Monday, 14 January 2013

Christianity A History "Dark Ages"

Theologian Robert Beckford 's personal view of the dark ages in which he explores how warring pagan tribes became one nation under a single religion - Christianity and asks if this is the most misunderstood and underrated moment in Britain's history. In this extraordinary story, which begins with the fall of the Roman Empire 400 years after the birth of Jesus, we chart the precarious survival of Christianity in the Celtic West and Ireland following a struggle for souls between three different religious traditions: the warrior pagan religion of the Anglo-Saxons, Celtic Christianity and a resurgent Roman Christianity, which arrived with St Augustine in 597. With the aid of noted experts in the field, Robert reveals how these conflicts were resolved and why Christianity was a vital element in the eighth century creation of an alternative identity for the English peoples. This was a spectacular cultural achievement with a revolutionary agenda, which became, in the Kingdom of King Alfred, the basis of the nation we live in today. Christianity A History "Dark Ages" 1/4 Christianity A History "Dark Ages" 2/4 Christianity A History "Dark Ages" 3/4 Christianity A History "Dark Ages" 4/4

Britain after Rome, by Robin Fleming

Robin Fleming's latest book. Britain after Rome, is the latest addition to The Penguin History of Britain series. Focusing mainly on England from the end of the Roman era to the Norman Conquest, Britain after Rome is best described as a people's history of the Anglo-Saxon world. Instead of describing the reigns of kings and the politics of the time, Fleming writes about the changes in society and how people lived during the early Middle Ages. The author dives into the vast archaeological evidence that has been accumulating all over the British Isles. The material sources which are being uncovered have allowed historians like Fleming to re-write much of what we know about the Anglo-Saxon world. What can be learned from medieval cemeteries or long-hidden ruins is truly amazing, and this book really succeeds in showing us a new view of how people lived and died over this period. Some general themes emerge throughout this book, starting with the establishment and growth of Christianity in Britain, including the important role played by missionaries and monasteries. Another is how the island found itself almost totally without urban areas by the year 600, but in the centuries afterward towns began to emerge, with places like Ipswich and London getting plenty of coverage. The economic development of early medieval Britain is shown throughout the book, with Fleming telling us about how farming and trade improved as the years passed. We learn a lot about the daily lives of these people, including what they ate, what they wore and what goods they wanted to take with them into the afterlife. Towards the end of the book, Fleming is able to write about the lives and deaths of three otherwise unknown women, based on what was found at their burial locations -- this was very touching and well-written, as is most of this book. A couple of drawbacks to note -- as a medieval military historian I would like to note there is not much about warfare and the effects of warfare. Secondly, while the Staffordshire Hoard gets a prominent picture on the cover, the book only has a couple of brief mentions related to the discovery. These are minor issues, and on the whole Britain after Rome is a book that should be on the shelf of anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon history.

Royal Anglo Saxon finds

Some of the rarest Anglo-Saxon finds, that date back to the 7th Century, will open in an exhibition on the 28th May 2011. Some pieces from an Anglo-Saxon princess, beads and other objects including a reconstruction of the Royal bed burial will form part of the exhibition. The story of how this came to be is as interesting as some of the pieces in it. Due to an ordinary farm in Loftus holding some extraordinary secrets.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Willibrord, Archbishop of Utrecht, Missionary of Frisia, 739

About The Commemoration

We know about Willibrord’s life and missionary labors through a notice in the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and a biography by his younger kinsman, Alcuin. He was born in Northumbria about 658, and from the age of seven was brought up and educated at Bishop Wilfrid’s monastery at Ripon. For twelve years, 678-690, he studied in Ireland, where he acquired his thirst for missionary work.
In 690, with twelve companions, he set out for Frisia (the Netherlands), a pagan area that was increasingly coming under the domination of the Christian Franks. There Bishop Wilfrid and a few other Englishmen had made short missionary visits, but with little success. With the aid of the Frankish rulers, Willibrord established his base at Utrecht, and in 695 Pope Sergius ordained him a bishop and gave him the name Clement.
In 698 he founded the monastery of Echternach, near Trier. His work was frequently disturbed by the conflict of the pagan Frisians with the Franks, and for a time he left the area to work among the Danes. For three years, 719-722, he was assisted by Boniface, who at a later time came back to Frisia to strengthen the mission. In a very real sense, Willibrord prepared the way for Boniface’s more successful achievements  by his relations with the  Franksish rulers and he papacy, who thus became joint sponsors of missionary work. He died at Echternach, November 7, 739.

I. O Lord our God, who dost call whom thou willest and send them where thou choosest: We thank thee for sending thy servant Willibrord to be an apostle to the Low Countries, to turn them from the worship of idols to serve thee, the living God; and we entreat thee to preserve us from the temptation to exchange the perfect freedom of thy service for servitude to false gods and to idols of our own devising; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
II. O Lord our God, you call whom you will and send them where you choose: We thank you for sending your servant Willibrord to be an apostle to the Low Countries, to turn them from the worship of idols to serve you, the living God; and we entreat you to preserve us from the temptation to exchange the perfect freedom of your service for servitude to false gods and to idols of our own devising; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 115:9-15
Isaiah 55:1-5
Acts 1:1-9
Luke 10:1-9

Medieval Sourcebook: 
Alucin (735-804):
The Life of Willibrord, c.796

The earliest Life of Willibrord, written, as Theofrid, Abbot of Echternach (1083­1100), tells us, by an unlearned Scot (i.e. an Irishman) in a rough and unpolished style, has disappeared, though its contents may be reconstructed from the biography composed by Alcuin, who probably used it as his source.
Alcuin, the author of the present Life, was born in York in 735 and became the master of the school there in 778. Four years later he was appointed head of Charlemagne's school at Aix­la­Chapelle [Aachen] and became a leading member of that select circle who supported the emperor in his efforts to re­educate Europe. In 796 he was removed to Tours and died in 804.
His Life of Willibrord was written at the request of Beornrade, Abbot of Echternach and Archbishop of Sens. As a relative of Willibrord and legal possessor of the Monastery of St. Andrew, founded by Willibrord s father, Wilgils, on a headland overlooking the mouth of the Humber, Alcuin must have undertaken the work as a kind of tribute to his family conneciions. It is not a particularly impressive piece of writing, sometimes ungr~nmatical and at all times turgid and rhetorical, but as it was meant to be read at public worship its lack of historical detail and its insistence on Willibrord's miracles may perhaps be excused. He wrote another version in hexameter verse for students at the monastic schools, without, however, adding anything to the material offered here.
Theofrid, mentioned above, also wrote a prose and metrical Life of Willibrord, basing it on Alcuin's material with additions from Bede, the lives of other saints and the Echternach charters. A third Life, written by a presbyter called Echebert, repeats Alcuin's Life, with certain modifications at the beginning and the end.
Sources: The Life of Willibrord, written by Alcuin, was first published by Surius in his collection De Probatis Sanctorum Histords (Cologne, 1575), Vol. Vi, pp. 127-37. The critical edition was prepared by W. Wattenbach, Monumenta Alcuiniana, in the series Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum, edited by Ph. Jaff6. It appeared in Berlin in 1873 as the sixth volume of the collection (pp. 39-61), but was superseded by W. Levison's text in Scriptores Rerum Merovingimcarum, vii, pp. 81-141. An English translation was made by A. Grieve, Willibrord, Missionary in the Netherlands (London, 1923), in the collection Lives of Early and Medieval Missionaries, published by the S.P.C.K.


[Omitted by Talbot. For translation, see Thomas F.X. Noble and Thomas Head, Soldiers of Christ: Saint and Saints' Lives from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), 191-2].

[3] There was in the island of Britain, in the province of Northurnbria, a certain householder of Saxon descent, whose name was Wilgils, living a devout Christian life together with his wife and family. This fact was later borne out by miraculous events, for after he had given up his worldly career he devoted himself to the monastic life. Not long aftenwards, as his zeal for the spiritual life increased, he entered with even more intense fenour on the austere life of a solitary, dwelling in the headlands that are bounded by the North Sea and the river Humber. In a little chapel there, dedicated to St. Andrew, the Apostle of Christ, he sened God for many years in fasting, prayer and watching, with the result that he became celebrated for his miracles, and his name was in everyone's mouth. People flocked to him in great numbers, and when they did so he never failed to instruct them with sound advice and the Word of God .
He was held in such high esteem by the king and the nobles of that nation that they made over to him, in perpetual gift, a number of small landed properties that lie near those headlands for the purpose of building there a church to God. In this church the reverend father gathered together a rather small but devout company of those who wished to sene God, and there also, after the many trials of his spiritual labours, going to his reward, his body lies at rest. His successors, who still follow the example of his holiness, are in possession of this church to the present day. It is I, the least of these in merit and the last in time, who am now in charge of thisslittle chapel, which has come to me by lawful succession, and I am writing this account of Willibrord, the holiest of fathers and the wisest of teachers, at the request of you, Bishop Beornrade,[l] who, by the grace of God, have succeeded him in [4] the episcopate, in the line of family tradition and in the care of those sanctuaries, which, as we know, he built for the glory of God.
1 Beornrade, abbot of Willibrord's monastery at Echternach and later Archbishop of Sens.

Now, in order to relate more fully the facts concerning Willibrord's birth, and recall the signs which show that even whilst he was in his mother's womb he was chosen by God, I shall return to the point where I began. Just as the most holy forerurlner of our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed John the Baptist, was sanctified in his mother's womb and preceded Chtist, as the morning star precedes the sun and, as the Gospel tells us, was born of devout parents in order to bring salvation to many, so likewise Willibrord, begotten for the salvation of many, was born of devout parents.[1] Wilgils, the venerable man of whom we have already spoken, entered upon the state of matrimony for the sole purpose of bringing into the world a child who should benefit many peoples. Thus it was that his wife, mother of holy Willibrord, beheld, at dead of night whilst she slept, a heavenly vision. It seemed to her as if she saw in the sky the new moon, which, as she watched, slowly increased until it reached the size of the full moon. Whilst she was gazing intently upon it, it fell swiftly into her mouth, and when she had swallowed it her bosom was suffused with light. Filled with fear, she awoke at once and went to recount the dream to a holy priest, who asked her whether during the night on which the vision came to her she had known her husband in the customaty way. When she assented, he replied as follows: " The moon which you saw changing from small to great is the son whom you conceived on that night. He will disperse the murky darkness of error with the light of truth, and wherever he goes he will carry with him a heavenly splendour and display the full moon of his perfection. By the brightness of his fame and the beauty of his life he will attract to himself the eyes of multitudes." This interpretation of the dream was borne out by the actual course of events.
[1] Willibrord was born, probably, 6 November 658.

When her time was come the woman bore a son, and at his baptism his father gave him the name of Willibrord. As soon as [5] the child had reached the age of reason[l] his father gave him to the church at Ripon to be instructed by the brethten there in religious pursuits and sacred leatning, so that living in a place where he could see nothing but what was vittuous and hear nothing but what was holy his tender age should be strengthened by sound ttaining and discipline. From his earliest years divine grace enabled him to grow in intelligence and in sttength of chatacter, at least as far as was possible at such an age, so that it seemed as if in our day there had been born another Samuel, of whom it was said: " The boy grew up and advanced in favour both with God and with men."
[1]  This is probably the correct interpretation ot the phrase "when he was weaned ". The abbot at this time was most probably St. Wilfrid, the leader of the Roman party which triumphed at the Synod of Whitby, A.D. 664. Willibrord must have served under Wilfrid until 669 when Wilfrid left to take possession of the see of York.
Hence, in the monastery of Ripon, the youth who was to prove a blessing to many received the clerical tonsute [2] and made his profession as a monk, and, attained along with the other youths of that holy and sacred monastery, he was inferior to none in fervour, humility and zeal for study. In fact this highly gifted boy made such progress as the days went by that the development of his intelligence and character so outstripped his tender years that his small and delicate frame harboured the wisdom of ripe old age.
[2] He received the tonsure and made his monastic profession about the age of fifteen; cf. the letter of St. Boniface, Tangl, No. 26.

When this youth, as highly endowed with sacred learning as he was with self­control and integrity, reached the twentieth year of his age he felt an urge to pursue a more rigorous mode of life and was stirred with a desire to travel abroad. And because he had heard that schools and learning flourished in Ireland,[3] he was encoutaged further by what he was told of the manner of life adopted there by certain holy men, particularly by the blessed [6] bishop Ecgbert,[1] to whom was given the title of Saint, and by Wichtberct,[2] the venerable servant and priest of God, both of whom, for love of Christ, forsook home, fatherland and family and retired to Ireland, where, cut off from the world though close to God, they lived as solitaries enjoying the blessings of heavenly contemplation. The blessed youth wished to imitate the godly life of these men and, after obtaining the consent of his abbot and brethren, hastened quickly across the sea to join the intimate circle of the said fathers, so that by contact with them he might atain the same degree of holiness and possess the same virtues, much as a bee sucks honey from the fiowers and stores it up in its honeycomb. There among these masters, eminent both for sanctity and sacred learning, he who was one day to preach to many peoples was trained for twelve years, until he reached the mature age of manhood and the full age of Christ.
[3] Though the renown of the Irish schools was well deserved, it does not reflect adversely on the lack of English educational centres. St. Aldhelm of Sherborne complained at the time about students going there and asked: Were there not schools good enough in England? The real reason for going abroad seems to have been the expulsion of St. Wilfrid from the see of York in 678, which led to the voluntary exile of many monks who were in sympathy with him.
[1] Ecgbert was Abbot of Rathmelsigi, probably Mellifont in Co. Louth. In 664 he had gone into voluntary exile after the Synod of Whitby, but returned to Iona m 7I6. He died in 729 at the age of ninety. He had long wanted to evangelize the Saxon peoples on the Continent, but was prevented from doing so
[2] Wichtberct was a companion of Ecgbert and had spent many years in Ireland. He went on a rnission to Frisia, but, having preached for two years wlthout success, returned to Ireland.

Accordingly, in the thirty­third year of his age the fervour of his faith had reached such an intensity that he considered it of little value to labour at his own sanctification unless he could preach the Gospel to others and bring some benefit to them. He had heard that in the northern regions of the world the harvest was great but the labourers few. Thus it was that, in fulfilment of the dream which his mother stated she had seen, Willibrord, fully aware of his own purpose but ignorant as yet of divine preordination, decided to sail for those parts and, if God so willed, to bring the light of the Gospel message to those people who through unbelief had not been stirred by its warmth. So he embarked on a ship, taking with him eleven others who shared his enthusiasm for the faith. Some of these afterwards gained the martyr's crown through their constancy in preaching the Gospel, others were later to become bishops and, after their labours in the holy work of preaching, have since gone to their rest in peace.
[7] So the man of God, accompanied by his brethren, as we have already said, set sail, and after a successful crossing they moored their ships at the mouth of the Rhine. Then, after they had taken some refreshment, they set out for the Castle of Utrecht, which lies on the bank of the river, where some years afterwards, when by divine favour the faith had increased, Willibrord placed the seat of his bishopric.[l] But as the Frisian people, among whom the fort was situated, and Radbod, their king,[2] still defiled themselves by pagan practices, the man of God thought it wiser to set out for Francia and visit Pippin,[3] the king of that country, a man of immense energy, successful in war and of high moral character. The duke received him with every mark of respect; and as he was unwilling that he and his people should lose the services of so erninent a scholar, he made over to him certain localities within the boundaries of his own realm, where he could uproot idolatrous practices, teach the newly converted people and so fulfil the command of the prophet: " Drive a new furrow and sow no longer among the briars." [Jer 4:3]
[1] Willibrord's church was built from the rums of the old Roman camp at Fectio (Vecht).
[2] From the beginning of his reign in 697 Radbod had been antagonistic to anything that savoured of Frankish domination and had ruthlessly destroyed churches and other buildings erected by the Franks.
[3] Pippin II, mayor of the palace of Clovis II. He it was who gave the church at Antwerp, previously the scene of the labours of St. Amand and St. Eloi, to the rnissionaries for their shelter and support.

After the man of God had systematically visited several localities and carried out the task of evangelization, and when the seed of life watered by the dews of heavenly grace had, through his preaching, borne abundant fruit in many hearts, the aforesaid King of the Franks, highly pleased at Willibrord's burning zeal and the extraordinary growth of the Christian faith, and having in view the still greater propagation of religion, thought it wise to send him to Rome in order that he might be consecrated bishop by Pope Sergius,[4] one of the holiest men of that time. Thus, after receiving the apostolic blessing and mandate and being filled with greater confidence as the Pope's emissary, he would return to Preach the Gospel with even greater vigour, according to the [8] words of the Apostle: " How shall they preach unless they sent?" [Rom 10:15]
[4] Pope Sergius I, 687­701. Alcuin only mentions one journey to Rome, but there were two.
But when the king tried to persuade the man of God to do this he was met by a refusal. Willibrord said that he was not worthy to wield such great authority, and, after enumerating the qualities which St. Paul mentioned to Timothy, his spiritual son, as being essential for a bishop, asserted that he fell far short of such virtues On his side, the king solemnly urged what the man of God had already humbly declined. At length, moved by the unanimous agreement of his companions, and, what is of more importance, constrained by the divine will, Willibrord acquiesced, anxious to submit to the counsel of many rather than obstinately to follow his own will. Accordingly he set out for Rome with a distingtushed company, bearing gifts appropriate to the dignity of the Pope.

Four days before Willibrord arrived in Rome the Apostolic Father had a dream in which he was advised by an angel to receive him with the highest honours, because he had been dhosen by God to bring the light of the Gospel to many souls: his purpose in coming to Rome was to receive the digruty of the episcopate, and nothing that he asked for was to be refused. The Apostolic Father, forewarned by this admonition, received him with great joy and showed him every courtesy. And as he discerned in him ardent faith, religious devotion and profound wisdom, he appointed a day suitable for his consecration, when all the people would be assembled together. Then he invited venerable priests to take part in the ceremony, and, in accordance with apostolic tradition and with great solemnity, he publicly consecrated him archbishop in the church of blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles.[l] At the same time, he called him Clement and invested him with episcopal robes, conferring upon him the sacred pallium as a sign of his office, like Aaron with the ephod. Moreover, whatever he desired or asked for in the way of relics of saints[2] or liturgical vessels the Pope gave him without hesitation, and so, fortified with the [9] apostolic blessing and loaded with gifts, he was sent back, duly instructed, to his work of preaching the Gospel.
[1] Alcuin has made a mistake. The church meant is St. Cecilia in Trastevere. The day of consecration was 22 November 695
[2] Several churches still preserve the relics brought back from Rome by Willibrord, e.g. Emmerich and Treves.

Having received the blessing of the Holy See, the devoted preacher of God's Word returned with inveased confidence to the King of the Franks. The king welcomed him with every mark of esteem and then despatched him, armed with his authority to preach the Gospel, more especially in the northern parts of his dominions, where, owing to the scarcity of teachers and the obduracy of the inhabitants, the light of faith shone less brightly. The more clearly the man of God saw the need of overcoming the ignorance and arresting the spiritual famine in these districts, the more vigorously he preached the Word of God. How great was the success which, through the help of divine grace, attended his labours is attested even in these days by the people whom in the cities, villages, and fortified towns he brought to a knowledge of the truth and the worship of almighty God by his holy admonitions. Other evidence is to be found in the churches which he built in each place and in the communities of monks and nuns whom he gathered together in various localities.

The man of God tried also to propagate the Gospel teaching outside the boundaries of the Frankish kingdom. He had the boldness to present himself at the court of Radbod, at that time King of the Frisians and like his subjects, a pagan. Wherever he travelled he proclaimed the Word of God without fear; but though the Frisian king received the man of God in a kind and humble spirit, his heart was hardened against the Word of Life. So when the man of God saw that his efforts were of no avail he turned his missionary course towards the fierce tribes of the Danes. At that time, so we are told, the Danish ruler was Ongendus,[l] a man more savage than any wild beast and harder than stone, who nevertheless, through divine intervention, received tbe herald of truth with every mark of honour. But when the latter found that the people were steeped in evil practices, abandoned to idolatry and indifferent to any hope of a better life, he chose thirty boys from among them and hastily returned with them to the chosen people of the Franks. On the journey he instructed the youths in the [10] faith and baptized them, so that if they perished from the long sea voyage or through the ambushes of the savage dwellers of those parts he should suffer no loss in their regard. In this way he desired to anticipate the aaft of the devil and to strengthen these redeemed souls by the sacraments of the Lord.
[l] Ongendus has been identified with Ongentheow of Beowulf.

Now whilst this energetic preacher of the Word was pursuing his iourney he came to a certain island on the boundary between the Frisians and the Danes, which the people of those parts call Fositeland,[l] after a god named Fosite, whom they worship and whose temples stood there. This place was held by the pagans in such great awe that none of the natives would venture to meddle with any of the cattle that fed there nor with anything else, nor dare they draw water from the spring that bubbled up there except in complete silence. On this island the man of God was driven ashore by a storm and waited for some days until the gale died down and fair weather made it possible to set sail again. He set little store by the superstitious sacredness ascribed to the spot, or by the savage cruelty of the king, who was accustomed to condemn nolators of the sacred objects to the most cruel death. Willibrord baptized three persons in the fountain in the name of the Blessed Trinity and gave orders that some of the cattle should be slaughtered as food for his company. When the pagans saw this they expected that the strangers would become mad or be struck with sudden death. Noticing, however, that they suffered no harm, the pagans, terror­stricken and astounded, reported to the king what they had witnessed.
[1] Fositeland or Heligoland.

The king was roused to intense fury and had a mind to avenge on the priest of the living God the insults which had been offered to his deities. For three whole days he cast lots three times every day to find out who should die; but as the true God protected his own servants, the lots of death never fell upon Willibrord nor upon any of his company, except in the case of one of the party, who thus won the martyr's crown. The holy man was then summoned before the king and severely upbraided for having violated the king's sanctuary and offered insult to his god. With unruffled calmness the preacher of the Gospel replied: "The object [11] of your worship, O King, is not a god but a devil, and he holds you ensnared in rank falsehood in order that he may deliver your soul to eternal flre. For there is no God but one, who created heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them; and those who worship Him in true faith will possess eternal life. As His servant I call upon you this day to renounce the empty and inveterate errors to which your forebears have given their assent and to believe in the one almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Be baptized in the fountain of life and wash away all your sins, so that, forsaking all wickedness and unrighteousness, you may henceforth live as a new man in temperance, justice and holiness. If you do this you will enjoy everlasting glory with God and His saints; but if you spurn me, who set before you the way of life, be assured that with the devil whom you obey you will suffer unending punishment and the flames of hell." At this the king was astonished and replied: " It is clear to me that my threats leave you unmoved and that your words are as uncompromising as your deeds." But although he would not believe the preaching of the truth, he sent back Willibrord with all honour to Pippin, King of the Franks.

The latter was delighted at his return and begged him to persevere in his divinely appointed task of preaching the Word of God and to root out idolatrous practices and sow the good seed in one place after another. This the devoted preacher strove to carry out with characteristic energy. He traversed every part of the country, exhorting the people in cities, villages and forts where he had previously preached the Gospel to remain loyal to the faith and to their good resolutions. And as the number of the faithful increased day by day and a considerable multitude of believers came to the knowledge of God's Word, many began in their zeal for the faith to make over to the man of God their hereditary properties. These he accepted. Shortly afterwards he ordered churches to be built there, and he appointed priests and deacons to serve them, so that the new converts should have places where they could assemble on feast days and listen to wholesome instruction and where they could learn the principles of the Christian religion from those servants of God who had baptized [12] them. Thus the man of God, favoured by divine grace, made increasing progress from day to day.

It came about, however, that Pippin, King ofthe Franks, died,[l] and his son Charles became head of the realm. [2] Charles brought many nations under the power of the Franks, and among these were the Frisians, whose lands were added to his dominions after the defeat of Radbod. At that time St. Willibrord was officially appointed to preach to the Frisian people, and his episcopal see was fixed at the fortress of Utrecht. Being given greater scope for the preaching of the Gospel, he now attempted to bring into the Church by baptism the people that had recently been won by the sword. He allowed no error or past ignorance to pass unnoticed and lost no time in shedding upon them the light of the Gospel, so that soon among that people the statement of the prophet was fulfilled: " In that place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God." [Hos 1:10]
[1] Pippin died 14 December 714. At this juncture Radbod revolted, and during the disturbances that followed Willibrord retired to his monastery at Echternach.
[2] Charles Martel, the natural son of Pippin. He obliged Radbod to raise the siege of Cologne and then attacked the Neustrians at Compiegne, 26 Sept 7rS, where he put them to rout. It was during this time that St. Boniface arrived with his companions in Utrecht, but, finding the conditions unpropitious for preaching, he returned home.

Many miracles were also wrought by dinne power through His servant. Whilst the ministry of preaching the Gospel is to be preferred to the working of mirades and the showing of signs, yet, because such miracles are recorded as having been performed, I think mention of them ought not to be suppressed; and so that glory may be given to God who vouchsafed them, I will insert them into this narrative, and in this way what we know to have been achieved in former times may not be lost to future ages. Thus, when the venerable man, according to his custom, was on one of his missionary journeys he came to a village called Walichrum, [3] where an idol of the ancient superstition remained. When [13] the man of God, moved by zeal, smashed it to pieces before the eyes of the custodian, the latter, seething with anger, in a sudden fit of passion struck the priest of Christ on the head with a sword, as if to avenge the insult paid to his god. But, as God was protecting His servant, the murderous blow did him no harm. On seeing this, Willibrord's companions rushed forward to kill the wicked man for his audaciy. The man of God goodnaturedly delivered the culprit from their hands and allowed him to go free. The same day, however, he was seized and possessed by the devil and three days later he ended his wretched life in rnisery. And thus, because the man of God followed the Lord's comrnand and was unwilling to avenge the wrongs done to him, he was vindicated all the more by the Lord Himself, just as He had said regarding the wrongs which the wicked inflicted upon His saints: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
[3] Walichrum, where during the Roman occupation the goddess Nehelamia, protectress of navigation, had been worshipped. A later tradition at Echternach placed the scene of this story at Westcapelle and said that traces of Willibrord's blood could still be discovered. At this place a votive stone of Hercules Magusanus has been found.

On another occasion, when the blessed man was on his way to a cell belonging to him called Susteren, from the name of the stream that flows past it, he took a narrow path running through the cornfields of a certain wealthy landowner. When the keeper of the fields saw this he was furious and began to revile the man of God. Those who accompanied him [Willibrord] wanted to punish the man for insulting him, but the senant of God mildly restrained them, not wishing that anyone should perish on his account, since his whole happiness lay in bringing salvation to all. When he found it impossible to calm the fury of the foolish man, Willibrord did not persist but returned by the way he had come. Next day, however, the wretch who had not feared to heap insults upon the servant of God was struck down on that very spot with sudden death before a crowd of onlookers.

Whilst the divinely inspired man in his urgent desire to preach the Gospel was travelling through the coastal regions where the people were suffering from the lack of fresh water he noticed that his companions could hardly bear the pangs of thirst. So he called one of them and bade him dig a small trench inside his tent. There, upon his knees, he secretly prayed to God that He, who had brought forth water from the rock for his people whilst [14] they were in the desert, would with like compassion bring forth water for his servants from the sandy soil. At once his prayer was heard and a spring of sweet water straightway filled the trench. His followers on seeing this gave thanks to God, who in this manner had glorified His saint and condescended to hear his prayer. And when they had drunk their fill they took with them as much water as they thought would satisfy their needs on the journey that lay before them.

Again, when the holy priest of God was pursuing his way in a certain place, he saw twelve poor beggars asking alms from the passers­by. Being extremely kind­hearted, he gazed on them with compassion and bade one of his companions take his own flask and give a drink to Christ's poor. All the twelve drank from it as much as they would, and the remarkable fact was that as the company went on their way they found that the flask from which so many had drunk was just as full as it was before of the most excellent wine. When they discovered this they all blessed the Lord, saying: " Indeed, the saying of Christ in the Gospels "Give and it shall be given unto you" [Lk 6:38] has been fulfilled."

Once, the saintly man came to his monastery [at Echternach][l] to make a visitation, and after praying to God, greeting the brethren and speaking peaceably with them, the holy father went round the cells of each one of the brothers to see if anything in them might be improved. On going into the store­house, he found there only a small supply of wine in one cask, into which, as a sign of his blessing, he thrust his staff, praying the while, and then went out. The same night, the wine in the cask began to rise to the brim and then to overfiow. When the steward noticed it he was astounded at the unexpected increase, and, knowing it to have been wrought by God's mercy through the blessing of His servant, he did not dare to keep it secret. Next morning, he ran after the holy father and, falling at his feet, reported what he had seen. Willibrord, as usual, gave thanks to God, but, bearing in mind our Lord's command to His disciples not to make public the glory of the Transfiguration before the day of the Resurrection [15] he forbade the steward to speak to anyone of the miracle he had wimessed until the day of his [Willibrord's] death.
[1] The property for this foundation had been given to Willibrord in 714 by Plectrude, wife of Pippin II.

A further miracle of the same kind was wrought by Christ our God through Willibrord's blessing. On one occasion the servant of God came with his companions to the house of a friend of his and wished to break the tedium of the long journey by taking a meal at his friend's house. But it came to his ears that the head of the house had no wine. He gave orders that four small flasks, which were all that his companions carried with them for their needs on the journey, should be brought to him. Then he blessed them in the name of Him who at the marriage feast of Cana changed water into wine-and, remarkable to relate, after this gracious blessing about forty people drank their fill from these small bottles, and with great thanksgiving and joyful hearts said one to another: " The Lord Jesus has in truth fulfilled His promise in the Gospel: ' He that believeth in me will do the deeds I do, and greater than these shall he do.' "

Once, when this holy preacher was going in haste towards Frisia in order, as usual, to preach the Gospel, he wanted to pasture his horses, worn out by the fatigue of the journey, in the meadows of a certain wealthy landowner. The man, seeing horses feeding in his meadows, began to beat them and drive them out of his pastures with great arrogance. The man of God accosted him with peaceable words and said: " Brother, do us no harm. Our purpose in wishing to rest in these meadows is not to do you harm but to meet our own needs. We are under obligation to pursue the work of God, and you also might share in its rewards if, as far as lies in your power, you help us in a friendly spirit, mindful of the sweet promise of Christ: ' He that receiveth you, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.' Be at peace, and rather as a friend take a drink with us by way of refreshment. Then when we have gone on our way, return to your house with the blessing of God." The man, however, persisted in his ill­will and would not listen to the reasonable words of the man of God, but, on the contrary, repeated his abuse and continued to insult him. " You ask me to drink with you," he said, "and make peace: be assured that I set no store [16] whatever upon drinking with you." The man of God took the words out of his mouth and said: "If you will not drink with me, then do not drink at all."Thereupon, as soon as his companions were ready, he went on his way. The obstinate man also hurriedly went home, but was seized almost at once with a burning thirst which he tried in vain to assuage with wine, for the mouth that had cast reproaches upon the man of God was unable to swallow a single draught. Thus the man who would not of his own accord make peace with the servant of God was now compelled to bear within himself the penalty of his fault. Doctors were called to relieve his thirst and to restore to the sufferer his power of drinking. His whole being cried out for relief, but no one could get a drop of wine to reach his parched throat. At last, struck with remorse, he came to his senses, and, discovering that the saintly man he had reviled was Willibrord, he began to yearn intensely for his return. In the following year, Willibrord came back by the same way, and on hearing of his approach the sick man hurried out to meet him. Confessing his sin and telling him of the suffering he had endured, he besought him for the love of Christ to release him from it. The man of God was moved with pity, released him from his punishment and allowed him to drink from his own cup. Thereupon the man who was released drank and returned to his own house cured.

In the town of Treves there is a convent of nuns,[l] which in the days of Willibrord was visited with a terrible plague. Many of the nuns died of the infection, others were confined to bed by severe sickness, whilst the rest were in a state of extreme terror, expecting death at any moment. At a short distance from this town stands the monastery of the holy man, called Echternach, in which his body reposes to this day and which his successors are known to have held by lawful bequest of the said father and through the goodwill of pious kings. Learning that the holy man was coming thither, the women of the above­mentioned convent sent a deputation beseeching him to come to them without delay. When he heard their request, the man of God, instructed by the gracious [17] example of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who went from Joppa to Lydda at the request of the widows of Christ in order to raise holy Tabitha to life, went to their assistance without delay. On arriving at the convent, he immediately celebrated Mass for the sick and then blessed water and ordered it to be sprinkled about the buildings and given to the nuns to drink. Through the mercy of God they speedily recovered and there were no more deaths in that convent from the plague.
[1] Probably St. Marien­ad­Martyres, where the portable altar of St. Willibrord is still preserved.

It happened that a head of a family and his household were afflicted by a terrible visitation of devilish sorcery, and it became quite obvious from the horrors and evil tricks that occurred there that the house was haunted by a wicked spirit. For it would suddenly sieze food and clothing and other household goods and throw them into the fire. Once, indeed, whilst the parents were asleep, it snatched their little boy as he rested in their arms and hurled him into the fire, and it was only with great difficulty that the parents, roused by the child's screams, rescued him from the flames. Many were the ill turns that the family had to endure at the hands of this execrable spirit and no priest was able to exorcize it. Eventually the holy man Willibrord, at the father's urgent request, sent them some holy water and directed them to sprinkle it over all the furniture after it had been taken out of doors, for the man of God foresaw that the whole house would be consumed by fire. When they had done this, a conflagration broke out in the very place where the bed had stood, and, quickly enveloping the house, reduced it to ashes. After another house had been built on the site of the old one and blessed with holy water the family suffered no more from their former trial and thenceforth lived in peace, giving thanks to the Lord who had deigned to deliver them through the hands of His servant.

The same holy man, who was pleasing to God, also prophesied certain things that were subsequently verified by the course of events. He baptized Pippin the Short, son of the valiant Charles Martel, King of the Franks and father of the present illustrious Charles, who governs the Franks at the present day in triumph, dignity and glory. Of Pippin, father of the last named, Willibrord uttered the following prediction in the presence of his [18] disciples: "Know that this child will be highly exalted and renowned. He will be greater than all the kings of the Franks who have gone before him." The truth of this prophecy has been fulfilled in our times and there is no need to prove what is universally acknowledged throughout the whole kingdom. For all the people know what wonderful victories this illustrious conqueror has gained, how widely he has extended the bounds of his empire, how devotedly he has promoted the Christian religion and how he has defended the Holy Church of God abroad. All these things can be more clearly seen with the eye than set forth in words.

Now this holy man was distinguished by every kind of natural quality: he was of rniddle height, dignified mien, comely of face, cheerful in spirit, wise in counsel, pleasing in speech, grave in character and energetic in everything he undertook for God. His forbearance is shown by the actions we have recorded above. How great was his zeal in preaching the Gospel of Christ and how he was sustained in the labour of preaching by the grace of God we need not set forth in writing, since it is vouched for by the testimony of all. His personal life can be inferred from his vigils and prayers, his fasting and singing of psalms, the holiness of his conduct and his many miracles. His charity is made manifest in the unremitting labours which he bore daily for the name of Christ.
This holy man, who progressed every day of his life in the work of God, who was pleasing to God and friendly to all the people, was laid to his fathers in the time of the elder Charles, the valiant ruler of the Franks. He was then an old man coming to the end of his days and was about to receive from God a generous reward for his labours. He forsook this world to take possession of heaven and to behold Christ for ever in eternal glory, in whose love he had never ceased to labour as long as he lived in our midst. On the sixth of November, that is, the eighth day before the Ides, he passed from this place of pilgrimage to the eternal country and was buried in the monastery of Echternach, which, as we have said before, he had built to the glory of God. There to this day, through the mercy of God, miracles of healing are constantly performed beside the relics of the holy priest of God. That some of these should be appended to our account of his life we regard [19] as redounding to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who so often deigned to perform them at the request of His servant.

His venerable body was laid to rest in a marble sarcophagus, which at first was found to be six inches too short to hold the entire body of God's servant. The brethren were greatly concerned at this, and, being at a loss to know what to do, they discussed the matter again and again, wondering where they could find a suitable resting­place for his sacred remains. Wonderful to relate, however, through the loving­kindness of God the sarcophagus was suddenly discovered to be as much longer than the holy man's body as previously it had been shorter. Therein they laid the remains of the man of God, and to the accompaniment of hymns and psalms and every token of respect it was interred in the church of the monastery which he had built and dedicated in honour of the Blessed Trinity. A sweet and marvellous fragrance filled the air, so that all were conscious that the ministry of angels had been present at the last rites of the holy man.

The death of the holy man was revealed to one of his religious disciples who was stationed at some distance from the monastery as he was keeping watch in prayer. He testifies that he saw the soul of his saintly father surrounded by a bright radiance as it was being carried by a host of angels towards the realms above, all singing his praises. Likewise many of the brothers have testified that they have frequently seen a wonderful light over the bed on which he gave back his blessed soul to his Creator, and perceived there a ravishing fragrance and most sweet odour. From these signs one can only surmise that the denizens of heaven used to visit the spot from which his saintly soul had passed to the Lord.

Many sick persons, through the grace of God and assisted by their own faith, have been cured after being anointed with the oil from the lamp which burns over the relics of the holy man. Penitents also frequently came to the church wearing rings on their arms,[l] as the custom then was, and the links were broken and they were loosed from their bonds. Evidence of this are the rings which hang in the church to this day.
[1] It was the custom to fasten iron rings on the limbs of penitents as a sign of their repentence.

[20] There was a certain woman suffering from paralysis and who had been tormented for seven years with severe pain, whose infirmity had increased so much from day to day that she had completely lost the use of her limbs and had to rely upon the help of others. So frail was she that she could scarcely breathe. This woman was carried by her relatives to the church in which the saint of God lay at rest and placed near the casket of his relics. There, with many tears, she prayed that God in His mercy might have pity on her tbrough the intercession of His holy servant. Her prayer was heard by the Lord our God, and suddenly she was delivered from all her infirmities and restored to health. And she, who had previously been carried into the church by others, ran home upon her own feet, joyfully giving thanks to God.

In like manner a young man afflicted with sickness was brought by his friends to the body of the blessed prelate. He trembled in every limb and was totally unable to raise his head, which lolled and twisted this way and that as if it had not been fixed on his neck. Sometimes, too, he became so inert as to appear completely lifeless. This young man, as we have said, was placed near the body of the saint by his friends, and through the mercy of God was so quickly cured, in the presence of all the onlookers, that no trace remained of his former infirmity and long­standing affliction.

A certain man who held the office of deacon in the church of the saint though he was quite unworthy of it) did not scruple to steal, among other things that had been offered to the church, a golden cross which the holy man used to carry with him on his travels. The brethren were distressed at this, and, though ignorant of the perpetrator of this sacrilege, they felt confident that through the prayers of the saint of God so heinous a crime could not long be concealed. They tried, nevertheless, in their brotherly kindness to bring the culprit to repentance, not wishing to encompass his downfall. But the man who had committed the crime hardened his heart and despised his own salvation, even as, according to Solomon, " the wicked man continues when he comes to the depths of his evil deeds ". The unhappy wretch thought that the deed, which had been committed in secret and unseen by [21] others, would remain undetected, but it could not be hidden from the eye of God, to whom all things lie open and who is often not slow to avenge the wrongs done to His servants. For the miserable wretch who had not scrupled to commit the offence was suddenly seized with sickness and died a miserable death, and in his dying moments confessed his guilt to some of the brethren and divulged the place where he had hidden the stolen objects. You see, brethren, what a fearful judgment was visited upon the man who presumed to desecrate the church of God's saint by stealing. I beseech you, therefore, to keep your manner of life pure in this house, so that in His mercy and through the intercession of the apostolic man St. Clement He may deign to hear your prayers when you make your petitions, just as we have already told you how he heard the prayers of the sick in this same church, enabling them to return home with the good health they had long yearned for. Nor need we doubt that just as he deigned visibly to heal their bodily diseases, so also through the intercession of the saint on our behalf, whose body rests here and whom we believe to be present in the spirit, listening to our prayers, he will continue daily to cure the hidden disorders of our souls, if with flrm faith and sincere confession we pour out our hearts with tears in that place before the merciful face of Him who in His mercy is quick to pardon if we are not slow to ask. Praise and glory be His for ever andl ever

It only remains now to speak of blessed Wilgils, who, as we have said, was the father of this holy man, for as the first chapter of this story began with him, so the last must close with a reference to him. It was on the anniversary of the sacred death of Wilgils that the good abbot Aldberct, successor to the venerable archbishop, proposed to eat and rejoice with the brethren after the solemnities of the Mass and the thanksgiving due to God. In the monastery, unfortunately, there were left only two flagons of wine; and since one of them had been drunk at the midday meal, the other was put by for supper. Accordingly, after Vespers had been sung in honour of that day the brethren returned to the refectory; and when they came to the end of the reading the abbot addressed [22] the brethren with these words: " It is fiting, reverend Fathers, that we should celebrate the feast days of our venerable predecessors with spiritual rejoicing and should allow our bodies somewhat more indulgence than our usual strictness permits, not from motives of glueony but of love. Now if there were anything in the monastery that I could offer you beyond this single flagon of wine which is left over from the midday meal I should certainly not withhold it from you. But God is able through the prayer of His saints to make even this prove more than sufficient for our needs, alike to honour them as to gladden us, and to demonstrate to us, unworthy as we are, the kindly power of Him who once through the blessing of our former father, the holy Willibrord, condescended to satisfy forty men from four flagons. Let us drink what we have with rejoicing and with hope."
After all the brethren had drunk from the boule a first and a second time the server found it as full as before. When the abbot was acquainted with this he joined the brethren in giving thanks to God; and, doing honour to the divine mercy, they drank soberly but gladly that night as much as they desired.
O happy father to beget such a son and to be deemed worthy by God of having such an heir! In thee is fulfilled the blessing which is read in Deuteronomy: "Blessed shalt thou be, and blessed shall be the fruit of thy body."

C. H. Talbot, The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany, Being the Lives of SS. Willibrord, Boniface, Leoba and Lebuin together with the Hodoepericon of St. Willibald and a selection from the correspondence of St. Boniface, (London and New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954)
The copyright status of this text has been checked carefully. The situation is complicated, but in sum is as follows. The book was published in 1954 by Sheed & Ward, apparently simultaneously, in both London and New York. The American-printed edition simply gave 'New York' as place of publication, the British-printed edition gave 'London and New York'. Copyright was not renewed in 1982 or 1983, as required by US Law. The recent GATT treaty (1995?) restored copyright to foreign publications which had entered US public domain simply because copyright had not be renewed in accordance with US law. This GATT provision does not seem to apply to this text because it was published simultaneously in the US and Britain by a publisher operating in both countries (a situation specifically addressed in the GATT regulations). Thus, while still under copyright protection in much of the world, the text remains in the US public domain.
Some years ago, a collection of such hagiographical texts, including some texts from Talbot, was published:-
Thomas F.X. Noble and Thomas Head, Soldiers of Christ: Saint and Saints' Lives from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995).
Soldiers of Christ uses, among others, the Talbot translated texts, but is much improved by additional notes by the two editors, and by new translations of some parts. Readers from outside the US should consult this volume, and readers in the US would find it profitable to do so.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall, October 1, 2000


To the beloved son of the abbot Radonis, Albinus, a humble monk [sends] most pleasant greetings.
Following with love the order of your venerable self, I was eager to edit the life of holy Vedastus, your father and our intercessor, not because I had considered myself in any way worthy of his most excellent merits, but because I thought it established to deny none of Your Reverence's bidding. The praise or censure of these letters, therefore, belongs mostly to you. I hope that, whatever sort they may be, they may be pleasing to you and to the bretheren. I beg therefore that you will deign to repay my labor with the solace of your prayers; and [that] I might deserve to be one of yours in communal charity; always mindful of the command of him who said "This is my command, that you should love one another" (John 15: 12). For the salvation of everyone lies in this precept; this is known by all to be most necessary, particularly by those who undertake the ruling of the flock of Christ. Wherefore you, dearly beloved, who undertook the ruling of the flock must try to teach diligently by fraternal love and holy admonition, and will have your hands full in leading the flock through the pasture of life. You have the assistance of Christ and holy Vedastus as your intercessor in all your good work. Through great effort you have a house of God most beautifully adorned and graced with generous gifts; so too, direct your servants to adorn themselves with good customs, and have them gather together in divine praise (Holy office). And because the angels are forever busy in heaven, let the brothers continually be so in churches. It is yours to order, theirs to obey. It is yours to lead, theirs to follow. And thus the will of all ought to be as one so that there might be made one reward in the kingdom of God.
Remove nothing from the canonical hours of divine praise, lest on account of some negligence anyone's place in the sight of God be found vacant; and let the words of God offered in the churches aim at the innermost reaches of the heart; and let the offices be celebrated with great reverence to almighty God; let everything in the service of God be fulfilled humbly and devotedly. Let obedience be faithfully and vigorously observed by all [even amidst] the world's necessities. Certainly, let there be the most harmonious peace among all, [and] holy charity and devotion to the life of the rule. Let the elder teach the younger by good example and diligent admonition--let the elders love them like sons, and let the younger honor their elders like fathers, obeying their precepts with all alacrity. Indeed, Your Reverence, your conversation ought to be an example of soundness. Take care that you should not scandalize anyone by the least thing in your life, but edify and strengthen them in the way of truth because your reward will be judged from their well being. Grey hairs announce the coming of the last day. For this reason be prepared at all times for death in the Lord God. You should prepare for yourself a stairway into heaven with brotherly love, good works to the poor, and by a chaste life. Diligently prepare for yourself an eternity of happy days. You have worldly honor, which shall be abundant to you spiritually.
Have the word of God preached to the people coming to the church on holidays; and wherever you go, let clerics completely fulfill the service of God; let those with you be soberly adorned and not given over to hilarity; let the respectability of their lives be a lesson of salvation to others; and everywhere you should have the greatest care for the poor, widows and orphans, that together with others doing charitable works, you might hear from the Lord Christ on that frightful day: "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to me" (Matth. 15: 40). Be like a father to the poor, and carefully discuss the complaints brought to you, and spare those sinning against you, that God may spare your sins. Be fair in judgements, and merciful in debts. [Be] a teacher of virtue, blameless in manners, pleasant in word, praiseworthy in your way of life, devout in all the works of God. Also urge the brothers that they should read the holy scriptures most conscientously. They should not believe in word of mouth, but in the knowledge of truth, that they might be able to resist those speaking aginst the truth. These are dangerous times, as the Apostles predicted, because many false teachers are springing up, introducing novel doctrines, conspicuous in staining the purity of the Catholic faith with wicked assertions (2 Tim. 3: 1; 2 Petr. 2: 1). Therefore it is neccessary for the Church to have many guardians who, not only by holiness of life but also by the doctrine of truth, may be able to defend bravely the fortress of God.
I directed this short letter of pious admonition not as if to ignorant people, but that I should show the faith and true charity in my heart. What does a friend do if he does not show himself in words? If the rich do not spurn the rather small presents of paupers, why should the rivers of your wisdom reject the rivulets of our intelligence? For greater rivers are augmented by rivulets flowing into them, and the Lord himself praised the two mites of the widow, who, with a generous hand offered to God what little she had in her poverty (Luc. 21: 2). And I, although a pauper in knowledge, nevertheless directed these pious little presents with love to your faithful brotherhood, imploring that you will think them worthy to look at in consideration of the humility of brotherhood, as we were eager to direct that charitable devotion from us to you. May Almighty God make you and your brothers to prosper in all good things, and may he allow [you] to arrive at the blessedness of eternal glory.
In which Saint Vedastus explains Christian Doctrine to king Clovis
When Our Lord and God Jesus Christ came through a virginal womb into this world from heaven to seek the lost sheep (Luke 15: 4) and all of his dispensation and our salvation had been completely accomplished in their fullness, and when he returned in triumph to the seat of paternal majesty, so that he might dispell the forbidding darkness of ignorance from all the earth, he scattered the many lamps of the learned saints, shining by the brilliant light of the holy preaching of the gospel, throughout all the world, so that as heaven is decorated by shining stars though wholly lit by one sun; so too the broad space of the lands might become clear and bright by holy teachers who nevertheless are illuminated by the eternal sun; so that they might illuminate by lightening and the glorious name of Christ the dark shadows of ignorance of the true faith, so that they who hunger from the beginning of time might be satisfied at the banquet of eternal life. From whose number the holy priest of God and exceptional preacher, Vedastus, in the time of very strong kings of the Franks-- at that time Clovis-- went into these regions directed by divine grace for the salvation of many so that, supported by the aid of piety from above, he might set free those people led astray by diabolic frauds and enmeshed in snares of error [back] onto the way of eternal salvation and truth which is in Christ. But that this be made acceptable, it should happen, according to the Apostle who once upon a time said "Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation" (1 Tim. 2: 4), [that] the Lord Jesus, who wishes all men to be saved, was providing a cause of competence in his follower so that he might be effective in the ministry of the word of God.
And so it happened that Clovis, king of the Franks, made war against the Alemanni, who at that time had power over themselves: but he did not strike them unprepared, although he wished to. Now having collected a very strong company, together they poured out in great numbers to meet the king near the banks of the Rhine river to defend their homeland with martial virtue, or to die for their homeland as a free people. And the fighting was most bitter on both sides; the one lest they lose the glory of a triumph, the others lest they loose the liberty of their homeland, sinking into mutual slaughter. Then the king, exceedingly disturbed by dread when he saw the enemy fight more strongly and his own [men] beaten almost to extermination, began more to despair of safety rather than to hope of victory. He fled to the aid of Christ, although not to say however, at the desire of being born again in Christ, [but] still by pressing necessity. And because the Queen, Clotilde by name, was religious and initiated with the sacrament of baptism, with this cry he lifted his eyes to heaven: "O God of singular power and greatest majesty, whom queen Clotilde worships, confides and adores, give me this day victory over my enemies. For from this day you alone will be god to me and your power venerated. Give me triumph and I promise an eternity of service to you." Presently, through the workings of divine compassion, the Alemanni turned their backs, and victory fell to the king and the Franks. O wonderful mercy of almighty God, O ineffable goodness, who listens and never abandons those hoping in himself! With great faith ought Christians to invoke his compassion, when a pagan king gained through a single prayer such a great victory. To whom of ancient times ought we to compare the aid of this divine piety unless to that of king Hezekiah, who on account of a moments tears bestowed such a famous triumph on his servant-to-be; who in a sea of troubles, merited through just one prayer that he should not only see the city defended by divine protection from imminent devastation, but even in that same night in which he poured forth prayers into divine ears, joyous and freed, he saw one-hundred and eighty-five thousand of the enemy killed. (4 Kings 19) ?
In truth, this victory of the king and his people, of which we spoke before, was the cause of eternal salvation; and lest that lamp, namely Saint Vedastus, should lie concealed under a basket, but be placed upon a candelabrum, actually shining in the house of God by the example of his preaching, should lead many people away from the error of idolatry and the murkiness of ignorance onto the road of truth. Therefore, since [his] enemies were overcome, things peacefully settled, and the Alemanni subject to his rule, rejoicing with the praise of his of triumph, the king returned to his homeland. And so that He who gave him such a gift of such great glory should be apparent to the faithful, he hastened to be instructed by the holy words of the servants of Christ and to be washed clean by the holy sacrament of baptism.
And so he came to the town of Toul, where he knew Vedastus was accustomed to serve God in laudable sanctity and to enjoy the sweetest fruits of the contemplative life. He took him as his companion; and then he hurried to Remigius, a very famous priest of Christ, in the city of Rhem, so that educated in wholesome lessons by each, initiated in the firm foundations of the Catholic faith, and prepared by faith and knowledge of virtue, he might be washed spiritually clean at the font by so great a priest and encouraged in the heavenly gifts by the other, because that man, divine mercy going before, was the beginning of the preaching of the gospel. The one led the king in haste to the fountain of life: the other [Remigius] washed him. Both fathers [were] nearly equal in piety; the one [Remigius] by the doctrines of the faith, the other [Vedastus] by the water of baptism: both offered to the Eternal King a temporal king as an acceptable gift. These [men] are two olive trees and two shining candelabra, by whom the aforementioned king, educated in the ways of God, by the mercy of God, having entered the gate of perpetual light and believed in Christ together with the very strong Frankish people made a chosen people a holy race (1 Peter 2: 9) so that the virtues of that God who called them from the darkness into his wonderful light might be displayed in them.
Chapter Two
The Miracles and Virtues of Saint Vedastus.
The Baptism of Clovis the King
By the authority of the Gospels, sacred history tells that when the Lord Jesus had come to Jericho in order to encourage the hearts of the people present in the faith of his majesty, people were shouting that he should restore the eyesight to a certain blind man (Luke 8), so that through the flesh of that single blind man, the hearts of many should be spiritually enlightened. And so Vedastus, having been given by Christ God, through the miracle of the illumination of a blind man, strengthened in the king's heart that faith, which he had proclaimed in word, so that the king would understand that the light of the heart was as neccesary to him as the opening of the eyes of the blind man, and that divine grace was worked through the prayers of his servant upon eyes restrained by darkness of night. This, so that, by the words of his servant and the powers operating through them, he might be perfected by the knowledge of the spiritual light in his breast. Now while the distinguished court of very worthy company with a very great multitude of people was making its way through those fields it came to a certain district which is called by custom of the inhabitants of that land, the Vungise, near the villa of Regulia which sits on the flowery banks of the Axona river. And behold [when] a throng of people along with the king were going across the same river on a bridge, a certain blind man, devoid of the light of the sun for a long time (perhaps not blind by his fault but so that the works of God would be made manifest in him and through his enlightment the hearts of very many present might be illuminated spiritually) blocked their way for a very long time. When he had learned that Vedastus, the holy servant of Christ, was making the trip in that company, he shouted "Vedastus, holy and elect of God have mercy on me and earnestly request the supernal power in [your] pious heart, that you may relieve my misery. I do not ask for gold or silver, but that the holiness of your prayers deliver to me the light of my eyes." And so the holy man of God sensed the supernal power present in himself not so much for the blind man but more for the people present; he gave himself up completely to holy prayers, trusting in divine piety, and, with the sign of the cross, placed his right hand over the eyes of the blind man saying: "Lord Jesus, you who are the true light, who opened the eyes of the man born blind [who] shouted to you, open also the eyes of this man so that these people present may understand that you alone are God, working wonders in heaven and Earth." The man's eyesight was immediately restored, and he went on his way, rejoicing. In the time following a church was built at that place by religious men in testimony of that miracle, in which place divine gifts are given to those praying and believing there up to the present day.
Therefore, the king, thoroughly imbued with evangelical doctrines by the man of God and firmly strengthened in faith by this present miracle, neither tarrying on his way, nor wavering in his faith, but with great alacrity of his soul and with great haste along the way he sped to see the most holy bishop of Rhem, so that with the Holy Spirit working through that most holy ministry he might be washed in the living spring of Catholic baptism for the remission of his sins and hope of eternal life. He was delayed in this for several days so that he might satisfy ecclesiastical requirements, that he should be washed first by his tears of penance according to the precept given to Saint Peter, the first of the Apostles: "Administer penance and let each of yours be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38); and that he should recieve baptism in the name of the divine mystery of the Holy Trinity. Indeed, the blessed pontiff, knowing that the apostle Paul said "Do all of your things with decent order" (Cor. 14:40), set a day on which the king should go into the church for the purpose of receiving the sacraments of divine piety. The joyfulness of the Church of Christ there was the sort of holy joy of God then when they saw the king of Nineveh, who, at the preaching of Jonah, had descended from the throne of his majesty and had seated himself in the ashes of penitence and placed his head beneath the fatherly right hand of the priest of God to humble his excellence. (Jonah 3:3) And so the king was baptized along with his magnates and people, who rejoiced in accepting the sacrament which by divine grace was the bath of salvation.
With both victory over his enemies and his own salvation secured by his promise, he returned to take up the governance of his kingdomgovern with the scepter of the kingdom, and entrusted holy Vedastus to the care of the blessed pontiff Remigius. He remained there and became famous for the examples of his virtue and the merits of his life, and he was made lovable and venerable to all. For he was religious in dignity, distinguished in charity, pleasant in brotherly love, exceptional in the piety of humility, unceasingly vigilant in prayer, modest in speech, in body, chaste; sober in fasting, a consolor of the suffering; not thinking of tommorow but always trusting in the compassion of God, he pastured all of those coming to him with the food of eternal life. He despised no one in his distress, but with pious words of consolation restored those grieving. He injured no one by word, but by fraternal love always busied himself doing good [things]. He was often visited by many imminent men, since by his conversation, anyone might receive in their sadness the consolation of his solicitude, and they might hear from him the plain truth about the practices of the Church. And so by means of his pious admonition, many were freed from the snares of the devil, and with the aid of supernal mercy were led on the ways of eternal life.
Thus, as we said above, many of both the nobles and the common people used to visit the man of God on account of [his] most celebrated reputation of sanctity, so that they might be consoled through the grace which abounded on his lips, and because his mouth spoke from the abundance of his heart (Matt. 12:34), and because he was fond of everyone with a brotherly affection, he showed himself affable to all. Considering the salvation of others to be his wealth, he did not, through laziness regarding wealth, bury the Lord's talents in the ground, but daily strove to multiply them, lest when his lord appeared he be found worthless in his sight.
Accordingly, a certain noble and religious man came with others to visit the servant of Christ, that by him he might be sweetly refreshed with the teachings of heaven. And when his speech of the sweetest consoling words dragged on for a long time and the sun passed over the center of heaven and doubled the growing shadows, the man of God was unwilling to send his guest away without a charitable provision for his trip. He commanded a boy that if any wine remained he should carry a cup to [his] dear friend, so that he should return home with both a refreshed soul and a comforted body. But because of the throng of guests and because of the great generosity of the man of God to everyone, not arid in works in the charity of the Father, [the boy] found the vessel in which he was accustomed to serve wine dry. Immediately saddened, he whispered this fact with a silent mummer into the paternal ears. Vedastus blushed for shame; nevertheless by the sweetness of charity abounding in [his] heart and having trusted in divine favors, silent for a little while, he poured forth prayers to God, not doubting in divine aid nor at a loss on the effect of his petitions, but believing wholly in the mercy of him, who from dry stones for a thirsty people produced a font of living water (Exod. 17; Num. 20); and in Cana of Galileae changed water into the flavor of a marvelous wine (John 2). He said to the boy "Go, trusting in the goodness of God, and do not delay to bring to us whatever you find in the vessel." Quickly obeying his paternal command, he hurried off and found the vessel overflowing with choice wine. Giving praises to God in his soul on behalf of the boy's quick return, Vedastus toasted his friend, who, doubly restored in both spirit and love, returned to his own friends. But the servant of Christ, lest he be celebrated by empty words or the rumormongering of the people, ordered the boy, under the greatest oath, to be silent about this miracle [for] all the days of his life, desiring more to be known to God alone than to [other] men. He knew with certainty that the true guardian of virtue in all things lay in humility, and that this was the stairway of charity by which he might ascend to the highest kingdom of heaven, the Truth itself saying: "Whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." (Matt. 23:12)
Chapter III
Saint Vedastus, Bishop of Arras
The excellent reputation of this man of God spread, and the abundance of charity in his life, and the power of the word of God in him were acclaimed by all far and wide. The most blessed pontiff, Remigius, saw that it would be better to place such a brilliant light of Christ upon a candelabrum so that the splendor of his sanctity might shine forth more widely and illuminate [the way] of salvation form many people, rather than to be practically concealed [by remaining in] one place. So by divine dispensation and with the sound advice of the clergy, he ordained him bishop, [and] set him to the task of preaching the word of life. He sent him to the city of Arras, so that the people there, having lain for a long time in ancient errors and evil customs, aided by God through the tireless exhortation of holy preaching, might be led through him on the way of truth and knowledge of the Son of God. Having accepted the rank of bishop and the office of preaching he was roused to go and proceed to that city; but in token of future prosperity and salvation, through the testimony of certain miracles, God announced Vedastus' entry to the citizens.
At the city gate, two needy and infirm men, one blind, the other lame, barred his way, asking in pitiable voices for alms from the man of God. The priest of Christ, immediately feeling their misery, considered what he might be able to offer them. And when he realized he didn't have any money in his sack, relying on the mercy of God and comforted by the example of the holy apostles Peter and John, the apostolic preacher said "I have neither gold nor silver with me; however, what I have, that is, responsibilities of charity and pious prayers to God, these I will not hesitate to offer to you." (Acts 3:6) And after these words, the man of God, touched in his innermost heart for their misery, shed tearsfor their misery and with purity of faith asked a divine act for their bodies and for the spiritual health of the people present. Nor could such pious and necessary prayers be ineffectual, but according to him who said through the prophet Isaiah "At the proper time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I aided you" (Isaiah 69:8). Soon both received their longed-for health in the sight of the multitude; the one given the clearness of sight, the other rejoicing in his speed of foot. They returned home, both giving thanks to supernal piety, carrying away greater things than the the money for which they had hoped. But also this miracle of [their] healing was the cause of eternal salvation for many, for seeing that heavenly virtue followed the words of the priest of God, abandoning their filthy idolatries and believing in Christ, they were cleansed in the living font of holy baptism.
Indeed, by the testament of the aforesaid miracle, the man of God, supported by the favor of the people, wandered through the deserted places of the city, one after the other, searching among the ruins of the buildings [to see] if he would be able to find a sign of a church. For he knew that in almost ancient times the religion of the holy faith had flourished in these places, but because of the sins of the inhabitants of the land, by the hidden but most just judgement of God were given over, along with the other cities of Gaul and Germany, to Attila, the perfidious pagan king of the Huns, in order that they might be destroyed. Because of the savagery of his heart, Attila ordained that honor should not be payed to the priests of God, nor reverence to the churches of Christ, but like a monsterous storm devastated everything by fire and sword. Then, in likeness of the devastation of Jerusalem by the cruel king of Bablylon, the Goths came into the patrimony of God, and with polluted hands profaned the holy sanctuaries of Christ, shedding the blood of the servants of God around the altar of the highest king (4 Kings 25). He did not do these things because of the strength of the pagans but because the sins of the Christian people merited them. In fact, the servant of Christ found the ruins of an ancient church, with swarms of vipers growing between the fragments of its walls. Where there were once choirs for hymns could be seen the lairs and dens of wild beasts, all full of manure and filth so that scarcely any trace of its walls had remained. Seeing these things, he groaned for pain in his innermost heart, saying: "O Lord, all this came upon us because we sinned with our fathers, we acted unjustly, we did evil things." While he was murmmering these tearful plaints, behold, suddenly a bear emerged from a cave in the ruins. The man of God, with indignation, ordered that he should withdraw into the wilderness and seek himself a suitable lair among the depths of the forest, and that he should not pass beyond the banks of the river. He soon fled, terrified by such threats, nor at any time afterwards was he seen by anyone anywhere in these parts. O marvelous power of almighty God in his saints, whom even the most ferocious beasts know to obey! O the rashness of miserable men who do not fear to condemn the words of salvation-bearing preaching bought before them by holy teachers. In such a way is beastial lack of reason in obeying the precepts of the saints more useful than human reason: indeed a man created in the image of God, before given rationality, does not understand his honor, and by virtue of this reason, is comparable to the foolishness of an ass and is made like one. (Psal. 48:13)
Indeed, when the man of God had discovered the abandoned churches of Christ, and the hearts of the people infected with the error of idolatry, and blinded by the the darkness of ignorance, with a sigh gave himself up to a labor of piety. By assidous efforts he led the people to the knowledge of the true light; he raised the churches to the highest point of honor and placed priests and deacons in various offices of the churches as his assistants, and where previously there were dens of thieves, there he constructed houses of prayer; he intended, rather, to adorn them with divine praises, than to adorn them with the showy riches of the world. Indeed, he was generous to the poor, affable to the rich up to the point that either through generosity with his deeds or affability of words he would lead everyone onto the path of truth. Knowing the proud necks of the potentates unable to bend to the humility of the Christian religion except through the most persuasive admonitions of piety, instructed by apostolic example, he did all things for all people (I Cor. 9:12), so that he might win over all, outdoing the elders with honors, admonishing the younger with paternal love, not seeking anywhere for his things through the offices of charity, but that which was God's. Following the footsteps of Christ, he did not despise the banquets of the powerful, not for the chance of luxury but for that of preaching, so that with the harmony of familiarity, he might more easily fill the hearts of the banqueteers with the word of God.
Accordingly, a certain Frank of noble birth renowed for his power, Ocinus by name, invited king Clothar, son of the aforsaid king, Clovis, who at that time nobly ruled with the sceptor of the kingdom, to a dinner which he prepared with great pomp in his home for the king and his magnates. And holy Vedastus was also invited to the banquet. Entering the house, in his accustomed manner he extended his right hand and greeted all with the banner of the holy cross. There were some glasses full of beer standing there, but because of the evil errors of the gentiles were corruputed by demonic enchantments. Immediately they shattered, destroyed by the power of the holy cross, and spilled onto the ground whatever liquor they might have contained. Indeed, the king and his optimates, terrified at the sight of this miracle of his, asked the bishop the reason for this unexpected and freakish thing. The holy bishop replied "Because of certain incantations of evildoers, the diabolical power lay in these liquids to beguile the souls of the banqueteers, but terrified by the power of the cross of Christ, fled from the home invisibly, just as visibly you all saw the liquid spilled onto the gound." This thing was helpful for the salvation of many, for, freed from the hidden chains of diabolical deceit, having rejected the vanity of auguries, leaving behind their traditions of incantations, they flocked together to the purity of the true religion. They knew by the efficacy of this sign that divine power lay in their companion, and that no machinations of the ancient serpent could prevail against his holiness. And just as that ancient serpent gathered many to perdition, Vedastus guided many to redemption by the grace of Christ.
Chapter Four
The death and Interrment of Saint Vedastus
And so with the adi of divine grace, this priest of God ruled the Church of Christ for about forty years, with a great devotion to the preaching of the gospel and a great love of piety. And during this time, through Catholic dogma, he led a multitude of people to the sanctity of the Christian faith. Everywhere [this church] was famed for its recognition of divine law, the most holy name of Christ was heard on everyone's lips; its reputation flourished through the customs of a most chast life, and the love of [our] heavenly Father burned in the breasts of each [of the faithful] The festivals of our savior were celebrated with great rejoicing on the days appointed. Charitable alms were dispensed to homes round about, especially those of the poor, the word of God was preached daily to the people in each place, and choirs in the churches sang hymns of praise to God at the canonical hours. Happy, they say, are the people for whom these things are, happy the people whose lord is their God (Psalm. 143:15). For all were quiet in the beauty of peace; they rejoiced in the knowledge of truth, and were joyous in the sanctity of the Christian religion.
Later, indeed, this dutiful preacher and holy priest of God, mature in merit and years, by the dispensation of God, was destined to recieve the prize of his labors. He was stricken by a high fever in that same city of Arras, divine mercy foreseeing, so that in that place where he labored much in the service of God, from that place he might achieve the palm of eternal blessedness and so that he might yield up his soul into the hands of his creator in the midst of his beloved children. And indeed, so that God might point out the death of his servant, a column of the brightest light was seen for the space of almost two hours during the night, standing on the highest rooftop of the house in which the holy priest lay [and reaching] up into the highest heavens. When this was reported to the man of God, he knew immediately that this sign indicated his death. Therefore he called his children to him so that with the prayers of the faithful he might commend his soul to the creator. After his sweet admonitions of fatherly piety and his last words of charity, strengthened by the sacrosanct viaticum of the body and blood of Christ, he gave up his spirit in the arms of those weeping about him. O most happy day for the holy priest but the most sorrowful for all the people whose shephard so suddenly left this bodily life, but who nevertheless would never forsake them through spiritual intercession if they did not cease following his words of admonition and the example of his most blameless life!
And so, many clerics, laymen, priests, presbyters and deacons of other churches came together at the last rights of the venerated man. But, behold, among the voices of the sorrowing singing psalms here on earth, there was heard by certain religious men voices in heaven joining in; and when the bier on which the body lay stood ready in the midst of the divine office, those coming forward were not able to move it. Indeed, they were doubtful about what they should do and didn't know to whom they should turn. They were asked by Scopilione (St. Phyleone?), an archpriest and a truly religious man who was privy to the converse of holy God, if any one of them might remember Vedastus speaking of his interrment, fearing this thing might have happend to them because they were proposing to bury him within the wall of the city. To which things someone replied that he often heard him say that no one should be buried inside the walls of the city because the city ought to be a place for the living, not of the dead. They were willing, because of this, to bury him in the Church of the Holy Mary Ever Virgin, where he presided on the pontifical throne. Indeed, it was known that he had arranged for his burial in the oratory, which was most plainly built, that is, with wooden boards, next to the bank of the stream Crientionis. He wished that that which was allowable to him to be done in the humility which was customary to him. Bur everyone present, attendant to the signs of his merits, thought that it was not worthy that the body of such a man should be buried in such a humble place, particularly because neither was the place suitable for a monument to him, nor, situated in a swamp, would it be accessible to the people.
While such things were being discussed among them, the venerable Scopilio, learned in the power of prayer, decided to hasten to the implements to which he was accustomed, so that by pious prayer he might obtain what many men were not able to grasp with human hands. Moved by sorrow in his innermost heart and pouring forth tears, he called upon everyone to pray. He then began to pray over the most blessed recumbant body in this fashion: "Alas," he said "O most blessed father! By what power should I act, seeing that the day is declining into evening, and all who have gathered at your burial are hurrying to return home. Permit me, I implore you, to carry you to that place which stands prepared for you through the care of your children. And having said these things, taking the handle of the bier on which the lifeless body of the saint lay, feeling no burden they carried it on their shoulders with quickened spirits to his place of burial. And they buried him in the church of the Blessed Mary Ever Virgin, Mother of God, on the right hand side of the altar, hiding a noble treasure in the earth under the throne where he formerly performed the office of bishop. In this place he lay for some time, until God revealing the place where now his memory shines brightly, was translated in a happy alteration by the sainted bishops Autbert and Audomar. Now then, let that which was seen worthy of memory in the bishop after his death be discussed. It happened that the little house in which the beloved of God died that day suddenly burst into flames and began to burn. But a certain religious woman, Abita by name, saw Vedastus arrive and drive the flames from his home, and so it remained untouched along with that cot on which the holy man of God yielded up his soul to the celestial kingdom, so that everyone might know how much he is blessed in heaven, whose little bedroom on earth could not burn down.
The Translation of the Body of Saint Vedastus
And he lay in the same place up to the time of the blessed Autbert, who suceeded him as the seventh bishop in the pontifical see. So that we might know by the repetition of many and that it might be sung by the mouths of innumerable men, and because we might test this deed with our eyes, on a certain day after the hymns of Matins, standing on the city walls, with dawn breaking, turning to the east Autbert saw at a distance beyond the stream, which is called Criento, a shining man holding a rod in his hands to measure out the place of a cathedral. Through the revelation of God, he understood what he was seeing to be an angel, and it was shown to him that blessed Vedastus, with the approval of Christ, without a doubt ought to be moved. Made more certain by this revelation, he invited to such a work blessed Audomare, who at the time was bishop of the city of Tarvenna of the Morini, and was held eminent in the things of God. Audomare, it might be allowed, was already feeble with old age and was seen to be made weaker by the loss of his eyesight, but nevertheless, having a spirit like a drawn bow in his spiritual eagerness, was immediately ready. His path protected by Christ, he hurried to the venerable Autbert. So Autbert might make up his mind, and so that something might be shown to them providentially, by equal will and common counsel and with the great joy of the people who were gathering together from all sides, they carried the most blessed Vedastus to the place designated. In this translatio it was said that blessed Audomare recovered his eyesight, but through the prayers which he voluntarily rendered up, he immediately became blind again. Of course, the sight of fleshly eyes mattered little to one who had earned the eyesight of a celestial citizen.
However, miracles which were perceived to be done in ancient times and now which for almost one-hundred and sixty years were accomplished through the wonderworking merit of blessed Vedastus, were committed to memory by no pen, except in the words of the Antiphon which is sung by the cantors in the following manner: Here is Blessed Vedastus whose temple was made by men at the command of angels. This very place is not far from that city, which for its nobility was first called Nobiliacus. But with the passage of time [the tomb of Saint Vedastus] was made so prominent that it is usually called by the name of the city, which now has dissolved almost completly into a mass of ruins. It is both embellished by the generosity of the faithful and filled by the multitude of the monks and of others devoted to God. Here the divine offices are celebrated without interruption, and where heavenly deeds and miraculous signs frequently happened and still hapen, now are being better attested by the mouths of witnesses and written down by pen from dictation. Indeed, happy is the city of Arras, defended by such an excellent patron! Even if sunk low by the ruins of its walls, nevertheless it is brilliant through the merits of his nobility. And because of the intercession of his sanctity, let all the people rejoice, and let them raise everlasting praises to almighty God who bestowed on them such an illustrious teacher, through whose preaching they learned the way of truth. Through whose prayers, if they remain constant in the firmness of their faith and sanctity of their life, they will remain secure from all adversity, and reach the perfect glory of blessedness, through the gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns as God for all worlds without end. Amen.
This translation was prepared from the MGH text by Mark Lasnier, University of Kansas, 1996.