Short summary - The Miracle of Theophilus - Rutebeuf (or Rustebuef)

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - The Miracle of Theophilus
Rutebeuf (or Rustebuef)

Once the economist of one famous church, whose name was Theophilus, was famous in the district for his wealth, high position and kindness. But life had treated him cruelly, he lost everything and fell out of favor with the cardinal. And then one day Theophilus, sitting at home, recalled with bitterness with what zeal he had prayed earlier for his patron cardinal, who was so unjust to him. The economist was a proud man and decided to take revenge on the offender at all costs. It was impossible to do this on his own, and, having hesitated, Theophilus decided to go to the powerful wizard Saladin, who knew how to conjure the devil. Saladin greeted Theophilus with open arms. Upon learning of the misfortunes that befell his friend, the wizard promised to help and ordered him to come the next day. On the way home, the pious Theophilus was afraid that eternal torment would befall him as punishment for a deal with the enemy of the human race, but, remembering his troubles, he nevertheless decided on a date with the unclean. Saladin summoned the devil with a terrible spell and persuaded him to help Theophilus. The next day, the steward came to Saladin even ahead of time, and he sent him to the devil, severely instructing him not to say Christian prayers on the way. Appearing before the unclean, Theophilus complained about his fate, and the adversary replied that he was ready to return him both honor and wealth, if for this Theophilus would give him his soul and become his servant. Theophilus agreed and wrote a receipt, which the devil kept with himself, ordering the economist to be cruel to people from that time on and to forget all mercy. And the cardinal, ashamed of his injustice towards Theophilus, decided to reinstate him in office and sent his servant Zadir to find the exiled housekeeper. Having cursed Zadira with his last words, Theophilus decided, however, to go to the cardinal.

And now Theophilus sees the cardinal's complete remorse, but talks to his master evil and rudely, although he agrees to accept the position and the money, Theophilus goes out and sees his friends Peter and Thomas. He also treats them toughly and, cursing and insulting them, goes his own way. But he is tormented by remorse. After long torment comes repentance for the deed. Grieving, Theophilus arrived at the chapel of the Blessed Virgin. Kneeling down, he began to pray fervently for the salvation of his soul, dripping with tears. Taking pity on the unfortunate housekeeper, Madonna appeared in his eyes and promised to take the damned receipt from the devil. Then the Most Pure went to the enemy of the human race and, under the threat of reprisals, took away the paper from him. Once again appearing before Theophilus, Madonna ordered him to give this receipt to the cardinal, so that he would read it to everyone in the church for the edification, so that they would know how easy it is for a soul to perish. Theophilus went to the cardinal and, having told how it all happened, handed him a vile treaty. Vladyka, rejoicing at the servant's salvation, summoned the believers to the temple and read to them a paper containing the boast of the unclean, sealed with the blood of Theophilus. Hearing about such a miracle, all those present in the church stood up and exclaimed in one voice: "We praise you, God!" So the wicked demon was put to shame, tempting the souls of people with easy riches and glory.