Abbot Suger

THE BOOK OF SUGER, ABBOT OF ST.-DENIS ON WHAT WAS DONE UNDER HIS ADMINISTRATION
I | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII | XXVIII | XXIX | XXX | XXXI | XXXII | XXXIII | [XXXIIIA] | XXXIV | [XXXIVA]

THE OTHER LITTLE BOOK ON THE CONSECRATION OF THE CHURCH OF ST.-DENIS
I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII

[ORDINANCE ENACTED IN THE YEAR 1140 OR IN THE YEAR 1141]

 

THE BOOK OF SUGER, ABBOT OF ST.-DENIS ON WHAT WAS DONE UNDER HIS ADMINISTRATION

I

IN the twenty-third year of our administration, when we sat on a certain day in the general chapter, conferring with our brethren about matters both common and private, these very beloved brethren and sons began strenuously to beseech me in charity that I might not allow the fruits of our so great labors to be passed over in silence; and rather to save for the memory of posterity, in pen and ink, those increments which the generous munificence of Almighty God had bestowed upon this church, in the time of our prelacy, in the acquisition of new assets as well as in the recovery of lost ones, in the multiplication of improved possessions, in the construction of buildings, and in the accumulation of gold, silver, most precious gems and very good textiles. For this one thing they promised us two in return: by such a record we would deserve the continual fervor of all succeeding brethren in their prayers for the salvation of our soul; and we would rouse, through this example, their zealous solicitude for the good care of the church of God. We thus devoutly complied with their devoted and reasonable requests, not with any desire for empty glory nor with any claim to the reward of human praise and transitory compensation; and lest, after our demise, the church be diminished in its revenue by any or anyone's roguery and the ample increments which the generous munificence of God has bestowed in the time of our administration be tacitly lost under bad successors, we have deemed it worthy and useful, just as we thought fitting to begin, in its proper place, our tale about the construction of the buildings and the increase of the treasures with the body of the church of the most blessed Martyrs Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius (which [church] has most tenderly fostered us from mother's milk to old age), so to inform present and future readers about the increase of the revenue [by starting] from his own little town, that is to say, his first resting-place, and its vicinity on all sides

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XXIV

Of the Church's Decoration

HAVING assigned these increases of the revenue in this manner, we turned our hand to the memorable construction of buildings, so that by this thanks might be given to Almighty God by us as well as by our successors; and that by good example their ardor might be roused to the continuation and, if necessary, to the completion of this [work]. For neither any want nor any hindrance by any power will have to be feared if, for the love of the Holy Martyrs, one takes safely care of oneself by one's own resources. The first work on this church which we began under the inspiration of God [was this]: because of the age of the old walls and their impending ruin in some places, we summoned the best painters I could find from different regions, and reverently caused these [walls] to be repaired and becomingly painted with gold and precious colors. I completed this all the more gladly because I had wished to do it, if ever I should have an opportunity, even while I was a pupil in school.

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XXV

Of the First Addition to the Church

HOWEVER, even while this was being completed at great expense, I found myself, under the inspiration of the Divine Will and because of that inadequacy which we often saw and felt on feast days, namely the Feast of the blessed Denis, the Fair, and very many others (for the narrowness of the place forced the women to run toward the altar upon the heads of the men as upon a pavement with much anguish and noisy confusion), encouraged by the counsel of wise men and by the prayers of many monks (lest it displease God and the Holy Martyrs) to enlarge and amplify the noble church consecrated by the Hand Divine; and I set out at once to begin this very thing. In our chapter as well as in church I implored Divine mercy that He Who is the One, the beginning and the ending, Alpha and Omega, might join a good end to a good beginning by a safe middle; that He might not repel from the building of the temple a bloody man who desired this very thing, with his whole heart, more than to obtain the treasures of Constantinople. Thus we began work at the former entrance with the doors. We tore down a certain addition asserted to have been made by Charlemagne on a very honorable occasion (for his father, the Emperor Pepin, had commanded that he be buried, for the sins of his father Charles Martel, outside at the entrance with the doors, face downward and not recumbent); and we set our hand to this part. As is evident we exerted ourselves incessantly with the enlargement of the body of the church as well as with the trebling of the entrance and the doors, and with the erection of high and noble towers.

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XXVI

Of the Dedication

WE brought about that the chapel of St. Romanus be dedicated to the service of God and His Holy Angels by the venerable man Archbishop Hugues of Rouen and very many other bishops. How secluded this place is, how hallowed, how convenient for those celebrating the divine rites has come to be known to those who serve God there as though they were already dwelling, in a degree, in Heaven while they sacrifice. At the same solemn dedication ceremony, there were dedicated in the lower nave of the church two chapels, one on either side (on one side that of St. Hippolytus and his Companions, and on the other that of St. Nicholas), by the venerable men Manasseh, Bishop of Meaux, and Peter, Bishop of Senlis. The one glorious procession of these three men went out through the doorway of St. Eustace; it passed in front of the principal doors with a huge throng of chanting clergy and exulting people, the bishops walking in front and performing the holy consecration; and, thirdly, they reentered through the single door of the cemetery which had been transferred from the old building to the new. When this festive work had been completed in the honor of Almighty God, and when we were girding ourselves to officiate in the upper part, [the visiting bishops Invigorated us, as we were a little tired, and most graciously exhorted us not to be discouraged by the fear of labor or of any want.

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XXVII

Of the Cast and Gilded Doors

BRONZE casters having been summoned and sculptors chosen, we set up the main doors on which are represented the Passion of the Saviour and His Resurrection, or rather Ascension, with great cost and much expenditure for their gilding as was fitting for the noble porch. Also [we set up] others, new ones on the right side and the old ones on the left beneath the mosaic which, though contrary to modern custom, we ordered to be executed there and to be affixed to the tympanum of the portal. We also committed ourselves richly to elaborate the tower[s] and the upper crenelations of the front, both for the beauty of the church and, should circumstances require it, for practical purposes. Further we ordered the year of the consecration, lest it be forgotten, to be inscribed in copper-gilt letters in the following manner:

"For the splendor of the church that has fostered and exalted him,
Suger has labored for the splendor of the church.
Giving thee a share of what is throe, O Martyr Denis,
He prays to thee to pray that he may obtain a share of Paradise.
The year was the One Thousand, One Hundred, and Fortieth
Year of the Word when [this structured was consecrated."
The verses on the door, further, are these:
"Whoever thou art, if thou seekest to extol the glory of these doors,
Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship of the work.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work
Should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights,
To the True Light where Christ is the true door.
In what manner it be inherent in this world the golden door defines:
The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material
And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion."
And on the lintel: "Receive, O stern judge, the prayers of Thy Suger;
Grant that I be mercifully numbered among Thy own sheep."

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XXVIII

Of the Enlargement of the Upper Choir

IN the same year, cheered by so holy and so auspicious a work, we hurried to begin the chamber of divine atonement in the upper choir where the continual and frequent Victim of our redemption should be sacrificed in secret without disturbance by the crowds. And, as is found in [our] treatise about the consecration of this upper structure, we were mercifully deemed worthy -- God helping and prospering us and our concerns -- to bring so holy, so glorious, and so famous a structure to a good end, together with our brethren and fellow servants; we felt all the more indebted to God and the Holy Martyrs as He, by so long a postponement, had reserved what had to be done for our lifetime and labors. For who am I, or what is my father's house, that I should have presumed to begin so noble and pleasing an edifice, or should have hoped to finish it, had I not, relying upon the help of Divine mercy and the Holy Martyrs, devoted my whole self, both with mind and body, to this very task? But He Who gave the will also gave the power; because the good work was in the will therefore it stood in perfection by the help of God. How much the Hand Divine Which operates in such matters has protected this glorious work is also surely proven by the fact that It allowed that whole magnificent building [to be completed] in three years and three months, from the crypt below to the summit of the vaults above, elaborated with the variety of so many arches and columns, including even the consummation of the roof. Therefore the inscription of the earlier consecration also defines, with only one word eliminated, the year of completion of this one, thus:

"The year was the One Thousand, One Hundred, Forty and
Fourth of the Word when [this structure] was consecrated."

To these verses of the inscription we choose the following ones to be added:

"Once the new rear part is joined to the part in front,
The church shines with its middle part brightened.
For bright is that which is brightly coupled with the bright,
And bright is the noble edifice which is pervaded by the new light;
Which stands enlarged in our time,
I, who was Suger, being the leader while it was being accomplished."

Eager to press on my success, since I wished nothing more under heaven than to seek the honor of my mother church which with maternal affection had suckled me as a child, had held me upright as a stumbling youth, had mightily strengthened me as a mature man, and had solemnly set me among the princes of the Church and the realm, we devoted ourselves to the completion of the work and strove to raise and to enlarge the transept wings of the church [so as to correspond] to the form of the earlier and later work that had to be joined [by them].

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XXIX

Of the Continuation of Both Works

THIS done, when under the persuasion of some we had devoted our efforts to carrying on the work upon the front tower[s] (already completed on one side), the Divine will, as we believe, diverted us to the following: we would undertake to renew the central body of the church, which is called the nave, and harmonize and equalize it with the two parts [already] remodelled. We would retain, however, as much as we could of the old walls on which, by the testimony of the ancient writers, the Highest Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ, had laid His hand; so that the reverence for the ancient consecration might be safeguarded, and yet a congruous consistency (might be assured] to the modern work in accordance with the course embarked upon. The chief reason for this change was this: if, in our own time or under our successors, work on the nave of the church would only be done betweenwhiles, whenever the towers would afford the opportunity, the nave would not be completed according to plan without much delay or, in case of any unlucky development, never. For no difficulty would ever embarrass those [then] in power but that the link between the old and the new work would suffer long postponement. However, since it has already been started with the extension of the side aisles, it will be completed either through us or through those whom the Lord shall elect, He Himself helping. The recollection of the past is the promise of the future. For the most liberal Lord Who, among other greater things, has also provided the makers of the marvelous windows, a rich supply of sapphire glass, and ready funds of about seven hundred pounds or more will not suffer that there be a lack of means for the completion of the work. For He is the beginning and the ending.

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XXX

Of the Church's Ornaments

WE have thought it proper to place on record the description of the ornaments of the church by which the Hand of God, during our administration, has adorned His church, His Chosen Bride; lest Oblivion, the jealous rival of Truth, sneak in and take away the example for further action. Our Patron, the thrice blessed Denis, is, we confess and proclaim, so generous and benevolent that we believe him to have prevailed upon God to such an extent, and to have obtained from Him so many and so great things, that we might have been able to do for his church a hundred times more than we have done, had not human frailty, the mutability of the times, and the instability of manners prevented it. What we, nevertheless, have saved for him by the grace of God is the following.

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XXXI

Of the Golden Altar Frontal in the Upper Choir

INTO this panel, which stands in front of his most sacred body, we have put, according to our estimate, about forty-two marks of gold; [further] a multifarious wealth of precious gems, hyacinths, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and topazes, and also an array of different large pearls -- [a wealth] as great as we had never anticipated to find. You could see how kings, princes, and many outstanding men, following our example, took the rings off the fingers of their hands and ordered, out of love for the Holy Martyrs, that the gold, stones, and precious pearls of the rings be put into that panel. Similarly archbishops and bishops deposited there the very rings of their investiture as though in a place of safety, and offered them devoutly to God and His Saints. And such a crowd of dealers in precious gems flocked in on us from diverse dominions and regions that we did not wish to buy any more than they hastened to sell, with everyone contributing donations. And the verses on this panel are these:

"Great Denis, open the door of Paradise
And protect Suger through thy pious guardianship.
Mayest thou, who hast built a new dwelling for thyself through us,
Cause us to be received in the dwelling of Heaven,
And to be sated at the heavenly table instead of at the present one.
That which is signified pleases more than that which signifies."

Since it seemed proper to place the most sacred bodies of our Patron Saints in the upper vault as nobly as we could, and since one of the side-tablets of their most sacred sarcophagus had been torn off on some unknown occasion, we put back fifteen marks of gold and took pains to have gilded its rear side and its superstructure throughout, both below and above, with about forty ounces. Further we caused the actual receptacles of the holy bodies to be enclosed with gilded panels of cast copper and with polished stones, fixed close to the inner stone vaults, and also with continuous gates to hold off disturbances by crowds; in such a manner, however, that reverend persons, as was fitting, might be able to see them with great devotion and a flood of tears. On these sacred tombs, however, there are the following verses:

"Where the Heavenly Host keeps watch, the ashes of the Saints
Are implored and bemoaned by the people, and the clergy sings in ten-voiced harmony.
To their spirits are submitted the prayers of the devout,
And if they please them their evil deeds are forgiven.
Here the bodies of the Saints are laid to rest in peace;
May they draw us after them, us who beseech them with fervent prayer.
This place exists as an outstanding asylum for those who come;
Here is safe refuge for the accused, here the avenger is powerless against them."

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XXXII

Of the Golden Crucifix

WE should have insisted with all the devotion of our mind had we but had the power -- that the adorable, life-giving cross, the health-bringing banner of the eternal victory of Our Saviour (of which the Apostle says: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross o f our Lord Jesus Christ), should be adorned all the more gloriously as the sign o f the Son o f Man, which will appear in Heaven at the end of the world, will be glorious not only to men but also to the very angels; and we should have perpetually greeted it with the Apostle Andrew: Hail Cross, which art dedicated in the body o f Christ and adorned with His members even as with pearls. But since we could not do as we wished, we wished to do as best we could, and strove to bring it about by the grace of God. Therefore we searched around everywhere by ourselves and by our agents for an abundance of precious pearls and gems, preparing as precious a supply of gold and gems for so important an embellishment as we could find, and convoked the most experienced artists from diverse parts. They would with diligent and patient labor glorify the venerable cross on its reverse side by the admirable beauty of those gems; and on its front -- that is to say in the sight of the sacrificing priest -- they would show the adorable image of our Lord the Saviour, suffering, as it were, even now in remembrance of His Passion. In fact the blessed Denis had rested on this very spot for five hundred years or more, that is to say, from the time of Dagobert up to our own day. One merry but notable miracle which the Lord granted us in this connection we do not wish to pass over in silence. For when I was in difficulty for want of gems and could not sufficiently provide myself with more (for their scarcity makes them very expensive): then, to and behold, [monks] from three abbeys of two Orders -- that is, from Citeaux and another abbey of the same Order, and from Fontevrault -- entered our little chamber adjacent to the church and offered us for sale an abundance of gems such as we had not hoped to find in ten years, hyacinths, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topazes. Their owners had obtained them from Count Thibaut for alms; and he in turn had received them, through the hands of his brother Stephen, King of England, from the treasures of his uncle, the late King Henry, who had amassed them throughout his life in wonderful vessels. We, however, freed from the worry of searching for gems, thanked God and gave four hundred pounds for the lot though they were worth much more.

We applied to the perfection of so sacred an ornament not only these but also a great and expensive supply of other gems and large pearls. We remember, if memory serves, to have put in about eighty marks of refined gold. And barely within two years were we able to have completed, through several goldsmiths from Lorraine -- at times five, at other times seven -- the pedestal adorned with the Four Evangelists; and the pillar upon which the sacred image stands, enameled with exquisite workmanship, and [on it] the history of the Saviour, with the testimonies of the allegories from the Old Testament indicated, and the capital above looking up, with its images, to the Death of the Lord. Hastening to honor and extol even more highly the embellishment of so important and sacred a liturgical object, the mercy of our Saviour brought to us our Lord Pope Eugenius for the celebration of holy Easter (as is the custom of Roman Pontiffs, when sojourning in Gaul, in honor of the sacred apostolate of the blessed Denis, which we have also experienced with his predecessors, Callixtus and Innocent); and he solemnly consecrated the aforesaid crucifix on that day. Out of the title "The True Cross of the Lord Surpassing All and Every Pearl" he assigned to it a portion from his chapel; and publicly, in the presence of all, he anathematized, by the sword of the blessed Peter and by the sword of the Holy Ghost, whosoever would steal anything there from and whosoever would raise his hand against it in reckless temerity; and we ordered this ban to be inscribed at the foot of the cross.

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XXXIII

WE hastened to adorn the Main Altar of the blessed Denis where there was only one beautiful and precious frontal panel from Charles the Bald, the third Emperor; for at this [altar] we had been offered to the monastic life. We had it all encased, putting up golden panels on either side and adding fourth, even more precious one; so that the whole altar would appear golden all the way round. On either side, we installed there the two candlesticks of King Louis, son of Philip, of twenty marks of gold, lest they might be stolen on some occasion; we added hyacinths, emeralds, and sundry precious gems; and we gave orders carefully to look out for others to be added further. The verses on these [panels] are these.

On the right side:

"Abbot Suger has set up these altar panels
In addition to that which King Charles has given before.
Make worthy the unworthy through thy indulgence, O Virgin Mary.
May the fountain of mercy cleanse the sins both of the King and the Abbot."

On the left side:

"If any impious person should despoil this excellent altar
May he perish, deservedly damned, associated with Judas."

But the rear panel, of marvelous workmanship and lavish sumptuousness (for the barbarian artists were even more lavish than ours), we ennobled with chased relief work equally admirable for its form as for its material, so that certain people might be able to say: The workmanship surpassed the material. Much of what had been acquired and more of such ornaments of the church as we were afraid of losing -- for instance, a golden chalice that was curtailed of its foot and several other things -- we ordered to be fastened there. And because the diversity of the materials such as] gold, gems and pearls is not easily understood by the mute perception of sight without a description, we have seen to it that this work, which is intelligible only to the literate, which shines with the radiance of delightful allegories, be set down in writing. Also we have affixed verses expounding the matter so that the [allegories] might be more clearly understood:

"Crying out with a loud voice, the mob acclaims Christ:
"Osanna."
The true Victim offered at the Lord's Supper has carried all men.
He Who saves all men on the Cross hastens to carry the cross.
The promise which Abraham obtains for his seed is sealed by the flesh of Christ.
Melchizedek offers a libation because Abraham triumphs over the enemy.
They who seek Christ with the Cross bear the cluster of grapes upon a staff."

Often we contemplate, out of sheer affection for the church our mother, these different ornaments both new and old; and when we behold how that wonderful cross of St. Eloy -- together with the smaller ones -- and that incomparable ornament commonly called "the Crest" are placed upon the golden altar, then I say, sighing deeply in my heart: Every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the jasper, the chrysolite, and the onyx, and the beryl, the sapphire, and the carbuncle, and the emerald. To those who know the properties of precious stones it becomes evident, to their utter astonishment, that none is absent from the number of these (with the only exception of the carbuncle), but that they abound most copiously. Thus, when -- out of my delight in the beauty of the house of God -- the loveliness of the many-colored gems has called me away from external cares, and worthy meditation has induced me to reflect, transferring that which is material to that which is immaterial, on the diversity of the sacred virtues: then it seems to me that I see myself dwelling, as it were, in some strange region of the universe which neither exists entirely in the slime of the earth nor entirely in the purity of Heaven; and that, by the grace of God, I can be transported from this inferior to that higher world in an anagogical manner. I used to converse with travelers from Jerusalem and, to my great delight, to learn from those to whom the treasures of Constantinople and the ornaments of Hagia Sophia had been accessible, whether the things here could claim some value in comparison with those there. When they acknowledged that these here were the more important ones, it occurred to us that those marvels of which we had heard before might have been put away, as a matter of precaution, for fear of the Franks, lest through the rash rapacity of a stupid few the partisans of the Greeks and Latins, called upon the scene, might suddenly be moved to sedition and warlike hostilities; for wariness is preeminently characteristic of the Greeks. Thus it could happen that the treasures which are visible here, deposited in safety, amount to more than those which had been visible there, left [on view] under conditions unsafe on account of disorders. From very many truthful men, even from Bishop Hugues of Laon, we had heard wonderful and almost incredible reports about the superiority of Hagia Sophia's and other churches' orna-ments for the celebration of Mass. If this is so -- or rather because we believe it to be so, by their testimony -- then such inestimable and incomparable treasures should be exposed to the judgment of the many. Let every man abound in his own sense. To me, I con-fess, one thing has always seemed preeminently fitting: that every costlier or costliest thing should serve, first and foremost, for the administration of the Holy Eucharist. I f golden pouring vessels, golden vials, golden little mortars used to serve, by the word of God or the command of the Prophet, to collect the blood o f goats or calves or the red heifer: how much more must golden vessels, precious stones, and whatever is most valued among all created things, be laid out, with continual reverence and full devotion, for the reception of the blood o f Christ! Surely neither we nor our possessions suffice for this service. If, by a new creation, our substance were reformed from that of the holy Cherubim and Seraphim, it would still offer an insufficient and unworthy service for so great and so ineffable a victim; and yet we have so great a propitiation for our sins. The detractors also object that a saintly mind, a pure heart, a faithful intention ought to suffice for this sacred function; and we, too, explicitly and especially affirm that it is these that principally matter. [But] we profess that we must do homage also through the outward ornaments of sacred vessels, and to nothing in the world in an equal degree as to the service of the Holy Sacrifice, with all inner purity and with all outward splendor. For it behooves us most becomingly to serve Our Saviour in all things in a universal way -- Him Who has not refused to provide for us in all things in a universal way and without any exception; Who has fused our nature with His into one admirable individuality; Who, setting us on His right hand, has promised us in truth to possess His kingdom; our Lord Who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever.

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[XXXIII A]

WE also undertook to renew, out of reverence for sacred relics, the altar which, by the testimony of the ancients, is called "The Holy Altar" (for so the glorious King Louis, son of Philip, had learned it, as he used to say, from the older residents of this place from early childhood while he was brought up here); for, partly on account of old age, partly for want of faithful care, and partly also on account of the frequent movement occurring on the occasion of solemn decoration -- of which [decorations] different ones are set up for different feasts, the important for the more important ones -- it did not appear to be in very good condition. The sacred porphyry stone on top of this altar, very appropriate no less by the quality of its color than by the quantity of its size, was set into a hollow [frame of] wood covered with gold and very ruined by the lapse of so much time. It was believed that in the front part of this hollow [frame] there was placed, with artful contrivance, an arm of the Apostle St. James, a document inside attesting this through clear disclosure by a most limpid crystal. In the right part, too, there was hidden, as an inside inscription proclaimed through the appearance of a document in the same form, an arm of the Proto-Martyr Stephen; and, likewise, in the left part an arm of St. Vincent, Levite and Martyr. Anxious to be fortified by the protection of so important and sacred relics, I had for a long time joyfully longed to see and to kiss them had I not feared to incur the displeasure of God. Thus, taking courage from our devotion and saving the honor of truth for antiquity, we se-lected the manner and date for the disclosure of these sacred relics, namely, on the day of the martyrdom of our blessed Patron Saints, viz., the eighth day before the Ides of October. There were present archbishops and bishops from diverse Provinces who, as though paying a debt to the apostolate of all Gaul, had most joyfully come hither to bring pious prayers to the celebration of so great a solem-nity, namely: the Archbishops of Lyons, Reims, Tours, and Rouen; the Bishops of Soissons, Beauvais, Senlis, Meaux, Rennes, St.- Malo, and Vannes; further, a conflux of abbots and monks or clerics as well as of noblemen; but also an innumerable crowd of people of both sexes. On the day of this solemnity then, after the offices of Tierce had been sung, and when the most solemn proces-sion of so great a day was already being formed before the eyes of all, we, filled as we were -- on the mere testimony and writ of our forebears -- with so much confidence in the certain truth of the matter as though we had already seen everything, convoked the archbishops, bishops, abbots and the attending personages of high rank to the altar which we proposed to lift from its place; and we explained that we wanted to open it, that we wanted to see the treasure of the most sacred relics. Some of our intimates said, delib-erately, that it would have been safer for the reputation of our person and of the church if it had been secretly ascertained whether in truth it were as the documents said. To these I answered on the spot, aroused with the fervor of faith, that, if it was as written, I would prefer that all those who had seen it would know it, than that -- in case I had investigated the matter in secret -- all those who had not seen it would doubt it. Thus we took down the afore-said altar into our midst; summoned goldsmiths who would care- fully open those little compartments, which contained the most sacred arms, where the pieces of crystal that offered their inscrip-tions to the eye were superimposed upon them; and, God granting, we found everything as we had hoped, all complete and before the eyes of everyone.

We also discovered the reason why the relics had been placed in said little compartments, namely, because Charles the third Emperor who, gloriously buried, lies in front of this altar had ordered by Imperial decree that they be taken out for him from the Imperial repository and be placed near him for the protection of his soul and body. We also found there the evidence, sealed with the impression of his ring, by which everyone was exceedingly pleased. Not without reason would he have ordered that seven lamps in silver vessels -- which we had remade because they had gone to pieces -- should perpetually burn forever, day and night, before this "Holy Altar," had he not placed the highest hopes for his body and soul in this deposition of the sacred relics; inasmuch, for the expense of these and of [the services on] his anniversary, and for the repast of his friends [on this occasion], he allocated, under his golden seals, his possession Rueil with its dependencies. This is also why, at about sixty different celebrations, six big and stately wax candles, such as are rarely or never set up elsewhere in the church, are lit round this altar. And this is also why this altar is decked out with noble ornaments as often as is the altar of the blessed Denis.

We further erected the cross, admirable for its size, which is set up between the altar and the tomb of the same Charles, and to the middle of which is fastened, according to tradition, the most noble necklace of Queen Nanthilda, wife of King Dagobert, the founder of the church (another one, however, [we fastened] to the brow of Saint Denis, and this, though smaller, is equaled by none according to the testimony of the most competent artists); [we did this] chiefly out of reverence for the most sacred Iron Collar which, having circled the most sacred neck of the blessed Denis in the "Prison de Glaucin," has deserved worship and veneration from us and all.

Also, in the same part [of the church] the venerable Abbot Robert of Corbie, of blessed memory, professed in this sacred church and brought up here from childhood -- whom we, God granting, had proposed to be placed at the head of said Monastery of Corbie as abbot -- has caused to be set up a silver panel, very well gilded, in recognition of his profession and as an act of gratitude for many benefactions from this church.

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XXXIV

WE also changed to its present form, sympathizing with their discomfort, the choir of the brethren, which had been detrimental to health for a long time on account of the coldness of the marble and the copper and had caused great hardship to those who constantly attended service in church; and because of the increase in our community (with the help of God), we endeavored to enlarge it.

We also caused the ancient pulpit, which -- admirable for the most delicate and nowadays irreplaceable sculpture of its ivory tablets -- surpassed human evaluation also by the depiction of antique subjects, to be repaired after we had reassembled those tablets which were moldering all too long in, and even under, the repository of the money chests; on the right side we restored to their places the animals of copper lest so much and admirable material perish, and had the whole set up so that the reading of Holy Gospels might be performed in a more elevated place. In the beginning of our abbacy we had already put out of the way a certain obstruction which cut as a dark wall through the central nave of the church, lest the beauty of the church's magnitude be obscured by such barriers.

Further, we saw to it, both on account of its so exalted function and of the value of the work itself, that the famous throne of the glorious King Dagobert, worn with age and dilapidated, was restored. On it, as ancient tradition relates, the kings of the Franks, after having taken the reins of government, used to sit in order to receive, for the first time, the homage of their nobles.

Also we had regilded the Eagle in the middle of the choir which had become rubbed bare through the frequent touch of admirers.

Moreover, we caused to be painted, by the exquisite hands of many masters from different regions, a splendid variety of new windows, both below and above; from that first one which begins the series with the Tree o f Jesse in the chevet of the church to that which is installed above the principal door in the church's entrance. One of these, urging us onward from the material to the immaterial, represents the Apostle Paul turning a mill, and the Prophets carrying sacks to the mill. The verses of this subject are these:

"By working the mill, thou, Paul, takest the flour out of the bran.
Thou makest known the inmost meaning of the Law of Moses.
From so many grains is made the true bread without bran,
Our and the angels' perpetual food."

Also in the same window, where the veil is taken off the face of Moses:

"What Moses veils the doctrine of Christ unveils.
They who despoil Moses bare the Law."

In the same window, above the Ark of the Covenant;

"On the Ark of the Covenant is established the altar with the Cross of Christ;
Here Life wishes to die under a greater covenant."

Also in the same [window], where the Lion and Lamb unseal the Book:

"He Who is the great God, the Lion and the Lamb, unseals the Boob.
The Lamb or Lion becomes the flesh joined to God."

In another window, where the daughter of Pharaoh finds Moses in the ark:

"Moses in the ark is that Man-Child Whom the maiden
Royal, the Church, fosters with pious mind."

In the same window, where the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush:

"Just as this bush is seen to burn yet is not burned,
So he who is full of this fire Divine burns with it yet is not burned."

Also in the same [window], where Pharaoh is submerged in the sea with his horsemen:

"What Baptism does to the good, that does to the soldiery of Pharaoh
A like form but an unlike cause."

Also in the same [window], where Moses raises the brazen serpent:

"Just as the brazen serpent slays all serpents,
So Christ, raised on the Cross, slays His enemies."

In the same window, where Moses receives the Law on the mount:

"After the Law has been given to Moses the grace of Christ invigorates it.
Grace giveth life, the letter killeth."

Now, because [these windows] are very valuable on account of their wonderful execution and the profuse expenditure of painted glass and sapphire glass, we appointed an official master craftsman for their protection and repair, and also a skilled goldsmith for the gold and silver ornaments, who would receive their allowances and what was adjudged to them in addition, viz., coins from the altar and flour from the common storehouse of the brethren, and who would never neglect their duty to look after these [works of art].

We further caused to be composed seven candlesticks of enamelled and excellently gilded [metal] work, because those which Emperor Charles had offered to the blessed Denis appeared to be ruined by age.

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[XXXIV A]

ALSO, with the devotion due to the blessed Denis, we acquired vessels of gold as well as of precious stones for the service of the Table of God, in addition to those which the kings of the Franks and those devoted to the church had donated for this service. Specifically we caused to be made a big golden chalice of 140 ounces of gold adorned with precious gems, viz., hyacinths and topazes, as a substitute for another one which had been lost as a Pawn in the time of our predecessor.

We also offered to the blessed Denis, together with some flowers from the crown of the Empress, another most precious vessel of prase, carved into the form of a boat, which King Louis, son of Philip, had left in pawn for nearly ten years; we had purchased it with the King's permission for sixty marks of silver when it had been offered to us for inspection. It is an established fact that this vessel, admirable for the quality of the precious stone as well as for the latter's unimpaired quantity, is adorned with "verroterie cloisonnee" work by St. Eloy which is held to be most precious in the judgment of all goldsmiths.

Still another vase, looking like a pint bottle of beryl or crystal, which the Queen of Aquitaine had presented to our Lord King Louis as a newly wed bride on their first voyage, and the King to us as a tribute of his great love, we offered most affectionately to the Divine Table for libation. We have recorded the sequence of these gifts on the vase itself, after it had been adorned with gems and gold, in some little verses:

"As a bride, Eleanor gave this vase to King Louis,
Mitadolus to her grandfather, the King to me, and Suger to the Saints."

We also procured for the services at the aforesaid altar a precious chalice out of one solid sardonyx, which [word] derives from "sardius" and "onyx"; in which one [stone] the sard's red hue, by varying its property, so keenly vies with the blackness of the onyx that one property seems to be bent on trespassing upon the other.

Further we added another vase shaped like a ewer, very similar to the former in material but not in form, whose little verses are these:

"Since we must offer libations to God with gems and gold,
I, Suger, offer this vase to the Lord."

We also gladly added to the other vessels for the same office an excellent gallon vase, which Count Thibaut of Blois had conveyed to us in the same case in which the King of Sicily had sent it to him. Also we deposited in the same place the little crystal vases which we had assigned to the daily service in our [private] chapel.

And further we adapted for the service of the altar, with the aid of gold and silver material, a porphyry vase, made admirable by the hand of the sculptor and polisher, after it had lain idly in a chest for many years, converting it from a flagon into the shape of an eagle; and we had the following verses inscribed on this vase:

"This stone deserves to be enclosed in gems and gold.
It was marble, but in these [settings] it is more precious than marble."

For all this we thank Almighty God and the Holy Martyrs, since He has not refused abundantly to bestow upon the most sacred altar, at which He willed us to be offered as a child under the precepts of our holy rule, that with which we may serve Him in worthy manner.

And since we are convinced that it is useful and becoming not to hide but to proclaim Divine benefactions, we have destined [ for this purpose] that increase in textiles which the Hand Divine has granted to this sacred church in the time of our administration; we urge that they be laid out on our anniversary in order to propitiate the supreme power of Divine Majesty and to enhance the devotion of the brethren, and as an example for the succeeding abbots. For late and scanty penance cannot atone for so many and so great [sins] as I have committed, nor for the enormity of my crimes, unless we rely upon the intercession of the Universal Church.


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THE OTHER LITTLE BOOK ON THE CONSECRATION OF THE CHURCH OF ST.-DENIS

I

THE admirable power of one unique and supreme reason equalizes by proper composition the disparity between things human and Divine; and what seems mutually to conflict by in-feriority of origin and contrariety of nature is conjoined by the single, delightful concordance of one superior, well-tempered harmony. Those indeed who crave to be glorified by a participation in this supreme and eternal reason often devote their attention to this continual controversy of the similar and dissimilar, and to the trial and sentence of the litigant parties, sitting on the throne of the acute mind as though on a tribunal. With the aid of loving-kind-ness, whereby they may withstand internal strife and inner sedi-tion, they drink wholesomely from the fountain of the reason of eternal wisdom, preferring that which is spiritual to that which is corporeal, that which is eternal to that which is perishable. They set aside the vexations and most grievous anxieties of corporal sen-suality and of the exterior senses; elevating themselves from the oppression by these, focusing the undivided vision of their mind upon the hope of eternal reward, they zealously seek only that which is eternal. They forget carnal desires to the admiration and amazement of others; thus, through communion with supreme reason and eternal bliss, they rejoice -- according to the promise of the only-begotten Son of God: In your patience possess ye your souls -- in being deservedly united with the Glorious Consciousness. Yet human nature, debased and gravely impaired by the corrup-tion of its first condition, embracing the present rather than ex-pecting the future, would in no wise be strong enough for this, were it not for the fact that the abundant aid given to human reason and rational intelligence by supreme and Divine loving -kindness mercifully enables us to carry it into effect. Hence we read: His tender mercies are over all His works. Therefore we and others profess boldly and truthfully that, the more Mercy alone saves us by the bath of regeneration and renovation through the Holy Spirit, the more we must endeavor, with all our will and power, to offer to Him with humble devotion, as the most acceptable burnt offering of a purified mind, our own righteousness, however much He Himself may have given [to us]. So that He Who can inasmuch as He is God, and must inasmuch as He is the Creator, may equalize (unless we resist) that perilous inequality within ourselves; so that He may resolve, with that ineffable loving-kindness by which He has ineffably and inseparably united His Divinity with our enslaved humanity, those conflicts of internal strife in which we have become involved by the loss of His friendship through our first prevarication; so that He, having becalmed the most grievous vexations of carnality and stilled the turmoil of vices, may appease the inner struggles in a pacified dwelling; so that we, unfettered in mind and body and] offering to Him our joyful servitude, may be able to reveal and to proclaim the generosity of His immeasurable beneficence in regard to ourselves and to the glorious church of which He has suffered us to become the head; lest, if we were standing mute at His praise, we might therefore incur a diminution of His benefactions and hear that terrible voice There are not found that returned to give glory to God.

Therefore, being justified by faith, according to the Apostle, we have peace with God through our own inner peace; and in the manner of those who, out of gratitude, return of their own accord the gifts bestowed to those who have bestowed them, we make publicly known that one favor, singular among many, of Divine generosity: we have endeavored to commit to writing, for the attention of our successors, the glorious and worthy consecration of this church sacred to God (and) the most solemn translation of the most precious martyrs Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius, our Patrons and Apostles, as well as of the other saints upon whose ready tutelage we rely. We have put down why, in what order, how solemnly and also by what persons this was performed, in order to give thanks as worthy as we can to Divine grace for so great a gift, and to obtain, both for the care expended on so great an enterprise and for the description of so great a celebration, the favorable intercession of our Holy Protectors with God.

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II

WHEN the glorious and famous King of the Franks, Dagobert, notable for his royal magnanimity in the administration of his kingdom and yet no less devoted to the Church of God, had fled to the village of Catulliacum in order to evade the intolerable wrath of his father Clothaire the Great, and when he had learned that the venerable images of the Holy Martyrs who rested there -- appearing to him as very beautiful men clad in snow-white garments -- requested his service and unhesitatingly promised him their aid with words and deeds, he decreed with admirable affection that a basilica of the Saints be built with regal magnificence. When he had constructed this [basilica] with a marvelous variety of marble columns he enriched it incalculably with treasures of purest gold and silver and hung on its walls, columns and arches tapestries woven of gold and richly adorned with a variety of pearls, so that it might seem to excel the ornaments of all other churches and, blooming with incomparable luster and adorned with every terrestrial beauty, might shine with inestimable splendor. Only one thing was wanting in him: that he did not allow for the size that was necessary. Not that anything was lacking in his devotion or good will; but perhaps there existed thus far, at that time of the Early Church, no [church] either greater or [even] equal in size; or perhaps [he thought that] a smallish one -- reflecting the splendor of gleaming gold and gems to the admiring eyes more keenly and delightfully because they were nearer -- would glow with greater radiance than if it were built larger.

Through a fortunate circumstance attending this singular smallness -- the number of the faithful growing and frequently gathering to seek the intercession of the Saints -- the aforesaid basilica had come to suffer grave inconveniences. Often on feast days, completely filled, it disgorged through all its doors the excess of the crowds as they moved in opposite directions, and the outward pressure of the foremost ones not only prevented those attempting to enter from entering but also expelled those who had already entered. At times you could see, a marvel to behold, that the crowded multitude offered so much resistance to those who strove to flock in to worship and kiss the holy relics, the Nail and Crown of the Lord, that no one among the countless thousands of people because of their very density could move a foot; that no one, because of their very congestion, could [do] anything but stand like a marble statue, stay benumbed or, as a last resort, scream. The distress of the women, however, was so great and so intolerable that you could see with horror how they, squeezed in by the mass of strong men as in a winepress, exhibited bloodless faces as in imagined death; how they cried out horribly as though in labor; how several of them, miserably trodden underfoot but them lifted by the pious assistance of men above the heads of the crowd, marched forward as though upon a pavement; and how many others, gasping with their last breath, panted in the cloisters of the brethren to the despair of everyone. Moreover the brethren who were showing the tokens of the Passion of Our Lord to the visitors had to yield to their anger and rioting and many a time, having no place to turn, escaped with the relics through the windows. When I was instructed by the brethren as a schoolboy I used to hear of this; in my youth I deplored it from without; in my mature years I zealously strove to have it corrected. But when it pleased Hint who separated me front my mother's womb, and called nee by His grace, to place insignificant me, although my merits were against it, at the head of the so important administration of this sacred church; then, impelled to a correction of the aforesaid inconvenience only by the ineffable mercy of Almighty God and by the aid of the Holy Martyrs our Patron Saints, we resolved to hasten, with all our soul and all the affection of our mind, to the enlargement of the aforesaid place -- we who would never have presumed to set our hand to it, nor even to think of it, had not so great, so necessary, so useful and honorable an occasion demanded it.

Since in the front part, toward the north, at the main entrance with the main doors, the narrow hall was squeezed in on either side by twin towers neither high nor very sturdy but threatening ruin, we began, with the help of God, strenuously to work on this part, having laid very strong material foundations for a straight nave and twin towers, and most strong spiritual ones of which it is said: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Leaning upon God's inestimable counsel and irrefragable aid, we proceeded with this so great and so sumptuous work to such an extent that, while at first, expending little, we lacked much, afterwards, expending much, we lacked nothing at all and even confessed in our abundance: Our sufficiency is o f God. Through a gift of God a new quarry, yielding very strong stone, was discovered such as in quality and quantity had never been found in these regions. There arrived a skillful crowd of masons, stonecutters, sculptors and other workmen, so that -- thus and otherwise -- Divinity relieved us of our fears and favored us with Its goodwill by comforting us and by providing us with unexpected [resources. I used to compare the least to the greatest: Solomon's riches could not have sufficed for his Temple any more than did ours for this work had not the same Author of the same work abundantly supplied His attendants. The identity of the author and the work provides a sufficiency for the worker.

In carrying out such plans my first thought was for the concordance and. harmony of the ancient and the new work. By .reflection, by inquiry, and by investigation through different regions of remote distracts, we endeavored to learn where we might obtain marble columns or columns the equivalent thereof. Since we found none, only one thing was left to us, distressed in mind and spirit: we might obtain them from Rome (for in Rome we had often seen wonderful ones in the Palace of Diocletian and other Baths) by safe ships through the Mediterranean, thence through the English Sea and the tortuous windings of the River Seine, at great expense to our friends and even by paying passage money to our enemies, the near-by Saracens. For many years, for a long time, we were perplexed, thinking and making inquiries -- when suddenly the generous munificence of the Almighty, condescending to our labors, revealed to the astonishment of all and through the merit of the Holy Martyrs, what one would never have thought or imagined: very fine and excellent [columns]. Therefore, the greater acts of grace, contrary to hope and human expectation, Divine mercy had deigned to bestow by a suitable place where it could not be more agreeable to us, the greater [acts of gratitude] we thought it worth our effort to offer in return for the remedy of so great an anguish. For near Pontoise, a town adjacent to the confines of our territory, there [was found] a wonderful quarry [which] from ancient times had offered a deep chasm (hollowed out, not by nature but by industry) to cutters of millstones for their livelihood. Having produced nothing remarkable thus far, it reserved, we thought, the beginning of so great a usefulness for so great and divine a building -- as a first offering, as it were, to God and the Holy Martyrs. Whenever the columns were hauled from the bottom of the slope with knotted ropes, both our own people and the pious neighbors, nobles and common folk alike, would tie their arms, chests, and shoulders to the ropes and, acting as draft animals, drew the columns up; and on the declivity in the middle of the town the diverse craftsmen laid aside the tools of their trade and came out to meet them, offering their own strength against the difficulty of the road, doing homage as much as they could to God and the Holy Martyrs. There occurred a wonderful miracle worthy of telling which we, having heard it ourselves from those present, have decided to set down with pen and ink for the praise of the Almighty and His Saints.

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III

ON a certain day when, with a downpour of rain, a dark opacity had covered the turbid air, those accustomed to assist in the work while the carts were coming down to the quarry went off because of the violence of the rain. The ox-drivers complained and protested that they had nothing to do and that the laborers were standing around and losing time. Clamoring, they grew so insistent that some weak and disabled persons together with a few boys -- seventeen in number and, if I am not mistaken, with a priest present -- hastened to the quarry, picked up one of the ropes, fastened it to a column and abandoned another shaft which was lying on the ground; for there was nobody who would undertake to haul this one. Thus, animated by pious zeal, the little flock prayed: "O Saint Denis, if it pleaseth thee, help us by dealing for thyself with this abandoned shaft, for thou canst not blame us if we are unable to do it." Then, bearing on it heavily, they dragged out what a hundred and forty or at least one hundred men had been accustomed to haul from the bottom of the chasm with difficulty -- not alone by themselves, for that would have been impossible, but through the will of God and the assistance of the Saints whom they invoked; and they conveyed it to the site of the church on a cart. Thus it was made known throughout the neighborhood that this work pleased Almighty God exceedingly, since for the praise and glory of His name He had chosen to give His help to those who performed it by this and similar signs.

As a second instance there is related another notable event worthy of remembrance, remarkable to tell and deserving to be set forth with authority. When the work had been finished in great part, when the stories of the old and the new building had been joined, and when we had laid aside the anxiety we had long felt because of those gaping cracks in the old walls, we undertook with new confidence to repair the damages in the great capitals and in the bases that supported the columns. But when we inquired both of our own carpenters and those of Paris where we might find beams we were told, as was in their opinion true, that such could in no wise be found in these regions owing to the lack of woods; they would inevitably have to be brought hither from the district of Auxerre. All concurred with this view and we were much distressed by this because of the magnitude of the task and the long delay of the work; but on a certain night, when I had returned from celebrating Matins, I began to think in bed that I myself should go through all the forests of these parts, look around everywhere and alleviate those delays and troubles if [beams] could be found here. Quickly disposing of other duties and hurrying up in the early morning, we hastened with our carpenters, and with the measurements of the beams, to the forest called Iveline. When we traversed our possession in the Valley of Chevreuse we summoned through our servants the keepers of our own forests as well as men who knew about the other woods, and questioned them under oath whether we could find there, no matter with how much trouble, any timbers of that measure. At this they smiled, or rather would have laughed at us if they had dared; they wondered whether we were quite ignorant of the fact that nothing of the kind could be found in the entire region, especially since Milon, the Castellan of Chevreuse (our vassal, who holds of us one half of the forest in addition to another fief) had left nothing unimpaired or untouched that could be used for building palisades and bulwarks while he was long subjected to wars both by our Lord the King and Amaury de Montfort. We however scorning whatever they might say -- began, with the courage of our faith as it were, to search through the woods; and toward the first hour we found one timber adequate to the measure. Why say more? By the ninth hour or sooner we had, through the thickets, the depths of the forests and the dense, thorny tangles, marked down twelve timbers (for so many were necessary) to the astonishment of all, especially those on the spot; and when they had been carried to the sacred basilica, we had them placed, with exultation, upon the ceiling of the new structure, to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus, Who, protecting them from the hands of plunderers, had reserved them for Himself and the Holy Martyrs as He wished to do. Thus in this matter Divine generosity, which has chosen to limit and to grant all things according to weight and measure, manifested itself as neither excessive nor defective; for not one more [timber] than was needed could be found.

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IV

THUS continually encouraged in so great enterprises by so great and manifest signs, we immediately hastened to the completion of the aforesaid building. Having deliberated in what manner, by what persons, and how truly solemnly the church should be consecrated to Almighty God, and having summoned the excellent man, Hugues, Archbishop of Rouen, and the other venerable Bishops, Eudes of Beauvais [and] Peter of Senlis, we chanted in celebration of this ceremony a polyphonic praise amidst a great throng of diverse ecclesiastical personages and an enormous one of clergy and laity. These [three dignitaries] blessed, in the central nave of the new addition, the first water in a vat standing there; they then went out with the procession through the chapel of St. Eustace [and] across the square which from ancient times is called "Panetiere" (because everything is worn down there by buying and selling); they returned through the other bronze door which opens onto the sacred cemetery; and they performed with the greatest devotion -- by bestowing the unction of the eternal blessing and the most holy chrism, and by exhibiting the true body and blood of the High Priest Jesus Christ -whatever is fitting for so great and so sacred an edifice. They dedicated the upper chapel, most beautiful and worthy to be the dwelling place of angels, in honor of the Holy Mother of God, the eternal Virgin Mary, of St. Michael the Archangel, of All the Angels, of St. Romanus (who rests in that very place), and of many other saints whose names are inscribed there. The lower chapel on the right [they dedicated] in honor of St. Bartholomew and many other saints; the lower chapel on the left, however, where St. Hippolytus is said to rest, in honor of him and of Sts. Lawrence, Sixtus, Felicissimus, Agapitus, and many others, to the praise and glory of Almighty God. But we, desiring with all our heart to be made, God granting, the participant in so great a blessing as in a fruit of the expended labor, conferred upon these chapels -- as though for a dowry, as the custom is, to meet the expense of buying lights -- a certain property adjacent to the cemetery, hard by the church of St. Michael, which we had bought from Guillaume de Cornillon for eighty pounds, so that they might have the rent there from in perpetuity. Concerning the date of completion, however, this is the established truth as it can be read -- oh, may it not be obscured! -- in the golden inscription above the gilded doors which we have caused to be made in honor of God and the Saints:

"The year was the One Thousand, One Hundred, and Fortieth
Year of the Word when this structured was consecrated."

After the consecration of the Chapel of St. Romanus and others which, with the help of the Highest Majesty, had been celebrated in the front part [of the church, our devotion -- so much invigorated by its own success, and so long and intolerably distressed by that congestion around the Holy of Holies -- directed our intentions toward another goal: free from the aforesaid work,. and through postponing the completion of the towers in their upper portions, we would strive with all our might to devote labor and expense, as fittingly and nobly as it could reasonably be done, to the enlargement of the church our mother -- as an act of gratitude because Divine condescension had reserved so great a work to so small a man who was the successor to the nobility of such great kings and abbots. We communicated this plan to our very devoted brethren, whose hearts burned for Jesus while He talked with them by the way. Deliberating under God's inspiration, we choose -- in view of that blessing which, by the testimony of venerable writings, Divine action had bestowed upon the ancient consecration of the church by the extension of [Christ's] own hand -- to respect the very stones, sacred as they are, as though they were relics; [and] to endeavor to ennoble the new addition, which was to be begun under the pressure of so great a need, with the beauty of length and width. Upon consideration, then, it was decided to remove that vault, unequal to the higher one, which, overhead, closed the apse containing the bodies of our Patron Saints, all the way [down] to the upper surface of the crypt to which it adhered; so that this crypt might offer its top as a pavement to those approaching by either of the two stairs, and might present the chasses of the Saints, adorned with gold and precious gems, to the visitors' glances in a more elevated place. Moreover, it was cunningly provided that -- through the upper columns and central arches which were to be placed upon the lower ones built in the crypt -- the central nave of the old nave should be equalized, by means of geometrical and arithmetical instruments, with the central nave of the new addition; and, likewise, that the dimensions of the old side-aisles should be equalized with the dimensions of the new side-aisles, except for that elegant and praiseworthy extension, in [the form of] a circular string of chapels, by virtue of which the whole [church] would shine with the wonderful and uninterrupted light of most luminous windows, pervading the interior beauty.

Thus, when, with wise counsel and under the dictation of the Holy Ghost Whose unction instructs us in all things, that which we proposed to carry out had been designed with perspicuous order, we brought together an assembly of illustrious men, both bishops and abbots, and also requested the presence of our Lord, the Most Serene King of the Franks, Louis. On Sunday, the day before the Ides of July, we arranged a procession beautiful by its ornaments and notable by its personages. Carrying before ourselves, in the hands of the bishops and the abbots, the insignia of Our Lord's Passion, viz., the Nail and the Crown of the Lord, also the arm of the aged St. Simeon and the tutelage of other holy relics, we descended with humble devotion to the excavations made ready for the foundations. Then, when the consolation of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, had been invoked so that He might crown the good beginning of the house of God with a good end, the bishops having prepared, with their own hands, the mortar with the blessed water from the dedication of the previous fifth day before the Ides of June -- laid the first stones, singing a hymn to God and solemnly chanting the Fundamenta ejus* to the end of the Psalm. The Most Serene King himself stepped down [into the excavation] and with his own hands laid his [stone]. Also we and many others, both abbots and monks, laid their stones. Certain persons also [deposited] gems out of love and reverence for Jesus Christ, chanting: Lapides preciosi omrtes muri tui. We, however, exhilarated by so great and so festive a laying of so holy a foundation, but anxious for what was still to be done and fearful of the changes of time, the diminution of persons and my own passing away, ordained in a common council of the brethren, at the advice of those present and by the consent of our Lord the King, an annual revenue for completing this work; namely, one hundred and fifty pounds from the treasury, that is, from the offerings at the altars and at the Relics; one hundred [from the offerings] at the Fair, and fifty [from the offerings] at the Feast of Saint Denis. In addition, fifty from the possession called Villaine in the district of Beauce, previously uncultivated but with the help of God and by our labors brought under cultivation and developed to an annual revenue of eighty or a hundred pounds. If, through any mischance, this possession should fall short of its full contribution, our other [possessions in] Beauce, the revenue of which we had doubled or trebled, would supply the balance. And we decreed that these two hundred pounds, in addition to anything which will be brought to the collection box through the devotion of the faithful or might be offered specifically for the two structures, be applied to the continuation of these works until, without any question, these edifices, the front part as well as the upper choir, will be entirely and honorably completed throughout, including their towers.

* The foundations thereof [are in the holy mountains] (Douai Version). All thy walls are precious stones.

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V

FOR three years we pressed the completion of the work at great expense, with a numerous crowd of workmen, summer and winter, lest God have just cause to complain of us: Thine eyes did see my substance yet being upper fect.; we made good progress with His own cooperation and, in the likeness of the things Divine, there was established to the joy o f the whole earth mount Zion, on the sides o f the north, the city o f the Great King, in the midst of which God will not be moved, but will not disdain, moved by the entreaties of the sinners, to be placated and propitiated by the sweet-smelling burnt offerings of the penitent. The midst of the edifice, however, was suddenly raised aloft by twelve columns representing the number of the Twelve Apostles and, secondarily, by as many columns in the side-aisles signifying the number of the [minor] Prophets, according to the Apostle who buildeth spiritu-ally. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, says he, but fellow citizens with the saints and o f the household o f God; and are built upon the foundation o f the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone which joins one wall to the other; in Whom all the building -- whether spiritual or material -- groweth unto one holy temple in the Lord. In Whom we, too, are taught to be builded together for an habitation o f God through the Holy Spirit by ourselves in a spiritual way, the more loftily and fitly we strive to build in a material way.

Meanwhile -- chiefly solicitous for the translation of our Patron Saints the most Holy Martyrs and also of the other saints who, scattered about the church, were worshiped in the different chapels -- we felt devoutly moved to embellish their most sacred chasses, especially those of the Patrons; and selecting [a place] to which they might be transferred [so as to present themselves] to the visitors' glances in more glorious and conspicuous manner, we endeavored, God helping, to build [a tomb] very illustrious both by the exquisite industry of the goldsmiths' art and by a wealth of gold and precious stones. We made preparations to fortify it all round, outwardly noble for ornament by virtue of these and similar [precious materials, yet inwardly not ignoble for safety by virtue of a masonry of very strong stones; and on the exterior -- lest the place be disfigured by the substance of un- concealed stones -- to adorn it (yet not [so handsomely as would be proper) with gilded panels of cast copper. For the gener-osity of so great Fathers, experienced by ourselves and all, de-mands that we, most miserable men who feel as well as need their tutelage, should deem it worth our effort to cover the most sacred ashes of those whose venerable spirits, radiant as the sun, attend upon Almighty God with the most precious material we possibly can: with refined gold and a profusion of hyacinths, emeralds and other precious stones. One thing, however, we did choose to have done resplendently: we would erect in front of the bodies of the Saints what had never been there before -- the very famous altar for the sacrificial worship of God, where popes and persons of high rank might worthily offer the propitiatory Hosts, acceptable to God, with the intercession of those who offered themselves to God as a fragrant burnt offering. While we, overcome by timidity, had planned to set up in front of this altar) a panel golden but modest, the Holy Martyrs themselves handed to us such a wealth of gold and most precious gems -- unexpected and hardly to be found among kings -- as though they were telling us with their own lips: "Whether thou wantst it or not, we want it of the best"; so that we would neither have dared, nor have been able to, make it other than admirable and very precious in workmanship as well as material. For not only did the very pontiffs -- who wear them espe-cially on account of the dignity of their office -- consent, if they were present, to assign their pontifical rings, set with a wonderful variety of precious stones, to this panel; they even, if they were absent in lands overseas, sent them of their own accord, incited by the love of the Holy Martyrs. Also the illustrious King himself, offering of his own accord emeralds, pellucid and distinguished by markings -- Count Thibaut, hyacinths and rubies -- peers and princes, precious pearls of diverse colors and properties: all these invited us to complete the work in glorious fashion. In addition, so many gems and pearls were brought to us for sale from nearly all the parts of the world (and, by the grace of God, we were also offered wherewith to buy them) that we should have been unable to let them go without great shame and offense to the Saints. Here and elsewhere we could find by experience: let there be a good work in the will -- then, with the aid of God, will it be in perfection. Thus, should anyone presume to take away with rash temerity, or knowingly to diminish, this ornament presented by the devotion of such great men to such great Protectors: may he deserve the wrath of our Lord Denis and to be pierced by the sword of the Holy Ghost.

Nor do we think it proper to be silent in regard to the following fact: when the work on the new addition with its capitals and upper arches was being carried forward to the peak of its height, but the main arches -- vaulted independently -- were not yet held together by the bulk of the severies, there suddenly arose a terrible and almost unbearable storm with an obfuscation of clouds, an inundation of rain, and a most violent rush of wind. So mighty did this [storm]become that it blew down, not only well-built houses but even stone towers and wooden bulwarks. At this time, on a certain day (the anniversary of the glorious King Dagobert), when the venerable Bishop of Chartres, Geoffroy, was solemnly celebrating at the main altar a conventual Mass for the former's soul, such a force of contrary gales hurled itself against the aforesaid arches, not supported by any scaffolding nor resting on any props, that they threatened baneful ruin at any moment, miserably trembling and, as it were, swaying hither and thither. The Bishop, alarmed by the strong vibration of these [arches] and the roofing, frequently extended his blessing hand in the direction of that part and urgently held out toward it, while making the sign of the cross, the arm of the aged St. Simeon; so that he escaped disaster, manifestly not through his own strength of mind but by the grace of God and the merit of the Saints. Thus [the tempest], while it brought calamitous ruin in many places to buildings thought to be firm, was unable to damage these isolated and newly made arches, tottering in mid-air, because it was repulsed by the power of God.

There followed another memorable event which happened, not by accident (as is believed of such matters by those agreeing with that doctrine according to which

Chance wanders aimlessly,
Brings and brings back events; and Accident
rules all that is mortal),

but by Divine Generosity Which abundantly provides for those who place their hope in It in all things great and small, and administers what It knows to be beneficial. On a certain day we conferred with our friends, servants and stewards about the provisions for the court [to be held on the occasion] of the imminent consecration, because we anticipated it would be very great; and, considering the difficulty of the times (for in June almost all victuals were scarce), we had fairly well provided for all other things. Only one thing worried us grievously: because of a plague among the sheep born in that year we would have to search for mutton in the district of Orleans and toward Burgundy. I had reluctantly ordered to give1,000 shillings, or whatever was necessary, to those who would go there for this purpose, lest they should take too long in returning inasmuch as they had started so late. But on the following morning, when I, according to custom, hurried from our little chamber to the celebration of Holy Mass, a Premonstratensian monk suddenly drew me back to my room in spite of my protests. When I -- a little irritated because he detained me from so great a task -- had answered him without too much civility, he said: "We have heard, Lord Father, that you need mutton for the impending celebration of your consecration; therefore, sent by our brethren, I bring to your Paternal Grace a very great flock of rams so that you may keep what you like and send us back what you do not like." When we had heard this we requested him to wait for us until after Mass, and after Mass we informed our brethren in his presence of what he had offered to us. They ascribed this to Divine Generosity because It had unexpectedly furnished, through the pious brethren's bringing it hither, the only thing which we were lacking and should have found tiresome to search for.

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VI

NOW the laborious consummation of the work and our own suspended devotion, which had been panting for this a long time, demanded the consecration of the new church. And since we fervently wished this consecration as well as the translation of our Patron Saints to be a most solemn event -- as an act of gratitude, as it were, and as a most welcome fruit of our labors -- we fixed, upon deliberation and with the gracious consent of his Royal Majesty Louis the Most Serene King of the Franks (for he ardently wished to see the Holy Martyrs, his protectors), the date of the ceremony for the second Sunday in June, that is to say the third day before the Ides, the day of the Apostle Barnabas.

We sent invitations by many messengers, also by couriers and envoys, through almost all the districts of Gaul and urgently requested the archbishops and bishops, in the name of the Saints and as a debt to their apostolate, to be present at so great a solemnity. Numerous and different ones of these [we welcomed] joyfully to this celebration; more joyfully we would have welcomed all of them had that been possible. Our Lord King Louis himself and his spouse Queen Eleanor, as well as his mother, and the peers of the realm arrived on the third day. Of the diverse counts and nobles from many regions and dominions, of the ordinary troops of knights and soldiers there is no count. But of the archbishops and bishops who were present the names are placed on record as follows: Samson, Archbishop of Reims; Hugues, Archbishop of Rouen; Guy, Archbishop of Sens; Geoffroy, Archbishop of Bordeaux; Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury; Geoffroy, Bishop of Chartres; Jocelin, Bishop of Soissons; Simon, Bishop of Noyon; Elias, Bishop of Orleans; Eudes, Bishop of Beauvais; Hugues, Bishop of Auxerre; Alvise, Bishop of Arras; Guy, Bishop of Chalons; Algare, Bishop of Coutances; Rotrou, Bishop of Evreux; Milon, Bishop of Terouanne; Manasseh, Bishop of Meaux; Peter, Bishop of Senlis. Since all of these had come to so noble a ceremony and so great a spectacle in state, in their capacity of higher dignitaries of their church, their outward apparel and attire indicated the inward intention of their mind and body. We, however, were not so much [intent upon] external matters (for these we had already ordained to be provided in affluence without argument), but on the preceding Saturday took the bodies of the saints out of their chapels and, according to custom, placed them most honorably in draped tents at the exit of the [monks'] choir. Devoutly looking forward to so great a joy, we prepared the sacramental implements for the consecration and made arrangements by which the eager and so sacred procession of so many persons might smoothly wend its way throughout the church, within and without. Then, when we had humbly asked the glorious and most humble Louis, King of the Franks, to keep away, through his peers and nobles, the impeding crowd from the procession itself, he answered, more humbly by far, that he would gladly do this in person as well as through his retinue.

Spending the whole preceding night in reading the office of Matins in praise of God, we devoutly implored our Lord Jesus Christ Who was made the Propitiator for our sins that, for His own honor and for love of His Saints, He might deign mercifully to visit the holy place and to participate in the holy ceremonies, not only potentially but also in person. In the early morning, then, the archbishops and bishops came with the archdeacons, abbots and other honorable persons from their respective guest-quarters to the church, arranged themselves in episcopal manner, and very solemnly, very venerably assumed, for the consecration with the [holy] water, their places near the vat, [namely,] in the upper choir between the tombs of the Martyrs and the altar of the Saviour. You might have seen -- and those present did see not without great devotion -- how so great a chorus of such great pontiffs, decorous in white vestments, splendidly arrayed in pontifical miters and precious orphreys embellished by circular ornaments, held the crosiers in their hands, walked round and round the vessel and invoked the name of God by way of exorcism; how so glorious and admirable men celebrated the wedding of the Eternal Bridegroom so piously that the King and the attending nobility believed themselves to behold a chorus celestial rather than terrestrial, a ceremony divine rather than human. The populace milled around outside with the drive of its intolerable magnitude; and when the aforesaid chorus sprinkled the holy water onto the exterior, competently aspersing the walls of the church with the aspergillum, the King himself and his officials kept back the tumultuous impact and protected those returning to the doors with canes and sticks.

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VII

WHEN the mysteries of the holy consecration had been performed in proper manner we proceeded to the translation of the sacred Relics and approached the ancient and venerable tombs of our Patron Saints; for thus far they had not been moved from their place. After prostrations, the pontiffs as well as our Lord the King, and all of us so far as we could in view of the narrowness of the room, inspected -- when it had been opened -- the venerable shrines, executed under King Dagobert, which contained their most sacred bodies dear to God; chanted and wept with immeasurable joy; and said, inviting a king as devout as humble: "Come, help thyself with thy own hands to carry hither our Lord, Apostle and Protector, so that we may revere the most sacred ashes, embrace the most sacred urns, rejoice throughout our lives at having re-ceived and held them. For these are the holy men who gave over their bodies as a testimony to God; who for our salvation, burning with the fire of charity, left their land and kin; who with apostolic authority taught the faith of Jesus Christ to all Gaul; who fought for Him like men; who, naked, conquered scourges and, fettered, [conquered] wild and famished beasts; who sustained, unscathed, extension on the rack and the fire of the furnace, and finally blissful decapitation by blunted axes. Onward, then, Christian King, let us receive him who will receive us, our blessed Denis, humbly en-treating him to pray for us to Him who promised truthfully; the love and benevolence which thou hast will always obtain its end for whomsoever thou wilt pray." Forthwith muscles are moved, arms are thrust out, so many and so important hands are laid on that not even the seventh hand was able to reach the sacred shrines themselves. Therefore, our Lord the King himself, injecting himself into their midst, received the silver chasse of our special Patron from the hand of the bishops -- I believe, from the hand of the Archbishops of Reims and Sens, the Bishop of Chartres and others -- and led the way out as devoutly as nobly. A marvel to behold! never could anyone see such a procession, apart from that which had been seen on the occasion of the old consecration by the Heavenly Host: when the bodies of the holy martyrs and confessors, out of the draped tents and on the shoulders and necks of bishops, counts and barons, went forth to meet the most holy Denis and his Companions at the ivory door; when [those in the pro-cession] proceeded through the cloisters with candlesticks, crosses and other festive ornaments and with many odes and hymns; when they carried their Patrons amicably yet, for joy, weepingly. No greater joy in the world could ever have exalted them.

When the [procession] had returned to the church and had ascended by the stairs to the upper altar, destined for the rest of the Saints (while the Relics of the Saints had been deposited on the old altar) the rites were performed at the new main altar which was to be consecrated in front of their new tomb; the consecration of this [new main altar] we entrusted to the Lord Archbishop of Reims, Samson. The rites were also splendidly and solemnly performed at the other twenty altars that were to be consecrated. The consecration of that which, in the central nave, is dedicated to Our Saviour, the Host of the Holy Angels and the Holy Cross, we entrusted to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury; that of the blessed eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of God, to Lord Hugues, Archbishop of Rouen; that of St. Peregrinus, to Lord Hugues, Archbishop of Auxerre; that of St. Eustace, to Lord Guido, Bishop of Chalons; that of St. Osmanna, to Lord Peter, Bishop of Senlis; that of St. Innocent, to Lord Simon, Bishop of Noyon; that of St. Cucuphas, to Lord Alvise, Bishop of Arras; that of St. Eugene, to Lord Algare, Bishop of Coutances; that of St. Hilary, to Lord Rotrou, Bishop of Evreux; that of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, to Lord Nicholas, Bishop of Cambrai. In the crypt, however, we assigned for consecration: the lower main altar in honor of the Holy Virgin, Mary, Mother of God, to Lord Geoffroy, Archbishop of Bordeaux; on the right, the altar of St. Christopher, Martyr, to Lord Elias, the Bishop of Orleans; that of St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr, to Lord Geoffroy, Bishop of Chartres; that of St. Edmund, King, to Lord Guido, Archbishop of Sens; that of St. Benedict, to Lord Jocelin, Bishop of Soissons. On the left [we assigned for consecration the altar] of Sts. Sixtus, Felicissimus and Agapitus, to Lord Milon, Bishop of Terouanne; that of St. Barnabas, Apostle, to Lord Manasseh, Bishop of Meaux; further, that of St. George, Martyr, and St. Walburga, Virgin, to the same Bishop; and that of St. Luke the Evangelist, to Lord Eudes, Bishop of Beauvais.

After the consecration of the altars all these [dignitaries] performed a solemn celebration of Masses, both in the upper choir and in the crypt, so festively, so solemnly, so different and yet so concordantly, so close [to one another] and so joyfully that their song, delightful by its consonance and unified harmony, was deemed a symphony angelic rather than human; and that all exclaimed with heart and mouth: "Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place. Blessed and worthy o f praise and exalted above all be Thy name, Lord Jesus Christ, Whom God Thy Father has anointed the Highest Priest with the oil of exultation above Thy fellows. By this sacramental unction with the most holy chrism and by the susception of the most holy Eucharist, Thou uniformly conjoinest the material with the immaterial, the corporeal with the spiritual, the human with the Divine, and sacramentally reformest the purer ones to their original condition. By these and similar visible blessings, Thou invisibly restorest and miraculously transformest the present [state] into the Heavenly Kingdom. Thus, when Thou shalt have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, mayest Thou powerfully and mercifully make us and the nature of the angels, Heaven and earth, into one State; Thou Who livest and reignest as God for ever and ever. Amen."


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[ORDINANCE ENACTED IN THE YEAR 1140 OR IN THE YEAR 1141 ]

IN the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.

We, Suger, undistinguished Abbot of the Blessed Denis, believe it proper and useful in God's sight for all the faithful, especially for the prelates of the Church, to provide for those committed to the service of Almighty God; to alleviate their labors and the toil of their struggles by all possible means, spiritual or temporal, and to sustain them with the necessities of life lest they break down on the road. For to these [prelates I it has been betokened, under the command of God, how it behooved them to take care of and protect the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord with the skins of oxen and cows in order to ward off violent rainstorms and all kinds of damage; wherein arc typified those very men who, being men of action by virtue of their prelacies, have it within their power, as a duty of their office, to take care of and to protect from all damage -- as though with skins -- the men of contemplation who arc :n truth the Ark of Divine Propitiation. Therefore, I, Suger -- by the patience of God chosen Abbot of the thrice blessed Denis, prevaricator of God's commands, hastening to return by mercy to the heart of God, and recognizing in the fear and anguish of my soul whence I have come, what I have done, and where I must go -- tremblingly flee to the protection of the servants of God; I, clearly being an irreligious man, embrace their religion with all my heart and humbly crave the intercession of the religious; and, providing for them in matters temporal, we devoutly endeavor to sustain and comfort them with the necessities of life so that they -- may all the more devoutly and effectively provide for us in matters spiritual.

FROM THE DOMAIN LE VEXIN -- Which before our time had been in such decay that it could hardly contribute five shillings to the main course of the brethren's daily dinner; which we, God helping, have rescued in the early days of our prelacy with great expense, and with a strong and (a fact now aggravating my conscience) armed hand, from the oppression of the bailiffs and other malefactors; and which we have improved, we believe, by a twofold or threefold increase -- we add to the main course of the brethren's dinner five shillings for five days in each week; so that they may always have ten shillings on these [five days. For the other days, that is to say, the Thursdays and Saturdays, we have already allocated, in another Ordinance, fourteen shillings in honor of our memorial days, viz., those of the Mother of God and the Holy Martyrs. And whatever in this and that other Ordinance is fixed in excess of five shillings is herewith recognized as permanently valid by the mercy of God, even though the number of brethren has been increased through our labors for the love of God and the observance of our holy rule. With the common consent of the brethren we forbid under perpetual ban and perpetual malediction to diminish or in any fraudulent way to detract from this document of increase. This as regards the main course of the dinner.

Concerning the additional course -- for it, I know not for what reason, had come to be withheld from the brethren from the Fair until the octave of the Feast of the blessed Denis -- we wish and ordain that it hereafter be supplied continually throughout the whole year by the hands of the attendant monks or lay brothers. And lest the means for this be lacking, we have assigned to this increase the new rent from the new [tenants whom I have settled in the vacant garden land, that is to say, fifty shillings or more. We establish by solemn decree, without objection, that this rule of the additional course, too, be most strictly observed, both for the brethren themselves and for the sustenance of the outside poor who are in want of this and other things. This, then, as regards the dinner.

Concerning the second meal, which is called supper, we have laid down a third article. So as to be more nourishing in more fitting and becoming manner than before, this [second meal] has previously been enlarged by us out of certain increases, namely, the tithe of Saint--Lucien which belonged to us; the contribution of twenty shillings which was paid to us by the gardeners there out of their surplus; and the grain which was surrendered to us from Pierrefitte. Now, out of love and reverence of holy religion, and in view of the devotion of our brethren, we have, in addition, allocated [for this, and unshakably confirmed under perpetual ban, the rent from the aforesaid possession, viz., one hundred shillings or, if it so happens, more; with the reservation, however, that, upon consideration and testimony of the brother coenator, there shall be collected there, out of that rent, the yield of our vineyards to the extent as it belongs to us (for the moiety of the produce belongs to the metayers of the vineyards).

Furthermore we have heard, from the most sacred lips of Him Who shall say, at that universal and wonderful hearing: I was sick and ye visited me (and contrariwise), how valuable it is to devote oneself to works of charity and to take care of the sick. And what affects the prelates in particular has been more clearly taught by Him Who on His shoulders brought back the ailing sheep to the flock. Compelled by this pious solicitude, we admonish and enjoin, under the authority of God, the brethren in charge of this office (and our deputies therein), both present and future, cheerfully, piously, and tenderly to condescend to the ailing brethren, to the aged and to the weak of all kinds, to gratify] their diverse appetites according to their diverse illnesses, and to minister unto them even as angels of God; for charity is the essence of monastic religion. They shall regularly serve -- in the first place to these but in the same spirit also to those who for one reason or another may walk about the infirmaries on orders of the Sub-Prior -- one portion at every meal over and above that which will be brought to them from the refectory; and in order that it may always be possible to continue this, we have added to the old revenue from that domain six pounds which we have acquired by our labors in the village, not through any chicanery but by the purchase of a certain house and by the erection of stalls from which this rent is irrevocably due. However, we admonish and advise the brethren in charge of this office to spend -apart from what necessarily belongs to the external upkeep of the lands -- the revenue of the entire domain for the needs of the brethren; never should there creep in an opportunity of purchasing textiles or other ornaments, but all should be wholly reserved for the needs of the brethren. Sympathizing with these and with the debility of the Seniors, we have -- in order to keep them warm, which they very much needed -- confirmed for this purpose under perpetual ban our protection tax of Garsonis Villa, which pertained to them from this possession.

FURTHER, WHILE -- for want of outstanding merits -- we humbly commend the memory of our insignificant self to the affection of present and future brethren, we have thought it worth our effort, in order to help the salvation of our soul, to revive and to reconstitute, for the salvation of their souls, the memorial observances, discontinued on account of the very great elapse of time, of our Emperors and forebears who by their great liberality and generous munificence have well deserved that these [observances] be held. Of these, we have decided to renew and to restore the memorial observances for the most famous Emperor Charles the Third in the following manner. The manner, however, is that which is contained in the testament of his Imperial Majesty, viz., the one by which this glorious Emperor donated to the blessed Denis the noble possession of Rueil with its dependencies and fisheries. He laid down a noble command, and one which befitted an Emperor: inasmuch as elsewhere, and with other kings, the anniversary of their exequies is usually commemorated every year, he decreed that his (anniversary) be observed every month, on the day before the Nones; that it be announced in the chapter and celebrated in the convent; that from the revenue of the aforesaid possession a worthy repast be served to the brethren in the refectory. Nor can that (other) injunction of so great an Emperor be called less excellent whereby he solemnly decreed that from the revenue of the aforesaid possession seven lights in seven lamps should uninterruptedly burn before the sacred altar of the Holy Trinity throughout the successive centuries. And, since, throughout the administration of his kingdom [and] to whichever part of the world the needs of the Empire might call him, he always yearned and planned, in the full affection of his mind, to be buried there, he fortified the place of his grave with the very safe protection of sacred relics, reserving for himself from the Imperial repository in the Chapel, and depositing in the front part of the blessed altar: an arm bone of the Apostle St. James, Brother of the Lord; in the right part, an arm of the Proto-Martyr St. Stephen; and in the left part, an arm of the blessed Vincent, Martyr and Levite as we have seen ourselves with our own eyes together with the venerable Archbishops of Lyons, Reims, Tours and Rouen, and the Bishops of Soissons, Beauvais, Rennes, Senlis, St.-Malo, Meaux and Vannes. And we held [in our hands the impression of his ring as evidence of the truth: that he wished to] avoid all spiritual and temporal vexation, buried near the altar and surrounded on all sides by the relics of the saints. Together with ourselves those [dignitaries] showed these relics of the saints to the people of God for protection, and honorably restored them to their places after the altar had been repaired with gold and praiseworthy [gold-smith's] work. But, since these injunctions of so great an Emperor, though sanctioned by documents sealed with the golden seal, had partly cooled off owing to the envious mutability of hoary time, and partly fallen into disuse altogether, we zealously endeavored, after having deliberated our intention with our brethren, to revive and to restore them for the love and honor of God and of the sacred relics, and also for the salvation of the soul of our Lord the Most Serene and August Charles. We decreed that the lights in the seven lamps, which had gone out, burn in perpetuity. We decently restored the silver vessels of these lamps. To that ever-burning wax candle which used to burn alone before the altar of the blessed Dents we added another so that two might burn [there] uninter-ruptedly; just as we had already decreed that two burn perma-nently before the bodies of the Saints themselves. We most strictly ordained that the offices of [Charles's] anniversary be celebrated, more solemnly than had been usual, every month on the day before the Nones. We irrevocably restored the repast in the refectory on these days. And in order that proper food can never be lacking for either the perpetual lights or the appointed repasts, we inviolably decreed that on the octave of the Feast of the blessed Denis ten pounds be taken out of the revenue from the aforesaid possession of Rueil which he had assigned to these [observances] in his testament. We ordered that these be handed, through the hand of the Grand Prior, to the Sacristan-Treasurer who shall see to it that oil be ready for the lamps, and shall continually supply ten shillings for the funeral repasts in every month. For what should not so great an Emperor, and so intimate and cordial a friend of the blessed Denis, deserve? He who glorified the latter's church by so many and important possessions; who brightened it with so many ornaments of gold and precious stones; who, as the crown of all benefactions, most nobly distinguished it by the insignia of the Lord's Passion, viz., the Nail and the Crown of the Lord, and by the arm of the aged St. Simeon, so that it shines as with the most brilliant radiance of the true Sun? Devoutly concerned with these and similar matters, convening in our chapter, and diligently and prudently discussing this document of renewal, we have approved and established it by unshakable law under the authority of Almighty God and the blessed Martyrs Denis and his Companions, and also with the common and united confirmation of our chapter. We have sworn, by the blood which Jesus Christ has shed upon the Cross, that under no circumstances shall this Ordinance be abrogated; that through no person, and under no circumstances, shall the present document suffer the recurrence of a calamity like the lapse of the old ones; but that it shall most firmly stand, sound and inviolate in its regulations and articles, and always unshakable for ever and ever.

Also to the four "Marguilliers" of this church, who are constantly at work there, we have given -- so that they may remember us -- a certain tithe both in bread and wine (for the amount of their allowances had fallen off somewhat) which we had bought in Franconville from Payen de Gisors because it was of our [own fief; except for that part which is collected from the private vineyard of the church.

THERE REMAINS ONE OTHER important article which we have deemed proper to include in this record; though it is evidently predicated upon the performance of promises, we wish and hope that it may benefit us in regard to eternal retribution. In the nineteenth year of our administration, we had willingly and faithfully labored on the new structure in the front part of the church. After the old structure had been fitly united with this new one by the concordance of new columns and arches, we had caused to be consecrated by Hugues, the venerable Archbishop of Rouen, and other venerable bishops, together with this new church: upstairs, the Chapel of St. Romanus; downstairs, [the Chapel of St. Hippolytus and, on the other side, [the Chapels of St. Bartholomew. And we had forever allocated to these three chapels, as a Catholic dowry for their lights, the property in the Royal Domain which we had bought for eighty pounds from Guillaume de Cornillon, with the approval of his sons and parents, for the purpose of leasing and renting it. But suddenly the love and devotion to the Holy Martyrs our Patrons and Protectors roused us to enlarge and amplify the chevet of the upper church. Nor could the unfinished state of the former [structure] restrain us from beginning the lat-ter; for we hoped to the Lord that the omnipotence of God, either through us or through those whom He would please [to choose], would be able to provide sufficient resources for that earlier struc-ture as well as for this later one. To this was added, so as to incite our devotion, the fact that in the lower church that place of the Holy of Holies, worthy of the Deity, inviting visits of the holy angels, was so much cramped by its narrowness that, on the hour of the Holy Sacrifice, the brethren partaking of the most holy Eucharist could not stay there, and that they were oftentimes un-able to withstand the unruly crowd of visiting pilgrims without great danger. You could see how people grievously trod down one another; how -- what many would not believe -- eager little women struggled to advance toward the altar marching upon the heads of the men as upon a pavement; how at times, pushed back and forth and almost half-dead, they escaped in the nick of time into the cloisters with the aid of merciful men, and stayed there gasping almost with their last breath. Hastening with all the ardor of our soul to put an end to these and other outrages, we brought together an assembly of illustrious men . . . . . . . . until . . . these edifices . . . will be entirely and honorably completed, including their towers.

ENACTED IN THE GENERAL CHAPTER of the Blessed Denis, in the presence of the personages that are inscribed below, [and] whose authority has confirmed the foregoing articles under the ban.

Signature of Milon, Bishop of Terouanne.
Signature of Guerin, Bishop of Amiens.
Signature of Geoffroy, Bishop of Chartres.
Signature of Hugues, Archbishop of Tours.
Signature of Samson, Archbishop of Reims.
Signature of Jocelin, Bishop of Soissons.
Signature of Eudes, Bishop of Beauvais.
Signature of Robert, Abbot of Corbie.