Miracle at Croyland Abbey (Croyland Chronicle)

At this period, there happened in our monastery a circom-
Btance deserving of everlasting remembrance, which some of
the most intelQgent, even, ascribed to a wondrous miracle.
The greater bell-tower had been newly built in the western
part of the church, in which it was intended that the beUs be-
fore-mentioned should, by the skill of the carpenters, be hung.
At this time it was not covered in at the very top, nor was
it in any way closed by the intervention in it of any lower
floor. Having put together, on the ground below, a certain
machine for the purpose of winding and drawing, they en-
deavoured to fix in the summits of the walls an immense
beam, held by ropes and pulleys, to act as a supporter of the
whole work. By dint of great efforts on the part of those
winding, the beam had been now raised nearly fifty feet from
the ground, and was hanging poised aloft, when, on a sudden,
the tackle proving unequal to the strain of such an immense
mass, began to give way. At the same moment, the ropes
burst asunder, and the beam, falling to the ground with a loud
crash, broke the whole fabric to atoms that lay below. There
seemed no chance of escape whatever for the men, nearly twenty
in number, who were labouring below and were now placed
^most at the very verge of death ; nor would it have been of
^y use for them to fly, seeing that the beam in its length
across’ equalled the square space between the walls. How-
ever, the Divine mercy instantly regarded them thus threatened
by a peril so terriflc, and smitten with the greatest consterna-
tion at so unlooked-for an event ; for the breaking down of so
vast a mass did not crush one of them, and its precipitate fall
did not the slightest injury to a single individual. Oh instance
pf the Divine grace, deservedly to be lauded and extolled !
Oh, how glorious, too, the merits of our father Guthlac ! Who
coidd possibly withhold himself from uttering the praises of

In the meantime an outcry was raised by the people shout-
ing aloud, and all lifted up their voices to the very stars of
heaven. Some made their prayers re-echo to the skies, while
others in their joy bedewed the earth with the abundant tears
which they shed. The brethren of the convent, attended by
multitudes, immediately proceeded to the oratory, and there so-

* This is probably the meaning of ** dimensione/* otherwise the passage
is uniiitelligible.


lemnly chaunted the hymn of praise written by Saint Ambrose.”
Most devoutly prostrating themselves on the groand around the
shrine of the before-nam^ father, each returned endless thanks-
^vings unto God. Blessed for ever be Almighty Qod, who
hath thus, in His mercy, raised for us when placed in straightsi
the horn of His salvation against the snares of the evil-doers ;
and who thus worketh for us in all things for the best, to the
end that our rivals may never deride us in adversity, nor at
any time our enemies may exult over us.

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