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Medieval History Term of the Week: Feretory

[fer-i-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
Etymology: [Middle English, from Anglo-Norman fertre, from Latin feretrum, from Greek pheretron, from pherein, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.]

1. a container for the relics of a saint; reliquary.

2. an enclosure or area within a church where such a reliquary is kept.

3. a portable bier or shrine.

From The GOLDEN LEGEND or LIVES of the SAINTS, Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275

And after, he [St. Alphage] was brought to London with great worship and buried in the church of S. Paul with great reverence, and there his body lay buried many years; and afterwards it was taken up and translated to Canterbury, and his bones there laid in a worshipful feretory or shrine, where our Lord showed daily many fair miracles for his holy martyr S. Alphage.

*definitions retrieved from

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