Feast of Sts. Honoratus of Arles, Venantius of Modon, Caprasius of Lerins, and Hilary of Arles (May 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Gaul in the Roman Empire

SAINT HONORATUS OF ARLES (DIED 429)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Arles

His feast transferred from January 16

brother of

SAINT VENANTIUS OF MODON (DIED 400)

Roman Catholic Hermit

His feast transferred from May 30

associated with

SAINT CAPRASIUS OF LERINS (DIED 430)

Roman Catholic Hermit

His feast transferred from June 1

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT HILARY OF ARLES (403-449)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Arles

His feast = May 5

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One of the pleasures of writing a post covering more than one saint is exploring the ways in which certain people have influenced each other in the paths of righteousness.  I began the process which led to this post by writing a name–St. Hilary of Arles–out of a book.  The process of researching this saint led to other holy men.  Telling their overlapping stories together makes much sense to me.  Shall we begin?

St. Honoratus of Arles (died 429) came from a prominent Roman family in Gaul.  He became a Christian as a youth. Then St. Honoratus converted his brother, St. Venantius of Modon (died 400).  The brothers and another holy man, St. Caprasius of Lerins (died 430), over the fathers’ objections, traveled to Greece, where they pursued their vocations as hermits.  St. Venantius died at Modon, Greece.  After that event Sts. Honoratus and Caprasius returned to Gaul–the Provence region, to be exact.  They lived as hermits near Frejus briefly before moving along to Lerins, off the Mediterranean coast of Antibes, on the French Riviera.  At Lerins they founded a great monastery in 400.

St. Honoratus became Bishop of Arles against his will in 426, serving until his death three years later.  His immediate successor was a kinsman, St. Hilary of Arles (403-449).  St. Honoratus had converted St. Hilary, a former local government official, who had given his wealth to the poor then joined St. Honoratus at Lerins.  In 426 St. Hilary had joined his kinsman at Arles.  As bishop St. Hilary aided the poor, ransomed many captives, and earned a reputation as a great orator.  Yet other activities got him into trouble with Rome.

One online source, Patron Saints Index, which I consulted, says the following about St. Hilary of Arles:

…his zealousness was causing more trouble than converts.  But though some questioned his methods, none questions his sanctity or true belief.

St. Hilary, in the opinion of Pope St. Leo I “the Great” (reigned 440-461), exercised authority he did not have properly.  St. Hilary tried to extend his authority over the church in southern Gaul.  He was already metropolitan in the region.  Perhaps he thought that his fact gave him the right to depose Chelidonus, Bishop of Besancon.  Pope St. Leo I reversed that action, however.  St. Hilary ran afoul of Rome a second time for replacing another bishop, one Projectus, who was ill.

J. N. D. Kelly, in The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1986, pages 43-44), wrote:

When Hilary of Arles (403-449) seemed to be treating his see as a patriarchate independent of Rome, Leo confined him to his diocese and obtained from Valentinian III (425-455) a rescript recognizing his jurisdiction over all the western provinces.  To prevent the emergence of a patriarchate, he later (450) divided the bishoprics of Gaul between Arles and Vienne.

Prior to that papal action of 450, St. Leo I transferred St. Leo’s metropolitanship to the Bishop of Frejus.  Despite the episcopal politics, Sts. Leo I and Hilary of Arles reconciled.

Faithful men and women of God do, form time to time, enter into disputes against each  other.  May these arguments never overwhelm the fact that we Christians have far more in common than not.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 21, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERAPION OF THMUIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOMAS KEN, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 Lord God, you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses:

 Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Saint Honoratus of Arles,

Saint Venantius of Modon,

Saint Caprasius of Lerins,

and Saint Hilary of Arles,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to our eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

Holy Women, Holy Men:   Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: