Monastic Ireland.








2. Letter from Stephen of Lexington regarding the redistribution of the houses previously affiliated to Maigue (Letter 77)

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


To all the faithful in Christ seeing or hearing the present writing, Brother S, styled Abbot of Stanley, greetings in the Lord.
It is fitting that one who was none other than a teacher of errors to those subjected to her be deservedly deprived of her authority as governess. The monastery of Maigue, stoney of heart and unyielding of neck, spurning the customs and salutary warnings of the Order, endeavoured to administer the poison which it drew from the cup of Babylon to all its filiation while it was allowed to sit on a throne of pestilence and to spread the seed of pestiferous teaching with impunity. Although the General Chapter undertook in times past to apply cures of various types to so great an illness, the aforesaid house remains determined not only to bring no end to wickedness, but has reached out its hand to wickedness, with its pride growing from day to day, forever adding sin to sin, not fearing to pile up new conspiracies on old. Consequently, if we who take the place of the General Chapter in fullness of power are very acutely urged on by zeal of religious life and by the reproaches of whose who bring reproach and if we impose harsher remedies in the aforesaid house of Maigue, and if following the examples of Moses and Phineas in hatred of evil and the destruction of scandal, we draw up the weapons of more rigid discipline, this is not absurd or at odds with reason, especially when goodness persuades, necessity impels, clear advantage and the salvation of souls determines me.
Wherefore, with the careful and considered counsel of men of authority and of greatest experience, in order that the aforesaid house of Maigue may return more feebly to rebellion with horns polled and with wings clipped will not attempt the former flights of pride, by the authority of the General Chapter and the Order given to us in full power we subject the monasteries of Odorney and Chore, formerly daughter-houses of Maigue, to the house of Margam as mother-house in future, and we give possession of the daughter-house in perpetuity, decreeing with the same authority that whatever is claimed or attempted to the contrary at any time or in any way whatever is null and void. In witness of which matter etc.
The house of Furness has the same form of document concerning the monasteries of Fermoy and Corcomroe assigned to it.

Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229, translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer (Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan) pp. 149 - 150
These extracts are reproduced with the kind permission of Liturgical Press: www.cistercianpublications.org

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