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This revelation was given by God to Lady Birgitta in Naples at the request of Lord Bernard, the Neapolitan archbishop. He asked her to pray to God concerning some doubts he had in his conscience. When she was at prayer, Christ appeared to her, answered all the archbishop’s doubts, and gave him instruction and the measures he should maintain in governing his own house and in governing his subjects in his diocese.
SAINT BRIDGET PATRON SAINT OF EUROPE BOOK 7 Chapter 12 PART IV
Be attentive to the rest of your servants so that each has his own task; and if some of them are superfluous, do not keep them out of vainglory lest your heart be elated at having a larger household than your peers. It is also expedient that you always have in mind those truly necessary members of your household whom you keep with you; painstakingly scrutinize their lives like a true householder, correcting their actions, lives, and characters and, with good formation, encouraging and admonishing them in a fatherly way so that they learn to flee from sins and vices and to love God above all things. It is indeed more acceptable to God and more useful to yourself that you keep with you no member of the household who is unwilling to comply with sound advice and humbly amend his transgressions.
Of your clothing, I advise you never to have in your possession more than three pairs at one time; everything beyond this, you should immediately give to God himself. Of bed covers, towels, and tablecloths, keep for yourself only what is necessary and useful to you; and give the rest to God. Of silver vessels, reserve for yourself just enough for your own person and for the guests who eat at your own table; donate the superfluous pieces to God with a cheerful mind. For the rest of your household and the guests who sit at other tables certainly can, without any embarrassment, eat and drink using vessels of tin, clay, wood, or glass. For that custom which now prevails in the houses of bishops and lords of having an overly excessive abundance of gold and silver is quite harmful to souls and very repulsive to God himself, who, for our sake, subjected himself to all poverty.
Beware, also, of having too many courses and extravagant delicacies. Nor should you have overly large and expensive horses, but rather those that are moderate in size and price. For such large horses are needed by those who expose themselves to the dangers of war for the defense of justice and the protection of life and not for pride. Indeed, I tell you that as often as prelates, out of pride and vainglory, mount big horses, the devil mounts the prelates‘ necks. For I know a person who, when the prelates and cardinals proudly lifted their feet to ride on the backs of their big horses, saw demons as Ethiopians who then lifted their feet and mounted the necks of the prelates and sat there laughing