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Author: Iona McCleery

This chapter is an exploration of the many non-healing miracles found in medieval shrine collections and canonization processes, with a particular focus on a set of liberation miracles recorded for late medieval Portugal. The first part defines what is meant by “non-healing” miracles and discusses some methodological difficulties; the second part considers non-healing miracles in the context of the Portuguese cult of the saints. The last part of the chapter provides a case study of protection miracles from the cult of Our Lady of Virtues, focusing on liberation from prison or escape from execution. The argument of the chapter is that non-healing miracles are highly political in nature, but rather than being signs of disorder, they reinforced existing standards and norms. Such miracles are guides to ideal behaviour and performances of power that shed considerable light on medieval Portuguese criminal justice.

In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections
In: Medicine and the Law in the Middle Ages
In: Medicine and the Law in the Middle Ages
In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections
Miracle accounts provide a window into the views and conceptions of the laity, the uneducated, women, and even children, whose voices are mostly missing from other types of sources. They are not, however, simple to use. This volume offers a methodological insight into the medieval world of the miraculous. Consisting of 15 cutting-edge articles by leading scholars in the field, it provides versatile approaches to the origins, methods, and recording techniques of various types of miracle narratives. It offers fascinating case studies from across Europe, which show how miracle accounts can be used as a source for various topics such as lived religion, healing, protection, and family and gender.

Contributors are Nicole Archambeau, Leigh Ann Craig, Ildikó Csepregi, Jussi Hanska, Emilia Jamroziak, Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Jenni Kuuliala, Iona McCleery, Jyrki Nissi, Roberto Paciocco, Donald S. Prudlo, Marika Räsänen, Jonas Van Mulder, and Louise Elizabeth Wilson.