At that time Gerard Bronchorst, a Canon of Utrecht, and a great friend to the devout, was in authority at Deventer, and he gave two cows to our Brothers on the Mount, but forasmuch as God would prove their patience and increase their faith, one of the cows died, though the other one remained whole. And the wondrous goodness of God provided that the one should give so large a yield of milk as to suffice for all the Brothers, though they would have thought that they would scarce get enough from two. Then was seen the fulfilment of the word of the prophet Esaias, who saith: “It shall come to pass in that day that a man shall nourish a young cow, and for the abundance of the milk he shall eat butter.”
At the beginning of their common life the Brothers were despised by worldlings, and they bore patiently the derision of them that passed by; also they were called by vile names in scorn, and suffered much evil speaking and many injuries from the envious; but the patience of the good overcame the malice of the froward, and the freedom of their good conscience gave them the greater joy because of the scorn that was cast upon them. For although men that were ill-disposed would insult these poor little ones of Christ, and blushed not to speak evil of the innocent, yet many that feared God would praise their holy conversation; such men assisted them with kindly deeds and help, being moved thereto by pious reasons.
One of the community, a Lay Donate and an upright man, was employed in feeding the cattle, and as he was driving an herd of swine in the field he met an ancient crone, who began to abuse him and to hurl unseemly words at him. And the devout Brother answered her gently, saying, “Good dame, tell me my faults freely, and chide me sternly, for I greatly lack such chastisement,” but the woman hearing this was smitten with inward remorse, and said in a changed voice: “What should it profit me to help you to the kingdom of heaven, but myself to hell!” for she perceived that by her chiding the Brother earned fresh merit, but she punishment for her frowardness.
It came to pass that as two of the Brothers were at work together out of doors, one by mischance did unwittingly hurt the other somewhat, and he who had done the injury prayed the other to pardon him for God’s sake. But the Brother who was hurt in body was whole in heart, and said: “Even if thou hadst slain my father I would freely pardon thee,” and those that stood by and heard his saying were edified, and glorified God for the gracious words that proceeded from the sufferer’s mouth. May these few things that I have told of the early deeds of our elders be pleasing to the reader.
Of the consecration of the first chapel and altar at Mount St. Agnes.
On the Vigil of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, and in the year of our Lord 1395, was consecrated the first chapel on the Mount of St. Agnes the Virgin, and the first altar therein was dedicated in honour of that saint, and of the most blessed Mary Magdalene, by Hubert, the Suffragan and Vicar-General for Pontifical Acts to our most Reverend Father and Lord, Frederic, Bishop of Utrecht.