De Correctione Rusticorum

(On the Correction of the Rustic)

by St. Martin of Braga

Translated with a Historical Introduction

by Hélio Pires


Historical Introduction
The Germanic Invasions
In the 5th century the Roman Empire suffered the Great Barbarian Invasions: several Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine and the Danube and rode free through Roman territory. Rome, lacking the political and military strength to make any serious opposition to the tribes, allowed them to live inside the borders of the Empire in a "federated" condition: slowly, they began replacing the imperial political authority and from 475 onwards the so far mutable borders of the Germanic territories inside the Empire were more stable. In 476, the last western emperor, Romulus Augustulus, still a child, was brought down and the emperial authority was transferred to Constatinople. In the Iberian Peninsula, there were four tribes: the Alani, the Suevi, the Vandals and the Visigoths. The first ones never actually formed a kingdom, the Suevi occupied the North west territory by a agreement with the emperor Honorius in 411 but lost and gained territory constantly, the Vandals made their way to Northern Africa and the Visigoths formed the kingdom of Toledo, eventually occupying the entire peninsula when they defeated the Suevi.
The Suevians and Religion
When the Suevian established themselves in the Northwest of Iberian Peninsula they were heathens, but shortly thereafter they were converted to Christianity: according to the sources of information we have, King Requiarius (448-456) was the first Suevian Christian ruler. However, in the year 465, an Aryan priest came from Gaul, arrived at the territory with the support of the Visigoths and converted the Suevian to Aryanism. Apart from this, and since the Aryan religion kept several pagan elements, in the rural areas people were still deeply heathen. Some decades latter, another king named Charrarico was confronted by his son's grave illness. Hearing of the miracles of St. Martin of Tours, he sent his emissaries to Gaul twice in order for them to request for the saint's help in healing his son: he promised that if his son was cured he would convert himself to the religion of the saint of Tours, that is, Catholic Christianity.
St. Martin
St. Martin was born in the present day Hungary. When young he left to the Oriental lands where he studied Greek and several ecclesiastical matters to the point of being taken in consideration as a great scholar. We know that latter he went to Rome and from there to Gaul where he gained the friendship of people such as the Bishop of Poitiers. Latter he went to visit the tomb of St. Martin of Tours and there he found the emissaries of king Charrarico in their second trip to Tours. Trough them he became aware of the religious situation of the Suevians and decided to follow the emissaries on their journey back, which took to the Iberian Peninsula the relics of St. Martin of Tours, as requested by the king. When they arrived, in 550, the king's son was cured and Charrarico became a Catholic Christian. This description of what happen is mixed up with legendary details (most of them I ignored) and its highly likely that the king's decision of converting to Catholicism was motivated by political reasons rather then by an illness of his son (we must not forget that the Suevian monarchy was elective and not hereditary): Charrarico needed the help of the Catholic Gaul against the Aryan Visigoths. At Dume, near the capital city, Braga, the king built a church to St. Martin of Tours and next to it Martin founded a monastery of which de became Abbot. Latter he was made bishop and around 569 he succeeded Lucrecius as the Bishop of Braga, convoking a Council in the same city in 572. From this year onward, until his death in 579 or 580, he concentrated most of his work in pastoral activities and the Correctione was written in this period of time. It was directed to another Bishop, Polemius of Astorga, who might have asked St. Martin to write him a sermon, which could be read to those present in mass. Some, however, refuse this theory of the request of Polemius.
De Correctione Rusticorum
St. Martin had one issue in his mind when he wrote the sermon: the rural populations that, despite the baptism that some of them were subject to, kept following the old ways. The text makes a short exposure of Genesis and includes Church's traditions on the origin of the angels and of the Devil. He reminds the rustic (that is, the rural people) of the meaning of baptism and then points out several pagan practices which he considers to be evil doing. However, the author does not seen to make any distinction between the heathen and the Roman pagan practices (Lusitan practices are not likely to be distinguishable from those pointed out) in most of the cases. Some are clearly Roman, such as the Vulcans, others are more or less common to both Suevian and Romans, such as the throwing of food to the fire, and some are of a more Germanic origin, like the lighting of candles by the trees and fountains. St. Martin also doesn't make any distinction between the Germanic and the Roman gods/goddesses. The reason for this may be twofold: first, he was a Christian that considered all non- Catholic Christian beliefs as work of the Devil and, as far as he was concerned, there was no need to make a distinction of pantheons, to him just mere names to refer to the same demons; secondly, he was instructed in a classical surrounding and the ideal of the Inperium was still present in present that time, so he might have taken the Roman gods as a reference (remember that he gives their names to the demons), just like Julius Caesar names de Gaelic ones after Rome's deities. Just as a curiosity, one of the texts I consulted on St. Martin included a briefing on the practices that St. Martin refers, which still survive here in Portugal: in the North people use the laurel as a protection against the thundering, the calends survive as the Janeiras (the songs of January), and in some rural parts of the country people still keep the belief that marriages should take place at Friday, which may be connected with the association with Frigg with the family and life at home.
De Correctione Rusticorum On the Correction of the Rustic
Domino beatissimo ac mihi desiderantissimo in Christo fratri Polemio episcopo Martinus episcopus. Martin Bishop, to the much venerable lord and beloved brother in Christ, the Bishop Polémio.
1. Epistolam tuae sanctae caritatis accepi, in qua scribis ad me ut pro castigatione rusticorum, qui adhuc pristina paganorum superstitione detenti cultum venerationis plus daemoniis quam deo persolvunt, aliqua de origine idolorum et sceleribus ipsorum vel pauca de multis ad te scripta dirigerem. Sed quia oportet ab initio mundi vel modicam illis rationis notitiam quasi pro gustu porrigere, necesse me fuit ingentem praeteritorum temporum gestorumque silvam breviato tenuis compendii sermone contingere et cibum rusticis rustico sermone condire. Ita ergo, opitul.   1. I have received the letter of your holy charity in which you ask me to write you on the instruction of the rustic whom, still tied to the ancient superstitions of the heathens, pay more worshiping cult to the demons than to God, and also on other things about the origin of the idols and of their crimes, that is, that I write you on many things in few words. But, because it is convenient to develop a brief report of what happened since the beginning of the world, so that they shall understand, it was necessary for me to summarize the enormous forest of past times and happenings in a simple treaty and thus bring prepared the feeding of the rustic with a rustic language. Thus shall then be, with the help of God, the structure of your prelection:
2. Desideramus, filii karissimi, adnuntiare vobis in nomine domini quae aut minime audistis aut audita fortasse oblivioni dedistis. Petimus ergo caritatem vestram ut, quae pro salute vestra dicuntur, adtentius audiatis. Longus quidem per divinas scripturas ordo dirigitur, sed ut vel aliquantulum in memoriam teneatis, pauca vobis de pluribus commendamus. 2. We wish, beloved children, to announce you, in the name of the Lord, those things which you haven't yet heard or, if you have, maybe thou hast forgotten it. We appeal, therefore, to your charity to hear what concernes of your salvation. All this comes expressly in the Divine Scriptures, but shortly we recommend you what follows, so that you may keep it in your mind.
3. Cum fecisset in principio deus caelum et terram, in illa caelesti habitatione fecit spiritales creaturas, id est angelos, qui in conspectu ipsius adstantes laudarent illum. Ex quibus unus, qui primus omnium archangelus fuerat factus, videns se in tanta gloria praefulgentem, non dedit honorem deo creatori suo, sed similem se illi dixit; et pro hac superbia cum aliis plurimis angelis qui illi consenserunt de illa caelesti sede in aere isto qui est sub caelo deiectus est; et ille, qui fuerat prius archangelus, perdita luce gloriae suae, factus est tenebrosus et horribilis diabolus. Similiter et illi alii angeli qui consentientes illi fuerant cum ipso de caelo proiecti sunt et, perdito splendore suo, facti sunt daemones. Reliqui autem angeli qui subditi fuerunt deo in suae claritatis gloria in conspectu domini perseverant; et ipsi dicuntur angeli sancti. Nam illi qui cum principe suo Satan pro superbia sua iactati sunt angeli refugae et daemonia appellantur. 3. In the beginning, having God created Heaven and the Earth, he made for the dwelling heavenly spiritual creatures, that is, angels, so that they would worship Him in His presence. One of them, which had first been made archangel, seing himself in the splendour of so much glory, honored not God, his creator, but considered himself equal to Him. By this loftiness he was expelled from that celestial residence to this air under the heavens, in the company of many other angels which had been solidary to him. He, which had been the first archangel, having lost the glory of his light, became a dark and horrible devil. In the same way, the other angels, which made a common cause with him, were also brought down and, losing their splendour, became demons. However, the remaining angels, which kept faithful to God, retained the glory of their light before the face of God: them we call holy angels. On the other hand, those which, with Satan, their prince, were expelled for their loftiness are called rebel angels or demons.
4. Post istam ruinam angelicam placuit deo de limo terrae hominem plasmare, quem posuit in paradiso; et dixit ei ut, si praeceptum domini servasset, in loco illo caelesti sine morte succederet, unde angeli illi refugae ceciderunt, si autem praeterisset dei praeceptum, morte moreretur. Videns ergo diabolus quia propterea factus fuerat homo, ut in loco ipsius, unde ipse cecidit, in regno dei succederet, invidia ductus suasit homini ut mandata dei transcenderet. Pro qua offensa iactatus est homo de paradiso in exilio mundi istius, ubi multos labores et dolores pateretur. 4. After this angelic defection, God made man from the earth's clay, putting him in the Eden. And He said to him, that if he would follow the rule of the Lord, he would live, without being subordinated to death, in that heavenly place from which the rebel angels had been expelled; however, if he would break the commandment of God, he would be subordinated to death. But the Devil, seeing that man had been created to fill, in the Kingdom of God, the place from which he had been brought down, full of envy, persuaded man to break the commandments of the Lord. By this falt man was expelled from Eden into exile in the world, where he would suffer many toils and pains.
5. Fuit autem primus homo dictus Adam, et mulier eius quam de ipsius carne deus creavit dicta est Eva. Ex istis duobus hominibus omne genus hominum propagatum est. Qui, obliti creatorem suum deum multa scelera facientes, inritaverunt deum ad iracundiam. Pro qua re inmisit deus diluvium et perdidit omnes, excepto uno iusto, nomine Noe, quem cum suis filiis pro reparando humano genere reservavit. A primo ergo homine Adam usque ad diluvium transierunt anni duo milia ducenti quadraginta duo.  5. Indeed, the first man was named Adam, and his wife, which God created from the flesh of the same man, was called Eve. All mankind was originated from these two human beings, which, forgotten of God their creator, committing many crimes, provoked the anger of God. By this God sent the Flod and made all perish except one, that was just, named Noah, which He kept, with his sons, to reestablish the human kind. Since the first man, Adam, until the Flood, two thousand two hundred and forty two years have passed.
6. Post diluvium iterum recuperatum est genus humanum per tres filios Noe, reservatos cum uxoribus suis. Et cum coepisset multitudo subcrescens mundum implere, obliviscentes iterum homines creatorem mundi deum, coeperunt, dimisso creatore, colere creaturas. Alii adorabant solem, alii lunam vel stellas, alii ignem, alii aquam profundam vel fontes aquarum, credentes haec omnia non a deo esse facta ad usum hominum, sed ipsa ex se orta deos esse. 6. After the Flood again humankind spread by the three sons of Noah which had been saved along with their wives. And as the growing population began filling the earth, men, once again forgotten of their God, author of the world, despizing their creator, began worshiping creatures. Some worshiped the Sun, others the Moon or the stars, some the fire, others the deep waters or the fountains, believing that all these things were not made by God for the use of men, but that they originated from themselves like gods.
7. Tunc diabolus vel ministri ipsius, daemones, qui de caelo deiecti sunt, videntes ignaros homines dimisso Deo creatore suo, per creaturas errare, coeperunt se illis in diversas formas ostendere et loqui cum eis et expetere ab eis, ut in excelsis montibus et in silvis frondosis sacrificia sibi offerrent et ipsos colerent pro deo, imponentes sibi vocabula sceleratorum hominum, qui in omnibus criminibus et sceleribus suam egerant vitam, ut alius Iovem se esse diceret, qui fuerat magus et in tantis adulteriis incestus ut sororem suam haberet uxorem, quae dicta est Iuno, Minervam et Venerem filias suas corruperit, neptes quoque et omnem parentelam suam turpiter incestaverit. Alius autem daemon Martem se nominavit, qui fuit litigiorum et discordiae commissor. Alius deinde daemon Mercurium se appellare voluit, qui fuit omnis furti et fraudis dolosus inventor; cui homines cupidi quasi deo lucri, in quadriviis transeuntes, iactatis lapidibus acervos petrarum pro sacrificio reddunt. Alius quoque daemon Saturni sibi nomen adscripsit, qui, in omni crudelitate vivens, etiam nascentes suos filios devorabat. Alius etiam daemon Venerem se esse confinxit, quae fuit mulier meretrix. Non solum cum innumerabilibus adulteris, sed etiam cum patre suo Iove et cum fratre suo Marte meretricata est. 7. Then the Devil or his ministers, the demons, which had been brought down from Heaven, seeing men's ignorance, forgotten of their creator, wondering through the creatures, began manifesting to them in different ways, spesking and influecing them, making them offer them sacrifices in the high hills and in the leafy woods and considered them as gods, calling themsleves names of bandit men, which spent their lives in crimes and evilness. Thus, one called himself Jupiter, which was a magician and had tarnish himself with so many adultery, daring to have as wife his own sister, named Juno, corrupting his daughters Minerva and Venus and vilely dishonouring his grandchildren and all his family. Other demon called himself Mars, which was the instigator of the litigation and of discord. Another named himself Mercury, the inventor of all the theft and all the deceit to which greedy men offer sacrifices, as if he was the god of profit, forming piles of rocks when passing through the crossroads. Another also called himself Saturn, which, living in all his cruelty, devoured even his own children, as soon as they were born. Other pretended to be Venus, which was a woman of ill life.
8. Ecce quales fuerunt illo tempore isti perditi homines, quos ignorantes rustici per adinventiones suas pessime honorabant, quorum vocabula ideo sibi daemones adposuerunt, ut ipsos quasi deos colerent et sacrificia illis offerrent et ipsorum facta imitarentur, quorum nomina invocabant. Suaserunt etiam illis daemones ut templa illis facerent et imagines vel statuas sceleratorum hominum ibi ponerent et aras illis constituerent, in quibus non solum animalium sed etiam hominum sanguinem illis funderent. Praeter haec autem multi daemones ex illis qui de caelo expulsi sunt aut in mare aut in fluminibus aut in fontibus aut in silvis praesident, quos similiter homines ignorantes deum quasi deos colunt et sacrificant illis. Et in mare quidem Neptunum appellant, in fluminibus Lamias, in fontibus Nymphas, in silvis Dianas, quae omnia maligni daemones et spiritus nequam sunt, qui homines infideles, qui signaculo crucis nesciunt se munire, nocent et vexant. Non tamen sine permissione dei nocent, quia deum habent iratum et non ex toto corde in fide Christi credunt, sed sunt dubii in tantum ut nomina ipsa daemoniorum in singulos dies nominent, et appellent diem Martis et Mercurii et Iovis et Veneris et Saturni, qui nullum diem fecerunt, sed fuerunt homines pessimi et scelerati in gente Graecorum. 8. Here is what were, in those days, these lost men, whom the ignorant rustic honored for their terrible inventions and whose names were used by demons so that they would worship them as gods, would offer them sacrifices and imitate the actions of those whose names they invoked. Equally, those demons were also capable that temples were built to them, that in them images or statues of bandit men were set and altars erected, in which they would sacrifice them blood, not only of animals, but of humans as well. Besides this, many demons among those that were expelled from Heaven preside to the rivers, the fountains and to the forests and to them in the same way do men, ignorant of God, worship them as they were gods and offer them sacrifices. And in the sea they call them Neptune, in the rivers Lames, in the fountains Nymphs, in the forests Dianes, which are no more than demons and evil spirits damaging and tormenting the infidel men which no not to defend themselves with the sign of the cross. However, they cannot harm without the permission of God, for they have angered God. They [men] do not believe with all their heart in the faith of Christ, but carry their doubts to such a point that they give the name of the demons to each one of the days, saying the day of Mars, of Mercury, of Jupiter, of Venus and of Saturn, whom didn't make any day, but were terrible and criminal men among the Greeks.
9. Deus autem omnipotens, quando caelum et terram fecit, ipse tunc creavit lucem, quae per distinctionem operum dei septies revoluta est. Nam primo deus lucem fecit, quae appellata est dies; secundo firmamentum caeli factum est; tertio terra a mare divisa est; quarto sol et luna et stellae factae sunt; quinto quadrupedia et volatilia et natatilia; sexto homo plasmatus est; septimo autem die, completo omni mundo et ornamento ipsius, requiem deus appellavit. Una ergo lux, quae prima in operibus dei facta est, per distinctionem operum dei septies revoluta, septimana est appellata. Qualis ergo amentia est ut homo baptizatus in fide Christi diem dominicum, in quo Christus resurrexit, non colat et dicat se diem Iovis colere et Mercurii et Veneris et Saturni, qui nullum diem habent, sed fuerunt adulteri et magi et iniqui et male mortui in provincia sua! Sed, sicut diximus, sub specie nominum istorum ab hominibus stultis veneratio et honor daemonibus exhibetur. 9. When He made Heaven and the Earth, omnipotent God created also the light that, by the distinction of the works of God, manifested it self in seven days. Because, in the first day God made light itself, which as called day. In the second, the firmament of the sky was made. In the third the earth was separated from the sea. In the fourth the Sun, the Moon and the stars were made. In the fifth, the quadrupeds, the birds and the fishes. In the sixth, man was made. To the seventh day, completing all the world and its ornament, God called rest. Indeed light, which was the first among the works of God, manifested seven times by the distinction of the same works, was called week. What alienation isn't then that men, baptised in the faith of Christ, honours not the day of Sunday in which Christ resurrected and says to honour the day of Jupiter, of Mercury, of Venus and of Saturn, which have no day, but were rather adulterous and iniquos, and died ignominiously in their land! But, as we've saying, under the appearance of these names is the worship and honour given by the foolish to the demons.
10. Similiter et ille error ignorantibus et rusticis subrepit, ut Kalendas Ianuarias putent anni esse initium, quod omnino falsissimum est. Nam, sicut scriptura sancta dicit, VIII Kal. Aprilis in ipso aequinoctio initium primi anni est factum. Nam sic legitur: et divisit deus inter lucem et tenebras. Omnis autem recta divisio aequalitatem habet, sicut et in VIII Kal. Aprilis tantum spatium horarum dies habet quantum et nox. Et ideo falsum est ut Ianuariae Kalendae initium anni sint. 10. In the same way it was introduced among the ignorant and the rustic that mistake of thinking that the year has its beginning at the Calends of January, which is entirely fake. For, as the Holy Scripture says, the first year of the year was at the equinox of the 25th of March. In fact, this is what one may read: And God divided light from the darkness. As in all strait division there is equalness, so at the 25th of March as many hours has the day, so has the night. And that is why it is false that the beginning of the year is at the Calends of January.
11. Iam quid de illo stultissimo errore cum dolore dicendum est, quia dies tinearum et murium observant et, si dici fas est, homo Christianus pro deo mures et tineas veneratur? Quibus si per tutelam cupelli aut arculae non subducatur aut panis aut pannus, nullo modo pro feriis sibi exhibitis, quod invenerint, parcent. Sine causa autem sibi miser homo istas praefigurationes ipse facit, ut, quasi sicut in introitu anni satur est et laetus ex omnibus, ita illi et in toto anno contingat. Observationes istae omnes paganorum sunt per adinventiones daemonum exquisitae. Sed vae illi homini qui deum non habuerit propitium et ab ipso saturitatem panis et securitatem vitae non habuerit datam! Ecce istas superstitiones vanas aut occulte aut palam facitis, et numquam cessatis ab istis sacrificiis daemonum. Et quare vobis non praestant ut semper saturi sitis et securi et laeti? Quare, quando deus iratus fuerit, non vos defendunt sacrificia vana de locusta, de mure, et de multis aliis tribulationibus, quas vobis deus iratus immittit? 11. And with what grief must we refer to that foolish error of honoring the day of the clothes moths and of the mice? And is it allowed to say that a Christian worships the mice and the clothes moths instead of God? If they close to these animals the locker or the chest, if they hide from them the bread and the clothes they will spear nothing of what they find. The miserable man believes in these mistakes without any basis, just as he believes that, if he is fed up and joyful in the first day of January, thus he shall kept himself throughout the year. All these observations are from the heathens and inspired by inventions of the demons. But beware he who has not God propitious and sees not in Him the cause of the abundance of bread or the safety of life! Thus you observe the vain superstitions, hidden or in public, and never put an end to these evil sacrifices! And why do they not protect you so that you will be always fed up, safe and joyful? Why, when God is angered, the vain sacrifices do not defend you from the locust, the mice and of many other plagues, which, when He is angered, God sends you?
12. Non intellegitis aperte quia mentiuntur vobis daemones in istis observationibus vestris quas vane tenetis, et in auguriis quae adtenditis frequentius vos inludunt? Nam sicut dicit sapientissimus Salomon: divinationes et auguria vana sunt; et quantum timuerit homo in illis, tantum magis fallitur cor eius. Ne dederis in illis cor tuum, quoniam multos scandalizaverunt. Ecce hoc scriptura sancta dicit, et certissime sic est, quia tamdiu infelices homines per avium voces daemonia suadunt, donec per res frivolas et vanas et fidem Christi perdant, et ipsi in interitum mortis suae de improviso incurrant. Non iussit deus hominem futura cognoscere, sed ut, semper in timore illius vivens, ab ipso gubernationem et auxilium vitae suae expeteret. Solius dei est antequam aliquid fiat scire, homines autem vanos daemones diversis argumentis inludunt, donec illos in offensam dei perducant et animas illorum secum pertrahant in infernum, sicut ab initio fecerunt per invidiam suam, ne homo regnum caelorum intraret, de quo illi deiecti sunt. 12. Don't you clearly understand that the demons lie to you with these practices that you in vain follow, and that they delude you frequently in the auguries to which answer? Indeed, just like the most wise Solomon: Vain are the auguries and the foretellings. And the more men will fear them, the more their heart will weaken. Give them not your heart for many they lead astray. This says the Holly Scripture and thus, in truth, it is, for so many times do the demons persuade the unfortunate men to be aware to the singing of the birds that they end up losing their faith in Christ by these frivolous and vain things and risk themselves to an unfortunate death. God did not allowed men to know the future but, instead, that he would live in fear of Him and of Him expected the government and help for his life. It is exclusive of God to know things before they happen. However, the demons delude the vain men with several arguments until they lead them to offend God and drag with them their souls to hell, like they did in the beginning, for envy, so that man would not enter in the Kingdom of Heaven, from which they, the demons, were expelled.
13. Pro qua etiam causa, dum vidisset deus miseros homines ita a diabolo et angelis eius malis inludi ut, obliviscentes creatorem suum, pro deo daemones adorarent, misit filium suum, id est sapientiam et verbum suum, ut illos ad cultum veri dei de diaboli errore reduceret. Et quia non poterat divinitas filii dei ab hominibus videri, accepit carnem humanam ex utero Mariae virginis, non ex coniugio viri, sed ex spiritu sancto conceptam. Natus ergo in humanam carnem filius dei, intus latens invisibilis deus, foris autem visibilis homo, praedicavit hominibus: docuit illos, relictis idolis et malis operibus, de potestate diaboli exire et ad cultum creatoris sui reverti. Postquam docuit, voluit pro humano genere mori. Passus est mortem voluntarie, non invitus; crucifixus est a Iudaeis sub iudice Pilato Pontio, qui de Ponto provincia natus illo tempore provinciae Syriae praesidebat; depositus de cruce, positus est in sepulchro; tertia die resurrexit vivus a mortuis, et diebus quadraginta cum duodecim discipulis suis conversatus est, et, ut veram carnem suam resurrexisse monstraret, manducavit post resurrectionem ante discipulos suos. Transactis autem quadraginta diebus, praecepit discipulis suis ut adnuntiarent omnibus gentibus resurrectionem filii dei, et baptizarent eos in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti in remissionem peccatorum, et docerent illos qui baptizati fuissent recedere a malis operibus, id est ab idolis, ab homicidiis, a furtis, a periurio, a fornicatione, et quod sibi nollent fieri aliis non facerent. Et postquam haec praecepit, videntibus ipsis discipulis, ascendit in caelum, et ibi sedet ad dexteram patris, et inde in fine istius mundi venturus est cum ipsa carne quam secum levavit in caelis.  13. By this cause, as God saw miserable men so iluded by the Devil and his evil angels that they [men], forgotten of their creator, worshiped the demons instead of God, sent His Son, that is, His Wisdom, His Word, so that it would lead them back from the error of the Devil to the worship of the true God. And as men could not contemplate the divinity of the Son of God, He assumed a human body in the womb of Virgin Mary, without human interference, but by the work of the Holy Ghost. So born the Son of God in human flesh, enclosing hidden the invisible God and showing the visible Man, He preached for men. Tough them to leave the idols and the bad doings, to come out of the bondage of the devil and to return to the worship of his creator. After teaching He wished to die for the human kind. He suffered death voluntarily, was not constrained. He was crucified by the Jews under the government of Poncius Pilate, which, born in the province of Ponto, presided at that time to the province of Syria. Once down from the cross He was laid on a tomb. At the third day He resurrected from the dead, lived among His disciples for forty days and, to show them that His true body had resurrected, He ate before them, after the Resurrection. Once the forty days were gone He ordered His disciples to announce to all the people the Resurrection of the Son of God and to baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holly Ghost, for the forgiveness of their sin, and to those already baptise to run escape from the bad doings, that is, from the idols, homicides, robbery, perjury, impurity and not to do to others what they wish not for themselves. And after he ordered these things, sought by the disciples themselves, He went up to Heaven, where he his siting at the right of the Father and from where, at the end of this world, He shall return with the same body He took with Him to Heaven.
14. Cum autem finis mundi istius venerit, omnes gentes et omnis homo qui ex illis primis hominibus, id est ex Adam et Eva, ducit originem omnes resurgent et boni et mali; et omnes ante iudicium Christi venturi sunt, et tunc qui fuerunt in vita sua fideles et boni separantur a malis et intrant in regno dei cum angelis sanctis, et erunt animae illorum cum carne sua in requiem aeternam, numquam amplius morituri, ubi iam nullus illis erit aut labor aut dolor, non tristitia, non famis aut sitis, non calor aut frigus, non tenebrae aut nox, sed, semper laeti, saturi, in luce, in gloria, similes erunt angelis dei, quia iam in illo loco meruerunt intrare unde diabolus cum sibi consentientibus angelis cecidit. Ibi ergo omnes qui fideles deo fuerunt permanent in aeternum. Nam illi qui increduli fuerunt aut non fuerunt baptizati aut certe, si baptizati fuerint, post baptismum suum iterum ad idola et homicidia vel adulteria vel ad periuria et ad alia mala reversi sunt et sine poenitentia sunt defuncti, omnes qui tales fuerint inventi damnantur cum diabolo et cum omnibus daemoniis quos coluerunt et quorum opera fecerunt, et in aeterno igne cum carne sua in inferno mittuntur, ubi ignis ille inextinguibilis in perpetuum vivit, et caro illa iam de resurrectione recepta in aeternum cruciatur gemens. Desiderat iterum mori, ut non sentiat poenas, sed non permittitur mori, ut aeternos perferat cruciatus. Ecce hoc loquitur lex, hoc loquuntur prophetae, haec evangelium Christi, haec apostolus, haec omnis scriptura sancta testatur; quae vobis modo vel pauca ex multis simpliciter diximus. Vestrum est dehinc, filii karissimi, ea quae per nos dicta sunt recordare, et aut bene agendo futuram in regno dei requiem sperare, aut (quod absit!) male agendo futurum in inferno ignem perpetuum expectare. Nam et vita aeterna et mors aeterna in arbitrio hominis posita est. Quod sibi elegerit unusquisque, hoc habebit.  14. When the end of the world comes all the people and all the men originated from those first, that is, Adam and Eve, shall resurrect, both good and evil ones. All shall be brought before the Judgement of Christ and then, all those that were faithful and good in their lives will be separated from the evil ones, entering in the Kingdom of God with the holy angels. Their souls will be with their bodies in the eternal rest, no more shall they die. No more will they have toils or pain, hunger or thirst, heat or cold, darkness or night but, always happy, satisfied, in the light, in the glory, shall be alike the angels of God because they deserved to enter in the place from where the Devil and the angels that made a common cause with him came down. There, in fact, all that were faithful to God shall remain eternally. Now those that were incredulous or were not baptised or, if they were, went back again, after Baptism, to the idols, the homicides, the adultery, the perjury and other evil doings and died without penitence, all those that this way will be found shall be condemned with the devil and all demons to whom they served and whose works they did, being sent to the eternal fire in Hell, along with their bodies. Here they shall remain eternally in that inextinguishable fire and the flesh, recovered in the resurrection, shall suffer moaning forever. He [a condemned man] will wish that he would die again in order not to feel the penalty, but he will not be allowed to die once more so that he will suffer torments forever. This says the Law, this say the prophets, the Gospel of Christ, the Apostles, that is, all the Sacred Scripture of which we have made you a small summary. Therefor, dearest sons, it is convenient for you to remember of what we have told you and that, doing the right, you expect a future accomplishment in the Kingdom of God or, what must not happen, doing wrong, expect a future eternal anguish in Hell. Indeed, eternal life and eternal death are in men's freedom of choice. What each will chose for himself, he shall have it.
15. Vos ergo, fideles, qui in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti ad Christi baptismum accessistis, considerate quale in ipso baptismo pactum cum deo fecistis. Nam cum singuli nomen vestrum dedistis ad fontes, verbi gratia, aut Petrus aut Iohannes aut quodlibet nomen, sic a sacerdote interrogati fuistis: "Quomodo diceris?" Respondisti aut tu, si iam poteras respondere, aut certe qui pro te fidem fecit, qui te de fonte suscepit, et dixit, verbi gratia: "Iohannes dicitur." Et interrogavit sacerdos: "Iohannes, abrenuntias diabolo et angelis eius, culturis et idolis eius, furtis et fraudibus eius, fornicationibus et ebrietatibus eius, et omnibus operibus eius malis?" Et respondisti: "Abrenuntio." Post istam abrenuntiationem diaboli iterum interrogatus es a sacerdote: "Credis in deum patrem omnipotentem?" Respondisti: "Credo." "Et in Iesum Christum, filium eius unicum, deum et dominum nostrum, qui natus est de spiritu sancto ex Maria virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus et sepultus, descendit ad inferna, tertia die resurrexit vivus a mortuis, ascendit in caelos, sedet ad dexteram patris, inde venturus iudicare vivos et mortuos? Credis?" Et respondisti: "Credo." Et iterum interrogatus es: "Credis in spiritum sanctum, sanctam ecclesiam catholicam, remissionem omnium peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, et vitam aeternam?" Et respondisti: "Credo." Ecce ergo considerate quale pactum cum deo fecistis in baptismo. Promisistis vos abrenuntiare diabolo et angelis eius et omnibus operibus eius malis, et confessi estis credere vos in patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum et sperare vos in fine saeculi carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam. 15. So you, faithful, that had access to the baptism of Christ, in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, consider that in that act you've made a pact with God. Because each one of you gave his name by the baptismal fountains, for example, Peter or John or any other name and he was questioned by the priest: What will your name be? You answered, if you could already answer or certainly it was that which certified for you, which was your sponsor, that said, for example: his name shall be John. And the priest asked: John, do you renounce to the Devil and to his angels, his worships and idols, his deceits and frauds, to his impurities and greediness and to all his bad doings? And answered: I do. Then, after this renouncing to Satan, you were again questioned by the priest: Do you believe in God Omnipotent Father? You answered: I do. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, God and our Lord, which was born by the work of the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary, suffered under Poncius Pilate, was crucified and entombed, went down to Hell, resurrected from the dead at the third day, went up to Heaven, where he is seated at the right side of the Father, from where he will come to judge the living and the dead? Do you believe? And you answered: I do. And again you were questioned: Do you believe in the Holy Ghost, in the holy Catholic Church, in the forgiveness of all sins, in the resurrection of the flesh and in the eternal life? And answered: I do. Consider than that you, in Baptism, made a pact with God. You promised to renounce to the Devil, his angels and all his bad doings and confessed to believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, as well as in waiting the resurrection of the flesh at the end of the centuries and in eternal life.
16. Ecce qualis cautio et confessio vestra apud deum tenetur! Et quomodo aliqui ex vobis, qui abrenuntiaverunt diabolo et angelis eius et culturis eius et operibus eius malis, modo iterum ad culturas diaboli revertuntur? Nam ad petras et ad arbores et ad fontes et per trivia cereolos incendere, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli? Divinationes et auguria et dies idolorum observare, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli? Vulcanalia et Kalendas observare, mensas ornare, et lauros ponere, et pedem observare, et fundere in foco super truncum frugem et vinum, et panem in fontem mittere, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli? Mulieres in tela sua Minervam nominare et Veneris diem in nuptias observare et quo die in via exeatur adtendere, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli? Incantare herbas ad maleficia et invocare nomina daemonum incantando, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli? Et alia multa quae longum est dicere. Ecce ista omnia post abrenuntiationem diaboli, post baptismum facitis et, ad culturam daemonum et ad mala idolorum opera redeuntes, fidem vestram transistis et pactum quod fecistis cum deo disrupistis. Dimisistis signum crucis, quod in baptismum accepistis, et alia diaboli signa per avicellos et sternutos et per alia multa adtenditis. Quare mihi aut cuilibet recto Christiano non nocet augurium? Quia, ubi signum crucis praecesserit, nihil est signum diaboli. Quare vobis nocet? Quia signum crucis contemnitis, et illud timetis quod vobis ipsi in signum configitis. Similiter dimisistis incantationem sanctam, id est symbolum quod in baptismum accepistis, quod est Credo in deum patrem omnipotentem, et orationem dominicam, id est Pater noster qui es in caelis, et tenetis diabolicas incantationes et carmina. Quicumque ergo, contempto signo crucis Christi, alia signa aspicit, signum crucis, quod in baptismum accepit, perdidit. Similiter et qui alias incantationes tenet a magis et maleficis adinventas, incantationem sancti symboli et orationis dominicae, quae in fide Christi accepit, amisit et fidem Christi inculcavit, quia non potest et deus simul et diabolus coli. 16. Here is your bail and confession by God! And why do some of you, that renounced to the Devil and to his angels, his worship and his bad doings, now return again to that evil worshipping? Indeed, to light candles by the rocks, the trees, the fountains and in the crossroads of the paths, what is this if not evil worshipping? To take notice of the fortellings, auguries and of the days of the idols, what is this if not evil worshipping? To take notice of the Volcanes and of the Calends, to garnish to tables, to lay laurel, to enter with the right foot, to shed in the fire place, over the burning timber, food and wine and to throw bread into the fountains, what is this if not Devil worship? The fact that women invoke Minerva at there looms and chose as wedding day the day of Venus [Friday] and to remark in what day one should travel, what is this if not evil worshipping? To make enchantments with herbs to damage and to invoke the names of demons when you do it, what is this if not evil worship? And many other things that that would take time to tell. Here is that you do all these things after Baptism and the renouncing of Satan! Returning to demon worship and to the bad doings of the idols, you have spoken to your word and broke the pact you have made with God. You have abandoned the sign of the cross that you received at Baptism and consider sings of the Devil the little birds, the sneeze and many other things. What's the reason that to me or to any other sincere Christian the augury doesn't harm? Because, where the sign of the cross stands, nothing is the sign of the Devil. And why does it harm you? Because you have despised the sign of the cross and fear what you have taken as a sign to you. In the same way, you have forgotten the sacred enchantment, the symbol you received at Baptism, which is I believe in God Omnipotent Father, the dominical prayer, which is our Father thou are in Heaven, and practice evil enchantments and verses. He who, therefore, disdaining the sign of the cross of Christ, takes for him other signs, has lost the sign of the cross he received at Baptism. In the same way, he who practices other enchantments invented by magicians and other evil ones, lost the enchantment of the holy symbol and of the dominical prayer, which he had received in the faith of Christ, trampled at his feet that same faith, because one cannot serve God and the Devil at the same time.
17. Si ergo agnovistis, dilectissimi filii, omnia ista quae diximus, si quis se cognoscit post acceptum baptismum haec fecisse et fidem Christi rupisse, non desperet de se nec dicat in corde suo: "Quia tanta mala feci post baptismum, fortasse non mihi indulget deus peccata mea." Noli dubitare de misericordia dei. Tantum tu fac in corde tuo pactum cum deo, ut iam amplius culturas daemonum non colas, nec praeter deum caeli aliquid adores, neque homicidium facias, neque adulterium aut fornicationem, non furtum facias, non periures. Et cum hoc deo ex toto corde tuo promiseris et ulterius peccata ista non feceris, fiducialiter veniam de deo spera, quia sic dicit deus per propheticam scripturam: In quacumque die iniustus oblitus fuerit iniquitates suas et fecerit iustitias, et ego obliviscar omnes iniquitates eius. Paenitentiam ergo peccatoris deus expectat. Paenitentia autem ista vera est, ut iam amplius homo non faciat mala quae fecit, sed de praeteritis peccatis indulgentiam petat, et de futuro caveat ne ad ipsa iterum revolvatur, sed magis econtrario bona opera exerceat, ut esurienti pauperi elemosynam porrigat, hospitem lassum reficiat, et quicquid sibi ab alio vult fieri, hoc alteri faciat, et quod sibi non vult fieri, hoc alteri non faciat, quia in hoc verbo mandata dei complentur. 17. Therefore, dearest sons, if you have understood everything we said, if anyone recognizes to have done these things after receiving the Baptism and apostatised from the faith of Christ, do not despair nor say in your heart: Because I have done so much evil after Baptism, maybe God will not forgive my sins. Doubt not of the mercy of God. Make in your heart a pact with God in such way that you will return no more to the practices of the demons, nor worship another that's not God in Heaven, don't commit homicide, nor adultery or impurity, do not still, do not commit perjury. If you promise this to God with all your heart and if do not these sins no more, wait confidant the forgiveness of God, for thus says the Lord in the Prophetic Scripture: On the day in which the unrighteous forgets his iniquities and practices justice, so I will forget all his faults. In fact, God waits the penitence of the sinner. This penitence is real when man stops doing the evil he has done, asks for indulgence for the past sins, has caution not to return, in the future, to the same faults but, on the contrary, he practices the good doings, offers help to the starving poor, cheers the tired traveller, does on to the other what he wants for himself and does him not what he doesn't want, for in this the commandments of God are summed up.
18. Rogamus ergo vos, fratres et filii karissimi, ut ista praecepta, quae vobis deus per nos humillimos et exiguos dare dignatur, in memoria teneatis et cogitetis quomodo salvetis animas vestras, ut non solum de praesenti ista vita et de transitoria mundi istius utilitate tractetis, sed illud magis recordetis quod in symbolo vos credere promisistis, id est carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam. Si ergo credidistis et creditis quia carnis resurrectio erit et vita aeterna in regno caelorum inter angelos dei, sicut vobis supra iam diximus, inde quam maxime cogitate, et non semper de istius mundi miseria. Praeparate viam vestram in operibus bonis. Frequentate ad deprecandum deum in ecclesia vel per loca sanctorum. Diem dominicum, qui propterea dominicus dicitur, quia filius dei, dominus noster Iesus Christus, in ipso resurrexit a mortuis, nolite contemnere, sed cum reverentia colite. Opus servile, id est agrum, pratum, vineam, vel si qua gravia sunt, non faciatis in die dominico, praeter tantum quod ad necessitatem reficiendi corpusculi pro exquoquendo pertinet cibo et necessitate longinqui itineris. Et in locis proximis licet viam die dominico facere, non tamen pro occasionibus malis, sed magis pro bonis, id est aut ad loca sancta ambulare, aut fratrem vel amicum visitare, vel infirmum consolare, aut tribulanti consilium vel adiutorium pro bona causa portare. Sic ergo decet Christianum hominem diem dominicum venerare. Nam satis iniquum et turpe est ut illi qui pagani sunt et ignorant fidem Christianum, idola daemonum colentes, diem Iovis aut cuiuslibet daemonis colant et ab opere se abstineant, cum certe nullum diem daemonia nec creassent nec habeant. Et nos, qui verum deum adoramus et credimus filium dei resurrexisse a mortuis, diem resurrectionis eius, id est dominicum, minime veneramus! Nolite ergo iniuriam facere resurrectioni dominicae, sed honorate et cum reverentia colite propter spem nostram quam habemus in illam. Nam sicut ille dominus noster Iesus Christus, filius dei, qui est caput nostrum, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ita et nos, qui sumus membra ipsius, resurrecturos nos in carne nostra in fine saeculi speramus, ut unusquisque sive requiem aeternam sive poenam aeternam, sicut in corpore suo in saeculo isto egit, ita recipiat. 18. Therefore we praise you, brothers and dearest sons, that you keep in your mind these precepts, which God has deign to transmit it to you trough us, quite humble and small, and think on how you should save your souls, so that you will not only take care of this present life and of the passing utility of this world, but remember what you promised to believe in the Creed, that is, the resurrection of the flesh and eternal life. If, indeed, you have believed and believe in the resurrection of the flesh and the eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven among God's angels, just like we have told you, think truly on that and less in the unhappiness of the world. Prepare your life with good doings. Go to the church or to holy places to pray to God. Do not despise but keep with respect the Dominic day [Day of the Lord], by which it's called Sunday, because the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, resurrected from the dead in that day. Do not work at Sunday, in the field, in the meadow, in the vine or in other labours considered heavy, unless to satisfy the feeding necessities of the body as it is to prepare food or a long journey. You may travel to nearby places at Sunday, not with evil purposes but with good ones, that is, to got to the holy places, to visit a brother or a friend, to comfort he who is ill, to take an advice to the troubled ones or help to a good cause. This is how the Christian man must honour Sunday. How innocuous and shameful it is that those who are heathens and ignore the faith in Christ, worshipping their evil idols, keep the day of Jupiter or of any other demon and abstain themselves from working when the demons haven't created nor have any day and we, who worship the true God and believe that the Son of God resurrected from the dead, now keep the badly the day of Resurrection, that is, Sunday! Do not insult the Resurrection of the Lord, but honour it and respect it with reverence, in the name of the hope that we in it keep. For, just like our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, which is our head, resurrected from the dead at the third day, so we, that are his limbs, hope to resurrect in our flesh at the end of the centuries, so that each one will receive the eternal rest or doom, according to the acting it had, with his body, in the present life.
19.  Ecce nos sub testimonio dei et sanctorum angelorum qui nos audiunt, modo loquentes, absolvimus caritati vestrae debitum nostrum, et pecuniam domini, sicut praeceptum habemus, feneravimus vobis. Vestrum est amodo cogitare et procurare quomodo unusquisque, quantum accepit, veniente domino cum usuris in die iudicii repraesentet. Oramus autem ipsius domini clementiam, ut vos ab omni malo custodiat et dignos sanctorum angelorum suorum socios in regno suo perficiat, praestante ipso qui vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum. Amen. 19. And thus we, speaking this way, complete the message that we owned to your Charity, under the look of God and of the holy angels that are listening to us and we deliver you the gifts from the Lord, as it was commanded to us, so that you may yield it. You should think and endeavour, right now, on how you should return, with the concerning interest, that which each one of you received, when the Lord returns, in Judgment Day. We ask, therefore, for the mercy of the same Lord, so that He will protect you from all evil and makes you worthy companions of His holy angels in His Kingdom, with the help of He who lives and rules through the centuries of centuries. Amen.