lay waste with fire the heart of man

1,599 notes

In French, the verb blesser means ‘to wound.’ In English, ‘to bless’ is to confer spiritual power on someone or something by words or gestures. When children are christened or baptized in some Christian churches, the priest or minister blesses them by sprinkling holy water on their faces. But the modern word has darker, stranger roots. It comes from the Old English bletsian which mean ‘to sprinkle with blood’ and makes me think of ancient, grim forms of religious sacrifice where blood not water was the liquid possessing supernatural power - makes me remember standing as a boy so close to a scene of violence that the blood of it baptized me. To wound, to confer spiritual power, to sprinkle with blood.
Gregory Orr, The Blessing, pp. 3-4 (via spiritandteeth)

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42 notes


The Gospels of St Gatian of Tours (Bibliothèque Nationale MS. nouv. acq. lat. 1587)

I had not seen this manuscript until today. Not every day I get see images from a new (to me) Insular Gospel Book. Obviously not in the same class as the great gospel books like Kells or Lindisfarne, or even Durham, but still very cool. I really like the carpet page with the knotted animals in the panels in the top and bottom. I haven’t seen that in other carpet pages.  It’s also interesting that the three full page incipits are on the verso side rather that the recto. I don’t think I’ve seen that before either. I wonder why the beginning of Mathew didn’t get a full page treatment.

Folio 1v Carpet Page

Folio 2r Incipit to Mathew

Folio 2v Chi Rho monogram

Folio 32v Incipit to Mark

Folio 52v Incipit to Luke

Folio 85v Incipit to John

(via luminousinsect)

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