Collection of Letters: Detail
- Albert, abbot of Fruttuaria and the convent
Agnes, empress and sinner to Albert, good father, and his brothers congregated in Fruttuaria in the name of the Lord, the service of his handmaid, whose eyes are to the hands of his lady [Ps.122:2].
My conscience terrifies me worse with every ghost and every image. So I flee to the places of the saints, seeking a hiding place from the face of this fear. My desire to come to you is not small, about whom I have learned that your intercession is certain salvation. But our travels are in the hand of God not in our will. Meanwhile, I entreat you truly with my mind at your feet, asking that with the piety Gregory showed Trajan you ask mercy for me from the Lord; for that one man prayed a pagan out of the prison of Hell, so you many will easily save one Christian woman. If you resolve this, I ask that in a sign of piety you charge your society and fraternity and send to me as soon as possible.
I also ask that you deign to take as a sign of [your] admonition the very little gift I am sending, so that I may believe that you are beginning to care for me. Fare well and you, good father, diligently commend me to the spiritual brothers of the monasteries and cells, so they make me a participant in their prayers and fasts and all their good deeds/benefactions.
A[gnes] imperatrix et peccatrix A[lberto] patri bono et fratribus in Fructuaria congregatis in nomine Domini seruitutem “ancillae,” cuius “oculi in manibus dominae suae" sunt.
Conscientia mea terret me peius omni larua omnique imagine; ideo fugio per sanctorum loca, quaerens latibulum a facie timoris huius. Nec minimum desiderium est mihi ueniendi ad uos, de quibus comperi, quia uestra intercessio certa salus est. Sed nostrae profectiones in manu Dei sunt et non in nostra uoluntate. Interim uero mente adoro ad pedes uestros, rogans, ut Gregoriana pietate in Traianum petatis mihi ueniam a Domino: quia namque ille unus homo ab inferni claustris exorauit paganum, multi uos facile saluabitis christianam unam. Quodsi decreueritis, peto, ut in signum pietatis societatem et fraternitatem uestram mandetis et mittatis mihi quam primum.
Rogo etiam, ut paruum, quod mitto, munusculum admonitionis signum suscipere dignemini, quatenus credam, quia de me curare inceperitis. Valete; et tu, pater bone, diligenter commenda me spiritalioribus fratribus de coenobiis atque cellis, ut faciant me participem in orationibus et ieiuniis atque omnibus benefactis suis.
The situation that led to this letter, according to Struve, was Agnes’s appointment of the anti-pope Cadalus of Parma; Agnes made the appointment on the advice of imperial counsellors in October 1061, after the duly elected pope, Anselm of Lucca (Alexander II) was enthroned without waiting for imperial assent.
"Zwei Briefe der Kaiserin Agnes," Historisches Jahrbuch 104 (1984), p.424