Life of St. Armel from Father Cruchet
Rough translation from French

Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Philosophie, histoire, sciences de l'homme, 8-LN27-33201

Being worked on


The example of the saints is one of the most effective means of God for us to practice virtue. About to leave the earth, the Savior told His disciples: "to follow my example" and these words, spoken at the time of supreme farewell, had indicated to the Christian road that leads to heaven reproduce in his life the life of Jesus Christ, this is a great and sublime destiny, but scary for blind minds and fickle hearts and therefore the Lord, to reassure us, he gave us other models besides the Son of God who are the large and majestic figures of the saints. The image of the radiant Christ stood in the venerable images of these celestial men, and each of them tells us to turn the words of the Apostle: "Be imitators of me, as I myself have been of Christ."

The man who has received God's love for the beautiful, gathers the finest traits he finds in nature, to compose an ideal, and reproduce it. Let us not imagine, however, that the artist, from the beginning, feels able to represent the type he had seen in the light of intelligence. Before making the designs of his mind, before attacking with his ideal, he studied the works of the masters, they are copied down to the smallest details. His talent and gradually rises until it happens also to time created.

This is the story of humanity in Christianity. With the divine type must reproduce all predestined, God shows us models less perfect: the saints, like us with their weaknesses, images of Jesus Christ by their virtues. He takes us to copy in every detail of their lives, and to reach the supreme model of reproduction in ourselves. Walking after them, transformed by this continual imitation examples of saints, the Christian artist destined to work in the supernatural world, sees in turn come a time when it is given to him to say: "I live, but no longer is it I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

Certainly when we look for the first time all perfections together on the front of Christ when we see the poor Saviour, humiliated, suffering in his body and in his soul when we hear his voice dying prescribe to his disciples to take up their crosses on their shoulders and follow, we feel in our being a thrill of terror, we find the Lord's yoke too heavy and too heavy burden. But holiness appears as it once appeared to Augustine, in this time of terrible struggle in which, already convinced of the truth of religion, he still shrank from the austerity of his precepts. It extends to receive us and kiss his hands full all good examples. An innumerable procession accompanies: children, girls, old venerable men in all the strength and splendor of manhood, all ages, all conditions, all the time. Showing us the blessed, it seems to repeat with a sweet and encouraging irony: "What! Can not you do what was possible to them and them?" Then spreads into our souls a divine light that dispels all our uncertainties, our heart is shaken, our will is strengthened, determined to imitate the saints, we are working to become followers of Jesus Christ.

But the saints now inhabit another world, we have no examples before us. It is therefore our duty, we children of the Catholic Church, to reappear these august figures to the astonished eyes of our contemporaries, who, in this age of sensuality and pride, do not include more austerity precepts evangelicals. The history of saints becomes a second life, a posthumous life, less eloquent than the first, but involved in fertility. From the story of their virtues, like dust from their graves, escapes a secret scent that purifies our souls and we have to become better.

We would like to recount here the life of one of the servants of God, who not only worked in retirement at his own sanctification, worked with untiring the salvation of their brothers zeal. Saint Armel was both a monk and an apostle. He came from Britain, which could rightly be called the Island of Saints. The circumstances of his divinely inspired retirement, when he tried to be simple hermit, he found out that the Lord had made ​​a preacher of the Gospel.

It will be sweet to describe his religious virtues, his zeal for the propagation of truth, the wonders that God wrought by his hands. We shall repeat in all simplicity the events of his life, faithfully repeating what ancient traditions have preserved. Liturgical monuments will lend their support to the history and legend.

They were a great help for us. By examining carefully, we see it documented in a formal way most of the facts reported by biographers. There are, indeed, a striking contrast between their writings and the offices of former breviary Brittany agreement. Among these monuments, the strangest and most interesting is undoubtedly the Office of St. Armel, derived from an ancient Breviary for the use of the Church of Saint-Malo, printed in Paris by Jean Higman, year 1489. It is in the section entitled Sanctorale festivale. This is a short brief but fairly complete, the life of the Breton hermit.

We have not tried, however, to submit it to our readers alone and isolated. It seemed good and useful to sketch in broad strokes the country he lived in, to know the characters with whom he was related to recall the events in which he became involved. We hope to have given more depth to the image of St. Armel, and made more alive this austere figure of a monk of the sixth century.

CHAPTER 1 Of birth and country of St. Armel.

South-west of Britain, bathed on three sides by the sea, on a fourth defended by the Severn lies a large Peninsular. This vast region seems destined by nature to serve as a citadel to the England. This part of the island, which contains high mountains, also contains a large number of almost inaccessible gorges and defiles. She was called in the Middle Ages Cambria, and now bears the name of Wales. The people who lived formerly in possession of the whole country. But, eager for glory ever new, constantly seeking to conquer nations, Caesar, after crushing Gaul under his victorious foot, had directed his eagle eye on the ocean, at the end of the old world he had seen Brittany. He embarked with his legions, and astonished eyes of the barbarians saw the Republic weapons tread the soil of their homeland. Defeated a moment, they soon forced the conqueror board sea without being able to submit.

Less happy under his successors who crushed the Britons and were reduced to a Roman province. But, in chains, they kept a dignified and resolute attitude long winners remained powerless to adopt their laws and manners of the metropolis. Elsewhere head under the yoke of the proconsuls were bent; proud Britons. They had only contempt for the poor and in the name of the Caesars, foolish or cruel, squeeze the provinces. Theirs were a heavy and their odious servitude.

Before being subdued, this noble Celtic race had produced figures whose greatness cl heroism shine a light imperishable amidst the universal collapse: Caractacus, the British Vercingetorix, when reduces to captivity, could speak the emperor this courageous language: "Because you want to enslave us, who told you that everyone has wanted to your servitude? "Boadicea, the warrior queen who, to excite his subjects to revenge on his body showed traces of the Roman whip; Galgacus, which Tacitus himself immortalized the name by lending males and sublime accents with which he inflamed the courage of his countrymen before the last battle fought for national independence.

When Rome, threatened in their homes, recalled the legions of borders, it had to abandon the UK so hard won. Picts and Scots, tribes that had never consented to the yoke, down from the mountains where they had put to protect their freedom, crossing the wall built by the Romans to oppose to their incursions, they rushed the inhabitants of the plain remained defenseless and unarmed. In a cruel end, the unfortunate island addressed to the consul Aetius the sighs of Britons. "The barbarians, they cried, lead us to the sea, the sea to the barbarians, he leaves us only the choice between two kinds of death: being overwhelmed or killed one."

Aetius had something else to do, he left their petition unanswered. Some of the inhabitants then went into Armorica, others submitted to the Picts and Scots, and some, trusting in their courage, assailed the enemy and repulsed. The heads of the ancient tribes ressaisirent abandoned by Roman magistrates authority. Rural residents were preserved with the use of any Celtic language national energy the chieftains and nobles, including that they would find salvation by uniting the people, took his language and habits soon every vestige of Roman slavery had disappeared. The government clan recovers easily, the various tribes formed between them a sort of confederation.

Came new dangers threaten their young independence. Britons imprudently accepted the help of the warlike race of Anglo-Saxon, no less cruel than the Picts, the auxiliary became the conquerors of the country, it imposed a new rule. However the Britons do not lose all courage while some of their countrymen migrate back into Armorica, others driven from their cities and fields, seeking refuge in the mountains of Cambria. They founded a new state, which, for centuries, defied all efforts of the Anglo-Saxons.

Refuge behind an impenetrable barrier, almost entirely separated from the civilized world, people have always awakened in us bright and warm sympathies. There is no doubt in Cambrian certain vices, certain customs conflict with our modern usage, but the story is forced to recognize their dedication to their country, their devotion to the memory of ancestors, their fearlessness in battle. She praises their sobriety, their charity for hospitality was sacred to them, they were strangers who sit at home were received as brothers sent by Providence.

At the same time the art of war, they cultivated the arts of peace. The walls of every house, they saw hanging a sword and harp: the sword to defend their independence, the harp to charm their leisure; because they loved with passion poetry and music, and one of their most enjoyable hobby was to celebrate the glory of the heroes of their country.

The kind of life they led their misfortunes too, had given to their character whatever chivalrous and adventurous, tinged with a gentle melancholy and tender. Legends poets of the Middle Ages left us these people are all imbued with this stamp. We like to read this wonderful story of King Arthur and the twelve knights of the Round Table, the quest for the fabled Holy Grail, the cup from which Joseph of Arimathea had collected the blood of the Saviour or face happy with poet he is not dead, he fell asleep with his knights are kept almost hoping to see reappear im day and brandish the sword alone was able to defeat the Germans.

Imagination, in agreement with the legend associates the high priest of the cult of oaks, Merlin, whose voice had prophesied disasters of the country. We cry with him the misfortunes of Britain, but also hopefully hearing with him again, the forest tremble and cry with human accent: "Come," Cumbria, Cornwall gird your side and tell 'Guintonis: Earth engloutirai you then there will be a foreign carnage, fountains Armoric rejoice, Cambria shall be filled with joy, and the oaks of Cornwall dreaming."

This was the land where the saint we are trying to revive the memory came into the world, was the people among whom he was born. Armel was born around the year 482, under the pontificate of Pope Simplieius, Zenon's empire and the kingdom of Hoel I, Brittany, Brittany.

He received in baptism the name by which it is commonly referred, it is also sometimes called Arzel. We do not know what made this change; legends say nothing, but it is certain that this transformation does not conform to the grammar of the Breton language. Breton is never changes 'm' to 'z' or vice versa, because they are consonants. The name of St. Armel is expressed in Latin by that of Armagillus in song from the 12th century: "Armagilli celebremus
Devote solemnia,
Et eidem laudes demus
Celebrate devoutly religious festivals of Armagillio, And let us give praise to him.

According to Father Albert and other historians, he was born in the province of Pennoheu, country of St. Paul de Leon. But our legendary have obviously mistaken respect Pennohen, there has never been a province of that name in Great Britain, there knew only of PenGwenl and Gwent-Set, that is to say, countries Gwent which included the counties of Glamorgan, Brecknock, of Monmouth and Hereford in SouthWnles or South Wales, and its capital was CaërGwent the ancient Venta-Silurum that Father Albert confused with the Winchester County Hampshire because Pen-Gwent is sometimes Latinized in Pennavena. The country of Gwent spoke a particular dialect of Welsh; she was given the name of Gwenthuysaëg.

We have every reason to believe that it was in this part of Wales that St. Armel was born. His parents were rich and noble. The story does not tell us their names, but it tells us that they were distinguished by the rank they held in their province, probably also by the military exploits that were the prerogative of all noble Bretons: "We swear with our hearts to obey the supreme king and his court."

They were Christians, this is a fact which we must look very natural, because the faith of Christ was revered and cherished in the mountains of Cumbria and its shores. She had been brought from the second century by holy men came across the ocean to preach the Gospel in the island of Britain. We know nothing positive, it is true, on the organization of the early Church.

Tertullian tells us that Christians have penetrated in wild Caledonians, supported by the force from above, having crossed the barriers the sword of the Romans could not overthrow. The consecration of marlyre it was not developed refused, several of his children suffered death during the persecution of Diocletian, first among them should be mentioned the young deacon Alban, who dyed in purple blood his white dress Levite.

The era of past persecution, the Church Breton appears openly. It maintains relations with more followed the continent, visited by Auxerrc Germain and Saint Loup, bishop of Troyes, both rushed to fortify against the errors of Pelagius, sends its bishops sit as judges of the faith in early councils of the West.

The Church survived the lion Roman domination. It was only to fight again and finally back with the latest British tribes before the Saxon invaders. When clan leaders, being powerless to fight throughout the territory, sought refuge in the mountains of Cumbria and Cornwall, they took with them their law: their priests followed, and there, among the rocks on the banks deemed unaffordable, the 'British Church still lives on cheerfully.

Christianity, however, was beautifully genius of these peoples dogmas strongly struck their imagination. Promptly seized by the poetry of our mysteries, the Welsh bards had passed through their songs, harps on those who had celebrated the fabulous heroes of their legends, they told love with the wonderful story of Christ and the Virgin Mary. They were even become missionaries for valuable aids; while they preached the word of God, these singers poets popularized by music the holy truths of religion.

Armel therefore found its cradle of Christianity, the light of true faith shone his entrance into life and guided his first steps. The entire existence of the Blessed was in fact perfectly worthy of the first blessing of the Lord, the sanctity he received at his birth shines throughout the rest of his career with a brilliance that went growing education of St. Armel and virtues he reads appear in his youth.

Chapter 2 - Education of St. Armel and the virtues he exhibited in his youth.

The radius of grace shines points in the first hour with all the saints in its entire fullness. The practice of virtue seems to some difficult and painful characters they struggle long before traveling altogether. But God is good and patient, it is necessary unto them from the beginning, he knocks softly at the door of their heart, he tries to penetrate gradually into their minds: it touches their hearts, he seeks their will until at day light finally hunting shadows. Or even among them we find what may be called the sudden and violent conquests of grace. Engaged in a perverse way, they are suddenly, like Saul, their road to Damascus; overthrown by lightning, they fall defeated.

They are not there yet common ways of heaven. When God chooses to make a soul a vessel of election, he surrounds infancy of assiduous care, and prepared by a Christian education to a holy life. It was the way he used to shape the minds and hearts of Armel.

According to the wishes of his family, the child predestined devoted his early years to the study. But then the Church alone was Cumbria custodian of science. The day her divine founder had left the earth to return to heaven, he said: "Go and teach ..." And the Church was, instructing nations, bringing the divine science. Her steps, she met and human science had welcomed eagerly. Later, when the barbarian invasions people dived into the darkness of ignorance, the Church saved the ancient literature of universal shipwreck, she opened to give them asylum, doors bishoprics and monasteries, these holy retreats became ardent homes where science shone on the floods. Wherever the divine teacher entered, she appeared carrying in one hand the Bible, on the other the masterpieces of antiquity profane. While the former scholars of Rome and Athens had been astonished to see the monks and clerics rest from their hard labor commenting Virgil and Homer, and thus make the company the invaluable service of saving from oblivion the language of Cicero and that of Thucydides.

In Britain, as in all countries where the gospel had been preached, the Church freely distributed the food of intelligence. We saw there yet these famous universities in which more bacon were formed so many illustrious personages, however, in monasteries, schools were already established. Young Britons came there to learn not only better, but also become more civilized. It was at one of those points of light Armel came to spend the days of her youth.

Not far from his birthplace, in the vicinity of Lancarvan, was a monastery built by a famous monk in the annals of Sonth Wales known as Illtud. His father called Bican was a powerful leader; Rieingulid, his mother was the daughter of St. Salomon king of Britain and martyr [not possible as he was a later king died 874, should be Amlawdd Wledig]. In his youth, Illtud had borne arms, his talents in war and prudence advice clans had attracted the favor of the king of Glamorgan. Whether we refer to some legends, he was for some time a man of prey and plunder, robbing passersby on the highway, giving free rein to the violence of his passions. But converted by St. Cadoc, disciple of St. Germanus of Auxerre, he renounced war and disorder, having then removed from the world, he devoted himself with ardor to the study, especially that of the Holy Scriptures.

Since he founded its own areas a monastery, he endowed beautifully. The Life of St. Samson, Bishop of Dol, bears witness to the grandeur and beauty of this home. She put clans after the name of Lann-Illtud. Illtud it soon acquired a great reputation for holiness of life and the special talent he displayed in the education of youth, as most British chiefs they trusted him the education of their children. The goodness of the tree appeared at the beauty of fruits: a whole host of saints out of this school, and the name of the old monk Cambrian relates to a host of famous names: Samson, Magloire, Paul Aurelian, Gildas, and several others flourished both in Britain and in Armorica. Everything leads us to believe Armel also read one of the disciples of St. Illtud. His biographers, indeed, tell us that he was educated at a nearby monastery father's house. Father Albert the Great, in particular, reported that "his parents, who were more noble in the country sent to the monastery a holy man of this country, which was schoolhouse in number of young children house. These documents clearly seem to apply to St. Illtud and its monastery, located south of Cambria, where was the home of the parents of Armel.

In a holy house the child grew in age and wisdom before God and men. Of all the Christian virtues, humility was the special object of his predilections. Vanity and pride grow easily in a young heart, especially when the gifts of nature come to meet with those of birth and fortune. Armel not succumbed to this temptation item too common, he liked to lower himself, and considered himself the least of all. This proud son of Celtic races had managed to bend the native pride of his family, nor the nobility of his origin nor the wealth of his parents were able to excite in him any sense of vanity. The nobility of Christian seemed much larger and more valuable riches of grace, he gloried in anything, it was the example of the Apostle of his weakness and infirmities.

Not content to rely only ever his rank and his natural advantages, he performed, according to Albert the Great, those function of the house which "are the vilest and most abject. Nothing was repugnant to him, because his sole occupation was to increase and improve the beauty of his soul."

The young saint drew these feelings of humility in prayer. He worked very hard and loved to converse with God and spread his soul before him. He admired during his meditations humiliation that the Saviour of the world had endured for the salvation of men. He heard it say, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart. "Then his soul, rising above the earth, went up to heaven to contemplate the divine perfections and still annihilate in the presence of the glory of Christ's humanity was crowned as the price of its cuts down here."

It is in meditation that he drew the taste of other virtues. He mortified his senses, showed sober and temperate, and at an age when the love of finery and luxury looks natural, it was very simple in his clothes and in his way of life.

Severe towards himself, he professed the most tender love for those around him. Abandonment was an amiable charm of his conversation, never a hard and hurtful word issued from her lips all his actions bore the imprint of a heavenly indulgence. He received an injury - and this is inevitable in a meeting of young people to combine nature and in the heat of passion - there is an unalterable patience opposed. In each of his brothers he saw the image of God spreading defects and imperfections that disfigured their soul, he loved as Christ had loved his own.

His dedication to his classmates had no bounds. They were subject to disease or other disabilities, attended the Armel and succored with all his power, in the sorrows of the heart they found him in a comforter compassionate, always willing to spread their wounds a healing balm. To his superiors, the pious young man was animated by a profound respect. Far from his mind these trends were to revolt, this penchant for insubordination, so ordinary students. For him, the precept master was sacred, he received the orders given to him as coming from God. Samuel again high in the shadow of the sanctuary, he was always ready to obey: "Speak, Lord, speak, your servant listens."

With these outstanding qualities, Armel joined admirable chastity, so deep candor, that the Church, in his office, not afraid to call it "vase perfect innocence, the source of purity." His soul was a mirror in which God could contemplate his heart an altar perpetually burning fire of pure love. Thought. And evil desire never found asylum in him, and his flesh as spiritualized, participated in the purity of angels.

Just arrived at manhood, is still secular, Armel surpassed in holiness oldest religious monastery. Men who for many years had worn the livery of penance, whose head had grown gray in the practice of austerities, were forced to admit defeat at the sight of this child already so great by virtue.

Armel piety did not diminish his enthusiasm for the job. Science and virtue were inseparable companions for him: he was above his peers by the holiness of his life, he was also their model consistent application ii study. Heaven had endowed with remarkable intelligence, he carefully cultivated. He promptly seized the teachings of his master, and the appropriated with marvelous facility.

So blessed prelude to great things he had done. Destined by Providence to become the adviser of a king and to evangelize the people, he not only worked on his own sanctification, but he sought to acquire the moral authority necessary for its future mission.

Let us not be surprised clone of profound veneration which he was the object of his studies from that time. The halo of sanctity that surrounded made it an almost supernatural, on the other hand, knowledge he had did look through the companions of his age as a master on listening carefully oracles.

The Lord, however, was pleased to show them conversation charitable toward his neighbor, compassionate in his infirmities, chaste of soul and body, are patient: insults, obedient to his superiors, respectful to his elders; and complacency with which his eyes rested on him.

One of them was afflicted with a disease that seemed incurable. Consumed by a burning fever, he could get no relief from the art of physicians. The suffering of the body had come to enlist the suffering. the soul continual temptations cruelly tormented. In his anguish, he asked God do release him to touch the heart of the Supreme doctor, he fasted, he had shed copious tears, time of healing sounded yet.

A winter day that students monastery warmed together, moved by a sudden inspiration, the patient touched the dress Armel. As soon as once the robe of Christ, a virtue out of the garment of the saint fever ceased immediately, and pain disappeared. At the same time the temptation vanished, and ineffable peace spread in the soul of the young scholar. Filled with joy, he hastened to give thanks to God for such a favor. 11 also wanted to express his reconnaistance his pious fellow student, but always humble, modest soujours Armel begged him to keep it secret, like the Savior, which, descending from Mount Tabor, where his disciples had seen transfigured and shining of a divine glory, telling them: "You will not tell anyone until the Son of man be risen from the dead."

Some historians of the saint's life tell us the miracle of a slightly different way. According to them, one of his amisv being prey to intolerable suffering imagined that clothes Armel could maybe bring him some relief. One day the fever was in full force, he took the mantle of the blessed young man, clothed, and the disease disappeared on the spot.

Whatever the details, this prodigy, by publishing the eyes of all holiness Armel, further increased the respect we had for him God on his side, so as prelude prodigies he intended to accomplish by the hands of his servant. He prepared in shadow and mystery that fertile seed that would become a monk and an apostle, he enriched this young soul, for cooperating with the extension of his kingdom on earth. For the man who considers the events in the light of faith, it is admirable that distant work Providence operates on its elected! They are wonderful industries that used to combine all the education and grace in order to bring out the instrument to assist its own action in the world!

CHAPTER 3 - The priesthood of St. Armel and his departure for Armorica.

Armel studies completed, he left the monastery had been passed his happy youth. Sensitive and tender soul, he had to be deeply moved when he had to take leave of his teachers and his classmates. Often, no doubt, eventually, his thoughts turned back to that blessed stay; often he saw the cloister, silent witness to his virtue, faithful confidant of his pious aspirations. Great also had to be the joy of his parents in reviewing a child if done. They were Christians, so they could admire the wonders that Heaven had carried him. God, moreover, only showed them a moment that beloved son, he would ask them again and require them to sacrifice the hopes they had placed on his head.

At the time of invasion and unrest, all young noble Cambrians bore arms, each walking with his clan and accompanied the leader in shipments. We should think Armel also take the sword to join those of his countrymen whose courage had hitherto opposed a formidable barrier to the Saxon invaders. Like all generous son of the old heroic el Britain, he passionately loved his country, but he knew that if to defend himself, she needed a time militia, he also had his spiritual militia to keep intact the deposit of the truth. Armel therefore resolved to be a soldier, but a soldier of Jesus Christ. His parents, in the naive and trusting submission to the inspiration of the faith of the first Christians ages, not opposed in its design. Understanding that God's rights should prevail over human projects, they agreed without resistance.

This noble disinterestedness is not an isolated event in the history of the Breton nation. The children of the people were not the only ones who were attached to the service of the altar, the Lord often chooses his ministers among the most illustrious families, and many of the major gloried give him their son.

Armel passed by the different degrees of cleric-ship, after having received the priesthood, he devoted himself exclusively to pastoral ministry. Perform the duties of the priesthood was not easiest thing in the middle of a restless population and always armed. Britons and loved. respected religion, but civilization had not yet polished the rough natures. They indulged to excess. When they were not united against the common enemy, and that was the cause of all their disasters, the leaders could often hear them. Thousand internal divisions emerged from these quarrels among which the rights of the weak were hardly observed. In the countryside ravaged, he became the impossible moments graze herds. Around monasteries even security does not always existed, and more than once the monks saw their devotions interrupted by the cries of a hungry threatening troop of pillage and plunder.

Who could oppose a barrier to such disorders? The Church alone had sufficient authority to be heard. It happened on many occasions that his voice was not passed, his ministers were abused, but it always ended by the triumph of justice. If we consult the history of these ancient times, priests bishops they appear to us in any and all circumstances as the protectors and guardians of many poor, honor blank, weakness small against oppression, looting, violence and extortion princes and powerful.

That task was to Armel. fill at the beginning of his priestly career. He should have a soul strongly tempered never fail in the middle of so much trouble and danger, and it is not an exaggeration to say that members do the sacred militia were then, even outside of their spiritual functions, soldiers and fighters


The saint never shrank any duty or any danger. History, it is true, does not tell us that he played a brilliant role among his fellow Britains. We only know that he spent some years in his native country, performing the works of the sacred ministry, rising with courage against all excesses, fighting with all the excess force. The extreme simplicity of his life allowed him to indulge in his penchant for charity and he loved the poor and employed alms much revenue from its heritage.

Events that meet these few years we are little known. God left a mainsail extend this part of the life of St. Armel, as it leaves some rivers run long in a hidden bed, before revealing to light the majesty of their courses and the beauty of their waters. But, considering a watchful eye after this life, however humble in the beginning, we see that God was leading at the end where it should be to show all its glory. However, while living in the work and labors of the ministry, Armel was at all satisfied and had higher aspirations, he felt that God had him do his pointdit. last word. The Goul retirement grew gradually clans soul. It was not, indeed, in the midst of the world, but in the solitude was to develop this beautiful plant that had sprouted in the silence of the cloister. He wanted to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect.

But perfection requires an entire abnegation, an absolute renunciation. Christ suffers no sharing, to clothe him and live his life, he must first die to self. It is in this death that the holy is the seed of a new life, like the phoenix which poets have bequeathed us the mysterious legend. Born in the fertile plains of Arabia Felix, he eats, they say, that the juice of perfumes el tears balm. When he felt his end approaching, he built himself bonfire whose flames ignited by the burning rays of the sun must burn. He died, but of his ashes released a new brighter than the first young bird, escaping to the naked singing his victory over death and youth regained. The soul also, when she strives for perfection; built an altar with the materials it collects each day at the foot of the cross, and goes on an altar to die. In Celtic immolation it is another life, a life which is the divine life, without mixture of terrestrial foods, she ran from the ashes of its brighter and more beautiful young holocaust.

Armel longed to live the life he wanted to give himself completely to God. Meditating one day this place in the Gospel where Our Lord says that no one can be his disciple if he renounces all things, he took the command to the letter. He did not stop to consider that the divine precept will look rather than the outer renunciation 1, he thought that the detachment of the heart were not enough, that to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, he had to leave all and attach to him. He thus formed the plan to abandon the world and embrace the monastic state.

Albertus Magnus tells this circumstance a more dramatic way.

One time, when Armel spoke in the thought of leaving the century, he entered the church, when the deacon sang these words of the Gospel: "Whoever renounces all that he has can not be my disciple." He took the words as for him, and looked like a clear sign of God's will for him. However, for fear of making a mistake, he went to consult the holy abbot at the monastery where he had studied, Illtud immediately saw that the Lord had any specific plans on his former pupil. He encouraged his vocation and advised him to respond without delay.

Armel, full of confidence in the lights of the holy man, resolved to leave his homeland and go ask a distant land, a haven where he could serve God without being disturbed by the noise of the world in vain. He began by selling his possessions to give to the poor, he believed that wealth would be useless to him now, that besides a solitary must have neither gold nor silver. Show admirable! Was seen, legend says, on the threshold of the home of his ancestors, distribute to the needy all he had precious on earth. He joined his gifts of wise advice, exhorting sinners to repentance, threatened to. divine justice unjust and deceitful men.

Rushed to the news of his departure, his sorry friends tried to dissuade him. They represented to him the services he had rendered to his countrymen and larger ones that he could do. Armel was unwavering, nothing could stop him. At all stresses, all the prayers he merely oppose the will of God. Several of his former classmates came as the find, but in a very different intent. Finished their studies, they had not stopped the footsteps of Armel, yet they sought to imitate as much as they could, the model of their young age. Seeing him so willing to leave their country, they conceived an ardent desire to follow. Among them may be mentioned a relative of Paul Aurélien, ie. Paul of Leon. It was, it seems, a rich and distinguished man; historians know him as the Caroncinalis.

Armel favorably received their request. When they would get under way, one of the passengers suddenly fell motionless and almost lifeless. The saint was not afraid of such an accident, he begged a few moments, and then he ordered his companion do rise. The patient obeyed immediately and began to walk. The pious phalanx immediately walked to the edge of the sea There the future of hermits found he who greeted eagerly as they embarked, and under the care of God, they sailed to Armorica.

CHAPTER 4 - The establishment of St. Armel and his companions in Armorica

It was not, as we already know, the first band of Britons who headed the shores of Gaul. All ancient inhabitants of Great Britain had taken refuge in the mountains of Cumbria and Cornwall, to escape the yoke of iron which threatened the Saxons, they migrated in large numbers. Remembering that they had brothers across the ocean, they crossed the sea in flimsy boats, leather, and under the conduct of their priest, came to live among a people in whose veins flowed the same blood, and spoke almost the same language.

Except for a few cities where the worship of Christ was practiced, Armorica was still pagan. It was in woods and heaths among the Druids, repressed by the Romans, masters of Gaul, had hid the remains of their religion defeated. In this hazy sky, amid the moors or in the impenetrable shadows of the forest, stood everywhere dolmens, menhirs, cromlechs, monuments or symbols of a dark and terrible worship.

There, in those remote sanctuaries were practiced bloody rites, mysterious ceremonies, the priestesses in linen robes detached with a golden sickle mistletoe, others animated by a divine fury, gave oracles that we listened with awe, on stone altars, in the darkness of deep night, the blood of human victims flowed in torrents, and the Druids sought to read the future in the entrails of sacrificed children to their ruthless deities.

There, the most advanced of the peninsula, opposite the I'ile de Sein tip, was the famous bay of Trepasses, where in the evening, it was said, the wandering body of shipwrecks of the Ocean which had refused a grave.

Again, following an ancient tradition, had approached Odysseus, wandering past ten years through the seas without being able to return to his homeland. Greek monarch was sacrilegious made libations, referred to the souls of the dead, in order to force him to reveal his destiny. The rest of the shadows had been troubled for a long time, during the silence of the night, the terrified ear was struck with a noise disaster; were heard plaintive cries mingled with the whistling of the wind and the storm.

These fabulous traditions still going in the sixth century, for Procopius, contemporary children Clovis says that fishermen who inhabited these shores were exempted by the conquerors free from any toll, because they were responsible for conducting the souls of the dead in Great Britain.

It is on this earth, where fable and legend constantly mingle with history that befell countless troops Breton emigrants fleeing persecution of the Northmen. The newcomers brought their religion to their brothers and their names. Armorica was a new Britain in which soon arose churches and monasteries were asked the true God under the oaks of its ancient forests, and the singing of Christian hymns are replaced the bloody invocations of the Druids.

A road was now traced the western shores of the British island to the edge of Brittany. People yearning for travel, the Cambrians often turned their eyes to this hospitable soil where their exiled brethren had found a home. Especially the monks were attracted there, and more than once we saw a boat coming off from the shore, carrying some pious recluse who went to pray at his overseas compatriots. Armel and his companions therefore followed a stream already established by seeking refuge in the Gallic Britain.

Their journey was effected kept safe as a violent storm assailed the boat that bore them. Passengers and crew feared every moment to be swallowed, the sailors cried out in terror, they implored the assistance of the holy man. With his usual calm, Armel ordered them confidence, and himself appealed to the One who commands the winds and the sea storm stopped immediately, the wrath of the waves subsided, and the boat could now continue his journey quietly.

Travelers landed in this part of Brittany formerly the country of Ack in the diocese of Leon. The place where they landed was named in Breton Aber Beniguet, that is to say the Blessed Harbor. In this blessed land, in fact, one trod the feet of these evangelical men bringing with them the most ardent faith and purest charity. Armel and his disciples were unwilling to stay on the edge of the sea is being a little advanced into the interior of the country, they built a chapel and small cells.

In this place arose later a city that was called Plou-Arzel, the name of the blessed who had sanctified by his presence. Reached the destination of their desires away from the world and its vanities, Breton emigrants began to lead the monastic life.

This life, flourishing in the East, had been brought to the West by Athanasius, when driven from his see by the Arians, he came to be justified with the Roman Pontiff. She took it fast developments; characters of the highest rank abandoned their loads to kiss as these two officers of the court which St. Augustine tells the story in his Confessions. Walking in the countryside outside the walls of Treves, they entered a house inhabited by the servants of God, by monks house. Reading the life of St. Anthony, they found a table, touched their hearts so that she resolved to imitate this illustrious patriarch of the monastic life.

But the monastic land par excellence, it was Gaul. From the fourth century, St. Martin had founded the famous monasteries of Ligugé and Marmoutier. On all parts of the country had established religious colonies in fifth century, this region, the Roman soldiers were abandoned and threatened barbarism, was guarded by another year the monks. This militia, stronger than the legions of Caesar degenerate stopped the barbarians, converts and civilizations. Armel and his friends came to join this sacred phalanx. No other arms than prayer, they walked valiantly to conquer the sky. Austerities of penance, prayer and meditation on the Scriptures were the sole occupancy of the new religion.

In the midst of his brothers, Armel seemed like a torch whose soft light penetrated their souls sublime radiance, like a book on which all eyes were fixed to learn how to please God, they chose to be their guide, they revered as a master and loved him like a father.

Pure and holy union where the deepest respect was combined, in the sight of God, the most tender affection! Just as rewarding is necessary sacrifices lonely when he abandons everything to belong to Jesus Christ. It keel the world, but he shall not be alone in the wilderness at the bottom of his retirement, he is a father and brothers he loves with absolute dedication. His heart, as is commonly claimed too, is not dried up in his vigils and meditations it does not forget his old friends. It was imagined that when he left behind his aged father, his old mother in tears, he would try to lose the memory, no, he will find penny father, his mother, his friends, he will find them at all hours, every day and every night, in contemplation, in prayer, in love.

With no talk of their homeland, our pious hermits lived happily in their retirement. Loneliness was to them unknown to the rest of men charms. These charms of solitude, a monk has sung later, and to describe them, he found accents that are second only to those of the Gospel.

"Enter your cell, and banish the noise in the world ...
"You will find in your cell that you often lose outside.
"The cell that leaves little becomes soft, often neglected, it creates boredom.
"If, from the first moment when you go out in the world, you are faithful to keep it, it will become you as a dear friend and will be your sweetest consolation.
"In silence and rest, the pious soul made great progress, and into what there is hidden in Scripture.
"There she is the source of tears which she washes and purifies every night, and it unites all more familiarly to his Creator that lives farthest from the tumult of the world. Whosoever therefore separates from his knowledge and his friends, God come to him with his holy angels."

This wonderful song was the one who breathed heart Armel and his disciples. Brightener with God alone, not worrying events of the world, as they loved their retirement than those who came to visit, they would have said happy with Paul the Hermit: "What is happening among men? Is - what is still built cities? Will he emperors now? "

The light yet did not remain under wraps, God wanted to be glorified by his servants, he was pleased to make known their holiness to the surrounding populations. The arrival of several foreigners from overseas was not gone unnoticed; curious glances followed them in their school and in their way of life. The admiration succeeded curiosity when eminent virtues they practiced, especially when he saw the wonders worked by their leader is experienced.

Already the Lord, in many circumstances, Armel had granted the gift of healing the sick, but when the saint was removed in the forests of Brittany, this power took on a much greater extent. A healing that during occurred durin his stay in Plou-Azel is reported to us in detail by an ancient legend which we have already quoted.

Four young men, who were still pagans, came disturb the rest of hermits by secular amusements and licentious songs. The saint answered them gently, and they did nothing but laugh at its warnings and left him in the mocking. Some time later, Armel met one of those unfortunate, disfigured by a hideous leprosy. Alone he began to heal both body and soul of this man he showed him the vanity of paganism and explained to him the sacred truths of religion.

Deeply touched, the miserable one exclaimed, full of repentance and hope: "If I believe in this Jesus whom you tell me, will I be healed as soon as you have confessed the faith of Christ, and are blessed, your evil will disappear. But the leper, wanting to get the same through his accomplices disorders, immediately ran to fetch them. They too had been struck by the hand of God, they carried on their chairs in the footsteps horrible infirmities. Hastened to the call of their mate, they also believed in the word of the saint. Armel baptized; divine grace cleansed their souls and wound their bodies disappeared. Penetrated with the most lively joy, new Christians promised henceforth to live in the fear of God and went everywhere by publishing praise of the miracle.

CHAPTER 5 - The journey of St. Armel and his companions at the court of King Childebert.

The saints, after renouncing the world often have do make new sacrifices. For several years now, Armel and his followers lived in retirement, when a message from the King Childebert came to disturb their peace.

The Merovingian princes converted to Christianity had always shown for monks a marked predilection. Religious sentiment had deeply penetrated the rough natures, "and said a famous historian of our time ', despite the strange and odious mixture of cunning and ferocity of outraged incontinence and savage pride that characterizes them, despite the disastrous the alloy corruption Gallo-Roman mores add came immediately after their conversion and conquest, traditional barbarism of their race, it is impossible to deny the sincerity of their faith and empire always that execised them the show of virtue and Christian penance."

They were surprised to dip their hands in the blood of their loved ones, to make a game of the most solemn oaths, to appropriate the property of others without scruple, to engage in appalling debauchery, and yet the out of these orgies unnamed, it is not uncommon to see them listen respectfully to the dire warnings of some man of God. They went with the largest excesses of their native cruelty passionate demonstrations of contrition and repentance ease. These bold Sicambres burned in turn what they adored and worshiped what they had burned: as the battle was hard fought between them in the barbarity of their nature and the power of their faith!

These provisions in children Clovis perfectly explain the favor which they gave to the monks so frequent testimonies. They loved to meet them, took pleasure in their conversation, asked the help of their prayers. Sometimes, they attracted to their court to carry with them more ongoing relationship. This is what happened to Saint Armel. How his fame crosses the borders of Brittany, how he managed his name juice-54 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL but the king of the Franks? Esl it fairly easy to conjecture. Brittany, in that time, acknowledged the supremacy of Childebert, king of Paris, but it was never fully conquered by the saliennes tribes and was ruled by Indigenous counts. These counts, independent of each other, also arrogated the title of king. At the beginning of life century Hoel II reigned over the fullest part of Britain called Dumnonia. Various stories have come down to us in a friendly and good prince, not using his power to protect his subjects and make them happy. His brother Canao or Kon-more, that is to say, Grand Chief, ambitious and cruel man, formed the project of getting rid of him, in the hope of marrying his widow, get Childebert in under guardianship or lieutenant, del'Armorique the government, and thus seize the sovereignty to the detriment of young Judual, son of Hoel. Thus having secretly murdered his brother, he entered the Domnonôe without any resistance, and made ​​himself master of the people of the widow and son of Hoel. He forced the first to marry. However he had not yet dared to attempt the life of his nephew, when the imprudence of his wife made him stop at any hesitation. She once told Canao that the previous night she had seen in a dream Judual sitting on top of a mountain and there receiving the homage of all Domnonée. This LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 55 narrative lit Canao anger, he swore to destroy Judual. Princess, terrified, had secretly warn his son to flee. The child withdrew to the monastery of St. Leonor, located in a nearby forest, but Leonora, knowing that the young prince would be the point in safety, fit board with a religious monastery, which led him to Paris. Childebert received him kindly, and though he might judge not about to oppose the designs of Canao he gave asylum to the fugitive in his palace, and erected with the utmost care. Judual however had not forgotten Armorica. In his talks with the king and queen Ultrogothe he had to tell them about the saints who inhabited the moors and forests of his native land. It is therefore assumed that the name Armel, already famous in the country, often came on the lips of Breton prince. Or Childebert differed between all Merovingian kings by his ardent affection for monks. Actually, it was not without reproach, but in many circumstances if he proved guilty seriously, we must admit that he recognized his faults and wept. 11 point must therefore look like a hardened criminal, or confused with most of the princes of his time. No, it was not a man without merit, barbarian chieftain who became the defender of religion and friend of the clergy, the king whom Pope Vigilius, captive to Byzantium, 56 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL wrote asking for help and protection. The pontiff called her dear son Childebert, because, he says, "he admits devoted to the Apostolic See, and that it belongs to prevent that nothing disturbs the Catholic Church because it is fit and proper that being the Catholic king, he defends in all generosity faith and the Church clans that God wanted him to be baptized, especially as it is written: "I live" the Lord! I boast that glorify me. " History has preserved us still remember his intimate association with Saint Germain Paris, the monk who later became bishop of the city. Both loved each other until the end, and the exhortations of the prelate softened the last moments of the son of Clovis, and it was said to be in the arms of the great bishop Frankish king breathed his last. Childebert thus having heard of Armel felt an ardent desire to see him, he sent him orders to come to Paris with his disciples. The idea of ​​resisting the king did not come to mind lonely. They loved their retirement, it cost them cruelly to leave, but in calling the prince they i Childebertus, rex Francorum, sanctoe iidei cultor, Postquam illius sancti ejus sociorumque famam audivit, rnisit per internuntios, ut ad venire is not denegaret, efflagitare curavit. (Pat. Maclov.) - Post aliquot annos, ejus ita sanctitatemmiraculaprodiderunt, ut ad Childebertumtuncin Gallia regnantem ejus fama pervaserit. Is Armagillum and suos videre peroptatus ad is revocavit and aliquandiu apud is retinuit. (Prop. Venet.) LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 57 recognized God's el prepared to obey 1. Perhaps they believed necessary to steal ^ for a time of persecution Canao, for the tyrant, in the intoxication which had plunged his hateful business ravaged states he had usurped, and his fury s 'practiced primarily against the monks. To comply with the wishes of the king and reconcile a powerful protector, religious saints left the UK. It was not, alas! without looking melancholy regret to their now empty cells. Doubtless they sighed the same complaints a cave monk shows them all, was heard two centuries later, when leaving the cloister to the court of Charlemagne. "0 my cell, sweet and beloved home, adieu! I will not see you or the woods surrounding their branches intertwined and their flowery verdure, nor meadows filled with aromatic herbs and healthy. I no longer hear the birds singing matins like us, and celebrated in their own way the Creator. Expensive cell, I will cry and you will always regret, but that's how everything changes and everything goes, as night follows day, winter to summer, the storm to calm, tired old 1 D. Lobineau. ? Albert the Great, 3 * 58 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL the ardent youth. Also unfortunate that we are, why we love this fleeting world? It is you, O Christ, the law put to flight, we need only love -. it's your love that alone should fill our hearts, you, our glory, our life, our salvation. " Arriving in Paris, the Cambrian monks found there developed the splendours we see today. However, this city no longer resembled the small village once founded on an island in the Seine by the Gallic Parisii Iribu. Enriched by a corporation of boatmen (sailors) who [had settled there in the reign of 'die Lutôce (Lutetia Parisiorum) had come to rank among the municipalities and thereafter she became one of the favorite places of arms Caesars who commanded in Gaul. To reach to the king, Armel and his companions were not forced to enter the city, they saw it only in passing with strong walls, towers guarding bridges, the mother church, the baptistery, the court the prison. They could also greet the church that far contained the bones of St Denys and his companions. Converted by St. Paul, Dionysius was the first to plant the. cross on the banks of the Seine and seal it with his blood. 11 was one of the first of these holy men who, according to the sublime expres1 Alcuini Opera, t. II, p. 456, edict, Froeben. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 59 sion of a columnist, gave the Church a huge increase, and France nobility before she had a name. His martyrdom took place on the slopes of the right bank called Mount of Mars by pagans and Christians Mount of Martyrs. In this august name we made Montmartre, Parisian clepus hovered at Calvary as a sign of salvation throughout the country. Mr. Eugène the Gournerie made us Paris at that time a table from which we borrow some features. On the left bank of the river lies a vast suburb with circuses, shops, pro Menades. There is usually stirred a large and varied crowd, a multitude of serfs to the shaved head carrying heavy loads or pulling small carts: Merchant of Narbonne, come to sell food stuffs and conquerors, wraps himself in his toga as a senator of ancient Rome, near the old Gallic race which still bears the coat and short hair, the Frankish warrior, wearing a helmet sharp iron straightens proudly his face half hidden by long hair descend swaying on his shoulders. In the middle of the suburb was the palace of the Spa, residence of the Merovingian kings. He had . was built by Constantius on the side of Mount Leucotitius from Mont Sainte - Geneviève. 1 Eugene of Gournerie. 60 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Julian the Apostate, during his stay in Gaul, had enlarged and gave it its name. Clovis, in turn, had established the seat of the empire of the Franks, and his son Childebert had also made his home. Les Thermes de Lutèce remembered the baths of Rome. It was the same luxury, the same size, the same boldness. Julien d'Hauteville us is dominant and kissing their majestic mountain peaks whose constructions, cried he, in his enthusiasm, squinting in the heavens and the foundations of the empire of the dead. Gardens Julien Caesar became the gardens of Queen Ultrogothe, awoke in full vi "failed verve century poets." Spring, said Forlunat, there is perpetual, the air is fragrant with scents of a multitude of . these pink Paris who already have a name like the roses of Jericho clans Scripture parisidiacas rosas The braided vine barrel opposed to the hot summer a dense shade under which plays a light breeze will levis, the delicious fruit will flatter both smell and taste. Nare suavis odor, dulcis in oro sapor; How about a landscape of Tusculum or Tibur. It is in this beautiful home that our pious hermits met the king of the Franks. Childebert received them with a warm rush. To show his joy and constantly have to LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 61 him, he assigned them a dwelling in the same palace. Their life there was promptly organized, they lived as in a monastery, do nothing reducing the length of their prayers, or the rigor of their austerities 1. This ancient palace of Thermes which had settled successors Meroveus had already seen strange scenes, but the presence of monks leading the life of the cloister under a roof which had sheltered so many glories and hidden so many crimes, n ' was no less singular. We saw it as a whole unit side of the barbarian power, around the prince there urged a crowd of vassals siblings, former Gallo-Roman dignitaries, workers of all kinds, gunsmiths, embroiderers, goldsmiths It was the residence of pride and ambition. On the other hand peace dwelt, poorly dressed men lived clans temperance and prayer amid the tumult of arms, mingled with the sound crew of war or hunting, heard songs that n ' were developed festive songs, but the groans of the penitent soul. The courtiers of Childebert could not help being struck such a contrast. A holy life, so different from their rude and savage manners, became for them an astonishment and edification. Able to understand the heroism under "* all its forms, they admitted to themselves that 1 Dom Lobineau, 62 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL is best to conquer the sky in overcoming his passions to found cities and win battles. The king often came to visit his guests he liked to maintain, consulted on all businesses, and did nothing without recourse to their prayers. We do not know if he still followed their advice, but there is no denying that such talks would have been on his mind a salutary influence, for the end of his reign appears to us the point of bloody packages and scenes of horror that had marked the beginning. The Church continued its work: its bishops and monks were education barbarian kings which she had already Christians.

CHAPTER 6 - Saint Armel stay at the court of King Childebert and works miracles there.

The attachment showed Childebert Breton monks could do lose their souvenirdes delights they had tasted in retirement. Despite the veneration with which they were subjected, their soul was sometimes painfully affected, for scenes that were happening before their eyes were often not consistent with the evangelical morality. In the entourage of the Frankish kings is not always practiced humility and meekness, the license gave them time free time career. It is quite understandable that religious accustomed to meditation and àlamortificalion not sentissent uncomfortable clans medium so little relation to their tastes. They resolved to leave the court, and after a few months' stay in Paris, they expressed the king's desire to go back to their cells. Childebert realized that his 64 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL palace was not a monastery, that men crucified to the world could not live with the floods 1. He put no obstacle to their departure. Cenobites therefore took the road of solitude. Some returned to Plou-Arzel, several went to settle in various districts of Britain, others preferred to stay on the field the king of Paris and will build shrines in the land that the prince had given them. Two reasons determined to Childebert Celtic concession to religious means to lead the kind of life that suited them, and remove them again for a time the persecution of Canao. Armel not only obtained permission to leave the court. The monarch had recognized the wisdom of its decisions el enjoyed his extreme caution clans business, he would not at any price to deprive themselves of its services. Force was then the Holy Father to let go without his disciples 2. These hearts who loved God did not escape the pain of separation, but fixing their gaze above, they submitted to the will of the Lord, assured of heaven consumption of Christian friendship. 'Aulse mansioncm viri, cruciflxus quibus erat mundus, iron diu nequiverunt. (Owner Vemt.) 2 Discipulis erogata, Armagillo donegentur, ejus enim coelestem rex sapientiain Expertus, ipsius tam cito discessui acquiescero nequivit. {Propr. Venet.) LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 65 Armel remained nearly seven years in court. His intimacy with the king increased again after the departure of his companions. Blessed was like before the usual adviser of the prince, he became also his secretary 1. To fill this office, it was necessary to have recourse to the clerics and monks. The Frankish warriors, in fact, agreed to better handle the javelin qu'à'tenir pen and, as to the intellectual atmosphere which then enveloped Paris and Gaul, it will suffice for us to get an idea of ​​pay ear to the complaints of Gregory of Tours painful ■. "La. cultivation of letters and the liberal sciences perishes, perishes even, he said, in the cities of Gaul, in the middle of the virtues and crimes. Barbarians engaged in their ferocity and their kings fureur.Les churches are in turn enriched and robbed, and it occurs no grammarian skilled in the dialectic art undertake to describe these things either in prose or verse . So many men groan. Woe to our days! cry - they, the study of letters perished among us and we do encounter someone who can tell in his writings the facts now. " The Armel role was not as bright as that of the bishop Germain cju'il knew in Paris, and was as Richelieu that time. This prelate, keeping religious habits, was not a 1 Prece is governed Profectus in Galliam and effectus ejus Secretarius. {Brev. Maclov.) 66 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL poor little monk, according to historians, he held his position at court, and his rank was the first. His attitude, said, commanded respect, he had the knowledge of men and knew impose the result or to maintain them at this time of barbarism, he was the representative of science, spirit, fine arts, all that was great and noble on earth, it was especially the representative of God. Armel the situation was more modest, as befitted a simple monk. We do not see the point to attend the meetings of the Franks, take part in major councils of the nation, yet his influence to have been more humble, was none the less real. If we had to paint the saint that period of his life, we would like to represent in front of the king grants a room Spa, talking with Childebert of state affairs, giving his opinion, diverting can - be storm rumbles on some head and finally inspiring messages prince other Frankish kings, brothers or nephews. The favor he enjoyed, not heart swelled point 'Armel 1. From his youth, humility was the object of his predilections, she was the companion of his life. He never availed himself of the confidence of the king, nor repeated testimonies of affection he received. Fulfilled his duties, he returned to the OBS1 Dom Lobineau. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 67 rity, after having served the princes of the earth, he returned in haste to fulfill his duty to the King of Heaven. Although he sought constantly to evade the eyes of men, it was not unknown for the poor and the suffering souls. His compassion is exercised over all miseries he used to relieve the credit he had with God. Also all share the sick flocked, or were made to her feet, to recommend himself to his prayers and get healing. 11 went one day to the Church of the Holy Apostles, adjoining the palace. Paralytic stood on his way and asked for alms. Blessed had neither gold, nor silver, but he had charity, above all earthly riches treasure. Seeing this poor crippled by all its members, he was moved with compassion. "In the name of Jesus Christ crucified, he said, get up and walk. "The paralytic rose immediately, and its members regained their flexibility and agility!. i Per quem Deus magnalia multa fecit in Gallia. (Pat. Mac.) 2Septimo vero anno, dum iter faceret ad ecclesiam, ecce quidam vir claudus omnibusque membris penitus dissolutus, sanctissimo viro Obviam is objiciens, victum corporis necessarium quoerere satagebat. Quem vir Dei tanta calamitate depressum intuens, caritativa Pietate flexus, ita alloquitur. Jesu Christi cruciflxi In nomine, surgecitius, etexiliensambula (. Ureu.Maclov) The Breviary of Rennes also mentions the miracle Septimo autem anno, dum iter ad ecclesiam faeeret, virum quemdam membris penitus dissolutum, in nomine Jesu Christi Sanitati restituit. 68 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL This miracle took place in the seventh year of Armel stay at the court of Childebert. Some authors even claim that opera in the presence of the king and the prince Judual. A blind man in the neighborhood heard about this miracle, he ran to find the saint. Having prostrated himself at his feet, he implored him with tears to restore his sight. Struck the pious trust this man prayed Armel moments, then he stretched out his hand upon the head of the unfortunate and made the sign of the cross on the eyes. At the same moment the blind was healed. These striking marks of holiness Armel made him so dear to the king that he could not bring himself to part with. Several times the monk asked Childebert permission to withdraw, but the prinae always begged to stay. However, the nostalgia of loneliness seized more Armel, he envied the happiness of his disciples. Came against their will in the middle of noisy and tumultuous world, they could at least move away promptly. The saint also began to feel overwhelmed with disgust, if he had the esteem and respect of officers of the palace, it was also found in the entourage of the king of evil men and jealous of the favor he enjoyed. We 1 Albert the Great. Vir benignus caeco flenti visum reddit, confldeuti of jus Auxilio. (Breo. Maclov.) - Albert the Great. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 69 even said that two courtiers, severely taken over by the king, according to the reviews Armel, who was opposed to their exactions, resolved to lose. They tried to poison him, but their odious attempt was discovered, they were forced to flee to escape the vengeance of the angry king. One managed to escape, the other was taken by the soldiers sent in pursuit, and suffered the punishment due to his criminal enterprise. This event and the reasons given above we carried Armel to redouble its bodies for permission to withdraw. Childebert finally afraid to oppose the will of God and incurring his wrath, if kept longer blessed. 11 consented initially Armel, but at the same time he took measures to ensure that their separation was not complete. Kon-more was still master of much of Brittany, where he was held by the credit Ultrogolhe wife of Childebert, to the prejudice of his nephew Judual. However the latter, if it were not recovered possession of his dominions, had not been abandoned by the king of the Franks, and only waiting a favorable opportunity to return to his homeland. The two princes, wishing to show their 1 Judual Ramone was a few years later in Britain by St. Samson, who had picked him up at the court of Paris, but he remained without authority, and perhaps even unknown in the province until the death of Childebert, arrival 558. 11 then went to seek justice and to address his 70 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL attachment to the servant of God, made ​​him dnn, by mutual agreement, a vast expanse of territory half away from Paris that the country of Leon, so that the holy hermit settled there according to his tastes, and Childebert however that could have its new and frequently use in its opinions. This land was located not far from Rennes, on the river dryer in a place now called Saint-Armel-des-Boschaux. complaints Clotaire, who assured him of his protection and promised him his recovery in its fields. This promise of the king determined, they say, Canao in league with Chramne, son of Clotaire, when the old prince indignantly marched with an army against the rebels Judual joined him, with what he could gather troops. Interested in more than personuc punishment Canao, he looked into the fray and killed him with his own hand. He then proceeded unhindered in possession of the inheritance of his ancestors. 1 Albert the Great. Dom Lobineau. - Destitute, post sexcennium do refragaretur Deo, efflagitantem dimisit and vastam territorii Rhedonensis, ubi moraretur, solitudincm indixit. [Prop. Venet.)

CHAPTER 7 - Saint Armel back in Britain and its passage in Touraine.

Armel took leave of the king and set off for Brittany. What was the route followed by the holy traveler in his return to his adopted country? An old tradition that remains in various localities of the diocese of Tours, provides about some interesting and valuable data. At the Palais des Thermes ended a military road built by the Romans once and passing through Orleans and Autun (Genabum el Augustodunum) following the tradition we're talking tradition confirmed by respectable and worthy monuments of faith, St. Armel, we left Paris, walked this road to Orleans, he then followed the course of the Loire until about three leagues upstream of the city of Tours, where now stands the village of Montlouis and then he went into end - 72 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL téiïeur land to take the path of Brittany. 11 would have stopped on the road in some places to preach the gospel even pagan populations. Devotion to St Armel kept in different parts of the Touraine, such as Montlouis, we just quoted, and Crotelles Bcaumont la Bramble comes to support this tradition seems to be the indelible mark left by each of élape the man of God 1. Amazing and worthy of our attention thing, scientists only know one way to almost certain traces of the passage of Caesar and his legions through Gaul ignores the multitude, yet Caesar has left us where Comments are described thoroughly and with complacency his expeditions in this country, its soldiers were gigantic work, deeply moved and at all points the soil of our country. Now here is a monk who wanted to live obscure and hidden, begins a long journey through unknown people, and we can follow, as it were, step by step in his walk. Is that people do little wrong on the merits of men who pass among them, the memory of the conquerors and their devastation remains etched in the minds by fear, the trace of the saints, preserved by love is more sustainable: the memory of their benefits, collected from age to age, to 1 it. Father Janvier, Life of St. Armel, Tours, 1868. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 73 transmit to their generations, accompanied by pious and touching details, living testimonies of their action on the soul. However, the place where St. Armel seems to have stopped as long as it passes clans Touraine is the town of Beaumont-la-Bramble, I located in northern Celtic province. Crossing the Touraine, expressly says former breviary of the diocese of Tours, the holy cure many patients, especially in a town where they raised a church later became famous by the devotion of the people and by the signs that s' are made. 11 Certainly the ER he is talking about is none other than the town of Beaumont-la-Bramble, where from time immemorial, there is indeed a chapel dedicated to Saint Armel and popular even today by many pilgrims. A support of this assertion, an old chronicle tells us that the blessed, having diverted the course of the Loire, stopped in hours filled with brambles. We also possess an abstract of the life of St. Armel, in verse, in which we are assured as a perfectly certain thing, Armel, through Touraine, resolved not to continue his journey, at least immediately. He chose for his home, always according to the same Life, "an uninhabitable wood" in the place now called Beaumont-la-Bramble. 1 Abrèyè life and miracles of St. Armel, cl priest confessor. April 74 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL He lived for a while in deep retreat, not leaving the cave which served him asylum for the word of God. He strove especially to hide all the power he had to work miracles. 11 could nevertheless steal long knowledge to those who approached him, and soon a crowd of sick and infirm came to implore his aid. Charity which glowed the heart Armel triumphed over his repugnance, he invoked the name of the Lord laid his hands on the sick and made their health. Hence his name became famous in the country quickly, the light of his holiness spread in this district far from the Touraine the same brightness as Plou-Arzel and the palace of the king of the Franks. To escape the honors that he made, Armel off again for Brittany. But, says the historian naive, "The more fled the glory, and God is seen. "The fame of His miracles before them, the inhabitants of the cities and the countryside flocked to meet him" to admire him as a celestial power. " Flowers and green branches on the path where he had to pass was thrown, the objects on which he had worked on précieument picked, and they to the sick, as a remedy for their pain. Those who could touch her dress felt happy, the touch of her clothing was regarded as a great favor. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 75 Such demonstrations, enthusiasm so marked afflicted the heart of the servant of God, they did not prevent, however, the point of praying for the sick brought to him, he was on them, as usual, the sign of the cross, and sent them back healed. Jl and crossed the Touraine and Anjou, where we find signs of its passage Soucelles parish which he remained the boss. Having arrived in the territory of Rennes, he entered a village whose inhabitants 2 lacked water. Armel took pity on their distress, he planted his staff in the ground and began to pray. Finished his prayer, he took the stick from the ground where he was pressed and immediately there is a spring of living water, which has never stopped flowing. Still this fountain called the Fountain of Saint-Armel 3. When he reached the land had been sold, his first care was to build a hermitage with a chapel. He intended to live alone, occupied in prayer and contemplation, but many clergy, attracted by its reputation, came to 1 Summary of the life of St. Armel. - Albert the Great. 2 This village is probably Loutehel near Moor district Redon (IIIe-et-Vilaine). 11 There is also a so-called Saint-Armel Bleruais (IIIe-et-Vilaine) fountain. 3 Albert the Great. - Dom Lobineau. Villa quadam, per quaui IBAT, Tota fore plebs peribat, necnon animalia, aquarum penuria. Quo auditorium, baculo terra flxo, populo fons vivus exiliit. (Brcv. Maclov.) 76 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL place under his leadership, he therefore found himself again at the head of a small community. She grew up in the suite and became a real monastery, hence the name of this place Mouslier wore long. Father Albert the Great said Armel and his new disciples lived "alms and charities that the faithful of their neighbors did, and as a reward they instructed and confirmed in the faith through their preaching." The existence of the Holy Father thus resembled that he had led in the middle of his first disciples. He practiced the same virtues, was engaged in similar activities, we only remark that it was engaged to. exercises a more rigorous penance yet 2. He had done penance, indeed, an essential part of his life. As he grew older, he aspired to a higher perfection; inevitable faults of human weakness, so light they were, in his eyes took serious proportions, he wept bitterly, and took revenge on his innocent flesh. The body, for him, was an enemy that was punishing every day, because every day he rebelled and shakes his chains. Living member of the body 1 II are now in that place a village called SaintArmel and is located near Rennes. Until 1789, appointment to the parish of Saint-Armel belonged to the king. This is significant .. 2 Former breviary Tours. . LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 77 Mystical Christ, Armel also wanted, like the Apostle, perform in the flesh what was lacking in the passion-the Savior. This, however, appears to us the life of all the predestined; Calvary is still standing before them, a voice cries constantly in their ears: "Crucify! crucify him! "And the crucifixion takes place, the passion continues and will continue as long as there are saints on earth, that is to say until the end of time. At this time of life Armel relates the famous line whose memory remained inseparable from his name. When he settled in the country, a dragon of a monstrous size, and had established his lair on the banks of the dryer, exercised terrible havoc in the country. His hot breath and poisoned enough to defeat those who passed within reach. These unfortunates perished in agony. Terror reigned everywhere, no one dared to come forward to fight the horrible beast. Recourse was had to Armel. Residents, dismayed throng to him, "Father, they say it, we know that the scourge that afflicts us is a just punishment for our sins, but your prayers, O man of God, are always answered, you have already made a thousand wonders, have mercy on us. - ■ My brothers, says the saint, sincerely return ii God, do penance, and no doubt you will be issued. " 1 Col., I, 24. 78 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL A few days pass, and new bodies are made from Armel. Blessed at the end, let soften, he promises to put an end to this calamity. The next day, after celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, leaving all the people prostrated in prayer, he left the altar, still dressed in his vestments, and walk boldly to meet the enemy. Reached the place of his retreat, he ordered him imperiously out. The dragon at the sight of the man of God, recognizes his master and becomes docile as a lamb, and he goes out of his cave, lowering his head like a guilty ready to undergo his punishment. Armel throws his stole around his neck, and holding and chained, he dragged to the top of a nearby hill. There, he drowned in the river, and the monster perished in the waters. In memory of this miracle, the path by which the saint had dragged the dragon remained dry and barren, and the hill where the fact happened was known as Saint-Armel. Hence also the traditional use to represent the blessed wearing a stole over his monk's robe, and holding the dragon under his feet shackled. This miracle is reported by several historians and recorded in the Office of almost all former dioceses of Brittany. Néan1 Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Vannes, Saint-Malo. Cum autem Rhedonensem pagum vir sanctus advenisset, chap serpents mirse magnitudinis, quemdam illius regionis montem occupaverat, deceased flammicomus flatus quoscumque LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL IV least some authors, among others Lobineau-dom, have questioned the reality. Critics saw the dragon image of the infernal serpent, which was developed entirely expelled from these lands, yet delivered in large part to Druid superstitions. According to them, Armel winner of the snake is another winner Armel idolatry, and the representative with the chained dragon, we wanted to express the triumphs he has won over the devil by the evangelical word. No doubt the story is sometimes mixed with reality in the stories of the lives of saints; imagination, as noted very justementM. deMonlalembert in West Des Moines, has teamed up with the authentic tradition, to alter or replace. As the Church-1-it requires no belief in miracles, even the most proven, found narrated in legends. But when these facts are reported by serious and credible authors, she recommends that the admiration of Christians as proof of loyalty promises of Him who called himself "it was his admirable clans hominum attingere volehat, amarissima dead miserabiliter occidebat. Sanctusvero Armagillus quasi vir fugater, stolam in manu gestans, tantum monstrum adire festinavit, statimque immanissimus serpents, inclinato capite ad viri Dei adventum, innocuus and quasi obediens existebat. Deceased collum cam jam cominus stola Adnexus tenuisset, statimque supercilium. prserupti montis petere conatus, and in quemdam fluvium mortuum proecipitavit. (Pat. Venet.) 80 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL SAMTS "', and again:" He who believes in me will also larger than mine "wonders. " As for the legend of St. Armel especially those who want to see only one symbol based on that reason does not exist in Britain dragons or serpents monstrous. Perhaps, but God, to exercise his vengeance or burst the holiness of his servants, did he not sometimes raised these extraordinary beings in countries where they were strangers? No wonder no more than the power exerted by the saints of animated nature. Before the fall, everything in creation was love and harmony; inferior beings obey the superiors no voice in the universe broke around this great poem, no no discordant note disturbed the sublime concert. See the admirable spectacle described at the beginning of the book of Genesis, the first man made animals appear before him, he requires them names, Adam and Eve in paradise live quietly in the middle of all creatures before them. The same thing is for the saints and all ancient writers who refer us these wonders where legends are related, are unanimous in agreeing. Through the rigors of penance and purity of their lives, the Saints regained innocence PS 1. LXVH 36. IJoan., Xiv, 12. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 81 primitive, and God gave them the supernatural exercised by our first parents on the animals in creation empire. "The rage of wild beasts, says an old author, obeys whoever leads the life of angels, as she obeyed our first parents before their fall. "-" Should we be surprised, exclaimed the Venerable Bede, if loyally and faithfully obeying the Creator of the universe, seen in turn creatures to obey his orders and his wishes? "-" Thus we see, says M. de Montalembert, the elect of God go without fear to encounter wild beasts, impose their will and make them subject, like two thousand years ago, in the solitudes of the Edom, the Lord himself had promised the Just, reconciled with him. "

CHAPTER 8 - Apostolate of St. Armel in Britain.

The miracles that we have to report and those that marked the new Armel stay in Britain, still augmented his fame, multitudes flocked to incessantly renewed his monastery. The humility of the holy man was alarmed, the monk, to serve God freely, had abandoned his family and friends, the royal adviser who had crossed undefiled storms and corruption of a semi-barbarous court, feared the poison of vainglory. With the intention to be forgotten, he decided to get away for a while., Some of his disciples ancieus, after leaving, had settled in several townships in Brittany. Armel had their treasured memories, he wished to see them. Desires 1 Timens vitam maculari vana laude populari ad desertam, Britanniam, pergis linquens Rhedoniam. {Brev. Maclov.) LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 83 his heart was found to agree with his feelings of humility, he took the stick and the traveler went to visit them. How these meetings were touching, what ineffable joy were flooded master and disciples by reviewing after a long separation, we will not undertake to describe the point. We have no record of those interviews, but we can easily imagine what we was the conversation of these men devoted to penance, they certainly forgot the earth, to discuss that eternal hopes. Armel visits his disciples had another result, they determined him a new phase in his life. In traversing these vast lands, he saw that idolatry still reigned on many points. Druidic worship, we have already noticed, had Armorica his refuge, and the empire of Satan there was so fortified that all efforts had hitherto been unable to completely destroy. The missionaries came to Tours and Le Mans on one side, Breton emigrants from the other, had, it is true, founded flourishing Christian. From the 111th century, St. Clair was established in Nantes Christian religion, some historians even trace its mission to apostolic times, claiming that he was sent by St. Linus, the successor of St. Peter, to preach the faith of Jesus Christ clans Armorica. His activities do not settle the question they SAINT ARMEL 84 SCREW we simply say that he came, sent by the Roman pontiff, who had given him one of the nails with which St. Peter had been nailed to the cross. According to these authors, Drennalus disciple of Joseph of Arimathea, founded during this time Coz Gueaudet Lexobie the diocese, which was afterwards transferred to treguier. In the middle of the fourth century, new episcopal sees rise: St. Paterne first bishop do Vannes and Saint Corentin, first bishop of Quimper, evangelize these two cities, they are steady in faith new converts. At the end of the fifth century, a monk-bishop, St Brieuc, built a monastery around which a Christian town that bears his name is based. Still other places have received the light of the Gospel, brought by zealous apostles. But if they had successfully implanted in almost all cities Brittany worship of the true God, they met in the countryside stubborn resistance. Druids, sensing their influence diminish day by day, excited people against the preachers of a religion that destroyed their power. Bards had made allies of druids. They had retained their prestige in the eyes of the people they used to oppose the spread of Christianity, throwing curses against those who embraced and burst into prophecies threatening. Paganism therefore stood firm and did not shrink from that step. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 85 At the sight of so many souls groaning under the bondage of the devil's heart was pierced Armel a bitter pain. A new vocation was revealed to him until then, although he repeatedly preached the Gospel, he was an apostle rather monk, seeking above all the silence and the darkness, but the spectacle of these devastated regions the monster of the error, he realized that his mission was not over, he had to work with all his might to extend the kingdom of God. Harvest that was offered to him was great, and the laborers are few. Some new apostles appeared or would arise. Paul Leon went to Paris to receive episcopal consecration, building his monastery Samson of Dol, Gildas the Wise traveled the country preaching the gospel Vénôtes, but Christ's army was very small, compared to the conquests that it remained to be done. So when fArmel, contemplating this vast covered ears already mature field, heard the voice that speaks to the heart of all the apostles: "Whom shall I send? "A holy trembling seized him, the scruples of modesty were defeated. A divine voice asked him, he answered without hesitation: "Here I am. " 11 no longer has the force of his youth, his forces are worn out by vigils and austerities. Who cares? the ardor of his zeal will give him another youth he found new strength in the love which inflames. He leaves as the 86 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Warrior Scripture, walking in the fullness of his courage, his steps sowing the word of God. Its work, according to the Bollandisles were immense, and his indefatigable activity. Was seen traveling the country, educating, infidels, breaking the idols, building churches, wearing all the blessing the name of Jesus Christ 1. The success of his preaching was prodigious; pagans were converted crowd and embraced the Christian religion •. This is why St. Armel has always been regarded as one of the chief apostles of Brittany. Ancient historians of this country to celebrate F environmental work of his zeal and triumphs of his apostolic charity. It would be easy to follow clans do shopping across the country. A principle of the sacred liturgy, which in the early centuries, did not admit of exceptions, we prepared a relief unquestionable value. Formerly there was altars and churches in honor of a martyr or a confessor in places consecrated by birth, residence, passing a miracle or death of the saint. " The same rule has been followed for 1 Vcrbum Dei seminando, Multas gentes baptizavit and idola conculcavit. J2des Sacras fabricavit Jesu Christo novitc-r, and in fide roboravit servos Dei Firmiter. (Pat. Maclov.) 2 Rusticanas regiones not Paneas Invenit adhuc idololatrioe 'tenebris coecutientos. Earum conversioncm zelo fervescens, innumeros ad Christi fldem adduxit. (Prop. Venet.) 'Dom F. Chamard, Saint Martin and his monastery Li LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 87 the names given to cities and villages. Guided by this general observation, we can easily know the main areas that have witnessed the apostolate of the monk Cambrian. Here is a hamlet that retains its track, there is a village which has a high honor chapel, a village, whose name recalls his memory. The name Armel constantly finds its variants in the dioceses of Rennes, Vannes, Saint-Brieuc, certifying the passage of the saint and the recognition of the people he converted. A major center of his preaching seems to have been a township located in the country of the Veneti. 11 built an Boschaux similar to that of oratory, and around which soon arose many homes, and this was the birthplace of the modern town of Ploërmel, whose inhabitants are watching not only the saint as their patron, but also as the founder of their city. Armel in his races across the county Vannes, must meet Gildas the Wise, his compatriot and perhaps his former classmate. 11 is likely qu'évangélisant the same country, the two apostles had fairly frequent relations. 11 was, indeed, 'once a priory in honor of St. Armel, Sarzeau, not far from the famous Abbey Rhuys 1, based, said the legend, the king 1 Abbey Rhuys was located in the peninsula of the same name, two leagues from Vannes. "This was another peninsula-88 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Grallon, and Count Waroch gave to St. Gildas. In addition, until 1789, the monks of this monastery have never ceased to show their special reverence for the glorious friend of their father. Are there not in these circumstances some sort of proof of loving relationships would have kept all these great servants of God? As for St. Armel, its success can be explained perfectly. In his person, he was a living reproduction of the person of Jesus - Christ. His previous life had wonderfully prepared to preach a religion that prescribes sacrifice. It is not enough to expose the apostle to the world the sublime teachings of the faith: the word is not the last word of the gospel power, it is only the first ray in the preacher, the light of the Word according to the mind of a famous orator of our time ', is his noon not entirely clear that by actions. "Let your After a delicious country, said Kerdanet do Lesneven, it was called the Promised Land, the earthly paradise. She then produced with the greatest abundance, wheat, fruits, wine, honey, game, fish. The climate was milder; timber protected it against the fierce winds which afflict today. Winter was still around, that spring had already covered this range of roses, violets do, of églanlines. "Beautiful and comfortable stay, said Argentre, as fertile and pleasant country than any other of Brittany. " 1 We hold these information RP Dom Plaine, religious Benedictine. 8 RP Felix, SJ LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 89 light, says the Saviour shine before men, and they see the excellence of your work. " Armel eminently possessed this quality which complements the apostle preached the truth, and he left to see all the candor and simplicity of his soul, he preached holiness, and it seemed sweet, humble and chaste, he preached mortification, and he showed himself as a victim devoted to penance and sacrifice. Miracles that had blessed for so long, gave his apostolate more grandiose prestige. To lift souls lowered towards matter and meaning, it is necessary to speak to the imagination, thereby forcing Daus to recognize the man who brings the truth agent of a supernatural power. Also the power of working miracles, power entrusted by the august founder of our religion to his envoys, Estil visible and genuine dedication to their mission. Armel wore on his forehead, radiating humility, the halo of miracle worker, while his opening speech to the souls of new horizons, his miracles, healings multiplied around him, tore all this confession: "This one Yhomme is truly of God. "He made health to the sick, strength to the lame, the blind, hearing to the deaf, the peace and quiet to demon possessed. It cites, among them a man 1 Matt., V, 16. 90 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL who, having only touched the bed where the saint had rested, was immediately delivered from the evil spirit 1. Clothes as before Armel had a wonderful virtue, their contact was enough to cure the most inveterate diseases. A poor woman, the kid lively faith that which is spoken of in the Gospel is étaut approached him as he passed, touched the hem of her dress and senlil instantly healed of infirmity secret which she had suffered for several years. Troops besieging poor and infirm doors usually do his home. They came confidently seek their healing and recommend to his prayers. The saint, full of compassionate and all merciful goodness, distributing their sweet words el wise counsel, pray for them and sent them back healed and relieved. And God was pleased to glorify His servant and bless his work. " The fruits of the apostolate of St. Armel in Bre1 Cum autem miraculis ubique coruscaret, afl'uit strong chap dEemoniacus aliis immixtus that solo tactu straminis ubi vir Dei jacebat has daunonio Liberatus is. (Pat. Maclov.) 2 Tactu vestis is sauata quoedam diu fatigata propter iluxum sanguinis. (Pat. Maclov.) Quum oegrotantiuni agmina, ubicumquo sciebant, velut pium medicum persequerentur. (Pat. Maclov.) 3 Die quadain exspectabat opem sancli, quam optabat, multitudo languentram slans slept ante ostium. Vir benignus, Pietate His pro motus solita, hos remisit, sanitato prius cunctis reddita. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 91 mountain were not at ephemeral. Seed, as he helped to spread its part in this remote part of la'vieille Gaul brought lasting fruit, the seed, once developed, became a strong and vigorous tree, whose branches sank so deeply in the ground, no hurricane could not ever shake. The Britons were perhaps the last of the Gauls to receive the faith, but that faith, embraced so late, went through twelve centuries without alteration. A day came, the day of blood and tears, where we wished to snatch them where impiety, triumphant elsewhere, tried to settle on the land fertilized by the sweat of priests and monks. Then they saw an entire people stand up and support a gigantic struggle to defend freedom of conscience and protect its altars. And if, in the long run, he was defeated by physical force, he was not defeated in his faith remained firm and unshaken as the pillar of truth. She survived the persecution, massacres, fires, and stowed under the banner of the cross, the son of Britain, on returning to their heath, cried to the astonished Europe -. "The power that overcomes the world, even our faith. "May they, these brave children of Armorica, keep forever, and in the course of ages always remain faithful to their Fiero motto Malo mori quam foedari! "Rather die than lose honor! "Lf ° Epistle of St. John, v., A.

Chapter 9 - Death of St. Armel and his burial.

The last years were spent in Armel practices apostolic zeal and exercises of Christian charity. It was pleasant to spend it in the service of souls, wiping tears from his fellows, to work out their salvation. However, his career was nearing its end. It was long and laborious, the worker had sown much, much watered, the time was approaching when he would receive the wages of his work. Death to the saints is not that terrible passage to which God condemned the children of Adam, and which, in order to make them feel their whole length, he takes a moment suspended above the abyss of nothingness; c is the time of issuance, the cessation of slavery. They see in the visible world a place of exile, their thoughts and eyes to direct LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 93 another world, the first is the shadow and bright porch. There are only homeland, rest, bliss. "Man and God said Lacordaire should meet somewhere and. some day they must recognize God and open to man the fruitful womb where he was conceived in love. " Saints eminently understand this truth, so they would continually jump to God, but retained by the bonds of the body, unable to go where they wish, they moan, they sigh, they endure the torment of the soul mysterious exile , whose heart never heals. They walk sadly, the Psalmist says, carrying on their shoulders the fruits of their harvest, throwing all the seed of their good works 1. The children of Israel, sitting in the rivers of Babylon, weeping at the memory of Zion, they hung their harps on the willows of the shore, and to those who asked them to listen to their songs they replied: "Eh! How shall we sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land? " "Similarly, the saints, when the world was astonished and mocks their sadness, show the sky, asking if the turn can rejoice away from his homeland exile. 1 Emîtes, and ibant (lebant, mittentes semina sua. Cxxv Ps. 2 Super ftumina Babylonis, illic sedimus and flevimus cum rccordaremur Zion. In salicibus in mcdio ejus suspendimus organa nostra ... Quomodo cantahimus canticum Domini in terra alienated? 94 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Death does not scare them, they see approach with confidence, with joy they hear the sound of his footsteps, because they can tell the teacher who comes to them: "I have fought the good fight, I filled my career, I kept my faith, it remains for me to receive the reward you promised me. " Armel longed for this hour of the reward. It finally happened. One day, after one of his apostolic journeys, the holy man had returned to his monastery, more tired than usual, he found himself suddenly seized with a burning fever. Is entered only in the church, he knelt and began to pray, arms crossed, as usual. Then an angel appeared to him, "Armel said he, dear man of God, be strong clans divine grace, your end is near, the second day after the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you come to heaven with we take the place for you is. " At these words, Armel rose, filled with holy joy, he allowed everyone to enter the church, and after celebrating the divine office, he told the assistants on the day and time his death. The last moments of his career were devoted to encourage his disciples to preach and their perseverance. The appointed day, the day after the triumphant entry of the Queen of Apostles and 1 1I "Ep. Timothy, iv. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 95 virgins in heaven, the holy ecstasy seemed to fall into a soft, his soul, like a ripe fruit, broke away effortlessly, and adorned with all his virtues, was carried by the angels into the bosom of God. Celtic blessed death came on August 16 do the year 552. If we are to believe the legend of St. Armel, there was once a tradition that the servant of God died, not his convent Boschaux, as we have to tell, but Ploërmel clans current diocese valves. 1 Ciun voro quadam die praedictus Armagillus aliquid infirmitatis felt monasterium intraret care, and in ad modum erucis field prostratus Domimim deprecaretur, vidit angelum dicentem Dei sibi: Eleote Armagille Dei, Dei gratia in confortare, quia secunda die post Assumptionem BV Maiïoe, ccElornm palatia penetrabis . His Auditis, facta oratione, surrexit and omneni populum in ecclesiam introire permisit. Eum and divinum peregisset officium, cunctis audientibus proprium obitum declaravit, diebusque Transactis ab angelo praenotatis mid climbed ad Dominum. (Pat. Maclov.) - Same as in Prop.. Vcnet. Here's how Albert P. recounts the death of St. Armel 'God', the doses wanting reward long work, revealed to him the day of his happy death, he gave thanks to His Divine Majesty, and gave notice to its religious, exhorting them. constantly persevere in their holy vocation, then confessed, the day celebrated the holy mysteries before all the people, and after giving their blessing took leave of them, devoutly received the sacrament exti'ème unction, and s' few hours being met with God in devout contemplation, he gave up his spirit is happy hands of his Creator, August 16 552. "Prop *. Venet. 96 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL We have not adopted this opinion, because it is contrary to the narrative historians, who all died in his monastery St. Armel, returning from one of his sermons. This is, moreover, the version adopted for own breviary of Vannes. When Armel had breathed his last, his disciples washed his body and buried it with honor! in the interior of the monastery. We could still see his tomb in the late seventeenth century. Depositing prayers over his grave, the companions of the blessed are also deposited tears; God who sympathizes with all the pain, no point crying defends the saints, for the tears shed on their graves are without bitterness if they are a sign of affliction, they also contain a consolation cl hope, the Christian, when he sees the body of a just return the clans within the earth, already contemplates in advance that flesh, which was sanctified by the purity and mortification, bright immortal glory. The apostle during his life, had worked wonders without number the same wonders reproduced on his tomb. The people there gave appointment of all parts of the UK for healing their diseases and infirmities, "and says Albertus Magnus, miracles continued there till the last succez." Regarding his relics, except for some fragments transported elsewhere, they are now stored LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 97 in the parish church of Ploërmel 1. They were long the object of veneration, when came the revolutionary turmoil. As fierce and more ungodly than the barbarians who, in the fourth century, invaded the Roman world and put an end to the ancient society, modern vandals dared wear a sacrilegious hand on the venerated remains of saints, benefactors of our unhappy country. The relics of St. Armel nevertheless escaped the ravages of demolition of temples. . A pious woman, fearing that they might be desecrated like so many others, collected, preserved them home with respect, and, after the storm had passed, the faithful went to the parish church 2. This is that they rest until the day when God will meet again in the soul which they were down here the house. 1 Parish SaimVArmel no longer possesses the skull of her blessed patron and is encased in a silver head. Cathedral Rennes, before 1789, had one of his arms is not known what became ost-, 2 Dom Lobineau. / ^-P'P. / \

CHAPTER 10 - The worship at St. Armel Brittany and Touraine.

The Church has always worshiped saints who, having shown their lives through the practice of Christian virtues, enjoy the heaven of God's sight. Their name and memory be a blessing to all faithful people, we distinguish the days of the year parties established in their honor, the same circle of each year brings a more solemn day, in gathering all the tributes we send them, we celebrate the glory of transportation with their common triumph. While the remains of the powerful of the earth down into the corruption of the tomb, and too often their glory there remains buried with them, the sacred remains of the friends of God based on our altars and are surrounded by marks of veneration. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 99 Tributes obviously have their source in the admiration we inspire the virtues of the saints, the great works they have accomplished, they have made wonders, the magnificence of the reward they enjoy in heaven. But the cult of saints also stems from the recognition that people have kept these divine men and pious confidence we have in them. Have they not been the instruments God used to give us supernatural life? He did participate in his divine fertility we are born of the Word who spoke through their mouths, blood and tears they were mixed with blood or tears of Christ to complete the work of our redemption. Man condemned to labor and suffering, feels happy to be a child of the saints, to know called to share their heritage, to be destined to enjoy their bliss. Confident in charity which presses the heart of the predestined after death as during life, he likes to believe that the links in this sweet paternity last forever, their hands divert storms piled on our heads, they are always comforters our tears, the servants of our miseries. Religious admirable virtues, tireless apostle powerful thaumaturge, Armel had all the necessary qualifications to participate in the honors that the Church makes saints. As his cult was it once widespread throughout Britain. 100 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Listen to the Bollandists, these annalists if accurate, if such harsh criticism of the lives of saints: "A solemn worship, they say, was once made him (Saint Armel) in many countries and especially in Brittany Brittany, as clearly demonstrated, not only offices Rennes, Vannes and others, but also that of Saint-Malo, whose church has an ancient breviary, which we took office Saint Armel. "In this office, his party is placed on xxmc day of August, while in the calendar memory do we find St. Armel to August 16, the day of his death, and even now it is on this day that honors in a village in the diocese of Rennes, where he spent part of his life, and that it was called Saint-Armel, as well as in the town of Ploërmel, whose Latin name means city or Plebs Armagilli people of Armel. " "These testimonies prove highly cult of this saint, although in the old martyrologies we never find his name ..." "Saussaye himself, the historian, the élogiste saints, speaks of St. Armel to date, and is expressed as: A Saint-Malo (memory) of St. Armel, confessor, famous for his eminent virtues. " "Castellanus said in other words: In Britain, at Rennes (memory) of St. Armel, confessor, who spent seven whole years in Paris, and was all his life held more pious exercises. "LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 101 The learned historians, after giving the evidence of worship of saint Armel, wonder if we should give him the title (Yabbé that use assigns They sometimes respond negatively. "It is true to say, they add , which some attribute to him the foundation of a monastery, and we know that many common people followed him as his disciples. We admit all this, we do not even deny that he had other disciples, but these reasons do not seem sufficient to earn him the title (Y abbot. " The Church, moreover, never gave him that name and is only referred to in the liturgical prayers under the title of confessor. After the Bollandists, consult Lobineau dom ': "His memory, he says, speaking of St. Armel, is very famous in the province. Besides countless chapels and churches his name to this parish, his two monasteries, the town of Ploërmel clans former diocese of Saint-Malo and Vannes today named in the titles Redon more than eight hundred years Plebs-Armel, recognizes and honors as its special patron, and its main church is dedicated to him. Ancient breviary Rennes, Leon, Saint-Brieuc, mark the feast of St. Armel August 16 'nine lessons. Clean 1 Lives of the Saints of Britain 2 At the Cathedral of Rennes, Aug. 15, after vespers, onse made in procession before the image of St. Armel, and 102 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Vannes, printed in 1660, joined St. Armel to St. Roch. Former breviary Abbey SainlMéen also marks the rite for this saint. . Church of Nantes also indicates his birthday on August 16 »Since the liturgical reform, the cult of Saint Armel has not been abandoned by all the churches of Britain, is now honored with the title of confessor in the diocese Rennes, August 16, and in the diocese of Vannes on the 24th of the same month. The galley is double rite. But the main devotion to St. Armel seat in Celtic country is the city of Ploërmel; church that its inhabitants have erected in honor of their glorious patron, is a remarkable specimen of Gothic art in Britain, Relics Blessed are clans kept a shrine placed on a pillar at the entrance of the choir. Uii beautiful stained glass retraces the main features of the saint's life. This window, one of the most curious among windows that decorate the Breton churches, is the contemporary poem legend of the saint provided the data, dating from the seventeenth century 0, or the end of the sixteenth century. Is the painter who inspired the poet? Is the writer who put the brush clans hands of the artist? Still, they are merveilleusey bore the arms of the blessed that we had placed on the altar during the service. (Book of ancient customs of skips, written in 1MB.) LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 103 ment granted, or we read the legend, that we admired the painter's work, we have before us the figure of a monk, austere and innocent at the same time. When the astonished eye seeth the table, strikingly original, it seems to us first attend the touching scene where Armel takes leave of his family and a moment later he was seen on the vessel, jmvillon fraught with ermine that. transfrète in Brittany. Then here comes Verdelet who accosted by showing him the command of Childebert. Other scenes succeed thereto, the saint healed the damage and blind in the presence of el king of his court, he separated the prince to return to Britain. There occur on the medallions of the canopy, the latest events in the life of Armel: it precipitates in the Wurm River Cuttlefish, - it is well up the miraculous fountain - it heals u / i lepers. The work ends with the death of the apostle, making her beautiful soul into the hands of the glorious St. Michael, who wins both. We see the same facts accurately reproduce in the legend. Touraine also treasured the memory of the apostolic man in the crossing, embalmed with the perfume of holiness. The oldest monuments of the liturgy find that the cult of St. Armel, from the remotest antiquity, enjoyed great fame in Celtic province. 104 LIFE OF SAINT Ahmel Long the Church of Tours celebrated his office, and so now, due to the suppression of side bosses, it makes more memory, devotion to the holy hermit has nevertheless persisted among us. A Montlouis, special ancient chapel, which is dedicated to him is still shown, in Crotelles, we make pilgrimages to implore his protection. But nowhere is the subject of a so special clans parish of Beaumont-la-Bramble worship that is in place probably where he lived for some time in a lonely wood, he there from time immemorial, a chapel dedicated to Saint Armel 1. People came from all sides once put under his tutelage and demand his help. At the beginning of XVII century 0, the walls of the chapel were literally covered with votive offerings, testimonials naive recognition and piety of our fathers, and they attested to contemporary and later had to testify to posterity, graces received, made wonders. For anyone who wanted to look closely, it was clear that the protection of heaven exercised in this place over a wide area. All the pain, all infirmity, all diseases, there seemed to être.donné appointment to drop the insignia of suffering 1 This chapel must have had, at one time, sizeable dimensions, because the old breviary Tours gives the name of church. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 105 and take in exchange strength and health. Before 1789, the affluenco pilgrims from the most remote of the Touraine and Maine parties was so great the day of the feast of St. Armel, the pastor of Beaumont-la-Bramble needed help several priests to meet the requirements of their piety. Since the revolution, the prelates who succeeded to the see of Tours have always favored the progress of Celtic devotion. W 11 Montblanc allowed to resume celebrate Mass clans chapel of Saint-Armel, and in 1843 M "'Morlot, since Cardinal and Archbishop of Paris, gave the saint as a secondary boss, in the parish of Beaumont, by an order dated 23 October of the same year. On August 17 ​​of the following year, illustrated prelate authorized the clergy and the faithful to make a solemn procession on the feast day of St. Armel, he allowed to sing with the Litany of the Saints, the response, the anthem and the prose of his office. In the seventeenth century 0, chapel, already very old, had been replaced by a building without style or character. Tossing it in ruins in turn, is thought to meet in the same place. Thanks to the generous piety of the Marquis de Beaumont and his family, a nice monument, Roman-Byzantine architecture soon rose in the middle of the parish cemetery. The new chapel, built on plans 5 * 106 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Mr. Gustave Guérin, is a small masterpiece of art, wealth and good taste. A bas-relief placed outside, above the door, is St. Armel trampling the dragon entwined in his stole. The statue which surmounts the altar represented with the same attributes. Clans as the church of Ploërmel pilgrims can read the gestures of the Breton apostle on the windows that decorate the sanctuary. Perfectly in with the style of the building, the windows, out workshops Mr. Lobin are certainly one of the best imitations of works produced by glass painters of the Middle Ages. While the work is executed, M 81 'the Bishop of Vannes, learning that in Touraine a chapel was erected in saint who was one of the glories of his diocese, also wanted to join this event, and sent Beaumont a considerable part of his relics. They were placed under the altar, and offered for veneration in a shrine of a great job and a great price. The completed monument, M "" Guibert, who since had to go to Paris to sit on the bloody siege of St. Denis, came to make the blessing September 27, 1867, in the presence of a large multitude. The ceremony was marked by a deeply moving occasion. A young priest of the country, Father Albert Beaumont, sweet and pious memory, devoted himself, from the time of his studies, LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL I07 the cult of Saint Armel. He longed for the restoration of the chapel where many times he had come to pray during his childhood. The work would be completed when an untimely death came to rob the expectations of the diocese and the tenderness of his family. His body was buried in a few ptfs the new sanctuary, near the relics of the saint he loved. 11 was therefore given point in the dear departed to attend the party, but he could contemplate the blessed abode where had we doubt not, speedily led his many virtues and inexhaustible patience he had shown suffering. His memory, however, was present in all hearts. A pilgrimage to the tomb of the Holy Apostles, the Abbe de Beaumont had requested and obtained from the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX for a special blessing for the people of the parish. It was 1 MB "Archbishop of Tours, at the end of the ceremony, wished him -. Replace even give his name the blessing of the Holy Father We hope, this blessing given on a grave happen to all those who have received the fruits of life, and inspire their desire to also become saints. 1 Apart from the places we have mentioned, St. Armel is honored as patron in the parishes of Langouet of Blémais near Saint-M6en, Saint-Pern (Ille-et-Vilaine), and Langoat (Côtes-du North). In addition, there existed or still exist today 108 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL chapels dedicated to the Apostle of Brittany in the Grand Fougeray and Bruz, diocese of Rennes, in Radenac, to Bubry, Caden, to Meslan, Sarzeau and Ploërmeur, Diocese of Vannes, in Quintin, Lantic, to Saint-Jean-de-1'Isle in Saint-Glen and Saint-Brieuc, Diocese of that name to Plobanalec and Logonna Diocese of Quimper, etc.. There was also a priory of Saint-Armel Loquenvel (Côtes-du-Nord), which depended on St. Jagut. We also need this information to Father Dom Plaine. The cult of St. Armel was also kept in a parish of the Diocese of Angers and in another diocese of Laval. We have spoken in this chapter that honors rendered to him in Brittany and Touraine, because it is in these two provinces it is honored.

CHAPTER 11 - Historians of St. Armel.

Various authors have collected the traditions concerning the life of St. Armel. The best known are two Breton writers: Albert the Great and CLOM Lobineau. The first was born in Morlaix, in the late sixteenth century. He belonged to a noble family, of the diocese of Leon, designated by Gui le Borgne under the name of The Grand Kerigonval or Kerigowal 1. He went early to the Dominicans, and was professed in the convent of Rennes. After completing 1 A very estimable writers believed that the name of the Great was a name less a nickname given to the religious, as he had previously been another Albert, so famous in the thirteenth century by 0 the extent and variety of knowledge. But it is certain that the Great was his surname, as he wrote himself at the head of his works. We once wrote Le Grand. 110 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL successfully various jobs in this order shows, he had the idea of writing the lives of the saints of Brittany. 11 therefore sought with great care necessary for his work materials. Santa Deslandes, then its provincial, and, afterwards, became bishop of Tréguier, favored his company, for his part, M8R Worker, Bishop of Dol, granted him his protection. The work of Father Albert appeared at Nantes in 1637. It was followed by the life of St. Budoc, the story of a castaway from that of Beauport Abbey of Premonstratensian the diocese of Saint-Brieuc. The author did not long survive this latest publication, his death came clans in the same year, 1640. This monk was said to be a little small in size and nice outside, but he had a quick wit and a great enthusiasm for the study. Gui Autret, Sieur de Missirien, gave in 1659 a second edition of the Lives of the Saints father Albert. He also appeared another in 1680, and since we published a fourth Brest. It is in this collection we find the life of St. Armel, collected by the Dominican religious, former Breviary of Leon, who has nine lessons in the history of the proprium rennois and legendary ancient manuscripts of Leon, of Folcoat, Saint-Armel, Ploërmel and PLOUARZEL. In his works, in general, Father Albert the Great deserves praise for the zeal he brought to LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 111 ' collect and preserve historical monuments that existed in his time, and the good faith with which it offers its readers the results of his research, but is often criticized an absolute lack of critical, extremely easy to accommodate all that a blind credulity did admit to make it even more wonderful the lives of some saints. However we can not without injustice to inflict the same blame for what concerns the life of St. Armel and all events he recounts are related either by historians or in the liturgical services. In this story, he showed a very sober, merely dramatize some facts, as usual, to put more light. We will give another complaint in our opinion better founded, that of not having sufficiently dwelt on certain phases of the life of St. Armel, for example, to have said nothing of his preaching in Britain. The second biographer of St. Armel, Guy - Lobincau Alexis, born in Rennes in 1666. Decided early to embrace the religious state, it chooses the order of St. Benedict, where he made his profession at the age of seventeen, in the Abbey of Saint-Melaine, September 13, 1683. His talents fixed on him the attention of his superiors, they chose to complete and bring to light D. Brient with his colleague, the history of Britain, begun by D. Audren of Kerdrel, another Benedictine Breton. D. Lobineau spent 112 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL his life composing and publishing of historical works, he also had to support, for the greater glory of his province, several discussions contre'quelques literary scholars of his time. Died 11 clans Abbey Saint-Jagul, at the age of sixty-one years, June 13, 1727. His tomb is still in the church of the former monastery. D. Lobineau has perhaps not done as much research as Father Albert the Great, but he ju-dicieusement benefited from the work of his predecessor el those of other scholars who had preceded him. You do not notice him in the same defects as Albert the Great. Educated literary critic exercised, he admits that the facts supported by strong evidence and generally rejects all legends do not seem him. sufficiently authorized. One can even say that it pushes the severity a bit far, it does no enough cases of ancient traditions, sometimes treated too harshly Father Albert, to whom he owes much, and harshly criticizes some stories he is filled with circumstances fabulous. 11 reign in his saints' lives, particularly drought that the author & e Y History of the Congregation of Saint - Maur rightly blamed him. 11 seems, moreover, not having extended his research as far as he could, and have neglected to consult the works of foreign authors. In the life of St. Armel, he copied pretty much the father Albert the Great, removing. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 113 However, the story of the dragon: it seemed too wonderful to him, and there saw a symbol. Nevertheless, it has the merit of having added to the story of the religious Dominican few words about the visits of St. Armel his first disciples, and the apostolate of the Armorican monk Cambrian clans campaigns. Albert the Great and D. Lobineau are. With the anonymous author of a Life of Saint Armel in Latin, the only biographers have treated previously and in a manner somewhat extended the subject at hand. Other historians, however, mention in their writings of St. Armel and provided materials to its history. Found in Acla sanciorum essay father Jean - Baptiste of Solicr, dissertation which we have already quoted a party and which deals with the devotion that had once for St. Armel in Britain and other countries. This is not, strictly speaking, a life, it is rather a critical article, but we find there valuable information, such as to strengthen our steps a little hesitant clans the maze of traditions and legends. Also, adopting the story of Father Albert, Solier assures us that St. Armel was famous for miracles, not only during his lifetime, but after his death. "The latter, he said, is certain, for, although the office does not speak clearly, we have to witness Albert the Great, which we learned that even in his time 114 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL we saw a large number of pilgrims attend the town of Ploërmel in the diocese of Saint-Malo. "In addition, it confirms what we have advanced the country, age and the preaching of St. Armel. "No, he said again, has raised controversy about his country, known as St. Armel is the number of saints who, as the father Lobineau, moved from Britain in Armorica. " The same agreement exists on its age, everyone admits he was born in 482, and after immense work to spread the true religion, he ended his holy life in 552. Moreover, the Jesuit scholar regrets that in his Ecclesiastical History of the Gauls, the father Lecointe has not developed enough life and deeds of St. Armel. Here, however, in which the latter speaks of the holy words in Volume I 01 'of his works, year 520. "Armel or Arzel, born in Britain, about the year 482, after passing through the various ecclesiastical degrees, was raised to the honor of the priesthood. Then, full of zeal for the monastic life, he went to Brittany and built an oratory in the plains of Leon, where is now the parish of Saint-Arzel, commonly Plou-Arzel. He remained there until the death of Count Riguald, but then, fearing the tyranny of Comoro, he went to Judual, who received him with great honor, because of the fame of his virtues and miracles that God deigned to operate by it. "LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 115 We will be happy to notice the father of Solier, it would have been desirable that the father should give us Lecointe details, nevertheless find that fits in every respect with other historians. In our time, the acts of St. Armel were studied again. Abbe Tresvaux, vicar general of Paris, taking the work of Lobineau and Albert the Great, eii published the story in the lives of saints of Brittany and accompanied pious reflections related to the subject. Most recently, after the solemnity that had accompanied the blessing of the chapel of Saint-Armel in Beaumont-la-Bramble, Abbe January, canon of the metropolitan church of Tours, wrote a small life holy confessor, with the elegance and purity of style that characterize it. Finally, Father Albert Beaumont, which we have already quoted the devotion to the cult of St. Armel, had offered to write a more complete life of this saint. With this intention, he researched and collected materials; death, which had not allowed him to see the completion of 'high Beaumont-la-Bramble in honor of the British monk monument, did not give him either time. execute the project.

CHAPTER 12 Poets of Saint Armel.

I THE LEGEND OF SAINT ARMEL On 16 August 1600, the feast day of the saint, was for the bourgeois Ploërmel, according to the story that we have been sent by a distinguished scholar, Mr. Sigismoncl llopartz, an occasion of great rejoicing . For the first time students Baudeville sir, priest and schoolmaster, represented in public tragedy of St. Armel, composed by Baudeville itself. Filled with admiration for the tragedy of St. Alexis, he wanted to give an imitation of his compatriots by staging the life and actions of the LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 117 patron of their parish. It could also be inspired by choosing better about the actions of a saint with his hometown honored to bear the name. Almost all the parishes of Britain had legends in verse, highlighting key events in the life of their bosses; Cloarec some pious had converted dramas, and the days of forgiveness, these dramas, quite similar to the mysteries of the middle ages were represented the crowd excited. The poem Baudeville soon crosses the walls of the college, he became for Ploërmelais a kind of municipal property. Each year the pious tragedy was played with an ever new success, the most notable citizens of the town held an honor to be in the room and to represent the various characters. This literary solemnity continued nearly two centuries it required nothing less than another drama, but that one bloody and terrible, to forget the one who. for so many years had possessed the favor of the inhabitants of the Breton city. The French Revolution put an end to the representations of the tragedy of St. Armel, which was played last time in 1790. The play begins with the following prologue, the author summed up the life of the main heroes are few words. 118 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL PROLOGUE Jesus Christ, gentlemen, is for Mary • We grant the sky, out of life, and the grace to listen carefully to a subject that tends only devotion, To hear the great saint patron of the town, • The memorable story and much more useful, That up there in heaven, this worthy confessor Beside the Almighty is our intercessor. This great saint spent his whole mortal life Shipment false gods cruel war: Its not like virtue and sublime spirit Used to attract everyone in the Savior Jesus Christ. His mouth opened as divine oracles, 11 shining everywhere by powerful miracles. Obligations that we owe to God, Most Holy is having her head in place. Uous know for certain that he was in England; 11 God sent his only property custodian And came to live here in a village near During which belonged to the good lord Guibourg. 11 will read the Gospel with such energy, He forced our parents to leave their folly: Finally he suppressed this country so It will now do his name called. Plo-Armel, indeed, honorable audience, This is the country of Armel, in the language of France; This is where the saint died, where, by order from above, His body for burial, was led to Boschaux. To determine short, gentlemen, I pass Los receptions he made Childebert, king of France. I say nothing either cheers Year that gave France the saint and the Britons; For what good shall I do a long pursuit LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 119 What you know fully in the future? Begin. For some satisfaction, We need to listen very carefully. The piece, divided into eight days or tables, opens with a monologue Armel. The saint, on the threshold of his house, announces its resolution to break the chains that bind the world, he wants to distribute his goods to the poor, and who seeks after his departure, may be replaced in the exercise of charity . Meanwhile three beggars arrive, people bag and rope, which looks escaped from the Court of Miracles. One sings carelessly: I lost my bottle And my écuolle; 3'ai lost my bottle And my barrel. They excite each other to feign infirmities they do not have to deceive Armel and get rich alms Blessed sees no need to deny his aid, although he glimpse of their deceit. But a quarrel arises, and one of three beggars, more skilful than others fled, taking his part and that of his companions. Appears on the scene a friend Armel. The saint made him know his resolution. The friend tried in vain to dissuade such a purpose, two disciples are in turn beg to stay in 120 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL his homeland. Armel remains inexorable Seeing this, the disciples want to accompany him, but one of them, when they will leave, collapses on the floor as if struck a mortal blow. To restore him to health, Armel made this prayer to God: 0 great God who reign to the highest heaven, It is to you I lift up my hands and my eyes; Look we pity the cruel torture Suffered by that time your humble creature; You can not view this affliction Without letting you feel compassion. Then, on his order, the disciple, reborn to life, gets up and starts walking. The first day ends with an interlude, where the Lord commanded the angel Raphael to accompany Armel and lead in Britain. At the beginning of the second day, while the sun rises in the horizon, Armel and his companions set off commenting on the words of the psalm Laudate Dominum, omnes geniuses; laudate eum, omnes populi. Suddenly the angel Raphael appears in the celestial harmonies; Armel announces he has to go preach the gospel to the Britons. A few moments after the meeting of the angel, the pious travelers arrive to the ocean. Seeing a wet boat near the shore, they asked the sailors to receive on board •. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 121 Gentlemen, humble hello! Might you summon Do we pass all three beyond the sea? The mariners who acquiesced with good humor and frankness usual rude people to their profession, the boat departs, vigorously pushed by Tournevenl Tranchemarée and two sailors charm with joyous songs trouble navigating. Lucifer, however, at the sight of these three men will restart into his last refuge, take counsel with the demons and order them to excite a violent storm. The frail boat, tossed by the waves, is about to be swallowed up. The sailors and the disciples are in terror, but the apostle prayed. God commands Saint Michel to get the demons into the abyss. Means at the time of angels singing in the air: Gloria in excolsis Dco ... The storm subsides, the sun reappears, the boat quietly resumed his march to a calm and tranquil sea, and of angels continues: Et in terra pax hominibus bona? volnntatis. A performance of a new kind is offered to us in the third day. The scene is a mansion of the Duke of Brittany. A messenger, witness the landing of Armel and his companions, 6122 LIFE DK SAINT ARMEL comes quite scared to announce the arrival of a ship in the colors of England. Here show in full force and distrust animosilô the English inspired our fathers at the beginning of XVII century 0. While the duke sends take some more news, his knights advise him to pounce on these foreigners and cut into pieces. However, the messenger returns, it calms their belligerence publishing travelers, far from having no hostile intention, intend to spread in the country lights of the true faith. The poet, after a last line snapped to the English, The sun not far from England, transports us without transition to Paris, in the palace of the king of France. The monarch, surrounded by his advisors expressed their desire to have about his person a holy priest who runs in the affairs of his conscience and those of the state. He calls his servant Verdelet, and directed him to travel throughout the kingdom, even England if necessary, to find him the man he needs. Verdelet is one of those semi-friendly characters, semi - buffoons, such as are found at the Valois court, sometimes flattering, sometimes mocking, sometimes even biting, moreover dedication and loyalty to foolproof. During that trip, eager to execute LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL. 123 orders of his master, back in Britain, where we find ourselves in a fourth table blessed with his disciples, they explore the country where they come to address. While conversing, they saw a small side chapel clans wood, the other a pagan temple and a Roman villa. They will enter the chapel to pray, but a lot of the temple troupe debauched engaged in gallant and disturb the prayer by religious dances and licentious songs. Armel blame them for their folly; libertines mock him without wanting to listen. At the sight of such a blind saint exclaimed with great bitterness: Often a bird warbling redouble its meditates When a hunter's damage: What it is to be pitied, he is not to blame, for he did not know he fallust alarm. But a man running to eternal punishment, After she was ordered to abandon his vices, Is forced against his will to give the wrong, no one is forced to lament his fate. Divine vengeance does not expect, a libertine is miraculously struck with leprosy. Reduced to come beg charity Armel, he hears his instructions and believed his word. The monk has promised healing, but the convert wants to engage his happiness his companions, who also were struck with sudden infirmities he runs immediately get them. Together abjure 124 LIFE OF SAINT AnMEL their mistakes in the hands of religious holy baptism they receive and recover health. At that moment arrives Verdelet, carrying orders Childebert. Armel refuses to follow, but Verdelet returns with new and more urgent orders that the first and which the poor monk is obliged to surrender. Follow him in a fifth table, at the court of Childebert. After a home full of respect and affection, the prince asked him to become its director and secretary; double burden he agrees that doing violence to his modesty. We see then successively conducted various events of the life of Saint Armel the court of the Merovingian king, the salutary advice he gives to the monarch, the hatred of the courtiers excited by the opposition he starts running their perfidious counsels, the miracles he works in healing the blind and in his instructions to his disciples fulfill the drama until Raphael comes direct him, from God to return to Britain. The king allowed from the point without feeling a deep sorrow. I help regret losing such a holy man! My kingdom is going to suffer great harm. Irritated against two of his advisers, wicked men who plotted the death of Armel, Childebert LIFE OF SAINT ABMEL VAS order to Verdelet go to their research and to punish them. One manages to escape, but the other is made ​​by the archers, and, despite his pleas, was beheaded by the sword of the executioner. Therefore, h alone is the sixth day. The seventh table presents a canton of Brittany in turmoil; peasants, pursued by a monstrous snake, run towards their Duke asking for his help. A troop of knights walking to meet the furious beast. God does not protect the bragging they do parade, at the sight of the dragon they stopped, seized with mortal terror. The victory was dedicated to smaller and more peaceful warriors. Then arrives on the scene Armel, whose followers, exhausted with fatigue, looking in vain for a source to quench the thirst that devours. The master touched by their suffering, implore, as in usual, the help of Heaven. Sweet Jesus, for us, on Mount Calvary, Have willed to suffer the most bitter death, Your poor servants are in affliction; Do not you hear their supplication? H sticks his stick in the ground, and it springs a plentiful source. It is in this moment that the fugitives routed notify it of the calamity which laments the country. Armel new opportunity for preaching the Gospel: if 126 LIFE OF SAINT ABMEL pagans converted, they will be issued. Indeed, when they went to his voice, the saint walking resolutely dragon, he throws his stole around his neck and drowned in the river. > Seventh day ends with an interlude in which the demons announce to their leader the conversion of the Britons, and confess completely defeated. In the eighth, finally, place the different scenes that precede and accompany the death of the Servant of God. Eager to see the place of his first visit to Britain, he left the Boschaux and headed Penohen. Here we displayed a venerable and touching figure: Guibourg, old friend Armel, learns his arrival, he ran to meet him, the heart overflowing joy do: Armel is back, told in ee countries: Ah! this is the best of all my friends! Plàntateur of faith, Welcome! Graco kiss me. The apostle does not enjoy long hospitality that is offered with a solicitude, because the angel Raphael came almost immediately announce his approaching end: Today je.vous come, bright light, like one of the inhabitants of the celestial sphere, you say, from my master and my God What little you stop living in low place, and that when you leave this country, you will be instantly received in the empyrean. LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL ill Filled with holy joy, Armel calls his disciples and his friend, and he made them a tender farewell, and makes the "last breath in the hands of the Archangel Michael, who takes his soul to heaven. This is, in its simplicity, the drama that was once the delight of the population Ploërmel. We find there the consummate art with which ancient writers put on the stage the ancient hero, or regularity, rigorous unit so expensive item in our modern tragic, since the action begins in England, continues on Channel, comes to Paris to the royal palace, and ends with Ploërmel. The author therefore lack certain qualities that are found in the great tragic, but he has others that make the poem a truly remarkable achievement. 'll Go to Mr. Sigismund Ropartz, to whom we owe the publication of the legend of St. Armel. "In the composition of his poem says Ropartz, Sir Baudeville followed the poetic system bas-Breton bards, his predecessors or his contemporaries, who were in possession of translating for the crowd monotonous and uniform descriptions of the first civilizing Armorica. Around the saint, which returns the legitimate task of exposing the beautiful language and moral dogmas of Catholicism, which dominates the drama, as the priest dominates society, we see the group of per-128 LIFE OF SAINT Ahmel sonnages si.pleins life and realism, it is not difficult to guess at first sight that the poet has painted portraits of contemporary imagination. These rascals, which resemble so those etched by Callot, these sailors, frank and so quick to response; these debauched and these wenches; these Breton knights eternal enemies of the English, the king, the right heart, that infamous courtiers want to throw in spite of himself in the ways of greed and injustice, these argumentative clerics these selfish and fearful peasants, the people in arms, so full of bravado, this beautiful and pure patriarchal figure of Guibourg; any This is a gallery of the Renaissance, and the sixth century did it hardly recognize certainly, but also, it is for these pourtraietures she sees it touches the finger, the crowd keeps his sympathies when she recognizes herself in this faithful mirror, she laughs, she cries, she is touched to the depths of the soul, the lesson is understood, the aim of the poet is reached. " The historical point of view, according to the assessment of the actual critical poem Baudeville therefore has an undeniable interest. As â its literary value, it is difficult to judge. It is impossible, in fact, it has been made ​​as we have today. How can we suppose that in the year 1000, in an obscure corner of the Bretague where our language was almost unknown, a poor schoolmaster has offered the public a long book written in French, the style, for clarity, Sober, by element: LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 129 elegance, surpasses anything the language, French has produced more perfect to Cid? How this Corneille, Racine or rather unknown, not to Would it be, by the mere force of things, revealed ù the admiration of his contemporaries, instead of being buried in obscurity? Learned and pious hands have probably taken him after work Baudeville, the drama will be gradually transformed the sleek style, and it will result in a book last really worthy to fix the attention of antique and writers. II A LIFE OF SAINT IN TO ARMEL The mid-seventeenth century, a poet Touraine has tried, too, am singing the glories of the Cambrian apostle. His work is not significant and it only consists of a number of substances, where the author says in verse naive, the main events of the life of St. Armel. 11 insists, in particular, his stay in 130 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Beaumont-la-Bramble and devotion with laquelleil is honored there, a circumstance which makes us suppose that the poet was no stranger to this place. The reader will perhaps we will reproduce here the curious pamphlet. The author titled: Summary of the life and miracles of St. Armel, confessor priest, a native of Britain. honored and called for healing drops, pain and paralysis in the chapel dedicated in his honor in the parish of Beaumont-la-Bramble, in Touraine. Stanzas Armel, the divine fire burning feeling his heart, A will acquire the sky put all his study; Assaults of the devil he was always victorious, Great friend of silence and solitude. By humility loveth Jesus, it serves 11 leaves sizes to hide in the desert His gift of God do miracles. But as the sun gives us a more beautiful day When he cleared that hurdle him, The saint is called to shine on the court. Childebert, informed the excellent life That leads to this great saint in the desert of the Britons, To correct his court, where luxury and desire Most were his demons should, Saint Armel brought to his example, Purifying his court, made a sacred temple Where the vices of the time were buried. But these men of blood, flesh and gore, LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL 131 Concerted between them, to satisfy their rage, Means to turn such a sacred torch. But God, who reserves his greatest glory, Reveals the rage when his enemies are For the devil UTER this great victory By the saint's death he had indeed promised. 11 leaves with pleasure imaginary Mens The court of the great kings gives vulgar souls, And returns to the desert to serve his God. Touraine he chooses uninhabitable wood; The retreat took this inimitable man Beaumont-la-Bramble is precisely the place. There his humility made him conceal the world miracles which God gives him power: But this treasure hidden in deep cave, Can be so he does it see. The impotent, gouty and paralytic Find of healing as soon as he applies the name of God with their hands on their ailments. And it is enough to xor With its favorable arm extends over an evil paroist incurable To find at the close of their work. Receiving too much honor, he returned to Britain, he fled But more glory, and God is seen. The people of the city and the country comes admire luy'le heavenly power. Flowers and twigs are sown when he goes, What affects the feet is immediately picks: To apply for the evils nothing is overlooked: Who can touch his Vobe won the victory Everything contributes to the environment for celebrate his glory, Whose humble thaumaturge a distressed heart. A horrible dragon destroying the countryside, to help the people he exhibited his days: 1, 'aidonle charity everywhere accompanies, 132 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL In urgent need offers them help. More than dared millet and millet gendarmes, Alone, his hand stole it takes for all weapons, Filled with the sacred name of the monarch of heaven, Binds the neck, precipitated in the wave, And by his zeal he delivers the world Disastrous efforts furious monster. The good God enriches not such grace, Brittany in Depost has his glorious body; His life was nothing but a heap of wonders, Who made heir to the kingdom of heaven. Beaixmont hundred times happy that you had, by his presence, Enriched by his gifts as he makes his birth, And in the holy place he wanted to live Every Christian is in him favorable relief A gout, which makes this evil wretched Pourveu as a net heart he could rely. Armel which was adorned with singular virtues, holy confessor named Jesus almighty Introduce him to our humble prayers, That your name we were blessed. Made in these places I renounce sin; Let every Christian who comes to the Beaumont Konce Visit the chapel where you are honored, Getting in return rested singing your praises; While glorious among the choir of angels, You saw the Great God of the Christians worshiped. Obviously these worms are much less, either as inspiration or as form, h Tragedy of St. Armel, but 'in their simplicity, they are nevertheless evidence of the veneration in which the Cambrian apostle was the object in the former LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Loa Touraine, the confidence reposed in him and popularity that clung to his memory. So thank the humble poet whose piety, celebrating the passage ctu blessed in this country, has preserved the memory so interesting and so happy for us an event. And now, dear saint, I lay at your feet these written for the glory of your name lines. Devotion we have always had for you in the country you ôvangélisô, sweet and tender memories that are retained do your kindness had inspired me the desire to seek and link together the various traditions relating to your exile on earth, a noble and pious soul had encouraged me in this study, once projected by a devoted son as it to your culte.Elle left us to go and live in a better world, and his mortal remains, it also, in the shadow of your sanctuary, next to those she loved icibas. I have no doubt that you did assisted in his agony, and you do not have protected against the terrors of death. This is to fulfill one of his last wishes his family and I publish this book, can-t-ilporter my readers to. walk in your footsteps and. become your followers, as you yourself have been Jesus Christ t All, moreover, we place ourselves under your powerful protection, all we repeat, as our fathers and older, Churches of Britain: "Blessed 134 LIFE OF SAINT ARMEL Armel mirror of piety and charity, prodigy of virtue, get us through your mediation, the entrance to the palace of the sovereign King, pray for us that the Lord gives us a place in the glorious assembly of the saints. " END TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE 9 CHAPTER 1. - From birth and country of St. Armel. 15 2 - Education of St. Armel and the virtues he exhibited in his youth. 3. - From Saint Armel priesthood and its departure for Brittany 34 4. - Establishment of St. Armel and his companions in Brittany 43 5. - From Travel Saint Armel and his companions at the court of King Childebert. 52 ... 6. - From St. Armel do stay at the court of King Childebert, and miracles there opera. 63 7. - From the back of St. Armel in Britain and passing it on Tourame. . . . . 71 8. - From the apostolate of St. Armel in Britain. 82 136. TAULE OF CONTENTS 9. From death. Saint Armel 'and: his. ■ .. '■.' -.. '■. '■, :: (burial. ........ ....,, 92 ..'' 10. - From 'worship saiut Armel in Britain and en.Toiiraino, .98 11. .. XI -. Historians do Saint Armel ... ■ 109 12. -. Poets Saint Armel ...... 1-16 I. - The legend of St. Armel. . . . Jbicï. II. - A life of St. Armel in MEL ^ - '\' • - '■' • ■ ! i i \ 1.2082. - Tours, impr. Marne.
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