Vestments of Recusant England: The Peasecod Chasuble of Helen of Wintour

Dated to circa 1640, the Peasecod chasuble of Helen of Wintour was originally part of a larger set that included an antependium. The chasuble is made of white satin and embroidered with pearls. The chasuble also features South American passion flowers - so called because its form is akin to the nails of the crucifixion and Christ's crown of thorns.

Like many of her other works, the vestment contains familiar Jesuit themes such as the distinctive Jesuit IHS monogram. Other monograms are also found on the vestment, most prominently a Marian one, "MRA," which also includes a crown above and the Sorrowful Heart, pierced by a sword, below. Other smaller monograms repeat the IHS and MRA, but we also can find "IO" (St. Joseph) and "AN" (St. Anne). 

Aside fro these, various flowers also ornament the work, no doubt of Marian significance, as well as grape clusters (a Eucharistic reference) and pomegranates.


A closer look at some of the details:

The Passion Flower

Finally, here is a short video from Stonyhurst College which will provide a bit more information about the chasuble and its history. 

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