Knight Owein's Journey to Saint Patrick's Purgatory

Topics: Heaven, Saint Patrick, Middle Ages Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: August 23, 2012
HI789/790: The Art of Death The knight Owein's journey through Saint Patrick Purgatory 03/12/2007 Picard Marion Introduction The knight Owein's journey through Saint Patrick Purgatory is a story written by a monk named H. of Saltrey because we don't know his first name. Another monk had told him this story and H. wrote it down. Maybe this report was one of those the monks used to tell among us and so story would rely on oral transmission. Brief summary: It took place in the early 12th century. The knight wanted a penance according to the measure of his sins: a journey in Saint Patrick purgatory. What is this? Since Saint Patrick didn't succeed in converting Irish people to the Christian faith, the Christ showed him a hole and explained that, if somebody wanted to know what happen after you die, he could go into the hole and see the punishments in store for the sinners and the joy of the saints. If he avoided temptation, he would be clear of all his sins. That was why Owein entered Saint Patrick purgatory through a cavern after devoting fifteen days to fasting and prayers despite the warning of the bishop and of the prior. In the hole, fifteen men dressed as monks explained to him what he had to do and they withdrew. Then Owein visited places where people suffered terribly but always managed to stay safe invoking the name of Christ protect him but the devils told him: « this is not hell » and they showed him the infernal punishments. After crossing a bridge, Owein came to a door and visited a wonderful place with a lot of happy people, sweet fragrances, a strong light... people dressed as archbishops explained to him what he had seen. Then, the knight came back to earth with a purged soul. Comments of a general nature: -Owein' journey was described like an act of chivalry. Maybe because the writer wanted to entertain the reader. That means that the audience included mostly knights. -Owein took risked a great deal, he risked everything. If he truly believed in God,...
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