Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

calamity, and it would appear as if God had purposely collected so many persons together, that they might be witnesses of his holy death, and honour his remains. His last sickness lasted five days; and, on the day of his death, the 2nd of September, he recommended to God all his disciples then present. He then made three genuflections, and raised his eyes in ecstasy three times to heaven. The immense multitude, who surrounded him and came to witness his happy transit, all cried out with a loud voice for his benediction. The saint then looked round to the four parts of the world, raised up his hands, recommended them to God, and blessed them. He again raised his eyes to heaven, struck his breast three times, laid his head on the shoulder of one of his disciples, and calmly expired. His sacred body was brought to Antioch, which was four miles distant. The coffin was borne by bishops and priests, and innumerable torches blazed and censors burned around. Martirius, Bishop of Antioch, and several other bishops, were in the procession. "The General Ardaburius, at the head of 6,000 soldiers, twenty-one counts, and many tribunes, and the magistracy of the city, also attended. When the sacred remains were brought into the city, they were buried in the great church commenced by Constantine and finished by Constans, and his was the first body laid there. A magnificent church, described by Evagrius, was afterwards built near his pillar (51). St. Simon had a perfect imitator in St. Daniel, who also lived on a pillar, and was a powerful defender of the Church against the partisans of Eutyches (52), These are miracles which the Catholic faith alone produces, and which are never seen among heretics. Plants of this sort cannot grow in a soil cursed by God;—they can only take root in that Church where the true faith is professed.

79. We will now revert to the impious heroes of the Eutychian heresy. When Timothy Eleurus died, the heretical bishops of the province, by their own authority, chose in his place Peter Mongos, or Moggos, that is, the “Stammerer" (53). He was before archdeacon, and he was consecrated at night by one schismatical bishop alone. The Emperor Zeno, when informed of this, determined not to let it pass unpunished; he therefore wrote to Antemius, Governor of Egypt, to punish the bishop who ordained Mongos, and to drive Mongos himself out of Alexandria, and to restore Timothy Salofacialus to his See. This was in 477, and the Emperor's orders were immediately executed (54). Salofacialus having died in the year 482, John Thalaia was elected in his place; but as he was not on terms with Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, that prelate worked on the Emperor to banish him, and place Mongos once more in the See of Alexandria. He succeeded in his plans,

(51) Orsi, cit., 11. 57. (52) Orsi, c. 15, l. 35, n. 62. (53) Orxi, t. 15, 1. 35, 11. 66, 68. (51) Fleury, l: 29, n. 49, ex Gennad. de Scrip. Eccles. 1. 80.

by representing to the Emperor that Mongos was a favourite with the people of Alexandria, and that, by placing him in that See, it would not be difficult to unite in one Faith all the people of that Patriarchate. The Emperor was taken with the suggestion, and wrote to the Pope Simplicius to re-establish Mongos in the Alexandrian See; but the Pope told him he never would put his hand to such an arrangement. The Emperor was very angry at this refusal, and wrote to Pergamius, Duke of Egypt, and to Apollonius, the Governor, to drive John out of the See of Alexandria, which he held at the time, and to replace him by Peter Mongos (55).

SEC. III. -THE HENOTICON OF THE EMPEROR ZENO.

80. The Emperor Zeno publishes his Henoticon. 81. Mongos anathematizes Pope St.

Leo and the Council of Chalcedon. 82. Peter the Fuller intrusted with the See of Antioch. 83. Adventures and Death of the Fuller. 84. Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, dies excommunicated. 80. ACACIUS, with the assistance of the protectors of Mongos, induced the Emperor to publish his famous Henoticon, or Decree of Union, which Peter was to sign as agreed on in resuming possession of the See of Alexandria. This decree was afterwards sent to all the bishops and people, not only of Alexandria, but of all Egypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis (1). This is the substance of the edict: “ The abbots, and many other venerable personages, having asked for the re-union of the Christians, to put an end to the sad effects of division, by which many have remained deprived of baptism and the holy communion, and numberless other disorders have taken place. On this account we make known to you that we receive no other creed, but that of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of Nice, confirmed by the one hundred and fifty Fathers of Constantinople, and followed by the Fathers of Ephesus, who condemned Nestorius and Eutyches. We likewise receive the Twelve Articles of Cyril, and we confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is God, the only Son of God, who has become incarnate in truth, is consubstantial to the Father, according to his Divinity, and consubstantial to us according to his humanity; he descended and is incarnate from the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary-(Noel Alexander thus transcribes it: 'ex Spiritu Sancto de Maria Virgine;' but it would be better to have said, as in the first Council of Constantinople, de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine,'-chap. iv. n. 74), Mother of God, and is one Son alone, and not two Sons. We say that it is the same Son of God who wrought miracles, and voluntarily suffered in the flesh; and we receive not those who divide or confound the two natures, or who only admit a simple appearance of Incarnation. We excommunicate whoever believes, or at any other time has believed differently, either in Chalcedon,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

or in any other Council, and especially Nestorius, Eutyches, and their followers. Unite yourself to the Church, our Spiritual Mother, for she holds the same sentiments." This is the copy Fleury (2) gives, and the one adduced by N. Alexander corresponds with it, in every respect (3). Cardinal Baronius rejects the Henoticon, as heretical (4); but N. Alexander justly remarks, that it does not deserve to be stamped as heretical, for it does not establish the Eutychian heresy, but, on the contrary, impugns and condemns it; but he wisely adds, that it injured the cause of the Faith, and favoured the Eutychian heresy, inasmuch as it said nothing about St. Leo's Epistle or the definition of the Council of Chalcedon on the words of two and in two natures, which is the touchstone against the perfidy of the Eutychian heresy (5).

81. Let us now return to Peter Mongos, who was placed on the throne of Alexandria, received the Henoticon, and caused it to be received not only by his own party, but by the friends of St. Proterius likewise, with whom he did not refuse to communicate, not to give cause to suspect his bad faith; and on the celebration of a festival in Alexandria, he spoke to the people in the church in favour of it, and caused it to be publicly read. While he was acting thus, however, he excommunicated the Council of Chalcedon and the Epistle of St. Leo, he removed from the Dyptichs the names of St. Proterius and of Timothy Salofacialus, and substituted those of Dioscorus and Eleurus (6). Finally, this faithful companion and imitator of Eleurus, after persecuting the Catholics in various ways, ended his days in the year 490 (7).

82. We have now to speak of another perfidious Eutychian priest, who, in the same century, about the year 469, caused a great deal of harm to the Church of Antioch. This was Peter the Fuller. At first he was a monk in the monastery of Acemeti, in Bythinia, opposite Constantinople, and was by trade a fuller, from which he took his name.

He then went to Constantinople, and, under the appearance of piety, gained the favour of the great, and, in particular, of Zeno, the son-in-law of the Emperor Leo, who began to look on him with a favourable eye. Zeno brought him with himself to Antioch, and he set his eye on that See, and induced Zeno to protect him. He commenced by calumniating Martyrius, Bishop of Antioch, and accused him of being a Nestorian. Having thus, , by means of a great number of friends of his, Appollinarists, got up a disturbance in the city, he persuaded Zeno that the only way to re-establish peace was to drive Martyrius out of the city, and then he stepped into his place. The first way he showed himself was, by adding to the Trisagion of the Mass, Holy, Holy, Holy, the words “ who was crucified for us," to show that he believed that the

(2) Fleury, t. 4, l. 29, n. 53. (3) Nat. Alex. t. 10, c. 3, a. 15, s. 4. Ann. 428. (5) Nat. Alex. loc. cit. (6) Fleury, t. 4,1. 29, n. 54. Alex. t. 10, c. 3, ar. 14, s. 5; Fleury, t. 5, 1, 30, n. 21.

(4) Baron.

(7) Nat.

Divinity was crucified in the person of Christ (8). Martyrius went to Constantinople, and appealed to the Emperor, and Peter did the same, and brought with him a bill of calumnious charges against the bishop; but Leo condemned the usurpation of the fuller, and sent Martyrius back with honour to his See. On his arival in Antioch, Martyrius found a large party opposed to him, and though he tried, he could not bring them to terms; he therefore resolved to withdraw, and said publicly in the church: “I reserve to myself the dignity of the priesthood, but I renounce a disobedient people and a rebellious clergy. When the Fuller thus saw the See again vacated, he took possession of it once more, and was recognized as Patriarch of Antioch. When this was told to St. Gennadius, he (9) informed the Emperor, and he at once gave orders that Peter should be sent in exile to the Oasis; but he had knowledge of the sentence beforehand, and saved himself by flight (10).

83. On the death of the Emperor Leo, in the year 474, Zeno was declared his successor; but as Basiliscus had seized on the sovereign power in 476, as we have already seen (he was brother to the Empress Verina), the Fuller was reinstated by him in the See of Antioch. In the following year, 477, Zeno recovered his dominions, and had him deposed in a Council of the East, and John, Bishop of A pamea, was elected in his place (11). John only held the See three months; he was driven out also, and Stephen, a pious man, was chosen in his place; but he had governed only a year when the heretics rose up against him, stabbed him to death in his own church with sharp-pointed reeds, and afterwards dragged his body through the steets, and threw it into the river (12). Another bishop of the name of Stephen was now ordained, and Peter the Fuller was sent in banishment to Pitiontum, on the frontiers of the empire, in Pontus; but he deceived his guards, and fled to another place (13), and in the year 484 was a third time re-established in the Sce of Antioch, with the consent of Acacius, who had himself so often condemned bin (14). At length, after committing a great many acts of in. justice against several churches, and stained with cruelty, he died in 488, having retained his See since his last usurpation little more than three years. Thus, in the end of the fifth century, the Divine justice overtook the chiefs and principal supporters of the Eutychian heresy, for the Fuller died in 488, Acacius in 489, Mongos in 490, and Ženo in 491.

84. Speaking of Acacius, it would be well if those who are ambitious for a bishopric would reflect on the miserable end of this unhappy prelate. He succeeded a saint, St. Gennadius, on the throne of Constantinople in 472; but he did an immensity of injury

(8) Fleury, 1. 4, 1. 29, n. 30; Orsi, t. 15, 1. 35, n. 18; Nat. Alex. t. 10, c. 3, art. 17. (9) Liberat. Breviar llis. Eutych. (10) Orsi, loc. cit. (11) Orsi, ibid. n. 64 & 69. (12) Orsi, vide ibid. ; Fleury, loc. cit. n. 49, in fin. ex Evagr. l. 3, c. 10. (13) Fleury, ibid. n. 50. (14) Fleury, 1.5, 1. 30, n. 17; Nat. Alex. loc. cit.

to the Church, for, although not infected with the heresy of the Eutychians, he was their great protector, and, by his bad practices, kept alive a great schism, which was not extinguished till thirty years or more after his death (15). He was accused to the Pontiff, St. Felix, of many negligences of duty, and especially of communicating with the impious Mongos, who had anathematized the Council of Chalcedon and the Epistle of St. Leo. The Pope admonished him to repent; but, taking no notice of his remonstrances, he deposed and excommunicated him, and in that state he lived for the remainder of his life, and died so (16). At his death, in fine, we are horrified at reading of the ruin of religion all over the East, for the churches were either in possession of heretics, or of those who communicated with heretics, or, at least, of those who, by communicating with heretics, were separated from the communion of Rome; and almost all this evil originated in the protection given by Acacius to the enemies of the Church. While I write this I tremble. A bishop myself, and considering how many, on account of being exalted to that dignity, have prevaricated and lost their souls-many, I say, who, if they had remained in a private

I condition, would be more easily saved. I abstract altogether from the question, whether he who looks for a mitre is in a state of mortal sin, but I cannot understand how any one, anxious to secure his salvation, can wish to be a bishop, and thus voluntarily expose himself to the many dangers of losing their souls, to which bishops are subject.

a

а

CHAPTER VI.

HERESIES OF THE SIXTH CENTURY.

ARTICLE I.

OF THE ACEPHALI, AND THE DIFFERENT SECTS THEY SPLIT INTO.

1. Regulation made by the new Emperor, Auastasius, to the great Detriment of the

Church. 2. Anastasius persecutes the Catholics ; his awful Death. 3. The Acephali, and their Chief, Severus. 4. The Sect of the Jacobites. 5. The Agnoites. 6. The Tritheists. 7. The Corruptibilists. 8. The Incorruptibilists. 9. Justinian falls into this Error. 10. Good and bad Actions of the Emperor. 11, 12. The Acemetic

Monks; their Obstinacy. 1. When Zeno died, the Catholics hoped for peace: but, in 491, Anastasius was elected Emperor, and he commenced a long and fierce persecution against the Church (1). In his private life he appeared a pious man; but when he was raised to the Empire, and

(15) Orsi, 15, l. 35, n. 27. 17.57.

(16) Orsi, t. 16, 1. 36, 16. 27, 28.

(1) Orsi, t. 16, 1. 36,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »