7 December 2019


Did John Mirk give an account of an appearance of S Michael at St Michael's Mount in Cornwall? I would be grateful if anyone could help with a link ... if he did ...


Toma Blizanac said...

Entitled “De Festo Sancti Michaelis et eius Solempnitate” by editorial convention, Mirk’s homily for September 29 is relatively short (only some 100 manuscript lines in length).
In an intriguing, and perhaps nationalistic twist, Mirk follows the Garganic myth with a rendering of an apparition of St. Michael to “another bishop at a place that is now called Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.” Although there indeed is a tradition of an apparition by St. Michael in Cornwall, the details of the account in Mirk’s Festial are identical to those narrated in the Legenda Aurea, where they are associated with Mont Tombe.
Richard Freeman Johnson (2005). Saint Michael the Archangel in medieval English legend. Boydell Press. p. 68.

Erbe, Mirk’s Festial, p. 258


tpfr2 said...

Hello, Father. Does this help? Page 258, at the bottom. https://archive.org/stream/mirksfestialcoll01mirkuoft?ref=ol#page/258/mode/2up



texts in this anonymous collection is a St. Michael text which falls into three sections, generally designated in modern editions as Michael I, II, and III. The subject matter of Michael I and II follow the general outlines of the hagiographic myths of Monte Gargano and Mont Tombe (BHL 5951) respectively.83 The subject matter of Michael III is scientific in nature and encyclopedic in scope, covering such topics as the four elements, the weather, the heavens, and even the nature of man’s soul and his death. Although the “Michael III” has generally been dismissed as having no relation or relevance to the first two parts, some critics have argued for the vertical or associative unity of all three sections of the South English Legendary “St. Michael.”84 The content and structure of Michael I are well-unified and follow the chronology established by the Garganic foundation-myth. The story of Garganus and the bull is followed by a description of his apparition to the bishop of Siponto in which St. Michael reveals his custody of the mount. The narrative then turns to St. Michael’s support of the Sipontans in their battle with the “Saracines” (i.e., the pagan Neopolitans). Michael I closes with a description of the church which the archangel constructs and dedicates in honor of the victory over the Neapolitans. Two popular collections of vernacular texts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were the Festial of Johannes Mirkus and the anonymous Speculum Sacerdotale. John Mirk was prior of the Augustinian abbey of Lilleshall in Shropshire and is the author of three extant works: the Festial (ca. 1382–70); a collection of practical advice known as the “Instructions for Parish Priests” (ca. 1400); and the Manuale Sacerdotis (ca. 1414).85 Mirk’s Festial is a collection of discrete vernacular homilies for the major festivals of the church year intended for use by parish priests and includes a homily for St. Michael’s feast of September 29. Evidence of the popularity of the Festial can be deduced from the fact that 18 editions of the text were printed in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Mirk relied heavily on hagiographic legends and popular romances as source material for his homilies and his homily for St. Michael’s feast day reflects this reliance. Entitled “De Festo Sancti Michaelis et eius Solempnitate” by editorial convention, Mirk’s homily for September 29 is relatively short (only some 100 manuscript lines in length).86 The homilist divides his text into three sections, dealing consecutively with

William Tighe said...

From *Mirks Festiale: A Collection of Homilies* (Part I), ed. Theodor Erbe (London, 1905: Early English Text Society, extra series, XCVI), 61., De Festo Sancti Michaelis et Eius Solempnitate (pp. 257-260)

"He aperet also to another byschop at a place that ys callet now Mychaell yn the mownt yn Corneweyle, and bade hym go to a hullus top that ys ther, and theras he fonde a bull tent wyth theves, ther he bade make a chyrche yn the worschyp of hym. But for ther wer too roches, won on aythir syde the chyrche, that the werke myght not vp for hom, Saynt Mychaell bade a man yn a nyght goo thedyr and put away thes roches, and drede nothyng. Then gede thys man thedyr, and set to the roches his schuldyr, and bade hom yn the name of God and Saynt Mychaell sterte vttyr; and so thay dydden as moche as nede was" (p. 258)

This paragraph is preceded by an account of St. Michael's appearance on Mount Gargano, and followed by the account of St. Michael staying a pestilence in Rome in the time of Gregory the Great. It ends with an account of St. Michael and the good angels driving Lucifer and the bad angels from Heaven, and then ends "Other spyrytys were yn Heuen that stod not yn stydfast charyte toward God, but somwhat floturet: the weche Seynt Mychaell drof out of Heuen ynto an yle of the see, the wheche Saynt Brandan segh and tellyth thus," and then there follows a "Narracio" from an account of St. Brendan's immram where he comes to an island with a huge tree on which sit a multitude of white birds who reveal themselves to be the "neutral" angels whom St. Michael drove from Heaven.

(My thanks to Nicholas Rogers, FSA, of Sideney Sussex College, for his kind gift of this edition of Mirk's Festiale many years ago.)

Banshee said...

Archive.org's edition has the Cornwall story starting on page 258 at the bottom.

The book is catalogued as "Mirk's Festial".

tradgardmastare said...

You once mentioned Our Lady appearing to Fr Bernard Walke. . Can you tell us any more about this or where to read more? Thanks.