Monday, March 17, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! To celebrate, here is one of the rules which is attributed to him:
On that which is not grounds for divorce: if she is sterile, if she is deformed, if she is old age, if she is smelly, if she is a drunk, if she is prone to anger, if she is quarrelsome, then the marriage holds, whether you like it or not. Whatever type of person is accepted in marriage, that person is held in marriage.
Despite the questionable provenance of this rule, I like to think it was written by Saint Patrick. I also like to wonder what situation caused him to come up with this rule.  Did the Irish try to file for divorce, on grounds of smelliness and old age?  Clearly, our generation is not the only one that wants to break up marriages on flimsy grounds.

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Provenance: This particular rule comes from a manuscript at the Benedictine College at Cantabrigae (I'm not sure what that is in English--Cambridge, perhaps?).  This is the only place where it is located.  The author of this rule is unknown, but it is found on the same page as three rules, which are listed as written by Saint Patrick.  So either this one was written by Saint Patrick (and for whatever reason, it wasn't noted on the page, like the others), or someone slipped a non-Saint Patrick rule into the page of Saint Patrick rules (again, for whatever reason).

There is a second rule on this page, which has no author listed.  It is found, word for word, as #66 on a different list of rules, made by an Irish Synod.

2 comments:

Breanna ;) said...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Michael!! :) I hope you have a good day.

Justice said...

Finally: someone who actually uses St. Patrick's Day as a reason to talk about the man. I get the feeling he wouldn't be thrilled to see the highly secular celebration of everything vaguely Irish it has become (not that I have any aversion to the Emerald Isle). Anywho, that's quite a peculiar and amusing rule...it's ludicrous to think of someone trying to divorce their wife because she is "smelly"!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Michael. :) ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣