Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 2 - 14th April 1483

"On the 14th, which is the feast of Tiburtius and Valerianus, after reading Mass and breakfasting, I called together all the brethren, and said to them that I wished now to leave them for good; and I begged for a pilgrim's blessing from our Reverend Father, Master Ludwig. He led me into the choir, whither the whole convent accompanied me, and kneeling in the midst of the choir in the presence of the Holy Sacrament, I received a blessing from the altar, amid the exceeding bitter weeping of the Prior of the convent and all the brethren. When I had received my blessing, my sobs and tears made me unable to bid my brethren farewell in words, but my tears, my sorrowful face and my sobs spoke for me. I therefore embraced and kissed each of the brethren, and begged to be remembered in their prayers. But I could scarcely persuade the Reverend Father Ludwig to stay quietly at home, for he wanted to see me safe as far as Memmingen, as he had done before; but I altogether refused to permit him to do so, that we might not both suffer fresh grief and trouble when we parted. For albeit I set out on that pilgrimage with a joyous spirit and a cheerful heart, yet when I was leaving the Father, my most faithful friend, and my much-loved brethren, who all were so sorrowful and downcast, I could not refrain from shedding many tears. So, having got together the baggage which I intended to carry with me, and having placed it on the horse which I had bought, I mounted, and was about to ride away in company with the Count's servant. However, as I sat upon my horse, all the brethren flocked round me and eagerly begged me to take careful note of all the holy places I saw, and to write an account of them and bring it to them, so that they also, in mind, if not in body, might enjoy the pleasure of visiting the holy places. I promised the brethren that I would do this, and with that the Count's servant and I went out of the convent and rode stealthily, as though hiding ourselves, out of the city, crossing the river Danube by the gate which leads to the sheep-bridge. It chanced that this pilgrimage agreed with the other one, as far as the day on which it began; for I began my former pilgrimage on the day of SS. Tiburtius and Valerianus: indeed, after the lapse of two years, I began my second journey on the same day and hour as the first. The Count's servant and I soon rode to the village of Dissen, and up to the castle above it, wherein dwelt my lord the Count. Now, the reason for which he had sent for me was the following. In the village of Jedensheim, or Iheidemsheim, at the foot of the hill on which the castle stands, there was a maiden bereft of her reason, whom many declared to be possessed of a devil; he showed me this maiden for me to look at and examine, that I might decide what was to be done with her; whether she ought to be exorcised or not. My decision was that she was out of her mind, and therefore fitter to be entrusted to the care of physicians than to that of theologians. This affair being thus ended I told my lord the Count that I had already begun my journey, and begged him to send a servant with me to escort me as far as the foot of the Alps, because as far as that distance the road is often very dangerous, and I feared to ride there alone. So I, with the retainer assigned to me, left Thyssa that same day, and went as far as Memmingen, where we passed the night."


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