Subulam

Angelico,_san_romulado_dalla_pala_di_san_marco,_Minneapolis

Inde vero progrediens, non longe ab Appennino monte in loco qui dicitur Aquabella manere constituit. illic sane dum saeculares quidam cum discipulis eius habitationum tecta construerent, Romualdus autem, quia iam prae senectute laborare non poterat, et solus hospitium custodiret, presbyter quidam intolerabilem dolorem in dentibus sentiens, opus aedificii invitus reliquit, et postulata a fratribus licentia redire domum miserabiliter eiulans coepit. cumque per Romualdum transitum reversionis haberet, interrogatus cur abscederet, mox casum suae passionis innotuit. huic Romualdus hianti locum ubi patiebatur digito tetigit, dicens: “Ignitam”, inquit, “subulam, ne labrum laedat, in calamum mitte et hic pone: sic dolor aufugiet.” vix presbyter unius iugeris spatio ultra progressus est, et confestim omni dolore deposito, ad opus quod reliquerat, sanus et incolumis repedavit, claris nimirum vocibus exclamans, et dicens: “gratias tibi agimus, omnipotens Deus, qui regionem nostram splendore tanti sideris illustrare dignatus es. vere angelus Dei, vere propheta sanctus et lux magna occulta mundo in finibus nostris apparuit.” haec et alia multa in Dei laude vociferans, vix a beati viri discipulis tacere compulsus est. nam si talia verba ad Romualdi aures qualibet occasione pertingerent, gravissima cor eius indignatione ferirent.
(Petrus Damianus, Vita Sancti Romualdi 46)

And moving on from there, he decided to stay not far from Monte Appennino in a place which is called Aquabella. Now, as certain laymen were building dwelling-houses there with his disciples, but Romuald was alone looking after the guest-house because he was already unable to work on account of his age, a certain priest felt an unbearable pain in the teeth, reluctantly left off the building work and, having requested permission from the brethren, began to return home, moaning miserably. And since in going back, he had to go over by Romuald, (he was) asked why he was going away (and) thereupon informed (Romuald) of the suffering that had befallen (him). (The priest) opening (his mouth), Romuald touched his finger to the place where he was suffering and said, “Put a red hot awl into a reed, so that it will not injure (your) lip, and place it here. This way the pain will go away.” The priest went on barely more than the length of one iugerum and (then), at once relieved of all pain, went back safe and sound to the work he had left, crying aloud in fact in a clear voice, “We give Thee thanks, almighty God, who has deigned to brighten our region with the brilliance of such a star. Truly an angel of God, truly a holy prophet and a great light hidden from the world has appeared in our region.” Shouting out these and many other things in God’s praise, he could scarcely be constrained by the blessed man’s disciples to be silent. For if such words should reach Romuald’s ears in any way at all, they would strike his heart with the severest vexation. (tr. Colin Ralph Phipps)

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