• Maternal Grief in Medieval Miracle Stories by: Danielle Griego, PhD

    Return my daughter to me, Martyr Thomas! If anyone is the cause of this accident, it is me, her mother alone that must bear the blame for the crime, for it is I who did not send someone to supervise her from the dangers of childhood! I should have sent someone, but I was blind. Woe is me! Before God a crime of negligence has happened. Medieval miracle stories contained descriptions of the miraculous deeds performed by holy figures and were used to promote canonization. Although these accounts were ultimately collected to confirm someone’s sanctity, they can tell us a lot about the expectations that religious authors had about parenting.…

  • Child Death and Parental Mourning in the Middle Ages by: Danielle Griego, Ph.D.

    Child, you are a pilgrim born in sin you wander in this treacherous world, look ahead! Death is hiding around a dark corner with a gust to cast down the kin of Adam as he has done before… Child…your days are numbered, your travels planned, whichever way you go, north or east, Death shall happen to you with bitter misery in your breast. Unlike the lullabies we think of today, medieval lyrics were not always meant to soothe the singer or recipient. This excerpt from the fourteenth-century lullaby has a dark tone and underscores the idea that death lurks around every corner, ready to strike even the youngest members of…