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Abraham a Sancta Clara

The preacher and writer (1644-1709) was called Johann Ullrich Megerle by his civil name and in 1662 he joined the Augustinian Order in Maria-Brunn Vienna one. In 1668 he was ordained a priest, and in 1677 he became court preacher to Emperor Leopold I. (1640-1705) and developed into a dreaded pulpit orator with immense popularity. He castigated the sinful enjoyment of life and repeatedly railed from the pulpit against the bad habit of "boozing". About this he wrote the famous epistle "The Drunkard", in which the horrors of drunkenness and alcoholism and the accompanying moral decay are described:

O drunkenness, thou serious addiction, brings many a man to great fornication.
From honour and property, in mockery and disgrace, from wife and child to foreign lands.
From art and wisdom to great folly, from a sound body to great disease.
From joy and gladness into the vale of tears, from food and drink into anguish.
From peace and quiet in fear and need, from long life to death.
From the kingdom of God into eternal suffering, all this comes from drunkenness.
Think of your last hour, so you will not get drunk.
No jester's cuffs are perceived as being performed by the drunken fool,
so that tomorrow the whole parish will discuss it.
That's rare - it's true - my drunken fool!

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