Chapter

Saints

Robert A. Scott

in Miracle Cures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262751
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946200 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262751.003.0002
Saints

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This chapter argues that yearning for divine protection and miracles, medieval people did not merely register their request with a saint and then stand by, waiting for good things to happen. Accounts of miracles always refer to some form of human activity undertaken in conjunction with requests made of saints—a prayer, an act of veneration, a confession, a pilgrimage, a presentation of gifts. These actions offered no guarantee of a miracle, but not engaging in them precluded any possibility of one. Actions undertaken in the hope of inducing a miracle were not improvised but highly codified by the dictates of medieval culture and religion. This chapter explains the reasoning behind these practices. Appeals for miracles from ordinary people were always addressed to divine actors in a grand drama and involve three sets of relationships: those of humans with God, of saints with God, and of saints with humans.

Keywords: divine protection; miracles; saints; prayer; veneration; culture; religion; relationships; humans; God

Chapter.  7014 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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