Thursday, 10 August 2017

Investiture Controversy: Canons of Pope Urban II

The following Canons were reported by Anselm archbishop of Canterbury to Henry I after he had been recalled from exile by Henry following his coronation, and seizure of the crown following the death of his brother William Rufus. Henry offered to give Anselm his archbishop's see back if he would do homage and swear fealty to him for it. Anselm refused on the grounds of these canons which forbade him to accept such an arrangement. Henry was none too pleased with him, Thus began the Investiture Crisis in England. 

At the Council of Clermont in November 1095 Pope Urban II had announced the following Decrees

Concilii Claramontani

Canon XV. — Nullus ecclesiasticum honorem de manu laici accipiat. 
Ut nullus ecclesiasticorum aliquem honorem a manu laicorum accipiat. 
Ut clericus nullum ecclesiæ honerem a laicali manu recipiat.

Canon XVI. — Ut principes investituras non faciant. 
Interdictum est, ne reges vel alii principes aliquam investituram de ecclesiasticis honoribus faciant.

Canon XVIl. — Ut episcopus aut presbyter fidelitatem laicis non faciat.
Ne episcopus vel sacerdos regi vel alicui laico in manibus ligium fidelitatem faciat.

Canon 15.
No one may accept an ecclesiastic honour from the hand of a layman.
So that no-one may take any ecclesiastical honour from the hands of laymen.
So that no cleric may receive any ecclesiastical honour from the hand of a lay person.

Canon 16.
In order that princes may not perform investiture
It is forbidden for kings or other princes to invest anyone with ecclesiastic honours.

Canon 17
As a bishop or a priest they may not swear fealty to laymen.
No bishop or priest may make an oath of allegiance between the hands of a king or any other lay person.


Jacques Paul Migne (1854). Opera omnia. Patrologia Latina Tomus CLXII Migne. pp. 717–.

Johann Carl Ludwig Gieseler (1836). 726-1517. Carey, Lea, and Blanchard. pp. 173–.

John S. Ott (December 2015). Bishops, Authority and Community in Northwestern Europe, c.1050–1150. Cambridge University Press. pp. 207–. ISBN 978-1-107-01781-8.

Rosamond McKitterick (1995). The New Cambridge Medieval History: pts. 1-2. c. 1024-c. 1198. Cambridge University Press. pp. 294–. ISBN 978-0-521-41410-4.

At the Council of Rome, in April 1099

Juvabit &c. describere verba Rogerii Hoveden, parte annalium priore. Habent enim de hac synodo peculiare non nihil. Anno, inquit, MXCIX. Urbanus papa tertia hebdomada paschae magnum concilium tenuit Romae, in quo excommunicavit omnes laicos , investituras ecclesiarum dantes: & omnes, easdem investituras de manibus laicorum accipientes : necnon omnes , in officium sic dati honoris consecrantes. Excommunicavit etiam eos, qui pro ecclesiasticis honoribus, laicorum homines fiunt:

Dicens, nimis execrabile videri, ut manus, quae in tantam eminentiam excreverunt, quod nulli angelorum concessum est, ut Deum cuncta createm suo signaculo creent, et eundem ipsum pro saluti totius mundi, Dei Patria obtitibus offerant, Et ab omnibus acclamutum est "Fiat, fiat"
Hoveden Ann 1099 

In the year 1099, in the third week after Easter, pope Urban held a great council at Rome, at which he excommunicated all laymen who gave investiture to churches, and all who received investiture from the hands of laymen, as well as all those who consecrated persons for the duties of the office so bestowed. He also excommunicated those who, to gain ecclesiastical honours, did homage to laymen; affirming that it seemed most shocking that hands which had attained a distinction so high that it was granted to none of the angels, namely, by their touch to create the God who created all things, and in the presence of God the Father, to offer up his own self for the salvation of the whole world, should be reduced to such a pitch of disgracefulness or folly as to become the handmaids of those hands which by day and night are denied by obscene contact, or, used to rapine and the unrighteous shedding of blood, are stained thereby; upon which, all shouted with one consent, "So be it! So be it!" and thereupon the council was concluded.

Roger Hoveden (1868). Rerum Britannicarum Medii Ævi Scripture: Or, Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland During the Middle Ages. Longman. pp. 155–.

Roger (of Hoveden); Henry Thomas Riley (1853). The annals of Roger de Hoveden: Comprising the history of England and of other countries of Europe from A.D. 732 to A.D. 1201. H.G. Bohn. pp. 188–.

Urbanus 2 (1853). Patrologiae cursus completus Volume 151. Migne. pp. 251–.

Walter of Coventry (2012). The Historical Collections of Walter of Coventry. Cambridge University Press. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-1-108-05112-5.

Philippe Labbe (1730). Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exacta quae olim quarta parte prodiit auctior studio P. Labbei, & G. Cossartii ... Apud S. Coleti, et J.B. Albrizzi & Hieron. pp. 959–.

Philippe Levillain (2002). The Papacy: Gaius-Proxies. Psychology Press. pp. 822–. ISBN 978-0-415-92230-2.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Garnier: Becket in the Presence of the Pope at Sens, November 1164

St Thomas in the presence of  Pope Alexander III at Sens, ca 29th Nov. 1164. Becket arrived there four days after King Henry's delegation had come there.

Extract from 
Stanzas 467-478
Lines 2331-2360

Dedenz quart jur après vint a Sanz saint Thomas,
A l’ostel s’en ala, car de l’errer ert las.
A ses clers prist conseil, qui nel deçurent pas,
Liquels dirreit sa cause. Il s’en firent tut quas.
2335 Nuls d’els ne la volt dire pur comant ne pur has.

Car nuls ne l’osout dire d’els pur le rei Henri,
Car s’amistié n’avreient, ço dient, a nul di.
L’arcevesques l’enprent, qui Deu out a ami.
L’endemain, quant il out Nostre Seignur servi,
2340 A l’apostolie ala e as piez li chaï.

Costume est que cil offrent qui viennent el present
L’apostolie, a sun pié, aveir, or u argent,
Riche vaisselement u buen aornement.
Le cyrogrefe al rei li arcevesques prent ;
2345 As piez a l’apostolie a ses dous mains l’estent.

« C’est la cause pur quei m’estuet essil suffrir,
Sire, veez la ci ; bien la devez oïr.
Teles leis volt li reis en sun regne establir,
Sis volt faire par force sainte iglise tenir.
2350 Mais jo ne li voil pas contre Deu consentir.

Sire, pur ço vinc ça que jel vus voil mustrer. »
Dunc l’a fait l’apostoiles en sun estant lever,
E comanda a lire les leis e esculter.
E li sainz comença mot a mot a prover
2355 U li reis par ces leis voleit tendre e aler.

Un chardenal i out qui mult ameit le rei,
Vuilaume de Pavie, einsi out nun, ço crei.
(Tuz les chardenaus out treiz li reis pres a sei,
Car tant lur out duné e fait bien le purquei
2360 Qu’en apert mainteneient sa cause e en requei.)

E quant li arcevesques comença a parler
E sa cause en latin gentement a mustrer,
Cil le comença lués par tut a traverser.
Quida qu’um li eüst fait la cause fermer,
2365 E, s’um le desturbast, ne seüst parfiner.

Sainz Thomas fu mult sages ; sainz Espirz en lui fu.
E quanque cil diseit aveit bien entendu,
E mot a mot par tut li aveit respundu ;
Par bel latin adès a chascun puint solu.
2370 Bien l’aveit en sa cause cil demi jur tenu.

E quant il aveit bien solu ses questiuns,
Reveneit a ses poinz, cum se fust Salemuns ;
Diseit sa cause avant od mult beles raisuns.
Bien a duré entre els demi jur la tenchuns,
2375 Car cil li ert par tut, puint a puint, as gernuns.

Quant l’arcevesques out sa raisun bel finee
E destruites les leis par raisun confermee
E par trestut raisun e provance mustree,
Bien unt e clerc e lai sa parole escultee ;
2380 E l’apostolies l’out par tuz les puinz notee.

L’apostolies l’asiet juste lui erramment,
E bien seit il venuz, ço li ad dit suvent ;
E mult li seit bon gré que si grant fais enprent
Qu’encontre rei de terre saint’iglise defent.
2385 Par tut li aidera, la u raisuns consent.

L’arcevesque Thomas sovent le mercia
De sun bel acuilleit, e que tant l’onura.
L’apostolies les leis idunc escumenja
E celui, qui qu’il seit, qui ja mais les tendra ;
2390 E desuz anatheme a tuz dis conferma.


Within four days St. Thomas had reached Sens. He went [directly] to his lodgings for he was tired from his journey. He took counsel from his clerics, those who had remained faithful, [asking to know] who would plead on behalf of his cause. None of them wished to speak, neither under command, nor persuasion.

None, in fact, because of King Henry, had the courage to speak. They would never again have his friendship, they said. The Archbishop, who was the friend of God, undertook to defend his own cause. On the following day, after having done his duty to Our Lord, he made his way to prostrate himself before the Pope at his feet.

It is the custom, when one has come into the presence of the Pope, to place at his feet presents of gold or silver, rich vessels or fine ornaments. The Archbishop took the chirograph from the King and with both of his hands extended placed it at the Pope's feet, saying:

<<This is the cause for which I must suffer exile. My Lord, look at it and well you must listen. These are the laws which the King wants to establish in his kingdom, and force holy Church to keep. But I did not want, against the will of God to consent, [to them].

<<Sire, it is for this reason that I have come here as I wanted explain them to you.>> Then the Pope beckoned him to rise and stand. He ordered him to read these laws out loud. Those present was asked to listen. And the saint began to demonstrate word by word what the King wanted to achieve by these laws.

There was a cardinal there who was a great supporter of the king. He was called, I believe, William of Pavia. All the cardinals had become very close to the king as he had given them so much, and well this was the reason why they openly as well as secretly supported his cause. 2360

And when the archbishop began to speak and elegantly to present his case in Latin, this other then also started in every matter to contradict him. He thought that by doing this he could have the case closed, and, by disrupting him prevent him from completing it. 2365

474 St. Thomas was very wise; the Holy Spirit was within him. And after whatever this other one had said had been listened to, then word by word in its entirety he would respond to it; in fine Latin without stopping till he had cleared up each point. Well this man kept him at his case for half a day. 2370

And when he had well answered his questions, he came back to his own points, as if he was Solomon; he affirmed his case in front [of them all] with very fine reasoning. Well long had lasted the battle between them for half a day, as this man had contradicted him in everything point by point. 2375

When the archbishop had completed the fine reasoning of his case and had affirmedly demolished [each of] the laws using rational argument, entirely through reason and manifest proof, well were both the clerics and laity convinced by his words. And the Pope had noted his every point. 2385

The Pope immediately asked him to sit down next to him, and said how well it was that he had come; this he repeated to him often. And [said he was] very much grateful that he had taken up so great a burden in defending [the cause of] Holy Church against an earthly king. In everything he would aid him which reason allows. 2385.

Archbishop Thomas repeatedly thanked him for the very fine reception he had been given, and said that this was such a great honour to him. The Pope then proceeded to excommunicate the laws, and anyone who kept them, and confirmed that they would be placed under anathema forever more. 2390


Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (1922). Emmanuel Walberg, ed. La vie de saint Thomas Becket. C.W.K. Gleerup. pp. 79–.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Janet Shirley (1975). Garnier's Becket: translated from the 12th-century Vie saint Thomas le martyr de Cantorbire of Garnier of Pont-Sainte-Maxence. Phillimore. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-85033-200-1.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (1990). Gouttebroze & Queffelec, ed. La vie de saint Thomas Becket. H. Champion. pp. 66–. ISBN 978-2-85203-111-1.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Volume 1. Peeters. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-90-429-1188-8.

Eiríkr Magnússon (1875). Thómas Saga Erkibyskups: A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic. Volume I. Chapter XLIII: How Thomas readeth out the charges: Longman & Company. pp. 293–.

John Morris; Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1859). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Etc. pp. 166–.

Court, household and itinerary of King Henry II p. 76

 Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 122–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Garnier: Prologue

Extract from 
Stanzas 1-33
Lines 1-165

Tuit li fysicïen ne sunt adès bon mire ;
Tuit clerc ne sevent pas bien chanter ne bien lire ;
Asquanz des troveürs faillent tost a bien dire ;
Tel choisist le nualz ki le mielz quide eslire,
5 E tel quide estre mieldre des altres, est li pire.

Si nuls voelt contruver u traitier u escrire,
De bien dire se peint, que nuls n’en puisse rire
U par alcune rien s’uvraine descumfire ;
Mette le sen avant, e li mals seit a dire :
10 Del bien amende l’um e nuls huem n’en empire.

Pur ceo l’ai comencié ke jeo voldrai descrire,
Se Jesu Crist le sueffre, ki de nus tuz est sire,
La vie saint Thomas, celui de Cantorbire,
Ki pur sa mere iglise fu ocis par martyre.
15 Or est halz sainz el ciel, nul nel pot contredire.

De mult divers curages e de diverse vie
Sunt en cest siecle gent, n’est nul hom kil desdie.
Plusurs unt povreté, li alquant manantie ;
Alquant aiment le sen e plusur la folie ;
20 Li alquant aiment Deu, Sathan les plusurs guie.

Seignurs, pur amur Deu e pur salvatiun,
Leissiez la vanité, entendez al sermun.
N’i ad celui de vus ki n’entende raisun.
Leissiez del tut ester le conseil al felun :
25 Malveis est li guaainz ki turne a dampneisun.

E Deu e seinte iglise e les clers honurez ;
Les povres herbergiez e peissiez e vestez,
E voz dismes del tut dreituralment dunez ;
Des pechiez criminals, de trestuz, vus guardez :
30 Veirement le vus di que Damnedeu avrez.

Mult par fu seint’iglise de primes defulee
E del cunseil le rei a grant tort demenee.
Deus en seit mercïez, ki or l’a reguardee !
Par cestui resera trestute relevee
35 Ki en suffri de mort, de sun gré, la colee.

Faire soleit li reis as clers e force e tort.
S’a forfait fussent pris, ja n’i eüst resort
K’il nes feïst jugier as lais a lur acort.
Cist Thomas les maintint ; n’orent altre comfort.
40 Pur els se combati tant k’en suffri la mort.

Se li clerc mesfunt rien, laissiez lei Deu vengier.
Il sunt vostre prelat ; nes avez a jugier.
E tant repoent il oriblement pechchier
Ke les ordres perdrunt ; nes poëz plus charger.
45 S’a mesfait sunt puis pris, purrez les justisier.

Ç’otreia saint Thomas, senz decré e senz lei,
Pur le rei refrener d’irë e de desrei.
Mes nul des sainz nel volt, ne jeo pas ne l’otrei :
Cument eveskes puise a clerc tolir ne vei
50 Le sacrement k’il ad del celestïen rei.

Par la preiere Helie fist Deu pluie chaïr
Sur terre, ki deveit pur suffraite perir :
Car quarante – dous meis n’en pot gute sentir.
Mes tant ne soüst puis li prophetes flecchir
55 K’il poïst cele pluie de la tere partir.

Mult poëz bien veer mal conseil ot li reis.
Il ne deit fere a clerc n’a iglise defeis
Ne tolir rien del lur, mes mettre i pot acreis.
De l’iglise prent il la corone e les leis.
60 Mes Deus l’ament, ki est uns en persones treis !

Bien est aparissant saint Thomas aveit dreit,
Ki pur les clers suppris einsi se combateit.
Pur amur Deu le fist, si cum feire deveit.
Deus li ad bien rendu, ki nullui ne deceit ;
65 Desdire nel pot nuls, car tut li munz le veit.

Tut li mund curt a lui, eveskë e abé
E gentil e vilain e li prince chasé ;
E nuls nes en sumunt, ainz i vont de lur gré.
Mult s’i haste d’aler ki ainc n’i a esté ;
70 Nis li petit enfant i sunt em berz porté.

Li muët i parolent, li surt i unt l’oïe,
E de lepre i guarissent maint, e d’ydropisie 
Li contreit i redrecent, li mort i unt la vie,
Li avogle i alument ; seint Thomas tost aïe
75 Celui ki par bon quer le requiert e deprie.

Mes merveille veums, e si est veirs pruvez,
De l’eve u est lavez ses dras ensanglentez :
Dedenz l’ume e defors sane les enfertez ;
Par beivre e par laver mil en i ad sanez,
80 E plusurs morz i ad par ceo resuscitez.

Reis e cuntes e ducs, poi les veum saintir ;
Deus les refuse mult, car nel volent servir.
Coveitise les fait suvent del dreit guenchir ;
Ne funt rien se ceo nun que lur vient a plaisir ;
85 Leis funt a lur talent, n’unt poür de morir.

Les reis n’eslit pas Deus ne ne choisist ne prent,
Ne les ducs ne les haltes persones ensement ;
Mes chescun ki Deu crient e ki vit lealment,
U il seit de halt lin u seit de basse gent,
90 Deus le munte e eshalce, s’a lui servir entent.

Saül, ki des Geius fu reis premierement,
De basse gent fu nez ; Deu l’eslist veirement :
Sur les enemis Deu chevalcha lungement,
Tant que il trespassa le Deu comandement,
95 E tut pur coveitise. Deus em prist vengement.

Deus relist en sun liu David, le fiz Jessé,
Un rus vadlet berchier, d’asez basse gent né.
Le prophete l’enuinst, reis fu tut sun eé,
Mult vassals e senez e de grant poesté.
100 Humlement amenda, quant il ot meserré.

Fols est ki en pechié volt lungement gesir ;
Mes a Deu crit merci, ne s’i lest endormir !
Bien pot l’um par pechié sa vie davancir ;
E meint est si suppris ne pot la buche ovrir
105 N’a pruveire parler, quant il vient al morir.

Les umles aime Deus, les povres ensement,
Car de lur travail vivent, tut dis sunt en turment ;
E aiment seint’iglise e clers e povre gent,
E dreites dismes donent e vivent nettement :
110 Itels eshalcera Deus parmanablement. 

E Pieres e Andreus furent frere frarur ;
A batel e a reiz esteient pescheür,
Quant Deus les apela de cel povre labur ;
Puis furent mis en croiz e mort pur sue amur :
115 Apostre sunt el ciel e glorius seignur.

Pur ceo vus començai a traiter cest sermon
Del martyr saint Thomas, cel glorius baron
Ki tuit li munz requiert a la seinte maison
De Seinte Ternité, u suffri passion,
120 Par ceo que il maintint verité e raison.

Ohi, mal eüré ! Pur quei l’avez ocis,
Cel seintisme arceveske ? N’i avez rien conquis.
Il n’aveit rien mesfet ; trop i avez mespris.
Car vus repentez tost ; volez en estre pris ?
125 A amender avez, se vivïez tuz dis.

Pur le pudlent de cors l’anme perdre volez,
Ainz que mot en saciez, qui ert mort e alez.
La glorie d’icest mund n’est pas fiu n’eritez ;
U vus voliez u nun, tute la guerpirez.
130 Vers Deu ne vus guarra chastel ne fermetez.

Li pius Deus e li veir ot saint Thomas mult chier.
Ocis fu en bel liu e en un saint mustier,
Si l’ocistrent baron e vassal chevalier.
La perdirent lur pris. N’i poent repairier ?
135 Bien se poent vers Deu, s’il volent, amaisier.

Nul pechiere ne pot faire pechié si ord,
Si tost cum s’en repent e del tut s’en resort,
Ke Deus ne li pardoinst e ke il nel cumfort.
Kar pur ceo suffri Deus pur pecheürs la mort,
140 Quant se prendront a li, ke il les maint a port. –

Si volez esculter la vie al saint martyr,
Ci la purrez par mei plenierement oïr ;
N’i voil rien trespasser, ne rien n’i voil mentir.
Quatre anz i ai pres mis al feire e al furnir ;
145 D’oster e de remettre poi la peine suffrir.

Primes traitai d’oïe, e suvent i menti.
A Cantorbire alai, la verité oï ; 
Des amis saint Thomas la verité cuilli,
E de ces ki l’aveient des enfance servi.
150 D’oster e de remettre le travail ensuffri.

Mes cel premier romanz m’unt escrivein emblé,
Anceis que je l’oüsse parfet e amendé
E l’amer e le dulz adulci e tempré ;
E la u j’oi trop mis, ne l’oi uncore osté,
155 Ne le plus ne le mains n’erés ne ajusté.

Par lius est mençungiers e senz pleneireté ;
E nepurquant i a le plus de verité.
E meint riche umme l’unt cunquis e achaté ;
Mes cil en deivent estre, ki l’emblerent, blasmé.
160 Mes cestui ai del tut amendé e finé.

Tut cil autre romanz ke unt fait del martyr
Clerc u lai, muine u dame, mult les oï mentir,
Ne le veir ne le plain nes i oï furnir.
Mes ci purrez le veir e tut le plain oïr ;
165 N’istrai de verité pur perdre u pur murir. – 

Provisional Translation

1 Not all physicians are good practitioners; not all clerics know how to sing Mass or read well; some writers prove themselves lacking in the art of narrative rhyme, and as such choose the most mediocre trick, believing themselves to be the best, when in fact they are the worst.

2 If any one wants to compose, dissert, or write, strive to do it well, so that his work does not lend itself to any mockery or tyranny by putting the emphasis on wisdom and silencing wrong. Good improves man, and does no harm to anyone.

3 I took up the pen because, if it at all pleases Jesus Christ, our Lord, I intend to retrace the life of St. Thomas of Canterbury, this martyr who was put to death for his mother the Church and who is now, without doubt, a great saint in Heaven.

4 No one would deny that in this world there are people of diverse souls and different lives: many are poor, some are rich; some love wisdom, and much madness; some love God, most are guided by Satan.

5 Lords, for the love of God and for your salvation, leave behind vanities, and be attentive to this sermon. There is none among you who does not listen to reason. Absolutely renounce the advice of the Evil One: evil is the prize that leads to damnation.

6 Honour God, holy Church and its clerics. Harbour, nourish and clothe the poor. Pay all your lawful tithes. Beware of mortal sins, of all sins, and indeed, verily, I say unto you, ye shall know God.

7 At first, the Holy Church was, at the instigation of the king, trampled under foot and treated unjustly. God has taken it under His protection. Thank Him and He will restore her. She will be restored to her integrity by the one who, of his own free will, was offered up to the blows of his assassins.

8 The king often imposed his power over the clergy subjecting them to injustice. If they were found to have committed an offence, he forced them without recourse to be judged by the laity at their pleasure. Our Thomas sought to protect them. They had no other defender; and he fought for this until he was put to death.

9 If clerics commit wrongdoings, leave vengeance to God. They are set above you; you do not have the right to judge them. On the other hand, they may sin so horribly that they will lose their holy orders, but it is not for you to punish them further.  But if after that they are commit another offence, you can bring them to [lay] justice.

10 Saint Thomas conceded this in spite of the provisions of the Decretal, to put an end to the king's anger and fury,  and arrogance. But the authority of any saint cannot justify this measure; and as for me, I do not approve of it either, for I do not see how a bishop could take from a cleric the sacrament which he holds from the King in heaven:

11 At the prayer [of Elijah] God caused the rain to fall upon the earth, which was about to perish from famine for not having received a drop of rain in forty-two months. But then all the invocations of the prophet to God would not have succeeded in causing this rain to be removed by Him from the earth.

12 You can well see that what the king had conceived was wrong. He ought not to have opposed the clergy or the church, nor to take away from them their possessions, which he ought rather to have increased, for it is from the Church that he receives his right to the crown and make laws in his court. May God who is One in three Persons help him to comprehend this.

13 It is quite evident that St. Thomas was right to fight thus for those clerics who had been seized. He did this for God, as it was his duty, and God, who deceives no one, has restored it to him. No one can deny this, since the whole world sees it [here]:

14 All the people come to him, bishops and abbots, nobles and villains, and great feudatories. Nobody urges them, but they go there of their own free will. Such is the precipitate which was not there before. but now come, and even the smallest children are brought in their cradles.

15 Here dumb people are made to speak, the deaf to hear, the lepers and those with dropsy are healed, the cripples stand up, the dead restored to life, and the blind are made to see. St. Thomas quickly helps those who invoke him and pray to him with good heart.

16 Indeed, we are witnessing an extraordinary and yet well-established phenomenon, produced by the water in which his blood-stained clothing was washed: it cures internal and external diseases: a thousand are cured, have drunk or been washed, And thanks to it, many dead are resurrected.

17 Kings, counts and dukes rarely become saints. God rejects them, for they do not wish to serve him; greed often sets them aside from the right path, They do nothing if it is not their pleasure. They pass laws at their convenience, and do not fear death.

18 It is not kings that God chooses and takes as His elect, any more than dukes or other great people. It is  the  man who fears the Lord  and lives righteously by his law, whether he be of high lineage or of low extraction. God raises him up high and  makes  much  of him,  if he  applies himself to  serving him.

19 Saul, the first king of the Jews, was born to a very humble family; and God chose him; he never ceased to subdue the enemies of God till he transgressed His commandment, and all this for greed. God took vengeance.

20 And He chose David, son of Jesse, a young red haired shepherd who was of low birth, who received the anointing from the prophet, and was a very wise and very powerful king all his life. He humbly repented after committing a bad act.

21 A fool is he that lieth long in sin; That he rather implore the divine mercy so as not to fall asleep! Man may shorten his life through sin, and he is often so surprised in the hour of his death that he can not open his mouth or speak to the priest.

22 God loves the little ones and the poor because they live by their work and are always ready to serve God. And, besides, they love the holy Church, the clergy and the needy, give just dith? And have an irreproachable conduct; God will glorify them per? sustainably.

23 So Peter and Andrew, were two brothers in their boat, they were fishing with nets, when God called them to leave their humble labours. Later they were crucified and put to death because of their love for Him. They are now in Heaven as apostles and lords full of glory.

24 For this reason I have undertaken to compose for you this sermon on St. Thomas the martyr, on the glorious man whom everybody invokes in the House of the Holy Trinity [in Canterbury], where he suffered his passion because he supported truth and justice.

25 Ah, unhappy man, why did you kill him, this most holy archbishop? You have gained nothing; he has committed no wrongdoing, and you have committed an abominable act. Repent therefore quickly! Would you be surprised by death in this state? You have something to repent, even if you still live.

26 For this stinking body, which will soon be dead and rotten before you know anything about it, will you lose your soul? The glory of this world is not a fief or an inheritance; whether you like it or not, you will leave it, and neither castle nor fortress will protect you when you stand before God.

27 The God of truth and piety had great love for St. Thomas. He was killed in a fine place within a holy minster. As for the barons and banneret knights who killed him, they lost their honour there Can they not recover it? St. Thomas may well come to reconcile them with God.

28 No sinner can commit so abominable a sin that God cannot forgive him and strengthen him if he himself repents and turns away from it. It is for the sinners [pun fishermen] that He suffered death , to lead them back to port if they convert.

29 If you wish to listen to the life of the holy martyr, you will be able to hear it from me in full, for I will omit nothing, and nor do I wish to tell untruths, as I have spent nearly four years writing and perfecting it. I like to take pains [making amendments] removing and adding to it.

30 I worked first on hearsay and made many errors. I went to Canterbury and learned the truth: I gathered it from the friends of St. Thomas and those who had served him from his childhood. I have taken the trouble [making amendments] removing and adding to [my narrative].

31 But copyists have made off with the first draft of my romance before I had [a chance] to perfect and make corrections to it, and the bitter and the sweet could be softened and tempered. In it where I said too much, and had not yet retracted, neither could I anymore scratch these out by hand nor make any additions.

32 In places it is inaccurate and incomplete, and yet in it is there often much that is true. And many rich people have sought for and bought it. But it is those who have stolen it who must be blamed. As for this later edition, I have entirely revised and perfected it.

33 All the other narrative works which have written on the martyr, whether they are by clerics or laymen, monks or noble women [or nuns], I have often found they have either lied. or are incomplete. But here you will be able to hear the plain truth in all its entirety: I shall not stray from the truth, even if I am lost or die.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Garnier: Letter Becket to King Henry (Desiderio desideravi)

Letter Becket to King Henry and his Council held at Chinon,  late May - early June 1166

This letter is known as Desiderio desideravi

Extract from 
Stanzas 609-636
Lines 3041-3180

Ces letres senz saluz enveia a Chinun
L’arcevesques al rei, sil requist par raisun
Quel laissast repairier en pes a sa mesun,
E a sa mere iglise fesist e rente e dun,
3045 E a lui e as suens, de sa possessiun.

Se volez esculter, tost vus avrai conté
Que i out en cel brief escrit e endité :
« Sire Reis, fait li il, forment ai desiré
Qu’une feiz vus eüsse veü e avisé,
3050 E que jo buche a buche eüsse a vus parlé.

Mult pur mei, plus pur vus, l’ai desiré. Pur mei ?
Se vus me veïssiez, vus menberreit, ço crei,
De ço que vus servi leaument e en fei
(Si m’aït Deus al jor del poërus esfrei,
3055 Quant Deus rendra chascun ço k’avra fait pur sei) ;

E que vus eüsiez merci e pieté
De mei, qui sui mendis en estrange regné.
Mais, Deu merci, jo ai a mun vivre a plenté.
E li apostles Pols m’a mult reconforté,
3060 Car j’ai en ses epistles e veü e trové

Que tuit icil qui volent vivre en Deu piement,
Il lur covient qu’il sueffrent mesaises e turment,
E David li psalmistes, qui nus dit ensement
Ne vit ainc deguerpi nul qui vit lealment,
3065 Ne nului pain querant de bun engendrement.

Pur treis choses pur vus, que vus voil denuncier,
D’od vus parler eü ai mult grant desirier :
Mes sire estes, dei vus e voil vus conseillier ;
Mes reis estes, pur ço vus dei aveir mult chier ;
3070 Mes fiz estes en Deu, si vus dei chastïer.

Car veez cum li peres chastie sun enfant
Par mult dulce parole e par aspre e mordant,
E mainte feiz le bat de la verge trenchant,
Qu’il le repeaut a bien, quant le veit mesfaisant,
3075 U par sun chosement u par l’aspre vergant.

La grace Deu vus fist enuindre e coruner ;
Pur ço vus devez mult constraindre e guverner
E tute vostre vie de buens murs enformer,
Que vus puissiez as autres buen essample duner.
3080 Car a vostre faisance volent tuit esguarder.

A tels i a suëf e dulz estre devez,
Enpur ço que vus estes e enuinz e sacrez,
E reddes as plusurs pur le brant que portez,
Qui dedenz saint’iglise pur ço vus fu dunez
3085 Que les enemis Deu detrenchiez e matez.

Quant li rei sunt enuint, ço devez bien saveir
Qu’um lur met en treis lius l’enunctiun pur veir :
El chief, el piz, es braz ; car il deivent aveir
En eaus glorie mult grant e scïence e poeir.
3090 Metre devez en bien glorie, force e saveir.

As reis d’antiquité devrïez reguarder
Qui les comandemenz Deu ne voldrent guarder :
Nabucodonosor e Salemuns li ber
E Saül durement troverent Deu amer,
3095 Car tut ço lur toli, quant nel voldrent amer.

Ezechie e David e maint autre plusur,
Quant il orent mesfait vers Deu lur creatur,
Mult sunt humilïé e furent en dolur
E repentant es quers. La grace al rei auçur
3100 Lur duna puis asez glorie, sens e valur.

Sainte iglise funda Deus, e il l’establi,
E par sun propre sanc delivra l’e franchi.
Escopi e batuz en fu, e mort suffri.
Sun essample a nus tuz e laissa e guerpi,
3105 Que nus sivum les traces qu’il ala e siwi.

Car ki volt a la glorie celestïel partir,
Li covient estre el cors, pur amur Deu, martir,
La volenté del cors e les eises guerpir.
Ensi cum sainz Pols dist : “ Pur Deu devum murir,
3110 Se od li volum vivre, e pur li mort suffrir. ”

En dous ordres de gent est faite saint’iglise :
Del pueple e del clergié est e faite e asise,
E par dreit aünie est en ceste divise.
La cure unt li prelat de la part Deu conquise,
3115 Qui a salu des anemes seit e traitie e prise.

E Deus dist a saint Piere e as clers, bien le sai :
“ Tu ies Pieres, e sur ceste piere ferai
M’iglise, e ma maisun i edefierai,
E les portes d’enfer par li depecerai. ”
3120 Ceste poesté unt li clerc, nïent li lai.

Al pueple sunt li rei e l’autre baronie
Qui les lais unt suz els e en lur mainburnie,
E les leis seculers e poesté saisie.
Mais si deivent traitier ço qu’il unt en baillie
3125 Que saint’iglise seit tut’en pais aünie.

E lur poesté prennent li rei de saint’iglise ;
Mais el n’a pas la sue de nul de voz reis prise
Fors de Deu, sun espus, qui li aveit conquise.
Sur les prelaz pur ço n’avez pas comandise
3130 De faire u de laissier la clergille justise.

Ne devez as prelaz defendre u comander
U d’asoldre cestui u de cestui damner,
Ne les clers ordenez ne traire ne mener,
Un sul, a voz juïses ne a lei seculer,
3135 Nului de noz iglises ne des dismes causer.

Ne devez as prelaz faire defendement
A plaidier de lur plaiz, cum de trespassement
U de fei u de crime u de faus serement,
E d’us e de custumes e de plaiz ensement,
3140 De tels que vostre aiols tint ancïenement.

Deus nostre Sires dit : “ Les meies leis guardez. ”
Li prophetes redit : “ Wai vus, qui estorez
Les leis de felunie e en escrit metez
Les torz e les enjuries, e vus qui apremez
3145 Les povres Deu, e force faites as humbles fez. ”

Recevez le conseil, Sire, e l’asensement
De celui qui vus est fedeilz veraiement,
E de vostre arcevesque sun amonestement ;
Oez de vostre pere sun bon chastiement,
3150 N’od les purvers n’aiez mais nul cumunement.

Car par tute la terre est proef manifesté
Que l’apostolie avez mult granment honuré,
E l’iglise de Rume nurri e alevé.
L’apostolie vus a, e saint’iglise, amé ;
3155 Fait vus unt od raisun ço qu’avez demandé.

Sire, se le salu de l’aneme desirez,
Saint’iglise del suen nule rien ne tolez
Par aucune raisun, n’encontre dreit n’alez ;
Saint’iglise laissiez tutes ses franchetez,
3160 Si cum ele ad par tut es alïens regnez.

Sovenir vus devreit de la professiun
Qu’offristes sur l’autel a vostre enunctiun,
E del vou que fesistes a Deu en sa maisun :
A s’espuse dunastes vostre defensiun,
3165 De tute sa franchise li fesistes le dun.

La sainte mere iglise de Sainte Ternité,
Sire, dunt receüstes corune e realté,
Restablissiez del tut en cele dignité
E en icel estat e en l’entierreté
3170 Qu’el’out as ancesurs e par antiquité.

E ses possessiuns e ses autres baillies,
E viles e chastaus e fiez e mananties,
A noz clers e as lais, qu’avez tutes saisies
E a vostre plaisir dunees e parties,
3175 Que tutes les rendez, tut en tut rentieries.

Laissiez nus repairier en pes e franchement,
E nus vus servirum cum a rei leaument
E si cum a seignur, tant cum a nus apent.
Se vus ensi nel faites, saciez certainement
3180 Que vus en sentirez le devin vengement. »


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La vie de saint Thomas Becket. C.W.K. Gleerup. pp. 103–.
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