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Oh, be pleased to come quickly!


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Then the guardian with many tears besought the executioners and all the people for pity to wait a little space, till he should go and beseech the tyrant to have mercy on Brother Juniper. The executioners promised to wait a few moments, believing, no doubt, that he was some kinsman of the prisoner.

So the devout and pious guardian went to the tyrant Nicholas, weeping bitterly, and said: For, in punishment of my evil life, God will send me in a few days an evil death, though this thing I did ignorantly. And so Brother Juniper departed, leaving all the people greatly edified. Brother Juniper was so full of pity and compassion for the poor, that when he saw anyone poor or naked he immediately took off his tunic, or the hood of his clock, and gave it to him.

Juniper (friar) - Wikipedia

The guardian therefore laid an obedience upon him not to give away his tunic or any part of his habit. A few days afterwards, a poor half-naked man asked an alms of Brother Juniper for the love of God, who answered him with great compassion: But if thou take it off my back I will not resist thee. When Brother Juniper returned home, and was asked what had become of his tunic, he replied: For this reason the brethren took care to leave nothing in the common rooms of the convent, because Brother Juniper gave away everything for the love of God and to the glory of his name.

One Christmas-day Brother Juniper was in deep meditation before the altar at Scesi, the which altar was right fairly and richly adorned; so, at the desire of the sacristan, Brother Juniper remained to keep guard over it while he went to his dinner. And as he was absorbed in devout meditations, a poor woman came asking an alms of him for the love of God. To whom Brother Juniper made answer: The sacristan, after he had eaten three or four mouthfuls, bethought him of the ways of Brother Juniper, whom he had left in charge; and began exceedingly to doubt whether, in his charitable zeal, he might not do some damage to the costly altar.

As soon as the suspicion entered his head, he rose from the table, and went back to the church, to see if any of the ornaments of the altar had been removed or taken away; and when he saw that the frontal had been cut, and the little bells carried off, he was troubled and scandalised beyond measure. Brother Juniper, seeing that he was very angry, said to him: So he returned, and in great wrath took the frontal, and carried it to the general, who was at Assisi, saying: See how he has destroyed it by cutting away all the silver bells, which he says he has given to a poor woman!

Nevertheless, I will give him a sound correction for this fault. Brother Juniper cared little or nothing for these words, for he delighted in reproaches, and rejoiced when he received a good humiliation; but his one thought in return was to find a remedy for the general's hoarseness. So when he had received his reproof, he went straight to the town for flour and butter, to make a good hasty-pudding, with which he returned when the night was far spent; then lighting a candle, he went with his hasty-pudding to the door of the general's cell and knocked.

The general came to open it, and seeing him with a lighted candle and a pipkin in his hand, asked: I considered therefore what would be the best remedy, and have had this hasty-pudding made for you; therefore I pray you eat of it, for I tell you that it will ease your throat and your chest. Then Brother Juniper, seeing that neither persuasions nor prayers were of any avail, said: Brother Juniper once determined with himself to keep silence for six months together, in this manner.

The first day for love of the Eternal Father.

Juniper (friar)

The second for love of Jesus Christ his Son. The third for love of the Holy Ghost. The fourth in reverence to the most holy Virgin Mary; and proceeding thus, each day in honour of some saint, he passed six whole months without speaking. And he who resists it in any other way, after all the toil of the conflict, rarely comes off victorious.

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Fly, then, from this vice, and thou shalt gain the victory. Brother Juniper, desiring to make himself despicable in the sight of men, stripped himself one day of all but his inner garment; and, making a bundle of his habit and other clothes, he entered the city of Viterbo, and went half-naked into the market place, in order to make himself a laughing stock.

When he got there, the boys and young men of the place, thinking him to be out of his senses, ill-treated him in many ways, throwing stones and mud at him, and pushing him hither and thither, with many words of derision; and thus insulted and evil entreated, he abode there the greater part of the day, and then went his way to the convent. Now when the friars saw him they were full of indignation, and chiefly because he had gone thus through the city with his bundle on his head; wherefore they reproved and threatened him sharply.

As Brother Juniper was once entering Rome, the fame of his sanctity led many of the devout Romans to go out to meet him, but he, as soon as he saw this number of people coming, took it into his head to turn their devotion into sport and ridicule. So, catching sight of two children who were playing at see-saw upon two pieces of wood, he moved one of them from his place, and mounting on the plank in his stead, he began to see-saw with the other.

Meanwhile the people came up and marvelled much at Brother Juniper's see-sawing. Nevertheless they saluted him with great devotion, and waited till he should have finished his play to accompany him honourably to the convent. Brother Juniper took little heed of their salutation, reverence, or patient waiting, but gave his whole attention to his see-saw. And when they had waited thus for a long time, they began to grow tired, and to say, "What folly is this?

When they were gone, Brother Juniper remained full of consolation, because he saw in what contempt they held him. Then came he down from his see-saw, and entering Rome with all meekness and humility, came to the convent of the Friars Minor. It happened once, when Brother Juniper was in a house of the brethren, that, for some reasonable cause all the friars were obliged to go out, and Brother Juniper alone remained at home.

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Then the guardian said to him: Of a surety, as I am now left in this charge, I will cook enough to serve the brethren, were they as many more, for a fortnight to come. Meanwhile one of the friars, to whom Brother Juniper's simplicity was well known, returned to the house; and seeing these great cauldrons on such an enormous fire, he sat down in amazement to watch with what care and diligence Brother Juniper proceeded in his cookery.

And having observed him for some time to his great recreation, this friar went out of the kitchen, and told the other brethren that Brother Juniper was certainly preparing a wedding banquet. The brethren took it for a jest; but presently Brother Juniper took his cauldrons off the fire, and bade them ring the bell for dinner.


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  5. Then the brethren took their places at the table, and he came into the refectory, all rubicund with his toil and with the heat of the fire, and said to the brethren: Brother Juniper praised his way of cooking because it was so great a saving of time; and seeing that the other friars ate none of it, he said: But the guardian, being angry at such folly, and grieved at the waste of so much good food, reproved Brother Juniper severely. Then Brother Juniper fell on his knees before the guardian, and humbly confessed his fault to him and all the brethren saying: Such a one committed such a sin, for which he was condemned to lose his eyes.

    Such another was hanged for his crimes. But I deserve far worse for my evil deeds. And now I have wasted so much of the gifts of God and the substance of the Order. After witnessing the collapse of the bridge, he wondered why such a disaster had befallen those particular five people. He attempts to resolve the question of whether this was a random accident or an intentional act of God.


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    • Brother Juniper.

    His exploration of their lives provides the framework for the novel. Brother Juniper is in the first estate of priests, which contained about , ordained members of the Catholic Church from archbishops to nuns.

    #FriarFriday — Losing Brother Juniper

    He was a well respected monk in the town of Lima. However, his role is central, as he gives the plot a purpose, and transforms the book from merely a journalistic chronicle to a profoundly poetic piece of prose. His scientific inquiry into the theological question of divine intervention weaves the stories of the characters together, unifying the novel. In the concluding chapter, Wilder describes how Brother Juniper struggles to draw a conclusion from the stories he has collected, or from any further studies he pursues.