jeudi 31 octobre 2013

Saint WOLFGANG de RATISBONNE, moine bénédictin et évêque


Saint Wolfgang de Ratisbonne

Évêque ( 994)

Moine d'Einsiedeln, puis évêque de Ratisbonne (Regensburg) en Bavière. Il naquit dans le canton des Grisons et, dès l'âge de sept ans, il donna les signes précoces de son intelligence. Il fut élève au monastère de Reichenau, puis à l'école ecclésiastique de Wurtzbourg. Appelé auprès de l'évêque de Trèves, il refusa tous les honneurs et devint un excellent éducateur auprès de la jeunesse. De retour en Suisse à l'abbaye de Saint Meinrad, il renonça à ses biens familiaux et s'engagea dans l'Ordre de Saint Benoît. Et c'est de là qu'il fut élu évêque de Regensburg où son influence dépassa vite les limites de son diocèse au point de devenir en même temps conseiller de l'empereur et des évêques voisins.


...Après une longue vie religieuse où il fut sacré évêque de Ratisbonne, il se retira en ermite dans une forêt où selon la légende, il lança une hache en demandant à Dieu de lui indiquer où construire sa cellule. Il construisit alors son abri à l'endroit même où tomba la hache et put y finir sa vie dans le recueillement. C'est ainsi qu'il devint le Saint patron des bûcherons après avoir été canonisé en 1052... (Forum des arboristes grimpeurs)



À Ratisbonne en Bavière, l’an 994, saint Wolfgang, évêque. Après avoir exercé les fonctions de maître d’école et fait profession monastique, il fut élevé à l’épiscopat, restaura la discipline du clergé et mourut humblement en visitant le territoire de Pupping.



Martyrologe romain


Wolfgang de Ratisbonne


évêque, saint

934-994

Wolfgang descendait de la famille des comtes de Pfullingen. À l'âge de 7 ans, il avait un précepteur écclésiastique à la maison pour son éducation, plus tard, il rejoignit l'école du Monastère de Reichenau.
C'est là qu'a débuté la fidèle amitié qu'il noua avec Henri de Babenberg, frère de l'évêque de Wurtzbourg, qu'il suivit dans cette ville afin d'y suivre les cours du grammairien Stéphane de Novara, à l'école de la cathédrale.
Après qu'Henri ait été élu archevêque de Trèves, en 956, il appela Wolfgang afin qu'il devienne professeur à l'école épiscopale de Trèves et qu'il travaille aussi à la réforme du diocèse, ce qu'il fit, en dépit de l'hostilité rencontrée.
Son séjour à Trèves influença grandement sa vision de la vie monastique et de l'ascetisme, par le contact qu'il eut avec les grands réformateurs du Xe siècle, particulièrement Ramwold, l'inspirateur d'Adalbert de Prague.
Après la mort de l'archevêque Henri, en 964, Wolfgang entra dans l'Ordre Bénédictin à l'abbaye d'Einsiedeln en Suisse, et fut ordonné prêtre par saint Ulrich en 968.

Évangélisateur des Magyars (Hongrois)

Après leur défaite à la bataille de Lechfeld en 955, victoire attribuée à l'intercession de saint Ulrich, les Magyars, païens, s'étaient réfugiés en Pannonie, mais, tant qu'ils n'étaient pas convertis, ils demeuraient une menace pour l'empire.
À la demande d'Ulrich, qui avait clairement vu le danger, et pour satisfaire aux désirs de l'empereur Otton le Grand, Wolfgang fut envoyé pour évangéliser les Magyars, parce qu'il était la personne la plus apte à réussir cette mission.
Il fut suivi par d'autres missionnaires, envoyés par l'évêque de Nassau, sous la juridiction duquel était la région.

Il devient évêque de Ratisbonne

À la mort de l'évêque Michael de Ratisbonne, le 23 septembre 972, Wolfgang fut nommé à sa place, à Noël 972. Son œuvre fut considérable.
Il devint le tuteur de l'empereur Saint Henri II, auquel il enseigna les meilleurs principes pour gouverner chrétiennement. Il eut aussi d'importants élèves, comme le fils du Margrave Luipold, futur archevêque de Trèves.
Il travailla à réformer plusieurs abbayes, ainsi que les couvents d' Obermünster et de Niedermünsterde à Ratisbonne, luttant contre les abus du clergé et les nominations de complaisance des abbés. Il accorda aussi un soin tout particulier à la liturgie et fut enfin un grand bienfaiteur des pauvres.

Il se retire en Autriche

Vers la fin de sa vie, Wolfgang se retira dans un endroit isolé, en Autriche, dans la région du Salzkammergut. On ne sait s'il avait quitté son évêché suite à un désaccord politique, ou seulement pour une visite pastorale à l'abbaye de Mondsee (qui dépendait de l'évêché de Ratisbonne), mais il fut découvert par un chasseur, et ramené à Ratisbonne.
Tandis qu'il voyageait sur le Danube en direction de Pöchlarn, en Autriche, il tomba malade dans le village de Pupping entre Eferding et Aschach. À sa demande, il fut transporté à la chapelle saint Othmar de Pupping où il mourut.
Sa dépouille fut ramenée sur le Danube par ses amis Aribo d'Andechs et Hartwich de Salzbourg, à Ratisbonne où il fut solennellement enterré dans la crypte de l'église St. Emmeram. De nombreux miracles furent observés sur sa tombe.
Wolfgang fut canonisé en 1052 par le Pape Léon IX. Il est fêté le 31 octobre.

SOURCE : http://nouvl.evangelisation.free.fr/wolfgang_de_ratisbonne.htm

Saint Wolfgang
Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer, was born in Swabia, Germany, and was educated at a school located at the abbey of Reichenau. There he encountered Henry, a young noble who went on to become Archbishop of Trier. Meanwhile, Wolfgang remained in close contact with the archbishop, teaching in his cathedral school and supporting his efforts to reform the clergy.
At the death of the archbishop, Wolfgang chose to become a Benedictine monk and moved to an abbey in Einsiedeln, now part of Switzerland. Ordained a priest, he was appointed director of the monastery school there. Later he was sent to Hungary as a missionary, though his zeal and good will yielded limited results.

Emperor Otto II appointed him Bishop of Regensburg (near Munich). He immediately initiated reform of the clergy and of religious life, preaching with vigor and effectiveness and always demonstrating special concern for the poor. He wore the habit of a monk and lived an austere life.
The draw to monastic life never left him, including the desire for a life of solitude. At one point he left his diocese so that he could devote himself to prayer, but his responsibilities as bishop called him back.

In 994 he became ill while on a journey; he died in Puppingen near Linz, Austria. His feast day is celebrated widely in much of central Europe. He was canonized in 1052.

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.

After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.

St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.

St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.

Sources

Der hl. Wolfgang, Bischof von Regensburg, hist. Festschrift z. jahr. Gedachtnisse seines Todes, ed., in connection with numerous historical scholars, by MEHLER (Ratisbon, 1894), among the chief collaborators on this work being BRAUNMULLER, RINGHOLZ (of Einsiedeln), and DANNERBAUER; KOLBE, Die Verdienste des Bischofs Wolfgang v. R. um das Bildungswesen Suddeutschlands. Beitrag z. Gesch. der Padogogik des X und XI Jahrhunderis (Breslau, 1894); WATTENBACH, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, I (Berlin, 1904), 449-452; DETZEL, Christl. Iknographie, II (Freiburg, 1896), 683; POTTHAST, Bibl. medii aevi, II (Berlin, 1896), 1641.

Schmid, Ulrich. "St. Wolfgang." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 31 Oct. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15682b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to Saint Wolfgang.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15682b.htm


Wolfgang of Ratisbon, OSB B (RM)
(also known as Wolfgang of Regensburg)


Born in Swabia (Germany) c. 925; died at Puppingen near Linz (Austria) in 994; canonized 1052 by Pope Leo IX.



As a little boy, Wolfgang was taught by a friendly priest. Thereafter, he was sent to the abbey of Reichenau on Lake Constanz to continue his schooling. There he became the best friend of a young nobleman named Henry whose elder brother Poppo was bishop of Würzburg. The bishop set up a great school there, employing a brilliant Italian named Stefano of Novara to teach in it, and Henry persuaded Wolfgang to journey with him to study at the Italian's feet.

Wolfgang was incomparably the better pupil, though both young men were devout. After finishing his formal studies, Wolfgang taught at the school. When, in 956, Henry was made archbishop of Trier (Trèves), he asked Wolfgang to go there with him to teach in the cathedral school. In Trier, Wolfgang met the reforming monk, Saint Rambold, and Wolfgang joined Henry in his efforts to strengthen the faith of the see.

Henry died in the year 964. Wolfgang had stayed by his side faithfully, but now left Trier to become a Benedictine monk at Einsiedeln. The abbot, an English Benedictine named George, soon saw that he had with him a teacher of genius, and he put Wolfgang in charge of the abbey school. It became the best in the land.

In 971, Wolfgang was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Ulric, after which he engaged in a short and discouraging mission in Pannonia (Hungary). But the Emperor Otto II recognized his worth, and, upon the recommendation of Saint Rambold, named Wolfgang to fill the vacant see of Regensburg. Although Wolfgang would have preferred to retire to his monastery, he was taken to the emperor at Frankfurt and invested in the temporalities. On Christmas Day 972 he was consecrated bishop of the city over which he presided until his death.

He at once initiated a reform of the clergy and the monasteries in his diocese, including two disorderly convents. He encouraged the canons to return to a regular life. One of the sources of revenue for the see was the abbey of Saint Emmeram at Regensburg, which the bishops held in commendam, with the usual bad results. Wolfgang restored ts autonomy and made Rambold its abbot.

Saint Wolfgang earned the love of his people. He continued to preach widely and vigorously. Known for his generosity to the poor, he became known as "Eleemosynarius Major" (the "Great Almoner"). He never abandoned his monastic habits. On one occasion he attempted to leave his see in order to seek a life as a hermit but was compelled to return by popular demand. He ceded part of his see in Bohemia to set up a new diocese--Prague.

He also earned the respect of the imperial court. He accompanied the emperor on a trip to France. He was for a time tutor to the future emperor, Saint Henry II of Bavaria.

Wolfgang became ill while travelling down the Danube into Lower Austria and died at a little place called Puppingen, not far from Linz (Attwater, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).

In art Saint Wolfgang is portrayed as a bishop with a hatchet and model cathedral. Sometimes he is shown (1) with the little emperor (Henry II) near him with words 'post sex' over him; (2) with the devil who holds the book while Wolfgang reads the Gospel; (3) building the church of Saint Wolfgang, Regensburg; (4) giving alms; (5) tormented by devils; or (6) striking a fountain from the ground with his crosier (Roeder, White); or (7) praying for a miracle (by Michael Pacher).

Patron of carpenters, shepherds, woodsmen. Invoked against gout, hemorrhage, lameness, stomach troubles, and wolves (Roeder).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1031.shtml


St. Wolfgang, Bishop of Ratisbon

RADERUS derives this saint’s pedigree from the most illustrious families of Suabia; but the ancient author of his life published by Mabillon assures us, that his parents were of a middle condition in the world. He was a native of Suabia, and at seven years of age was put into the hands of a neighbouring virtuous ecclesiastic; but some time after removed to the abbey of Richenaw (in Latin Augia), founded by Charles Martel in 724, near Constance, united in 1536 to the bishopric of Constance. This monastery was at that time a most flourishing school of learning or piety, which furnished many churches with eminent pastors. In this house our saint contracted an intimacy with a young nobleman called Henry, brother to Poppo, bishop of Wurtzburg, who had set up a great school in that city, and engaged an Italian professor, called Stephen, to leave his own country to give lectures there. It was Wolfgang’s earnest desire never to know any other employment but that of Mary, and to spend his life in the contemplation and praises of his Creator; but Henry, who was charmed with his virtue and other great qualifications, could not bear to be separated from him, and prevailed upon him to bear him company to this new school at Wurtzburg. Once when a difficult passage in an author raised a contest among the scholars about the sense, Wolfgang explained it with so much perspicuity and evidence, that in all perplexing difficulties the rest had recourse to him, rather than to the master. This raised in him a jealousy against the saint, and made him many ways persecute him. Wolfgang, by silence, patience, and meekness, made his advantage of all the contradictions and humiliations he met with, thinking no happiness greater than the means and opportunities of subduing his passions, and gaining a complete victory over himself; but observing how easily petty jealousies, envy, resentments, vanity, and other dangerous passions prevailed among both masters and scholars, he lamented to see those who professed themselves lovers of wisdom, so much strangers to it, and more addicted to the meanest and most ungenerous passions of the human mind than the most ignorant and boorish among the common people; so that, perverting their very studies and science, they made them the means, not of virtue, but of sin, and the nourishment of their most dangerous passions, for want of studying to know and perfectly vanquish themselves, without which even the best food of the mind is converted into the worst poison. What can poor scholars do in such a school, but contract from their tender years the contagious spirit of the masters by their example and conversation? The misfortune of others (which was the more grievous by the usual blindness that attended it), and the sight of his danger of falling insensibly into the same, served the more to alarm the saint; who was therefore more watchful, and kept the stricter guard over all the motions of his own heart; and whilst, by tender charity, he studied to be blind to the faults of others, he judged and condemned himself the more severely. In the apprehension of his own weakness, he was desirous of finding a holy monastery of mortified religious men, sincerely dead to the world and themselves, whose example might be a spur to him in the necessary duty of dying to himself without dangerous temptations or trials. But such a society is not to be found in this life; it is even necessary that our patience, meekness, and humility be exercised by others here, that they may be made perfect. Nor is there any company of saints in which trials fail. This is the very condition of our hire in the divine service, and of our apprenticeship to heaven. We can never be like the angels and saints; we can never bear the image of God, unless by humility, patience, and meekness, we learn perfectly to die to ourselves; nor are these virtues to be learned, or the spirit of Christ to be put on, but by bearing well contradictions. Henry perceived this inclination of Wolfgang for a monastic life, and engaged him to serve his neighbour; and being himself chosen archbishop of Triers in 956, he pressed the saint to accompany him thither.

Wolfgang could not be prevailed upon to take upon him any other charge than that of a school for children; and afterwards that of a community of ecclesiastics, with the title of dean; in both which posts he succeeded to a miracle, and to the edification of the whole country, in planting the spirit of Christ in those that were committed to his care. Upon the death of the Archbishop of Triers he made some stay with Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, but could not be prevailed on to accept of any bishopric, and retired soon after to the monastery of Enfilden, governed at that time by George, an Englishman, who had left his own country to serve God in silence and mortification. The abbot soon found the reputation of Wolfgang to be inferior to his merit, and appointed him director of the school of the monastery, which, under his care, became the most flourishing in the whole country. St. Ulric, bishop of Ausburg, in whose diocess this abbey stood, ordained St. Wolfgang priest, in spite of all the opposition his humility could form. With his ordination the holy man received an apostolical spirit, and having obtained his abbot’s leave, in 972, went with a select number of monks to preach the faith to the Hungarians. The success of this undertaking seemed not sufficiently to correspond to his zeal; but the Bishop of Passaw detained him some time, and, by a private message recommended him to the Emperor Otho II., as a person of all others the best qualified to fill the see of Ratisbon, which was then vacant. To put a cheat upon the saint’s humility, the emperor ordered him to repair to Ratisbon, as if it had been for some other affairs. When he arrived there, the Archbishop of Saltzburg, and several bishops of the province were ready to receive him, and to see the election duly performed by the clergy and people. He was then put into safe hands, and conducted to the emperor at Frankfort, who gave him the investiture of the temporalities, though the saint entreated him on his knees to allow him to return to his monastery. Being sent back to Ratisbon he was consecrated and enthroned. He never quitted the monastic habit, and practised all the austerities of a religious life when in possession of the episcopal dignity. The first thing he did in it, after an excellent regulation of his own conduct and household, was to settle a thorough reformation among all his clergy, and in all the monasteries of his diocess, especially the nunneries of Obets Munster and Nider Munster; disorders in the sanctuary being of all others the most pernicious, and of the most fatal influence. He was indefatigable in preaching, and, being a man of prayer, possessed powerfully the art of touching the hearts of his hearers. Every other duty of his station he discharged with extraordinary vigilance and fidelity during twenty-two years’ administration. The poor had always the greatest share in his table and revenues, though in his profuse charities, he seemed to conceal from his own left hand what his right hand gave. The time which was not taken up in business, he consecrated entirely to the strictest silence and retirement; and he employed a considerable part of the nights in devout prayer. Not content with this, he sometimes retired into some remote cell for a time, and once lay a long time concealed in a wilderness, that by heavenly contemplation he might repair and nourish his own soul. Good part of Bohemia being part of his diocess, he found it too extensive, gave up a great part of his revenue to settle a bishopric in that country, and procured St. Adelbert to be placed in it. Henry, duke of Bavaria, held this good prelate in the highest veneration, and intrusted to him the education of his four children: these were, St. Henry, afterwards Emperor of Germany, Bruno, who died bishop of Ausburg, Gisela, queen of Hungary, and Brigit, who, renouncing the world, died abbess at Ratisbon. The virtue and eminent qualifications of all these princes and princesses made many say: “Find saints for masters, and you will have holy emperors.” We ought to pray that Christ send us such holy prelates, and we shall see the primitive splendour of the church restored. He was taken ill in a journey of charity, and died at Pupping, in Austria, on the 31st of October, 994. 1 His body was brought to Ratisbon, and deposited in St. Emmeran’s church. His name was enrolled among the saints by Leo IX. in 1052, upon the testimony of many miracles, and his relics enshrined by order of the same pope. See his life written by a disciple in Mabillon, Sæc. v. Ben. p. 812; Hundius, Hist. Eccl. Metrop. Salzburgens. Aventin. Ann. Boior; Raderus in Bavaria Sancta, t. 1, p. 94.

Note 1. We have of St. Wolfgang, a paraphrase on the Miserere, published by D. Pez in his Thesaur. Anecdot. Aug. Vindel. 1721, t. 2, p. 13, ad p. 20. In it the saint most pathetically deplores his sins: every word breathes compunction. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/10/312.html

mercredi 30 octobre 2013

Saint MARCEL (MARCELLUS) de TANGER le Centurion, martyr


Saint Marcel le Centurion

Martyr à Tanger ( 298)

Sa légion était cantonnée à Tanger au Maroc. Au jour de la fête de l'anniversaire de l'empereur Maximien, il osa déclarer au moment d'offrir l'encens: «Que maudit soit ce métier qui m'oblige à tuer et m'empêche d'être tout au service du Christ.» Traduit devant le préfet, il maintint ses propos et fut condamné à mort.

À Tanger en Maurétanie, l’an 298, la passion de saint Marcel le centurion. Le jour anniversaire de l’empereur, alors que tous sacrifiaient, il jeta devant les enseignes son ceinturon militaire, ses armes et sa vie même, en déclarant qu’il était chrétien et qu’il ne lui était plus possible d’obéir comme il convient au serment des soldats, mais à Jésus Christ seul; aussi acheva-t-il son martyre par la décapitation.

Martyrologe romain




SAINT MARCEL  LE CENTURION,

MARTYR¹. — Année 298.

ON célébra, l'art 298, la naissance de l'empereur Maximien-Hercule , avec une pompe extraordinaire. Les sacrifices aux dieux de l'empire firent une partie considérable de la fête. Marcel, centurion ou capitaine de la légion trajane, alors campée en Espagne, eut horreur de ces superstitions impies; et pour n'y point participer, il quitta son baudrier à la tête de sa compagnie, et déclara à haute voix qu'il étoit soldat de Jésus-Christ, le roi éternel. Il quitta aussi ses armes, et le bàton qui étoit la marque de son grade. On en instruisit Anastase Fortunat, préfet de la légion. Celui-ci ordonna que l'on mit Marcel en prison.


    Mais après la féte, il fit paroitre Marcel devant lui, pour lui demander l'explication de la conduite qu'il avoit tenue. Le martyr lui répondit: a Lorsque vous célébrâtes la fête de l'empereur, le » douze avant les calendes d'août ², je déclarai que j'étois chrétien, i, et que je ne servirois jamais que Jésus-Christ, le Fils de Dieu a. Fortunat lui dit qu'il ne pouvoit dissimuler une pareille témérité, et qu'il étoit obligé d'en informer l'empereur Maximien et le césar Constance. L'Espagne étoit alors soumise au césar , qui étoit favorable aux chrétiens.

    On envoya cependant Marcel sous bonne garde à Aurélien Agricolails, vicaire du préfet du prétoire, lequel étoit alors à Tanger en Afrique. Agricolaiis lui demanda s'il avoit lait ce qui étoit porté dans la lettre du juge. Marcel ayant tout avoué, il fut condamné à mort, comme coupable de désertion et d'impiété c'est-à-dire, d'attachement au christianisme. On le décapita le 50 d'octobre. Ses reliques furent depuis transférées à Léon en Espagne. On les y garde dans la principale église paroissiale de cette ville, dont le saint est le patron titulaire.

    Cassien, greffier de la cour, refusa d'écrire la sentence prononcée contre le martyr; il jeta même par terre ses tablettes. Agricolaïs se levant de son siége avee fureur, lui demanda pour-quoi il agissoit de la sorte : « C'est, répondit Cassien, que la sentence que vous avez dictée est injuste a. On le mit en prison, et il subit un second interrogatoire, environ un mois après. Sa fermeté lui mérita la couronne du martyre. Il fut décapité le 3 de décembre. Le martyrologe romain nomme saint Marcel et saint Cassien sous leurs jours respectifs.

    C'est à juste titre que nous honorons les martyrs, puisque Dieu daigne les honorer lui-même. Le martyre est en effet l'acte de vertu le plus héroïque dont l'homme soit capable, le sacrifice le plus parfait et le plus entier qu'il puisse faire de lui-même au Seigneur. De tous les biens de ce monde , la vie est le plus précieux, et celui auquel nous sommes le plus attachés. Il faut donc bien ;rimer la loi divine, pour s'exposer avec joie à une mort cruelle, plutôt que de consentir au péché. Il faut donc avoir bien du courage et de la fermeté, pour affronter des tourments dont l'idée seule fait frémir la nature. Mais aussi Dieu mesure ses récompenses sur nos souffrances et sur notre amour pour lui. Nous chercherions inutilement à nous figurer celles qui sont destinées aux martyrs; aussi se réjouissoient-ils , quand ils voyoient multi-plier leurs tourments, qu'ils savoient n'avoir aucune proportion avec le bonheur qui en scroit la suite. Malheur à nous, si nous nous laissons abattre par les moindres contradictions! Nous prouverions par-là que nous avons bien peu d'idée des récompenses célestes, que notre foi est bien foible, et notre charité bien imparfaite.

¹ Tiré de ses actes sincères, publiés par Baronius et par Sui ius. D. Ruinait en a donné une édition plus correcte. à laquelle il a joint un abréCé des actes de saint Cassien , p. 512. Voyei. aussi Tillcmont , t. IV, p. 575.

² C'étoit  le jour où Maximien a voit été déclaré césar.



ACTES DE SAINT MARCEL, CENTURION, A TANGER, EN L'ANNÉE 298.

Les préludes de la dernière persécution nous retiennent aux armées où un conscrit, un centurion, un greffier militaire souffrirent vers le même temps, avec un grand nombre d'autres militaires; mais sur ces derniers nous avons des détails moins certains que sur Maximilien, Marcel et Cassien.

Comme nous en avons eu de nos jours encore l'affligeant spectacle, les quelques scélérats qui détenaient le pouvoir entreprirent l'épuration de l'armée. Commencée dans les provinces de Galère, elle s'étendit à celle d'Hercule. La recherche directe des soldats chrétiens laissant trop de part à la camaraderie, les empereurs adoptèrent une mesure radicale. Chaque militaire dut prendre part, les jours de fêtes, aux cérémonies religieuses célébrées dans les camps. Dès lors c'était chaque chrétien qui se dénonçait lui-même : telle fut l'occasion du martyre du centurion Marcel.

BOLL. 30/X, Octobre XIII, 274-284. — RUINART, Acta sinc. p. 311 et suiv. — P. ALLARD, Hist. des perséc., t. IV, p. 133 et suiv. — FLOREZ, Espana sagrada, XXXIV, 336-53, 401407 ; XXXVI, 256-60. - TILLEMONT, Méru., IV, 575-8, 768-70.

LES ACTES DE SAINT MARCEL, CENTURION.


Dans la ville de Tanger, dont Fortunat était gouverneur, se célébrait alors l'anniversaire de la naissance de Maximien


Hercule. Tous étaient réunis aux sacrifices qui accompagnaient les banquets. Marcel, un des centurions de la légion Trajane, ne voyant dans tes banquets que des assemblées sacrilèges, s'approcha du trophée de drapeaux de la légion devant lequel on offrait les sacrifices, et lança à terre son ceinturon en disant : « Je suis soldat de Jésus-Christ, le roi éternel ». Il lança aussi le cep de vigne, insigne de son grade, ses armes, et ajouta : « A partir de ce jour, je cesse de servir vos empereurs, car je ne veux pas adorer vos dieux de bois et de pierre, sourdes et muettes idoles. Si c'est à cause du métier qu'on nous oblige à faire des sacrifices aux dieux et aux empereurs, je jette avec mépris le cep, le ceinturon, les drapeaux, je ne suis plus soldat ».

Les assistants se regardèrent, ahuris, puis ils arrêtèrent Marcel et on envoya un rapport au commandant. Celui-ci fit écrouer le centurion. Quand toutes les ripailles furent bien finies, Fortunat se fit amener le centurion dans la salle d'honneur.

— « Pourquoi as-tu, contrairement aux règlements, jeté le ceinturon, le cep et le baudrier? »

— « Le 21 juillet, devant le trophée, pendant la célébration de la fête de l'empereur, j'ai dit publiquement que j'étais chrétien et ne pouvais servir que Jésus-Christ, Fils du Dieu tout-puissant. »

— « C'est trop violent pour que j'essaie d'étouffer l'affaire. J'enverrai un rapport aux empereurs et au César. Je ne te punis pas. On va te conduire à mon chef Aurélius Agricola, lieutenant du préfet du prétoire.

Le 30 octobre, le centurion Marcel ayant comparu à Tanger, l'appariteur dit : « Le préfet Fortunatus a renvoyé devant ta puissance Marcel, centurion. Voici son rapport ; si tu l'ordonnes, je le lirai ».
Agricola: « Lis ».

L'appariteur lut : « Fortunatus à Agricola, et le reste.


Ce soldat ayant jeté le ceinturon militaire, s'est déclaré chrétien et a accumulé les blasphèmes contre César. C'est pourquoi nous te l'avons envoyé, et ton Illustration voudra bien nous faire parvenir les ordres qu'elle aura décrétés ».

La lecture faite, Agricola dit : « As-tu prononcé les paroles relatées dans le rapport du préfet » ?
— « Oui. »

« Tu servais comme centurion ordinaire ? »

« Oui. »

« Quelle fureur t'a fait renoncer au serment militaire et parler ainsi ?»

« Il n'y a pas de fureur en ceux qui craignent Dieu.»

« As-tu prononcé toutes les paroles consignées dans le rapport?»

« Oui. »

« As-tu jeté tes armes ? »

 « Oui. Il ne convenait pas qu'un chrétien qui sert le Seigneur Christ servît dans les milices du siècle. »

— « La conduite de Marcel doit être punie suivant les règlements. » Et il dicta la sentence ; « Marcel, qui servait comme centurion ordinaire, a renoncé publiquement à son serment, a dit qu'il en était souillé et a prononcé d'autres paroles furieuses, relatées dans le rapport du préfet. J'ordonne qu'on lui coupe la tête ».

En marchant au supplice, il dit à Agricola : « Dieu te bénisse ».

Il était digne d'un martyr de quitter ainsi le monde. Presque aussitôt sa tête tomba pour le nom de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, à qui soit la gloire dans les siècles des siècles. Amen.



St. Marcellus The Centurion

It is believed that Saint Marcellus was born in Arzas of Galicia. A brave pagan, he entered upon the career of arms, hoping to gain a large fortune. He married a young lady named Nona and they were blessed with twelve children. Saint Marcellus was a valorous solider and was promoted to the charge of centurion; he had no thought for any advancement except the sort pertaining to his military life, when he heard the fervent preaching of a holy bishop of the church of Leon. He was converted with his entire family to the Christian religion. All of them except his wife would soon give their blood in honor of their Faith.

Back in the ancient Roman Empire, some Christians refused to serve in the imperial armies believing that they could not do so in Christian conscience. If being a soldier meant performing pagan rites, as it sometimes did, obviously no Christian could do so. But the additional question was now and then raised: Is armed service in itself forbidden by the Christian law of love?

St. Marcellus the Centurion, after some years of military service, concluded that it was forbidden … at least according to his mature conscience.

The birthday of the Emperor Maximian Herculeus was celebrated in the year 298 with extraordinary feasting and solemn rites. Marcellus, as a centurion of the army, a captain in the legion of Trajan then posted in Mauritania or Spain, in order not to defile himself in these impious sacrifices, left his company, throwing down his cincture and his arms and declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He was at once committed to prison.

When the festival was over, he was brought before a judge, and having reiterated his faith, was sent under a strong guard to a prefect, Aurelian Agricolaus. This Roman officer passed upon him a sentence of death by the sword. Marcellus was immediately led to execution and beheaded on the 30th of October of the year 298. Cassian, the secretary or notary of the court, refused to record the sentence pronounced against the martyr, because of its injustice. He was immediately hurried to prison, and was beheaded in his turn on the 3rd of December.

The children of Saint Marcellus imitated his constancy, and all lost their lives for the defense of the Gospel; three of the boys were hanged and then decapitated at Leon. Their pious mother bought back their bodies for money and buried them secretly; they were later transferred to a church built in their honor in the city of Leon.


October 30.—ST. MARCELLUS, THE CENTURION, Martyr.

THE birthday of the Emperor Maximian Herculeus, in the year 298, was celebrated with extraordinary feasting and solemnity. Marcellus, a Christian centurion or captain in the legion of Trajan, then posted in Spain, not to defile himself with taking part in those impious abominations, left his company, declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He was at once committed to prison. When the festival was over, Marcellus was brought before a judge, and, having declared his faith, was sent under a strong guard to Aurelian Agricolaus, vicar to the prefect of the prætorium, who passed sentence of death upon him. St. Marcellus was forthwith led to execution, and beheaded on the 30th of October. Cassian, the secretary or notary of the court, refused to write the sentence pronounced against the martyr, because it was unjust. He was immediately hurried to prison, and was beheaded, about a month after, on the 3d of December.

Reflection.—"We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God!" exclaimed one of the Machabees. This sentiment should ever be that of a Christian in presence of temptation.

SOURCE : http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots336.htm

St. Marcellus of Tingis

The Passion of St. Marcellus (BHL 5255a)

1. During the consulship of Faustus and Gallus [298], on the 5th day before the kalends of August [28 July], when the former centurion of the first cohort had been brought in, the praeses Fortunatus said, "What were you thinking to discard your belt and hurl down your sword and staff ?"


2. Marcellus replied, "I have already told you on 21 July, loudly and in public, before the standards of this legion, when you were celebrating the anniversary of your emperor, that I am a Christian and cannot observe this oath unless to Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God."



3. The praeses Fortunatus said, "I cannot conceal your rash behaviour and so I will report these things to the ears of our lords the Augusti and Caesars. You, of course, will be sent to the court of my lord Aurelius Agricolanus, the vice-praetorian prefect, under armed guard by the consular official Cecilius.

3a. "Manilius Fortunatus sends greetings to his lord Agricolanus. On the anniversary most happy and blessed throughout the whole world of our same lords the Augusti and Caesars, when we were willingly celebrating the festival, lord Aurelius Agricolanus, the centurio ordinarius Marcellus, seized by what madness I do not know, wantonly disgirded himself of belt and sword and decided to hurl down the staff which he was carrying before the very headquarters of our lords. I have decided that it was necessary to report what was done to your power, even for him to have been sent to you also."

4. During the consulship of Faustus and Gallus, at Tingis, on the third day before the kalends of November, when Marcellus, the former centurion of the first cohort, had been brought in, an official announced, "The praeses Fortunatus has sent him to your power. There is here for your greatness also a letter concerning his case which I will read out if you so direct."

5. Agricolanus said, "Let it be read out."

6. [See 3a]

7. When it had been read out, Agricolanus said, "Did you say those things which are recorded in the praeses' record ?"

8. Marcellus said, "I did."

9. Agricolanus said, "Were you serving as a centurio ordinarius ?"

10. Marcellus said, "I was."

11. Agricolanus said, "What madness possessed you to cast aside aside your oath and say such things ?" 

12. Marcellus said, "No madness possesses him who fears God."

13. Agricolanus said, "Did you make these separate statements which are recorded in the praeses' record ?"

14. Marcellus said, "I did."

15. Agricolanus said, "Did you hurl down your weapons ?"

16. Marcellus said, "I did. It is not proper for a Christian man, one who fears the Lord Christ, to engage in earthly military service."

17. Agricolanus said, "Marcellus' actions are such that they ought to be disciplined." And so he stated, "It pleases (the court) that Marcellus, who defiled the office of centurion which he held by his public rejection of the oath and, furthermore, according to the praeses' records, gave in testimony words full of madness, should be executed by the sword."

Select Bibliography

Primary Sources

  • Delehaye, H. "Les actes de S. Marcel le centurion", Analecta Bollandiana 42 (1923), 257-287 [BHL 5253 and 5254]
  • Lanata, G. "Gli atti del processo contro il centurione Marcello", Byzantion 42 (1972), 509-522 [BHL 5255a]

Secondary Literature

  • de Gaiffier, B. "S. Marcel de Tanger ou de Léon ? Évolution d'une légende", Analecta Bollandiana 61 (1943), 116-139
  • Masai, F. "Pour une édition critique des Actes du centurion Marcel", Byzantion 35 (1965), 277-290
  • Masai, F. "Réflexions sur quelques acceptions remaquables dans les Actes de S. Marcel le centurion", Vivarium 3 (1965), 95-105
  • Masai, F. "Mélectures d'abréviations romaines dans les Actesdu centurion Marcel", Scriptorium 19 (1966), 11-30
  • Orgels, P. "À propos du sens de principia dans les Actes de S. Marcel", Vivarium 3 (1965), 108-114
  • Seston, W. "À propos de la Passio Marcelli centurionis. Remarques sur les origines de la persécution de Dioclétien", 239-246 in Aux sources de la tradition chrétienne. Mélanges offerts à Mourice Goguel (Paris, 1950), 239-246. Reprinted in William Seston. Scripta Varia: Mélanges d'histoire Romaine, de droit, d'épigraphie et d'histoire, du christianisme (Collection de l'école française de Rome 43: Rome, 1980), 629-636
  • Wistrand, E. "A note on the geminus natalis of the Emperor Maximian", Eranos 62 (1964), 139-142

SOURCE : http://www.ucc.ie/milmart/Marcellus.html

ST MARCELLUS THE CENTURION, MARTYR (A.D. 298)
October 30


[From the authentic acts of his martyrdom in Baronius and Surius, and most correctly in Ruinart who has published with them the short acts of St. Cassian, p. 312; Tillem. t. iv. p. 575.]

The birthday of the Emperor Maximian Herculeus was celebrated in the year 298 with extraordinary feasting and solemnity. Pompous sacrifices to the Roman gods made a considerable part of this solemnity. Marcellus, a Christian centurion or captain in the legion of Trajan, then posted in Spain, not to defile himself with taking part in those impious abominations, cast away his military belt at the head of his company, declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He also threw down his arms and the vine-branch, which was the mark of his post of centurion; for the Roman officers were forbid to strike a soldier with any instrument except a vine-branch, which the centurions usually carried in their lands. The soldiers informed Anastasius Fortunatus, prefect of the legion, by whose order Marcellus was committed to prison. When the festival was over, this judge ordered Marcellus to be brought before him, and asked him what he meant by his late proceedings. Marcellus said, "When you celebrated the emperor's festival on the 12th before the calends of August (the day on which Maximian had been declared Caesar), I said aloud that I was a Christian, and could serve no other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Fortunatus told him that it was not in his power to connive at his rashness, and that he was obliged to lay his case before the Emperor Maximian and Constantius Caesar. Marcellus was sent under a strong guard to Aurelian Agricolaus, vicar to the prefect of the praetorium, who was then at Tangier, in Africa. Agricolaus asked him whether he had really done as the judge's letter set forth; and, upon his confessing the fact, the vicar passed sentence of death upon him for desertion and impiety, as he called his action. St. Marcellus was forthwith led to execution and beheaded on the 30th of October. His relics were afterwards translated from Tangier to Leon, in Spain, and are kept in a rich shrine in the chief parish church in that city, of which he is the titular saint.

We justly honour the martyrs, whom God himself honours. Martyrdom is the most heroic act of divine love, and the most perfect and entire sacrifice man can make of himself to God. Of all the goods of this life man has nothing more precious and dear than his life and honour. And what stronger proof can he give of his fidelity to the law of God than to embrace with joy an ignominious and cruel death rather than consent to sin? God proportions his rewards and crowns to the measure of our sufferings and love for him. How great, then, is the glory, how abundant the recompense which attends the martyrs! They rejoiced to see their torments redoubled manifold, because they had before their eyes the incomparably greater increase of grace, divine love, and eternal glory. If we shrink under the least sufferings, it is plain our faith and our idea of everlasting bliss must be very weak, and our love faint and imperfect.



(Taken from Vol. III of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler.)


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Roman centurion at Tangiers (in modern Morocco). During a celebration of the emperor’s birthday, Marcellus refused to participate in the pagan offering ceremony. He threw away his arms and armour, openly declared himself a Christian, and was condemned to death. His condemnation led to the death of Saint Cassian.



Saint Marcellus, the Centurion
and His Children

Martyrs


(† 298)


It is believed that Saint Marcellus was born in Arzas of Galicia. A brave pagan, he entered upon the career of arms, hoping to gain a large fortune. He married a young lady named Nona and they were blessed with twelve children. Saint Marcellus was a valorous solider and was promoted to the charge of centurion; he had no thought for any advancement except the sort pertaining to his military life, when he heard the fervent preaching of a holy bishop of the church of Leon. He was converted with his entire family to the Christian religion. All of them except his wife would soon give their blood in honor of their Faith.

The birthday of the Emperor Maximian Herculeus was celebrated in the year 298 with extraordinary feasting and solemn rites. Marcellus, as a centurion of the army, a captain in the legion of Trajan then posted in Mauritania or Spain, in order not to defile himself in these impious sacrifices, left his company, throwing down his cincture and his arms and declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He was at once committed to prison. When the festival was over, he was brought before a judge, and having reiterated his faith, was sent under a strong guard to a prefect, Aurelian Agricolaus. This Roman officer passed upon him a sentence of death by the sword. Marcellus was immediately led to execution and beheaded on the 30th of October of the year 298. Cassian, the secretary or notary of the court, refused to record the sentence pronounced against the martyr, because of its injustice. He was immediately hurried to prison, and was beheaded in his turn on the 3rd of December.

The children of Saint Marcellus imitated his constancy, and all lost their lives for the defense of the Gospel; three of the boys were hanged and then decapitated at Leon. Their pious mother bought back their bodies for money and buried them secretly; they were later transferred to a church built in their honor in the city of Leon.

Reflection: We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God! exclaimed one of the Maccabees. This sentiment must ever be that of a Christian in the throes of temptation.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).



Marcellus of Tangier M (RM)
(also known as Marcellus the Centurion)

Died 298. During the festivities held by a Roman legion at Tingis (Tangiers) in celebration of Emperor Maximian's birthday the centurion Marcellus, regarding such festivities as idolatrous, refused to sacrifice to the gods. He threw off his military belt and tossed away his arms and vine-branch, the insignia of his rank. When the festival was over, he was brought before a judge named Fortunatus. When questioned, Marcellus declared, "I serve only the eternal king, Jesus Christ."


Fortunatus remanded Marcellus to lay his case before Emperor Maximian and Constantius Caesar, who was then in Spain and favorably disposed to Christians. Instead Marcellus taken under guard before the deputy praetorian prefect, Aurelius Agricolan, who was then at Tangier. After an exchange between the two that is still preserved, Marcellus pleaded guilty to repudiating his allegiance to an earthly leader, and was executed by sword for impiety.

It was afterwards said that the official shorthand writer, Saint Cassian, was so indignant at the sentence that he refused to report the proceedings, and that he too was executed in consequence. In all probability this is a fictitious addition to the authentic account of Saint Marcellus, though there seems to have been a martyr at Tangier named Cassian.

The relics of Saint Marcellus were translated to León, Spain, were they are kept in a rich shrine. Marcellus is the patron of the city (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).



San Marcello di Tangeri Martire venerato a Leon


Secondo la «passio» di san Marcello il 21 luglio del 298 si celebrava la festa «augusti imperatori» e in quella data il santo, centurione ordinario di stanza a Tangeri, gettò le sue armi alla presenza della truppa riunita e proclamò la sua rinuncia al servizio militare per servire nella milizia di Cristo. Il 28 luglio fu interrogato dal preside Fortunato, il quale considerando la gravità del delitto, decise di rimandarlo al suo superiore gerarchico, Aurelio Agricolano di Tangeri. Il 30 ottobre Marcello fu di nuovo interrogato, questa volta a Tangeri, e condannato a morte. La devozione che, in seguito, aveva fatto di Marcello il patrono principale della città spagnola di León, si sviluppò lontano dai suoi resti mortali che si conservavano a Tangeri, per cui, subito dopo la liberazione di questa città, ad opera del re del Portogallo, León richiese le spoglie del suo martire. Il 29 marzo 1493 i resti di Marcello fecero il loro ingresso in città e vennero collocati nella chiesa a lui dedicata. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Marcello, diminutivo di Marco = nato in marzo, sacro a Marte, dal latino

Martirologio Romano: A Tangeri in Mauritania, nell’odierno Marocco, passione di san Marcello, centurione, che nella festa dell’imperatore, mentre tutti sacrificavano agli dei, gettò la cintura militare, le armi e la vita stessa davanti alle insegne, professando di essere cristiano e di non poter più obbedire adeguatamente al giuramento militare, ma solo a Gesù Cristo, subendo per questo il martirio per decapitazione.

La passio di Marcello ci è pervenuta in due recensioni, trasmessa da mss. dispersi nelle biblioteche di Roma, Bruxelles, Londra, Madrid, León, Bordeaux, ecc. Fu pubblicata per la prima volta dal Ruinart, quindi dall'Allard e recentemente dal Delehaye (1923), da García Villada (1929), da J. González (1943), da B. De Gaiffier (1943) e R. Rodriguez (1948).

Il nucleo originale è riconosciuto autentico e consta di due verbali d'interrogatorio in due diversi tribunali a distanza di tre mesi, in due località diverse. Poi, intorno al sec. XI, si aggiungono delle interpolazioni che fanno di Marcello lo sposo di s. Nonia e il padre di dodici figli, Claudio, Lupercio, Vittorico, Facondo, Primitivo, Emeterio, Celidonio, Servando, Germano, Fausto, Gennaro e Marziale. L'origine e l'evoluzione di questa leggenda, profondamente radicata nella tradizione cristiana del popolo di León è stata accuratamente studiata dal De Gaiffier.

Secondo la passio, dunque, il 21 luglio del 298 si celebrava la festa degli "augusti imperatori" e, in quella data Marcello, centurione ordinario, gettò le sue armi alla presenza della truppa riunita e proclamò la sua rinuncia al servizio militare per servire nella milizia di Cristo. Il 28 luglio fu interrogato dal pre side Fortunato, il quale considerando la gravità del delitto, decise di rimandarlo al suo superiore gerarchico, Aurelio Agricolano di Tangeri. Il 30 ottobre Marcello fu di nuovo interrogato, questa volta a Tangeri, e condannato a morte.

Dall'accurato studio del De Gaifiier risulta e vidente che Marcello è un autentico martire africano e che soltanto nelle successive interpolazioni della passio, operate da scrittori spagnoli, è stato trasformato in cittadino di León, sul falso fondamento che egli appartenesse alla legio Traiarti, presunta fondatrice di quella città. Dopo questa identificazione, fatta nel sec. XVI, si credette anche di poter indicare a León la casa del martire nei pressi della Porta Cauriense, oggi trasformata in cappella dedicata al Cristo della Vittoria. Secondo questa stessa tradizione, all'avvento della pace costantiniana venne costruita a León una chiesa dedicata a Marcello.

Il cod. 11 dell'Archivio della cattedrale di León riferisce che Ramiro I (842-850) "restaurò la chiesa di S. Marcello nel suburbio legionense nei pressi della Porta Cauriense, fuori le mura della città...". Presso questa chiesa sorse un monastèro nel quale abitò l'insigne teologo legionense, s. Martino, e nel sec. XII un ospedale con lo stesso nome.

La devozione che aveva fatto di Marcello il patrono principale della città di León, era però nata e si era sviluppata lontano dai suoi resti mortali che si conservavano a Tangeri, per cui, subito dopo la liberazione di questa città, ad opera del re del Portogallo, León richiese le spoglie del suo martire. Anche le città di Jerez e Siviglia se ne disputarono il possesso. Il 29 marzo 1493, comunque, i resti di Marcello portati dallo stesso re Ferdinando il Cattolico, fecero il loro ingresso a León e vennero collocati nella chiesa a lui dedicata. Secondo documenti contemporanei conservati nell'archivio municipale le spoglie ebbero un'accoglienza "come mai ve ne fu di migliore".

Le reliquie si conservano oggi in un'arca d'argento sull'altare maggiore; vi si trovano anche una pergamena in cui si narra l'ingresso nella città e i miracoli da cui fu accompagnato, i documenti relativi alla donazione di una reliquia di M. alla chiesa di S. Gil di Siviglia e alcune lettere del re Enrico IV di Castiglia e di Isabella la Cattolica al papa Sisto IV sulla traslazione del corpo del martire a León.

Le reliquie erano portate in processione insieme con quelle di s. Froilano, in occasione di grandi calamità pubbliche. Ogni anno il 9 ottobre, data della festa, il capitolo cattedrale e la giunta comunale della città si recano processionalmente al tempio di Marcello per assistere alla Messa solenne: i canonici e i consiglieri comunali si dispongono alternati, a simbolizzare il comune e uguale diritto di patronato che per molti secoli ebbero sulla chiesa di S. Marcello e per il quale il sindaco custodiva una delle chiavi dell'arca che racchiude le reliquie del santo.

Autore: José Marìa Fernàndez Catòn

SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/75700

Voir aussi : http://alger-roi.fr/Alger/religion/pages_liees/st_marcel_pn93.htm