dimanche 19 février 2017

Saint MESROB (MESROP), moine, confesseur et Docteur


Mesrob Mashtots, créateur de l’ alphabet Arménien, 
Grammaire de Simeon de Julfa, Matenadaran, Ms. 5996, 1776. 
- Русский: создателя армянского алфавита Месропа Маштоца

Saint Mesrop

Docteur des arméniens ( 441)

Tout d'abord militaire, il se retire dans la solitude monastique avant de prêcher la foi à ses compatriotes. La nation arménienne lui est reconnaissante de l'avoir dotée d'un merveilleux alphabet à la demande de saint Isaac, le patriarche catholicos, afin de lutter contre le paganisme perse en rendant accessibles à son peuple les saintes Écritures.

Neveu du catholicos saint Houssik, il fit de brillantes études dans les lettres syriaques et helléniques. Secrétaire du roi, il interrompit sa carrière administrative pour devenir moine et prêtre. Il constata que beaucoup des fidèles chrétiens avaient un christianisme superficiel, ne lisant pas les Saintes Écritures, la langue arménienne n'étant pas alors une langue écrite. Il perfectionna un alphabet et commença aussitôt la traduction de l'Écriture Sainte et celle des Pères de l'Église de Cappadoce. L'un de ses disciples, Koriun, fit de même pour la langue géorgienne. Il multiplia les voyages apostoliques, ouvrant des écoles et fondant des monastères aux nombreux calligraphes. Il travaillait à préserver l'identité culturelle de son peuple et il est l'un des plus grands docteurs de cette Église. 

L'Église apostolique arménienne en fait mémoire le 5 juillet.  

A lire aussi Saint Mesrop, docteur des arméniens sur le site de l'Eglise de Polynésie:

"Mesrob (Mesrop, Mastots) a donné à l'Église arménienne une personnalité en lui composant un alphabet à son usage : par là son rôle est comparable à celui des saints Cyrille et Méthode pour les Églises slaves d'Europe. Des deux côtés, initiative importante dont les effets n'ont pas fini de se développer."... "En 440,  inventeur de l’alphabet arménien et traducteur, en cette langue, de la Bible et de divers livres liturgiques. Son œuvre littéraire favorisa l’unité du peuple arménien en dépit des vicissitudes de son histoire."...

En Arménie, vers 440, saint Mesrob, docteur des Arméniens. D’abord soldat puis fonctionnaire au palais royal, il reçut le baptême et se fit moine, composa un alphabet pour la langue arménienne, pour que le peuple soit formé par les saintes Écritures. On lui attribue la traduction en arménien des deux Testaments, des hymnes et d’autres cantiques. (au 17 février au martyrologe romain)

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/9345/Saint-Mesrop.html

Stepanos Nersisian (1815-1884). Mesrop Mashtots, Etchmiadzin Cathedral

Saint Mesrop (+439)

 Fêté le 19 février

Confesseur. Neveu du catholicos saint Houssik, il fit de brillantes études dans les lettres syriaques et helléniques. Secrétaire du roi, il interrompit sa carrière administrative pour devenir moine et prêtre. Il constata que beaucoup des fidèles chrétiens avaient un christianisme superficiel, ne lisant pas les Saintes Ecritures, la langue arménienne n’étant pas alors une langue écrite. Il perfectionna un alphabet et commença aussitôt la traduction de l’Ecriture Sainte et celle des Pères de l’Eglise de Cappadoce. L’un de ses disciples, Koriun, fit de même pour la langue géorgienne. Il multiplia les voyages apostoliques, ouvrant des écoles et fondant des monastères aux nombreux calligraphes. Il travaillait à préserver l’identité culturelle de son peuple et il est l’un des plus grands docteurs de cette Eglise. L’Eglise apostolique arménienne en fait mémoire le 5 juillet.
Francesco Maggiotto (1750-1805). Mesrop Mashtots créant l’alphabet arménien
Nom complet: Mesrop Machtots

Activités: Militaire, administrateur, religieux, théologien, linguiste, hymnologue

Né: en 361/362 à Hatsekats, province de Taron, Grande Arménie (auj. Hac'ik, province de Muş, Turquie)

Mort: le 17 février 440 à Vagharchapat, Arménie perse (auj. Etchmiadzin en Arménie)

Mesrop Machtots (Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց en arménien), né en 361 ou 362 et décédé le 17 février 440 était un moine, théologien, linguiste et hymnologue arménien. Il est surtout connu pour avoir inventé l'alphabet arménien vers 405 de notre ère. Différentes sources et un certain nombre de chercheurs contemporains le créditent aussi de l'origine des alphabets géorgien et aghbanien.

Biographie.

Mesrop Machtots est le fils d'un azat (noble de classe inférieure) nommé Vardan. Il nait  en Arménie occidentale et reçoit une éducation libérale. Il fait de brillantes études et parle couramment quatre langues : le grec, l'araméen, le perse et le géorgien. De plus, il manie l'arménien avec une rare maîtrise.

Il occupe d'abord des fonctions militaires avant de se tourner vers l'administration. Par sa piété et son érudition, il est vite remarqué par les plus hautes instances de l'État et finit comme secrétaire du Roi. Son rôle consistait à écrire en caractères grecs, persans et araméens les décrets et édits du souverain. C'était parce qu'à l'époque la pratique de l'arménien était uniquement orale.

Il quitte ensuite la cour des Arsacides et se consacre à la religion et se retira dans un monastère avec quelques compagnons soigneusement choisis. Là, il choisit une vie pleine d'austérité entre ses nombreux jeûnes et la pauvreté. Il dormait à même le sol et passait souvent des nuits entières dans l'étude et la prière des Saintes Écritures. Cette vie fut la sienne pendant quelques années.

Il constate que malgré que le Christianisme est religion d'État depuis 301, beaucoup de fidèles ne sont que superficiellement chrétiens, car ne lisant pas les Saintes Écritures. La non écriture de la langue nationale apparait alors clairement comme une barrière à l'évangélisation du peuple.

Avec le soutien du Roi et du Patriarche, il se fixe pour objectif la création d'un alphabet arménien de trente-six lettres (trente-huit à partir du XIIème siècle) en partie inspiré du grec. Cette écriture à deux buts : d'une part créée une liturgie arménienne écrite et d'autre part assurer l'unité culturelle et linguistique des Arméniens. Le premier texte rédigé en Grabar (arménien classique, actuelle langue liturgique de l'Église arménienne) est une traduction de la Bible. L'intégralité de son travail va ainsi faire naître la littérature arménienne.

Mesrop Machtots rassembla autour de lui de nombreux disciples et les envoya à Edesse, Constantinople, Athènes, Antioche, Alexandrie, Rome ... dans le but de ramener des chefs-d'œuvre littéraires. Il s'emploie au travail titanesque d'en rédiger des copies en arménien. Beaucoup de ces textes originellement rédigés en grec et en araméen n'ont survécu que par l'exemplaire arménien.

Soucieux que d'autres puissent pleinement profiter de son œuvre, et avec l'encouragement du Roi et du Patriarche, Mesrop fonde de nombreuses écoles dans les différentes régions du pays, là l'alphabet est enseigné. Avec l'aide du Patriarche, il se rendit à Constantinople et obtint l'autorisation de l'Empereur de prêcher et d'enseigner dans ses possessions arméniennes.

Par la suite, il est à l'origine des alphabets géorgien et aghbanien, créées dans le même but que celui des Arméniens.

A la suite de la mort du Patriarche, il se retrouva à la tête de l'administration du patriarcat pendant six mois avant de mourir à son tour.
Le 17 février 440, Mesrop Machtots s'éteint. Korioun, un de ses talentueux et fidèles élèves écrivit : " Saint Mesrop a trouvé sa juste place dans le royaume de Dieu au paradis avec notre tout-puissant Sauveur ". Sa mort fut un véritable deuil pour toute l'Arménie. Il fut inhumé avec tous les honneurs à Ochakan. Sa tombe reste à ce jour un haut lieu de pèlerinage. 
Postérité.

Selon le poète moderne Parouir Sévak, Mesrop Machtots fut " le plus grand homme politique que l'Arménie ait connu ". En créant l'alphabet arménien, il permit l'unité linguistique et culturelle et fit ainsi perdurer sa nation politiquement divisée.

C'est aujourd'hui un saint vénéré par l'Église apostolique arménienne, l'Église catholique arménienne, l'Église catholique romaine et l'Église orthodoxe.

Pratiquement chaque ville en Arménie possède une rue nommée d'après l'érudit Machtots. Par exemple, à Erevan la rue Machtots est l'une des plus importantes du centre-ville. Il existe aussi une statue à sa gloire devant le Matenadaran (qui de son complet est un énième hommage), l'un des plus riches dépôts de manuscrits et de documents au monde. A Ochakan, où sa dépouille repose, une église lui est dédiée. Enfin, il apparait fréquemment sur les timbres émis par l'Arménie.

Il est largement considéré par les spécialistes du sujet comme étant à l'origine de l'alphabet arménien. Cependant, un certain nombre remettent en doute ce qui semblait être une vérité absolue. Selon cette théorie, Mesrop ne serait non pas le créateur mais le restaurateur d'une écriture oubliée et disparue. Cela expliquerait l'étonnante richesse de la langue arménienne déjà à l'époque.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). Mesrop Mashtots, fresque, Würzburg Residence, Bavaria.

MESROP saint (360 env.-440)
Moine, théologien et linguiste inventeur de l'alphabet arménien, Mesrop Machtots (ou Mesrob Machtotz) est né vers 360 à Hatsik (ou Hatsekats), près de Taron, en Arménie (auj. Mus en Turquie), et mort le 17 février 440 à Vagharshapat (auj. Etchmiadzine). Après des études dans les lettres et langues classiques sous la direction du patriarche Nersès Ier, il embrasse la vie monastique vers 395. Ordonné prêtre, il continue à nourrir un grand respect pour l'ascétisme et fonde plusieurs monastères. Il va s'employer à propager la parole des Saintes Écritures dans les contrées reculées d'Arménie, ce qui permet d'éradiquer le mazdéisme, religion héritière du zoroastrisme. Plus tard, il devient secrétaire du roi Vramchapouh, dont il reçoit le soutien dans sa tâche de systématisation d'un alphabet arménien définitif de trente-six lettres, calqué sur le grec (405). On considère qu'il bénéficie également de l'aide de Sahak Partev (Isaac le Grand), patriarche de l'Église apostolique arménienne, ainsi que d'un érudit grec du nom de Rufanos. Deux lettres seront ajoutées au xiie siècle. Cet alphabet va servir en premier lieu à traduire, à partir du grec, la première Bible arménienne populaire (vers 410), en krapar (langue arménienne de cette époque, ve-viie siècles, et langue liturgique actuelle). Mesrop Machtots assure dans ce cadre la traduction du Nouveau Testament et du Livre des Proverbes de l'Ancien Testament. Il procédera par la suite à une révision de l'intégralité du texte biblique. Tous ses efforts vont ainsi participer à l'âge d'or de la littérature chrétienne en Arménie.
Mesrop Machtots envoie ses disciples à Constantinople, Alexandrie et Rome rechercher des manuscrits bibliques et liturgiques. La tradition lui attribue un recueil de commentaires bibliques, la traduction des écrits patristiques, ainsi que des prières et hymnes liturgiques composées sur la base de l'octave. Autant d'éléments qui viennent conforter sa réputation de fondateur des bases de la liturgie nationale arménienne.

SOURCE : http://www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/mesrop/

Mesrob the Teacher B (AC)

(also known as Mesrop)

Born at Taron, Armenia, c. 345; died at Valarshapat, February 19, 441; feast day formerly November 25.


Saint Mesrob 'the Great' was a government official in Armenia, then a hermit and a disciple of Saint Nerses the Great. Mesrob was ordained and devoted himself to the study of Greek, Syriac, and Persian because Armenia had recently been partitioned between Persia and the Empire.

With Saint Isaac the Great, Mesrob was the founder of the Armenian church through his missionary efforts. He is credited with inventing the Armenian alphabet and translating the New Testament and Proverbs into Armenian from the Syriac version.

Mesrob's missionary activities took him into Georgia, where he also had a literary influence, and is said to have sent students as far as Rome in search of manuscripts. He also organized schools in Armenia and Georgia and created a Georgian alphabet.

Mesrob and Isaac began the formation of a distinctly Armenian liturgy of worship based on that of the mother church at Caesarea in Cappadocia. He also founded his own school in Armenia, and continued preaching until his death at Valarshapat aged of 80. The Armenian translation of the Bible has a special value for scholars (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0219.shtml

Mesrob the Vartabed (known as Mashdotz) (438 A.D.)

St. Mesrob was born in the village of Hatzegatz in the province of Daron.  In his early years, he learned both Greek and Persian and served in the Armenian royal court.  Later, he decided to enter the ranks of the clergy, and with some other young men he went to preach in the province of Koghtn around 395 A.D.  During this period, he felt the great need of the Armenian people for an alphabet of their own, so he petitioned Catholicos Sahag, and together they requested the aid of King Vramshabouh.

After much research and travel, Mesrob was able to come up with the skeleton of an alphabet.  However, it did not meet the needs of the Armenian language.  According to tradition, while meditating in a cave near the village of Palu, the saint had a vision, in which "the hand of God wrote the alphabet in letters of fire."  Upon his return to the Catholicos and king, the saint was received with great honors and much joy.

Immediately after the discovery of the alphabet, the Holy Translators worked to translate the Bible; the first words written in the Armenian language were from the Book of Proverbs: "To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding" (Proverbs 1:2).  They also opened schools to teach the newly-discovered alphabet, among whose students were the famous translators Yeghisheh, Movses, Tavit, and Vartan.

After the discovery of the alphabet, St. Mesrob spent many years translating and writing literary and ecclesiastical works.  He went to many provinces where paganism still existed and preached the word of God in the people's own language, with the light of the Holy Gospels.  During this period, he was invited to Georgia and Caucasian Albania, where he likewise invented alphabets to suit the respective local languages.  His life's works have been recorded by one of his famous students, Goriun, in his book, The Life of Mashdotz.  St. Mesrob was buried in Oshagan in the province of Vaspouragan, where a beautiful cathedral has been built in his honor, and where one may go and pay homage at the saint's tomb to the present day.

The Book of Ritual used in the Armenian Church bears the name "Mashdotz" and is dedicated to this great saint.  Although compiled at a later date, it is based on an earlier sacramental anthology attributed to Mashdotz.

St. Mesrob gave the Armenian people the most precious of gifts, and continues to serve as an inspiration to all generations.  Beloved by all, St. Mesrob is a special inspiration to Armenian writers and poets.


San Mesrop Dottore della Chiesa armena


362 – 441

Martirologio Romano: In Armenia, san Mesrop, dottore degli Armeni: discepolo di san Narsete e scrivano nel palazzo reale, divenuto monaco, creò un alfabeto, perché il popolo potesse essere avviato alle sante Scritture, tradusse i due Testamenti e compose inni e altri cantici in lingua armena.

La tradizione vuole che il primitivo annuncio del Vangelo in terra armena avvenne ad opera dei santi apostoli Bartolomeo e Giuda, ma indipendentemente dalla veridicità di tale notizia l’Armenia venne cristianizzata alcuni secoli dopo dal celebre San Gregorio l’Illuminatore. Questi, con il determinante appoggio del re San Tiridate III, nel 310 fece proclamare il cristianesimo religione di stato, undici anni prima che Costantino si limitasse a concedere la libertà di culto nell’impero romano. La Chiesa armena venne poi meglio strutturata da San Narsete I il Parto, il cui figlio Sant’Isacco ne confermò l’autocefalia da quella della Cappadocia, edificando monasteri, eliminando i vescovi coniugati e ponendo le basi di una letteratura in lingua armena. Suo principale collaboratore in questa opera fu proprio San Mesrop, oggi festeggiato.

Ex funzionario statale, quando il territorio armeno fu spartito fra la Persia e l’impero romano d’Oriente, tra il 420 ed il 430, Mesrop meditò di ritirarsi a vita solitaria e, ricevuta l’ordinazione presbiterale, si diede allo studio del greco, del siriaco e del persiano. Si accorse però ben presto come l’efficacia della sua opera missionaria tra la popolazione armena fosse non poco ostacolata dall’assenza di una versione della Bibbia e dei libri liturgici in lingua vernacolare. Fu innanzitutto necessario dotarsi di un alfabeto: con la collaborazione di Sant’Isacco e di un calligrafo greco di nome Rufino, adattò i caratteri minuscoli dell’alfabeto greco insieme ad altri elementi provenienti da diverse fonti, dando così vita ad un nuovo alfabeto composto di trentasei lettere. La sua introduzione diede un grande impulso allo sviluppo della letteratura nazionale ed in pochi anni fu tradotta l’intera Bibbia. Mesrop, che pare abbia curato la traduzione del Nuovo Testamento, meritò così di essere considerato il padre della letteratura ecclesiastica armena. Egli si cimentò inoltre nella traduzione di numerosi testi liturgici e patristici. In seguito si spinse a predicare anche in Georgia, ove condusse a termine un lavoro simile con l’alfabeto di tale nazione. Dopo aver fondato alcune scuole, Mesrop fece ritorno nel suo paese ed incoraggiato da Isacco ne fondò una propria per cimentarsi in nuove traduzioni dal greco e dal siriaco all’armeno.

Il santo morì ormai ultraottantenne nel febbraio del 441 e nel 1962 la Chiesa armena ne ha commemorato solennemente il sedicesimo centenario della nascita. Esistono almeno due versioni della sua Vita, redatte in lingua armena dal fedele discepolo Gorìun.

Autore: Fabio Arduino

Saint BONIFACE de LAUSANNE,


Boniface of Lausanne, O. Cist. B (AC)

Born in Brussels, Belgium; died 1265; cultus approved in 1702. Boniface was educated by the nuns of La Cambre (Camera Santa Mariae) near Brussels. Thereafter he studied in Paris, where he taught dogma and became one of the best-known lecturers in the university. He left the university during a student strike, when his pupils no longer came to his classes, and transferred his chair to the University of Cologne. About 1230, he was consecrated bishop of Lausanne, Switzerland, but found that his zeal and frankness was met by misunderstanding and resentment. Having incurred the enmity of Emperor Frederick II, Boniface was attacked and badly wounded in 1239. Convinced he was unfit for office, he begged the pope to release him. The Holy Father agreed. Boniface resigned to live at the Cistercian convent of La Cambre as chaplain to the nuns. It is uncertain whether he actually became a Cistercian or simply lived out his life among them (Benedictines, Walsh). Saint Boniface is portrayed as a Cistercian bishop with an image of the Virgin and Child on a book. Venerated in Brussels, Cologne, Lausanne, and Paris (Roeder).



samedi 18 février 2017

Saint THEOTONIUS de COIMBRA, abbé bénédictin


Theotonius of Coimbra, OSA, Abbot (AC)

Born in Spain; died 1166; cultus approved by Benedict XIV. Theotonius, nephew of Bishop Cresconius of Coimbra, Portugal, was educated in Coimbra and became an archpriest of Viseu. He proved himself to be an outstanding preacher as well as a man of holiness and austerity. He resigned that office to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return, he continued to work at Viseu. While the queen and her husband, Henry, Count of Portugal, repeatedly urged him to accept a bishopric, he was contemplating retiring further from the world. Theotonius had a tremendous love of the poor and the souls in purgatory, for whom he sang solemn Mass every Friday. This would be followed by a procession to the cemetery in which to whole city joined and in the course of which large sums of money were given in alms for him to distribute among the poor.


But he was no wimp. He was outspoken in rebuking vice, and the greatest in the land feared and respected him. When the widowed queen and Count Ferdinand (whose alliance with her was causing scandal) were present at one of his sermons, Saint Theotonius uttered stern words so obviously directed at them that they were both filled with confusion and retreated hastily. Another time, he was vested to begin the celebration of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin, when he received a message from the queen, who was at the church, asking him to shorten the time he usually took. He sent back word that he was offering Mass in honor of a sovereign who was greater than any royal personage on earth, and that the queen was free to leave or stay.

After a second pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he found that his former preceptor, Tellus, was founding a new Augustinian monastery at Coimbra, and Theotonius decided to join them. He became its 12th prior. Theotonius was highly esteemed by King Alphonsus of Portugal and his Queen Matilda, who lavished gifts on the monastery of the Holy Cross. He was fearless in rebuking vice and exact in the performance of divine service. He was remarkable for his insistence on the exact and reverent recitation of the daily offices; he would never allow them to be garbled or hurried. The king attributed victory over his enemies and recovery from illness to the prayers of Saint Theotonius, and in his gratitude granted the saint's request that he should liberate all his Mozarabic Christian captives. When Alphonsus heard of Theotonius's death, he exclaimed, "His soul will have gone up to heaven before his body is lowered into the tomb." This saint is still highly venerated in Portugal (Benedictines, Walsh). 




San Teotonio Sacerdote


Ganfei (Portogallo), 1080 circa – Coimbra (Portogallo), 18 febbraio 1166

Nato in Spagna intorno al 1080, fu affidato dai genitori allo zio Cresconio, vescovo di Coimbra, in Portogallo. Poté così imparare, sotto la guida dell'arcidiacono Tello, «l'arte della lettura e del canto secondo l'uso dei tempi». Morto lo zio, ricevette gli ordini sacri a Viseo, diocesi suffraganea di Coimbra per poi essere eletto priore della Cattedrale. Incarico cui rinunciò per recarsi pellegrino a Gerusalemme. Al ritorno si dedicò all'attività pastorale, soprattutto alla predicazione e alla confessione. Dopo qualche tempo tornò in Terra Santa. Nel frattempo Tello con altri dieci sacerdoti aveva avviato la costruzione del monastero di Santa Croce, vicino Coimbra. Teotonio aderì entusiasta al progetto e fu eletto priore della nuova comunità di Canonici Regolari di Sant'Agostino. Dopo 21 anni rinunciò alla carica di priore per passare gli ultimi dieci anni di vita nella piena osservanza della regola agostiniana. Morì il 18 febbraio 1166. (Avvenire)

Patronato: Viseo

Emblema: Mitra e pastorale abbaziali

Martirologio Romano: A Coimbra in Portogallo, san Teotonio, che si recò due volte in pellegrinaggio a Gerusalemme e, rifiutata la custodia del Santo Sepolcro, tornato in patria fondò la Congregazione dei Canonici regolari della Santa Croce.

Teotonio nacque verso il 1080 a Ganfei, Valença do Minho, in Portogallo. I suoi genitori, Oveco ed Eugenia lo educarono cristianamente ed in seguito lo affidarono alla cura di suo zio Cresconio, vescovo di Coimbra, in Portogallo. Poté così imparare, sotto la guida dell'arcidiacono Tello, “l’arte della lettura e del canto secondo l’uso dei tempi”.

Morto lo zio, Teotonio fu accolto e ricevette gli ordini sacri a Viseo, diocesi suffraganea di Coimbra. Divenuto sacerdote, eccelse nell’esercizio del suo ministero per lo zelo pastorale e l’assidua pratica delle virtù cristiane, tanto da meritarsi nel giro di pochi anni l’elezione a priore della cattedrale. Rinunciò però assai presto a tale incarico per potersi recare in pellegrinaggio a Gerusalemme. Al suo ritorno rifiuto l’episcopato, ripetutamente ed insistentemente offertogli dal conte Enrico e dalla regina Teresa che si facevano in tal modo portavoci del “consenso del clero e di tutto il popolo”. Teotonio preferì dedicarsi ad un’intensa attività pastorale, cimentandosi prevalentemente nella predicazione e nella confessione. Il suo biografo ne esaltò la carità, la castità e la libertà evangelica, che gli meritarono un unanime senso di ammirazione.

Dopo qualche tempo intraprese un nuovo pellegrinaggio in Terra Santa, dove fu invitato dai canonici regolari del Santo Sepolcro ad entrare a far parte della loro comunità. Il santo non accolse però questa proposta, riservandosi di accettare in un’eventuale altra occasione.

Nel frattempo il suo vecchio maestro Tello insieme ad altri dieci sacerdoti aveva intrapreso la costruzione del nuovo monastero di Santa Croce, nei pressi di Coimbra. Teotonio aderì entusiasta a questo progetto e fu addirittura subito eletto priore di questa nuova comunità di Canonici Regolari di Sant’Agostino. In questo nuovo ruolo assegnatogli poté rivelare le sue qualità di uomo di governo, le sue virtù e la fama di santità e di miracoli che lo circondava, che contribuirono al rapido sviluppo del neonato monastero. Dopo ben ventuno anni rinunciò alla carica di priore, per poter trascorrere gli ultimi dieci anni della sua vita nella più assoluta osservanza della regola agostiniana, esercitandosi in particolar modo nella preghiera e nella penitenza.

San Teotonio morì il 18 febbraio 1166, ormai quasi nonantenne, e fu sepolto nel capitolo del monastero di Santa Croce. Nel 1630 le sue reliqui furono traslate nella chiesa e vennero sistemate sopra l’altare maggiore. Le ossa di un braccio furono donate al monastero di San Vincenzo di Lisbona e l’altro alla cattedrale di Viseo. Sin dal ‘500 il santo fu commemorato dai martirologi nell’anniversario della sua morte e se ne celebrò la festa con Ufficio proprio nelle cattedrali di Braga, Evora, Coimbra, Leiria e Viseo. In quest’ultima San Teotonio è venerato come patrono. L’iconografia tradizionalmente gli attribuisce la mitra ed il pastorale, non per l’episcopato che rifiutò, bensì per la carica abbaziale chè ricoprì.


Autore: Fabio Arduino


Saint LÉO et Saint PAREGORIUS, martyrs


Leo and Paregorius MM (AC)

Died c. 260. Saint Leo witnessed the martyrdom of Saint Paregorius at Patara, Lycia, and found his heart divided between joy for his friend's glorious victory, and sorrow to see himself deprived of the happiness of sharing in it. In the absence of the proconsul of Asia, the governor of Lycia demonstrated his piety to the gods by publishing an order obliging all citizens to offer sacrifice to Serapis. Leo, sad to see both the pagans and some Christians going to adore the idol, went to the tomb of Saint Paregorius and passed the temple of Serapis en route.


The heathens that saw him knew that his was a Christian because of his modesty. From his youth, Leo had practiced austerity and the devotions of an ascetic life. Returning home he fell asleep and dreamed that God was calling him to martyrdom, too.

The next time he visited Paregorius's tomb he walked boldly through the market place and passed the temple of Fortune, which he saw illumined by lanterns. He pitied their blindness and, moved with zeal for the living God, broke many of the lanterns and trampled on the tapers, saying, "Let your gods revenge the injury if they are able to do it." The priest of the temple cried out, "Unless this impiety be punished, the goddess Fortune will withdraw her protection from the city."

An account of the affair soon reached the governor's ears. He ordered the saint brought before him, and said: "Wicked wretch, your sacrilegious action surely bespeaks that you are either ignorant of the immortal gods, or downright mad, in flying in the face of our most divine emperors, whom we justly regard as secondary deities and saviors."

The martyr replied, "You are under a great mistake, in supposing a plurality of gods; there is but one, who is the God of heaven and earth, and who does not stand in need of being worshipped after that gross manner that men worship idols. The most acceptable sacrifice we can offer him is that of a contrite and humble heart."

Offered the choice of sacrificing or dying, Leo chose the narrow way rather than the broad, commodious path offered by the governor. "When I called it narrow," said the martyr, "this was only because it is not entered without difficulty, and that its beginnings are often attended with afflictions and persecutions for justice' sake. But being once entered, it is not difficult to keep in it by the practice of virtue, which helps to widen it and render it easy to those that persevere in it, which has been done by many."

After continued debate, the saint was mercilessly scourged. The governor relented because of Leo's venerable age and told him he would only have to acknowledge the gods and not sacrifice, but still Leo refused. He was then dragged by his feet to his place of execution. After his death his executioners threw his body over a precipice into a deep pit, but it received only a few bruises. The Christians recovered Leo's body and found it of a lively color, and entire, and his face appeared comely and smiling, and they buried it in the most honorable manner they could (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


February 18

SS. Leo and Paregorius, Martyrs

From their ancient authentic acts in Ruinart, Bollandus, &c

Third Age.


ST. PAREGORIUS having spilt his blood for the faith at Patara, in Lycia, St. Leo, who had been a witness of his conflict, found his heart divided between joy for his friend’s glorious victory and sorrow to see himself deprived of the happiness of sharing in it. The proconsul of Asia being absent in order to wait on the emperors, probably Valerian and Galien, the governor of Lycia, residing at Patara, to show his zeal for the idols, published an order on the festival of Serapis, to oblige all to offer sacrifice to that false god. Leo seeing the heathens out of superstition, and some Christians out of fear, going in crowds to adore the idol, sighed within himself, and went to offer up his prayers to the true God, on the tomb of St. Paregorius, to which he passed before the temple of Serapis, it lying in his way to the martyr’s tomb. The heathens that were sacrificing in it knew him to be a Christian by his modesty. He had exercised himself from his childhood in the austerities and devotions of an ascetic life, and possessed, in an eminent degree, chastity, temperance, and all other virtues. His clothes were of a coarse cloth made of camel’s hair. Not long after his return home from the tomb of the martyr, with his mind full of the glorious exit of his friend, he fell asleep, and from a dream he had on that occasion, understood, when he awaked, that God called him to a conflict of the same kind with that of St. Paregorius, which filled him with inexpressible joy and comfort.

Wherefore the next time he visited the martyr’s tomb, instead of going to the place through by-roads, he went boldly through the market-place, and by the Tychæum, or temple of Fortune, which he saw illuminated with lanterns. He pitied their blindness; and, being moved with zeal for the honour of the true God, he made no scruple to break as many of the lanterns as were within reach, and trampled on the tapers in open view, saying: “Let your gods revenge the injury if they are able to do it.” The priest of the idol having raised the populace, cried out: “Unless this impiety be punished, the goddess Fortune will withdraw her protection from the city.” An account of this affair soon reached the ears of the governor, who ordered the saint to be brought before him, and on his appearance addressed him in this manner: “Wicked wretch, thy sacrilegious action surely bespeaks thee either ignorant of the immortal gods, or downright mad, in flying in the face of our most divine emperors, whom we justly regard as secondary deities and saviours.” The martyr replied with great calmness: “You are under a great mistake, in supposing a plurality of gods: there is but one, who is the God of heaven and earth, and who does not stand in need of being worshipped after that gross manner that men worship idols. The most acceptable sacrifice we can offer him is that of a contrite and humble heart.” “Answer to your indictment,” said the governor, “and don’t preach your Christianity. I thank the gods, however, that they have riot suffered you to lie concealed after such a sacrilegious attempt. Choose therefore either to sacrifice to them, with those that are here present, or to suffer the punishment due to your impiety.” The martyr said: “The fear of torments shall never draw me from my duty. I am ready to suffer all you shall inflict. All your tortures cannot reach beyond death. Eternal life is not to be attained but by the way of tribulations; the scripture accordingly informs us, that narrow is the way that leadeth to life.” Since you own the way you walk in is narrow,” said the governor, “exchange it for ours, which is broad and commodious.” “When I called it narrow,” said the martyr, “this was only because it is not entered without difficulty, and that its beginnings are often, attended with afflictions and persecutions for justice sake. But being once entered, it is not difficult to keep in it by the practice of virtue, which helps to widen it and render it easy to those that persevere in it, which has been done by many.”

The multitude of Jews and Gentiles cried out to the judge to silence him. But he said, he allowed him liberty of speech, and even offered him his friendship if he would but sacrifice. The confessor answered: “You seem to have forgotten what I just before told you, or you would not have urged me again to sacrifice. Would you have me acknowledge for a deity that which has nothing divine in its nature?” These last words put the governor in a rage, and he ordered the saint to be scourged. Whilst the executioners were tearing his body unmercifully, the judge said to him: “This is nothing to the torments I am preparing for you. If you would have me stop here, you must sacrifice.” Leo said: “O judge, I will repeat to you again what I have so often told you: I own not your gods, nor will I ever sacrifice to them.” The judge said: “Only say the gods are great, and I will discharge you. I really pity your old age.” Leo answered: “If I allow them that title, it can only be with regard to their power of destroying their worshippers.” The judge in a fury said: “I will cause you to be dragged over rocks and stones, till you are torn to pieces.” Leo said: “Any kind of death is welcome to me, that procures me the kingdom of heaven, and introduces me into the company of the blessed.” The judge said: “Obey the edict, and say, the gods are the preservers of the world, or you shall die.” The martyr answered: “You do nothing but threaten: why don’t you proceed to effects?” The mob began to be clamorous, and the governor, to appease them, was forced to pronounce sentence on the saint, which was, that he should be tied by the feet, and dragged to the torrent, and there executed; and his orders were immediately obeyed in a most cruel manner. The martyr being upon the point of consummating his sacrifice, and obtaining the accomplishment of all his desires, with his eyes lifted up to heaven, prayed thus aloud: “I thank thee, O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for not suffering me to be long separated from thy servant Paregorius. I rejoice in what has befallen me as the means of expiating my past sins. I commend my soul to the care of thy holy angels, to be placed by them where it will have nothing to fear from the judgments of the wicked. But thou, O Lord, who willest not the death of a sinner, but his repentance, grant them to know thee, and to find pardon for their crimes, through the merits of thy only son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” He no sooner repeated the word Amen, together with an act of thanksgiving, but he expired. His executioners then took the body and cast it down a great precipice into a deep pit; and notwithstanding the fall, it seemed only to have received a few slight bruises. The very place which was before a frightful precipice, seemed to have changed its nature; and the act says, no more dangers or accidents happened in it to travellers. The Christians took up the martyr’s body, and found it of a lively colour, and entire, and his face appeared comely and smiling; and they buried it in the most honourable manner they could. The Greeks keep his festival on the 18th of February.

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



Saint Leo of Patara


At Patara, in Lycia, a great festival was once being celebrated in honor of a certain idol, at which a great concourse assembled; some having gone willingly, and many through fear, as an edict had been published to that effect. Saint Leo, who was a good Christian, departed from the city, and went to perform his devotions before the relics of Saint Paregorius, who had died for the faith some short time previously. Upon his return home, Saint Paregorius appeared to him in a vision, standing at the opposite side of a torrent, and inviting him to pass over.

Saint Leo hence conceived a great hope that he would be honored with martyrdom; and going, some days after, to make a second visit to the tomb of Saint Paregorius, he passed by the temple of Fortune, where many lanterns burned before the idol. Impelled by a special impulse of the Holy Ghost, he entered the temple and threw down the lights: but the idolaters, enraged at the insult offered to their idol, raised such a clamor, that the governor heard of the affair, and ordered that the saint should be brought before him.

When Leo made his appearance, the governor rebuked him for the outrage he had committed against the gods, in violation of the commands of the sovereign.

Saint Leo, animated with holy zeal, replied: “Thou speakest to me of the gods, as if there were many: there is but one God, and Jesus Christ is his only begotten Son. Since statues of stone and wood are devoid of sense and feeling, of what use can lanterns be to them? If thou hadst the knowledge of the true God, thou wouldst not worship these false deities. Oh, do abandon this vain superstition, and adore our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!”

The governor said: “Thou dost then exhort me to become a Christian? Better it were for thee to conform to the general practice, lest thy rashness be punished as it deserves.”

Saint Leo with increased ardor replied: “I see about me a multitude of those who, blindly persevering in error, despise the true God; but I am a Christian notwithstanding, and follow the instructions of the apostles. If this deserve chastisement, award it; for I am determined to suffer every torture, rather than become the slave of the devil. Others may do as they please, since they are solicitous merely for the present, and are reckless of the future life, which is to be obtained only by sufferings. The Scripture tells us that narrow is the way which leadeth to life.”

The governor observed: “Since, then, the way of the Christians is narrow; exchange it for ours, which is wide and commodious.”

Saint Leo answered: “I have said that the way is narrow, because it is one of affliction, and of persecutions suffered for justice sake; but it is wide enough for those who walk therein, because their faith, and the hope of an eternal reward, make it so to them. The love of virtue maketh that easy which to thee seemeth difficult. On the contrary, the road of vice is in reality narrow, and leads to an eternal precipice.”

This discourse was most unpalatable to the pagans, who accordingly exclaimed that the impious man, who had spoken against their religion, should be silenced.

The governor then asked Saint Leo whether he would sacrifice; and being answered that his compliance was totally impossible, he ordered him to be scourged.

Although this command was most cruelly executed, the saint suffered without a groan; whereupon the governor threatened still greater torments, but the saint answered:

“I know not these gods, and will never sacrifice to them.”

“At least,” said the governor, “say that our gods are great, and I will dismiss thee, for I have compassion upon thy old age.”

Saint Leo replied: “They are great for the destruction of those souls that believe in them.”

The governor, infuriated at this reply, said: “I will order thee to be dragged over stones till thou art torn to pieces.” The saint replied: “I shall welcome any kind of death that procures me the kingdom of heaven, and that blessed life which I shall enjoy in company with the saints, upon my departure from this world.”

The tyrant continued to importune him to sacrifice, or at least to acknowledge that the gods could save him from death.

The saint replied: “Thou art very weak, since thou dost nothing but threaten, without putting thy threats into execution.”

The populace, being enraged at this reply, obliged the judge to condemn the saint to be tied by the feet and dragged through a torrent.

Saint Leo, finding himself about to obtain the accomplishment of his desire to die for Jesus Christ, raised his eyes to heaven, and prayed after the following manner: “I thank Thee, O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for granting me the grace to follow Thy servant Paregorius. I praise Thee, because Thou hast enabled me, by martyrdom, to cancel my past sins. I commend my soul to the care of Thy holy angels, that it may be saved from the perdition prepared for the wicked. I beseech Thee, by that which it is my blessed lot to suffer, to have mercy on those who are the cause thereof; and since Thou desirest not the death of the sinner, grant them the grace to recognize Thee as the Lord of the universe. May all that which I suffer in the name of Jesus Christ thy Son redound to Thy glory forever and ever. Amen.”

As soon as he pronounced the word Amen, he rendered up his soul to God, and went to enjoy the crown to which Saint Paregorius had invited him.

The executioners cast the body into a deep pit, in order to break it to pieces; but it was taken thence and found entire, with only a few slight bruises, and the face appeared comely and smiling.

*from Victories of the Martyrs, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Saint FLAVIEN de CONSTANTINOPLE, évêque




Saint Flavien de Constantinople

Patriarche, malmené lors du brigandage d'Ephèse ( 449)

que les Eglises d'Orient fêtent quelques jours plus tôt. 

Il fut victime de son zèle pour l'Orthodoxie en luttant contre l'hérésie monophysite d'Eutychès. Alors qu'il assistait au concile convoqué par l'empereur Théodose II, le 8 août 449, dans une église d'Ephèse, une foule de soldats, de matelots et de moines exaltés envahirent l'église et rouèrent de coups les Pères conciliaires hostiles à Eutychès. Ce furent ces gaillards qui, ce jour-là, décidèrent qu'il n'y avait qu'une seule nature en Jésus-Christ. Ils s'acharnèrent sur saint Flavien qui fut jeté en prison et mourut peu de jours après des coups reçus, parce qu'il restait attaché à la foi de l'Église. Le Pape saint Léon approuva la conduite de Flavien qui fut réhabilité par le concile œcuménique de Chalcédoine en 451 qui le proclama saint et martyr.

Lorsque l'empereur Théodose lui demanda une offrande en or, il lui envoya les vases sacrés de la Grande Eglise Saint Sophie avec ces paroles :" En fait d'or, nous avons ces vases sacrés qui sont la propriété de Dieu." Théodose retira son exigence. Quand Eutychès refusa les décisions du concile de 448 et écrivit au pape de Rome pour lui donner sa version, Flavien écrivit également au pape dont la réponse est restée célèbre sous le nom de ‘tome à Flavien" et fut lue au concile de Chalcédoine en 451. Quelques années plus tard, Eutychès intrigua auprès de l'empereur et, lors d'un pseudo-concile, connu sous le nom de "brigandage d'Ephèse", il obtint que saint Flavien soit destitué, les légats du pape renvoyés. Comme saint Jean Chrysostome, saint Flavien mourut sur le chemin de l'exil en raison des mauvais traitements et des coups qu'il avait reçus.


Commémoraison de saint Flavien, évêque de Constantinople. Pour avoir défendu la foi catholique à Éphèse, il fut déposé, frappé à coups de poing et de pied par les partisans de l’impie Dioscore et mourut peu après, sur la route de l’exil, en 449.


Martyrologe romain


Flavian of Constantinople BM (RM)


Died in Hypepe, Lydia, 449. Appointed patriarch of Constantinople to succeed Saint Proclus in 447, Flavian incurred the enmity of Chrysaphius, chancellor of Emperor Theodosius III, by withholding the customary bribe on his accession to the see and that of the emperor himself by refusing to make his sister, Pulcheria, a deaconess. It was not long before Flavian crowned these political nightmares by denouncing the heresy of Eutyches, abbot of a nearby monastery and a favorite of the imperial court (he was godfather to Chrysaphius). Flavian maintained that Jesus was fully human against those like Eutyches who taught that he had only a divine nature. The condemnation was repeated by Eusebius of Dorylaeum at a synod called by Flavian in 448, and Eutyches was deposed and excommunicated. In this Flavian was supported by Pope Leo the Great who sent Flavian a letter, which we now call the 'Tome of Leo,' asserting that in Jesus Christ 'there was born true God in the entire and perfect nature of true man.'


Chrysaphius persuaded Theodosius to convene a council at Ephesus (the 'Robber Synod') in 449. Dioscorus of Alexandria presided, and in meetings characterized by violence and intimidation, the emperor's soldiers refused to allow Leo's letter to be read. Eusebius and Flavian were deposed and Dioscorus was declared patriarch. The order was enforced by the soldiers who required each bishop present to sign the deposition order. Flavian was so badly beaten that he died three days later in prison.

The acts of this 'robber synod' were reversed when Theodosius died in 450 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451 reinstated Eusebius, deposed and exiled Dioscoros, and proclaimed Flavian a saint and a martyr. Upon his accession to the throne in 451, Emperor Marcian had Chrysaphius executed (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia)

St. Flavian
Bishop of Constantinople, date of birth unknown; d. at Hypæpa in Lydia, August, 449. Nothing is known of him before his elevation to the episcopate save that he was a presbyter and skeuophylax or sacristan, of the Church of Constantinople, and noted for the holiness of his life. His succession to St. Proclus as bishop was in opposition to the wishes of the eunuch Chrysaphius minister of Emperor Theodosius, who sought to bring him into imperial disfavour. He persuaded the emperor to require of the new bishop certain eulogiae on the occasion of his appointment, but scornfully rejected the proffered blessed bread on the plea that the emperor desired gifts of gold. Flavian's intrepid refusal, on the ground of the impropriety of thus disposing of church the treasures, aroused considerable enmity against him. Pulcheria, the emperor's sister, being Flavian's staunch advocate Chrysaphius secured the support of the Empress Eudocia. Although their first efforts to involve St. Flavian in disgrace miscarried, an opportunity soon presented itself. At a council of bishops convened at Constantinople by Flavian, 8 Nov., 448, to settle a dispute which had arisen among his clergy, the archimandrite Eutyches, who was a relation of Chrysaphius was accused of heresy by Eusebius of Dorylaeum. (For the proceedings of the council see EUSEBIUS OF DORYLAEUM; EUTYCHES.) Flavian exercised clemency and urged moderation, but in the end the refusal of Eutyches to make an orthodox declaration on the two natures of Christ forced Flavian to pronounce the sentence of degradation and excommunication. He forwarded a full report of the council to Pope Leo I, who in turn gave his approval to Flavian's decision (21 May, 449) and the following month (13 June) sent him his famous "Dogmatic Letter". Eutyches' complaint that justice had been violated in the council and that the Acts had been tampered with resulted in an imperial order for the revision of Acts, executed (8 and 27 April, 449). No materior could be established, and Flavian was justified.

The long-standing rivalry between Alexandria and Constantinoble now became a strong factor in the dissensions. It had been none the less keen since the See of Constantinoble had been officially declared next in dignity to Rome, and Dioscurus, Bishop of Alexandria, was quite ready to join forces with Eutyches against Flavian. Even before the revision of the Acts of Flavian's council, Chrysaphius had persuaded the emperor of the necessity for an oecumenical council to adjust matters, and the decree went forth that one should convene at Ephesus under the presidency of Dioscurus, who also controlled the attendance of bishops, Flavian and six bishops who had assisted at the previous synod were allowed no voice, being, as it were, on trial. (For a full account of the proceedings see ROBBER COUNCIL OF EPHESUS). Eutyches was absolved of heresy, and despite the protest of the papal legate Hilary (later pope), who by his Contradicitur annulled the decisions of the council, Flavian was condemned and deposed. In the violent scenes which ensued he was so ill-used that three days later he died in his place of exile. Anatolius, a partisan of Dioscurus, was appointed to succeed him.

St. Flavian was repeatedly vindicated by Pope Leo, whose epistle of commendation failed to reach him before his death. The pope also wrote in his favour to Theodosius, Pulcheria, and the clergy of Constantinople, besides convening a council at Rome, wherein he designated the Council of Ephesus Ephecinum non judicium sed latrocinium. At the council of Chalcedon (451) the Acts of the Robber Council were annulled and Flavian eulogized as a martyr for the Faith. Pope Hilary had Flavian's death represented pictorially in a Roman church erected by him. On Pulcheria's accession to power, after the death of Theodosius, she brought the remains of her friend to Constantinople where they were received in triumph and interred with those of his predecessors in the see. In the Greek Menology and the Roman Martyrology his feast is entered 18 February, the anniversary of the translation of his body. Relics of St. Flavian are honoured in Italy.

St. Flavian's appeal to Pope Leo against the Robber Council has been published by Amelli in his work "S. Leone Magno e l'Oriente" (Monte Cassino, 1890), also by Lacey (Cambridge, 1903). Two other (Greek and Latin) letters to Leo are preserved in Migne, P.L. (LIV, 723-32, 743-51), and one to Emperor Theodosius also in Migne, P.G. (LXV, 889-92).

Rudge, F.M. "St. Flavian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 18 Feb. 2017 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06098c.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.