Miracle, Memory, and Meaning in the Canonization of Vincent Ferrer, 1453–1454

Speculum 73 (2):429-454 (1998)

These two quotations encapsulate stories told on the same day, within hours of one another, to commissioners at an inquest into the sanctity of the itinerant Dominican preacher Vincent Ferrer . Both Katherina Guernezve and Oliverius Bourric had come before the commission in order to testify to Vincent Ferrer's miraculous resurrection of Johannes Guerre, an archer employed by the duke of Brittany. Both told how Guerre had been wounded in a fight with a fellow archer, how he had been tended in the Guernezve household, how Bourric had been summoned to hear the dying man's confession, how Guerre had lost consciousness and died before confessing, and how he had returned to life following a vow to Vincent Ferrer. There are two key differences in their stories, however, apparent in the passages quoted above. First, Katherina Guernezve believed that the priest had left her house after finding Guerre unable to speak. Bourric, the priest, maintained that he was present throughout the drama that ensued. Second, Katherina asserted that she herself had urged bystanders to pray to Vincent Ferrer. Bourric insisted that this prayer had been his alone. These same differences are found in the testimony of other witnesses to the miracle. Women who were present remembered the events along the lines of Katherina's narrative; men's stories followed the priest's
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DOI 10.2307/2887160
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