[30] “Cum haec audīssem, coepī illōs cōnfortāre, dīcēns eīs: ‘Nōlīte, frātrēs, putāre aliquid nisi bonum. Vestra conversātiō procul dubiō est ante portam paradīsī. [31] Hīc prope est īnsula quae vocātur Terra Reprōmissiōnis Sānctōrum, ubi nec nox imminet nec diēs fīnītur. [32] Illūc frequentātur abbās Mernoc; angelī enim Dominī cūstōdiunt illam. Nōnne cognōscitis in odōre vestīmentōrum nostrōrum quod in paradīsō Deī fuimus?’

[33] “Tunc frātrēs respondērunt, dīcentēs: ‘Abbā, nōvimus quia fuistī in paradīsō Deī; spatium maris, ubi est ille paradīsus, ignōrāmus. [34] Nam saepe frāglantiam vestīmentōrum abbātis nostrī probāvimus: paene usque ad quadrāgintā diēs tenēbantur ab odōre.’

    Barrind explained that they should have been happy (about the absences) because they were living on the threshold of Paradise: the Island Promised to the Saints is nearby.  The fragrance of their clothes proved that that's where he and Mernoc had been. The monks reply that they knew that Mernoc would sometimes visit Paradise, from the fragrance of his clothes.  But they did not know where that Paradise was.

    [30] procul dubiō: "without doubt" (OLD procul 6).

    ante portam paradīsī: there was widespread belief in the Middle Ages in a paradise here on earth.

    [31] Hīc prope: "Near here." Note that the earthly paradise is not far from the shores of Donegal. Brendan, unlike Mernoc and Barrind, supposedly took seven years to get there.

    [32] frequentātur: CL would be frequentat.

    illam: īnsulam.

    in odōre: CL would probably be odōre, though in CL in + abl. can indicate an explanation (OLD 40b). It was traditional to speak of paradise as smelling sweetly.

    [33] Abbā: vocative.

    quia: In ML quia can be used to introduce an indirect statement; this meaning is rare in CL (OLD 6). In CL quia usually means “because.”

    ubi est ille paradīsus: CL would be ubi sit ille paradīsus.

    [34] quadrāgintā: accusative of extent of time (AG § 423.2). The number forty is symbolic: Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert (Matt. 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2), and there forty days between the resurrection of Jesus and his ascent to heaven (Acts 1:3).

    tenēbantur ab odōre: = (vestīmenta) abbātis nostrī tenēbantur ab odōre. we might have expected the clothes to hold the smell, rather than the other way round. The lovely smell was associated with sanctity.

    comfortō comfortāre  to comfort 30
    conversātiō –ōnis f habitual association; (ML) communal life, community
    paradīsus –ī m. Paradise
    reprōmissiō –ōnis f. formal promise 31
    immineō imminēre to be close at hand [OLD 6b]
    fīniō fīnīre fīnīvī fīnītus to finish
    frequentor frequentārī  to visit frequently [OLD 4] 32
    abbās –ātis m. abbot, the head of a monastery
    Mernoc the name of a steward of Barrind's monastery
    angelus –ī m. messenger, angel
    custōdiō custōdīre custōdīvī custōdītus to guard
    nōnne introduces a direct question expecting the answer "yes"
    odor –ōris m. smell, odor
    vestīmentum –ī n. pl. garment, clothes
    paradīsus –ī m. Paradise
    quia because; that
    spatium spati(ī) n. space; expanse
    paradīsus –ī m. Paradise
    īgnōrō īgnōrāre īgnōrāvī īgnōrātus to not know; ignore
    fraglantia –ae f. fragrance 34
    vestīmentum –ī n. pl. garment, clothes
    ūsque until (often with ad or dum)
    quādrāginta 40
    teneō tenēre tenuī tentus to hold, keep; to reach in journeying, make [OLD 5a]
    odor –ōris m. smell, odor
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