Chapter 7 Rituals and Spaces of Devotion in Cistercian Everyday Religion

In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections

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This chapter concentrates on the ways in which Thomas Aquinas’s cult was born, developed, and practised in the everyday life of the Cistercian monastery of Fossanova in Southern Italy. Thomas Aquinas died in this monastery in 1274 and the canonization process to establish his sainthood was officially begun in 1318. The material collected in two separate hearings, the first in Naples and the second in Fossanova, offer a colourful picture of the formation of the cult, central to the fading monastery and its surrounding communities. The focus of this chapter is on those aspects detectable from the canonization records which encapsulate communicative rituals and practical solutions to make Thomas’s sainthood visible and touchable in the daily life of the Cistercian monastic family and local people.