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.
"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
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.