Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm with the Proslogion

Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm with the Proslogion

Foreword by: R. W. Southern
Introduction by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140442786
  • 288 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Mostly written between 1070 and 1080, before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, the prayers and meditations of Anselm of Aosta created a tradition of intimate, intensely personal devotional works written in subtle and theologically daring prose. While the “Prayer to God” is based on the Lord’s Prayer, the “Prayer to Christ” is inspired by ardent private emotion and other prayers invest saints with individual attributes, with John the Baptist as the friend, Peter as the shepherd and Mary Magdalene as the forgiving lover, among many others. The meditations include a searching exploration of the state of the soul and a lament on the loss of purity, and the Proslogion discusses the mysteries of faith. With their bright imagery, beautiful language and highly original thought, the works of Anselm have secured a lasting place in both religious and secular literature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm with the Proslogion Foreword
1. Background to the Prayers and Meditations
1. The Liturgy: The Divine Office, The Kalendar and the Mass
2. The “Preces Privatae”
3. “Meditari aut legere”
4. John of Fécamp
2. The Prayers and Meditations
1. The Anselmian Pattern of Prayer: “In cubiculum meum,” “Excite Mentem,” “Compunctio Cordis,” “In Caelis”
2. The Content of the Prayers
3. The Prayers
4. Meditations 1 and 2
5. Meditation on Human Redemption and Proslogion
6. Conclusion
The Prayers and Meditations
Letters to the Countess Mathilda
1. Prayer to God
2. Prayer to Christ
3. Prayer before Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ
4. Prayer to Holy Cross
A Letter to Gundolf
5. Prayer to St. Mary (1)
6. Prayer to St. Mary (2)
7. Prayer to St. Mary (3)
8. Prayer to St. John the Baptist
9. Prayer to St. Peter
10. Prayer to St. Paul
11. Prayer to St. John the Evangelist (1)
12. Prayer to St. John the Evangelist (2)
13. Prayer to St. Stephen
A Letter to Prior Baldric
14. Prayer to St. Nicholas
15. Prayer to St. Benedict
16. Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene
17. Prayer by a Bishop or Abbot to the Patron Saint of his Church
18. Prayer for Friends
19. Prayer for Enemies
A Letter from Durandus
Meditation 1
Meditation 2
Meditation on Human Redemption
Appendix – The Development of the Prayers
1. The Circulation and Influence of the Prayers
2. Early Additions to the Collection: Ralph of Battle, Elmer of Canterbury
Notes to the Appendix
PRH Book Clubs Survey