Rude medieval custom badge
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Rude medieval custom badge
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Medieval pilgrim badge.
Size 35x40 mm.
The badge depicts a tower in cross-section. In the middle of it, a bearded man falls to his knees in front of a monk. At his feet lie fallen fetters. The inscription on the top of the tower reads: 'St Leonard'. St Leonard's Monastery is on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Campostella, passing through Bourges and Limoges (Via Viziliaci). According to the story, Leonard was asked to become a bishop, but he refused and became a monk in a monastery near Orleans and then a hermit in the forest near Limoges. One day the King and his pregnant wife went hunting in the same forest and the Queen had to give birth in Leonard's cell. The childbirth was difficult, the hermit prayed, the baby came out safely, and in gratitude the king gave Leonard as much land as he could ride overnight on a donkey. On this land he founded the monastery of Noblat, later to be called Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat. From the XI century onwards, veneration of Saint Leonard blossomed rapidly and widely in central and north-west Europe (the French saint was particularly venerated in Bavaria). The shrine at Noblat became the centre of pilgrimage, and women in childbirth went there to pray. In 1103, the crusader Duke of Antioch, Bohemund was taken prisoner by the Muslims and after his liberation went to Noblat to perform his vows. After this there is a legend that King Clovis promised Leonard to release any prisoner the saint visited - and Leonard began to pray for prisoners of war. It is believed that for many of them he interceded with the king and paid their ransom himself. England, Canterbury, 11th and 12th century, based on Brian Spencer's Pilgrim souvenirs and Secular badges.
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