Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 23

A famous important city this was, strongly fortified, firm, extensive, well-built, greater and more beautiful than Amiens, but with no river near it. There was a splendid town hall in the middle of the city having a strong guard of the people of the town continually. There was another


guard of the King's soldiers at the gates of the town by night and by day. There was a great court there and a church dedicated to Mary. There was, besides, the seat of the archbishop of the province, with the best and most splendid cemetery in the greater part of Christendom outside the walls of the city. In that church of the Blessed Virgin a bright waxen torch fell from heaven. The inhabitants of the city caused a splendid chapel to be built inside the walls for that holy torch lest enemies should reach it. The torch was lighted and shining for two hundred full years by night and day, but not even one half-inch of it was wasted during that time. Once a certain woman came to pray to the altar on which the torch was. She marvelled much at the greatness of the miracles and the graces of it. Misfortune drove her to find out what particular substance it was made of. When she found the chapel bereft of people, and the guardians of the torch gone throughout the city, she went to the torch, touched it with her hands, and broke off a little piece of the wax of it. The torch commenced to flame, and the wax to waste and to melt. The woman got frightened seeing that. She regretted and was ashamed of what she had done. The guardians of the torch met her when she left the sanctuary. They were very much surprised when they found the torch wasting away. The news of the event was spread through the city. The clergy and ecclesiastics of the town gathered with the archbishop, and they were very much troubled and surprised concerning what happened to the torch. The guardians said they had left it in its usual state when they were going to the city, with no one near it except the aforesaid woman, and that, after meeting the woman as they entered the church they found the torch wasting and melting and in a different state. The woman was brought before them, and a scrutiny and strict examination of her took place. She admitted in presence of God and the Holy Church that she broke a small piece off the torch. She made her confession afterwards. The clergy advised that the torch should be


quenched and covered for ever to commemorate its miracles. It is lighted and shines on great principal feasts. It still continues to work wonders and miracles, thousands of people coming to it and from it in pilgrimage to venerate and implore the Holy Virgin Mary in its presence. It was shown to these nobles.