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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 32r

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Miracle of Excommunicated Nuns -- In chapel of monastery with wooden ceiling and three windows, veiled and wimpled nurse kneels, extending dish in draped hands toward cross-inscribed host held in right hand of nimbed Benedict of Montecassino, bearded, wearing hooded monk’s habit, holding book with left hand, accompanied by two monks, one tonsured and one wearing hooded habit. To right, draped altar above which is statue of Virgin Mary and Christ Child. Virgin Mary and Christ Child -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, veiled, supports with both hands nude Christ Child, cross-nimbed, raising His hands to her face. In background, through church portal, font (partly visible). Miniature within architectural frame at end of Chapter 23 of Book II of Dialogues; Nurse who wished not to deprive the Excommunicated Nuns from communion is shown receiving an unconsecrated host from Benedict of Montecassino in order to absolve the nuns, even after their deaths.

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