ere followeth the Life of Saint Lowe, and first of the interpretation of his name.
Lowe or lupe is some sickness in the leg, which behoveth a medicine, for it is a malady that rogneth and useth the flesh. And also it is said a manner of fish that is on the water and on the land, and it may not drown by no force of water. And thus may be expounded Saint Lowe, for he used and strained his proper flesh by penance. For he was like the lupe of the water and of the earth, for he dwelled in the waters of delices, of riches, and of temptations, and might not drown among these waters in no wise.
Of Saint Lupe or Lowe.
Saint Lupe or Lowe was born at Orleans, and was of the royal lineage, and by the splendour of his great and many miracles and virtues, he was made Archbishop of Sens. And he gave all that he had to poor people, and on a day when all was given, it happed that he had bidden many men to dine with him. And then his ministers said that there was not wine half enough for the dinner. And he answered to them: He that feedeth the birds of heaven shall perform his charity of wine. And anon after came a messenger to the gate, that said to them, that there were arrived tofore the gate an hundred mues of wine.
On a time, they of the court said evil of him, because that he had with him a virgin of our Lord, which was daughter of his predecessor. And as they said, he loved paramours, and spake much despitously and over disattemperately. And when he had heard these things, he took the virgin, and kissed her tofore all the detractors and evil sayers, and said that, ne strange ne evil words annoy ne hurt no man when his own conscience defileth him not. And because he knew well that she loved well Jesu Christ, and purely, therefore this holy man loved her with a right pure thought.
On a time when the King Clothair was King of France, and entered in to Burgundy, he sent his steward against them of Sens for to assiege the city. Then Lupe entered in to the church and began to ring the clock, and when the enemies heard it, they had so great dread that they supposed never to have escaped from thence, but that they should have died all, but if they fled, and at the last the steward of Burgundy was taken. And when he was taken, there was another steward sent in to Burgundy, and came to Sens. And because Saint Lupe had given to him no gifts he had great despite, and defamed him to the king, so that the king sent him into exile, and there he shone by miracles and virtues. And in the meanwhile, they of Sens slew a bishop which had taken the place of Saint Lupe, and after, they impetred of the king that Saint Lupe returned from exile. And when the king saw that he was wrongly done to, he was changed by the grace of God that, he kneeled tofore the saint and required pardon, and re-established him again in his church, and gave to him many fair gifts.
On a time as he came to Paris, a great company of prisoners came against him, their bonds broken and all the doors of the prison open. On a Sunday as he sang mass, a precious stone fell down from heaven into his chalice, the which he gave to the king, which he held for a noble relic.
On a time the King Clothair heard say that the clocks of Saint Stephen of Sens had a marvellous sweetness in their sound, and sent for them and took them from thence, and did do bring them to Paris, because he would hear the sound of them. But it displeased much to Saint Lupe, and as soon as they were out of the city they lost all the sweetness of their sound, and when the king heard that, he commanded that they should be brought again into their place. And as soon as they were seven miles nigh unto the town, they began to reprise the sound like as they had tofore. And Saint Lupe went against them and received them with great joy and honour, for he had lost them with great sorrow tofore.
On a night as he prayed, he had over great thirst by the false movings of the devil. And he demanded cold water for to drink, and he knew well the treachery of the enemy, and when he held the vessel in which he should drink, he set a platter upon it and shut the devil fast therein, and he began all the night to howl and bray. And in the morning the holy man conjured him that, he that was comen by night to tempt him, by day he let him go all confused.
On a time, as he by night visited the churches, as he was accustomed, as he returned home he heard his clerks brawling and chiding because they would do fornication with women, which anon entered into the church and prayed for them, and anon all the pricking of temptation went from them, and they came tofore him and demanded pardon and forgiveness. At the last, he being ennobled in many virtues, slept in peace in our Lord. He flourished about the year of our Lord six hundred and ten.