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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/400

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MIRACLES


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MIRACLES


tnitlis ami the dramatis pcmotKF arc al)slract person- ifications, such as Virtue, Justice, the Seven Deadly Sins, etc. The character called "the Vice" is es- pecially interesting; as hcinR the precursor of Shake- s[K'arc's fool. After the Heformation the miracle plays declined, though performances in some places are on reconl as late as the seventeenth century.

(UatMANV. — In Cieniiany the religious drama does not show a ilevelopment on as granil a scale as in France or England. The oklest extant plays hail from Fivisingeii and date from the eleventh century. They are in I.alin and lielong to the Christmas cycle. Re- ligious dramas were early taken up by the schools and performed liy travelling scholars, and this tended to secularize them. The great Tegernsee play of "An- tichrist " (aliout ll(iO) shows this influence. It is in Latin, hut is pervailed by strong national feeling and devoted to the glorification of the Gennan impe- rial power. Cierman songs interspersed in the Latin te.\t arc found in a Passion play preserved in a MS. of the thirteenth century from Benedictbeuren. The oldest E;ister-play wholly in Cierman tlates from the begiiming of the thirteenth century and hails from Muri, Switzerland. Unfortunately, it is preserved only in fragmentary form. During the fourteenth ami fifteenth centuries the religious drama flourished greatly, and specimens are extant from all parts of (lerman territorj', in High as -nell as Low Cierman dialects. Wc also meet with attempts at a compre- hensive representation of the whole of sacred history in the manner of the great English cycles — e. g., in the T'orpus Christi plays of Eger and Kiinzelsau in Swabia (both from fifteenth century). Subjects taken from Old Testament history are not frequently met with. Of dramatic versions of New Testament parables the " Play of the Wise and Foolish Virgins ", performed at Eisenach in 1322, is particularly famous on accoimt of its tragic outcome. Landgrave Fred- erick of Thuringia, who was a spectator, was plunged into despair over the failure of the Blessed Virgin to save the foolish virgins, and brooding over this is said to have Ijrought on a stroke of apoplexy, to which he succumbed in 1324. Of Cierman miracles dealing with legend few are preserved. Of miracles in praise of fJur Ble.s.sed Laily we have a Low German play of Theophilus and the well-known play of "Frau Jutten" (I4S0) by a cleric of Miilhausen named Theoderich Schemberg. It is the story of an ambitious woman who assumes man's disguise and attains to high ecclesia,stical office, finally to the papacy it.self ; but her crimes are at hist discovered, whereupon .she sul>- mits to the most rigorous penance and is ultimately .saved through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. In (iermany, as in England ami France, the Reforma- tion .sapped the life of the medieval religious drama. Plays continued to be produced, but the drama was often u.sed for polemical purposes. In Catholic parts of the count ry the t raditional performances of pa.ssion- plays have been kept up even to the present. (See article on P.\ssioN Pl.\ys.)

Netheri,.\nd.s. — Of miracle plays and mysteries in the Xetherlands few have been preserved. One of the be.st-known is the miracle "Van Sinte Trudo", written about 1.").50 by Christian Fa-straets. The per- formance of such plays in the Netherlands was un- dertaken by a-ssociations formed for that purpose, especially the Jiederi jkerskamers {Rederijker corrupted from lihetorica). which sprang into existence at the end of the fourteenth century. Besides the my.steries and miracles, the Netherlands also have "Spelen van Sinne", .symbolical plays corresponding to the moralities.

Editions ok Texts. — (.\) French: Monmerqu6 et Michel, "Le Tli6atre fran(;ais au moyen age" (Paris, 18.30); de Montaiglon, ".\ncien th&itre fran^ais" (3 vols., Paris, l.S.')4); Founder, "Le thCsatre fran<;ais avant la RenaLs.sance " (Paris, 1.S72); G. Paris et U.


Robert. "Miracles de Notre-Dame" (S vols., Paris, lS7ti-'.t3); Rot.schild et Picot, " Le Mistere du Vieil Testament" (ti vols., Paris, 18S8-!I1); Paris et Ray- naud, " Le Mystere de la Passion d'.-\. (ireban" (Paris, 1S78). (B) English: Towneley plays, edited by Paine and Gordon (London, 1830); ('o\ entry, ed. by Ilalliwell (London, 1841); Chester, by Wright (2 vols., London, 1843^7); York Plays, by L. T. Smith (Oxfonl, 188,')). Selections in Manly, "Specimens of Preshakespearean Drama" (3 vols., Boston and Lomlon, I'JOO), and Pollard, "English Miracle Plays, Moralities and Interludes" (Oxford, 189.')). (C) German: Mone, "Altdeutsche Schauspiele" (Queii- linburg-Leipzig, 1841) and "Schauspiele des Mittel- altcrs" (Karlsruhe, 1846); Froning, "Das Drama des Mittelalters" in Kiirschner's "Deutsche National- literatur", XIV (Stuttgart, 1801).

On the refigioua drama of tlie Middle Ages in general consult Creizenach, Oesch. des neueren Dramas, I, Millelaller una Friihrenaismnce (Halle, 1894. 1903): DE JuLEVlLLE, Lts Mysthet (2 vols., Paris, 1880) ; Hase, Dan geisll. Schauspiel (Leipzig, 18.58), tr. Jackson (1880); Sepet, Les origines catholiques du thi&tre modernc (Paris, 1901). For the history of the French drama see DE JuLEViLLE, Le ThMtTt en France (4th ed., Paris, 1897); foEM, Iliat. de la langue et de la liUirature Jran^aise (Paris, 1895-9), II, 399 sqq.; Lintilhac. Le thidtre serieux du moyen age in Hist. gi~ nHale du thMtre en France, 1 (Paris, 1905) ; Grober in Grundrisa der romanischen Phitotogie, II, 712 sqq., 977 sqq., 1197 sqq. For the English drama see Pollard, op. cit., introduction: Ward, Hist, of English Dramatic Lit. to the Death of Queen Anne (2 vols., Ixjndon. 1899) ; ten Brink, Hist, of English Lil.,tT. Robinson (New York, 1893), II, i, 234-310: B.lTES, English Religiotcs Drama (New York, 1902). For the German drama see Wilken, Gesch. der geistl, Spiele in Deutschland (Gottingen, 1872): Heinzel, Beschreibung des geistl. Schauspiels im deutschen Mittelalter (Hara- burg-I_.eipzig, 1898) : consult also the introduction to Froninq's edition mentioned above.

Arthuk F. J. Remy.

Miracles, Gift of. — The gift of miracles is one of those mentioned by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians (xii, 9, 10), among the extraordinary graces of the Holy Ghost. These have to be dis- tinguished from the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost enumerated by the Prophet Isaias (xi, 2 sq.) and from the fruits of the Spirit given by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians (v, 22). The seven gifts and the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are always infused with sanctifying grace into the souls of the just. They belong to ordinary sanctity and are within the reach of every (Christian. The gifts mentioned in the Epistle to the Corinthians are not necessarily con- nected with sanctity of life. They are special and extraordinary powers vouchsafed by Gotl only to a few, and primarily for the spiritual good of others rather than of the recipient. In Greek they are called xaplafjiaTa, which name has been atloptetl by Latin authors; they are also designated in theological technical language as gratiw gratis data: (graces gratuitously given) to distinguish them from gratia gratum facientes, which means sanctifying grace or any actual grace granted for the salvation of the recipient.

The gift of miracles, as one of these charismata, was expressly promised liy Christ to His di.sciples (John, xiv, 12; Mark, xvi, 17, 18), and St. Paul mentions it as abiding in the Church: "To another [is given] the grace of healing . . . To another, the working of miracles " — (I Cor., xii, 9, 10). Christ imparts this gift to chosen servants as He did to the .\postles and disciples, that His doctrine may become credible and that Christians may be confirmed in their faith, and this the Vatican Council has declared in chapter iii, " De Fide". This gift is not given to any created being as a per- manent habit or quality of the soul. The power of effecting supernatural works such as miracles is the Divine Omnipotence, which cannot be C()nimuinc;ited to either men or angels. The greatest tluiuni:iturgus that ever appeared in this world could not work mira- cles at will, neither had he any permanent gift of the kind abiding in his .sovil. The Apostles once a.sked concerning a cure of demoniacal possession : " Why