CHD Identification of a Litany
Douai (Saint-Amé), Douai 14th Century
Brussels Ms.9391 [Psalterium et Horae]

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In 1997 did I discover a hitherto neglected litany on fol.90 in the psalter-hours in Brussels Ms. 9391. In contrast to another litany in the same manuscript was this much more locally composed. The complete litany is transcribed below from my database, and the important saints are highlighted in blue colour to illustrate the nature of the composition: a classical litany from Northern France as prototype, intersected with a large number of additional saints from the diocese of Cambrai.
A search for the confessors in the Patrologia Latina database (Martyrologium Usuardi PL 123-124) at once brought the concluding evidence: the row of confessors interrupting the traditional sequence at a prominent position indicates beyond any doubt, that this composition was made for use in the principal church in Douai:
Special feasts mentioned for Douai:
28.04. "Eodem die Duaci, elevatio sancti Amati, episcopi et confessoris. Ad hanc elevationem sacri corporis, quod perdiderant, Dominus reddidit multis sanitatem, videlicet aegrotis: lumen et auditum caecis et surdis: inde vero viri prius confracti redierunt, nimirum exultantes, vestigia pedum admirantes."
5.05. "Castro Duaco, sancti Mauronti abbatis, viri genere et sanctitate spectabilis, qui legitur in baptismate, sanctissimi Richarii filius." (Migne PL Vol.124 Col.25B)
13.05. "Duaci, ex Suessione, depositio sancti Onesimi episcopi et confessoris, qui in suis membris longum pertulit martyrium sine ferro. Ad ejus vero tumulum venientes aegri, optata conferunt remedia suae sanitatis."
13.09. "Duaci, translatio sancti Amati archiepiscopi Senonensis Qui a Theodorico rege Francorum ab episcopatu dejectus consilio Ebroini majoris domus in hanc provinciam relegatus est, jussu praefati regis. Qui abbas monasterii Romarici factus, mirae abstinentiae," etc.
16.10. "Eodem die, transitus sancti Gurdielli confessoris [Duaci]." "Duaci eo die, transitus sancti Gurdielli confessoris."
19.10. "Duaci, translatio sancti Amati archiepiscopi et confessoris."

The hours of the Virgin in the same manuscript, long classified as unidentified (Leroquais), is thus for the use of Saint-Amé in Douai (Cf. Use of Douai. Likewise is the origin of a similar group of manuscripts in the same style, and from the same workshop, also to be localized in Douai).

UseDouai (Flanders c.1300)
AD- mathia, barnaba, marce, luca, omnes (Last four Apostles and disciples)
m1stephanec1silvesterv1maria magdalena
m2thoma (29/12)c2leov2felicitasThe prominent position of Thomas of Canterbury here is probably reflecting a litany composed shortly after his canonization in 1173.
m3salvi (26/6)c3iheronimev3perpetuaSalvius is special for Cambrai (but usually lower ranked).
m9cyprianec9amate (13/9+19/10)v9anastasiaHere is the row in a traditional litany broken by an important intersection of 5 confessors, a sufficient evidence for the origin of this litany. The titular saint Amé is the first among the following cluster of local confessors. Maurontius, Onesimus and Gurdinellus were specially venerated in Douai, where the reliques were deposited.
m10laurentic10vedaste (6/2)v10tecla
m11vincentic11mauronte (5/5)v11margareta
m12dionisi cumc12onesime (13/5)v12brisca
m13maurici cumc13gurdinelle (17/10)v13brigida
m14nichasi cumc14germanev14barbara
m15gereon cumc15gregoriv15katherina
m20cosmac20arnulphe (18/7)v20julianaAfter Brictius is intersected a large number of confessors taken from the liturgy of the diocese of Cambrai (in blue).
m21damianec21bavo (1/10)v21eufemia
m22blasiic22trudo (1/10)v22eutropa
m23iulianec23audomare (St.-Omer)v23fidesFides, Spes and Caritas were the last "virgins" in the traditional litany which served as prototype for the present composition.
m24lucianec24 audoene v24spes
m25gorgonic25amande (6/2+26/10)v25caritasThe following section of virgins is an addition with local saints, mainly from the diocese of Cambrai (in blue).
m26georgic26gaugerice (11/8)v26aldegundis (30/1)
m27lambertec27autberthe (13/12)v27rictrudis (12/5)
m28cristoforec28fursee (16/1)v28ragenfledis (8/10)
m29romanec29aycadre (15/9)v29maria egyptiaca
m30eustasiic30gislene (9/10)v30gertrudis
m31omnesc31cassiane (5/8)v31waldetrudis (3/2)
m36c36dominicev36hunegundis (25/8)
m37c37venantiiv37maxellendis (13/11)

Source: Bruxelles BR MS.9391 [762], f.90-91v; Psalterium et Horae; 14th century (St-Amé de Douai / Dominican) Notes ED 29/05/1997 in situ. This litany, which has remained unnoticed until now, is clearly for use in the city of Douai (St-Amé) with all the special saints venerated here. See BMV 229 Use of Douai; [Cf. Beyssac B426 (another very different litany in the same ms., also noticed by Victor Leroquais). OD=Dominican.]

Additional information on the liturgy in Douai is found in Leroquais' description of a missal from the 13th cent. in Lille, Bibl. municipale, ms.23 (Sacramentaires et Missels, II, 1924, p.148-149). Leroquais quotes the following prayer for the church: "Propiciare, Domine, quesumus, nobis famulis tuis per sanctam confessorum tuorum Amati, Mauronti, Onezimi, atque Gurduinelli merita gloriosa, ut eorum intercessione ab omnibus semper protegamur adversis."
The reliques of all the saints mentioned were deposited in the church of St.Amé in Douai, and leave no doubt about the intented use of the missal. Their position among the confessors in the litany above is conclusive.

©CHD Erik Drigsdahl 2001 (Last update 6/09/2001)