Friday, May 28, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 9, Chapters 24 & 25

24. One day, our leaders were standing above the citadel, sad and sorrowing, when a certain priest came to them and said: "Seigneurs, if it pleases you to hear a certain thing, which I saw in a vision. When it was night, I was lying down in the church of St. Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our world appeared to me with his mother and his main apostle St. Peter; and he stood before me and said to me: 'Do you know me? To which I responded: 'No' Again therefore, he asked me: "'Do you know me?' I said to him: 'I do not know you by any means; unless by that cross which I see above your head, you are our Savior.' To which he said: 'I am.' Immediately I fell at his feet, asking humbly that he would fight for us against the violence of those who have a larger force than we do. The Lord responded: 'I have well helped you and I will help you from this time forward. I permitted you to capture the city of Nicea, and to defeat all in battle and I conducted you here and consoled you in your sorrows that you endured in the siege of Antioch. Behold, by timely aid, I sent you safe and sound into the city and see many depraved and wanton people working with Christians and the depraved pagan women, from which a great stench has risen unto heaven. Then the gracious Virgin and St. Peter fell to his feet, asking him and praying that in this trial, he would aide his own people. And St. Peter said: 'Lord, the pagan people had held my home for this whole time, in which many unspeakable evils had been done. Only expel the enemies from here, Lord, and the angels will rejoice in heaven.' And the Lord said to me: 'Go then and tell my people let them return to me, and I will return to them, and after five days I will send great aid to them. And let them daily chant this response "We are united" the whole and the verse. Seigneurs, if you do not believe this to be the truth; permit me only to climb this tower and throw me off of it, if I am unharmed, you will believe this to be the truth. If however I have endured any injuries, cut off my head and throw me into the fire."

Then the Bishop of Le Puy ordered that Bible and a cross be brought, on the spot he swore that this was the truth. Our leaders deliberated at that hour, so they all should swear an oath that none of them would flee neither for death or for life, so long as they were alive. The first to have spoken this oath was Bohemond, then the Count of St. Giles, Robert the Norman, Duke Godfrey, and the Count of Flanders. Tancred swore and promised this as well for however long he had forty knights with him, he would not only not withdraw from this battle but not withdraw from the journey to Jerusalem. The Christian assembly rejoiced greatly at this, hearing of the oath.

25. However, there was a certain pilgrim among our army whose name was Peter, to whom St. Andrew the apostle had appeared before we entered the city, saying: "Where do you go, good man?" To whom, Peter responded: "Who are you?" The apostle said to him: "I am Andrew the apostle. Know, my son, that as you would enter the villa, going to the church of St. Peter there you with find the lance of our Savior Jesus Christ, with which he was wounded as he was hanging from the cross." Having said this, the apostle immediately withdrew.

However, fearing to reveal the advice of the apostle, he was unwilling to reveal this to our pilgrims. He was thinking to have seen this vision himself. And he said to him: "Lord, who will believe this?" In that very hour, St. Andrew received him and carried him all the way to the place where the lance was hidden in the earth.

When we were thus so that we were said to be overcome again, St. Andrew came again and said to him: "Why do you not lift up the lance from the ground as I told you to? You know again, that anyone who carries this lance into war, will never be overcome by an enemy." Peter immediately revealed this mystery of the apostle to our men. However the people did not believe him but denied this saying: "For what should we believe this?" For all were trembling from fear and were expecting to die soon. He approached and swore this all to be most truthful, since St. Andrew twice appeared to him in a vision, and said to him: "Rise up! Go and tell the people of God not to fear, but believe with their whole heart in one true God and they will be victorious everywhere. And the Lord was sending to them after five days such a thing from whence they would remain happy and joyful, and if they wished to fight, so that they would go united to war. Their enemies would be completely defeated and no one would stand against them." Hearing that their enemies would be completely defeated by them, they immediately began to revive and comforted each other in turns saying: "Be alert and be strong and careful everywhere. Since God will be near to us in aid, and will be the greatest refuge for his own people who he sees remaining in sorrow.


Tracy said...

Seigneurs, if you do not believe this to be the truth; permit me only to climb this tower and throw me off of it, if I am unharmed, you will believe this to be the truth. If however I have endured any injuries, cut off my head and throw me into the fire."
So they didn't put him to the test, then!

Anachronist said...

Why did they have such visions? Too much fasting? And no, they didn't put him to the test because nobody would like to look like a heretic if he managed to survive. Bohemond was first to swear the oath that he wouldn't flee. He was keen.

The Red Witch said...

Nope, they didn't put him to the test. For some reason, they weren't as kind to Peter.
Maybe St. Andrew and Jesus really did visit them. I am intrigued by both visions saying something would happen in five day. Those who need an explanation grounded in the real world have suggested ergot, a fungus on spoiled grain, gave them LSD like hallucinations.