Framed Medieval Litany of the Saints Leaf

£ 300.00

A finely decorated vellum leaf from a Renaissance Book of Hours, containing one single column of 20 lines, ruled in red, of written text in Latin. The text is a fine example of the popular Medieval script, used extensively for French vernacular books, known as lettre bâtarde. The leaf is executed in red, green, black, blue, grey and gold and bordered with a golden, rope-like frame which ends in a beautiful terminal, shaded with red along all of its length. The vellum features a series of illuminated and beautifully rendered initials, from the Litany of Saints, a prayer supplication the Virgin Mary and the martyrs and saints Christianity was founded on.

Date: Circa 15th century AD
Condition: Extremely fine, the leaf has been professionally framed and trimmed. Some slight water staining.


SKU: AH-804 Category: Tags: , , ,

The Litany of Saints is one of the oldest prayers still in use, dating from the 5thcentury. It is frequently used on All Saints day and at the Easter Vigil, the mass before Easter reserved for those being baptised.

The Litany is separated into five sections. The text included on the manuscript forms the opening section, invocating God with a series of Kyrie Eleison chants. This threefold chant is then followed by the second section, supplication to the Virgin Mary and the saints.

The translated text upon the manuscript reads as follows:

Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. (Lord have mercy upon us. Christ have mercy upon us. Lord have mercy upon us.)

Christe audi nos. (Christ hear us.)

Christe exaudi nos. (Christ graciously hear us.)

Pater de caelis Deus, miserere nobis. (God the Father of heaven, have mercy upon us.)

Fili redemptor mundi Deus, miserere nobis. (God the Son redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us.)

Spiritus sancte Deus, miserere nobis. (God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us.)

Sancta Trinitas unus Deus, miserere nobis. (Holy Trinity one God, have mercy upon us.)


Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis. (Holy Mary, pray for us.)

Sancta Dei genitrix, ora [pro nobis]. (Holy Mother of God, pray [for us].)

Sancta virgo virginum, or[a pro nobis]. (Holy virgin of virgins, pray [for us].)

Sancte Michael, or[a pro nobis]. (Saint Michael, pray [for us].)

Sancte Gabriel, or[a pro nobis]. (Saint Gabriel, pray [for us].)

Sancte Raphael, or[a pro nobis]. (Saint Raphael, pray [for us].)

Omnes sancti Angeli, et Archangeli, orate p[ro nobis]. (All ye Holy Angels, and Archangels, pray [for us].)

Omnes sancti beatorum spiri[tuum ordines, orate pro nobis]. (All ye holy orders of blessed spirits, [pray for us].)


To find out more about Medieval manuscripts please see our relevant blog post: Illuminated Manuscripts and Vellum Pages.

Weight 496.7 g
Dimensions W 22.5 x H 27.6 cm