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Casualties among children in the light of Polish medieval ‘Catalogues of miracles’

Casualties among children in the light of Polish medieval ‘Catalogues of miracles’


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Casualties among children in the light of Polish medieval ‘Catalogues of miracles’

By Delimata Małgorzata

Acta Poloniae Historica, Vol. 98, 2008

Abstract: “Catalogues of miracles” show the number of children which was injured or killed. I discuss the categories of the accidents, the age of injured, the types of pleas, parent’s feelings and vows.

Introduction: The catalogues of miracles performed by the saints provide us with a lot of information abut the state of health of people and dangers that threatened them in the Middle Ages. Among persons mentioned in the Polish miracula a large group consisted of children. Parents or relatives generally turned to the saints with their pleas for curing their offspring, bringing a child back to life if it died of some illness and saving it from death, if a juvenile fell victim to an accident. The latter issue will be the subject of our interest. On the basis of the catalogues of miracles performed by St. Hedwig, St. Kinga, St. Stanislaus, bishops Predota and Werner and the book of miracles of Corpus Christi Church in Poznan. I will discuss among other things the question about the age of the juveniles who found themselves in danger of their lives and about the ratio between the accidents and illnesses. Finally I will present the problem of parental feelings and the question connected with offerings and vows taken by the relatives with the intention of saving the child.


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