Source: Roger of Wendover’s Flowers of History, Comprising the History of England from the Descent of the Saxons to A.D. 1235, trans. J. A. Giles, 2 vols. (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1849), vol. II, pp. 188-192
(http://books.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&pg=PA333&id=hjVVdz57dR0C#v=onepage&q&f=false) [accessed 4 August 2011], with some notes on place-names added by Martha Carlin:
Command of the Lord, which came from heaven to Jerusalem, concerning the observance of the sabbath.
About that time a letter came from heaven to Jerusalem and was hung up over the altar of St. Simeon, in Golgotha, where Christ was crucified for the redemption of the world; this letter hung for three days and nights, and those who beheld it fell to the earth, asking mercy of God, and beseeching him to show them his will; but on the third day, after the third hour of the day, the patriarch, and the archbishop Zachariah, raised themselves from their prayers, and, opening the fillet over the high-altar, took the sacred letter of God, and after inspecting it, found this inscription on it:—” I am the Lord, who have ordered you to keep holy the day of the sabbath, on which I rested from my labours, that all mortals might on that day rest for ever; and ye have not kept it, nor have ye repented of your sins. As I spake by my gospel,— ‘The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.’ I caused repentance of life to be preached to you, and ye did not believe; I sent upon you pagans, and gentiles, who shed your blood upon the earth, and still ye did not believe; and, because ye did not keep holy the Lord’s day, for a few days ye endured famine; but I soon gave you plenty, and ye afterwards did worse: therefore it is my will that, from the ninth hour of the sabbath till sunrise on Monday, no one shall do any work, except that which is good, and whoever shall do so, shall atone for it; and if ye obey not this my command, verily I say unto you, and I swear by my seat and my throne, and by the cherubims which guard my holy seat, that I will not send you any orders by another letter, but I will open the heavens and, instead of rain, I will shower on you stones, and wood, and hot water, by night, such that no man can avoid, since I will destroy all evil-doers. This I say unto you, ye shall die the death, on account of the holy day of the Lord and the other festivals of my saints which ye have not observed. I will send on you beasts with the heads of lions, the hair of women, and the tails of camels, and they shall be so hungry that they will devour your flesh, and ye shall desire to fly to the sepulchres of the dead to hide yourselves for fear of these beasts; and I will take away the light of the sun, and send darkness on you, so that not seeing, ye shall slay one another; and I will turn my face from you, and will show you no mercy, for I will burn your bodies, and the hearts of those, who do not keep the Lord’s day holy. Hear then my voice, lest ye perish on the earth on account of the sacred day of the Lord; depart from evil and repent of your sins, which if ye do not, ye will perish like Sodom and Gomorrah. Know now, that ye are safe through the prayers of my most holy mother Mary, and of my holy angels who pray daily for you. I gave you corn and wine in abundance, and then ye obeyed me not, for daily do widows and orphans cry unto you, to whom ye show no compassion; pagans have pity, but ye have none. Trees which bring forth fruit will I cause to rot, for your sins: and rivers and fountains shall not give you water. On the mount of Sinai I gave you a law, which ye have not observed; after that, I myself gave you a law, which ye kept not. Wicked men that ye are, ye have not kept holy the Sunday of my resurrection; ye take away the property of others and treat the matter with no consideration: for this will I send on you worse beasts, who will devour the breasts of your women. Them will I curse who act unjustly towards their brethren; them will I curse who evilly judge the poor and the orphan: but ye have deserted me, and are following the prince of this life. Hear my voice, and ye will receive mercy; but ye cease not from your evil deeds, nor from the works of the devil, inasmuch as ye commit perjury and adultery, and so nations will surround you and devour you like wild beasts.”
Of the preaching of Eustace abbat of Flaye, on the said mandate.
But when the patriarch and all the clergy of the Holy Land had carefully examined into the tenor of this letter, and beheld the words of it with mixed admiration and fear, it was determined by the common opinion of all, that it should be transmitted for the consideration of the Roman pontiff, that all might be satisfied with whatever he determined ought to be done. The letter having at length been brought under the notice of our lord the pope, he immediately ordained priests, who were sent out into every quarter of the world to preach the purport of the letter, the Lord co-operating with them, and confirming their discourse by miracles resulting therefrom. Amongst these the abbat of Flaye, Eustace by name, a religious and learned man, set out for England, and there shone forth in performing many miracles; he landed near the city of Dover, and commenced the duty of his preaching at a town called Wi [i.e., Wye, in Kent]. In the neighbourhood of that place he bestowed his blessing on a certain spring, which by his merits was so endowed with the Lord’s favour, that, from the taste of it alone, the blind recovered sight, the lame their power of walking, the dumb their speech, and the deaf their hearing; and whatever sick person drank of it in faith, at once enjoyed renewed health. A certain woman who was attacked by devils, and swollen up as it were by dropsy, came to him there, seeking to be restored to health by him; he said to her, “Have confidence, my daughter, go to the spring at Wi, which the Lord hath blessed, drink of it, and there you will recover health.” The woman departed, and, according to the advice of the man of God, drank, and she immediately broke out into a fit of vomiting; and, in the sight of all who were at the fountain for the recovery of their health, there came from her two large black toads, which, in order to show that they were devils, were immediately transformed to great black dogs, and after a short time took the forms of asses. The woman stood astonished, but shortly ran after them in a rage, wishing to catch them; but a man who had been appointed to take charge of the spring, sprinkled some of the water between the woman and the monsters, on which they flew up into the air and vanished, leaving behind them traces of their foulness.
How the aforesaid abbat caused a fountain of sweet water to spring forth.
This same man of God came to the town of Rumesnel [?Romney, co. Kent] to preach, at which place there was a deficiency of fresh water, and at the request of the people of the place, he, with his staff, struck a stone in the church there, on which, water in abundance flowed forth, and many who drank of it were cured of various sicknesses. Afterwards going about from place to place, from province to province, from city to city, he, by his preaching, induced many to relax in usurious habits, admonished them to assume the Lord’s cross, and turned the hearts of many to works of piety; he also forbade markets and traffic on Sundays, so that all the business which used to be transacted throughout England on Sundays was now arranged on one of the days of the following week, and thus the people of the faith employed their leisure on Sundays in their duties to God, and refrained altogether from toil on that day; as time, however, went on many returned to their old customs, like dogs to their vomit. He forbade the rectors of the churches and the priests, with the persons subject to them, to keep a light constantly burning before the eucharist, in order that He who enlightens every man that comes into the world, might give the eternal for the temporal light. To all the rich and to the upper ranks, especially to merchants and citizens, he gave the injunction always to have at their table the dish of Christ for the poor, that by taking from their accustomed abundance, they might alleviate the necessities of the indigent. He also commanded the Saturday after three o’clock to be kept holy from all servile work the same as Sunday, and also the whole of Sunday and the night following, which forms one natural day, and represents figuratively the repose of our everlasting rest.
Of a dreadful miracle wrought on a certain woman.
About this same time a certain woman of the county of Norfolk, despite of the warnings of this man of God, went one day to wash clothes after three o’clock of Saturday; and, whilst she was busily at work, a man of venerable appearance, unknown to her, approached her, and reproachingly inquired the reason of her rashness in thus daring, after the prohibition of the man of God, to wash clothes after three o’clock, and thus by unlawful work to profane the holy Sabbath day; he moreover added, that unless she at once desisted from her work, she would, without doubt, incur the anger of God and the vengeance of Heaven. But she, in answer to her rebuker, pleaded urgent poverty, and said that she had till then dragged on a wretched life by toil of that kind, and if she should desist from her accustomed labour, she doubted her ability to procure the means of subsistence. After a while the man vanished suddenly from her presence, and she renewed her labour of washing the clothes and drying them in the sun with more energy than before. But for all this the vengeance of God was not wanting; for, on the spot, a kind of small pig of a black colour suddenly adhered to the woman’s left breast and could not by any effort be torn away, but, by continual sucking, drew blood, and in a short time almost consumed all the bodily strength of the wretched woman; at length being reduced to the greatest necessity, she was compelled for a long time to beg her bread from door to door, until, in the sight of many who wondered at the vengeance of God, she terminated her wretched life by a miserable death.
Of another miracle which was wrought on the cutting of a loaf of bread.
About this same time, a certain labourer in the county of Northumberland ordered his wife to bake some bread on the Saturday for eating on the morrow; the woman obeyed the commands of her husband, and when on the morrow, she had set the bread before her husband, and he began to cut it, there occurred a wonderful and unheard-of event; for warm blood followed the knife as he cut the bread, as if it flowed from an animal just slain. This circumstance, after it came to the knowledge of the people, hindered many from labour on that day.