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The Seven Things to Overcome (Incomplete)
This work was included in Tian xue chu han (First collection of heavenly studies) printed in 1629. The author was Pang Diwo (the Chinese name of Diego de Pantoja, 1571–1618), one of the closest collaborators of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci. After Ricci’s death in 1610, three Jesuit missionaries remained in China, Nicolò Longobardi (1566–1654 or 1655), Sabatino de Ursis (1575–1620), and Pantoja. Pantoja had come to Beijing with Ricci in 1601 to serve as his assistant. In his missionary activities, Pantoja followed Ricci’s style ...
Greek Codex from the Abbey of Grottaferrata
Saint Nilus the Younger (circa 910–1005) was born in Rossano (Calabria, southern Italy) into a notable and wealthy family. Calabria was at that time a district of the Byzantine Empire and members of Nilus’s family held important offices under the Byzantine emperors. He distinguished himself from a young age by his voracious reading and learning. Later in life he founded libraries devoted to the production of manuscripts and the teaching of calligraphy. He became a monk at about age 30 and, as a follower of the teachings of ...
This richly illuminated 14th-century German homilary is particularly interesting for its rare bifolium of drawings bound in at the front of the book. The headgear worn by the nuns in the drawings is characteristic of Cistercensian and Premostratensian nuns in northern Germany as early as circa 1320. Evidence for dating and localization is also found in the manuscript's relationship with a second homilary in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Douce 185). Despite minor codicological differences—page layout, text-block dimensions, and ruling—it seems likely that the two ...
Collection of Sermons, Treatises, Liturgical Formulae and Canons. Slavic Liturgical Formulae (Freising Monuments)
This manuscript, assembled in Freising, Bavaria, at the behest of Bishop Abraham (died 994), is famous for three texts, the so-called Freising manuscripts (also Freising folia, fragments, or monuments). These are the first continuous texts in a Slavic language written in Latin script and the oldest documents in Slovene. They contain a confessional formula (folio 78 recto), a sermon on sin and repentance (folios 158 verso−161 recto), formulae for abjuration and confession, and a penitential prayer (folios 160 verso−161 recto). The second and most important literary text is ...
Victorius of Aquitaine. Martianus Capella. Remigius of Auxerre. Gregory the Great
This manuscript opens with a one-page text by Victorius of Aquitaine (fifth century). The rest of the work consists of two distinct parts. The first part, written in the second half of the 11th century, presents a work of Martianus Capella (fifth century) on the Seven Liberal Arts, followed by an important commentary on this text by Remigius of Auxerre (circa 841−908). A full-page pen drawing, which depicts numerous gods and demons of the ancient world, is situated between the text and the commentary. Because of its stylistic features ...
Instructions of the Route to the Heavenly Kingdom: A Sermon
Father Ioann Veniaminov (1797-1879) was the greatest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries to Alaska. A man of enormous linguistic talents, Veniaminov created an alphabet for the Unangan (Aleut) language and, with the help of the Aleut chief Ivan Pan'kov, wrote and published in 1834 an Aleut catechism, the first book published in an Alaskan native language. As Bishop Innokentii, Veniaminov encouraged the study of Tlingit and a variety of Aleut-Eskimo dialects such as Atkan and Central Yup'ik. This work, published in Moscow in 1840, contains religious teachings by ...
Homiliary on Gospels from Easter to first Sunday of Advent
This 10th-century manuscript from the Bergendal Collection at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto is the oldest extant copy of a book of homilies composed by Heiric (Eric) of Auxerre, France, around 865–870. Heiric, a Benedictine theologian and writer, was a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Germain d’Auxerre. He studied under Lupus of Ferrière, John Scotus Erigena, and Haymo of Auxerre. He was the teacher of Remigius of Auxerre and is an important representative of intellectual life in the Carolingian period. The manuscript was written, by ...
The Garden of the Virgin Mary
The 1510 manuscript Jungfru Marie örtagård (The Garden of the Virgin Mary) is the work of an anonymous nun at the Brigittine monastery at Vadstena in eastern Götaland, Sweden, and is the sole surviving source for the Swedish psalms, collects and lessons, hymns, and commentaries used in daily office by the nuns at the monastery. From the late 14th century to about 1530, the Vadstena monastery contributed significantly to the development of a nascent Swedish cultural identity, largely through the language that developed and was taught there. Most of the ...
The Sunday Book is the first book published in modern Bulgarian. It was written by Bishop Sofronii, an associate of Paisii Hilandarski, the founder of the Bulgarian Renaissance movement. It consists of 96 sermons, and was intended to serve as a religious guide at a time when the Bible had not yet been translated from Old Bulgarian.
Practical Instruction to Order One’s Life According to Saintly Precepts: Offered by Father Antonio Garriga of the Society of Jesus. As a Brief Memorial and Memento of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society.
This book is the only known copy of the second-oldest imprint from the Jesuit Province of Paraguay. It was produced at the mission of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, established in 1610 as the first reduccione (reduction or township) in the province, and known for its printing press, which turned out works in Spanish, Latin, and Indian languages. The book contains a set of religious instructions, written by Father Antonio Garriga (1662-1733). Originally from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Garriga first came to South America in 1696. He is best known as ...
This work is part of a collection of sermons by the Jesuit "monk" Būlus (Paul) al-Sanīrī (died 1691), as he is called here. It is in a carefully written script and thoroughly rubricated. In addition to the regular use of rubrication for section title, quotations from the Bible are also given in red, with the exact verse references also indicated in red in the margin. Initial and final pages of the volume have some minor water damage. The manuscript once belonged to the Monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justina at ...
This manuscript, dated 1871, contains a selection of 87 homilies of John Chrysostom (circa 347–407), a church father and archbishop of Constantinople. Chrysostom originally wrote in Greek, but he was commonly read in Arabic translations, especially by Coptic and Melkite readers. This particular collection of 87 sermons remains extant in several manuscripts. This copy, however, lacks sermon 15, although the copyist indicates its subject: the casting out of Satan from the man dwelling among the tombs (see Mark 5:1-20). The Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches honor John Chrysostom ...
Original Unpublished Collection of Maps Relating to the Episcopate of Peru; Portraits of Archbishops, Viceroys, and Other Characters of Peru in Color and Gold; City Plans; Tables on Indigenous Languages: The Codex Trujillo del Perú. Volume I
Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón (circa 1735–97) was a Spanish-born priest who in 1767 was sent by King Charles III to serve in the Viceroyalty of Peru, initially as choirmaster of Lima Cathedral. He was named bishop of Trujillo in 1778. He remained in Peru until 1791, when he was appointed archbishop of Bogotá. Known for founding towns, building schools, and his efforts to educate the Indians of Trujillo, Martínez Compañón also was responsible for the Codex Trujillo del Perú, a nine-volume compilation of more than 1,400 illustrations and ...
Statutes of the Hospital of Jerusalem Knights of Malta
This book is perhaps the most beautifully produced collection of statutes in Western culture. Its original illustrations integrate woodcuts and engravings, and its type is beautifully designed. The purpose of the book was to aggrandize the power and authority of Grand Master of the Order of the Hospital (also known as the Knights of Malta or Knights Hospitaller) Hugues Loubens de Verdalle (1581–95). Verdalle became grand master at a time when the office was increasing in prestige and authority, both over its own knights and the people of Malta ...
On Monastic Vows
De votis monasticis (On monastic vows) is Martin Luther’s attack on the monastic life. Coming just four years after he posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, the work was an important component of his broader plans for reforming the Christian church in the West. In this booklet, which was written during his stay at Wartburg Castle in 1521—a time when Luther was moving beyond his attacks on indulgences to other issues—the great reformer argued that monks and nuns can violate their vows without committing a sin, since ...
Portraits of the Saints of the Order of Saint Benedict, Printed with Copper Plates, with Praises from Their Lives
This book is an illustrated calendar of Benedictine saints, marking the annual feast of each with an illustration and a brief introduction. Its German provenance is clear from the fact that it includes, in addition to Saint Benedict and his Italian disciples (Benedict himself on March 21, his sister Scholastica on February 10, Maur on January 15, and Placid on October 5), numerous monastic saints revered for their life and work in the German lands. The latter include Adalbert, Aemilianus, Amalarius, Alcuin, Bede, Boniface, Columbanus, Elisabeth, Emmeram, Gertrude, Gregory, Kilian ...
Rule of Our Holy Father Benedict
This copy of the Rule of Benedict is accompanied by the essential documents important for monks of the Congregation of Santa Giustina in Padua, Italy, one of the major 15th-century reform movements among Benedictines in Europe. Included are the constitutions of the congregation, which explain their interpretation and the application of Benedict's sixth-century rule to the congregation’s own time and place, special privileges accorded to the congregation by the pope, and policies related to the Benedictine nuns who were affiliated with the congregation. Saint Benedict (circa 480–547 ...
Conferences of the Fathers
Collationes partum (Conferences of the fathers) is the first printed edition of this work by John Cassian (circa 360–circa 435), an important early Latin monastic author who greatly influenced Saint Benedict of Nursia (circa 480–547) and Saint Gregory the Great (pope 590–604). Known as one of the “Desert Fathers,” Cassian in this work presents the teaching of monks he encountered in Egypt in his youth, adapted to the conditions of monastic life in southern Gaul (present-day France) decades later. The Conferences offer an early model of the ...