Gebetbuch der Weißfrau Agnes Kaych

Augustinerbibliothek Münnerstadt


The book originates from the Angerkloster in Erfurt, also called the convent of the Magdalenerinnen, Büßerinnen or Weißfrauen. The sisters lived according to the Rule of Augustine and maintained contacts with the Erfurt Augustinians. The scribe of the two handwritten parts is the Weißfrau A.K., who was identified as Agnes Kaych in 2017 after a second manuscript was found from this monastery. According to the most recent state of research, the manuscript was written between 1490 and 1497. A.K., a theologically and linguistically educated nun, created her personal prayer book from Latin prayers, hymns and meditations – often of Augustinian inspiration. In the 16th century the handwritten parts were bound together with two incunabula: the first incunabulum Eyn Seliger und Nutzlicher deutscher Psalter des heiligen Jheronimi, printed around 1492 in Leipzig (fol. 8-18), has been handed down uniquely in Münnerstadt (cf. GW no. M0810730 and ISTC no. ih00188900). The second incunabulum Thomas de kempis De imitatione christi et de contemptu omnium vanitatum mundi was printed in 1489 in Strasbourg by Johann Prüss (fol. 20- 180). Above the frontispiece, Elisabeth Voyt (Voit), also an Erfurt Weißfrau, is registered as the owner of this work. With its references to regular sermons, common choral prayer and simple life, the volume bears witness to the fact that the monastery reforms demanded by Nicholas of Cusa were introduced among the Erfurt Weißfrauen at the end of the 15th century.