Archive for the ‘St. Deogratias’ Tag

Feast of St. Eugenius of Carthage (July 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Kingdom of the Vandals in 526 Common Era

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT EUGENIUS OF CARTHAGE (DIED 505)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Carthage

The Vandals  were a Germanic tribe.  From their Latin name, Vandalus, we derive the English word “vandalism,” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition, defines as

willful or malicious destruction of public of private property.

The Vandals settled in the Iberian peninsula in 409 before establishing their north African kingdom in 429.  They were Arians, adherents to a Christological heresy.  They persecuted Roman Catholics in the realm at some times yet not at others.  When persecutions were in fashion, priests had to surrender their libraries and the crown left episcopal sees vacant.

In 481 King Huneric (reigned 477-184) permitted the election of St. Eugenius as Bishop of Carthage, filling a see left vacant for decades since the time of St. Deogratias (died 457)   At the end of his reign, however, Huneric began what the 1968 Encyclopedia Britannica described as a

fierce persecution,

(Volume 22, page 880)

plundering churches and exiling bishops.  Huneric deported St. Eugenius to the desert near Tripoli, where Anthony, an Arian bishop, tortured the saint.

Gontramund (reigned 484-496) succeeded his uncle Huneric.  In 488 the new king permitted exiled bishops (including St. Eugenius) to return and reopened closed churches.  Gontramund’s successor and brother, Thrasamund (reigned 496-523), practiced limited persecution of Roman Catholics.  “Limited,” in the case of St. Eugenius, meant that the monarch sentenced the bishop to death then commuted the sentence to exile.  The saint ended his days at a monastery near Albi, in the Langudeoc region of Gaul.

The rest of the story is that the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire conquered the Vandals in 534, enslaving most of the population and restoring Roman Catholic churches the Vandals had closed.

One should refrain from engaging in hysterics over public policy disagreements and calling them religious persecution.  There are documented degrees of severity of persecution in history, and public policy disagreements do not rise to even the lowest level of persecution.  To claim that they do trivializes persecution.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA  ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF GILBERT KEITH (G. K.) CHESTERTON, AUTHOR

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

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

Grant that we [encouraged by the example of your servant Saint Eugenius of Carthage]

may persevere in the course that is set before us and, at the last,

share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

Advertisements

Feast of St. Deogratias (March 22)   3 comments

Above:  Carthaginian Ruins

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT DEOGRATIAS (DIED IN 457)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Carthage

History records that competing forces tore the Western Roman Empire apart.  Among these was the group called the Vandals, Slavic and Germanic tribes.  They, along with many others, embraced the Arian heresy.  But their Arianism did not weaken the Empire; their military campaigns of conquest did.  They had conquered Spain by 439, when they took the city of Carthage, in northern Africa.  They exiled the bishop, Quodvultdeus, and most of his clergymen.  There was no bishop in the city for fourteen years.

Emperor Valentinian III (reigned 425-455), toward the end of his reign, persuaded the Vandals to permit the appointment of a new bishop, circa 454.  This bishop was a priest named Deogratias, whose Latin name means “Thanks be to God.”

Gaiseric, the Vandal leader, sacked Rome in 457.  He returned to northern Africa with many enslaved captives, including family members, whom he sold apart from each other.  Bishop Deogratias, full of compassion, sold much of the material wealth of his diocese to raise funds to ransom as many of these slaves as possible and to distribute food daily.  He also converted two large Carthaginian churches into shelters for these unfortunate people.

Members of the Arian faction, resentful of Deogratias, tried and failed to assassinate him.  He did die soon, however, apparently of exhaustion.  The Vandals did not permit the appointment of another bishop for twenty-three years.

Today “vandal” has passed into language as a negative term and the humanitarian legacy of St. Deogratias survives.

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

Compassionate God, we thank you for the heroic and humanitarian legacy of your servant, St. Deogratias, Bishop of Carthage.  Inspired by his example, may we, as opportunities present themselves and we are able to help, assist those in dire circumstances, such as captivity.  May we see Jesus in them, and may we show Christ to them.  Amen.

Isaiah 61:1-4

Psalm 142

James 2:14-26

Matthew 25:31-46

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 23, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES GORE, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF OXFORD

THE FEAST OF JESSIE BARNETT, SOCIAL ACTIVIST IN ATHENS, GEORGIA, U.S.A.

THE FEAST OF PHILLIPS BROOKS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MASSACHUSETTS

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Posted January 23, 2011 by neatnik2009 in March 21-31, Saints of the 400s

Tagged with