3 June 2009
MIRACLE OF THE ACADEMIC SAVED FROM SIN BY RECITING AVE MARIA, miniature by Lieven van Lathem
132 x 183 mm. Recto with 14 lines corresponding to de Laborde p.212; from the third folio missing after f.100 in BnF, ms fr. 9199 (small paint losses by windows, slight smudging to sky at left).
A student in Paris was given to sins of the flesh and spent all his money on women and other excesses: on the left the student seems about to kiss a woman in the foreground; in the room behind he gambles. He decided he had to amend his way of life and so one night, when assailed by the need to go to a brothel, he cast himself on his knees and recited Ave Maria, seen to the right of centre, until he could return to bed, saved by exhaustion. In reward, the Virgin appeared to him, left of centre, and first holding his head in her arms, she proceeded to renew his flesh so that he would never again be tormented by desire. From then on he led a good life: to the right he is seen diligently pursuing his studies.
The text on the recto is from the preceding miracle: the little boy recounts what the Virgin and Child had said to him.
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