Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Investiturstreits

Author: Gregory VII  | Date: 1907

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E. Bernheim Leipzig 1907

Canossa: Humiliation of a Monarch

[1077]

Gregory, Bishop, slave of the slaves of God, to all archbishops, bishops, dukes, counts and other princes of the kingdom of the Teutons, who defend the Christian faith—greeting and apostolic blessing.

Since, from your love of justice, you have made common cause with us and shared our peril in the struggle of Christian warfare, we have taken pains, with our sincere affection, to inform you, beloved, of how the king, humbled to penitence, obtained the pardon of absolution.

As was arranged with the envoys, who were sent from you to us, we came into Lombardy about twenty days before the date on which one of the military leaders was to meet us at the pass. We awaited the arrival of the escort so that we might be able to cross to your land. But when the date had passed and we learned that it had not been Possible for you to send an escort to meet us, we were indeed perplexed as to what we had better do.

In the meantime we learned for certain that the king was coming. Before he entered Italy he sent suppliant messengers to us and promised to render satisfaction in all things to God, to St. Peter and to us. Moreover, he promised to amend his life and to maintain complete obedience, if only he might be considered worthy to obtain the grace of absolution and apostolic blessing from us.

We had many consultations with him by messenger, during which we upbraided him severely for his evil deeds. At last he came in person. He had but few attendants and no air of hostility or defiance when he came to Canossa, where we were waiting.

There he laid aside all royal state. For three days he remained at the gate of the castle, wretched, barefooted and dad in wool. He continued with much weeping to implore the aid and consolation of the apostolic mercy until he moved all who were there or who heard of it to such pity and compassion that they all interceded for him with many prayers and tears. They were astonished by the unusual hardness of our minds. Some even said that we were showing not the weighty severity of art apostle hut the cruel ferocity of a tyrant.

At last, overcome by his persistence and by the urgent prayers of all present, in the end we loosed the bond of the anathema and admitted him to the grace of communion. We received him again into the bosom of the Holy Mother Church.

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Chicago: Gregory, Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Investiturstreits, trans. E. Bernheim in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Co., 1951), Original Sources, accessed July 16, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=21FMWEYZFDRQTQ6.

MLA: Gregory. Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Investiturstreits, translted by E. Bernheim, in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, edited by Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris, Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1951, Original Sources. 16 Jul. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=21FMWEYZFDRQTQ6.

Harvard: Gregory, Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Investiturstreits, trans. . cited in 1951, History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. , Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, Pa.. Original Sources, retrieved 16 July 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=21FMWEYZFDRQTQ6.