Golden Legend – Saint Albine

[Saint Abinus]Article

Here followeth the Life of Saint Albine.

Saint Albine was born of noble lineage in the parts of Italy.

In his childhood he loved and served God ententively and with so great will that he left both his father and his mother, his parents and friends, land, and all worldly riches, and became a monk in an abbey, called in Latin Tincillacensis Monasterium, where he ne did show of his noblesse, but only the good conditions. He was humble and serviceable unto all, and was ever in continual prayers and replenished with all virtues, ready and apparelled to flee and eschew all vices. When Saint Albine came to the age of thirty years he was made abbot of the same abbey, which he governed both temporally and spiritually by the space of five-and-twenty years, so that our Lord was at all times well and devoutly served, and all goods temporal daily grew there. The bishop of Angers died that time, and then this holy Saint Albine, by the grace and will of our Lord, and by the common and concordable assent of all the chapter, was promoted to the dignity of bishop there, whereas he was afterwards known so perfect and so charitable that doubtless his promotion was cause of the salvation of many souls.

A woman there was in the city of Angiers which had her hands as lame and counterfeited for cause of a sickness that men called the gout, wherewith she was sore vexed. And she made her prayer and demanded help of the saint, and soon she was holpen and relieved from that sickness only by that he handled three times her hands.

And on a time as Saint Albine went through a town within his diocese, he saw the father and mother weeping over their child dead, took on them pity, made his prayer unto our Lord, and suddenly their child was raised to life. Item a blind man demanded help of Saint Albine, and the Albine holy bishop made the sign of the cross over him, and anon he was enlumined again. Item as Saint Albine did pass on a time before the prison house at Angers, the prisoners cried and besought him for help. The holy bishop having on them great compassion went unto the bailey and prayed him for them, but nought availed there his prayer, wherefore he went to his church, and soon after, his prayer made to God, kneeling before the high altar, a great part of the prison wall fell down and so escaped every prisoner there.

A woman vexed with a wicked spirit was brought before this holy bishop, and as soon as the enemy perceived the holy man, he put himself into the woman’s eye in form of a little whelk, red as any blood, to whom Saint Albine, making the sign of the cross said: Thou wicked spirit, thou shalt not destroy the eye which thou madest not nor canst make. And anon the same little whelk began to bleed as one had slimed it. The enemy then went from her, which in good health was left and of her wit restored.

After our English tongue, Albinus is as much for to say as primo: as he was white, quia albinus dicitur quasi albus, and thus this holy saint was all white by purity of clean living. Secundo: as he that in himself hath bounty or goodness: sic albinus dicitur quasi bonus, and verily this holy bishop was good. Tercio: as he that by vigour or force flyeth to the spiritually: sic albinus dicitur alias binas habens, that is to wit, hope and faith, therewith this holy saint was replenished.

It is read that Saint Albine had two wives, that is to wit two nurses, which did nourish him, whereof the process or tale is such. Saint Albine Iying in his cradle was left alone, doubting none inconvenience, in a garden, and a she-wolf came and ravished the child and bare it into the fields. Tvvo maidens then passed that way, perceived the child, and came thither as he lay on the earth, and having pity on him, one of them said: Would to God I had milk to foster thee withal, and these words thus said, she saw her paps that grew, rose up and were filled with milk. She then took the child and gave him suck. Semblably said and prayed the other maid, and anon she had milk as her fellow had, and so they two nourished the holy child Albine.

It happed on a time that the Normans in great number of men of arms came into the country where the holy corpse of Saint Albine rested, and the people there, so sore they travailled that they,ne wist where to become and flee. And a man armed all in white came among the said people and said: Why doubt you to saute and befight your enemy so that ye have Saint Albine to your help and defence? And that said he vanished away. Wherefore the people took courage and armed them and went against their enemies and discomfited them. S Albine was buried at Angers, and when his successor would have translated him into a greater chapel in the presence of Saint Germain and many other more, came thither four men counterfaited and lame in all their members, also two blind men which all six were there by the merits of S Albine relieved into their good health, that is to wit, the counterfaited redressed of their members, and the blind enlumined. This holy saint Albine was bishop of Angers by the space of twenty years and six months, whose soul took his siege in paradise the year of his nativity four score, thereas by the merits of him may lead us the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.