Manuscripts and Special Collections

WLC/LM/1, f. 6v: Extract from lection on the martyrdom of St Margaret, from a Breviary (late 12th century, Latin)


Erat autem Margareta annorum
quindecim ut ab impio o librio
tradebatur incarcere . evovae.
In huius igitur feuissimis dolis
frequens circa illam nutrix conti
nuis satagebat officiis . evovae.
¶ Quadam die aprefecto uibeba
tur presentari quam decollandam
tradidit cuidam spiculatori . evovae.
Benedicta dei filia mox subiec
ta capitalis sententia inducias ro
gauit oracionis sue . evovae. Qvi
me dignam fecit infortes sanctorum
in omni spiritu meo laudo no
men eius assiduum . evovae.
Qvi gloriatur.
Ihesv corona. Elegit eam.
Virgo dei margareta orationibus
finitis mox inquid frater me
macta quoniam au tem
mundi regnum uicit Christi
mei gloria. Benedictus Dominus qui beatam.


Now Margaret was fifteen years old when she was handed over by the wicked Olybrius1 to gaol. Evovae2. In this man’s most cruel schemes her nurse attending her bustled about with continuing attentions. Evovae. On a certain day she was seen3 to be presented by the prefect; he handed her over to a certain executioner to be beheaded. Evovae. When the girl blessed by God was placed under a sentence of death she asked for respite for her prayer. Evovae. ‘In all my spirit I praise his unceasing name who has made me worthy of the fates of the saints.’ Evovae. He who glories in the crown of Jesus has chosen her. When Margaret the virgin of God had finished her prayers she said ‘Brother, slay me quickly, for the glory of my Christ has conquered the kingdom of this world’. Blessed be God who has made her blessed.

1. Olybrius was the governor of Antioch.

2. This ‘word’ consists of the vowels of ‘seculorum, Amen’, being the last words of the Gloria Patri, and is used as a name for the cadential endings of the Gregorian Psalm tones. Michael Kennedy and Joyce Bourne, "evovae" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. 1996

3. MS reads vibebatur, an error for videbatur

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