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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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Our Lady of the Trellis

Our Lady of the Trellis

(p.265) Chapter 24 Our Lady of the Trellis
Sacred Folly

Max Harris

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the relationship (or supposed relationship) between the clerical Feast of Fools and Lille's major civic festival. Lille's major civic festival, which took place in early summer, brought youth groups, festive societies, and the bishop of fools from the collegiate church of Saint Peter together in a single celebration. The civic festival had its origins in an annual procession, founded in 1270 by Countess Margaret of Flanders, in honor of a statue of the Virgin Mary located in Saint Peter's church. This chapter considers the bishop's role in the Lille summer festival, the conflict between the bishop's winter festivities and the town authorities, and the problem with the feast of the Innocents. It argues that Lille's great procession was not an outgrowth of the clerical Feast of Fools, and that the role of the bishop of fools in the procession was a consequence not of lay imitation of the clerical feast but of the church's ownership of the image of Our Lady of the Trellis.

Keywords:   civic festival, Lille, festive societies, bishop of fools, procession, Saint Peter's church, festivities, feast of the Innocents, Feast of Fools, Our Lady of the Trellis

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