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Musical Knives from Écouen

The blades of four knives featured in Madonnas & Miracles are inscribed with the words and music of a Blessing of the meal on one side and a Grace on the other. Each knife gives the part for a different voice (soprano, counter-tenor, tenor, and bass). 

Click here to listen to or download a recording of the Benediction and Grace.

The recording was made in St John's College Chapel on Wednesday 6th July 2016 by four singers from the Gentlemen of St John's directed by Joseph Wicks:

Superius: Tom Lilburn

Contratenor: Joseph Wicks

Tenor: Benedict Flinn

Bassus: Peter Lidbetter

The Benediction and Grace were transcribed by Sébastien Bouvet.


Sacred Music

Five pieces were recorded at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, by the internationally acclaimed early music vocal ensemble, The Clerks, directed by Edward Wickham. Use the links below to listen or download the recordings.

Lauda in honour of the Virgin Mary, 14th century, Anon., Beata es Maria (Turin Bibl. Naz. Cod. F.1.4)

Extracts from the Litany, Alberto di Castello, Liber Sacerdotalis (1523)

A Meditation on the Passion, likely mid-15th century, Anon., Cum autem venissen (Serafino Razzi, Libro primo delle Laudi Spirituali, 1563)

Text in honour of St John the Evangelist. Facciamo festa, attributed to Fra Pierfelice Caiani (Serafino Razzi, Libro primo delle Laudi Spirituali, 1563)

Adam de Antiquis Venetus, Senza te, sacra Regina, (Ottaviano Petrucci, Laude libro secondo, 1507)

All music performed by The Clerks: Nina Bennet, Ruth Kiang, Roy Rashbrook, Edward Wickham.

Recording engineer: Adam Binks





The rosary remains one of the most popular forms of devotion today, practised by Catholics all over the world. This video shows Dr Anna Gannon, a long-term resident of Cambridge, born and brought up in Italy, telling us about the rosary prayer, her rosary beads and what they mean to her.


Agnus Dei

This silent, black and white clip made in 1959 shows Pope John XXIII blessing Agnus Dei on the occasion of his 78th birthday. The Pope, wearing white robes, dips the wax discs into holy water, infused with perfume and the chrism oil used in baptism. 

© British Pathé Ltd



Pilgrimage remains an important part of the practice of many religions today. This silent video shows black and white footage of pilgrims visiting key sites of pilgrimage in Italy and elsewhere during the mid-20th century. 

1. Pilgrims visiting Fatima in 1967, 50 years after the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared there.

2. Procession leaving the cathedral at Pompeii in 1948.

3. The Pope being carried through crowds in Rome in
about 1950.

4. Palm Sunday procession in Jerusalem in about 1950.

© British Pathé Ltd




Faith and the Family: Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Faith & the Family - Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum from Historyworks on Vimeo.


Practices of Prayer: Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Practices of Prayer - Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum from Historyworks on Vimeo.


Miracles and Ex-votos - Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Miracles and Ex-Votos - Madonnas & Miracles at the Fitzwilliam Museum from Historyworks on Vimeo.



7 March - 4 June 2017

Adeane & Mellon galleries