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many long years. He will bless us from that throne which he won by the Cross, and will obtain for us the grace we so much need, the grace of conversion. The following is the Lesson given on St. Simeon :
Simeon, filius Cleophæ, post Jacobum proximus Hierosolymis ordinatus episcopus, Trajano imperatore, apud Atticum consularem est accusatus, quod christianus esset, et Christi propinquus. Comprehendebantur enim omnes eo tempore, quicumque ex genere David orti essent. Quare multis cruciatus tormentis, eodem passionis genere, quod Salvator noster subierat, afficitur, mirantibus omnibus, quod homo ætate confectus (erat enim centum et viginti annorum) acerbissimos crucis dolores fortiter constanterque pateretur.
Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was ordained Bishop of Jerusalem, and was St. James' immediate successor in that See. In the reign of the Emperor Trajan, he accused to the Consul Atticus of being a Christian and a relation of Christ, for, at this time, all they, that were of the House of David, were seized. After having endured various tortures, Simeon was put to death by the same punishment which our Saviour suffered, and all the beholders were filled with astonishment to find how, at his age, (for he was a hundred and twenty years old,) he could go through the intense pains of crucifixion, without showing a sign of fear or irresolution.
Receive, most venerable Saint! the humble homage of our devotion. What is all human glory compared with thine! Thou wast of the family of Christ; thy teaching was that which His divine lips had given thee; thy charity for men was formed on the model of his Sacred Heart; and thy death was the closest representation of His. We may not claim the honour thou hadst, of calling ourselves Brothers of the Lord Jesus; but pray for us, that we may be of those, of whom he thus speaks: Whosoever shall do the will of my Father that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother. We have not, like
1 St. Matth. xii. 50.
thee, received the doctrine of salvation from the very lips of Jesus; but we have it in all its purity, by means of holy Tradition, of which thou art one of the earliest links; oh! obtain for us a docility to this word of God, and pardon for our past disobedience. We have not to be nailed to a cross, as thou wast; but the world is thickly set with trials, to which our Lord himself gives the name of the Cross. These we must bear with patience, if we would have part with Jesus in his glory. Pray for us, O Simeon, that henceforth we may be more faithful; that we never more become rebels to our duty; and that we may repair the faults we have so often committed by infringing the law of our God.
SAINT PETER'S CHAIR AT ANTIOCH.
WE are called upon, a second time, to honour St. Peter's Chair: first, it was his Pontificate in Rome; to-day, it is his Episcopate at Antioch. The seven years spent by the Prince of the Apostles in the second of these cities, were the grandest glory she ever had; and they are too important a portion of the life of St. Peter to be passed by without being noticed in the Christian Cycle.
Three years had elapsed since our Lord's Ascension. The Church had already been made fruitful by martyrdom, and from Jerusalem she had spread into distant countries. Antioch, the first of the cities of Asia, had received the Gospel; and it was there, that they who professed the faith of Jesus were first called "Christians." Jerusalem was doomed to destruction for her having not only refused to acknowledge, but also for her having crucified, the Messias : it was time for Peter, in whom resided the supreme power, to deprive the faithless City of the honour she had heretofore enjoyed, of possessing within her walls the Chair of the Apostolate. It was towards the Gentiles that the Holy Spirit drove those Clouds, which were shown to Isaias as the symbol of the holy Apostles.1 Accordingly, it was in Antioch, the
1 Is. lx. 8.
third Capital of the Roman Empire, that Peter first places the august Throne, on which, as Vice-gerent of Christ, he presides over the Church,-that new family, of which all Nations are invited to become members.
But the progress of the Apostles was so rapid; the conquests they made, in spite of every opposition, were so extensive,-that the Vicar of Christ was inspired to leave Antioch, after he had honoured it with the Chair during the space of seven years. Alexandria, the second City of the Empire, is also to be made a See of Peter; and Rome, the Capital of the world, awaits the grand privilege, for which God had long been preparing her. Onwards, then, does the Prince advance, bearing with him the destinies of the Church; where he fixes his last abode, and where he dies, there will he have his Successor in his sublime dignity of Vicar of Christ. He leaves Antioch, making one of his disciples, Evodius, its Bishop. Evodius succeeds Peter as Bishop of Antioch; but that See is not to inherit the Headship of the Church, which goes whithersoever Peter goes. He sends Mark, another of his disciples, to take possession, in his name, of Alexandria; and this Church he would have be the second in the world, and though he has not ruled it in person, he raises it above that of Antioch. This done, he goes to Rome, where he permanently establishes that Chair, on which he will live, and teach, and rule, in his Successors, to the end of time.
And here we have the origin of the three great Patriarchal Sees, which were the object of so much veneration in the early ages:-the first, is Rome, which is invested with all the prerogatives of the Prince of the Apostles, which, when dying, he transmitted to her; the second, is Alexandria, which owes her pre-eminence to Peter's adopting her as his second See; the third, is Antioch, whither he re
paired in person, when he left Jerusalem to bring to the Gentiles the grace of adoption. If, therefore, Antioch is below Alexandria in rank, Alexandria never enjoyed the honour granted to Antioch,—of having been governed, in person, by him whom Christ appointed to be the supreme Pastor of his Church. Nothing, then, could be more just, than that Antioch should be honoured, in that she has had the privilege of having been, for seven years, the centre of Christendom; and this is the object of today's Feast.
The Children of the Church have a right to feel a special interest in every solemnity that is kept in memory of St. Peter. The Father's Feast is a Feast for the whole family; for to him it owes its very life. If there be but one fold, it is because there is but one Shepherd. Let us, then, honour Peter's divine prerogative, to which Christianity owes its preservation; and let us often reflect upon the obligations we are under to the Apostolic See. On the Feast of the Chair at Rome, we saw how Faith is taught, and maintained, and propagated by the Mother-Church, which has inherited the promises made to Peter. To-day, let us consider the Apostolic See as the sole source of the legitimate Power, whereby mankind is ruled and governed in all that concerns eternal salvation.
Our Saviour said to Peter: To thee will I give the Keys of the Kingdom of heaven,1 that is to say, of the Church. He said to him, on another occasion: Feed my lambs, feed my sheep. So that, Peter is Prince; for, in the language of the sacred Scriptures, Keys denote princely power: he is also Pastor, and universal Pastor; for the whole flock is comprised under the two terms, Lambs and Sheep. And yet, there are other Pastors in every portion of the
1 St. Matth. xvi. 19. 2 St. John, xxi. 15, 17.