• The Royal Road of the Holy Cross: (15)

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue May 25 23:36:14 2021
    The Royal Road of the Holy Cross: (15)

    No man is fit to enjoy heaven unless he has resigned himself to suffer
    hardship for Christ. Nothing is more acceptable to God, nothing more
    helpful for you on this earth than to suffer willingly for Christ. If
    you had to make a choice, you ought to wish rather to suffer for
    Christ than to enjoy many consolations, for thus you would be more
    like Christ and more like all the saints. Our merit and progress
    consist not in many pleasures and comforts but rather in enduring
    great afflictions and sufferings.
    --Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 2, Chapter 12

    May 26th - Pope St. Eleutherius (Eleutheros)

    Pope (c. 174-189). The Liber Pontificalis says that he was a native of Nicopolis, Greece. From his contemporary Hegesippus we learn that he
    was a deacon of the Roman Church under Pope Anicetus (c. 154-164), and evidently remained so under St. Soter, the following pope, whom he
    succeeded about 174. While the condition of Christians under Marcus
    Aurelius was distressing in various parts of the empire, the
    persecution in Rome itself does not seem to have been violent. De
    Rossi, it is true, dates the martyrdom of St. Cecilia towards the end
    of this emperor's reign; this date, however, is by no means certain.
    During the reign of Commodus (180-192) the Christians enjoyed a
    practically unbroken peace, although the martyrdom of St. Appollonius
    at Rome took place at the time (180-185). The Montanist movement, that originated in Asia Minor, made its way to Rome and Gaul in the second
    half of the second century, more particularly about the reign of
    Eleutherius; its peculiar nature made it difficult to take from the
    outset a decisive stand against it (see MONTANISTS). During the
    violent persecution at Lyons, in 177, local confessors wrote from
    their prison concerning the new movement to the Asiatic and Phrygian
    brethren, also to Pope Eleutherius. The bearer of their letter to the
    pope was the presbyter Irenæus, soon afterwards Bishop of Lyons. It
    appears from statements of Eusebius concerning these letters that the
    faithful of Lyons, though opposed to the Montanist movement, advocated forbearance and pleaded for the preservation of ecclesiastical unity.

    Just when the Roman Church took its definite stand against Montanism
    is not certainly known. It would seem from Tertullian's account (adv.
    Praxeam, I) that a Roman bishop did at one time address to the
    Montanists some conciliatory letters, but these letters, says
    Tertullian, were recalled. He probably refers to Pope Eleutherius, who
    long hesitated, but, after a conscientious and thorough study of the
    situation, is supposed to have declared against the Montanists. At
    Rome heretical Gnostics and Marcionites continued to propagate their
    false teachings. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Eleutherius
    a decree that no kind of food should be despised by Christians (Et hoc
    iterum firmavit ut nulla esca a Christianis repudiaretur, maxime
    fidelibus, quod Deus creavit, quæ tamen rationalis et humana est).
    Possibly he did issue such an edict against the Gnostics and
    Montanists; it is also possible that on his own responsibility the
    writer of the "Liber Pontificalis" attributed to this pope a similar
    decree current about the year 500. The same writer is responsible for
    a curious and interesting assertion concerning the early missionary
    activity of the Roman Church; indeed, the "Liber Pontificalis"
    contains no other statement equally remarkable. Pope Eleutherius, says
    this writer, received from Lucius, a British king, a letter in which
    the latter declared that by his behest he wishes to become a Christian
    (Hic accepit epistula a Lucio Brittanio rege, ut Christianus
    efficerentur per ejus mandatum). Whence the author of the first part
    of the "Liber Pontificalis" drew this information, it is now
    impossible to say. Historically speaking, the fact is quite
    improbable, and is rejected by all recent critics.

    As at the end of the second century the Roman administration was so
    securely established in Britain, there could no longer have been in
    the island any real native kings. That some tribal chief, known as
    king, should have applied to the Roman bishop for instruction in the
    Christian faith seems improbable enough at that period. The
    unsupported assertion of the "Liber Pontificalis", a compilation of
    papal biographies that in its earliest form cannot antedate the first
    quarter of the sixth century, is not a sufficient basis for the
    acceptance of this statement. By some it is considered a story
    intended to demonstrate the Roman origin of the British Church, and consequently the latter's natural subjection to Rome. To make this
    clearer they locate the origin of the legend in the course of the
    seventh century, during the dissensions between the primitive British
    Church and the Anglo-Saxon Church recently established from Rome. But
    for this hypothesis all proof is lacking. It falls before the simple
    fact that the first part of the "Liber Pontificalis" was complied long
    before these dissensions, most probably (Duchesne) by a Roman cleric
    in the reign of Pope Boniface II (530-532), or (Waitz and Mommsen)
    early in the seventh century. Moreover, during the entire conflict
    that centered around the peculiar customs of the Early British Church
    no reference is ever made to this alleged King Lucius. Saint Bede is
    the first English writer (673-735) to mention the story repeatedly
    (Hist. Eccl., I, V; V, 24, De temporum ratione, ad an. 161), and he
    took it, not from native sources, but from the "Liber Pontificalis".
    Harnack suggests a more plausible theory (Sitzungsberichte der
    Berliner Akademie, 1904, I, 906-916). In the document, he holds, from
    which the compiler of the "Liber Pontificalis" drew his information
    the name found was not Britanio, but Britio. Now this is the name
    (Birtha- Britium) of the fortress of Edessa. The king in question is, therefore, Lucius Ælius Septimus Megas Abgar IX, of Edessa, a
    Christian king, as is well known. The original statement of the "Liber Pontificalis", in this hypothesis, had nothing to do with Britain. The reference was to Abgar IX of Edessa. But the compiler of the "Liber Pontificalis" changed Britio to Brittanio, and in this way made a
    British king of the Syrian Lucius.

    The ninth-century "Historia Brittonum" sees in Lucius a translation of
    the Celtic name Llever Maur (Great Light), says that the envoys of
    Lucius were Fagan and Wervan, and tells us that with this king all the
    other island kings (reguli Britanniæ) were baptized (Hist. Brittonum,
    xviii). Thirteenth-century chronicles add other details. The "Liber Landavensis", for example (ed. Rees, 26, 65), makes known the names of
    Elfan and Medwy, the envoys sent by Lucius to the pope, and transfers
    the king's dominions to Wales. An echo of this legend penetrated even
    to Switzerland. In a homily preached at Chur and preserved in an
    eighth-or ninth-century manuscript, St. Timothy is represented as an
    apostle of Gaul, whence he came to Britain and baptized there a king
    named Lucius, who became a missionary, went to Gaul, and finally
    settled at Chur, where he preached the gospel with great success. In
    this way Lucius, the early missionary of the Swiss district of Chur,
    became identified with the alleged British king of the "Liber
    Pontificalis". The latter work is authority for the statement that
    Eleutherius died 24 May, and was buried on the Vatican Hill (in
    Vaticano) near the body of St. Peter.


    Saint Quote
    "Resist your impatience faithfully, practicing, not only with reason,
    but even against reason, holy courtesy and sweetness to all, but
    especially to those who weary you the most"
    --St. Francis de Sales

    Bible Quote
    And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into
    heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. 20 But they going forth
    preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word
    with signs that followed.   (Mark 16:19-20)

    Make Me Like Yourself, Mary My Mother
    By St Louis-Marie de Montfort (1673-1716)

    My powerful Queen,
    you are all mine, through your mercy
    and I am all yours.
    Take away from me, all that may displease God
    and cultivate in me, all that is pleasing to Him.
    May the light of your faith,
    dispel the darkness of my mind,
    your deep humility,
    take the place of my pride,
    your continual sight of God,
    fill my memory, with His presence.
    May the love of your heart
    inflame the lukewarmness of mine.
    May your virtues take the place of my sins.
    May your merits, be my enrichment
    and make up for all that is wanting in me, before God.
    My beloved Mother,
    grant that I may have, no other spirit but your spirit,
    to know Jesus Christ and His Divine will
    and to praise and glorify the Lord,
    that I may love God, with burning love like yours.

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