A Final Request
|St. Meinrad is killed by robbers.|
So they went into the oratory, not intent on what he had urged them to do, but rather on the evil they had come to commit, and they came back to him quickly. The man of God gave them his tunic and cuculla, and added as well bread and drink, saying: "Take these things from my hands; indeed, once you finish what you have come to do, you can take for yourselves whatever you want of these things here. For I know that you have come to kill me. But one favor I beg of you. After you have ended the course of my present life, place these candles which you see and which I made for this very purpose, one burning at my head and one at my feet. Then afterwards quickly leave this place, lest those who are used to visit me come upon you and force you to pay the penalty of your crime."
Then all at once Richard seized the blessed man with his filthy hands, and locked his little body fast in his arms, weakened as it was by fasting. And with an oath, he ordered his companion to club the holy man. Peter disabled Meinrad by beating him on his sides and legs, while the holy man raised his hands to God.
Richard said: "We haven't got all day; hit him in the head and finish him off. Hurry up, or I'll do it myself." And at once he took up the club and landed a blow on Meinrad's head with all his might. So stricken, the holy man sank to the ground half dead. And they flung themselves on him and strangled him with their hands until he breathed out his spirit.
Meinrad's soul then went forth, and in the very last gasp of breath, an odor of such sweetness came out and filled the whole cell, as if perfumes of all aromas had been strewn around and were sending out their fragrance. Then the thieves stripped him of the clothing he was wearing, carried the man of God to the bed where he used to rest, and put him in it.
They put a cloak underneath him, and a blanket over him; and, as the man of God had asked when alive, they took the candles, placed one at his head, and ran with the other to the chapel to get a light from the flame that burned constantly in the oratory.
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