Nicholas Love (died 1424) was a monk at Mount Grace, a Carthusian monastery in Yorkshire. The foundation of Mount Grace dates to 1398 and was supported by Henry IV (crowned in 1400) and his successors. In 1410 the prior was listed as "Dom Nicholas Love." The office of prior changed, however, rotating among the monks, for whom it was more of a burden than honor since the prior was the individual who had to be concerned with the business affairs of the monastery and be in touch with what evidently was a considerable number of important visitors. Carthusians were an Order that combined the life of a hermit and that of communal life. They lived in separate cells, working and saying the prayers of the Monastic Office separately, only coming together at certain fixed times. At Mount Grace, the twelve monks met only once a day to pray the Hours of Matins between 11 and 1 AM. The single surviving copy of The Book of Margery Kempe was once owned by Mount Grace. Click here for more information and images of the monastery

See the new critical modern edition, including notes and glossary. Nicholas Love's: "Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ" Michael G. Sargent, ed. (Exeter Medieval Texts & Studies Series: Exeter, 2004)
The volume is a new critical edition that includes the results of a complete collation of the 71 known surviving manuscripts and early prints. This collation demonstrates that the text exists in two separate authorial versions, of which the first, which incorporated a separate, independent translation of the Passion section, may not in the first instance have included the "Treatise on the Sacrament." The second version, on which the edition is based, is an authorial revision, undertaken, perhaps, after Love had met with Archbishop Arundel for approval of his text. The introduction discusses the evidence for the process of composition of the text, and places Love's "Mirror", properly, at the center of current scholarly discussion of the development of vernacular theology in late medieval England and the consequences of Arundel's anti-Lollard Lambeth Constitutions.

Love's text is a translation and edited version of the highly influential Meditatione Vitae Christi. The Meditations were written by an Italian Franciscan, Johannes de Caulibus of whom little is known. A viable theory places him at San Gemignano, Tuscany, writing in 1374. ( See Meditations on the Life of Christ, trans. and ed. Isa Ragusa, Princeton NJ, 1961.)  Love altered the Latin text for his early 15th-century audience. The overall structure of the text places the meditation on the life of Christ over the seven days of the week and apportioned at canonical hours of the day. Love retained this pattern but rearranged and abridged much of the material. Love's introduction makes it clear that he is writing for a secular audience ("lewde" men & women & them that be of simple understanding). He includes a paraphrase of Paul's Epistle to clarify his motives, and possibly protect himself from confusion with Lollard demands for access to Holy Scriptures without priestly control. "But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of flesh, as babes of Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food: for you were not ready for it." (1 Cor. 3:1-3)

See additional explanation of parallels between Love's Mirror and The Book of Margery Kempe

Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. (c. 1410) 
       ed. Michael G. Sargent. Garland Publishing Inc.: New York, 1992

Monday: Annunciation to the Purification of the Virgin (and Presentation of Jesus)

Tuesday: Flight to Egypt to Baptism of Christ

Wednesday: Christ Fasting in the Desert to the Disciples Plucking Corn on the Sabbath

Thursday: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes to the Last Supper

Friday: The Passion of Christ: Agony in the Garden to the Burial

Saturday: The Virgin speaking with John and Peter

Sunday: Resurrection and Appearance to his Mother to the Descent of the Spirit at Pentecost

Appendix: Treatise on the Blessed Sacrament

Friday Meditation for the time of Evensong (Vesper time- as the sun sets)
The Removal of the Body of Our Lord Jesus from the Cross
(ed. Sargent pp. 182-84 modern English by V. Raguin)

[St. John the Evangelist is with the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. Then they see Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus with others bring the tools that they would use to take Christ's body from the cross. The other disciples are not around and John says he does not know where they are.]

But at the last our Lady began to speak to them and said: "Surely friends you have done well, that you have cared so much for your master, for he loved you so well, and as I know plainly to tell. It seemed to me that there was a new light risen at your coming. For before we did not know what we might do and therefore waited until God would show us."

And then they answered: "We are sorry with all our heart, for all the malice and wrong done against him. For as we clearly see, the wicked men have the mastery over the righteous man, and we would full gladly have delivered him from so great an injury if we had the power. But at least we shall do this service to our lord and master." And then they made ready to take him down.

Take now good heed, in the manner as I have said before, to the manner of the taking down: There are set two ladders on the sides of the cross, one against another. And Joseph goes up the ladder standing on the right side, and starts to draw out the nail from that hand, but it is very hard, for the nail is large and long and driven deep into the tree. And without great breaking done to our Lord's hand it may not be done. But that is of little importance, for our Lord knows that he does everything truly and with good intent and therefore he accepted this deed. And when the nail was drawn out, John made a sign to Nicodemus to give it to him secretly so that our Lady would not see it and be discomforted. After in the same manner, Nicodemus drew out the nail of the left hand and took it secretly to John.

And then Nicodemus came down in order to draw out the third nail of the feet while in the meantime Joseph sustained the body. Surely he is blessed who may hold and clasp the holiest body of our Lord Jesus. Therewith, our Lady reverently took in her hands our Lord's right hand and held it and lifted it to her eyes and devoutly kissed it, sorely weeping and sighing. And when the nail of the feet was drawn out, Joseph came down gently and with great care took our Lord's body and laid it on the earth. And our Lady took the head and the shoulders and laid them in her lap; but Mary Magdalene was ready to take and kiss the feet, at which she had found so much grace before in his life.

Others of that company stood around and watched and all made great lamentation over him, so that the prophecy could be fulfilled that said " they would sorrow over him as over the only begotten child. [Love gives the Latin plangent super eum quasi super unigenitum in the margin]

And in particular, his blessed mother was at all times sorely weeping and sorrowfully looking at the wounds of his hands and feet and especially the horrible wound in his side and seeing his head so foully treated, and his hair drawn with sharp thorns, and his lovely face all defiled with spittle and blood and the hair of his beard pulled away from his cheeks, as the prophet Isaiah spoke in his person thus "I gave my body to him that smite it and my cheeks to him that pulled the hair away." [Love gives the Latin Corpus meum dedi percucientibus & genas meas &c. in the margin]


p. 151 line 21-p. 152 line 20 (Thursday) specific condemnation of Lollard for challenging the validity of the sacrament of the Eucharist - in Meditation for Last Supper


p. 130 line 24 to p. 131 line 14, Example of Christ weeping and groaning at the death of Lazarus and sorrow of Mary, Martha, etc.

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