[St. Pachomius Library]
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St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome:
Book Two, Chapter Nineteen

Translated into our English Tongue by "P. W.", 1608.

Chapter XIX

How the man of God knew that one of his monks had received certain handkerchiefs.

Not far from his Abbey, there was a village, in which very many men had, by the sermons of Bennet, been converted from idolatry to the true faith of Christ. Certain Nuns also there were in the same town, to whom he did often send some of his monks to preach unto them, for the good of their souls. Upon a day, one that was sent, after he had made an end of his exhortation, by the entreaty of the Nuns took certain small napkins, and hid them for his own use in his bosom: whom, upon his return to the Abbey, the man of God very sharply rebuked, saying: "How cometh it to pass, brother, that sin is entered into your bosom ?" At which words the monk was much amazed for he had quite forgotten what he had put there; and therefore knew not any cause why he should deserve that reprehension: whereupon the holy man spake to him in plain terms, and said: "Was not I present when you took the handkerchiefs of the Nuns, and put them up in your bosom for your own private use?" The monk, hearing this, fell down at his feet, and was sorry that he had behaved himself so indiscreetly: forth he drew those napkins from his bosom, and threw them all away.

Holy Father Benedict, pray to God for us!