Indulgences for the Confraternity of Belchite

Source: Peter Rassow, "La Cofrad”a de Belchite," Anuario de historia del derecho espa¤ol 3(1926):224-26.

In the name of the holy and individual Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the advice and request of Alfonso, emperor of Leon, an assembly or synod of bishops was convened at Burgos, on 4 nones of October [October 4], at which Guido, cardinal deacon of the Roman Church and legate of the aposotolic see, presided, and at which there were also present Lord Raymond, archbishop of the See of Toledo and primate, Lord Diego [Gelm”rez], archbishop of Santiago de Composela, Pelayo, archbishop of Braga, Peter, bishop of Segovia, Bertran, bishop of Osma, Bernard, bishop of Sigenza, Michael, bishop of Tarazona, William, bishop of Saragossa, Simon, bishop of Burgos, Peter, bishop of Palencia, Peter, bishop of Leon, Alfonso, bishop of Oviedo, Enecho, bishop of Av ila, Berenguer, bishop of Salamanca, Bernard, bishop of Zamora, Robert, bishop of Astorga, Guido, bishop of Lugo, Martin, bishop of Orense, Pelayo, bishop of Tuy, Bernard, bishop of Coimbra, Arnold, bishop of Olor¢n, Bernard, bishop of Tarbes, John, bisho p-designate of Porto; also present were the abbots Dominic, abbot of Sahag£n, Florent”n of Valverde, John of Silos, Christopher of O¤a, Abrius of San Pedro de Eslonza, Peter of San Mill n, Peter of Carde¤a, Pelayo of Celanova, Mart”n of Espinareda, Pelay o of San Pedro de Monte, and in the presence of many more abbots, priors and other religious persons, who were present at the holy general council at Burgos. Therefore, the said bishops, for the defense of Christians and the suppression of Saracens and fo r the liberty of holy church, just as the emperor through petitioning had advised them, through the mediation of the Holy Spirit who enlightens those whom he wishes and who inspires where he wants, decreed this thing, that any Christian, cleric or layman, who should wish to make himself a brother of this confraternity, established by the said emperor and by other ecclesiastical officials at the castle, which is called Belchite, or at any other castle that is suitable for this enterprise, should serve Chri st for his entire life in defense of Christians and, having confessed, will attain the remission of all sins like those entering the life of a monk or hermit. Furthermore, let he who should wish to serve God there for a year gain the same remission as if he went to Jerusalem. Let him who ought to abstain [from meat] on Fridays during all the individual weeks of the entire year, if he should wish to serve God there for a month, be dispensed in like fashion and from the other days [of abstinence] as well. I f, however, one should send another in his place, who discharges his duties in the service of God, let the absent one receive the same indulgence as gained by the one present. He who sends from his own goods 12 dinars or something he values to those servi ng God there, let him have an indulgence of 40 days, and for him who labored in the service of God there, much more; let the kind of indulgence be proportionate to the sort of donation. If, however, anyone should wish to make a pilgrimage and he should c ontribute to those serving God there as many days as he would have served God on the pilgrimage, or which he would spend on pilgrimage, let him be worthy to be enriched with a double recompense by the giver of all things. Let those, however, who will have gained essential goods for their work by preaching through the countryside, participate in the same indulgence as [the confreres] themselves. If any knight or anyone else, living or dead, should leave his horse or arms for the service of God, let him hav e the same indulgence as he who has bequeathed them to the Hospital of Jerusalem or the Temple. Therefore, dearest brothers, hasten with a happy spirit to the great delight of this indulgence, remembering the precept of the Lord: He who follows me does no t walk in darkness, and, he who looses his life for my sake will keep it in everlasting life;, and he who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Moreover, by the same indulgence the sepulchre of the Lord was freed from its captivit y, and Majorca and Saragossa and other places, and likewise with the assent of God the road to Jerusalem from this region was opened, and the Church of God, which was held there as maidservant in the bonds of captivity, was made free. Furthermore, because it is not fitting, if any will have done any sort of evil in any place to anyone of those confreres, after being warned two or three times, and unless he will have made proper satisfaction, let him be distanced from the boundaries of the Church.

Bernard, archbishop of Toledo and legate of the See of Rome, Olegario, archbishop of Tarragona, Diego, archbishop of Santiago de Compostela ... [and others] made and confirmed this abovewritten charter in the time of King Alfonso of Aragon, of fond memory .

Translated by:
James W. Brodman,
University of Central Arkansas