restricted access Liber miraculorum sancte Fidis:The Book of Sainte Foy's Miracles
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Liber miraculorum sancte Fidis: The Book of Sainte Toy's Miracles The beginning of the book of miracles of holy and most blessed Foy,virgin and martyr, related by Bernard, a teacher,1 master at the school of Angers. A letter to the lord Fulbert, bishop of Chartres. To the holiest and most learned of men, Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, Bernard, the least of teachers, sends a gift of supreme blessedness.2 During the time when I was at Chartres, where I had the benefit of your sound conversation,3 I often visited the little church of the martyr Sainte Foy located outside the walls of the city, either to write or to pray there. I also remember that many times when we had gathered for discussion we happened onto the subject of Sainte Foy and her miracles, which took place constantly with the help of Christ omnipotent in the monastery at Conques where her sacrosanct body is reverently venerated. Partly because it seemed to be the common people who promulgated thesemiracles and partly because they were regarded asnew and unusual, we put no faith in them and rejected them asso much worthless fiction. Nevertheless, what was true through God's will could not be suppressed and belief in its truth was already spreading through all Europe. Little bylittle aplantook root in myheart, and although I kept it secret I couldn't forget it; it wasaplan to go to the holy martyr's dwelling-place to fulfill my desire to learn about her. Finally the matter returned to my mind so forcefully that I marked down in a little notebook the time and day by which I vowed to go there, so that I wouldn't forget. Meanwhile I had a reason for moving to the city of Angers, for the bishop of that city had implored me to come.4 For almost three years I wasted time there that should have been used for study on behalf of stupid good-for-nothings —I 4O The Book of Sainte Fay's Miracles may as well admit the truth —and the date by which I had vowed to visit Conques passed by. I thought that I was waiting for a good opportunity, but since I was increasingly involved in various duties, I was actually deceived byfalse hope. I wasjustlike afishcaught in anet —the more I tried to become disentangled, the more entangled I was by increasinglyserious problems. Finally, however, lest I should seem to be using the excuse of adversity as a pretext for idleness—although I was becoming more and more aware that these hidden and almost inescapable snares had been prepared for me with diabolicaltrickeryand, in short, that through the skill of the Enemy I was being discouraged from planning to implement my good intentions —all at once I put off the business at hand and with God's guidance I succeeded in reaching my goal, die mausoleum of the glorious martyr. Since the time of my arrival here I have begun to inquire diligentiy about Sainte Toy's miracles.Such a great number of miracleshave poured forth from various narratorsthat if my mind had not been burninglyeager to hear them my brainwould havebeen overwhelmed with weariness. But I myself have been fortunate enough to see the very man whose eyes were violendy plucked out by the roots and afterward restored to their natural state, intact and whole. And I can see him even as I write this. Since he himself assertsthat this reallyhappened and the whole province attests to it, I know that it is true. Therefore I think that his story ought to be introduced first as the basis for reading the rest of the miracles,and not just my interpretation of his meaning, but word for word asI hear it from his lips;5 not abbreviated, but in anarrativelong enough to satisfy my readers.Tohis story I havedecided to append only a very few miraclesso that I can return home quickly.Asto the other miraclesthat remain, I have noted down the more beautiful ones swiftly and with the greatest brevity, but only those that are not older than our own time, and whose eyewitnessestold me not an invented tale but the clearesttruth. I am resolved, with God asmyguide, to carry these notes back home with me. When I haveleisure time for more careful work, I shall make a fuller text for the future reader out of this material. Therefore, most learned of mortals, when you have...


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Subject Headings

  • Foy, Saint, ca. 290-303.
  • Christian child saints -- France -- Conques -- Biography.
  • Conques (Aveyron, France) -- Religious life and customs.
  • France -- Religious life and customs.
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