vendredi 6 avril 2012

Saint CÉLESTIN Ier, Pape et confesseur



SAINT CÉLESTIN

Pape

(mort en 432)

À la mort du Pape saint Boniface, on élut à l'unanimité Célestin, romain de naissance et proche parent de l'empereur Valentinien. Le nouveau Pontife gouverna l'Église pendant dix ans avec une sollicitude et une prudence admirables.

"Ma vigilance pastorale, écrivait-il, n'est point bornée par les lieux; elle s'étend à tous les pays où l'on adore Jésus-Christ." En exerçant cette vigilance, il avait surtout à coeur le salut des âmes: "Accordez l'absolution, écrivait-il à quelques évêques, à tous ceux qui la demanderont sincèrement à l'article de la mort: la contrition dépend moins du temps que du coeur."

Mais ce qui mit en relief le zèle et l'autorité du grand Pontife, ce fut la manière dont il combattit l'hérésie de Nestorius, patriarche de Constantinople. Ce malheureux, voyant sa doctrine condamnée par les orientaux, se tourna vers l'Occident, et il écrivit à Rome deux lettres où il déguisait ses sentiments sous des expressions captieuses.

Célestin, prévenu en même temps par saint Cyrille d'Alexandrie, assembla un concile à Rome; on y examina les écrits de Nestorius, et on condamna ses blasphèmes contre l'unité de personne en Jésus-Christ. Le Pape nomma Cyrille son commissaire en Orient, et il le revêtit de toute son autorité pour agir en son nom. L'hérésiarque refusant de se soumettre, on convoqua le concile d'Éphèse. Cette assemblée, présidée par les légats de Célestin, à la tête desquels se trouvait Cyrille, excommunia Nestorius et le déposa.

Une autre question s'éleva dans les Gaules: quelques-uns y attaquaient la doctrine de saint Augustin sur la nécessité de la grâce. Le Pape prit la défense du grand évêque d'Hippone, dans une lettre écrite aux évêques de ce pays.

"Nos prédécesseurs, disait-il, l'ont toujours regardé comme un des plus grands Docteurs de l'Église; sa mémoire ne pourra plus être flétrie par les clameurs de quelques-uns. Il suffit de savoir et de croire que l'enseignement traditionnel des Apôtres attribue à la grâce de Jésus-Christ aussi bien le commencement que la fin de nos oeuvres. Nul catholique ne peut s'écarter de cette règle."

Pour étouffer dans la Grande-Bretagne les semences du pélagianisme, il chargea saint Germain, évêque d'Auxerre, et saint Loup, évêque de Troyes, de préserver ce pays du danger qui le menaçait. Ce fut aussi Célestin qui envoya saint Pallade prêcher l'Évangile aux Scots, et saint Patrice, aux Irlandais. Après un règne de dix ans, ce grand Pape mourut le 1er août 432. L'église Sainte-Praxède possède une partie de ses reliques.

Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes 1932, Vie des Saints, p. 151-152

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_celestin.html

Saint Célestin I (422-432)

Il fut l'ami de saint Augustin.

Il démontra un grand intérêt pour les missions en Écosse et en Irlande, d'après l'œuvre de Paladius et de saint Patrick.

SOURCE : http://eglise.de.dieu.free.fr/liste_des_papes_03.htm





Saint Célestin Ier

Pape (43 ème) de 422 à 432 ( 432)

Il avait grand souci des responsabilités de sa charge et nous le voyons intervenir auprès des Églises de Gaule, d'Afrique et de Provence. Il soutint Cyrille d'Alexandrie dans son opposition à Nestorius et condamna le patriarche de Constantinople. Le concile d'Ephèse marquera l'affaiblissement de Rome devant Alexandrie. Mais le pape saint Célestin fera toujours rappel de l'autorité romaine en matière doctrinale. 

(27 juillet au martyrologe romain) À Rome, au cimetière de Priscille, sur la voie Salarienne, en 432, saint Célestin Ier, pape. Désireux de défendre la foi de l’Église et d’étendre ses frontières, il institua, le premier, l’épiscopat en Grande Bretagne et en Irlande et, avec son accord, le Concile d’Éphèse salua, contre Nestorius, la bienheureuse Marie du titre de Mère de Dieu.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1570/Saint-Celestin-Ier.html

SAINT CELESTIN
Nothing is known of his early history except that he was a Roman and that his father's name was Priscus. He is said to have lived for a time at Milan with St. Ambrose; the first notice, however, concerning him that is known is in a document of St. Innocent I, in the year 416, where he is spoken of as Celestine the Deacon. In 418 St. Augustine wrote to him (Epist., lxii) in very reverential language. He succeeded St. Boniface I as pope, 10 Sept., 422 (according to Tillemont, though the Bollandists say 3 Nov.), and died 26 July, 432, having reigned nine years, ten months, and sixteen days. In spite of the troublous times at Rome, he was elected without any opposition, as is learned from a letter of St. Augustine (Epist., cclxi), written to him shortly after his elevation, in which the great doctor begs his assistance in composing his difficulties with Antonius, Bishop of Fessula in Africa. A strong friendship seems to have existed between Celestine and Augustine, and after the death of the latter in 430, Celestine wrote a long letter to the bishops of Gaul on the sanctity, learning and zeal of the holy doctor, and forbade all attacks upon his memory on the part of the Semipelagians, who under the leadership of the famous ascetic, John Cassian, were then beginning to gain influence. Though his lot was cast in stormy times, for the Manichæans, Donatists, Noviatians, and Pelagians were troubling the peace of the Church, while the barbarian hordes were beginning their inroads into the heart of the empire, Celestine's firm but gentle character enabled him to meet successfully all the exigencies of his position. We see him everywhere upholding the rights of the Church and the dignity of his office. In this he was aided by Placidia, who, in the name of her youthful son, Valentinian III, banished from Rome the Manichæans and other heretics who were disturbing the peace. Celestine not only excluded Coelestius, the companion and chief disciple of Pelagius, from Italy, but procured the further condemnation of the sect from the Council of Ephesus, while through his instrumentality St. Germanus of Auxerre and St. Lupus of Troyes, who had been sent to Britain in 429, the native land of Pelagius, by the Gallic bishops, succeeded in extirpating the error from its native soil.

A firm upholder of the ancient canons, we find Celestine writing to the bishops of Illyria, bidding them observe the canons and their old allegiance to the Bishop of Thessalonica, the papal vicar, without whom they are not to consecrate any bishop or hold any council. He also writes to the Bishops of Vienne and Narbonne, whom he warns to keep the ancient canons, and, in accordance with the warning of his predecessor, to resist the pretensions of the See of Arles. Moreover they must not refuse to admit to penance those who desire it at the moment of death; bishops, too, must not dress as monks, and severe action is to be taken against a certain Daniel, a monk from the Orient who had been the cause of serious disorders in the Church of Gaul. To the Bishops of Apulia and Calabria he writes that the clergy must not remain ignorant of the canons, neither are the laity to be advanced to the episcopate over the heads of the clergy, nor is the popular will, no matter how strong, to be humoured in this matter — populus docendus non sequendus. Moreover he threatens severe penalties for future transgressors. In upholding the rights of the Roman Church to hear and decide appeals from all quarters, he came for a time into conflict with the great Church of Africa (see Apiarius). The African bishops, however, through manifesting some warmth, never called into question the Divine supremacy of the Holy See, their very language and actions expressed its fullest recognition; their complaints were directed rather against the sometimes indiscreet use of the papal prerogative. The last years of the pontificate of Celestine were taken up with the struggle in the East over the heresy of Nestorius (see Nestorius; Cyril of Alexandria; Ephesus, Council of). Nestorius who had become Bishop of Constantinople in 428 at first gave great satisfaction, as we learn from a letter addressed to him by Celestine. He soon aroused suspicions of his orthodoxy by receiving kindly the Pelagians banished from Rome by the pope, and shortly after, rumours of his heretical teaching concerning the twofold personality of Christ reaching Rome, Celestine commissioned Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, to investigate and make a report. Cyril having found Nestorius openly professing his heresy sent a full account to Celestine, who in a Roman synod (430), having solemnly condemned the errors of Nestorius, now ordered Cyril in his name to proceed against Nestorius, who was to be excommunicated and deposed unless within ten days he should have made in writing a solemn retractation of his errors. In letters written the same day to Nestorius, to the clergy and people of Constantinople, and to John of Antioch, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Rufus of Thessalonica, and Flavian of Philippi, Celestine announces the sentence passed upon Nestorius and the commission given to Cyril to execute it. At the same time he restored all who had been excommunicated or deprived by Nestorius. Cyril forwarded the papal sentence and his own anathema to Nestorius. The emperor now summoned a general council to meet at Ephesus. To this council Celestine sent as legates, Arcadius, and Projectus, bishops, and Philippus, a priest, who were to act in conjunction with Cyril. However, they were not to mix in discussion but were to judge the opinions of the others. Celestine in all his letters assumes his own decision as final, Cyril and the council, "compelled by the sacred canons and the letters of Our Most Holy Father, Celestine, Bishop of the Roman Church."

The last official act of Celestine, the sending of St. Patrick to Ireland, perhaps surpasses all the rest in its far-reaching consequences for good. He had already sent (431) Palladius as bishop to the "Scots [i.e. Irish] believing in Christ." But Palladius son abandoned Ireland and died the year following in Britain. St. Patrick, who had previously been refused, now received the long-coveted commission only a few days before the death of Celestine, who thus becomes a sharer in the conversion of the race that in the next few centuries was to accomplish such vast works by its countless missionaries and scholars in the conversion and civilization of the barbarian world. In the local affairs of the Roman Church, Celestine manifested great zeal. He restored and embellished the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which had suffered from the Gothic pillage of Rome, also the church of St. Sabina, besides decorating the Cemetery of St. Priscilla with paintings of the Council Ephesus. The precise date of his death is uncertain. His feast is kept in the Latin Church on 6 April, the day on which his body was placed in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla whence it was transferred in 820 by Pope St. Paschal I to the church of Sta Prassede, though the cathedral of Mantua likewise claims his relics. In the Greek Church where he is highly honoured for his condemnation of Nestorius, his feast falls on 8 April.

The extant writings of St. Celestine consist of sixteen letters, the contents of many of which have been indicated above, and a fragment of a discourse on Nestorianism delivered in the Roman Synod of 430. The "Capitula Coelestini", the ten decisions on the subject of grace which have played such a part in the history of Augustinianism, are no longer attributed to his authorship. For centuries they were affixed as an integral part to his letter to the Bishops of Gaul, but at present are considered as most probably the work of St. Prosper of Aquitaine. Anastasius Bibliothecarius attributes to him several other constitutions but with little authority. Doubtful also is the statement of the "Liber Pontificalis" that Celestine added the Introit to the Mass.

Sources

Sancti Celestini Epistolae et Decreta, P.L., L; Acta ss., X; Hefele, History of the Councils, II, III; Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, I; Grisar, Geschichte Roms und der Papste im Mittelalter (Freiburg im Br., 1898), I ; Cardinal de Noris, Historia Pelagiana; Tillemont, Mémoires pour servir a l' histoire ecclesiastique, XIV; Natalis Alexander, Historia Ecclesiastica, ed. Roncaglia-Mansi, IX; Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum Amplissima Collectio, IV; Rivington, The Roman Primacy.

Murphy, John F.X. "Pope St. Celestine I." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 5 Apr. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03477c.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by William D. Neville.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03477c.htm

Celestine I, Pope (RM)

Born in Campania, Italy; died at Rome, July 27, 432; feast day formerly on July 27 and/or August 1. Saint Celestine was a deacon in Rome when he was elected pope on September 20, 422, to succeed Saint Boniface. He was a staunch supporter of Saint Germanus of Auxerre in the fight against Pelagianism, and a friend of Saint Augustine with whom he corresponded, and which demonstrates that the bishop of Rome was the central authority even at that early date.


Augustine exhorts Celestine not to fall under the spell of Bishop Antony of Fussala, who had been convicted by a council at Numidia of tyranny and violence against his flock. Augustine was particularly concerned because he had originally nominated Antony for episcopal consecration. Antony appealed to Celestine's predecessor, who, unaware of the decision of the synod, pressed for Antony's reinstatement. The matter was not fully settled at Boniface's death, but at Augustine's urging, Celestine deposed the unseemly prelate.

Celestine also wrote to the bishops of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul to correct several abuses, and ordered, among other things, that absolution should never be refused to the dying who sincerely asked for it. He stated that repentance does not depend on timing but rather on the heart. In the beginning of this letter he says: "By no limits of place is my pastoral vigilance confined: it extends itself to all places where Christ is adored."

After receiving two artful letters from Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople, and further information from Patriarch Saint Cyril of Alexandria regarding the errors proposed by the first, Celestine convened a council in Rome, in 430, to condemn Nestorianism. He threatened Nestorius with excommunication if he did not desist from his heretical teaching. In 431, Celestine sent three legates to and appointed Cyril president of the General Council of Ephesus, which formally condemned the heresy.

Saint Prosper of Aquitaine recorded that, acting on Saint Palladius's suggestion, Celestine sent Saint Germanus of Auxerre to Britain in 429 to deal with Pelagianism there. He also wrote a treatise against semi-Pelagianism and, in 431, sent Palladius to Ireland to evangelize that people. Some scholars think that Celestine may also have sent Patrick there, but this is unlikely.

Saint Celestine was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla in a tomb decorated with paintings representing the Council of Ephesus. Later his relics were translated into the church of Saint Praxedes. His ancient original epitaph testifies that he was an excellent bishop, honored and beloved of every one, who for the sanctity of his life now enjoys the sight of Jesus Christ, and the eternal honors of the saints; however, very little is known of person named Celestine (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Celestine is a pope with a dove, dragon, and flame (Roeder).


SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0406.shtml


St. Celestine, Pope and Confessor

HE was a native of Rome, and held a distinguished place among the clergy of that city, when, upon the demise of Pope Boniface, he was chosen to succeed him, in September, 422, by the wonderful consent of the whole city, as St. Austin writes. That father congratulated him upon his exaltation, and conjured him, by the memory of St. Peter, who abhorred all violence and tyranny, not to patronize Antony, bishop of Fussala, who had been convicted of those crimes, and on that account condemned in a council of Numidia, to make satisfaction to those whom he had oppressed by rapine and extortion. This Antony was a young man, and was formerly a disciple of St. Austin, by whom he had been recommended to the episcopal dignity. This promotion made him soon forget himself, and lay aside his virtuous dispositions: and falling, first by pride, he abandoned himself to covetousness and other passions. St. Austin, fearing lest by the share he had in his promotion his crimes would be laid to his own charge, was of all others the most zealous and active to see them checked. Antony had gained his primate, the metropolitan of Numidia, who presided in the council by which he was condemned. Hoping also to surprise the pope by his artful pretences, he appealed to Rome. Boniface seeing the recommendation of his primate, wrote to the bishops of Numidia, requiring them to reinstate him in his see, provided he had represented matters as they truly were. Antony returning to Fussala, threatened the inhabitants that, unless they consented to receive him as their lawful bishop, in compliance with the orders of the apostolic see, he would call in the imperial troops and commissaries to compel them. Pope Boniface dying, St. Austin informed St. Celestine of these proceedings, who finding Antony fully convicted of the crimes with which he was charged, confirmed the sentence of the council of Numidia, and deposed him. “From these letters, that were written by the Africans on this occasion,” says Mr. Bower, 1 “it appears, that the bishops of Rome used in those days to send some of their ecclesiastics into Africa, to see the sentences which they had given executed there; and that those ecclesiastics came with orders from the court for the civil magistrates to assist them, where assistance should be required.” St. Celestine wrote to the bishops of Illyricum, confirming the archbishop of Thessalonica, vicar of the apostolic see in those parts. To the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul, he wrote, to correct several abuses, and ordered, among other things, that absolution or reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner, who sincerely asked it; for repentance depends not so much on time, as on the heart. In the beginning of this letter he says: “By no limits of place, is my pastoral vigilance confined: it extendeth itself to all places where Christ is adored.” He received two letters from Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, in which his heresy was artfully couched; also an information from St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, concerning his errors. Wherefore he assembled a synod at Rome, in 430, in which the writings of that heresiarch were examined, and his blasphemies in maintaining in Christ a divine and a human person were condemned. The pope denounced an excommunication against him, if he did not repent of his errors within ten days after the sentence should be notified to him, and wrote to St. Cyril, commissioning him, in his name, and by the authority of his see, to execute the same. 2 Nestorius remaining obstinate, a general council was convened at Ephesus, to which St. Celestine sent three legates from Rome, Arcadius and Projectus, bishops, and Philip, priest, with instructions to join themselves to St. Cyril. He also sent a letter to the council, in which he said that he had commissioned his legates to see executed what had been already decreed by him in his council at Rome. He exhorts the fathers to charity, so much recommended by the apostle St. John, “whose relics,” as he writes, “were there the object of their veneration.” 3 This letter was read in the council with great acclamations. The synod was held in the great church of the Blessed Virgin, on the 22nd of June, 431: in the first session one hundred and ninety-eight bishops were present. St. Cyril sat first as president, 4 in the name of St. Celestine. 5 Nestorius refused to appear, though in the city; and showing an excess of madness and obstinacy, was excommunicated and deposed. It cost the zeal of the good pope much more pains to reconcile the Oriental bishops with St. Cyril; which, however, was at length effected. Certain priests in Gaul continued still to cavil at the doctrine of St. Austin, concerning the necessity of divine grace. St. Celestine therefore wrote to the bishops of Gaul, ordering such scandalous novelties to be repressed; highly extolling the piety and learning of St. Austin, whom his predecessors had honoured among the most deserving and eminent doctors of the church, and whose character rumour could never asperse nor suspicion tarnish. 6 Being informed that one Agricola, the son of a British bishop called Severianus, who had been married before he was raised to the priesthood, had spread the seeds of the Pelagian heresy in Britain, he sent thither, in quality of his vicar, St. Germanus of Auxerre, whose zeal and conduct happily prevented the threatening danger. 7 He also sent St. Palladius, a Roman, to preach the faith to the Scots, both in North-Britain and in Ireland. Many authors of the life of St. Patrick say, that apostle likewise received his commission to preach to the Irish from St. Celestine, in 431. This holy pope died on the 1st of August, in 432, having sat almost ten years. He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla, which, to testify his respect for the council of Ephesus, he had ornamented with paintings, in which that synod was represented. His remains were afterward translated into the church of St. Praxedes. His ancient original epitaph testifies that he was an excellent bishop, honoured and beloved of every one, who for the sanctity of his life now enjoys the sight of Jesus Christ, and the eternal honours of the saints. The same is the testimony of the Roman Martyrology on this day. See Tillemont, t. 14. p. 148. Ceillier, t. 13. p. 1.

Note 1. Lives of the Popes, t. 1. p. 369. Lond. edit. 

Note 2. Authoritate tecum nostræ sedis adscitâ, nostrâ vice usus hanc exequêris sententiam. 

Note 3. Cujus reliquias præsentes veneramini, ep. ad Conc. 1159. 

Note 4. Conc. t. 3. p. 656. and 980. St. Leo, ep. 72. can. 3. 

Note 5. Ib. t. 4. p. 562. in Conc. Chalced.

Note 6. Ep. 21. ad Gallos. 

Note 7. Vice suà, S. Prosp. in Chron.


Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/4/063.html