Boniface Gives Advice to Saint Bugga about Her Pilgrimage to Rome, c.725

Be it known to you, dear sister, that in regard to the matter on which you have sought my advice I cannot presume, on my own responsibility, either to forbid your pilgrimage or to encourage it. I can only say how the matter appears to me. If for the sake of solitude and divine contemplation you have forsaken the monastic life and the care of your subjects, the servants and handmaidens of God, how can you bring yourself to submit to the orders and whims of men of this world and the labour and anxiety they entail? It appears to me that if, through the interference of seculars, you cannot find freedom and peace of mind in your native land, you should try (provided you have the will and the power to do so) to find freedom for contemplation by making a pilgrimage abroad. This is what our sister Wilthburga did. She has told me by letter that she has found at the shrine of Saint Peter the kind of quiet life which she had long sought for in vain. Since I had written to her about your intentions, she sent me word that you would do better to wait until the attacks and the threats of the Saracens against Rome had died down and until she herself could send you an invitation. To me also this seems the better plan. Make all necessary preparations for the journey, wait for word from her and afterwards do what God’s grace shall inspire you to do.

In regard to copying out the passages of Scripture for which you asked me, please excuse my remissness, for I have been so much occupied in preaching and travelling about that I could not find the time to complete it. But when I have finished it I win send it to you.

I thank you for the presents and the vestments which you have sent and pray God that He will reward you with eternal life among his angels and archangels on high. I beg of you, therefore, my dear sister, nay more, my very dear mother and mistress, to pray for me, because for my sins I am wearied with many trials and vexed both in mind and body. Rest assured that our long-standing friendship shall never fail. Farewell in Christ.