Book Series Studies in the History of Daily Life (AD 800-1600), vol. 1

Gender, Miracles, and Daily Life

The Evidence of Fourteenth-Century Canonization Processes

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa

  • Pages: 312 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2009

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52958-5
  • Hardback
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55832-5
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"Katajala-Peltomaa proposes a thorough, involved and convincing reading of the evidence."    (Karen Stöber, in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 62/3, July 2011, p. 599)

"Katajala-Peltomaa adroitly weaves together the themes of gender, the miraculous and daily life and the three strands are mutually illuminating and meaningfully interactive. [...] This book is also methodologically cohesive; the decision to build case studies out of the cases in Hereford and Tolentino works effectively, there being enough differences in the progression of each case to make for rewarding comparison."    (Marcus Harmes, in Parergon 27.2, 2010, p. 241)

"This book has much to commend it to medievalists interested in the plethora of details associated with the high medieval cult of the saints. One of its many virtues is its accessibility to the non-Latin reader, opening the often colorful texts of the canonization processes. [...] It is copiously documented, with many of its notes containing not just source citations but also significant elaborations."    (W. Trent Foley, in Church History 80/3, September 2011, 658)


Interaction with the saints was central to the everyday life of medieval Christians. The process of praying to a heavenly intercessor not only involved private devotion but was also intrinsically connected with society at large. It required the individual to communicate and negotiate both with the saint and within a group of devotees, thereby exposing social processes such as community dynamics and the construction of gender. Considering these issues and others, Gender, Miracles, and Daily Life focuses on the depositions of the canonization processes of Thomas Cantilupe (1307) and Nicholas of Tolentino (1325). It explores how ordinary laypeople understood the daily responsibilities that determined their relationship to the saints and articulates how their shared narratives contributed to the rituals which surrounded a miracle. This material has been little explored by scholars, yet offers a vivid and colourful insight into the world of men and women in the fourteenth century.



Abbreviations vii

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1. Selection of Witnesses 23

and Formation of Canonization Processes

Chapter 2. Vagaries of Everyday Life: Spheres of Invocation 71

Chapter 3. After Grace Was Gained: Expressions of Gratitude 161

Chapter 4. Depositions and Memories of Miracles 247

Conclusions 289

Select Bibliography 301