Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

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(876 words)

Miraculous lactation has precedence in the martyrologies, in which the moment of death is marked not only by the flow of blood but also by the changing of this blood to milk: lac pro sanguine. As he awaits his martyrdom, Saint Christopher tells his persecutor that, as proof of the power of Christ, his innocent blood applied to blind eyes will cure them. To this end, the tyrant anoints his ailing eyes with Christopher's blood and is healed. (See also Blindness). The miraculous power of blood is directly linked to the thaumaturgic nature of milk; in Hippocratic medical system…

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Brenda Gardenour, “Lactation”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Consulted online on 01 June 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emp_SIM_00084>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004181298, 20091023

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