Dionysius of Paris, Gereon and Victor of Cologne - Reageren

Date of news: 9 October 2016

Fol. 248v

The saint in the middle is Dionysius of Paris, a remarkable presence in this miniature. Dionysius is a ‘cephapholore’ or ‘head-carrier’. After he was decapitated on Montmartre, he picked up his head and carried it several miles to the place he wanted to be buried. Later, the Saint Denis Cathedral was built there. His feast day is on 9 October. On his left and right we see Gereon of Cologne and Victor of Xanten. Although they did not die at the same time, their stories are so similar that they have a joint feast day on 10 October. Gereon and Victor were part of the Theban Legion whose members converted to Christianity and died a martyr’s death. The men are usually depicted as knights in full armour, but the Master of Mary of Guelders chose to depict them in civilian clothing. The swords are symbols of them being decapited.