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Prayers to S. Vincent

Prayers to S. Vincent

Breve di S. Vincenzo Ferrerio contro la febre, Breve contro i tuoni tremuoti e pestilenze, & Responsorio di S. Antonio di Padova

Italy, 16th–17th century

woodcuts on paper

This tiny piece of paper is covered with prayers on both sides: here we can see prayers to St Vincent Ferrer offering protection against fever and ‘thunder, earthquakes and pestilences’. The paper functions as a breve or amulet, to be carried or worn, a superstitious practice that was sometimes frowned on by the Church. The signs of folding suggest it would have been placed in a pouch on the body.

Milan, Civica Raccolta Stampe A. Bertarelli, S.P. pp 25 172

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