Ad sacerdotes

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by Stephan Borgehammar

Ad sacerdotes (“To Priests”) is a pastoral treatise from the first half of the fifteenth century, certainly written no later than 1446, the year when Johannes Johannis, the scribe of one of the extant manuscripts, died. The text originated in Birgittine circles and was most likely written by one of the friars of Vadstena Abbey. It contains criticism of and pastoral advice to secular priests and reveals interesting facts about church life and spiritual ideals in fifteenth-century Sweden. Four manuscripts are known, all of which once belonged to Vadstena Abbey and are today kept in Uppsala University Library: C 7 (1400-1450), C 449 (fifteenth century), C 574 (probably before 1478) and C 631 (before 1446).

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Title

The title of the edition is supplied by the editor. C 449 has Nota sermo ad sacerdotes in the margin (fol. 155v); C 631 has the title Sermo ad sacerdotes bona et vtilis doctrina (fol. 331r); the other two manuscripts lack title.

Incipit

Verbum est michi ad vos, o sacerdotes.

Explicit

Alioquin non euadetis penas comminatas. Gracia Dei cum spiritu vestro, fratres. Amen.

Size

15 pages.

Edition

• BERGGREN & HÄRDELIN 1997, 374-402 [repr. without Berggren’s philological introduction in HÄRDELIN 1998, 394-416].

Translations

  • (English) BERGGREN & HÄRDELIN 1997, 375-403 [by Berggren].
  • (Swedish) HÄRDELIN 1998, 395-417 [by Härdelin].

Commentary

  • BERGGREN & HÄRDELIN 1997, 375-403; HÄRDELIN 1997; HÄRDELIN 1998, 418-48 [Swedish translation of HÄRDELIN 1997].

Bibliography

  • BERGGREN & HÄRDELIN 1997: “Ad sacerdotes. A pastoral letter from Vadstena,” in Master Golyas and Sweden: the transformation of a clerical satire: a collection of essays, ed. O. Ferm & B. Morris (Runica et mediævalia, Scripta minora 2 [i.e. 3]), 365-406, Stockholm.
  • HÄRDELIN 1997: “Admonitions and Reprimands to Parochial Clergy. A ‘Pastoral Letter’ from Vadstena,” in Master Golyas and Sweden: the transformation of a clerical satire: a collection of essays, ed. O. Ferm & B. Morris (Runica et mediævalia, Scripta minora 2 [i.e. 3]), 407-51, Stockholm.
  • HÄRDELIN, A. 1998: “’Till prästerskapet’. Ett vadstenensiskt pastoralbrev om prästerliga försummelser och plikter,” in HÄRDELIN: Kult, Kultur och Kontemplation: Studier i medeltida svenskt kyrkoliv (Opuscula selecta 2), 392-448, Skellefteå.