The Breslau Psalter

Litany with collects

Texts and Images

The pages containing the Litany (a series of invocations for mercy and deliverance addressed to the Three Persons of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and a long list of saints) are framed within twin arches with pillars supported by beasts and hybrids, and carrying roofs and turrets. Religious feasts or busts of saints are depicted in the side borders beside their mention in the Litany. Side borders with busts accompany the collects (short prayers).

The presence of St Clare (canonised in 1255) in the Litany, but not in the Calendar, and the absence of St Hedwig (canonised in 1267) from both texts suggests that the Breslau Psalter was completed between 1255 and 1267. The inclusion of some twenty female saints in the Litany would have supported the devotions of the woman for whom the manuscript was made.