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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 516



between king Stephen and duke Henry, a knight named Owen, who had for many years served under king Stephen, obtained the king's licence, and went to visit his parents iu Ireland his native country. After spending some time there, he began to call to mind his wicked life, which had been employed from his cradle in plunder and violence. He particularly repented of the violation of churches, and invasion of ecclesiastical property, besides other enormous sins of which he had been guilty. In this state of penitence he went to a bishop of that country, who, having heard his confession, rebuked him severely, asserting that he had committed a great offence against God's mercy, and the knight began to think how he should show due contrition for his misdeeds. The bishop wished to impose on him some just penance, to which the knight replied, " If, as you say, I have so seriously offended my Maker, I will submit to a penance more than usually severe, and, for the remission of my sins, enter the purgatory of St. Patrick." The following is the account which the ancient Irish histories give us of this purgatory and its origin. Of the nature of the purgatory aforesaid. Whilst the great Patrick was preaching the work of God in Ireland, and gaining much reputation by the miracles which he there performed, he sought to reclaim from the works of the devil the bestial people of that country, by fear of the torments of hell and desire of the happiness of heaven ; but they told him plainly that they would not be converted to Christ, unless they first saw with their eyes the things which he told them. Whilst therefore St. Patrick, with fasting, watching, and prayer, entreated God for the salvation of that people, the Son of God appearing to him led him into a desert-place, where he showed him a cave round and dark within, and said to him, " Whosoever in true penitence and constancy of faith shall enter this cave for the space of a day and a night, shall be purified therein from all the sins which he has committed against God during all his life, and shall also there not only behold the torments of the wicked, but, if he shall persevere steadfastly in the love of God, be a witness also of the joys of the blessed." The Lord then disappeared, and St. Patrick, joyful both at having seen Christ


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