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Medieval Sourcebook:
Anselm of Canterbury:
How to Treat a Convert (before 1100)

Anselm the archbishop to Lord Prior Arnulf and Archdeacon William [wisheth] health and the blessing of God.

With the inmost affection of my heart I order you and beg your religion to take care of this Robert, with that joyful piety and pious joy with which all Christians ought to help and assist one fleeing from Judaism to Christianity.  Let no poverty or other accident which we can avert cause him to regret having left his parents and their Law for Christ's sake. . . . Do not let him and his little family suffer any harsh want, but let him rejoice that he has passed from perfidy to the true faith, and prove by our piety that our faith is nearer to God than the Jewish.  For I would prefer, if necessary, that there should be spent in this all that belongs to me from the rents of the archdeaconry, and even much more, rather than that he who has fled out of the hands of the devil to the servants of God should live in misery amongst us. . . . For his misery both in victual and in clothing touches my heart. Release my heart from this wound if you love me.   Farewell.


Source: St. Anselm Epist. iii., cxvii, ed. Joseph Jacobs, The Jews of Angevin England: Documents and Records (London, 1893), p. 12

Scanned by Elka Klein.

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, November 1998