Last modified: 2004-06-05 by
Keywords: neubuz | monstrance |
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The English word "monstrance" probably comes from the same French word. Interestingly, the meaning of this word in French has changed with time.
Initially (XVIth century), a "monstrance", from the verb "monstrer", an ancient form of "montrer", to show, was what we call today an "ostensoir". An "ostensoir" (XVIIIth century), from "ostentum", the supine form of the Latin verb "ostendere", to show, is a vessel made by a silversmith, used in the Roman liturgy to place the consecrated host and to expose it to the veneration of the faithful.
The second meaning of "monstrance" in French dates back from 1873. Such a "monstrance" is a portable reliquary in which small relics were exposed. I believe that the invention of such a device was linked to the so-called "missions" which were sent all over France to spread and reactivate the Roman Catholic faith.
Source: the Grand Robert de la Langue Francaise.
Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2004