The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Ii. Constantinople

Galatea monastery

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The monastery of St. Francis is richly ornamented, and contains several relics. First they were shown a glass case, very richly adorned, and set on a silver gilt stand, in which were the bones of the blessed St. Andrew and the glorious St. Nicholas, and the dress of the blessed and glorious St. Francis. In another case there were the bones of St. Catherine, of the blessed St. Louis of France, and of St. Li of Genoa; and in another there were the bones of the innocents. They were also shewn the arm of St. Pantaleon, the arm of St. Mary Magdalene, of St. Luke, three heads of the eleven hundred virgins, a bone of St. Ignatius, the right arm of St. Stephen, the first martyr, with the hand missing, the head and arm of St. Anne. The latter wanted one finger, and they say that the emperor of Constantinople took it away to put amongst his relics, and that there was a law suit about it. They were also shewn a silver cross inlaid with stones, in the centre of which a small cross was fixed, made of the wood of the most holy true cross; and a richly ornamented glass case, containing a bone of the glorious St. Basil. They then examined a richly gilded silver cross, inlaid with many stones, on which many relics of saints were fixed. Next they saw a glass case containing a silver hand, holding a bone of the blessed St. Llorente, relics of St. John, St. Dionysius, and many other things belonging to the saints. They say that these relics were taken, when Constantinople was occupied by the Latins; that afterwards they were claimed by the Greek Patriarch, and that there was a lawsuit about them. The ambassadors were also shown some very rich dresses, chalices, and crosses. In this monastery is interred, before the high altar, the body of the grand marshal of France who fought the Turk, when he routed the French who came with the king of Hungary {At the battle of Nicopolis}; and in the monastery of St. Paul lies interred the body of the lord of Truxi, and many other knights slain by the Turk, after they had yielded, and he had received a ransom for them.