Collection of Letters: Detail
- Paschal II, pope
To the most holy and venerable father and lord in Christ, Paschal, Bishop of the prime see: from Matilda(1), by the grace of God marchioness, sending if it is worth anything, the allegiance of total subjection, as much due as it is faithful.
Among other things which we presume to ask of your paternity we particularly entreat your clemency with regard to the expulsion of our father and lord Anselm, the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury.(2) Therefore, following the due judgement of your see,(3) may you as a pious father and lord faithfully take heed of the tribulations and wretchedness which that holy and reverend father bears for the catholic faith and the holy Roman church. May you have pity on this lamentable complaint, and by your holy activities may you most kindly stretch out the hand of your advice and help. It is improper that such a prominent member of the holy Roman church shonld be cast out as an exile like something putrid for such a long time, and not be able to perform the office entrusted to him at all. We grieve therefore, that his ministry, whose guidance we know to be necessary to the Church for everything and for everybody, has, for the most part, been taken away from the body of the Church. For this reason, on bended knee, we implore your clemency for him since we believe without any doubt that his sole allegiance after God belongs to you, and we desire that through our services on his behalf your clemency may increase and not diminish.(4)
Sanctissimo et Venerabili in Christo patri ac domino PASCHALI, primae sedis antistiti: MATHILDIS marcisae dei gratia, si quid est, tam debitum quam fidele totius subiectionis obsequium.
Inter alia ex quibus paternitatem vestram rogare praesumimus, de patris ac domini nostri ANSELMI, Cantuariensis venerabilis archiepiscopi, expulsione clementiam vestram singulariter postulamus. Quatenus iuxta debitum vestrae sedis iudicium tam sancti ac reverendi patris tribulationes et miserias, quas pro fide catholica et sanctae Romanae ecclesiae tolerat, tamquam pius pater ac dominus fideliter attendatis, eiusque lacrimabilem querimoniam condoleatis, atque sanctis negotiis manum consilii et auxilii clementius porrigatis. Indecens enim est tam praecipuum sanctae ecclesiae Romanae membrum tanto tempore exulatum iacere inter alia quasi putridum, et non agere sibi commissum incunctanter officium. Dolemus igitur corport ecclesiae ex maxima parte illius ministerium eSSe subtractum, cuius gubernaculum scimus esse sibi per omnia et prae omnibus necessarium. Unde flexis genibus de eo vestram clementiam postulamus, cuius singularem post deum fiduciam vos esse procul dubio credimus, quam nostris etiam meritis circa eum augeri, non minui desideramus.
Matilda writes to the pope in support of Anselm of Canterbury during his exile. Anselm wrote her a letter of gratitude for protecting him from his enemies, ep.325, see below.
(1) See ep.225; Matilda was marchioness and countess of Tuscany. (2) See epp.310, 331; HN 159 and VA 132. (3) For the Lenten synod of 1099, see HN 144; VA 115; ep.346. (4) The translation is reprinted with the permission of the translator and the publisher, Cistercian Publications Inc. Editorial Offices, Institute of Cistercian Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. All rights are reserved; downloading and copying for any purpose other than private research is prohibited.
Sancti Anselmi Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi, Opera Omnia, ed. F.S. Schmitt (Edinburgh: T. Nelson, 1946-63), ep.350, 5.289-90; translation and annotation from The Letters of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, trans. Walter Fröhlich, Cistercian Studies 142, 3v (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1990-94), 3.83-84.