Homilies of Organyà


Written in all likelihood by a priest in the town of Organyà, in north-central Catalonia, in circa 1203-4, this brief manuscript contains six homilies, intended to prepare believers for penance during the season of Lent. The little volume is incomplete; it probably originally contained 11 homilies, but some sheets were lost in the course of time and those that have been preserved have had their margins cut. The sermons are copied in a script that marks a transition between Carolingian and gothic writing. It is a very personal document, written on thick parchment darkened by the passage of the time. Notwithstanding its modest and simple look, this small book is one of the most important monuments of the Catalan language. It transmits the first preserved literary text written entirely in Catalan. The volume was found in the summer of 1905 in the rectory of the church of Organyà by the scholar Joaquim Miret i Sans on one of his trips to the Pyrenees. In 1907 Miret i Sans suggested to the Museums Board that it be acquired for 85 pesetas, a high price at the time. The document came to the Biblioteca de Catalunya in 1913 and has since been one of its most emblematic pieces.

Last updated: January 13, 2015