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was nearly half a foot deep, and the same in diameter. In the abbey of Clairvaux he said mass with the chalice of St. Bernard, and with that of St. Malachy, both of them small, not half a foot in height, but the cup is large, though shallow. “ Ou St. Elmond's day,” he sys, “I said mass under the shrine of the saint in the abbey of Pontigni, with his chasuable, which is wholly round at the bottom. I had the consolation also to see his sacred body, which God had preserved without corruption. His head is bare, and he is clothed in his pontifical habits. His body is white. In the treasury I saw also his pastoral ring, the chalice and paten with which he was buried, and also his goblet. Here also are shown the pontifical vestments of St. Thomas of Canterbury, and the chapel in which he used to pray, and where he had a revelation of his martyrdom.” It was at Troyes that he saw the rochet of St. Thomas, of fine linen, in the form of a great tunic, on which were marks of his brains.
These bodies of saints constituted the most valued relics which monasteries possessed. These were the treasures which attracted the devout pilgrims from every side, who were drawn into these solitudes by the memory of some man of holy humility and austere penance. Indeed, so great did this attraction prove, that many abbots and monks were unwilling that their monasteries should be so enriched, lest the concourse of pilgrims in consequence should disturb the tranquillity of their secluded life. St. Cuthbert, in his dying discourse to the monks who came to Farne Isle to visit him, said, “I would rather be buried in this island : and I think it would be even better for yourselves that I should rest here, because of the numbers who will claim sanctuary. Whatever I may be in myself, yet, as I shall be remembered, as a servant of Christ, they will flock to my body ; so that you will be compelled to intercede for them with the powerful of the earth, and will, consequently, be subject to much trouble on my account.” It is a fact, that in many monasteries the monks were obliged to celebrate their office in a chapel separate from their great church, in consequence of the multitude that flocked to it through reverence for holy relics. Thus within the cloisters of St, Gall there was also St. Peter's chapel, in which the divine office was sung; for in the great church it would not have been possible, from the crowd of pilgrims to the shrine of St. Gall. The capitularies, from the year 794 to 798, at Frankfort, actually prescribe, that in all monasteries containing the body of a saint there should be built a chapel adjoining for the divine office.*
“There is a devout house of our order," savs the Carthusian Sutorus, “ in the diocese of Miins, founded by the noble family of Alençon. Gaufrid of Mans, who lies buried there, shone with miracles, so that multitudes flocked to his tomb; and while I was in that monastery it was in consequence deliberated whether that blessed and canonized pontiff should not be transferred elsewhere.”+ The incon
* Ildefons, Von Arx Geschichte, des S. Gall. i. 63.
venience must have been grievous when such a question could be discusseil, seeing the immense value attached to such treasures.
Indeed the possession of these holy bodies was regarded as furnishing an additional incentive, to all who dwelt under the same roof, to be on their guard against any spirit that would derogate from the peace and sanctity of the monastic state“ Beware,” says Petrarch to Brother James, the Augustinian friar of Padua, “ how you forget or disgrace the glorious name of Augustin, and the sacred delights of the eremiticial life of so many devout, religious men : but remember that under the same roof with you repose the venerable bones of that Augustin, and let his image be ever present to your imagination, and, as it were, a witness of all your actions and words, that you may fear in presence of such a witness to offend Christ the Lord, who is bis and your master, as of us all.”*
Any wilful misrepresentation as to the authenticity of particular relics was deemed a crime of the deepest dye. Speaking of an attempt at Ratisbon to claim the possession of relics which were elsewhere, the chronicles of St. Denis use this expression. “They forgot the fear of the Lord.”+
Haviny, in the third book, explained the discipline of the Church in regard to this devotion, we need not delay now to hear the cavils or the sneers of the wrongheaded men who systematically oppose the veneration which she pays them. “I could never understand,” says Michelet,“ the disdain of the Protestants for relics. These were great historical testimonies. In the abbey of St. Denis the history of France was thus related by relics. Here was a portion of the real cross, given to Philip Augustus by the Greek emperor when Constantinople was taken by the Crusadlers. Here were relics of St. John the Baptist, given by the emperor Heraclitus to Dagobert. Here were the head of St. Denis, the head of St. Hilary of Poictiers, the cross and sceptre of Charlemagne, the chalice used by Suger, that true founder of the Capetian monarchy, the crown and ring of St. Lewis, and a portion of his bones."
But it is wrong to speculate on the errors of these unhappy men in such a place. Let us fall upon our knees, and behold with reverence what is now to be unfolded. In the treasury of the abbey of Clairvaux, where most of the relies were presents from the emperors of Constantinople, Dom Martene was shown the skulls of St. Bernard and of St. Maluchy. But only observe how rich in such holy treasures were once the English monasteries.
In Saxon histories there is a long catalogne of places in which the bodies of saints rest. Thus it says :-St. Augustin, who preached the faith to the English nation, rests in the church of St. Peter, in Canterbury, now the Augustins', with the holy bisbops Laurence, Mellitus, Justus, Honorius ; and in the church of Christ, within the walls, rest the holy archbishops Dunstan, Odo, Ethelgar, and Elphegus ; in Rochester, rests St. Paulinus, archbishop of York; in London, St.
* Epist. Lib. x. 17.
| Ad an. 1050.
Erconwald and St. Theodred; in Abingdon, St. Vincentius; in Winchester, in the old monastery, St. Swithin, and St. Ethelwald, and St. Birinus, and St. Hedda, and St. Birstan, bishops, and St. Justus, martyr; and in the new monastery, St. Grymbald, priest, and St. Judoc, confessor ; in Teignmouth, St. Oswiu, king; in Durham, St. Cuthbert, bishop; in Beverly, St. John, bishop, and Bretun, abbot; in Wynchelcumbe, St. Kenelm, martyr; in Derby, St. Allamundus, martyr; in Lichfield, St. Cedda ; in Sherburne, St. Wulsius, bishop; in Hereford, St. Egelbrith, king ; in Malmesbury, St. Aldelm, bishop; in Tamworth, St. Edgitha; in Ramsey, St. Merewen and St. Ealfled, abbess, and queen, St. Baltilda ; in Coventry, St. Osburga ; in Ripon, St. Wylfrid, and St. Acca, and St. Egelsig; in Ely, St. Etheldritha, and St. Withburga, and St. Ermenilda, and St. Sexburga ; in Oxford, St. Fretheswyth ; in Ramsay, St. Yvo and St. Felix, bishops, and St. Ethelred and St. Ethelbrith, martyrs, and St. Egelfled, queen; in Thorney, St. Athulfus, and St. Firmin, St. Herefridus, bishops, and St. Buthulf, abbot, and St. Benedict, abbot of Weremouth, St. Tisse and Hune, priests, and St. Tancred, and St. Torhred, hermits, and St. Tova, virgin ; in Croyland, St. Guthlac, priest ; in Shaftesbury, St. Edward, king and martyr, and St. Elgiva, queen ; in Melrose, St. Drihthelm ; in Thanet, St. Ermengytha. “ Hæc propter utilitatem legentium inseruimus,” adus the historian,
ut qui aliquem sanctum adire voluerit, sciat quo eum requirat.”
Of the zeal and ingenuity of the Crusaders in acquiring relics, when Constantinople was taken in 1204, there are many curious details in the chronicles of the monasteries to which they gave them. Henry of Ulm, speaking of a particle of the cross which he has given to an abbey, says, “that it is the treasure above all earthly possessions the dearest to his heart.”
The bare sight of these relics was acknowledged as a divine favor, with pious gratitude. Thus another exclaims, “ Per omnia benedictus Deus qui mihi, servosuo licet indigno et fragili peccatori fere in senio jam existenti, divina pietas videre concessit !!* The chronicles of St. Denis, describing the Emperor Charles IV., visiting the relics of the abbey and of the holy chapel, say, that being unable to. walk, he caused himself to be carried, with great pain and suffering, before the shrine ; that he joined his hands and wept, and prayed long, and with great devotion; and then, supported on the arms of his attendants, approached and kissed. it. He declared to the university of Paris, that his chief object in visiting France was to behold these relics; and accordingly, the king intimated to the abbots whose houses he visited, that it was his desire to be received as a pilgrim come to venerate them. Of the relics which Abbot Martin sent to Paris, Otho, of St. Blase, says, “ these shed lustre upon ail Germany and Alsace;" and Gunther says, “ by the coming of these, all Throtonia began to be counted by men more glorious, and by God more happy.”+
* Rigord, c. 48.
| Ad an. 1378.
| Ap. Hurter, 25.
The monks of Fossa Nuova, though Cistercians, would not have consented that the body of St. Thomas, who had died there, should be translated to the convent of his order in Toulouse, if it had not been in consideration that the relics of St. Dominick, the apostle of the south of France, were in Italy, at Bologna. It being resolved secretly to remove the body of St. John of the Cross from Ubede, where he died, to Segovia, an officer of the court arrived by night at the monastery, and, having desired an audience of the father prior, for matter of the greatest consequence, he intimated to him the order of which he was the bearer; by which he was enjoined, on pain of excommunication, to take up the body secretly, without apprising any one of what was to be done. This was an unexpected blow to the prior. Nevertheless, to obey the first superior, he took the necessary measures ; so that, when every one in the monastery was asleep, he went down into the church, accompanied by the officer and two monks, whom he had bound over to secrecy under the same penalty as that under which he lay himself, and, when all was arranged, they opened the grave. The saint had been dead a year: but, lo ! the body was s:ill perfect, and the flesh undecayed. As his bones only were demanded, the prior concluded that it was impossible to effect the object intended, at that time; so, having covered the body with quick lime, they placed it again in the grave, and sent back the officer to report what had been done. After nine months he returned ; and, with the same precautions as before, the grave was opened, and the body, which was still perfect, being only dried up by the lime, was placed in a leather case, and committed to him. This man left the monastery about midnight, and, it is saiil, that strange visions were seen by many the same hour. One monk was so impressed with a conviction of what was passing, that he left his cell and came down to the church ; but he found the prior standing at the door, who refused to let him enter, and desired him to return to his cell, and bury his suspicions within his bosom. The officer, who bore the body to Segovia, declared, that, after leaving Ubede, while passing the desert mountain, he heard many voices, which he thought could not be human, and that he was greatly terrified. *
When Heloise wrote to Peter the Venerable, requesting that the body of Abelard might be interred in her convent, according to his own desire, long before intimated, the monks of Cluny, who had seen the sanctity and fervor of his last years, esteemed it so valuable a treasure, that they would have opposed their abbot if they had suspected that he would comply. Peter, therefore, promised to grant her request ; but on condition of her keeping his intention secret, and leaving the choice of the time to him, as it was an affair of difficulty. The summer and autumn passed ; but, some days after All Saints, the abbot of Cluny went to the priory of St. Marcel
, on pretence of making the ustial visit ; and then, one night, while the monks reposed, he caused the body of Abelard to be raised up, and immediately set off with it, and arrived at Paraclet on the sixteenth of Nov
* Vie par le P. Dosithée, Lib. viii.
eniber. But who can describe the joy and the sorrow of Heloise, when she heard the lugubrious chants of the choir on the entrance of the body into the church ? The abbot of Cluny sung high mass : after which he made a pathetic exhortation; and then the body was placed in the vault, half of which was without the sanctuary, and half in the nun's choir. The abbot left the convent full of holy affection for Heloise and for the community, which he associated in a spiritual society with Cluny. After this solemnity no more is heard of Heloise. The pen falling from her hand, she writes no more letters, bu *passes the remaining twenty-two years of her life in the exercise of penitence, and in the wise and holy government of Paraclet, which became under her the ornament of the Church of France, and an example to all the monasteries of the age.
With respect to the material value associated with these relics, it will be sufficient to observe, that these were contained in shrines or reliqnaries which were often prodigies of art. Dom Bouillart, in his history of the abbey of St. Germain-du-Près, has given engravings to represent the form of some of the most ancient that were in the treasury of that abbey. The body of St. Brigit, at Kildare, was overhung with gold and silver crowns; and the relics of St. Columba, which the abbot of Iona removed for safety to Ireland, in 830, are stated to have been enclosed in a shrine of gold. But the monk, with an angelic smile, waves us on : lo ! it is the church we are entering.
OMINE, qui operati sunt justitiam, habitabunt in tabernaculo tuo, et requiescent in monte sancto tuo.” How solemn are these first sounds, and what joyful fervency is excited at the spectacle wbich presents itself ! The churches of the monasteries have never a neglected air, as if those who served them had forgotten that care about minutiæ is the peculiar
mark of an intense and reverent affection. The monks deemed that “there could be no nobler task for a rational being than that of providing, with the most punctilions exactness, for the due celebration of the Creator's worship; and no worthier dedication of the offerings of nature, and the devices of art, all alike his gift, than in the arlorning of his earthly dwelling-place.” No tepidity penetrates, as an atmosphere, into their churches ? No cold, dead, formal sounds, falling on the ear more monotonous than the drop of rain in the pool of a grotto, indicate a substitution there of custám, void of soul, for religious fervor and