Sunday, June 6, 2010

Raymond Diocres

With just the click of the cursor (everyone knows how fast things are these days), I finally found something about the elusive Raymond Diocres. He was mentioned in my other entry concerning the artwork of Daniel Mitsui. His blog page tells the story, and I may add that its a legend (which was said to have moved St. Bruno to enter into the eremitical life) which contains in itself a warning.

Raymond Diocres, a professor at the Sorbonne, and a man with a universal reputation for learning and apparent virtue, died in Paris. Three days later, his coffin, beautifully adorned with the symbols of his profession, was brought into the cathedral with solemnity, accompanied by his fellow professors, by a large group of students and many priests.

Hundreds attended the funeral service; innumerable candles were lit and prayers were offered for him by those who had admired the great knowledge and virtues of the illustrious deceased. But when the choir came to the passage in the Office of the Dead: What are my faults and my sins? My misdeeds and my sins make known to me! which Holy Job asks in Scripture, suddenly the corpse, which was lying exposed on its bier, moved before their eyes, sat up, and cried out in accents of desperation which matched the despair in his eyes: By the judgement of God, I have been accused, judged and condemned.

Having said this, he fell back, never to move again. Thus the world- renowned professor had hidden vice under the appearance of virtue. But God, who scrutinizes hearts, knew his sins and punished him for them.

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