Divine Office for St. James the Apostle

Recto, Verso

Probably the most visually striking of our folios on exhibit, from the Suffrages section in a Book of Hours, this folio features illustrations of various saints, including St. Lawrence, St. James the Apostle and St. Stephen, who we can see here being stoned. Alongside these illuminates are prayers in devotion to these saints. You can hear more about the research and identification of St. Stephen's martyrdom in our video section.


The artistic design surrounding the text is here reminiscent of a painting, taking up the majority of the parchment to weave in hues of gold, red, orange, green, & blue, in intricate floral patterns that make it a pleasure to read & study; with the two sides joined, there is a noticeable symmetry & beauty to the folio's design.


The Latin text uses 'Textualis Formata', a Northern Gothic script, with rubrication in French hinting at its likely place of origin. Similar examples of text surrounded by decorative designs of flowers & vines have been found in other Book of Hours produced in France in the 1400-1500s.


Although there is slight water damage and smudging, it does little to detract away from the quality of the work, and the overall enjoyment to be had in experiencing it in person.



  1. ceat [et] seciua deseruiat p[er]
  2. Memoire de saint estie[n]ne
  3. le martir. an[tienn]e Aue senior
  4. Stephane aue martir para-
  5. doxe qui inter agmina ple-
  6. bis iudaice firmus in c[hrist]i
  7. fide uelut lampas ardentissi-
  8. ma apparuisti domino nu[n]c
  9. sydus inter sydera celetis
  10. aule succurre huic familie
  11. gratissima tua interuen-
  12. cione. V[erset] ora pro nobis do-
  13. minum martir stephane.
  14. ­R[espons] Ut digni efficiamur


  1. promissionibus [christ]i. Oremus.
  2. Or[ati]o Omnipotens sempi-
  3. terne deus qui primici-
  4. as martirum in beati leui-
  5. te stephani sanguine dedi-
  6. casti. tribue quesumus. ut
  7. pro nobis intercessor exi-
  8. stat qui eciam pro suis p[er]-
  9. secutoribus exorauit. Do-
  10. minu[m] n[ostr]um ih[esu]m [christu]m fili-
  11. um tuum. Memoire de sai[n]t
  12. lorens. antie[n]ne. Beatus lau-
  13. rentius bonum opus operatus
  14. est qui per signum crucis ce-
  • Title: "Divine Office for St. James the Apostle"
  • Subject: Folio from the Suffrages section in a Book of Hours; concluding line from a prayer to St. James the Apostle; antiphon to St. Stephen with a response and prayer; a prayer to St. Lawrence (referred to as Lorens on line 12v).
  • Size: 155 mm x 160 mm
  • Quality: Parchment is heavier at the bottom; bubbles in spots over the text; bumpy near lower left margin (recto)
  • Binding: Binding side is broken up, with edges beginning to curl; dark brown marks along broken binding edge especially near the bottom; cuts into the parchment along binding edge suggest former sewing supports
  • Ruling: 14 lines of text; left side of text in a straight, ruled line (verso); right side of text does not follow same straight line (e.g. the ‘O’ in line 2v extends beyond ruling); Line 11r "ora pro nobis do" is written lower than the start of line (it is 0.2 cm below the beginning of the line)
  • Illuminations: Illumination depicts the Stoning of St. Stephen; pencil marks evident on Stephen’s hands; red ink to represent blood at top of his head; tiled ground with darker squares filled with unequal yellow circles; figures that are doing the stoning have two different styles of dress; two frames around the image with exterior frame in gold and interior frame in blue
  • Date: 15th century
  • Location: France
  • Language: Black ink: Latin; rubrication (red): French
  • Script: Northern Gothic, Textualis Formata
  • Archive: Carleton University Art Gallery Collection
  • Reference Number: CUAG 1995.62.8 | Add. 10200