Table of Contents

  1. First Reading (Matins)
  2. Second Reading (Matins, cont.)
  3. Third reading (Daybreak: Lavabo and Second Morning Offices)
  4. Reading Four (Prime)
  5. Reading Five (Prime and the Chapter Room)
  6. Reading Six (Discipline in the Chapter Room)
  7. Reading Seven (From the Chapter Room to the Cloister, and Terce)
  8. Reading Eight (Terce and Preparation for Mass)
  9. Reading Nine (Mass)
  10. Reading Ten (Mass, cont.)
  11. Reading Eleven (Sext, Refectory)
  12. Reading Twelve (Refectory)
  13. Reading 13a (Refectory-Dormitory)
  14. Reading 14a (None)
  15. Reading 15 (Vespers, Processions)
  16. Reading 16 (Collation and Compline)
  17. Reading 17 (Dormitory)
  18. Reading 18: On Making Rounds
  19. Reading 19: On the Abbot
  20. Reading 20a: On the Prior
  21. Reading 21a: On the Sub-prior
  22. Reading 22a: On the Steward (Provost)
  23. Reading 23a: On the Vestarer
  24. Reading 24: On the Infirmarer
  25. Reading 25: On the Hospitaller
  26. Reading 26: On the Kitchener (and food)
  27. Reading 27: On the Cantor
  28. Reading 28: On the Cellarer
  29. Reading 29: On the Refectorer
  30. Reading 30: On the Almoner
  31. Reading 31: On the Sacristan
  32. Reading 32: On the Grainarer (Granary Keeper)
  33. Reading 33: On the Census-Taker (Argentarius)
  34. On the Procurators
  35. Reading 34: On how it is necessary to be present at the canonical hours
  36. Reading 35: Concerning the Weekly Priest (Hebdomadarius)
  37. Reading 36: On Maundy (Mandatum)
  38. Reading 37: On Welcoming Novices and Making Profession
  39. Reading 38: On the tonsure
  40. Reading 39: On the Porter
  41. Reading 40: On the Pittancer
  42. Reading 41: On Bloodlettings
  43. Reading 42 and last things (Restrictions on the Conversi)
  44. On Permission to Go Outside and Other Things
  45. Reading 43: On Places of Silence and Benediction
  46. Article 3: No Eating in the Dormitory Room
  47. Article 4: Which Women May Permissibly Enter the Cloister
  48. Article 4 (bis): No Lying Down or Eating Outside our Houses
  49. Article 5: Permission for Talking with an Outsider and for Going out of the Choir
  50. Article 6: All Shall Read at the Table
  51. Article 7: The Seal of the Chapter
  52. Article 8: "Not Mine, but Ours"
  53. Lectio 44: On those who are living in dependent parishes
  54. Article 2: Priors and their Socii (associates) in dependant parishes
  55. Article 3: On recalling those who are living in dependant parishes
  56. Article 4: On Prohibited Games
  57. Article 5: That Books for our use should be in dependent parishes
  58. Customary oath on receiving an abbot

Glossary / Notes

Reading 24: On the Infirmarer

The care for the sick ought to be enjoined to one of them [i.e. the brothers], to whom the abbot orders it. He shall bear the responsibility for the attention and care over the sick, so that he may provide in a timely manner what he himself has deemed necessary and what must be prepared for the sick. When someone of the convent is sick and has to go out of the convent, he shall go out after being given permission. The prior, or he who holds his power, if the sickness of the brother requires immediate assistance, shall tell the infirmarer, or whoever of the brothers he has ordered, to follow him (the sick man) and do whatever he needs; and if the sickness is so serious and he (the sick man) grows suddenly so weak as to lose the ability to speak, then whoever sees him ought immediately to help. The infirmarer ought to have as a helper one of the conversi, a brother of commendable life or a faithful server who would continually remain in the infirmary, and would carry the keys to the things kept there. For the infirmarer ought to have niches or other little receptacles where he may place all the things which he has to have at his disposal, namely towels and table coverings, of which he ought to have his own and marked (as such), and other vessels which are needed in the infirmary.

He ought also to have some private space, so that, when it is necessary, the sick may be properly bathed: also (he ought to have) a vat, basin, and a cauldron, and other things necessary for these (baths). He also ought to have books for singing matins for the sick. It is to be known that after the convent has risen, and the prior has returned with the convent into the cloister from the procession, he (the prior) ought to immediately visit the sick, and, if necessary, he ought to have matins and the other hours sung, and together with the infirmarer he shall arrange entirely for all eventualities for the sick, so that no one of the sick may be compelled for any failing to murmur or to be impatient. If this is not done, it must be amended by the prior. The infirmarer ought to visit the sick daily at hours set as often as necessary, and he ought to inquire as to what they desire to be prepared for them. When a sick man comes into the infirmary, the infirmarer ought to take his bedding out of the dormitory. And if he (the sick man) returns to the convent, he ought to carry back to the dormitory what he had taken out. Also he ought to ensure that a lantern burns continuously each night for the benefit of the sick.

If, however, anyone is touched by a light infirmity, or crippled by old age or else one who is blind - that he is not able to follow the community - he shall enjoy communal food if he is able; if, however, he is not able, what he needs shall be requested from the infirmarer. If anyone is touched by a light infirmity or else is feeble, such that he is not able to follow the community, but he is not in the infirmary, in the morning he shall eat in the refectory before the community, at dinner, however, (he shall eat) with the servants, and, there (i.e. in the refectory) if necessary, [something] besides the communal meal shall be prepared for him. All obedientiaries shall freely provide the infirmarer whatever he is asking for the sick. The infirmarer shall provide whatever is needed for the sick from the dues of the infirmary, and if they are not sufficient, after proper account, he shall receive [further dues] from the abbot, and if there is any surplus, he shall return it to the abbot or the steward. He also ought to have a small pan and other utensils, in which if needed, either what has been put aside from the food of the sick can be warmed up, or some side-dish or other small things (can) be prepared.

If, however, those who are in the infirmary perpetrate an offense in any way, it is the infirmarer's duty to correct them. If they have not amended [their offense], he ought to notify the prelate. It is also his responsibility that when the debility of the illness begins to worsen, he ought to announce it in chapter, so that a communal prayer may be made, and after [the sick man] has recovered, this again he ought to announce, so that the prayer may be ended. And [if] anyone in the infirmary wants to have a conference, the infirmarer ought to take the message to him who holds the convent, so that he may send whom (the sick man) wishes. Apart from that, it should be known that the infirmarer and sub-infirmarer, whether he is a conversus or canon, should receive clothing from the vestarer. A sick person is to be visited daily by the abbot or the prior, unless he is neglected for a reasonable cause. No one of the sick shall exit through the door that looks at the garden/courtyard. Whichever of the brothers visits a sick person in the hour of talking is not to linger there too long, and he is not to have empty conversations with another person in the presence of the sick, but only consoling words, and he shall not presume to eat or drink there without permission. For shaving the infirmarer shall provide basins and clean towels, and he shall keep these things.

DE INFIRMARIO : lectio 24.

Infirmorum cura uni eorum cui iusserit abbas, debet iniungi. Qui sollicitudinem et curam gerat super infirmos, ut ipse quod cuique opus esse perspexerit, et quod infirmis praeparandum est, tempestiue prouideat. Quando aliquis de conuentu infirmatur et oportet eum de conuentu egredi, de licentia egrediatur. Prior siue ille qui uicem eius tenet, si infirmitas fratris statim adiutorio indiget, dicat prior infirmario, uel cui iusserit de fratribus ut sequatur eum, et quod opus est illi, faciat ; et si infirmitas ita grauis est et subito inualuerit quod loquendi officium amittat, tunc quicunque uiderit statim succurrere debet. Infirmarius adiutorium habere debet aliquem de conuersis probabilis uitae fratrem uel seruientem fidelem qui assidue in infirmaria commoretur, et claues ferat earum rerum quae ibi reconditae sunt. Debet enim infirmarius habere arcas uel alia receptacula in quibus reponat omnia quae ad manum haberi oportet, uidelicet manutergia et mensalia, quae propria habere debet et signata, et cetera uasa quae in infirmaria necessaria sunt.

Debet etiam habere secretum locum aliquem, ut cum necesse fuerit infirmis balnea competenter fieri possint : cupam quoque et bacinos et caldariam et cetera quae ad haec necessaria sunt. Libros quoque ad decantandas matutinas infirmis habere debet. Sciendum quod postquam conuentus surrexerit, et prior cum conuentu a processione in claustrum redierit, statim debet uisitare infirmos, et si necesse fuerit matutinas et alias horas decantare, faciat, et cum infirmario de omnibus necessitatibus ipsorum plenariae ordinet, ita quod pro defectu aliquo nullus infirmorum cogatur murmurare uel impatiens esse. Quod si non factum fuerit, per priorem emendetur. Infirmarius cotidie statutis horis quotiens necesse fuerit, infirmos uisitare debet, et eorum uoluntatem de his quae ipsis praeparari debeant, inquirere. Quando infirmus uadit in infirmariam, debet infirmarius de dormitorio lectualia eius afferre. Si uero ad conuentum redierit, quae detulerat, ad dormitorium referat. Prouidere etiam debet in qualibet nocte coram infirmis, ut lucerna iugiter ardeat.

Si autem aliquis est leui infirmitate tactus uel aetate decrepitus uel etiam caecus quod sequi conuentum non possit, utatur cibis conuentualibus si potest ; si autem non potest, quaeratur ei misericorditer quod necesse fuerit ab infirmario. Si aliquis leui infirmitate tactus uel etiam debilis est, ita quod non possit sequi conuentum, nec est in infirmaria, in refectorio in mane ante conuentum, in coena uero cum seruientibus comedat, et ibi, si necessitas fuerit, ipsi praeter cibaria communia praeparetur. Omnes oboedientiarii infirmario libere ministrent, quicquid petierit pro infirmis. Infirmarius autem de redditibus ad infirmariam pertinentibus infirmis necessaria prouideat et si minus suffecerint facta legitima computatione ab abbate recipiat, et si aliquid residuum fuerit abbati uel praeposito restituat. Debet etiam habere patellam et cetera supellectilia, quibus etiam si opus fuerit, uel ea quae de cibo infirmi reposita sunt, recalefieri possint uel condimentum aliquod et cetera minora praeparari.

Si autem hi qui de infirmaria sunt, in aliquo offenderint, ad infirmarium pertinet eos corrigere. Quod si non emendauerint, debet indicare praelato. Hoc etiam ad curam eius pertinet, ut cum ingrauescere coeperit langor infirmitatis, hoc in capitulo debet fratribus nunciare, ut communis fiat oratio et si postmodum conualuerit, hoc iterum indicet, ut terminetur oratio. Et quicunque de infirmaria communicare debuerit, hoc denuntiet ei qui conuentui praeest, ut quem uoluerit, mittat. Sciendum est praeterea quod infirmarius et subinfirmarius, si fuerit conuersus uel canonicus, uestimenta a uestiario accipiat. Cotidie ab abbate uel a priore, nisi praetereatur rationabili causa, uisitetur infirmus. Nullus infirmorum ostium quod curtem respicit, exeat. Quicunque fratrum uisitauerit infirmum hora colloquii, nimis longam moram non faciat, nec habeat fabulationes cum aliquo coram eo, sed tantum uerba consolatoria, nec ibi praesumat comedere sine licentia uel bibere. Ad radendum pelues et manutergia munda prouideat, et ea custodiat.

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