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Calligraphed in gothic on thin vellum and bound in vellum. Contains 15 communion prayers, 14 in French, 1 in Latin, and 1 hymn, “Ave verum corpus natum,” in both languages.
The first French prayer is the prayer of St. Ambrose. The page is illuminated with a miniature (35 x 37 mm.) representing St. Ambrose in his episcopal robes, in color and in gold, against a background of celestial blue with gold stars. The page is completely framed in a border of scrolled green, blue and red florets, highlighted on a background of gold, in a large border of filiform arabesques with gilt florets.
Eleven other pages are framed by illuminated motifs on the lateral margins; the motifs encircle parts of the upper and lower margins and highlight 37 illuminated initials.
It contains some interesting variations in the text of “Ave verum.” In the given, or standard, Latin text a plural pronoun is used ("Esto nobis praegustatum..." (“Be for us a foretaste [of heaven]). In this book, the Latin and the French translation make the pronoun singular ("Esto michi [=mihi] praegustatum..." - Be for me a foretaste). This version also has a different final line, where again the singular pronoun is used. The Latin word "peccatrici" would seem to indicate the person for whom the book was made, its initial intended user, was a woman.
The Latin prayer is St. Anselm's "O bone Jesu ..."
Early 15th century
University Archives and Special Collections
Book of hours, Livre d'heures, Eucharist prayers and devotions, Saint Ambrose, Saint Anselm
Christianity | Liturgy and Worship
"Oraisons" (2018). Rare Books. 1.