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© Hildesheim, St Godehard |
beyond the margin of the page the hand of God reaches down in blessing.
The naked and fearful sinner complains 'Many calves have surrounded
me'.He leaps over a herd of calves. According to St Jerome, calves
symbolise lust and incontinence, and are thus a threat to the naked
flesh (St Jerome,PL, xxvi, 881). From a monastic point of view, the
vulnerable soul is escaping from the lusts of the flesh with God's
understood the symbolic danger of bulls. In a vision she saw a herd
of bulls trying to charge her, but their hooves were stuck in mud.
She interpreted the bulls as wicked men attacking her virginity. She
had to stand fast herself in order to keep them stuck in the mud (Talbot,
Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard