Tractatus de Purgatorio Sancti Patricii | the text
The Tractatus is dedicated to Abbot Hugh of Sartris. The introductory section is composed of six parts, a theological survey of the otherworld, an account of Irish scepticism of
The narrative of Owein's visit begins with an account of how the knight was moved to make reparation for his sins after attending
Owein journeys across a series of plains where the souls in purgatory undergo tortures at the hand of demons. The sufferings of the souls in purgatory are described in detailed and vivid terms. The demons repeatedly try to torture Owein, but he escapes each time he utters Christ's name. Finally he comes to a great, fiery river which emits a great stench and is filled with demons. The demons reveal that beneath this river is the entrance to Hell. A narrow and slippery bridge provides the only means of traversing this river safely. When Owein calls upon the name of Jesus the bridge widens enough for him to cross comfortably.
The account of purgatory is followed by a
On the other side of the bridge lies the
A second homily is inserted here asking the reader to always remember the happiness of the saints and the pain of the sinful.
Owein receives some of the
Henry concludes by relating how Gilbert met Owein and recounted his tale to Henry himself. Gilbert's also gives the testimony of a monk who was abducted by devils one night as further proof of the authenticity of Owein's story. Henry adds an account of his own researches into the story. He interviewed two Irish abbots about the purgatory and bishop Florentianus, who gives an account of a hermit living near Lough Derg who is visited by demons.