Breviary Leaf - c 1475 - Litany of the Saints


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary.  31 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (183 x 135mm – 7 3/8 x 5 ¼’’)

Numerous one-line illuminated initials alternating in dark blue with delicate red penwork and burnished gold with delicate violet penwork – many extending into the margins; numerous illuminated line extenders in burnished gold and blue, burnished gold or blue.        

France, c. 1475.

The one-line illuminated “S” continues the Litany of the Saints (first prescribed by Pope Gregory in 590 for a public thanksgiving following a plague that ravaged Rome): Names of saints are listed with each invocation followed by the abbreviation for “ora pro nobis” (Pray for us). Among the saints listed are Stephen, Lawrence, Alexander, Sebastian, George, Sylvester, Anthony, Cecilia, Agnes, Agatha, Margaret, Katherine and Barbara.

This leaf also contains the “Ab”, “Per” and “Ut” section of the Litany - protection from and  through, and beseech that thou (From wrath hatred & all ill will, O Lord deliver us…Through thy Nativity, O Lord deliver us…That thou spare us, we beseech thee hear us…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat


  • Inventory Number: IM-11927
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