Gemma Animae (82): David’s Battle with the Philistines, and Warrior Priests

Ch. 82
On the Priest’s Arms

Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy a bishop, recognizable by his mitre, riding to battle with other knights at Antioch on 28th June 1098. He is carrying a Holy Lance (Source).

Our team’s man, the priest, before joining battle with the people’s enemy, is steeled with spiritual arms because he is about to fight against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Sandals are his grieves, the amice his helmet, and to cover his body he dons the alb for a cuirass. When he drapes the stole around his neck, he is shaking his spear in defiance. He girds himself with a cincture instead of a bow, and ties on the subcingulum as a quiver. The chasuble protects him like a shield. He uses the maniple like a war club, and the book of the word of God is his sword. He renounces the devil in his confession and thus challenges the enemy to single combat. He fights with all his might when he recites the chant, prayers, and the rest against the devil. When he throws his chasuble over his shoulder to read the Gospel, this is him drawing his sword. Reading the Gospel, he stabs the devil with his sword.

Peter the Hermit leading the First Crusade, as depicted in Abreviamen de las estorias, 14th century.
Peter the Hermit leading the First Crusade, as depicted in Abreviamen de las estorias, 14th century. The British Library (Public Domain)


CAP. LXXXII. – De armis sacerdotis.

Sacerdos itaque pugil noster cum hoste populi congressurus, armis munitur spiritualibus, quia pugnaturus est contra spiritualia nequitiae in coelestibus (Ephes. VI, 12). Denique sandaliis se pro ocreis induit, caput humerali pro galea tegit, totum corpus alba pro lorica vestit. Cum stolam collo circumdat, quasi hastam ad resistendum vibrat. Cingulo pro arcu se cingit, sub cingulum pro pharetra sibi appendit. Casula pro clypeo protegitur, manipulo pro pugili clavo utitur. Porro libro, in quo est verbum Dei pro gladio armatur, per confessionem diaboli Domino renuntiatur, sicque hostis ad singulare certamen provocatur, quasi enim totis viribus pugnat, dum cantum et orationes et reliqua contra diabolum recitat. Dum ad Evangelium casulam super humerum proiicit, quasi gladium arripit. Dum legitur Evangelium quasi ense petit diabolum.

Image result for julius II in armor


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