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CHAPTER XIX.

How the man of God reproved a Monk for receiving certain napkins.

Not far distant from the monastery was a certain town in which no small number of people, by the exhortations of Benedict, were converted from the worship of idols to the faith of God. In that place were certain religious women, and the servant of God, Benedict, used to send often some of his Brethren thither to instruct and edify their souls. One day, as his custom was, he appointed one to go; but the Monk who was sent, after his exhortation, by the entreaty of the Nuns, took some small napkins and hid them in his bosom. As soon as he came back, the man of God began very sharply to rebuke him, saying: “How hath iniquity entered thy breast?” The Monk was amazed, and because he had forgotten what he had done, he wondered why he was so reprehended. To whom the holy Father said: “What! Was not I present when thou tookest the napkins of the handmaids of God and didst put them in thy bosom?” Whereupon he presently fell at his feet, and repenting of his folly threw away the napkins which he had hid in his bosom.

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