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Vrat Ltrs

4. Abbot Benedict

Letter 4. Benedict, Abbot of the Irish Monastery in Regensburg, to King Vratislav To the most illustrious King V., adorned with a royal diadem, [from] Benedict, servant of the pilgrims of Christ, and [from] all the rest of the pilgrims who are at Regensburg: every good fortune in the present life and rewards that will endure without end in the future. The words of your embassy, most sweet one, we received joyously and we decided to carry out happily what you requested. Always, indeed, as is fitting, there should be faithful and avowed prayer by everyone for the salvation of you and yours. But now, when we heard that you are going out on campaign with the army [and] also that the ferocity of peoples (gentes) rages against you, beyond the usual application of our devotion, we decided to do this: for everyone to complete the entire psalter daily [and] also to celebrate communally the mass pertaining to this [for armies, or battles?], but as well to carry the cross with a litany [and] also for everyone (except the infirm) to complete a fast for three days in the week. And we have decided that these things should be done diligently until, with Christ helping, with joy our lord should return in peace a victor.1 Dearest, fear God, who gave you honor, and keep his commands as you are able. Judas Maccabeus, when he was fearing God perfectly, then he was overcoming peoples (gentes) with a few men.2 Gideon also, giving honor to God, overthrew the Midianites almost to the point of their extermination with only three hundred men.3