Tag Archives: 151-11

Oration on the Dignity of Man

Oh unsurpassed generosity of God the Father, Oh wondrous and unsurpassable felicity of man, to whom it is granted to have what he chooses, to be what he wills to be! The brutes, from the moment of their birth, bring with them, as Lucilius says, “from their mother’s womb” all that they will ever possess. The highest spiritual beings were, from the very moment of creation, or soon thereafter, fixed in the mode of being which would be theirs through measureless eternities. But upon man, at the moment of his creation, God bestowed seeds pregnant with all possibilities, the germs of every form of life. Whichever of these a man shall cultivate, the same will mature and bear fruit in him. If vegetative, he will become a plant; if sensual, he will become brutish; if rational, he will reveal himself a heavenly being; if intellectual, he will be an angel and the son of God. And if, dissatisfied with the lot of all creatures, he should recollect himself into the center of his own unity, he will there become one spirit with God, in the solitary darkness of the Father, Who is set above all things, himself transcend all creatures.
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The “Jacquerie”

Anon after the deliverance of the king of Navarre there began a marvellous tribulation in the realm of France, as in Beauvoisin, in Brie, on the river of Marne, in Laonnois, and about Soissons. For certain people of the common villages, without any head or ruler, assembled together in Beauvoisin. In the beginning they passed not a hundred in number they said how the noblemen of the realm of France, knights and squires, shamed the realm, and that it should be a great wealth to destroy them all: and each of them said it was true, and said all with one voice: “Shame have he that cloth not his power to destroy all the gentlemen of the realm!”
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The English Peasant Revolt

While these conferences were going forward, there happened in England great commotions among the lower ranks of the people, by which England was near ruined without resource. Never was a country in such jeopardy as was this at that period, and all through the too great comfort of the commonalty. Rebellion was stirred up, as it was formerly done in France by the Jacques Bons-hommes, who did much evil, and sore troubled the kingdom of France. It is marvellous from what a trifle this pestilence raged in England. In order that it may serve as an example to mankind, I will speak of all that was done, from the information I had at the time on the subject.
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Edmund’s Martyrdom

This account is by Abbo of Fleury

Edmund the Blessed, King of East Anglia, was wise and worthy, and exalted among the noble servants of the almighty God. He was humble and virtuous and remained so resolute that he would not turn to shameful vices, nor would he bend his morality in any way, but was ever-mindful of the true teaching: “If you are installed as a ruler, don’t puff yourself up, but be among men just like one of them.” He was charitable to poor folks and widows, just like a father, and with benevolence he guided his people always towards righteousness, and restrained the cruel, and lived happily in the true faith.
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