora pessima sunt, vigilemus.

Editions

  • COLLIJN 1942–1946, 32, 47.
  • GARDELL 1945, 1:278, no. 224

Commentary

MOBERG 1947, 145, no. 2.

Medieval reception and transmission

The epitaphs for both St. Catherine and Petrus Olaui are preserved in Uppsala, University Library, C 5, written, together with a memorial verse on Birgitta, quoted by BENZELIUS 1708, by the hand of Johannes Swenonis, who entered the Vadstena convent in 1387 (MHUU 1, 60, HEDLUND 1977, 1, 20, n. 9, MALINIEMI 1926, 149, AILI 1997, SCHÜCK 1887, 160).

Comments on language and a listing of metric inscriptions: GARDELL 1945, 1:161–74.

These are memorial verses of a type, addressing the deceased, which rarely occurs on tombstones, but is rather more associated with liturgy. The specific mode of dating is however found in a few more tombstones (GARDELL 1945, 1:223, 236, 407, 421). Otherwise one might well doubt that these verses really had been put onto the tombstones. The quotation from memory of the Katherina verse almost one hundred years later is not a very strong testimony to that.

A. STRÖM lists fourteen versified tombstones out of thirty-seven (38%) from fourteenth century Östergötland as against nineteen out of seventy-one (27%) for the fifteenth century (STRÖM, 62).

Bibliography

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  • 1485 ¤ Historiae plurimorum sanctorum. Add: Antonius Liber: Epigramma in laudem urbis Coloniae. ¤ Louvain: Johannes de Westfalia, ¤ Oct. 1485. 2:o £ Reprint of the supplement to Legenda aurea, Cologne, 1483. The material on St. Katharina is on fol. 148v–154r.
  • Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea. 1492 ¤ Dat duytsche Passionael. ¤ Lübeck: Steffen Arndes, 19 Nov. 1492. ¤ 2:o.
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