The Templar missal of Modena

At the archives of the cathedral of Modena a precious liturgical code is preserved. According to some authors, the medieval code would come from a local scriptorium.  Others believe it would come from Piacenza where was the House of S. Mary of the Temple, one of the most important Templar foundations of Italy. What is the importance of this liturgical manuscript?

The Missal, coming from the Templar House of Mucciatella (“Isti sunt libri Mocadelis...”), is the only liturgical manuscript of certain Templar use known in Europe. On the face of the manuscript is written the title: Missale Vetus ad Usum Templariorum, that can be translated from Latin as: Old Missal to be used by the Templars. The manuscript consists of 221 sheets in parchment, introduced by an interesting liturgical calendar.

Browsing through the first seven pages of this old calendar introducing the missal, one can observe that some scribes of the Templar order have added, over the years, several notes written by hand. Particularly exciting was to discover that in the liturgical calendar, at their respective funeral anniversaries of the saints, were added notes with the names of thirteen Grand Masters of the Templar Order.  Even the name of the King of France, Philip II Augustus, and the name of Pietro di Monte Cucco (then rector of the Modena Templar House) were added by hand in correspondence with their date of death. (...)

The missal also testifies how some relics of the body of Bevignate were preserved and venerated also outside of Perugia, his hometowen, in some monasteries and Templar houses. A surprise was to find that at the 12nd of May, when the catholic liturgy honors the saints Nereus, Achilleus and Pancrazio, the calendar shows a hand written note, in Gothic cursive, indicating this date as the anniversary of death of Saint Bevignate. Orthographic analysis confirmed that the same hand also noted on October the 4th the name of Saint Francis of Assisi. That gives us a useful information about the note concerning Bevignate, probably not added before 1228, the year of canonization of St. Francis.

This blog quotes information from and The illustration shows the Missal, source. Fair Use intended.

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