III. Lazarus to Repyndon, Philip

See also over 150 images in MMK Devotional Images Database, arranged alphabetically 
See also Catholic Encyclopedia (1905-17), despite the date still useful as a first reference

Lazarus Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, residents of Bethany (Jn 11:1-44).  Lazarus had fallen gravely ill when his sisters sent for Jesus.  When he arrived, Lazarus was already 4 days in the tomb.  Mary went out to meet Jesus and fell to his feet.  The text, undoubtedly one of the key issues for Margery Kempe's reference, states: "When, therefore Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he groaned in spirit and was troubled and then he said, "Where have you laid him?"  And they said to him Lord come and see. And Jesus wept" (Jn 11:33-35).  Christ then called Lazarus back to life and Lazarus "came forth, bound feet and hands with bandages."  Medieval tradition believed that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus went to France after Christ's death and that their tombs could be visited at the abbey of Vézelay in Burgundy. The cathedral of Autun, close by, is named St. Lazarus. 
[Chapter 30]   [II: Chapter 10]

Leicester  Leicester is located in central England on the Soar river, 35 miles northeast of Birmingham.  It is an ancient Roman trading center and was also a major medieval city. 
[Chapter 46]   [Chapter 47]  [Chapter 48] [Chapter 49]

Leicester Abbey  Leicester abbey, called St. Mary's Abbey, a short ways outside the wall of the city, was founded in 1143.  Built for Augustinian Canons, it became one of the largest houses of the order.  Its buildings now are completely gone and an excavation plus reconstruction ground plan now is visible in Abbey park.  Philip Repyngdon, later Bishop of Lincoln from 1404-1419, had served as abbot from 1394 through 1403. 

Leicester All Saints Church The architecture of All Saints in Leicester dates primarily from the later 13th century. Even today the church displays the harmonious proportion that formed the backdrop for the intense interrogation of Margery Kempe.  An array of examiners that included the mayor, the Abbot of Leicester, canons of the abbey, and the Dean of Leicester (probably from the collegiate churches of St. Mary the Less or St. Mary the Greater) confronted Kempe.  They sat at the high altar and asked questions about her belief in the Eucharist and her white clothes. The interior has been stripped of its former textures, so that the masonry construction is now clearly visible. The chancel has been walled off so that the nave now constitutes the visible space of the building.  It is now classified as a redundant church.  One of its great treasures is its 13th-century baptismal font, presumably in its original placement at the west end of the nave.  A circular basin is supported by a central shafted surrounded by four columns. At the base of the bowl appear trefoil motifs that complement the continuous border of leafy forms that encircles the rim. 

Leicester Guildhall Leicester's Guildhall is one of the best preserved of its type.  Constructed to the east of the church of St. Martin, the central portions date about 1350.  Th structure is spacious with wood and plaster construction with wooden roof.  A fire was arranged in the center and an opening in the roof allowed smoke to escape.  In the 1490's the main hall was enlarged by two bays and an additional single-story wing was added to the north.  The northern extension still contains the remains of a series of stained glass roundels in a row of windows showing the Labors of the Month and symbols of the guild and city of Leicester . See Town Life MMK 

Lent Lent is the period in the liturgical year directly preceding Easter.  It is a time of fast and penance by which the Christian community participates in the Passion of Christ and prepares for the triumph of his rising from the dead, commemorated on Easter Sunday. The period extends over 40 days, reminiscent of Christ's 40 days spent fasting in the desert. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday when Christians publicly wear "ashes" derived from the medieval tradition of sackcloth and ashes for public penance.  This custom was already noted in the Old Testament.  Kempe spent Lent during 1414 in Rome where there was a practice of saying solemn pontifical masses in parish churches – the Stations - for each day of Lent.  See MMK Pilgrimages: Rome
[Chapter 68]   [II: Chapter 2]

Lincoln A city in east-central England, Lincoln was one of the chief towns of Roman Britain and grew as a fortified river port. The diocese of Lincoln was founded by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 678. The first Norman bishop, Remigius of Fecamp, decided to build his cathedral in Lincoln in 1072 because the city was already thriving and populous. In 1185, the cathedral was badly damaged in the great earthquake of that same year. The following year, St. Hugh, the Bishop of Lincoln, restored the cathedral, from the foundations up. This was an important determination, for it resulted in the first English Gothic building.  During the 14th century, the three towers of the cathedral were raised to their present height. Today this Anglican diocese is one of the largest in England. See Catholic Encyclopedia Online
[Chapter 15]   [Chapter 48]

Lollard Lollards were followers of John Wycliffe (1330-1384), an Oxford University theologian.  They were active predominantly from the late 14th century to the mid-15th century in England.  The Lollards emphasized authority in Scripture over clerical power and were opposed to the authority of the pope.  They concomitantly emphasized the importance of sermons rather than the administration of the sacraments.  Supporting the authority of the state over corrupt clergymen, they charged the clergy sexual license as well as corruption of the sacrament of penance by selling the forgiveness of sins. The movement accelerated in 1380, when Wycliffe encouraged his followers to spread the Lollard teachings.  These “early Protestant” ideas were especially popular at Oxford and among educated clergymen, artisans, merchants, and small landowners but not among the upper classes. 
In 1407 Thomas Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury, mentioned by Kempe, called a council at Oxford to deal with Wycliffe's influence. Two years later, in 1409, the Lambeth Constitutions were promulgated that specified terms for licensing preachers in the vernacular and in Latin and limited discussion of the sacraments beyond definitions from church dogma.  Above all, it forbade any translations of sacred Scripture on individual authority, and outlawed reading of such translations until they were approved by the local diocesan or provincial council.  In 1413 the Lollards rose up under Sir John Oldcastle (Lord Cobham).  Cobham was caught and condemned but escaped from the Tower and hid for four years in Herefordshire.  He was found and executed in late 1417.  In its later manifestations, the Lollard movement stressed the simplicity of Christ’s message, rejecting the theologically complex idea of the Christian Trinity, and emphasized the ability of both men and women to educate their brethren through reading the Scriptures. 
Aston, Margaret. England's Iconoclasts. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1988; and Aston. Lollards and Reformers: Images and Literacy in Late Medieval Religion. London: Hambleton Press, 1984. 
Copland, Rita. "Why Women Can't Read: Medieval Hermeneutics, Statute Law, and the Lollard Heresy Trials," in Representing Women: Law, Literature, and Feminism, ed.. Susan Heizelman and Zipporah Wiseman. Durham: Duke University Press, 1994, pp. 253-86.  Hudson, Ann. "Lollardy: The English Heresy?" Studies in Church History 18 (1982): 261-83, rep. Lollards and Their Books. Hambleton Press: London. 1985, 141-63. 
Anne Hudson, The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History . Oxford: Clarendon Press. 
The Lollard Society website:

See contemporary description by John Capgrave of Sir John Oldcastle's execution in John Capgrave, The Life of St. Katherine of Alexandria ed. Carl Horstmann (EETS 100) (1893 repr. Millwood, NY, 1975), xvii-xviii. 

It was in the fifth year of the glorious king Henry [V] that Oldcastle, that satellite of the devil, was taken by the servants of Lord Powis, and adjudged to death.  For their sakes and into whose hands these writing may come, I will declare some of his error to posterity, that they may not think he was put to so shameful a death except for a just cause.  First, he declared that none ought to worship the Mother of Christ or the other Saints, Also that confession ought to be made to God alone, and not to man, Also that the Sacrament of the Altar, after consecration, the bread remains unchanged.  He condemned civil property and hated [papal] priests and churches as abominations.  He was also for destroying marriage, as far as in him lay. . . The Duke of Bedford and those who were present at his death urged him to make faithful and lowly confession of his sins, offering him time and his choice among many priests.  But he said though Peter and Paul were present he would not confess to them; and so, as a blasphemer, and abandoned abettor of heretics, he suffered the disgrace of death as he deserved.  He was first dragged to the place of execution and hung; then he was dismembered and disemboweled, and lastly his body was burned to ashes in the flame. 
[Chapter 13]   [Chapter 46]  [Chapter 52]   [Chapter 53]   [Chapter 55]

Lynn The site of Lynn, (formerly Bishop's Lynn) now King's Lynn, stands at the southeastern tip of the great estuary known as the Wash.  The area to the east, known as East Anglia, was particularly suitable for raising sheep, an occupation that also provided the fertilizer for farming and the production of grains. Lynn's location allowed it to exploit road, river, and sea routes; most important were the Great Ouse river that led south and an east-west route across the northern fens.  This situation, coupled with sea access to the ports of northern Europe, made Lynn an important trading center in the later Middle Ages. Politically, the city was deeply connected to the see of Norwich, and was actually founded by Norwich's bishop.  The parish church, St. Margaret's, was serviced by clergy connected to the Benedictine priory of Norwich's cathedral.  Since the early 13th century the city had gained privileges from King John, its incorporation dating from this time. 
[Chapter 2]   [Chapter 16]  [Chapter 18]   [Chapter 25]   [Chapter 44]  [Chapter 45]   [Chapter 54]
[Chapter 55]   [Chapter 57]  [Chapter 58]   [Chapter 61]   [Chapter 67]  [Chapter 68]   [Chapter 71]   [Chapter 84]  [II: Chapter 1]   [II: Chapter 2]   [II: Chapter 9][II: Chapter 10]

Martyr Martyr is a term given to believers who stood firm for their beliefs even when faced with suffering and death.  The term is traditionally reserved for someone who dies for his/her faith.  The deacon Stephen is considered to be the first martyr of the church when he was executed by stoning outside the walls of Jerusalem. 
[Chapter 3]   [Chapter 65]  [Chapter 86]

Mary of Oignies Mary of Oignies (d. 1213) was born in Belgium (Nivelles in the diocese of Liege) to a wealthy family.  She was married at age 14, but convinced her husband to take a vow of chastity (see chaste marriage).  Together, they nursed lepers.  Mary became very famous for her good works and her mystical tendencies.  In fact, so many people came to visit her that she was forced to retire to a cell in a monastery at Oignies, living as a hermit. 
Like Margery Kempe, Mary received many visions from God and experienced ecstasy and wept uncontrollably when meditating on the Passion of Christ.  She did not eat meat, dressed in white clothes, and mortified her flesh in acts of penance. Mary was unable to confess the most minute sins without weeping and had been told by the Holy Spirit that she would go directly to Heaven without stopping in Purgatory upon her death.  Her life was recorded as early as 1215 by her confessor, Jacques de Vitry. 
Bibliography: Jacques de Vitry. The Life of Marie d'Oignes. Trans. Margot King, Peregrina Translations Series 3. Toronto: Peregrina, 1989. 

Matins  The word matin is derived from the Latin matutinum, meaning “the morning hours.”  The term was used within religious orders to refer to the morning prayer, which would occur near dawn. It is a combination of singing, reading, and prayer.  The exercise can also be described as a vigil. 
[Chapter 83]   [Chapter 88]

Mealtime In traditional societies, social rituals, like the dress of individuals, determine status.  No rituals are more pervasive that those of food.  Margery Kempe is meticulous in describing the moment of social interaction of the meal, either as demonstration of her outcast state or of the honor accorded her: she agrees to eat and drink with her husband on Fridays in a bargain to live chastely (Ch. 11); her companions in Constance make her sit at the end of the table but after she breaks her silence she is forced to eat alone for six weeks (Ch. 27); the Franciscans in Bethlehem seather with them at meals (Ch. 29); she eats with the Bishop of Lincoln (Ch.45) or the Abbot of Leicester (Ch. 49); and while under interrogation in York, "many good men and women asked her to meals,"  “preyd hir to mete,” (Ch. 50).  She also mentions meal courtesies when distinguished individuals place her next to them or send things to her from their own table, as does the Bishop of Lincoln (Ch. 15) or "served her food with her own hands," “leyd hir mete wyth hir owyn handys,” as does Dame Margaret Florentyne in Rome (Ch. 38). The Braunche brass, which Kempe doubtless would have seen in St. Margaret’s Church, depicts a feast in its lower border. Unlike many other texts of the Middle Ages, the Book of Margery Kempe , gives us an unusually direct view into the experience of medieval life and the unwritten drama of day to day living. 
[Chapter 12]    [Chapter 15]

Middelburg Middelburg is a port located in the southwestern Netherlands (Holland). During the time of Margery Kempe, Middelburg was a Hanse town.  The trade organization called the Hanseatic League or Hanse was represented in her city of Lynn and was the dominant merchant league in the North Sea and the Baltic coast. 
[Chapter 42]

mill Mills constituted an important medieval industry, utilizing horse-driven machinery for the grinding of corn.  Few peasants possessed the machinery or horse-power to grind their own corn, and thus had to buy the ground corn necessary for food from the local mill. 
[Chapter 2]

Mystical Marriage The concept “mystical marriage” was a term used in the church to signify the highest union with God.  The Old Testament makes references to God taking Israel as his “bride.”  Later, in the Gospels Jesus describes himself as the “bridegroom.”  This idea of marital bonds as seen between men and women came to represent both God’s union with Israel, but also Christ’s Union with the Church and the individual.  In the Middle Ages mystical women and the saints were said to have had mystical marriages with Christ that is often symbolized through art with a ring or a veil. St. Catherine was very often depicted in art as receiving a ring from the infant Christ as a seal of their mystic marriage. 
[Chapter 14]   [Chapter 22] [Chapter 35]   [Chapter 86]

Newcastle Newcastle under Lyme is a city in western-central England.  Newcastle received its first charter of incorporation in 1173. It is named for the new castle erected in 1145 by Ranulf de Gernons, earl of Chester, near the Lyme forest. 
[Chapter 45]

nine orders of angels, see angel

Norwich Norwich (Norfolk) lies at the heart of rural East Anglia about 100 miles northwest of London. It began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement beside the River Wensum. At the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, Norwich was one of the most important cities in the kingdom, and even had its own mint. Work began on the Cathedral in 1096, using stone imported from Caen in Normandy.  A cathedral monastery was built to house 60 Benedictine monks. Margery Kempe's parish church, St. Margaret's, was serviced by monks dependent on the cathedral. By medieval times there were 56 churches within the walls.  In one, Julian of Norwich lived as an anchoress.  Richard I had made Norwich a city in 1194, and in 1404 a charter allowed it to have its own mayor, two sheriffs and 24 aldermen, who were elected for life. The wealthy merchants who ran the city became increasingly powerful, and the Guildhall and almost all the city's churches were rebuilt between 1350 and 1530. The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 brought an army of rebels who were ultimately crushed by a coalition of wealthy citizens and the clergy. (taken from Norwich website) See MMK database 
[Chapter 17]   [Chapter 25]  [Chapter 26]   [Chapter 44]   [Chapter 60]  [Chapter 69]   [Chapter 71]
[II: Chapter 2]

Palm Sunday Palm Sunday is the Sunday immediately preceding Easter and commemorates Christ's Entrance into Jerusalem. (Matthew 21:1-11) Christ told his disciples to procure an ass with her colt so that his entrance would accord with the prophesy of Isaiah "Behold thy king shall some to thee meek and seated upon an ass and upon a colt, the foal of a beast of burden."  A large crowd is described, some of whom lay their cloaks on the ground and others who cut branches from the trees and strew them on the road. The populace cry out "Hosanna to the Son of David Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." These words were later incorporated into the ritual of the mass.  Palm Sunday was one of the most lavishly celebrated feasts of the year and especially marked by processions that recalled the one described in the Gospels.  On the Continent, at least since the 13th century, full-scale models of Christ riding on a donkey were pulled through the streets. 
[Chapter 78]   [II: Chapter 3]

pardon with plenary remission  Indulgences (pardons) are grants from church authorities for the partial or full (plenary) remission of sin. Indulgences can be granted only after the sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation). In order to obtain an indulgence one must complete certain requirements and then perform a devotional act, either saying specific prayers or in the Middle Ages donating money to support building and restoration projects and the crusades. Abuses of the sale of indulgences was a topic of intense controversy in the late Middle Ages, and the subject of the Pardoner’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales

Indulgences or pardons are authoritative grants from church authorities for the partial or plenary remission of the temporal punishment of sin, which can be granted only after forgiveness of that sin has been obtained through the sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation).  This "remission" is more exactly termed a "payment" made by the Church, drawn from its treasury of merits and good works stored up by Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints (both living and dead).  St. Paul names the Church (all Christians on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven) a single body, the mystical Body of Christ, with Christ as its Head.  As community, each Christian is to actively look out for the welfare of others, especially any members who are suffering from a particular ailment.  Early Christian authors such as Tertullian called Christians to work together as a community to find a cure.  Later, in the 5th century, St. Caesarius of Arles stated that an individual is unable to make satisfaction for his own sins, therefore he is anxious to seek out the assistance of the whole people. 
           In general, Christians believed that indulgences are gained when an individual was in a state of grace (i.e. has confessed all sins, mortal and venial, within 8 days of the act performed), has said certain prayers at least an Our Father, Hail Mary, and then completes the deed specified.  This act is typically a form of prayer, such as praying the rosary before the tabernacle of a church or attending Mass at a specific altar designated by the pope, or pilgrimage, whether it be to a local cathedral or shrine or to Rome, Jerusalem, or any other foreign shrine.  In the Middle Ages this act of devotion could include a financial contribution to the support of a monastery, church, crusade, etc. 
[Chapter 31]   [II: Chapter 10]

Passion The Passion is traditionally referred to in Christianity as the final events in Christ’s life.  These events are recounted in each of the four Gospels of the Bible, beginning with the Last Supper, Christ's meditation on his upcoming death in the garden of Gesthsemane, his arrest, trial, scourging, and humiliation.  His being forced to drag the cross on which he will be crucified through the street preceded his execution. His followers, including his mother Mary, witnessed these events and then laid his body in a rock-cut tomb.  The Passion holds devotional importance among many Christians, because remembrance of the events evokes emotion and compassion for their savior, whose death freed them from sin.  A central tenet of Christianity is that if one follows the example of Christ’s Passion by sacrificing themselves as Christ did, he or she will be saved during the Last Judgment.  The Passion holds a privileged place in the Christian faith and is remembered particularly in the annual celebration of Holy Week that attempts to parallel the final days of Christ’s life. See 1460s series of Images of the Passion in stained glass. 
[Chapter 7]   [Chapter 15]  [Chapter 22]   [Chapter 26]   [Chapter 28]  [Chapter 29]   [Chapter 39]   [Chapter 41]  [Chapter 44]   [Chapter 45]   [Chapter 46]  [Chapter 56]   [Chapter 57]   [Chapter 61]  [Chapter 63]
[Chapter 65]   [Chapter 67]  [Chapter 68]   [Chapter 74] [Chapter 77]   [Chapter 78]   [Chapter 79]
[Chapter 84]   [Chapter 85]  [II: Chapter 3] [II: Chapter 10]

Paternoster Paternoster, also called The Lord’s Prayer or Our Father, was taught to the disciples by Jesus (Luke 11:2-4, Matthew 6:9-13). The heart of the prayer is a petition for daily sustenance and release from temptation.  This prayer is an important part of the mass and Christian devotions. In Latin it begins Pater noster, qui es in caelis: “Our Father, who are in heaven.”  Often prayers and psalms, like poems, were referred to by their first words. 
[Chapter 4]    [Chapter 11]  [Chapter 35]

penance Penance is one of the seven sacraments of the medieval church; the forgiveness of sins committed after baptism.  During the sacrament, one is sorrowful for the sins and confesses those sins to a priest.  The priest then gives absolution in Christ’s name.  Often a specific penance, such as fasting, the saying of prayers, giving of alms, or travel to a specific site (at its extreme to one of the great pilgrimage churches) is commanded. 
[Chapter 1]    [Chapter 2]    [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4]   [Chapter 8]  [Chapter 23]   [Chapter 27]   [Chapter 32]
[Chapter 34]   [Chapter 36]

Pentecost  Pentecost is also known as Whit Sunday or Whitsun, is the feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles and the Virgin, after Christ's ascension into heaven. After Christ's death the Apostles and Holy Women were gathered together (Acts 2:1-41) in an "upper room" They heard a sound as if a violent wind were blowing and then there appeared parting tongues of fire that settled over each one of them.  They were "filled with the Holy Spirit," who manifested his presence by miraculously giving the apostles the power of speaking in many tongues.  The apostles began to preach to a crowd from many different nations, but each person thought they were hearing the discourse in his or her own language. Since Pentecost marked the moment when the Apostles received their mission to teach, Pentecost was viewed in the Middle Ages as the foundation of the Church's authority.  The feast was celebrated with great solemnity in the liturgical calendar on the 7th week after Easter.  An octave of augmented masses followed with the celebrant in red vestments, celebrating the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. 
Marger Kempe visited the coenaculum, the upper chapel at St. Mary Mount Sion (Palestine), which was identified with the upper room that housed the Apostles and Holy Women. This structure had received much attention and rebuilding in the 11th and 12th centuries.  The room may have influenced the style of double-story refectories that are typical of nunneries in England. 
Gilchrist, R. Gender and Material Culture: The Archeology of Medieval Women . Routledge: London, 1994, 1997, 116, e.g. Refectory of St. Radegund's Cambridge, now Jesus College.  For Palestine see D. Pringle. "The Planning of Some Pilgrimage Churches in Crusader Palestine." World Archeology 18.3: 341-62. 
[Chapter 9]   [Chapter 37]  [Chapter 44] [II: Chapter 10]

Pietà The image called a pietà depicts Mary holding the dead body of her son, Christ, in her lap. Most often replicated in sculpture, the image of the pietà originated in Germany in the 13th century.  Sometimes Mary was depicted accompanied by St. John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene. One of the most famous examples is Michelangelo’s Pietà (1499), located in the basilica of St. Peter’s, Rome.  See also the pieta in stained glass at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk, c. 1480-1490 (See MMK Long Melford). 

prayer It is noted several times throughout the text that Kempe lays down during her moments of intense prayer. She is prone, sprawling on the pavement of the building, rapt in her ecstasy of feeling.  She describes entering churches at night to prostrate herself on the floor.  At St. Stephen’s in Norwich, she went to the high altar and fell down on the tomb of the vicar who had been her confessor many times (Ch. 60 - line 3475).  This position was common in private prayer, and she describes herself “as she lay stille” (Ch. 85 - line 4939) in the choir, and as she “lay in the qwer in her prayers” (Ch. 23  - line 1220). 

Preaching see Sermon

Preaching Friars The preaching friars, also known as the Order of the Friar Preachers, the Order of St. Dominic, and the Dominican Order, was established in the 13th century by St. Dominic (1170-1221).  The order was established to combat heretical trends that were threatening the established church.  During the Middle Ages, preaching normally occurred separately from the church service, and thus it was more accessible to a greater range of people.  The preaching was patterned upon the behavior of Christ’s followers, the Apostles, who were believed to have preached outside the synagogues after the services. 
The first monastery of the Dominican Order was established in Toulouse, France, in 1215.  Centers were also established in Paris and Bologna in the years before Dominic’s death.  The order is divided into three sections.  The First Order is comprised of priests or preaching friars, the Second Order of nuns, and the Third Order of lay people who do not join a monastery, but wish to follow the Order’s ideals. The Dominicans vowed to observe the virtues of obedience, chastity, poverty.  A preaching friar can be recognized by his traditional Dominican habit of a white tunic and black cloak. 
[Chapter 16]   [Chapter 18]  [Chapter 54] [Chapter 68]   [Chapter 85]

Prick of Love,Stimulus Amoris or The Prick of Love, was written in Latin probably in the latter half of the 13th century.  It was a popular devotional text during the Middle Ages, composed of reflections on the Passion of Christ that focus on feelings of compassion.  It is a meditative poem.  The book was often wrongly attributed to Bonaventure or Walter Hilton during the time of Margery Kempe, but scholars now believe it to have been written by a Franciscan known only as James of Milan. 
[Chapter 17]   [Chapter 58]  [Chapter 62]

procession The frequent use of processions, large and small, in medieval Christian worship, brought different groups in, through, and around each other's spaces.  The clergy processed regularly within and around the church on Sunday and feast days.  The reading of the Gospel invariably involved some sort of movement across spaces. For many occasions, the sacrament, images, and statues were brought out into the streets and movement occurred between churches.  Margery Kempe speaks of honoring the Eucharist, especially when she "saw the precious sacrament borne about the town with lights and reverence, the people kneeling on their knees" (Ch. 72). See also Corpus Christi

In the late 13th century, Jacobus deVoragine compiled the Golden Legend, a collection of saints' lives ordered according to the liturgical calendar.  He also recorded the rituals of Rogations (from the Latin rogo, to petition) or Litanies.  He defines two, the Greater Litany on the feast of St. Mark (April 25) and the lesser Litany, also in the spring, celebrated in the three days before the feast of the Ascension. He describes processions for both; for the Greater, he speaks of seven ranks of participants: first the clergy, then the monks, then religious, nuns, then children, then the laymen, then widows and virgins, finally married women.  This ranking gives some indication of the problematic position of the married woman that persisted even in Margery Kempe's time.  De Voragine states that for the Lesser Litany, "the cross is carried and bells are rung, a banner is borne, and the patronage of all the saints is individually invoked."  Later scholars have perceived a links to planting and folk traditions. See "Liturgy and Folk Culture in the Golden Legend " in André, Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices, ed. Daniel E. Bornstein, trans. Margery J. Schneider. University of Notre Dame Press: South Bend, Indiana. 1993. 
[Chapter 53]

Prussia Prussia is a former German state of North Germany.  In Kempe's time it is probable that by using the word Prussia she was referring to Prussian people of Baltic stock living along the shore of the Baltic in present day Poland. This area, which included the city of Danzig, had been conquered by the Teutonic Knights and the official language was German. 
[II: Chapter 2]

Purgatory After death, Christians of the Middle Ages believed that a soul was subject to the judgment of Christ.  If its corporeal life was profoundly holy then the soul would be reunited with its body and dwell in heaven; if profoundly evil, the soul would suffer in Hell for eternity.  If a soul lived well but struggled with sin, then it voluntarily would choose to go to purgatory, where temporal punishment was exacted for confessed sins along with the guilt of any unconfessed venial sins, but ultimate salvation was certain.  Traditionally, the Roman Church has associated fire with this purifying process. 
St. Boniface in the 8th century explained that the greatest suffering in purgatory was separation from the beatific vision (sight of God's face in its fullest glory), since separate of the body the soul realizes its spiritual potential and so temporarily it is tormented apart from what would give it fulfillment.  One also suffers in contemplating how easily forgiveness and reparation for sin could have been achieved.  Purgatory is a process that remakes the soul into the image of God since it has been ravaged by sin.  Imperfections are healed to prepare the soul for eternal joy. All Christians in heaven, in purgatory, or on earth compose one united community.  Just as the actions of one affects the entire group, so can the souls of purgatory benefit from prayers offered in their behalf on earth.  Praying for the dead is therefore a pious act. 
[Chapter 5]   [Chapter 19]  [Chapter 22]   [Chapter 23]   [Chapter 31][Chapter 57]   [Chapter 65]
[II: Chapter 10]

Repyngdon, Philip Philip Repyngdon was the Bishop of Lincoln from 1404-1419. The visit of Margery and John Kempe to take formal vows of chastity was made between 23 June, 1413 and 19 February 1414 (Meech & Allen). At this time the see of Norwich was vacant, so the couple went to the bishop of Lincoln.  Later Margery Kempe seeks Repyngdon's permission to travel in the diocese of Leicester in 1517. 
Repyngdon was educated at Broadgates Hall, Oxford, and later became an Augustinian canon. Early in his career he was a supporter of John Wycliffe and thus was considered a heretic and Lollard. His ideas were condemned July 1, 1382 and that fall he recanted his beliefs and continued an illustrious career.  He was elected Abbot of Leicester in 1394 and while abbot served four times as chancellor of the University of Oxford (1397, 1400, 1401, and 1402).  Upon the accession of Henry IV, he became confessor to the king and was appointed Bishop of Lincoln. He granted a 14 day indulgence for persons contributing to the rebuilding of the Yarborough Parish Church in Lincolnshire, which had been destroyed by fire.  He explains that the cause has been blessed by a miracle.  The fabric wrapping the host has been untouched by the flames while the ivory and copper elements of its receptacle had been burned: the furious blaze burnt everything that it could find on the altar, even the double conical pyx of ivory within and without, containing with great care this vital bread. . .  and only that bread enclosed within a little silken compartment which could not have withstood such a fury remained miraculously whole. (cited in Miri Rubin. Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, 124-25). See the same sparing of the host from fire that initiated the Pilgrimage site of Wilsnach, Germany, that Kempe visits in 1433 (Book II/5). 

In 1419 Repyngdon resigned his position as bishop. His Sermons on the Gospels are preserved in museums in Oxford and Cambridge, and in the British Museum in London. 
Bibliography:The Register of Bishop Philip Repyngdon 1405-1419. Ed. M Archer. 3 vols. Lincoln Record Society 57-58, 1996-82. 
[Chapter 15]

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