Cover image for Send Me God: The Lives of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles, Nun of la Ramée, Arnulf, Lay Brother of Villers, and Abundus, Monk of Villers, by Goswin of Bossut Translated by Martinus Cawley and Preface by Barbara Newman

Send Me God

The Lives of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles, Nun of la Ramée, Arnulf, Lay Brother of Villers, and Abundus, Monk of Villers, by Goswin of Bossut

Translated by Martinus Cawley, and Preface by Barbara Newman

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Was: $35.95 Now: $8.99 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-02683-1

308 pages
6.125" × 9.25"
3 b&w illustrations
2005

Brepols Medieval Women Series

Send Me God

The Lives of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles, Nun of la Ramée, Arnulf, Lay Brother of Villers, and Abundus, Monk of Villers, by Goswin of Bossut

Translated by Martinus Cawley, and Preface by Barbara Newman

“This volume, containing the Lives of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles and other medieval Cistercian saints, makes a major contribution to our understanding of monastic life and thought in the High Middle Ages. I am certain that it will be welcomed in the scholarly world and will be used by generations of professors, graduate students, and others interested in medieval spirituality.”

 

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In the early thirteenth century, the diocese of Liège witnessed an extraordinary religious revival, known to us largely through the abundant corpus of saints’ lives from that region. Cistercian monks and nuns, along with beguines and recluses, formed close-knit networks of spiritual friendship that easily crossed the boundaries of gender, religious status, and even language. Holy women such as Mary of Oignies and Christina the Astonishing were held up by their biographers as models of orthodoxy and miraculous powers. Less familiar but no less fascinating are the male saints of the region. In this volume, Martinus Cawley has translated a trilogy of Cistercian lives composed by the same hagiographer, Goswin, who was a monk and cantor at the celebrated abbey of Villers in Brabant. Although all three of these saints were connected with the same order, their versions of holiness represent a study in contrasts, from the compassionate nun Ida of Nivelles, remarkable for her Eucharistic raptures, to the fiercely ascetic lay brother Arnulf, to the gentle monk Abundus, renowned for his deep liturgical and Marian piety. The title Send Me God derives from a revealing catchphrase that devout men and women used to request prayers from their spiritual friends.

Send Me God is published as part of the Brepols Medieval Women Series.

“This volume, containing the Lives of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles and other medieval Cistercian saints, makes a major contribution to our understanding of monastic life and thought in the High Middle Ages. I am certain that it will be welcomed in the scholarly world and will be used by generations of professors, graduate students, and others interested in medieval spirituality.”
“This book brings together three Lives, all of Cistercians from thirteenth-century Flanders: a nun, a lay brother, and a choir monk, collected in a single volume, handsomely (and heavily) bound. Barbara Newman's fine Preface gives a helpful orientation to the kind of hagiography represented by these Lives and many others set in the same time and region. . . . The extensive research Fr. Martinus has done is reflected in the copious notes; these include references to the geography of the area, the Statutes of the Order and the decisions of the early General Chapters and give context to the Lives. The notes also contain cross-references to words and themes elsewhere in the volume, as well as the explanations of some of the translations.”
“In addition, each of them was, as many of their contemporaries were, mystically prone, with the added bonus of being able to transmit their experiences to a third person—hence the title Send me God. . . . The translations themselves are careful and polished and are accompanied by excellent explanatory notes. The volume also includes a good map. . . . Those interested in the monastic history of the period will find a lot of interesting details about daily life. . . . This is an important resource for a knowledge of the era; it is made especially valuable by the quality of Fr. Martinus’ scholarship and his remarkable tenacity for ferreting out information on minor details. . . . The volume is pleasantly produced with Brepol’s usual attention to detail.”
“This is a splendid volume. It comes with its own kit of tools to enrich the reader’s scholarly experience.”
“His subsequent translations are meticulously researched and well documented for those who wish to dig deeper into this literary form.”

Martinus Cawley is a member of the community of Our Lady of GuadalupeTrappist Abbey in Lafayette, Oregon.

CONTENTS

Abbreviations

Select Bibliography

Map

Preface by Barbara Newman

Introduction to the Lives

1. Villers: The Geography and History of Goswin’s World

2. Villers: The Literary Corpus

3. Goswin of bossut, Cantor of Villers

4. Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles

5. Arnulf, Lay Brother of Villers

6. Abundus, Monk of Villers

7. The Title, Send Me God

8. Translation Policy

Acknowledgments

The Life of Ida the Compassionate of Nivelles, Nun of La Ramee

Prologue

1. Ida’s Parentage, Infancy, and Childhood

2. She Enters the Order at Kerkom

3. The Monastery Transferred: A Clandestine Communion

4. A Financial Decision; An Early Revelation

5. Praying for the Soul of a Sister’s Father

6. Two Priests Tempted to Fornication

7. Ida Frees a Sister from Blasphemy

8. A Deceased Nun Appears to Ida

9. Pleading for a Woman; A Purgatorial Bridge

10. A Deceased Sister Foretells Ida’s Death

11. The Incestuous Man

12. Ida’s Vision of Two Toads

13. Demons in the Dormitory and Infirmary

14. A Departed Soul Freed from Three Demons

15. Ida Unmasks an Apostate Canon Regular

16. Ida Reassures a Canon Regular about his Sins

17. A Religious Woman’s Three Defects

18. The book of Life, the Mountaintop, and Hell

19. The Christ child Seen at Pentecost Dinner

20. The Eucharist during the Harvest

21. The Christ Child at the Christmas Masses

22. A Night of Story-telling at Liege

23. Mary Offers her Son to Ida

24. The Christ child Seen Catching Ida’s Tears

25. A Friend Familiar with Mary and with Ida

26. A Doubting Priest Comes to Belief in Ida

27. The Priests of Maagdendaal and Thuin

28. The Seven Gifts; The Trinity; Maagdendaal

29. Ida’s Eight Topics of Contemplation

30. Her Charity and Compassioni

31. Her Humility and Obedience

32. Her Patience

33. Her Last Illness

34. Her Death

35. Posthumous Miracles

Appendix I: The Verses

Appendix II: Ida in the Dialogues of Caesarius

Appendix III: Ida in the Life of Beatrice of Nazareth

The Life of Arnulf, Lay Brother of Villers

Preface

BOOK I: ARNULF AND HIS AUSTERITIES

1. Early Life and Initial Conversatio

2. Entering villers’ Three Penitential Ropes

3. Rods and Broom Stems as Whips; Arnulf Explains his Intent

4. A Cane to Beat Himself; Nettles to Roll in

5. Garments of Sackcloth and a Triple Chain

6. His Vest of Hedgehog Pelts

7. His Bedding

8. His Food and Drink

9. His Work, his Vigils, his Sleep

10. His Regimes for Winer and for Summer

11. His Daily Regime in Lent

12. His Coat of Mail

BOOK II: HIS VIRTUES AND HIS DEEDS

1. Arnulf’s Charity

2. Pigs Forbidden to Grunt, and then Given Away

3. His Humility and Patience

4. His Obedience and Prayer

5. Our Lady Reveals to Arnulf her Seven Heavenly Joys

6. Jesus Offers Arnulf ever Loftier Visions

7. His Laughter

8. Four Encounters with Demons

9. A Monk Freed fro Rupture; ‘Send me God’

10. The convent of Argensolles Founded on Arnulf’s Advice

11. Chiding a Recluse for Neglecting her Protégé

12. Foretelling the Death of a Priest’s Mother

13. Reproving a Priest’s Pretence of Religiosity

14. Helping a Novice and Two Monks in Need

15. Vision of a Monk Carried up to Heaven

16. ‘Sending God’ to a Matron in Paris

17. Awareness of a Grace Sent to a Devout Woman

18. Arnulf consulted by Two Clerics

19. Foretelling a Possessed Girl’s Liberation

20. Six Prophetic Predictions Verified

21. Hill Illness and Death

Appendix I: Verses about Arnulf’s Conversatio and his Passing

Appendix II: Laudatory Epitaph for the Blessed Arnulf by Franciscus Moschus

The Life of Abundus, Monk of Villers

Prologue

1. Abundus’s Background; Etymology of his Name

2. His Schooling

3. Early Devotional Life

4. His Vocation: Walburgis, Yvette, Conrad

5. His Novitiate at Villers

6. Seven Years Later: His First Mystical Experience

7. Experience on John the Baptist’s Day

8. The Virgin Seen chanting with the Monks

9. Abundus as Tusted Courier for the Virgin

10. Exchange of Kisses with the Virgin

11. The Candlemas Vision

12. Winning his Sister to La Ramee

13. Assumption Day and Jerome’s Understatement

14. The Virgin Seen Solacing Monks at the Harvest

15. Vision of Bernard of Villers and John of Nivelle

16. Deathbed Conversion of a Nephew

17. Freeing a Man from Fleshly Temptation

18. Saving the Vocation of a Tempted Novice

19. Encouraging the Lay Brother Baldwin

20. Assumption and St Bernard’s Day; Death of Gerard

Appendix I: An Account of Abundus’s Death

Appendix II: The Epitaph

Appendix III: Abundus’s Rold in the Vocation of Gobert of Aspremont

Appendix IV: Abundus in the First Letter of Thomas the Cantor

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