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Vrat Ltrs

5. Monks of St. James

Letter 5. The Brotherhood of St. James in Regensburg to King Vratislav To the most illustrious V., lover of Christian peace, [from] the most humble fraternity fighting under the light yoke of Christ1 in the church of St. James: special and devoted prayer together with participation in the eternal kingdom. Desiring to march in the footsteps of Christ,2 in whose his chains3 we are bound by our vocation and whose precepts we are following, we try to pray even for enemies. Indeed, with God bearing witness, paying these out day and night especially on your behalf, we strive to supplicate omnipotent God for the health of your body, the stability of your kingdom, and especially the safety of [your] soul. Your beloved son, who in God’s just judgment recently exchanged a pilgrim’s life for an eternal one, how can we sever him from your paternal love, which will be preserved between you before God in eternity? Whence we desire you to know for certain, whatever in the way of prayers, vigils, solemnities of the mass, generosity of alms and care of the poor, and all those things through which human fragility is able to appease its creator, [we promise] to invoke all the time whatever might lead to eternal salvation for him partly and also for you. Concerning these things, toward the increase of his eternal happiness, with affection from the depth of our hearts, we established that in our convent 100 solemnities of the mass be celebrated for him individually (privatim) and the same number of singings of the psalter—so that too, with God preserving our little group safe and undivided, we might fulfill these vows before the day of the Lord’s Nativity. Because therefore omnipotent God many times had regard for our poverty through you, in whom after God our every hope and salvation is placed: from this hope now strengthened, we venture to tickle ears of such sublimity with earnest prayers that you might open the treasury of your generosity, making light our need and holding fast the memory of our pious redeemer, who says: “whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”4 Farewell. And mercifully have regard for Christ’s paupers, to whom this year all the necessities of this life are altogether lacking. What more? We hope [for there to be] in you for every mercy and grace. Through it we beseech you, that by your royal precept you deign—through the lord Albinus,5 your loyal man—to lead our messenger off to Poland and back again in peace.