Illuminated Manuscript Breviary leaf, c.1460, France

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“Sancta Maria, Succurre Miseris”

(Holy Mary, be Thou a Help to the Helpless)


Recto:  Text in Latin written in an assured gothic bookhand in two sizes in brown ink on vellum.  Rubrics in red.  One two-line illuminated initial ‘S’ in burnished gold outlined in black and infilled with red and blue.  The initial is finished with white and black.  Versal initials touched in yellow and pricking marks for ruling in the right margin. 


Verso:  As Recto with another two-line illuminated initial ’T'.


Origin:  France


Date:  c. 1460


Content:  The illuminated initial ‘S’ on Recto begins the Marian prayer:  Sancta Maria, succurre miseris, juva pusillanimes, refove flebiles ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu; sentiant omnes tuum juvamen quicumque celebrant tuam commemorationem

(Holy Mary, be thou a help to the helpless, strength to the fearful, comfort to the sorrowful, pray for the people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all holy women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy sacred commemoration feel the might of thine assistance.)


Condition:  The leaf is in excellent condition.  The illuminations, vellum and text are all near perfect.   It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 175x120 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  90x60 mm.   Mounted in archival materials, ready to frame. Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia $20, overseas, ask for quote.


Notes:  Sancta Maria, Succurre Miseris was composed by Bishop Fulbert of Chartres (c, 951 - c.1029).   It appears in his Sermo IX, De Annuntiatione Dominica. The prayer appears in the Roman Breviary for various Marian feasts.  It has been set to music by a number of composers including Giovanni Gabrieli, Cristobal de Morales and Tomas Luis de Victoria.

A breviary, etymologically a compendium or abridgement, is the liturgical work which contains the psalms and the hymns, the readings from Sacred Scripture and from the writings of the Fathers, the prayers and the responses, which are combined to form the canonical hours of the divine office of prayer recited daily throughout the world by priests and the religious.

Item No:  MOT075

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