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A Blood Libel Cult: 
Anderl von Rinn: Articles

ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLES on ANDERL [Andrew] OF RINN

  1. New Catholic Encyclopedia, (New York McGraw-Hill, 1967)
  2. Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastiques, (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1912-) Article translated into English and French original.
  3. Bibliotheca Sanctorum, 12 vols., (Rome: Istituto Giovanni XXIII della Pontificia University Lateranense, 1961-69), In Italian

1. New Cath. Enc.:ANDREW OF RINN, Bl.

By M.G. McNeill

from New Catholic Encyclopedia, (New York McGraw-Hill, 1967), Vol 1. p. 496

A peasant child, alleged martyr; b. Nov. 16, 1459; d. Rinn, near lnnshruck, Austria, July 12, 1462 (feast, July 12). At his father's death, his mother entrusted Andrew, then 2 years old, to his uncle's care. Andrew disappeared July 12, 1462, and his mother found his body hanging from a tree in a nearby wood. The uncle claimed he had sold the child to Jews returning from a fair. The child s body was buried in a cemetery of Ampass without any extant evidence of a juridical investigation. Veneration was first given to the remains when the inhabitants of Rinn, imitating the citizens of Trent who honored a boy Simon murdered by Jews in 1475, solemnly transferred Andrew's body to Rinn. His cult spread through northern Tyrol. Benedict XIV approved his equivalent beatification Dec. 25, 1752, but refused canonization Feb. 22, 1755.
2. DHGE:ANDREW OF RINN (Blessed)
by E. Vacandard

[Trans. Paul Halsall]

From Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastiques, (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1912- ) DHGE, Vol 2: coll 1700-01, (Paris, 1914)

This is about a child who was not yet three years old, when, it is said, he was murdered by Jews. We have only thus to recount the circumstances of his death and the history of its cult.
I. THE DEATH
The Bollandistes first published, during the 18th century, the account of the murder of the young Andrew. The sources, where they come from, their real claims, are quite troubled. It is enough to indicate them them here, to appreciate their [lack of?] value.
These are:
  1. annals of the Prémontés of Wilten (Wiltinenses), which are not contemporary with event;
  2. an epitaph (of 1475, it is said) in the wall of the church of St. Andrew of Rinn (St Andrew, apostle) and written in German. In 1620, when the physician Hippolyte Guarinoni, of Hall, wanted to decipher it, it was almost illegible:
    Ita inveniebatur corrasa ut singula ejus verba haud amplius potuerint legi.
    One might guess that someone has tried to get near the sense and that another wrote something else to replace it,
  3. manuscripts of Guarinoni, who tried to record in writing the tradition of the murder of the little Andrew. His book is so bizarre, say the Bollandistes, that one dare not print it: ob immixta impertinentia ita fuse… ut ad typum datus non sit.
  4. the oral tradition, collected from the mouths of several old people in 18th century by Andrew Mayr, priest of Ampass, a neighbouring village of Rinn.
In sum, we are above all in the presence an oral tradition. Here is the summary: Andrew was born 16 November 1459; he was the son of Simon Oxner and Maria. He was not two years old when he lost his father. To be able to earn her living more easily, hi mother entrusted him to an innkeeper of Rinn, of the name of Meyer, who was also both the uncle and the sponsor of the child. Now, in 1462, around the feast of the Corpus Christi, Jews whoe were in Posen, for one of fairs of this town, passed by Rinn (a neighbouring village to Hall, and near to Innsbruck, diocese of Brixen) and stopped at Meyer's. They saw the child and in proposed to make him their prey. They offered to Meyer a big enough sum of money. When the market had concluded, it was understood that they would take the child on their return from the fair. Friday 9 July, they indeed returned. After a stay of three days, they paid the agreed sum and left, taking with them the innocent Andrew (12 July).
Hardly were they out of the village when they entered a small wood of boulceux, where they immolated the child on a stone that has carried since the name of Judenstein, (the stone of Jews). Having finished their sacrifice, they seized the small corpse and suspended it on branches of a birch. Then they took their escape and one no longer heard speak of them.
The mother found the corpse and had it interred, one does not know too why, in the cemetery of Ampass. We pass under silence the miracles that occurred at the place of the martyrdom; they have no character of authenticity.
It is to be noticed that the murder remained unpunished. The Jews were not pursued, the treacherous Meyer was not disquieted. There are no traces of a judicial inquiry. The tradition is silent on all these points, which have nevertheless their importance. Under the
episcopate of Georges Golser, bishop of Brixen from 1471 to 1489, the archduchess Maria-Christine made an inquiry in Rinn and in Ampass on this affair and could obtain no written information.
II. THE CULT
The bishop of Brixen, in 1462, was none other than the famous Nicolas of Cusa, who died in 1464. Nothing indicates that he cared to treat the young Andrew as a martyr and to render him a cult. It as only around 1475, when residents of Trent [in Italy] desired to honor the young Simon victim of the cruelty of Jews, that residents of Rinn led themselves to imitate them. Cf. Acta sanct., loc. cit. The body of Andrew was taken out of the earth, transported solemnly from the cemetery of Ampass to the famous "stone of Jews" , then to the cemetery of Rinn and deposited near the wall of the church of St. Andre. It was without doubt at this moment, that was mounted in the wall the epitaph that related circumstances of its death.
Miracles, we are told, soon burst from the tomb of the child. Forty years later, the emperor Maximilien (d. 1519) came to make there a sort of pilgrimage. Bit it was only in 1620 and by care of Guarinoni that a chapel was finally constructed in the actual place where the victim had been immolated, and that it received, with the name of Andrew, that of "Judenstein". Acta sanctor., loc. cit., p.167.
We are not told that the remains of Andrew were transferred there at that time. This transfer only took place it, under the episcopate of Paulin Mays (1677-l685). The Annals of Wilten indicate, wrongly as dates 20 September 1671, a time when Paulin Mayr did not yet occupy the see of Brixen. Cf. Acta sanctor., loc. cit., p.468, and Gams, Series episcoporum, p. 266. By virtue of an indult of Paulin Mayr, the relics were exposed publicly and delivered to the veneration of believers.
In 1703, one notes a pilgrimage of fifteen parishes from theTyrol, then ravaged by the war, which came to place themselves under the protection of the blessed Andrew. We know also that in 1722, the day of his feast, that is to say 12 July, a mass was celebrated in his honor - the votive mass of the holy Innocents.
Such was the state of the cult when, in 1750 or 1751 (for what follows, cf. The Consultation of Pope Benedict XIV Beatus Andreas), the bishop of Brixen and the abbot of the prémontrés of Wilten addressed to Benedict XIV a petition to obtain an office and a proper mass of the blessed Andrew, for the regular and secular clergy of the diocese. By a letter dated of 27 September 1751 the pope asked that they submit a a trial under the rules of martyrio, miraculorum fama, deque cultu immemoriali. The petitioners objected that such a trial would demand too much time and would necessitate a huge expense. Benedict XIV acceeded therefore to their demands. He had under his hand the articles of the Bollandists, Acta sanctor, loc. cit.; we learn this from him.In addition, he had knowledge of the work of AndrewKempter, Acta pro veritate martyrii corporis and cultus publici B. Andreae Rinnensis, published inInnsbruck in 1745, which followed the notes of Guarinoni, and he also had given to him a copy of an ancient trial that had been written by a bishop of Brixen on the public cult and the mass of the blessed Andrew. After the examination of these extrajudicial pieces, probationes extrajudiciales, he granted, "25 December 1752 (octavo Kalendas januarii 1753), a proper mass and an office with proper lessons, a double rite, to to be recited by the secular and regular clergy of the two sexes, in the city itself and all the diocese ofBrixen. "
However the bishop of Brixen and his friends went then far and requested of Benedict XIV the canonisation of Andrew. This effort did not reach its goal. In a long letter to Benedetto Veterani, then promoter of the faith the pope explains why a such canonisation, which is unprecedented, is morally impossible. Constituion Beatus Andreas, 22 February 1755.
The cult of the young Andrew henceforth kept the character that it had from its origin. There was not a proper beatification, but only the equivalence of a beatification, beatificatio aequipollens, as said Benedict XIV. Thus, the authority of the Roman Church is not formally committed to the cult of Andrew of Rinn. This is again the mark of the learned pontiff.
If we have spent so much time on Andre of Rinn, it is as an example of children put to death by Jews according to a sacrificial rite. In none of the documents that we have quoted (and one knows of no others), there is not a allusion to a ritual murder. Andrew is only seen to have been murdered by Jews in hatred for the Christ.

French Original of Vacandard's article:

ANDRÉ DE RINN (Bienheureux)

by E. Vacandard

Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastiques, (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1912-), Vol 2: coll 1700-01, (Paris, 1914)

Il s'agit d'un enfant qu n'avait pas trois ans quand il fut, dit­on, massacré par des juifs. Nous n'avons done qu'a reconter les circonstances de sa mort et l'histoire de son culte.
1 LA MORT
Les bollandistes ont les premieiers publié, au cours du xviiie siècle, le recit du meurtre du jeune André. Et les sources où ils ont puisé sont, de leur propre aveu, assez troubles. Il convient des les indiquer ici, pour apprécier la valeur.
Ce sont:
  1. les annales des prémontés de Wilten (Wiltinenses), , qu ne sont pas contemporaines de l'évenement;
  2. une épitaphe placée (vers 1475, dit-on) dans le mur de l'église Saint-André de Rinn (saint André, apôtre) et rédigée en allemand. En 1620, lorsque le médecin Hippolyte Guarinoni, de Hall, voulut la déchiffrer, elle était à peu près illisible:
    Ita inveniebatur corrasa ut singula ejus verba haud amplius potuerint legi. On en devina a peu près le sens et on en rédigea une autre pour la remplacer,
  3. les manuscrits de Guarinoni, qui entreprit consigner par écrit la tradition sur le meurtre du petit André. Son livre est tellement bizarre, disent les bollandistes, qu'on n'a jamais osé l'imprimer: ob immixta impertinentia ita fuse… ut ad typum datus non sit.
  4. la tradition orale, recueillie de la bouche de plusieurs vieillards au xviii siècle par Andre Mayr, curé d'Ampass, village voisin de Rinn.
Bref, nous sommes surtout en présence d'une tradition orale En voici le résumé: André était né 16 novembre 1459; il était fils de Simon Oxner et de Marie Il n'avait pas doux ans quand il perdit son père. Pour pouvoir gagner sa vie plus aisément, sa mère le confia à un hôtelier de Rinn, du nom de Meyer, qui était à la fois l'oncle et le parrain de l'enfant. Or, en 1462, aux environs de la fête du Saint-Sacrement, des juifs qui se rendaient à Posen, pour l'une des foires de cette ville, passèrent par Rinn (village voisin de Hall et d' Innsbruck, diocèse de Brixen) et s'arrêtèrent chez Meyer. Ils virent l'enfant et projetèrent d' en faire leur proie. Ils offrirent à Meyer une somme d'argent assez ronde. Le marché eut conclu. Il fut entendu qu'ils prendraient l'enfant au retour de la foire. Le vendredi 9 juillet, ils étaient en effet, de retour. Après un séjour de trois fois vingt-quatre heures, ils versèrent la somme convenue et partirent, emmenant avec eux l'innocent Andre (12 juillet).
A peine étaient­ils sortis du village qu'ils entrèrent dans un petit bois de boulceux où ils immolèrent l'enfant sur une pierre qui a porté depuis le nom de Judenstein, (la pierre des Juifs ). Leur sacrifice achevé, ils saisirent le petit cadavre et le suspendirent aux branches d'un bouleau. Ensuite ils prirent la fuite et l'on n'entendit plus parler d'eux.
La mère retrouva le cadavre et le fit inhumer, on ne sait trop pourquoi, dans le cimetière d'Ampass.
Nous passons sous silence les faits merveilleux qui se succèdent sur les lieux du martyre; ils n'ont aucun caractère d'authenticité.
Ce qui est à remarquer, c'est que l'assassinat demeura impuni. Les juifs n'ont pas été poursuivis, le traître Meyer ne fut pas inquiété. Nulle trace d'une enquête judiciaire. La tradition est muette sur tous ces points, qui ont pourtant leur importance. Sous l' épiscopat de Georges Golser, évêque de Brixen de 1471 à 1489, l'archiduchesse Marie­Christine fit faire une enquête à Rinn et à Ampass sur cette affaire et ne put obtenir aucun renseignement écrit.
II. LE CULTE
L évêque de Brixen, en 1462, n'était autre que le célèbre Nicolas de Cusa, qui mourut en 1464. Rien n'indique qu'il se soit soucié de traiter le jeune André en martyr et de lui rendre un culte. Ce ne fut qu'aux environs de 1475, lorsque les habitants de Trente voulurent honorer le jeune Simon victime de la cruauté des juifs, que les habitants de Rinn s'avisèrent de les imiter. Cf. Acta sanct., loc. cit. le corps d'André fut levé de terre, transporté solennellement du cimetière d'Ampass à la fameuse "pierre des Juifs", puis au cimetière de Rinn et déposé près du mur de l'église Saint­André. Ce fut sans doute à cette occasion que fut encastrée dans le mur l'épitaphe qui relatait les circonstances de sa mort.
Des miracles, nous dit­on, éclatèrent bientôt sur la tombe de l'enfant. Quarante ans plus tard, l'empereur Maximilien (mort en 1519) vint y faire une sorte de pèlerinage. Ce ne fut qu'en 1620 et par les soins de Guarinoni qu'une chapelle fut enfin construite à l'endroit même où la victime avait été immolée, et reçut, avec le vocable d'André, celui de Judenstein. Acta sanctor., loc. cit., p.167.
On ne nous dit pas que les restes d'André y aient été dès lors transférés. Cette translation n'eut lieu ce semble, que sous l'épiscopat de Paulin Mays (1677­l685). Les Annales de Wilten indiquent ,à tort comme date le 20 septembre 1671, époquc ou Paulin Mayr n'occupait pas encore le siège de Brixen. Cf. Acta sanctor., loc. cit., p.468, et Gams, Series episcoporum, p. 266. En vertu d'un indult de Paulin Mayr, les reliques furent exposées publiquement et livrées à la vénération des fidèles.
En 1703, on note un pèlerinage de quinze paroisses du Tyrol, qui, ravagées par la guerre, vinrent se placer sous la protection du bienheureux André. Nous savons encore qu'en 1722, le jour de sa fête, c'est­à­dire le 12 juillet, on célébrait en son honneur la messe votive des saints Innocents.
Tel était l'état du culte lorsque, en 1750 ou 1751 (pour ce qui suit, cf. la Consultation de Benoît XIV Beatus Andreas), "l'evêque de Brixen et l'abbé des prémontrés de Wilten adressèrent à Benoît XIV une supplique en vue d'obtenir un office et une messe propres du bienheureux André, pour le clergé séculier et régulier du diocèse. Par une lettre en date du 27 septembre 1751 le pape demanda qu'on lui soumît un procès en règle de martyrio, de miraculorum fama, deque cultu immemoriali. Les demandeurs objectèrent qu'un pareil procès exigerait du temps et nécessiterait des frais énormes. Benoît XIV renonça donc à ses exigences Il avait sous la main l' article des bollandistes, Acta sanctor, loc. cit.; c'est lui qui nous l'apprend, en outre, connaissance de l'ouvrage d'André Kempter, Acta pro veritate martyrii corporis et cultus publici B. Andreae Rinnensis, publié a Innsbruck en 1745, d'après les notes de Guarinoni, et il se lit remettre une copie d'un procès ancien qui avait été rédige par un evêque de Brixen sur le culte public et la messe du bienheureux André. Après l'examen de ces pièces extrajudiciaires, probationes extrajudiciales, il accorda, "le 25 décembre 1752 (octavo Kalendas januarii 1753), une messe propre et un office avec leçons propres, de rite double, pour être récité par le clergé séculier et les réguliers des deux sexes, dans la ville même et tout le diocèse de Brixen."
Cependant l'évêque de Brixen et ses amis allèrent puis loin et sollicitèrent de Benoît XIV la canonisation d'André. Leur démarche ne devait pas aboutir. Dans une longue lettre à Benedetto Veterani, alors promoteur de la foi le pape explique pourquoi une telle canonisation, qui est sans précédent, est moralement impossible. Constituion Beatus Andreas, du 22 février 1755.
Le culte du jeune André conservera donc désormais le caractère qu'il eut dès l'origine. Il n'y a pas eu de béatification proprement dite, mais seulement l'équivalence d'une béatification, beatificatio aequipollens, comme parle Benoît XIV. De la sorte, l'autorité de l'Église romaine ne se trouve pas formellement engagée dans le culte d'André de Rinn. C'est encore la remarque du savant pontife.
Si nous nous sommes étendu si longuement sur André de Rinn, c'est qu'n a voulu le donner comme un exemple des enfants mis à mort par les juifs selon un rite sacrificiel. Dans aucun des documents que nous avons cités (et on n'ell connaît pas d'autres), il n'est fait allusion à un meurtre rituel. André est seulement cense avoir été massacré par des juifs en haine du Christ.
References
Acta sanctorum, julii t.III, p. 462­471.
André Kembter, Acta pro ueritate martyrri corporis el cultus publici B. Andreae Rinnensis, Innsbruck, 1745.
Benoît XIV, Constitutio XLIV: Beatus Andreas, dans Bullarium romanum magnam sue ejusdem Continuatio, Luxembourg, 1758, t. xlx, p 120­136.
Consu1tation du cardinal Ganganelli (pape Clément XIV) sur l'accusation de meurtres rituels portée contre les Juifs, en italien, dans Revue des études juives, t. XVIII, p. 201­202; en Français, dans H.­L. Strack, Le sang et 1e fausse accusalion du muertre rituel, Paris, s. d., p. 370-371.
H.-L. Strack, Das Blut im Glauen und Aberglauben der Menschenheit, 8 ed., Leipzig, 1911, p. 145­146.
J. Deckert, Vier Tiroler Kinder, Opfer des chassidischen Fanatismus Vienne, 1893, p. 87­119.
E. Vacandard, La question du meutre rituel chez les juifs, dans Études de critique et histoire religieuse, 3e serie, Paris, 1912, p 359­353.

3. Bib.Sanct.:ANDREA Di RINN, Bl.

By Niccolò Del Re

Bibliotheca Sanctorum, (Rome: Istituto Giovanni XXIII della Pontificia University Lateranense, 1961-69), Vol 1, 1148-49

ANDREA di RINN, beato, martire. Non aveva ancora tre anni quando venne barbaramente trucidato da alcuni ebrei, 12 Iugl 1462. Nato, infatti, il 16 nov. 1459, il piccolo A. Oxner fu affidato dalla madre, rimasta vedova poco dopo, ad uno zio di nome Meyer, che faceva l'albergatore a Rinn, piccolo paese nelìe vicinanze di Innsbruck, nel Tirolo. Qualche mese piu tardi l'indegno uomo vendette il nipotino pcz una disc reta somma di danaro a certi ebrei di passaggio per la sua locanda e diretti a Posen per la fiera annuale, i quali avevano posto gli occhi addosso al piccolo A. Di ritorno dalla fiera essi sostarono nuovamente a Rinn per prelevare il bambino, versando la somma pattuita, e poco dopo in un boschetto non molto distante dal paese immolarono l'innocente creatura su una pietra, che fu poi detta la «pietra degli eblei » (Judenstein). Appeso il cadaverino ad un ramo di betulla, gli ebrei scomparvero quindi senza lasciare alcuna traccia. Là poté rinvenirlo la sventurata madre, che provvide subito a farlo seppellire nel cimitero di Ampass. L'assassinio rimase purtroppo inspiegabilmente impunito, perché né si tentò di rintracciare gli ebrei omicidi, né alcuno si curò di perseguire giudizialmente il Meyer. A nulla approdò, poi, anche un'inchiesta posteriore ordinata dall'arciduchessa Maria Cristina tra il 1471 ed il 1489.
Fu solo in occasione di un altro fatto del genere, accaduto nel 1475 a Trento, che gli abitanti di Rinn pensarono di onorare degnamente l'innocente vittima, tributando cult,o pubblico al piccolo A., per cui ne trasferirono il corpo da Ampass nella chiesa di S. Andrea apostolo di Rinn. Sul luogo stesso dove fu consumato l'orrendo misfatto venne fatta costruire nel 1620, per cura del medico cli Hall, Ippolito Guarinoni, una cappella in cui successivarnente, tra il 1677 ed il 1685, furono deposte le reliquie del piccolo martire tirolese. Nel 1750 o 1751 il vescovo di Bressanone e l'abate dei Premostratensi di Wilten inviarono una supplica a Benedetto XIV per ottenere un Ufficio ed una Messa propri del beato A., che il papa accordò il 25 dic. 1753. Una successiva richiesta di canonizzazione del martire incontrò, tuttavia, il rifiuto del pontefice, il quale ne spiegò estesamente i motivi nella costituzione Beatus Andreas del 22 febb. 1755 (cf. Benedicti XIV P.O.M. Bullarium, III, 2, Prato 1847, pp. 213­25), diretta al promotore della fede Benedetto Veterani, con cui confermava il culto tributato al beato A.
La tradizione vuole che il piccolo A. Oxner sia rimasto vittima di uno dei tanti omicidi rituali di cui assai spesso vennero accusati gli ebrei specie nel Medio Evo, accuse che debbono tuttavia ritenersi ìnfondate, come dimostrò il card. Lorenzo Cangallelli (divenuto poi papa Clemente XIV) nella sua memoria presentata il 21 rnarzo 1758 alla Congregazione di grazia, benché egli ammettesse i due casi di A. di Rinn e di Simone cli Trento (cf. I. Loeb, Une mémoire de Laurent Cangaelli sur la calomnie du meurtre rituel, in Revue des etudes juives, XVIII [1889], pp. 181, 183, 202).
La festa del beato A. di Rinn si celebra il 12 lugl., ricorrenza del martirio.
BIBL.:
Acta SS. Iulii, III, Anversa 1723, pp. 462­70
A. Kembter, Acta pro veritate martyrii corporis et cultus publici b. Andreae Rinnensis Innsbruck 1745,
E. Vacandard, in DHGE, II, coll. 1700-02
M Mayer, in LThK, I(2), col 319;
Baudot­Chaussin) VII, p. 282.

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