The Monastery of Tallaght

Author: E. J. Gwynn & W. J. Purton

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p. 127.

1. A former layman was in company
with a “son of life.” He said:
‘I do not understand your continual
singing of the Beati and the Canticle
of Mary (i.e. the Magnificat).’ ‘That
is not hard to explain, truly,’ said
the other. ‘As a man, being now at
the foot of the gallows, would pour out
praise and lamentation to the king, to
gain his deliverance; in like manner we
pour forth lamentation to the King of
Heaven in the Beati, to gain our deliverance.
And it is fitting also that
the song (?) which came from the head
of the Virgin Mary, when she had
conceived by the Holy Ghost at the
angel’s announcement (i.e. at the message):
—that this should be set as a
crown upon the chant which contains
praise of God and lamentation addressed
to Him.’

2. As for those who come to converse
with him, it is not his usage to
ask them for news, but to see that they
profit in those matters only for which
they come. Because it might harass

p. 128.

and disturb the mind of him to whom
it was told. If the persons in authority
that are in the Church where thou art
have not fully performed their duties, and
if each . . . from thee, without correcting
himself, merely send him away from
thy confession gently and kindly; if
they do anything [that they have been
told] thereupon, —it is well. If they
do not repent, it is best to dismiss them

3. Whatever remains over after the
monks that live with thee are satisfied,
this he thinks it right to give to the
poor, for they have nowhere that they
can go to beg anything. But it is meet
for thee, even if thou have no old leavings,
[to feed] the poor with flitches of
bacon and firkins of butter and so forth.

4. Maeldithruib (of Tir Da Glas)
asked Helair (of Loch Cre) whether,
if the folk in the old churches had
not properly performed their duties, he
ought to accept from them any of the
produce of the church? Helair replied
that he should accept it, ‘for it does
not defile thee, if thou have no share in
receiving them or in confirming them
in orders: for though they be defiled’
(said he), ‘yet they defile not the
patron’s fruits. For that belongs to
us’ (said he), ‘rather than return to them.’
The only bread that used to be brought
to himself, and into his own island,
was the “bread of Ros Cré.” ‘Let it
be Mochua’s bread,’ said he (that is,
Helair) ‘that is brought to us.’

5. Psalms of prayer and the Beati
are used by some in the morning, but
he does not recite them in the morning:
for when he (that is Helair) performs
a morning vigil, it is with some part of

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the Psalms that he performs his vigil,
(in order to keep the order of the Psalms,
because of the instruction) and the cross-vigil
is performed with the Beati,
together with the part [of the Psalms]
which follows . . . . . . The evening
Psalms of prayer he performs in the
middle of the day, with the Beati, and
afterwards he recites his Psalms of prayer
at the office. He recites, however, three
Beati, and a Magnificat with each of
them, after the Psalms, a Beati to each
fifty. It was not, however, Maelruain
that had told him to do this. He had
said to Maelruain: ‘I have heard,’
said he, ‘thus is the vigil Dublitir
practices: the three fifties standing,
and a genuflection at the end of every

6. Not a drop of beer was drunk in
Tallaght in Maelruain’s lifetime. When
his monks used to go anywhere else,
they used not to drink a drop of beer in
Tir Cualann, whomsoever they might
happen to meet. However, when they
went a long distance, in that case they
were allowed to drink. Not a morsel
of meat was eaten in Tallaght in his
lifetime [unless] it were a deer or a
wild swine. What meat there was [at
Tallaght used to be consumed by] the
Then Dublitir came to Maelruain to
urge him to grant his monks relaxation
on the three chief feasts, even if it were
not allowed after nor before those days.
Maelruain replied: ‘As long as I shall
give rules,’ said he, ‘and as long as
my injunctions are observed in this
place, the liquor that causes forgetfulness
of God shall not be drunk here.’
‘Well,’ said Dublitir, ‘my monks

p. 130.

shall drink it, and they shall be in
Heaven along with thine.’ ‘Anyone
of my monks that shall hearken to me,’
said Maelruain, ‘and keep my Rule,
shall not need to be cleansed by the fire
of Doomsday, nor to come to judgment,
because they shall be clean already.
Thy monks, however, shall perchance
have somewhat for the fire of Doom to

7. There was a certain bishop of the
Deisi at Findglas, named Cainchomrac:
he was Dublitir’s confessor. One day
the two came in front of the brethren
out of the garden over the stile into
the field. There was a certain poor
old woman waiting for Dublitir in the
field to pray him to let her sleep in
the nuns’ hostel. Presently the old
woman wearied him with her loud
praying to God. ‘Be off with you
then!’ said he; ‘misfortune take your
face!’ Instantly thereupon Cainchomrac
bowed himself to the ground.
‘What is this?’ said Dublitir. ‘Alas!
it is a dreadful deed thou hast committed,’
said Cainchomrac, ‘to revile
the poor old woman.’ Then he bowed
himself statim. ‘Thine award therefor?’
said Dublitir. ‘This is my
award,’ said Cainchomrac, ‘that she
go into the women’s hostel, and be
given a milch cow and a cloak. Moreover,
we will settle here and now the
penance that is meet for thee.’ ‘It
shall be done,’ said Dublitir.

8. Now Maeldithruib sings between
every two psalms of the hundred and
fifty Sancte Michael, ora pro nobis,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis
, adding the
saint whose feast falls on the day.
When the office of nocturns is over, then

p. 131.

Maeldithruib sings Celebra Juda and
Cantemus and Averte faciem, and so forth,
and thereafter Hymnum dicat, this last
in a cross-vigil. Then the Beati of
nocturns, and along with it the Magnificat.
As to the Beati of the refectory,
however, the Magnificat and Hymnum
and Unitas are sung with it, and Ego uero
, and so forth. But on Sunday
night the Beati is sung twice over. The
Psalms of prayer are sung on Saturday
night and Sunday night at vespers.
It is also his custom to recite on Sunday
nights a table grace and thanksgiving.
Immediately after dinner he sings
Averte faciem to a chant; after it a
prayer, Columba sancte, sume nos in
gremio. Caritatis tutela tuae sit nobis
After that, O Stephen, help me! guard
with thy head my heart against the
snares of death! O holy fire, save the
household of my dwelling! Let there
be no pains nor torments, et reliqua.
Then he crosses himself.

9. If anyone eats before the proper
hour, a fast is the penalty for it, or to
be put on bread and water the next

10. Also Maelruain did not approve
of listening to music. There was a certain
piper, Cornan, who lived in Descert
Lagen, and he was an anchorite. They
called him Cornan of the Glen (that is,
of Glen Essa), a man of grace. Presents
used to be sent to him from Maelruain.
He said once to Maelruain’s monks, ‘I
would crave a boon,’ said he, ‘to play
a tune to the cleric.’ Then Maelruain
made answer, ‘Say to Cornan,’ said
he, ‘these ears are not lent to earthly
music that they may be lent to the
music of Heaven.’

11. Now as to penitents: first,

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those that are given to lust, and that
frequent various mates and have
children born to them, seven years of
penance for them. Also those that shed
blood and commit homicide, seven years’
strict penance for them.

12. This I have heard from him:
even those who do not eat flesh
regularly take a particle of flesh at Easter
to guard against scarcity and hunger
occurring in the course of the year.
This I have heard from him; this
was the practice at Tir da Glas when
the Rule was there: the whole congregation,
when they left the oratory
at noon on Easter Day, used to go
straight to the kitchen that each of
them might take a particle of flesh
there, as a precaution against scarcity
or poverty during the year; for unless a
man relaxes at Easter, it would not be
easy for them to do so afterwards until
the next Easter a year later.

13. A herb that is cut on Sunday,
or kale that is cooked, or bread that is
baked, or blackberries or nuts that are
plucked on a Sunday, it is not his
practice, nor the practice of true clerics,
to eat these things.

14. If one of the laity accepts
spiritual direction, he is to keep himself
from his wife on these three nights,
Wednesday night, Friday night, and
Saturday night. As to Sunday night, he
is to do so if he can. And when a woman
is in her monthly sickness, a man ought
to keep away from her according to
the ghostly counsel of Peter in libris

15. When bishops and elders grant
exemption from vigils, it is right that
this should be done for their sake,

p. 133.

if it should be a day outside Lent, or
if it be the feast of a saint [during
Lent], and if it be not in order to shirk
due observance that the exemption is
sought. Although the performance of
the vigil in public be remitted, the
person concerned has to perform it in
his own cubicle afterwards. He does
not hold it right for any cleric to excuse
any duty which his seniors have imposed.

16. Maeldithruib asked Maelruain
whether it were enough to recite fifty
psalms, if there chanced to be instruction
along with them? Maelruain
replied that he considered the whole
contents of the Psalter not too much
of a task. ‘This, indeed, is what we
consider to be the additional labour of
each man. There is, indeed, at this
moment [among us] a man for the sickle,
for the flail, for the measuring-rod, and
for the ditch; but the additional labour
of each of them is the Three Fifties.
None of them,’ said he, ‘goes to table
till that man’s special business be

17. This Maelruain heard the elders
say of the desertion of the land: ‘Any
one who deserts his country, except to
go from the east to the west, and from
the north to the south, is a denier of
Patrick in Heaven and of the Faith in

18. There is nothing that a man
does on behalf of one that dies that
does not help him, whether it be vigil
or abstinence, or reciting intercessory
prayers or almsgiving, or frequent benediction.
Moedoc and all his monks
were a full year on bread and water to
obtain the release of the soul of

p. 134.

Brandub mac Echach. Sons ought to
do penance for the souls of their departed
parents et cætera.

19. The daughter of the king in
the eastern country bestowed land on
Fursa. She said to Fursa, ‘What
manner of man art thou?’ said she.
‘Like an old smith,’ said he. ‘with
his anvil on his shoulder.’ ‘The
anvil of devotion?’ said she. ‘Perseverance
in holiness,’ said he. ‘A
question!’ [said she], ‘if God should
give thee a block where thine anvil
might be planted, wouldst thou abide
there?’ ‘It would be likely, indeed,’
said he. Then she bestowed on him
the spot where he was.

20. He considers that priests who
go astray, however fervent their penitence
may be, should not be allowed to
enter episcopal orders. For they consider
that to enter episcopal orders is a
purification for the one who transgresses the
priestly orders.

21. He thinks it well that if a man
makes a resolution to do anything good,
he should openly vow and proclaim whatever
resolution he has taken. Because
what a man does merely in intention is
not greatly pleasing to God. This is what
Mocholmoc úa Litan said of the continual
intending to do a thing. A certain layman
came to ask him for ghostly counsel.
‘What sort of life dost thou lead?’
said Mocholmoc: ‘Art thou still in the
married state?’ ‘Nay,’ said he ‘it
is three years since we two had intercourse.’
‘A question: have ye taken
a vow?’ said Mocholmoc. ‘No,’
said he. Then said Mocholmoc: ‘That
is too long a time to part from the

p. 135.

Devil without coming to God. For it
is when he makes such a vow that a
man comes into membership of God’s

22. The feast of a saint that falls
outside Lent on a Saturday, as, for
instance, Cainnech’s—he has seen the
noonday vigil on Saturday excused
in honour of Cainnech in Tallaght.
However, Maeldithruib never saw
relaxation as to a seland of butter
granted to Maelruain’s monastery on
Saturday evening on account of
Caindech’s feast-day. He used to
consume all his portion of porridge
in morsels.

23. Concerning the matter of spiritual
direction, some think it sufficient if
they have merely made their confession,
though they do no penance afterwards.
He does not approve of this. He thinks
it well, however, that one should show
them what is profitable to them, even
though he does not ask for confessions.
This is what Helair did in the matter:
at first he had received many, but he
ended by sending them all away, because
he saw that their penance was not
zealously performed, and also that they
concealed their sins when making confession.
After that he finally refused
to receive anyone at all to spiritual
direction. However, he would sometimes
allow holy persons to consult him.

24. As for Maelruain he was not stiff
in refusing to receive them finally. He
had no great desire even to receive
Maeldithruib. This is what he said:
‘Didst thou ask permission of those
whom thou didst leave before coming
hither?’ ‘Yea,’ said Maeldithruib.

p. 136.

‘Even artisans,’ said Maelruain. ‘the
smiths, the wrights, etc., none of them
likes a man of his household to go to
anyone else.’ ‘What thou sayest has
been looked to,’ said Maeldithruib; ‘I
obtained authorization and permission.’
Then he made submission to the authority
of Maelruain. Then said Maelruain:
‘A year of repurification shalt
thou have among us,’ said he. ‘Thrice
forty nights shalt thou be on bread
and water, save for a sup of milk on
Sundays only,’ and he had permission
to mix a cup of whey in the water in the
summer-Lent only. Now till that
time he had been under the spiritual
direction of Echtguide.
Now this is what Maelruain said to
him: ‘When thou hearest of a man’s
decease,’ said he, ‘then [say to thyself
that] the fire thou most dreadest to
burn thee, to it shalt thou go.’

25. Maeldithruib said to Maelruain:
‘I have long had four darling
wishes. My first wish was to read and
to cast my eyes over whatever sacred
reading had come into the country.
Then it was a darling wish of mine,
wherever there is the household of
saintly men that are holiest in this
country, to be busied in attending on
those saintly persons and earning their
blessing. And [my next wish was]
that I might attain to have my fill of
discourse with thee; and [the last was]
that I might earn the blessing of thy
folk here, both those of them that we
should discourse with and those we
should not.’ ‘Our saintly friend,
Fer da Chrich, said to us, speaking of

p. 137.

continual contriving of that same thing,’
said Maelruain, ‘Let the good desires of
their hearts be granted to the sons of
life, so that their rewards may be paid
them according as their desires should
bring about those results.’

26. Thereafter Maeldithruib inquired
of him, whether he held it
allowable to perform Sunday night’s
penance on the Saturday, ‘because,’
said Maeldithruib, ‘the laity and the
people of the great old churches yonder
are of little worth; and if those folk
hear that we perform it on the [Sunday
night], there is no sort of transgression
they will not commit on the Sunday.’
Then Maelruain gave him leave to perform
it on the Saturday.

27. The regular time of tonsure. It
is performed once a month on a Thursday:
if it be not reached on the Thursday,
it is performed on the Friday or Saturday.
If, however, it pass the Sunday,
there is no tonsuring until the regular
time of tonsure comes again that day
month. This is what we received from

28. He sings the Hymn to Michael
before sleeping, and the Hymn to Mary
in the morning. He names them the
Invocation of Michael’s Protection and
the Invocation of Mary’s Protection
respectively. Afterwards he sings the
Hymn to Michael, as well as the Beati
and Hymnum dicat, on Sunday at midday.
The Hymn to Mary, however, he
sings, as well as the Beati, on Sunday
evening. This is what he performs—
a hundred genuflections, [and] a cross-vigil
with the Beati and Hymnum

p. 138.

dicat and Unitas or Cantemus. The
cross-vigils he performs thus: Hymn to
with one cross-vigil, Hymn to
with the next, and so alternately.

29. The four books of the Gospels
are to be read aloud at meal time till the
end of the year, a book to every quarter:
the book of Matthew in the spring
quarter, and the rest similarly in their

30. He uses four cross-vigils: a
cross-vigil with Beati and Hymnun dicat
at prime; then he sings the Psalms as
far as the beginning of the last fifty;
next, a cross-vigil with Beati again
at the end of the middle fifty, that is,
Cantemus at this point; then a cross-vigil
at Domine probasti in the same
way: that is, Hymn to Michael one
time; Hymn to Mary the next; finally,
a cross-vigil at the end [of the Psalms]
with the thirty paternosters. He used
to call the Beati after which the Hymn
to Michael
is sung, “Michael’s Beati”
and the Beati after which the Hymn
to Mary
is sung, “Mary’s Beati”. The
Beati, after which he performs the cross-vigil
of eventide he calls “little Beati”,
because neither Unitas nor Cantemus is
sung after it. Howbeit, Magnificat and
Hymnum dicat are sung after it. Now,
the cross-vigil is not performed between
the two Christmases, or between the
two Easters, and flagellation is not
inflicted at that time. Even the cross-vigil
with Hymnum dicat at nocturns is not
performed between the two Christmases
nor between the two Easters. He
excuses also at that time the singing of
the psalms of prayers at vespers, between
the two Christmases. The thirty paternosters
he sings at the cross-vigil of eventide.

p. 139.

He sings them even between the
two Christmases, though he does not
perform a cross-vigil with them. However,
he performs the vigil at matins the
day after Epiphany, and the Monday
following Low Sunday, and he performs
the cross-vigil with Hymnum dicat
at nocturns on the night following
Epiphany and on the night of Low
Sunday. Also the Beati with which
he performs his morning vigil, he sings
it between two solemn feast days,
even though he does not perform the
vigil. This is his practice in regard to
the canticle wherewith he performs the
vigils: it is sung, though there be a
relaxation as to the vigil itself. But as
to the psalms of prayer, they are excused
between the two Christmases and the
two Easters, at vespers. They are not
excused, however, from Low Sunday to

31. He sings the psalms as follows:
he divides each fifty into four: the first
division he makes is from Beatus to
Domine quis: then a genuflection at
this point, and he sings a pater [and]
Dominus in adjutorium as far as Festina
before each division. The second division,
from Domine quis to Dominus illuminatio,
and the last Benedicite and a
pater thereafter. Then from Dominus
to Dixi custodiam, and here
a pater and genuflection. From Dixi
then to the end: here a pater
and genuflection. Then from Quid
to Te decet, and here a pater
and genuflection. From Te decet to Voce.
From Voce to Misericordias. From
Misericordias to the end; but it is
there he sings his pater. From Domine
to In exitu Israel. From In exitu

p. 140.

Israel to In convertendo. From In convertendo
to Domine probasti. [From Domine
] to the end. The place where
he sings the Magnificat is immediately
after the Beati, not after the psalms.
Every [other] division is sung sitting,
the next standing. The pater noster
which he recites at the end of each
division, this is to mark the divisions.

32. There was a certain nun from
Caill Uaitne endowed with the grace of
God. She would not rise without singing
a pater. She would not sit down
without chanting a pater. When she
rose to recite the divisions [of the
psalms] she used to recite a pater immediately
after rising, and then she would
begin the division. Then when that
division was finished she would sit down
and she would recite a pater immediately
after sitting down, and then she would
begin to recite the [next] division sitting
down. It is by her example that he
appoints(?) the pater at the end of
each division. It is his constant usage
to sing a pater whenever he rises, and
a pater whenever he sits down.

33. ‘I have heard,’ said Maeldithruib
to Maelruain, ‘that the vigil
which Dublitir practised was as follows:
the three fifties standing and
a genuflection after each psalm.’ ‘I
do not tell thee [to do so],’ says
Maelruain, ‘such is not our practice.’
‘And the Canticles, how shall they be
sung?’ said Maeldithruib. ‘Not hard
to say,’ said Maelruain: ‘they may
be used in three ways after a division
[of the psalms]: that is, either the
whole number may be sung at the end
after finishing the psalms; or three of

p. 141.

them after each fifty; or one canticle
after each division.’
Now this is Maeldithruib’s practice.

34. There was a certain anchorite
at Cluain ua Duban. Great was his
labour: two hundred genuflections he
used to perform at matins and a hundred
every canonical hour, a hundred at
nocturns—seven hundred in all. This
was told to Maelruain. ‘By my word,’
says Maelruain, ‘a time will come to
him before his death when he shall not
perform a single genuflection.’ This
came to pass: his feet were seized so
that he could not perform a vigil for a
long time before his death, on account
of the excessive amount he had performed
in other days.

35. Wealth(?) that is given by lay
folk, he is careful not to accept. Some
accept such things to be distributed by
them to the poor thereafter: because the
lay folk do not distribute to the poor.
The consequence is that the lay folk
deem it enough to win a place in heaven,
if only they have given something to
their confessors, and after that they
think it will be at their pleasure. It is
better then not to accept anything, save
from one that is holy, or from one that
submits to spiritual direction.

36. Now if thou art angry with
anyone, whether a stranger or one of
thine own monks, if thou are wroth so
as to lay a curse on anyone, or revile
him, fasting is imposed for it: (this is
what Maelruain prescribed to Maeldithruib);
and to beseech pardon of
everyone thou hast offended, if he be not
one of thy monks; or, if it be one of thy
monks, if he be a holy man, and if his
virtue was reported before [he reached]

p. 142.

the orders which he transgressed by this
ill-behaviour against them, it is better
to beseech him.

37. As for a servant or attendant,
penitence is not necessary on his account,
lest thou increase(?) his carelessness,
but only fasting for thyself. If the
servant who has no fear of God be not
in awe of thee, thou wilt not have much
hold on him, and he will treat thee negligently
if thou show penitence to him.
This is what is right, after admonishing
him of his fault, that he should
do penance for his misbehaviour, and
that thou shouldest not be angry in any
way, either consciously or unconsciously.
If thou art angry with thy servant, however,
and there is no cursing nor reviling,
a hundred blows on thy hand in
the first place with a scourge. If this
do not check thee, then thou shalt put
thyself on bread and water for the night
after getting angry.

38. Now if spittle falls on a man’s
hand at meals, their use is to pour water
thereupon, after the spittle touches the

39. A “son of life” should always
recite his psalms by the psalter. This
is what he used to say of this: There
are three adversaries busy attacking me,
my eye, my tongue, and my thoughts:
the psalter restrains them all. Howbeit,
this is what Maelruain had said to
Maeldithruib: The thought is no less
occupied with the meaning when one is
reciting the psalm by rote than it is
when he is reading it with the psalter.

40. It is not the practice of the
Celi De for one to drink anything after
making water. This is what I have
heard from Maeldithruib. This was the

p. 143.

practice of Siadal mac Testa of Ard
Mor:—It was forbidden(?) that any
one of his monastery should drink a
drop after passing his water. This had
been also the practice of Cumine Fota:
this is also the practice of Clemens mac
Nuadat—if he were overtaken by jollity
or tipsiness through drinking beer or a
goblet of mead, when this happened to
him he had to fast the next night
immediately thereafter.

41. A groat that is given to a lad or
young man for accompanying someone in
a sin of lust, or to a woman; if the lad or
the woman do penance thereafter for that
sin, he considers it proper in regard to
that groat to give their price to the
poor. He does not hold it admissible,
however, to give it back to the person
by whom it was given in the first
instance. But he does not consider it
clean dealing for the person to whom it
is given to keep possession of it,
because it is given as the price of sin.

42. He does not consider it forbidden
that an ewer of water should be provided
for one who is on bread and water.
This is what Maelruain said to Maeldithruib:
‘A year of cleansing with
us here,’ said he, ‘to be on bread
and water for the thrice forty nights:
a sip of whey-water on Sunday, if it
chance to be ready.’ However, it was
permitted him to mix a sip of whey
with water in summer-lent.

43. This is their practice: to wash
their hands after plying the scourge,
whether it be to read aloud the gospels
that a man goes after doing penance,
or whether it be to the kitchen, or
to any other matter—he washes his

44. This we received from Maelruain:

p. 144.

To consult his confessor once a
year regularly, if he be at a distance:
if he be nearer, however, it is allowable
to consult him oftener.

45. It is not the practice of the
Celi De to do anything whatever after
evensong on Saturday. Once it happened
to me that I chanced to stay in the bath
a while after evensong on Saturday.
He told me to go without condiment of
bacon or butter on the Saturday evening
and the Sunday following.

46. This is what he said to one
that was devout: that concern for carnal
things should not weigh on him, unless
they led him to oppose the will of God.
This is what Maelruain said to Sechnasach
the bishop from Cill Gulbin.
His mother besought him to take care of
her, and yet would not turn from her
sins. Then Sechnasach asked Maelruain,
‘How shall I at all manage these two
things?’ This is what he said:
‘Though thou bring her not to thee
to life, let her not carry thee to
death: but if she be converted, thou art
bound to take care of her.’ If anyone
that is carnal be really poor, he deserves
pity, as every poor man doth.

47. Three words Diarmaid, abbot
of Iona, left with bishop Carthach: pittance,
perseverance, cross-vigil: that is,
do not make a resolution— ‘This is the
pittance I will always eat. I will
say the Beati perseveringly without
desisting. This is the vigil I will

48. This was Maelruain’s practice:
any of the clerical students who suffered
from great thirst had permission to take
a drink of water or whey from the
hour of tierce to that of nocturns, lest

p. 145.

excessive thirst should cause him
suffering; and he was to perform thirty
paters in cross-vigil thereafter. From
nocturns to tierce, however, none was
permitted to take a drink though he
were at the point of death. As to the
infirm and old, however, the rigour of
the rule does not bind them to go without
any thing, like healthy persons.
This is what I have heard from Maeldithruib:
this was the practice in
Lismore:—Different folk for different
hours: if a man were very infirm, he
was to do some duty at tierce, another
man at midday, another at none, and
another in the afternoon, according to
each man’s infirmity. A lad or youth
that gave up his body to Maelruain, such
would be excused from fasting when
they had made themselves liable to fast.
The feasts of the apostles in summer-lent:
he does not forbid the vigil to be
relaxed on these days.

49. Now gathering of apples on a
Sunday or lifting a single apple from
the ground is not allowed among them.
In the case of one who does not eat
meat he thinks it proper that he should
not be allowed to drink the broth thereof.
He does not think it right to prepare a
selann on a Sunday, but that it should
be done beforehand.

50. The course prescribed to a
wedded couple who are under spiritual
direction. From prime on Monday
to matins on Wednesday, for these
two days and nights they are given
exemption and licence both for meals and
conjugal intercourse. After that time
abstinence is imposed on them both
from flesh and intercourse, from matins

p. 146.

on Wednesday to matins on Thursday.
They are given exemption again from
matins on Thursday till matins on
Friday. They must keep themselves
again from intercourse from matins on
Friday till matins on Monday, that is,
they are to live separately for three
days and three nights. Abstinence from
meals is imposed on them on Friday and
the following night, and on Saturday
and Saturday night. They are given
exemption, for meals only, on Sunday
and Sunday night.

51. Now he that eats the flesh of
a wild deer or wild swine and who
eats no other flesh at Easter, must not
eat any other flesh until the Easter
following, unless constrained by some
necessity (for he does not reckon this
as flesh). Now if he does not eat flesh
and bacon at Easter, even though hunger
or heathen constrain him to eat meat,
and he has nothing else that he may
eat, he thinks it better and safer for
him to face death for the sake of fulfilling
his vow than to relax in regard
to meat; and it is reckoned to him as
martyrdom if he chance to die for it, to
fulfil what he had promised to his confessor.
For there ought to be no relaxation
as to flesh even at Easter, till the
confessor grant it; and he thinks it right
that it should be from the hand of his
confessor that he should receive the

52. In the case of penance laid on
sickly persons, this is what he thinks
right, as to the continual preparing
for meals: alternate reviving and mortifying
is practised on them, lest the
perpetual confinement should cause their
death; and this is done, if it can be

p. 147.

managed, without their knowledge, by
telling his servant privately, ‘Let a
seland be brought to them in their
pottage or on bread’ (but it is more
usual to bring it to them in the pottage).
Once it happened that the abbot who
was in Iona saw that the recluses had
a bad colour. Thereupon he went to the
cook and himself made the pottage for
that day. He added one-third of water
to the daily allowance and boiled
the water. When this third had boiled
away, he put a lump of butter on each
man’s allowance, and boiled it on the
water, and then put meal over it, and
so he did every day. Then they noticed
the change in their colour, and knew
not what had caused it, since they saw
the usual ration unchanged. So when
their colour came back and they revived,
he continued alternately to mortify and
revive them from their dying state after
this fashion.

53. Now as to invalids who do not
drink like other people, if they do not
loiter over it, and if retention of urine
causes disease unless they go out, he
thinks it reasonable that they should be
allowed to go out, lest the constraint
upon them should induce disease;
always provided that they drink a
proper amount, that is, as much as
quenches their thirst. If, however,
excessive drinking be the object, they
are not allowed to go out.

54. Now he thinks it better and
safer that one should refuse to receive
confessions from anyone, unless he does
penance at [the confessor’s] bidding; but
one should do [the sinner] all the good
that lies in one’s power, short of
receiving his confession: if, however, a

p. 148.

man confesses his sins to some one, full
penance must be laid upon him, or he
must be banished if he does not do

55. At the Epiphany he does not
consider it right to tonsure or wash or
split wood or do any other form of work,
just as such things are not done on a
Sunday. The bringing of Christ out
of Egypt and the presentation in the
Temple and the defeat of the Devil:
on these days Sunday’s office is to
be said: we never saw dinner in the
daytime on those feasts.

56. This is what Colchu approves,
to give the sacrament to those that are
lying sick at the hour of death, provided
they have made a renunciation of every
vanity. Leave it, however, to God to
judge the mind of such, whether it be
true conversion; and if it be so, [be sure
that] the sacrament can bring salvation
to them in that moment. It is not
proper, however, to repeat the sacrament
thereafter in extremis.

57. He considers it not unlawful
that somewhat should be accepted from
idle folk, and that thou shouldst afterwards
give to the poor anything that is
left of it when thine own monks are
satisfied, because if it is in the hands
of the idle, they give none of it to the

58. When at the end of a meal
the body happens to be roused to lust,
slightly or strongly, he considers it
not amiss to cast that meal back
upon the Lord in displeasure at him,
as if one should say ‘There, keep thy
meal for thyself!’ and he believes
that this trial of him will not often be

p. 149.

made thereafter. Or else, to subtract a
part of the meal, and to pray God therewith
[and to repeat] ‘lead us not into
temptation,’ and Deus in adiutorium as
far as festina.

59. Persons whose desires are excited,
it may be through hearing confessions,
or merely with meditating, or
through youth, need strict abstinence to
subdue them, because it is excess of
blood in their body that is the cause.
Afterwards, when the blood fails, then
lust and desire fail.

60. Molaise of Daminis had a sister
named Copar. Now desire lay heavy upon
the girl, for it is a third part as strong
again in woman as in men. Then he
regulates her portion and her pittance
for a year: that is, a measured pittance.
On that day year she came to him, and
confessed that her desire still persisted.
Now he was busy sewing before her.
Then he thrust the needle thrice into
her palm, and three streams of blood
flowed from her hand. Then said he,
‘No wonder,’ said he, ‘if it is hard
for the body, wherein are these strong
currents, to contain itself.’ Then he
diminished her meals a second time.
She was on that ration for a year, and
her desire still persisted. So after
that time he thrusts the needle into
her hand thrice, and three streams of
blood flowed from it. So he reduced
her meals again for a year, and at the
end of that time he thrust the needle
[again into her hand]. This time, however,
not a drop of blood came out of
her. Then he said to her: ‘In future,’
said he, ‘keep on this pittance until
thy death.’

61. There was a certain itinerant

p. 150.

pedlar in Munster in the time of Samdan,
who used to carry greetings from her to
the “sons of life” in that country. Once
she called him to her and bound him
not to add to nor take away a single word
that she said, nor a word that anyone
should say to whom he was sent. Then
she said to him: ‘Say to Maelruain for
me,’ said she (—or to Fer Da Chrich, and
this latter is more likely, since Maelruain
was more venerable than Samdan), ‘that
he is my favourite among the clerics of
the Descert, and another thing thou shalt
say to him: ask, does he receive womankind
to his confession, and will he
accept my soul-friendship?’ The pedlar
took this message. But when he told
him that he was Samdan’s favourite,
he rose at once and raised both hands
as in a cross-vigil and gave thanks to
God. When the pedlar asked him
next whether women took counsel of
him, and whether he would accept
Samdan’s soul-friendship, he blushed
down to his breast, and made three
genuflections, and fell silent for a long
time. Then he said: ‘Tell her,’ said he,
‘that I will seek counsel from her.’
Then the pedlar told all these sayings
to Samdan, and she said: ‘I trow,’
said she, ‘something will come of that
youth.’ Then she draws her brooch
out of her mantle and drives it into her
cheek till it stuck in the bone, and then
there came out two filaments of milk: yet
not a single drop of blood came out. At
that sight the pedlar began to weep and
wail. Then she took the wound between
two fingers and began to squeeze it for
a long time, and not a drop was wrung
from it. Then at last by reason of

p. 151.

the long squeezing out came a little
tiny drop. It was a little drop of water,
and there was a little yellow on the
surface enough to change its colour.
Then she put this little driblet on her
nail, and she said: ‘So long,’ said
she, ‘as there is this much juice in his
body, let him bestow no friendship
nor confidence upon womankind.’

62. Devout young nuns he thinks
it [right] to go and converse with and
to confirm their faith, but without
looking on their faces, and taking an
elder man in thy company: and it is
right to converse with them standing
on the slab by the cross in front of the
hostel, or in the retreat where they
live. And the elder who goes with
thee, and the senior nun who lives in
company with the young nuns, should
be present and not far from you, where
they are. When ill desires or ill thoughts
overtake thee, through seeing women or
in converse with them, if . . . . . . .
that it is not to be indulged by thee
even as an idle thought(?), then he
considers that such desire is no great
matter: it is meritorious, however, if
a man gets clear of it. When the
thoughts are constantly straying towards
ill meditations, they must be checked
and recalled as far as possible; and he
should resort to reading or to examining
himself against it, and keep his mind
fixed on prayer. He does not consider
it easy to fix any penance for such
straying of the thoughts; for . . . . not
much about it here at all.

63. If a man constantly keeps to
the pittance prescribed by the Rule,
both as to the bread and the selann of

p. 152.

butter (that is, the half loaf and the
quarter or other quantity), and the
[proper amount of] drink, even though
human weakness may stir desire, so that
there is an excitation of desire in his
members (perhaps it may happen immediately
with meals, or it may happen
in bed, whether he be asleep or awake,
or perhaps he may escape it until
morning)—he counts it no great matter,
provided there be no yielding to desire.
If a man’s allowance be suddenly
diminished, that will cause sickness and
dry internal piles. Everyone should
regulate his pittance for himself,
knowing the proper amount, that it
cause not sickness, if it be too little;
neither nourish vice, if it be too much:
as much then as suffices him, and does
not induce sickness. It should be
limited according to men’s natures, for
the course of nature differs in each man.
This is what is laid down in the Rule of
Doimine, Abbot of Rome; he holds it
better and safer for a man’s soul to use
a small light pittance rather than a large
pittance of coarse food: for the small
light diet is better to sustain a man
and make him healthy, and it excites
human nature to ill desires less than
the large diet of coarse food.

64. When it is grievous for anyone
in regard to such elderly people as live
with him not to indulge them with
a change or increase of diet, while
thou art chastising thyself to subdue
thy desires and propensions, and they
do not observe this—(they suppose,
however, that it is by way of abstinence
on thy part)—he considers it safer in
such a case not to indulge them, even
though it be grievous to them, and

p. 153.

however aged they may be, rather than
that to do anything that might be
death to thy soul, or shouldest fail to
do penance for thy soul’s sins. Some,
however, make false confessions about
themselves, in order to increase the
penance laid upon them; but this is
not right.

65. Now, to eat a meal with a dead
man (though saintly) in the house is
forbidden; but instead there are to be
prayers and psalm-singing on such occasions.
Even one in orders who brings
the sacrament to a sick man is obliged
to go out of the house at once thereafter,
that the sick man die not in his presence;
for if he be present in the house
at the death, it would not be allowable
for him to perform the sacrifice until a
bishop should consecrate him. It happened
once on a time to Diarmait and
to Blathmac mac Flaind that it was in
their hands that Curui expired. When
he died, they were about to perform
the sacrifice thereafter, without being
reconsecrated, till Colchu hindered them
from doing so. The authority is Leviticus;
and Diarmait also, the Abbot
of Iona, was with him on that occasion.

66. Once upon a time a certain
monk went on a journey to Findio mac
Fiatach. A woman happened to meet
him on the journey, et postulavit illa
concubitum eius
. She laid hands upon
him at last, and there befell intercourse
by tryst between them. Immediately
thereafter he did not stay to wipe the
tear from his cheek, till he came to Findio
and confessed to him his fault. Findio
said: ‘That shall not matter. A demon
has contrived it,’ said he, ‘to carry thee
off from us, and to set thee among the

p. 154.

laity, and bring thee into a penitentiary,
that thou mayst be publicly put to
shame. It shall not avail him, however;
thou shalt not go into a penitentiary,
neither shall he carry thee off
among the laity. Thou shalt go to the
sacrament, and shall continue under the
same rule through each fast.’ Satan
came thereafter to him and accosted
him, tempting him a second time, and
said to him: ‘The counsel Findio gives
thee will be no great cleansing for thee.
This is what is good for thee to do: go
to Comgell, that he may pass judgment on
thee.’ He went accordingly and confessed
to him, and Comgell said: ‘Welcome
indeed is thy coming: this thing will
not matter’ ; and Comgell said to him
the same things as Findio had said.
When he came along from Benchor,
just then Colum Cille’s curragh reached
harbour, and Satan persuaded him to go
to Columba. ‘Thou shalt get no cure
through Findio and Comgell,’ said he;
‘this is what is good for thee to do, go
to Columba.’ So he went and made his
confession to him, and Columba said to
him: ‘Thou hast crucified Christ once of
thyself by sin; secondly, in the person of
Findio, because thou didst not believe
what he said by the Holy Spirit; thirdly,
in the person of Comgell; fourthly, in
mine. I pronounce upon thee,’ said
Colum Cille, ‘fifteen years of penance
because of the contempt thou hast shown
for a true limb of Christ—namely,
Findio.’ Finit. (I have written this on
my own account, and these two tales;
and it is not in ignorance, but to set
them forth that we proceed in this

67. A garment that is brought from

p. 155.

the laity a demon accompanies it until it
has been washed; and it is no protection
to shake or beat it, but only to wash it.
A certain anchorite lived in Clonmacnois,
named Laisren, quite naked and
free from sin, with nothing on his conscience.
Now he was infirm with disease;
so each of the clerical students in
turn used to take him home with him.
A certain student had taken him home
one night, and put a cloak under him.
Laisren slept upon his cloak. He sees a
carnal vision, and he never saw one from
his birth till that night. Then he rose
up, and began to weep and lament.
Then he began to perform a vigil, and
recited the Three Fifties with his vigil.
Then a trance fell upon him, as he lay on
his face. Then an angel came to him and
said to him: ‘Be not sorrowful,’ said he;
‘what thou hast felt this night thou shalt
not feel again in thy life. And this is
what caused the thing: because the cloak
on which thou hast slept is the cloak of a
wedded couple, and it has not been
washed since it was used by them. So,
because it has not been washed, a demon
hath . . . . For any cloak that is
taken from lustful people, a demon
accompanies it so long as it is not
washed,’ etc.

68. He does not commend fasting:
he prefers a regular measured pittance.
There is no Rule where it is imposed,
except on account of injury done. There
is one fast in Comgall’s rule—namely,
the Wednesday before Easter. However,
Colum Cille recognized three fasts only
in the year: the eve of Epiphany—that
is, twelve days after Christmas, and the
eighth part of Colum Cille’s loaf at that

p. 156.

time, with a seland and a bochtan of good
milk: that was the manner of that fast;
and the first Wednesday of Lent, and
the first Wednesday after Pentecost:
the eighth of a loaf to each fast. However,
Colum Cille relaxed the fast of the
Passion for the saints of Ireland, because
old men died of that fast after the
long privations of Lent. A great festivity
and merrymaking was regularly allowed
by Colum Cille thereafter to the brethren:
the growth of the crops was given to
them then: three months were spent in
tending and watering them. He called
that the Feast of the Ploughmen,
because it was then that the crops
reached their full growth.

69. In Colum Cille’s Rule Saturday’s
ration is the same as Sunday’s, on account
of the honour paid to the Sabbath
in the Old Testament. It is only in
respect of work that it is distinguished
from Sunday. In other Rules also
there is a similarity of rations on the
Sabbath and on Sunday. When, however,
there is in the Rules “superponat
or “superpositio,” this is properly applicable
to a half-ration and half-fast;
cena careat,” however, is used when a
fast is meant—that is, cena in nocte.

70. It is all one whether one person
or a number is present at the Beati or
the Mass; for there is no less efficacy in
his prayer if there be many present than
if it be appropriated to himself alone—
just as the light of the sun is no greater
for one man only than for a number.

71. He makes much of going the
thousand paces, or more, to visit the
tenantry on Sunday; and the thousand
paces have been left as an ordinance
for watching a sick man, and for

p. 157.

administering the communion to him,
and to the young, and to the laity
who are under spiritual direction who
come to wait for the Mass, and to
hear preaching, and for urgent matters
besides, etc.

72. This I have heard Crundmael
say, that Maelruain never fasted but
thrice since he settled at Tamlacht
—namely, against Artri son of Faelmuire,
about a business that arose between the
monastery of Tallaght and him. After
the first fasting the king’s leg broke in
two; after the second, the fire fell and
burnt him from top to toe; after the
third fasting the king died.

73. This is the authority for the
habitual use of gruel. There was a
great gathering of the saints of Ireland
in Mag Lena. This is what brought
them together: they were grieved that
penitents died on bread and water in
the days of the elders who lived before
them. Then they fasted against God on
account of this. Then an angel came to
them and said to them: ‘Wonder not,’
said he, ‘if the bread and the water cannot
sustain the penitents to-day. The
fruits and plants of the earth have been
devastated; so that there is neither
strength nor force in them to-day to
support anyone. The falsehood and sin
and injustice of men have robbed the
earth with its fruits of their strength
and force. When men were obedient to
God’s will the plants of the earth retained
their proper strength. At that time
water was no worse for sustaining anyone
than milk is to-day.’ Then the
angel told them to mix some meal with

p. 158.

their butter to make gruel, so that the
penitents should not perish upon their
hands(?), because the water and the
bread did not suffice to support them.

74. There were three kinds of gruel
after that—gruel upon water, and gruel
between two waters (while it does
not sink right down to the bottom of
the vessel, it does not float above on
top of the water), and gruel under
water. However, [in this case] it
reaches the bottom of the vessel; the
grain carries it downwards. Those
whose sins are lighter, and who deserve
a year or two of penance, get gruel
upon water. Those, however, whose
sins are graver, who deserve four or five
years, get gruel between two waters.
Those, however, who have committed
great sins, and deserve seven years or
more, as do bishops or priests who fall
into mortal sin, or homicides and so forth,
get gruel under water, etc. A cleric by
whom a captive is killed should, he
considers, do penance like any other

75. This is what Maelruain used to
say when anyone enjoined on him to
pray God for him, and to lift up the
Gospels towards him. ‘Do ye pray
God for us,’ said he; ‘and then ye
share our prayers with us though we
do not mention your names. For if
anyone prays to God for us, we pray to
God for him, though we do not mention
each man’s name.’

76. This is what Mac Oige of Lismore
said in reply to a certain man who
inquired of him which attribute of the
clerical character it would be best for him
to acquire. He replied: ‘That attribute
with which he has never yet heard fault

p. 159.

found. If a man be distinguished [for
charity],’ said he, ‘it is said that his
charity is too great; if humble, it is said
again that that man is too humble; if
ascetic, that his abstinence is excessive,
and so with the rest. I have never heard,
however,’ said he, ‘of anyone of
whom it was said that “this man is too
steady”. Whatever task a man has set
his hand to, it is best for him to
persevere in it,’ etc.

77. There was a certain anchorite
from Slane, in the north, named Colcu,
a kinsman of Mochutu. He was much
given to austerities and strict abstinence.
Now, he had dairying and
store of victuals given him by the
monastery. Then he used to make frequent
distributions to the poor. Then
he had a desire to leave all and to go to
Maelruain, because he exercised his
conscience about eating the produce of
the monastery, as to whether each man
who brought the produce was sufficiently
pure. Then the elders said to his
cook that he should go along with
him to Maelruain. Then Maelruain
asked him what caused his ill colour,
but he would not confess. Then the
cook came and disclosed the diet on
which he lived to Maelruain, and he
was greatly moved. ‘Truly thou hast
wrought an unnatural crime upon thyself,’
said Maelruain. ‘I submit indeed,’
said he, ‘to thy will therein.’ ‘In the
first place,’ said Maelruain, ‘thou wilt
not fit in this place. It is under due
arrangement(?) at present,’ said he.
‘Those who are here,’ said Maelruain,
‘while they do their proper share of
work, are able to eat their rations.
Thou, therefore, wilt not fit among them.

p. 160.

Thou wilt neither do active work, nor be
able to eat thy rations.’ Then he knelt
down in submission to the absolute will
of Maelruain. ‘This is my will truly,’
said he; ‘so that thy life fail not, to make
some increase in that scanty pittance,
without leaving thee free to refuse it or
desire it(?). But as to what shall be
brought to thee out of “the patron’s
fruits,”’ said Maelruain, ‘though all
who bring it be impure, it is pure for
him who is holy. It shall be exhibited
on the floor of thy house, for the patrons’
fruit belongs rather to thee than to
them. It is not forbidden thee to lay
it upon thy conscience to distribute to
the poor the fruits of the patron’s

78. He does not consider it right for
anyone not to exact confession about
everything from him to whom thou
art confessor, without sparing him
at meal-time if thou happen to be
beside him, and he does not care about
the healing effect of that confession;
thou shouldst read the Rule and the
Penitential aloud in his presence,
and [do not] spare such persons, lest
thou perish through indulgence to

79. Now, he does not consider that
it matters if anyone accepts the spiritual
direction or receives the confession of a
man that is older or more venerable
than he is (for example his tutor
or an elder brother), if there be no
one else at hand of sufficient authority
for him to consult with. He should
not, however, lay upon such persons
strict injunctions; but let him read
the books before them, so that he may
gain the more knowledge(?).

p. 161.

80. Now, continual fasting was
not practised by Comgall, and it is
not practised by the saints at present,
save one fast, namely the eve of Maundy
Thursday after the Wednesday. On the
eve of the Passion, however, no fast is to
be observed.
Colum Cille, however, kept three
fasts in the year, with a half-ration on
each of them, and this half-ration was
liberal. As an equivalent for fasting,
Diarmait used to allow two exactly
equal rations to be made, whether it
happened to be coarse or light food, and
one of these to be given to God; the
other he was to eat himself; and this
serves in place of a fast.

81. This precept Colccu got from
Eogan, that whoever had a carnal dream
on a Saturday night should receive
communion on the morrow, and should
perform the due observances on the
Sunday before receiving communion,
that is to say fifty or a hundred genuflections:
even on a Sunday or a
festival he was not allowed to forget
his penance. This is not Maeldithruib’s
way, but he orders the penance
on Sunday night.
It was Colccu’s opinion that those
who used to stand in water did so for
the purpose of crushing and subduing
their desires and longings: or else
simply as an additional labour of piety.

82. He does not forbid anyone to
sleep his fill, provided that he diligently
observe the Hours, both day and night.
He thinks it better, moreover, for anyone
who may intend doing any pious act,
to make a vow and to fulfil it forthwith.
Solomon says: Qui observat ventum non
seminabit: qui considerat nubes non metet

p. 162.

83. Now as to the Beati of the
refectory: it is proper for them to
repeat(?) the last . . . with their lips
standing after meals, and it should be
sung in the refectory.

84. A cleric who kills a captive he
considers bound to do penance like any
other homicide.

85. Now the Gospel helps and
assists the souls of those towards
whom it is lifted up, as it helps the
living, and it is his practice to lift
it up towards the dead.
Once upon a time there arose a contention
in Cluain mac Nois over a
contest for the abbacy. Then Adamnan
set a stranger among them [as abbot].
Then while Adamnan was in Iona, they
persecuted the stranger, and deprived
him of his abbacy. Then he sent his
monks to Adamnan to complain against
them, and told them not to eat nor
loose their shoes until they should have
speech of him. Adamnan told them to
eat on that night, and they did eat; and
the next day they were not admitted to
his presence until the third hour and
then they set forth their case to him,
and Adamnan lifted up his hand holding
the Gospel at the moment when the
fire . . . . the monks of Cluain mac
Nois. He did not suffer one of them to
sit or lie down until they received the
stranger back again. Then Adamnan
told the messengers to go home, and on
their arrival they found their comrade
in possession of the abbacy. And the
messengers asked the precise hour in
which he was made abbot, and it
was the hour that Adamnan lifted up
the Gospel yonder; and afterwards he
was asked about so sudden a miracle,
and he answered: ‘Wonder not,’ said
he, ‘that the sign of the Cross by the

p. 163.

power of the Gospel traverses quicker
than a wink of the eye all the elements
up to heaven. With like speed doth it
reach the pit of torment; and it reaches
the sunrise and the sunset and the
southern and northern ends of the
world in a single twinkling and
vanquishes every obstacle.’

86. Maeldithruib lived on bread
and water every Lent for the good
of his father’s soul, usque ad novissimum
: for his prayers were always
occupied therewith in Lent.
There were a certain layman and
his wife in Mugdoirn living under the
spiritual guidance of Eocha ua Tuathail
in lawful wedlock, and with ten sons.
Afterwards his enemies murdered him,
and all the lay folk, seeing this,
said: ‘What did it avail him to live
virtuously?’ Eochu came at once to
Dublitir and set forth his case to him;
and Dublitir told him to distribute
to the poor half or a third of the
layman’s substance, and that one of
his sons should offer to God his body
and soul, and should observe on his
behalf the penance which he would
have performed, the pittance and vigil
and labour, to the end of seven years;
and that his wife also should do penance
on her own behalf and on her husband’s
for the same period. Then all this was
done, and his son and wife came to
communion that day seven years. Then
he appeared on that night to Dublitir
seven years after his death, and . . .
was his comeliness and he had glistering
raiment about him. Then he gave
Dublitir a blessing for the help that
had been given him, and said to him,
‘In this night the Lord hath taken

p. 164.

pity on me and has brought me out of
hell to the kingdom of heaven.’ And
Dublitir said: ‘Who art thou?’ ‘I
am a wretched man: Eochu has thought
upon me.’ Afterwards he appeared on
the self-same night to Eochu and to his
son and wife and blessed them and said
the same words to them.

87. Praind do tomailt la marb
ought to come here, and “Etach berar
do aes túate
” next. “Nico molatarsom
in troscud
. . . annos” ought to come

88. When pollution happens to
anyone in sleep, and he does not see
a dream-image, and does not remember
seeing anything which should cause him
to be polluted, he sings four psalms and
washes in water; and it does not hinder
his going to communion next day. For
this is no pollution to him, but it is an
evil recollection of the spirit, accompanying
a discharge of some of the
excess of liquid that is in the body.

89. Now he forbids anyone to sleep
at meals. This, however, is what he
thinks right—to dispatch the meal so
that no long while may be spent over
it. That, however, is [not] incumbent
on everyone.

90. Three things which are not
pleasing to God: good that is mixed
with evil: good that is begun but not
brought to an end: and help that comes
too late, which would render aid if an
attack should be made, and there is
made an attack which it does not help
[to resist].

© 2007 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae

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