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E.A. Jones

Jesus Christ, saying in Luke 5: ‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance’ [Luke 5:32]. But nevertheless a very cautious prudence is necessary in those choosing a solitary life in this way, so that the austerities of such a life are not chosen out of a sudden levity of soul or unexpectedly, [and] either strengthened in purpose, or promised as it were in an absolute vow, by the intervention of the angel

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
E.A. Jones

life, because again his preaching brought him no praise, and he asked the Duke [ sc. John of Gaunt] for the hermitage in the woods, and lived there for a time, sometimes running into the town, and sometimes into the country. And when pious people in Leicester, believing in his sanctity, tried to send food to him, as was their wont, he would pretend to austerity, as though content with his lot in the world, and would refuse and return

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
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men but angels, not flesh but spirit’. 81 These ‘monks from beyond the Alps’ came from the north Italian abbey of Fruttuaria, the foundation of the distinguished reformer William ‘of Volpiano’, abbot of St-Bénigne, Dijon, notable for his extreme austerity. The abbey enjoyed royal protection but was not an imperial abbey, owing the services characteristic of the ‘imperial

in The Annals of Lampert of Hersfeld

This book offers a range of new perspectives on the character and reputation of English monasteries in the later middle ages. The later middle ages was an era of evolution in English monastic life in late medieval England. The book surveys the internal affairs of English monasteries, including recruitment, the monastic economy, and the standards of observance and learning. It looks at the relations between monasteries and the world, exploring the monastic contribution to late medieval religion and society and lay attitudes towards monks and nuns in the years leading up to the Dissolution. The book covers both male and female houses of all orders and sizes. The late medieval 'reforms' of the Benedictine Order included a relaxation of observances on diet, the common life and private property, and little of the Cistercians' primitive austerity can be found in late medieval houses of the order. Monastic spirituality can rarely be accessed through visitation evidence or administrative records, although an impression of the devotional climate within individual houses is occasionally provided by monastic chronicles. Looking beyond the statistics of foundation and dissolution alone, levels of support for the monastic ideal in late medieval England might also be assessed from the evidence of lay patronage of existing houses.

week. Although we perceived in this many things which are to be embraced by good monks with all enthusiasm and delight of mind, some however occurred in the course of reading which seemed to us to be of greater austerity than can be observed by monks in this unhappy age of ours. Without doubt, so great a number of monks are contained in England, and so great and so abundant are

in Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535
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investigation of a monk’s sanctity might in fact be somewhat differently focused (with more emphasis on bodily austerities, perhaps, and less on practical charity), the imitation of devotional practices that were in origin monastic was a common feature of lay sanctity. There was a deeply engrained tendency to believe that the relevant virtues were most likely to be perfected by monks and other religious

in Saints and cities in medieval Italy
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Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535

before this in turn loses its early enthusiasm and succumbs to mediocrity [cf. 51 ]. This approach finds its classical expression in the historiography of the Cistercians, which has emphasised the monks’ gradual movement away from the early ideals of the order (including austerity of life, the avoidance of ornate artistic and architectural styles, and the rejection of feudal sources of income such as

in Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535

indication of his age, except that he was in his last years too feeble to earn his bread, although this only emphasised his wonderful austerities. Agnoletti gives one version of what was known or believed about Rigo’s earlier years, supplying his own speculations when all else fails. It is supposed that Rigo’s reason for leaving Bolzano was to perform a

in Saints and cities in medieval Italy

disappeared from them, like a lightning-flash, leaving in their hearts a new and unfamiliar sensation of heavenly joy, at which they wondered and rejoiced, marvelling at it for a long time with delight. Of her harsh penitence and austerity of life The blessed Zita mortified her flesh and its vices with such stern discipline, and restrained the sensual stirrings which she felt (although rarely) with such a strict

in Saints and cities in medieval Italy

the century Fazio of Cremona was described with a strong emphasis on his pilgrimages, his good works and his wonder-working while alive ( in vita ). 30 Andrea Gallerani of Siena was tireless in the service of the sick and was also a modest wonder-worker; once again we are told nothing about either austerities or demonic tribulations. 31 As far as

in Saints and cities in medieval Italy