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BENEDICTIS


466


BENEDICT


to this day amongst the rubrics of the "Rituale Romanuni ".

Under the influence of this idea, the Blessed Sacra- ment in the processions which became common after the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi in 1246, came by degrees to be carried in transparent vessels, resembhng our present monstrances. Moreover, a custom grew up, especially in Germany, of keeping the Blessed Sacrament continually exposed to view in churches. It was forbidden by many sjTiods, but a sort of compromise was arrived at through the construction of the Sakramentshauschen of which so many examples still exist in central Europe. These tabernacles, of great height and imposing ap- pearance, were erected in the most conspicuous parti of the church, and there the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in a monstrance behind a metal door of lattice-work which allowed a more or less free view of the interior. It was thus that the practice de- veloped, though partly kept in check by synodal decrees, of adding solemnity to any function, even the Mass itself, by exposing the Blessed Sacrament during its continuance.

Turning now to our second element, we find that from the beginning of the tliirteenth century, a custom prevailed among the confraternities and guilds which were established at that period in great numbers, of singing canticles in the evening of the day before a statue of Our Lady. These canticles were called Laude and were often composed in the vulgar tongue, becoming in the hands of such poets as the Franciscan Giacopone da Todi, one of the great popular influences which helped to develop a native Italian hterature. Confraternities were formed for the express purpose of singing these canticles and their members were called Laudesl. It was such a company of Laude^i that brought together the seven holy founders who, in the first half of the thirteenth century, established the Order of Servites, or Servants of Mary. Although the laude hardly flourished outside Italy, where both the language and the character of the people lent themselves readily to the composition of imiumerable canticles, the idea of an e\ening service of a popular character sung before the statue of Our Lady, spread through- out Europe. In particular, the " Salve Regina ", a special devotion of the Servites, Dominicans, Car- melites, and other orders, was consecrated by usage to this rite, and we find traces everj'where of its being sung, often by choirs of boys, for whom a special endowment was provided, as a separate evening service. In France, this service was com- monly known as a Salut, in the Low- Countries as the Lof. in England and Germany, simply as the Salve.

Now it seems certain that our present Benediction service has resulted from the general adoption of this evening singing of canticles before the statue of Our Lady, enhanced as it often came to be in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which was employed at first only as an adjunct to lend it additional solemnity. The blessing at the close seems to have been added simply because the cus- tom gained ground of making the sign of the cross over the people whenever the Blessed Sacrament was replaced in the tabernacle after a procession or after being carried to the sick or any kind of an ex- position. But in the course of the seventeenth cen- turj', we find numberless bequests for Saluts in French wills, the items to be sung, often of a most miscel- laneous character, being minutely specified, and among these the condition is frequently appended that the Blessed Sacrament should be exposed during the whole time of the Salut.

The development which is too intricate to be given here in further detail, may be investigated in the works mentioned below.


To the Rev. V. De Buck, the BoUandist, belongs the merit of having first called attention to the true history of this de- votion. See Precis Historiqucs (Brussels, 1872), XXI, 59^70. His conclusions have been developed by the present writer in The A/on(A. June to September. 1901, October. 1905. and in the book Corpus Domini (in preparation. 1907). Useful material may be found in Thiers. Traite de t'Exposition dti S. Sacre- ment, written in 1673. The account of Benediction given by such authorities as Cohblet, Hisloire du Sacrement de I'Eu- charistie (Paris. 18S5), II. 419-431, is not satisfactory. For the rubrical aspects of the ser\'ice see de Montaclt, (Euvres Computes (Paris, 1892), VI, 503-531; Retiue Thiologiqite (Paris, 1857). II. 305. 464. 643: W.^pelhorst. Compendium Sacnc Liturgite (New York. 1904), 6th ed.. 218, st\.. O Lo»n. Ceremonies of some Ecclesiastical Functions (3d ed., Dublin, 1901). 152-163.

Herbert Thurston. Benedictis, J.^cobus de. See Stab.\t M.\ter.

Benedict Levita (of Mainz), or Benedict the Deacon, is the name given to himself by the author of a forged collection of capitularies which appeared in the ninth centurj-. The collection belongs to the group of pseudo-Isidorian forgeries that includes the pseudo-Isidorian recension of the Spanish collec- tion of canons, the so-called "capitula Angilramni", and the collection of false decretals of the pseudo- Isidore. The name Benedict is, without doubt, an assumed one; the statement that he had been a deacon in the Church of Mainz and that the collec- tion had been made from the archiepiscopal archives of Mainz at the command of the late .Archbishop Autgar (S25-847) is clearly also untrue. Nothing is known concerning the real author. On internal evidence it may be accepted that these forged capitularies were composed in the western part of the Frankish empire and not at Mainz; the groimds for this belief are, especially, the opposition shol^•n to the institution of chorepisccpi", and further the circimistance that the collection was first u.sed and found readiest acceptance among the Western Franks. The close relationship between this collec- tion and Pseudo-Isidore lends some probability to the supposition that it arose in the Archdiocese of Reims. As to the time when it appeared there is no reason to doubt the statement of the author that Archbishop Autgar of Mainz was then dead. Conse- quently the collection was made after 847 (Autgar died 21 April, 847). This is confirmed by a metrical panegyric, prefixed to the collection, in praise of the Carlovingian rulers, and in which Louis the German, the Emperor Lothair, and Charles the Bald are de- scribed as living, a fact which points to the years following 843. Another clue is offered by "Addita- mentum" IV in which the forged pseudo-Isidorian decretals have evidently been used. But the way in which these decretals are employed by Benedict shows that the Pseudo-Isidorian collection had not yet reached its completed form. The latest date for the appearance of this collection of canons may, therefore, be given as from 848 to 850. The time of composition cannot be more exactly determined; it was somewhere between the years 847-850.

The author represents his collection as the con- tinuation and completion of the collection of genuine capitularies in four books. "Capitularia regvmi Fran- corum", produced in 827 by Ansegisus, Abbot of Fontanelle. He divides it into three books which he designates as "liber quintus", "sextus", and " Septi- mus". Three other writings precede the first book; a prologue in \-erse, a preface in prose which treats of the origin and contents of the collection, and the aforesaid metrical panegjTic on the rulers of the Carlo\-ingian line; beginning with Pepin and Carloman and end- ing with the sons of Louis the Pious. Four supple- mentary writings (additamenta) are annexed to the last book; (I) The Aachen capitulary of 817 concern- ing the monasteries; (II) the report of the bishops (.A.ugust. 829) to the Emperor Louis the Pious; (III) a few genuine capitularies and a large number of forged ones, just as in the main body of the coUec-