The Miracles of St. John of Capistran
Religious history and, in particular, the history of the cult of saints and their miracles has recently become one of the most popular fields of historical investigation. Together with continuing interest in the related ecclesiastic motivations and the well organized craft of hagiography, this new interest might be explained by the marvellously rich details of thousands of witness accounts testifying to the miraculous help they received from the saint in times of desparate need. These accounts provide an unparalleled insight into the history of everyday life and into the various hardships, illnesses, hopes dreams and anxieties during the late medieval and early modern period.
Only two records exist on the history of the medieval Hungarian kingdom- the thirteenth century canonization trial of St. Margaret of Hungary and the miracle collections promoting the canonization of St. John of Capistran, the victorious Crusader at Belgrade in 1456, who died thereafter in Ilok (a city located on the periphery of western Christianity in Croatia). Based on a careful study of the widely scattered manuscripts on Capistranean miracles and with the help of a microscopic philological analysis, the author has managed to reconstruct, for the first time, one of the most complex miracle collections in the history of medieval hagiography.
Covering the recording of the first miracle series by the urban notaries of Ilok, the local hagiographer of Ilok Franciscans (John Geszti), the vicar general of the Hungarian province (Stephen Varsányi), and a number of subsequent editions and amplifications of this material recycling into the canonization campaign of St. John of Capistran and the miracles he himself recorded, The Miracles of St. John of Capistran, is an outstanding debut by a representative of a new generation of Central European medievalists.
Chapter 1: The road to Ilok
Chapter 2: A portrait of the town
Chapter 3: The death and the corpse
Chapter 4: The beginnings of the canonization campaign, 1456-1463
Chapter 5: The canonization campaign from the early 1460s to 1526
Chapter 6: A morphology of Capistranean miracles
Chapter 7: Some historical aspects of the miracles post-mortem Conclusion.