Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saint Yriex

So the last time I was in NYC with my wife, we spent an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I was drawn like a fly to honey to the Medieval Art collection. Suddenly, we were both transfixed by this pair of heads. The actual reliqiuary of the skull of St. Yriex...Yriex is actually the patois version of his real Latin name, Aredius. What was this doing in the Met? We live just below the town of St. Yriex-la-Perche...follow the Route 704, just into the Haute-Vienne, South of Limoges. Incidentally, St. Yriex-la-Perche is the place where the first deposits of  fine kaolin clay were discovered which gave birth to the Limoges porcelain tradition.... and where Aredius was the bishop in the 7th century and the mentor of Gregory of Tours when this was the last western vestige of the Roman empire. Long after Rome dissolved, Gallo Roman France kept the flames of civilization burning until the Frankish Merovingians conquered it.
His great stone church still dominates the town from the top of the hill.
 In fact the residents of St. Yriex still call themselves "Aredois" I am Badefolois....The actual skull of St. Yriex was encased in the walnut wood sculpted head, then encased in the silver/gilt gem encrusted cover. What happened to the original skull? The relic was acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan, who bequeathed his booty to the Met...but I really think the brain case of St. Yriex should come back here.....

1 comment:

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Microdot,
I love the information and lesson of this. Thanks