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Book Two of the Dialogues: Life of Saint Benedict


Illustration by Jeanne Kerremans

GREGORY: You must, good Peter, for a little while be silent, that you may know matters yet far more important. For in the time of the Goths, when Totila, their king, understood that the holy man had the spirit of prophecy, as he was going towards his monastery, he remained in a place somewhat far off, and beforehand sent the father word of his coming: to whom answer was returned, that he might come at his pleasure. The king, as he was a man wickedly disposed, thought he would try whether the man of God were a prophet, as it was reported, or no.

A certain man of his guard he had, called Riggo, on whom he caused his own shoes to be put, and to be appareled with his other princely robes, commanding him to go as it were himself to the man of God; and to give the better color to this device, he sent three to attend on him, who especially were always about the king: to wit, Vultericus, Rudericus, and Blindinus; charging them that in the presence of the servant of God, they should be next about him, and behave themselves in such sort as though he had been king Totila indeed: and that diligently they should do to him all other services, to the end that both by such dutiful kind of behavior, as also by his purple robes, he might verily be taken for the king himself. Riggo, furnished with that brave apparel, and accompanied with many courtiers, came to the Abbey.

At that time the man of God sat a little way off, and when Riggo was come so near that he might well understand what the man of God said, then, in the hearing of them all, he spoke thus: "Put off, my good son, put off that apparel, for what you have on, is not yours." Riggo, hearing this, fell immediately down to the ground, and was very much afraid, for presuming to go about to mock so worthy a man, and all his attendants and servitors fell down likewise to the earth, and after they were up again, they dare not approach any nearer to his presence: but returned to their king, telling him with fear, how quickly they were discovered.


OSB Index | Gen. Information | Saint Benedict


25 July 2001
Order of Saint Benedict
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015


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