Authored by Cynthia Turner Camp from data compiled by Lainie Pomerleau, Kaley Lefevre, Ashton Taylor, Rachel Costa, and Sarah Funk.
The Hargrett Hours contains an extensive collection of suffrages to saints. A suffrage is a multi-part request for a saint’s aid. It typically opens with a hymn or antiphon and ends with a prayer; these two longer sections are connected by a versicle and response. Most Books of Hours include about a dozen suffrages, often to popular saints like John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Nicholas, Christopher, and Katherine. Beyond these ubiquitous figures, Books of Hours may also include suffrages to saints whom the book’s original owner held in special esteem. The suffrage section is therefore one of the more personalizable parts of a Book of Hours.
Thirty-two suffrages to thirty-four saints, plus three prayers to Mary, end the Hargrett Hours in its incomplete state. While popular saints like John the Baptist and James appear, the collection is noteworthy for two categories of saints. First, it includes many biblical figures. All of the twelve disciples (except, surprisingly, Andrew) appear, including rare figures like Mathias. It also includes suffrages for important biblical women: not only Mary Magdalene (who is frequently present in suffrage collections), but also Anne, the mother of Mary, and a group suffrage for Mary Cleophas and Mary Salome, the two Marys who went with Mary Magdalene to Jesus’s tomb at the Resurrection.
Second, it includes saints of distinctively northern French and Parisian interest. Saint Genevieve, the patron of Paris, and Saint Germain of Auxerre, her episcopal benefactor, both appear. Other uncommon saints include Fiacre, an Irish saint whose relics were housed in the Île de la Cité, Paris, and Mary of Egypt, an eremetic “desert mother.”
Research into the Hargrett Hours suffrages began in 2016 and will be continued in future courses, which will also edit the suffrages for publication on this website.