Wednesday, 14 September 2016

'Greetings, kind cross..the medicine of our wounds'

September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and to mark the feast below is a short quotation from a disciple of Saint Columbanus, Saint Attala of Bobbio. Attala was not himself an Irishman but followed Saint Columbanus into exile from Luxeuil and succeeded him as Abbot of Bobbio:

E.Lawless, Ireland (1912)
Abbot Attala of Bobbio, who died in 627, was said in his Life by Jonas to have wept copiously when a cross was brought to him on his deathbed. 'Greetings, kind cross' he said 'which bore the price of the world [and] which carrying eternal banners brought the medicine of our wounds. It is you who smeared with His blood came down from heaven into this vale of tears in order to save the human race'.

Giles Constable, Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 76.

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