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Jocelyn, a monk of Furness:  The Life of Kentigern (Mungo)

© Translation by Cynthia Whiddon Green, as part of an MA Thesis at the University of Houston December, 1998. Used here by permission.

See also

Cynthia Whidden Green: Saint Kentigern, Apostle to Strathclyde: A critical analysis of a northern saint (Masters Thesis Presented to The Faculty of the Department of English University of Houston, 1998)

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Kentigern

Here begins the prologue in the form of a letter on the life of Saint Kentigern, Bishop and Confessor.

To his most revered lord and most beloved father, Jocelyn,1 the Anointed of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jocelyn,2 the least of the poor of Christ, with the affection and result of filial love and subjection, wishes the salvation of each man in our savior.

Since my mind is persuaded by your renowned name, exalted office, and balanced judgment, your life undarkened with no perverse or deceitful rumor and your religion long tested that you love the beauty of the house of God, which you preside over, I believe it is fitting to present to you the first fruits of my sheaves, which abound in the glory and grace of you and your church. For by your command, I went around the nearby city,3 through its streets and quarters, searching for a written life of Saint Kentigern, who is esteemed by your soul, and in whose seat the divine power of mercy caused your sanctity to preside by the adoption of sons, by ecclesiastical choice, and by succession of ministry. Therefore I have searched with diligence if by chance a life of him could be discovered, which was sustained by greater authority and more visible truth, and written in a more cultivated style than that life which your church now celebrates;4 because that life, as it seems to many, is tainted throughout as it is discolored by an uneducated language and obscured by a poorly written style; and before all of these faults certainly a wise man would more shrink back because in the beginning of the narrative itself are stories obviously contrary to certain doctrine and catholic faith. However I have discovered another codicil,5 composed in the Scottic style,6 which is filled with solecisms all the way through and yet it contains a more unbroken account of the life and acts of the holy bishop. Seeing therefore the life of so esteemed a bishop, who was glorious with signs and portents and most famous in virtue and doctrine, perversely recited and turned away from the pure faith, or very much obscured by a barbarian speech, I confess I suffered greatly. On that account, I therefore accepted to mend this life by restoring the material collected from the heart of both small books and by binding my method to your command, to season with Roman salt what had been ploughed by barbarians. It is senseless, I think, that so precious a treasure should be covered all around with so worthless a girdle, and for that reason I have tried to clothe that life, if not with gold embroidered with silk, than at least perhaps with blameless linen. Also, I added to the work by pouring the life-giving liquid from the original vessel into the new, so that it may be acceptable for the appetite of the more simple to drink, and yet not worthless to those of moderate abilities, nor contemptible for the richly endowed. Therefore, favored by the good works and prayers of our saintly patron, if the favor of the heavenly inspirer7 will strike me, I shall likewise control my style in order that this work will not be obscured by crawling in the filth of debased speech, nor be falsely puffed up with words beyond what is proper to the exalted life, lest it seem that I have planted a forest in the temple of God against his interdict.

Therefore all the effort of this book, all the fruit of my labor ought to be consecrated to your name, and also presented for examination to your position. If, however, anything lacking refinement or awkward comes forth, let it be seasoned by your discretion. If by chance anything resounds with less than the harmony of truth, although I do not suppose there be, let the rule of your judgment spread over it and cut it square. If nothing is found that is at variance in either of these respects, let it be supported by your testimony and strengthened by your authority. And in all of these things, if anything comes to light preceding from my pen that is otherwise unbecoming the subject, let it be accounted as the fault of the scarcity of my skill. And if anything is evident of being worthy of reading as it was composed with great labor, let it be ascribed to your excellence. However, of the translation of this saint, or of the wonders performed after his death, I was not able to discover anywhere; they either were not noted because by chance they escaped from the memory of those at present, or they have been enriched beyond numbers and omitted, so that the abundance of wonders collected might not weary feeble readers. May your sanctity always live and thrive in the Lord.  Here ends the prologue  Chapter 1 - Here begins the life of Saint Kentigern, Bishop and Confessor

The beginning of the written life of Kentigern, the most famous and beloved by God and men, a Nazarite8 of the Nazarene, our Jesus Christ, is consecrated by that divine oracle in which the Lord, anticipating the blessing of his sweetness,9 declared that the prophet Jeremiah would become a chosen vessel sanctified to the work of his ministry, by such praise as this: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.10 In truth the blessed Kentigern, who was a friend of God before he was born into the world, being anointed by the grace of election pouring forth before he came from the maternal womb, was exalted by wonders before he became great in either his limbs or good works. The Holy of Holies Himself ordered him, who was sanctified in the womb and was as yet to be more sanctified, to shine at the very beginning of his virtue when he was still covered by the cloister of the maternal womb, so that He could establish that the special gift of the holy spirit is not bound fast by the chains of original sin. This man, I say, famous by descent and appearance and endowed with various signs and marvels and foretellings, was a prophet indeed, and by His decree, he was destined to be a teacher and chief ruler to many nations and a redeemer of the heathen.

And so here the most holy man, although he drew his original part from a royal tree, nevertheless came forth just as a rose from a thorn, or as a fragrant tree from the dirt of the ground, because his mother was a daughter of a certain king, of a most pagan family, in the North land of the Britons.11 However, when the sound of the preaching of the Christian faith went out in the land of his region, and the words of the holy preachers went out into the territory of the north wind, from where every evil used to be spread, she heard with her listening ears how the radiance of eternal light, the son of justice having appeared through the star of virginity, enlightened the world with his beams of knowledge and pure love. And announcing salvation to those who are near and far away, He led his own into the fullness of all truth more effectively by the evidence of manifest signs. Immediately her heart burned within her, and in her meditation that fire kindled within her which the Lord sent into the land, and she vehemently wished to be inflamed. Her thirsty soul came to the knowledge of the truth and she received the ingrafted word that was able to preserve her soul from death. And although she was not yet washed in the health-giving water of baptism, nevertheless she was running with a wide open and cheerful heart in the way of the commands of God. She pursued continually in learning the ecclesiastical faith with frequent and devout prayers and in practicing its discipline as much as she was able to on account of her fear of her pagan father. Yet, in doing these things, the girl had a special devotion to the Virgin Mother and admired her fruitful purity. And by admiring she venerated, and by venerating and esteeming her highly she desired to imitate her, and with a certain presumption of female rashness, she labored diligently to entreat the Lord that she might imitate her in conceiving and giving birth.

With the unfolding of some time, she discovered herself to be with child, and her soul magnified the Lord,12 trusting purely that her desire had been fulfilled. However, that which was born in her womb she received from a human embrace, but as she asserted by many oaths binding her, from who or when or rather in what manner she conceived, she did not have in her conscious mind.13 But although it is allowed that this secret was concealed from her, or went away from her memory, nevertheless the truth of the matter by no means ought to be lost from the soul of anyone who is discerning, nor should any scruple be attached to that time. So that for the present we may bury in silence those things we found inserted in poetic songs, or in histories not canonical,14 we read from the approved sacred books, in the book of Genesis, that the daughters of Lot not only secretly took by stealth for themselves their father’s embraces, but also the same daughters both conceived when he was drunk and entirely ignorant of the matter.15 It exists just the same for us - many have taken the drink of oblivion which physicians call "Letargion" in order to sleep, and have endured incisions in their limbs, and sometimes burning and abrasions in their vital parts, and felt it not at all, and after being awakened they did not know of the physician’s actions. We hear frequently of fortune-telling illusions overthrowing a young girl’s purity and of the one deflowered little knowing her deflowerer. It is possible that something of this kind took place with this girl by the secret judgment of God that she might not feel the mingling of the sexes, so that now she perceived herself to be unblemished although impregnated.16

We do not by any means think this was unnecessary to be introduced here, because the foolish and unwise people living in the diocese of Saint Kentigern still do not fear to say that he himself was conceived and born of a virgin. But why do we linger over these things? Truly we think the matter absurd to inquire further as to who the sower was and in what manner he ploughed or even planted the earth, when by the Lord’s goodness, this earth produced good and abundant fruit - I say, the fruit of this earth, which received a benediction from the Lord, through whom many generations have been blessed by the Lord, and partake the fruits of perpetual salvation with the Lord.

Meanwhile the woman went out, and her womb swelled up as a distinctive sign of her seduction displayed to all the prophets. And now with her face pale, with her heart lodged in her throat, and with milk erupting in her breasts, her pregnancy denounced her. When her condition was poured by drops into the ears of her father the king, and he had seen and touched, he himself would have the matter established by a more certain inquiry in the following way: he earnestly questioned her, now urging her with dread, now soothing her with fawning, as to who had made her pregnant. But she, introducing an oath in the name of Christ, proclaimed that she was innocent of all virile consorting. However upon hearing this, the king became filled with a more furious anger, both because of the name of Christ which had sounded from her mouth, and because he was not able to discover the violator of his daughter. And he took an oath and resolved to guard his righteous judgment, and he would not in any respect break the law of his elders set for such matters either on account of love or the life of his child.

   Chapter ii – Concerning the agreed law in those days, among the Cambrian people, over fornication by girls

There was among that barbarous people a public law from former days that a girl who committed fornication in her father’s house, and was found to be pregnant, would be cast headlong from the brow of the highest mountain, and her seducer would be beheaded.17 Similarly with the Saxons from olden days, almost up to these modern times, a sanction endured that any virgin who was deflowered willingly in her father’s house should be buried alive, without any hope of retraction, and the violator himself was to be hanged over her tomb. What can we say to this, or what are we able to interpret from this? If such zeal for chastity inflamed pagans, who were ignorant of divine laws, because of their honor and the observance of their fathers’ traditions, what should a Christian do, who is bound fast to the custody of chasteness by the divine law, which promises for this good work the joy of divine inspiration, but on the other hand, repays its transgression with Tartarus?18 For both sexes and all nature are plunged almost as much without restraint as with pleasure (because with impunity) into hog pools of carnal sewage. And not only the vilest common people are defiled with all kinds of contagion, but also those who are sustained with ecclesiastical benefices and divine offices think themselves happier the more they are polluted.19 And now the hammerer of the entire earth, namely the breath of fornication, pierces them.20

Those who are decorated with an imagined holiness in their outward appearance, but in truth denying virtue by their works and placing their faith in this age, are known by their impure life to tell lies to God through their sacred dress and tonsure. They should be fearful of that which the Lord rebukes through his prophet, saying, "He who celebrates wicked acts on the earth will not see the glory of God." Even now, what should be lamented with all the rivers of tears? Because of that shameful crime of shameful crimes that is committed with impunity and which nothing more detestable can be devised, a flame of sulphur – a heavenly judgment – destroyed the shameless ones in Pentapolis.21 Nor is one to be found who boldly reproves the perpetrators. Because if anyone even rarely is found in whom the zeal of the house of God devours, and who burns with the love of justice and honor in order to seem to expose such unnatural and shameful crimes, immediately he is declared a sycophant to his face and is denounced by all as a detractor. His mouth is closed as though he is the evildoer and his tongue is sentenced to be tied up.

Why is this? Simply, as it is written, the body of the Leviathan is packed tightly with an armor of scales pressed down together, and the shadows protect his shadow.22 Because the criminals and the disgraceful ones, who are members of the devil, are in turn protected by others who labor in similar vices, the arrow of reproach is not able to penetrate them. Truly I think, this is seen as evidence of their inexcusable condemnation, as such men, being handed over for reprehensible purposes, will not accept or allow the rod of rebuke. And the multitude, laboring in equal vice, does not request their punishment in the least, because the many burn not less than they themselves as if each one is thrown into the fire. But what may we say about those on whom the duty is imposed of binding and setting free, of closing and opening; who are raised high on the candelabrum, so that they may shine by word and example in the house of the Lord? Surely more today represent smoke rather than flame, and the stench of sorcerers rather than brightness. Surely they are dumb dogs, not able (by all means not willing) to bark. When they see customs more than bestial, they do not dare to censure, especially when they themselves are formed, indeed even more disfigured, by those customs. For, as the people, so also the priest; just as the layman, so also the prelate; indeed just as the first in honor, so also the worst in iniquity; and he who is first in the office of prelate is also first in vice. What the scripture mystically says concerning such men is to be feared for them: "If a Beast defiles the mountain, it will be stoned."23 The beast defiles the mountain when anyone of bestial life ascends to the bishop’s seat of dignity and places an impure hand on the purifying sacrifices. Truly such a one as this is ordered to be stoned, because it is clearly taught in the judgments of the holy fathers that he is to be subject to a harsh and heavy damnation. Although I have spoken by way of digression, I pray that these things will be burdensome to no one.

The zeal of this pagan man, who did not spare his own daughter but handed her over to receive punishment because of the simple fault of fornication, ought to inflict great shame on the worshippers of Christ to plant and propagate chastity.     

Chapter iii – How divine grace liberated the mother of Saint Kentigern  from the precipice and from shipwreck

Therefore, the above-mentioned girl was led on the command of the king to the brow of the highest mountain, which is named Dumpelder,24 so that she could be cast headlong downward from there and be broken bit by bit into pieces and torn limb from limb. But she, sighing heavily and looking up to heaven, said in a pleading voice, "I suffer this justly, because I have acted as if I were one of the silly women, wishing to be as purified as the most holy, most sovereign of salvation, the parent giving birth to her father. But I pray, Lady," she said, "most blessed of women, remove this sin from your maidservant, because I have acted very foolishly. O Mother of mercy, show the light of your kindness to me, and free me from the distress that surrounds me! I pray to you, Lady! Just as He, that flower of the angelic mountains, without injury to your snow-white genitals, thought it fitting to make himself humble in your valley, fertile with all virtues, the lily of the valley,25 and from you became the mountain of most steadfast faith, a stone cut without hands that grew into a mighty mountain and filled the world,26 so also deliver me, your maidservant, from the precipice. Although I am not yet washed in the sacred fountain, nevertheless steadfastly believing in your son, I hope to be kept from harm in the shadow of his wings, so that the blessed name of your son may be exulted forever in the sight of these heathen people. Also, the offspring that I carry in my womb, I promise to deliver up to your son and to yourself as a special possession for all the days of his life."27

And when she had prayed in this way, having vowed in her heart and with her mouth calling out repeated invocations to Christ and his mother, the servants of the king cast her headlong from the summit of the mountain. Then a wonderful thing happened and unheard of in former days! When she had fallen, she was not crushed because the Lord put his hand under her; and for that reason she experienced no injury. As it seemed to her, she descended in the fashion of a winged bird falling gently to earth lest by chance she would strike her foot against a rock. The deed of mercy and the voice of praise resounded in the mouth of many who saw these wonderful works of God. The holy and dreadful name of Christ was praised. The innocent one was judged both to be free from all further punishment and to have complete honor. But in answer to this, the idolaters and adversaries of the Christian faith ascribed this wonder not to divine virtue, but to wickedness, and with one voice they repeatedly called her a magician and a worker of evil.28 Then there was a division among the people concerning her. Some were saying that she was good and innocent; however others said no, but that she deceived the crowd with her illusions and changed and confused the senses.29 So the crowd with a storm of words to one another confused itself, but the sacrilegious multitude gathered strength and they incited their king, who was inwardly delivered up to idolatry, to order a new judgment against his daughter.

Finally with the connivance of the assembly of the malicious common people and the adversaries of the name of Christ, it was decreed that she, the disgraced pregnant woman, would be set forth on the sea alone in a little boat. Therefore, in order that she should be delivered up to the resulting sanctioned judgment, the servants of the King, went up into a ship and led her away to the deepest part of the sea. And there she was placed alone in a very small boat made of hide, according to the custom of the Scots, and after committing her without any oars to fate, they returned to shore by rowing.30 They related that the sentence was accomplished to the King and people who had waited for the result of the matter. Indeed they spoke with mockery, "She named herself the maidservant of Christ. It is predicted that she has the strength of his protectress. Let us see if her words are true. She trusts in Christ; let him free her from the hand of death and from the danger of the sea if he is able."31

In truth, the girl, having been left without any human aid, entrusted herself to him alone, who had made the sea and the dry land and faithfully prayed that he would deliver her from the imminent danger, as formerly he had saved her from the precipice. It is a wonder to relate, but for God no act is impossible.32 That little boat, in which the pregnant girl was held, rode the eddies whirling up and down, and being turned towards the opposite shore, ploughed with a much quicker passage than if it had been borne along by blown sails, or was propelled by the hardest effort of many rowers. For the one who saved Jonah the prophet after he tasted the vast bosom of the whale in the chasms of the sea,33 whose right hand also lifted up the blessed Peter walking on the waves so that he would not sink,34 and who freed his co-apostle Paul from the bottomless ocean, after suffering shipwreck three times,35 guided the woman safe to the harbor of deliverance, for the sake of the child she carried in her womb, whom He had ordained to be the best pilot on the prow of his ship, namely a distinguished teacher and ruler of his church.    

Chapter iv – Concerning the birth of Saint Kentigern, and his education in respect to Saint Servanus

The afore-mentioned woman came to shore upon the sand near the place called Culross.36 At this time Saint Servanus37 was living in this place, and taught the sacred literature to many boys, who were to be delivered up to divine service. And when she had gone out onto the dry land, the contractions of child-bearing instantly seized her. Raising her eyes, she beheld at a distance, although in the shadows near the shore, the sign of a fire’s ashes, which perhaps shepherds or fishermen had abandoned there. Therefore she approached the place, and insofar as she was able, she kindled a hearth for herself. However, when dawn, the forerunner of the divine light, began to grow white, her time was accomplished to give birth. And indeed she bore a son who would become a herald and a messenger of light.

In truth, in the same hour, Saint Servanus, while intent on prayer after the gathering for the Matins of the night watch and longing for the sacred sweetness of contemplation, heard the invisible angels in the upper air resounding with praises dripped in sweetness. And rejoicing with the praises of those creatures and exulting with his disciples, he eagerly offered in his spirit sacrifices of jubilation to the Lord by singing "Te Deum."38 Whereupon the clerics, wondering at the newness of the event, inquired what had happened, and he related to them the morning vision and the singing of hymns by the angels, and he earnestly admonished that they themselves should render to the Lord the bullocks39 of their lips. And there were shepherds keeping watch nearby, having care over the protection of their flocks. They were going out in the early morning when they saw a fire kindled near at hand. They came hurrying to that place and found a very young maiden having been released from childbirth with an infant wrapped up in swaddling clothes and placed out in the open.40 In truth, they were led by pity and expressed their concern by increasing the hearth abundantly, serving meat, and administering other necessary things. And they brought them as well as they were able and presented them to Saint Servanus and related to him the order of the event.

When these things were heard and having seen the little boy, the mouth of the blessed old man was filled with spiritual laughter, and his heart with a joyful melody.41 Whereupon he said in the tongue of his country, "Mochohe! Mochohe!"42 which is spoken in Latin, "Care mi, Care mi,"43 adding, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.44 Then he received them into his own home and he nourished and instructed them, as if they were his own pledges. And so after some few days were measured out, he poured over them the baptism of rebirth and renewal,45 and anointed them with the sacred chrism, calling the mother Taneu and the boy Kyentyern, which is translated "First Lord."46 Thus that new name, which the mouth of Saint Servanus gave him, was not received in vain as will become apparent by its place in the following pages. Therefore the man of the Lord taught the child of the Lord, even as another Samuel, commended and assigned to him by God.47 Indeed the boy grew and was strengthened and the grace of God was in him.48

However, when the age of discernment approached him, and the time suitable and acceptable for learning, he handed him over to be instructed in letters. And he devoted much diligence and effort to him that in these things he might advance. And in this matter, he himself was not defrauded by his own desire, because the boy responded very well and fruitfully to his teaching by learning and retaining it like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.49 The boy made progress with the anointing of good hope and holy character instructing him in the discipline of letters, and not less in the practice of the holy virtues. For there were granted to him by the Father of light, from whom every good and perfect gift is given, an attentive heart, a keen nature for understanding, a firm memory to retain what had been learned, a persuasive tongue to produce what he desired, and a sublime voice – dripping with sweetness, harmonious, and as it were, never weary of singing the divine praises. Moreover all these gifts of grace gilded a life worthy of praise, and for that reason he was in the eyes of the holy old man more precious and loveable than all of his companions. And so it was his custom to call him in the language of his country Munghu,50 which is spoken in Latin as "Karissimus Amicus,"51 and by this name up to this day the common people are accustomed to call him frequently, and to invoke him in their distress.52†+

Chapter v – Concerning the little bird which was killed, and  brought back to life by Kentigern

The fellow students of Saint Kentigern, seeing that he was loved by their master and spiritual father more than all the others, hated him, and they were not able to speak anything peacefully to him either privately or publicly. Whereupon they plotted against him in many things, and insulted, envied, and slandered him. But the boy of the Lord always had the eyes of his heart towards the Lord, and suffering more for them than for himself, he was little weighed down by all the unjust tricks of men.

Now a certain little bird, which is called a redbird by the common people because of its ruby-colored small body, was accustomed to receive its daily food from the hand of Servanus, the servant of God, by the command of the heavenly Father, without whom not even one sparrow falls toward the earth.53 And having accepted such intimacy, he displayed familiarity and tameness towards him. Sometimes he was even accustomed to rest upon his head, or his face, or his shoulders, or his lap, assisting him as he prayed or read, and by the striking of its wings, or by the sound of its inarticulate voice, and by whatever gestures of affection, it would exhibit those towards him. And sometimes the face of the man of God, overshadowed by the acts of the bird, was covered with cheerfulness, admiring truly in the small creature the great power of the Creator, by whom the mute speak and irrational things are known to experience reason.

And because many times this bird came near to him or departed by the command and will of the man of God, it reproached the unbelief and hardness of his students’ hearts, and exposed their disobedience. And let this lesson not seem unsuitable to anyone, seeing that God, by the voice of a mute animal and one used to the yoke, rebuked the folly of the prophet,54 and Solomon, the most wise of men, sent the slothful man to the ant in order that by contemplating his labor and diligence, he might shake from himself his stupefaction and sloth.55 And a certain holy and wise man summoned his religious56 to consider the work of the bees, so that in their little bodies they might learn the beautiful discipline of ministry. But perhaps it will seem a wonder to some that a man so holy and righteous would take delight in respect to the play or gestures of a little bird. But let it be known to those of such thoughts that righteous men at times need to be softened from their own sternness so that those who in spirit go out to God are more temperate to us at times Even the bow must sometimes be loosened from its excessive strain, so that it will not be weak and useless for sending the arrow when the time of need comes. For birds seek with outstretched wings to fly in the air, and then once again with these same wings they descend to settle down to the lower earth.

Therefore on a certain day, when the old man entered his chapel offering the incense of prayers to God, the boys, taking advantage of the absence of their teacher, had room to indulge in play with the aforementioned little bird, and while they groped for it among themselves, and attempted to tear the bird away from each other, it was killed by their hands, and its head was torn away from its body. This being done, their play was changed into grief, and already they imagined to be imminent the blows of the rod which are accustomed to be the most severe instrument of torture for boys. After entering upon a plan together, they laid this deed on the boy Kentigern, who had cut himself off thoroughly from this kind of game. And before the old man came, they showed the dead bird to him and then threw it beside him. Indeed the old man suffered grieviously over the death of the bird, and threatened severe vengeance on its killer. Therefore the boys rejoiced, supposing that they had escaped, and that they had turned the vengeance onto Kentigern that was owed to them, and that they had diminished the grace of friendship that up to this point Servanus had held toward him.

After obtaining knowledge of this, Kentigern, the most pure child, lifted up the bird in his hands, and joining the head to the body, he impressed upon it the sign of the cross. And raising his undefiled hands in prayer to the Lord, he said, "Lord Jesus Christ, in whose hand is the breath of all your creatures, rational and irrational, restore to this little bird the breath of life so that your blessed name will be praised forever." The holy one spoke these words in prayer, and immediately the bird revived. And not only did it seek safely the breezes in free flight, but also indeed it flew in its usual manner towards the old man who was returning from the church. When he saw this marvel, the heart of the blessed old man exulted in the Lord, and his soul praised the child of the Lord in the Lord, and praised the Lord, who alone does great wonders, working in the boy. And so by this special sign, the Lord made known and announced, indeed as it was foreshadowed, that Kentigern was his own, whom afterwards he exalted greatly in many ways by more wonders.    

Chapter vi – Concerning the fire put out through the envy of the companions of  Saint Kentigern, and by his breath given  from heaven on a small branch of hazel

There was an order by Saint Servanus that every boy whom he instructed and taught to diligently be devoted to preparing the lamps in the church throughout the cycle of the week, so that the work of the Lord could be celebrated in that very place by day and by night. And for this reason while the others were sleeping, the boy would carefully bank the fire, lest any negligence pertaining to the lamps should happen in the divine service. Now it happened that Saint Kentigern was assigned to the service in the order of his lot. And although he diligently and fittingly performed this duty, his rivals, burning with the torches of envy, indeed blinded as it is characteristic of the perverse to envy the growth of their betters, and to persecute, or pervert, or diminish the good in others, which they do not, nor can not, nor will not have in themselves, on a certain solemn night secretly extinguished every fire in the dwellings of the monastery, and the nearby places.57 And as if ignorant and innocent, they returned to their small beds. And about cock crow, Kentigern, as custom demanded that he should attend to the lamps, searched for fire all around, but found none.

Finally, after perceiving the malice of his rivals, he was determined in his spirit to give place to envy, and he began to leave from the monastery. And when he had come to the hedge that went around that dwelling, he stood still; and returning to himself, he armed his spirit to bear the dangers among false brothers and to endure the persecution of the perverse. Then turning to his master, he took a branch of greening hazel, withdrawing it out from the hedge where it had grown up, and inflamed with faith he implored the Father of luminaries to enlighten his shadows with a new outpouring of light, and in a new manner to provide a lamp for him through which he might cover with beneficial shame those who were persecuting him. After this, he raised his pure hand and made the sign of the cross upon the branch, and blessing it in the name of the whole and inseparable trinity, he breathed upon the branch.

Then a wonderful and splendid thing happened! Immediately fire sent from heaven took hold of the branch, as if the boy had breathed flame for his breath, and it brought forth long purified rays and drove away all the shadows from the surrounding area. And so seeing light in his light, he walked into the house of God. Therefore God sent his light, and brought him and led him into the monastery, to his holy mountain and into his tabernacle. And he entered near to the altar of God, who gladdened this youth with such a clear sign, and kindled the lamps of the church, so that the divine office might be celebrated and consummated in due season. And the Lord was his illumination and salvation, so that he would no longer be in fear of his rivals, because he judged and discerned his cause against those unjust, envious, and deceitful boys opposing Kentigern, and their malice was no longer able to thrive against him.

All were amazed when they saw this great vision, since that torch burned without damage to the branch, just as long ago the bush which appeared to Moses was seen to burn without consuming itself.58 Yet the one and the same Lord produced the sign both in the bush and in the hazel, because the same God, who determined Moses as the lawgiver to the people of the Hebrews,59 so that he might lead them out of Egyptian bondage, considered it worthy to bind Kentigern as a preacher of the Christian law to many people of the nations, so that he might rescue them from the dominion of the devil.

At last that divine torch was extinguished, after the lamps of the church were burning, and all greatly wondered, discerning this as a wonder of God. For that hazel tree, from which the little branch was separated, received a blessing from Saint Kentigern, and afterwards it began to grow wild into a little grove. Indeed, as the country people say, if from that hazel grove even the greenest little branch is taken, it kindles as the most driest wood when fire licks at it up to this day, and being struck by a small breath, through the merit of the saint, it scatters from itself sparks of flame.

And this kind of miracle deserves to continue, indeed to perpetuate, him in whom the verdure of springlike summer – the cheerfulness of the flesh – although flourishing outwardly, inwardly is valueless. And all the glory of the world was as the flower in the grass that completely withered because the Spirit of the Lord blew on it. And the Word of the Lord remaining eternally, He consecrated to himself that brightest spirit and uncorrupted body by illumination, and as a universal burnt offering the flame of the Holy Spirit consumed him, having been received in the odor of sweetness.     

Chapter vii – Concerning the cook raised from the dead by the prayers  of Saint Kentigern

Saint Servanus had a certain man assigned to the office of cook, who was very necessary to him and to his people, because he was skilled in such art and well-appointed and very diligent in respect to this frequent service. It happened that he was touched with a very bitter sickness and lay ill on his bed. And when the sickness became more serious and gathered strength, he exhaled his vital breath. The heart of the old man filled with sadness for his death. And all the crowd of his students and the whole household mourned over him, because someone equal to him in such ministry was not easily found. Performing the duty of nature, they surrendered his dust60 into the womb of all mothers,61 and they sustained no small loss on account of his death.

After the day of his burial, all the students and the household, both the benevolent and the envious, approached the blessed Servanus, earnestly entreating that he would constrain his Munghu by prayer and compel him in virtue of his obedience to attempt to raise up the cook from the dead.62 For his rivals claimed that the magicians in Egypt had presented signs from heaven by their illusions63 and according to the witness of John in the Apocalypse, the disciples of the antichrist would send fire from heaven,64 and many evildoers65 had practiced what appeared astonishing in the eyes of all by their wicked arts, but no man of the human race, unless he excelled in holiness, was able to return anyone who was truly dead to the breath of life.

They kept persisting in season and out of season, urging him with persuasive words that he should try to test his holiness by such a work, for his merit would be preached through the ages if he could recall the dead and buried to life. The holy old man, at first hesitating lest he presume to impose such unusual work on the young man, but finally subdued and restrained by the insolence of their wickedness, met with the youth of the Lord concerning this work with soft speech and prayers, but he found him restrained and affirming that he had no merit for this work. Then Saint Servanus abjured him by the holy and dreadful name of the Lord that he should at least attempt what he could in this matter, and he commanded this by force of holy obedience. And the youth, fearing that abjuration and judging obedience better than all sacrifices and more pleasing to God,66 went to the grave where the cook had been buried the day before, and he had the earth which covered the cook dug up and cast aside. Then placing himself alone, with abundant tears flowing so that they anointed his face, he said, "Lord Jesus Christ! You are the life and the resurrection of your own people who believe faithfully in you;67 the one who kills and makes alive; the one who leads down to the grave and brings back again; the one to whom life and death are servants; the one who awakened Lazarus after four days. Raise up this dead man that your holy name may be glorified over all things, and blessed forever."

Then a thing wonderful beyond measure happened! While Saint Kentigern poured out many prayers, the dead man, who had laid prostrate in the dust, immediately revived from the dead and came out from the grave house, although still wrapped up in winding bands. As Kentigern rose from his prayers, the cook rose from the dead, and proceeded with him and the great crowd accompanying them, unharmed and cheerful, first to the church of God to give thanks. And then by the command of Kentigern, he went to his customary duties in the kitchen while all the people applauded the miracle and praised God. Indeed the resurrected man afterwards related the punishments of the false and the joys of the righteous which he had seen, and he turned many people from evil to good.68 He also strengthened many others in their holy purpose as they were diligent to progress from good to better.

And being questioned by many, he thus uncovered the manner of his resurrection. He asserted that he was taken away from the affairs of men with unspeakable pain and brought before the tribunal of the dreadful judge, and there he saw many who were cast down into hell after receiving their judgment. Others were bound in places of purgatory and some were lifted up to divine joys above the heavens. And when he with trembling expected his judgment, he heard that he was the man for whom Kentigern, the beloved of the Lord, was praying, and he was ordered by one streaming with light to be lead back to his body. And he was admonished diligently by the same one who was leading him to amend his life and henceforth to be more watchful.69

And so this same cook, preferring the holy religion in habit and deed, both increasing and accomplishing excellence out of virtue, lived another seven years, and then submitted to fate, being enclosed in a noble sarcophagus. And there was written on the lid of his tomb how he had been restored to life by Saint Kentigern, so that the miraculous God might be glorified in his saint forever by all who see or will see this.     

Chapter viii – How Saint Kentigern departed without the knowledge of Saint Servanus, and of what kind of wonder was done at his departure

When the holiness of Saint Kentigern became clear by such increasingly remarkable signs, and the fragance of his virtues spread like the odor of life far and wide, his rivals derived an odor of death from this life-giving aroma.70 And his holy reputation, which offered to many a change to sacred thoughts, was an incentive for them to sow great hatred against the saint of God. The boy, being wise in the Lord, understood that their malice against him had filled them, and thus it was not possible to cease the long-standing, embedded, and incurable envy in their restless hearts. And he did not think it was safe to be lulled to sleep surrounded by a venemous crowd of serpents, lest perhaps he should feel the loss of inner sweetness. Also he considered the breath of popular favor, serenely and sweetly breathing on him and shouting "Well done, Well done" on all sides. Accordingly he considered moving from that place, so that he could avoid the assembly of the wicked, and turn away in humility both from those envying him and from vainglory. He took counsel over this matter by the perseverance of most fervent prayers, with the great angel of deliberation, so that his good spirit would lead him on the right path and he would not run, or had not ran, the course of life in vain.71 Therefore the Lord inclined his ear to the prayers of his young servant, revealing to him through the Holy Spirit that which he determined in his soul would be acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.

And so he secretly left that place, having God as the guide for his journey and his protector in every place. Heading eagerly on this journey, he reached the Friscan shore,72 where the river called Mallena, exceeding its channel because of the inflowing tides of the sea, took away all hope of crossing over.73 But the just and mighty Lord, who divided the Red Sea into parts and brought Israel out through the midst of the sea with their feet dry as they followed under Moses,74 and who turned back the continuous passage of the Jordan to its own source, so that the children of Israel with dry footprints might pass through into the land of promise under Joshua,75 and who divided this same river Jordan by the prayers of Elijah and Elisha, his disciple,76 so that they could go through with dry steps, now He Himself with the same powerful hand and lofty arm divided the Mallena river, so that Kentigern, the beloved of God and men, might cross through on dry land.77 In an exceedingly wonderful manner, the flood flowed back to the sea, and as I thus may say, astonished both the sea and the river which became as walls on his left hand and on his right. Then crossing over a little arm of the sea by means of a bridge, which is called by the inhabitants the Pons Servani,78 he looked back to the bank and saw the waters, which earlier had stood in a heap, flowing back with force and filling the channel of the Mallena – even overflowing the above-mentioned bridge and totally denying passage to anyone trying to cross the river.79

And then Saint Servanus, having followed the fugitive, stood above the bank leaning his aged limbs on a staff and signaled to him with his hand. And with shouting and lamenting he said, "Alas my dearest son! The light of my eyes! The staff of my old age! For what cause are you forsaking me? Why are you abandoning me? Reflect, I beg you, on bygone days, and hold in your mind how in past years I received you coming from your mother’s womb, and how I nourished you and instructed you and fostered you continuously to this hour. And do not disdain me or forsake my gray hairs, but turn back, so that you may be nearby to close my eyes." Kentigern, being moved by these words of the old man, and releasing his tears, responded. "You see, father, that what I have done is by divine will; neither can we nor should we wish to change the counsel of the Most High, and we should submit to his will. Moreover there is established between us this sea as a chasm, so that even if I wished, I could not cross over to you and you cannot come across from there to me. Therefore I ask you, hold me absolved from your command."

Then the old man said, "I beseech that by your prayer, even as you did but a little while before, you make the water solid again, and divide the high sea and uncover the land, so that at least I alone may go through and reach you by way of dry land. With a willing spirit I will become a son instead of a father to you, a disciple instead of a teacher, and a pupil instead of a patron, so that even to the evening of my days I may be an inseparable companion to you." Then again Kentigern spoke, although his face was wet with tears, "I beg you, my father, to return to your own household, so that by your holy presence they may be instructed in the sacred doctrine, taught by your example, and corrected with your discipline. May the Rewarder of everything repay you for all the favors which you have shown to me. Henceforth there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give you at that day.80 However I, being destined for the work of the ministry, will continue on that course which He has set me, who separated me from the womb of my mother and called me through his grace."

After these words were said and receiving mutual benedictions, they separated from one another, and after this meeting they did not see each other again in this world. Servanus, returning to his home, looked for the day of his summons in good old age. And so having grown old in good days, he was placed by the holy fathers and rested in the Lord, and as a good worker in the vineyard in the evening, he received from the Lord his denarius of eternal reward.81 And of what things he contributed and what kind of man he was and of the many wonders he made visible, there is a little book, which committed to writing his life, that will show these things most clearly to those who read it.82

And that place where Saint Kentigern crossed was afterwards impassable. For that bridge, after that time always being covered by the waters of the sea, offered to no one any longer the means to cross the river. And the Mallena completely changed the course of its rapid motion from its proper place, and from that day up to the present, the Mallena turned back into the channel of the river Ledon. Thus in fact the rivers, which up to that time had been divided from one another, became mingled and united.83     

Chapter ix – Concerning the sick man who desired and sought in prayer  to obtain from the Lord that before his death he might see Saint Kentigern;  and that man tasted death in his presense, and received a tomb through his providence.

There was a certain man of venerable life, Fregus by name,84 who had been much refined by a continuous sickness. That man lived detained on a bed of pain in a town whose name is Kernach,85 but he was strong in faith, healthy in holy manner of life, and waiting eagerly for heaven. This just and devout man, when the south wind blew across his garden so that the aroma of its breezes flowed to him, he felt in his heart the sweetness of holiness emanating from the perfect reputation of Saint Kentigern. And from there, both his spirit and his eyes thirsted from the desire kindled in him, so that it might again be thought that the desire of the ancient Saint Simeon to see the Lord was being renewed. For Simeon with panting spirit longed to see with the eyes of the flesh the salvation of God, the Christ of the Lord, clothed in the flesh.86 Fregus, with constant faith, unwearied desire, and repeated prayers to the Lord, sought that he might see Kentigern, the servant of the Lord Christ. Christ heard favorably the desire of both men, and the ear of God, hearing the preparation of the heart, fulfilled their desire. The desire and joy of Simeon was filled for his salvation on the day in which Christ was presented in the temple. Fregus, for his consolation, saw Kentigern the same day he departed from Saint Servanus, and he rejoiced. For Fregus had received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death unless first he saw Kentigern, the Nazarite of the Lord.

And when Kentigern had come to the dwelling of the holy sick man, and knocked at the gate, the sick man inside, being instructed by divine revelation, called out, saying, "Open the gates because God is with us.87 The messenger of my salvation has come, who was promised to me by God and expected by me for a long time, and he is presented to me today." And when he had seen him, he rejoiced in his spirit and giving thanks, he blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light for the revelation of the true light which illuminates all men coming into this world, and declares the glory of eternal life to the people of this and of many nations."88 And turning to Kentigern, again Fregus said, "Dispose of my household and my life today, and tomorrow arrange for my tomb, according to your providence as you are inspired by God." Then at the admonishment of Saint Kentigern, he dispersed whatever earthly possessions he held and gave them to the poor, and having made a pure confession, he was anointed with the oil of forgiveness. And being fortified with the life-giving body and blood of the Lord, he commended his spirit into the hand of the Lord, and with his eyes and hands intent on heaven, he died during the words of prayer.

On the next day Kentigern joined two untamed bulls to a new cart, in which he placed that lifeless body, and having prayed in the name of the Lord, he instructed the brute animals to bring the burden laid on them to the place which God provided for it. Indeed the bulls, neither being the least resistant nor opposing in anyway the voice of Saint Kentigern, and without any stumbling or falling or guide, proceeded by a straight course with Kentigern and many of the company with him following them to Cathures, which is now called Glasgow.89 And there near a certain cemetery that had been concecrated formerly by Saint Ninian,90 they halted with the sacred burden of earth laid on them in all meekness – an exceedingly wonderful sight.91 He guided with direction and threats this chariot to the aforementioned place by no less a miracle and not in a dissimilar manner or unequal power as when the Ark of the Covenant, which had been captured by foreigners, was placed on a new cart after Dagon had been overwhelmed and crushed, and being led by young milch cows who had never been yoked, it was brought from Ekron to Bethshemesh.92

Therefore the saint took down the holy body in that very place, and having performed the funeral rites, he surrendered the dead to that cemetery in which no man had as yet been laid. This was the first grave in that place in which afterwards many bodies were buried in peace. The greatest reverence was devoted to the tomb of the man of God; nor was his grave taken for granted by any bold man daring to trample on it or rashly going over it. For before the turning of the year, many who had tread on his grave or despised its reverence were punished with some serious misfortune, and some even with death. That grave mound even up to the present is girded with a delightful thickness of overhanging oak trees as a mark of the holiness and reverence of the dead man.93     

Chapter x – Concerning two brothers, of whom one perished by divine judgment, and the other obtained blessing from God up to many generations

After Fregus, the man of God, had been buried, Saint Kentigern, as it was imposed on him by a revelation from the Lord, lived in that same place with two brothers who had lived in that place before his arrival. And arranging his life in great holiness, he increased in many virtues to perfection. One of the brothers with whom he stayed was called Telleyr and the other was Anguen.94 And Anguen received the saint of God as an angel of the Lord, and prized him out of the most loving affection of his heart. With all reverence and veneration, he was subservient in obeying and submiting to his commands, even to the point of delivering up his service95 to him. But not in vain. For the servant of the Lord blessed him in the name of the Lord. And truly the result of that blessing of goodness was that not only he himself but also almost the whole of his offspring received a blessing from the Lord and mercy from God our Helper, and seemed to possess that blessing as if by hereditary right.96 For the Lord magnified them in the sight of kings, and made for them a great name, equal to the name of the great ones who were in that land, so that they increased and were enlarged in both matters of wealth and in the culture of the Christian religion.97 And it was justly said concerning them that they were the seed that the Lord blessed by the prayers and good works of his servant Kentigern.

However the other brother, who was called Telleyr, was very troublesome to him by secretly slandering his religion, perverting all his acts, frequently resisting him openly to his face, and treating him with insults and injustices. Either by diminishing Kentigern’s good works or perverting them, he obscured everything with a perverse interpretation. But the servant of God, who had learned by lasting custom with the blessed Job to be a brother with dragons and a comrade of ostriches98 and to live with scorpions after the fashion of Ezekiel,99 possessed his soul in patience, and was peaceful with the one hating peace. But when he spoke with him of those things which are of peace, Telleyr would yet fight against his kindness since he was perverse and ungrateful. But God, the Lord of vengeance, the patient Rewarder, did not for long allow the injury to his servant100 to continue. For on a certain day, after many insults by which he had provoked the soul of the just man, he went out to his work. And because he was powerful in his physical strength, he placed on his shoulders a tree of great weight which exceeded the size of his strength. And he was proud and supposed that he had procured for himself a triumphant title by surpassing asses in the carrying of all burdens. And when he had gone but a little way, he struck his foot against a rock and fell to the ground, and thus was pressed down by his burden and died; he experienced what Solomon had said, Woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.101 And again he says, He that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.102

Kentigern, when he knew that his adversary had fallen, chastised himself with great lamenting and took care of a grave for him, imitating by that act the holy David, pious king of the Hebrews, who mourned over the destruction of his persecutor, Saul, and lamented with great mourning.103 But because, as Solomon testifies, when a foolish man perishes a wise man will be more prudent, we plainly have enough proof in the case of this man that we should beware of offending the servants and friends of God, and we should not dare to inflict on them trouble or harm or injury. For the chosen of God are his temple and the Holy Spirit lives in them.104 Therefore the more they are to be submitted to and the more we should abstain from attacking them, the more the Inhabitant of them has the power to vindicate their injuries and with equal patience He pronounces judgment on those who cause them injury.    

Chapter xi – Concerning the election of Saint Kentigern and his consecration as bishop

And when Saint Kentigern, living in the above-mentioned place abounded in the profusion of many wondrous gifts, it was pleasing to Him who had separated him from his mother’s womb that he should no longer be hidden under a bushel, but rather he should be placed high upon a candelabra, so that by producing his justice as light and his judgment as the noonday he would shine on all who were in the house of God. Therefore by divine inspiration, the King and the clerics of the Cambrian region with other Christians, although they were very few in number, came together as one. And considering the restoration of the church’s position, they came to Saint Kentigern by unanimous consent and chose him105 as the shepherd and bishop of their souls, although he resisted them greatly with many objections. For he objected to his election, saying that he was not suitable because he was a young man, but they dismissed this rule of gray hairs106 because of the abundance of wisdom and knowledge in him. He gave as an excuse that he was not able to suffer at all the lessening of his inner peace or holy meditations. They, on the other hand, alleged that it was good to give a new form to the sabbath of contemplative life in return for the salvation of many souls. Lastly he judged himself insufficient for this honor, indeed for this burden, but the voice of all those present exclaimed that his sufficiency had been made manifest by God with many proofs of signs and virtues. Therefore invoking good fortune for him and blessing him in the name of the holy Trinity, and sanctifying and committing him to the Holy Spirit, the Extoller and Distributor of all positions and offices and dignaties in the church, they enthroned him. And summoning one bishop from Hibernia107 as was the custom of the Britons and Scots at that time, they consecrated him as a bishop.

The custom had grown in Britain of consecrating bishops by anointing only their heads with the outpouring of the sacred oil with an invocation to the Holy Spirit and benediction and the laying on of hands.108 This rite these foolish people said they had received by the instruction of divine law and by the tradition of the Apostles. However the sacred canons ordain that no bishop will be consecrated except by at least three bishops; namely one as consecrator, who shall say over the one being consecrated the sacramental blessings and the prayers for each insignia of the ecclesiastical office,109 and two other bishops who will lay on hands with him and be witnesses as they hold the text of the gospels that has been placed on his neck. Yet although the consecration to which the Britons were accustomed seems less than harmonious with the sacred canons, nevertheless it is established that it does not lose the power and effect of the divine mystery or the ecclesiastical office. But since these islanders, as though placed beyond the world, were ignorant of the canons after the attacks inflicted on them by the pagans, the censure of the church, condescending to them, allows their justification in this matter. But in these times, the church allows no one to preside over a rite of this kind without grave punishment. But Saint Kentigern, although he was consecrated in this manner, gave satisfaction to correcting this rite in every way, as we shall tell later.

He established the seat of his cathedral in the town called Glesgu, which is translated "Beloved Family," and is now called Glasgow. And there he gathered together many servants of God, a family beloved and well known to God, who lived in abstinence following the pattern of the primitive church under the Apostles, without possessions and in holy discipline and divine service.110

And the diocese of that episcopate extended to the borders of the Cambrian kingdom, and that kingdom stretched continuously from sea to sea, just like the earthen wall built by the Emperor Severus. After the advice and counsel of the Roman legions, in order to prevent the Picts from rushing into the country, a wall was constructed in this same place that was eight feet wide and twelve feet tall, and it reached up to the river Forth,111 and divides Scotland from England as a boundary line.112 And this Cambrian region over which Kentigern now was placed with episcopal honor, had received the Christian faith (as had the whole of Britain) during the time of Pope Eleutherius, when King Lucius ruled.113 But when the pagans had attacked the island during various times, and having dominion over it, the islanders had thrown away the faith they had received by falling into apostasy. Many also were not yet washed in the health-giving water of baptism, and many were stained by the contagion of manifold heresies. Many, only Christian in name, were wrapped up in the hog pool of multiple vices. Very many had been taught by ministers inexperiened in and ignorant of the law of God. And for these reasons, all the inhabitants of the province had a need for the counsel of a good shepherd, and the cure of a good ruler. Therefore God, the Disposer and Dispenser of all good things, provided, preferred, and proposed Saint Kentigern as a healing remedy, as the sustenance of life and the example, for all the diseases of all the people.    

Chapter xii – In what manner Saint Kentigern conducted himself by living and teaching in the bishopric; and how he presented himself both publicly and privately

The blessed Kentigern took possession of the steering oar, and in the same manner as he excelled others in honor, so he was diligent to surpass all others in holiness. And as he was more exalted in rank, so also he was zealous to appear more excellent than others by increasing in holy virtues and actions. For he thought it was unworthy of him to creep on the ground or indeed to lie asleep when, having been touched by divine command, he should ascend the mountain in order to preach the gospel to Sion. And truly it is shameful that one who is proposed to announce lofty matters from his office should live in a cowardly manner. And therefore the saint of God, after receiving the episcopal rank, always strove to practice a greater humility and austerity than customary in food and vestments, in vigils and ritual feasts and in the mortification of his body.

And that I may briefly depict his whole life – from the time of his ordination, which happened to him in the twenty-fifth year of his age, up to the final end of his life, which is to say lasting through the space of hundred and sixty years114 – breaking his fast after three or even four days, he would rather revive than restore his body by tasting common and very light foods, namely bread and milk, or cheese, or butter and pottage, lest the inner animal fail after the way of this mortal life. Indeed that I may speak more fitly, by mortifying his members on this earth with the torment of the cross for a long time, he consecrated himself to God by sacrificing a living offering, a sweet smell, pleasing to God. For from flesh and blood, from wine and all things which are inebriating he abstained utterly as though he was one, indeed the chief, among the Nazarites. However if at any time it happened that he was on a journey or eating with the King, he refrained from abstaining with his customary rigor. Afterwards though, when he returned to his home, he increased his abstinence as if punishing himself for a serious crime.115        \

Chapter xiii – Concerning Saint Kentigern’s manner of dress

He used a rough hair-shirt to cover his nakedness; then a habit116 made entirely from the skin of goats; then a cowl117 drawn tight like a fisherman’s. Over this he was covered with a white alb,118 and he always wore a stole placed on his neck. And he carried a shepherd’s staff, certainly not rounded, or gilded and adorned with gems as can be seen at this time, but made of simple wood that was merely bent.119 Carrying a small book in his hand,120 he was always prepared to practice his ministry, when necessity or reason demanded. And so he represented the radiance of the inner man with his garments of white and shunned vainglory.    

Chapter xiv – Concerning the sleeping place of Saint Kentigern; and his vigils  and his bath in cold water.

What shall I say concerning his bed? I hesitate whether to name it a bed or a tomb. He slept on a rock hallowed out like a grave, having a stone in place of a pillow under his head, even as another Jacob.121 Truly he was an excellent wrestler against the flesh, against the world, and against the devil.122 Throwing in some cinders, and removing his hair-shirt, he shook lethargy from himself, shedding rather than seizing sleep. And to make myself more clear, he buried himself with Christ in a certain likeness by having sacrificed sleep.

At last having drank moderately of peaceful sleep, he would rise in the night, at the beginning of his vigils, and he poured out his heart as water before the sight of the Lord his God. And so with psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles celebrating the watches of the Lord, he exulted in the Lord and rejoiced in God our Savior continuously til the second cock crowing. Then entering into conflict with a more bitter struggle against that great malignant dragon which , according to the prophet, lay in the middle of the river,123 it was his custom to strip off his garments, and following the naked Christ in rendering himself naked and bare,124 to immerse himself in the quickly flowing cold waters. Then surely as the stag desires pools of water, so too his spirit longed for God, the living fountain.125 And there in cold and nakedness, with his eyes and hands fastened on heaven, he would sing all the psalms in their entirety with a devout heart and mouth.126 Hereafter becoming as one from a flock who is shorn coming up from the water to mount Gilead, emerging from the waters as a dove bathed in milk, indeed as a Nazarite more pure than snow, more white than milk, more ruddy in body than rubies, more polished than sapphires,127 he sat down upon a stone on the brow of a mountain that is called Gulath128 and dried his limbs near the flowing river not far from his hut.129

And so when his body was dry and he was again dressed in his garments, as if preparing for an early departure, he showed himself to his household as one who is rich. Neither the fire of glittering lightning, nor hail, nor snow, nor the spirit of storms cheated him of this custom of bathing, but only a journey which was unavoidable or a very serious illness prohibited him from keeping his custom. But even then he redeemed that work by some other divine and spiritual exercise. Therefore by the daily use of this beneficial bath, as if in a new Jordan, his flesh was restored to the flesh of a little child, because the law of sin which fought in his genitals was so weakened in him, and the fire of lust so dead and quenched, that no corruption of his eager flesh, either awake or even sleeping, defiled or stained the lily of his white genitals. And he did not even feel its simple movement planted or thriving in him. For working with the grace of Christ in this same innocence of childlike purity, his flesh blossomed with the goads lulled to sleep. And indeed this just man sprouted before the Lord like an unwithering lily. Whereupon he even professed plainly to his disciples on a certain day that he was no more pricked by the sight or touch of the most beautiful girl than of the hardest flint.     

Chapter xv – In what manner of speaking the man of God was accustomed

However, Kentigern was capable of restraining his spirit in speaking and had learned to place a guard on his mouth and a door on the circumstances of his lips so that he might arrange his speech with good judgment. And not one of his words fell vainly on the ground, and the word he uttered did not fly out and, having been discovered, return to him as worthless.130 Therefore he spoke with the weight, number and measure as was necessary and required by the opportunity. For his speech was fashioned with salt and agreed with every age and sex. And honey and milk were under his tongue and his cellar was replenished by spiritual wine, and indeed, from his mouth the little one in Christ drank milk, the more advanced drank honey and the righteous drank wine, each one to his own health.131 In judging or admonishing or reproving, he did not have before him weights and burdens,132 nor did he take into account the character of the person, but he considered the cause, and in accordance with the name of the sin, he extended with the greatest discretion according to the time and place the measure of ecclesiastical discipline.133 But this saint preached more by silence than do many teachers and rulers by shouting, because his appearance, face, habit, walk and all the acts of his body acknowledged discipline and interpreted the purity of the spiritual man which was inwardly concealed by certain outward signs bursting forth as water. It is unneccessary to entrust anything to the pen concerning his bountifulness which gave itself entirely to perfecting charitable works of mercy, since every substance that divine liberality granted to him was the common treasury of the poor.134

Chapter xvi – With what grace he deserved to be adorned  when he celebrated the sacred mysteries of the mass.

But although in the above-mentioned things and in similarly held tasks, he showed himself as a man and at times above men, yet as he celebrated the sacred mysteries of the mass, he put off the man as it were and purging himself of earthly things, he gave himself wholly to the divine above man. For as he raised his hands in the fashion of the cross he declared the sursum corda,135 and he lifted his own heart to the Lord even as he admonished others to do the same. And so from the golden censer of his own most pure heart, filled with living coals of virtue and kindled with divine love, his prayer passed through the clouds and penetrated heaven as a most clear and fragrant incense. And immersing itself into the unapproachable light, it was guided into the presence of the Lord, so that the Most High himself granted it to be accepted as a sweet odor to himself and to declare this by manifest signs in the eyes of men. For many times as he touched the divine sacraments, a snow white dove, having a beak as if of gold, was seen to rest upon his head136 and covered him and that which was placed on the altar with the transparent flapping of its wings like the rays of the sun. Also frequently while the sacrificer stood near the holy altar making offerings, a bright cloud overshadowed his head. And sometimes, at that moment when the Son was being sacrificed to the Father, it did not seem that he stood there, but instead there was a piller of fire whose brightness, when it was gazed upon, blinded those looking at it.137 Yet it was not given to everyone to know or to see this ministry, but only to whom it was given by the Father of lights. For a certain time, while the priest of the Lord celebrated the sacred mysteries, a fragrant cloud filled the entire house, where many were hearing the holy mysteries of the Lord. And the odor, exceeding all fragrances, poured over all who were assembled with an unimaginable sweetness, and imparted complete health to many who were set in that place bearing up under various ailments.138

Truly as I relate these things, sorrow fills my heart, as I see the priesthood now defiled in so many ways. For although I am silent for the moment concerning those who with simony approach to sacrifice or sell the body of the Lord with Judas, since evidently they will not offer it except for money, I will speak of those who, being wrapped up in sins, loose in shameful crimes and polluted in their body and their mind, presume to handle and to contaminate with impure hands the sacrifice of purification.139 Alas, in how many priests today is perceived the rottenness of filth rather than the odor of spiritual sweetness! O how many more today are blinded as they are possessed by a storm of darkness than overshadowed by a cloud of light! Alas! Alas! I say to many at this present time who look to the sulphurus flame rather than the encircling piller of fire! But now I bring back my eyes to myself and to others like me, performing in whatever priestly function, for whom instead of a snow white dove at the time of sacrifice exceedingly troublesome flies emerge from the river of Egypt,140 namely unclean thoughts, without profit and useless, thrust forth into the memory out of the imagination of this tottering age. In respect to this, fear and trembling come over me, because as Solomon testifies, dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.141 Minds that are busy with thoughts of this kind experience less how great is the goodness of that inner sweetness which comes from visitations of the Holy Spirit.    

Chapter xvii – How Saint Kentigern, throughout the whole period of Lent,  retired to a more solitary place in the desert and then returned to his church  before the supper of the Lord, or sometimes the Sunday of the palms.

The man of God held to the pattern of life we have described almost all the time up to an extreme feebleness of age except during Lent. For in those days he was accustomed to walk beyond his usual manner in a certain freshness of life. And endeavoring to equal the ferver of the holy fathers, or rather following the footprints of Elijah or John the Baptist or the Savior himself, he retired during every season of Lent to a deserted place.142 And thus fleeing far away from the presence of the sons of men and waiting in the solitude with his body and mind, he dwelled with himself. And in that place, being more free for God, being away from the trouble of men and from the contradictions of tongues and discussions, he lay concealed in the presence of God in secret. Therefore as he sat alone, he raised himself above himself, and frequently dwelling in the caverns of the earth,143 or standing at the door of his den and praying after the commotion of storm and fire, he experienced the rustling of the light air breathing on him and anointing and filling him with a certain indescribable sweetness.144 And he walked around the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem to seek for himself his beloved and offered a sacrifice of joy in his heart, even as he mortified his most holy limbs which were upon the earth. He offered his own holy life as a sacrifice and afflicted his most innocent body with a daily martyrdom as an odor of sweetness pleasing to God. With what sort of food he sustained his life during those days he revealed to no one or perhaps to only a few. Those, however, he prevented with episcopal authority from revealing that mystery to any mortal man.

Nevertheless, at one time he spoke and two of his household heard this irrevocable word yielded one time simply from his mouth. "I have known," he said, "a man, who sustained his life during Lent only on the roots of certain kinds of grasses and sometimes, being given virtue by the Lord, he spent the entire time without being upheld by earthly food." And neither of them doubted that he spoke this about himself, but the man of God omitted his own name in order to avoid vain glory, which he managed to flee everywhere.

And for a long time he first used to return to his church and his household before the feast of the Lord, but then afterwards he would return on the Saturday before the Sunday of the palms, so that he might fulfill his episcopal duties. And he was received even as an angel of light and peace by all. And so he was accustomed to spend that week with his household. And on the day of the feast of the Lord, after preparing the sacred crism and oil, he first washed the feet of a multitude of the poor and then the feet of the leperous with his own hands and tears and then wiped their feet with his hair and soothed them with abundant kisses.145 Afterwards he diligently ministered to them at the table. Then he sat with the absolved penitients for their comfort, and he refreshed both himself and them with bodily and spiritual nourishment. And from that hour until after the celebration of mass on the day of Easter, he remained fasting continually. In truth he crucified himself with the Crucified One on Good Friday with incredible torment, and with blows from a staff and in nakedness and repeated kneeling and scarcely sitting at any time, he prolonged the day and the night with an excessive cross in his heart and on his body as he carried the marks of the wounds of Christ on his own body.146

However, on the most holy Saturday, as if dead to the world, he buried himself in a double tomb with the Ancient of Days, namely the true Abraham. Entering the tomb with an abundance of inner meditation, he rested on the sabbath from all the tumult and din of this age, except that he appeared to celebrate the office pertaining to the day.147 At last, having restored the spirit of his mind, he awaited the most holy day of the Lord’s resurrection with the fragrance of sacred virtues so diligently prepared. Rising up together with Christ in a certain manner, he feasted on the flesh of the spotless lamb with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. And on the day which the Lord made as a day of rejoicing in heaven and on earth, he rejoiced with delight in his whole spirit, and he feasted with his brothers and with a great multitude of the poor. And he was said to do this at the other special feast days also. However if it happened that because of an urgent reason he ate with secular people, although that rarely happened, he tasted little of the food put near him. Instead he nourished the banqueters with a spiritual feast, and restraining the boasting which usually overflows at such feasts,148 he cloaked his own abstinence with a veil of holy prophesying.     

Chapter xviii – How cheerful a countenance he possessed,  and what he felt or spoke concerning hypocrites.

Saint Kentigern is said to have had a favorable appearance with a body of medium height, although more likely considered tall. Also it was claimed that he was of robust strength and his endurance for any kind of work, whether according to his body or to his spirit, was in a certain measure unfailing. And he was beautiful to look upon and comely in form. Having a countenance full of grace and reverence, a dove’s eyes, and the cheeks of a turtledove, he brought to his own love the affection of all who looked on him. And showing abundantly the cheerfulness of the outward man as the sign and most faithful interpreter of his inner goodness, he poured out over all a certain contentment of spiritual delight and exultation, which the Lord had laid up as a treasure for him.149

For fleeing hypocricy in appearance as well as in deeds, he taught all who followed him to flee far away from it.150 And showing by examples that hypocrites are the most foul species of men, he taught as in this manner of words: "Take heed, my beloved," he said to them, "of the vice of hypocrisy, which is in a way the repudiation of the faith, the estrangement of hope, the destruction of charity, the cancer of chastity, the blinding of truth, the prison of sobriety, the shackle of justice, the little fox of obedience, and the cloak of little patience. And, as I may briefly conclude, it is the moth of religion, the utter destruction of all virtues, the hiding place of vices, the asylum of all sins, and the home of crimes. And hypocrisy is the incitement of all evils as the Lord taught when he said that hypocrisy is the leaven of the Pharisees. For as leaven mixed with food makes that food hollow, puffed up, and sour, so too hypocrisy makes the heart that it possesses void of religion, puffed up with the false praise of men, and rough, bitter, sharp, and also proud before the truth of conscience, opposing the good, the just, and those seeking to attain purity and holiness.

"And in truth, beloved, although all iniquity by and of itself is simple, hypocrisy alone is twofold or even far more in itself. For the hypocrite as far as it is within him, tries to blind the one who sees all things, while turning his eyes away from himself, and he overshadows his vices before men by covering them under the image of displayed holiness. And although other godless, wicked, and criminal men are members of the Antichrist, yet only hypocrites are singularly and in particular his followers and forerunners, even as the simple lovers and followers of truth and purity are both members and disciples of Jesus Christ. For the Antichrist himself, as it is written, will sit in the temple of God and with false signs he will show himself as if he is God. Even the angel of Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, and therefore it is not surprising if his special minister and member transforms himself into a minister of justice when that one is a synagogue of Satan.151

"Believe me because I spoke truly to you, that the anger of God is not more greatly observed in the church of God than when he causes a hypocrite to reign over it, because of the sins of the people. For also in the Apocalypse, a more destructive persecution is described raging in the pale horse than in the others proceeding it, because certainly the holy church is injured much more ruinously under hypocrisy, which is signified by the pale horse, than under open persecutions in which the faithful and the unfaithful, and the just and the unjust, are revealed, and a multitude of martyrs are crowned.152 But surely hypocrites, in their deeds and by the disposition of the outward man, make clear to those who look keenly and judge all things spiritually what manner of men they hide within their acts. For while they paint their course of life in the manner of turtledoves, contracting their shoulders, hanging down their head, fixing their eyes on the earth, hiding their face, sighing with soft lips, and speaking in I do not know what kind of feminine way, they declare by such proofs their inner condition. For by their steps they show that they imitate peacocks, indeed robbers. By the contracting of their shoulders, they show that they barely carry the sweet yoke of Christ and his light burden.153 By the hanging down of their head and the look of their eyes, they show that they cling more to the dirt than to the heavens with their heart, that they reflect on earthly things, that they love earthly things, and they long for the desires of the earth. But with their hidden faces they make known that they turn their backs rather than their faces to God, and by their womanly manner of speaking, they prove that they live loosely and not manfully.

"To whom shall I say such men resemble if not deceivers who display fire, water, men, beasts, and other things as illusions which have no substance. But although pretenders and crafty hypocrites, who arouse the anger of God against themselves, may evade the opinion of those who judge according to appearance, in no way do they deceive Him who searches the heart and loins, and they cannot avoid his uniform judgment. These things, beloved," said the man of God, "I do not say to you so that I may denounce a snare for you, or that you should not show maturity in your face, your deeds, your habits and your discipline, but I admonish you by all sorts of ways that you seek God in your heart simply, and join the external man to an inner purity. And fleeing hypocrisy everywhere, you do all things with spiritual cheerfulness. And so in this way, man will be edified by all our works, and God will be glorified because God prizes a cheerful teacher and a good worker."    

Chapter xix – In what manner Kentigern converted to the faith of Christ  the people whom he was placed over who had apostatized for the greater part;  and those he brought back to a more correct life who had profaned  the faith with wicked deeds.

Therefore the blessed Kentigern, having received the bishopric, was zealous to administer vigorously the duties imposed on him. And seeing that the northern enemy, that is to say the prince of this world, had placed his seat in those parts and was ruling in that place,154 he took hold of spiritual arms in order to struggle against him. And so having put on the shield of faith, the helmet of hope, the breastplate of justice, and girt with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God,155 he attacked the hall of that armed strong man and plundered his vessels, being supported by the assistance of the Lord wherein is shelter, being plainly strong in battle.156 And, so that I may seem to be brief, neither his foot, nor his hand, nor his tongue ceased from the preaching of salvation until all the ends of that land remembered and were converted to the Lord.157 In truth those who were not yet spiritually regenerated by the living water, like thirsty hinds ran to the living fountain of baptism with kindled desire. And those who had apostatized, or had gone astray from the whole faith by some erratic doctrine of a heretical sect, entered into the body of Christ through this herald of salvation teaching the way of God in truth. And recovering from the snares of the devil which had held them in captivity, they turned back to the bosom of the church.158

And so the famous warrior began to wage war on the temples of demons,159 to overturn the images, to build churches, to consecrate those churches which were erected, to divide parishes into fixed allotments with measured boundaries, to ordain clergy, to dissolve incestuous and illicit marriages, and to change concubinage into lawful marriage.160 He strove, as he was able, to introduce ecclesiastical rites, and he endeavored to establish whatever was harmonious with the faith, with the Christian law, and with justice. And wherever he traveled, he was conveyed not by a horse, but even into extreme feebleness of age he walked in the manner of the Apostles.161 Thus after finishing these things with suitable ceremony, he returned to his own household, and there in his accustomed manner he led a life glorious with virtues and wonders in the perfection of the highest religion. Concerning those wonders, we shall now say something which is worthy of being entrusted to a pen, because we do not doubt that it will be profitable to many.

Chapter xx – In what manner Saint Kentigern put a stag and a wolf  to the plow under one yoke; and having sown sand, he reaped wheat.

And so as we have said, the man of God gathered together very many disciples, whom he educated in the sacred literature of the divine law and instructed by word and example in the holiness of life. Concerning those disciples, he proposed to bind them as fellow workers in gathering the harvest for the Master. They all emulated with their life and doctrine his emulation of God. They became accustomed to fasting and sacred vigils, eager for psalms and prayers and meditation on the divine laws, were content with moderate nourishment and vestments, and were occupied during certain times and seasons with manual labor.162 And in the manner of the primitive church under the Apostles and their successors, possessing nothing that belonged to themselves, living temperately, justly, piously, and with the greatest abstinance, they matured from that age and wisdom in single huts, just as Saint Kentigern himself lived. Therefore these separate clerics were called Calledie163 by the common people. And so the servant of Jesus Christ went out in the morning to his labor, and at some times toiling up to the evening, he labored greatly in agriculture so that he might not eat the bread of leisure, but rather eat in the face of his sweat, in order both to offer to his household an example of labor and also to have food to give to the one seeking aid.

It happened at a certain time that he was without any oxen, and from the want of these the land was left unplowed and fallow. When the man of God saw this, he lifted his eyes to the edge of the wood placed nearby and saw a herd of stags springing here and there. At once he said a prayer, and with the mighty virtue of his words, he called them to him. And in the name of the Lord, to whom all mute and irrational beasts and all the herds of the fields are subservient, he commanded that they be yoked to the plow in place of oxen and plow the earth. They immediately submitted to the command of the man of God, and as if they were tame oxen and accustomed to agriculture, they plowed the land to the astonishment of many. And when they were unyoked after their work they went to their usual pastures, and at a fitting hour, as tame and domesticated, indeed as trained animals, they returned to their customary work.

When the stags had been going and returning for some time as domesticated animals, a rapacious wolf choked one of the stags who, being weary from the labor, was plucking food as it lay on the grassy sod. And he sated his voracious maw with its carcass. When this was brought to the knowledge of the saint, he extended his hand toward the woods and said, "In the name of the holy and inseparable Trinity, I command that the wolf, who has brought this loss on me, although I have not merited it, come to me to give satisfaction." A wonder to say but more wonderful in deed! Immediately from the woods the wolf sprang towards the voice of the man of God, and he sunk down before his feet with a howl. And by signs as it was able, the wolf declared that it sought a pardon and wished to give satisfaction. And the man of God, reproaching the wolf with threatening appearance and voice, said, "Rise up and I charge you by the authority of the omnipotent God that in the place of our laborer the stag, whom you devoured, you join yourself to the yoke and plow the entire untilled little field from where you stand." Indeed the wolf obeyed the words from the saint’s mouth, and being yoked with the other stag to the plow, it finished plowing nine acres. And then the saint allowed him to leave freely.

And this act, as it seems to me, was as similarly fulfilled to the letter as that prophecy of Isaiah which he revealed by the Spirit concerning the time of the coming of the Lord, where he said: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.164 Let the reader consider whether it is more marvelous to see a wolf reclining with a lamb or plowing with a stag. Yet Kentigern, a most pure youth, simply meek in his own eyes and humble in his heart, did this.165 However this sign was not made by himself, but was made with the power of the little child who is born for us and of the son who is given to us. And it is with justice that he should produce this wonder bodily who so many times subdued them spiritually, recalling many from wolfish faith and bloody slaughter and the ferocity of savage beasts and a wild life to the yoke of faith and the plow of a holy way of life.166

Very many came together at such a sight and were astonished at the unusual wonder. And the saint, opening his mouth, taught them, saying, "Men, brothers, why are you amazed at looking on this word? Believe me, before man was disobedient to his Founder, not only all the animals but also all the elements submitted to him. But now on account of his transgression, all things are accustomed to be against him; the lion to mangle, the wolf to devour, the serpent to wound, the waters to drown, the fire to consume, the air to corrupt, and often the earth becomes like iron to destroy with hunger. And to emulate this consummation of evil, man is not only cruel to men but man also rages against himself by voluntarily sinning against himself. But as many saints were found perfect in the presence of the Lord with true innocence and pure obedience, faith and delight, and in holiness and justice, they recovered this dominion from the Lord as an ancient and natural and original right. And they ruled with power the beasts and elements and the diseases and deaths of many."

And when the holy man brought to an end many sayings in this manner, many present were not less instructed by his exhortation than they had previously been amazed in being shown the miracle. Therefore when the field which was plowed should be sown, the saint looked for seed but could not find any, because he had expended all his grain as nourishment for the poor. And so he took refuge in the accustomed arms of prayer, and in faith and not hesitating at all, he took up sand in place of seed and sowed the earth. When this was done, the wheat grew in its due season, the bud sprouted, the stalk produced its ear of grain, and in the time of harvest, it produced the best and richest wheat so that all who saw or heard this were struck with the greatest amazement. And his fame, which previously was renowned, afterwards was made even more famous. Indeed this saint in the virtue of that grain of wheat, which falling into the earth and dying and by living again brought much fruit, gathered up wheat from the sand which had been sown. And he introduced many, even a countless number who previously were of unstable mind and carried around by all the winds of erratic teaching, whose foolishness was heavier than the sands of the sea, to the Holy Mother church, namely to the best flesh produced by the ploughshare of the gospel. And with the aid of God, he caused them to produce the grain of salvation in faith and in charity and in the practice of good works. These the highest Master of the house judged worthy to translate to the heavenly storehouse and his own table.    

Chapter xxi – In what manner Saint Kentigern, being supported by divine aid,  transferred without loss the barns of the King, which were filled with wheat,  to his own dwelling by causing the force of the river Clyde to serve him.

After a space of considerable days had been measured out, a certain tyrant, who was called Morken,167 who was persuaded by power, honor, and riches to walk in great and wondrous matters above him, ascended to the throne of the Cambrian kingdom. But his heart even as it was raised up with pride, so also from that region it emerged contracted and blinded through avarice. He scorned and disdained the life and teaching of the man of God, slandering him in secret, and sometimes resisting him to his face, condemning his signs as of magical images, and he considered all his deeds as nothing. But the man of God, when at a certain time required grain for food for the brothers of the monastery, went to the king, and making known his need and the need of his household, he asked that Morken supply their need by coming to their aid out of his abundance, in accordance with the admonition of the Apostle.168 But he, being proud and puffed up, offered insults in place of his poured out prayers and inflicted injuries as some kind of assistance to the one seeking help. Then with a blasphemous mouth, he ironically said to him, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee,169 just as you have often admonished others, as there is no want for those fearing God, but those who search for him will not be diminished in any good thing. Therefore you, although you fear God and observe his commands, need all good things, even your necessary nourishment. I, however, who seek neither the kingdom of God nor his justice, am increased with all prosperity and an abundance of all things smile on me." And he concluded at the end, "Therefore your faith is empty, and your preaching is false."

But the holy man, alleging against this, taught from the testimonies of the holy scriptures and from the living assertions of reason and from examples, that many just and holy men were afflicted in various ways in this age with both thirst and poverty and that good-for-nothing men are exalted with things of wealth, the abundance of pleasure and the height of honor. And when with visible power he taught that the poor would be patrons to the rich, by whose benefices they are maintained, and indeed the rich need the protection of the poor, just as the vine support the elm tree, the barbarian was not able to resist his wisdom and the Spirit who spoke through his instrument. But he responded with irritation, "What more do you want? If, trusting in your God and without human hands, you are able to transfer to your dwelling all my coarse meal which is held in my storehouses that you see, I concede and give to you freely from my spirit and I will submit faithfully to your petitions concerning other things."

Having said this, Morken departed joyfully, as one who had mocked the holy man with such an agreement. However, when evening came, the saint lifted his eyes and hands towards heaven, and with a profusion of tears poured out a most devout prayer to the Lord. And in that same hour, when the tears rose up from the innermost bosom of the saint and flowed from his eyes, the river Clyde,170 which flowed near him, suddenly proceeded to swell up, by the command of Him who has the power in heaven and on earth, in the sea and over all the abyss. And overflowing its bands and encircling the storehouses of the king that stood there, it lifted them up and dragged them into its channel. And with a great force, the river transported them to dry land, all the way up to the place named Melingdenor,171 where the saint then was accustomed to spend time. At once the river ceased from its rage and broke down its swollen waves within itself, because the Lord had placed gates and bars on it so that it could not proceed further, nor could it pass over its established boundaries. These storehouses were discovered there intact and unharmed and not only not a stalk, but also not an ear of grain appeared damp. Indeed we recognize once again the sign, although with a different element, which we read as having been shown in a certain Chaldean furnace into which the three boys, free in their religion but bound in their bodies, were thrown.172 For just as in that place the fire had the power to burn only their bonds but not their bodies or their clothes, so here the water was able to transport the storehouses abounding with grain but not to moisten them. And when the crowd had seen that the servant of God had made such a sign in the name of the Lord, they said that the Lord is truly great and greatly to be praised who has so magnified his saint.173       

Chapter xxii – In what manner the above-mentioned King Morken,  with the urging of his soldier Cathen, struck Saint Kentigern with his foot,  and with what kind of penalty both of them were punished.

After the force of the river had given joy by transporting the grain to the city of God,174 in which the inscribed citizens of the saint and those of the household of God were in one assembly to serve the living God, the faithful and prudent steward, placed in the home of the great Master of the household, distributed the measure of wheat to his fellow servants, dividing to each one according to the need of each.175 And he dispersed what was left over and gave it to the poor, and he did not send anyone who was destitute away empty.

However the aforementioned King Morken, although exceedingly rich and great in the eyes of men, yet being a vile slave of Mammon,176 bore ill the loss of his grain, as it seemed to him, and the sign that had occurred from heaven. Although he ought to have had delight and joy to his increase, he obtained a stumbling block in his spirit.177 As the radiance of the sun increases the gratitude and delight to wholesome eyes, and it grants them to behold it, even so it serves the material of darkness to those diseased and in the thrall of hemlock. And so as his eye was disturbed because of his rage, he spewed out many reproaches against the patron saint, reviling him as a magician and an worker of evil.178 And it was commanded by Morken that if Kentigern appeared any longer in his sight he would atone with the most serious penalties since Kentigern had mocked him. For a certain most wicked man who was in the confidence of the King, Cathen by name, incited him to hatred and injury of the holy bishop, because the life of a good man is accustomed to be hateful and burdensome to the perverse. And a spirit profuse with evil is more easily persuaded to join with him who embraces the same. For an impious leader, according to scripture, has impious men as his ministers. And very often he selects such men to be secret advisors to him, who impart venomous whispers into the ears of those who freely listen to iniquities and add to the fire of malice with the bellows of accusation by applying fuel of their own accord, so that it does not extinguished itself but flares up more abundantly.

But the man of God, wishing to extinguish malice with wisdom, went into the presence of the ruler in the spirit of meekness rather than with the rod of severity. And instructing and admonishing him in the manner of a most merciful father, he tried to amend the foolishness of a son. For he knew that the harp of David with its sweet melody diminished the insanity of Saul179 and that with patience the anger of a ruler is relieved, according to the judgment of Solomon.180 However the man of Belial,181 after the fashion of a deaf adder that stops up its ears so that it cannot hear the voice of the wise enchanter, did not follow the word of warning and the counsel of salvation. On the contrary, urged on by a greater madness, Morken rushed at him, struck him down with his shoe, and threw him down lengthwise onto the floor. However the saint, being raised up by the bystanders, endured with the greatest patience his injury and dishonor so that his teaching might be known by his patience. Committing his cause to the vindication of the highest Judge, he departed from the sight of this sacrilegious king, thus rejoicing that he was counted worthy to suffer shame for the word of the Lord.182

Cathen, the provoker of this sacrilege, mounted his horse with loud, mocking laughter, and he departed with delight as one who seemed to himelf to have triumphed over the saint. But a judgment came from the face of the Lord so as to perform justice for the injury suffered by his servant. And Cathen had not yet gone far from the crowd which had gathered in that place, when the steed on which he sat fell down after striking its foot on I know not what kind of obstacle. And his rider fell backward before the gate of the king his lord, and having broken the neck that he had raised up with arrogance against the bishop of the Lord, Cathen died.

And a tumor overtook the feet of the King,183 and pain followed the tumor, and death followed after the pain. And he died on a royal estate, which is called Thorp-morken184 after his name, and he was buried. However that sickness was not cut off or buried in the succession of his branch. For from the beginning of that time until the present age, the sickness had not ceased, but the suffering of sore feet is visible in his descendents. And although they do not have his appearance or body, nevertheless his line takes after their father in this kind of sickness. Indeed that the race of this king died off on account of this kind of sickness declares by the testimony of their deaths in what manner the Lord, who zealously loves and avenges his own, visits with punishment the sins of the father on the sons, even to many generations,185 and what sort of retribution He renders to the arrogant.

For many days afterwards in his city of Glasgow and in his diocese, Kentigern lived in much quietness and had peace in his circuit, because the divine judgment shown to his persecutors supplied to others an incitement of fear, or reverence, or love, or obedience toward the saint of God. And this furnished an opportunity to do whatever he wished to the advantage of God. 

Chapter xxiii – In what manner Saint Kentigern,  having turned away from the treachery of those plotting his death,  left the borders of his own country, and came to Saint David   who was living at Wales.

After some time had passed, certain sons of Belial, the fruit of vipers of the kindred of the formerly mentioned King Morken, pricked by the sting of very bitter hatred and infected with the venom of the devil, met as one and took counsel that they would take Kentigern by deception and kill him. But they feared the common people and did not dare to undertake that crime openly, because all held him as their teacher, their bishop, and the shepherd of their souls, and they loved him as an angel of light and peace. Several times they stretched out many snares for him in order to shoot arrows at him unexpectedly, but the Lord was a strong tower for him so that his enemies, the sons of iniquity, could not prevail against him. At last, being bound under an oath among themselves, they established that they would fulfill for themselves to deliver completely the wicked word in which they conspired his death. Nor would they break their oath on account of fear that anyone would leave undone the wicked and deceitful word that they had set against him.186

When the man of God obtained knowledge of this, although he was able to overcome force with force, yet he thought it more sufficient to withdraw from that place for a time and give over that place to anger and to seek elsewhere a more abundant fruit of souls, rather than to carry a conscience burned as with some brand or even blackened on account of the death of any man, even a most wicked man. For the blessed Paul, a chosen vessel, gave Kentigern the example of acting in the same manner, as when Paul saw at Damascus that there was a death without fruit threatening him, and he sought a basket to evade and avoid it,187 and then afterwards in Rome he gladly underwent death with many times more profit.

Accordingly, after being instructed by divine revelation, Kentigern departed from those territories and headed eagerly for the road which turned towards Wales, where at that time the holy patron Dewi188 shone forth in his pontificate as a star during Matins when it leads in the day with its rosy face. Wherever the saint went at that time, virtue went out from him to restore many to health. And when Kentigern had arrived at Karleolum,189 he heard that many in the mountains had been given to idolatry or were ignorant of the divine laws. And so he turned aside to that place, and he converted to the Christian religion, with the aid of God and confirming this word with accompanying signs, many who were strangers to the faith and others who were erring in the faith. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, who is a guide to the author of eternal salvation!190 He lingered somewhat in a certain woods to confirm and comfort in faith the men who were living there, and where he also raised up a cross as a sign of their salvation.191 By this event the place received the name Crosfeld192 in English, that is, Crucis Novale.193 In this same place in truth a basilica, which has been built in recent times belongs to the name of the blessed Kentigern. And it is not doubted that he shone with many wonders that revealed his holiness.

Departing from that place, the saint directed his steps to a place on the seacoast, and sowing the seed of the divine word throughout his entire journey, he gathered together a great and fertile crop for the Lord. At last the saint reached Dewi whole and unharmed, and discovered in him greater works than rumor had spoken. But the holy bishop Dewi was glad with exceeding joy at the arrival of such a great guest-friend. And with tears overflowing his eyes and with mutual embraces shoulder to shoulder, Dewi received Kentigern as an angel of the Lord, beloved of God, and retaining him with himself for some time, he always adorned him with a wonderful reward.

And so these two sons of splendor lived together, assenting to the Ruler of the whole earth as two lamps glittering before the Lord, and whose tongues were made the keys of heaven, so that through those keys a multitude of men were drawn to this walk.194 These saints rested on each other as two cherubim in the sanctuary of the temple of God having their faces bent towards the mercy seat.195 In frequent contemplation of heavenly things they extended their wings upward and in the disposition and stewardship of earthly things they let down their wings. And they touched each other mutually with their wings, yet by the vicarious instruction in the teaching of salvation and by the operation of virtue in turns, they stimulated each other to a greater propensity for perfecting holiness. And thus these saints, whether yielding their minds to God or becoming thoughtful of us, have relinquished to posterity an example to seize and to obtain eternal life.

And when Saint Kentigern had tarried there for awhile, the fame of him ran to and fro, flashing through the mouths and ears of very many. And he was led to the acquaintance and familiarity and friendship of many, and not only of the poor or the middling sort or the chief people of that land, but also of that King Cathwalain,196 who was the ruler of that region. And the king, knowing him to be a holy and just man, freely heard him and when he had heard him, he did many things that pertained to the salvation of his soul. And when Kentigern was asked several times by the king the reason he had departed from his own country, and he had set forth the cause, Kentigern said that he wished to join himself to the building of a monastery in which he would be able to unite the people and the pursuers of good works acceptable to God. And the king answered, ‘My land is within your view, and wherever it is fitting to your soul and seems good to your eyes, build the habitation of your dwelling and construct your monastery. Yet as it seems to me, I assign to you for your work that place which is called Nautcharvan,197 as it is more fitting than all the rest because there are in this same place all the necessary things for your purpose." The man of the Lord gave many thanks to the king, and he selected that place to build and to live which even beforehand had been designated for him by divine revelation. Therefore he departed after blessing the king, and then bidding farewell to Saint Dewi with the giving of mutual benedictions, he directed his course of life to that above named place with an abundant crowd of disciples who had gathered to him, who chose to lead a life of poverty with him in a strange land rather than to delight in wealth in their own land without him.    

Chapter xxiv – In what manner Saint Kentigern,   following a wild boar that was leading him, found a fitting place.

And so the most holy Kentigern, being separated from the bodily presence of Saint Dewi but in no way absent from his love or from the sight and visitation of the inner man,198 did not give his eyes freely to sleep nor his eyelids to quiet slumber until he had found a fitting place to build a tabernacle to the Lord God of Jacob. And so he walked around the land and went about it. And accompanied by a great crowd of disciples, Kentigern explored the site of that place, the quality of the air, the fertility of the lumps of earth, the sufficiency of the meadow, and pastures, and woods, and the other things which pertained to the fitness of building the monastery, and as they proceeded together walking through the steep mountains and glens of the valleys and hollowed out places of the earth, through thick briars and dark woods, and through the plains of marshes, they conversed of that affair which pertained to the present. And then a single wild boar, totally white, came towards them from the woods, and approaching the feet of the saint, it shook its head. Sometimes advancing and then once more staying in its place and looking back, it signaled to the Saint and his companions with what gestures it was able that they should follow him. Being astonished by this sight, they glorified God who causes wonderful and unsearchable things in his creatures, and they followed in the footsteps of their leader the boar that went before them.199

And when they had come to the place which the Lord had ordained beforehand for them, the boar halted, and repeatedly striking the ground with his foot and making the gesture with his extended tusks to gnaw the soil of a certain little hill set in that place, shaking its head again and again and grunting with its mouth, it clearly showed to all that this was the place designated and prepared for them by God. And that place was set over the bank of a river which is called Elgu and from which to this day it is said that the village chooses its name.200 Then the saint, giving thanks on bended knees, honored the omnipotent Lord and rising up from prayer, he blessed that place and the surrounding area in the name of the Lord. And finally as a testimony and a sign of salvation and a future omen of devotion, he fashioned a cross in that very place by his tent. However the boar, seeing what was done, approached the bishop with repeated grunts as if about to request something. And the saint, rubbing the head of the wild beast and touching his mouth and tusks, said, "May the omnipotent God, in whose power are all the wild beasts of the woods, the cattle and oxen on the hills, the winged creatures of the heavens and the fish in the sea, render a reward for your conduct that He knows will be useful to you." And the boar, as if well rewarded, bowed its head towards the priest of the Lord and it went from him and returned to its known forests.

On the following night, when the man of God, longing for heavenly things, raised up his hands during the Sanctus of the Mass and blessed the Lord, it was revealed to him by divine inspiration that he should reside in that place and build a monastery in which the sons of God who were scattered could be gathered into one. And coming from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, they might be worthy to recline at the table with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven and God himself would be their provider and protector of that place and those who lived within it. Certainly with what truth this revelation was supported clearly was shown by the exciting events that were accomplished. For when the morning came, Kentigern made known to the others the divine revelation that which had been shown to him, and he encouraged the souls hearing him to build. And in the manner of bees making honey, they did not snore more easily but all sweated by laboring in the work. Some cleared and leveled the place, and some prepared the foundation when the mound had been leveled. And as certain ones moved trees, and certain ones carried them, and certain ones joined them together, they began immediately to build, as the Father had arranged and measured out, a church and other workshops in the manner of the Britons, because they were not yet able to build with stone as they did not have that skill.201

However, as they pressed on with their labor and the work flourished under their hands, a certain heathen chieftain, Melconde Galganu202 by name, came over with his soldiers and a great crowd came with them. He was a grim man and ignorant of God and in the indignation of his anger he asked who they were and from where they came and what kind of thing had they dared to preside over in his land. And the saint, responding with humility to his demand, said that they were Christians from the northern parts of Britain and that they had come to that place to serve the living and true God. He asserted that they had begun there a dwelling with the permission, indeed with the benevolence, of their lord King Cathwalain, in whose sovereignty he believed that place to belong. That one, frenzied and raging, commanded all of them to be driven from the place and whatever had been built was to be pulled down and laid to waste. And then he began to go back to his own dwelling.

And so the man went away, breathing threats against the servants of Christ, but then the scourging hand of the Lord touched him and struck him with sudden blindness. But nevertheless, as was made clear in the end, this affected him not to his own folly. For while he sat in outward darkness, the true morning star illuminated his heart. And when the outward light was taken away for a time, he was brought out from the darkness and the shadow of death and was led into the true light. Therefore, being inwardly enlightened and brought to penance, Melconde gave himself to his household to be carried away to the man of God, and he began to entreat devoutly that Kentigern should wipe away his blindness with his prayers and wash him in the fountain of salvation.

And the saint strove not to be conquered by evil but to conquer evil with good, and he wished to repay the man good instead of evil. And having sent forth a prayer, he placed his healing hand on the blind man in the name of the Lord. And signing him with the cross of salvation, he turned his night into day and poured into him the light he had hoped for and desired after the darkness. And thus the Lord struck him so that he might heal him, and making a new Paul from the old Saul, he blinded him so that he might be enlightened.203 Therefore, having received his sight, he immediately was washed in the waters of salvation by the holy bishop, and after this Melconde became as one who bowed to Kentigern in all matters that he needed accomplished and a devoted fellow helper. Having reckoned all his estates in his power, he granted them with royal bountifulness to Saint Kentigern to erect a monastery, and being supported by his assistance, he brought to completeness the work he had begun. He established in the church of his monastery the cathedral seat of his bishopric, the diocese of which was the greater portion of the surrounding country, which he had acquired for the Lord by his preaching.

And so he returned many to the way of salvation who were either ignorant of the Christian faith or who had turned away from the faith or who were corrupted by defiled doctrines. And with the assistance of God, he made vessels of mercy from vessels of wrath and vessels of glory from vessels of insult.204 For he went out from his monastery to practice his duties as bishop, passing through his diocese as time provided. But because there was not found a place where the foot of his yearning rested for a long time, he returned to the evident beloved quiet of his monastery as the dove returned to the ark from the face of the world’s deluge. Indeed, he carried with him the olive branch with its greening foliage, because he received the fruit of peace and mercy that he preached to others.205 

Chapter xxv – With what number of brothers that monastery prospered;  and how Saint Asaph as a boy carried fire in his garments   without anything being burned.

Old men of God and younger men, rich and weak, came together to lift up upon themselves the sweet yoke of the Lord and his light burden. Noblemen and the middle sorts brought their offspring to the saint to be fostered by the Lord. The multitude of those who had repudiated this world increased from day to day in number and in merit, so that the number of soldiers in the army of God was extended up to nine hundred and sixty-five, who professed a life of rule in act and in habit in accordance with the instruction of the holy man.206

And Kentigern separated this gathered throng, who had been delivered over to divine homage, into three divisions in the religious community. Indeed the three hundred who were unlettered he assigned to agriculture and the keeping of the herds and to other necessary occupations outside of the monastery. Another three hundred he assigned to labor both in the preparation of the food and to the building of offices inside the enclosure of the monastery. And to the remaining three hundred and sixty five who were scholarly, he gave the custody of celebrating the divine offices in the church day and night, but he established that they were to remain continually within, as if in the sanctuary of the Lord, and not any of those could readily depart outside the holy places.207 And those whom he perceived as advanced in holiness and wisdom and suitable for teaching others, he was accustomed to bring with him when, being impelled by necessity or earnestly entreated by reason, it was needful for him to go out to administer the offices of bishop. And those whom he delivered up to divine work, dividing them into bands and assemblies, he established that when one assembly ended the service to God in the church, immediately another entered and commenced their service. And when that assembly finished that service, another consequently went in to celebrate. Truly, with the holy respondents suitably and wisely arranged and entering in turns while they continually celebrated the work of God, prayer was made to God without interruption by that church, and by blessing the Lord in all seasons, the praise of God always resounded in their mouth.208 And glorious things were said in and of that city of God, because it was as a dwelling of complete rejoicing in that city, so that the prophecy of Balaam might indeed be spoken of it. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, and as cedar trees beside the waters.209

Holy and perfect men bloomed in that glorious monastery, and like Jacob they were excellent wrestlers against the devil on the one hand and against the world and sin on the other.210 With faith, love, and meditation, they waited eagerly for a vision of God as true Israelites abounding in good actions. And humble in their own eyes, they were as wooded valleys pungent with sacred thoughts and nourished with the rivers of holy scripture, and also as the cedar trees beside the waters that are glorious in all their many virtues and signs.

There was one among them, Asaph by name and famous by descent and appearance, who shone in virtues and wonders from the flower of his earliest puberty. He was diligent to follow the life and teachings of his master, as it is possible to know completely from reading his life that was transcribed into a little book. And from that book I was disposed to insert in this work one little wonder because the perfection of the disciple is the glory of the master.211 For one time in the season of winter, when everything all around was contracted and frozen at the winter solstice, Saint Kentigern had recited the psalter naked in the frigid water as was his custom, and after putting on his clothing, he went out to the community. He began to be afflicted violently by a strong fit of shivering, and in a certain measure to become totally stiff, so that it was given openly to be known what he was able to do by himself and what was possible by virtue of divine graciousness. For as he bore the icy cold for so long naked in the waters without freezing, it was perceived that divine virtue worked in the fragile vessel of his human body. But since he became frozen with frost although clothed with hides and other vestments, his human fragility is understood.

Therefore the holy father commanded the boy Asaph to carry fire to him, so that he might be warm. And the recruit of the Lord ran to the oven and begged that coals be given to him. But since he did not have anything in which to carry the live coals, the servant said either in jest or earnestly, "Stretch out your garments if you have the strength to take away these live coals,because I do not have anything at hand in which you may carry them." The holy boy, fervent in faith and confident in the holiness of his master, gathered his clothing in his lap with no hesitation and spread it out to receive the living coals. And bringing them to the old man, Asaph cast them down in his presence, and there was no sign of burning or corruption apparent on his clothing. Therefore, the greatest bewilderment struck all those who were present, because the fire that he had carried in his clothing had in no way consumed the burnable material. 212

However, a friendly dispute was deliberated on between the holy father and his disciple over this sign, and the one side seemed to hold to allegations that the other in turn so justly objected. The patron attributed the sign to the prayers of the holy boy in innocence and obedience, but the boy asserted that this deed was by the merit and holiness of the bishop whose command he obeyed and whose holiness he took for granted so that he dared to attempt that deed. Truly I judge this wonder without prejudice to be ascribed more sensibly to the wisdom of both, namely because each of them had always guarded the members of their bodies, which are the vestments of the soul, in the whiteness of virginal chastity from the beginning of their lives, and the oil of God’s love was never wanting from their heads. The clothing of the disciple experienced neither injury nor harm from the fire so that the integrity of both might justly be expressed. For if the fire of sexual love had been concealed in their bosom, according to the wisdom of Solomon, their garments would have burned. And if their garments had been mixed with blood, that is to say if the members of their bodies were defiled by the stench of aroused lust from the desire of flesh or blood, it would have been without doubt, in accordance with Isaiah,213 the portent for burning and fuel for the fire.

And so Saint Kentigern, who up till then had held dear and beloved the venerable boy Asaph, from that day forward he prized him as the most dear and most special of all. And as soon as he was duly able, he advanced him to holy orders. And in due time he entrusted the care of the monastery to him, and made him his successor in the bishropric as we will relate later.

Chapter xxvi – In what manner he saw Saint David crowned in heaven by the Lord.  And what he prophesied concerning Britain.

One time while the man of God persisted more attentively and more earnestly in prayer, his face seemed as if it was on fire, so that those who were present were filled with astonishment and ecstasy. They gazed at his face as if it was the countenance of an angel standing among them, and seeing his face glorified like another Moses, the astonishment of surprise certainly encompassed all of them.214 Having completed his prayer, Kentigern remained withdrawn and apart and gave himself over to the heaviest grief. His disciples, knowing that his lamentations would not be without great reason, approached him with fear and trembling and requested in humility to uncover for them the cause of such lamentations if it was permitted and it did not displease his paternity. The saint was silent for a little while but since they persistently knocked on the ears of that most holy father, finally he opened up and responded in these words.

"Know, my most beloved sons, that the most holy Dewi, the grace of Britain, the father of his country, and the most precious carbuncle of patrons, had just now departed the prison of the flesh and being rich in merits, he had been led into the splendors of the saints and entered the Holy of Holies.215 Believe me, I say to you that not only was he led by a multitude of shining holy angels as he entered with heavenly hymns into the joy of his Lord, but also the Lord Jesus Christ himself, gentle and humble in heart, went out to meet him at the gates of paradise and crowned him with glory and honor as I saw.216 Indeed as a singular lamp to his generation, and as the brightest star that shone in word and in example, he was present in the custody of Him who called him, so that he may shine with delight for Him who made him and be mindful of all who petition him as patron for his protection and who keep his sacred memory.217 And truly beloved, it is proper for me to rejoice in the glory of such a father who loved us in particular, but the burning affection of pious love does not allow me to hold back from weeping. Know that the world of Britain, bereaved of such a light of so pious a patron and of one so powerful before God and all the people, will notice the absence of him who set himself between that region and the sword of the Lord, which is half-drawn on account of the wickedness of those who live there, lest by drawing the sword out entirely it should strike down even to death.218 The betrayed Lord will betray Britain to foreign nations who are of the pagan sect and ignorant of God. And the island will be emptied of its native people, and the religion of Christian law in the island will be destroyed until its predetermined time.219 But once more, those who profess Christianity will be restored to their former state, indeed to a better one, by the mercy of God who is the mediator of all things."220

The saint said these things and was silent, and fear assaulted all that heard and a storm of tears flooded their eyes. And desiring to be more informed about these words, they rapidly appointed a messenger to the church that Saint Dewi presided over justly as bishop. And they discovered that the holy one of God had departed from this world that same hour, just as the man of the Lord, instructed by divine revelation, had revealed to them. And in this matter it must be pondered of what merit this man had before God who deserved to see such glory, gazing not with the eyes of the flesh but with the heart. And he offered so true a prophecy concerning the Britons and the English, which all England is able to prove by enlightened faith.    

Chapter xxvii – How Saint Kentigern went to Rome seven times;  and consulted the blessed Gregory concerning his position.

The blessed Kentigern, knowing that Britain had been blighted in many districts by the heathen and the church of God established in those places had been torn in many ways and separated from the faith of Christ by idolaters, found that it was repeatedly attacked by heretics and many things were contrary to sound doctrine and differed from the wholeness of the faith of the Holy Mother, the catholic church. And he considered a long time within himself in what manner he would be able to apply a corresponding healing remedy to all these problems. Finally he determined in his spirit to go to the seat of Saint Peter that was established on a rock. And so that no cockles would thrive among the wheat,221 and with the healthy learning of the Holy Roman church and acquaintance with the articles of faith, he was diligent to banish all anxiety of doubts, so that by certain inquiry he might be able to attain to the light of truth.

For Britain during the rule of the most holy King Lucius had received the faith of Christ under Pope Eleutherius and through the preaching of the best teachers, Faganus and Divianus and others whom the wise Gildas, the historian of Britain, commemorates. And having received Christianity, the land preserved it intact and unblemished up to the time of the Emperor Diocletian.222 Then the moon became as blood, and the flame of persecution burned white-hot against the Christians throughout the whole world.223 Then that whip inundated and vehemently oppressed Britain, and a pagan hand reaped the first-fruits of those sheaves on the island, namely Alban, and took him out from their midst to be enrolled on the tablet of the Eternal King.224 And after that, the scourge handed over uncounted others both willingly and in ignorance to heaven.

From that time the worship of idols began to grow and gather strength in the island and introduced the abandonment and oblivion of the divine laws. Yet Christianity after this lived again in some ways and flourished. But in the course of time first the Pelagian heresy sprouted and then the country was overrun by Arianism225 that polluted the face of the catholic faith. However, in truth it flourished again and became green when the heresies were cut off and expelled, and it was restored through Saint Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, who was a visibly apostolic man of many remarkable signs. But an attack by the neighboring Picts and Scots, aliens to the knowledge of the name of Christ, completely put to flight the faith and the faithful from the northern borders of Britain.

Finally Britain was oppressed by the Angles who were still pagan, after whom the country was called Anglia, and they cast out the native people and placed Britain under idols and idolaters. The natives of the island, however, fled beyond the sea into little Britain or into Wales, and although they had been driven from their own land, nevertheless not all of them abandoned their faith completely.226 And indeed first the Picts, through Saint Ninian for the most part, and afterwards through Saints Kentigern and Columba, received the faith. Afterwards they again fell into apostasy, but through the preaching of Saint Kentigern not only the Picts but also the Scots, as well as uncountable peoples established in different ends of Britain, were either converted to the faith or confirmed in the faith as we have already said and of which we will still say more.

And Saint Augustine, who was noted for his monastic acts and habit, and other religious servants of God, were sent by the blessed Gregory, the supreme pontiff, and came to Anglia.227 And being wealthy with showers of holy prophesying and shining with the lightning of wonders, partly through themselves and partly through their disciples, they converted the entire island to Christ, instructing them fully in the rules of the faith and the customs of the holy fathers, and they refilled all Anglia with the good odor of Christ.

Therefore, because Britain had been wasted by so many afflictions and Christianity had been so often obscured or even destroyed in it, different rites had emerged at different times that were contrary to the form of the Holy Roman church and to the ordinances of the holy fathers. And so in order that he might know and be able to meet all these matters and to help, the blessed Kentigern departed from his above-mentioned monastery and went to Rome seven times. And learning at Rome what areas Britain was in need of amendment, he brought these things back home. However, coming back to his country the seventh time, he was afflicted with a most serious sickness, and he returned to his own household with the greatest difficulty.

But when he went to Rome one time, the blessed Gregory presided over the apostolic seat, a man apostolic by office, authority, teaching and life, and a particular apostle to the Angles for the sign of the Angles is his apostleship. As a vessel of solid gold decorated with every precious stone he was justly named the golden mouth, since when he explained many scriptures, he made them evident by his clear and most polished style. His memory was as the work of the paint dealer in putting together fragrant oils and as the music at a banquet of wine. He made the holy church sweet by increasing it throughout different parts of the world with his writings that dripped with sweetness and the canticles he composed to the advantage of music, and he adorned and supported the house of God with canonical precepts. To this most holy High Pontiff he laid bare his entire life in order and made clear to him his election to the bishopric, and his consecration, and all the events that had happened to him. And the holy Pope, being strong in the spirit of counsel and discernment since he was filled with the Holy Spirit, knew him to be a man of God and full of the grace of the Holy Spirit. And he confirmed his election and consecration, because he knew that both had come from God. And since Kentigern himself asked many times for that which he could scarcely obtain, Gregory supplied what had been absent in his consecration, and he determined that Kentigern should work in the ministry that had been imposed on him by the Holy Spirit.228

The holy bishop Kentigern with apostolic absolution and blessing went back to his home carrying with him rules, codes of canons, and many other books of sacred scripture, as well as privileges and many pledges of saints, and ornaments for the church and other things that pertained to adorning the House of the Lord. And he caused his own household to rejoice at his return, both because of the holy offerings and the presents. And he lived there for some time in much rest and conduct, and he ruled over both his bishopric and his monastery in holiness and in vigorousness with great diligence.

Chapter xxviii – What he knew concerning the two clerics  through a revelation of the spirit; and what happened to them  which he himself prophesied.

It happened that the holy patron had to distribute sacred orders by ordaining clergy and promoting some to the office of priest. There was presented to him among others for advancement to the priesthood a certain cleric of graceful form, great eloquence, and much learning. He was also a Britain by race but he had been educated in Gaul. When the saint saw this man, he summoned the archdeacon and commanded him to be removed immediately and to be separated from the clergy. For to the eyes of the saint, a sulphurous flame had seemed to come out from the bosom of that cleric and to pour into his nostrils an intolerable stench. By this vision which was revealed by the Spirit, he perceived what vice labored in his body. For as was then made clear to the man of God alone but afterwards to all the others, the cleric was accustomed to that most detestable shameful crime for which divine vengeance overthrew the sons of unbelief in Pentapolis and destroyed them by fire and brimstone.229

And the saint said to those surrounding him, "If the sacred canons forbid women because of the weakness of their sex, which is in no way in default, to be advanced to priestly order, by how much more ought those men be shut out from so sacred an order and duty who are perverters of their own sex and abusers of nature, who in contempt of the creator, with insult to themselves and in injury to all creatures, despoil that with which they are created and born, and cloth themselves as female.230 Nowhere do we read of a more grave vengeance being selected for censure than against that monstrous race of men in whom that detestable shameful crime consumed the original matter. Not only did it overthrow those cities with all their inhabitants with fire because of their burning lust and with brimstone on account of the stench of that abhorrent crime, but in truth it also turned them into a place horrible to see, filled with brimstone and pitch and an intolerable stench that received no living thing into itself, indeed having trees on its banks which displayed fruit outwardly healthy but inwardly full of smoke and ashes, and manifesting an image of the certain punishments of the lower world.

"And this shows plainly enough how horrible is that same crime and how it should be shunned by all men in this life as a nefarious derision and with what torments it will be punished in the future. For as the fire expresses the burning of lust, the brimstone represents the stench of the shameful crime. As the pitch is the ensnaring of the vice, the fumes represent the blindness of the heart in this age. And in the age to come they symbolize the unquenchable fire, the intolerable stench, the imperishable bonds, the horror of the shadows, and infinite death." After this, the above-mentioned cleric went on his way and as rumor had it, he perished and was taken with sudden death.

And when the holy man completed the office and had returned to his home, a certain cleric, who was a most eloquent pilgrim,231 met him among the others. Looking at this man, the man of God laid a burning eye upon him. And he inquired who he was, and where he was from and for what reason he had come into these parts. And he answered that he was a preacher of the truth and taught the way of God in truth, and he claimed that he had come into those parts for the salvation of souls. But when the saint conversed with him in speech, he convicted him of being made drunk with the venom of the Pelagian pestilence. Therefore wishing that he would return rather than perish,232 Kentigern refuted and admonished him earnestly that he renounce that ruinous sect, but he found his heart stony towards conversion.233

Then the saint commanded him to be expelled from his diocese and denounced him as a son of death and that the death of both of his persons234 was at the door. Also he remembered that saying of the Apostle, Shun the man who is a heretic after the second admonition, knowing that he who is such is destroyed.235 The same son of Gehenna, after being expelled, departed from those boundaries, and as he tried to cross a river he was choked by the waters and descended into Tartarus. And so this showed, being most worthy of faith and by such plain proof, the veracity of the prophecy of the most holy man. 

Chapter xxix – In what manner divine vengeance struck the adversaries of  Saint Kentigern; and oppressed the native people who had apostatized.

Up to this point, we have narrated as diligently as we were able to relate what Saint Kentigern did after he left his own country and what he did when he stayed in a foreign land. Hereafter, let us reflect for a moment to make known what his adversaries suffered and in what manner he returned to the Cambrian region and what he did in that land. After the man of God yielded to malice and gave up that place, his enemies were not allowed to rejoice for long over his departure. For the Lord visited them with a severe hand and harsh arm and with poured out fury. And he extended over them a rod vigilant with evil and not with good, striking them with the scourge of an enemy and with the chastisement of cruelty even to death. For the shadows covered some of them and the mist of blindness pursued them. Paralysis destroyed others, weakening all of their strength and making all the virtues of their bodies in effect to end. The fury of insanity seized some and followed them into their graves. A consuming leprosy consumed and shook others and as they breathed in their half-alive bodies, they imitated the rotten dead. Many of them became epileptic and offered a horrible spectacle to those gazing upon them. Others died being consumed by various kinds of incurable sicknesses. For so great was the indignation of the anger of the Lord and so suddenly did he destroy them that all who knew their former power and great number hissed over them, saying, "Why has the Lord done thus to this people?236 Since look! They have suddenly died out and perished because of their sins, which they exercised against the saint of the Lord when they plotted to take away Kentigern’s life and memory from the land."237

Even the people of the countryside quickly neglected the way of the Lord, which the good shepherd and true preacher had shown to them. And as dogs that return to their vomit, they lapsed into the rites of idolatry.238 But not with impunity. For the heavens and the earth and the sea and all things which are in them removed their service and use and accustomed assistance from them, so that in accordance with the scripture the whole world seemed to fight against these foolish people.239 And the elements were not thought to bear calmly the separation of so great a man when he was absent from the land. For according to that prophecy, "All greenness left, and all the cattle perished. The heavens above were as bronze and the earth as iron and devoured its own inhabitants. And a consuming famine rode over all the earth for many season."

However, when the time came that the Lord would show mercy and remove his rod of indignation from them so that they might be converted to the Lord and He would be spoken of as theirs, He raised up a ruler over the Cambrian kingdom, Rederech by name and a most Christian man, who had been baptized into the faith by disciples of Saint Patrick in Ireland. He looked to the Lord with all his heart and was zealous to restore Christianity.240 And indeed, it is a great proof of divine piety when the Lord establishes for the government of the holy church and the sovereignty of the land, rulers and kings who decree with justice and live in holiness, who seek the good for their own people, and who bring about judgment and justice in the land. And so certainly on the contrary, it is evident proof of the indignation of God when he causes a hypocrite to rule because of the sins of the people, when he declares the King apostate and calls the leaders impious, just as it is written in Job241 and in accordance to the prophet when he gives kings in his fury and princes in his anger. 

Chapter xxx – In what manner the holy Rederech summoned Saint Kentigern  with messengers and letters, so that he would return to his own seat in Glasgow;  and the holy patron, being instructed by divine revelation,   agreed with the desire of the King.

Therefore King Rederech, seeing the Christian religion in his own kingdom almost annihilated, was greatly occupied with how he could add to and restore it. And having deliberated with himself and with other Christians who were in confidence with him for a long time, he did not find a more useful counsel by which this could be accomplished than if he designated messengers to go to Saint Kentigern in order to recall him to his former bishop’s throne. As the reputation of the saint soared, it rang in the ears and soul of the king, because his light could not be concealed although it was shining in areas of more remote regions.

Therefore, the king directed the messengers to the blessed patron with his letters of entreaty and warnings, and he implored and exhorted and adjured in the name of the Lord that as a shepherd Kentigern would no longer forsake his sheep in the pasture or remove their care from himself or their protection abandon by neglecting them any longer. Let Kentigern not expose them to being carried away and torn to pieces by the open mouth of the infernal wolf, but rather let him come before all were lured away into the jaws of the roaring lion who was preparing to eat them. For there is no man present unless it be himself who can deliver them, and he is rightly bound to save them. He asserted that it was unworthy for a bridegroom to abandon his bride, for a shepherd to forsake his sheep, and for a patron to desert his church for whose love he ought to lay down his life so that he would not be a mercenary.242 Also Rederech declared that those who were seeking his life had died by the vengeance of God and that he himself had taken an oath that in all things he would obey Kentigern’s desires, teaching, and precepts as a son to his father.

Having received these letters, the holy father was silent, and he did not answer on that day with any fixed word on this matter. For Kentigern had determined to sustain his grey head up to the evening and end of his days enclosed within that glorious monastery, which he had built with the longest and greatest sweat, to sleep in peace in that place and to be at rest in the sight of his sons whom he had begotten through the gospels and brought forth in Christ. But he did not seek what was his own but what belonged to Jesus Christ, and he did not come to do his own will but the will of the One who sent him.243 And desiring that it be done in him and toward him, as it would be desired for him in heaven, he submitted himself wholly to divine providence.

And on the following night, as he bent forward in prayer and consulted the Lord over this matter, an angel of the Lord stood near and a light glittered in the dwelling of the oratory, and striking him on his side, the angel commanded him to rise. And when Kentigern was standing, the heavenly messenger said to him, "Return again to Glasgow and to your church, and in that place you will be a great nation and the Lord will cause you to flourish among your chosen people.244 You will acquire a holy nation and purchase uncountable people for the Lord your God, and you will attain a perpetual crown from him. For there you will finish your days in good old age, and from this world you will pass over to your Father who is in heaven. In that place your flesh will rest in hope, buried with funeral rites of glory and honor. You will be greatly honored by the repeated visitations of the people and the display of wonders, until at the last day having received a double stole from the hand of the Lord, you will possess a double reward in the general resurrection." Having said these things, the angelic vision and encouragement ended. And Kentigern, weeping abundantly, offered thanks to the Lord and repeated frequently, "My heart is fixed, O God. My heart is fixed for whatever is pleasing to you."245     

Chapter xxxi – In what manner the Saint, encouraging his disciples  concerning his return, placed Saint Asaph as his successor in governance.

And when the day shone forth, Kentigern gathered his disciples together as one and said, "Beloved, I speak to you as one man, for after long deliberation and yearning according to the infirmity of my flesh, I wished that these old eyes would be closed by you, and my bones would be concealed in the womb of the mother of all before your eyes. But because it is not in the power of man to go his own way, it has been imposed on me by the Lord to return to my church of Glasgow. And we should not, and dare not, and desire not conceal the words of the Holy One, just as Job says,246 or in anyway to go against him, but rather in all things to obey his will and commands up to the end of life. Therefore, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity."247 These and many similar things Kentigern said openly to them, and then he raised his hand and blessed them all. Then by the unanimous assent of all, he gave the above-mentioned Saint Asaph for the governance of the monastery, and by petition of the people and election of the canon clergy, Kentigern placed him as successor to his bishopric.

And after this, he prolonged his extended and profound speech concerning faith, and hope, and charity;248 concerning mercy and justice; concerning humility and obedience; concerning holy peace and mutual patience; concerning taking heed of vice and acquiring virtues; concerning the observance of the religious orders of the Holy Roman church; concerning regular discipline and the exercises that he had established for all to strive to preserve, and the constancy and perseverance of all good things to the end.

When the sermon was ended, he enthroned Saint Asaph on the cathedral seat. And again he blessed and bade farewell to all, and he left through the north door of the church, because he went to fight against a northern enemy. When Kentigern had gone out, that door was closed, and all who saw or heard of his going out or of his leaving lamented with great mourning over his absence. From that time the custom grew in that church that the door should not be opened except once a year, namely on the sacred festival of Saint Asaph, which is the kalends of May, for two reasons. First, they missed the holiness of him who had left. And second, it hinted at the vast mourning of those who lamented his leaving. Therefore of the day of Saint Asaph that door is opened, because when that saint succeeded the blessed Kentigern in government, their sadness was turned to joy.249

From that monastery a very large portion of the brothers, numbering to six hundred and sixty-five, went with Kentigern as they were in no way able or willing to live without him, as long as he lived. Only three hundred stayed behind with Saint Asaph. With such a band, as if enclosed by a court of heavenly soldiers, he returned to fight against the ancient enemy and to drive him out of the boundaries of the north and from that place where that apostate angel had placed his seat. And so those accompanying him were reckoned by such a number that through practicing the six days of good works and by accomplishing the decalogue250 of laws, they arrived at the hundredfold perfection of virtues and preserved five guardians each on the discipline of the senses so far as they were able.

When King Rederech and his people heard that Kentigern had come from Wales251 to Cambria and had returned from exile to his own country, the king with immense joy and with a great multitude praising and rejoicing proceeded to meet him. The voice of praise and laughter sounded in the mouth of all on account of the thanksgiving of his return, and on the other hand, there resounded in the mouth of the holy patron, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to men.252     

Chapter xxxii – Concerning the demons who were wondrously put to flight;  and concerning the place in which he stood to preach,  and the fertility of the earth which followed.

The blessed Kentigern, seeing the assembly and meeting of the greatest multitude hurrying towards him, rejoiced in his spirit and giving thanks to God, he kneeled in prayer. And after completing his prayer, he rose up and blessed the assembled multitude in the name of the Holy Trinity. Then as if fortifying those around him with the sign of the holy cross, he revealed his purpose, saying, "Whoever envies the salvation of men and is against the word of God, I command them in virtue of that same word of God that they depart straightway and not to pour any impediment onto those who would believe." Having spoken this much, a vast multitude of skeleton-like creatures, horrible in form and in aspect, quickly departed from that assemblage and fled from the sight of all. Because of this vision, a great fear rushed over them. The holy bishop comforted and strengthened them and laid bare the manner of that in which they believed.

And he kindled the hearts of all that stood nearby to believe in the living God.253 For with manifest reason he showed that idols are mute and vain creations of men, and that they are more suitable for the fire than for divinity.254 Also he taught that the elements they believed to belong to the divine were creatures fashioned from the providence of the Founder for the use and service and assistance of men. In truth, he affirmed that Woden, whom they believed was their principle god and especially so the Angles, who reckoned their origin from him and to whom they consecrated their fourth day of the week, had probably been a mortal man of a pagan sect and a king of the Saxons, and they as well as many nations reckoned their descent from him. He said that Woden’s body, now that many years had passed, was loose in the dust and his soul, which is buried in the underworld, endures the eternal fire.255 Having cast out the cult of idolatry from their hearts by these and similar words, he demonstrated from the beauty of the visible creatures that the three and one omnipotent God was the creator of all things.

And afterwards Kentigern preached to them the faith which is in Christ Jesus and the sacraments of the faith and proved with the most true and most splendid assertions that there is no other name under heaven by whom it is needful for believers to be saved except the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.256 And when he had preached many things in this manner, by the teaching and affirmation of the spirit, which pertained to the Christian faith, the land in the flat plain on which he sat, which is called Holdelm, grew into a high hill in the sight of all, and it remains there to this present day.257 Therefore those who had assembled together, when they saw so sudden and so great a wonder, obeyed the word of faith in their marrow. And they believed firmly and faithfully that Jesus Christ is God, who had revealed Himself to them through his servant Kentigern. Therefore, all the men together with the women, the old and young and the rich and poor, eagerly as one person joined the man of God and were instructed in the rules of the faith. After they were taught, they renounced Satan and all his processions and works, and in the name of the Holy Trinity they were washed in the saving water of baptism. And thus being anointed with the holy chrism and oil, they were escorted into the body of the church and became members of Christ.258

Therefore, the bishop rejoiced with great delight because a great salvation had been accomplished. And an immense happiness increased among that people, and there was not less joy in the presence of the angels of God in heaven since so great a multitude had been turned to God. Truly it is fitting that by such a sign, namely the raising of a mountain at the beginning of his preaching, the Lord desired to exalt his saint. Because by his preaching he zealously led all to believe in that same curdled and strong mountain in which God was pleased to dwell. For that stone, which was first cut away from the mountain without hands, grew into a great mountain and filled the face of the earth,259 because truly the omnipotent God, born of a virgin and without a virile embrace, visibly shone in the breadth of this world. I say, Christ is that mountain raised to the summit of mountains, even certainly the Lord, who transcends all the virtues and exaltations of all the saints. These people who were taught by Kentigern walked in His ways and paths and light with much more devotion and constancy than that carnal house of Jacob, who delighted in the shadows rather than in the light, and leaving behind the ways of truth, had contempt for the enlightenment of the greatest light.

And after the inhabitants of Cambria had turned to God and were washed in the saving waters of baptism, all the elements that had seemed to have plotted destruction against them on account of revenge for the injury to the divine, now put on a new appearance toward them for the salvation of both body and soul. For as the Lord turned from the apostates and opposed them by forbidding even a drop of dew, by commanding the clouds not to rain on the earth and by summoning a devastating famine upon them,260 so when he turned to those who had turned to him, he commanded that the heavens should give rain and that the earth should sprout green herbs and bring forth its fruit for the inhabitants on it. And so when the Lord shone his face over them, the sun was thought to be more bright than usual, the chamber of heaven more clear, the air more healthy, the earth more fertile, the sea more serene, the abundance of all things more copious, the peace more established, and the face of all things more joyful. Therefore, the devotion of all in respect to the homage of divine worship was more profound.    

Chapter xxxiii – How King Rederech granted dominion   to him over himself and his descendants.

Therefore King Rederech, understanding that the good hand of the Lord was with him and working for his desires, was filled with great joy. And he did not delay in showing with what great inward devotion he glowed with outwardly. For taking off his royal vestments and kneeling with clasped hands, and with the consent and counsel of his noblemen, he offered his person to Saint Kentigern and yielded to him the dominion and sovereignty over all his kingdom.261 And he desired Kentigern to be king and to name him ruler of the country under him, as he knew the great Emperor Constantine had done formerly to Saint Silvester.262 Wherefore, the custom grew that through the course of many years, as long as the Cambria kingdom endured in its own rank, the prince always was subject to the bishop.263 Repeatedly this expression was impressed upon by the king that not in vain was he called Kentigern by Saint Servanus, but rather for this reason, that by the providence of the Lord he ought to become the lord captain of all – because "ken" is translated "caput" in Latin and "tyern" in Albanic264 becomes "dominus" in Latin.265 Saint Kentigern, as if becoming a new Melchizedech,266 did not decline to accept for the honor of God what the king offered to him so devotedly, because he foresaw that in the future this also would be useful to the church of God. And Kentigern had the special right sent to him by the highest Pontiff that he would not be subject to any bishop, but above all he should be called and should be the vicar and chaplain to the Pope of the Lord.267 And the king, who exalted the holy bishop with glory and honor, received grace for grace and great honors and power from the Lord. Even the Queen, Languueth by name, who had been afflicted for a long time with the reproach of barrenness, conceived with the blessing and intercession of the holy bishop and gave birth to a son for the comfort and joy of all his relatives. When he was baptized, the saint called him Constantine, in memory of his father’s deed that he had presented to him in likeness to what the Roman Emperor Constantine had done for Saint Silvester, as we have already said.

And so the boy flourished with a distinguished character in age and in grace, being loved by God and men. And after his father had submitted to fate and he succeeded him to the kingdom by hereditary right, Constantine was always subject to the bishop, even as his father had been. And because the Lord was with him, he suppressed all the barbarian nations near to his people without the shedding of blood. And all of the kings who had ruled in the kingdom of Cambria before him he surpassed in riches and glory and honor and holiness, which is more excellent. Wherefore being famous for his merits and completing in triumph to the end of his days in goodness, he deserved to be crowned with glory and honor in heaven, and he is accustomed to be called Saint Constantine by many up to the present.268 We have said these things as if by anticipation, since we made mention of his birth through the prayers of Saint Kentigern and his baptism and education by him.

The holy patron Kentigern built his church at Holdelm and ordaining priests and clerics, he established his episcopal seat there for some time for a certain reason. Afterwards being admonished by a divine revelation and being demanded by justice, he translated his seat to his city of Glasgow.    

Chapter xxxiv – How many nations the Saint purified from the filthiness of idolatry, both through himself and through his disciples, And how he shone with many wonders.

The blessed Kentigern, as a flaming torch with radiant flames of virtue and the refined and clear word of the Lord, was diligent in his days to illuminate hearts filtered by the error of ignorance, to kindle the cold hearts with love of God, and to set on fire the thorns of sins and the briars of vices that had grown wild out of the ancient curse and covered the face of the earth.269 Nor was anyone able to conceal himself easily from his heat. For after a survey, he visited his diocese and removed all the alien gods from among it and eliminated all the ceremonies of foreign worship. And so having prepared the way of the Lord and making straight the paths of our God,270 he restored all Christianity into a better state than had ever before been in that place.

Then the soldier of God burned with the fire of the Holy Spirit,271 as the fire that consumes the forest and sets on fire the mountains. And after he had amended his own nearby areas, namely his diocese, he advanced further and purified the country of the Picts, which is now called Galwiethia,272 and the surrounding area from the filthiness of idolatry and the contagion of heretical doctrine.273 And as a sanctuary of wondrous songs, he led back to the rule of truth, and corrected, as he was able, whatever he found contrary to Christian faith and wholesome doctrine. In all these things the fervor of his devotion was not diverted, but his hand was still extended for mighty works and to procure glory and honor for the name of the Most High, and his feet were shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.274

For he sought Albania275 and there with excessive sweat and certain unbearable measures, he was many times set before death by the snares of the barbarians, but he stood fearless in the faith. He converted, with the Lord working with him and giving virtue to the voice of his preaching, that country from the worship of idols and the profane rites of idolatry, which are almost equivalent, to the linen of faith, to ecclesiastical customs, and to the regulations of the canons. For he raised up many churches there and after erecting them he dedicated them and ordained priests and clerics and consecrated many of his disciples as bishops. Also he founded many monasteries in these parts, and he entrusted those to fathers whom he had ordained from his disciples.276

In all these things his spirit still would not rest in striving after the salvation of many, as he fought the war of the Lord as the standard bearer of the insignia of the master’s host or as an athlete of unconquerable soul. Therefore, Kentigern appointed from his own household those who he knew were strong in faith, fervent in the charity of God, notable in doctrine, and sublime in religion to the islands that were far away towards the Orkneys, Norway and Iceland, to declare to them the name of the Lord and the faith of Jesus Christ.277 Because in those places the harvest was great indeed, but there were no laborers.278 And as he was now an old dried up bone and could not go to them himself, Kentigern wished that this work be fulfilled through his disciples.

After accomplishing these things, he returned to his own seat in Glasgow, where with many great wonders just as elsewhere and in all places, he was known to have become famous. For almost everywhere his lips scattered the knowledge of salvation, the virtue of the divine working in his servant showed its power in many signs. For he restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, movement to the lame, speech to the mute, and understanding to the insane. He put fevers to flight, expelled demons from possessed bodies, raised up the paralyzed, restored the lunatic to health, purified the lepers, and cured all sorts and kinds of sicknesses.279 His daily work was in practices of this kind. Miracles were his accustomed play and unceasing enjoyment, so that in a certain manner they became common from such frequent display. And lest their heaped up abundance should give birth to monotony, they have been entrusted to a very small pen.280 Also many times, many who were sick obtained health by touching the hem of his vestments,281 and frequently they were healed by being given or having obtained part of his food or drink. And several times men carried on beds were cured by the shadow of his body as he passed by, so that he might be thought another Peter.282    

Chapter xxxv – In what manner the Lord protected untouched   the garments of the Saint from all drops of rain, snow and hail.

Although the hand of the Lord produced through the blessed Kentigern many wonders uncommon in other saints, one work was produced by him whereupon all were astonished. For all who knew the man, as well as those who spoke with him, would bear witness to the testimony that never in his life were his garments moistened by falling rain or snow or drops of hail dripping over the earth.283 For numerous times he often stood out in the open while he was assaulted by violent weather as the inundating storm flowed like bilge water and the spirit of the tempest raged furiously round about him. At times he stood immobile or he went where he desired, and he always appeared untouched and unharmed from any kind of drops or harm from heaven. And this marvel, wonderful in the sight of all, was not granted by the Lord to him alone, but also to the crowd of his disciples walking with him. And by his merits they experienced for themselves, although not always as he did, the same protection for themselves. For the sanctity of the holy teacher Kentigern, being anointed with divine grace, was for his followers as a shady place in the heat of the day and as a shelter from gale and rain.284

Therefore, no one ought to disagree that the Lord granted the blessing of the wonder just described to his most devoted servant for the praise of his name and in commemoration of his holiness. For as in another similar manner, indeed in a much greater matter, He had granted to bestow this wonder on all the Hebrew people in the desert to make known the grace that they found in his eyes. The garments of that people, as we read, did not wear out or grow old, and no drop of rain from heaven moistened the apparel of that singular man.285 Therefore, let this not seem incredible to anyone because, as the Lord says, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.286 Likewise we know that sign, which is seen in the striking of Egypt as we find written in a certain place concerning the children of Israel, was repeated frequently in the blessed Kentigern. For when shadows covered all the land of Egypt and darkness covered the people, there was light where the children of Israel lived.287 And so, often when a cloud covered all the land and brought in throbbing shadows over the greater part where the saint was preaching, light shone round about him and that place and all the inhabitants in it. Therefore, as we deservedly believe, the garments of this saint, who was diligent to preserve with all striving the members of his body unblemished and inviolate from all filth of flesh and blood, were never moistened in any respect by raindrops. Justly also a light shone all around into the shadows surrounding him in the place of his preaching as he taught the people. And the sun of justice, the true light that knows no setting, continually shone in his heart and in himself, as a light that shineth in a dark place gives light in the midst of an evil and perverse people, according to the word of the Apostle Peter.288    

Chapter xxxvi – In what manner the Saint wondrously restored to the Queen  a ring that had been improperly given away by Queen,  and cast into the river Clyde by the King himself.289

Therefore Saint Kentigern, having returned to his own place as we have said, arranged to live with himself in the solitude of the soul away from the confusion of men and wished not to easily show himself or to go out of doors, except for a reason of great urgency. And although he was unwilling, nevertheless Kentigern did not cease to shine forth with visible signs. Queen Languueth, who is mentioned above, abounded in riches and delights, but she did not keep faith with the royal chamber and marital couch as she ought or as is proper. For the abundance of riches and the fullness of her delights and the elevation of power accustomed her to serve the incentive and poultice of pleasure to the flesh. She turned her eyes onto a certain young soldier, who according to the rotten beauty of this rotting flesh seemed to her spring-like with a beautiful appearance and comely face and a form that was more handsome than many of her company at court. And as a man who was himself sufficiently ready and inclined for such homage, without any other goad he was easily made to sleep with her.

And as the days had passed on earth, the forbidden pleasure repeated many times had become more pleasing to both, since concealed bread was more pleasant and furtive waters, according to Solomon, seemed sweeter to them.290 Even as if from a thoughtless act, so too they were seized by a blind love. And she foolishly and shamelessly gave to her adulterer a royal ring of gold that enclosed a precious gem, which her legitimate husband himself had commended to her as a special sign of his marital love. Even more foolishly he accepted the ring and placed on his finger, and by such a sign he opened the gate of suspicion to those accomplices who were present.

A faithful man of the king obtained certain knowledge of the secret between the queen and the soldier, and he managed to pour it by drops into the ears of the king. But the king did not easily incline his ear or his soul to the one who reported his dishonor and the shame of his wife. And old but true proverb says, "It is difficult for a dolt to apply faith to the one uncovering the dishonor of a beloved wife, and he is more accustomed to turn his hatred back against the accuser than against the accused." But the bearer of the adultery, as proof of the matter, showed him the ring on the soldier’s finger, and persuading him to believe in his credibility, he kindled a fiercer spirit of jealousy in the king.

Therefore, the king was more certain concerning this secret affair, and cloaking the anger of his soul against the queen and the soldier with a serene countenance, he displayed more than usual his cheerfulness and familiarity to them. However when there shone a fairer day, the king went hunting and summoning the soldier to escort him, he sought the glades and forests with a multitude of hunters and dogs. And when the dogs were unleashed and his companions had dispersed to different places, the king reached the bank of the river Clyde with the soldier. And in a shady place with grassy sod, each considered that it would be pleasing to drink in a little rest. And the soldier, being weary and in no way suspecting harm, reclined his head, stretched out his arm and opened his hand, and immediately fell asleep. But the spirit of jealously aroused the king who had feigned sleep, and it did not permit him rest or sleep. And when he saw the ring on the finger of the sleeping man, his eye was agitated by rage, and he could barely hold his hand from his sword and restrain from shedding the soldier’s blood. Nevertheless he bridled the impulse of his anger and drawing the ring off the sleeping man’s finger, he cast it into the nearby river. He then roused him to go meet his companions and ordered them to return home. The soldier, waking up from his rest and thinking nothing of the ring, obeyed the command of the king. And he took no notice of what he had lost until he entered the house.

And when the king had returned to the house, the queen came out from her chamber and saluted him in her usual manner. But from the mouth of the one she saluted she received insults and terrors and taunting reproaches. And he demanded with eyes flashing and a threatening countenance where the ring was that he had commended into her custody. She responded that she had placed it in a chest. Whereupon the king, in the sight of his advisors, commanded that she present it to him with all speed. Still being set with hope, she entered her inner chamber as if to search for the ring, but immediately directed a messenger to the soldier, and made known to him the petition of the impassioned king over the ring. And she sent word that he should quickly send the ring to her. The soldier send back word that he had lost the ring and that he was ignorant of the place where it had been lost. And also, he was afraid of the face of the king and hid himself from the court and secured for himself the benefit of concealment. Meanwhile, as she sought for diversions and was slow to produce for everyone what certainly she was not able to find, seeking uselessly for a vain nothing, the king was inflamed with wrath, calling her a vile adulteress repeatedly, and he rushed in with oaths, saying, "Let God do the same to me and add more if I do not judge you according to the law of adulteresses, and if I do not condemn you to a most shameful death. Clinging to your youthful adulterer you have set me aside, the king your husband, although I made you the consort of my bed and mistress of my kingdom. You have acted in secret but I will act openly, and in the sight of the sun I will make known your dishonor and reveal your shamefulness in your face."

And when he had said many things in this manner, all his advisors entreated for an extension of time. And with effort he conceded to them three days, but ordered that she be delivered up into custody. Soon she was imprisoned and was imagining her death, which hovered over her now, but no less was she tormented by her guilty conscience. O very grave and unbearable punishment, the guilty testimony of the accused conscience! Although one who is situated in misdeeds may have peace outside his circle, yet is he recognized to be miserable and to dwell in disorder whom a gnawing conscience persecutes without interruption. Therefore, the spirit of the wicked wife was troubled within her, and with a contrite and humble heart and tearful prayers, she entreated God, so that He would not enter into judgment with his handmaid, but that according to his great mercy, just as long ago He had mercy on the woman seized in adultery and set before him, so also would He grant pity to her in this same case. Therefore, as the Lord inspired the woman placed in confinement, she discovered a good counsel. And sending a most trusted messenger to Saint Kentigern, she laid bare all her misfortune and entreated a remedy for him as her sole propitiator. Also she begged that he would show his power over the king on her behalf, because there was not anything so great that he would, or could, or ought to refuse him.

The holy bishop, being instructed through the Holy Spirit and the virtue on high, knew the whole sequence of events before the coming of the messenger. He ordered the messenger to continue to the banks of the above-mentioned river Clyde with a fishhook, and to cast the hook into the stream and bring back to him immediately the first fish that was baited and drawn out from the waters. The messenger fulfilled what the saint said and delivered into the presence of the man of God the fish he had captured, which is commonly called a salmon. Kentigern requested that the fish before him be cut and gutted, and he discovered the above-mentioned ring in it. And at once he sent it to the queen by that same messenger. When she saw it and took it back, her heart was filled with joy and her mouth with exaltation and thanksgiving. Her grief turned into joy and the expectation of death into the festivities of praise and deliverance. Therefore, the queen rushed into the midst of everyone’s eyes and returned the ring that had been sought by the king.

And so the king and all his court with him were made sad because of the injustices inflicted on the queen, and publicly he asked her for her pardon as he humbly kneeled. And he swore, if she so requested, the gravest vengeance or death or exile for those who would inflict accusations on her. But she, wisely understanding that mercy more than the censure of judgement was called for in respect to her accusors, desired to be merciful, just as it is proper indeed for one’s fellow servant to be served. She said, "O king, my lord, God forbid that anyone should suffer anything of this kind on my account, but if you wish that I should forgive you from my heart that which you did wrong to me, then I wish that you would send away from your soul all movement of a hard heart for my accuser even as I do." And when this was heard, all wondered at this and rejoiced. And so the king and the queen and the informer were recalled into the grace of peace and mutual love for each other. And the queen, as fittingly as she was able, proceeded to the man of god and confessed her guilt to him. And making amends according to his decision, she zealously corrected her life for the future, for she restrained her feet from another such fall. Nevertheless she never revealed to anyone the sign by which the Lord magnified his mercy to her while her husband lived, but after his death she let it be known to all who wished.

And the Lord sitting in heaven repeated this sign through Saint Kentigern that he granted to work when he lived on earth clothed in flesh. At his command, Peter sent a fishhook into the sea and extracted the first captured fish in which he found a double drachma in its mouth and which he paid for the Lord and for himself.291 So by the order of Saint Kentigern in the name of this same Lord Jesus Christ, the messenger of the queen was sent with a fishhook and captured a fish in the river. And he brought the captured fish to the saint and found the ring when it was removed and cut up, which delivered the queen from a double death.292 In both matters, as it seems to me, there were rendered unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.293 For with the double drachma, Caesar’s image was restored to him, and with the ring restored to the flesh, the flesh was liberated from annihilation, and the soul made in the image of God was cleansed from sin and returned to God.    

Chapter xxxvii – In what manner a certain minstral, rejecting the gifts of the King, requested an entire dish of fresh mulberries after the birthday of the Lord;  and he received them through Saint Kentigern.294

The Lord exalted King Rederech because he clung to Him, and served him in faith and good works, obeying the will of Saint Kentigern. For glory and riches were in his house, liberality in his heart, courtesy in his mouth, and bountifulness in his hand because the Lord blessed all the works of his hands. And the fame of his largess was not only there within the boundaries of his surrounding land, but also went out over the sea to Ireland. For this reason, a minstral of a certain king of Ireland, who was skilled and well-appointed in his duties, was sent to the Cambrian court of the above-mentioned king in order to see if the truth agreed with his fame that had spread so far and wide. When he was admitted to the court, the minstral295 played praises with his hand on the tambourine and harp. And he gave delight to the king and his palace officials through all the festival days of the Lord’s birthday. When the feast day of the holy Epiphany of the Lord ended, the king ordered gifts to be brought and given to the minstral as was fitting to royal bountifulness. The player rejected all of them, asserting that he was able to obtain enough of such things in his own country. When the king asked him what he desired to receive, he responded that he had less need of gold or silver, or garments or horses, which were plentiful in Ireland. "But if you wish," he said, "that I should depart from you well rewarded, let a full dish of fresh mulberries296 be given to me." However those who heard this speech coming from the mouth of the man dissolved into laughter, because they thought that this minstral was displaying a jest from his mouth. For a servant of this kind is accustomed to be more accepted by such things in the eyes of his listeners as he aroused them to loud laughter and moved them to laughing speech. However, he affirmed with an oath that he had requested the mulberries not jokingly but in earnest. And he could not be turned in any way from this manner of thought by prayers, or promises, or by being offered the most splendid gifts. Rising up, he announced that he wished to depart from among them and, as it is commonly said, to carry away the honor of the king. But the king received this with exceeding annoyance and inquired of his household what would be advantageous for him in this matter, so that he would not be disgraced. For it was winter and not a single mulberry could be found anywhere.

Therefore on the counsel of his companions, he went to Saint Kentigern, and humbly asked that by prayer he would gain from God that which had been requested. The man of God thought that his prayer should not be expended freely in such matters of little consequence. Yet because he knew that the king had a great devotion towards God and the holy church, and he saw with his eyes the imperfect part of him in this matter, it was determined by the soul of the holy patron to condescend to his petition, since he hoped that by such an opportunity he would be able to assist him for the better. Therefore deliberating with himself for just a moment and briefly praying, he said to the king, "Do you recall the place you took off the apparel in which you were wrapped, when you went hunting during the summer season because of the great heat, so that you could follow the hounds unencumbered? And then forgetting or esteeming it lightly, you did not return to take away that from which you had been freed?" In answer, the king said, "I know, my lord king and bishop, the time and the place." The saint said, "Go quickly to the place, and you will find that garment still whole and spread out over a brambles of a thorn bush, and underneath you will find mulberries sufficiently ripe, still fresh, and fit to be eaten. Take them and satisfy the request of the minstral, and be diligent in all sorts and kinds of things that you honor God more and more, who will not permit your honor to be maimed or diminished by so slight a cause.’ The king did as the bishop commanded, and found all just as Kentigern had predicted.

Therefore the king took a dish and filled it with mulberries, and he gave it to the player, saying, "Look, receive what you requested, because with the hand of the Lord working with us, you are not able to harm the fame of my largesse in any way. And so that I should not appear more greedy to you than to others, you may dwell with us for as long as it is pleasing to you." And when he saw the serving dish full of mulberries, although it was not the season for them, the player trembled at the wonder. And when he learned the manner in which this deed was done, he exclaimed and said, "Indeed there is no one like you among the kings of the earth in the generosity of largesse, and there is none like Kentigern, who is as glorious in holiness and praises and doing wonders, and who has worked in my sight such things contrary to expectation. Hereafter, I will not depart from your house and from you service, but I will be an everlasting servant to you for as long as I shall live." Therefore the player remained in the court of the king, and he served him many days in the art of the minstral. Afterwards, being stimulated by a divine fear, he renounced the office of minstral, and entering into the ways of a better life, he delivered himself up to divine homage.297     

Chapter xxxviii – Concerning the two vessels filled with milk  which were sent by Saint Kentigern to a certain smith.  In what manner the milk formed into cheese when it was poured into the river.

There was a certain man, skilled in the art of a smith, who served as a worker for the man of God and for the use of the monastery by forging and building, and he received from the saint his necessary wages. However the saint was accustomed to make use of milk as food and drink, because as we said above, it was his usual custom to abstain from all liquid by which a man is able to be intoxicated. Therefore, Kentigern ordered small vessels filled with fresh milk drained off from his own milk to be carried to this smith, because he knew that craftsmen and hired men enjoy with gratitude the food of their own lord and master of the house.

However when the porter crossed over the river Clyde, the lids of the vessels opened by an accidental misfortune, and all the milk poured out into the water. But an exceedingly wonderful and strange thing happened! The milk which was poured out in no way mixed with the water or changed in taste or color, but unexpectedly it quickly curdled all at once and was formed into cheese. And this cheese was not less properly strengthened by the beating of the waves than any other is accustomed to be thoroughly made by the pressing of hands. Indeed the porter snatched the cake of cheese away from the water and presented it to the smith, to whom the saint had sent him, and related the whole of the matter to him.

Many saw this extraordinary sign, and they were astonished, wondering how the fluid element was not turned into fluid or made liquid. But the smith and many others tasted that cheese, and breaking it into small pieces, they distributed fragments of those same crumbs to many to be kept as relics.298 And the obtaining of relics of this kind has been preserved in many places and at many times, and has shown in these acts the beloved and shining merits of Saint Kentigern were made more beloved and more shining.

But although this sign holds much that is astonishing in its external appearance, yet it furnishes much learning to those who consider it with keenness and gather spiritual things from the corporeal and invisible things from the visible.299 Through the milk which fell into the water but was not mixed with it or changed into water or sunk under the water, we have an exemplum of the preserving of innocence and justice, which are the relics of the peaceful man among those who swell up with pride, who plant in themselves various adverse things, who are satisfied to drown us with perverse examples and doctrines, and who melt into pleasures. And the milk in the stream that was curdled into cheese gives us a reminder for holding firmly under the pressure of tribulations and difficulties. For the just and the innocent man becomes solid among the waves, just as the milk hardened into cheese, while on account of the words from the lips of God, he perseveres on hard paths and through many tribulations, and is diligent to enter into the kingdom of God.300 And if he endures threats, reproaches, punishments, and injuries from wicked and perverse men as if he does not feel them, but possessing his soul in patience, he is content to continue in the good, knowing in truth that he that endureth to the end shall be saved.301    

Chapter xxxix – In what manner Saint Columba visited the blessed Kentigern;  and saw a crown upon his head, which fell from heaven,  and a heavenly light shining round about him.

In that time when the blessed Kentigern was placed on the candelabrum of the Lord as a lamp burning with heavenly desires and shining with health-bringing words and examples of virtues and wonders, he gave light to all who were in the house of God.302 And the holy abbot Columba, whom the Angles call Columkillus, a man wondrous in doctrine and virtues and well-known for his prophecies of future times, indeed a man filled with the spirit of prophecy, lived in that glorious monastery which he had built on the island of Iona.303 And he wished to rejoice, not for one hour but unceasingly, in the light of Saint Kentigern. For having heard for a long time the rumors of his holy fame, Columba desired to go to Kentigern, and to visit, to see, and to be received into a more private familiarity with him, and to consult the sanctuary of his holy breast concerning those matters which were near to his own heart.

When the suitable time came, the holy father Columba departed, and a great crowd of disciples and others accompanied him, as they desired to see and look upon the face of the remarkable man. And when he approached the place which is called Mellindenor, where the saint was then staying for a season, he divided all those who were with him into three bands, and Columba sent a messenger to go before him and announce to the holy patron his coming and the coming of those with him.

The holy bishop took delight in these things which were told to him concerning them, and he joined his clerics and others to him and likewise dividing them into three groups, he went out towards them with spiritual songs.304 Those of youthful seasons305 were placed first in the forefront of the procession, and secondly were those more advanced in age. In the third band with him walked those who had grown old with good days, white as snow, and venerable in appearance, deeds, habits, and even in those hoary hairs. And all were singing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.306 And again they said, "The way of the just has been made straight, and the path of the saints is made ready." And from the side of Saint Columba they chanted in a harmonious voice, They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God, Alleluia.307

Meanwhile, certain ones who had come with Columba inquired of him and said, "Has Saint Kentigern come in the first choir of singers?" The saint answered, "Not in the first, nor in the second, but the cherished bishop comes with the third." And when they mentioned how this was known by him, Columba said, "I see a fiery column in the manner of a golden crown, interlaced with starry gems, descending from heaven onto his head. And a light of ethereal brightness envelops and surrounds him in the likeness of a veil, which covers him and then again returns to the ether. On that account it is given by this visible sign imparted to me that he is the elect of God and sanctified as an Aaron, that one who appears to me with this sign of holiness as one clothed with garments of light and with a golden crown represented upon his head.’308

Therefore these two God-like men hastened to unite in mutual embraces and holy kisses, and having fattened themselves first with a spiritual feast of divine words, they afterwards restored themselves with bodily food. But how great was the sweetness of divine contemplation within their most holy breasts is not for me to mark down nor is it given to me or to one similar to me to inquire into the manna hidden and, as I suppose, unknown to all except those who taste it.309    

Chapter xl – Concerning the head of Saint Kentigern’s ram which was cut off:  in what manner it was transformed into stone.

When those two men who were mentioned above were mutually joined together as if two columns in the court of the temple of God firmly founded and strengthened in faith and love, and through whom many peoples, tribes, and tongues by imitation and learning have entered and are still entering the heavenly temple, namely the delight of their Lord, there were also sons of strangers who had come with Saint Columba. They were enfeebled with the customs of evil things, and they limped from the paths of the man of God. For just as the Ethiopian is not able to change his skin, so one who becomes accustomed to theft or robbery changes his malice only with difficulty.310 Therefore, there came with the blessed Columba certain ones lacking in the innocence of a dove,311 and they approached with their feet not with the affection of devotion, nor with an increase of manners. While they made their way, they saw one of the flocks of the holy bishop feeding at a distance. And leaving the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness, just as it is said of such men in the proverbs,312 they turned aside to that place and plundered the fattest wether over the opposition and loud cries of the shepherd. And the shepherd in the name of the Holy Trinity and by the authority of Saint Kentigern forbade them to commit such plunder, indeed sacrilege, against the flocks of the holy patron. And he admonished them that if they would request the ram from the saint, they would receive one without a doubt. But one of them drove the shepherd back, threatening to do him injury or even death. And he stole the ram and the other, taking his sword, cut off the head. They considered among themselves how to bring the carcass with them and, at a time and place suitable for their crime, to flay that ram as they well knew how to prepare it carefully for their use.

But truly a wonder, wonderful to say and more wonderful to see, appeared. The wether with its head cut off ran back to its own flock with inestimable speed and there it fell to the ground. But its head, being transformed into stone, adhered firmly to the hands of the one holding it and the one who had struck it, as if they were joined together with some indissoluble glue. In truth those who were able to run before the living and whole wether, to catch and take hold of it and cut off its head, now were unable to apprehend the ram by either following or running together although it was deprived of its head. And they were unable to cast away the head, indeed a stone already, from their hands although they tried with all their striving. Therefore the men grew rigid and their heart died out as if becoming the stone they were carrying. And finally entering into wholesome counsel, they approached the saints and prostrating themselves before the feet of Saint Kentigern, as penitents and ashamed, with tears they begged that he would forgive them. And the holy patron reproved them with kindly scoldings, and admonished that they no longer presume to continue fraud, theft, robbery, or what is more detestable, sacrilege. And he absolved them from the double bond, that is to say, from the sin and the detention of the stone. And he ordered the body of the slain ram to be given to them and then permitted them to leave. Nevertheless the head that had turned into a rock remained there, and even though it was mute, it prophesied the merits of Saint Kentigern.313

And as it seems to me, this miracle surely is not less unworthy in its greater portion than that miracle, which the book of Genesis relates concerning the deeds of Lot’s wife. When the avenger of the divine injury was already threatening and having been commanded to blot out with the fire of heaven the wicked subverters of the natural use of human procreation, Lot turned away from the conflagration overturning and drowning Sodom through the instruction of an angelic revelation and was led out with angelic support. But his wife, contrary to the command given from heaven, looked back and was transformed into a rock and turned into a figure of salt in order to become the seasoning for irrational animals.314 Here the head of the wether was transformed into stone to confute the hardness and cruelty of those who plunder what is not their own. In the figure of the wife of Lot, as the Lord teaches, any man of faith is summoned and reminded not to stray foolishly from a holy purpose once it has been seized.315 In the head transformed into stone every Christian is instructed not to engage in theft or deception, or plunder or any violence toward any ecclesiastical object, or the property of the servants of God.

In that place, where the wonder done through Saint Kentigern in the sight of Saint Columba and many others was made known, each received a staff from the other as a certain pledge and testimony of mutual love in Christ. Indeed the staff that Saint Columba gave to the holy bishop Kentigern was preserved for many seasons in the church of Saint Wilfred, bishop and confessor, near Ripon.316 And because of the holiness of both men, namely the giver and the receiver, it was held in great reverence. Therefore, for some days these saints spent time together conferring among themselves about those things which are of God and contemplating on the salvation of souls. And after bidding farewell to each other and having given a benediction to both sides, they departed to their own lands never to see each other again.    

Chapter xli – How the man of the Lord raised crosses in many places,  by which wonders are done even in the present.

The venerable father and bishop Kentigern held as a custom to raise up the triumphant standard of the holy cross in places where by his preaching he added people as acquisitions to the name of Christ and nourished them with faith in the cross of Christ, or where he had spent time for awhile.317 He did this so that all would be given to understand that he was in no way blushed at the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 318 which he carried before him.319 But as it seems to me, this very holy custom of the saintly man rests upon natural reason in many ways. For on that account, the saint was accustomed to raise that living and holy and dreadful sign so that, just as wax flows in the face of fire, so too the enemies of the human race, the powers of the shadows of the world, would melt and flow away before the sight of this sign, and flee far away as ones who are terrified and put to flight. Also it is proper that the soldiers of the Eternal King, recognizing their Emperor by looking at the invincible standard as a tower of fortitude, would take refuge from the face of their enemies and from the face of the impious who afflict them, and so that they many have before their eyes that which they adore and in which they glory. And because the struggle against the airy powers in high places and against the fiery arrows of the devil remains continual for them, according to the apostle,320 it is fitting and good that they should fortify and defend themselves by signing themselves with this sign. And by imitating the passion of Christ and by carrying about the stigmata of the wounds of Christ in their bodies with the apostle, for the love of the crucified one they crucify their own flesh with its vices and inordinate desires and so crucify themselves to the world and the world to themselves.321

Therefore, among the many crosses that the man of the Lord raised up in many places, two were erected that bring about wonders even to the present. Truly, one in his city of Glasgow he caused to be cut by stonecutters from a stone of wonderful magnitude, which with the assistance of many men and the use of machines he ordered to be raised in the cemetery of the church of the Holy Trinity, in which his bishop’s throne was placed. But all their labor was exhausted in vain. Every machine accomplished nothing, and human purpose and virtue in no way was able to raise it although many sweated for a long time. But when he ran out of human ingenuity and assistance, the saint took refuge in the divine. For on the following night, which was a Sunday, while the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ poured out prayers over this matter, an angel of the Lord descended from heaven. He approached and rolled back the stone cross and raised it in the place where it stands today. And blessing it, he signed the cross with the sign of the cross and sanctified it, and then he departed. Truly, when the people assembled at the church in the morning and understood what had been done, they were amazed, and they glorified God in his saint.

That cross certainly was very great, and from that time it did not lack great virtue. For many who were raving mad and tormented by foul spirits were accustomed to be bound to that cross during Sunday night, and on the next day they were found possessed of a sound mind, liberated and purified, or several times they were discovered to be dead or quickly dying.322

Another cross, of which it would be unbelievable to speak except it can be investigated by sight and touch, he built solely of the sand of the sea at Lothwerverd as he reflected justly and with reverence on the resurrection. He remained in that place for a space of eight years. For who ought to doubt that the Lord will not restore our mortal bodies although they are loosened into dust, seeing that he had promised this with his own blessed mouth?323 Who would doubt when this saint, who is capable of suffering like us, raised up a cross to the Lord from the sand of the sea as he prayed in his name? Truly it is to be believed that by the will of the Lord the bones of the dead will be assembled together, in accordance with the prophecy of Ezekiel.324 And one should believe that the Lord will give to them sinews and make flesh to grow over them and stretch skin over them and give to them spirit and they will live eternally, since by the prayer of a man still mortal a mass of sand was packed together from the most minute grains of sand, even atoms as I may say. And the mass was extended into a solid and intact material and fashioned into a cross, which neither the scorching sun during the day, nor the frost through the night, nor any harshness of the air is able to dissolve. Therefore, that cross is fashioned as evidence of our faith, foreshadowing that the corruptible in ourselves will put on the incorruptible,325 and though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved326 by faith in the cross of Christ. The friends of God will be multiplied beyond the grains of sand through Him who counted the stars in the heavens and the sands of the sea and the drops of rain and the days of this age.327 Even to this cross many laden with sicknesses and especially with insanity and the vexation of demons are bound in the evening, and in the morning many times they are found to be restored to health and unharmed and are returned to their freedom.

And there are many other places in which he lived, especially during Lent, that are unknown to us, which the saint sanctified by the presence of his holy dwelling. Nevertheless very many can tell more of these things which still emit of his holiness by certain signs, and grant many benefits to those with infirmities by his merits and have the power of miracles.    

Chapter xlii – In what manner he held up his chin with a certain cloth;  and made himself ready for the departure of his soul.

The blessed Kentigern, being worn out with extreme old age, knew from the abundant fissures in his earthly body that its destruction was imminent, but the foundation of his faith, which was placed on a rock, comforted his soul.328 For after his earthly habitation had dissolved, he was confident that he had a home not built by hands prepared in heaven.329 And because of his great age and because he was touched with infirmity, numerous joints in the whole of his body were almost totally decayed and loosened. And he supported his chin and jaws with a certain cloth of linen that he wrapped over the middle of his head and under his chin, not too loose or too tight. The most honorable man did this so that no improper thing might appear in him from his gaping mouth by the falling of his chin, and that such a prop would render him able to bring forth more readily that which he desired.

Accordingly, when the beloved of God and men knew that the hour was approaching when he would pass from this world to the Father of lights, he fortified himself with the effective sacred unction of absolution and with the quickening sacraments of the body and blood of the Lord, so that the serpent of old, who was laying snares at his heel, would be unable to thrust in his venomous teeth and inflict poison into the wound, but that in confusion he would go away with a sorrowful head.330 And thus truly the Lord crushed Satan under his feet as when at the departure from Egypt he spoke to his enemies at the door, so that his holy soul might not quickly be disturbed. He waited with expectation as the best pilot on this side for the Lord who had rescued him from the tempests of this world. And now being near to the shore and approaching a port of certain inward rest with a placid voyage after so many perils on the sea, he cast the anchor of hope tied with the slings of his desires onto a solid shelter.331 And he certainly approached up to that inner veil into which the precursor, the Lord Jesus, had entered before him. And from there, he waited alone for the departure from the tabernacle of Kedar332 and the entering into the land of the living,333 so that as the best wrestler in that city of virtue, namely the celestial Jerusalem, he might receive from the hand of the heavenly King a crown of glory and a diadem of the kingdom that is not corrupted.334

Therefore as much as his strength was present, he impressed upon his own disciples, as they gathered around him, concerning the observance of holy devotion, the keeping of mutual charity and peace, the grace of hospitality, and the perseverance of prayers and holy readings.335 But before all things, he gave to them and left short yet strong decrees to beware all evil appearances of simoniacal wickedness and to flee the communion and fellowship of all heretics and schismatics, and to steadfastly guard the decrees of the holy fathers and especially every precept and custom of Holy Mother church. Then as was fitting, he presented to each one the kiss of peace as they knelt humbly around him.336 And raising his hand insofar as he was able, he blessed them and gave them a final farewell, committing all to the guardianship of the Holy Trinity and the protection of the holy mother of God, Mary. And he brought himself onto his noble stony bed. Then one voice of lamentation sounded far and wide, and then the grief of mourning covered the extremities of all as if with a horror of confusion.     

Chapter xliii – Concerning his disciples who entered the passage to heaven;  and concerning his hot bath.

However, certain of those men who more closely loved the saint of God said as they prostrated themselves with tears before him, "We know, lord bishop, that you desire to be released and to be with Christ.337 For your venerable and exceedingly long old age, reckoned with the number of many years, as well as your blameless life expect it. But we beg that you have mercy on us whom you brought forth in Christ. For in whatever manner we offended by human weakness, we always confessed it in your sight and have made amends to satisfy the decision of your discernment. Therefore since it is not in our authority that you be held back with us any longer, request from the Lord that it may be given to us to travel with you from this valley of tears to the joy of your Lord. On account of this we believe, and we utter, that whatever you request the gracious divinity will grant to you338 since His will has directed your hand from youth. It seems improper to us that a bishop without clergy, or a shepherd apart from any of his flock or a father without his sons should enter into such festive and sublime places. Indeed the more festive and renowned those places are, the more he ought to be accompanied by a more celebrated multitude." And when they had produced with tears many arguments in this manner, the man of God, flowing with piety from his innermost parts, collected his breathe as well as he could and said, "Let the will of the Lord concerning all of us be done. And let him arrange for us as he knows best and as it is pleasing to him."339

The saint was silent after these things, and panting in his soul, he waited for the departure of his soul from his body. And his vigilant disciples guarded him as one very near to death. And so while the early morning star, the bearer of the dawn and the forerunner of the light of day, severed the cloak of the dark night and glittered with flaming rays, the angel of the Lord appeared to Kentigern with unutterable brightness and the glory of God shone round about him.340 And the guardians of the holy bishop were frightened with dread of him, and being greatly astonished in their fragile vessels and not able to bear the weight of such great glory, they became as dead men.341 However the holy man was comforted by the vision and the angelic visitation, and as if having forgotten his age and infirmities and becoming stronger, in that instant he tasted beforehand some of the first fruits of blessedness. And he joined into mutual discourse with that angel as with a most kindly and intimate friend.

And the ethereal messenger spoke these things to him. "Kentigern, elect and beloved of God! Rejoice and be joyful and let your soul praise the Lord, because He has enlarged his mercy towards you.432 Your entreaty has been graciously heard, and the divine ear heard the preparation of your heart. For it will be for you as you desire concerning the disciples who have requested passage with you. Therefore be firm and you will see the help of the Lord above you. Tomorrow you will depart from this mortal body into continuous life, and the Lord will be with you and you will be with him forever. And since your whole life in this world has been a continual martyrdom, it is pleasing to the Lord that you should have a more tender passage into death than other men.343 Therefore, suffer a hot bath to be prepared for you on the next day, and when you have entered into it, you will fall asleep in the Lord without grievous anguish, and you will rest in peace with him. However, after you pay back the debt of nature in it and immediately before the water grows tepid and it is still warm around you, let those brothers enter into that bath after you. And immediately being loosened from the bonds of death, they will travel with you as companions on your journey, and when they are brought into the splendors of the saints, they will enter with you into the joy of your Lord."

With these words, the angelic vision and discourse parted from him, but a fragrance of a wonderful and unspeakable odor in some manner dispersed through that place and all the inhabitants in it. And the saint, summoning his disciples to himself, revealed to them the sequence of the angelic mystery. As the Lord had commanded him through the angel, he ordered his bath to be made. And the brothers mentioned above yielded immense thanks to the omnipotent God and to their holy father Kentigern. And being certain of the prophecy in every manner in which they were able, they prepared themselves for that moment of time after being fortified with the divine sacraments.     

Chapter xliv – In what manner he departed from this life:  and how he shone after his death with many wonders.

And when the eighth day dawned from the Sunday of the manifestation,344 on which day each year the kind bishop was accustomed to wash a multitude of people in the sacred waters of baptism, it was a day surely desired by Kentigern and by the spirits of his adopted sons.345 Being carried by their hands, the saint entered into a small vessel filled with hot water after having first sanctified it by the sign of salvation, and a crown of brothers surrounded him and waited the end of the affair. And when the saint had embraced a little rest in it, he raised his hands and his eyes to heaven, bowed his head, and surrendered his spirit346 as if relaxing into a peaceful sleep. For he seemed as free from the suffering of death as he had appeared sound and immune from the corruption of the flesh and the enticements of this age.

The disciples, seeing what had happened, raised his holy body up from that bath and eagerly immersed themselves in it. And so each one, before the water became cold, slept in great repose in the Lord. And having tasted death with their father, the holy bishop, they traveled to their ethereal dwellings. And in truth after the water had cooled, not only had the apprehension of death ceased but truly also every spark of misfortune.

I think that the bath can be compared to that sheep’s pool in which one man was cured from whatever infirmity held him, after the descent of the angel and the movement of the water, but he would die a second time.347 Truly in this bath a great assemblage of saints were healed from all illness to live eternally with Christ. The water of that bath was given out to diverse persons in diverse places, and health was granted in many ways to many with sicknesses by drinking it or by sprinkling it on them.

The brothers divested the saint of his common garments that they partly saved and partly distributed to some as precious relics. And then they clothed him with sacred garments that were proper for such a bishop. Then he was brought by the brothers into the choir with canticles and psalms, and a beneficial sacrifice was offered to God for him by many. With diligence and much devotion, as the custom existed in that church then at that time, they celebrated his funeral rites. And on the right side of the altar under a stone with as much propriety as they were able, they laid that house of virtues and that precious stone. Through his merit, as it was a time for gathering stones for the building of the heavenly temple, many elect and living stones were taken up with that pearl and laid up in the treasury of the highest King. The sacred earthly clods of all those brothers were properly arranged, and they surrendered them to the cemetery for burial in the order in which they departed from this world after the holy patron.

Therefore the blessed Kentigern was full of days, because he was one hundred eighty-five years old, mature in merits, and renowned for signs and wonders and prophecies. And in such a manner he passed from this world to the Father, from faith to sight, from labor to rest, from exile to his country, from the racecourse to the prized crown, and from present misery to eternal glory. Blessed, I say, is the man to whom the heavens opened, who penetrated the holy places, who entered into the powers of God, selected by the assemblage of angels, received into the troops of the patriarchs and prophets, entwined with the choirs of apostles, mingled with the throngs of martyrs who are wreathed in the purple of their rosy blood, sharing with the sacred confessors of the Lord and crowned with the snow-white choirs of virgins. And it is no wonder. For he was himself an angel of the Lord in duty and in merit, who announced the peace and salvation in the blood of Jesus Christ to those who were near and far away. His lips guarded the true knowledge, and from his mouth many searched for and obtained the law of God. And he was also a prophet of the Most High who knew of many things that were absent, and he foresaw and foretold many things of the future. For justly he was called, and is, the apostle of the Cambrian region, as those inhabitants and many other peoples are the signs of his apostleship. By merit he is named a martyr, who mortified himself with a constant and continual martyrdom for Christ, and is proved to have had a heart ready for whatever kind of death, if the opportunity had came to him. And for the name of Christ and for defense of truth and justice, often he exposed himself to numerous persecutions, to proscriptions, and to the snares and swords of the enemies of the cross of Christ. And bravely and favorably he triumphed over the flesh, over the world, and over the devil and his followers. And he is declared with the epithet confessor of Christ, as one who praised and preached with confidence the name of Christ in the presence of peoples and kings. And he appealed to all to profess the name of Christ and to confess the Christian faith, the praise of God, and their own sins.

Yet he himself obtained by a certain special right a virginal beauty and comeliness, as he pressed out the perfume of balsam from the tamarisk and the lily from the nettle. And while he was in the vessel of his fragile and tottering body, he in no way disturbed, even with a look as they say, his angelic celibacy, and he preserved in a vessel made of clay348 the heavenly treasure of purity. For that reason truly, he flocked from that virginal body of white to that company of the pure, so that he could stand without blemish before the throne of God and the Lamb. And following him to all the places he goes, he sings a new canticle, which no one can describe except those who have not defiled their vestments.349 Therefore by his merit, that holy man is a fellow citizen and partaker and consort of all the saints, who in this life had shared with all the saints. And he always strove to please, to pay homage to, the cling to, and to unite his spirit to the Saint of Saints, the Sanctifier of all. Now being joined to them, he rejoices and lives eternally with Him.

When the spirit of Saint Kentigern was translated to the kingdom of the stars, the earth as the mother of all gathered up in her womb what she had given. And yet the virtue of signs, which flourished in him when he lived, could not be buried in the sod of the earth or covered over with a pile of stone, but erupted outwardly. For from the day of his burial up to the present, his holy bones are known to sprout in that place with many abundant wonders. And they did not cease to declare that in both heaven and on earth that just man is eternally in remembrance by the favors granted to infirmities of many kinds. At his mound, sight is restored to the blind, hearing to the deaf, steps to the lame, speech to the mute, cleanliness to the leper’s skin, strength to paralyzed limbs, and sense to the insane. Those who were impious, sacrilegious, perjurers or violators of the peace of his church and defilers of the holy places were punished with deserved penalties.

And indeed at one time a certain man furtively carried away a cow from Glasgow at night. And in the morning it was found alive and bound to the foot of the dead thief, and the man who had searched for the cow was struck with both astonishment and delight.350 And many, who had carried out the temptation of the shameful crime of the flesh and yet did not fear to disdain the holy places with their defiled steps, were at times punished with sudden death, and many times they were mutilated, and sometimes they were chastised with some incurable and lasting disease of their limbs. With these things also the breakers of his peace often were punished. And many have felt in themselves very frequently the vengeance of their sin when they presumed to scorn with any servile labor his day of festival, at which time it is usual for a multitude from diverse regions to come together at the church in Glasgow, where his most holy body rests, to beseech his holy intercession and to see the wonders that are accustomed to be there.     

Chapter xlv – Concerning the prophecy of a certain man:  and the burial of the Saints in Glasgow.351

In the same year that Saint Kentigern was released from the affairs of men and departed into heaven, King Rederech, who has been named often, stayed for a longer time than usual in a royal village which is called Pertnech. A certain foolish man, who was called Laleocen,352 lived at his court, and he received his necessary sustenance and garments from the bountifulness of the king. For it is customary for the chief men of the earth and for sons of kings to be given to vain things and to retain with them men of the sort who are able to excite these lords and their households to jests and loud laughter by foolish words and gestures. But after the burial of Saint Kentigern, this man was himself afflicted with the most severe mourning, and he would not receive any comfort from anyone.

When they sought why he grieved so inconsolably, he answered that his lord King Rederech and another of the first men of the land, named Morthec, would not be long in this life after the death of the holy bishop, but that they would succumb to fate in that present year and die. The deaths of those whom he mentioned that followed in that year clearly proved that the words of the fool were not spoken foolishly, but rather they were spoken prophetically. Nor should it be much wondered, if through the mouth of a fool the Worker of all things wishes to make known that which had been determined by the Lord. Even Balaam, a cunning man, foretold many great predictions that he had foreseen in his mind by his inspiration,353 and Caiaphas prophesied that the redemption of the people would appear from the death of Christ.354 And from the mouth of an ass the folly of the prophet was reproached,355 and the annihilation of Jerusalem was foretold through the mouth of a certain madman as Josephus writes. Therefore in the same year in which the holy bishop Kentigern died, both the king and the chief died as had been prophesied, and they were buried in Glasgow.

And in the cemetery of the church of this city, as the inhabitants and country people of that place claim, six hundred and sixty-five saints rest. And all the great men of the region have been accustomed to be buried there for many seasons. O how great is that place to be feared and how much it is to be held in reverence, where so many pledges of saints beautify by their profound places and where so precious a confessor decorates with his sacred mortal remains, and illustrates with such frequent wonders, that if all were entrusted to writing, they would seem to fill great volumes! And not only in that place where he rests physically, although more frequently there and especially on his feast day, are signs accustomed to radiate, but also almost in all the places in which his remembrance is held, in churches and in chapels and altars, he is present as the most powerful helper to those in need, to those placed in tribulations, to those who love him, to those who have confidence in him, and to those who cry to him. And where faith or certain reason entreats earnestly, he does not cease to sing forth with wonders to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the glory, and the praise, and the honor, and the power forever and ever.356 Amen. 

Here ends the life of the most holy Kentigern, Bishop and Confessor,  who is also called Mungo in Glasgow.


1 Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow. He was consecrated by Eskilus, Archbishop of Lunden in Denmark, at Clairvaux. Jocelyn became Bishop of Glasgow in 1175.

2 Jocelyn, a monk of Furness Abbey in Lancashire.

3 Glasgow

4 This is a reference to what is known as the Herbertian or fragmentary Life of Saint Kentigern, which is preserved in the British Museum ms. Cotton Titus A. xix f. 76-80.

5 The anonymous author of the fragmentary life also used de materia in virtutum ejus codicello reperta to describe his source, although he does not specify the language in which this little book was written. However, it would seem that both Jocelyn and the anonymous author resorted to the same source material for their accounts of Kentigern.

6 Three theories have been put forward as to what language this remark refers: Irish Gaelic, Old Welsh, or "barbarous" Latin.

7 A reference to the Holy Spirit, but with classical overtones to invoking the Muse.

8 A Nazarite is a person who separated himself or herself by taking a vow to do God’s special work. This included a promise not to cut his or her hair and not to drink wine. Samson was a Nazarite. See Judges 13:5, – "For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." From the first line of the Life, Jocelyn depicts Kentigern as a prophet chosen by God from birth to bring the gospel to the heathen.

9 beatus – title given to saints in heaven and to some whose veneration is approved by the Holy See.

10 Jer. 1:5

11 Jocelyn does not mention the name of the king, and only names Kentigern’s mother once (Ch. 4). The fragmentary life of Saint Kentigern gives the name of the northern king as Leudonus, and calls his daughter Thaney (Ch. 1). However, in the first of the lections devoted to Kentigern in the Aberdeen Breviary, Kentigern is said to be the son of "Eugenius, King of Cumbria," and "Thennew, daughter of Loth, King of Lothian" is his mother. This legend would place Kentigern in the margins of the King Arthur legends as Lot is said to be the father of Gawain and Mordred, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth.

12 Luke 1:45 – opening words of the Song of Mary; used at Vespers.

13 Jocelyn’s commentary on Kentigern’s conception goes to great lengths to dispel the legendary material. And yet, as Forbes notes, the idea of a "virgin" birth has authority in other sources. In the life of Saint Dewi, Rex ceretice regionis Demeciam que nunc Northwallia dicitur pergens, invenit sanctimonialem sibi obviam nomine Nonnitam virginem pulchram nimis. Quam concupiscens et vim inferens oppressit. Que filium concepit et nec ante nec post virum agnovit: sed in castitate mentis et corporis perseverans felicem vitam duxit (Capgrave, Nova Legenda, 68).

14 A possible reference to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s tale of the conception of Arthur, which was brought about by the enchantments of Merlin (206-207).

15 Gen. 19:30-38

16 The fragmentary life of Kentigern gives a slightly different twist on the story of Kentigern’s conception. Theneu (or Thaney) was courted by Ewen, son of Erwegende (in the Gestes of the Histories he is called Ewen, son of King Ulien), but Theneu wished to remain a virgin. Ewen dresses himself in female attire and impregnates her by stealth – Noli flere, soror mea, quoniam non novi te ut homo virginem nosse solet. Nonne mulier sum ego sicut et tu? (Forbes 247).

17 The law that Jocelyn refers to cannot be confirmed through other sources. The fragmentary life states that a woman found guilt of fornication should be stoned, but that the king’s executioners would not carry out the sentence. However, Theneu was then placed in a cart and hurled from the top of a mountain. The Saxon codes do not refer to this manner of punishment. Instead the laws of Æthelbirht state that such sins were subject to monetary recompense. Forbes does note in the letters of Saint Boniface that si virgo paternam domum cum adulterio muculaverit, she would be hung and her seducer would hang over her grave (S. Bonifacius, Epistola ad Ethibaldum, Regem Merciorum, Epist. lxxii; quoted in Forbes 320).

18 The Christian hell.

19 Jocelyn’s rhetoric is reminescent of the language used throughout the twelfth-century by the reforming orders – especially the Cistercians and the Augustinians. Throughout the eleventh and early twelfth-centuries, issues of church reform in Scotland centered on "the four seasons of fasting and ordination – one of which was the beginning of Lent - the giving of the eucharist to infants and the making of confession to priests." There are also general admonishments to "abstain from vices, to preserve chastity and modesty especially in marriage, to do works of mercy, to go often to church, to confess sins frequently to priest, [and] not to abstain from communion." These issues were at the heart of the council of Saint Margaret in the eleventh century and are confirmed by surviving papal replies to Turgot, Bishop of St. Andrews (Duncan 129). As the church effectively obtained control of the use of its own revenues during the course of the twelfth-century, issues of the moral standing of clergy came more into focus. For whereas married priests who inherited their kirks were the norm at the beginning of the century, the late twelfth-century church saw "incontinence as sinful – and illiteracy was not – and the priesthood could not discharge its widening repsonsibilities for lay conduct in the sight of God if its own behavior was sinful, and hence a danger to souls" (303).

20 According to Turgot’s Life of St. Margaret, the basic areas of reform addressed in the "debate" between the Benedictine monks from Canterbury and the Celtic clergy of the Scottish church in the late eleventh century were hereditary rights and marriage within the clergy and monastic religious. The twelfth century church was still staffed by married priests who had inherited or been given their church by a relation. However, the reforms of the twelfth century set about doing away with these practices among the Scottish clergy.

21 District of five towns near the Dead Sea.

22 Leviathan – a large water creature; see Ps. 104:26; Isaiah 27:1 – "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." A reference to the devil.

23 Possible reference to Daniel’s vision of the ram and the goat – Daniel 8:9-13.

24 This mountain is believed to be Traprain Law in East Lothian, which forms a part of the Lammermuirs in the county of Haddington. The word "Dun-pelder" is formed from two Gaelic words meaning "steep hill." The author of the fragmentary life calls the mountain "Kepduf," but this seems to have resulted from confusion in the mind of the writer.

25 Song of Songs 2:1 – "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley"; a reference to Christ.

26 Daniel 2:31-35

27 Theneu’s prayer to Mary reflects the dedication of the Cistercian order to increasing the cultus of the Blessed Virgin. All the churches of the Cistercians were dedicated to her. Dante alludes to the devotion of the Cistercians when Saint Bernard tells him that if he would obtain power to see the rest of Paradise, he must unite with him in supplication to Mary – Vergine Madre figlia del tuo figlio (Paradiso, canto 32, l. 132).

28 The use of magam atque maleficam would seem to indicate that the charge levelled against Theneu involved "black" magic. Magicians (Druids) are an integral part of Celtic legends. Plutarch relates that Claudius "found on an island near Britain an order of Magi, reputed holy by the people" (Bonwick 13). Tradition holds that Parthalon brough three Druids with him from Greece. And, of course, witches are common figures in Celtic folklore (i.e., the most famous witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth). However, to judge from medieval religious literature, the Druids were nothing better than conjurers, who dealt with bad spirits and always opposed Christianity. It would be difficult to interpret whether Theneu is called an "evil magician" because the people differentiated between good and evil magic, or because Jocelyn saw both of these terms as interchangable.

29 A possible reference to the ability of the Druids to transform into the shapes of animals.

30 The fragmentary life states that Theneu was taken in ostium fluminis quod Abberliessic vocatur, id est ostium fetoris. The name for the stretch beach where she was cast into the little boat perhaps received its name from the stench of rotting fish. This life also says that cum ab ostio litoris prefati pregnans juvencula duceret, omnes pisces ejusdem labri marini cum sua processione illam velut dominam comitabantur. The fishes followed her to the Isle of May, and ab illo quippe tempore in hunc diem, tanta piscium fertilitas ibi abundat ut, de omni littore maris, Anglici, Scottici, etiam a Belgie et Gallie littoribus, veniunt gratia predicandi (piscandi?) piscatores plurimi, and there were no more fish along the other coast. (See Ch. 6 and 7, Forbes 249-50).

31 The author of the fragimentary life relates the vengeance that fell on the father of Thennew. As the king was out pursuing the swineherd who had taken pity on his daughter and gave her shelter, the swineherd threw a javelin which killed him. According to the author, friends of the king erexerunt in signum regale lapidem grandem, imposito illi desuper saxo minore arte cauatoria, qui adhuc ibi permanet distans a monte Dumpelder, in parte austrina, quasi uno miliario. This tale has the flavor of an etiological legend for an unusual local stone, although the directions are somewhat vague. (See Ch. 7, Forbes 249-50).

32 Luke 1:37

33 Jonah 1:17

34 Matt. 14:27-31

35 2Cor. 11:25

36 "Culenros" in the text.

37 Nothing is really known of this saint or when he lived. His name in Gaelic is Serb (Bitter) and Servanus is evidently an attempt to render it into Latin. Servanus was fully adopted as the saint of the district of Strathearn by the Celtic church in Scotland from the ninth century onward. The fragmentary life makes him a disciple of Palladius (Ch. 1), which would put him a century before Kentigern’s time, and the Life of Servanus treats him as a contemporary of Adomnán (d. 704), who lived a century after Kentigern (Ch. 3). Kenneth Jackson suggests two possible reasons for the association between Servanus and Kentigern. "First, they were the two chief saints of two bordering districts, southern Scotia and Strathclyde, and that in itself was enough reason for the compilers of Lives. Secondly, there was a chapel at Culross, Servanus’s chief place, dedicated to Kentigern, and such a hint would be all that was necessary to clinch the matter" ("Sources" 296). Servanus was most famously associated with the "Culdees" of the island of Loch Leven, an association which can be traced back at least to the first half of the eleventh century, and probably to the latter ninth century. A Life of Saint Servanus can be found in Archbishop Marsh’s Library in Dublin, numbered v.3.4.16. This life, according to Forbes, is probably the same one mentioned in the inventory of the possession of the church of Glasgow as being chained to the stall of the precentor (326).

38 See Heb. 13:15

39 An allusion to the Old Testament custom of offering a bullock on the altar as a sacrifice to God.

40 This is a direct allusion to the nativity of Christ as found in the Gospel of Luke 2:8-14. After Jocelyn’s extended rebuttal of the story of the virgin birth of Kentigern as held by the common people, this passage seems to lend some credence to the common tales. However, Jocelyn’s conflation of Theneu and Mary in the manner of their giving birth is representative of the hagiographer’s desire to depict the saint in the manner of Christ. The author of the fragmentary life, after relating the birth of Kentigern, adds, Locus non fuit illi in diversorio (Ch. 8), a phrase that ties Kentigern’s birth even more solidly to that of Christ.

41 The fragmentary life states that Saint Servanus cried out when he heard the tale, ‘A dia cur fir sin,’ quod sonat Latine, O utinam sic esset, and adds that Kentigern would be called his beloved. The life continues with a sermon by Servanus on virginity and concludes with Ibi quippe non deest virginitas ubi sancte devotionis permanet integritas (Ch. 8).

42 Jackson assets that Mochohe is the Gaelic nickname for Kentigern, being derived from the Gaelic mo, "my," and Cohe, in which the "h" can only be a spelling device to separate two vowels in hiatus" ("Sources" 302).

43 Translated as "my dear one, my dear one."

44 Ps. 118:26

45 Although adult baptism by immersion was the early practice of the Celtic church, by the seventh century infants were also being baptized, but the sources are ambiguous as to whether the infants were also immersed in water. According to the penitential of Cummean, there was a ruling that "one who instead of baptism blesses a little infant shall do penance for a year" (quoted in Hardinge 108). After the initial baptism, the new Christian was anointed with oil. See St. Patrick’s Letter, para.3, for his mention of the oil on the foreheads of new converts in The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh, ed. and trans. Ludwig Bieler, Scriptores Latini Hiberniae 10 (Dublin: DIAS, 1979).

46 Jocelyn is following a familiar feature of Celtic Latin hagiography – the attempt to find an etymology for the hero’s name. Kentigern, according to Jackson, is a Brittonic name, and "in the language of the Roman period would have been Cunotegernos or Cunotegirnos, consisting of tegernos or tegirnos, "lord," and the element cuno-, very common in Celtic names, always with an honorific sense. The only pausible etymology is the stem cun-, "hound," and if this seems strange, we must remember that for the early Celtic people the hunting dog was a highly admired animal" ("Sources," 298). The name of the saint would then mean something like "Hound-like Lord." In Chapter 33, Jocelyn gives a slighly different explanation of Kentigern’s name. As for Kentigern’s mother, Jocelyn says that she was given the name Taneu (or Tanea or Thennew) at her baptism by Saint Servanus. However, none of the sources answer the question as to whether this was the name given to her at birth or whether she was given this name for some special reason at her baptism. According to Forbes, she is Dwynwen or Denyw in the Welsh Bonedd y Saint, Thenevve in the Kalendar of the Aberdeen Breviary, Ussher has Thenis or Thenna, and in Stewart’s Metrical Chronicle of Scotland, she is named Cemeda, which is probably a mispelling of Temeda (327).

47 Allusion to Eli, the priest who fostered Samuel; 1Sam. 2:11

48 Allusion to John the Baptist; see Luke 1:80 – "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the desert till the day of his shewing unto Israel."

49 Ps. 1:3

50 Munghu is Brittonic, and Forbes believed it was derived from the Welsh mwyn, "gentle," "dear," and cu, "dear." Jackson suggests instead that Munghu is "a Cumbric ecclesiastical nickname meaning ‘my dear one’" ("Sources," 300). This is in keeping with the custom in the early Irish and Scottish Church of calling monks by pet names that consisted of an abbreviated form of their real name, prefixed by mo, "my."

51 Translates as "beloved friend."

52 If Jackson is correct in his etymology, this passage would imply that the common people of Strathclyde continued to speak a Cumbric dialect up to Jocelyn’s day.

+ The fragmentary life breaks off at this point, and little more is known of Saint Theneu. The Aberdeen Breviary implies that she remained at Culross with Saint Servanus, and then at some point she settled in Glasgow with Kentigern until her death. There was a revival of her cult with the restoration of the diocese at Glasgow in the eleventh century, but after the Reformation, Theneu’s memory seems to have been completely obliterated. The Aberdeen Breviary contains a "Legend of St. Thennew" written in "doggrel" verse, but its only saving grace is that it gives a continuous narrative of the life of Kentigern’s mother (54-61).

53 This motif is found in the life of Saint Kieran when a little bird is seized by a kite and then healed and restored by the prayers of the saint (Plummer I.200-16). Also Saint Cuthbert is reputed to have restored a bird to life (Colgrave, Two Lives).

54 Allusion to the donkey rebuking the prophet Balaam; Num. 22:28-31

55 Pro. 6:6

56 A common designation for those who are faithful with public perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as members of a religious order or community.

57 The prose sections of both the Edinburgh Breviary and the Aberdeen Breviary agree that the fire went out while Kentigern slept, although the canticles of the breviaries agree with Jocelyn that the fire was put out due to the malice of the other boys. Also, this passage is notable for its reliance on local custom – ut patriote dicunt. A similar miracle is recorded in the life of Saint Mechyll. In Henken’s translation, Mechyll was provided with light "Though water was put on every sort of fire, the breadth of every wide hearth, holy Jesus gave a candle, a light for you to see deceit" (68).

58 Ex. 3:2

59 Joshua 1:7 – "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee."

60 originariam particulam

61 The following story comes from the Life of Saint Blane, as related in Nigel Pennick’s Celtic Sacred Landscapes (New York: 1996): "On the island of Bute near Garroch Head in a green hill-top hollow surrounded by trees is the twelfth-century chapel of St Blane. Close by are the ruins of St Blane’s Cell, guarding a hollow enclosed by a cashel wall. This is the notorious segregated graveyard, where men lie in the upper ward and women in the lower. According to legend, St Blane created the upper graveyard from sacred earth brought by ship from Rome. Whilst one of his monks was transporting the soil from ship to temenos on his back in a creel, the headband that supported it snapped. Blane asked a woman bystander for her belt to replace the headband. When she refused, he cursed all women and swore that they would not lie in the holy Roman soil. Two separate graveyards were made. Symbolically, however, the native women, the mothers of the island, lie in their native mother earth, whilst the men, who originated elsewhere, do not" (127).

62 The Sprouston Breviary relates that Servanus orders one of the boys to do the job of cook for the rest. The students give the task over to Kentigern, who refuses. Servanus says he must either cook or bring the dead man back to life. When the cook dies after seven years, the story of his resurrection is carved on his tomb at Lokencheinoch. Although the location of the place name is unknown, "it appears to be Gaelic, not Brittonic, which is in keeping with the Gaelic background of the whole Servanus cycle" (Jackson, "Sources" 305).

63 See Ex. 7:11

64 Rev. 13:13

65 Maleficus also has the connotation of "one who performs witchcraft."

66 1Sam. 15:22; also Isaiah 1:11-13 and Micah 6:6-8

67 John 11:25

68 Possible allusion to Psalm 34:14

69 The account of St Patrick’s Purgatory by the Cistercian Henry of Saltrey in Huntingdon (c. 1179-81) reflects the popular conception of heaven, hell and purgatory in Jocelyn’s day. Henry "tells the experiences of a certain Sir Owen (Owein Miles), who had been sent to Ireland in 1153 as an interpreter for Gilbert of Louth; despite warnings he voluntarily entered the purgatory and witnessed infernal torments, but was rewarded with a sight of the earthly paradise and heaven" (A. G. Rigg, A History of Anglo-Latin Literature: 1066-1422 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992) 127). Peter of Cornwall (c. 1140 – 1221), was an Augustinian canon who became prior of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, in London in 1197. His version of St Patrick’s Purgatory is the most lurid: "in this the kinght finds himself in a hall, where he is offered his host’s daughter for his pleasure. He accepts the offer, but the girl immediately turns into a hag; the hero is then set upon by demons, who toruture him sadistically and expecially sexually" (128). Usually the tales of such visions involve praying for the souls of the tormented in purgatory so the dead can obtain some relief and the living will avoid the same mistakes.

70 Allusion to 2Cor. 2:16

71 Allusion to Gal. 2:2

72 Jackson suggests that this reference is to the Forth ("Sources" 308).

73 Jocelyn clearly misinterpreted his source in naming these rivers. Mallena (malina) and Ledo are medieval Latin names for "high tide" (spring tide) and "low tide" (neap tide).

74 Ex. 14:29

75 Joshua 3:15-17

76 2Kings 2:8,14

77 This passage is an example of Jocelyn’s desire to depict his subject, Kentigern, as a powerful leader, soldier, and prophet. Moses is perhaps the most important leader in the Old Testament. Joshua not only led the people of Israel into the promised land, but he was also a successful military commander. Both Elijah and Elisha were powerful prophets during the days of Israel’s apostasy. Kentigern in effect is given the same attributes of these persons in Jocelyn’s attempt to depict the saint as a miles Christi.

78 The Bridge of Servanus.

79 The two Breviaries again differ from Jocelyn’s account. In the prose readings, Kentigern is warned by an angel to flee, and coming ad fluvium qui Forth dicitur, he crosses and then prays to God to make the water impassable for Servanus. The Edinburgh Breviary states that Kentigern crosses the river which divides Scotia from the kingdom of the Britons, and Jackson infers from this statement that "the original of the Servanus-Kentigern episode would seem to go back to the period when Strathclyde still existed as an independent regnum Britannorum" ("Sources" 307). This conclusion would fit the other internal evidence of this source. The most likely spot for the Pons Servani is close to Alloa in which a narrow group of rocks, visible at low tide, reaches most of the way across the river. According to Forbes, there was a church in the vicinity dedicated to Saint Kentigern from at least the time of James IV. As Kentigern’s next stop on his journey is Carnock, and Alloa is on the route, this possibility seems to have validity (328).

80 2Tim. 4:7-8; Paul is speaking about himself in this passage; however Jocelyn changes the point of view and has Kentigern speak these words to Servanus.

81 Matt. 20:1-16. This is the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Each worker was paid a denerius for his labor, regardless of the time he was hired. It is a very ambiguous parable and one that was an issue of contention in twelfth century theology. The idea that all Christians received the same reward for faithful service tended to raise questions concerning the wealth and status of the upper hierarchy of the church. Whether Jocelyn is only alluding to Servanus’ holiness by using the parable, or whether he is making reference to the controversy surrounding the parable in the twelfth century cannot be deciplered from the context. My thanks to Dr. John McNamara for pointing out the possible implications of Jocelyn’s use of this parable.

82 According to Forbes, the manuscript of Kentigern’s Life by Jocelyn in Dublin also contains a vita of Saint Servanus: "The first twelve pages contain the Life of S. Servan – Vita sti. Seruani – which though unknown to Pinkerton was known by and is mentioned by Ussher, De Antiqq. Eccl. Britannic" (lxv). This Life of Saint Servanus was printed in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots (Edinburgh, 1867), pp. 412-420. Although it is impossible to discover what "little book" Jocelyn is refering to here, obviously he did have in his possession a vita of this saint, and it is a good possibility that Jocelyn’s "little book" is the same as the Life of Saint Servanus attached to Kentigern’s Life in Dublin.

83 Another geographic reference that highlights the thorough knowledge of the area. Since it is extremely improbable that Jocelyn himself had such intimate knowledge of Culross and its surroundings, this reference implies that the author of Jocelyn’s source was familiar with the environment in which the events took place. The description of the bridge covered by the sea has all the ingredients of a tale told to explain a memory of such an event. This story is similar to other Celtic-influenced tales that seek to account for the origins of place-names and unusual geographic sites.

84 The name is probably a copyist’s error for Fergus.

85 Carnock in the parish of Saint Ninian.

86 Luke 2:25-32 – Jesus is brought to the Temple in Jerusalem as a baby to be consecrated to the Lord. When Simeon sees the baby, he says, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and glory of thy people Israel" (29-32). This allusion to Christ sets up the following encounter between Fregus and Kentigern, and continues the motif established by Jocelyn that Kentigern is an "apostle to the Gentiles" (in this case, the people of Strathclyde).

87 Allusion to Matt. 1:23 – "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." See also Isaiah 7:14. This reference continues the "myth" of Kentigern’s virgin birth, a strange occurrence since Jocelyn went to great trouble to denounce the story at the beginning of the Life.

88 See note 85 above.

89 Glasgu. Jackson believes that Cathures could allude to "the early Gaelic cathis ‘city’ or ‘monastery’ plus a defining name which may be corrupt" ("Sources" 310). See note 91 below for another view.

90 Saint Ninian was a fifth century British bishop and apostle in Whithorn and Galloway. Traditionally he has been called the apostle to the southern Picts. Bede states that Ninian founded a church (Candidam Casam), which he dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. In the twelfth century, Ailred of Rievaulx wrote a Life of Saint Ninian, and his cult spread into Kent and Denmark.

91 Daphne Brooke believes that this story is a garbled account of an earlier tale that placed Ninian in Kentigern’s place. Instead of glossing Cathures as Glasgow, Brooke suggests that this word corresponds to the Brittonic word cader, meaning "fort." Cadder is now a district of Glasgow on the Antonine Wall. Jocelyn’s account suggests that a cemetery consecrated by Ninian had gone unused for almost a century until Kentigern buried Fregus there. Brooke argues that the story reflects a time when Christianity was just gaining power over the pagan gods, who are symbolized by the bulls pulling the cart: "Now the story of the two bulls pulling a hearse begins to mean something. It was a demonstration that the bull, the god, could be brought down to the level of a draught beast, and put to the service of the true God in taking a body for Christian burial" (26). As Brooke points out, the church of Jocelyn’s time did not need to concern itself with conversion. However, Jocelyn’s source for this tale mentioned Saint Ninian, and Jocelyn adapted to story for his own purposes. This suggests that the source material was Brittonic, and supports Jackson’s contention that chapters nine through twenty-nine of Jocelyn’s Life of Saint Kentigern are taken from Cumbric and Welsh traditions.

92 See 1Sam 5:1-6:16

93 The description of the grave surrounded by oak trees is reminescent of the sacred groves of the pagan Celts that were called nemetoi. These were "clearings open to the sky, pious enclaves set aside in woodland, dread places held in great awe by the people, entered only by priests and priestesses. It seems that, like temples, groves were set up or dedicted to specific deites" (Pennick 25).

94 The etymology of Telleyr is uncertain, but Anguen is a Brittonic name. The use of gu as a graphic device for the sound w is common in Old Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. See Kenneth Jackson, Language and History in Early Britain: A Chronological Survey of the Brittonic Languages, First to Twelfth Century A.D. (Edinburgh: Univ. of Edinburgh Press, 1953) § 49.

95 mancipabat obsequiis – the root for mancipo is "to sell" or "to transfer." Obesquium, in the plural, can refer to "divine service," or "to say Mass." It would seem that Anguen transferred his religious service over to Kentigern, but there is no indication as to whether Anguen was previously a pagan or whether he was attached to some Christian person in another way.

96 This statement echoes the one made by Gerald of Wales in his description of the church in Wales: "A Welsh church has as many incumbents and sharers in the living as there are important families resident in the parish. When fathers die, the sons succeed, not by election, but as if they held these benefices by hereditary right, which is a pollution of God’s sanctuary" (Journey 263). Although the context of Jocelyn’s Life is not clear whether he is referring to hereditary church offices, there does seem to be grounds for inferring that Anguen and his family did hold some such office.

97 Gen. 12:2 – "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." An exemplum of the rewards of faithfulness in contrast with the punishments of Telleyr’s obstinacy.

98 Job 30:29 – "I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls." The manuscript glosses strucio as avis anglice ostriche, but there are no ostriches in Britian. Why Jocelyn re-worded the Vulgate reference is unknown, unless possibly he is employing a trope of high-style prose writing by alluding to unusual or obscure names.

99 Eze. 2:6 – "And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions."

100 Famulus, having the verb "to serve" as its root, was also used in the Middle Ages as term for "priest." Using this definition with the above-mentioned mancipabat obsequiis may imply that there was already a small religious community present in Glasgow before Kentigern arrived.

101 Eccl. 4:10

102 Prov. 28:18

103 2 Sam. 1:17-27

104 1Cor. 3:16

105 This statement is in agreement with a letter of Pope Celestine that states a bishop is appointed only when a request is made by the community and the community is consulted on the choice (nullus invitis detur episcopus. cleri, plebis et ordinis consensus ac desiderium requiratur) (Celestine, Epistle iv, 5. Patrologia Latini, 50, 434; quoted in Simpson 19).

106 I have not been able to find any reference to such a rule. Whether the gray hairs refer to color or to age is uncertain, although there is a long standing tradition in both secular and sacred traditions of the wisdom associated with grey hair. The reference may allude to Prov. 16:31 – "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." There are numerous passages of scripture that refer to "elders" (see Acts 14:23, 1Tim. 5:17 and Titus 1:5), but no specific mention of the qualification of "gray hairs."

107 Ireland

108 The consecration of Kentigern according to "the custom of the Britons and Scots" usually means that he was consecrated by a single bishop. Bede relates that when Ceadda [Chad] was ordained bishop of York (665), he was consecrated by only two bishops "for at that time there [were] no other bishop[s] in all Britain canonically ordained" (Ecclesiastical History III.28). However in 669, when Theodore was ordaining bishops as part of his duties as bishop of Canterbury, he "upbraided Bishop Chad that he had not been duly consecrated." Chad replied, "If you know I have not duly received episcopal ordination, I willingly resign the office, for I never thought myself worthy of it; but, though unworthy, in obedience submitted to undertake it." Theodore did not accept his resignaton but instead "completed his ordination after the Catholic manner" (Ecclesiastical History IV.2).

109 The insignia of the ecclesiastical office usually refer to the bishop’s ring and staff.

110 The Latin gloss cara familia suggests the Cumbric clas, "monastic community," and cu, "dear." The reading of Deschu in the British Manuscript ms. of Jocelyn’s Life (more likely a copying error of D- for Cl) is the Gaelic for Glasgow (Glaschu). The real etymology is uncertain, but the name is Brittonic and supports the contention that the source material was Cumbric. See Jackson, Language, § 49.

111 Fordense

112 The Antonine Wall. According to Smyth, "The Damnonii were the most inaccessible of all the British tribes between the walls – from a southern or Roman point of view – and it is no coincidence that they survived longest of all the northern Britons into the early eleventh century, under their later guise as the Britons of Dumbarton or Strathclyde" (8). However, the term :Cumbria" or "Cambria" does not seem to be used by any author prior to the eleventh century. The kingdom included Stirlingshire, Glasgow, Dumfriesshire, and probably Carlisle, but Galloway was excluded. The southern limit of the kingdom can be inferred to be the river Derwent (Forbes 331).

113This story appears in Bede (Ecclesiastical History I.4). Although this tale is pure myth, nominal Christianity was present in Strathclyde from at least the mid-fifth century when St. Patrick censored Coroticus (Ceretic), who was a Christian, for raiding the Irish Christian community. As Duncan states, "We may therefore accept a Christianising of the southern Picts in Fife and Angus by the mission of Nynia [Ninian] in the fifth century. We have no means of assessing the spiritual value of that Christianising, for it has left no recognised kirks or hermitages" (40).

114 Forbes gives the following timeline for Kentigern’s life:

born: 518

consecrated bishop: 543 (foundation of Glasgow)

exile in Wales: 553-573 (founds Llanelway)

return to Strathclyde: 573 (eight years at Hoddelm)

return to Glasgow: 581

meets Saint Columba before 597

seven visits to Rome while Gregory is pope: 590-603

dies: Sunday, January 13, 603

Forbes bases his timeline on the Battle of Ardderyd (573) and the reference of Jocelyn that Kentigern died on a Sunday. However, the Annales Cambriae state that Kentigern died in 612, and the Aberdeen Breviary says in the Life of Saint Baldred that Kentigern died on January 13, 503. (See Forbes 370).

115 The "generic" nature of this passage describing the sanctity of Kentigern is representative of saints’ lives prior to restricting canonization into the hands of the papacy alone. As the prospect of martyrdom diminished and sainthood began to be conferred on confessor bishops, hagiographers turned to a new language for portraying the "ethos" of their subject. For the Celtic saints in particular, this language revolved around an extreme asceticism on the part of the saint, which acted as a "perpetual" martyrdom and sacrifice to God. The emphasis on "white" (bloodless) martyrdom finds it origins in Athanasius’ Life of Saint Anthony. In the West, probably the greatest proponent of asceticism was Pope Gregory the Great (pope, 590-604). Gregory wrote a collection of stories called the Dialogues, in which he "celebrated the memory of the holy men, and less commonly women, of central Italy. They were ascetics who abandoned the cities for lives as hermits and monks in the wild valleys of the Appenines" (Noble and Head xxviii).

116 melotes – the word is used in the Septuagint for the mantle of Elijah, and seems to be the garment of prophets. John the Baptist is also described as wearing a similar garment. See 2Kings 1:8; Matt.3:4

117 cuculla – a common covering for the head in monastic houses.

118 alba – original lower vestment used by all who served at the altar.

119 The staff is also a vehicle of power for the prophets (ex. the staffs of Moses and Aaron, Ex. 17:5-6; Numb. 17:6-9). In the vitae of Celtic saints, the two most prominent possessions of each saint are the staff and the bell.

120 I have found no mention to what this manualem librum refers. Perhaps a small psalmter? Or a penitential handbook?

121 Gen. 28:10

122 Gen. 32:24 – the allusion is to Jacob wrestling with God and receiving a new name. This follows from the preceeding sentence. However, the idea of "wrestling" is carried over into Paul’s admonishment to the church at Ephesus – "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, agains the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). The use of scripture here is another attempt by Jocelyn to paint Kentigern as a miles Christi.

123 Possible allusion to Isaiah 35:7? Isaiah 43:20?

124 See John 19:23. In stripping naked and mortifying his flesh, Jocelyn portrays Kentigern as undergoing the trials of Christ on the cross.

125 Psalm 42:1 – ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after theee, O God.’

126 The theme of memorizing scripture is common in saints’ lives as seen in the following passage from the Life of Saint Boniface by Willibald: "From the early days of his childhood even to infirm old age he imitated in particular the practice of the ancient fathers in daily committing to memory the writings of the prophets and apostles, the narratives of the passion of the martyrs and the Gospel teaching of Our Lord. He always rose before the hours of vigils and occupied himself in the laborious exercise of prayer. Anger could not undermine his patience, rage did not shake his forbearance. Lust was impotent in the presence of his chastity, and gluttony was unable to break down his abstemiousness. He subdued himself by fasting and abstinence to such a degree that he drank neither wine nor beer and in this imitated the great figures of the Old and New Testament. With the Apostle of the Gentiles he could say: ‘I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified’" (115-6).

127 Lam. 4:7; John, abbot of the Cistercian house of Ford (1191-214), wrote a life of the anchorite Wulfric of Haselbury. In Chap. 5 of this life, John describes Wulfric’s "bath" in words that echo Jocelyn’s: "At night he plunged himself naked in a tub of cold water….Thus after each new baptism he bloomed afresh in the splendour of innocence and, like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, emerged from the water whiter than milk" (239).

128 Forbes believes Gulath to mean ‘dew’ and associates this hill with the Dew or Dow hill in Glasgow (344). Jackson, on the other hand, argues that the Welsh for ‘dew’ is gwlith, and that "the etymology of Dow Hill can have nothing to do with dew" ("Sources" 312). Jackson does acknowledge that the name signifies a Cumbric source for Jocelyn even though the meaning is unknown.

129 Both the bathing in icy waters and the hut recall the life of Saint Kevin of Glendalough in Ireland. He was a "sixth-century hermit who lived in a hole in the rock wall of a cliff, emerging in winter to stand for hours stark naked in the icy waters of the upper lake" (Cahill 156). However, a monastic community eventually formed around Kevin, and since his disciples couldn’t all fit into the hole in the cliff that doubled as his sleeping quarters, "Kevin agreed reluctantly to move to the level shore, where his disciples built a tiny church and for their master a drystone hut shaped like a beehive" (137). Kevin and Kentigern also have longevity in common, as Kevin is reputed to have lived to the age of 120.

130 Isaiah 55:11

131 Heb. 5:13-14

132 This is possibly a poetical allusion of the power of the bishop to "bind and loosen" souls in hell through his priestly office.

133 See Chap. 6 in Hardigne. In discussing the Irish penitential books of the fifth century and after, Hardigne states that the libelli "formed convenient handbooks to help confessors in their tasks. They might also have been permitted to laymen, to teach them the degrees of guilt and the kinds of redress which ought to be made to the injured" (148).

134 The duties of the medieval bishop were many, but most importantly he had the supreme power of consecration. The bishop was the spiritual head of the clergy and laity of his diocese. He taught them the articles of faith and the norms that applied to the Christian order and duties, as well as moral precepts. The bishop would also journey through his diocese on visitations, and he had the right to claim food and lodging for himself and his companions and their horses. The episcopal right of command allowed him to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction and impose punishments such as penitential prayers, fasts, pilgrimages, or excommunications. "The miraculous transcendence of the boundary between heaven and earth, between God and man, is visible first of all in Christ’s humanity, then in his presence in the sacraments, and then in the power of bishops and priests to bless" (Tellenbach 96). Jocelyn’s portrayal of Kentigern is an ideal representation of the bishop as the "servant" who imitates Christ in his humility.

135 sursum corda – see Lam. 3:41 – "Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens."

136 See John 1:32. In the Life of Saint Illtud, a white dove (or pigeon) appears above the head of Samson at his ordination (Wade-Evans 215). The sign of the dove usually is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

137 Allusion to Ex. 13:21. The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire are symbolic of the presence of God.

138 In John of Ford’s account of Wulfric, Osbern relates that "a light of dazzling brightness" often appeared above the altar of the saint, at those times it was possible to "have your nostrils filled with so sweet a fragrance that all the world’s delights would count for little in comparison" (249). The "odor of sanctity" is a common hagiographic characteristic, especially as it relates to the bodies of saints after their death. By the twelfth century, one of the principal marks for canonization was "death in an odour of sanctity" (Vauchez 34).

139 The synod of Tribur (895) had denounced "simoniacal heresy," and said that nothing should be demanded for consecrations, chrism, baptism, burial, or communion (Tellenbach 82). At the council at Whitsum in 1055, prohibitions of simony and clerical marriage were renewed (194). The reform movements all decried ecclesiatical abuses; however, "all these regulations were frequently ignored, in particular by the impoverished rural clergy, who needed their families as labour power in order to be able to exist at all" (162). It is worth noting that some of the most pointed satirical literature of the twelfth-century was directed against avarice, simony and nepotism. One example, by the pseudonymus Eraclius in the Bekynton, is as follows: Cum deberent paracliti gratis largiri graciam  nil intra sancta faciunt nisi per auariciam (No. 21, K. vi, 9-10)

For though God’s grace to all should freely flow,
Self-interest is all these prelates know (quoted in Rigg 141).

140 Ex. 8:24

141 Eccl. 10:1

142 This passage is an excellent example of "Green (or White) Martyrdom." "Green Martyrs were those who, leaving behind the comforts and pleasures of ordinary human society, retreated to the woods, or to a mountaintop, or to a lonely island…to study the scriptures and commune with God." Following the example of the anchorites of the Egyptian desert, especially the life of Saint Anthony, these martyrs "devised a new form of holiness by living alone in isolated hermitages, braving all kinds of physical and psychological adversity, and imposing on themselves the most heroic fasts and penances, all for the sake of drawing nearer to God" (Cahill 151).

143 Caves have long held a place of sacred importance in Celtic tradition, and this sanctity was carried over into the lives of the saints, who were looking for a "desert" place in order to be closer to God. Remains of early monasticism still exist in certain caves that carry the names of the anchorites who once lived and worshipped in them. "One of the most striking is Physgyll, St Ninian’s Cave, near Whithorn, described in an eighth-century poem as an horrendum atreum, an awesome cavern. It has crosses carved on walls and several stone grave-markers" (Pennick 98). Other Scottish Saints associated with caves include Saint Servanus (Dysart) and Saint Margaret (Dunfermline).

144 See 1Kings 19:11-13 where God comes to Elijah as a "still small voice."

145 Allusion to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:5), and the sinful woman who washed the feet of Christ with her tears (Luke 7:37-38). Holy Thursday was set aside for cleansing ceremonies in the Celtic church, which included washing and cutting hair and washing of feet. The Rule of Tallaght states that "at the washing of the feet the Beati are recited as long as the washing lasts. After that comes the sermon on the Washing" (quoted in Hardigne 97).

146 There is no other reference to the stigmata in Kentigern’s life. This is probably a symbolic reference to the mortification he suffered for Christ, and not a physical manifestation of the stigmata.

147 One of the main differences between Roman and Celtic Christianity was the Celtic view of the Sabbath (Saturday) as a holy day. In the Second Life of St. David, the author records the respect paid to the Sabbath: "From the eve of the Sabbath, until the light shines in the first hour, after the break of day on the Sabbath, they employ themselves in watchings, prayers, and genuflections, except one hour after morning service on the Sabbath; they make known their thoughts to the father, and obtain his leave with respect to what was asked" (quoted in Hardigne 81). The "eve of the Sabbath" began at sunset on Friday. The controversy over whether Saturday or Sunday should be seen as a holy day continued into the eleventh century, as can be seen in the debate between Roman and Celtic clerics during the time of St. Margaret.

148 During Kentigern’s time, it was a "heroic characteristic that before battle, and particularly at a feast, the warrior boasts of the feats he intends to perform (his aruaeth, "plan, intention," or his amot, "pledge"), and he is expected to fulfill these promises. In Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry, this is called his gilp or various compounds of gilp (the origin of the modern "yelp") with words meaning "speech," like gilpword" (Jackson, Gododdin 40).

149 See 1Tim. 6:19

150 The sermon on hypocrisy in Jocelyn’s Life is reminiscent of Jesus’ denunciation of the Pharisees: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matt. 23:25-28).

151 See 2Cor. 11:13-15

152 Rev. 6:8

153 Matt. 12:30 – "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

154 An allusion to Satan. See John 12:31 and Eph. 2:2.

155 Jocelyn portrays Kentigern as a true miles Christi – a soldier of Christ. The scriptural reference is to Ephesians 6:10-18. But the arming of the warrior of Christ recalls Saint Martin’s words to Caesar, "I have been your soldier up to now. Let me now be God’s. Let someone who is going to fight have your bonus. I am Christ’s soldier" (Sulpicius Severus 8).

156 See Psalm 91:1

157 See Acts 5:42

158 The heresy referred to here may be a reference to Pelagianism.

159 Although this is a very generalized picture of the Christian warrior, there may be some historical precedent for Jocelyn’s representation of Kentigern. The Celtic peoples did not erect "images" as such to their deities, but "there are numerous instances of Christian priests appropriating Pagan places of worship. Patrick, bishop of the Hebrides, ordered that a church should be built wherever upright stones existed, and throughout Western Europe Pagan temples were readily expropriated from their priesthoods" (Pennick 172). The comprehensive destruction of the Celtic sacred places, however, took place under the Reformation. As stated in the Scottish Parliamentary Act of 1581: "The Dregs of Idolatry yet remain in divers Parts of the Realm by using of Pilgrimage to some Chapels, Wells, Crosses, and such other Monuments of Idolatry, as also by observing the Festal days of the Saints sometime Named their Patrons in setting forth of Bon-Fires, singing of Carols within and about Kirks at certain Seasons of the Year" (177).

160 Gerald of Wales notes that the Welsh "will only marry a woman after living with her for some time, thus making sure that she will make a suitable wife, in disposition, moral qualities and the ability to bear children. They have long had the custom of buying young girls from their parents, with a penalty-clause in case they run away, not in the first instance with a view to marriage, but just to live with them" (Journey 263). It is not too improbable to think that the Britons north of the Welsh border had similar customs to the ones described by Gerald.

161 Bede writes that after Chad had been consecrated bishop of York, he "began immediately to devote himself to eccelsiastical truth and to chastity; to apply himself to humility, continence, and study; to travel about, not on horseback, but after the manner of the apostles, on foot, to preach the Gospel in towns, the open country, cottages, villages, and castles; for he was one of the disciples of Aidan, and endeavoured to instruct his people, by the same actions and behaviour" (Ecclesiastical History III.28).

162 This description makes Kentigern’s community the equivalent of a Cistercian order. According to Gerald of Wales, "The monks of the Cistercian order, who are in fact extremely abstemious, busy themselves unceasingly to provide hospitality for all sundry, offering limitless charity to pilgrims and the needy. They do not live as others do on fixed incomes, but on the sweat of their brows and their own good management" (Journey 103). Since Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow was a Cistercian and the acknowledeged recipient of the written life of Kentigern, it is probably not too surprising to find a similarity between Kentigern’s group of disciples and a Cistercian monastery.

163 Culdees; "In the ninth century a movement towards reform, a stricter observance by clergy of celibacy, of a sabbatarian Sunday, and of canonical hours, spread from Ireland to Scotland. These "vassals of God," céle De, whence Culdees, were established at Brechin, Abernethy, Lock Leven, Monifieth, Monymusk, Muthill and St Andres" (Duncan 104). However, by the eleventh century, most of the Culdee houses were laicized, "probably because they became heritable in a single family or fell into the patronage of aristocratic families who disponed them to younger sons" (105). Gerald of Wales refers to a Culdee community on an island in a lake in Munster as "a few celibates called ‘heaven-worshippers’ or ‘god-worshippers’ who care for a small chapel" (History 60). In his Journey through Wales, Gerald calls them "Coelibes or Colidei" (183).

164 Isaiah 11:6

165 This entire chapter seems to belong to an earlier time in Kentigern’s life, because of the description of him as a "youth," and the quotation from Isaiah.

166 This miracle is consistent with the motifs of the Welsh saints as compiled by Henken. Other saints who have commanded wild animals to cultivate their land include Cadog, Deiniol, and Tydecho (158). The Aberdeen Breviary also contains the story of Saint Fillan, who "after he had poured out his prayer to God, the same wolf coming back as a tame creature, submitted itself to the yoke of the team along with the remaining oxen" (67).

167 Morken – Old Welsh Morcant or Morcan. Forbes notes that this Morken of Strathclyde could be the same Morcant who fought with Urien of Rheged, Rederech of Strathclyde, and Guallauc against Hussa at Lindisfarne (347). According to Smyth, Urien was betrayed by Morcant, and slain at the mouth of the river Low (21). Jackson argues against the assumption that the Morken mentioned by Jocelyn is the same as the Morcant who betrayed Urien. Instead, Jackson puts forward the argument that if the story is "a late invention fathered on to some character of popular "historical" tradition, it is likely enough that the inventor meant by him the Morcant who betrayed Urien, since this Morcant was known (and notorious) in Welsh heroic saga in the ninth century, and no doubt in Cumbric too" ("Sources" 313). Another possibility can be found in N. Chadwick’s identification of Owen the son of Urien as Kentigern’s father. The hostility of Morken to Kentigern could then be explained in terms of a family feud (286), since Morken would then have been resposible for Kentigern’s grandfather’ death.

168 Romans 12:12 – "Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." This reference would suggest that Morken was at least nominally Christian, since this is an injuction given to Christians for Christians.

169 Psalm 55:22

170 Clud is the Middle Wesh form of the name Clyde.

171 Molendinar Burn is a stream, not a place.

172 Daniel 3:19-27

173 In the previous chapter, Kentigern had given a sermon on how some holy men were given power over the elements "as by hereditary right" and in this passage, Jocelyn gives a concrete example.

174 The Celtic monastic communities were called "cities" in accordance with Old Testament custom (i.e. Jerusalem is called "the city of David"). Kildare was known as "the city of Brigit" and Clonmacnoice was "the city of Ciaran." Hardinge says that "the foundation [of these cities] was in the nature of a laura or separte huts in which each provided for himself, rather than a coenobium in which the familia had all things in common, sleeping, eating accomodations, and with joint ownership of property" (169).

175 Luke 12:42 – "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?"

176 Matt. 6:24 –"Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

177 Romans 9:32

178 The words used here, magum et maleficum, recall the charge levelled against Kentigern’s mother.

179 1Sam. 16:23

180 Pro. 25:15

181 An allustion to the devil.

182 Acts 5:41. The paragraph depicts Kentigern enduring "martyrdom" (in this case, abuse) for Jesus. Since Jocelyn could not "historically" have Kentigern suffer death for Christianity, Jocelyn uses the trope of the "suffering" Apostle as a model on which to further represent Kentigern’s sanctity.

183 Probably gout.

184 Thorp, "outlying settlement," is possibly of Scandinavian origin. This would place the source material no earlier than the late ninth or early tenth century, when Scandinavian settlements began to appear in Galloway and Cumberland. However, thorp might also be derived from the Anglo-Saxon throp, which had the same meaning as the Scandinavian thorp. If so, the source could be as early as the late seventh century when the Bernicians occupied south-eastern Scotland (Jackson, "Sources" 312).

185 Ex. 20:5

186 This passage recalls the plot of the 40 men in Jerusalem to kill Paul – "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul" (Acts 23:14). This scripture leads into the following paragraph concering Paul’s escape from Damascus, and allows Jocelyn to insert the transitional narrative of Kentigern’s exile into Wales into his story as a way of identifying Kentigern with the first century Apostle to the Gentiles.

187 Acts 9:23-25

188 David – Dewi is the Wesh form of Saint David’s name, but the spelling is not older than the twelfth century (Jackson, "Sources" 314). David was a monk and bishop of the sixth century (d. 589 or 601). He has been regarded as the patron saint of Wales since the twelfth century. Saint David is reported to have founded ten monasteries, including Glastonbury. His monks, as with Kentigern’s disciples, lived a life of heavy manual labor and study on a diet of bread, vegetables, and water. The most complete Life of David was written by Rhygyvarch, who was a bishop of St David’s about 1090.

189 Carlisle – Karleolum is the Normanized form of the Cumbric name, and known from the French Arthurian romances. Smyth mentions that Bede’s silence on churches outside the Carlilse area in western Northumbria points to the possibility that this area may have been in British hands almost up to Bede’s own day (25).

190 Isaiah 52:7

191 Stone crosses, either sculptured in relief or freestanding, developed in Britain and southern Scotland. According to Chadwick, "In both stone inscriptions and stone sculpture, as in other cultural matter, Scotland south of the Forth-Clyde line may be looked upon as a unity with southern and western Britian. In the British areas the sculptor’s art has developed chiefly in relief on cross-slabs and on free standing crosses" (Celtic Britain 118).

192 Crossfield – Forbes associates this with Crossfell, a mountain almost 3000 feet high (349). Jackson argues that the name is "Cross Field," and its location is unknown ("Sources," 317). The story of the cross and Kentigern’s preaching are more likely intended to explain the large number of church dedications to him in northern Cumberland. However, such dedications do not necessarily mean that Kentigern actually founded all the churches. Instead they more likely reflect the popularity of his cult. Bowen partly agrees that the resurgence of a cult can result in new dedications to a saint. He states that the dedication of the chruch at Crosthwaite in Cumberland in the twelfth century was almost surely do to renewed interest in Kentigern at this time. But "it will, however, be noted that in this instance, as well as in almost all known instances of the revival of a saint’s cult in the Middle Ages, the new church was placed in territory where not ony a tradition of the saint’s activity survived, but also where there were several churches previously dedicated to him. In other words, rededication takes place within the original culture area" (8).

193 Field of the Cross

194 Matt. 16:19 – allusion to Peter; "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

195 Ex. 25:18-20

196 Cadwallon Llawhir, King of North Wales and father of Maelgwn.

197 The South Welsh monastery of Llancarfan established by Saint Cadoc in Welsh tradition

198 See Col. 2:5

199 The appearance of wild boars as guides is a common motif in Celtic literature, both sacred and secular. In Saint Cadoc’s life, Cadoc prayed to God for a suitable building site and is answered by a visitation from an angel: "And when thou shalt walk thereon, thou wilt perceive a white boar, bristly and of great age, leap out, frightened at the sound of thy footsteps, and there shalt thou lay the foundation of thy temple in the name of the Holy Trinity" (Wade-Evans 45). The white boar also acts as a guide for Manawydan and Pryderi in the Mabinogion (89). According to Henken, white animals in Welsh tradition signify the "otherworld" and sanctity (90).

200 Elgu – misspelling of eleventh century Elgui, the Welsh name for the river Elwy. The town referred to is Llanelwy, the Welsh name for Saint Asaph.

201 Bede notes St. Ninian built a stately church, which "is generally called the White House, because he there built a church of stone, which was not usual among the Britons" (Ecclesiatical History III.4).

202 Middle Welsh Maelgwn. This is the sixth-century King of North Wales known as the "island dragon," who was reproved by Gildas. Maelgwn was a famous, and infamous, character in the Lives of the Welsh saints. In the medieval Welsh historical and literary tradition, he is known as Maelgwn Gwynedd and is associated with Arthur. Melcon is a Norman corruption of Mailcun (Old Welsh), and de Galganu may be a corrupted form of Deganui (Jackson, "Sources," 315).

203 Acts 9:8-9

204 Romans 9:22-23

205 Gen. 8:9, 11

206 The large size of the monastery can be compared to other monasteries of the time. At Bangor in Wales, there were eight divisions of three hundred monks each. In the year 900, three were more than 1000 monks at the Abbey of Saint Silvester near Modena (Forbes 351). The great number of monks asking for admittance to Kentigern’s monastery also suggests the rapid expansion of the Cistercian Order. From its founding at Citeaux in 1098 until the year 1200, 525 Cistercian abbeys were founded. "There is no dubt that the growth would have been much greater but for the [prohibition against new abbeys in 1152, which was gradually rescinded], which transferred a large part of the potential Cistercian growth to the Premonstratensians" (Southern, Western Society 255).

207 The division within the monastery according to the level of "literacy" possessed by a monk seems to reflect the Cistercian lay-brotherhood, known as conversi, who were illiterate and unable to participate fully in the community. This stratification within the Cistercian Order stems from the fact that the Cistercians were an aristocratic brotherhood and followed St. Bernard’s perception, which saw the lower orders as "rustics without learning or fitness for war" (Sermones in Cantica; quoted in Southern 270).

208 According to Forbes, "Jocelyn’s account of the continual succession of prayer and praise in his Welsh monastery is confirmed by the fact that the same pious practice of incessant prayers and praise of God, called "Laus Perennis," was in use in the same age in many of the great monasteries of France, such as those of S. Denys, S. Maurice, [and] S. Benigne" (352). However, Forbes’ remark that this practice was "probably" found in Britain and Ireland finds no support. Instead, this description of continual prayers and praise is more likely an example of the Norman influence on Jocelyn’s source, or possibly an addition by Jocelyn himself.

209 Num. 24:5-6; Jocelyn uses this scripture to compare the monastery of Kentigern to the promised land of Israel in the following paragraph. This is another example of Jocelyn’s subtle weaving of scripture into his narrative in order to present Kentigern as a chosen prophet of God. However, Jocelyn’s memory is somewhat faulty and he rearranged the verse as the Latin source makes clear: Quam pulcra tabernacula tua Jacob! tentoria tua Israel! ut valles nemorose, ut cedri propter aquas (cf the Vulgate’s rendering of this verse).

210 Gen. 32:22-32; "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (28).

211 The Aberdeen Breviary contains an office for Saint Asaph and relates the tale of the boy carrying live coals in his garment to Kentigern (24-5). In W. J. Rees’ Lives of Cambro-British Saints, Asaph is said to be the son of Sawyl Benuchel, who was swallowed by the earth in the Life of Saint Cadoc (see Rees 334; Wade-Evans 59). Jocelyn states that he had in his possession a "little book" containing the life of Asaph, but what text this reference alludes to is unknown. It is possible that Jocelyn knew of or had possession of some document (now lost) that related the life of Asaph, especially as the Normans had established a territorial see at St. Asaph’s Cathedral in 1143. As has been shown with Kentigern’s life, the establishment of a bishopric often was accompanied by a written life of the patron saint.

212 According to Henken, "The clearest demonstration of the saint’s mastery over fire is in his carrying burning embers at his breast without harm to either himself or his garment" (65). Other saints who exhibited this power include Cadoc and Cadfan.

213 Isaiah 9:5. This verse is used by Gregory in his Moralia to explain the sinfulness of carnal desire: to "mix garments with blood is to pollute the body with carnal desires" (Mor. 9.36.58; quoted in Straw 131).

214 Ex. 34:29-30

215 A.D. 589, although St. Dewi’s death is also said to have occurred in 601. Dewi’s feast day is March 1.

216 Psalm 8:5; see also Heb. 2:9 – both scriptural verses refer to man being made "a little lower than the angels."

217 As patrons, saints were responsible for the total welfare of their people. Saints maintained, as it were, a dual residency – a heavenly abode as well as inhabiting their more mortal shrines. Because of this dual nature of saints, those who called on them for help believed that even as the saints mediated for them in heaven, the saints also were capable of physically fulfilling the requests of those entreating them here on earth.

218 Eze. 21:5 – "That all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more." This passage relates the prophecy of God’s judgment on Israel for their sins. Jocelyn uses this prophecy as a transition into the prophecy given against Britain by Kentigern.

219 This prophecy could refer to the expansion of the Angles into both Wales and southern Scotland in the sixth and seventh centuries. More likely, however, this passage is alluding to the invasions of the Norse and the Danes in the eighth and ninth centuries.

220 Possible allusion to 1Peter 5:10.

221 Matt. 13:24-30; allusion to the parable of the wheat and the tares.

222 The story of King Lucius is taken almost word for word from Bede (Ecclesiastical History I.4)

223 Rev. 6:12; allusion to the opening of the sixth seal of the Apocalypse.

224 Alban is said to be a third century martyr in Britain during the persecutions under Diocletian (c. 305). Bede gives the story of his martyrdom in his history of Britain (I.7).

225 Arianism takes its name from Arius (c. 250-c.336), who was a priest of Alexandria. He taught that Jesus Christ was the first born of all creation, and therefore not equal in substance to God the Father. Arius’ teachings were condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Arianism, however, lasted into the fifth century, because some members of the Roman imperial court favored it and many of the Germanic peoples were converted to this form of Christianity. Although Pelagianism was prevalent in Britain, Arianism does not seem to have been a viable heresy in the British church. As Forbes notes, "It is true that before [Pelagiansim], in 358, the orthodox British bishops hesitated about the accceptance of the Homousion, but this by no means implied the acceptance of Arianism" (355).

226 See Bede, Ecclesiastical History I.15.

227 A.D. 597. See Bede, Ecclesiastical History I.25 for the traditional account of Augustine’s arrival in Britain, his preaching in the kingdom of Kent, and the foundation of the episcopal see at Canterbury.

228 Saint Gregory, independently of the work he did in the mission of Saint Augustine to the Angles, is recognized as occupying an important place in the early church history of both Ireland and Scotland. Forbes states that "the O’Clerys furnish [Saint Gregory] with an Irish pedigree, tracing him up to Conaire" (355). The Aberdeen Breviary says, Kentigerno antistite reverendissimo a sanctissimo Gregorio papa apud Romam omnium civitatum facile urbem rite et legitime consecrato Scotiam revertente (24). However, it is exceedingly improbable that Gregory had such close relations with any form of the British church as these seven visits of Kentigern to Rome seem to imply.

229 Allusion to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah believed to have resulted from the sin of sodomy – "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" – Gen. 19:25. Gerald of Wales also addresses homosexual behavior among the Welsh in his Description of Wales: "It was because of their sins, and more particularly the wicked and detestable vice of homosexuality, that the Welsh were punished by God and so lost first Troy and then Britain. The fact that the Welsh have now given up homosexuality, which they were unable to resist in their more prosperous days, must be attributed, not to any improvement in their morals, but to their indigence now that they are exiled and expelled from the kingdom of Britain" (Journey 264-5). This sermon by Kentigern only highlights the sexual content which is interpersed throughout the life of Kentigern and suggests that homosexuality was evident in Jocelyn’s time.

230 See 2Cor. 6:9-10. Paul uses the phrase maculorum concubitores to refer to homosexuality. However, as Paul Veyne has pointed out in his article on homosexuality in Rome, this was a "world in which one’s behaviour was judged not by one’s preference for girls or boys, but by whether one played an active or a passive role. To be active was to be male, whatever the sex of the compliant partner. To take one’s pleasure was virile, to accept it servile – that was the whole story." For a man to engage passively in a sexual act was to play the part of the woman, who "was passive by definition" (29-30).

231 Peregrinus is the name given to the early monks, especially Irish monks, who would leave their homes to travel as exiles to other countries "for the love of God." The impulse to travel came from an ascetic desire to "seek the desert," but in the process, these monks founded monasteries throughout northern Europe.

232 See 2Peter 3:9

233 Matt. 13:1-9; allusion to the parable of the sower – "Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away" (5-6).

234 Refers to the body and the soul.

235 Titus 3:10-11

236 Allusion to 2 Chon. 7:21 – "And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?"

237 Divine vengeance on those who harm saints is a common motif in hagiography, and especially in the lives of Celtic saints. Wilson notes that "the punishing saint belonged to the same society as the feud and the curse," (31) and the seventh century heroic society in which Kentigern lived can be described as a society based on redressing injustices through the use of violence. Moreover, the punishment of those who sought to kill Kentigern also acts as proof of his holiness and election by God, as well as a warning to any who would deny the power of either the saint or his God.

238 Allusion to Pro. 26:11 – "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." Also 2 Peter 2:21-22.

239 Possible allusion to Isaiah 24:4.

240 Rederech was king of Strathclyde in the latter part of the sixth century. In Nennius, he is called Riderc Hen, "Riderch the Old," and is one of the kings of the northern Britons who fought the Angles of Bernicia (Historia Brittonum c. 63). In Welsh sources, his name is Rhydderch Hael, "the Generous." Rederech is mentioned in Adomnán’s Life of St. Columba as sending a message to Columba as to whether he would be killed by his enemies. "Then the saint said: He will never be delivered into enemies’ hands but he will die at home on his own pillow" (I.15). This prophecy is confirmed in Jocelyn’s Life of St. Kentigern (Ch. 45).

241 Job 34:18

242 Allusions to Zech. 11:17 and John 10:11-13.

243 John 6:38 – "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent."

244 Gen. 12:2; God’s prophecy to Abraham.

245 Ps. 57:7 – "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."

246 Job 6:10

247 1 Cor. 16:13-14

248 1 Cor. 13:13

249 Chapters 23-31 of Jocelyn’s Life of Kentigern are probably derived from a twelfth century Norman-Latin source. The names are typical Norman-Latin corruptions of Brittonic names. Jackson notes that is it probable that this material "was introduced into his Life by Jocelyn himself, who at Furness may have been in touch with North Wales" ("Sources" 315). Neither of the Lives of Saint Dewi or Saint Asaph have any allusion to Saint Kentigern; however there is an interesting thirteenth century charter (quoted in full in Forbes lxxix -–xxx), which is an account of the lands and privileges given to Kentigern at St Asaph. "It is certainly later than Jocelyn’s time, yet it seems to bear witness to the existence of a story at St Asaph, not (or not wholly) derived from Jocelyn, that the monastery was founded by St Kentigern and that it received benefactions from Maelgwn of Deganwy after that king had been blinded as a result of a quarrel with Kentigern, and then cured" (Jackson, "Sources" 317). This charter seems to have originated at St Asaph itself, and contains more knowledge of Welsh matters than Jocelyn is likely to have possessed. Kentigern is also mentioned in the Annales Cambriae under the year 612 A.D. – Conthigirni obitus et Dib ric episcopi (Forbes lxxxii). In the Triads of Arthur and his warriors (MS Hengwrt 536), is written, "Arthur the chief lord at Penrionyd in the north, and Cynderyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief ruler" (Skeen’s Four Ancient Books of Wales, 2:457, quoted in Forbes lxxxii). As there are also several churches dedicated to Saints Ffinnan and Nidan, disciples of Kentigern, in Anglesey (Bowen 76), as well as church dedications to Kentigern himself in northern Cumberland, there seems to be some strand of legend which connects Kentigern to St Asaph and Wales. However, most of the story is plainly a twefth century attempt to enhance the status of Kentigern.

250 Ten Commandments

251 Vallia – this term for Wales is no older than the twelfth century.

252 Luke 2:14; a reference to the praise sung by the angels at the birth of Christ.

253 See Luke 24:32

254 See Isaiah 44:9-20

255 The idea that Britons were worshipping Woden is anachronistic. As Jackson states, "Evidently some much later writer wanted to say that Kentigern converted the Britons of Hoddom from the worship of Celtic pagan gods, but not knowing the names of any, and not being very particular, he had recourse to a well known Germanic god" ("Sources" 321).

256 Acts 4:12

257 Hoddom in Dumfriesshire. There was an Anglian monastery here from the late seventh to late ninth century when Northumbrian influence was felt in southwestern Scotland. Adjacent to Abermilk is a church dedicated to Saint Kentigern, although Jackson contends that this church probably dates from the "reoccupation of Dumfriesshire by Strathclyde in the tenth century" ("Sources" 320). The miracle land rising under a saint’s feet also occurs in Saint Dewi’s Life (Henken 71).

258 The Aberdeen Breviary gives a much shorter account. When Kentigern returns to Glasgow, the king and people come to greet him, but he is unable to be seen because of the great crowd. The ground rises miraculously and a chapel is dedicated to him there.

259 Daniel 2:34-35

260 See the story of Elijah and King Ahab; 1Ki 17:1; 18:1

261 In Welsh tradition, Rederech establishes himself in Alcluyd as king of Cumbria (Strathclyde) after the battle of Ardderyd in 573. In the poems attributed to Myrddin, the poet laments:

Alas? Gwendydd loves me not, greets me not,

I am hated by the chiefs of Rhydderch,

For after Gwenddolau no princes honor me,

Yet in the battle of Ardderyd I wore golden torques (quoted in Forbes 364).

The Annales Cambriae have a reference to this battle in the year 573: Bellum Armterid inter filios Elifer et Gwendoleu filium Keidiau in quo bello Gwendoleu cedidit. Merlinus insanus effectus est. And in the metrical life of Merlin, it states that Merlin went to the battle with Peredwr, and that Rodarcus (or Rydderch), king of the Cumbri, also was there, and that Merlin fled to the woods after the battle. See A. O. H. Jarman, "The Merlin Legend and the Welsh Tradition of Prophecy," Arthur of the Welsh: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Welsh Literature, ed. Rachel Bromwith, Jarman, and Brynley F. Roberts (Cardiff: Univ. of Wales Press, 1991) 117-45. The account of Rederech doing homage is derived from a late custom, and possibly Jocelyn is drawing on his own knowledge in describing the ritual.

262 A direct allusion to the forgery called "The Donation of Constantine." The Donation supposedly gave considerable temporal power to the papacy, and gave the Pope primacy over other patriarchs.

263 Anderson suggests that perhaps this means that the kings paid taxes to the bishops (I.365)

264 Albion – Alba; Gaelic.

265 In Chapter 4 of the Life of Saint Kentigern, Jocelyn gives the Brittonic etymology of Kentigern’s name. Here in Chapter 33, the Gaelic etymology is given. Cenn in Middle Irish means "head," and tigerna translates as "lord." Kentigern, then, means something like "Chief Lord."

266 Gen. 14:18 – "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God." See also Heb. 7:15-17; Ps. 110:4. The allusion to Melchizedek implies that Kentigern was a king-priest and reinforces the narrative of Rederech’s homage to Kentigern. But as Melchizedek’s origins are clouded in mystery, the reference also underscores the special nature of Kentigern’s obscure parentage. Melchizedek is also seen as an Old Testament type for the King-Priest Christ, and so this reference also effectively links Kentigern with both the Old Testament and New Testament symbols of the king-priest.

267 This sentence contains the most important kernel of propaganda in the entire Life. With both York and Canterbury claiming metropolitan status over the diocese, the assertion that Kentigern had received the privilege of being subject only to the Pope is excellent leverage for claiming independence from both English archbishops on the one hand, and on the other to attempt to set up an archbishopric for an independent Scottish church.

268 There may be some genuine Strathclyde tradition for Constantine, but the Welsh genealogies do not mention any son of Rederech. There are several saints named Constantine in the Celtic church (Anderson, Early Sources, I.92), and dedications to Saint Constantine can be found in southwestern Scotland. Whether these churches are dedicated to Rederech’s son, however, is unknown.

269 Gen. 3:17-18

270 Matt. 3:3; Isaiah 40:3; reference to the preaching in the desert of John the Baptist.

271 Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16

272 Galloway

273 None of this material appears in the Aberdeen Breviary, and the passage can be classified as a late tweflth century insertion. Anderson believes that the "Picts" of Galloway were actually a people called Cruithni ("Ninian" 30-31). Smyth also agrees with this assessment: "The Irish also knew of the Priteni not only as neighbours in northern Scotland, but as a people settled in various parts of Ireland whom they described as Cruithin (or Cruithni) – a Goidelic or Old Irish form of the word Priteni. It is important to recognize that the Irish Cruithin were believed in Irish tradion to be essentially the same people as the Priteni of northern Britain and in that sense they were rightly considered Picts" (59). So it is possible that Kentigern himself or some of his disciples acted as missionaries among the "Picts" of Galloway.

274 Eph. 6:15 – another reference to the armor of the soldier of Christ.

275 Alba - Northern Scotland.

276 As Bowen has stated, dedications of churches to particular saints usually took place within the context of their ministerial area. An examination of places where there are dedications to Kentigern follow (for the most part) the outline of his missionary work as recorded in his vita. The dedications can be found in Lothian and southeastern Scotland, a few across the Forth-Clyde isthmus, a cluster in northern Cumberland and several scattered along the eastern side of Scotland. There are also sights dedicated in northern Wales to saints associated with Kentigern. The pattern of dedications reflects the movements of Kentigern related by Jocelyn and the anonymous author of the fragmentary life (Saints 85).

277 Jocelyn’s statement that disciples of Kentigern went to the Orkneys or Scandinavia has no support in any other source. There are some dedications to Kentigern north of the Forth, but "[one] may guess that the Kentigern dedications in the north are due to the twelfth-century revival of his cult…., dating perhaps from the period when David I, formerly earl of Cumbria, became king of all Scotland and introduced many southern influences to the north" (Jackson, "Sources" 322). This is also the conclusion reached by Bowen (Saints 93).

278 Matt. 9:37

279 The cult of a saint was a first and foremost a cult of healing. Illnesses could be healed in many ways – contact with the saint while alive or touching his relics, eating dirt or dust associated with the tomb or shrine of the saint, drinking or bathing in water blessed in the name of the saint, or passing under a saint’s relics as they were carried in procession.

280 This statement reflects Jocelyn’s opening remarks in his preface concerning the miracles performed after Kentigern’s death. In both instances of the text, he chooses to gloss over the miracles, because their very abundance might weary readers.

281 Luke 8: 43-44

282 Acts 5:15

283 Saint Gwenfrewi also is given this sign. See Henken 152.

284 See Isaiah 25:4

285 Deut. 8:4; 29:5

286 Matt. 19:26; also Mark 10:27

287 Ex. 10:22-23

288 2 Peter 1:19

289 The following story is a variation of the oral story called "The Ring of Polycrates."

290 Prov. 9:17

291 Matt. 17:24-27

292 Death of the body and the soul.

293 Matt. 22:20-21

294 A reference to the oral story entitled "strawberries in winter." See Aarne and Thompson no. 403.

295 joculator – Jackson says that the description would fitting for an Irish senchaid, a high-class professional story-teller, sage, and entertainer ("Sources" 325).

296 Or possibly blackberries?

297 Euphemism for entering a monastery.

298 Cazelles believes that the importance of relics in the medieval church correspondes to the fundamental sacrificial nature of the saints. "It is because they are dead that the saints are powerful agents in temporal affairs; it is thanks to their self-sacrifice that their bodies can become the source of cures and salvation. If there is no exchange between the saints and the believers, the saints’ function as substitutes explains it: for them the ordeal and reward of sanctity; but for the believers, the tangible benefits channeled through the saints’ bodies" (16).

299 Gregory the Great states, "[I]f we look carefully at exterior things, they call us back to interior things, for the marvelous works of visible creation are surely the footsteps of our Creator" (Mor. 26.12.17; quoted in Straw 28). Drawing on a tradition that dates to late antiquity, Jocelyn follows Gregory’s outline in emphasizing the connection between the invisible and the visible.

300 Acts 14:22; allusion to the encouragement given by Paul and Barnabas

301 Matt. 10:22; Mark 13:13; allusion to James 1:12. One issue that clearly troubled Gregory the Great was the problem of human suffering. Although Gregory affirms that Satan acts as the executor of God’s judgment upon a sinner, Gregory also aknowledges that not all suffering is caused by sin: "Gregory frankly admits the scourges of adversity Job suffered were not just recompense, for Job was innocent. But if God’s mercy is considered, the scale sifts in the opposite direction, for God’s scourges give Job the chance to increase his merit" ( Straw 63; see Mor. 2.10.18: Cuius petitione callida nequaquam proucata Veritas uincitur sed ad deceptionem suam hosti conceditur, quod fideli famulo ad augmentum muneris suffragetur.)

302 See Matt. 5:15; Luke 8:16

303 Adomnán’s Life of St Columba makes no mention of this visit, and neither does Bede. It is not unusual though in Celtic Lives for one saint to visit another. It is interesting that Columba’s Irish name, Colum Cille, is given, but the author of this source says that it is the Angles who call him by this name.

304 See Eph. 5:19 – "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." See also Col. 3:16.

305 The oblates or novices of a monastery.

306 Psalm 138:5

307 Psalm 84:7

308 Allusion to the consecration of Aaron as High Priest in Ex. 39 – "And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD" (Ex. 39:30).

309 See Rev. 2:17

310 Allusion to Jer. 13:23 – "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."

311 A play on the name of "Columba," which means "dove."

312 Prov. 2:13

313 The Welsh Life of Tydecho also contains a similar motif of a thief sticking to a stone object. See Henken 145.

314 Gen. 19:26

315 See Eph. 1:11

316 The appearance of the church of Ripon in this passage would indicate an English source for the story of Kentigern and Columba. It may be that the church in Yorkshire took an interest in Kentigern, since Glasgow had been technically under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of York until 1176. The staff which is said to be at Ripon would be a valuable relic, as such saints’ croziers were believed to be instruments of a saint’s power.

317 In the early days of the church, megaliths were Christianized by being marked with crosses. "But the vast majority of stone crosses are architectural in form and carved from dressed stone of high quality. In its fully developed form, the wheel-headed Celtic high cross is a version of the world axis. It stands on a foursquare pyramidal base representing the world mountain whose roots are buried in the earth. From the center of this arises the shaft, the axis proper. Close to the top is the Celtic cross itself. It is a sunwheel, reproducing a natural phenomenon observed occasionally in the skies when the sun’s light, shining through ice crystals, is diffracted into a cross-and-circle pattern. At the center of the wheel is Christ, the cosmic man. The cross is topped by a house-like form, the hall of heaven, the abode of god, resembling a Celtic reliquary" (Pennick 49).

318 Allusion to Romans 1:16; 1Cor. 1:18

319 The Latin is ambiguous here: in fronte portabat. I have chosen to translate this as a cross "carried before him" in the sense a cross on Kentigern’s staff. However, this ‘cross on his forehead’ may be some allusion to some type of marking on Kentigern’s cowl. Or is Jocelyn thinking of a twelfth century bishop’s miter?

320 See Eph. 6:12

321 Allusion to Gal. 2:20

322 Although there is sufficient evidence to say that the cross was seen as a symbol to ward off evil, I have not been able to find any other source that describes tying lunatics up to crosses.

323 Isaiah 26:19

324 Ezekiel 37:1-14

325 Allusion to 1Cor. 15:53

326 Rom. 9:27 in reference to Isaiah 10:22,23

327 See Psalm 90:12; 147:4

328 The allusion can be to the Lord (Ps. 18:2) or to Peter (Matt. 16:18) and by extension, the Roman church.

329 2Cor 5:1

330 Allusion to Gen. 3:15

331 Allusion to Hebrews 6:19-20. This scripture also refers to Melchizedeck, the Old Testament king and priest already associated with Kentigern.

332 Could this refer to the river Kebar in the land of the Babylonians? If so, this passage would allude to Ezekiel 1:1 and the Babylonian Captivity. Such a reading would place this world as a type for the Babylonian Captivity and heaven as a type for the earthly Jerusalem.

333 See Psalm 27:13; 142:5

334 Allusion to 1Peter 5:4

335 The emphasis on the observance of holy devotion, charity, hospitality, and prayers reflects the Rule as practiced by the Cistercians.

336 Allusion to 1Peter 5:14

337 See Phil. 1:23

338 1John 5:14

339 Allusion to Hebrews 10:5-7; a reference to Christ doing the will of God.

340 Luke 2:9 – description of the angel who appeared to the shepherds at Christ’s birth.

341 Matt. 28:4 – description of the angel who rolls back the stone from Christ’s tomb. In the space of two sentences, Jocelyn manages to encompass the entire life of Christ within the person of Kentigern.

342 Possible allusion to Psalm 103.

343 As the functions of the body were denied and overcome, so supra-corporeal power accrued to the saint. Death became the final denial of the body, but was also the link between the mortification and/or torture of the body and healing power (Wilson 9). According to Henken, it is at death that the identification of the saint with the secular hero diverges. For the saint, death means the attainment of grace, and the saint continues his or her activities after death. However, the death of the hero signifies a fall from grace, and there is no more activity (122).

344 (6 Jan) Epiphany + 8 = 13 January

345 See Romans 8:23

346 John 19:30 – the death of Christ on the cross.

347 John 5:1-9: "Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda."

348 See 2Cor. 4:7

349 Rev. 14:3, 4 – "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Jocelyn describes the eternal reward of Kentigern as one of the chosen "retainers" of Christ. This passage reiterates the purity and sanctity of Kentigern while he lived on earth, and acts as proof of his power as an heavenly intercessor after his death.

350 Instead of relating a story of healing at this point in the narrative, Jocelyn chooses to describe a tale of punishment. The emphasis shifts to the punitive powers of the saint.

351 Chapter 45 tells the legend, in a very truncated version, of the three-fold prophecies of Merlin. The material seems to be an addendum to Kentigern’s Life.

352 Welsh Myrddin, the Merlin of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Arthurian romances.

353 See Num. 22-24; "And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, though hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth?" (Num. 23:11,12).

354 See John 11:49-52

355 See Num. 22:30; another reference to Balaam.

356 See Rev. 13


© Translated by Cynthia Whiddon Green, December, 1998

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