Monastic Ireland.

Letter from Stephen of Lexington giving permission for two monks of Holycross, Isaac and Jacob, and Flan, a lay-brother, to become hermits (Letter 10)

Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982

Letter 10

To all the faithful in Christ, greeting in the Lord.

It is permitted to our beloved brothers Isaac and Jacob , formerly monks of Holy Cross, and Flan, lay-brother of the same house, to devote themselves to the solitary and eremitical life which they have ardently longed to do for a long time, but they did not attempt to free themselves to fulfil this desire because they knew full well that it is not permitted to monks of the Cistercian Order to do so without the agreement of the General Chapter. Hearing that the authority of the before-mentioned Chapter with full powers throughout Ireland was given to us, they supplicated with all the force they were capable of through themselves and through reliable and God-fearing men that they be permitted by us to turn to the fulfilment of their intention.
Therefore, having deliberated with devout and prudent men, and having carefully considered their advice, we graciously consent to the petitions of the aforesaid monks and lay-brother, absolving them from their obedience to the Order, that they may strive to follow the eremitical life with complete religious devotion from now on. In addition, we fully subject the three mentioned men to the jurisdiction of the archbishops or bishops in whose diocese they take their vows, so that, should they learn that through the persuasion of the devil they deviate from the requirements of their holy calling into a scandal to religion, they will remove our habit from them and will punish them in whatever ways they consider to be most beneficial for the salvation of their souls and the honour of the Church and the Order. In witness of which matter etc.

Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229, translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer (Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan) p. 29
These extracts are reproduced with the kind permission of Liturgical Press:

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