"Omnis enim res quæ dando non deficit, dum habetur et non datur, nondum habetur quomodo habenda est." ("For a possession which is not diminished by being shared with others, if it is possessed and not shared, is not yet possessed as it ought to be possessed.") —St. Augustine, De doctrina Christiana lib. 1 cap. 1

Main Menu

Rules of Married Life (1477)

Started by Geremia, July 30, 2020, 02:37:11 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Cherubino da Siena, O.F.M. Rules of Married Life. Translated from 15th century Italian by Caterino Tommaso, T.O.P. 2020. ISBN: 978-1-71678-554-2.

He discusses the duties of a husband toward his wife:
  • Instruction
  • Correction
     This part is offensive to modern ears:
    QuoteBut if your wife is of a servile condition, rustic and ill-mannered character, that with these pleasant words she is not amended, rebuke her with harsh and sharp words, threats, and other fears. And if this is still not enough, and you see her do something offensive to God, injurious to her soul, your or her shame, or another noteworthy danger, take up the stick and beat her well; because it is better to be scourged in the body and to heal the soul than to lose the body and damn the soul.
  • Sustenance

And wife toward her husband:
  • Fear
  • Service
  • Admonition

The Franciscan friar delves into the nitty-gritty of marriage, such as superfluously performing coitus, which leads to sickness and shortening one's lifespan:
 The first harm is sickness; because many people get sick, weak, and lose the natural force and vigor of nature. Wherefore, Esdras [The non-canonical 3 Esdras 4:26: "And many have become mad for their wives: and have been made bondmen for them"], most learned in the law of God, says that many became insane because of their wives, i.e., because of the superfluous and indiscreet copulation that they had with them. Certainly, it is a great infirmity to lose one's senses and become insane. The booming Ambrose also says that some have become blind for this same reason. Avicenna also says that one act of coitus harms more than ten phlebotomies, i.e., bloodletting, according to what most learned physicians have told me [R. W. Bernard, Science Discovers the Physiological Value of Continence: "An ounce of semen is considered to be equal in value to sixty ounces of blood, of which it constitutes an extract of some of its most valuable of constituents, as far as its vitalizing power is concerned."]. We have the example of bulls. Two bulls fighting together, one of them victorious, as if by great happiness finds the cow, and copulates with it. The other bull, who was defeated, by instinct of nature knows that bull had lost some of its strength; immediately it assaults it, and whereas at first it was defeated, in the second battle it wins. Thus, the frequentation of this act makes one lose strength and fall into sickness; he becomes weak and soon becomes old.
 Shortening of lifespan
 The second harm, which married people have who superfluously perform the marriage act, is the shortening of lifespan. For they do not live so long in the world as they would live if they used such act discreetly. Wherefore, Albert the Great, and even the prince of philosophers, Aristotle, say that elephants live a long time, i.e., one hundred or one hundred twenty years, only because of their continence; because in two years they rest and attend to the carnal act only five or six days. They also say that male sparrows live less than females, because of their overuse of this act. Yet the mule lives for a long time, because it observes continence. Certainly, as this is how it is in animals, so is it in humans, according to their natural condition.


I recall reading the sermon of St. Alphonsus for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost the previous week where he uses the example of a husband using corporal punishment on his wife for not doing her duty as a parent to discipline the children.

These days it is still hard for a Catholic man to find a good wife, but in light of the above mentioned duties of husband and wife, it would then be best to find a woman who is docile and has the virtue of obedience. That is also alien to the modern spirit though.


Quote from: Kephapaulos on August 02, 2020, 09:03:28 PMI recall reading the sermon of St. Alphonsus for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost the previous week where he uses the example of a husband using corporal punishment on his wife for not doing her duty as a parent to discipline the children.
Perhaps you're referring to this, from his treatment of the 4th Commandment (in St. Alphonsus Collection):

With regard to married persons, the husband commits sin—

1. If through his fault he leaves his wife in want of food or clothes.

2. If he maltreats her by beating her, slapping her face, or calling her insulting names. The wife is a companion, not a slave. Before marriage, some husbands make great promises: "You shall be the mistress of the house, mistress of me." And after the lapse of a few months, they treat their wives as slaves. "What! can I not chastise my wife when she is guilty of misconduct?" Yes; if there is a just cause (particularly if your wife fails in chastity), and if, after being corrected several times, she does not amend, you can chastise her, but with moderation. But it is not lawful to beat your wife for trifling defects, such as for saying a word in anger, or for disobedience in a matter of little importance.

3. A husband is guilty of sin if he hinder his wife from fulfilling her obligations as a Christian, hearing Mass, making her Easter Communion, and going to confession several times in the year; for a person in the world can scarcely preserve himself in the grace of God by going to confession only once in the year. "But, Father, she wants to go to confession and Communion every day." I answer, if, by frequenting the sacraments, she neglects the care of the family, you can then forbid her to go so often to confession and Communion; but it is not lawful for you to interfere, unless she fails in the good government of the house, or unless some other inconvenience arises from her frequenting the sacraments.

I didn't see what you're referring to in his 8th Sunday after Pentecost sermon (also in the St. Alphonsus Collection).

Happy (belated) feast of St. Alphonsus.


I'm sorry. I was mistaken. St. Alphonsus mentions the example toward the end of the sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.

Happy belated feast of St. Alphonsus!

And happy feast of the Invention of the Relics of St. Stephen Protomartyr!


Quote from: Kephapaulos on August 03, 2020, 06:00:14 PMSt. Alphonsus mentions the example toward the end of the sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Quote from: St. Alphonsus11. Another obligation of parents is, to correct the faults of the family. "Bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord." There are fathers and mothers who witness faults in the family, and remain silent. A certain mother was in the habit of acting in this manner. Her husband one day took a stick and began to beat her severely. She cried out, and said: "I am doing nothing. Why do you beat me?" "I beat you," replied the husband, "because you see, and do not correct, the faults of the children—because you do nothing." Through fear of displeasing their children some fathers neglect to correct them; but, if you saw your son falling into a pool of water, and in danger of being drowned, would it not be savage cruelty not to catch him by the hair and save his life? "He that spareth the rod hateth his son." (Prov. 13:24.) If you love your sons correct them, and, while they are growing up chastise them, even with the rod, as often as it may be necessary. I say, "with the rod," but not with the stick; for you must correct them like a father, and not like a galley sergeant. You must be careful not to beat them when you are in a passion; for, you shall then be in danger of beating them with too much severity, and the correction will be without fruit; for they then believe that the chastisement is the effect of anger, and not of a desire on your part to see them amend their lives. I have also said that you should correct them "while they are growing up;" for, when they arrive at manhood, your correction will be of little use. You must then abstain from correcting them with the hand; otherwise, they shall become more perverse, and shall lose their respect for you. But of what use is it to correct children by so many injurious words and by so many imprecations? Deprive them of some part of their meals, of certain articles of dress, or shut them up in a room. But I have said enough. Dearly beloved brethren, draw from the discourse which you have heard the conclusion, that he who has brought up his children badly shall be severely punished; and that he who has trained them to habits of virtue shall receive a great reward.


St. Anselm, who had a distant relationship with his widower father, was against corporal punishment in schools:
Quote'You have nurtured beasts out of human beings', he chided a schoolmaster who was partial to the rod, 'and they have grown up perverted and vicious because they have never been raised in genuine affection for anyone.'
ch. 3 of Hannam's God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science


Is it always unlawful to use corporal punishment in schools or anywhere else then?

What about St. Junípero Serra's use of it on the natives in California for their instruction?

I have not even checked St. Thomas or the Summa for this yet, if he says anything concerning the topic.


Quote from: Kephapaulos on January 23, 2021, 11:06:26 PMIs it always unlawful to use corporal punishment
No, it's not an intrinsic evil and is sometimes necessary.