Apocalyptic Spirituality: Treatises and Letters of Lactantius, Adso of Montier-En-Der, Joachim of Fiore, the Franciscan Spirituals, Savonarola

By Bernard McGinn | Go to book overview

ADSO OF MONTIER-EN-DER Letter on the Origin and Time of the Antichrist

PROLOGUE TO GERBERGA

Brother Adso, the last of all her servants, sends best wishes and eternal peace to her highness Gerberga, most excellent Queen, mighty in royal dignity, beloved of God and cherished by all the saints, mother of monks and leader of holy virgins.

Because I have won the favor of your kindness, Royal Mother, I have been always faithful to you in everything like a dutiful servant. Even though my prayers do not deserve anything from God, I beseech the mercy of our God for you and for your husband, the Lord King, as well as for the safety of your sons. May he deign to preserve the imperial dignity for you in this life and after it cause you to reign happy with him in heaven. If the Lord gives you good fortune and bestows longer life on your sons, we know without doubt and do believe that God's Church must be exalted and the monastic order must be multiplied more and more. As your faithful one, I wish for this and strongly desire it. If I were able to gain the whole kingdom for you, I would do it most gladly; 1 but since I cannot do that, I will beseech the Lord for the salvation of you and your sons that his grace may always precede you in your works and his glory may follow you in loving kindness. Because grace is directed to the divine commandments, you can fulfill the good that you desire so that the crown of the heavenly kingdom will be given to you. 2

You have a pious desire to listen to the scriptures and often to speak about our Redeemer. You even want to learn about the wickedness and persecution of the Antichrist, as well as of his power and origin. Since you have deigned to ask your servant, I wish to write to you to tell you something about the Antichrist, although you do not need to hear it from me because you have Don Rorico at your side, that most prudent

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