After having been expelled from a monastery for his excessive austerities, at thirty years of age he built a pillar six feet high on which he took up his abode.
But this was not to be; he was worn out by the incessant toils and fatigues and austerities of his laborious life, and he died at his monastery at Bologna, on the 6th of August 1221.
He determined to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and to practise all the austerities that he read of in The Flowers of the Saints.
At this time Ignatius was again suffering from his former imprudent austerities; and he was urged to return for a while to his native air.
The olive complexion, a face emaciated by austerities, the large forehead, the brilliant and small eyes, the high bald head tell their own tale.
He must always be read, whether lovingly or interestedly, for he has all the variable charm, the strange saturninity, the contradictions, austerities and delightful surprises, of Nature herself.
The tendency observable in many of the austerities and miracles attributed to St Catherine to outstrip those of other saints, particularly Francis, is especially remarkable in this marvel of the stigmata, and so acute became the rivalry between the two orders that Pope Sixtus IV., himself a Franciscan, issued a decree asserting that St Francis had an exclusive monopoly of this particular wonder, and making it a censurable offence to represent St Catherine receiving the stigmata.
The citizens were growing weary of the monastic austerities imposed on them, and Alexander foresaw that his revenge was at hand.
His monks were allowed proper clothes, sufficient food, ample sleep. The only bodily austerities were the abstinence from flesh meat and the unbroken fast till mid-day or even 3 P.M., but neither would appear so onerous in Italy even now, as to us in northern climes.
The appalling austerities, however, to which she was allowed to subject herself quickly affected her mental and bodily health.
Chants, fasting and other austerities, but there are some peculiarities of detail.
312, was the most celebrated among them for his austerities, his sanctity, and his power as an exorcist.
An ascetic, who practised the whole cycle of medieval austerities, he was determined that Canada should be ruled by the church, and he desired for New France a Puritanism as strict as that of New England.
The Benedictine rule was taken as the basis of the life, but was supplemented by regulations notably increasing the austerities practised.
He was a typical Bourbon, unable either to learn or to forget; and the closing years of his life he spent in religious austerities, intended to expiate, not his failure to grasp a great opportunity, but the comparatively venial excesses of his youth.'
He declared that the cenobitical life is superior to the eremitical; that fasting and austerities should not interfere with prayer or work; that work should form an integral part of the monastic life, not merely as an occupation, but for its own sake and in order to do good to others; and therefore that monasteries should be near towns.
However, Irish monachism emerges into the full light of history, it was in its manifestations closely akin to the Egyptian, or even to the Syrian type: there was the same love of the eremitical life, the same craving after bodily austerities of an extraordinary kind, the same individualistic piety.
In all these lesser orders may be discerned the tendency of a return to the elements of Eastern monasticism discarded by St Benedict - to the eremitical life; to the purely contemplative life with little or no factor of work; to the undertaking of rigorous bodily austerities and penances - it was at this time that the practice of self-inflicted scourgings as a penitential exercise was introduced.
All this was a reaction from St Benedict's reconstruction of the monastic life - a reaction which in the matter of austerities .nd individualistic piety has made itself increasingly felt in the later manifestations of the monastic ideal in the West.
Here it had a great vogue, and under the influence of the innate Asiatic love of asceticism it tended to assume ale form of strange austerities, of a kind not found in Egyptian monachism in its best period.
His manifold labours and austerities appear to have shortened his life.
The Benedictine Rule was taken as the basis of the life; but austerities were introduced beyond what St Benedict prescribed, and the government was framed on the mendicant, not the monastic, model, the superiors being appointed only for a short term of years.
We must bear in mind that he was no cold systematic thinker, but an Oriental visionary, brought up in crass superstition, and without intellectual discipline; a man whose nervous temperament had been powerfully worked on by ascetic austerities, and who was all the more irritated by the opposition he encountered, because he had little of the heroic in his nature.
C. Oman, Mystics, Ascetics and Saints of India, p. 273) remarks:" Sadlzuism, whether perpetuating the peculiar idea of the efficiency of austerities for the acquisition of far-reaching powers over natural phenomena, or bearing its testimony to the belief in the indispensableness of detachment from the world as a preparation for the ineffable joy of ecstatic communion with the Divine Being, has undoubtedly tended to keep before men's eyes, as the highest ideal, a life of purity, self-restraint, and contempt of the world and human affairs.
For, if the human soul is identical with God, the practice of austerities must be discarded as directed against God, and it is rather by a free indulgence of the natural appetites and the pleasures of life that man's love for God will best be shown.
Her first idea had been to combat alike the heresies and the worldliness of her time by a return to the austerities of a more heroic age.
A rite was devised, called exhomologesis, by which, after a fresh term of repentance, marked by austerities more strict than any Trappist monk imposes on himself to-day, the persons lapsed from grace could re-enter the church.