FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Christ's side wound cool illum., pls help read Middle Eng. text accompanying
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Nice, unique image of Christ's side wound. Link below to the page where I found it with more info. What's the text say?

[Image: YZGxq84.jpg],0.37
The first 2 lines look like Middle English, if we translate into modern English it might be something like: "This is the measure of the wound of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered for our redemption [on the cross]." Not sure about the Latin part at the bottom though.

The Side-Wound in late medieval piety is similar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in modern Catholic devotion. Side-Wound illustrations were sometimes added as later addition in English Books of Hours.
I think the Latin is a prayer for a person or from a person invoking the wound of Christ. I could only translate a some of it but it brings up the redemption and a side wound most likely Christ's in the Latin along with another wound (maybe the same one?) that I couldn't translate exactly. Huh?

At this time the Latin of classical times changes and was being used in abbeys each with their own form of Latin, if this was written in Northern England this would support why it is so hard to translate and why it is not standard. (could also be because I'm not an expert on medieval Latin) That being said I doubt highly the Getty has the date right it seems that this page is solidly from the late 1400's/early 1500's and not 1100/1200. They say the illustration for this was done at the earlier date and the writing was done later but it was common to rebind books and add more pages The earlier ones in the book do seem to be done at the earlier time though with the writing added later at the top and bottom so this is a later addition which makes sense because the upper class language at that time (late 1100/ early 1200) was still Anglo-Norman so more like a strange French.
I got the same as Sequentia regarding the first two lines. The rest just seems like gibberish to me. I'm not sure if its some Germanic language interspersed with Latin words or if I'm just reading it wrong but it has me stumped. It's certainly not the Latin we are familiar with and I was never very good at Germanic languages.
Most English Books of Hours during the 14th/15th centuries were either "hand-me downs"/antiques or new ones were produced/printed in workshops in France or Belgium (but London also had their own workshops as well). These Books of Hours (BOHs) were made available for a variety of European markets, notably England as well. In the 16th century, France started to print their own prayer books which rivaled even some of the earlier hand-written/hand-drawn Books, and were done so rather inexpensively. It wasn't unusual at all for one of these BOHs to be passed onto friends or family, or even sold rather inexpensively as what we would call today "collector's items" or "antiques."

New owners may have added their own devotions, prayer requests, pictures, etc to a century old BOH; many even crossed out the names of the previous owners and would insert their own initials. And remarkably, despite additions to BOHs being written in the vernacular (the English of the time, ie "Middle English")  nearly all the text was still in Latin. Go figure, these medieval people were smart. Grin People might've prayed in their own native language, but clearly Latin was commonly prayed too, even to follow along with the liturgy. These BOHs were all the rage in the late Middle Ages and were seen as customizable accessories, especially for women. Everyone wanted a BOH. Prayer was popular.

Now we have prayer books that suck and have no pictures.

As for the Latin prayer, I'm not an expert in Latin so I can't actually translate. Perhaps if the Latin inscription is a later addition, it may have been written by someone who was not fluent in it or (as is often the case) written by someone who tried incorporating their own native language into their Latin. Who knows?
Some of the text is cut off, as Sequentia indicated. It takes a certain degree of familiarity with medieval abbreviations to get the Latin. Books were often written in a very compressed, abbreviated style. I am giving a very narrow transcription, so those who are interested can see what has to be supplied, on the basis of squiggles and such. The Latin text appears defective in a few places.

This is ye mesur of ye wounde of our Lord
Iesu Crist. Yat He suffrid for our redempcion on ye cro[ss]

Ave vulnus lateris nostre (sic) Redemptoris,
Ex quo fluxit fluminis fons atque cruoris,
Medicina miseris esto nunc doloris,
Sana simul criminis plagas et erroris.

Ave plaga lateris larga et fecunda,
Lava multitudinis sordes et emunda,
Ne ledat in inferis tuos mors fecunda [read secunda],
Sed tu [read in] visu numinis fiat mens iocunda.

A translation:

Hail, side wound of Our Redeemer!
Whence flowed a surge of water and of gore,
May you be now a balm for the grief of us sinners,
And may you heal the wounds of sin and error.

Hail, side wound, copious and fruitful!
May you make spick-and-span [lava et emunda] the messes of the masses,
And may the second death in Hell not harm thy flock,
But rather, may there be for them a delightful feeling in the vision of the divine.
Wow, thanks for these great responses. What do you guys think of the image?
I like it as far as representations of the side wound go. The heart inside makes it something special, and I am not familiar with other representations that include a heart. But these disembodied representations can become very strange to modern eyes, and they have even been compared by scholars to the female genitals, which sounds like a strange sort of modernist Freudian interpretation, until you consider that the parallels seem to have been appreciated in medieval spirituality. There are references in pious literature, and even manuscript illuminations, of people being pulled out of Christ's side wound, or of being born again through the side wound, to say nothing of caressing and kissing the wound, reaching into the wound, or entering the wound and resting or meditating therein. The Protestant Moravians carried this devotion to extreme sentimental excess, building upon the medieval Catholic devotion, and were criticized for doing so by Lutherans, as pastor Heinrich Melchior Muehlenberg wrote in 1750:
Quote:They have compared women's genitalia, vagina of the uterus, with the side of the Savior of the world which on the cross had been pierced by a spear.

I find the devotion interesting in an intellectual sense, but it is not to my taste, except as part of a larger devotion to the Five Wounds, or as part of the Arma Christi. I do not think there is anything objectionable per se in it, but it belongs almost to another world, an exotic culture that somehow was our patrimony a few centuries ago, but which now as alien as any oriental religion. Our relationship with bodily life has been transformed, and symbols and practices that used to resonate strongly with believers, like lactating Madonnas or devotion to the Holy Prepuce, no longer seem to function as they once did, perhaps due to some strange spiritual sickness afflicting our times.
I'm aware of the Moravians and that side-wound devotion, Cyriacus. This is, I believe, a Moravian image: a little home built in the side wound !

[Image: Bz1umkj.jpg]
(02-19-2017, 08:15 PM)bryanreynolds Wrote: [ -> ]Wow, thanks for these great responses. What do you guys think of the image?

John Talbot's Book of Hours and Sir Thomas Lewkenor's Book of Hours contain the images of the Side Wound. In the case of the Lewkenor Hours, the Side Wound was a later addition, drawn on parchment and stitched onto a blank page.

Talbot's BOH contained a lot of the devotional images (such as the Image of Pity and the Side Wound, etc.) that were popular at all levels of [English] society in the 15th century. From what I understand, Talbot's BOH was written in Latin, as well as included supplements of vernacular English and French; since the scribes who were writing it were French. The French scribes who were writing apparently weren't very good at writing in English, since their supplementary English material is fraught with spelling and mis-translation errors.

Below is an image of the Side Wound from the Lewkenor Hours:

[Image: CwwcEloXAAEbDri.jpg:large]

I had never heard of the medieval devotion to the Side Wound prior to reading about English Book of Hours. I know there is a devotion to the Five Wounds and the chaplet that is prayed with it but not as a huge popular devotion today as it was 500 years ago. Like Cyriacus stated, popular devotions such as the Side Wound are completely foreign to our culture now. We now live in a society where religion-especially Christianity-is seen as a "private affair," not to be openly practiced or visible in public life; a sort of "soft persecution" if you will; even though (at least in the U.S. Constitution) freedom of religion means the ability to practice your religion openly in public, not simply the choice to practice any religion-as our liberal/atheist friends wrongly think. Islam of course, gets a free pass. LOL