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Medieval Sourcebook:
The Golden Legend: Volume III

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[Note: To make the text as useful as possible to readers, the Golden Legend is available at this site in multiple forms: very large files for each of the volumes, and by chapter.  See the Golden Legend Main Page/Index for other volumes or chapter length files.]


Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275 First Edition Published 1470



From the Temple Classics Edited by F.S. ELLIS First issue of this Edition, 1900 Reprinted 1922, 1931


Here followeth of S. Pauline the Widow

S. Pauline was a much noble widow of Rome, of whom S. Jerome wrote the life, and saith first thus: If all my members were turned into tongues, and all my arteries should resound in human voice, yet I might not worthily write the virtues of S. Pauline. I take witness of God and of his holy angels, and also of the angel that was keeper of this woman that I shall say nothing for praising but that same that I shall say shall be less than appertaineth to her virtues. She was born among the nobles of the senators of Rome, and of the lineage of the noble Gregois, rich of good and puissant of seignory at Rome. She was the most humble of all other, for like as the sun surmounteth the clearness of the stars, so surmounted she the beauty of others by her great humility.

When her husband was passed out of this world, she abode lady of all the goods and riches. It happed that, at the mandment of the Emperor, many bishops came to Rome, among whom were there the holy man Paulinus, the patriarch of Antioch, and Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus, of whom she was esprised in good virtues, so that she gave largely of her goods for God’s sake. Her parents, ne her friends, ne her own children could not turn her, ne make her to change her purpose, but that she would become the pilgrim of Jesu Christ, for the amorous desire that she had to Jesu Christ surmounted the love that she had to her children. Only among all her children she had put her affection in Eustochium her daughter, whom she led with her in this pilgrimage. She took the sea and sailed so far that she came into the holy land of Jerusalem. O how great devotion she had to visit the sepulchre of Jesu Christ and the other holy places, and how all weeping she kissed them, there can no man rehearse. All the city of Jerusalem could speak of it, and yet best of all knew the Lord for whose love she had forsaken all things.

She had been at Rome so puissant and so noble, that every man coveted to do to her honour for her great renomee, but she that was founded upon humility sought the humble places and religious, and came at the last to Bethlehem. And when she had devoutly visited the place in which the Virgin Mary infanted and childed Jesu Christ, she fell in a vision, and as she sware to me, she saw in that vision the child wrapped in poor clouts Iying in the crib or in the rack, and how the three kings worshipped him, how the star came upon the house, and how the shepherds came to see him, and how Herod made persecution upon the innocents, and how Joseph bare the child into Egypt. And this vision she said, all in weeping and in laughing, and said: I salute thee Bethlehem wherein he is born, that descended from heaven, of thee prophesied Micah the fifth chapter, that of thee should be born the God that should govern the people of Israel, and the lineage of David should endure in thee unto the time that the glorious virgin should enfant Jesu Christ; and I wretched, as unworthy to repute me to kiss the crib in which our Lord wept as a child, and the virgin childed, here I shall take my rest and my dwelling, for my Saviour chose this place in Bethlehem.

She made there her habitation with many virgins that served God, and how well that she was lady of all, nevertheless she was the most humble and meek in speaking, in habit, and in going, in such wise that she seemed servant of all the other. She never ate after the death of her husband with no man, how good that he was; she visited as it is said tofore, all the holy places and the monks of Egypt, among whom were many of the ancient fathers and many holy men, and her seemed that she saw Jesu Christ among them. And after, she founded in Bethlehem an abbey in which she assembled virgins as well of noble estate as of middle and low lineage, and departed them in three congregations, so that they were departed in work, in meat, and drink, but in saying their psalter and adoring were they together at the hours as it appertaineth. And she induced and informed all the other in prayer and in work, by example giving, she was never idle. And all they were of one habit, and they had ne sheets ne linen cloth but to dry their hands, and they might have no licence to speak to men, and they that came late to the hours, she blamed debonairly or shortly, after that they were, and suffered not that any of them should have anything save the living and clothing, for to put away avarice from them. She appeased them sweetly that strove, and also she brake and mortified among the young maidens their fleshly desires by continual fastings, for she had liefer have them good, suffering sorrow and sickness, than their heart should be hurt by fleshly will. And she chastised them that were nice and quaint, saying that such nicety was filth of the soul, and said also that, word sounding to any ordure or filth should never issue out of the mouth of a virgin, for by the words outward is showed the countenance of the heart within, and she that so spake and was rebuked therefor, if she amended it not at the first warning, ne at the second, ne at the third, she should be dissevered from the others in eating and in drinking, by which she should be ashamed, and thus should be amended by debonair correction, and if she would not, she should be punished by right great moderation. She was marvellous debonair and pitiful to them that were sick, and comforted them and served them right busily, and to them largely to eat such as they asked, but to herself she was hard in her sickness and scarce, for she refused to eat flesh, how well she gave it to other, and also to drink wine. She was oft by them that were sick, and laid the pillows aright and in point, and frotted their feet and chauffed water to wash them. And her seemed that the less she did to the sick in service, so much less service did she to God, and deserved less merit, and therefore she was to them pitiful, and nothing to herself. In her right great sicknesses she would have no soft bed, but lay upon the straw or upon the ground, and took but little rest. For the most part she was in prayers both by day and by night, and she wept so much that it seemed of her eyes a fountain. So many tears ran from them, and when we said to her oft-times that she should keep her eyes from weeping so much, she said: The visage ought to be like to be foul because it hath so much been made fair and gay against the commandment of God, and the body ought to be chastised that hath had so much solace in this world, and the laughings ought to be recompensed by weepings, and the soft bed and the sheets ought to be changed into the sharpness of hair. I that was accustomed to please man and the world, I desire now to please Jesu Christ. And what shall I say of chastity in which she was ensample unto all ladies of time past when she was yet secular? For she conversed in such wise that they that were envious durst not avise on her any evil fame. She was debonair and courteous unto all, for she comforted the poor and warned the rich to do well, but in largess she passed so that no poor man complained of her. And this did she not by the great abundance that she had of goods, but by her wise governance, and when I said to her that she should have measure in doing alms, after that the apostle saith that, the alms that is done to another be not grievous to him that doth it. But she said that for the love of our Lord she did all, and that she desired to die, begging in such wise that she should not leave one penny to her daughter after her, and that she might be wrapped in a strange sheet when she should die.

And at the last she said: If I should demand ought, I should find enough that would give to me, and these beggars, if I gave to them nought and they so departed and died for poverty, of whom should God demand this? Oft said she so: They be happy that be merciful, and alms quencheth sins as the water quencheth the fire, but for to do alms it cometh not always to perfection, for many do alms that abide in their carnalities, they seem to be good without forth. but within they be mortal.

Pauline was not such an one, she affeebled her body right sore in fasting and in labouring, that unnethe she set her eyes to her meat, without eating fish, ne milk, eggs, or white meat, in which many ween to do great abstinence without eating flesh. For our Lord gave to her an adversary, the stimulation fleshly, by which she held her in humility without savouring anything of pride for the foison of her virtues, and also that she thought not to be higher than other women. She had always in her mind the holy Scriptures against the deceptions of the fiend, and especially this that Moses saith: God assayeth you if he love you, and this that saith Isaiah the prophet: Ye that have been at the solace and joys of the world and now be withdrawn from them and left them, lookafter none other thing but to suffer tribulation upon tribulation and know ye by tribulation is had patience, and by patience is had poverty. It is said, Job, primo capitulo, when it was showed to him the loss of his patrimony, he answered: I issued naked from the belly of my mother, and I shall re-enter naked again into the earth, like as God may be pleased so be it done, his name be praised and blessed. He learned us that we should not love the world, for the world shall finish in her covetise. When one told her that her children were right sick, she said: Who loveth his son or his daughter more than God is not worthy to be with God. A man, that seemed to be her friend, sent her word on a time that she had great need to keep well her brain, for because of the ardour that she had in virtues, she seemed to be out of her wit, and she answered: In this world we bereputed as fools for the love of Jesu Christ. And our Lord said to his apostles: The world hateth you, for ye be not of the world, if ye were of the world, that is to say of the conversation of the world, the world should love you. Fair Lord God we mortify ourselves always, and we be reputed as sheep that be brought to death, because that without plaining we mortify our bodies. In such patience was she unto the death, and suffered humbly the envy of them that were evil. She had in her mind the holy Scriptures, and she held her more to the spiritual understanding than to the histories of the Scripture. She could perfectly Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and French, and read coursably the Scriptures in these four languages.

Who may recount without weeping the death of this woman? She fell in a malady mortal and saw well that she should die, for all her body became cold, and she felt that her spirit held her in her breast. Then said she without plaining, and without having any charge save to God: Fair sweet Lord, I have coveted the beauty of thy house for to be in thy habitation that is so fair, my soul hath desired to be in thy realm. And when I demanded her wherefore she spake no more, and she would not answer me, and I asked if she suffered great pain, she said to me in Greek tongue that she was well and in good peace. And anon she left speaking to me, and closed her eyes in saying to God: Lord, like as the hart desireth to come to the fountain, so desireth my soul to come to thee; alas! when shall I come to thee fair Lord God? And in saying these words, she made a cross upon her mouth. There were bishops, priests, clerks, canons, and monks without number, and at the last, when she heard her spouse, Jesu Christ, which called her saying: Arise and come to me my sweet love and fair espouse, for the winter is passed. She answered gladly: The flowers be showed in our country, and I believe that I shall see the goods in the realm of heaven of my Lord Jesu Christ, and thus she rendered her soul and passed out of this world. And anon all the congregation of virgins made no cry in weeping as do the people of the world, but read devoutly their psalter not only unto the time that she was buried, but all the day and all the night. And with great pain could not Eustochium, her venerable daughter, the virgin, be withdrawn from her, but she kissed her and embraced her piteously in weeping the death of her mother. And Jesus witnesseth that S. Pauline left not one penny to her daughter, she had so given alms of all her great riches. Many give largely for God’s sake, but they give not so much but some abideth.

When she was passed as said is, her lips ne her face were not pale, but was as reverent to look on as she had been yet alive. She was buried in a sepulchre in Bethlehem with right great honour by the bishops, priests, clerks, monks, virgins, and all the poor people of the country, which plained that they had lost their good mother that had nourished them. She lived in Rome holily thirty-three years, and in Bethlehem twenty years, and all her age was fifty three years seven months and twenty days, from the time of Honorius, emperor of Rome. Then let us pray to this holy woman that she pray for us.

Here followeth of S. Julian, the bishop, and first the interpretation of his name.

Julian is as much to say as jubilus, singing, and ana, that is on high, and thereof Julian as going to high things in singing. Or it is said: Julius, that is as much to say as not wise, and anus, that is old, for he was old in the service of God, and not wise in reputation of himself.

The Life of S. Julian.

S. Julian was bishop of Cenomanence. It is said that it was he that was said Simon the leper, whom our Lord healed of his measelry, and bade Jesu Christ to dinner, and after the Ascension of our Lord, he was ordained of the apostles bishop of Emmaus, full of great virtues. He appeared to the world, he raised three dead men, and after he ended his days in great praising of God. Of this S. Julian some say that this is he that pilgrims and wayfaring men call and require for good harbourage because our Lord was lodged in his house, but it seemeth better that it is he that slew his father and mother ignorantly, of whom the history is here after. There was another Julian born in Alvernia, which was of noble lineage, and yet more noble in faith and in virtue, which for the great desire that he had to be martyred, he offered himself to the tyrants where he had not forfeited.

Now it happed that Crispinus, which was one of the governors of Rome, sent to him one of his ministers for to put him to death. Anon as the minister came to him, he issued out of his place and came tofore him, and offered to him to suffer death, and his head was smitten off. And they took the head, and showed it to S. Feriol that was his fellow, and said they would so do of him if he sacrificed not, and because he would not obey to them they slew him, and took the head of S. Julian, and the body of S. Feriol, and buried them both in one pit, and a great while after S. Mamertine, bishop of Vienne, found the head of S. Julian between the hands of S. Feriol, all so whole as it had been buried that same day.

Among the other miracles of S. Julian it is said that a deacon took all the white sheep that were of the church of S. Julian, and the shepherds defended them, but he said to them that S. Julian ate never no mutton, and anon after a fever took him, so great and hot that he knowledged that he was of the martyr so burnt, and he did water to be cast on him for to cool him. And anon issued out of his body such a fume and smoke, and therewith so great a stench, that all they that were present were constrained to flee, and anon after he died. Another miracle happed of a man of a village that on a Sunday would ear his lands, and when he took the share to make clean his coulter, it cleaved to his hand. And two years after, at the prayer of S. Julian in the church, he was healed.

There was another Julian which was brother to one named Julius. These two brethren went to the Emperor Theodosius, which was a very christian man, and they prayed him that they might destroy all the idols that they might find, and that they might edify churches, each which thing the emperor granted them, and wrote that all men should obey them and help them, upon pain to lose their heads. Now it happed that they edified a church, and all men by the commandment of the emperor obeyed and helped them. It happed that there were some men that led a cart which should pass by, and thought how they might do and pass without arresting for to help them, and they thought that one of them should lie on the cart as he were dead, and thereby they would excuse them, and so they did, and bade him that lay in the cart to hold his eyes closed till they were past the pass. And when they came in the place where they edified the church, Julian and Julius, his brother, said to them: My sons, tarry a while and come and help us to work. They answered that they might not for they carried a dead man. S. Julian said to them: Why lie ye so? They answered: Sir, we lie not, it is so as we say to you. And S. Julian said to them: So may it fall to you as ye say. And anon they drove forth their oxen and passed forth. And when they were passed a little they called their fellow that he should arise and drive forth the oxen for to go the faster, and he answered not one word. And they called him again on high and said: Art thou out of thy wit? Arise up and drive forth the beasts, and he moved ne spake not one word. They went up and discovered him and found him dead as S. Julian had said to them. Then took they such dread and fear that after that they ne none other that heard of the miracle durst lie no more tofore the holy servant of God.

Another Julian there was that slew his father and mother by ignorance. And this man was noble and young, and gladly went for to hunt. And one time among all other he found an hart which returned toward him, and said to him, thou huntest me that shall slay thy father and mother. Hereof was he much abashed and afeard, and for dread, that it should not happen to him that the hart had said to him, he went privily away that no man knew thereof, and found a prince noble and great to whom he put him in service. And he proved so well in battle and in services in his palace, that he was so much in the prince’s grace that he made him knight and gave to him a rich widow of a castle, and for her dower he received the castle. And when his father and mother knew that he was thus gone they put them in the way for to seek him in many places. And so long they went till they came to the castle where he dwelt, but then he was gone out, and they found his wife. And when she saw them she inquired diligently who they were, and when they had said and recounted what was happened of their son, she knew verily that they were the father and mother of her husband, and received them much charitably, and gave to them her own bed, and made another for herself. And on the morn the wife of Julian went to the church, and her husband came home whiles she was at church, and entered into his chamber for to awake his wife. And he saw twain in his bed, and had weened that it had been a man that had lain with his wife, and slew them both with his sword, and after, went out and saw his wife coming from church. Then he was much abashed and demanded of his wife who they were that lay in his bed, then she said that they were his father and his mother, which had long sought him, and she had laid them in his bed. Then he swooned and was almost dead, and began to weep bitterly and cry, alas! caitiff that I am, what shall I do that have slain my father and my mother? Now it is happened that I supposed to have eschewed, and said to his wife: Adieu and farewell, my right dear love, I shall never rest till that I shall have knowledge if God will pardon and forgive me this that I have done, and that I shall have worthy penance therefor. And she answered: Right dear love, God forbid that ye should go without me, like as I have had joy with you, so will I have pain and heaviness. Then departed they and went till they came to a great river over which much folk passed, where they edified an hospital much great for to harbour poor people, and there do their penance in bearing men over that would pass.

After long time S. Julian slept about midnight, sore travailed, and it was frozen and much cold, and he heard a voice lamenting and crying that said: Julian come and help us over. And anon he arose, and went over and found one almost dead for cold, and anon he took him and bare him to the fire and did great labour to chauffe and warm him. And when he saw that he could not be chauffed ne warm, he bare him in to his bed, and covered him the best wise he might. And anon after, he that was so sick and appeared as he had been measell, he saw all shining ascending to heaven, and said to S. Julian his host: Julian, our Lord hath sent me to thee, and sendeth thee word that he hath accepted thy penance. And a while after S. Julian and his wife rendered unto God their souls and departed out of this world.

Another Julian there was, but he was no saint but a cursed man, and was called Julianus Apostata. This Julian was first a monk, and showing outward signs of great religion and of great holiness, after that that Master John Beleth reciteth. There was a woman that had three pots full of gold, and because the gold should not be seen she had put in the mouth of the pots above, ashes, and delivered them to this Julian tofore other monks for to keep, whom she reputed a holy man, but she said not to him that they were full of gold. When he had these pots he looked what was therein, and he found that it was gold and took it out all, and filled them full of ashes, and fled with all to Rome, and did so much that he was of the councillors and governors of Rome. But the woman, when she would have again her pots, she could not prove that she had delivered to him in keeping gold, for she made no mention thereof tofore the monks, and therefore he retained it, and procured withal the office of a consul of the governance of Rome. And after that he procured so much that he was instituted emperor. Whiles he was young he was taught in the art of enchantment and of the invocations of fiends, and gladly he studied, and it pleased him much, and had with him divers masters of that science. Now it happed on a day that as his master was out he began alone to read the invocations, and a great multitude of fiends came about him and made him afeard, and he made the sign of the cross, and anon they vanished away. And when his master was returned he told him what was happed to him, but his master said to him that always he had hated and feared that sign. When then he was emperor he remembered thereof, and because he would use the craft of the devil, overall where he found the signs of the cross he destroyed them, and persecuted christian men because that he knew well that otherwise the fiends would not do for him. Now it happed that he descended into a region that is called Persia, and from thence he sent into the occident a devil for to have answer of that he said to him, and this devil went and abode ten days in one place without moving, because there was a monk continually in prayer night and day, and when he might not do he returned. Then Julian demanded him where he had been so long, he answered: I have been in a place where I found a monk night and day praying, and I supposed to have troubled him that he should no more pray, and all this while I could never turn him from his prayer, and thus I am returned without doing anything. Then Julian the apostate had great indignation and said when he came thither he would avenge him of the monk, and when he went in to Persia the devils promised him that he should have victory of a city. The master of enchantments, which divined by the devil for him, said to a christian man: What doeth the smith’s son? He said that he made a sepulchre for Julian his master. And as it is read in the history of S. Basil, he came in Cæsarea of Cappadocia and S. Basil came against him, and presented three loaves to him, which he sent to him. And Julian had great indignation of this gift, and for the bread, he sent to S. Basil hay, saying: Thou hast sent to me meat for dumb beasts, therefore take this that I send to thee. S. Basil said: We have sent to thee such as we eat, and thou sendest to us of that thou nourishest thy beasts with. Of which answer Julian was wroth and said: When I shall have done in Persia I shall destroy this city in such wise that it shall be better ordained for to ear and sow than people to dwell in. And the night ensuing, S. Basil saw in a vision, in the church of our Lady, a great multitude of angels, and in the middle of them a woman being in a throne, which said to them: Call to me Mercury whom Julian the apostate hath slain, which blasphemeth me and my son. Mercury was a knight, that for the faith of God had been slain of Julian, and was buried in the same church. Then anon Mercury with all his arms, that were kept, was present, and at the commandment of the lady he went to battle. S. Basil awoke all affrayed, and went to the tomb where the knight was buried in, and opened the sepulchre, but he found neither body ne arms. Then he demanded of the keeper who had taken away the body. And he sware that in the even tofore it was there. S. Basil after on the morn returned, and found the body and the armour and the spear all bloody. And anon came one from the battle which said that Julian the apostate and emperor was in the battle, and thither came a knight unknown all armed with his spear, which hardily smote his horse with his spurs and came to Julian the emperor, and brandished his sword and smote him through the body, and suddenly he departed and never after was seen again. And yet when he should die he took his hand full of blood and cast it into the air saying: Thou hast vanquished man of Galilee ! thou hast overcome! And in crying thus, miserably he expired, and died in great pain, and was left without sepulture of all his men. And he was flayed of the Persians, and of his skin was made to the king of Persia an undercovering, and thus he died cursedly.

Thus end the Lives of four holy saints every each named Julian, and of one that was a false apostata.

Here followeth the Life of S. Ignatius bishop, and first the interpretation of his name.

Ignatius is said as one suffering fire and burning, for he was embraced and all esprised of the divine and burning love of God.

Of S. Ignatius.

S. Ignatius was disciple of S. John Evangelist, and was bishop of Antioch. And after that, as some say, he sent a letter unto our Lady or an epistle in this wise: Unto Mary the Virgin, that bare Jesu Christ in her body, I, humble Ignatius, her servant, send greeting, I, that am yet a novice in the faith and disciple to Jesu Christ and to John thy dear friend, desire to have of thee some comfort and consolation of some good enseignment and teaching. For of Jesus thy Son I have heard say many marvels, of which I am enjoyed to hear only of thee, which hast been always in his company. Thou knowest well the secret desires of him, thou hast been plainly informed, and they that be yet young in the faith with me trust much to be endoctrined of thee, and informed in their creance and belief: Lady, God salute thee.

And to this letter answered the glorious Virgin Mary in this manner: Ignatius, good disciple of Jesus and his special friend, the humble handmaid of Jesu Christ sendeth to thee greeting. I do thee to wit that all that John hath said to thee of Jesu Christ and all that thou hast learned of him is true doctrine and thing certain. Go alway in good creance, and believe and keep firmly the promise of thy christian faith, and do thy works according to the same. I shall come with S. John for to visit thee and other christian men with thee. Hold thee always well in the faith and in good works, and let no persecution ne adversity that thou shalt suffer move thee from thy faith ne from thy creance, but have solace and affiance in Jesu Christ thy Saviour. This was the answer of his letter.

S. Ignatius was a man right well learned, and the third bishop after S. Peter, the apostle of the church of Antioch, and much desired to be a martyr for the faith of Jesu Christ. It happed that Trajan, which was emperor of Rome, passed by Antioch, to whom Ignatius showed to him and blamed of this, that he persecuted christian men, wherefor the emperor did him to be taken and put in irons, and in that wise by ten knights to be led to Rome. There he was presented tofore the emperor and all the senators of Rome, and was constrained by promises, by menaces, and by torments, many and great an horrible, for to adore the idols. S. Ignatius showed to them clearly that their gods had been thieves, ribalds, and men of abominable and evil life, and that they were damned in hell, and that they had been in great error in this, that of so cursed men they made their gods and worshipped devils, and had forsaken God which had made and created all the world, and his blessed Son which in human nature had redeemed and saved the world.

Finably, after this, that he had been tormented by fire, and by beating and prison, the emperor did send for the Romans in a place and there did do set S. Ignatius, and did do bring thither two lions for to devour him. But he had never dread for death ne for other torments, of which he had suffered many, but was always comforted for to die for the love of Jesu Christ. And he said at the last: I am wheat of Jesu Christ, which ought to be grounden between the teeth of these beasts, by which I may be pure bread for to be presented to my Lord; and anon the lions came and strangled him without tearing of his flesh, or anything hurting it, wherefor Trajan had great marvel and departed from the place. It is read that S. Ignatius in all his torments and all the pains of martyrdom that he suffered, that his tongue never ceased to name the name of Jesus, and when they that tormented him demanded him wherefore he named this name so oft, he answered: Know ye for certain that I have in my heart this name written, and therefore I may not leave to name this name oft. And because hereof, when he was dead, they that heard these words opened his body and drew out his heart and cut it open, and they found within the name of Jesus written with fair letters of gold, for which miracle many received the faith of Jesu Christ.

Of this saint saith S. Bernard upon the psalm, Qui habitat: S. Ignatius, martyr of God glorious, is of great merit, which was minister to the disciple that Jesus so much loved, and in his epistles, the which he sent to the glorious Virgin Mary, he saluted her as mother that had borne Jesu Christ and she resaluted him again, in sign that he was a person of great honour, of great dignity, and of great authority. The body of whom was honorably buried of christian men, to the worship of Jesu Christ which is blessed in secula seculorum. Amen.

Here followeth the Purification of Our Lady.

Postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis Marie secundum legem Moisi, tulerunt Jesum in Jerusalem. Lucæ, cap. ii. The ancient law had his course until the time that God hath suffered death for us. And when he died on the cross he said, Joh. cap. xix. Consummatum est, that is to say: All thing is finished and ended that hath been written of me. Which law he kept during his life; as it is written: I am not come for to break the law; in which he gave us example of humility and of obedience, like as S. Paul saith. In like wise our Lady, for to obey to the law, bare her sweet son Jesu Christ unto the temple of Jerusalem after the fortieth day of his birth, for to offer him to God, and for to give offering for him such as in the law was ordained, that is to wit, a pair of turtles or two doves was the offering of poor folk, like as it is written.

Our Lord, which in all case came to make our salvation, deigned not only to humble himself and descend from his realm, and became man mortal, semblable to us. Also he deigned to be born of a poor woman, and was poor for to enrich us, and draw us out of the misery of this world to the riches permanable. And we that be poor because of our sins, and without riches of good virtues, so worthily should we come and be at the feast of our Lord; we should offer to him that which by the offering is signified. The dove which is of her nature simple and without gall, and the turtle naturally chaste, for when she hath lost her mate she will never have other mate, and with that she taketh the weeping for her song; we ought to offer to our Lord instead of two doves, one simple will and a good intention, without retaining in our heart any gall of anger or of hate towards our neighbour; for as our Lord saith, if thine eye be simple all thy works shall be in light. And hereof saith S. John the Evangelist in the Apocalypse: The city needeth no sun ne moon to shine in it, for the clearness of God shall illumine it, and his lantern is the lamb; the lamb is the light. By the lamb, which is simple, is signified to us a simple conscience and righteous, which maketh true judgment of the intention, for all works be good or evil. If they be done in evil intention or by hypocrisy they be evil and without profit, like as saith Jesu Christ: If thine eye be evil, all thy body shall be dark. By the eye is understood the intention, with goodness simple, and debonairty is signified by the doves. We ought also to offer a pair of turtles to our Lord, that is to say, a chaste life and a very intention to leave our sins, the which is signified to us by the chastity of the turtle, and by her weeping the contrition. As Bede saith: Contrition ought to begin in dread and end in love; for the soul faithful, when she remembereth her sins in her conscience, she weepeth for the dread of the pains of hell that she hath deserved, and thus offereth she to God a turtle; and when she hath wept, there cometh to her a hope to have mercy and pardon of her sins, and this hope is conceived of dread in him and love of God, to serve and to be in his company; so that soul that ought to sing, weepeth for love, which hath delivered her so soon from the perils and miseries of this world, and for to come to the sweet company of our Lord. And thus offered she that other turtle, in weeping with David the prophet the long pilgrimages that she hath made in the miseries of this world saying: Heu me quia incolatus meus prolongatus est; for when she beginneth to think after the joyous company of angels, and of the souls that be in heaven, and what joy and deduit that they have in the over desirous sight of our Lord, then all the world grieveth them, and they desire to be delivered from the faits of the body for to go into the company of these holy souls.

And also that S. Simeon, which by revelation of the Holy Ghost came into the temple of Jerusalem in the same hour that the blessed Virgin brought her dear son for to offer him, and the Holy Ghost had showed to him, that tofore that he should die corporally he should see Jesu Christ come in to the earth, the which birth he knew long before to be showed by the prophets. And when he saw Jesu Christ brought into the temple, anon he knew him by the Holy Ghost to be very God and very man, and took him between his arms and said: Fair Lord God let thy sergeant and servant from henceforth be in peace, and suffer that after this revelation showed to me, I may depart and die for to be delivered from the evils of this world, for mine eyes corporal and spiritual have seen thy blessed son Jesu Christ, which shall save the creatures human from their sins; the which thou hast made ready and ordained tofore the face of all creatures human, for to be light to all people by his doctrine, to illumine and take away darknesses; that is to say, of their idolatry, after this that Isaiah the prophet hath prophesied of him: Populus gentium qui ambulabat in tenebris, etc., the people of gentiles or paynims which walked in darkness to worship idols and devils for very God, saw a great light when they issued from their sins by the doctrine of Jesu Christ which came also to the glory of the Jews, for they received his sight bodily, like as was promised them by the witness of the prophets, by which they might glorify them of this, that their rightful King was born among them and conversed bodily in their country. And S. Simeon said: Nunc dimittis servum tuum domine, etc. Sire, let thy servant depart in peace after thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy health, which thou hast made ready tofore the face of all peoples, that is light to the revelation of paynims and to the glory of thy people of Israel. Jesu Christ is called peace, health, light and joy. Peace, because that he is our moyen and our advocate; health, for he is our redeemer; light, for he is our informer; and glory, for he is our governor. This feast is called Candlemas, and is made in remembrance of the offering that our Lady offered in the temple as said is, and every each beareth this day a candle of wax burning, which representeth our Lord Jesu Christ. Like as the candle burning hath three things in it, that is to wit, the wax, the wick, and the fire, right so be three things in Jesu Christ, that is the body, the soul and the godhead. For the wax which is made of the bee purely, without company and mixture of one bee with another, signifieth the body of our Lord Jesu Christ, and the fire of the candle signifieth the divinity of our Lord Jesu Christ, which illumineth all creatures. And therefore if we will appear in this feast tofore the face of God, pure and clean and acceptable, we ought to have in us three things which be signified by the candle burning: that is good deeds, true faith, with good works. And like as the candle without burning is dead, right so faith is dead without works as S. James saith, for to believe in God without obeying his commandments profiteth nothing. And therefore saith S. Gregory: The good work ought to show withoutforth that thy intention abide good withinforth the heart, without seeking within any vain glory to be allowed and praised. And by the fire is understood charity, of which God saith: I am come to put fire in the earth, and whom I I will, I will burn.

This feast is called the purification of our Lady, not for that she had need ne ought make her purification, for she was pure and clean without having of any tatche of deadly sin ne venial, like as she that had, without company of any man, by the virtue of the Holy Ghost, conceived the Son of God, and was delivered without losing of her virginity, so she came with her blessed son at the fortieth day after his nativity for to obey the commandment of the law, after the manner of other women which had need of purification, and also for to show to us the example of humility. He is very humble that is worthy to be praised for his virtues. This glorious Lady is queen of heaven and Lady of angels, nevertheless she is pure and humble among the women like as a poor woman, without making any semblant of her great humility, ne of the high majesty of her son, whereof S. Bernard saith in this manner:

O who may make us to understand, glorious Lady, the thought of thine heart that thou haddest among the services that thou madest to thy blessed son in giving him suck, in laying down and raising, when thou sawest a little child of thee born on that one part, and of that other side thou knewest him to be God Almighty? And now thou believest and seest him created that had created all the world, now thou seest him feeble as a child which is Almighty and all puissant, now thou feedest him that all the world feedeth, and now thou seest him not speaking, that made man and speech. O who should con show hereupon the secrets of thine heart? How savoured thy courage when thou heldest thy child between thine arms whom thou lovedest as thy Lord, and kissed him as thy son. Who should not marvel of this miracle, when a virgin and a clean maid hath enfanted and childed her maker and Lord of all the world? To him let us address our thoughts, and embrace we this child of one very belief, whom we ought to love because he hath humbled himself for us, and to doubt him, because he is our judge and our Lord, to whose commandments we owe to obey if we will be saved.

We read an example of a noble lady which had great devotion in the blessed Virgin Mary, and she had a chapel in which she did do say mass of our Lady daily by her chaplain. It happed that the day of the purification of our Lady, her chaplain was out, so that this lady might that day have no mass, and she durst not go to another church because she had given her mantle unto a poor man for the love of our Lady. She was much sorrowful because she might hear no mass and for to make her devotions she went into the chapel, and tofore the altar she kneeled down for to make her prayers to our Lady. And anon she fell asleep, in which she had a vision, and her seemed that she was in a church, and saw come into the church a great company of virgins, tofore whom she saw come a right noble virgin crowned right preciously. And when they were all set each in order, came a company of young men which sat down each after other in order like the other; after, entered one that bare a burden of candles, and departed them to them above first, and so to each of them by order he gave one, and at the last came this man to this lady aforesaid and gave to her also a candle of wax. The which lady saw also come a priest, a deacon and a subdeacon, all revested, going to the altar as for to say mass. And her seemed that S. Laurence and S. Vincent were deacon and sub-deacon, and Jesu Christ the priest, and two angels bearing tofore them candles, and two young angels began the introit of the mass, and all the company of the virgins sang the mass. And when the mass was sung unto the offering, her seemed that thilk virgin so crowned went tofore, and after, all the others followed, and offered to the priest, kneeling much devoutly, their candles. And when the priest tarried for this lady that she should also have come to the offering, the glorious queen of virgins sent to her to say that she was not courteous to make the priest so long to tarry for her. And the lady answered that the priest should proceed in his mass forth, for she would keep her candle and not offer it. And the glorious virgin sent yet once to her, and she said she would not offer her candle. The third time the queen said to the messenger: Go and pray her that she come and offer her candle, or else take it from her by force. The messenger came to this lady, and because in no wise she would not come and offer up her candle, he set hand on the candle that this lady held and drew fast, and she held fast, and so long he drew and haled that the candle brake in two pieces, and that one half abode still in the hand of the lady aforesaid, which anon awoke and came to herself; and found the piece of the candle in her hand, whereof she much marvelled, and thanked our Lord and the glorious Virgin Mary devoutly which had suffered her that day not to be without mass. And all the days of her life after she kept that piece of that candle much preciously, like an holy relic, and all they that were touched therewith were guerished and healed of their maladies and sicknesses. Let us pray then humbly to the glorious Virgin Mary, which is comfort to them that forsake their sins, that she will make our peace to the blessed Son and impetre and get of him remission of all our sins, and after this life to come to the glory and joy of heaven, to the which bring us the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Here followeth the Life of S. Blase, and first of his name.

Blase is as much to say as glosing, or it is said as belasius of bela, which is habit,and syor, which is to say, little. And thus he is said glosing by the sweetness of his word,meek by his habit of virtues, and little by humility of manners and of conversation.

S. Blase was so sweet, holy and humble in manners, that the christian men of Cappadocia of the city of Sebaste chose him to be a bishop. The which when he was bishop saw that Diocletian the emperor made so many persecutions to christian men that S. Blase sought and would dwell in an hermitage in a ditch, in which place the birds of heaven brought to him meat for to eat. And it seemed to him that they came to serve him and accompany him, and would not depart from him till he had lift up his hands and blessed them. And also sick men came to him and anon were cured and healed. Now it happed that the prince of this region sent his knights to hunt, and they could take nothing. But by adventure they came unto the desert place where S. Blase was, where they found great multitude of beasts which were about him, of whom they could take none, whereof they were all abashed and showed this to their lord, the which anon sent many knights for him, and commanded to bring him and all the christian men with him. And that night Jesu Christ appeared to him thrice, which said to him: Arise up and make to me sacrifice. Lo! here be the knights that come to fetch thee at the commandment of the prince. And the knights said to him: Come out from this place, the president calleth thee. And S. Blase answered: My sons, ye be welcome, I see now well that God hath not forgotten me. He went with them and continually preached, and did many miracles tofore them.

There was a woman that had a son dying, in whose throat was a bone of a fish athwart, which estrangled him, and she brought him tofore his feet, praying him that he would make her son whole. And S. Blase put his hand upon him and made his prayer to God that this child, and all they that demanded benefits of health in his name, that they should be holpen and obtain it, and anon he was whole and guerished.

Another woman there was that was poor which had a swine, which the wolf had borne away, and she humbly prayed to S. Blase that she might have again her swine. And he began to smile and said: Good woman anger thee not, for thou shalt have again thy swine, and anon the wolf brought again to the woman, which was a widow, her swine.

And anon after he was entered into the city, the prince commanded to put him in prison, and after another day he made him to come tofore him, whom he saluted by fair words, saying to him: Be thou joyful, Blase, the friend of God. S. Blase answered to him: Be thou joyous right good prince, but call not them gods whom thou worshippest, but fiends, for they be delivered to fire perdurable with them that serve and worship them. Then was the prince much wroth, and made to beat S. Blase with staves, and after to put him in prison. Then said S. Blase: O mad man, weenest thou by thy torments and pains to take away from me the love of my God whom I have with me and is my helper? And when this good widow, which by S. Blase had recovered her swine, heard thereof, she slew it, and the head and the feet with a little bread and a candle, she brought to S. Blase, and he thanked God and ate thereof, and he said to her that every year she should offer in his church a candle, and know thou that to thee and to all them that so shall do shall well happen to them, and so she did all her life, and she had much great prosperity. After this that the right cruel prince had brought him tofore his gods, and in no wise might make him incline for to adore to their gods, he made him to be hanged on a gibbet, and his body to be torn with combs of iron, and this done he was remitted again to prison. And there were seven women that siewed him, which gathered up the drops of his blood, which women anon were taken, and constrained to sacrifice to their gods. The which said: If thou wilt that we worship thy gods, and that we do to them reverence, send them to the water for to wash and make clean their visages, to the end that we may more cleanlier worship them. Then the prince was right glad and joyous, and anon sent them to the water, and the women took them and threw them in the middle of the stagne or pond, and said: Now shall we see if they be gods. And when the prince heard this he was out of his wit for anger, and smote himself all wroth saying: Wherefore retained not ye our gods that they should not have thrown them in the bottom of the water? The ministers answered:Thou spakest shrewdly to the women, and they cast them into the water. To whom the women said: The very God may not suffer iniquity ne falseness, for if they had been very gods they had well eschewed that they had not been thrown there, and had seen what we would have done. Then the tyrant became wroth and did do make ready lead molten and iron combs, and seven coats of iron burning as hot as fire on that one side, and that other he did do bring smocks of linen cloth and said to them that they should choose which they would. And one of them that had two small children ran hardily and took the smocks of linen cloth and threw them in the furnace for to go after herself if she had failed. And the children said to the mother, leave us not after thee, but right sweet mother, like as thou hast nourished us with thy milk so replenish us with the realm of heaven. Then the tyrant did do hang them, and with hooks and crochets of iron did do tear their flesh and all to-rent it. Of whom the flesh was as white as snow, and for blood they gave out milk. And as they suffered these great torments the angel of God descended from heaven and comforted them, and said to them: Have ye no dread, the worker is good that well beginneth and well endeth, and who deserveth good reward shall have joy, and for his work complete he shall have his merit, and for labour he shall have rest, and that shall be the reward. Then the tyrant did do take them down and did do throw them into the burning furnace, which women, by the grace of God issued without taking harm, and the fire was extinct and quenched. And the tyrant said to them, now leave ye your art of enchantment and adore ye our gods. And they answered: Do that thou hast begun, for we be now called to the kingdom of heaven. Then he commanded that they should be beheaded; and when they should be beheaded they began to adore God kneeling on their knees, saying: Lord God which hast departed us from darknesses, and in to this right sweet light hast brought us, and of us hast made thy sacrifice, receive our souls, and make us to come to the life perdurable, and thus had they their heads smitten off, and sith their souls went to heaven. After this the prince made S. Blase to be brought before him, and said to him: Hast thou now worshipped our gods or not? S. Blase answered: Right cruel man I have no dread of thy menaces, do what thou wilt, I deliver to thee my body whole. Then he took him and did him to be cast in to a pond, and anon he blessed the water and the water dried all away, and so he abode there safe. And then S. Blase said to him, If your gods be very and true gods, let them now show their virtue and might and enter ye hither. Then there entered into it sixty-five persons, and anon they were drowned. And an angel descended from heaven, and said to S. Blase: Blase go out of this water and receive the crown that is made ready of God for thee. And when he was issued out of the pond the tyrant said to him: Thou hast determined in all manners not for to adore our gods. To whom S. Blase said: Poor caitiff, know thou that I am servant of God, and I adore not the fiends as ye do. And anon then the tyrant did do smite off his head, and S. Blase prayed to our Lord tofore his death that whosoever desired his help from the infirmity of the throat, or required aid for any other sickness or infirmity, that he would hear him, and might deserve to be guerished and healed. And there came a voice from heaven to him saying that his petition was granted and should be done as he had prayed. And so then with the two little children he was beheaded about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty seven.

Here followeth the Life of S. Agatha, and first the interpretation of her name.

Agatha is said of agios, which is as much to say as holy, and theos, that is God, that is to say the saint of God: and, as Chrysostom saith, three things make a man holy, which three were perfectly in her; that is cleanness of heart, the presence of the Holy Ghost, and plenty of good manners. Or she is said of A, which is to say without, and of geos, earth, and of theos, God, as a goddess without earth, that is without earthly love. Or she is said of aga, that is to say speaking, and of thau, that is perfection, that is that she was speaking and accomplishing much perfectly, and that appeareth well in her answers. Or she is said of agath, that is service, and thaas, sovereign, which is as sovereign service, and because she said that servage is sovereign noblesse. Or she is said of aga, that is solemn, and of thau, that is perfection, for the perfection was right solemn, like as it appeareth by the angels that buried her.

Of S. Agatha.

S. Agatha the virgin was right fair, noble body and of heart, and was rich of goods. This glorious virgin served God in the city of Catania, leading a pure and holy life. Quintianus the provost of Sicily, being of a low lineage, was lecherous, avaricious, and a miscreant and paynim, and for to accomplish his evil desires fleshly, and to have riches, did do take S. Agatha to be presented and brought tofore him, and began to behold her with a lecherous sight; and for to have her himself, he would have induced her to make sacrifice unto the idols. And when he saw her firm in her purpose, he put her in the keeping of a woman named Aphrodisia, which had nine daughters, over foul, like unto the mother. This did he for to induce S. Agatha to do his will within thirty days. Aphrodisia and her daughters entreated the holy virgin to consent to the will of the provost, and sometime they made to her great promises of temporal goods and of great eases, and sometimes they made to her menaces of grievous torments for to suffer, and great pains, to which S. Agatha answered freely: My courage and my thought be so firmly founded upon the firm stone of Jesu Christ, that for no pain it may not be changed; your words be but wind, your promises be but rain, and your menaces be as rivers that pass, and how well that all these things hurtle at the foundement of my courage, yet for that it shall not move. In this manner answered she, and alway wept in making her prayers, and much great desire had she to come to Jesu Christ by martyrdom and by torments. When Aphrodisia saw well that in no wise she would be moved, she went to the provost Quintianus, and said to him: Sooner should the stones wax soft, and iron turn to soft lead, than turn the courage of this maid, or to take from her the christian faith. I and my daughters have done none other thing night ne day, one after another, but to labour how we might turn her heart to your consenting. I have promised her in your name your precious adornments, clothes of gold, houses, lands, towns, servants, and great meinys, and all this she despiseth and reputeth them at no value. When Quintianus heard this, anon he made her to come tofore him in judgment, and demanded her of her lineage, and at the last he would constrain her to make sacrifice unto the idols. And S. Agatha answered that they were no gods, but were devils that were in the idols made of marble and of wood, and overgilt. Quintianus said: Choose one of two; or do sacrifice to our gods, or thou shalt suffer pain and torments. S. Agatha said: Thou sayst that they be gods because thy wife was such an one as was Venus, thy goddess, and thou thyself as Jupiter, which was an homicide and evil. Quintianus said: It appeareth well that thou wilt suffer torments, in that thou sayst to me villainy. S. Agatha said: I marvel much that so wise a man is become such a fool, that thou sayest of them to be thy gods, whose life thou ne thy wife will follow. If they be good I would that thy life were like unto theirs; and if thou refusest their life, then art thou of one accord with me. Say then that they be evil and so foul, and forsake their living, and be not of such life as thy gods were. Quintianus said: What goest thou thus vainly speaking? make sacrifice unto the gods, or if thou do not I shall make thee to die by divers torments. S. Agatha abode firm and stable in the faith. Then Quintianus did do put her in a dark prison, and she went also gladly, and with as good will as she had been prayed to go to a wedding.

On the morning Quintianus made her to be brought tofore him in judgment, and said to her: Agatha, how art thou advised for thy health? She answered: Christ is mine health. Quintianus said: Reny Christ thy God, by which thou mayest escape thy torments. S. Agatha answered: Nay, but reny thou thine idols which be of stones and of wood, and adore thy maker, that made heaven and earth, and if thou do not thou shalt be tormented in the perpetual fire in hell. Then in great ire Quintianus did her to be drawn and stretched on a tree and tormented, and said to her: Refuse thy vain opinion that thou hast, and thou shalt be eased of thy pain; and she answered: I have as great dilection in these pains as he that saw come to him that thing which he most coveteth to see, or as he that had found great treasure. And like as the wheat may not be put in the garner unto the time that the chaff be beaten off, in like wise my soul may not enter into the realm of heaven, but if thou wilt torment my body by thy ministers. Then Quintianus did her to be tormented in her breasts and paps, and commanded that her breasts and mammels should be drawn and cut off. When the ministers had accomplished his commandment, then said S. Agatha: Over felon and cruel tyrant, hast thou no shame to cut off that in a woman which thou didst suck in thy mother, and whereof thou wert nourished? But I have my paps whole in my soul, of which I nourish all my wits, the which I have ordained to serve our Lord Jesu Christ, sith the beginning of my youth. After, Quintianus did do put her in prison, and commanded that none should enter for to heal her, ne none should give to her meat ne drink. And when she was fast closed in the prison, there came an ancient noble man, and tofore him a child bearing a light, and divers ointments in his hand. This noble man said that he was a surgeon, and in comforting her said: How well that the tyrant hath tormented thee bodily, nevertheless thou hast more tormented him in his heart by thy answers. I was there when he made thy paps to be cut off, and saw how I might well heal them. Then said she: I knew never of medicine corporal, and it were shame to me to take it now. That which I have avowed and kept to my Lord, sith mine infancy, yet I shall keep it if it please him. The ancient nobleman answered: I am also christian, and a good master and leech, be not ashamed. She answered: Whereof should I be ashamed? Thou art ancient and of great age, and how well that I be a young maid, nevertheless my body is defeated by the torments, that the wounds suffer nothing to enter into my thought whereof I should be ashamed, and not for but I thank thee fair father that thou art so diligent to heal me, but know that my body shall receive no medicine of no man. And this nobleman said: Wherefore sufferest thou not me that I may heal and guerish thee? She said: Because I have Jesu Christ, my Saviour, which with a word healeth all, and if he will he may heal me. And the good man smiling said: And he hath sent me hither for to heal thee; I am his apostle, and know verily that thou art whole in the name of him, and anon the apostle vanished away. Then she fell down in prayers and said: Lord Jesu Christ, I yield thee thankings that thou hast remembered me, and hast sent thine apostle S. Peter to me, which hath comforted me, and healed my wounds. And after the orison made, she saw that her paps were again restored to her and all her wounds healed. And all that night was the prison fulfilled with great clearness and light, so that the keepers fled for the great dread that they had, and left the prison all open. Then said to her the other prisoners that were in the prison, that she should go their way, and she said: That shall never happen that the keepers of the prison shall suffer any harm for me, ne that I shall lose my crown; I shall abide in the faith of Jesu Christ my Lord, which hath comforted and healed me.

After four days Quintianus made her to be brought tofore him in judgment, and said to her that she should do sacrifice to the idols. She answered: These words be vain, and thy commandments evil, they make the air to stink, he is much mechant that believeth in a stone without entendment, and leaveth our Lord the very God that hath healed me, and hath restored to me again my paps. Quintianus demanded her: Who is he that hath healed thee? She said: Jesu Christ. Quintianus said: Namest thou yet Jesu Christ? She answered: I shall have in my heart Jesu Christ as long as I shall live. Quintianus said: Yet shalt thou see if he may help and heal thee. And then he made her, all naked, to be rolled upon burning brands, and anon the ground where the holy virgin was rolled on, began to tremble like an earthquave, and a part of the wall fell down upon Silvain, counsellor of Quintianus, and upon Fastion his friend, by whose counsel she had been so tormented. And then all the city of Catania was abashed, and the people came running unto the house of Quintianus, saying, in a great bruit, that the city was in a great peril for the torments that he did to S. Agatha. Quintianus redoubled the bruit of the people, and went out behind and commanded that she should be remised in prison. When she came into the prison she joined her hands, holding them up to heavenward, and said in praying: Lord God Jesu Christ which hast created me of nought, and sith my youth hast kept me and hast suffered me to live well in my youth, which hast taken from mine heart the love of the world and hast made me to overcome the torments, and hast lent me patience among the pains, I pray thee that thou take my spirit, for it is time that thou make me to depart from this world and to come to thy mercy. This orison and prayer made she on high tofore many persons. And anon after she gave up the ghost, and rendered her soul, the year of our Lord two hundred and fifty-three in the time of Decius, the emperor of Rome. After this the Christian people took the body for to bury it worshipfully, and whiles they arrayed it with ointments for to embalm the corpse, anon came a young man clad in silk, and well an hundred that followed him, richly clothed, which were never tofore seen in the city, ne never after also. This young man, whom followed the fair company, set him on that one side of the tomb in which the body should be put, and when the body was embalmed within the tomb, this young man set, at the head of the body, a short table of marble stone, in which was written this scripture: Mentem sanctam, spontaneam, honorem deo dedit et patriæ liberationem fecit; which is as much to say: The holy saint Agatha had always holy thought and pure, and gave honor to God with a free will in all her works, and purchased by her prayers peace and deliverance to all the country. After that the table containing this scripture was set at her head, the young man and all his company departed from the tomb, being closed, without appearing any more afterward, wherefore it is supposed that this young man was her good angel. This was published over all, whereof the Jews and Saracens began to sing and worship the sepulchre of the tomb of S. Agatha. Quintianus, the provost, died of an evil death in the way as he went for to seek the goods and riches of S. Agatha, and also for to have taken her parents, and never after could be known where her body became. And for to prove that she had prayed for the salvation of the country, at the beginning of February, the year after her martyrdom, there arose a great fire, and came from the mountain toward the city of Catania and burnt the earth and stones, it was so fervent. Then ran the paynims to the sepulchre of S. Agatha and took the cloth that lay upon her tomb, and held it abroad against the fire, and anon on the ninth day after, which was the day of her feast, ceased the fire as soon as it came to the cloth that they brought from her tomb, showing that our Lord kept the city from the said fire by the merits of S. Agatha. To whom pray we that she by her prayers may get and impetre grace of our Lord to be kept from all perils of fire in this world, and when we shall depart hence to eschew the perpetual fire, and to come to the glory and joy in heaven. Amen.

Of S. Amande, and first the interpretation of his name.

Amande is as much to say as amiable, for he had in him three things that make a man amiable. The first is to be courteous and gracious in company, as Solomon saith in his Proverbs the nineteenth chapter: Vir amabilis ad societatem. The second is to be honest in conversation, as it is said of Esther, Esther secundo. Quod omnibus oculis amabilis videbatur: The third is to be virtuous in faith of prowesse, as it is said in the book of Paralipomenon the second chapter: Saul and Jonathas amabiles et decori.

Of the Life of S. Amande.

S. Amande was born of noble father and mother. On a time he entered into a monastery, and, as he walked and went in the church, he found a great serpent, whom by the virtue of his prayer and with the sign of the cross, he made him to issue out and to enter into the great pit out of which he never issued after. And after S. Amande came to the sepulchre of S. Martin and there abode fifteen years, where he lived with barley bread and water, and ware always the hair. After that he went to Rome and went into the church of S. Peter, and abode there by night. The keeper of the church put him out right rudely; and S. Peter appeared to him as he lay and slept tofore the church door, and sent him in legation into France, where he found the king of Dagobert, the which he reproved strongly of his sins. The king was angry and put him out of his realm. After, when the king had no son he made his prayers to God that he might have one, and God sent him one, and when he was born, he thought much, and sorrowed who should baptize him, and it came into his mind that he would that S. Amande should baptize him. S. Amande was sought and brought to the king, and as soon as he was come, the king fell down to his feet and prayed him that he would pardon him of that he bad trespassed to him, and that he would baptize his son. And S. Amande granted benignly to the king his request, the first petition, but not the second request, for he dreaded that he would have desired about some worldly occupation or secular things, of which he would not gladly intermeddle, and went his way and departed; but at the last, as vanquished by the prayers of the king, he granted him. And thus then as he baptized the child, and no man answered, the child with a clear voice said and answered: Amen. And after this the king promoted him to be bishop of Sens. And when he saw that the word of God in predication was despised and not set by, he went into Gascony, where he saw a juggler who mocked his words. The fiend took him, and with his own teeth he tare him, and confessed that he had done injury to the person of God, and anon died miserably.

Now it happed on a time that he washed his hands, and a bishop made the water to be kept, of which water a blind man had his sight again. It happed that in that place, by the will of the king, he would edify a monastery of monks; then a bishop that was of the next city took it grievously and was much angry therewith, and commanded his servants to cast him out or else they should slay him. And anon they came to him and said to him, in guile and treason, that he should go with them and they would show to him a place apt and good, and water enough, for to edify upon a monastery for monks. And he that knew their malice and their evil purpose went with them unto the top of an high mountain whereas they would have slain him, and he desired much the martyrdom for the love of our Lord, and for to come in his company; but anon suddenly descended from heaven such a tempest of rain and of orage, that it covered all the mountain so much that that one could not see that other, and supposed to have died suddenly. And they fell down to the earth upon their knees, praying him to pardon them, and that they might depart thence alive. For whom he put himself to prayer, and anon the storm was appeased and the weather fair. They went to their place, and S. Amande thus escaped from this peril. And many other miracles he showed and did in the honour of our Lord, and finished in holy virtues his life, and departed out of this world in the time of Eraclius, the emperor, about the year of our Lord six hundred and fifty-three.

Here next followeth the Life of S. Vedaste.

S. Vedaste was ordained Bishop of Arras by the hand of S. Remigius. And S. Vedaste was of much great holiness and cleanness: for when he came to the gate of Arras he found there two poor men of whom that one was lame and that other blind. These two poor men demanded of him some alms. And S. Vedaste answered to them and said: I have neither gold nor silver, but this that I have I give to you. Then he made them both whole by virtue of his prayer. It happed on a time he came into a church destroyed, and found there a wolf among the bushes; and he commanded him that he should go his way, and anon he obeyed to him and fled, so that sith that time he was not seen. At the last, when he had converted much people, by his word and predication, to the faith of God, and also by good ensamples showed evidently to the people, in the fortieth year of his bishopric, he saw a dove of fire that came from heaven to his house. And by that he understood well that he should finish and pass out of this world, and so he did, for he died anon after, about the year of our Lord five hundred and fifty. When his body should be translated, S. Omer which was blind for age, was sorry that he might not see the body of S. Vedaste and anon our Lord enlumined him, and rendered to him his sight. And he saw the body of S. Vedaste, but anon after, he was blind again as he had been tofore. Let us pray to him, etc.

Here beginneth the Life of S. Valentine, and first the interpretation of his name.

Valentine is as much to say as containing valour that is perseverant in great holiness. Valentine is said also as a valiant knight, for he was a right noble knight of God, and the knight is said valiant that fleeth not, and smiteth and defendeth valiantly and overcometh much puissantly. And so S. Valentine withdrew him not from his martyrdom in fleeing, he smote in destroying the idols, he defended the faith, he overcame in suffering.

Of S. Valentine the Martyr.

S. Valentine, friend of our Lord and priest of great authority, was at Rome. It happed that Claudius the emperor made him to come tofore him and said to him in demanding: What thing is that which I have heard of thee, Valentine? Why wilt thou not abide in our amity, and worship the idols and renounce the vain opinion of thy creance? S. Valentine answered him: If thou hadst very knowledge of the grace of Jesu Christ thou shouldest not say this that thou sayest, but shouldest reny the idols and worship very God. Then said to S. Valentine a prince which was of the council of the emperor: What wilt thou say of our gods and of their holy life? And S. Valentine answered: I say none other thing of them but that they were men mortal and mechant and full of all ordure and evil. Then said Claudius the emperor: If Jesu Christ be God verily, wherefore sayst thou not the truth? And S. Valentine said: Certainly Jesu Christ is only very God, and if thou believe in him, verily thy soul shall be saved, thy realm shall multiply, and he shall give to thee alway victory of thine enemies. Then Claudius turned him unto all them that were there, and said to them: Lords, Romans, hear ye how wisely and reasonably this man speaketh? Anon the provost of the city said: The emperor is deceived and betrayed, how may we leave that which we have holden and been accustomed to hold sith our infancy? With these words the emperor turned and changed his courage, and S. Valentine was delivered in the keeping of the provost.

When S. Valentine was brought in an house in prison, then he prayed to God, saying: Lord Jesu Christ very God, which art very light, enlumine this house in such wise that they that dwell therein may know thee to be very God. And the provost said: I marvel me that thou sayest that thy God is very light, and nevertheless, if he may make my daughter to hear and see, which long time hath been blind, I shall do all that thou commandest me, and shall believe in thy God. S. Valentine anon put him in prayers, and by his prayers the daughter of the provost received again her sight, and anon all they of the the house were converted. After, the emperor did do smite off the head of S. Valentine, the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty. Then let us pray to S. Valentine that he get us pardon of our sins. Amen.

Here followeth the Life of S. Juliana, and first the interpretation of her name.

Juliana is as much to say as burning plainly, for she burnt herself against the temptation of the devil which would have deceived her, and she helped many others to believe in the faith of our Lord Jesu Christ.

Of S. Juliana.

S. Juliana was given in marriage to the provost of Nicomedia, which was named Eulogius, and he was a paynim, and therefore she would not assent to the marriage, ne assemble with him, but if he would first take the faith of Christ and be baptized. When her father saw this, anon he did do her to be naked, and made her to be beaten sore, and after delivered her to the provost. And after when the provost beheld her, and saw the great beauty in her, he said to her: My most sweet Juliana, why hast thou brought me in such confusion that I am mocked because thou refusest to take me? She said: If thou wilt adore my God, I shall assent and agree to take thee, and otherwise shalt thou never be my lord. To whom the provost said: Fair lady, that may I not do, for the emperor should then smite off my head. And she said: If thou doubtest so much the emperor, which is mortal, why should not I doubt mine emperor Jesu Christ, which is immortal; do what thou wilt, for thou mayst not deceive me. Then the provost did do her to be beat most cruelly with rods, and half a day to hang by the hairs of her head, and molten lead to be cast on her head. And when he saw that all this grieved her not, he made her to be bounden in chains, and to be set in prison. To whom the devil came then in the likeness of an angel, which said to her in this manner: Juliana, I am the angel of God, which hath sent me to thee to warn thee and say that thou make sacrifice to the idols for to escape the torments of evil death. Then she began to weep, and made to God this prayer: Lord God, suffer not me to be lost, but of thy grace show to me what he is that maketh to me this monition.The same time came to her a voice that said that she should set hand on him, and that she constrain him to confess what he was, and anon she took him and demanded him, and he said that he was the devil, and that his father had sent him thither for to deceive her. She demanded him: Who is thy father? And he answered: Beelzebub, which sendeth us for to do all evil, and maketh us grievously to be beaten when we come vanquished of the christian people. And therefore I am certain I shall have much harm because I may not overcome thee. She said to him: Of what craft is thy father Beelzebub? The devil said: He contriveth all evil, and when we come into hell he sendeth us for to tempt the souls of the people. She demanded: What torments suffereth he that cometh vanquished of a christian creature? The devil said: We suffer then much grievous torment, and by cause when we be vanquished of a good man we dare not return, and when we be sought and cannot be found, then commandeth our master to other devils that they torment us wheresomever they find us, and therefore we must obey to him as to our father. And of what craft art thou? I take solace in the shrewdness of the people; I love homicide, luxury, battle, and make debate and war. And she demanded him: Goest thou never to do good works and profitable? The devil answered: Madam, to the end that I answer the truth, to my right great harm and evil am I come hither, for I had well supposed to have deceived thee, and made thee to make sacrifice to the idols and to renounce thy God. When we come to a good christian man and we find him ready to do service to God, we send into him many thoughts vain and evil, and also many evil desires, and turn his thought by this that we set tofore him, and we send errors into his thoughts, and we let him not persevere in his orisons ne in no good works; yet if we see any that will go to the church or in other place for any good, anon we be in their ways, and cast into their hearts divers thoughts and occasions by which they be distorned for to do well. But whosomever may understand our temptations and apperceive them, to the end that he put away from him evil cogitations and thoughts, and will make his prayers, and do his good works, and hear the words of God and the divine service, of him we be cast out, and when they receive the body of Jesu Christ we depart forthwith from them. We set our intent to nothing but to deceive good persons that lead an holy life, and when we see them do good works, we send into them bitter and grievous thoughts for to leave all and do our will. S. Juliana said: O thou spirit! how art thou so hardy to tempt any christian person? And the devil answered: How darest thou thus hold me, if it were not thou affiest in Jesu Christ? Right so trust I in my father, which is a malefactor, and I do that pleaseth him; I have pained me to do oft many evils, and sometime I come to mine intent, and accomplish my desire, but at this time I have failed: I would I had not come hither! Alas! how understood my father of this that should not hap. Madam, let me go, and give me leave to go in to some other place, for it is no need that I accuse thee to my father. At the last she let him go.

On the morn the provost commanded that S. Juliana should be brought tofore him in judgment; and when he saw her so well guerished, and her visage so fair and so shining, then said the provost to her: Juliana, who hath taught thee, and how mayest thou vanquish the torments? And she said: Hearken to me and I shall say to thee: My Lord Jesu Christ hath taught me to adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for I have overcome and vanquished Satan thy father, and all his other devils; for God hath sent his angel for to comfort and to help me. Mechant man, knowest thou not that the torments be made ready for thee everlasting, where thou shalt be tormented perpetually in a perpetual darkness and obscurity. Anon the provost made to be brought a wheel of iron between two pillars, and four horses to draw it forth, and four knights at one side, and four knights on that other to draw, and four for to draw forth the wheel, so that all the body was tobroken in such wise that the marrow came out of the bones, and the wheel was all bloody. Then came an angel of God and brake the wheel, and healed the wounds of S. Juliana perfectly. And for this miracle were converted all they that were present. And anon after, for the faith of Jesu Christ were beheaded men and women to the number of one hundred and thirty persons. After, commanded the provost that she should be put in a great pot full of boiling lead, and when she entered into the said pot, all the lead became cold, so that she felt no harm. And the provost cursed his gods because they might not punish a maid that so vanquished them. And then he commanded to smite off her head. And when she was led to be beheaded, the devil appeared to the provost in figure of a young man, and said: Spare not good people, and of her have no mercy, for she hath blamed your gods and done much harm, and me she hath beaten this night past, therefore render to her that she hath deserved. With these words S. Juliana looked behind her for to wit who said such words of her. Anon the devil said: Alas! alas ! caitiff that I am, I doubt me that yet she will take and bind me, and so he vanished away. After this, that she had admonished the people to love and serve Jesu Christ she prayed them all to pray for her, and then her head was smitten off. The provost entered into a ship with thirty-four men for to pass an arm of the sea; anon came a great orage and a tempest, which drowned the provost and all his company in the sea, and the sea threw their bodies to the rivage, and wild beasts came thither and ate them. Thus this holy virgin S. Juliana suffered martyrdom for our Lord the fourteenth calends of the month of March. Let us pray to her that she pray for us, etc.

Of the Chairing of S. Peter the Apostle.

The chair is said in three manners, that is, the chair royal, as it is said in the book of Kings: David sitting in a chair. And there is a chair of priests, as Regum primo, Eli, the priest sitting upon a chair. And the third is the chair for a master as is said, Matt. xxiii.: Upon the chair of Moses, etc. Then S. Peter sat in a chair royal, for he was prince of the apostles, and he sat in the chair of priests, for he was lord of all the priests, and in the chair of the master, for he was a great doctor of christian men. The first was of equity, the second of quantity, and the third of truth and of virtue.

Holy church halloweth the feast of S. Peter the apostle, and this day was S. Peter honorably enhanced in the city of Antioch, and set in the chair as a bishop. Many causes there be wherefore this feast is hallowed and established. Of whom the first is, as is said in a sermon of this feast, that when S. Peter went for to preach the word of God and founded holy church by his predication, Niceta and Aquila showed unto the city of Antioch that Peter the apostle of God came thither, wherefore the people and also the nobles of the city came against him, and knowledged themselves culpable of that they had holden of the predication of Simon Magus, which was an enchanter. After, they did to be brought tofore him all such people as were vexed with divers maladies and sicknesses, of whom there were so many that they might not be numbered. S. Peter beheld their repentance, and also that they believed firmly in the name of God, and anon lift up his hands unto heaven, and made his prayer to God saying: O God, Father Almighty, I yield to thee thankings in this that thou hast worthily fulfilled the promises of thy blessed Son, by which all creatures may know that thou art one only God in heaven and in earth. And after, he ascended up into an high place, and all the multitude of sick men were brought tofore him, and he said to them in this manner: Ye that see me a mortal man as ye be, ween ne suppose not ye that by me ye may be healed, but by him that is descended from heaven to earth, which giveth to all them that believe in him full health of body and of soul. This ought ye to believe to the end that all may know that ye that thus believe entirely with all your heart in Jesu Christ may be made whole and guerished by him. And anon all they that were sick cried with a high voice: We believe that Jesu Christ is very God. Suddenly a light appeared there, and all the sick people were guerished and healed of whatsomever malady they had. And that same day the Holy Ghost showed so greatly his grace, that from the least unto the most, all believed in our Lord Jesu Christ. And there were baptized in seven days more than ten thousand persons of men, women, and children, and also Theophilus, the lord and provost of the city, to whom S. Peter had raised his son which had been fourteen years dead. And some say that of his palace he made a church in the which all the people set up a chair for S. Peter to sit in more higher, for to preach the doctrine of Jesu Christ, and the better to be heard and seen. And of the exalting thus of S. Peter into this chair, this feast taketh the name of the chairing of S. Peter. And in this church was S. Peter seven years, and from thence he went to Rome and governed the church of Rome twenty-five years. That other reason why this feast was established was for the reverence of the crown or tonsure of his head, which yet clerks bear and have, for like as some say, at this journey was first found the crown of the clerks. For when S. Peter preached at the first time in the city of Antioch, the paynims sheared him upon his head above, like a fool, in despising christian law. And because this was done to S. Peter to do him despite and shame, it was sith stablished that the clergy should have his crown shaven in sign of right great honour and authority. And it is to wit that in the crown be three things: first the head is discovered and bare above and the hair cut away, and the crown is round. There be three reasons why the head is bare, of which S. Denis assigneth the twain, and saith the rasure and cutting off of the hair signifieth pure life and clean without any arraying withoutforth; for like as hairs be naturally for to adorn the head, right so deform they the head when they be cut off by mockery or otherwise. Also good manners which ought to adorn the clean life, deform the holy conversation when they be left and taken away by habits covetous and proud. Also the rasure or shaving which is on the overmost part of the head signifieth that between God and them ought to be nothing ne mean that should displease God, but their love should be in God without any letting and empeshment and should address in him their thoughts. The second thing that is in the crown is that the hairs be shaven clean away. By that is signified that the clerks ought to take away from their hearts all vain thoughts which might let and empesh the service divine, and also ought to be withdrawn from all temporal business, and only to have their necessities. The third thing that is in the crown is that it is round, and this figure seemeth good by many reasons. The first is that a round figure hath neither beginning nor end. The second is, in a round crown be no corners, and as S. Bernard saith whereas be corners there is gladly filth, and that is to be understood that the clerks ought not to have in their hearts no corners where the filth of sins might assemble, but ought to have a clean conscience, and also they ought to have truth in their mouths. For as saith S. Jerome: Truth seeketh no corners. The third reason is, for like as the figure of a crown is most fair among all other, so the conversation of clerks or priests ought to be best adorned of good manners among all other lay people. The fourth reason is, for like as a crown hath but one way round and no figure, like as S. Austin saith: There is none so simple a figure as that which hath but one way, also the clerks ought to be simple in their conversation, without fiction and pride. And it is to wit that holy church halloweth of S. Peter three feasts in the year for three gifts that he hath power to give to the people. The first is the chair, for he giveth absolution of sins. The second feast is called advincula, that is the first day of the August, for he by his power transumeth the pain perpetual due for sins mortal into pain temporal. The third feast is of his martyrdom, for he hath power to release some pains of penance enjoined for the sins confessed, and for these three causes he is digne and worthy honorably to be served and worshipped. Let us then pray to him that he may impetre and get to us remission of all our sins, and after this short transitory life we may come to everlasting joy and glory in heaven. Amen.

Of S. Matthias the Apostle, and first the interpretation of his name.

Matthias in Hebrew is as much to say as given to our Lord, or a gift of our Lord, or else humble or little. For he was given of our Lord when he was chosen from the world, and was set and entered among the seventy-two disciples, he was also given of our Lord when he was chosen by lot and numbered among the apostles. He was little for he had all very meekness in him and humility. There be three manners of humilities, as S. Ambrose saith that: The first is of the affliction by which a man is made humble; the second is consideration of himself, and the third is of the devotion which is of the knowledge of his maker. S. Matthias had the first in suffering martyrdom, the second was in despising himself, and he had the third in amarvelling the majesty of our Lord. For Matthias is said as doing good for evil, for he being good was set in the place of Judas the traitor. And his life is read in holy church, and Bede writeth it as many holy men bear witness.

Of S. Matthias.

S. Matthias the apostle was in the place of Judas the traitor, and therefore first we shall rehearse here the birth and beginning of Judas. It is read in a history, though it be named apocrypha, that there was a man in Jerusalem named Reuben, and by another named Simeon, of the kindred of David, or, after S. Jerome, of the tribe of Issachar, which had a wife named Ciborea, and on the night that Judas was conceived his mother had a marvellous dream whereof she was so sore afeard. For her seemed that she had conceived a child that should destroy their people, and because of the loss of all their people her husband blamed her much, and said to her: Thou sayest a thing over evil, or the devils will deceive thee. She said: Certainly if so be that I shall have a son, I trow it shall be so, as I have had a revelation and none illusion. When the child was born the father and mother were in great doubt, and thought what was best to do, for they durst not slay the child for the horror that they should have therein, neither they wist not how they might nourish one that should destroy their lineage. Then they put him to a little fiscelle or basket well pitched, and set it in the sea, and abandoned him to drive whither it would. And anon the floods and waves of the sea brought and made him arrive in an island named Scarioth, and of this name was he called Judas Scariotes. Now it happed that the queen of this country went for to play on the rivage of the sea, and beheld this little nacelle and the child therein, which was fair, and then she sighed and said: O Lord God, how should I be eased if I had such a child, then at the least should not my realm be without heir. Then commanded she that the child should be taken up, and be nourished, and she fained herself to be great with child and after published that she had borne a fair son. When her husband heard say hereof he had great joy, and all the people of the country made great feast. The king and queen did do nourish and keep this child like the son of a king. Anon after, it happed that the queen conceived a son, and when it was born and grown Judas beat oft that child, for he weened that he had been his brotber, and oft he was chastised therefore, but alway he made him to weep so long that the queen which knew well that Judas was not her son, and at the last she said the truth, and told how that Judas was found in the sea. And ere this yet was known Judas slew the child that he had supposed to be his brother, and was son to the king, and in eschewing the sentence of death he fled anon and came into Jerusalem, and entered into the court of Pilate which then was provost. And he so pleased him that he was great with him, and had in great cherety and nothing was done without him.

Now it happed on a day that Pilate went for to disport him by a garden belonging to the father of Judas, and was so desirous to eat of the fruit of the apples that he might not forbear them. And the father of Judas knew not Judas his son, for he supposed that he had been drowned in the sea long tofore, ne the son knew not the father. When Pilate had told to Judas of his desire, he sprang into the garden of his father and gathered of the fruit for to bear to his master, but the father of Judas defended him, and there began between them much strife and debate, first by words and after with fighting, so much that Judas smote his father with a stone on the head that he slew him, and after brought the apples unto Pilate, and told to him how that he had slain him that owned the garden. Then sent Pilate to seize all the good that the father of Judas had, and after gave his wife to Judas in marriage, and thus Judas wedded his own mother.

Now it happed on a day that the lady wept and sighed much strongly and said: Alas! how unhappy that I am! I have lost my son and my husband. My son was laid on the sea, and I suppose that he be drowned, and my husband is dead suddenly, and yet it is more grievous to me that Pilate hath remarried me against my will. Then demanded Judas of this child, and she told him how he was set in the sea, and Judas told to her how he had been found in the sea, in such wise that she wist that she was his mother, and that he had slain his father and wedded his mother. Wherefore then he went to Jesu Christ, which did so many miracles, and prayed him of mercy and forgiveness of his sins. Thus far it is read in the history which is not authentic.

Our Lord made Judas one of his apostles and retained him in his company, and was so privy with him that he was made his procurator, and bare the purse for all the other, and stole of that which was given to Christ. Then it happed that he was sorry and angry for the ointment that Mary Magdalene poured on the head and feet of our Lord Jesu Christ and said that it was worth three hundred pence, and said that so much he had lost, and therefore sold he Jesu Christ for thirty pence of that money usual, of which every penny was worth ten pence, and so he recovered three hundred pence. Or after that some say that he ought to have of all the gifts that was given to Jesu Christ the tenth penny, and so he recovered thirty pence of that he sold him, and nevertheless at the last he brought them again to the temple, and after hung himself in despair, and his body opened and cleft asunder and his bowels fell out. And so it appertained well that it should so be, for the mouth which God had kissed ought not to be defouled in touching, and also he ought not to die on the earth because all earthly creatures ought to hate him, but in the air where devils and wicked spirits be, because he had deserved to be in their company.

Then when the time came between the Ascension and Whitsuntide, S. Peter beheld that the number of the apostles was minished, he arose up in the middle of the disciples and said: Fair brethren, ye know how our Lord Jesu Christ had chosen twelve men for to bear witness of his resurrection, and Judas was gone the evil way, it behoveth to accomplish the number of twelve of such as have been with him. And sith they chose two of them that were there, that one was named Joseph surnamed Justus, and that other was Matthias. And then they made their orisons and said: Lord God, which knoweth the hearts of all the persons, show to us whom we shall choose of these twain here. And after, they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, which forthwith was enumbered with the other eleven, and then were they twelve. But the holy S. Denis saith that the lot was a ray and a shining which came and shone upon him. And anon he began to preach, and had his predication about Jerusalem, and was much virtuous, and did many miracles as is written of him, of whom the legend followeth, which legend is found at Treves in Almaine. S. Matthias which was set in the place of Judas was born in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah. He was set to school and in a little time he learned all the science of the law and of the prophets; he was afeard of fleshly lusts, and he passed his youth in good manners. His courage was inclined to all virtues, for he was humble and debonair, and alway ready to do mercy, and was not proud in prosperity, ne frail in adversity. He did that which he preached, he made the blind to see and healed the sick men, he raised the dead men, and did great miracles in the name of Jesu Christ. And when he was accused hereof tofore the bishop of Jerusalem, it was demanded him that he should answer thereto and he said: It behoveth not much to answer hereto, because for to be a christian man it is nothing criminal but it is a glorious life. Then said the bishop that he would spare him and give him respite to repent him, and S. Matthias answered: God forbid that I should repent of the truth that I have truly found, and become an apostate. He was firm in the love of God, and clean of his body, and wise in speaking of all the questions of scripture, and when he preached the word of God many believed in Jesu Christ by his predication. The Jews took him and brought him to justice and had gotten two false witnesses against him and for to accuse him, the which cast on him first stones, and the other after, and so was stoned, and he prayed that the stones might be buried that the false witnesses had cast upon him, for to bear witness against them that stoned him, and finally he was slain with an axe after the manner of the Romans. And he held up his hands and commended his spirit to God. And after it is said that his body was brought to Rome, and from Rome it was translated to Treves. Another legend saith that his body lieth at Rome, and buried under a stone of porphyry in the church of S. Mary the major.

Of S. Gregory the Pope.

Gregory is said of grex, which is to say a flock; and of gore, which is to say a preacher. Then Gregory is to say as a preacher to an assembly or flock of people. Or it is said as a noble doctor or preacher. Or Gregory is to say in our language as awaked, for he awoke to himself, to God, and to the people, he awoke to himself by keeping of cleanness, to God by good contemplation, and to the people by continual predication. And by this is deserved the vision of God; and S. Austin saith, in the Book of Order, that he seeth God that well liveth, well studieth, and well prayeth. And Paul, the historiographer of the Lombards, writeth his history and life of him, the which John the deacon afterwards much diligently compiled and ordained.

S. Gregory was born of the parentage of senators of Rome, whose father was named Gordian and his mother Silvia. And when he had so much learned that he was a master in philosophy, and also was rich of patrimony, he thought that he would leave all the riches that he had, and would enter into religion for to serve God. But in this, that he put this thought in respite, he conceived another purpose, that was that him seemed he should better serve God in a secular habit, in doing the office of the pretoria of the provost of Rome, for to give to each man duly reason after the nght of his cause. But he found in this office so great secular business that it began to displease him, because by this great business he withdrew him over far from God. In this meanwhile his father and mother died, in such wise that he was rich of patrimony and puissant, that at the beginning he founded and endowed with rents six abbeys in Sicily, and the seventh he founded within the walls of Rome in the honour of S. Andrew the apostle, in the which he became a monk, and the remnant of his patrimony he gave for God's sake so that he that tofore went clothed in clothes of gold and of silk, and adorned with precious stones in the city, when he was monk served in a poor habit the monks. There was at the beginning of his conversation of so perfect a life that it might be said well that he was all perfect. He made great abstinences in eating, in drinking, in waking, and in praying, in so much that he was so travailed that unnethe he might sustain himself. He had put out of his heart all secular things so that his conversation was in heaven, for he had addressed all his desire for to come to the joy permanable.

On a time it happed that, S. Gregory in his cell of the same abbey whereas he was abbot wrote something, and an angel appeared to him in semblance of a mariner, which seemed as he had escaped from the tempest of the sea, and prayed him weeping to have pity on him. Then S. Gregory commanded that there should be given to him six pence, and then he departed. The same day the angel came again in like wise as he did tofore, and said that he had lost all his good, and prayed him that he would yet help him; on whom S Gregory had yet pity, and did to be given to him six pence more, yet at the third time he came and made great cry and wept, and prayed him that he would yet help him toward his great loss, so that S. Gregory commanded his provost that he should yet give to this poor man an alms. And the provost said that there was no more silver in all the abbey, but a dish of silver in which his mother was wont to send him pottage. And S. Gregory commanded anon that that dish of silver should be given to him and the angel took it with great joy. And little while after, this angel appeared to S. Gregory and said to him that God hath sent him so to him.

It happed afterward that as S. Gregory passed through the market of Rome, and saw there two fair children white and ruddy of visage, and fair yellow hair which were for to sell. And S. Gregory demanded from whence they were, and the merchant answered, of England. After S. Gregory demanded if they were christian, and he answered: Nay, but that they were paynims. Then sighed S. Gregory and said: Alas, what fair people hath the devil in his doctrine and in his domination. After he demanded how these people were called: he answered that they were called Angles men; then he said they may well be so called for they have the visage of angels. And for that S. Gregory went to the pope, and by great prayers he impetred and had grant that he was sent in to England for to convert the people of that same country, but when the Romans heard say that Gregory was sent into England, anon they went to the pope and said to him: Thou hast angered S. Peter, thou hast destroyed all Rome, and hurt all holy church in this that thou hast let Gregory go out of Rome. Of which word the pope was angry and much abashed, and sent anon his messengers after S. Gregory, and commanded him to return and come again to Rome, which then was gone on his journey three days, and for his noble and good renomee the pope made him cardinal deacon. After, for the corruption of the air, the pope Pelagius died, and then S. Gregory was elect of all the people to be pope, but he refused it and said that to that dignity he was not worthy, and for the right great mortality, ere that he was sacred pope he made to the people a sermon and said: Right dear brethren, well ought we to have doubt of the scourge of God ere that we feel it, and yet we ought to fear it, and to turn and forsake our sins, lo! ye may behold the people die ere they beweep their sins; think ye then in what point he cometh in the presence of the judge that hath had no time to bewail his sins. The houses be void, the children die in the presence of father and mother, suddenly, so that they have little time to die, wherefore every man amend his life while he hath time for to repent him of his evil deeds and sins, ere that the judge call him from the mortal body. He saith by the prophet, I will not the death of a sinner, but I will that he return and live; much soon the judge heareth the sinner when he converteth from his sins and amendeth his life. By such manner admonested he to the people their health, and he ordained to make procession in all the churches much solemnly for to impetre and get mercy for this mortality. When the procession was done he would have gone privily out of Rome, for to eschew the office of the papalty, but against that the gates were kept so that he might not issue. At the last he did do change his habit, and so much did with the merchants that they brought him out of Rome in a tun upon a cart. And when he was far out of the town, he issued out of the tun and hid him in a ditch, and when he had been therein three days the people of Rome sought him all about. Anon they saw a pillar shining descend from heaven straight upon the ditch in which S. Gregory was; and a recluse, a holy man saw that by that pillar angels descended from heaven to S. Gregory and after went up again. Anon then S. Gregory was taken of the people and after the ordinance of holy church he was ordained and sacred pope against his will, for he was much debonair, humble and merciful to rich and poor, and to great and small. Well may he apperceive that readeth his writings how oft he complained of this great charge that he was charged withal, to which he said he was not worthy thereto, and also he might not hear that any should praise him, ne in letters ne in words. And alway he was in great humility and accounted himself more meek and low after that he was pope than tofore, insomuch that he was the first of the popes that wrote: Servus servorum Dei, that is, servant of the servants of God. He had great cure and was busy to convert sinners; he made and compiled many fair books, of which the church is greatly illumined. He was never idle, how well that he was always sick. He converted the English people to the christian faith by three holy men and good clerks that he sent thither, that is to wit Augustin, Mellitus, and John, for to preach the faith. And because the mortality ceased not, he ordained a procession, in the which he did do bear an image of our Lady, which, as is said, S. Luke the Evangelist made, which was a good painter, he had carved it and painted after the likeness of the glorious Virgin Mary. And anon the mortality ceased, and the air became pure and clear, and about the image was heard a voice of angels that sung this anthem: Regina cæli lætare, etc., and S. Gregory put thereto: Ora pro nobis, deum rogamus, alleluia. At the same time S. Gregory saw an angel upon a castle which made clean a sword all bloody, and put it into the sheath, and thereby S. Gregory understood that the pestilence of this mortality was passed, and after that it was called the Castle Angel.

S. Gregory did every day so great alms that many in the country about were nourished by him, whom he had by name written, and also the monks that dwelt in the Mount Sinai had of him their sustenance. Among all other alms that he did he governed three thousand virgins, to whom he sent every year four score pound of gold, and also he founded to them an abbey in Jerusalem, and sent to them that therein were such things as they lacked. Every day had he poor men to dinner. On a time it happed that he took the laver for to give water to a pilgrim for to wash his hands by great humility, and anon the pilgrim vanished away, whereof S. Gregory had marvel. The night after our Lord appeared in a vision and said to him: The other days thou hast received me in my members, but yesterday thou receivedst me in my person.

Another day S. Gregory commanded to his dispenser that he should bring to dinner twelve poor men, and when S. Gregory and the poor men were set at meat, he told at the table sitting thirteen poor pilgrims, and demanded of his dispenser why he had done above his commandment to bring in more than twelve persons. And anon the dispenser, all abashed, went and told the poor men, and found but twelve, and said to S. Gregory: Holy father, there be no more but twelve, and so many shall ye find and no more. Then considered S. Gregory that, one of the pilgrims that sat next to him oft changed his visage, for oft he seemed young, and after old. And after dinner S. Gregory took him by the hand and brought him into his chamber, and prayed him that he would tell him his name. And he answered: Wherefore demandest thou my name, which is marvellous? Nevertheless know thou well that I am the same poor mariner to whom thou gavest the dish of silver in which thy mother was wont to send the pottage, and know for certain that sith that day that thou didst to me that alms, God hath destined thee to be pope. And said moreover: I am the angel of God, and he hath sent me hither to thee to be thy defender and procurer of that which thou wouldst demand and impetre of him, and after this the angel vanished away.

And in that time there was an hermit, an holy man, which had left and forsaken all the goods of the world for God's sake, and had retained nothing but a cat, with which he played oft, and held it in his lap deliciously. On a day it happed that he prayed God devoutly that he would vouchsafe to show to him to what saint he should be in like joy in heaven, because for his love he had left all the world and renounced. Upon this God showed him in a vision that S. Gregory and he should have like joy in heaven. And when he understood this he sighed sore and praised little his poverty, which he had long suffered and borne, if he should have Iike merit which abounded so greatly in secular riches. Upon this there came a voice to him which said that: The possession of riches maketh not a man in this world rich, but the ardour of covetise. Then be still thou, darest thou compare thy poverty to the riches of S. Gregory which lovest more thy cat, with whom thou ceasest not to stroke and play, than S. Gregory doth all his riches, for he ceaseth never to give alms for God's sake? Then the hermit thanked Almighty God, and prayed that he might have his merit and reward with S. Gregory in the glory of paradise.

On a day it happed that S. Gregory sang mass in the church of S. Mary major, and when he had said: Pax domini sit semper vobiscum, anon the angel said: Et cum spiritu tuo, and from then forthon the pope ordained a station in that church every year on Easter day, and when then he said in his mass: Pax domini, etc., none shall answer, in remembrance of this miracle.

In the time that Trajan the emperor reigned, and on a time as he went toward a battle out of Rome, it happed that in his way as he should ride, a woman, a widow, came to him weeping and said I pray thee, sire, that thou avenge the death of one my son which innocently and without cause hath been slain. The emperor answered: If I come again from the battle whole and sound then I shall do justice for the death of thy son. Then said the widow: Sire, and if thou die in the battle who shall then avenge his death? And the emperor said: He that shall come after me. And the widow said: Is it not better that thou do to me justice and have the merit thereof of God than another have it for thee? Then had Trajan pity and descended from his horse and did justice in avenging the death of her son. On a time S. Gregory went by the market of Rome which is called the market of Trajan, and then he remembered of the justice and other good deeds of Trajan, and how he had been piteous and debonair, and was much sorrowful that he had been a paynim, and he turned to the church of S. Peter wailing for the horror of the miscreance of Trajan. Then answered a voice from God saying: I have now heard thy prayer, and have spared Trajan from the pain perpetual. By this, as some say, the pain perpetual due to Trajan as a miscreant was somedeal taken away, but for all that was not he quit from the prison of hell, for the soul may well be in hell and feel there no pain by the mercy of God. And after, it is said that the angel in his answer said more to thus: Because thou hast prayed for a paynim, God granteth thee to choose of two things, that one which thou wilt, or thou shalt be two days in purgatory in pain, or else all the days of thy life thou shalt languish in sickness. Then answered S. Gregory that he had liefer to have sickness all his life in this world, than to feel by two days the pains of purgatory. And ever after he had continually the fevers, or axes, or the gout in his feet, and hereof himself maketh mention in one his epistle, and saith: I am so much tormented of the gout in my feet, and of other sicknesses that, my life is to me a great pain, every day meseemeth that I ought to die, and always I abide the death. Some time my pain is little, and some time right great, but it is not so little that it departeth from me, ne so great that it bringeth me to death, and thus it is that I, that am always ready to die, am withdrawn from death. lt happed that a widow that was wont every Sunday to bring hosts to sing mass with, should on a time be houseled and communed, and when S. Gregory should give to her the holy sacrament in saying: Corpus domini nostri, etc., that is to say: The body of our Lord Jesu Christ keep thee into everlasting life, anon this woman began to smile tofore S. Gregory, and anon he withdrew his hand, and remised the sacrament upon the altar. And he demanded her, tofore the people, why she smiled, and she said: Because that the bread that I have made with my proper hands thou namest it the body of our Lord Jesu Christ. Anon S. Gregory put himself to prayer with the people, for to pray to God that hereupon he would show his grace for to confirm our belief, and when they were risen from prayer, S. Gregory saw the holy sacrament in figure of a piece of flesh as great as the little finger of an hand, and anon after, by the prayers of S. Gregory, the flesh of the sacrament turned into semblance of bread as it had been tofore, and therewith he communed and houseled the woman, which after was more religious, and the people more firm in the faith.

S. Gregory made and ordained the song of the office of holy church, and established at Rome two schools of song, that one beside the church of S. Peter, and that other by the church of S. John Lateran, where the place is yet, where he lay and taught the scholars, and the rod with which he menaced them, and the antiphoner on which he learned them is yet there. He put to the canon of the mass these words: Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab æterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari. At the last when S. Gregory had been pope thirteen years, six months and ten days, he being full of good works, departed out of this world in the year of our Lord six hundred and six years, in the time when Phocas was emperor of Rome. Let us then pray to S. Gregory that he get us grace that we may amend so ourselves here in this life that we may come unto everlasting life in heaven. Amen.

Here beginneth of S. Longinus the Life.

Longinus, which was a puissant knight, was with other knights, by the commandment of Pilate, on the side of the cross of our Lord, and pierced the side of our Lord with a spear; and when he saw the miracles, how the sun lost his light, and great earthquaving of the earth was, when our Lord suffered death and passion in the tree of the cross, then believed he in Jesu Christ. Some say that when he smote our Lord with the spear in the side, the precious blood avaled by the shaft of the spear upon his hands, and of adventure with his hands he touched his eyes, and anon he that had been tofore blind saw anon clearly, wherefore he refused all chivalry and abode with the apostles, of whom he was taught and christened, and after, he abandoned him to lead an holy life in doing alms and in keeping the life of a monk about thirty-eight years in Cæsarea and in Cappadocia, and by his words and his example many men converted he to the faith of Christ. And when this came to the knowledge of Octavian the provost, he took him and would have constrained him to do sacrifice to the idols, and S. Longinus said: There may no man serve two lords which be contrary to other; thine idols be lords of thy malices, corrupters of all good works and enemies to chastity, humility and to bounty, and friends to all ordure of luxury, of gluttony, of idleness, of pride and of avarice, and my Lord is Lord of soberness that bringeth the people to the everlasting life. Then said the provost: It is nought that thou sayest; make sacrifice to the idols and thy God shall forgive thee because of the commandment that is made to thee. Longinus said: If thou wilt become christian God shall pardon thee thy trespasses. Then the provost was angry, and made the teeth of S. Longinus to be drawn out of his mouth, and did do cut his mouth open. And yet for all that Longinus lost not his speech, but took an axe that he there found, and hewed and brake therewith the idols and said: Now may we see if they be very gods or not. And anon the devils issued out and entered into the body of the provost and his fellows, and they brayed like beasts and fell down to the feet of S. Longinus and said: We know well that thou art servant unto the sovereign God. And S. Longinus demanded of the devils why they dwelled in these idols, and they answered: We have found place in these idols for us, for over all where Jesu Christ is not named ne his sign is not showed, there dwell we gladly; and because when these paynims come to these idols for to adore and make sacrifice in the name of us, then we come and dwell in these idols, wherefore we pray thee, man of God, that thou send us not in the abysm of hell. And S. Longinus said to the people that there were: What say ye: will ye have these devlls for your gods and worship them or have ye liefer that I hunt them out of this world in the name of Jesu Christ? And the people said with a high voice: Much great is the God of christian people, holy man, we pray thee that thou suffer not the devils to dwell in this city. Then commanded S. Longinus to the devils that they should issue out of these people, in such wise that the people had great joy and believed in our Lord.

A little time after the evil provost made S. Longinus to come tofore him, and said to him that all the people were departed, and by his enchantment had refused the idols; if the king knew it he should destroy us and the city also. Aphrodisius answered: How wilt thou yet torment this good man, which hath saved us and hath done so much good to the city? And the provost said: He hath deceived us by enchantry. Aphrodisius said: His God is great and hath none evil in him. Then did the provost cut out the tongue of Aphrodisius, wherefore S. Longinus signed unto God, and anon the provost became blind and lost all his members. When Aphrodisius saw that, he said: Lord God, thou art just and thy judgment is veritable. And the provost said to Aphrodisius: Fair brother, pray to S. Longinus that he pray for me, for I have done ill to him, and Aphrodisius said: Have not I well told it to thee, do no more so to Longinus: Seest not thou me speak without tongue? And the provost said, I have not only lost mine eyes, but also my heart and my body is in great pain. And S. Longinus said: If thou wilt be whole and guerished put me appertly to death, and I shall pray for thee to our Lord, after that I shall be dead, that he heal thee. And anon then the provost did do smite off his head, and after, he came and fell on the body of S. Longinus and said all in weeping, Sire: I have sinned; I knowledge and confess my filth, and anon came again his sight, and he received health of his body and buried honorably the body of S. Longinus. And the provost believed in Jesu Christ and abode in the company of christian men, and thanked God, and died in good estate. All this happed in Cæsarea of Cappadocia to the honour of our Lord God, to whom be given laud and glory in secula seculorum.

Here beginneth the Life of S. Maur.

The year that S. Benet died he sent S. Maur and four fellows with him into France that is to wit Fuscinian, Simplician, Antoninian and Constantine, at the prayer of Varicam the bishop of Meaux, for to found an abbey which the said bishop would make of his own good, and gave to S. Maur a book in which he had written the rule, of his hand. And as they passed the mountains of Mongus Sourgus one of their servants fell from his horse upon a great stone, and his left foot was all tofrushed, but as soon as S. Maur had blessed it and made his orison he was guerished and all whole. After this he came into the church of S. Maurice, and there was at the entry a blind man begging, that had sat there eleven years, and was named Lieven, which, for the long usage that he had been there, he knew all the office of the church by hearing that he had learned thereby without more. He conjured S. Maur by the virtue of the martyrs that he would help him, and anon he was guerished and had again his sight by his prayer, and then S. Maur commanded him that he should serve all his life in the church as he had done.

On a night this holy man and his fellows harboured in the house of a widow which was named Themere, the which had a son that was so sick that each man said that he was dead, and this holy man healed him, and when he was whole he said to S. Maur: Thou art he that by thy merits and by thy tears hast delivered me from the judgment where I was in, condemned to the fire of hell. Thus as they held their way on the Good Friday in the abbey of which S. Romain was abbot, and S. Maur said to S. Romain: S. Benet shall depart out of this world to-morrow. On the morn after the hour of tierce, as S. Maur was in his prayers, he saw the way by which S. Benet mounted in to heaven, and he was adorned with palls and great foison of clearness, and this vision saw two other monks. Also when S. Maur and his fellow came to Orleans, they heard say that the bishop Varicam of Meaux was dead, and he that was in his place would not receive them. Then S. Maur and his fellow went into a place that is called Restis, and there founded he first a house for to adore God there in the honour of S. Martin, and commanded that he should be buried therein.

A clerk that was there named Langiso fell down off an high stair upon an heap of stones and was all tofrusshed, but S. Maur healed him anon. And after, Flocus, which was one of the greatest friends of the king, had him in so great reverence that he durst not approach but if he bade him. Three workmen that wrought in that house began to say shrewdly of S. Maur, and say that he coveted overmuch vain glory, but anon they became so mad that one of them lost forthwith his life and the other two to-tare themselves with their teeth. The holy man anon put his hand in their mouths and made the fiend to go out beneath, and after he raised the third to life which had been dead, and commanded him, if he would live, that he should no more enter into that house, and this commanded he for to eschew the favour of the world.

Theodebert, King of France, came for to visit him, and prayed to S. Maur and the brethren that they would pray for him, and he gave to them of that house the fee royal of that boscage, and all the rents thereto belonging, and the towns. On the morn S. Maur went to see the gift that the king had given, and there he healed one having the palsy which had been seven years sick. The second year that this house was founded came many noble men of the country, which demanded that their children might be clothed and received into the religion. And there came so many that the twenty-sixth year of the foundation of the abbey, there were an hundred and forty brethren. And S. Maur commanded that they should abide in that number without more or less, and not to increase ne minish that number. After this Clothaire, the king, came in to this abbey, and gave thereto the chief of Blason and the town Longchamp therewith. And after this time S. Maur would no more issue out of the abbey, but he went and abode in a side of the church of S. Martin where he had made a house for him, and had with him two monks for to serve him, but he ordained tofore that Bercuses should be abbot after him. When he had been in that house two years and an half the devil appeared to him on a time, which was in his orisons, and said to him that there should be great destruction of his brethren, but the angel of our Lord came after him which recomforted him, and then he came unto the brethren and said to them that he and many of them therewithin should pass out of this world. And it happed that within a month after, there died one hundred and sixteen monks of that abbey, and of all the number there abode no more alive but twenty-four. And then died Anthonin and Constantine that were come with him. A little while after died S. Maur of the pain of his side, the forty-first year after he was come thither, the eighteenth calends of February, and he died tofore the altar of S. Martin, where he was covered with an hair. The other of his fellowship returned to Mount Cassin, and thus accomplished this blessed saint his life in the time of Louis the emperor the second. And the body of S. Maur was borne from the abbey in Angers, named Glanfeuil, for fear of the Normans, unto the abbey of S. Peter des Fosses where his body is now, which abbey founded S. Banolanis disciple to S. Columbain. His feast is the fifteenth day of January.

Here followeth the Life of S. Patrick, and the interpretation of his name.

Patrick is as much to say as knowledge, for by the will of God he knew many of the secrets of heaven and of the joys there, and also he saw a part of the pains of hell.

Of S. Patrick.

S. Patrick was born in Britain, which is called England, and was learned at Rome and there flourished in virtues; and after departed out of the parts of Italy, where he had long dwelled, and came home into his country in Wales named Pendyac, and entered into a fair and joyous country called the valley Rosine. To whom the angel of God appeared and said: O Patrick, this see ne bishopric God hath not provided to thee, but unto one not yet born, but shall thirty years hereafter be born, and so he left that country and sailed over into Ireland. And as Higden saith in Polycronicon the fourth book, the twenty-fourth chapter, that S. Patrick's father was named Caprum, which was a priest and a deacon's son which was called Fodum. And S. Patrick's mother was named Conchessa, Martin's sister of France. In his baptism he was named Sucate, and S. Germain called him Magonius, and Celestinus the pope named him Patrick. That is as much to say as father of the citizens.

S. Patrick on a day as he preached a sermon of the patience and sufferance of the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ to the king of the country, he leaned upon his crook or cross, and it happed by adventure that he set the end of the crook, or his staff, upon the king's foot, and pierced his foot with the pike, which was sharp beneath. The king had supposed that S. Patrick had done it wittingly, for to move him the sooner to patience and to the faith of God, but when S. Patrick perceived it he was much abashed, and by his prayers he healed the king. And furthermore he impetred and gat grace of our Lord that no venomous beast might live in all the country, and yet unto this day is no venomous beast in all Ireland.

After it happed on a time that a man of that country stole a sheep, which belonged to his neighbour, whereupon S. Patrick admonested the people that whomsoever had taken it should deliver it again within seven days. When all the people were assembled within the church, and the man which had stolen it made no semblant to render ne deliver again this sheep, then S. Patrick commanded, by the virtue of God, that the sheep should bleat and cry in the belly of him that had eaten it, and so happed it that, in the presence of all the people, the sheep cried and bleated in the belly of him that had stolen it. And the man that was culpable repented him of his trespass, and the others from then forthon kept them from stealing of sheep from any other man.

Also S. Patrick was wont for to worship and do reverence unto all the crosses devoutly that he might see, but on a time tofore the sepulchre of a paynim stood a fair cross, which he passed and went forth by as he had not seen it, and he was demanded of his fellows why he saw not that cross. And then he prayed to God he said for to know whose it was, and he said he heard a voice under the earth saying: Thou sawest it not because I am a paynim that am buried here, and am unworthy that the sign of the cross should stand there, wherefore he made the sign of the cross to be taken thence. On a time as S. Patrick preached in Ireland the faith of Jesu Christ, and did but little profit by his predication, for he could not convert the evil, rude and wild people, he prayed to our Lord Jesu Christ that he would show them some sign openly, fearful and ghastful, by which they might be converted and be repentant of their sins. Then, by the commandment of God, S. Patrick made in the earth a great circle with his staff, and anon the earth after the quantity of the circle opened and there appeared a great pit and a deep, and S. Patrick by the revelation of God understood that there was a place of purgatory, in to which whomsoever entered therein he should never have other penance ne feel none other pain, and there was showed to him that many should enter which should never return ne come again. And they that should return should abide but from one morn to another, and no more, and many entered that came not again. As touching this pit or hole which is named S. Patrick's purgatory, some hold opinion that the second Patrick, which was an abbot and no bishop, that God showed to him this place of purgatory; but certainly such a place there is in Ireland wherein many men have been, and yet daily go in and come again, and some have had there marvellous visions and seen grisly and horrible pains, of whom there be books made as of Tundale and others. Then this holy man S. Patrick, the bishop, lived till he was one hundred and twenty-two years old, and was the first that was bishop in Ireland, and died in Aurelius Ambrose's time that was king of Britain. In his time was the Abbot Columba, otherwise named Colinkillus, and S. Bride whom S. Patrick professed and veiled, and she over-lived him forty years. All these three holy saints were buried in Ulster, in the city of Dunence, as it were in a cave with three chambers. Their bodies were found at the first coming of King John, King Harry the second's son, into Ireland. Upon whose tombs these verses following were written: Hic jacent in Duno qui tumulo tumulantur in uno, Brigida, Patricius atque Columba plus, which is for to say in English: In Duno these three be buried all in one sepulchre: Bride, Patrick, and Columba the mild.

Men say that this holy bishop, S. Patrick, did three great things. One is that he drove with his staff all the venomous beasts out of Ireland. The second, that he had grant of our Lord God that none Irish man shall abide the coming of Antichrist. The third wonder is read of his purgatory, which is more referred to the less S. Patrick, the Abbot. And this holy abbot, because he found the people of that land rebel, he went out of Ireland and came in to England in the Abbey of Glastonbury, where he died on a S. Bartholomew's day. He flourished about the year of our Lord eight hundred and fifty, and the holy bishop died the year of our Lord four hundred and ninety in the one hundred and twentysecond year of his age, to whom pray we that he pray for us.

Of S. Benet the Abbot, and first the interpretation of his name.

Benet is said because he blessed much people, or else because he had many benedictions in this life. Or forasmuch as he deserved for to have blessings or benedictions perpetual. And the holy doctor, S. Gregory, wrote his life.

Of S. Benet the Abbot

S. Benet was born of the province of Nursia, and was sent to Rome for to study, but in his infancy he left the schools and went into a desert, and his nourice, which tenderly loved him, went alway with him till they came to a place named Æside, and there she borrowed a vessel for to purge or winnow wheat; but the vessel fell to the earth for negligence, and was broken in two pieces. And when S. Benet saw his nurse weep he had great pity, and made his prayers to Almighty God, and after made it also whole as it had been tofore, then they of the country took it and hung it on the front of the church in witness of one so fair a miracle. Then left S. Benet his nurse and fled secretly, and came into a hermitage where he was never known of no man but of a monk named Romain, which ministered to him meat for to eat. And because that there was no way from the monastery of Romain unto the pit where S. Benet was, he knit the loaf in a cord and so let it down to him, and because he should hear when Romain should let down the bread he bound a bell on the cord, and by the sound thereof he received his bread, but the devil having, envy of the charity of that one, and of the refection of that other, cast a stone and brake the bell, but nevertheless Romain left not to minister to him.

It happed that there was a priest on an Easter day that had arrayed his dinner for himself, and our Lord appeared to him and said: Thou ordainest for thyself delicious meats, and my servant dieth for hunger in such a pit, and named him the place. Then the priest arose and bare his meat with him and sought so long that he found S. Benet in great pain. When he had found him he said to him: Arise and take thy meat and refection for it is Easter Day. He answered, I know well that it is the feast of Paske, because that I see thee. The priest said to him: Certainly this day is the day of Easter, and S. Benet wist it not because he had dwelled there so long and so far from people. Then said they graces, and made the benediction, and took their refection. It happed after this that a black bird, that is called a merle, came on a time to S. Benet and pecked with his bill at his visage, and grieved and noyed him so much that he could have no rest for it, and could not put it from him, but as soon as he had made the sign of the cross, anon the bird vanished away. And after that came to him a great temptation of the flesh, by the which the devil tempted him in showing him a woman, and he burnt sore, and was inflamed in his courage, but anon he came again to himself; and after, he despoiled himself all naked and went among thorns and wallowed among the nettles, so that his body was torn and pained, by which he healed the wounds of his heart. Then after that time he felt no more temptation of his flesh.

It happed that the abbot of a monastery was dead, and for the good renomee of this holy man S. Benet, all the monks of the abbey gave their voices and elected S. Benet for their abbot, but he accorded not thereto, ne agreed to them, for he said that his conditions and manners were not according to theirs. Notwithstanding he was vanquished, and so instantly required, that at the last he consented. But when he saw they lived not ne were not ruled according to their religion and rule, he reproved and corrected them vigorously. And when they saw that they might not do their wills under him, they gave him venom meddled with wine for to drink, but S. Benet made the sign of the cross over it and blessed it, and anon the vessel brake in pieces, which was of glass. When S. Benet then knew so that in that vessel was mortal drink, which might not abide ne suffer the sign of the cross, he rose up and said: God have mercy on you fair brethren; I said to you well, at the beginning, that my conditions and manners appertain not to yours, from henceforth get to you another father, for I may no longer dwell here. Then went he again to desert, where God showed for him many signs and miracles, and founded there two abbeys. Now it happed that in one of these two abbeys, was a monk that might not endure long in prayers, and when the other of his fellows were in prayer he would go out of the church. Then the abbot of that abbey showed this to S. Benet, and anon he went for to see if it were true. And when he came he saw that the devil, in likeness of a little black child, drew him out of the church by his cowl. Then said S. Benet to the abbot and to S. Maur: See ye not him that draweth him out ? They said: Nay. Then said he: Let us pray to God that we may see him. When they had made their prayers S. Maur saw him, but the abbot might not see him. The next day S. Benet took a rod and beat the monk, and then he abode in prayer, like as the devil had been beaten, and durst no more come and draw him away, and from then forthon he abode in prayer and continued therein.

Of the twelve abbeys that S. Benet had founded, three of them stood on high rocks, so that they might have no water but by great labour. Then came the monks to him and prayed him that he would set these abbeys in some other place, because they had great default of water. Then went S. Benet about the mountain, and made his orisons and prayers much devoutly; and when he had long prayed he saw three stones in a place for a sign, and on the morn, when the monks came for to pray, he said to them: Go ye to such a place where ye shall find three stones, and there dig a little and ye shall find water, our Lord can well provide for you water. And they went and found the mountain all sweating where as the three stones were, and there they digged and anon they found water, so great abundance that it sufficed to them, and ran down from the top of the hill unto beneath into the valley.

It happed on a time that a man hewed bushes and thorns about the monastery, and his axe or instrument of iron that he hewed with, sprang out of the helve and fell into a deep water; then the man cried and sorrowed for his tool, and S. Benet saw that he was over anguished therefor and took the helve and threw it after into the pit, and anon the iron came up and began to swim till that it entered in to the helve.

In the abbey of S. Benet was a child named Placidus, which went to the river for to draw water, and his foot slode so that he fell into the river which was much deep, and anon the river bare him forth more than a bow-shot. And when S. Benet, which was in his study, knew it, he called to S. Maur, and said that there was a child which was a monk that was about to be drowned, and bade him go to help him. And anon S. Maur ran upon the water like as it had been on dry ground and his feet dry and took up the child by the hair, and drew him to land, and after, when he came to S. Benet, he said that it was not by his merit but by virtue of his obedience.

There was a priest named Florentin which had envy on S. Benet, and he sent to him a loaf of bread envenomed. After, when S. Benet had this loaf he knew, by the inspiration, that it was envenomed. He gave it to a raven that was wont to take his feeding of S. Benet's hand, and commanded him to bear it unto such a place that no man should find it. Then the raven made semblant for to obey to the commandment of S. Benet, but he durst not touch it for the venom, and fled about it howling and crying. S. Benet said to him: Take this bread hardily and bear it away. At the last the raven bare it away into such a place that there was never heard tidings thereof after, and came again the third day after and took his refection of S. Benet's hand as he was wont to do tofore. When this priest Florentin saw that he could not slay S. Benet, he enforced him to slay spiritually the souls of his disciples. He took seven maidens, all naked, and sent them into the garden to dance and carol for to move the monks to temptation. When S. Benet saw the malice of Florentin he had fear of his disciples, and sent them out of that place. When Florentin saw that S. Benet and his monks went out, he demened great joy and made great feast, and anon the solar fell upon him and slew him suddenly. When S. Maur saw that Florentin was dead, he ran after S. Benet and called him, saying: Come again, for Florentin that hath done so much harm to you is dead. When S. Benet heard this he was sorry for the perilous death of Florentin, and because S. Maur was glad for the death of his enemy, as him seemed, he enjoined him penance therefor. After this he went to Mount Cassin, where he had another great adversary, for in the place where that Apollo was adored, he made an oratory of S. John Baptist, and converted all the country about to the christian faith, whereof the devil was so tormented that he appeared to S. Benet all black, and ran upon him with open mouth and throat, and had his eyes all enflamed and said to him, Benet! Benet! and S. Benet answered not. The devil said: Cursed and not blessed, why have I so much persecution?

It happed on a time that as the monks should lift a stone for a work of an edifice, they might not move it, then there assembled a great multitude of people, and yet they all might not lift it, but anon as S. Benet had blessed it, they lifted it anon. Then apperceived they that the devil was upon it and caused it to be so heavy. And when they had a little made the wall high, the devil appeared to S. Benet and bade him go see them that edified, then S. Benet sent to his monks and commanded that they should keep them well, for the devil went to destroy them. But ere the messenger came to them the devil had thrown down a part of the wall, and had therewith slain a young monk. Then they brought the monk, all tobruised, in a sack to S. Benet, and anon S. Benet made upon him the sign of the cross and blessed him, and raised him to life and sent him to the work again.

A lay man, of honest life, had a custom once in the year to come to S. Benet all fasting, and on a time as he came, there was one that bare meat accompanied with him, and desired that he would eat with him, but he refused it. After, he prayed him the second time, and yet he refused it, and said he would eat no meat till he came to S. Benet. At the third time he found a fair fountain and a much delitable place, and began sore to desire him to eat with him, and at the last he consented and ate. And when he came to S. Benet he said to him: Where hast thou eaten? which answered, I have eaten a little. O fair brother, the devil hath deceived thee, but he could not deceive thee the first ne the second time, but the third time he hath surmounted thee. Then the good man knelt down to the feet of S. Benet and confessed him of his trespass.

Attila, the king of Goths, would once prove if S. Benet had the spirit of prophecy, and sent to him his servant, and did do array him with precious robes, and delivered to him a great company as he had been the king himself. When S. Benet saw him come, he said to him: Fair son, do off that thou wearest, it is not thine, and the man fell down anon to the ground because he mocked the holy man, and died anon.

A clerk that was vexed with the devil was brought to S. Benet for to be healed, and S. Benet put him out, and after, said to the clerk: Go, and from henceforth eat no more flesh, and go no more to none order, for what day thou goest and takest orders, the devil shall re-enter into thee. This clerk held him long time without taking any, till at last he saw younger than he that went to take orders, and had forgotten the words of S. Benet, and took orders, and anon the devil entered in to his body and tormented him till he died.

There was a man that sent to S. Benet two flagons of wine, but he that bare them hid that one, and presented that other without more. When S. Benet had received the present he thanked him much and said to him: Fair brother, take good heed how thou shalt do with that which thou hast hid, and drink not thereof for thou knowest not what is therein. Then he was ashamed, and so confused went from him, and when he came to the place where he had hid it, he would wit what was therein like as S. Benet had told to him, and bowed it a little, and anon a serpent issued out.

It happed on a time that S. Benet ate, and a young man which was son to a great lord held to him a candle, and began to think in his heart who is this that I serve? I am son unto a great man; it appertaineth not that one so gentle a man as I am be servant to him. When S. Benet saw by experience the pride that arose in this monk, he called another monk and made him to hold the candle, and after said to him: What is that thou hast? bless thy heart brother, bless it, God forgive it thee, now thou shalt serve me no more; go into thy cloister and rest thee there.

There was a man of the king of Goths which was named Gallas, which tormented over cruelly the christian men, because he was of the sect of the Arians, in such wise that where he found clerks or monks he slew them. Then it happed on a day that he tormented a villain or a carle for the covetise of his good; when the carle saw that he would take all, he gave all that ever he had to S. Benet. Then left Gallas to torment him a little, but he bound him with the reins of his bridle, and drove him tofore, and he rode after till that he came to the abbey of S. Benet, and bade him that he should show to him this Benet. When he came thither he saw S. Benet stand tofore the gate alone and studied in a book; then said the villain to the tyrant: Lo! there is Benet that thou demandest after. When Gallas had looked on him cruelly, like he had been accustomed, he had supposed to have dealt with him like as he had done with other christian men, and said to S. Benet: Arise up anon and deliver to me the goods of this carle which thou hast by thee. When S. Benet heard, he lift up a little his eyes and beheld the carle that was tofore him, and anon by great marvel his arms were unbounden, he stood tofore the tyrant appertly, without dread. And anon Gallas fell down to the feet of S. Benet and recommended him to his prayers. And never for all this left S. Benet to read on his book, but called his monks and commanded that his meat should be brought to him, and the monks did so, and sith bare it away. Then admonested S. Benet the tyrant, and said to him that he should leave his cruelty and his woodness, and he departed and never after that day he demanded of villain any good, ne of the man that S. Benet had unbounden only by his sight.

It happed over all Champagne, whereas he dwelt that so great a famine was in the country that much people died for hunger. Then all the bread of the abbey failed, and there was within but five loaves for all the convent; when S. Benet saw that they were abashed he began debonairly to chastise and warn them that they should have their hearts on high to God, and said to them: Wherefore are ye in so great misease for bread? If ye have none this day ye shall have it tomorn. Now it happed that on the morn they found at their gate two hundred muddes of meal, which were properly sent from God, for never man wist from whence they came. When the monks saw that they thanked God, and learned that they ought not doubt ne of abundance ne of poverty.

It happed on a time that S. Benet sent his monks for to edify an abbey, and said that at a certain day he would come see them and show them what they should do. Then the night tofore that he had said to come he appeared to the master and to his monks, and showed to them all the places that they should build, but they believed not this vision and supposed it had been but a dream. Then when they saw that he came not, they returned and said to him: Fair father, we have abided that thou shouldst have come to us like as thou promisedst us. Then answered he: What is that ye say? Remember ye not that I appeared to you that night that I promised you and enseigned and told how ye should do? Go your way and do in such wise as I have devised to you in the vision.

There were two nuns nigh unto his monastery which were of much noble lineage, which were much talkative, and restrained not well their tongues, but tormented overmuch him that governed them. And when he had showed this to S. Bentt, he sent them word that they should better keep silence and rule their tongues, or he would curse them. But they for all that would not leave it, and so anon after, they died and were buried in the church. And when the deacon cried in the end of the mass that they that were accursed should go out of the church, the nurse that had nourished them and that every day had offered for them, beheld and saw that, when the deacon sang so, they issued out of their sepulchres and went out of the church, and when S. Benet knew hereof he offered for them himself and assoiled them. Then after that when the deacon said so as afore, they never issued out after as their nurse had seen them.

There was a monk gone out for to see his father and mother, without licence and blessing of his abbot, and the day after he came thither he died; and when he was buried in the earth the earth cast him out again, and so it did twice. Then came the father and mother to S. Benet and told him how the earth threw him and would not receive him, and prayed that he would bless him. Then took he the blessed sacrament and made it to be laid on the breast of the corpse, and when they had done so they buried him, and the earth threw him no more out, but received the body and held it.

There was a monk that could not abide in the monastery, and prayed so much to S. Benet that he let him go, and was all angry, and anon as he was out of the abbey he found a dragon with open mouth; and when he saw him he had fear that he would have denounced him, and cried loud: Come hither and help me! come hither, for this dragon will devour me! Then the monks ran, but they saw no dragon, and brought again the monk trembling and sighing. Then the monk promised that he never would depart from the abbey.

In a time there was in that country a great famine, and all that ever S. Benet might get and have, he gave it to the poor people, in so much that he had no more in the abbey but a little oil, and he commanded yet to the cellarer to give it to a poor man. The cellarer understood him well, but he gave it not because there was no more in the convent. And when S. Benet knew it he took the vessel and cast it out of the window, and it was of glass, and it fell on a stone and brake not; then he reproved the cellarer of inobedience and of the little hope that he had in God; and after he went unto his prayers, and anon a great empty tun that was there was full of oil, insomuch that it ran over.

It happed another day that S. Benet went to visit his sister, named Scholastica, and as they sat at table she prayed her brother that he would abide there all that night, but he in no wise would grant her, and said he might not live out of his cloister. And when she saw that he would not grant to her to abide, she inclined her head and made her prayers to our Lord, and anon it began to thunder and to lighten, and the air to wax dark which tofore was fair and clear, and a great rain fell down so that for nothing he might depart. And like as she wept with her eyes, right so forthwith the rain and storm came, and then she lifted up her head. Then S. Benet said to his sister: Almighty God forgive you that ye have done, for ye have letted me that I may not depart hence. And she said: Fair brother, God is more courteous than ye be, for ye would not accept my prayer, but God hath heard me, now go if ye may. And then S. Benet abode there all the night, speaking of God between him and his sister without sleeping, till they were both eased. On the morn S. Benet went to his abbey, and on the third day he lift up his eyes to heaven, and saw the soul of his sister mount up into heaven in the likeness of a dove, and anon he did the body of her to be brought to his abbey, and did it to be buried in his tomb which he had do made for himself.

On a night as S. Benet was in his prayer at a window, he saw the soul of S. Germain, bishop of Capua, mount into heaven, and like as a light sudden that enlumineth all the darknesses of the world, so the light of that soul gave a great light; and after he knew that the soul of S. Germain passed that same hour. After this, when time came that S. Benet himself should depart out of this world, he showed it to his monks six days tofore, and did do make his pit. And after that a fever took him strongly, which held him every day, and at the sixth day he did himself to be borne to the church, and there received the body of our Lord Jesu Christ, and after, among the hands of his disciples, his own hands lifting up to heaven in making his orison, he rendered his soul unto his creator. The same hour was a revelation showed to two monks, for they saw a way to heaven all covered with palls and mantles of gold, and full of torches burning which illumined all the heaven, which came from the cell of S. Benet unto heaven. And there was a man in a fair habit to whom these monks demanded what way that was, and he answered that it was the way by which S. Benet mounted up to heaven. Then the body of S. Benet was buried in the oratory that he had made of S. John, where as was wont to be the altar of Apollo, the year of our Lord five hundred and eighteen. To whom let us pray devoutly that he pray to our Lord for us, that we may have grace after this life to come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Here next followeth the Life of S. Cuthbert of Durham.

S. Cuthbert was born in England, and when he was eight years old our Lord showed for him a fair miracle for to draw him to his love. For on a time, as he played at the ball with other children, suddenly there stood among them a fair young child of the age of three years, which was the fairest creature that ever they beheld, and anon he said to Cuthbert: Good brother, use no such vain plays, ne set not thy heart on them. But for all that Cuthbert took none heed to his words, and then this child fell down and made great heaviness, wept sore and wrung his hands, and then Cuthbert and the other children left their play and comforted him, and demanded of him why he made such sorrow. Then the child said to Cuthbert: All mine heaviness is only for thee, because thou usest such vain plays, for our Lord hath chosen thee to be an head of holy church; and then suddenly he vanished away. And then he knew verily that it was an angel sent from our Lord to him, and from then forthon he left all such vain plays and never used them more, and began to live holily. And then he desired of his father that he might be set to school, and anon he drew him to perfect living, for he was ever in his prayers, night and day, and most desired of our Lord to do that which might please him and eschew that should displease him. And he lived so virtuously and holily, that all the people had joy of him, and within a while after, Aidanus the bishop died. And as Cuthbert kept sheep in the field, looked upward and saw angels bear the soul Aidanus the bishop to heaven with great melody. And after that S. Cuthhert would no more keep sheep but went anon to the abbey of Jervaulx, and there he was a monk, of whom all the convert were right glad, and thanked our Lord that had sent him thither. For he lived there full holily, in fasting and great penance doing. And at last he had the gout in his knees, which he had taken of cold in kneeling upon the cold stones when he said his prayers, in such wise that his knees began to swell and the sinews of his leg were shrunk that he might neither go nor stretch out his leg, but ever he took it full patiently and said: When it pleaseth our Lord it shall pass away.

And within a while after, his brethren for to do him comfort bare him into the field, and there they met with a knight which said: Let me see and handle this Cuthbert's leg; and then when he had felt it with his hands, he bade them take the milk of a cow of one colour, and the juice of small plantain, and fair wheat flour, and seethe them all together, and make thereof a plaister and lay it thereto and it will make him whole. And as soon as they had so done he was perfectly whole, and then he thanked our Lord full meekly. And after, he knew by revelation that it was an angel sent by our Lord to heal him of his great sickness and disease.

And the abbot of that place sent him to a cell of theirs to be hosteler, for to receive their guests and do them comfort, and soon after our Lord showed there a fair miracle for his servant S. Cuthbert, for angels came to him oft-times in likeness of other guests, whom he received and served diligently with meat and drink and other necessaries. On a time there came guests to him whom he received, and went into the houses of office for to serve them, and when he came again they were gone, and went after for to call and could not espy them, ne know the steps of their feet, how well that it was then a snow; and when he returned he found the table laid and thereon three fair white loaves of bread all hot which were of marvellous beauty and sweetness, for all the place smelled of the sweet odour of them. Then he knew well that the angels of our Lord had been there, and rendered thankings to our Lord that he had sent to him his angels for to comfort him.

And every night when his brethren were abed he would go and stand in the cold water all naked up to the chin till it were midnight, and then he would issue out, and when he came to land he might not stand for feebleness and faintness, but oft fell down to the ground. And on a time as he lay thus, there came two otters which licked every place of his body, and then went again to the water that they came from. And then S. Cuthbert arose all whole and went to his cell again, and went to matins with his brethren. But his brethren knew nothing of his standing thus every night in the sea to the chin, but at the last one of his brethren espied it and knew his doing, and told him thereof, but S. Cuthbert charged him to keep it secret and tell no man thereof during his life. And after this within a while the bishop of Durham died, and S. Cuthbert was elected and sacred bishop in his stead after him, and ever after he lived full holily unto his death, and, by his preaching and ensample giving, he brought much people to good living. And tofore his death he left his bishopric and went into the holy island, where he lived an holy and solitary life, unto that he being full of virtues, rendered his soul unto Almighty God and was buried at Durham, and after translated, and the body laid in a fair and honourable shrine, where as yet daily our Lord showeth for his servant there many fair and great miracles. Wherefore let us pray unto this holy saint that he pray for us.

Here followeth the Feast of The Annunciation or Salutation of the Angel Gabriel to our Lady.

The feast of this day is called the Annunciation of our Lady, for on this day the angel Gabriel showed to the glorious Virgin Mary the coming of the Blessed Son of God. That is to wit, how he ought to come into the glorious Virgin, and take on her nature and flesh human for to save the world. It was well thing reasonable that the angel should come to the glorious Virgin Mary, for like as Eve by the exhorting of the devil gave her consent to do the sin of inobedience to our perdition, right so by the greeting of the angel Gabriel and by exhorting, the glorious Virgin Mary gave her consenting to his message by obedience, to our salvation. Wherefor like as the first woman was cause of our damnation, so was the blessed Virgin Mary beginning of our redemption. When that the angel Gabriel was sent for to show the incarnation of our Saviour Jesu Christ, he found her alone, enclosed in her chamber, like as S. Bernard saith, in which the maidens and virgins ought to abide in their houses, without running abroad out openly, and they ought also to flee the words of men, of which their honour and good renomee might be lessed or hurt. And the angel said to the glorious Virgin Mary: I salute thee, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. There is not found in Scripture in no part such a saluing. And it was brought from heaven unto the glorious Virgin Mary, which was the first woman that ever in the world offered to God first her virginity. And the angel said to her after: Thou shalt be blessed above all other women, for thou shalt escape the malediction that all other women have in childing in sin and in sorrow; and thou shalt be mother of God, and shalt abide a pure virgin and clean. And our blessed Lady was much abashed of this salutation, and thought in herself the manner thereof. This was a good manner of a virgin that so wisely held her still and spake not, and showing example to virgins, which ought not lightly to speak, ne without advice ne manner to answer. And when the angel knew that for this salutation she was timorous and abashed, anon he repeaced her, saying: Mary, be nothing afeared, for thou hast found soothly grace at God, for thou art chosen above all women for to receive his blessed Son and be mother to God, and moyen and advocate for to set peace between God and man, for to destroy the death and bring the life. O thou that art a virgin, saith S. Ambrose, learn of Mary to be mannered and fearful to all men, learn to be still and to eschew all dissolutions.

Mary was afeared of the salutation of the angel, the which said: Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, and he shall be called the Son of God. And Mary said to the angel: In what manner may this be that thou sayest? For I have purposed in mine heart that I shall never know man, and yet I never knew none, how then shall I have a child against the course of nature, and may abide a virgin? Then the angel informed her, and began to say how her virginity should be saved in the conceiving of the Son of God, and answered to her in this manner. The Holy Ghost shall come in to thee, which shall make thee to conceive: the manner how thou shalt conceive thou shalt know better than I shall con say, for that shall be the work of the Holy Ghost, which of thy blood and of thy flesh shall form purely in the body of the child that thou shalt bear, and other work to this conception shalt thou not do. And the virtue of God sovereign shall shadow thee in such wise that thou shalt never feel in thee any burning ne covetise carnal, and shall purge thine heart from all desires temporal, and yet shall the Holy Ghost shadow thee with the mantle corporal, that the blessed Son of God shall be hid in thee and of thee for to cover the right excellent clarte of his divinity; so that by this ombre or shadow may be known and seen his dignity; like as Hugh of S. Victor and S. Bernard say. After, the angel said: And for as much as thou shalt conceive of the Holy Ghost and not of man, the child that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Yet of this conception which is above nature, the angel said to her this example: Lo! Elizabeth thy cousin, which is barren, hath conceived a child in her age, for there is nothing impossible to God, which is almighty. Then said the glorious Virgin Mary to the angel the answer for which he was come: Lo! the handmaid of God, he do to me that he hath ordained after thy words. She hath given to us example to be humble when prosperity of high riches cometh to us, for the first word that she spake or said when she was made mother of God and queen of Heaven, that was that she  called herself ancille or handmaid, and not lady. Much people is humble in low estate and but few in high estate, that is to wit in great estates, and therefore is humility more praised in them that be great in estate, as soon as she said: Lo! here the handmaid of God, let it be done to me after thy words. Thomas in compendio: In that same time that she had thus given her assent to the angel, she conceived in her Jesu Christ, which in that same hour was in her, perfect man and perfect God in one person; and as wise as he was in heaven, or when he was thirty years old. This blessed Annunciation happened the twentyfifth day of the month of March, on which day happened also, as well tofore as after, these things that hereafter be named. On that same day Adam, the first man, was created and fell into original sin by inobedience, and was put out of paradise terrestrial. After, the angel showed the conception of our Lord to the glorious Virgin Mary. Also that same day of the month Cain slew Abel his brother. Also Melchisedech made offering to God of bread and wine in the presence of Abraham. Also on the same day Abraham offered Isaac his son. That same day S. John Baptist was beheaded, and S. Peter was that day delivered out of prison, and S. James the more, that day beheaded of Herod. And our Lord Jesu Christ was on that day crucified, wherefore that is a day of great reverence. Of the salutation that the angel brought to the glorious Virgin, we read an example of a noble knight which for to amend his life gave and rendered himself into an abbey of Citeaux, and, forasmuch as he was no clerk, there was assigned to him a master for to teach him, and to be with the brethren clerks, but he could nothing learn in long time that he was there save these two words: Ave Maria, which words he had so sore imprinted in his heart that alway he had them in his mouth wheresomever he was. At last he died and was buried in the churchyard of the brethren. It happed after, that upon the burials grew a right fair fleur-de-lis, and in every flower was written in letters of gold: Ave Maria, of which miracle all the brethren were amarvelled, and they did open the sepulchre, and found that the root of this fleur-de-lis came out of the mouth of the said knight, and anon they understood that our Lord would have him honoured for the great devotion that he had to say these words. Ave Maria. Another knight there was that had a fair place beside the highway where much people passed, whom he robbed as much as he might, and so he used his life. But he had a good custom, for every day he saluted the glorious Virgin Mary, in saying: Ave Maria; and for no labour he left not to greet our Lady, as said is. It happed that an holy man passed by his house, whom he robbed and despoiled, but that holy man prayed them that robbed him that they would bring him to their master for he had to speak with him in his house of a secret thing for his profit. And when the robbers heard that they led him tofore the knight their lord; and anon the holy man prayed him that he would do come all his meiny tofore him. And when his meiny by the commandment of the knight were assembled the holy man said: Yet be they not all here; there is one yet to come. Then one of them aperceived that the chamberlain of the lord was not come; and anon the knight made him to come. And when the holy man saw him come anon he said: I conjure thee by the virtue of Jesu Christ our Lord that thou say to us who thou art, and for what cause thou art come hither. Anon the chamberlain answered: Alas, now must I say and knowledge myself, I am no man but am a devil which am in the form of a man and have taken it fourteen years, by which space I have dwelled with this knight, for my master hath sent me hither to the end that I should take heed night and day that if this knight ceased to say the salutation, Ave Maria, for then I should strangle him with mine own hand and bring him to hell because of the evil life that he hath led and leadeth. But because he saith every day this salutation, Ave Maria, I might not have him, and therefore I abode here so long, for there passeth him no day but that he salueth our Lady. When the knight heard this he was much afeard, and fell down to the feet of this holy man and demanded pardon of his sins. After this the holy man said to the devil: I command thee in the name of our Lord that thou depart hence, and go into another place where thou mayst grieve ne annoy no man. Then let us pray to the glorious Virgin Mary that she keep us from the devil, and that we may by her come to the glory of heaven, to the which bring us the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Here beginneth the Life of S. Seconde, Knight.

S. Seconde was a noble and valiant knight and glorious martyr of our Lord Jesu Christ, and suffered his passion and was crowned with the palm of martyrdom in city of Astence. By whose glorious presence the said city was embellished, and for a singular patron ennobled. And this holy man Seconde was informed in the faith of the blessed man Calocerus, which was holden in prison by the provost Saprice in the said city of Astence. And when Marcianus was holden in prison in the city of Tredonence, Saprice the provost would go thither for to make him to sacrifice, and S. Seconde much desiring to see S. Marcian, went with him as it had been because of solace. And anon as they were out of the city of Astence a white dove descended upon S. Seconde's head, to whom Saprice said: See, Seconde, how our gods love thee, which send birds from heaven to visit thee. And when they came to the river of Tanaro, S. Seconde saw the angel of God going upon the flood and saying to him: Seconde, see that thou hast firm faith, and thus shalt thou go above them that worship idols. Then Saprice said: Brother Seconde, I hear the gods speaking to thee, to whom Seconde said: Let us walk unto the desires of our heart. And when they came to another flood that hight Burin, that same angel aforesaid said: Seconde believest thou in God or peradventure thou doubtest? To whom Seconde said: I believe verily the truth of his passion. Then said Saprice: What is that I hear? and Seconde said nothing. When they should enter into Tredonence, by the commandment of the angel, Marcianus issued out of prison and appeared to Seconde, saying: Seconde, enter into the way of truth and receive the victory of faith. Saprice said: Who is he that speaketh to us as it were in a dream? To whom Seconde said: It may be well to thee a dream, but to me it is admonition and a comfort. After this, Seconde went to Milan, and the angel of God brought Faustin and Jonathan, which were holden in prison, out of the city to Seconde, and of them he received baptism and a cloud ministered water for to baptize him with. And suddenly a dove descended from heaven, bringing unto Faustin and Jonathan the blessed sacrament, and Faustin delivered it to Seconde for to bear it to Marcian. Then Seconde returned when it was night, and went to the river named Pade, and the angel of our Lord took the bridle of the horse and led him over the river, and led him unto Tredonence, and set him in the prison where Marcian was. And Seconde delivered to Marcian the gift that Faustin had sent to him, and receiving it said: The blessed body of our Lord Jesu Christ be with me into everlasting life. Then, by the commandment of the angel, Seconde went out of prison and went unto his lodging. After this Marcian received sentence to have his head smitten off, and so it was done. And then Seconde took his body and buried it. And when Saprice heard thereof he did do call Seconde to him and said: By this that I see thee do, I see well that thou art a christian man. To whom Seconde said: Verily I knowledge me to be a christian man; then Saprice said: Lo! how desirest thou to die an evil death? To whom Seconde said: That death is more due to thee than to me; and when Seconde would not sacrifice to the idols he commanded him to be despoiled all naked, and anon the angel of God was ready, and clad him in a better clothing than he had tofore. Then Saprice commanded him to be hanged on an instrument named eculeus, of which two ends stand on the ground, and two upward like S. Andrew's cross, and thereon he was hanged till his arms were out of joint, but our Lord restored him anon to health. And then he was commanded to go in to prison, and when he was there the angel of our Lord came to him and said: Arise, Seconde, and follow me and I shall lead thee to thy maker. And he led him from thence unto the city of Astence, and brought him into the prison where Calocerus was, and our blessed Saviour with him. And when Seconde saw him he fell down at his feet, and our Saviour said to him: Be not afeard, Seconde, for I am thy Lord God that shall keep thee from all evil. And then he, blessing him, ascended to heaven. On the morn Saprice sent unto the prison which they found fast shut, but they found not Seconde. Then Saprice went from Tredonence the city unto Astence for to punish Calocerus, and when he was come he sent for him to be presented tofore him, and they said to him that Seconde was with him, and anon he commanded that they should be brought tofore him, to whom he said: Because that my gods know you to be despisers of them, they will that ye both die together. And, because they would not do sacrifice to his gods, he did do melt pitch and rosin, and commanded it to be cast upon their heads and in their mouths. They drank it with great desire, as it had been most sweetest water, and said with a clear voice: O Lord how thy words be sweet in our mouths. Then Saprice gave upon them sentence, that S. Seconde should be beheaded in the city of Astence and Calocerus should be sent to Albigany and there to be punished. When then S. Seconde was beheaded, the angels of our Lord took his body and buried it with much worship and praising. He suffered his death the third calends of April. Let us pray then that he pray for us to our Lord.

Here beginneth the life of Mary of Egypt.

Mary the Egyptian, which was called a sinner, led and lived the most straight life and sharp that might be, forty-seven years in desert. In that time was a good, holy and religious monk named Zosimus, and went through the desert which lieth beyond the flom Jordan and much desired to find some holy fathers. And, when he came far and deep in the desert, he found a creature which was all black over all her body, of the great heat and burning of the sun, which went in that desert, and that was this Mary Egyptiaca aforesaid. But as soon as she saw Zosimus come, she fled, and Zosimus after. And she tarried and said: Abbot Zosimus, wherefore followest thou me? Have pity and mercy on me, for I dare not turn my face toward thee, because I am a woman and also naked, but cast thy mantle upon me, by which I may then, without shame, look and speak with thee. And when Zosimus heard himself named he was greatly amarvelled, and anon he cast to her his mantle, and humbly prayed her that she would give to him her blessing; and she answered: It appertaineth to thee fair father to give the benediction, and nothing to me, for thou hast the dignity of priesthood. When he heard that she knew his name and his office, he had yet more marvel, and of that she asked so meekly his blessing. After, she said: Blessed be God the Saviour of our souls. Then she lift up her hands unto heaven in making her prayer, and Zosimus saw that in praying to God her body was lift up from the earth well nigh a foot and a half, and began to think that it had been some evil spirit. Then Zosimus conjured her by the virtue of God that she should tell to him her estate and her condition, and she answered: Fair father, spare me thereof, for if I should recount mine estate ye should flee away from me like as from a venomous serpent, and thy holy ears should be made foul of my words, and the air should be full and foul of corruption. And when she saw that Zosimus would not be satisfied so, then she said: Fair father I was born in Egypt, and when I was in the age of twelve years I went into Alexandria, and there I gave my body openly to sin by the space of seventeen years, and abandoned it to lechery and refused no man. After, it happed that men of that country went for to adore and worship the holy cross in Jerusalem, and I prayed to one of the mariners that he would suffer me to pass with the other people the sea, and when he me demanded payment for my passage, I answered: Fair sirs, I have nothing to pay you with, but I abandon my body to do withal your pleasure for my passage, and they took me by that condition; and when I was come into Jerusalem unto the entry of the church for to worship the holy cross with the others, I was suddenly and invisibly put aback many times, in such wise that I might not enter into the church. And then I returned and thought in myself that this came to me for the great sins that I had committed in time past, and began to smite my breast and weep tenderly and sigh grievously. And I beheld there the image of our Lady, and I fell down and prayed her all weeping that she would impetre and get me pardon of my sins of her sweet Son, and would suffer me to enter into the church for to worship the holy cross, promising to forsake the world, and and from then forthon to live chaste. When I had thus prayed, and to our blessed Lady thus faithfully promised, I went again to the doors of the church, and without any impediment I entered into the church. And when I had devoutly worshipped and adored the holy cross, a man gave to me three pence, of which I bought three loaves of bread. And after, I heard anon a voice: If thou wilt pass and go over flom Jordan thou shalt be safe, and then I passed Jordan, and came into this desert, where I never saw man by the space of seventeen years. These three loaves, that I bare with me, became hard, by the drought of the time, as a stone, of which I took my sustenance, and sufliced to me seventeen years, and after, I ate herbs. My clothes be rotten long sith, and these seventeen flrst years I was much tempted by the burning of the sun much asprely, and many delectations that I have had in meat and drink, the good wines, and doing the desires of my body, all these came in my thought. Then I bewailed them on the earth, and prayed for help to our blessed Lady in whom I had set all my affiance, and I wept much tenderly. And anon I saw coming about me a great light, by the which I was all recomforted, and lost all the thoughts which oft and grievously tempted me. And sith, I have been delivered of all temptations and am nourished of spiritual meat of the word of our Lord. And thus have I been all my life as I have told to thee, and I pray thee by the incarnation of Jesu Christ that thou pray for me, sinful creature. Then the old father Zosimus fell down unto ground, and thanked our Lord God that had thus saved his servant. And she said: I pray thee fair father that thou wilt come again on the next Shere-Thursday, and bring with thee the body of our Lord for to housel me, for sith I entered into this desert I was never houseled ne received the holy sacrament, and then I shall come to flom Jordan against thee. Zozimus went to his abbey, and, after the year passed, on ShereThursday he came again in to the place like as the holy woman had prayed him. And when he was come to flom Jordan he saw on that other side the holy woman, which made the sign of the cross upon the water and went on it, and came over to him. When Zosimus saw this miracle, anon he fell down to the feet of the holy woman for to do to her honour and reverence, but she forbade and defended him and said: Thus oughtest thou not to do, for thou art a priest, and bearest the holy sacrament. The which she received in right great devotion, and said in weeping: Lord God please it to thee to receive me in peace for mine eyes have seen my Saviour. How well that she had always wept and shed tears so abundantly that it seemed that she had lost her sight. And after, she said to Zosimus: I pray thee that at the end of this year thou wilt come hither again to me and pray for me, sinful creature, and anon after, she made the sign of the cross upon the river and passed over the water with dry feet as she tofore came. And Zosimus went again to his abbey, but he repented much that he had not demanded the name of the woman. And after the year passed he came again to the desert, like as he had promised to this holy woman, and he found her dead, and the body ordinately laid as it should be buried. Zosimus began then anon tenderly to weep, and durst not approach ne touch the body, but said to himself: I would gladly bury this holy body if I knew that I should not displease her. And when he was in this thought he saw Iying by her head a letter, that said in this manner: Zosimus, bury right here the body of the poor Mary and render to the earth his right, and pray to God for me, at whose commandment the second day after I received him, he called me from this world. Then Zosimus was much glad that he knew the name of the saint, but he was greatly dismayed how he might bury the body, for he had nothing for to delve the earth with. And anon he saw the earth dolven, and a sepulchre made by a lion that came thither. And then Zosimus buried her, and the lion departed debonairly, and Zosimus returned to his abbey and recounted to his brethren the conversation of this holy woman Mary. And Zosimus lived an hundred years in holy life, and gave laud to God of all his gifts, and his goodness that he receiveth sinners to mercy, which with good heart turn to him, and promiseth to them the joy of heaven. Then let us pray to this holy Mary the Egyptian that we may be here so penitent that we may come thither.

Here followeth of S. Ambrose, and first the interpretation of his name.

Ambrose is said of a stone named ambra, which is much sweet, odorant and precious, and also it is much precious in the church, and much sweet smelling in deeds and in words. Or Ambrose may be said of ambra and syos which is as much to say as God, for Ambrose is as much to say as amber of God, for Ambrose felt God in him, and God was smelled and odoured by him over all where as he was. Or he was said of ambor in Greek, which is to say as father of light, and of sior, that is a little child that is a father of many sons by spiritual generation, clear and full of light in exposition of holy Scripture, and was little in his humble conversation. Or thus as is said in the glossary, Ambrose is odour and savour celestial, he was odour of heaven by great renomee smelling, savour by contemplation within him, an honeycomb by sweet exposition of scriptures, meat of angels by his glorious life. And Paulinus, bishop of Volusian, wrote his life unto S. Austin.

Of the Life of S. Ambrose.

S. Ambrose was son of Ambrose, provost of Rome, of whom it happed as he lay in his cradle in the hall of the prætorium, that there came a swarm of bees which fell on his visage and his mouth, and after, they departed and flew up in the air so high that they might not be seen. When this was done, the father, which was hereof dismayed, said: If this child live, there shall be some great thing of him. After, when he was a little grown, he beheld his mother and his sister, which was a sacred virgin, kiss the priests' hand when they offered, and he playing with his sister put forth his hand for to kiss, and said that so behoved her to do to him. And she, not understanding him, refused it. After, he was set to school at Rome, and became to be so good a clerk that he determined the causes of the palace, and therefore Valentinian the emperor delivered him to govern, two provinces named Liguria and Æmilia. Then when he came into Milan it happed that the bishop was dead, and the people were assembled to provide for another, but, between the Arians and the good christian men, for the election, fell a great sedition and discord. And Ambrose for to appease this sedition went thither, and the voice of a child was heard saying: Ambrose ought to be bishop: and anon all the people accorded thereto wholly, and began for to cry: Ambrose! Ambrose! But Ambrose defended as much as he might, and alway the people cried: Ambrose! Then for to make the people cease, he went out of the church, and went up on a scaffold, and made the people to be beaten, against the usage and custom, for to let them, that they should name him no more. But yet they left not for all that, but the people said: Thy sin be upon us. Then he being sore troubled, went home, and suffered common women to enter openly into his house, to the end that when the people saw that, they should revoke their election; but for all that they cried as they did tofore and said: Thy sins be upon us. When S. Ambrose saw that he might not empesh the election he fled away, but the people awaited upon him and took him at the issue of the gate, and kept him so long till they had grant of the emperor. And when the emperor knew hereof he had great joy, because that the judge that he had sent for the provinces was chosen to be their bishop, and also he was glad because his word was accomplished, for the emperor said to Ambrose when he sent him thither: Go, said he, and abide not there as a judge but as a bishop.

S. Ambrose in the meanwhile that they abode the answer of the emperor fled yet away, but he was taken again and was baptized, for he was not tofore baptized, how well that he was christian in will. And the eighth day after he was consecrate and stalled bishop of Milan. And four years after that he went to Rome, and there his sister, the virgin, kissed his hand as of a priest, and he smiling said: Lo! as I told thee, now thou kissest my hand as of a priest.

It happed after that, when S. Ambrose went to another city to the election of a bishop, Justina the empress, and others of the sect of the Arians would not consent to the good christian men, but would have one of their sect. Then one of the virgins of the empress, much fair, took S. Ambrose and drew him by his vestments and would have made him to be beaten because he would not hold the party of the women. Then S. Ambrose said to her: If I be not worthy to be a bishop, yet thou oughtest not to lay hand upon me ne none other bishop, thou hast laid hand on me, thou oughtest much redoubt and dread the judgment of God. And therefore God confirmed his sentence on her, for the next day she was borne to her grave and was dead. Thus was she rewarded for the villainy that she had done, and all the other were thereby sore afraid. After this, when he was returned to Milan he suffered many assaults and persecutions of the empress Justina, for she moved, by gifts and by honours, much people against S. Ambrose, and many there were that enforced them to send him in exile, and among all others there was one mounted in so great madness and fury against him, that he hired him an house by the church because he would have therein a cart for to set S. Ambrose thereon and lead him in to exile. But that same fell to him, for he himself was sent in exile in the same cart the same day that he would have led away S. Ambrose. To whom yet S. Ambrose did good for evil, for he ministered to him his costs and necessaries. S. Ambrose also established in the church, song and offices at Milan first.

There were at that time in Milan many men vexed and beset with devils, which cried with high voice that S. Ambrose tormented them thus, but the empress Justina and the Arians said that S. Ambrose made them to say so for money that he gave to them. Then it happed that one of the Arians was out of his mind and said thus: Be they all tormented as I am that consent not to S. Ambrose, and therefore the other Arians drowned him in a deep piscine or pit. There was another heretic and an Arian, a sharp man and so hard that he was inconvertible, because no man might convert him to the faith. On a time he heard S. Ambrose preach, and he saw at his ear an angel that told him all that he preached, and when he had perceived this he began to sustain the faith to which he had been contrary.

After this it happed that an enchanter called devils to him and sent them to S. Ambrose for to annoy and grieve him, but the devils returned and said that they might not approach to his gate because there was a great fire all about his house. And this enchanter, after, when he was tormented of the provost for certain trespasses, he cried and said that he was tormented of S. Ambrose.

There was a man that had a devil within him, and after went to Milan, and anon, as he entered the city, the devil left him, and as soon as he went out of the city the devil re-entered in him again. Then he demanded him why he did so, and he answered because he was afeard of Ambrose.

After, it happed that a man being conducted and hired of Justina the empress, went to the bedside of S. Ambrose and would have put and riven his sword through his body, but anon his arm was dried up. Another that was vexed with a devil said that S. Ambrose tormented him, but S. Ambrose made him to be still, for Ambrose tormenteth none, but that doth the envy of thee, for thou seest men ascend from whence thou art fallen, and that is it which tormenteth thee, for Ambrose cannot be so blown and swollen as thou art; then was he still and spake not.

When S. Ambrose went into the town he saw a man laugh because he saw another fall, then said Ambrose to him: Thou that laughest, beware that thou fall not also, and after he fell, and thus was he taught that he should not mock his fellow. On a time S. Ambrose went unto the palace for to pray for a poor man, but the judge made to close the gate that he might not enter in; then S. Ambrose said: Thou shalt come for to enter into the church, but thou shalt not enter, and yet shall the gates be open. And so it happed that after, the judge doubted his enemies and went to the church, but he might not enter in, and yet the gates were open.

S. Ambrose was of so great abstinence that he fasted every day save the Sunday or a solemn feast. He was of so great largess that he gave all to poor people and retained nothing for himself. He was of so great compassion that when any confessed to him his sin, he wept so bitterly that he would make the sinner to weep. He was of so great doubt that, when it was told to him of the death of any bishop, he would weep so sore that unnethe he might be comforted, and when it was demanded him why he wept for the death of good men, for he ought better to make joy because they went to heaven, then he answered: I weep not because they go tofore me, but because that unnethe and with great pain may any be found for to do well such offices. He was of so great steadfastness and so established in his purpose that he would not leave, for dread ne for grief that might be done to him, to reprove the emperor ne the other great men when they did things that they ought not to do, ne he would flatter no man. There was brought once tofore him a man which was grievously mismade; then said S. Ambrose: The body must be delivered to the devil and that the flesh go to the death, by which the spirit may be saved. Unnethe was the word out of his mouth but the devil began to torment him.

After, as it is said, on a time he went to Rome, and when he was on a time by the way harboured with a rich man, S. Ambrose began to demand him of his estate. That rich man answered: Sir, mine estate is happy enough and glorious, for I have riches enough, servants, varlets, children, nephews, cousins, friends, and kinsmen which serve me, and all my works and besoins come to my will, ne I have never thing that may anger ne trouble me. Then said S. Ambrose to them that were with him: Flee we hence, for our Lord God is not here, haste you fair children, haste you and let us abide here no longer lest the vengeance of God take us, and that we be not wrapped in the sins of these people. They departed and fled anon, but they were not gone far but that the earth opened and swallowed in all the house of this rich man, and there abode not as much as the step ne of himself ne of all that ever he had. Then said S. Ambrose: behold fair children how great pity and how great mercy God doth to them that have adversity in this world, and how wroth he is to them that have the wealth and riches of this world. Of which thing appeareth yet the pit or foss which endureth into this day in witness of this adventure.

When S. Ambrose beheld that avarice, which is root of all evils, grew more and more in much people, and specially in great men and in them that were in most great estate, which sold all for money, and with the ministers of the church he saw simony reign, he began to pray to God that he would take him away from the miseries of this world, and he impetred that which he desired. Then he called his fellowship, and said to them, in joying, that, he should abide with them unto the resurrection of our Lord. And a little tofore that he lay sick, as he expounded to his notary the forty-fourth psalm, suddenly, in the presence and sight of his notary, a fire in the manner of a shield covered his head and entered into his mouth. Then became his face as white as any snow, and anon after it came again to his first form, and that day he left his writing and inditing. Then began his malady to grieve him, and the Earl of Italy which was then at Milan called the gentlemen of the country, and said to them that if so great and good a man should go from them it should be great pity and great peril to all Italy, and said to them that they all should go with him to this holy man and pray him that he would get grant of our Lord of space and longer life. When S. Ambrose had heard their request he answered: Fair sons, I have not so lived among you that I am ashamed to live if it please God, ne I have no fear re dread of death, for we have a good Lord. In this time assembled his four deacons and began to treat who should be a good bishop after him, and they named secretly among themselves, that unnethe they themselves heard it, Simplician. S. Ambrose was far from them, they weened that he might not have heard them, and he cried on high thrice: He is old and he is good. When they heard him they were much abashed and departed, and sith after his death they chose the same Simplician for the good witness that S. Ambrose had borne of him.

A bishop which was named Honorius, that abode the death of S. Ambrose, slept and heard a voice that thrice called him and said: Arise thou up for he shall go his way anon. Then he arose anon hastily and went to Milan and gave to him the holy sacrament, the precious body of our Lord. And anon S. Ambrose laid his arms in form of a cross and made his prayers, and so departed and gave up his ghost among the words of his prayers, about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty, the vigil of Easter. And when his body in the night was borne in to the church many children that were baptized, saw him, as they said, sitting in a chair honorably, and others showed him with their fingers to their father and others, and some said that they saw a star upon his body. There was a priest, that sat at meat with others, which said not well of him, but mislaid, but anon God so chastised him that he was borne from the table and died anon after. In the city of Carthage were three bishops together at dinner, and one of them spake evil by detraction of S. Ambrose, and there was a man that told what was befallen for such language to this aforesaid priest, but he mocked and japed so much that he felt a stroke mortal; that that same day he died and was buried.

It is found written in a chronicle that the emperor Valentinian was wroth because that in the city of Thessalonica the people had stoned to death his judges that were sent thither in his name, and for to avenge the same the emperor did do slay five thousand persons, great and little, good and evil, and as well them that had not trespassed as them that had deserved it. And when after this occision he came to Milan and would enter into the church, S. Ambrose came against him and defended him the entry, and said to him that after so great woodness thou oughtest not to do so great presumption, but peradventure thy power suffereth not thee to acknowledge thy trespass. It appertaineth that reason surmount power. Thou art emperor, but that is for to punish the evil people. How art thou so hardy to enter so boldly into the house of God whom thou hast horribly angered? How darest thou with thy feet touch his pavement? How darest thou stretch thy hands which be all bloody, and of whom the blood of innocents run and drop off. By what presumption darest thou put forth thy mouth to receive the precious body and blood of our Lord, of which mouth thou hast done the commandment of the devil? Go hence! go hence! and put not sin upon sin. Take the bond that our Lord hath bounden thee with, for it is given to thee in the way of medicine. When the emperor heard these words, he was obedient and began to wail and weep, and returned into his palace and abode there long weeping. Then Ruffin the master of his knights demanded wherefore he so sorrowed and wept, and he answered Ruffn, thou knowest not my sorrows, for I see that servants and poor beggars may enter into the church that I may not enter, for Ambrose hath excommunicated me. And he saying this, at every word he sighed. Then said Ruffin to him, if thou wilt I shall make him anon to assoil thee. He answered: Thou mayst not, for Ambrose doubteth not the force ne the power of the emperor, to the end that he hold firmly the law of God. And when Ruffin said more and more that he should make him incline to assoil him, then he sent him to Ambrose, and the emperor followed soon after much humbly. When S. Ambrose saw Ruffin come, he said to him: Thou hast no more shame than an hound for to do such occision, and now comest boldly to me. When Ruffin had prayed him long for to assoil the emperor, which came following him, S. Ambrose said to him: Certainly I defend to him the entry into the church, and if he will be a tyrant I will much gladly receive the death. Then returned Ruffin to the emperor, and recounted to him how he had done, and the emperor said: Certainly I shall go to him that I may receive of him villainy enough, for it is well right. When he was come to him he demanded of him absolution much devoutly. S. Ambrose demanded of him what penance hast thou done for so great wickedness? The emperor alleged to him that David had sinned and after had mercy. S. Ambrose said: Thou that hast followed him that sinned, follow also him repentant. Then said the emperor: It appertaineth to thee to give and enjoin penance, and I shall do it. Then he bade him do open penance and common tofore all the people, and the emperor received it gladly and refused it not. When the emperor was reconciled to the church he stood in the chancel. Then said to him S. Ambrose: What seekest thou here? He answered: I am here for to receive the sacred mysteries; and Ambrose said: This place appertaineth to no man but to priests. Go out, for ye ought to be without the chancel and abide there with other. Then obeyed the emperor humbly and went out. And after, when the emperor came to Constantinople, and he stood without with the lay people, the bishop came and said to him that he should come into the chancel with the clerks, he answered that he would not, for he had learned of S. Ambrose what difference there was between an emperor and a priest. I have found a man of truth, my master Ambrose, and such a man ought to be a bishop.

The lives of the Saints Tyburtius and Valerian be contained in the life of Cicely, Virgin and Martyr.

The Iife of S. Alphage Bishop and Martyr.

S. Alphage the holy bishop and martyr was born in England in the shire of Gloucester, and he came of a noble kin, and was his father's heir, but he forsook all for God's love, and became a monk at Deerhurst, five miles from Gloucester; but afterward good King Edward gave that house of Deerhurst to the house of S. Denis in France. And when S. Alphage had been monk there long time, living a full holy life, then he went from thence to the Abbey of Bath, to be there in more contemplation and rest of soul. And he builded there that fair abbey and established therein black monks and endowed it, and was himself therein the first abbot and founder. And he led there a full holy life, and much well he guided the monks in holy and virtuous living. And that time was S. Dunstan, bishop of Canterbury, and S. Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester. But within short time after S. Ethelwold died, and then S. Andrew appeared to S. Dunstan in a night and bade him arise anon and make Alphage, abbot of Bath, bishop of Winchester, and so it was done with great solemnity, like as our Lord by his holy apostle S. Andrew had commanded, and he was bishop there twenty-two years in full holy living. And after that he was made archbishop of Canterbury, after S. Dunstan, and thereto he was chosen by the pope, and by all the clergy of England, in the year of our Lord one thousand and six years, and six years he was bishop of Canterbury. And in the seventh year came a wicked tyrant out of Denmark into this land of England, whose name was Erdrithe, with a great multitude of Danes. And they burnt and robbed in every place where they came, and slew many lords of the land, and many of the common people. And that time was Ethelred king of England, and S. Edward the martyr was his brother, and S. Edward the confessor his son, the which lieth at Westminster.

And in this time the Danes did do much harm in this land. The chief prince of them hight Thurkill and his brother Erdrithe was leader of the host. They did full great persecution, for there was none that might resist ne withstand them, for King Ethelred was a meek man and took none heed to help his people. And Erdrithe, with the Danes went to Canterbury, and there he did much wickedness to the people, and burnt and destroyed all that he might find, but at the last he was slain by men of Canterbury. And when the Prince Thurkill wist that he was slain, he was much angry, and in great haste he came to Canterbury and besieged the town and anon he gat it, and burnt and destroyed all that he might. And this holy bishop S. Alphage came to the prince of the Danes, and prayed him to take his body and spare the poor people of the town, but for all that he slew monks, priests and all that he might find. And he tithed the monks, he slew nine monks and saved the tenth, and yet he thought there were over many alive, and began to tithe them again, and then S. Alphage reproved them for their cursed doings. And then anon they took S. Alphage, the holy man, and bound his hands behind him, and they led him with them from thence unto the town of Greenwich beside London, and there they put him in prison half a year and more.

And the Friday in the Easter week the devil appeared to this holy man in the prison, in likeness of an angel, and said unto him that it was our Lord's will that he should go out of prison and follow him. And this holy man believed him and went out, and followed the wicked angel by night, and he brought this holy man into a dark valley, and there he waded over waters and ditches, mires and hedges, and ever this holy man followed him as he might for weariness, till at the last he had brought him into a foul mire that was set about with great waters, and there the devil left him, and vanished away. And then this holy man wist well that he was deceived by his enemy the fiend, and then he cried God mercy and prayed him of help. And then our Lord sent to him his holy angel, and aided him out of the mire and water, and said it was the will of God that he should return again to prison that he came from, for tomorrow shalt thou suffer martyrdom for our Lord's sake. And as he went again towards the prison at Greenwich, early by the morrow, his keepers that had sought him all the night met him, and anon they cast him down to the ground and there they wounded him full piteously. And then they brought him again to prison, and they made therein a great smouldering of smoke for to disease him. And then S. Dunstan appeared to him and bade him be of good comfort, for our Lord hath ordained for thee a glorious crown. And as they spake together his bonds brake, and all his wounds were made whole again through the mercy of our Lord Jesu Christ, and when his keepers saw this they dreaded full sore. And anon this miracle was known to the people and they went then fast to see him. And the judges doubted the great people that came thither, and they took him out of prison and led him to that place where he should be martyred, but the poor people made great lamentation for him. But anon the wicked tormentors stoned him to death like as the Jews did S. Stephen. And when he was almost dead, one there was that was his godson, which with an axe smote him on the head that he fell to the ground, and then rendered up his spirit to our Lord Jesu Christ. And then these wicked tyrants threw the holy body into a deep water that good men should not find it, but by the providence of our Lord, within short time after he was found of the true christian men, and they reproved greatly these wicked tyrants. And they began then to scorn the holy body and one of them took an old rotten stake or tree, and pight it in the earth and said: If this stake bear flowers by to-morrow we will repent us and believe that he is an holy man, or else we will never believe it. And on the morrow they found the stake green and bare leaves. And when they saw this great miracle they believed in God, and kissed the feet of this holy Saint, and repented them full sore of their wicked deeds, and cried full meekly God mercy, and this holy S. Alphage. And after, he was brought to London with great worship and buried in the church of S. Paul with great reverence, and there his body lay buried many years; and afterwards it was taken up and translated to Canterbury, and his bones there laid in a worshipful feretory or shrine, where our Lord showed daily many fair miracles for his holy martyr S. Alphage. And the tormentors that repented them not, died anon affer in great misery in divers wises, for to be punished as it pleased our Lord. Then let us pray to this blessed martyr and archbishop, S. Alphage, that he be moyen unto our Lord Jesu Christ that we may come to his everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Of S. George, Martyr, and first the interpretation of his name.

George is said of geos, which is as much to say as earth, and orge that is tilling. So George is to say as tilling the earth, that is his flesh. And S. Austin saith, in libro de Trinitate that, good earth is in the height of the mountains, in the temperance of the valleys, and in the plain of the fields. The first is good for herbs being green, the second to vines, and the third to wheat and corn. Thus the blessed George was high in despising low things, and therefore he had verdure in himself, he was attemperate by discretion, and therefore he had wine of gladness, and within he was plane of humility, and thereby put he forth wheat of good works. Or George may be said of gerar, that is holy, and of gyon, that is a wrestler, that is an holy wrestler, for he wrestled with the dragon. Or George is said of gero, that is a pilgrim, and gir, that is detrenched out, and ys, that is a councillor. He was a pilgrim in the sight of the world, and he was cut and detrenched by the crown of martyrdom, and he was a good councillor in preaching. And his legend is numbered among other scriptures apocryphal in the council of Nicene, because his martyrdom hath no certain relation. For in the calendar of Bede it is said that he suffered martyrdom in Persia in the city of Diaspolin, and in other places it is read that he resteth in the city of Diaspolin which tofore was called Lidda, which is by the city of Joppa or Japh. And in another place it is said that he suffered death under Diocletian and Maximian, which that time were emperors. And in another place under Diocletian emperor of Persia, being present seventy kings of his empire. And it is said here that he suffered death under Dacian the provost, then Diocletian and Maximian being emperors.

Here followeth the Life of S. George Martyr.

S. George was a knight and born in Cappadocia. On a time he came in to the province of Libya, to a city which is said Silene. And by this city was a stagne or a pond like a sea, wherein was a dragon which envenomed all the country. And on a time the people were assembled for to slay him, and when they saw him they fled. And when he came nigh the city he venomed the people with his breath, and therefore the people of the city gave to him every day two sheep for to feed him, because he should do no harm to the people, and when the sheep failed there was taken a man and a sheep. Then was an ordinance made in the town that there should be taken the children and young people of them of the town by lot, and every each one as it fell, were he gentle or poor, should be delivered when the lot fell on him or her. So it happed that many of them of the town were then delivered, insomuch that the lot fell upon the king's daughter, whereof the king was sorry, and said unto the people: For the love of the gods take gold and silver and all that I have, and let me have my daughter. They said: How sir! ye have made and ordained the law, and our children be now dead, and ye would do the contrary. Your daughter shall be given, or else we shall burn you and your house.

When the king saw he might no more do, he began to weep, and said to his daughter: Now shall I never see thine espousals. Then returned he to the people and demanded eight days' respite, and they granted it to him. And when the eight days were passed they came to him and said: Thou seest that the city perisheth: Then did the king do array his daughter like as she should be wedded, and embraced her, kissed her and gave her hls benediction, and after, led her to the place where the dragon was.

When she was there S. George passed by, and when he saw the lady he demanded the lady what she made there and she said: Go ye your way fair young man, that ye perish not also. Then said he: Tell to me what have ye and why weep ye, and doubt ye of nothing. When she saw that he would know, she said to him how she was delivered to the dragon. Then said S. George: Fair daughter, doubt ye no thing hereof for I shall help thee in the name of Jesu Christ. She said: For God's sake, good knight, go your way, and abide not with me, for ye may not deliver me. Thus as they spake together the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground. And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard. When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair. Then she led him into the city, and the people fled by mountains and valleys, and said: Alas! alas! we shall be all dead. Then S. George said to them: Ne doubt ye no thing, without more, believe ye in God, Jesu Christ, and do ye to be baptized and I shall slay the dragon. Then the king was baptized and all his people, and S. George slew the dragon and smote off his head, and commanded that he should be thrown in the fields, and they took four carts with oxen that drew him out of the city.

Then were there well fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children, and the king did do make a church there of our Lady and of S. George, in the which yet sourdeth a fountain of living water, which healeth sick people that drink thereof. After this the king offered to S. George as much money as there might be numbered, but he refused all and commanded that it should be given to poor people for God's sake; and enjoined the king four things, that is, that he should have charge of the churches, and that he should honour the priests and hear their service diligently, and that he should have pity on the poor people, and after, kissed the king and departed.

Now it happed that in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, which were emperors, was so great persecution of christian men that within a month were martyred well twenty-two thousand, and therefore they had so great dread that some renied and forsook God and did sacrifice to the idols. When S. George saw this, he left the habit of a knight and sold all that he had, and gave it to the poor, and took the habit of a christian man, and went into the middle of the paynims and began to cry: All the gods of the paynims and gentiles be devils, my God made the heavens and is very God. Then said the provost to him: Of what presumption cometh this to thee, that thou sayest that our gods be devils? And say to us what thou art and what is thy name. He answered anon and said: I am named George, I am a gentleman, a knight of Cappadocia, and have left all for to serve the God of heaven. Then the provost enforced himself to draw him unto his faith by fair words, and when he might not bring him thereto he did do raise him on a gibbet; and so much beat him with great staves and broches of iron, that his body was all tobroken in pieces. And after he did do take brands of iron and join them to his sides, and his bowels which then appeared he did do frot with salt, and so sent him into prison, but our Lord appeared to him the of same night with great light and comforted him much sweetly. And by this great consolation he took to him so good heart that he doubted no torment that they might make him suffer. Then, when Dacian the provost saw that he might not surmount him, he called his enchanter and said to him: I see that these christian people doubt not our torments. The enchanter bound himself, upon his head to be smitten off, if he overcame not his crafts. Then he did take strong venom and meddled it with wine, and made invocation of the names of his false gods, and gave it to S. George to drink. S. George took it and made the sign of the cross on it, and anon drank it without grieving him any thing. Then the enchanter made it more stronger than it was tofore of venom, and gave it him to drink, and it grieved him nothing. When the enchanter saw that, he kneeled down at the feet of S. George and prayed him that he would make him christian. And when Dacian knew that he was become christian he made to smite off his head. And after, on the morn, he made S. George to be set between two wheels, which were full of swords, sharp and cutting on both sides, but anon the wheels were broken and S. George escaped without hurt. And then commanded Dacian that they should put him in a caldron full of molten lead, and when S. George entered therein, by the virtue of our Lord it seemed that he was in a bath well at ease. Then Dacian seeing this began to assuage his ire, and to flatter him by fair words, and said to him: George, the patience of our gods is over great unto thee which hast blasphemed them, and done to them great despite, then fair, and right sweet son, I pray thee that thou return to our law and make sacrifice to the idols, and leave thy folly, and I shall enhance thee to great honour and worship. Then began S. George to smile, and said to him: Wherefore saidst thou not to me thus at the beginning? I am ready to do as thou sayest. Then was Dacian glad and made to cry over all the town that all the people should assemble for to see George make sacrifice which so much had striven there against. Then was the city arrayed and feast kept throughout all the town, and all came to the temple for to see him.

When S. George was on his knees, and they supposed that he would have worshipped the idols, he prayed our Lord God of heaven that he would destroy the temple and the idol in the honour of his name, for to make the people to be converted. And anon the fire descended from heaven and burnt the temple, and the idols, and their priests, and sith the earth opened and swallowed all the cinders and ashes that were left. Then Dacian made him to be brought tofore him, and said to him: What be the evil deeds that thou hast done and also great untruth? Then said to him S. George: Ah, sir, believe it not, but come with me and see how I shall sacrifice. Then said Dacian to him: I see well thy fraud and thy barat, thou wilt make the earth to swallow me, like as thou hast the temple and my gods. Then said S. George: O caitiff, tell me how may thy gods help thee when they may not help themselves! Then was Dacian so angry that he said to his wife: I shall die for anger if I may not surmount and overcome this man. Then said she to him: Evil and cruel tyrant! ne seest thou not the great virtue of the christian people? I said to thee well that thou shouldst not do to them any harm, for their God fighteth for them, and know thou well that I will become christian. Then was Dacian much abashed and said to her: Wilt thou be christian? Then he took her by the hair, and did do beat her cruelly. Then demanded she of S. George: What may I become because I am not christened? Then answered the blessed George: Doubt thee nothing, fair daughter, for thou shalt be baptized in thy blood. Then began she to worship our Lord Jesu Christ, and so she died and went to heaven. On the morn Dacian gave his sentence that S. George should be drawn through all the city, and after, his head should be smitten off. Then made he his prayer to our Lord that all they that desired any boon might get it of our Lord God in his name, and a voice came from heaven which said that it which he had desired was granted; and after he had made his orison his head was smitten off, about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-seven. When Dacian went homeward from the place where he was beheaded towards his palace, fire fell down from heaven upon him and burnt him and all his servants.

Gregory of Tours telleth that there were some that bare certain relics of S. George, and came into a certain oratory in a hospital, and on the morning when they should depart they could not move the door till they had left there part of their relics. It is also found in the history of Antioch, that when the christian men went over sea to conquer Jerusalem, that one, a right fair young man, appeared to a priest of the host and counselled him that he should bear with him a little of the relics of S. George. for he was conductor of the battle, and so he did so much that he had some. And when it was so that they had assieged Jerusalem and durst not mount ne go up on the walls for the quarrels and defence of the Saracens, they saw appertly S. George which had white arms with a red cross, that went up tofore them on the walls, and they followed him, and so was Jerusalem taken by his help. And between Jerusalem and port Jaffa, by a town called Ramys, is a chapel of S. George which is now desolate and uncovered, and therein dwell christian Greeks. And in the said chapel lieth the body of S. George, but not the head. And there lie his father and mother and his uncle, not in the chapel but under the wall of the chapel; and the keepers will not suffer pilgrims to come therein, but if they pay two ducats, and therefore come but few therein, but offer without the chapel at an altar. And there is seven years and seven lents of pardon; and the body of S. George lieth in the middle of the quire or choir of the said chapel, and in his tomb is an hole that a man may put in his hand. And when a Saracen, being mad, is brought thither, and if he put his head in the hole he shall anon be made perfectly whole, and have his wit again.

This blessed and holy martyr S. George is patron of this realm of England and the cry of men of war. In the worship of whom is founded the noble order of the garter, and also a noble college in the castle of Windsor by kings of England, in which college is the heart of S. George, which Sigismund, the emperor of Almayne, brought and gave for a great and a precious relique to King Harry the fifth. And also the said Sigismund was a brother of the said garter, and also there is a piece of his head, which college is nobly endowed to the honour and worship of Almighty God and his blessed martyr S. George. Then let us pray unto him that he be special protector and defender of this realm.

Here followeth of S. Mark the Evangelist, and first the interpretation of his name.

Mark is as much to say as high to commandment, certain, declined, and bitter. He was high of commandment by reason of perfection in his life, for he kept not only the commandments common, but also the high as be counsels. He was certain in the doctrine of the gospel, like as he had received of S. Peter his master, he was declined by reason of perfect and great humility, for because of great meekness he cut off his thumb, to the end that he should not be chosen to be a priest. He was bitter by reason of right sharp and bitter pain, for he was drawn through the city, and among those torments he gave up his spirit. Or Mark is said of a great mallet or beetle, which with one stroke maketh plain iron and engendereth melody, and confirmeth it. For S. Mark by his only doctrine quencheth the unsteadfastness of the heretics, he engendered the great melody of the praising of God, and confirmed the church.

Of S. Mark the Evangelist.

Mark the Evangelist was of the kindred of the Levites, and was a priest. And when he was christened he was godson of S. Peter the apostle, and therefore he went with him to Rome. When S. Peter preached there the gospel, the good people of Rome prayed S. Mark that he would put the gospel in writing, like as S. Peter had preached. Then he at their request wrote and showed it to his master S. Peter to examine; and when S. Peter had examined it, and saw that it contained the very truth, he approved it and commanded that it should be read at Rome. And then S. Peter seeing S. Mark constant in the faith, he sent him into Aquilegia for to preach the faith of Jesu Christ, where he preached the word of God, and did many miracles, and converted innumerable multitudes of people to the faith of Christ. And wrote also to them the gospel, like as he did to them of Rome, which is in to this day kept in the church of Aquilegia, and with great devotion kept.

After this it happed that S. Mark led with him to Rome a burgess of that same city whom he had converted to the faith, named Ermagoras, brought him to S. Peter, and prayed him that he would sacre him bishop of Aquilegia, and so he did. Then this Ermagoras, when he was bishop, he governed much holily the church, and at the last the paynims martyred him. Then S. Peter sent S. Mark into Alexandria, whereas he preached first the word of God, and as soon as he was entered a great multitude of people assembled for to come against him. There was he of so great perfection that by his predication and by his good example, the people mounted in so holy conversation and in so great devotion that, at his instance they led their life like monks.

He was of so great humility that he did cut off his thumb because he would be no priest, for he judged himself not worthy thereto; but the ordinance of God and of S. Peter came against his will, for S. Peter made and sacred him bishop of Alexandria. And anon, as he came into Alexandria, his shoes were broken and torn; when he saw that he said: Verily I see that my journey is sped, ne the devil may not let me sith that God hath assoiled me of my sins. Then went S. Mark to a shoemaker for to amend his shoes, and as he would work he pricked and sore hurted his left hand with his awl, and when he felt him hurt he cried on high: One God! when S. Mark heard that he said to him: Now know I well that God hath made my journey prosperous. Then he took a little clay and spittle and meddled them together and laid it on the wound, and anon he was whole. When the shoemaker saw this miracle he brought him into his house and demanded him what he was, and from whence he came. Then said S. Mark that he was the servant of Jesu Christ, and he said: I would fain see him. Then said S. Mark. I shall show him to thee. Then he began to preach to him the faith of Jesu Christ, and after baptized him and all his meiny. When the men of the town heard say that there was a man come from Galilee, that despised and defended the sacrifices of idols, they began await how they might deliver him to death. When S. Mark espied that, he made his shoemaker, which was named Anian, bishop of Alexandria, and he himself went to Pentapolin whereas he was two years, and after, came again to Alexandria and found then there the town full of christian men, and the bishops of the idols awaited for to take him.

Now it happened on Easter day, when S. Mark sang mass, they assembled all and put a cord about his neck, and after, drew him throughout the city, and said: Let us draw the bubale to the place of bucale. And the blood ran upon the stones, and his flesh was torn piecemeal that it lay upon the pavement all bebled. After this they put him in prison, where an angel came and comforted him, and after came our Lord for to visit and comfort him, saying: Pax tibi Marce evangelista meus. Peace be to thee Mark, mine Evangelist! be not in doubt, for I am with thee and shall deliver thee. And on the morn they put the cord about his neck and drew him like as they had done tofore and cried: Draw the bubale, and when they had drawn he thanked God and said: Into thy hands Lord, I commend my spirit, and he thus saying died. Then the paynims would have burnt his body, but the air began suddenly to change and to hail, lighten and thunder, in such wise that every man enforced him to flee, and left there the holy body alone. Then came the christian men and bare it away, and buried it in the church, with great joy, honour, and reverence. This was in the year of our Lord fifty-seven, in the time that Nero was emperor.

And it happed in the year of grace four hundred and sixty-six in the time of Leo the emperor, that the Venetians translated the body of S. Mark from Alexandria to Venice in this manner. There were two merchants of Venice did so much, what by prayer and by their gifts, to two priests that kept the body of S. Mark, that they suffered it to be borne secretly and privily unto their ship. And as they took it out of the tomb, there was so sweet an odour throughout all the city of Alexandria that all the people marvelled, ne knew not from whence it came. Then the merchants brought it to the ship, and after, hasted the mariners and let the other ships have knowledge thereof. Then there was one man in another ship that japed, and said: Ween ye to carry away the body of S. Mark? Nay, ye lead with you an Egyptian. Then anon, after this word, the ship wherein the holy body was, turned lightly after him, and so rudely boarded the ship of him that had said that word, that he brake one of the sides of the ship, and would never leave it in peace till they had confessed that the body of S. Mark was in the ship, that done, she held her still.

Thus as they sailed fast they took none heed, and the air began to wax dark and thick, that they wist not where they were. Then appeared S. Mark unto a monk, to whom the body of S. Mark was delivered to keep, and bade him anon to strike their sails for they were nigh land, and he did so, and anon they found land in an isle. And by all the rivages whereas they passed, it was said to them that they were well happy that they led so noble a treasure as the body of S. Mark, and prayed them that they would let them worship it. Yet there was a mariner that might not believe that it was the body of S. Mark, but the devil entered into him, and tormented him so long that he could not be delivered till he was brought to the holy body; and as soon as he confessed that it was the body of S. Mark, he was delivered of the wicked spirit, and ever after he had great devotion to S. Mark.

It happed after, that the body of S. Mark was closed in a pillar of marble, and right few people knew thereof because it should be secretly kept. Then it happed that they that knew thereof died, and there was none that knew where this great treasure might be, wherefore the clerks and the lay people were greatly discomforted and wept for sorrow, and doubted much that it had been stolen away. Then made they solemn processions and litanies, and the people began to fast and be in prayers, and all suddenly the stones opened and showed to all the people the place and stead where the holy body rested. Then rendered they thankings to God of this, that he had relieved them of their sorrow and anguish, and ordained that on that day they shall hold feast alway for this devout revelation.

A young man on a time had a cancer in his breast, and worms ate it which were come of rotting, and as he was thus tormented he prayed with good heart to S. Mark, and required him of help and aid, and after, he slept. And that same time appeared to him S. Mark in form of a pilgrim, tucked and made ready for to go hastily over sea; and when he demanded him what he was, he answered that he was S. Mark, which went hastily for to succour a ship which is in peril; then he stretched and laid his hand on him, and anon as he awoke he found himself all whole. Anon after, this ship came unto the port of Venice, and the mariners told the peril where they had been in, and how S. Mark had holpen them, then for that one miracle and for that other the people rendered thankings to our Lord.

The merchants of Venice went on a time by the sea in a ship of Saracens towards Alexandria; and when they saw them in peril, they hewed the cords of the ship, and anon the ship began to break by the force of the sea. And all the Saracens that were therein fell in the sea, and died that one after the other. Then one of the Saracens made his avow to S. Mark and promised him that if he delivered him from this peril he would be baptized. Anon a man all shining appeared to him, which took him out of the water and remitted him again into the ship, and anon the tempest ceased. When he was come into Alexandria he remembered no thing S. Mark, which had delivered him from peril, he went not to visit him, ne he did him not do be baptized. Then appeared to him S. Mark, and said to him that he remembered evil the bounty that he did to him when he delivered him from the peril of the sea, and anon the Saracen came again to his conscience, and he went to Venice, and was there baptized and named Mark, and believed perfectly in God, and ended his life in good works.

There was a man gone up in the steeple of S. Mark at Venice; and as he intended for to do a work, he was troubled in such wise that he fell, and was like to have been all to-broken in his members, nevertheless in his falling he cried: S. Mark! and anon he rested upon a branch that sprang out, whereof he took none heed, and after, one raught and let him down a cord, by which he avaled down and was saved.

There was a gentleman of Provence which had a servant that would fain go on pilgrimage to S. Mark, but he could get no licence of his lord. At last he doubted not to anger his lord, but went thither much devoutly. And when his lord knew it he bare it much grievously, and as soon as he was come again his lord commanded that his eyes should be put out; and the other servants that were ready to do the lord's will made ready sharp brochets of iron, and enforced them with all their power and might not do it. Then commanded the lord to hew off his thighs with axes, but anon the iron was as soft as molten lead. Then commanded he to break his teeth with iron hammers, but the iron thereof was so soft that they could do him no harm. Then when the lord saw the virtue of God so openly by the miracles of S. Mark, he demanded pardon and went to Venice, to S. Mark, with his servant.

There was a knight on a time so hurt in battle that his hand hung on the arm in such wise that his friends and surgeons counselled him to cut it off, but he, that was accustomed to be whole, was ashamed to be maimed, and made it to be bound in his place, and after he called much devoutly to S. Mark, and anon his hand was as whole as it had been tofore, and in the witness of this miracle a sign of the cutting abode still.

Another time there was a knight armed which ran upon a bridge, and his horse and he fell in a deep water, and when he saw he might not escape he cried on S. Mark, and anon he raught him a spear by which he was saved, and for this cause he came anon in pilgrimage to Venice and told this miracle.

There was a man taken, by envy of them that hated him, and was put in prison, and when he had been there forty days, and was much grieved, he cried on S. Mark. And when S. Mark had appeared thrice he supposed that it had been a fantasy. At the last he felt his irons broken, as it had been a rotten thread, and passed by the keepers of the prison openly by day, he seeing them all, but none of them saw him, and after, came to the church of S. Mark and thanked God devoutly.

It happed in Apulia was great famine, and the land was barren that nothing might grow thereon. Then was it showed by revelation to a holy man that it was because that they hallowed not the feast of S. Mark; and when they knew this, anon they hallowed the feast of S. Mark, and anon began to grow great plenty of goods throughout all the country.

It happed at Papia, in the convent of the friars preachers, in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and forty-one, that a friar, a much religious man, was sick unto the death, named Julianus, which sent for his prior for to demand him in what state he was in, and he told him that he was in peril of death, and that it approached fast, and anon his face was all bright and joyful, and with gladness be began to say: fair brethren, my soul shall depart anon, make room and place, for my soul joyeth in my body for the good tidings that I have heard. And lift up his eyes unto heaven and said: Lord God, take away my soul out of this prison; and after he said: Alas! who shall deliver me from this corrupt and mortal body? Among these words he fell in a light sleep, and saw S. Mark come to him and standing by his bedside, and he heard a voice saying to him: O Mark, what makest thou here? He answered that he was come to visit this friar because he should die. Then he demanded him wherefore he came more than another saint; he answered because he had a special devotion to me, and because he hath oft devoutly visited my church, and therefore am I come to visit him in the hour of his death. Then entered into that place great plenty of people all white, to whom S. Mark demanded wherefore they were come. And they said and answered that they were come for to present the soul of this brother tofore God. And when the friar was waked he sent for the prior and told to him advisedly all this vision, and after, anon, in the presence of the prior, he died with great joy. And all this the prior recounted to him that wrote this book named Legenda aurea.

Here followeth of S. Marcelin the Pope.

S. Marcelin was pope of Rome by the space of nine years and four months. In his time reigned Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome. The which commanded that he should be taken and brought into the temple for to do scarifice to the idols; and when he would not assent, the ministers of the emperors menaced him that they would make him die by diverse torments. And when he heard that, he had so great dread that he

put in their sacrifice two grams of incense only, whereof the paynims had great joy, and the christian men had right great sorrow, and reprehended him greatly of that he had such a thing done against the christian faith, and anon he repented him and put himself to the judgment of the bishops. But the bishops answered: God forbid that it never fall that the pope of the christian people, which is sovereign, be judged of any man, but be he judged of himself, and anon he deposed himself. And after, the christian men chose him again to be pope as he was tofore. And when this came to the knowledge of the emperors, then they did do take him and, because that he would in no wise do sacrifice to the idols, they made to smite off his head. And then the persecution and woodness was so great of the paynims against the christian people, that within a month after were put to death for the name of Jesu Christ and for to sustain the christian faith, well a seventeen thousand christian people. Marcelin, in the hour that he should be beheaded, said tofore all the people that he was not worthy to be buried among christian people, and therefore he commanded upon pain of cursing that none should bury his body. And so the body of him abode above the earth thirty-five days without burying.

After, S. Peter the apostle appeared to Marcel, which was pope after Marcelin, and said to him in this manner: Marcel, fair father, why buriest thou not me? And he answered: Sir, be ye not long sith buried? And S. Peter said: I hold me not buried as long as I see Marcelin not buried, and the pope answered: How, sir! know ye not how he accursed all them that should bury him? And S. Peter said: Is it not written that he that meeketh himself shall be enhanced? This shouldest thou have thought; go then and bury him at my feet. And anon the pope did his commandment and buried the body of S. Marcelin hastily, which was martyred the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty. Then pray we to him that he pray for us.

Of S. Vital, Martyr, and first of the interpretation of his name.

Vital is as much to say as such one living, for he lived without forth like as he was in his heart within. Or Vital is as much to say as life. Or Vital is to say flying with wings, or flying himself with wings of virtues. He was as one of the beasts that Ezechiel saw, having in himself four wings; the wing of hope by which he flew into heaven, the wing of love by which he flew to God, the wing of dread by which he flew to hell, and the wing of knowledge by which he flew to himself. And it is supposed that his passion is found in the book of Gervase and Prothase.

Of S. Vital.

S. Vital was a knight and a consul, and of Valeria his wife he gat S. Gervase and S. Prothase. He went to Ravenna with Paulin that was judge of the country, and when he came thither he saw that this Paulin made a physician named Ursian to suffer many torments because he would not reny his faith, and at the last when they would have beheaded him he was so afraid that he would have renied God. Then said S. Vital to him: Ha! Ursian, do not so, thou wert wont to heal other and now wilt deliver thyself to perdurable death. Thou wert come to the victory, now thou art in peril to lose thy crown which was ready for thee. When this physician had heard these words, he was all recomforted, and repented of his evil purpose, and suffered gladly martyrdom. And S. Vital did do bury him much honorably, ne never after would S. Vital not go in the company of the judge Paulin. Then he had so great indignation, of that he had defended Ursian to make sacrifice, and of this that he deigned not to come to him, and because he showed him a christian man he did him to be hanged by the arms on a gibbet. Then said to him Vital, thou art overmuch a fool if thou ween to deceive me which have always delivered the other. Then said Paulin: Bring him for to do sacrifice, and if he do it not, make a deep pit unto the water and put his head thereunder. And so they did, and there buried him quick, in the year of our Lord fiftyseven. And the priest of the idols that had given this counsel was anon taken of the devil, and cried seven days continually and said: S. Vital thou burnest me, and the seventh day the devil threw him in the river and there died shamefully. And the wife of S. Vital, when she came to Milan she found there of her people sacrificing the idols, which prayed her to eat with them of their sacrifices, to whom she answered: I am a christian woman, and it is not lawful for me to eat of your sacrifices. Then they, hearing that, beat her so long and so sore that they left her for dead. And her men that were with her brought her to Milan half living, and there the third day she died holily And the body of S. Vital lieth now at Cologne in the church of our Lady.

Here followeth the Life of S. Peter of Milan, and first the interpretation of his name.

Peter is as much to say as knowing or unhosing, or Peter is said of petros, that is constant and firm, and by that be understood three privileges that were in S. Peter; he was a much noble preacher, and therefore he is said knowing, for he had perfect knowledge of scripture, and knew in his predication what was behoveful to ever each person. Secondly, he was pure and a virgin, and therefore he was said unhosing, for he unhosed and did off his will from his feet, and despoiled all mortal love, insomuch that he was a virgin, and not only of body but also of mind. Thirdly, he was a martyr glorious of our Lord and therein he was constant and firm, to the end that he should suffer steadfastly martyrdom for the defence of the faith.

Of S. Peter of Milan.

S. Peter the new martyr, of the order of the friars preachers, was born in the city of Verona in Lombardy. His father and mother were of the sect of the Arians. Then he descended of these people like as the rose that cometh of the thorn, and as the light that cometh of the smoke. At the age of seven years, when he learned at the school his credo, one, his eme, which was a heretic, demanded of him his lesson, and the child said to him: Credo, till to creatorem cœli et terræ; his uncle said to him that he should no more say so, for God hath not made temporal things, the child affirmed that he ought to say none otherwise, but so as he had learned, and that other began to show him by authority his purpose; but the child, which was full of the Holy Ghost, answered so well and wisely that his uncle departed all confused, and all achauffed, said to the father that he should take away his son from school, for he doubted when he shall be great that he should turn against their law and faith, and that he should confound them. And so it happed, and so he prophesied like as Caiaphas did, but God, against whom none may do, would not suffer it for the great profit that he attended of him. Then after, when he came to more age, he saw that it was no sure thing to dwell with the scorpions. He had in despite father and mother. and left the world whiles he was a clear and a pure virgin. He entered into the order of the friars preachers there, whereas he lived much holily the space of thirty years or thereabout, full of all virtues and especial in defending the faith, for love of which he burnt. He did much abstinence for to bring his flesh low, he fasted, he entended to wake by night in studying and in prayer when he should have slept and rested, and by day he entended to the profit of the souls, in preaching, in confessing, and in counselling, in disputing against the heretics and Arians, and in that he had a special grace of Jesu Christ, for he was right sore founded in humilty. He was marvellously piteous and debonair, full of compassion, of great patience, of great charity, and of steadfastness. So ripe and so well ordained in fair manner that every man might behold as in a mirror, in his continence and in his conversation. He was wise and discreet, and so emprinted in his heart that all his words were firm and stable. Then he prayed many times to our Lord that he would not let him die but by sufferance of martyrdom for him and for his faith. And thus as he prayed God accomplished in the end.

He did many miracles in his life, for in the city of Milan, on a time when he examined a bishop of the Arians that the christian men had taken, and many bishops, religious, and great plenty of other people of the city were there assembled, and was then right hot, this Arian said to S. Peter tofore them all: O thou Peter perverse, if thou art so holy as this people holdeth thee for, wherefore sufferest thou this foolish people to die for heat, and prayest not God that he would shadow them. Then S. Peter answered and said: If thou wilt promise that thou shalt hold the very faith and thou wilt leave thine heresy, I shall pray therefor to our Lord. Then all they that were on the party of the Arians cried that he should promise him, for they supposed that he should not get it specially, because the air was so clear and no cloud was seen, and the christian men doubted that their faith might thereby come to confusion, but the bishop, the heretic, would not bind him thereto. S. Peter had good faith and trust in God, and made his prayer openly that he would convey over them a cloud, and he made the sign of the cross, and anon the cloud came and overspread them like a pavilion that there were assembled, and abode as long as the sermon endured, and it stretched no further but there.

There was a lame man which had been so lame five years and might not go, but was drawn in a wheelbarrow, and brought to S. Peter at Milan, and as S. Peter had blessed him with the sign of the cross, anon he was whole and arose. Yet other miracles God showed for him by his life. It happed that the son of a gentleman had such a horrible disease in his throat that he might neither speak ne draw his breath, but S. Peter made on him the sign of the cross, and laid his cope on the place where the sore was, and anon he was all whole. The same gentleman had afterwards a grievous malady and supposed to have died, and made bring to him the said cope, which with great devotion laid it on his breast, and anon he cast out a worm with two heads which was rough, and after he was brought in good health and anon all whole. It happed that a young man was dumb and might not speak a word, wherefore he came to S. Peter, and he put his finger in his mouth and his speech came to him again. Now it happed that time that an heresy began much in Lombardy, and that there were much people that were fallen in this error, and the pope sent divers inquisitors thither of the order of the friars preachers, and because that at Milan there were many in number of great power and engine, he sent thither S. Peter as a man wise, constant, and religious, which doubted nothing. And by his virtue he reproved them, and by his wit he understood their malice, and when he had enterprised the office of Inquisition, then began he, as a lion, to seek the heretics over all, and left them not in peace, but in all places, times, and all the manners that he might, he overcame and confounded them. When the heretics saw that they might not withstand the Holy Ghost that spake in him, they began to treat how they might bring him to death. Then it happed on a time, as he went from Cumea to Milan for to seek the heretics, he said openly in a predication that the money was delivered for to slay him. And when he approached nigh the city a man of the heretics, which was hired thereto, ran upon him and smote him with his falchion on the head, and gave and made to him many cruel wounds, and he that murmured not ne grudged not, suffered patiently the cruelty of the tyrants, and abandoned or gave himself over to suffer the martyrdom, and said his credo, and in manus tuas, commending his spirit unto the hands of our Lord. And so the tyrant left him in the place for dead, and thus told the tyrant that slew him, and friar Dominic which was his fellow was slain with him. And after, when the tyrant saw that he removed yet his lips, the cursed and cruel tyrant came again and smote him with his knife to the heart, and anon his spirit mounted in to heaven. Then was it well known that he was a very prophet, for the prophecy of his death that he had pronounced was accomplished. After, he had the crown of virginity, for as his confessors witness that in all his life he had never done deadly sin. After, he had the crown of a doctor, because he had been a good fast firm preacher and doctor of holy church. After, he had the crown of martyrdom, as it appeared when he was slain. The renown thereof came into the city of Milan, and the friars, the clergy, and the people, came with procession with so great company of people, that the press was so great that they might not enter into the town, and therefore they left the body in the abbey of S. Simplician, and there it abode all that night and so he said the day tofore to his fellow. The passion of S. Peter ensued much like the passion of our Lord in many manners, for like as our Lord suffered for the truth of the faith that he preached, so S. Peter suffered for the truth of the faith that he defended; and like as Christ suffered of the Jews, so S. Peter suffered of the people of his own country, and of the heretics; Christ suffered in the time of Easter, so did S. Peter. Jesu Christ was sold for thirty pence, and S. Peter was sold for forty pounds. Jesu Christ showed his death to his disciples, and S. Peter showed it in plain predication. Jesu Christ said at his death: Lord God, into thy hands I commend my spirit; right so S. Peter did the same. There was a nun of Almaine, of the abbey of Oetenbach, which had a grievous gout in her knee, which had holden her a year long and more, and there was no master ne physician that might make her whole. She had great devotion to S. Peter, but she might not go thither because of her obedience, and because her malady was so grievous. Then demanded she how many days' journey was from thence to Milan, and she found that there were fourteen journeys. Then purposed she to make these journeys by her heart and good thoughts, and she said for every journey one hundred paternosters. And always as she went forth by her mind in her journeys, she felt herself more eased, and when she came to the last journey in her mind she found herself all guerished. Then she said that day all the Psalter, and after returned all the journeys like as she had gone by her thoughts in her heart, and after that day she felt never the gout.

There was a man that had a villainous malady beneath, in such wise that he voided blood six days continually; he cried to S. Peter devoutly, and as he had ended his prayer he felt himself all whole; and after he fell asleep, and he saw in his sleep a friar preacher which had a face great and brown, and him seemed that he had been fellow to S. Peter, and verily he was of the same form. This friar gave to him a box of ointment and said to him: Have good hope in S. Peter which late hath shed his blood for the faith, for he hath healed thee of the blood that ran from thee, and when he awoke he purposed to visit the sepulchre of S. Peter.

There was a countess of the castle Massino, which had special devotion to S. Peter and fasted alway his vigil; now it happed that she offered a candle to the altar of S. Peter, and anon the priest for his covetise quenched the candle, but anon after the candle was light again by himself, and he quenched it again once or twice, and always as soon as he was gone, it lighted anon again; then he left that and put out another candle which a knight had offered in the honour of S. Peter, which knight fasted also his even, and the priest assayed two times if he might put it out, but he might not. Then said the knight unto the priest: What, devil, seest thou not well the miracle, that S. Peter will not that they be quenched? Then was the priest abashed and all the clerks that were there with him, in so much that they fled out of the church and told the miracle overall.

There was a man called Roba which had lost at play his gown and all the money that he had. When he came into his house and saw himself in so great poverty, he called the devils and gave himself to them; then came to him three devils which cast down Roba upon the soler and after took him by the neck, and it seemed that they would have estrangled him, in such wise that he unnethe might speak. When they that were in the house beneath heard him cry, they went to him, but the devils said to them that they should return, and they had supposed that Roba had said so, and returned, and after anon he began to cry again; then apperceived they well that they were the devils, and fetched the priest, which conjured in the name of S. Peter, the devils, that they should go their way. Then two of them went away and the third abode, and his friends brought him on the morn to the church of the friars. Then there came a friar named Guillaume of Vercelli, and this friar Guiliaume demanded what was his name, and the fiend answered: I am called Balcefas; then the friar commanded that he should go out, and anon the fiend called him by his name as he had known him, and said: Guillaume, Guillaume, I shall not go out for thee, for he is ours and hath given himself to us. Then he conjured him in the name of S. Peter the martyr, and then anon he went his way and the man was all whole, and took penance for his trespass, and was after a good man.

S. Peter whiles he lived, it happed that he disputed with a heretic, but this heretic was sharp, aigre, and so full of words that S. Peter might have of him none audience. When he saw that, he departed from the disputation and went and prayed our Lord that he would give to him place and time to sustain the faith, and that the other might be still and speak not; and when he came again he found this heretic in such case that he might not speak. Then the other heretics fled all confused, and the good christian men thanked our Lord.

The day that S. Peter was martyred, a nun that was of the city of Florence saw in a vision our Lady that styed up to heaven, and with her two persons, one on the right side and that other on the left, in the habit of friars, which were by her, and when she demanded who it was, a voice said to her that it was the soul of S. Peter, and was found certainly that same day he suffered death, and therefore this nun, which was grievously sick, prayed to S. Peter for to recover her health, and he gat it for her entirely.

There was a scholar that went from Maloigne unto Montpellier, and in leaping he was broken that he might not go. Then he remembered of a woman that was healed of a cancer by a little of the earth of the sepulchre of S. Peter, and anon he had trust in God, and cried to S. Peter in such manner as she had done, and anon he was whole.

In the city of Compostella there was a man that had great legs swollen like a barrel, and his womb like a woman with child, and his face foul and horrible, so that he seemed a monster to look on. And it happed that he went with a staff begging his bread, and in a place where he demanded on a time alms of a good woman, she saw him so swollen that she said that it were better for him to have a pit to be buried in than any other thing, for he was no better than dead, yet nevertheless, said she, I counsel thee that thou go into the church of the friars preachers, and pray S. Peter that he make thee whole, and have in him very faith and I hope he shall make thee all whole. This sick man went in the morn to the church, but he found it shut and closed. Then he slept at the door, and he saw in his sleep that a man in the habit of a friar brought him into the church, and covered him with his cope, and when he awoke he found himself in the church and was perfectly whole, whereof much people marvelled because they had seen so short time tofore, him like as he should have died forthwith. There be many more miracles which were over great a labour to write all, for they would occupy a great book. Then let us pray to this holy martyr S. Peter that he pray for us.

Here followeth of S. Philip the Apostle, first of the interpretation of his name.

Philip is as much to say as the mouth of a lamp, or the mouth of hands. Or it is said of philos, that is as much to say as love, and of yper, that is to say sovereign, so Philip is as much to say as love of sovereign things. Then is it said, mouth of a lamp for his clear preaching, and mouth of the hands for his busy work, and love of things sovereign for his celestial love and contemplation.

Of the Life of S. Philip.

S. Philip, when he had preached in Scythia by the space of twenty years, he was taken of the paynims, which would constrain him to make sacrifice to an idol which was called Mars, their God, and anon under the idol issued out a right great dragon, which forthwith slew the bishop's son that appointed the fire for to make the sacrifice, and the two provosts also, whose servants heed S. Philip in iron bonds; and the dragon corrupted the people with his breath that they all were sick, and S. Philip said: Believe ye me and break this idol and set in his place the cross of Jesu Christ and after, worship ye it, and they that be here dead shall revive, and all the sick people shall be made whole. And they that were sick cried to S. Philip, and said: If thou mayst do so much that we may be guerished and whole, we shall gladly do it. And anon S. Philip commanded the dragon that he should go in to desert without grieving or doing any harm to any person, and anon he departed without appearing after; and forthwith S. Philip healed all them that were sick, and raised the three that were dead, and were all baptized, and preached to them the space of a year the faith of Jesu Christ. And when he had ordained priests and deacons, after, he departed and came into the city of Hierapolin in Asia, where he destroyed the heresy of the Hebronites, which said and preached that Jesu Christ had not taken very flesh human, but only the semblance of the body human. In this city were his two daughters, by whom our Lord had converted much people to the christian faith.

S. Philip tofore his death made to come tofore him all the bishops, seven days tofore his death, and also all the priests, and said to them: These seven days hath our Lord given to me respite for to warn you to do well. And he was of the age of eighty-seven years. And after this the paynims took and held him, and fastened him to the cross, like unto his master, and so he yielded up his soul and died. And his body was worshipfully buried there, and his two daughters died long after him and were also buried, that one on the right side, and that other on the left side of the body of their father.

Isidore writeth in the book of the life and death of saints, and saith that Philip preached to the Frenchmen, and to men that were in darkness, he enlightened them in the faith. After, he was taken in the city of Hierapolin of the paynims, and of them stoned and crucified, of whom the martyrology of holy church speaketh not. But of another Philip, which was one of the seven deacons, S. Jerome saith in the martyrology that he was buried in the city of Cæsarea, where God showed many fair miracles for him, beside whom three of his daughters be buried, and the fourth daughter lieth at Ephesus. The first Philip differenceth from this Philip, for he was an apostle and this was a deacon. The apostle resteth at Hierapolin, and the deacon at Cæsarea; he had two daughters, and this four. Though Historia Ecclesiastica saith that Philip the apostle had four daughters prophetesses, but it is herein more to believe S. Jerome. Then let us pray to the holy Life of apostle S. Philip that he pray for us to our Lord S. James that we may come to his bliss. Amen.

Here followeth of S. James the Less.

James is as much to say as supplanter or supplanting a feast, or making ready. Or James is said of ja and of cobar, which is as much to say as the burden or weight of God. Or James may be said of jaculum, a dart and copis smiting, which is to say smitten with a dart, or smitten with glaives. He was said a supplanter of the world, for he despised it in supplanting hastily the devil. And he is said making ready, for always he made ready his body to do well. For as Gregory of Nyssen saith: We have in us three evil passions which come of evil nourishing, or of right false conversation, or of evil custom of the body, or of the vice of ignorance, and they be cured by good conversation, and for to haunt studies of good exercitation of doctrine. So then the blessed James is escried, for he was always ready in his body to all good. He is said the burden or weight of good or godly manners, that he used by exercitation of virtues. He was smitten with glaives by martyrdom.

Of S. James the Less.

James the apostle is said the Less, how well that he was elder of age than was S. James the More, because like as is in religion he that entered first is called aine and great, and he that cometh after shall be called less, though he be the older, and

in this wise was this S. James called the less. He was called also the brother of our Lord, because he resembled much well our Lord in body, in visage, and of manner. He was called James the Just for his right great holiness, for S. Jerome recordeth that he was so holy that the people strove how they might touch the hem of his robe or mantle. He was also called James the son of Alpheus. This James was ever holy after that he issued out of his mother's womb. He never drank wine, mead, ne cider, ne never ate flesh, ne never rasor touched his head, ne he never bathed. He knelt so oft in prayers that his knees were as hard as the horn of a camel. He sang in Jerusalem the first mass that ever was sung therein, and he was first bishop of Jerusalem. Josephus recordeth that he had avowed at the death of our Lord that he would never eat till our Lord were risen from death to life; then on Easter day our Lord appeared to him and said: Lay the table, fair brother, and eat, for the son of the Virgin is risen from death to life. Then took he the bread and made the benediction and gave it to him. The seventh year after, the apostles assembled in Jerusalem on Easter day, there S. James demanding what God had done by them tofore the people, that they should tell. And when S. James had preached seven days in the temple with the other apostles, Caiaphas and some other would have been baptized, and then entered in a man suddenly in to the temple and said crying: O ye sirs, what will ye do? why suffer ye thus to be deceived of these enchanters? Be ye ware and keep you, that they deceive you not. He moved so much the people that they would have stoned the apostles. Then this fellow went up to the lectern whereas S. James preached, and threw him down backward, and from then forthon ever after he halted. And this was done the seventh year after the ascension of our Lord, and he was bishop there by the space of thirty years. And in his thirtieth year, when the Jews saw that they might not slay S. Paul because he had appealed to the emperor to Rome, and was sent forth to Rome, they turned all their persecution against S. James, and said to him: The people is deceived, for they supposed that your Jesus were Messias. Then for as much as thou art much believed, we pray thee that thou assemble the people, and that thou stand up on high, and show to them that it is not he, for thou art so just that we all shall believe in thee. Then S. James went up on the front of the temple on Easter day, and all the people were assembled beneath. Then said the Jews to him, with an high voice: Right just and true man, we know well that thou shalt not lie, show to us of Jesus that was hanged upon the cross that which thou knowest, for all the world is deceived. Then answered he with an high voice: Wherefore demand ye me of the son of the virgin? I say to you that he is now in heaven, and sitteth on the right side of God the Father, and shall come to deem the living and the dead. When the christian men had heard him they were much glad, but the Pharisees and the masters of the law repented them of this that they had made him to say, and bear this witness tofore the people, and took counsel together for to cast him down, for to make the people afeard, because they should not believe him, and they cried: O the just man hath erred at this time. and after they threw him down and the people began to stone him, But he was on his knees, and said: Fair Lord God, pardon them, for they wot not what they do. Then cried out one of the sons of the priest named Jacob: Sirs, leave this just man in peace. But there was a man in that company took a fuller's staff and smote him on the head, that his brain fell all abroad, and thus by martyrdom he finished his life and was there buried, nigh unto the temple. And the people would have slain these malefactors because they had slain him, but they fled. This was done in the time of Nero the year of our Lord fifty-seven. Josephus saith that for this great sin of the death of S. James was Jerusalem afterward destroyed, for tofore that the destruction came, God showed marvellous signs. For there was a star, right clear and shining, which had the form of a sword, that hung over Jerusalem; but this token, ne the tokens hereafter following, came not only for the death of S. James, but for the death of our Lord Jesu Christ principally, for he said: There shall not in thee be left a stone upon a stone. But because our Lord would not the death of sinners, but that he would they should do penance and repent them, he abode forty years, and called them unto penance by his apostles, and most by S. James, brother of our Lord, which continually preached to them. For in this forty years were many signs and prodigies showed to them as Josephus rehearseth, of which the star, like the sword, was one, which was seen over the city a whole year during, and burning with great bright flames. The next year after, in a feast of Easter, there was a clearness and light about the temple in the night, that it was like unto clear day. In that same time there was a cow brought forth to be sacrificed, which anon calved or brought forth a lamb, against kind. After this a little time, about going down of the sun, there was seen in the air carts and wains, and great company of men of arms that environed the city suddenly. In a feast of Whitsuntide, which is called Pentecost, the priests went in to the temple by night for to do their mysteries, and they heard a voice saying: Let us go hence from this place. And four years after, tofore that the destruction came, a man whose name was Jesus, the son of Ananias, began to cry suddenly: The voice of the orient! the voice of the occident! the voice of four winds upon Jerusalem! Woe on the husbands! woe upon the wives ! and woe upon all the people! The said man was taken, smitten, and beaten, tormented, and brought tofore the judge, and he never wept ne cried mercy, but ever persevered, and cried howling the same words, adding thereto: Woe ! woe! to Jerusalem. All this saith Josephus, and yet for all these tokens, warnings, and prodigies the Jews were never afeard. Then, forty years after the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, came Titus and Vespasian against Jerusalem, and destroyed it. The cause, and by whom it was destroyed, is recorded in an history, though it be not authentic. For Pilate, which doubted the fury and anger of the emperor Tiberius, because he had wrongfully judged and condemned Jesu Christ the innocent, sent one of his servants for to excuse him, and the servant's name was Alban. In this time Vespasian was governor of Galatia for the emperor, and the messenger of Pilate which would have gone to Rome, was constrained by a contrary wind to arrive in Galatia, and was brought to Vespasian. For the custom of the country was that who was taken on the sea, and brought so in against his will, should be at the will of the lord, body and goods. And when Vespasian saw him he demanded him what he was and from whence he came; he said that he was of Jerusalem. Then said Vespasian: Ah Lord God! in that country were wont to be good masters and much good surgeons; my friend, said he, canst thou anything of surgery? This said he because he had in his nose a botch full of worms from his youth, and never might man be found that might heal him of it. The messenger of Pilate answered and said that he could nothing thereof. Vespasian said: If thou heal me not I shall slay thee. The messenger said: He that enlumined the blind, and chased devils out of men, and raised dead men to life in our country, knoweth well that I cannot heal thee but he can well heal thee if he will. Then demanded Vespasian what he was. He said to him that it was Jesus of Nazareth, whom they of Jerusalem had slain wrongfully for envy, and if thou wilt believe in him he shall heal thee. Then said Vespasian: I believe well that he that raised dead men may well heal and make me all whole; and saying these words the wasps fell from his nose with the botch within which they were, and forthwith he was made perfectly whole, whereof he had much great joy and said: I am certain that he that hath thus made me whole was the very son of God. I shall demand licence of the emperor Tiberius, and I shall go destroy the cursed traitors that have slain this man; and then he let Alban, the messenger of Pilate, go where he would.

After this Vespasian went to Rome, and gat licence of the emperor for to destroy this people and the city of Jerusalem, and assembled his host in the time of Nero the emperor, and came suddenly, the Jews then being the most part in Jerusalem on Easter day, and besieged the town, for on that day all the Jews of the country were come to the feast, so that they were suddenly enclosed. Now was it so that tofore that Vespasian came, the good men of the city were warned by the holy Ghost that they should go out of the city, and they went to a place called Pella, because that the vengeance should not fall on them, but on the wicked people of the Jews.

There was another city of the Jewry named Jonapatam, in which Josephus was duke, which Vespasian first assailed, but Josephus, with such men as he had, resisted them manly, but at the last, when Josephus saw the destruction of it and might no longer keep it, he took with him twelve Jews and hid him in a cave or an house under the earth, where they were four days without meat and drink in great anguish and affliction. Then the Jews, being there without consent of Josephus, had liefer die than be subject or put themselves in servitude to Vespasian, and would slay themselves, and offer their blood in sacrifice to God. And because Josephus was the most worthy and noble of them, they would slay him first, by whose blood God might best be pleased, or else, as it is said in the chronicle, that each of them should slay other rather than they should come into the hands of the Romans. Then Josephus, a prudent man, and not willing to die, constituted and ordained himself judge of the death and sacrifice, and who that first should be slain; he ordained that between two and two should be drawn lots, and so, the lot given, now one was slain, now another, till at the last all were dead save Josephus and one other. Then Josephus, being a strong man and a light, caught the sword to him and asked his fellow whether he had liefer live or die, and commanded him shortly without delay to tell him; and he sore dreading said: I forsake not to live if I may by thy grace get and keep my life. Then Josephus spake to a servant of Vespasian, and did so much that he gat his life of Vespasian, and then he was brought to Vespasian, and Vespasian said to him: Thou shouldst have died if thou hadst not gotten grace by the prayer and request of this man; and Josephus answered: If any thing be done amiss it may turn to better; and Vespasian said: Who that is bound, what may he do? Josephus answered: Somewhat may I do if thou wilt give me audience. Vespasian said: I will well that thou say, and if thou say any good thou shalt be peaceably heard. And Josephus said: The emperor of Rome is dead, and the senate hath made thee emperor; and Vespasian answered: If thou be a prophet, why hast thou not prophesied to the people of this city that they shall be taken by my hand? And Josephus said: I have well forty days warned them. And in the meanwhile came the messengers from Rome and affirmed that Vespasian was made emperor, and led him to Rome. All this recounteth Eusebius in his chronicle. Josephus said tofore to Vespasian as well of the death of the emperor as of his election to be emperor. And Vespasian left his son Titus at the siege of Jerusalem.

It is read also in the same history, though it be apocrypha, that when Titus heard that his father was enhanced into the empire, he was so glad and had so much joy, that all his sinews were shrunken and were so feeble that he was sore tormented with the palsy. And Josephus hearing thereof diligently enquired the cause of the sickness, the time thereof and the manner. The cause ne the sickness were not known, but the time was when he heard of the election of his father to the empire. Josephus, a wise and a prudent man, considered the time of the coming of the sickness, and conjectured that it came of overmuch joy and abounding gladness, and remembering that contraries be cured by their contraries, for that which cometh of love is cured by hate ofttimes, and began to enquire if there were any man that the prince hated much. And it was that he had a servant whom he held in prison, and hated him so much that in no wise he might look on him ne hear him named. Then he said: Titus, if thou desire to be whole, who that ever come in my fellowship must be here sure and safe. Then Josephus made the dinner to be ready and set himself against him, and the servant that Titus most hated sat on his right side, whom as soon as Titus had beholden he began to chauffe and to be marvellous angry for anguish. Then he which was infrigidate and cold for joy, stretched out his sinews, and was made all whole by the burning heat of anger and was all whole.

All this foresaid of Josephus, I remit it to the reader's judgment whether he will believe it or not, but Titus lay at the siege two years tofore the city, and so long that the famine oppressed so sore, that the fathers from the children, and the children from the fathers, and husbands from the wives, and wives from the husbands, plucked the meat out of others' mouths; and young men that had been right strong fell down dead in the streets and ways. They that should bury the dead fell down ofttimes dead upon them that were dead, and because they were not borne away nor they might not suffer the stench of the dead bodies, they ordained that the commons of the town should cast them over the walls into the ditches because they might not endure the stench to bury them. And when Titus, which went about the city, saw the ditches so full of carrions which corrupted all the country with the stench, he held up his hands to heaven weeping, and said: Lord God, now see I well that this is not by me but by thee which herein takest vengeance; for then they of the town within had so great default that they ate their shoes and ratchets. There was a gentlewoman in the town which had a child to whom she gave suck, and for hunger that she had she strangled and slew this child, and roasted that one half and kept that other for to eat. It happed that the governors of the town which went to search, smelled the savour of this roast, and brake up the door and threatened to slay the woman if she gave to them not of her meat. Then she showed to them that other deal of her child that she had kept, and said: If ye will, I shall gladly give you part. Then had they so great horror thereof that they might not speak. Then said she: This was my son, the sin is mine and cometh on me, eat on hardily for I have eaten part tofore, for ye loved him not so well as I did that was his mother. And if pity move you that ye leave to eat of him, I that have eaten that one half, know ye for certain that I shall well eat that other half. They then, being abhorred of this inhumanity, went their way. After this then, when Vespasian had been emperor two years, Titus took Jerusalem and destroyed all, and the temple also; and like as the Jews had bought our Lord for thirty pence, so gave he thirty Jews for one penny. And like as Josephus recordeth, he sold so four score and seventeen thousand, and eleven hundred thousand were perished by famine and by sword. It is read that when Titus entered Jerusalem he saw a thick wall which he did do perish and break, and when a hole was made therein they saw there a fair old man, hoar and venerable of cheer, whom they demanded long what he was. At the last he answered and said he was Joseph of Arimathea, a city of Judea, and that the Jews had mured him therein because he had buried Christ, and saying more, that from that time until this now I have been fed with heavenly bread and drink, and comforted with divine light. Nevertheless, in the gospel of Nicodemus it is said that when the Jews had shut him up, Christ in his resurrection took him thence and led him in to Arimathea. It may well be after, when he ceased not to preach of Christ, that the Jews so mured him up. After this, when Vespasian was dead, Titus his son was made emperor after him, and was so debonair, so liberal and of so great bounty, that there had none been like him, for as Jerome saith: That day that he had not given a gift, ne had done no good, at even he said to his friends, O my friends, this day have I lost. After this, long time, it happed that some Jews would re-edify Jerusalem. And on the first morning that they went to work they found crosses on the dew, and then they fled; and after they came again and began to re-edify again, and then they found bloody crosses, and then they fled away again; and the third time they came again, and out of the earth issued a fire and burnt and wasted them all.

Of the Invention of the Holy Cross, and first of this word invention.

The invention of the holy cross is said because that this day the holy cross was found. For tofore it was found of Seth in Paradise terrestrial, like as it shall be said hereafter, and also it was found of Solomon in the Mount of Lebanon, and of the Queen of Sheba in the temple of Solomon, and of the Jews in the water of Piscine, and on this day it was found of Helena in the Mount of Calvary.

Of the Holy Cross.

The holy cross was found two hundred years after the resurrection of our Lord. It is read in the gospel of Nicodemus that, when Adam waxed sick, Seth his son went to the gate of Paradise terrestrial for to get the oil of mercy for to anoint withal his father's body. Then appeared to him S. Michael the angel, and said to him: Travail not thou in vain for this oil, for thou mayst not have it till five thousand and five hundred years be past, how be it that from Adam unto the passion of our Lord were but five thousand one hundred and thirtythree years. In another place it is read that the angel brought him a branch, and commanded him to plant it the Mount of Lebanon. Yet find we in another place that he gave to him of the tree that Adam ate of, and said to him that when that bare fruit he should be guerished and all whole. When Seth came again he found his father dead and planted this tree upon his grave, and it endured there unto the time of Solomon. And because he saw that it was fair, he did do hew it down and set it in his house named Saltus. And when the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon, she worshipped this tree, because she said the Saviour of all the world should be hanged thereon, by whom the realm of the Jews shall be defaced and cease. Solomon for this cause made it to be taken up and dolven deep in the ground. Now it happed after, that they of Jerusalem did do make a great pit for a piscine, whereas the ministers of the temple should wash their beasts that they should sacrifice, and there found this tree, and this piscine had such virtue that the angels descended and moved the water, and the first sick man that descended into the water, after the moving, was made whole of whatsoever sickness he was sick of. And when the time approached of the passion of our Lord, this tree arose out of the water, and floated above the water, and of this piece of timber made the Jews the cross of our Lord. Then, after this history, the cross by which we be saved came of the tree by which we were damned, and the water of that piscine had not his virtue only of the angel but of the tree. With this tree, whereof the cross was made, there was a tree that went overthwart, on which the arms of our Lord were nailed, and another piece above, which was the table wherein the title was written, and another piece wherein the socket or mortice was made, wherein the body of the cross stood in, so that there were four manner of trees, that is of palm, of cypress, of cedar, and of olive. So each of these four pieces was of one of these trees. This blessed cross was put in the earth, and hid by the space of a hundred years and more, but the mother of the emperor, which was named Helena, found it in this manner. For Constantine came with a great multitude of barbarians nigh unto the river of the Danube, which would have gone over for to have destroyed all the country. And when Constantine had assembled his host he went and set them against that other party, but as soon as he began to pass the river he was much afeard because he should on the morn have battle. And in the night, as he slept in his bed, an angel awoke him, and showed to him the sign of the cross in heaven, and said to him: Behold on high in heaven. Then saw he the cross made of right clear light, and was written thereupon with letters of gold: In this sign thou shalt overcome the battle. Then was he all comforted of this vision and on the morn he put in his banner the cross and made it to be borne tofore him and his host, and after, smote in the host of his enemies and slew and chased great plenty. After this he did do call the bishops of the idols, and demanded them to what God the sign of the cross appertained. And when they could not answer, some christian men that were there told to him the mystery of the cross, and informed him in the faith of the Trinity. Then anon he believed perfectly in God and did do baptize him, and after it happed that Constantine his son remembered the victory of his father, and sent to Helena his mother for to find the holy cross. Then Helena went in to Jerusalem and did do assemble all the wise men of the country, and when they were assembled they would fain know wherefore they were called. Then one Judas said to them: I wot well that she will know of us where the cross of Jesu Christ was laid, but beware you all that none of you tell her, for I wot well, then shall our law be destroyed. For Zacheus, mine old father, said to Simon my father, and my father said to me at his death: Be well ware that for no torment that ye may suffer, tell not where the cross of Jesu Christ was laid, for after that it shall be found the Jews shall reign no more, but the christian men that worshipped the cross shall then reign; and verily this Jesus was the son of God. Then demanded I my father wherefore had they hanged him on the cross sith it was known that he was the son of God. Then he said to me: Fair son, I never accorded thereto, but gainsaid it always, but the Pharisees did it because he reproved their vices; but he arose on the third day and, his disciples seeing, he ascended into heaven; then because that Stephen, thy brother, believed in him the Jews stoned him to death. Then, when Judas had said these words to his fellows, they answered: We never heard of such things, nevertheless keep thee well, if the queen demand thee thereof, that thou say no thing to her. When the queen had called them and demanded them the place where our Lord Jesu Christ had been crucified, they would never tell ne enseign her. Then commanded she to burn them all, but then they doubted and were afraid, and delivered Judas to her and said: Lady, this man is the son of a prophet and of a just man, and knoweth right well the law, and can tell to you all things that ye shall demand him. Then the queen let all the others go and retained Judas without more. Then she showed to him his life and death, and bade him choose which he would. Show to me, said she, the place named Golgotha where our Lord was crucified, because and to the end that we may find the cross. Then said Judas: It is two hundred years passed and more, and I was not then yet born. Then said to him the lady: By him that was crucified, I shall make thee perish for hunger if thou tell not to me the truth. Then made she him to be cast into a dry pit and there tormented him by hunger and evil rest. When he had been seven days in that pit, then said he: If I might be drawn out, I should say the truth. Then he was drawn out, and when he came to the place, anon the earth moved, and a fume of great sweetness was felt, in such wise that Judas smote his hands together for joy, and said: In truth, Jesu Christ, thou art the Saviour of the world.

It was so that Adrian the emperor had do make, in the same place where the cross lay, a temple of a goddess, because that all they that came in that place should adore that goddess, but the queen did do destroy the temple. Then Judas made him ready and began to dig, and when he came to twenty paces deep he found three crosses and brought them to the queen, and because he knew not which was the cross of our Lord, he laid them in the middle of the city and abode the demonstrance of God; and about the hour of noon there was the corps of a young man brought to be buried. Judas retained the bier, and laid upon it one of the crosses, and after the second, and when he laid on it the third, anon the body that was dead came again to life.

Then cried the devil in the air: Judas, what hast thou done? Thou hast done the contrary that the other Judas did, for by him I have won nany souls, and by thee I shall lose many, by him I reigned on the people, and by thee I have lost my realm, nevertheless I shall yield to thee this bounty, for I shall send one that shall punish thee. And that was accomplished by Julian the apostate, which tormented him afterward, when he was bishop of Jerusalem. And when Judas heard him, he cursed the devil and said to him: Jesu Christ damn thee in fire perdurable. After this Judas was baptized and was named Quiriacus, and after was made bishop of Jerusalem.

When Helena had the cross of Jesu Christ, and saw that she had not the nails, then she sent to the bishop Quiriacus that he should go to the place and seek the nails. Then he did dig in the earth so long that he found them shining as gold; then bare he them to the queen, and anon as she saw them she worshipped them with great reverence. Then gave S. Helena a part of the cross to her son and that other part she left in Jerusalem, closed in gold, silver, and precious stones. And her son bare the nails to the emperor, and the emperor did do set them in his bridle and in his helm when he went to battle. This rehearseth Eusebius, which, was bishop of Cæsarea, how be it that others say otherwise.

Now it happed that Julian the apostate did do slay Quiriacus, that was bishop of Jerusalem, because he had found the cross, for he hated it so much that wheresomever he found the cross he did it to be destroyed. For when he went in battle against them of Persia, he sent and commanded Quiriacus to make sacrifice to the idols, and when he would not do it, he did do smite off his right hand, and said: With this hand hast thou written many letters by which thou repelled much folk from doing sacrifice to our gods. Quiriacus said: Thou wood hound, thou hast done to me great profit, for thou hast cut off the hand with which I have many times written to the synagogues that they should not believe in Jesu Christ, and now sith I am christian thou hast taken from me that which noyed me. Then did Julian do melt lead and cast it in his mouth, and after did do bring a bed of iron and made Quiriacus to be laid and stretched thereon, and after laid under burning coals and threw therein grease and salt for to torment him the more; and when Quiriacus moved not, Julian the emperor said to him: Either thou shalt sacrifice to our gods, or thou shalt say at the least thou art not christian. And when he saw he would do never neither, he did do make a deep pit full of serpents and venomous beasts, and cast him therein. And when he entered, anon the serpents were all dead. Then Julian put him in a caldron of boiling oil, and when he should enter into it he blessed it, and said: Fair Lord, turn this bath to baptism of martyrdom. Then was Julian much angry, and commanded that he should be riven through his heart with a sword, and in this manner finished his life.

The virtue of the cross is declared to us by many miracles; for it happed on a time that one enchanter had deceived a notary and brought him into a place where he had assembled a great company of devils, and promised to him that he would make him to have much riches; and when he came there he saw one person black, sitting on a great chair, and all about him all full of horrible people and black which had spears and swords. Then demanded this great devil of the enchanter who was that clerk. The enchanter said to him: Sir, he is ours. Then said the devil to him: If thou wilt worship me and be my servant and reny Jesu Christ, thou shalt sit on my right side. The clerk

anon blessed him with the sign of the cross, and said that he was the servant of Jesu Christ his Saviour, and anon, as he had made the cross, that great multitude of devils vanished away. It happed that this notary, after this, on a time entered with his lord into the church of S. Sophia and kneeled down on his knees tofore the image of the crucifix, the which crucifix, as it seemed, looked much openly and sharply on him. Then his lord made him to go apart on another side, and always the crucifix turned his eyes towards him; then he made him go on the left side, and yet the crucifix looked on him, then was the lord much amarvelled, and charged him and commanded him that he should tell him whereof he had so deserved that the crucifix so beheld and looked on him. Then said the notary that he could not remember him of no good thing that he had done, save that one time he would not reny ne forsake the crucifix tofore the devil. Then let us so bless us with the sign of the blessed cross that we may thereby be kept from the power of our ghostly and deadly enemy the devil, and by the merits of the glorious passion that our Saviour Jesu Christ suffered on the cross, after this life we may come to his everlasting bliss. Amen.

Here followeth the History of S. John Port Latin.

When S. John the apostle and evangelist preached in a city of Greece named Ephesus, he was taken of the judge, which commanded him that he should make sacrifice to the false idols, and when he would not do it he put him in prison. And after, he sent a letter to Domitian the emperor which said that he held an enchanter in prison which had despised their gods and worshipped him that was crucified. Then commanded Domitian that he should be brought to Rome, and when he was there they did do shave off all the hairs of his head in derision, and after, they brought him tofore the gate called Port Latin, and put him in a ton full of burning oil. But he never felt harm ne pain, and without suffering any harm he issued out. In that place christian men did do make a fair church, and this day made a solemn feast, as it were the day of his martyrdom. And when the emperor saw that he ceased not of preaching for the commandment that he had made, he sent him in exile into an isle named Patmos. It ought not to be believed that the emperor did these persecutions unto christian people because they believed in God, for they refused none, but it was a displeasure to them that they worshipped God without authority of the senators. Another reason there was, and that was that the service of their other gods was lessed and minished thereby. The third reason was that he preached to despise the worship, the honour, and the avoir of the world, and that was the thing principal that the Romans loved. But Jesu Christ would no thing permit it lest they held that it was done by puissance human. Another cause there was, as Master John Beleth saith, why that the emperor and the senate pursued Christ and his apostles, and that was that them seemed that God was over proud and envious, because he desgned not to have a fellow. Another cause allegeth Orosius, and saith that the senate had despite of this, that Pilate had written the miracles of Jesu Christ to the emperor only, and not to the senators, wherefore they would not accord that he should be admitted to be worshipped among the gods. Therefore Tiberius the emperor did do slay some of the senators and some he sent in exile. The mother of S. John hearing that her son was prisoner, moved with motherly compassion, came to Rome; and when she came she found that he was sent in exile, she went then into the champain to a city named Vorulana, and there died and yielded her soul to Christ. Whose body was buried in a cave where it long rested, but after, by S. James her other son, it was showed, which then was taken up and found sweet smelling, and many miracles showed in her translation in the said city. Then let us pray to S. John that he pray for us.

Here beginneth the Life of S. Gordian.

Gordian, that was vicar unto Julian the emperor, constrained a christian man named January for to do sacrifice, but by the grace of God he was converted by the preaching of the same January unto the christian faith, with his wife and fifty-three men. And when this came to the knowledge of the emperor, he commanded that January should be put and sent in exile; and if so were that Gordian would not do sacrifice to the gods he should be beheaded, and so his head was smitten off and the body cast unto the hounds, which lay so by the space of seven days untouched. And at the last his servants took and stole it away, and with it the body of the blessed Epimachus, whom the said Julian had slain a little tofore. They buried it not far from the city of Rome, about a mile, and this was done about the year of our Lord three hundred and sixty.

Here follow the Lives of Nereus and Achilleus, and first the interpretation of their names.

Nereus is as much to say as council of light. Or Nereus is said of nereth, that is a lantern, and us, that is hasting. Or Nereus is said of ne and reus, which is to say no thing guilty. He was then council of light in preaching of virginity, a lantern in honest conversation, hasty in fervour of love to get heaven, and never guilty in his conscience. Achilleus is said of achi, that is to say my brother, and lesa, that is health, as who saith, the health of brethren. The passion of these twain wrote Eutichius, Victorine, and Maro, servants of Christ, diligently.

Of the Saints Nereus and Achilleus.

Nereus and Achilleus were gelded, and chamberlains of one Domicella, niece of Domitian the emperor, whom S. Peter the apostle baptized. And this Domicella had to husband a man that was called Aurelian, and was son of one of the councillors of the emperor. And when she was curiously clad and arrayed in robes of purple and precious stones, these two glorious saints preached to her the faith of Christ and the virtue of virginity; they praised it much in showing that it was nigh neighbour unto God, sister unto angels, cousin unto saints, and of nature born with creature human. And the woman that is married is subject to man. and is beaten with staves and fists in such wise that they be delivered of their children ere their time, deformed and lame, and where in her youth she might unnethe suffer teachings and admonestments of her mother, which was but soft and amiable, she should now by the contrary suffer of her husband great shames, reproofs, and villainies. And she among all other things answered: I know well that my father was jealous over my mother, and much sorrow suffered my mother, and my husband shall be such an one hereafter. Thereto they answered: When they be new wedded they seem much debonair, but after, when they feel themselves married, they reign much cruelly, and sometimes they make their maidens mistresses greater than their wives, and thus all holiness may be lost, but by penance may it be recovered, and virginity may not come again to his perfection, how well that the culpe of sin may well be defaced, and the virginity may not be had again.

Then this damsel, which was named Flavia, believed in God and avowed to him her virginity, and received the veil at the hand of S. Clement. And when her husband heard this he gat licence of the emperor that he might do what he would with his wife, and also of them that had converted her. And he sent them all three into an isle called Pontiana, and by this he supposed to do that the foresaid saints, that is to say S. Nereus and S. Achilleus, should turn the purpose of his wife, touching the avow of the virginity that she had made. And after that, a little time, he went to the virgin and also to the saints, to the end that they should change their purpose, and they in no wise would not, but yet more strongly than tofore were they confirmed and comforted, and said plainly they would in no wise do, ne make sacrifice to the idols, for they had been baptized of S. Peter the apostle, which so had confirmed them in the law and faith, that they might make no sacrifice but only to God; and therefore their heads were smitten off, and so suffered martyrdom about the year of our Lord four score. Of whom the bodies were buried by the sepulchre of S. Pernelle. And the other saints, that is to say, S. Victorine, Eutichius, and Maro, which were about them as servants, were put to labour all day in the gardens, and at even was given to them brown bread, black and rough, which was made of great meal and bran. Finally he made Eutichius to die by force of famine and to give up his spirit. He did do cast S. Victorine into foul and stinking water, and there was drowned, and he made S. Maro to be laid under a stone the which seventy of his servants might unnethe move, and the glorious saint cast the stone upon his shoulders as lightly as it had been a little straw, and bare it two miles farther from thence, for which cause many were converted and believed in God, for which cause the master's councillors did him to be slain. And after this Aurelian did do bring the damsel from the place of exile, and sent to her two virgins named Euphrosyne and Theodora, which had been nourished with her, to the end that they should turn and change her vow, but she converted these two virgins to the faith by her exhortation. Then Aurelian took the husbands of the two maidens and three enchanters with him, and came to Domicella for to wed and accomplish the marriage by force against her will; but Domicella, as God would, converted the young men to the faith of Jesu Christ. But when Aurelian saw that she had converted the two young men and the two virgins aforesaid, he led her into his chamber and made of enchanters to sing, and commanded the others to dance with him as he that would defoul Domicella, but the jugglers left singing, and the others dancing, and he himself ceased not to dance two days continually, unto the time that he expired and died tofore them all. Then Luxurius, which was his brother, gat leave to slay all them that believed in Jesu Christ. And he did so much that in the place where they dwelled he did do set a fire, and they, being in their prayers, rendered their souls unto God, whose bodies S. Cæsarius, upon the morn finding no thing hurt, buried. Then let us pray to them that we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Here followeth of S. Pancrace, and first the interpretation of his name.

Pancrace is said of pan, that is as much to say as all, and gratus and citius, which is as much to say as courteous in his young age. Or otherwise, as it is said in the book called glossarium, pancras is said rapine, or pancras is, subject to beatings and torments. Pancrace is also said of divers colours; and so it appeared by him: he used rapine in ravishing by his exhortation the prey of caitiffs misbelieving, in bringing them to the faith. He was also subject to beatings and torments in suffering them, also in divers colours and full of all virtues.

Of S. Pancrace.

Pancrace was of right noble lineage and was born of the country of Phrygia. When his father and mother were dead he was put to be governed in the hand of Denis his uncle, which was brother of his father, and they both came to Rome, where they had of their patrimony great rents. In their street the pope Cornelius held him privily, of which pope, Pancrace and Denis had received the christian faith. Finally Denis died in the country, and Pancrace was taken and presented to Cæsar. And then was Pancrace about fourteen years of age. To whom the emperor Diocletian said: My little child, I warn and counsel thee that thou advise thee well, to the end that thou die not an evil death, for as a child thou art lightly deceived; and because thou art noble of blood and of lineage, and son of one my right dear friend, I pray thee that thou leave this madness that thou hast emprised, and that I may have thee with me as my son. To whom Pancrace answered: If I be a child of body yet mine heart is old, and by the virtue of my lord Jesu Christ your threatening and menaces make me no more to move than doth the painting that I see upon the wall; and these gods that thou wouldest that I should worship be but deceivers of creatures and have been as germains in fornications made against God their creator, and have not spared kin ne other. And if thou hadst knowledge that thy servants were such, thou shouldst command that they should be slain, and I much marvel that ye adore such gods. When the emperor heard this child thus speak he doubted to be overcome of him, and commanded that his head should be smitten off, and so he was martyred about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-five, whose body a worshipful lady named Cocovilla, which was of the senate, with great diligence buried honorably. And of him said Gregory of Tours, doctor: That if there be a man that will make a false oath in the place of his sepulchre, tofore or he come to the chancel of the quire he shall be travailed with an evil spirit and out of his mind, or he shall fall on the pavement all dead.

It happed on a time that there was a great altercation between two men, and the judge wist not who had wrong. And for the jealousy of justice that he had, he brought them both unto the altar of S. Peter for to swear, praying the apostle that he would declare who had right. And when he that had wrong had sworn and had none harm, the judge, that knew the malice of him, said all on high: This old Peter here is either over merciful or he is propitious to this young man, but let us go to Pancrace and demand we of him the truth; and when they came to the sepulchre, he that was culpable sware, and stretched forth his hand, but he might not withdraw his hand again to him, and anon after he died there, and therefore unto this day of much people it is used that for great and notable causes men make their oaths upon the relics of S. Pancrace.

Here followeth of S. Urban, and first of the interpretation of his name.

Urbanus is said of urbanity, that is courtesy, or it is said of ur, that is to say fire or light and banal, that is to say response or answer. He was light by honest conversation, fire by charity, and answer by doctrine. Or he was light, for the light is good to behold, and it is immaterial in essence, in setting celestial, and profitable in working. And thus this saint was amiable in conversation, celestial in love of God, and profitable in predication.

Of S. Urban.

S. Urban was pope after S. Calixtus, and the christian people were in his time in over great persecution, but the mother of the emperor, whom Origen had converted, prayed so much her son that he left the christian people in peace. Nevertheless there was one, Almachius, provost of Rome, and was their principal governour of the city, and he had cruelly smitten off the head of S. Cecilia. This man was marvellously cruel against christian men, and did diligently enquire where S. Urban was, and by one of his servants, named Carpasius, he was found in a dark place and a secret with three priests and three deacons. He commanded to put him in prison, and after, he did him to be brought tofore him and accused him that he had deceived five thousand people with S. Cecilia, and the noble men Tiburtius and Valerian, and made all them do sacrilege, and above this he demanded him the treasure of S. Cecilia and of the church. To whom Urban said: I see now that covetise moveth thee more to persecute the christian men than doth the sacrifice of thy gods; the treasure of S. Cecilia is ascended into heaven by the hands of poor people. Then did he do beat S. Urban with plummets and also his fellows with him, and he praised the name of god Elyon, and the tyrant smiling said: This old fellow would be reputed wise, for he speaketh and saith words that he understandeth not. And when he saw that he might not overcome him, he commanded him and sent him to prison again, whereas S. Urban converted three captains of the town with the keeper of the prison, which was named Anolinus, and baptized them. When the tyrant heard that Anolinus was become christian, he did do bring him tofore him, and because he would do no sacrifice to his gods he did do smite off his head. And when S. Urban and his fellows were brought tofore the idols, to the end that they should sacrifice and cense tofore the gods, S. Urban began to make his orison to God; and anon the idol fell down and slew twenty-two priests of the law that held fire for to make sacrifice. Then were they beaten cruelly, and after brought for to make sacrifice, and then they spit in the idol and after made the sign of the cross in their foreheads, and kissed each other, and received capital sentence, that is to say they were beheaded, and so suffered death under Alexander the emperor, which began to reign the year of our Lord two hundred and twenty. And anon after Carpasius was taken of the fiend in blaspheming his gods and in magnifying the christian men against his will, he was strangled of the fiend, which thing his wife seeing, called Armenia, with her daughter Lucina and all her household received baptism of S. Fortunatus, priest. And after that the bodies of the saints were right honorably buried.

Here followeth the Life of S. Pernelle, and first the interpretation of her name.

Petronilla is said of petens, that is demanding, and of tronus, that is a throne or a seat, as who saith she was demanding the throne or seat of virgins.

Of S. Pernelle.

S. Pernelle, whose life S. Marcel writeth, was daughter of S. Peter the apostle, which was right fair and beauteous, and by the will of her father she was vexed with the fevers and axes. It happed on a time that the disciples dined with S. Peter, and one, Titus, said to him: Peter, how is it that all sick people be healed of thee and thou sufferest Pernelle, thy daughter, to lie sick? To whom S. Peter said: For it is expedient to her to be sick; nevertheless because it shall not be imputed impossibility of her health for to be excused by my words, he said to her: Arise, Pernelle, hastily, and serve us; which anon arose all whole and ministered and served them. And when the service was all done and complished, Peter said to her: Pernelle, go again to thy bed; who anon went again to her bed, and the fevers vexed her as they did tofore, and whereas she began to be perfect in the love of God so he healed her perfectly. Then was there an earl called Flaccus which came to her, and for her beauty would have her unto his wife. To whom she answered: If thou desirest me to have unto thy wife, command thou certain virgins to come to me for to accompany me unto thine house. And whiles he was busy to make ready the said maidens, S. Pernelle set herself in fastings and prayers, and received the holy body of our Lord and reclined in to her bed, and after the third day she died, and she passed out of this world rendering her soul unto our Lord. Then Flaccus, seeing himself disappointed and mocked, turned himself unto Felicula, fellow of S. Pernelle, and said that she should wed him or offer unto the idols, which both two she refused.

Then the prefect set her in prison and there kept her seven days and seven nights without an meat and drink, and after he did do hang her body on a gibbet, and there slew her and threw her body into a foul privy, which holy Nicodemus took up and buried. Wherefore Nicodemus was called of Flaccus, and because he would not sacrifice to the idols he was beaten with plummets and his body cast into the Tiber, but it was taken up of Justin his clerk and honorably buried.

Here followeth the Life of S. Dunstan.

S. Dunstan was born in England, and our Lord showed miracles for him ere he was born. It was so that on a Candlemas day, as all the people were in the church with tapers in their hands, suddenly all the lights in the church were quenched at once, save only the taper which S. Dunstan's mother bare, for that burned still fair. Whereof all the people marvelled greatly; howbeit her taper was out, but by the power of our Lord it lighted again by itself, and burned full bright, so that all the others came and lighted their tapers at the taper of S. Dunstan's mother. Wherefore all the people gave laud and thankings unto our Lord God for this great miracle. And then there was a holy man that said that the child that she then bare should give light to all England by his holy living.

This holy child Dunstan was born in the year of our Lord nine hundred and twenty-five, that time reigning in this land king Athelstan. And S. Dunstan's father hight Herston, and his mother hight Quendred, and they set their son Dunstan to school in the abbey of Glastonbury, whereafter he was abbot for his holy living. And within a short time after he went to his uncle Ethelwold, that then was bishop of Canterbury, to whom he was welcome and was glad of his conversation of holy living. And then he brought him to King Athelstan, the which made full much of him also for his good living, and then he was made abbot of Glastonbury by consent of the king and his brother Edmond, and in that place ruled full well and religiously the monks his brethren, and drew them to holy living by good ensample giving. S. Dunstan and S. Ethelwold were both made priests in one day, and he was holy in contemplation. And whenso was that S. Dunstan was weary of prayer, then used he to work in goldsmith's work with his own hands for to eschew idleness, and he gave alway alms to poor people for the love of God.

And on a time as he sat at his work his heart was on Jesu Christ, his mouth occupied with holy prayers, and his hands busy on his work. But the devil, which ever had great envy at him, came to him in an eventide in the likeness of a woman, as he was busy to make a chalice, and with smiling said that she had great things to tell him, and then he bade her say what she would, and then she began to tell him many nice trifles, and no manner virtue therein, and then he supposed that she was a wicked spirit, and anon caught her by the nose with a pair of tongs of iron, burning hot, and then the devil began to roar and cry, and fast drew away, but S. Dunstan held fast till it was far within the night, and then let her go, and the fiend departed with a horrible noise and cry, and said, that all the people might hear: Alas! what shame hath this carle done to me, how may I best quit him again? But never after the devil had lust to tempt him in that craft. And in short time after died king Athelstan, and Edmond his brother reigned king after him, to whom S. Dunstan was chief of counsel, for he gave to him right good counsel to his life's end; and then died Edmond the king, and after him reigned his son Edwin, and soon after S. Dunstan and he fell at strife for his sinful living. For S. Dunstan rebuked the king sharply therefor, but there was none amendment, but always worse and worse. Wherefore S. Dunstan was right sorry, and did all that pain he might to bring the king to amendment, but it would not be. But the king, within a while after, exiled S. Dunstan out of this land, and then he sailed over the sea and came to the abbey of S. Amand in France, and there he dwelled long time in full holy life till king Edwin was dead. And after him reigned Edgar king, a full holy man. And then he heard of the holiness of S. Dunstan, and sent for him to be of his council, and received him with great reverence, and made him again abbot of Glastonbury. And soon after the bishop of Worcester died, and then S. Dunstan was made bishop there by the will of king Edgar. And within a little while after the see of London was void, to which king Edgar promoted S. Dunstan also, and so he held both bishoprics in his hand, that is to wit both the bishopric of Worcester and the bishopric of London. And after this died the archbishop of Canterbury, and then king Edgar made S. Dunstan archbishop of Canterbury, which he guided well and holily to the pleasure of God, so that in that time of king Edgar, and Dunstan archbishop, was joy and mirth through the realm of England, and every man praised greatly S. Dunstan for his holy life, good rule, and guiding. And in divers places, whereas he visited and saw curates that were not good, ne propice for the weal of the souls that they had cure of, he would discharge them and put them out of their benefices, and set in such as would entend and were good men, as ye shall find more plainly of this matter in the life of S. Oswald.

And on a time as he sat at a prince's table, he looked up and saw his father and mother above in heaven, and then he thanked our Lord God of his great mercy and goodness that it pleased him to show him that sight. And another time as he lay in his bed he saw the brightness of heaven, and heard angels singing Kyrie eleison after the note of Kyrie rex splendens, which was to him a full great comfort. And another time he was in his meditations, he had hanging on the wall in his chamber an harp, on which otherwhile he would harp anthems of our Lady, and of other saints, and holy hymns, and it was so that the harp sounded full melodiously without touching of any hand that he could see, this anthem was, Gaudent in celis animæ sanctorum, wherein this holy saint Dunstan had great joy. He had a special grace of our Lord that such heavenly joys and things were showed to him in this wretched world for his great comfort. And after this he became all sick and feeble, and upon holy Thursday he sent for all his brethren and asked of them forgiveness, and also forgave them all trespasses and assoiled them of all their sins, and the third day after he passed out of this world to God, full of virtues, the year of our Lord nine hundred and eighty-eight. And hls soul was borne up to heaven with merry song of angels, all the people hearing that were at his death. And his body lieth at Canterbury in a worshipful shrine, whereas our Lord showeth for his servant S. Dunstan many fair and great miracles, wherefore our Lord be praised, world without end. Amen.

Here followeth the life of S. Aldhelm.

S. Aldhelm the confessor was born in England. His father highs Kenton; he was brother unto Ina, king of this land, and when king Ina was dead, Kenton was made king after him, and then this holy child Aldhelm was set to school in the house of Malmesbury, where afterward he was made abbot. And then he did there great cost in building and did do make there a full royal abbey. And when the pope heard of his great holiness, he sent for him to come to Rome, and when he was there the pope welcomed him and was much glad of his good living, and there he abode long time with the pope, and gat full great privileges and liberties to the house of Malmesbury, in such wise that no bishop in England should visit ne have to do there, ne the king to let them of their free election, but chose their abbot among the convent themselves. And when he had gotten all this of the pope he was full glad and joyful, and lived there holily a long time. And on a day he said mass in the church of S. John Lateran, and when mass was done, there was no man that would take his chasuble from him at the end of the mass, and then he saw the sunbeam shine through the glass window, and hung his chasuble thereon, whereof all the people marvelled greatly of that miracle, and the same chasuble is yet at Malmesbury, the colour thereof is purple. And within short time after, he came again into England, and brought with him many privileges under the pope's seal, which after, king Ina confirmed all that the pope had granted to the house of Malmesbury. This was about the year of our Lord seven hundred and six. And that time there fell a great variance among the bishops of this land for the holding of Easter day, but S. Aldhelm made a book that all men should know for ever when Easter day should fall, the which book is yet at Malmesbury. And that abbey he did do make in the worship of our blessed Lady. And Brightwold that was archbishop of Canterbury heard of Aldhelm's holy living, and he sent for him to be his chancellor, and they lived together full holily long time, and each was full glad and joyful of the other.

And on a day as they stood at the seaside by Dover Castle, they saw a ship laden with merchandise not far from them, and S. Aldhelm called to them to wit if they had any ornaments longing to holy church within their ship to sell. But the merchants had disdain of him, and thought he was not of power to buy such things as they had to sell, and departed from the holy man. But anon fell on them so great a tempest that they were in peril for to perish, and then one of them said: We suffer this trouble because we had disdain of the words of yonder holy man, and therefore let us all meekly desire him to pray for us to our Lord Jesu Christ. They did so, and anon the tempest ceased, and then they came to this holy man and brought to him a full fair Bible, the which is yet at Malmesbury unto this day. And four years before his death he was made bishop of Dorset by the archbishop of Canterbury and by other bishops, but within short time after he died, and lieth buried at Malmesbury thereas he was abbot. And after that S. Egewin came to offer at his tomb, fettered with chains of iron fast locked, and from thence he went so to Rome to the pope, alway wearing those fetters which was to him great pain, God reward him his meed. And S. Aldhelm, ere he died, cursed all them that did any wrong in breaking of the privileges of the said abbey of Malmesbury, and them that help the house to maintain God's service shall have God's blessing and his. And when he had lain long in the earth he was translated, and laid in a full rich shrine, whereas our Lord showeth daily for his holy servant many fair miracles. Then let us pray S. Aldhelm to pray for us unto our Lord God, that we may in this wretched vale of this world so bewail our sins and amend our living that we may come to everlasting life in heaven. Amen.

Of S. Austin that brought Christendom to England.

S. Austin was a holy monk and sent in to England, to preach the faith of our Lord Jesu Christ, by S. Gregory, then being pope of Rome. The which had a great zeal and love unto England, as is rehearsed all along in his legend, how that he saw children of England in the market of Rome for to be sold, which were fair of visage, for which cause he demanded licence and obtained to go into England for to convert the people thereof to christian faith. And he being on the way the pope died and he was chosen pope, and was countermanded and came again to Rome. And after, when he was sacred into the papacy, he remembered the realm of England, and sent S. Austin, as head and chief, and other holy monks and priests with him, to the number of forty persons, unto the realm of England. And as they came toward England they came in the province of Anjou, purposing to have rested all night at a place called Pounte, say a mile from the city and river of Ligerim, but the women scorned and were so noyous to them that they drove them out of the town, and they came unto a fair broad elm, and purposed to have rested there that night, but one of the women which was more cruel than the other purposed to drive them thence, and came so nigh them that they might not rest there that night. And then S. Austin took his staff for to remove from that place, and suddenly his staff sprang out of his hand with a great violence, the space of three furlongs thence, and there sticked fast in the earth. And when S. Austin came to his staff and pulled it out of the earth, incontinent by the might of our Lord, sourded and sprang there a fair well or fountain of clear water which refreshed him well and all his fellowship. And about that well they rested all that night, and they that dwelled thereby saw all that night over that place a great light coming from heaven which covered all that place where these holy men lay. And on the morn S. Austin wrote in the earth with his staff beside the well these words following: Here had Austin, the servant of the servants of God, hospitality, whom S. Gregory the pope hath sent to convert England.

On the morn when the holy men were departed, the dwellers of the coasts thereby which saw the light in the night tofore, came thither and found there a fair well, of the which they marvelled greatly. And when they saw the scripture written in the earth then they were greatly abashed because of their unkindness, and repented them full sore of that they had mocked them the day before. And after, they edified there a fair church in the same place in the worship of S. Austin, the which the bishop of Anjou hallowed. And to the hallowing thereof came so great multitude of people that they trod the corn in the fields down all plain, like unto a floor clean swept, for there was no sparing of it. Notwithstanding, at the time of reaping, that ground so trodden bare more corn and better than any other fields beside, not trodden, did. And the high altar of that church standeth over the place where S. Austin wrote with his staff by the well, and yet unto this day may no woman come in to that church. But there was a noble woman that said that she was not guilty in offending S. Austin, and took a taper in her hand and went for to offer it in the said church; but the sentence of almighty God may not be revoked, for as soon as she entered the church her bowels and sinews began to shrink and she fell down dead in ensample of all other women; whereby we may understand that injury done against a saint displeaseth greatly almighty God.

And from thence S. Austin and his fellowship came into England and arrived in the isle of Thanet in East Kent, and king Ethelbert reigned that time in Kent, which was a noble man and a mighty. To whom S. Austin sent, showing the intent of his coming from the court of Rome, and said that he had brought to him right joyful and pleasant tidings, and said that if he would obey and do after his preaching that he should have everlasting joy in the bliss of heaven, and should reign with almighty God in his kingdom. And then king Ethelbert hearing this, commanded that they should abide and tarry in the same isle, and that all things should be ministered to them that were necessary, unto the time that he were otherwise advised. And soon after, the king came to them in the same isle, and he being in the field, S. Austin with his fellowship came and spake with him, having tofore them the sign of the cross, singing by the way the litany, beseeching God devoutly to strengthen them and help. And the king received him and his fellowship, and in the same place S. Austin preached a glorious sermon, and declared to the king the christian faith openly and the great merit and avail that should come thereof in time coming. And when he had ended his sermon the king said to him: Your promises be full fair that ye bring, but because they be new and have not been heard here before, we may not yet give consent thereto; nevertheless, because ye be come as pilgrims from far countries, we will not be grievous ne hard to you, but we will receive you meekly and minister to you such things as be necessary, neither we will forbid you, but as many as ye can convert to your faith and religion by your preaching ye shall have licence to baptize them, and to accompany them to your law. And then the king gave to them a mansion in the city of Dorobernence, which now is called Canterbury. And when they drew nigh the city they came in with a cross of silver, and with procession singing the litany, praying almighty God of succour and help that he would take away his wrath from the city and to inflame the hearts of the people to receive his doctrine. And then S. Austin and his fellowship began to preach there the word of God, and about there in the province, and such people as were well disposed anon were converted, and followed this holy man. And by the holy conversation and miracles that they did much people were converted and great fame arose in the country. And when it came to the king's ear, anon he came to the presence of S. Austin and desired him to preach again, and then the word of God so inflamed him, that incontinent, as soon as the sermon was ended, the king fell down to the feet of S. Austin and said sorrowfully: Alas! woe is me, that I have erred so long and know not of him that thou speakest of, thy promises be so delectable that I think it all too long till I be christened, wherefore, holy father, I require thee to minister to me the sacrament of baptism. And then S. Austin, seeing the great meekness and obedience of the king that he had to be christened, he took him up with weeping tears and baptized him with all his household and meiny, and enformed them diligently in the christian faith with great joy and gladness. And when all this was done S. Austin, desiring the health of the people of England, went forth on foot to York; and when he came nigh to the city there met him a blind man which said to him: O thou holy Austin, help me that am full needy. To whom S. Austin said: I have no silver, but such as I have I give thee; in the name of Jesu Christ arise and be all whole, and with that word he received his sight and believed in our Lord and was baptized. And upon Christmas day he baptized, in the river named Swale, ten thousand men without women and children, and there was a great multitude of people resorting to the said river, which was so deep that no man might pass over on foot, and yet by miracle of our Lord there was neither man, woman, ne child drowned, but they that were sick were made whole both in body and in soul. And in the same place they builded a church in the worship of God and S. Austin. And when S. Austin had preached the faith to the people and had confirmed them steadfastly therein, he returned again from York, and by the way he met a leper asking help, and when S. Austin had said these words to him: In the name of Jesu Christ be thou cleansed from all thy leprosy, anon all his filth fell away, and a fair new skin appeared on his body so that he seemed all a new man.

Also as S. Austin came in to Oxfordshire to a town that is called Compton to preach the word of God, to whom the curate said: Holy father, the lord of this lordship hath been ofttimes warned of me to pay his tithes to God, and yet he withholdeth them, and therefore I have cursed him, and I find him the more obstinate. To whom S. Austin said: Son, why payest thou not thy tithes to God and to the church? Knowest thou not that the tithes be not thine but belong to God? And then the knight said to him: I know well that I till the ground, wherefore I ought as well to have the tenth sheaf as the ninth, and when S. Austin could not turn the knight's entent, then he departed from him and went to mass. And ere he began he charged that all they that were accursed should go out of the church, and then rose a dead body and went out in to the churchyard with a white cloth on his head, and stood still there till the mass was done. And then S. Austin went to him and demanded him what be was, and he answered and said: I was sometime lord of this town, and because I would not pay my tithes to my curate he accursed me, and so I died and went to hell. And then S. Austin bade bring him to the place where his curate was buried, and then the carrion brought him thither to the grave, and because that all men should know that life and death be in the power of God, S. Austin said: I command thee in the name of God to arise, for we have need of thee, and then he arose anon, and stood before all the people. To whom S. Austin said: Thou knowest well that our Lord is merciful, and I demand thee, brother, if thou knowest this man? and he said: Yea, would God that I had never known him, for he was a withholder of his tithes, and in all his life an evil doer, thou knowest that our Lord is merciful, and as long as the pains of hell endure let us also be merciful to all christians. And then S. Austin delivered to the curate a rod, and there the knight kneeling on his knees was assoiled, and then he commanded him to go again to his grave, and there to abide till the day of doom; and he entered anon into his grave and forthwith fell to ashes and powder. And then S. Austin said to the priest: How long hast thou lain here? and he said a hundred and fifty years; and then he asked how it stood with him, and he said: Well, holy father, for I am in everlasting bliss; and then said S. Austin: Wilt thou that I pray to almighty God that thou abide here with us to confirm the hearts of men in very belief? And then he said: Nay, holy father, for I am in a place of rest; and then said S. Austin: Go in peace, and pray for me and for all holy church, and he then entered again into his grave, and anon the body was turned to earth. Of this sight the lord was sore afeard, and came all quaking to S. Austin and to his curate, and demanded forgiveness of his trespass, and promised to make amends and ever after to pay his tithes and to follow the doctrine of S. Austin.

After this S. Austin entered into Dorsetshire, and came in to a town whereas were wicked people who refused his doctrine and preaching utterly and drove him out of the town, casting on him the tails of thornbacks, or like fishes, wherefore he besought almighty God to show his judgement on them, and God sent to them a shameful token, for the children that were born after in that place had tails, as it is said, till they had repented them. It is said commonly that this fell at Strood in Kent, but blessed be God at this day is no such deformity. Item in another place there were certain people which would in no wise give faith to his preaching ne his doctrine, but scorned and mocked him, wherefore God took such vengeance that they burned with fire invisible, so that their skin was red as blood, and suffered so great pain that they were constrained to come and ask forgiveness of S. Austin, and then he prayed God for them that they might be acceptable to him and receive baptism and that he would release their pain, and then he christened them and that burning heat was quenched and they were made perfectly whole, and felt never after more thereof. On a time, as S. Austin was in his prayers, our Lord appeared to him, and comforting him with a gentle and familiar speech, said: O thou my good servant and true, be thou comforted and do manly, for I thy Lord God am with thee in all thine affection, and mine ears be open to thy prayers, and for whom thou demandest any petition thou shalt have thy desire, and the gate of everlasting life is open to thee, where thou shalt joy with me without end. And in that same place where our Lord said these words he fixed his staff into the ground, and a well of clear water sourded and sprang up in that same place, the which well is called Cerne, and it is in the country of Dorset, whereas now is builded a fair abbey, and is named Cerne after the well. And the church is builded in the same place whereas our Lord appeared to S. Austin. Also in the same country was a young man that was lame, dumb, and deaf, and by the prayers of S. Austin he was made whole, and then soon after he was dissolute and wanton, and noyed and grieved the people with jangling and talking in the church. And then God sent to him his old infirmity again, because of his misguiding, and at the last he fell to repentance, and asked God forgiveness and S. Austin. And S. Austin prayed for him and he was made whole again the second time, and after that he continued in good and virtuous living to his life's end.

And after this S. Austin, full of virtues, departed out of this world unto our Lord God, and lieth buried at Canterbury in the abbey that he founded there in the worship and rule, whereas our Lord God showeth yet daily many miracles. And the third day before the nativity of our Lady is hallowed the translation of S. Austin. In which night a citizen of Canterbury, being that time at Winchester, saw heaven open over the church of S. Austin, and a burning ladder shining full bright, and angels coming down to the same church. And then him thought that the church had burned of the great light and brightness that came down on the ladder, and marvelled greatly what this should mean, for he knew nothing of the translation of S. Austin; and when he knew the truth, that on that time the body of the glorious saint was translated, he gave laud and thankings to almighty God, and we may verily know by that evident vision that it is an holy and devout place; and as it is said that of old time, ancient holy men that used to come thither would at the entry of it do off their hosen and shoes and durst not presume to go into that holy monastery but barefoot, because so many holy saints be there shrined and buried. And God hath showed so many miracles in that holy place for his blessed saint, S. Austin, that if I should write them here it should occupy a great book. Then let us pray unto S. Austin, father and apostle of England, by whom this land was converted unto the christian faith, and by his ordinance bishops were ordained to minister the sacraments, that he be moyen unto our Lord Jesu Christ, that we may here so live according to his doctrine that after this life we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Here next followeth the life of S. Germain and first the interpretation of his name.

Germain is said of germ and of ana that is high, that is that there were found in the seed of Germain three sovereign things, that is heat natural, humour, and nourishing, and reason of semence or seed. Germain is said seed burgeoning, for he had in him heat by ardour of great dilection, humour by eagerness of devotion, and seed by virtue of his predication by which he engendered much people to the faith. And Constantinus the priest wrote his life to S. Censurius, bishop of Auxerre.

Of S. Germain.

S. Germain was of much noble lineage born in the city of Auxerre and was well learned in the arts liberal. And after, he went to Rome for to learn the sciences of droit and of the law, and there received he so much dignity that the senate sent him to the Frenchmen for to have the rule and dignity of Burgundy. And thus as he governed the city of Auxerre more diligently than the other, there was in the middle of the city a tree called a pineapple tree, on which were hanged on the branches of this tree, for the marvel of chase and hunting, the heads of wild beasts that had been slain. But when S. Amadour, which was bishop of this city, reproved them of such vanities, and warned them to hew down this tree, they would not consent thereto in any manner. And on a time, when Germain was not in the city, the bishop did do hew down this tree, and did do burn it. And when Germain knew it he was much angry, and forgot christian religion, and came with a great multitude of knights for to have slain the bishop. And then the bishop knew by revelation divine that S. Germain should be his successor, and forbare and gave place to his hastiness, and went to Autun, and after, when he was come again to Auxerre, he enclosed much subtilly Germain within the church and sacred him there, and said to him that he should be his successor in the bishopric, and so he was; for a little after S. Amadour died and all the people required S. Germain to be bishop, and then he gave all his riches to poor people, and changed his wife into his sister, and tormented his body by the space of thirty years, that he never ate bread of wheat, ne drank wine, ne used no pottage, and would have never salt to make his meat savoury. And two times in the year he would drink wine, that was at Easter and Christmas, and yet for to take away the savour of the wine he would put therein plenty of water, and in his refection he would take barley bread with ashes, and fasted every day, and never ate but in the even. In winter ne summer he had but one clothing, and that was the hair next his body, a coat and a gown, and if it happed so that he gave not his vesture to some poor body, he would wear it till it were broken and torn. His bed was environed with ashes, hair, and sackcloth, and his head lay no higher than his shoulders, but all day wept, and bare about his neck divers relics of saints. He ware none other clothing, and he went oft barefoot and seldom ware any girdle. The life that he led was above man's power. His life was so straight and hard that it was marvel and pity to see his flesh, and was like a thing not credible, and he did so many miracles that, if his merits had not gone before, they should have been trowed phantasms. In a time he was harboured in a place where always after supper the tables were covered when all men had supped, whereof he marvelled, and demanded the host wherefore they covered the tables again after supper, and the host said it was for his neighbours that came to drink each with other. And that night S. Germain concluded to watch for to see what it should be. It was not long after that there came in there a great multitude of devils, and sat at the table in likeness of men and women; and when the holy man saw them he commanded them that they should not depart, and then sent to awake the host, and all the neighbours and guests on all sides, in such wise that every man and woman were found in their houses, and he made all them to come and see if they knew any of them. And they said nay; and then he showed them that they were devils; of whom the people was much abashed because the devils mocked them so. And then S. Germain conjured them, and they went their way, and never after returned.

In a time S. Lupus bishop of Troyes was besieged by the king Attila, and S. Lupus went upon the gate, and demanded who he was that assieged and assailed them, and the king said to him: I am he, Attila, the scourge and rod of God. And then the meek bishop said to him, sore weeping: I am Lupus that have wasted the flock of God and have need of the scourging of God; and then S. Lupus commanded to open the gates, and all the people of Attila were so, by the will of God, blinded, and they passed through the town, and saw no men of the city, ne did no hurt to nobody. And then the blessed S. Lupus took S. Germain with him and went into Britain, whereas there were heresies. But when they were on the sea there arose a right great tempest, which by the merits of S. Germain was anon appeased. Then they were honestly received of the people of the country, whose coming the devils that S. Germain had driven out of such bodies as were beset had told their coming. And when they had been a while in England and had convanquished the heretics, they returned into their countries and proper places.

On a time it happed that S. Germain lay sick of a malady in a street, and the street was taken with fire, and men counselled him to be borne thence for peril of the fire, and then he put himself against the fire, and the flame burnt all about, and touched nothing that Germain lay in.

Another time he returned in to Britain for the heresies, and one of his disciples followed him hastily, and fell sick and lay down in a town, and there died; and when S. Germain returned thereby he demanded to see the sepulchre of his disciple which there was dead, and did do open his sepulchre, and he called him by his name, and demanded him what he did, and if he would no longer go with him, and that other answered and said that he was well, and all things were to him soft and sweet, and would no more come here; and the holy man granted it him that he should abide in rest, and he remised himself in his grave and slept in our Lord.

He preached on a time in the country of Britain in such wise that the king of Britain forbade him his house, and his people also. Then it happed that the king's cowherd went to the pasture with his kine, and received his portion at the king's palace, and bare it to his little house. Then went S. Germain and his fellowship for to see where they might be lodged, and the cowherd brought them to his house, and he saw that they had great hunger, but he had not meat for them and him. This cowherd had but one calf; he slew it and gave it to them, and they took it debonairly of the little good that he had, and when they had supped and said graces, S. Germain did do gather together all the bones of the calf and laid them under the skin, and after, made his prayers to God, and anon then the calf arose all alive and whole as he was tofore. And the next day after, S. Germain demanded the king why he had forbidden him his house, and the king was much abashed and could not answer. Then said S. Germain to him: Thou shalt no more reign, but thou shalt leave thy realm to one better than thee.

And as they of Saxony should fight against the Britons, and they saw that they were but few, and saw the holy man pass by, they called him. And then S. Germain and his fellows preached so long to them that they came to grace of baptism. And on Easter day they cast off their armours, and by great desire of faith purposed them to fight. And when the other heard that, they purposed to go against them hardily for they were dissevered, and S Germain hid him away with his people, and warned them when he cried: Alleluia! they should answer with one voice, and when the saints had cried, alleluia! and the other had answered, their enemies had so great dread that they threw all their harness and armours away, and weened certainly that all the mountains should fall on them and also heaven, and so they fled all afraid.

On a time as S. Germain passed by Autun and went to the tomb of S. Cassian, he enquired how it stood with him; he answered to him out of the tomb wherein he day, and said: I am in sweet rest and abide the coming of the Redeemer. And he said to him: Rest in peace in the name of our Lord, and pray for us devoutly that we may deserve the holy joys of the resurrection. And when S. Germain came in Ravenna he was received much honorably of Placida the queen, and of Valentinian her son, and at the supper she sent to him a great vessel of silver full of delicious meat, the which he received, and gave the meat to his servants, and retained the vessel of silver for to give to the poor. And instead of this gift he sent to the queen a dish of wood or of tree and a barley loaf, the which she received gladly, and after, did do cover that dish with silver and kept it long in great devotion. On a time that the said queen had desired him to dine with her, he accorded thereto gladly, and because he was weary of travail, of fasting and watching, he came upon an ass from his house unto the palace, and anon as he was at dinner his ass died. And when the queen knew that his ass was dead, she was much sorrowful, and did do present him a right fair and good horse. And when the saint saw him so richly adorned and apparelled he would in no wise take it, but said: Show to me where mine ass is, for he that brought me hither shall bring me home again. And then he went to his ass, that lay dead, and said to him: Let us return home again, and anon the ass arose and shook him as he had risen from sleep and that he had no harm, and then Germain remounted on his ass and rode home. But tofore ere he departed from Ravenna he said that he should not be long in this world, and anon after he became sick of the fevers, and the seventh day after, he passed unto our Lord and his body was borne into France, as he had required to the queen. And he died about the year of our Lord four hundred and twenty.

S. Germain had promised, by his life, to S. Eusebius bishop of Versailles, that when he returned he should hallow his church that he had founded and when S. Eusebius, bishop of Versailles understood that he was dead, he would himself hallow his church, and made to light the candles and tapers, but the more they lighted them the more were they extinct and put out. And when Eusebius saw that, he perceived that the dedication was made ere he would come and do it, or else of some other bishop. And when the body of S. Germain was brought to Versailles, as soon as it was entered in to the church all the tapers were lit divinely. Then S. Eusebius remembered the promises of S. Germain, and that which he promised, living, he would do it being dead. But it is not to be understood of the great Eusebius of Versailles, that this was done in his time, for he died under Valens the emperor, and from the death of him unto the death of S. Germain was more than fifty years from that one to that other, but this was another Eusebius under whom this said thing was done.

Here followeth the Life of S. Peter the Exorcist or Deacon.

S. Peter the deacon was bound with chains of iron in prison of one Archemius whose daughter was vexed of a fiend, wherefore he was much sorrowful. Then said S. Peter to him that Jesu Christ should well heal her if he would believe in him. To whom Archemius answered: I marvel much of thee because thou sufferest so much for thy God and I see that he may not deliver thee. S. Peter said: He will well that I suffer for to deserve the glory that alway shall endure, but he can well deliver me if he would, and heal also thy daughter. To whom Archemius said: I shall double thy chains, and if then thy God may deliver thee, and also make my daughter whole, I shall believe in him. And when that was done, S. Peter, clad in white clothes, holding the sign of the cross, appeared to him, and then anon Archemius fell down to his feet and his daughter was made all whole. He then with all his house received baptism and he let out of prison all the christian men and all them that would be christian, and he with many other that believed were baptized of S. Marcellin priest. When the provost of Rome heard this he made all the christian men come tofore him, whom Archemius gathered together, kissing their hands, and said that who would come to be martyred should come hardily without dread, and he that dare not come, let him go in peace where he will. And when the provost knew for certain that S. Peter and S. Marcellin had baptized them, he made them come tofore him, and departed that one from that other, and put them so in prison. And S. Marcellin was laid naked upon broken glass, without light or water and S. Peter was imprisoned in a strait place wherein he was strained. Then came an angel from heaven and unbound S. Marcellin, and clad him, and brought him with Peter into the house of Archemius, because they should seven days comfort the people busily. After, when he found not Marcellin in prison whereas he had set him, he sent for Archemius and commanded him and his household to do sacrifice, and they would not obey to him. He put then him and his wife into a pit in the earth. Then when S. Marcellin and S. Peter heard tell the adventure of Archemius, they came to him and sung mass in the same pit with seven christian men that defended them, and after, they said to the paynims: We might well, if we would, deliver Archemius and hide ourselves, but we will do neither. Then the paynims smote Archemius with a sword through the body and killed him, and after, stoned to death his wife and his daughter. Then brought they S. Marcellin and S. Peter to the black isle and there beheaded them, which place is called now Candia, for their martyrdom, and thus they suffered martyrdom the year of grace seven hundred and eighty-seven, and they that smote off their heads saw their souls, adorned with roses and precious stones, borne up to heaven by angels. One Dorotheus, that was one of them that beheaded them, saw it, wherefore he became christian and lived after a holy life and after rested in our Lord.

Here followeth of SS. Prime and Felician, and of the interpretation first of their names.

Primus is as much to say as sovereign and great, and Felician is as much to say as a blessed or happy old man. Primus is said sovereign and great in dignity, for suffering of his martyrdom, and puissant for the operation of miracles, holy for the perfection of his life, and blessed for his glorious fruition. Felician is said happy old man, not only for the ancient of time, but for the reverence of dignity, for the ripeness of wisdom, and for the weight of his manners.

Of Saints Prime and Felician.

Prime and Felician were accused to the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, of the priests and bishops of the idols, to the end that they should do sacrifice, and they said but if they so did their gods would do nothing for them. Then, by the commandment of the emperors, they were shut in prison and bound with chains of iron, but anon after, the angel unbound them and presented them tofore the emperor, and when he found them fast and firm in the faith he did do beat them, and after that departed one of them from that other, and then said the provost to S. Felician that he should have pity on his old age, and that he should sacrifice to their gods. Then answered he: Lo! I am four score years old, and it is thirty years since I knew the truth, and that I have purposed to serve God, which may well deliver me from thy hands. Then the provost did him be bounden, and made nails to be driven into his feet and hands, and said to him: Thou shalt be in this point so long till thou consent to us and shalt do our wills. And when the provost saw that he suffered his martyrdom so gladly and so joyously, he did him to be tormented again, and commanded that nothing should be ministered to him to eat. After this he made S. Prime to come tofore him and said to him: Lo! thy brother hath consented to the saying of the emperor and therefore he is worshipped greatly in his palace, do thou the same wise. To whom he said: Though thou be the son of the devil yet in part thou sayest the truth that my brother hath consented to the decree of my heavenly emperor. Then the provost was angry, and commanded to set fire and burn his sides, and to pour boiling lead in to his mouth in the presence of Felician, to fear him withal, and he drank it as sweetly as it had been cold water. Then the provost, being all angry and enraged, commanded two lions to be put to them, which anon as they were put to them fell down to their feet and stood afore them like meek lambs. Then after, he sent two cruel bears which anon became as mild and debonair as the lions. There were in the place that saw this well twelve thousand men, of whom five hundred believed in Jesu Christ. Then the provost did the saints to be beheaded, and threw their bodies to dogs and to birds, but they never touched them, and after this christian men buried them. And these blessed saints were thus martyred the year of our Lord two hundred and eightyseven. Then let us pray to these saints that we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Here followeth the Life of S. Barnabas the Apostle, and first the interpretation of his name.

Barnabas is as much to say as the son of him that cometh, or the son of consolation, or the son of a prophet, or a son concluding. He is four times said a son by four manners of expositions, he is said son in scripture by reason of generation, of erudition, of imitation, and of adoption. He was regenerate of Jesu Christ by baptism, and he was taught by the gospel and followed him by martyrdom, and adopted by heavenly reward, and this was touching himself. As touching others he was coming, comforting, prophesying and concluding. Coming, in running and preaching over all, and that appeareth for he was fellow of S. Paul. Comforting poor people and desolate, to poor people in giving alms, to desolate in sending epistles in the name of the apostles. Prophesying for he flowered by the spirit of prophecy. In concluding, for he concluded a great multitude of people and converted them to the faith, as it appeareth when he was sent to Antioch. And that saith the book called the Acts of the Apostles. As to the first he was a man and manly, to the second good; as to the third, full of the Holy Ghost, and as to the fourth, true. His passion Bede compiled out of Greek into Latin.

Of S. Barnabas the Apostle.

S. Barnabas was a deacon, and was born in Cyprus, and was one of the seventy-two disciples of our Lord, and is greatly praised in the history of the Acts of the Apostles of many good things that were in him, for he was right well informed and ordinate, as well to himself as to God and to his neighbour. He was well ordinate in himself after three virtues that be in the soul, that is to say reason, desire, and strength; he had reason illumined with the clearness of very knowledge, hereof is said in the Acts of the Apostles, the thirteenth chapter. It is said that there were in the church of Antioch doctors, prophets and great masters in holy scripture among whom were Barnabas, Simon, and many other great clerks, yet had he desire well ordinate and expurged them from the dust of all worldly affection, and thereof is found in the Acts of Apostles the fourth chapter, that he sold a field that he had, and the value and price thereof he laid at the feet of the apostles. And the gloss saith: S. Barnabas showed to us herein that we ought leave the things that men should not put thereon their desire ne their heart, and taught us to despise gold and silver, by that that he laid the silver at the feet of the apostles, yet had he the virtue of the soul which is called strength, well affrmed with prowess of patience, and that may we see on the great things and high that he emprised, and on the great penances that he did, and on the great torments and pains that he suffered. Great things then he emprised, and that may we see when he took upon him to convert so great a city as was Antioch. For when S. Paul came into Jerusalem anon after his conversion, and would accompany him with the disciples, they fled all away, like sheep do from wolves, but Barnabas went anon to him, and took and brought him in to the company of the apostles. After, he enforced his body with great penances that he did, for he tormented it with aspre and hard fastings, yet was S. Barnabas a man enforced to suffer pains and torments; for he and S. Paul abandoned their lives overall for the love of our Lord Jesu Christ. Secondly, he was ordained as touching to God in bearing, authority, majesty, and bounty. He bare honour and reverence unto the great authority of God, after that we find in the Acts of the Apostles the thirteenth chapter, when the Holy Ghost said: Take ye to me apart, Barnabas and Paul, for to do the office that I have chosen them to. Yet S. Barnabas bare honour to the great majesty of God, for when there should be done reverence to him and sacrifice as to a God, and was called Jupiter as he that went before, and they called Paul, Mercury, as a fair and wise speaker. Anon Barnabas and Paul rent and tare their coats, and cried all on high: Ye people, what do ye? We be mortal as ye be, which warn you to turn and convert to the very God living, Jesu Christ. After, S. Barnabas bare reverence to the bounty of God, after that is found in the Acts of Apostles the fifteenth chapter. Some converts of the Jews would minish the bounty of the grace of God, and said that this grace that our Lord had done in his passion sufficed not to save us without circumcision. Against this error S. Paul and Barnabas withstood vigorously, and showed to them appertly that the grace and bounty that God hath done is sufficient, without the law, to our salvation. After they sent to the apostles this question, the which they sent anon through the world in epistles against this foolish error. After, S. Barnabas was right strongly well ordained against his neighbours, for all them that were committed to his cure he nourished and fed, in word, in example and in benefits. In word, for he pronounced to them the holy word of God and the gospel. Hereof is said in the Acts of the Apostles, that Paul and Barnabas abode in Antioch preaching the word of God. That may be seen by the great multitude of people that he converted in the city of Antioch, for they converted so much people there, that the disciples lost their special name and were called christian men as the other. Yet nourished he them that he had charge of by good ensample, for his life was to all them that saw him as a mirror of holiness and the exemplar of all religion. For he was in all his works noble and hardy, and well embellished of all good works, and was full of the Holy Ghost, and enlumined and light in the faith of our Lord. All these four things be touched of him in the Acts of the Apostles, and yet nourisheth he them by benefits in two manners, that is in alms temporal, is administering to the poor their necessity, and in other alms spiritual, in forgiving all rancour and evil will. The first alms did S. Barnabas, for he bare to such as were in right great poverty and misery, that as was needful for them to live, for after that we find in the Acts of the Apostles, there was a great famine in the time of Claudius the emperor, which famine had Agabus prophesied, and because the disciples that would return to their brethren into Judea, sent unto the most ancient their alms by the hands of Barnabas and Paul. The second alms did S. Barnabas when he pardoned his anger to John, surnamed Mark. For when the said John, which was one of the disciples, was departed from the company of Barnabas and of Paul, he repented him, and would return to them, and Barnabas forgave it him and took him again to his disciple, but Paul would not receive him with him; nevertheless that which was done between them both was by good intention, for in this that Barnabas took him again, we may see the sweetness of his pity, and in this that S. Paul would not receive him, is showed the great savour of right that was in him, after that the gloss saith, Acts xv., because this John had been tofore the master of the law to defend the law of Jesu Christ, and had not contained him vigorously for to repress them, but had been negligent. For this reason S. Paul would not accord to receive him in to the company of the other. Nevertheless this departing that John was thus departed from the company of S. Paul and from the other, was for no vice that was in him, but for the sharpness and inspiring of the Holy Ghost, to the end that they might preach in divers places; after that it happed after. For when Barnabas was on a time in the city of Iconium, a man with a clear shining visage appeared by night to this John aforesaid, his cousin, and said to him thus: John, have in thee no doubtance, but be strong and vigorous, for from henceforth thou shalt no more be called John, but thou shalt be called right high enhanced. And when he had told this to his cousin S. Barnabas, he answered and said to him: Keep thee well that thou tell this vision to no man, for in the same form he appeared to me that night after.

When S. Barnabas and S. Paul had long preached in the city of Antioch, the angel of God appeared to S. Paul and said to him: Go hastily in to Jerusalem, for thou shalt find there some of the brethren that abide thee. Then Barnabas would go in to Cyprus to visit his friends and kin that were there, and S. Paul would go to Jerusalem; thus departed that one from that other by enticement of the Holy Ghost, that so had ordained it. And when S. Paul had showed to S. Barnabas this that the angel said, S. Barnabas answered to him: The will of God be done like as he hath ordained it. I go now into Cyprus, and more hereafter shall I not see thee, for there shall I end my life. Then he humbly kneeled down and fell to his feet weeping, and S. Paul, which had compassion of him, said unto him these words by consolation: Barnabas, weep no more, for our Lord will that it be so, our Lord hath appeared to me this night, and hath said to me: Let not ne give none empeshment to Barnabas for to go into Cyprus, for he shall there enlumine many folk and shall suffer there martyrdom. On a time that Barnabas and John issued out of Cyprus and found an enchanter named Elymas, which by his enchantment had taken away the sight from some and after given it to them again, he was much contrary to them and would not suffer them enter into the temple. After this, Barnabas saw on a day men and women, being all naked, running through the town, and made then great feast, whereof he was much angry and gave his malediction and curse to the temple, and suddenly a great part thereof fell down and slew a great part of the people. At the last S. Barnabas came into the city of Salome, but this enchanter aforesaid moved the people greatly against him, so much that the Jews came and took him and led him through the city with great shame, and would have delivered him to the judge of the city for to punish him and to put him to death. But when they heard say that a great and a puissant man was come in to the city, which was named Euseblus, and was of the lineage of the emperor Nero, the Jews had doubt that he would take him out of their hands and let him go, and therefore anon they bound a cord about his neck, and drew him out of the city, and there anon burnt him, but yet the felon Jews were not satisfied to martyr him so, for they took the bones of him and put them in a vessel of lead, and would have cast them into the sea, but John, his disciple, with two other of his disciples went by night into the place and took the holy bones and buried them in an holy place. Then, after that Sigbert saith, they abode in that place unto the time of the emperor Zeno and Gelasius the pope, that was the year of our Lord five hundred. After that then, as S. Dorotheus said, they were found by the revelation of S. Barnabas himself, and were from thence translated in to another place, and S. Dorotheus saith thus: Barnabas preached first at Rome of Christ. and was made bishop of Milan.

Here follow the Lives of SS. Vitus and Modestus, and first the interpretation of their names.

Modestus is as much to say as attemperate which is one of the cardinal virtues, and two extremities go round about every virtue, and the virtue abideth in the midst. And the extremities of wisdom be treachery and folly; the extremities of attemperance be the accomplishment of all fleshly desires, and to do after his will; the extremities of strength be feeble courage and folly; and the extremities of justice be cruelty and default. And therefore Modestus was attemperate by means of virtues that were in him. Vitus is said of vita, that is, life. S. Austin, in libro de Trinitate deviseth of three manners of life, that is the life doing, that appertaineth to active life; a life idle that appertaineth to idleness; and a life spiritual which appertaineth to life contemplative, and this great manner of living was in him. Or Vitus is as much to say as virtue or right virtuous.

Of S. Vitus and S. Modestus.

S. Vitus was a child much noble that suffered martyrdom in the age of twelve years. His father beat him oft, because he despised the idols, but neither for beating ne smiting he would never worship them. When Valerian the provost of Lucca heard say hereof, he made him to come tofore him, and when S. Vitus would not do sacrifice for him ne for his words, he did do beat him with great staves. But the hands of them that beat him became dry and the hands of the provost also, in such wise that they might not bewield them. Then said the provost: Alas! alas! I have lost mine hands. Then said to him the child Vitus: Call thy gods and pray them that they help thee if they may. Then said the provost: Mayst thou heal me? The child answered: I may well heal thee in the name of my Lord Jesu Christ, and anon he made his prayer and healed him. Then said the provost to his father: Chastise thy son, to the end that he die not an evil death. Then his father brought him again to his own house, and made come to him harps, pipes and all manner instruments that he might have, and after did do come maidens for to play with him, and made him to have all manner of delights that he might get, to mollify and change his heart. And when he had been shut and enclosed in a chamber one day, there issued a marvellous odour and sweet savour, whereof his father and the meiny marvelled, and when the father looked in to the chamber, he saw two angels sitting by his son, and then said he: The gods be come into mine house, and anon after these words he was blind. Then assembled all the city of Lucca at the cry of the father, and the provost Valerian came also, and demanded what it was that was happed to him. And he said to him: I have seen in my house the gods all so shining and bright as fire, and because I might not suffer the clearness, I am become blind. Then led they him to the temple of Jove and promised unto him a bull, with horns of gold, for to have again his sight. But when he saw it availed him nothing, he required his son that he would pray for him, and anon he made his prayer unto God, and anon he was all whole. Yet for all that he would not believe in God, but thought how he might put his son to death. Then appeared the angel to a servant that kept him, whose name was Modestus, and said to him: Take this child and lead him unto a strange land. And anon he found a ship ready and entered therein, and so went out of the country. An angel brought meat to them, and he did many miracles in the country where he was.

Now it happed that Diocletian, son of the emperor, had a wicked spirit in his body, and said openly that he would not go out till the child of Lucca named Vitus was come. Anon he sought all about the country, and after, when he was found, he was brought to the emperor. Then he demanded if he might heal his son; he answered: I shall not heal him, but our Lord shall. And anon he laid his hand on him and he was all whole, so that the devil left him. Then said Diocletian: My child, take counsel in thy works and do sacrifice unto our gods to the end that thou die not an evil death. And Vitus answered that he would never do sacrifice to their gods, and anon he was taken and put into prison with Modestus his servant, and they laid mill-stones upon their bodies. And anon the mill-stones fell off, and the prison began to shine of great light. And when it was told to the emperor they were taken out of prison, and after, S. Vitus was cast in to a fire burning, but by the might of God he issued out whole and safe without suffering of any harm. Then was there brought a terrible lion for to devour him, but anon by the virtue of the faith he became meek and debonair. After, the emperor made him to be hanged on a gibbet with Modestus and Crescentia his nurse, which always followed him. Then anon the air began to trouble and thunder, the earth to tremble, the temples of the idols to fall down and slew many. The emperor was afeard and smote himself on the breast with his fist saying: Alas ! alas ! a child hath overcome me. Then came an angel that unbound them and they found themselves by a river, and there resting and praying rendered their souls unto our Lord God, whose bodies were kept of eagles, and afterward, by the revelation of S. Vitus, a noble lady named Florentia took the bodies and buried them worshipfully. They suffered martyrdom under Diocletian about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-seven.

It happed afterward that a gentleman of France bare away the heads and put them in a church which is a mile from Lusarches, named Fosses, and closed them in a wall unto the time that he might set them more honourably. But he died ere he might perform it, so that the heads were there whereas no man living knew where they were. It happed so after, that there was certain work in that church, and when the wall was broken where the heads lay and were discovered, the bells of that church began to sound by themselves. Then assembled the people to the church and found a writing which devised how they had been brought thither, and then they were laid more honourably and set, than they were tofore; and there then were showed many miracles. Then let us pray to these glorious saints that it may please them to pray to God for us in such wise that we may by their merits and prayers come to the glory of heaven, to which bring us the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Here follow the Lives of SS. Quirine and Juliet.

Quirine was son of a noble lady of Iconium, which lady would flee the persecution, and she went with her son Quirine, which then was but three years old, into the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. And she was there presented to Alexander the provost, and bare her child in her arms, which when her two chamberers saw that, anon they fled and left her alone. Then the provost took the child in his arms, and Juliet his mother refusing to do sacrifice, he made her to be scourged with raw sinews. And when the child saw his mother beaten he wept bitterly and made a lamentable noise, but the provost took it in his arms and danced it upon his knees, and would fain please the child with kissings and fair words. The child, alway beholding his mother, abhorred the kissings of the provost, and turned his head away from him with great indignation and scratched his face with his nails, and gave his cries consonant into his mother, as he should have said: And I am also christian. Then he bit the provost, and wrestling with him all to-scratched him. Then the provost, having indignation hereof and in a great anger, threw down the child off the steps whereas he sat in judgment, that the tender brain fell abroad out of his head upon the steps. Then Juliet seeing her son go to heaven tofore her, gave thankings unto God, and she was thereof right glad. Then it was commanded that Juliet should be flayed, and burning pitch cast on her, and at the last her head to be smitten off. And it is found in another legend that Quirine despised the tyrant as well when he glosed him as when he blamed him, and confessed him to be christian, howbeit that he was over-young to speak but the Holy Ghost spake in him. When then the provost demanded of him who had so taught him, he answered and said: O thou provost I marvel much thy folly which seest me so young of age, not being yet three years old, and demandest who hath taught me this divine wisdom; thou mayst clearly see that it cometh from God. When the child was beaten he cried: I am christian; and the more that he cried, the more strength among the torments he received. And the judge did do dismember the mother with the child, and all to-hew them in pieces, and because their members should not be buried of the christian people, he commanded that they should be cast and disperpled abroad. But not withstanding they were of an angel gathered together, and in the night buried by the christian people; whose bodies were showed in the time of Constantine the Great when peace was in the Church, by a maid which had been one of her chamberers, that then yet lived, and were had of all the people in great devotion. They suffered martyrdom about the year of our Lord three hundred and thirty under Alexander.

Here followeth the Life next of S. Marine.

Marine was a noble virgin and was one only daughter to her father without brother or sister, and after the death of her mother, her father entered into a monastery of religion, and changed the habit of his daughter so that she seemed and was taken for his son and not a woman. Then the father prayed the abbot and his brethren that they would receive his only son, whom at his instance they received for to be a monk and was called of them all brother Marine. He began to live right religiously, and to be much obedient. When she was twenty-seven years and her father approached towards the death, he called his daughter to him, confirming her in her good purpose and commanding her that in no wise she should show ne do be known that she was a woman, and then her father died. She went ofttimes to the wood with the cart to fetch home wood, and because it was far from the monastery otherwhile she lodged in a goodman's house whose daughter had conceived a child by a knight. And when it was perceived, she was thereof examined, who had begotten that child, and she said that it was the monk Marine had lain by her and gotten it. And then anon the father and mother went to the abbey and made a great complaint and a great clamour to the abbot for his monk Marine. Then the abbot, being hereof sore abashed, sent for Marine and demanded of him why he had done so horrible a sin. And he meekly answered and said: Holy father, I ask of our Lord mercy, for I have sinned. Then the abbot hearing this was much angry for the sorrow and shame, and commanded anon that he should be put out of the house. And then this Marine full patiently went out of the monastery, and dwelled at the gate three years, and lived straitly with a morsel of bread a day. And when the child was weaned from the mother's pap, it was sent to the abbot, and he sent it to Marine, and bade him keep such treasure as he had brought forth. And then he took meekly and patiently the child and kept it with him there two years. All these things he took in great patience, and in

all things gave to our Lord thankings; and at the last the brethren had pity on him and considered his humility and patience, and did so much to the abbot that he was taken into the monastery, and all the offices that were most foul were enjoined for him for to do. He took it all gladly, and all things he did patiently and devoutly, and at the last, being full of virtuous life, she died and departed out of this world. When they should take up the body and wash it for to dispose it to be buried they saw that she was a woman. All they were astonied and feared, and knowledged that they had trespassed greatly in the servant of God. Then they ran all for to see the sight, and asked forgiveness of their ignorance and trespass. Then bare they the body of her into the church and there honourably they buried it. Then she that infamed the servant of God was taken and vexed with a devil, and knowledging her sin came to the sepulchre of the blessed virgin, and there was delivered and made all whole. To whose tomb the people over all there about came and assembled, and there our Lord showed many miracles for his blessed virgin Marine. She died the fourteenth kalends of July.

Here follow the lives of SS. Gervase and Prothase, and first of the interpretation of their names.

Gervase is said of gerar, which is as much to say as a vessel, or holy, or of gena, that is to say strange, and of syor, that is little, for he was holy by merit of his life; a vessel for to receive virtues in himself; strange by despising of the world, and he was little by despising of himself. Prothase is said of prothos, which is as much to say as first, and of syos, that is, divine. Or Prothase may be said of procul, that is, far, and of stasis, that is, set, that is to say he was first by dignity, he was divine by dilection, and far set from worldly affection. And S. Ambrose found their passion written in a book found in the sepulchre at their head.

Of SS. Gervase and Prothase.

S. Gervase and S. Prothase were brethren of one burden of father and mother. Their father was S. Vital, and their mother the blessed Valery, which gave all their goods unto the poor for the love of God, and dwelled with S. Nazarine which made a right fair oratory in the city of Hebredune. And a child named Celsus bare to him the stones, and if Nazarine had then the child Celsus or not, I wot never, for the history of Nazarine rehearseth that Celsus was offered to him long after. And when they were offered and led to Nero the emperor, this child Celsus followed them much sore weeping, and one of the knights buffeted and smote him, and Nazarine then blamed him. Then the knights in their great anger beat and defouled Nazarine under their feet, and after, they put this Celsus with the other in prison, and after that they threw him into the sea, and led Gervase and Prothase to Milan. And Nazarine was delivered by miracle, and came to Milan. In that time there came thither the earl Astasius which went in battle against them of Marcomannos which came against him. Then the keepers of the idols came to him and said that their gods would give none answer but if Gervase and Prothase should first

offer to them and do sacrifice. Then anon were they brought and led forth for to sacrifice; and then Gervase said that all the idols were deaf and dumb, and that he should require help of Almighty God. Then the earl was wroth and commanded him to be beaten with scourges of lead so long till he gave up his spirit, and so suffered death. Then he commanded Prothase to be brought to him, to whom he said: Thou cursed wretch, now think to save thy life and die not an evil death with thy brother. To whom Prothase said: Who is a wretch? I that dread thee not, or thou that dreadest me? To whom Astacius said: How should I dread thee, wretch? To whom Prothase said: In that thou dreadest me, that thou shouldest be hurt by me if I make not sacrifice to thy gods; if thou dreaded not to be hurt of me thou wouldest never compel me to the sacrifice of idols. Then the provost commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet. Then said Prothase to him: I am not angry with thee, for I see thine eyes of thine heart blinded, and I have great pity of thee because thou seest not what thou doest, but do that thou hast begun, that this day the benignity of our Saviour may bring me to my brother. Then the earl commanded him that his head should be smitten off, and thus he suffered martyrdom for our Lord. Philip, a servant of Jesu Christ, with his son, took the bodies and buried them secretly in his house in a tomb of stone, and laid a book at their heads containing their nativity, their life, and their end.

And they suffered death under Nero about the year of our Lord fifty-six. These bodies were hid there many years, but in the time of S. Ambrose they were found in this manner. S. Ambrose was in prayer in the church of S. Felix and S. Nabor in such wise that he neither slept ne woke wholly, there appeared to him two young men clad in white vestments with one coat and mantel, and hosed, and they appeared praying with him with their hands holden up. Then S. Ambrose prayed that if it were illusion that it would appear no more, and if it were truth that it should be showed him. Then when the cock crew, the younglings appeared to him, adoring with him in semblable manner, and at the third time they appeared the third night when he had fasted and slept not. And with them appeared S. Peter the apostle, after that he had seen him in painture. Then the younglings said nothing, but the apostle spake: These be they that desire none earthly thing, but have followed mine admonishments, and these be they of whom thou shalt find the bodies in such a place, and there thou shalt find an arch of stones covered with twelve feet of earth, and thou shalt find at their heads a little book, wherein is contained their birth and their end. Then S. Ambrose called all his neighbours and began first to dig the earth, and found like as the apostle had said to him, and they had lain in that place well a three hundred years, and they were as fresh as they had been laid there that same hour; and a right sweet savour issued out of their tomb; and incontinent a blind man touched the bier, and anon he had his sight again, and many other sick people were healed by the merits of them, and in their solemnity peace was reformed between the Lombards and the emperor of Rome. And then S. Gregory, the pope, established for the introit of the mass of them: Loquitur dominus pacem, and this office appertained in part to the saints, and in part to the great adventures that were in that time. And S. Austin rehearseth in the book of the City of God that he was present, and the emperor and much great company, when that a blind man received his sight at Milan at the bodies of Gervase and Prothase, but it is not known whether it was the same blind man or no.

Also he telleth in the same book that there was a young man in a town named Victoriana rode his horse into a river that lay thereby, and as soon as he was therein the devil strangled him and threw him in the water all dead, and whiles they sang evensong in a church of S. Gervase and Prothase, which was thereby, he was so smitten with the voices of them that sang that he started up alive, and in a great haste he entered into the church in a great dread, and held fast by the altar like as he had been bounden thereto; then the devil menaced him, and said if he would not come thence he would break all his members, and a little while after, by the merits of the holy martyrs he was plainly healed. And S. Ambrose saith in his preface: These be they that by the heavenly banner took the arms of the apostles and vanquished and have the victory, and be assoiled from the snares of the world, they destroyed the feilowship of the fiend and followed freely without any empeshment our Lord Jesu Christ, like unto a debonair fraternity that so learned the holy words that no filth was meddled among them. O how glorious a strife was this that causeth them both to be crowned in heaven like as they issued out of one belly.

Here followeth the life of S. Edward, King and Martyr.

S. Edward, the young king and martyr, was the son of King Edgar, and he was king but three years and seven months, and when his own mother was dead, his father, the king, wedded another wife, which was full wicked, and by her he had a son named Ethelred. This queen laboured sore for to destroy this young King Edward for to make her own son, Ethelred, king, and little loved the King Edward. For then King Edgar was dead which had been a good justicer in chastising rebels and cherishing good and welldisposed people. For he had a blessed and an holy man, S. Dunstan, which was chief of his council and was much ruled by him, and in that time was joy and mirth in all England. And the queen, through enticing of the fiend our enemy, laboured ever and awaited for to destroy this young King Edward. And so it happed that this said young king, Edward, rode on hunting with his knights in the wood of Dorset beside the town of Warham, and there in the chase it happed the king to depart away from his men, and rode forth alone to see his brother Ethelred which was thereby, with the queen, his mother, in the castle named Corfe. But when the queen saw him there being alone, she was joyful and glad in her heart, hoping then to accomplish that which she sore had laboured for, and went to the king and welcomed him with fair and blandishing words, and commanded to fetch bread and wine to the king, and whiles the king drank, the butler took a knife and roof the king through the body to the heart, in such wise that the king fell down dead. And anon then the queen's servants buried the body in a desolate place of the wood, to the end that no man should know where he was become. And when S. Dunstan knew that the king was so murdered, he made much great sorrow, and in short time after, yet a part against his will, he crowned her son Ethelred king. And then he said to the king: Forasmuch as by manslaughter and wrong thou art come to be king, thou shalt therefore have great sorrow and trouble to thy life's end, and all shall fall for the death of thy brother Edward. Who that will know the sorrow that fell may see it in the life of S. Alphage, and there he shall see what sorrow there fell, and all was for the death of this S. Edward. And all the poor people of this land sorrowed greatly for this good king's death, and in especial because they could not know where he was buried. For they would bury him much worshipfully if they might find him.

And in a time, as God would, men of Warham and of the country be gone for to seek this holy body of S. Edward with great devotion, praying our Lord that they might have knowledge where the holy body was, and soon after, one of them that so sought saw a great light in a desolate place of the wood in likeness of a pillar of fire, stretching from heaven even unto the grave where the holy body lay in. And then the people full reverently digged up the body and brought it with solemn procession to the church of Warham, and they buried this holy body in the churchyard at the east end of the church, for they durst not do otherwise for displeasure of the queen. But now over that grave is builded a fair chapel of our Lady, and in the place where he was first buried is now a

right fair well, which is called S. Edward's well, where our Lord showeth many miracles for his holy martyr S. Edward. And in likewise in the chapel at Warham, whereas his holy body lay long, our Lord showeth also miracles. But long time after, by the labour of the earl Alphere which much loved S. Edward, the bishops and clergy, by the counsel of S. Wilfrida and S. Edith, sisters of S. Edward and nuns at Wilton, the holy body was took out of the chapel of Warham, and brought with great solemnity unto the nunnery of Shaftesbury. And by the way, as men bare this holy body, two cripples were made all whole, and followed the holy body with great joy and mirth, thanking God and the holy saint of their health. And when they came to Shaftesbury they laid this holy body in the wall by the high altar right worshipfully, where our Lord showed miracles for him. And when the queen, his stepmother, heard tell what miracles God showed for him, then she repented her full sore, and cried God mercy, and the holy saint, for her trespass, and purposed to ride thither to do worship to the holy body, and there to ask forgiveness of the death that she had committed to be done in him. But, when she would have ridden thitherward, her horse would not go forth in no wise for beating ne drawing; and then she lighted down and went thither full meekly on her feet; and oft in her journey she repented her of that cursed deed that she had caused to be done to this holy S. Edward. And when she came to Shaftesbury, where as this holy body was buried, she did full great reverence thereto, and cried God mercy, and the holy saint, for her great offence. And after this she became a full good woman, and had great repentance thereof unto her life's end. And after, when the holy body had rested in the wall certain years, S. Edward appeared to an holy religious man, and bade him go to Dame Ethelreda, abbess of that place, and say to her that she purvey that his body should be laid in a more worshipful place. And then she went to S. Dunstan to pray him of his help in this matter, and soon after S. Dunstan came with a multitude of bishops, abbots, priors and of the clergy, and took up this holy body and laid it in a worshipful shrine, which the abbess and other well-disposed people had ordained for it. And when his body was taken out of the wall, there came out of the grave a savour like a smoke of frankincense, smelling so sweet that all the people were greatly comforted thereby. And thus this holy king and martyr was translated in the year of our Lord one thousand, and somewhat more. And when king Ethelred was dead, Edward his son reigned after him, which was a holy and glorious king and confessor, and lieth buried at Westminster, and worshipfully shrined, whereas our Lord hath showed many a great miracle for him. Then let us pray to this holy martyr S. Edward, king, and to S. Edward, king and confessor that they pray to our Lord for us, that we may in this wretched world so amend and repent us of our wretched life, that, when we shall depart hence we may come to his everlasting life in heaven. Amen.

Here followeth the Life of S. Alban and of S. Amphiabel

After that Julius Cæsar, the first emperor of Rome, had divided the land of France, he made a shipping in to Great Britain, which now is called England, in the time of Cassibelaun, king of the Britons. And twice he was driven out, and the third time by the help of one Androgeus, duke of Kent, he had victory and conquered the realm and subdued it to Rome, and made it to pay yearly tribute, and ordained and stablished certain statutes in this land which were long observed and kept. Among which he ordained that none of this land should receive the order of knighthood, but only at Rome by the hands of the emperor, lest peradventure the rude people and unworthy would take upon them that order unworthily, which is of great dignity, and also they should make an oath never to rebel ne bear arms against the emperor, which statutes were used in all places obedient to Rome and under their subjection. Then reigned in the land of Britain, which is now called England, a king named Severus, which for to please the emperor Diocletian, who sent his son that hight Bassianus with many other lords' sons, of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, unto the number of a thousand five hundred and forty, among which was a prince's son of Wales in great array which hight Amphiabel, a goodly young man, and well learned in Latin, French, Greek, and Hebrew. Also there was in his fellowship a lord's son of the city of Verulam named Alban, which was a well disposed and seemly young man, and discreet in his governance. And all this fellowship came prosperously to Rome in the time when Zephyrus was pope of Rome, which saw the great beauty of this young company, and had compassion that they were not christian, and laboured as much as he might to convert them to the faith of Jesu Christ.

And among all other he converted the prince's son of Wales, Amphiabel, and baptized him, and informed him secretly in the faith. And then this holy Amphiabel forsook the pomp and glory of the world, and took on him wilful poverty for the love of Jesu Christ, and ever after continued his life in perfection. Also there were many other converted at that time whom Diocletian did do seek, but none could he find. Then he ordained a day in which these young men should receive the order of knighthood of the emperor's hand; and he himself girded their swords about them and informed them the rule and estate of the order. And when all the ceremonies were done longing to the order, and the oath sworn, Bassanius, son of king Severus, desired of the emperor that he might prove the feats of knighthood there in jousting and tourneying, which was granted to him and greatly allowed for his manly desire and noble request. In which tourney and jousts Bassanius and his fellowship had the prize and victory. And among all other, Alban was the best knight, and most best proved in strength, wherefore he had a sovereign name tofore all other, whose arms were of azure with a saltire of gold, which arms afterward bare the noble king Offa, first founder of the monastery called S. Albans, and he bearing those arms had ever glorious victory, and after his death he left those arms in the monastery of S. Alban. Then, when Bassanius and his fellowship had long sojourned in Rome, they asked licence of the emperor to return home into Britain, which the emperor granted to them all, save to Alban, whom for his manliness and prowess he would retain for to be in his service about his person, and so he abode with him there seven years. And after, for divers causes, Maximian, which was fellow to Diocletian was sent in to Britain with a great army for to subdue the rebels, with whom Alban came and was ordained prince of his knights, and so entered into Britain again. In that time S. Pontian sat in the see at Rome, which by himself and virtuous men that preached, and by showing of miracles, converted unto the faith of Jesu Christ and christened in the city of Rome sixtysix thousand men. And when the emperor heard hereof he assembled all the senators and kings, princes and lords, of every land being under the obeisance of Rome, to have advice how he might destroy the christian faith, and then it was concluded that the pope should be damned with all his christian people, and be punished with divers torments, and that all the books of christian law should be burnt and churches thrown down, and all men of holy church to be slain in every place. Which ordinance when it was known among the christian people of Rome of divers parts of the world, then they went and departed into their own country, among whom S. Amphiabel, which long had dwelt at Rome, departed and came home in to Britain again where he was born, and so came unto Verulam whereas none would receive him into his house, and ne walked about in the streets abiding the comfort of God. And then it happed he met with Alban, which was lord of that city and prince of the knights, and steward of the land, having about him a great multitude of servants, and at that time Alban was richly arrayed with clothes fringed with gold, to whom all the people did great worship. Then Amphiabel, which had left the arms of a knight and was arrayed like a clerk, knew well Alban, but Alban knew him not, how be it they had been tofore both in one fellowship, and desired and prayed Alban of harbour for the love of God, which Alban without feigning, as he that always loved to do hospitality, granted him harbour and well received him, and gave to him meat and drink necessary for him. And after, when his servants were departed, he went unto this pilgrim secretly, and said to him in this wise: How is it, said he, that thou art a christian man and comest in to these parts unhurt of the gentiles? To whom S. Amphiabel said: My Lord Jesu Christ, the son of the living God, hath surely conducted me and hath kept me by his power from all perils. And that same Lord hath sent me in to this land to preach and denounce to the people the faith of Jesu Christ, to the end that they should be made people acceptable to him. To whom Alban said: What is he that is the son of God whom ye affirm to be Jesu Christ and son of the virgin? These be new things to me, for I have not heard of them; I would fain know what christian men feel thereof. Then Amphiabel expounded to him and declared our faith and belief, in which anon Alban disputed again and said that by reason it might not be, and so departed from him. And the next night after, S. Alban saw in his dream all the mystery of our faith, as well how the second person of the Trinity came down and took our nature and became man and suffered death, and of his resurrection and ascension, whereof he was greatly troubled, and came on the morn to Amphiabel and told him what he had dreamed. And then S. Amphiabel thanked our Lord, and so informed him in the faith that S. Alban was steadfast in the belief of Jesu Christ and thus kept his master Amphiabel in his house six weeks and more, and always in a place named Tigurium, they held their holy communication, so long till at the last they were espied and complained on unto the judge. Wherefore the judge sent for Alban and for the clerk, and because the clerk should go in to Wales, S. Alban did do clothe him like a knight, and led him out of the town, and departed with many tears, and commended each other to our Lord. And after, S. Alban was sent for, which came having on him the clerk's array and clothing, bearing a cross and an image of our Lord hanging thereon, to the end that they should know verily that he was a christian man. And the men that came for him drew him cruelly to the judge Askepodot, and when the paynims saw him bear the sign of the cross, which was unknown, to them, they were sore troubled and afraid. Then the cruel judge demanded him whose servant he had been, and of what kindred, and because he would not tell he was much wroth, but among many questions he told him that his name was Alban and that he was a very christian man. Then the judge demanded him where the clerk was that entered in to the city, now late speaking of Christ: He is come for to beguile and deceive our citizens, know ye well he would have come unto our presence but that his conscience hath removed him, and hath mistrust in his cause, and guile and falseness is hid under his doctrine. Thou mayest well know and evidently understand that thou hast given thy consent to a foolish man, wherefore forsake his doctrine and repent thee, and make satisfaction for thy trespass in doing sacrifice to our gods, and that done thou shalt not only have forgiveness of thy sins, but thou shalt have towns and provinces, men, gold and power. Then said Alban to the judge: O thou judge! the words and menaces that thou hast spoken be but vain and superfluous. It is openly known that this clerk, if it had thought him good and profitable, and also if our both hearts had accorded thereto, he had come to thine audience, but I would not assent thereto, knowing that this people is ever ready to do evil. I acknowledge that I have received his doctrine and repent me nothing thereof, for the faith that I have received restoreth the feeble and sick to their health, for the deed proveth it. This faith is more dear to me than all the riches that thou promisest me, and more precious than all the worship that thou purposest to give me, for shortly, your gods be false and failing, for they that most basely serve them be most wretchedly deceived. Then came anon forth a great multitude of paynims, and with force and strength would compel him to do sacrifice, and commanded him to offer to the gods, but in no wise he would not consent to their cursed rites. And by the commandment of the judge he was taken and stretched abroad to be scourged, and as he was grievously beaten he turned him to our Lord with a glad visage, and said: My Lord Jesu Christ, I beseech thee keep my mind that it move not ne that it fall from the estate that thou hast set it in, for, Lord, with all my heart I offer my soul to thee in very sacrifice, and I desire to be made thy witness by shedding of my blood. These words sounded he among his beatings, and the tormentors beat him so long that their hands waxed weary; and the people hoped that S. Alban would change his purpose, and therefore he was kept under the governance of the judge six weeks and more, and all that time the elements bare witness of the injury done to holy Alhan, for from the time of his taking unto the time that he was delivered from the bonds of his flesh there came never dew nor rain upon the earth, but burning heat of the sun, and also in the nights all that time was insufferable heat, so that neither trees ne fields brought forth no fruit, and thus the elements fought for this holy man against the wicked men. And the judge Askepodot dreaded for to slay him because of the great love that the emperor had to him, and for reverence of his dignity, and power of his kindred, unto the time that he had informed Diocletian of his conversation. And when the emperor had seen the letters, anon Maximian came into Britain for to destroy the faith of Jesu Christ, and was commanded that no christian man should be spared, save only Alban, whom they should entreat to pervert him by fair promises and to fear him by menaces, and so to compel him to turn again to their sect. And if he would in no wise leave the christian faith, then he to have capital sentence, and be beheaded by some knight for the worship of the order of knighthood, and the clerk that converted him to suffer the foulest death that could be imagined, that the beholders thereof may have dread and horror of semblable pains.

And when Maximian came into Britain, he took with him the king Askepodot and went straight to the city of Verulam for to fulfil the commandment of the emperor. And then S. Alban was brought forth tofore them out of prison, and, by all the ways that they could imagine, they attempted to pervert him, but the holy man was constant and firm in the faith, whereof they, having indignation, ordained a day of justice, which day come, they gave sentence, first on Amphiabel, that wherever he was found he should be scourged, and after bounden to a stake all naked, and then his navel be opened and his bowels to be fastened by that one end to the stake, and he then to be driven to go round about the stake till all his bowels were wounden out about the stake, and after to have his head smitten off, and, as touching S. Alban, they gave sentence that he should be beheaded, which sentences were given under writing. Then all the burgesses of Verulam, of London, and other towns about, were summoned to come the next Thursday following for to hear the judgment, and see the execution upon Alban, prince of knights, and steward of Britain. At which day came people without number for to see this said execution. And then was Alban brought out of prison, whom they desired to make sacrifice to Jupiter and Apollo, which utterly refused it but preached the faith of Christ, that he converted much people to be christened. Then Maximian and Askepodot gave final sentence on him, thus saying: In the time of the emperor Diocletian, Alban, lord of Verulam, prince of knights, and steward of all Britain during his life, hath despised Jupiter and Apollo, our gods, and to them hath done derogation and disworship, wherefor by the law he is judged to be dead by the hand of some knight, and the body to be buried in the same place where his head shall be smitten off, and his sepulchre to be made worshipfully for the honour of knighthood, whereof he was prince, and also the cross that he bare and sklavin that he ware should be buried with him, and his body to be closed in a chest of lead and so laid in his sepulchre. This sentence hath the law ordained because he hath renied our principal gods. Then arose a great murmur among the people, and said that they ought not to suffer such injury done to so noble and so good a man, and specially his kindred and friends, which laboured full sore for his deliverance, whereof Alban was afeard to be delivered from his passion at their request and instance, and stood up holding the cross, looking towards heaven and saying: Lord Jesu Christ, I beseech thee that thou suffer not the fiend to prevail against me by his deceits, and that the people let not my martyrdom. And then he turned to the people saying: Wherefore tarry ye and lose the time, and why execute ye not on me the sentence? For I let you wit I am a great enemy to your gods, which have no power ne may do no thing, ne hear, ne see, ne understand, to whom none of you would be like. O what vanity, and what blindness is among you to worship such idols, and will not know Jesu Christ the only son of God and his very true law. Then the paynims spake together and assented that he should be put to death, and they chose a place where he should be executed named Holmeshurst. But then arose a contention among the people what death he should suffer. Some would have him crucified like as Christ was, and others would have him buried quick, but the judge and the people of the city would have him beheaded according to the commandment of the emperor, and so he was led forth towards his martyrdom, and all the people to the place following this holy man with despitous words and rebukes, whereto the blessed man Alban answered no word, but meekly and patiently suffered all their reproofs, and the people were so great a multitude that they occupied all the place, which was large and great. And the heat of the sun was so great that it burnt and scalded their feet as they went, and so they led him till they came to a swift running river, where they might not lightly pass for press of people, for many were shifted over the bridge into the water and were drowned, and many, because they might not go over the bridge for press, unclothed them for to swim over the river, and some that could not swim presumed to do the same, and were wretchedly drowned, whereof was a great rumour and noise piteously among the people. And when S. Alban perceived this thing he bewailed and wept for the harm and death of his enemies that so were perished, and kneeled down holding his hands up to God beseeching that the water might be lessed and the flood withdrawn that the people might be with him at his passion, and forthwith God showed at the request of S. Alban a fair miracle, for the water withdrew, and the river dried up in such wise that the people might safely go dry foot over the river, and also by the prayer of this holy man, they that tofore had been drowned were restored again to life, and were found alive in the deepness of the river. And then one of the knights that drew S. Alban toward his martyrdom, saw these

miracles that God showed for him, and anon threw away his sword and fell down at the feet of S. Alban, saying: I knowledge to God mine error and demand forgiveness, and wept sore and said: O Alban, servant of God, for verily thy God is almighty and there is none God but he, and therefore I knowledge me to be his servant during my life, for this river by thy prayers is made dry, wherefore I bear witness that there is no god but thy God which doeth such miracles. And when he had said thus, their fury and woodness increased and said to him: Thou art false for it is not as thou sayest nor as thou affirmest, for this river is thus dried by the benignity of our gods, and therefore we worship Jupiter and Apollo which for our ease have taken up this water by this great heat; and because thou takest away the worship of our gods and rewardest it to other by evil interpretation, thou hast deserved the pain which longeth to a blasphemer. And then forthwith they drew out his teeth of his head, and the holy mouth that had borne witness of truth was grievously beaten with so many of them that, ere they left they tare all the members of his body and to-brake all his bones, and all to-rent his body, and left him Iying upon the sand. But who might without weeping of tears express how this holy man Alban was drawn and led through briars and thorns and sharp stones, that the blood in his feet coloured the way as they went in and the stones were bloody? Then at the last they came to the hill where this holy Alban should finish and end his life, in which place lay a great multitude of people nigh dead for heat of the sun and for thirst, and when they saw Alban they grinded with their teeth on him for anger, saying: O thou most wicked man, how great is thy wickedness that makest us to die with thy sorcery and witchcraft in this great misery and heat. Then Alban, having pity on them, sorrowed by great affection for them and said: Lord, that madest man's body of earth, and his soul unto thy likeness, suffer not these creatures to perish for any cause committed in me, and blessed Lord make the air attemperate and send them water to refresh them. And then anon the wind blew afresh cool, and also at the feet of this holy man Alban, sprang up a fair well, whereof all the people marvelled, to see the cold water spring up in the hot sandy ground, and so high on the top of an hill, which water flowed all about, and in large streams running down the hill. And then the people ran to the water and drank, so that they were well refreshed, and thus by the merits of S. Alban their thirst was clean quenched. But yet, for all the great goodness that was showed, they thirsted strongly the blood of this holy man and his death, and gave the praising and laud to their gods, and took this holy man, and bound him first to a stake, and after, hung him on a bough by the hair of his head, and sought among the people one to smite off his head; and then a cruel man was ready, and in an anger took his sword and smote off the head of this holy man at one stroke, that the body fell to ground and the head hung still on the bough, and the tormentor, as he had smitten off his head, both his eyes started out of his head, and the wretch might in no wise be restored again to his sight. Then many of the paynims said that this vengeance came of great righteousness. Then the knight which was left for dead upon the sand a little before, enforced himself as much as he might, and crept upon his hands unto the top of the hill whereas S. Alban was beheaded. And the judge seeing him began to scorn him, and all the miracles that had been shown by S. Alban, and said to him: O thou lame and crooked, now pray to thine Alban that he restore thee to thy first health, run and hie thee and take the head by which thou mayst receive thine heal, why tarriest thou so long? Go and bury his body and do him service. Then this knight, burning in charity, said: I believe firmly that this blessed Alban by his merits may get to me perfect health, and get to me of our Lord that which ye say in scorn. And when he had thus said he took and embraced the holy head in his arms, and reverently loosed it from the bough, and set it fair to the body and by the miracle of our Lord he was forthwith restored to his first health and forthwith began to preach the great power of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the merits of S. Alban, and then he was stronger to labour than ever he was tofore, whereof he gave thankings and laud to God and to this holy martyr S. Alban. And there in the same place he buried the holy body, and laid a fair tomb over him, and afterwards the paynims took this knight and bound him to a stake, and after smote off his head that same day, and after, the judge gave licence to the people to depart and go home. And the night after was seen a clear beam coming down from heaven to the sepulchre of S. Alban, by which angels descended and ascended all the night during, singing heavenly songs, among which this song was heard: Alban the glorious man is a noble martyr of Jesu Christ. And the people came to behold this sight, wherefore many were turned from their false belief and believed in Jesu Christ, and many of them soon after went into Wales for to seek Amphiabel for to be baptized and informed in the faith of Jesu Christ, and there they found him preaching the word of God. And then they told him how that Alban was martyred, and for a token they brought the cross which he held in his hand, and was yet bloody of his blood, whereby he might evidently know that he had suffered death, whereof this holy man gave laud and thankings to our Lord, and made then unto them a noble sermon in such wise as all that people that came from Verulam were baptized and received the faith. And soon after, the judge had knowledge of the departing of this people from the city, and were gone into Wales to receive the faith of Amphiabel, S. Alban's master, whereof he was much angry and sore moved and enquired of the number of them that were gone, and he found a thousand and more whose names were written, and then he ordained a multitude of people well armed and in defence for to seek Amphiabel and those people that were gone to him; which went in to Wales, and there found all these people awaiting on Amphiabel and hearing him preach the word of God; to whom one of them that were so sent, said to Amphiabel: O thou deceiver and most wicked of all men, why hast thou deceived this people with thy deceivable preaching, stirring them to forsake our true laws and gods? Command them to leave their error and to return home again to our city, and if thou do not we shall slay all of them and bring thee to our city there to be tormented to the death. To whom one of the christian men said: Certainly this man is the very true servant of God, for whom God doeth and showeth daily miracles, and we all knowledge us all to be very true christian men, and be ready for the love of the faith of our Lord Jesu Christ to suffer death, for to have therefor our reward in heaven, everlasting joy and bliss, and counsel you to be baptized and to receive the faith of Christ. And when the paynims heard this, they in a great fury ran upon all that blessed company and cruelly slew, which gladly offered themselves to suffer death for our Lord. There the father slew the son and the son the father, brother slew brother, and cousins their cousins. Then the holy man Amphiabel, seeing this blessed company thus cruelly put to death, recommended their souls to almighty God, and then the tormentors took Amphiabel, and sware by their gods that they would bring him to Verulam quick or dead, and bound his hands behind him fast, and drew him forth going afoot, and they riding, that his feet bled grievously, till they came to the place where S. Alban was buried.

And by the way there was a sick man which was going from Verulam toward Amphiabel for to receive the faith, and he cried to Amphiabel for to be relieved of his sickness, whom the paynims scorned, and Amphiabel, by the name of our Lord, made him all whole; and his bonds that his hands were bound with were loosed, whereof some of the paynims glorified our Lord. They said that Amphiabel was brought and should come, whereof they of the city were glad, and supposed he should have forsaken his faith, but the tormentors took and bound him; notwithstanding that, he always preached the word of God. And one of them told to them how that their friends were slain, and what miracles God showed for them at their death, in such wise that many were converted to the faith. And the people ran out of the city to the place whereas this holy man was and stood, which was at that tomb of S. Alban. And one of those tormentors, in a great fury took this holy man and bound him fast, and after, opened his navel and took out one end of his bowels, and fastened it to a stake which he pight in the ground, and made the holy man to go round about the stake, and drove him with whips, and beat him till that his bowels were wounden out of his body. And in all this pain the holy man gave no token of sorrow ne of disease. And then in their woodness they ran upon him with spears and swords to compel him to run about till all were drawn out, which was a marvel to the people that he so patiently might endure such grievous torments so long, wherefore many of them forsook their idols and became christian. And when the judge saw and knew that the people were become christian, he commanded to slay them incontinent, and so there were slain to the number of a thousand people, which Amphiabel saw, and thanked God, recommending to him their souls. And then the tormentors, seeing yet the life in this holy man, cast stones at him and stoned him; and he always persevered in preaching to them, and counselled them to be baptized, and they should have forgiveness of all their sins; and the gates of heaven should be opened to them, but they ceased not of their cruel casting of stones. Then at last this holy man Amphiabel lifted up his eyes unto heaven, beseeching our Lord to receive his spirit. And then he saw S. Alban standing among the angels, to whom he said: O holy S. Alban, I beseech thee that thou pray to our Lord for me that it please him to send his angel to lead me surely, that I be not let in my way by the cursed enemy the fiend. And unnethe he had said the word, but two angels descended from heaven, and said to him: This day shalt thou be in heaven with Alban; and when the paynims heard this heavenly voice they were sore afeard and abashed. And the angels took his soul with heavenly song and mirth and bare it unto heaven, and so departed this holy soul from the body. And the paynims, persevering in their malice, threw alway stones at the dead body: and anon after, fell a debate among of the paynims, that each fought with other, and in the meanwhile a christian man stole away the body and hid it.

And anon after, our Lord showed a great miracle, and that was that, the visages of the tormentors were disfigured, their hands, arms and other members dried up, and the judge lost his mind and was mad, because they strove against the will of God, and suffered great pain afterward. And thus suffered these two holy martyrs, S. Alban and S. Amphiabel, martyrdom and death for the faith of Jesu Christ, which by their merits bring us unto his everlasting life. Amen.

Here followeth the Nativity of S. John Baptist.

S. John Baptist is named in many manners. He was named a prophet; friend of the spouse; lanterne; an angel voice; Elias; baptist of the Saviour; messenger of the judge; and foregoer of the King. By prophet is signified prerogative of knowledge; in the friend of the spouse, noblesse of love; in the lantern burning, noblesse of holiness; in an angel, prerogative of virginity; in voice, nobleness of meekness; in Elias, noblesse of burning love; in baptist, prerogative of marvellous honour; in messenger, prerogative of preaching; and in foregoing, prerogative of preparation or making ready. All these virtuous things were in him.

Of S. John Baptist

The nativity of S. John Baptist was ancient, and showed by the Archangel Gabriel in this manner. It is said in the History Scholastic that David the king, willing to increase and make more the service of God, instituted twenty-four bishops or high priests, of whom one was overest and greatest, and was named prince of the priests, and he ordained that each priest should serve a week. Abias was one, and had the eighth week, of whose kindred Zacharias was descended, father of S. John Baptist. This Zacharias had to wife one of the daughters of the kindred of Aaron, whose name was Elizabeth, daughter of Esmeria, which was sister of S. Anne, mother of our Lady. Then this Elizabeth and our Lady were cousins-german, daughters of two sisters. These two, Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, were just tofore our Lord, living in all the justifications, and holding all the commandments of the law without murmur ne complaint, praising and thanking our Lord God.They had no children, for the holy woman was barren. They had great desire to have a son that might be bishop of the law by succession of lineage after Zacharias, and hereof had they in their youth prayed much to our Lord, but when it pleased not unto our Lord, they took it a worth and thanked God of all. They served the more devoutly our Lord God, for they had no charge but only to serve and entend unto him. Many there be that withdraw them from the service and love of our Lord for the love of their children. They were both old, he and his wife Elizabeth. It happed, at a solemnity that the Jews had after August, that the bishop did holy sacrifice in doing the office that appertained to him and to his week; he went for to incense, and entered into the temple, and the people abode without, making their prayers and awaiting the coming again to them of the holy bishop. Thus, as he was alone, and incensed the altar, the angel Gabriel appeared to him standing on the right side of the altar, and when the holy bishop saw him he was abashed and had great dread. The angel said to him: Be nothing afeard, Zacharias, thy prayers be heard and thou hast found grace tofore of whom our Lord. Elizabeth thy wife shall conceive and bear a son, whom thou shalt call John, of whom thou shalt have great gladness, and much people shall make great feast and joy of his nativity, for he shall be great, and of great merit tofore our Lord. He shall not drink wine ne cider, ne thing whereof he might be drunken, and in his mother's womb he shall be sanctified and fulfilled with the Holy Ghost. He shall convert many of the sons of Israel, that is to say, of the Jews, to our Lord, and shall go tofore him in the spirit and virtue of Elias the prophet for to convert father and sons, old and miscreants, to the sense of righteousness and to the service of God. When the angel had thus said to Zacharias, he answered: How may I believe and know that this is truth that thou sayest? I am now all old and ancient, and my wife old and barren. The angel answered and said: I am Gabriel, the angel and servant tofore God, which in his name am sent to speak to thee and to show to thee these things aforesaid, and because thou hast not believed me thou shalt lose thy speech, and shalt not speak till the day that this which I have said shall be accomplished, each thing in his time. The people were abiding and awaiting when Zacharias the bishop should come out, and marvelled where he tarried so long. He came out of the temple, but he might not speak, but the holy man made to them signs by which they thought well that he had seen some vision of our Lord, but more knew they not. He abode in the temple all that week, and after, went home to his house. His wife conceived and waxed great, and when she perceived it she was shamefaced and kept her in her house well five months. In the sixth month the same angel Gabriel was sent from our Lord unto the blessed Virgin Mary, newly espoused to Joseph, which shewed the conception of Jesu Christ, son of God our Lord, and the angel told to her that she should conceive of the Holy Ghost without knowledge of man. For our Lord may do all that it pleaseth him, like as it appeareth, said he, of Elizabeth thy cousin, the which, she being old of age, and barren by nature of her body, hath conceived by the pleasure of our Lord, and hath now borne about six months. When our Lady heard that S. Elizabeth her cousin was great, she went to visit and accompany her in the mountains where she dwelt, right far, hard, and evil way. When she came thither she saluted her much courteously. Our Lady was then great with the blessed Son of God, our Lord Jesu Christ, whom she had conceived when she said to the angel: Ecce ancilla domini; and then she was replenished with the deity and humanity of our Lord Jesu Christ. Then, when the salutation issued out of the body of our Lady, the greeting entered into the ears of the body of S. Elizabeth, and into her child that she had within her, which child was anoint of the blessed Holy Ghost, and, by the presence of our Lord, sanctified in the womb of his mother and replenished with grace, whereof he removed him for joy in his mother's womb, in making to our Lord reverence such as he might make not of himself, but by the grace that he had received of the Holy Ghost. Of which by the merits and grace done to the blessed child, S. Elizabeth was replenished, and anon prophesied in saying and crying with a high voice: Thou art blessed among and above all women, and blessed be the fruit of thy womb. From whence cometh to me such grace, so great that the mother of my Lord cometh to visit me? I know well that thou hast conceived the Son ot God, for as soon as thy salutation entered into mine ears, the child that is in my belly made joy and feast, and removed. Thou art well blessed and happy that thou hast given faith and believed the words of the angel which he said to thee, for all things shall be performed that he hath said to thee.

Of all these things S. Elizabeth knew nothing when our Lady came, ne yet our Lady had nothing said to her, but the Holy Ghost, by the merits of her holy child that she bare, replenished her and made her to prophesy. Then answered our Lady and made the holy psalm saying: Magnificat anima mea dominum, and all the remnant. Our Lady abode with S. Elizabeth three months or thereabouts till she was delivered and laid abed, and it is said that she did the office and service to receive S. John Baptist when he was born.

When then he was born, and the neighbours and cousins and friends knew the grace that our Lord had done to these holy folk, noble of lineage, rich of goods and of great dignity, to whom in the end of their age he had given an heir male against double or treble nature, they made great joy and feast with them. When the eighth day came, and the child should be circumcised, they called him after his father's name, Zacharias. The mother said that he should named John. and not Zacharias. and they went unto the father and said that there was none in that kindred that so was called. And then the father demanded pen and ink, and wrote: Johannes est nomen ejus, John is his name, and all they marvelled. Anon after, by the merit of S. John, his father's mouth was opened, and had again his speech, and spake, glorifying our Lord God. And these tidings of this holy child thus born, were anon spread all about the country, and each man said in his heart, and without forth one to another: What suppose ye shall be of this child? He shall be great and a man of our Lord, for he is already now with him, and the hand, the work, and the virtue of our Lord is with him. The father, holy Zacharias, replenished with the Holy Ghost, said and prophesied, and made then the holy psalm: Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, which psalm is always sung in the end of matins.

It is said that holy Zacharias dwelled upon the mountains two miles nigh to Jerusalem, and there S. John Baptist was born, and after that S. John was circumcised, he was nourished as a child of a noble and rich man and son of great dignity, but when he had understanding and strength of body, God our Lord and the heart performed the work. He issued out of his father's house, and left riches, honours, dignities, noblesse, and all the world, and went into desert on flom Jordan. Some say he went in the age of fifteen years accomplished, and others say he departed at twelve years of age for to serve our Lord without empeshment, by which he kept silence, and bydwonge his life and his soul from idle words. This holy S. John, dwelling in desert, ware an hair made of the hair of camels. Some say that he ware the skin of a camel, in which he had made an hole to put his head in and girded it with a girdle of wool, or of leather, cut out of an hide or a beast's skin. He ate locusts, not such as we have here that we call honeysuckles; some say that it is flesh of some beasts that abound in the desert of Judea where he baptized; with wild honey he ate it. That it was flesh, the legend of S. Austin doth us to understand, which saith that S. Austin ate flesh by the example of Elias the prophet, which ate the flesh that a crow brought to him, and so S. John ate locusts, some say that there be roots so called. There served he our Lord solitarily upon the flom Jordan till that he was about twenty-nine years old. The angel of our Lord came to him and said that he should show the coming of our Lord and preach penance, for to purge them that were baptized, in accustoming the baptism of our Lord Jesu Christ. This angel said to S. John Baptist that, Jesu Christ, Saviour of the world, should come to him for to be baptized, and it should be he on whom the Holy Ghost should descend in semblance of a dove.

S. John drew him towards Bethany, upon the river or desert, not far from Jerusalem; there preached he, and taught and baptized them that would amend their life, and said to them that the Saviour and health of the world was nigh. Then came to him many, and he said to some religious men of evil life: Ye children of serpents, who hath given to you counsel to eschew the ire of our Lord? If ye will be baptized in sign of penance, do ye the works of penitence. Leave the evil, humble you, do the work of mercy; ween ye, because ye be circumcised and be the children of Abraham, that ye shall be saved? Our Lord shall make of these stones if it please him the child of Abraham which with Abraham shall be saved. S. John preached about a year tofore that our Lord came to him for to be baptized. When the Pharisees heard say that he baptized, they sent to know what he was, and they demanded if he were Christ the great prophet that was promised in their law, and he said: Nay. They demanded him if he were Elias, and come from Paradise terrestrial, he said: Nay. They demanded him if he was a prophet, he said: Nay. They demanded him whereof he meddled then to baptize, since he was neither Christ, ne Elias, ne prophet. Say to us, said they, who that thou art, that we may answer to them that have sent us hither. He answered: I am he of whom Isaiah prophesied: I am the voice of the crier in desert: Address ye and make ready the ways to God, and make ye right the paths of our Lord. They said to him: Wherefore baptizest thou then? I baptize and wash the body with water in sign of penance, but among you is he that ye know not, which was tofore me, and came after me, of whom I am not worthy to loose the latchet of his shoe. He shall give you baptism in the virtue of the Holy Ghost, in water and fire of penance.

When S. John along the flom Jordan had preached and baptized about a year, our Lord came unto him and would be baptized of him. S. John, enlumined of the Holy Ghost, knew him, and did to him reverence as to his God, his Maker, and Lord. He was so espired that human nature which was pure in him might not sustain so great knowledge, and he said right humbly: Sir, thou comest to me, which art pure and clean, to be baptized and washed of me that am foul and wasted, which ought to be baptized of thee and washed, how dare I lay on thee my hands? Our Lord said to him: Do this that I say now, for thus behoveth it to fulfil all justice and to humble and give ensample of baptism to all people. And then in humility and patience he baptized our Lord, and washed him where he had never filth, and all by holy mystery; on whom the Holy Ghost descended visibly in likeness of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard saying: Here is my well-beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Then our Lord was thirty years old from his nativity and thirteen days beginning of the thirtyfirst year. On that same day our Lord changed water into wine in Cana of Galilee. And this sufficeth for the nativity of S. John Baptist, and the residue of his life and of his death shall be said at the feast of his decollation, by the grace of God, who bringeth us to his bliss. Amen.

The Life of S. Loye.

S. Loye was born in the country of Limoges. His father was named Eucherius and his mother Terrigia. What time his mother was conceived with him, she saw in her sleep, an eagle fly over her bed, and thrice bowed and inclined to her, and promised to her something. And with the voice of the eagle she awoke and was much abashed, and began to think what her dream might signify. And when the time came of childing, and that she should be delivered, she was in great peril, and anon she sent for an holy man to come and pray for her. When the good man was come, anon he said to her: Have no doubt dame ne dread, for this child shall be holy and much great in the church. And after that he was born, this child grew in virtue, and his father set him to goldsmith's craft; and when he knew well the craft and art of goldsmithery he came into France and dwelt with a goldsmith that made work for the king. It happed that time that the king sought for one that could make for him a saddle of gold and of precious stones. Then the master of S. Loye said to the king that he had found a workman that should right well make whatsomever he would. The king delivered to him a great mass of gold, which mass the master delivered to S. Loye, whereof he made two right fair saddles and presented that one to the king and that other he retained himself. When the king saw this saddle so fair he and all his people marvelled much thereof and the king rewarded him much largely. Then after this, S. Loye presented to the king that other saddle, saying to him that, of the remnant of the gold he had made the same, and then was the king more amarvelled than he was tofore and demanded how he might make these two saddles of that weight that was delivered to him; S. Loye said: Well by the pleasure of God. Then grew the name and fame of him in the king's court. S. Loye loved well poor people, for all that he won and might win he distributed it to them, in so much that oft he was almost naked. The poor people also loved him, that where he went they followed him, and that they that would speak with him must ask and enquire of the poor people where he was.

On a time it happed that as he dealed alms with his own hand, there was a poor man that had his hand stiff and lame, and put forth the better hand to receive the alms. Then S. Loye said to him that he should put forth that other hand, which as well as he might he put forth. S. Loye took and handled it and anointed it with a little oil, and anon it was guerished and whole.

Another time when he had given to the poor people all the gold and silver that he had, many other poor men came and demanded of him alms: and beholding himself that he had no more to give, anon he departed among them a mark of gold that he had borrowed of his neighbour, and anon after, came more poor folk to demand alms, he put his hand anon to his purse, for he remembered not that it was void, and by the will of God he found therein a mark of gold, and when he had found that he began greatly to thank our Lord God thereof, and distributed it and departed it to the poor people for the love of God.

He was of high stature, red of visage and angelic, of simple and prudent regard and cheer. At the beginning he was clad with precious vestments of gold adorned with gems and ouches, and ware gilt girdles with precious stones, but under that, on his bare flesh, he wore always the hair. After this he gave all his precious vesture to the poor people for to succour them in their necessities, and from then forthon he used always simple and poor clothing, and oft despoiled himself for to clothe the poor people. And when the king saw him in such wise he gave to him his own vestments and girdles, for he loved him as his proper soul, and abandoned to him all his house, and commanded to all his folk that all that S. Loye would have should be delivered to him without delay, and all he gave and distributed to poor folk, prisoners and to sick.

From the time of Brunehilde queen, unto the time of Dagobert, the pestilence of simony reigned strongly, which, for to take away and destroy, S. Loye and S. Ouen laboured sore. Then was S. Loye chosen bishop of Noyon, after Achaire bishop of the said city, and with him was chosen S. Ouen archbishop of Rouen. S. Loye was pastor spiritual of Tournay, city royal, of Noyon, of Ghent, and of all Flanders, and of Courtrai. He had a certain place in which, by certain days, he called to him poor and sick men and served them devoutly, and made clean their heads and washed them, and them that were lousy and full of vermin he himself would pick and make them clean, and gave them meat and drink, and clothed them; and when they departed anon came other to whom he did in like wise. And when great company came, sometime he made them to sit down and refreshed them all, but every day, at the least he and twelve, the which he made sit down, and at certain hour ate and drank with them, but first he washed their hands and served them. On a time he impetred and gat of the king that all the bodies that were condemned to death, that he could find in towns and cities hanged and ratted, that he might take them down and bury them, and ordained men of his college to do it.

It happed on a time that in the company of the king in the parties of Arastria, in a town named Strabor, he found a man that was hanged that same day and was then dead, and men made the sepulture for to bury him in. And S. Loye approached him and began to take him down, and apperceived that the soul was in the body. He would not appropriate the miracle to him but kept him from vain glory and said full sweetly: O, what evil have we done for to let this man to be taken off if God Almighty had not holpen us; the soul is yet in his body. When he was raised, he was clad, and he did him to take his rest. When they that had made him to die knew it, they would have made him receive death again, and with great pain S. Loye delivered him from their hands, yet he gat letters of grace for him, to be more sure. There was a priest in his diocese which was infamed, and oft he reprored him and exhorted him to be confessed, but the priest alway heled his sin. When S. Loye saw that his fair admonition availed not, he excommunicated and accursed him, and defended him that he should no more sing mass unto the time he had done open penance. The priest set nought by his commandment ne defence, in despiting his sentence. A little after this the said priest would go sing mass, and as he approached unto the altar, he fell down to ground and died.

Many other miracles did he by his life and doeth yet. He edified at Noyon the ancelles of Jesu Christ. By him, God showed the body of S. Quintin. He found at Soissons the bodies of two brethren germanes, martyrs, S. Crispin and Crispinian, and ordained a precious vessel to put them in. He found also at Beauvais the body of S. Lucian, which was of the company of S. Quintin, which he put in a precious vessel. At Paris, upon the great bridge, he made a blind man to see. The sexton of the church of S. Colomba at Paris, came to S. Loye and said to him that thieves had borne away by night all the jewels and parements of the said church. Then S. Loye went into the oratory of S. Colomba, and said to him: Hark thou, Colomba, what I say to thee; my Redeemer will that anon thou bring again the ornaments of this church that have been taken away, or I shall in such wise close the doors with thorns, that never hereafter thou shalt, in this place, be served ne worshipped. When he had said thus he departed. On the morn the sexton of the said church, that was called Maturin, rose up and found all the parements and jewels that had been borne away, and were set in the place as they had been tofore.

S. Loye did do ordain much richly the body of S. Germain and the bodies of S. Severin, S. Plato, S. Quintin, S. Lucian, S. Genevieve, S. Colomba, S. Maxime, S. Julian, and specially of S. Martin at Tours, by Dagobert the king, and the tomb of S. Brice, and another tomb where the body of S. Martin had been long in, and the house of S. Denis the martyr at Paris, and the tigurion of marble which is upon him, of marvellous work of gold and of gems. When S. Loye died he was seventy years old. At the end of the year he was transported into another place, and was found also fresh and without rotting as he had been alive in his sepulchre. Now hear ye yet a more great miracle: his beard and his hairs were shaven when he died, but in his tomb, when he was translated, they were found as great and long as they had always grown in his tomb.

Thus endeth the Life of S. Loye and beginneth the

Life of S. William.

S. William was drawn out of noble lineage. In his childhood he was made canon of Paris and of Soissons, and when he came to perfect age and was a man ripe and attempered, he might no more suffer the pestilences and the perils of this deceivable world, but brake all the bonds of the world and went into a desert named Granmonte, and lived there a great while in pure conscience and in holy contemplation, but, as he led this life, there grew on him a great tribulation that he had great fear that the tranquillity of his contemplation might be troubled, and went into an abbey of Citeaux and there he was professed, and profited much in virtues from then forthon, and after, he was there made prior. Afterward he was translated from thence into another abbey that is called Karolosence, and there by election he was chosen abbot. And there in all humility he treated debonairly his disciples and subjects, in showing to them examples of good virtues and good manners. After, he was chosen to be archbishop of Bourges, and how well it was against his will, he accepted it, nevertheless when he had accepted and taken it, yet therefore changed he not the habit of the order which he had tofore taken, ne the observance also. And how well that he had meats delicious enough, as to such a prelate be ordained and arrayed, nevertheless he left not the soberness that he had maintained tofore, in humility, in holy meditation, and in devout prayers, in which gladly always he occupied his time. And he was much busy for the health of the souls that were committed to him and charged to keep; gladly and diligently be heard their confessions, he nourished them sweetly, oft and diligently he preached to them or did do preach. He deserved so much grace of our Lord that by his devout prayers and merits in his living life God showed many miracles.

On a day it happed that a priest named Gerald had lost the health of one of his hands, that he might sing no mass, which came to S. William, and S. William bade him that he should confess him and without doubt he should be whole, and so he did, and at the end of three days he sang mass whole and sound. Another time there was a young child that had his brain sore troubled, in such wise that his eyes turned in his head; his friends brought him tofore this holy man, on whom he had great pity and began humbly to handle him and laid his hand on his head, and anon the pain ceased and he was anon all whole. He was always glad and joyous, and that displeased much to some that were of hard and rude living. Above all things the sin of detraction displeased him much, and he loved no detractors, and to his power, with great diligence, he made them to eschew this sin, and where they would not he withdrew him from their company. Finally he took the cross for to go over sea against heretics and heathen men, and as he made his purveyance for to make the said voyage, he rendered and gave up his soul to Almighty God, the fifth ides of the month of January, and was buried in the church of Bourges, the which anon after, began to do miracles. When the pope Honorius the third heard his life, and how God showed miracles for him, after that he by great diligence had made inquisition, he canonised him to the honour and praising of God, which by the prayers of the said S. William bring us to his everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

Here beginneth the Life of S. Eutrope.

S. Eutrope was born and came of the most excellent lineage of all the world, and was born in the realm of Persia, and was son of the admiral of Babylon, which was named Exerces, whom the said Exerces engendered on a queen which was called Gwyne. And S. Eutrope was endoctrined in his youth in letters of Chaldee and of Greek, sofarforth that he was compared to the most greatest clerk of the realm. After, he went to Galilee into the court of king Herod, for to see some curiosity or some novelty of the barbarians that were with the king Herod. When he had dwelt there certain days in the court he heard the fame and renomee of the miracles of our Lord Jesu Christ, and began to enquire and search so much that he heard say that our Lord would go over the sea of Galilee, and he put himself in the multitude of the people that followed him. It happed that this day, our Lord, by his infinite largesse, refreshed and fed five thousand men with five loaves of barley bread and two fishes, in the presence of S. Eutrope. When S. Eutrope had seen this miracle and heard say of his other miracles, from then forthon he began to believe a little in him, but he durst not for his pedagogue or his governor which was with him, for the admiral, his father, had committed him in his guard. When he had fed him with the other, he went to Jerusalem into the temple for to pray and adore his creator in his law, and after this went home to his father, and told him all that he had seen in the country from whence he came. I have seen a man, said he, that is called Christ, but in all the world is not his pareil ne like, for he raiseth dead men, he healeth the lazars, he maketh blind men to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to go right, and healeth all manner sicknesses, and yet more, tofore me he hath fed, with five loaves of barley and two fishes, five thousand men. Wherefore if it pleased him that hath made heaven and earth to send him into this country, I shall be glad and joyous, if it pleased you, to do him honour and reverence. When the admiral heard the words of the child he went thinking how he might see him. A little while after, the child, that had great desire to see yet Jesu Christ, took leave of his father, which he gat with great pain, and came sith with great company for to worship and adore in the temple, where he saw on a day how the children of Jerusalem came with a great company of people tofore our Lord Jesu Christ unto Bethany, making to him great reverence, and took the boughs of palm, and of olives, and of other trees, and many other flowers, which they threw in the way where he should pass, and sang with high voice: Hosanna! Then S. Eutrope himself began to cast flowers in the way, but he was much angry because he might not see Jesu Christ for the multitude of the people that was there, and, after that is contained in the gospel, he was in the company of them that were come for to adore and worship in Jerusalem at the feast that was there, which said to S. Philip: Sir, we would see Jesu Christ. Then S. Philip, accompanied with S. Andrew, told it to Jesu Christ. And anon after, S. Eutrope and his company saw him sitting upon an ass, whereof he was right glad, and from then forthon he believed secretly and accompanied with him, but he doubted his fellowship, forasmuch as his father had commanded them to keep him well, and that they should bring him again with them. Then he heard say that the Jews should shortly bring Jesu Christ to death, and because he would not see so great cruelty done to so true and just a man, he departed on the morn and went in to his country, and recounted all that he had seen of our Lord. A little while after he returned, and heard say how he was put to death, wherefore he was sorry, for he loved him much. But when he heard say that he was risen from death to life, and ascended in to heaven, he was much joyous, and returned into Babylon, fulfilled with the Holy Ghost. And all the Jews that he found in his country, for anger he destroyed, because they of Jerusalem had put our Lord to death.

After this, a certain time, when the apostles were departed through the world, two shining candlesticks of gold were sent into Persia which were of very faith, that is to say Simon and Thaddeus the apostles of God, and entered into Babylon and had chased out of the country two enchanters, Zaroen and Arphaxat, which had perverted the people by false and deceivable speaking. And in this city these two apostles began to sow the word of God, and to do many miracles, and heal sick people of divers maladies. When this holy young man knew of their coming he was right glad, and admonished his father to leave his errors and his idols, and that he should receive the christian faith to the end that he might get thereby heaven. And what by the predication of the apostles, and by the counsel and exhorting of his son, his father and many others were converted and regenerate in the holy font of baptism by the hands of the apostles, and after, all the city was converted to the faith, and did do make a much notable church there, and ordained there a prelate, an holy man and true, whom they had brought with them from Jerusalem, named Abdias, endoctrined in the doctrine of the gospels, and they ordained S. Eutrope archdeacon. And when they had all thus ordained, they departed and went in to other cities for to preach the faith of God, and anon after, they received the palm of martyrdom. After, S. Eutrope wrote their passion in letters of Chaldee and of Greek. A little while after, S. Eutrope heard speak of the miracles that S. Peter prince of the apostles did, which that time was pope of Rome; he took leave of the bishops privily, without witting of his father, and came to Rome. When S. Peter saw him, he received him much agreeably, and endoctrined and taught him the law of God much diligently. When he had dwelled with S. Peter a long while, by the ordinance and commandment of S. Peter, he went in to France with many others for to preach the christian faith, and thus as he entered into the city of Xaintes; he went through the streets and places preaching the faith of Christ. Anon, as they of the city saw him, they knew well that he was a barbarian by his speech, and when they heard him preach things that they never heard tofore, they burned him with burning fagots, and beat him with poles villainously, and when they had so villainously beaten him, they put him out of the city. But the glorious friend of God bare full patiently this persecution, and made in a mountain, right nigh the city, a little lodge of boughs, wherein he dwelled a great while, and by daytime he came and preached in the city, and at night he returned unto his little lodge, where he abode in fastings and prayers and in orisons. Then when he had been long there and had converted but few of the people, he went again to S. Peter to Rome, and when be came thither he found that he had suffered passion on the cross, and found there S. Clement in his stead, which commanded and counselled him to return into the said city of Xaintes, and that in preaching the commandments of God benignly he should abide the palm of victory for the love of our Lord, that is to wit passion and martyrdom. Then S. Clement ordained him a bishop, and also S. Denis which was come out of Greece to Rome, and many other brethren which S. Clement sent into France, and thus departed they from Rome and arrived in the city of Auxerre, and there, in great love, they kissed and embraced each other in taking leave for to depart one from another and tenderly wept. S. Denis and his fellows came to Paris and S. Eutrope went to Xaintes, strongly confirmed and firm in the love of God, all prest and ready to suffer all torments, and much constantly preached the faith in such wise that many were baptized. Among whom the daughter of the king of the said city, which was named Euscelle, was baptized. When her father knew it, he had thereof so great indignation that he put her out of the city, and anon as she was out, for the love of God she went straight unto the lodge of the holy man and abode there. Always the father for love that he had to his daughter was sorry that he had put her out, and sent ofttimes to her messengers for to come again home to him. To whom she answered that she had liefer for the faith of Jesu Christ dwell out of the city, than to return in again to sacrifice to the idols. For which answer the father was so angry and wroth that he wist not what to do, and did do assemble of all the butchers of the town, and gave to them an hundred and fifty shillings for to put to death S. Eutrope, and that they should bring again his daughter to his house. Then, the day tofore the calends of May, they assembled with them many Saracens and came to the lodge of S. Eutrope, and first they stoned him, and after they beat this holy man with staves and scourges leaded, all naked, and after they cleaved his head with a butcher's axe, and sawed him with a saw. The maid with many others buried him by night in his tigurion or lodge, and kept him in vigils with lights, and in divine obsequies, as long as she lived. A little while after, she departed out of this world right holily, and was buried beside her master as she had required by her life. After this, a certain space of time, they of Xaintes edified over this holy corpse a much notable church, in which all sick folk of divers maladies and sicknesses have been healed, and yet daily be, and also many prisoners be also, by the prayer of this holy saint, delivered of their irons, as gyves, bolts, and other, which be hanged in the said church in remembrance that they have been loosed and unbound by the prayers of S. Eutrope. S. Denis wrote the passion and martyrdom of S. Eutrope in Greek and sent it into Greece, to his friends that believed there in God, by the hands of S. Clement that then was pope of Rome, in exalting and glorifying the name of God which without end reigneth and shall reign. Amen.

Thus endeth the Life of S. Eutrope and

Beginneth of S. Marcial.

In the time that our Lord Jesu Christ preached in Jewry, in the lineage of Benjamin, much people came to him for to have that was necessary to them, as well of drink as of meat, and in especial for to hear and understand such things as touched the salvation of the soul. On a day, in the midst of all the company, came a man that was of the said lineage of Benjamin, the most noble of all the Jews, named by his right name Marcial, and his wife was called Elizabeth, which had between them both a child of the age of fifteen years, that was named also Marcial. When they heard our Lord Jesu Christ preach, which said in his predication: Do ye penance, the realm of heaven is nigh to them that do penance, and who that is not regenerate in water by the sacrament of baptism he may not enter into the realm of heaven, then by the commandment of our Lord Jesu Christ Marcial, his wife, and their son Marcial, which was a child replenished in holy doctrine, were baptized of S. Peter. Then Zaccheus and Joseph, the which buried our Lord, were baptized also, and many other of the people of the Jews, which were over long to tell here all their names. When all this was accomplished, and that every each turned homeward to his house, the child Marcial returned not with his father and mother, but gave himself all over to our Lord Jesu Christ, and put him in the company as one of his disciples, and held him always by S. Peter, which was right nigh of his kin, and from then forthon he was so enlumined and endoctrined of our Lord and of S. Peter that he nothing desired so much as for to accomplish commandments solitaries. After this S. Peter came to Rome, and prayed to Marcial that he would go with him, and thus as they had been together endoctrined with one holy doctrine, and of one meritorious dilection, in like wise that together they receive the common reward of the joy perdurable. And thus as they went they were accompanied of some disciples of Antioch, among whom were Alphinian and Austridiman, and many other. When they were entered within Rome, they were received of a man named Marcel, at that time consul of the Romans. Thus as they dwelled there God appeared to S. Peter, and commanded him that he should send S. Marcial into the provinces of Gaul for to preach the faith and the belief to the people which were in the bonds ot the devil of hell. Then S. Peter called to him S. Marcial and told him all by order that our Lord had said and commanded him. When S. Marcial heard that, he began strongly to weep, because he doubted the far region, and the people which had no knowledge of God. When S. Peter saw him thus weep he began much sweetly to comfort him in saying to him: My holy brother, be not heavy ne sorrowful, for God shall be always with thee like as he hath promised to us saying: Lo! I am always and shall be with you unto the consummation of the world. Thus, my sweet brother, he commanded us after his resurrection saying: Go ye unto and through the universal world and preach the gospel to all creatures, that who shall believe and shall be baptized he shall be saved, and they that will not do so shall be damned. Which things, my blessed brother, behoveth us to keep and put in effect, to the end that we forget not the commandments of God. Anon after these blessed words S. Marcial took leave of S. Peter, and brought with him the two disciples aforesaid; that is to wit Alphinian and Austridinian and departed like as God had commanded to S. Peter.

Thus then as they went, and that they were weary and sore travelled by the way, which was long and grievous, S. Austridinian departed out of this world and died. When S. Marcial saw that he was dead he returned in great haste to Rome, and told to S. Peter that which was befallen in their way. When S. Peter had heard him he said: Return as hastily as thou mayest, and take my bourdon in thy hand, and thou shalt come where thou hast left thy brother, touch his body with this bourdon and anon he shall arise and go in thy company as he did tofore. When S. Marcial came again to the corpse he touched it with the bourdon like as S. Peter bade him, and anon he was raised from death to life.

After, when S. Marcial had journeyed long by divers countries in long preaching and sowing the word of God, they came in to Guienne unto a castle called Tulle and there were received of a rich and a mighty man named Arnold, which had a daughter that daily was tormented with the enemy. Thus as S. Marcial entered into the house the fiend began to cry, saying: I know well now that I must issue out of the body of this maid, for the angels of paradise that be with thee, Marcial, torment me right grievously; but I pray thee by the name of him that was crucified, whom thou preachest of, that thou send me not into the abysm of hell. Then S. Marcial said to him: I conjure thee in the name of Jesu Christ that was crucified for us, that thou issue out of the body of this maid, and never return again, but that thou go unto a place desert where bird, ne fowl, ne person dwelleth. With this commandment the maid cast out the enemy and she fell down as dead. Then S. Marcial took her by the hand and raised her up and delivered her to her father, whole and safe.

Holiness and benignity, with all humility, shone in S. Marcial, and he was always in prayers. Another miracle also our Lord showed by the prayers of S. Marcial in the same place. The prince of the said castle, which was called Nerva, and was cousin to the emperor Nero, had a daughter which was suffocated and murdered by the fiend, and was dead. Then the father and mother of the child, that were much sorrowful and heavy, with a great part of the people, brought the body of the child tofore S. Marcial, tenderly weeping, and saying to him: O man of God, help us at this time, thou seest how it is with us. When S. Marcial saw the lamentation and the sorrow that they made, he had pity on them, and said with an high voice: I pray you all, as well christians as paynims, that ye will devoutly pray God Almighty that by his benign grace it please him to give again the life to this child. The two disciples of S. Marcial, and a few of christian people that were there, put them to prayers, and sith S. Marcial himself made his prayer, saying: Sire, I pray thee in the name of thy blessed dear Son and of thy good friend S. Peter, by the ordinance and commandment of whom I am come hither, that it please thee to raise this child here: to the end that when she shall be raised many may believe in thine holy and precious name. Then S. Marcial, trusting in the help of God, took the child by the hand saying to her: In the name of our Lord Jesu Christ, that of the Jews for us was crucified, and the third day rose from death to life, arise up and stand right on thy feet. Anon the child arose right upon her feet, and sith kneeled down to the feet of the holy man, saying to him: O man of God, I require thee to baptize me to the end that I may be saved, and mark me with the sign of the holy cross, for otherwise may none be saved but if he be baptized. Anon, S. Marcial baptized him and with him in the same place were well christened also, as well men as women three thousand and six hundred. And after this, S. Marcial went and destroyed the idols and brought them to nought. From thence went S. Marcial and his two disciples, and departed and came to Limoges, where they were beniguly received of a matron that was named Susanna, in whose presence Marcial healed one that was frenatic. When the good woman Susanna saw the miracle that so was made in her presence, anon she and her meiny were baptized.

After this S. Marcial went into the temple where the priests of the idols were, the which beat him grievously, and sith put him in prison. On the morn, as he made his prayer, there descended a light so great upon him that men might not behold him, the chains of iron burst, and the doors of the prison opened, the keepers and they that were there required to be baptized, and the priests that had so beaten him were smitten to death by thunder and lightning. Then the others that were there came to S. Marcial, in to the prison, and prayed him that he would raise them that so were smitten to death by the thunder, promising to him that if he so did they all would be baptized. Then our Lord by his prayer raised them again from death to life. Then that same time were turned to christian faith and baptized twelve thousand creatures, as well men as women. And after this, on a time died the holy woman Susanna, and totore her death she recommended to S. Marcial her daughter, that was called Valerienne, which had promised and avowed to our Lord chastity as long as she lived. After, when the holy maid knew that there should come to Limoges a lord named Steven, which was lord of all the province from the river of Rhone unto the sea, she was sore afraid lest he would do to her any grief or noyance against her vow, and gave away all her riches to poor folk for the love of God. When the said Steven was come to Limoges, he made to do come tofore him the holy maid, to the end to have his will of her; but when she was come and he saw that she would not consent to do his will, anon he made her head to be smitten off. Then the squire that beheaded her heard the angels sing, that bare the soul of the holy virgin into heaven, with much great joy and solemnity, and anon he returned unto his master and told him all that he had seen and heard, and sith fell down dead at his feet. Then the duke and all his company had much great dread, and the duke himself clad him next his flesh in a sharp hair and hard, for great repentance, and prayed S. Marcial that he would pray God that it might please him to raise his squire from death to life, and he would believe in the faith of Jesu Christ and be christened. Anon after that S. Marcial had prayed, our Lord raised the squire; then the duke and well fifteen thousand persons in his company were baptized. In this time the same duke by the commandment of the emperor Nero went in to Italy with a great company of men of arms. When he had accomplished the commandment of Nero, they went to Rome for to see S. Peter, whom they found preaching to the people, which people were barefoot and had clothed them with the hair, Iying on the ground tofore S. Peter in demanding him pardon of their sins. When S. Peter saw the duke and so much fair people in his company, he demanded them what they were, and of what country. Then the duke told him by order how he and his company had been converted and baptized of S. Marcial.

After, when they were departed from Rome, they thought that they would go see S. Marcial tofore ere they returned in to their country. Thus then as they were lodged nigh by a river, and the son of the earl of Poictiers bained him in the said river, the enemy the devil drowned and smothered him to the death. When his father knew it he went weeping tenderly to S. Marcial, and prayed him to raise his son from death to life. Then S. Marcial went to the place where he was drowned and commanded to the fiend to bring the body out of the water, and that he should appear in a likeness visible tofore them all. Anon, issued out of the water three fiends, like Ethiopians, more black than coals, and had terrible feet and eyes, and great hair that covered all the body, and cast out at their mouths and nostrils fire like sulphur, and cried like ravens. When they had told to S. Marcial the harms and evils that they had done, he commanded them that they should depart and go into places desert, whereas they might never noy ne grieve persons living. S. Marcial, which had pity and compassion on them that wept for the dead child raised him from death to life, and then the child told, tofore them all that were there, how the fiend had drowned and smothered him, and how they would have bounden him with chains of iron burning, but an angel of heaven delivered him, and showed him the fire of purgatory, and from thence led him to the gate of Paradise, and as the fiends required to have him, a voice came from heaven and commanded that he should arise again, and that he should live yet twenty-six years. When he had told him all this he gave himself all over to S. Marcial, and from then forthon lived in great abstinence and holy life, like as the angel had taught him. S. Marcial did many miracles and virtues. There was in that time a woman that had an husband sick of the palsy, to which woman S. Marcial delivered his bourdon, with which she touched a little her husband, and incontinent he was whole. Another time the fire was so great in the city of Bordeaux that all was on a flame. S. Marcial held up his bourdon against the fire and anon it was quenched.

Another time, as he would have hallowed a church at Limoges, the prince aforesaid conveyed and summoned all the people, poor and rich, to come to the dedication of this church, and when they were all assembled, S. Marcial admonished and warned them to be in very chastity. It happed among them whilst the mass was on saying that there was a knight, which he and his wife were sore vexed and troubled with fiends, and as they were brought tofore S. Marcial, he demanded of the fiends why they vexed them so, and they answered to him: Thou hast commanded them that the people maintain chastity, and these two have all night exposed them in lechery, and this is the cause that wherefore we be entered into them. S. Marcial, at the request of the prince and people, healed them.

This same year, that is to say the fortieth year after the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, the same, our Lord Jesu Christ, appeared to him and showed how that hastily he should depart from this world, and be with his other friends in the realm of heaven. Then he did do assemble all the christian people that he had converted, and to them made a much sweet sermon in taking leave of them. Soon after he was sick of the fevers, and then our Lord appeared to him with a great quantity of angels, which with much joy and gladness bare the soul of S. Marcial into heaven: Ubi est honor et gloria in secula seculorum, Amen. This S. Marcial of whom we speak here was the same child, as some say, on whom our Lord laid his hand upon his head, when the contention and strife was among the apostles which of them should be greatest in the realm of heaven, and then our Lord set the child Marcial in the midst of them, laying his hand upon his head, as said is, and said to them: If ye be not little and humble as this child is, ye shall not enter into heaven; he that shall be least among you he shall be greatest in my realm, as the gospel maketh more plain mention. The which glorious S. Marcial let us pray unto, that he procure unto our Lord Jesu Christ, that all we may have part with him in the joy and glory perdurable. Amen.

Here followeth the Life of S. Genevieve.

The noble S. Genevieve was born at Nanterre, beside Paris, in the time of the emperor Honorius and Theodosius the less, and was with her father and mother unto the time of the emperor Valentinian. Anon after her nativity, the Holy Ghost showed unto S. Germain of Auxerre how she should serve God holily and virginly, the which thing he told to many. After, she was sacred of the bishop of Chartres, Viliques, and came to dwell at Paris full of virtues and of miracles, in the time of S. Nicasius the martyr, whom the Hungarians martyred, and after, in the time of S. Remigius under Childeric, king of France, and after, under Clovis his son, first christian king of France, and was named Louis in his baptism, whom S. Remigius christened. And an angel of paradise brought to him an ampul full of chrism of which he was anointed, and also his successors, kings of France, be anointed and sacred at their coronation. And after, he was of good life, and founded the church that is now called S. Genevieve, on the mount of Paris, in the honour of S. Peter and S. Paul, at the request of S. Clotilde his wife, of whom the body resteth in the said church, at the incitation of S. Genevieve, and S. Remigius did hallow and dedifie it. The said king did increase much the realm of France, and franchised it by his puissance from the Romans. He conquered Melun, and the land Iying by Seine and Loire, Touraine, Toulouse, and all Guienne, and at his coming to Angouleme the walls of the city fell down. He made Almaine and Bourgogne his tributaries, he ordained and instituted Paris to be the chief siege of the realm, and he reigned thirty years, and after, he was interred in the said church, the year of our Lord five hundred and fourteen. In the time of the said king lived the said virgin, unto the time of king Clothaire his son, of which virgin the soul flew into heaven and the body abode in earth, in the said church, in which she is yet whole and honorably interred, and devoutly worshipped by the good and devout christian people.

In the time that the said virgin S. Genevieve was a child, S. Germain of Auxerre and S. Lew of Troyes, elect of the prelates of France, for to go quench an heresy that was in Great Britain, now called England, came to Nanterre for to be lodged and harboured, the people came against them for to have their benison. Among the people, S. Germain, by the enseignements of the Holy Ghost, espied out the little maid S. Genevieve, and made her to come to him, and kissed her head and demanded her name, and whose daughter she was, and the people about her said that her name was Genevieve, and her father Severe, and her mother Geronce, which came unto him, and the holy man said: Is this child yours? They answered: Yea. Blessed be ye, said the holy man, when God hath given to you so noble lineage, know ye for certain that the day of her nativity, the angels sang and hallowed great mystery in heaven with great joy and gladness; she shall be of so great merit against God. And of her good life and conversation many shall take ensample, that they shall leave their sin and shall convert them to God, and shall live religiously, by which they shall have pardon and joy perdurable. Then he said to Genevieve: My daughter tell to me, and be not ashamed, if ye will be sacred and live in virginity unto the death, as espouse of Jesu Christ? The maid answered: Holy father, ye demand that I desire; there lacketh no more but that by your prayers our Lord will accomplish my devotion. The holy man said: Have firm belief in God, and prove by works the good things that ye believe in your heart and say with your mouth, and our Lord shall give you force and virtue. S.Germain held his hand on her head till he came unto the minster, there he gave to the people the benison. S. Germain said to the father and mother of the maid that they should bring her again on the morn to him. When she was brought again on the morn, S. Germain saw in her a sign celestial, I wot not what, and said to her: God thee saluteth, Genevieve. Daughter, rememberest thou what thou promisedst to me yesterday of the virginity of thy body? Holy father, said the maid, I remember well that, and by the help of God I desire and think to accomplish my purpose. Then the ho]y man looked on the ground and saw a penny signed with the cross, which came by the grace and will of God; he took it up and gave it her and said: Fair daughter take this and bear it in mind of Jesu Christ your espouse, and suffer not about you none other arrayment of gold ne silver, ne of precious stones, for if the beauty of this world surmount a little your thought, ye shall lose the goods of heaven. He commended her to God, and prayed her that she would remember him in her orisons and prayers, and recommended her to father and mother. The two holy bishops went from thence into England, where were heretics against the faith, which said that children born of father and mother baptized had no need to be christened, which is not truth, for our Lord Jesu Christ saith clearly, in the gospel, that none may enter into the kingdom of heaven if he be not regenerate of water and of the Holy Ghost, that is to say, regenerate by the sacrament of baptism. By this scripture, and by semblable, the holy prelates destroyed their false creance and belief, and by virtue also and by miracles, for in a solemnity of Easter, by many that were new baptized, in singing Alleluia they chased and drove away their enemies of Scotland, and strangers of other places, that were come for to grieve them.

It happed on a day that Geronce, the mother of the holy maid Genevieve, went on an holy and festal day toward the minster, and her daughter went after, saying that the faith that she had promised to S. Germain she should keep by the help of God and that she should oft go to the minster to the end that she might desire to be the espouse of Jesu Christ, and that she might be worthy of his love. The mother was angry and smote her on the cheek. God avenged the child that the mother became blind, and that in twenty-one months she saw not. When the mother had been long in this pain, which much annoyed her, she remembered of the goodness that S. Germain had said of her daughter, and called her and said: My daughter, go to the pit and fetch me water; the maid went hastily; when she was at the pit she began to weep because her mother had lost her sight for her sake, and took up water and bare it to her mother. The mother stretched her hands to heaven, and took the water with great faith and reverence, and made her daughter to sign her with the sign of the holy cross and wash her eyes, and anon she bepan for to see a little. When she had twice or thrice washed, her sight came whole to her again as it had been tofore. After this it happed that the holy maid was offered to the bishop of Chartres, Viliques, for to be sacred with two other elder maidens; for men offered them after their age. But the holy bishop knew by the Holy Ghost that Genevieve was the most worthy and digne, and said to her, that was behind, that she should come before, for God had then sanctified her. After the death of her father and her mother the holy damsel came and dwelt at Paris for to assay and prove her there, and for to avail the more she was sick of the palsy, so much that it seemed that her members were disjoined and departed that one from that other, whereof she was so sore tormented that during three days she was kept as for dead, for there appeared on her no sign of life save that her jowes were a little red. In this space and time, as she confessed after, an angel led her in spirit whereas the rest was of good folk, and where the torment was of evil people. Afterward she showed to many the secrets of their consciences, as she that was taught and enseigned of the Holy Ghost. The second time S. Germain returned from England and came to Paris the people almost all went against him with great joy, and tofore all other things S. Germain demanded how Genevieve did, but the people, which more is inclined to say evil of good people than well, answered that of her was nothing, in blaming her, which was to her a praising. Of other men's praising is none the better, ne of others blaming is none the worse, therefore the holy man set nought of their jangling, but as soon as he entered into the city he went straight to the house of the holy virgin whom he saluted in so great humility that all they marvelled, and showed to them that dispraised her, the ground wet of her tears, and recited to them the beginning of her life, and how he found at Nanterre that she was chosen of God, and recommended her to the people.

Tidings came to Paris that Attila, the felon king of Hungary, had enterprised to destroy and waste the parts of France, and to subdue them to his domination. The burgesses of Paris, for great dread that they had, sent their goods into other cities more sure. S. Genevieve warned and admonished the good women of the town that they should wake in fastings and in orisons, by which they might assuage the ire of our Lord and eschew the tyranny of their enemies, like as did sometime the two holy women Judith and Esther. They obeyed her, and were long and many days in the church in wakings, fastings and in orisons. She said to the burgesses that they should not remove their goods, ne send them out of the town of Paris, for the other cities that they supposed should be more sure, should be destroyed and wasted, but by the grace of God, Paris should have none harm. And, some had indignation at her, and said that a false prophet was risen and appeared in their time, an began among them to ask and treat whether they should drown her or stone her. Whilst they were thus treating, as God would, came to Paris, after the decease of S. Germain, the archdeacon of Auxerre, and when he understood that they treated together of her death, he came to them, an said: Fair sirs, for God's sake do not this mischief, for she of whom ye treat, S. Germain witnesseth that she was chosen of God in her mother's belly, and lo! here be the letters that he hath sent to her in which he recommendeth him to her prayers. When the burgesses heard these words recited by him of S. Germain, and saw the letters, they marvelled and feared God, and left their evil counsel and did no more thereto. Thus our Lord kept her from harm, which keepeth alway them that be his, and defendeth, after that the apostle saith, and for her love did so much that the tyrants approached not Paris, thank and glory to God and honour to the virgin. This holy maid did great penance in tormenting her body all her life, and became lean for to give good example. For sith she was of the age of fifteen years unto fifty, she fasted every day save Sunday and Thursday. In her refection she had nothing but barley bread, and sometime beans, the which, sodden after fourteen days or three weeks, she ate for all delices. Always she was in prayers in wakings and in penances, she drank never wine ne other liquor, that might make her drunk, in all her life. When she had lived and used this life fifty years, the bishops that were that time, saw and beheld that she was over feeble by abstinence as for her age, and warned her to increase a little her fare. The holy woman durst not gainsay them, for our Lord saith of the prelates: Who heareth you heareth me, and who despiseth you, despiseth me, and so she began by obedience to eat with her bread, fish and milk, and how well that, she so did, she beheld the heaven and wept, whereof it is to believe that she saw appertly our Lord Jesu Christ after the promise of the gospel that saith that, Blessed be they that be clean of heart for they shall see God; she had her heart and body pure and clean. There be twelve virtues virginal, saith Hermes Pastor, without which no virgin may be agreeable to God, that is to wit: Faith, abstinence, patience, magnanimity, simplesse, innocence, concord, charity, discipline, chastity, truth, and prudence. These virtues accomplished the holy virgin by work, she taught and enseigned by word, and showed oft by ensample.

Oft and tofore all other holy places, she visited the place whereas rested S. Denis and his fellows, and had great devotion to edify upon the said holy bodies a church, but she had not whereof. On a time came to her the priests, as oft they had done tofore, to whom she said: Reverend Fathers in God, I pray and require that each of you do his power and his devoir to assemble matter whereof might be made and edified a church in the honour of the glorious martyrs S. Denis and his fellows, for the place where they rest ought much to be worshipped and doubted, which first taught to our ancestors the faith. Dame, answered the priests, we would fain, and have great will thereto, but we can get no chalk ne lime. Then said the holy virgin with a glad cheer in prophesying as she that was replenished by the Holy Ghost: Go ye I pray you to Paris upon the great bridge, and bring that ye shall find there. They went thither and abode there a while, marvelled and abashed. And anon came by them two swineherds speaking together, of which that one said: As I went yesterday after one of my sows, I found a fournil of lime marvellously great, that other answered: And I found in the wood under the root of a tree that the wind had thrown down a fournil of lime of which I trow was never none taken away. When the priests heard this they had great admiration, and blessed our Lord that had given such grace to Genevieve his handmaid. They demanded where the fournils were, and after

returned and told to the virgin what they had found. She began to weep for joy, and as soon as the priests were gone and departed, she set on her knees and was all the night in orisons and in tears, in requiring help of God to perform this work, and on the morn early, all mat and travailed of waking, she went to Genese, a good priest, and prayed him that he would do his pain and labour that the church might be edified, and told him tidings of the lime. When Genese heard this he was all amarvelled, and fell down to her feet and promised to her that night and day he would do his labour to accomplish her commandment. By the help of God and of S. Genevieve, and of the people of Paris, the said church was begun in the honour of the blessed martyrs S. Denis, S. Rustique, and S. Eleuthere which now is called S. Denis de Lestree. There be yet the holy bodies where our Lord showeth fair miracles, for as the workmen entended to make the edificee each after his craft, it happed that their drink failed and was done, and Genese the priest said to Genevieve, which knew not hereof, that she should talk with the workmen so long that he might go to Paris and fetch drink. When she heard this she demanded for the vessel that they had emptied, and it was brought to her; she made them to depart from her. Then she kneeled down on her knees and prayed God with warm tears to help her, and when she felt that our Lord had heard her prayer, she arose up, and made the sign of the cross upon the said vessel, and a marvellous thing happed, for the vessel was full. The workmen drank their bellyful, and as oft as they would, unto the time the church was perfectly made, whereof they thanked our Lord.

The holy virgin had devotion to wake the night that our Lord rose from death to life, after the custom and statutes of ancient fathers. It happed on a time that she put her on the way, tofore day, to go to the said church of S. Denis, and made to bear a candle burning tofore her. The night was dark, the wind great, and it rained fast, which quenched the light of the candle.The maidens that were in her company were sore troubled; she asked after the candle, and as soon as she had it in her hand it was lighted by God's will again, and so she bare it burning unto the church.

Another time when she had ended her prayer, a candle that she held, lighted in her hand by the grace of God. Semblably in her cell, on a time was a candle lighted in her hand without any fire of this world, of which candle many sick folk by their faith and reverence have been healed. That taper is kept yet at Notre Dame de Paris. A woman which by the temptation of the devil, which to his power always deceiveth the good, stole away her shoes, but as soon as she was at home she lost her sight. When she saw that our Lord had avenged the wrong that she had done to the virgin, she did her to be led to her with the theft. When she came tofore the holy virgin she fell down to her feet, and required her of forgiveness and restoring of her sight. Genevieve, that was right debonair, took her up from the ground, and in smiling, gave to her the sight again of her eyes.

The holy virgin on a time went to Laon, and the people of the town went out against her, among whom were the father and mother of a maid that had been nine years so paralytic that none might show the jointure of her members. They besought and required S. Genevieve that she would visit the sick maid. She went and saw her, and sith made her prayer as she was accustomed, and after, handled the members of the maid, and commanded her to do on her clothes and hosen and shoes. Incontinent she arose in good health in such wise that she went unto the church with the people. The folk that saw this, blest our Lord, that had given such grace to his damsel Genevieve, and when she returned they conveyed her, singing with great joy. The king of France, Childeric, how be it he was a paynim, held her in great reverence, so did also the barons of France, for the fair miracles that she did in the name of our Lord Jesu Christ.

Whereof It happed on a time that the said king held certain prisoners judged to death, but because Genevieve should not demand them, he issued out of Paris, and made to shut the gates after him. The holy virgin knew it anon, and went hastily after him for to help to deliver them. As soon as she came to the gates, they opened without key, all the people seeing which, thought it a great wonder. She pursued the king and obtained grace for the prisoners.

In the parts of the Orient beyond Antioch, was a good man named Simeon, which had despised this world, and was of marvellous holy life, which demanded of S. Genevieve of the merchants that went in to those parts, and by them he saluted her much honourably, and recommended him unto her prayers. It was a great marvel that the holy man which had never seen ne heard speak of her did do greet her by her name. Verily the friends of God that know his will and do thereafter, have tidings that one from that other by administration of the Holy Ghost, they shall never be separate ne departed, as S. Ambrose being at Milan knew of the death of S. Martin at Tours.

At Meaux was a noble damsel which was named by her proper name Celine, which, when she had heard of the grace that God had given to S. Genevieve, she required her to change her habit. A young man had fianced and trothed her, which had great indignation when he heard of those tidings, and came to Meaux in a great ire, where the two virgins dwelt; and when they knew of his coming they fled unto the church. There happed a fair miracle, for as they came to the church door, which was locked and fast shut, the door that was so locked opened by his gree by himself; thus S. Genevieve delivered S. Celine from peril and from the contagion of the world, the which persevered in abstinence, and in chastity to her end. In this time the said Celine offered to S. Genevieve one, her chamberer, which had lain sick two years and might not go; the holy virgin handled her members with her worthy hands and anon she was whole and in good point.

There were brought to her twelve men that were wood and beset with devils, unto Paris, which were over hard bestead and tormented of the enemy, the virgin had great pity, and went to prayer and orisons in requiring our Lord, with salt tears, that by his grace and goodness he would deliver them of this pestilence; and as she persevered in her prayers, they were hanged in the air in such manner as they touched nothing. She arose from her prayer, and said that they should go to S. Denis, the wood men answered that they might not but she unbound them; the virgin which was for them in great sorrow commanded that they should go; then anon they suffered them to be led secretly, their hands bound behind their backs. She went after them, and when she was in the church of S. Denis, she stretched herself on the ground in orisons and in weepings. Thus as she persevered in prayers and weepings, the wood men cried with a high voice that they approached whom the virgin called in to their help. None ought to doubt that the enemy, that saw that he must needs issue and go out, signified by the mouth of the demoniacs, that the apostles, martyrs and other saints, that the holy virgin called, came unto her help by the gift of God, which is ready to do the will of them that dread him and call him in truth. When the holy virgin heard this that they said, she arose up and blessed each after other with the sign of the cross, and anon they were delivered of the enemies. They that were present felt so great stench that they doubted nothing but the souls were delivered from the vexation of the devil, and blessed our Lord for this miracle.

There was at Bourges a damsel, which heard speak of the great renomee of this holy saint, and came to Paris for to speak to her. She had been sacred, but after the consecration she had lost her virginity. The holy Genevieve demanded of her if she was a virgin nun, or wife, or a widow. She answered that she was a virgin sacred; Genevieve said nay, telling to her the place and time of her defloration and the man that had done the fait. When she saw that it was for nought that she said she was a virgin, her conscience remorsed her, and fell down to her feet in requiring pardon. In semblable wise the holy Genevieve discovered to many the secrets of their consciences, which be not here written because it were over noyous and long to write.

A woman whom the holy virgin had healed, had a child of the age of four years which felI in a pit, he was therein the space of three hours. The mother came and drew it out, and bare it all dead unto the saint, in rending her hair and beating her breast and paps, and weeping bitterly, and laid the child dead at her feet. The holy virgin covered it with her mantle, and after, she fell down in her prayers and wept, and anon after, when she ceased of her weeping, our Lord showed a fair miracle, for the child that was dead revived, the which was baptized at Easter after, and was named Celonier because she was raised in the cell of S. Genevieve. There came from Meaux a man to this holy virgin which had his hand dried unto the wrist, and she handled his joints and fingers, and made thereon the sign of the cross, and anon the hand became all whole.

Genevieve that knew well, that our Lord Jesu Christ was baptized the day of Epiphany, and after, went into desert in giving enseignement to them that be regenerate in the sacrament of baptism, to fast, wake and adore busily, and to accomplish by work the grace that they have taken in the baptism, by the ensample of sweet Jesu Christ. Then entered the holy virgin in to her cell the Sunday tofore the said feast, and abode there as recluse unto the Thursday, absolute in waking, in prayers, in tastings and orisons. Thither came a woman to see her, more for curiosity than for good faith, and therefore God punished her, for as soon as she approached the door of the cell she lost her sight and became blind, but the holy maid by her debonairty, and by her prayer gat her sight again, and by the sign of the holy cross, when she issued out of her cell in the end of Lent.

In the time that the city of Paris was assieged by the term of ten years, like as the ancient histories rehearse, there followed so great famine and hunger that many died for hunger. The holy virgin, that pity constrained her, went to the Seine for to go fetch by ship some victuals. When she came unto a place of Seine, whereas of custom ships were wont to perish, she made the ship to be drawn to the rivage and commanded to cut down a tree that was in the water, and she set lier to prayer. Then, as the ship should have smitten upon the tree it fell down, and two wild heads, grey and horrible, issued thereout, which stank so sore that the people there were envenomed by the space of two hours, and never after perished ship there, thank be to God and to his holy saint.

Unto Arcy, the castle, went this holy virgin, and there came against her a great lord which required her that she should visit his wife, which had had long time the palsy. The holy virgin went and visited her which had been long sick, with prayers and orisons, and after, blessed her with the sign of the cross, and commanded her that she should arise. She then, that had been four years sick and might not help herself, arose, which seeing, all the people thanked our Lord.

From Arcy she went to Troyes in Champagne. The people came to meet with her, and offered to her great multitude of sick people without number. She blessed them and signed them with the sign of the cross, and incontinent they were healed in the sight of all the people, which marvelled much and rendered thankings to our Lord. There was brought to her a man, which by the punition of God was made blind, because he wrought on the Sunday; and a blind maid also. The holy virgin blessed them in the name of the Father, and Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and anon their sight was restored to them. There was a sub-deacon present and saw this; he went and fetched a child which had been sick ten years of the fevers right sore, the holy virgin did do bring holy water and blessed it and gave him drink, and that done, by the grace of God, the child was in good health. In this time many took of the cuttings of her vesture by devotion, whereof many sick were healed, and many vexed by spirits were delivered and remised in to their good mind.

From Arcy returned the holy virgin to Paris with eleven ships charged with victual. Wind, tempest, and orage assailed them so strongly that they weened to have perished without remedy, the holy virgin lift up her hands to heaven requiring help of our Lord, and anon the tempest ceased. Then Bessus, a priest that was present and saw it, which tofore had trembled for fear, began to sing for joy: Cantemus domino gloriose. All that there were thanked our Lord that had saved them by the prayer of the damsel Genevieve. When the goods came to Paris that she had brought, she departed them and gave for the love of God to some poor, wool, and to others whole loaves of bread, and sometimes she so hasted for pity that she took the loaves hot out of the oven secretly and gave it to the poor. The women marvelled why she took their loaves, but they spake ne said nothin, and they much doubted that they should not find their count ne tale. But notwithstanding that she had so taken, by the grace of God they found all their loaves and lacked none, by the merits of the holy saint. Her hope was nothing in worldly things, but in heavenly, for in the holy scriptures that saith: Who so giveth to the poor lendeth for a vaile. The reward which they receive that give to poor people, the Holy Ghost had showed to her long tofore, and therefore she ceased not to weep, to adore, and to do works of pity, for she knew well that she was none other in this world but a pilgrim passing.

There was at Meaux a burgess that by the space of four years he might not hear ne go, he did him be brought to the holy virgin which dwelt at Paris, and required her that she would restore to him his health and hearing. She touched his ears and blessed him, and anon he was whole, and went and heard as he did before, thanking our Lord.

On a time the holy virgin went to Orleans. A woman named Fraterne was in great sorrow for her daughter that lay dying. Anon, as she wist the coming of the holy virgin, she went to her to S. Aiguen where she found her in prayer. Fraterne fell down to her feet saying: Dame Genevieve give me again Claude my daughter. When Genevieve saw the good faith of her, she said: Discomfort thee nothing, thy daughter is in health, the which by the marvellous puissance of God, at the word of the holy virgin, was brought from the wicket of death, and came all whole against her mother, and met with her at the portal of the house. The people thanked our Lord for this fair miracle.

In the said city there was a servant culpable against his master; the holy maid prayed his master that he would forgive him his trespass. The master, as felonous and proud, deigned not to do it at her request. Then said the holy virgin: Though ye despise me, our Lord will not have me in despite. As soon as he was at home he was taken with a hot fever ague, which vexed him in such wise that he might not sleep of all the night. On the morn he came to the holy virgrin, running with open mouth, like a bear of Almaine, the tongue hanging out, and foaming like a boar, requiring pardon, which would give no pardon. The saint had pity on him and blessed him, and the fever left him, thus made she the master whole and the servant excused.

From Orleans the holy woman went to Tours by the water of Loire, where she suffered many perils. When she arrived at Tours great foison of demoniacs came against her out of the church of S. Martin, and the spirits cried by the mouth of them that were mad and vexed, which were burnt by the merits of S. Martin and S. Genevieve, and the perils that the virgin had in the water of Loire, they had done it by envy. The holy virgin went into the church of S. Martin whereas she healed rnany demoniacs by prayers and by the sign of the cross, and the demoniacs said at the hour of the torment that, the fingers of the saint burnt about them as tapers inflamed with fire of heaven. Hereof heard three men which kept their wives mad; they went to the church and prayed her that she would visit their wives. The blessed virgin, which was debonair, went and visited them and delivered them from the enemy by unction of holy oil and by prayer. Anon after, it happed as she was in orisons in a corner in the church of S. Martin that, one of the singers was so sore vexed with the enemy that he ate his members, which went out of the chancel and came straight to the holy virgin. The blessed virgin commanded the spirit to issue out. He answered: If he issued, he would issue by the eye. She commanded that he should no longer abide ne dwell there, and then he issued out anon wold he, nold he, by the flux of the womb, and left foul enseigns and tokens, and the sick man was all whole and in good mind, whereof he thanked our Lord. They of Tours honoured much this blessed virgin, how well it was against her will. On a time as she was at her door she saw a maid pass by bearing a burette of oil; she called her and asked what she bare, she answered and said, oil which she had bought. The holy maid which saw the enemy sit on the mouth of the burette, blew on it, and the burette brake; she blessed the oil and bade the maid bear it forth safely. The people that saw this had great marvel that the enemy could not hide him, but that she perceived him, and thanked our Lord. There was brought to her a child by his friends which was dumb, blind, and lame; the blessed virgin anointed him with the holy oil, and the same hour he saw clearly, spake and went, and received health entirely.

In the territory of Meaux the holy maid did do labour a field that she had, and a storm and tempest of wind and rain arose which troubled much the workmen. She lay down stretching on the earth, in orison and prayer, and our Lord showed there a fair miracle, for the rain fell on all the corn in the fields thereabout, and in her field fell not one drop. Another time as she was on the Seine there was a great tempest, and she besought God of help, and anon it ceased in such wise that they that were present saw well that our Lord at her request and for her love made wind and rain to cease. All sick men that she anointed with holy oil devoutly, were healed and made whole.

It happed so that on a time when she would have anointed a demoniac she found no oil in her ampul, whereof she was so sorry that she wist not what to do, for there was no bishop present for to bless it. She lay down in orisons and prayers, beseeching God that he would deliver the man from the enemy. Our Lord showed there two fair virtues, for as soon as she arose her ampul was full of oil, being in her hands, of which she anointed the madman, and anon he was delivered of the wicked spirit, which ampul, with the oil, saw the same man that wrote her life eighteen years after her decease. Many other miracles without number showed our Lord for the love of the holy and blessed saint, S. Genevieve, the which lived in this world full of virtues and miracles more than four score years, and departed out of this world and died worthily the third day of January, and was buried in the mount of Paris called Mount Parlouer, and is now called the Mount of S Genevieve, in the church of S. Peter and Paul, the which, as said is at the beginning, the King Louis, sometimes called Clovis, did do make by the exhortement of this holy virgin, for the love of whom he gave grace to many prisoners at her departing. And after, there were many fair miracles which by negligence, by envy, and not recking, were not written, as he confessed that put her life in Latin, except two which he set in the end of his book as here followeth. Unto the sepulchre of the holy virgin was brought a young man that was so sick of the stone that his friends had no hope of life. In great weeping and sorrow they brought him thither requiring aid of the holy virgin. Anon after their prayer, the stone issued, and he was forthwith all whole as he had never been sick. Another man came thither that gladly wrought on the Sunday, wherefor our Lord punished him, for his hands were so benumbed and lame that he might not work on other days. He repented him and confessed his sin, and came to the tomb of the said virgin, and there honoured and prayed devoutly, and on the morn he returned all whole, praising and thanking our Lord, that by the worthy merits and prayers of the holy virgin, grant and give us pardon, grace, and joy perdurable. After the death of the blessed virgin S. Genevieve was assigned a lamp at her sepulchre in which the oil sourded and sprang like water in a well or fountain. Three fair things showed our Lord by this lamp, for the fire and light burned continually, the oil lessed not ne minished, and the sick people were healed there. Thus wrought our Lord by the merits of the blessed virgin corporally, which much more abundantly worketh by her merits to the souls spiritually. Many more miracles hath our Lord showed at her sepulchre which be not here written, for it would be over long to remember them all, and yet daily be showed, wherefore in every necessity and need let us call on this glorious saint, the blessed Genevieve, that she be mediatrix unto God for us wretched sinners, that we may so live and amend us in this present life that we may come when we shall depart hence by her merits unto the life perdurable in heaven. Amen.

achauffed, pp., angry.

ampul, n., a vessel for holy oil.

ancelles, n., handmaids.

appertly, adv., openly.

asprely, adv., extremely.

avaled, v., descended.

avoir, n., goods.

await, n., a snare.

axes, n., ague.

barat, n., treachery.

besoins, n. (Fr ), needs.

bourdon, n., a staff.

brochets, n., spikes.

bubale, n., a wild ox.

bucale, n., shambles.

burette, n., cruse or bottle for oil.

bydwong, v., to refrain or keep strictly.

cellarer, n., steward.

champaine, n., campagna.

cherety, n., affection.

clarte, adj., glory.

con, v., to be able.

deal, v., to divide.

deduit, n., pleasure.

did do make=caused to made.

doubt, v., to fear.

eme, n., uncle.

empesh, v., Fr. empecher, to hinder.

engine, n., wit.

enseigned, v., Fr. enseigner, taught.

faits, n., doings.

flom, n., river.

fournil, n., limekiln.

frushed, pp., bruised; Fr. froisser, to crush

gree, n., goodwill.

guerished, pp., Fr. guerir, healed.

heled, v., concealed.

honeysuckle, n., a rendering of locusta as the name of a plant.

hosteler, n., one who received guests.

impetre, v., to beseech.

japed, v., mocked.

jowes, n., Fr. joues. cheeks.

lessed, pp., diminished.

mat, adj., worn out.

mechant, adj., Fr. mechant, wicked.

more, adj., elder.

moyen, n., mediator.

muddes, n., Fr. muids, a measure of about five quarters.

occision, n., slaughter.

orage n. (Fr.), a storm.

parements, n., adornments.

quarrels, n., crossbow bolts.

ratted, pp., torn.

raught, v., reached.

renomee, n., renown.

repeased, v., reassured.

sacred, v., consecrated.

siewed, v., followed.

soler, n., an upper chamber.

styed, v., ascended.

tatche, n., Fr. tache, a stain.

tigurion, n., a cottage, used also for a shrine or chapel.

transumeth, v., converteth.

unnethe, adv., scarcely.

wood. add., mad.


Printed in Great Britain by T. and A. CONSTABLE LTD. at the University Press, Edinburgh


The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints. Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275.  First Edition Published 1470. Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483, Edited by F.S. Ellis, Temple Classics, 1900 (Reprinted 1922, 1931.)

Scanned by Robert Blackmon. [email protected].

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.

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© Paul Halsall, September 2000
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