Gervasius and Protasius of Milan, and Etheldreda of England

Date of news: 19 June 2016

Fol. 198r

The saints on the left and right are the brothers Gervasius and Protasius of Milan. They lived in the second century AD and their feast day is on 19 June. Not much is known about their lives, except that they were children of the saints Vitalis and Valeria of Ravenna and that they were tortured. The objects they hold in their hands are a reference to that: Gervasius was beaten to death with a mace and his brother was decapitated with a sword. Their graves were discovered in the fourth century AD by church father Ambrose and the location has been a place of many wonders ever since. The saint in the middle is rather a special one. The accompanying prayer is dedicated to the English queen Etheldreda of Ely, at one point the most popular Anglo-Saxon female saint. The illuminator, however, painted a king. How this confusion came about is something that will have to be further investigated in the future.