Monday, April 02, 2018


Abodes of Demons

William Reeves, "On the Céli-dé, Commonly Called Culdees," Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 24 (1873) 119-263 (at 209, from his translation of the Prose Rule of the Céli-dé on pp. 202-215):
Now the privy-houses and the urine-houses they are the abodes of demons. Let these houses be blessed by any one going thither, and let him bless himself when he enters them, and it is not lawful to say any prayers in them, except "Deus in adjutorium" to "festina."
The same, tr. Edward Gwynn, The Rule of Tallaght (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1927), p. 75:
Privies and urinals are abodes for evil spirits. The sign of the Cross should be made over these places, and a man should cross himself when he enters them, and it is not lawful to pray in them, except to repeat Deus in adjutorium, down to festina.
Therefore, if you are to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5.17), you must recite Psalm 69(70).2 (Deus in adiutorium meum intende, Domine ad adiuvandum me festina) on those occasions when you are obeying the call of nature.

I owe the reference to Martha Bayless, Sin and Filth in Medieval Culture: The Devil in the Latrine (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 2-3, with note 10 on p. 183.


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