Legend of Priest and Were-Wolves.

from Gerald de Barri's "Topographia Hibernica"

(MS. Roy. 13 B. viii.)

Priest and Werewolves; Irish Legend

In Ireland in 1182, a priest travelling from Ulster into Meath, and having to pass the night in a wood, was sitting by a fire which he had made, when a wolf accosted him in human speech.

He was, he said, a man of Ossory, on whose race lay an ancient curse, whereby every seven years a man and a woman were changed into wolves; at the end of seven years they recovered their proper form, and two others suffered a like transformation. He and his wife were the present victims of the curse; his wife was at the point of death, and he prayed the priest to come and give her the viaticum.*

After some hesitation the priest complied; and next morning the wolf put him in the right road, and took leave of him with words of gratitude. The priest doubted whether he had not done wrong, and consulted many theologians on the point. In the end he went to the Pope; the result is not stated.

* [AJ Note: Viaticum. Holy Eucharist given to the dying.]

Text source:
Green, John Richard. A Short History of the English People. Vol. 2.
London: G. Newnes, 1908. lxix-lxxx.

Image source: ibid. 895.

Background courtesy of Windhaven Web Art.

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