Excerpts from the Enchiridion

Oratio devotissima

Northern Italian
Medieval (Gothic)
about 1400–50
Author of text Pope Leo III (died 816)

Place of Manufacture: Northern Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 13.1 x 8 cm (5 3/16 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ink, pencil (modern), and gold on parchment; bindings of calfskin over pasteboard, with traces of gilding

Not On View





Excerpts from the Enchridion (a collection of mystical prayers) with 28 folios (ff.).

ff. 1 - 2v: John 1:1-15
ff. 2v - 3v: Prefatory prayers
(ff. 2 - 3: Perquem haec omnia domine…/…omnis honor et gloria virtus et potestas per omnia saecula saeculorum Amen.)
(ff. 3 - 3v: Praeceptis salutaribus moniti et divina…/Pater noster qui est in caelis…)
ff. 3v - 14v: [Seven Mystical Prayers of St. Leo]: Libera quaeso domine famulum tum…/…quia nondum venerat hora eius.
ff. 14v - 27v: additional prayers
(ff. 14v - 15v: Dulcissime domine Iesu christe fili dei vivi qui audisti…/…in viam pacis et securitatis ad laudem et gloriam…)
ff. 15v - 17: Domine deus omnipotens pater qui dissipasti…/…in malviolam potestatem suam in me valeant exercere. Per dominum nostrum.
(ff. 17 - 18: Domine deus omnipotens pater qui de nihilo…/…dupplici contritione contere eos domine deus meus.)
(ff. 18 - 19: Domine Iesu christe fili dei vivi…/…ab omni doloso homine a quocunque me persequentem. Amen.)
(ff. 19 - 21: Misericordissime dominus Iesu christe per istam crucem…/…defendat me ab omnibus inimicis meis visibilibus et invisibilibus. Amen.)
(ff. 21 - 27: O adonai Iudica domine nocentes me expugna…/…cum sanctis tuis lux vera societas plena gaudium sempiternum. Qui vivas et regnas…)
(f. 27: Benedicat me pater qui omnia crevit ex nihilo…/…qui me semper salvet pie consolationis infusione. Amen.)
(ff. 27 - 27v: Pax domini nostri Iesu christi et virtus passionis eius…/…omnes inimicos meos visibiles et invisibiles in haec hora et in hora mortis et in omni tempore. Amen.)
ff. 28 - 28v: [blank]

1 column of 15 text lines in Latin. Bounding lines single brown plummet, full-length to top and bottom, writing lines brown plummet. Some leaves foliated in modern pencil.

Written in an Italian rotunda script in brown ink with red rubrics. 2- to 3-line initials throughout in gold with blue filigree, blue with red, or red with gold, extending into outer margin.

The Enchiridion, a collection of mystical prayers, was supposed to have been written by Pope Leo III for Charlemagne. This manuscript appears to be the oldest surviving copy of any portion of the Enchiridion, preserving the prefatory prayers and the central section of the work, the Seven Mystical Prayers of Pope Leo. In this copy, the prayer divisions are somewhat different than those preserved in the later printed editions.


Seventeenth-century Italian notes inside upper cover relating to currency exchanges. Nineteenth-century shelf-mark "88" on front pastedown, "8662" on f. 1 recto.


In the 17th century, probably in Italy [see note 1]. By 1913, Dr. Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935) [see note 2]; 1917, gift of Dr. Denman Waldo Ross. (Accession date: February 15, 1917)

[1] Seventeenth-century Italian notes inside upper cover relating to currency exchanges. [2] From 1913 until it was made a gift, this manuscript was on loan to the MFA from Dr. Denman Waldo Ross.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection