25. St. Romuald.


In the second volume of the Annual Anthology, is a tale of St. Romuald, stating that the Spaniards meant to murder him for the sake of securing his relicks. Andrews is referred to in his Chronological History of England, and he follows St. Foix. The circumstance happened in Aquitain. St. Foix liked the story, but did not like to relate it of the French, and so fathered it upon the Spaniards. 41It is such writers as St. Foix who have brought a general suspicion upon French literature. The design of the peasants is called Impia pietas by S. Pietro Damiano.

St. Romuald’s father took the habit of St. Benedict as well as his son; he did not like a monastic life and was devising means how to get his vows repealed, and return once more into the world. The monks of his convent wrote in all haste for Romuald, who ordered him down into the dungeon, put him in the stocks, had him well flogged, and dietted him upon bread and water, till he brought him to such a state of godiiness, that he was favoured with extasies and revelations. Impia pietas might have been said of this also! We are, however, only told, that it is a thing not to be imitated, unless by persons who are impelled by a superior power, as it is believed St. Romuald was. The fifth commandment is as little respected by Popery as the second.

42This St. Romuald, who was the founder of the Camaldulenses, must not be confounded (as sometimes has been the case) with the St. Rumbald, of whom many traces remain in England. Little Rumbald was a far more extraordinary fellow; he was the son of S. Kineburga, daughter of king Penda, of Mercia, and wife of the Northumbrian king Alfred. The saintling lived only three days, during which time he wrought miracles and made his will, by which he bequeathed his body to be kept one year at King’s Sutton, the place of his birth; two years at Brackley, in Northamptonshire; and then to be deposited for ever at Buckingham. The executors seem to have disregarded these injunctions, for it was not translated to Brackley till three years after his death, and there it was detained; —circumstances which render it probable that the will was never proved at Doctors Commons; this is to be regretted, 43for it would have been the greatest curiosity there.

Yepes t. 5. ff. 248. Cressy’s Church History of Britain p. 503. Entick’s Present State of the British Empire.


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