A fragment of Seelen-Wurzgarten(the herb garden of the soul)
|This four-page fragment from the Library's collection of incunabula was one of the Lough Fea items purchased in 1924. It is bound as a volume and consists of three pages of text in German and a woodcut which has been coloured by hand; the woodcut is a representation of hell with the damned being punished for their vices. The fragment relates to Saint Patrick's Purgatory, the cave on Station Island in Lough Derg, Co. Donegal, where St. Patrick is supposed to have fasted for forty days and to have witnessed the horrors of purgatory and hell. The legend became extremely popular from the twelfth century onwards and some versions claimed that certain pilgrims were favoured with visions of the infernal regions. The text is headed (in translation), 'How one may enter Saint Patrick's Purgatory' ; it outlines the ritual involved in entering the Purgatory. At the time this account was published, the site attracted pilgrims from all over Europe, but in 1497 pilgrimage was banned by Pope Alexander VI, on the grounds that it had a superstitious rather than a religious character. Six years later, however, the interdict was lifted, and Saint Patrick's Purgatory continues to be one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in Ireland to the present day. It has also stimulated a large body of literary work, from such figures as William Carleton, Denis Devlin, Patrick Kavanagh, and Seamus Heaney. - Treasures from the National Library of Ireland.
|Published / Created:
|Physical description: 4 pages : woodcut illustration ; 27 cm.
Portion of title: Wye (wie) man in Sant Patricen Fegfewer (Fegefeuer) mag kommen
Portion of title: Quomodo pervenire possumus in Purgatorium S. Patricii in Hibernia
Portion of title: Saint Patrick's purgatory
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