The Book of Hours is a book of Christian devotion, which evolved from the psalter. It gained popularity during the Middle Ages, and typically consisted of psalms, prayers, and other devotional texts. It is the most common surviving type of manuscript, but each copy was unique – whether on account of a different selection of texts, or different decoration. As a result, books of this type offer some of the most interesting examples of medieval calligraphy and decorative practice. This specific leaf contains lives of saints, which would have been read as act of devotion. Lists of saints would have been featured in Books of Hours for personal devotions, but also in lectionaries used in in monasteries and cathedrals.
To learn more about Medieval manuscripts, please visit our relevant blog post: A Brief History of Manuscripts.