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The first book to include full texts and photographs from the Apostolic Penitentiary, A Sip from the "Well of Grace" is groundbreaking in its analysis of one of the most important papal offices of the Middle Ages. The Penitentiary alone was responsible for granting absolutions, dispensations, licences, and special declarations in various matters such as marriage, illegitimacy, murder and violence, confession, and clerical ordination. With access to archival records long sealed by the Vatican, Kirsi Salonen and Ludwig Schmugge offer historians many new insights for interpreting an important structure of medieval life.
The book begins with an introduction to the functions of the Apostolic Penitentiary and considers its role among the various papal offices. Also examined are the various circumstances for which Christians turned to its authority. Procedures for cases as well as the canon law regulations behind the cases are discussed, along with an overview of various documents
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