Medieval Pilgrim's Badge of St. Jos

Northern France, late 14th-15th c.

Lead alloy. Jos (Judoc or Joos) was the son St. Judicael, King of Brittany in the 7th c. Jos renounced the crown for a pilgrimage and on his return became a hermit. After his death in 668 his body preserved itself and his beard continued to grow -- sure signs of sanctity! A monastery was built on the site of his hermitage, and the town Josse-sur-Mer grew around it. His hermitage was a popular stopping point for English pilgrims. The badge, with its graphic rendition of a medieval man in a hooded gown, allowed the pilgrim to carry the sanctity of the shrine with him. Staff is old replacement, pin on back is lost, otherwise remarkably good condition.

2-3/4" x 1-3/4": frame 6-1/4" x 7".
 
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