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Book Two of the Dialogues: Life of Saint Benedict


A certain Goth there was called Galla, an Arian heretic, who, in the time of King Totila, persecuted religious people of the Catholic church with such monstrous cruelty, that when any priest or monk came into his presence, he never departed alive. This man on a certain day, set on rapine and pillage, pitifully tormented a poor country man, to make him confess where his money and wealth was. Overcome with extremity of pain, he said that he had committed all his substance to the custody of Benedict, the servant of God. He said this so that his tormentor, giving credit to his words, might at least for a while cease from his horrible cruelty.

Galla, hearing this information, tormented him no longer, but binding his arms fast with strong cords, drove him before his horse, to bring him to this Benedict, who, as he said, had his wealth in his keeping.

The country fellow, thus pinioned and running before him, carried him to the holy man's Abbey, where he found him sitting before the gate, reading a book. Then turning back to Galla that came raging after, he said: "This is father Benedict, of whom I told you." Galla,  looking at him in a great fury, thought to deal as terribly with him as he had with others.  He cried out aloud to him, saying: "Rise up, sir, rise up, and deliver to me quickly such wealth of this man's as you have in keeping."

Illustration by Jeanne Kerremans

The man of God, hearing such a noise, immediately lifted up his eyes from reading, and beheld both him and the country fellow. Turning his eyes to his bands, they fell from his arms very strangely and more quickly than anyone could have undone them. Galla, seeing him so wonderfully and quickly loosed, fell a-trembling. Prostrating himself on the earth, he bowed down his cruel and stiff neck to the holy man's feet, and with humility commended himself to his prayers. But the venerable man for all this did not rise from his reading, but calling for some of his monks commanded them to let him in  and to give him some meat.

When he was brought back, he gave him a good lesson, admonishing him not to use any more such rigor and cruel dealing. His proud mind thus taken down, away he went, but dare not demand after that anything of the country fellow, whom the man of God, not with hands, but only with his eyes, had loosed from his bands.

And this is that, Peter, which I told you, that those which in a more familiar sort serve God, do sometime, by certain power and authority bestowed on them, work miracles. For he that sitting still appeased the fury of that cruel Goth, and unloosed with his eyes those knots and cords which pinioned the innocent man's arms, plainly showed by the quickness of the miracle, that he had received power to work all that which he did.

And now will I likewise tell you of another miracle, which by prayer he obtained at God's hands.


OSB Index | Gen. Information | Saint Benedict


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


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