« PoprzedniaDalej »
Veste sumpta cum caligis,
Sit Patri laus ingenito,
Angel's power; he bids thee put on thy garments and thy sandals, and lo! the prisondoor is opened.
To the Father unbegotten, and to the Only-Begotten Son, and to the co-equal Spirit of them both, be praise and kingly highest power. Amen.
Glory be to thee, O Prince of the Apostles, on thy Chair at Antioch, where thou didst for seven years preside over the universal Church! How magnificent are the stations of thy Apostolate!-Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria (by thy disciple Mark,) and Rome, these are the Cities which have been honoured by thy august Chair. After Rome, Antioch was the longest graced by its presence: justly, therefore, do we honour this Church, which was thus made, by thee, the Mother and Mistress of all other Churches. Alas! all her beauty has now left her; her faith is dead; she is in bondage to the Saracen. Save her, take her once more under thy power, bring her into allegiance to Rome, where thou hast thy Chair, not for seven years only, but for all ages. The gates of hell have let loose the fury of every tempest upon thee, firm Rock of the Church! and we ourselves have seen the immortal Chair banished for a time from Rome. The words of St. Ambrose then came to our minds: "Where Peter is, there is "the Church." How could we despair? Did we not know, that it was God's inspiration which made thee choose Rome for the fixed resting place of thy Throne? No human will can put asunder what God has united; the Bishop of Rome must ever be the Vicar of Christ; and the Vicar of Christ, let sacrilege and persecution banish him as they will, must ever be the Bishop of Rome. Holy Apostle! calm the wildness of the tempest, lest the weak should
take scandal. Beseech our Lord that he permit not the residence of thy Successor to be disturbed in that Holy City, which has been chosen for so great an honour. If it be, that her inhabitants deserve punishment for their offences,-spare them for the sake of their brethren of the rest of the world; and pray for them, that their Faith may once more become what it was when St. Paul praised it, and said to them: Your Faith is spoken of in the whole world.1
1 Rom. i. 8.
SAINT PETER DAMIAN,
CARDINAL AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.
IT is the Feast of the austere reformer of the 11th century, Peter Damian, the precursor of the holy Pontiff Gregory the Seventh, that we are called upon to celebrate to-day. To him is due a share of that glorious regeneration, which was effected at that troubled period when judgment had to begin at the House of God. The life he had led. under the Monastic Rule had fitted him for the great contest. So zealously did he withstand the disorders and abuses of his times, that we may attribute to him, at least in great measure, the ardent faith of the two centuries which followed the scandals of the 10th. The Church ranks him among her Doctors, on account of his admirable Writings; and his penitential life ought to excite us to be fervent in the work we have in hand,-the work of our Conversion.
The following Lessons, read by the Church, on this Feast, give us a sketch of our Saint's Life.
Petrus, Ravennæ honestis parentibus natus, adhuc lactens a matre numerosæ pro
Peter was born at Ravenna, of respectable parents. His mother, wearied with the care
1 I. St. Peter, iv. 17.
of a large family, abandoned him when a babe; but one of her female servants found him in an almost dying state, and took care of him, until such time as the mother, repenting of her unnatural conduct, consented to treat him as her child. After the death of his parents, one of his brothers, a most harsh man, took him as a servant, or more truly as his slave. It was about this period of his life that he performed an action, which evinced his virtue and his filial piety. He happened to find a large sum of money; but instead of using it for his own wants, he gave it to a priest, begging him to offer up the Holy Sacrifice for the repose of his father's soul. Another of his brothers, called Damian (after whom, it is said, he was named), had him educated; and so rapid and so great was the progress he made in his studies, that he was the admiration of his masters. He became such a proficient in the liberal sciences, that he was made to teach them in the public schools, which he did with great success. During all this time, it was his study to bring his body into subjection to the spirit; and to this end, he wore a hair-shirt under an outwardly comfortable dress, and practised frequent fasting, watching, and prayer. Being in the very ardour of youth, and being cruelly buffeted by the sting of the flesh, he, during the night, would go and plunge himself into a frozen
lis pertesa abjicitur, sed domesticæ mulieris opera semivivus exceptus ac recreatus, genitrici ad humanitatis sensum revocatæ redditur. Utroque orbatus parente, tamquam vile mancipium sub aspera fratris tutela duram servitutem exercuit. Religionis in Deum ac pietatis erga patrem egregium tunc specimen dedit; inventum siquidem forte nummum non propriæ inediæ sublevandæ, sed sacerdoti, qui divinum Sacrificium ad illius expiationem offerret, erogavit. A Damiano fratre, a quo, uti fertur, cognomentum accepit, ejus cura litteris eruditur, in quibus brevi tantum profecit, ut magistris admirationi esset. Quum autem liberalibus scientiis floreret et nomine, eas cum laude docuit. Interim ut corpus rationi subderet, sub molibus vestibus cilicium adhibuit, jejuniis, vigiliis, et orationibus solerter insistens. Calente juventa, dum carnis stimulis acriter urgeretur, insultantium libidinum faces rigentibus fluvii mersus aquis noctu exstinguebat: tum venerabilia quæque loca obire, totumque Psalterium recitare consueverat. Ope assidua pauperes levabat, quibus frequenter pastis convivio, propriis ipse manibus ministrabat.
Perficiendæ magis vitæ causa, in Avellanensi Eugubinæ Diocesis Coenobio, Ordinis Monachorum Sanctæ Crucis Fontis Avellanæ, a beato Ludolpho sancti Romualdi discipulo fundato nomen dedit. Non ita multo post in Monasterium Pomposianum, mox in Coenobium Sancti Vincentii Petræ Pertusæ ab Abbate suo missus, utrumque Asceterium verbo sacro, præclaris institutionibus et moribus excoluit. Ad suos revocatus, post Præsidis obitum Avellanitarum Familiæ præficitur, quam novis variis in locis exstructis domiciliis, et sanctissimis institutis ita auxit, ut alter ejus Ordinis Parens, ac præcipuum ornamentum jure sit habitus. Salutarem Petri sollicitudinem alia quoque diversi instituti Coenobia, Canonicorum Conventus, et populi sunt experti. Urbinati Dicecesi non uno nomine profuit: Theuzoni Episcopo in causa gravissima assedit, ipsumque in recte administrando Episcopatu consilio et opera juvit. Divinorum contemplatione, cor
pool of water, that he might quench the impure flame which tormented him; or, he would make pilgrimages to holy sanctuaries, and recite the entire Psaltery. His charities to the poor were unceasing, and when he provided them with a meal, which was frequently, he would wait upon them himself.
Out of a desire to lead a still more perfect life, he became a religious in the Monastery of Avellino, in the diocese of Gubbio, of the Order of the Monks of Holy Cross of Fontavellana, which was founded by the blessed Ludolphus, a disciple of St. Romuald. Being sent by his Abbot, not very long after, first to the Monastery of Pomposia, and then to that of Saint Vincent of Pietra-Pertusa, he edified both Houses by his preaching, admirable teaching, and holy life. At the death of the Abbot of Avellino, he was recalled to that Monastery, and was made its superior. The institute was so benefited by his government, not only by the new Monasteries which he founded in several places, but also by the very saintly regulations he drew up, that he was justly looked upon as the second Founder of the Order, and its brightest ornament. Houses of other Orders, Canons, yea entire congregations of the Faithful, were benefited by Peter's enlightened zeal. He was a benefactor, in more ways than one, to the diocese of Urbino he aided the Bi